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Star Wars Dark Reach: Episode I - An Order Remade

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Lady Belligerent , Jul 1, 2019.

  1. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC Feeding authorized by GM

    IC: Bernael
    Shot in the face, again


    The blaster bolt went through Bernael’s cheek, just under the pouch his proboscis usually occupied, rocking his head back and throwing him against the wall of the shuttle, part of the reason why it rocked so violently. He let the throw carry him to the ground and held off the adrenaline rush that was coming to allow some internal repairs to commence, closing the bone of the skull in the back and repairing part of the jaw. “Ahhhgghhaaiinn!” He slurred as his flesh and bone knitted back together.

    “Do I have a kriffing sign on my back that says shoot me in the face?” he growled, eyes flat, deep, pools of black now. He was glad of Manticore’s quick response, both in regard to the shooter and to the developing situation with the shuttle itself, or at least he was as his head cleared. Slowly he regained his footing, slipping his mask over his face, concealing the slowly closing hole in his cheek, and the star shaped carbon scoring around the wound in his cheek where his flesh had slightly melted.

    As his mind cleared fully from both the shot and the recent feeding his mouth opened in the type of grin seen only once by prey animals, before the jaws closed. “Thank you for keeping him from repeating that.” he offered to Manticore, voice still flat and emotionless. “As well as giving a, in this case, valid reason why the shuttle had issues. This one may be valuable, but his memories will be just as valuable stored in my mind, rather than letting him free to shoot either of us again.”

    Looking directly into the Devaronian’s eyes, he sent his will, enhanced by the power and energy he’d received from feeding on Insipid, surging over the creature. As their wills dueled, his slowly but surely overpowering the others, he spoke “You may look like a devil, but I’m one of those the galaxy truly fears.”

    A few moments struggle of minds, aided by the fact the other couldn’t concentrate to fight him due to the ongoing pan of his hand being crushed by Manticore, and the Devaronian’s eyes dulled, his will subsumed. “You can let him go, he’s cattle now.” eyes never leaving those of the shooter.

    “Come here.” his voice was still rough, low, as his head and jaw repaired itself. “You chose poorly, little sneak. Shooting the Zabrak could have killed us all if you’d broken his concentration enough, shooting me means you’ll never see another day.” He’d left just enough of the Devaronian’s will intact so that the other could see, feel, sense everything that was happening. Bernael knew the other was fighting walking toward him, could see the proboscises swaying, waiting to be in range. They were semi sentient on their own and he knew this feeding would be as painful as they could make it, for the prey.

    Step by shuffling step the would be assassin came closer. As soon as the Devaronian was in range Bernael's arms came up and he grasped the horns, one at a time, by the base, his other hand breaking each off just above his lower hand. He knew what pride the species took in their horns and this was just one more little revenge.

    Now in range, if Kapper had been allowed to scream he would have, as the proboscises shot forward, embedding themselves in his face. They slowly crunched into his head, taking their time to reach his brain. “Ahhh, better!” Bernael sighed as they reached the brain and began to slowly devour it. He could see the terror in the other’s eyes and knew, could feel that they were experiencing every excruciating second of what was happening.

    As the proboscises began scouring the brain pan for the last remnants of the Devaronian’s mind, Bernael felt the creature’s essence attempt to flee. ‘No, no, no, you’re mine.’ he thought and latched onto the soul, caging it and storing it in his internal vault to feed upon or suck the memories dry from. He felt the euphoria wash over him as the proboscises retracted and coiled in their pouches again. The memories flowed through, and it took him several minutes to come back to his senses.

    Finally fully aware again he worked his jaw, feeling the muscles and tendons stitching back together. “All good now, but we do need to get to Leda, and get out. Possibly say we caught the marker of another casualty and need to land there to extract them?”

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @greyjedi125, @QueenSabe7 (*Mentioned)
     
  2. HanSolo29

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

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    The following is a combo with Lady Belligerent – it's been a pleasure! :D

    IC: Aryan Graul, Dr. Olag, Dr. Cal Jepsun, Valieri Denora, and Cheryl the Gamorrean
    Medical Clinic, Nal Hutta

    The sound from Olag’s “exam” room had died down, so Cheryl decided he was not likely to be needed and was feeling hungry. He pulled a box from beneath his desk and released the latches that held it closed. Valieri watched as Cheryl removed a cloth from the box and smoothed it on his desktop. Next, the Gamorrean took out a white plate and utensils which he laid out on the tablecloth.

    “Is anyone hungry?” he snorted and pulled a sandwich from the box. There was what appeared to be a Kowakian Monkey-Lizard hand sticking out of one side. “I have enough to share.”

    Cheryl sat the sandwich down on the white cloth and then produced a knife. She briskly cut the sandwich into a pair of triangles and ignored the high pitched yelp that emitted from it before dying with the Monkey-Lizard.

    Rask grimaced and looked to Valieri, subtly shaking his head no.

    ~~~

    Meanwhile, Cal had made tea and sat down at the grubby table to watch Olag holding Aryan’s head. Aryan had babbled about Syren and voiced displeasure at his situation, but no one seemed to pay that any attention. Olag had closed his eyes and occasionally moved his fingers as if probing different areas inside Aryan’s head.

    To Aryan, this whole experience translated into a very vivid and elaborate dream:

    When he ‘awoke’ inside his mindscape, he found himself standing against a white plain, the endless expanse seeming to stretch on in all directions without a clear horizon line in sight. The sky hung low and roiled angrily with dark, heavy clouds. And yet, it did not rain. Instead, a dense fog appeared to rise up from the surface itself, making it nearly impossible to see more than a few feet in front of him. However, that did not hinder him from traversing this barren landscape.

    In many ways, it felt invigorating. Aryan did not suffer from any physical disabilities here; he could move freely and without the limitations that ailed him as a result of his injury. In fact, as he explored the area, he noted that there were no lingering traces of his impairment...except for the bizarre apertures that suddenly emerged from the misty haze to block his forward progress.

    He didn’t understand how he knew, but these portals somehow served as gateways into the deep recesses of his mind, permitting access to different facets of his memory and awareness. For the moment, most of them remained sealed by a thin membrane that looked as if it could be easily broken, though Aryan did not dare test this theory. Despite this being a dream, he did not want to take the risk of causing further damage to his brain. And so, he stood back and simply observed this strange spectacle as he contemplated his options. After a short time, he discovered something quite remarkable.

    Each gate appeared to glow with an unnatural, golden light before its hatchway cycled open for a brief time. This happened at frequent intervals, and whether Aryan was aware of it or not, was intricately linked to Dr. Olag’s probing. Whenever the man ‘touched’ a different portion of his brain, it would trigger the response that Aryan was now witnessing. It was as if the doctor was manually restoring the damaged neural pathways inside his head.

    It sounded like such a ludicrous notion, but that didn’t stop Aryan from pressing on. When the gateway closest to his position illuminated and granted him access to the realm beyond, he did not hesitate. He stepped forward, his arm outstretched to push through the residual film that clung to the opening from the protective membrane. There was a blinding flash, and then…

    Aryan found himself back inside the cockpit of his doomed TIE Defender at Bedlam. He had previously been unable to recall any details from the incident aside from a few brief glimpses, but now it all came back to him with stunning clarity – the cold pressing in from all around, permeating his flightsuit and causing ice crystals to form on his helmet’s visor; the continuous roar in his ears as his blood pressure increased; the tightness in his chest that preceded the slow, agonizing effects of asphyxia as the darkness crept in along the edges of his vision.

    He could literally feel himself slipping away all over again, but before he could fade into oblivion, he caught movement out of the corner of his eye. Craning his neck against the safety restraints, Aryan perceived an ominous shadow bearing down on him, filtering in through the now open hatch above his head. He found that he could only stare, his muscles were frozen firmly in place, as a ghostly hand proceeded to reach out from the darkness to grab for him…

    With a sharp gasp, Aryan awoke from his nightmare with a start, his blue-gray eyes growing wide as he took in the small confines of Olag’s makeshift exam room. Recognition did not immediately register on his expression; he was far too disoriented to acknowledge those around him or anything else that had happened. In fact, he didn’t even know how long he had been unconscious – the concept of time apparently did not exist in his dreams.

    Unfortunately, all of this contributed to his mounting anxiety and he soon began to thrash about in a panic.

    Olag sat up straight and blinked. He’d just witnessed Aryan’s dream and it had affected him.

    “Aryan,” Olag said sternly, “you must stop fighting so I may help you, man.” He jerked his head at Cal for assistance and Jepsun quickly moved to Aryan’s side and began to try and soothe the agitated man. “It’s okay,” Cal grasped Aryan’s wrists, “please let Olag help you.”

    “I need him awake and able to clearly follow commands soon,” Olag told Cal as if his patient wasn’t between them listening. “I cleaned up an area where he’d experienced a hemorrhage and soothed a few capillaries to return the blood and oxygen flow. That stimulated his access to a very traumatic memory, which has caused him to panic,” Olag sighed and rubbed his own eyes. “I need more time to work, do you think he would calm down after a break and maybe some tea?”

    Aryan did not react well to Jepsun making physical contact, at least not initially. An angry groan issued from his lips as he snapped his head to the side, his left arm flailing out wildly in an attempt to break free from the doctor’s grip. And yet, despite this struggle, a violent outburst never materialized. Surprisingly, Jepsun’s words also had a mitigating effect on Aryan’s anxiety – the more persistent the doctor was in trying to alleviate his fears, the more positive his response. It helped to put everything back into perspective, especially after experiencing such a vivid nightmare. He became more aware of his surroundings, and in turn, he finally began to relax.

    But of course, it wasn't an easy progression – he also had Olag’s words to consider. It was absurd to believe that the young doctor had actually repaired the section of his brain that allowed him access to such a traumatic memory, but he had no other explanation. He knew he wasn’t capable of finding that connection on his own, so it actually gave him…hope.

    What if Olag wasn’t the danger?

    What if the man could achieve the impossible?

    What if he could be cured?

    All of these possibilities swirled relentlessly inside his head, making it difficult for him to focus on anything else. As such, he didn’t seem to mind that the two doctors were carrying on a conversation about him as if he wasn’t even there. He simply inserted himself into the discussion by addressing Olag’s last inquiry, his tone light and seemingly oblivious to their tactics.

    “Um, drink...uh...tea, yes,” Aryan sputtered slowly, his words more jumbled than usual due to his heightened stress levels. “But, uh...no…none...meat. Not...no, never...good. Eeep...W--err, Wild...Life...uhh, Pro--Protect...shoot...gas...if...eat, uh….meat.” He curled his left hand into a fist and brought it down hard on the bed beside him. “Eeep...raid...do, uh...arr--rest. Bad…very, bad.”

    Olag patted Aryan’s shoulder as he moved from behind and crawled off the bed awkwardly. Cal went to get Aryan a cup of tea, but didn’t see any clean cups, so he took a dirty one from the table and poured out the contents into the grimy sink. There was a pile of rags nearby, so he took one of those to wipe out the cup before pouring tea and adding a spoonful of sugar. He waited a moment for it to cool before placing it on a table beside the bed.

    As soon as Jepsun placed the teacup down, Aryan reached for it in an ungainly way, his body tipping precariously to the side despite Olag’s attempts to keep him steady. With some effort, he managed to bring the cup to his lips, but what happened next was less than graceful. He was trying to rush, and as a result, only about half of the hot beverage actually made it into his mouth; the rest dribbled down into his beard and soiled the front of his shirt.

    A series of curses slipped from his mouth in response, but that was as far as he got before Dr. Olag stepped in to begin another series of exercises. Again, Aryan quieted down fairly quickly and seemed more attentive to his surroundings. He was now able to focus purely on the other man’s voice and maintain his concentration long enough to follow his instructions.

    Olag had helped Aryan to sit up and stood between his patient’s legs at the bedside. He took Aryan’s right hand and placed it against his left hand, “push as hard as you can,” Olag instructed. “I assume you’ve been doing exercise to work on your strength?” he continued and directed Aryan to repeat the motion with the opposite hand. He wasn’t really asking Aryan, it was more a conversation Olag seemed to be having with himself.

    Next, he extended Aryan’s hand out and to the side and told him to touch his nose.

    Nodding his head to acknowledge Olag’s commands, Aryan followed along to the best of his ability. This type of functional activity helped to stimulate his brain and promote healing, though it would not be easy in certain cases. For one, he could not get his right hand to cooperate when pressed awkwardly against the doctor’s opposite palm. When he applied pressure per the man’s orders, the muscles instantly contracted and pain shot up into his wrist. Aryan unleashed a muffled cry and allowed the limb to fall back limply to his side.

    However, he did not let this discourage him, and he swiftly bounced back when he attempted the same action with his left hand. In fact, he demonstrated enough strength to push solidly against Olag’s outstretched hand multiple times in quick succession. A hint of a smile may have even crossed his features at seeing himself succeed; it would mark the first time in a number of days that he would express anything other than cold indifference.

    Of course, Aryan faced a greater challenge when it came to his coordination and bringing his hand to his face to touch his nose, but it still wasn’t an impossible task. With some patience and careful consideration, he was able to accomplish this feat as well. It was clear through these various achievements that whatever the doctor had done, it was certainly working to help him improve.

    “Hmmm,” Olag hummed and closely watched Aryan follow his directions. His expression varied between curious and suspicious as he scrutinized the man before him. Finally, he spoke, “Aryan, I’m going to level with you,” Olag spoke thoughtfully. “You made little progress because you mentally fought me the entire time. I’m willing to try again,” Olag continued, “but if you don’t submit fully, I won’t be able to help.” Pulling over a chair, Olag sat down wearily and took Aryan’s cup. He swirled the remains of the tea and then drank it, “do you want improvement? Or do you wish to remain an invalid?”

    “No, uh…valid,” Aryan replied in a passive tone, shaking his head slowly.

    He had not expected the doctor to provide such a blunt assessment of his progress; it was a damning revelation that negatively impacted his self-confidence and caused him to withdraw into himself. He truly thought that he had made strides toward recovery, but perhaps he had fallen victim to his own distorted perceptions. Unfortunately, it was a common occurrence for the brain-injured.

    His frustration showed instantly through his demeanor as he slumped forward, his expression hardening. “I--uh, did...no...trust...first,” he grumbled incoherently, his gaze focused beyond the doctor to stare at a fixed point on the far wall. He did not seem to notice that Olag had deliberately stolen his cup of tea and drained its contents. “But...you...uh, help...I--err, know...now. I...feel.” He raised his left hand and pressed it against his chest for emphasis.

    With a sharp intake of breath, Aryan then canted his head to regard Jepsun standing near the bedside. His jaw muscles bunched perceptibly as his blue-gray eyes bore into the other man, almost as if he was seeking permission or guidance on how to proceed. He valued the doctor’s opinion, but when the man failed to offer his advice, Aryan finally relented by issuing an exaggerated sigh.

    “Do...it,” he muttered quietly, giving a short nod of consent. “I...uh...coo--err, rate...cooper--rate.”

    Olag clapped his hands together, much like an excited youngling would. “Wonderful!” he exclaimed, scrambled across the bed, and motioned Aryan to lay down again. “If you’ll assume the same position,” Olag said as he scooted, “and please replenish that teapot, Dr. Jepsun. I believe we will need sustenance after this next session, so raid the cupboard or ask Cheryl to help.”

    Olag then began the same motions he’d gone through earlier, he smoothed Aryan’s hair and softly stroked his scalp. Most patients would have found this relaxing, but Aryan was not most patients, and Olag really needed cooperation. He was prepared to change tactics at any hint of Aryan tensing up, which meant dividing his attention. It would be taxing, but he believed he could help this man.

    “Here we go, Aryan,” Olag said softly, “take some slow, deep breaths.” The healer closed his eyes and took a different route through hair follicles and skin, and began working his way through a maze of healthy tissue with winding capillaries threading through it. “Aryan,” Olag spoke up after a few minutes, “do you know any poems or nursery rhymes? I’d like you to slowly recite one.”

    Aryan settled down easy enough, his head nestled back against the pillows with his gaze fixated on the water-stained ceiling above. The worry lines around his eyes and the rapid beating of his heart were the only clear indications that he was still apprehensive about the doctor’s impending procedure. He wasn’t sure what to expect, but nevertheless, he managed to relax once Olag began to gently massage his head. Again, it helped to alleviate his fears, and he ultimately reached a point where he felt comfortable closing his eyes…

    That’s when he heard the melodic inflections of Olag’s voice echoing at the edges of his awareness, instructing him to recite a poem or cadence that he could remember from his childhood. His brow furrowed in thought as he tried to sift through the mental wounds that plagued his mind. Surprisingly, he was able to recall a vague memory from many years ago – he could see his mother standing above his bed as she recited the words to a beautiful lullaby. It was Alderaanian in origin, though that did not change the impact of it all; it still resonated with his very soul and reminded him of his own innocence.

    Aryan gasped in response, a single tear slipping from the corner of his eye. He then began to follow along with is mother’s voice:

    “Mirr--or, uh...brii--ight,” he stammered, his words slow and barely coherent through his struggling. “Shin...ehh--moo...glow...soft...uh, emm..brrr--” He soon dissolved into a disgruntled cry as his frustrations got the better of him, his left hand instinctively closing into a fist and slamming down beside him on the bed.

    “I...no...uh, can’t,” he murmured with a quiet sob.

    Out in the waiting room, Cheryl has finally left his desk and gone to the refresher. Valieri took advantage of his absence to slip quietly into the room where Aryan was laying on a dirty bed. She silently closed the door and stood against the wall where she watched and listened. Cal was sitting at a small table and he nodded to Valieri, which she took as an approval for her to stay.

    Olag was sitting at the head of the bed with Aryan’s head laying in his lap. She wasn’t sure what they were doing but Valieri could see Aryan was getting agitated, his stammering didn’t make sense and once he slammed his fist on the bed she rushed to his side. The caretaker gently took his fisted hand into both of her hands and slowly massaged to help release the tension.

    “You can, Aryan,” Olag spoke, “try again please.” The healer’s forehead was creased as he appeared to be concentrating and didn’t acknowledge that Valieri was now sitting beside Aryan on the bed.

    The doctor’s words of encouragement filtered through Aryan’s mind, though he did not immediately grasp their meaning – or perhaps he simply chose to ignore them. He was too distracted by the gentle caress of another as they took his hand into a loose embrace and tried to soothe his discomfort. He initially jolted at the physical contact, but when he opened his eyes and gazed upon the face staring down at him, he sighed and relaxed back into a more tranquil state.

    While he was aware that the face belonged to the caregiver, and that she had likely come to assist with the procedure, the dim lighting in the room continued to wreak havoc with his perceptions. If he squinted his eyes, the woman’s golden hair seemed to shift to a reddish hue, emulating a certain fiery redhead. It was as if Syren was really there beside him.

    Almost.

    It was enough to bolster his confidence and give him something to fight for. In response, Aryan unclenched his fist and slid his hand free from the caregiver’s grip so that he could squeeze her hand in return. His blue-gray eyes then met her gaze, a hint of a smile evident on his features as he started to recite the lyrics to the lullaby once more.

    “Mirr--mirror, uh...bright...shines...the moo--err, moon,” Aryan uttered softly, his words intended more for Valieri than anyone else in the room at this point. “Its...glow, uh...soft--soft...as, umm...emm--an...ember. When...the...moon--uh, moo...mirror--bright....take--err, this...time...to, uh…member.”

    Remember,” Valieri corrected gently, a smile spreading over her features as she clenched his hand for support. “Those you have loved but are gone. Those who kept you so safe and warm...” She trailed off and lowered her chin marginally, indicating that she wanted Aryan to carry on.

    “Uh, the...mirrorbright moon...lets...you see,” he murmured after a slight hesitation, his gaze still transfixed on Valieri’s delicate features. He was so engrossed in the moment that he failed to recognize Olag’s persistent probing, nor that his speech had improved. It almost felt natural to him at this point. “Those...uh, who have...ceased...to be. Mirrorbright...shines...the, uh...moon, as...fire...uh, fir--die...to their...embers.”

    Vaileri issued a small laugh to express her joy at Aryan’s progress. “No, don’t stop,” she scolded lightly. She then reached down to brush her hand against his cheek, her fingers grazing tenderly through his thick beard. “You’re almost there. How about we do this last part together, hmm?”

    Aryan clenched his jaw and squirmed as if he wanted to protest, but he ultimately fell back into a submissive state, seeming to melt beneath her touch. It was in this close, yet informal position that they continued the final verse:

    "Those you loved are with you still--

    The moon will help you remember.
    "

    TAG: @Lady Belligerent; @Darth_wanderguard
     
  3. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 RPF Awards Host star 6 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Combo with Sinre

    IC: Leda & A Senator & A Voice

    Kuat Sewers, beneath the Capital

    The time spent navigating Kuat’s atrocious sewers had been a sort of adventure for Leda, filled with new knowledge and a lesson she would not soon forget. Still perplexed as to how any of this was happening, she had buried those concerns and eagerly dove head first into what Insipid’s ghostly presence had offered her – a skill she had yet to possess. So, while she was sore and bruised, her thoughts fueled any part of her that had been weakened by the hotel fight prior. She felt as awake as she could possibly be.

    Having reached their destination sometime later, halting just below a heavy concentration of life that included a vague sense of the senator they sought, she paced slowly in the smelly gloom and waited. Insipid’s voice had separated from her to scout what awaited them above, and in the short minutes he was gone Leda almost missed him in some inappropriately covetous way. Missed it. Whatever this was. Because without him, she surely would have never gotten this far.

    A flicker of light caught her eye to her left and she snapped to attention, spinning about to face…

    "Lady Leda, do you trust me? Do you want to, I should say?"

    She stared for a moment at the spectre that loomed in front of her. It had a shape, yes, but it was hazy at best, made out only by a red line that hung in the air, giving the distinct appearance of a person. A person with her Emperor’s voice.

    Lowering her head in a slight bow, she brought her eyes back up to where she gathered his face would be.

    “I want to, I mean I do,” Leda stammered in a whisper, pointing up with a finger. “What did you see up there?”

    “They’re hoping to lay a trap,” Insipid said, and then replied to the original question. “Trust is a contradiction to a Sith. I ask not that you trust me.”

    The eyes flared. “I ask that you trust yourself; a Sith does not need the trust of others. To be in full control of one’s surroundings; the probabilities; the possibilities; the emotions; the perceptions... of all who exist around you.”

    “That is the power you need to have; the power I intend to offer you. The ability to seed the world with doubt, and make it yours,”
    Insipid turned back and forth. “You’re a Sith Lord, after all; you do not need me to tell you the details of what is above us. You can take control of everything around yourself without my help.”

    He dissipated, Insipid’s voice becoming guttural. “Do it,”

    Staring at the space the spectre had been, its outline left a hazy afterglow that hung in the dark until it faded away to nothing. There was a moment's hesitation as Leda fully grasped what it was Insipid was instructing her to do. But once it passed, she did not need any further explanations.

    Gathering herself in the Force, she concentrated inward and then up, reaching out and around for all the activity happening in the dwelling a story or so above her. The fingers of her thoughts sifted through until they located the faint energy of Apollin, to which she latched herself onto like a buoy in a stormy sea. And she set off.

    A rusty ladder ran up the wall a ways down the sewer tunnel, the tiniest sliver of light casting several broken rungs in blue. Leda trudged through the slop to its bottom and looked straight up. She could just barely make out a back-lit circle with her naked eyes; her way out. Hand over hand, feet following, she started to climb, carefully skipping over jagged edges of decaying metal until she reached the top. With aid in the Force, Leda slowly and noiselessly popped open the drain cover an inch and peered around, as she also used her heightened senses to confirm this would dump her out in a vacant alley, right next to the senator's location.

    She made to hurry and quickly freed herself of the underground bog, relishing the fresh, cool air that stung her lungs as she breathed in the odorless oxygen. To one side of the back alley was a tall stone building, nondescript from her view. Walking to the wall, Leda placed a hand upon the weather-worn surface and closed her eyes. Using the tools Insipid had given her, she realigned her thoughts and prepared herself, beginning to sew tendrils of doubt into the minds of those closest to her reach...

    'You can take control of everything around yourself without my help'

    She could now feel the reality in his words as a surge of energy broke forward and flooded the space beyond the wall.

    Yes. She would.

    As Leda traipsed, shadow initially her ally, it became very clear that the group surrounding the Senator had plenty of doubts, and even when the cover was shallow, did not see her at all.

    Doubts about their safety.

    Doubts about their vague employer.

    Doubts about the Senator.

    Eventually she entered a point of the warehouse that there were no more ways to cover herself, and her confidence in her abilities would be completely tested.

    Leda could not rely upon the shadows to assist; all she had was her skills in the Force, and the doubts of the single man between her and the walled off area the Senator sat at the centre of the warehouse.

    Narrowing her eyes, Leda amplified herself in the Force and directed her will solely at the guard by the door. If there was ever a time to test out her new skill, it was now. Leading with the unseen, she followed by becoming seen, striding out into full view though her victim wouldn't know it. With a hollow smile, her head tilted in concentration as she worked away at her task while holding him still and silent.

    You don't belong here, she whispered to his mind. You can't protect him, not from what you know is chasing him... She stepped closer. You are not strong enough...

    Satisfied at his blank stare and slack expression, she glanced down to the blaster he had holstered to one hip. There was a small dagger hilt hidden just inside the band and Leda smirked, doubling her efforts. She challenged herself and what she knew of her limits.

    For all the imminent danger that he was in; the man didn’t move; he didn’t see her; he didn’t hear her. A flare of fear engulfed the man, and she was hidden behind it - his doubts had blinded him, completely and utterly.

    Of course, if she touched the dagger he would notice her; his doubts would be banished on the basis that he knew his dagger was moving - his mind would uncloud, and there she would be.

    But Leda didn’t know that.

    And he might die anyway.

    Death was the only certainty when facing a True Sith.

    Now standing a foot or so before him, Leda took pride in being able to handle the situation with minimal effort. Of course she knew this was one man at one time, not the many more at once beyond the door that separated them. Still, she knew she had done well, what was the harm in acknowledging that?

    You will fail... you will fail... you will fail...

    Repeating on loop to keep him subdued, she remained vigilant and boldly reached for the knife at his right side. The second her fingers took firm hold of the handle, she yanked it free and and followed with a backhanded slash for his throat. I she succeeded, it'd be a messy but effortlessly quick way to tackle this first obstacle to the senator.

    There was a silence to the death of the man, which of course was successful; she was a Sith, he was nothing more than an impediment to her ultimate victory. Combining the Doubt Shroud with a mind trick was impressive, and a faint sense of approval rippled from that Insipid part of her mind, but he wasn't interfering at all.

    As it was, the next arena did have two people within it; a smaller circular corridor, over a sufficiently wide space that left a decent sized central location for the palpably sweating Senator; his fear reeked in the Force. The two mercenaries, however, circled the central area, patrolling behind the closed door. There was always a point where the door was unnoticed by them, because two guards was simply not enough; but these men and women were not the Best of the Best - cheap and cheerful was the name of today's game.

    So Leda had her next obstacle to cross and then the Senator was hers.

    Theirs, Insipid reminded.

    There was a ripple in the Force; a memory of someone else saying these next words, reverberating through the moment.

    Mine.

    Leda shook the echo off her mind as she settled in the aftermath of the brutal death sentence she had just delivered. Once more she began to center herself, having stepped over the fresh corpse at her feet to stand directly before the next door. She closed her eyes, feeling for the signatures on the other side. Apollin was clear; with him were a pair of unknowns, moving slowly, cautiously, lazily.

    Unaware that she was watching, deciding how best to kill them.

    Waiting, waiting some more, she planned out a strategy and waited even more, until one of the two assumed guards was passing the door and aligning the four of them into a nearly straight line. Hunter, victim, senator, victim. When that moment came, she sucked in a breath and thrust out at the door with the energy she had gathered while concentrating. It flew off its hinges with a loud boom, careening into the first guard hard enough to slam him or her into the floor at an impossibly awkward angle.

    She strode in after it, the bloody dagger still clenched in one fist. "Senator!" she called to Apollin. "We need to have a chat." And shifted her focus to the guard at the far side.

    The Senator screamed in an especially disappointing way. A huff of irritation sounded in Leda’s mind from Insipid.

    The other merc turned to face Leda, his doubts erased in that instant. Insipid chided her for her impatience, but also, with amusement.

    He lifted his rifle and opened fire even before he had lifted it; but it was not blaster fire but a stream of projectiles, in theory better because they could not be reflected. Another scream echoed in the room; his, the Twi’lek clearly expecting his death.

    The fear, Insipid crooned. Lap it up, Leda.

    She was off like a missile, Leda's legs and the Force whisking her around the perimeter of the room before the guard had even fired his first shot. Insipid - the ghost of him, rather - was spurring her on in an encouraging way, but it was an odd moment. While the projectiles of her target tailed her, the Sith always remaining a few steps ahead, the way the presence urged her, it sparked the stirrings of a memory; of the Man in Black...

    She caught her next victim just as his weapon would have caught up to her, as Leda now charged face-on. She chucked the dagger at him, meant more as a distraction than anything else because as soon as it left her hand her lightsaber hilt filled her empty grasp. The pale yellow blade was there were a second ago it was not, and she quickly severed the barrel of his rifle in two. Sparks sprayed outward and Leda redirected herself, knowing the tiny explosives in the clip would get caught in a knot, with nowhere to go but back the way they had come...

    Erecting an invisible barrier, a shield at her back, Leda strode towards Apollin and gave him a shove about a dozen feet away. "Mind your ears," she told him with a smirk.

    The man had already triggered his rifle before he had chance to let go, and it blew off his hand, his arm, and half his chest tossing the man to the floor. He shuddered, and Apollin, dishevelled and disoriented, looked back at the man as the breath left him.

    The death filled the Force, and so too did the fear, lapping Leda. There was a kind of intoxication to it; it was power incarnate. Eyes streaming, panicking, the Senator looked back at Leda, expecting the final blow.

    She watched him, feeling him; his fear and anguish seeping in through every pore in her body. It was both chilling and hot to the touch but as a result, Leda had rarely felt so resplendent in the Force. She felt as if she could snap this man in two if she wished, crush his bones, exsanguinate him....

    She moaned suddenly, and her saber deactivated with a soft echo. Visibly struggling with restraint, Leda sniffed and folded her arms across her chest. "You're a hard man to pin down, Ormes," she began now that they had no further distractions. "To think, all we wanted to do was give you our money to spend..."

    The Senator looked like he was about to spoil himself, watching this killer approach; this darksider. "Your money...?"

    Wait, Insipid said. The spectral shade of her Dark Lord emerged from the ground. Apollin glanced, and could see the ghost. "What?" The man scrabbled to go, to run. Insipid looked to Leda. The Senator was shouting at the top of his lungs for help.

    Stop him.

    Insipid's voice was hard, and cruel.

    She lifted a brow at his spectral form and nodded once.

    Apollin continued screeching, until he couldn't anymore. Guttural choking was all that could be heard coming from his mouth, which was stretched open with his tongue lolling about as he clawed at his neck with his hands. Leda's outstretched arm was reaching for his throat, her fist clenched, though not entirely. She only meant to stop his yelling, not break him.

    She would sure like to, however.

    "Hush," she snipped at him. "You have a lot of bones in your body. You scream again and they will start snapping like twigs."

    Not yet removing her hold, she looked back to Insipid.

    TBC...

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
    Jerjerrod-Lennox and greyjedi125 like this.
  4. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    Combo with Sinre, and trying very hard to live up to how Helinith truly is

    IC Renn and Ta’a
    Girl Talk



    ‘Henlinith’ turned toward Serapis for a moment and winked before turning to Secciah, “Princess, I leave you in the capable hands of the droid. I was appointed as the representative to speak to the Queen so I will do as you suggest.” She nodded, enough to hide the cheeky grin that flashed across her face for a second, before striding past the Hapan noble and headed toward the hatch to the next room.

    ‘She’ had felt the next room was occupied and from the sense of the presence it could only be the older sister to the Princess here. Schooling her face to as neutral an expression as possible she stepped through the hatch but decided to wait until it cycled shut before speaking. She knew she had to take the initiative and therefore the upper hand with this being, as well as keep her off guard so as to make anything positive come from it.

    “Don’t care if you hate all Force users or just Jedi, but I bet you hate your sister more Princess, and she’s just behind me, in the previous room, trying to butter up a compatriot, to convince us to aid her.”

    Ta'a narrowed her already sharp eyes. "I know, which is why I'm meeting you here, and not there." She was not off-guard at all, keeping up with 'Helinith' just as quickly as Renn sought to manipulate her.

    She turned to walk with Helinith, admittedly trying to suss out what was off about the woman. Was it merely that she was Sith? Remembering her lessons, Ta'a moved on. "The Sith offered my mother security and the opportunity to expand what we have; that did not materialise and two fleets were lost for it. While my younger sister will probably try to bribe you with something or other, I want to know why I should support you in overthrowing my mother."

    "We both know that this confrontation that your Darth Insipid has caused is just that; an attempt to stir up the failings of my mother in aligning with the Sith. She has no choice but to come across radicalised against you, for fear the nobles who spilled their blood for you at Terephon and Bedlam causing issues, which means you need to cut ties. Inevitably that means killing my mother, and replacing her. One, that's easy. The second? Less so. If you make it look like you killed her, you turn the entire Consortium against you... and your secret survival may leak out."

    Ta'a grinned. "For example, if anything were to happen to me, an automated buoy would head to Chandrila and offer all manner of data to the New Republic. My younger sister, however, hasn't made any such plans."

    ‘Helinith’ grinned back, “Who said anything about anything happening to you? You’re too much fun to be rid of, beside I like you. Anyone who takes pleasure in eliminating their foes, family especially is my kind of person.”

    “But yes, mommy dearest has to go, she already has you in her targeting sights, no daughters, Princess my dear.” She said, hand tracing over her own abdomen. “So what’s the most fun way to do so, that leaves us all with our pretty little heads still attached. Doubling up would be enjoyable as well, then no snot nosed sisters prying into your business.”

    “And no, no telling, we just met, so I’ll keep my ideas to myself for now. After all, I'm on my way to promise your mother that we can help you have a daughter right now.” Helinith grinned again at the Hapan woman, as they continued toward the security checkpoint that led to the Queen.

    Ta'a grimaced. "That I do not have a daughter has undermined my position, certainly... but I doubt we can wait another year for me to birth this miracle child you offer my mother..."

    A sniff. "I am no Womb of Hapan Destiny..." Ta'a stroked her chin. "But my sister Secciah should survive. I do not want to appear a tyrant, after all. The opposition should remain intact to keep one sharp... and to enable a figurehead for my enemies to collect around."

    "I suspect that's a problem with you Sith." She shrugged. "This desire to win; you have no enemies, and create them, yes? Was it not a War of Three you were fighting recently?"

    Not that Renn was a participant in the recent internal conflict, he would recall all manner of 'Sith Civil War' in his time. "So if we are to talk, it would be on the basis that my sister survives, and my mother dies. We shall resume the quieter arrangement thereafter, and we shall have the opportunity to... call upon each other if so needed?"

    A finger was raised. "But no more fleets. I will not spent Hapan lives as frivolously as my mother."

    They were nearing the end of the corridor, which, of course, was entirely empty of anyone who might comment.

    ‘Helinith’ liked this one more and more, sharp mind but ruthless. “When you have the power freedom grants, yes you have division, and war, and we do so like to fight.”

    Ta’a obviously knew her business as there were no prying ears, at least none that could be seen, around as they spoke, deniability at the highest level. “That is a deal I’m sure we can work with, both the arrangements and the fleets. So we shall see how things further develop.”

    “But, I suspect, next is the thorough security checks to see your mother, and also agree to her terms, for now, so that our deal might even occur.” She said as they came to the end of the corridor.

    Ta'a placed a finger on her chin. Something wasn't right... the woman was inquisitive, and she had to figure this out before Helinith left her. "Our deal, yes."

    "We shall see how things develop..." The Princess stepped in-front of Helinith to block her path, eyes widening, and Ta'a stepped forward, meeting Helinith's eyes directly.

    "... but what is it you want from all of this, personally. I want to work with you, not just the Sith."

    ‘Helinith’ paused. Ta’a was just as intelligent, if not more so than the reports had indicated. She’d seen something, sensed something, perhaps, that had given away more than ‘she’d’ meant to reveal.

    “You know,aside from one other person I know no one, not even in the Order, has asked that before.” Renn thought fast, knowing much hinged on what was to come, especially with Ta’a involved.

    ‘Helinith’ reached out, knowing the protocols involving a royal and ignoring them this once. ‘Her’ fingers laid across Ta’a’s arm, curled over, out of sight of any security cameras. With her next words, those same fingers, seen only to Ta’a seemed to change color slightly, turning a slight greenish brown from the tips to the knuckles, before returning to human normal.

    “Having had this talk, I too wish to work with you, something, more than just the Hapan Cluster, can end up benefiting from you and I doing so." 'Her' words took on a huskier tone, "I want your position secured, whether what it is now or more than that, and then build from there.”

    Ta’a looked down, and pursed her lips. “I appreciate that...” the lips turned to a smile. “I will not reveal anything; but know that I could. Practice, my friend, makes perfect.”

    The reason for her smile was not that she had something she could hold against not-Helinith; the Neti, probably. It was because he was a man, and Ta’a was not concerned by men.

    With a sniff, she turned to go. “I expect her dealt with today. Kill whomever supports her; my sister and our children are off-limits. If a single one dies, I will hunt you to the ends of the galaxy, Lady Helinith.”

    She emphasised the name.

    ‘Helinith’ grinned broadly. “Of course, Princess, dear. We already agreed to those terms.”

    ‘She’ slipped forward toward the following hatch, “By the way, not a Hapan, very important to remember, and not what you think so you may want to broaden your mind on that, Ginger.” she said as the hatch opened and she stepped through to confront security.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @DarthIshyZ, @darthhelinith, @Snokers
     
  5. Jerjerrod-Lennox

    Jerjerrod-Lennox Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    OOC: It's....SUPER COMBO TIME!:D. Featuring myself, @Darth_wanderguard , @Sinrebirth , @Lady Belligerent , @QueenSabe7 and @Quinlan Vos

    IC: Captain Lennox Jerod, Ami Sayul, Plo, Syren, Ike, Bellorum, Vex Nolzit
    Location: Bilbousa Bazaar, Nal Hutta

    The lights had burst in a brilliant display, leaving the auction house dim but for the muted sun shining through the skylights above and onto the stretched hides which formed its walls. The “building” in truth was little more than an elaborate tent - a motley assortment of less than fine animal leathers pinned across a checkered framework of some kind of black wood native to Nal Hutta.

    “60,000!” the bid came after a flourish of Lord Chall’s whip, and the Zabrak in the front row mood darkened. Yellow eyes burned into Bellorum with lust, and did not stray as he spoke to his understudy.

    “Lord Chall shall be allowed to win the slaves,” he said, his voice like gravel wrapped in velvet. “See to it that he does not leave with them. Bring them instead to my offices on Taris. Buy a reliable ship for the journey. Do this and I will train you at last.” With that, he handed the other Zabrak known as Vex Nolzit a chip loaded with just over five hundred thousand credits, turned, and disappeared into the crowd.

    Vex would have all the necessary knowledge to complete the task - the location of the man’s offices, the passcodes to access them, and a secure comm channel to contact him if needed - but would know the man himself only as Darth Xiaozhan. The two had been a pair now for a short while, Xiaozhan promising at every turn to provide Vex the Sith training he so coveted, but subsequently breaking every promise made when he found the tasks he asked done to be unsatisfactory for one reason or another. In any case, Xiaozhan had still compensated him handsomely for every deed, and Vex had been brought somewhat peripherally into the man’s circle of trust. Enough so to know that he had some ties to a group known as The Exchange.

    Unlike the majority of the crowd, Vex didn't have quite as fine of a time watching the vulgar display on stage. He rarely found pleasure in anything anymore, as his years upon years as an assassin and hired gun had taken its toll on his now cold heart. He instead scanned the crowd, looking for any danger to his employer, as a glorified bodyguard. He had been promised so many times before to be trained in the dark arts, yet Darth Xiaozhan never followed through. Nevertheless, the young Zabrak stuck around because the jobs given by this man always payed well, and that was the one thing that Vex cared for these days.

    After receiving orders from his "master", he stalked off, ready to follow through with the task at hand. He hoped this time he would be more successful, and that he would finally get the training he so craved. Taking a sharp left into a makeshift alleyway, he decided to take the backstreets and his climbing gear to get to a vantage point where he could watch the buyer leaving the area, and then track him down from there.

    To Ami Sayul, the departing Vex had been just another face as he brushed past her at the entrance. The auction house was shaking with the raucousness of the crowd, visible from a distance as the building dominated the landscape around it, and the whole situation had left Ami questioning her own judgment well before they even arrived. At the doors she turned back to look at Jerod, communicating her uncertainty without a word, and then pushed through the doors.

    It was dark and smoky inside, and as her eyes adjusted she spied what she thought were a handful of familiar faces.

    “Is that... no,” she thought out loud. “Lennox,” she turned.“Uh...” she didn’t have to say anything else. Lady Bellorum and Lady Syren were both on the stage, dressed as Hutt slaves. Plo was with them. Ami had rarely been so confused in her life, even having been around the Sith for some time to this point. She had not, however, expected this. “He’s not... is he actually selling them? This can’t be what it looks like...” she turned back to watch Bellorum working the crowd, and was more convinced than ever that something else was going on. She’d not interacted much with the Dark Lady, but couldn’t imagine she’d ever willingly go along this way with being an actual slave. Let alone Lady Syren with whom she’d always been too intimidated to speak directly, even during her employment with Aryan Graul.

    Jerod had already been through hell and was wondering whether this place could get any worse….

    It did.

    After seeing Ami nearly get shoved over by a passing Zabrak (he had gone before Lennox could shoot a look at him) they had entered the auction house which was basically a tent. As they entered, Jerod nearly coughing in the smoky interior he saw a sight he thought would never see and one which would be seared into his eyeballs for the rest of his life.

    Ladies Bellorum and Syren dressed in skimpy slave bikinis doing their thing on stage. And it seemed the crowd were loving what they were doing. Lennox snorted at the vulgarity of it all but on the plus side Plo was with them, so this had to be part of some master plan. At least Lennox hoped so.

    Some of the others had to be here too, Lennox couldn't see these three going alone. Was Anark, Ike or Aryan about?. If Syren was here Aryan had to be around somewhere, those two never were far away from each other, well in the olden days.

    With his batons and blaster hanging at his sides Jerod looked more like a bodyguard than a business person, but he would be there just in case things got nasty. And as his bright green eyes scanned the crowd he did see a few rough looking types.

    Lennox did not approach nor give any sign of recognition it would be tactically dangerous to do so, he folded his arms and looked the ladies up and down as if he was considering buying them, he spoke to Ami in a voice only she could hear.

    "Yes I believe it looks that way" he said "If this is Plo's plan it must be to draw out whomever is buying slaves at the moment and perhaps get them a lead to Hel and Xander. Crime syndicates would love a place like this, they get the best merchandise from here" he looked around again "There must be others here from the group posing either as rival buyers or outlaws, it would be dangerous to leave them on their own whether they are Sith or not"

    He faced forward again "Stay close to me and watch. We do not approach we do not show any sign of recognition. The same goes if we see Hel or Xander. If things get nasty stay with me and i'll get you out."

    For now Lennox would wait, watch and bide his time.

    Ami nodded, somewhat relieved that her initial instinct had apparently not been totally off base.

    On the stage things were still escalating. At least that damn Zabrak had left, Plo thought. Ike’s last bid seemed to have scared him off and it looked as though everything would go to plan. The smell of smoke was getting intense now, however.

    “Fire!!” Someone yelled from the side of the stage. Plo turned to see flames rapidly climbing the hide wall, and spreading across the thresh flooring. “Oh,” he acknowledged aloud, and turned to the slaves. “We should probably leave,” he had to shout over the commotion that had erupted as scores of auction house denizens fought for position in trying to get to the door.

    The building was packed and in no way built for safety, and so an orderly evacuation was less than a realistic proposition. People were going to die.

    Plo jumped down from the stage in what he thought was a relatively less crowded pocket near the side, but was quickly run into, and nearly over, as the panicked crowd shifted like an amorphous blob. He met one particularly aggressive human male with a short blow to the jaw, and watched the man fall and then be trampled.

    Crushed against the stage at the waist, Plo leaned uncomfortably back, trying his best to block elbows and fists which were coming from every direction. He didn’t want to kill more people than necessary, but this was now a full-scale riot, and he realized he’d lost track of the others. He fingered the switch of his lightsaber, preparing to cut his way through to the exit.

    Syren heard Plo's exclamation as an aside; her eyes were already following the flames as they crawled up one pavilion wall, twisting above and below to fan out in every direction. Inwhat felt like seconds, she was staring at an inferno. She turned, snapping out of it, only to find Plo gone and the crowd quickly shifting into a hysterical stampede to the exit.

    She only took one sweep of her surroundings to look for him, though she could sense him close by, and even Ike pinged her awareness... which ordinarily she might find strange but there was no time for that now. Instead, she shouted at Bellorum over her shoulder -"Over here!" - and ran to the side of the stage, finally locating the former Night Herald as he struggled against the wall of beings threatening to sweep him under their feet.

    Reaching him though not pausing, Syren grimaced as she covertly reached forward with both arms then swept them out and away from each other. The screaming mob parted directly in front of Plo, knocked over by unseen shoves to either side.The effect would be largely unnoticed in the mayhem and it would be fleeting - more welcoming. "Can we break out through a wall? We'll never make it to the main gate!" she asserted after landing down beside him, ready to sprint across the already quickly disappearing opening she had created...

    Plo had breathed in relief as Syren opened a path - maybe more subtly than he was about to do himself. The mass of lifeforms had been about to crush him. “Thank you. Let’s get to the other side and see,!” he answered, then gave her a shove before following.

    Bellorum was grabbing up her cloak when she heard Syren shouting, there was no wise choice but to follow. There were screams from beings that were getting trampled by the rush to escape, and fights were breaking out.

    They couldn’t blame her for this, she set Haretisch on fire, not the auction house. Clearly they had poor construction in this time. Bellorum pulled the cloak around her shoulders and dashed after Syren, she leapt past the two Sith and ran through the closing gap.

    She waved her arm and tossed anyone that blocked their path. Once she was close enough she spoke to them in hushed tones, “did you see that Zabrak leave? I swear he’s a Force user!” There wasn’t time to discuss it then, but she wanted to find him.

    “Never mind that now,” Plo answered, coughing. The smoke was oppressive. The three were crouched against a wall now, one of the few that was not on fire, in an isolated pocket of safety. The chaos was still all around them. He fingered the switch on his lightsaber and turned it on to the wall, biting into the black wooden framework with the blade, only it repelled it and left not even a scotch mark. “What the kriff is going on with this wood?” he asked in frustration. “Cutting a hole isn’t an option and if we blow a wall out I’m afraid this whole building will come down on us before we get clear. Has anyone seen Ike and Anark?”

    Ike growled as it all went to shavit. Cracking his whip, he managed to drive some space within the panic, but all manner of idiot tripped over themselves and it made no difference. Ike opted to step among the crowd, as that was simpler.

    He caught a flash of something; a shiv. A random assailant taking advantage of things? Or a targeted kill? Ike turned slightly, the stab skittering through silk and caressing his skin. A brandished grin, and Ike wound his whip around the man's throat and choked him to death. Pawing through the corpse, Ike found nothing but trinkets - a simple scav.

    The Force was busy with the tang of Sith digging in and using it, and Ike growled as the crowd by him grew more clogged as they were forced to either side. Ike recognised that Force use but not all of it; there as at least one unknown here and that was a good enough reason for Ike to hold back from using the Force; not that he had space on his ensemble for his lightsaber hilt... not unless he was pretending it was a torch or a toy or something.

    He managed to make his way to the others with some more subtle Force use, broadening his senses for the trail of the unfamiliar Force use, like Insipid had taught him to; back when Ike has kept to the shadows and backstreets of the galaxy. He sensed Jerod, which drew a smirk from him, and Ike couldn’t resist tweaking the Imperials nose with the Force as he found Plo trying to use his blade on the wood; it didn’t budge.

    “I’m here,” Ike caught the tail-end of his complaint. “It must have been treated with beskar or phrik or some-such.”

    “Plo,” he looked up. “I guess we're not very undercover nowadays, but can we jump the walls, or, do we wait until this place clears enough to call our ship in?” Ike cast out his senses. “We’re bound to have pissed someone off with heavies, though. We might have a very public and messy fight if we stay.” He unwound his whip.“Not sure where Anark is.”

    It had all gone to hell in a handbasket.

    A fire had broken out now and it was fast turning into a riot. And Jerod and Ami were now stuck. The exit was being swarmed by people and there was no way they could try and go that way without being trampled, crushed or basically possibly stabbed to death.

    Time to get physical again ...but where could he go? One way was a wall of fire, the other way was a crush. Tactically it was not looking good either way and there was Ami to consider too. He unsheathed his batons and prepared himself for another fight. His left arm was a little better but it was about to get bashed again.

    Then he felt a tweak on his nose and he smiled a little, one of the Sith (probably either Bellorum or Ike but Lennox suspected the latter) had spotted him. It was hopefully a beacon of sorts, hopefully it would mean safety at least.

    Jerod coughed as the smoke got worse "Follow me, i'll try to clear a path. The Sith have spotted us and they could be our way out" he was already getting jostled so he had to act fast and hope Ami would follow and not get trampled or knocked over.

    He sprang forward immediately using his batons to try and knock people aside and he was using all the force he could muster, just so long as it created a gap big enough for him and Ami to get through.

    Lennox also added a bit of flair and flamboyance as he swept people aside with the batons, using uppercuts, jabs and even sweeps. His feet flew too if there was a big enough gap to extend his legs or at least knee people out of the way. People were dying here which was a shame but Lennox was focusing on getting to the Sith and to get himself and Ami out.

    He was shouting and grunting all the way batting away other people's fists, feet and even the odd knife. Lennox was taking blows but he resolved to at least go out in style if it was his day to snuff it. He spotted the Sith group and with a flourish, threw his batons in the air and commenced a charge that knocked several people out of the way. As he reached the group he caught the batons and then smirked at Ike as if to say See? Even Imperials can have fun

    Jerod turned serious again and crouched down having a coughing fit as he stood within the group he gave a nod to the rest of the Sith. "Considering the fact me and Ami had come to get some shopping this is turning into an unexpected trip. This is my second fight today and I would rather it be the last" he shook his head resting his batons on the floor "Our options are not looking good, the exit is no good and,I don't know if these walls are any good to cut through. Tactically speaking we're screwed, unless you have Aryan hidden as backup somewhere or we can find another exit" he looked around "Unless you get the shuttle to come in and blast a hole in the roof or the wall"

    “You really do have the most unfortunate timing,” Plo remarked as Jerod arrived with Ami Sayul in tow. He was still considering how to get them all out of this. “It would take too long for the ship to get here,” he shook his head. “No...”

    “I have an idea,” Ami spoke up, then paused. Plo looked at her expectantly. “Can’t your lightsabers cut into the ground?”

    Plo looked down at the auction house floor, which was little more than dirt which had been tamped down by foot traffic to be nearly dense as stone. That might work.

    The riot was intensifying now, and Jerod had unfortunately garnered a fair bit of attention with his violent theatrics in making it to them. A fist would meet the captain suddenly in the back of the head with enough force to dizzy him, Ike would receive a shove from behind and another from the side, while Bellorum, Ami, and Syren would all be attracting attention from what would seem no less than a dozen groping hands each.

    “Hold them off, I’ll dig us out under the wall if I can,” Plo shouted over the fracas, and activated his lightsaber again. It bit into the ground with a sizzle.

    She had no weapons on her, as there was no kriffing place on her body to hide something the size of a lightsaber hilt, so Syren did what she did best.

    A random arm managed to forcibly grab around her midsection and push, but she planted her feet before her body could lose balance. Whirling an elbow sharply around into the streaming crowds, she clocked an elderly woman square in the jaw with enough force that she was thrown back into a few other beings, effectively clearing a small spot in front of her. In that little vacant space, she knelt and pressed her open palms into the earthly ground. A moment later, a pulse - or quake,depending on your distance from its epicenter - shoved outward into the horde and shook the first few waves off their feet. It gave them a brief reprieve from the pressure of bodies, and she expected someone else to pick up the slack next.

    Syren repeated the maneuver once more and then stood, preparing to individually Force Push anyone that came too close to touch her.

    Dress up as a slave he said,” Bellorum huffed as she Force choked a filthy human male that had grabbed her. “Don’t kriffing touch me,” she shouted loud enough to cause a few rowdies to duck away from her.

    A very large snarling Barabel had made for Haretisch, the reptile had fixed on Haretisch’s lightsaber and was determined to make it his own. Bellorum ignited her violet blade and stepped between the lizard and Haretisch. His eyes glowed from the reflection of her lightsaber, and he made a quick decision to take the Dark Lady’s rather than fight the male. “Oh, yes,” Bellorum smiled, “I’m going to be an easy fight, eh? Much easier than fighting him,” she jerked her head towards Haretisch who was cutting the floor. “Come on big boy, let’s get on with it,” Bellorum taunted. The Barabel’s tongue slithered, tasting the air, and something dripped from the corner of his mouth.

    Bellorum stood in place waiting for him to come to her, to make the first strike. Which came quickly and he almost knocked her over with a powerful strike with his tail. She leapt the moment she realized it was coming, so the razor sharp rear appendage only sliced a cut into her bare thigh. She’d felt the sting as the slash opened and the warmth of blood oozing down her leg.

    “Nice one, I guess a tail comes in handy,” Bellorum gasped with effort and she sprung at the beast with her lightsaber flashing. She decided he would need to suffer a little before dying, and her aim was true as she met his tail coming at her. Her blade easily went through scales and bone, and the beast roared as his tail lay on the floor twitching. He looked down at it in disbelief before grabbing the appendage and running to merge into the mob trying to escape.

    Bellorum extinguished her blade and used a fold of her cloak to wipe up some of the blood from her thigh, “bastard,” she spat.

    Notwithstanding that Jerod's almost 'Imperial in white Vader armour' charge had made Ike smile in spite of himself, Ike was getting irritable. They didn't have time for this. He made some space, whipping at heads and necks. "Plo, unless you're going to suggest something right now, I am going to settle for leaving here over a mountain of dead people."

    He lifted his free hand, allowing lightning to travel up his fingers, and put the bolt into the face of a warbling Rodian, aimed for his eye. A scream; a dead person. With a sweep of his hand he snapped a few necks to make his point, but there was too much chaos. There were a lot of people. The Sith would have to act in some degree of concert to do much.

    But the decision to massacre a crowd was not his.

    This was getting seriously messy now.

    "Well I wouldn't have been here at all had your cargo not contained hawkbats which ate the whole food supply of the ship. Nor would I be in this place if our crate of hawkbat eggs we were going to sell was not set upon by idiots who wanted to fight us for them" Lennox returned looking up at him with his stoic face back on for a minute.

    There were bodies everywhere now and the fire was not abating. From his crouched position it looked like they were all going to be stuck. Until ami suggested Plo cut a hole in the floor, mentally Jerod shook his head, he should have seen that idea a mile off. The fog of combat must have gotten to his head.

    At least Ike had acknowledged his antics with a smile which Lennox returned quickly. As he rose to tackle another horde incensed by what he had just done he was hit behind the head, and it hurt so much he was seeing stars. And he nearly ended up face first on the floor had he not put his hands down with the batons.

    OK that's it, now I'm angry.

    Whilst the Sith did what they did best which included Syren and Ike using their Force powers and Bellorum whipping out her lightsaber, so much for low profile Jerod thought, Lennox and Ami had to rely on brute force. He was still injured from the hawkbat attack and the last fight and now he was dizzy with his vision swimming. He had to keep going though.

    He turned, a little too slowly for his liking and a bit wobbly on his feet and managed to give his assailant a good baton whack in the face, well at least he hoped it was his face. Other assailants he tried his best to keep at bay with his batons only, with a few twirls added in for a flourish, but he was faltering because of the dizziness. He was nearly seeing double of things and his balance was all over the place but he was determined to make sure at least that the riotous crowd stayed away.

    But there were too many and Lennox was beginning to worry a little that he could end up on the floor unconscious and maybe trampled to death.

    "Whatever you are going to do, better do it fast, because i'm not quite sure how much longer we can hold this crowd off!" He looked at Ike with narrowed eyes "No.more people need to die because of this".

    “Done!” Plo shouted, silently congratulating himself on his own timing. He focused, lifting a roughly square mound of impacted soil out of the hole he had cut, and flinging it at a group of attackers. It bowled them over, seeming to knock one unconscious but only making the others more angry. He turned back to the short tunnel, and with a blast of force energy blew a hole the remaining way through to the other side just past the wall. It was just big enough for a person to squeeze through.

    “Go!” He grabbed Ami’s arm and shoved her roughly toward the tunnel. She was offended for a moment but thought better of bringing the issue up now. Instead she slid down into the hole, which reached to her shoulder, and then climbed up and shimmied through the opening. She emerged on the other side and took a deep breath of fresh air, mud-begrimed but relieved all the same.

    As each party member proceeded single file, Plo would insist on going last, collapsing the tunnel once he was through, lest the attackers follow.

    As the mayhem erupted below, Vex sat patiently on his perch, keeping his sniper rifles scope aimed upon the group he was meant to be liberating for return to his client. However, that task grew more and more difficult by the minute, as more and more of the gathered crowd was joining into the mob and causing mayhem. It also didn't help that the group he was meant to be reaching was growing in numbers quickly, and each of them was dangerous in their own right. The lightsabers were the last straw, and he knew that he wasn't getting them without a fight that he knew he would lose.

    As he watched them, one of them finally managed to create a hole to escape the confines of the area, and they all rushed out, quickly covering their tracks so that none might follow. The young Zabrak lifted his rifle and slung it over his back, deciding he should quickly leave before the entire place was either burned to the ground or destroyed by the horde below.

    He quickly gathered his gear and retreated down to the alley from which he had achieved his position, slipping around the crowd and out one of the side exits, deliberating on his next course of action...

    TAG: @Lady Belligerent , @Darth_wanderguard , @Sinrebirth
     
  6. Darth Cocytus

    Darth Cocytus Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    May 8, 2016
    Darth Cocytus

    Darth Cocytus's smile grew as it became clear that he was of one mind with other kaminoans, aside from his apprentice, that Lama Su would be removed one way or another. He eyed Taun We carefully, sensing her lust for power just as much as the Sidious AI did and pondered for a moment before bringing his attention back to the horde of clones. They were now getting too close for Lama Su's comfort and Cocytus sensed blood lust from Lady Styx. He himself had the exact same bloodlust all his life.Yet, however, having learned to control it during his time in the Sith Order, a new cruel idea crossed Cocytus's mind, and reached out into the force with a small raise of his hand.

    Suddenly, each of the clones would feel something grab at their throat like an iron vine, strangling them tightly, especially the ones grabbing for the Prime Minsiter. "I could just let them drag Lama Su down and do to him whatever horrific thing one could think of." Cocytus spoke softly to both Styx and Taun We, cold venom in his voice, "Yet I find disgrace by lost of power to be a far crueler fate. That is a fate far worse than death for even a Sith Lord, if you ask me. Besides, they could capsize us and drag us along with him. We can't have that happen to us now can we?"

    The Sith Kaminoan glanced at Taun We again as his force grip tightened around the clones. A smile was on his face and his eyes burned yellow with the Dark Side. "I'm afraid I'm not one for politics." Cocytus said, "I prefer to have a politician's ear rather than be a politician myself. Tell me, though, how reliable could a Prime Minster Taun We be for both Kaminoan and Sith interest?"

    @Sinrebirth
     
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  7. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Soliloquy
    Sinking into the shallow ocean, Kamino

    Climate change was a fickle thing, a point of life and things never exactly staying the same. He could in passing wax long about such a thing. It was most humorous how many races saw godly favor or displeasure and did not actually understand their own solar systems and why things were happening. The Kaminoans had looked within and then turned that to look without, but in the end despite being finheads now, they were markedly mired in land based thinking. Sink it and let the ocean cleanse it, a risky way of doing things from a micro perspective, efficient from a macro, but this clone rebellion was anything but macro.

    At last the files were downloaded, securely stored for what was sure to be harrowing adventure under the waves when Shimmer and Esme began to let in with their petty foibles of dislike at his method of saving their lives. Honestly he was nearly to the point of pointing out that if they didn't want him to save their lives they were free to try and grow gills on their own. Of course that rebuttal was lost when the floor decided to run away from them after shaking explosions rattled through it. The City unceremoniously dropped, hurling them up to the ceiling and unleashing a wave of water that crashed up through the floors themselves. Esme struggled to reach Soliloquy, while Shimmer manipulated the Force to ensure she arrived, nuzzling into the re-breather even as Esme was on the verge of being separated from them.

    Exerting small will the cognition hood like a released jellyfish dangled down and over Shimmer's head as a snake like tube found her mouth and wormed it's way to her lungs where the end unfurled, the whole apparatus began to breath for her. Breathing in perfect mirror image to her own needs. Then the mental link was established between her and his bio-suit that he had manifested through ancient techniques. Through that common link that he shared he spoke/thought into her mind. "Shimmer, pull Esme in."

    With the electrical equipment shorted out it added illumination to the depths for the moments it had left, but entire segments of the City were coming apart around them, and all manner of monster-clone was struggling above them, being crushed, being impaled, being driven down upon them with a City on top of their heads. Some of them made gestures with the Force, skills buried and borrowed from the dead, but navigating this disaster was going to be difficult.

    Erecting a Force barrier around himself, and himself alone he made sure to hold or adjust falling things around them. Knowing where they roughly were the best choice was to force his way out to open water. From their he would be exposed, but would have a great many more options to handle the situation. First thing first. Let Shimmer save her grandmother, seal them both within his bio armor plated robes, and then using techniques similar to many non skeletonized creatures such as squid and jelly fish, bladder and undulation propulsion his way out of here. Maybe use the Force to blast a wall or door out of the way and lightning fry anything that dared to come close, followed by Force Shoving them away into the nearest object, hopefully a pointy one.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  8. Silvertough

    Silvertough Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Aug 19, 2018
    IC: Vyatoris/ Azeth Drost
    Kamino - Tipoca City

    An odd silence took hold, broken only by the shaky breaths of Vyatoris as he inched ever slowly further backwards into the shaft, away from both the open air, and the ravenous clones. He had escaped danger, if only for the briefest of moments, and for what? A measly sample of data? Pah.

    He shook his head, ignoring the faint shudder which accompanied his breathing. I just need to find some backwater planet to hide away in.. Just for a few years.. Too many risks.. His movements slowed to a halt, judging that he had made it a safe enough distance away from the opening of the shaft. One with a beach.. ..yeah..

    His thoughts were interrupted by the sudden beeping of his communicator, the sound of which shattered any previous illusion of silence. With a groan, he activated his holocom, and was greeted by the visage of Insipid, cast upon the droid Trayus' droid face.

    "Report. The destruction of Tipoca City was anticipated by Lord Insipid, but not that only you would survive to report in. He will be displeased."

    Vyatoris' eyebrow raised in alarm. How was he the only survivor? That was pure nonsens-

    A horrific, primal howl exploded through the cramped passageway, simultaneously and instantaneously blinding and deafening the Miraluka Sith. The force itself seemingly trembling as something crawled it's way into the shaft after him. This was no clone, no, this was wrong, defiled. Black, eldritch tendrils pushed their way up through the clone's fractured skin, pulsating in random directions.

    With what little willpower he could muster in that instant, Vyatoris ignited his lightsaber, keeping his blade between him and whatever thing was crawling it's way towards him.

    Trayus repeated itself, apparently unfazed by the abomination before it.

    There was little time to mince words. From between clenched teeth, Vyatoris spoke. "Betrayed on all sides, Cocytus is involved, along with a clone of Kronos. I have proof! Just get me offwor-!"

    And then the floor gave way with a tumultuous screech, tossing both Miraluka and clone, along with the entirety of Tipoca City, into the insatiable seas of Kamino below. It was only by pure instinct that Vyatoris activated his rebreather in time, mere moments before he impacted the waves, and then dragged below soon after by the sheer weight of Tipoca City sinking. The force, for all it's help, was useless to him, effectively making him blind. Madness and terror were ever-present on all sides, hiding any semblance of up and down, left or right.

    He gagged on the recycled air of the rebreather, which combined with the sudden frigid cold of the water sent his heart rate into an uncontrolled skyrocket.

    The clone, or whatever it was, was gone, at least for the moment, yet even in his panic-stricken mind, Vyatoris was sure it was just waiting for the right time to strike.. along with the rest of it's god-forsaken brethren..

    Tag: @Sinrebirth
     
  9. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Short combo with @greyjedi125 and @Sinrebirth (as the NPCs)

    IC: Manticore & Bernael
    The Search for Leda


    It was clear they needed to act, if they wished to not only remain in control of the situation, but also to influence it to their desired outcome. Without missing a beat from hearing Bernael’s ‘suggestion and his own initiative, Manticore turned to the pilot who seemed the most fearful.

    “I think the patient had some sort of epileptic attack, and has now lost consciousness. You must land the shuttle now, before its too late.”

    Pouring his will and utilizing Affect Mind to impress an urgent need to land the craft, he also combined his force exertion with Probe Mind in order to glean what transpired inside the pilot’s mind. It stood to reason that if one pilot was made to comply, the other would follow suit.

    The mind of the pilot had been held once before, so it yielded again once Manticore brought the distraction under control. After all, he was a Sith Lord, and they were just medics.

    “Of course, we definitely do.” The other pilot nodded along.

    The first pilot tapped the comlink and conveyed the emergency, and the New Republic X-wings seemed to accept the explanation. “Alright, keep us up to date if you need anything.”

    They turned to head away, and the shuttle began to drop. “Where should we land?”

    Bernael’s head lifted, looking to Manticore, a grin hidden behind his mask. “Seems our Leda has a friend with her. Someone quite scared of her.”

    His head turned, slowly, arm pointing toward a building like many others around it, “In there, three dead, her, and a slowly strangling male. So setting down on the street out front, we may have a true casualty needing pickup if the male annoys her anymore.”

    There was more than that in the building, staying quiet and keeping their emotions silent as so taught to do, when facing Force users. But they scattered as the med ship began to head down, abandoning their charge.

    They had reconnected, and, it seemed, won.

    The Force rippled; Darth Insipid's shade was present.

    Manticore felt an all too familiar presence in the Force and had to wonder if 'that' had all been part of the original plan. Even more reason to complete their mission. "There." He said to the pilots as they began their descent, pointing to a specific location not far from where he sensed the Emperor.

    He then turned towards Bernael and whispered: "Two more meals?"

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @greyjedi125, @QueenSabe7 (Mentioned)
     
  10. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Darth Insipid, Greater
    Kuat, Warehouse

    A few deaths, a few fled, and of course a capital brutalised and a Core World pushed into New Republic control. Insipid smiled to himself, such as he was. Kuat was becoming a rather inevitable and obvious focal point for the Imperial Remnants, a fulcrum which would have seen the resurgent Empire crushed. There was no usefulness to that, not right now. In a decade or two, maybe three, the Sith would be strong enough to act against the New Republic and the Jedi.

    It served his purpose more for the Empire to be driven underground, and to fester within the hearts of disenfranchised men and women who had lost everything to the New Republic. If he could have it girdle the Senate, all the better. Palpatine wove the shadowmoth of the Empire within the cocoon of the Old Republic, but the Senate was dissolved for merely four years before the Empire fell. So close to being completely born, brilliant and free.

    From what Insipid could tell of this timeline, Operation Cinder had been a last ditch effort to rip the Empire free of the Old Republic, an attempt foiled at the Battle of Jakku. Oh to imagine an Empire devoid of bureaucracy and minutiae; just raw military potential and direction.

    He rued.

    It's goal? First - Order.

    Which is probably why the First Order existed at all. Insipid sighed. He would have to get back to that soon enough.

    Otherwise, he was on task.

    He was dead, of course, but that was a minor detail. He had been dead before, and he had always made it back, usually by leapfrogging upon the consciousnesses of others; Helinith, Graul (as Skelm), and now Leda. Sometimes it was a full-blown anchor; other times it was a mere conversation, holding it so that the interaction kept Insipid tethered by memory alone.

    Thank you, Lady Leda, Insipid said, crooning at her unbridled threat. The others had finally managed to catch-up; Manticore and Bernael. Good; their distraction had forced the Kuati's hand and accelerated the New Republic occupation, and allowed him to do... this.

    He trailed from Leda, a wisp of memory rolling with him as he went.

    Watch and learn, he said, a malice pouring into the Force. His spirit settled upon Apollin, who grew pale and sweat in his discomfort. "I stopped, what are you, no, don't - "

    Insipid lifted his hand to his mouth, holding a finger up. "Shhhh," he said, to the Senator. "Enough now."

    The body convulsed, once, and then lay still for a moment. Insipid sat up, looking at the body. "There we go." With a gesture, the Force opened the entrances between here and there, revealing Manticore and Bernael. They were reunited.

    With a smile, he looked from Leda to them. "I will accept questions now."

    Insipid gathered himself up, and stood to speak to them. He would not have accepted an offered hand if one was. His eyes glowed yellow in the Senator's face, but in the Force, it was only him once again; this time as Senator Apollin, of Kuat.

    TAG: @QueenSabe7, @greyjedi125, @darthbernael
    ---
    IC: Taun We

    Kamino, In the Middle of the Anti-Coup

    As Cocytus demonstrated his prowess with the Force, Taun We listened.

    "I prefer to have a politician's ear rather than be a politician myself. Tell me, though, how reliable could a Prime Minster Taun We be for both Kaminoan and Sith interest?"

    Taun We watched as the clones suffocated, her eyes blinking glacially. "You have a project to hide here, no doubt of that. I can assist you in concealing such a thing better than a mere politician; I am a clone master, Lord Cocytus. You can see around you what having Koa Ne on side could create; hidden from us all," Taun managed to say that with no human inflection of bitterness, though that Koa Ne had hidden it was frustrating. "Imagine what you could create on Kamino with the tacit approval of its Prime Minister, and a cloner too. Not one or the other, but both, serving my own self interest by serving you."

    Styx hissed. "That is a treacherous sentiment."

    The cloner shook her head, neck swaying. "No, it is a Sith sentiment, Faya Ne. Fear can only produce so many results; it is those complicit that created the Empire of Palpatine, not the slaves the guns were pointed at. Palpatine knew that; his clones - my clones - would only get him so far. To secure the galaxy, he had to control its heart and mind."

    An eye of hers turned to Cocytus as the horde struggled to reach Lama Su, his guards beating off the attack thanks to Cocytus' input, but the clones he was strangling could be released at any point. "No, Lord Cocytus?"

    Styx seethed. The Sidious AI approved. She is correct, insofar as much as she never had the wider view, my apprentice. This would be the perfect base of operations for our new Empire.

    ---
    Elsewhere, underwater, some distance away

    Soliloquy and his Force barrier kept pressure in, and Shimmer drew Esmerelda into the embrace of her master. It was a strange moment, but Shimmer adjusted, sealing the datacard in a waterproof packet; they always had them, for the cloners liked to dunk them in fluid for experiments and allowed them to retain minimal personal effects - if it didn't fit, it was taken, and Koa Ne and Taun We had loved to read their personal thoughts so ensured that she and her... brother? The Kronos clone - that they could only keep save a datapad and of course their journals therein.

    Shimmer's lip curled. I hope they are dead.

    The depths threw them up, down, and around, as Shimmer and Esmerelda drew upon the oxygen supplied by Soliloquy. In short order, they rebounded to the surface; as a ship fluttered above them. It was their ship and TRAYUS, scanning the devastated depths. A ramp was lowered, and safety was evident.

    "Report," the droid snapped, standing at the bay entrance. "I have lost track of Lord Drost, and also Lord Kronos. Lord Cocytus is reported to have betrayed us; a report from Drost, who I cannot now locate. My probability matrix suggests that Cocytus directly attempted to silence Drost after the transmission."

    That was incorrect, of course; Cocytus did not care for any of his Sith individually.

    Drost, though...

    He might have some opinions.

    ---
    Not so elsewhere, not so distant

    The waves battered at Vytorias, who was not so protected as Soliloquy, Shimmer and Esmerelda, but he had also been by an exit to the City, rather than in the middle of a breaking superstructure, so he had, comparatively, less threats to rebound from. The current buffeted him up, and he would fetch up upon something to cling, and climb to.

    Ah yes.

    Styx turned to see the bedraggled and all-but-drowned Miraluka reach them.

    She pointed. "My Lord!"

    TAG: @Mitth-Fisto, @Darth Cocytus, @Silvertough (latter two, you may combo)
    ---
    IC: Queen Mother Ni'Korish
    Star Home, Royal Palace

    The Queen's palace was decidedly magnificent. Tall, impressive, and incredible that it was settled within a space station, it was the pride of the Hapan Consortium. Ni'Korish, the aged woman, she was a hundred-and-ten and going strong, and this, more than Hapes itself, was her seat of ultimate power and strength. Forever escorted by the most loyal of her soldiers, it was always escorted by four Hapan Battle Dragons, who could be trusted to be loyal to the Hapan Royal Family above any other noble. Such was its loyalty that she had made use of her personal ships to face the Sith, for she dare not allow the nobility to know of her continued dealings with the group.

    In another time, I could comment how long gone were the years since she, at the age of eighteen, had attended the Dwartii Exchange Program with a young Palpatine, and of course Tarkin senior, the father of Wilhuff. Let alone the time she had spent with Aurrenna Adasca, Vy’ndall Tremyr and Jori Atreus on Nouane. I would also mention the conversation she once had with Nejaa Halcyon... or was it one she had yet to have, as with the others? I absently forget. But that was in another timeline, the one which our Sith protagonists had long since left.

    Instead, all I can say is that this is the same woman in every other respect.

    But older, sharper, and more dangerous for it.

    Having manipulative daughters like Ta'a and Secciah did that to her.

    With a grin, she settled in her golden throne, regarding her troops as they set up, hands interlaced as they followed her exact specifications. A pocket shield generator between her throne and the steps up it; energy blasters replaced with projectile ones; a double row of sound-weapon astromechs flanking the way from the entrance to her throne; concealed in the secret entrances lining the walls were droidekas, eight in total; a recent addition was ion weaponry in turrets which would lift from the steps - two ion, and four repeating blasters. Ten loyal guards, decked in phrik and personal shields, ear-plugs with built-in bud-comlinks, too, lining each side.

    All in all, plenty to deal with Jedi, let alone Sith.

    The preparations complete, she turned to regard her victims.

    The woman was here, so that was fine. The droid was irrelevant. The tree-freak was gone. The purple-skinned curiosity was hers. There was another man though... where was he? Oh yes. Grand Vizier Bo. She had deployed expendable officers to secure the Song of War and secure whatever self-destruct existed. The ship was a derelict, but she made sure to direct the officers and the bomb-disposal droids - retasked Imperial probe droids, retaining the murder claws and a single blaster for protection - to find and man.

    With a key of a comlink, she summoned her daughters to stand besides her; it was safest to have them beside her.

    Safest for them. Sith were not to be taken lightly, after all.

    In an ornate antechamber, Rennilinth and Serapis were reunited, and had the briefest of moments to compare notes before they had to advance towards Ni'Korish. Ser@pis confirmed that it had neutralised all listening devices and jammed the cameras. Ni'Korish, regarding them from her datapad, had expected as much, and was pleased.

    Lady Helinith was a woman of great prowess.

    Ni'Korish looked forward to bringing her to heel.

    TAG: @darthbernael, @DarthIshyZ (combo), @Snokers (for when you catch up), @darthhelinith (just so you know whats going on)

    Obligatory mentions for @Imperial_Hammer, playing a teenage Ni'Korish in the Legends game Last Epitaph, with the stellar @greyjedi125, @darthbernael, @Mitth_Fisto, and @TheAdmiral, who I have mentioned only as the Narrator glimpses NuCanon and Legends, notwithstanding that this part of Dark Reach is firmly in NuCanon. I salute thee here.
     
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  11. DarthIshyZ

    DarthIshyZ Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2005
    IC: Serapis, with Sinrebirth in combo as Secciah
    Aboard the Queen Mother's Battle Dragon

    A glance to "Helinith" confirmed what Serapis suspected. He was to go with Secciah and Renn as Helinith would go visit the Queen Mother. He hoped keeping that form would not be too taxing for him.

    He needed to find out more about the task here, so he could figure out a strategy. Turning to walk with Princess Secciah, Serapis decided to allow her to keep her assumptions about this droid. Deciding to keep the higher, feminine tone, he explained, "I introduced myself to the commanding officer in on your former ship as BX-N1, a former Battle Droid adapted for protocol and protection for Leader Helinith. You can say it's a Sith AI, though." He looked at the Princess, examined her reaction to his introduction. "We had some education about your group on the way to your space. There is very little hard evidence about the Hapans. Matrilineal, as the Queen Mother explained to us. I believe I read you are the younger sister to the heir apparent?"

    Watching 'Helinith' depart with a nod, she regarded the droid. "A Sith AI..." Secciah nodded to herself slowly, but as the droid went straight into specifics, the Princess shook off her uncertainty to catch up."You are correct; Ta'a is my sister, and an impediment to my ascension."

    "It would be useful to discuss the treaty I would propose to offer to the Sith if I was to be Queen Mother." Secciah smiled softly. Now it was clear why the hangar was empty. "Theoretically, of course. I know what Bellorum sought from the Consortium before; finances, military muscle if necessary, but I could sweeten the deal."

    Serapis halted. This one went straight to it, that's for sure. Yet, she would need to drive a hard bargain. Serapis needed to get across just how hard the bargain would be. "You know our recent history, then. Good. Then you know about the battle that we just fought with Typhojem?"

    He thought back to the battle. It seemed so long ago. An age past when he had a body. An age before that when he had been raving insane. He came back to his senses after a few moments and looked at the Princess.

    He started the droid's recording device so he would have a record of what happened. "I would be open to hearing your proposal. It would have to be worth our getting in the middle of a Hapan civil war, though." He paused there, looking at her, even admiring her human beauty.

    Secciah paused. "I know that a Hapan fleet was lost at Bedlam, and the Sith leadership cut in two-thirds. I have never heard of a Typhojem and I don't see how he is relevant to us. I heard many Sith are gone, and you're hurting."

    She frowned as he paused. "There are various abandoned mining worlds we could offer. There is one; Shedu Maad, which is positioned towards the edge of the Consortium; positioned neatly so can raid the Perlemian Trade Route, and what not." Secciah gestured negligently, as if piracy was unimportant.

    "Kill my mother and it is yours, to do with as you please."

    The back of Serapis' mind was screaming "that's it??" He'd learned in his years as a trader to hear this and respond as a prelude to negotiation. First he needed to get across exactly how it sounded.

    He examined her eyes for a beat or two. Then he responded, "An abandoned mine... for a murder. Correction: a high-profile asassination. An assassination where there's sure to be reprisals. And you're offering a mine, possibly empty, and access to an galactic space route. On the edge of your territory. Close by where these people we've just upset live and buy their weaponry. I see."

    He paused to allow this to sink in. They already had a deal. She was going to have to come up a bit to make it interesting. He started walking again in the same direction, intending for this Princess to be left behind and have to catch up. "I can present it to our leadership... as is. Unless there's something else to present."

    She rolled her eyes. “Of course we’ll have the same relationship we had before on top; tacit support of each other, financial input to the Sith from Hapan coffers, the protection of the Crown from anyone else’s interference - I’ll just claim you’re agents of the Hapan Knights and that will satisfy the courtesans.”

    “An entire world and it’s star system, droid, is what I offer. Not just the mine.” Secciah produced a holoproj, snapped it on. It showed the world of Shedu Maad. It was at the end of a narrow route framed by a pair of planets and an ice field, the route topped off by a spoke-wheeled station. She gestured to the route. “The Throat, which gives you ample notice for arrivals, and the ice fields could hide an entire fleet for whatever ambush you planned for the arriving enemy. You’d be in your own fortress, if you so wish.”

    Serapis wasn’t supposed to have the Force, as a droid, but he sensed the Princesses desperation to walk away with an agreement. This was her best and probably last chance to get rid of her mother and sister.

    He considered their situation. The had the Keshiri planet. They had a deal of sorts with the Queen Mother, given they could piece together Plagueis abilities to change a childs sex. That was their weak point. The medical side of things. This deal could be theirs for a couple of assassinations. And a second base could be useful.

    Serapis took the holoproj and turned it off. "I will discuss it with our leadership. The deal is promising with the mutual protection and the financial support in it. We will talk again."

    Tags: @Sinrebirth, @darthbernael, @darthhelinith, @Snokers
     
  12. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    IC Bernael
    Oh look my Master, here and now, is back


    As the question hung in the air Bernael felt the Force ripple. His attention was diverted towards the warehouse as the medical shuttle landed. He felt, for a moment, that two souls were directly in conflict. His head tilted as he thought, then a half smile appeared on his almost reconstructed face, behind the mask. “I think we’re fully back to four, my friend.” he said as his head turned back to Manticore. He didn’t elaborate further but was sure the Lord had felt something and knew that a change had occurred, and considering who was with them on this planet it could be only one being.

    As they settled on the pavement outside, the ripples decreased as one of the souls gained dominance. Turning his head at a sound, he saw that there was a hole neatly drilled through the walls between the space Leda and what had to be a newly corporeal again Insipid and the back ramp of the shuttle.

    “This shuttle is too useful, trade off controlling the pilots while we speak, Lord?” he asked quietly, before forming an illusion around himself again to appear as a medic to the lurking X-Wings, exiting the flight deck, heading down the ramp, and through the opening to the other two Sith. He could hear scuttling in the warehouse, most likely others who had been there to guard the Senator, now fleeing as they knew they’d taken the wrong contract. This made their time short, as short as having the shuttle outside, on the New Republic’s trackers for such craft, and not moving either toward casualties, the hospital, or their ship in orbit.

    Upon entering and being out of sight of their escort, he dropped the illusion so as not to use too much energy and then headed into the final room where the other two Sith were. He nodded to Leda, glad to see his competition buddy again, they had many more bodies to stack up, he was sure, in the future. She’d obviously been through as much as they had and, like them, could use a little time to get back into her best fighting trim.

    “Good to see you upright, Leda, we’ll have to compare numbers but think I’ve got the lead right now.”

    Turning to what looked like Senator Apollin, a dry, humorless chuckle escaped his lips. “Little chubby for your taste, Master. But I’m sure that can be worked out.” He bowed his head lower, as was fitting, to the Emperor.

    Specific meanings in the vision he had shown by Insipid's memories began to click into place as he considered the new form his Master wore. A second, equally dry chuckle sounded, “Many things make more sense now and you know why. Your memories are as reluctant to give up all it has as you are yourself, but they did give enough information to understand several things and why, now that you’re back among the ‘living’.”

    He searched his mind again for the visions he’d seen, replaying them and adding the new data he had with the return of Insipid. As he did his eyes shifted to a swirling grey for a moment before returning to their usual silver.

    They’d achieved their initial goal, or in Insipid’s case possibly his first goal on this planet. Thinking about him asking whether they had questions he posed his, “So the only real question is, are we Senator Apollin’s new bodyguards, enforcers of his policies, in light of the attack on his life? Or more of an in the shadows group he uses considering the New Republic must now control this planet and an insurgency would be more useful?”

    “I do know our time is limited where we are now, if the ones that got away from here don’t notify the authorities, the X-Wings escorting the shuttle we have will be suspicious very soon if their ‘medics’ don’t bring out casualties.”

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @greyjedi125, @QueenSabe7
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  13. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Manticore
    Third Act: Reunion

    Bernael was right. Manticore mused as he sensed the unmistakable presence of Darth Insipid, their Sith Emperor. He also sensed Leda. Indeed, they were back to being four.

    But the zabrak also understood more fully the lengths which their Emperor would go to, in order to achieve a goal, to realize his vision. He had to admit it; it was…inspiring.

    Turning to the Anzati, he nodded affirmatively in regards to the medical shuttle and the pilots. Trading off control was an effective plan. Working in tandem to achieve a common goal was acceptable.

    “We shall return momentarily. Wait here.” Manticore instructed the pilots, exerting his will upon them once again. Bernael’s ability to disguise himself worked wonders for the Anzati assassin. Manticore simply lifted the hood of his borrowed cloak and covered his head.

    Within moments, they’d entered the warehouse and were reunited with their fellow sith.

    Manticore offered Leda a fist to chest salute and a solid nod. The fire in her eyes told him everything he needed to know. To the Sith Emperor, he bowed, not to the flesh of the Senator, but to the being within.

    “My Lord.” He intoned darkly as he straightened.

    Noticing that Bernael almost literally verbalized his own concerns, and fully aware of their limited time, Manticore looked for a workbench, a weapons cache, or a place where implements of torture would be held. He listened to the conversation all the while, even as he did find a makeshift work area, where he quickly gauged if the items and tools he needed were around.

    Without wasting time, he placed a palm to his diaphragm, then used both Teras Kasi training of peristaltic control, in tandem with the Force, to eject the crystal he had been holding within himself. In one smooth shot, the object was ejected through his mouth and he caught it in his free hand. Now all he needed, was to gather the items necessary to fashion a ‘crude’ but functional weapon.

    Focused as he was on several tasks, as only a Sith Lord could be, he did have something to add to the discussion.

    “Bernael, are you suggesting we rescue the Senator and his…Lady? It stands to reasons they could be the casualties we find.”

    Of course, that all depended if the Emperor wished to continue the ruse they had thus far created.


    Tag: @Sinrebirth, @darthbernael, @QueenSabe7
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  14. Darth_wanderguard

    Darth_wanderguard Game Host star 6 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2005
    GM UPDATE

    IC: Bellorum & Plo - Bilbousa Bazaar, Nal Hutta

    Plo hadn’t found the hole as tight a fit as some of the others undoubtedly would have - a benefit of going last. Perhaps the sole benefit. He’d felt hands grabbing at his boots at the last moment as pulled himself up and through. None had gotten enough of a grip to stop him, of course, although that would have been a tall task with the force on his side. He had collapsed the tunnel the moment he was through, having now abandoned in full any sympathetic or compassionate notions toward the wretches still stuck inside its rapidly burning walls.

    “Kriff them,” he said out loud to any who would question it.

    The party had emerged, thankfully, from a less busy side of the building, into a muddy street spanned on its far side by a broken stone wall, shoulder height where it still stood, but crumbling in several spots. One end of the street wrapped around to the front entrance where smoke was billowing fourth and the bottlenecked crowd was spilling out - some on fire, some coughing and struggling to stay upright. Several collapsed at the entrance and were trampled in turn.

    “Is everyone here?” Plo asked, climbing to his feet before mentally counting up the group members. Syren, Ike, Jerod and Ami were all present. Worse for wear but present nonetheless. “Where the hell is Anark?” he asked. “Kriff. We can’t go back in there for him now. Damnit,” he cursed, pushing sweat-soaked hair out of his face.

    Bellorum coughed up dust, shook dirt off her cloak, and pulled it to cover the blood still oozing down her leg. “I’m sure he’s okay and will find his way to us,” she told Haretisch. “He’s a survivor, like the rest of us.” She reached out to Anark and it wasn’t reciprocated, but she could feel he was escaping the chaos. Then she felt something, no, someone else and she pulled back quickly. There were other Force users here.

    “I suppose we’ll find out,” Plo replied, and looked to the burning building. They were only a few feet away from the only wall that wasn’t on fire. Smoke was pouring now through small holes in the hides. “If he’s still in there now he’s not getting out. As for us we need to move, this wall is going to be solid flame soon.”

    ~

    “I want my daddy,” Xander whimpered beside Hel, “this isn’t fun.”

    “No, it’s not fun,” Hel agreed with the child, “but we aren’t in those cold, wet cells now. Here,” she handed him a portion of the nutrition bar they’d been tossed before being locked into a cargo hold compartment. Hel leaned back against the wall and sighed, “I want my daddy too, Xander, and I know they are looking for us. We just have to stay strong,” she assured the boy.

    “We could fight them, but that means magic,” Xander said looking frustrated. “No!” Hel told him quickly, “no using the Force,” she cringed hoping no one was listening. “If you do,” she warned, “they will punish you like they have me.”


    ~

    In the distance, the sound of sirens had become audible. Plo cursed again. “Police and medics are going to be trying to make some sense of this. We should probably split up. Pair off,” he pointed. “Myself and Bellorum. Syren, go with Ami. Ike with Jerod. Let’s all head different directions and rendezvous at the ship. Move quickly but carefully - we’ll wait for everyone but not for long. Something tells me we’ll need to get out of this city entirely, and quick.”

    Suddenly a main support beam in the wall would crack and snap in half, loud enough to sound like a slugthrower blast. The entire wall would sag out toward the road, threatening to collapse.

    “GO!” Plo barked, grabbed Bellorum about the arm and shoved her toward a broken section of the stone wall. He followed her through the opening and spun, pulling her to the ground and shielding her with his body as an entire side of the auction house fell down around them, half-burying the pair of them in burning refuse.

    When it settled, they had indeed been buried but not quite crushed. He met her gaze from above. “Are you hurt?” he asked.

    Bellorum tried to roll to her side and move away, but gasped softly. “I’m okay,” she scooted out from under Haretisch and pulled her cloak back, “that bloody lizard, he sliced my leg with his tail.”

    She took a fold of her cloak and soaked up some of the blood. “I’m feeling kind of lightheaded,” she looked at Haretisch, “do you think he poisoned me?”

    “Maybe,” Plo sat up against the wall and looked up and around, trying to find a way out of the broken wood and ripped hides which had partially entombed them. “Couldn’t be any more poisonous than what’s already in your veins though. Here,” he gestured at an opening with his chin, then stood and grabbed at a beam with one hand. He pulled himself up and through - the hole was at about head height - and then hung an open hand down for her to take.

    Bellorum looked at his outstretched hand and blinked. She bent her knees and cleanly leapt through the opening and landed behind him, staggering slightly. It had cost her to show off, but she was determined to show no weakness.

    “Which way?” She asked and glanced around, “the fire is spreading to other buildings, so we should hurry.”

    Plo cleared his throat and snapped his fingers as he pulled his hand back, now looking up at her. “Erm,” he climbed to his feet and stood next to her on top of the refuse pile. “That way,” he pointed to where the wreckage sloped downward and met an adjoining street. Neither knew they were in full view of one Vex Nolzit.



    The city was in full-on riot, now. Every ambulance and police speeder for twenty miles was either at the auction house disaster or rapidly approaching it, and the very tenuous sense of order in the city had fallen by the wayside as hoodlums and hooligans saw their opportunity to loot freely. Fear of the Hutts and the order they had sought to instill in their various territories was not enough. Storefronts were smashed, speeders flipped, fires lit, knives pulled, blasters let loose on every corner. A purge of the weak and the sick, and the unlucky. Bilbousa was burning to the ground, and no one would get anywhere unmolested.

    TAG: @QueenSabe7, @Jerjerrod-Lennox, @Snokers, @Sinrebirth, @Quinlan Vos


    OOC: Jerod and Ike are on a combo - start a PM and include myself and Lady Belligerent. Syren is on a combo with me as Ami Sayul, start it when you’re ready. Vos, you are on a combo with Lady Belligerent and myself, start a PM and include us both. It’s up to each combo team to write your own journey through Bilbousa. End your combos back at the Dark Dreamer. Anark, start a PM with me and I’ll combo in to your post with some NPCs.
     
  15. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Soliloquy
    Elsewhere, underwater, some distance away

    Soliloquy and his Force barrier kept pressure in, and Shimmer drew Esmerelda into the embrace of her master. The hate burning off of her was a delicious and enjoyable meal, although Soliloquy was sure it was also an empty one. If not, well that would be another lesson he would have to teach. Still, nuzzled and tucked in like two twins in a gestational sacs he let them in perfect protection and mild guidance be tossed about. Literally every which way the current and collasping facility wanted as he followed his own mental map and the Force for a way out. Flow with a gush of water up, burst a door and out to fall down still filling hallway. Burst through a jagged hole making it larger only to swirl back through another hole to a section deeper in. So on and so forth with random murder, death, kills along the way that were inconsequential.

    What was of consequence was the two he kept alive, being their lungs, their warmth, and their safety. When finally they finally surfaced they found a ship, their ship, waiting for them above the water. Drawing on the Force to make a leap he landed on the lowered ramp and the flimsy safety it offered as the droid, as droid is want to do, began statements and demands.

    "Report," the droid TRAYUS snapped, standing at the bay entrance. "I have lost track of Lord Drost, and also Lord Kronos. Lord Cocytus is reported to have betrayed us; a report from Drost, who I cannot now locate. My probability matrix suggests that Cocytus directly attempted to silence Drost after the transmission."

    "TRAYUS, we have a guest. One I recently cured of a bacterial gravemind infection with a shred of Mnngl-Mnngl as part of it's core." At this he opened his robes and showed his two passengers who still had their head consumed in cognition hoods. "Please raise ramp and perform deep medical scans on both for trace contamination." He could only hope the droid had some reference and history for what he was stating. "As for Cocytus and Drost, let us see if we can rescue the latter one. The other I dare say we can leave to his folly for now. After all in this age subtlety and stealth are more sure paths to survival than his flashy form."

    The hoods peeling back he revealed the two forms as being truly identical. Something he doubted would elicit any reaction from the droid. Merely a new dataplot variable. Slowly he removed his tube from Shimmer's throat. "This is Shimmer, my new apprentice. Whether Drost continues his studies under me is up to him. She has valuable data which should in the future allow me to impersonate, claim, or place orders against accounts that are already funded." More slowly he removed the tube from Esme, extending the time where her body was unable to get any air despite being surrounded by it as the tube painfully, slowly drew out. "This I believe is Esme, but with the cloning experiments I would appreciate your medical verification. As for Kronos, he appears to be suffering from clone dissonance, a quantum entanglement issue with a clone mind. That or else he is infected. Either way I can do nothing without direct access to him. Report complete. Once we are secure I can try to find Drost if he is still living in the Force. I dare not split my focus until you verify we are secure." That was that. Realizing, rather belatedly that his eye was still shut he re-engaged it and opened it. Focusing on all present as he still kept a Force Barrier raised behind him over the ramp.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  16. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 RPF Awards Host star 6 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    IC: Leda
    Capital, Kuat

    Leda only watched, as ever a focused and eager student should.

    Watch and learn.

    Where Insipid had never actually become a part of her, nor did he seem to have tethered himself to her, she still sensed that soft separation when his presence left her mind. A longing was left in its wake, but she quickly shooed it away. She did not need anyone to become something great, even if that ‘one’ was the Emperor himself.

    With a leering smile she observed the essence transfer and hostile takeover of Apollin’s body, having stepped back to give the two some space to become… acquainted. In that short time she brought her emotions back down from the heights of her kills, collecting herself to be ready to assist. Leda knew she wouldn’t have to, picking up on the approaching signatures of her wayward companions moments before Insipid gestured the door open to reveal Manticore and Bernael, back from their roundabout journey.

    "I will accept questions now." He looked at her as he spoke from the flesh mask of the kuati senator, which would require some adjusting.

    The eyes though, she looked closely at them - they were his.

    Manticore came closer and she stirred, drawn away to turn and regard him. She returned his nod with one of her own, a curl to one side of her mouth as she registered some semblance of appraisal from the zabrak Lord.

    “Good to see you upright, Leda, we’ll have to compare numbers but think I’ve got the lead right now,” Bernael offered and she did grin then, hiding her lingering frustrations at the pair having abandoned her to an enemy far out of her league. Only trust yourself, no one else, she paraphrased Insipid’s lesson, silencing her feelings. They had done their part, and she had fulfilled hers.

    “Glad you could finally join us,” she quipped back before starting to clean herself up. As she did, she watched as the others talked through what came next. Bernael’s plan made the most sense and she really did not have much to add. It was the only way the Emperor would keep his new form, and the only way they might have an inside hand to securing the path to their new fleet.

    TAGS: @darthbernael @greyjedi125 @Sinrebirth
     
  17. Snokers

    Snokers Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 2015
    IC: The Wayward Lord
    Bilbousa Bazaar, Nal Hutta...


    He dove just in time to avoid a large chunk of ceiling which narrowly missed his head.

    Far too close!

    The whole plan had gone south.

    Anark felt the sweaty panic of claustrophobia begin to set in. The Bazaar was crumbling, being eaten by fire and he didn’t fancy his chances. The rest of the Sith had fled, and so expertly so that his eyes had caught not one of them making their escape.

    Hell no. This is not how I die. This just won’t do.

    A maniacal bout of laughter escaped him as he unhooked the hilt of his lightsaber from his belt. The panic-stricken crowd were closing in around him, aswell as a group of humans with blasters drawn and eyes trained on the Sith.

    Were they merely looters? Gangsters who’d seen an opportunity to relish in the chaos? Or had these men come here with a mission?

    Anark grunted, irritated at the constant elbows and fingers jabbing into his sides. It would’ve been nice to keep the casualties to a minimum; the gods knew Nal Hutta was more than capable of creating its own rivers of blood without the help of a band of Sith from another time.

    But if Lord Anark was to come out of this Bazaar alive, it wouldn’t be without casualties.

    Let it be chaos, then.

    He smashed a thumb into the switch of his saber and drew in a deep breath as it blazed a blood-red. The Sith quickly and expertly unravelled the chain wrapped around the hilt of his weapon and let the blade fall to the ground, it rattled as it spiralled downward, stretching out to it’s full six feet.

    He lifted his arm and began to swing the saber above his head, quickly and no doubt painlessly relieving six poor souls of their heads. There were shrieks and there were curses, those closest to the bodies that had fallen ducked for cover, some even laying flat out on the floor to avoid the Sith sword’s bite.

    Anark began to make some progress through the crumbling building, keeping the momentum in his swing. When he locked eyes with the group of men who’d roused his suspicions earlier Anark brought his saber down and alternated his wrist movement to allow the chain to re-wrap itself around the hilt, he secured it with his thumb and waited for the men to approach, his blade still humming.

    A cluster of barrels exploded to his left. Anark absorbed the flames with a Force shield. Another section of the ceiling crumbled away and he seized a large chunk of it in mid air with the Force and launched it with a groan of exertion at the men, managing to strike two of them at once, knocking them out cold, seconds later they were trampled by the crowd.

    Anark gave the remainder of the pack a light show with his weapon, twirling the blade and giving it a few rotations around his forearm before catching it again and pointing it at them. The men thought better of it and fled, disappearing into the sea of panicked faces.

    Anark was startled when a woman ran into his blade as he turned around. Her eyes opened wide, a cracked gasp came out of her mouth before she fell backwards and died. The Sith disengaged his saber and allowed himself a moment to think as he stared into the woman’s lifeless eyes.

    Had Plo foreseen this disaster? Had it all been planned in advance? The failed auction, the Zabrak, the bazaar aflame?...

    He didn’t wait around to ponder any longer. The screams rose to a deafening level as the place was further engulfed in flame. Anark moved as quickly as he could, weaving between bodies like a feline sneaking through a passage. When he approached a wall he shoved the last few beings in his path out of the way, caring not where they landed.

    The Force was busy and it was nigh on impossible to reach out to any of the others. Anark stowed his lightsaber away and began climbing a curtain that was, for now, untouched by the fire.

    Once up high enough above the rabble he took one last glance back to search for a familiar face.

    “Esalacha!” He hissed.

    Reigniting his saber once more he plunged it through the wall.

    After some time he’d created a small doorway for himself into the next room. The auction house was like an oven now. Anark pulled himself through and landed shakily but on both feet on the other side. The cool air felt good on his face when it hit him. A part of him hoped someone would spot his makeshift doorway back there and find a way to use it before they truly were doomed.

    He repeated the same process on the next wall, praying this would lead out into the marketplace.

    Yes!

    This hole was dug at the bottom instead of the top. He slid through awkwardly and sucked in a good lungful of air - stinking air, but air nonetheless.

    If we’d kept track of him, that business at the auction house could have provided the perfect opportunity to quietly put our lightsaber through Ike’s back amidst the rabble

    He pushed the thought away. Sliding through the alleyways he decided the best course of action now was to head for the ship.

    If it was still there...


    TAG: @Darth_wanderguard @Lady Belligerent @QueenSabe7 @Jerjerrod-Lennox @Quinlan Vos @Sinrebirth
     
  18. Silvertough

    Silvertough Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Aug 19, 2018
    IC: Vyatoris/Azeth Drost
    Kamino - Enjoying a casual swim

    The stale air was his only constant, everything else lost in the constant buffeting of both the physical and mental - crashing waves of both water and hysteria wreaking havoc upon Vyatoris' senses. Breath in, Breath out, In, out. A simple exercise, but effective. His racing heart slowly calmed, his focus shifting to that of the staleness of the recycled air of the rebreather, ignoring, if for the moment, the direness of his situation. The clone had vanished into the depths, leaving himself currently out of direct harm's way, that much he was sure of.

    So, what now? It certainly still felt as if he was sinking, probably due to being nearby the sinking superstructure of Tipoca City no doubt. An immediate problem which demanded resolution. The sight provided by the force was still proving annoyingly illusive, a worry incessantly attempting to take precedence over everything else. Vyatoris shook his head, refocusing on the stale air.

    One thing at a time.. With increasing effort, Vyatoris kicked hard against the water, using whatever strength he had to resist the pull of the sinking superstructure. With each motion, the pull lessened in strength, until his head finally broke the surface of the raging ocean, gulping in sweet lungfuls of real air, the rebreather spat to back into the water with disgust. One thing at a time..

    Each breath brought clarity, the sudden excess of oxygen clearing away the grogginess within. Clarity brought with it a very sobering realization. He was exhausted. Nearby bobbed a slab of something, floating aimlessly above the cruel waves. With the last of his effort, Vyatoris slung himself over it, an uncontrollable laugh escaping from within. He had survived yet another stupid situation, a scenario which he once again wasn't quite sure how he had gotten into in the first place. Surely someone had to be looking out for him at this point, right?

    With a weary grunt, the half-drowned Miraluka rolled onto his back, his laughter somewhat subsiding as the unmistakable sounds of a ship's engines roared overhead. Vyatoris reached out with the force through his mind's eye, honing in on the distinct aura of Soliloquy, his laugh returning.

    "Hey, fancy a swim!?" He called out between half-delirious laughs, raising a hand towards the general direction of the ship's landing ramp. "Water's fine!"


    Tag: @Sinrebirth , @Mitth_Fisto (mentioned briefly)

     
  19. Jerjerrod-Lennox

    Jerjerrod-Lennox Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    OOC: A combo with the ever wonderful @Sinrebirth :D

    IC: Captain Lennox Jerod, Ike
    Location: Bilbousa Bazaar, Nal Hutta


    Jerod managed to shimmy himself out after sheathing his batons and squeezing himself into the hole. It was a rather tight squeeze and the batons and blaster didn't help but with a wiggle of his backside he managed to get out.

    He immediately began a coughing fit as he exited, nearly ending up in a ninety degree position, and being dizzy didn't help either. Hopefully the dizzy spell would pass though and he would be back fighting fit.

    His uniform looked dirty now as did his usually pristine boots, sorry Azzurri he thought.

    Plo collapsed the tunnel after they had exited and they all looked a sorry sight. Bruised battered and in Jerod's case nursing a head that felt like he had been on a bender.

    Plo and Bellorum were having a discussion about Anark whilst Lennox watched the front of the building, watching people being burnt and trampled but no sign of the Sith Lord. At least they had all mostly got out alive now it was a case if Anark joined them.

    Plo then paired them off, and he knew Ami at least would be safe with Syren. Lennox however was paired with Ike, whether that would be a good or bad thing at the end remained to be seen. He did send a smile Ike's way as if to say "Are you ready?" Because he was, dizzy head or not he was getting back to the Dark Dreamer in one piece and at least he had a Sith with him too.

    A blast sounded from above and Jerod's eyes widened as he saw part of the wall come away, he immediatly turned and jumped through another hole in the wall and heard the wall come down afterwards leaping away like he had been shot out of a cannon. He rolled and came up on one knee searching for Ike.

    And it looked like Bilbousa had exploded into a full blown riot. He pulled out hs comm and tuned to to Carrusco's frequency "Jerod to Carrusco, come in"

    "Reading you loud and clear sir"

    "Better start the engines, we'll need a quick getaway"

    "Roger that, will get Azzurri onto ATC and see if we can get a quick clearance"

    "Well I think if we don't we'll be shooting out of here quickly. Stand by we'll be with you shortly. I am not sure my datapad is working now so you can't track me, keep an eye out though"

    Lennox turned the comm off and stood up "Guess this is our cue to exit. We can't go round the front way unless you fancy a murder spree. The only other way I see it is if we go some way that is a little quieter but with this riot going on, can't guarantee it. Any ideas?"

    Ike's face was full of distaste as he realised he was being left with the stuck-up Imperial. As much fun as he had been, Ike would have preferred Bell,or, failing that, maybe Syren. Maybe.

    His eyes roved the chaos as Jerod chimed in with the ship, rejoining him as the wall went down. Sirens rang out as Hutt enforcers sought to restore the peace, and people ran amok. He spied a family trying to get through the madness unharmed, a bloodied and bruised father stepping forward as his wife held a babe to her chest, a youngling holding her hand. They were a large enough group to draw attention, and a small enough one to be swallowed up in the violence in short order. The Force allowed Ike to realise they were also heading for the docks.

    Ike sighed. "We can slip through the alleys but it'll take time. Or, we can pick a group and support it."

    "You're the Imp; I'm the paramour. Work it out for me."

    He lifted a blaster from the bodies and passed it to Jerod, and looked around for another. A blaster would be more inconspicuous than him electrifying people. Ike would do if he had to; even if he didn't but it was easier, but they were supposed to be avoiding attention and it was one thing to use his powers inside a tent, and another to do it on the street.

    Jerod narrowed his eyes at the insinuation "That we may be, but just for a few minutes we are neither, we need to work together to get out of this mess. That's not a good start"

    Lennox caught the other blaster but he still had his own one and the batons. He tossed it back to Ike "You might need that more than I do" he pointed to his belt "I've got my own one thanks" he said politely. His batons would also be useful for close quarters combat.

    Lennox's tactical brain went to work next "The alley's he said after a few seconds "Quieter and we will be less conspicuous. The problem with picking a group to support is we could get involved in another fight. And if we do we may possibly end up either trampled, in jail or even dead. It may take time, but it's the best way to avoid trouble" he shrugged "You never know with this place though. If worse comes to the worst we can still help the others if need be"

    Lennox smirked "It will be a quick pace, hope you can keep up pretty boy" and with that Jerod began to quickly walk off "Might need your Force senses for this one, make sure we are going in the right direction"

    Ike looked down at Jerod's belt. "Oh, yeah." He hadn't been paying attention. Why would he?"

    He gestured vaguely at the family across the way. "Well, sure, but I could also do this." He flicked a finger and a blaster floated to the man, and another flick saw him shoot it into a group of thugs tearing apart a shopfront. They turned as one and rushed them, clearing the way. The family panicked as one, and turned to flee.

    "Off we go, Imp Boy." Ike grinned. There was a disquiet within him, but Ike dispelled it.

    It was Sith eat Sith in this world.

    He pointed. "That way."

    Lennox shook his head and had to sigh. But this was Ike, should he surprised? He was a Sith after all. Jerod was no angel himself but as Ike had mentioned before, new life, new start right?. And technically they had to act like it so Jerod had dispel any feelings regarding people getting hurt, even if it was a family.

    Imp Boy, now that was a new moniker for him, perhaps it was even friendly, well in Jerod's mind anyway.

    "Expertly done Pretty Boy, now let me guess, you have something hidden up your sleeve should we run into any more trouble" he returned his grin with a slight smile "I might even thank you for the save later"

    Lennox then walked briskly off in the direction Ike was pointing, trying to look casual as if basically he had walked accidentally into the riots.

    "I suppose you'll be able to sense the best way back to the ship"

    Ike looked back. "Yes, of course I can." He pointed the blaster at a corpse that was shifting, putting a bolt through the back of the man's head. A few others playing dead sprang up, and ran off, screaming. "We don't have time for morality, Imp. The Empire was just an excuse that Palpatine came up to take some moral high ground."

    He snorted. "In my time, the Empire was on the verge of being awful everyday of its existence. All it took was a Sith killing the Emperor to transform it into a Big Bad Sith Empire for eight years. Your high and mighty approach to life was just... self-deception. Palpatine always intended to birth a monster from its heart."

    Ike strode forward. "The Dark Empire, the Sith Empire, whatever its name, the Imperials who pretended they could make the galaxy a better place if the galaxy simply laid down and did as it was told." Ike shot another corpse; it didn't stir, it was already dead.

    For some reason Ike was getting worked up as he led them the rest of the way.

    Lennox had done that to him.

    Sophistry; Ike hated it. Pretend moral superiority when naked force was what was honest.

    To be Sith was to give yourself permission to be honest.

    To be an Imperial was to give yourself permission to lie to yourself about why you did the 'bad things' the galaxy made necessary to survive.

    Lennox had had enough, he didn't care whether Ike would get any satisfaction from Jerod being angry but maybe Ike had decided to hit the spot intentionally. Most of the time he stayed stoic, to hide his emotions from his enemies but this time it was time to meet his nemesis head on. Perhaps he had a fair point though about the Empire he served.

    He turned around anger evident in his face and his bright green eyes, marched straight up to Ike, grabbed his shoulders and got right in his face.

    "Listen to me you jumped up pretty boy" he growled "At least I did my service. It may have been wrong, I may have killed thousands and thousands of people just so I could see the Imperial flag flying high in the sky, I may have wrecked everything I held dear because I put duty in front of everything else, but I did it because I thought it was the right thing to do. I wanted to protect and to serve, I wanted to protect those I loved from chaos. The Empire was cruel, it was xenophobic it was monstous but I decided to make a choice. Yes it was probably the wrong one and those deaths will haunt me for the rest of my life. But people like you don't care, you go on and on as if you are the high and mighty ones when in fact you use us non Force users as pawns in your little murderous game"

    Lennox snorted "Perhaps I was living in the dream world. Perhaps I was kidding myself all this time that the Empire was grand and great and mighty. Palpatine was a monster no doubt there but it was either order or chaos and I chose order. It was probably the wrong choice. Maybe I should have just stayed on Coruscant and just watched the galaxy burn while the Sith and Jedi fought it all out. But I decided to do something which is better than nothing"

    He sneered at him "Look at you, you are nothing more than Insipid's little whore, a little boy running around playing Sith Lord. Always frightened of what he would do to you, you aren't free you are his prisoner. Hiding behind that flamboyant shell is a man who wants to be accepted for who is but he can't. You think you can just murder and destroy your way through the galaxy and for there not to be consequences? Lennox snorted "Dream on"

    "Insipid isn't here, the Empire is long gone. You said to me on Nar Shaddaa that it was time for me to make a new start here. Well maybe it is time for you to do so too. Isn't it time for someone to look after you for once? Isn't it time you freed yourself from the shackles of being Insipid's paramour?. Shouldn't you not be yourself?. I'm letting go now, why don't you."

    He stepped back, it was probably a bit conspicuous having an argument in the street but it was better to get it out here.

    Indeed, a woman watched them argue, perplexed as to the references, and mistaking it for a quarrel between an established pair.

    Ike lifted his hand, ready to splatter Jerod across the pavement as a bloodied bone-ridden smear. But Plo wouldn't like that, would he? Free. Huh, Ike snorted. They weren't free. The Sith Order prevailed over petty, personal concerns.

    "Good luck with that stain on your soul, Imp." He turned, making a fist of his hand as he yanked Jerod along. Ike met Jerod's gaze, murderously. "If you speak to me again, I will remind you what the innards of a human being look like. You can only reinvent yourself if you have power, or are ignorant of how little power you have." Ike shoved Jerod back.

    "When you are ready to go rogue, then let me know."

    He walked the streets, trying to keep his temper from breaking.

    And to keep Jerod's words from biting.

    Insipid is gone.

    Insipid.

    Is.

    Gone.

    Insipid is gone.

    Jerod wasn't wrong there.

    Lennox followed still fuming. And here was Ike pretending that Jerod was acting high and mighty! Ha! He just didn't get it did he? Jerod probably was probably going to end up splattered on the side of a building but to be honest he was never afraid of death, he died when he had sold his soul to the job. Now he was selling his soul to no-one and was trying to make a new start of things. Ike clearly wasn't.

    Lennox decided to continue, but this time thinking it at him.instead of speaking.

    Oh look at you, threatening me, thinking you are all powerful when in fact you are powerless. Your husband still isn't here and you think you can play the big bad boy. Well wrong answer again. You're like the bully in the playground, threatening to get what you want. You are just a spoilt little brat, throwing your toys out of the pram"

    I lost my Grand Admiral rank and accepted the demotion back to Captain, because someone on this ship clearly needs to know what they are doing. You obviously have no clue other than flouncing about and getting drunk. Oh and by the way I went rogue back on Nar Shaddaa with that drug boost you gave me. I have also had two fights which I quite enjoyed, even played the role of bodyguard to Ami. Shame you didn't see THAT.

    I have finally accepted in this galaxy it may be dog eat dog to survive, but we cannot lose ourselves otherwise we turn fully into monsters. However in your case you are a Sith, you have no soul, you have no heart. You might as well be Insipd's whipping boy to only pleasure yourselves when you need it. Perhaps you do really have nothing inside of you, perhaps I don't either. But don't you dare threaten.me again otherwise I will have Plo drop you off at the next uninhabited planet.

    And you won't be able to sleep or flirt your way out of THAT.

    Ike felt Jerod’s anger building, and a mantra pressing on the Imperials mind. He was working himself up. Ike let him stew, until he could see where they needed to be.

    Lifting his hand laconically, he pointed, not even looking back. “It’s that way, Imp. We’re here, but you’ve no need to worry about anything but following orders from here on out. Just the way you like it, yeah?”

    Ike snorted.

    Right that's it I've had it.

    That was Jerod's thought as he finally snapped. It had been building and building to this point. Lennox thought that perhaps they could be moving towards becoming more civilised to each other after their argument. Guess not.

    "Perhaps this may change your mind" Lennox said grabbing Ike by the shoulder and spinning him round….

    And then swiftly withdrawing one of his batons and smacking him round the head with it. Hard.

    He watched Ike drop to the floor assuming he was unconscious after the hit he had taken. There would be repercussions for it but at least it would shut him up for a while.

    "I don't think I was ordered to do that was I?" Lennox said with a smile twirling his baton and sheathing it "Maybe that will knock some sense into you. Maybe it won't. But here is a lesson for you: never, ever mess with a non Force user, especially one carrying batons"

    Lennox bent down, gently picked him up and hoisted him over his shoulder. Luckily he wasn't very heavy and was quite toned and fit anyway so it would be relatively easy to carry him back. It looked like they were not far away anyway.

    As he walked he was getting some funny looks but Jerod stared back at them with a look that said simply "Back off". His dizzy spell had abated but his head still hurt and he was still aching all over. Plus he had inhaled some smoke as well which wasn't helpful.

    It seemed weird to be carrying a Sith Lord but hey he might as well enjoy this moment and pop it in the memory bank. And he could always remind Ike about it…

    Once he got back on board he would drop Ike at the common room he could sleep it off for a while. And perhaps it would show the rest of them that Lennox Jerod did have balls.

    The familiar sight of the Dark Dreamer greeted him after a while and Jerod was glad to see it. Carrusco had started the engines as promised and was waiting patiently for everyone to get back on board.

    Time for the next adventure.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth , @Darth_wanderguard , @Lady Belligerent , @QueenSabe7 , @Snokers , @Quinlan Vos
     
  20. Darth Cocytus

    Darth Cocytus Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    May 8, 2016
    Darth Cocytus

    Cocytus smiled and clenched his fist, instantly crushing the throats of every clone in his force grip. He felt satisfied with the massive death he just caused and took it all in to feed his devotion to the dark side. The Sith Kaminoan stepped back and looked at Tuan We with a smile, agreeing with her and the AI of the Dark Master in his head.

    “You have the ambitions of a Sith.” Cocytus noted with a grin, “I like that and I find it to be well suited to my plans. For I have something far grander than a mere project. I have a vision: A Galaxy once again under Sith Rule with Kamino as it’s beating heart and its kaminoans ruling over it. No longer would Kamino simply be the puppet of the Sith, like the first Empire,but a full fledged partner in it’s conquest to destroy the remains of Insipid’s Order, Snoke’s First Order, as well as the Jedi and the New Republic. The entire Galaxy under Kaminoan control. All it takes is a new Clone Army larger and grander than the Grand Army of the Republic ever was, and you, Prime Minister Taun We, will be the face and voice of it all, controlling the hearts and minds…”

    Cocytus thought of something, finding that the associates he came to kamino with still lived, before approaching Lama Su. “I saved your life because you are still useful.” he spoke coldly, “We have many loose ends to tie up. If this… ‘True Dark Lord Kronos’ sill lives, I’ll handle him myself. Meanwhile, you, Prime Minister, should put the planet under quarantine, if you haven’t already. Have any forces Kamino has to shoot down any ship that dares attempts to leave without authorization. Understand? No one may leave Kamino until everything is under control…”

    He turned to Styx "Also, one last thing, everyone..." Cocytus spoke loudly, "This is my apprentice, Darth Styx, and you will all address to her as such, or as Lord Styx or Lady Styx. Once this is all over, we shall truly begin your training, Lady Styx, on Moraband, home-world of the Sith."

    @Sinrebirth
     
  21. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Apologies for the lateness of this. Combo with @DarthIshyZ

    IC Rennilith and Serapis

    Antechamber

    Renn had held this shape for quite some time now and knew he’d have to hold it even longer, the Matriarch would probably incinerate them both if she was sure it wasn’t Helinith she was dealing with. ‘She’ heard that they were out of notice from the Hapans, but didn’t fully trust that they were so Rennilith kept in form. Thinking fast, ‘Helinith’ lifted her arm and laying it on the metal body of Serapis, tapped out a message, hoping the other Sith, or the programing in the droid recognised the dot and dash code.

    -- . - / .-- .. - .... / - .... . / --- .-.. -.. . .-. / .--. .-. .. -. -.-. . ... ... .-.-.- / ... .... . / .-- .. ... .... . ... / .... . .-. / -- --- - .... . .-. / -.. . .- -.. --..-- / ... .. ... - . .-. / .- -. -.. / -.-. .... .. .-.. -.. .-. . -. / - --- / ... ..- .-. ...- .. ...- . .-.-.- / .-- .- -. - ... / - --- / .-- --- .-. -.- / -.-. .-.. --- ... . .-.. -.-- / .-- .. - .... / -- . --..-- / .--. ..- - / .... . .-. / --- -. / - .... . / - .... .-. --- -. . .-.-.- / ... ..- .-. . / - .... . / -.-- --- ..- -. --. . .-. / .--. .-. .. -. -.-. . ... ... / .-- .. ... .... . ... / .- / ... .. -- .. .-.. .- .-. / -.. . .- .-.. .-.-.-

    When translated, internally, the message would read “Met with the older Princess. She wishes her mother dead, sister and children to survive. Wants to work closely with me, put her on the throne. Sure the younger princess wishes a similar deal.”

    ‘She’ waited to see if Serapis was able to translate, and caught on that ‘she’ didn’t trust they were unobserved and replied in kind.

    Serapis stood confused. There was no need for coded communication, though he perfectly understood it. The comms in the area had been silenced by Ser@pis. Nevertheless, he kept his voice down when he spoke and moved closer.

    "We can speak openly," he said in a low volume. "You are correct in your assumption, though. We have a choice of which deal we want to take."

    Serapis recounted the proffered deal to "Helinith," along with his own opinion of the quality of the offering. He still believed it was barely sufficient, but wanted to see what else was on the table.

    ‘Helinith’ thought about what the younger princess had offered. The deal she wanted with Serapis was only slightly different than the one Ta’a offered. Quietly ‘she’ replied, “Ta’a deal is very similar. The same terms as before, but more tacit aid than military, she doesn’t want the Hapan fleets destroyed again. No offer of our own planet, but she also has a better political head than her sister. She doesn’t want Secciah killed, but rather left alive to be the rallying point for her foes, makes sense. But yes, it does mean the death of her mother, so she can ascend the throne. Plus she does wish to work closely with me. Having the Hapan Matriarch tied closely to one of our Sith would be a great boon.”

    With the similarities, it would come down to which deal was more to their liking. The deal, whichever they chose, would, of course require the death of Ni’Korish, but what Serapis had said did not seem to include the same guarantees that of Ta’a had, should the death not point fingers at any of them. And so ‘Helinith’ also mentioned that to Serapis.

    Then ‘she’ remembered the last point that made Ta’a’s deal more attractive, “Ta’a has an insurance policy in place that I doubt Secciah has, if she dies, all she knows of us and what has been going on is released to the New Republic, which certainly makes her proposal, and survival, more attractive.”

    Serapis considered everything Renn had mentioned. "Hmmm... The only common thread is that the Queen Mother dies." It seemed this Hapan competition was harsher than the Sith Rule of Two, on some levels. "I wonder what she would give us to live? In any case, it appears that the deal Ta'a presents us is the only one we can take. We can't risk the Sith presence being revealed."

    “Yes, we need to remain as much in the shadows as possible for now. If she wasn’t as savvy as she is this would be simpler. I have a feeling the Queen’s proposal will mean Ta’a’s survival, but we shall see. But her insurance policy also makes me wonder if she would send it if we don’t kill the Queen.” ‘Helinith’ mused, quietly.

    “Ahh well, the only thing we can do now is to see what the Queen offers and go from there. But I think, no matter how that goes, and considering Lord Insipid’s instructions before we left, this is going to end with a new Matriarch.”

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @DarthIshyZ, @darthhelinith, @Snokers
     
  22. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Esmerelda
    Surviving the Mess at Kamino

    Hovering above the waves, Esmerelda saw Drost kick off the platform that had Cocytus aboard, having slaughtered a fair amount of the survivors. TRAYUS went out of his way to scan the two of them.

    "Confirmed; Esmerelda is not a clone. Confirmed; 'Shimmer' is uncompromised by any pathogen."

    Esmerelda looked down at the waves. "Hey, that's Drost."

    Shimmer looked down, lifted her hands to levitate him from the waves. He looked, well, he looked like a wreck.

    For her part, Taun We nodded to Cocytus, swaying her head in a nod. "Thank you, Lord Cocytus. I shall look forward to this moment where we rule by your side." Filing away the name of Moraband, she nodded slowly, before looking to the Sith ship. A variety of other Kaminoan assets were heading towards them; some on aiwha's, and other wavespeeders and the like. The clones were gone; drowned. Even some starfighters, former-Imperial TIE Strikers, were en route.

    The Sith ship being what it was, Styx looked at it. "Do we have them killed?"

    Taun We looked at Cocytus for a comlink. "Or do we offer them a chance to surrender? Presumably you have a way to contact them?"

    "Do not second guess Lord Cocytus, Prime Minister," Styx snapped.

    "Of course not... Lady Styx," Taun We said, after a moment.

    TAG: @Darth Cocytus, @Mitth_Fisto, @Silvertough
    ---
    IC: Darth Insipid

    Kuat City, Kuat, Warehouse

    The three of them seemed in good spirits. Insipid eyed Manticore as he brought up his crystal, while Leda and Bernael had an interplay. "Well done each of you. As you can see, I have taken the Senator's body as my own, and everything has gone according to plan."

    Insipid shrugged, loathing the slovenly nature of the Senator's form. "It was inevitable that we would cross paths with Luke Skywalker. So, rather than attempt to avoid it, I instead created the circumstances in which we could face him, placing our Senator in 'hot water' with the New Republic, and, thus, enable him to tick us off his proverbial list of unknowns when our paths crossed." A hand was lifted. "I appreciate I could have let you know, but you are Sith. If you could not adapt, you would have been no use to me - or anyone else."

    He managed to sneer the last bit.

    "So yes. I have..." Insipid waved a hand, "orchestrated the entire affair and potential deaths."

    Insipid held his hand to them. "If you wish to have an opinion on this, then this would be the time." He looked at his arms. "I doubt I will be able to take either of you right now."

    TAG: @darthbernael, @QueenSabe7, @greyjedi125
    ---
    IC: Queen Mother Ni'Korish

    Hapan Space, Star Home, Royal Palace

    Renn and Serapis were interrupted before they could speak any further by the arrival of an attendant, who promptly sniffed in their general direction before turning to lead them into the aforementioned heavily armed and defended room. Ni'Korish was evident at the far end, her daughters standing beside her. Secciah eyed Serapis, and Ta'a eyed Renn, a knowing glint to her eye.

    The droids were ready; the double row of guards stood at attention; the automated weapons were ready; the shield between them and the throne dais was raised... all was ready.

    The Queen Mother watched them wander forward with a malicious, aged, grin. She regarded the two guards closest to her, nodding. "Lady Helinith, and your pet droid. I apologise that we have been unable to locate your colleagues, the Neti Renn, and the Vizier Bo. They seem to have gone awry during your... misunderstanding within Captain Tarsul. Thank you for killing him... it saved me the trouble, Lady Helinith."

    Her words were conciliatory. "As you have likely realised, Lord Insipid told me all about your intentions towards me. As he did the Kuati Senator and the Kaminoan Prime Minister." A slash of a grin. "With that in mind, it was inevitable that you would decide to kill me... but it was this young lady here who filled the rest of the story."

    A cloaked woman stepped out from behind the throne. In the Force, she suddenly allowed her incredible power to burst out. Her hood was tipped back, and it revealed a face that could only be described as an amalgamation of both Kronos and Esmerelda. "Greetings, my Sith friends. My twin is dealing with your colleagues on Kamino, but we thought we would let Luke Skywalker kill Insipid and the others." She waved a hand, lazily. "Bernael, Manticore, and Leda, was it?"

    "Leaving... Cocytus, Soliloquy, Drost, Kronos and Esmerelda..." She spat the names of the last two.

    Ni'Korish shook her head. "I care not about the others; I hear the New Republic is on the trail of all of your groups, the so-called 'Acolytes of the Beyond'." It was a full-blown villain rant, and Ni'Korish gestured lazily to her two guards, inside the shield. Their blasters were promptly pointed at the backs of Secciah and Ta'a, who made the appropriate expressions of consternation.

    "My children have entreated you to assist me. The fair lady Merel here, she used the Force to let me partake in your discussions; something I would not have been able to do as you jammed my technological eyes and ears." Ni'Korish grinned. "She also told me how to approach Force users; thus all this." The crone gestured to the entire assembled room.

    She smiled. "What do you have to say, Sith? Do you intend to surrender, or deny matters? You seem to be trapped, after all."

    TAG: @DarthIshyZ, @darthbernael, @darthhelinith (PM response required), @Snokers (up to you how you catch up)
     
  23. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Manticore
    Kuat, Reunion

    Even as he heard the Emperor’s words, he couldn’t say he was surprised that everything had been orchestrated by Darth Insipid, even their encounter against Skywalker. After all, Mastery in such Grand Schemes was what Insipid excelled at, among many others things.

    The Dark Lord of the Sith could not himself guarantee success, but he did not wager the very existence of his Order foolishly, for his confidence in his Sith was not misplaced. Himself, Leda and Bernael had proven themselves with their actions. Besides, Manticore agreed fully with Insipid, as words from his past briefly echoed in his mind.

    ‘Adapt….or die.’

    The admonition was true then, as it was now.

    The zabrak allowed himself a smirk as he continued to both listen and expedite his work. He found the Emperor’s ‘challenge’ somewhat odd. This team was clearly committed to the success of the mission and any deviation would be folly. They could all see that. Insipid had shared what they needed to know concerning his vision for the Sith Order- if there had been objections, he would have heard them by now. If any of them died, it was a risk they were all aware of by simply being Sith. No apologies asked or given. Neither of them were ‘timid’ as far as speaking their minds - or opinions. Only Insipid could defy death- so nothing had changed.

    Well, one thing had. The Emperor now wore the Senator’s form. Perhaps he was still acclimatizing himself, and therefore the reason for the odd question.

    Manticore resolved not to make too much of it and continued with his work.

    Though there were basic parts that he could cannibalize from various weapons at hand, such as a cylindrical casing, Power Cell, Handgrip, belt ring, energizers, focusing lenses, power conductor, insulator, modulation circuits and more, there was little to nothing to help with fine-tuning. With such sub-par emitters, lack of high-end energy modulation circuits and lower grade thermic stabilizers, the blade length would be pre-set, as well as the power output, resulting in a semi-unstable blade.

    There was no other alternative, given the limited time and materials present, and thus, the ‘crude’ weapon would be fashioned. ‘Sawtooth’, due to the blade’s intrinsic energy wavelength.

    Finishing his work with efficiency, Mantcore activated the blade and was satisfied with the result. A sanguine colored blade sprang to life, emitting a much deeper chord than the expected higher register hum. The dark red blade exhibited some wave patterns along the edges, but successfully maintained its plasmic integrity.

    Manticore switched the weapon off as he turned to face his fellow sith, and casually placed the crude weapon inside his borrowed robe.

    “Ready to continue with the mission. Our pilots are waiting.” He rasped at them in his characteristic manner.



    Tag: @Sinrebirth, @darthbernael, @QueenSabe7
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
  24. Quinlan Vos

    Quinlan Vos Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Oct 24, 2017
    A Splendid Combo with Two of Our Fearless Leaders, @Darth_wanderguard and @Lady Belligerent!!!

    IC: Vex Nolzit, Plo Wanderguard, and Lady Bellorum
    Bilbousa Bazaar, Nal Hutta

    Vex spotted the pair with relative ease, since no other part of the wall showed any signs of movement and everyone else that has been on that end was likely dead now. Recognizing them as being one of his targets and the seller, he quickly maneuvered through the crowd towards them.

    As they descended down the pile of debris, he adjusted his course to follow them down the side road, careful to remain as inconspicuous as possible as to not alert them.

    “We need to move quick,” Plo thought out loud. The sirens were getting closer as they stepped off of the auction house ruins and onto the street. Embers lay strewn, hurled along and across the street by the force of the collapse. The rest of the auction house was still standing, somehow, and a few scattered, smoke-laden victims of the disaster were still stumbling away through the large newly made exit. Most, however, lay dead of smoke inhalation between the three remaining walls.

    The pair made their way down the street as inconspicuously as possible, but hadn’t gotten far when an ambulance speeder pulled up from a side street and screeched to a halt in front of them.

    “Turn around - you need to go to the tent near the building’s entrance. All victims are being triaged there,” the driver ordered after rolling down his window.

    Bellorum smiled sweetly and made a hand gesture, “we don’t need to go to the entrance, but you should,” she told the driver.

    “Uh,” the driver shook his head. “I need to get up there. You two be safe,” he announced, and drove past toward the command post which had been set up by the entrance by emergency services.

    “I’m surprised you didn’t just kill him,” Plo observed. “You could be getting soft.”

    “I’m soft alright, but I didn’t want to draw any attention killing him,” she studied his face to see if he was being serious. “I think we should get going,” her voice trailed off and she took his hand and walked away quickly.

    They moved quietly for awhile, sticking to the side of the street. The sounds of a city collapsing always seemed around the corner. Finally a trio of rioters turned from a side street carrying torches. Plo and Bellorum ducked quietly into the shadowy mouth of an alleyway and watched them pass before continuing on their way, unseen.

    The rioters, however, were making a beeline for Vex Nolzit’s position and would catch a brief glimpse of him. Brief, but enough to smell blood. “GET HIM!” the leader yelled.

    As the trio approached Vex, he calmly reached down into his left boot and drew his blaster, aiming at the leader of the group. Seeing as they weren't slowing at this sign of danger, he pulled the trigger, hitting the closest assailant square in the chest. He fell and wouldn't move again. Turning to the other two, he found that they were already to close, and threw his pistol to the side, drawing his vibroblade from his hip and his saber from his side, igniting it as he raised it to attack position.

    The first rioter reached Vex soon thereafter, and the young Zabrak deftly ducked below the wild swing from the man, pivoting around and knocking his feet out from under him. He lunged towards the other assailant, driving straight through his chest and putting him into the dirt. Sensing the first man had regained his footing and was coming at him from behind, he dove to the side, swinging his vibroblade in an arc behind him. Feeling a solid hit to his opponent, he quickly drew it back and allowed the man to land beside his fallen counterpart.

    The final attacker, seeing what had transpired, swiftly turned and fled the scene, gasping for air from where he had been taken down so harshly. Vex kept his eye on him until he rounded a corner, making sure the man didn't have a change of heart and return to the assault. Sheathing his blades, he strode over and retrieved his blaster, dusting it off. After re-inserting it into his boot, he turned to locate his quarry. Without seeing them, he quickly made his way to the alley that he had last seen them enter, ready to track them down once again.

    If he had a keen eye, Nolzit would catch a glimpse of the pair at the end of the alley, turning a corner onto another side street. On and on, they snaked their way quietly through the city, inching painfully closer to the ship. There was an argument for the need to move faster - but one also for care and caution over haste. Plo had opted firmly for the latter and, at least for now, Bellorum seemed to be trusting his judgment.

    Finally they paused at an intersection. Plo stood wondering which way to go, then lit a cigarette on a still burning parking meter. The street was quiet now but looked like it had been a war zone only minutes before. The looters had sucked it dry and moved on, apparently. He took a long drag and avoided Bellorum’s gaze which he knew would be a judgmental one. “It helps with the stress,” he made a preemptive excuse for his new bad habit. “Which way do you think the rioters went?”

    “To Hell I hope,” she grumbled and looked around, “but I’m afraid they aren’t done yet, look.” Bellorum had pointed out fresh plumes Of smoke rising from the next block. “That building wasn’t burning a minute ago,” she turned back to face Haretisch and started coughing and fanning his acrid smoke away. “Don’t blow that foul smoke on me,” she snapped.

    “Give us a kiss then,” he smiled and tossed the butt of his smoke aside, closing the distance quickly like a predator. He knew she would hate it.

    “Bleh!” She pushed him back and hobbled away, “you’ll need a whole package of breath mints before I’d even consider it. You know I hate those things.”

    He laughed. “With that bum leg why don’t you let me carry you the rest of the way? Come on. Are you afraid you’d like it?”

    It was tempting to call his bluff, but Bellorum was disturbed by his sudden interest in being friendly with her. “We really need to focus on getting Hel and Xander back, Haretisch,” she said seriously, “we need a lead before the trail goes cold on us.” At the next corner she stepped down wrong and barely caught herself before falling, “damn, that was poison because my leg is almost numb.”

    His smile faded. “I told you not to call me that anymore. And that’s exactly what we’re doing,” he picked up the pace. “Come on, then.”

    It wasn’t long then, before they were back at the ship. The city had fallen away piece by piece as they drew further from its center - cracked streets had given way to a mossy dirt road built up out of the marsh on either side. The ship’s ramp was already down, just beside the relatively dry road, its foot resting at the edge of the mud and obscured by the fog which blanketed the stagnant water.

    Seeing a quick flash of movement at the end of the alley, Vex took off, following the scent. He needed to catch up to these two, or else he may never get the Sith training he had been promised so many times before.

    As he rounded the bend, he quickly pulled back into cover as he saw the pair standing there, seemingly having a heated discussion. The man reached out for the slave woman, attempting to draw her close, but she quickly withdrew from his grasp, saying something. Disgusted, the man turned and continued walking, and the Zabrak finally rounder the corner after them again.

    Before long, they had reached a ship, and he quickened his step upon seeing it, not wanting to lose the two. He quickly ran towards them, desperate to not let them escape and to finish his job...

    TAGS: @Darth_wanderguard and @Lady Belligerent, obvioiusly (As well as anyone else who might be involved and in the area[face_devil])
     
  25. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    IC Renn
    Facing the old crone


    ‘Helinith’ followed the servant into the hall, deliberately ignoring the dismissive look. Instead ‘she’ pulled out a fruit roll from one bag on her hip, chewing it as she studied the defenses, grinning at the depth the Matriarch had gone to to protect herself. They’d come to a halt before the shield before the dais, and she studied the strength of it, powerful but there were stronger things in the galaxy.

    Unsurprisingly the greeting was filled with malice. The surprise, if it was such, was that Insipid had betrayed everyone. The Sith that followed had hidden themselves well, and the emotion they gave at their hatred of the Order, especially two of those they spoke of made her wonder if this was one of the children of those two. Halfway through she began giggling, and couldn’t stop herself even through the catalog of destruction that was listed.

    At the mention of Bernael, Renn, beneath his shifted form reached out to the bond that the two had, sensing that the Anzat was very much alive. Even as blasters were leveled at the two Princesses, ‘Helinith’ winked at Ta’a, deliberately. Her grin was fierce and joyful. And then the old crone wound down.

    "My children have entreated you to assist me. The fair lady Merel here, she used the Force to let me partake in your discussions; something I would not have been able to do as you jammed my technological eyes and ears." Ni'Korish grinned. "She also told me how to approach Force users; thus all this." The crone gestured to the entire assembled room.

    Ni’Korish smiled. "What do you have to say, Sith? Do you intend to surrender, or deny matters? You seem to be trapped, after all."

    A high pitched giggling laugh erupted from ‘Helinith’. “You think what Insipid may or may not have done has any bearing on what is going on now? This thing at your side, well she’s tainted meat. From the way she twisted a pair of names she doesn’t give a damn for you or your Matriarchy, just wants revenge against Mommy and Daddy, am I right, little girl?”

    As ‘she’ spoke, she sent a directed thought to Serapis, ‘Once again, please follow my lead on this, and if it goes south, the droids are probably yours and keep, ummm, Ta’a alive.’

    Starting to pace a bit, ignoring all the firepower pointed ‘her’ way, she continued “You sound like a tin pot villain with that speech, bravo for getting it all out without the evil cackle that should accompany it. First, if Insipid did all of that, he has a damn good reason, that has nothing to do with that pissy child up there with you. Second, why would we surrender? Our mission was to come and make a deal with you, or if you were dead, your successor. As both you and they are still alive, the mission is still in process.”

    ‘She’ stopped, turning to face the Matriarch with a grin that looked like it could have come from a hungry rancor. “Third, and finally, the Emperor sent four of us, one may be unaccounted for but the droid, as you called it, and I both know where my huge candy dealer is, and well…..you or that twisted child beside you must not know much of Neti or you’d realize why the Emperor sent him with us. Did you honestly think we’d come without our own planet killing weapon alongside? Anything even looks like it’s going to happen to us and this ship, well your whole flotilla, is going to be a floating mausoleum.”

    She directed her look between the Queen and the Sith, as she spoke. Taking another bite from the fruit roll, “So, we all have choices and you think you have the upper hand, take your shot and watch us all perish or follow through on the deal we were told to make with you.”

    Folding her arms, the hand with the fruit roll close to her grinning mouth, ‘she’ stood and waited for whatever Serapis had to offer, or the Hapans themselves.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @DarthIshyZ, @darthhelinith, @Snokers

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

    IC Bernael
    All together again


    As Insipid began to speak, Bernael knew he wouldn’t answer their questions directly, at least not at first. It didn’t surprise him much that the Emperor decided to reveal some of what was going on, after all there was one with some of his memories, corrupted or not, in his possession. But it was interesting hearing it from his perspective, consciously, rather than his deeper memories.

    All that Insipid said meshed with what his memories had given Bernael, although there were still grey areas, no doubt things Insipid didn’t want known or had given to himself as false memories should a day like this every occur. The fact that the whole thing had been orchestrated was also no surprise. Sometimes the best way to stay hidden was to appear as a threat that appeared and had been dealt with already. You adapt and continue or you die out, that was the way of life in the universe.

    Bernael eyed his Master. He knew that the offer that had just been extended was a fool's errand. The body might be older and given to an excess of weight over muscle but that didn’t mean that Insipid himself was without ability to destroy any of them should they have even attempted such. A slight grin appeared behind the mask, “Nahhh, I much prefer you staying where you are, the position you have, works better for my own ends, eh, old partner?” The last was the only admittance he would give to the mission that had been, is, and would continue to be his.

    He checked his weapons, all still in functional condition and save scorch marks and some tears in his cloak, and where there were some rips in the fabric liner under his armor from such rapid movement, he was in decent shape now. Even the hole in his head was mostly healed. He grinned once more, and continued.

    “Besides, I haven’t truly had as much enjoyment doing what I do for a long time, but this I certainly am enjoying, almost a vacation from the usual. So, now that your attempt to make us feel more powerful than we may be, especially considering I can feel the energy of everyone in this room,” eyes turning toward Leda, after what he’d felt from her as she bantered but held back a moment before, “It wouldn’t have been one of us against you, but rather one versus everyone else, the real question is what I asked before, live and move forward as a quartet, kill each other, or let the New Republic kill us all if we dawdle longer.”

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @greyjedi125, @QueenSabe7