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Star Wars OPEN 138 ABY: Together, Alone

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Sinrebirth , May 4, 2019.

  1. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    IC Darth Bernael
    Tunnels


    Bernael responded first to Geist, “Someone has changed the rules of this game, in a very sudden and unexpected way. There feels like a very large, malevolent, Dark presence is coming this way. Jjudging from how everyone is responding it seems they did not expect it. So we must react as well. In the tunnels they cannot reach us easily, but we cannot stay down here forever.”

    He turned to Harkas, Trask, and the surviving leader of the Knighthunters. “There are many Jedi and troops along any of these routes and most are guarded by some formidable Jedi. Harkas, I need you to coordinate the troops. Knighthunters, you will assist me in facing any Jedi we come across, up to and including their leaders at the tunnel exits. Trask, you will be a floater, assisting at any spots that seem to weaken, but you also must ensure the injured Jedi we have survives, I have a feeling we will need them by the time this is done.”

    He surveyed the tunnel systems, the choke points, the likely ambush points, and who lay at each exit. Activating the dedicated com to Moff Geist so he could listen in, “Gentlemen, I promised I would ensure you returned alive. I intend to keep that promise. Admittedly each of these exits could turn into a death trap so weighing the odds I’d rather face one Grandmaster level than multiple Master level opponents, at the quality that survive, so we will be headed toward the exit guarded by Cade Skywalker.”

    Turning off the com again, “Harkas, Trask, what I sense coming will also have to be factored in, so our rear is just as important to keep secure as our advance elements. I want flying squads of our most veteran troops to the fore and rear, but also available to secure any cross tunnels as we pass.”

    He sent the three to begin crafting their own orders and begin the movement. Thinking, he called the head of the engineers he’d acquired to him. “As we pass cross tunnels, I want each, as well as the tunnel we are in to be mined, so that each collapses at those points once we pass, sealing our rear as we move. I doubt it will keep away those determined enough to chase us, but it will slow them down. Now get to it.” He watched the woman scurry away and begin rallying her troops.

    He next stopped at the Jedi. He could sense her dulled senses from both his own takeover of her will earlier as well as the tranquilizer they’d had to use to keep her docile. His eyes turned dark and his talons extended, one taking her under her chin and lifting her head, letting her drug addled eyes meet his, “Do not defy me and you may survive this. This battle is a turning point and I need to accomplish my mission so that what needs to happen does. I know you cannot understand or believe what I mean but follow my commands and you may live to see the sun again.”

    Walking to Moff Geist’s walker he joined him inside for a moment, “Moff, on the ship I could feel the direction of your thoughts. I know you have no love for the current system. It could, should, needs change. And I believe what is currently coming would be change, but for the worse. So, whatever actions I take I need you to accept them, back me up, as they may mean us all living to see the changes you hope for coming to fruition. And yes, your metal monster here is amazing, but claustrophobic. It does have its uses though and we do need a mobile artillery piece so you are it, but no dying on me.”

    Not having time to hear a response face to face, he exited the walker and found his three ‘commanders’ waiting. They reported that everything was prepared and, as they finished, the engineer officer approached and relayed that her troops were likewise prepared. “Onward then, to death or survival.” he replied, sending them off to their various duties.

    He drew one saber, letting one hand remain free to use the Force, he didn’t need to but it was quicker in a battle. Moving to the front of his troops he moved with the front line, a few paces behind them as they began moving down the tunnels, as quietly but, at the same time, as quickly as possible. Each step brought him one step closer to facing a Skywalker, never an easy task.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  2. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Harkas
    Battle of Taivas

    As Lord Bernael headed off to consult with Moff Geist, the surviving troops grew concerned. A Grandmaster level threat. They had all heard the stories of the sheer number of Stormtroopers and indeed Sith lost to the final stand of Kol Skywalker, at the Massacre of Ossus. Nihl had finally felled the man, but it had been a point that was legendary among the troops. Indeed, Moff Yage had allowed the information to percolate, if only to undermine the severity of the situation and the dangers of the Jedi Order.

    Harkas privately thought that Yage simply needed to justify what he had done; the Jokers had worked with Yage personally during the Sith-Imperial War... he was not one to brag, and had genuinely believed in the righteousness of the Imperial cause; in the fact that they were saving the Galactic Alliance from the spoonbender mooks and Yuuzhan Vong aliens holding the Alliance government hostage with their lies. Clearly the Vong had used the Ossus Project to ruin all those worlds; to blame a sabateour was ridiculous.

    Of course, now Harkas had heard that the Sith were responsible for the Project going wrong, so what did he know.

    Nothing; which was plenty for a soldier. It made it easier for him to point his gun at the guy pointing a gun at him, and unload until the other guy was dead.

    No politics; just survival.

    By the time Bernael returned, the Stormtroopers stood sharply to attention, having completed the first set of charges slightly further into the tunnel, and indeed around the entrance, but Harkas knew that their unease would permeate the Force.

    TAG: @darthbernael (extra tag)
     
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  3. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    IC Darth Bernael
    Tunnels, Moving toward a Skywalker


    As he approached the front ranks of the troops preparing to move out, Bernael began hearing mutterings, musings. Letting his hearing carry out he could tell the general drift, that they would soon face a Skywalker. He walked closer to Harkas and could see the concern written all over the man’s face. Motioning Harkas off to one side he delved into the man's surface thoughts, picking up on memories he had of Joker Squad facing Kol Skywalker before.

    “Harkas, Cade Skywalker is a man, yes he is as strong as Luke, but he is still a man. We do have advantages he does not know yet. I do not expect you or the others to face him, that is my job. Yours is to keep my promise and get everyone past him and out of the tunnels to freedom. I will take the brunt of that fight, Knighthunters to assist me, while everyone else escapes. Trust me now or not, but I made a promise and I keep my word.”

    He could tell that man wasn’t fully convinced but time would tell with that. He turned back to the troops, addressing them all now. “I keep my word. I told you I would get you through this battle and out of here and I will. You have your objectives, mine is the Jedi. So Death or Survival, we will not let the first occur.”

    He moved back to the front, and began pacing down the tunnel, senses questing ahead. A grim smile touched his face as he felt the first Jedi waiting in ambush. Sending a command to the heads up displays of the troopers around him he knew they needed a boost to their confidence so he also included a message to wait for his signal before attacking the Jedi. He stalked closer, seemingly oblivious to the Jedi clinging to the ceiling of the tunnel.

    When he was but a few steps from them, they launched themselves from the ceiling, sabers lighting as they dove directly at him. His left hand saber came up and slashed across theirs, blocking their attack, then in a lightning reversal swept back and sliced the head tails from the Togruta as they fell. Their shriek cut off with a grunt as the air was expelled from their lungs when he gestured and flung them against the left side wall of the tunnel, pinning them there like a moth in a display case. “NOW!” he commanded and the troops on that side of the formation opened fire, their bolts piercing the Jedi’s body enough to hold it to the wall still.

    Which was good for Bernael as, just as he released his hold on the Togruta their companions attacked from the side tunnels just ahead, one from each side. A Mirakula began stringing arrows to her bow and firing in rapid succession as the male Zabrak charged Bernael, saber held high, ready for a downward stroke. Pausing, Bernael made a lifting motion with his hand and a section of the tunnel floor ripped from its place and set down just in front of the flights of arrows headed his way. He heard the cry of frustration as the Miraluka sensed that their distant assault had failed and then the energy from them as they diverted the arrows around the new wall in their way. He smiled behind the mask, clenched his fist and the section of tunnel he’d ripped up crumbled into small fragments. Unclenching his hand he sent them into a whirlwind that encompassed the breadth of the tunnel and had the added benefit of disrupting the delicate streams of Force energy the Miraluka was using to direct the bolts.

    He raised his saber, and dropped to a knee to absorb the impact of the Zabrak’s downward stroke as the Jedi launched himself and brought his blade down toward his head. Angling his blade, he heard the sizzle of energy as the saber passed by his left ear and scraped down the cloak and armor covering his left arm. Thrusting forward with his left hand saber, which meant letting go of the whirlwind for now, he punched that blade through the gut of and out the back of the Zabrak, who collapsed over his hand as he died.

    Sweeping that saber down and to the left he chuckled dryly as the body slid off the saber and rolled across the floor, causing his troops to step over it as they advanced. With his right saber he directed the troops to fire on the Miraluka, sure she would be able to dodge most of them, but more as a distraction to her rather than expecting her to be pinned by the fire.

    He stepped forward to attack and take down the last Jedi in this section when he heard and felt a bolt of energy go past his head and through the cloth visor the Mirkaluka wore. A sighing rattle was her last as she collapsed to the floor of the tunnel. He looked back, then nodded in respect to Trask, such a shot and the fact the man had taken it meant his troops were truly starting to believe they had a chance.

    As the troops moved into position, blocking the cross tunnels Bernael saw the engineers set to work mining all three tunnel routes he’d ordered mined while they moved. A nod to the officer got a smile in return. He moved forward, more veteran troops around him, one of the Knighthunters on his left. They pushed forward through the tunnel, he using the Force to distract and disrupt the Jedi’s troops as they attempted to push back against his forces movement. The Knighthunter he had bounding past the troops to seek out officers of those troops to further disrupt them.

    There was just one more cross tunnel before the slight uphill toward the exit guarded by Cade Skywalker. And just before they reached it, four Jedi swarmed from the tunnel and two used the force to hold the young Knighthunter when he got into an exposed position and the other two sliced him to pieces. Bernael roared, such a useful asset and the Jedi had now taken two of his four Knighthunters before he could even get out of here.

    He charged forward, bowling into the Jedi, sabers slashing back and forth, spinning as he got caught between all four. One saber got hung up and he used that to go over backward, kicking his feet out at the Jedi in front of him as their saber swept through the area his body had just occupied. The Jedi flew backward, hitting the tunnel wall behind and as they stood to re engage, their body was riddled with bolts from the troops around him. He spun in place on the ground, taking out the lower legs of the Jedi who had blocked his saber and locked it up, giving him this opportunity in the first place. As that Jedi collapsed he rolled forward, taking a strike across the armor of his back, making him grunt then roll more to get out of range to stand.

    A surprise of Jedi Lightning arced out at him and then it was the Jedi’s turn to be surprised as he lifted his saber and the lightning grounded in his blade. Pointing his blade at that Jedi he raised his blade to block the last Jedi’s attack, which to his surprise never reached him. Just as the strike began the Jedi’s head rolled from her shoulders as the Knighthunter squad leader had arrived and taken a strike from behind, lowering the odds once more. Bernael nodded to the writhing Jedi on the ground, missing their legs and the Knighthunter ended their existence. The last Jedi Bernael faced through his blades. “Yield and you may share the fate of the one Jedi I have already as captive. Refuse and join your comrades in the dust of this tunnel.”

    The last, having seen the troops even now surrounding the conflict, that their other three comrades were now one with the Force, and that the being they’d thought to overcome still standing and ready to end them as well, the Jedi lowered then disabled their saber, bowing their head to Bernael. He gestured and the troops cuffed the Jedi and brought them to the guard squad that was already watching over the wounded Jedi from the beginning of the battle.

    This series of cross tunnels mined the entire group continued their advance. Behind them the three sections of tunnel collapsed, blocking each and leaving no way for reinforcements to aid the Jedi forces that faced them at the exit. Slowly they moved up toward the exit, aware that there was one, extremely powerful force user ahead. Bernael stopped, raised a fist, and the unit dropped, finding whatever concealment they could find.

    He reached into his prison of souls and drained two more, knowing he needed the energy they contained for this last fight. He could see the Skywalker pacing back and forth across the mouth of the tunnel, waiting, forewarned that a large group was headed his way, including a Sith that refused to give in to what the Jedi thought was inevitable. He knew he’d have a massive battle ahead, but he had given his word and he would ensure his troops made it out alive.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
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  4. 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 Sinrebirth – thank you so much, sir! It's always a pleasure! :D

    IC: Aryan Graul and Jhoram Bey

    Aboard the Star Runner, Alliance Fleet

    Aryan did not have to wander far across the bustling hangar before being intercepted by the most unlikely source. Jhoram Bey was an old colleague from his days in the starfighter corp, a gruff Weequay with a forceful disposition and a penchant for regulations and standards. He had started out as a pilot under Aryan’s wing nearly ten years ago, but judging by his pristine uniform and even gait, the man had steadily risen through the ranks to become a Captain.

    A lot had certainly changed since he was medically discharged from the service, though Aryan wasn’t all that surprised to learn that Bey had accepted a high command position after his departure; he had always loved authority. If there was one thing he remembered about his time with the man, it was never to cross Jhoram Bey. He did not tolerate any form of insubordination.

    He also wasn’t one to openly express his emotions, which is why Aryan visibly recoiled when the man dispensed with the usual decorum to embrace him in a warm hug. He wanted to say that they had been on good terms when he departed, but he never considered them close friends...at least, not to the extent that Bey was showing through this gesture. Perhaps he had made more of an impact on the man than he thought…

    At any rate, it was better than getting reprimanded by the wayward Captain.

    “You’re late,” The Weequay stated in his usual throaty baritone. He leaned back to appraise him with a cold stare before a grimace crossed his features. “Where is Antilles?”

    Aryan instinctively diverted his gaze and offered a small sigh. He knew he would breach that subject sooner or later. Bey had likely been the one to authorize the campaign that brought Ona to Nubia to retrieve the ‘package’. While it had still been a successful transfer, things had not gone according to plan – the Alliance had lost one of their best agents, and Bey was left to deal with Aryan by himself.

    “Someone traced the trail and tipped off the Empire,” Aryan began curtly, his blue-gray eyes shifting back to peer deeply into the other man’s face. There was no easy way to say this. “I fear the whole operation’s been compromised – they converged on us with everything they had, including a Si—”

    The ship shuddered perceptibly underfoot, cutting him off in mid-sentence. Clenching his jaw, Aryan angled his chin to glance up at the ceiling, but before he could determine what had caused the tremor, Bey stepped in to provide the answer. “Ah, damn,” he muttered quietly, reaching out to lead Aryan back the way they had come. “We’ve launched. We need to get to the Crossfires."

    We?” Aryan stammered, his eyes going wide as he struggled to keep pace with the man through the harried crowd. “I think you misunderstand, Bey, I’m just the messenger. I delivered what you wanted, now I need you to sign off on everything so I can clear out of here. I have other duties back home with the Ruling Council...I swore an oath to the people, and my responsibility is with them. That doesn't involve strapping myself into a cockpit on some crazy whim. I’m not here to fight, not like this!”

    His words were strained, maybe even bordering on desperation. He could not do this to Lyz and Arek…not again.

    Bey grunted as he marched. “Haven’t you been paying attention? Emperor Krayt is back from the damn dead, and he’s ordered the Empire on the offensive regardless of the casualties he takes. Unless we stop him now, the galaxy will devolve into chaos and lawlessness - even if we win.”

    “Ona was flying a Crossfire into the battle; I know you were discharged for reasons, but you’re here, and we’re not stopping an entire battle plan for you.” He thrust out a finger at the man. “We don’t have passengers aboard a cruiser; you’re either flying shuttles picking up our EV pilots, flying that Crossfire because I don’t have any spare pilots, or you’re in the brig.”

    He grabbed Aryan’s arm. “In four minutes we will arrive and smash the Sith-Imperial Fleet. Unless we throw everything we have at them, we lose. If we lose because of you -“

    Bey grunted again. “I’ll shoot you myself. Not because I want to, but because I know Lyz, Graul; you and I may have lost touch but she and I haven’t. She doesn’t deserve you to live a coward.” Bey squared up to Aryan’s chest. “Knowing how into politics you are now, you’ve probably convinced yourself that you can’t fight for her, because she’ll worry. But I remember you, Graul; you’re always rationalising your decisions after you’ve made them; and that’s why you were shot down.”

    Bey wasn’t taking any prisoners today; he didn’t have time. They didn’t have time. The entire galaxy didn’t have time.

    A bitter smile tugged at the corner of Aryan’s mouth, his eyes narrowing dangerously as he forcefully pulled his arm away from the Weequay’s grip. There was the implacable attitude he remembered. It had only taken a little needling to bring it back to the surface. He might have even found it satisfying, if not for the veracity behind his words. At this, Aryan inwardly bristled and turned away.

    It hurt that Bey would so callously use Lyz to prove a point. While it was true that they shared a history, all three having served in the Alliance military at the same time – in fact, that was where Aryan had first met his wife – it was another thing entirely to exploit that connection. Was Lyz aware of his actions? How far was Bey willing to go to ensure the Alliance’s survival?

    And yet, that wasn’t the worst of it. His handling of Lyz was nothing compared to the personal affront he had made against Aryan himself. He did not appreciate the man dragging his past into this, particularly when it involved the traumatic incident that had cost him his leg. That provoked him more than anything, but once again, that was likely because it was something he didn’t want to hear. He couldn't accept that Bey was right in this case.

    That was what ultimately spurred his response.

    “Don’t you dare try to chastise me for something that was beyond my control,” Aryan rumbled in a gravelly tone, his eyes blazing with a fierce intensity. “I’m not a coward. I was willing to sacrifice myself for the cause just like everyone else up there that day, and if not for Lyz…” He trailed off for a moment, his lips pressing into a thin line as he tried to suppress the terrible memories. His eyes naturally swept across the hangar, the action eliciting a curse from his mouth as he observed all the young faces heading off to war. It sparked something inside of him, and he knew Bey had him.

    When Aryan spoke again, he stepped forward so that he was directly in the Captain’s face. “You won’t ever know what it was like. I may respect you, Bey...always have, but if I do this, it won’t be for your sake…”

    Bey was the epitome of gruff Weequay attitude, and he emphasised this by rolling his eyes. He had been required to lead Rogue Squadron and run personalities that contradicted - including, most recently, a Mandalorian and a Dug - and that saw Bey become sharper than not.

    But now he was second-in-command of the entire Alliance fleet - which was essentially the entire Alliance. However, in comparison to Admiral Stazi, he was soft - Stazi had kept that selfsame Alliance together when they had been a single cruiser and a handful of frigates.. and now they were all this; it was Bey who softened Stazi... With that in mind, Bey sighed.

    “I don’t want you to do it for me, Graul. I want you to do it for anyone else but me,” Bey turned to his Crossfire. “Anyone else.”

    Coming up alongside the fighter he so recently vacated, Ayran grabbed the rungs of the ladder with one hand and exhaled heavily through his nose. That last statement had certainly solidified his commitment – he couldn’t realistically back down at this point and still hope to retain his dignity. The man had backed him into a corner, and worst of all...he knew it.

    Damn it all to hell…

    Of course, he wasn’t so insensitive that he would merely brush aside the lives of all the men and women aboard this cruiser who were willing to sacrifice themselves for the cause. He would fight for them all – for Lyz, Arek, and their future.

    However, that didn’t mean he couldn’t indulge himself a bit as well. It was pretty obvious to anyone paying attention that he had ambitions to take his political career beyond his homeworld; participating in such a high-profile engagement would surely have its benefits when it came to acquiring votes and winning the favor of the people.

    He would also do this for himself.

    “Alright, one last time,” Aryan called after Bey as the man continued on to his own fighter. He did not smile but simply offered a small nod to emphasize his words. “Let’s get the job done, Rogue Leader.”

    Bey smiled as he settled into his fighter cockpit. He saluted Graul. Sarcastic to the end; a defensive mechanism a day, he was. “And May the Force be with you too, Rogue Six.”

    His Crossfire sealed up, as much as Aryan’s did. As he settled in, a countdown to launch was already evident as preflight checklists rushed through the essentials - one minute to arrival.

    Thirty seconds.

    Ten.

    As Aryan pulled the flight helmet over his head and fastened the crash webbing, he settled back in the seat and allowed the quiet thrum of the engines to hone his concentration. It was what pilots liked to call ‘the zone’, a mental state of operation where the mind and body became fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus. In essence, it influenced movement patterns and improved coordination. It wasn’t unusual for a pilot to describe their performance as effortless, as if they were acting on pure instinct.

    It didn’t take long for Aryan to reach this heightened state of awareness. Old habits died hard, and he soon found that he was able to dispel any lingering thoughts that pertained to his earlier doubts and concerns. They would only divert his attention and cause confusion; in the thick of battle, that would almost certainly lead to disaster.

    Like it had seven years ago…

    But that wasn’t going to happen today; he was ready.

    Inhaling deeply, Aryan gripped the control stick tightly in his gloved hand and watched the timer on the console continue its countdown...

    Three.

    Two.

    One.

    “Welcome back to the karking fray,” Aryan muttered under his breath and hit the thrusters.

    The Crossfire launched.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
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  5. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Cade Skywalker
    Battle of Taivas, Hidden Jedi Temple entrance

    The son of Kol Skywalker, grandson of Ben, and great-grandson of Luke, stood, holding his pass. The last group had included three Sith, and they were all dead; one, shot through the throat, the other two, cut down with his lightsaber. He cast out his senses; the Imperial Knights were engaged, but the other groups were not, having dealt with their opponents.

    Promptly, Cade threw his senses outward, detecting another series of Sith approaching, and lesser lights that were Stormtroopers, most of which were filled with doubt and reluctance. Cade encouraged that, pressing upon them, damaging their cohesion and increasing the likelihood of the Sith losing their temper and acting even more irrationally than they were prone to anyway.

    One group of Stormtroopers however were filled with a certainty about their role; not so much a fatalism, as a grim inevitability, and there was a single Sith among them. Cade frowned; it was something old, older than the typical Sith, and he hesitated when he realised that this particular group was targeting him. Once they passed through the cave system into the open area, he would have space to act, regardless of how many there were, so he simply grinned and pressed his confidence upon them.

    Ah yes; the other Jedi, running interference among the tunnels, were depleted, and the Sith heading his way had cut the others off from assisting. Cade's grin grew malevolent; this was going to be very fun. Because no matter how cohesive they were...

    --
    In orbit, arriving

    The Battle of Taivas began as a simple attack by Sith-Imperial fleets, led by lesser Sith Lords and the majority of the Moffs, including the head Moff, Morlish Veed. The fleet had spread out to prevent the escape of the Jedi, after the planets atmosphere and rock formations removed the ability of the Sith-Imperials to simply bombard the planet into glass. Moff Yage had the fleet holding position, while Moff Geist led the ground deployment, supported by strafing fighter squadrons, whose effectiveness was relatively limited against entrenched Jedi.

    This, you all knew.

    But the Force warned of danger, and the Sith fighters streamed into orbit, Sith Clawcraft and TIE Predators rushing to intercept whatever was coming.

    What was coming was the True Imperial and Galactic Alliance fleet.

    [​IMG]

    The Sith-Imperials were, in macrocosm, immediately set on the defensive.

    In microcosm, however, fighters spilled out of cruisers, including Aryan Graul and the Rogues. Bey patched him into the wider network, and vanished into the fray. The Alliance flagship was the Alliance, aptly named, a stolen Imperious-class Star Destroyer - one of the most advanced ships in the Sith-Imperial fleet. The enemy was immediately thrown into disarray, notwithstanding the warning that the Sith had via the Force.

    Rogue Squadron was met by a dozen Sith Clawcraft, who immediately dived through their respective formations.

    Aryan suddenly had a Clawcraft on his six, and two TIE Predators sweeping forwards. Of course, it was difficult in this fray to decide which ships were Imperial and Sith-Imperial, but that was everyone's problem. The Alliance Crossfires and Sith Clawcraft stood out as easy targets for everyone, of course.

    [​IMG]

    A triple-bladed GA Tri-Scythe frigate in the background of Aryan's skirmish was set upon by an Imperial frigate and flight of TIE Predators, while Rogue Squadron interspersed between the Sith Clawcrafts. A call came out across the channel. "Rogues, push through and dust those Predators so the Vigilance can drive off that frigate; it can't do both."

    Crossfires broke from combat and gunned forward, and sensors showed a group of three GA bombers preparing to deploy once the Sith Clawcraft were driven off... and the Rogues hadn't seen, but Aryan, if he glanced back at his tail, would see them holding position, relying upon the Rogues.

    [​IMG]

    Behind them was the Imperial flagship, the Jagged Fel, a Resurgent-class Star Destroyer, focused on bombarding a group of Sith-Imperial frigates... and behind the Imperial frigate hitting the Vigilance was an enemy Star Destroyer, positioning itself to drive at the flank of the Jagged Fel.

    So even then, the microcosm was all macrocosm, interconnected death and murder, but all Aryan Graul had to worry about right now, was the Sith Clawcraft on his tale, and whether those TIE Predators were friendly or not. He had a rear gun, and of course, forward firing guns, his guts, and his skill.

    Was that enough?

    TAG: @HanSolo29
    ---

    About to face Cade Skywalker

    The message about the arrival of the Alliance and True Imperials filtered down as Bernael and his group reached the end of the corridor; the squadrons uncertainty flooded into the Force, and they knew that they were in trouble; if the Sith Empire lost here, they could conceivably lose the entire war. One trooper immediately began to shirk off his armour and blaster; two Knighthunters began to argue; Harkas rolled his eyes, but here they were, and his gun was pointed at the green-bladed Jedi, noticing the bespoke blaster in his off-hand.

    "Lord Bernael?"

    Cade laughed. "Bernael? You're new, right? Or is it old? You feel mighty interesting in the Force, Sith Lord."

    He pointed at the troopers. "Do you need a moment? I guess the fleet arrived; you're Sith Empire is done, so why not accept that and move on? I'll let ya go, don't worry."

    His arrogance boiled into the Force, and Harkas muttered to himself, standing beside the Anzati.

    "Jumped up twerp."

    TAG: @darthbernael

    @darthhelinith, I needs an update!
     
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  6. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC One of the dozen combo's our GM does a week

    IC Darth Bernael And Cade Skywalker
    Soon to face a Skywalker, technically for the first time


    Bernael grinned behind the mask. This Skywalker was an interesting one, indeed. He turned to Harkas, in a voice loud enough that Cade could hear, spoke. “You hear that, Harkas. The man is so supremely confident in his power.Does that sound like other Force users you have know, not Jedi? And what you’re about to hear, well above your pay grade, the Moffs, or most other beings.”

    He turned back to Cade, even as his mind reached out, sliding under the compulsion the Skywalker was emitting, doing what he could to counter it. “Ahhh the arrogance of a Jedi Grandmaster. Almost as recognizable as that of a High Lord of the Sith. Which says much for how similar they are. You could say you and a High Lord are just the same face on the flip side of a coin. And such arrogance isn’t very Jedi of you.”

    He held his sabers close, in a mid and low guard respectively, as he stepped closer to the man. “Such belief, such absolute certainty your way is the only way to follow the Light is why I, most often, chose not to work with you, your father, your grandfather, or your great-grandfather that often when the Light needed assistance.” The last was said with an aside glance at Harkas, wondering what the man would think of the revelation that a “Sith Lord” had helped the Light, in times passed.

    “This time, this place needed tweaking, and you and yours were not what was needed, these Imperials, for some reason, need to survive, and I won’t let you, your Jedi, or anyone else stop that.” His main hand saber came up, in a salute, and then “So let’s get to this, you think you need to destroy me to satisfy your beliefs. Or would you rather get some of your own back and allow me to take these men who, as you have already seen, have not attempted to attack you.” He said as he pointed at the two Jedi currently under medical care and close guard.

    Another smile touched his lips, he was genuinely enjoying the flip of normal circumstances, the Sith Lord being the one being reasonable and rational, while the Jedi was the aggressive and irrational one.

    Cade growled. "Not a Jedi, Anzati slime. Yeah, I've faced your kind before; bounty hunters. Both of them are dead now, course." He twirled his blade, holding it in a backhanded manner. "I'll kill you because Sith are power-hungry murderers who butcher whole worlds. Don't come across reasonable when you guys poison whole worlds and kill billions."

    He stepped forward, and the situation with the troops deteriorated more; the armour-less trooper fled, and the two Knighthunters drew weapons, a circle of Stormtroopers watching, with less than half still pointing guns at Cade. Harkas looked back at the troops not paying attention, but saw his own hands shaking. Gritting his teeth, he shook off the worry filling his joints.

    The reports of the battle going more and more against them flooded the comms. This wasn't going well. Harkas couldn't shut it off; it was an offence to disengage from the battlegrid unless ordered, but Bernael seemed focused on Skywalker.

    "Sir...?"

    Bernael turned his head toward Harkas, “Sergeant, make sure everyone that is able leaves this scene, this is not a fight they can take part in, not able to take part in, and otherwise this not Jedi in front of us will just keep trying to turn their own wills against them. You are ordered to disengage and take command of the unit, getting them to safety.”

    Turning back to Cade, “So not a Jedi hmmm, then why have you come to save those Jedi that are here? If you have followed any of the battle I have not been, what was it, poisoning the world or killing billions, only those who sought my own death. I do know, for a fact, there have been more than a few Jedi Anzat so you also lump them in with that epithet.”

    He turned slightly, presenting less of his body to Cade, knowing the man would soon be unable to resist the forthcoming battle. “For one who believes in the Light, you certainly are hard headed as well as arrogant. You ignore almost all of what I have told you already in your thirst to finish off what you assume is a Sith Lord. Not that the Republic, Alliance, whatever name it uses, has done much better for its people, or there wouldn’t be suffering everywhere, wouldn’t be civil wars, or death on the galactic scale, so often.”

    His saber scored marks across the ground as it moved and he moved to stay face to face with Cade. “Do these non Force sensitive troops mean so much to you that you’ll continue using up your precious store of Force energy instead of turning the full might of it against me? Or would your code allow them to leave so you can satisfy your blood lust against what your arrogance only sees as a Sith? Is that such a good example for the Jedi behind me who followed your lead in responding to the invasion here?”

    He grinned behind the mask once more. The longer this talk took the better the chances were that his troops could avoid the worst of the fighting to come outside. And he kept his promises, they needed to survive.

    "Precious store?" He snorted.

    Harkas nodded. "Retreating as ordered, Lord Bernael." The group withdrew into the caverns, the dispute diffused, the traitor shot in the back as was standard. He screamed, and Harkas shot him in the head to end his suffering.

    Cade let Bernael continue his lecture. "Talks cheap, bloodsucker." The Skywalker leapt into the air, inverting as he went so he could swing backhanded with his lash. The Force was coiled, ready for him to spring up, his blaster ready.

    Bernael had finished speaking by the time Cade was in the air and beginning his rotation over his head. Boosting his speed for a moment, he spun, one saber coming up, aiming to slice the lash in half as it swept toward his head. “Your great great grandfather was more than fond of that move.”

    His remaining hand lifted, the saber pointing forward, judging the moment. He knew where the man appeared to be landing and as Cade flew he sent a wave of Force Energy that would intersect the landing, meant to hit just as his feet touched down, to propel toward the far wall, away from his troops that were now falling back.

    Cade had expected that, and he uncoiled the Force held within him to block the blow, and he rooted himself to catch the blow on his blade before firing the blaster at Bernael's face.

    He was still grinning.

    Bernael was grinning behind his mask now too.

    A quick thought and a minor bit of effort and the blaster bolt deflected from the quick shield he threw up before his face, singeing his hair as it passed. The shield dissipated as he moved again, spinning, fast enough it didn’t seem that he’d moved save for the rush of air that his movement created. His low blade now swept out tip up, looking to slice the end from the blaster Cade held in his hand.

    The other saber was up, ready to block whatever blow the man sent his way next.

    Quick as a viper, Cade pushed the blaster from his hand, allowing the slash to pass by, and then brought it back, firing another shot at pointblank range into the Anzati's face, keeping his blade ready. Cade wasn't letting his personalised blaster go that easy; a balanced sawn-off double blaster wasn't easy to find, and his uncle wouldn't be happy if he lost that!

    The battle rumbled overhead, and the engagement was modulating; leaning more and more against the dark, as if the clouds were parting the Force.

    Cade's malevolence poured into the Force.

    Bernael twisted his head as fast as he could, taking the shot across his mask, thankful that he had a large supply of them as it fractured, the lower half falling away from his face or embedding in his cheek. His eyes were now solid black and darkness was pouring forth from both the cracked eyeslit and the whole.

    The shot threw him back a step and twisted his whole body as he recovered. He could feel the darkness pouring forth from Cade as well and his grin was now visible, “Definitely not a Jedi” his low, rumbling voice sounded as he spun in a circle,ducking low, sabers out, slicing toward Cade’s legs, allowing some of the stored energy in his armor flow through the blades and emit as lightning, directed at the man. He then pushed off with his nearer foot, creating space between the two again.

    Cade pushed off the floor but the lightning that emitted caught him by surprise, scalding his bare arms and pitting his armoured vest. A nudge with the Force pulled him away and Bernael did the same, creating space and leaving Bernae framed in the cave entrance. Cade lifted his blaster and fired at the man, simply intending to keep the Anzati busy while he formulated a plan... though the Sith-Imperial line would simply break soon, and this area would be flooded with reinforcements.

    "Definitely not," Cade grinned.

    Bernael stood his ground, allowing the bolts to splash against his armor, leaving scoring and pushing him back a step. The heat from the hits bloomed against his partially hidden face. He grinned, because he knew Cade was trying to hold him and his troops in place, to stall, to delay, to let those forces, even now in orbit land and overwhelm them.

    “Not a Jedi but I know of you Cade Skywalker, know your history. I am not truly One Sith, never was, which is why Krayt put me with this group instead of with his other, trusted Sith. The legion has always been expendable to him, even with their battle honors. Why else would he have put a Moff such as Geist in command, one who was forced to bend the knee to him.”

    He stepped forward, “You may hate my kind but I suspect you hate Krayt even more. Use those vaunted Skywalker senses. Reach out, beyond the fleets. I can feel it, can you? The overwhelming sense of approaching darkness. I thought that was what had come, at first, but it seems it was waiting for your friends. And who else could command such darkness, in this time but Krayt. You and I can die in this pointless duel or you can allow me to save these men from both your ‘friends’ and what is coming. Your choice.”

    He brought his sabers back up, readying himself as he let his words sink into the man before him.

    Cade didn't even let the sentence finish before he launched forward. The word choice was echoing between them as he slashed out at Bernael's side, intending to cut at his neck.

    He didn't care what a Sith had to say.

    Bernael’s smile tightened. This man refused to listen to anything that didn’t fit his worldview. So be it, he’d have to show the hardheaded Cade that he didn’t face what his prejudices told him he faced.

    His saber moved, flashed downward, blocking Cade’s blade, taking a step to the side as the force of the blow drove him in that direction.

    “SKYWALKER? OPEN YOUR FRACKING MIND FOR ONCE! I told you that what you faced was not what you believed and that there is more and deeper coming, now observe since words don’t work, actions must!”

    As he spoke a glow silvery in color, formed around him and the prevailing sense of darkness was blown from around the two beings, as Bernael used the Light itself to banish such. “Feel the truth, Skywalker, or forever remain closeminded.”

    Cade knew the light; he used it as he did the dark, narrowly walking that tightrope between the two. The Anzati blasted him with it, and Cade leapt away, his defences drawn but confused; he was shaken by the surprise attack and genuine frustration shown by Bernael.

    “Alright, Vampire, I’ve had enough of your lectures,” his mind was opening to the possibility that this Sith was something other than he thought, when darkness flooded into the Force, a wave of power so utterly fraught with a desire to kill that was so violent and Ravenous that Cade realised the (incorrect) truth.

    The Sith had been trying to sucker him.

    Cade snarled and sent a fist of the Force at Bernael; it was large enough to fill the entire cave entrance, strong enough to shatter bones, and aimed unerringly at him.

    For the Anzati’s betrayal, he would touch the Dark.

    Bernael erected the strongest defense he could, bowing the shield, and leapt lightly from his feet. The impact of the fist threw him from the cave, rattling him. He could feel things tearing inside as he flew outward and he grimaced, a line of blood dripping from his lips.

    At the zenith of his flight he pushed, against himself, directing his fall back toward the entrance. As he flew back toward the cave he sheathed one saber and pulled a dagger from it’s sheath, reversing it. Landing as lightly as possible he rolled and came to his feet, hunched slightly. “IDIOT! DOLT!” he roared at Cade, blood flying from his mouth as he did, the words twisting as they flew toward the Skywalker. “You think I show you the Light I can wield just to replace it with the Dark???”

    He stretched, standing fully upright as he allowed power to flood him, Light and Dark. His eyes took on a strange swirling grey, both Light and Dark. “I stand for balance, you hardheaded porg!” he flatly stated as he reached out, to wrap Cade in the Force and pull the man toward him. Raising the dagger hand, blade away from the Skywalker, he began a strike that would impact the pommel against the man’s head. “But I guess I must manually recalibrate that mind of yours so you will listen.”

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
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  7. darthhelinith

    darthhelinith Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2009
    IC:???
    Location: Bast Castle

    Insipid's call to Helinith reflected back at him, as if bounced down a stairwell.
    The whatever-this-was appeared to have separated master from apprentice and clearly did not want them communicating.

    Meanwhile, the squollywalk swung away from the horrible opponent who had grievously injured it so, inadvertently cutting a few of the vines holding Insipid as it did so. It continued to writhe for around a minute, flexations of its segmented body gradually turning into a soft rhythmic sway. Pulses travelled along it from head to tail. It would have been quite enchanting to watch, had it not been so ugly, nor dangerous. While this happened, the remaining vines around Insipid's wrists began to loosen somewhat, as if what was happening to the squollyhwalk required an enormous amount of effort. The vision appeared unable to focus on more than one 'thing' at a time.

    The next change happened quite violently. Random parts of the creature's body seemed to compress or twist and expand, like a child kneading dough. Its shape began to stretch, ballooning up and out suddenly but rolling backwards and away from Insipid. Each of the legs began to lengthen and travelled across the body to join the remaining mandible, which had also migrated downwards. The legs now began to multiply, splitting from each other again and again, all the while extending and wriggling until the single mandible (which was now much thicker and sturdier looking) was quite hidden beneath a mass of fleshy tentacles. The eyes moved further away from each other and began to glow a soft, eerie orange. The body was now soft, round and pinkish, not unlike a brain, though without the gyri.

    Finally, after another minute of this, the whole thing began to lift up into the air. Insipid had mere moments left before the yammosk would be 'aware'.

    The vision, having tested Insipid, was now satisfied this would be nicely lethal.

    Tag: @Sinrebirth
     
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  8. HanSolo29

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

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    IC: Aryan Graul
    Cockpit, CF9 Crossfire, Battle of Taivas

    For Aryan, the onset of battle was always the most crucial part of his mental preparedness – it induced a rush of adrenaline that refined his focus and made him feel as if he could take on the entire enemy fleet himself. While this sense of invincibility could spell certain doom for pilots with a far lesser skill set, it had seen Aryan through a myriad of missions over the years. It gave him the nerve and determination to succeed.

    And now, as they decanted into chaos above the lush world of Taivas, all of this came flooding back to fill Aryan with confidence.

    There was no time to think in this moment; he simply had to react and execute to the best of his ability. Unfortunately, he had lost sight of that approach once before, when the Empire had shot him down above Kashyyyk all those years ago. Bey had reminded him how it had nearly cost him his life, and while Aryan had openly refused to accept his criticism, he realized it was true. He could not afford to fall into the same snare for a second time.

    For a starfighter pilot, there was rarely a second chance, and he was already beating the odds. He couldn’t take too many unnecessary risks.

    As Aryan nudged his fighter to starboard to tighten up his formation with his wingman, his comm crackled to life. “Rogues,” a stern voice filtered over the wider network, “push through and dust those Predators so the Vigilance can drive off that frigate; it can't do both.”

    Pressing his lips together into a thin line, Aryan responded by leaning forward against his safety restraints to peer beyond his cockpit canopy. He was well aware that his sensor board was alight with all the pertinent information, but in this case, he preferred to have visual confirmation. It gave him a more tangible view of the battlefield, which allowed him to spot the beleaguered Alliance ship fairly quickly.

    The Imperial frigate loomed close by, along with a complex mixture of Sith Clawcraft and TIE Predators. Command had identified the latter as their targets, however, it would not be an easy task to eliminate them. Considering their alliance with the True Empire, it was a gamble whether any single TIE variant was a friend or enemy. That would make things a lot more complicated. Hopefully, they were displaying the correct transponders and his computer could keep up…

    “This is Rogue Six, I got a visual,” Aryan spoke into his comm as he adjusted position and brought his Crossfire around to bear. “I’m going in.”

    In the midst of his maneuver, he caught a quick glimpse of various details looming on the edges of the engagement zone – a flight of Alliance bombers lining up for an attack run, presumably holding back until the Rogues could clear a path for their approach; the Imperial flagship, the Jagged Fel, lumbering closer to a group of Sith frigates, her turbolaser batteries blazing; an enemy Star Destroyer lining up to flank and take out the aforementioned Imperial flagship.

    It would have been easy to jump in and assist on any of these fronts, but Aryan had his orders – protect the Vigilance.

    But as he hit his thrusters and sped off to acquire his first set of targets, his proximity alarm began to blare a warning. One glance at the control console would confirm that he had picked up an enemy fighter on his tail. Judging by the readouts, it was a Sith Clawcraft.

    “Godsdammit,” Aryan muttered under his breath, gritting his teeth as he switched over to perform a quick dive to evade a target lock. His right hand gripped the control stick, but before he could push forward to execute the move, he noted something speeding toward him from the distance. Even through the blast-tinting, he could make out the distinct wing-shaped patterns of two TIE Predators surging forward.

    A smirk pulled at the corner of Aryan’s mouth as an idea formed in his mind. It was one of the oldest tricks in the book, but maybe it was crazy enough to work…

    Bringing the rear gun online, he positioned his thumb above the trigger and squeezed it several times to fire upon the fighter on his tail. But of course, it was only a diversion. As the red plasma blasts lanced out from the rear of his Crossfire, Aryan made a few fine adjustments to his current trajectory so that it would take him on a direct intercept course with the incoming Predators.

    He then poured on a burst of speed and continued forward.

    Closer.

    Closer still...

    At the last possible second, Aryan gripped the control stick with both hands and pulled up, sending his Crossfire careening up at a sharp angle. This maneuver exposed the Clawcraft to the pair of Predators and set them up for an inevitable collision.

    Clenching his jaw, Aryan canted his head to observe the outcome.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
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  9. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    [​IMG]

    IC: Admiral Stazi

    Aboard the Alliance, Battle of Taivas

    The Predators and Clawcraft immediately opened fire on each other the moment Aryan dodged, the Clawcraft vanishing into fire, but one of the Predators did too. The Rogues cut through the fight to the Vigilance, sweeping away the enemies, even as the Galactic Alliance bombers took advantage of the confusion to soar between the battling squadrons to sweep towards the Imperial frigate Intruder.

    In short order it was gone, and the enemy seemed completely on the defensive as the Jagged Fel was now free to fire at the Sith-Imperial Star Destroyer lurking behind the frigate. The Rogues had freed up the Vigilance to throw its weight at the Sith-Imperial ship, which took hull damage before it managed to shift it's defences to compensate; which meant the Jagged Fel was able to cut through the shields now they were covering two angles - the Sith-Imperial destroyer vanished into an explosion - releasing the Jagged Fel, Vigilance and the Rogues and bombers to target more ships.

    As orders came across the comms to head towards another Sith-Imperial Star Destroyer, Aryan's comms would open up with more information from the Starrunner, which remained their base ship.

    "We have something emerging from hyperspace... something big."

    [​IMG]

    Sith Dragons and Annhilators

    They were designs unlike any that they had ever seen. From them poured a wave of angular fighter craft, rushing through the engagement towards Predators and Crossfires alike. As the fighting stopped for a moment to assess the new arrivals, one pulled free of the sweeping wave of fighters to open fire on the Vigilance - which exploded.

    Whatever the fighters were packing, it was incredible; it had just finished off a frigate in a single shot.

    The battle began anew in seconds, but the new fighters opened fire on Imperial, Sith-Imperial and Alliance ships alike. They were completely indiscriminate in their deployment, and damnably fast, as manoeuvrable as a Sith piloted ship, and with firepower which incinerated any fighter caught in the weapons stream.

    The battle net was full of confusion, panic, and concern, and there were no clear orders. The Rogues were heading towards the nearest wave of fighters, and one tilted up to face them.

    Just one.

    "Rogues, get 'em."

    It opened fire, and a Crossfire vanished, and the bolt hammered the Starrunner sitting behind them.

    This was about to become a rout.

    TAG: @HanSolo29
    ---
    On the surface

    It seemed as if the new arrivals had been merely the revelation above; on the ground the second army had been concealed and the Stormtroopers and One Sith and Jedi who had died to this point had merely been cover for the insertion of stealth ships. They emerged as a horde, from behind the Imperial lines, from the corners of the cave network, having been held in reserve, ordered to be silent, and stationary, until now.

    They were Sith Troopers.

    Designed to be completely loyal by birth, enhanced with implants so they might merge with the fighters as Yuuzhan Vong did with their coralskippers. Once, to demonstrate his control over the Sith Troopers, Darth Krayt had ordered one to kill himself to prove the point; without hesitation the Sith Trooper had done so, putting a lightsaber through his own neck.

    They were brutes, taken from the most powerful bloodlines within the One Sith and secreted away in the depths of Korriban's necropolis; Krayt's ultimate victory plan, a second Sith Empire, built within the heart of his first order. Much like Revan, Vitiate and Palpatine before him, Krayt had built a back-up plan to undo his enemies.

    And they did not care about friend-or-foe.

    [​IMG]

    Sith Troopers

    Three had burst through the walls that Bernael's retreating forces had erected, blowing them apart with their augmented Force powers. Cade rebounded away, as they rushed forward. The Anzati would feel the deaths of his fellow troops, and Geist with them, even as one of the Sith Troopers rushed him, his bloodlust pouring into the Force.

    Cade was suddenly on the retreat, weaving a basket of green energy as he defended against the two Troopers and was pushed back from the entrance. The Sith Trooper before Bernael drove the point of his blade at the Anzati's face, even as he buffeted Bernael with the Force to prevent him concentrating and unleashing a counterattack in the same manner.

    The Sith Troopers were literal power incarnate.

    TAG: @darthbernael
    ---
    IC: Darth Insipid

    Vjun, Bast Castle, hating animals

    Enough is enough.

    Insipid drew deep. He ignored the pain filling him, and reached at the mental intrusion; following it all the way to its heart. He sought what made this creature afraid, and filled its mind with that. To create the illusion that Insipid was really the most terrifying thing it could imagine.

    He released the monsters mind and shoved outwards, a sphere of Force push to the strength of incinerating the limbs.

    But a part of his mind tickled at him; at the creatures ability to pick at his mind; his inability to reach Helinith, and would have wondered if most of this was in his imagination -

    When a truly dark monster was unleashed into the Force. Something uncoiled and expressed itself as an act of outrage and bloodlust and a desire to end everything. Insipid wobbled in his certainty - and knew that it was time to head back to the Known Galaxy and end his recusal. That whatever had happened, it was bad.

    If he survived this.

    TAG: @darthhelinith
     
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  10. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    IC Darth Bernael
    Chaos abounds


    A grim smile touched Bernael’s face as the Sith troopers burst forth from concealment. He’d tried to warn the obstinate Skywalker, and now he was proved more than right. In the space of a few moments Geist, his shiny walker, and a decent portion of his troops were simply gone. ‘Damnit that would have been a valuable asset.’ he thought as he felt Geist’s death, the death of his troopers weighed somewhat but he knew they had always been deemed expendable.

    He and Cade were separated, two of the crazed troopers taking him on. A third came straight on, his blade extended. As time slowed, while he boosted into high speed, for now just his natural speed, he sighed ‘What the kriff is this, everyone wants my head, like they think removing it would stop me from coming back.’

    A wave of Force energy buffeted him, as the trooper attempted to keep him from retaliating through the Force. ‘Fine, I can play this game.’ he thought, letting the wave drive him back several steps. As the move took him out of the range of the trooper’s attack, he turned the back steps into a diagonal run, up the cave wall, then leaping to the opposite side, passing over the head of the Sith trooper, flinging the dagger he’d had to ‘recalibrate’ Cade at a juncture he’d seen in the armor. He could feel the energy, the power of the creature and knew he’d have to release more of what he was to face it than he had even with Cade.

    He landed, several steps from the trooper, both now outlined in the cave’s entrance, the sounds and lights of the battle taking place outside as other legions of Sith troopers attacked everything in sight. His mind touched the others and he knew there was no way to separate the being inside from the absolute devotion it had to Krayt. That didn’t mean he couldn’t affect it in other ways. The dagger he’d thrown stuck out from the joint he’d thrown it at, quivering. He knew he’d hit and penetrated the cortosis weave some so there had to be damage but the trooper did not act as though he was affected at all.

    Sheathing his sabers, knowing the armor would be most effective against them, he reached up and unsheathed his rune swords. As the tips descended toward the ground he focused, reaching into his mind and came to a door, heavily secured. His spirit sighed, unlatching all the bolts. ‘It’s time.’ he thought. Externally, less than a second had passed and the trooper was already advancing on him, looking for a quick kill. Their saber was already slicing in a rapid arc toward his head, once more.

    Bernael’s eyes flashed a brilliant white, then a deep black, then became a swirling mass of white and black. Power erupted forth from him, driving the trooper back a few steps. “Power means nothing without your own will to drive it.” He reached out mentally, latching on to several of his troops as well as several of those that had followed Cade, slowly draining energy from them.

    His runeblades began glowing, grey energy outlining the blades and the sigils on them shining with a bright, silver, light. Two steps and he closed on the trooper. One blade whipped up, as slash travelling faster than most beings could match. The troopers blade came down to block. And then the trooper had to reach out with the Force and retrieve their blade as it tumbled, still grasped in the hand that had held it, severed in a slash from wrist to elbow. Cut bone stuck out as the muscles flopped loose, severed from their attachment points. Once again there was no cry of pain or loss, simply the saber coming fast toward Bernael’s gut.

    A blast wave of Force hit him like a speeder. His grip tightened on his blades as he was flung back against the cavern wall. He slumped to the floor, feeling blood from the back of his head dripping down his neck. His hand came up for a second and he could feel the back of his skull dented from where it had impacted the wall, slowly pushing back into position. Shaking his head slightly to refocus Bernael took a step forward, blades extended.

    He spun to the right, slashing downward, in a diagonal slash, as he moved. He felt it slice through armor and flesh as he spun. As he moved he felt the trooper’s blade pass close to his head. Tilting it slightly, he felt a patch of skin, hair, and his damned ear separate from his skull as the saber grazed his head. Finally facing the trooper again, blades up, to the side of them, he saw blood streaming down the thigh, and that the leg was weaker than it had been, yet the Sith turned toward him still, as if it was a whole leg. Their saber sliced back up, taking a chunk of his robe and glancing off the armor of his forearm, taking the skin from the back of his left hand. The adrenaline in his system kept him from feeling the pain of the wound or dropping his runesword but he still hissed at the touch of the blade.

    Flipping backward, he sent out his mind, this time focusing on the meld of man and machine. Diving into fracture points, where the meld was weakest he began ripping chunks of tech from the creature before him with his mind. His runeswords weaved defensively before him, deflecting the other’s lightsaber time and again. A tense couple minutes passed and when his mind returned to directing his actions, there were bloody chunks of Sith trooper littering the ground around him, several smoking holes in his cloak, a line of blistered material across his mask, and he was bleeding in several spots where the other’s blade had gotten through chinks they’d found in his armor.

    However, they had slowed down somewhat as piece after piece of tech had been ripped from them. Bernael charged, one hand bringing the sword around and impact the flat of the blade against the hand holding the saber, throwing it well out of line. He could hear, feel, muscles ripping in his foes arm as he did so and a grim smile touched his face. A grim smile that changed to a grimace as, once again, the trooper released a wave of energy, blowing them both backward. Bernael tumbled end over end as he flew, impacting the cavern wall once more.

    He wearily came to his feet, then his mind reached out and several of the souls he’d attached himself to, no matter his or Cade’s slumped over, dead. Bleeding, battered, and sore, but restored of energy he faced the trooper. Racing forward, he made a wedge shaped shield before him as he ran. At the last moment, he dropped the shield and both blades came up, thrusting inward from opposing sides. Each found open spots where tech had been mounted, diving into the trooper’s flesh.

    His eyes looked into the mask still on the other’s face, knowing he wouldn’t be able to dominate the other’s mind, but wanted their attention focused eye to eye. As he felt them staring back at him he smiled behind his own mask and sent all the energy his armor had already stored, as lightning, down the blades and into the body of the Sith trooper. His nostrils rapidly caught the scent of burnt meat, as the troopers body broiled from the inside out.

    He felt the moment the other’s heart stopped beating but continued to pour the lightning, almost a solid bar of energy, into the trooper for another minute. The trooper’s body toppled backward and Bernael rode it to the ground, his blood and theirs coating almost everything. He gathered his breath, moved to his feet and heaved his blades from the body at his feet. Wiping them on the other’s cloak he took one step, then another, headed toward those that had survived of his troops.

    The eyes of those closest to him widening in shock was his only warning. And then there was a saber sticking from his chest, right where a heart would be. He roared at the pain, but was immensely glad his kind did not have hearts like other beings. He took a slow step forward, then another, until he finally pulled the blade from his body. Turning, the tips of his blades striking sparks from the floor of the cavern, he saw the trooper, somehow, on their feet, blade extended. With little energy left he charged the trooper, having to finish this before the, seemingly, never-ending energy of the Sith trooper outlasted him.

    He ignored the other’s blade now, had to accept damage to finish the other. Two steps and he was inside the other’s range. Another roar sounded, causing rocks to dance around the cave, as the troopers blade slid deep into his gut, slicing sideways before the armor stopped it. His charge became halting steps, letting the other’s saber travel deeper into his body, until it burst forth out of his back. Heaving his runeswords up, he crossed them and with a heave and another roar he sliced them both, across each other, watching the trooper’s head roll from it’s shoulders.

    The body stood, rooted in place, held by the saber in Bernael’s guts. Slicing down with the sword in his main hand he took the remaining hand from the body and it collapsed to the floor. He turned and could see the ashen looks on the faces of the hardened troops he led, especially as the saber was still sticking out of him. Reaching down he wrenched it from his body, feeling the muscle and bone beginning to knit back together. He fell to his knees as he reached into his store of souls and drained several strong force user ones he’d held in reserve for years, letting his body heal as quickly as possible.

    Getting slowly to his feet, he headed toward the concentration of his troops. He’d made a promise to get as many as he could out of the battle alive and even though the battle had changed he would still do his all to keep his word. As he approached he felt two small signatures, familiar. In the center of the group several stretchers were laid out. Two of them were occupied by Trask and Harkas. One was near death, the other severely wounded. However, the Jedi they had taken prisoner was working feverishly on the two of them. “Will they survive?” he asked.

    She looked up at him, disgust and thanks warring on her face. “I will do all I can. At least you,” said with a glance at the still fighting Cade, “tried to get everyone out before all hell broke loose. Now please let me work.” Nodding he turned and noticed that two of his three remaining Knighthunters were still on their feet.

    He made his way to them and they bowed low. “Lord,” one said, “the leader of our quad fell, protecting Geist.” Bernael nodded, seeing the scorch marks, the blistering from where multiple sabers had attempted to kill these two, as well as the various wounds dotting their bodies, they hadn’t shied from battle, but had come through alive, so far. “Then you are the leader of your pair, we have a rough fight ahead, but my orders are to ensure as much of these troops, and that Jedi survive.”

    He gestured behind himself, “Get the casualties loaded and we’ll move out.”

    Leaning against the wall of the cavern as the Knighthunters ensured everyone was ready, Bernael watched the fight between Cade and the other two Sith Troopers. He could have intervened but there was only so much one was willing to do for another and after the way Cade had acted he didn’t feel like wasting any more time on the hardheaded Skywalker.

    The Knighthunter who had reported to him returned, “Lord, prepared to depart.” and bowed.

    Standing up straight, Bernael gestured, making sure the entire contingent was following and led the way out of the cave system. As they emerged shocked sounds began being heard among the ranks. As far as the eye could see there was violence being met with violence. One Sith troops and Sith were fighting as hard as they could against the Sith Troopers, One Sith and Jedi were back to back, fighting their joint, for the nonce, foe, Jedi were standing alone and in many cases falling to the troopers. In the sky there was hardly any more free space, fighters, bombers, turbolaser bolts, missiles, all vied to occupy the same pieces of sky. Debris was raining down all around, bodies lay in untidy heaps in all directions. Hell had come to this planet.

    Bernael’s gaze traveled across the battlefield, searching. He called over one of the Knighthunters, “Survival, that is all that is left. This is my command, my decimated Legion, now. And I’m getting what’s left off of this rock and away. Send out scouts, find a transport that’s flyable and we will survive.”

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
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  11. darthhelinith

    darthhelinith Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2009
    IC: Helinith
    Location: dilusion forest

    Helinith stepped back, first once and then again. She moved back onto all fours, hissing like a feral creature. Around her, heads multiplied, grew out of the ground. A plant was growing, covering these now, with large ebony leaves that felt soft and leathery as they brushed up against her cheeks. It spiraled across the floor, putting out tendrils that wrapped and crawled to each wall and began climbing up the pillars and stairs. It clambered up Insipid, who seemed to allow it to swallow him completely and she leapt towards him, pulling out a knife to try and cut him out of the mass of vines that had swamped him. Her knife sunk into the twisting mass of plant matter, which sunk to the floor. He had vanished, whether swallowed up by the plants or whether he had even been there in the first place, she could not tell.
    “Master?”
    The plants had formed a thick, dense carpet across the floor and ceiling, and Helinith’s voice was swallowed up by the continuing plant growth, rather than echoing like it should have done. “Master?”
    She began to walk. She was having to climb over the vines across the floor, so thick and swollen they had become, and they had covered the ceiling completely. Shafts of light tried desperately to reach in through the windows. As she slid down the side of one of the vines, she noticed moss was growing on them.
    The silence was deafening. She felt very alone.
    Now what?
    She probed out in the force, looking for something, anything.

    A dark presence stepped out of the shadows ahead and Helinith found herself face to face with the blue-skinned omwati 'Five'.
    Horrified, she froze.
    "Impossible."
    "Is it?" The small girl cocked her head to the side.
    "Very. I saw you die. You're… you're not really here. You're just a part of this dilusion." Emboldened by her own statement, Helinith turned to leave and found the Omwati standing in front of her again.
    "Dilusion maybe, but consider me a guide to it at least."
    Helinith sniffed. "Unless you're here to guide me back to my master, I'm not interested."
    She turned away again, choosing a new direction to walk in she clambered over a large taproot that was bulging from the ground. She could feel, rather than see, her self-proclaimed 'guide' following her, watching her every move.
    They climbed, clambered and walked for what felt like an hour, although for how long it actually was, Helinith couldn't say.
    It was tiring work and Helinith finally stopped to sit at the bottom of a large twisted mass of vines which was supporting itself upright like a tree.
    "You don't have to go back to him, you know."
    The blue spectre was sitting on a branch opposite. Helinith shrugged.
    "Very funny. You didn't care much about me when you were alive. Why do you care now?"
    The white-feathers on Five's head ruffled as if a slight breeze had passed through them.
    "You're supposed to be here, protecting the castle. That is your duty."

    Meanwhile, the Yamosk that the castle had set upon Insipid was stunned by this unwilling fleshy being that would not bend to its will- worse - was actively rebelling and fighting back with the fury of ten thousand demons. It felt rather than saw Insipid's resistance (magnified by the Sith Lord's mind probe), which was both infuriating and terrifying to it- this powerful cannon of dark side energy immovable in the waves of suggestion the Yamosk tried to exert over him. It shrunk back slightly, afraid and frustrated, it's fleshy tentacles twitched with uncertainty.

    As Insipid's hateful resistance continued, two things happened. First, the Yamosk's form shifted slightly, only in the blink of an eye but enough to confirm to Insipid that this 'experience' was very much unreal. Secondly, within that shift, the dense plant matter clutching at his limbs fell away, as if the castle had decided that the effort was better spent on maintaining the illusion of the Yamosk- indeed the creature shook itself and seemed to regain its composure somewhat, but Insipid was no longer bound and many of his previous injuries seemed to have disappeared.
    The castle's home court advantage was no more.

    Tag: @Sinrebirth
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
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  12. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Trask
    Battle of Taivas

    The violence as on-going and the Sith Troopers were pressing inward in a circle towards the centre of the Hidden Jedi Temple, the battle shifting away from them, but the orbital scrum was on-going and devastatingly so. The area, which had once been full of Jedi and Sith and Stormtroopers, was now full of corpses.

    At the same time, there were some corpses still going; Sith Troopers, refusing to give up, animated by their loyalty to Darth Krayt. A trio stood up, one missing the bottom halves of both his legs, another less an arm, the other with part of his upper skull absent. They hulked their way forward, and Trask, though if he was less pained would have realised that Bernael could easily see them, let alone sense them, pointed, from his position where the Jedi was working her magic.

    "There!"

    The violence was increasing and more deaths flowed into the Force; Sith Troopers, yes, but also a Jedi, a powerful one at that. The Jedi let a tear drip down her face before she rubbed it off to continue.

    "Jedi?"

    "My name is San. A Jedi Master just died."

    Trask paused, just managed to say. "Ah." Harkas would have asked for their name and made a joke about crossing them off their list. Trask didn't, and was glad Harkas was unconscious.

    As the three hulks approached, one of the Knighthunters turned to Bernael, hand on the side of his helmet, clearly pressing it to his ear. "My lord, I have a report of a shuttle which has landed west of here - " away from the fight, behind them. "- it is in need of a crew as the pilot is too injured to fly; he was downed in the earlier part of the battle but it was engine failure and he's managed to repair the damage even in his present state."

    The other Knighthunter suddenly grabbed for his throat, and was yanked towards another of the Sith Troopers, One Arm, who ignited a blade. No Legs was lifting a hand to the Sith-Imperials neck. Half-a-head was advancing on Bernael and the other Knighthunter, who let out a cry of panic for his flying comrade, a noise silenced midway through under Imperial training; but it still shone in the Force; there was a connection between the two Knighthunters.

    TAG: @darthbernael
    ---
    IC: Darth Insipid

    Vjun, fed up

    Enough was enough.

    The yammosk was within his mind, a fear plucked from his teenage captivity with the Yuuzhan Vong, over a century ago. The telepathic creature had caressed his face with those awful suction cups on its tentacles, and Darth Insipid had been a young man and frozen in place. For whatever had dredged up this memory to do so, was vexing.

    Insipid had killed people for less.

    He was not physically harmed, so he need only clear his mind, and end it.

    So Insipid shook the castle itself. He threatened it, drove his Force into its very foundations and showed that he would destroy the entire thing if he had to. Into that inevitable kernel of fear, he reached out for the mind behind it all.

    And smashed it.

    That was his intention.

    If not, he would simply end the castle, himself, and Helinith.

    TAG: @darthhelinith

    @HanSolo29, as and when please.
     
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  13. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Combo with @Sinrebirth playing the Jedi and the Knighthunters

    IC Darth Bernael
    Escaping the Hell the battle has become


    As he scanned the battlefield, Bernael kept one ear open for what was going on around him. He saw the mutilated Sith Troopers approaching, heard the conversation between Trask and the Jedi. That brought a small smile to his mouth, behind the mask, because it meant that a rapport was growing, these were all his now.

    As he took the report of the Knighthunter he suddenly felt their overwhelming concern for the second as it was ripped from the ground and dragged toward the one armed Trooper. He knew that would be something to investigate further but first he must keep his troops numbers from diminishing any further, especially the precious Knighthunters.

    Leaping, he cleared the Knighthunter being inexorably drawn closer and closer to the trio of Sith Troopers advancing upon them. At the apex of his leap he boosted, mind flying, searching. And then a grim smile appeared upon his masked face. Arrowing down to the ground he reached out using Force Breach, finding the shatterpoints in each of the three crippled Sith Troopers, ripping them apart along the lines of the shatterpoints. By the time he touched down, just before his Knighthunter, now collapsing to the ground, choking, all three were simply pieces of flesh and cybernetics on the ground.

    “Did not have time to face them one at a time.” he said simply to the kneeling, amazed Knighthunter as he walked past them. To the group, he gestured in the direction of the grounded shuttle the first had spoken of and as they moved he gestured the two Knighthunters closer. As they walked, he watching the front, they either side, he spoke. “The bond between you, quite strong. I did not have the time to feel whether it was a mate bond or sibling one, but indulge my curiosity.”

    “Brothers, sir,” one Knighthunter said. “We need to get going, don’t we? Before more of them things, catch up with us?”

    The Jedi stood, looking around. “Can I have a weapon before they catch us up?” There was a roar, and she could sense another knot of them rampaging across the battlefield.

    There was a comm call; Admiral Yage. “Calling all ground forces, report in. Final call got evac.”

    The shuttle crew came across the channel. “We’re still grounded, Admiral!”

    “Then hurry, before I have to shoot you down so no Jedi escape - or Lord Krayt’s Troopers get you. Yage out.”

    The Knighthunters and the two Stormtroopers were looped into the feed; it was an open channel. Yage has been casting his net as wide as possible.

    Bernael nodded to the Knighthunter who spoke as he directed the troops toward the grounded shuttle, “Brothers, the bond is understandable then. We have time, away from here if there is more that could be discussed but yes that shuttle sounds perfect. Inform the Admiral that the remnants of Lord Bernael’s command are joining the shuttle crew. For now he doesn’t need a full complement of our numbers.”

    He turned to the Jedi as he walked in the midst of the formation, San you said? Well San, you may have noticed I am not a typical Sith, and my troops not as you may have thought. You are part of my legion now, so” he continued as he tossed her a saber he’d taken from one of the Jedi he’d downed along the march, “stay faithful to the Legion and we all may survive, do not and I’ll kill you myself.”

    He kept his gaze scouring the battlefield as they moved toward the shuttle. Once he was in range he bounded toward the crew. “We can heal your pilot, but there are pilots among us who can get this ship out of the battle zone. And I would wager that the Admiral would be more accepting of a full shuttle of returned troops than an empty shuttle of those who fled the battlefield and left their comrades to the Krayt’s Sith Troopers.”

    As he spoke to them he was gesturing to his troops, hurrying them toward boarding the shuttle so they could depart as rapidly as possible.

    A moment later and the sky screamed with the sound of a Sith Trooper fighter craft burning into atmosphere was evident. The Knighthunters looked up, firing rifles as much as San, still looking at the hilt that Bernael handed him, glanced up.

    There was a cacophony in the Force behind them; it echoed with the deaths of Jedi, and resonated with the power of Cade and Nat Skywalker, the similar sense of Princess Marasiah Fel; and other Jedi and Imperial Knights and their light side exertions against the murderous monstrosity poured into the Force by the Sith Troopers.

    San reached out a hand as the two survivors of Joker Squad braced each other - she tweaked the Annhiliator with the Force and it spat a blaze of fire now along a diverted track, just by the shuttle. The Sith fighter was already veering for a second pass, but she could sense the Trooper drawing the Force around its ship this time.

    The Knighthunters opened fire with blaster rifles, while San looked to Bernael. “Those weapons are capital grade; we can’t deflect them.” She released a sigh. “I’m exhausted; you’re up.”

    Bernael turned and San, Trask, as well as the more vocal Knighthunter were in close proximity. He nodded, directing his words to all three, “You three are my command team now, especially with Harkas incapacitated. Get what we have left of the Legion aboard the shuttle, I will take care of the airborne Sith Trooper.”

    Turning to face San directly, “Call us the Grey Legion, the Vanished Legion, but these are my men and women, and you are part of that now, continue as you have and you will remain the Legion’s healer.” For a moment he watched as she and the others moved off, following the orders he’d put forth.

    He turned toward the advancing craft, knowing the Trooper had been warned by San’s actions that there was at least one Force user in the vicinity. He focused on the ship and the Trooper, a grim smile on his face, behind the mask. Sure that the troopers had as detailed as possible files on all the Sith and Jedi present, he wondered if this one knew which he faced.

    It mattered not as this Trooper was threatening his people. Reaching out, he felt the Force energy of the Trooper, even as the barrel of his craft spat forth a bolt. Time slowed as he boosted and he shielded himself as best he could while concentrating and ripping the Force energy from the craft and Trooper, draining the Force from both and letting it flow into him. The extra energy he used to reinforce the shield.

    He shifted a pair steps to one side just before the bolt impacted. Even at that range, it threw him, bouncing him off the side of the shuttle, rocking it. As the debris and smoke cleared, those who’d come running, sure to see his charred corpse on the ground, would see him rising, shakily, to his feet, shedding the burning and destroyed cloak he’d had on, his hair had half burned off and the face of his mask was somewhat melted. Shedding the mask as well his troops finally saw his face, the set and determined look in his eyes.

    He reached out again, pointing one hand at the fighter craft even now lining up for another shot. Allowing the excess energy his armor had absorbed an almost solid bolt of Lightning lanced out, bisecting the craft. Another predatory smile crossed his face as he saw the Trooper bail out of the falling pieces, his blaster already firing at Bernael.

    Glad of the energy he’d absorbed from the Trooper, he focused, as he had with the three maimed ones that had earlier attacked and found the shatterpoints of the Trooper. Once again, using up that energy in one shot, he utilized Force Breach and ripped the Trooper into shredded pieces, letting the viscera fall alongside the craft it had just flown.

    He turned back to the last few who were not onboard the shuttle, “Board now, I have rearguard.” He backed toward the craft, scanning the skies and the battlefield, in case any others had witnessed the exchange and were bent on finishing the job.

    The others blinked at Bernael and the damage he had done to himself and to the Sith Trooper. While technically treasonous, the Knighthunters gave a half strangled cheer. The pilot, an injured Nautolan officer named Askan, began to key the ship to launch as San shook her head and ushered Bernael to the medbay, such as it was.

    “You’re overdoing it. I appreciate you’re doing the stoic I’m-awesomer-than-you-all-Anzati thing, but these Sith Troopers are bad news.” She frowned. “You can’t keep doing this.”

    The shuttle was poised to depart and the skies immediately above them were clear - but the scrum above them was intensifying as a Scythe-class exploded.

    The Sith were poised to win, it seemed.

    Bernael allowed San to guide him to the medbay, taking a seat on the exam table, resting for a moment. “Someone has to, San, and I promised these troops i would make sure as many as possibl…” He paused for a moment as he sensed the gathering vortices of energy both Light and Dark intensifying. “As possible, and I keep my word.”

    Looking at her more closely, “You are going to fit in well with the Legion. But now we need to get this ship off the ground and the pilot could use your healing ability more than I, to get us out of here.”

    He stood, shaking the residual weariness from his system. He could feel that he’d need healing sleep in the near future but until his people were safe he couldn’t afford to do so. “Let’s get out of this hellstorm before we’re all consumed.”

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  14. HanSolo29

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

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    IC: Aryan Graul
    Cockpit, CF9 Crossfire, Battle of Taivas

    The tide of the battle finally turned in the Alliance’s favor when both the Star Destroyer and the Imperial frigate blossomed into a brilliant explosion. Victory seemed inevitable as cries of jubilation echoed over Aryan’s earpiece, but all of that ended in an instant when a new group of signals emerged from hyperspace.

    Proximity alarms began to blare over the random chatter of the comms, prompting Aryan to check his trajectory and lean forward against his crash webbing to get a glimpse at what they were dealing with. What he saw brought a sinking feeling to the pit of his stomach…

    It was an ancillary Sith fleet with enough firepower to single-handedly win this offensive. But it wasn’t the size that had Aryan concerned – at least, beyond the initial shock – the entire fleet consisted of ships of unknown design and origin. They were angular, fast, and they did not waste any time wreaking havoc on what vessels remained scattered throughout the battlefield, which included both Imperial and Alliance ships alike. They demonstrated a total lack of regard for their allies; everyone had become a target.

    And that was the beginning of the end.

    The new arrivals quickly incinerated the Vigilance with a single shot and proceeded to slice through the fighters as if they were a mere annoyance. Aryan equated it to swatting flies; it was a true massacre.

    That’s when the call came in from command, “Rogues, get ‘em.”

    Inhaling deeply, Aryan watched with his lips parted in consternation as a single enemy fighter swooped in from above to indirectly challenge this order. It tilted up on its stern to confront them and opened fire, swiftly causing a Crossfire to vanish into space dust.

    “This is insane,” he muttered under his breath as he responded to the assault by putting his fighter through a series of evasive maneuvers. The rest of the squadron reacted in a similar fashion, bringing chaos in their wake. In his attempt to get clear, Aryan noted that even the Starrunner had sustained damage, and despite the terrible odds, he knew then that someone had to step up and do something to stop the bleeding.

    “Rogues Three and Seven,” Aryan called over the comm in an authoritative voice, falling back on his previous command experience. He didn’t care that he was likely overstepping his boundaries; he should’ve deferred to Bey, but there was no time for that. “Tighten up that formation and cover me. Make sure nothing can get through!” He clenched his jaw and nodded to himself to bolster his confidence. “I’m going in.”

    Aryan engaged his thrusters and pushed the control stick forward, the small craft trembling slightly as it accelerated into the fray. He kept the angular fighter in his crosshairs as he approached in a very erratic pattern – weaving in and out and never staying in one place for too long. The goal was to confuse the other pilot and hopefully get them to overcompensate. An uncertain enemy had a tendency to make mistakes.

    “Here goes nothing,” he gritted his teeth and depressed the trigger beneath his thumb. A deadly stream of red energy lanced out from his Crossfire on a direct intercept course with the Sith fighter craft.

    Before he could see whether his run had been successful, Aryan was pulling up and away from the engagement.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
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  15. darthhelinith

    darthhelinith Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2009
    IC: Helinith
    Location: Delusion forest

    Helinith turned on her 'guide'.
    "I owe this castle nothing. Where was this castle when I was stranded on Dathomir with nothing but the clothes on my back? Where was this castle when I was trapped in a senate apprenticeship on Coruscant, bored half to death?"

    She reached out for the neck of the phantom and it leapt back up into the trees.
    Helinith growled and shot up after her.
    "All excellent training for this!" The omwati's image called down to her. "You have been prepared for this-" Helinith leapt forward again, hands outstretched and the image disappeared, reappearing behind her. "-your entire life! To become; The first guardian of Bast!"
    Helinith turned to its voice and spat to the side, her voice lowering dangerously quiet.
    "Where was this castle when I was trapped in an obulette, alone while the entire galaxy FORGOT ABOUT ME?!"
    She knelt to leap again, but both were interrupted by a tremor that caused the leaves and vine-trees of the forest to tremble- the first they had moved since they had grown.

    "What is he doing?!" the Omwati cried and its form shimmered and shifted slightly. With the guardian distracted, Helinith leapt for the final time, her hands closing around a neck that was only semi-corporal and sending anger, pure anger down her arms and into its face. The first force lightning she had produced for over one hundred years lit up the forest with a spectral crackling, which Insipid could both see and feel. The spectre disappeared so she continued to unleash it into the forest around her and it burst out like bubbles of electricity which floated and burst as they hit the nearby trees.
    The entire forest shook again, violently, as Insipid wailed on the Yamosk and the castle itself. The vines around him shivered and withered away from his presence; the nearest leaves smoldered and curled as little licks of flame darted along their edges and up their stalks. Fueled by Insipid's oxidized rage, the flames took firm hold and spread quickly, sparks flying. The Yamosk shivered and tried to float upwards to escape, as flames chased it and spat at its vulnerable appendages.
    In mere seconds, Insipid was standing amidst an oddly smokeless inferno. The burning forest began to slowly peel back to reveal the polished black floor from before, and a large black wrought iron key at his feet.

    Tag: @Sinrebirth
     
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  16. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Askan
    Shuttle, heading into the Battle of Taivas

    The orbital scrum was a nightmare, and there was no way Bernael could rest in it. San managed to get him stabilised, but the shuttle took a hit which could have easily spilled the Anzati onto the floor. They took a grazing shot from an Annihilator which took out their shields, and then a hammering blow from a Crossfire. San fled to the cockpit, and called out. "Sith Lord! Get yourself up here!"

    Askan had tumbled out of the pilots seat and exacerbated his wound, and San had to focus on him.

    There were more disasters though, Aryan's shots tore into the Annihilator fighter, the direct hit catching it, allowing another fighter to gang up on it - but that didn't stop its bolts, which were not directed at Aryan, hammering into the Starrunner -

    Which exploded, taking all hands with it. The new Sith ships tore through capital ship armour, and shields deflected very little. With so many ships taxed by the battle already, these new weapons were cutting a bloody swath across the battle. There was no specific point to turn the tide, and indeed Bernael was ostensibly on the side of the One Sith.

    As they did, the ships that composed the Hidden Jedi Temple began to prepare to launch,

    [​IMG]

    A shuttle rushed into orbit, carrying with it the children of the Jedi, crossing by the path of Aryan's skirmish and Bernael's floundering shuttle; a stream of Sith clawcraft followed the shuttle, broadcasting the GA codes. There were half a dozen capital ship wrecks littering this part of the battle as the Sith-Imperial ships and GA & Imperial ships tried to disentangle and withdraw - even as they fired at each other.

    As the shuttle fled and other Hidden Temple ships headed into orbit, diverting the focus of the battle even more, an Annihilator was rushing towards the skirmish, in range of them both, though Bernael's shuttle was ill-armed, and Aryan was not going to be able to do this alone - but for a moment they were the only two ships anywhere near to the Annihiliator - but out of range of the Sith Clawcraft chasing the shuttle -

    Sith Clawcraft flown by Skull Squadron, the most elite Sith-Imperial squadron, including Gunner Yage and Darth Rauder - with the latter snarling at her to take the shot. Her protestation that they would be shooting down children was coldly replied to.

    [​IMG]

    If Aryan and Bernael, flying GA and Sith-Imperial colours, didn't come together, the Annihilator would end the drama between Yage and Rauder even before it had a chance to be -

    TAG: @HanSolo29, @darthbernael
    ---
    IC: Darth Insipid

    Vjun Castle

    The moment was over. Insipid could nonetheless feel the damage to his clothes, the contortions to his skin, the jostling of his innards.

    He dropped to one knee, and regarded the key. He levitated it to his hand, and summoned the Force to crush it once and for all.

    "Helinith," he growled out, resonating it across their Force bond.

    "We are running out of time. The final lock awaits."

    He peered through her eyes. "Krayt has unleashed his final weapon; the dark side is about to win."

    "But it's not my dark side."

    He allowed his power to reverberate into the Force.

    It was noticed.

    TAG: @darthhelinith
     
  17. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Small Combo with @Sinrebirth as San

    IC Darth Bernael


    Freshly deposited on the floor of the shuttle from the hit Bernael groaned, summoning energy reserves, healing all he could without the healing sleep. He had to hold it off until they were safely away. Getting to his feet he headed to the bridge, ensuring the pilot and San were out of the way. “I’m here and I see we have bigger problems than Clawcraft. If the Annihilator isn’t taken care of no one is getting out of this battle.”

    He focused and dragged their stricken craft into a course that would allow them to avoid the incoming Clawcraft and dive toward the capital ship, while avoiding it’s fire as well. Sensing another, non-Sith presence nearby he saw a fighter, in GA colors also headed toward the Annihilator. His mind leapt out, uncaring if the pilot disliked mental communication or not, survival was key. ‘GA pilot, I am Bernael, I have a mixed crew of Jedi, Imperials, and wounded, but we must work together to remove this immediate threat, so that I can bring my people to safety. You can choose, work with me or we all perish. Think my name to reply this way as comms are surely observed.’

    San glanced over. "You are not going to be able to pick up your name in the middle of this chaos - not even keep a mental link, Anzati or not." Sure enough, the connection frayed, with all the fear and pain and anger flowing through space.

    She stepped over to the comm. "This is Jedi Knight San, GA pilot, I request immediate assistance to deal with the Sith Trooper's ship; I have Sith-Imperial wounded here." San gave Bernael a smirk. "Honestly works, y'know."

    Comms were undoubtedly observed, but it wouldn't sell for Sith-Imperials to shoot up their own... though the Sith Troopers were doing just that.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @HanSolo29
     
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  18. HanSolo29

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

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    IC: Aryan Graul
    Cockpit, CF9 Crossfire, Battle of Taivas

    Chaos.

    That was the only way to describe the escalating conflict unfolding in the space above Taivas.

    Where Aryan had briefly reveled in victory when he successfully shot down the offending Sith craft, that victory was short-lived when the enemy’s lingering laser blasts connected with the Starrunner. He now watched in horror, a loud curse slipping from his lips, as the Scythe-class battle cruiser blew apart at the seams and disappeared in a cloud of debris and flotsam. It was yet another casualty in a dizzying sequence of events that had no end in sight.

    And things would only get worse – as they usually do.

    Somewhere in the ensuing confusion, Aryan had lost track of his wingmates and the rest of Rogue Squadron; everything had become one continuous blur, and he was now alone without anyone to watch his six. The most logical choice would have been to remove himself from the fray and retreat to safety, but of course, it was in this precarious position that he discovered a GA shuttle fleeing from the planet’s surface with a flight of Sith Clawcraft hot on its tail.

    His sensors also indicated that there was another enemy target inbound. The initial diagnostics scan matched the limited description they had of the same Sith fighter craft that had annihilated the Starrunner and so many others in such a short span of time. It would only be a matter of seconds before it got into range to take out the distressed shuttle.

    Aryan exhaled heavily and brought his gloved hand up to wipe the perspiration from his face. While it wasn’t too late to pull out, he knew he couldn’t bring himself to take that option; it would make him a coward. A cursory glance at his surroundings told him that he was the only one capable of providing assistance. He noted also that there was another battered shuttle off of his starboard side, but it wasn’t realistic for them to keep pace in a dogfight. He quickly dismissed it, and yet…

    A quiet stirring suddenly brushed his mind, the sensation sending a chill down his spine and prompting him to tighten his hold on the control stick. It felt like a gentle prod that soon evolved and manifested as a single voice that spoke clearly inside his head:

    ‘GA pilot, I am Bernael, I have a mixed crew of Jedi, Imperials, and wounded, but we must work together to remove this immediate threat, so that I can bring my people to safety. You can choose, work with me or we all perish. Think my name to reply this way as comms are surely observed.’

    With his jaw clenched in both surprise and bewilderment, Aryan frantically glanced at his comm board and then back to the wayward shuttle drifting nearby. His eyes narrowed dangerously, almost as if he intended to condemn its crew for reaching out and invading his thoughts. This was the perfect example of why he was so dubious about Force users and their tactics – both Jedi and Sith alike. They took too many liberties with their powers; they thought it was normal to reach out across space and time to commune with unknowing victims.

    What if this particular violation had caused him to lose control and crash?

    What then, Bernael?’ he thought pointedly.

    Before he could get a reply, he felt the presence fade away and depart on the ever-changing currents of the battle. He didn’t understand all of the technicalities of how the Force worked, but if he had to guess, there was likely too much interference in the area to maintain a solid link.

    That was just as well; he didn’t want to hold a mental conversation with this ‘Bernael’ anyway.

    However, that did not stop the shuttle from hailing him directly, despite the previous warning about their channels being monitored. "This is Jedi Knight San,” his headset crackled to life with a female voice. “GA pilot, I request immediate assistance to deal with the Sith Trooper's ship; I have Sith-Imperial wounded here."

    Aryan pursed his lips and snorted. “Copy that, I see him; he’s already coming around on an intercept course,” he conveyed a little too haughtily, his eyes turning back to the control panel to monitor their progress. “Form up on me and don’t deviate from my flight path. I’ve seen what those fighters can do – it’ll only take one shot to peel you open like a can of nerf gizzards.”

    A wry grin pulled up one corner of his mouth as he brought the Crossfire around to line up alongside the shuttle. “And as much as I didn’t appreciate the mental gymnastics back there, no one deserves that kind of fate. The present cargo included...”

    He made a point to express his dismay about the Sith-Imperial troops on board their ship, but there was nothing he could do about it now. That Sith fighter took precedence; he had to prevent it from reaching the GA shuttle hurtling away from the planet with the refugees before it was too late.

    “I acquired target lock – I’m going in,” Aryan announced after another pause as he dialed in on the enemy craft and accelerated to attack speed. “Remember, stay in formation, and if you have any tricks up your sleeve, now would be the time.”

    Without waiting for an acknowledgment, he unleashed the first set of deadly volleys into the vacuum of space.

    TAG: @darthbernael; @Sinrebirth
     
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  19. darthhelinith

    darthhelinith Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2009
    IC: Helinith
    Location: Bast Castle

    Helinith felt more than heard her master's commands, particularly the use of her eyes. She shook her head and made her way towards him, using the flaming ivy as a guide.

    Insipid looked emphatically dour (as always) and his outer cloak was almost shredded to ribbons, although his leather footwear and inner garments appeared to have shrugged of any major damage. She felt immediately conscious of her own fairly unscathed appearance, although there were a couple of minor tears in her own clothing from thorns. The plant matter continued to wither and burn exponentially around them, disintegrating into nothing, until they were once again standing in the same large, pillared hall from before.

    “Yayyy! We win?” She offered. “This way!”

    She hopped over to the imposing staircase at the far side of the hall, but rather than climbing them, pressed a finger deliberately into a curved surface on a carved relief. There was a click and the centre of the stair fell inward, revealing steps sinking down, rather than up. Not even waiting to see if he was following, she clattered down them, jogged along a wide and brightly lit durasteel corridor, and murmured to herself.

    “.....training room…. living area… maintenance cupboard...medical….Here! It’s behind here.” The corridor ended suddenly, seemingly featureless but Helinith pointed at the blank wall to the left.

    A shiver crawled up her spine. What would be left?

    Home.

    "Miss Four come back down the corridor at once. You know you are not allowed up there."
    "Yes D3."
    "Lord Vader did you a great service bringing you here. He put a roof over your head, gave you food-"
    "D3, when will he be back?"
    "Be back? How should I know? He is not someone who comes at your beck and call. He will be back when he is back, no sooner. Now go play with the others."


    Tag: @Sinrebirth
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
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  20. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Darth Insipid
    Bast Castle, Vjun

    Wandering the halls, kitchens, and the like, Helinith's giddiness was evident. Insipid could pick up little darknesses swirling here and there.

    Vader had made this his home.

    Other Dark Jedi and even Sith had come and gone.

    There was a reverberation, and Insipid turned to another room, catching a shadow of a man.

    Oh.

    Palpatine had been here too.

    One of his clones, when he had resumed control of the Castle with his Seven Dark Jedi.

    Insipid frowned, pursuing his senses. Someone else...

    Helinith was too happy, and diving into her own memories, adding colour to the waves that Insipid was trying to sense. With a scowl, he couldn't get past the sense that the Force was darkening, and the more Insipid focused, the more it was coloured by Krayt...

    By his One Sith...

    By his Sith Troopers...

    Insipid blinked.

    "Helinith," he spoke softly, almost emphatically, not wishing to break the thoughts of his apprentice. This was an important moment in her life; the reconnection with her late masters castle - her old home, some one hundred and fifty years ago. It was key to his complete control of the woman.

    But what was happening, he could not ignore it.

    "Will you come with me? To the front?"

    Before all was lost?

    Insipid felt a dollop of fear; Krayt had killed him, once. With aplomb. With ease.

    And Krayt felt far, far, far more powerful now.

    He tried his best to suppress his worries; to keep it from transmitting to Helinith.

    TAG: @darthhelinith

    TAG: @darthbernael, @HanSolo29 - finish off our combo?
     
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  21. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Running from Krayt with @HanSolo29 and @Sinrebirth

    IC Bernael, San, and Aryan Graul
    Strategic Retreat against overwhelming odds


    Bernael listened to the first couple messages and a half smile crossed his face at the mention of mental gymnastics. Looking behind him he saw that Trask was more mobile now and a thought crossed his mind.

    “Trask, get up here and take the controls, we’re on the wing of a GA fighter that is going to assist us to get out of this warzone.”

    He waited for the man to take his place, stood, and moved over to the comm console as he heard the last message from the GA pilot. Motioning to San he keyed the microphone. In his flat monotone he replied to the pilot. “Roger, we’ll stay as close as possible with our damage, and I’ll do what I can to assist.”

    He could almost feel what he was sure was San’s disapproving glare at him continuing to use his power, remembering their prior conversation, as they’d boarded the shuttle. Releasing the toggle for the comm he looked at her, “I’ll not overdo myself, I promise. But I do have to help get us all out of here.”

    Looking out of the viewscreen he saw a flight of missiles launch from the GA fighter, headed toward the Sith Trooper’s fighter. Reaching out, he dove into the electronic side of the man/machine interface with the craft. Fighting the manual and mental control the Trooper had over his craft, Bernael worked to keep the fighter headed directly for the missiles fired at them, trying not to let them deviate from their course.

    As the clawcraft-Jedi shuttle interplay continued in the background, Aryan had successfully acquired the Sith Troopers notice. The direct link by Bernael was successful, driving a mental tether between the Trooper and his craft, but the Anzati would be unable to overcome the cyborg enhancements that were more akin to the connection between a Yuuzhan Vong and his coralskipper - by design.

    The Sith Trooper, within a moment, reasserted itself and took back control -

    But a moment was all it needed.

    The missiles impacted with the nose of the Annihilator fighter, which vanished into flame. For good measure, Trask triggered the minimal automated weapons on the shuttle, firing into the detonation -

    The triple teamwork, between a Sith, an Imperial, and a GA pilot had worked -

    Or not.

    The Sith fighter emerged, its bow buckled but clearly functional, a full-powered volley snapping off. Trask sought to slip the shuttle to the left, away from the GA Crossfire, but the burst of weaponry burnt through the shields and cracked the hull. An explosion showed out over Bernael and San as the bulkhead burst, a crease forming in the same and air and wind promptly drawing itself out the breach -

    San reached out with the Force to seal it, but wasn't strong enough in her state - she had spent a sizable amount of her Force reserves on keeping the team alive, and Bernael hale. Wincing, she was unable to act -

    For Aryan, it would depend on how quickly he escaped the attack, and whether he managed to respond; Trask's automated weapons were not able to track the Sith ship, which was already its nose to target the shuttle head on, seemingly expecting its weapons to have snuffed out the fighter but not the more shielded shuttle -

    Whether that was a mistake or not was a curious thing.

    It took Aryan a moment to reorient himself in the wake of the detonation that had rocked the shuttle – and what he had initially perceived as yet another devastating blow – but he was soon able to discern the Sith’s costly error:

    In their haste to overtake the shuttle and prevent its occupants from escaping, the pilot of the Annihilator had apparently underestimated Aryan and his abilities. They obviously did not consider a single Crossfire as much of a threat and had only assumed that he would be swept away in the aftermath.

    A smirk crossed Aryan’s features at this realization. It was a foolhardy move that would prove costly. In fact, it did not even correlate with the cold and calculated nature of the Sith, and he had to wonder if this was the result of pure, blind arrogance. Either way, it would certainly work out to his advantage – he wasn’t about to let this opportunity slip away.

    Maintaining comm silence so that he wouldn’t draw unwanted attention to his position, Aryan clenched the control stick and eased his fighter around on an intercept course with the crippled Annihilator. He had the perfect vantage point as the Sith craft approached the shuttle, but before it could deliver the fatal shot, he gunned the throttle and accelerated toward the fighter’s exposed side with laser cannons blazing.

    Bernael observed San trying to seal the breach the Sith Trooper’s shuttle had put in theirs. As he reached out to add his power to hers, he called over his shoulder, “Trask, seems that Annihilator really wants us so do your best lame duck impression.” His energy assisted San to close the rip in the shuttle and the sounds of outrushing air ceased.

    But the damage had been done and Bernael knew that his original plan wouldn’t work as he’d thought out. Changing the transmitting channel he spoke a single word, “Now.”

    Turning back to screen a wry smile crossed his face as he saw that the GA fighter was using them as bait to suck the Annihilator in so that he could strike them from a blind spot. The maneuver took only seconds before the GA fighter began pounding rounds at the Sith Trooper. And then a tone sounded on his datapad.

    Rapidly flipping channels back to the GA fighter, “Want to get out of this chaos? Friendly incoming, and that way out I mentioned.”

    Less than a second later a half dozen heavy missiles erupted from cover, englobing the Annihilator in a sphere as they converged on it. A pair of seconds passed and then the space between the Annihilator and the shuttle blotted out as a barely visible black shape appeared in that space. Turning to Trask, as a slight glimmer appeared on the side of the black shape, “Place our docking port right where that shimmer is.”

    He felt the shuttle advance, turning to one side as Trask lined up the two docking ports. Spinning slightly, he faced San “I wasn’t planning on keeping us all cramped on this shuttle for the long haul, that’s my ship. As soon as we dock, get everyone across post haste.”

    Sending a command to his Fury, Bernael looked down at the com again, “GA pilot, hangar is sealed but will open for you alone should you join us. But hurry, or we’re gone.”

    The Annihilator had been positioning to finish off the shuttle when Aryan fired at it, peppering the exposed hull with fire, and the ship adjusted to target the Crossfire - and then vanished into detonations, only to emerge from the explosion with damage clearly showing, and the ship reoriented to fire at the Fury as it regrouped with the shuttle.

    The Force reached out and encompassed the Nu-class shuttle, the Sith Trooper inside clearly using the Force to keep it's ship together, as much as San and Bernael had sealed their ship. His rage buffeted them, and the Trooper made the inevitable mistake of ignoring the Crossfire - the Sith Trooper responded as if an animal attacked and striking back at the last one who hurt him.

    Trask began to lift the wounded, to prepare to rush across. San began to hold her head. "He's... trying to claw his way inside my head." She gestured to yank at a weapon on Bernael's waist, the rage inside pushing her to strike at him.

    They were sitting ducks, for a moment, and the Sith Trooper had them in their sights. Nobody expected the type of punishment that the ships could take... but, at very least, the Annihilator wasn't intervening to destroy the Jedi shuttle - which was instead merely pursued by Sith Clawcraft...

    Though the Force turned, and one of the Clawcraft... it opened fire on the other, and Bernael would feel Darth Rauder disintegrate.

    Stimuli were coming from every direction, the Sith Trooper’s overwhelming anger at both the shuttle and the GA Clawcraft, the attack directed through San, the death of Rauder. ‘Ahh, battle, the great equalizer.’ Bernael thought swiftly. And then he used just a touch of his power to counteract the attempt by the one trying to control San to steal his saber and cut him down. Boosting slightly, he lashed out with one fist, hitting San in her temple, just shy of breaking her neck but snapping her over enough it shocked her system. She dropped to the ground as if a marionette whose strings had been cut.

    Reaching out he followed the trail of the mind that had been influencing San’s. He felt the rage that drove it and threw it back at the mind it came from, turning it on itself. He knew it would not be enough to break the conditioning that had created such a mind. But as he reached the source he felt the craft around it and found the shatterpoints of the Annihilator, beginning to fracture the craft across those shatter points.

    ‘Do not touch what is mine!’ he threw the mental snarl into the rage filled mind.

    “Trask, get everyone on the Fury, and get San restrained and in a bacta tank.” His voice came out flatly as he strove to keep the Sith Trooper focused on himself alone. Tapping a series of commands into his wristpad, he commanded the guns and missile batteries of the Fury to focus on the craft, or what should remain after it shattered under his assault, to reduce whatever was in that volume of space into their component atoms.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @HanSolo29
     
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  22. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Gunner Yage
    Battle of the Hidden Temple, Taivas

    The battle shifted in time with the disintegration - finally - of the Sith Annihilator fighter.

    Finally.

    But there were hundreds of the fighters ripping into the Galactic Alliance and True Imperial forces, and the Sith-Imperials were merely moving out of the way, much as the Sith Dragons that had arrived with these Sith Troopers now swarmed the field. The Sith-Imperial Star Destroyers regrouped to block the hyperspace routes out-system, and it seemed done.

    Until Darth Rauder died.

    Fired upon by her own squadmate; Gunner Yage, leader of the infamous Skull Squadron.

    Daughter of the Grand Admiral leading the fleet.

    Her response came across all channels as Aryan's damaged fighter was swept aboard the Fury, now a crew including Bernael, San, Trask, the wounded Harkas, and now Aryan. Quite the eclectic bunch. The Fury could not dock with the Crossfire for long, not in this battle. But -

    [​IMG]

    Rulf Yage's
    Sith overseer snarled out orders, directing all forces to destroy the traitor, and suddenly his brain exploded, her father holding the blaster. He came across the comms.

    "This is Moff Ranulf Yage,
    formerly of the Sith Imperial Navy. My daughter is right. The Sith have no honor. I am joining her defection to His Imperial Majesty, Roan Fel of Bastion—if he will have me. Other captains of the Sith Empire who wish to join me should signify so immediately or be blown out of the sky as hostile vessels. Yage out."

    With that, the battle was engaged anew, with formerly Sith-Imperial Star Destroyers firing on each other, with True Imperial Star Destroyers holding fire, with the Galactic Alliance cruisers taking opportunistic damage from Sith-Imperial Predators - the only ships they could be sure were enemies, just as much as the coalition forces could hurl fire at the Sith Dragons and be sure they were not targeting potential allies - three factions were using Pellaeon-class Star Destroyers - the True Imperials, the Sith-Imperials, the former Sith-Imperials -

    It was true chaos.

    The Sith Troopers and their Annihiliators swirled around the battle confused, unable to decide who to target -

    For a terribly and potentially brief moment, the crew of the Fury had a moment to breath.

    In the Force, there was a quaver as the dark side sought to swallow the beacon of light that was the Jedi Temple whole -

    Whatever was going on in space, the ground battle was steadily going against the coalition -

    Trask looked to Bernael. "Orders?"

    If the fog of war could be applied to any event, it was right now, summarizing the utter confusion going on.

    In the time Aryan had docked with the Fury, the battle had reinvented itself anew.

    TAG: @HanSolo29, @darthbernael
     
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  23. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: The Master
    2,000 years ago, Ziost

    It was a Conclave.

    The first Sith one in centuries.

    The Sith Empire had been in complete disarray for a millennium and a half. Technically, Darth Desolous had been the last Dark Lord of the Sith to actively wage war against the Jedi and their pet Republic.

    The various tribes of the Sith were gathered here today; the Mecrosa, the Cult of Phobos, the Krath, others and more besides.

    They had been gathered by him.

    Darth Ruin.

    He stood with some fifty former Jedi, all who he had personally corrupted to leave the order in what some were already calling the Fourth Great Schism. The first in two millennia-odd. There were many Lesser Schisms, the most infamous one of which resulted in the Garn Conflict some eight millennia before...

    The Old Ones had taken a hand in that, after all. They had come pretty close to making it a major Schism, though arguably the Jedi had exiled those Force users; they had not simply left en masse. But it was that connection to the Old Ones that the Master today sought.

    There was someone here, and he needed to speak to him.

    Ah yes, there was the Anzati.

    Taking a deep breath, the Master reminded himself that he wasn't doing much wrong. The Other - the Presence - he would need an agent, and the Master speaking to Bernael would decide it for the Presence; he'd pick the Anzati. He was perfect. Capable of living for millennia, and quite unlikely to form those messy connections that would reduce his usefulness. Similarly, very difficult to kill.

    And the Master only needed to pass Bernael and make the mental suggestion.

    It would rear it's head when it needed to.

    There he was. The Master didn't stand out in a crowd of Sith hiding their faces; some were living undercover deep in the Republic, keeping their religion a secret. After all, the Sith way had been outlawed for nearly two millennia now... and thus created a perpetuating cycle of conflict between the Jedi and Sith forever since... even if the Sith Empire had been split into various component parts since Darth Desolous was defeated at the Battle of Yaga Minor.

    He brushed through the cloaks and did so with his target, keeping his mind absent, focused on whatever drivel was coming out of the mouth of Ruin. He was a solipsistic madman; he believed he was the beginning and end of reality - that he was the One... the Chosen One. Thanks to the Father's intervention, there. Not the first time he's misjudged the situation, the Master snorted.

    Ah yes.

    The Anzati knew he was being hunted.

    He had a keen sense of everything, after all.

    Reminded him of Joren.

    The Master kept the sarcastic edge off his thoughts.

    They crossed paths, and the Master carried on through the crowd.

    He left his message, buried it deep inside the psyche of the Anzati, to be uncovered when his balance was shot, and lost, even if he didn't realise it.

    When he was angry, perhaps sad, perhaps frustrated, perhaps hurt.

    You need to get control of yourself now. He need's stopping.

    The message was multi-layered.

    One day Bernael's darker, Older, tendencies, would interfere.

    One day Bernael would start to acquire attachments.

    One day Bernael would be lost.

    One day Bernael would be found.

    One day.

    The Master eyed his list.

    Who was next to be collected.

    TAG: @darthbernael
     
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  24. darthhelinith

    darthhelinith Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2009
    IC: Helinith
    Location: Heaven

    Helinith was having the time of her life.
    She continued her tour in rapture, jabbing at thumb scanners and picking up objects, looking at them.
    Two turns to the left, third on the right and yes here it was.

    Inside was a bunk, set into the wall and a desk. Loose objects were scattered across the few surfaces there were and clothes across the floor.

    “Helinith? Will you come with me? To the front?”

    Helinith, deep in the middle of stuffing most of the contents of her old room into a holdall, stuck her head around the doorframe. A screwdriver was behind her ear, and a chewed pencil sticking out the corner of her mouth.

    “Front? Of what?” She chuckled at her own joke, appalling though it was. The pencil fell onto the floor and she picked it up and stuffed it into a pocket on her belt.

    “Time to go.” This was in a quiet sing-song voice, not to Insipid but to herself. Maybe this was too much of a good thing. Worse, there seemed to be something missing. Perhaps she had been expecting to find something. Whatever it was, it wasn’t here. She stood and swung the holdall onto her back. Her feet began to walk her out, but not back the way they had come, where Insipid’s ship was waiting on the landing pad, rather further in. To the second hangar.

    An unassuming door opened to a large circular dome. Two large steel doors were set above and the circumference was lined with the sorts of things one needed to maintain a small, personal fighter, including a refuelling station, but the hangar was not empty.

    In the centre, looking like it had been sitting there waiting for her all along, was the Tie Fighter X1 Advanced.

    “Hi baby.” she whispered.

    She glanced sideways at her master, trying to veil her excitement at least a little bit.

    “You know, cause I lost the launch craft, and this is better anyway.”

    Tag: @Sinrebirth
     
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  25. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: A fun combo with @HanSolo29

    IC Darth Bernael and Aryan Graul
    Choices, choices, choices


    Bernael had gotten his troops onboard, had received the message from the pilot AI that Graul had landed in the hangar as he cut loose the severely damaged shuttle they’d arrived in. He directed troopers to take the shuttle pilot and Harkas to the medbay and into bacta tanks to heal. The other wounded were brought there as well so the medical droid could examine them. San had been taken to one cabin and laid on the bed, when the med droid was done with the more serious casualties it could examine her as well and make sure he hadn’t done more damage than just knocking her senseless.

    And then the message had been received and, thankfully, the AI had routed it to only the leadership on board, which in this case was himself and Trask.

    "This is Moff Ranulf Yage, formerly of the Sith Imperial Navy. My daughter is right. The Sith have no honor. I am joining her defection to His Imperial Majesty, Roan Fel of Bastion—if he will have me. Other captains of the Sith Empire who wish to join me should signify so immediately or be blown out of the sky as hostile vessels. Yage out."

    Behind the remnants of his mask a half smile could be seen peeking out as he digested the message. Before he could do more he heard Trask speak up.

    "Orders?"

    Looking at the man so he could realize Bernael wasn’t dismissing him, he held up a hand, one finger up, in a gesture for a moment to think. Think he did, but he also let his senses flow out, until he could read the space around them. He read many things, things best discussed with Trask and his newest guest at the same time.

    Senses drawn back in, he sent a command to the AI, “Make us a hole in space again, so that none can find us, for now.” He then turned to Trask, “It seems, in his eagerness to eradicate everyone, that Krayt has created a battle where there is no one side that is the best, that should truly survive.”

    “You just heard my response to Gage’s ultimatum, in the immediate term anyway. Currently you can consider yourself my chief of staff, so welcome to the big leagues Corporal. Get the men settled, check on San, and ensure she’s be able to join us soon, and then meet me on the bridge, I must check on my guest, and then they and I will join you there.” He turned from Trask headed toward the hangar, knowing the man could handle the load he’d just placed on him, but needing to check on the pilot before he got too jittery, being surrounded by Imperial forces.

    On the way, he stopped at his cargo bay, swiftly changing into a new cloak and mask, before entering the hangar. The Fury was so crowded that several of the troops were there, around the recently arrived ship, weapons pointed down but held in such a way that they could be swiftly brought to bear. He nodded to the troops, and gestured down, so they wouldn’t spook the pilot further.

    Approaching the nose of the Crossfire, he leapt and landed just past the foils, feeling the front landing strut compress slightly as he landed. Walking forward, toward the cockpit, he reached the viewscreen where he squatted down, looking inside. “It’s going to be a long flight if you stay in there.” he said in his calm monotone, no emotion coloring it at all. “There is much to decide and discuss, the battle has just gotten even more chaotic, and I prefer to do so on the bridge, rather than squatting on your ship.”

    Aryan visibly jumped as the hulking figure came down hard upon the Crossfire’s hull, sending a slight tremor through the fighter’s delicate frame. The armed troopers deployed around the hangar were already making him tense about seeking refuge aboard an Imperial vessel; it didn’t help to see this sinister visage glaring down at him through the cockpit canopy.

    His initial reaction was to reach for the blaster strapped to his utility belt, though he quickly tempered that response when he took a moment to actually consider the man’s words. This was not how an enemy would typically address his opponent. Despite the harrowing welcome so far, Aryan realized that this man was asking for his assistance. It was still an odd conjecture to make…

    And yet, he recalled the gruff voice that had invaded his thoughts during the battle.

    Bernael.

    Of course.

    A wry grin slowly spread over Aryan’s features as he relaxed and lazily pulled the release to pop the canopy. A rush of pressurized air welcomed him, prompting him to remove his flight helmet and set it beside him in the cramped space. He then ran a hand through his sandy hair to brush away the loose strands from his forehead. Only then did he cant his head and regard the other man carefully.

    “You must be Bernael,” Aryan surmised evenly, adopting his diplomatic voice. He scoffed and started to lift himself from the cockpit. “I have to admit, you certainly have a unique way of catching someone’s attention. Between this…” he gestured around him to indicate the troops and the man’s dramatic entrance, “and the little mind trick you pulled out there, you should be thankful I didn’t resort to more…drastic measures.”

    He quirked a brow and smirked, leaving the rest to Bernael’s imagination. It probably wouldn’t intimidate the man, though Aryan reminded himself that he had recently beaten a Sith back on Nubia, if by luck. So, it was possible. If anything, it afforded him some personal reassurance.

    “Anyway,” Aryan continued as he dropped down to the hangar deck. “You need my help? Then I think you better start explaining what’s going on. Let’s not forget that I willfully agreed to dock with an Imperial vessel. That tends to raise certain questions and concerns. And considering I have yet to check in with my Commander, I would prefer to make this quick.”

    Aryan started to walk ahead, but he soon paused and pursed his lips tightly as another thought occurred to him. “And stay out of my head this time…”

    A half smile at the last comment crossed Bernael’s face behind his mask. He leapt from the Crossfire, landing without a sound on the deck, joining the man as they walked. He nodded to the troops ringing the fighter. “Secure the fighter for our guest, whether he stays long or not, we do not need it sliding around the hangar.”

    He turned to the man, “Mind tricks are my thing, I’m….well we shall save that for later.”

    Another smile crossed his face, thankfully hidden. “If you must contact your Commander, it would take but a moment to get the frequency and you may contact them. Otherwise, my 2IC, a Corporal Trask will join us in the conference room, possibly by the time we arrive there. Our little Jedi may or may not join us there, she has a concussion and is recovering. By the by, you still haven’t given your name, or would you rather I just lift it from your mind?”

    His wristpad beeped, looking down he saw that the AI had indeed resumes camouflage and they were attempting to move out of the chaos flaring up all around. “The situation has changed out there.” He gestured with a hand, languidly. “So we can discuss the entire situation shortly.”

    Aryan slowed his forward progress and took a moment to consider Bernael’s explanation. It wasn’t a very good one, mind you, but he did find it interesting that the other man would admit to having a Jedi onboard. Whose side was he playing? Aryan didn’t like where this was going; the lines had suddenly become blurred, and he did not appreciate standing on the outside looking in. Hopefully, this briefing would bring some much-needed clarity to the situation.

    Inhaling deeply, Aryan inclined his head marginally and stared into the expressionless mask of the man standing before him. “How’d I know you’d say that?” He sighed and offered a small nod. “Alright, give me a sec to latch onto that frequency and send out a quick transmission. I’ll then join you in the conference room.”

    He started to pivot away, but then extended a hand in greeting. Councilman Aryan Graul of the Nubian High Council,” he said evenly, deciding to forgo any references to his military career to flaunt his professional one. It helped to put things into perspective and made him feel more important. “As you can tell, I got drafted to participate in this little skirmish against my will. In that regard, I guess the past never truly leaves us.”

    Aryan flashed a wry grin before he turned to continue on his way.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @HanSolo29