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Star Wars OPEN Dark Reach: Episode I - An Order Remade

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

  1. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 RPF Awards Host star 6 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Combo with wanderguard

    IC: Ami Sayul & Syren

    Bazaar, exterior - Nal Hutta

    The Force was radiant in panic and fear, bodies broken and crushed in all directions she looked. Flames continued to crawl across every open surface; melting, charring, burning it all down. Syren channeled the surrounding chaos and maintained her focus on her escape, which was becoming more and more difficult with each passing second. So much death, slow and agonizing death permeated the air that it almost gave her a heady buzz, had it not been for nearly getting trampled at every turn. She had half a mind to start ripping beings apart if it wouldn't only further the nonsensical stampede.

    Once the group managed to break free of the tent and make it outside, there wasn't much of a reprieve. Thick black smoke hung low, soot and ash clinging to everything including the back of her throat. She wheezed, spitting grey saliva off to her side, sensing the same thing Plo must have after he rattled off pairings and snapped at them all to flee in separate ways.

    Thunderous snapping noises began ringing out from above and Syren looked up - the entire outer wall nearest their position was collapsing. Without thinking she grabbed Ami Sayul's arm and roughly half-tossed her down the alley and towards the back end of the bazaar, away from the throngs of beings at the main entrance. She leapt after the woman as the building roared to the ground in a plume of fire and debris behind them. The assassin found her feet again in time to chase after Ami and see to it she didn't land on her head or break her little neck.

    "Keep moving," she barked once she was mostly sure the other wasn't grievously injured. Of course she'd be stuck with her, a direct reminder of Aryan and what she was fighting so hard to put in her past.

    “Give me a kriffing second! Shavit!” Ami barked uncharacteristically, brushing the mud and ash off of her elbows. Something had just snapped inside of the normally reserved Ami Sayul. She clambered to her feet, breathing heavily, feeling as though her entire body was a giant bruise. Her eyes were wet with angry tears as she padded down the alleyway, away from the disaster, with Syren behind her.

    “Today I’ve been attacked by a swarm of hawkbats, hit on by a hideous mutant AND Jerod, sexually harassed by a Toydarian, attacked again by two angry mobs, and that was before I ever even set foot in the kriffing auction house!” she spat angrily. She was still moving, but would be damned if she didn’t get to take this out on somebody. “Do you kriffing people ever have a normal day? Just one week without some kind of gigantic disaster? Goddamnit! If I’m not being taken hostage I’m either being ogled like a piece of meat or kriffing barbecued like one!”

    Syren snorted. "A much belated welcome to the Sith, lady," she growled a few paces behind Ami. "None of this can hardly come as a surprise, considering how closely you worked with the former Prime Minister for a time."

    There was an emphasis on the word 'closely' that she hadn't intended to make, but some part of her did anyway. Looking over her shoulder and casting out with her senses, she brought her comm up near her face to begin tracking their position and the quickest route back to the shuttle. "Take a left ahead," she ordered as they approached the end of the alley, screams and cries slowly growing smaller the further they went.

    “Closely?” Ami was offended by that. Maybe she wouldn’t have been if she weren’t already in such a foul mood, but all her nerves were raw. Not raw, she reflected, more like completely shot. “He risked his life on Nirauan to save mine, and that was the only experience I can remember that was worse than this one. I just wish I could do more to help him now that he needs it.”

    She turned left as instructed, and found herself staring down a long alley that seemed to stretch for as far as the eye could see. She paused for a moment and then started down it, assuming Syren knew what she was talking about.

    Ami walked in silence for a time, quietly lamenting the growing pain in her legs and feet. She wanted nothing more than to collapse into bed now. Until, of course, she remembered the mess in the cargo hold - the cleanup of which she would have to oversee. There was also no food left, and they hadn’t even had an opportunity to tell Plo about the hawkbats in the midst of all the chaos. That would be a pleasant conversation, she was sure.

    “And what about you?” she finally spoke up. “You seem to be working pretty closely with him yourself,” she observed, intending just a bit of snark but having truly no idea the level of danger she may have been playing around with. She was quite unaware of the breakup. That’s not to say it wasn’t common knowledge among the crew, in fact the personal lives of all the Sith and their associates were the crew’s main source of live entertainment on the ship, but that simply wasn’t Ami Sayul’s bag. She was too enveloped in her job.

    Syren locked her knees and slammed to a halt, spinning about in place to face Ami who had been trailing a step or two behind.

    "I'm sorry," she said in mock confusion, extending her reach in the Force to bring the other woman to a stop as well. "When did anything I do become your concern?" Her lip twitched, her hands clenched into fists at her sides. A reaction to the sharp sting in her chest when Ami had made reference to Aryan's... fragile state. It stirred her in a way she couldn't ignore.

    Closing the space between them with a single stride, Syren leveled an unwavering glare. She was redirecting anger away from herself; she knew it, and knew this woman had nothing to do with what she was really upset about. Still, the assassin did feel a sense of relief when she focused so intently on something else, anything else.

    "Do you have any more comments on my life? I'd love to hear them."

    I dare you.

    Ami grimaced in confusion as she found herself paralyzed - locked in place. She had been mere inches from a nervous breakdown already, and now as Syren squared up and spat her retort, the thin membrane separating her from hysterics broke. She burst into sobs, falling limp to the dirt, first onto her knees and then sagging to sit on her heels. She covered her face with both hands, ashamed. This wasn’t Ami Sayul. She had been yelled at and abused by businessmen, politicians, powerful men of every stripe for her entire career and had given as good as she got in every instance she could remember. And in nearly every instance, it had won her the respect she needed to be effective in her job. This was different.

    “Can... just go, please,” she said, once she had partially collected herself. She wasn’t interested in talking anymore, or walking, or anything for that matter. Maybe she would stay on Nal Hutta. Maybe she would find a ride off-world - but going back to the ship wasn’t an option now. The prospect of telling Plo about the missing foodstores was a problem too many, now. “Just go,” she repeated, and stood up.

    Syren scoffed as Ami collapsed, dissolving into a crying fit that bordered on some sort of panic attack. A quick read of her senses told her this woman was broken, not looking for a fight.

    She was alone in that quest.

    "Stop," she said, though her tone was not harsh as it had been before. It wasn't exactly gentle, either. "You want to stay here, on this cesspool of a planet? Fine, but just so you're aware I won't allow it." The implication was there, a threat though not a violent one. Syren may not give a kriffing damn about Ami Sayul, but she was not about to arrive back at the rendezvous alone and have to explain why.

    "Walk it off."

    TAG: @Darth_wanderguard
     
  2. Darth_wanderguard

    Darth_wanderguard Game Host star 6 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2005
    IC: Plo WanderguardNal Hutta

    Dark Dreamer was a welcome sight to Plo, though the air had become more and more unpleasantly sticky with every step he took away from the thick of Bilbousa. They were still *in* the city, technically, but there was so little real structure now that it didn’t matter. The area where the ship lay in wait looked as though it had perhaps once been more urban - a residential area, perhaps - but had long since fallen into neglect and disrepair. Very long since, such that there were no standing buildings, only stray walls and the occasional stone path or patch of foundation. It was entirely devoid of permanent population, indeed even beggars and squatters seemed to avoid it entirely - and there was generally no shortage of downtrodden in Nal Hutta’s capital city.

    It was for this reason that Vex Nolzit’s force signature, as one with significant raw potential but absent the ability to control or hide his presence, was like a beacon.

    Plo looked up to Bellorum. “It would appear that you are indeed effective bait. Now,” he said patiently and paused, raising a hand to just above shoulder height. As he clenched his fist, Vex would feel himself utterly seized in the grip of something unseen.

    Slowly, the stalker who had followed them through the entire city, no doubt thinking himself unseen all the while, would begin inching toward the pair he had been following, standing at the foot of the ship’s open ramp, still with backs turned. The approach would be as unstoppable as it was methodical. If he tried to brace his feet, his boots would only leave ruts behind. If he fell to the ground and clawed for purchase, he would only arrive absent his fingernails.

    Finally Plo turned to set his gaze upon the Zabrak. When Vex had drawn close, Plo would appear outwardly to release his grip but in reality would lock the man upright, standing stiff as a board a few inches off of the ground. With a flick of his wrist, he relieved him then of his weapons, each tearing away from belts and holsters and other concealments and dropping into the mud.

    Plo took a step closer and regarded the man. “You my friend,” he started, “just may be the exact fish I’ve been hoping to catch.”

    Without another word he swung and buried his fist in the Zabrak’s stomach, allowing him just enough movement to double over should he feel the need to. A second blow followed, this time to the kidney, and a third to the base of the neck.

    He would leave it there, with Vex still locked in place, as the rest began to arrive. Syren was approaching with Ami just behind, looking like a scolded child. Jerod was walking up from a different direction, carrying an unconscious Ike. Curious, that. Anark arrived last, looking as though he’d been in a bigger fight than all of them and somehow come out of it alive without any help.

    “Well now we’re all here, you’ll be glad to know it wasn’t in vain,” Plo announced, and presented the captive. “It would appear that Bellorum and me were followed. By a force user, no less.” He turned back to Vex and smiled. “Our fun is only just beginning.”

    “There’s no food on the ship,” Ami yelled out, and Plo turned with raised eyebrows, taken aback. The look of relief on Ami’s face was palpable, as though she was no longer keeping a terrible secret. Plo was curious but there would be time later to discuss how this condition came to be. Mostly with Jerod, whose job it had been to secure the ship.

    “That will be a problem, no doubt, but one not beyond fixing,” he responded. In any case Ami was in no condition now to be solving anything. “Anark, see that Miss Sayul gets to bed and stays there until she’s adequately rested,” he instructed. “As for you,” he looked to Vex once more, “allow me to introduce an old friend. This is Darth Syren,” he looked to the still Hutt-slave-outfit-clad assassin. “She’s going to find out who you are, who you work for, why you were following us, and where we can find your bosses. I’m sure you’ll become well acquainted.”

    He looked to Jerod then. Frankly he wouldn’t have trusted Syren not to harm the captive even under normal conditions, let alone when she was undoubtedly angry from being paraded around like a piece of meat. The captain had a level head though, and enough authority, perhaps, to keep her in check. “Captain, ensure Lady Syren does not do any permanent damage to the subject.”

    There was, finally, the issue of the unconscious Ike. Curiosity as to how he came into his present condition was an aside for now - there were too many other questions to answer. Now the only pertinent question was getting everyone settled and off of this godforsaken mudball of a planet. There was a time when Plo would’ve advocated dumping Ike unconscious on the marshy ground as roughly as possible, and leaving him there as the Dark Dreamer launched and took the quickest hyperlane to the nearest system.

    “Bellorum, let’s get Ike somewhere safe until he’s awake,” he lowered his voice, scooped up the unconscious consort and threw him over his shoulder far more carefully than he would have done only hours before.

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

    OOC: Snokers, you’re on a combo with me as Ami. Sabe, Vos, Lennox, you’re all on a combo. Vos can start it off and include the GMs in the convo.
     
  3. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Soliloquy
    Kamino, Where Cities Fall and Plots Thicken

    As the wayward Sith were cleared by TRAYUS, as the Force whimpered with death and confusion, Shimmer and Esme worked together to raise his wayward apprentice. Lending a thought he dragged Drost back up all the quicker before turning to TRAYUS.

    "Time to leave." he simply stated. The tableau below was not lost on him. Cocytus surrounded by bodies and kin. A turning of a tide if ever he saw one. "We shall have to leave Kronos to his own devices for now, give him a month or three and I'm sure Cocytus will have burned himself out one way or another."

    Looking at Drost he felt the man over. "You feel a little different." He almost felt like. . . "Nutrients and stories, from and too. That is the order of the day once away. Nutrients and stories."

    TAG: @Silvertough , @Sinrebirth
     
  4. Darth Cocytus

    Darth Cocytus Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    May 8, 2016
    Darth Cocytus

    Cocytus closed his eyes for a single moment in meditating thought and a smile grew onto his face. Everything was coming together for the Dark Lord with the path to absolute power laid out before him like a yellow brick road. Cocytus merely had to walk that path take every opportunity the Force will throw at him. And yet, as always with the future, what is along this path was unclear, for it was twisted and forked, leading to many conclusions and ends and not all quite favorable. Cocytus knew he had to ready himself to take the lead when the Dark Side calls to him...

    Like now, for example, with the Dark Side calling to him that there were still loose ends to tie up. Cocytus opened his eyes and looked up at the Sith Ship as Darth Styx asked him what should be done. No doubt most of his associates were well and alive abroad that ship. Or maybe not, he thought, as his eyes shifted around. All Cocytus knew was that they were alive and near. A problem that must remedied quickly. A smile grew on his face, his teeth clenching in a way that made his expression like that of a kaminoan skull, which complimented the yellow eyes that ever glowed like candles in empty sockets.

    "Only two there can be, no more, no less." Cocytus spoke coolly, before turning to Taun We, "Destroy that ship. Find the survivors. Eliminate them. None of those who came with me to our world must be allowed to leave alive.These are my orders. Wipe them out. All of them."

    Today, victory over the moment must be absolute and thorough with not a single loose end, and Darth Cocytus will not let anything or anyone stand in his way to stop him.

    @Sinrebirth

    Sent from my SM-J327V using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
    Sinrebirth and darthbernael like this.
  5. DarthIshyZ

    DarthIshyZ Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2005
    IC: Darth Serapis, the droid
    Aboard the Queen Mother's Battle Dragon

    The conversation between Renn posing as "Helinith" and Serapis, in his droid form was interrupted by the Queen Mother's servant, a male, of course, retrieving them for their audience. Something was obviously off about the atmosphere of the room. Then the Queen Mother dropped her "bomb."

    Mentally, Serapis was shaking his head. These Hapans would put the Sith to shame with their backstabbing and jockeying. What was most interesting to him beyond that is that she claimed to know what we discussed from this Kronos look-alike. If that was the case, then she would know that he, himself, had stated he wanted to know what deal the Queen Mother was offering.

    So here it was. The deal she offered was... no deal. Surrender was it. He wanted to spit in her face. As he contemplated what to offer, Renn came back with the perfect reply.

    Serapis listened to "Helinith" as she performed her soliloquy. There was not much to add to what "she" said. So, he didn't . Sometimes it's more important to examine the situation and the participants. He stood and watched each of these scheming women. He examined their facial features. Their reactions. He used the droid's perception to examine their respiration and skintone. He was watchinging for their tics. Their tells. He stored this information for later. This was going to be an interesting negotiation.

    Tags: @darthbernael, @Sinrebirth, @Snokers, @darthhelinith
     
  6. HanSolo29

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

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    OOC: The following is a combo post with Lady Belligerent and Darth_wanderguard – thank you so much! :D


    IC: Aryan Graul, Dr. Cal Jepsun, Dr. Olag, Valieri Denora, Cheryl, and Security Chief Rask

    Medical Clinic, then tunnels, Nal Hutta

    Cal folded a cloth he found on the table, and gently blotted the beads of sweat that soaked Olag’s forehead. It had been hours since the healer had again placed his hands on Aryan’s head, and he had not moved, except for occasionally repositioning his hands. As a physician, Cal was extremely curious as to how Olag’s ministrations seemed to be working, he knew of one person who he had seen one person assist in her own healing, and it would be interesting to know if she had this talent.

    Olag finally leaned back and stretched. He was older than he looked, and now his back was giving him grief for sitting so still in an awkward position for hours. He slowly crawled around Aryan and stood. They weren’t sure if Aryan had fallen asleep or was just lying still, so Cal gently shook his patient’s shoulder, “Aryan?” He asked softly, “how do you feel?”

    It took a few moments for Aryan to fully awaken from his long repose, his eyes opening slowly to take in the grim details of the room as everything came back into focus. Through his haze, he could vaguely recall the procedure that Dr. Olag had attempted to repair the damaged tissue in his brain, though he did not immediately inquire about the results. He had more pressing concerns to contend with, such as the additional weight exerting pressure against his side.

    Angling his chin down to investigate, Aryan exhaled sharply when he discovered a woman’s hand splitting the gap of his shirt and resting across his bare chest, her head nestled affectionately within the nook of his arm. His mind instantly went out to Syren and the possibility of her return, but he knew that wasn’t a realistic expectation after everything that had transpired within the last few days. He realized fairly quickly that this was not Syren lying beside him – it was Valieri.

    And yet, that did not change a thing about this situation.

    He still felt inclined to return the gesture, suddenly desperate for some kind of intimate bond. In fact, he craved it. Through all of his hardships, he just wanted the pain and the suffering to go away.

    Clamping down on that thought, Aryan shifted his position and gently draped his left arm around the caregiver’s shoulders to pull her into a tighter embrace. Only then did he feel comfortable enough to address Dr. Jepsun’s inquiry about his wellbeing. “Uh, I...I dunno,” he muttered quietly, his brow furrowed as he tried to best describe what he was experiencing. “I feel...um, disoriented, maybe a little dizzy. And, uh--and tired. Very tired. I think that--”

    Aryan trailed off, finally recognizing the improvement in his speech. It was slow, and perhaps a little broken in places, but it was clearly more pronounced. The joy he felt welling up inside of his chest materialized as a very distinct shine in his blue-gray eyes. “I--I can talk!” he blurted out with the innocence of a small child.

    He then turned to seek out Jepsun’s face and unleashed a short, boisterous laugh.

    The happy mood would be disrupted in short order, however, as an insistent pounding came at the door. On the other side, Rask’s voice would sound unusually anxious.

    “I hope you’re almost done in there because we might have serious problems,” he announced.

    Sirens were audible in the distance, accompanied by shouts in the street and the sound of breaking glass.

    Get down, and hit the lights!” Rask whispered harshly to Cheryl. “I don’t know what’s going on out there. Valieri, do you have a line to a holonews channel?”

    Cheryl did as asked and flicked the lights off roughly with a calloused hand before flopping to the ground.

    Cal rushed to open the door and Valieri sat up and removed a datapad from her tote bag. She let the bag fall back to the floor and focused on checking to see what had happened.

    “There’s a massive fire and rioting,” Valieri spoke up, “it sounds bad and - oh, no...” she looked to Rask, “it started at the place where the others had gone for the uh, auction.”

    “We’ll have to worry about them later, I’m afraid,” Rask drew his blaster rifle and pointed to the door with the barrel. A group of masked attackers had arrived, brandishing torches and knives and broken bottles and clubs. The window on the front wall was not large enough to make out for sure how many there were, but Rask estimated at least six. One met the door with a stiff kick, followed by another, and another.

    “Stay down!” Rask barked, and the door burst open a moment later. The security chief leveled his blaster rifle and loosed a volley, felling two of the attackers straight away. They fell dead in the doorway, riddled and smoking, but that wouldn’t stop the Molotov cocktail which had been thrown from behind them. It crashed into a far wall and burst into flames which quickly began to spread.

    For the most part, Aryan managed to remain fairly calm. Instead of reacting negatively to the sudden intrusion, he took it in stride and simply pushed himself up into a sitting position with a curious glance toward the door. This response was a major improvement, though he did not have time to relish in this personal victory. His expression quickly grew grim as he observed the hurried conversation between Valieri and the Security Chief. While it was difficult for him to comprehend all the details, he was still able to detect their urgency and get a general sense of their developing situation.

    Unfortunately, it was also the catalyst that would kickstart his anxiety and push him back into a dark place.

    By the time the firefight started, Aryan had become a nervous wreck. He could feel his heart beating wildly within his chest and he was clearly fidgeting. When Rask ordered everyone to take cover, he did not hesitate to obey. Without giving any consideration to Olag’s position, he rolled to the edge of the bed and used his forward momentum to flop awkwardly to the grimy floor. Nevermind the dust and grease that immediately clung to his clothes and exposed skin; he felt safe down here. At least, for the time being.

    That all changed when a makeshift bomb sailed through the open doorway and set the interior wall on fire.

    A sharp curse issued from Aryan’s lips, the expletive loud enough to echo across the small hovel as he recoiled from the spreading inferno. The heat was intense, and if they didn’t move quickly, he realized that they would be trapped in the back room. And yet, he was too panicked to move; his muscles locked up and he cowered against the wall as if paralyzed.

    Thankfully, he had Valieri to turn to as an anchor. The mere sight of her standing on the opposite side of the bed was enough to restore his confidence. He was able to relinquish his fears and focus on escape. But perhaps it went beyond that. There was also this overwhelming need to return to her side – to protect her. It bordered on desperation, which is what ultimately spurred him into action.

    Clenching his jaw, Aryan rose precariously to his feet. The action was slow, and he wavered unsteadily to maintain his balance, but he managed to succeed all the same. With his right arm pressed tightly against his side, he shuffled forward with a noticeable limp. That didn’t seem to matter, though – he was walking without assistance.

    “We need to, uh...get out of here,” Aryan conveyed hurriedly, bending over slightly to retrieve her tote from the floor. Now.” He emphasized that last word by nudging her roughly toward the door.

    Cal stepped forward and lightly touched Aryan’s shoulder, “wait,” he turned to Olag and asked, “do you have another exit?”

    Olag’s eyes widened and he looked nervously at Cheryl, who had begun tossing various items into a valise. Cheryl gestured and grunted at Olag who replied, “you don’t know it’s them!”

    Cal looked between the two and then asked Rask, “you’re our security! What do you suggest?”

    Rask, meanwhile, was in the middle of a 4-on-1 fight to the death after dropping the first two assailants in the doorway. They weren’t rushing the door anymore at least - smart since they’d just set the place on fire - but the attack hadn’t exactly abated. Blaster bolts were flying in through the doorway and window semi-frequently and pinging against the back wall, leaving scorch marks and pinning Rask in the corner. He was able to return fire, but only sparingly and never with enough time to get a solid aim on any of the shooters, who were benefiting from the cover of darkness outside.

    “I’ve got my hands a little full here, thanks,” he replied to Cal, and ducked as a bolt narrowly missed his head. “I’ve got a small flash grenade that could get us out the front door, but we’d have to move quick, it won’t blind them for long. I could use it to take care of two of them but my blaster will overheat before I can hit all four.”

    The flames were spreading fast too, now covering most of the wall opposite where Rask was hunkered down.

    “Whatever we’re doing we need to do fast, I don’t intend to burn to death,” Rask urged.

    Meanwhile, Olag had lifted a filthy rug and thrown it aside to reveal a trapdoor. Cheryl nodded to Olag and opened the door, he dropped his bag in and jumped down. Cal called out to Rask that they had an escape route, he told him to use the grenade and follow them through the floor.

    “Well kriff,” Rask breathed a sigh of relief. He ripped the grenade from his belt and darted in a crouch over to the window. Sat with his back against the wall and the window above his head, he pulled the pin, tossed it over his shoulder, and made his move as soon as he saw the flash.

    Aryan stood poised on the edge of the opening, his eyes darting with uncertainty between Dr. Jepsun and the shootout ensuing in the other room. He had not appreciated the initial delay to mull over their escape options, and now he grew even more uncomfortable as Olag and his Gamorrean companion slipped beneath the floor into the darkness beyond. It wasn’t that he had concerns about the plan – it was the best they could do under the circumstances – but he had noticed the brief exchange between the doctor and his assistant.

    What had Olag meant when he referred to ‘them’?

    Unfortunately, Aryan was still struggling to overcome his cognitive impairments, so when the flash grenade detonated and bathed the outer room in a blinding, white light, that thought instantly faded from his mind. It became consumed and replaced by one very basic instinct – the need to survive.

    Cringing from the lingering effects of the explosion, Aryan staggered to maintain his balance and reflexively latched onto Valieri’s arm, his fingers digging into her flesh with a white-knuckled grip. But instead of pulling her close for stability and support, he exerted all of his strength to push her through the open hatchway ahead of him. It was an impulsive decision, one that temporary surpassed his own personal safety.

    And yet, he didn’t seem to care.

    “Dammit, Aryan!” a muffled voice rose up from the pit below. “You know that--”

    Aryan tuned out the rest of Valieri’s rant and closed his eyes briefly to refocus his attention. He was still unsure about his capabilities, but what other choice did he have at this point? If he wanted to come through this alive, he had to learn to trust himself.

    Pushing the tote bag back onto his shoulder, he inhaled deeply and slid down into the gloomy passage behind the others.

    Cal watched for the flash and then jumped down the trapdoor opening, and he landed with a grunt beside Cheryl, Aryan, Olag, and Valieri. Olag was intently staring at the opening and spoke softly, “come on, come on,” willing Rask to hurry.

    Once Rask landed in the tunnel, Olag raised his arm and motioned, Cal’s breath caught in his throat as the door settled into place. What those in the tunnel wouldn’t have seen was the filthy rug sliding over the opening to conceal the door. This series of events felt like they had played out in slow motion, when actually it had been seconds, and Olag quickly pulled in his Force presence, dampening himself to those looking for him. “I want to know what the kriff just happened,” Cal demanded, “and who that was?” Olag was trying to move them along down the passage, but turned to Cal shushing him, “keep your bloody voice down, man! I’ll explain once we are out of here.”

    “But...uh, you--you used the Force,” Aryan murmured in a wistful tone, his gaze still angled up toward the opening they had just passed through. He appeared mesmerized by what he had witnessed, and he shifted awkwardly, his brow furrowing with thought as he tried to rationalize it all. “That’s how you, uh--did it...the healing.” He reached up and touched the side of his head to indicate his injury, a knowing smile turning up one corner of his mouth.

    Unfortunately, he had doubts that anyone was actually listening to him at this point. It didn’t help that this kind of excitement – combined with his fatigue – also had an adverse effect on both his physical and cognitive capabilities; the emotional stimuli temporarily overloaded his brain and forced it to abandon certain routine tasks to compensate for the strain. In this case, it failed to keep Aryan’s weakened side functioning properly.

    As he took a step to follow the others down the passage, he unwittingly began to slump to his right side, which hindered his forward progress.

    Olag remembered Aryan’s condition and called to Cheryl, “put Aryan on your back,” he ordered, “I don’t want him overexerting himself yet.” Cheryl leaned down and boosted Aryan onto his back before taking off down the tunnel. Cal and Valieri rushed behind Cheryl and had to jog to keep up. Olag kept stopping and looking back behind them, once he stopped at a panel embedded in the rock wall and flipped some switches. Cal could hear heavy doors closing to seal the passage behind them. He couldn’t imagine what had gone wrong.

    Aside from the doors locking into place, a string of curses echoed steadily in the Gamorrean’s wake as Aryan lashed out and made his displeasure over the current situation known. While he understood that he had limitations that could potentially impede their escape, he remained stubborn and insisted on doing things himself. He wanted to maintain his dignity – not be carted around like a loose piece of cargo.

    And so, the obscenities continued as he squirmed in the hulking creature’s grip.

    Once the group caught up to Cheryl, he deposited Aryan into a cargo transport similar to what was likely used to move freight around, and he was just starting up the old engines. Black smoke was belching out from around the engine hatch, but that didn’t seem to concern Cheryl or Olag. “It’s fine,” he motioned the others into the vehicle, “it looks old, but it’s reliable and Cheryl has kept it maintained.” Cheryl let out several indignant squeals at Olag, “yes, friend, I know. Don’t fret,” he soothed the Gamorrean. “We’ll find another planet and set up shop there,” he said softly, hoping the others weren’t listening. He glanced over and saw Cal staring at him. “It’s time to answer my questions, Olag,” Cal demanded.

    Sighing heavily Olag looked to Cheryl, who nodded encouragement. “Fine. You see, I was once, sort of, a Jedi,” Olag stammered. “What exactly does that even mean,” Cal was obviously getting angry, “how can you be a sort of Jedi?” Olag held up a hand to stop Cal before he got too worked up, “this really isn’t the best time to go into a full explanation,” Olag answered as he watched the tunnel behind them as they chugged along. “Those guys that were shooting the place up were after me,” Olag explained, “Cheryl and I have had to move before because they want to kill me. They are Sith,” Olag’s voice trailed off since he was trying to assist Cheryl looking for something ahead, while still glancing back every few seconds.

    Cal’s eyes widened at Olag’s mention of Sith being after him, he held his finger to his lips while looking at Aryan and Valieri so they would know not to say who their companions were. He closed his eyes and wondered what Plo and Bellorum would do when he returned with an erstwhile Jedi and his Gamorrean partner.

    Aryan had settled down by this point and was listening intently to the exchange between Olag and Jepsun. He suddenly recalled the young doctor’s strange behavior and how the man had made a vague reference to an unknown entity possibly tracking them down – the mysterious them he had noted earlier.

    He realized that Olag had been referring to the Sith the whole time. Everything now made sense within that context.

    In his haste to relay this discovery – to prove that he was capable of so much more, Aryan failed to notice Dr. Jepsun’s warning about not sharing the identity of their Sith companions. Instead, he carried on with that exact line of thought regardless, completely oblivious to the consequences.

    “We, uh...we’re part of a group of survivors,” Aryan started slowly, his enthusiasm clearly evident in his tone. “Most of them...they’re members of a--”

    “Aryan, no,” Valieri scolded lightly, leaning to the side and gently clenching his arm to silence him. She pursed her lips and glanced sideways toward Jepsun, almost as if she expected trouble if this kept up.

    “But Syren. She, uh--”

    “I said no,” she reiterated more sternly. “I’m sure Dr. Olag will hear all about it later.” Valieri then dipped her head in silent warning.

    Aryan’s brow creased in confusion, but when he finally followed her gaze toward Jepsun, he quickly realized his mistake. “Kriff,” was all he muttered before he leaned back against a storage container and closed his eyes to hide his embarrassment. Apparently, he still had a long way to go.

    Rask, who was bringing up the rear, had quickly consulted the Nal Hutta holonet to determine what was going on. “It looks like there was a serious disaster - the auction house burned to the ground and all of the emergency personnel in the city are there. Riots broke out everywhere. I’m guessing your Sith saw their opportunity and jumped...” he trailed off.

    Olag directed Cheryl to a narrow passage that branched off the tunnel and after a bit, they merged into a traffic lane. “Do you guys have a ship?” Olag asked Cal, “maybe you could give us a lift?”

    Opening his eyes, Aryan straightened slightly and sought out Olag’s gaze, his impulsive nature taking over in this instance. He didn’t bother to consult with either Valieri or Dr. Jepsun, and simply blurted the first thing that came to mind. From his perspective, he was only being helpful; Olag had given him a new lease on life, and he figured he owed him.

    “We have, uh...a big--cargo ship,” Aryan conveyed evenly, a hint of a smirk playing over his features. “The Dark, umm...Dark Dreamer? It was a pleasure yacht, with, uh...full crew quarters.”

    He nodded slowly to give them his approval – as if he had a say in that sort of thing. “There’s...plenty, uh--plenty of room.”

    TAG: @Lady Belligerent; @Darth_wanderguard
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2019
  7. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 RPF Awards Host star 6 VIP - Game Host

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

    The Emperor seemed to be uncomfortably adjusting to his new form, and Leda remained as she had been – a sentry, observing the scene but keeping her opinions to herself for the time being.

    "It was inevitable that we would cross paths with Luke Skywalker…” he revealed.

    And she tensed.

    Luke Skywalker?

    That was who she had fought in the hotel plaza? The legendary Jedi Master, a man who even in Sith lore was something of a mystical being. A longtime foe with powers that made him an opponent that should never be underestimated.

    How the kriff did I even survive, she wondered, lost in thought. She had always taken care to never overestimate her own strengths so she had known immediately how over her head she had been, but even still, she was never one to throw in the towel. Even if that would mean her death. The distant realization that Insipid had orchestrated the entire encounter didn’t pique her anger, however. It had been the catalyst for her brief time spent as his carrier and pupil; which she was and would be eternally grateful for.

    Disaster can beget opportunity.

    "If you wish to have an opinion on this, then this would be the time,” he continued, and Leda gave him a sour look. “I doubt I will be able to take either of you right now."

    She held her tongue long enough for Bernael to respond to the rather ridiculous idea that any one of them would actually attack him for his betrayal, which honestly couldn’t be defined as such. He had all but warned her this was coming when he had chosen to teach her about trust and the foolishness of placing her faith in anyone but herself. Whether he intended it to be or not, it was just one long lesson in proving to her that his words were true, and she could take no offence to nearly dying before she understood that.

    But, the ever-expressive Sith could not keep her emotions from showing physically. Her face shifted to a countenance of amused disbelief, and she permitted that much to show in the Force.

    “Yea, ok,” was all she said by way of a response, sarcasm and a smirk before she suddenly put her feet into motion. Carefully approaching her Emperor as he wore Apollin’s face, she focused on his eyes as she had before to connect to the presence beneath the foreign skin. Stopping once she was standing over him where he sat, Leda offered her hand.

    “On your feet, my Lord. Manticore is right, we should be on our way.”

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth @darthbernael @greyjedi125
     
  8. Snokers

    Snokers Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 2015
    Thank you for the combo @Darth_wanderguard

    IC: Darth Anark + Ami
    Nal Hutta, aboard the Dark Dreamer...


    Lord Anark wiped at his his blackened cheeks. He had a cough from the exposure to the smoke in the bazaar.

    "See that Miss Sayul gets to bed and stays there until she's adequately rested."

    He scowled and and took a look around at the familiar faces. He hated that Plo hadn't bothered to enquire about his escape.

    "As you say," he mumbled and gestured to the girl Ami to head up the ramp of the Dark Dreamer.

    "Quickly, if you would," he said, surrendering briefly to another coughing fit.

    Ami did as she was told, scaling the slope of the ramp and feeling more relieved with every step she took. She wasn’t entirely comfortable with Anark, however. The entirety of her interaction with him to this point had consisted of stray glances on her part, listening to the man seemingly talking to himself and using pluralities when they didn’t apply. She could swear on multiple occasions late at night that she had seen him either wandering aimlessly about the ship’s corridors or skulking around them like a predator, though that may have been only her imagination.

    In any case, he was a better alternative than what she had expected Plo to do to her when he found out about the cargo hold. Though he had seemed oddly forgiving of it after all - maybe he had rightly figured out that it was his own fault.

    All of this being lost in her own thoughts would betray easily that Ami was exhausted nearly to the point of delirium. Add on top of the stress of each catastrophe piled onto another as the day had worn on, she now stood in the corridor leading to the crew quarters, and couldn’t remember which way her room was or what number.

    She looked one way and then the next, then to Anark, and lightly slurred, “I don’t remember which room is mine.”

    Anark let his robe fall in a messy heap on the floor.

    “Grab that,” he grunted.

    As he passed by Ami he looked into her tired eyes with his own, now a dim yellow. She looked too innocent to be in league with them.

    He passed the door to his own temporary quarters and hesitated.

    Looking back to her, “take mine for now. You need to rest.” He stifled a yawn... and a humourless chuckle... and the urge to smash his face against the wall.

    He opened the door and gestured for her to enter, laying a hand on the robes she’d gathered up in her arms.

    “Where do you come from?”

    “Uhh, well... I’m not sure if it even exists in this timeline, really,” she answered. “That’s such a strange thing to be saying... I keep thinking this is a nightmare I can’t wake up from. But it’s too weird not to be real. What about you?”

    Ami was somehow unnerved and calmed all at once by Anark’s weirdness, evidenced by the fact that she had gathered up his robes as instructed despite not knowing why. She hadn’t questioned it either really, but maybe she was just too tired. Now as he ushered her into his quarters, she came to a realization.

    “Your... but where are you going to sleep?” she asked.

    “I don’t sleep very much,” Anark huffed.

    He giggled, but humourlessly.

    The Sith unclipped the lightsaber from his belt and laid it on a black ottoman in the corner. He gazed over at Ami. The voices he’d come to call ‘the collective of late were all commenting on the female, some favourable, some not, some indifferent and some diabolical.

    “Would you prefer me to leave you while you rest?”

    Um...” Ami paused. The prospect of sleeping while an exceedingly strange man sat awake in the room, doing god knows what, was less than appealing in a general sense. “I...” she hesitated again, and sat heavily on the end of Anark’s bed. “I’ve been attacked, twice... three times today. I think I’ve lost count actually,” she cradled her head in both hands before brushing mousy brown locks away from her eyes.

    “I th-think I was almost...” she stuttered. Ami hadn’t stuttered in ten years. Not since the speech classes. “I think I was almost...” she choked on one word and opted for a softer alternative. “Forced. Twice.”

    She looked far away now. “I’m sorry. But I think I would really appreciate it if you just... stood by the door? Outside?”


    Put her out of her misery

    Wait for her slumber and strike her down... use the saber and make it quick


    The voices began their wicked dance of persuasion

    Anark gazed at her a long time, as though she were some elaborate puzzle.

    He swallowed hard and strained his neck until it cracked.

    “If that is your wish, that’s what I’ll do.

    He reached out with his hand and the lightsaber hilt he’d laid down obeyed him and flew into his grip. He stowed it away on his belt again and walked out of the room without ceremony, closing the door behind him.
     
  9. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

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

    “Ready to continue with the mission. Our pilots are waiting.”
    Manticore, as verbose as ever.

    “Nahhh, I much prefer you staying where you are, the position you have, works better for my own ends, eh, old partner?” Bernael, verbose as ever... but would he continue?

    “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,” Insipid eyes turned towards 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.”

    Insipid approved. He was correct, after all, and paying attention to the detail was what Insipid needed of his apprentice.

    “Yea, ok,” was all she said by way of a response, sarcasm and a smirk before she suddenly put her feet into motion. She was carefully approaching him, her eyes seeking to connect to the presence beneath the foreign skin; Insipid allowed it. Stopping once she was standing over him where he sat, Leda offered her hand, and he raised his eyes to her.

    “On your feet, my Lord. Manticore is right, we should be on our way.”

    "Why thank you," Insipid said, accepting the hand. "Let's go." He drew out a datapad from his pocket as he strode to the shuttle, leaving them. He placed a finger on the datapad; on Apollin's datapad. "Kill the pilots; we don't need them anymore. I'll transmit a message that the Senator has decided to withdraw to a secret place after the assassination attempt, and we'll go off the grid."

    "I sent agents to get this datapad; it's encrypted to the Senator's thumbprint, which I could not access. So, I took the Senator, and sent Luke Skywalker to clean up our loose ends; I've given the other Sith the opportunity to be loyal, or be destroyed by him. Easily done, with us pretending to be the Acolytes of the Beyond." Insipid sat on a gurney, and sent the corpses rolling off the ship with a flicker of his finger as he threaded through the datapad.

    "I suspected that we weren't the only ones who intended to sneak a construction program by way of Kuat," he said in a good-natured manner, letting them decide among themselves who would kill the pilots, who would pilot the ship, and who would head to the coordinates he had nominated. "Kuat-Entralla has been spun off Kuat Drive Yards to complete projects in the Outer Rim - a subsidiary company based on Entralla, so we will have to head there at some point."

    "But this is just detail," he said, softly. "We have other things to do," Insipid's eyes drifted from manifest to manifest. "But we can make do with this, and create a Centrist party within the New Republic Senate, and a new Imperial fleet. Reunite the Empire, and so forth. Make one of you three the Emperor or Empress to rule." He didn't need their reaction; not right now.

    His eyes narrowed to an extent as he caressed one manifest. Odd. The word escaped from him into the Force before he intended it to. Without further ado, he snapped the datapad shut. He gabbled one, swinging his feet on the edge of the table to face them, or rather the cockpit. "But this is all playing on a board-game set for us. Snoke on one side, and me on the other. Whether we win or lose is immaterial to the Fate of the Sith."

    "Time has been changed; reality altered." He brandished the datapad as if a weapon.

    "And us four, in this room, and a few others - are connected to that change."

    He pointed at Manticore. "The Nagai whose master was a warlord in the Unknown Regions, and came to the Sith legacy himself, after a jaunt into the Known..." Insipid shrugged. "... perhaps as far to the Inner Rim as Nouane. It is not very clear, is it? Was it him, or another Force sensitive Nagai infiltrator? Where did his Sith lineage come from? Who?"

    And if I have intermingled the tale of two Nagai Sith, why did he let me discover either? Insipid thought to himself.

    "... the woman who has no story, not one that I can truly ascertain... nor a master I can name. His face, he kept hidden from view for, what was it, the entirety of your apprenticeship on Moraband? Nor is there any record I can find of him...?" He said to Leda, "But he named you... for what reason? You name, I cannot find it, in all of history... not belonging to someone born, or, in a record."

    And if it is true, what did he see in you? Insipid all but snarled mentally.

    Insipid then brandished the datapad at Bernael. "Then we have the Anzati who lived, and lived for longer than I care to wonder. Dipping into and out of history, no? Manifesting yourself with a goal, and then vanishing, no? Unaware that I remember you, and that you have met me before, in your arrogance... but it is a new memory - you have been added to my timeline. By who?"

    What do you know, or not yet know?

    "Who, who, who."

    Insipid snarled the last. "Does it not anger you so, to have a mystery which you must build upon as if it was not there?"

    The coordinates, for whomever had them, were for Kesh.

    For now.

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

    Royal Palace, Star Home, Hapes Cluster

    Ah yes.

    A stand-off.

    Ni'Korish leered. "So you are the Neti." Her eyes drifted to the woman again. "Right again, I see." The woman snorted, slightly.

    "So we did kill two of you," a smirk, as the tableau continued. "Helinith and Bo. You concealed your numbers and losses out of an aspiration of... strength? I know not." Ni'Korish continued to prattle, her daughters looking from one to the each other. Ta'a and Secciah, caught as mere pawns to their mother's plans.

    "So I.... yield?" The Hapan Queen said, sitting back in her throne. "Or you kill us all...? And probably you." A lazy hand to the droid. "Undoubtedly the droid would be fine." Ni'Korish amused herself. "Let's play out a few rounds, see if I can't make a difference."

    "Would you... blow up the ship if I did this?" A gesture, and one of the droids levelled a blaster, and made a shot at the back of Serapis's head.

    "Just for that?"

    TAG: @DarthIshyZ, @darthbernael, @Snokers, @darthhelinith
    ---
    IC: TRAYUS

    Kamino, things going poorly for some, well for others

    Kaminoans opened fire on the ship, which was creased with fire even as its shields were raised. The ship managed to shift into lower atmosphere, taking damage, but then, TRAYUS confirmed they had jumped. But sensors would tell Cocytus what it told Soliloquy, Vytorias, Esmerelda and Shimmer; the jump was made in urgency.

    They hit hyperspace as a cacophony of sparks erupted form many of the displays. The droid, TRAYUS, lamented in Insipid's voice. "Our jump was done in haste; I am ill-placed to confirm when and where we shall arrive. Kesh was our targeted destination, but that is all I can confirm..." It's voice affirmed.

    "The jump was calculated for the next seventeen hours. You have that."

    Shimmer sighed. "Master Soliloquy, perhaps you can teach me something to while away the hours before -"

    "- our potential death," Esme finished. "And we have left Kronos behind," she seethed. "Though we have at least some data..."

    TRAYUS lifted a clawed hand. "And our traitor is discovered, Lady Esmerelda."

    Esme laughed. "Great. Wake me when we arrive." She stormed off.

    The droid eyed Vytorias. "Rest; you are the most stressed of all of them, in body and elevated heart-rate."

    Something teased at the Miraluka's mind; a memory, bidding he sleep upon it, unless he had more to offer; unless Soliloquy had wisdom for their moment - they all had stories to share.

    TAG: @Silvertough, @Soliloquy
    ---
    Kamino, Timira City

    It was as Styx reported; the ship had made orbit, trailing damage, and had jumped. It was unclear where, but it had jumped and left parts of itself behind; such were the vagaries of opening fire on advanced ships. Sensors suggested that it probably wouldn't make it to it's destination, but the odds were 50/50, the reports to Prime Minister Taun We suggested.

    The woman had been installed in Timira City and spread the story; a coup attempt by Koa Ne, foiled by her daughter and Lord Cocytus, and the Sith were at the heart of it; orders went out - a clone army was to be raised to defend Kaminoan aggressively, and to prepare expansion. The other clone projects under construction for other worlds were to be repurposed - a Khommite population overspill, a Kallidahin group of workers for Subterrel, and an exotic zoo order to repopulate Felucia with various native species - all now belonged to Darth Cocytus.

    Ten thousand Khommite clones in stasis; twenty thousand Kallidahin clones which were simple-minded and easily reprogrammed; dozens of creatures of burden and predatory nature, such as the Acklay, which could be relatively easily re-purposed.

    All his.

    Taun We received secrets, and called Lord Cocytus to meet her; she knew that she could not hide anything from him.

    Styx also had questions, and Lord Cocytus would need to deal with those.

    His choices were his apprentice first, or his armies and politics.

    TAG: @Darth Cocytus (combo)
    ---
    Rendezvous

    The X-wing arrived in the middle of nowhere, and received the data it required.

    Luke Skywalker completed a course correction and jumped for Kamino.

    The Acolytes of the Beyond had struck there; the Kuati authorities had let him know.

    He was coming.

    TAG: @Darth Cocytus, @Silvertough, @Mitth_Fisto
     
  10. Darth Cocytus

    Darth Cocytus Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    May 8, 2016
    Darth Cocytus
    Dark Lord Ascending

    Darth Cocytus glared with narrow eyes as the Sith Ship escaped the assault by Kaminoan fire power. His trydactly fits clenched tightly in anger and hatred as he stared at the raining sky, both of which which the Sith Lord began to nurture like a mother cat would to her litter of kittens. Alas though, there were other things to do and attend. Insipid’s Sith Order was all but defunct now, regardless of its survivors. Although Cocytus was quite sure that Insipid would somehow return and begin rebuilding. Such powerful Sith have had a habit of doing that. No matter, all the while, Darth Bane’s Rule of Two, under Darth Cocytus’s rule, rises again, calling it:

    'THE RULE OF TWO REBORN'

    In the meantime, things were going well for Darth Cocytus and his “homeworld” of Kamino. He had put a great gamble in trusting Taun We and it seemed to be paying off already in such a short time with clone armies already on the rise. Of course there was still his apprentice, Darth Styx, who’s training even had yet to begin. Cocytus has sought to rectify that just as he promised her, beginning with a Sith Pilgrimage to the various worlds of the Sith and those otherwise still strong in the Dark Side of the Force. All to begin after his meeting with the new Prime Minister…

    “Come with me, Lady Styx.” Darth Cocytus said simply as he approached her in her chambers, “I have a meeting with Prime Minister We to attend to, and after that, we shall begin your training officially,taking your first steps in a world far larger than you can at this moment comprehend…”

    As Cocytus led his apprentice through the halls of Kamino’s new capital city, he paused for a moment, feeling… a disturbance in the force. Someone was coming to Kamino. Someone strong in the Force. A Jedi Knight. Luke Skywalker… Cocytus thought to himself and to the Sidious AI in his mind. Anger and hatred burning bitterly at the very thought of someone of the LIght Side barging in on his plans. The idea of it being Luke Skywalker added fear to the kaminoan's being as well. It’s too soon. The Rule of Two Reborn is not ready for this. I have yet to begin training Lady Styx. We should leave quickly after this….

    The Sith Kaminoan stormed into Prime Minister Taun We’s office. “Whatever you have to share with me, make it quick.” Cocytus coldly said, “We have an uninvited guest coming to Kamino. The Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker. He must not be allowed to discover what we are planning to do.”

    @Sinrebirth
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020
  11. Jerjerrod-Lennox

    Jerjerrod-Lennox Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    OOC: A combo brought to you by myself, @QueenSabe7 and @Quinlan Vos :D

    IC: Captain Lennox Jerod, Syren, Vex Nolzit/ Erebus
    Location: Dark Dreamer, Nal Hutta


    As Vex found himself suddenly stuck in a seemingly invisible hand that pulled him towards his quarry, he knew that he could do naught to fight it.He let himself get pulled closer, content to wait until his chance arose and he could make his escape.

    Once he had reached the pair, he felt as though he was set free from the grasp, but his force senses told him otherwise. Testing the thought, he tried to push his arm upward, but found that it was locked to his side, confirming his suspicions. The man spoke to him shortly, then suddenly threw his fist as fast as lightning at the Zabrak's side. However, as fast as the man was, Vex had unmatched reflexes,and tightened his body to absorb the blow, as well as the two that immediately followed. Even so, it was surprisingly powerful punch, and he still found himself grimacing in pain.Not wanting to show his captor weakness, however, he kept his face stoic, and kept waiting for his chance.

    He was confident he would be able to escape right up until the large group arrived, and he found himself extremely outnumbered. The man,which he now presumed was likely the leader of the bunch, barked out orders, and he quickly found himself face to face with a stunningly beautiful young woman, though she had avery dark presence surrounding her that made him certain that she was one to be feared. This idea was confirmed when another of the group, a male, was assigned to watch her work on Vex, given strict orders to ensure that he wasn't permanently damaged.

    Resolving to continue biding his time, he looked straight back into the so called Lady Syren's eyes, challenging her to do something. He readied himself for the worst, knowing full well that he wasn't going to get out of this unscathed.

    Syren, begrudgingly accepting her new role as 'menacing interrogator' -though under surveillance by Lennox - saw this newcomer, Vex, level an unwavering gaze in her direction. She gave one back, then took over Plo's hold of the zabrak's body. Breaking eye contact the moment he was secure in the Force, she strode up the ramp and headed straight for one room in particular.

    The Gym.

    Whether Lennox was on her heels or not, didn't bother checking nor sensing. It was like she was on autopilot since her encounter with Amy Sayul, too much emotion or too little. As she had tried to do by pushing the tiny woman, she put her focus elsewhere and just how she would get information from their curious stalker.

    Whisking the captive along at her side, they arrived at their destination in no time at all. Hovering Vex's body over a weight bench, Syren briefly considered how to proceed and then decided to start... light.

    "Tell me your name," she asked, turning towards his horizontal form then approaching. She was close enough to look down on him, leaning in slightly with a hollow smirk. This wasn't a job of her choosing, so at the moment there was not much true enjoyment to be had.

    "Tell me your name, where you come from, why you were following us, and who sent you." The answers, or lack thereof, would decide the course of this little interaction. Of course, she hoped he was mute.

    So he was on interrogation duty, well mainly observing by the sounds of it, but he knew what he had to do. Watch, listen, perhaps pop his two credits in if need be and make sure their guest came out of it relatively in one piece.

    He had done some interrogations in his time so he wasn't a total novice, but he had never handled another Force user, just pirates and Rebel scum. But perhaps he would try something different, to be the 'Good Cop' to Syrens obvious 'Bad Cop'.

    Lennox had watched the show unfold, now it was down to business. He felt like all he wanted to do was take a hot shower and jump into bed and rest until he was ready to go again. But Plo had given him a job to do, and he would make sure Syren stayed in line. He may be lower than them in terms of power but he still was a Captain and he had the authority to command.

    Jerod followed Syren and the guest, keeping a little distance between them but he was still close enough to watch. At least Ike was off his shoulder now, he rolled it to get some feeling back.

    Syren looked in a mood, and being dressed in a slave outfit probably wasn't helping. It seemed Lennox had the clearer head of the two, and hopefully Syren would heed Plo's orders.

    He entered the gym and watched Syren start the interrogation, moving near them both and placing his hands on his batons, his bright green eyes studying them both.

    Let's see how this goes….

    As Vex studied the pair, he couldn't help but let out a soft chuckle. A supposed Slave girl and some wannabe Imperial Officer, or so it seemed. He knew deep down that they were both much more than they seemed, but it was still a funny sight to him. He decided that he would get under their skin before he would do much of anything.

    "A simple hello would have been better start to this conversation, don't you think?" he asked of the so-called Darth Syren. He nodded towards the captain. "I don't suppose you happen to have better manners, do you? No? Oh well then."

    Finding himself still stuck in place, he decided to look as comfortable as possible. "My name, you ask? Well, I have gone by many of these 'names' over the years. For now, you can use my alias, Erebus. Interesting name, is it not?" He pressed on without giving them a chance to answer. "As for why I'm here, well, actually, that's why this is all so funny... I'm here for you!"

    Vex paused, seeming to think it through, then continued.

    "Well, not just you, I suppose. There was the other slave woman as well, but I can assume that, like you, she is no slave at all. Unless you really are a slave? Though maybe in a different way. A slave to the man who runs this place, the one who was ordering you all around outside. Maybe you aren't designated as his slave, but even so he orders you all around as such. Trust me I should know!"

    He let out a sharp laugh, and then continued once more, this time directing his speech towards the man in the room, whom he now noticed had a firm grip upon the batons that were hanging from his sides. "Why do you seem so nervous, huh? Are you afraid of me? Well, let me just inform you that, unfortunately, I cannot even if I wished to do so, as I am still stuck here in place. I've got a kink in my neck and my back is getting stiff, but all you want is answers! Can I at the very least get a bit more comfortable before we continue?" he asked of Syren.

    "No," Syren replied simply, narrowing her eyes."Erebus..." She tasted the name on her tongue and no familiarity came from it. She stepped back from him, searching the room for what it provided her with. "Has anyone ever told you that you talk too much?"

    With one hand she dropped him the rest of the way upon the weight bench but kept her Force bind in tact, with the other she summoned several large barbell disks from a nearby wall. They floated over and filed atop on another like a tower, directly above the zabrak's chest. Having had her sabers brought to her once they had come aboard, she glanced at them on a table before reconsidering tactics. Her little watchdog certainly wouldn't allow her to maim or dismember... but maybe crushing would pass his inspection.

    With a finger, she lowered one weighted disk and then a second, adding pressure with her thoughts as they would make contact with him. "What about me, or any of us interests you so? If it's regarding outselling the highest bidder, trust me... you couldn't afford it. And I am no slave..." She pressed harder.

    Lennox continued to watch his stoic face in full force. He had jousted with quite a few enemies over the years and many had tried to break him. None had succeeded and this one was going to be no exception.

    As the disks floated over Jerod watched closely. It seemed Syren had something in mind, hopefully she would not have to use her sabers (and Jerod would not allow her to even if things turned nasty) but the disks would be a good start, maybe just enough pressure would silence this one from mouthing off anymore. Because Syren seemed in the mood to literally crush him to death and the Zabarak had no idea what he was in for.

    Jerod folded his arms across his chest fixing his green eyes on the Zabrak “I am afraid of no-one” he said simply “And I am sure you won’t be laughing after my colleague is done”

    He stepped closer a little “I doubt someone such as yourself is working alone, and I think your boss has no idea what they have sent you into. And I doubt they will be coming over the nearest hill. Why they would send you to spy or whatever you were meant to do is beyond me. Unless you were willing to die…”

    He shrugged “So it doesn't hurt to tell us what you know, your boss isn't here and isn't coming to help you. But perhaps we can get you out of a sticky predicament…..like you possibly being involved in child slavery. And what person wants to be associated with that?” he looked to Syren “But it’s your funeral”

    Vex was happy with the results of his prodding at the pair, as he sensed an air of discomfort and danger around them. However, he soon realized that he had made a bit of a mistake, and that he was well outmatched in this instance. As the pressure built upon Vex's chest, he fought as hard as he could to maintain a relaxed look on his face. He didn't want to show them his discomfort, as it would result in him losing his edge. Eventually though, the pressure became too much, and he grimaced in pain.

    "All right, all right, what is it that you want from me?" he asked the pair. "I work for a Sith Lord, known only as Xiaozhan. He's promised me training in the arts of the dark side of the force in exchange for my assistance. He hasn't followed through yet after many different tasks, but he at least pays well. This time, though, I think it's different. He needed me to bring you and your other false-slave woman to him at his office on.... I've said too much already.... I shouldn't have.... I'm dead if he finds out about this!! Unless you and your friends can protect me, which I doubt considering a man of his staggering power, I ask you to let me go! I would at least like to live out the rest of my likely short life not trapped against a bench in a dark room."

    Vex began trying to squirm to free himself, desperate to run somewhere, find a new name for himself as he had done so many times before, and hopefully be rid of all of this mess.

    Syren sighed, dropping another weight onto Vex's chest as he began to fidget and stir. "Stay still now, little one. The more you struggle, the more pleasure I take in hurting you, and you won't want me to start having fun..."

    Stepping back a few, she came alongside Lennox though her gaze remained on their prey.

    "There is no Lord Xiaozhan among our Sith," she started at a lower tone. "I think he is either lying, or he is being played by a pretender with motives I wouldn't begin to guess..."

    Her mind was working, immediately wanting to speak with Plo and Lady Bellorum. What if they kept the ruse up a little longer? And met this false Sith, extending his game long enough to beat him at it.

    It looked like Syren had worked her magic and their guest was starting to spill the beans.But Lennox knew he might be trying to stall for time hoping his boss might come and save the day. Also letting him go was off the cards.

    He spoke so only Syren could hear him "Don't forget we are in the New Sith Wars era here so they could be everywhere without us even noticing. It's lucky we picked up our guest here otherwise we could have lost a viable lead. This Sith Lord could be fake or he could be the one behind Xander and Hel disappearing"

    Lennox looked back to their guest and spoke "So what makes you think that pulling some Sith Lord's name out of nowhere is going to get you a ticket off this ship?" He narrowed his eyes " For all we know this Sith Lord you speak of could be a figment of your imagination"

    Jerod shook his head "I'm afraid you will have to try harder than that. How about you take us to where you were about to deposit your slaves. Then perhaps we may consider being a little bit nicer towards you"

    Vex held back a knowing smile, as they were effectively planning to do his job for him by showing up on his contractors own doorstep. Were they really such fools? Even if a few among them were half decently trained Sith Lord Xiaozhan would still be able to take them out with relative ease. He would finally get his training in the Dark Arts.

    Unless...

    Vex knew full well that, once again, the man who had sent him on this mission would likely still refuse to train him. He had no real future with him. He would just be sent out again and again with empty promises, and no bounty reward would ever stack up to him being trained. That left him with one option, and he knew as soon as it flirted with his conscious that it was the right choice.

    "Hmm... I have a proposition for you both, and I know you would be very weary of it, especially seeing as how I've been so rude. For that, I apologize. However, I think that both parties stand to benefit from this. The idea is as such: I will lead you directly to my employer, who you can deal with however you so please. In exchange for that, I only ask for one simple thing: training. I have never been trained through the Force, and the man I will be leading you to has promised many times to do so but hasn't and likely will never do so. If you can give me even the slightest bit of teaching in using the force, I would even do so much as to join your ragtag bunch. You could use my talents, as few in the galaxy have the experience and skill that I do in my profession. I beg you to consider this offer."

    He grimaced as the weights continued to push further down upon him, and he drew in a deep breath to hold them at bay as best as possible while he awaited a response. He could only hope that they would be willing to come to an arrangement soon, as he was on the verge of being crushed.

    Syren raised a brow, knowing full well the newcomer could lead them straight into a trap, but also knowing it was really their only shot at figuring out who this Xiaozhan was exactly.

    She did not acknowledge Erebus, but turn fully towards Lennox instead. The weights continued their torture though she didn't add any additional. For now.

    "We need to take this to Plo," she began with her back to their captive. "The zabrak basically said what I was thinking..."

    Lennox nodded "I agree, perhaps he might be willing to keep our guest aboard whilst we make sure what he has said is genuine. Besides if we do have more Sith here there is a chance perhaps that Plo may be able to strengthen the ranks, or we could end up getting into a rather messy situation. And if this Sith Lord if they are real could be the key to finding Xander and Hel " he shrugged "But let's see what Plo makes of all this"

    Jerod then looked around Syren "You might want to cease the crushing a little bit, unless you want him to be presented to Plo flat as a pancake"

    Lennox stepped forward again his green eyes narrowing "It's up to us whether you stay on board and it depends on whether you can deliver on what you just said. If you don't, well let's just say that the results could be rather gruesome. Or we could just abandon you on some uninhabited planet. Give you plenty of thinking time" he smirked at that.

    "And it's not just me and my colleague you have to convince if you want to stay on board. You deliver, you perhaps get to keep your life and maybe perhaps join us. But I see you putting a toe out of line, I will have you removed. I dislike loose cannons on my deck".

    TAG: @Darth_wanderguard
     
  12. Darth_wanderguard

    Darth_wanderguard Game Host star 6 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2005
    GM UPDATE


    IC: Plo & BellorumDark Dreamer, Nal Hutta

    Getting Ike settled had been the easy part. The former consort was still fully unconscious when Plo laid him on the bed. He didn’t have a key to Ike’s room, and he refused to give Bellorum’s bed even the most cursory consideration. As a result, he thought that leaving Ike in his own quarters and then making sure to wash his bedding afterward seemed the most sensible course. He slung the man off his shoulder, not roughly but with perhaps a little too much force, and jerked with a wince as his head continued the momentum and collided with the wall, bouncing off of it and onto Plo’s pillow with a thud. Oh well. It was a match on a fire to what Jerod had apparently done to him.

    With a sigh, he closed the door behind as he stepped out of the room and regrouped with the waiting Bellorum. “He’ll be confused and maybe slightly proud of himself for a minute when he wakes up, but other than that I think he’ll be fine,” he explained. “According to Ami we have no food stores so I think I need to sort that out, but we need to get this ship off the ground and away from Nal Hutta. If you can make sure everyone is on board, comm the bridge and have them launch. Jerod and Syren are still interrogating our new friend, too, and we need to know what they’ve found out before we can know where to go next.”

    Bellorum had been watching Haretisch while he spoke, and once he stopped she waited a second and then startled into a salute, “aye aye Captain,” she replied.

    She was turning to leave him when it occurred to her that Haretisch was very good at concealing his feelings. So, after a slight hesitation, she leaned over and kissed him lightly on the cheek, “we will find her,” she whispered before walking away.

    “Krif the food because we have plenty of alcohol,” she laughed heading to her quarters to ditch the slave costume and to cleanse her thigh. It was stinging and starting to discolor somewhat.

    Bellorum opened a channel to Jerod as she was blotting the wound with a clean damp cloth. “Jerod, Haretisch, er Plo, said to launch if everyone is on board,” she instructed him, “we need to put a little distance between us and this hell hole.”

    The wound was definitely worse and her once blue skin was looking very green in that area, so after donning clean clothing she sought out Cal. He was sitting at his desk looking miserable, “someone break your heart today,” Bellorum said cheerfully as she sat in a nearby chair. “What?” Cal stammered as he was clearly startled by the Dark Lady appearing. “No, not at all,” he answered and then asked, “are you here to break my heart?” Bellorum laughed, “you’re cute,” she smiled, “but I don’t have a heart.” Cal wasn’t sure what she wanted, and had been about to find Plo to discuss Olag when Bellorum showed up. “Then you clearly need the services of a physician, but I’m fresh out of hearts,” he stood and continued, “was there anything else I could help with?”

    “I thought you’d never ask,” Bellorum replied and showed him the nasty wound. Cal quickly grabbed gloves and gently pressed on the wound, “we need to debride the dying tissue before it spreads too far.”

    Once Cal was done, and Bellorum had changed again, she decided that she’d better make sure Aryan was indeed on board.

    For several minutes she’d had a nagging feeling that something was “off”. It was stronger now that she was nearing Aryan’s quarters, strong enough that she now had the hilt of her lightsaber firmly in her palm.

    ———

    What a mess. Plo wasn’t sure if the hawkbats had done more eating or more defecating in their apparently short time in the cargo hold after hatching - but from the look of it most of the food stores they had consumed must have passed through their digestive tracts within moments.

    He wouldn’t have known what had happened but for the security troopers who had been present and were now explaining to him the entire debacle from start to finish. The end result in any case was that the ship was now, at best, critically short on food, and Plo couldn’t shake the feeling that this was somehow his fault.

    At length he dismissed the troopers, who were still nursing their wounds from the struggle, and once he was alone sat heavily on a plasteel bin wondering what to do. He brushed the graying hair out of his face and sighed defeatedly, casting a cursory glance around the wrecked cargo hold. His brow furrowed, and he stood, gaze fixed on something in the corner. Three undisturbed bins. The same kind of bins as he’d wheeled on the ship initially when... oh no.

    He opened one of the bins and shut it just as quickly upon seeing that it was yet more hawkbat eggs. He moved hurriedly to the exit and keyed the panel to seal the door, just as he heard the squawk of freshly hatching hawkbats and then, expectedly, the flap of angry wings.

    He activated his comm and sent Ami Sayul a message flagged high importance.

    Solved our food problem. More hawkbat eggs. Think they’ve all hatched but cargo hold is sealed. Enough to feed everyone for a week or more.

    He was sure she could figure it out. Presently he remembered the other business and hoped Syren hadn’t killed both prisoner and Captain in a mad fit of bloodlust. Plo realized he didn’t even know where they were. Impatiently he keyed his comm again, this time to Syren’s frequency, and included Jerod in the text message.

    Where are you? Everyone still alive?

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

    ————

    Ami Sayul was roused abruptly by the insistent squeal of her comm, signaling an unread message of great import. She shook the sleep from her head, having momentarily forgotten where she was and why and the day she had just had, and then felt sick as everything came rushing back.

    She rolled over in Anark’s bed and fumbled for her comm. Her heart simultaneously leapt and sank as she read the words scrolling across the screen and read between the lines. There are hawkbats loose in the cargo hold again, subdue and kill them in such condition that they can be eaten, and learn to like reptavian meat if you don’t want to go hungry, it might as well have said. Good god.

    She climbed out of the bed in a hurry and snatched at the few articles of clothing she’d shed beforehand which were strewn about the floor. On her way out the door she was pulling on her pants and buttoning her blouse - opting to leave her boots loose and unzipped.

    “We need to go to the cargo hold, now! I need your help!” she explained to Anark as she stepped outside and hurried down the corridor.

    TAG: @Snokers

    OOC: Syren, Jerod, Vos, you’re on a combo with me. Syren start. Anark, you’re also on a combo with me. You start.
     
  13. HanSolo29

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

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    Another combo with the amazing Lady Belligerent – thank you so much! :D


    IC: Aryan Graul, Valieri Denora, Dr. Olag, Cheryl, and Darth Bellorum

    Private Quarters, the Dark Dreamer, Nal Hutta

    Cheryl leaned in close to examine the silent droid, he looked behind the unit and could see it was plugged into a wall port, but it appeared to be on stand by. With one large finger, he poked it. “Stop that,” Olag ordered, “and I don’t care if you’re bored, Cal said to stay here and don’t touch anything. You are touching things.” Cheryl growled and flopped onto the sofa, knocking over a cup of caf sitting on a low table. “I know this sucks, but it’s far better than the ship we came here on, remember how bad the dead animal odor was? It took months before I could wash the reek off of my skin.”

    Cheryl grunted and gestured in agreement and then shrugged. Olag looked at the closed door that led into Aryan’s bedchamber, then looked down at the spilled caf, and then blinked at the pot with only a small amount left in the bottom. He shifted uneasily on his seat and wondered if he shouldn’t have stopped at one small cup, because the refresher was through the bedroom.

    Meanwhile, in the adjoining bedchamber, Aryan remained oblivious to the antics of their new guests. He was resting on the single bed, his back pressed against the plush pillows and his gaze angled toward the paneled ceiling – it was the very same position Valieri had left him in when they had returned to the ship several hours before.

    While he had initially fallen into a fairly deep sleep, he had since awoken to the unpleasant murmurings of his restless mind. The emotional tumult that accompanied these stray thoughts was all-consuming, and despite his chronic fatigue, it fed into his fragile mental state and made it extremely difficult to relax. As a result, he found himself hovering between that odd cognitive realm that existed somewhere between sleep and wakefulness. He had very little choice except to give in to his musings and reflect on his current circumstances – all of his thoughts, fears, and desires.

    Naturally, that brought him back to his rapid recovery and how that would ultimately affect one person in particular…

    “Syren,” he whispered under his breath with a pained expression. The mere mention of her name made him want to pound the wall to ease his frustrations, though he found that he could not move. His muscles remained tight, seemingly unable to obey the most simple of commands. He realized then that this was all his fault – for having hope where there was none.

    When they had arrived back at the Dark Dreamer, Aryan had wrongfully assumed that he had a chance at reconciliation. Perhaps when Syren saw how much he had improved – that he could walk with minimal assistance, talk, and participate in a wider array of activities – that she would come back to him and accept him. But she had not been present upon his return, nor did she make any attempt to seek him out. In fact, he didn’t know where she was.

    That’s when the harsh reality of his situation began to set in. Syren had been serious about breaking off their relationship; she was not coming back, and he was alone. That likely scared him more than he cared to admit.

    Bringing his left hand up to his head, Aryan grabbed a tuft of his hair and clenched it into his fist. A deep growl issued from his throat as he closed his eyes and tried to forget. Considering his condition, he figured that shouldn’t be too hard to achieve.

    After all, he was only a brain-injured fool…

    Valieri heard Aryan’s groan from the refresher, she dried her hands slowly and scrutinized her appearance in the mirror. She didn’t want to rush out and cause him any embarrassment, Aryan was a proud man and it was about time that someone respected that. Instead, she’d waited a few minutes longer before she quietly opened the door and stepped back into Aryan’s bedchambers.

    The lighting was dimmed, but she could see he was unhappy or disturbed as she neared the bed. “Do you want to talk about the unorthodox treatment you just had?” The caregiver asked in a kind tone.

    The sound of her voice initially made Aryan flinch – he had not expected anyone to actually hear his struggle, much less respond to it so quickly. But when he realized that it was Valieri who had come to his aid, he immediately relaxed. As much as he hated the idea of relying on others to perform even the most menial tasks, there was something about his caregiver that always put him at ease. She made it easier somehow.

    And that’s what ultimately prompted him to speak.

    “I...I dunno,” he muttered with a slight shrug, like a small child slowly building up the courage to divulge an intimate secret. “It helped--I, uh...I feel better, but...it didn’t bring Syren back.” It was such an obvious statement, and perhaps a little naive, but he couldn’t help himself – it was the main thing he was obsessing over. While it felt awkward discussing these complicated emotions with her, he had no impulse control to hold back – the words simply continued to tumble forth.

    “I’m no closer to knowing why--uh, why she left me,” Aryan resumed in a gravelly whisper. “About what changed between us. I thought...this would help, but...I think it’s worse.” He managed a soft scoff as he angled his chin to finally peer up at her through the darkness. “Especially now...I--I know Olag used the Force to fix things. If he could utilize--uh, use that to heal and make me better, why didn’t Syren attempt that? She was…there. In the fighter...when it, uh...happened. I remember that now. I remember everything about the incident."

    Aryan visibly tensed and grasped at the blankets with his left hand, the fabric curling tightly around his fingers. “I...didn’t have to suffer like this, right?”

    “Oh, Aryan,” Valieri said softly as she removed his hand from the bedding and massaged the tight muscles. She needed to tread carefully because she didn’t want to cause him any additional distress, but she knew he was expecting answers. “I’m really not an expert on Force users, but I believe only some of them possess the talent to heal.” She spoke while not daring to look at his face, it was becoming difficult to keep her feelings solely professional. “I’m sure if Lady Syren has those skills then she would have done all within her power to help,” Valieri’s words spilled out faster as she spoke of Syren.

    On some level, Aryan likely agreed with her assessment. He had spent nearly two years with the Sith observing their tactics and techniques, after all. But at the moment, he was unable to accept that – the answer wasn’t good enough for him. He had developed a very distorted view of the situation, and it was hard to tell whether this was a direct result of his injury, or if he was only being argumentative.

    Or maybe the truth ran much deeper – was it the adverse reaction of a scorned lover?

    “No...she could’ve done more,” Aryan grumbled in a low baritone, his brow knitting with growing animosity. “She, uh...she didn’t stay. If she...couldn’t heal--uh, fix things, then she could’ve been honest. But, no...she--uh, she abandoned me. When I needed her most--umm, needed her support. She rejected everything...betrayed my trust and all we...uh, had together. I--at first, I blamed myself...for what happened with my injury, but--”

    Pursing his lips, Aryan hesitated as he struggled to sit up, his blue-gray eyes shifting in the darkness to seek Valieri’s face. He suddenly became aware of the way she was massaging his hand, the delicate touch of her fingers forcing him to slowly release the breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. He felt a little light-headed, and before he could stop to analyze what was happening, he instinctively clenched her hand in his own.

    “You...didn’t leave, though,” he said with conviction, his gaze surprisingly firm for someone still struggling to overcome a brain injury. “I, uh...I mean--I know you had to be here as part of your job, but now...you’re still around. I want to ask why, but…”

    He exhaled sharply and looked away, seemingly embarrassed without the ability to fall back on his ego. He now lacked the confidence of his former self; another casualty of his unfortunate circumstance. While he remained oblivious to this change, it would appear quite apparent to those who knew him best.

    “I’m...sorry.”

    Aryan’s anguish was crushing to observe, and Valieri was caught between wanting to hold him like a child to soothe away the hurt, or telling him to let go of the past and start living a new future. Instead of doing either, she felt him stop her massage and then the warmth of his hand closing over hers. It was an inner struggle not to fall into professional mode and assist him to sit before propping cushions behind him, but he needed to feel in control...no, she knew he had to be in control.

    Her eyes widened at his question, “I - well,” Valieri was totally caught off guard by the question. But, it was his apology that broke down her barriers, “Aryan,” she gasped and while still standing beside the bed she pulled him into her arms and held him with his head tucked under her chin. She held him like that until she could ease her arm up to wipe away the few tears that had rolled down her cheeks. “Aryan,” she spoke again with his soft hair still against her neck and cheek, “why would I leave? I have no one, and I’d like to think I have made a place for myself here.”

    “But you would be, uh--stuck with a brain-injured guy,” Aryan muttered quietly as he leaned forward to melt into her embrace. Her candid show of affection had initially surprised him – perhaps even made him uncomfortable – but he soon recognized the significance of such a gesture. Despite the adversity he had faced over the past few weeks, Valieri was willing to give him a chance; she had shown him compassion and acceptance where so many others had failed. It was an alluring discovery that nearly took his breath away.

    This moment served as a turning point.

    “You could have...uh, other opportunities,” he carried on in a more wistful tone, rocking back slightly to glance up into her face. “Something more.” As he studied her delicate features, he felt a strange, visceral sensation come over him – a natural inclination that had no rational explanation, though he knew he had to act upon it.

    With his heart beating rapidly against his chest, Aryan tightened his grip on Valieri’s waist and began to tentatively pull her down toward him. “You, uh--you deserve b-better.”

    His eyes wandered precipitously to her lips as he slowly closed the gap between them.

    Olag, who had been concealing himself in the Force, had not been thinking when he had consumed five cups of caf during the wait in Aryan’s sitting room. He didn’t know of a Force maneuver to trick his bladder into not being about to burst, and damned if Cheryl wasn’t messing with the droid again.

    The droid had lit up after Cheryl had flipped a switch and it had begun reciting nursery rhymes at an alarming rate. “Turn it back off!” Olag shouted to Cheryl over the recitation of, “cock-a-doodle-doo! My dame has lost her shoe. My master lost his fiddlestick, and knows not what to do.”

    Cheryl lifted his hands and shrugged that he had tried but it wouldn’t stop, so he smashed the droid hard with his fist. Olag put his hands over his face and cringed at the sound of the droid dying as its head bounced off the wall and landed on the floor, sparks from broken wires sizzled in the now silent and smoky room.

    “They’ve followed us!” Olag hissed suddenly as he was now on his feet, the droid and bladder forgotten. “Come on,” he ordered Cheryl and dashed into Aryan’s bedchambers. “Uh, sorry to interrupt,” Olag was looking around the room for an exit, “we have to get out of here, it’s the Sith!”

    Valieri had jumped back at the sound of the door opening, and was blushing heavily. She wanted to have been able to taste Aryan’s lips, and to tell him that there wasn’t anyone better because he was perfect. Instead, she was trying to catch her breath and watching Olag dart around the room. Before she could respond to him she heard the outer door open and then Bellorum was standing in the doorway with a glowing violet blade in position to remove Cheryl’s head. “What are you doing here?” She glared at Olag and demanded. “Answer me, Jedi,” she spat as if Jedi was an awful word to speak. Olag’s lightsaber was ignited and its hum was the only answer to Bellorum’s question.

    “Valieri take Aryan and go,” Bellorum ordered and without waiting for them to go, she whacked Cheryl with the hilt of her lightsaber, and he fell hard to the floor. Instantly her blade clashed with Olag’s.

    TAG: @Lady Belligerent; @Darth_wanderguard (@QueenSabe7, for mention)
     
  14. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Manticore
    On to the Next Phase, Kuat

    “Kill the pilots; we don't need them anymore. I'll transmit a message that the Senator has decided to withdraw to a secret place after the assassination attempt, and we'll go off the grid.”

    The words proceeded from Senator Apollin’s body, in the voice of the Senator, but very much sounding like the Sith Emperor, inflection and all, for it was indeed Emperor Insipid residing inside the Senator's flesh who had spoken them.

    Manticore nodded agreeably, inwardly pleased that their small group would be finally on the move. He continued to listen to Lord Insipid speak, as a recently ’transferred’ Sith Emperor was wont to do.

    Using Skywalker as his unwitting ‘cleaner’ was a dark and poetic stroke the zabrak found himself appreciating. Absently, he found himself curious to know how any others who opposed the Jedi Grand Master would fare.

    Casually side-stepping the corpses Insipid so unceremoniously sent tumbling out of the waiting Shuttle, Manticore called the dead Devaronian’s blaster to his hand and summarily executed both pilots, then tossed the weapon into the cockpit. With a gesture, he shoved the two bodies out from their seats and deposited them with the other corpses, before taking position as ship’s pilot. Once in his seat, he proceeded to disengage the Shuttle’s transponder. Only then could they really claim to be ‘off-the grid’.

    He'd considered using his newly 'cobbled' lightsaber to eliminate the pilots, but he thought better of it, not wishing to leave such an obvious call-sign in their wake.
    There would be opportunity enough to put Sawtooth to the test.

    As he worked, he continued to listen to Insipid, who now spoke as ‘drunk sages’ often would. Manticore found it hard to believe that this ‘Snoke’ was an actual match for the eternally scheming Sith Emperor. That didn’t bode well from any angle.

    At the mention of the word ‘Nagai’, Manticore almost stopped his work, but managed to catch himself, though he did bristle inwardly. Insipid went on to speak of other things he had no points of reference on, so he simply listened, with an awareness that these mysteries may yet reveal themselves. Some points concerned Leda and others Bernael, all had the sense of things esoteric.

    That was chiefly Insipid’s specialty.

    “Done.” He announced, once the transponder was fully off-line.

    “Ready when you are.” He rasped to the group.

    He was generally unamused by one too many things, but that was the chimeric nature of their mission and he accepted that.

    Indeed, time and reality had been altered, and the universe seemed a strange place because of it.


    Tag: @Sinrebirth, @darthbernael, @QueenSabe7
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
  15. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Soliloquy
    Kamino, things going poorly for some, well for others

    The world was oddly static as they stayed gathered in the shuttle, waiting for what would be as it rocked and took hits. Wondering, listening for that tell tale hint from the Darkness whether it was time for them to fall. Was it time for some to die, and others to fall to the watery depths. The story never came satisfactorily to an ending, for they felt the scramble of permutations. They felt the choking embrace of hyperspace as felt the release of air from around them. They felt the tumble of a realm beyond and beneath their own sliding past.

    They hit hyperspace as a cacophony of sparks erupted form many of the displays. The droid, TRAYUS, lamented in Insipid's voice. "Our jump was done in haste; I am ill-placed to confirm when and where we shall arrive. Kesh was our targeted destination, but that is all I can confirm..." It's voice affirmed. "The jump was calculated for the next seventeen hours. You have that."

    Shimmer sighed. "Master Soliloquy, perhaps you can teach me something to while away the hours before -"

    "- our potential death," Esme finished. "And we have left Kronos behind," she seethed. "Though we have at least some data..."

    TRAYUS lifted a clawed hand. "And our traitor is discovered, Lady Esmerelda."

    Esme laughed. "Great. Wake me when we arrive." She stormed off.

    "Some are ruled by their hearts. Compared to that, what is anything worth that it does not deem so?" Soliloquy softly uttered to the retreating form. Red eye irising closed at that back.

    The droid eyed Vytorias. "Rest; you are the most stressed of all of them, in body and elevated heart-rate."

    "The droid is right, and you have earned your boon if you have brought back any data from your mission. When you are rested, find me and I shall share a secret with you." Turning he looked at the one with the clearest eyes for the patent lack thereof in their small group before turning to the droid. "We should drop out of hyperspace early. Just to be safe. Now, let us test Shimmer on her ability to effect repairs to the shuttle." he turned to her with a serious air as he performed the mental sensation of running clawed fingers gently across her brain. The skittering traipsing of the claws timed to produce an involuntary shudder of her entire form, like a puppet on strings being plucked.

    "We do not want to be bored, we shall be busy then." The sing-song of his deep base voice seemed to press upon her. "You shall learn to repair a ship and try to apply the Force to each and every aspect of every task. If you do not know a technique or way to do so I will teach you. Once. If you do not succeed and require any mundane tools or assistance I shall exact a price. Now doesn't that sound like a fun way to pass the time?" he coldly chimed in before turning away from her to the droid. "TRAYUS, prepare all collected data for me to review while we travel. I feel like studying something new for a change."

    TAG: @Silvertough, @Sinrebirth
     
  16. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    IC Bernael
    Onboard the Shuttle


    Bernael walked with the others to the shuttle. A small smile touched his lips as Insipid tossed the bodies he’d drained out of the ship. As the Emperor began expounding he listened, waiting to see if there was anything of interest. Unsurprisingly he went into why he’d done what he had before the had even departed. There had been several undercurrents flowing through the ‘party’ before they had all split up to their assignments and even the Insipid he knew of old would have found a way to create the opportunity to discover whether those currents flowed as the Order needed or in their own directions.

    A snort at the mention of the Jedi, he wasn’t all that pleased that it had cost him an ear for a time but he’d healed so that wasn’t even an issue. That they weren’t the only ones seeking to utilize Kuat to build a fleet also was not a surprise.

    As Insipid continued to speak Bernael observed Manticore follow one of the ‘suggestions’ that Insipid had given, killing the pilots, rendering the transponder inoperative, and preparing for departure. Then things began to get interesting. First Insipid referred to Manticore as a Nagai, which was interesting in itself as he knew of him as a Zabrak, but even more so due to past experiences, and past encounters with that species. And second something stirred, whispered in his mind when Insipid referred to Leda as one not named, hidden to an extent. It spoke of eons before Bernael even lived, but things that created or caused events that were even now unfolding.

    And then it was his turn. A sardonic grin, hidden by the mask, crossed his face as Insipid spoke. There was much his Master knew of him, had learned in his time in power, and some that was still hidden, some never to be revealed. Then the last question came from his Master.

    "Does it not anger you so, to have a mystery which you must build upon as if it was not there?"

    He leaned back against the interior wall of the shuttle as a low, dark chuckle sounded from his lips. “Anger, my Master? You know very well what I am and that such unnecessary emotion does not become me.”

    He stood straighter, making sure his person and his equipment was in order as he continued “Yes you have acquired quite the dossier on me, as I’m certain the Jedi, if their Archives still existed, would have, at least of the activities you all know of. We have met time and again through history and our story is always unfolding.”

    A nod, deep, to the Emperor in Senator’s form, “And yes someone, something, has decided I’m supposed to be here so here I am. Thought I’d get a vacation, so to speak, but even in another timeline my mission drives me on. I know, however, that I’m with the group of beings that I need to be with, in this time, given the current situation. Besides, given what you know of me, both currently and in the past, I am sure you want what I am as close as possible.”

    He ensured the hatches were shut and ready for departure before turning back to the remainder of the team. “But for now, I do believe we are ready to depart and fulfill the next stage of your plans, Master.”

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @greyjedi125, @QueenSabe7

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

    IC Renn Turon
    Showdown Time


    ‘Helinth’ grinned broadly as the Queen spoke. Internally power had been growing since the threat had been spoken, drawing in tendrils of energy so whisper thin that the others with Force ability wouldn’t be able to sense. ‘She’ knew that a simple warning wouldn’t suffice to cause the Queen to act in good faith, or stop listening to the twisted Sith that stood next to her.

    “You concealed your numbers and losses out of an aspiration of... strength? I know not."

    A flippant half smile appeared on ‘Helinith’s’ face, “Nahhhh, we just decided the others could take their time, it had become obvious that we’d overestimated your strengths, not underestimated. Even with your little pet there, that stands so the droid and I came to finish the deal.”

    At the shot, ‘she’ didn’t even flinch. In fact, the grin grew broader, and a cheery laugh sounded. “Ahhhh the vanity of rulers, get a new friend before other new ones show up and immediately believe every word they say. Guess that’s a truth of every species whether male or female, just proves you’re no different even if you believe males are no better than chattel.”

    Renn had ignored the shot at Serapis as he knew the droid could and would either dodge or protect himself. As he, in Helinith’s guise still, continued he began to allow the flow of Energy to increase, to the point even non Force Users would be able to sense it, but still slow enough he’d be able to control the reaction, for now. Any Force user that looked upon him now would see not he nor Helinith, but rather a well of Force power that continued to fill, the breaking point unknown.

    A pool of that energy he kept aside to protect himself from any attack. “That was unnecessary, but I knew you’d try since you trust the child beside you. Four left to meet you and four still live, your new ‘trusted’ advisor is an idiot and a liar.”

    The grin returned to ‘Helinith’s’ face, “Your action reminds me of the Sephi, at least some of them. ‘The letter of the negotiation and not the intention.’ I remain faithful to my orders, we are here to finish this negotiation and neither your little pet nor any other thing you think could derail it will do so. Unless you’d rather us all cease to exist, in which case, it can be obliged.”

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @darthhelinith, @DarthIshyZ, @Snokers
     
  17. Silvertough

    Silvertough Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Aug 19, 2018
    IC: Vyatoris/Azeth Drost
    Hyperspace..

    And with a final detonation of sparks, their ship entered hyperspace, safe, if only for the moment. Vyatoris simply hung his head in silent relief. Their rapid escape from Kamino had been, in a word, tumultuous. Too much had occurred in too short of a time for his befuddled mind to rationalize. One second, he had just managed to break the surface of the ocean, and the next, he was somehow back inside the ship he had originally landed in. Even though he was sure he had witnessed the ship sink into the same depths he had moments before..

    He winced, recognizing yet another worrying gap in his recent memory. It's happening again..? Why now, of all times..? My senses are clear.. unlike on.. Kesh, was it? Yes.. During the feast. Or.. before it? Nngh.. Vyatoris brought a trembling hand to rest over the sodden woven cloth which hid his vestigial eyes. W-why? What could I possibly be hiding from myself?! He fell back against the cold durasteel wall of the ship's hull, his chest rising and falling feverishly. WHAT HAPPENED?!

    ...And then it was gone. A fleeting moment of clarity, subdued and discarded as before.


    Vyatoris awoke confused, finding himself clutching at his eyes, supporting his weight via the wall. Odd, must have dozed off for a second.. 'Spose an unplanned swim will do that.. He thought, wringing out the sleeves of his waterlogged robes. What was that about visiting a beach again?

    The droid eyed Vytorias. "Rest; you are the most stressed of all of them, in body and elevated heart-rate."

    The Miraluka tilted his face towards the droid, and simply nodded in return. There was little Vyatoris could do for the remainder of the journey in way of piloting or engineering, best to just stay out of the way of everyone else.

    Soliloquy added, "The droid is right, and you have earned your boon if you have brought back any data from your mission. When you are rested, find me and I shall share a secret with you."

    "Hmph. Before I do anything, I need to archive what information I could in such a small time frame.. That being said.. I do believe I have a certain recording that may be in everyone's best interest.." He trailed off, a datapad suddenly appearing in his hands. After a few cursory taps on the keyboard, a tight smile appeared on his face. "Never forget.. I'm always recording.."

    Vyatoris moved to the ship's main holotable, inserting a tiny datadisc into an open port. A moment later, and table began projecting a first-person view of a circular room that was distinctly Kaminoan. The center of which was occupied by a single Kaminoan woman, her bacl facing the camera's lens. In front, was a holographic image of a hooded figure, momentarily out of focus. The woman spoke:



    Vyatoris tapped at a button, fast-forwarding a few minutes ahead. "I'll leave the recording here for anyone's later perusal, but I'll skip ahead to the best bits for now. Just skipping their plans to stage a coup on Kamino.. kinda irrelevant now.." He tapped again, the recording slowing to it's regular play speed. The woman was gone, and the hooded figure was now directly engaged in conversation with the camera's owner.



    Vyatoris paused the recording, crossing his arms across his chest. "Figured hearing the plans of our enemy straight from their own mouth was a good starting point for my debriefing, eh Master?" He said, glancing towards the form of Soliloquy, before adding, "That being said, I don't think the Kronos impersonator.. clone.. whatever, planned on our own Darth Cocytus to stage an uprising of his own soon thereafter.. Yet, with the planning all of this must have taken, I would find it highly unlikely our adversary didn't have some sort of back-up plans..."

    Tags: @Sinrebirth @Mitth_Fisto @Darth Cocytus


     
  18. DarthIshyZ

    DarthIshyZ Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2005
    IC: Droid Serapis
    Star Home, Hapan Palace

    The droid stood and observed. That's mainly what remains when faced with two beings who like to posture and speak so much. Nothing necessarily wrong with that. It allowed him to observe more details of their surroundings.

    The throne. With the shield generator in front of it. If we could just get behind it. The guards flanking her. Male. No surprise there. Put the dumb, tough ones back there in their place.

    Her daughters, looking at once shocked and surprised that their mother could be so duplicitous... still.

    And then there was the tree. Speaking as Helinith. He's got to be getting tired of keeping this shape. Something needs to be d...

    His thoughts were interrupted as the Queen Mother said, "Would you... blow up the ship if I did this?" and, with a gesture, shot Serapis' droid chariot. Without the Force at his side, he had no warning that something like this would happen.

    Time was short. In the final moments of droid consciousness, Serapis scrammed himself from the droid circuits. He pulled in from the now slagged droids limbs. He became just Serapis, again. He did try to take with him some of the Ser@pis computer consciousness that he could. Gathering all this up like a caught lover gathers up his ball of clothes, he exercised the only Force ability left to him.

    Serapis' consciousness left the droid, now face-down on the ornate floor, leaking oily fluid like a being would leak blood. Now to choose.

    There were other droids, but they had the same weakness the previous one did - no Force abilities. There was the queen, but he'd had enough the Queen Mother just listening to her for the past five minutes. The daughters? Not on your life. The Neti? The thought of sharing a consciousness with him was not something he relished, though it might be good for backup if need be.

    Then he realized the perfect vessel. One of the guards. Behind the shield. He entered the guard's mind as lightly as he could. He didn't want to startle the poor man... that would give Serapis away, after all. As he stretched out through the muscular man's body, getting familar with it, he also probed his mind. He was named Rendorr, apparently. When he had invaded this body sufficently to have control of it, he took over the mind. The only outward indication that there was anything amiss was a small flinch and a tightening of the grip on the blaster. When it was done, Rendorr was for all intents and purposes asleep in his own mind.

    Serapis / Rendorr looked out this mans eyes. He used this mans ears. He was Rendorr. He heard Renn finish what he was saying, "... Unless you'd rather us all cease to exist, in which case, it can be obliged." What was he planning? No matter. Serapis, in his new host tried to reach out with the Force to Renn to let him know all was well and where he was. At the same time, he slowly moved his slug rifle to point directly at the Queen Mother, herself.

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

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Ike
    Dark Dreamer; ow

    The man named Ike woke with a start; his slight rise in consciousness meant he slammed into the pain of Jerod's hit, and the pain when he arrived. But sure enough, he recognised that he was in Plo's bed, and he suffused no small amount of glee that he had evoked a strong reaction from the Imperial. Very attractive.

    Shifting slightly, he stretched himself out and kicked off his boots, his feet having been hanging off the bed. Wrapping himself in the quilt of a Dark Lord of the Sith was strangely satisfying. Nonetheless, he keyed his comlink, messaging Plo and Bellorum.

    I'm awake, anyone want to join me? Ike x

    TAG: @Darth_wanderguard, @Lady Belligerent
    ---
    IC: Darth Insipid the Greater

    Reaching orbit, en route to Kesh

    In his irritation, he had misspoke, and mean to refer to Manticore's master as a Nagai, and not him, but his mind was jumbled by the transfer, and Bernael's smooth response only irritated him more. Before Leda could speak, he snapped. "You are sure, are you?"

    He placed a hand to his forehead. "I am overwrought. I shall take the cabin, and you may speak amongst yourselves. Divine what you can at your end; divine a rota if you see fit. Manticore, you are in-charge in the interim."

    There was more data to discuss.

    Entralla, in the Velcar Sector. He transmitted data from his 'pad, confirming that it was an Imperial Remnant that was well armed, and had refused to acknowledge the peace accords. It's deep in Imperial territory, so the New Republic hadn't reached it yet.

    Jakku, the world where the Galactic Civil War ended - where a Super Star Destroyer and easily a hundred Star Destroyers faced the New Republic fleet to the death. No such battle had occurred in their timeline, but it was some a hundred and fifty years after the time they had fled.

    A gamut of new data about First Order designs; all prototypes under Insipid. Resurgent-class Star Destroyers; TIE/FO fighters; TIE/SF advanced fighters; new style Stormtrooper armour. There was a veritable armada and army planned... and not a word about this 'Snoke' that had antagonised the Sith at Bedlam - but none of them were there.

    Bedlam itself was explained; genetic experiments involving Force users, and the stockpiling of Jedi and Sith from up and down the timeline in carbonite to use as batteries to force open a gateway to the old galaxy, the one they had lost to Typhojem. It wasn't clear when Snoke began or ended, but he was real enough when they had faced him, and he had escaped using a Sith Meditation Sphere modelled on technology from Zakuul.

    This was probably the first sitrep they had each had on what had happened before they had either arrived in this time, or been awoken, or became active anew.

    It was also the first time that Insipid had demonstrated a degree of madness rather than brilliance.

    They had plenty to discuss.

    TAG: @QueenSabe7, @greyjedi125, @darthbernael (free-form week, you may post as much as you wish)
    ---
    IC: TRAYUS

    En route to somewhere

    Vytorias had brought a goldmine of news, recording the True Kronos. Shimmer had excused herself to complete repairs, which left Soliloquy with Vytorias. TRAYUS allowed its inner thoughts to whir. "Those plans were made by Lord Insipid, but were know to this ersatz Kronos." A rapier claw. "This is most irregular."

    "Master Soliliquy, I have secondary instructions for you, from the Dark Lord."

    The droid with the face and voice of Insipid turned back to the Miraluka. "You have done well; I shall recommend that you be elevated in the near-future." The droid was already parsing the data.

    Again that niggle upon Vytorias; he had done well, and would be rewarded for it, but his body indeed drew upon him, in a manner unlike Soliloquy's did.

    TAG: @Silvertough, @Mitth_Fisto (combo for each of you, separately)
    ---
    IC: Taun We

    Kamino, New Prime Ministers office

    “Whatever you have to share with me, make it quick.”
    Cocytus had coldly said, “We have an uninvited guest coming to Kamino. The Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker. He must not be allowed to discover what we are planning to do.”

    Taun We allowed her eyes to narrow, confused. "Luke Skywalker?"

    She conveyed to Cocytus and Styx the news about the clones already ready, and then pushed on to the key point. "If he is coming, you had best take this." The willowy Kaminoan gestured to a guard, who pulled from a pocket a red pyramid. A Sith Holocron, clearly. "This was in one of the vaults; left here by Darth Tyranus, many years ago. He left instructions to keep it safe until a worthy Sith arrived."

    The Prime Minister blinked again. "Lama Su had held onto it, as Lord Insipid revealed that he was leading an order of Sith, not a two."

    "But from what I gather, you are a Baneite, is the term?" Styx's head swayed as she looked back and forth between them. She could feel the pressure in the Force building; a tremendous light approached. There was an odd current to the holocron, and the Sidious AI had very little to add. It was focused upon the new device, wondering who it belonged too.

    Taun We also continued to speak. "There was also an enquiry about purchasing our flash-imprinting technique. My aides have managed to track the enquiry as far as the Velcar Sector - in the far northern quadrant. There is a particularly virulent Imperial Remnant present there, led by one Moff Ecressey. The New Republic has yet to disarm him, as they have been more focused on the Imperials in the Core and Inner Rim."

    "Further," said the Kaminoan. "Lama Su had kept secret from Lord Insipid an order for clones of mute-aliens to be sent to Mustafar, in the Atravis Sector. They were to be navigators of some kind, designed to detect hyperspace anomalies unlike any in the Known galaxy..." Mustafar was where Zalen had been tasked to go on her mission, with Hades and Arach - but was clearly connected to the First Order. So it was likely that they had fell into a trap.

    There were two odd loose ends, there.

    Entralla and Mustafar, of course working with Styx and the new Holocron.

    TAG: @Darth Cocytus, @Lady Belligerent (mentioned), @Moonspun Dragon (mentioned), @E. L.Knight (mentioned)
    ---
    IC: Merel

    Royal Palace, Star Home, Hapes Cluster

    This tableau was going about as well as expected. Merel felt the shift, and in a moment had a lightsaber to hand, held at the guards throat. Snap-hiss!

    "So you know essence transfer, eh?" She said, amused. "Hard to kill someone who knows that."

    Sure enough, Serapis had leapt into the guard with ease, for it was a weak, weak will, but at the same time, the effort had drained the former-Ithorian - his mind regressed slightly, as if he had left part of himself behind - because he had; his mind had progressed, and recovered, in the droid form of Ser@pis, but it was not solid, so the mind lost some of itself as it went. The rifle was difficult to keep steady; his vision blurred; the body began to breath with difficulty as an Ithorian mind was unable to adapt to a human body.

    Ni'Korish looked back and forth, a slight sweat on her aged brow. Ta'a and Secciah were not especially happy about it either; they were too close to the fray, and nobody was winning - and Renn's threat had added a very real threat to it.

    "Fine." Ni'Korish stabbed a finger on her throne, and the shield that had separated her and the rest of the throne room was reinforced with a transparisteel capsule, which placed the Hapan Royal Family, Merel, and the guards, including Serapis, in the safe spot. Another button, and sounds echoed below. "I can escape this little ambush, and probably survive."

    "Can you, woman?" She jabbed a crone finger.

    "Maybe not," Merel decided enough was enough. Her blade swung, and it cut through the throne chair, Ni'Korish leaning back. The capsule and shield dropped, and Secciah and Ta'a moved away from Ni'Korish, even as the three guards turned their weapons on Serapis - even as the automated defences and droids turned to fire on Renn -

    Merel ran, and the two Sith had a more mundane threat than not - Ser@pis processed slowly, the body being knocked over in the fray, as Ni'Korish screeched.

    "Kill them all!"

    TAG: @DarthIshyZ, @darthbernael, @Snokers (outstanding), @darthhelinith (combo to finale, please)
     
  20. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Hopefully response one of a couple, this week

    IC Bernael
    Let’s hope this shuttle flight is relatively uneventful

    At Insipid’s snappy query Bernael snorted, an almost chuckle, but before he could reply, his Master concluded and departed. He had left the data behind and had also left them to sort out what must be done during the flight. They had plenty to work through and still had much further to go with the flight, and their mission.

    He leaned back against the hull again, chuckling to himself, wondering what the other two thought of the back and forth between he and Insipid. Sure that eventually there would come to be a time when they would grow curious, want to know what the past was between the two of them. But for now there were other matters to attend.

    Sifting through the data he saw that their next stop, according to Insipid was not fully realized yet. He had mentioned that they had to visit Entralla at some point but both Jakku and Bedlam had been likewise mentioned. So, three choices were given and with the Emperor trying to calm himself, it seemed it was up to them to decide the next move.

    He looked between Leda nearby and Manticore on the flight deck, “We each have our own curious past, but I get the feeling each will be revealing much over time so there is time for it to occur. It’s been mentioned a rota and we still don’t know where the next destination will be but we have several choices, it seems.”

    Bernael sighed, “Entralla to discover the mysterious competition, Jakku where the Civil War ended and another mystery could endure, and finally Bedlam, where what seems to be Snoke once had a plan, if I’m reading the data correctly. So hmmm, which first? What is the best order to proceed?”

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @greyjedi125, @QueenSabe7
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2020
  21. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Know it's a double post but asked first, and destruction on the Hapan Monarch's ship authorized by GM

    IC Renn
    Yay, Chaos!


    As ‘Helinith’ watched the tableau unfold on the dais, a high pitched giggle began to sound from ‘her’ lips. The form standing before the dais shimmied, using the energy Renn was still drinking in, shifting and when it cleared, a form similar to Renn’s but slimmer and more agile appeared. “Chaos, chaos, and more chaos, time to play!”

    As the blaster bolts from the turrets and droids came in, Renn used more of the energy he was drinking in to form shields at various angles, thinking as quickly as he could to judge those angles and reflect the bolts back at the turrets and droids that were trying to turn him into slag. He noticed, out of the corner of his eye, the supposed Sith on the dais fleeing the trap. He began leaping and spinning around the room, adding to the confusing welter of shots as the turrets and droids continuously had to refocus their aim to track him. With each movement he brought himself closer to the dais.

    Reaching out, as he spun, letting several shots graze his hide so he could focus, he ripped the decking out from under the feet of the running Merel, and several yards beyond. He knew it may not stop her flight but it could slow her down and give either himself or Serapis the chance to catch up to her and either convince or force her to explain why she had taken such actions.

    Turning back, he focused his shields and began pushing back against the fusillade of shots, expanding the shield as he did so, until the bolts were barely exiting the weapons before rebounding. The sweet sound of rending metal and the high pitched ‘death’ shrieks of both droids and turrets was music to his ears. For several long minutes he fought back, rendering as many as possible inert with his counter attacks.

    He fought on, scorch marks rising from his bark, cuts from when he got too close to droids and their blade weapons would whip out and catch him as he focused on other attacks. But he was enjoying this thoroughly, how often does one get to bring chaos to the throne room of a royal, and enjoy their consternation as you took down the defenses they thought would protect them from you and your companions.

    Soon the only sounds besides the commotion on the dais was the sound of circuits burning, the wavering growl of droids collapsing and falling apart, and the crumpling sounds of turrets exploding from their energy being released. He turned, tendrils of smoke rising from various points on his body, dark ‘blood’ crusting the edges of slashes, his eyes a blazing, vibrant, yellow. Only now did he let one saber hilt drop into an outstretched hand. Lighting it, the blade’s glow brought an eerie light to the throne room as he moved toward the dais.

    In a voice that changed pitch and timbre, even as he shifted to his normal, usually, imposing form, “Your majesty, thank you for the exercise, but I believe you promised death. Never make a promise you cannot keep.” As the turrets before the dais spat fire at him he blocked each shot, letting the bolts be redirected toward the walls, floor, ceiling, and any remaining defenses he’d not outright destroyed already.

    Reaching the turrets, he slashed and cut, ripping through the metal of their foundations and the barrels pointed at him. Taking more damage, he simply ignored it for the moment as he had other concerns and that was reaching the royals only a few steps beyond. With one last spin and a backhand slice he found himself facing the throne, Ni’Korish, Ta’a, and Secciah, not to mention his recovering Sith companion, Serapis.

    Slowly mounting the steps, two more arms emerging from his torso, a second saber dropped into the opposing hand of the one already lit. This one lit too, as he stalked forward. “Death has come to this place yes, but not as you believe, Majesty. Your people underestimated on the flagship, and you seem to have done the same, thinking that merely two, males at that, were no match, even as Sith, for you and your ‘perfect’ defenses, as set up by that child who deserted you. So, whose death shall it be, yours?” the blade in his left hand snapped up, point toward Ni’Korish’s face, “hers?” the blade slipped to the side, now pointed in the face of Ta’a, “or hers?” the blade sweeping one last time to point directly at Secciah, before returning to a guard position. “Or do we finish this without the theatrics or the worm in your mind from that child?”

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @DarthIshyZ, @darthhelinith, @Snokers
     
    Sinrebirth and DarthIshyZ like this.
  22. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 RPF Awards Host star 6 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    IC: Leda
    Senator Apollin's shuttle, en route to Kesh

    Leda had kept silent during - and after - Insipid's rather... unusual rant. He seemed unhinged, but not in a crazy, broken man type-of-way. He was far more than just a man. This was more of a lucid cracking, hopefully as a result of his essence adjusting to a new home.

    Hopefully.

    She didn't like his tone and insinuations and really any of what he had supposedly uncovered - or not uncovered - about her, taking it upon himself to reveal those said things to anyone standing nearby. Regardless, since when did he take care to look into the histories and backstories of his followers? And why the kriff did he care now? All the 'change is happening and it is because of you but why and how and when but not now-when, WHEN-when' line of thought made her brain hurt.

    Also... was he calling her a liar?

    That ruffled her feathers enough to tighten her facial muscles into a scowl, only then hearing Bernael chattering away beside her.

    This cockpit was already feeling too cramped.

    "...hmmm, which first? What is the best order to proceed?”

    "Can we take a minute?" Leda cast a glance in his direction and sat in the nearest flight chair after pulling it down from the wall. She leaned back heavily into the uncomfortable hardness. "The Emperor needs some time, dare I say his minions do as well?" She sighed, tipping her head back, not to sleep or rest really, but more to gather her thoughts.

    But he named you... for what reason?

    She shook her head to rid her mind of his voice.

    TAGS: @darthbernael @greyjedi125 @Sinrebirth
     
  23. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    IC Bernael
    Shuttle to Wherever


    Looking down at the controls as they flew, Bernael could see the course was currently laid in for Kesh, so that answered one of his questions, but there were many more still unanswered. Obviously Insipid trusted these particular Sith, or his lapse in thought had made him think so, or he would n’t have revealed as much as he had about any of them, or his mission in particular. Insipid, when lucid, understood Bernael’s mission, whether he agreed with it or not. But Sith in general tended not to trust those who had their own mission beyond just the Dark.

    He knew he’d been talking a bit much but Insipid had said they needed to hash out the details and what would be going next and in his opinion it was better to do so as swiftly as possible. But her words proved he’d made a minor miscalculation.

    "Can we take a minute? The Emperor needs some time, dare I say his minions do as well?"

    He turned from the control panel, in time to see Leda pull out the seat and sit, almost slumping into it. A low snorting chuckle sounded as he continued his turn, leaning against the back of the empty flight seat. Crossing his arms he looked her over, now letting his senses passively assess her. They had been through a great deal already and yes that would certainly drain most beings.

    Of course he had an advantage in the middle of all the chaos, he’d been granted the power and energy from Insipid’s last body as well as a chance for the healing sleep. So, what rest an Anzat ever needed, he’d already had.

    Manticore was still busy, keeping the shuttle on course and avoiding any hazards in the flight path, which explained his silence so far. So he turned his attention back to Leda.

    “It seems we both have forgotten something, my friend, if there can be friends among such as us. I have forgotten the rest that most species need, especially after a major conflict or major revelations being brought to light. And, if you know my kind at all, rest is not something I need unless healing so I just forge on, as needed.”

    He knelt for a moment, lifted the latch, and spun the flight seat around so he could face both his teammates. He sat, leaning back in it, mind reforming the harder material into something that felt more comfortable.

    “This is going to be a bit of a flight, so yes, rest and we can figure it out when we’re all more energized.”

    He then leaned his head back, closing his eyes, appearing to rest, but really running all that had happened and all that had been revealed through his mind, adding it to what Insipid's mind had revealed, true or not.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @greyjedi125, @QueenSabe7
     
  24. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Manticore
    Shuttle to Kesh

    It was critical that their shuttle move with sufficient speed to make it past orbital emplacements when it physically pinged on sensors and did not respond to hails. The fact that its transponder was not operational and the ship itself bore the ‘correct’ markings, actually helped their cause.

    It could nowise be determined if they were ‘enemies’ or ‘friendlies’ or if they were simply having some sort of malfunction before jumping. By the time the ‘proper’ security protocols could be fully cycled, their shuttle was gone.

    Only then was Manticore satisfied with their ‘escape’, especially after their course was set and fixed for Kesh.

    Returning to what was ostensibly their ‘home base’ was the right thing to do, given their current circumstance.

    Though he had not been actively participating in the conversation, the zabrak was actively listening.

    Their Sith Emperor, Darth Insipid seemed to be adjusting to some side-effects from his most recent ‘essence transfer’, at least from what he could surmise. After being ‘killed’ and ‘re-located’, it stood to reason that he would be in need of rest. Manticore found himself silently agreeing with Leda regarding the need for rest, however, he was feeling quite restless after the encounter with Skywalker and everything that encompassed the mission.

    He almost smirked at the thought of Darth Insipid’s nigh-inscrutable machinations. Could their mission be called a success? It was hard to say. They did technically acquire Senator Apollin, though in a manner most unexpected- or was it?

    Manticore narrowed his fiery gaze as his mind worked. There was a deep lesson there, one which was just beginning to unspool itself before his understanding, but this was not the time or the place for such dark meditations; there were more pressing matters at hand that needed his focus.

    The zabrak turned his pilot’s seat around to face his fellow sith. It was strange for him, working this closely in such a close group, as he always worked alone or with just one other. There was still so much to consider, but so far, this was a cohesive group that continued to prove itself.

    Smoothly, he reached into the garments he wore, made a mental note to change them as soon as he was able, then pulled out his cobbled lightsaber hilt: Sawtooth. With a gesture and a modicum of force exertion, he slowly began to dismantle the weapon. He fixed his gaze at the floating parts and began to study them, seeing where he could improve things, now that they travelled to a place where performing an upgrade would be possible.

    Even as he did so, he began to speak so the others could hear. Inwardly, he considered the group a sort of sith tetrarch, at least in his own mind. He well understood that being put ‘in charge’ was merely a formality, one that he silently accepted, as it was what the Emperor’s wished at the moment.

    “After the Dark Lord’s culling is complete…” He began saying, at once referencing Insipid’s siccing of Skywalker on the rest of the Sith. “It will be paramount that we regroup and solidify a Base of Operation here.” By that, he meant in ‘this timeline’.

    “We cannot delay. Skywalker and his allies may still believe us to be ‘locals’, so we must exploit that advantage for all that it’s worth for as long as we can.”

    Indeed, this situation was much different from that of their prior ‘existence’.

    “We can assume the ‘Senator’ can manipulate events in regards to the shipyards in Kuat. Still, we will need foot soldiers and agents loyal to us, beings who not only embrace our ideals, but also carry-out our objectives.”

    Hmm. There, he would need to change to a polarized coupling for a smoother power conversion.

    “We are the Emperor’s Vassals. We have passed the Trial of Skywalker, which is of his design. By default we are an extension of the Sith Emperor’s will and that of his wishes.”

    Here he paused, not only to let his words sink in, but also because he was not one for speeches, despite having been compelled to perform.

    “Though we still need to see who is left standing, as well as learn the fates of the other missions, our priority should be to secure ourselves before we begin shadow operations.”

    At this point, the zabrak’s fiery eyes finally spared a glance at the resting and relaxing forms of Bernael and Leda. A respite was well deserved for one and all.

    "To Bernael’s point, I concur with the order in which our objectives were spoken. Entralla, Jakku and Bedlam last. Though that is also my preference, I am prepared to face whichever challenge comes first.”

    Smoothly, Manticore returned to scrutinizing his weapon. There was no doubt that it would see much use.



    Tag: @Sinrebirth, @darthbernael, @QueenSabe7
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  25. Darth Cocytus

    Darth Cocytus Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    May 8, 2016
    Darth Cocytus
    Dark Lord Ascending - Part 2

    Darth Cocytus stood there idly bored as Taun We told him what he already knew about the clones. What he really wanted to know was the whereabouts of the Darth Kronos Clone, whom Cocytus suspected to still be somewhere among the Kaminoan facilities. That is if the clone had yet to leave Kamino of course. Either way, the Sith Lord had a feeling that what happened days ago was anything but over. Just another possible obstacle to think about in the future and one to be dealt with when the time comes.

    What changed Cocytus's mood, however, was Taun We's presentation of a most marvelous object. His eyes widened and gently took the pyramid structure from the Prime Minister's grasp and gazed upon it. "A Sith Holocron." Cocytus spoke softly, mainly to his Apprentice, "A treasure trove of Sith knowledge and secrets of the Dark Side contained in such a small device held in one's hand. It belonged to Darth Tyranus. Could it be who I think it is? ...Darth Andeddu?"

    Darth Cocytus looked up at Taun We. "You are wise indeed to find Lady Styx and I worthy Sith and not those Dark Jedi imposters." he said coldly, but with an ounce of enthusiasm in his voice, "You are right. As far as the Dark Side is considered, we are the only two legitimate Sith in the Galaxy. That was how Darth Bane declared our Order should be and it is now how it shall be again."

    Suddenly, however, an idea struck Cocytus as he felt Luke Skywalker's presence coming all the more closer. "Still… That's not something the Jedi Grandmaster needs to know." He said with a sly grin, "In fact we can use his arrival to our advantage…"

    The Sith Kaminoan remained silent in thought before his eyes suddenly glowed. "Let Skywalker come and we shall treat him as our guest." Cocytus said cunningly, "We shall tell him of how the Sith wrecked havoc on our world and send him on his way to have the New Republic hunt down and destroy them. In the end, he shall be our revenge against Insipid and his underlings."

    The Sith Kaminoan then looked at his Apprentice and handed her the Holocron. "Take this to our chambers and lie low for now. You are dismissed, Lady Styx." Cocytus said with a somewhat apologetic look on his face, "I know I promised you that you're training would begin after this meeting, but the Force appears to have had something else in mind for us. Once my business with Skywalker is complete, however, I assure, we shall begin. In fact, consider this your first lesson in patience, which all Sith must learn in achieving their goals…"

    @Sinrebirth


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