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Star Wars New Sith Trials II: Rise of the Hand

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Sinrebirth, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. Lady Belligerent

    Lady Belligerent • WNU Adoptions Coordinator• star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Combo with Wanderguard and myself.

    IC: The Night Herald & Hel
    onboard the Revelator

    Darth Haretisch stood on the bridge of the Revelator, watching the kaleidoscope of hyperspace through the viewport. Captain Jerod stood beside him, imperious and quiet, smart in his officer’s uniform. “Six hours until arrival, my lord.”

    The Night Herald only nodded, and continued to wait for Hel. Surely she hadn’t gotten into enough mischief on the ship that she couldn’t answer a summons.

    Since she’s been given permission to go anywhere, Hel had spent hours exploring the Revelator. She’d studied infiltrating ISD’s during her programming, but that was anything compared to actually climbing up the service ducts and vents.

    The crew break rooms and cafeterias were also interesting. From watching and listening she’d learned that most of the crew feared Haretisch. Some comments were concerning, but she’d never felt threatened by him.

    As of on cue, Hel stepped out of the lift and entered the bridge of her father’s flagship. Jerod nodded curtly and excused himself as she approached, stepping away to do whatever it is that captains do.

    Haretisch blinked and exhaled, turning his chin up slightly with the ghost of a smile on his face. “Were you not taught to answer promptly when sent for by a Dark Lord?” he asked. There was no malice in his voice - this was banter, not a scolding.

    Hel looked straight ahead at the viewport and answered, “I apologize, sir.” She wouldn’t have been late if it weren’t for that strange guy she’d met. But, excuses were unacceptable. He didn’t sound truly angry, and in fact seemed in an oddly jovial mood. Maybe it was a good time to ask...

    Hel cleared her throat and asked, “will I be going along? I mean, may I get back to work?” Without giving him a chance to answer, she blurted out, “Dr. Cal says I’ve made a remarkable recovery...and, what if he came along too?”

    Her cheeks flushed in embarrassment. She sounded like an undisciplined teenager, and that was not how she was taught to behave.

    “Going along to...” Haretisch paused when he realized what she meant. “The Luxury Elite? No,” he said firmly. “That ship is a maelstrom of depravity, bursting at the seams with booze and spice and wh-“ he blinked, “prostitutes, and nothing at all of any concern or utility to you. No, you must remain here... and steward the ship in my stead.” He could only hope that giving her a job would make her more pliant.

    Hel stiffened as though she’d been struck. It served her right. She’d let all guards down, and gone against all her programming... She’d trusted that he might even care. I’ve fought against undead! I’m not weak! What harm could happen being around prostitutes?

    “I see,” Hel answered softly, “may I be excused now, sir?”

    He winced. This was like punching underwater.

    “It’s dangerous,” he lowered his voice, stepping closer. “I nearly lost you once, Hel. And there are people who would see you undone solely to cripple me. Bellorum. Insipid. They are not our friends. I must keep you safe from them.” He paused, dipping his head to look at her more squarely. His voice got quieter still. “Please.”

    She was sure he felt her disappointment, and maybe that bothered her most.

    It was a punishment. Other beings had been giddy over the notion of being near the Luxury Elite. They had gone on about the glamor and the games of chance. She knew there were those that sold they bodies for pleasure, what harm could there be in being on a massive ship with them?

    Hel would have rolled her eyes if it wouldn’t have been disrespectful.

    “You believe I am weak and cannot look out for my own safety?” Hel asked him in a calm voice. She’d let him think he’d won this round, but not too easily.

    Instead, his expression hardened. Evenly he extended a hand, palm turned up, and Hel would feel the pendant around her neck begin to stir. The cord by which it hung suddenly snapped, and the pendant shot forward and into her father’s palm.

    “Was this talisman not given to the hero of the mountain pass, who stood against a horde of undead and lived?” “Do you think your poor father a fool? I know that you are anything but weak,” he paused, “but you cannot understand how dangerous our enemies are.”

    Her eyes shifted from her pendant to the floor, “yes, sir.” She accepted the defeat fully and with such resolve that her posture slightly slumped.

    “I shall follow orders, Night Herald,” Hel continued as she stared into seams in the floor. Her presence in the Force was dampened in defeat as she stood waiting to be dismissed.

    ‘Night Herald...’ he thought. The air might have gone out of him if he let it. Instead he simply nodded and sent the medal floating back to her, turning to watch the viewport before it reached its destination.

    Hel lifted her hand and caught the pendant in her palm. The metal was startlingly cold in her grasp. “Father?” She asked the imposing Dark Lord, “am I much like my mother?”

    He was quiet for a moment, eyes fixed on the streaking, starry expanse out ahead. “I can’t look at you without seeing her. Without remembering what I’ve done. You are not only my salvation, Hel. You are my damnation all the same.” He couldn’t have been so honest looking her in the eye, and so he neglected to turn and face her. “But no,” he continued. “You are not like her. You are like me, or at least... like I was.” He turned his head, to glance back that he might catch a glimpse of her. “Does it frighten you, to think that you might become as I am?”

    She lifted her chin and looked into his eyes before answering, “no.”

    Hel turned on her heel and slowly walked back to the lift.

    ‘It does me,’ Haretisch thought as she left. When she was gone, he almost absently raised an open hand to shoulder level. As he clenched his fist and turned it inward, the entirety of the bridge crew who had overheard the intimate conversation began to cough and sputter, before suddenly collapsing to the floor, motionless. All except for Captain Jerod. “Captain, please call in a new bridge crew,” he said softly.

    “Of course, my lord,” Jerod replied, unfazed and unflinching.

    Tag: Darth_wanderguard
     
  2. Darth_wanderguard

    Darth_wanderguard Game Host star 6 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2005
    GM UPDATE

    IC: Darth Haretisch, Darth Bellorum, Darth Alva, Grievance Vexx, & Cesar IgnancioThe Luxury Elite

    (Combo post with Lady Belligerent, Isley_27, Kaleesh-Cyborg, and E. L.Knight)

    The very centermost level of the Luxury Elite, nestled beneath the protection of the thickest armor and the highest saturation of defensive turrets anywhere on the ship, was especially luxurious. It was also reserved for the use of The Family - or at least now it was. Whereas the entire massive level had previously been the personal residence of Cesar Ignancio, the ship’s master would now find himself relegated to one of the lesser suites to make way for his superiors, who took the finest lodgings for their own. Of course they were all too happy to allow his unfettered control of the ship to continue - that was dirty work. Indeed they very much preferred to let Cesar monitor security cameras and intimidate middle management while they themselves talked larger business over whisky and cigars.

    Today, the larger business in question was sure to be a sore subject for Cesar, who had been largely pushed aside where it was concerned - though he was at least in attendance.

    Outside in the celestial ether, an Imperial Star Destroyer decanted from hyperspace, cutting through the black like a dagger. With it came a trio of frigates, protecting its rear and flanks.

    The Revelator had arrived.

    ~

    Zeb Targon took a pull off of his cigar, and lightly swished the glass of Corellian Brandy he held in his opposite hand. “I don’t like being kept waiting,” he rasped.

    “They’ll be here,” Adom Delgas replied nervously, sitting to Zeb’s left.

    The entire family was present, or at least the major players that were known. Zeb was the patriarch - an aging human man, large of frame and slightly rotund, but solid nonetheless with silver hair trimmed tight to his temples and slicked back on top. His face was as expressionless as smooth stone.

    To the right of the boss was Auspa Kasra, an imperious woman with the air of authority which only came with age, but the flawless features of a woman half her years. Beyond Auspa sat Jouren Roscoe, a coarse looking man, no spring chicken but not of Zeb’s age yet. He had the look of a bully about him. Across from Roscoe, beside Adom Delgas, sat Ryn Alavai. Ryn was wiry, his suit well-fitted and sharp, and there was a calm but youthful energy in his mannerisms - not quite the quiet authority of Zeb but certainly not the obnoxious brawn of Roscoe. Ryn instead had the confident look of an heir-apparent. And at the far end of the table, looking like the illegitimate bastard of the family, Cesar Ignancio sat alone. Presumably the empty seats in-between would be filled by Sith.

    The turn of events were not as Cesar would have hoped. He disliked being displaced on his own ship, and even worse, he truly disliked Zeb.

    Relmi Dar had been the patriarch before him and had been Cesar's surrogate father. His retirement to the Farm had left the position of Patriarch open, and Zeb had been chosen to fill it.

    The thing that Cesar disliked most about Zeb was his decision to open The Family to all. The Hutts, The Hand, The First Order, Zeb didn't care. He was greedy and his decisions showed it.

    Unfortunately, Cesar had no real place to complain. The Family was more powerful and richer than it had been since their initial rise to power.

    “The Sith are here,” came a buzzy voice over the intercom in the center of the table.

    “Send them in,” Auspa replied after a nod from Zeb.

    At the far end of the room, a pair of double doors opened, and the Night Herald stepped through, clad in his now-familiar white plasteel and black cape. Zeb made no attempt to hide his amusement. These Sith were a rare sort of weird. Was he wearing eyeliner?

    “Please, have a seat,” Adom gestured, still nervous. He felt he were in the presence of titans even before the Sith arrived. Wordlessly, Darth Haretisch took the offered seat and cast a gaze around the table. “Is... is anyone else coming?” Adom stuttered.

    “Definitely,” Bellorum answered as she passed through the doors. “I do hope I haven’t kept you waiting,” she added with a knowing smile that settled upon Zeb Targon. She had purposely arrived moments behind Haretisch, an excuse to avoid any more uncomfortable exchanges. Without looking at the Night Herald she took the seat next to him and nodded a greeting to Adom, who she’d found to be an excellent business resource.

    Adom nodded in response, having visibly relaxed at the Dawn Herald’s arrival. He cleared his throat. “This, ladies and gentleman, is Dark Lady Bellorum, Dawn Herald of the Sith and the reason we’re here today. She’s been an associate of mine for a little while now and when our previous talent turned up, erm, dead... I knew she could help.” He then gestured to the Night Herald. “And this is Darth Haretisch - from what I understand he’s the one actually providing our new competitors.”

    “That’s nice,” Zeb replied flatly, “but I’ve yet to see either of these fighters you keep blowing smoke about. All I’ve seen is an overgrown kid playing dress up, and a jumped up little Jezebel who thinks she can play in the bigs.” He stamped out his cigar, for the first time betraying his growing agitation.

    Haretisch was expressionless and unbothered. He had sent both Alva and Grievance a summons the day prior - each knew exactly when and how to arrive. The durasteel doors at the head of the room had sealed after Bellorum’s entrance, but he doubted either that or the posted guards would stop the two of them from entering.

    Cesar, meanwhile, chose to remain silent. He was the most junior Master and he wanted to make sure he wasn't overstepping. He knew his place, even if they forced it on him in displays such as this.

    Just as he was growing bored, the new fighters arrived. And they did it in spectacular fashion.

    ~

    The summons came from his master, and Alva was here of all places. He didn't know why, perhaps he wanted to see firsthand the outcome of his plans, perhaps not. Alva's mission with Kralkus had been a sucess, aside from having to temporarily drop cover to escape from being ambushed. Because of that, he had to spend the rest his time cloaking his presence and cautiously moving about, even going as far to changing his attire. This didn't bother him too much, but it would have been far easier to casually move forward than to periodically check over his shoulder to see if he had picked up a follower. Whether he was being watched or not didn't make a difference, he just didn't want to end up in that situation again. Yet something in his gut was nagging at him that everything would take a drastic turn once he confronted his master, The Night Herald.

    Checking his comm device for the source location, Alva realized this place was towards the private inner quarters of The Luxury Elite. It would make sense for The Dark Lord to be to located in such a spot, he would never subject himself to mingling with the uncivilized, the undisciplined, and the low life scum of the galaxy, but at the same time, was he the only one there? The whole situation was wrapped in mystery, and the only way for Alva to get to the bottom of it was to just go there and see for himself. So his pace quickened, not to a run, but to an eager stride.

    ~

    Grievance Vexx had received the summons and what had stood out to him the most was the permission granted to drop this stupid bounty hunter gig. He certainly doesn't need to be told twice on that one. He is so fed up with pretending, he can't stand another moment of it.

    Eagerly trading in the numerous thick robes and other articles of clothing that effectively hid his cybernetic body for his simple Sheelal tribe cloak, the cyborg moves swiftly to respond to the summons, following the coordinates on the device Haretisch had given him. Beware any who stand in his way. The cyborg is still a loaded blaster on legs, furious down to the core. His prior unkind deeds had not been enough to vent the rage boiling inside of him. To say he is looking for a fight now is a vast understatement. Fortunately--or perhaps unfortunately for him--the coordinates lead him down shafts and hallways seldom traveled to reach his destination.

    In his state of aggravation, he feels as though he cannot move fast enough. He has been on quite the killing spree in the past few hours and he is so furious with Draconis right now, he could spit blaster bolts. His honor has been severely compromised and the shame is fuel on the fire. His yellow eyes glow softly in the dim hallways as he tries to rein in his anger. He is alone now. Solitude. Quiet time to collect himself and regain control. Things have to get better from here. In Grievance's mind, there's no way it could possibly get worse.

    ~

    The crowds began to dwindle away as Alva came to the elevator lift he needed to take down to the lower levels. The ride took several minutes as it zipped down floor after floor. Crossing his arms, he began to tap his heel. ‘Could be another one of my master's machinations.’ The thought made him unclip the hilt of his saber from his right side. He had hung it now more prominently from how use to hide it before his first arriving on The Elite. ‘But I could be closer to gaining his holocron,’ he thought about sending a coded message to Aryan. Informing him that it was time to begin their plotting against the cyborg fiend. Yet at the last second, just before he was about to carry out the action, he hesitated. Lord Haretisch had chosen Aryan to be his fellow apprentice, why? He knew why, by the fundamental principles of the Sith, the strongest dominated the weaker. The Night Herald wanted the strongest apprentice at his side. However, Alva and Aryan were stark contrasts when it came to their abilities in the force. Alva was the stronger, yet Aryan the smarter. What if Aryan was the favorite?

    His grip around the hilt tightened at the possible revelation. Aryan knew things that Alva didn't, he had more influence in the Empire. The man was the Chancellor for force sake! Alva was nothing to that degree, he was just an apprentice to the Sith. Their Master could use Aryan in greater ways, Alva was just the one to do the dirty work. His anger began to rise more and more as he thought about it. Aryan had all of these things their Master could use, Alva had nothing. "Why should he be given the chance at the holocron!?" He said in a raised voice, no longer carrying on the argument in his mind, "I have nothing....nothing but my ambition!" The elevator slowed upon reaching the desired floor, until fully coming to a stop. The doors opened and Alva came out, his steps hard and determined. There wasn't a soul around, just a long corridor leading to a sealed door guarded by a brute of a man. Right now, Alva was burning with rage and hate, and an overpowering desire to take the holocron and hoard it's dark secrets for himself. "If Aryan gets the praise and honor over me, then I will strive to have the strength and power over him.." That phrase became a chant, putting Alva in a trance as he walked ahead.

    "Where do think you’re going, little man?" The man stationed at the doors placed a hand tightly on Alva's shoulder. "This ain't a place for you to just walk through, turn around and get lost." The guard's statement hardly registered to Alva, although the man had stopped him, he was still concentrating on his new found hate. He was still staring at the doors right in front of him. "You hearing me punk? leave or there's gonna be trouble!" He pulled out a pistol to emphasize his point, though Alva didn't flinch. Only turning his head slightly at him, "Take your hand off my shoulder, and let me in the room." The brute shook his head and chuckled, "That's it," he said and brought the pistol forward to shoot Alva. The Sith took a step back causing the shot to completely miss him. Grabbing the man's arm, Alva twisted it backwards then elbowed him in the face. The man stumbled and grunted in pain, while dropping the pistol. Alva shoved his face roughly against the reinforced wall, "Let's try again, open this door, or you will die in the most gruesome way I can imagine."

    "Ok! Ok! You win! Just let me go..please!" The guard whimpered out. He reached for the door panel and set a chip against the reader. It chimmed green and the doors slid open. The room before him was in the fashion of a conference room like setting. There were several figures seated, but only two of them were recognizable. The Night Herald as Alva had expected, but to his slight surprise, The Dawn Herald. Alva threw the guard he had forced into submission to the side.

    “Ladies and gentlemen of The Family,” Haretisch spoke plainly and yet with clear disdain for the others at the table, “My apprentice, Darth Alva.”

    Zeb’s eyes flicked to the guard struggling to find his feet, and then to Alva whom he found utterly unimpressive save for what he had just done. He was confused, but for the moment said nothing.

    Alva would have bowed right then and there, but it seemed like the guard had a different idea. Instead of just counting his blessings and walking away fairly unharmed, he quickly made for the pistol he had dropped and attempt to fire another shot to kill the young man for his trespassing.

    He tried point the blaster, but his arm just sat to his side as if something was holding it in place. Alva turned his attention back to the man, frozen by the power of the force. With a thought he made the fool slowly raise his arm with pistol in hand. He could see him trying to resist, his arm trembling to pull the pistol to his desired direction, but to no avail. It seem to be going straight for his left knee cap, "Wha- What are you doing!" The man pleaded, but Alva said nothing, only his eyes twitched to trigger the pistol.

    “What the kriff...?” Zeb muttered just before the shot rang out into the room, followed by the screams of pain as his knee was obliterated, and an outburst from Auspa who was horrified at actually seeing the gory details of the business from which she was typically insulated as an administrator.

    The guard slumped downward, but his arm was still maneuvering out beyond his control, moving to the right knee cap. Zeb was still calm if agitated, while the others sat in stunned silence.

    The second shot brought the guard to a pitiful grunting sob as he fell face down to floor, unable to keep himself up. For several moments, Alva just watched while drawing in on the man's agony. He wanted him to suffer, he wanted his last moments of breath to be those of unbearable pain. Finally satisfied, the pistol came to the man's temple, putting an end to the cries of pain.

    He collapsed wetly to the floor, and Alva bowed to one knee as the double doors behind him shut of their own volition. "My Lord and Lady." He tilted his head to the floor, "I apologize for the spectacle, I'm rather...on edge at the moment."

    “Nonsense,” Haretisch replied, “your arrival was exactly as I knew it would be.”

    Adom Delgas quietly pulled a death stick from his jacket. His hands wouldn’t stop shaking though and he couldn’t seem to light the blasted thing.

    ~

    No matter how many deliberately slow and deep breaths he takes, Grievance cannot seem to diffuse this horrible rage consuming him. Though he is designed to attack and to kill, he has never wanted to do so without just cause. What had happened back in the cargo hold most recently is haunting and tormenting him even more than his own torture at the hands of Draconis. His head is still pounding from infiltrating the mind of the moff woman and the fact that he could actually do that still has him reeling. His inability to pull himself together only intensifies his anger.

    Another guard now stands at the door Alva had passed through only moments before. The two guards were supposed to be on duty together, but when nature calls, its best to not let it leave a message. The large man standing at the door now, ignorant of the fact that his partner is dead, doesn't faze Grievance in the least. His cold reptilian eyes silently dare him to challenge his entrance. Fool that he is, or maybe just so loyal to his post, that is precisely what he does, encroaching on him with a stun baton.

    "State your business, droid."

    Quite possibly the worst greeting this guard could have selected for the cyborg. Without a word, Grievance dispatches the single guard clear down the hall with a well-placed savage kick to the man's chest.

    "My business is none of your business," he states simply, glowering at the groaning man crumpled on the floor against the wall and likely to die from his injuries. Grievance then turns to the doors that refuse to yield to his presence in front of the sensors. Perfect. As if he needs another excuse to behave with unbridled violence. He could just get the access card from the guard, but he really doesn't feel like walking as far as he had kicked the man down the hall. Relying on his powerful talons once again, he makes short work of the rebellious door, shattering it right out of its frame with a single vicious kick that sends it flying into the room where Alva and the Night and Dawn Heralds are.

    “By god, man,” Ryn seemed to nearly jump out of his chair. Indeed everyone at the table save for the Sith might have died of fright were it any worse.

    “And here is his counterpart, Lord Grievance Vexx,” Haretisch looked pointedly to Zeb. “You were saying?”

    Unlike Alva, the cyborg is not so apologetic. He's just plain annoyed and that only grows stronger as his eyes fix on the apprentice that had humiliated him only a few days ago and turned him into vulnerable prey which Draconis had snapped up without hesitation. Oh, does he ever have a vendetta for this one, but he resists the impulse to pounce the young Sith and tear into him here and now as he becomes more aware of the presence of authority in the room, namely Haretisch and Bellorum.

    "Greetings, Night Herald. M'lady." He bows respectfully and rises slowly, deadly reptilian eyes fixed on the one he has marked for death. "Darth Alva."

    "Vexx," Alva replied, not even bothering to look at the cyborg. Alva couldn't speak for the others seated, but he had no doubt that Lord Haretisch and Lady Bellorum would sense the utter disgust each one felt about the other.

    That disgust was indeed obvious, and not solely to Night and Dawn Herald.

    “I must apologize for the two of you being the last to know,” Haretisch started, standing from his seat and stepping between the apprentices, “but the reason I’ve called you here is that our, erm, friends,” he gestured to the gangsters sitting at the table, faces pale as Hoth, “are in need of your services. I believe you have a score to settle, no? And it just so happens that our friends need to fill the void left by a pair of prizefighters who have died unexpectedly. It will be broadcast across the holonet. Millions will watch. Millions of credits will be made - a large portion of which will be yours. If, of course, our friends are convinced it is a worthwhile investment.”

    Zeb said nothing, only nodded.

    “You will have two months to train and prepare,” Haretisch finished. He didn’t intend to give either an opportunity to decline.

    Alva couldn't believe the stated proposition, no, it wasn't even a proposition! He knew he wouldn't have a choice in the matter, to be put on display and used for The Family's gain. What could he do though, throw his life away by inviting the wrath of both The Heralds upon him because he refused? The assumptions he had made earlier seemed to be spot on, Aryan Graul...Skelm, faced a more meaningful future in the Sith Empire.

    "I am honored, Master, that you've chosen me, " he said out loud. Inwardly however, Alva cursed and swore at his situation. Just a business offer brought about by some inconvenient situation. While it was true he was given the opportunity to take down a rival, Grienvance Vexx, the only thing he would really get out of this was some cheerful applause and a handful of credits. When it came right down to it, both were worthless to Alva when forced into a possible fight to the death. There had to be something more to gain from this, something that would last from Alva's prospective.

    For his part, Grievance is fuming. His skill, his very honor is to be placed on display as cheap entertainment? Like hell! Who does this Night Herald think he is forcing him into a position like this? He was already forced into a position that darn near got him killed--not by Alva, but by Draconis, and now he is little more than a slave because of it. Forget cursing in his mind. He is hissing Kaleesh curse words out loud. His gaze could bore holes into Haretisch right now as he tries with all his might to resist the impulse to attack the Night Herald; an act that would undoubtedly cost him his life. Were it not for the fact that it would be humiliating to go out right in front of the apprentice he wants to maim and dismember, it would almost be worth the price. His eyes shift to said apprentice as Alva speaks, making some ridiculous request and daring to rub Grievance's nonexistent nose in his previous defeat.

    "Master, if I may speak." Alva began, making sure to choose his next words carefully. "In this case, credits and fame aren't good enough, they can keep it." He paused, "But there is something I would ask for, your holocron as a reward if I am able to defeat Vexx...for a second time." He shot the cyborg a glare. "Give me your word as my Master and The Night Herald that it will be mine if I succeed, and I'll give you my word to provide them a fight that will break the bank." He give a slight grin, "And if possible, I'd like a woman the night before our fight." The last request was definitely the young man's selfish want, and if it was going to be Alva's possibly last time alive, he wasn't going spend it alone.

    They will be scraping your remains off the floor for weeks to come when I am finished with you, Darth Alva, the cyborg thinks angrily as he catches Alva's pointed glare, I will make eternity in hell seem like you might suffer it twice.

    He growls at Alva's closing request. Such disrespect for females. All the more reason to grind him into an unrecognizable glob of mush. He scrapes the talons of one foot across the floor, a motion not unlike a reek pawing the ground before charging. Forget training! He will kill this whelp here and now, right where he stands. But then an idea occurs to him. If Alva has the brass to make a request, why shouldn't he as well?

    "I cannot say I am honored and be truthful, m'lord," he says bluntly, "It is with great resentment that I willingly submit myself to this. But you should know that I probably care less about credits and fame than your...lapdog...over there." Now he shoots Alva a pointed glare before shifting his eyes back to the Night Herald. "I do not know if this is something that could even be arranged, but if it is, should I win the battle, I would request that access to the holocron's secrets be granted to me." He looks at Alva once again with raw hatred. "That is all I would request. Nothing more."

    “Done,” Haretisch replied briskly. “The holocron will go to the victor, unless Darth Skelm acquires it in the interim. As for your woman,” he looked to Alva, “I am not a whoremonger. Arrange your own indulgences. Now, be dismissed,” he stepped back to the table and took his seat once again.

    Zeb cleared his throat, still trying to regain his nerve. “Let’s talk money.”

    TAG: Isley_27, Kaleesh-Cyborg, dragonsith13 (combo instructions incoming)




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. Csilla Informer

    Csilla Informer Jedi Padawan

    Registered:
    Jan 21, 2017
    CLASH IN THE CASINO


    [​IMG]


    Two Sith Lords will square off on the Luxury Elite casino resort in two months’ time, the ship’s public relations team announced today in an official press release. The announcement comes on the heels of the untimely deaths of Ardeth Mahr and Owen Broxin, whose upcoming match had been dubbed “The Fight of the Millennium,” in media circles. Though highly anticipated by fans across the unknown regions, it took nearly six years for the matchup to materialize. Once it did, the fight smashed sales records and put The Luxury Elite on the map.


    But when both fighters unexpectedly turned up dead, it appeared for a short while that The Luxury Elite would be forced to offer refunds for not only the thousands of tickets sold for the event itself, but also tens of millions of subscriptions to the fight’s holonet broadcast.


    With today’s press release, however, the resort ship is indeed offering its customers an optional refund, but hoping they simply don’t take it. So far it’s worked - a chance to see two “force users” square off in the ring is simply too tempting for most, and estimates are that the resort ship has retained 90% of the event’s original sales.


    Most prizefighting experts have discounted the match as a farce, citing the collapse of the Jedi in the known galaxy prior to the rise of the Empire as evidence that the religion’s supposed mystical powers were simply smoke and mirrors, and the Sith as a cult and a “cheap knockoff” of their more well-known cousins.


    So who are the competitors?


    [​IMG]


    Experts have speculated that Darth Alva, a human male, and Grievance Vexx, a cybernetically augmented Kaleesh, may represent opposing factions within Grand Admiral Thrawn’s puppet Sith regime. Neither fighter has yet been made available for interview, though with less than two months until fight night, the Luxury Elite is soon expected to begin promoting the fight aggressively.


    Per the press release, the fight is to be held under special rules and scheduled for three four-minute rounds, the first of which will be an unarmed contest while the competitors will then be outfitted with traditional Jedi laser swords from the second round on. The third round will then feature an additional condition allowing the combatants to use the various “supernatural” force techniques taught by the Sith.


    Be sure to check back with the Csilla Informer, the unknown regions’ most trusted news source, for all your political and entertainment news updates!
     
  4. Darth Kronos

    Darth Kronos Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 2, 2016
    IC: Mallace - An Unknown Shuttle

    Everything had happened too quickly.

    It hadn't been more than five seconds before her grip on the metal bar - which she had used to avoid the crashing TIE Fighter that had snapped free of its mooring - slipped, and she fell towards the debris. She collapsed into an area where the wall and the floor met, breaking and pushing aside anything in her way, only adding to the pain. Her exposed skin became bruised and cut, and pieces of her clothes were ripped. Her head already throbbed from the impact, and she was beginning to feel lightheaded.

    She desperately tried to sit herself up amid all the chaos, groaning with every body movement, arms shaking from her injuries, and a piece of glass spun in her direction, cutting her forehead open before she even had the time to react.

    She swore, loudly.

    Applying pressure to her wound and ignoring the odd drops of blood that found its way through her hand and near her mouth, she noticed a shuttle nearby. Other Sith, what looked like too many for that one shuttle to hold, were already making their way toward it. She decided to do the same.

    It was either that or suffer a horrible fate on this karking Star Destroyer. She was willing to pile up with these heathens if it meant her survival.

    Multiple drops of blood that varied in size littered the once pristine floor as she limped her way to her only escape plan.

    Her first sight aboard the shuttle was a Tusken Raider, and the first thing it said to her were directions to the shuttle's medbay.

    As she stumbled her way to the medbay, not even offering a "Thank you" or even a grunt of acknowledgement to the thing, Mallace did her best to avoid eye contact with any of the Sith passengers.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @Mostlymad @corinthia @Darth Cocytus @Darth Master Titus @Darth Osnil @Mitth_Fisto
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  5. Darth Kronos

    Darth Kronos Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 2, 2016
    IC: Darth Kronos and Esmerelda - Leaving Lah'mu

    Darth Kronos awakened in the bedroom of the Erso hut.

    Again.

    Morning twilight crept into the home, the bright orange of the light shining into his eye and removing him from his morning drowsiness. Rubbing his eyes to make his vision less blurry, he sat up, stretched - his bones popping, removing the stiffness from his joints - and groaned. His hair was still disheveled from the previous night, and he lacked his shirt and his pants.

    After their earlier argument, the two had decided to make up with some traditional cuddling. Kronos had taken off his clothes for comfort, and Esme simply didn't need to. It was their way of passing by the time as pleasantly as possible, while not killing... too much time. It made Kronos feel better about the risk they had taken, and it gave Esme what she wanted.

    Of course, both had fallen asleep again, the storm passing by before either could wake up. Apparently, it had been much earlier in the morning than he had originally thought. Which he was certainly happy about.

    Still, though... Insipid wasn't exactly the most forgiving of people.

    Kronos pushed that away, stood up, quickly showered, and dressed himself, absently noticing Esme's clothes were nowhere to be found, indicating that she had awakened, showered, and dressed before he could even notice.

    He made his way outside, moving over to their shuttle and went inside. The box and blanket he had brought were cast aside in a corner of the ship. Once she saw him, she acknowledged him with a wide smile and a warm greeting. Her tone implied that they had been married for several years.

    "'Morning," he groggily replied. He was still fully coming to his senses after last night's genuinely full rest - something he had not had in years.

    The warmth of the rising sun illuminated against the warmth of her smile. He couldn't help but send her a loving grin back.

    Esme went straight into business. A message from the Emperor? That can't be good.

    He did not give much thought to the order of the options she presented. It had been barely ten seconds before he replied. "The Emperor, then the future, and then a kiss. Save the best for last, you know?" A quirk of humor to return to hers.

    Esme quirked a smile at him. ‘Good answer. I was briefly worried that the Emperor warranted more affection from you than me, as you wanted the message before the kiss.’ A tease.

    Without further ado, she keyed the message in. It was brief, clearly as part of the Emperor’s seat-of-his-holy-pants planning, but it was there.

    The Rule of Seven?’ She knitted her brow, delving into her histories of the Sith. ‘I know Palpatine was served by seven Dark Jedi during the Dark Empire, but most of them were small fry that ended up in prison... until joining Krayt, that is... and I think a Dark Jedi Master called Jerec set up something similar before Katarn cut all seven of them down...’ A shrug. ‘And I’m a Sith under the Rule too?

    Esmerelda looked more professionally perplexed than anything, but absently as she spoke keyed in the coordinates to see where they were now going.

    "First I've heard of it," he replied to her Rule of Seven comment. He took a nearby datapad that Esme had been using earlier and quickly glanced over the information. Nothing very useful. Just a short message from Insipid that told them to forget about Ike - he verbally expressed his relief at that - and return to Zakuul. Potentially for more information about this Rule of Seven, what it entailed, and why Insipid had placed Kronos and Esme within it.

    Of course, there was the fact that Insipid didn't know about the couple's little unsanctioned fling. A problem, no doubt. Add that to the list of secrets he was keeping from everybody.

    Including Esme.

    His face twitched. Subtly, but noticeable.

    Sometimes I really wish I still had my helmet, he mentally complained.

    He glanced upward, setting the datapad onto a nearby table, and watched Esme key in new planet coordinates, listing off Sith history as she did so. He found himself realizing that he often forgot about that aspect of her. It was easy to get caught up in the terrible and life-threatening aspect of their lives. It was easy to forget that, not too long ago, Esme was a simple, albeit brilliant scholar and part-time medic. Now, of course, she was much more than that; an Imperial Moff - something she absolutely despised, he knew - and, as the more intriguing position, a member of the Rule of Seven. Two weeks ago, she was a pawn of the Sith. Her innocence and purity used against her, as he had learned, for Haretisch's sick, twisted goals. Now she was something more.

    He let his mind wander, as it often did, usually causing him to get distracted, to her growth. And as she grew, so did he and their relationship. That worry that plagued him, his worry over Esme's distance from him, was now gone. They were now closer than ever.

    And he would never let go again.

    "So," he broke his own thoughts and walked to her right side and wrapped his arm around her neck. "Where are we off to next?"

    Looking at her screen, Esme didn’t catch the twitch, but nonetheless she frowned. Couple-sensitivity, or, more accurately, Kronos-sensitivity - but by the time she could think to crane her head, the moment has passed, and he stepped forward to embrace her with his arm.

    Esme smiled, moving a hand to touch his, enjoying the feel of his lean. ‘Insipid gave us coordinates for a rendezvous with a ship called the Luxury Elite. It’s closer to us than Zakuul, on the edge of the Unknown Regions by Rago. Strange place for a regroup.

    She absently wondered about that, and then remembered the man with his arm around her. Esme leaned slightly into his warmth, reflecting that she was glad that she had confronted her fears with Cassian. They were a great match, and she was determined to keep him. God-Emperor and Night Herald be damned. She took the other datapad from the slot on the console. ‘And this is our future. Well, a practical way to hold onto it, and to this.’ She squeezed his arm for emphasis. ‘While you were asleep I collated as much information as I could, running some of the sifter programs I had as a student through local data.

    Recognise anything?

    When Kronos looked, he would see a galaxy map of the northern quadrant - with delineated borders showing four warlord regimes, the borders of the disarmed Empire in the area, and even a breakdown of the recent annexations under the Galactic Concordance in the Inner Rim and Expansion Region - a veritable trove of data, showing information that one would be unable to obtain in the Unknown but from the point of view of the Known, and with her data mining technique, accessible if knew how. Thrawn would love it; Insipid would covet it.

    Esme beamed at him.

    "No... I don't," he responded.

    He looked downward to meet her eyes and saw her beaming expression. He absently unwrapped his arm from the back of her neck, and placed the palm of his hand across her right cheek, lovingly brushing any loose strands of hair behind her ear.

    He craned his head back to the map in front of him. It detailed the various systems and planets in the northern quadrant of the galaxy - he knew that much - but anything else was a mystery to him.

    "Should I recognise something?"

    Esmerelda smiled. ‘There’s no reason you would - it’s the disposition of Imperial remnants in the area in this era. The wars over but the Empire’s not dead. That data alone should be worth quite a bit to Insipid - or Thrawn. It might sooth out the fact that we went AWOL for a bit.

    Esmerelda tapped a handful of the remnants. ‘Most of them seem independent warlords anyway. I know Thrawn in our timeline was a military genius, but I bet he had to put back together the Empire before he stepped up too. Insipid could do tons with a fractured Empire - you know what he’s like.

    She looked thoughtful. ‘If we were a bit more connected... imagine what we could do with this data, in the future?’ A glean to her eye. ‘High Lord Kronos is just a stepping stone, after all...

    He stepped closer to her and looked into her eyes. In their argument, they had discussed matters that stemmed from a conversation not too similar to this one. And he still believed those things. He knew that suddenly leaving, or bringing unwanted attention to themselves, would cause even more problems for the couple; that they would be forced to live constantly on the run, or, in the opposite situation, forced to work for these heathens until death; never to live a normal life. As much as he wanted that, he knew he could not have it. Not without extremely precise circumstances.

    He was thankful that it went unmentioned.

    He returned himself to the topic at hand and smiled. "You really have thought this through, haven't you?"

    The inner power hungry Sith in him was ecstatic at the idea of becoming a High Lord. More power meant more authority meant more freedom. The other part of him wanted to keep his head down and remain silent. Making too much noise or causing something could not end well.

    Her happiness won the decision in the end. "And yeah... It's certainly tempting."

    Tempting is an overstatement.’ Esmerelda returned to look at the scene. ‘We’re not going to have our space unless we can tell Insipid where to go. Bellorum is more likely to give us some space, but Haretisch is a zealot. We saw that on Mortis. Bellorum... I can’t judge if she’s in it for anything else than the kicks. Insipid... well, if we’re useful he’ll use us, so at least he’s reliable.’ She laughed, shortly. ‘But it’s down to you. You’re the Sith Lord. Can we risk this?

    A chime. They were about ten minutes out. Seemed the rendezvous point - a ship called the Luxury Elite - was at a system nearer the Outer Rim than the Unknown Regions, so they were going to reach it quicker than she expected. Copying the data, Esme ejected it to a small drive, erasing it from the shuttles computer. She stood, turned, holding it to him. ‘What do you want to do, Cassian? Do we work towards you being...’ she whispered. ‘Emperor. Or do we just try and buy our way out?

    Kronos took the data drive and clenched it with his fist as he considered Esme's proposal.

    As tempting as he found the title of Emperor to be, the craving for power never to fully go away, he simply could not risk doing anything forward at this moment. From Insipid's sudden change in plans for the two, calling them to a secret location close to the Outer Rim - the ship's navicomputer told him that - it was clear that he was planning on creating his own order. Some Rule of Seven nonsense. Haretisch, the ever so dangerous lunatic that he was, and Bellorum, the only Triumvir he could not form much of an opinion on, likely had their own plans.

    All of this politicking was something he wanted no part of. But he knew he had to be involved, lest he face disastrous consequences.

    "I think we should wait this out," he said after what seemed like minutes of silence, but was actually only ten seconds, "After all, this is the Sith we're talking about. It's only a matter of time before they turn on each other. We can stay away from the conflict and let them end themselves. Once it's over, we can perhaps seize the throne. Or we can quietly run away and lead a life of our own." There was an odd look of excitement on his face as he finished his own proposal. "It's up to us."

    He stepped a tad closer to her and, once again, gently brushed her hair behind her ear.

    Esme caught the hand and kissed it, a small gesture which was all softness and none of that fire that had accompanied her lips last night; in many ways it was a sweeter moment, an entirely selfless act of affection. ‘I like that.

    Especially the ‘us’ bit.

    Esme smiled warmly, and stood from the chair, keeping her hand on his. She looped her arms around his neck. ‘I suppose I can cope being a High Lady in a Rule of Seven for now.’ A smirk of sorts. ‘Anything else you want to add before we adopt the facade of relentless murderous Sith?

    Kronos placed the data chip Esme gave him into his pocket and embraced her as she did him, exhaling air through his nose and smiling at her joke-question.

    "No," he replied. "Not right now."

    He hoisted her up to her tiptoes, bringing her close enough to the point that their bodies touched, and planted his lips onto hers. It was at that moment when he realized just how different she was. Every other Sith was extremely selfish; they only cared about themselves; they would use him for their own needs and discard him without a second thought; there was no trust to be had. But, with Esme, things were vastly different. She had this innocent aura upon her that made Kronos just feel safe and happy when he was near her. Not because he could take advantage of her innocence - far from it - but because it meant he could place his trust in her. She wouldn't take advantage of and use him simply because of some sick pleasure.

    Esme stuck out from the crowd.

    She was different.

    He liked that in a woman.

    At that thought, Kronos realized that he was kissing her a little too hard, and so he broke it off, insecurities taking over once again.

    He took in a deep breath. "Uhh... sorry. I got carried away."

    Esme took a deep breath, almost giggling. ‘It’s alright. I was just as carried away.’ She stroked his face as he lowered her. ‘Silly Cassian. You always relax into our kisses, and then remember something, or think of something, and tense up. I know you’re trying not to, but you don’t need to try.’ She seemed a little lost for words, but pushed through. ‘I understand the pressure you’re putting yourself under. I know that you’re worrying about, oh, I don’t know, a thousand things.She smiled again, softly.I am, too, I promise.

    There’s only thing you need to really remember.’ She took both of his hands in hers, and squeezed them.

    That I’m here for you, and I always will be.

    A chime echoed. The kiss had taken longer than they realised. ‘It’s time to see what mad plan our dear leader has hatched, my love.

    Darth Kronos and Esmerelda have an appointment with a God-Emperor.

    He let himself relax. She always knew what to say to him in these moments.

    He gave her a short kiss on the lips before returning to the shuttle's cockpit. "Love you." He paused, remembering something. "Oh, and if you want, you can move your stuff into my chambers. I have the room, so you're more than welcome." He stroked her cheek and made his way toward the cockpit.

    He sat in the pilot's chair and grabbed the controls, gently flying the ship into the hangar of the rendezvous location.

    He softly landed into the pristine and black hangar, the steam of Insipid's shuttle spewing outward, and then pressed the button to lower the ramp. He slowly walked over to Esme, grabbed onto her hand - probably too tightly - and swallowed his nervousness.

    Possible punishment was ahead of them.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  6. Dagobahsystem

    Dagobahsystem Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 25, 2015
    IC: Apprentice Saadi
    Hyperspace

    second part

    Smiling while attempting a neutral visage was no small task when faced with such power and omnipotence, such that it became a momentary game to keep up the pretense. But the Clawdite soon realized his arrogance was getting him nowhere and rather quickly, as it were.

    Now the Luxury Elite was another matter. Best get down to business. Saadi glared, yet tried only to stare at his master. Listening intently, the river wheels turning as if in a deluge of hatred and power.

    The same can be said of attachments, my apprentice. Expect betrayal, and exist above it.

    Darth Saadi stared straight ahead as these words coursed through his very being. This single piece of advice, indeed a warning, had more meaning now than anything ever heard before, including musical tales.

    Saadi shuddered as a single tear escaped his left eye; realising he was alone still.
    He watched carefully as the Emperor grinned at him passively in a manner exuding indifference.

    Listening intently, Insipid detailed the tale of the seven apprentices. Staring directly at Saadi, he proclaimed:

    You are that seventh apprentice.

    Thank you, my Master. I shall not fail you.

    And with those words, he feared might be his last, Saadi was summoned away and left in the hangar, his eyes peeling the skies, hoping for a chance to serve his God-Emperor.

    Tag: @Sinrebirth
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  7. DarthIshyZ

    DarthIshyZ Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2005
    IC: Serapis and Hel (Combo featuring Darthishyz and Lady Belligerent)
    Aboard The Revelator

    Serapis felt unease on this Revelator ship. He needed to get off of it. He made the best time he could to the hangar and looked around for a suitable, available ship. He settled on one of the Imperial Shuttles, very similar to the one that had been devoured by the planet's fauna.

    He also inquired of one of the deckhands for some suitable weapons. The deckhands hesitation to this Ithorian questioning him was allayed by Serapis grabbing another servant in a Force choke and introducing himself a Sith. Fire went through his eyes as he said, "Perhaps this will motivate you. You're next." He still didn't have a lightsaber, but he now felt much better with a BlasTech E-11 and some other weaponry. He made his way for his chosen shuttle.

    It had taken Hel less than 10 standard minutes to convince Dr. Jepsun that her jaunt to the Luxury Elite had been approved by her father. To be fair, Haretisch had told her to explore all she wanted once she’d healed. Going to the Luxury Elite was Hel’s notion of exploring.

    Cal had hastily tossed a few items into a duffle. He had just backed up his research data and had those files stored in a special datapad he acquired recently. It will be handy to have all his data with him for jaunts off the Revelator. In fact, he was pleased Haretisch was allowing them a break since he’d hardly left the critical care room from the time Hel arrived until she was awake and healing. Cal just needed to find something to occupy Hel while he hit the spa.

    The physician and his patient entered the hangar where Cal kept a seldom used shuttle. They were headed in the direction of that vehicle when Hel saw the Ithorian she’d met earlier. He was now dressed and seemed to have an assortment of weapons. “Hello!” Hel called out and changed directions so she could make sure he was okay. “I went back to the storage to check on you,” she smiled, “I guess you’re feeling better now?”

    Serapis turned to find the young woman he had met in the hangar. "Oh, yes! Much better. Hel, correct? Call me Serapis." He put down the weapons he had brought to his new shuttle. He straightened himself and his clothing as much as he could. "Much more myself. Are you seeing me off?"

    “No,” Hel answered as she looked at the shuttle Serapis seemed to be using, “where are you headed?” That particular shuttle was being repaired and she doubted he would be going far in it. “My friend and I are going over to the Luxury Elite for some entertainment, would you like to join us?”

    "The Luxury Elite? I've believe I've heard of that vessel That sounds like a capital idea. As long as it's off this... ship." Serapis waved dismissively. As if he had just noticed the other party, he extended a hand. He appeared to be in medical garb. Wondering if Hel was purposely ignoring him, Serapis decided to recognize him to get things out in the open. "Hel hasn't introduced us. I believe you heard, I'm Serapis. Part of the Sith."

    Cal took the extended hand and returned the handshake. “Yes, uh...hello,” the doctor answered. “We should be on our way,” Cal commented as he took Hell’s arm and walked to to his shuttle. When they were far enough ahead of Serapis, the doctor asked, “who the hell is this guy?”

    Tags: Everyone aboard the Luxury Elite: the hammerhead's comin'!
     
  8. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Soliloquy Combo with Sinre (Aka Emperor AI! )
    Battle At Snow World

    In the hangar, lights the engagement the magcon field had given way, ejecting the contents of the bay into cold space. Barrett had lost track of Cocytus and Osnil, and some of the others, but he Mallace, Valdimar, Titus, Hesper, Soliloquy and the second Tusken had made it aboard the Tusken ship, more ham half scooped up by the Tusken. The ship was suddenly buffeted by the Destroyer buckling, it’s roof smashing down on the Kterskt. For a long moment the ships power cut due to the jostling, and they sailed out of the hangar, skipping more than once from one piece of debris to another.

    Into this the Emperor AI snorted, deep in the minds eye of the droid Soliloquy, silent to everyone else. ‘They should have just destroyed us. That would be neat, and tidy. Grand Admiral Sloane, no doubt, exerting herself against Hux and the others.’

    ‘But all the better that they did not, no?’ The Sidious facsimile grinned. ‘My friend! Rejoice! You live.’ A pause, and the withered man held a orb of glowing blue in his hand. ‘And, before the comm was blown apart you had a message. From your God-Emperor. I have it, as you were busy. I could play it in loud, so your fellow Sith know the game you play?’ Another orb. ‘Or I could play the sound byte of the chat you had with the Grand Admiral?’

    The Emperor AI spoke, softly. ‘I would renegotiate the deal.’

    Within Soliloquy there was a great many stirrings, the lights danced and ebbed upon it's surface as though a stirring or even a rave was beginning inside with it's many minds for the others to see as it discussed this secrete among itselves. Pulling themselves, pressing on rank and privilege a single visage appeared to discuss things with the Emperor AI. An old man if the form and bent body sitting in the electronic ether was to be believed, wearing a mast of Revan that was cracked from the left temple down to the nose.

    The old man simply leaned forward, "You have messages? For me? Heh. Very good. And renegotiate the deal. Even better." raising it's arms slowly as though not to loose his balance the man began a slow clap. "Finally. I told them you would. Took you long enough to prove me right." With a gusty sigh and a shift he waved at the Emperor. "Come on, out with it. We aren't getting any younger you know."

    The Emperor AI would not allow the arrogance of Soliloquy to diminish his moment. ‘Your God-Emperor has named you in his Rule of Seven. Coordinates are included, for a rendezvous. Your master is poised to make his move, you see. And you’re here; caught in the First Order trap.’ The AI grinned anew. ‘How does that sound, my friend. You’ve even a Number in the Order of the Seven.’

    A tsk. ‘Not very high, mind you.’

    Nodding slowly he took in the new information, "He is not the first Emperor nor the first dark side council I have served at an elevated position. Numbers are what you make of them." leaning back he waved a hand again, "Now what about this new deal. The others are getting anxious."

    The Emperor AI leered. ‘I want the body. The one you’re obtaining from Thrawn - the HRD one. Emperor Palpatine may return yet, as me!’

    There was a moment of utter stillness, and the intelligence clearly was taking the words it had stated seriously. Had the madness of Palpatine propagated? Or the dark genius?

    One could of heard an electron misfire in the stillness that was the connection between the droid and holocron. Some minds were deadfast against the notion. Bring on the fire! They said. Then there was those that were curious in the mayhem it could cause, It might be fun, let it try. They seemed to whisper in return. Still, there were the practicals, the practicums. Those that saw the galaxy for what it was and bore no delusions of what it might be or might not, these yet spoke the words of moderation, of technicality.

    As in most cases, technicality beats jealousy and boredom, "It is being made to fit a holocron, this holocron as the mind. Perhaps after reading the creators mind we can refashion a proper body for Sidious to arise once more, even with some of his more arcane abilities faked. Does that meet your needs?" It asked in a slow and cautious tone. Making no mention to the request negating the AI's prior promise if it needed what Thrawn could deliver to deliver what it had already promised.

    The AI hummed. ‘Have your coordinates. Hand them over to Hespar. I shall hold you to being handed this body at a minimum, though I reserve the right to discuss this at the moment of transference. Perhaps you should discuss with Thrawn the obtaining of two bodies as a condition of your service... perhaps even offer him something more useful to him, in the coming, inevitable, conflict within the Sith Order? It’s not as if there is a Sith Order in history which has not incurred some conflict... intentional or otherwise.’

    A withered hand held out a shining data card; the message from the God-Emperor in all. ‘I shall not hold it against you if you fail to obtain a second body now, but I will know if you did not try.’ A jeer come sneer.

    The old visage nodded in this simulacrum of reality. "Agreed. When we are clear we shall try to initiate a contact." Neglecting the offered message the chosen avatar of Soliloquy in this negotiation left it alone and would not take it. It didn't matter. It was nothing it did not already know. "Now, time for you to get us out of this first. Isn't it?"

    The AI smiled, mysterious for a moment. ‘You will see. For now, those coordinates will be what is required to save you and your kin.’

    Releasing the moment between them, Soliloquy would find his consciousness return to the here and now - a damaged, crippled ship, with a limited air supply and crew, unable to move dramatically for fear of alerting the SSD behind him.

    But a reprieve was coming.

    TAG: All in Shuttle. . .sortof
     
  9. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Darth Insipid
    Hangar bay aboard the , Luxury Elite, Rago system

    Previously in the Ilum system...


    The Chiss owed Kwea, and they kept their word, honour bound as they were. A Chiss task force arrived at the nebulous border of First Order Space, and the Super Star Destroyer waiting for the occupants of Keterskt to die of asphyxiation jumped out - confident in the deaths of the Sith crew. Save for the droid Soliloquy of course.

    However, Kwea arrived in the Chiss transport, large enough to scoop up the Sith and jump out before a token TIE squadron could be scrambled from the planet below. She was a hero of sorts, who had succeeded in both obtaining the medical data for Hel, redundant as it would prove, at the cost of yet another apprentice. The coordinates flowed from
    Soliloquy to Kwea for the rendezvous with the Luxury Elite, which was actually closer to Ilum than Zakuul, and so they arrived almost synchronous with Darth Kronos and Esme, and also Darth Anark and his Jedi crew.

    Darth Insipid waited with his apprentice, Saadi, and they both had spent the time completing lightsaber drills for all seven Forms. Insipid’s own knowledge of Forms outside of Makashi and Soresu was basic, but sufficient to enable Saadi to acquire the knowledge to recognise the different Forms, and the ‘paper-scissors-rock’ nature of some of them. For example, Djem So would smash apart Makashi, but would be balanced against Soresu, but Makashi would overwhelm Ataru in principle - though the skill level of the Duelist would come into factor as well. Nobody could say that Darth Tyranus had a natural advantage over Grand Master Yoda.

    The ships all arrived, spilling their contents, and Darth Insipid appraised them all. Darth Anark came with Jedi Masters T’tkura and Radian, as well as Imperial Knight Antares Draco... all looked in various states of unrest, undoubtedly as they’d had a difficult time of it in the swamps of Zakuul. As they should. Insipid absently wanted for the Jawa’s location, but moved on. The Jedi and Insipid would come to an accord.

    He’d use them.

    Then came Kronos and Esmerelda, hand-in-hand, and the God-Emperor, no longer the bald-fiend that had been the Son but now the twisted face of the prophesied ‘Snoke’ appraised the pair, narrowing eyes at them both. The despair which had undermined their effectiveness was gone, replaced with a quiet confidence that radiated from their connection. Darth Insipid considered that, looking from their joined hands to the eyes of Kronos and then Esmerelda. The ruler of the Sith Order decided that he was pleased for them, correctly identifying that his disquiet was a matter of jealousy - not frustration at their failure to even attempt the task of assassinating Ike before he cancelled the hit. Insipid actually respected that they had put themselves first - a fledging and uncertain relationship too, for which he had courted the God-Emperor’s wrath for.

    He’d use that.

    Then the larger group. The K-series droid had repaired the smaller of the two ships and the larger Chiss transport had conveyed Kwea’s original vessel to the hangar as well as the ship they’d been abandoned to die in before heading out. So the group came on two vessels, not one, filling the main hangar to capacity.

    He regarded them all. Chiss General Barrett, the idiot windbag. Kwea and the K-droid, as well as a body bag. Insipid nodded; Haretisch would clean up the mess. Quite literally. Then High Lord Hespar and her Tusken apprentices. Or perhaps apprentice singular. Insipid paid it no need - Hespar was a competent Sith, she could handle herself. Then the droid form of Soliloquy, to which hung an air of conflict to his form, which was no surprise what with the Battle he’d just survived - and another newcomer, Mallace. The relative proximity between the two suggested an interaction, and Insipid thought it prudent to formalise that at the earliest opportunity. Too long had Soliloquy been at the sidelines. Lastly came familiar faces - Titus and Cocytus. So they’d been losses with their group also; including Insipid’s personal Star Destroyer.

    He’d make mention of that. Yes, he would.

    With that, the group was present. Insipid saw no need to speak to the Jedi first; there were more than enough powerful Sith present to ensue that they were not a problem for now. They’d do that lightsider thing and wait for another opportunity to escape, and before then gather information.

    ‘Venerable Sith Lords and Ladies. Thank you for gathering. Undoubtedly you have all come to the same conclusion as I - that ruling a galaxy is less effort than occupying a single world with our own hands. Be it unsuccessfully leading a strike force to Ilum, an all-but diplomatic disaster on Csilla, a failed assassination attempt of a loose end, or the simple collecting of prisoners.’ A glance to Hespar, Kwea, Kronos and Anark was made respectively.

    He allowed a moment of silence, but hoped that they would each recognise it as a rhetorical opportunity. The apprentices would know better than to speak at all

    ‘Costly,’ Insipid said, softly. ‘But not altogether unexpected. We have fought hard to establish a foothold in this galaxy, and perhaps I have not acknowledged that some time for simply... existing, perhaps even wanton frolicking is in order.’ His eyes found the enjoined hands of Kronos and Esme again. The God-Emperor grinned. ‘So, while we are here on this pleasure ship, crime den, and collection of vice, you will be encouraged to relax, and to recharge yourself. Imbibe in the alcohol, spend an allotment of credits which I shall make available to each of you to supplement what you have already, and even partake in the flesh aboard if you do wish. At Mortis, you exceeded my expectations and stayed loyal even when we lost everything to the Left Handed Lord.’

    He allowed genuine warmth to filter into the Force; affection and gratitude to touch their minds.

    And then he filled the Force with his anger, a riptide of almost anguish at what he was required to now do.

    ‘But of course, matters are such as they are, and punishments have been considered.’ He gestured, and the Force reached out for the throats of Barrett and Kwea. ‘Darth Haretisch did not approve of the risks taken with his daughter, and has solved the issue in your absence, such that it was. As such you are superfluous to him - and he has his requirements for those superfluous to him, as we all know.’ He rung her neck, and then threw her down, keeping the Force upon her to push her into paralysis. She was not dead; she was conscious - but only Hespar and perhaps Soliloquy would realise. In the Force, he smothered her life essence and she would appear to the others, and in sensor records, as dead. In point of fact, she would be able to hear everything, but he kept her eyelids pressed shut.

    Barrett was just dead.

    Insipid kept the pressure upon Kwea as he spoke onwards. ‘We are done here. Your failures to date, whether intentional or otherwise, are forgiven. You may consider that unlikely, but I assure you - the Order comes first. Neither you nor I are above it - and I have asked much of you. We are Sith, and we will triumph over anything in our path - including each other!’ A short laugh, which he hoped they would join him in, even nervously. ‘But there is no need for the Triumvirate to be cajoling or threatening you every minute of the day.’

    ‘I have paired you in quarters in the fore of the ship. The entertainment is to the centre. After a certain passage of time, two of our own will be fighting aboard this ship. You are welcome to bet upon said fight, in-fact I encourage it.’ He fished datapad out of his pocket, transmitting plans and the like. Esme and Kronos were paired; Hespar and her apprentice (with the sibling at a loose end), Soliloquy and Mallace; Titus and Cocytus (keeping the stoic ones together), while Anark was assigned to Saadi - Insipid had to be free for a moment, though he would interact more with his apprentice soon enough. He expected Anark to make a good impression. ‘We will be here a while, so please make yourself at home. I have had for personal effects transferred from Zakuul to your rooms, such as they are.’

    ‘Oh,’ Insipid said, pointing to the two Jedi and Imperial Knights. ‘I will deal with these, and the corpses. But it would behoove you not to mention our Imperial Knight friend to Aryan. He might panic.’ A soft smile. ‘You are all dismissed.’

    The God-Emperor stalked to the Jedi group and levitated Kwea’s still form too. He strode to the ramp of his own shuttle. ‘Come with me, please. I bear you no harm, but we have much to talk about.’

    His eyes regarded Kwea’s ‘corpse.’ ‘All will become clear, my friends. Otherwise, interact with your roommates and get to know them better. You will paired appropriately in the coming days.’

    TAG: @Darth Kronos, @corinthia, @Mostlymad, @Halle Dray, @dragonsith13, @ConservativeJedi321, @Mitth-Fisto, @Darth Master Titus, @Dagobahsystem, @DarthCocytus

    OOC: 321, Halle, 13 - to a combo PM.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. HanSolo29

    HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    The following is a combo with the amazing QueenSabe! It has been a pleasure, as always! :D^:)^

    IC: Aryan/Syren

    Private Suite, The Luxury Elite

    It was the morning after, but instead of waking to feelings of contentment after his time together with Syren, it was the persistent throbbing in his head that ultimately roused Aryan from his slumber. After the brawl with the narcotic-induced thug and his henchmen, there had been no time to properly treat his injury, and now the pain was intense. It had reached a point where it would be impossible to get back to sleep without the aide of an anesthetic or a strong pain reliever. And of course, the lavish lovemaking from the night before had only aggravated his condition further.

    Well, at least it was worth it…

    A hint of a smile flitted across his features at that thought, but it quickly faded as another wave of pain overtook him. With a wince, he half-buried his face in the pillow before twisting against the sheets so that he could read the chrono sitting on the tableau beside the bed. 0700. Damn. It was earlier than he thought. Maybe it would benefit him to sleep a little longer. If he was lucky, maybe Syren would even indulge him with a round two…

    As if on cue, Aryan hastily untangled his arm from the blankets and reached out to gently caress the bare shoulder of the fiery red-head resting beside him. How the hell did this happen? Unlike his many trysts of the past, this had not been planned; there had been no ulterior motive to expand his influence or gain favor with certain personalities within the hierarchy of the government. In fact, he had been very reluctant to even enter this arrangement, but in the end, he could not ignore his impulses. He had been blind-sided by this woman, plain and simple. Syren was so much like himself, and yet…so different. She was mysterious, engaging…powerful. He knew he was starting down a dangerous path by being with her, but he realized that he didn’t care. This is what he desired.

    Exhaling softly, he retracted his hand and slowly began to sit up. He wanted nothing more than to lie there in her presence and savor the moment, but he really needed to get this pain under control first. She could wait a few more minutes while he popped some pain pills…

    Syren broke from a dreamless sleep at Aryan’s touch, clutching at the plush pillows tucked beneath her head as she was pulled back from the void.

    Lying on her side and turned away from him, she couldn’t help a soft groan that escaped her lips as deft fingers ran over her naked skin. Warmth radiated outward from the source even after he had removed them, which she impulsively wished he hadn’t. Don’t be foolish, she immediately chided herself, eyes fluttering open only to squint against the dim lighting the small chambers provided. Oh wait… too kriffing late.

    The mattress shifted slightly behind her, signaling the chancellor’s imminent exit from the bed they shared. Rather than lean back and face him, she remained still, not yet prepared to own up to all she had allowed to take place the night before. It wasn’t shame she felt, rather a need to piece together the bigger picture.

    A few specific moments from the recent chaos flew through her mind and she cracked a smile that was mostly without humor; drinking beyond the point of self-control, toying with a drug-addicted maniac, blowing her cover, instigating multiple deaths in her private quarters, and to top it all off… giving into desires she knew she should have kept suppressed. That last realization already began to gnaw away at her euphoric calm.

    It wasn’t the act that was the issue, it was the man. Aryan Graul was a complicated politician and an even more complex being, a fellow Sith. None of these facts had ultimately stopped her from pushing them both over an edge neither would be able to return from and now… well now she wasn’t sure how she felt about it exactly. She hadn’t allowed herself the freedom to behave in such an unhinged manner in what felt like several lifetimes. While it was a familiar situation, it was entirely foreign at the same time.

    But more than anything else, it had been… fun.

    Damn it.

    Aryan steeled himself and swung his legs over the edge of the bed, being careful not to disturb Syren with his movements. But as he bent down to retrieve his shorts from the pile of discarded garments on the floor, his gaze passed over his wrist gauntlet and the red signal flashing on the side of the device. Since arriving in this new galaxy, it was rare to see that particular indicator illuminated. It meant that someone had left him a message, but other than the contacts who had perished in Typhojem’s wrath back home, who was privy to that particular frequency? His brow instantly furrowed with concern.

    Choosing to forego his modesty, he reached for the gauntlet instead and began to type a sequence into the keypad to access the message. The contents were heavily encrypted, which took him another minute or two to decode, but eventually the words materialized on the small display in bold, green text. Aryan’s curiosity was soon replaced with a scowl as he stared at the brief memo:

    ‘I name you the Third; I elevate you beyond the coil of the Rule of Three; you need not seek access to the Triumvirate. I declare the Rule of Seven, and I choose you. Rendezvous at the coordinates given; it is time to reveal ourselves.’

    Insipid.

    A scornful laugh escaped his lips in response to the Emperor’s directive. Choose him? What the hell could the man possibly gain by choosing him for this…reckless scheme? It didn’t make any sense. Aryan suspected that it was nothing more than another power play, which made him inwardly bristle. He was through being used as a pawn by this perverse man. It had cost him far too much over the past few weeks with his empty promises, and he was not going to willfully bow down to him anymore. He was not the same fool as the one Insipid had woefully tricked into joining the ranks of the Sith back in their own time. He had grown more astute to their methods…more dangerous. Two could play at this game.

    His eyes then caught the rendezvous coordinates at the end of the message and he smiled. The Luxury Elite? How convenient. He had no intentions of taking the summons seriously, but perhaps there was something to achieve from the Emperor’s close proximity. He would need to think on it.

    Placing the gauntlet next to the chrono on his side of the bed, he rose shakily to his feet and padded across the room to the refresher.

    Syren frowned as she heard his laugh, startling herself free of her thoughts. It was then that she finally turned over onto her back, her eyes following suit to look upon her companion. Her gaze didn’t meet his face but rather his back; he was focused on something she could not see, hunched over the side of the bed. She considered reaching out for him but he rose to his feet in the same moment, placing an object on the small table beside him before moving directly towards the ‘fresher. Interest piqued, the assassin rose up onto her elbows to spy what he had been distracted by.

    A wrist-comm. Not the variety gifted by Haretisch but rather a personal item, one she examined closer as she called the device to her outstretched hand. “Receive a funny note?” she asked casually at Aryan’s retreating form, dangling the device from a finger as she smirked in his direction. Syren had a strong feeling he would be more inclined to be open with her going forward, and if she could use that to her advantage she would.

    Halfway to the ‘fresher, Aryan hesitated at the sound of Syren’s voice. He really needed a reprieve from his suffering, but her presence was so tantalizing, especially now that she was awake and calling to him in such an alluring manner. He mentally told himself to keep moving, but he found that he could not resist his natural desires. In fact, he was so wrapped up in his own fantasies, that he didn’t even stop to consider the reason for her facetious remark. It was only after he pivoted and sought her face that he noticed the wrist gauntlet balancing on her finger.

    His forehead creased in consternation and a surge of anxiety welled up briefly inside of him. The moment left him vulnerable, but other than that small ‘tell,’ his expression remained impassive. He idly wondered what she knew, but quickly surmised that her inquiry was only mild curiosity. Even if she did see the message, what did it matter? Any snag he could throw in Insipid’s plans was a huge advantage. He knew that if Syren found out, it would eventually make its way up the food chain…

    Plus, if he wanted to investigate further, Syren would make the ideal partner.

    As he strode closer to her, a smirk formed on his lips. “Yeah, I guess you could say that,” he drawled in a sensual tone. Coming alongside the bed, he reached out and playfully snatched the comm from her fingertips. “Just an old acquaintance trying to reconnect.”

    “It looks like I’m turning some heads in the upper echelons of the Empire.” He quirked a brow, inviting her to meet his challenge. “You know how that goes.”

    “Would I?” she asked lightly, reciprocating his playful attitude with a tilt of her head and a suggestive smile. “No, I prefer to remain… under the radar.”

    Current events aside, of course.

    She turned in his direction and pushed up to her knees, positioning herself at the edge of the bed to face him with naught but a thin piece of fabric between them. She looked up into his eyes, a warmth rushing up from her belly as a select few of the more intimate moments they had recently shared streamed through her mind. The High Lord had to fight every urge to reach out and touch him again, the intense desire to keep them both holed up in this room and away from their responsibilities climbing to near ridiculous levels.

    “I’d be careful, Chancellor,” she whispered in warning. “Gaining attention can be a dangerous thing where Sith are concerned, especially when it involves those who dwell at the top.”

    It was then that Syren felt a touch off center, a pang of wooziness hitting her just as she might have expected – what with how much alcohol she had consumed the night before. Attempting to steady herself by maintaining her focus on Aryan, she briefly wondered if it had been Haretisch that had sent a message to his apprentice. He could be inquiring as to the status of their mission… which she had so blissfully ignored up until this point. Though, if it was indeed him and he had any worries regarding the assignment at hand, why hadn’t he sent it via the comms he had given to the entire team? And included her, for that matter.

    She wasn’t sure she should even care, but here she was. Caring.

    Aryan exhaled softly and allowed his chin to fall against his chest, suddenly feeling very self-aware of the fact that he was prancing around in the nude in front of a woman who was, for all intents and purposes, a complete stranger. Sure, they had shared an intimate evening together, but there was still so much about Syren that remained a mystery to him. He didn’t really know her. Her quiet warning over the message and the concern he detected in her tone was testament to that. It had surprised him, and he found that he was at a momentary loss at how to proceed.

    He scoffed and shook his head, fingering the comm and turning it about in his grip as if he were a restless child. How did they even reach this point? Things were spiraling out of control, but the hell of it was…he wasn’t sure if he ever wanted it to stop.

    “You forget who I am, Syren,” he deflected with a wan smile. “The world of politics is not so different from the Sith. I know the rules of the game and how to spar with the hounds to get what I want.” Meeting her gaze, he spread his hands congenially. “Otherwise, I would have never ascended to Chancellor…as short lived as it was.” His voice turned bitter at that last part and a shadow seemed to pass over his features. The circumstances surrounding his ‘appointment’ was still a sore subject. It was yet another reason to seek retribution against Insipid for his misdeeds.

    With a sigh she sat back on her heels and pushed her mussed up hair back from her face, her gaze moving past the politician to the carnage that still littered the bedchamber floor. What a mess, she mused with a frown, squinting against the slight tilt of the room. This would have to be cleaned up somehow, fast and discreet.

    “Your... growing fame within the Empire aside, I suppose we have some work to do,” she muttered, disappointment evident in her tone. She was not yet prepared to move from the bed much less clean up the remains of a trio of dead drug addicts.

    A frown creased his brow as Aryan followed her gaze to the bodies strewn about the room. After the thrill of the night before, he had forgotten all about the thug and his cronies, along with the trail of destruction they had left behind in their wake. It was amazing what took precedence in the heat of the moment, when emotions – and hormones – were running rampant…

    “I’m not exactly accustomed to this sort of labor. I usually hire people to carry out the deed for me,” he confessed shamelessly. “That includes the clean-up.” He knew it was no longer a secret that his methods were more unconventional than most. Some would call it corrupt.

    With a sigh, he reached up and rubbed at the back of his neck to think this through. “But with the reputation this place has, do you really think they’ll notice a few extra bodies lying around?” Leaning forward, he nudged the arm of one of the thugs with his foot. “This is par for the course. I say we leave them for housekeeping to discover. We’re essentially ghosts, anyway. There is no record of us ever existing in this time, so if they do take an interest in our handy work, the trail will run cold. They’ll have no other choice but to conclude that this was a drug-related homicide. The evidence is there. Maybe they even killed themselves over their own product…poetic justice, and all that.”

    Syren was only half-listening to Aryan, more focused on keeping her eyes on the corpses strewn about rather than on the stark naked form of the chancellor. His words made sense though, of course, and she acknowledged his rudimentary plan with a curt nod and little else. It would have to do as it was all they had. No one would have to know what took place here except for the pair of them…

    Sitting as she was, unclothed and open, defenseless, there was a sudden desperation to have her flask in hand - whatever happened to that thing anyways? She opened her mouth to ask but her disorientation returned in protest of the idea and it was shelved quickly. No, she needed her wits about her going forward, especially in present company. At least for a little while.

    Moving away from the bodies, he bent down to grab a pair of pants from the floor, cringing slightly when the throbbing in his head intensified with the movement. He took a moment to allow it to pass before continuing with his line of thought. “Besides, we have more pressing matters to attend to other than worrying about the dead.” He balanced the comm on his finger, mimicking her earlier display. “I haven’t forgotten your promise to utilize our abilities in a combined effort if I should…behave myself.” He flashed a devilish grin, clearly alluding to the time they shared together the night before. “Well, I feel that we have finally reached a mutual understanding, so I would like to ask a favor.

    “But first…”
    He was towering over her now, and as he stooped over to pull on his pants, he planted a quick kiss along the side of her neck and whispered into her ear. “Thank you for a truly a captivating evening.”

    “Yes, well… don’t expect a repeat,” Syren responded shortly; a reaction, before she had given a single thought about how to properly follow the affectionate gesture. She was hungover and exhausted, apparently irritable and knew she was acting not as she wanted to. Still, she refused to meet his eyes as she rushed to coil the thin bed sheet about her with intent to sweep by him as she finally left the comfort of the bed. Immediately upon rising to her feet at his side, however, it felt as if the floor vanished and the walls began to close in her. Everything tipped unnaturally and she shut her eyes against the scene, her hand grasping onto Aryan for support as she leaned into him momentarily.

    A shadow seemed to darken Aryan’s countenance at the words that slipped out of Syren’s mouth. No repeats? Is that how she thanked him? Of course, that’s typically how these things worked, but disappointment gripped him all the same. In that moment, he realized that he wasn’t sure what he wanted from her. Everything had happened so quickly and it was so unexpected; he found that he was having trouble keeping up. And just when he thought he was starting to figure it out, she had rejected him…or rather, it felt that way. Her comment was brief and unsympathetic. It was as if she did not appreciate the time – the intimacy – they had shared together. Was she really that callous?

    Typical Sith, he inwardly cursed. I should have known better…

    He felt compelled to confront her, but before he could open his mouth, she was falling, her hand reaching out for his arm as she leaned into him for support. As if on instinct, he pivoted and placed a hand on her waist to steady her, but even that effort proved useless. Almost as fast as she stumbled, she was back on her feet and recovering, leaving Aryan in an awkward position.

    “A favor,” she repeated, breathing in through her nose and out through her mouth, releasing her grip and managing to stand on her own. Doubt was plain in her tone, though a smirk flashed over her mouth as she continued to regain her composure. This should be interesting, she mused.

    “What is it you need from me?”

    Aryan canted his head to the side and smirked, clearly regaining his confidence. They were meandering, and he was thankful that she had been perceptive enough to recognize that and steer things back to business. They both needed this reprieve.

    “I’m sure you’re well aware of the cat and mouse game Haretisch has set up between myself, Alva, and the cyborg,” he started evenly, casually picking up his tunic from the floor and pushing his arms through the sleeves. “Over a…holocron, I believe?” He said it in such a way that suggested that it was no big deal. In truth, he didn’t quite understand its significance. The Force and all of its machinations were still so new to him. While it was true that he had set up a cursory alliance with Alva to obtain the artifact, he had only done so to bide some time and perhaps even gain a certain advantage over the young man; it was a simple trick of manipulation. But perhaps there was an even bigger advantage to be had with Syren…

    Sighing, he reached up and began to close the clasps at his neck. “The truth is, I’m afraid it’s a bit out of my league. I don’t understand the lore, how to properly access its content, or even how to process the information I learn.” He shrugged with a small laugh. “I’m actually not even sure what I could do with it by myself…other than use it as a paperweight. All I know is it will benefit me to keep it out of the hands of those other fools, but even that will be a stretch. I’m not capable of besting them in physical combat.”

    He pondered on that for a moment before his expression grew serious and a dangerous glint reflected in his blue-gray eyes. “But together, that could change. If you help me obtain it, I could give you access. With your affinity in the Force, you could pry open its secrets and make proper use of its knowledge.” Finishing with the clasps, he stepped closer to her once more. “And you could teach me.”

    Syren raised a brow, her dark eyes narrowing as she processed Aryan’s offer.

    Yes of course, the holocron of the Night Herald, the teachings of Typhojem himself locked away within its tiny walls. How had she forgotten? The awkward and rather unnerving pull the device initially had over her had all but slipped from her mind entirely in the past several hours. Just hearing it mentioned in passing now, however, a swell of that same dark, covetous desire to hold the mystical object within her grasp swept viciously over her thoughts. To gain even a fraction of the secrets belonging to the creature that had controlled her mind for several millennia… how could she refuse to help?

    And that was only half of it.

    Aryan wanted her to then pass on what she would learn to him, not unlike how a Master would bestow knowledge upon their Apprentice. She could not deny that it was a truly tantalizing idea - one that would give her back the upper hand in their oddly pleasing dynamic as well as keeping them beholden to one another. And close. She still wasn’t sure if she could place her trust in him, but her warring emotions overrode the instinctual red flag.

    Syren smiled softly, mulling over what entering into this arrangement would mean outside of either one of them. Being Haretisch’s apprentice, it would be a rather bold and reckless move to pseudo-train Skelm without making his master aware…. and straight away she found she didn’t care. At all. In fact, it only made the assassin lust after the idea even more.

    “You do have much you need to learn,” she stated absently, her gaze lingering over the deceased thug the politician had haphazardly dispatched the night before. Wrapping the sheet tighter about her chest, she returned her focus to him and continued, determined. “As do I.”

    Suppressing a grin, Aryan stepped forward and followed her line of sight to the thug. It wasn’t exactly a ‘clean’ kill, but then again, he hadn’t been aiming for precision. It had been a matter of self-defense, a delicate balance in which one wrong move could have resulted in life or death. As a trained assassin, he didn’t really expect Syren to approve of such carelessness, but perhaps he could try to at least help her to understand. He could be ruthless, yes, but his goal was never to become a killer…or even a Sith. He only wanted the power, a means to regain all that he had lost. For someone who lived for the spotlight – someone who craved it – what the Sith were doing to him in this time was torture. They were sidelining him…

    And somewhere, he knew that Syren felt the same…

    Shaking his head slowly, he forced himself to concentrate. He realized he was getting ahead of himself. As much as he hated to admit it, he knew that this process would take time. After all, he did not gain the honor and prestige of becoming one of the galaxy’s most prominent senators in one day…

    Focus, he urged silently, inhaling deeply to settle his nerves.

    She held out a hand between them as an offering, somewhere inside her mind a warning pressing down as she did so. It was ignored.

    “I suppose we should see what we can learn together…”

    And in that gesture he saw the spark of victory, kindling brightly in his mind’s eye. It signaled the path to his rejuvenation. Tilting his head slightly, Aryan flashed a gratifying smile and cautiously reached out to clasp her hand in his. “I was hoping you’d say that,” he affirmed brightly, giving her hand a firm shake to seal the deal. “Here’s to a new beginning for both of us.” He paused briefly to allow his eyes to roam over her body, her lithe frame still barely concealed by the thin sheet she held tightly to her chest. He raised his brow seductively in response. “In more ways than one…”

    He started to break away, but lingered a moment longer when his gaze met hers. There was something about the endless gray depths of her eyes that was so compelling; he could hardly look away. In that moment, he was suddenly reminded of his own neglect from the night before, a simple request he had blatantly ignored. “I also believe I still owe you a drink,” he confessed in a lighter tone as he changed the subject, that same flirtatious grin playing over his features. No doubt, he was referring to the way she had barged into his quarters and demanded that he take her out for the evening.

    With the memory still fresh in his mind, he continued to study her intently. “But seeing that it’s pretty early, maybe we can settle for breakfast instead…?”

    Finally popping the pain pills into his mouth to combat the relentless headache, Aryan didn't wait for a response and simply turned to make his way for the 'fresher. He only assumed she would say 'yes.'

    TAG: @QueenSabe7
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  11. Kaleesh-Cyborg

    Kaleesh-Cyborg Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 4, 2017
    Combo with dragonsith13 featuring Draconis (alias: Kael) and Grievance Vexx (alias: Yavessk)

    Luxury Elite Cargo Hold
    The Turning Point for Grievance Vexx


    After the revealing that he is to be used as some sort of inglorious prizefighter, Grievance is fuming. His hatred for Draconis is only worsening now. He would have rather died in his first fight with Alva than to be cornered in this current predicament, but that is neither here nor there at this stage. He must find that elusive torturer of the mind and accept whatever preparations he can give him so he might stand a better chance at defeating Alva and having access to the holocron in his keeping.

    He wanders to several places on the Luxury Elite, trying to locate Draconis. Not even that stupid comlink is helping his efforts. He has half a mind to rip it out and crush it under his talons, but no. That might not be prudent. Curse the loss of his self control! It is becoming far too easy to give in to these fits of rage. As he checks room after room and bar after bar without any results, his frustration boils hotter and fantasies of killing the man become harder to ignore or dismiss.


    "Where are you, you snuskhummer?" he growls under his breath, stalking back toward the cargo hold where he had last had contact with his master. While it's not likely he will find the man there either, in the same token, it could be very likely as this seems to be a place Draconis likes forcing his apprentice to return to. He comes to a standstill just outside the door, loathing to enter. Not only do memories of his own torture reside here, but now there is the added torment of his own shameful acts that took place in the same room.

    The doors to the familiar hanger opened. The darkness inside only lit slightly by the few viewports and a far hanger barrier that let in a faint starlight. Slightly illuminating only a few portions of this empty and void cargo and hanger area. The few crates strewn about were familiar in the same places that Vexx had left them. It would be all too familiar. The pain. Anger. Frustration.

    As if no one had even bothered to sweep the area, the same durasteel table still sat center stage, though it had been broken from its moorings and was cast slightly off center form where it had originally been fastened to the cargo floor. Broken straps and bindings were scattered close to it, evidence of the power exhibited through Yaveesk’s rebuttle of his Master’s prodding.

    Yet here he was again. Faced with what was a cornerstone of his hatred.

    As if standing next to him, a voice rang in his head. Responding to his spiteful inquiry of his Master’s whereabouts. ‘Why not enter?’

    ‘Something you are afraid of?’


    The voice was ethereal, goading, and transcending the reality of his view of the silent cargo hold. The Apprentice would soon learn of this place of power for him… whether he liked it or not. Draconis as right there beside him, but not physically… Yaveesk would never find him in his current state. The torment of what had transpired he saw as a curse, though someone saw it as a source. A spurring font of a journey he either needed to embrace or turn away from now. Events had transpired throughout the last 48 hours… death, anger, conflict… events that had seen them across many a track, though what was clear and with purpose was that…. the yearning and call remained the same for him. IT was singular. It was darkness. It called to him, beckoning him, despite his distain for it and revulsion to the mere thought of what had transpire. This abomination that flowed through his veins… which he wished he could draw like poison from a wound and expel. All of it!

    All of it necessary and he knew it! All part of an accession beyond what he was, to what he could be. What he needed to be…

    The cargo hold called…

    The hiss of the doors retracting into their hidden casings causes the cyborg to startle, yet he remains anchored where he is, craning his neck to see inside the dim room. Though it is urgent that he find Draconis, he silently hopes against all hope that this is one place he will not find him. A quick search here with no results means he can move on; walk away from this nauseating memory that silently mocks both his honor and his insufferable desire for freedom. He is just about to turn away to begin his search elsewhere when a voice, all too familiar and too close for comfort, stalls him in his tracks.

    Draconis. Curse that miserable shade! He knows exactly when and where to prod him and gain a response. Even worse, he knows how to gain the response he wants from his apprentice. The questions only Vexx can hear chew at his mind like hole-boring insects. Is he afraid of this room? How silly. He has never feared any such thing in his life. So where exactly does the hesitancy and the desire to avoid this place stem from?

    Turning these questions over in his mind, the Kaleesh warrior is scarcely aware that his feet have begun to carry him directly into the room in question. The haphazardly tossed crates; the blood spattered on the floor where he had shamelessly crushed a man's foot. It all stands out to him as though individual spotlights showcase each feature of his cruel behavior, silently humiliating him and stoking the fires of his rage; the anger and hatred not only targeting Draconis, but also directed at his own soul for allowing himself to be controlled and altered this way. His clenched fist trembles at his side, his own willpower at war with the boiling rage inside of him. He has killed unjustly because of this rage. He has deceived and acted underhandedly. These thoughts and realizations only make him angrier, but he cannot stop the torrent that seems to fill his trembling arm with power.

    And then comes the explosion. A feral roar accompanies the backhanded swing of a durasteel arm that sends a stack of crates splintering in all directions. Like a beast in a blind rage, Grievance Vexx lets his aggression have its way, destroying anything and everything he can put his hand to, but this outlet is not enough. His mind drifts to the addiction of power he shuns and craves at the same time. Indeed, he wishes he could purge it from his blood or whatever organic matter that curse of a gift resides in. He desperately hates it, yet he desperately wants it so badly that his own resistance is driving him mad.

    The rage finds its way to his talons and he strikes out to decimate another stack of crates. His breath comes in long slow pulls as though to try and calm himself. He slowly turns and his eyes settle on that table standing defiant in the center of the room, his own shadow casting eerily across its scratched and dented surface as though it still has a hold on him. He can feel another roar of rawest hatred swelling in his chest as he stretches out his clawed hands toward the table. Gradually, the fixture shudders and begins to rattle. The physical strain becomes evident in the cyborg's eyes as he uses the Force to wrestle the table from the anchors that bolt it to the floor. With sparks of protest and a snap of metal, the table is lifted straight up...

    And then all hell breaks loose. Over and over again, Vexx slams the blasted fixture against the floor, the ceiling, and every wall in the room, doing an impressive and, no doubt, costly amount of damage in his fit of rage. He actually is doing to the table the same thing Alva had done to him; an act through the Force that had brutally ended their first encounter. It seems to last for an eternity before the cyborg loses his stamina in the Force and no longer has the strength to bear the weight of the table and it falls to the floor. Grievance himself follows suit, having thoroughly worn himself out as he collapses on all fours, panting with exertion. Suddenly drained and weakened, he feels terribly vulnerable in the seemingly haunted room, but he still has his pride and will not lower himself to crawl away from here no matter how much he wants to leave.


    Anger. Rage. Powerful allies. Powerful tools. Powerful weaknesses.

    ‘Are you done yet?’

    The voice softly spoke in Yaveesk’s head. The tantrum exhibited was full of passion and rage, but it called attention to what the Apprentice still lacked. Focus.

    Yaveesk, now silent and prone on all fours, in the darkness would begin to feel the current of energy in the room. Built up through events over the days that had transpired.

    ‘You feel it?’ Kael spoke eluding to what he knew his Apprentice was surrounded by. ‘This is your creation.’ The darkness that hung around was his, the souls he killed. He owned now. The anger and pain of his torment, his. The death, his.

    ‘And you still resist, but,’

    ‘It was you who sought this path out… and you who keeps coming back.’

    ‘Draw upon what is here…’

    ‘Feed on it.’

    ‘Stop running and embrace what you seek!’

    ‘Feel the strength course through your veins…’


    In silence and darkness he would either find his focus or continue his resistance that would be his undoing. Straddling a line where he neither learned or grew, or embrace what would give him what he sought.

    'Let this place draw you in.'

    A battle with himself. Perhaps the most formidable and diehard foe he will ever face for it is one he cannot essentially kill or drive away for good. It is a foe who will shadow him until he breathes his last. Kind of an overwhelming thought and not one he takes easily. He has worked so hard to shut out and ignore his power and old habits are hard to break, but he understands what Draconis is telling him. He also understands clearly the disapproval in his master's tone despite the lack of volume in his voice.

    Heaving a sigh of resignation, he knows there is no other way out of this if he is to get out alive. Though he still balks inwardly at the idea of succumbing to this power, his determination is such that he will do it. His determination only needs to be set in the proper direction. He crouches down beside the broken crates he had scattered during his tantrum and he reaches out to touch one of the splintered fragments; his eyes linger on the blood spattered on the floor from the man whose foot he had crushed. Shame rears its ugly head, trying to elicit disgust with himself. But no.


    It had to be done, he thinks to himself, I intimidated and tortured two people here. I killed one. I carried out my orders. There is no shame in that. War is war, whether on a small scale or large. If you are not with me, you are against me. There is no gray area to hide in. Only absolutes.

    His eyes shift to the dismantled table lying flat on the floor; the thing that had held him immobile as tremendous personal pain was heaped upon him. He moves toward it on all fours like a prowling predator, an involuntary growl coming from somewhere deep within as he circles it with all the caution of a creature expecting an inanimate object to spring to life and attack. Slowly, he reaches a clawed hand out and places it on the cold silent surface. In that instant, visions erupt upon him, plunging him back to that place forty-eight hours ago when every painful and frightening memory had nearly killed him in its terrorizing flood. He wants to pull away; to draw back from his contact with this inanimate fixture and never look at it again, but that is not in accordance with the counsel he has received. Instead, the cyborg battles his own resistance and remains fixed where he is; an act that will cost him as he is suddenly ravaged by replays of what had happened during his first encounter with his master.

    He keeps his hand in place, permitting his reliving of the terror and the vulnerability; absorbing it as part of who he is now; reliving the moment in which he had fought back and pushed Draconis out of his mind; his eyes shut tightly in the physical realm, but wide open on another level, seeing things he had hoped he would never have to see again...and willfully letting go of that hope as he places his other hand on the table, intensifying the experience as the pain manifests itself in liquid form flowing unabated from his closed eyes. No longer does he care to stop it, avoid it, or resist it. He only lets it be a part of who he is--a dark creature with a dark past...and perhaps an even darker future. Whether he is doing what is expected of him by his master's standards, hedoes not know, but strangely,somehow, this feels right.


    The ephemeral voice once again finds its way into Yaveesk’s mind, in this vulnerable state as he is opening himself up further than he has before. Knowing that he was delving further into the force than he previously had, surely further than the apprentice thought possible. New sensations, feelings, and currents previously unknown and unexplored. This was the learning curve, he had skill in war, tactics, and combat. But was sorely behind in his use of the gift that he so fervently had avoided for so long up to this point.

    ‘What do you see Apprentice?’

    The question was very open ended, for many it would be visions, past, present, future. Brilliant and extreme colors. Simply nothing and just intense feelings throughout the senses. The possibilities were endless. The force manifested differently to everyone, knowing individual beings better than they knew themselves. Whatever he saw and felt it would be equal light and dark. The balance was unavoidable even to practitioners who worked the extremes of the two.

    Equally if he was beginning to submit and open his mind, he would see this ship. An explosion of life. Pulsating. Throughout the hull, the heat from the systems sun radiating even in the coldness of space, and the darkness of the far side of a planet. Life and death. The chorus of guests laughing, drinking, and eating. The crew at the helm of the ship sternly focused and carrying out duties. A bouncer bludgeoning an unruly patron. Two lovers passionately embracing surrounded by those drained and vacant life now.

    It, as defined as everything was there, waiting to be tapped into and felt. Everything gave off energy, warmth and coldness, light and dark. Tapping into this was increasingly done with applied effort, through training, will, and focus.

    Yaveesk would see his Master. Seated in a crouched position, in some nondescriminant suite commandeered it seemed. Just simply waiting. Waiting for his apprentice to reach the point finally of enough focus to begin using them to his advantage. He would find that when he was focused enough he would have no trouble seeking out and finding Kael. No more wandering around, no more frustratingly pounding his steel fists together.

    Grievance's mechanical arms tremble under him as he remains frozen in the same position, overwhelmed by an experience far from pleasant as far as he is concerned. Dizzying visions swim through his mind; disorienting pain wracks every organic part he still has; his natural hearing is deafened by a heightened sense allowing him to hear an assortment of sounds from various places on the ship. Laughter, shouting, threats of violence, dice clattering on tables, glassware clinking in a toast, the sound of retching as an unfortunate soul suffers from intolerance of a drink too many. Even the sound of the ship's engines and the hum of the lighting throughout assault his auditory senses with an overload of information, torturous and maddening. But then a single and strangely reassuring sound filters through all the noise, clear and defined as though amplified for the purpose of being heard above all else; the voice of his master asking him what he sees.

    The cyborg opens his eyes, physical vision obscured by the liquid manifestation of his painful submission. Living figures and shapes swirl all around him, above, below, and on all sides. It is as though he has night- heat- and X-ray-vision all at once and it elicits true fear in Vexx. He fights hard against his own logic, trying not to struggle to understand that which cannot be comprehended, knowing it is likely to cause him to regress. His master had asked him a question that must be answered. He can only hope that he still has the capacity to speak.


    "I see...everything," he replies, his respirator hissing as he takes slow deliberate breaths, willing himself to remain calm, "But it means nothing to me...does not make...sense. Too much to decipher..."

    A sudden gasp triggers a coughing fit as both Alva and the politician appear clearly in his sight, every feature defined as though they are really in the same room, but they fade just as quickly, replaced by the cold visage of the Night Herald. All at once, that sight shatters and he finds himself plunged back into that strange vision of which he still cannot make sense.

    ******

    He had found himself staring at a sunset. For a long, long moment. The moment was quiet; it was soft; it was incongruous, against the smell. The stink of death. Many, many dead. When he touched his face, she found his blood. Too much of it. Not here, clearly. Her head suddenly thudded. Confusion. A concussion? A bird chirping, an owl? He turned, a hand taking her by the mouth, shushing her. It was a Kel Dor, hissing behind a mask which looked if it had been cobbled up. A flutter and they both looked up. A bearded man landed beside them, touched their foreheads. 'Forget. Sleep. Now.' Darkness consumed -

    ******

    He shakes his head to clear it of the troublesome vision, afraid to even bring it up to Draconis. Not afraid that he will have the answer, but deathly afraid he will not. He lifts his eyes, searching, wanting nothing more desperately than clarity. And it is then that the image of his master swims into his vision, blurry, wavy as though distorted by heat rising off a metal surface. Somehow Grievance knows that this image could very well be revoked if he isn't careful and he is exhausted by all the struggling and fighting this power that is much stronger than he is. He has no desire to fight it anymore. Slowly, he rises to his feet; slowly, he staggers toward what he hopes is really his master and not some madness-induced mirage. An arm's length away, he lowers himself to the floor again, kneeling in willful submission.


    "I am overwhelmed, Master, and relinquish my struggle against this power," he confesses and his words are nothing short of sincere as there is no pretending with the individual encased in durasteel armor, "I do not feel a sense of focus as I know it, but if you are real and not something my mind has conjured up, I must be focusing in some way that is foreign to me. Forgive me for trying your patience this long."

    The feeling that Kael senses has washed over Yaveesk, is one they have all felt before. Overwhelmed by what the force has presented them. Like trying to fill a glass with water, using a firehose. As confirmed by the apprentice, that it currently was too much to handle.

    "I am overwhelmed, Master, and relinquish my struggle against this power," Yaveesk states n longer begrudgingly, no longer fighting it in response to him falling to his knees. In front of him would be Kael in the flesh, no longer a voice or vision in his mind. The apprentice having been able to follow and correctly seek out and find him. Yaveesk deriding his own focus as if it is lacking. Which surprisingly is not as negative in his eyes as the apprentice forecasts.

    Kneeling himself, with eyes closed, Kael is opposite Yaveesk. His breathing slow and steady.

    ‘The Jedi…’ Kael starts out, whether Yaveesk is knowledgeable on the subject or not it matters not, understanding the utterance of the group of force practitioners should be enough to recall some reference of what they were from Yaveesk. ‘...shied away from training older subjects… shying away from a matured mind that has lived its whole life interpreting data as you have.’

    ‘Taking very few to train in this state and only in special occasions.’
    Kael continued his slow steady meditative trance.

    ‘While I do not necessarily ascribe to this idea of not training older specimens... it does offer a view in how and why your mind is unable to interpret what you have experienced over the last few days.’

    Kael opened his eyes, staring at the apprentice. ‘Your struggle will be parsing down your own senses and learning to focus them.’

    ‘Paramount to your initial success will be for you to start small.’
    Master rose while Apprentice still kneeled, Kael standing over top of him. ‘You are trying to drive a sail using a cyclone!’

    ‘Everyone of us… open to the force is capable of letting it in to an infinite extent.’

    ‘But as you have experienced, more is not always best.’

    ‘Overtime as your focus and will improve, with training and experience, you will be able to open the faucet further and further.’

    ‘Focus on yourself, centered. Then next… the floor, then this room, and your Master in it. Without looking, learn the layout. See the desk, bed, and chair in your minds eye. Feel your senses wandering further to outside of the room offering more information. BUT pull back!’

    ‘Focus on only this room and yourself.’


    Somehow, the voice of his master seems to bring his chaos under control, giving him something he can focus on above the noise of life itself teeming through the Force communing with him now. Indeed, it is as though a dam has burst and he is standing under the brutal collapse of the tidal wave as if he has any hope of surviving its wrath. He closes his eyes again, willing himself to grasp the same calmness emanating from Draconis. Though his eyes remain closed, he is vaguely aware that his master shortly thereafter lowers himself to kneel as well, a realization that leaves him bewildered. Why would this man, as powerful as he is, bother to take a position that is representative of humility? He doesn't need to! It may have unnerved the cyborg not so long ago and stirred him to question it. Now he only accepts it as yet another mystery to add to the plethora that seems to enshroud the one he now acknowledges as "master" without sarcasm or resentment.

    He listens as Draconis, in so many words, makes it known that he had willingly taken Vexx on, knowing how difficult he would be to break. In other words, where the Jedi wouldn't have given him an ounce of thought due to his age alone, he had seen the cyborg's potential. Reflecting on his own belligerent stubbornness, Grievance finds himself humbled by the explanation, but it also raises questions in his mind. Questions he avoids asking at this time for several reasons. He is learning that Draconis prefers to let him find the answers for himself and, in the same token, he is learning that Draconis will explain things to him in due time as he proves himself ready to handle the explanation and understand.

    As Draconis rises, Grievance opens his eyes, but does not feel compelled to follow suit. He does lift his head and keep his eyes fixed on Draconis as he stands over him, going on to instruct him on where he must go from here and what he must do in order to foster this power he is trying to acclimate himself to. He sees the logic in what he is being told, but again, he has so many questions. How in the name of the Force is he to start out small with something so massively powerful that it still has him reeling even now? Fortunately, this is not a question he will have to ask as his master is gracious enough to supply further instruction.

    Though inwardly he still fears a loss of control as he has already experienced it to his own shame several times now, he tries to relax and become acquainted with the Force as it flows through him. He can hear his respirator decompressing as it supplies oxygen to his lungs--an annoying sound that reminds him of just how fragile he really is--but beyond that, he can hear his organic lungs, though weak, determined to live and function as best they can. He can hear his own heart beating; strong, unrelenting, functioning on its own without any mechanical aid. He can hear the soft rhythmic whirring of his own cybernetics, another sound that is annoying to him, reminding him that he is more machine than man. The sounds of his artificial body threaten to distract him with anger still festering over his fate at the hands of the one who had transformed him, but he fights it, struggling to focus. Gradually, the rhythm of his heart supersedes the sound of the cybernetics as though fighting to remind him that he is a living being endowed with the Force, drawing his focus inward. Center. To the core of who and what he is.

    Suddenly, he can see his own gut sack containing what is left of his original body. He can see his heart contracting rhythmically as it pushes blood and fluid out to the rest of his organs. He is alive. Never again will he take it graciously when someone dares to insult him by calling him a droid. He is something far more powerful and he understands that better than ever now. Slowly, his focus branches out, confirming that he is indeed much more than a droid. The organic body powers the cybernetics. His brain tells each limb and joint what to do. The cybernetics obey his commands with lightning-fast reflexes.

    Next he becomes aware of the floor, solid and unyielding under him. In and of itself, it is lifeless, but he can feel and hear the vibration of the footsteps of a passerby just outside the cargo hold; probably a random trooper. Definitely a sentient being, insensitive to the Force and--wait. He is getting ahead of himself. He is not supposed to be gaining intelligence beyond the confines of this room right now. He pulls back, bringing his focus back in to himself as a starting point and then reaching out again. Indeed, it is as though he is feeling his way around the room without ever moving, almost like a strange form of echolocation. Though he is still kneeling in the same spot, eyes closed, in a few moments, he knows where the table is in relation to his position; where each crate lies broken and discarded...where his master now stands. The ability to do this goes from being frightening to addicting; intoxicating. He knows he must stop, but he finds himself not wanting to. He very well could spy on that little creep Alva without ever leaving this room, couldn't he?

    But no. That's not what this lesson is about. It is about focusing; something he desperately wants to be able to do again. On that thought, he finds it easier to rein himself in, bringing his attention back to himself, the cargo hold, and his master. The cargo hold, once a place of torment despised by Vexx, has become a place of security. His master, once a horrible torturer of his mind, has become a source of stability and reassurance. Traces of the cyborg's stubborn mind wonder how this could be so. What is happening to him? It doesn't really matter anymore, does it?


    Tag: @dragonsith13
     
  12. E. L.Knight

    E. L.Knight Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Darth Hades and Lady Bellorum
    The Luxury Elite

    Hades had identified 5 men at the gem show who were known and wanted criminals. His idea was simple. Stage an arrest for them, shut down the gem show, rob the place blind, them blame someone else.

    He sipped his white wine and waited for Lady Bellorum or whomever she was sending to meet him.

    He had ordered a large steak with various vegetables and sides and was enjoying this rare chance to dine out in public.

    He made a show of his wealth and prestige whilst eating. It got hispersona, after all, so why not actually enjoy it?

    He wondered, absently, if perhaps he should resume the persona ofZandoran Celix. To rebuild hisrenown as a businessman and armsdealer.

    It would prove advantageous,especially if he rebuilt his criminal connections and used his wealth he coulf amass to build the Sith up.

    He could always end up making multiple identities across the galaxy. He had not done that yet in his long life.

    As he took another drink of his wine, Morrigan and Finis, several tables over gave him a signal.

    They were watching who came and went and the signal meant two ormore persons of interest were meeting.

    He signaled back, giving them the okay to find out what the two were meeting about.
    A young human male in full livery stepped forward to pull out the chair opposite Hades. Bellorum nodded to him in thanks as she also acknowledged Hades. She’d been in and out of a series of business meetings for the last several hours, and was relieved to finally settle in with her most trusted associate.
    They mostly kept to idle chit chat while Bellorum took in the surroundings. Reaching out, she’d felt the distinct signatures of a handful of Force users not too far away. Some were her operatives, others were not.
    She’d received Leda’s urgent message about the dead ‘Emperor’, but had not been able to establish if it was in face The Emperor. Bellorum was all too aware of Insipid’s penchant for using essence transfer to body hop, so the likelihood of him being dead was slim...but, it would be convenient.
    Once she was comfortable with the surrounding beings, she used the Force to raise a sound barrier to assure privacy.
    “I’m in agreement with your plans for securing the items,” Bellorum said as she poured from the tea service that had been placed on the table near her. She’d waved the server away, preferring to do it herself. “I’ve arranged for the Sith portion of our team to meet with us in 6 hours.” She paused to sip the warm liquid and glanced to the table where Morrigan and Finis sat. Each had looked up, but not directly at her to signal they were watching. “Your friends should attend as well,” she added knowing he was aware she meant Morrigan and Finis.

    Hades nodded.

    "It will be done Mi'lady."

    As they say and had their meeting, his datapad intoned as a new message arrived.

    "Lord Hades, two men are meeting on the other side of the restraunt. One of my men has overheard them. One is an arms dealer, the other a narcotics dealer. I have sent my men to break into their ships and see if there is anything of worth."

    Hades smiled. Finish was very good at what he did, and Hades was pleased.

    He slid the datapad to where Lady Bellorum could read the message.

    "This trip is proving to be very worthwhile."
    It was proving to be extremely worthwhile, and this was just the beginning. Bellorum’s nail slid down the screen as she read. “Excellent work, Hades.” When she removed her hand, there was a credcard laying on the datapad’s screen as it slowly slid within Hades grasp.
    “A bonus,” Bellorum said as she picked up her teacup and sipped, “cash it out or enjoy the entertainment.” The funds attached to the card was generous, but she wasn’t buying his loyalty. No, Hades trusted her and was loyal because he wanted to be and Bellorum knew he understood her intentions. She wasn’t buying him.
    The Dawn Herald replaced her cup and made to stand, “Haretisch is here, and his minions are up to something.” A group of diners had burst out laughing two tables over, so she wasn’t concerned with being overheard. “We will use the conference room in my suite, because I’d rather him not see us all together.”
    With a small nod she walked away and exited the restaurant. Bellorum had studied the intel her team had gathered and she was able to blend into a bustling corridor filled with guests, and was able to locate a discreet unmarked passage. It was a VIP access that allowed wealthy guests to get to shopping and dining without having to get to close to the unwashed masses of regular guests. Bellorum just wanted to avoid Haretisch.
    Hades checked the balance on yhe credcard as he finished his dinner a d smiled once again.

    With this kind of money, he could start to build contacts and buy loyalties.

    As he drank the last of his white wine he left a generous tip. He noticed Finis and Morrigan were already gone.

    His choice in compatriots was pleasing. The two worked well together and Finis and his men were proficient soldiers.

    Hades arrived at Bellorums suite at the right time. He pressed the call button to let her know he had arrived.

    Finis and Morrigan were getting ready for what came next, so Hades was alone.
    ————

    The conference room in Bellorum’s suite was round, and had three doors. One led into a small serving pantry where Bellorum had assigned VPO to provide refreshments to the meeting. One into the private area of the suite, and the third entrance led to a great room near the main doorway.

    The Dark Lady waited until she’d received an alert from VPO that they were ready. VPO would never make a proper butler, but he kept things interesting and she wasn’t bothered by his crotchety grumbling.

    The door from her private rooms opened and Bellorum paused at the threshold expecting those gathered to stand. She moved to take the empty seat next to Hades, and gave the cue for all to be seated.

    “There will be no use of datapad’s for reference or note taking. Commit your instructions to memory, and know that any leakage from this meeting will result in termination”, Bellorum glanced around the table slowly to be sure they understood.

    “I’m sure you’re aware of the gemstone trade show in the main ballroom,” she pressed a button and a holo map of the Luxury Elite appeared above the table. “Familiarize yourself with the exits,” she paused to zoom in closer to just show the space used for the trade show. “These check points are where those entering must surrender weapons, bags, and any bulky cloaks,” she turned to Hades as an indication it was his turn.

    Hades stood and motioned toward the map.

    "You will not enter through the marked entrances."

    He pressed a button and red lines highlighted passages under the floor.

    "These are maintenance passages that run throughout the ship. They are highly surveillanced, but lucky for us, we have people with definitive knowledge of this imperial ship before conversion and our gracious hosts have not altered the surveillance systems."

    Hades then moved the display to highlight the two hidden hatches that were hidden in the floor. One in the main trade show room and one in the security booth.

    "We need to secure the security booth so no others on the ship are alerted. Once this is done, We will have stormtroopers approach the show. We need a volunteer to play a ranking imperial officer. You will enter the trade show and arrest these 5 men."

    The faces appeared above the holomap. As these give are being arrested, you will come through the hatch. The trade show will then be evacuated. You will be dressed as attendees, but you will be robbing the show.

    "As it is evacuated, you will leave with everyone else. You will go straight the ships designated for your departure as well.

    "Lady Bellorum and I hope to place the blame this on others."

    He sat down and nodded to let her take back over.
    Hades had already paid and then eliminated a splicer who had created holofiles showing several masked people robbing the show.

    He hoped it would make pinning the robbery on Haretisch and Insipid easier.

    Bellorum stood and walked slowly around the table. The fabric of her cloak made a soft swoosh as her heels touched the marble flooring. Once she was standing opposite of where she’d started, she faced the table and spoke. “Leda, you are the volunteer to be the Imperial officer,” she pursed her lips in thought, but had made up her mind who would do exactly what weeks ago.

    “Astara, you’re to handle the crawl spaces and maintenance passages. Make sure all the cams are programmed to show all as it should be.” Bellorum paused and lifted her hand to call a crystal goblet from where she’d sat, and then deftly it crossed the width of the table to settle in her fingertips. “Francium, you’re to pose as a buyer, and make sure you view the best items from each merchant. I want to know if you locate any specific gemstone or piece of jewelry that I need to know about. Report those findings to Hades.”

    Bellorum sipped the wine and went to stand where she’d been seated, “Bo, you’re to infiltrate the security team that was contracted by the trade show group. They didn’t use the ship’s security, but rather hired outside contractors,” the Dark Lady smiled as she shook her head as if she were chiding their foolishness. “Now then that brings me to...ah, yes. Serapis.”

    She turned and looked into the Ithorian’s eyes, “One day we shall address the fact that you returned without the devil child and his dark statue.” Bellorum paused and waited to see if he reacted at all to her knowledge of who and what was inside the crumbling old castle. “They aren’t going anywhere, but I expect a report on your encounter with the boy and I’m assuming he showed you his prize...since you’re now here.” She placed her glass to the table and used the Force to pull her chair out and sat. “You’ll pose as a bartender and waitstaff. These people consume a great deal of alcohol and that loosens their lips,” Bellorum smirked at the though of the puffed up salesman bragging about who had the bigger stones. “You’ll give Hades reports on what you overhear and be ready to assist when the job goes down.”

    “If you have questions,” she continued, “ask now because once you leave I do not want discussions amongst yourselves.” Her eyes hardened, “the office on the far side of my suite contains ID cards, uniforms, and credcards, take what you need. Make sure you are seen as model citizens, but be subtle. Open doors for the elderly, be respectful, and use the services offered here.”

    “I will not accept failure on this,” her voice sounded deeper and her eyes were more golden than red as her tone darkened.

    “Once we are successful I will personally make sure you are each rewarded and you will be able to practically select your place within my Empire.”

    She folded her fingers and looked to each person seated.

    “You are dismissed.”
    TAG: @Quinlan Vos, @Snokers, @WookieeRage, @QueenSabe7, @DarthIshyZ
     
  13. DarthIshyZ

    DarthIshyZ Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2005
    IC: Darth Serapis, aka Jwob Sebb
    Aboard the Luxury Elite

    Serapis' chosen shuttle arrived with Hel and her companion at the Luxury Elite without incident. On the way, Serapis contacted his Star Destroyer and had them send him some credits and a new identicard. He also asked them to do some more research, from a distance, on the castle.

    After saying his goodbyes and checking in to his new suite, he changed into some more appropriate clothes. He chose a robe much more to his liking. It was made of fine fabric and was much more presentable than what he got on the Revelator.
    Examining himself in the mirror, he was thankful for being able to get himself back to square, somewhat.

    His new robes had more room for a few of his favorite explosives and a couple hold-out blasters and some knives. Can't be too careful. After all, twice now he's been knocked unconscious and robbed of whatever weaponry he had. He still didn't have his lightsaber. He'd have to have a conversation with that boy about taking others things when he saw him next.

    Still, seeing himself in these new robes reminded him of his old life on Ithor... in... his... previous life... if that's what it could be called before they came here. Whenever he thought of his old life, he felt new wave of hatred coming inside him. At school, he was treated differently because he had been identified as having Force powers. Certainly they were nothing compared to what they are now. Still the authorities on the planet wanted to identify most everyone that had even the inkling of Force sensitivity.

    The difference for him was that he had studied up on the Force beforehand. He had read up on the Jedi. The Sith. Even some of the offshoot groups. The important thing is to remember that history is written by the winners. One needed to interpret the Sith "history" from that point of view to really understand. He had read up on Darth Bane and the Brotherhood of Darkness as well as the Army of Light. He had read about the original Sith race and Xo Xaan, Ajunta Pall and Sorzus Syn. When the Jedi came to claim him, his parents were so excited, but he was not tempted in the least. The lightsiders restricted themselves too much. They called some powers "evil" and forbade their use. Such a shortsighted, and sometimes even hipocritical, stance.

    Serapis closed his eyes and felt about himself. He extended his presence outside his room to feel others around him. When he felt he had a good mastery of his surroundings, he gathered himself up and exited. He was due in a meeting with Dark Lady Bellorum's suite with their group.

    Upon entering he felt he was back with those he needed to be with. Certainly not friends. These people were more honest than that. You knew you couldn't trust them beyond these walls, so that gave a level understanding that you couldn't have anywhere else.

    He walked around and examined people. They were familiar enough to him. He also probed each person gently to try to get some idea of who he was working with. Something he assumed everyone else was doing with him, too. Obviously he didn't need to do this with Bellorum. And he'd probably get some kind of Mind Shard if he did.

    The droid was a typical protocol droid. They could get annoying, but they did their jobs reasonably well. He gathered the droid was designated "V-3P0."

    The meeting started as a standard briefing. Maps showing where they were working. Assignments. Goals. Serapis had been assigned to be a bartender. This was going to be an interesting assignment if the hammerhead was going to be mixing drinks.

    What Lady Bellorum said about the Boy was interesting. Yes, Serapis had mentioned him in his report about the mission. He had also mentioned the fact that the others in his group had been lost, yet she seemed to be more concerned about the Boy's statue. No matter. Next time he goes back there, he would be going with greater force. He had planned to take a company from his Cruiser down with him armed to the teeth to gather him up and destroy that tree that had threatened Serapis and his group.

    He left the meeting satisfied with his assignment and considering how he would take things. He considered his various Force powers, yet also considered he would use his natural charm to get a few contacts here and there. A good salesman left any meeting with at least ten more people he could network with. Those contacts would certainly prove useful, not just for Bellorum's uses, but also as allies. He felt certain a war was coming. Heratisch could not have gotten away scott-free from his betrayal, no matter what the leadership said. And then there was the God-Emperor. That one seemed not to want to share power to begin with. Whatever his plans were, they were not good.

    In any case, it would not be good to use his Sith title and name at this gathering. Serapis was going to give way to Jwob, yet again.

    Tags: Others on the LE, @Lady Belligerent
     
  14. Darth Cocytus

    Darth Cocytus Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    May 8, 2016
    Darth Cocytus

    Darth Cocytus wasn’t exactly sure how they were rescued from the treachery of the First Order. They were rescued, nonetheless, and brought before the Emperor aboard a strange luxury ship. A vessel of rich and pompous fools drowning in their greed for material wealth, completely unaware of the true power of the universe. Darth Cocytus despised such arrogant ignorant fools, remembering his own family who paid the price for their lack of vision. It was much better to be in the presence of the so-called God Emperor than the common folk. At least he knew better than materialism.

    Darth Cocytus stood before Darth Insipid and kept silent as he listened to his lecture. The review he has given them was quite mixed in his calmness and rightfully so. So many failures were made today, but one learns from failure and the Sith Order, historically, was quite good at it. It is through that, that not all is ost and their stronghold on the Galaxy remains strong. The Sith will still rise to power and sweap aside all opposition. It is the very nature of the Galaxy that the strong crushes the weak.

    The Sith Lord bowed his head when the Emperor dismissed them to their regular activities. Leaving the room, the Kaminoan took thought on Insipid’s offering of the ship’s entertainment. The young Sith priest saw all material wealth and comfort as distractions from the universe at large. One must beware becoming ensnared in their trappings. However, Cocytus did not consider occasional luxury to be sinful. He was well acquainted with the sweetness of light drinking and have done so once every blue moon at Sith banquets of sorts. Thus fun was not against his conduct as long as It was in extreme moderation. He must remain aware after all and avoid the weakness of carelessness. Who knows whether or not the Sith become under attack once again?

    Thus, taking deep breaths in preparation, Cocytus parted from his fellows. Heading to the Ship’s center, the Kaminoan left himself to his own devices of enjoyment and alertness. Hopefully, nothing will interfere, but one must take any chances.

    I must not be foolish. Cocytus thought as band music filled his ears, I will not be a victim of my hubris, like so many Sith fools before me. I must be alert. I must live…


    Tag: No one



    Sent from my SM-J327V using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  15. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Lovely little combo with Darth_wanderguard & HanSolo29. :cool:

    IC: Darth Haretisch, Aryan Graul, Syren

    Aboard the Revelator

    Darth Haretisch settled comfortably back into his chair as he waited. This new study was not a perfect likeness to his old war room on Moraband, but it was a sufficient facsimile. Or at least it was now, since he’d had it outfitted in its predecessor’s warm rustic wood decor - it was a stark but welcome contrast to the cold gray metal of a Star Destroyer. The Night Herald himself would be a somewhat jarring sight as well, less haggard and bedraggled and more clean shaven than usual, hair pulled back into a messy bun rather than let to go as many directions as it wanted. He reasoned that a meeting with the largest crime syndicate had been reason enough to clean up, and he simply hadn’t had time to begin looking unkempt again.

    There was something arguably more important to address now that business was done, and so he’d wasted no time afterward returning to the relative comfort of his own ship and sending a summons to Aryan Graul and Darth Syren. Always pieces on the board to move.

    Syren couldn’t help the foreign look of contentment upon her face as she strode down a corridor aboard the Revelator, Aryan in step by her side. It was strange to admit, but the majority of the past week had been mostly uneventful as well as, dare she say, enjoyable. Her dark eyes cast a quick glance at her companion, images from their first night together flooding her mind. It had been a chaotic start but since then they had rather effortlessly fallen into a routine with one another. Aside from carrying out their original mission targeting specific clientele of the Luxury Elite, they had also forged a forbidden alliance of sorts. It was an agreement that she still wasn’t too sure on but it felt as though she only worried to have something to worry about, not because there was an actual reason to.

    Or she was just too close to the situation to see what might be obvious otherwise.

    She frowned as the pair reached the entrance to the Night Herald’s chambers, quickly composing herself in a less relaxed manner. Smoothing out the drab attire she wore as part of her disguise, Syren realized she felt a bit… anxious. Truthfully she had no idea as to the real reason for this meeting with the Dark Lord, having initially assumed it was to check on their progress. Even if that were the case, as the doors slid open with a hiss to admit them, her uneasiness only increased as she took a step across the threshold.

    Tentatively, Aryan stepped forward at Syren’s heels, his arms lax at his sides and his chin held high with a certain level of haughtiness. On the surface, he was every bit the distinguished politician he aspired to be, the illusion made complete by the ornate cape and professional dress uniform he wore as part of his role as the governor. But in truth, his arrogance was a front to conceal his wariness. The stark gray walls of the Star Destroyer and the presence of the Night Herald himself exuded a sense of foreboding that shook him to the core. While he did not voice his concern directly to Syren, he could only guess why Haretisch had summoned them to his quarters...

    Did he know of their affair?

    The question cut through him like a knife, causing him to raise his defenses in an attempt to ward off any suspicion. It almost seemed like an impossibility, especially when he had managed to successfully keep his relations with Marasiah Fel a secret for almost a year under the watchful eye of both the Senate and the Jedi. This was not new territory for him. And yet, if there was one thing he had learned over the past few weeks, it was never to underestimate the Sith.

    That realization suddenly made the room feel stuffy, the walls seemingly closing in around him. Aryan felt tempted to reach up and adjust the high collar of his tunic to alleviate some of the tension, but he willed himself to maintain his unwavering gaze. The only outward sign pointing to his apprehension was the sheen of sweat beginning to bead up on his forehead, but that wasn’t exactly unusual. Climate control could be a fickle thing.

    With a surreptitious glance to his partner, he inhaled deeply and awaited their fate.

    The Night Herald didn’t look up. Rather, the moment the door shuttered open, his gaze was upon them. Of course he knew they were arriving. And of course Syren hadn’t knocked or anything of the sort - presumably she knew that he knew. How telepathy alters the social contract, he mused.

    “Sit,” Haretisch spoke. His tone wasn’t brusque as it might usually have been - no, he seemed in easy humor. Like he’d won.

    “I would offer refreshment,” he glanced to Syren, “but you’ll drink yourself to an early enough grave without my help. And I need you alive.” He paused. “All the same, it seems you’ve not attracted enough unwanted attention to be problematic, despite certain... hiccups,” he smiled. He wagered the implication that he could see and hear through the ISIB bracelets would give them pause. Truthfully he didn’t care about the liaison between the two, and he certainly wasn’t a voyeur, but there was little good in letting them know that now. All the same he wouldn’t tell them explicitly that he had been keeping a close eye.

    “Tell me, apprentice,” he started, “have you yet made a play for my holocron? I should disclose that I’ve recently promised it to the winner of the, erm... Clash in the Casino.” He said those last words with distaste.

    For a moment, Aryan only stared at Haretisch, his gaze unobtrusive as he tried to determine the man’s motives. He was fully aware that the Night Herald’s words held a double meaning, those hiccups possibly referring to both their intimacy and the manner in which they had dispatched Syren’s abusers. It was a tactic to keep them on their toes; a way to mitigate any further setbacks and to let them know that he was always watching. The Chancellor could only smile at that revelation.

    If Big Brother is always watching, he thought with some levity, then shouldn’t you know of my plans?

    Instead of voicing those thoughts, he complied with his master’s wishes and took a seat, bowing his head lightly to show reverence. “Arrangements have been made,” he explained simply. “With any luck, the only prize for the winner would be their own indifference...or death.” His eyes grew hard as he lifted his chin to seek Haretisch’s face. “In that sense, they both fail.”

    Upon hearing the Night Herald’s admonishing remark regarding one of her more prominent coping mechanisms, Syren ignored his instructions to be seated and came to a halt near the center of the room. Raising a brow and setting her jaw, she restrained herself from offering the salty retort that immediately came to mind. Whether it was his intent to treat her like a child or simply to embarrass her, she refused to let either push her to a reaction, whether he knew of her relationship with the chancellor or not.

    Placing a hand on her hip, she remained passive and silent, focusing her attentions on Aryan instead.

    Aryan had heard whisperings throughout the week of the event the Night Herald had referenced – a fight to the death between Alva and the cyborg. Much like his master, he turned up his nose at the prospect. He found that it was yet another superficial demonstration in which he had little interest. It was nothing more than a power play to benefit the Sith’s fracturing hierarchy. Even if the two fools tore each other to shreds, it wouldn’t make a difference for his situation. He would still be stuck living in this perpetual hell.

    With a sigh, he seemed to resign himself to that fate. Everyday, he grew more restless trying to think of ways to disengage himself from the madness, but it felt like a fruitless gesture. It didn’t help that he had spent a week living the lavish life of the governor, a persona he could easily identify with.

    If only he could switch roles...

    The experience had been a sordid reminder of the life he once had, and it made him resentful of everything he now faced in this reality. He was adrift among strangers, forever cursed by the mysteries of the Force. This was not what he had anticipated when he initially agreed to strike hands in pledge with Insipid and the Sith…

    Even now, as he studied the Night Herald’s guarded face, he felt nothing but bitterness. Not even his so-called master could offer the stability he so desperately needed.

    That honor he reserved only for Syren.

    “Fail indeed,” Haretisch nodded. “The holocron is a fake.”

    At that Syren threw her head back and rolled her eyes.

    “A fake,” she remarked aloud, impulsively. She was clearly disappointed, a feeling that was swiftly followed by shame. The assassin had clung to the absurd idea that learning whatever secrets that could lie within the holocron may possibly aid her in easing the sickening fascination she still had with the Left-Handed Lord, her lifetime tormentor. Realizing now that there would be no reprieve for her anytime soon, she became agitated.

    Without so much as a single glance towards either of the men seated close by – damn them both if they judged her -, she swung about and strode purposefully over to the decent-sized bar Haretisch had within his study. Eyeing the most lavish, expensive-looking bottle, she uncorked it without hesitation and poured herself a small glass of its contents, not caring what it was she was about to consume. Downing it in a single gulp, Syren savored the slow burn of the amber liquid as it traveled down her throat, turning to face the Dark Lord before she allowed herself a second helping. And she would need a second helping.

    “So the entire play for the holocron was a game,” she said somewhat casually, a trace of bitterness upon her tongue. “How original.”

    Looking back to Aryan, she became aware that it wasn’t only her hope for her sanity that had vanished with the Night Herald’s reveal, but also the validity of the agreement she had with the politician.

    Did that… upset her?

    Yes. Yes, it did.

    With a resigned sigh, she proceeded to return to the task of fixing another drink.

    For his part, Aryan remained silent to mitigate the impact of his own apathy over the Night Herald’s revelation. If he was truly honest with himself, he never really wanted the holocron to begin with. The only worth he saw in obtaining it was using it as a tool for his own ascension. Now that it was no longer in play? Well, he would surely find an alternative option to meet his goals. The current climate within the Sith power structure was rife with opportunity.

    He had to give Haretisch credit, though. For someone who apparently despised the backhanded jockeying of the political machine, he certainly knew how to play the game. Perhaps he was not as refined as someone like Insipid or himself, but his candor was quite ruthless.

    With a thin smile, he personified his thoughts on the subject by casually reclining back in the chair, crossing one leg over the other as if he was settling in for a committee meeting. For the moment, he was content to simply sit back and observe. He noted that Syren was doing a fairly decent job of steering the course of the conversation all by herself. While her sudden outburst had given Aryan pause, he decided that her reckless behavior was ultimately amusing. In fact, he was more engrossed in her revelry than he was in the holocron itself.

    Where are my priorities? he admonished with a hint of sarcasm.

    Canting his head, he offered Syren a wry grin before turning back to the Night Herald with mild curiosity, waiting for him to continue.

    “Only a fool makes himself superfluous,” Haretisch explained. He ignored Syren for now - satisfied that she would likely remember herself once she had sated her thirst by despoiling one of five bottles of Alderaanian brandy remaining in the galaxy. That fact pained him far more than her lack of decorum ever could.

    Syren’s back faced the others as Haretisch ran on, her conflicting emotions regarding several different things making it impossible for her to hear any of it – which was preferred. The holocron issue had never concerned her to begin with and nothing had changed so why should she care? Aryan aside, even if she had been privy to Typhojem’s secrets, they would never truly silence her inner demons; they were a part of her. The best she could do was continue to utilize adequate distractions, such as downing the fresh drink she had just poured.

    “The holocron is a carrot,” Haretisch continued, “an elusive token, the hunt for which will teach Alva more than a real holocron is ever likely to. You, Darth Skelm, will seemingly be more of a challenge - but that was not unexpected. Thankfully Alva has his part to play, and you have yours.” He leaned forward, elbows resting on the desk, fingertips loosely clasped. “Now, I believe I said,” with a screech the empty chair beside Aryan rocketed across the floor. It met Syren about the calves, taking the legs out from under her. The instant she had fallen into it, the chair reversed course and finally jerked to a stop in its original place next to the ex-chancellor, “Sit.” His eyes were as cold and hard as steel in an ice storm. “I didn’t summon the pair of you here simply to share my things and discuss fake holocrons.”

    Raising the refilled glass up to her lips, the liquor had just brushed her tongue when a tingling warning ignited at the back of her skull. She had no time to react, however, and as the chair collided with her lower legs she was unprepared enough to send the glass crashing to the floor as she was thrown down into the seat. Spinning about at a surprisingly dizzying speed, the piece of furniture skidded to a halt to face the Night Herald.

    Heat rising in her cheeks and her nails digging into the armrests, Syren met his cold stare with one of her own. She didn’t dare open her mouth this time nor look to Skelm, choosing to keep her thoughts to herself and simply wait to be told what to do.

    The path of least resistance was getting harder and harder to follow.

    Pressing his lips together into a thin line, Aryan only sighed and regarded his partner with a hint of pity at her unfortunate position. The boisterous display, while not surprising, was intended to weaken their integrity. The Night Herald was still the ultimate authority in this arrangement, and he was not afraid to use force to make that point very clear. It only reiterated Aryan's belief that they were mere pawns in this master plan. It invoked a feeling of helplessness that caused him to involuntarily clench his fists at his sides.

    And yet, if he wanted to survive this encounter, he knew that it was necessary to hold his tongue and bide his time.

    For someone who had played an integral role in galactic politics only a short time ago, that prospect was demoralizing. In some ways, it was akin to torture...

    Damn them. Damn them all.

    Haretisch leaned back, satisfied that his point had been made and seeing no need to maintain such an overbearing presence. He refused to underestimate what damage could be done by a jumped up apprentice, and Aryan Graul had been allowed ample time to be riled up by Syren in his master’s absence. It was a necessary but unsavory thing to keep the fear alive

    “I need not say that your talents are wasted on the vulgarity of combat,” he started, addressing Skelm. “Insipid is far too invested in the narrative of his own political acumen to ever use you to your full potential. I, fortunately, suffer no such burden. Now you’ve proven your loyalty, I have a far more important undertaking for which there is no one more qualified than yourselves. The Family. Zeb Targon, and eh... the others,” he muttered dismissively. “They’re terrified, thanks to Alva and Grievance - the two put on quite a display at the contract signing. They’re vulnerable, they think the Sith will be their undoing and, considering what Bellorum and Insipid are capable of, they’re wise to feel so. I need an emissary. Someone to pacify and soothe, to make allies of The Family should something go wrong. But I can’t simply throw you to the wolves - these underworld types are dangerous. You need protection, and Syren is as capable as any.”

    With a reserved sigh, Aryan angled his head to the side and studied the Night Herald under a hooded gaze. The proposal had undoubtedly surprised him, and he was now doing his best to not appear too eager to jump at the opportunity. An emissary certainly had a tantalizing ring to it. At the very least, it was a generous step up from the role of a menial apprentice, but too many factors still gave him pause: the Night Herald’s relaxed manner, the casual mention of the criminal underworld, the obvious connection to the grand fight...it all came together to form the perfect trifecta in which to deceive him.

    What was Haretisch’s angle...if any?

    Leaning forward to rest his chin against his hands, Aryan waited him out.

    He paused, and with a subtle hand wave, the ISIB bracelets worn by each disengaged with a click, and fell from their wearer’s wrists. “Your wearing these devices was of more use to me than to you, and I see no need for it to continue.” It was the same tactic he had employed in the aftermath of Typhojem, to hand Syren his lightsaber with the emitter pointed toward himself - and she had not betrayed him yet. Trust begets loyalty.

    “You are to drop cover and go to Zeb Targon as my representative, with Lady Syren as your counterpart,” he instructed. “No disguises, no fakery... at least not more than is inherent to politics. Just my apprentice, and his complement.”

    When Haretisch finished, Aryan sat up in his chair and cautiously exchanged glances with Syren out of the corner of his eye. The look seemed to convey his doubt; the fact that the Night Herald had taken an extra step to obtain their trust by relieving them of his ‘spy’ devices was a curious mystery. Either the man was more naive than he thought, or this was some elaborate play...a test of wits.

    Aryan had been around the Sith long enough to know which outcome he was dealing with…

    It was clever, very clever. But it did not come without its own benefits. As the Night Herald’s emissary, it granted him control of the commentary and the flow of information to these wayward groups. In a sense, the man – and the entire Sith Empire – was at his mercy. A tentative smile touched his features at that thought. He would have to tread lightly with this assignment, but for the moment, the perks certainly outweighed any negative connotations.

    “So,” Aryan began amiably, “you just want me to appease them, then?” He scoffed lightly before narrowing his eyes. “That’s a little vague. I’m afraid I’m going to need a little more than that, unless you expect me to win them over with my charm alone.”

    He hung on that last part with a vivacious smile; he was clearly vain enough to believe that approach to work, but that was not the method he preferred in this instance, especially when dealing with underworld criminals.

    Spreading his hands, he continued. “But I know what you’re going to say: everything is at my discretion, right? I’m the politician…” Compressing his lips together, he leaned forward, his tone becoming conspiratorial. “How far are you willing to go?”

    Syren met Aryan’s brief glance and listened as he laid out his questions.

    She had none.

    Her part to play in their new assignment would remain the same save for the title. Instead of ‘bodyguard’ it would now be ‘protector’, someone to continue watching over the chancellor while he obeyed his Master’s orders – which he seemed somewhat enthused to be carrying out. She smirked in his direction, not nearly as excited to be involved in whatever the Sith had going on with a prominent criminal organization, especially since it was only to keep the peace. All talk, no action, she thought with sigh.

    Staring down at her wrist where Haretisch’s comm had been secured just a moment ago, Syren rubbed at soft red marks left behind with her opposite hand. Admittedly, it was a small relief to not have to pretend to be anything other than herself but the assassin still felt wary at being let ‘off the leash,’ as it were.

    These suspicions, it would turn out, were not unfounded. In relieving them of the bracelets, Haretisch had presented the pair with a literal roadmap to the easiest and most effective betrayal of his trust. A means which they now couldn’t utilize without inviting reprisal - if The Family wasn’t made into an ally, the Night Herald would know exactly why, and he wanted Skelm and Syren to know it. This was knowledge weaponized.

    Ah, but you’re the politician, aren’t you? I can’t hold your hand, you’ll have to make your own judgments,” he responded. “You’re a schmoozer, Lord Skelm. Chancellor, he added. It wasn’t a jab. Only a prod. A reminder to Skelm of who he had been and what he was capable of. “So schmooze. You’ve plenty enough charm to win over the criminal scum of the unknown regions. And if not, then enlist other means as needed. Take risks where necessary. But if you gamble, don’t lose.”

    “I never lose,” Aryan countered gruffly, his eyes reflecting his mild annoyance over the Night Herald’s demeaning tone and his insistence to provoke him. The manner in which he freely alternated between his given epithets – Skelm, Chancellor – was beginning to wear thin. They were not mutually exclusive, particularly in this instance. While he would never openly express his disdain in this forum, he realized that he was beginning to resent one for taking over the other...

    As he silently considered the distinction between the two titles, and why their use bothered him so much – both for very different reasons – his expression took on a more whimsical look, one corner of his mouth curling up into a sadistic smirk.

    “If you want the Family to kneel at your feet, it’ll be done,” he affirmed with an underlining determination. “I only needed to ensure that I have your commitment when it comes to my methods. I've found that some don’t have the capacity to indulge in my brand of political intrigue...if you understand my meaning.” He paused for a moment, allowing himself a small shrug. It was a risky thing to say to his master, but at this point, he was no longer viewing this from the perspective of the dutiful apprentice; he was once again the shrewd politician.

    “But seeing how you regularly tolerate Emperor Insipid,” Aryan continued, “I should’ve known better than to assume that you would falter.” His smirk widened into a full smile and he spread his hands empathetically. “My apologies.”

    Tolerate is a rather generous word,” Haretisch noted.

    Should’ve offered these two a drink while I was at it, Syren thought wryly. Her eyes moved back and forth between the pair of Sith, watching them with a rather disinterested demeanor.

    Half-tempted to yawn, she had quickly become bored with all the political plotting. She had nothing of value to contribute to the Haretisch/Skelm show that was unfolding before her and it made her restless. She shifted anxiously in her chair and scratched at the sleeve of her stiff uniform. Seeing as she was no longer required to wear the drab attire she had been clothed in since their arrival aboard the Luxury Elite, she suddenly wanted nothing more than to change into something more her style.

    Also, she just wanted to get back to the chaotic debauchery of the Elite. Oddly enough, or maybe not so odd, she found she was much more comfortable there than aboard a triumvir’s flagship, within the walls of said triumvir’s personal quarters.

    Finding a window, Syren sat up straight and coughed lightly into a hand - in case they forgot she was actually still in the room – before cutting into the conversation.

    “Yes, um, anyways… seeing as we have some work to do, my Lord,” she started with a small nod towards the Night Herald. “Perhaps we should get started?”

    He replied with a small nod. “Go. Zeb is expecting you.”

    TAGS: @Darth_wanderguard @HanSolo29
     
  16. Dagobahsystem

    Dagobahsystem Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Combo with Snokers
    IC: Anark and Saadi
    Aboard the Luxury Elite

    The God Emperor seemed to be in good spirits.

    Darth Anark, however, was not.

    It was not rage, more just annoyance - a benign yet sharp thing that ate away at him. He was made easily jealous, never one for sharing. The fact that he had been assigned to Insipid's shiny new apprentice seemed to him like a deliberate jab in the side from his former master. The voices inside Anark's head reaffirmed this as they taunted and jibed him.

    Anark swallowed his resentment and offered up the best smile he could muster to Darth Saadi.

    Being around all the Sith once more was a good thing. A good feeling. To be united with his kin after so many defeats among the few gains.

    He placed a gloved hand on Saadi's shoulder and gave it a shake.

    "So, do we check out our accommodations first or head to the place with the liquor?"

    He head still buzzed from the drink he'd consumed with the Jedi on the shuttle (a drink he bitterly hoped would be T'Tkura and his Jedi throng's last) but he was hoping Saadi would be in the mood to tank a few Bespin Breeze's on the credits afforded to them by their Emperor.

    Staring intently at his master's movements, the changeling concentrated while attempting to imbue his lightsaber movements with those of Darth Insipid.
    The apprentice had much to learn, but at least he was doing.

    It had occurred to Saadi during this initial training session that the smooth and controlled strikes of the Makashi form seemed to come more naturally to him, as opposed to his previous reliance on aggressive, powerful attacks. Studying this form would be a priority.

    After the session, as Saadi stood off to the side, mentally reviewing his successes and failures, he felt a strong and unexpected tug upon his shoulder.

    Looking back quickly, he recognized Darth Anark, the Emperor's former apprentice, although he knew little about this fellow Sith. Seeing him smile, he wondered was he an ally, an enemy, or merely a chaperone? Saadi could not quite tell.

    Turning to face him as Anark spoke, Saadi nodded slowly and offering a hint of a smile replied "A drink would be most welcome now, Darth Anark."

    Sensing a slight disturbance in the Force, the Clawdite thought it best to acquiesce to Anark's request and bide his time amenably at present. Plus, smelling the alcohol on the Sith's breath reminded Saadi that it had been awhile since he had imbibed and now was the time.

    It was music to Anark’s ears. He hadn’t indulged himself in a long while. Once he got started on the Corellian stuff he didn’t tend to want to stop, only when either the bar ran dry or he ended up laying his head beneath some vacant, withered tent in the Goazon Badlands

    “Come, Saadi,” He said, ushering the Clawdite forward hastily, “there’s so much to be getting on with!”

    Anark switched comm frequencies and spoke in tongues to Tiq the Jawa, “Maintain Orbit around the Luxury Elite and be ready to extract me. I don’t trust anything to go smoothly these days.”



    When they reached the casino Anark went straight to a holo terminal and placed a 4000 bet on Alva to come out on top in the fight. He craned his head over to Saadi, wearing an expression of delight and genuine curiosity.

    "Are you a gambling... man?"

    The changeling continued to observe his new companion cautiously. He was rather taken aback by Anark's ebullient and cheerful nature and deeply considered what lie beneathe his demeanor.

    Walking quickly upon Anark's encouragement, Saadi followed him to the casino; noting that the Sith made a not so secret communication along the way. Although straining to hear, Saadi could not make out what was said over the surrounding noises. He did, however, recognize the urgency to remain cool and to keep all of his senses attuned.

    His eyes scanned the various patrons for a species easy to emulate, should a shift become paramount. Ah, the Weequay will do nicely, need arise, the changeling mused.

    Darth Anark appeared to be in even better spirits once the gambling started. Noting his bet carefully and finding it rather curious, Darth Saadi responded:

    "Why, yes. I am indeed. And shall place the same bet as one so knowledgeable as you."

    Saadi grinned confidently and relinquished his credits. In the meantime, he began scanning the room again, looking to uncover that which was tugging at the back of his mind so persistently, wondering if the answer lay in front all along.

    Tags: @Snokers @Sinrebirth
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
  17. dragonsith13

    dragonsith13 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2005
    V-3PO
    Luxury Elite - Mistress Bellorum's suite

    Eternal Zakullian Empire

    'No…’


    Bellorum’s Galactic Tinder Account

    ‘No.’

    Insipid’s Master plan files

    ‘No.’

    Haretisch’s Zomazon account order list

    ‘No.’

    Project Reaper Squadron

    ‘NO!’

    VPO was growing increasingly frustrated – for a droid, as he perused the personal files of the Sith network he had easily gained access to. Each file folder stirring little interest in his curiosity or necessity to find real important usable information. Left in the quarters of Mistress Bellorum, like a pet to sit and wait while everyone else was out and about.

    Full Schematics and self-destruct sequences of the Luxury Elite

    ‘No.’

    Triumvirate Assassination List

    ‘No.’

    Lost map to Ahch-To

    Where was that? VPO processed unto himself. Important? The file was also marked ‘person of interest present’. Clearly not useful.

    ‘NO!!!’

    Why was NOTHING important ever available!!! VPO blankly stared at the display screen as his interface tool was connected to one of the side ports.

    VPO pauses as he disseminated data he was also downloaded continuing to look through files.

    Funny Galactic Pets

    VPO’s processors spiked, the increased attention of system resources directed towards the folder. A number of holo-vids were quickly viewed and disseminated. Eliciting no outward responses as the droid continued to stare blankly. Yet the increased spiking of his processors had indicated some dedication to the aforementioned folder and subsequent videos. VPO’s head cocked to the side.

    While much more stimulating to his neural processors and receptors than all of the previous worthless files. It was still not what he was looking for.

    ‘No.’ VPO spoke in a disappointed tone. The process of cycling through and downloading continued, until there was a chime at the door. An arrival chime indicating someone was outside the suites door requesting entry. Disconnecting his interface tool VPO straightened up, twisting around to stare back towards the door across the large suite. The chime was heard again. Standing there blankly staring back across the room at the door. Again, the chime. Wouldn’t they just go away! VPO finally unable to ignore the chime, started out across the room towards its entry door. Brushing up against a coffee table which had credits, empty glasses, and large cut rocks carelessly strewn about, the Mistress had called them priceless precious gems – they looked like rocks to him. VPO had knocked several of the diamonds and rubies off the table and onto the floor as he passed. Teetering slightly as he was startled, yet continuing to towards the suite entrance door, undeterred. Arriving to hear another chime, VPO opened the door to find a servant getting ready to use a key card to access the suite.

    ‘Can I help you?’ VPO irritatingly spat forth.

    The domestic servant entered, without saying a word to the droid. Sliding past VPO to carry out his duties.

    ‘Excuse me!’

    ‘This is the private room of Lady…’ The servant passed by VPO, clearly not heeding the dire warning from the charcoal covered droid. Interrupting the droid as he offered his proclamation of the rooms occupant.

    ‘I don’t care who your master is mate!’

    The servant took out a datapad and began swiping and toggling it.

    ‘They tell me to do scans, so I do scans!’

    ‘Scans?!?!’ VPO processed, a bit of surprise and a hint of worry, as it would not do well to have the room scanned, considering the amount of contraband and weapons. True he would not mind the Mistress being caught and tortured endlessly, but he had not completed his research and they would surely lock out all assets if something transpired. This would not do! VPO looked about processing several ways to remedy the situation. It was then that he heard a whirl and beep sound from the entrance door, as the entrance door hissed open again. A smaller droid on wheels entered quickly navigating and going about the room. A second droid entered, the same as the first as they now both were moving about the room searching. This was getting worse by the millisecond VPO processed. VPO’s eyes came down upon the servants datapad, glaring at it with his blank expression. Trudging over he reached forward attempting to knock it out of the servant’s hands. VPO only managed to land a glancing swipe at it, acting more of an annoyance than anything. Again, he swatted at it, this time smacking the servants hand.

    ‘OY!’ The man turned looking at the droid clearly frustrated and beginning to get angry at the protocol droid’s behavior.

    ‘What is it you think you’re doing droid?!?!’ He spat surprisingly at the protocol droid, his eyebrows raised and mouth open.

    VPO no longer had time for this, the droids were doing who knows what throughout the chamber gathering incriminating evidence, they probable had already tapped into his data feed and were working on the encryption keys. They would find everything! This man was scanning the room and was poised to expose all of it! Giving up on trying to smack the datapad out of the man’s hands, VPO resorted to a more efficient act. A Several inch-long spike which came down to a needle point protruded from one of his pointer fingers, from where it was retracted and hidden. Although mechanical the movement was quick, in and out. The spike entering and exiting the man’s head near the back instantly killing him. The body hung for the briefest of moments before collapsing on the floor.

    VPO stared at the limp, body. Barely any blood, a perfect strike, but then again of course it was perfect and calculated. VPO whirled around to beginning hunting the two droids, no doubt causing all manner of mischief! His phot receptors scanned the room, and then there they both were, coming about opposite corners. Carry what was no doubt sensitive information and contraband! He had to eliminate them as well, there was no other choice, he could not let the get out with…

    …the laundry?!?!

    Both droids now had cylinders strapped to their main bodies, as they hauled out the some of the rooms linens and sheets.

    VPO glared at them as he watched them both exit, neither of them paying any attention to the fact that their handler was now dead on the floor. The door hissed as they exited a series of whirls and beeps as they went upon their programmed duties oblivious to all else. His previous alarm and sensor alert unloaded from his main memory, allowing him to return to primary processing.

    VPO turned and looked down at the dead body. He had to dispose of it.

    ‘Mistress will not like this…’

    @Lady Belligerent, NOONE

    ooc: just killing time (servants) :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
  18. Halle Dray

    Halle Dray Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Combo with @ConservativeJedi321 @Sinrebirth and @dragonsith13

    Kwea breathed a sigh of relief as she saw the Luxury Elite and began the landing sequence. Finally.

    Stepping onto the boarding ramp, Kwea walked down it, seeing Darth Kronos and a woman, the group from the other ship, and Emperor Insipid. K-7 followed behind her as did a body bag carrying Reiss.

    As Kwea looked around, she noticed Sith she didn't know at all as well as some Jedi which could be told by the strong light she felt in the Force. When her feet touched the floor of the hangar, Insipid began a speech.

    She felt herself go cold when his eyes rested upon her. The Force filled with anger, scorching her very soul.

    "But of course, matters are such as they are, and punishments have been considered," the Emperor said as Kwea noticed her throat closing up.

    No, no, not again.

    "Darth Haretisch did not approve of the risks taken with his daughter, and has solved the issue in your absence, such that it was. As such you are superfluous to him - and he has his requirements for those superfluous to him, as we all know."

    She was thrown to the hard floor of the hangar bay and as she tried to open her eyes, Kwea found she could not. An invisible, harsh force was holding them down.

    Kriffing hell.

    None of her limbs could move as she struggled to fight. She tried to gasp for air but the young Sith's throat was still shut by the hold of Insipid.

    "We are done here. Your failures to date, whether intentional or otherwise, are forgiven. You may consider that unlikely, but I assure you - the Order comes first. Neither you nor I are above it - and I have asked much of you. We are Sith, and we will triumph over anything in our path - including each other!"

    Well, that's sweet.

    Kwea heard every word of what the Emperor spoke but she could not respond or make any movement to get up. Her thoughts and his words were all she had to rely on.

    He continued to speak of a fight and bets, a pairing in the quarters, and more things on board the ship. Then, her body was lifted and she felt the rush of air blow past as she rose, no idea of where she was going.

    Antares Draco glared at the assembled Sith. So many, and yet, this likely only represented a fraction of their numbers. He had a taste of the Dark, but all it could him was the fact that Insipid and Hesper were more powerful than even Anark. He knew of the others from Intelligence reports - Titus had brawled on Coruscant beside Darth Manticore, for example - and some he did not. Kronos was a vaguely familiar face, but he wasn’t on any Sith reports he could remember. Unsurprisingly, no Sith gathering would be complete without an execution, and here there were two.

    Regardless though, his eyes had widened when he was mentioned by name, and as a secret too.

    Could it be?

    Antares squeezed his hands tight in rage, and everything went red for him as he held himself together. Insipid ended the address by the time Draco had seized control of his breathing again, and he eyed Insipid as the bodies floated with him. In the Force, the God-Emperor poured absolute honesty into it - and Draco found himself surprised. Something was afoot, no doubt, but Radian and T’tkura would hardly jump at things without being attacked.

    Well.

    T’tkura might, thought Draco as he eyed the lightsaber dangling from the Emperor’s belt.

    Through the cockpit viewport the Star Destroyer was an ominous sight. Normally cause for alarm, and a call to general quarters. The Luxury Elite. Pleasure yachts were more than just a common occurrence, modified freighters, even frigates and small cruisers sometimes being converted. This Star Destroyer was in a league of its own. Mainly due to the sheer overhead and staffing requirements of an Imperial Star Destroyer, as it required a crew of nearly thirty thousand plus not including troop capacities. A skeleton crew of about six thousand could operate it at reduced efficiency. T’Tkura began running through specification. Standard fifty turbo-laser batteries, fifty turbo-laser cannons, 20 ion cannons. 10 Tractor beams. The assorted fighter wing arrangements and various support and landing craft. The prefabricated garrison base enclosed, resupply vessels…

    With a gruff, he caught himself. Always the tactician, summing things up. Its current capabilities were unknown, but the holovid advertisement scrolling in the hanger as they arrived, which featured bars, casinos, card dens, clubs, and dancers, brought the old General back to reality.

    The noise through the force was pulsating, but different from a day or so ago. In the jungle swamps, the force was alive, teaming with life. Changing constantly, but controlled and with purpose as the living force flowed and saturated all. Here was a different jungle, one of greed, lies, lust, and deceit. Here the force was empty. Somehow, he felt he wished he had never gotten on this shuttle in the first place. He had seen the horrors of the galaxy, seen the falseness of places like this. Yet he had willing come, knowing what was here waiting. Sith Anark’s shuttle ramp came down fully and the occupants were free to make their way onto the hanger deck. It was at that moment, he saw what was waiting them, the supposed ‘Sith’ Emperor. Clearly the Jedi had been expected as the transmission’s from earlier and as the Sith had mentioned.

    The Emperor’s addressed was clearly targeted at his subjects, but the information though directed mainly at specific individuals was incomplete and out of context to the Jedi. In time might prove enlightening. Simply the fact that there was a standing offer to ‘relax’ was information enough about what at last in the short term could be had. An opportunity. No doubt the Jedi’s every move was being watched, and their being here was no accident. T’Tkura glanced at Draco, and then back at Radian as the Sith Lord ‘punished’ one of his Officers, and carried out punishment on a Sith Warrior.

    There was little they could do. It was not an enviable situation, to have to watch as one took a life. No matter what the circumstances.

    Taunted in the most sinister ways. With figurative knives at their throats. Their dismissal was surprising… Welcomed even, a thought T’Tkura never thought he would admit at the behest of a Sith. Two-Fang was there by T’Tkura’s side as he turned and lowered himself slightly to the hound’s level. Offering a hearty rub to the gruesome beast’s neck.

    A security official approached T’Tkura rather quickly, cautiously approaching the group, T’Tkura and his hound. ‘Excuse me sir, but you are going to have to check your…. Uhmmm… Pet.’ The nervous security officer’s teeth chattered, as his face was flush with sweat. Clearly, he had drawn the shortest straw. Mustering up his voice he tried to continue. ‘In with our…. Our… uhmmm.’

    ‘Your what?’ T’Tkura muttered back as he rose up, offering another firm pat to the hound’s side.

    ‘Guest Pet Ssssssservicessss!’

    ‘This look like a “pet” to you?’ T’Tkura stared back, his jaw and husks lowered slightly in a condescending retort.

    A moment of silence and then playing his hand… ‘You know what, you’re right! Here, I’m sure you can handle him.’ T'Tkura figuratively offering the hound's leash to the man.

    Two-Fang snarled slightly, and the security officer stepped back, nearly falling over. T’Tkura let the hound take a step, towards the man, before resting his hand on his back. Letting a calming aura flow through the hound, which brought it back to heel at its master’s side.

    Nearly screaming the security officer blurted out. ‘Tttthat THAT won’t be necessary.’

    Bringing a datapad up to his trembling hand as he tried to fumble through the controls, while his wide eyes stared at the hound. ‘Logged in as a companion service animal!’

    The security officer’s hand was shaking violently as he took a bracelet out of his side pouch, waving it across the datapad’s sensor. Keying it with the necessary registration and identification information for a ‘service animal’. Reaching out, with his hand shaking. Offering the bracelet to T’Tkura.

    ‘Hhhhhere!’

    Two-Fang snarled, and the security officer instantly dropped the bracelet, turning and walking as fast as he could away. T’Tkura reached down with his one arm, retrieving the trinket. T’Tkura smirked, offering another firm pat on the hound’s side. ‘Good boy.’

    It was then he felt the approach of the darker Sith.

    ‘Come with me, please….’ the subsequent reassurance of him meaning them no harm following as he began to lead them off. There was an odd sincerity to it all, like the previous moment of genuine affection and thanks he had sent to his followers.

    The thought of gathering weapons did cross his mind as he saw the dangling saber at the darksider’s side. All in good time. They continued to need information. Still less than a week removed from having been in a prison ship bound for who knows where… having lost fellow brothers. Patience. T’Tkura took a long deep breath as Two-Fang sniffed around a cargo crate nearby. T’Tkura’s eyes turned back towards the darksider and was attentive to what their host wish to discuss.

    Radian attempted to center himself in the force, to find calmness in his beloved light; yet he couldn't help but listen quietly to the 'emperor's' words, and felt a pang of sadness as he imagined the horrors the helpless officer would suffer in the name of punishment.
    He was acquainted with the Sith's brand of punishment, and the very concept of any normal people being subjected to it sickened him.

    The Mirialan shook his head, before bowing it in thought, Better he release his anger on his own subordinates than civilians in the galaxy.
    The thought of how the dark one used his powers to tormenting a fellow dark sider brought a faint trickle of amusement to the back of Radian's mind. He had no love for Sith, and felt no remorse when they inevitably lashed out at one another, as they always did.

    Even so, he smothered that feeling, and the smirk it was producing. Better to focus on the moment. Keep your mind here and now.
    He opened his eye's, and stood as tall as he could manage.

    Radian worked hard to avoid letting the Sith get under his skin before, and he would maintain that now. Show no emotion.
    He maintained a stoic exterior, until they were dismissed.
    Only then did he allow a slight slouch in his shoulders,

    He quickly entered into step beside his fellow Jedi, who was intercepted by a security agent of some kind.

    There was some irritation in the Whiphids voice as the individual requested to check his hound.
    Radian stepped forward to intervene, so as to avoid an incident.
    But it was unneeded.

    The Mirialan saw where his fellow Jedi were looking, but dismissed the idea of arming himself immediately. While he was more than capable in a fight even without a lightsaber, what he needed now was to recuperate, to think.

    As they were led away, Radian remained alert; even as he muttered. "I really could use some rest."

    Darth Insipid saw the warring within the Jedi, a surprising darkness to two of them, and weariness to Radian, as he sealed up the shuttle with a gesture of the Force.

    Releasing Kwea from her suffocation, he absently allowed the shuttle to follow a prearranged course to the Revelator, the Star Destroyer of the Night Herald Darth Haretisch. He looked apologetically to them each, especially Kwea.

    ‘You know my name, my deeds, and my darkness. Some more than others,’ he added, smirking slightly. ‘But this is not the time for recriminations.’ He gestured, a cabinet in the bay opening. Three lightsabers floated clear. ‘I must confiscate whatever weapons you’ve acquired to date, and offer you these. Their power supplies are time locked, to the point that interfering with them will cause them to detonate abruptly.’ A shrug.

    ‘They will become active at the scheduled time of the fight between two Sith aboard the casino ship we have just departed.’

    When they cleared the Luxury Elite, he floated the Chiss body to the airlock and spaced it. ‘I remain committed to the concept that without Jedi, and Jedi that are at liberty, the Sith will collapse upon itself. I am resolutely opposed to such a thing. As such it behoves me to assist you, to keep you safe, to protect you from my fellow Sith.’

    An eye to Kwea. ‘This includes yourself. Haretisch has marked you for dead. I expect it relates to Hel. I do not agree with his decision.’ In-fact, Haretisch had never made the decision at all - but Insipid allowed himself to appear glum. ‘So I shall protect you, too.’

    Insipid held out his hands, calming. ‘The Jedi must remain in the prisons of Haretisch’s Star Destroyer until the time of the fight. Thereafter, you can fight your way free. There are not many hyperspace capable vessels aboard this Destroyer, but I shall ensure this shuttle is in a hangar bay at the time of the fight. You may break out, steal fighters to cross the divide, and make it to my shuttle. Then you can escape in the confusion you, Kwea, will cause.’

    Insipid produced the detonator that his apprentice Saadi had just threatened him with a few hours ago. ‘I have drained some of the explosives from it,’ he said, smiling, ‘but otherwise you can use this to blow the engines. But it will not be useable until the fight - again it is time-locked. You will be free aboard the Destroyer, but I expect you to remain hidden until now and the televised fight event on the Elite - thereafter you may act as you see fit.’

    He appraised them all. ‘Do you all understand me?’

    Darth Insipid was taking a risk here. But he believed it was the only way to avoid a civil war without end.

    They had to act quickly, and swiftly, to avoid that. He smiled to the Jedi. ‘Who knows? You could defeat us, and I am the one who has gravely miscalculated. Wouldn’t that be ironic?’

    Kwea slumped to the floor, gasping for air. Finally, her eyes could open and she saw the Emperor and two other men standing around the shuttle.

    Biting her lip as she rose, she reached out in the Force to help herself regain balance.

    As Insipid laid out a fairly detailed plan, Kwea listening intently. So Haretisch, her own Master, had marked her for dead. Or so the Emperor said.. could Kwea really trust him?

    “Do you all understand me?” he queried.

    Kwea nodded, realizing that this was possibly the only way for her to live. Working with Jedi and running away...

    The shuttle ramp closed behind them, Two-Fang had found a convenient corner nearby. Circling a few times, before laying down facing T’Tkura, closing his eyes for a bit of rest but well attentive to what was going on. The still body of the young Sith girl breathed in air once again, a dark illusion to shift a gaze off one of the agents of the Sith leader.

    T’Tkura more and more felt familiar with the being, as placing him became clearer. The Sith Cruiser and battle which seemed like a lifetime before now. The phantom specter which taunted both of them, before both the Sith and Jedi parted ways. Vaulted to a higher position now it seemed, guiding, and manipulating his own designs.

    The subsequent presentation of mendacious blades, false and dishonest in their abilities. T’Tkura’s reception of such an item was met equally with such skepticism. This entire time they had been herded like cattle, from the time they sat in their cells aboard the prison ship orbiting Zakuul. It all felt wrong, misleading. Especially with the Sith Emperor going on a somewhat brief self-righteous rumination of his tenure.

    The Chiss he had killed floated off into space quickly after being spaced in an airlock.

    Balance. The Sith spoke of a form of it. Light and dark. The Jedi defeating the Sith?

    A plan to use explosives to cripple one of the Sith’s own flagships. Eating their own? It was all still too unclear what was playing out. Ever still their band of Jedi was not in an envious position. The Sith posing the question of if they understood him. The gruff voice of T’Tkura broke the silence.

    T’Tkura did not envy their position. Draco was incredibly conflicted; the balance of an Imperial Knight was a tenuous situation and the Emperor had already demonstrated his ability to stoke the flame within the Knight ever so. Radian was vigilant but weary, T’Tkura felt. Blaze of glory? No. Patience was needed. T’Tkura was a Grand Master within the order, but in no condition to counter the Sith before them. None of them were, as the three Jedi seemed more splintered than ever T’Tkura feared, and Insipid knew that. Clearly taking advantage of them in such a state. T’Tkura felt a ripple of conflict in the young Sith woman who had recently felt air in her lungs. But everything was still too clouded to make any strong moves. It was all a mess and whether they liked it or not, the Sith Emperor had them by leash and collar.

    ‘I understand you will be looking out for the Emperor’s best interests. Pawns are valuable assets… are they not? Especially when tied to a string.’

    T’Tkura spoke condescendingly, he could not and would not fear death currently. The game of the Sith was all too familiar.

    ‘Onto the Star Destroyer it seems…’ T’Tkura spoke knowing they had no other choice.

    The problem with all of this was T’Tkura felt a different call now, despite a lifetime in the service of the Jedi. Something else called. A means to and end perhaps, whatever it took.
    No matter the cost. No matter the darkness…

    Draco was a quiet flame in the Force, a perpetual scowl written upon his face. The God-Emperor of the Sith was here, alone, two corpses as his protection. No, wait, the girl, she was not dead. Two against three... and with the way in which Draco had tasted the dark side time and time again on behalf of his Empress, and still stood strong against his Emperor - killed him, even - he could feel the swirls and eddies within T'tkura. So even that advantage was potentially slim.

    Thus, he didn't say anything.

    The God-Emperor was plotting to strike at a rival and engineer the escape of the Jedi and Draco. The girl was to sabotage the Star Destroyer, and then they would break out. Fine. Draco doubted it would be that simple, but they were at a disadvantage. Draco tried the lightsaber; it did not activate. He wondered if he could fiddle with it, but Draco was not technically astute. He had been handed his lightsaber, he had not fashioned it as a Jedi would have - Imperial Knight blades were identical, and their crystals were artificially created using methods contained within Emperor Palpatine's Book of Anger - a kind of heresy to the Jedi, but logical, for the Imperial Knights loyalty was first to the Emperor, where he personified the light side of the Force.

    Thus Draco's thoughts returned to when he murdered Emperor Fel III for falling to the dark side. Antares had loved his daughter, the late Empress Fel, but she, too, had been ripped from, firstly by Aryan Graul, the duplicitous Chancellor, in life, and then by the Sith, in death.

    A hiss escaped his lips as the God-Emperor passed them manacles which were to be locked, but at the same time Draco knew he could easily break such a tie if needed. Darth Insipid regarded the man neutrally. 'I shall remember you to Aryan, if you wish.'

    Antares Draco's darkness kindled, powerful, an aura surrounding him. The God-Emperor smiled, and Draco suppressed his anger. He would deal with Aryan when he escaped the Sith. Justice would be served. Insipid shrugged while T'tkura spoke to the girl, nameless, still not introduced by Darth Insipid.

    Insipid finished as the shuttle touched down, automatically. 'Commander Delpin will meet you. She is aware of your missions. Her lover was killed by Darth Haretisch with the entire bridge crew, as he wished to prove some kind of point to Kwea's deceased apprentice, Invadator.' Insipid glanced to the woman, who now had a name.

    'There will be a variety of troopers and assault weapons also, to ensure you transfer to the prison level.'

    Darth Insipid smiled softly. 'Kwea, you are to take the maintenance hatch and use the shadows.'

    'Otherwise...' He allowed his voice to trail off. 'These are for you also.' A flutter of his fingers and gags roped around the three Jedi' head, poised to seal their mouths tight. 'So you cannot use mind tricks on the Imperials.'

    Insipid glanced from T'tkura, Draco and Radian, and then to Kwea. 'I will ensure your elevation to High Lord if you succeed here, my dear. Haretisch will not touch you, or fear my wrath. Is that acceptable reward for the indignities I have heaped upon you, to keep you alive?' The God-Emperor leered, almost daring her to disagree.

    The landing gear engaged, and Insipid nodded to himself. 'The show begins in moments...'

    Kwea looked to T'tkura from the corner of her eye but said nothing. Returning her gaze to the Emperor, paying close attention to what he said.

    "Kwea, you are to take the maitinence hatch and use the shadows," Insipid instructed.

    Nodding yet again in agreement to the plan, Kwea kept quiet, still rather shaken from the Emperor's previous attack.

    Gags roped themselves around the Jedi as Insipid warned her. She wouldn't mess up again and she sure as Mustafar's lava wouldn't be gagged with the Jedi.

    "I will ensure your elevation to High Lord if you succeed here, my dear. Haretisch will not touch you, or fear my wrath. Is that acceptable reward for the indignities I have heaped upon you, to keep you alive?"

    "It is more than acceptable, my lord," Kwea answered in a low voice, bowing her head respectfully.

    Radian didn't flinch as the dark one had him bound and gagged. He maintained a level gaze, and as clear a head as he could manage.
    He hadn't so much as glance as the Chiss was jettisoned, nor as the shuttle ramp closed.
    Such things were irrelevant now he thought.

    The Sith always had some trick up there sleeve, this he knew. He would not allow himself to be lulled into a false sense of security.
    Even hindered as he was, he refused to be caught off guard. Given time to gather his energies he was certain he could escape from these binds.

    The words of the dark one were clearly meant to give them pause.
    But even if he wanted them alive, it must only be to serve the purpose of the dark side in the long one.
    Even assuming they believed in a form of balance, as implied by his words; the only balance Radian believed in was the light. A galaxy without darkness, a potential galaxy without evil, someday, a galaxy at peace. He longed for an end to the fight. But it would not come soon he feared.
    Briefly he wondered if he would ever get to see that day.

    Still, he knew if he allowed himself to be driven to despair it wouldn't be the Sith that defeated him, but himself.
    For this reason he stood with resolve, unshaking in the face of evil. Even as his better instinct told him to back away, to recoil.
    This wasn't the first time he had stared down the Sith. But as he looked at his path forward, he felt as if his past no longer mattered.
    He wouldn't surrender, not yet.

    Finally he nodded, belatedly, to T’Tkura's statement.

    Onto the Star Destroyer indeed.

    Tags: @dragonsith13, @ConservativeJedi321, @Sinrebirth
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  19. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    IC: Leda
    The Luxury Elite, Lady Bellorum’s chambers

    Leda sat rigidly straight, her hands anxiously smoothing out the fabric covering her thighs. Catching herself, she took a deep breath and stilled her fingers, clasping them together to rest upon her lap. Her gaze swept over her current attire, thoroughly thankful for no longer being required to wear that blasted Togruta disguise. At first, sure it had been fun to play an alien but hot damn had those montrals quickly become a nuisance! Reflexively scratching the back of her head as she recalled the heavy headdress, she cringed.

    No, she’d much rather have on the pricey little number she had recently purchased; a short, low-cut dress of a deep red hue, the garment was basic and without frills yet chic, as was her preference. Black over-the-knee boots and a long jacket rounded out the look, her locks of nearly white hair hanging down and loose, a nice change from her usual braid.

    Her lightsaber hanging from a low-slung belt was the only outward sign of her status as Sith, otherwise she would easily be mistaken for any other patron that was here to play. Which she hoped she’d soon get the chance to do…

    Leda snapped to and her yellow-green eyes locked on Lady Bellorum the moment her physical presence entered the room. Moving to her feet, she offered a small curtsy as a show of respect before returning to the rather luxurious couch she had been seated upon a moment earlier.

    Taking in every word and studying the body language of her Lady as well as that of Lord Hades – formidable creature, that one -, the blonde couldn’t help smiling as plans were finally getting under way. It seemed to be a standard “distract and grab” mission, but of course the stakes would be much higher aboard this particular vessel and with many watching eyes. At least their theft involved something shiny and pretty, even if she wouldn’t be allowed to pocket any of the prize.

    Well, maybe she might be able to keep a little trinket for herself; a reward for her dedication and loyalty to the Empire, of course.

    Hearing her name straight from Lady Bellorum’s own mouth, the warrior refocused upon the chiss triumvir as she received her individual assignment – the false Imperial officer. The five beings she would be ‘arresting’ would create a diversion for the others which was simple enough, and she was certain she could play her part well.

    “Once we are successful I will personally make sure you are each rewarded and you will be able to practically select your place within my Empire.”

    Leda raised a brow in curiosity at the Dawn Herald’s choice words to wrap up the briefing. It lit a fire within the young Sith, one that would drive her to excel in her role. If Bellorum would soon be running the show, then she would make damn sure she made a lasting impression.

    Then being dismissed, she stood and bowed before leaving. She knew she needed to gather the essentials to convincingly play an Imperial officer, like a drab and stiff uniform… but a little more time spent in her party dress seemed appropriate. And with that, Leda headed towards the nearest casino for a few hands of sabacc.

    TAGS: @Lady Belligerent @E. L.Knight & Co.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  20. Lady Belligerent

    Lady Belligerent • WNU Adoptions Coordinator• star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2008
    IC: Hel & Dr. Cal Jepsun
    Luxury Elite

    “I just don’t understand why you invited that odd fellow to travel with us,” Cal said as they walked past displays of garish jewelry. He had continued to press Hel for an answer as to why she’d invited the alien.

    Hel shrugged as she squinted at a large egg shaped stone in a case advertising a trade show. “I felt sorry for him, and it seemed like a good idea to get him off of dear ‘ol dad’s ship,” she laughed softly. Laughing felt so good, and she had decided she was going to focus more on herself. It was time to do what she wanted to do.

    “Now, enough about that guy,” she told Cal as she spotted a food court, “I’m starved.” Cal had to hurry to keep up with her, and he silently wondered if he had the energy to keep up with her. Plus he was more than a little on edge that they might encounter Haretisch. He was pretty sure she didn’t have his permission to be here. “Gih,” he groaned as she already held several food containers and was going for a table near the public walkway. “Hel, I really think it best if we don’t run into anyone we know,” he said as he gave a wide eyed expression expecting her to understand he meant her father. “He can’t read your mind, Dr. Cal,” she answered as she unloaded the food onto the table and sat down, “it really doesn’t work that way.” She opened a small box of salad and dug in with a fork, “besides,” she had to pause a second to chew, “there’s so many people on this ship that he won’t notice us.”

    Cal wasn’t convinced, but chose not to argue with her. He took one of the containers and peeked inside to decide if he wanted the contents. “It sure seemed like he communicated with you without speaking,” he said as he took a fork and stabbed at an odd green vegetable soaked in a brown sauce. “I also believe Force users don’t tell us everything you can do so that you remain a mystery.” He smiled softly at the girl who was very much his favorite patient.

    Hel sat down her fork and dabbed at her lips with a napkin, “it’s not easy to explain, but if my emotions suddenly screamed out I was in dire straits, or if I actually reached out to him, then he would feel me nearby. Currently he’s very preoccupied and I have made myself very small in the Force, so it’s not likely he’d even be able to find me unless I allowed it.”

    She shoved the salad aside and touched a control on the table top. It lit up a menu within the tables surface that mapped out all the entertainment on board. “What should we do first?”

    Tag: No one
     
  21. Lady Belligerent

    Lady Belligerent • WNU Adoptions Coordinator• star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2008
    GM Update
    Featuring Queensabe7 as Leda and other roles.


    Mining executives, gem cutters, retail jewelers, collectors, and even criminals attended the bi-yearly RMB Intergalactic Gem Show. There were many smaller shows, but none drew crowds like RMB and this was their first time to convene it on the Luxury Elite. Show promoters were attracted to the galaxy’s newest, and costliest, entertainment venue by its vast convention halls and ballrooms. But, most of all the LE’s event coordinator had graciously provided after hours entertainment for the RMB executive committee and generous discounts to the vendors attending the event. It was definitely step up from any of the hotels on Coruscant that hosted the shows in past years.

    The only obstacle had been dealing with the Luxury Elite legal team. RMB had a security contract with a well known firm based in the core, but the LE had practically insisted that all businesses renting their venues use LE Security LLC to handle any and all security needs. The attorneys for both sides had drawn up lengthy documents releasing the LE from any and all losses that could incur during the period of services rented on the LE, and releasing any and all responsibility of personal loss and injury to any guest attending said events in the spaces rented to RMB Intergalactic Gem Show and affiliates. The chief council for the LE’s legal department was quite pleased with his team’s work on the situation and had rewarded the entire department handsomely.

    RMB was pulling out all stops with this show and had added a new event to their program. When business concluded on opening night, security would roll in display cases that contained an exhibition of antiquities and Royal gems on loan from The Royal House of the Hapes Consortium and The Royal Court of Onderon. The priceless collection contained diadems, crowns, and weapons, along with other centuries old relics. The RMB promotion staff had successfully secured the traveling exhibition of both Royal families to be shown together and to the public for the first time ever and it had increased the applications to attend by over a thousandfold, making this show to be hyped as an historic event.

    —————-

    Her ‘war room’ was really an adjoining suite that had the connecting doors opened into Bellorum’s accommodations. Hades, Zalen, Leda, and the others had spent hours compiling data and making plans. They reserved the center desk and chair for The Dark Lady as she was wont to show up at any time to follow the preparations. It was during one of those times that she handed them datacards containing the security codes for the special exhibit cases, and flimsi containing details of the private security firm guarding said exhibit.

    “They were a bit spattered during the retrieval process,” Bellorum said as she laid the items on the desk, “I found the slicer who obtained the codes to be, uh...untrustworthy.” In truth Bellorum had every intention of eliminating the man once she had her information. She’d become suspicious of him when she’d seen a copy of the Csilla Informer in his possession. It wasn’t her fault he was a bleeder.

    “Have you completed the training of the ones that will be handling the merchandise?” Bellorum asked those currently in the war room.

    “Yes, my Lady,” Leda answered a beat later, eager to take charge. Her confidence that she knew every piece of the mission was clearly portrayed in her body language, sitting straight and proper with chin held high. “With Zalen’s assistance, everyone has been thoroughly and properly instructed how to proceed. There will be no issues.”

    She paused, allowing her superiors to speak if they so wished. When there were no interjections, the blonde continued.

    “Lord Hades’ troops are at the ready as well, prepared to play their part.”

    Here she halted and simply watched the Dawn Herald, awaiting any further commands or questions.

    Bellorum crossed to her chair and slowly sat down, she leaned back and propped her legs on the desk in front of her with her boots crossed at the ankles. Closing her eyes she searched through the beings around the pleasure ship. Some were brooding over losses while others were intoxicated and spending their winnings. There was excitement and disappointment, but not a hint of anyone anticipating what was coming.

    The ballrooms where the trade show was being held felt mostly empty except for the guards and a few salesmen that were working late. It was of no consequence, they would be out numbered by her forces.

    The Dawn Herald opened her eyes and smiled at Leda, “it’s time.”

    ————-

    The hangar designated for VIP arrivals had been closed for repairs for over a week. A safety officer had filed a service order and report describing an incident that had damaged the refueling system. Some careless pilot had landed on top of the equipment and nearly caused a catastrophic fire. No one questioned the report and the hangar was ordered sealed off until full repair and inspection was completed.

    Zalen had programed the security cams to stream hours of repair droids moving around the hangar, which was quite different than the actual scene. The hangar was currently filled to capacity with elite forces in shiny black armor. Each guard was identically garbed and wore cloaks of jet black with a deep violet lining. It had taken a tremendous effort to get the Dawn Herald’s guard aboard the Luxury Elite without being detected, but they had done it. Now it was time for their debut.

    Bellorum watched from the display in her war room. She could see all ranks and files of her guard...her army. The Dawn Herald’s Twilight Guard was standing at attention awaiting their orders.

    —————

    Meanwhile, Leda was making her way through an unremarkable service corridor, hidden away from prying eyes and holocams that would be clogging the main thoroughfares. She had been told discretion was of the utmost importance so she had done all she could to remain unseen. A little slicing here, crafty footwork there and she was almost to her destination as if she had been entirely invisible.

    I’m getting damn good at this spy business, she mused, knowing that she had been trained for the opposite - to be in the thick of things and fight. Yet here she was, acting as a slinky assassin would, becoming a mere wisp of a shadow and familiarizing herself with dark corners. It was a game she found thrilling, and also one that prompted the image of a certain redhead to flash through her mind.

    Immediately she shook off the memory. Not the time to reminisce and allow distractions when an enormous responsibility was so recently placed square upon her shoulders. It was one she had been waiting for and one she would not dare screw up.

    Centering herself and retaining focus, the warrior’s eyes practically glowed in the dim light, an obvious mischievous glint to them playing off the smile stretching over her lips. She walked with purpose, head held high and a lightness to her steps, exuding excitement. Indeed she felt the same on the inside; her breaths hastening in response to the uptick in her heart rate.

    There was an internal reminder to ‘calm the frag down’ as Leda turned what she knew to be the last corner, slowing ever so slightly before pushing forward even quicker than before. She had arrived. A lone door stood at the dead-end of the passage, a single red lamp hanging above in some ominous signal as if to say “do not enter.” The blonde paid it no mind as she approached and didn’t hesitate to enter a code in the access panel just to the left. With a soft hiss, the door slid open and she eagerly stepped over the threshold before it resealed itself in her wake. She stood unmoving in a dense darkness and near-complete silence, the only sound being that of her breathing. Then, one by one the lights began to flicker on around the square edges of the ceiling, illuminating the space’s contents.

    Her gaze locked on the only thing within the small room – impossible to miss – and she nearly giggled in reaction. One of those little kid laughs that couldn’t be contained though somehow she managed to stifle hers.

    “Oh. Kriffing. YES,” was all Leda could say.

    ~

    It hadn’t taken her long. She had things to take care and couldn’t afford to dawdle and gape and appraise. And stare and freak out and fawn over. But damn if she didn’t loo-

    Ahem, her more reasonable half intruded, cutting off the parts of her that wanted to jump around like a buffoon. Focus.

    Leda had left the little cube of a storage closet and back-tracked a bit to come to another door, much larger and well-secured than the last. Prepared as ever, she admitted herself with the clearance code she had been previously given and as the set of doors parted to reveal what lay beyond, she inhaled deeply once. Her grin faded and was replaced with a mask of determination and authority. Of confidence, pride and control.


    Of power.

    Straightening, she slowly entered the vast hanger and eyed the massive amount of troops lined in formation, their onyx armor carving an imposing figure even for her. But she knew she looked better…

    Step by measured step she began to cross the floor, passing row after row of soldiers. Adorned in her own set of special-made armor, every inch of her was covered in the deepest black - save her head which remained uncovered for now. Her helmet was cradled under an arm, allowing her near white hair to cascade down over a shoulder. The pale strands practically glowed in stark contrast to the darkness, light reflecting off of her armor in a way that seemed to cause the surface to shimmer, though not overly so. Draped over her shoulders was a floor-length cape that billowed behind her as she moved, the same black-as-pitch hue as the rest. The only piece of color she wore would be her lightsaber, the silver and brown hilt secured at her side.

    Coming towards the center of the hanger, Leda halted. She turned to face the assembled Twilight Guard of the Dawn Herald and only then did she place her helmet over her head. Once her face was shielded from the others, she smiled from ear to ear once more.

    ———————-

    The troops assembled slowly.

    Three troopers in nondescript white and black armor had entered a large storeroom attached to the convention space. The room was designed to hold extra chairs and acted as a staging area for caterers to bring in food carts. This evening there were very few furnishings, and a single sweeping droid was charging at a station in the corner.
    One man went over and deactivated the droid while the other two locked down the doors leading into the trade show.

    Over the next few minutes more troops filed in. Some with only side arms, others had intimidating heavy blaster rifles. They shifted into position allowing those with heavier arms to the front of the group. The last few that entered had canvas bags that hung from shoulder straps. Each bag was lined and had sections to protect items from rubbing together. The man who had flipped off the droid moved to the front of the group and held up gloved fingers to indicate time, but the door from the service corridor slid open and a custodian pushing a rubbish bin stood gaping as the entire squadron turned at once and took aim at him.

    This possibility had been covered in briefings and the trooper nearest to the door took him out with one shot to the chest. Two others grabbed the man and placed him into his bin and shoved it next to the droid.

    The timekeeper watched patiently until the body was stowed in the corner before resuming his countdown.

    Bellorum was leaning forward in her chair with elbows resting on her knees as she watched the display. Zalen clicked connections between troopers where they could watch from any possible perspective. They both were holding their breath as the last few gloved fingers moved...2...1...GO.

    The double doors slid open and the strike team burst through and spread out.

    The showroom nearest the entrance was hit by three troops. They had packed up for the day, and the owner, Freddy, of Fab Freddy’s Rocks and Sparklers, was sitting in a winged back chair and smoking an exotic cigarillo. Behind his chair was Freddy’s claim to fame, a signed holo print of a much younger Freddy posing with Ziro the Hutt. Ziro had once been a patron of Freddy’s lower level Coruscant location. In the print, Ziro was wearing a chain of sparking stones around a neatly section of his upper body. Written in scrawled lettering was, “Mucho love to my friend Freddy. XXOO His designs make me look fabulous. XXX.”

    Across the desk from Freddy sat his bookkeeper, a Ryn named Jik, who was busy tabulating the day’s sales.

    The first armored trooper to get to Freddy took the cigarillo from him and shoved it into a glass of cognac sitting on the desk. A small black bag was dropped on the desk and the trooper demanded they bag up the ‘goods’.

    “What is the meaning of th-this,” Freddie stuttered at the intrusion. “Quiet!” The trooper demanded and yanked the merchant from his chair. Another trooper grabbed Freddy by the collar and pulled him over to a safe, “open it,” the man’s stated coldly as he swung the barrel of his blaster rifle to poke Freddy in the chest.

    Freddy bit his lip to keep from hurling insults at the sleemo who dared to point that weapon at him. He punched in a code and the door released on the safe. The black bag was produced again and Freddy transferred pouches from the safe into the bag.

    During the exchange with Freddy, they had seemed to pay little attention to the Ryn. Jik really didn’t care if Freddy was robbed because he was a pain to work for, but mostly because he knew Freddy had his inventory heavily insured. He certainly wasn’t willing to die for Freddy, so he cowered and trembled so hard that one could get dizzy from the pattern of his houndstooth vest shaking. Once the safe was empty the trooper who had Freddy in his crosshairs pulled the trigger and blasted a hole through the pompous man’s chest. It was a bit messy, but they had orders that some fatalities were to be caused. Jik jumped at this unexpected turn of evens and hightailed it into the safe where he slammed the door closed.

    The three men chuckled as they picked up the bag of gemstones and jewelry. A tray of gems on the table behind Freddy’s now mangled body had a few smoldering pieces of flesh now mixed in. The strike team didn’t care because it would all be cleaned later and it was all shoved into their tote bags as they looted anything of value.

    ————

    Leda wasn’t entirely pleasant, having had to remove her fragging fantastic armor way too soon and replace it with the itchy and stiff Imperial officer’s uniform she was currently garbed in. Orders were orders, however, and she always obeyed.

    She could at least appreciate the fact that she did look that part she had been assigned to play; a severe, unemotional expression was painted over her face, hair pinned back at the nape of her neck without a single strand out of place, the dark grey fabric of the uniform clean-pressed and wrinkle-free. Even her commanding gait and stick-straight posture was on point, so no one should think her anything other than what her disguise portrayed.

    Marching purposefully down a row of curtained booths out on the trade show floor, the mission now underway, she was flanked by a trio of soldiers in stormtrooper white. She had chosen them at random, not even remembering their names as she had hurried them along to their target. As far as she was concerned, they were expendable. They would survive if they did their jobs correctly and if they did not, well they didn’t deserve to.

    Leda saw what she was looking for and burst through a wall of crimson curtains without hesitation, pulling a blaster from her side and firing once to her left, already knowing there would be an armed guard positioned there. The bolt hit its mark, searing a gaping hole through the Trandoshan’s reptilian forehead. She moved on before his corpse hit the floor.

    “You,” she barked at the first trooper who came through on her heels. “Take care of those.” She jutted her chin out at a pair of scantily clad twi’lek females in a far corner. Their blue-skinned bodies were adorned only in massive chains of assorted jewels and gemstones, strategically placed over the more intimate parts of their lithe forms.

    “I don’t kriffing THINK so,” shouted a bulky human male straight ahead, pulling his own blaster from beneath the display case he stood behind. Leda was quicker, of course. Shooting once, she hit him square in the shoulder and his weapon fell from his slackened grasp. He howled in pain and anger as he staggered back into a glass cabinet, shattering the panels.

    “You two, get to work!” she next commanded the remaining troopers who had finally joined the party. With simultaneous “yes sir”s, they immediately set about breaking case after locked case and shoving any and all contents into nondescript black sacks.

    “THIEVES! HELP! I’M BEING RO-” the wounded man’s pleas for assistance were cut off abruptly as Leda’s blaster hilt cracked across his cheek. He groaned and gargled as blood seeped from his mouth, the twi’leks forced to join him on the floor a moment later with whimpers and tears.

    “Now now….Jem, is it? Yes, Jem Hewitt.” Leda was standing over him now, her blaster pointed unwaveringly at his quickly-bruising face. She had just read the rather unnecessarily large and gaudy sign above them, deciphering the seller’s name as his own. “No need to shout. You’re scaring your friends,” she chastised, indicating the females cowering beside him. It was apparent they were slaves, property of this particular jewel vendor and nothing new to the galaxy at large. It still made her blood boil, noting how very young they were and seeing the fear in their eyes… feeling it freely in the Force.

    “Sir, we’ve retrieved the goods,” the first trooper intoned through his helmet as he spoke, now back at her side. “All that’s left is what they’re wearing…” She didn’t need to be shown what he was referring to, knowing full well that he meant the priceless gems still strewn about the bodies of the twi’leks. Two of her troopers made moves to grab them and essentially strip them naked, which she suddenly stopped with a hand signal.

    “Don’t,” she said in a tone that made it clear they were not to question her. They didn’t and stepped back, standing at attention until she told them otherwise.

    Leda looked at the aliens, making a swift decision. “Go,” was all she said and all they needed to hear. They stood and ran through the swath of curtains at the back, disappearing.

    “They were mine, you Imperial bitch,” Jem growled, spitting blood all over the spotless black of her boots. Without another thought about it, she punched a blaster bolt right at his face. At this close range, the wound was anything but clean, practically blowing his entire head off his shoulders. Gore splattered the glass around his body and she only thought it was too swift a death for a cretin like him.

    “Let’s move,” she ordered, turning to progress onto the next, the troopers dutifully following her out.

    ——————

    Trip waved his partner to cover his six as he rushed in and neatly blew his targets brains out. It was executed so perfectly that he’d love to pose beside the display case for a holo, but there was no time. Instead he quickly surveyed the area to be sure the others had hit the guards they’d been assigned.

    Once it was certain that all guards surrounding the Royal Jewels display cases, Trip elbowed his buddy and nodded towards the spray of gray brain matter running down the transparisteel. Rak shoved him back in admonishment. The boss was nearby and the big lady was watching from Rak’s own visor. “Stop being a fool,” Rak hissed, “you’re going to get us both erased.”

    The three rectangular display cases were bathed in a soft glow from recessed lighting. Tiny beams were strategically placed to empathize the beautiful gem stones decorating crowns, necklaces, and weapons. In the cases shadows, if one looked closely, were crimson red webs. The webs has been spun by venomous spiders the size of a dinner plate, and there was roughly eight in each case. Two of them seemed already on edge from the sounds of blasters and appeared to glare out of the case at Trip and Rak. Trip removed a pocket sized vibrosaw from his waist and started to score the transparisteel. They only needed a section wide enough to reach in and grab the items, but enough space to avoid the arachnids.

    Two men with flame throwers stepped forward and prepared roast the spiders once the cases were opened. Trip placed a heavy suction cup in the center of the cut piece and attached a handle before he went to the second case. Rak turned the handle and eased the clear panel out and lowered it to the floor as the flamers aimed inside to clear the spiders. It all went well, for awhile, and most all of the spiders inside the first case were dead. Two seemed to be immune to the fire and kept edging towards the opening. One man splashed them with an accelerant and jumped back so his partner could hit them with flames again. Once more the two spiders merely seemed to be strengthened by the fire, and they were determined to exit the confines of the display case.

    Trip had finished with the second case and signaled for the flame throwers, so they left Rak to deal with the remaining pair of spiders. Rak had removed some of the bejeweled pieces and hadn’t paid attention to the guys who were supposed to be killing the spiders. So, he was busy slipping items into the pouches of the bag he was loading, and didn’t notice the two bad boys drop out of the opening and make their way up Rak’s armored legs. He didn’t feel them until their spindly legs located gaps in the armor plates. Rak screamed once he felt the sting and a jolt of fire as the venom raced through his bloodstream. He dropped the bag and fell to the floor in agony.

    Trip sighed and pointed the troops with flame throwers back to the first case. They aimed their weapons at Rak and covered him in a blaze of flames. His armor was melted and scorched so that it could not be identified.

    Once the contents of the three cases were bagged up, and Rak’s bag had been retrieved, the men headed back to their staging area.

    They passed a large open bar area where a small group was huddled in hopes they would be spared by the intruders. Trip switched his blaster rifle to stun and peppered the crowd in bolts. He made sure he hit the Ithorian bartender and as many others as he could as he rushed by.

    Serapis was hit first, if he was quick, he’d be able to deflect the stun bolt. Bo and Astara were taking cover behind a turned over table and could have escaped unscathed except Bo wasn’t paying attention to the two spiders that had followed the troopers. One crawled up his pants and delivered a nasty sting. If Astara was paying attention, she’d be able to smash the second spider and the one inside Bo’s pants before it delivered its venom. Bo wouldn’t be able to stop it since his thoughts were elsewhere.

    ———-

    Hav Blerg was a Bishop in the New Faith Planetary Divine Church when he wasn’t
    selling jewelry from his shop, Floating Rock Gardens Jewelry Designs. Today he was staring down the barrel of a blaster rifle as he tried to bear witness to the poor sinner holding said rifle. “Son, put down your weapons,” Hav said kindly, “let’s have a cup of caf and talk about faith.” Kol Ewld had no interest in this fool’s religious views. His mother had been a cult follower of a holo-evangelist when he was a child. She’d sent every credit his father had busted his arse to earn, so this holyroller was wasting his time with Kol.

    “Put your hands in the air, moof-milker,” Kol spat through his clenched jaws. Gav was already bagging up fistfuls of gemstones from trays on the table while Kol dealt with the preacher. “Have you accepted the love of the All Holy Jaf into your heart?” Hav continued, totally ignoring the fact that his robbers weren’t the least interested. “Kneel with me and repent, son, Jaf has given you life and he will forgive your sins.” Kol felt beads of sweat building on his forehead and more running down the center of his back. “Shut up and open the kriffing safe.”

    Hav nodded and pressed in the code as he launched into a mini sermon, “Jaf saved those poor starving souls who were left dying after waves of drought and insect-devoured crops.” Without stopping for a breath, Hav babbled. “Jaf has performed miracles at the NFPDC, he has given a blind man back his vision! He has healed the lame and crippled! It’s a beautiful site and I’m prepared to sponsor your induction and saving ceremony, I’ll even make your first payment to attend services and instructional classes -.” Hav was cut off mid spiel by the impact of Kol’s blaster rifle bolt at close range. His mangled body dropped to the floor at Kol’s feet.

    Gav squatted and plucked a jeweled pocket watch from the preacher man’s vest. “We could have just tied him up,” Gav said to Kol, “he wasn’t armed and was no threat.”

    Kol shook his head at Gav, “No threat? You didn’t grow up around these money hungry fools,” Kol said angrily. “People buy into that insanity and end up living on the streets while these bastards,” Kol kicked the body at his feet to indicate Hav, “profit from the gullible and weak minded.”

    ————

    The entire operation was done in under five standard minutes, and it had gone off without a hitch. The strike team had sustained few casualties, but lost no one of importance. Each member had placed their bags into a laundry receptacle as they filed back into he staging area. A stern officer opened a cargo lift and disappeared into it with the laundry cart, as the outer doors slid open to a corridor now filled with black armor. The Twilight Guard of the Dawn Herald had arrived.
    Lord Hades’ troopers in the non-descript white armor pressed forward and were in the center of the Twilight Guard as they moved as one back to the out of service hangar.
    Zalen’s fingers were flying over her keyboard as she interrupted security holocams, and sealed off corridors as the army passed. The Luxury Elite security officers had no clue that two large military groups had managed to enter and rob an entire trade show of gem and jewelry concerns, much less than they had just been spirited off the ship through a closed hangar.
    Lord Hades squad had been loaded into a transport ID’d as being owned by Hangar Restoration Specialties LLC.


    ———————

    Bellorum sat back in her chair as VPO popped open a bottle of champagne and filled a tray of flutes. The Dark Lady beckoned two crystal stems, one sailed into her hand and one to Lord Hades, she then lifted her glass and smiled silently before taking a sip. Moments later, the doors into the war room slid open and Leda pushed in the laundry receptacle. Bellorum offered her a flute of champagne, “well done all.”

    Leda placed two bags from the cart on the table, so she Zalen could begin inventorying. Bellorum picked up a few pieces and studied the stones, “This really could not have gone better.” The Dark Lady was unusually jovial and almost giddy, and certainly not from the one glass of champagne.

    “The next phase will be even better and will secure our position of power in the galaxy.”

    Tag: @QueenSabe7 @darthlshy7 @Snokers @WookieeRage @dragonsith13
     
  22. HanSolo29

    HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    OOC: The following is a combo with QueenSabe7 and Darth_wanderguard. As always, it's been a pleasure. :cool:

    IC: Zeb Targon (and company), Aryan Graul, and Darth Syren
    Private Quarters of The Family, the Luxury Elite

    An errant bottle shattered against the wall.

    “And now the ship is CRAWLING with them!” Zeb Targon snarled, “every time I look there’s another Sith breathing down my neck!”

    Auspa was quiet, and if she were affected by the display she hadn’t shown it. After this many years she was used to these tirades from Zeb. She simply sat at the room’s edge, busying herself with a Csilla Informer article on her datapad.

    Ryn and Roscoe each stood on opposing ends of the mini-bar with drinks in hand, and shared a glance which could only be described as something between disquiet, and amusement.

    Adom Delgas, on the other hand, was all but cowering. Fitting, as he was the target of the outburst and had been forced to duck to avoid the bottle thrown at him a moment ago.

    “I didn’t think they would all camp out in the ship, sir!” Adom pleaded.

    “What the kriff did you think would happen?” Zeb shouted. “You roll out the welcome mat for a cult of hooded freaks with kriffing magic powers and expect nothing bad to happen? We’ll be lucky if they don’t round us up and sacrifice us all to their gods!” He was interrupted then by a chime from the intercom. “WHAT?” he barked.

    “Sir, there are two Sith here to see you,” came the reply.

    If looks could kill, Adom would have burst into flames.

    “Send them in,” Zeb replied - but was now far too angry to yell. Instead he spoke in a whisper and over enunciated every syllable. The vein in his forehead looked ready to burst.

    With his arms crossed casually over his chest, Aryan stood off to the side and watched the stoic guard with mild curiosity as they awaited the Family’s decision over whether to admit them or not. In truth, he had done everything in his power to ensure their acceptance; he had granted the guard and the receptionist as much clemency as he could allow under the circumstances, and yet, they both looked as if they were ready to abandon their posts and run for the nearest exit.

    That’s not on my account, he thought with a coy smile. Dressed in a high-collared tunic with his state robes draped over one shoulder, and his hair neatly groomed, he knew he looked anything but intimidating to this brazen group. But that was all part of the role he played as emissary. The same, however, could not be said of his partner…

    Leaning casually against the wall opposite the door, Syren glared at the receptionist.

    Impatience was one of her more unruly traits and while they hadn’t been waiting long at all, she was still fidgety about it – about this entire not-so-thrilling assignment, actually. Her fingers drummed repeatedly over the saber hilt at her hip, her other hand resting on her thigh where her vibroblade was usually secured. Moving that hand from her leg and curling her arm behind her, she caressed the dagger where it was now holstered at the small of her back, hidden from view by the folds of her hooded jacket.

    A simple touch of the weapon always managed to even her out, though if she and Aryan weren’t granted admittance shortly, she was certain she’d need a bit more than that to keep her calm.

    Casting a glance over at Syren, Aryan silently appraised her with an alluring glint in his eye. The black, form-fitting jumpsuit she wore complimented her lithe form in all the right places, but it also exuded a sense mystery and awe. Coupled with her intense stare and the lightsaber clearly dangling from her utility belt, it was no wonder these gangsters were apprehensive in her presence. She certainly struck a striking figure. He was fortunate to have such company.

    But sometimes, it just wasn’t enough to simply be in her presence…

    Before he could dwell on those thoughts further, a small commotion between the guard and the receptionist drew his attention back to the task at hand. Judging by their hurried speech and furtive glances in their direction, Targon must have decided to see them. As if he didn’t have any doubt…

    Reaching up to adjust his collar, he flashed Syren a fleeting smile. “Showtime,” he muttered under his breath, lightly brushing her arm as he passed her on his way to the door.

    Feeling Aryan’s touch as he moved to lead the way, the assassin straightened and cast a smirk at his retreating form. She removed her hood and followed a few paces behind, resuming a more serious demeanor. Syren crossed over the threshold and entered the room beyond, her keen gaze immediately sweeping over the new surroundings and its occupants. She didn’t bother to hide the fact that she scrutinized each face, nor that she had a lightsaber readily available.

    It wasn’t a threat, but more for show. She had to make her own fun this time around.

    The atmosphere inside had either just become one of palpable tension or relaxed curiosity depending upon which face one studied the longest. Ryn had turned on the slinky charm right away, offering a silent wink and crooked half-smile to Syren. Roscoe was a few light years beyond tipsy and so he simply blinked as if to make sure there were really two of them. Auspa feigned indifference, still staring at her datapad and tapping at the screen with her free hand - presumably she was playing Starcandy Crush or some other pointless thing - and Adom Delgas tried to discreetly dust himself off and look less utterly pathetic than he had a moment before.

    Zeb was still seething, however, as he began to size the pair up. It was obvious from the first instant that the female was the fighter of the two. ‘Hiding behind a bloody woman. How imposing,’ he thought. All the same he was aware of exactly how far he should push things. He had bodyguards in the very next room but he’d seen what these Sith could do.

    “What are you doing on my ship, and who told you that you could waltz right into my drawing room?” he asked, ignoring that he himself had allowed them to enter. This was simply a roundabout way of asking who’d sent them, as even the Sith wouldn’t do something like this simply because they could.

    Syren paid no mind to the expression on Ryn’s face – not like he’d have a chance in hell, anyways -, her attentions grabbed by Zeb’s weak attempt at starting this meeting off with the upper hand. She smiled, unable to hide her amusement as if she were watching a newborn puppy try out a bark for the first time.

    “I would think we should be welcome wherever we please, don’t you?” she responded, raising a brow in challenge and placing a hand upon her hip. “Spending as much as we have, as respectable of patrons as we have been...”

    With quiet disdain, Aryan shifted his weight and angled a disapproving gaze in Syren’s direction. Any indication hinting at their relationship was quickly expunged from his features, replaced with a refined mask of sovereignty. It was almost disturbing how flawlessly he was able to curb his emotions and project an air of confidence that would surely allow him to lead the course of this conversation. It was a gift he had perfected through years of practiced precision, but all of that would be for nothing if Syren continued to interject her opinions into the mix.

    While he appreciated her candor and enthusiasm, this was not helping his cause. It was only making his job harder...

    She trailed off, her eyes lingering over the man they were here to win over. Well, Aryan was here to win over. Syren knew he should be the one speaking as schmoozing and talking were his domain and not hers. But she couldn’t help herself, clucking her tongue in feigned disappointment and continuing to press for her own enjoyment.

    “Hardly a way to greet your guests.”

    Apparently his subtle glance had not been enough to restrain her. Clearing his throat, Aryan flashed a smooth, but calculating smile and stepped forward to exert control over the situation before things could get any worse. “Please, forgive my colleague,” he offered in a conciliatory manner, spreading his hands affably. “As a Sith, her methods may seem rather crass, but I assure you that she means well. You will find that a lot of their bluster comes down to a simple matter of perspective.”

    Syren turned and stared at Aryan for a prolonged moment, holding her unemotional gaze upon his face as she mulled over whether to snap at him. Sure she could push things further, frankly it would be incredibly easy to tip this meeting into a more unfavorable tone… but then it would inevitably lose its appeal. That and there would be the possibility of putting not only herself in danger – fun – but her companion as well – distracting.

    She simply rolled her eyes and refocused upon Zeb, opting to keep her mouth shut. For now.

    He allowed that last statement to linger in the air as he took a moment to survey the others, his eyes tracing a line between Roscoe, Ryn, Auspa, and Adom before returning to focus fully on Zeb. While some were seemingly preoccupied with other tasks, or simply too inebriated to care, he could still perceive their wariness over their presence. This translated into a palpable tension that threatened to suck the very life out of the room. He would need to tread carefully.

    “Zeb Delgas, I presume?” Aryan continued with a more genial smile. He extended his hand in greeting. “My name is Aryan Graul, and on behalf of Darth Haretisch himself, I would like to thank you for accommodating us under these circumstances.

    “I’m fully aware of the burden this puts on your men, and again, my apologies for starting off on the wrong foot. I hope that this would not further inhibit our ability to establish an accord.”


    He inclined his chin, intent on getting straight to the point. “I understand that you are a businessman, Mr. Delgas. Well, my purpose here is very simple – let’s do business.”

    “Targon,” Zeb corrected flatly.

    Auspa looked up disbelievingly. The room had gone quiet. This was bad.

    “Zeb Targon,” he spoke again. He hadn’t raised his voice - he was too befuddled to be as offended as he should have been. That would come later.

    Ryn suppressed a smile, hiding behind his drink though finding afterward that this had been a bad idea - instead he snorted and choked. At least the ensuing coughing fit covered what would have been a laugh.

    “He’s Adom Delgas,” Zeb gestured. “But you know that now.”

    Syren barely stifled a chuckle, bringing up a hand to only partially cover the smirk that flitted across her mouth. The small mistake was amusing partly because Aryan had made it, but more so because of how the others reacted. It was ridiculous enough to be humorous, pompous bunch that they seemed to be.

    She angled herself back towards her fellow Sith and crossed her arms over her chest. Shaking her head slowly, fake-shaming him for his error, she was curious to see how he would correct himself.

    For several moments, Aryan was stricken. The muscles in his jaw bunched with consternation as he tried to frantically evaluate the situation and discern what had gone wrong.

    Was he that rusty? Had his time with the Sith made him perceptible to mistakes?

    No, he had been ready. He had played the whole scenario over in his mind several times in preparation, accounting for all outcomes. There had to be another explanation.

    And then it hit him. With mild indignation, he realized that the answer was far more damning than a simple slip of the mind…

    Syren.

    Despite his best efforts to set his personal feelings aside, Syren would always be a constant presence, consuming his mind and playing havoc with his emotions. In this instance, she had been more than a distraction – she had caused a complete embarrassment. He could not afford to have his personal life interfere with his professional one; that was career suicide.

    Purposely avoiding her gaze, Aryan immediately tried to look for an excuse; something that he could use to salvage this mess and get things back on track. It wasn’t long before his confidence returned, along with his perpetual smirk.

    Targon. Of course,” he drawled evenly, a suave smile masking any misgivings he may have incurred as a result of his blunder. His expression seemed to indicate that he had dropped the wrong name on purpose. Perhaps to prove a point.

    “And that, right there, would underscore the difference between the factions of Sith you find aboard your vessel.” He shrugged. “To be honest, I’m not surprised to learn of their malicious intent. Trying to sabotage my mission by feeding me the wrong names?”

    He scoffed and stepped forward. “I knew what was at stake. I only wanted to use that as an example, to demonstrate what you’re up against.” His smile widened. “But I can offer you a way out.”

    “Mmm... Hm,” Zeb hummed low in the back of his throat, only somewhat convinced, but slightly impressed regardless. Whether he believed the Sith’s excuses or not was beside the point. Most would have shrunk in the aftermath of such a mistake. This Aryan Graul bloke had no such shame though, and instead trudged on with what was, in all honestly, an insultingly transparent excuse. Stupid? Yes. But confident. In Zeb’s mind, sometimes it took an idiot to do things that were smart. “Moving on, then,” he continued. “Sit down,” he gestured to one of a few sofas in the room, and took a seat himself. “What business are you looking to do, exactly?”

    Seemingly unrattled by the close call, Aryan nodded once before taking the offered seat across from the crime boss. As he settled down, he noted the indifference in the man’s voice and the cynical look in his eye. It was a firm reminder of the difficult task that lied ahead. But if there was one thing that Aryan excelled at, it was working under pressure. He enjoyed a good challenge.

    “From my understanding,” he began by clearing his throat, “we both have problems in terms of where the Sith are concerned, but how bad things get depends greatly on how big an issue you choose to make of it. This isn’t a threat, I’m only speaking from experience.” He shrugged his cape over one shoulder to reveal his belt, which was conspicuously absent of a lightsaber. Plainly, it was intended to put the man at ease.

    “I’m not a Sith,” he continued with a gentle sweep of his hands, “as I’m sure you’ve already deduced the moment I walked through that door. In that sense, I’m your equal. I’ve made some choices that...I’m not proud of, but it has put me in a rather unique position within the Sith hierarchy. I see things. Plus, I have access to the upper echelons of their empire, which has its benefits.”

    Aryan paused for a moment, a devious grin tugging on one corner of his mouth. “For example, I think you would be interested to learn that their leadership is fracturing. A power vacuum is imminent. No doubt this upcoming contest is a ploy to regain control, and it will get ugly.

    “If I can guarantee your loyalty...to me,”
    he paused to place a hand against his chest for emphasis, “I can assure you a piece of the pie when things do inevitably collapse. Of course, Darth Haretisch would prefer to keep up appearances, so we would have to operate under the pretense that he is in control, but that is only an ancillary matter. Imagine the knowledge and the influence you can gain with my help.”

    Ryn, meanwhile, had noticed that the lady Sith was seemingly a bit of a third wheel, and thought he’d take another attempt at making a new friend. Maybe that way his head would be one less rolling down the corridors when these nutjob Sith decided to take what they wanted. Silently he tilted his chin upward in her direction, and jingled his glass, before shifting his gaze to the bar. An invitation.

    Syren had already been looking in Ryn’s direction – not at him, but past him towards the mini bar. Aryan’s proclamation that he was ‘not a Sith’ stung her somehow, and she immediately wished to distract herself. The obvious invitation put forth by this stranger may have meant one thing to him, something that she would of course refute, but to her it was a welcome opportunity to step aside. After all, she loathed being idle, because that was when her mind tended to wander to topics best left buried deep.

    Without a glance elsewhere, she left her post at the chancellor’s side and stepped over to where Ryn and Roscoe stood, sliding in beside the former. After her eyes swept over his glass, she returned her focus to Aryan as she spoke. She knew her priorities and limits, but having one drink on the job never hurt anyone.

    “I’ll have whatever you’re having,” she whispered none-too-politely, though the slight lean of her body and the relaxed expression upon her face would relay a more relaxed nature.

    “If you’re offering…”

    Ryn nodded, and let a ghost of a smile cross his features once more. “There’s the bar. You’ve got hands.”

    Zeb was carefully taking in Aryan’s words. It was slightly off putting that this man had come on behalf of Darth Haretisch, and thrown him over not two sentences into the first conversation he and Zeb had shared. But a dishonest man you can trust to be dishonest, of course.

    “Loyalty?” he smacked. “You come onto my ship and ask me for loyalty,” he sat back, looking thoughtful. “You tout yourself as my equal and then ask me to prostrate myself as though I need whatever you’re offering. And you’re not even a Sith?” he laughed. “The mere mention of Cesar Ignancio’s name inspires terror, he ruled this ship with an iron fist until I decided to make it my home. Now he’s in an office with a broken air conditioner and spends his day watching security footage. Why? Because I told him to.” Zeb stamped out his cigar. “You made a mistake coming here, friend. And a bigger one running your cockholster.”

    Despite the verbal thrashing he just received, Aryan gave a derisive snort. He seemed to get a thrill out of hearing the man’s criticism about himself. “I’ve heard some colorful terms throughout my career, but I have to admit, that’s a first,” he quipped with a hint of defiance.

    Ryn sighed. So much for making an ally. He glanced over to Syren as if to apologize.

    “You’re my guest, now, Mr. Graul. Your friend,” Zeb gestured to Syren, “is going to give up her lightsaber and any other weapons she might have. So will you.”

    Casually he reached to the intercom on the table. “Taryn,” he started.

    “Yes, Mr. Targon?”

    “Arrange a half dozen guards to search, disarm, and escort my Sith friends,” he answered. “Prepare a secure but comfortable room for them. Keep them under heavy guard. They go nowhere without my say-so.” He turned back to Aryan with a smirk. “Think of yourselves as an insurance policy,” he explained. “Hopefully Darth Haretisch will want to avoid endangering his pawns.”

    Aryan inhaled deeply, his expression surprisingly firm in the wake of Targon’s threat. He realized he probably deserved this fate after insulting the man to his face, but Syren did not need to suffer along with him. It was all rather ironic, especially since he had only just blamed her for his ineffectiveness in reaching their goal. But who was he to deny his conflicting emotions?

    Turning his head, Aryan sought Syren’s gaze, his eyes almost apologetic as he tried to discern her thoughts. He briefly considered reaching out with the Force to get a read on her emotions, but decided against it. He did not want to violate her in such a delicate situation.

    Instead, his blue-gray eyes burned with a new resolve as he focused his attention back to Targon and his henchmen. They would pay for their insolence...

    Syren had set her glass down, missing Ryn’s look entirely. The tension in the room had become dangerously strained and she could sense the outrage from Zeb, confirmed in his utterly insane command that she willingly hand them her weapons… and that they be held hostage? She laughed mockingly, standing straight with a step forward, a hand gripping the lightsaber hilt at her hip.

    “If you think for one second that I will just forfeit anything to you, you are greatly mistaken,” she threatened with narrowed eyes.

    “Don’t be stupid,” Zeb dismissed. At the other end of the room, the doors slid open and six heavily armored troopers entered brandishing blaster rifles. “There are six more on the other side of that wall. And another twelve on standby a floor below us. How many do you think you can handle before you catch a blaster bolt? And if you do survive, what? You think your boss will be pleased that you blew up his multi-million dollar prizefight?”

    “Erm, Zeb,” Ryn interjected.

    “Shut up,” Zeb snapped.

    “Zeb!” Ryn snapped back.

    “What!?” he relented.

    “These Sith types are religious, right?” Ryn reasoned. “Maybe the lightsaber is like an uhm... I don’t know. Like that thing you wear around your neck.”

    That last statement piqued Aryan’s interest. Canting his head, he tried to get a better look at what the younger man had referred to, but by this point, the guards were already starting to crowd around the small group, blocking his view.

    Pressing his lips together with frustration, he angled a surreptitious glance in Syren’s direction and rose slowly to his feet.

    “You’re an idiot, Ryn,” Zeb shot back. “It’s a kriffing laser sword. She’ll chop all our heads off.”

    “Can you take out the battery or something?” Roscoe asked, pulling a handkerchief from his pocket to wipe the sweat from his forehead. Every word sounded as though he were short of breath. Too much alcohol and cornelian food for too many years - the man was not in good health.

    “You’re an idiot too!” Zeb yelled, and Roscoe threw up his hands with an eye roll.

    “Zeb, come on. You’re just mad that he forgot your name,” Auspa finally spoke up. “Let them keep their weapons and put tracking devices on them so they can’t run off without your permission. You said yourself they can’t use their weapons anyway without making a mess.”

    “Fine,” Zeb sighed. “But they’re still getting escorted. Now get the hell out,” he pointed to the door.

    A sneer came over Aryan’s features at the final command. “This isn’t over,” he muttered gruffly. “You’ll come to regret this decision...mark my words.” He almost opened his mouth to flaunt his status as Chancellor, but wisely thought better of it. Under the circumstances, that would only make him look more of a fool…

    In the end, he had no choice but to submit to the guards’ authority.

    TAG: @QueenSabe7 ; @Darth_wanderguard
     
  23. Darth Kronos

    Darth Kronos Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 2, 2016
    IC: Esmerelda and Darth Kronos - The Luxury Elite

    The rest of the Sith were here. Well, a third. Ones they recognised, and one they didn’t. Esme found herself gripping Kronos’s hand. She tried to loosen it as Insipid spoke, but tensed when the God-Emperor’s gaze drawled over them before moving on.

    Kronos had not let go of Esme's hand yet. Not even when Insipid had been looking at them directly. Her warm skin soothed him. It allowed him to temporarily forget about his paranoia and to simply relax.

    But, of course, a calm feeling was only that: temporary. A sudden flow of warmth through the Force was felt - genuine and almost heartfelt - before it was just as quickly taken from them. In its place was the cold fury he had expected from a severely scarred Sith Emperor.

    He felt Esme struggle with their hand grip, and he quickly let go in order to get her off of Insipid's scent.

    Esme let him break from her hand, and then found her fears replaced with shock as Kwea and the Chiss General were throttled dead. Nobody intervened. Insipid continued on, and gave them all assignments, eyeing the two of them again and Esme found more icy fear in her gut.

    Insipid never, ever gracefully gave anything. Ever. For him to accept their wandering, and then to give the others two months leave, and then to simply head off... it was unnerving.

    Her datapad beeped with the location of their room - a good twenty minutes walk away - and Esme found herself looking at Kronos, blank faced. Shocked through and through by Insipid’s causal violence.

    The deaths of Kwea and a Chiss general rippled throughout the Force, and Kronos tightly squeezed his fists and eyes as their lives were taken from them in an extremely nonchalant manner. Kronos did not recognize the Chiss general, but he remembered Kwea's face from a very brief encounter back in their original reality. Neither face meant much to him, but, from what he could tell, the two were being punished for a minor offense. He didn't understand the context, but if he was so willing to dispose of two high-ranking members like that...

    He lowered his head and clenched his eyes more tightly.

    Truth be told, those faces meant nothing to him. But the fear of what could happen to him or, worse, Esme consumed him at that moment.

    The expectation of punishment toward him increased substantially.

    A beep and a hand on his shoulder caused him to look upward. Esme's datapad had the location for their temporary quarters. He took that as his cue to leave, so he escorted her to their destination without allowing a second glance back to the murder scene.

    Silent, Esme could not help but cast a glance back as they left he room. She was not as strong as Cassian.

    Insipid was floating out the bodies, and escorting the three Jedi, but he took the opportunity to look at Kronos and Esme as they left, out of the dozen odd people present. Esme turned back sharply, pulling closer to Cassian, the moment burned in her eyes.

    That sly half smile in a malformed face, the brilliant red eyes of the Son set within the face of a new creature, Snoke, but all Darth Insipid beneath the monster.

    She shuddered, and did not speak until they reached their room.

    Kronos felt Insipid's burning eyes gaze upon them as they quickly exited the hangar. He felt Esme step closer to him, and he embraced her warmth.

    Using her datapad as a guide, not bothering to break the awkward silence between them, which had lingered throughout the entire twenty minute walk to their destination, the two had made their way to their temporary quarters. From what he could tell, there was no lock; all that was there was a simple, obvious button. Pressing it immediately caused the door to yield.

    The room's interior was nothing special. A standard sized bed, a kitchen, a refresher, and lounging furniture. The two likely barely had time to shower or eat.

    The door slid shut behind them, and Kronos took this as his cue to release some frustration. Groaning loudly, he interlocked his hands together and nervously and aggressively rubbed his head, making his hair more unkempt afterward.

    Esmerelda collapsed on the bed, face-up. ‘That was more stressful than facing actual God’s down.

    She reviewed the rest of rest datapad. ‘Seems the Big Fight that has been put together is in a couple of months. Insipid was genuinely giving us all time off.’ A flick. ‘And even pay. There’s Imperial credits here.’ Her eyes widened. ‘I forgot I was a Moff. Small fortune, much?

    Esme looked to Cassian, his hair a mess. ‘Looks good.

    Shall we ignore our imminent peril and sleep for two months?’ Esme grinned. For all the issues they had, they were at least together.

    Kronos grinned as he slightly loosened his clothing. "Definitely. I could use a few months off."

    He crawled into the bed with her, wrapping his arm around her body, and allowed himself to enjoy the moment they had together. He knew that it was only a matter of time before another catastrophe broke out, so he wanted it to last as long as possible.

    Esmerelda smiled back at him, and nuzzled herself into the crook of his arm. It was almost as if their bodies had been designed to fit together - which was tragically soppy, but after everything they had been through?

    The tragedy was behind them.

    Everything else before them was just a challenge they could surpass, because they had survived all those other horrors without even being together.

    Imagine what they could do now they were?

    At that thought, Esme drifted to sleep in arms of Cassian.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth

    -----

    IC: Soliloquy and Mallace Combo
    Hangar bay aboard the , Luxury Elite, Rago system

    In the span of an eyeblink that is the passage of the stars, they were threatened, weakly, and soon they were saved. Their savior had not known which way to go nor turn to, but Soliloquy had known. With it being one whom had opened her mind to them before, they had given the co-ordinates without hesitation nor discretion. It mattered little, it was merely the path.

    When they had arrived to find the flesh and blood Emperor awaiting them and others, it knew that was to come would be grandstanding, bravado, drama of a high form. The praise was not fully expected, but it was a pleasant wafting of what had been. The death, singular had been relished. The man had not enjoyed nor even commented on it's song in cheunth, and so with a slight gleam to holocron and photoreceptor it had enjoyed the visage of the man's death. The fake death. . .now there was something it had no reaction to. It was a removal of a game piece into the Emperor's private deck, hidden from the rest of the players on the board. Was it a piece to the rule of seven? A piece to help aid the situation to grow? Or merely a much shorter plot upon this vessel? Time would tell.

    Walking over to the one indicated for a shared quarters the droid body tilted it's head before speaking in a harsh female voice, obviously young but grating. "It seems we shall get to know each other better. I am Soliloquy. Force Holocron."

    Throughout the journey aboard the Raider's shuttle, Mallace had done her best to seclude herself from all of its passengers, intently focusing on the droid that had been fixing her wound. Of course, it didn't work. People still gave her the occasional glance, one which she couldn't decipher. Was it confusion? Hatred? Simple neutrality? All of these judging glances angered her.

    When the shuttle had landed, Mallace had followed behind the crowd, not knowing where to go or what to do. The droid had done a good job stitching up and disinfecting her wound, but her head still throbbed, and she had a powerful headache.

    Through the gaps in between those exiting the shuttle, Mallace saw the grey, decrepit, scarred face of the God-Emperor, and she immediately lowered her head to the floor to avoid eye contact. Any unwanted attention upon her was not a good thing.

    As he spoke, Mallace dared to look upward and appraise the other Sith. There were those she had been with, but there were plenty of fresh faces as well. A young woman who looked like she was barely out of her teenage years, a male Sith accompanied by what appeared to be Jedi, a tall male who was standing closely to a woman of his young age... and holding her hand. Even the God-Emperor found this peculiar.... There was the Changling she had encountered upon her sudden release from stasis...

    "... When we lost everything to the Left Handed Lord."

    At that point, she tuned herself out from his speech and desperately tried to force the memories out of her brain. The image of the repulsive being finding her, His oozing pores bleeding upon the pristine ship she was on. The sound of His deep and grating voice piercing her eardrums like the screeching sound of a rathtar. The feeling of being slaughtered, her original body becoming nothing but a pile of blood-red goo, and transferred into a doppelganger body of Typhojem. The uncertainty of whether or not she was truly herself, or if she was still under His control....

    Those memories would be there forever...

    Maybe not always prominent, but they would certainly always be there.

    A ripple in the Force caused her to look up, and, as she did, she saw him lift up a Chiss (Barrett?) and the young woman from before. In a moment, both were laying on the floor, dead. All for a failure. Was all of that really necessary?

    And if he was willing to murder two people for a failure, what would he do to her for her erratic behavior earlier?

    That thought lingered in her brain for a while until another grating voice, this one female, interrupted her. She turned and was face-to-face with the thing that had tried to help her back on the Star Destroyer. Its name was Soliloquy.

    Her confusion and fear would be apparent as she replied with, "Uhh... Mallace."

    The droids photoreceptors blinked softly at this as the lights within the holocron inside it's chest seemed to swirl a bit about at this name. "We are pleased to know you. Always. We are to be sharing a room with you. That is why you are speaking with me dear, it was decided it was time for some Sisterly bonding and the male soul shards could collectively take a break." At this the female voice chuckled softly before waving a hand out away from the hanger, "Shall we see what the Emperor has procured for us young one?"

    Mallace laughed along with her new 'companion.' Not because she found the thing's comment funny, but because she was simply uncomfortable.

    "Yeah," she replied in an unsure tone, probably waiting too long to do so. "I need a guide."

    She brushed her loose hair strands behind her ear and wiped her face of the nervous sweat that had formed from the previous events.

    "A guide is many things. Rarely are we, but so we shall be for thee." the droid body turned and shuffle stepped as though the stiff leg joints were in need of oil, "Hopefully the bed is opulent enough for your tastes, it is the Luxury Elite, so the thread count should at least be decent. Although I am sure the prior occupants might bristle if I know how our Emperor likes to work. Perhaps that is why I am paired at all. I am the only second pair of photoreceptors around that have no motive to want you dead, nor have any interest in your past beyond private records that will not be revealed for a hundred years. A short time to hold any secret don't you think?"

    The body had continued in that gravely female voice as it walked from her, leading the way to their room. The head swiveling from side to side as it wirelessly connected with the ships open networks to download a map and begin plotting their route. What truly preoccupied its attention was finding the wireless comm system and trying to figure out whether it could safely bill it to their room or it would need to abscond later to establish a secrete communications hub. It had debts and bill to pay, it was the harsh life of the living, and it was on the road to being such as these again.

    Mallace looked dumbfounded as her companion rambled on. The gravely female voice emitting from such an unlikely body, what it was actually saying, the confusion of her situation... it was all too much to handle. She had simply followed it in silence, desperately clinging to its words as a distraction.

    This thing was her only ally, she knew. Many wanted her dead or simply out of their sight, while the rest could not care less about her well being. Such was to be expected among the Sith, but most didn't even acknowledge her existence. She was invisible to most. A tool to the others. If this... thing's word could be trusted, and if it was tied to the God-Emperor, then she could perhaps use it for her own growth.

    It was a start, at least.

    "An ally would be useful," she finally replied.

    Slowing in it's protocol droid wobble-walk it turned to face her, "Then we both shall have one dearie. Then we both shall have one." it stated with blinking of it's photoreceptors. Pausing for a moment it simply took her in, observing her reaction to silence.

    Turning without another word it continued on to their room. "Now that's settled. Let's see how the room compares and then after a sweep we can have a nice private chat. Get to know each other a bit better to be good allies to one another. Yes?"

    "Sure. I could use a bit of rest anyway."

    Mallace followed it to their assigned quarters and remained silent the rest of the way.

    When they got to their shared quarters the droid had to admit they were adequate. The Holocron felt they were a bit too. . .sterile. A touch too clean. It felt disquieted in a room like this where the only life was this woman it did not know. Actually, for a second drawn long it contemplated that if she were a dead body the aura of the room would improve dramatically and her body had enough mass to make a lovely fungal farm. . .they had a body now, they could do it. . .but no, she had value besides.

    Photoreceptors blinking the impulse away, the droid seemed to deflate at the fleeting notion. "So dear. I have told you what I am, so perhaps as we relax. . .would you care to share about yourself? Personal historical archives for ourselves of course."

    Mallace allowed silence to fill the air for a good long while, glaring at it before taking a seat on a nearby chair. Did this thing really believe she would reveal her entire backstory to it just because they were paired together? Even if they were temporary allies, she was not about to tell it her entire life story after knowing it for less than a day.

    Yet she knew she had to give it something if she wanted to keep this alliance alive.

    Vagueness won. "Just the usual. Parents dead, and, through weird-ass circumstances, I ended up here."

    She was slowly regaining her full mental capabilities.

    The sound of an old woman's cackling laughter spread throughout the room after a moment of silence. It lasted several moments before another laugh of a deep voiced male, the soft chortle of a child, the giggle of a young woman, more and more voice of varied laughter layered upon each other as the droids head tilted back, photoreceptors flashing as the laughter dragged on before the head settled and strobing stopped and with it with a sudden jarring motion any sound.

    "The last acolyte we asked that of gave us her entire mind, as open as air. We did not betray that because we needed her yet. She is now powerful and highly placed within this new order. . ." here the droid dipped it's head. "We are pleased you did not bare your soul so easily. We might of killed you to improve the room and begin the weeding of the weak in the new Empire. Now that we know you are worth while, and you us, this should be a beautiful relationship." At this the droid leaned back left the other in silence. Unless she wanted to ask or speak of anything time yet needed to pass as it began to focus on connecting to the facilities comm system.

    Mallace cringed at the sound of multiple layers of laughter that emanated from her companion. It was a horrible, grating sound that pierced her ears and lasted for far too long. As its head tilted backward, its photoreceptors, if that was what they were called, flashed in front of her eyes, temporarily blinding her and causing her to immediately look away. Once the grating laughter stopped, Mallace looked at it in the eyes and blinked the glare away.

    This thing got weirder and weirder by the second.

    As her companion rambled on about some previous person who revealed everything - Mallace wasn't paying much attention - she took it as a cue to sit down and... relax. Just thinking that word felt wrong.

    Mallace spoke up without waiting to see if her companion had finished speaking. That likely wasn't a smart decision, but there was a question that she was dying to ask.

    "So... what- what are you... exactly?"

    While she knew it was a "Force Holocron," what that exactly meant or how it was able to possess a body was a complete mystery to her. Her companion had asked her to reveal bits of her backstory. Now it was its turn.

    At the woman's words the droids body tilted to a side as did the head, "Hmm." The old woman's voice purred from the voicebox of the droid, "She doesn't know what we are, when we told her. Yes, yes. I am sure we did. . .perhaps she is just that young. No not physically of course, but to her power. To her history. Yes, we should. We should remedy that."

    The droid tilted back as the body elongated, servos whirring as it opened up to fully display the tetrahedron holocron implanted in it's body glowed brightly red and purple before illuminating the room with a hologram showing a simple droid on the left and a classic Sith pyramid holocron on the right. "To put it simply dear when Sith become powerful they often know the need to pass on knowledge but at the same time fear it, as giving the knowledge to another Sith could make the other more powerful than them. Still without the passage of knowledge what we know and can do would never grow. So to work around this problem some follow the ways of the Celestials and Rakatta that create living collections of knowledge. The Jedi do the same but program and imprint themselves onto what they have created, whereas the Sith tear a literal piece of their own soul out and infuse it into a command/data force crystal. This acts as an intelligent gatekeeper to the holocron, making sure that Sith's knowledge is only passed to one that they would feel is worthy because it will be them judging whomever asks for it. Now we are something else, we contain Sith, Revanites, Sorcerer's of Tund, and even a Night Sister or two. Pieces of all their souls, all their knowledge gathered together inside one larger Holocron. We are not the first of our kind, but we were made without knowledge of the others so we are unique to our creator's vision and core personality that has chosen and added all others."

    At this the holocron image receded and the droid grew until only a large view of the upper body was visible. "The Emperor saw fit to create a body for this unique artifact of us by adding an adapted control socket to a droid where we were placed. Giving this collection of knowledge ability to move and act of our own volitions instead of in another's possession." the holocron image was shown to float into the droid body before the hologram droids eyes flared to life and the image suddenly winked out as the sound of the droids servos sounded as the torso shrunk back down over Soliloquy. "For simplicity we are called Soliloquy. We do hope that answers your questions deary."

    TAG: Sinrebirth @Mitth_Fisto
     
  24. WookieeRage

    WookieeRage Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2016
    IC: Astra
    The Luxury Elite.

    Astra breathed heavy as the effects of the spice were still subsiding. Her instincts took over as they were all rushed and she looked around for an exit plan but there wasn't one she could locate in her high state of mind.

    That's when she felt it...

    A shudder across her shoulder chilled her to her very bone. A spider had crawled over the table, led by a gunman inadvertently. She gasped and swiped her shoulder with her free hand knocking the spider into the floor to which she pulled her knife and stabbed it repeatedly in a frenzy. She exhaled in relief before she turned her attention to Bo, who was swatting at his pant leg. Astra could see a bulge moving from his shoe towards his groin. As she lay on her back in cover of the table, she frantically began kicking the bulge which had resided in Bo's crotch. She didn't know if it had bitten him but he passed out which just as well could've been from the well-placed kick to Bo's lower region. She pulled her holdout blaster and brought it up in a ready position next to her ear ready for what would come next.

    Tag: @Lady Belligerent @Darth_wanderguard @Snokers
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
  25. Csilla Informer

    Csilla Informer Jedi Padawan

    Registered:
    Jan 21, 2017
    [​IMG]

    MASSIVE JEWEL HEIST ON LUXURY LINER



    The largest jewel heist of the last hundred years took place yesterday on the Luxury Elite, sparking fears that the ship may not be as safe as advertised and that this may spell trouble for the upcoming highly anticipated Clash in the Casino. As of now the ship has apparently yet to see large numbers of ticket returns as a direct result of the heist, but experts say that may not be far off.


    Chief stockholder of Luxury Elite LLC, the elusive businessman Zeb Targon, had this to say:



    Tensions have been high between Targon’s organization and the Sith with whom he has partnered to make the Clash in the Casino possible. Many experts contend that the sophistication of the ship’s security protocols preclude a traditional heist, and that the most likely culprit is likely one or more individuals on the inside of Targon’s inner circle, if not Targon himself and not the enigmatic religious cabal which has taken the Unknown Regions by storm.


    Among the jewels stolen are valuable antiquities belonging to the Hapan Consortium, for which the Hapan royal family has offered a substantial reward.


    The Clash in the Casino is set to kick off in less than two months. Visit tickethub.unknownregions.holonet to book your seats today.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018