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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 Force Ghost star 6

    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 Youngling

    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
    WookieeRage, Mostlymad and Sinrebirth like this.
  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
    DarthIshyZ, Sinrebirth and Mostlymad like this.
  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