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Star Wars CLOSED Star Wars: Episode V: Twilight of the Force II: A Father’s Fate

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Sinrebirth , Nov 5, 2019.

  1. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Haydnat Treen
    Aboard the Death Star Prototype, Coruscant orbit

    The woman signed off from her latest round of snarling with the Corellian Prime Minister. "Odious witch," Treen snarled to herself.

    The others were gathered at an impromptu party within the hangar of the Death Star, the finest food and drink that the Indigo Tower to transport in orbit before the shields were raised. Carise of Arkanis, Lecersen of Imperial space, Bramsin of Coruscant - several of the officials present at the meeting a few hours ago. Some had returned home to prepare their worlds - the Senex Lords, the representatives of the Eriaduan Quintad, and the Governors of the Anoat, Wornal and Lambda Sector, for example.

    The shields were being attacked by the Eternal Fleet, and then, the GEMINI ships froze.

    "Ah," Treen said. "It is time!" She knew that was the cue; that the droid minds that controlled the armada were receiving instructions. She had been warned by Darth Trayus that there would be a period of adjustment, in which the fleet would stall and hold position and the momentum of their great Empire would shudder. The exhausted guns of the surviving orbital platforms would fall silent, the shields still up but only just. The defenders of Coruscant would have a moment to regroup and rearm, loading missile tubes with what little ordanance they had left.

    It would be her job to keep the cause going.

    She gestured to the protocol droid, and this time she addressed the galaxy and the capital.

    "People of Coruscant," her tone was clipped. "You have seen the daft protestations of the Corellian Prime Minister on behalf of the reticent Chancellor. The galaxy falls to chaos, even as the planet is besieged. A second great bombardment by the Eternal Fleet, desperate to free the galaxy from the lie of democracy. The New Empire rises, and I would demonstrate the power that we wield."

    "One reactor ignition, sirs."

    As she spoke, the Death Star fired.

    The single use of power meant that the fire was not destructive enough to destroy the planet - merely to blow apart the shields. The screen was shattered by the blast, and the planet was exposed at last.

    "Coruscant is now free, and if the Chancellor will not relinquish her hold of the populace - her hostages, then the Eternal Emperor will have no choice but to destroy the planet. The New Republic must die, and the galaxy be freed!" Treen snarled. "It is a failure. The Clone Wars and this crisis, it is the Republic that birthed it!"

    Treen settled back.

    "I give the former Chancellor ten minutes to acquiesce power."

    Maybe this would rile Feyna from hiding.

    ---
    Chancellor's Office

    Del saluted the Chancellor, eager to get to physical solutions.

    Jyn
    spoke up. "I'm happy to help with the patrol. Paired teams?"

    "Shall I accompany you, Ms Erso?" Shevu said.

    "Jyn, for the love of the Force, call me that." He expected that Del and Nola would want to pair up.

    There was an expression of concern. "There are a few anomalies within the Senate Tower - prowling humans, none of which I know," said Winter. She glanced at the Chancellor, smiled slightly. "I checked all the cameras while I was being patched up by the med-droid, you know what I'm like." The pale woman produced two datapads. "This is what little details I have; they're trying to stay out of sight..."

    The HoloNet showed what Treen said, and did, and indeed, that the Eternal Fleet was silent. Then, the world rocked, as the Death Star fired - and the shields collapsed.

    Jyn seethed. "Oh you have got to deal with her, Feyna. Show her who is boss."

    She took a 'pad from Winter. "I'll take the east wing." She nodded to Del, and Nola. "You can the west wing?"

    Kre'frey didn't respond.

    TAG: @JediMasterAnne x 2
    ---

    In orbit

    The cloaked ship settled in low-orbit.

    The Eternal Throne connected Darth Skelm to the Eternal Fleet.

    There were hundreds of ships in orbit, hundreds of entities - all sharing one will.

    The GEMINI hive mind.

    There was another, however... another mind which hung in this separate place - a carnivorous, dark one.

    It was not as cunning, or base, of manipulative as his, one would say.

    For a time, the three of them were in the same space.

    GEMINI, Skelm and Bernael.

    They were here.

    The droid intellect turned her head. "A Throne has been found... two?"

    They would each come to terms with much.

    The two darksiders would detect that Eternal technology across other worlds in the cosmos. There was an exhausted reserve on Mandalore, and also on Metellos; weapons that had been used to consume the latter world, even unknowingly, by Bernael. Other worlds had the technology, ones the Acolytes of the Beyond had visited on behalf of Darth Zorn. Including Coruscant.

    As Aryan's eyes closed and he was summoned to his higher calling, Trayus headed to the cockpit.

    He leaned across the back of a chair. "So, Arek Graul..." He drawled. "You're not supposed to be here."

    The broken sceptre rumbled in the teens pocket. "Ah yes," Trayus gestured, and it floated free. "It's detecting a portal, reverberating in the depths of Coruscant. The Eternal technology down there, it includes such a thing. It could be used to consume this world... to channel the Force into the man who calls it to - to make them strong... or, if so willed by someone who shares the blood of an Eternal Emperor... it could be used however one wishes; rewired, in-fact."

    Trayus chuckled. "Don't you share some blood with an Eternal Emperor now?" He placed the fragment into Arek's hands. "The escape pods are below, I should say." He looked at the shields as they were pierced by the Death Star's superlaser, watching from the cockpit. "Well, well. The finale approaches... your father's allies include the most murderous in the galaxy... I wonder what they would do with technology like that?"

    The Sith checked an imaginary chrono. "Oh look at that, I need to check on his Imperial Highness."

    The Black-Coat swept from the room, producing a comm. "Well, Ike?" His words faded as he walked off.

    TAG: @HanSolo29 (Arek single, Aryan combo with @darthbernael and the GM)
    ---
    Odessen

    The connection between Bernael and the Eternal Throne caused an evolution.

    The old Anzati would be aware of it, of course, because the changes were so obvious.

    Lana and Theron continued the preparations, and even though he was engaged, they narrated.

    "The design was one that Arcann had made, and we of course had the specifications -"

    "- from when we blew it up," Theron added.

    It rose up, and the area within the base was revealed to be the bridge.

    Bernael had a new toy; a reward for his arduous journey.

    [​IMG]

    The base concealed an Eternal flagship.

    It rose up, shredding the world that had entombed it for over a millennium.

    TAG: @darthbernael
    ---
    IC: High Lord Darish Vol

    Keshtah, Kesh

    The planet was a small one, but it was one occupied by the Sith for a very long time.

    It was the dark side's fortune that looked down on High Lord Darish Vol when a star fell from the sky.

    There were no comms on Kesh, just messengers, flying by Uvak - local reptiles that could fly the members of the Tribe from city to city.

    The Omen, the Derriphan-class battleship which had crash landed on-world five thousand years ago, it remained in it's cradle at the top of a mountain, signalling the galaxy, not knowing that it was impossible through the unique magnetic field that existed on Kesh.

    But in this district of Keshtah, he held power, and so it was he who would act, before the Grand Lord instructed otherwise. Of course, he would bring his loyal Lords - Sarasu Taalon and Sashal, both Keshiri natives. Taalon would demand elevation, as would Sashal, but the latter was a simple woman. The Sabers in his retinue... Ysadria Kaladris, Sammul Sharsha, Jesko Umarn, Olaris Rhea... yes, of course. These seven would be rise with him.

    The seven Uvak took off - flying towards their destiny.

    ---
    Keshtah, Jungle Highlands

    Their yacht was scrambled, crippled by whatever they had hit upon.

    Beaumont growled. "Well now we know why Kesh was so isolated," he said to Qwi. He had explained, as they struggled - around swearing - that Naga Sadow was the Dark Lord of the Sith from five millennia ago. He had started the Great Hyperspace War, bringing the Sith back into the light after nearly two millennia in seclusion, and destroying their most successful Empire. If these Sith had crash-landed here so long ago, then it had been five millennia they had been here.

    But the ship was simply not responding.

    "We're in trouble, Qwi."

    He pulled up the sensor readings of their descent. There were many, many settlements. Sith ones. There was a whole society in-existence.

    They hit the trees -

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox (combo)

    TAG: @darthbernael, @TheSilentInfluence, @darthhelinith (Jedi team combo continues)

    TAG: @TheSilentInfluence, @Jerjerrod-Lennox, @galactic-vagabond422 (Bilbringi combo continues)
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
  2. AgentViper007

    AgentViper007 Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    OOC: A combo with @Sinrebirth

    IC: Qwi Xux, Beaumont Kin
    Location: Firenze, Kesh


    Firenze was still not responding.

    Whether the magnetic field had fried her systems Qwi didn't know, if they landed in one piece she would have to take a look. One thing was for sure, she was getting the yacht back up and running to get off this place.

    And from Beaumont's mini history lesson it sounded bad. The scientific bit was how did a planet generate this kind of magnetic field?

    They were coming towards trees and she had to try and get them down safe without too much damage….Beaumont was still holding her hand.

    "The bond" she exclaimed ""Try and use it to reduce our speed and bring us down. Those trees look a good place to hide the yacht, and I'm not losing this ship. Not on this world full of darkness".

    She closed her eyes as she brought the landing gear out and tried to expand her senses to cover the yacht, to try and slow her down and bring her to a gentle stop in the trees.

    He squeezed her hand and drew on the Force with her, slowing down their descent and they landed in the immense trees. They were cushioned, but there were loud broken branches, and settled half-way up high trees.

    They were perched a fair amount above the ground, but caught in the treeline so in theory hidden. Beaumont sighed. “Do we have any camo we can throw up, or switch on? Somehow?”

    There was a surge in the Force, though - the usage of their power had been detected by a group of darknesses.

    Qwi detected said surge, it seemed their presence had not gone undetected. Although perhaps their descent into the trees was another way they could be spotted.

    "I'm afraid Pascale didn't upgrade her enough for cloaking nor stealth. And unfortunately no camo net either" she shook her head rising shakily from her seat "We'll just have to hope the security system deters them enough".

    The poor yacht was probably battered with some scratches on the paintwork. But they would have to leave her here and hope she did not get stolen...or fall out the trees.

    "Our presence did not go unnoticed so we'll probably have to leave her here for a bit. Pack up what supplies and weapons we need although I don't know what would work against dark siders".

    Beaumont nodded, looked panicked. “We’ll have to lead them away from the ship. They must have been stranded for all that time.”

    He collected and collated items - survival ones, mainly. Food, rations, canteens, clothes. He wasn’t sure what else they’d need. As they crossed rooms, he touched her skin to reconnect and do a location check on the darksiders; getting closer, and fast.

    “There was no tech I could find, save for on the mountain...” Beaumont frowned, aloud. “I’ve no idea how they’re coming so quickly.”

    He zipped shut the backpack, checked his blaster charge. “Ready?”

    Qwi helped Beaumont out as best she could, collecting spare jumpsuits, underwear, blaster packs, a couple of vibro knives and grenades. As she crossed with Beaumont it was frightening the speed at which these darksiders were coming.

    She holstered her trusty blaster in her holster and joined Beaumont at the ramp entrance.

    "Ready as i'll ever be" she said "Let's get as far away from them as we can. If we can find somewhere we can lay low for a while the better".

    She pressed the ramp control "We will have to jump down out of the trees" she grabbed his hand and smiled "Our bond should cushion our landing".

    Beaumont peered down the dozens of meters and took her hand. “Kiss for luck?” His lips pressed to Qwi’s with a smile he didn’t entirely feel. He couldn’t help but squeeze his eyes shut as he took the plunge -

    I can't believe we are about to do this...please don't let us die.

    She locked her lips with his, held his hand, her other arm wrapped around him, and then after a count of three lept, pulling Beaumont with her. She immediately stretched out with the Force trying to cushion the fall as best they could.

    They landed as light as a feather, and Beaumont opened his eyes. “Well that was pretty cool.”

    He produced a datapad, pointing that they were in the middle of the forested region. The highland jungles, he decided. “There’s a major settlement here, to the east, and beyond that is a trail to the mountains where that signal came from.”

    He pursed his lips. “Otherwise it’s rivers and towns and some lakes to the south east. Should we try a smaller or larger place to go into?”

    They didn’t have long to decide.

    Not at all.

    This was another big decision…

    Go the smaller route they could stick out more and there was not a lot that way it seemed. Which would probably bore Beaumont.

    The other way, with the larger settlement they again could stick out but at least it would be busier so they could perhaps hide.

    And there was that crashed ship which was dangerous but could peak Beaumont's interest. And they could find out maybe what caused the ship to crash.

    ""The larger settlement" she said "And perhaps we should use the bond only when necessary in case any darksiders go for us".

    Beaumont nodded. "Let's go, then." They made their way through the jungle, him careful to help her but when they touched to not use their bond. They pushed through the trees, but at least there weren't any predators to speak of. It was a trek though, and darkness was beginning to encroach. There was a grumbling within the Force and suddenly their attention would be pulled up -

    To seven flying reptiles, with seven riders, most human, but with some purple-skin as well. In their hands, using them as banal torches, were crimson lightsabers.

    "Sith," Beaumont hissed.

    Seven Sith.

    He squeezed her hand, covered his mouth, and pulled her to huddle beneath a tree.

    Before leaving Firenze in her spot amongst the trees Qwi used her chrono to raise the ramp and then activate the security system. And hope it would be enough to at least keep her safe.

    The trek through the jungle was tiring, after using their bond twice Qwi was drained but was thankful for Beaumont's help in crossing big obstacles. Darkness was soon approaching and she was about to suggest they stop and find a place to shelter for the night….

    When they arrived. Sith. If they spotted them both they would be in big trouble.

    As Beaumont pulled her she said nothing and tried to not even think at all. She wrapped her arms around him as they huddled and buried her face on his shoulder looking away and closing her eyes trying to hide her blue skin as much as possible.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
    Sinrebirth and darthbernael like this.
  3. JediMasterAnne

    JediMasterAnne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2004
    OOC: Combo with the GM

    IC: Nola and Delan Deidder, Chancellor Feyna Organa, Winter, Jyn Erso, Captain Shevu, and Haydnat Treen

    Coruscant

    Nola nodded, checking her blaster and taking another datapad.

    Feyna flinched as the Death Star fired, then frowned at her datapad--shields gone, Kre'frey not responding, and who was still prowling the Senate? Not the Yuuzhan Vong; they were human, or at least appeared to be.

    "Be careful," she warned the others.

    Before they went, she asked Jyn, "How long before they can fire the Death Star again?" She assumed the ten-minute ultimatum was because the weapon had to recharge, but she didn't trust Treen to actually wait that long if the weapon was ready sooner.

    Thankfully, she didn't really need ten minutes, she thought, still holding the remote in her hands.

    Jyn paused at the door. “Probably about ten minutes - Treen used only a fifth of the power to do that. If she used a full reactor, we’d be dead.”

    “But now the shield is gone, Aryan can head up to there,” Shevu said, carefully.

    “I don’t understand why the Eternal Fleet has stopped firing though,” said Del, shaking his head.

    Winter purses her lips. “The GEMINI droids panicked about an Eternal Throne. Presumably Zorn had one; but it must have been destroyed by the battle at Exegol. If he picked Aryan to be his... figurehead? Then perhaps he shipped a Throne here... and a way for Aryan to use it?”

    Jyn and Shevu left on that, but they quickly focused. Del eyed their datapad. “Nola? You alright with all this?” He whispered as they went. “I want to stay, but we can go, if you want.” He wanted to make up for helping Norin, even out of misguided loyalty.

    To atone.

    Winter looked at Feyna as they left. “It’s on you, again, I’m afraid. I heard Isolder survived though. So that’s something. He’ll be here, when he can, I know it.”

    Feyna nodded, "I heard Solo picked him up after Song of War went down." She wished he'd call, though, but with a battered fleet to lead, he was probably busy.

    "Did you hear about Anakin, then? And Piett and Raddus?"

    Feyna was debating announcing that, as well, but she wanted to be sure Winter knew first.

    Winter nodded. “Yeah, I heard. Anakin died stopping Darth Zorn...”

    She looked sad. “But at least Zorn has been defeated... but the cost was high.” Winter took a deep breath.

    Feyna felt a little better, that Winter knew--she was sorry that she'd had to hear it from someone else, but at least she wouldn't be blindsided if Feyna announced it to the public, and she was still debating on that. She'd make it known one way or another, of course, but announcing the deaths of the Chosen One, the Remnant's Chief of State, and the New Republic's Supreme Commander might not achieve the effect she wanted just now. That might be best held off until after, when the dangers had passed and healing could begin.

    And there was another thing she wondered about. "Should I give Treen and the others a chance to surrender?" She didn't want to blow the Death Star without any kind of warning--though she was more concerned about any civilian ships in proximity, or provoking the Eternal fleet, than about Treen or the other traitors on the station. But she also worried that they might try to flee with the Death Star--she doubted the remote would work across systems.

    And even if they did surrender, most of CSF was gone; there was no way of taking them into custody until the fleet arrived, if there was even enough of the fleet left...

    Winter pursed her lips. “If I could sleep at night without offering that chance, I would blow it in an instant.” The Alderaanian shook her head. “It’s a Death Star. Treen knows what it means to you. She’s not being callous, she’s being murderously calculated.”

    She took a breath.

    “But it’s on you.”

    Winter took her hands in hers.

    Feyna nodded again, squeezing her friend's hands, then heading over to her desk.

    Winter was right, of course; Treen wanted to provoke a hasty response from her, and to blow the station without at least an attempt at diplomacy first would be just as damaging as not responding at all (maybe worse).

    Whether Treen or any of the others would actually take the offer, or let the chrono run out, was up to them (Feyna would have to impose her own time limit, so she could trigger the detonators before they could fire the lasers again).

    And there was still Graul, and the Eternal fleet...they'd stopped the second attack not long after he'd left, and Winter had theorized that Zorn had sent a throne to Graul--

    "What if the throne is on Graul's getaway ship?"

    Winter froze. "Then I don't know what to do... he could take command of it anytime he wanted..." She looked at the Eternal Fleet, silent, not firing. "Should we warn the GEMINI droids?"

    "They weren't responding earlier--we could try again, now they're not attacking, or I can say something when I address Treen and everyone else...

    "The GEMINI I spoke with before, she said something about a 'genome,' too--but if Zorn controlled them before, he probably had that delivered to Graul as well."

    Winter nodded slowly. “I think we should try for Treen and the GEMINI droids at the same time. The galaxy is going to want to know about the GEMINI droids too, after all.”

    Feyna gave another small nod, and once she had a fair idea of what she needed to say, she flicked on the HoloNet override.

    "Citizens,

    "To start, I wish to apologize for the distress and confusion that my silence has caused, and while I'd like to offer a more in-depth explanation, I have a few announcements to make, and not much time in which to do so.

    "Firstly, I've received reports from Exegol: Darth Zorn, formerly known as Luke Skywalker, is dead, and his fleet of superweapon Star Destroyers has been defeated. Therefore I've recalled the New Republic fleet to return to Coruscant as quickly as possible.

    "Secondly"--oh, Feyna wished she could see the look on Treen's face--"I was contacted by Kuat of Kuat, who expressed her displeasure with Senator Treen's recent actions, including the unethical decision to deceive her own people into providing Darth Zorn with the aforementioned Destroyers. As such, I have been authorized to make public that, effective immediately, Haydnat Treen is relieved of her position as Senator of Kuat, and of all duties and privileges the position entails. Her place in the Senate will be filled by Ms. Viqi Shesh, as appointed by Kuat of Kuat. Furthermore, the planet will not be joining Darth Skelm's 'New Empire,' but will remain in the New Republic."

    Perhaps if she'd had more time, she'd have gone on with Graul's new allegiances, about how he'd killed both Norin and Kuro, but the clock was ticking.

    "I also wish to address the GEMINI droids of the Eternal Fleet--we have been trying to locate your Eternal Throne, and I believe that prior to his death, Darth Zorn sent it to Skelm, possibly with the genome you mentioned that is necessary to claim command of your fleet. His ship is on its way to rendezvous with his allies aboard the Death Star." She wasn't sure if Graul had already taken over the droids, but if they could still resist, now they had the information.

    "Regarding the Death Star itself: Superweapons will not be tolerated by the New Republic, and never by me. I have heard Skelm's insinuations to the contrary, and I have no words for how offensive I find such accusations. As soon as the station was initially disabled, shortly after its arrival, steps were taken to have it prepared for destruction. Detonators are now in place, and I have the remote to trigger them in my hand.

    "To former Senator Treen and her allies presently occupying the Death Star: I know how long it will take before you are able to fire the laser again. I will destroy the station before that time comes. The question now is whether you will still be on it or not. I don't want to kill you. But I will, unless you shut down the station and surrender yourselves into custody. You have"--she checked the chrono--"three minutes."

    She switched off the override, and looked to Winter, raising a questioning brow.

    The line crackled as Treen opened a line to the galaxy. “RIDICULOUS!” She roared. “I deny all that you say, Chancellor, as lies and fabrication. I have the Senator of Coruscant, representative Bramsin, right beside me, and he is presently filing the articles to call a vote in no confidence in you! And as to Kuat of Kuat, the board of Directors of Kuat Drive Yards ratified my articles of secession not an hour ago!”

    Winter frowned at that. Treen had just contradicted herself, surely? Were they a loyal cabal, or a secessionist state? She did note that the GEMINI droids didn’t reply, though.

    “And as to your ridiculous bluff that this superweapon is triggered to blow,” Treen scoffed. “My loyal techs combed this station for sabotage when we arrived. Do you think me so stupid as to take a gift without checking it wasn’t a concealed blade!” A churlish laugh. “Chancellor - you have failed to keep the peace. You have failed to protect the New Republic. That is your mandate, is it not? If Darth Zorn had an axe to the galaxies neck, it was you who put it in the block for him!”

    “We are prepared to fire,” Treen said with a snarl. “We must save Coruscant from your tyranny, Chancellor Organa. Your father would applaud my actions.”

    Winter held up a datapad with a chrono countdown.

    Two minutes left to Feyna’s deadline.

    Essentially, they were both at the point of no return.

    Feyna's brow furrowed; she had spoken to Kuat more recently than Treen's supposed ratification, though she did wonder...but Treen might just be lashing out in desperation. She didn't doubt that Jyn had indeed placed the explosives, though; Jyn was smart and sneaky, she'd have found a way to make sure Treen's techs didn't find them.

    Feyna flipped her mic back on, her voice calm, despite Treen's jab about her father. "I am sorry you don't believe me...and I'm sorry it's come to this, but you leave me no other option."

    She activated the remote.

    For a long moment, nothing happened.

    The dish on the weapon began to glow green with power, building to an planet-killing crescendo. Treen was spluttering, cursing her stubbornness and demanding the galaxy understand that Feyna Organa had left her no choice but to destroy Coruscant.

    To murder a trillion beings.

    The beams converged -

    But the Death Star exploded, a colossal detonation that sundered a dozen of the nearest droid warships, but still the rest listed absently.

    There was a terrible silence, a hanging moment, and Winter let out a breath she hadn’t realised that she’d been holding. There were tears in the woman’s eyes; she couldn’t quantify what was upsetting about the destruction of the weapon which had annihilated their homeworld fourteen years ago. Relief? Guilt?

    The galaxy was holding its collective breath; they’d just seen the explosion live on the HoloNet; seen that their Chancellor was not bluffing.

    Feyna shut off the mic again, dropping the remote on her desk and sinking into her chair, holding her face in her hands.

    She took very little pleasure in what she'd done; it wasn't the outcome she would have preferred--yes, the Death Star had to go, and Treen and her allies had been a dangerous problem, but it still felt wrong, killing them.

    She felt like she ought to say something else to the people, but words wouldn't come, at least not for that. Not yet.

    Lifting her head, she found Winter's gaze, and reached over for her hand. "Are you okay?"

    “No, but I’ll be okay,” Winter held her, drawing her into a hug. “Are you? You know that Treen gave you no choice, don’t you?”

    Feyna nodded, returning the embrace. "I do know that." She'd seen the green glow of the lasers, if she'd waited another second, they'd all be dead.

    She wasn't sure it made her feel much better. But Treen was like Krennic, in a way; willing to go to horrible extremes to achieve her own ends. Treen would have killed trillions, just for the sake of getting Feyna out of her way.

    "I'll be okay," she finally said, reluctantly pulling away. Eventually. "Hopefully this will all be over with soon."

    There was still work to do. "Still nothing from Kre'frey?" Where was he?

    Winter keyed the sensors. "Most of the orbital Golan platforms are disabled, including his one. So I don't know, to be honest." She scrolled. "The shield crews have confirmed that the entire system is down - the generators blew trying to resist that attack." Winter swallowed. "We're basically defenceless, at least for now."

    She paused.

    "Do you think we killed Aryan aboard the Death Star?"

    Feyna considered, then shook her head. "I doubt it; I think Treen would have said something if he'd gotten there? Unless he was caught in the blast radius..." She didn't think she'd be that lucky, though.

    "The Eternal fleet hasn't moved?"

    Until their fleet got back, Coruscant had no defenses against the droids, if Graul ordered them to attack.

    She found herself pulling out her comlink, checking perhaps for a message, anything, from Isolder, or Dameron, anyone who might be able to tell her what was going on with the armada.

    Winter was flicking through displays and updates. “The Exegol fleet has regrouped at Bilbringi and is expected to launch forward elements within half an hour. Isolder, Dameron, Linnett, Solo and others are running a war council as we speak, apparently.”

    Her voice was tight. “I think we need to move, Feyna. Aryan will know where we are, if he is still alive.” She looked unhappily. “Shevu and Jyn have reported contact with Yuuzhan Vong infiltrators. So I’d say we’re going to have a problem if we stay in the Senate tower.”

    The villip was long silent now, but it remained with her. Feyna’s comms were full of reports of worlds in the south seceding to the New Empire, and also requests for aid from Sluis Van, Naboo and Sullust. Most of the worlds leaving had minimal military assets, but the Eternal Fleet would more than make up for that.

    The Moff Council was in-session, less one Moff who had apparently died aboard the Death Star - weakening the pro-Aryan faction immeasurably. The Bothans and Hutts had just issued statements that they had not joined the New Empire but merely secured their borders, when thought most of the Mandalorian forces at Exegol had also headed home. The Corporate Sector was reported to be considering secession, but as adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach to the surprise of everyone. Commentators had also expected Thrawn to announce he was aligning with Graul, but it hadn’t happened either.

    In essence, it appeared that the destruction of the Death Star had halted the momentum building against the Chancellor.

    For now.

    Feyna nodded, starting to gather her things. "Call the others back: Jyn, Shevu, Nola and Del." She wasn't sure where they'd go, but there wasn't much else she could do from here.

    "What about Kuat? We have a bit of a contradiction, between what Kuat told me, and what Treen was saying about the Board of Directors."

    She glanced at the override switch again, wondering if she should announce anything else.

    "Do you think I should tell the people, about the Yuuzhan Vong?"

    -----------------------———-—----------------------------------------------------


    Outside, heading into the corridors, Nola shook her head, "No, I want to stay."

    Del nodded, checked his blaster. “Here we go.” They rounded the Senate, him eying the ’pad. “Life sign near here...”

    A plain looking human rounded the corner, looking out of place in deadpan clothes. He stuttered. “I’m lost - looking for the Chancellor?”

    Nola glanced to Del, already suspicious of this person. "The Chancellor is extremely busy"--seriously, anyone who'd been paying any attention the last couple of days could guess that--"and is not granting audiences at this time." And no way this guy has an appointment.

    "Who are you?"

    The man glanced from one to the other and then ripped open his shirt - there was a mass of roiling... insects? Del took a deep breath and reached for Nola as there a pop like a cork, as the first bug shot outward -

    Things went from suspicious to not good to what are those?! in a matter of seconds; Del grabbed for her as the first bug took flight, and Nola raised her blaster to fire at the man, at the insects, whichever she could hit.

    The thud bugs exploded from the man's chest with the force of grenades, slamming into the pillars, the walls, the roof. One took Del in the chest as he pushed Nola, collapsing to the ground in unconsciousness. The Yuuzhan Vong beneath didn't have armour on beneath his thud bug vest, and he launched at her with a snarl, an amphistaff uncoiling from his wrist -

    Nola was back-pedaling, trying to dodge the bugs--how did something that small hit that hard?--still firing, trying to hit the attacker's unprotected chest.

    The Yuuzhan Vong took the shot and the acrid smell of ruining flesh wafted out, even as he advanced, stopping for only a moment at each blast. It was definitely hurting, but the Yuuzhan Vong’s eyes were maniacally focused upon her, as if it was his god-appointed task to kill her -

    Nola jammed down the trigger of her blaster, concentrating on his chest still. She had to crouch awkwardly to retrieve Del's blaster, but one she had it, she opened fire with it, too, aiming this one at his face, head, and neck.

    The shots that hit anywhere apart from the head seemed to merely enrage the Yuuzhan Vong - but the one that went between his eyes dropped him dead. Finally.

    Del took that opportunity to come to. “Ouch.” He pulled down his shirt to regard his left arm. “That’s gonna leave a bruise.”

    “Anyone able to explain what the hell that was?” He sat up, regarding the cracks, dents and tears in the walls and pillars and roof.

    Nola crouched next to him again, setting down his blaster as she also eyed the red mark on his arm. Probably a good thing it hadn't been his skull...

    "I'd guess it's one of those Yuuzhan Vong the Chancellor mentioned," she said, looking to check the datapad, hoping there weren't any more coming.

    There was one, on the datapad - clearly heading towards them. Del looked down the corridor, growling. “This isn’t going to be any easier than that guy.”

    He eyed the pillars, the dented floor and cracked light fittings. “Plan?”

    Nola also surveyed the damage. "Go and meet him? I don't want them to keep pushing us back and end up in the Chancellor's office, and that one was hard to kill--aim for the head."

    She also didn't want to hang around in the damaged hallway--though it did give her another idea. "Or...how unstable do you think this area is now?"

    If they could bring down this section, without compromising any other part of the building structure, they could crush the intruder, and have a makeshift barricade.

    Del looked up. "I like that idea." He looked at it, saw a fault-line running through the ceiling. "If we shoot it here..." He'd used this trick himself more than once; turning a hopeless situation into a success by basically throwing the game board.

    There was a noise down the distance, but this time there was a fully-armoured Yuuzhan Vong pelting toward them.

    Nola stepped back, hopefully out of the way of any falling debris, and shot upward, at the fracture line that Del had indicated.

    The Yuuzhan Vong reached into a bandolier and threw a bug - this one with razor edges that buzzer angrily at them. Del dove, wincing in pain, and it slit his cheek open as it passed -

    The bolts hammered into the roof as the Yuuzhan Vong rushed forward, twirling his amphistaff into a solid length. He saw what Nola was doing and cocked his arm, throwing the weapon spear-tail first -

    As the roof dropped on him, wrecking this level and sending the warrior and the masonry down and through the next level -

    The platform Nola and Del stood on began to crack--

    "Get back!" Nola scrambled away from the edge, reaching out to pull her husband along with her--

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @HanSolo29 anyone
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  4. AgentViper007

    AgentViper007 Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    OOC: The War Council in session with @Sinrebirth , @galactic-vagabond422 and @TheSilentInfluence

    IC: Han Solo, Lumpawaroo (Lumpy), Madelyn Linnett,, Tor, Prince Isolder, Shara Dameron
    Location: Millenium Falcon, Bilbringi


    Han was thankful to get to the Bilbringi shipyards in one piece. The Falcon hadn't disintegrated so at least there was that. But she would need a bit of a repair job once this mission was done.

    He had introduced himself to Tor and Mirdala and was glad to have Madelyn back aboard. He had a soft spot for her and Feyna, his 'kids'.

    The news coming out of Coruscant was still not good. Feyna was in real trouble now. And even worse was that whole systems were shutting up shop.

    So while the Jedi took out the big bad ball of doom, the remaining ships would take on the fleet bashing Coruscant. That left two difficult missions.

    "Alright first things first, never tell me the odds. Second of all, the plan for the Jedi and the fleet sounds good. Hopefully with that weapon gone Skelm won't be tempted to blow any planets up".

    He looked to Madelyn and Tor first "Alright ladies first. Kid, which mission do you think you and Tor could handle?".

    Tor squeezed her father's hand, she knew what had to be done, what she was here to do. Her mother had faced longer odds and come out on top, she was also the only one that could take on this particular job.

    "I'll go after Skelm, I have this." she held up the medallion. "It keeps me from being seen in the force. Fett has one just like it. If we can get him to help...The man will be dead." Her father held her shoulder again, feeling the wavering conviction in his daughter's voice.

    "I'll go with her." Mirdala added. "This fight isn't mine, but I will protect what is." Turning his head to look as his child made his intentions clear. He wasn't here to fight for the allied forces, he was here to protect his blood.

    Madelyn looked at Han and then at Tor as she spoke. "I had better go with you too, if that's agreeable with everyone. I don't want you facing him alone Tor, even with that medallion." She paused and looked thoughtful. Tor certainly likes to take the lead. Hm.

    "You have to be careful with force users Tor. They see things before they happen."

    Isolder returned to the group chat. “As soon as we can launch, we’ll need to, because the Coruscant situation is only going to heat up - Treen will use the Death Star if Feyna makes any progress.”

    “We can advance ahead of the fleet; fighters - and the Falcon, they’re fast.” Shara looked back from the comms. “The southern quadrant has basically signed up to the New Empire, and the Tapani Lord’s are wobbling.”

    Lumpy growled. If Feyna dies, it’s conceivable that the New Republic will just collapse. Saving her should come ahead of killing Skelm. Which was quite a thing for a Wookiee to say, who were a warrior race. He was looking at Tor.

    Their comms all chimed. Shara got it first. “It’s Boba Fett. He’s offering coordinates for Skelm on Coruscant.” She sounded incredulous; it was on most of their private channels - even Han’s.

    Han listened to it all. It seemed the Mando bunch were set on getting Skelm. He had no idea about what Force users could or could not do and especially with that medalion thing Tor had would it even work?

    Lumpy's reply surprised Han though. But he, Han and Isolder would no doubt go and save the Princess. Lumpy was right on one thing, the New Republic would crumble without her. And he owed it to her to come and get her after running away at Mandalore.

    And he was a general now….

    Han shrugged "The Mandalorians want to go after Skelm, there's no way I can stop 'em. If they think they can do it with Fett, then they can give it a go" he raised his finger "But don't do anythin' stupid. Ka'rta would no doubt kill me if you all didn't make it back in one piece".

    "If you wanna change your mind and join me, His Highness and Lumpy in rescuin' Feyna then I'm happy to have you aboard. But you need to be sure you can take on Skelm...and win".

    "That's good." Tor replied, having him with her and what was turning into the Mandalorian squad would be important, and having his location. Flipping through her settings on her helmet she found a lay out for the location trying to find modes of entry and exit. She didn't notice the wookiee staring daggers at her. She had her mission.

    "I know auntie, buir was very clear on being careful around force users." Mirdala nodded his head looking at Lumpy and Han. It seems the teams were decided.

    "She'll bring us all back just to kill us again." He mentioned smiling under his helmet at his love's famous temper.

    Madelyn smiled gently and reached down to put her hand on Tor's shoulder to draw her attention back to her. "That's good. Your mother is a smart woman." She said, and then let go of Tor. " I know we will win. One way or another." She put her hand on her darksaber and looked at Han, then back at Tor.

    "After we win, there's something I need to speak to you about Tor." Madelyn told her. "Something important. So stay alive okay?"

    There was another series of comm updates; happy ones. The Death Star prototype had just been blown up - by Feyna herself, using detonators hidden in the weapon!

    Isolder looked pained, but Lumpy roared with victory. Shara grinned. “That’s gonna sting Skelm I bet!”

    Tor just arched her brow a little concerned but just gave a nod of her head.

    "Well that takes one piece off the board." Mirdala added hearing that the Death Star was gone. "Does that free up some assets?"

    Han showed his customary smirk and ruffled Lumpy's fur "Score one for the good guys".

    He turned serious "But it's not over yet. It could free up some ships to tackle that droid fleet. But Skelm will be hacked off, no doubt he'll have Feyna in his sights if he realises she's done it. Which makes rescuing her and taking Skelm out all the more important"

    Shara nodded. “The Jedi wing will harass the battlecruisers then, keep them off-balance for when the fleet arrives - and allow you to insert into Coruscant.” She frowned. “Do we have a second fast ship that the Mandalorian team can use?”

    Isolder answered that. “I’ll get something together, as the Falcon team won’t be able to spend time doing a drop-off.”

    Lumpy grumbled his thanks - finding Feyna and dropping off a team might be a bit much, especially under fire. The Hapan Prince nodded. “I’ll be taking command of the Kendall, the Battle Dragon.”

    “Rogue Wing will be prepped to screen you, your Majesty,” replied Tycho, having been quiet so far.

    Isolder smiled. “We’ve all last minute tasks to attend to. If there is nothing else, we can get to it. May the Force be With You; the Jedi wing, Falcon and the Mandalorian team will be launching in half an hour. The fleet will be as quickly as we can behind you - General Solo will have command until I arrive.”

    Madelyn nodded. "And also with you." She replied with a small smile. Hopefully we can deal with him quickly. At least we don't have a death star to worry about anymore.

    Han nodded, it was him and Lumpy to rescue the Chancellor and get her safely off Coruscant, what could go wrong?

    He looked at Lumpy "Let's get the Falcon back into shape shall we? Goin to be a bumpy ride pal…."

    He wished Anakin could have come along for the ride. At least he and Han had settled their differences before the trip to Exegol.

    "We'll get the Chancellor off safe, the Falcon is the fastest ship in the galaxy. We'll have her off planet before Skelm can even blink".

    He looked at Madelyn "Take care kid, hope to see you soon" he looked at the other Mandos "And you guys too. Kill Skelm, get off. Simple as that".

    Tor was taking a few breaths preparing herself for what was going to come next. It was time to complete her mission. And possibly save the galaxy. It was so strange, her mother had never raised her to save the galaxy, or even to care about the wider world. Yet she was taking part in the biggest battle of her lifetime. Ka'rta had made no secret that she was dragged into the last war by Madelyn, that it was the current Manda'lor that pulled her into the conflict. Now Tor was willingly participating. Though on her own terms.

    She gave a nod to the smuggler and moved with the cadre of armored mandalorians towards their transport.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth , @galactic-vagabond422 , @TheSilentInfluence (@JediMasterAnne and @HanSolo29 for mentions)
     
  5. HanSolo29

    HanSolo29 Fan Art Mod & Curator star 7 Staff Member Moderator

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    IC: Arek Graul
    Cloaked Vessel, Coruscant

    Arek remained pensive, his hands clenched tightly around the broken staff, as Trayus vacated the room. He was rightfully wary of the Black Coat’s intentions, particularly after he had assisted his father with his cunning scheme to conquer the galaxy. And yet, there was something about the man’s words that had stopped him, drawing his thoughts inward to search for answers.

    That’s when he felt the power of the scepter pulsing against his fingers, resonating with the Force to convey him the truth. It was the same scepter that had carried him across the void to this new timeline – a true product of the ancients, and he knew that it could not lie.

    Trayus had offered him a way out. Not only would it solve his current predicament with his father, but he could escape from this doomed existence and start anew. That had been his objective from the beginning, even before he had allowed himself to become distracted by his grandfather. This was an opportunity to set things right.

    Of course, it also wouldn’t hurt to foil his father’s plans in the process. The Black Coat was right to assume that his father would want to utilize the Eternal technology hidden on Coruscant’s surface for his own means. If Arek could reach it first and ‘recalibrate’ it to serve as a portal instead of a weapon, he could save the galaxy from experiencing another tragedy. It was the least he could do before he departed.

    Nevertheless, that did not stop the guilt from closing in on him. He could not dismiss the people he would be leaving behind to potentially perish in this alternate chronology – people like the Chancellor, Nola, and their supporters, who had all struggled to retain the peace.

    And yet, was there anything he could really do to prevent such an inevitability? Arek had to remind himself that this was a parallel timeline. He could only presume that Feyna and the others existed somewhere else – much as he did – and were living a normal, happy life.

    At least, that was the hope that spurred him onward.

    But even then, there were certain matters he could not leave up to mere chance. For one, his grandmother had suffered through enough heartache. He could not bear to leave her behind to witness her son spiraling ever deeper into the throes of madness. It would literally kill her.

    That thought lingered as Arek pursed his lips and retrieved the datapad from his jacket pocket. He then began to hastily type out a message to Four-Dee:

    I will be forwarding you a set of coordinates shortly. Meet me there as soon as you can. I’ve found a way out.

    He hesitated before typing out another, an encrypted one that would be delivered half a galaxy away. Despite never meeting his long-lost sister, he felt compelled to reach out to her and ensure that she had an egress. He recalled overhearing a report that placed her in Bakura’s custody, and so he would use them as an intermediary. Hopefully, they would have the foresight to forward the package directly to her upon receiving it.

    After he sent both messages on their way, Arek rose from his chair at the monitoring station and quietly scampered toward the bowels of the ship, careful not to attract any unwanted attention. When he reached his destination, his fingers caressed the handle of the scepter one last time, entrusting it for guidance, before he slipped into one of the empty escape pods.

    In short order, he jettisoned the pod and watched with bated breath as he hurtled toward the planet below.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  6. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, House was on fire, not my fault star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Combo with @Sinrebirth

    IC Bernael
    Eternal Flagship, Odessen orbit


    Even as a portion of Bernael’s consciousness was enmeshed with the meld of the Thrones and the GEMINI fleet another portion was still conscious of what was occurring around his physical body. He’d been concerned when he saw that the Throne was in a static, somewhat ruined base on a planet, in this case deep in the Empire of the Hand territory. But with this development he now had a mobile command base, unanchored to any locale.

    His eyes opened, looking toward the holograms, ”Any other surprises you have in store for me?” then thought for a moment, ”Send a command to the Fury that was parked by the base, have it settle in the hangar of this craft, it can be useful in the future.”

    "Set a course for an unallied territory for now, while I plan. Oh...and does this vessel have a name?"
    he asked.

    “Welllllll,” Theron said, glancing at Lana. “I’m not sure we’re ready to tell you everything, but sure, we’ll send some Skytroopers to collect your ship. Classic design, after all.”

    Vaylin didn’t care about ship names, so no,” Lana replied. “But as to what my colleague references... I must ask; what are your intentions? The Eternal Alliance, when it had the power, kept the peace. In this demilitarised galaxy, even a third of the Eternal Fleet would become a hyperpower in its own right - not unassailable, but with the strength to win almost any battle with the armed powers in their current state.”

    “Are you gonna be an Alliance Commander or an Eternal Emperor, basically,” finished Theron.

    “There is that choice, yes,” Lana said.

    Bernael chuckled, ”We did just meet, yes, so time it will take for you to reveal all that you choose to.”

    Another chuckle and he eyed the two holograms, ”I have a counter question, the quality of your service and what you reveal, assist in, does that differ whether I choose to be the commander or emperor?”

    "Not per se, no," Lana replied.

    "Though we both have our preferences, as you'd expect," Theron added.

    She glanced at him. "But we don't allow them to interfere with our service. When we served the Outlander as Commander of the Alliance, we did not care for either of our respective factions - Empire or Republic."

    Theron folded his arms. "Not that either of them were particularly impressive at the time, morally or otherwise. We stuck with them when they did pick a side, of course."

    "So an unqualified no, for now," Lana said. Her eyes were piercing, even in hologram form; Sith eyes.

    A slow, lazy smile crossed Bernael’s face as he watched them both. He was sure what each of their choices would be but the fact that they would still work with and assist him regardless of choice, not hold back because of it, was a good sign.

    ”I am certain that you both, with the tech around here, can sense the orientation of a being. And I am pleased that regardless of my choice you both will be working with and for me. I see my role and it is that of Emperor. Therefore that is my choice.” he stated in a calm, even tone.

    He was drawn to Lana but he’d heard many were over the years and she was a hologram, not living so there was no need to appreciate more than her form, intelligence, and ability. Shan was one that was more of a loose cannon to him but he was sure that the ‘man’ would work quite well for him.

    A thought occurred, ”A portion of the fleet is headed to Corellia, Hapes, and Kuat. I know there is Eternal tech on those planets, can it be woken from here, to assist when the GEMINI fleet arrives to deal with those opposed to my plans?”

    Theron shook his head. “No Eternal tech on those worlds; they weren’t loyal to the Old Ones, nor captured by Vitiate before he was deposed or killed. That’s the requirements you have to fulfil to find them.”

    “And even then, the GEMINI droids have specific subroutines built into them warning them off Corellia,” Lana said. “We didn’t have the opportunity to discover why. The Eternal Emperor himself would have to travel to Corellia.”

    She gestured a few holograms to appear. “If you intend to be an Emperor... should we begin programs to recreate the Star Fortresses, or a factory for more Skytroopers?” The former were stations designed to hold whole worlds hostage, and the latter were the droids that served as infantry.

    “We’ll need to deploy at least some of the fleet to secure the necessary resource worlds and old Separatist facilities...” Theron lit up the southern quadrant with yellow dots for targets - Nkllon, Bespin, Endor, as the former, and Mustafar, Akiva and Zaadja for the latter.

    The fleet was one thing, but they knew that propagation was key to future successes.

    Bernael snorted, "Just because I choose to be an Emperor does not mean I wouldn't accept when you know I have missed something or had it wrong." One talon tapped on the end of the throne.

    And then he snorted again, ”You two are not able to read minds are you? Ensuring production of those resources, and others, such as the starfighters and assault droids, needs to begin. Zakuul at first, as well as uninhabited, relatively unknown systems. Once the resource worlds are subdued we will expand the production facilities so that, no matter the world it can be interdicted by the Star Fortresses and cohorts of Skytroopers.”

    He thought for a few moments, ”If the GEMINI will travel to Corellia then we interdict travel to it from the closest the GEMINI will approach it until such time as I can travel there. Any craft travelling to there will be warned off and if they continue to approach, destroyed. Any craft exiting, including shipments to any but us, and those deep scanned, will likewise be destroyed.”

    His eyes scanned the galactic map, ”A portion of the fleet is being sent to both Hapes and Kuat. Those worlds will be reduced until they submit to Eternal rule. The remainder of the fleet will be used to bring the resource worlds into the Empire, several to begin with and more as the production ramps up.”

    Lana tapped her holographic chin. “I would abandon Zakuul, actually. It has no resources that will benefit the cause, unless you intend to use it as a forward base...”

    “... and what about Odessen?” Theron queried. “I’ve no suggestion that Thrawn knows about it... but he might dig into Zakuul’s whereabouts...?”

    It took a few moments to think about both worlds and what Lana and Theron had said. His smile remained in place, ’It is so pleasant to have highly intelligent counselors.’ he thought.

    ”I agree with you both, Zakuul would work as a forward base and Thrawn would go after that world quickly once the Fleet begins to make its presence felt. Odessen, on the other hand, is a resource rich world and mostly lost to myth. A better choice to build up the initial production facilities. So we do so.” he finished.

    “We did assist three separate galactic governments, one of which ruled the entire galaxy,” Lana said drily.

    “For a year or two,” Theron amended with a smile.

    “I don’t think there is a sentient Machine God hiding in the midst of a superweapon that can destroy the fleet...”

    “This time, anyway,” he jibed.

    “Yes,” Lana said, even more curtly, and turned to Bernael. “Speaking of, have you ever heard of Starkiller Base?”

    He hadn’t, of course.

    Bernael chuckled, he was right, they bickered like a couple who’ve known each other for a very long time.

    At the mention of the base his head cocked to the side, thinking. ”No I have not heard of that Base before.”

    The mention of the Machine God that thwarted efforts before made him chuckle again, but then a serious expression crossed his face, ”I do not know if you’ve been made aware but I am, basically, the Dark Side walking. Which implies and, yes, does mean there is one who is the Light Side walking. I believe he could be the biggest threat to the plans, in the long run.”

    “Eh, I’ll take you word for that,” Theron said. “Thrawn’s been building an aptly named superweapon which drains suns to power a hyperspace weapon. It’s not finished, but it’s going to cause a headache when it is.”

    “Though we appreciate Force superweapons like Anakin Skywalker or Darth Zorn are problems,” Lana replied, “we’re concerned by this development for long term order and control.” She hesitated. “That is what you seek, is it not?”

    “It is, yes. Such a weapon can be devastating when a foe controls it. So the question becomes whether it is better to manipulate him into an ally status or to have the weapon destroyed.” he mused. Thrawn was not one easily manipulated but it could be possible that his extreme focus on the Vong and ensuring that all was ready for them could be used as a lever against him. Bernael mentioned as much to the two AI’s to add to the data they might have, to assist in their decisions and thoughts on the matter.

    ”As to the avatar of the Light, I have faced him, and he is nowhere close to where he needs to be to face me, even with a fleet behind him. The two Force superweapons you mentioned are off the board now, they destroyed each other so the number of those with Force ability that could stand against us is extremely low.” He continued, thinking about the other Force presence he’d felt on Exegol, and how many possible Jedi that may remain.

    “We’ll leave it to you and Sistros to decide strategy and diplomacy,” Lana said shortly. “We’ll just supply you with options.”

    “And we don’t have nearly enough data on the Yuuzhan Vong to say anything about a counter to them. There was an academic aside that the dead language of Janguine was relevant, but we’d have to take that world and it’s far away from any of our centres of control,” Theron showed its location in the northern Outer Rim.

    “Much like the Change, there is a slow appreciation of knowledge of the Yuuzhan Vong coming to the forefront, but the overwhelming majority of the galaxy doesn’t know anything about them. I imagine your contacts with the Ascendancy in the past gave you some knowledge, while in the Unknowns, but the Twilight Void has been picked clean by the Chiss...” It wasn’t common knowledge that the Chiss had known of the Yuuzhan Vong for some fifty years, a task force having crossed paths with some of their scouts. It was this encounter what Thrawn was basing his concerns and preparedness on.

    “But we have no plan, otherwise,” Theron finished for Lana.

    Lana nodded. “Our recommendation would be for Janguine to be secretly secured. It’s a primitive world after all; no New Republic or Imperial Remnant presence whatsoever. A research team should be drafted and deployed too, which may be expensive but well paid archaeologists will provide more data than enslaved ones.”

    “Yeah,” Theron said, clearly appalled by her analysis. “That. But I want to know, Mister Emperor,” he smiled in that cocky manner he was known for. “Where are we going? We’ve a nifty flagship all setup for you. Where shall we go?”

    Indeed, they’d risen into orbit, his personal ship brought aboard by the Skytroopers sent to collect it. Bernael’s portions of the fleet were deploying en masse to the southern quadrant, and had plenty to do but also plenty of targets. Kuat, Hapes, Corellia - each had his Eternal Empire battlecruisers en route.

    Bernael sighed as more of his attention turned to matters here. Gazing at Lana, ”For that we will need to secure an archaeological team. So that will be a subroutine for you two, to find one for us, along with starting up the production facilities of Odessen.”

    He leaned back against the back of the Throne, talon tapping again in thought. ”You stated that the Emperor must be present at Corellia, so if we have fleet elements headed there it means so must I. Therefore, set course for Corellia.”

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @HanSolo29
     
    Sinrebirth and HanSolo29 like this.
  7. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, House was on fire, not my fault star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Combo with @Sinrebirth and @HanSolo29 (Double post approved by GM)

    IC Bernael, Skelm, and GEMINI
    In the meld of the Eternal Thrones


    Even as his body adjusted to the changes that were occurring on and soon above Odessen, Bernael floated in the meld that sitting upon the Throne had brought about. He could feel the fleet, feel the tech buried on or near various worlds, feel the droids as they realized that there was a being that sat upon the Throne and that they were now under a being’s control once more. And then there was the other presence as it entered the meld.

    It felt focused, growing in its dark power, manipulative, driven. Even in this form, the soul called to his, his recognizing it. He reached out, "It is Nevet, I can sense the familiarity of you, Sistros, and the depths you wish to reach, together we may rewrite this entire galaxy…"

    When there wasn’t an immediate response, he chuckled, "Have you not fully awoken, my soul’s brother? What do you call yourself now?" he asked as his presence flowed around the other darkness, getting its measure, learning all he could of it before it spoke.

    Silence reigned as Aryan tried to regain his faculties. His exposure to the meld, and the subsequent transition, had been more taxing on his body than he had anticipated. There was so much energy, so much knowledge; he was only just beginning to understand the power of such profound insight.

    He could feel the fleet as it swirled and coalesced with his consciousness, as well as the thrum of the ancient technology that called to him like a beacon from several worlds scattered across the galaxy…

    And yet, it was that strange, nebulous presence that took precedence in his mind.

    It was the same one he had sensed earlier, but its adherence to the meld made it more vivid...more distinct; he had a more defined picture of what he was dealing with. The darkness was palpable, and it possessed a raw, predatory nature that was almost feral.

    But that’s not what Aryan had found the most endearing. Despite the inherent danger of this creature, it had spoken to him in a voice that exuded confidence and strength, uttering a name that had called to his very soul.

    Sistros; the tenant of the Holocron.

    How had this presence – this Nevet – come to know that name? And why refer to him as such? Only one other had dared to call him that recently…

    Aryan clenched his jaw and considered the implications, pondering…wondering...

    Bernael touched the GEMINI droids, "No more random destruction, refuse all communication with the New Republic and the female Chancellor you were previously in contact with. Deploy elements to every world associated with those who had been in the conference with you and her, reduce their shields and fleets to the minimum," he ordered.

    GEMINI simply tilted her chin to his orders and regarded the other present here. "Do you intend to disperse our forces so?" She sneered. "Your Grand Moff is composing a ‘surrender or die’ message to the Organa woman."

    It was the droid’s lilting voice that ultimately roused Aryan from his reverie. While he was still adjusting to his new existence, he had gleaned enough information to adequately assess and answer GEMINI’s inquiry.

    "And she will have all of the necessary resources to succeed," he rumbled in a deep baritone, his eyes still closed as he communed through the meld. "Even if only half of the Fleet remains behind to defend Coruscant – which is only one example, that is more than sufficient to achieve our goals. As it stands, I cannot allow Corellia, Hapes, and Kuat to escape punishment for their treachery."

    Aryan canted his head and sampled the mysterious presence once more, surprised that he actually found himself agreeing with Nevet’s assessment. "We will move ahead with the orders as presented."

    He then turned his attention inward, intent on communicating fully with the newcomer. He was still wary after he professed knowledge of Sistros, but this latest development put him more at ease. It was as if they were on the same wavelength; as if they could perceive each other’s thoughts and emotions. Was that possible? Or was it a mere illusion, a consequence of the Eternal meld?

    Either way, Aryan decided to finally indulge him, if only to learn more. "I am Skelm," he stated evenly, a wry smirk appearing on his lips. "But the wider galaxy will acknowledge me as Emperor Graul." He inclined his chin, pondering. "How is it that you know about Sistros? Where did you discover him?"

    Bernael was silent, letting the other presence bring itself fully into the meld and answer the question from the GEMINI, to see whether they would be allies or not in this endeavor. He allowed a pleased feeling to flow from him as Sistros responded, agreed with his decision. His essence, thought touched the droids once more, ”You have received your orders, initiate them.” a glance at Sistros as it were, ”Given the capabilities of the Fleet, I’d say 25 per each of those three worlds would be more than enough to reduce them to slag if we choose, and still have several hundred to attack/defend Coruscant.”

    He turned his attention to Sistros, or as he called himself now, Skelm. The essence of a sigh drifted through the bond, ”Then you have not fully woken yet. Your shell, your physical form is Skelm, is this Graul, but your soul...it is far far older.”

    “You ask how I know Sistros...my soul is just as old as yours.”
    he continued, wondering if telling Skelm would wake Sistros too early but it was time that he return fully. ”Sistros and Nevet are, for lack of a better way to define it, two halves of the same soul. That is how I know you, know who you are at the deepest. We were at the ‘beginning’ of this and are now at the ‘end’ of it.”

    There was a filter of memory as Skelm and Bernael shared access to the GEMINI hive mind. They had been created by a species that worshipped the Old Ones, ancient demonic entities that had created them, the Sith, the Rakata and other monstrous factions. During the Twilight Wars thirty-five thousand years ago, their makers had created the Six Machine Gods in the image of the Old Ones, much as many species had done so; the Immortal Gods of the Sith, for example. They had their variations, but it was often a pair of Gods with a family of four, including twins.

    They worshiped the True Way; survival of the fittest.

    According, the sentient GEMINI droids had turned against their flesh and blood creators and erased them, only to fall into civil war themselves. The fact however that, much like the Old Ones themselves, there was an earlier deity, and while it was Yun-Yuuzhan or the Father of Shadows for the other Old allies, for the GEMINI it was Zildrog, who placed all the Machine Gods and the Eternal Fleet into a slumber until the Great Sith Wars of three and a half millennia ago, during which the seven Machine Gods and two-thirds of the Eternal Fleet were destroyed.

    Of course that would cause a bubble of a question within - the tie between them and Sistros Nevet. Indeed, that traced itself back to the beginning of the Twilight Wars, when the Light was lost in a squabble between competing lights - the Protectors, named for the Sages of Dwartii. For them, the Twilight Wars began first, and Sistros, Yanjon, Braata, and Faya, the only surviving names of those who began the Wars... or for who the Wars began. But Nevet was a secret Sage of Dwartii, renowned for his shadowy existence, making the unholy number of six with Dwartii, who was said to have no face and six names...

    Which led to the question of the seventh Sage, the so-called red flame traitor, but the GEMINI knew nothing of this, nor what the Light was, nor the ultimate epitaph of the Sages.

    But Dwartii himself was said to be running an experiment in a concept known as the Dyad, a mythical power which was said to have defeated the most ancient darkness, and so Nevet became the second part of Sistros, and other halves were heretical projects for the future - a future ruined by the Twilight Wars - the ultimate foundation of the fundamental conflict between Light and Dark.

    These thoughts curdled within Aryan, and indeed within Bernael. They were at present mere concepts, afloat, above, not directly entwined with them.

    Until the family name of Sistros was revealed; Graal. Over the ten millennia of the Twilight Wars, the name was corrupted into it’s modern iteration - to that of Graul, a family which settled down on a world that would become called Nubia.

    As for Bernael, he didn’t need that elucidation, merely the delicious interconnectivity of it all. Indeed, the double-trinity of Gods, the duality of it all, the mystical Dyad, the Rule of Two revealed as a mere echo of the original idea - he would appreciate more than ever why the worshippers of the True Way ironically named their droids after the twin persona - GEMINI.

    It all led back to the Sages of Dwartii...

    To the Black-Coat with six names.

    The onrush of information was difficult to fully comprehend, which contributed to Skelm’s initial skepticism. Between Nevet’s attempts to rationalize his beliefs and the seemingly aimless track of the data itself, he failed to see the tangible line that traced him back to the mysterious Sistros. It was all rather arbitrary...

    Until the power of the Eternal disclosed Sistros’ family name.

    Graal.

    Graul.

    It was his family.

    Skelm exhaled slowly and pressed a hand to his chest, almost as if he could touch the spirit within – the fundamental essence of his existence. He was Sistros and Sistros was a part of him. He realized that he could no longer escape that simple truth; the Eternal did not lie. It resonated from the very depths of his being.

    And yet, hadn’t he always known to some extent?

    He recalled how his father’s blind obsession with the occult had always controlled him. It had consumed most of Aryan’s childhood, often leading to neglect or punishment for things that were beyond his control. He had not understood it at the time; he had only been a helpless victim of the man’s compulsive behavior. But now he could vividly identify some of the names and theories that his old man had routinely reflected upon – Dwartii, Nouane, the Twilight Wars, and the final epitaph of the Sages…Yanjon, Faya, Braata, and Sistros.

    Norin had known the truth, but he had purposely withheld that information from him.

    "He lied to me," Skelm uttered under his breath, his words reaching across the meld to his soul brother. "My father...he knew all along who I was and what I was capable of, but he squelched that potential before it could fully materialize. He denied me my right...my destiny."

    The Emperor clenched his fist, the Force crackling around his fingertips. He wished that he could reach across to whatever hell his father now resided in to punish him once again for his insolence, but that time had passed. He knew that he had to move on and embrace his new future.

    "However, you acknowledged the truth and showed me the path to enlightenment," Skelm carried on after a prolonged pause, his tone confirming his conviction. "You were able to recognize who I truly was. For that, I owe you my gratitude, Nevet."

    An odd sense of calm washed over him, slowly dissolving into clarity and acceptance. He allowed Nevet to sense this change through their bond, inviting him to share in the fervor of this moment.

    Sistros lived.

    Bernael, Nevet, remained silent, listening, absorbing what the GEMINI was putting out through the bond. Most, almost all, he knew, some he had lived, and only a small fraction was new. He let the information soak in as he felt Sistros, Skelm, work through what he’d been introduced to. He felt the turning point, the point where it revealed that his family had been the original Sistros’s family, they were related, which also explained why Sistros’s soul passed down to him.

    He sent a nod of acknowledgement through the bond to Sistros, ”Welcome back, Sistros, and I am pleased to see you fully awake again. Let the galaxy tremble as we move.”

    As he let his self, his being, open through the bond to his ‘brother’ he turned his attention to the GEMINI. Humor seeped through the bond, ”Let us begin at the beginning. First, the worship of the Machine Gods, based upon, emulating the Old Ones.” He chuckled, ”My father was an Old One; he left a seed of himself inside me. But after he recognized the need to join with me he attempted to overwhelm my soul, my essence, and failed so I subsumed him into me.”

    He thought about what else had been revealed, ”Second, you yourselves may not even realize it but the ‘twins’ you all are modeled upon are now the two that sit upon the Thrones. Lastly, all that has occurred, for you and your siblings, as well as the degenerate idea,” he almost growled at the thought that he’d assisted in creating the concept of, ”of the Rule of Two is based upon the dyad the Master of Masters created when he brought forth Sistros and myself.”

    A dark smile drifted through the bond, ”All in all, what that all adds up to, whether you like it or not, those Masters of the GEMINI that are those who should be the only ones to truly control you now do so. So hesitancy in your actions is unwarranted.”

    He turned back to Sistros, ”That was how I recognized you, brother, we may as well be two halves of one soul. There is much I can show you, teach you. But I can feel we are in good mettle, you focusing on the local, the immediate and I the broad strokes of our plan for the galaxy, assisting one another.”

    The GEMINI droids had never been controlled by a pair at once, and so their systems adapted and processed the fact. The two would realize that they each commanded half of the Eternal Fleet, and they were equal in that respect. The GEMINI separated themselves into two hive-minds, and there was a moment of chaos as the droids acclimatized and came to accept it.

    The fleet at Coruscant was placed to follow their orders, but were suddenly sundered, confused, as a number of their brothers and sisters were erased when the Death Star prototype detonated, sundering them. The hive-mind had already separated though, and did not, as they would have done ordinarily, regrouped. Instead, serendipity had it that Bernael's half of the fleet took most of the damage, costing him five dozen battlecruisers. Their equality had lasted mere moments, but Graul would also know from their shadow bond that Bernael had a flagship...

    ... and that Graul had lost several political supporters aboard that Death Star.

    Bernael would also know that Graul had a son from another timeline present, and a missing daughter being held by Gaeriel Captison, his lover, or perhaps ex-lover. He would know of the death of his wife and real son fourteen years ago on Ach-To, of how the reigning Dark Lord had manipulated him to be a figurehead Emperor back then, before his exile, and he would know that Aryan had been abused by his father as a young man - his late father, that Graul had killed a couple hours ago.

    Graul would also know that Bernael spoke the truth, that he and his species were created by the aforementioned Old Ones, indeed, one of the Architects and progenitor of most of them, the God of Death. He had inherited that seed, plotted with the Yevetha, frolicked with Abeloth, and discovered and lost a First Order fleet in the Maw. Too he had an other, a lightsider counterpart named Renn...

    These were shadow thoughts, because they were not of one mind, after all.

    Skelm continued to assimilate the knowledge presented to him through the Eternal’s bond, lapping it up as if to satisfy an insatiable hunger. Now that he knew the truth about his true self as Sistros, he was eager to learn and familiarize himself with all of the facets of their history, including the connection to his soul brother, Nevet.

    He discovered that his proper name was Bernael, an ancient in his own right, who had conceived himself of the Old Ones and wrangled with such entities as the Yevetha and Abeloth. He was a formidable force, destructive and powerful. Aryan did not hesitate to approve of the Anzat’s proposed alliance – twin leaders working in tandem to restore order to the galaxy. It was the perfect––

    His thoughts trailed off as the Force converged in a wave of fear and panic, the surge building to a strong crescendo before suddenly becoming silent. That’s when the cold embrace of death extended out to encompass him in its dark shroud, denoting a mass loss of life. He would’ve typically pulled on this for strength, but then he recognized the source of the disturbance.

    The Death Star had detonated.

    Rage flashed across his mind’s eye, turning the meld a deep red. While Skelm did not feel a particularly strong connection to any of the individuals who had perished aboard the space station, including Senator Treen, he knew that it would surely cripple their efforts. They had lost valuable resources, and the Chancellor would pay dearly for her actions. Who else could have committed such a heinous act?

    How fitting that the Republic had fired the first shots to start the war anew.

    Inclining his chin, Aryan spoke directly to GEMINI. "Engage," he declared firmly, his eyes opening to stare out at the space around Coruscant. "Target and destroy all New Republic assets, starting with anything designated as ‘high-profile’ and scaling our way down. That includes any buildings, personnel, and other various operations on the surface. They decided the parameters of this war when they lobbed the opening volley."

    A thin smile appeared over his lips. "And if any wish to surrender, inform them that they are to bow down and beg for my mercy."

    Bernael felt the deaths through the bond, only mourning the loss of food, the creatures themselves were of little matter save as fuel for Skelm to ignite his anger. That he wholeheartedly approved of. A sense of approval surged through the bond when Sistros gave his orders to the GEMINI droids.

    He let a sense of the flagship be imaged in the bond, ”We have a base of operations, Skelm, and production facilities will begin operation again very soon. I have my fleet elements headed toward the major worlds already mentioned but it appears that one of us must be present at Corellia to enact the protocols there so I will travel there.”

    He sent a close up view of the space in the sector around Corellia, ”Once you have pacified Coruscant, including getting the Eternal tech in operation, we can rendezvous at Rydonni Prime, one stop short of Corellia on the hyper route.”

    To the GEMINI hive mind, ”The flagship will be joining operations at Corellia, given the strictures placed by Vitiate.”

    He remained present in the bond, but turned more of his focus to the operations around his physical shell after his last comments.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @HanSolo29
     
    Sinrebirth and HanSolo29 like this.
  8. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, House was on fire, not my fault star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Triple post approved by GM, combo with @darthhelinith, @TheSilentInfluence, and @Sinrebirth

    IC Renn, Vhardia, and Leia
    First Order shuttle, departing Starkiller Base


    "This is Shara Dameron. All Jedi, regroup at Bilbringi for refueling and rearming before we advance on Coruscant."

    Renn listened to Shara’s message and was about to respond when a second message was received, one a lot less friendly than the first.

    "You may leave, Jedi, but carry back to your Chancellor - if she survives - that the Unknown Regions are now the sole province of the Empire of the Hand. If any Jedi or New Republic enter our territory, we shall declare war upon you."

    Thrawn’s message was succinct and direct, and something that would have to be passed along. He turned to Vhardia, ”Do you wish to respond to either, Shara’s message is for the Jedi and as you’re the senior actual Jedi here it’s probably best if you do. If you want I can set course for Bilbringi while you do so.”

    Vhardia sighed. She couldn't help but think a better Jedi would have been able to to talk Thrawn out of his manic scheme.

    "There's no point in responding to Thrawn, he'd made his decision." She looked at Leia, slightly awed. "The crystals talked to you?"

    She turned away and frowned.

    "But regroup at Bilbringi? 'Advance' on Coruscant? That sounds like military action. I thought the decision was made the Jedi wouldn't be doing stuff like that anymore."

    BB-8 tootled, providing an update about the situation at Coruscant. A fleet of droid battlecruisers was holding the planet hostage, screening a Death Star prototype. There was a brief playback of an argument between ‘Grand Moff Treen’, the Kuati Senator who had been trading barbs with Corellia Prime Minister Saxan on behalf of the Chancellor. Treen was announcing that the Bakura Senator was now the Eternal Emperor of the New Empire. Then, footage of the cruisers attacking Coruscant, bombarding the shields and the stations and defenses.

    This was what Shara was rallying the Jedi to stop.

    "Yes, it talked to me. It doesn't like having anyone in this place, Master." Leia explained. "It feels threatened." She paused. "Do we have to go and fight now Master? My mother-" She paused as she reached out with the force. "-is going to be there. Do you think we could help?"

    Renn could not just hear but sense the reluctance in Vhardia. He knew what she was responsible for now and, even if she didn’t speak it he agreed, a battlefield wasn’t the place for a young person, this young. But what or where could they go now was the question. He could feel the nervous anticipation in Leia, the seemingly reckless immortality of youth. Not that the child didn’t know she could die but it wasn’t something the young really concerned themselves with.

    He glanced at Vhardia, in a low tone, ”The Jedi could use our help but I’m concerned they are headed into a battle that will decimate the Order. And we both have reasons to make sure that none of us fall there.”

    Vhardia nodded at Renn's words but didn't take her eyes off Leia. Renn's concerns aligned with her own; she couldn't justify taking a six-year-old into a warzone. However, she also couldn't let a billion people die. Thrawn's plans of mass planetricide had been delayed but it made little difference if Coruscant fell in flames. She put a hand on the padawan's shoulder. "Leia, when you chose to become a Jedi, you made a commitment to the living force, which includes forgoing attachments. You serve everyone in the galaxy now, not just your family." It was a correction made gently. "We'll go to Bilbringi and find out what the council have planned but that doesn't mean we're joining them on Coruscant."

    Doesn't mean you are going to Coruscant. She thought in her head.

    Leia nodded, but she felt guilty that she was leaving her family behind. "Okay, I guess I can trust you about this Master." She reached up and took her hand, giving her a tired look. "But I don't want to miss out on the action. I bet my cousin Tor is going to fight." She argued gently. although she knew deep down it wasn't a very strong one.

    An amused look crossed Vhardia's face, for a moment her eyes danced with humour as she squeezed the girl's hand.

    "And how old is Tor?" She smiled softly. "You may have a lightsaber now, but you don't know how to use it."

    She looked at the hilt on Leia's belt, which was so large on her it reached over half way to her knee. "First step, we need to put your new crystal in that hilt. Unless... Renn you don't have a smaller hilt, do you?"

    Renn had been listening, a small smile on his face, as Vhardia and her Padawan conversed. He agreed with the Jedi, the battle wasn’t really a place for the young girl. She may think she was ready, especially if what he could feel in her emotions related to how and where she was raised were true, but that didn’t mean she understood the reality of it.

    He began setting the course for Bilbringi and was about to contact Shara when Vhardia asked him about hilts. Finishing setting the course, he pushed back the pilot’s couch and began rummaging through the various pouches on his belt, ”Hmmm, nope not that one..mmmm this one’s still a little too big...ah perhaps this one.” he muttered as he searched.

    What he brought out was half the length of the one currently almost dragging down the side of the Padawan. It was slightly curved which reduced its overall length as well. ”I don’t know if you know how to use a curved grip saber but this one is a lot smaller than the one you have now, and I would hold that one for you, safe, until you are big enough to use it.”

    A simple twist and unlock and he popped the kyber crystal that currently sat inside out, placing it back in the pouch before holding out the saber hilt.

    Vhardia's eyebrows rose as Renn sorted through more and more lightsaber hilts- she'd never seen so many in her life on one person. She'd known he had several but... She quickly returned her face to a neutral position and took the lightsaber hilt he offered and turned it over in her hands. It was beautifully crafted, above and beyond the simple practice hilts of the temple- whoever had made it had clearly loved it. She couldn't help but wonder where he'd got it, and the others too.

    "Okay options, options are good." She turned to Leia again.

    "You have your crystal, so you have a choice to make about which hilt to use." She pointed to the hilt on Leia's belt.

    "Firstly, you could use Master Katarn's hilt, though it'll be harder to train with because its so large, you will eventually grow into it."

    "Second, you could use this hilt. It is the right size and you'll find it easier to use, though you may grow out of it eventually."

    "Thirdly, you could use both hilts to make a new hilt. But that'll take time, possibly several days. It's more of a longer-term option which we can't do while travelling like this. If you do want to do that, I recommend you use the short hilt for a while so we can do some training in the meantime."


    "She's twelve." Leia answered with a frown. She looked thoughtful though, as her Master and Renn began to talk about her lightsaber, about what kind of hilt she could use and the different variations. I think I would like to combine them. Then maybe it would feel like Master Katarn is still with me.

    She looked between Master Vhardia and Renn. "I guess I can stay and train. But I want to combine the lightsabers. I would feel better about it, Masters, if I did that." She knew it would take some time and she was willing to wait.

    Renn smiled as Vhardia and Leia spoke, listening but ensuring they were on their way. They approached the hyper limit and he paused their departure for a moment, turning back to Vhardia, ”Want me to call Shara first or you do so? We do need to warn her that we’re coming in in a Hand shuttle or we might have some less than friendly company when we land.”

    Turning to Leia, ”Good choice, Leia. But for now you should train with the smaller hilt, until we get where there are tools to combine the sabers. I’m pretty handy at such so I can guide you, if Vhardia doesn’t mind. But we don’t have those tools here so better to wait until then.”

    Leia nodded in understanding. "Yes Master. Thank you. I promise I'll work hard." She looked eager to get started, even if she was only training with a smaller hilt. I wonder what mom would think of all of this.

    As Renn watched, Vhardia proceeded to guide Leia through the steps of putting her crystal in the smaller hilt, using Katarn's hilt as a guide.

    It was not as difficult as she had anticipated; either Leia's patience, Vhardia's experience as a teacher or the force itself (perhaps even a combination of the three) willed them on. Despite the smooth process, it still required intense concentration from both instructor and pupil, and Vhardia found herself greatful of the chance to focus on something other than the dark clouds that surrounded Coruscant and all their futures.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @TheSilentInfluence, @darthhelinith
     
  9. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: BB-8
    Bilbringi system, Inner Rim

    The Otana arrived in Bilbringi in record time, as the souped up YT-2000 freighter was capable of.

    The shipyards were busy, but mainly at the edge of the system - a massive deployment of Hapan Battle Dragons and Mon Calamari Star Cruisers supported by Nova-class and Beta-class escorts, and Nebulon frigates and Corellian Corvettes and Gunships. The armada was led by the Kendall, and Prince Isolder opened the comms to everyone, not even noticing the arrival of Renn, Vhardia and Leia. With a tootle, BB-8 chimed in and connected them

    "- forces of the Alliance; this is the moment. The New Empire has taken Coruscant hostage, and is scattering their fleet to attack our systems. Our Chancellor has struck the first blow of the Second Galactic Civil War, and now we must step in to save her. I know you're tired; we've just fought the Battle of Exegol and defeated the greatest threat to the galaxy we have ever seen. But now, the galaxy needs us one more time. We've been betrayed by Aryan Graul and the other Senators today; when we should be celebrating, we have to fight one more battle."

    He took an audible breath.

    "The Jedi and the Rogues have launched ahead of us - we have to save Coruscant retrieve the Chancellor, and defeat Aryan Graul. The Mandalorians are taking the lead with General Solo and Shara Dameron and Tycho Celchu. We go knowing they will have already began to fight, and the war has already began. We shall win it, so our children don't have to live through the tyranny of an Emperor like we did."

    "May the Force be with us."

    At that, the armada launched into hyperspace.

    En route to Coruscant.

    BB-8 booped at them - to follow? They had the fuel, after all.

    There were other updates; the politics of the galaxy had completely changed while they were in the Unknown Regions.

    The southern quadrant of the New Republic had declared for the 'New Empire'; Senator Graul of Bakura was now calling himself Emperor Darth Skelm; the Sith threat at Exegol had been destroyed; the Hutts, Bothans and the Imperial Remnant had secured their borders; the Tapani Lords and Corporate Sector were wavering; droid battlecruisers belonging to the Eternal Fleet, commanded by Zorn previously and seemingly by Skelm now, were scattering to assault the galaxy; the Death Star prototype had just been destroyed by explosives triggered by a remote in the Chancellor's personal hands, killing several traitorous Senators and starting a war.

    Seventy Jedi were on their way to the Core right now, and an armada with them.

    The galaxy had, basically, gone mad.

    Of course, Renn would sense the shadow of his latter half behind this... somewhere, somehow.

    He was darker now.

    TAG: @TheSilentInfluence, @darthhelinith, @darthbernael
    ---
    IC: General Kre'frey

    Battle of Coruscant

    Even as slightly less than half of Eternal Fleet departed and dispersed across the galaxy, the rest opened fire on the planet, seemingly in response to the destruction of the Death Star prototype. The armada was heading towards the planet, ignoring the disabled Golan stations and targeting the largest buildings, including the Senate Tower and Jedi Temple.

    But Coruscant revealed it had teeth left.

    Planetary weapons were concealed among the skyscrapers, weapons which had been out-of-range of Thrawn's forces a few days before, and they didn't have such issues now, with turbolasers and ion cannons open fire. The Golan's awoke, dozens of seemingly crippled stations revealed to have been taking the break in the GEMINI droids' attack to frantically tinker and regroup.

    The Eternal Fleet was caught in crossfires it was out of position for -

    Then a wave of X-wings appeared from hyperspace and began running torpedoes among the droid formation, even as the Millennium Falcon, of which Han and Lumpy were aboard, and the Stinger, a Conquerer-class assault ship that had been offered to the Alliance for use, now flown by Madelyn, Tor and the other Mandalorians. Isolder had stayed behind with the fleet to command it, leaving Han in-charge of the first phase of the combat. Tycho had Rogue Wing, and Shara Dameron had the seventy Jedi pilots, and they immediately set upon the Eternal Fleet with their typical aplomb and skill.

    ---
    Senate Tower

    General Kre'frey opened a channel to Feyna below. "Reporting in, Chancellor. Sorry for the deceit, ma'am."

    Winter grinned. "Sounds like you've been busy."

    "I can't say how long we can hold out though," Kre'frey said, grimacing in-time with an Eternal Fleet battlecruiser causing the Senate Tower to rock -

    Indeed, the moment that Nola yanked Del back from the edge, Jyn and Shevu arrived and joined her, pulling him clear even as the roof of the Senate Tower blew in, causing a cacophony of the roars from Yuuzhan Vong warriors. Their level was crumbling, driving them to flee back towards the Chancellor's Office or fall, though they may have to find their own way off Coruscant if the situation continued to fall apart -

    The Bothan looped in Han Solo. "Please tell me you're hear to get the Chancellor out, General." Though he didn't say it, Kre'frey was conscious his position was exposed - he could very easily be traced and targeted and destroyed. Lumpy was busy roaring at how insane this was, space was impossibly busy - along with freighters and personal ships fleeing into orbit that hadn't managed to escape before. Civilians were being shot up as much as the defenders as much as the Eternal Fleet battlecruisers.

    Feyna wasn't going to have a chance to speak of the Yuuzhan Vong, it seemed.

    TAG: @JediMasterAnne, @Jerjerrod-Lennox (combos?)
    ---
    Stinger

    Mirdala was piloting the Stinger, weaving between ships that were attempting to shoot down Jedi X-wings as they did a miracle a moment - again. He grimaced. "This is insane, Madelyn. Tor, call Fett, would you?"

    The coordinates said that Skelm was in the Works factory district, hiding in an abandoned warehouse. Fett had put his neck on the line to inform them, and was there. There was a glancing blow and the console exploded over Mirdala, causing the man to wince and fall out his chair as he patted out fire, leaving Madelyn to take the reins of the ship as they passed down into low orbit -

    TAG: @TheSilentInfluence, @galactic-vagabond422
    ---
    Stealth Equipped Ship

    For his part, aboard the stealth-equipped yacht that now held the Eternal Throne, Trayus whistled as Coruscant collapsed into utter anarchy. "Well this is going pretty well, wouldn't you say." There were a lot of variables for Skelm to take into account, and he would have to judge how soon they would take before accidental fire caught them as well.

    Trayus folded his arms. "We do have to go after Jalynn, of course, and the Eternal Fleet can handle this."

    There was a rustle at the edge of the fleet, and dozens of Hapan and New Republic ships poured in-system and began firing immediately. Some of them had clear signs of battle scarring but it didn't stop them from hurling their strength at them.

    The GEMINI droids notified Skelm that they had a 50% chance of victory on the basis of the current deployment, but anticipated an imminent victory notwithstanding.

    Of course, if Feyna died... or he died... or something untoward happened...

    It was a terrific battle.

    There was a beep, and Trayus turned to consult the wall data. "Ah. Arek appears to have abandoned ship... in one of my stealth equipped escape pods..." He cringed with some exaggeration. "Seems he didn't have the stomach for what had to be done."

    He swung his black-hood back to Skelm. "Your Majesty?"

    TAG: @HanSolo29
    ---
    Coruscant Depths

    Arek didn't know he had stealth countermeasures aboard his pod, but it explained why he emerged from a cloaked ship and fell into the depths without being noticed - or fired upon, as the skies began to rain with green turbolasers - and red countered from the building-tops and deep chasms between residential blocks.

    He could feel in his blood that he was closing upon the Eternal technology in the depths, and indeed in the Force as well. It was like a parallel sensitivity to the skills he had, developing slowly but separately. Eternalsense, perhaps. He was, in theory, heading under the Jedi Temple. He went down hundreds of hundreds of levels, beneath the Temple on the surface, the secret beacon beneath it, the Sith Temple hidden beneath that (both of which were concealed in the lower levels), and where there was almost no light, and merely strange creatures that fed on the goo-rebreathers that supplied Coruscant with oxygen, was a dully lit arch of sorts, within a metal dome which receded as he approached.

    He had small jets to steer the escape pod, though no hyperdrive, because it wasn't that high-tech. The yacht it had come from was supposed to be the escape craft, not the pod itself, after all. His pod chimed, and confirmed that there was another ship coming down too, with no life-signs. Presumably this was the doctor-droid and his grandmother, albeit she was unconscious so not detectable.

    TAG: @HanSolo29 (combo)
    ---
    IC: Lana and Theron

    Corellia system, aboard the Eternal Flagship

    The warship arrived, joining an arriving amount of battlecruisers.

    Bernael
    had reports of cruisers deploying to Nkllon, Endor, Bespin, Mustafar, Xagobah and Akiva successfully, with a single cruiser on it's way to Janguine, which was a bit further away. The Eternal fleet deployment at Kuat was engaging the local forces, which included Imperial-style warships and cruisers. In the Hapes Cluster, the fleet was getting bogged down trying to navigate the Transistory Mists and minefields that had been lain, taking casualties and not even firing on a single Hapan.

    At Corellia, there was an oppressive worry from the GEMINI droids, with the many warnings of their superiors to steer clear. They spoke of Centerpoint Station being an incredible weapon of power, but didn't know how. They merely knew that their technology wasn't equivalent to that of the Celestials own... they had been warned to stay away from any of the five planets in the system. The Eternal Fleet was hesitant, listening to warnings from thirty-five millennia ago... ones that had not historical reasoning at this stage, nor any reason that Lana or Theron could discover. The Force however did worry at Bernael.

    They did however have the update from Coruscant; about hitherto unknown planetary defences, the resurrection of the Golan stations that had been formerly disabled, and the arrival of the Allied fleet. Darth Skelm was imperilled, though to what extent one could not clearly say. Neither Lana or Theron were happy with events.

    "We're lucky the Hutts and Imperial Remnant pulled out from the Allied Fleet, or we'd be in-trouble," Lana said, concerned.

    "He'd be in trouble," Theron pointed out.

    "We need Skelm's political contacts to form the bedrock of the New Empire. The allegiance of Anoat, the Senex Lords, the Sesswenna, the other sectors..." Lana highlighted the systems that had seceded. "Without them we'll have a lot more trouble securing territory."

    "So we don't want him to die?"

    GEMINI supplied the answer. Because they had a shared genome, if one of them died, then the other would be locked out of the Eternal Fleet and whoever had killed Skelm - or Bernael - would become the new Eternal Emperor. That would, of course, be a catastrophe. But because they'd both ascended to the Throne by the same manner, they were reliant upon each other.

    So he definitely didn't want him to die.

    Here, three Strident-class Star Defenders held position above Corellia, accompanied by various cruisers, frigates and corvettes of local design. That meant they were all hardy ships, as well as problematic. It would not be a simple battle, even in the traditional sense. They would win, yes, but it would be costly and at present they didn't have an instantaneous ability to recover from losses.

    Lana paused. "Are we trying to do too much at once?"

    "You would say that, you're a conservative Sith," Theron quipped. "Skelm can win it, I'm sure. He's ruthless, and that always works out well."

    "Maybe," Lana says. "I wonder how much we should secure from our co-operative allies, if they become enemies."

    "You mean Bakura?" Theron wondered aloud.

    "Not just Bakura, of course," she turned her eyes to Bernael. The fleet was poised, but it would require a degree of willpower from Bernael to override their concerns. The GEMINI droids were sentient, even if bound to the Eternal Throne.

    TAG: @darthbernael
    ---
    IC: Gavar Khai

    Wyldar, Keshtah

    The two of them made it to the nearest town by nightfall, and Beaumont and her had to accept robes to hide within. As they neared the lights, they had been passed by various people, in carts, or just heading in from the fields. Most of them were purple skinned Keshiri, with a few humans that were usually in-charge. No lightsabers were evident, which suggested these were non-Force users, but Beaumont was sure not to touch Qwi in-case they used the Force and drew attention.

    But they had a larger problem, obviously.

    They stole up beside a brick-building as the rain fell down, and as Beaumont looked back he could see half a dozen or more of those flying reptiles, carrying crimson lightsaber wielding Sith in the distance, clearly searching the forest. Beaumont turned aside, and whispered to Qwi. "Nobody has blue skin... nobody at all. Everyone is human or Keshiri."

    Beaumont pursed his lips. "This is positively medieval, but the presence of lightsabers... that's the only technology I've seen..." He was right in that respect. "That doesn't bode well for us repairing Pascale's ship..." It would always be his ship to Beaumont. His gaze was far-off, deep in-thought, so he missed the Omwati's reaction to the use of his name.

    He did however put his bag down and reached into it, pulling out the Black-Coat that Rax had. "I kept this... if it hides you from the Force... shouldn't we make you wear it, just in-case?"

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox (combo)
     
  10. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, House was on fire, not my fault star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    IC Renn
    Bilbringi system, Inner Rim

    "- forces of the Alliance; this is the moment. The New Empire has taken Coruscant hostage, and is scattering their fleet to attack our systems. Our Chancellor has struck the first blow of the Second Galactic Civil War, and now we must step in to save her. I know you're tired; we've just fought the Battle of Exegol and defeated the greatest threat to the galaxy we have ever seen. But now, the galaxy needs us one more time. We've been betrayed by Aryan Graul and the other Senators today; when we should be celebrating, we have to fight one more battle."

    "The Jedi and the Rogues have launched ahead of us - we have to save Coruscant, retrieve the Chancellor, and defeat Aryan Graul. The Mandalorians are taking the lead with General Solo and Shara Dameron and Tycho Celchu. We go knowing they will have already begun to fight, and the war has already begun. We shall win it, so our children don't have to live through the tyranny of an Emperor like we did."

    "May the Force be with us."


    The comm echoed with those words as the freighter entered the Bilbringi system. Renn looked out of the viewscreen of the bridge, taking in the crowded space. Hapan Battle Dragons and Mon Calamari Star Cruisers supported by Nova-class and Beta-class escorts, and Nebulon frigates and Corellian Corvettes and Gunships, all led by a craft flying the pennant of the Kendall. He turned to Vhardia, ”I’d guess that’s Prince Isolder that was speaking.” he muttered, offhandedly.

    The fleet jumped to hyper, it seemed, to Coruscant. He didn’t sense the Jedi in the fleet, which seemed to tell him that they must have gone ahead. ”This just gets better and better.” he muttered again. ”This new galaxy I’ve found myself in is in complete chaos.”

    That thought brought another and his brows furrowed, his Twin had to be behind this, somehow. He could feel the Anzati, feel him out there. But, scarily enough, his Twin was even stronger than he had been when they had run into him in the Maw. That terrified him, he knew he was still coming into the power and abilities that the Light was granting him and he hadn’t even been close the first time.

    He shuddered and closed his eyes, he and the Light were one and the same but at the same time they were still somewhat separate, as the Light would not force him into a full bond as the Dark had done to his Twin. ’I do not know what to do here. I’m afraid the Jedi are falling into a trap, and taking their allies with them. I cannot make a decision for Vhardia or Leia but I can’t let them get hurt either.’

    ’If you are willing, child, it is time that we further the bond. I know you, have learned all of you, in the time since we joined. You need to take the fullness of me into you to be able to survive, let alone protect them, and without that you will never be able to face him.’ was his response.

    Renn pondered the words, but knew he needed what was being offered if he was to do what was needed. ’I agree.’ And then his body bowed, the dark green of his hide brightening for a few moments, light flaring from his eyes, the golden yellow of them becoming almost white. He contorted, not in agony, but from the sheer power flowing through him. He felt refreshed, rejuvenated, down to the microscopic level, as though he’d stood in direct sunlight all day. Slowly he unfolded, straightening, creaks sounding as he stood as much as he could, in the small space of the bridge.

    ”Oh, wow!” he exclaimed. He could still feel the presence of his Twin and knew that with this new bond his Twin would sense the increase in his own. He shuttered the power, knowing it would only draw the moths to the flame, as it were. He sighed, thinking through the options that they had. With this they could help the Jedi he was sure were doomed or they could set out on a new path.

    Moving to the back of the bridge, keeping away from the switches and buttons, he slid to his knees, to sit, to be more on eye level with the other two. ”Vhardia, I’m really not sure going to Coruscant now is a good idea, I think it’s going to be a massacre. And there is no ship being held back that could take Leia and keep her safe. It’s a trap, my curious little one, and my Twin is behind it.”

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @TheSilentInfluence, @darthhelinith
     
  11. AgentViper007

    AgentViper007 Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    OOC: A combo with @Sinrebirth :)

    IC: Qwi Xux, Beaumont Kin
    Location: Kesh


    They had made it in one piece into town.

    Thankfully they had packed robes to hide themselves in, however it had begun to rain and Qwi was now soaked and tired. With the Sith still searching the forest they were not out of the eoods yet. And if Beaumont was correct about the people here, she would stick out if revealed.

    She had to raise an eyebrow at him calling it Pascale's yacht as it was technically hers now. Although in a way she considered it his too. And if Beaumont had a problem with it she would point out that he had no problem with wandering around it naked or him and her being intimate aboard it.

    With this place being positively medieval they had to try and blend in. And so she dropped her bag, unholstered her blaster and removed the holster and shoved it in her bag.

    "I can't beleive you kept that" she whispered back to him about Rax's cloak "But what about you?"

    She moved closer to him "We stick together. If we get split up we don't give up and try and find each other. And if we get captured? We don't turn to the dark. At least promise me that".

    Qwi nodded "You're also going to have to find a good excuse to have a small woman with you. So I can be your servant or slave. If at any point you think you may be spotted as a Force user take the cloak off me".

    "You can wear that," Beaumont said, stressing the point. "I'm human, I can pass among the locals - if anything the Keshiri seem to defer to humans." He pointed at a human giving orders to a much larger group of twelve locals. "If we can keep your face hidden, then we may be able to find someway to lay-low, or even one of those reptile things so we can fly towards that other ship we detected."

    Higher up the hill in the distance was the scintillating glow of a City, between them and the even far off mountain, according to his datapad.

    He peered around the corner, looking at the rustic town. "Thoughts?"

    Beaumont had said nothing about sticking together or promising not to turn. That was disappointing and her heart sank.

    "Fine" she said simply she was'nt going to argue the point, they didn't have time. She took her cloak off quickly and replaced it with Rax's stuffing hers in her bag.

    "My thoughts? I'm soaking wet, i'm tired, our yacht is stuck, we are on the run like fugitives, we are being chased by Sith, I can't even touch you and we could be about to encounter Sith at that ship. I'm just peachy".

    Qwi sighed "I guess we carry on. If we can find somewhere to rest and recharge even better before we head towards that Sith ship. A flying beast would definitely get us there faster".

    "Because I cannot fight a Sith in this state".

    He paused. "Sorry, Qwi, I'm thinking, not feeling..." He took her hands in his, drew them up to his lips and kissed her knuckles. "I love you, I promise I won't leave you - or fall. I couldn't fall, when I have your light with me - even on this world."

    He was careful not to reach for their connection in the Force, and he looked for an old-style tavern. He wondered aloud. "We could probably barter with something for the ability to stay..." He saw a wooden pub, complete with barn and candlelit upper rooms. "... something that won't give us away as off-worlders..." He shrugged. "Maybe if we pretend like we dug up some alien tech?"

    Beaumont shook his head, looked back at her, and smiled.

    Qwi did smile back at him quickly squeezing his hands back "Love you too my dear" she said simply hopefully he could see her smile underneath the cloak or at least he might be able to slightly feel it through the bond.

    His tendency to overthink did concern her at times but he did come back to earth once Qwi set him back on the straight and narrow. Being chased by Sith though was still hacking her off.

    She nodded at his plan "Sounds good to me. It looks warm in there and it might give us a chance to regroup and plan ahead our route to get to that ship. It may have historical significance but maybe it could have parts that we could use to fix Firenze".

    If she was still there Qwi thought but didn't say.

    "So what do you think we could sell? I have a couple of vibroknives, I don't really want to get rid of my blaster, yours or the grenades. And the datapads are a definite no no. Unless you brought something from Pascale's collection…"

    "I think a blaster will give us away as offworlders too..." Beaumont wondered. "The grenades too... so it'll have to be the knives." He rummaged in his bag. "Otherwise I have this..." He withdrew a small golden sphere with the Sith symbol on it. "It was used to hold incense, I think. We could find a pawn shop... barter for local currency..."

    But it was night-time. "A store would be shut, though." He rummaged around again. "I've just realised I can read the signs... it's in Sith!" He pulled out a small box, popped it open. "If they speak Sith, then this..." He indicated a contact lens. "Will allow you to read their text."

    "They may have a mixture of Basic, Sith, and whatever local language exists, but we'll be able to hand two out of three," Beaumont said. This was a major break for their chances to hide on-world. He held the box to her. "I don't need it, but if we're separated, it may be a lifeline for you."

    Of course he could read ancient Sith.

    He eyed the barn as she took it, or placed the lens in. "Shall we just hide in there for tonight?"

    Qwi smiled underneath the hood of her cloak and had to inwardly shake her head. Beaumont was off on one of his tangents again.

    She took the box and popped it in one of her jumpsuit pockets "Thank you, but hopefully we won't be seperated. But this will be useful. No doubt you could read Sith, you must have millions of languages in your head".

    "Now, not to be rude, but can we just get in the barn? I'm getting cold" she started to shiver a little "Hopefully it will hide us away enough just in case the Sith give up and head back this way…."

    Beaumont nodded. He looked left and right, and took her across the town square to the barn. It was very dark, and they weren't seen. When they made their way in, they were absently noted by cattle and then ignored; they were sleepy. They found an abandoned stall, with hay lain down, and it was fresh, which was good - it must have been where the owner put the hay before moving it to the animals. Indeed, the window allowed the alien moonlight to shine upon.

    In short, it was perfect.

    Save for being trapped on a world of Sith, of course!

    "Well this is romantic," he cracked a joke.

    "We should have called ahead and booked" Qwi said with a chuckle, dumping her pack on the floor and removing her cloak to shake out the wetness from it and her hair.

    She stepped forward and wrapped her arms around his waist "But at least i'm with you, and there is no one else i'd rather be with" she tiptoed up and kissed him gently "And you look even more gorgeous in the moonlight".

    "I suppose we'll need to get out of here by dawn, just in case the owner comes in and finds us here. And then I suppose the dangerous part will be getting through the city unseen".

    Beaumont nodded, kissing her too. "The light reflects off your skin..." He caressed her cheek, down her neck, brushing his fingers under the clothes upon her shoulder.

    He was staring at her, but mumbled in response to her words. "Sounds like a plan, though we don't have any idea when dawn is, yet..." His voice was distracted, of course.

    Qwi flushed a darker blue as his fingers caressed her skin so lightly and her breath caught as his hand slipped under the collar of her jumpsuit.

    She could feel his eyes on her and his mumblings. All of a sudden he had gone from having a tangent to being distracted. The problem also was would being intimate here activate their bond and give them away?

    She kept her arms locked around his waist "That is very true, so we may need to be prepared to leave at short notice. Until then" she smiled tiptoed up and kissed him again "I guess we can enjoy some more time together".

    Beaumont was tentative, not reaching for her with the Force, literally relying just upon his fingertips. He drew down the jumpsuit, placing his hand at the small of her back as he drew her into a deeper kiss, his free hand cupping her head.

    He appeared to have the same guess in mind.

    Beaumont's touch was so soft, she could never get enough of it. Or his lips on hers.

    Here we are on an alien world and we are being intimate in a barn. I'd never in my wildest dreams think we would do this…

    As Beaumont undressed her she undressed him taking the same amount of time he was, her fingers wandering over his skin and enjoying the sensation all over again. Her kisses were getting deeper as time went on.

    She had to split away from him so she could remove her socks and boots so she could pull her jumpsuit fully off but then she lay down in the hay she could see him fully in the moonlight…

    "Beautiful" she breathed.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
    HanSolo29 and darthbernael like this.
  12. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, House was on fire, not my fault star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: A combo with @Sinrebirth

    IC Bernael
    Corellia system, aboard the Eternal Flagship

    Bernael studied Corellia in the display, the system, the ships, the feeling he was getting in the Force. All of it added up to an interesting dilemma. He chuckled softly, ”So I have to keep Sistros alive or all I have left is this ship, or possibly even not that?” he asked, a touch of annoyance in his voice.

    Looking at Lana then Theron, ”He has his portion of the Fleet but if he loses them before we can produce more then it does us no good. Send him a message recommending that he continue his assault of Coruscant until he forces all the enemy craft to commit to the defense and then have his Fleet jump to join him.”

    He gazed into another display, thinking. ”Hmmm, have the Hapes units pull back from the mists, take up blockade positions on every hyper route in and out of the Consortium, to fire on any ship that approaches from either direction. They will need a better, more direct action taken against them, soon.”

    “Have those cruisers that have taken station with our erstwhile allies comm their governments, to have a representative come on board on cruiser to discuss the future. For those that are on the fence, they will be convinced that we are the better option, or they will be brought into line.”
    he continued.

    Turning his gaze to look out of the viewscreen, he could almost feel the reluctance of the GEMINI to approach Corellia. ”The fleet has a ‘soul’ of sorts, independent and wanting to survive. Which is admirable. Keep the cruisers here at the edge of the system, closing the jump points. If the Corellian ships approach, they are to be hailed and warned the system is now closed, while still out of range. Once in range there is no quarter, they will be destroyed. If we lose more than one cruiser we will pull back to the next system on each hyper route, continuing the interdiction.”

    He smiled, unpleasantly, ”Now, perhaps we should go make sure our new co-Emperor keeps his heart beating, before it ruins every plan.”

    Lana and Theron transmitted orders. The Kuati were fighting back, and the Hapans allowed the Eternal Fleet to withdraw.

    Bernael was essentially tying up multiple enemies without dedicating to losing their ships, which was a useful delaying tactic for an uncoordinated enemy. The Corellian Strident-class Star Defenders were three kilometers long, but there was a very limited amount of them, and extremely modern - whereas the Eternal Fleet were ancient but highly advanced tech, but not nearly as large ships, but also a lot more.

    It was a delicate tactical balance.

    The GEMINI droids did as instructed, and held position. There was a large asteroid cluster at the distant edge of the system, with a high metal content. They had no cartographical data on the same, and found it odd that there was an asteroid cluster uncharted on a world that had been civilized for a hundred thousand years.

    "I don't like that," said Theron.

    "Me either," Lana said.

    "They'll cross our paths in less than an hour," Theron confirmed.

    Bernael studied the data as the asteroid cluster came closer, over a couple minutes. He thought about what he knew of the system and the ratio of metals in the readout made him highly suspicious. If the Corellians were willing to have these three brand new, powerful craft out and prepared for his assault what did that mean for what potentially be hidden in the cluster.

    He expanded the view of the system and then scaled up to the sector. Tracing a finger along the lines that ran through Corellia, he made his decision. ”While we set out to ensure the co-Emperor is secured, have the fleet element here secure and blockade, as I previously described as a Plan B, the following hyper routes, the Corellian Run, the Corellian Trade Spine, and the Talus Secta. There are several smaller ones but, quite often they are rife with pirates, so find a way to contact them and pay them off to refuse passage for goods and ships in and out of Corellia.”

    “Have the Fleet here engage in that pullback immediately, so that by the time the asteroids reach this spot they will be well away.”
    He read the report on the other two systems. ”Any spare craft that the Fleet element has at Hapes, after the blockade is begun have transferred to the Kuat campaign. Scorch the system from the outer facilities all to way down to the planet, destroy their infrastructure and ship building capability.”

    He could see the deployments of the Eternal Fleet and was sure, if Sistros was as smart as he was sure his brother was, that Sistros had or would be departing Coruscant very shortly. Which meant, ’What was that that I got from him in the bond, ahhh…’ he thought.

    Turning his gaze back to Lana and Theron, ”Get the ships deployed as ordered. Take the flagship down the Corellian Trade Spine, immediate destination is Yag’Dhul, following destination determined by where Sistros will head when he departs Coruscant.”

    The Corellian fleet advanced slowly, pacing the speed of the asteroids, and indeed they revealed that the two would reach the Eternal Fleet at the same time, selling that there was a trap at the pincer.

    Lana and Theron communicated the orders, and the GEMINI droids followed instructions, withdrawing and splitting in three to be able to deploy to the jump-points as directed. The Hapan forces acknowledged theirs too, but indicated they would need to break free of the gravity-well mine-field that they had been working free. They would rendezvous at Kuat as soon as possible, where a decent brawl was kicking off.

    The flagship headed to the system edge and deployed to Yag'Dhul. Lana had her arms folded, and Theron looked at her. "What?"

    "If Sistros departs Coruscant, he needs to be convinced to retreat from Coruscant - he's not a tactician..."

    ".... nor is Nevet here a politician, your point?"

    "Precisely," Lana said. "We may have erred in separating." She looked at Bernael.

    Bernael chuckled as his talons tapped the arm of the Throne, ”Chances had to be taken and they were. Plans oft times do not survive contact with the enemy. One must adapt and reform plans as the battle progresses. All truisms and are such for a reason. But we are rectifying that error now.”

    He pointed at the display, showing the galactic situation, ”I assume that, even if his craft is stealthed, you can still keep track of the Throne. And my instincts tell me he will head back to Bakura.”

    Reaching into the bond between himself and Sistros, ”Brother it is time, activate a repeater to simulate your presence at Coruscant, I recommend ordering your forces to withdraw after the minimum safe losses to draw every craft and Jedi possible to Coruscant. As they depart they should focus on the Jedi in parting shots. I have moved to Yag’Dhul and can meet you there or at Bakura, where you are more than welcome to join me on the Fleet flagship.”

    With the message, he sent an image of the ship so that Sistros was not shocked when he came across the ship or it appeared near him.

    [​IMG]

    Lana nodded, showing an image of the Corellian system. "Look what emerged from the Kiris asteroids." She pointed.

    A massive egg-shaped Corellian Dreadnaught appeared, flanked by escort frigates. The Eternal Fleet assets they had withdrawn, as instructed, splitting in three. "Well, that's a problem," Theron said. The Dreadnaught opened fire, and his eyes seemed to light up at the data. "Threat level is equivalent to double that of a modern Imperial-class." He whistled.

    "At least it's only one."

    Two more appeared from the asteroid cluster, duly escorted.

    "Theron, did you have to tempt fate like that?"

    The three elements of the Eternal Fleet were thus to be met by a Dreadnaught each, ditto the local fleet elements. A Star Defender sidled up to a Dreadnaught each, meaning each third of the Corellian fleet was decidedly powerful. Ignoring her, Theron tapped again. "They're fleet-killers. Designed to enter a capital ship formation and blow it apart from the inside."

    "Nasty." Lana looked at Bernael. "Looks like your instincts were right-on."

    Bernael smiled softly at the comment from Lana. He hadn’t been sure exactly what lurked in the asteroids but given what he’d seen of the metals involved it had to be something the Corellians were trying to hide and he’d been proven correct. He thought through what he knew of Eternal Fleet tactics.

    ”If those monsters are designed for close work then my plan is our best plan for Corellia at the moment. If I recall our current deployment there are at least 8 GEMINI at each hyper point. With our tactics and how the Fleet can fire at increased ranges and power when working in squadrons, that gives 2 squadrons per hyper point. If the GEMINI craft have deployable mines, lay in mindfields in a sphere around the hyper point before the Corellians are in range.”

    He thought further, working through what could be done, ”Use the range and power of our craft to keep the Corellian formations outside of their weapons range. If they manage to penetrate that distance, they will have to deal with mines first while our craft jump to the next point on the route, mining that exit, right on the emergence points, before resuming interdiction operations.”

    "We don't have mines," Lana said, worriedly.

    Theron smiled. "No, but we have Skytroopers - if we just spread them out like a minefield..."

    "Then the Corellians will have to stop anyway," Lana reasoned. "Smart." She cut her gaze to Bernael. "Agreeable?"

    Eight GEMINI to each point was likely going to be a difficult match for a Dreadnaught, Star Defender and support ships. They didn't have enough, but this was a surprisingly difficult nut to crack. But it couldn't head to Coruscant to help, at least not for now.

    But with the damage that Aryan's half was taking...

    The Empire of the Hand, the Imperial Remnant, as well as whatever assets the Hutts, Bothans and Corporate Sector had - they weren't dedicated to this fight. They had updated reports that the Hapans had snuck behind the Eternal Fleet and laid the minefield again, so the fleet was having to fight its way out of the Transitory Mists. That meant the Kuat engagement could in theory go either way, before Bernael's reinforcements arrived.

    Theron and Lana were staring at the board. Theron was unworried, but Lana was concerned. But, she was the more conservative of them. "Skelm needs to get himself out of there, and we need to avoid dedicating anymore assets to his folly."

    "Yeah but it's not our call," Theron said with a shrug.

    It took Bernael less than a second to consider what Theron had suggested, ”Agreed, with no mines, the deployment of the Skytroopers will be a good alternative. Which also means that those production facilities need to increase operations as soon as possible. As to our blockade here, ensure minimal damage to our cruisers before pulling back, I’d prefer not to lose any but this is war.”

    He considered what they had said about Skelm, about getting his co-Emperor out of Coruscant. A smile crossed his face, touching his temple, ”I have already sent him a message about that and suggested where to meet us, here or another location. We will consolidate our forces once more.”

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @HanSolo29
     
    HanSolo29 and Sinrebirth like this.
  13. JediMasterAnne

    JediMasterAnne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2004
    OOC: Combo with the GM and Jerjerrod-Lennox

    IC: Han Solo, Lumpy, Chancellor Feyna Organa, Winter, Nola and Del Deidder, Captain Shevu, Jyn Erso, and Prince Isolder

    Coruscant, escaping

    As the Falcon exited hyperspace Han knew he was going to have to pull off some quick maneuvers to get to Feyna.

    The fighters were already on the attack, and he hoped they could help clear a path for both he and Madelyn to get down to the planet.

    There were also civilian ships everywhere trying to escape too, innocents being caught up trying to escape another battle.

    "Yeah I know pal!" Han shouted back to Lumpy "But insane is my speciality! No doubt your father would be going as mad as you right now!".

    He commed Shara and Tycho "Concentrate on those fleet ships, take as many out as you can. And watch for civilians, this fleet is having no problems takin them out. But we need a clear path to get downstairs".

    Dodging, weaving, a few twists here and there...and then he was looped in on a comm call.

    "Yeah i'm here to rescue the Chancellor" Han said with a smile "Unfortunately i'm weavin through loads of ships at the moment and the Falcon's not in the best of shape after Exegol but we'll be down".

    "Hang on kid, i'm comin to get you".

    The Eternal Fleet had resumed the attack again, and without the planetary shields, fire was making it to the surface. But the planet wasn't entirely defenseless yet, and it seemed the Golan stations still had some fight left in them.

    Feyna didn't even protest to being left in the dark about Kre'frey's preparations and silence, if it bought them even just a little more time.

    There wasn't time for another address; she knew that now wasn't a good time to reveal yet another threat, but she wondered about keeping it to herself, whether it was right. But right now, they needed to get out.

    The building trembled, and she heard Kre'frey talking to someone else--Han was back, which hopefully meant the Republic fleet was close behind. He was coming to get them.

    "Hurry, Han, things are getting dicey down here," she said, wincing at the sound of something crumbling.

    To Winter, "We've got to go--where are the others?"

    Nola tucked away the datapad, ducking away as the corridor began to collapse around them--surely this wasn't just from them, what was happening? "Let's get back to the Chancellor, we need to get out of here."

    Shevu and Jyn helped up Del, who nodded. "We really can't stay around here."

    They turned to go, making their way through the breaking building. As they reached the door to the Chancellor's office a Yuuzhan Vong swung down from the upper level, using his 'staff as a chord to land in the midst of them. It coiled back and Shevu fell as the Vong spun away, the tale end of the weapon catching Jyn on the neck and inverting to aim the head at Del -

    It spat acid, and Del dived away, so the Vong turned to look at Nola with the snake-head -

    As the Falcon ducked and wove, turbolaser fire erupted from up high and cut through Feyna's platform, shredding it and the ship she had concealed beneath it. Winter held a hand to stop Feyna from taking a dip out a building, the wind catching at them. She looked up from the hole in the Chancellor's Office, could see red and green barrages and flares of light in the distance.

    "The death of a world," Winter mumbled.

    Nola fired at the Vong, at the snake, trying to dodge any attack and keep from getting caught in the debris at the same time--

    Feyna grabbed Winter's hand for balance, backing away from the edge. Hearing her friend's lamenting remark, she had to shake her head--not in denial, that was definitely not what she was feeling. Sorrow, regret, mostly. So much regret.

    "We've seen more than our fair share of those," she murmured back.

    At this point, putting out an evacuation order felt entirely redundant; anyone who could get out probably already was. Hopefully civilians would be able to steer clear of the battle, if Graul had taken the Eternal fleet, she didn't think they'd discriminate between enemies or innocent refugees caught in the crossfire.

    "Let's try to get to the others, we'll see if we can find another way out."

    Things were getting dicey.

    Laserfire was everywhere and Han was having to pull off some sharp manuvers to stay out of the line of fire.

    Han cursed "Ya know, i'm beginning to agree this is insane" he said to Lumpy. A hole began to appear...this was Han's chance.

    "Alright, down the hole we go" he turned the Falcon to head down the hole pushing the throttle forward as far as it could go. It was imperative he get to Feyna before the whole planet got blown up by the droid fleet.

    "Kid i've found a hole and am comin through. Tell me where are headed and i'll come pick you up".

    He cursed as more laser fire erupted and it meant he had more to dodge….

    Feyna responded quickly, "Han, we're still in my office, my platform's been hit--we might try to get to another dock, but I don't know how the corridors are, the Tower is starting to come apart." She wasn't panicking yet; the office itself was still standing, but the sooner they got out, the better.

    Lifting an arm bracer to take the shots, the Yuuzhan Vong turned and slashed at the door to the Chancellor's Office, and Winter looked back at the opening that had formed, through the upturned desks and chairs -

    Then he batted his hand backwards, knocking the blaster from Nola's hand even as Del rushed the warrior and grabbed the staff, suddenly bound by a snake and wrestling with it's head so it didn't bite or acid him.

    Uttering something guttural in annoyance, the Yuuzhan Vong reached into it's armour and produced a smaller snake-like dagger - a coufee, in his natural tongue - and looked back at Nola.

    Lumpy rumbled and pointed at the hole in the Senate Tower. It was visible to them, largely due to the flaming pile of debris falling down from it. He rumbled that they could come up to the edge?

    More green fire lanced into the Senate Tower, causing the building to shake. Jyn, holding her hand to her neck and blood bubbling from between her fingers, fired a shot at the Yuuzhan Vong's back, the black armour taking the bolt and the warrior turning his tattooed face back to her -

    Shevu, looking pained, was scrambling to his feet, reaching for his blaster -

    The Vong threw his knife, impaling the weapon, and chuckled malevolently as he reached for more razor bugs from his armour, the creatures buzzing aggressively, eager to kill. These Yuuzhan Vong were tough.

    Above the Falcon, an Eternal Fleet battlecruiser was descending from orbit, firing as it went.

    Han spottted the hole and commed Feyna "There's a great big hole in the side of the tower, if you can get there i'll park the Falconbeside it as close as I can" he looked to Lumpy "Get on the ramp, if they can't get straight on board i'll need you there to catch her if she needs to jump".

    And then cursed as he saw one of the battlecruisers coming down to intercept, no doubt to stop them "We better hurry it up" he spoke on the general channel "General Solo here, a rather nasty lookin battlecruiser is comin down and we are about to grab the Chancellor. Could someone kindly deal with it?".

    He brought the Falcon in and gently as he could parked her up beside the hole signalling Lumpy over the internal comm to lower the ramp. They could'nt stay there long.

    With his customary smirk he spoke to Feyna "Your chariot has arrived Your Highness".

    Feyna could see Han's ship approaching, but he was being pursued by one of the droid cruisers, and to make matters worse, Jyn and the others had returned--driven back by another Yuuzhan Vong infiltrator. Nola and Shevu had both lost their blasters, Jyn was wounded but still fighting, and Del was struggling with one of those snake-staffs.

    Feyna grabbed a couple of blasters she kept stashed in her desk, just in case, and tossed one to Nola, both opening fire on the intruder.

    Outside the gaping hole in her wall, Feyna heard the roar of the arriving ship, and Han's voice again. Still shooting at the Vong, she shouted to the rest, starting to back up toward the opening. "Our ride's here, let's go!"

    Killing the Vong was less important than getting out, just now.

    Also still firing, Nola kicked her fallen blaster toward Del, or Shevu, whoever could grab it; Del needed help, but this Vong couldn't get to the Chancellor. Like Feyna, Nola started heading for the ship.

    The Yuuzhan Vong struggled under the weight of the fire, more and more bolts catching him on unarmoured sections, pushing him off the ledge that had formed from the cracked ground. Del managed to throw off the snake-staff, and shot it, but it simply recoiled and slithered away after it's master.

    Jyn was trying to tie something around her neck to staunch the blood, and Shevu was standing shakily but helping her up. Winter rushed over and helped them, moving the whole group into the wrecked office as the Falcon held position. Lumpy had extended the ramp, allowing Han to greet them as cockily as ever. The Wookiee angled the deflectors up, should the battlecruiser notice him.

    As the hobbling part of the group reached the centre of the office, the wounded and pockmarked Yuuzhan Vong climbed back up, along with two more. They roared at them - a war cry. With the chaos, there was no need for subtleties; this was an infiltrator team turned assassination squad.

    Of course, this was the first time Han had seen a Yuuzhan Vong -

    Godsdammit, how many are there? Feyna moved to help Winter with Jyn and Shevu, popping off shots when she could.

    Nola kept on firing, aiming for heads, faces, or anywhere the armor looked weak, but there were three of them now, and she was also trying not to hit the others. "If you've got anything better than a blaster in there," she called into the ship, "now would be a good time!"

    Han couldn't believe what he was seeing from the cockpit. A alien creature had fallen off the ledge with a snake thing falling off with it.

    And then said creature came back up, with two others with him. Uh oh…

    "Who are these guys?" Han said shaking his head "Kid, not to be rude but get your backside on the ship. You may want to duck though, i'm about to fire my Ground Buzzer cannon. Lumpy if you are on the ramp I hope you have your bowcaster. Let's see if these guys can handle a double whammy…"

    He had used his swiveling Ground Buzzer cannon on Exegol well and he wanted to see if these creatures could handle a taste.

    He aimed the cannon at where the creatures had entered...then fired

    Feyna steered Winter and the others to the side as Han began shooting the Vong with his ship's cannon, and Nola rushed to pull Del over as well, all of them staying out of the line of fire, and ducking down as they reached the ramp and climbed aboard.

    The under-side blaster opened fire, rapid laser bolts tearing through the office. Lumpy twisted around his bowcaster and added to the attack, and in a short moment the three Yuuzhan Vong were on the floor, two holed through the head.

    "Can we go now?" Del said, almost sarcastically.

    Lumpy told Han to get ready to go as soon as they were aboard.

    The cruiser was turning now, seemingly having notice the Falcon -

    A pair of X-wings dove in-front of the warship and loosed a torpedo each at it's nose, the cruiser shifting to chase them with turbolaser fire, ever miss crashing into a Coruscanti tower -

    Thank whomever it is up there for backup Han thought as the two X wings distracted the cruiser.

    "Welcome aboard" Han said ignoring one of the groups sarcastic comments "You, cheeky guy, instead of makin' comments you can get in a turret. Will need one of you to join him. Kid, need you in the cockpit. Need to keep you safe".

    Han had to grin as he retracted the Ground Buzzer. That was well worth the credits spent on it "Lumpy make sure the rest of our guests are sorted and strapped in. This is gonna be one rough ride".

    Han raised the ramp and pulled the Falcon away, gunning her engines to maximum and turning her nose back up to the maelstrom above.

    "This is General Solo, Inhave the Chancellor aboard. Headin back up your way fleet".

    Hearing the pilot--was that Han Solo? Hadn't he been listed as a war criminal, too? Nola decided not to ask, but went to take one of the mentioned gun turrets.

    Feyna made sure that everyone was safely on board, and left Jyn and Shevu to Winter for a moment, "I'll be right back."

    She poked into the cockpit. "Jyn's wounded, where's the medkit?" She frowned, noticing that Han and the Wookiee, 'Lumpy,' appeared to be the only others on board.

    "Where's Isolder?"

    Han looked back quickly "Good to see you too kid" he said, so much for a welcome. "Lumpy's out back, he'll make sure Jyn is looked after before he comes back. The best thing for you is to stay here where it's safe. Don't want you gettin injured".

    He began to dodge laserfire as he made his way back up "His Highness is aboard the Kendall. He's leading what remains of the fleet against those battlecruisers, got the Jedi too. They come in handy".

    "I've already commed up to say i've got you, just waitin on a response" he waved at the comms "Feel free to comm him yourself if you like".

    Lumpy produced a medkit, and Del fielded it, taking it to Jyn and applying a bacta patch. She winced, but then Shevu collapsed, looking pale. He lifted his shirt, revealing an amphistaff bite. "Poison..."

    He collapsed, and Winter rushed over.

    The ship suddenly shook as a bolt caught it, and they slewed sharply to the side -

    Lumpy roared that they needed people in the gunwells -

    The fleet hadn't responded to Han yet, but Feyna didn't try to comm Isolder; she wanted to, badly, but she didn't want to risk distracting him in the middle of the battle.

    She couldn't quite tell if Han was just being his snarky self, or if he was genuinely angry, and seeing as they'd nearly come to blows with each other fourteen years ago, she took a seat in the chair behind the copilot's spot--presumably the Wookiee would be back.

    In one of the gunwells, Nola had to take a few seconds to familiarize herself with the controls, but soon was firing back at the battle cruiser still on their tail. The ship rocked, sending one of her shots wild, and she heard the Wookiee rumbling--her grasp of Shyriiwook was very basic, but she thought he was trying to get someone else in the other turret--come on, people, I can't do it by myself...

    Han could hear at least one of the turrets operating which was good as they were getting close to the really dicey bit now.

    He looked at Feyna's reflection in the viewport as the ship shook from a shot "You know I volunteered for this mission. Could've joined Madelyn and the Mandos in takin out Skelm but I decided to come rescue you. I mean I was'nt expecton hugs but a "Hello" would have been good enough for me, hell even a thank you".

    He shook his head "Thought I would try to repair the damage I did fourteen years ago. Took off to go to battle for you at Exegol, the Falcon nearly gets incinerated in the process and I get a battlefield promotion to General after Piett and Raddus bit the dust. Guess i'm part of the New Republic now…"

    "And I guess me throwin myself into the fire is'nt good enough to repair the damage either…"

    Feyna didn't physically recoil, but she wished she could make herself smaller, and she felt like she was eighteen again--not in a good way.

    "I'm sorry." She hadn't intended to seem ungrateful, and she didn't try to defend herself--with anyone else, perhaps she would have, but she didn't want another fight with him.

    "Thank you."

    Isolder's voice crackled across the comms. "Han, the Senate tower is imploding, please tell me you have Feyna!" Indeed, behind the Falcon, the great edifice of democracy was collapsing behind them under sustained fire.

    Del slipped into another gun-turret, connecting to Nola's channel, tuning out the others. "I think Shevu is going to die," he whispered into his mike as he twisted the weapon experimentally. He was in the lower weapon, with Nola on the top. At present, all the Eternal Fleet warships were above them, descending as they burned Coruscant.

    Shevu was indeed losing consciousness. Jyn brushed Lumpy off her. "I can patch myself, deal with Shevu."

    Winter interrupted. "No, I'll handle Shevu, you go help Han."

    The Wookiee nodded, looking apologetic as he swept by Feyna and took the co-pilot seat. He roared at Han about how many concussion missiles he wanted armed as he doubled shields forward. An Eternal Fleet cruiser was dropping from orbit as they headed away from the Senate - this one was looking straight at them.

    The Eternal warships were fast, for their size!

    Before Isolder came across on the comm Han managed to say to Feyna with a smile "No worries kid".

    He was about to speak to Isolder before he spotted the battlecruiser coming down fast and cursed. He armed the concussion missiles as Lumpy asked with a "You got it pal".

    "Oh and a quick introduction, Lumpy this is Feyna Organa Chancellor of the New Republic. Feyna this is Lumpawaroo or Lumpy, Chewbacca's son and my copilot on this crazy ride".

    Han then spoke to Isolder "Got her safe and sound Your Highness, she's in the cockpit with me and Lumpy. Also picked up some other people too. Be right with you, just gotta deal with a battlecruiser up ahead".

    Han waved Feyna forward to take the comm if she wished as he spoke to the two people in the turrets "Guys we have a battlecruiser comin down ahead of us. Find a weak spot and light it up!"

    "A pleasure," Feyna nodded politely to the Wookiee, lest Han scold her for forgetting her manners again. She didn't recall having met Chewbacca, he'd died in the last war.

    It sent such a rush of relief, hearing Isolder's voice over the comm. She didn't want to be in Han or Lumpy's way, so she kept it brief. "I'm all right; we've got Winter, Shevu, and a couple of Norin's staff, as well--there's a long story there, I'll tell you later."

    Nola blasted at the battle cruiser, though Del's news caught her off guard. "What? How?"

    The cruiser was front-heavy, armoured along the anvil-shaped nose, with weapons poking throughout.

    Del spoke up, now firing as well. "He was bitten by one of the snakes... one end bit him, another end cut Jyn's neck. It's why they went down so quickly." They were blasting at the shields of the cruiser, and Lumpy added to it with a concussion missile, and then another, targeting the same spot.

    Winter grimaced as she worked on a rapidly failing Shevu, tears in her eyes. Jyn winced as they bounced with every near miss.

    Isolder spoke up. "We need to pull back. We're taking too many losses, and they're taking too many losses, but about half the Eternal Fleet has headed to reinforce the New Empire, and they're taking a crack at Kuat, Corellia and the Hapes Cluster too." He managed not to sound too worried about the latter; his mother was a brutal ruler - she'd eat any droid intellect with ease. "There's a flagship, we think, it went to Corellia, but it's gone now." He sounded concerned. "A secret Corellian fleet turned up... also a long story there, I think.

    His signal was weakened by a burst of static. "Any orders, Chancellor?"

    Of course, Han would have to keep them on target as the cruiser was essentially playing a game of bluff with the much smaller YT-1300. The Falcon couldn't stand up to a ship like that, but if they turned tail too early, they'd be easy prey. Lumpy rumbled his worry as the cruiser hurled a turbolaser barrage low, trying to force them up into the air - to make it easier to hit.

    He roared at the Del and Nola to concentrate their fire on the point where his second missile impacted. He didn't want to just use all the missiles in-case Han had some plan in mind, but he had armed them all just in-case.

    Nola frowned, but she didn't know that there was anything that could be done about Shevu--certainly she couldn't do anything.

    Lumpy had fired a couple of missiles at the cruiser, Nola aimed for the impact point and jammed down the trigger. "What about Jyn?"

    Some venomous animals could secrete toxins through their skin, not just through biting, and Nola wondered whether Jyn might be in trouble, too.

    Feyna flinched as the ship shuddered again, and not just from the impact; she hated the idea of retreat, but with so many losses on both sides, and most of the planet abandoned anyway, it seemed like there wasn't much point in staying.

    Hapes was too far for them to arrive in time to make any difference, and Ta'a Chume wasn't likely to really need their help. But so many of Coruscant's refugees had gone to Corellia... and what secret fleet?

    "I'm thinking we fall back to Corellia, but what's the situation at Kuat?"

    Presently, it was still up in the air as to exactly whose side that planet was on, but if the Eternal fleet was targeting them... but they might be able to hold their own for a bit.

    Perhaps with the addition of Corellia's forces, they could smash whatever droids were there, then move on to Kuat if need be.

    It was like information overload.

    Han was trying to concentrate on the battlecruiser in front of him. It meanwhile was trying to force him upwards. But he was'nt playing ball. He was giving it a stare trying to get the right moment to launch a barrage at it…

    But the news about Corellia got his attention. His homeworld had become a target and although he had no desire to return there it was still his homeworld. And it seemed his fellow Corellians had pulled a fleet out from somewhere and were fighting back.

    He still had'nt heard from Xav which was good news, it meant her and Ben were still safe. He was going to have to make it up to her big time though.

    "Corellia sounds good, I mean if they are fightin back then it gives us a chance to finish 'em off. First things first though, gotta get rid of this damn cruiser".

    He waited, waited, waited until he was close enough and then…

    "Fire away guys at that same spot!" And he yanked the Falcon up.

    Lumpy emptied their entire missile cache, even as Del opened up fully. The two X-wings which had harassed the cruiser initially had also looped back, and, seeing the Falcon release missiles, added four proton torpedoes each to the attack -

    The cruisers shields breached and the impacts rammed into the central spire, blowing through and separating it's anvil-head from it's greater body - Lumpy roared with success, as the front-half of the ship plummeted to the depths.

    Del tuned into Nola's comments. "I really don't know."

    Winter came to the cockpit. "I third Corellia, because I don't think either side can win this, and by continuing to fight it, we're endangering the population." She swallowed. "Shevu has died, Chancellor. The Yuuzhan Vong snake-staff bit him - poisoned him."

    "I'm fine though," Jyn called out. "Just a little week from the blood-loss."

    "You can rest," Winter shouted back at her. Jyn grumped and laid back down on the bunk.

    Isolder was still on the line. "Corellia it is. When you're in orbit, I'll order a general withdrawal. I don't think we have a single undamaged capital ship at this point - but neither do they. We're lucky they sent half their fleet away, or we'd all be very dead."

    There wasn't a cruiser immediately nearby, so they could head up into higher orbit.

    But they had no word from the Kill Skelm team at this stage, not that Feyna and Winter even knew about that.

    Watching the broken cruiser fall away, Nola allowed herself a small sigh of relief; there weren't any more nearby, either, so hopefully that meant that they'd be getting out of here soon. "Any idea what their plan is?" She asked Del, still on their private channel.

    Feyna nodded along with Winter; if there wasn't going to be a clear-cut winner here, there wasn't any point in risking more casualties and more ships. And even though Jyn claimed she was fine, Feyna wanted to get her to a proper medic; they still didn't know much about the Yuuzhan Vong or their weapons yet, or what effects they might have.

    "Any sightings of Graul, or his ship?" She still didn't think he'd gone down with the Death Star, but there hadn't been anything on him since he'd left the Tower.

    Han let out a whoop as he heard the explosions which signaled the cruisers demise "Great shootin" he called over the internal comms, he would have to thank the X wings for the assist when Feyna was done.

    He looked over at Lumpy "Chewie would be proud of you Lumpy, you're his son all right" he smiled "Besides he's probably roaring his head off that you joined me on this crazy ride. Am definatly glad to have you as my copilot pal".

    Feyna and Isolder were still talking business, Someone else had agreed on Corellia, he thought he remembered her from somewhere but at the moment he was concentrating on getting the Falcon back into space again.

    Nothing from Madelyn or Tor yet and he did'nt want to disturb them at present.

    He would chime in on the conversation Feyna was having if needed. Which was not at the moment.

    Del shook his head, but knew that she couldn't see. "I don't know, but we're in deep now, Nola. May as well see it all the way through. We did help blow up the Death Star. When word gets out, which it always does, we won't be liked in this 'New Empire'."

    "No sightings," said Isolder. "Not that I've been looking much with all this!" There was a buzz of static across the line. The Eternal Fleet and the New Republic and Hapan Battle Dragons were co-mingled, but it was only the allies who had fighter craft, which, in this close proximity, was making a big difference - but the Eternal Fleet had the numbers, and Coruscant was ailing, and the fighters and Jedi wouldn't be ale to make a difference soon.

    There was going to be a point where the planetary defences couldn't hold out, or the Golan Stations would finally, after fighting for so long, give out.

    "Head into orbit, Han, and I'll order a full retreat when you reach the other side of the battle."

    That meant passing through, or around, hundreds of warships and thousands of starfighters, of course. Lumpy rumbled to the Chancellor and Winter to strap in, and for Nola and Del to hold fire until they were fired upon - they didn't want to get noticed by another battle cruiser with no missiles left.

    They were going to be reliant upon Han's piloting skills, as ever.

    "We're your escorts," came Tycho, in one of the X-wings, and then Shara chimed in too. Of course those two would be keeping an eye out for the Falcon.

    Winter clutched the seat arms. "Here we go."

    Nola just nodded to herself at the Wookiee's instructions and sat back. "Sounds like we're headed out, at least."

    Del's concern about the New Empire wasn't unwarranted; they'd become targets for retaliation once people realized the part they'd played. But that rather depended on the New Empire picking itself back up, first.

    Feyna nodded to Lumpy and strapped in. "Stay safe," she said to Isolder--with Han and Lumpy listening, she didn't go too sentimental on him.

    "Roger that Your Highness, we'll comm you again once we are clear. Keep an eye on our signal. Tycho nice shootin by you and your partner back there. Keep the in front and behind clear. Shara if you and the Jedi can help out at all that would be great".

    Han flicked switches making sure the shields were now balanced in front and behind. With no missiles now it was mostly up to the gunners and escorts to be the protectors.

    He blew out a breath here we go, time for some of your fancy flyin Solo.

    "Alright everyone I cannot promise this won't be rough but we've got a obstacle course ahead. Let's hope we come out in one piece…"

    Han focused on the fight above, gunned the engines forward…

    And dived straight in.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @Jerjerrod-Lennox
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  14. darthhelinith

    darthhelinith Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Vhardia
    Bilbringi

    Vhardia leant forward onto the console, watching the empty blank of space in front of them. The three of them were alone.
    She'd been left behind.

    ”Vhardia, I’m really not sure going to Coruscant now is a good idea, I think it’s going to be a massacre. And there is no ship being held back that could take Leia and keep her safe. It’s a trap, my curious little one, and my Twin is behind it.”
    She could hear Renn’s voice from behind her, from the sounds of it he’d moved further back into the cabin.

    I should have got here sooner. Should have warned them. She thought to herself, head sinking into her crossed arms.

    A different thought chimed in. They should have waited for you.

    They knew, they knew I had a padawan, she argued back, that I probably wouldn't make it. That's why they didn't wait. But she wasn't entirely convinced.

    It was Alderaan all over again, just instead of getting caught trying to sneak off to the fight, she'd been prevented from ever trying. Despite the deep hypocrisy of her own thoughts after her correction of Leia moments earlier, it felt unfair that such an option had been taken away from her.

    They knew what you are. They kept you at arms length, frightened of what you might become.
    The image of the girl with her face, dressed in black, that she’d met in the Maw, passed through her mind again.
    So similar, so different.
    And now you can’t prove them wrong.

    She sighed, still staring out into space.

    “What do we do now?”

    Tags: @darthbernael @TheSilentInfluence
     
  15. galactic-vagabond422

    galactic-vagabond422 Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2009
    IC Ka'rta
    Mandalore

    The Oisk led the returning forces of the Mandalorian Remnant to their home, returned from the void. Tears nearly came to her eyes seeing it again. It was home, her home, and it was back. A long breath left her as she began her decent, many other ships with her. Looking over the damage is wasn't so bad from what she could see. She remembered the battle of Keldabe how destroyed the city was after that, this was nothing. They could bounce back in a year maybe two. The Mandalorians were a hearty bunch, resilient. There was no doubt in her mind that they would need to rebuild quick, to turn their home and those under their protection into a fortified system, defended from every angle. For that they would need ships and weapons. While Ka'rta would love for those ships to be mandalorian, time was of the essence if they could get a ready made fleet of strong ships, she would take any make and model.

    Though that would be hassles for Madelyn, or failing her return, the next Manda'lor. It was not a mantel she would take not unless there was no one she deemed worthy to take it. Until she was told otherwise, Madelyn was the Manda'lor. Until then Ka'rta would lead in her stead, begin the rebuilding efforts, bring the people together. They would need every last one of them Dar'Manda and not. She would not go back on her words to the gathered Death Watch, they were now back in the fold.

    Thankfully the bond made by mutual enemies quickly replaced the enmity of civil war.

    As she landed she was met by Owen and Jerrod, the old man was still alive. Without much thought she walked up and embraced them.

    "Where's your husband and Tor?" Owen asked.

    Tor couldn't hide the snarl on her face or the anger in her voice.

    "They stayed with Madelyn, fighting for the New Republic."

    "Oh," the old man replied. "Why aren't you with them?"

    "Because my place is with Mandalorians. They needed someone to come back with them. To lead the rebuilding efforts. Besides, I'm done letting Madelyn pull me around."

    "But Tor…"

    "She made her choice, and her buir is with her." Ka'rta spat. "She thinks that if she kills the Emperor the Empire will crumble."

    "Are you sure that is wise?"

    "No it isn't but I couldn't make her see reason, and I couldn't drag her back, she would just escape. So all I can do is hope I trained her well, and be prepared for a backlash if it fails."

    "You can't be ok with that."

    "I'm not but if I focus on that then I won't be here I would be with them putting all of Mandalore on the line and I can't do that. What if we failed, who would be here to lead the defense, who would play peacemaker between the Death Watch and the others? Even if they won, that's no guarantee that the Mandalorians would still stand behind Madelyn, or even let us back after abandoning them."

    "You're beginning to sound like a politician...like a Manda'lor."

    "Don't you dare, I don't have the patience, I'm a mercenary not a leader."

    "It's not me, I hear rumors that the Clans will call you before them. That can only mean one thing and you know it."

    "They're fools to try and make me their leader. I'm a warrior not a leader, long term planning isn't my strong suit."

    "You were still there when they needed you, you went after the man that took away their home."

    "I wanted vengeance and I took it. Simple as that."

    "I'm not saying I agree with them, that's just the feeling. Madelyn abandoned them, you didn't."

    Ka'rta just shook her head.

    "I hate politics…"

    TAG: @Sinrebirth

    IC Tor
    Courscant

    With her father taking the helm Tor had time to look at the location Fett had given them. If her short time with him had taught her anything it was never walk in the front door. An addendum to that was on Courscant there were many ways to get anywhere. Taking a seat behind Mirdala her eyes flashed over the lay out of the warehouse trying to find some why in that wouldn't be expected, that would catch Darth Skelm off guard and give her the edge in the fight. Her mother had taught her the merits of making the fight on your terms, of using whatever you had at your disposal to tip the odds in your favor.

    She didn't look up to the maelstrom that was circling around the borrowed ship. It was quickly becoming clear that they wouldn't be bringing it back.

    "Oh, yeah." She said in reply to her father's request. "Um Fett, it's me, Tor, we're on our way to the place, you going to be there? We could really use you."

    Before she could hear a reply she looked up to see her father tumble out of his chair and attempt to put out the fire that had started. Her eyes snapped to her aunt, and uncle hoping one of them could take the helm. She didn't have near enough training to take control...though if it came to it...it couldn't be that hard right?

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @TheSilentInfluence
     
  16. HanSolo29

    HanSolo29 Fan Art Mod & Curator star 7 Staff Member Moderator

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    IC: Emperor Graul/Skelm
    Stealth-Equipped Ship, Above Coruscant

    Skelm sat with one hand pressed to his chin, his posture reflecting his brooding presence as he stoically watched Coruscant burn beneath the might of the Eternal Fleet.

    After the obstinate Chancellor had foolishly – and violently – rejected his terms of surrender, he had delivered a definitive blow that had allowed the burgeoning Empire to impose a firm hand upon the remnants of the Republic. The former capital had quickly bowed under the onslaught, and in all likelihood, he should’ve been elated at what they had accomplished so far; it had been no easy feat.

    And yet, the Emperor wasn’t satisfied.

    Other variables had begun to emerge across the board that could potentially impede their progress, and according to the risk assessment, there was a cause for concern.

    For one, the Golan platforms had come back online to provide marginal, if effective, cover for the enemy. As a result, red bursts of energy lanced out to pummel the hulls of the nearest Eternal cruisers with renewed force.

    To compound the situation further, the ragtag group of Alliance vessels that had survived the battle at Exegol had finally arrived. They swiftly mobilized and opened fire as they joined the fray.

    And lastly, in the midst of the chaos, Skelm also received a daunting report that highlighted a fifty-percent chance of success under the current deployment. He certainly didn’t approve of those odds, and he could clearly see how their prior achievements had been relatively small in the grand scheme of things.

    As Aryan pondered these latest developments, Trayus entered the chamber and folded his arms over his chest. "We do have to go after Jalynn, of course, and the Eternal Fleet can handle this," he suggested calmly, almost as if the man had heard his personal ruminations.

    The Emperor lowered his hand back to his side and inclined his chin, his eyes narrowed curiously. "She is a priority, yes," he agreed in a somber cadence, a hint of reluctance evident in his tone. However, it was all a ruse to conceal his true emotions. He knew that he could not openly profess his desperate desire to engage with his daughter and to confront Gaerial about her reasons for abducting her.

    Then again, if Trayus had perceived his inner turmoil, perhaps he already knew the truth. And in that case, his recommendation had served as both a source of relief and a driving force for his motivation. He could embrace it.

    Skelm issued a heavy sigh and nodded in acceptance. "Set course for Bakura. We will depart as soon as I relay my orders to the Fleet."

    "Ahh," Trayus exhaled softly, becoming distracted as his finger tapped against a nearby computer console. "Arek appears to have abandoned ship... in one of my stealth-equipped escape pods. Seems he didn't have the stomach for what had to be done."

    The shift in momentum stopped Aryan short, his jaw clenching in what he realized was a feeble attempt to contain his mounting anger. But this destructive force wasn’t aimed solely at his son’s apparent deception, but rather at himself. It was borne of his own frustrations and misgivings, an innate fear that preyed upon his vulnerabilities. He lamented his inability to feel and to provide a stable environment for Arek, and this inevitably led to regret.

    He had not felt the pod separating from the ship, nor had he detected any negative sentiments from his son. There had only been the boy’s silence, but nothing more that could’ve foretold his actions.

    Arek had concealed his intentions from him, and that only drove the vibroblade deeper. As his father, he should’ve pulled him aside and spoken to him sooner, to set him on the right path––

    He had failed him.

    No…

    The boy had betrayed him!

    The Force crackled about his fingertips as Skelm clenched his hand into a fist and slammed it into the throne. He was no longer cognizant of the overall battle plan or where he had positioned his assets on the field. The only thing that mattered was enacting revenge on his son.

    His rage was so great that he didn’t even bother to commune privately with the Eternal Fleet. He merely shouted his instructions for all to hear.

    "My son is a coward and a traitor! FIND him!" he roared above the din, spittle expelling from his mouth. "Trace his trajectory, and when you obtain a clear shot, blow his pod out of the sky!"

    There was a twinge of remorse, a small reminder that he was still human, but he quickly squashed it. This wasn’t truly his son. Arek had died fourteen years ago, and the one who had appeared before him today was an imposter, a doppelganger from another place and time. Even the implications involving the Change could be further studied with the help of the Holocrons and the Black Coat himself. There was no need to spare Arek’s life. That was enough to justify the decision in his mind.

    And yet, he was restless. Was it appropriate for him to expend all of his energy on a single target? On a boy who, by all accounts, would have no real impact on the outcome of this war?

    As if to echo these thoughts, a resonant voice reached out across the meld to converse with him. It was calm and authoritative, and he recognized it instantly as Nevet:

    "Brother it is time, activate a repeater to simulate your presence at Coruscant…"

    His blood brother went on to illustrate his plan for a complete withdrawal from the engagement zone around the capital. It was a simple proposal that offered some much-needed clarity, and Skelm was grateful for the respite. He feared that he may have lost himself to his own machinations had he continued to pursue his journey of self-indulgence. Nevet’s words provided a different perspective that helped him to regain sight of their goal.

    "Thank you, my friend,"
    he sent back through their bond, the fixation on his son beginning to wane as he reclaimed his hold on reality. He would allow him to flee for now. "I am already preparing for my departure, and I will take your suggestions under advisement. You may rendezvous with me at Bakura; I have some business to attend to back home."

    As he began to turn away, an image flashed within his mind’s eye, depicting a formidable vessel that would serve as their flagship. No doubt it was another advanced notification from his brother – a small preview of what they had to look forward to. A wry grin spread over Skelm’s features at the possibilities.

    "Inform the fleet that they are to pull back and increase the intervals between each subgroup to account for those Golan platforms,"
    the Emperor conveyed to GEMINI after a short pause, effectively rescinding his previous order to incinerate Arek. "That will help to mitigate the damage by making it more difficult for them to target our units. If we can also situate ourselves on the opposite side of the Alliance fleet, we may catch them in the crossfire.

    "From there, you are to maintain position and conduct a continuous scan of the area. Once we draw in the remainder of their forces, which will assuredly include the Jedi contingent, or we reach the threshold of acceptable losses – whichever occurs first – you are to disengage from the battle and initiate a full retreat from the system. You are then to proceed to Bakura and await instructions."

    Satisfied with his directive, Skelm proceeded to activate the aforementioned repeater, an automatic beacon that was capable of emulating his presence. It will continue to transmit his signal long after he had withdrawn from the battle.

    When he completed this task, only one thing remained.

    Offering a curt nod to Lord Trayus, Skelm reclined back against the throne and watched beyond the viewport as the stars stretched into the familiar kaleidoscope of hyperspace.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth; @darthbernael
     
  17. TheSilentInfluence

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

    Registered:
    Jul 15, 2014
    IC: Madelyn Linnett
    En-route

    Madelyn knew deep down she was doing the right thing. It was almost like the force was calling her back to who she used to be. She felt the tension eve before they arrived, and was quick to take over for Miralda before they hit the surface. Tor had gone to call Fett, and although she had never met him personally, Madelyn could sense how much Tor thought of him. Madelyn sighed a little, and then started to steer them carefully down to he surface. It was intense but Madelyn had confidence that she could steer this ship down there without much trouble.

    She hoped.

    Tag: @Sinrebirth @galactic-vagabond422

    IC: Leia Skirata-Linnett

    Bilbringi

    Leia looked at Vhardia. "This is really bad, isn't it Master?"

    She looked and felt the conflict. It was confusing to her, and she tried to pinpoint where everything was coming from at once. There are a lot of Jedi fighting. But do we have to go and fight now too? I don't want to get hurt or hurt anyone else. Leia thought, and she walked up to her Master to hold her hand again. "I don't want to hurt anyone." Leia frowned. "There are a lot of people down there."

    Tag: @Sinrebirth @darthhelinith
     
    Sinrebirth likes this.
  18. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Lord Trayus
    Bakura, Outer Rim

    The Black-Coat gave the update to the Eternal flagship, and Theron and Lana had it jump to Bakura to meet them.

    The flagship arrived at roughly the same time as Skelm, of course, because the smaller ship could travel faster, but was coming from further. Yag'Dhul was considerably closer than Coruscant, though they each had hyperlanes. When they arrived, they were greeted by the Bakuran defences - three Bakura-class Star Destroyers and a light cruiser. They launched X, A, B and Y-wings, because purchasing such things was easy enough.

    A beacon lit the way for Skelm, of course, to the capital, to the Captison Estate. There was a message from the Gaeriel, across their private channel. The GEMINI droids dutifully bypassed it to Bernael, as well.

    I just want to talk, Aryan. That's all. Jalynn is safe, I promise. The Bakuran Senate wanted to speak to you as soon as we're done, so I won't keep you.

    "Pulling on those heart-strings, isn't she?" Trayus said to Skelm as they headed towards the surface. "I presume we're going for her first, as requested?" The fighter craft were arranged in an honour guard. There were other ships arriving, from other parts of the New Empire, to pledge their loyalty, or to start intriguing early, who knew.

    "Cute," said Lana, lightly, on the bridge of the flagship, as Gaeriel's words floated in the air.

    "Not to put too fine a point on it, but the politics isn't much of a concern for me." Theron tapped the displays. "The Coruscant fleet has been ordered to kill Aryan's son, and also to retreat when it's taken a degree of damage. So it'll be intact, but we've a lot of not ideal situations here."

    "I'll say," Lana added, providing the update from their brief jump. "The Corellian forces are still retreating, of course, but our Hapan forces are still caught up in the minefields. They'll not reach Kuat anytime soon." The Kuati were ill-placed to defend world and the yards and fight back, so they had free reign there in theory - until the Coruscanti or Corellian forces intervened. It was also far from their center of power.

    "Well we've got reports from the Tarkins that they're struggling to put down the Sluissi and Sullustans. They've made a request for help," Theron replied.

    "Meanwhile Moff Larkin has requested assistance securing Druckenwell and Arkanis," said Lana with a shrug. "He's insistent we take territory on the Corellian Run."

    "I think we should just take Yag'Dhul and block two hyperlanes," Theron bit back.

    "I agree," Lana responded heatedly.

    "But we can't do everything!" They both basically shouted at each other. Nor had they, according to the GEMINI droids, told Bernael the most intriguing piece of news of all of this.

    The Captison Estate, down below, was as beautiful and idyllic as it always had been. Black-Coat was laconic in his chair as they headed down. "I mean, you're gonna have to decide if you're going to be the benevolent Emperor Graul right now, or the malevolent Darth Skelm."

    There was Gaeriel, and his daughter standing behind her, on the landing pad.

    "Let me help you with that," Black-Coat said, and dropped the ramp as soon as they hit the deck. "All yours, your Majesty!"

    TAG: @HanSolo29 (one combo), @darthbernael (one combo)
    ---
    IC: GEMINI

    Battle of Coruscant, Core Worlds

    It wasn't going as anticipated. They had three orders from their Throne.

    One, move to interpose the enemy fleet between them and the planet.

    Two, retreat when they suffered sufficient losses, as defined.

    Three, kill Arek Graul.

    The enemy fleet divided the moment they successfully moved to position the majority of their forces, and so the Eternal Fleet was caught in a cross-fire. The handful of cruisers left in orbit were destroyed with aplomb, though one did report it had successfully entered the depths of Coruscant in pursuit of the child with part of their Emperor's blood.

    Not enough to command them, of course, and watered down with the blood of his mother, and missing the blood of the Outlander.

    But now they were completely out of position to keep the pursuit of Arek Graul, and to interpose themselves. They were moving out of range of the Coruscant-based ground weapons, but the withdrawal had cost them ships. Similarly, they were now in a bowl of fire, with the Hapans on one side, the New Republic the opposite flank, and the last Golans hammering their center - and taking more casualties.

    They missed the Millennium Falcon as it departed, and completely missed the ship of Tor and Madelyn and the other Mandalorians heading to the surface on their misguided Kill Skelm mission - the fire out, the ship calmed, but now piloted by a Jedi. The allied fleets were pacing their withdrawal, even as the Jedi harassed the enemy, even as the Eternal Fleet hit its threshold for withdrawal.

    Unable to fulfil all objectives, the GEMINI hive mind did what it thought would achieve all goals, as clearly the first and second were interwoven.

    Under several worlds was Eternal tech, designed to enable a Force user of sufficient power to create an artificial Void in the Force, which would drain the life, sound and colour from the planet, and redirect it into said user. Zorn had done it at Mandalore; Bernael had, inadvertently, done so at Metellos. The creator of this technology, Vitiate, had first done it using other Sith as sacrifices on Nathema, and then again on Ziost. The Force users death would return the energy to the world, which was why Mandalore was recovering. Vitiate, during his attempt to conquer the galaxy, had spread these weapons across it - to Coruscant, to Nouane, to Metellos, to Drommund Kaas, to Korriban, to Ziost, to Alderaan. With them, he could feast periodically, rejuvenating his immortality.

    And so.

    GEMINI simply reached out to the facility beneath Coruscant - as recently attended to by the One Sith, in their 'terror attacks' which were really just insertions to worlds to get to the Eternal tech beneath the surface - and switched it on. They dutifully updated the Twin Emperors.

    In an hour or so, Coruscant would be consumed, though the energy would enter no Force user, as there was none in orbit connected to the Thrones.

    The New Republic and Hapan fleet withdrew; the Jedi shortly thereafter.

    But the Eternal Fleet had taken it's damage, and it, too, withdrew, jumping to Bakura.

    That left a handful of Heroes on-world.

    Arek, of course, in the very depths and bowels of Coruscant.

    But also Tor, Madelyn and the team, heading to the Works, distant from the main engagement.

    Boba Fett stood inside the factory as they arrived.

    He had his blaster, and his armour, and he was ready.

    He rolled his shoulders, and as their ship headed around the greater battle, he dipped his head -

    And the rocket slammed into the ship -

    They were going down.

    Boba Fett had shot them down.

    TAG: @TheSilentInfluence, @galactic-vagabond422 (combo with GM), @HanSolo29 (continue your combo separately), @darthbernael (GEMINI update)
    ---
    IC: Aidel Saxan

    Corellian system, Core Worlds

    They arrived in ones and twos, and then the entire New Republic and Hapan fleet - battered, burned, bruised - arrived, with it's Jedi escort, taking Lumpy's secret routes - Wookiee and smuggler secrets. The Millennium Falcon and it's two X-wing escorts arrived first, of course. The Eternal Fleet that was pacing the system retreated, withdrawing away from the danger - they were ill-placed to fight reinforcements, not without the Kuati and Hapan contingents.

    The Corellian defenders held position at the other jump points, and Del found himself looking at them from the gunwells. He pointed at the egg-shaped dreadnaughts. "Never seen those before."

    Winter chimed up as well. "They're not ships they declared."

    A Wookiee bray of concern. Comm channels opened up, addressed to the Falcon, and then, when it arrived, looped in the Kendall and Prince Isolder. Lumpy was sure that Del and Nola could see too, and be seen.

    It was Aidel Saxan, the Corellian Prime Minister, and -

    "Han my boy!" A voice that sounded just like his, and a face that looked like his, but older -

    [​IMG]

    "Chancellor," Saxan said gravely. "I don't believe you've been introduced to Thrackan Sal-Solo." She gestured to Han. "I believe they're cousins, of some kind." Her voice was a bit clipped. "Sal-Solo here happened to have been preparing an illegal assault fleet in the Kiris asteroids -"

    "Simply to ensure Corellian's protection, and it's a good thing I did!" Thrackan said, loudly. "My planning ahead saved Corellia!"

    Saxan grit her teeth and she turned back to Feyna. "I've designated Centerpoint Station as your impromptu Senate offices, if agreeable - there's about a million Coruscanti there." She searched with her eyes across the group. "And I've a commission for one Nola Deidder from the Nubian Council - they've named you as the new Senator following the death of Norin Graul."

    Del looked at her hologram, surprised. "Congratulations, Nola!"

    Sal-Solo was merely grinning at Han.

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox, @JediMasterAnne (combo)
    ---
    IC: BB-8

    Bilbringi system, Inner Rim

    The reports from the Core became less clear, as relays were knocked out by fighting, by opportunists, or just abandoned.

    As BB-8 made a noise of consternation as he lost touch with Coruscant and Kuat, both under attack by the Eternal Fleet battlecruisers. Corellia appeared to be holding it's own, and there were reports of Hapans bogging down the armada. The New Empire was entrenching itself, securing territory in the south and leaving chaos throughout the Outer Rim.

    The three of them were right - a massacre was afoot, but when, or where, that was the question.

    They did have the good news about Mandalore though - it had been restored, at very least. But that was the only completely good news of the new war - there was no word about her mother, though the rest of Leia's family was said to have gone home. They had some comm calls, though, at least - Vhardia had one from Kyp, on the Yavin moon, for one, back on the Jedi Academy, requesting she check-in. Renn would be looking through the data for his worse half, so to speak. but there were no Anzati reports - just a mysterious flagship that had been present at Corellia, noted in the galactic news because it was such a deviation from the Eternal Fleet battlecruisers that were now everywhere.

    A comlink chime - this time, it was Leia's.

    It was Kyle Katarn.

    TAG: @darthbernael, @TheSilentInfluence, @darthhelinith
    ---
    IC: Beaumont Kin

    Kesh, morning, Wild Space

    Qwi would wake to the feel of Beaumont's fingertips on her shoulder, caressing her awake.

    He had food in his hands, a kind of fruit. "Morning beautiful."

    "I woke early, thought I'd take advantage of the day to pawn off the Sith bauble." He grinned. "I told the Keshiri pawn shop owner that I dug it up, must have found where a Sith Lord was buried."

    "Apparently it's going to be something called Testament Day soon, and he asked me if I'm going to head to Tahv for it, like most of the humans," Beaumont explained. "He offered me a copy of the chronicles of the Hilts Restoration." He held out a handwritten scroll.

    "There's a lot of history here, and he told me that their High Lord will be heading to the capital soon, too - Tahv, that is." Beaumont paused, he was getting excited again. He kissed her. "Sorry, you've just woke. I'm about to dive into five thousand years of their history - that of the so-called Lost Tribe of the Sith."

    He grinned, happy he had a name for them now.

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox (combo)
    ---
    IC: Owen

    Mandalore, MandalMotors briefing room, Outer Rim

    He hadn't been wrong; the clan heads called Ka'rta to her in the next few days.

    They were all here - Clan Awaud, Clan Eldar, what was left of Clan Kryze, Clan Rook, Clan Kast, Clan Saxon, the remnants of Clan Vizsla, and Clan Mudhorn.

    Ka'rta knew of the head of Clan Kast, of course, she'd been working with her since the attack on Entralla. Rook Kast nodded.

    Owen was there, of course providing support, though he leaned in the corner so as not to separate attention.

    The clans were raucous - loud, arguing, squabbling, as ever. They hadn't changed in centuries, and wouldn't ever, it was likely. They'd been in this room with her and Madelyn many times over the last fourteen years, back when Ka'rta was the Hand. But everyone knew how Ka'rta had led the former Death Watch to attack Entralla, and pave the way to Exegol and Zorn's death - which had restored Mandalore!

    Meanwhile, Madelyn had led the Mandalorians as refugees, to defend Kashyyyk - and now had gone to fight the auretiise battles.

    The clans wanted a new Mandalore.

    They wanted someone who would stand up to the New Empire and the New Republic.

    That wasn't Madelyn - not for them.

    She was, as everyone had worried fourteen years ago - too Jedi.

    Owen cleared his throat, and the clans calmed down - Rook punched one of them to stop yammering, as well.

    TAG: @galactic-vagabond422
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
  19. AgentViper007

    AgentViper007 Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    OOC: A combo with @Sinrebirth and @JediMasterAnne :)

    IC: Han Solo, Lumpawaroo (Lumpy), Feyna Organa, Isolder, Shara Dameron, Nola and Del Deidder
    Location: Millenium Falcon, Corellia


    I never thought I would be back here again…

    Thankfully the Falcon had made it to the Corellian system in one piece and using some of his and Lumpy's secret routes.

    At least the Prime Minister seemed to be nice enough but what Han didn't expect or maybe he actually should have really was his cousin Thrackan interfering in things. They were probably about to have a family argument right over the comm channels.

    "Excuse my cousin" Han said to Feyna ``He likes to poke his nose in affairs and loves stirrin up trouble. Especially here at home".

    He turned back to Saxan "My apologies for my cousin, it seems he's been hidin secrets from you" he glared at his cousin "Buldin a secret fleet? That's askin for trouble. You may have saved Corellia but you've caused problems as usual".

    Feyna glanced between Han, his cousin, and Aidel, already noting the tension in Han's tone; he clearly didn't trust Thracken, and regardless of her own somewhat shaky history with Han, this seemed like something she ought to trust him about. But what had happened between the two cousins, she wondered?

    She wasn't about to ask, though.

    The news from Nubia was unexpected, but at least with Nola, she had someone who was already aware of some of the bigger issues, so Feyna felt fairly comfortable that Nubia's allegiances weren't about to change.

    Nola was likewise surprised by this development, and though her husband sounded pleased, she wasn't quite sure how to feel. "Thanks," she replied to Del, quietly, better not to get involved in the Solo cousins' verbal tussling--that's what the conversation was already starting to look like, anyway.

    Isolder pitched in. "Han, do you think you could speak to your cousin on another line? We've a few things to sort out, after all."

    Saxan's expression suggested she'd be extremely grateful to have Sal-Solo preoccupied, but she didn't say as much. Sal-Solo caught that, but lifted a finger. "You won't be able to cut me out as long as I'm a hero of Corellia. The whole system knows my fleet just saved our skin, probably the entire New Republic. So you'd best expect me to be looking for acknowledgement." He looked at Saxan. "Minister of War, at very least. Vice Prime Minister of Corellia, maybe."

    "I think my current Vice Prime Minister will have a view of that," the Corellian leader bit back.

    "He's your ex-husband, I'm sure you can explain things to him," Sal-Solo said, slyly. He glanced at Han. "What do you think? Shall we have a chat on a private-channel?"

    Lumpy rumbled that he could split the feed and send part to the hold, if Han wanted.

    Isolder, for his part, looked at Feyna, intrigued as to the ex-husband Vice Prime Minister, just as Del was when he looked at Nola. Saxan looked to Feyna. "Madam Chancellor, I have a variety of New Republic Senators among the refugees from Coruscant, and a few more eager to open a session of Congress and ratify a few things..."

    Winter cast an eye at the gathered holograms. "Perhaps we should relieve Captain Solo of our presence so we can get on with planning our next move?"

    Han shook his head "Nah, you can all stay here, we have more important things to discuss. Plus I'm a General now I think I should be involved in discussions. Even if it is about politics and stuff" he then shot a glare at Isolder to back off.

    Which of course he hated. But he supposed he had new responsibilities now since he had joined the New Republic fold. Xav if she was here would really hate this.

    "If I behave then hopefully my cousin will follow suit." Han said and then looked at Feyna it was her show after all.

    Feyna personally wondered if Han and his cousin ought to work out their differences between themselves, but Han wanted to stay. She decided not to object. Suit yourself.

    "How many Senators are here? We have Senator Deidder on board, of course." And Isolder still spoke for Hapes. Feyna assumed the other representatives that had made it to Corellia were among those not going over to the New Empire.

    Senator Deidder, that's going to take some getting used to, Nola thought.

    “About two hundred,” Saxan said, but before Feyna’s face could drop - that was less than a fifth of what she’d had before all this - she added, “but another three hundred-odd are signalling their willingness to attend the session virtually.” Which equated to half the original New Republic membership.

    “About three hundred sectors have sided with Skelm, or are about to fall...” she was referencing half a dozen sectors that were imperilled with the latter half of the sentence, “and the rest have stopped responding to our enquiries.”

    “Neutral sectors, essentially,” Del said, carefully.

    “Probably the same ones who were neutral in the Galactic Cold War,” Winter surmised, referencing the nineteen years between Order 66 and the fall of the old Empire.

    “Mainly in the Expansion Region and Mid Rim between here and Hutt Space, yes,” Saxan confirmed.

    Sal-Solo shrugged. “We don’t need them. We’ve the numbers on our side.”

    “But not insurmountable ones,” Isolder said, “and we’re still severely damaged from the Battle of Exegol.” His eyes took in Han and Feyna, as the other senior New Republic representatives. “The Remnant is wobbling, and there are plenty of neutral systems. We should cool the war until we’ve rebuilt, save Kuat, and see if we can’t bring the rest of the galaxy back on-side.”

    Diplomacy, Lumpy grumbled.

    There was a selection of beeps on the comlinks of Saxan, Feyna, Han, Winter and Isolder. It was General Kre’frey. He confirmed by text that the Eternal Fleet had withdrawn from Coruscant, towards Bakura, but not before disabling the remaining Golan stations in-orbit, and seeding the lower levels with cruisers. Commodore Agate had confirmed that there were similar readings beginning on-world as those found on Mandalore and Metellos, so there was a fear that the Eternal Fleet had triggered a similar disaster before leaving.

    What could have evacuated from Coruscant already had been, and many of the New Republic and Hapan warships were availing themselves of the Corellian shipyards to repair, rearm and refuel. They were ill-positioned to mount a rescue attempt of billions of citizens, nor to continue the offensive.

    Sal-Solo looked at them - he wasn’t hooked into the command grid, nor were Nola and Del. “What is it?”

    Han listened as the others laid it all out. Lumpy was right to grumble. It seemed they were about to embark on a diplomatic journey, one that could end up being a waste of time. Instead they should be taking the fight to Skelm, destroying his New Empire before it took hold.

    That was his opinion anyway.

    And then the comm call came through and Han felt sick after receiving the news. Did his cousin deserve to hear this? Maybe.

    "Gotta big problem" he said his lips a thin line "You remember the reports of Mandalore? Well guess what, the Eternal Fleet mighta just done the same thing as what happened there and they are doin it to Coruscant".

    "I saw Mandalore myself and it was a dead lifeless world. And it's something I don't want to see again. But seems like Skelm is kickin off his New Empire by murderin billions of civilians. A little present before they left".

    He sighed "A team was sent to try and get Skelm before he left the world, sounds like he ran before they got there" he looked to Feyna ``Madelyn is there along with Ka'rta's daughter and husband".

    Feyna pinched the bridge of her nose, fighting the lump in her throat.

    "The same thing happened at Metellos," she elaborated. "When Raddus went to look for survivors, everyone they found was in a 'zombie-like state.'" She wasn't sure if that had happened at Mandalore or not, though. "Mandalore was restored after Zorn died, but Metellos wasn't. We don't know why."

    And we don't know how to stop it.

    She looked at Han. "Can you contact Madelyn, or any of them, tell them to get out?" If they still could…

    They couldn't, no. Their ship had been shot down, so the long-range comms were out, and Boba Fett had a jammer up and running accordingly. Dameron, added to the meeting with Tycho, spoke up, though. "The Jedi say that Madelyn is still alive - she's not vanished from the Force, and she's one of the strongest lights in it at the moment."

    Winter wondered aloud. "If Zorn's death saved Mandalore, it follows that Metellos was eaten by something else. Wasn't there an Anzati causing grief in the Maw, if I remember Renn, Vhardia and Leia's reports from in the Maw? The one who was there when Ood Bnar died?"

    "That's a tenuous connection, surely," Del said. "'An Anzati'."

    Saxan was on the comms to her officers. "Admiral Delpin just confirmed that the Eternal Fleet that attacked Corellia has withdrawn fully, heading to Yag'Dhul."

    "Where that flagship headed. Could that be where Aryan is?" Isolder said, concerned.

    There was a lot in the air.

    Into their wonderings, Sal-Solo grinned at Han. "Seems the smartest thing to do would be to send our fastest ship back to Coruscant to try and save the team. Who knows, maybe they'll succeed and kill them all."

    Guess not Han thought at Feyna's question as they moved on. Would they arrive there in time? The Falcon was fast but was she going to be fast enough?

    Of course his cousin would love to get rid of him. And he wasn't into this diplomacy thing anyway, this was more Feyna's and Isolder's forte.

    "We could go back yeah" Han responded "I owe Madrlyn, and I'm not runnin away this time. With the Falcon we can get there and pull her and the others out. If Fett is there we could have a problem".

    He looked to Feyna "And no doubt Ka'rta would tan my hide for losing her daughter and husband. I can drop you, I Isolder and the rest at Centrepoint '' he smiled "Unless any of you guys fancy comin along for the ride".

    Nola chimed in, "No, thank you, General Solo." If a Senate meeting was being arranged, she'd need to be there. Del was the only personal security she had at the moment, but if he wanted to help Han--otherwise it would just be him and Lumpy--she wouldn't stop him.

    Feyna nodded in agreement. "Be careful, Han."

    Lumpy rumbled that he'd be coming, of course, and Jyn would have made a wise-crack had she not fallen asleep. Winter smiled slightly. "I'll be with the Chancellor, of course."

    "I'll escort her, as well," Tycho said.

    "Then we'll see you soon," said Saxan, cutting the line.

    "Good luck," said Sal-Solo with a grin, and he too cut the connection.

    "Chancellor," said Dameron, when the Corellians had gone. "I've had a report from Kyp Durron, a Padawan we left on Yavin 4 to manage Jedi communications. A team of three Jedi had headed to Ilum before we found Exegol - Renn, Vhardia and Leia, Madelyn's daughter. They had headed there to do an old-school pilgrimage to find Leia a Kyber crystal for her lightsaber, especially as Leia had just lost her Master, Kyle Katarn, in the Maw."

    Isolder just about followed that as the Falcon moved towards Centerpoint.

    "But Ilum had been taken over by Thrawn and his people. I reckon he was warned about the Jedi team, and that's why he left Coruscant rather than head to Exegol," Shara said, explaining the disappearance of the Chimaera at the last moment, leaving the Relentless in-charge. "Apparently he's converted Ilum into some kind of superweapon, using the Kyber crystals."

    Del took a sharp intake of air, and Winter frowned, but Shara hastened to add. "It's not ready, and Thrawn ran with it - the whole planet jumped into hyperspace."

    "But now we know why Thrawn was trying to get Qwi Xux so much... though we'd worked it out already," Isolder said. "So he has a weapon he hasn't finished."

    "The team damaged it too, blew up the oscillator. They've technical data that their BB astromech downloaded as well." More bad news, technically, but also more good. One more crisis temporarily averted, but Qwi Xux - and Beaumont Kin - had gone missing before the fleet left for Exegol.

    Shara finished there, to let Feyna - and Han - comment. The Falcon, at Lumpy's guidance, was about to settle in a docking bay and drop-off his VIPs.

    Han smiled his traditional half smirk at Feyna as she told him to be careful "Hey, it's me".

    He let Lumpy take over piloting as he listened to this next bit. He had politely nodded as the Prime Minister and his cousin departed, thankfully they had not had a full family feud over the comm.

    "And I thought havin that prototype Death Star was bad enough" he responded once Shara had finished "Thrawn went and got himself a bigger one".

    "But at least it was damaged" he shook his head and looked at Feyna "And I don't know who this Qwi Xux is, is she someone important?"

    "I can't do any more pickup or drop offs. We need to get to Coruscant fast to get Madelyn and the others.".

    "Qwi Xux was exploited by the Empire for her research, which they used to build the first Death Star," Feyna explained. "She doesn't want to help Thrawn any more than we want her to. We don't know where she is right now, but it doesn't sound like he does, either."

    She'd have gone into more detail, but she didn't want to take up too much more time. Thrawn's weapon was damaged, and the team had stolen the plans. To Dameron: "Have them get that droid here to Corellia as quickly as possible."

    The Falcon settled, and Winter headed to the ramp to order NR troops to help take Jyn off - and to quickly refuel and rearm the Corellian ship.

    Shara saluted. “Yes, ma’am.”

    For his part, Isolder looked at Feyna and smiled. “I’ll catch up with you soon, Chancellor.”

    “May the Force be with you,” Del said to Han and Lumpy, and also switched off, climbing out of the gunwell. He looked to help Nola out of her turret. It had been one helluva a day.

    "See you soon," Feyna smiled back at Isolder before signing off. "Good luck, Han. Lumpy." She gave them each a polite goodbye nod, then headed after Winter.

    Nola climbed out of the gunwell to join Del. "Thank you, General Solo," she called up to the cockpit, before going to follow the Chancellor.

    It seemed Feyna had her Chancellor mode switched on. And it seemed Han had a lot to do to regain her trust it seemed. And Han could not even say goodbye.

    "See you soon kid" he said quietly as she left. He heard the other goodbyes as those that had decided to leave did so. Which was pretty much all of them.

    "Back to Coruscant, who'd have thought that" he said to Lumpy shaking his head "Looks like we have no gunners either. Going to be a tough task if we do get shot at".

    He got up from his seat, his joints popping as he did, he was feeling his age a little bit now "Come on, let's do a little bit of reparin whilst they refuel and rearm. I don't want any more bits fallin off".

    TAG: @Sinrebirth , @JediMasterAnne
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
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  20. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, House was on fire, not my fault star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Combo with @Sinrebirth

    IC Bernael
    Bakura, Outer Rim

    Bernael had elected to stay aboard the flagship for now. Sistros/Skelm was the politician of the two and he more their general or dark force of nature. Therefore he was taking and collating all the reports coming in. The GEMINI one was intriguing and meant that very shortly the former capitol would be a barren wasteland.

    He snorted at the sender of the report from Skelm’s yacht. A short thought went out to ‘Traya’, ’Going by that name again are we? Does he yet know you are another of the originals?’

    He listened to the bickering between Lana and Theron, a small smile on his face as he did, but they were right, to a degree. ”Before I give orders, you both do know there is another source of information that I have at my disposal. Well several, but one also tied to this position, so what have you left out of your briefing so far?”

    The two of them looked at each other. "We weren't sure whether to bring it to your attention," Lana demurred.

    Theron, however, called up a video. "The Eriaduans sent out smaller forces to monitor the outer worlds of what they had intended to claim - the Greater Seswenna. When they came to the Suarbi system, Outland Security was met by these..."

    The images showed a multi-coloured display of weapons as armored warriors drove the Eriaduan forces away from a population center. "We wanted to send a probe to ascertain what was going on before we raised an alarm," Lana added.

    Bernael’s eyes shot to the map, then back to Lana and Theron, a smile forming on his face. ”Suarbi system you say, the planet these images were taken on, it would not perhaps be the planet of Susevfi, would it?” he said, almost teasingly.

    ”You said, Theron, that the Tarkins were requesting aid.. Well, aid in this situation is one that I, yes myself, would be best prepared to render. Inform the Tarkins to have the Outland Security forces to regroup around their landers and only respond if attacked. There is something there that would be quite useful to us, to me.”

    The skin around his eyes tightened as a broad smile crossed his face, ”We have ships, we have Skytroopers and will have more, Star Fortresses as well. But we are missing a component. And you just found it.”

    Theron confirmed, and Lana wondered as to Bernael's words. "You think you can turn these... Force users?" She pointed at the display. "Red, blue, green, yellow, white - they're not like Jedi or Sith, not that armour."

    "But I can divert the flagship if you wish, of course..." her voice was pitched, concerned that this wasn't as important as Bernael thought, but of course she would yield the point.

    Bernael shook his head. ”I cannot be in every place at once, not yet anyway,” he only half quipped. ”If we have a probe with a holo unit that can broadcast, then I can ‘be there’ to meet with them. Scan the frequencies of the local channels there and find their freq. Use it to contact them and tell them I have something related to the destruction of the Jedi to discuss with them. Tell them someone who remembers Nikkos Tyris wishes to speak with them.”

    He sat back, the scene unfolding below being monitored. Even though he was not present he was not going to let anything happen to his co-Emperor, and this new development would be one that would intrigue Sistros. Thinking for a minute, ”At Kuat, destroy their infrastructure until they sue for peace, then force them into a complete surrender, destroying more of their infrastructure until they accept being a subsidiary system of the Empire. With Hapes, clear the minefields utilizing the multitargetting functions of the GEMINI craft, leave them no defensive field to interdict again.”

    Thinking about Corellia a smile came, ”Continue our interdiction of the Corellian jump points, keeping those big beasts at a distance, but I agree, Yag’Dhul would be a perfect blocking position. There are a few worlds between it and Corellian but also a thriving pirate community on that route that can be paid off. So have the blocking force on the Corellian Trade Spine ‘fall back’ to Yag’Dhul and bring it into our possession.”

    Theron issued orders to the Kuati and Corellian deployments, while Lana setup the holo unit. "There," she said.

    The hologram swirled into existence, showing the Outland troops exchanging fire as they retreated from an approaching enemy. Their animalistic armour and multi-coloured lightsabers were in stark contrast, but the route was littered with dozens of dead, even a few upturned AT-ST walkers. It didn't look good, to say the least.

    At the front of the line was a woman with a golden blade, weaving a defensive shield that caught everything hurled at her.

    "Speak, someone who remembers," her words were cultured, cold.

    Bernael’s eyes focused on the holo pickup, ”I am Nevet, once known as Bernael, the Shadow. Nikkos and I knew each other. We respected the path each had taken and I supported his decision to create the Jensaarai. When he found the scroll of Larad Noon it was a good day for the galaxy. His loss was felt keenly, the Jedi must pay for what they did.” he said calmly in his flat tone.

    ”Should we work together, I will assist your Order to become stronger, to challenge the Jedi across the galactic stage, and end their threat. You see that the Eriaduans already stand down; they too, warriors they are, have chosen to follow the path I have set forth.” he continued. He paused, giving the representative of the Jensaarai a chance to respond.

    The woman lifted her chin. "I am the Saarai-Kaar. I lead the Jensaarai," she said, using more Sith words. "We stand against the Jedi Order, murderers that they are. We have hid from the old Jedi, and we hide from the New Jedi. They are cowards, and we defend our own."

    She gestured to the world. "This place is ours. We wish to be left alone. You cannot give us what you claim to offer. No-one can; the Jedi are a plague upon the galaxy."

    Bernael chuckled, a flat sound, ”Well met Saarai-Kar, I lead the Empire, reborn from the dust of my predecessor, the Outlander. Now that you have been found, you will not have peace from them. And a plague? Their Grandmaster was as a child when I faced him, when I opened the lock of the Maw. The fact they will come for you I wish to avoid, which is why I called off the forces attacking and contacted you. You deserve better than that, deserve a chance to end the plague as you called them.”

    She paused. “Is that so?”

    “What guarantees can you give my community?” The Saarai-Kaar stepped forward towards the hologram. “The Jedi need to be erased, but not at the expense of our secrecy.”

    The woman eyed the troopers.

    Bernael nodded, understanding in his expression. Turning, he focused on Lana and Theron, leaving the channel open and deliberately doing so in view of the Saarai-Kaar. ”Inform the Tarkins that Susevfi is now a personal fiefdom of mine in my role as Eternal Emperor. There are other worlds that could use their attention but this one is mine. Instruct them to have the Outland Security forces be returned to their craft and depart.”

    He turned his black gaze to the woman in the holo pickup, ”I am a being as Nikkos was, of my original stock, so you know I can and would keep that for eons. Your world will be safe. And, except between us, any reference to Susevfi will be scrubbed so that it remains hidden, as much as possible.”

    A smile touched the corner of his lips, ”As to facing them, you are skilled and I can add to the repertoire of skills, to face them on better than equal footing.”

    The Saarai-Kaar pointed at the Eriaduan troops. “I agree to your terms, but I don’t trust these tools of your regime.”

    “They need to be apart of our deal. I cannot keep the knowledge of our existence from you... clearly you know much, as an Anzati like our founder, and have much to teach us.”

    “But I cannot trust the minds of soldiers.” Her lightsaber ignited, as if seeking permission.

    Bernael’s smile was predatory. He turned his gaze to Lana and Theron, ”Instruct the Tarkins that their force on that world was lost and that we will recoup the expenses of them. To win the war occasionally forces must be sacrificed to ensure the victory.”

    He turned back to the Saarai-Kaar, ”Cleanse their presence from your world. Our deal is between the Jensaarai and I, and will remain ours, outside of interference from any other.”

    Lana looked at Theron, and he shrugged. She pouted slightly, but nodded, turning to make the call.

    For her part, the Saarai-Kaar bowed deeply. "Then we are in accord."

    The Outland officers opened fire, and in-spite of their numbers, in spite of their droids, in spite of their artillery, they died, with none of the Jensaarai killed as a result of it. In mere minutes, the entire force was spent.

    There were eight of them, plenty to start. Not enough to face the Jedi directly - yet.

    The violence done, the Saarai-Kaar turned to the Anzati, his hologram still evident.

    "Tell us where you wish for us to meet you."

    Bernael glanced at Lana and Theron; they still had a morality of sorts but at the same time followed what the Emperor said. He was aware of the duality of that nature.

    He turned his gaze back to the pickup, watching the slaughter of the Outland forces. He counted the numbers, refraining from a sigh at the fact there were but eight. He had time and would work with them to recruit those that would join their ranks, these here commanding the newcomers.

    A nod at the Saarai-Kaar, Bakura. You will meet me at Bakura, and do not have to meet with others. I will ensure that you are precleared and you need only come to the flagship, it is hard to miss. I will be aboard when you arrive. And await your arrival.” He finished with a nod and then cut the channel.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @HanSolo29
     
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  21. AgentViper007

    AgentViper007 Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    OOC: Another combo with @Sinrebirth

    IC: Qwi Xux, Beaumont Kin
    Location: Kesh


    Qwi awoke to Beaumont's fingertips caressing her and she had to smile. As she blinked her eyes open she could see his smile and the fact he was dressed.

    Have I really been asleep that long?

    As she listened coming awake bit by bit, she heard snippets. Sold ghe bauble, Testament Day with other humans, some scroll, a High Lord coming. His kiss fully woke her up which she responded to but they finally had a name for their pursuers.

    Qwi yawned, stretched and then stood up, picking up one of the fruit he had offered "Morning adventurer, seems you have been busy whilst I've been lazing about".

    She walked over to where her clothes were brushing hay off her body "I hate to rain on your parade my dear but their High Lord coming is very bad. We need to at least get to the city and through before he comes. Don't forget we still have that group chasing us".

    She checked her chrono as she dressed "I've heard nothing from the security system so whether that's good or bad I don't know. But it's imperative we get to this Omen ship".

    Rax's cloak went back on "There's also another potential problem. If we are in this city for Testament Day you can blend right in. For me it will be more difficult. I can remain cloaked but it could look suspicious. And if we get found out…."

    "If we get found out, yeah, I know," said Beaumont. "It won't be good at all."

    He pursed his lips. "We need to get moving, we can go around Tahv, sure, but we'll likely cross the paths of Sith and Keshiri heading into the City if we do. It might be safer to go into the capital and back out again."

    Beaumont looked back at her. "Not that I want an excuse to see what Testament Day is about, promise. I just don't want to get asked why we're not going to Tahv. I bet most of the humans on the continent will be expected to attend..."

    Qwi nodded "You make a fair point. We should hopefully be able to blend in the crowds and pass through. Plus crowds should give us an advantage, we can hide and would the Sith do anything in public to hurt their own citizens? Let's hope not".

    She put her pack on her shoulders "Maybe we can get a flavour of the place for this Testament Day, something else you can share with your new friends".

    Qwi walked over to him and kissed his cheek "Lead the way dear…"

    "Tahv it is then," Beaumont said, kissing her back on the cheek. "Can I tell you what I've learned as we go?"

    There was a noise in the market place outside the barn, and the doors opened to a young human man, in a formal attire of some sort. He snapped at them. "What are you doing in here?"

    As Qwi raised her hood with a smile and was about to say yes...she heard the doors opening and quickly tucked her hands under her armpits as she quickly folded her arms across her chest.

    "Our apologies" she said soothingly "We are on our way to Tahv and got a little bit lost. It's our first time heading there for Testament Day and we want to get there in time!".

    The man looked from her to Beaumont, who grinned. As he turned, an ornate lightsaber was evident on his belt, but the man simply narrowed his eyes. In the shade of her hood, he mistook her for a Keshiri, and simply glared at Beaumont. “If you’re going to fraternise with the natives, make sure you do it in private.” He stood in the doorway, spoke in Basic in an almost musical tongue. “Now leave. High Lord Vol and his retinue are on their way to the village, and I don’t want you here when he does.”

    Gavar Khai turned his body so they could go past and leave. Beaumont inclined his head apologetically. “Of course. Our apologies.” He tried to pitch his voice at the same level, sufficiently to allow the Sith to let him pass, though.

    Qwi bowed her head still keeping her hands tucked under her armpit, acting as if she had been chastised by a superior. Like anybody who was a servant or slave.

    Could she use the Force with Rax's cloak around her? She would be masked but she did not want to try it and get herself revealed.

    But it was definitely bad news that the High Lord was coming this way. They had to make themselves scarce….now. Especially also as it seemed they had stumbled into a Sith household too.

    "Sincere apologies sir" she still said soothingly as she made to follow Beaumont out, keeping her head bowed.

    As she passed him, Gavar sneered and snapped out his foot and kicked her to the ground, at which point Beaumont turned, eyes glaring, but he dropped his head. The Sith, watching Qwi for a reaction, didn't see, but had he, he would have removed their heads -

    Ow!

    Qwi dropped instantly as the kick hit her and she collapsed on the ground whimpering. Inside though she was seething and was trying very hard not to let that anger seep out. She gritted her teeth but remained on the ground for a few moments before getting up slowly using her legs.

    Is that how they treat the natives? Or even women?

    She kept her head bowed and shook a little "Sorry sir, won't happen again" she said in a wavering voice before moving towards Beaumont.

    Beaumont grit his teeth too and took her hand, squeezing it. Gavar flicked a finger, and broke their grip. "Not in public, slave." A backhand in the Force clipped across Beaumont's face, and the man struggled to manage his composure. Human-Keshiri relations were not forbidden, but they were frowned upon. They were compatible physically, yes, but not genetically - no half-breeds had ever been created in five millennia of Sith rule.

    He mumbled. "Sorry, my Lord. I beseech you for forgiveness."

    "Fine," Gavar said. "But get out of the village. I don't want the High Lord to see you, nor the Lords in his entourage." There was a current in the dark side, and the Sith apprentice stopped speaking, looking into the village. For a moment, he was completely silent.

    Beaumont paused, unsure whether to go while he was distracted, or not.

    And conscious he was looking in the same direction where the pawn shop had been…

    Qwi nearly snarled as Beaumont it seemed also got a whack, this time it looked like it was an invisible one as she did not see the man strike Beaumont physically.

    Thankfully the man had also not noticed Beaumont taking one of her blue hands.

    But they had their chance to go whilst the man was still distracted. And she did not fancy hanging around to see the High Lord nor his entourage.

    She would ask Beaumont more about things once they were away and in private but right now…

    "Go, now!" Qwi hissed so only he could hear. She could feel that darkness emanating from somewhere and if it was coming from something they definitely had to move.

    Beaumont looked back, and nodded. He headed out of the village - towards the capital.

    As they left, trying not to run but moving at a decent pace, they saw the avian reptiles heading towards the buildings. "Not a moment too soon," Beaumont said, releasing a breath.

    Qwi kept pace with Beaumont and she could feel the relief coming off him in waves.

    "I quite agree, that was a close one" she said "I wonder what had him distracted though. I felt that darkness coming from somewhere, where was it from?"

    "And most importantly are you alright? That kick he gave me was a bit of a whack but nothing I can't bounce back from" she shook her head "Shows you just what they think of the natives here. They are the lesser species".

    She smiled "And maybe perhaps as a distraction whilst we walk, you could give me that history lesson".

    He was about to continue a bit of a tirade against the Sith, but then Qwi offered to listen to history. That concern evaporated as he had the chance to regale her.

    “Apparently the humans in Sith space were ejected from the Tapani Sector in the Unification Wars like six millennia ago and crashed in the Stygian Caldera. They became slaves, and these ones crashed here during the Great Hyperspace War five millennia ago.” Beaumont realised he’d not explained why the first sentence was relevant to the second. “Which is why the Lost Tribe of the Sith - that’s what they call themselves - they have based themselves on the Tapani system - having High Lords just like the noble Houses there.”

    Qwi canted her head slightly under her hood "No wonder they are like they are towards the natives. They were slaves themselves and have now brought themselves up to be the dominant species on this planet. The fear of their dark side powers probably did the rest".

    She looked forward again "The magnetic field surrounding this planet is a powerful one, it's like nothing I have ever seen before. Who knows how many ships it has ensnared" she shrugged her shoulders "I just really hope these Lost Tribe Sith don't escape because they could cause a lot of problems".

    She looked back at him to see if he had any further to add.

    Beaumont had pulled out the Testament Day scroll as they walked through the morning glow. It had been updated a few times since the days of Grand Lord Hilts, who had started the tradition of a written speech.

    “Apparently a group of Force users came here millennia before the Omen crashed here with the Tribe. Jedi and Sith, fighting after the Hundred Years Darkness. It was always implied that the two had met before the Great Hyperspace War, but this is confirmation of it - in the strangest of places.”

    He scanned. “And a Republic A-wing also crashed here some three millennia ago apparently - the Jedi aboard killed the Grand Lord and triggered a millennium of civil war known as the Time of Rot.” He made a noise of curiosity. “But otherwise they’ve been unified and focused for the last two thousand years...”

    He pulled a face. “How many Sith could have been raised here with that much continuity? Didn’t the Old Republic have 10,000 Jedi after a single millennium? Are we looking at double that in numbers on Kesh?”

    Beaumont’s fear was obvious.

    Qwi could feel his fear and it was mixed with her own.

    "Judging by what you have just said I would say potentially yes" she shuddered at the thought "The original survivors would have had descendents, plus any humans or natives they brought into the group. Of course then they would have had descendents too".

    "Also anybody who crashed and survived would no doubt have a choice if they were detected as Force sensitive, simply join the ranks or die. It seems that they have done what seems almost impossible, gather a whole army of Sith just waiting to be unleashed".

    She looked worried under her hood "And that does not bode well for the galaxy. We need to get off here and warn the Republic about this potential threat".

    “Which means passing into and through Tahv... the capital of the Sith...” he cringed. “I’m really sorry I reached for your hand, then.”

    Beaumont looked into her eyes. “We were really lucky there, and that was our first encounter with a Sith... and he wasn’t even a Lord, by what he said.”

    Qwi sidled closer to him just in case anyone passed "You were concerned for me my dear and it was much appreciated. And yes we were lucky, but thankfully he got distracted which worked in our favour".

    "By the way, you can fraternize with me anytime" she purred.

    Her tone then turned serious "But we are about to enter the krayt dragons den. And that means I will have to act as your servant or slave, and sadly it means you will have to treat me as such. It also means that if you have to punish me in front of them you must".

    She looked into his eyes. Hopefully he could see her under her hood. "I have some gloves in my pack, they can hide my hands, I brought them in case there was cold weather. I just hope they don't ask me to take my cloak off".

    “Gloves is a brilliant idea,” he said, as it was a belated and obvious thought. “Then we’ll be safe.”

    “I mean we could argue you are Keshiri, just with a skin condition,” Beaumont laughed. “But yeah, we’ll figure it out, but more importantly -.”

    “Did you actually just purr?”

    Qwi chuckled too "Could say I just happened to be a rather nice shade of blue, maybe I was out in the sun too long? Got bleached?"

    And in answer to his last question she turned her tone into one of innocence with a grin "Maybe I did, why? I can do it again…"

    “Well, we have the money for a room in the City, now.” He jingled the coins in his pocket. He passed some over to her. “So we could have a less hay-full evening tonight.”

    He unfolded a leather map. It was hand-crafted, but impressive. “We’re probably a few days from the mountain - from the wreckage of the Omen. It’s apparently forbidden to the Keshiri, but I doubt it’s for any specific reason save that it’s their foundation.”

    Qwi snorted at Beaumont's attempt at a joke "I certainly smell like a barn. Hope these places have a bath or s shower. Hell i'd even take a bucket" she accepted the coins from Beaumont and put them in another pocket of her jumpsuit.

    She studied him looking at the map "If it's going to be a trek then we will definitely need to rest in the city tonight. Then find some places where we can rest overnight as we head up the trail to the Omen. There still could be Sith at the Omen site and that is where potentially our bond comes possibly into play. Or not. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it".

    She purred again "Did you have any specific plans for tonight?"

    Beaumont smirked. "Just one."

    He held her hand, tentatively, clearly concerned about the Force feedback, and as he did, the rage hurled at the village behind them was palpable. The High Lord was furious, and had clearly worked something out -

    "Maybe we should walk a bit faster than not," Beaumont cringed.

    As Beaumont touched her hand she could feel.the pure darkness coming from behind them, the pure anger. She withdrew her hand after feeling the sheer power of what was coming.

    "I quite agree my dear" Qwi said, quickening her pace. Hopefully they would reach the city before the High Lord did.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
    darthbernael likes this.
  22. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, House was on fire, not my fault star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Combo with @darthhelinith, @TheSilentInfluence, and @Sinrebirth

    Vhardia, Leia, Renn
    Bilbringi Orbit

    The updates through BB-8 were like listening to a collision in slow-motion and Vhardia was in half a mind to just put the droid in low-power mode for a while, as the news flowing in threatened to elevate her heart rate every time.

    She squeezed Leia's hand, finding she was thankful for the little girl's presence.

    "We're not going to go to Coruscant to hurt anyone, I can promise you that." She told the padawan. She ran a hand through her own hair, getting it tangled in the bunches again and pulling out brown strands in the process.

    "Maybe we can find somewhere to lie low and-"

    Her com chiming interrupted her, as she let go of Leia's hand to answer it. She heard Leia's com chime too but ignored it, assuming it was a family call.

    "Kyp, glad to hear you're still alive, what's going on?"

    “Just wanted to find out where Ilum went,” the teen said half jokingly. “We sent a probe to check up on you when we didn’t hear, and it’s missing.” Kyp sounded a bit concerned. “I’m still the only Jedi on Yavin - Shara has led the rest of the Order to Exegol - and now to Coruscant.”

    He sounded a bit worried, because he was. Everything was in flux. A week ago, the New Republic had the galaxy in peace. Now there was no peace, and the Jedi were soldiers again.

    Renn sighed, listening to the conversation. He rubbed his face, he hadn’t expected or known that things were this desperate when the Light had chosen him but he’d gone from crisis to crisis and every time it seemed to be deepening. What was extremely worrying was that he could feel his ‘Twin’ out there but couldn’t pin down where and if that one did not expend his power then it made finding him even more difficult.

    He looked up from the data he was sifting through, The Empire of the Hand has perverted Ilum, turned it into a superweapon. That is what took us so long there. But, I think, Leia managed to put it out of commission for a while. Although all that territory has been claimed by that polity and threatened to shoot first if any New Republic or Jedi craft appear in their space.”

    Kyp looked concerned. "That's Thrawn's faction, then? The name of it?"

    "If they've stripped all the Kyber from Ilum then the superweapon will be very potent..." Kyp looked down, eyes in thought. "Does the New Republic know yet?"

    Vhardia sighed.

    "No. We got to Bilbringi too late to rendezvous. But Thrawn seems obsessed with preparing for this Vong threat, which, to be honest, if he thinks he needs that sort of firepower, he needs a huge fleet to back it up and I imagine his preparations will be keeping him busy, at least for the medium term. Right now I'm more worried about whether there's going to be a Republic left for him to butt heads with in two days' time."

    She fiddled with her hair, carelessly.

    "Although if there isn't, it raises the moral issue of telling whoever is in charge about Thrawn, and I'd be tempted to leave it and let them find out for themselves." She gave a hollow laugh. "My bad attempt at a joke."

    Master Katarn!

    Leia looked incredibly happy that he was alive, and moved closer to Master Vhardia to listen. She didn't speak up while they were speaking, but found she was more impatient than normal.

    "Master Katarn! You're alive." Leia told him happily. She grinned, and then turned to Master Vhardia. "You know Master, I wouldn't feel too bad for Mister Thrawn if he wants to destroy a lot of people. I think you should warn them so they can be prepared just in case." She shifted on her feet. "Maybe they can stop it somehow?"

    Renn smiled at the excitement burning from Leia. He glanced over at Vhardia and then back at the comm, ”If you know who to get the message to, please forward it to them. Warn them that they would need a large task force to approach or attack the superweapon they have created, but with what happened when we left it may not be working as well as they hope. Leia was a gem, from what Vhardia said, the Kyber reacted to her and the world crystal took matters into it’s own hands.”

    "They jumped to hyperspace before we left though." Vhardia added in. "The force only knows where Ilum is now."

    She gave Leia an odd look. Jedi Masters didn't come back from the dead... did they?

    Kyp nodded. "I'll let the Chancellor's Office know, but we won't know where to look for a while - not until things calm down in Known Space." He paused. "Master Renn, you mentioned your darker half a few times, and I'm wondering if he's involved with all this mess. Aryan Graul is a politician, not a dark side strategist..."

    He caught Vhardia's strange look at Leia, looked at her.

    Katarn replied to her. "Where are you, my Padawan? I had to repair a ship, this weird Sith design, which wasn't easy as it wants to talk to me." He looked nonplussed. "Creepy, really."

    The Force rustled, but it was unclear with what. This wasn't danger... it was something... suppressed.

    Leia looked confused. "I'm with Master Vhardia. She's my Master too." She hesitated, like something was off. "I don't understand how you survived."

    Renn paused, something was off, at the other end of the call. There were a couple points that did not make much sense. He held up his hand for a moment, reaching over to the comm panel, muting it without the figure on the other end noticing his movement.

    He turned his gaze to the other two, opening his mind to the both, at least to a degree, ’Ok, what is going on? He’s asking some very leading questions and I need to know, with your reaction Leia, who is it that everyone sees in that call.’

    "It was a mess, I can tell you that," Kyle said, drily. "There was this sphere, it picked me up while I was floating in space. Looks like an eye, but with veined wings. Weird stuff. But I'm alive, at least. The Maw is gone though - the black holes ate themselves. Pretty impressive, really."

    He looked to the others. "Am I being tested for something? What's wrong?"

    "I'm going to head to Yavin 4, I think. Seems the best place for a rendezvous. Kyp's still there, right?"

    Vhardia moved so the figure in the call couldn't read her lips and looked back at Renn.

    "I don't like this. I see Master Katarn but... " She paused and looked at Leia. "I think we need to get back to Yavin 4 as soon as possible."

    She looked at BB-8. "Prepare the hyperdrive."

    Leia frowned. Something was wrong with him. She couldn't place it, and looked at Master Vhardia. "I think so too Master. Something feels very off about everything."

    ’I agree, we need to beat whoever, if that’s Kyle or not, that is to Yavin 4.’ Renn thought to Vhardia and Leia.

    Turning the audio back on. ”We’ve been gone, so no idea if he’s there or not. Well see you soon.” he replied via the comm before cutting the circuit.

    Once the holo faded, he turned to Vhardia, ”We need to be as ready as possible, something very strange is going on and there’s my Twin out there with his fingers muddling everything.”

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @TheSilentInfluence, @darthhelinith
     
  23. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Kyp Durron
    Yavin 4, praxeum

    The ship that entered orbit was unlike any that Kyp had ever seen.

    It was like a great eye, with webbed vanes and golden-skin.

    Hull, he reminded himself - it wasn't alive.

    Was it?

    [​IMG]

    It didn't make a lot of sense to him, because it didn't match the profile of the Eternal Fleet battlecruisers now roving the galaxy, nor did it appear to be an Imperial design - Sith or otherwise. But it wasn't normal, not at all.

    He reached out with the Force, and the young man sensed something even more surprising.

    Master Katarn!

    He signaled them to land, and rushed down the steps of the Great Temple to meet it on the pad.

    ---
    Shortly thereafter

    The Otana decanted from hyperspace and BB-8 hailed the Jedi Academy; hailed Kyp.

    No answer.

    He tried again, but found nothing.

    Concerned, the droid tweetled his worries to Leia, Vhardia and Renn...

    In the Force, there was a dark miasma to things.

    On sensors, there was nothing but the old Massassi Temples, ancient and stone and looming.

    Nothing else.

    No sign of Kyp, nor Katarn...

    TAG: @darthhelinith, @darthbernael, @TheSilentInfluence (combo)
    ---
    IC: Beaumont Kin

    On the way to Tahv - the City of Glass

    The wanderings of Beaumont and Qwi took them towards the twinkling City.

    It was a further distance than they realized, but there were no further encounters with the Sith. Indeed, a dozen, two, of the flying creatures the locals called uvak flew overhead, but the Keshiri and humans that were heading into the City kept their heads down. With snippets of overheard conversation, the pair would be able to put together that the humans were not Force-users, and travel by uvak was reserved for the Sith, be they Lords or Sabers - their equivalent to Jedi Knights.

    Many of the Keshiri spoke of the Sith to their children as they walked, regaling them with tales. One night, as the wandering retinue of strangers set up a makeshift camp where nobody knew anyone, but still contributed anyway to the fire, a Keshiri woman sat up and told the story of the Tribe to the children while the other adults played cards made from the scraps of animal flesh. There were others holding themselves back from the crowd, but as much as Beaumont wanted to move on, it was dark, and he was tired.

    The woman began to speak.

    "Five thousand and fourteen years ago, the Protectors and the Destructors fought in the sky, as they are destined to do. During the great battle, the Protectors fell to Kesh, treated by our primitive ancestors as Gods from up high. But they were not Gods, though these Sith accepted the worship of the Keshiri, and took much from us. Over time, the Sith came to realize that the gifts of the Keshiri were many, and the Keshiri learned much of the galaxy and civilization from the Sith. What began as a relationship of master and servant became more nuanced, until, under the wise Grand Lord Hilts, both species were elevated to equality, and only ones strength in the Force mattered to the Tribe."

    The children were in awe.

    "It was only in the Time of Rot that the Tribe of Sith discovered themselves to be Lost, that they had not landed here by choice, but crashed!"

    There was a gasp.

    "They had escaped the Red Lord, Naga Sadow, who saw them as nothing more than slaves!"

    Another gasp.

    "But in their tragedy, they discovered their truth, here, on Kesh. Their destiny. It was the first Grand Lord, Korsin, who saw that Kesh was where he and his human crew could remake the Sith anew. Whereas the humans of the Tapani House Nidantha had been enslaved when they discovered the Sith, here, on Kesh, the humans could reclaim their fate!"

    She gasped.

    "The Sith are our Protectors, and they have slain many Destructors in their time on Kesh. Those let by the Red Sith, Ravilan, or the traitor, Seelah. They saved our cousins in distant Alanciar from the depredations of the rogue High Lords, and defeated the monster Dreypa. For nearly three millennia now, we have known peace, and order. The Grand Lord, supported by the seven High Lords, leading the thirteen Lords as the Circle, they have kept that for all of Kesh."

    The children devolved into questions and then arguments about whether Lord Sarasu Taalon would become a High Lord or not. Apparently he was Keshiri, and they hoped he would be the first Keshiri Grand Lord! He was one of the local Lords, serving under High Lord Darish Vol, who was expected to become the next Grand Lord...

    Beaumont frowned, and whispered. "Dreypa?"

    He looked at Qwi. All in all, he wasn't sure. Yes, that Sith had been brutal, but these men and women, they seemed contented, happy even, with the rule of the Tribe."

    "I don't understand." He sounded genuinely confused.

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox
    ---
    IC: The Saarai-Kaar

    Bakura

    The Jensaarai travelled aboard an old Sheathipede-class shuttle, a Separatist ship from their leader's days as servants of Count Dooku, before the Jedi came and killed many of them. The Saarai-Kaar was a younger woman then, some thirty-five years ago, but she had guided the Jensaarai since. Now, they stood poised to rejoin the galactic community and end the hated Jedi Order.

    They had slaughtered the intruders on their world, and while that was appreciated, it made the Saarai-Kaar wonder what true value was placed on their lives. They were useful, yes, but they were Force users; of course they were. But one Anzati was not like the other, as she well knew. Consulting the Holocron of Volfe Karkko one last time, she regarded the Sith sorceror, dead for half a century, one more time. Her master, Nikkos Tyris, had taught her with this, and though it had a crack running through it, the item still worked, for the most part.

    The Anzati knew the first Sith, did you know?

    His words were emblazoned on her mind.

    The first Sith?

    As the shuttle arrived, Lana signaled it to dock with the flagship, as Theron ensured the Eternal Fleet was deployed to secure Sluis Van, Sullust, Druckenwell and Yag'Dhul. The Kuati shipyards were damaged - heavily so, and the forces there was looking for orders as they advanced. More ships had not yet arrived from Hapes, but even with them they were no match for the Allied fleet amassed at Corellia, though the Yag'Dhul force made a nice backstop. Between the forces at Kuat, Hapes and Yag'Dhul a full quarter of the Eternal Fleet was deployed, with the other quarter holding the entire south. The Hapan force had finally broken down the minefield, and was checking in for updated orders.

    All they could say otherwise, was that the Corellian fleet would be ill-placed to both defend Corellia and attack Kuat or Yag'Dhul, but that the Tapani Lords were still wavering between neutrality or allegiance to the Republic or Empire. "Oh, and the Janguine cruiser arrived and discovered an entirely primitive setup. Skytroopers are ready to be deployed to the ruins and natural formations across the planet. As far as we can tell, our insertion is undetected by the Imperial Remnant or New Republic."

    All in all, things were going well, even as Skelm's half of the Eternal Fleet arrived, albeit battered and bruised and in quite a state. The small Bakuran task force prowled as if an uncertain, smaller fish, among a much larger school of predators.

    But of course, Bernael had a meeting to attend as well.

    TAG: @darthbernael, and @HanSolo29 (continue your combo)
    ---
    IC: Winter

    Centerpoint Station, main area

    The ancient station of Centerpoint was, genuinely, dated back one hundred thousand years, and it's ties to the galaxy were as mysterious as it's function.

    Historians could tell you precisely one thing about it; that it had always been laying between the fourth and fifth planets of the system - Talus and Tralus, since the records of Corellia began. Experts in the way planets were made could tell you that the habitable worlds here had not been created in-system, and most of them had been seemingly transported in-system. It was a hotly contested question as to whether humans originated here or on Coruscant, similarly. Economists could tell you many tale of how the position of the world meant it was essential to galactic governance, and considered how Corellia was doing to be the indicator for the galaxy - financially and politically, keeping in mind that Corellia had seceded from the Old Republic no less than nineteen times.

    Winter
    recounted all of this to Feyna and Nola, and indeed Del, while HoloNet crews made quick work of their 'look', as unobtrusively as possible.

    The woman also forwarded Feyna - surreptitiously - the data from the Maw, which showed a miniature version of the station had been evident inside the Maw Cluster, and had tightened the black-holes together to crush all that were inside - including, the data suggested, Darth Ananke, who had been discovered to have been present at an even deeper part of the Maw than Drayson, Qwi, Beaumont and Jyn had headed, or Katarn, Ood Bnar, Vhardia, Leia and Renn.

    If true, the woman who had ordered the burning down of Coruscant was gone, which was welcome news.

    Otherwise, Del stared at the woman in awe - and so did Tycho, promoted to General by the Senate in wake of the death of Admiral Raddus.

    The data was pretty clear; half the Senators were staying loyal, with question marks around whether the Tapani Sector would side with them or Aryan. The Hutts, Bothans and Corporate Sector were acting independently, and of course the Moff Council was still in-session on Bastion. The Eternal Fleet was holding at Yag'Dhul outside of the south, still attacking Kuat, and was bogged down in a minefield at the edge of Hapan Space, with three-quarters of the surviving Eternal warships believed to be in the south.

    The Senate, however had not confirmed what it's initial business would be. That was being kept from them, even from -

    Isolder swept into the room, clearing out the HoloNet crew and politely requesting Nola and Del step out. Winter ended up nodded and talking to Tycho a room over, even as Del squeezed Nola's hand and led her to a different one. The bossy Zeltron in charge of the crew made sure to tell them that they had fifteen minutes, though she bustled out of the room when Tycho unclipped his holster. With a salute, he nodded to Winter and followed his fellow Alderaanian out - they'd met at a few functions over the years, but nothing as stressful as this!

    As for Feyna and Isolder, and indeed, Nola and Del, they each were having their first moment in what felt like forever alone with their respective partners.

    The Hapan Prince squeezed Feyna tight, loving her and cherishing that they had both survived. He kissed her passionately, and sniggered. "So we elope now, right?"

    As for Del, he shook his head. He and Nola hadn't been made privy to the Maw data, but there was plenty to deal with otherwise - and still the Yuuzhan Vong were not even on the itinerary. "So... Senator, how do you feel taking the seat that once belonged to Emperor Aryan Graul?" He grinned.

    TAG: @JediMasterAnne x 2 (combos)
    ---
    IC: Lumpawaroo

    Millennium Falcon, refueled, and heading out

    The Falcon still looked like it was crispy, but at least it had some fuel and a rack of concussion missiles. The techs had even managed to top up their blaster gas, even while swiftly applying maintenance to Shara Dameron's X-wing, as she was due to head back to Coruscant with them. Lumpy busied himself mopping up blood, and helping the medics take Shevu away, after the Chancellor had been escorted away.

    Before they could get going though, Han's comlink chimed, now he was finally grounded and out of battle static.

    He had a message from Jabba, promising to reinstate his bounty, of course, and then from Sal-Solo, emphasizing how much he was looking forward to working together in the future. There wasn't anything from Xaverri, which was by and a large a good sign as she was far off on Dagobah, after all - safely hidden away by the same method that had concealed Anakin Skywalker for fourteen years.

    But the chime was not just for the messages, but also a communique being opened by the Corellian Prime Minister, Aidal Saxan.

    Lumpy rumbled an 'uh-oh' and then looked to Han.

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox (combo)

    TAG: @TheSilentInfluence, @galacticvagabond422 (combo continue on Coruscant)

    TAG: @HanSolo29 (continue combo on Coruscant)
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
  24. AgentViper007

    AgentViper007 Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    OOC: A combo with @Sinrebirth

    IC: Han Solo, Lumpawaroo (Lumpy), Prime Minister Saxan
    Location: Millenium Falcon, Corellia


    Han was doing what he did best apart from.piloting. And that was fixing his beloved Falcon.

    She was refuelled, rearmed and ready to head out again. And Han had done some quick repairs to bits and pieces they would need. And the good news was Shara was coming too with her X wing.

    And then some messages came through. Looked like he was about to go.on the run again thanks to Jabba's bounty but he was a New Republic general now, he might have some protection. And of course his odious cousin, Han quickly discarded that message.

    But the Correllian Prime Minister? What did she want?

    Han shrugged in his seat "Let's see what she wants" he said to Lumpy "Can't hurt can it?" He opened up the channel.

    "Han," she said with some pretty intense familiarity, smiling at him like a girl would an older man. A fan, clearly. "I need your help with Thrackan."

    Lumpy grumbled that it would be better to just shoot the guy.

    Saxan pretended she hadn't heard. "Do you have any... family tricks I can use?"

    Was she….a fan?

    Of course he had ladies willing to throw themselves at him in the underworld (it was how he had met Xav after all) but it seemed even the Prime Minister of Corellia seemed to be part of the Han Solo fanclub.

    He had to agree with Lumpy though it would be better just to shoot him.

    "Family tricks? Prime Minister you do realise you are talkin openly about dealing with my cousin. That's what you want to do is it not? I mean I hate the guy as much as you but I work for the New Republic now. Gotta be a bit more squeaky clean, ya know?"

    "And why me? Why not pay a bounty hunter or somethin? Less mess".

    Saxan managed to hold onto her smile. "I didn't tell you to kill him, Han, I was simply asking for assistance in dealing with him. Drop him in carbonite, make him vanish into a mental asylum, I don't need to know the details."

    She took a breath. "Sal-Solo and his 'Human League' is a neo-Imperial group that wants xenophobia to be the main Corellian policy... even with the Selonians and Drall in-system..." Saxan swallowed, clearly debating something. "He's looking for something, on each of the Corellian worlds, and I frankly have no idea what it is. He has loyalists all over, and it took me years to find out about the assault fleet... but what could I do? Tell the New Republic? A decent percentage of Corellians agree that we should be independent, and shut our borders."

    Han may have been Corellian, but was he part of this Corellia? Things had changed since the Empire fell, seemingly. "I could hire a bounty hunter, sure, but that means a credit trail, no matter how I scrub it."

    Lumpy grumbled. He wasn't in this for assassination.

    "But think about it Han," Saxan said, using his first name so strongly yet again. "Do you want to be tied to a desk? The New Republic isn't going to defeat the New Empire overnight. We're looking at years of this. We've both seen how exhausted Feyna's forces are, and the Eternal Fleet is too close to our reduced strength, even if it's split between subjugating the southern quadrant at the moment."

    "The last Galactic Cold War lasted nineteen years. Do you want to be a General for that long?"

    There was no response from his Wookiee co-pilot.

    Han could not believe what he was hearing.

    "So what, you're gonna abandon the Chancellor and go rogue? Do what the other systems have done and just shut down and hide? I saw Mandalore, Coruscant is headin the same way. You think Skelm's just gonna leave you guys alone if you stay quiet? We should be stickin together not fallin apart".

    He shook his head "I spent my time runnin and it got me nowhere. At least as a General I can help out and there is no way I will be tied to a desk, me, Lumpy and the Falcon will help where we can. I don't recognise Corellia anymore. I ran away from this world and ya know what? I'm glad I did".

    "Fourteen years ago I abandoned friends at their time of need, I promised them I wouldn't do that again. So ya know what? I'm goin to Coruscant to rescue one of em. Thrackan's your problem Prime Minister for now. You abandon the New Republic you are sure gonna regret it".

    Saxan smiled, not offended slightly. "I want Corellia to stay in the New Republic." Her voice grew gentle, even. "But that's what Sal-Solo wants, and he's going to tell everyone he can that it was his foresight that saved his homeworld. More people will listen to him, and it'll become even harder to stop him from taking Corellia out of the New Republic."

    With a moan, Lumpy realised that Han had just made her argument for her.

    "That's why I'm coming to you. You're the inventive one, who always breaks out of a situation." Saxan looked sad. "I'm just sorry that I wasn't able to stop him before now." Her tone lifted. "But I'm sure I'll figure something out, even without you to help." Her hand lifted as if to turn off the call.

    They were wasting time playing politics here. Madelyn was still in danger. Thrackan of course was muddying the waters again. But he would get what was coming to him soon enough.

    It was only a matter of when. It was a shame the Corellian system would have to suffer for it.

    "Look, the man is an egotistical bastard. I can't deny that. So maybe you just have to show people what he's really like. I dunno air his dirty laundry in public or somethin. Show it was you that you did all this stuff not him".

    "I'm not into all this politics stuff, I'm more for action gettin things done. Coruscant is my priority at the moment and saving the Mandalore. When i'm done with that maybe I can help deal with my cousin. But I would rather see him rottin in a jail cell than dead".

    "If you are expectin me to kill him, I'm not doin it. I don't do assassinations, that's too cold. You wanna get him? Go ahead. But you need to be better than he is, that's for sure".

    Saxan's smile wasn't quite as genuine for a moment, indeed it seemed forced. "Alright then," she said, with a slight sigh as she blew out her breath. "I had to try, for Corellia's sake, but I appreciate what you are saying, Han." Her voice was a little sad. "I do, I really do."

    "I'll do my bit to fight for Corellia's conscience, and you can go and save the galaxy." With a genuine upturning of her lips, she responded. "May the Force be with you, General."

    Lumpy rumbled back the phrase, addressing her as Prime Minister, and pawed the comm, ready to cut it off, and placed his other hand on the hyperdrive controls, looking at Han expectantly.

    Han knew he had probbably just doomed the Corellian system but as Saxan had said, he was offf to save the galaxy. Maybe saving Madelyn would earn him a few plus points with Feyna.

    With his customary half smirk he said "Sweetheart, that's what i'm good at".

    He turned serious "May the Force be with you Prime Minister. Good luck".

    He nodded at Lumpy to cut the comm and activate the hyperdrive.

    Time to go save the galaxy.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
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  25. JediMasterAnne

    JediMasterAnne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2004
    OOC: Combo with Sinre

    IC: Chancellor Feyna Organa and Prince Isolder

    Centerpoint Station, Corellia

    "So we elope now, right?"

    Another time, Feyna might have smacked him on the arm for teasing at such a moment. For now, though, she was just glad to see him.

    "Gods, I wish," she retorted, tucking her head under his chin and holding him tight.

    But she still had such a mess to deal with, so many problems she didn't know which way to go.

    He squeezed her. "We did it, Feyna - we beat Zorn, and that was an impossibility. As bad as things are now, it's not the galaxy under superweapon. We can fight - we did that." Isolder's eyes caught hers. "You did that."

    Feyna squeezed him back, thankful for the confidence-boost, but still uncertain.

    "Skelm still has the Eternal Fleet, which is just as bad. We had a galactic armada and the Chosen One at Exegol." They didn't have even half that, now.

    And that was just the one problem that the Senate actually knew about; Thrawn's superweapon and the Yuuzhan Vong would have to be dealt with, as well.

    Isolder could read her mind.

    "Wasn't it Thrawn that once said that obstacles could be levers? I doubt that he wants to cooperate with Skelm, nor will the Vong. Everything we've heard them say makes it pretty clear they hate our tech. So even if they're all coming... they're not all aimed exclusively at us." He paused. "I don't think, after Zorn, we can fix all this now."

    He swallowed. "We might have to accept another cold war, maybe even offer a treaty to Skelm, maybe even Thrawn."

    Feyna made a face at the thought. "Thrawn seems like the lesser evil, if it comes to it--but he'll insist on being allowed to finish his weapon..."

    Perhaps she ought to lay everything out to the Senate, and let them decide.

    Isolder nodded. "And we can't allow superweapons to propagate. If we do, even the Hutts will build up." He cringed at that. Then again, his mother with one would be even worse. He swallowed. "What about the wedding, more seriously?"

    He did want to marry her, after all.

    "If you're really serious about eloping, we can go as soon as we can get a free couple of days," Feyna replied.

    She did have one small stipulation. "We have to tell Winter, though."

    With Anakin gone, Winter was the only family Feyna had left.

    Isolder nodded. "I am pretty serious. Will shut up mother, as well."

    "Winter definitely needs to know - if she can't come, that is. We'll need two witnesses, after all." The Hapan smiled. "I remember Anakin and Padme telling everyone that they had two droid witnesses."

    Feyna smiled. "They did, Artoo and Threepio." She missed those droids. "But they weren't supposed to be getting married at the time.

    "So if we take Winter--we still need one more witness..."

    She wasn't sure who else they could tell; she was hesitant to suggest informing his mother until after it was done, and only when they were ready to make it public, no way Ta'a Chume would keep it quiet.

    Isolder frowned. "Whatever happened to those droids, anyway? I lost track of them, all those years ago."

    "Maybe that Tycho guy? He seems to have the hot's for her, after all..." The Hapan grinned, playing matchmaker as he was want to do.

    "Threepio was on Alderaan," Feyna remembered, he'd arrived there with Padme and Leia. "I think the last I heard about Artoo...Zorn took him with him when he left Naboo, after."

    Had Artoo been on Exegol? Or stashed away somewhere else?

    "I don't have any objection to Tycho--we should still make sure Winter doesn't mind."

    Feyna would be perfectly happy for her friend, if there was something between her and Tycho, but she didn't want to put her in an awkward situation if she and Isolder weren't reading the signs correctly.

    Isolder nodded. "Sounds good by me." He tapped a chin. "I wonder if I can track down Artoo. We'll need to ensure that nobody goes through that wreckage. There's enough trash on Exegol to salvage, after all..." He recognised that Thrawn may very well have this in mind, so that was a problem for another day.

    The Zeltron's voice rang out. "Five minutes and then we're LIVE!"

    It was time to say one last thing, and go face the music, so to speak.

    Wedding-wise, it seemed like they had a tentative plan.

    She didn't dare get her hopes up about Artoo, though; for all she knew, Zorn might have dismantled him, or who-knew-what-else.

    "Is the Fifth Fleet still watching the borderline, at the edge of the Unknown Regions?" As best as she could recall, Raddus had stationed them there, separate from the rest of the armada. "Could we send just a few smaller ships back, to guard Exegol and start clearing the wreckage? We definitely don't want anyone else trying to salvage any of it, anyway."

    Personal quest aside, they really did need to maintain control of that planet, but she was unsure about sending out fleet vessels, when their forces were already so diminished. With the Eternal fleet still an issue, sending ships back to Exegol almost felt frivolous.

    Isolder wondered aloud. "I thought Raddus ended up calling the Fifth to help at Exegol, but I'll confirm."

    "At very least, we could get a probe droid there, to keep an eye?" That sounded like a decent compromise.

    Following the Zeltron's warning, he paused. "Any last minute thoughts before the Senate reveals it's mysterious business?"

    Perhaps Raddus had called the Fifth in to Exegol, Feyna couldn't remember. As hectic as things had been, it was entirely possible that he had, and she'd forgotten. But the probe droid was a reasonable compromise.

    "I don't think there's anything--" She abruptly veered back to wedding talk. "Are you still thinking of having the ceremony on New Alderaan?"

    "Um," Isolder said, just about keeping up. "If it's safe, sure."

    The Zeltron was almost screeching now.

    "Two minutes! Please, make your way through the corridor to the Senate Chamber now!"

    Feyna honestly couldn't be sure that any one place was safer than another, in general. "We'll figure it out." She hugged him again, and gave him another kiss. It would be nice to still be married on New Alderaan, but since they were trying to speed up the process, she might have to settle for somewhere else.

    Hearing the Zeltron again, she glared at the door, sobering.

    It had made for a nice break, actually talking about something as positive as their wedding instead of war and crisis, but it was time to get back to business.

    "We should go."

    -----------------
    IC: Del and Senator Nola Deidder

    "So... Senator, how do you feel taking the seat that once belonged to Emperor Aryan Graul?"


    Nola frowned at the comment. He was having a jest, but, "That connection doesn't exactly make the job more desirable," she replied.

    "I don't know if I want to stay in this position or not," she admitted.

    She was fairly sure the Nubian Council had appointed her because she was the convenient choice for the time being, as Norin's senior surviving aide.

    Del looked at her. "I thought that is what you always wanted, as an aide? To run the show?"

    But he understood. Both Aryan and Norin had put the seat into disrepute, but that meant he thought it even more important that Nola represent their homeworld. Otherwise, the planet would end up with a reputation as bad as Kuat or Bakura - and Nubia didn't deserve that.

    Nola pursed her lips; was that what she'd wanted? She wasn't sure anymore. And her father had gotten her the aide job in the first place, too.

    "I'm not going to quit right now, with everything such a mess," she told him. "When things settle back down"--whatever that might mean--"I'll see whether the Council wants me to stay on or not." And the people of Nubia ought to have a say, as well.

    Del nodded. "We don't technically have to be here to attend the Senate on the daily. We could head back home, and attend remotely. I bet lots of Senators are going to do that." He shrugged. "I mean, after this session, we're not gonna make it back to Nubia in fifteen minutes." Del smiled slightly.

    "Not much we can do for fifteen minutes, I suppose," he said, squeezing her hand. "But sure, elections, Councils, whatever you want. But you may end up picked to be the Senator anyway, you know that?"

    Nola nodded; it was a possibility, and if it happened that way, she'd respect it. For now, they just needed to get through this mess.

    "I think I would like to go home, once we're done here."

    Living on Coruscant, it felt like there was no getting away from the politics, and Nola had a feeling that Centerpoint and Corellia were going to start to feel the same way, if the Senate moved back here. At least maybe on Nubia they could escape from time to time.

    Plus with all the refugees, it would take some of the strain off of Corellia; Nola and Del could leave, and so they should.

    "Do you think if they manage to stop whatever is happening on Coruscant, that they'll go back? The Senate?"

    She was just wondering aloud; she'd still rather go back to Nubia.

    Del wondered aloud with her. "After it being attacked twice in a week? And being burned in the last war? I can't see them wanting to locate the Senate there - especially if Feyna tells the galaxy about the Yuuzhan Vong. A world of metal? Sounds like ground zero." He shrugged. "To be honest, I felt like the New Republic wasn't learning anything by putting the capital back on Coruscant. The Old Republic did become the Old Empire, after all, and a lot of that was because of how scared Coruscanti were of Grievous in the Clone Wars..."

    "Maybe the political focus needs to shift from Coruscant. It's been there for what, twenty-five thousand years? Plus?" He wandered where it could go. "There's no reason it has to be in the Core, either. It's only that way because it has for so long."

    "I think that makes sense?"

    Nola nodded again. Perhaps he was on to something. "The New Republic didn't change much from the Old; I guess adopting a lot of the old laws and structures was convenient for starting out, but it's not good for the long-term. And it was probably easier; Feyna was still pretty young during her first two terms, comparatively speaking. She had to learn on the job, and most of those years were focused on rebuilding and reunification, not necessarily re-structuring."

    It wasn't meant as a critique on the Chancellor, just Nola's guess-timation of the situation.

    "Wasn't Naboo the Republic capital during the Empire? For a bit, anyway? They moved it to Alderaan later, I think."

    "Naboo, Chandrila, Alderaan, yeah," Del said. "Back when the Republic was the smallest galactic power."

    He paused. "I reckon your voice, speaking from Nubia, could really help bring about lasting reform. If a Rim world speaks up, the Core will ignore it, after all." In a way, he was inadvertently suggesting she should be a Senator... long-term. He suddenly perked up. "Do I get a raise, as your bodyguard?"

    Nola smirked. "We'll see," she teased back.

    "Where should the new capital be, then? I don't want to put up Nubia, the whole reason I want to go home is to be able to get away from the Senate, but it's not exactly fair to just drop it on another planet."

    Del grinned at her, and then focused on her question. "I'd love to see a world outside the Core. Denon is a decent enough city-world, and in the Inner Rim, same with Contruum." He had a thought. "We could even suggest Hapes, to tie them even closer to the New Republic. Our connection to them is literally down to the relationship between the Chancellor and the Prince, after all."

    It was an idea, there. The New Republic could use that to give lesser worlds their time in the spotlight, and reinforce how important they were. Keeping the capital on Coruscant just emphasised how important that world was, at the expense of everyone else. How much of the Separatist movement had started because the people of the Outer Rim thought that Coruscant was too far away?

    Nola frowned. "I don't know about Hapes--remember that smear piece reporters were running after the Thrawn attack, saying Feyna was planning on making the Republic part of the Consortium, to rule for life? Treen and Graul were trying to use that against her, I don't think putting the capital there will help to discredit the story, even if she's not the one to suggest it."

    "Oh yeah," Del belatedly remembered. "Best not suggest Hapes." He nudged her with his shoulder. "See? You're good at this stuff, Nola." He smiled, and placed a hand on her face. "You're amazing. I love you, did you know?"

    His smile grew goofy, that silly-teenage sentiment expressed on his face.

    Nola smiled back, leaning to kiss him. "I love you, too."

    Hearing the Zeltron's five-minute warning, she stepped back to check herself, and him, reaching to gently brush some building-dust off of his sleeve. A crumbling building, plus blaster fights, spaceship battles, alien attacks (plus Nola had climbed in and out of a window)...surprisingly they weren't complete messes.

    "So Denon, Contruum...we might want to touch base with their representatives, so we don't blind-side them. Any others, or shall we see who else jumps at the suggestion?"

    Del nodded. "We could probably word your proposal vaguely to start, and then court those systems hard after the principle is agreed." He smiled at her as he dusted her off. "We are living quite the charmed life, notwithstanding everyone else around us." He was a little sobered by that.

    Nola glanced back toward the prep room; the Chancellor and Prince Isolder had not emerged yet. "I can't say I envy the Chancellor right now."

    Before Del could say anything, "I will not take that job. If I'm ever nominated, I'll decline." Unlikely any time soon; Nola was basically unestablished in the Senate, and Feyna still had two more years on her current term (if she didn't resign, and if the Senate didn't vote her out, but Nola suspected--hoped--that most of her opposition had already seceded). But still. "I don't know how she does it, how she's not gone mad from the past few days, but I won't do it."

    Del laughed a little. "Chancellor Nola. You'll have my vote!"

    Nola gave her husband a 'look,' but smiled. "And that's the only one I'll accept."

    The Zeltron was getting louder. Nola rolled her eyes, reaching for Del's hand. "Let's go."

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2021