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  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Star Wars Star Wars: Episode IV: Twilight of the Force: A Father’s Legacy - Game is now closed!

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Sinrebirth , Nov 20, 2018.

  1. BobaMatt

    BobaMatt TFN EU Staff star 7 VIP

    Registered:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Mace Windu
    Ach-To...

    The old Jedi regarded the dagger. He'd almost forgotten he had it. It had been so long since it had been in use. He took it from his belt, turned it over in his hands, regarding it. He set his jaw. "It...was a gift." Which was true, but the full truth seemed too much, somehow. Or was it. Mace narrowed his eyes and looked to the funny, well dressed man. "How did you know what this is?"

    And then there was danger in the Force. Mace felt it: darkness and confusion. "Ahsoka!"

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox, @Sinrebirth

     
  2. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Darth Wyyrlok
    Location: Concealed

    The Chagrian who now held the galaxy in the palm of his hand watched the drama play out on Mandalore through his screens. Another behold the blockade at Chandrila; another the devastation of Coruscant; another, the flames engulfing Kashyyyk, as his weapon fired its traditional weapons upon the forests.

    It was the end of the war, here and now.

    But Wyyrlok had the next one in mind. Anakin would return, likely in time with whatever his fallen son did. The Force was shifting. Maul had escaped, but in his absence Luke had seemingly discovered the power to defeat his Sith Master.

    Pestage in particular looked forlorn at Coruscant. “Vizier, speak your mind.”

    “What are we doing about Coruscant?”

    Wyyrlok squeezed his fist. Pestage felt the Force around his throat. “I will rebuild Coruscant. Ananke’s treachery will not be forgotten.” His eyes drifted to the location in the Unknown Regions that Aryan, Rouser and the aforementioned Sith had fled. It was an impossibility, and Wyyrlok, as an impossibility, did not trust such things.

    But he needed to weight matters correctly. Luke and Anakin. The latter had fled, but in the time it took Luke to become a threat, Wyyrlok could be dead. He was not Sidious; he had no interest in manipulating a Chosen One into his schemes, until the point where the entire structure of the Grand Design hinged upon the relationship between you and said One. It was too fragile.

    Yet, Wyyrlok had to deal with the threat. The three of them - Amedda, Luke, Anakin - they could not co-exist. It was impossible. Three where only two could exist. Without a fourth the entire balance was shot. A reckoning was in order, but how to cause it?

    Wyyrlok drummed his fingers on the desk. “Open a channel to the Millennium Falcon.”

    “It is taking a message, sir.” The Super Tactical Droid beside him said.

    “I would speak to Luke Skywalker. I hold the completed Death Star concept; I can destroy Korriban, and end your little Lordship. I have sent your father into exile; I would seek the opportunity to discuss matters with you before I crush the resistance and re-establish the Empire.”

    Wyyrlok paused.

    He was faced with an impossibility, but it was the correct path. He only needed time; time he could barter for. Time, he had.

    TAG: @LordTroepfchen
    —-
    IC: Morai

    Ach-To

    Mace and Rouser were a curious pair, and Morai inclined her head to see them from differing angles, as only an avian could.

    There was a rustle in the dark, and Mace began to turn, mid-enquiry. The Mortis Dagger, the key to much and yet only potential at this point. But Morai was looking instead at the tree-library, which a Shadow was approaching.

    She cawed, flying between the two humans to rush the shadow; a clawed seemed to emerge from the wall and struck down Morai, sending her tumbling, a mass of feathers bursting into the air. The shadow took form and a hand rushed out, drawing the hilt to the waiting hand of Ashoka Tano.

    Or, rather, her dark alternative. “So you realised, did you, sister?”

    The hilt emerged into a dagger, and Dark Ashoka smiled slightly. “Master Windu... aren’t you supposed to be dead, too?”

    [​IMG]

    “Master Rouser... you were embraced by the pitiful remnants of my great-nephew, I see... yet something in your past repelled it, and kept you alive and separate...” he snorted. “What heresy...”

    The voice was utterly slipperiness; lilting, amused, as if the two of them were utterly beneath him, in her voice.

    Which I suppose that they were.

    This was the Son, or, perhaps, a terrible remainder of him. Mace would have been told that Ahsoka had been possessed by him, and killed by him, on Mortis - as ridiculous as all that had seemed at the time Skywalker, Kenobi and Tano had reported it. But now... did it seem to impossible?

    Did he truly believe that he was supposed to be dead? As well as who? Ahsoka?

    Rouser would have even less context, but a dagger was a dagger. A threat was a threat. What was this confluence of events and who was guiding it?

    The echo rumbled, speaking softly in a male voice. ”The Key...”

    Then Dark Ahsoka moved, launching for Mace and stabbing for him, twin hilts on her waist jangling, but in the last moment she inverted to slash at Rouser’s throat before returning the blade to the stabbing motion - making Rouser an aside but still a target, but more a target of opportunity than one of the threat.

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox, @BobaMatt

    Combos continue for @TheSilentInfluence, @Galactic_vagabond422, @JediMasterAnne, @QueenSabe7, @HanSolo29


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  3. LordTroepfchen

    LordTroepfchen Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Darth Zorn
    Leaving Korriban ... almost, Millenium Falcon

    Three ships were now here. R2 had faithfully brought his X-Wing as requested and his dead Master's Sith Intruder had returned. Both ships had droids to pilot them, so he would take the battered old space transport. Millennium Falcon the transponder signal said. He had repaired the hyperdrive from whoever had mingled with it. A mundane task, he had surprisingly enjoyed. For a brief moment it had reminded him of Luke. Luke Skywalker. The weak and insecure boy who had died here on Korriban. It was an amusing memory of his former self.

    His new apprentices had taken the remains of destroyed droids and the dead Wookiee out. They had kept what was useful. Parts, weapons and energy cells mostly. A bowcaster. Now they had ended their meditation, as Darth Zorn taught them to drain strength from their fear and anger. They had prepared for departure.

    The children were sleeping in the lounge, exhausted from the terrors of the tomb and the rigid training cycle Zorn had put them through. The holocron of XoXaan rested with him in the cockpit. Since he had taken it from her temple XoXaan had remained silent, yet he felt her presence still. She would need a new Temple.

    He would take all three ships with him and beyond the borders of known space. Far away from the struggles of the Empire and the influence of his father. Belkadan maybe, a world so far removed from the known galaxy, that it was almost forgotten.

    He had considered Ziost, Roon and Thule, all ancient Sith worlds. But they were tainted by someone else's darkness. He felt his reign would need to begin with him making his own place the center of the new Sith.

    There he would begin the training of his apprentices and conclude his own training. There he would feed on the despair of the galaxy and grow stronger, preparing for his return to the galaxy and the inevitable duel of fates with his own father.

    Darth Zorn activated the ship and slaved the hyperdrive of the two others to his. Just when he was about to push the lever to go to hyperspace, he was called by an unknown source.

    He raised his brow and accepted the message, voice only.

    “I would speak to Luke Skywalker. I hold the completed Death Star concept; I can destroy Korriban, and end your little Lordship. I have sent your father into exile; I would seek the opportunity to discuss matters with you before I crush the resistance and re-establish the Empire.”

    He understood immediately. This man could not know Zorn had taken a Sith name, or that he had seen a warning vision of the pending doom of Korriban. He had to chuckle a little, a sound that was probably haunting when only heard through audio.

    Zorn had obviously almost escaped the man's empty threat. It was funny how helpless this creature tried to create dominance and urgency. The laughter vanished as he mentioned his father going to exile. Anakin Skywalker had been weakened. Alderaan, Coruscant, Kenobi, the Jedi ... this fool had left him time to recover. Time to regain strength. He was getting into the way of Luke's plan. He was taking a position between him and his destiny. This could not be allowed.

    "You seem to hold all the aces, your Highness. So where shall we meet?" He closed his eyes, grinning. "You are not afraid to meet, are you?"

    Darth Wyyrlock. The name strangely resonated in the Dark Side. As if it was somehow bound to the destiny he had stolen from XoXaan's fallen apprentice.

    Tag: @Sinrebirth
     
  4. Jerjerrod-Lennox

    Jerjerrod-Lennox Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    IC: Pascale Rouser
    Location: An island, Ach To


    Because I know things was one of Pascale’s responses to the man’s question as to how he knew about the dagger.

    The other response was going to be “I have friends in low places”.

    It was interesting that the man had said that it was a gift. Who could give him such a powerful gift?. And he must be a good enough man in body and soul in order to be given the chance to wield it. But who had he been told to wield it against?.

    The man then exclaimed the name Ahsoka as if he had felt something, possibly in the Force. Pascale readied himself and hoped that if there was danger the Force could alert him even though he was still a novice in such things. There were rustling noises now as the man turned to face whatever was coming. Pascale kept his hands to his sides, moving for a weapon here could hack whoever was coming off.

    It seemed to be coming from the tree…

    The weird bird that had been watching them suddenly shot forward flying between them both as it went for the shadow. Before basically a big clawed hand shot out and slashed the bird.

    How barbaric….

    If this was an entity like the beast then his blaster would be no good here. He could use it as a distraction if need be, just had to keep himself quiet in the Force and hope that the Echo wouldn't chime in unless it was useful.

    He placed his hand on his one remaining vibroknife. At the moment it seemed like the only useful weapon he had at the moment. Well in case things went south and he had to use the thermal detonator.

    And a rather beautiful Togruta stepped out from the tree, a recognizable one at that. Although this one seemed more darker than her usual self. It was the famous Jedi warrior Ahsoka Tano, and she still looked good. Although Pascale had to remind himself that this was not her, just some very dark and creepy version. And she now had the Mortis dagger which was unsettling. He wondered what she would do with it. Probably try to skewer them both.

    “Master Windu... aren’t you supposed to be dead, too?”

    Pascale’s eyes widened in shock. So the man next to him was renowned Jedi Master Mace Windu. Known for his no nonsense attitude and general badassery, people in the underworld always gave him a wide berth. Because if you got in the way of Mace Windu, you could end up in rather nasty trouble. But the man next to him looked withered, old, like he had seen too much of war. Pascale’s only hope now was that the old warrior still had his fighting spirit with him.

    Because this Ahsoka was probably not here for a cozy chat.

    “Master Rouser... you were embraced by the pitiful remnants of my great-nephew, I see... yet something in your past repelled it, and kept you alive and separate...” he snorted. “What heresy...”

    Well well, looks like I have met another beast. And this beast knows the other. Quite interesting…

    “Indeed I did” he said “The beast and I were one and the same, until a Dark Lord of the Sith managed to pull him out of me and he was destroyed. That Echo of my past did indeed repel it, as it will repel you beast”

    He pulled out his vibroblade and got into a defensive position, a sort of en garde position as if he was about to fence someone. His vibroblade looked puny compared to the dagger of Mortis but he could use it to parry and deflect shots and see if he could find an opening. Although with a Jedi warrior being possed by a dark beast it would have o be that he would have to defend for his life.

    The echo rumbled, speaking softly in a male voice. ”The Key...”

    It looked like the Echo was pointing to the dagger as a key for something. A portal to another dimension? A key to defeating the beast? If Windu had been chosen to wield it for some reason perhaps Rouser could too. It would be a great item for his collection.

    Protect yourself first Rouser, think about artifacts later.

    Then the dark beast/Ahsoka combo began her attack, immediately going for Windu, before turning her attention to Rouser nearly beheading him. H caught the whiff of danger in the Force as he leaned back, dropping his arm down and bending almost ninety degrees backwards. His back would not thank him for that later.

    He resumed his en garde position and tried to parry dark Ahsoka’s stabs, and then he spotted she had not gone for her lightsabers. Hopefully Mace would spot this too but would the same trick he had used on the Dark Lord be used twice? He was unsuccessful last time perhaps he could get both lightsabers.

    Or one.

    Or none at all.

    Parrying stabs he kept his other am back and then made a claw with the other hand trying to concentrate on parrying stabs and trying to grab at her lightsabers. He had to keep her occupied by making stabs at her arm which was holding the dagger.

    And hoped he stayed alive long enough to grab the dagger…..

    Or die trying.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth , @BobaMatt
     
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  5. HanSolo29

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

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    The following is a combo with the incredible Sinrebirth – always a pleasure! ^:)^

    IC: Aryan & Lyz Graul

    Rocky cliffs, Ach-To

    The gentle caress of the ocean breeze against his face was the first thing Aryan became aware of upon waking from his unconscious state. It was cool and vibrant as it flitted across his exposed flesh; he surmised that it might have even been invigorating...if it hadn’t been followed by one very basic thought: I’m still alive. That revelation elicited a low groan from his lips as he winced and instinctively rolled over onto his back.

    Godsdamnit. Godsdamnit all to hell…

    He could only vaguely recall the atmospheric collision that had thrown him into the control console with enough force to knock him out cold. In every practical sense, it should have been the end for him, especially with the crash that seemed all but inevitable...and yet, here he was. Not only was he alive, but he had somehow survived the crash, if his current surroundings were any indication.

    But how? How had he miscalculated that one seemingly perfect opportunity?

    With a weary sigh, Aryan finally opened his eyes to assess his situation, but immediately regretted it. The blinding brilliance of the midday sun assaulted his senses with a relentless fury, forcing him to cringe against the painful throbbing that resonated in his head and ears. It felt as if he had been up all night on a wild binge, and he was now suffering the effects of a massive hangover.

    In an effort to alleviate his discomfort, he reached up to gingerly probe the source of his agony near his right temple. He wasn’t surprised to discover his hair matted and sticky with blood. But he soon realized that his head wound was the least of his worries…

    As Aryan pulled his hand away and closed his fist around the crimson on his fingers, he noticed a lone figure swimming into view above him, silhouetted against the pale sky. Red, fiery locks framed her oval face, and her delicate features appeared drawn and tired. Even with her haggard appearance, there was no mistaking that familiar visage. After nearly 20 years of marriage, it was forever etched in his memory.

    Lyz.

    A scowl crossed Aryan’s expression as he slowly began to pick himself up from the stone surface. His own wife had betrayed him; she had endangered their son and destroyed everything he had ever worked for! He had no legacy and his reputation had been tarnished beyond repair! What more did she want from him?! Wasn’t it enough to know that he had run away, likely to never show his face in the known galaxy again? He only wanted to die in peace.

    In that moment, all of his frustration, anger, hatred, and desperation suddenly came together in a final culmination that presented itself as a feral yell. You,” he growled in a low baritone, his right index finger extending to point at her accusingly. “This is all your fault...all of this!”

    He swept his hand out to gesticulate wildly around him, his breathing coming in short, ragged gasps. “Don’t you know what you did? To me?” He narrowed his eyes and glared at her dangerously. “To my son? You have a lot of nerve to follow me here. Do you think this can all just...go away? How dare you…”

    Without warning, Aryan unleashed another anguished scream and lunged for her with his hands outstretched for her neck, his blue-gray eyes shining with tears. Before he could reach her, however, a wave of nausea swept over him and he became extremely lightheaded due to his injury.

    Muttering a curse under his breath, he wavered to the side and collapsed to his knees as his legs buckled from under him.

    Lyz watched him. Had he vised her throat and ended it there and then, she would have been satisfied. It seemed like the natural end of where they were.

    But he collapsed back to the ground.

    Lyz, overcome with her own exhaustion, both within and without, lay down beside him. “I realised a little while ago that there was never just us in our relationship.”

    “It was always us and something else. Your ambition, more often than not. There was always another goal; another height. Sometimes even another woman.” She sighed. “So I tried to fill the space in the relationship with Arek, and, yes, Sentan.”

    “It wasn’t some immature consideration, that I wanted things to go back the way they were - it was simply an acknowledgment that all the things I had added to my life I hadn’t really wanted. I wanted you, Aryan, and, when you got down to it - when you were on the verge of losing me - I was what you wanted.”

    “So I simply did what you wanted, deep down.”

    Lyz rolled on to her side. “I got rid of everything else. Maybe it wasn’t a conscious decision until recently, but I started making it my goal when I got back to Coruscant.”

    “Though I’m not the one who killed Sentan, am I?” Lyz’s voice grew neutral. “I hadn’t necessarily believed your ‘Dark Man’ until you clearly would have killed me right then if you could’ve.”

    “So. I’ve given you what you wanted, now we just need to survive this... this place, and take it for ourselves, no?”

    Lyz looked over. Her eyes were not mad; they were soft and honest, and accepting.

    Propping himself up on one elbow, Aryan winced as he turned to regard her carefully, his expression sobering into one of utter disbelief. It was hard to imagine that she was so delusional as to believe her own nonsense, and yet he could see the sincerity reflecting in her chestnut eyes. This was real from her perspective, and he almost felt pity for her.

    Almost.

    Aryan tucked his chin toward his chest and reached up to massage his aching head, a mirthless chuckle issuing from deep in his throat. “You’re lost, Lyz,” he muttered in a gravelly tone, “so completely lost. You presume to know what I want, but you’re wrong. I didn’t run all this way for nothing. You haven’t got a kriffin’ clue!”

    He inhaled sharply against the pain that suddenly surged in his temples and took a moment to compose himself. When he continued, his voice was far more sedated. “You used Arek as a pawn, Lyz, and placed him in imminent danger – I don’t even know where he is, whether he’s dead or alive...doesn’t that bother you? Where do you expect us to go from here?” He scoffed and shook his head, not wanting to believe that she could be so callous.

    “I can’t accept the excuse that you destroyed everything I had just so we could be together, that it was a selfless act.” Forcing himself to sit upright, he now glared at her. “What good will that do us? Did you think that I would come crawling back into your arms after you shattered all of my hopes and dreams?

    “No, Lyz...there is no surviving this,” he stated harshly, allowing his hands to fall back to his sides in defeat. “At least, not together...not like this. We’re done.” Clenching his teeth, he pointed to the distant bluffs. “Now, walk away...and leave me in peace. That’s what I want right now.”

    Lyz sat up. She crossed her legs, feeling a dozen aches of age but nodding through them. "That's what you want right now," she said, repeating him slowly.

    "When all is said and done," she said, resting her hands on her knees. "When you lose everything, whether it is today, or in a few more years time, or at any point in the future, you'll still have me. You won't ever be in peace because eventually - not today, sure, not even this year, you'll want it."

    "Power. When you were younger, that power could be expressed as a desire to use weapons; to wage war and change something." Lyz shrugged. "But when you grew older, you realised you could do more with political power. The more you can do, the more you could do, the more you will do. Eventually you'll be confronted with some inequity in life, and you'll want to fix it."

    She laughed. "You're not the second in command doing all the hard work, not the shadow, running everything behind the scenes with no reward, definitely not a watcher, knowing everything and nothing and something. You're a leader, and you can't help yourself. You'll think over a hundred scenarios and choose the one which gives you the ability to do more. You always chose groceries with could feed the most. Remember when we had to live on a budget? You mastered how to make my income go further than possible. Every week was an experiment in the cheapest food which didn't compromise the flavour, or if it did, you wanted to know whether it was acceptable or not."

    "If you want me to go, I will go. But I won't go far. I may have accelerated your fall this time around, but in the future? I'll just pick you up." Lyz placed her hands on the rocky side and stood, brushing herself off. "Just remember to be grateful that you survived this round of 'Aryan Overreaches and Loses Everything Again'."

    She didn't say a word about Arek, nor did she even acknowledge the hole in the ground behind them.

    Not that it called to her, not even subliminally.

    All emotion faded from Aryan’s countenance as Lyz diverged on her lengthy tirade. The words cut down to his very soul, evoking a myriad of thoughts and feelings ranging from resentment to guilt. While he acknowledged that some of her points might have been accurate, he found that it was widely erroneous...except for one overwhelming desire that rose up above all the rest. It was an innate sense, perhaps born out of the same power she now touted as the source of his misery.

    How very ironic.

    He had experienced it before, as an occasional needling at the back of his mind, but he had dismissed it out of pure principle. But now that they were out here in the wild frontier of the Unknown Regions, the circumstances have changed drastically. What did this barren world care about ethics and integrity? All he knew was that he couldn’t go on like this; he needed a release. This was about satisfying his own basic needs.

    In the end, she had left him with very little choice.

    Clamping down on his pain with a minor wince, Aryan slowly rose back to his feet and stared at his wife across the distance that separated them. His face remained an impassive mask as he strode forward to meet her, his blue-gray eyes serving as the only pathway to his true intentions – they burned brightly with an insatiable hunger.

    But did they burn for her, or something else entirely? It was hard to tell at this point.

    Lyz felt the change within Aryan, and her eyes widened in surprise. He understood? Never in her wildest dreams had she expected her little speech to work -

    Peering down at her with an intensity he could not hide, Aryan inhaled deeply and brought both hands up to cup her face. He then began to massage the soft flesh around her jawline and neck as he leaned in and finally captured her lips in a passionate kiss. It was a fierce response, almost forceful in its approach...and it became more vigorous the longer they remained together in this moment.

    In fact, as his hands moved down from her face to eagerly explore her curves, it devolved into savage lust. He was no longer careful about being gentle; he felt driven by a feral instinct that was unlike anything he had witnessed before. He was…free.

    And so, while she remained engrossed in his strong embrace, he began to pull her along the rocky terrain, leading her back further and further until…

    Aryan abruptly broke their intimate bond and seized her wrist in a vice-like grip, his fingers practically digging into her flesh. They were now standing on the precipice of the gaping hole in the ground, the only thing preventing Lyz from plummeting into its depths was Aryan’s solid hold on her.

    Lyz blinked, startled free of the moment, of the primal nature of his kiss, of his longing; it was as if he had given himself permission, or, maybe, someone or something sinister had. Was this what had happened with Sentan–

    She'd had the thought to late.

    “You’ve always tried to undermine me,” he hissed through clenched teeth, his expression finally dissolving into one of pure hatred as tears filled his eyes. “For all of these years, that’s all you’ve ever done...I don’t know why I’ve never seen it before. And now you have the nerve to stand here and laud yourself as the power behind my success, as if I’m a mere puppet dangling from a string? That I will simply bend to your every whim?!”

    "Don't be stupid Aryan," she said, wincing. "Arek was always a pity child - you had him with me to keep me busy..."

    He exhaled with an audible sigh and tightened his grip, the tips of his fingers turning white under the pressure. “Is that why you abandoned Arek?! To manipulate me into responding a certain way, so that you could achieve some elusive goal?” A sneer crossed his lips and he shook his head. “You’re a cancer. I can’t afford to have you lurking in the shadows, waiting to ‘pick me up’ – I don’t need your help. This is the end of your reign, Lyz. You don’t hold the power…”

    Lyz could tell how this was going and she sneered, ready to launch into a litany about all the parties she had arranged to finance his career, all the hobnobbing she had done on his behalf, all the galas for charity events she had managed for him...

    Aryan bowed his head and moved in close, his breath brushing against her lips as he spoke. “And you don’t control me.”

    Without another thought, he released her from his grip.

    Lyz panicked, and lost her footing, she tipped, and reached out, grabbing Aryan's shirt. It held, and took him with her.

    Into the depths.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
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  6. JediMasterAnne

    JediMasterAnne Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2004
    OOC: Combo w/ @Sinrebirth @galactic-vagabond422 @TheSilentInfluence Buckle up, folks!

    IC: Princess Feyna Organa, Ka'rta, Madelyn Linnett, etc.

    Ruins of Keldabe, Mandalore

    The last droids were taken down, and the battle was finally over.

    By some miracle, Feyna and Winter had made it through. They were both ragged and dirty, sore from injuries and exhaustion, but they had survived.

    But so many others had not.

    As she and Winter made their way back toward the center of the city, fruitlessly checking for other survivors, Feyna had to wonder if this was how she would spend out the rest of her life, death and destruction following her like a cursed shadow. Alderaan, Delaya, Takodona, now Mandalore.

    The silence, coupled with the coming nightfall, was eerie, and as they continued to find only bodies, it became increasingly harder not to feel defeated, even though they had survived, the droid army destroyed. Another hollow victory.

    At last, they found Linnett and Ka'rta still alive, somewhere near the center of the rubble, with another Mandalorian whose name Feyna did not know. But they were all that were left.

    As there seemed to be no point in keeping up what appeared to be a hopeless search, Feyna turned her attention to her and Winter's injuries.

    "You think we're done?"
    Ka'rta asked. "Or do you think the Republic's going to try and take our home out from under us...or the Empire?"

    "...I'd be more concerned about the Empire," Feyna replied, hesitantly, trying to avoid another argument. Currently, she didn't think the Republic had the strength to take the planet by force, nor could she think of a reason why they would want to. That was more the Empire's M.O., anyway. She didn't know that the Empire had a reason to take the planet now, but since when do they need a reason?

    "Comms are down, so we can't contact Dodonna or the fleet unless we can find a working ship and actually go up there--though I've no idea how that battle is going, so I'm not sure if that's a good idea at the moment."

    On the other hand, there was still Amedda, and the Ultimate Weapon. The former had not been heard from since Anakin's departure, and the latter still had not arrived in-system--a small blessing there, but Feyna didn't know how much longer this respite would last.

    Madelyn stood staring out at the rubble. Though they had lost most of their fighting force on Mandalore that did not mean the entire Mandalorian population was gone. We have thousands of systems.She looked at the darksaber in hand and turned towards Ka'rta. "We grieve, and remember those who were lost protecting our planet. I need to reach the rest of the Mandalorians within our system. Let them know of the victory we obtained and how we sacrificed for it."

    Madelyn allowed a sigh to escape from her lips, turned to Freya and Winter. "You're grace? You fought with us like Vode; both of you." She looked at Ka'rta. "They didn't have to. But this is our decision...should we bring them into the Clan?"

    Ka'rta leaned her head against the beam letting out along breath. They needed a com, something longer range than herself or Mirdala had in their helmets. She cast her gaze around looking for any sign or piece of the Oisk. They might be able to salvage something from it. Another necessary sacrifice.

    The 'Chieftain' of Clan Dar'Solus fixed Madelyn with a harsh glare.

    "Just because they fought with us doesn't make them vode, besides, I doubt the chancellor here would want to rough it with people like us. She got the shambles of a Republic to run remember."

    "Doesn't it? They would have died for us. I can sense that. People who were willing to sacrifice themselves for us. Tell me; isn't this enough sacrifice for you?" Madelyn fixed him with a hard look, took a step forward and gripped the darksaber tighter in her hands.

    She looked at Ka'rta. "I was asking Ka'rta. She's ruling with me." Madelyn stood closer, stood tall. Unafraid.

    "Do what you will Manda'lor." Karta growled out, sitting in the other woman's shadow. "Just remember her loyalty," she pointed harshly with her right hand, "is to them." She thrust the same hand towards the sky, towards the Republic fleet that may or may not still be in system. "Not us," with a tap on her chest she shook her head. "She's the daughter of a politician, of royalty from a planet of pacifist. What does she know of our ways, of our life? You will be made a laughing stock for accepting her into our clan. Don't think that just because you hold the darksaber, you have the loyalty of all Mando'a. The conversation before the battle showed it, and all our allies are dead around us. We've won the day, but if you make this choice...it will be a first step to your own downfall...and mine."

    Madelyn shut her eyes and nodded, feeling Ka'rta's emotion through the force. "I hadn't thought of that." Madelyn admitted calmly. She gently placed her hand on Ka'rta's arm. "I apologise Vode. This is why I need you to rule by my side." She turned to Freya and Winter. "I apologise. I spoke out of turn. We appreciate your help, but now we need to get up there somehow." Madelyn looked up at the sky thoughtfully. "So...anyone have any ideas?"

    Feyna nodded in silent understanding, though privately she was glad the discussion had moved on to a less contentious topic. The offer was kindly meant, but Ka'rta was right; fighting alongside them didn't give Feyna the right to be an honorary Mandalorian, and she came from a very different culture than theirs. Alderaan was gone, but that didn't mean that she was no longer Alderaanian.

    "Unless we're really lucky, I don't know that we're going to find a functional ship in...all this," she looked around sadly at the devastation around them. "We could try to fix one, maybe, or head outside the city, I suppose, out of the battle zone." That would take time, though, and energy; they were all running low on the latter, and without comms, she didn't know how much of the former they had to spare.

    Madelyn thought for a moment and then sat down on the ground, crossing her legs and resting her arms on them. "Then I'll just ask the force for guidance."

    The battle was hard on all of us. I'm not sure what to do...or who can help us get a ship or a way off Mandalore. If there is a way to keep going, please let us know. I'm still learning. I guess I always will be.

    The Force answered, it would seem.

    For, all of a sudden, a shuttle graced the sky.

    It was black.

    [​IMG]
    In a menacing, graceful fashion, it slowly headed towards them. There were no TIEs evident escorting the ship, but then, breaking the cloud-cover, came another two shuttles, of more traditional design.

    Their ominous nature was evident.

    Someone was clearly attempting to evoke despair, and enjoying it as they did.

    Ka'rta snarled looking up at the sky, a growl from deep inside rumbled out of her throat. Pulling a power pack from her bandoleer she slammed it into one of her pistols, doing the same with the other. They wanted to gloat over the destruction, to try and kick them while they were down. No, while Ka'rta still breathed. With a scream she got to her feet, the anger driving her forward, hands gripping her blasters, her last rocket loaded into her launcher.

    She ground out putting her helmet on. Stumbling a little, light headed from her getting to her feet, she bumped into Mirdala. "We just need their com, not them."

    It appeared to be an Imperial shuttle, and Feyna's initial reaction to its arrival was not unlike Ka'rta's--anger, and more than a tinge of fear.

    Until she remembered, and frowned at the Mandalorian: "The Rebels command one Star Destroyer. That could be someone Dodonna sent from the Gorgon."

    She wouldn't argue with being prepared, though. It could be Rebels from the Gorgon, or they could really be Imperials.

    She picked up her blaster, eyes watching the lead shuttle as it made its approach.

    "Imperial, Republic, still aruetii scum. Not worth taking the time to find out which." Ka'rta said leaning harder against her escort than she'd like to admit.

    Mirdala grimaced, checking weapons and armour and a couple nicks. "That black shuttle. It's one of a kind."

    "Director Krennic uses it. He wanted to stand out from the crowd and everyone to know who he was. I hear he grandstands with a cape, and his own personal guard of Deathtroopers."

    "Not Republic."

    "Good, so guns blazing," Ka'rta found her feet turning her wrist to aim her rocket down the throat of the large shuttle. Even Madelyn wouldn't be squeamish killing all of them.

    The name set a fire in Feyna's eyes. She knew that name, and she cursed it with every fiber of her being. "Yes, I know who he is," she replied, cold venom in her voice. "He oversaw construction of the Death Star."

    She readied her weapon. "Feel free to shoot on sight."

    Madelyn stood up as the shuttle approached and activated her darksaber. That could be a good ride. Thank you. Madelyn silently thanked the force and stood next to Ka'rta. "You go left and I go right?" Madelyn asked, feeling centred and ready for action. Hopefully there aren't any civIlians on board, but it looks military.

    The shuttle dropped in synchronicity with the others. Were they to fire, they would discover that the three had combined their shields to create an overlapping matrix, and it was virtually invulnerable to small arms fire.

    The black shuttle nonetheless dropped to the ground, and from it gallows emerged a troop of twenty black armoured Darktroopers - special forces Stormtroopers that belonged to Krennic. He had lent them out to officers he felt the need to keep an eye on through the year’s, as an offering, and right now the other half of the group was split between the 13X and heading in pairs to escort local Destroyers to the system. When they arrived Krennic already had a list of likely issues and not for each ship, and they would work through them ruthlessly.

    Once his numbers hit high enough he would move towards Chandrila and bring those ships under his influence before moving on to Coruscant. In short order he would head to Kuat, and declare it the new capital of the Empire.

    His Empire.

    Of course, Krennic did not immediately appear and walk down the ramp, as the other two shuttles hovered. He allowed them their opportunity to respond.

    He did however transmit, loudly broadcasting.

    “Chancellor; Mandalore - I would speak to you. It is time to end this destructive conflict and turn our guns against the true enemy. Your fleet in orbit - it is outgunned two to one. For now. With every passing moment my loyalists will gather more ships. The first of them will arrive within the hour, and then your chances will deteriorate.”

    A pause; a chance for them to reply as the twenty Darktroopers stepped out.

    Ka'rta kept her rocket trained on the Darktroopers marching out. She looked for places to take cover from the troopers and the shuttles. She would fight, even if it cost her everything. Though a thought occurred to her.

    "Manda'lor," she spoke through the comm channel she shared with all mandalorians in the area, which at this point was just her, Mirdala, and the Manda'lor. "A counter offer, they leave, and Mandalore and all that swear fidelity to you remain neutral. We will not get involved in politics outside of our system. And they...all of them." She turned with a gaze towards the Chancellor. "Leave us to our own." She let out a breath. "It is your choice Manda'lor, if you wish we can rush the shuttle and take it." It was suicide to try that, but there was a chance, a rocket in the center of the formation, a bit of force power applied to the flanks, the mandalorians would survive. The others...didn't matter. What they did when they got to the shuttle was anyone's guess. Run, hide, build up support to take back their home? That was up to the new Manda'lor.

    Another twenty Stormtroopers dutifully piled out of each of the other two shuttles. They were a noisier, less crisp bunch - but they had numbers. The Darktroopers scanned the Mandalorian entourage with their visors, and then also the rest of Imperial retinue. The white armoured Troopers seemed to react in many different ways; some stood straight, almost reprimanded by the attention, whilst others looked to their comrades as if gauging how to react.

    Sixty Troopers all.

    Feyna was quietly seething, and rather crestfallen.

    She was loathe to listen to anything Krennic had to say, and the idea of having to cooperate with him absolutely made her blood boil, but she wasn't liking their odds as she watched storm troopers fall into formation in front of them.

    She was amazed that the troopers hadn't just come marching out with blasters firing; Feyna and her companions numbered only five, it would be nothing for the sixty troopers to just finish them off. So why hadn't they? Krennic surely knew who he was talking to, did he think she didn't know what he'd done? He couldn't be mad enough to think that she would trust a single word from him.

    You're talking about an arrogant man who had no qualms about blowing up an entire planet for the sake of killing a couple hundred political enemies. Of course he's insane.


    From where she was standing, their options were either fight, and certainly be slaughtered, or stand down and listen to this murderer, and maybe still be killed later.

    She cast a helpless look to Winter, wondering if her friend might have any better ideas, if there was another option she wasn't seeing.

    Winter shook her head minutely. They didn’t have a lot to work with. Sixty Troopers. Two Mandalorians. One maybe Mandalorian-Jedi. Feyna. Winter.

    There was grandstanding, then there was this. In the distance, a steady streaming of shuttles began to appear; mostly far away, diverting to occupy cities and towns across Mandalore. This was an occupying army. One headed into the centre of the City.

    Mirdala looked to Ka’rta, then Linnett, inadvertently telegraphing that there was a conversation on-going. He held himself still, for the moment he realised, biting his tongue. He couldn’t see Krennic taking neutrality as an option at this point - but Linnett continually sought to include and defer to Ka’rta.

    In response, Winter took a step closer to Feyna, conscious of Mirdala, Linnett and Ka’rta being able to say whatever beneath their helmets.

    Madelyn listened to Ka'rta through the comms and nodded thoughtfully, tilting her head to the side. "They could kill us either way. But I don't want anymore if our people killed. We could do this. We leave Mandalore to our other planets, gather as many Mandalorian's that are willing to follow." Madelyn told Ka'rta over their private comm. She deactivated the Darksaber. "But if we fight, if we steal that ship and use it to help the others destroy the Death Star, then we won't have to worry about Sith. Or anyone. I just want Mandalore and the people in our system to be safe." Madelyn added to Ka'rta.

    As more and more shuttles descended from the heavens Ka'rta shook her head. If they had this many shuttles, she could only imagine how many TIEs they could have. If they even got to the shuttle, cutting their way through a platoon plus some of troopers with little cover between them was not an easy or even possible thing. The Empire seemed to wish to occupy the planet. They didn't know what they were in for, an insurgency the likes of which have never been seen. It was going to happen Ka'rta would see to it. Though she had to be alive to coordinate it.

    "Let us see what negotiation brings. We can't do anything if we are dead, Manda'lor. If we are alive, there is much we can do. We can make it very painful for them to hold our home. No matter how big this Empire becomes, it can never control all of us. There will be those that fight to free our home. Though if you wish to fight, make us all martyrs for Mandalore, I will be by your side."

    The Darktroopers were consummate professions. Rather than snapping to attention, they held their circle outward, appraising the five Rebels and Mandalorians, the burned down buildings, and not just relying upon the Stormtroopers, who set up a rough cordon around everyone, including Krennic's shuttle.

    The man of the hour stepped down the ramp, looking for all intents and purposes as if he had won. There was a saunter to his step, and his cape flowed in the breeze. His gloves were in his hand, and he smiled at Feyna. "Chancellor Organa; Mandalore. Thank you for seeing me in the circumstances. The war is over; the Republic beat the Separatists, but the Empire has won. A few violently messy days, but the net result is what it is. I am sure you have heard the news; the Emperor was never dead, and all of this was nothing more than his brilliant plan to expose all traitors and the Jedi, even some rogue Sith, would you believe."

    He smiled broadly. "He has perfected the Death Star as the Ultimate Weapon."

    "But he has in earnest unified the galaxy against him. Clearly, with his droid army, he has no desire to co-rule with anyone. Coruscant burns; Alderaan is gone. We must look to the future. That future is the Empire. But it is my Empire. I know things about the Death Star that even he does not. That, even without Galen Erso's sabotage," his voice sounded out disgust. "It will never be perfected without my hand behind it; my agents are even now scouring the galaxy for a prototype that Tarkin apparently devised. Once I have it, I can dictate to Amedda that he surrender the Weapon and the Separatists."

    The Stormtroopers seemed to become unsettled by the discussion; the Darktroopers started including them in their attention. In the last few days, the Emperor had died, he had declared a heir, and the Emperor had resurfaced. The heir? He had vanished and Coruscant was aflame and the Republic was seemingly decapitated. Uncertainty ran throughout the galaxy, and even in the hours of the Battle of Mandalore, rumours swirled of Krennic killing off members of the Admiralty were beginning to take root. A Civil War - an Imperial Civil War, seemed to be pending.

    Krennic fluttered a hand. "I have no interest in Mandalore. It can go its own way, and be a backwater, for all I care - the Empire will only retain its troops here as long as the Republic does; to protect Mandalore's neutrality." He grinned at Linnett, and Ka'rta, before returning his gaze to Feyna.

    "Similarly, ending this frankly unnecessary conflict, started by the misuse and abuse by Tarkin of the Death Star - with me as Emperor. It is in our best interests, no? The Republic rejoining the Empire, ending this war, once and for all. The Empire will no longer be overlaid upon the institutions of the past, but become them, as it always intended, instead of this awful stillbirth of the true future which Amedda presided over - a regime borne of blood and cemented by more of it."

    He held out his hand to Feyna to reply - to speak once, and for all. The end was in her hands.

    The Force leaned on Linnett to wait; to be ready; possibilities turned endlessly from here and now.

    In Ka'rta's ears, single message.

    "We're nearly there."

    Was that...

    .... Jerrod?

    Feyna was doing her best not to provoke Krennic or the troopers--though there seemed to be some scuffling among the ranks as Krennic acknowledged Amedda's survival, as if even they weren't sure of what was going on, who was in charge. But it was taking every ounce of her self-control to not simply put a bolt between his eyes.

    There wasn't a word strong enough for how appalled and disgusted she felt at the revelation that there might be still another superweapon, and the desire to shoot Krennic then and there was very nearly overwhelming.

    Everything in her wanted nothing to do with him or anything he was offering, but her own instincts hadn't exactly been serving her well of late. And while she wasn't opposed to withdrawing her forces from Mandalore, if the Empire did the same, she just didn't trust this man.

    "What happens to these superweapons," she asked, cautiously, trying not sound accusing or suspicious,"once you're done with them?" Once you've intimidated Amedda and the rest of the galaxy into submission?

    “Why, we use them to keep the peace. They shouldn’t need to be used ever again. Skirmishes, of course, they’ll still occur, but the threat of the Weapon will end war entirely. No more trillions of displaced populations, devastated worlds, and so forth - just a single act to cut out the cancer of resistance.”

    Krennic slapped his gloves against his palm. “It’ll be over. But now, Chancellor, I must ask for your answer. I’ll accept a speech, if you truly feel the need to offer it.”

    He lifted a hand, and gestured forward a holo-Droid. It was live, broadcasting to the galaxy at large. The Stormtroopers, for their part, looked back and forth, hoping for a prompt, while the Darktroopers balefully took each and every act of shifted body, glances helmet, or simple uneasiness in turn. Without a word, the Darktroopers contracted their sphere of protection around Krennic.

    The Force sharpened.

    Even Feyna would be able to sense the tension in the air. It wasn’t just between the Empire and the rogues, it was as much between the Imperials. Winter’s eyes were filtering, and she took another half-step towards the Chancellor.

    Mirdala made sure to be directly between Linnett and Ka’rta. What happened next would decide it all.

    Ka'rta smiled under her helmet. Jerrod was coming, Owen likely with her and as many friends as they could get together. The Empire couldn't have an entire fleet here, despite the stream of shuttles descending to the ground. The sudden influx of aggressors it would change the calculus this what was his name again? It didn't matter, things would change very quick for him.

    Scanning the lines of troopers she was starting to pick up on something. The Stormtroopers were looking to each other as if waiting for orders, or some command, and not from the man standing in the middle. The ones in dark armor tightened their protection. She caught their gaze looking over their shoulder checking on their own allies. The smirk curled a little more. This man wasn't fully in command either. The question was did the Mandalorian advise the Chancellor of this fact or leave it up to her to make that call.

    Ka'rta choose to keep it to herself. If the girl figured it out good on her, if she didn't oh well, would make getting rid of them both all the easier.

    "Hold." She spoke over the private mandalorian channel, "Help is on the way."

    Feyna's heart plummeted as she fixed Krennic with an icy glare. It was the response she'd expected from him, but it was not the one she'd wanted.

    "Holding the threat of destruction over the entire galaxy isn't peace, Krennic" she told him. "It's oppression. To rule by fear doesn't make you a leader, it makes you a tyrant. And for every tyrant, there are those who resist them."

    Her eyes swept over the shuffling storm troopers. Only his Darktroopers seemed certain in their...'leader,' but there were only half as many of them as there were white-armor troopers.

    She was itching for a good reason to just shoot him and be done with it, but the Darktroopers would probably kill her and the others on the spot as soon as she raised her blaster, regardless of what the other troopers did. And Feyna was conscious of the holo-droid, as well. Shooting Krennic unprovoked, for the entire galaxy to see, was not the best example for her to be setting, as acting Chancellor.

    There was no point to this; she could make him swear to dismantle the superweapons and destroy the plans, but she couldn't see him agreeing to that, and even if he did, she didn't trust him to keep his word.

    "You can't fix what's wrong with the galaxy--" People like you are what's wrong with it "--and terrorizing everyone with a Death Star will only unite them against you. You don't even have the full support of your own soldiers, you can't hope to gain the loyalty of the entire galaxy."

    More silence. More shifting in armour. More appraising glances.

    Live on air, as well
    , Krennic rued. Well he had no choice now. He snorted. "Loyalty is hardly required. Fear will do; we make do with what we have." For a moment he remembered Galen, and his irritating wife, and what they had said, so many years ago. Feyna reminded him of Lyra, and Leia, and Padme, all rolled into one agitator that had to be erased for being so blasted unreasonable. "Then, Chancellor, this will instead be an example of what resisting my Empire achieves -"

    A Stormtrooper lifted a blaster rifle and a Darktrooper shot him before he had time to fully aim at the Director-come-Emperor. The Stormtroopers all moved, and the Darktroopers methodically shot them all in mere moments, before turning to face the Rebels and Mandalorians -

    - but moments, that may as well be forever for Ka'rta, Feyna, Winter, Mirdala and Linnett.

    In a moment, they could do anything.

    Ka'rta's hands were already hovering near her weapons picking up on the tension growing tighter and tighter. She could feel it approaching a breaking point, like a standoff that was about to turn violent. The adrenaline kept the pain from her many injuries at bay, kept her sharp for the moment she needed to act.

    That moment was now as the darktroopers turned on the stormtroopers. In a flash her pistols were in her hands firing off her last rocket right at the center of the group of draktroopers in front of her before they even had the chance to turn around. Her weapons fanned out laying down a carpet of fire.

    "Cover our backs Mirdala." she ordered he turned rifle spitting fire, with all the confusion and sudden burst of fire, maybe they could take them out before any serious casualties. Her armor could take a few hits, she would still be standing. And their help should arrive soon to clear out the rest. "Kill every darktrooper, and take his majesty prisoner."

    Madelyn had seen the shift, felt it in the force. She was prepared and had lifted her darksaber as the Death Troopers turned, activating it as they fired and Ka'rta fired her own blasters at the Death Troopers.

    "He'll have more value alive." Madelyn added before she used the force in a quick motion, sending the Dark Troopers back a little as she jumped up and behind them. She drove her darksaber under the helmet one one and lifted another off the ground, sending him towards a pile of rubble as hard as she could.

    She grabbed another with her hand, pushing them back as she brought the darksaber down on his blaster, slicing it in half. Madelyn jumped back as she was kicked in the stomach and motioned to Ka'rta for assistance. "I could use some help here Vode." And then Madelyn added, "Please?"

    Ka'rta instantly wheeled around pistols spaying fire as she did. She rained down bolts on the troopers that would dare harm her vode, her manda'lor. She charged toward them powering through her injuries intent on keeping her promise.

    She slams into one putting two bolts into into his chest. As they fell to the ground she let go of one of her blasters grabbing the trooper by the collar propping it up as just a little bit of cover as she continued to fire.

    Feyna had hoped that the larger number of white-armored storm troopers would have given them some slight advantage, but Krennic's elite Darktroopers made short work of their traitorous former comrades, eliminating the threat quickly and efficiently, and igniting a firefight.

    She stuck close to Winter, firing at any Darktroopers to point a blaster their way, while the Mandalorians lived up to their warrior reputation. Twenty troopers, five of us. Just four of them to each of us. They had survived worse odds, but these weren't flimsy Separatist droids, so Feyna took extra care to make every shot count.

    But she also tried to keep half an eye on Krennic. She didn't want him to use the skirmish to cover his escape, and as badly as she wanted to, she couldn't shoot him yet. She had questions for him.

    Winter drew Feyna with her as they moved, but the team had made prompt use of their moment. Mirdala drew two pistols and had taken down four Darktroopers before a bolt found his central armour plate, as much as a blaster burned through Winter’s shoulder, as much as another blast caught the side of Ka’rta’s knee, in the part between the armour plates, as much as a shot skipped across Linnett’s cheek, far too close to her eye, blurring her viison -

    But in that moment there were more than half the Darktroopers down, with five remaining - most having died to Ka’rta’s rocket blast. They were done with the Stormtroopers, and Krennic, holding his arm, backing towards his shuttle, and he pointed at Feyna. “Her! Kill her!

    All five stepped between Krennic and the others, re-oriented to fire, even as Winter stepped between Feyna and her the others.

    Feyna saw the others taking hits, heard Krennic's enraged shouting--she was incensed to note that he was indeed trying to flee, retreating to his shuttle. Holo-droid or no, she was about to take a shot at him, to wound him in the leg or his shoulder, enough to stop him but not yet kill him--
    But then she saw the remaining Darktroopers shifting their positions, moving to act on Krennic's orders, and saw Winter putting herself between Feyna and the troopers.

    No. Godsdammit, no, you don't get to take Winter, too. Krennic had destroyed her home, had killed her family, her friends and allies, her people...Winter was all she had left.

    Feyna didn't want to die here, but she didn't want to see anyone else die for her today, either, especially not her closest friend.

    Shooting off a rapid series of bolts toward the Darktroopers, trying to protect both herself and Winter, Feyna reached out to try to push her friend away, out of the troopers' line of fire.

    As the Darktroopers started falling back Ka'rta got back to her feet charging toward them as the his majesty began to fall back. In the melee Mirdala crumbled to the ground taking a bolt to the chest. She barely had time to look behind her before her knee turned toward the inside screaming in pain as she fell to the ground, not too far away from Mirdala. Rolling flat onto her stomach she fired off a burst of shots towards the group of darktroopers, she wasn't letting a single one of them live.

    Thoughts of the Chancellor or her friend never entered her mind.

    Madelyn felt the pain as the blaster bolt struck across her cheek. She stumbled back from the pain and temporary blindness and skidded slightly across the ground as blood dripped down on her armor.

    She barely had a moment to recover before she felt the force at her finger tips and she yelled, a mangled sort of cry that launched thr remaining Death Troopers backwards across the ground.

    "You will not have Mandalore!" Madelyn screamed. She was breathing heavily, though her mind was calm. "Get away from my sister!"

    Feyna shot one; Ka’rta shot two; Linnett threw the last pair to the foot of the ramp as Krennic dragged himself up it. A pilot stood at the top of the ramp, readying a small pistol; Mirdala shot him, and he collapsed in a heap, sending Krennic tumbling back down the ramp.

    Winter fell, but had a nasty burn on her neck, a rip in her clothes by her left thigh due to near miss... and a hole in her side. She grimaced, but didn’t cry out. “I’ve been shot before, don’t worry.” She bit out before Feyna could rush over to her. “Krennic first.”

    The eye Droid continued to watch, harmlessly recording everything for everyone to see. In the distance, TIEs and shuttles were firing at each other - as the Empire seemingly couldn’t decide who ran it. As much as shuttle’s were heading down to the surface, and some their way, more were aflame or shifting away than not.

    Linnett, however, would feel something curl inside her; an oily nausea - her last attack had used the dark side; her despair had just tainted her, in a way which Anakin Skywalker was so caught up in himself that he had not truly carwd. But Linnett was pure; her first step down that path was a terribly apparent one.

    Mirdala took that opportunity to drop to his knees and cough; the bolt to the chest had taken the armour plate full on. He had at least a bruise; possibly more. He slammed his fist into the ground, hacking. “I’m alright, protect Mandalore.”

    Feyna gave Winter a look of skeptical concern, but accepted her friend's reassurances, then turned to briefly check the others, but no one appeared to have any life-threatening injuries.

    Shifting her attention to Krennic, Feyna raised her blaster again, but she didn't fire; the holo-droid was still watching, and the rest of the galaxy with it. She moved closer to his shuttle, though she stayed well out of his reach. "Hands where I can see them, Krennic," she told him. She couldn't tell if he was armed, if he was injured, but the dead pilot's pistol wasn't far away, and she definitely didn't want him getting hold of it.

    Though if he did make a grab for a weapon, it would give her a legitimate reason to shoot him.

    “Why?” snapped Krennic. “So you can laud over me in victory? The Empire is the only tool which can secure order; end all this fighting. Unless you surrender here and now, to me, you will all die - as rightly any free-thinking person should. The Empire is order and you are all it’s servants.”

    The man had no idea what damage he was doing to the Empire as he spoke, but Krennic was a man scorned and he wanted nothing more than to be true and honest and without tact. “I have won. You have to surrender,” a pained gasp. “You’re just being... stubborn.”

    The shuttle’s were coming closer, gathering to the west of the city, but within the distance of sight. They disgorged dozens of troopers, which began to form up. A small army was shaping up behind Krennic’s shuttle, but it would not be formed in time to make any difference to this moment, nor did Krennic know they were here to prove at least part of his point.

    But Winter knew that they should have surrendered half a dozen times since now. They’d beaten impossible odds, time and time again. Feyna’s survival at Alderaan; the chase from Mimban to here; the battle of Mandalore itself. Linnett and Ka’rta were warriors, and they could do almost anything if they wanted to - but Feyna could to, with no armour or Force powers.

    Winter just knew that Feyna needed to stop questioning herself, and lead.

    Ka'rta got slowly to her feet as the chancellor interrogated the would-be emperor. She hooked an arm under Mirdala helping him to his feet.

    "We'll protect her together." She said grunting with every step, the shrapnel in her side still shifting in the wound, her knee screaming in pain with each step. Still she persevered, despite the pain, despite her body crying out to stop she still had a job to do. She stood before the Manda'lor one hand wrapped around her pistol the other propping up Mirdala. In the distance she saw the army gathering, seemed that this man still had allies, enough allies to threaten them. Though it seemed allegiances were shifting faster than he was talking. Ka'rta's only hope was that Jerrod and Owen arrived soon, she didn't know how long she could hold out against the amassing forces.

    Feyna paid little mind to his threats, and she had to resist rolling her eyes; he was an angry, arrogant man who apparently didn't know when to stop running his mouth. She hadn't thought it possible for her to despise him any more than she already did, but every word out his mouth only offended her more. He didn't seem to care that everything he said was still being broadcast to Empire and Republic alike, and he was not helping the Empire's image.

    Which was perfectly fine with her.

    "Where is the third weapon? Why do you think it can beat Amedda's?"

    "There is no third weapon, you idiot." Krennic spat. "I would never have allowed a prototype to happen. It would have undermined my power."

    Krennic rasped. "The Death Star ends rabble and resistance - but I can counter it with an Empire. A thousand Star Destroyers lost; but a loss well worth it. You have nothing without me. If I survive this - when - I will make a new one. A better Death Star; a better Empire. I already have plans - plans you dare not interfere with."

    "Where is Lyz Graul?"

    "Who knows; who cares. The Emperor's bit-wife fled after ordering the Empire to attack Chandrila. He fled after Amedda unmasked him as a murderer, to add to his title of adulterer," Krennic hissed. "Good riddance."

    He began to edge his way towards the blaster. "What about you? I heard from her that you had kidnapped their son, Chancellor!"

    "Arek Graul was never a hostage," Feyna informed him, for once glad of the holo-droid. "I took him with me from Delaya after she left him in the midst of Daala's attack on the refugee convoy.

    "He saved my life at Alderaan, and my father didn't raise me to be the kind of person who would repay that favor by taking him prisoner, no matter the strategic value. And I don't use people's children against them.

    "On that note, where is Jyn Erso?"


    "I never found her," Krennic said, looking annoyed, but conscious that his hand was about to reach the blaster. He would say whatever he had to, if it ended with him shooting Feyna Organa in the face. "But Galen believed me, so he worked on my weapon." A sneer. "But I suppose he sabotaged it, so what am I to say? Not that the Emperor intended to allow it to be anything but Jedi bait, once he had destroyed your Republic and those irritating parts of the Senate."

    Feyna glanced at the blaster that was mere inches from his hand, almost daring him to take it. Last question.

    "Where is Amedda now, and the weapon?"

    "We don't know," Krennic said. "It was above Kashyyyk but it jumped after bombarding the surface. It's aflame now; the world-forest. I expected it to arrive here and my new regime would smash it, even if it cost us hundreds of thousands of people, and a dozen worlds along the way. We would throw everything the galaxy had at it. With you dead the Empire, Republic and the Separatist Alliance would be mine."

    He was, essentially, deranged.

    Which is why he jumped for the gun.

    Feyna couldn't afford to hesitate. She aimed her weapon, and pulled the trigger.

    And so it ended, and the eye-Droid peered from the body to Feyna, as if expecting her to say something... final.

    An eerie silence fell upon the battlefield.

    Feyna let her blaster fall to her side, gazing at Krennic's body with disdain. She'd have spat on his corpse, kicked it, unloaded her blaster into him, if not for the droid still watching. She wasn't sorry that he was dead, but while some dark, vengeful part of her was sated--for now; there was still Amedda to deal with--she wasn't in a mood to jump up and down in celebration. "You would burn down the galaxy just to rule over the ashes," she remarked to the would-be tyrant, though of course he could no longer hear her. Whether the droid picked it up or not, she didn't especially care. "Given your complete disregard for life, perhaps it's best that your reign was over before it ever began."

    She went to rejoin the others.

    Enjoy hell, Krennic. Give my regards to Tarkin and Daala.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @galactic-vagabond422 @TheSilentInfluence (plus anybody paying attention to the Holonet)
     
  7. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Combo with the Sinre-meister.

    IC: Ahsoka Tano & Darth Ananke

    Island Temple, Ach-To

    Much to her surprise, though she would never admit to it, Qi’ra had used her own flying prowess with its match in the Force to bring the Aurora to the temple outcropping in one piece. It had been a smooth landing, as if the yacht were not damaged to the point of no longer being able to handle spaceflight, which it would need extensive repairs in order to do so again… ones she had the instinctive feeling would never come to be.

    In atmo the vessel managed well enough, however, and only because her lightning attack had successfully wounded Arek into unconsciousness.

    She wouldn’t have batted an eye if it had killed him.

    Heart racing and breathing heavy, Qi’ra stood the moment she had locked them in place, peering through the heavily cracked forward viewport panels that now faced out onto the rocky ledge. Seeing as the main entrance to her ship was far below, the high position of her penthouse office was now level with where she sought to be. And it brought her face-to-face with that peculiarly strong Force signature she had sensed on the descent.

    A female Togruta, dressed in white, returning her stare with one of her own. The muddled but significant Light about her sang out in the Force like a stain upon Qi’ra’s own darkness. She was repulsed by it.

    Walking towards the mysterious figure, she cocked her head slightly as the stirrings of familiarity nagged at her. She could also feel the alien tangle with the threads of the Force that surrounded them both, and pulled.

    The entire viewport shattered outward at once, as if caused by an explosion right where she stood, though of course there was none. Qi’ra did not flinch as the glass fell away and strong winds tore through the circular space, stinging her skin with a slight chill. Only watching as Arek’s unmoving form floated free of her control, still she did not interfere, keeping her head about her while the situation unfolded.

    But then circumstances would force her hand, as there was a soft, but steadily rising rumble from beneath her feet, deep in the depths of her ship. A quick glance back over her shoulder to the control display at her desk and she knew why - the Aurora was not as stable as she had thought, and it was sinking into the rolling ocean that already whipped at the bottom levels. All remaining systems were failing, including stabilizers, and within a matter of seconds she would either follow Arek to the rock ledge, or drown.

    Removing her jacket though being sure to keep the holocron on her person, the sword sheathed on her back was now clearly visible, as was the saber hilt at her hip. Qi’ra took one final look at the closest place she had ever had to a home… then discarded it. She leapt free of the ship to land lightly on the soft rock a short distance away, then slowly rising to her full height as the Aurora fell from view at her back. Her eyes having never left the Togruta.

    “I can taste the Maul in you,” the female finally said, eliciting a rather feral-looking sneer on the Sith’s face. Her chin dipped, her stare turning to a glaring expression of rage. “I failed to kill your Master, and you are my legacy; I am sorry, Sith, for your fate would have turned out so very differently had I succeeded. You are my responsibly, and I accept you as mine to save or kill.”

    Despite herself, Qi’ra… Ananke smiled.

    “Darth Ananke, I am Ahsoka Tano, and I name you.”

    And then at those words, the admission of a name that she did in fact recognize, she laughed - a wicked high-pitched cackle that threw her head back as something inside her, deep, deep down in a place never reached, snapped. Maybe it was the last vestiges of hope within her, the final pieces of her soul that had held some semblance of good, of Light… but with that release of found joy in the pathetic attempt of another to save her, along with it went the little parts that actually would have been worth saving. Ananke gave them over to the darkness, making the final commitment to her cause and purpose, any unconscious doubt – erased.

    She was wholly, truly, gone.

    Catching the movement of Ahsoka’s staff, she settled herself and merely shook her head. “Oh, I know all about you, Lady Tano,” she spat, using Maul’s language to name the former Jedi. She recalled the vehemence the zabrak held towards this one Togruta, how she had once been trained by the great Anakin Skywalker, only to walk away from it all in failure. He had loathed her above most, and not because of Maul or for Maul, but Ananke found that same hatred flare up inside her for the simple reason that she now stood in her way.

    “Always claiming to know what’s right, and yet you are wrong. Again.” She reached across her waist with her left hand to release her saber hilt from her right hip. Her amber-shifting eyes traveled to where Arek lay, considering something, turning them back to her opponent. “What exactly are you expecting to save, Jedi? There is nothing here for you. Nothing to salvage, nothing to free. There is only death.”

    A flick of her finger and the crimson blade shot to life by her side, her fingers squeezing on the comforting vibrations of the crystal housed by the hilt. She raised the lightsaber, leveling it to point directly at Ahsoka. She steeled herself.

    “Yours.”

    Ahsoka took a step back into the Temple proper, levitating Arek to the edge of the room. She did not know who the waif was, but she felt responsible for him nonetheless. She held the staff ready, aware from experience that it could block a lightsaber blow, and indeed she would fight with it if need be.

    Her hand turned, and the cloak of white pooled at her feet. She had a single lightsaber hilt upon her waist, but Ahsoka kept her defenses up, and eyes focused upon the cackling Sith Lord.

    "My death is always a possibility. In this place, all possibilities can be realised and undone." In their peripheral vision, both of them would glimpse a haggard old man - a Jedi Master - leaning heavily on the stones surrounding the mosaic on the floor, talking to a young woman, a lightsaber that Ahsoka recognised as belonging to Anakin upon her waist. Ahsoka paid it no heed.

    Following at a notable distance, Ananke sensed the stirrings of the Force amplify the further they moved inside the cavernous room. It was like a tuning fork of energy, though strangely enough, darkness pooled here to mingle with the Light. She noted it in the flash of a vision on the fringes of her sight - a man and woman, conversing tensely. There and gone in a moment, so fast that she was left questioning the validity of what it was she had seen...

    She shook her head free of it.

    "For some, death itself is freedom."

    She held the staff before her, two handed, shifting her right foot behind her and the staff up to her left.

    "Even if it is yours."

    Ahsoka met Darth Ananke's hate-filled eyes.

    "May the Force be with us."

    Looking back at Ahsoka, her muscles and mind coiled, filling with the power of the dark side. "Enough with this." Ananke bared her teeth. And attacked.

    She reached for Arek's limp form first, suddenly, lassoing him with the Force and sweeping out on arc back to the Togruta, flailing the boy's body at the former Jedi like a rag doll toy though bearing much more weight. She was already launched into a run as she did this, thrashing down with her blade as she closed in on striking distance.

    Ahsoka seemed to have a compulsory need to keep Arek safe, so let her try. Ananke would cut right through him if need be.

    Using the weak to their advantage, Ahsoka thought. So Sith.

    Ahsoka grabbed at the young man with the Force and accelerated his motion, so that he passed clear by her the time Ananke lashed down. Ahsoka braced the blow with her staff, with both hands, and then shifted her foot to place it on the pommel of the staff, trapping it in place while her left hand reached out to catch Arek before he crashed into the wall.

    I cannot let him suffer for my failures.

    Her hand was back to the staff in the instant it took to cushion Arek, but she was fully expecting the act to cost her.

    Darth Ananke was a brutal, violent, sadistic woman, and even had Ahsoka had known her list of sins, Ahsoka could tell it from her first attack. Pure, classic, murderous Sith.

    One hand came away from the staff that blocked her and Ananke sought her opening. Shifting her weight to that same side, she slid her crimson blade along towards the area without resistance and swept down and then out, intending to knock her staff out of the way and push Ahsoka off balance at the same time. With the leg on her opposite side, she kicked out at her waist, the movement buffered by the Force to add extra power behind her foot should she connect.

    She had completely disregarded Arek and whether or not Ahsoka had managed to keep him in one piece.

    Ashoka lost the staff, which skittered to the side, and took the snap-kick, just about managing to shield herself from the worst of it. Her white robe she discarded, throwing it away as she rolled back, winded, using the cloak to hopefully distract Ananke for those precious seconds she needed to recover.

    As she did, the Force came rushing back into her now the cloak was gone; the light side of it. With a gasp, she drew back, embracing it - Ahsoka had always known that the moment she chose to oppose the darkness that she would lose her balance; she would become light against the monster before her. It was one thing to be calm and collected when away from the murder, but to face her, Ahsoka stood upright, her back to the wall, and drew her two lightsabers from her waist and ignited them; two brilliant white blades.

    [​IMG]

    She was not a Jedi.

    But she was not about to led the darkness prevail.

    Instead of rushing forward she kicked off the wall, lifting herself lightly, one blade held lower in a guard across her waist, and the other raised above her head as she slashed down at Ananke’s head, a shout as she did so.

    The battle was on.

    Light versus dark; winner take all.

    The flurry of white did not distract her, but the intensity of it in the Force - the Light, a sudden blast of it concentrated in the other female - did to a degree. A knot churned in her gut that made her skin crawl, not a second later watching as Ahsoka came back for her with a righteous resolve that she hadn't the time to pick up on before. Or maybe this was new.

    No matter. Ananke's eyes narrowed as her body turned and flowed to match the Togruta's charge, her crimson saber swinging up high just at the precise moment to clash and parry the overhead attack she was attempting. Her free hand wasted no time, knowing she was at a slight disadvantage where two weapons against one were concerned. Her palm crackled as the dark side intensified within her, almost in tandem with what she felt of its counterpoint in the light.

    Reddish-purple lightning connected her fingertips and then shot forth just as the two would make contact. Most likely it would only be absorbed by Ahsoka's second blade, but perhaps at close range she'd still take the heat of it. A Force-aided push back with both limbs and Ananke disconnected with a leap backwards, not wanting to stay too close regardless of her skill in Teräs Käsi. She couldn't afford to underestimate the former Jedi.

    Her feet hit ground again and she grabbed at the phrik sword at her back, unsheathing it and activating the laser that sizzled and hissed along the blade's edge. Now they were even.

    She spun both about with a flourish, staring Ahsoka down with a malicious grin. "Come," she beckoned, settling into a defensive pose.

    The lightning and the push kept Ahsoka busy as she rebounded from the impact of their blades, but she managed to recover and flip high and over Ananke as she drew her own second blade.

    That would be an issue.

    Ahsoka took no time to attack, a quick one-two-three, low-high-low, left-right-left blade approach, while she grabbed her discarded staff with her mind and directed it at Ananke’s ankles, intending to catch her between her feet and send her tumbling. Her eyes narrowed, and she repeated her first attack but, if at all possible, swifter than before, conscious that repeating a standard move would be dangerous, but hoping that the increased speed would account for the relatively weak assault.

    She had to go all in and try to end the duel as quickly as possible. There were other enemies and factors at work.

    Arek, in the middle of all this - he vanished. Fled, what with their focus upon each other.

    Ananke managed - only just - to parry and deflect each of Ahsoka's attacks, mirroring her with each of her own dual blades. The blocking was basic but the fire behind each strike packed a punch and the Sith knew she needed to find a way out, immediately. Of course, whether intended or not, when her opponent chose to bring the staff back into play and catch her off guard, it gave her all the opportunity she needed.

    The long weapon connected with her ankles hard, a loud crack ringing out as it smacked her low while she continued to block Ahsoka, giving ground as she did so. She lost her balance and gave into it rather than fight, as a white blade swung out for her head and she bent back into her tumble to narrowly avoid decapitation. The instant she hit the ground, she deactivated both weapons with the flick of a finger, rolling away twice before popping back up to a sitting position and reactivating them in the same movement. Like a boomerang, Ananke chucked her sword wildly at Ahsoka, for distraction or maiming. Hopefully both.

    Then, catching a rough outcropping of stone off to one side and above, she seized it in the Force with both hands and crushed. Stone shards began to rain down dangerously close to their location, and Ananke redirected the pieces to rush directly for the other.

    Ahsoka was caught flat-footed by the dodge and over-swung, just about recovering to deflect the thrown blade, sending it clattering. But Ananke had taken the moment to rain down portions of the inner cave, Ahsoka pushed up, then shifted a hand to push out at the stream heading towards her. Both attacks were caught but she didn’t have much time before more overwhelmed her defences; a flicker of her finger sent Ananke’s blade back where it had came, and Ahsoka kept it level for her throat.

    The action cost her, and a amount of the stones rushed through, peppering her and tearing at her clothes and face. Squeezing her eyes shut she tried to roll aside, and came up with her hands flared forward, thrusting with a Force push in the rough direction that Ananke had been, but prepared to open her eyes and defend.

    Forced to drop her concentration on the rain of stone, Ananke flung herself down as her sword suddenly came back around towards her. She used the Force to slow it some and knock it off its intended course, but she sacrificed a potential end to this fight in doing so. Ahsoka broke free and came at her in that smallest stretch of a moment and most if not all of her invisible push slammed into her upper half, careening her body like a pinwheel across a short distance to crash into the opposite wall. The sword slid off across the tiled mural at the center of the room and her saber hilt had been knocked from her grasp, spinning deactivated a few feet from where she now lay.

    Working her jaw, she tasted blood in her mouth and spat it aside as she came about with effort. The Togruta was waiting, though not acting, her eyes closed. It was easily sensed that she was gathering herself, some Jedi method of meditation she assumed. Ananke climbed to a knee, calling her lightsaber back into an outstretched hand as she stayed watching the other female with a penetrating gaze, looking for the slightest movement that would send them both back into combat. She could attack first, she should, seizing on the fact that Ahsoka had depleted a great deal of her energy... but so had she.

    Wait, a voice told her. Wait and see.

    Ananke slowly leaned an arm on her bent knee, beginning a series of breathing exercises that had been taught to her long ago, ones in which used the Force to bring her back her center and rest her mind - to repair and prepare when the luxury of time was not an option.

    This was not over yet, not by a long-shot.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  8. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Darth Wyyrlok I
    Scowling

    These Skywalker's... Wyyrlok absently wondered how Palpatine would have dealt with these. He certainly managed to co-opted Anakin for a time, leading him and the other Jedi by the nose for thirteen years, but other than that, how did one truly triumph over this bloodline? If the rumours from the wreckage of the Jedi Library were to be trusted, Anakin had tangled with the Ones of Mortis, and walked away alive.

    Could Wyyrlok compare to that?

    "I am not afraid to meet, no," Wyyrlok said, gruffly. He glimpsed something... a man in a monstrous armour, and Wyyrlok leaning into some kind of stasis chamber to listen to his words, and be his Voice. He cast aside the frown. He was the Dark Man now, the destined role that he was to have taken... but who from? Wyyrlok pushed the thought aside. Reality had pivoted on something, or someone, and if it wasn't Anakin nearly twenty years ago, now it was Luke.

    Wyyrlok didn't like that. Had he waited too long? He had killed Leia...

    "But why waste my time with that, Skywalker?" He allowed a smile to touch his fangs. "I have won. The Empire will be reborn in my image, with my hand on the scepter of office. You and your father - you oppose each other, inevitably so. He has fled into exile, at my request. He will return only to oppose you. We both know that your rule will never be complete as long as he lives... and I know it too."

    The reigning Dark Lord of the Sith shrugged. "I know that either of you can decide to kill me, and, inevitably so, I shall die. There is always a chance, of course, that you won't succeed, and that I might destroy either of you... especially as I have the Ultimate Weapon." Wyyrlok sneered. "I can unleash it upon Korriban, and destroy you - march around the Stygian Caldera and annhilate every ancient Sith world, and work my way through the rest - head to Roon, to Muzara, to Zakuul, to Doan, to Vjun, to Mustafar - I can destroy them all. I will destroy Korriban, for I dare not do anything else but. The ancient Sith slumber there, and they oppose the Rule of Two; they always oppose the Sith who triumph."

    Wyyrlok smirked. "Your father fled into exile for me; perhaps I might enable you to do so for me..."

    "... how about... twenty years? A detente, while you do whatever you wish, and I, whatever I wish, but with you in the shadows, while I rule the cosmos - the target that everyone goes after." A shrug. "You will inevitably want to take my Empire as your own; but what if I were to bequeath it to you, instead. It makes no sense for you and I to battle to the death; not when I hold the Death Star; not when the Rebels are still not yet defeated; not while the man who defeated Darth Sidious still lives."

    He would content himself with fifteen years, if need be. That would give him time...

    ... he was a reasonable Sith Lord, after all. For he had no desire to just be Sith.

    His calling was higher; much higher.

    TAG: @LordTroepfchen
    ---
    IC: Dark Ahsoka

    Ach-To, by the Ancient Tree of the Jedi

    Rouser reached out with his rudimentary Force powers, however Dark Ahsoka simply chuckled in that multiple-person voice, before continuing on to attack Mace. A simple nonchalant gesture grabbed at Rouser bodily and threw him, rebounding down the steps of the tree. He would fetch up just beneath the shelf where the ancient founding Jedi texts were, the books precariously tipping to land in his lap.

    "The past is what is is. No more!"

    He launched a bolt of red-lightning into the treetop, setting it alight, and advancing menacingly upon Mace.

    --
    In the depths

    They splashed, and Lyz kicked out, catching Aryan on the hip and sending him deeper into the water. She reached the surface, cursing as she realised her spasm had pushed her away from the shoreline. Reaching out, she sought to swim around where Aryan was, and prevent him grabbing at her ankle as she passed. Within moments she was there, dragging herself to the hot sand, before fishing her blaster from her pocket and looking to fire at Aryan -

    She clicked the trigger, but a watery sound emitted, and Lyz threw it aside. She turned, ready to run deeper in the cave -

    --
    Inside the Prime Jedi Temple

    Their battle modulated, with Ahsoka and Ananke darting back and forth, white blades against crimson and metal. The latter, all flame, having just burned down Coruscant; the former, holding onto the edge of her serenity with determination, as Ananke's darkness polluted this sacred place. They were not Jedi against Sith, for Ahsoka had never completed her training, and Ananke, though she had overthrown her master, had failed to kill him. Indeed, her master was never the true Dark Lord, merely the former apprentice, who had been cast aside for Tyranus, as much as Tyranus had been cast aside for Skywalker...

    ... but, even though those facts were all correct, they were not true.

    Ananke here was as much the true essence of a Sith as much as Ahsoka was the true essence of a Jedi. If anything, their refusal to adhere to form, to tradition, to the rules and regulations which had defeated their respective orders meant they were more true to their roots than many Jedi or Sith that existed today - they were the purest expressions of themselves, before the Order became more important than the Truth; before the Past override the Future of the Light and Dark.

    True Jedi against True Sith.

    Winner take all.

    The First Jedi Temple, born of the Ashla from Tython, who, having triumphed over Bogan in the Force Wars, those battles perpetrated by the introduction of the Rakata to the balanced Jedi home system, reverberated with the twinned energies competing for control of the world - perhaps even the future. They glimpsed an aged Luke Skywalker talking to Rey, and indeed darker, shadowed forces, chasing the Caretakers through the Temple with fire in their hands and crimson blades alight. Before that they glimpsed a group of individuals that came to sit, in a circle, around them.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Faces with names which had passed into history.

    The First Jedi... the last Je'daii.

    Distractions.

    Ahsoka, conscious that her code-name among the Rebels of Fulcrum was becoming more true than any other honesty she had expressed in her life, drew deeply on the light side of the Force and threw herself at Ananke, abandoning her sense of self and allowing her blades to become conduits of the Force. But even then, she was merely herself, and though she began to take the advantage, her shell began to burn out, and her mind interfered -

    She saw her death, but refused to shy from the path, if there was a mere chance she could defeat Ananke before it happened.

    TAG: @BobaMatt, @Jerjerrod-Lennox, @QueenSabe7, @HanSolo29 (combo?)
    ---
    IC: Winter

    Battle of Mandalore, Mandalore, Keldabe, or what is left of it

    The Empire's army gathered, and more ships joined the descent from the stars. The five of them had presided over the end of endings, over the death of a would be Emperor, over the devastation of a world. They were injured, tired, hungry, and dehydrated; they were battered in soul, tarred in blood and oil; their bones were exhausted, and there was a milling army on the horizon.

    Regardless of who was leading the Empire - and there sounds of battle between Stormtroopers throughout the wreckage of the City - they could keep their eyes on the handful of survivors left here.

    Winter felt her life draining out of her, and refused to let Feyna worry about her. They had come as close as possible to winning - the group were heroes, one and all, but then there was little else to add in the end. The Empire was too immense, and controlled too much of the galaxy. The Separatists had burned themselves out, and their leader had betrayed them for the Empire - again. There were no other leaders of the Separatists and the Republic and the Rebels left. Mirdala sat heavily in the dust, and grinned at Ka'rta. "Seems this is the end of road." He nodded to Linnett. "Manda'lor, it was fun while it lasted. We did well, with what we had to work with."

    And against.

    But soon more irregular shapes joined the stream down - freighters, small corvettes, mismatch fighters. They swept across the battlefield, and created a perimeter around them, with larger transports facing the advancing Imperial army. The Ghost was among them, and from it stepped out Hera, Jerod, a Coway, a group of smugglers, and even some Sun Guard, the natural rivals of the Mandalorian. The transports dropped their ramps, and a tide of red-skinned Coway charged, rushing the Stormtroopers.

    The Coway knelt to Ka'rta. "SkyWalker, we are indebted to you for saving us from the Empire - and for destroying Pomojema's Temple. Once it was gone, a great shroud lifted upon our souls that we did not realise had been there. It was you who took the Crystal from our world, and saved us from whatever foul fiend had taken our worlds heart."

    Jerod drew Linnett into a hug. "We came as fast as we could, but word spread about what happened on Takodona - to Alderaan, to Maz, to Lando, to Wedge, even to Goran and Beviin. By the time we had everyone together, Krennic had already gone live on the HoloNet. It's madness out there, guys. Everything you all lost translated into another group that wanted to step up and fight - they just needed to know that there were others out there who could. The Core is in rebellion after what Feyna broadcast, and now Coruscant is no longer calling the shots - Admiral Piett has recalled what he can, but he's commanding ashes and generally ordering his troops to withdraw Imperial civilians. But between Amedda, Graul, and Krennic, everyone has had enough of the Imperials - and because you beat the Separatists here, the Outer Rim is throwing off the droid army all over - which set off the Empire's fall."

    Owen came over the comms. "We have incoming."

    Sure enough, the group gathered and ships began to lift off and advance into the fray. A young woman came to Feyna, and helped Winter and others still aboard the Ghost. Owen was piloting, and waved to the Ka'rta and the others out the cockpit window. The woman settled in-front of Feyna, and met her eyes. She had her father's eyes, set in her mothers face. Jyn Erso. She moved away with a nod, and manned a gun.

    All the news flooded in; the Profundity and Gorgon had survived in orbit, held hostage by the Imperials. The new Star Destroyers that arrived were at each others throats, and when they began fighting, the coalition managed to capture several of them, albeit crewed by more volunteers than professional soldiers - but nobody was complaining, not now they had a dozen Star Destroyers, and worlds as far flung as Naboo and Corellia throwing their full support behind what people were already calling a New Republic. But what would draw their eye most was the tree that stood in the centre of the room which Kanan Jarrus had once taken.

    Owen and Jyn fought the battle, but it was muted; the Empire was on the back-foot, and obviously so. With the tree came Jerod, Hera, the Coway who identified herself as Bladebringer, and Feyna, Ka'rta and Linnett, not that there was much room elsewhere.

    "I am Jedi Master Ood Bnar." It's arms spread out, identifying itself as not a tree but a Neti - a rare species in the greater galaxy.

    "We have much to discuss, and a galaxy to reclaim for the light - before the Dark Man recovers."

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox, @JediMasterAnne, @TheSilentInfluence
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  9. LordTroepfchen

    LordTroepfchen Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Darth Zorn and Darth Wyyrlock
    Leaving Korriban and the Ultimate Weapon

    Zorn leaned back and smiled.

    "Okay I see. You won. Totally won. You got the ... Dead Star? Death Star? You will blow up a ... bunch of planets were failed Sith resided once ... the Empire will be yours ... you can hand it over to me ... let's cut this short. Yeah. I don't care about any of this. None of it matters. None of it. You should really return to intrigues, because as a bully you are pathetic." Zorn leaned forward. "So if you are so superior, why are you so afraid?" Zorn paused. "That is the question, is it?" Zorn lowered his voice.

    "Shall I tell you?" Zorn smiled now. "Because I know. I know what it is you truly fear. I know what is missing, deep inside of you. I know why the Chosen One and his son are something you cannot overcome. I even know what makes you whole again. Maybe my father understood, too. But I will tell you. Why shall we meet? It is your only chance to ever find it out." Zorn whispered now. "It is why Sidious failed, why he would have always have failed in the end." He came closer to the microphone. "So shall we meet, my victorious Highness? Share a few secrets, as Sith do?"

    Wyyrlok scowled. “As I said to your father, I am quite aware that someone of the Chosen One bloodline is a force to be reckoned with. It is a healthy respect of your... heritage that I have.”

    Such an arrogant pup. Admittedly, had he known that Luke would fall, then he would never have gone as far as he did - Wyyrlok preferred the face of the meek politician, rather than the malevolent villain. He’d gladly foist it upon the young waif...

    ... the galaxy was shoving a role, a truth, upon Darth Wyyrlok, and he loathed it. But he was not without his own tools. Luke was powerful and he knew it, and while there was a likelihood that Wyyrlok would prevail in a duel to the death, there was also an unlikelihood. He had been trained by three Dark Lords as a candidate for their eventual success; a true partner in their endeavours. He had inherited that, and Luke was nothing more than rival.

    His teeth arranged into a malicious grin. “Sith secrets, eh? Your father’s creation, after all, that’s one of them. You think the Sith would be passive in respect of Prophecy? That they’d merely allow it to come to pass?” He snarled. “The Sith want the Sith’ari to come to pass, but you don’t want any of it? You’re no Sith. You’re yet another failure of Maul.”

    “Let’s meet, gut each other and hand the galaxy on an aurodium platter to your father. I’ll come to you; just make sure you’re not on Korriban’s surface when I incinerate it.”

    The Death Star, the Ultimate Weapon, the Superweapon, it held at a waypoint between Kashyyyk and Korriban - part of the reason Wyyrlok had hailed Luke was that he knew the Death Star was not fast enough to reach Korriban before Luke fled - which he inevitably would, because of course the Force would warn him.

    A dozen or more communications sought out his attention; Separatist and Imperial forces at Mustafar, Bakura, Serenno, Coruscant, Naboo, Mandalore, Chandrila, among them. Wyyrlok ignored them all as he focused on Luke bloody Skywalker, trying not to be irked by that glowing child.

    "Good." Zorn cut the connection and leaned back smiling, as he felt chaos spread in the galaxy like a over-dramatic metaphor for Wyyrlock's loss of control. The man had tried to regain the upper hand. The secret of his fathers birth. There was no secret. Like so many things ... it did not matter.

    He would change the ship and use the cloaked Sith Intruder, leave the Falcon with the kids in orbit to be found by Wyyrlock and R2 and the X-Wing in back-up.

    Traps within traps, secrets upon secrets ...

    Darth Zorn prepared for the arrival of his next trial, while he forged himself in a fire of his own making.

    Tag: @Sinrebirth
     
  10. JediMasterAnne

    JediMasterAnne Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2004
    IC: Chancellor Feyna Organa
    Aboard the Ghost, Ruins of Keldabe, Mandalore

    Despite her friend’s insistence that she not worry, “Take her to the medbay,” were the first words out of Feyna’s mouth as she brought Winter on board the Ghost.

    Her own injuries were more minor, and she was so tired and sore all over that she scarcely even noticed them. It felt good to just sink into a chair, to sit down and rest without worrying about being driven up again by droids or stormtroopers.

    The battle for Mandalore wasn’t over yet, but at least reinforcements had arrived, so hopefully the fight wouldn’t last much longer. The Separatists were defeated, and the Empire was in chaos after Krennic’s damning rants. Across the galaxy, resistance was spreading, with multiple systems publicly throwing off the Empire to support a New Republic.

    They hadn’t won yet, but the tide was turning.

    The brief encounter with Erso’s daughter was a little strange for Feyna, once she realized who she was, and she wasn’t sure what to say to the young woman, or if there was anything to say.

    At any rate, Jyn went back to fighting the battle, and Feyna’s attention shifted to other concerns.

    There was a number of questions she wanted to ask Hera, but the Neti Jedi Master interjected first.

    Feyna had heard of Neti, rare though they were, and had perhaps heard passing mention of a Master T’ra Saa once or twice in her life, but not of Master Bnar. Nonetheless, she gave the Jedi a respectful bow of her head.

    “Master Jedi, I am so very sorry for your loss.”

    Considering that her situation was not so very different from his, she knew how empty and hollow the words probably sounded, but it needed to be said nonetheless.

    But they had more pressing matters to discuss, and there was one question Feyna had, that Master Bnar might actually be able to answer.

    “Master Bnar, is it true, what Amedda said about Luke, that he’s…fallen? And about the children?”

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @TheSilentInfluence @galactic-vagabond422
     
  11. HanSolo29

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

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    The following is a combo with Sinre – it's always a pleasure!

    IC: Aryan & Lyz Graul

    Cave, Ach-To

    From above, it had been hard to tell how deep the pit truly was, or what rested at the bottom of its depths. By pushing Lyz over the edge to meet her fate, Aryan had merely assumed that it would be steep enough to finish her off. The fact that she had scrambled at the last minute to take him with her into hell did not change his belief that this would be the end; it seemed nearly impossible for them to survive such a towering fall.

    And so, it came as an unexpected surprise when the narrow cavity opened up and deposited them into the cool waters of an underground spring. The initial shock of the impact brought with it disorientation and fear as he kicked his legs and flailed his arms in an effort to right himself in the water. He was vaguely aware of a sharp jab to his side that propelled him even further away from the surface. No doubt it was Lyz trying to regain the advantage and make her escape.

    He would not let her. If anything, her attempt to hinder his progress only strengthened his resolve.

    With clenched teeth, Aryan lifted his chin toward the light refracting upon the surface and gave a mighty kick to emerge a short time later. Water droplets splashed in his face and he gulped hungrily on the air with an audible gasp before he started to swim toward the rocky shore.

    As he reached the edge and crawled forward on his hands and knees, he noted that they were in the midst of an expansive cavern. It was truly a magnificent sight, but he did not have the chance to marvel at it complexities; an ominous shadow soon loomed over him. Craning his neck, Aryan looked up to meet Lyz’s gaze as she stood over him with a hold-out blaster leveled at his forehead.

    “How quaint,” Aryan muttered under his breath, his mouth curling upward in a sneer. It was intended as a challenge, almost as if he wanted her to depress the trigger and finish the job.

    And for once, she did not disappoint him. Her shot would have surely delivered the killing blow, had the blaster not clicked harmlessly with a watery discharge. Lyz gaped at the malfunctioning weapon and quickly discarded it, now seemingly desperate. She looked at Aryan one last time, and then turned to run deeper into the cave.

    Aryan allowed himself a derisive scoff as he rose swiftly to his feet to follow her. His waterlogged suit coat was proving cumbersome with his movements, and he shrugged it off and hastily tossed it aside before charging after her at a sprint.

    It didn’t take long for him to overtake her, and he lunged, wrapping his arms around her torso and bringing them both tumbling to the stony floor.

    Run, run, run. Aryan's gone mad. Find somewhere to hide. Find something to hit him with.

    She was running through a mental checklist to keep herself balanced, even though she was winded, wet, and battered. But, it was a nondescript cave, all shadows, though she thought she had glimpsed something reflective at the end of the tunnel.

    But then a heavy weight, Lyz and him fell, and she hissed as she skinned herself through the elbows of her garments. She managed to turn before her chin caught the floor, landing heavily, and kicked him in the stomach, trying to push him off her; she bit at his hands; thrashed her arms.

    "Give up, Aryan! You can't even kill me without help. Are you sure Ananke didn't hold your hand while you offed Sentan?"

    Despite the blow to the stomach that winded him and temporarily pushed him on his side, and the blood seeping from the lacerations on the back of his hand where she had bitten him, Aryan somehow found the strength and the will to come back at her with a renewed intensity. Her taunting caused something to snap inside his mind, relieving him of any lingering doubt. He had become numb, and his actions were now being driven by a pure, animal instinct.

    With a feral growl, Aryan responded to her words by lunging forward and slamming her shoulder into the stone surface with enough force to cause injury. “You still doubt me?!” he hissed through clenched teeth, adjusting his weight so that he was now straddling her. He then brought his hand down to press her cheek against the ground.

    “Sentan expressed far more dignity in his last moments than you ever will,” Aryan continued darkly, leaning down so that his lips were practically touching her ear. “He may have been a fool and a coward, but at least he had the nerve to look me straight in the eye as I slit his throat and watched his life slip away.

    “And do you know what I said to him while he bled out on the floor at my feet?” He allowed a grim chuckle to escape his lips as he pulled back slightly. “‘Such a waste.’ Under the circumstances, I would say that the same would apply to you, Lyz – how ironic. He left me with no choice...and now, neither have you.”

    Reaching down, he enclosed his hands around her neck and began to apply pressure.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  12. galactic-vagabond422

    galactic-vagabond422 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2009
    IC: Ka'rta
    Mandalore

    More ships streamed down from above. So much for the Empire fighting itself. Their foes continued to grow, but she refused to sit down, refused to give up. She would fight until there was no more life left in her, though she could feel it slowly fading. Once again she turned to her old friend, anger, rage at watching her enemies take her reclaimed home out from under her. A Mirdala sunk to the ground she shouted at the sky.

    "Come on, we're right here." There was a growing puddle of blood around her feet, dridding from the piece of metal that continued to protrude from her side, letting blood flow in small rivulets down her side and fall into the dusty ground. Under her helmet her face was more pale than usual her mind clouded holding onto the rage that had gotten so far. Even staring down an army she wasn't going to lay down and let them roll over her.

    With gritted teeth she took a step, towards the massing forces, before she could take another one, the shadow of irregular ships fell upon her. Looking up she saw freighters, fighters and corvettes descending from above. Were these more enemies come to take more of her home, to squabble with the empire for the ashes? She steeled herself for the final fight, watching the ramps lower. Seeing Jerrod descending, and Owen in the cockpit, she dropped to her good knee, tears in her eyes. A strong, but not too strong arm tucked under her shoulders.

    "Stand up Vode." Mirdala said lifting her up.

    "You're one to talk." She snapped back, still letting him help her up.

    A tide of Conway roll out from a transport crashing into the lines of stormtroopers. One of their number kneeling before her, thanking her for freeing their planet from whatever that monster was in the temple. The place everything turned, the moment she could have just stood to the side and let it possess Madelyn, something at times she felt she should have done, so many times. Let the darkness wash over the young woman and turn her against everything she ever believed.

    They finally came, they finally showed up. For once in her life, luck, fate, whatever it was chose to favor her, there was a moment everything could have turned against her as it had from the beginning. And now if finally chose to support her. She couldn't help the bit of pain in her chest when Jerrod embraced Madelyn first, something else for the young woman to take from her.

    They didn't have time to be angry to stand around waiting, they needed to move, and Ka'rta moved with the Manda'lor. On the ship she fround the medical bay and started taking off her armor. Mirdala helped, having some experience getting her out of her armor. When it came to the chest plates they would have to be quick. Removed the metal pull the armor off and quickly apply something to fill the wound.

    She raised her arms above her head and nodded to Mirdala. He returned in and gripped the shard tightly. With a heave she grit her teeth growling to control the pain. There wasn't time for anything else. He along with anyone else that chose to assist quickly lifted the armor off along with the shirt. The full extent of her injuries were put on display, bruises, cuts that went unnoticed, other abrasions. Hidden among them small little mementos of a moment shared between the two mandalorians in a cramped space. Without pause Mirdala shoved more gauze infused with bacta into the large wound in her side.

    Another growl rumbled up from the back of her throat as she looked him in the eyes. His gaze moved down for just a moment to the bruise on her neck, then back to her.

    "Memories later." She ground out. A few more pain filled sounds left her chest as they saw to the rest of her, her knee, swollen and bruised, put into a brace and wrapped in bandages. She wasn't getting back into her armor right away, she needed time to heal, at least a little bit. Mirdala pulled a blanket over her.

    "I'll find some clothes for you."

    "What, nervous?" she said delirious from the pain leaving her body.

    "Rest now," he shook his head, turning away leaving her to rest while the others talked.

    TAG: @TheSilentInfluence @JediMasterAnne @Sinrebirth
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  13. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    A Fight, with Sinre. @};-

    IC: Ahsoka Tano & Darth Ananke

    Island Temple, Ach-To

    All Ananke could hear was the sound of her own breathing - each breath steady and deep, each one pooling more darkness into her personal energies. Slowly shifting her weight, she rolled her neck with a grimace as a tender stab ran down the side that had collided with the wall. Her body was battered to the point of noticeable pain, but that would be used to her advantage. What would little Ahsoka do with her wounds, being as good and Jedi-like as she was... would she feed off of them same as she? Or would she not have the courage to cross her own moral boundaries in order to survive?

    The self-sacrificing of the Light was ridiculously predictable.

    Her eyes stayed level at the other female, silence and anticipation stretching out between them. Building, as did the eerie ebb and flow of this sacred place. Not sacred to her, of course, but it was somewhere profound. History permeated the very air she drew into her lungs and unsurprisingly, though just as unsettling, images similar to the old man and girl she had glanced upon entering this room began to materialize around her.

    Panic and struggles from other battles long ago danced along the walls, the faint hiss of lightsabers whispered to her ears, and ghostly signatures fanned out at equal points at the edges of the cavern to surround both her and Ahsoka... she did not regard them long. This was clearly a Jedi Temple, after all, and she was the antithesis of what this place had been built for, and this was all the way of the Light to distract the Dark.

    Mind games of the Jedi that she saw right through, sensing a sudden flash of energy released from the Togruta as she picked up and charged, pushing them back into play. Ananke had already known what she needed to do.

    In the time it took Ahsoka to leap straight for her, weapons ready to do their righteous worst, the Sith whipped forward with both hands to rocket an invisible wall out between them. This wasn't to return the powerful shove she had received minutes ago, but to envelope her opponent in total suspension - to lock her in place as if she was bound and frozen. If this succeeded, Ananke had kept one hand high and her concentration aimed for Ahsoka's throat, ready to wrap her airway in the Force and squeeze...

    Ashoka was caught, mainly surprised, but she pushed back with the momentum she had in the Force; the light behind her. Her momentary panic was eclipsed by strength, and the paralysis was surpassed - in time for her throat to be caught.

    She dropped, releasing her sabers for a moment, which clattered to the stone floor by her knees as she fell to them. Her hands reached for her throat and she sought the serenity to undo the clasp on her, but Ashoka was unable to - and so see drew on the Force, for her to whip a hand out at Ananke and splay her fingers.

    Emerald Force lightning burst free; the so-called Electric Judgment that her one-time Master Plo Koon her discovered in his desire to paralyse a foe rather than injure them with burning agony up their nerves.

    It was the first time she had ever done this; indeed the Jedi skill was particularly rare - but she had always known that she had this ability within her; but never had she expected it to be facing Darth Maul’s apprentice.

    It was as if Master Plo was guiding her in this fight. This so important battle.

    The green shards of lightning ensnared Ananke, and the hand she had used to latch onto Ahsoka's throat reflexively snapped shut into a closed fist as the electric currents wracked her body. Every muscle seized and the saber hilt in her opposite hand sprung to life as her fingers clamped down over the activation switch. For a moment, a brief one, she thought this was it - this was her end, bested by a being that couldn't even hack it as a Jedi. But she had caught her by surprise, a lapse on Ananke's part that she would pay for dearly...

    Not. Today.

    A voice broke through the pain that was threatening to overwhelm her. It was her own and it was enough to bring her out of her bout of self-pity, pushing her to remember she was still alive enough to fight.

    The effort it took her to move would exhaust so much of what energy she had left, but she had to break free somehow or she would surely die. Screaming though she couldn't hear much of herself, she brought her crimson blade up and across her front in an attempt to redirect the lightning into the lightsaber - energy absorbing energy. Once it connected, she was released from Ahsoka's attack though in turn, Ahsoka was released from Ananke's.

    Weapon still held out before her, she collapsed to the ground, her legs tingling and numb, the singed remains of her jacket and top sending wafts of smoke up into the air above. Still having the mind to call her discarded sword back into her open hand, Ananke hunched forward and glared at the Togruta, her amber eyes having painted over with a orange-gold.

    Ahsoka dropped to the floor, gasping. She panted, holding her throat and reaching for her hilt. She backed away from Ananke, igniting her white blade and holding it before her.

    She backed away and looked at her surroundings. It was time to get inventive, though she was hardly going to speak for the next few days. The battle was hardly over, and she pointed the lightsaber at the mosaic, dislodging the small tiles and pointing at Ananke - the stream of small fragments ripped the image of the Prime Jedi from the floor, and hurtled at the Sith.

    Crossing her forearms out in front of her, Ananke dug deep and conjured a shield in the Force just in time for the tiny projectiles to reach her. They battered her unseen barrier like hail, and she could feel the reverberations of each as they hit.

    Shooting to her feet with a small kickoff, her hands jutted straight forward and then pulled back to fan out to her sides before she swung them back together again in front of her with a ringing clap as her weapons hit. With this motion the tiles that had already struck her barrier were now seized under her control and she flung them back at Ahsoka, charging in on her to close the gap between them. Both her blades reactivated and she was a crimson blur as she set upon the other.

    Still backing away, Ahsoka gestured forward, parting the stream of clay and bringing her sole blade to block - but her mind was already reaching for her discarded hilt; the one which Ananke had rushed by as she attacked, and Ahsoka activated it, sending it towards the Sith’s back, even as she gestured for the staff to lunge, tip first, at Ananke’s head.

    All Ahsoka had to do was block, and this would, hopefully, be over. Fatigue gnawed at her, and she still couldn’t talk - blocking was exhausting her, what with her mental exertion now.

    If this didn’t work, Ahsoka wasn’t sure what she was going to do. Ananke was fire, and Ahsoka was trying to be the water which doused her - but she was just too much flame.

    All dragon, having burned down Coruscant not a day ago.

    Ananke had to throw herself down as she sensed the rear attack and not a moment too soon, the white blade whirring by overhead and clipping a chunk off her hair that had trailed after her as she fell. Though of course, that didn't account for the staff, this time succeeding in catching her. One end rocked her beneath her jaw and her teeth clattered together with an internal cracking sound, certainly breaking more than one as blood pooled in her mouth and shards of pain lanced at her head.

    One moment she was lunging in for a kill, and now she was splayed out on this cursed Temple floor as Ahsoka was surely coming down to end this. She couldn't just lie there and die like a coward. Again, she would never give up until she was dead.

    Clearly the surge of tiles had fallen away the moment she had been whacked in the face by the staff, so from her prone position mere feet from the Togruta she pushed off and spun so that her feet were in front of her, twisting her body to be face-up as she moved. A quick kip back up to her feet and Ananke's saber swung out for Ahsoka's montrals as her sword mimicked the same towards her midsection - both weapons were like a pair of scissors opening, swiping in-to-out.

    Ahsoka hadn't expected Ananke to dodge the attack to her rear, hoping the woman would catch the staff attack first and miss the other. Of course, such things went the way they did, and Ahsoka was ill-prepared to properly block her own saber. She clumsily, one-handed, raised her weapon, sending the blade spinning away. Ahsoka had to drop to her knees to stop it nicking her own shoulder, but even then the tip grazed her, sending a wince through the Togruta.

    That gave Ananke the chance to counter attack, and Ahsoka was still trying to stand and reassert her defences when the woman rushed her. Ahsoka caught the montral-swipe but only had one blade - the second caught her midsection, and Ahsoka blinked, surprised -

    As so many battles between two surprisingly evenly matched foes went, it ended with terrible suddenness. But the fact was that Ahsoka could ill defend two blades while still winded by being unable to breath through a swelling throat, that she had been distracted by her own lightsaber, trying to pull off a feat of telekinesis while battered, and Ananke, well, she was just so angry.

    Ahsoka found herself meeting Ananke's eyes, and, blood dribbling from her lips, managed to whisper. "Anakin - "

    She toppled.

    Truthfully, she hadn't expected either of her strikes to land. The way this fight had gone, it had become a teetering point, moments where Ananke thought she would win matched with moments she saw her own death. This last segment especially, she had lost hold of the anger that made her and felt it slip into the fear that could break her - she had to attribute what had just happened to the will of the Force, or sheer luck. Because it could have easily gone the other way, and she was not so proud to not see that.

    Ahsoka crumpled almost before Ananke recognized what the other female had said, everything catching up to her as it did, along with the heated pulses of agony that were emanating from her jaw and she fell to her knees beside her. Her weapons extinguished and she quickly replaced them on her person, though not without a grimace and moan, before giving a sweep of one hand to call both of Ahsoka's hilts to her own.

    "Anakin can't save you," she muttered awkwardly through the swelling, her lungs burning with each rush of air in her hurried breaths. "Nothing can. I warned you, Lady Tano..."

    Ananke spit blood to her side and leaned forward slightly, as it was all she could manage, seething through partially broken and red-coated teeth. "I warned you."

    Yes, the battle had been a moment of violence; to have it end at all was the definition of an anticlimax. Such dances of life and death seemed to be unending, the two components making a song that was a crescendo and energy. But everything always ended at some point - it was about how it ended, and... after which mattered.

    Ahsoka’s eyes unfocused, and she looked up at and through Ananke. “You warned me; you did. But I’ll warn you, as a thanks.”

    The Togruta strained against the pain, narrowing her eyes and trying not to surrender to the black. “The dark side consumes and consumes and consumes and it takes all that you have.” She gasped a little. “I know how you burned Coruscant; I can feel the red flame within you... you’re a monster... but even fire needs...”

    “... kindling.”


    Ahsoka began to fade, in consciousness and form. For a moment she shared with Ananke what was to come. This world, it sat on the fulcrum of light and dark. Between -

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  14. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Darth Wyyrlok
    Paxis and Taral, Judicar, Caedus, and finally, Acheron

    The ancient words of Atrisian and Sith lore, touched upon in the writings surrounding the Dark Man and the times long gone, swirled around Darth Wyyrlok I.

    He had sought to become something greater than he was, and, had fallen. He was the forever back-up; never had Darth Wyyrlok been intended to be the one who would break the wheel and usher in the end. He was frantically collecting his thoughts, trying to decide on a way to thwart Luke Skywalker, once and for all.

    But there was a terrible realisation nagging at him; that what he had thought of as the Twilight of the Force was nothing more than the Fall of Luke Skywalker. This was the prologue to the epitaph of the galaxy, written by Darth Wyyrlok, who was briefly architect and narrator, and then merely the designated fool who would hand responsibility for the end to the true Dark Man.

    He had been usurped, but he would not accept his fate.

    A pair of preparations would be made, and then his shuttle; armoured, shielded, with many a countermeasure and stealth technology attributed to it, arrived at the Horuset system. He didn't care whatever plan or scheme Skywalker had assembled. He was no coward. They would come to an understanding, or one would die.

    Darth Wyyrlok, the great manipulator and brief inheritor of the legacy of Darth Sidious, grimaced. He checked his lightsabers, checked himself, and nodded.

    "Let us head to the surface and speak, Skywalker. We cannot exist as mere competitors; not anymore. Your father has abandoned his responsibility to him; you are his legacy, and indeed mine. I am your father, insofar as much Palpatine could have been said to have fathered Anakin Skywalker... not this stillborn Sith that he is, railing against the inadequacies of the galaxy he saved and judges."

    Keeping his material defenses up, Darth Wyyrlok smirked. "You're not afraid of me, are you?"

    TAG: @LordTroepfchen
    ---
    IC: Ood Bnar

    Battle of Mandalore; the ending, briefing room, the Ghost

    The wizened Jedi Master nodded, slowly. He was old, and Neti were not renowned for their speed and pace anyway. “Master Bnar, is it true, what Amedda said about Luke, that he’s…fallen? And about the children?”

    "It is, Chancellor Organa," the Jedi Master lamented. He eyed General Syndulla, and the Coway. Jerod was with Ka'rta and Mirdala, ushering the latter out of the room as he returned. The ship was steady, but occasionally a bolt would be fired, shaking the ship. Linnett was not spoken for, but she was Mandalore, and so she would speak for herself. From all accounts, the battle was won, and the Empire just had to realise it.

    "The galaxy is calling out for an end to the war, and indeed to the Galactic Cold War that precipitated it. The Five Crime Families have had freedom to do what they wish in the Neutral Worlds for two decades... the Empire and Separatists have brought the galaxy to its knees... the terrible devices of the Emperor have destroyed Alderaan, ravaged Kashyyyk, and the pursuit of the Crystal has devastated Mimban, Takodona and Mandalore." Ood Bnar curled and unfurled a branch-like appendage. "We have an opportunity to create a New Republic, to start over..."

    "... notwithstanding what has happened with Skywalker. Anakin is out there, somewhere. He will ill-allow his son to wreck havoc on the galaxy, even if he requires solitude to balance himself. With that in mind, I intend to apologise in advance of what I need to do now." An appendage tapped a control, and a full-size hologram appeared.

    [​IMG]

    It was Fleet Admiral Piett of the Galactic Empire; the most senior officer left in the Empire. He had been waiting on them, and seemingly for long enough to sag slightly; he immediately straightened, casting his eyes around the room and seeking out them. "Chancellor, I am grateful for you accepting my call."

    Hera responded first, arms folded. "She hasn't, not yet. Master Bnar has sprung this upon us."

    Piett's eyes sought out the Neti, who shrugged, human-style. "But one wonders if it may be worth talking..."

    "... if there is something worth saying," Hera cut him off.

    "Will a surrender be sufficient?" Piett said, softly. Hera's eyes widened, and Bnar released a kind of sigh; the Neti equivalent of some gesture that Hera didn't know. Or a human analog to relief? The room turned to look at Feyna Organa, suddenly the most experienced politician in the room.

    TAG: @JediMasterAnne, @TheSilentInfluence
    ---
    Medbay, aboard the Ghost

    Jerod placed herself at the end of the bed. "She won't be happy not to be in that room, speaking for Mandalore."

    Mirdala didn't really know what to say. He didn't really know who she was. "I don't know if Ka'rta can hear us."

    "I am sure she can," Jerod said, soothingly. "She's strong."

    The man's eyes drifted to her. "She is."

    "Too strong to step back from her responsibilities..." Jerod smiled. "Or just stubborn."

    "Strong," Mirdala said, softly insistent.

    "Strong indeed," Jerod said, with a smile. "Strong enough to deserve a break... maybe even some happiness. I heard that she carried the battle down there; the Coway only intervened because of what she did on Mimban. She's done a lot more than she ever wanted. If that chat in there ends the war, then in a year or two mercenary work will be gone, even peacekeeping. I'm retiring after this; I'd like to do so knowing that someone has Mirdala's back."

    An allusion which reminded Mirdala of something or other that he wouldn't be sharing with Jerod, but drew a smirk from the corner of his lips.

    Jerod pointedly ignored the smile.

    He merely looked to her. "It's not my decision."

    TAG: @galactic-vagabond422
    ---
    IC: Arek Graul

    Ach-To, The Cave of Darkness

    Hands took her throat, and Lyz Graul felt the darkness consume the edges of her vision. She kicked, and struggled, but Aryan had her. There were no points of leverage; nothing nearby she could grab - the sand of the beach had already given way to stone, and she could hardly claw a clod free while struggling not to asphyxiate. She was on the verge of letting go -

    "STOP IT!"

    The voice boomed and then seized Aryan bodily and threw him into bodily into the wall with force - with the Force. The unseen grip of Arek Graul had intervened, and Lyz fell there, gasping. Drawing her feet under her, she finally saw what she had been looking for; a stone, as large as her fist. She picked it up, wheeled on Aryan -

    "Enough, mom!" He gestured, and he vised the rock from her hands; it landed with a plop in the water behind them. Lyz glared at him, standing on the beech.

    "So you did survive Takodona. I had hoped you associating with that woman would see you killed."

    He looked sadly at her. "It was a close thing." He lifted a hand, and held her throat with the Force - not to strangle her, but merely to stop her talking. Lyz frowned, and clawed at her neck, already conscious of the bruises rising up on her skin from Aryan's rough handling of her.

    "Dad..." Arek said. "This is your very last chance to get this right."

    --
    Ach-To, the Temple Cave of the Prime Jedi

    Ahsoka Tano, the woman who was never a Jedi, but was more true to the Force than many, stared sadly at Darth Ananke, and then, without ceremony, faded away, vanishing into the Force. There would be a terrible, terrible quiet - a yaw in the Force where Ahsoka had once been. A sadness reverberated into the Force; an avian had been watching - Morai.

    Perched up high, the bird had escaped the battle between Dark Ahsoka, Mace and Rouser to come here - but too late. Her eyes quizzically took in Ananke, and then she turned to go. There was not much else to add, or to see, or even to say, if Morai could have spoken. Morai had saved Ahsoka from death to bring them all here, and here they were. She could only lament that she had used such a passionate woman.

    But the Force was out of balance; indeed it was entirely broken from the path it should have taken.

    And there were no Celestials to re-balance it.

    Eventually... the Force would snap back.

    But that left Ananke, the woman who had killed a great Jedi, burned down Coruscant, massacred a community on Takodona, killed an Emperor - or, rather, killed a decoy, and -

    Arek's Force presence surged into the Force, and indeed there was a permutation of Rouser between an unfamiliar Jedi signature and another unfamiliar dark one. Ananke's only stake in that fight was Rouser, who she would recognise from Takodona, but then Arek was by...

    His mother and father.

    Ananke's future bifurcated again, but at least she had a moment to breathe.

    A moment.

    TAG: @QueenSabe7, @HanSolo29, @Jerjerrod-Lennox (outstanding tag), @BobaMatt (outstanding tag too)
     
  15. TheSilentInfluence

    TheSilentInfluence Silent and Friendly Mod of SWTV and SWC. star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jul 15, 2014
    IC: Madelyn Linnett
    Paxis and Taral, Judicar, Caedus, and finally, Acheron


    Madelyn had been relieved, the Jedi; everyone had come to them. They had won. At least temporarily. They were safe. And while Ka'rta was injured, while she herself was injured; Madelyn stood in the room filled with hope. And that the Empire would finally surrender. But there was something nagging on her mind; would she ever learn to rule effectively? Especially with the Jedi back in the picture. I need to meditate on this.

    Madelyn leaned against a wall and watched the conversations take place, and payed attention when Hera started to speak to to Admiral Piett. "That depends on what the terms of your surrender are Admiral." Madelyn spoke up, crossing her arms and tilting her head to the side. There was dried blood on her cheek and she really should have gotten it cleaned up; but until the Chancellor got into the room she may as well try to get some information out of him.

    Tag: @Sinrebirth @JediMasterAnne
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  16. JediMasterAnne

    JediMasterAnne Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2004
    IC: Chancellor Feyna Organa
    Aboard the Ghost, Ruins of Keldabe, Mandalore

    Master Bnar had confirmed Amedda’s revelation about Luke; he had indeed gone over to the dark side. The boy Feyna had grown up with was as good as dead.

    Another twist of the knife, and another pang of guilt—Anakin had lost Padme and Leia to the Death Star, Luke to the dark side. Feyna had heard no news of Obi-Wan since Alderaan, but if he had not made contact by now, then he was probably dead, too. And she and Anakin had not parted on good terms, either. They’d both lost so much, but instead of working through it together, Feyna had driven a wedge between them in a moment of foolish temper. She still had Winter to turn to—but who did Anakin have left?

    Bnar drew her back out of her wallowing, unexpectedly opening a comm channel. A life-sized hologram of a man in Imperial uniform appeared, and he had apparently been waiting a while.

    Admiral Piett, of the Imperial Navy.

    And he was calling to…surrender?

    Feyna’s expression remained neutral, more a result of exhaustion than any level of self-control, but her surprise was shared by the others in the room. And was it her imagination (or possibly she was misreading his body language), or did Master Bnar seem relieved? Had he been expecting something different?

    That the Empire would surrender to the tattered remnants of the Republic almost seemed like too much to hope for, too good to be true, but public opinion was turned against the Empire, and Piett appeared to know it.

    They could end this here, now.

    Linnett had arrived in the briefing room as Piett had been patched through, and was inquiring as to his terms, but Feyna didn’t want to give Piett too much room for leverage. She straightened, folding her arms in front of her. “I’m willing to consider your unconditional surrender, Admiral.”

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @TheSilentInfluence
     
    Jerjerrod-Lennox likes this.
  17. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    A little chit-chat with Sinre.

    IC: Ananke & Braata (holocron)

    Cave Temple, Island, Ach-To

    As averted to the light as Ananke was, she still felt it. Felt her, Ahsoka Tano, fade away into oblivion.

    A gaping wound in the Force was the marker left behind where Ahsoka had been, and though it did not sadden her, it did bring her up short. Where there was a purity to the energies that filled the island, now she could feel a lean into chaos and uncertainty... as if tilted off balance. The depth of this single loss reverberated in the Jedi's sacred place, this Temple, and she could feel its reach echo far behind her immediate surroundings. It was profound.

    But it was over.

    Still on her knees next to the togruta's corpse, Ananke twisted and melted the rest of the way down to lay on her back, shoulder to shoulder with her former adversary. She had expelled so much energy just to survive this confrontation, she had too, and now she was left feeling depleted and her pain mounting. The next step was completely unknown to her, as was her true purpose for being here, if all there was left was to rip the life force from Rouser and seek vengeance on the Grauls.... all three of them, eventually.

    That was what her life had been about at its core, never the Sith agenda or some bigger cause that would ensnare the galaxy - she was vengeance and revenge, personal justice, a force of nature.

    Each breath sending stabbing discomfort along her battered side - she was fairly sure there was a broken rib or two beneath her skin - Ananke picked up on Arek's signature unfurling into a storm close by. Rolling to her side with a growl, the brat's long overdue death pictured in her mind's eye, she inadvertently turned onto a precious item that she had forgotten she had stowed about her person. It pressed harshly into her rib cage and she cried out, returning to her back and reaching into her pocket. Taking a few, shaky deep breaths, she produced her holocron after a beat, which she had half a mind to shatter into hundreds of pieces but of course, did not.

    Holding it above her head, she glared at it, unable to move again just yet as tremors wracked her body from disrupting her injury. "I wonder, what was your fate, Braata? Like mine? Broken by a wannabe Jedi?" she chuckled but the sound quickly dissolved into a whining cough, a drop of blood trickling down her chin as she quieted, dropping the ancient artifact to the ground beside her.

    “Broken by my Masters, rather.” Braata responded with a quip. The cloaked woman regarded the bloody tableau. “This place reminds me of much. A light expires before a dark; all you had in common was an interaction through a single Master.”

    “But that isn’t relevant now, is it?” Braata cast a gaze around. “Here is a place where dark and light meet; a realm Between. I heard Ahsoka Tano all but say it. Here is love where things can happen... yet here is where serendipity has carried you, as well as the others.”

    “It reminds me of a story of the Masters...”
    Braata mused. “Of the Twilight Wars. Not that we ever knew what happened in full, just that the world was changed, and we were heretics in the Grand Design.”

    A soft snort. “I have a question for you, too.”

    Ananke had drug her top half up a bit, propped on one elbow as she peered at the familiar image emanating from her holocron. The presence was speaking about things she had no context for, so they just swam in and out of her mind, which was fine. Her thoughts were muddied as it was, though she tried to keep note of Arek's whereabouts regardless.

    "Ah, so now you decide to chat," she snipped, licking crusted blood from her lips and wincing as she leaned a little to far to her right. "Seeing someone like me in this state must be amusing to you then." Her fingers began gingerly needling a few tender spots to better assess any internal damage.

    "Go on then, I've got a moment." More like she needed a moment. Or two.

    Bristling in spite of itself, Braata nonetheless ignored her sarcasm, focusing on the point. "Why Darth Ananke? Did Maul select it, or did you?" It was a small question, an almost pointless one today. It also wasn't her real question. There was one other, unimportant question yet. "I appreciate that was two questions, but I must confess that I have a third."

    Ananke stiffened marginally at the mention of Maul, casting a quick glance over her shoulder towards the cooling body on her opposite side. With a resigned sigh, she continued her self-examination and returned her stare to Braata. Curious choice in question at a time like this, but she formed an answer nonetheless.

    "I chose it," she scoffed. "He'd never have been able to select a proper name, so I never gave him the chance." Her face tightened as her anger began to flare. "Ananke is fate, necessity, inevitability. She was a primordial deity from so long ago she was practically lost to time, forgotten. But not to me. She is me, always has been. Always will."

    Her pulse having slowed to a more regular rate, she slowly pushed the rest of the way up to a sitting position and began the process of regulating her pain inflow to restore her energy. "Why are you so interested in a name? Did you choose your own?"

    “Fate,” Braata seemed amused. “Oh, yes, you are indeed fate incarnate. Of that I have little doubt. You crash upon the galaxy like a wave, erasing all in your path. To displeasure you is to court death.”

    “My name? Oh, no. I did not choose mine. The Master of Masters, he bequeathed it, but perhaps I merely inherited it.” A shrug.

    “What I am and was, it is never clear. I am my own person, yet never was I. I am birth and rebirth and reborn. To become Braata was to steal one fate for another; to overlay myself upon what laid in-front of another. In this particular realm, you see, we steal fates that were not ours to have. What was meant to happen, it has changed - you as you are now is not how you were supposed to be. Why, were you even supposed to be?”

    This was the most riddled a riddle had ever been. It was a riddle made of what was, what should have been, what could have been, and what had yet to happen. She paused. Ananke would likely recognise that her last question was rhetorical, though there would be some potential that her dirge, her lament, her words - they would drift over the woman’s head.

    That was fine. Inevitably, in the years to come, Ananke would understand.

    Braata came more to the point; the only point that mattered; the one which would tell her where he was. “How did I come to be in your possession? I am too valuable to merely be abandoned.”

    "Well, it seems you pretty much were. Abandoned." Ananke had again brushed away Braata's ramblings and riddles, successfully returning to her feet to straighten her clothing and discard what was too damaged to salvage. Her tattered jacket was tossed upon Ahsoka to cover her face - how she still seemed to be judging her, even in death, was unnerving. Being careful as she began to return her sword sheath to her back, she looked down at the cloaked holo image with a raised brow.

    "I discovered you with the decoy Emperor I killed." Technically it had been Arb, but what would that matter to a holocron. "You were stashed beneath his pillow, I am assuming the actual owner - Amedda, or Wyyrlok, whichever - misplaced you, or meant for me to find you. If it is the latter, I couldn't fathom as to why or for what purpose..."

    Ananke was beginning to feel re-centered, her injuries fueling her recovery. Even if it were temporary, which it certainly was, she didn't need long. "If I was... meant to have you, any guesses as to why?" She knew the device held many secrets but since she had been handed the holocron by her trusted lieutenant, she'd barely any time to truly sit and try to uncover them. Perhaps just coming out and asking Braata could get her there faster. A shortcut for answers.

    Braata frowned, but that was not evident on her face, what with it being behind the hood. "You literally found me under a pillow. You, yourself? What possessed you to paw through a dead Emperor's bed?" The question was both rhetorical or not.

    "Oh, I have some guesses. But it seems to be connected to that archaeologist Rouser and your good friend Aryan Graul." Braata paused. "Did you know that Force users who possess a similar mental signature will feel a resonance? It's the reason why you cannot clone Force users - the pressure breaks the mind. Similarly, a clone that is grown too quickly will not form a strong enough sense of self to hold off insanity."

    "Did you not feel pain when you arrived here, a strange but brief moment which drove your apprentice to the edge of madness?"


    "Does it not seem strange that you found me under a pillow? Out of all the artifacts in the Emperor's possession - and the Emperor succeeded Darth Sidious, one of the most powerful Dark Lords? And even now, now we both know the Emperor is not dead, does it not make you wonder?"

    "Of course it makes me wonder!" Ananke snapped, snatching up Ahsoka's discarded cloak and beginning to tear away a single, long section of the white fabric. "I know you've only just begun to take interest in all that has been happening, but I haven't had much time to ponder the goings-on of everyone who claims to be Sith." With a sudden yank, she ripped the strip away from the rest, the garment pooling back to the ground once she released it from her grasp.

    "I felt it, very much so," she continued through clenched teeth, narrowing her eyes at the holocron. She started to wrap her midsection tightly with the piece of cloth in order to stabilize her fractured ribs. This time, however, she wouldn't grimace at the stabs of pain with each added layer. A deep breath in, releasing slowly, repeat.

    "And through everything, I have ended up here. Now. The reasons for that are someplace close by. So, if you have something of importance to tell me, some piece of knowledge that I need, now would be the perfect time to pass it along." Ananke finished at her waist and turned her head in the direction of Arek's signature in the Force, both his father and that of Rouser pressed in on her more clearly than before. "And I do not have an apprentice, he is merely a pawn that has worn out his usefulness..."

    Braata allowed Ananke’s snarl to echo in the cave-Temple. It reverberated from the walls, before it finally faded. “It’s obvious now,” she said, as the next puzzle piece fell. “There is no way that the Emperor - this Dark Man - would leave something as valuable as a Holocron of Heresies behind for you to collect. Whoever gave you this Holocron is manipulating you. They’ve set you on a terrible path - maybe all of you.”

    “Each of you, here, and now, on Ach-To, are here because of someone’s game. The Box; me; you; Rouser; the Grauls; the Dark Man; Typhojem; the Skywalkers... undoubtedly the Organas, the Jedi, the Mandalorians; the Sith... maybe even the Celestials themselves were the puppet masters toys - and whatever great and terrible threats exist yet to come. A list is being worked down, maybe even by someone who does not yet realise that they are a pawn and not the King on the board.”

    Maybe they were even handed the list and thought it was bequeathed to them by another.

    Braata took a shape intake of breath. “It’s connected to what I told you; to what I could feel, when I was activated by your presence...” If Ananke could have seen her lip, she would have seen Braata biting it in trepidation.

    “Something has been changed; but what - I don’t have that puzzle piece. Not yet. But I sense...” Braata paused. “I sense that it is here, on this world - someone has became self-aware enough to pinpoint it.”

    “Someone, or something is consuming fate, and that someone is the greatest threat of all time, and I can say this with some certainty - something that will drive you to hatred, as it only could.” Braata felt her voice catch, but she knew that Ananke would inevitably work out this, and that Braata’s only hope was to expedite it, and hope that whomever has made time itself a plaything would be thwarted by Braata accelerating the process; by voicing the inevitable words that would inflame Ananke’s soul.

    “The entire Graul family, Pascale Rouser, and the other Jedi presence here - they are the keys to your destiny; to your very past and future; to the wheel of fate that dares to bind you.”

    Braata suddenly cut-off. She would be inoperative; be silenced by whatever vein of reality she had pressed her spectral thumb upon.

    Ananke had grown unnaturally still as she had listened to the holocron. Her impatience and greediness with the device dissolved, now she could feel the true weight of its words pushing down on her. Where again Braata spoke of things she could easily dismiss as wild speech of something that had witnessed far too much time pass to be able to speak plainly, she couldn't this time. She sensed their truth reverberating in the Force as she heard the last sentence, the meanings of which could be many, but she honed in on one.

    Fate. Destiny. An affirmation that Aryan, Arek, and Rouser were all part of her future, because she was here at the same moment as the others to remove them from it. Permanently. They were her reasons for being at this exact spot, at this precise time - knowing that Braata had confirmed it only drove her resolve down deeper.

    A deadly calm settled in over her psyche, a fresh wave of darkness followed in a chilling splash that brought her clarity; brought her back that razor focus that kept her from straying from her path. Prepared for her next steps, Ananke called the little pyramid up to her open palm and levitated it there an inch or two above her skin. Braata was gone, her hooded image retreating back to hiding within her protective shell, but they would speak again.

    '...the wheel of fate that dares to bind you,' she had told her. The phrase disgusted her.

    "I am bound by nothing," she whispered, venom dripping from her tone.

    Ahsoka's hilts already stashed safely on her person, Ananke returned the holocron to a pocket and gave a shuddering breath in. The Force breathed with her, a pulse that was almost visible to the naked eye. Arek and the rest, their signatures were now so defined to her they may as well be connected by a tangible line. She turned and began to reel her line in, stalking along the direct path to a destiny she had every intention of shattering.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth ( @HanSolo29 @Jerjerrod-Lennox , for proximity... and eventuality [face_mischief] )

     
  18. LordTroepfchen

    LordTroepfchen Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 9, 2007
    ooc: Combined with Sinrebirth ... and what a combined this was ...

    Darth Zorn and
    Darth Wyyrlock

    Korriban, Valley of the Dark Lords

    Zorn smiled and leaned forward in his seat. Maul's Sith Intruder was much more comfortable than the other two ships. Wyyrlock used a similar design of a cloaked ship. But Zorn felt him, he felt his fear. He could not pinpoint it, but he knew the man would not run away from him.

    "Am I afraid? Do you sense fear?" Zorn whispered into the comm and chuckled a little. He doubted he was able to feel fear anymore. Too dominant was this dark fire in his soul. "Go ahead. I will follow you."

    ------

    They met between the two almost identical ships on the surface of Korriban. Darth Zorn was wearing his black cloak that was hiding almost everything but his face. The time underground had made it pale and his eyes were glowing with the sickly yellow of the Dark Side filling him. He smiled as the heavy armored Chagrian stepped out of his ship.

    "Your highness." He greeted the man with a mocking smile. They were among the graves of dead Sith Lords. In the thick darkness of Korriban the last step of his ladder to ascension stood before him. Zorn felt at home here more than anywhere in the world. Yet his senses stayed alert. Any danger he tried to feel out, any tremble in the force he made himself aware of.

    "So have you come to try and confirm your lies or have you come to hear the truth?" Darth Zorn asked and breathed in, giving himself fully to the Dark Side and allowing it to fill his soul as only the Embrace had allowed him to.

    “Skywalker,” Wyyrlok said, smiling absently. He shirked off his heavier robes, absently paying no heed to the sun as it set. “You have caused me quite the predicament. I salute you for that.”

    “But I come not for platitudes or ridicule.” Wyyrlok breathed in his power, enjoying the opportunity to unwind it. He had trained under Sidious, Plagueis and Tenebrous; he had undone an avatar of Typhojem, even weakened; he had completely manipulated the deaths of dozens of the most powerful Force users in the galaxy. He was no Maul, holding onto former glories.

    He was the Dark Man; he had claimed that coveted role from the ancients. He was not so by default, and he would have taken it had Anakin not precipitously slain Lord Sidious.

    “Therefore, you are welcome to tell me your Truth.” His own yellow eyes caught Luke’s. “But there is no audience; whatever you say is to sate your own desire to feel superior.” His tongue flicked out. “To mask your own fear that you will never be as great a man as your father.”

    His smile broadened; his fangs were bared, and he lightly held his paired hilts.

    Darth Zorn smiled. "I am not one to seek an audience, your Highness. I have been born in darkness. Darkness makes one invisible. And you don't know my father. Not like I do." He had already grown a greater man than his father had ever been by embracing his fate. Maybe he was not yet more powerful, but he was not a coward who ran from his destiny because he was afraid of it.

    The only thing that made his father great was his destiny he had denied himself. Zorn would take that one from him too. Anakin Skywalker had no right to deny it. He had been gifted with the ability to steal others destinies. A gift he had received for one purpose only, to steal the one fate ... the one destiny ... that truly counted. The destiny of Anakin Skywalker.

    "So this truth shall stay among us. It is for you and for you only. The truth is ... you have never been meant to rule. It is written all over you. You could not keep your Empire together, could not destroy my father ... why? Because you were not meant to. You were meant to serve." Zorn smiled. "Oh you have achieved much. Much more than these other pretenders. More than me. The Jedi are as good as gone now. Death and chaos spread in the galaxy. Fear. So much fear. Even my father has been infected by it. I am sure you unearthed many, many dark secrets. Because you were not meant to serve anyone. You were meant to serve the Sith to end all Sith." Zorn let his own coat fall from his shoulders and his lightsaber leaped into his hand as if it was hungry to fight.

    "Your destiny was written into your very name. It resonates in the Dark Side. You must have felt it. You must have felt why you were never chosen." Zorn began slowly approach the man.

    "So do you kneel or do you die?" Darth Zorn asked and began to draw strength from his anger and pain. He began to burn inside out, letting his cold dark fire ignite his soul. He prepared to take another man's destiny. He wanted to. He needed to. He felt this ... insatiable hunger. It burned through his very soul.


    Darth Wyyrlok paused. That was the question. Skywalker brimmed with murderous lust. His sin was that. Not pride, nor greed. It was lust for power. The power to change, and to destroy. He was no Sith, and whomever had thought he was, well, they were a fool.

    There was no desire to create an order, a legacy. Just ruling over the burning embers of a ruined galaxy.

    Wyyrlok sniffed. The boy was more Destructor than Wyyrlok had ever been.

    "You suggest that I was your Herald. A Night Herald, no doubt." In this dark place, Wyyrlok could hardly reach out and confirm that his acts had generated eternal fear; he would not know that his Empire had fell, that the Separatists had collapsed; that the Battle of Mandalore had ended the war. Of course, Skywalker would merely restart it as and when his Sith were ready. He would bide his time; he was still young, he could afford to spend years building something truly monstrous.

    Serve or die.

    Could he steer the lad towards something great? Could Wyyrlok keep to himself what he had learned about the Sages of Dwartii - the research that Lord Sidious had began into the Lost Masters of Nouane? Wyyrlok dismissed such thoughts. Whatever those plans that the late Emperor had made, they were moot. They did not matter to this narrative.

    But wasn't it really about nothing but? The Emperor's death had turned the entire tale. The Empire had been born anyway, but Wyyrlok had merely pushed forward with the momentum that Palpatine had given him. Wyyrlok grew annoyed with himself. Why could he not move on from these thoughts? What had relieving himself in telling Rouser awoken within him? A calling? A suspicion?

    A sense of wrongness that permeated the Force itself? Wyyrlok again flashed on the vision of him kneeling to a stasis chamber filled with a man in an armour unlike any that Wyyrlok had ever seen. A Dragon, he could tell.... a vision of him accepting the words of another. To him serving. This boy wanted everything now. Skywalker could not be managed, it was Wyyrlok's calling to serve a dream, not a nightmare.

    Skywalker had to die, and that was it. Wyyrlok found a surge of power fill him as certainty wormed his way into his soul, enflaming him.

    "I choose for you to die."

    His blades ignited and he rushed Luke, but the physical act was all feint. His head dipped slightly as he moved, and Wyyrlok opened up with a hammering psychic attack, enfolded in a single word, designed to shatter the boys thoughts and end him even as he moved a blade to defend, and a blade to stab.

    Yours.

    Zorn breathed out air and his red blade hissed into existence. The attack in his mind was powerful, but so was the raw anger meeting it. Wyyrlock hesitated for a moment as he felt Luke not shaking the attack off or blocking it ... he did not even deflect it. It was absorbed, like a drop of Wyyrlock's acid in an ocean of poison that was the boy.

    Zorn just turned the attack into a broad and mocking grin. "Yours?" He enjoyed twisting the words of his enemy. Wyyrlock felt this mockery was more than ego, arrogance or superiority. Skywalker had been damaged in a profound way. One that had left scars on his soul. He burned in the force with an unknown intensity, as if Korriban's dark energy was fueling the fire. A lesser Sith would have been envious, but Wyyrlock did not wanted to imagine the price this fool payed for such a communion. It was raw and unrefined power though and he was a master of the force.

    The younger Sith quickly withdrew two steps and brought the blade up before his body in the classical stance. Wyyrlock allowed one crimson blade to attack while defending with the second. Zorn raised a brow and made one step forth just in time to meet his opponent. The Chagrian Sith was unimpressed. The ferocity of his approach was unexpected for Zorn who adopted quickly and used the technique his first Master had taught him. Maul's way of fighting had always been a deadly dance. Smoothly and agile he moved around Wyyrlock, slashing out when he saw a potential opening, but quickly dodging and leaping out of distance when the elder Sith pushed forward. So far his agile way of fighting did not allow the advantage of the two blades to take effect. It also did not allow to gain an advantage.

    Wyyrlock was patient if he was anything. His attacks varied, kept a steady pace as he studied Skywalker's technique. It was almost disappointing how classical the boys defenses were. The Chagrian pushed him back step by step. Zorn escaped his attacks admirably, but found no footing for an own attack. Sooner or later the boy would make a mistake and all his ideas of self-importance would vanish with him into the oblivion of the Dark Side. Wyyrlock knew he had the upper hand and began to press, his attacks getting more aggressive and each of his strikes more powerful. Years of training would give him an edge over the raw pulsing power of the younger man. Wyyrlock's physical power was fueled by his cold and dedicated mastery of the Dark Side. Zorn was fueled by an unnatural communion with darkness. To Wyyrlock he was a beast, not a Sith.

    Zorn allowed the enemy to push him. Anger did no longer lead him to impatience. He felt how every strike got harder to control and closer to breaching his defense. Yet, all he did was grin. A broad almost insane smile of murderous enthusiasm. "You are powerful." He hissed at Wyyrlock. "More than a young fool like you could imagine." Wyyrlock answered and with his left saber he began to hammer into Zorn's defense. Just when he felt the muscles of his enemy tremble under the attacks the right blade stabbed right at the boys legs. Zorn made a flip flop out of the attack, but before his feet touched the ground Wyyrlock released a powerful force wave and ripped the boys body from the air throwing him into the outer hull of his ship. Skywalker fell to the ground and pain radiated from his body. Wyyrlock smiled satisfied. He had easily tricked the boy.

    "True, I feared the power of the Chosen One in your blood. But look at you ... just a boy." He waved with his hand to rip him off his feet again and ... nothing happened.

    Zorn raised and now he did not grin. His face was a grimace of almost unnatural anger. Darkness surrounded him like an armor. His pain seemed to burst into electrical charges wandering over his body. Someone had taught him powers far beyond Darth Maul's knowledge of the force. Wyyrlock realized the boy had another Master. A secret to be solved once he was dead.

    Zorn raised his own hand like a spasm and then turned it. Wyyrlock was taken by surprise this time and ripped of his feet now and landed painfully on his back. His defense had easily been overpowered by the boy's raw energy. He hissed and leaped back to his feet. Zorn had somehow bridged the gap with on leap forward and screamed out a primal scream as he attacked.

    All of Zorn's power, all his fury unleashed in one powerful series of slashes. The strikes were so quick they could barely been perceived with the eyes. Wyyrlock relied on the force to defend himself, needing both blades now, as he was pushed back. He understood the boy had lured him into false security. He had held back. A sneaky tactic, worthy of a Sith. So there was more than anger after all. Wyyrlock leaped back, but Zorn followed with a simultaneous leap letting his prey not escape. Wyyrlock understood his block could fail any moment and with an angry yell a large stone was ripped from the ground and hurled towards Skywalker. The young Sith stepped back and with a wave of his hand crushed the stone before it reached him. It was not power he controlled, it was more like his anger channeled the Dark Side by itself. Intuitive Mastery. Wyyrlock had never seen this. Darth Zorn ... Luke Skywalker ... did not know more about the force or had mastered more of it's secrets ... no he simply had an easier access too it. He had bonded with it in a more profound way.

    Wyyrlock realized he might not defeat the boy. It was a thought he had not allowed until this moment. The boy had paid a price for his power that was almost insanity. The clarity hit him worse than Zorn could have. Zorn attacked again and obviously enjoyed this. Then he extended his own hand and Wyyrlock absorbed the dark wave send his way. It was only a distraction, as Skywalker had turned around his own axis and striked low. The extended hand did not allow Wyyrlock to block in time and he leaped back, but could not help the burning pain as the lightsaber cut his flesh on his upper leg.

    Grinning Zorn stepped back and spread his arms in an invitation to Wyyrlock to attack. "Just a boy. Right?" He grinned and Wyyrlock felt his own anger rise. He felt betrayed. Betrayed by the Dark Side itself. Why had it given this power to an initiate like Luke Skywalker and had denied it to him? The Chagrian extended both hands and the lightsabers attached themselves to his belt themselves as blue lightning screamed from his fingers. The attack equaled his rage in intensity. It was a storm of lightning, with nothing held back. Zorn was hit by lightning unlike any he had experienced before. His lightsaber failed to block it. He screamed out in pain and would have collapsed if Wyyrlock would not have ripped him from his feet and raised him slowly into the air as the blue lightning crawled into the defenseless body of the boy. The agony ... the agony filled his body. Zorn felt his muscles spasm as his lightsaber slipped from his hands. Wave after wave crawled into his body. Wyyrlock would fry him! Zorn had not foreseen such power. None of his former enemies had commanded such dark energies. Pain. Everything was pain!

    Wyyrlock laughed in ecstasy as he felt the suffering of the young fool. "Now at the end you understand, do you?" Wyyrlock laughed. "Yours! YOURS!" He would burn out the very soul of this boy. He would ...

    Zorn clenched his teeth, closed his eyes who seemed to be forced from their sockets and then ... the Embrace ... darkness ... darkness could not harm him. He understood. It was almost a memory. A wave of revelation. Darkness was part of him and he was part of darkness. His body stopped spasming and his head slowly lowered as he stopped screaming and felt his feet touch the ground again. As he opened his eyes he breathed out as if he was exhaling the pain. The eyes were obsidian black for a moment before turning to the sickly yellow. The lightning danced over his body as Wyyrlock yelled out to release his next wave. Zorn stood amidst the storm with spread arms and felt not even a tingle, only the power of the enemies anger, fear, despair ... as he absorbed his dark energy. Wyyrlock finally released a wave against Zorn which hurled up dust but seemed to vanish as it touched the young Sith.

    "You have failed, your highness. You have indeed mastered darkness, but I ... I have become darkness." Zorn hissed. His lightsaber returned to his hand. Wyyrlock ended the lightning storm, breathing heavy. It had exhausted him. His own blades jumped to his hands. "Yet, you are nothing but a pale copy of your father, Luke Skywalker." Wyyrlock was not so sure anymore. Something had happened with the boy that even he did not fully understand.

    Zorn hissed like a Krayt dragon and leaped forward. Their blades crashed and their faces came close to each other. "My name is Darth Zorn, Emperor Amedda." He pressed the words through his teeth as if anger made it hard to speak and then pushed the Chagrian back as if he was made of paper. He felt the rage and fear of his enemy and he was feeding on it as XoXaan had shown him to. His attack was precise and went for the Chagrians head. The older Sith blocked it and striked down with his second blade. He realized the speed the Dark Side had given Zorn too late as the young man's blade turned and severed Wyyrlock's right arm right under the elbow.

    Wyyrlock screamed out in pain, but Zorn left him no time for suffering. He attacked relentlessly and drove his enemy back with a series of powerful attacks. One handed Wyyrlock stumbled back, desperately blocking the attacks calling upon the force to stay on his feet when any lesser man would have collapsed. Finally he lost his footing and with one powerful kick Zorn send him to the ground. Painfully he landed on his glowing remains of his arm. Zorn stepped back and let him come back to his feet. The boy's eyes were gleaming, his face looked almost inhuman. An avatar of evil.

    Wyyrlock knew he was no match for the arrogant young man with one hand. But what did the boy know about the true power of the force. He had to surprise him, take him out quickly now. With a thought the lightsaber from the severed arm raised behind Luke and pointed at the boys heart. Then he screamed as he send it to attack.

    Zorn felt the danger and leaped aside. It was all so natural for him now. The blade missed him, but turned and attacked. As if guided by a ghostly hand it danced around him. Zorn defended against the strikes and retreated bringing more distance between him and Wyyrlock. Just as he felt loosing control he leaped back, extended his hand and he grabbed the blade with the force. His extended hand made it stop midair. It danced a moment amidst the two Sith and slowly Zorn turned his hand. Wyyrlock screamed out, pushing the blade a meter towards Zorn, who did not step back. The blade stopped just before entering his chest. The younger Sith lay his head aside as if he watched something curious. Did he feel Wyyrlock's exhaustion? Why did he not grow weaker? Zorn took a deep sip from his enemies fear and released it in one powerful wave. The blade turned and began to wander back to it's owner. Wyyrlock felt his grip fail, felt the power of the young man drain him. Zorn eyed him. Hunger. Incredible hunger reflected in his yellow eyes. He wanted more than Wyyrlock's life. Such raw power. Such natural control of it. He seemed to know no limits, no boundaries. He was burning. The son of the Chosen One had inherited his father potential and turned into something ... else. Wyyrlock understood this now, but he had run out of options, much like he had taken all those options from his enemies. It had been a trap. It had always been a trap. There had never been three of them. Only Anakin Skywalker and the dark mirror that was his son. A champion of light and a champion of darkness. He had been a sacrifice. The thought made him angry and the anger made him strong. But the doubt weakened him the same time.

    Zorn grinned as he felt the enemies doubt and closed his eyes. He floated the force with visions of the impending future ... of armies of red faced servants of his will and of death and despair filling the galaxy. Darth Zorn would not bring balance to the force, he would unbalance it. He would tip the balance. He would rule for eternity in perfect darkness. Wyyrlock gasped.

    "Now at the end
    you understand." Zorn smiled and the effort of not letting the blade slip despite the visions brought Wyyrlock to his knees.

    "I am inevitable." Darth Zorn whispered and his head returned to the upright position as he felt his enemies power fail. A wave of his hand send another wave. This time Wyyrlock had no strength left to defend himself. The lightsaber hammered into the Chagrian's chest, burning through his lungs and taking his ability to breath. The blade died down and the lightsaber fell to the ground.


    "No ... no ... my secrets ..." Wyyrlock gasped with his last breath and Darth Zorn ... slowly turned away from him. Wyyrlock felt the pure fury of the defeated as he saw this arrogant gesture. What did the boy think who he was? He raised his arm and hurled his remaining lightsaber into the back of the boy. It never reached Darth Zorn as the young Dark Lord waved his hand in one simple gesture and turned his head half around. The blade was hurled away into the Korriban night.

    Zorn turned again and slowly approached the Chagrian fighting for air after all. Darkness. Luke Skywalker had truly fallen. Wyyrlock looked in disbelief.

    "I have always been inevitable." His voice was a whisper now. Zorn stood over his kneeling enemy who could not speak. But through the force he send his last message.


    You will pay a price for this power, young Skywalker.


    Darth Zorn replied only with a nod.
    "That is also
    inevitable . But the galaxy will pay the price."

    Wyyrlock realized the boy did not understand ... it was his final thought.

    Zorn's lightsaber moved forward in one simple stab. Darth Wyyrlock's heart burned in a bright flash of pain as he felt darkness grab his soul and drag it into the screaming madness of the Dark Side.

    One word of Darth Zorn still echoed in his tortured soul as Wyyrlock became one with the Dark Side.


    Inevitable.


    Darth Zorn stood over Darth Wyyrlock's collapsed body and smiled as the Dark Man ceased to exist. Waves of dark energy discharged from the dead man's body. The Dark Lord of the Sith had finally claimed the last victim he owed to his ascension. His descent was complete.

    Tag: @
    Sinrebirth
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  19. HanSolo29

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

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    A tense combo with Sinre! [face_nail_biting]

    IC: Aryan and Arek Graul

    Mirror Cave, Ach-To

    For several moments, Aryan lay prostrate on the ground with his left cheek pressed against the cold stone, a sharp pain emanating from his shoulder and side after being flung sidelong into the wall by an invisible force. No, not an invisible force; the Force, he reminded himself. Between his encounters in the Senate and the chaos of the past week, he had grown accustomed to its many applications. In fact, he had probably witnessed far more than he cared to admit.

    But what struck him as odd about this particular instance was not the use of the Force itself, but rather the source of its power; it had come from Arek. It almost seemed absurd, particularly when he took his own heritage into account, and yet...what did he truly know about the many nuances of the Force? Was it possible for something like this to happen?

    All he knew was that Arek was alive, and he had just demonstrated a natural affinity for this strange power. His own son.

    But what did it mean?

    Aryan gasped as he struggled to push himself up into a sitting position, his expression screwed up in a painful wince. He knew it was the result of many contributing factors – the manifestation of physical pain after his recent scuffle, and his own inner turmoil as he contemplated this unexpected revelation. He felt both elated over seeing his son alive and frightened of his newfound potential.

    But most of all, seeing him again evoked extreme feelings of grief...and guilt. It remained heavily centered around himself, and spoke of all the terrible things he had done over the years...things he could no longer hide from.

    These intense emotions stirred inside of him like a tumultuous storm, building up pressure within his chest as they sought an outlet in which to escape. Fortunately, he was too absorbed in trying to keep himself in-check to pay any attention to Lyz’s snide comment about Takodana and how she had wished Arek dead. Otherwise, she would’ve surely provided him with the release he so desperately needed.

    Nevertheless, he knew it was only a matter of time before he reached a breaking point.

    And it would come in the form of Arek’s simple, yet poignant statement: “Dad, this is your very last chance to get this right.”

    Pressing his lips together firmly in an effort to compose himself, Aryan only stared at his son for several seconds as he strove to formulate an adequate response. He was unable to do so before the mental anguish hit him full tilt, sending a tremor through his body and eliciting a choked sob from his throat.

    He did not want to express any form of weakness in front of his son; it somehow made him feel incompetent, but it was too late to stop it now. Reaching up, he ran his hands through his wet hair and down over his face, his vision beginning to blur from the tears forming in his eyes.

    “I...think it’s too late for that,” Aryan muttered hopelessly, forcing himself to look up again to meet Arek's gaze. He inhaled sharply and shook his head. “All the things I’ve done? Everything I’ve lost? But...you--you’re alive. And you--”

    He gestured awkwardly around him to indicate the Force, a delirious chuckle reverberating from deep within his chest...almost as if he was on the verge of cracking up. “...how?”

    Arek looked at his father sadly. So sadly. To see this man that he had respected, no, idolised as a child so entirely unable to form a full sentence, on the cusp of what could only be insanity...

    ... it broke his heart, and Arek felt despair swallow him whole. Lyz began to back away, and Arek let her, focusing on his father. His new senses told him that the tunnel was a dead end, though what strangeness he sensed at the end of the cavern he could not really comment on, and in the moment, he did not care.

    But whether his father was despicable, that is what he needed to know. Feyna, wanting to chase down who was really responsible for her loss, had made it painstakingly clear that she didn't think his father was involved, not directly.

    "Whether it is too late or not, I get to decide, Dad." Arek took a step forward. "As to the Force? It stepped in when I needed it." He cracked a brittle smile, one that belonged to someone far older than he. "But what can I say? I'm apprenticed to Ananke. So I suppose it's a family motto to 'Do what needs to be done to get ahead and damn everyone else', no?"

    Aryan exhaled heavily through his nose and fell back against the rockface, his shoulders slumping in utter defeat at Arek’s admission. To hear his own distorted perspective of the galaxy repeated back to him in the harsh words of his son felt like a vibroblade to the chest. He found that he couldn’t move, except to stare at the boy and shake his head slowly. Another moment passed before he found the strength to articulate his thoughts.

    “I...never intended to hurt you,” Aryan asserted weakly, his voice never rising above a low, gravelly whisper. “I’ve made plenty of mistakes, I know that, but it was never at your expense. I only wanted to keep you safe.” He canted his head to the side to regard him, that wild, untamed spark returning to his blue-gray eyes. “But then your mom, she--she threw that all away…threw everything away. She destroyed you--us, both of us.”

    He issued a derisive scoff and turned to watch Lyz’s retreating form disappear into the darkness, the reminder of her betrayal causing a pure, unmitigated rage to rise up inside of him. He wanted nothing more than to seek retribution for all of her past transgressions, particularly for those she had carried out directly against Arek. She had abandoned him at Delaya; had lied to Aryan about the Republic holding him hostage; had led him to…

    Ananke.

    With a slight gasp, his anger diminished a bit as he realized his son had fallen right into the gundark’s nest. With his burgeoning Force abilities, he was the perfect prey for a leech like Ananke. All she likely saw was raw, untold potential.

    “You stay away from her, Arek,” Aryan warned without preamble, his expression shifting to one of desperation and concern. “Ananke. She’s poison…all she wants is your power and influence. She’ll suck you dry to gain the advantage, and then toss you aside before moving on to do the same to her next victim. Stay away from her. She’s a Sith...she can’t help you.”

    That was it. Right there. Aryan Graul’s hypocrisy. Giving advice that he had scorned his entire life. It cause Arek’s soul to burn; a rage filled him that he knew he had to get out. Worse than his mother’s betrayals was the seeming belief that Aryan Graul had the right to cast blame; the right to quote platitudes and metaphors after what he had done.

    Arek could only snort. “Don’t you think I don’t know that, father?”

    A laugh; a brittle, broken one. “I’ve listened and learned from you; I’ve drank from power, and I like it. I need it.” A grin. “But unlike you, I know it’s poison; the best kind.” He placed a finger upon his chin. “Though perhaps you did know, once upon a time. In legend, or myth, you may have had a conscience and a soul.”

    “No more.” He snapped his fingers, and the rock that Lyz had discarded flew up and at Aryan, intending to bash into the side of his head with speed to fell him; the attack was telegraphed, giving Aryan time to dodge.

    Clearly Arek intended to make his father pay.

    There was no time to register shock, nor to contemplate the disastrous turn of events. Aryan noted the not-so-subtle flick of Arek’s wrist and the snap of his fingers before a very large rock levitated from the depths of the spring and accelerated toward his head. He did not think about his options, but merely relied on pure instinct as he rolled to his left and planted himself against the ground to allow the rock to pass harmlessly overhead.

    It struck the wall an instant later, the force of the impact causing it to shatter into broken fragments that rained down on his back. Aryan winced and closed his eyes briefly, realizing with some dismay that at that velocity, Arek had every intention of inflicting serious injury. This wasn’t a game any longer.

    Issuing a wary sigh, Aryan slowly staggered to his feet and angled his gaze to scrutinize the boy standing a few feet away. At this point, he wasn’t even sure if he could still consider him his son. That thought brought a distinct ache to his chest; it clenched tightly at his heart and left him feeling hollow inside. Who...or what had he become?

    “Take it easy,” he murmured softly, raising his hands in a defensive position as he began to put some distance between them by backpedaling down the same passageway Lyz had used to make her hasty retreat. “You’re confused…scared. These are--exceptional circumstances, and you’re struggling to come to terms with what’s happening to you. Ananke planted a seed, but she lied; she’s filling your head with nonsense. You’re better than that.”

    Aryan hesitated and raised his chin to strengthen his resolve. “I’ll find someone to train you properly. You can come back from this...it’s not too late. Just let me help you...let me explain.”

    He extended his right hand slowly, palm up. “Arek…?”

    Arek looked at his father’s hand. “There is no-one left. You made sure of that; you and my Master and the Emperor.”

    He looked forlorn, as if this was truly all he could do; that he had surpassed Aryan to become... to acquire his true self, once and for all. Arek would not do what he needed to, he would become all that he could.

    The teen’s eyes yellowed, and that met his father’s; or, rather, the eyes of the man who had been his father. For he was no longer Arek; he would find a new name.

    A better one.

    “You should run.” He looked amused. “I’ll give you one last chance to save mother. So at least you can both move on having achieved something.”

    He found that he couldn’t say ‘at least you can both die,’ and Arek took a moment to example any lingering sense of duty and love to Aryan. Then he killed it.

    “I will kill the past.”

    Aryan’s hand fell back to his side as if it had become too heavy for him to support under the mounting tension, and he sighed. It was a long exhale that drained the color from his face as he turned away with a sullen expression, his blue-gray eyes depleted of all hope. The despair that had initially descended upon him during his flight from Coruscant had returned with a vengeance.

    His son was truly gone, lost to the persuasive influence of another; a victim to the vices of Aryan’s own destruction. He had nothing left. What was the point of even trying to escape?

    It would’ve been much easier to accept his fate if all the blame had rested squarely on his shoulders, but he knew that Lyz was not innocent. In fact, she was the main instigator behind everything. She was pure evil. That’s why he hesitated when Arek suggested that he run to save himself and his ex-wife. He merely peered into the dark passageway behind him and shook his head adamantly.

    “I...can’t,” Aryan stammered quietly, his fists clenched tightly at his sides. “I just...I--can’t protect her. Not anymore...she betrayed us. She--”

    He trailed off with a sharp sob and closed his eyes for a moment to regain control. When he spoke again, his voice had dropped to a hoarse whisper, his countenance devoid of all emotion. “Before...you do whatever it is you intend to do, I want you to know that I wasn’t responsible.” He smiled sadly and forced himself to meet his twisted gaze, the act of surrendering himself serving as a welcome relief. “The Death Star, Alderaan...I was a victim, the same as everyone else. Amedda set me up. It was part of his plan all along. That's when Ananke entered the picture to take advantage of the ensuing chaos; she manipulated me. And now?”

    He scoffed and spread his hands. “I have nothing left. Why would I want to escape? In a lot of ways, I consider it a reprieve, a kindness...to go out like this. I came here to disappear and lose myself, but why allow myself to slowly waste away and suffer? Why prolong the inevitable? I have nothing to hide."

    Inclining his chin, Aryan pressed his lips together firmly and nodded. Do it.”

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
    Jerjerrod-Lennox likes this.
  20. galactic-vagabond422

    galactic-vagabond422 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2009
    IC: Ka'rta
    Medbay, Ghost.

    The pain was subsiding, her delirium becoming less. Right now she just felt a little tingly, from the bacta, itchy, from the healing that was starting, and dizzy from the blood loss her body was trying to replace. Her eyes were still closed as Jerrod and Mirdala were talking. She could still hear them as they were talking though she didn't feel like getting up at the moment, though her body wouldn't let her. Even when they mentioned the peace being negotiated in the other room, without her, she couldn't summon the will to rise. Her old friend anger turning it's cold shoulder to her. Or her body no longer willing to consume that particular fuel as a replacement for blood, sugar, and protein.

    She did have enough wherewithal to huff a little at her grand importance in bringing the parties to the negotiating table. It wasn't anything special, she just fought like a wild animal to survive, to free her home. The Conway thing that was just a fluke, a twist of fate falling in her favor. She was just doing her job, though she wondered if those credits were still in her account...she had a lot of ordinance to replace. Even through all of this she was still unimportant, not with a planet killer still out there, that could make their bittersweet victory moot if it decides to make a visit and turn it into another Alderaan.

    She could almost hear Mirdala smile as his smile as he said it wasn't his decision. He was right it was hers, the woman currently laid out on a table recuperating. If she was honest he should get checked out too, everything they'd been through. Was this all finally coming to an end? Was this nightmare of a few days over? What does she do afterwards, if this peace was real, if it could be achieved what was her place in it. Remain with Madelyn, be the right hand of the Manda'lor. Go back to mercenary work that will dry up in a few years or send her further and further a field.

    Could she settle down, could she give up fighting for credits, risking her life for a few pieces of metal. Could she live without the adrenaline, without the anger...would she have a choice in the matter? Could she make her own destiny for once in her life? Could she direct the future of her planet? Did she even want to?

    Her life hadn't prepared her for peace, for a time without fighting. Though could she seriously argue against peace...this war had destroyed Mandalore, destroyed Alderaan, killed countless billions, how many more was she willing to kill just to give her a place in the universe.

    Was it not at the Manda'lor's side? With Mirdala watching her back?

    Her eyes slowly opened, a long hum leaving her as she started to sit up, a jabbing pain in her side. She winced holding her wound, not quite healed yet.

    "So I hear we're ending this war?" She mumbled.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
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  21. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Death
    The Void

    The void spoke to Darth Wyyrlok, and it had a familiar cadence. It was his old master, Palpatine.

    “My old friend; you have passed on, became what you were always destined to become.”

    Wyyrlok was unsurprised that death would taunt him in such a manner. “Therefore nothing has been lost?” He snorted. “I am a vexatious opponent even in death.”

    “Yes, you are. In my death, too. But pass on, knowing that with your demise the fate that Skywalker sought to seize entirely has been taken from him.”

    “The masked man,”

    “His name was Krayt. He would have become Darth Krayt, the Sith Dragon, Dread Lord and Sith Emperor, leader of the One Sith - becoming the Dark Man; the Seventh, and final one.”

    “Oh joy,” Wyyrlok snarled. “I shall be guided to death by narration.”

    A grin, but Wyyrlok could not see it. “But it won’t happen anymore; Skywalker killed him, and took his One Sith. You were to be his Voice while he isolated himself to peer into the Force, but here you refused, seeing chaos and not order in Skywalker.”

    “Here...”

    “Why, in this reality. In this version of reality. In the one which changed when Palpatine died.” Wyyrlok tried to piece together what his old Master was saying.

    But the black which was ferrying him into oblivion gave way to nothingness, and he merely wondered why his old Master was talking about himself in the third person...

    —-
    Korriban, Valley of the Dark Lords

    A comlink on the body chimes. It would prattle to start, before stopping. “My Lord, we have removed 68% of the turbolasers as requested, and have had them shipped to the Unknown Regions to the coordinates you supplied as encrypted. The Crystal has been removed, forwarded, and the mechanism destroyed as requested. But you did not specify any instructions for -“

    “My Lord, is this you?” It paused, hesitating, and it’s tone did not so much change as it wondered. “Or is the aforementioned successor?”

    It was the Super Tactical Droid aboard the Ultimate Weapon. “I understand that we are to follow your instructions in the future? Lord Wyyrlok confirmed this to be the case.”

    TAG: @LordTroepfchen
    —-
    IC: Fleet Admiral Piett

    Communicating with the growing Rebel fleet above Mandalore, the Ghost, former room of Kanan

    "Unconditional surrender?" Piett winced. "I can probably sell it to the captains of the Chimaera, Protector and others... and, yes, Krennic's little death squads killed admirals Harrsk, Teradoc, Krennal and Delvardus before they could break away, but..." Piett paled as an aide whispered something in his ear.

    Similarly, Jyn Erso moved to whisper something in Hera's ear, but Linnett and Feyna would hear it. Hapes, the Corporate Sector, Commonality and Centrality have all petitioned the New Republic for membership. Small but powerful neutral states individually, but the factions were starting to speak up. The Hutt clans have petitioned for smaller borders to be recognised in the interests of expediting a smooth handover of power. Corellia has announced its full loyalty to the New Republic and requested to hear from Chancellor Organa.

    It was a small avalanche of good news, but the long and short of it rested with Feyna, aided by Linnett. Ood Bnar seemed to be silent.

    "We can offer the surrender of the Imperial fleet at Coruscant and the Core Worlds, which answers to me directly." Piett swallowed. "We would only request the right for the Empire to join the New Republic as a fully fledged member, to offer referendums to any world which wishes to leave... and that you will respect anyone who chooses to stay..." Piett looked to Linnett. "But we would like to know if Mandalore intends to join the New Republic in full, because if not, we would invite the Rebel, um, Republic fleet to come to Coruscant to oversee the transfer of power."

    What was left of the capital, anyway. Feyna would be asked to name a new capital, no doubt.

    The Coway glowered, enjoying the moment of victory and taking reports that all local Imperial forces had surrendered and another seven Imperial Star Destroyers had arrived and requested terms, swelling the local force to some hundred capital ships - most captured Imperial ones, crewed by smugglers, rebels, Coway and others. A sizeable armada was shaping up and there were reports of Hapan, Hutt, Centrality and Corporate ships heading here in force to shore up the position even more.

    The galaxy had decided enough was enough.

    All because of a few victories against an evil beyond opposition.

    But while Linnett was given the chance to answer, Feyna would be struck by a premonition.

    Feyna, I'm sorry. I fell, when you needed me to stand beside you. I should have come back to you, rose with you. I am glad to see that you have became what you always deserved to be; a force for peace... I fell and joined a force for destruction; Ananke. She found the Force within me; she corrupted me, and I fell. I stand to stop her, in the Dark. Hopefully I will succeed, and you will not need to worry about her ever again. Good bye, Feyna. I wish I'd had the chance to love you, but we saved each other once, and that was the happiest I have been for a long time.

    The voice belonged to Arek.

    Jyn came back in, with Owen in tow looking baffled. He spoke up, putting his thumb back to the cockpit. "We have a Separatist shuttle in-system, coming from Korriban. It claims to hold, to quote the droid. What should have been in the Box."

    "Orders?" Owen looked around. "I feel as if Ka'rta should be involved in this, after what she went through."

    "Yes, we agree - the SkyWalker should be involved," the Coway spoke, gravel voiced.

    Piett spoke up. "The Empire will surrender on those terms now, but we will need diplomats to draw up terms."

    Ood Bnar flexed a tree limb. "The Chancellor will have my assistance, but it is her decision."

    In many ways, they were a microcosm of the New Republic in this room; Mimban, Ossus, the underworld, Mandalore, Ryloth, and more besides. They could be her High Council for all intents and purposes, and Feyna, as much as she had a lot on right now - she had the power to choose.

    --
    Medbay

    While Winter was unconscious and recovering, Jerod jumped when Ka'rta spoke. "Apparently so," she said with a smile. "The Separatists folded when you took down their fleet; the galaxy went into open revolt when Krennic's despotic reign kicked off live on the HoloNet - when Feyna shot him and the Coway and the rest arrived and ran the Imperial Army over, it kicked off the whole thing. Piett is talking to Feyna right now, with a Jedi Master tree-thing."

    Mirdala tried not to look happy she was alive. The medbay had helped him out as well, so he chimed in. "Surrender is being bandied around a lot. It seems that Qi'ra Ananke, the Sith, she had Coruscant torched, and the Emperor has vanished."

    "Not sure if Linnett has made any decisions about Mandalore yet, but I sure it'll come up." Jerod paused... "It is good that you are alive."

    There was some commotion outside, across the corridor, and Jerod stood to go check. Mirdala took the moment to briefly lock the door. He strode over to her, unsure whether to touch her, or not. She was a strong woman, and he had always appreciated one - from afar. That she knew what she wanted from him was a surprise, but with the final battle on the line, what else would she want? He didn't know where he stood, and that was... interested.

    He grinned. He liked to live dangerous.

    "Well - you've looked better," Mirdala said. The commotion grew louder, and closer to the door.

    TAG: @JediMasterAnne, @TheSilentInfluence, @galactic-vagabond422
    ---
    IC: Arek Graul

    Dark Cave on Ach-To, Darkness, Dark

    He stared at his father.

    Aryan Graul stared back.

    And Arek Graul found himself...

    ... wondering. He could sense the truth behind his fathers words, and he could only stare at him. Through him. To him. Right to his soul. Yes, there was blackness there, but Arek was sure that every soul had black within it. The Sith merely encouraged it; fed it; gave it permission. Aryan Graul probably had a bit more black in his heart before Ananke turned up than the average person, but Arek understood that a Dark Lord of the Sith was a truly terrifying woman. Her merest hint of a threat had to be taken with utter certainty, because she would carry it through, no matter of heinous. Her promises, she always kept. Her desires, she achieved. While she might be frustrated, or stymied, or even diverted, she could never, ever be stopped.

    She was Darth Ananke.

    Her will was flame incarnate, and she merely walked through this realm and burned it down.

    So... Arek believed Aryan. He took a deep, deep breath, and then he sighed. That fire was coming; joining them in this dark cave. At the end of it, Arek could not sense anything that made sense, even to his new Force abilities. It was a jangle of jagged edges, and he had nothing to tell from it. His mother; she was all fear, purified and transformed into malice, but always, at her very heart, was an abject terror of her complete lack of control of events. Aryan Graul had driven a needle of paranoia through her brain and ruined any other thought process she could have.

    That, he had done without Ananke's help.

    For a moment, Arek felt his own fear, and he drew deep upon it. Fear sustained so many. Perhaps, if he ever saw Ananke for what she really was, he would find fear within her, too. His fear had made him feel pathetic, and worthless, and it made him want to control. To feast. To kill. But now his fear would give him courage, and he would use the darkness - and throw his fear, hatred and despair at the woman who threatened his family so. The Graul's needed time to work this all out, and Darth Ananke would never give them that.

    She wanted them dead.

    Breathing into his darkness, a surge of electricity seemed to dart up the tunnel walls, and Arek's mind drifted to Feyna in this last breath of his life. For a brief, impossible moment, he seemed connected to the woman that he had, as obvious as it was, been attracted to. She had been strong, in-spite of her pain, in spite of her fear, and had never surrendered to it, in-spite of all she had lost. She had made him brave enough to see his family drama in context as irrelevant, and have the courage to confront Ananke; to be a distraction. Warmth filled him as he realised that he had, indeed, saved Feyna form Ananke, but now, well, he had to save himself. He allowed a thought to enfold Feyna, unaware that she would receive it in-full, and then he turned away, his Force presence and his body, the latter turning his back on Aryan.

    "Father."

    Arek said, looking at the descending form of Darth Ananke, whose boots crisply landed on the sand, and whose wounds called out in the Force to Arek. In this moment of certainty, she could feel that he was strong, drawing from some power within and outside him. It echoed within her, and the resonance would nag at her teeth, as much as it did Aryan and distant Rouser, separated momentarily from the duel between Mace and Dark Ahsoka.

    "I think you need to run," Arek said to Aryan. His grim expression took in Ananke, his senior in so many, many ways. Arek could see there was no way to climb back out the hole without the Force; he could sense something about whatever was behind them, but wasn't sure what. "I am not sure if there is a way behind us or not."

    "And I think you need to leave my family alone." His hands raised, and he prepared to attack.

    TAG: @QueenSabe7, @HanSolo29 (you two are on a combo), @BobaMatt, @Jerjerrod-Lennox
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
  22. Jerjerrod-Lennox

    Jerjerrod-Lennox Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    IC: Pascale Rouser
    Location: An island, Ach To


    Well that went well…

    Pascale had been thrown away from Ahsoka/not Ahsoka as she continued to battle away against Mace Windu. Meanwhile Rouser had been thrown down the stairs inside the tree his back taking most of the impacts.

    His suit was becoming even more rumpled and to top it off dirty. If he ever got off this island paradise he resolved to get himself a brand new wardrobe. He hoped that Firenze would also still be intact after this, he really did not want to have to try and get another yacht and maybe this time it would be third time lucky.

    His forty two year old body was seriously not up to being thrown around like a child's toy. And some Jedi texts then decided to plonk in his lap. It was a shame really that Pascale may not be able to take these with him, they might have been a good historical read and perhaps something he could save to his archive. Perhaps he could take one if he could…

    No, would probably slow me down if I have to run.

    And then to top it all off, Ahsoka/not Ahsoka decided to let some lightning loose on the tree and set it alight. With him still inside. Luckily his vibroblade had landed nearby and he managed to grab it and sheath it before gingerly rising up.

    He sighed and began to crawl forward back towards the stairs, one book still in hand making sure he kept low in order not to inhale any smoke. Now it was just a case of how could he help Mace out in getting rid of the Ahsoka/not Ahsoka which some dark entity had decided to inhabit. The beast would have probably relished a fight with someone who was like him.
    As he made his way out he smelled the fresh air and not burning wood. And it seemed through his newly defined Force senses that someone familiar was here, a certain Dark Lady….

    Lovely, I'd better make sure I either escape or knock her out before she destroys another yacht. Or destroy the galaxy….

    She felt like an inferno, burning everything in its path. And for some unknown reason she still had it in for him even though he was now crystaless and beastless. He now had an Echo on his side though so it had to count for something. What it could do in a fight with darkness incarnate remained to be seen.

    First things first though, time to help out a Jedi Master.

    He spoke to the Echo, we need to get rid of this beast. Like the beast within me all it wants is death and destruction, same as the Dark Lady you can sense. We must not let these beasts win….

    WE CANNOT LET THEM WIN.


    His blaster only probably only had minimal power left so he would have to pick his shots carefully, plus he still had a Jedi text with him. The vibroknife he could use for close quarters combat.

    There was resonance coming now before he could formulate an attack response, somebody was drawing on a reserve of Force power and this person was getting ready to fight. The Echo was probably sensing this too, hopefully it wouldn't distract it too much for what was to come.

    Let’s see how this goes.

    With all his might and hopefully all of his Force talents behind it he threw the book straight at Ahsoka/notAhsoka, keeping his arm out he went for the hilts again. With his other hand he pulled out his blaster and fired three shots: one high, one medium one low.

    Hopefully it was enough for Mace to do something useful.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth , @BobaMatt , @QueenSabe7 (mention)
     
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  23. JediMasterAnne

    JediMasterAnne Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2004
    IC: Chancellor Feyna Organa
    Briefing room, Aboard the Ghost, Mandalore

    Piett seemed unsure of his chances of securing an unconditional surrender from the entire Fleet, but updates were pouring in as even previously neutral territories like the Commonality and Centrality threw their support behind the New Republic. Corellia had requested a call from the Chancellor, which Feyna intended to make as soon as she had a free moment. Even the Hutts were reaching out. The pressure was building for the Empire.

    Piett's counter-offer contained nothing that Feyna objected to, but there were still a couple of things she wanted to address before she officially accepted. "Formerly Imperial systems are free to petition for membership if they wish, and of course no one will be forced to join." The second part was as much for Linnett to hear as Piett; she didn't want her to feel pressured to announce allegiance to the New Republic if she didn't feel that it was best for Mandalore.

    "And what of the forces occupying Naboo, and the fleet that attacked Chandrila?" As far as she knew, the Empire had never left Naboo, and she couldn't remember if the blockade was still in effect at Chandrila. If they were, she definitely wanted them gone as soon as possible.

    As she awaited responses from Linnett and Piett, another voice intruded into her thoughts, another unexpected telepathic message, but it wasn't Anakin's voice--Arek! He was alive, somehow he had survived Takodona, survived Qi'ra...

    But as Feyna 'listened,' her heart, so quickly lifted from knowing he'd survived, fell again. Saddened as she was, it didn't occur to her to be shocked by the realization that Arek was apparently Force-sensitive, or to be upset that he'd been tempted by the same darkness that had consumed Luke. She'd been afraid that Arek would hate her for leaving him behind on Takodona, and while his message reassured her that such was not the case--far from it, even--it was painfully clear that he didn't expect to ever see her again; wherever he was, about to face Qi'ra, he was expecting to die.

    For all that she'd only known him for a few days, and had only spent perhaps one full day actually with him, Feyna cared much more about Arek than one might normally care for such a new acquaintance, but it was said that strange and strong connections were forged when a person saved another's life. She had suspected his attraction to her, even at their first meeting on the Home One, and though she hadn't dared discuss it with him, not wanting to make things awkward, she hadn't discouraged him. What might have come of it, if they'd not gotten separated on Takodona--

    It hurt to think about; there was no point dwelling on what-if, and, once again, there was nothing she could do for him.

    Other things were competing for her attention just now.

    Jyn had returned again, with Owen, who reported an inbound Separatist shuttle--they were claiming to be bringing the crystal, that cursed crystal that had caused so much trouble.

    Feyna was immediately suspicious. What if this was another trap? "Before we ask Ka'rta, or anyone, to deal with this, who sent them?"

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @TheSilentInfluence
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  24. galactic-vagabond422

    galactic-vagabond422 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2009
    IC: Ka'rta
    Medbay, Ghost.

    Ka'rta's eye arched hearing the series of events that transpired to bring about the current change in their fortunes. Some caused by her others by Freya and Madelyn. Seemed their little band of troublemakers had caused a fair bit of mischief. Got the people are sorts of riled up and throwing off their bonds from the Empire. Well good for them, maybe they'll stay independent worry about themselves rather than the wider galaxy. Leave Mandalore alone while it rebuilds after the fighting...and her destroying what remained of the capitol city. With the war over they could all start to rebuild, maybe that's what the galaxy needed. A bit of self reflection and worrying about domestic issues.

    She couldn't miss the slight smirk pulling at Mirdala's mouth as he looked to her. Despite herself she returned it. It wasn't the news he gave, that Coursucant had been burned. Though it did mean that there would be even more rebuilding needing to be done, once this war was all over.

    "Not sure if Linnett has made any decisions about Mandalore yet, but I'm sure it'll come up." Jerod paused... "It is good that you are alive."

    Ka'rta let out a pained breath, it was good to see Jerod alive as well. They had been through so much before this, it would be a shame not to see it all to an end. A commotion started outside, Jerod moved to check on it, Mirdala close behind her. Though as Ka'rta's surrogate aunt left, her escort didn't, choosing instead to lock the door behind her. Ka'rta arched her brow.

    "Looking for a bit of privacy?" She asked tilting her head a little. "A little too spacious for us to get really private." The innuendo in her words was palpable, recalling their first encounter in a small custodial closet.

    "Well - you've looked better," He said looking down at her.

    "And so have you." She poked him in the chest, watching him wince. A slight smirk pulled at the corner of her lip. She'd noticed his hesitation, his hands fidgeting, unsure what to do with them. "Is this the part where we talk about our future together?" Taking the initiative she reached her arm up cupping the back of his head in her bare hand. Pulling him down she took his lips in a long kiss, the sounds outside getting louder. She didn't seem to care. As he pulled away she looked into his eyes, her hand feeling the short cut hair against her palm. "I'm not the kind of girl that plans...not very far ahead anyway. But, I don't hate you, which goes a long way. And I might just like you...You don't run away when things get hard...you do have a bad habit of giving up when all seems lost. But, no one's perfect. As of right now, I don't want to throw you out an airlock...and that is saying a lot." She smirked moving to get to her feet.

    "It was one time," He shot back moving to help her before she pushed him away.

    "I can walk." She growled swinging her legs over the edge of the bed. Gently, carefully she put weight on her feet, her uninjured knee first than the one in a walking brace. She stumbles a little on the first step bracing herself against Mirdala as he hadn't left her side. His arms moved to hold her up and she just shook her head. He backed off and she took another step, and another, and another as she clenched her jaw. At the door she opened it finding Owen and the others on the other side. She'd missed most of what was said.

    "What's going on?" She asked leaning against the bulkhead far more than she would admit.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @JediMasterAnne @TheSilentInfluence
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
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  25. LordTroepfchen

    LordTroepfchen Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Darth Zorn
    Korriban

    Darth Zorn turned as the comm unit beeped alive and stretched his hand. He felt it tremble. It was still burning with the dark fire of the Dark Side. He had summoned more power than he could control. He felt it spread, felt it crawl through his body and soul. He could fight it down, but it cost him effort ... it weakened him.

    The comm followed the call anyway and leaped into his hand. He listened as a droid reported they had disassembled the weapon of the space station. Then they offered obedience. Wyyrlock had taken revenge on the galaxy by handing him over what little power he had left. Why had he disassembled the weapon then? It made little sense. Most things the dead Sith had done made little sense to Zorn. Probably that was why he had prevailed. The purity of his vision was why he had become the true Dark Lord of the Sith.

    The droid asked him if he was the successor of their fallen Master.

    "Yes, that would be me. You will address me as my Lord ." He gasped and felt a shiver run through his body again. Surge of dark power seemed to rise as soon as he lost his concentration. He turned his attention back to the space station. This would be useful.

    "Bring the Sith Intruder of the dead Master in, I will follow on my own." A droid army, a planet now full of turbo laser batteries. It was a good point to start the rise of his order. Meaningless ultimately, but convenient.

    "Send a list of all remaining assets to my ship." He wondered what he had won as a prize. A droid army certainly. A giant space station, that was a perfect headquarter. The size of this thing implied it could hold a lot of resources. Construction droids. Fighters. Battle Droids. Scouts. Probably even capital ships. All only details in his true quest. He would not let them distract him from his final objective. Take his fathers destiny.

    He signaled R2 and the Falcon to meet him at the hangar of the giant space station. Then he made his way to his ship. He was flying himself usually, not using the droid Maul had used.

    As he touched the controls to power up the engines Zorn saw his hand tremble and a another shiver went through him. There was something wrong. A hollowness he felt inside. A gaping hole in his soul, draining him like a maelstrom. He breathed through his teeth and fought back, sealed the hole and grabbed the energy control so tight he saw the metal bend.

    The Embrace.

    He had gained great power, yet he lacked full control. He felt it consume him. He would not allow it to. He also felt the great opportunity that lay in this power. The great potential it had to serve him. Once under his control he would be the most powerful force User the galaxy had ever seen. The power of his bloodline combined with the most ancient secrets of the Sith.

    The battle with Wyyrlock had weakened him. Too soon after Maul he had to test his limits again. They had expanded again and again, yet the power he held had their restrictions in his ability to control and channel them.

    Ultimately he felt weakened, injured. He felt he was not yet ready to challenge the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy. Yet, it was time to let the galaxy know ... it was time to announce himself.

    Smiling he realized there was nothing between him and his father now. Yet, Anakin would be reluctant to face him. Fear, fear was also a feeling that lead to darkness. Zorn could sense his fathers fear. His fathers fear that darkness was his legacy and it would always be.

    Fighting down another surge of cold and deadly darkness Darth Zorn made his way up to the giant station above.

    Tag: @Sinrebirth