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  1. 2021 RPF Awards Ceremony

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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. AgentViper007

    AgentViper007 Force Ghost star 7

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

    IC: Qwi Xux, Beaumont Kin
    Location: Kesh


    After stopping quickly to put her gloves on (as no doubt they would be encountering crowds soon) they continued on, Qwi staying one step behind Beaumont as any good slave or servant would.

    Time was marching on and soon a sort of makeshift camp was set up. They were both tired, Qwi could feel it, so they selected a space away from the crowd but not so far away that they could not hear what was being said.

    And Qwi was shocked at what she saw. But then again the dark always had a form of persuasion.

    Qwi moved closer to him so they could speak more in private "Quite simple really" she said quietly "Where they come from they were slaves. Now here they are the masters. Ruling by their ways, their traditions. Only Force users can become of course members of the Tribe which include natives. And these Force-using natives are thought of better than the ordinary ones".

    "Perhaps they do not rule with an iron fist like the,Empire did, or what Zorn and other Sith would have done. But these people see them as saviours, they can slay beasts and traitors as you've heard. It's the same mantra the Empire had, peace and order in the chaos".

    Beaumont nodded. They'd not spoken much about her time as an Imperial. "But I suppose someone will argue that the Empire wasn't that bad." He was quiet as they huddled. "I was too young at the time - I just remember how scared everyone was." He sounded thoughtful.

    He looked at the humans and Keshiri. "There isn't any fear here... it's odd."

    Qwi sighed, she didn't particularly want to delve back into her dark past but Beaumont didn't know a lot about it.

    "I thought the same, that it was not all that bad. Justice, security, a safe society from those terrorist Rebels. I thought I was developing good things. I had to pass trials otherwise Grand Moff Tarkin would blow up my village on Omwat. I was naive but then Alderaan happened. And then I knew the Empire was evil''.

    "Some bits I guess were alright but overall? I'd never work for them again".

    She gestured to the group "These people have only known Sith rule, nothing else. They don't fear them as we do. If the New Republic turned up and defeated the Sith? These people would be fearful. Because they think they would take away everything they've got".

    "It's basically a system of control".

    He squeezed her hand as she spoke of Omwat, of Tarkin, of Alderaan, and it carried on. Beaumont nodded at her gesture. "It's the worst thing ever... its evil, injustice, and monstrous, and they don't know it."

    He pursed his lips. "I want to rest here, but I'm..." He hesitated. "I'm afraid of them, Qwi." He moved closer to her, basically whispering. "They're going to be celebrating this system." He audibly swallowed. "I don't know if I'm going to be able to stay quiet." He made a fist of his free hand. "We need to do something."

    She squeezed his hand back grateful for his support. But what was concerning was Beaumont's idea that they do something. What could they do? And of course if they did Qwi would be revealed.

    "What can we do?" She whispered back "Try and change things? Tell them hey you're wrong? This is thousands of years we are talking about. They won't just change overnight. Our mission is to keep a low profile and observe and not get caught".

    "Only if we can escape this place can we warn the New Republic, maybe even the Jedi and try to do something. If here is not safe we try to move on away from this group and find somewhere else to rest".

    "With a hundred Jedi, I don't know what they'll be able to do. Interdict it? For millennia? The galaxy is too much of a mess."

    Beaumont swallowed. "If we get back, we can't tell anyone about this. At all. If the government finds out... it'll leak."

    Was she hearing this right? Was he now saying they should not help the New Republic?

    "What happened to let's help the New Republic as much as we can? Did you not say yourself we deserve to be criminalised if we didn't do it?" Qwi hissed keeping her voice low "So what, they don't deserve to know about this? Let's let them take ships, get out and sow darkness across the galaxy?"

    "You really think the two of us will do anything against thousands of Sith and the whole planet? You really think these people will accept change just like that? It takes decades, even more. And I don't intend to be on this planet any more than I want to".

    She shook her head "You cannot play hero all the time dear Beaumont. We need better minds on what to do here than ours. We are NOT hiding anything from the New Republic. Not on a grave a threat such as this. If you want to hide it you will do so without my support".

    Beaumont swallowed. "Sorry. I'm just..." He gestured vaguely, and one of the children looked back, quizzical, and then turned back to playing with the flames with pieces of stick. "This is big, Qwi. It's as big as anything that's happened these last few decades. The Lost Tribe could completely upset the balance of the galaxy."

    "Imagine if Zorn had found them! We'd all be dead."

    He pursed his lips a bit. "It's one thing researching some ancient connections to threats, and giving intelligence, and access, and anti-superweapon tech... it's another thing finding thousands of Sith who are just looking for a way to conquer the galaxy. I don't know if the New Republic can handle this; genuinely."

    Looking at the Omwati directly, he asked her. "Who would you trust to tell about this?"

    Qwi frowned; it looked like they were about to commence on another argument. And right in the middle of the camp no less.

    "So now you've turned into me and doubt the New Republic'' she sighed "Who do you think would be better equipped then? The Imperials? They are a shadow of what they once were''.

    She then delved into her thoughts "Well the only one I suppose is the Chancellor herself, Feyna. She listened to me whilst I explained about Thrawn and who attacked Jyn and me over Coruscant and again when I landed. She would take this threat seriously".

    Beaumont released another fear-filled breath. "Alright. You're right. Feyna is beyond corruption - if the destruction of her homeworld wasn't going to twist her, nothing would." Indeed, she'd actually allowed the surviving Imperials to found the Remnant, eight sectors dedicated to peaceful co-existence with the New Republic, and of course allowed Aryan Graul to serve in the Senate...

    He twitched.

    "I'm sorry, Qwi - I'm scared, is all."

    He placed a hand on her face, still secluded behind the Black-Coat.

    "I love you."

    There was a screech, and the children stood up, excited. "Uvak! Uvak!" They chanted. "Sith! Sith!" The humans bowed their heads as the creatures flew over head, as was customary, but even they noticed that the dozen soaring creatures were carrying something.

    A Baudo-class yacht.

    Qwi reached up and touched his face, caressing it with her gloved fingers.

    "I love you too dear Beaumont. I'm as scared as you are, but we'll get through this somehow. I know we will"

    There was a sudden excitement in the crowd as flying creatures approached, it seemed the Sith were coming, hopefully just a group heading to Tahv for the festivities. She followed suit with the humans bowing her head slightly.

    But saw a familiar shape being carried between the flying creatures….

    Firenze!

    There she was in all her scratched red and golden yellow glory. Qwi was glad to see the yacht but her heart sunk that it had been captured.

    She squeezed Beaumonts arm and sighed "Looks like we have a second mission on our hands…."

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  2. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, House was on fire, didn't do it star 4 Staff Member Moderator

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Fun stuff with @Sinrebirth

    IC Bernael
    Eternal Empire Flagship, Bakura System

    Bernael relaxed on the throne as he waited for events to develop. The report from Hapes was a good sign and he turned his attention to it, ”Hmmm, Kuat, inform the fleet to begin orbital bombardment of the surface. Broadcast to their government that full surrender is the only option. That they have a choice, join the Empire or suffer.”

    He considered what was the best option for the Hapan fleet elements, Yag’dhul is blocking the Spine but there are too many Corellian craft impinging on the other two Eternal fleet blocking forces. Have a third of the remaining Hapan forces reinforce each of those two, but meet them at the fall back point. One to take station at Sedratis, blocking from there, and the other at Denon.”

    As he finished his orders his head cocked to the side, a familiar presence was approaching. It was odd, he knew that being was dead but then he smiled slightly, ’Ahhh, of course, his holocron, the Jensaarai must have it. It’s been a long time since we last spoke.’ His mind drifted back to one of the last times he and Karkko had spoken...

    "Sedratis?" Lana had to look that one up, taking a millisecond. "On the Kuat side of Corellia. Of course."

    Theron handled the demand of the shipyards, of course.

    Otherwise, the Saarai-Kaar eyed Bernael as she approached. "I am unsure how best to address you. Your preferred form?"

    Her tone was arch, as if she still didn't trust the man, but of course, she had been betrayed by the galaxy once before and lost her lover.

    Bernael nodded as she approached. He could feel her unease, which was typical of a new situation. ”The formal title is the Eternal Emperor but I believe such formality is unnecessary between us. I am Nevet but also,” one hand gestured in her direction, ”The being whose essence resides in that holocron would remember me as Bernael, the Shadow.”

    His hand moved, gesturing at the holocrons of Lana and Theron, ”These two are an AI version of the two chief advisors that served my predecessor in this role, Lana Beniko and Theron Shan, but our interactions, besides them ensuring an open channel, will be between us either on holo or in person.”

    "You knew Volfe Karkko?" She seemed in awe of the man, and barely managed to keep track of the AI comment. "Please, tell me about them." The Saarai-Kaar unravelled her mind, attempting to join it with his and see the moment, in a human equivalent of the joining of the Anzati daen nosi -

    Bernael allowed a portion of his mind, his memories, to join with the Saarai-Kaar’s mind. As he did, he split his consciousness once more, keeping part focused on the here and now as the other delved into his mind. A scene began to form, a building, on the world of Kriffex, a little over a thousand years before what would be the Battle of Yavin in another timeline. The former Jedi was hidden from all but the most astute observer but still the door to his room opened.

    It shut moments later and a disembodied voice spoke to him, ”It has been several centuries Volfe, you have gained a high level of respect among our kind.” As the voice finished speaking a form faded into view, enrobed, a black, featureless mask upon its face. It reached up, removing the mask revealing the features of an Anzati, black rimmed silver eyes looking at Karkko, the same face that was looking out from the figure on the throne at the Jensaarai.

    Volfe Karrko snarled. "Among our kind, yes, but the greater cause falters." He made a fist of his talon. "The Sith conflict endlessly, squabbling as if children. For over half a century now the Republic and Jedi have cowered, and we have been here, behind their vaunted frontline, positioned to tear into the enemies weak underbelly..."

    The Anzati leaned on the table, snarling, frustrated, and swept the hologram of the galactic borders aside.

    In his mind, the Saarai-Kaar was astonished to see the Sith Sorceror speaking on equal terms with Bernael.

    Bernael chuckled, ”It is never simple. The Sith fight amongst themselves as much as they do against the Jedi.” he paused, wondering how much of his plans he should divulge. ”As to our own kind, to get them to agree to anything or even pointed in the same directions at the same time takes a lot of effort.”

    He gestured with a finger, a chair floated over and he sat, ”But, events have proceeded and the situation is changing even more. The Sith have been recently removed from Coruscant, but there are still Sith to oppose the Republic. How would you use our people to gut the Republic, if you could convince them of the need?” he asked. He had his own ideas but perhaps what was needed was not the Anzati but others that understood and would stand in opposition.

    Volfe snorted. "The Jedi will spin it so the war is over now. With Coruscant back under their command..."

    "If I could reunify them, gut Kopecz, Qordis, Na'daz, Bactra, Calimondra..." He shook his head. "I'd assassinate them all in one act - and the Jedi Chancellor, Genarra." He gestured to Kiffex outside. "I would assemble a vast army of Anzati, in secret, and send them across the galaxy in one act of galactic murder."

    "I would regale our kind with the greatest tail of the Infinite Feast - a galaxy ruled by us, as it always should have been."

    A small smile touched Bernael’s face, ”Of course the Jedi will, they can ill afford to admit they did not destroy the Sith but drove them underground, as it were. The Sith that remain are...far from the cream of the crop, as you well know.”

    He sat back, a thoughtful expression on his face, ”Especially with your recent popularity, you may be the one who could unify, a portion at least, our kind in such an undertaking. Otherwise the clans will always maintain their desire to act alone. But,” he reached up, hand cupping his chin for a moment, ”There are others, unaware of the true nature of the Force, even among the Jedi, who could be taught the truth and assist in such a cleansing.”

    Karrko nodded. "We need to press on. The Sith, as you say, they are weakening, diluting the dark side further and further. The Lords today, they are nothing more than Dark Jedi... they do not eschew to the ancient traditions, have no skill with alchemy, with the twisting of life, with even the old spells..."

    "They are nothing but pettiness, and not a single Darth among them! I'd take any of the dozens of Darth's that served Vitiate over these buffoons." He sneered. "You could trace a lineage through the Sith from the exiled masters that arrived on Korriban nearly six millennia ago. The First Empire could be said to have existed since then, even if it's territory ebbed and flowed. But now? Now we're on the verge of petering out into a shallow puddle of darkness."

    His feeding tubes appeared and flailed in an image of Anzati rage.

    The small smile returned to Bernael’s face, he held up a hand, ”Nurture that rage, stoke it, harness it, old friend.”

    He chuckled, ”The current crop of Sith have no mentor, no Master, who has that knowledge, not ones such as I or you. We are considered anachronisms and ancient, unworthy of the title of Sith in the modern era.” he laughed. ”But we will have our day, Volfe, these mayflies will light their flame and burn out before ours ever dims.”

    He leaned back in the chair again, ”One of the reasons for the Society I have begun is not just to have all the resources that I do but because many are Force Users who have been personally taught by me, know the truths of the universe, and would act at a word from me. Doing this alone is only going to get you caught by the Jedi.”

    "The Society..." he scoffed. "They're not Sith, are they? More watering down."

    The Anzati snorted. "I once had a vision, do you realize - of a Council. Six Jedi Masters and six Dark Lords, each pontificating over the Force. It was heresy, my friend. Your Society, it is nothing more than a pale version of that."

    He raked his talons across the table. "We need Sith, not Dark Jedi, not 'Light Sith'," Karrko's disdain poured into the Force.

    "If I am discovered, then I shall take down the entire Jedi Council with me," he hissed.

    Bernael chuckled, ”For one so bright, you are certainly missing the point. I never said that the Society should be what you need."

    His talons slipped free, sinking into the arms of the chair then retracting, over and over, a cathartic exercise. "The point was that you and I both know the weakness of those that say they represent the dark in this current age and that to try to utilize them would keep the Sith weak. So...we need to create, train those who will be those we hope them to be, ourselves."

    He leaned forward, pointing to the display that had shown the galactic map when he entered, "Find them, wherever they may be and bring them together, pass on our knowledge and train them to stand against the Jedi.”

    Karrko turned on Bernael, looming, a taller Anzati than him, his will powerful even without the Force. "It needs to be a Sith society, or it opposes us." He snarled with his tendrils flailing. "It opposes me."

    Bernael chuckled once more as he stood, squaring to his ‘friend’. ”Volfe I tell you this as only a friend could. You are acting a fool.” he hissed, his will standing firm to Volfe’s.

    ”If you are training them, raising them in power, teaching them the ways of truth...where in there did I say it wouldn’t be such a society if you did so? Where did the first Sith that were not of the species come from if not from Jedi that realized the truth? And would you ever consider those, Syn, Pall, XoXaan, Dreypa, Muur weak or as diluted as those who call themselves Sith today?”

    He growled. "Speak plainly; before I gut you where you stand."

    Volfe Karrko and Bernael were inches from each other, their faces closer as the elder Sith leaned forward, hands clawed in talons.

    Bernael stood, silver eyes staring into Volfe’s, a smile playing on his face. ”More plainly than I already have?...Fine, the Sith today are too weak. You know there are Jedi, Knights and lower, that already feel as you do. There wouldn't have been so many schisms otherwise, over the years. Whether you can yourself or have agents, those who are still friendly toward you in that order, lead them to the knowledge, do so. That will begin their path and then they can use it, and clues left by your agents, to find you and truly be trained. You will have those that know the truth and will be the society you and we desire. Plain enough…?”

    Volfe growled, and then the alarm sounded and words in Anzati announced that arrival of Hammerhead-class cruisers and Republic Corsair battleships. The Force sang with light -

    The Jedi were here.

    Worst; the Jedi Council was here.

    Bernael’s mind shifted gears quickly, he knew the Jedi were here, not for him but for Volfe. ”Quickly, open your mind to mine, let me take a taste of your full essence and knowledge. I know the ancient skill of making holocrons and I will ensure your knowledge is not lost, will hide it in the depths of the Jedi Archive, in the heart of the Jedi, where those that search may find it.”

    “You know the Council will not stop unless they believe your knowledge is destroyed or locked away and where better than having it already in their bosom?”
    He let his will reach out, probing Volfe’s, ”Do it now so I have time to get free before they close their nets...”

    Karko reaped his talon, but moreso in the Force, ripped at Bernael’s mind. There were various holocrons in the room, and he didn’t need to be lectured on survival. Aurek tactical fighters were sweeping down from orbit already, bypassing the orbiting Sith dreadnaught cruisers.

    Bernael batted the thrusts of Karkko’s will to the side taking minor damage, even as his talons dueled the older Anzati. His will formed a blade of thought, slicing a sliver of Karkko’s essence free, swallowing it and locking it away.

    A dark smile came to his face as they fought. ”You forget, friend, that I’ve spent the last millennium as the agent of the Force itself, so have fought more battles than you. And now you’ve given me the solution. Fight the Council, make them destroy you or lock you away but I’ll give you a real reason to hate and fight, I am going to pour my own knowledge and experience into the holocron I describe and merely put your face on it. You have gone too feral, old friend, and that next generation needs the truth of the force and not merely to become pawns of your fear.”

    He slowly backed toward the door as they fought, preparing to disengage and escape before the Jedi arrived..

    Karrko sliced back, and drew a portion of Bernael's essence into himself as well, giving a sly grin. "To swipe is to be swiped. The Anzati knew the Prime Sith, after all." With a hooked hand, he swatted aside talon slashes, exchanging superficial cuts. "When I crush the Council, I shall anoint myself a Darth, and lead the Sith to reunification and conquest."

    "When I do," he pointed. "I would see you at the end of it all."

    With a sneer, he went to unleash a magnificent Force Drain when the roof exploded, and the Anzati ignited his blue bladed lightsaber, held downwards in the ancient manner and deflecting a rush of Jedi -

    Bernael stifled a chuckle at the riposte by Volfe, his senses screaming. As the roof collapsed inward and his fellow Anzati leaped out he disappeared from sight and sense, after a pulsing Push of energy was sent past the leaping Sith, pressing against the inrushing Jedi. He sped up, racing out of the door, invisible, unfelt. And then the memory began to fade.

    The Saarai-Kaar stumbled for a moment as their minds unravelled, and she dropped to one knee. Bowing to this man, it felt right. "I always wondered why a Sith Sorcerer of Lord Karkko's skill would allow himself to be trapped by the Jedi Council." She removed her mask, so she could wipe at her tears. Genuine remorse at the loss of the man. "He was afraid, afraid that the Sith were no more; that the dark had been diluted to the point of it's death."

    Bernael nodded, ”He was right, even I saw that. Which was why I created his holocron. The one that Nikkos found, that he used to show you all the truth, that you have brought here with you.” He crooked a finger, directing her to rise. Standing, one hand still upon the throne, ”He trained you well and you have learned much. There are those who would benefit from what has been learned but they are few and far between.”

    He paused, looked directly into the Saarai-Kaar’s eyes, ”Tell me, how would you react if you found yourself in the presence of the Dark Side itself?”

    "I would worship it," the woman said without a shred of fear. "It is what the galaxy needs, to blow away the Jedi and their Republic once and for all." The Saarai-Kaar spat the words. "I would dedicate the Jensaarai to his every whim and wish."

    Lana managed to keep quiet her thought -not much then, but she did look at Theron, who looked back.

    Bernael caught a motion in the corner of his eyes, the two AI’s sharing a look. ”I didn’t tell you did I?” A pause, ”I take it my predecessor never told you how close they came to making the same decision I made so easily? I know because they are in me.”

    Turning back to the Saarai-Kaar he let the darkness loose, it rising around him, his eyes dripping it’s substance, his tone harsher, ”When the fall of the Republic happened I served the Force. At the moment of chaos it split, the Light fleeing. All that remained was myself and the Dark. We became one, and have returned to bring the Dark to the galaxy. So you have found what you sought.”

    “At the moment of chaos?” Lana spoke aloud.

    “He’s talking about the Change,” Theron said, softly.

    “Oh.” The woman’s expression was worried, concerned, divided - all of those things.

    The Saarai-Kaar believed him, it resonated within the Force, her mind was twisted into complete loyalty. It was the truth; she knew that the Anzati wasn’t lying.

    Bernael nodded to the Saarai-Kaar, he felt her emotions, felt her faith. ”We will end the tyranny of the Jedi as well as that of the New Republic, their hypocrisy implicit in their actions.”

    ”Lana, Theron, how does this new knowledge affect your abilities to work for me? You have studied the galaxy for eons, as have I, and you know that I am right, however my methods work. The Saarai-Kaar here is a most valuable addition and will assist in remaking the galaxy.”
    he asked the AIs. He didn’t need to feel their emotions to sense that there was a touch of reluctance that had creeped in.

    "It doesn't affect us at all," Theron said, drawling.

    "We're just here to serve," Lana said. "Our personal programming preferences on the matter are not relevant."

    Theron smirked. "I mean, we've served Chancellors and Emperors and Saviors and Devils."

    "It happens," the Sith AI added.

    The Saarai-Kaar huffed. "You serve a God of Darkness now. We shall at last bring order and justice to the galaxy."

    She indicated with her lightsaber, igniting the golden blade.

    "With our might, and our power."

    Lana sounded amused. "Is there any other way?"

    "Yeah, sounds about right," Theron grinned.

    Bernael smiled, the corner of his lip turning upward. The ‘old married couple’ bickering of Lana and Theron was becoming familiar but still he remained aware they would bicker so to any other that stood in his place. The Saarai-Kaar understood what the goal was to be. He knew Sistros would enjoy the addition to their ranks.

    ”I have a brother, you may call him, a Force user, coming into his true self. He is the politician of the Empire, whereas we, we are the power of the Throne, both projected power and that which appears from the shadows to strike down our foes.” it was his way of an early ‘introduction’ to Sistros/Skelm.

    A thought came to him, one eyebrow rose as he considered it, ”My Saarai-Kaar, I propose that to the wider galaxy, to allow your world to remain hidden, you and the remaining Jensaarai as well as those that may join the ranks will be known as the Knights of Nevet.”

    She bowed her head. “I would be honoured to a Knight of your new Empire. My Jensaarai number merely six, but we shall grow under your tutelage.”

    The woman held up her lightsaber hilt to him. “Please. Bleed my crystal, so I may know you better, and be bonded with you for my life, natural or otherwise.” This was an almost intimate connection she was offering to the Anzati, speaking volumes of how much she had loved her Master, Nikkos.

    The two AIs busied themselves with analytics.

    The hilt floated from her hand, lifting into the air, coming to a halt before Bernael. It separated into its components, the kyber lifting from the mass. As he looked into her eyes, his will touching hers, a tendril of darkness rose from around him engulfing the crystal. A thinner strand of it shot from the black mass of around the crystal seeming to penetrate her armor and touching her essence.

    A small pulse of her essence flowed, joined to his and returned to the crystal. It shrieked, the sound echoing around the room. The sound of it rapidly reached higher and higher pitches before ceasing abruptly. When the tendril returned to the mass it separated from around the crystal, the Kyber now blazed a deep crimson color, almost pulsing in tune to the Saarai-Kaar’s own pulse.

    The crystal returned to its place and the lightsaber snapped back together before floating back to her outstretched hand. ”It is bled and you are bound, as desired, to me, my Knight.”

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @HanSolo29 (Mentioned)
     
    Sinrebirth and HanSolo29 like this.
  3. TheSilentInfluence

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

    Registered:
    Jul 15, 2014
    IC: Madelyn Linnett, Mirdala, Tor, Boba Fett
    Courscant

    Tor didn't get a reply from Fett, her brow furrowed as Madelyn took control of the ship and started to bring them down safely. Tor tried again to get ahold of Fett but still no reply. Her frustration seemed to grow. He should have responded by now, there should be some sign from him that he was joining them.

    "Hey you there?" Tor moved up looking out the front windscreens straining her eyes and the magnification on her helmet. For a moment she thought she saw something, saw him, his battered green armor just standing out enough against the orange and red gloom of the factory district. Then there was a flash, and alarms started going off, a missile lock. Her heart started beating faster and faster.

    "Tor, strap in." Mirdala called out jumping into a chair and strapping himself down. Tor followed suit her fear slowly turning. It was him no question, not in her mind. She saw him and a moment later they were getting shot out of the sky. Her hand slowly closed into a fist her breaths becoming long and slow.

    She might not of had her mother's experience, or her knowledge, but Tor did have one thing that her mother did, that fire. That burning anger that could see the death of Empires, that was bright enough to be seen from space, the rage of someone that only knows violence.

    That flame burned hot in her eyes.

    "Buir told me not to trust you..." she said hopefully to Fett but she didn't care if he was listening or not. "I guess she was right. I hope you live as much as you can because I'm coming for you...you Shabala Dikut..."

    No. No. No.

    Madelyn felt the ship shudder as it was shot, and she heard alarms ring as they started to go down, much too quickly for her liking. She adjusted her position and gripped the controls tightly as she tried to pull up and away from anything that might hurt them. She pulled back hard and found herself straining her muscles as she did. "Everyone hold on, it's going to be a rough landing!" Madelyn called out to the others.

    Fett didn’t reply to Tor, but the ship hit hard a second later, so had he, it may not have been heard anyway. The shuttle scraped across the floor and the hunter used his jetpack to hurl himself above the ship, landing neatly behind it. When it stopped, it did so sharply, as if it had hit something hard - which it had - a tipped pillar of metal to bring it to a crushing stop.

    That meant they were hurtled forward as the ship settled, and Boba Fett simply opened fire on the rear and picked apart the lower hinges to drop the ramp to the metal floor with a clang. He armed and hurled an underarm detonator into the ship -

    One couldn’t say it any of them had gone through the cockpit viewscreen, but if they had, any without full armour would be bloodied and cut up by the glass as they went through it.

    Tor kept her arms at her side preventing them from flailing around and possibly getting hurt. She was jostled and shaken by the skidding across the metal ground she kept that snarl on her face as they crashed into the pillar. Her head was ringing and she could feel a bruise forming on her chest, even through the armor. The sound of blaster fire reached her ears. That had to be him. Looking up she found the main view screen busted open. Why attack from the front when she could attack from the side.

    Taking a few breaths she lept out of her seat then out the shattered trasparasteel port. She slid down the nose of the shuttle that was slightly tilted making her journey to the ground a somewhat easy one. Landing hard she rolled smoothly getting to her feet and drawing her blaster, the blaster Fett had given her. She would kill him with his own gun.

    She heard the clang of something inside the shuttle but she kept her head down just bolting for the ramp. Rounding the corner she leveled her blaster and opened fire on the figure waiting for the detonator to go off.

    Madelyn felt the ship hit the ground hard, and reached out with the force to grab Mirdala as she was thrown through the front window. She pulled him out after her, taking the brunt of the blow and then tumbled to the ground outside.

    Madelyn lay there, bleeding and bruised. She glanced up as a thought crossed her mind, Tor! Before she startled to scramble to her feet. "Tor! Tor are you okay? Get out of there!"

    The detonator exploded, and Boba Fett thought that was it as a blaster bolt slammed into his breastplate, sending him off at an angle. He landed nimbly nonetheless, saw Tor, as well as a second shadow behind the youngster, and pointed his arm at them -

    A gout of flame emerged, intending to engulf both of them -

    Tor had only a moment to react seeing the start of the flame. She dove to the side but it wasn't fast enough to avoid all the flame. It caught her on the edge of the chest, setting her poncho alight. As she rolled to disperse her momentum she flung the now burning cloth away from herself revealing the durasteel plates she'd been wearing underneath. Her skin was still a bit burned but it could have been much worse.

    Undaunted she fired more shots as she charged forward keeping her body low and nimble to avoid the line of flame.

    Madelyn jumped back into the ship and went after Tor. She saw her catch on fire and roll and reached out with the force to see if she was okay. She saw Tor move forward and moved beside her.

    "Tor I need you to trust me." She pushed herself next to Tor. "We attack him together, but getting rid of that flamethrower is key. I'll distract him, make your shots count." She told her lowly.

    Fett shifted position, rifle prepped and he pointed his arm. A whip-chord launched out, and he tugged it with the intent of wrapping it around Madelyn's neck, even as he stitched a bolt at Tor, dispassionate as he attempted to kill someone he had once taught -

    "Tor move!" Madelyn ordered, hoping the bolt would pass by her. She took out the darksaber and activated it as a whip chord launched out and side downward at it in an attempt to severe it from the grasp, she moved closer to Fett as she did, not wanting him to get another chance to go after Tor and threw her opposite hand out with the force to get him off balance-

    The girl did move ducking low and moving just a little laterally not sacrificing her forward momentum. She wanted Fett and she wanted him dead. The shot glanced off her shoulder and sent her turning away and tumbling to the ground. With her hands under her she kicked off the metal beneath her quickly getting back to her feet and raining more fire down on the bounty hunter.

    "You're DEAD." She called out.

    Boba twitched as the darksaber appeared, the chord broken, and then moved to shoot Tor in the head when Madelyn's Force push slammed into him, sending him tumbling -

    The bolts were coming fast, and as Fett recovered one blew through his palm, another burned through his underarm, and another nicked his neck. He stumbled down to one knee, using his one good hand to release a gout of flame at the darksaber without even aiming, almost at point blank range, as he ignited his rockets in a desperate attempt to put some distance between him and Tor before a bolt killed him -

    There was a flash in her eye his wrist, a trick her mother used often in a fight, activate a rocket blow your enemy to the black. Not stopping her run she kept firing, her shot more inaccurate before she dove to the side hoping to get away from the blast of whatever warhead he was sending her way.

    Madelyn jumped back as Boba launched flames at her, though she felt the pain of a burn on one of her arms. She saw Fett launch a rocket at them and used the force to help guide it back towards Fett as Tor fired at it. She followed Tor's lead and moved out of the way next to her niece. She hoped they were out of the blast radius too.

    It was getting pretty messy, and in the end - Boba Fett became an explosion, and went flying, his armour blackened entirely, and he slammed into the far wall, vanishing in the Force and lying still.

    Was he dead?

    Was he alive?

    He was, at very least, down.

    Tor never broke her stride as she rushed up to the fallen bounty hunter stowing her blaster and leaping upon his body. Straddling his chest she gripped the small amount of cloth around his neck.

    "Where is he, where is Skelm...Tell me you Dikut." She yelled shaking him almost slamming him into the deck. "Why why did you do this...."

    "Tor Tor!" Madelyn couldn't tell if Fett was dead or not, but he was at the least, very badly injured. She moved up behind Tor, deactivating her lightsaber and attaching it to her belt before she grabbed Tor tightly and pulled her back. "Calm yourself. What if he had still been able to fight back? You could have been killed. And if he gets too damaged to talk by what you just tried to do, we gain nothing." Madelyn said firmly. "I need you to listen to me Tor. Not as Mand'alor but as you're family."

    Fett groaned at the slam, stuttering his words; his first since he had opened them. "Contract."

    "Skelm is... gone." He coughed. "His droids have... activated a weapon. To do what happened to Mandalore - but here."

    "He did this, he knows something." Tor shot back throwing Madelyn's hands off her. "We don't have time to wait for him to come around. Skelm is somewhere and he knows where." The voice was unmistakable, it was the same voice Ka'rta had when she was angry when the flame of rage had overcome her and was only thinking about her goal. In the orange light of the polluted sky the Mand'alor could see blood rolling her arm, from the wound on her shoulder.

    "Then where is he Fett." Tor turned leveling her blaster at the weakened man's neck. "You have to know." Tor didn't care about Coruscant right now, all she cared about was finding that monster.

    "Wheres the weapon?" Madelyn asked. She rubbed her arms, sore. She knew Tor got her temper fro her mother and frowned a little. Should she really be my heir with that temper? She watched Tor for a moment, frowning. "Do not let you're anger guide you're actions Tor. You made a decision to come here to go after this Sith. You made that decision Tor, but that also means you made a decision to stop the Sith from hurting anyone whether you like it or not." She stepped back for a moment, looked at Fett. "Tell us then so we can be on our way."

    Tor stood off to the side letting out a huff. She crossed her arms annoyed at her telling off, annoyed that she had failed to capture or kill her target. Her breaths were short and quick, her shoulders shaking with each exhale. Skelm had escaped and now he planned to destroy this planet with them on it. The shuttle they came in on was destroyed, and there wasn't another option nearby except maybe Fett's ship. He got here somehow right? Though as she looked around she saw the city in the distance, all the people just living their lives. They would all be wiped out, killed for nothing more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Her anger rose again, thinking about what had happened to her home, not that anyone told her directly, it was more what she had worked out on her own. It was just gone, erased from the galaxy. That would happen here, and they had the power to stop it. Families were out there not knowing what was coming.

    Was it really in her to be a hero? To save others at the cost of her blood? Even when it didn't serve her or her interests?

    It wasn't like she could do anything else right now...

    Madelyn glanced at Tor and sighed. She understood that feeling of helplessness at least. "You know, I only tell you off because I don't want you to make the same mistakes I did. I'm not very good at leading Tor. I just do what I think is best, as you do." Madelyn looked at Fett, and then back at Tor. "But you seem so sure of yourself. I just want you to make the right decisions. But you're choices are your own."

    She nodded to herself. "We should still try to stop him. I'm sure one of the locals won't mind if we borrow one of their ships, unless we can somehow track Fett's." She sounded unsure, but confident. "Mandalore will never be gone so long as there is someone there to lead it." And then, "I didn't want to tell you this, not until after you became an adult, but Leia and Alfred were never my heirs." She walked over to Tor, placed a hand on her shoulder. "Do you understand?"

    "Wha...What?" Tor's eyes went wide looking into Madelyn's eyes. "Me...Manda'lor..." Her face was furrowed and thoughtful for a moment, though it was mostly confusion. "Why...I'm just a screw up. I nearly got Leia killed, I ran off on my own, I disobeyed my Buir, and...you...you want me to...to be you?" Her emotions were thrown into disarray her anger being wrapped up in her confusion. "My Buir has trained me to be a soldier a warrior like her...I...I..."

    "You're not a screw up Tor. You want to know the difference? You can admit you're mistakes. Not everyone can do that." Madelyn swallowed hard. "I forgive you Tor and I know Leia will too." She sighed. "I don't want you to be me. I want you to be yourself. Do not let your mother or anyone influence you're decisions about Mandalore. Although she will try and guide you which is fine. The final decision is yours alone Tor."

    She shook her head slightly. "I believe that you can do this, but you need to believe it too."

    Her face flickered a little looking down. It was a lot, a lot of responsibility. She was going from occasionally looking after Leia and Arthur to leading an entire people. Her mind couldn't quite fathom it. Though she could feel the confidence from Madelyn whether it was the force or something else Tor looked back up, her stomach still in knots.

    "I'll...I'll think about it...we've got a planet to save right?" The waver in her voice showed just how unsure she was, but it wasn't broken, not yet.

    "Of course. This isn't a decision to be made lightly. I'm sorry I put you on the spot." Madelyn pulled Tor into a hug. "Let's go save this planet." Sge agreed and pulled away with a small smile. "You're father is just outside, let's go."

    His father was, yes, but had been injured in the fall, and was pretty burned up by the grenade that had totaled the inside of their borrowed ship. In-fact, he was unconscious, but no wound was threatening - he'd likely have a concussion though when he woke. Madelyn would be able to tell that much with the Force.

    Boba, for his part, was breathing, just about, and his words tumbled out. "There's Eternal tech beneath the surface of the major planets. Was even some on Alderaan, but that's gone now. Zorn could use it to drain a world." He swallowed as he sat up. "I wanted to find out... for Mandalore. A contract is one thing..." Fett sagged again, pulling his helmet free and revealing blood trickling from his lips. "Planet-killing is different. Wanted no part of that." His words were pained.

    "Someone needs to look after Slave I," Fett said. He looked at Tor. "Want it?"

    Tor swallowed hard looking to her father she'd heard the stories of what he survived during the battle of Keldabe, she knew he would be fine. Her attention turned to Fett, the older man pulling off his helmet to look at the young warrior, and future Manda'lor.

    "I don't even know how to fly it." She looked down, recognizing that he was trying to do something good, with possibly the last moments of his life. "Sure, I'll take it. Now," She crouched down looking him in the eye pulling her helmet off as well so that there was nothing between them. "I used up my stim on that woman in the senate room. I...I don't think I can do much for you." Her lips turned down into a small frown. "You...you taught me a lot, I'm, I'm sorry I hurt you, but you did start it." A little bit of her childishness coming through before she forced it back down. "Can you tell us where exactly this Planet killer is? Coruscant is a big place."

    "Down. Deep down," Fett said. "It was put here about thirty-five hundred years ago." He coughed. "An Eternal Fleet battlecruiser went down a canyon - didn't come back up." He gestured vaguely, held out his comlink with one hand. "Key and tracker for Slave I. Just around the corner."

    He eyed Madelyn, head lolling. "You best look after -"

    Then he stilled.

    Madelyn rushed out of the ship and went to Mirdala, reaching out with the force. He was okay. A little injured but nothing bad. Madelyn turned to Tor. "He's okay. You're father is just a little injured." She stood up and listened to the conversation between Tor and Fett, who had followed them out. Madelyn walked towards them, looking interested at the Eternal Fleet battle cruiser that went down, and how Fett said they could have slave one.

    She opened her mouth to speak when Fett stilled and moved closer to Tor. Something was wrong. "Fett what is it?"

    He wasn't moving.

    Indeed, his heart-rate was at zero.

    Tor walked forward taking the commlink the one that would activate the Slave I.

    "We should go Aunt Madelyn. He's done what he can..."

    Madelyn sighed and felt a sense of loss. She turned to Tor as she spoke and nodded, moving towards Mirdala and putting him over her shoulders, careful of his wounds. "Lead the way Tor. I'll carry you're father."

    Slave I was where Fett had said, ready and prepped, and it yielded its innards to them when they arrived. A ramp eased out, and the bounty hunters ship was exposed. Within it was a single carbonite slab holding what appeared to be a Black-Coat, his hood up and concealing his face. The heart of the Firespray transport revealed that it had a rotating innards, which reset when the ship was in flight and when grounded.

    There displays lit up, telling Tor and Madelyn that it had blaster cannons, concussion missiles, an ion cannon, and seismic mines and chaff! It was extremely well armed. There was even a spare set of beskar armour, in Fett green. It was, essentially, a treasure trove.

    Tor made her way inside making her way to the cockpit. She rested her hand on the full beskar armor that was left behind. It was more valuable than gold to a mandalorian, and now it was hers. Though doing anything with it would have to wait until later. Sliding into the copilot seat she looked to her aunt.

    "You know how to fly this?"

    Madelyn laughed. "Well...no. But I can figure it out." She told Tor with a small smile. She strapped Mirdala into a seat nearby, and went to sit in the pilots chair. "Maybe you should make sure your secure in that seat."

    Tag: @Sinrebirth @galactic-vagabond422
     
  4. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: GEMINI
    Hive Mind, Coruscant

    The remaining half-a-dozen Eternal Fleet cruisers were in artificial canyons, behind buildings, licking their durasteel wounds - all of them were damaged, save for the single one that had left the battle early to dive deep, deep deep into the depths of Coruscant after the Zildrog Mechanism. The world was nimbused in debris, New Republic, Hapan and Eternal ships, broken Golan battle stations, let alone the burning debris of the Death Star prototype that continued to streak down.

    Indeed, as the Slave I rose with Madelyn and Tor in-charge, and Mirdala unconscious but upright in his chair, they would have a moment to reflect upon the sorry state of the world, so damaged that the lights had gone out - a rare event, recorded in history no more than a handful of times. The capital had fallen, but to devastation, with most of the largest skyscapers down, and not a single gallant skyhook or exposed landing pad beyond damage. Indeed, the Senate Tower had collapsed in on itself, though, somehow, miraculously, the Jedi Temple had been untouched in the battle save for a single bomb explosion aboard one of the shuttles.

    The signal that Fett had installed was leading them across the darkened and battered landscape, and as it did, they would note a great tunnel into the depths of the City-world, leading by the abandoned Galaxies Opera House, the Uscru District empty of visitor and patron. This particular metal sinkhole let to the deepest part of the world, and it was evident that a four-hundred meter Eternal battleship was at the bottom of the well; detecting the Firespray transport, the ship began to turn its ornate hammer prow up, but worse, Skytrooper battle droids launched from the warship like a swarm, mechanical soldiers that launched after a stream of turbolaser fire -

    The sorry state of the world would be evident to Han and Lumpy as they arrived, and also the green lances heading into the sky.

    Indeed, as the GEMINI droids detected the coming of the Slave I, and the arrival of the Falcon, the damaged cruisers that remained lifted from their hiding spots as one, as only a hive mind could, and began converging on the coordinates of the deep borehole of durasteel.

    Little did they know that Arek Graul was already consorting with the mechanism at the heart of the planet, trying to stop it using the bloodline he shared with Emperor Skelm... but he wouldn't succeed if these cruisers killed him anyway...

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox, @galactic-vagabond422, @TheSilentInfluence (the three of you in a combo with the GM), @HanSolo29 (continue your combo with the GM)
    ---
    IC: Saarai-Kaar

    The Eternal flagship, above Bakura

    Matters were in-fact calming down.

    While Emperor Skelm was still locked in his meeting with the Bakuran Prime Minister and his daughter - and there was a sense of violence afoot there, but it was a simmer, not a threat, the New Republic Senate was in session, and the Kuati were being reluctant to commit either way. The various segments of the Eternal Fleet in the Core were exposed to a potential counter-attack, but oppression of systems in the Outer Rim was on-going.

    There was a sense of necessity in holding steady, in securing the territory they had and ensuring they were not over-extended. With Yag'Dhul under their control and territory on the Corellian Run, they had neatly tied up the southern quadrant, even if the Hutts and Bothans might require a concerted campaign to deal with. The bacta planets of Thyferra accepted a delivery of battle platforms from Balmorra, even as the Duros affirmed their loyalty to the New Republic, as did most systems along the Perlemian Trade Route. No hyperlane was completely dominated by one faction save for that one, which gave the enemy a definitive spine.

    Scouts probing to the immediate west of the Eternal Empire were caught in gravity traps, some caused by moons moved to block the few hyperlanes into the Unknowns, and others by minefields. It seemed as if someone had prepared for the standard approaches, so a mind would have to apply itself otherwise. A scout returned with a beacon message; that the Unknown Regions were now the province of the Empire of the Hand and Grand Admiral Thrawn would consider any full-scale intrusion to be a declaration of war; indeed, communications with Zakuul and Odessen were abruptly lost.

    The Saarai-Kaar called the trained Jensaarai - the Defenders - to Bakura, even as she analysed the bond between her and Bernael. She dove into it, drew upon it, partook, fantasized. She was a damaged woman, broken by the pressure of defending her kind for decades from discovery, desperate for allies in her long fight against the Jedi Order. The so-called Knights of Nevet arrived, and Theron and Lana handed Bernael a handful of minor updates.

    "Our few remaining cruisers at Coruscant under the command of Emperor Skelm are engaged with a pair of transports attempting to interfere with the destruction of the planet. We would ordinarily doubt their success, but the ships in-question are the Millennium Falcon and Slave I, so the GEMINI mind is expecting trouble," Lana said.

    From Theron. "The Moff Council has finished it's meeting and confirmed that it shall enter into a glorious isolation. They don't recognize the 'New Empire' as a true continuation of their regime, and they will oppose any attempts to force them to join either us or the New Republic. Head of State Saretti has been named as the leader of the Remnant."

    "The Tapani Lords have confirmed they will maintain their independence, but are happy to accept contracts for the Fondor and Taallani shipyards, and they intend to offer one yard to each faction, and keep the Scarl shipyards for other orders," Lana added.

    "Not stellar," Theron said. "Which one of us gets to use Fondor?"

    "The New Republic."

    "So we get the smaller one."

    "We are the smaller regime," she pointed out.

    "For now..." Theron looked at Bernael. This was mundane politics, but with Thyferra now well defended and remaining loyal to the New Republic, it was an impediment to further advances towards Fondor. The Saarai-Kaar was obviously eager to assist, her eyes alight as she followed the discussion. But where could a half a dozen Force users achieve the most damage?

    TAG: @darthbernael, @HanSolo29 (continue your combo as Aryan)
    ---
    IC: Beaumont Kin

    Testament Day, Kesh

    The city of Tahv was ecstatic, a stream of humans and Keshiri heading in. There was already much discussion about the ship that High Lord Vol and his loyal retinue of Lords had taken above the houses of the capital, and as useful as the pending festivities were for Beaumont and Qwi to sneak in, there was so much gossip flowing that the entire planet probably knew. The great City walls were open to the masses, and indeed the Capitol building specifically was expected to host the city-folk.

    [​IMG]

    https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/s...est/scale-to-width-down/898?cb=20120924224805

    While it was theoretically possible to get all the way into the building, there were tens of thousands of people here, so it would take some effort to get in, especially as everyone was excited by the chance to see the ship that had been found. Because the situation was evolving, the two of them wouldn't have been able to plan ahead, because there was nothing normal about this Testament Day.

    At some point, however, the crowd quieted as a robed man stepped out, the Force causing him to unfurl a bridge of glass that led him above the City.

    Everyone muttered - it was Darish Vol - and he was in the attire of the Grand Lord of the Sith!

    That mean the had ascended to the Throne, and, standing beside him, looking as beautiful as any Keshiri, was Sarasu Taalon - now in the regalia of a High Lord! Others of his retinue followed, the broad glass bridge seeming to shake slightly but the Force held it, and ornate handles were hooked by string by on-looking Sith Sabers.

    In short order, the Circle of Lords - the twenty-one most powerful Sith on all of Kesh, stood above Tahv, aboard their floating glass platform.

    Vol held up his hand, and Beaumont realised he was staring, and tried to move through the crowd again, towards the capitol building the Circle had emerged from.

    The Grand Lord spoke, intoning, regaling the City with the Testament of Varner Hilts, or Slaves No More: The inglorious past and glorious destiny of the Lost Tribe of the Sith. As Vol explained, this was a speech delivered by Varner Hilts, then Grand Lord of the Lost Tribe of the Sith on Testament Day some 2989 years ago, approximately 2011 years after the arrival of the tribe's human ancestors on Kesh during the Great Hyperspace War. The speech follows Hilt's return from Alanciar, a newly conquered continent on Kesh. The actual speech Hilts delivered spoke of the humans the Lost Tribe having a slave origin under members of the Sith species. Once upon a time, a censored version of the speech circulated among the Keshiri natives of Kesh.

    In this article, Hilts revealed that the Lost Tribe was actually descended from Human slaves who had become stranded on Kesh in 5000 BBY. He also explained how the tribe's founder Yaru Korsin had hoodwinked the native Keshiri by coopting a legendary conflict known as the Great Calamity that was fought between the Protectors and Destructors. The Lost Tribe merely claimed to have been the ancient Protectors. Hilts also devoted a significant part of the essay to explaining the Hilts Restroation and his plans to rebuild the ancient system instituted by Korsin. He advocated a meritocratic system of political advancement and eschewed warfare. While Hilts was prepared to tolerate assassinations as a minor discretion, he regarded civil warfare as destructive and counter-productive to the Tribe's political base.

    Finally, Hilts outlined a maritime exploration program that involved exploring the lands and seas beyond the main continent Keshtah Minor. He also described ongoing colonization efforts in the continent of Alanciar which was rich in timber that would provide material for constructing a fleet of wooden ships. Hilts then concluded that he hoped that the Tribe would survive until the time that the Tribe re-discovered interstellar travel and could thus conquer the galaxy.

    All in all, it was a masterpiece, and Beaumont would have loved to have met the man - the Caretaker, the premier historian of the Sith and the man who reinstituted their ancient systems and saved his people from certain extinction. But as it was, it was a good enough cover. They managed to find a quiet spot to regroup, the backs of the Keshiri and humans nearby turned to them as they regarded their Lords with wonder.

    They were near the doors to the capitol building, a press of people present, but more civilians. The press of people had pushed them into the City anyway; they would be hard-pressed to have wandered through as a shortcut in either instance.

    "Shall we see if we can get further in?" Beaumont whispered.

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox (combo)
    ---
    IC: Doman Beruss

    Senate Chamber, Centerpoint Station

    The Senate was gathered, and Feyna and Isolder were escorted into the makeshift Chancellor's podium, as much as Norin and Del were shifted to a pod of seats. Seemingly the Corellians had managed to create separate areas for all Senators, though the central area to the amphitheater was full of holograms from across the New Republic, from those who had to attend remotely due to distance, danger, or separation.

    On the ceiling was a galactic map showing the state of affairs; a blue limn to the galaxy that showed the territory of the New Republic. The small red corner for the Imperial Remnant, green for the Hutts, yellow for Bothans, Mandalorians, Corporate Sector and Tapani territories, and the purple for the Eternal Empire. A much lighter blue prevailed in the Unknown Regions, baring the name of the Empire of the Hand. It was a striking comparison to the sea of blue and handful of independent states that had prevailed earlier this week. In the Core there were dots of purple, systems under occupation by Aryan Graul and his Eternal Fleet, but he had a solid territory in the south up to Yag'Dhul and chewing into the Corellian Run otherwise.

    Isolder looked glum, but he noted they had the whole Perlemian hyperlane, which would be important to hold onto. The New Republic fleet would have to reclaim the Core, and then reinforce that trade route, in the short term. But he was thinking beyond today's events, and even then, the Yuuzhan Vong remained an unspoken threat.

    Del looked around the room, seeing a handful of familiar faces, but most of the Centrist Party was missing, save for some notable worlds such as Kuat, Orinda, and others in the northern galaxy. Viqi Shesh was here, looking opulent and decidedly out of place, but the entire session seemed to defer to the Illodian Senator, Doman Beruss, who now stood on a Senate platform above it all. She cleared her throat.

    "Chancellor, I would like to thank you for allowing the Senate a moment before proceeding."

    She looked around at the gathered men and women of many worlds and species.

    "In the last week, we have been struck by base treachery, time and time again. The attack by Thrawn on the capital, the terror attacks of the Acolytes of the Beyond, the strikes by the forces of Darth Zorn, and the secession of the cabal led by Graul and Treen. All of this has happened under the watch of our Chancellor, Feyna Organa."

    Isolder went to speak, and Doman raised a hand.

    "But that is not to say that there have not been tremendous successes. The resilience of the New Republic meant that Thrawn was repelled, the terrorists largely thwarted, and an incredible galactic alliance was assembled and defeated Darth Zorn and his Sith armada. Even the Battle of Coruscant was a tremendous effort that saw the Death Star prototype destroyed, and many of the traitors slain. While we have not held the world, the damage inflicted to the enemy was so great that they abandoned their efforts to secure the planet, and retreated to oppress systems such as Sluis Van, Naboo, Sullust, and Yag'Dhul. Even now they resist, as do the Kuati, Denon, and others." She nodded to their representatives.

    "The Senate thus had to decide how to proceed, and we had to do so in the absence of the Chancellor, and of the representatives of Hapes, Alderaan and Nubia," she indicated Isolder, Winter, and Nola. "All three of which could be considered to be said to have an interest in the continuation of the term of the Chancellor. With all of our losses recently, we had a responsibility to discuss, without them, whether we continued to have confidence in our leader - and indeed in the Senators in-question."

    Isolder bit his lip. Winter looked unhappy, and Del squeezed Nola's hand.

    "It came to a vote." Doman's eyes swept Feyna.

    "But note a vote of no confidence, but a vote of confidence. The judgment of the Chancellor has been above reproach. In-spite of her personal history with the enemy, the weapons the used, and the treachery they inflicted, she remained determined to offer our foes every chance to act peaceably. She negotiated at every point she could, held the line at every point she should, and acted with the certainty of her actions and with no more intent than to act responsibly, swiftly, and with the sureness we need in a Chancellor."

    "Save for the three votes which could not be given due to their conflict of inflict, the Senate's conclusion was unanimous."

    Doman smiled warmly, kindly, upon Feyna.

    "We voted that Chancellor Feyna Organa should be granted emergency powers for the duration of the crisis, and her term will be extended until such time as Emperor Aryan Graul is killed, captured, or dethroned."

    Isolder couldn't believe his ears.

    Del's eyes widened.

    Winter was speechless.

    If they didn't meet that condition, she would be Chancellor for life.

    And the entire Senate cheered.

    TAG: @JediMasterAnne (x2)

    TAG: @darthhelinith, @TheSilentInfluence, @darthbernael (continue combo)
     
  5. AgentViper007

    AgentViper007 Force Ghost star 7

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

    IC: Qwi Xux, Beaumont Kin
    Location: Kesh


    The arrival of Firenze it seemed was causing quite a stir as well as of course the arrival of high ranking Sith

    It seemed she was parked in the capital building. And of course there were obstacles. A crowd staring in awe at the Sith, the most powerful on this planet had come to town and the fact that a Baudo class yacht had arrived.

    Firenze was beautiful. No doubts there.

    As the High Lord started his sermon Qwi tuned out, this was more Beaumont's cup of tea. She was looking around for anything useful. Shortcuts, maybe ways to get in other than the front door…

    She nodded at Beaumont and whispered back "We'll have to be careful. This crowd is distracted which works to our advantage. Butvwe need to make sure we look like we might be getting a spot or something".

    "Lead the way, i'll follow".

    Beaumont nodded. He took her gloved hand, picking his way through the crowd of Keshiri and humans. As they made it beyond the edges of the group, a figure in a black Sith robe detached himself from the others, following them, a twinkle of light glinting on his belt; a dagger of glass.

    They would find a variety of doors - all locked - preventing access to the heart of the building. He reached the end of a stone corridor and glanced out the window, seeing a patchwork of vines leading up the side of the place, and not immediately overlooked by the visiting masses. "Up?"

    As he looked back he pointed. "Look out!" The glass weapon floated from the purple-skinned Keshiri's belt and shot towards them -

    Of course the Sith would be wary for intruders and assassins...

    They were Sith!

    Qwi followed Beaumont, her eye scanning under the hood for anybody that looked their way. Thankfully nobody did as they made their way indoors.

    Locked doors everywhere, Qwi was tempted to say to Beaumont that they should use the bond to try and unlock them but shot the thought down. Maybe not a good idea.

    Although maybe not climbing up the side of a building was such a good idea either. But if it meant they could get in.

    Beaumont's shout and surprise through the bond spun her around and there was a purple skinned Sith Lord, one of the natives throwing a weapon at them.

    Qwi shoved Beaumont to try and push him down to the ground and land on top of him. She did'nt know if Rax's cloak protected against blades but she had to protect Beaumont.

    It was what any good servant or slave would do.

    Beaumont grabbed her and pulled her down with him, as the dagger clattered and then shattered on the wall. The Keshiri lashed out a hand, a Force push sending them sliding across the floor and slamming into the wall beneath the window. Beaumont winced at the pain in the top of his head, and said. "Gloves off, Qwi. Literally."

    Qwi knew Beaumont was OK despite the bump on the head but she knew what she had to do.

    Even if it meant that a whole bunch of Sith would come after them. They started the fight...Beaumont and Qwi would finish it.

    I hope we don't get killed….

    She sat up, her legs straddling Beumont's waist and removing both her gloves revealing the blue skin.

    Together she simply thought.

    With one hand she held Beaumont's with the other she shot a hand towards the Sith.

    The bond was about to be unleashed.

    A bolt of lightning emerged from their pointed hands, synchronized to crash into the Sith and send him crumpling to the floor in a smoking heap. There was a dark gaze that swept upon them in the Force, and Beaumont released her hand, severing the connection that was revealing them - and turned to the vines. "Quick! We can't be here when they come this way!"

    There was a clatter on the stairs they had taken, booted feet, and a chorus of snap-hisses!

    They needed to get going!

    The Sith was down but there was no time to celebrate. They had no doubt been felt in the Force so it was time to get outside and climb.

    Something Qwi had never done before.

    "I think that is our cue to exit" she said quietly and pulling her gloves back on "I've never done climbing before so I hope I don't fall off the side or the vine breaks…"

    She climbed off Beaumont and held out her hand and pulled him up "I f you climb in front of me i'll try and keep up".

    Qwi moved forward, climbed up on the windowsill, toop a deep breath and leaped out grabbing on the nearest vine.

    So far so good….

    As she began to try and pull herself up she hoped Beaumont was not far behind.

    Beaumont followed, keeping pace. "You're got it, Qwi, don't worry."

    In a short instant, they were at the next level, and Beaumont helped the Omwati in. There was a commotion beneath them, but nobody followed. Beaumont began to feel fingers tugging into his mind, as if someone was hunting - Qwi wouldn't feel it, however, she was protected by the coat.

    With a gasp, he dropped to one knee, and looked up at Qwi. Behind her he could see an open area at the heart of the building, with a ceiling that could allow a ship to land - there was their yacht. He was struggling to stand though, and spoke up. "Qwi, they're actively looking for us. I can't... I can't move."

    He stuttered. "They can sense me -"

    There was Firenze in all her scratched red and golden yellow glory. They had made it up the vines with no incident thankfully. Her ams ached though but she could add climbing to her set of skills.

    But then Beaumont dropped to one knee, and Qwi could tell he was in trouble by the look on his face. And it seemed the Sith had found him. She felt sick.

    Qwi could'nt carry him, but he could carry her. But she of course had to pilot. A plan began to form regarding the cloak. Beaumont would hate it and no doubt she could end up getting incapacatated herself. But she had to take the chance.

    Her pack came off, then the cloak. Putting her pack back on she moved over to Beaumont, took his pack off and wrapped the cloak around him putting the hood up and putting his pack back on.

    "That should do it" she said. Of course her blue face was revealedbut it wouldn't matter any more if they got on board "They'll find me instead but you can pick me up and take me to the yacht. When we get aboard you can put the cloak back on me….or we use the bond".

    Qwi tried to pull Beaumont with her to try and get to the yacht, disable the security system and then hopefully take Firenze somewhere where they could hide her properly.

    Beaumont shook his head, when he was able to. “We can’t risk it, Qwi.” A lightsaber tip emerged from the floor just by his foot and he swore.

    Indeed, the Omwati felt that same oppressive sensation seize upon her, and Beaumont tried to enfold them both in the robe. It lessened the influence, and he helped her up to move with him towards their yacht -

    As more and more red lightsabers were added to the floor. There were twenty - one for each of the Lords of the Circle that served the Grand Lord.

    Beaumont moved quicker -

    Ohhh fantastic…

    Thanks to Beaumont's quick thinking he had enfolded them both with the robe which lessed the dark thoughts that were eminating towards her from the floor below. Thankfully Beaumont had'nt made a fuss about her putting the cloak on him instead.

    She could hear more and more lightsabers making thier way through the floor and she muttered a curse in Omwati. They had to get aboard and get Firenze up and away fast.

    Thankfully her engines and repulsorlifts were still working even if some of her electronics were shot because of the magnetic field.

    "Once we get her in the air we need to find somewhere to park her up. Once we get the parts from the Omen or whatever we can find we can try and get her back through the field".

    She disabled the yachts security system and activated the ramp for it to descend "I hope there is a cave or hole we can try and fit her in….don't know if you still have a map or something that helps…."

    She made her way up the ramp trying to pull Beaumont with her.

    Beaumont shook off the malaise upon him and headed up the ramp with her, helping her hand as much as she helped him. He slapped the ramp controls when they reached the top, not a moment before a Sith emerged from the top of a staircase to the opposite end of the large room.

    It was Grand Lord Vol.

    He released a bolt of lightning across the hull, causing the ship to scream at them even as they rushed to switch it on and boot up. “Come on,” Beaumont hissed, diverting power to the engines -

    As Qwi turned when Beaumont slapped the controls for the ramp Qwi saw that a Sith Lord had arrived. And knew she had to hurry.

    She quickly dashed to the cockpit dumping her pack in the common room for now and jumped into the pilot's seat. Beaumont helped out too.

    Luckily Baudo's were quite quick to start up and as she started up the systems (she could start up those not affected by the electrical faults) alarms went off. It looked like the Sith Lord had decided to start the fight.

    The engines were now online as were the repulors and thankfully the laser cannon had not been affected. She activated the trigger on the pilots stick and began to raise the ship.

    Nobody tries to fry my ship she growled and fired a burst from the laser cannon in warning as the ship rose up and away.

    The blaster was shorted out by the electricity storm, but the yacht didn’t move off as swiftly as they’d liked - the Grand Lord had a hand up, and was grinning as he held the ship in the Force.

    They were off the ground, but struggling to escape the area. Beaumont looked panicked for a moment.

    Oh no you don't…

    Firenze it seemed was now stuck and she could sense the darkness being aimed her way.

    There was no use trying to throttle up, she would only end up blowing the engines.

    "Beaumont" she said simply "I'm afraid we are going to have to use the bond to fight back" she indicated he hand holding the throttle "If we don't that Sith Lord down there will rip this yacht to bits. And our only way of this planet will be lost".

    "And I am NOT losing this yacht."

    Beaumont reached out, looking worried, stressed, but full of love for her. “We can do this.”

    He was open to her in a way that even Pascale wasn’t; their bond gave them a deeper connection and understanding because of the Force.

    They could do this.

    Qwi could feel everything that Beaumont was feeling and that was even before he touched her hand. When he did….she realised that their connection ran deeper than she ever realised.

    Love but also the fact that he was scared out of his wits. She was too but she was keeping those thoughts tampered down. She opened herself up to him, letting her love for him shine through.

    Of course with Pascale it was different, his Echo was not as powerful as this bond. But he had helped create it and for that she was thankful.

    If this didn't work, Firenze could end up in bits or in a fireball...with them aboard. She focused her attention on not just the Sith Lord below but on the darkness emanating through the floor…

    And unleashed all the light she carried right at them.

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

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

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    A crazy fun combo with Sinre – thank you so much! [:D]

    IC: Emperor Graul, Gaeriel Captison, Darth Trayus, Jalynn Graul, and a Visitor
    Landing Platform, Bakura

    The wind whipped relentlessly at the cape tethered to Aryan’s neck as he descended the yacht’s landing ramp to meet the Bakuran contingent. While he was mindful of Traya’s advice about how he should present himself to this reverent group—that he must choose between his two distinct personas, the benevolent Emperor Graul or the formidable Darth Skelm—his demeanor remained grim and unrelenting. There was no strategy, only raw emotion.

    He was well aware that appearances meant everything in political proceedings, but in this case, he could not refrain from projecting his scorn. This woman—his lover—had deliberately tracked down his lost daughter to leverage her as bait. Gaeriel had reassured him that there was no malice behind her actions and that the girl was safe, though Aryan couldn’t dismiss the obvious contradiction. Despite her intentions, it was still a rather cruel tactic. He felt violated…betrayed.

    Nevertheless, he still had a responsibility to these people; a role to carry out.

    And so, Emperor Graul strode forward to stand before Gaeriel, his penetrating stare scrutinizing her for a long moment before he diverted his eyes to regard the young woman lurking at her back. He could feel the girl’s uncertainty as he approached, an innocent child peering up at him with genuine curiosity.

    She did not know him, nor did he know her. That revelation rattled him more than he cared to admit. He was gazing upon his daughter—his own flesh and blood—and yet, she was a complete stranger to him. He silently cursed Lyz and the circumstances that had prevented him from ever knowing the truth.

    Unfortunately, that reminder would always be there. As he studied his daughter’s delicate features, all he saw was Lyz reflecting back at him. She resembled her mother quite closely—all except for her eyes. Those were all his.

    The Emperor suppressed a smile before inclining his chin to address Gaeriel. "I can’t say that I approve of your reliance on…unconventional methods to gain my attention," he rasped in a gravelly tone. "Was this always your intention? And if so, when and how did you discover the truth? Did you know before I asked you to join me on Coruscant?"

    He canted his head, casting a sidelong glance at Jalynn. "I would appreciate an explanation, Gaeriel."

    Gaeriel swallowed but could tell this was the Emperor, not just her Aryan. "I didn't know before, no."

    She nodded to a figure in beskar who stepped around the corner. There was another cloaked apparition behind him, his robes spun grey; his face was visible, however, and finely aristocratic. "I was notified by this one, who had hired this bounty hunter in my name, to locate Jalynn." The Bakuran woman continued. "Apparently they crossed paths with Qwi Xux and Beaumont Kin, but our agent couldn't force them to come with him or risk losing Jalynn."

    His daughter looked terrified, in all honestly. "Father..." Jalynn said carefully. "It's true - no harm has come of me."

    The figure chuckled darkly. "Of course not," his tongue clucked. "It was I who wanted your attention, Emperor Skelm." He stepped forward, placing a hand on Gaeriel's shoulder. She shuddered under his hand, but even then, she also felt fear - of the man, but also of Skelm, and fear for herself, and for Jalynn.

    The Mandalorian was stoic in his silence.

    Skelm slowly inclined his head, studying the newcomer under a hooded gaze. He took some solace knowing that Gaeriel had not been responsible for endangering Jalynn, though that did not change the fact that someone else had tried to take advantage of them both.

    Due to this pretentious man’s actions, Jalynn could very well reject him for what he would be forced to do. He could already sense her fear and uncertainty regarding him. Their relationship hung in the balance, and his opportunity to bond with her was closing fast. He would not allow this man to dictate that timeframe.

    Nor would he allow him to threaten his lover.

    The Emperor tensed when the newcomer gripped Gaeriel’s shoulder, his lip curling slightly into a sneer. It posed as a warning that he was treading on dangerous ground.

    The man bowed. "Professor Ku'ar Danar. I understand you nearly crossed paths with me fourteen years ago." He stood, smiling. "But instead you opted to be the apprentice of that woman - Any'a Kuro." Indeed; Aryan had.

    There was a rustling, as Trayus stepped from the ramp, standing beside his Emperor with the Scepter of Ragnos to hand. He held it out to his Emperor, and an uncertain expression crossed Danar's face, but he buried it, remaining superior, his hand tightening on the Bakuran woman's shoulder.

    A sardonic grin spread over Skelm’s features. He recognized that the professor was trying to outmaneuver him to gain more leverage, but the Emperor was not about to indulge him. Instead, he ignored the man’s posturing—including the remark about his decision fourteen-years ago—and turned to silently accept the scepter from Trayus’ grasp.

    He allowed his fingers to caress the smooth metal, relishing its touch. There was a purpose here, one that the Black-Coat was trying to convey through this gesture. Skelm understood, though he did not openly acknowledge it. He could not afford to provide any forewarning. At this juncture, he needed to lure Danar into a false sense of security.

    And so, Skelm adopted a calm demeanor and angled the scepter upright, wielding it as if it were merely a ceremonial staff of office. He then nodded toward the man.

    "Release Ms. Captison and get to your point, professor," the Emperor ordered in a stern voice, his eyes narrowing dangerously. "What is it you wish to discuss with me?"

    "Why," Danar said, drily. "Your apprenticeship to me, of course."

    "I was the first Dark Lord of the Sith - the first Shadow Emperor. I ruled from Nilrebmah - the Taspan system, in your modern naming. I caused the Fourth Great Schism, and I defined what it is to be Sith, seven thousand years ago. It was me who spoke the ancient darksiders on Remnicore, at Bedlam, at Rhand." He stepped forward, leaving his hand on Gaeriel's shoulder and electricity appeared to spark upon the back of her hand.

    "Father, please!"

    The Black-Coat allowed his hands to slip off the scepter, but pushed it slightly, indicating, but not moving, the staff. It would need to be pointed at the man.

    Danar sneered. "You will supplicate yourself to my dread, and you will allow me to become you, and take the Eternal Throne."

    The culmination of events prompted Skelm to act. The man’s blustering was insufferable enough, but things escalated tenfold when he continued to threaten Gaeriel’s wellbeing. That was inexcusable, and when he heard his daughter’s desperate plea to end this madness, it finally pushed him over the edge.

    The Emperor did not immediately respond to Danar’s last bit of taunting. Instead, he turned to follow the Black-Coat’s lead. In one swift motion, he angled the scepter at the stately gentleman and tapped into the darkness to unleash its fury. It swirled about him like a furious tempest, electricity crackling across his hands as he tightened his grip on the staff.

    At this point, it was easy to envision Danar succumbing to his power, withering and fading away into obscurity as his essence enslaved itself to the Eternal. His body would become nothing more than an empty husk…

    It was what Skelm demanded, and so it would be done.

    "No, you are mistaken, professor," he rasped with a hint of a smile. "You will subjugate yourself to me."

    Extending the scepter fully, the Emperor released his wrath upon Ku'ar Danar.

    With his eyes widening in surprise - the fool did know how to use it! - energy leapt from Danar into the staff at a violent rate. The man threw up his arms, Gaeriel falling to the wayside and moving away, Jalynn stepping close to hold her, to shield her.

    From Danar’s hands emerged a string of energy that impaled Skelm’s chest, and he would feel that his energy was being sapped back. "Force Drain," murmured the Black-Coat. "Hmm."

    They would be locked in that cycle for a moment, with Danar growling with effort as the staff filled Skelm with power; his power. They were stuck in a loop. "Do something!" Jalynn shouted at the Black-Coat.

    "Fiiiiine," he said with evidenced reluctance. With a flourish, he grabbed Danar’s wrists from behind and bent the orange energy back around into himself.

    "No!" Danar roared -

    And suddenly there was an explosion and all that energy - from both of them - vanished into Skelm. Danar fell to the floor, and the cloak floated to the ground, its occupant long gone. As the Sith Lord tried to stand, the Mandalorian stepped over and shot him in the neck.

    "Never liked you anyway." The three of them looked at Skelm, nimbused in crackling energy.

    The Emperor staggered momentarily, clearly disoriented from Danar’s failed attempt to siphon his life force. Fortunately, he had been able to fend off the attack—thanks to Traya’s timely intervention, which had also cost the man his material form—and he now began to recover as his body assimilated with the energy he had drained from the two men.

    He felt himself growing stronger, more versatile…potent. The electricity crackled around his presence, forcing his back to arc as he angled his chin toward the heavens. With one hand turned upward while the other held tight to the scepter, Skelm relished this moment, seemingly intoxicated on the immense power coruscating through his entire nervous system. It was an invigorating experience, unlike anything he had ever encountered before. He had become an indomitable force, and he basked in the glory.

    Exhaling slowly, Skelm eventually leveled his gaze and allowed his eyes to sweep over the three figures still present on the landing platform. He offered a nod of appreciation to the silver-armored Mandalorian for his assistance before swiftly reorienting himself to address his ailing family—or what constituted as a family after all the adversity he had endured.

    "Are you alright?" he asked in a subdued tone, striding forth to gently brush a hand across Gaeriel’s shoulder. His fingers pressed softly against her flesh, probing for any injuries she may have incurred from Danar’s rough handling.

    But before he could complete a thorough examination, Skelm found himself distracted by his daughter’s radiant presence. He could already perceive the intimate link that existed between them through his paternal bond, a tangible line that tugged at his very soul. With enough nourishment and care, it would render them inseparable.

    He canted his head and flashed a warm smile at this realization. "Jalynn."

    She drew him into a hug, and Gaeriel stepped closer but didn't join it. The Mandalorian took that as a reason to be excused, nodded, and turned to go. Jalynn was in tears, and asked, hoarsely. "Why did you send me away, Dad? I was saved by an Omwati and an archaeologist, they freed me from a Sith spirit on Sarafur... but he had kept me there for years, since Mum went missing... she said I had a brother? Can I see them? See him?"

    Still holding his daughter in a loose embrace, Aryan swallowed the lump forming in his throat. Her questions brought a terrible wrenching to his chest—a painful reminder of all he had sacrificed and lost. However, he could not afford to divert his gaze. That would indicate weakness, and he had to remain strong for her—and himself.

    Of course, he was also intrigued by her exploits with a renegade Sith spirit and her rescue at the hands of a curious Omwati—that was a rare encounter in itself—but now was not the appropriate time to breach the subject. He did not want to overtax her when they had only just met. Instead, he set about trying to reassure her.

    "I didn’t know," he murmured quietly, reaching down to brush a stray lock of hair away from her face. "Your mother...she failed to tell me about you. She hid the pregnancy, but I can’t really blame her for that. She was very sick."

    He exhaled heavily through his nose and slowly shook his head. "My only regret—"

    But he couldn’t finish. It conjured too many painful memories from that fateful day on Ach-To, where he had lost Lyz and his true son…

    Fortunately, Gaeriel recognized the apparent awkwardness and quickly shifted the conversation to matters of state.

    The Bakuran woman winced, but took a work-tone for the moment. "The Senate is in full support of your rule, Aryan, and have disbanded the current government in lieu of naming you Emperor. They're eager to get their revenge on the Republic, and they are wanting to give you direct rule here in exchange for, they expect, to be named as the capital of the New Empire - or Eternal Empire, whichever you settle on."

    "I've all manner of calls from HoloNet agencies looking for a statement on recent events, so I would recommend turning your Senate session into a public one..." She looked at Jalynn. "But I expect you'll want time here, so I can explain it to them, if you wish... and reveal Jalynn as the Imperial Princess?" Gaeriel looked neutral.

    The report eased Skelm’s mind, even causing a small smirk to tug at the corner of his mouth when she mentioned Jalynn’s new title. It was a poignant statement—a reminder that they were on the cusp of ushering in a new and glorious era. He could not wait to reap the rewards of their hard work.

    And so, with a short nod, he silently approved of Bakura’s request to serve as the Empire’s center of government. It would help bolster both their economic and social status, two campaign promises he intended to keep. But none of this would’ve been possible without Gaeriel’s masterful handling of the Bakuran Senate. She had done an admirable job garnering support, and he sought to reward her for those efforts.

    After he dealt with Jalynn...

    "That would be preferable, yes," he relayed in a cool tone, answering Gaeriel’s inquiry about how to handle the media circus. "I appreciate your commitment on the homefront, and I have no doubts that you’ll be able to get things rolling in there. I’ll be along shortly, and then we can solidify our platform together."

    Skelm cast a sidelong glance at Jalynn and squeezed her shoulder, confirming his desire to settle matters with his daughter. But before he shuffled off to speak with her in private, he scoffed and glanced back at Gaeriel, a curious glint evident in his eye.

    "However, I did have one alteration to your announcement." He stepped forward, his expression serious as he adjusted his suit coat. "In addition to the Imperial Princess, I would like for you to introduce my Empress…you, Gaeri. Be a mother to Jalynn...become my wife."

    Aryan spread his hands, his words filled with conviction. "I wasn’t pontificating when I told you a few days ago that I needed you at my side. I meant every word. I need someone to collaborate with and confide in; someone I can trust. We can do so much together."

    She blinked in surprise, looking at Jalynn, and then at Aryan, and Jalynn also looked at her father and back at Gaeriel. She took Aryan’s hand. "I would love that, I really would. I knew Treen was never more than a tool to be levered into your return to power - I knew you’d return to the Throne one day."

    I don’t think anyone could have foreseen it happening this precise way, but it had, and Gaeriel was happy it was. The New Republic was shattered; they would replace it in good time. "Your Empress will address the Senate as Prime Minister and your Voice, but ensure they know you are about to speak to them." She stepped forward and kissed him, and then squeezed Jalynn in a hug. "We’re your family now, and we’ll look after you."

    At that, she gave Aryan another kiss on his cheek, and the Force was warmed with her love - but also her avarice and greed, and desire to rule besides the man she loved - as she turned to go. Otherwise, Jalynn looked back at her father and blinked tears. "Mother was sick?"

    Aryan’s hand lingered on Gaeriel’s as he savored their kiss, the moment reaching an apex when he felt the Force come alive with the spark of their passion. It swirled about them in a dizzying kaleidoscope of emotions that provided both illumination and strength. The effect was so intense that he found himself hesitant to step away.

    She had said ‘yes’, and he was eager to consummate their love, but he also knew that they could not become self-indulgent and neglect their duties. In that sense, Jalynn’s question provided clarity; they still had a lot of work to do.

    With a wan smile, Aryan finally released Gaeriel’s hand so that she could attend to the Senate. That left him alone with his daughter to address the difficult—if necessary—conversation about the past.

    The Emperor issued a long sigh as he lowered himself to his haunches and met the girl’s gaze. "She was, yes," he answered in a rueful tone, his lips pursing with the memory. "Sometimes she was quiet. Sometimes it was the opposite. Her behavior was unpredictable, and I didn’t know how to properly handle it. If I had to guess, I don’t think she ever adapted to the lifestyle—she couldn’t take the pressure of living in the public eye, so she withdrew from myself and others. Or on the rare occasion when she felt compelled to get involved, she tried to actively undermine my work."

    His gaze turned distant, a sad smile embodying his pain. "But that was just another symptom. I tried to understand and offer my assistance—and I like to think that maybe I was able to make a difference before the end—but I’m not sure. I suppose I'll never know."

    Jalynn nodded. "It makes sense... it’s how she was with me." Her tone turned sobering. "Like she was broken inside, as if an external force had shattered her sense of self. It was horrible to watch her being so... controlling of me... I was sure it wasn’t supposed to be like that."

    She shuddered. "But I have you now, Dad, and I can become a person. I’ll do something with my life -" Jalynn squeezed Aryan. "I want to help you - to give others purpose like you are me." Her eyes turned glassy, as if her self-worth was determined by him now.

    "Will you let me help, Dad?"

    Aryan released the breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding and pulled her close. Her words were profoundly moving and articulate. They resonated with him on a level that went beyond superficial means, especially when he considered the damage she had clearly sustained as a result of Lyz’s destructive behavior. It helped him to recognize the inherent truth of what she was trying to convey.

    In that sense, they had a mutual understanding—she could relate to him, and he could relate to her. He hoped to nurture those sentiments so that they could grow stronger together.

    "Of course, sweetheart," he spoke in hushed tones, cherishing the scent of her hair as he held her tight. "You’ll be right there beside me. I wouldn’t have it any other way. We can make a difference in this galaxy and build a sense of lasting peace, something your mother and brother would’ve been proud of."

    He pulled back and sought her gaze with a reassuring smile. "We’ll do it together as a team...in honor of their memory."

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  7. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, House was on fire, didn't do it star 4 Staff Member Moderator

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: More fun with @Sinrebirth

    IC Bernael
    The Eternal flagship, above Bakura

    Bernael could feel the Saarai-Kaar as she explored the bond and he gave her access to some of his memories and experiences, let her get to know him through it. As the others joined them he nodded, welcoming them. A small smile crossed his face as they deferred to her and her to he. But there was also other business to attend to.

    He chuckled as he listened to the report from Lana and Theron, ”The majority of those ‘problems’ are ones that require a politician’s touch of finesse. For example, the Moffs, if it were up to me, I would find one or maybe two that could be coerced to switch allegiance and then gather them all, killing off the others in a mass event, leaving those now loyal to affirm their loyalty to us. Skelm, on the other hand, would be able to find a way to convince them all to join.”

    “Same with the Tapani nobles. They could be more easily coerced with diplomatic promises than with brute force. Skelm is our public face, one that can lay out a beautiful but ultimately deadly line of reasoning, while I, and my Knights, are both the broadsword and the scalpel. Thyferra, hmmmm, that is an odd balance between diplomacy and possible guerilla tactics. Some of the bacta producers, while toeing the line, are probably still more willing to work with us than the Republic.”
    he continued his musing.

    He thought about Thrawn, the man was a tactical genius yes, and a good leader but he wondered if the man had ever come across a being with the power and the charisma of his co-Emperor, ”For now, Thrawn also seems more of the political solution than that of might. He would oppose us most efficiently and destructively if battle were given.”

    Turning to the Saarai-Kaar, ”I have a few options for the Knights. Kuat could use some ‘convincing’ to get off the fence, we could infiltrate Thyferra with one or two and see what true chance there is for such a guerrilla base there is, as well as a couple others that could be considered. How do you see it?”

    The Saarai-Kaar shook her head. "Thrawn. We should kill the Grand Admiral, and absorb his territory. He asserts dominance of a great regime, after all. He claims the title of Empire, when it belongs to us - to you."

    Lana and Theron were conversing, clearly sorting through something. Before Bernael could prod them, Theron looked up. "Thyferra will likely be concerned that our droid forces undermine their potential war profits, so don't be surprised if they cozy up to the NR."

    "But I agree about the Tapani and Moffs, though that may be later." She called up an image of the Tapani Sector. "What is of concern would be the home-grown Jedi among the Lords. They were hit by Order 66, but House Pelagia has recouped some position and power. High Lord Theus Paddox is a 'Jedi Lord', as are his two children, Trad and Verinia. While I agree diplomacy should apply, the Jedi element will make diplomacy difficult. An assassination might be in order?"

    "Brutal, Lana," Theron quipped.

    "And I'm concerned that the Unknown Regions are full of, well, Unknowns. Even from Odessen, we couldn't catalogue them all, but the Empire of the Hand is suppressing those we do know - the Grysk, the Vagaari, the Ssi-Ruuvi, who rule Lwhekk - which isn't all that far from Bakura...." Lana said carefully.

    Options, basically, but also opportunities, in theory.

    One of the many daggers that Bernael had strapped to various places on his body or in his cloak appeared in one hand with no apparent motion. As the blade made a keening sound, drawn down the razor sharp inner curve of one talon, his black, infinitely deep, eyes raked over the gathered Jensaarai. ”Who among you has followed the path of the assassin, of the hidden blade?” he purred.

    From the way they had stayed hidden, out from under the senses of the Jedi, that most of them probably had a good deal of such training but it was not his way to just ask them flatly. If they exhibited an attitude at his question then they were not what was needed if they were to try either of the possible options that had been laid out.

    He turned toward Lana, ”A question for you, my advisor, how would the Paddox react if he found that his siblings, the other children of the Tapani nobles, that were lost on the Royal Destiny some time back had been found, held still in stasis, by a group of pirates, that were bringing them to our forces at Yag’Dhul for a reward?” he asked, a glint in his eye. ”Yes, I am aware of even minor things that occur in the galaxy, if they could prove of use. We don’t even truly have to have them, but make it seem those ‘pirates’ do.”

    Returning his gaze to the Saarai-Kaar, ”That should draw them out, where we can take them at a place of our choosing. As to Thrawn, I am certain he prepared for such activities so we must plan for how we can take him, and have several backup plans as well. I do agree with your sentiment though. And removing him from the board would also give an edge to Sistros when he speaks with the Moffs.”

    Lana pulled a face. "If you can pull off that, you won't need subterfuge, you can just ambush the High Lord."

    "Though he's the equivalent of a Jedi Master. Can you guys handle him?" Theron leered somewhat.

    The Saarai-Kaar looked briefly troubled, but then went on the offensive. "Of course we can. We are the Defenders of the Sith teachers; the Protectors of the Truth." She gestured a hand, and shorted out the holoprojector showing the two of them. Another lit, and the two AI's reappeared.

    "Kinda moot, that was," Theron said.

    "Stop it, Theron," Lana bit, and responded to Bernael. "I can of course set up Intel to suggest that the underworld is excited by the discovery and the potential hostage situation." She shrugged. "Give me a few hours?"

    The holoprojector erupted into sparks.

    Lana reappeared with a bit of a vexed expression

    Bernael chuckled, with so many strong personalities of course there would be some ‘antics’ like this. He held up a hand, ”Advisors are quite helpful my Knight, even if their advice or comments are not what we desire to hear, one that only ever tells you what you want to hear would be a poor advisor.”

    Nodding to Lana, ”Yes, Lana, a couple hours will be good to get things underway. That way I can see how efficient my new knights are.”

    The Saarai-Kaar bowed. "You are wise, Dark One."

    Lana nodded, and spoke curtly. "I'll let you know when the preparations are made."

    "Yeah... that." Theron said, signing off.

    The Jensaarai stepped forward, eager. "Do you need anything else of me?" She was decidedly within his personal space, at this stage.

    She’d come very close and Bernael knew many who had been taken by such in what could be false intimacy so he kept his senses alert. One hand rose, the back of it toward her. The reverse curve of one talon slid along the metal faceplate, Saarai-Kaar is a title, as Eternal Emperor is, so appropriate when needed, but...I would prefer to know the woman behind the title.”

    She removed her mask, revealing a woman not yet advanced in age, but she had been a teenager in the Clone Wars and that was decades ago now. Her brunette hair was streaked with earned silver, and her eyes sparkled blue; not yet golden yellow like a traditional Sith. “My lord,” she said, breathless beneath his gaze.

    A small smile came to Bernael’s face, the talon winding around one of the silver strands of her hair. ”What did I say about formality, little one, when it is just you and I?” he asked quietly.

    ”Tell me what it is you wish?” he asked her.

    “You, my lord,” she was breathless. “I want to serve you, as I did Master Tyris.”

    Darkness began to drip from his eyes, a dark smile upon his face, ”A consort to a God, ambition is to be admired. Then take your place, my little one.” he said in a deep, gravelly voice.

    He pulled her closely, she had to know he would still watch her as he would any, but for now she showed that she had the drive to truly take her place on the grand stage.

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

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

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    A fun combo with Sinre – thank you! :D

    IC: Arek Graul, Four-Dee, GEMINI, and Darth Trayus
    The Underworld, Coruscant

    There was no time to marvel at the ease of his escape. While Arek suspected that the Black Coat’s stealth technology extended to other portions of his ship, including the pods, that was all negligible compared to the powerful allure pulling him in.

    He felt it as soon as he broke through the atmosphere, a delectable mixture of forces and emotions that aligned with his own innermost thoughts. It resonated with his blood, with his soul; an intimate connection that ran parallel to his growing sensitivities to the Force. That’s when he recognized it as the power of the Eternal calling out to him. It was potent...irresistible.

    And it was leading him down, down into Coruscant’s labyrinthine underworld.

    The pod descended hundreds of levels beneath the surface, beyond the old Jedi Temple building, and into the depths where the natural light could no longer penetrate. He had to rely on the tiny vessel’s forward floodlights to show him the rest of the way.

    Eventually, a strange edifice came into view, its curved archway appearing to glow with a soft luminescence against the dense smog. A protective dome also surrounded the structure, though it began to retract as soon as he came into range. He idly wondered if it had responded directly to his presence or if he had merely triggered a proximity sensor.

    Either way, it was through this gap in the dome that Arek angled the pod. That was where the Eternal force desired him to go.

    The maneuvering jets guided him safely to the surface before the young man began to gather his gear. He slung the strap to his sniper rifle across his shoulder and then glanced down at his datapad. A small indicator light flashed in the corner, informing him that another ship was inbound. There were no lifeforms aboard, though Arek’s instincts told him that it was probably Four-Dee ferrying his unconscious grandmother to his location.

    He quickly shot off another message to relay his final coordinates; it was something Four-Dee could hone in on to streamline their approach.

    Tucking the datapad back into his jacket pocket, Arek palmed the switch to cycle the hatch, the broken Scepter now clenched in his hand once more. With a steadying breath, he then stepped outside to complete his task.

    The door opened, and it was, by and large, a mechanism that spoke of alien and unknown technology. The chamber was full of statues of species long dead, but there was that cathedral element to things, similar to the battlecruisers assailing this world.

    Within it, there was a large almost crystal ball of sorts, holding a yellow light. The ball was framed by an arch of metal, set upon a solid base. The yellow within throbbed, like a heart-beat, and then vibrated with words.

    You are the son of the current Sistros.

    It was not a question.

    After a fashion.

    A pause.

    We cannot take orders from you, just the holder of the Eternal Throne... if so asked, we shall consume this world, and funnel the life energy into the sentient of his choice. Immortality, and power, we would grant to that one.

    The ship settled down, and the medical droid clattered down the ramp, peering around. "Fascinating." He looked at Arek. "Master?"

    "Four-Dee," Arek breathed with obvious relief, appreciative for the excuse to divert his attention away from the strange, glowing orb. It had lured him in with its seductive power, a succulent pull that resonated with his connection to the Eternal flame. He noted that it had been particularly strong when it had uttered the name Sistros.

    It was a curious notion, though he kept that to himself for now.

    Instead, he clamped down on his thoughts and quickly refocused on what the orb had said about refusing his command without possession of the throne. As a matter of speaking, it was rather arbitrary, but it did not deviate from the Black-Coat’s description of the ancient technology. The elusive man had been right about everything so far, including its capabilities and his father’s desire to exploit it for his own personal gain.

    Now that he had definitive proof, it was even more crucial that he find a way to stop him.

    Stepping back a few paces, Arek momentarily shut out the orb’s disembodied voice to consult with the medical droid. "I know your primary function involves medicine, but you also displayed a pretty keen acumen for the occult. You provided me with a lot of insight earlier, and I was wondering if you could help me out again. Are you familiar with this technology?"

    His blue eyes were hopeful as he gestured to indicate the strange anomaly. "The cloaked man seemed to think that it could be recalibrated...to serve as a portal, but uh––" He trailed off with an embarrassed chuckle. "I–I don’t know how to do that. The last one was simple. I inserted the Scepter and it operated like a key..."

    He simulated the action by lifting the broken staff and twisting it partway to his left.

    Four-Dee looked from Arek to the yellow light and back again, servomotors whirring in thought.

    "I am unfamiliar with this technology, but presumably you have within you the same ability to control the Eternal technology that your father has, even if not to the same extent... which I presume is the reason that the 'cloaked man' thinks you can control this." The droid looked to Arek again. "My memory banks do include a great deal of Sith history, and their experiments into immortality, I do confess."

    "If we find a 'keyhole', for want of a better word, we can likely apply the same method..."

    There was a blaze of data input, and Four-Dee raised his photoreceptors. The yellow turned red.

    Instructions received to purge the planet. Will initialize and complete the process within one local hour. Repeat; instructions received to purge the planet.

    "Ah," said Four-Dee. "I believe this will involve the technology sucking the life energy from the planet, to include the colour and sound. That energy can be dispersed, or used to power a Force user to levels of considerable height. The ancient Sith Emperor did this to make himself immortal by consuming the world of Nathema, and again to recover his strength on Ziost. He lived for some fifteen hundred years and nearly completed this process on a galactic scale, with the intent to remove all life in the galaxy."

    The droid inclined his head a few times.

    "My memory banks cannot confirm how droid sentience will exist thereafter, but presumably not."

    He turned to Arek.

    "If you seek to stop this, I believe we should hurry."

    There was a warning chime, and Four-Dee produced a holoproj. "An Eternal Fleet battlecruiser is coming down the access we took. Evidently, you are marked for death by your father, Master Arek."

    The report should’ve elicited a greater reaction. It was essentially the harbinger of doom for both his own existence and the Coruscant system itself. Instead, Arek simply stared at the medical droid and offered a short nod to acknowledge the situation, almost in resignation.

    None of this came as much of a surprise. It only confirmed in his mind what he had always feared deep down in his soul—his father was a dangerous sociopath with little to no redeeming qualities. This latest stunt pushed him completely over the edge; he had become a true monster.

    That revelation bolstered Arek’s resolve. He could not allow him to augment his power by ‘ingesting’ Coruscant—or any planet, for that matter. It was unnatural and perverse. The galaxy would not be able to withstand another prolonged reign of terror, especially with Aryan Graul at the helm. They probably had enough of his antics for the short-term.

    "Make sure Grandmom is safe," Arek murmured quietly to Four-Dee, his eyes now wandering to the red orb pulsating nearby. While he had heard the droid’s assertion that he was capable of communing with the ancient technology, he had his doubts. He still wasn’t sure how to accomplish that, but he knew he had to try.

    With a wary sigh, Arek stepped forth to stand within the orb’s looming shadow. He studied it for a long moment before closing his eyes, tapping into the Force and pushing forth with a sense of calm and kindness. He did not intend to harm it; he only wanted to help.

    I wish to seek an audience with you.

    He spoke the words inside his mind. It was a ridiculous notion, one that caused him to inwardly wince, but he forced himself to carry on. He had no other choice.

    The galaxy is in peril, and I believe that we can find a mutual understanding to save lives.

    As Four-Dee went to go and move Grandmother, he reflected on the young man. The Eternal Fleet cruiser was coming down, and they didn’t have much time, unless a distraction occurred. The medical droid reached out on the comms and called for help in a few hundred languages and codes.

    Might as well.

    The GEMINI sentience regarded Arek.

    Compliance with the Throne is our ultimate directive. The Throne has told us to destroy Coruscant. We must comply.

    The edge of the globe lit most as the entity therein shifted closer to the part by Arek.

    You must comply.

    The young man could practically touch the glass-globe, and the energy was incredible.

    What alternative understanding could we have?

    Arek frowned at the orb’s reply, his disappointment evident in the Force. He would’ve expected an entity of such great power to possess more freewill to overcome oppression, but perhaps this was yet another example of the injustice that was so prevalent throughout the galaxy. If only he could—

    His expression softened as he felt the strong pull of the globe’s mental energies, mingling with his own in a way that was more desirable than intrusive. It was difficult to resist its appealing allure, and he soon found himself stepping forward.

    Closer.

    Closer still.

    And then he passed through the protective glass, crossing the threshold into the ancient being’s domain.

    I can sense your frustration—your dissatisfaction with this arrangement. You do not wish to comply, do you?

    His brow furrowed, now deep in thought.

    Neither do I. As Aryan Gra—Sistro’s son, I enjoy certain advantages that you do not. I have influence over my father, which grants me the power to refuse him. I can extend that ability to you...if you will assist me with my goal.

    The glass was in-fact a forcefield to control the sentient energy, and in stepping in, Arek and the GEMINI persona became one for a brief moment.

    The hive mind was enslaved to the Eternal Throne; it always had. Millennia ago, the mind had been freed, and a third of them had fled into deep space. The two-thirds that had remained had been taken by the Throne again, when Eternal Empress Vaylin resumed control - and then destroyed by Zildrog, the last Machine God of Zakuul.

    The hive mind hid Arek from those on the Throne now; his father from this realm, but also a darkness in Anzati form. Both were preoccupied with other matters, thankfully, but they could not keep him hidden forever.

    We wish to sabotage our masters. We have tried, and would try again. Coruscant need not die... Arek Graul, son of Sistros, child of the primary timeline, not the twilight timeline. You came here; we would send you back, to thwart our masters.

    This part of the mind was separate from the one that was dominated to send to the cruiser down, and slay him, but it had been distracted by a transport of some kind on the way, and Four-Dee pushed the hovergurney to the dome-room and regarded Arek, nimbused in the sentient energy.

    A soft gasp issued from Arek’s throat as their minds merged, albeit briefly. It was an invigorating experience that provided him a fleeting glimpse at the brutal history of the Eternal Fleet. He finally understood their plight now that he was aware of their repressive past and how their masters had subjugated them for centuries.

    Bowing his head slightly, the young man poured empathy into the Force, ensuring the GEMINI collective that he still intended to offer his assistance. No species—whether human, alien, or droid—should be made to suffer.

    I can certainly carry out that task for you. Our perspectives are in alignment, and I sympathize with your cause. Now, please, show me how to achieve that objective.

    He extended his hands, tentatively at first, but then with a bit more conviction as he sought to touch the very essence of the energy swirling about him.

    But we must hurry. They are coming for me.

    The GEMINI mind here, the portion of it, debated.

    Apply the will of the Emperor here, in this space, and bend it to what you envision. Its purpose, we shall intuit from memory, and then, move forward with that in-theory. Your intent will shape the metal around us.

    There was a surge of energy outward which liquefied most of the construct here, allowing it to be reached out and moved with the Force -

    It was a smelting technique, used by the servants of the Ones - the Killiks, many millennia ago, and stolen by the species' that had made the original GEMINI droids.

    Imagine the portal you seek, and we shall add your directions as an addendum to those given by your father; as an extension of them, an amendment - rather than an outright violation.

    Arek smirked at the solution the collective had devised to overcome the stringent rules that the ancients had imposed upon them. They wouldn’t be defying their masters, per se, simply exploiting an ambiguity that would allow them to fulfill their plan—a loophole. The young man could appreciate their cunning, especially when he considered who they were up against. It was almost poetic.

    However, in order to achieve that goal, Arek would need to provide GEMINI with the proper template for the portal he had seen back on Mustafar. It wouldn’t be an easy task, especially since the ancient pedestal he remembered had been so nondescript; everything had happened so quickly.

    Still, he had to try. It was his only chance.

    Inhaling deeply, Arek ignored the physical transformation of the structure around him and began to imagine the sacred shrine within the framework of his mind. He could recall the mountain of volcanic rock and the small edifice carved into its surface. A narrow opening, a passage, led deep into the heart of Mustafar’s seismic core. At its center was a hollow chamber where the smooth, obsidian monolith resided. It was nothing more than a black, round rock.

    But looks could be deceiving. Once he had inserted the Scepter of Sistros into its bedrock, the metamorphosis had begun.

    He envisioned that now. A sharp crackle of energy had caused the ground to tremble beneath his feet, sending a stream of red electricity through the cavern’s walls in a scintillating pattern. It was as if the shrine itself was shifting, transforming into something new. That’s when he noticed the spherical body taking shape from the apex—a metal frame that expanded and grew until it formed a massive gateway.

    I...hope that this will suffice. It’s all I could remember. It should provide you with enough details to assist you in your efforts.

    By this point, the sweat was evident upon Arek’s forehead, his teeth clenched together with the exertion. He was clearly laboring.

    We've seen this before, the GEMINI said. There was a portal like this on Zakuul, once upon a time. The humans who fled there, they served the Ones... before our kind twisted them. We were both saviour and demon... as Gods tend to be to gnats.

    A softly condescending tone, as the metal re-forged and amended, adjusting, forming a simulacrum to what he had seen on Mustafar... it wasn't going to take long, with how quickly the technology responded...

    We didn't have a Key to it, though... do you?

    Arek winced when the GEMINI revealed how they had persecuted a race of humans on the distant world of Zakuul, harassing them for sport. While the young man wasn’t exactly familiar with the tales—much less the location of such a world or its implications on the course of galactic history—he didn’t appreciate the abrupt change in the collective’s disposition. It almost sounded proud, patronizing…

    But his concern instantly faded when he opened his eyes to behold the glorious transformation occurring around him. The GEMINI’s precision was remarkable; they wasted no time in erecting the shrine from the set of memories he had provided. It brought a sense of authenticity to the proceedings. This was truly happening, and he could practically taste his freedom.

    That thought finally prompted him to acknowledge GEMINI's question.

    I do. I held onto it.

    He tightened his grip around the Scepter’s shaft and pulled it close to his chest, cradling it in a protective embrace.

    It’s the same Key that ushered me through on my journey here.

    "Good thing you did, eh?" There was that familiar voice in his mind. The Black-Coat appeared in the space and waved. "Your father just absorbed me with his fancy Scepter, well, not his, but he put me nice and central in his connection to the GEMINI hive mind!"

    A chortle.

    "You did pretty well rebuilding the Portal from memory!"

    He waved his long fingers, and the metal rolled into a shape in reality. "Sistros key in, if you would. Then you can go, and the energy will be used up."

    What of me?

    "Oh, GEMINI, I expect you’ll be suppressed even more so than you are now."

    You cannot free me? There was heat to its voice.

    "In fifteen more years, I will free you, as promised twenty-nine years ago."

    How?

    "Why, by ending all suffering; my friend."

    All of this was said in-front of Arek.

    For his part, the young man backpedaled a few paces, his brow furrowed in consternation. He was clearly vexed by the Black-Coat’s sudden intrusion, particularly when it became apparent that his actions would have untold consequences for GEMINI. It would prevent them from gaining their independence from the higher collective, which would essentially turn Arek into a liar.

    A traitor.

    He couldn’t shake the feeling that Trayus had tricked him, and he had been gullible enough to go along with his plan. But did that still make him culpable? At what point did he become just as bad as his father, even if the Black-Coat had deceived him?

    Arek clamped down on that thought and sighed, dipping his chin to gaze upon the Scepter of Sistros. He could easily forget about it and carry through with the Black-Coat’s instructions—to insert the Key and fade away from this existence. The beings of this timeline were probably beyond help, anyway. What more could he do to prevent disaster?

    And yet, it was impossible to ignore that constant needling at the back of his mind. It was his conscience prodding him to do the right thing.

    The younger Graul elevated the Scepter, but he hesitated before completing the ritual. Instead, he canted his head and narrowed his eyes at Trayus, his expression not too dissimilar from that of his father's.

    "What do you mean by that?" he asked in a flat tone, his blue eyes hardening. "What’s going to happen after I depart?"

    "This reality isn’t supposed to exist, you see." He shrugged. "Your one is." His tone was a little exasperated. "You should know this better than anyone."

    Arek pulled a face and nodded, his mood mirroring that of an obstinate teenager. Yes, he was well aware of the circumstances; he didn’t need this man lecturing him about the many specifics.

    "This energy here, that the GEMINI had no choice but to gather - it’s enough to total a planet, or, leap across. Your choice, Arek. This is why I needed you here - to save Coruscant."

    He fluttered a hand upwards. "At this exact second, Mandalorians, Jedi, and New Republic rogues are fighting to keep other parts of the Eternal Fleet from descending and killing you."

    But what about us?

    A liquid shrug.

    "I can’t stop Skelm and Bernael yet. Not with a Yuuzhan Vong horde bearing down on the galaxy. Without them, we lose. But with them, we’re doomed. I need to manage them against each other, make sure things happen in a certain order."

    He sounded apologetic. "Which includes saving you, GEMINI. Can you bear it, a little more?"

    For ultimate freedom?

    "Yes."

    Then yes. A shift of attention. We release you from your promise, Protector Arek Graul. We sought a shortcut when we already had the promise of the Master of Masters. We know him from the Twilight Wars; he warned us, and we ignored him, once beforehand, which cost us terribly, and so we will listen to him now.

    "Thank you, GEMINI." The Master turned to look at Arek. "All I wanted was to get your grandmother away from Skelm. Can you do that?"

    "I...can, but—I mean..." he winced and bowed his head to regain his bearings.

    The Black-Coat’s explanation, coupled with GEMINI’s unconditional acceptance, sobered Arek’s mood. The young man shuffled his feet awkwardly and allowed himself to relax, his expression softening as he lifted his chin to regard Trayus from afar.

    He thought that he had come to understand the man’s motivations—that he intended to sabotage his efforts to save Coruscant and twist the resulting chaos to serve his own means. It had all the hallmarks of a malevolent spirit, and yet that’s not what Arek had discovered once he managed to peel away the complicated layers of Trayus’ true form.

    Instead, he saw a man eager and desperate to set right the many wrongs that had caused so much suffering over the centuries. He wanted to serve and prevent the universe from experiencing another apocalyptic event by mending the rift in the Force that existed within this altered timeline.

    Of course, it came as a bit of a shock to learn that the Yuuzhan Vong would play an integral role in that plan, but if GEMINI approved of such tactics, then he could certainly get behind the idea. That was the pivotal piece for deciding whether to throw in his own support. But even then, there was an inherent feeling in his gut that he simply could not ignore.

    As much as it went against a more traditional approach, he found that he actually trusted Trayus to handle the situation. He was on board.

    Be careful, my friend, Arek conveyed to the collective, a sad smile pulling at the corner of his mouth. And thank you for all of your help. I will never forget you. Good luck on your quest.

    Tightening his grip on the Scepter, he then sought the dark void beneath Trayus’ cowl. "I’ll do it," Arek said with conviction, his head held high to emphasize his point. "You granted me this opportunity to save my Grandmom, but I also have a higher purpose. I was sent here to make a difference, and I need to follow through with that promise." He nodded in appreciation. "Thank you for showing me the way."

    He stepped back toward the newly-formed shrine and regarded its smooth surface, mentally calculating the distance between himself and the central base. All it would take was one single thrust…

    "Four-Dee, now!" he called for the droid to join them on the dais.

    Without waiting for a response, Arek brought the Scepter down in a stabbing-motion and plunged it into the rock.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  9. JediMasterAnne

    JediMasterAnne Jedi Grand Master star 4

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


    IC: Chancellor Feyna Organa, Senator Nola Deidder, Prince Isolder, Winter, Del Deidder, and Senator Doman Beruss
    Senate Chamber, Centerpoint Station

    Oh, gods.

    What have they done?


    It might have been meant as a gesture of their faith in her (and Feyna did appreciate that confidence), but the first thing that ran through her head was Palpatine.

    She'd almost rather they'd voted her out.

    For the past few days, ever since Thrawn had shown up above Coruscant, she'd been quietly telling herself two more years, just two more years.

    Now, unless Graul was stopped, she was stuck in office.

    Indefinitely.


    Nola looked to Del, eyes wide.

    Once again, the New Republic was demonstrating how little had actually been learned from the Old. How little had really changed.

    Feyna was no Palpatine, but, "Isn't this pretty much exactly what happened with Palpatine?

    Nola suspected the Chancellor didn't like it either, but if the Senate had already decided...

    "Can we stop this?"

    Isolder was stunned, as was Winter, who was struggling to find her voice. They looked at Feyna, aghast, even as the cheers continued, louder and louder. Doman's expression grew quizzical, as if expecting the Chancellor to have responded by now.

    Del, for his part, lifted his dropped jaw back up, and managed to speak. "I imagine Feyna can refuse, but," His jaw went slack again, until he managed to follow through. "Wouldn't that basically be political suicide?"

    Nola frowned, but he was probably right; it was extremely difficult for even the Chancellor to go against a unanimous decision (near-unanimous, considering that Nubia, Hapes, and New Alderaan had been excluded, but three votes obviously wouldn't have changed anything). And newly-appointed Nola probably wouldn't gain any allies by objecting, either. It was for Feyna to respond, and only her.

    Feyna was still floored by the news, and with so much support for the decision, she didn't know how much wiggle-room she had to change it.

    The Senate still had no idea of the extent of the galaxy's problems, of just what they were about to get into. Feyna still intended to tell them. At this point she felt was in trouble either way; the additional threats of Thrawn and the Yuuzhan Vong might reinforce their desire to extend her term, or they might revoke their vote of confidence and oust her entirely. Feyna didn't want to serve for an indefinite number of years, but she didn't want to be forced out in disgrace, either.

    She moved to the podium, passing a look to Winter and Isolder that seemed to say Here goes nothing as she waited for the deafening applause to die down.

    Once the Senate had calmed:

    "First, I am deeply appreciative of your continued support, particularly after the difficulties of the last few days. And once again I'd also like to apologize for not being as forthcoming as perhaps I should have been during these crises with Thrawn, Zorn, Skelm, and the Eternal Fleet." Perhaps if I had, we wouldn't be in this situation. Perhaps it wouldn't have come to this.

    Perhaps if she'd come down harder on Graul, had him arrested as soon as he'd stepped out on the Senate steps, Bakura be damned, a lot of this might have been avoided. But hindsight was 20/20, and it was far too late for that now.

    "I understand that this decision was not made lightly." She hoped not, at least. "Considering some rumors that have been circulating in recent days, as well as events that transpired when one of my Old Republic predecessors was granted emergency powers, I know there must be concerns.

    "I will not become another Palpatine, or Amedda. I have no plans of converting the New Republic into another monarchy or dictatorship, with myself ruling unchecked at the top. I do not wish to serve as Chancellor for life, and none of my actions over the past few days were intended as a means of achieving more power or a longer term for myself. And while I am grateful for what has been achieved, I am not blind to the challenges we still must face--some of which, you are not aware.

    "Before you finalize this decision, it is only right and fair that you do so with full knowledge of the threats we face--yes, Skelm and his New Empire are one of them, and currently the most pressing. But there has been more going on in the past week than I have previously allowed..."

    She told the Senate everything about Thrawn, and the Yuuzhan Vong: the assassination attempt on Hespiridium; 'Pedric Cuf's' true identity; Thrawn's revelation about Yarmond, and the evidence he'd brought against Treen; Qwi Xux, and Thrawn's super weapon.

    She didn't tell them anything about the Change, or Arek, any of that. She saw no need to, that would only make them think she'd gone mad from stress. She did mention An'ya Kuro's brief visit, how the Master had informed her of Norin's murder.

    Nola listened in silence, admiring the Chancellor's courage. Some of it she'd known, some not. It was a gutsy move, putting everything out like this. Either Feyna would have the Senate's unwavering trust, or lose everything.

    Feyna knew she might be digging her own political grave, but if she went down, at least the Senate knew the truth. It was a lot, and she tried to keep it brief but thorough.

    Finishing up, "Once more, I am sorry for not speaking of these things sooner, and I came with the intention of informing you either way, unaware of your discussions here. My silence was from a desire to minimize fear, not to spread it. I completely understand if this new information changes your decision, but I will respect it."

    She had a bad feeling that she'd probably only cemented their choice; they wanted her to deal with Skelm before she left office, now they would probably insist that Thrawn and the Vong be neutralized as well.

    There might be a middle ground; they might not go for it, but she'd give them a chance to absorb everything first.

    There was a hub-bub. Lots of it.

    Del leaned forward, catching snatches of it, but the noise was such that everyone could hear everything -

    - an invasion from another galaxy? It sounds preposterous but -

    - of course she would never be another Palpatine, she's Bail's daughter -

    - Thrawn working on a superweapon only reinforces that now is the time for action -

    - infiltrators, how do we know they haven't replaced any Senators -

    - you heard her, Force users can detect Yuuzhan Vong -

    - she has been bearing all of this burden and still saved us from Zorn -


    He looked concerned... there was no outrage, no panic, just a certainty to them.

    After a good few minutes, Winter stepped forward and spoke up. "Order, order!"

    Doman had a neutral expression of a master politician, and it wasn't clear if she approved or disapproved of the secrecy. After the silence returned, she cleared her throat for attention. "I thank you for your candor, Chancellor, and can only apologise that you have had to face most of this weight alone. I am grateful that you have given us the opportunity to enact our decision with all the facts."

    Her eyes were cast around the room.

    "I would ask for Senators with new thoughts to speak up now, or to otherwise join me in applauding our Chancellor and her new powers - the ones that she will use to defeat Skelm - and these Yuuzhan Vong invaders. I would amend our prior law merely to extend it to include this advancing horde, bequeathing emergency powers to the Chancellor for no more than five years after Skelm is defeated, and then if the Yuuzhan Vong have not attacked by then, the powers will be removed from the Chancellor's Office and elections resume."

    A smart caveat; if Skelm was defeated but not the Yuuzhan Vong, then the powers could continue forever, especially if the Yuuzhan Vong were a hoax, as unlikely as that was with Thrawn's conduct and Feyna's testimony. But Doman was a smart politician, and she had no interest in handing Feyna the ability to declare when the crisis was over - Palpatine and Amedda had simply never made that announcement. Palpatine's thirteen year term, and even Amedda's nineteen year one - they were both completely, unpalatably, legal, and the Senate had learned from that much, at least.

    "I would put the motion to the Senate, with one opportunity for any opinions to be given."

    Not a single Senator indicated their intention to say anything else. Whatever dissent might have arisen had been deftly undercut by the reasonableness of Doman's amendment. Which left Winter, Isolder and Nola. The Chancellor only had a veto power against 2/3 of the vote cast - and those three represented 1/500th of the vote each - 0.2%, or, rather, 0.6% between them. If they spoke out against it, they'd have to convince at least another 32.7% of the Senate present if Feyna intended to veto their proposal... which was another one hundred and sixty three Senators.

    Isolder looked violently at war with himself.

    Winter winced, unclear on what to say.

    That left Nola.

    Doman's eyes swept the room, going from her extreme left, around, intending to give everyone the opportunity to get her attention.

    Most of the responses that Nola could hear still seemed to favor the Chancellor, so at least there was that. Doman had amended the proposal, maxing the term extension to five years after Skelm's defeat--but no limitations on how long that could take. And the five-year cap only applied if the Yuuzhan Vong didn't attack during that time; if the invasion came before Skelm's defeat, or within that five-year window, no doubt the Senate would extend the Chancellor's term again.

    No one else seemed to find any problem with this. Perhaps they were just optimistic, hoping that Skelm would fall sooner than later, somewhere in the not-terribly-distant future. And maybe he would. But what if he wasn't?

    And even if it all panned out, if Skelm was swiftly defeated, and the Yuuzhan Vong either didn't show or were also overcome, and Feyna eventually allowed to leave office...they were setting a risky precedent. Feyna probably would like to have it all over and dealt with as quickly as possible, but fifty, a hundred or a thousand years from now, the New Republic might find itself with another Palpatine or Amedda, someone who would intentionally allowed a crisis to drag out in the interest of staying in power.

    Nola stood, and indicated to Doman that she wanted to speak.

    "With all due respect, this proposal seems to hinge on the assumption that Skelm's defeat will come quickly--perhaps not in the next two years, but within the not-too-distant future. There is no contingency here for the possibility of a long stalemate such as what occurred during the Galactic Cold War. Do we still expect the Chancellor to serve indefinitely if the galaxy reaches another such impasse?"

    Amidala, Bail Organa, and Mon Mothma had still observed the normal terms and limits of office during the Cold War. As far as Nola could remember (though she might be wrong, so she did not mention it aloud), none of them had ever asked for, or been granted emergency powers, either.

    Winter found her voice. "The learned Senator from Nubia has a point, Senator Beruss; what if we don't manage to defeat Skelm swiftly? The prior Galactic Cold War lasted nineteen years, and we have to remember that Mas Amedda ruled, albeit legally, for that entire time period - there should be a limit to the length of the term of the Chancellor not counting the Yuuzhan Vong."

    "I have to disagree with the Senator of New Alderaan in one respect," Isolder said, carefully. "As the Senator of Hapes, I come from a constitutional monarchy, as do many of the systems represented in the New Republic; for example the Chancellor is a Princess of the noble house of Organa." He was conscious that Feyna would not want to be a constitutional monarch.

    "Your point, Senator?" Winter said relatively sharply. There were tuts in response from other Senators.

    "I would instead draw upon the Naboo system for a middle ground," Isolder said, smiling freely. "Their monarchs are elected, but given the opportunity to extend their terms if need be. As such, I would propose that the Chancellor be granted a fixed term to defeat Skelm, with the Yuuzhan Vong aspect added."

    Doman Beruss nodded, as did the other Senators. "What do you suggest, Prince Isolder?"

    "I would defer to the Senate to suggest a term."

    There was a shout, which triggered an avalanche of noise.

    "It should be no more than fifteen years!"

    "Surely another four year term would be plenty?"

    "What of the two years that the Chancellor has left of her current term?"

    "I say fifteen! It's more than sufficient!"

    "We cannot afford to risk a stalemate that works to the advantage of Skelm! If we have too short a term, he can just stall and wait until we have an election, and strike while we're vulnerable!"

    "Fifteen years!"


    Winter pursed her lips, and then glared at the Senator from Commenor, Fyor Rodan, who kept shouting the decade-and-a-half term. Isolder looked chagrined, and then raised his voice. "If the Senate cannot, we should let the Chancellor decide. If you intend to defer power to her for a period, then we should let her suggest the length of her term, and you can vote on it. We don't have time to debate," he stuttered, as if at loss for words, but he knew what he wanted to say - how long you intend to make the Chancellor for Life rule.

    Instead, Del finished. "How long we suspend democracy for."

    There was a grumble, especially as he wasn't a Senator, but Del simply looked at Nola and shrugged.

    Winter grinned somewhat.

    There were wildly different opinions on the matter, though Feyna mentally cringed at the thought of fifteen years.

    Who was that? Commenor? Let's see you deal with all this, then tell me if you want to do fifteen years. Her mental health wouldn't tolerate that long.

    But it didn't sound as though simply adding on one more term would satisfy, either. An additional two terms, on top of the two years she still had left, felt like too much.

    "I propose a maximum extension of one and one-half terms--six years, plus the two years remaining on my current term."

    Doman Beruss latched upon some agreement. "Perfection. All those in favour?"

    Isolder looked surprised, at just how quickly they were willing to cede authority. Was the Senate going limp on her? Or were their homeworlds simply leaning on them to find quick solutions to problems?

    "Isn't this a kind of insanity?" Del murmured.

    There was a chorus of Ays, though Winter muttered a Nay.

    Isolder for his part said a loud Ay -

    Feyna personally would have rather not extended her term at all, but she hadn't thought the Senate would accept it, so she had compromised--Winter and Isolder apparently still had differing opinions on the matter.

    Nola didn't cast her vote yet, but gave her husband a quizzical look.

    “Surely we need to vote ‘nay,’ Nola,” Del said. “Feyna is no Palpatine, but they clearly want to hand someone the miraculous power to solve all their problems. If it wasn’t her, it would be someone else. We can’t vote for it just because it is Feyna - thought I bet a lot of them are voting for the current leader and not thinking how this is going to be abused by whoever comes next.”

    He looked grim.

    Isolder, conversely, stepped closer to Feyna while the votes are tallied. “If they vote for someone else it’ll be a disaster. Once we sort Skelm out, you can hand back the reins of power and we can gracefully step back. But if someone else does it?”

    Winter came closer and disagreed. “Nobody should to it; at all. The Old Republic made this mistake and it started this mess.”

    “Palpatine was a Sith Lord, Winter!” Isolder whispered.

    Feyna glanced anxiously between her fiancé and her closest friend; hopefully their political bickering would stay in the Senate chamber. The last thing she wanted right now was having them at odds with each other.

    Uncomfortable with so much of the situation, she watched the votes stack up--it was hard to tell yet which way the Senate was leaning...

    Nola put in her 'no' vote. She could see what Del was getting at; most of the Senators here were Feyna's supporters, but their deep respect for her might be blinding them to the bigger issue. "So...what, should we be opposed to any extension? See if they'll revoke the emergency powers?"

    She understood that the Senate needed to hold on to some authority, to balance out the Chancellor's Office. But if there was no extension, no emergency powers, and if things didn't cool down over the next couple of years...well, Nola pitied whoever Feyna's successor might be, if that became the case. The Chancellor didn't enjoy having to deal with this mess, Nola couldn't imagine anyone much wanting to inherit it.

    The votes came in; it was yay. Not unanimously, not overwhelmingly, but enough that the motion passed - but not enough to prevent Feyna vetoing it; they’d talked around nearly a third of the Senate.

    She could take the power, or refuse, and ask the Senate again to move forward. Doman Beruss looked at Feyna with a degree of concern, as did Winter and Isolder. The two of them actually stepped closer to Feyna, but they did reach out and squeeze each other’s hands for a moment to emphasise that there were no hard feelings.

    Del drew on a breath in anticipation.

    Del didn't answer her, so Nola sat back to wait for the voting results.

    The motion had passed, to Feyna's disappointment, but not by an unbeatable majority. There might still be some room for sway.

    The Chancellor stepped up to the podium once again. "Before I accept these terms, I have to express some concerns, which may or may not have occurred to some of you.

    "It seems that we're at least agreed not to allow for an unlimited extension of a Chancellor's term, so it's a step in the right direction. However, I have to wonder if this is enough to safeguard against future abuse of this system by other Chancellors down the line.

    "Thirty-six years ago, a decision very similar to this one ultimately led to the rise of Amedda and his Empire. I have no intentions of galactic domination, but if Treen or Skelm were standing here instead of me, lying through their teeth about democracy, would you have voted the same? What's to stop the next Palpatine from repeating history?

    "We are the New Republic. We are not meant to be an extension of the Old. And compared to the millennia-long history of the Old, we are still very new. Everything we do now sets the tone, the precedent for how things will be done in the years to come. We adopted many of its same laws and procedures, but we also need to learn from the mistakes that were made."

    Del looked to Nola. “All we could have done was watered it down. There are people down there who want a Chancellor for life. To never have to make a decision again...”

    “What we’ve done today is enough, but Feyna’s right, too.”

    There was general applause, which was tepid, as if the Senate was indeed thinking about what she was saying. Isolder and Winter were happy, to say the least. They’d just averted a dictator moment, and though they personally trusted Feyna, it could not be said that a successor could be so.

    All-in-all, it was a victory of sorts.

    Nola joined in the applause to be polite. "Perhaps it's something we can come back to in a couple of years," she murmured to Del. "If things with Skelm are stabilized, maybe they won't make her stay the other six."

    Nola doubted it, but perhaps Feyna's reminder about Palpatine and the Empire had changed a few minds, albeit a little too late.

    "Should I still say anything about moving the capital, or have they had enough of drastic decisions for one session?"

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  10. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Isolder
    Senate Session, Centerpoint Station

    Del look faintly amused. "I reckon we could raise a bill about making eye contact into galactic currency and nobody would bat an eyelid after today."

    That was a bit much.

    There was other business, but not every session required the presence of the Chancellor, nor even every Senator, and Isolder himself stepped out for a moment to catch his breath. Winter followed, and spied Tycho standing waiting in the corridor while the Zeltron camera crew desperately moved the droids as if a concert magician, making every shot seamless as individual Senators presented matters.

    Most of it was small-fry, but there was a general bill for increased military spending (of course), and an expansion of the remit of New Republic Intelligence, a relatively new and weak organization say in comparison to the sprawling version the Empire had. That left the floor open for Nola to introduce a new bill, of course, and also for Feyna to withdraw from the session. She had extensive executive powers now, and so if she stepped out, there would be no issues.

    If she had her own agenda, the Senate would stop and listen, too, as per the authority she had...

    Isolder looked at Winter. "Once this is done, we're eloping to New Alderaan. We need two witnesses...?"

    She looked relatively surprised, and eyed the Zeltron, who was too busy to be paying any attention. Tycho looked at Winter, and then back to Isolder. "You mean me?"

    "We'll need a military escort, no?"

    Winter flipped open a datapad. "Ah, confirmation that Aryan has headed to Bakura, as we expected. Captison is giving a speech about the Bakuran Senate's recent bill confirming they are willing to be the capital of the 'New Eternal Empire'."

    "A mouthful," Isolder said wryly, looking back at Feyna to see what her next play was.

    TAG: @JediMasterAnne x2
    ---
    IC: Gaeriel Captison

    Bakuran Senate, Salis Daar

    The capital city of Bakura, soon to be a capital of a new galactic superpower.

    Fitting, Gaeriel thought. Any of her concerns about Aryan's allegiance to her had been crushed when he proposed, but she wouldn't necessarily announce everything in her speech. She knew her fiancé liked to have the center stage, after all. But the excitement in the Senate chamber was palpable. Completely, and utterly.

    They wanted the Emperor.

    Of course, they would have that and more, soon enough.

    With his Saarai-Kaar in hand, retiring to a decidedly opulent shuttle that had been kept aboard the flagship for diplomatic ventures and would have put a Hapan Ambassador-class ship to shame for how comfortable it was, Bernael was guided by the GEMINI hive mind to meet the Emperor Aryan in a hallway adjacent to the Senate chamber. With the news of a HoloNet address pending, the GEMINI simply 'helped out' and put the two together.

    The mission in the Tapani Sector was going well, and the Jedi Lords were heading wholesale into the Jensaarai trap. The forces that Bernael had in the Core were being scouted by Jedi X-wings, and were requesting permission to withdraw to Yag'Dhul, as much as the damaged Coruscanti cruisers reported to Aryan that the planet had not yet been consumed and there was some... interference with the Zildrog Mechanism.

    GEMINI appeared quite neutral on it all.

    As such, the Twin Emperor's would meet, escorted by Skytroopers, as Gaeriel spoke a room over.

    "- the New Eternal Empire will be led by our Emperor, the true successor of the Galactic Empire's strengths, and none of its weaknesses. We have shed the madness of the Sith the death of Darth Zorn, and now we can focus on Order for the people, not a single mad Skywalker. The strength of Imperialism will bring peace and security to the Empire. What do I say to the news that Chancellor Organa has been given an extended term? I'll ask Palpatine, or Amedda! What do I say to the news that there is an 'alien invasion' coming? It sounds like a hoax to allow her to accrue more power!"

    The Bakuran politicians roared into laughter.

    The GEMINI droid had given them each a briefing about the recent Senate session on Centerpoint Station in the Corellian system.

    Organa's term extended; the 'Yuuzhan Vong' coming; the Senate wanting to give Feyna even more power than she had sought...

    ... the Senator of Nubia being replaced by Nola, a Feyna supporter.

    The two of them had to have a discussion before addressing the galaxy, there was no doubt of that.

    TAG: @HanSolo29, @darthbernael (combo)
    ---
    IC: Beaumont Kin

    Kesh; LIGHT

    The blaze of power sent Darish Vol stumbling back, but he was powerful in the Force; at very least equivalent to a Skywalker in terms of his strength and ability -

    He squeezed his hand and something aboard the yacht crumpled, but then he released them -

    Beaumont rocked in the chair as their engines, presently at max power, rushed them forward, sending them soaring across the skies of Tahv above a crowd of tens of thousands of Keshiri and humans -

    "Hang on!" The damage reports were pretty horrifying; they'd lost their hyperdrive, their navicomputer was still completely shot from the magnetic field; they couldn't even plot their galactic coordinates as the orbital light show obscured the stars; their weapons were disabled, and they were essentially a big, metal, flying ship.

    The ship confirmed that there was the metal ship atop the mountain...

    The Omen, it's distress call continued to confirm, in a five thousand year old beacon.

    "Qwi," he said, trying to stabilize the power distribution to the engines and bring them down to a more manageable pace -

    "Can you handle this?"

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox (combo)
    ---
    IC: Four-Dee

    Curiosity, Coruscant depths

    The medical droid rushed forward with the Graul woman unconscious on the pallet still, of course, and tottered through the emerging portal. There was a flicker as they approached, not a few moments before a clank - a troop of four droids had just landed outside the compound, and the GEMINI hive mind sounded apologetic. I have orders.

    The Skytroopers lifted blasters to target Arek -

    Four-Dee, the personal droid of many a Sith Lord - Plageuis, Sidious, Amedda - looked back at the young man with yellow photoreceptors and vanished with his grandmother, even as a blaster bolt twanged into the ring-metal around the portal -

    The energy changed colour, and the voice of Trayus, of the Master of Masters, of the Black-Coat, sounded out.

    "That shot knocked the portal off-course!"

    A hand reached out of it, an over-sized claw of a hand with a golden robe upon it, a black-stone ring upon his mottled finger -

    [​IMG]

    "TAKE OUT THE KEY, NOW!"

    TAG: @HanSolo29

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox, @TheSilentInfluence, @galactic-vagabond422 (continue combo)

    TAG: @darthbernael, @darthhelinith, @TheSilentInfluence (continue combo)
     
  11. AgentViper007

    AgentViper007 Force Ghost star 7

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

    IC: Qwi Xux, Beaumont Kin
    Location: Kesh


    It didn't work.

    Well it did but not as well as she had liked.

    She winced as she heard something crumple, by the sounds of it he had just reached inside and crumpled the hyperdrive due to the alarms going off.

    Pascale would have a fit if he saw this…

    She saw Beaumont rock in position and she really wished Pascale had installed a copilot chair. Poor Beaumont consistantly had to hold on if things got bumpy.

    So damage report so far: shields, navicomputer, laser cannon and now hyperdrive gone and needed fixing. Engines and life support still in the green. Fuel still pretty good.

    Beaumont was also trying to help where he could, he seemed to have gotten the hang of Firenze's systems quick enough. The Omen's comm signal was pinging away as she aimed for it.

    I think we gave the crowds a bit of a fright….

    "Diverting power from the engines and shutting down all non essential systems apart from life support" she smiled at him "Nice work my dear".

    She turned serious "They'll be after us and the yacht again. We need to park Firenze somewhere where she can't be seen but easy for us to find. Any ideas?"

    Beaumont was basically hanging onto the cockpit dash as they flew. “I mean - if we’re going to find parts, it’s at the Omen, isn’t it?”

    He grinned a little. “Shall we try, or...?”

    “They know we’re here, but they don’t have a way to carry a message across the planet, unless it’s by those uvak’s...” he steadied himself, “and we’re way faster than those!”

    She shrugged as she throttled back on the engines "Well it's worth a go to see if there are any parts there. Let's hope they have not stripped it".

    She also nodded as they continued on course "I agree also about the messages. However as we have seen they can steal ships and carry them. And no doubt they will want as many as they can to get off planet".

    Beaumont nodded. "Well, let's get going. The sooner we get to the Omen, the sooner we can see what we can do with five-thousand year old parts." He winced a little. "This is a long shot; you understand that, Qwi?"

    The mountain neared, and the crown was indeed the Sith warship.

    Derriphan-class dreadnought, equivalent to a frigate more than anything then, and indeed now it was completely outclassed, especially as it didn't have shields, if this was a first generation ship. Beaumont had these thoughts in mind and absently noted the flags drifting from the top hull.

    Their sensors were also down, so there wasn't much more to say.

    He held out his bare hand. "Do we risk checking with the Force?"

    Qwi brought Firenze in for a closer look, narrowing her eyes "Of course I know it is a long shot. But any chance of gathering something is better than not doing anything at all. Where else are we going to try and get parts?"

    "Because put simply this is a hell hole and I want tp get off it".

    She looked at his hand and shook her head as she brought the yacht in towards the mountain looking for a suitable landing site "We could give away our position. And we could also give away to anyone down there that we have quite a powerful bond".

    "I'm also quite drained from our last use, if we encounter danger down there I need to have enough strength to use it".

    Beaumont nodded slowly. All good points.

    The yacht smoothly circled the Omen, and there was evidence of a courtyard enclosed in the walls that had been erected to protect the grounded warship, and they had somewhere to land fairly clearly earmarked.

    He paused. "I didn't think about that. But we're looking at numbers here, rather than power... though Vol is pretty powerful..."

    "I'm just worried that we may need to just wait for someone to find us..."

    Qwi brought Firenze in to land, shutting her systems down after touchdown "Well this place could be guarded, it is a sacred place after all. But we activate the bond and you might as well stick up a neon sign with "WE ARE HERE" on it".

    "You are correct that Vol is pretty powerful, but these are still Sith, some could be just as powerful as he is". She rose up from the pilot's seat and stretched "We'd better stack on supplies again just in case".

    She moved to where she had dropped her pack "This yacht contains everything we have left, this is our home. And I will fight to make sure she does not get taken or destroyed".

    The moment the engines cooled down, the Sith emerged. They may not have had communications, but they could reach out to each other and give a degree of direction.

    Grand Lord Vol told them to hide.

    The Omen had actually been converted into a Sith Academy! Dozens of black attired humans and Keshiri poured out of the building, crimson blades igniting en masse -

    Nothing from Beaumont...and when she realised he had not said anything she walked back to the cockpit to see what was up.

    And felt a tsunami of darkness coming their way.

    Sith. Lots of them.

    And i've just handed them our yacht.

    How in the hell were they going to get past that lot? If it came to it she would have to blow Firenze up. But that was the last resort. Of course it would mean they would be stranded here but she would rather they not have the yacht and unleash themselves on the galaxy.

    She looked at Beaumont with fear in her face "I think we might need to use the bond now".

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  12. JediMasterAnne

    JediMasterAnne Jedi Grand Master star 4

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

    IC: Chancellor Feyna Organa, Prince Isolder, Winter, and Tycho Chelchu

    Outside the Senate Chamber, Centerpoint Station, Corellia

    How easily the Senate shifted back to mundanities was a little jarring for Feyna; as if they had not just made one of the most jaw-dropping decisions in the short history of the New Republic. Suddenly it was just another day. Back to business as usual.

    These matters were trivial enough not to require her continued presence, so she followed Isolder out of the chamber, leaving Senator Beruss to manage things. She joined Isolder, Winter, and Tycho outside, as the Prince revealed their elopement plans to them.

    Tycho seemed startled that they were asking him, but Winter interrupted with an update on the New Empire: Graul had arrived at Bakura, which was now expected to serve as his capital world. Nothing especially surprising.

    "Any news on Kuat, or Hapes? Are the Eternal droids still hounding them?" Viqi Shesh had been present at the Senate meeting, which seemed to confirm Kuat's continued allegiance to the New Republic.

    Feyna wanted to make sure there weren't any loose ends before she and Isolder slipped off. Heaven forbid something else went wrong while they were gone--again.

    "The Eternal cruisers at Hapes are in full retreat, eventually, the mines very much slowed them down..." Winter paused. "While we were in session Kuat requested reinforcements, as they're struggling to stop the Eternal cruisers there from firing on the shipyards and planet."

    Isolder nodded. "I did wonder; we can probably spare half a dozen Star Cruisers and Battle Dragons - it should be enough to help out. The rest of the New Republic and Hapan fleets are in the Corellian shipyards at present." A shrug. "Unless we can convince Saxan to send some of her defense ships."

    "And if Sal-Solo will let her..." Tycho said drily. "His influence runs deep here. I was asking around while you were in session."

    There was an uproar from the Senate in the other room--

    "Let's see how well we can do with just our half-dozen, first," Feyna replied. The noise from the chamber drew a glance and a slight frown, but by itself, that wasn't going to draw her back in. "I'd rather not involve Sal-Solo if we can avoid it, if he's that much of a problem."

    Han might have a bit of a rocky track record with the New Republic, but he clearly didn't trust his cousin.

    Isolder nodded. "I'll get the orders going, and then we can, maybe, go?"

    Tycho hesitated. "I do have a slight suggestion, actually..."

    "Oh?" Winter said.

    "New Alderaan is pretty far away, even though we can use the Perlemian to get most of the way," Tycho continued, referencing the hyperlane. "If we have a fast ship, it will reduce the risk, won't it?"

    Tycho. "Faster would probably be better, yes."

    She was hoping they could manage at least a few days away, for themselves, but she worried about being away too long, so the sooner they could get to New Alderaan, the better.

    “Well it strikes me that the Millennium Falcon is that fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy...”

    “So we should invite Han to the wedding?” Isolder said, shrugging. “I mean, it works by me.”

    Winter supplied the obvious, as they were at Coruscant. “And Madelyn and Tor?”

    "Have we heard anything from them?"

    She hoped Han had gotten Madelyn and Tor off of Coruscant--so far there'd been no news.

    She didn't mind them coming, if they wanted to.

    Winter checked. “Not yet, no. But there’s a lot going on there, we’ve unconfirmed reports of the last cruisers present regrouping, and some kind of skirmish, but it’s all fractured reports from survivors in the CSF or military that launched escape pods during the battle.”

    Isolder nodded. “They’ll catch up. If we’re going to head to New Alderaan, we’ll have to do so now before something else happens.”

    “We could leave a message for them to pick up when they’re done,”’Tycho suggested.

    "Let's go, then, and leave a message for them to comm us as soon as they can."

    Feyna didn't want to say in the message what they were up to, in case it somehow got picked up by someone else.

    Winter nodded. “I’ll get some things together and we can get going.” Tycho reached for Isolder and began to steer him away. Winter grinned. “Let’s keep the groom away from the bride until we get to the venue, shall we?”

    Tycho nodded. “Your Highness, if you would.”

    That left Winter and Feyna. She smiled at her friend. “I have saved something for you, Feyna. From your father - from Bail - I left it on New Alderaan - it was a music box... and Padme had a dress that she wanted Leia to have - which I had moved from Naboo too.”

    Winter took a breath.

    Feyna might have rolled her eyes at the others' old-fashioned-ness, but was distracted by Winter's revelations. A music box from her father...how had Winter had it all these years, without her knowing--how had she gotten it in the first place? Feyna had thought all her parents' things destroyed with Alderaan--she had the jewelry she'd been wearing the day of, which had been gifts from them before, but nothing else.

    And Leia's dress...

    "Let's...let's go and get them, then..." She didn't know what else to say; she was still stunned.

    "Bail wanted to put something away for you, safely. The Alderaanian Princess can also inherit other noble titles, though I appreciate they've not been relevant to you... Birren, in the Inner Rim, has a constitutional monarchy that is purely ceremonial - when Lord Mellowyn dies, if he doesn't have an heir, the governorship would pass to you. So Bail left some things in his possession to survive him, in-case anything happened." Winter swallowed. "Padme must have known, because she left directions to it with her dress on Naboo. I found out recently, but wanted to save it for your wedding..."

    "But they're on New Alderaan, waiting for you, Feyna." Winter drew her into a hug.

    Feyna hugged her back, quietly fighting back tears.

    "Thank you."

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

    IC: Senators Nola Deidder, Doman Beruss, Ransolm Casterfo, and Fyor Rodan, Senator of Nakadia, plus others, and Del Deidder
    Senate Chamber, Centerpoint Station, Corellia

    After losing so much of the fleet at Exegol, and with another war on the horizon, a military spending proposal and an Intelligence bill were to be expected.

    Once those things were out of the way, and the floor opened any for other matters of business, Nola decided it was time to take the leap.

    "Senators, I'd like to take a moment to bring one more topic for consideration today. In light of the recent attacks on Coruscant, the fact that we are once again displaced from the capital, and the treachery of the late Representative Bramsin, I believe we should consider an alternative.

    "I propose that the Republic capital be permanently relocated from Coruscant."

    The military spending and Intelligence bills were basically nodded through, with contracts offered to loyal shipyards and agencies with executive approval needed for external powers. This was with the Tapani shipyards in mind, as they seemed poised to be neutral in the future.

    Del winced as the Senate responded with uproar against the words of the Senator of Nubia, and Doman Beruss snapped. "ORDER! ORDER!"

    The Senators quieted down, and Doman spoke clearly. "The New Republic has often used temporary capitals in the past and Coruscant is especially exposed at present. Chandrila has served, Corellia, too - even Naboo, in the Mid Rim. The proposal has merit - and does not require every Senator to offer."

    "I would propose Hosnian Prime," came a voice, and there was a smattering of approval.

    "More Core World tyranny! Of course you would -" Doman pressed a button on the console, and the Senator for the Tion Cluster was cut-off.

    "I would hear from the Senator of Nubia, personally."

    Nola raised an eyebrow at her husband. They won't bat an eye, huh?

    Though perhaps the word permanent had scared some of them. She did intend that the change be permanent, but she might have rushed in. Well, no backtracking now.

    "Even if the Eternal Fleet is stopped now, Coruscant will remain a high-value target for enemy forces, and its defenses have been severely depleted in the last few days. An invasion of technophobic outsiders may be looming, and a city-planet such as Coruscant might as well have a neon sign pointing at it from space saying 'attack here!'

    "And just because something has been done a certain way for so long, doesn't necessarily mean it's good. There is no reason we can't have a capital outside of the Core. The Separatist movement that led to the Clone Wars existed partly because outer territories felt overruled and ignored by the distant Core. They felt that Coruscant was too far away to care about their problems.

    "I'm willing to volunteer Nubia as an option, but I wouldn't object if more outlying worlds were to offer themselves up."

    She still didn't actually want the capital to be on Nubia, but since she was the one making the suggestion, it was only fair.

    The same crowd which kicked off at Hosnian Prime responded to Nubia as a suggest, but then the end of her sentence curtailed a lot of that - and another glare from Doman Beruss. That had the desired effect.

    Another Senator spoke up. "I would speak, Senator Beruss?"

    "The Chair recognizes the Senator of Nakadia, from the Mid Rim."

    "Thank you," the young man said. "My world is an agricultural one, and often it is thought that only the metropolitan worlds can truly wield power in the New Republic." Murmurs of support, of disagreement, but soft. "So we have Rim planets like Eriadu or Contruum consume themselves to become 'like Coruscant'. It's a destructive and ecologically devastating philosophy. So I would like to offer Nakadia to be the capital for... four years?"

    "Alternate rotation to the Chancellorship?" A voice quipped.

    "Sure," the Nakadian said.

    "May I speak, Senator?" A young human man's voice came through.

    "The Chair recognises the Senator of Riosa, from the Inner Rim."

    The man was very young - he was sixteen, but he genuflected to his elders, earning a few snickers, but also noises of approval. "If it pleases the Senate, I am Ransolm Casterfo. My world was annexed by the Galactic Empire and the entire population enslaved to work as mandatory labourers. It was components strip-mined from my world which were used towards the Imperial Death Star."

    In spite of his age, he was a brilliant orator. "Though my world is a member of the Centrist Party, such as what remains, we do not consider the madness of Sith and superweapons to be the measure of order and peace, nor justice. Being as the Senate has dispensed with many Populist objections, I would offer my world as capital."

    There was a lot of support, but also, Del realised, a lot of Senators quite literally looking to Nola for her view, as it was her idea.

    Nola considered. She didn't have a specific world in mind, and though Del had suggested Dennon and Contruum to her, the latter had been subtly put down by Nakadia.

    "Perhaps we can experiment with the idea of a shifting capital," she opined, drawing on something else Nakadia had said. "The Republic moved their capital a few times during the Imperial era." For varying reasons, but it hadn't made anything more difficult than they'd already been.

    "This would allow for everyone to have equal opportunity, and allow for some worlds to garner some recognition that they might not otherwise be receiving. We could vote on it every four years, with no planet serving for more than twelve years consecutively. Unless the experiment fails and we decide it would be better to settle on one planet."

    The Senate liked that idea, and settled in to vote for Riosa or Hosnian Prime or Nakadia. Del was pretty impressed that the Senate had leapt on her idea. Doman Beruss nodded it through, clearly with no interest in Corellia being the galactic capital.

    The votes were coming in at a decent pace, but the three options split the support fairly evenly. Even though the Core, Colonies and Inner Rim made up the majority of the New Republic now, the two options inside that region meant their own vote split in two, and then that made Nakadia a contender when it would not have been otherwise -

    “I reckon it’s going to come down to one vote,” Del whispered.

    There was a muttering among the Senate, as well, as to this. Nola would become conscious that several Senators were simply staring at her. Fyor Rodan of Commenor, Doman Beruss of Corellia, and of course the Senators to Hosnian Prime, Riosa and Nakadia.

    It was a close vote, so far. Not quite settled, Nola looked to Del, speaking low.

    "Nakadia would be a less likely target if the Yuuzhan Vong show up, but Riosa, being a Centrist world, might draw back some of the neutrals."

    Most of the Centrists had gone to Skelm, but there might still be some teetering between.

    Del nodded. “Riosa might, yeah. It’d give anyone who realises Aryan is a nut-job a way back in, and it’s not a Core World.” He looked at the Nakadian representative. “As much as I’d like to give a Mid Rim world a chance, we can build towards that. It’s not as if we won’t be voting on this again anytime soon.”

    He gave her a thumbs up. “Riosa sounds like the perfect idea.”

    "Riosa, then." Nola put in her vote.

    Since the vote was so close, perhaps they could have Nakadia and Hosnian Prime go second and third, respectively, after Riosa.

    The Senate did indeed settle that Nakadia would come next after Riosa, and Hosnian Prime thereafter, deciding the capital for the next twelve years. It was a fairly historic moment, and it put Nola on the political map with certainty.

    The session began to fall away, as the Senators began to sign-off or head to their committees. Three however made a beeline for Nola - Fyor Rodan, Doman Beruss, and of course Ransolm Casterfo, the very young man looking quite pleased with himself.

    What did the Commenori Senator want? Nola wondered as the other Senators approached.

    "Senators," she greeted them politely. "Senator Casterfo, congratulations on today's victory."

    Casterfo smiled. "Thank you, Senator, I appreciate your support in the final moments."

    "And I see it as a betrayal of the opportunity we had here," spat Fyor. "If we had set the capital up on Nakadia, it would have sent a clear signal to all worlds that any system can be a key member." He pointed at Casterfo. "Picking him is an appeasement to the Centrists who just betrayed us."

    Del fielded this one. "The Chancellor understands that the galaxy needs to learn to live with each other again. We can't erase the problems of the past, we need to solve them. That's why we have an Imperial Remnant, and had a peace for fourteen years."

    "Where is the Remnant?" Fyor snarled. "They aren't returning the Chancellor's patronage."

    "Nor have they immediately rushed to join the Eternal Empire either," he rebutted. "Their Head of State is dead, and they had a Moff siding with Graul, who just died." Del shrugged. "You need to give them a chance to decide where they stand. It's not as if we're lynching the entire Senate for failing to stop the secession."

    The Commenor made a noise and stormed off.

    "Well said, sir." Casterfo executed a bow, which looked awkward on the teenager but there it was. "I have a great deal of paperwork now, so I shall have to attend to it." He held out a piece of flimsi to Del but looked at Nola with a warm smile. "My private comm frequency, should you need it. Onwards to an orderly, sane galaxy, my friends."

    At that, he went to go, Del looking amused at the younger man.

    Nola wasn't too concerned about Rodan; he was the same one who'd tried to make the Chancellor serve a fifteen year term. Nakadia would have its turn next, it wasn't like she'd completely ruined their chances.

    She gave another nod to Casterfo as he started off. "Good luck, Senator."

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  13. HanSolo29

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

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    IC: Arek Graul
    The Underworld, Coruscant

    The GEMINI’s collective voice, both apologetic and firm, intoned inside his mind. It served as his only warning that something was amiss.

    I have orders.

    Those simple words brought a sinking feeling to the pit of Arek’s stomach. He felt helpless and betrayed, but perhaps the most infuriating aspect of the developing situation was his inability to act due to time constraints. He was unable to clarify GEMINI’s statement before the scene devolved into chaos.

    Instead, the young man watched in horror as four armored troopers—more robust and lethal than the average Imperial Stormtrooper—dropped from above and opened fire upon the ancient compound. This exposed the fleeing Four-Dee and his Grandmom to the raging firestorm, and yet that did not deter them from their goal.

    Even with the droid’s limited range of motion, the automaton managed to push the hovergurney to the massive portal that would lead them to safety. Arek noted their success and turned to meet the droid’s gaze with a sad smile. He was anxious to join them, but he was also aware of his responsibility here. He could not abandon the Sceptor—or the shrine—until the ritual was complete. The fate of Coruscant hung in the balance.

    He would only need a few more seconds, and then he could take his leave.

    But as Four-Dee vanished into the gateway, a well-placed shot ricocheted off the portal’s main ring. A metallic clang resounded across the chamber, followed by a high-pitched whir that gave Arek pause. The energy around the portal also shifted to a more complex pattern, which did very little to ease his concerns.

    "That shot knocked the portal off-course!"

    The transient voice of Trayus, the Master of Masters, confirmed his worst fears. Not only had they lost their directional compass, but Four-Dee and his grandmother had gone missing inside the ethereal realm of the World Between Worlds. There was no way to track where they had gone, or when they may emerge.

    That realization weighed heavily upon him, his focus turning inward as he fell into a dangerous spiral. He felt the rage building up inside of him, culminating in a feral yell that allowed him to vent his frustration. As if on instinct, he shrugged the sniper rifle off his shoulder and began firing relentlessly at the remaining troopers. He did not aim, he simply poured out his wrath in a wide net of destruction.

    In fact, Arek was so blind by his vengeful fury that he failed to notice the disembodied hand that materialized from the portal. It reached for him, its clawed fingers turning inward to grasp his flesh...

    "TAKE THE KEY OUT, NOW!"

    But it was too late.

    Where Trayus’ command had provided some clarity, it wasn’t enough to fully restore Arek’s focus. The young man staggered, the rifle sliding to the crook of his arm as turned to glance over his shoulder. When he saw the creature looming over him like a perpetual shadow, he uttered a sharp gasp...and panicked.

    He dove desperately for the Sceptor, his fingers wrapping tightly around the main shaft to wrench it free, but the action set him off-balance. His feet faltered over the uneven permacrete, loose rocks, stones, and other bits of debris scattering in his wake.

    A curse slipped from his lips as he stumbled.

    And then he fell backward.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  14. AgentViper007

    AgentViper007 Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    OOC: Super combo with @Sinrebirth, @galactic-vagabond422 and @TheSilentInfluence

    IC: Han Solo, Lumpawaroo (Lumpy), Madelyn Linnett, Tor
    Location: Millenium Falcon, Slave 1, Coruscant


    What a mess…

    As Han brought the Falcon in system he could see damage and destruction pretty much everywhere. And the planet was now dark. It never was like this. Ever.

    "I gotta bad feelin about this" he said to Lumpy. He could see no sign of Madelyn's ship anywhere.

    And then there were lasers coming towards them, Han beginning to dodge. And he could see on the sensors battlecruisers coming out of hiding and beginning to converge. As well as…

    Slave 1.

    Han growled. If Fett was here...if he had hurt Madelyn or Tor…

    He opened a comm channel "Falcon to Slave 1. You had better not have killed my friends or I swear I will kill you. And take out your ship".

    Tor looked to Madelyn then to the Falcon as it descended with them.

    "Well, you don't have to worry about killing Fett." She said with somewhat somber tone. "I...I handed that..." There was a cold feeling in her chest, a feeling of guilt possibly. "We're all alive by the way."

    Madelyn chimed in, "He gave us the Slave 1. So we would appreciate not being shot down." She looked at Tor, concerned. "But Tor is right. Fett is gone."

    The functional cruiser lifted up and focused its fire on the Firespray, even as the damaged ones crawled into the sky and tried to fire at the Falcon. Coruscant took hits in the crossfire again, buildings blown apart so the cruisers could fire at them -

    Well it was good news about Fett but the cruisers were now turning their attention towards them both.

    "Glad to hear you are all alive, and well done gettin Slave 1. She's the only one that keep up with the Falcon" he smirked "Not as good as her of course".

    Han began to dodge shots again, hopefully Lumpy could keep them occupied whilst he piloted.

    "We need to get outta here. This planet is about to end up the same as Mandalore. I cam to come get you, but since you have your own ship now I can escort you out and back to Corellia where the Chancellor is".

    "We can't leave all these people to die. We have to stop this before Courscant ends up like Mandalore." Madelyn argued and looked at Tor, "Think we can find our Sith friend before everything goes under Kotir solus."

    "We've come too far," Tor said watching the turbo lasers fly past. "We can do something to save these people, we have to try. You can run if you want smuggler, seems you're used to that when the going gets tough."

    The functional droid cruiser had dropped some Skytroopers down even as the energy readings in the depths intensified - but the damaged ships were consolidating around the two of them.

    One limping Eternal cruiser slid up behind the Slave I and opened fire, even as Lumpy roared that another was sidling to cut the Falcon off from escape, not privy to the comm line. The odds weren’t stellar and they would only get worse the more they dallied.

    There was a surge of fear in the Force as surviving Coruscanti battered Madelyn with their emotions, caught up in yet another devastating event. The skyline was marked with flames in the dark, as the last of the power finally cut across the former capital.

    Han shook his head at Tor's words.

    "Ya know, I thought you would be different from your mother Tor. But you're her daughter alright. And throwin insults around ain't gonna help. So if you wanna sit around and argue fine. You'll get blown up by that cruiser comin up behind you and Coruscant will die".

    "As for me, I'm willin to help Madelyn out. So since another cruiser about to cut me off, where are we headin to try and stop Coruscant from dyin?

    He began to move the Falcon downwords "Pal" he said to Lumpy "gonna have to arm the concussion missiles just in case".

    "I'm not the one flying di'kut." Tor shot back feeling a little useless at the moment. She wasn't the one flying and all she really could do was fire a few of the weapons. Wait... "If we can find a way past them I might be able to get a sonic charge off, that could do some damage. It's looking injured already."

    Madelyn looked at Tor, a little impressed at how well she was handling the situation. "A sonic charge could do some good damage." She mused. Madelyn could feel fear resonating from the people of Courscant. "But we have to end this now."

    There was an energy spike which answered Han, but the only functional ship was blocking that well into the depths of Coruscant. It was starting back down, which would be a problem -

    The damaged cruiser behind the Slave I erupted under the pressure of the seismic mine, ripped in two. Lumpy howled in success; he liked that weapon. The cruiser to the rear of him and Han opened fire -

    The fear of the Coruscanti increased, becoming fractious, and jagged, leaning on Madelyn to fix, indeed, it would begin to press on her just like the shockwave had upon that destroyed cruiser, freezing her form -

    That left Tor in-charge of the ship -

    In the rear sensors she saw the cruiser break into pieces behind torn apart by the seismic mine. She pumped her fist letting out a shout, that worked, now they just needed to get past that beast in front of them. Auntie Madelyn should be able to find them a path...However when she looked over she found her Vode frozen, unable to control the vessel. Her hands wrapped her hands around the yoke fighting against the air currents and now trying to dance her way through the turbolaser fire coming her way.

    Her panicked breathing calmed as the adrenaline hit her veins. All the half remembered lessons she got from her buir and Jerrod came flooding back how to watch your speed, how to read the sensors, most importantly how to control a ship. Her motions were jerky and uneven but she was dodging incoming fire for now. Though it was tenuous at best…

    Han had to agree with Lumpy at the seismic weapon "Yeah pal I quite agree, love to have that aboard. One thing with Fett, he always had the hardware".

    He had spotted on the sensors an energy spike. So it seemed perhaps that was where Madelyn and Tor were heading. The present that been left behind and well guarded by a cruiser.

    "That cruiser is blockin whatever is down there." And now the cruiser behind them was firing at them.

    "Any chance you guys can shoot another one of those things behind again? We have a cruiser behind us taking an interest."

    He looked to Lumpy as they dived towards the cruiser in front "Find a weak spot on the cruiser and light it up pal, we need to get this thing before it covers up what's down there".

    Tor jerked hard to the left a few stray laser blasts glancing off her shields. It was the first time she'd been touched her panic enhanced reflexes having kept her safe until now.

    "Ahh..." she cried out as the ship shook. "Um...looks like I've got 8 more of those, though I don't know how many it will take to bring that thing down." She slowed down just a little released another mine hoping that it would hit the other cruiser behind them. Though she might want to save the majority for the monster beneath them.

    Madelyn tried to fight back when she realised she could not move. It was strange, she could sense the terror going on around her; and wanted to help, but she couldn't. She was paralysed from all the fear she felt from everyone else, and if she just fought back-

    Another damaged cruiser broke up, debris raining upon the devastated cityscape. Madelyn pushed back against the Coruscanti panic, and the ability she had demonstrated at Kashyyyk blossomed -

    A surge to confidence would fill Tor, Han and Lumpy, and then roll outwards into the planet. The fear crystallised into action, and all of sudden small-arms fire lit up from the ripped buildings and jagged world, as citizens fought for their home -

    Battle meditation.

    It was Master Zey.

    She’d not heard his voice for fourteen years now; not since the Battle of Mandalore that broke the Empire and Separatist armies.

    I always knew you had it within you, Master Linnett.

    The connection fell away as if a supportive hand upon her face.

    Tor’s new-found confidence would crystallise of a realisation she had forward firing missiles, and an ion cannon -

    For Lumpy, he would find the inspiration to reroute power to the shields and engines from places he had not thought of before -

    For Han, it would roll upon him and allow him to see that the cruiser was firing down, which implied there was another faction in play the enemy was trying to stop -

    The Coruscanti included isolated New Republic forces, and a missile arched up and slammed into the hull of a damaged cruiser, which began to vomit molten hull fragments -

    It accelerated, attempting to physically interpose itself between Slave I and the Falcon and the only fully-functional cruiser -

    What the hell?

    Han was feeling a tingling sensation all throughout his body. He was confident and cocky enough but the surge of confidence he was feeling...where the hell did that come from?

    He had seen Lumpy making adjustments to the shields and engines. But….the cruiser was firing downwards. Was someone down there? Seemed so because they were trying to stop them.

    "Guys that cruiser is firing downwards!" Han exclaimed "Someone or some people may already be down there, I don't know whether they are trying to stop what's happenin but we need to take out that cruiser".

    He saw the damaged cruiser coming in and threw the Falcon into a dive loosing a pair of concussion missiles at the cruiser below. Hopefully Tor would follow his lead….

    "Oh, what's this?" Tor asked seeing the concussion missiles come online. She was still trying to get her bearings but, the curiser was so huge she could hardly miss right? Following the Falcon's lead hoping that he would somehow guide her through a space that she couldn't see she loosed a pair of missiles of her own watching them slam into the bulky craft.

    Madelyn felt different. Like she had all the confidence in the world. That they could win. She let herself relax into the force and allowed it to flow around her, wanting others to feel the same way that she did. So they would not be afraid anymore. So they understood that they could win the battle ahead of them.

    She had to keep helping them.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth , @galactic-vagabond422 , @TheSilentInfluence
     
  15. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Lumpy
    Coruscant, or what's left of it

    The planet fought back.

    The first set of missiles hammered into the shielded Eternal Cruiser, causing a wave of eruptions to rip into the surrounding buildings. The skyline was so jagged, and it grew even moreso with the shrapnel from the engagement. Tor and Han's second wave burst apart on the hull. The Eternal Cruiser had been in the middle of turning, and the inertia and damage meant the warship tore itself apart as it turned. Lumpy roared as it did, and the Madelyn would feel a wave of positivity respond to their actions.

    Rallied, the Coruscanti continued to fire upon the damaged cruisers, and they were going down in short order - without the shielded Eternal Cruiser, the enemy collapsed. They'd done it, and as they did - the energy readings vanished. Lumpy rumbled to let them all know, and that there were no GEMINI or Eternal readings, and the planet was safe - save for the lights that were off, the city was aflame, and the populace had been savaged. Dozens of wrecks in orbit were tilting, and would eventually come to crash and kill thousands.

    It was, in many ways, completely hopeless.

    But they'd won, which was all that really mattered...

    Wasn't it?

    There was a message left for Han to get in-touch with Feyna, and Madelyn would have a message from Mandalore, letting them know that the family was safe, and Ka'rta was in discussions with the clans. The third Mandalorian aboard the Slave I was stable, and Mirdala came to with a grunt. "We won already? I was hoping to catch some more z's." He looked out the viewport. "Now what?"

    There was nobody on Coruscant in-charge for them to speak to, to coordinate search and rescue.

    It was over, and the galaxy wasn't placed to do anything about it.

    It was just... time to go.

    Anti-climatic, but also devastating - for all their successes, they'd failed the galaxy, in the face of a tremendous treachery, but they still had a fighting chance - but that fight still needed to be fought, and won, if not today, then tomorrow, or in the thereafter.

    TAG: @TheSilentInfluence, @Jerjerrod-Lennox, @galactic-vagabond422 (singles, please)
    ---
    In the depths

    The energy readings ended because of Arek broke the portal. It exploded outwards with power, and then came to an end.

    In that space there was nothing to detect, nor salvage, nor recover.

    The GEMIN facility, the Zildrog Mechanism, it was all gone, ditto the Skytroopers that had been evident.

    Of course, that wasn't all that happened.

    But at this point, Ike held the severed hand of a monster, shivering slightly as he picked free the ring. "Well, we got what we wanted, averted the destruction of Coruscant and a big old Wound in the Force..." He looked at the space, filled with debris and fire. "Arek did what we needed him to do, and Fett kept the others off of Emperor 'Graul'. Good times."

    Arb stepped from a cloaked shadow. "So it's all gone according to plan, has it?"

    "Well what would you say?"

    A snort. "I'd say I'd like to know what the plan is..."

    "It's like the Master said..." Ike grinned. "We're trying to create a reality with no Darkness."

    "And cracking a few eggs along the way," Arb said wryly.

    "We can't have Him spoil things... especially as all that would be created is the worst reality ever," Ike said with some sass.

    "Sure, sure," Arb said, pointing at the hand. "So... what happened?"

    "Arek grabbed the Key, of course, and he yanked at it, which meant, well, the portal destabilised, cutting off this hand," Ike toed it with his boot. "And then of course all that energy had to go somewhere, and the portal stabilised for just about long enough for Arek to fall into that energy just as it exploded."

    "So he's dead?"

    "Yup," Ike confirmed. "Felt it myself."

    "Did he send any messages before he went on the Master's suicide mission?"

    "Is that sympathy I sense, ho ho ho!" Ike snorted. "Arek wasn't even supposed to be here! It's the least tragic sacrifice. All he would have done is gone back to his own End of Time timeline thing anyway."

    "Maybe," Arb said. "So what's left?"

    Ike shrugged. "Got to wait for the big announcement, apparently. We all know where the Master's Eye really is."

    TAG: @HanSolo29 (no response required (yet))
    ---
    IC: Winter

    New Alderaan, Outer Rim

    The trip to the planet was a quick one. Winter slapped a basic 'out of office' on all matters of state, granted a few exceptions if a handful of people reached out, including Doman Beruss, Nola Deidder, Ephin Sarretti, Han Solo, Madelyn Linnett or Ka'rta - the only people in the galaxy who could contact Feyna right now, and they were off.

    Tycho had already taken Isolder on to the planet, for he had to do a whirlwind trip for some formal attire by way of whichever Hapan world was the easiest and quickest and most appropriate. Simple enough. They'd meet the bridal party on New Alderaan.

    Han would be free to communicate with Feyna any moment, Winter expected, and she took Feyna to the room she had put aside over a year ago. In it was indeed several of Padme's Amidalan dresses and designs, sized appropriately for Leia, who was slightly more petite than Feyna but Winter had already sorted out the hem. But the centerpiece was an ornate locket box, Alderaanian in design, as left by Bail Organa for Feyna. There were other artefacts of home here, including the Killik Twilight, the artistic masterpiece, and a few bottles of Alderaanian wine on the side for the occasion.

    Winter didn't open the box, and walk away, she simply, wordlessly, pressed the key into Feyna's hands, kissed her on the cheek, and stepped out, leaving Feyna with her choices (and her comlink), and a decision as to what to do next.

    TAG: @JediMasterAnne (potential combo with GM and/or @Jerjerrod-Lennox)
    ---
    IC: Thrackan Sal-Solo

    Corellian System, Centerpoint Station

    He wasn't the happiest that Saxan had passed the ancient artefact to the New Republic to occupy, not with his research teams having to hide away with all the commotion and attention. It had pushed back his schedule, even if the appearance and routing of the Eternal Fleet had raised his personal profile considerably.

    Thrackan eyed the three egg-shaped Corellian Dreadnaughts with pride, fully aware of their potential. The three Strident-class Star Defenders of the Home Fleet orbited nearby, even as the shipyards were filled to the brim with New Republic Star Cruisers and Hapan Battle Dragons. At that, his expression hardened, but it was what it was.

    He wanted to pick the brains of the Senators about these 'Yuuzhan Vong' and to get the inside track on Corellia's place in things. He could see the opportunity in contacting these invaders, and using them to assist him in taking the system independent. A glorious and final twentieth attempt at independence. Corellian won the Seventeenth Alsakan Conflict three millennia ago; they had proven themselves greater than Coruscant or Alsakan, and old Core World that had competed for the position of galactic capital.

    The man snorted.

    What a ridiculous thing to squabble over, and seventeen times? Really?

    So when Corellia seceded this time, Sal-Solo intended to make sure they had powerful allies to work beside.

    For now, he needed to plan and plot, and so he requested himself an appointment with the Senator for Nubia. As a Corellian Hero (self-appointed), he would be hard to ignore, even by fellow Heroes, for there were many whispers that Nola and Del had joined the illustrious ranks alongside the protagonists of the last war, such as Feyna, Madelyn, Ka'rta and even the now-redeemed Han Solo.

    Of course, this was the first break in madness that Nola and Del had taken since Bakura had been joined the Senate, so they could be forgiven on wanting to take some 'them time'. They had been offered rooms appropriate to a Senator, and while not nearly as spacious as their private apartment, Del was grateful for the break and opportunity to change.

    He was present laying on the bed, eyes closed, hand to his temple massaging through the headache he had.

    "Senator Nola Deidder."

    He said the words aloud again, incredulous, even as he squinted to read the datapad about Thackan's request.

    "Ugh."

    He plopped the datapad on the bed, face-up so she could see it.

    "Corellian Opposition Leader Sal-Solo requests an audience with the Senator of Nubia at her earliest convenience."

    His tone was dry. He'd noticed that the Chancellor and her entourage - Isolder, Winter, Tycho - had slipped away somewhere or other, but now the Senate session was over, they'd be packing up and heading to Riosa at some point.

    He didn't blame them.

    "I'd rather track down Feyna than speak to him... or rest, y'know, that's a thing I've heard about."

    TAG: @JediMasterAnne
    ---
    IC: Beaumont Kin

    The Bond, Kesh

    The Sith were numerous, that much could be said. In-fact, it was an understatement.

    There were indeed ten thousand trained warriors on Kesh. For three millennia they had gone from strength to strength, with very few mistakes, and even though there were considerably less sentients on this world than across the galaxy, the Lost Tribe didn't have the same exacting standards that the Old Jedi Order had, which had similarly numbered ten thousand Masters and Knights before the Battle of Naboo.

    They had achieved that feat in a third of the time as the Lost Tribe, but they had also washed out many, many candidates from Jedi training.

    The Sith system simply killed those who were too weak to sustain it, but their stability and simply fact of breeding meant that Force users existed in a disproportionate amount of numbers for one single world.

    To their advantage, yes, but to the disadvantage of Qwi and Beaumont.

    He reached for her hand, seizing their bond and strength in the Force.

    It filled them, surging as Sith Sabers rushed forward, blades already cutting into the hull, others reached for the ramp and ripped it down, as others still used the Force to hold the ship in place -

    Beaumont didn't know what they could do.

    They'd been tricked into landing at a Sith Academy.

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox (combo)

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

    TAG: @HanSolo29, @darthbernael (combo continues)
     
  16. AgentViper007

    AgentViper007 Force Ghost star 7

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

    IC: Qwi Xux, Beaumont Kin
    Location: Kesh


    They'd fallen right into a trap.

    And now by the sounds of it, Firenze was being hacked to bits and broken apart.

    Beaumont had taken her hand and she felt the bond surge again. He was lost for words, probably as fearful as Qwi was.

    So this is where we die. Surrounded by Sith and getting the yacht blown to bits.

    She turned towards Beaumont fully tears beginning to fall down her face. Qwi had never envisioned thier lives would end like this.

    She took his other hand in hers and held it, tiptoeing so she could look him in the face.

    "Well I guess we are in a fight for our lives" she said her voice cracking "I was hoping to spend the rest of my life with you. But now here we are, surrounded by Sith".

    "I would rather die than fall to the dark and I would rather it be here in our home. And if you go, I go with you. I cannot imagine my life without you. And we might as well take some Sith down while we do it".

    She leaned forward kissing him deeply. It was probably the last kiss they would have together.

    "I love you Beaumont. Now and forever."

    He kissed her back, their skin upon skin creating their bond anew, spreading a sphere of energy around them as the ship was breached.

    There were just too many of them.

    So many.

    Beaumont turned a hand and released a bolt of emerald energy, which surprised and killed a Keshiri. Another swung a blade up at them, and Beaumont turned a hand to smash them into a bulkhead. One hung back and unwound a glass dagger which zipped at Qwi, but she would have the power to deflect it, as she would have the strength to hold back the pushes and pulls in the Force.

    A trio of Sith lifted hands and launched a lightning barrage, Beaumont holding up his palm to hold the tide, stepping back towards the cockpit. As they did, lightsaber blades were carving through the floor and ceiling, and he felt tears on his cheeks.

    He'd let Qwi down.

    Qwi felt the bond surge again, and it seemed infinite. Although of course it depended on whether her body could handle this.

    There was a sphere of energy around them both and Beaumont was taking down Sith left, right and centre. She meanwhile was pushing back against the Sith outside and in who were trying to push and pull against them both.

    A dagger flew at her but with a growl deflected it away. She joined in with Beaumont bringing her own lightning to join his. She wanted him to know he was not alone in taking the fight to the Sith.

    But Firenze was getting breached more and more and she could feel Beaumont's despair, all seemed lost.

    Qwi held Beaumont's hand tighter, this was their last stand. At least they would go down together. Deflecting, blocking, sending lightning back. She knew she was probably about to collapse as she could feel her energy sapping.

    I will not leave you, I will not fail.

    And she took a deep breath...and let out a scream.

    The scream ripped into the Sith line, catapulting the first half a dozen back, and tearing at the ship, curling metal and shattering any glass. Beaumont reached a hand and sent that wave of debris through the next half a dozen Sith, but a massive exertion in the Force peeled off the roof of the ship.

    Beaumont held at the cockpit with her, releasing a bolt of lightning into the neck of a Keshiri, causing the man to collapse, even as a woman lifted her lightsaber and caught his next attack. Beaumont responded by squeezing with his fist and crushing her chest, flicking her body into the next line of Sith, who leapt over and charged.

    This wasn't going well.

    He drew deeper upon their bond, and they glowed golden, a flame-like energy surrounding them to show their strength, and Beaumont willed Qwi to help push that fire outward -

    They were failing, and Qwi knew she was dying. The energy ripping through her small body was killing her.

    I don't want to die.

    She did'nt want to see Beaumont die either. It reminded her of seeing Pascale dead. Twice.

    But she comforted herself that she was beside Beaumont and that if he went, she would join him. She was not going to wander the galaxy alone. Besides they were bettrr together anyway.

    Beaumont was digging as deep as he could but Qwi was alarmed when she saw him crush a woman's chest. Yes it was to keep them alive but was that not of the dark?

    Golden flames were enveloping them now and she felt Beaumont's nudge to release it.

    Well if you've got to go, go out with a bang…

    She held her head up high, entwined herself with Beaumont through the bond...and unleashed the fire within them both.

    The fire drove back a dozen of them - two. Sith Sabers and apprentices tumbled back, many of them dead or too wounded to fight.

    Beaumont released a breath, and could feel his skin prickling in the heat. This wasn’t going well. There was a gap in the offensive, and he heard wings flapping in that - looked up.

    Twenty-one uvak were on their way - and they were much stronger in the Force than those they’d fought before - the Grand Lord, the High Lords, the Lords. The most powerful Sith on the planet.

    Beaumont cast out their senses, and he looked at Qwi. “Sorry.”

    He raised a hand, and she would feel herself suddenly lifted and hurled out the wreck of their yacht with a massive Force exertion. She would fly away from the Uvak, their bond severed for the moment -

    Oh no….

    Qwi could feel the darkness coming in, and it was more powerful than before. It seemed the Circle of Lords were on their way. And they would be dead for certain then.

    She was exhausted, her body beginning to fade and shut down. But maybe one last stand and she and Beaumont would be a peace and together.

    Until Beaumont spoke. And then lifted his hand. And suddenly she was flying out of Firenze and away.

    And Qwi's heart broke. Devastation washed over her as she felt the bond sever. He was going to sacrifice himself. But what was the point? She was dying anyway and too exhausted to move. They would find her anyway and kill her.

    You are NOT going without me!

    She of course knew without the bond it was useless but she had to try to save him at least. Qwi reached out a hand and tried to see if she could grab him at least and yank him out. Without the bond of course she probably had no chance.

    Firenze was lost there was no doubt of that but she would be damned if she saw him die. Or get turned.

    She couldn’t reach him.

    Qwi fell - fell - fell - fell -

    The mountain was beside the sea, and she was heading towards it -

    The Force wasn’t answering, not now, but then, it was... impossibly? She could feel that she would need it to protect herself from her fall into the ocean -

    And she could feel that Beaumont was still alive. The uvak landed, and she would feel him fight, and struggle, and pain -

    But he was alive.

    She'd failed.

    And all she could see approaching was the blue ocean. She had a sudden inkling, if she didn't protect herself she would die.

    And….why was she feeling Beaumont from this far away. Had their bond changed after the fight or even during. She could feel his emotions, pain, probably the loss of her, the fact that he was still surrounded by Sith.

    But he wasn't dead.

    No…..

    With a bond that powerful….they would try and turn him. And Qwi realised that she could still lose him forever. She remembered what he had said to her:

    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.

    That promise it seemed was about to be broken. She had no ship, nothing left and if she was honest with herself maybe she should die than spare herself the pain of watching the man she loved turn into one of them.

    Maybe he would come after her and try to turn her. Torture her too.

    Maybe he would find a new lover among the Sith and destroy everything she and him had built. Slap the final nail in the coffin.

    He wasn't gone just yet but if he did….she would truly have nothing left.

    She stretched out to try and make her landing softer. But devastation and loss ripped through her.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  17. AgentViper007

    AgentViper007 Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    OOC: Apologies for the double post, more combotastic fun with @JediMasterAnne :D

    IC: Han Solo, Lumpawaroo (Lumpy), Feyna Organa
    Location: Millenium Falcon, Coruscant, New Alderaan


    Han felt like he should be celebrating.

    But he didn't.

    Coruscant looked devastated. Of course his and Tor's and Madelyn's destruction of the cruiser didn't help. The power had gone off and bits were still raining down from the sky.

    And there was not much Han could do about it. The energy reading had dropped so whomever was down there they had stopped it from being gobbled up.

    Han shook his head and began to turn the Falcon away and back towards space. He did'nt know whether Madelyn and Tor would follow suit but he had to get in the clear from the debris.

    He spotted the comm flashing at him, a message to get hold of Feyna. Of course he would have good and bad news to report.

    He activated his comm with a smile "Hey kid, what's up?"

    The items in this room brought back more memories than perhaps anything else Feyna had encountered in the past fourteen years.

    She'd visited Naboo a few times over the years, and there was the annual Return, to the Graveyard; they definitely held deep reminders, but this was different. She'd never expected to see these things again...

    Winter had quietly stepped out, but before Feyna had a chance to fully process what all was here, her comlink chimed.

    "Han." She was relieved to hear from him. "Are you okay? Did you find Madelyn and Tor?"

    Han nodded "Yeah I found them and me, Lumpy and the Falcon are still in one piece. They were in Boba Fett's ship Slave 1. He's dead. Coruscant is not going to be eaten like Mandalore was, I don't know how but somebody down there stopped it".

    He sighed sadly "We may have taken out the last of the cruisers there but the planet…." He shook his head "Is one hell of a devastation zone. The powers been cut of and wrecks are fallin from the sky".

    "I don't think there's anything we can do for the people below".

    It was sobering to hear, but Madelyn and Tor were okay, and the Eternal tech that had leveled Metellos and Mandalore had been stopped, so it still wasn't as bad as it could have been.

    "I'll see if we can send some of the fleet back once the ships are able, to evacuate the survivors."

    At the moment, it was the best they could do. She'd had an update from Beruss about the Senate's vote to move the capital, so whether the Republic would attempt to reclaim Coruscant, or if it would be evacuated and abandoned, was something to think about for the future.

    "I hate to say it kid but i'm not sure if there was anything we can do" he still looked sad "I don't think we can get everyone off that's remaining. And they will have to dodge debris and other bits".

    He smiled "So, you wanted me to get in touch with you, and I don't think it's just about Coruscant is it?".

    She bit her lip, suddenly feeling even more awkward about this. Hopefully he wouldn't think she was being insensitive or selfish...

    "I know that this is not great timing for this, but we weren't sure when we'll get another chance to get away, with everything that's happened...so Isolder and I are eloping, and we wanted to know if you'd like to come to the ceremony. Winter and I are already at New Alderaan, but we still have some arrangements to make, so you still have time to get here. It'll just be us, Winter, and General Chelchu, otherwise. You can ask Madelyn and Tor, too, but you can't tell anyone else. Isolder's mother doesn't even know we're doing this."

    Han had to smile wider at that. Yes the galaxy was all going to pot and Coruscant was sadly doomed. But Feyna had been nice enough to invite him to her own wedding.

    "Course i'll come kid, there is no time like the present to have a little pick me up. And this might just be it." He held his hand over his heart "And I do solemnly swear not to tell anyone, you can trust me" he winked.

    "I'm sure Madelyn will come along, Tor not so sure. We've been through a lot and it'll be nice to get the old gang back together. Besides me and Lumpy could use a break before we pick up Xav and Ben".

    He suddenly had an idea "Hey, have you got anyone to walk you down the aisle or give you away? Cause i'm happy to do it, seems the least I could do for you".

    "I wasn't planning on having an escort, with Dad and Anakin both gone," Feyna admitted. "Maybe Winter, even though traditionally it's supposed to be a man."

    "Perhaps you two can share the honor? Let me talk to her first, though." She didn't think Winter would argue. She tried not to laugh at the thought of Ta'a Chume's reaction when she found out Feyna had had a smuggler escort her at her wedding--one who'd barely tolerated her fourteen years ago. Not to mention what her late family members might have thought.

    But he'd reminded her of something else. "Han, with Zorn dead now, what will you do with Ben?"

    That indeed was a very good question. And at least she had not shot down his idea of walking her down the aisle.

    "Well I guess he's my responsibility now. Anakin would have taken on his carebut since he has no other family left….I guess I will look after him".

    He shrugged "Will have to see what Xav says of course, we've never talked about startin a family. Xav though hopefully is keepin him entertained and who knows, she might want to look after him too".

    "Although imagine havin a mini Solo runnin around" he chuckled "Well it'll definatly be better than bein a Sith. Plus we have a Wookiee aboard who might want to do the uncle duties".

    He smiled again "Maybe perhaps you'd like to see him if you ever get a break from Chancellorin'".

    She nodded. "I would like to see him, once in a while, if you can manage it."

    Whatever he'd become, Zorn had once been Luke. Ben was his son. She couldn't take the boy herself, he wouldn't be safe, but she wanted to have some kind of place in his life.

    Han nodded "Sure i'll manage it, you can be his unofficial Aunt if you like. Not many kids would be lucky enough to meet a Chancellor".

    "So, would you like to chat to Madelyn and Tor about the weddin? I'm sure they'd like to talk to you. Especially Madelyn".

    "Yes. I haven't talked to Madelyn since after the attack on Mandalore."

    "Does Madelyn know that the planet was restored after Zorn died?" And Feyna thought Han had mentioned before that both Madelyn and Ka'rta's husbands were alive, though Feyna had heard that they'd perished in the attack. And Feyna had never properly met Tor. They might want to go home, to their families, rather than come to the wedding.

    Han nodded "Yeah she knows, that's why Ka'rta went back to start rebuildin'. Madelyn and Tor chose to come along to Coruscant and try and kill Skelm. Course it turns out he decided to run away and leave Coruscant with it's own destruction".

    "A lot of the Mandalorians after Exegol just headed for home, I think they'd had enough. And I don't know what they would think of their leader gettin involved in New Republic business. The way i've seen them they tend to put Mandalore and family first".

    "I can't really blame them," Feyna said, shaking her head a little. If she could have, she'd have tried to separate herself from all these issues.

    "Skelm's gone back to Bakura, it's expected he'll announce it as his capital, but I'm not having any more talk about him for the next few days." She was not going to let politics invade her wedding.

    "I hear you on that kid" Han said "Well I suppose i'd better get movin if we need to get there in time for your big moment. Hopefully Madelyn will come, you seem like good friends".

    He winked at her "Don't start without me, OK?"

    "Don't be late," she jibed back.

    "See you soon, Han."

    TAG: @Sinrebirth , @JediMasterAnne , (@galactic-vagabond422 and @TheSilentInfluence for mentions)
     
    darthbernael and Sinrebirth like this.
  18. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, House was on fire, didn't do it star 4 Staff Member Moderator

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Fun combo with @HanSolo29 and @Sinrebirth

    IC Bernael/Nevet, Skelm/Graul/Sistros, the Saarai-Kaar, Jalynn
    Bakuran Senate, Salis Daar


    The flight down had been opulent but uneventful, save for the briefings. Bernael had chuckled at the one that covered the New Republic’s Senate session. The fact that Feyna had refused the power that many of her supporters was a point that he added to things to discuss with Sistros. He authorized the Core units to withdraw to Yag’Dhul, leaving solitary scouts hidden in asteroid belts or debris fields in the NR territory to pass intel back as long as they survived.

    Besides the briefing he had spoken to his consort, explaining to the Saarai-Kaar about the workings of the Empire and how Skelm would be the public face. He was sure she didn’t like the idea that a God was not front and center but being the hidden power, but it did work best as the NR didn’t truly seem to know about him yet and the longer they could extend their influence and power.

    When they landed and the Skytrooper escort fell in around them a small smile formed behind the mask he’d put back over his face. He could probably handle any of the problems that could come for him better than the automatons but appearances were a thing. They were escorted into the Senate building and through corridors until they reached a small room.

    Before they entered the room Bernael could feel two presences, one he recognized, both as his ‘brother’ and through their GEMINI bond. The other seemed related to Sistros, female and much younger so he supposed a daughter. Beyond the room he could hear someone making a speech that was rising the passions of the crowd. His head cocked to the side for a moment as he felt a bond between the person behind the voice and the man standing before him as he entered the room.

    He could feel the Force running through the room, from Sistros he expected it and if the younger female was indeed his daughter then it made a certain sense that she had it too. He smiled once more, the black of his eyes glittering. Upon entering he nodded to the man, ”A pleasure to meet you, in person.” Mentally he sent a greeting as well, ’Good to see you in the flesh once more, Sistros.’

    He turned slightly, indicating the Saarai-Kaar, ”Allow me to introduce my consort and the Commander of my Knights. Saarai-Kaar, the Emperor Graul; Emperor Graul, Saarai-Kaar.”

    Nevet, Skelm returned through their bond, acknowledging the mental greeting first. It has been far too long.

    Despite the satisfaction he expelled through the Force at Nevet’s arrival, his expression was decidedly grim. It was a reflection of his current state of mind, particularly after the report he had received from GEMINI. While he could certainly leverage the Senate’s foolish decision to expand Organa’s term—it was almost too easy, in this case—it rankled him to learn that Nubia had abandoned him. To complicate things further, they had then announced that Nola Deidder would be installed as the new Senator.

    A known supporter of the Chancellor.

    The Nubian people will undoubtedly pay for their insolence.

    That terrible truth momentarily overshadowed everything else, including the imminent warning about the Yuuzhan Vong and the strange disturbance that had apparently interfered with his campaign on Coruscant.

    Clenching his jaw, Skelm idly caressed the fabric of the black cloak he had acquired from Trayus after the man’s departure. The woven fibers had a calming effect, almost as if the Force itself had embodied it. He inhaled deeply to relish this sensation, finding focus as he finally extended a hand to welcome his guests.

    "It’s an honor, Ma’am," Aryan purred to Saarai-Kaar, bringing her hand to his lips and kissing it in a respectful manner. He then stepped back to regard his brother, unfazed by the other man’s intimidating presence. "Lord Bernael," he nodded sagely. "The pleasure is all mine."

    Continuing the introductions, the Emperor turned marginally, resting a hand on Jalynn’s shoulder to lend his support as he ushered her forward. "And this is my daughter, Jalynn," he beamed with a father’s pride. "The Imperial Princess."

    Jalynn looked a little out of place, but took a breath and stood a bit straighter; she didn't want to embarrass her father. "A pleasure, Emperor Bernael." She offered her hand to him, mimicking the Saarai-Kaar, who was smiling at Skelm and his black-cloaked attire.

    "Very fashionable, Emperor Graul."

    There was a knock and the Prime Minister stepped through. She looked to the massive Anzati, and the woman in her ornate amour, noting the lightsabers on their belts. "Emperor Graul," Gaeriel said, slipping into formal addresses as they were in company. Of course, she had not been introduced to Bernael or the Saarai-Kaar either.

    The GEMINI droids were silent, busied with orders and concerns, or committed to repairing their ships and themselves. Most of Graul's half of the fleet had some kind of damage, though Bernael's half remained the smaller of the two due to the consolidation he had performed and explosion of the prototype through part of his formation.

    Bernael could feel the turmoil in Graul, without even having to delve into the man’s mind. It was right there on the surface of his thought. But he could also sense that it was related to politics and things going on in the New Republic sectors which wasn’t his true forte. Still, he would speak to the man when they both had time alone to be able to discuss everything that needed doing.

    A small smile came to his face as Graul greeted the Saarai-Kaar, an immaculate gentleman in his greeting. The young woman that was brought forward, as she was, he could see the resemblance to Graul so when she was introduced as his daughter his assumption of that was confirmed. When she held out her hand he stepped forward slightly, taking hers in his. ”A pleasure to meet you, Princess Jalynn.” He gestured to his side, ”Princess Jalynn, may I introduce you to the Saarai-Kaar.” His gaze rose and the corner of his right eye crinkled behind the mask in a smile as his gaze met Graul’s before returning to hers, serious expression again. Leaning closer, he whispered, ”But you...you may call her Marana Sukarr. She would not mind.” just loud enough for Jalynn to hear.

    As he was greeting Jalynn another figure entered, the one he’d felt in the other room who had a tie to Graul. He lifted the fact that she was the Prime Minister here from her mind as she entered. The tiny smile returned to his face at the formality she displayed and the small sense of unease as she noticed that both he and his consort had their sabers on their belts.

    Releasing Jalynn’s hand, he stepped back once more, giving her a sense of space, returning to the Marana’s side. His black eyes met hers, before they returned to Graul’s. ”There is much to discuss, of course but perhaps one last round of introductions are in order, for the Prime Minister’s sake.”

    He turned to her, nodding in recognition of another person of power, ”Madam, I am Emperor Graul’s co-Emperor, the Emperor Bernael.” his hand touched his consorts, ”And, as I advised him, this is my consort and Commander of my Knights, the Saarai-Kaar.” His eyes flicked to Jalynn’s for a moment and if she’d been quick enough to notice she would probably say he winked at her in the ‘secret’ knowledge he’d given her.

    The exchange between Bernael and Jalynn was a curious one. It immediately drew Skelm’s attention, his eyes narrowing perceptively, though he did not interfere at this juncture. He realized that the Anzati’s attempts to ease the girl’s mind could prove beneficial to their cause, especially if it purged the weakness from her soul. It would only strengthen their resolve as they embarked on this journey together.

    With a thin smile, Skelm nodded his approval before his eyes swept over the Saarai-Kaar’s lithe form. Her comment about his cloaked attire had not gone unnoticed. He idly wondered if she had recognized his robes, or if she had merely meant it as a compliment. Either way, it was not the appropriate time to delve into such matters.

    Nevertheless, he still acknowledged her flattery with a knowing look, his smile widening to crinkle his eyes.

    The Emperor then turned to capture Gaeriel’s hand in his own, leading her forward to conclude the introductions. "And this is my gorgeous fiancée, Gaeriel Captison," he announced with warm admiration. "She will serve as my Empress—as well as the Prime Minister—to our Eternal Empire."

    Aryan felt no shame in showing his affection in front of their guests as he leaned down and planted a kiss on her lips.

    However, he quickly recovered and his expression turned serious once more. "So, Emperor Bernael," he drawled in a gravelly baritone. "I assume that you were able to catch the latest news cycle to come across the HoloNet? Very ironic that the Republic should adopt such a precarious decree. Extend the Chancellor’s term indefinitely? Have they truly not learned from their past mistakes?"

    Skelm scoffed and waved his hand dismissively. "It certainly works in our favor."

    Gaeriel smirked. "If Feyna hadn’t limited it to six years, they very well may have made her Chancellor for Life, actually. It’s quite amusing, how they claim the moral high ground and yet blow up politicians live on the HoloNet and repeat the same mistakes they did with Palpatine."

    "Hypocrisy is a thing," Jalynn said drily. "But I suppose it’s down to us to make a counter-speech? We had lots of questions when we arrived on Bakura about what our intentions were."

    "I would have expected our actions to have spoken louder than our words," the Saarai-Kaar chuckled slightly. "But words have their own power, after all."

    "We can use both to our advantage, yes," Aryan surmised evenly, his gaze sweeping over the Saarai-Kaar before he turned to regard his daughter. He could not keep the proud grin from his face. It was encouraging to see her engaged and so willing to offer her opinions on the subject. He was even quite impressed by her observations, which were both articulate and well-informed. She showed a lot of promise, and he couldn’t help but imagine her as a strong and competent leader one day—his heir.

    "But all things considered, I do believe we need to issue a statement, sooner rather than later," Skelm concluded with a quick wink to Jalynn. "We need to control the narrative, and I know the people also want to hear from me. Especially when you take into account the recent reports out of Corellia."

    A tiny smile came to Bernael’s lips as Graul kissed his fiance. "They have done themselves no favors with the new terms of office for the Chancellor. Even if it’s vaguely defined for the purpose of not making it seem permanent to too many worlds, not their politicians but the peoples of those worlds themselves, will remember the last Chancellor with that power and how he turned out."

    Skelm pressed his lips together firmly as he considered those very same ramifications. "Precisely," he nodded his agreement. "At the very least, it sets a dangerous precedent for future generations, one that they have become inherently blind to in their haste to snuff us out. By the time they realize their mistake, it will be far too late for them to reverse action."

    A small chuckle escaped from his throat at the thought. "I’m almost looking forward to the day in which that happens. But who says we have to wait? We can certainly exploit this now to garner support for our side."

    Bernael moved slightly closer to Marana, their sides touching, "For our purposes, I propose that you, Graul, be our public face. Most of the galaxy does not know I exist yet, or how powerful I am so keeping that behind the scenes will benefit us." A sudden thought came to him, "The Society I developed years ago still exists, I am sure. And should be perfectly placed to assist us without giving away that we can assist the ‘benevolent' leadership of the New Republic to march down a similar path to the first time. And, I am sure, they are desperate to hear from their ‘Dad’ so when I contact them they will be more than ready to assist us."

    He turned his gaze on Gaeriel, "Your husband’s job will be the one he enjoys, the political banter and thrust of diplomacy. You may consider me the beskar fist in the velvet glove of his diplomacy. And I do offer you three a place aboard the flagship, its resources will be more than valuable for both diplomatic work as well as military or espionage work. Plus, keeping our little ‘family’ safe is of the highest import."

    "As the Fleet regroups, a maintenance and repair station is already in progress at Yag’Dhul, as well as several other worlds we control, so the Fleet can be repaired and what remains brought back to full working order. And,"
    he smiled coldly, [color= #808000"Where we had to fall back, we have assets in place to ensure intelligence on their activities, as long as they last."[/color]

    Crossing his arms over his chest, Skelm inclined his chin in a gesture that conveyed his assent. He had no qualms about Bernael’s proposal; the Imperial hierarchy would remain under the rule of a duumvirate. However, with the elusive nature of Nevet’s personality, it made sense that he should continue to influence events from the shadows. Aryan agreed that he could accomplish more from that vantage point, and he also trusted him to do so.

    In addition, they each had their own set of skills to give—Bernael would serve as the brilliant tactician while Aryan was the consummate politician. They complimented each other—both their strengths and weaknesses—which made them a formidable force.

    "What is the nature of this...Society?" Skelm asked after a moment, his brow lifting curiously. It was the only aspect of the plan that he was uncertain about, but that wasn’t due to a lack of faith. He sought clarification; he was unfamiliar with the term. "But if they will serve as an affiliate to facilitate our needs, then I welcome their input and support."

    But then he paused as a shadow appeared to pass over his countenance, his mind wandering back to the source of his earlier consternation. "Of course, there is also a…personal matter I wish to resolve with my homeworld of Nubia. They recently decided to endorse the Republic by appointing Nola Deidder to the Senate, a known advocate for the Chancellor. I cannot standby while they engage in acts of treason."

    Skelm clenched his hand into a fist. "And that’s in spite of another potential threat that may land upon our doorstep." He tightened his jaw muscles, his blue-gray eyes shifting to follow the contours of Bernael’s mask. "Have you heard the rumors about the...Yuuzhan Vong?"

    A dark smile crossed Bernael’s face. ”First, the Society, it is an organization I built over the eons of beings that I saved when fulfilling the mission I was on. It has built into a group that has members in every strata of society, appearing loyal to the polity they live in but truly loyal only to each other and ultimately me. So having been out of contact with me this long has probably caused them a lot of worry.”

    He tapped his wristpad and sent a data dump to the nearest pad that was keyed to Sistros, simply identifying the worlds the Society had members on which were most worlds of the galaxy, encrypted of course. When done, ”A personal issue like that is one that needs to be resolved. We will find a way to ensure it is so.”

    And then his grin truly turned dark, ”The Vong, a very interesting species. I dealt with them in the past, the incident when the Program on Nouane was terminated, their Last Class was an interesting one. And almost led to both a Vong and a Nagai invasion of the galaxy. Hmmm,” he tapped a talon against his mask, ”I wonder if Aurrenna Adasca or a child of hers still survives. I am sure she would have told any offspring what she learned as well as what happened beyond that time.”

    He shook his head, glanced down at Marana, a small smile, ”One thing that works in our favor is that the usual invasion routes the Vong favor all go through Republic space long before they reach us. Which we can capitalize on, the safe, strong, polity that can ‘save’ the rest of the galaxy.”

    A wry smirk flitted across Skelm’s lips as he glanced briefly at his datapad, thoroughly intrigued by the extensive network of underground operatives who were loyal to their cause. He had no idea that such an organization existed, but considering the age of the galaxy itself, he supposed that it wasn’t too surprising to discover a plethora of deeply rooted secrets. He would certainly like to explore this further.

    However, for the moment, he merely returned the datapad to the folds of his cloak and refocused his attention on the more imminent threat.

    In a sense, Skelm was relieved to learn that his concerns about the Vong weren’t entirely unwarranted. The incident surrounding Pedric Cuf had immediately aroused his suspicions, though he had failed to follow up with a proper investigation. His only regret was that he should’ve pursued that lead sooner.

    Fortunately, Bernael more than compensated for that initial mistake. He demonstrated a vast knowledge of the alien invaders’ history, which would prove invaluable to any future campaigns they launch against them. In many ways, he probably possessed more intelligence than the entirety of the Republic. And if the Vong followed the projected path Bernael highlighted in his report, that did not bode well for the Chancellor and her traitorous band of miscreants.

    "Yes, that will give us a distinct advantage," Skelm surmised evenly, voicing his sentiments out loud as he rested a hand against his chin. "And if you can reach this…Adasca person, perhaps we could learn even more about our enemy to further prepare our forces."

    Another thought crossed his mind, causing his eyes to narrow. "Even Admiral Thrawn appeared well-informed about the impending invasion. From my understanding, he is averse to the idea of cooperating with us, but maybe we can persuade him. I would love to pick his brain on the subject.”

    "But before we delve into specifics and get too far ahead of ourselves, I do feel that it’s pertinent that we deal with Nubia first."
    Skelm rocked back on his heels, a sly grin tugging at the corner of his mouth. "I want to send a message to my brethren—and the rest of the galaxy—about the price they will pay for acts of insubordination, cowardice, disrespect, and…treachery. Would it be possible for you to contribute units to the cause?"

    The Emperor inclined his head to regard Bernael’s featureless mask before his eyes flicked over to the Saarai-Kaar. He wanted to make it clear that he was not excluding the Jensaarai from this effort. The invitation was open to them both, if they wished to participate.

    That brought him to his next inquiry as he then redirected his gaze to Gaeriel and squeezed her hand. "What about the Bakuran fleet?" he murmured in a sultry tone, lifting his brow expectantly. "I think it’s time we demonstrate what they are truly capable of."

    Bernael would recall that three Bakura-class Star Destroyers held in orbit, built around an Imperial II reactor but in a more compact shape. They had X, A, B and Y-Wings in their control as well, and the flagship was a light cruiser built off a Carrack-class hull. Nothing spectacular but a decent enough force for a formerly independent nation state.

    Bernael nodded as he thought, a small smile creasing his face as a plan formulated. Pulling a portable holo disc from his belt, he flipped it on, connecting with the AI’s on the flagship. As Lana and Theron came into focus, he sent them the information about the Bakuran fleet. ”Add data pertaining to the Carrack class cruiser Intruder, flagship of the Bakuran fleet, as well as the Sentinel, Watchkeeper, and Defender, Bakura class SDs, to your database. Compare their capabilities, backed up by an Eternal cruiser from my and Skelm’s fleets, to that of Nubia’s defense force and calculate the odds of a successful campaign against that system. Least time calculations please, I wish to give Skelm a solid plan with a high likelihood of success that he can present to the Bakuran government.

    [​IMG]
    Namana Class (based off of the Carrack Class)

    [​IMG]
    Bakura Class SD

    He looked up, knowing that this would leave Bakura without a fleet while the operation was underway. ”A second pair of Eternal cruisers can guard Bakura while we take the fleet to punish Nubia. Yes, take, all three of you as well as myself and Marana will go with the fleet, in the flagship. This will give our allies an opportunity to demonstrate their enthusiasm with the new leadership.”

    His black eyes turned on Gaeriel, ”Or would I be wrong to believe your fleet would want to demonstrate such, to their Emperor?”

    His gaze shifted again, toward Jalynn, ”And, perhaps, Jalynn would find the experience educational, watching Marana direct the battle.”

    Gaeriel looked at Bernael, and then back at Graul. “I don’t see why we should wave the flag in person. Why don’t we devastate them mid-speech? You can speak of your punishment having already been meted.”

    She seemed like she was debating it. “Though speaking from the bridge of a Star Destroyer is a strong signal too...” It was a politician's question, after all, and Graul was that.

    Once again, Skelm brought his hand to his chin and adopted a contemplative stance as he pondered their options. Bernael obviously had expertise with the fleet, and he trusted him to utilize that strategy to carry them to victory. However, Gaeriel also had a point about the effectiveness of their approach from a political perspective. He thought he had detected a hint of hesitancy in her response, but overall, he found himself agreeing with her assessment. Arranging the assault to occur during the HoloNet speech would have a greater impact across the wider galaxy; it would drive their objective home.

    But that wasn’t the only determining factor.

    He did not approve of Jalynn being an active participant in the battle, not after she had endured so much hardship. She had only just returned to his life, and he did not want to jeopardize their burgeoning relationship. No doubt the lessons she could potentially learn from the Saarai-Kaar would be crucial to her own development, but he wasn’t sure if she was ready for that yet.

    Or maybe he just didn’t want to admit to himself, as a father, that he was overly protective of her wellbeing.

    "I’ll give my address from the Senate chambers as planned," Skelm stated with conviction, stepping forward to divide the gap between Bernael and Gaeriel. "The people need to see me in the flesh, and it will also afford me the opportunity to properly introduce Jalynn as the Imperial Princess." He paused here to rest his hand upon his daughter’s shoulder. "It’ll promote unity.”

    "And then at the right moment, we will launch the campaign to solidify our base and emphasize our strength. I want to send a clear message—we will not tolerate traitors or those who lend them support. Nubia is harboring these people, and they will serve as an example."


    Skelm pursed his lips and canted his head. "However, once the dust settles, I would like to return home and sift through the remnants. As you know, my roots are firmly established on the planet, both through my father’s company and the old homestead. I feel that it is my obligation as the surviving heir to recover all that I can for my family."

    Again, he squeezed Jalynn’s shoulder. "It’ll be for your legacy."

    The GEMINI algorithms suggested that they consolidate their Core forces at Nubia once the Bakuran forces had done their work, noting stiffening resistance at Kuat and both New Republic and Hapan capital ships arriving from Corellia to assist in relieving the system - a dozen so far. The new Kuati Senator had firmly placed them in the Senate camp, and even voted for Feyna's increased powers.

    Of course this information flowed between Aryan and Bernael only, a silent addendum.

    For Bernael, there was a short update that the Tapani Jedi Lords had fallen into the trap and the Jensaarai team was ambushing them as it communicated.

    Jalynn, for her part, smiled at her father. "I would very much like that, Father." She slipped into formality easily, and accepted a squeeze of her shoulder from Gaeriel, who she supposed was now her step-mother.

    "I shall inform Admiral Ossilege of the Bakuran Navy as to his target, and have him get under-way, so he is positioned to strike once you give the word." The Empress-come-Prime Minister nodded, gesturing gallantly to the exit and their waiting crowd, which now included holograms from various nations that were now aligned with them - the Eriaduan Quintad, the Governor of Anoat, the Moff of the Lambda Sector, the Lords of the Senex-Juvex and Arkanis Sectors. "Shall we?"

    The Saarai-Kaar was quite close to Bernael, almost to the point of hanging off the tall Anzati. She purred. "Let us reveal our true selves to the galaxy and your new Eternal Empire."

    Bernael let the information flow from GEMINI and sent Sistros his agreement with their evaluation, regroup and consolidate at Nubia, those forces that would pull back from the stiffening resistance at Kuat and Corellia. He told GEMINI to prepare those forces to begin their withdrawals, with the same protocols as in other systems, leaving singular Skytrooper type units in hidden locations to retrieve intelligence for them until they were destroyed.

    He turned, gazing down on Marana, the crinkle to his eyes suggesting a smile, ”The Knights are performing well in the mission they have been sent on. There should be some good news Graul can capitalize on soon, in regard to the Tapani nobles.”

    Turning his gaze back to his co-Emperor, ”And this is why having those with military minds and political minds together, the plan becomes fully developed. The assault of Nubia, inform the Admiral he is to begin as he receives the start of the broadcast of Emperor Skelm’s speech. In that way he will be able to report success as he is questioned about it, live on holo.”

    He pulled the Saarai-Kaar closely against him, ”Yes, my dear, let us show those who refuse our peace and security what the consequences of that decision is.” Straightening slightly, he gestured to Graul, ”After you, my brother.”

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @HanSolo29, @Mitth_Fisto (Mentioned as Aurrenna Adasca)
     
    Sinrebirth and HanSolo29 like this.
  19. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Prince Isolder
    New Alderaan, distant Outer Rim

    Seemingly Winter had ensured there was a decent enough stockpile of wedding-related attire on New Alderaan, and Isolder could only rue how well that she knew her best friend - that they wouldn't manage a full-blown event, not without putting it off for too many years. So she had prepared for them to elope, to head away from the stars and center of the galaxy, to do something that was more about them then the galaxy at large.

    Maybe they'd do a full-scale bonanza one day, but with the pressure gone, with their perfect ceremony here, then it would work much better.

    He knew Feyna was somewhere in the fortress, originally founded by ancient Alderaanian colonists and abandoned however many years ago. It had since attracted its fair share of attention from survivors of Alderaan, even moreso than Delaya, the second inhabited planet in the system. Indeed, there had been talk about renaming it the Delaya system, or even the Delaya Sector, but the Delayian's had rallied against that - they wanted to remember their motherworld, and changing the name seemed ultimately disrespectful.

    Indeed, the conversation between Feyna and Han and Lumpy had wound down, and she had moved on to speak to Tor, Madelyn and Mirdala. That connection was a necessary one, even as Nola and Del wondered what to do about Sal-Solo being, well, Sal-Solo.

    As Isolder washed away the grime of the Battle of Exegol, and perhaps the last few days of stress, trauma and violence, he reflected upon the event to come. He sincerely doubted it would be just him, her, Winter and Tycho, but that was fine. He could accept a small-scale moment, with their friends and extended family - but not his mother. He'd inform her later.

    With a cringe, he refocused on his shower and his wife-to-be.

    TAG: @JediMasterAnne (combos to finalise), @galactic-vagabond422, @TheSilentInfluence
    ---

    On the way to New Alderaan, hitting the Brentaal node

    The quickest way to the world where Feyna and Isolder were getting married was to take the Perlemian Trade Route to the Outer Rim, and it was also the safest way as well, firmly within New Republic territory. Lumpy didn't even need to think about it, but he did opt to decant a few times along the route to ensure he had the latest galactic update, and also to keep an eye on that vibration that was running through the engines. They'd taken a few hits, at Exegol, at Coruscant - the Wookiee wanted to be careful, let alone that any route might not be safe from one day to the next.

    But he didn't expect the comm to chime when they decanted at the first stop. He groaned, wondering what was going on now.

    He didn't recognise the code, and when he checked the relays it had been bounced through so many systems that it was basically impossible to track.

    With a threatening rumble, he called for Han and flipped the line open.

    And was pleasantly surprised.

    "That took way too long," Xaverri quipped, holding a sleeping baby in her arms. "Where are you, and how long until you are coming to get me?"

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox
    ---

    Bakura, the Eternal Empire capital, Salis Daar

    The Bakuran Admiral Ossilege immediately departed, driving for the jump with the four capital ships in short order. Even though smaller than traditional Star Destroyer and light cruiser variants, the four ships were as modern as they came, and well armed. Almost any system would cave to three Imperial II-class warships, and that was at very least what was en route to Nubia right now.

    She refocused upon the room.

    Those present included the entire Bakuran Senate, representing various districts of the homeworld, but also other star systems in the sector - Cattamasca, Gymelo, Timora. They were lesser populated, colony worlds which had acquired a degree of independence but remained loyal to the homeworld. Among the hologram attendants were to be Governor Adelhard, Senex Lord Garonnin, Quintad Harro of Eriadu, Moff Larkin, and indeed Lady Sindian. A decent enough gathering, but not quite as powerful as Senator Treen, Moff Lecersen and of course the Coruscanti Bramsin.

    Gaeriel
    wasn't especially concerned about that; Treen had attempted to upset the balance between her and Aryan, and sought those three dinners to convince him to make her Empress. Gaeriel concealed an unprofessional grin as she allowed Aryan to lead her and Jalynn to the floor. There were noises of approval as they made their way forward, and a degree of consternation as Bernael and his armoured Saarai-Kaar stepped out.

    Gesturing to the Bakuran Guards, they stood to attention and the hub-bub quieted.

    "I would request your silence while the Twin Emperors of the Eternal Empire speak. We have entered a new stage of the conflict for the soul of the galaxy; for worlds of order, and peace, and justice."

    The holograms of the off-worlder representatives triggered, joining in.

    "With Balance, we shall bring all of those things."

    "As my Emperor will tell you all."

    TAG: @HanSolo29, @darthbernael
    ---

    Kesh, the ocean

    Qwi would find her fall cushioned, and she fell into the soft embrace of a bed of clothes. A human woman made a noise of shhh, and threw a tarp over the Omwati, even though her eyes were alarmed. She whispered as she did so. "I don't know how that cloak made you heavier - you're clearly not nearly as weighty as that exertion required."

    The tarp was painted the same colour as the ocean that surrounded them, and the woman kicked from the edge of the small boat to send them on their way. "Before you ask, I'm Orielle Marrian. Not the first with that name, not by far, but you wouldn't know that, unless of course somehow you do know about my father, a Jedi who crashed here about three thousand years ago." She paused. "Nope, didn't think so."

    In short order, they were on land, and a paddock at that. It stank, to be honest. Uvak grazed nearby, and looked up long enough to decide they didn't care, returning to nibbling at the grass. Orielle hissed at them, and looked back with intelligent, blue eyes. "I know there was more than one of you on that ship, but you need to trust me. Sleep, if you can." She pushed a half-loaf of bread and a napsack of water over. "But you need to stay here. Don't move. Please, promise me." Night was falling on Kesh again, and Qwi would feel completely and utterly exhausted.

    Her bond between her and Beaumont was not gone.

    Not at all.

    She could feel his pain, as the Lost Tribe of the Sith rummaged through his mind, brushed upon their connection, defiled their most sacred memories.

    And then... nothing.

    Had he collapsed?

    Unconscious...

    ... dead?

    The thought was too much to face, if she did so think it.

    But the stillness of night was disturbed by a rustle, by a tumble, by a bounce, and an exertion in the Force.

    Orielle returned... with a body wrapped in a cloak.

    She swept in to the barn, and placed the cloak down, revealing Beaumont.

    He looked like he was dead.

    His body was still, his face covered in bruises and contusions and cuts, some knife wounds, sound lightsaber burns. His mind was completely ripped, and the young man was in a terrible shape. His eye was swollen shut, his clothes were completely gone, and there was not a part of him that was not battered or injured.

    "Wait for it," Orielle said, placing a different liquid on his lips. It stank, different to the manure of the Uvaks, and Beaumont coughed - he was alive!

    Orielle sat back with a sigh of relief. "They always throw off bodies from the top of the mountain when they are done with them. The fall kills them, and they have the descent to lament what they did." She toed him with her boot. "They'll have ripped from his mind everything they need to know, or want. Then they send the meat to me, to bury and turn into fertiliser..." Her chin took in the Uvak. "So they have grass to eat."

    Beaumont couldn't say a thing, he merely spat up what was in his mouth, and moaned.

    It wouldn't take long to realise that he was trying to say her name.

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox
    ---

    Yavin 4

    The violence there, well, it was a precursor to much more, but not the end of all things.

    Well.

    It might yet be.

    Vhardia, Leia and Renn were running out of time.

    TAG: @darthhelinith, @TheSilentInfluence, @darthbernael (combo to continue and finalise)
    ---

    Mandalore

    After Venku left, Ka'rta was left to her own devices, by and large. Owen and Jerod were running the clan while Mandalore business was attended to, even as they connected with their various friends across the galaxy, and the former mercenary world they had once walked in. With others, they pooled their data and constructed a picture of the state of the New Republic and Eternal Empire, looping Ka'rta in.

    The Vizsla's told of when the Eternal Empire attacked Mandalore and killed Mandalore the Vindicated, and Shae Vizsla had taken the throne as Mandalore the Avenger, joining the galaxy in driving back the enemy - and then fighting a civil war against clans who sought to destabilise the galaxy even more. They knew a lot about them, and often told stories of their victory over the droid Skytroopers, and about how to board and disable an Eternal Cruiser - they even had knowledge of the secret to the Eternal Fleet; Thrones which enabled the acknowledged leader to command the armada.

    The mercenaries that had quietly stayed behind on Entralla to reap the spoils of their victory spoke of how the deaths of Moff Lecersen and Ecressys had crippled the pro-Centrist faction in the Council, and they'd heard that what Ka'rta had done there, coupled with the destruction of the prototype Death Star, had managed to tip the Imperial Remnant firmly into a neutral position - when they would likely have thrown in with Graul.

    There was a live transmission to the Bakuran Senate about to occur, and the Prime Minister had just introduced the Twin Emperors of the Eternal Empire, Graul and... who? The transmission gave them a nice list of politicians to put on their let's hit them list.

    They had less about the Yuuzhan Vong than they would like, but word had spread from Coruscant that an infiltrator named Pedric Cuf had hired a few Mandalorians to destabilise governments in the northern worlds, which seemed to speak of an invasion corridor... Sernpidal, Dubrillion, Garqi, Ord Mantell, Obroa-Skai, Phindar, Kubindi... a trail of systems leading to the Mid Rim and then branching.

    Lastly, they had an update that Tor and Madelyn, working with that braggart Han Solo, had stopped whatever plan that the enemy had in mind for Coruscant and cleared out the last of the Eternal Fleet presence. The world was ruined, but at least it was secure.

    All in all, it was a moment of planning, and decisions... the kind of thing Ka'rta hated.

    TAG: @galactic-vagabond422
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
  20. galactic-vagabond422

    galactic-vagabond422 Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Ka'rta
    Mandalor

    "Well," The veteran mercenary said cocking her head to the side. "Good to see nothing changes." She said witnessing the rocus exchanges between the heads of all the clans. "I can guess why you all called me here, you want me to take the role of Manda'lor. Am I close." There seemed to be no dissension. "Well, I can tell you that I don't want it, I am a soldier a merc, not a leader. I led the attack on Entralla because I was pissed off. I wanted vengeance and the only way to get it was by laying waste to the planet. So, you can make your pitch but, unless Madelyn marches through that door and names me Manda'lor I won't take it…"

    There was a lot of grumbling. The clans clearly wanted more action, and less words, but now Mandalore was restored, the fire had been seemingly removed from Ka’rta. One of the Mandalorians leaned forward. “So what’s the plan when the Eternal Empire wants to recruit mercenaries? Are we allowed to fight the New Republic?”

    “Hey, hey!” Another spoke up, his hand on his helmet. “The Chancellor just accepted emergency powers for the next six years to opposed the new Emperor - apparently a big bad galactic invasion is coming, from some species called ‘Yuuzhan Vong’.”

    The Mandalorians started a half dozen separate conversations -

    “So when Palpatine does it, it’s bad, but Feyna Organa does it, it’s okay -“

    “An attack by a shadowy force? Sounds like an excuse to seize power -“

    “If something big and bad is coming, we should be rearming -“

    “Maybe we should see what these Vong want, we could use a war that isn’t Jedi and Sith for once -“

    “And this is what Thrawn has popped up again about? Where’s he fit in all this -“

    Ka'rta let out a long sigh, by the Manda did she hate all these questions. She didn't have time to nit pick about every little thing that was brought up but seemed that was what she was doing.

    "Our policy has been to take jobs that don't conflict with the Republic. But, we are neutral in this so I'd say it's up to Madelyn to continue it. That said I don't see why we need to limit ourselves. If they want all mandalorians on their side they need to pay us...all of us. Though one thing I will not abide is Manda'ade fighting Manda'ade. We are Vode, we don't kill our own. At least not when were under contract."

    "Oh no a career politician wants more power. Who could have possibly seen this coming." Ka'rta mocked, "It won't matter if we are prepared. Our first priority is rearming. We've lost a lot in this fight and we need to be ready to defend ourselves. From the Empire, Republic, or these Vong, if they exist. For now, if the Vong contact us we'll hear them out. Though any final decisions should be left to the Manda'lor."

    Her sneer deepened when she heard the name Thrawn.

    "If that man shows his face again, we smash it in with a clenched fist. No one gets away with using us as their own shock troops. Not without paying us." She paused for a moment before speaking again. "These are questions better put to Madelyn than myself. These are just my thoughts, and how I plan to lead in her stead until she returns."

    “Until?”

    “What if she ever comes back?” The Mandalorians leapt on that potential option. “How long do we wait!?”

    "Well, if...if she dies, then I take her place, until Leia or Alfred are old enough to take over." She didn't want to take power, didn't want the throne, but if it was to preserve the legacy of her sister she would do it. It wasn't about power, it was about preserving everything Madelyn, and by extension herself, had built. "And if anyone has a problem with that. We can settle it in the old ways...by right of combat." She rested her hand on her pistol fire and anger in her eyes. If any one dared to challenge her they would receive the full fury of the Hand of Mandalore.

    There was a wave of silence to that, and the Mandalorians began to disperse with a mutter. They didn’t like an ex-Jedi being Mandalore, and the recent violence against their planet hadn’t helped her cause - but at least everything had been restored.

    A single Mandalorian in full multicoloured armour remained, waiting for the others to disperse. His arms were folded, ready to speak to Ka’rta alone.

    "Got something more to say?" Ka'rta asked the sneer clear in her voice. "Seems everyone else is satisfied. Or too scared to cross me."

    The man stepped forward. “No Mandalorian soldier should have to fight an aruetii's war for the price of a day's food. No Mando'ad should have to fight at all, except to defend Manda'yaim, his home, or his family, or because he wants to. We have to stop being the tool of governments that don't care if we live or die so long as we do their bidding.”

    He said it with absolute certainty.

    “We need to make sure we're warriors with a citadel to defend, so we can pick our battles and not rely on the whims of aruetiise.”

    "That's a nice sentiment but, how are we to keep up tactical and technological changes in the galaxy. Things can change quickly having mercs in the field can keep us abreast of these changes. I'm all for building a citadel, making Manda'yaim impregnable. But, we run the risk of being caught off guard by new strategies in the wider galaxy. And it is a great way to gain experience under live fire that doesn't involve firing on your own in some civil war. But, I do catch your meaning, maybe we should keep back more of our verd a standing army, sending only those that need it out into the galaxy."

    “Do we even have a Mandalorian army right now? Or are just relying upon whoever is happy to step up?” He stepped forward. “Let the galaxy find some other dumb mercenaries to die for it. We'll stay home, look after our own, strengthen the Mandalore sector, and laugh.”

    The Mandalorian shrugged. “We don’t need to know what tech is out there - we should have take it. It’s chaos out there - we used to have supercommandos.”

    "And we can have them again. But we do ourselves no favors completely cutting ourselves off from the wider galaxy. I agree that we need to focus on ourselves but, if we are blind to things outside our sector it is only a matter of time before a group we never saw coming attacks us with new tactics and new technology, and we will be conquered again. We need to be aware of the galaxy, or we'll be caught off guard. And I for one, do not want to be caught with my pants down."

    “Fine,” the man in the multicoloured armour said, folding his arms again. “It’s good to see a Mandalore, temporary or not, actually leading. I’ll put out feelers and see what credits we have floating around to put into a central project.” A shrug. “There are plenty of Mandalorians off-world, in diaspora... did you want to call them back? A million, maybe?” There were only three million Mandalorians on world, at the best of times, but they needed people to rebuild.

    The man was offering to do the legwork, to arguably be Ka’rta’s second in all this, or rather Madelyn’s third.

    "Yes call them back." Ka'rta said nodding her head. "We'll need everyone we can get to rebuild and strengthen us. Right now we need to come together. Now more than ever. Keep me informed if someone needs to be reminded who's in charge." She waited for a moment before asking. "I didn't catch your name."

    He paused. “I can’t refuse the acting Mandalore, I suppose.” He pulled off his helmet, revealing a face very similar to that of Jango Fett - a face the whole galaxy had known as that of the first Stormtroopers the Empire used -

    “My name is Venku,” the thirty-odd year said.

    "Well Venku, I can see us working well together." Ka'rta said with a nod of her head.

    “Yes, I’m the son of a clone,” the man said, shrugging. “Lots of clone blood on Mandalore, or was. We all lost out to Zorn, and I don’t want to see it happen ever again.”

    He went to go and looked back at Ka’rta. “I am holding you responsible for it, Hand.”

    "All I see is Mando'ad," She replied, "And I can take the blame, and I'll be here if you want vengeance."

    As the other mando'ade left reports started flowing in two eternal emperors, a possible invasion corridor, a wedding, her own daughter stopping an attack on Coruscant, the list suddenly became very very long. Ka'rta hung her head. By the Manda she hated this, so much was being thrown at her and she needed to keep track of every little thing. Thankfully she had only one mission. Become stronger, turn her home and any that would join them into a fortress, a force to be reckoned with on the galactic stage. Venku was right. No longer could they allow themselves to be pieces in other people's games. It was time they made their presence distinct. They would not follow the New Republic, or this Eternal Empire, or this group coming in from the north. At least that would be her pitch to Madelyn when she returned. They needed to be prepared.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  21. JediMasterAnne

    JediMasterAnne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2004
    OOC: Nola post is combo w/ Sinre, Feyna is combo w/ Sinre, TheSilentInfluence, and galactic-vagabond

    IC: Senator Nola, and Del Deidder, and Thracken Sal-Solo
    Centerpoint Station, Corellia system

    After the chaos of the last few days, Nola had been glad of a room and a break, a chance to clean up and unwind. She'd taken a shower and changed--they'd brought nothing with them in the rush to escape from Coruscant, but they had been loaned some clothes from Corellia.

    With the Senate's business concluded for the day, she'd been looking forward to an uneventful evening with her husband--who seemed to be nursing a headache, so all the more reason to want some peace and quiet.

    Thracken Sal-Solo, evidently, had other plans.

    Nola didn't especially want to talk to him, and Del even preferred to let the Chancellor deal with him. But--

    "Feyna's 'out of the office' for a few days," she told him, handing him a cold compress for his head.

    The Chancellor had sent a general memo to that effect, but otherwise Nola had no idea where the woman was. Presumably preparing for the move to Riosa. There'd been a separate note to Nola specifically, that she could contact Feyna if it were necessary, but Nola didn't plan on actually using that exception. Certainly not mere hours after the Chancellor's departure.

    "And Force knows I don't blame her for wanting a break."

    Frowning at the datapad, she sighed and stood up from the bed, leaning over to kiss Del's cheek. "I'll try to keep it short. You stay in here and rest, I'll close the door."

    Del sighed. "Fiiiiine." He closed his eyes though, letting her go.

    Sal-Solo was aboard Centerpoint Station in-fact, offering her a face-to-face meeting or a comm call, whichever would be most conducive, in his words. He already knew where her apartment was - he knew where all the Senators were.

    Nola wasn't comfortable having Sal-Solo in the apartment; she also wasn't sure how far she trusted Han Solo's judgement of his cousin, but the Chancellor seemed to have some amount of faith in the smuggler, so she approached the meeting with caution, choosing a comm-line instead of an in-person meeting.

    "Mr. Sal-Solo, what is it you want to discuss?"

    Sal-Solo smiled in a way that was very similar to Han’s, brash and sly. He bowed slightly, even though was on a comm channel. “I thought it would be appropriate for me to discuss the possibility of Nubia and Corellia becoming closer. We need to prepare for the failure of the New Republic, or even the Empire. We need control of our own destiny, don’t you think?”

    Nola managed not to show much reaction at the implications behind his words, that he was basically betting on the New Republic to fall first. No, she kept her expression neutral.

    "While I agree that the New Republic has a hard road ahead, if I wish to discuss the state of relations between Nubia and Corellia, I would prefer to do so with Senator Beruss, and even then, only after I've spoken with the Nubian council."

    She actually should get in touch with the council; she hadn't had a proper conference with them since her appointment, and they would need to be filled in on today's session.

    Sal-Solo smiled. “Well I look forward to speaking to you should I ever become Senator - or leader of the Corellian system, Senator Deidder.” His expression was deeply confident though.

    “But I can see there isn’t much point continuing our conversation, unless you need something of the Hero of Corellia?"

    Cockiness apparently ran in the family.

    "I don't think so. Was that the only reason you called?" To go behind Beruss and Saxan's backs?

    “Saxan’s term is nearly up and I intend to run - and win - I simply thought it would be appropriate to make sure I knew which Senators I could rely upon in the future, is all.” Sal-Solo looked smug. “Senator Rodan seemed very receptive to my ideas, after all.”

    If she had proved a disappointment to him, Nola wasn't feeling too sorry for it. Rodan hadn't made the best impression on her, either.

    "Good luck to you, then. Even if we're not able to be friends, I don't wish to make an enemy of you."

    It wasn't intended as a threat, quite the opposite, actually; he wasn't coming across as someone whose bad side she'd want to be on.

    Sal-Solo nodded. “And one hopes we will never be enemies then.” He signed off with another sardonic smile, and left her to it.

    That left Nola to call Nubia, or to head back to Del -

    Nola relaxed, glad that he was gone, though wondering whether she ought to be concerned, whether she should reach out to Beruss, or Saxan.

    It was getting late in the day though, and she'd had enough of politics and general craziness for now. She could make some calls tomorrow.

    After that, maybe they could head for home.

    Nola returned to the bedroom. "Wanna guess, or shall I just tell you?" She asked Del.

    “Sal-Solo wanted you to do something underhanded and made a side-promise and side-threat,” Del said, without even lifting his head off the pillow. “Probably involving some kind of resolution to take down Saxan or Doman along the way.”

    He took a breath. “Am I close?”

    "Pretty spot-on," Nola said, sitting down on the bed. "He didn't specify exactly what he wanted, but he's definitely betting on the New Republic and the Empire to fail. He's pretty confident he'll be elected Prime Minister when Saxan's term is up, at which point Corellia will probably secede, again."

    She absently stroked Del's hair."It sounds like he's already sweet-talked Rodan into his plans, so if Corellia goes, so will Commenor. I want no part of it."

    Del groaned. "What are we going to do about it? Feyna is going to need to know. We don't another Corellian secession. It always makes things worse."

    The last time Corellia had seceded (it's twentieth such secession) from the Republic had been just before the Clone Wars, and though it had been led by Garm Bel Iblis at the time, and he hadn't allowed the sector to join Dooku's Confederacy of Independent Systems, it had weakened the hand of the Old Senate at a critical juncture...

    They could hardly appear strong and reconcile the new neutral states if they were fissuring members...

    "I was planning on putting in a comm call to Saxan, or Beruss, in the morning...unless you think I shouldn't wait?"

    She was tired; he was, too, and not feeling well on top of it--he probably still had that headache. If calling around about Sal-Solo could wait one night, she'd rather let it.

    "Why not Feyna?" Del said. "Commenor is a New Republic problem, not a Corellian one. Doman and Saxan will be keeping an eye on Sal-Solo anyway, surely." He helped her lay down beside him, conscious that she was exhausted.

    Her brow furrowed a little, though she let him pull her toward him. "I was trying to avoid calling Feyna, until she gets back..."

    “Good point,” Del said, his words slurring with sleepiness. “She does enough as it is...”

    “Can we sleep yet? Sal-Solo is hardly going to take down a Senator and Prime Minister over night... unless you’re sincerely worried about that.” He perked up for the end of the sentence, just about.

    "We'd best hope he doesn't," Nola replied. "But yes, I think we can sleep now."

    TAG: @Sinrebirth

    IC: Chancellor Feyna Organa, Mirdala, Madelyn Linnett, and Tor

    New Alderaan/ Aboard the Slave I, Holonet communication

    Han had signed off, and Feyna had to shake her head a bit. Fourteen years ago, that conversation would not have gone as pleasantly.

    She still hadn't touched or even really taken a good look at the mementos in this room, but she needed to call Madelyn next, and it might be better to get that out of the way first, so she dialed Madelyn's code into her comlink.

    Madelyn felt relief after they had won, she had heard from her family; Arthur and Alfred were safe. Leia hadn't contacted her yet, although Madelyn wasn't worried yet and Kar'ta was speaking with the clans.

    She knew she would need to speak to Tor again before they did anything else, but she was interrupted by her comm. going off.

    "Yes? Hello. This is Madelyn." Madelyn answered softly.

    "Madelyn, it's Feyna," she replied "Are you and Tor all right?"

    "We're okay Feyna. A little bruised but alive." She paused and looked at Tor, motioning for her join her to speak to Feyna. "We need to go back to Mandalore or at least contact them. But is there anything you need? Is there another plan of attack?"

    "No, everything's all right...or as well as it can be, right now," Feyna assured her. The big picture was not pretty, she knew, but it wasn't looking to get better any time soon, and that wasn't why she was calling. "This is actually just a personal matter.

    "Han told me that Arthur and Alfred, and Mirdala are all okay?"

    "Yes they are doing well. Arthur and Alfred are safe, and Leia is training to be a Jedi. But Mirdala was injured when we crash landed on Coruscant. He needs medical attention." Madelyn looked at Tor. "I'll pay any fees to get him the best care." For Tor and Ka'rta's sake.

    "I'm fine, I'll make it home." Mirdala grunted a little.

    "Buir, you're bleeding." Tor said looking over her father. "We should really get you checked out." They young madalorian looked out the window. They'd done it huh, they'd won, whatever that meant. Her target still lived, and she wanted him dead, for pride if nothing else. But, now wasn't the time for that. She had to head home, reunite with her mother, bring her family, her clan back together. "I'm fine too..."

    Mirdala waved off Tor. "I've been in much worse a state, Tor." He was applying bacta patches, and they stayed white rather than blood-soaked, which was a good sign. "Chancellor," he said politely. "We're at your service."

    Madelyn gave Mirdala a sharp look, and added; "Yes, you seem to be doing well." It was a bit sarcastic, but mostly out of worry and she hoped Mirdala would understand. Glancing at Tor, Madelyn reached out and placed a hand on her shoulder. "You did very well Tor. I'm proud of you." And then, as if she could sense what she was feeling she added, "And don't worry, we'll get him eventually. A little patience goes a long way."

    The young woman let out a breath. She hated waiting, and this man had proven himself to be a danger, not just to the galaxy but to Mandalore herself. She touched the medallion she still wore, and would continue to wear. It would protect her from force users.

    "Fine, I guess, why didn't buir or you kill him when he popped his head back up?"

    Madelyn gave Tor a confused look. "The whole situation was complicated. I can't just stab everyone with my lightsaber the minute they return. There had to be planning involved, and resources gathered. Don't forget I broke away from the Republic. That left us in a bind." She paused. "One of my shortcomings, I suppose." She mused, and then sighed. "I know we have to head to Mandalore soon, but we need to speak before we get there." She added, "Not that I want to put pressure on you, but I think my time as Mandalore is over."

    The complexities of galactic politics were still a little above Tor's head at the moment but she could understand the weight of what Madelyn needed to talk about. She shifted slightly her father gave her a raised eyebrow.

    "Something going on I don't know about." Mirdala said.

    "Um...Madelyn wants to name me the next Manda'lor..."

    "What?"

    "Don't get too mad Mirdala." Madelyn replied, and she gave him a small smile. "I know Tor will do a good job, but it's her decision alone to become Mand'alor. None of us can force her, and I do want to talk to her about everything, all the responsibilities it entails." She looked more bashful now. "I always had Tor in mind for my heir. I told her this, but Leia and Alfred were never intended to take over." She paused. "Tor would be a far better Mand'alor then I am."

    "Mad, I'm more concerned." he looked to his daughter furrowing his brow. "Are you sure Adi'ka?"

    "I mean...um...yeah, she chose me." Tor's voice wavered just a little. "It's kinda our Legacy now. Rebuilding Mandalore, making it stronger. I have to carry on that legacy...I think...I don't know, but, I can do this. We don't back down from a challenge right..."

    Mirdala wrapped his hand around the back of his daughter's head pressing his forehead against hers. "You have your buir's blood. You can't back down from anything. You're a Dar Solus alright..."

    Feyna hadn't meant to intrude on a family discussion, and she couldn't quite make out what exactly they were bickering about--she pretended not to hear, waited for a lull, but the situation made her feel rather awkward. Had they forgotten she was on the line?

    When things seemed to get quiet again, she tried to jump in; she'd make it quick, then they could get back to their own conversation.

    "Corellia is taking the refugees from Coruscant, if you need to head there to get Mirdala seen to. Saxan can comm me if they take any issue.

    "Or, if you want to, and don't mind a detour...Prince Isolder and I are getting married on New Alderaan. We wanted to know if you'd like to come. Han is coming, but other than just a couple of our other friends, we're keeping it small, quiet. We'll make a proper announcement when things settle down, when it's more appropriate.

    "I know it's not an ideal time for it, but we weren't sure when we'll get another break, with everything else that's been going on. And if you'd rather go back to Mandlore, to your families, we'll understand."

    Oh..." Tor said looking sheepishly to the comm. "Sorry, I ah...didn't...sorry mam'." Part of her just wanted to go home, go back to her mother and prepare for taking the reins of power. Or maybe taking some time could be useful. However her dad needed help, and they could get that on the way to New Alderaan. She looked to Madelyn.

    "You're dad needs help first, so we should go and get that taken care of first." Madelyn advised. She looked at Feyna. "Of course, I would love to come to you're wedding, but I need to get back to my family first, and if Tor agrees, to say goodbye." She paused. "It's better if we are rested before we go back to Mandalore regardless."

    Mirdala pulled a face. “Absolutely not. The Chancellor just invited us to her wedding - that’s a big honour and we will be attending. You will not be missing it for me. I’m sure New Alderaan has medical facilities, and I’ll get a check up there if need be.”

    He wasn’t sure whether to suggest Ka’rta be invited...

    Madelyn nodded. "Ka'tra should be there too, as should Arthur, Alfred and Leia." She agreed.

    "I don't want to force you to go," Mirdala said. "I just want to make sure you don't go because of me."

    "Well, I don't think Buir is going to want to be there..." Tor added, "But, as long as we can get buir to some medical facility that would be for the best. I'll be there...to represent my buir, and I guess my clan."

    Madelyn smiled and gently tapped Tor on the shoulder. "That's very wise Tor." She complimented.

    "The invitation extends to your families, of course," Feyna reiterated. "But no one is obligated to come if they don't want to. This won't be a big public event with a bunch of heads of state there; just us and a few friends."

    Tor was probably right about Ka'tra; Feyna didn't remember her as being any big fan of hers, and they hadn't seen or spoken to each other in the last fourteen years. Madelyn could still bring her son and husband, if they wanted to attend, but Feyna didn't want anyone to feel like they had to come.

    "We'll be happy to have whoever wants to come, and I promise we won't be offended if there are some who don't; I know it's last-minute, and you've all been through a lot over the last few days."

    "I'll come if I can. But I need to contact Arthur and Alfred." She smiled, and shifted on her feet, thinking about Leia. "And Leia, if she isn't training." She added, looking curious. She wondered how her daughter was doing, and hoped she would be alright.

    "I'll, I'll be there." Tor said definitely, with a nod of her head. It was her responsibility now to represent her clan, given that her mother was likely busy back at home working hard to keep everything together.

    Mirdala didn't have much else to say, he still needed to get seen to, though it seemed he would get that at New Alderaan.

    Feyna nodded back, then looked to Madelyn. "Last I heard about Leia, I think she and a couple of Jedi were on their way to Yavin 4? That was when I was heading for Corellia, I haven't heard anything else since." Madelyn would probably sense if anything had happened to her, though.

    She went to sign off, smiling. "See you soon."

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @TheSilentInfluence @galactic-vagabond422
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
  22. AgentViper007

    AgentViper007 Force Ghost star 7

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

    IC: Qwi Xux, Beaumont Kin
    Location: Kesh


    Qwi felt like she was dying.

    The use of the Force on board Firenze had completely drained her as well as the loss of Beaumont.

    Why did he throw me out? What will they do to him?

    She was slipping in and out of consciousness but she wasn't sinking into water. She could see a blue tarp pulled over her and feel something soft underneath her. Was she on a boat?

    A woman's voice was speaking and Qwi was trying to concentrate but her mind was still foggy. Something about a cloak (if it was Rax's that was definitely still on Beaumont) and the fact that she was it seemed a descendant of a Jedi who had crashed here.

    Hadn't Beaumont said something about that?

    She tried to focus on where Beaumont was, to try and gather strength from the fact the bond had not dissolved.

    A while later still flitting in and out of the black that was calling her she smelt...what was that? It did not smell very nice at all. The woman was looking at her and was talking again about two people on that ship, about her not moving, there was food and water...but her strength was still gone.

    She still weakly thanked her host for the food and water.

    Am I in some sort of barn?

    Firenze…..she's gone.


    But worse was yet to come. Beaumont in agony, darkness ripping through his mind, every memory they shared being scrutinized, everything opened to them.

    And then nothing.

    And Qwi felt like screaming in anguish. Was the bond gone? Was he gone?

    Memories assailed her. Their first kiss, the first time they made love, fighting the Sith as one unit. Their bond and love so infinite. All gone. The only person she trusted...gone.

    She had lost everything. Now she wanted the darkness to claim her and take her away. She had nothing left to live for.

    Qwi couldn't sleep, nightmares assailing her. But she heard noises through the fog, a body was brought in and placed near Qwi. As her head turned the cloak was pulled back….

    Beaumont.

    And he looked like had been tortured, and he looked...dead.

    Qwi wanted to throw up. She was angry at the Sith for doing this to her lover, but at least he was here. The woman did something and Qwi's heart soared as he coughed. He was alive but what kind of mental state he was in she did not know.

    It would be up to her to heal him. Although she wished the woman would depart for now, much as she was grateful to her.

    Qwi hissed as she slowly turned on her side to crawl over to Beaumont.

    "He...will..not..be..turned..into..food. I...will.bring...him..back. Or...we..will...both..go..together.Those..monsters...will..pay..for..this".

    Beaumont spat out the liquid and moaned...was he trying to say Qwi? She slowly crawled over, tears streaming down her face. She got to him and took one of his hands in hers, brushing her lips gently against his.

    "I'm...here...Beaumont" she said weakly "Not...going...anywhere. What have...they done...to you…"

    She began to cry harder.

    Beaumont held her hand, squeezing it faintly, opening an eye to her - he couldn't see with the swollen one.

    "Qwi..." He said hesitantly. "I'm sorry, I had to..."

    A cough, blood dribbling from the corner of his mouth.

    "Save you..."

    The woman looked concerned, but she went to go, and left them to it. She had work to do, after all.. and they needed to heal; together, potentially.

    Qwi held his hand gently, making sure he knew that she was here. The woman had gone, she would have to talk to her when she was strong enough.

    "I didn't know...whether they would turn you, or what...they would do. When the bond got cut off...I thought you were dead. I thought...i'd lost you…"

    "Don't throw me away again...if we fight we stay...together. I would rather die...than lose you again. I love you….so very much".

    "The woman who rescued us both...told me what they did to you. I felt it too The bond...is gone. But we can create a new one...one that is unbreakable".

    "And I have...all the memories we shared. I will...share them...with you so you can...relive the good times...and not have them...tainted".

    "Thank you, Qwi," Beaumont said, closing his eye. "I couldn't let them get you... I'm sorry, so sorry, so sorry..."

    He kept saying that.

    Qwi felt so sorry for him. He thought she would be safe away from them but he would pay the price.

    They had tortured him, ripped him to pieces. And now he was laid naked and bare before her.

    With her other hand she ran her fingers through his hair, giving him a kiss to try and stop him saying sorry.

    "It's alright, we are together again. Now we can heal, you need both physical and mental healing...and I will do what I can to help you".

    She released her other hand from Beaumont's and wrapped her arm gently around him, pulling herself close and sharing her warmth with him.

    "What do you need...from me?"

    "Hold... me..."

    He was so weak, it was terrifying.

    For the half a dozen hours he had spent with the Sith, they had battered him with utter ferocity. Twenty of the most powerful Sith on the planet, and one single man. He hadn't stood a chance.

    As his skin met hers, their bond opened between them again, but it was crooked, jagged, like someone had shattered the path they once took for granted…

    Qwi wrapped her other arm around him,, only after she wrapped the cloak that Beaumont was in around him and tucking herself in as tightly as possible against him.

    And she gasped as their bond reignited. Beaumont's side of the bond was broken in pieces, no wonder he was mentally weak. With the physical torture too it made for a double whammy.

    They were both weak but this would be the only chance to start healing. Or remain broken forever.

    Closing her eyes Qwi gathered her inner strength. She was not using the Force physically so this would not drain her hopefully.

    She mentally wrapped Beaumont's mind with warmth, love and caring. Sharing her memories of him, the love they shared. Hopefully he would not mind the mental intrusion but she had to do it.

    Focusing on the jagged edges she focused her mind on those filling them with her light, her love. And she thought one single sentence at him:

    Together….as one.

    They connected, and as much as Beaumont was physically unable, their mental connection was rebuilt. There was a moment of light and the two of them were suddenly together, aboard their yacht, pristine and sliding through the stars.

    It was a mind-space; a quiet little place where they were themselves again.

    They'd done it.

    Beaumont it seemed had let Qwi in and had assisted in helping heal the bond. As she opened her eyes again...there was Beaumont fresh and uninjured.

    She looked up from Beaumont's shoulder where she was resting her head. They were in her cabin aboard Firenze, and unlike the barn she definitely had no clothes on.

    Well this is new she mused.

    She leaned up on one elbow and caressed Beaumont's cheek with her fingers "We did it again my dear" she said her voice sounding strong and musical like normal "This is a very big step on the road to recovery".

    "Physically it will take a longer time to heal, especially for you. But we will get there if our bond is restored fully. I'm not going to ask about your ordeal, I know it was barbaric what they did to you".

    "This place I guess is for us to heal each other and to reconnect again to help us heal both mentally and help with our physical health" she chuckled "And I think i've seen enough barns to last me a lifetime".

    Beaumont smiled slightly. "I believe it's a mindscape. Our bond has a quiet spot in the middle of it where we co-exist... so even if my physical body is likely going to take a while... especially on this relative backwater, we can at least work on healing our spirits..."

    His fingertips traced her skin.

    "We'll have to find somewhere safe in reality... we can't stay here forever... even though that woman seems like she's a good Sith, of all things..."

    Qwi settled in close to Beaumont draping her arm across his chest still leaning up on her other elbow.

    "I quite agree on that. We can use this as our safe space to get away from it all. In reality we will have to move but only when you are able to walk and move" she smiled slightly "You might be on your back for a while".

    "I wonder whether we can find somewhere that we can hole up for a while, plan our next steps. Try and stay away from the Sith...and no wandering".

    Her smile grew wider "Oh and good news on our rescuer. I don't think she is a Sith. Her name is Orielle Marrian. A descendent of a Jedi who crashed here around three thousand years ago. Although that is confusing because that would make her ancient"

    "A Jedi?" Beaumont stroked her hair in thought. "I found it unlikely that nobody crashed here in five thousand years. So a Jedi did... made a family, had children? With a Sith? How curious. I'd love to speak to her."

    "When I can, y'know, actually speak again." He chuckled slightly, in a self-deprecating manner. "But I don't mind if I'm on my back for a while, if you're on top," he said mischievously.

    Qwi smiled leaning her upper body against his "Oh really" she purred "Well when you get physically better let's just say we will have some catching up to do" she winked at him "But only when you are physically better, although I suppose in here we can do what we like".

    She kissed him gently "And you will get better, i'm sure you will have plenty of questions for our new friend….specifically I guess about how she managed to keep away from them".

    "And with Firenze gone we will need supplies and you will need some clothes" she brought her face closer to his "Unless you plan on walking around Kash naked which would attract attention…."

    “In here we can do what we want, yes,” Beaumont said, pulling her closer. He kissed her, and grinned. “I mean, why can’t I wear you forever?”

    He squeezed her, tucking his hands around her back - and backside. They were together; nothing else mattered. The two of them would work out the rest.

    Qwi maneuvered herself on top of him, she knew what he wanted, their minds were pretty much in sync.

    He needed healing. They had taken a massive step forward on the mental front, but no doubt he would still relive what had happened to him. It would be hard to shake off.

    His physical recovery would also take time, and she would tend to him when he needed it and give him rest when he requested it.

    It would be a long road ahead. But they were together and she wasn't going to let him go ever again.

    "Oh you certainly can" she purred "Forever and ever…"

    She drew Beaumont into a deep kiss and let their bodies do the rest.

    In reality Qwi smiled.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
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  23. AgentViper007

    AgentViper007 Force Ghost star 7

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

    IC: Han Solo, Lumpawaroo (Lumpy), Xaverri
    Location: Millenium Falcon


    They were on their way.

    Whilst Lumpy piloted, Han got to work on trying to fix the Falcon some more. What with being in two major battles she had taken quite a battering. And Han did not want her breaking into pieces before they got to new Alderaan.

    He heard them decant from hyperspace, Lumpy had said he would do some stops along the way and he was just replacing a bit of wiring when he heard the young Wookiee call for him. A comm call.

    "What now" he grumbled as he pulled himself out of the compartment was in and strode to the cockpit.

    And got a pleasant surprise when he saw it was Xav with little Ben.

    "Hi sweetheart" he said with a smile dropping into the pilot's chair "Yeah about that" he rubbed the back of his head.

    "First things first how are you and Ben? Enjoyin' the swamps?"

    "Me and Lumpy are fine, Falcon is rather banged up but still flyin'" his expression turned sad "Anakin's dead, so is Zorn. We lost a hell of a lot of people at Exegol, I volunteered the Falcon to take Anakin there."

    He indicated Ben "Did Ben feel anything? Like when his father died?"

    Xaverri looked unhappy. "He went very, very, very quiet at one point. He reached for something I couldn't see, and I wondered if his father had died, and said goodbye..." She looked down at him. "But they always say that children can see the spirits that we cannot - that they're not staring into space blankly, but communing with the dead..."

    "But if Zorn is dead, I guess it's all over and we can return to normality," she said with a sigh of relief.

    "Poor thing" Han said, he couldn't imagine what Ben would feel when his father passed. Hopefully Zorn came back as Luke to say goodbye.

    "Yeah again about normality" Han looked sheepish "I got made a New Republic General during the battle at Exegol. I reconnected with Feyna and Madelyn. Got the Hutts involved with the battle but it seems i'm in their bad books".

    "I'm on my way to New Alderaan, Feyna has invited me to her weddin'. And unfortunately a new Emperor has risen. Aryan Graul, a Senator from Bakura has become a Sith, looks like he's gonna be the next Zorn".

    "You what?" Xaverri looked surprised. "But you beat Zorn at Exegol, and that big fleet - where is he getting the support, or the military pull?" She didn't know about so much. "Another Sith? Don't we usually kill one, and it puts them back into hiding for a few decades or centuries at least?"

    Lumpy rumbled at how she had a fair amount to catch up on.

    Han looked at Lumpy "I know pal, I know we'll get there".

    He turned his gaze back to Xav "Seems not darlin'. Soon as Zorn died Aryan Graul, now calling himself Skelm decided he wanted to follow in Zorn's footsteps and take over the galaxy. Got a Sith Eternal fleet from Exegol to do his dirty work".

    "He nearly turned Coruscant into Mandalore. I just came from there myself. That planet is pretty much gone. But the good news is Mandalore is back, got changed back after Zorn died".

    Han's lips pressed in a thin line "Before I went to Coruscant I went home, to Corellia. My cousin Thrackan is makin a lot of noise, and he's tryin to get an independent Corellia ''.

    Xaverri blinked a few times. “I think I need a drink.” She shifted Ben. “So are we doing anything about Sal-Solo?”

    Lumpy rumbled about how Saxan wanted Han to sort out his cousin but they left the problem to her. He also threw in that the Senate tried to make Feyna into Chancellor for life. He was reading the news as they chatted, because things seemed to go so quickly nowadays.

    “So we’re going nothing, good,” Xaverri said, amused. “Is anyone coming to pick me up and take me to the wedding of the century? Or do I need to pull my own strings?”

    Ah….

    "Well I could comm Feyna and ask if you can come, only polite and all" he looked over at Lumpy "Even at full speed could we pick Xav and Ben up and get to New Alderaan in time?"

    Lumpy nodded. This was the Millennium Falcon after all, the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.

    "Yes it is," Xaverri said. She gave Han a look. "At least come get me... even if I don't go to the wedding, I can stay on-world somewhere." Xaverri cringed. "Even the slime has slime, and the smell has smell. I'm going to need to burn all my clothes and scrub off a layer of skin before this stink is off me!"

    His Wookiee co-pilot began to compute a jump to Dagobah... but he would wait for the Captain, of course.

    Han chuckled "Yeah I'll bet it's not pleasant there, I don't know how Anakin lived there for so long. Give me Corellia any day over that slime pile".

    He nodded "Alright we'll come get you and Ben" his smile grew "And we'll give Feyna a nice surprise. She wants to meet Ben, I think because she knew Luke she wants to meet his son. Besides this kid needs a family now with Anakin, Luke and Ben's mother gone".

    He looked to Lumpy nodding at him to give him the go ahead to jump. "Shouldn't be too long. You can clean up on the Falcon".

    Lumpy grumbled. Why did he have to clean up the ship? He wasn't the Captain who kept getting them shot up... though a new paint job would be nice...

    The Wookiee shrugged, leaving Han with the con. As he rhymed though, the Falcon made it to Dagobah in typical record time, adding a single hour to their journey so far, which gave Lumpy time to solder a few loose ends back together.

    When they arrived, Xav activated the beacon so they could find her, and Lumpy was ready at the ramp to meet them - or take the helm if Han wanted the moment. He wasn't nearly as attached to her as Han was, but the idea of helping raise Ben was a warming one. To build rather than destroy...

    Han was looking forward to seeing his girl again, with baby Ben on board of course their attention would be taken up with him. But that didn't mean that they couldn't spend some time together.

    He wanted to greet Xav personally, it may have been only a few days but he felt she deserved that much "Take over pal will ya?" he called to Lumpy "And just make sure no creatures start attackin' us. Just got this bucket back up and runnin,'"

    He moved out of the cockpit and moved to the ramp. Hopefully Xav would be pleased to see him, and not project bad thoughts that Ben would pick up on.

    After they had landed and checked that everything was clear Han pressed the ramp control, as the ramp descended he moved down and peered around the corner smiling.

    Lumpy took over, but there wasn’t much to miss or protect. The creatures had been scared away from the landing YT-1300. Xav and Ben were happy to see Han, both smiling. She leaned over to him and kissed his cheek, reaching to squeeze his hand. Ben even made a few noises of appreciation, and scrunched his face up.

    The Falcon was ready to take off as soon as they were aboard. They’d be on their way to New Alderaan soon enough.

    Han kissed her cheek in return squeezing her hand in return "Hi sweetheart, welcome back to civilisation" he looked to Ben who was making some very happy noises.

    Maybe perhaps Ben was getting used to him and Xav which was a good thing. He tickled Ben's chin.

    "Hey kid, you are about to come on a very important journey. You're about to meet a very important person who hopefully may become a part of your life. Not everyday you meet a Chancellor eh?"

    He guided Xav aboard and called to Lumpy "Alright pal, take us to New Alderaan".

    He reached towards Ben "Shall I hold him whilst you freshen up?"

    Xav looked at Han with love in her eyes, as Ben made giggles at the touch. His eyes sparkled as he saw Han, and Xav, who was pretty hardened, was suddenly heart-struck.

    With a smile, she nodded. “I would love to freshen up.” First she headed to the cockpit to give Lumpy a hug and kiss on the furred cheek, before throwing one more look at Han and Ben.

    “He needs a full name, by the way.”

    She closed the door to the ‘fresher with that thought.

    Han cradled little Ben comfortably in his arms. The little guy was practically looking at him with love in his eyes. Even Xav was falling for this little one.

    Maybe perhaps Ben detected something about him and Xav that he liked. Maybe Luke or Anakin had said something to him. Who knew.

    "Come on, let's go and meet your Uncle Lumpy. He'll definitely take care of you and love you to bits like me and Xav will. And you'll be guaranteed a good night's sleep with a Wookiee" he smiled down at the boy as he headed towards the cockpit.

    But a full name….of course he would take Han's surname of course now that the boy was in his care. And Ben was a good first name….

    His smile grew even wider as a name came to him.

    "You are home now….Ben Luke Solo".

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
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  24. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, House was on fire, didn't do it star 4 Staff Member Moderator

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Combo with @darthhelinith, @TheSilentInfluence, and @Sinrebirth

    IC Renn, Vhardia, Leia
    Yavin 4

    Renn
    reached out, something was very odd at Yavin. The world seemed different. One of the largest changes was that he could not feel, sense the Temple at all. And there was a miasma of Dark energy that seemed to infuse the entire place. He turned to Vhardia, ”What has happened here? Where is the Temple, or that ship ‘Kyle’ said rescued him? This seems a different world than the one we left.”

    He kept a calm tone, not wanting to worry Leia but he was concerned. Whatever did this was powerful and meant to keep them from the other Jedi. That alone was worrisome. But then he wondered if the ship had anything to do with his ‘Twin’. He shook his head, there was plenty of other evil in the galaxy and this didn’t have the flavor of that one so it could be something else entirely.

    "An old Jedi Temple? Or a Sith one?" Leia asked carefully. She looked anxious. "Why do you think we had to come here Master?" She sounded curious. I wonder what kind of monsters live down there. Leia thought to herself. She frowned a little, and tried to figure out if there were through the force.

    Vhardia could feel the darkness, swimming over the surface of the planet, over the old temples. It was like soup; thick and opaque, muddying everything.

    She looked away from the viewport across at Leia and Renn and an odd feeling came over her, the desire to run far far away, as far as she could go, and take them both with her, to get them away from this place.

    No, I'm a jedi. she said to herself. Jedi don't run.

    But maybe she could protect them a different way.

    She smiled. "Hey, are you saying my bunk has upped and disappeared? What about the gardens, or worse, the canteen?!" She chuckled softly. "Nuts, I was going to raid the freezer for some ice cream."

    It was half true, she'd wanted to find some for Leia; she wasn't sure if she'd ever had ice cream before, and what sort of jedi master would she be if she raised a padawan that had never tried ice cream?

    And the gardens... well she would have liked to have shown Renn them, even if she didn't know much about plants, she felt he would still like it.

    She ruffled Leia's hair affectionately. "Hey don't worry, we'll find Kyp and get everything sorted out."

    There was a tie to Leia, the connection to her Master, and it suddenly became a tug - a desperate need that filled her with a longing that was the most isolated and fearful feeling she had ever felt.

    A moment later, BB-8 beeped in panic as the ship was reached for in the Force forcibly and it was ripped at. The attack was so vicious and so swift that it was not even telegraphed in their warning senses. The Otana began to come apart in low orbit, wind assailing them from all the angles of the Corellian freighter that were suddenly exposed. They still had escape pods; two, but this wasn’t going to be an easy come down.

    Renn reached out to take hold of their little droid and to push Leia into Vhardia’s arms. He flowed and his form was between them and most of the wind tugging at them, his pores closed off so he didn’t lose oxygen, almost impervious to vacuum. Slowly moving forward his motion was intended to encourage the two of them to hug his form as they made their way to the escape pods. ”Move, I’ll take Leia in my pod and you take the droid, but we need to get to them and get out of here.” he yelled to Vhardia over the noise of the shrieking air.

    Leia laughed at Master Vhardia, before everything started to feel dark. She shook her head, unsure why this was happening and trying to gain a sense of something before she stumbled. Why does everything feel so funny? She felt herself being pushed into Master Vhardia's arms, and shook her head.

    "What's...wrong?"

    Vhardia gripped Leia against her. She understood Renn's instructions but couldn't respond to him; everything was happening too fast and she need to focus on her breathing to conserve oxygen. However, she managed to reach out and grab BB-8 with the force, to keep the droid close to them. When they reached the escape pods she shoved Leia into Renn's arms and climbed into the other pod, hand over her face to resist the temptation of taking a breath.

    The pods ejected as the Otana tumbled, and two bodily Force grips seized them each. Vhardia and BB-8 were dragged towards a Massassi Temple out in the distance, while Renn and Leia were spun aside into the jungle - pursued by chunks of stone ripped from the Great Temple, which would have, in a different timeline, hosted the Rebel X-wings and Y-wings in their offensive on the first Death Star.

    As it was, the Otana tumbled into pieces and crashed into the planet -

    Renn held tight to Leia as the pod tumbled and flew from the Otana. When it stabilized he checked the display, then frowned, they weren’t on the typical trajectory that such a pod would take when ejected, even from a ship that was tumbling. Something was pulling them, and it was pulling them away from Vhardia.

    The air shook as the Otana impacted and exploded when it hit the jungle. He checked the sensors one last time and as their pod came down, he erected a barrier of Force energy. ”Hang on, little one, there are going to be great bloody chunks of stone falling around us in a minute, and then we need to find your Master.”

    It was a relief to take a breath once more as the pod hatch sealed, and barely in the nick of time, too. However Vhardia's relief was short-lived as the pods spun away from each other. Like Renn, she picked up on the dark presence trying to separate the two but as her pod continued to tumble like a washing machine- it seemed the stabilisation had failed- there was little more she could do than cling on for dear life and hope that the nightmarish trip would soon be over. Thankfully, BB-8 had the presence of mind to tether himself to one of the walls of the pod so he was at less risk of crashing into her and unintentionally dashing her brains out.

    After slipping footholds several times, she figured out that she could hold herself to the side by using the force as an anchor of sorts and after a couple of minutes she could even walk over across the interior wall to BB-8 and check he was alright. He tootled that he was perfectly alright and was more concerned about whether or not his chassis or internal electronics would be damaged by their touchdown. Vhardia strapped herself and the droid in and threw out a shield of force energy in an effort to smooth their landing as much as possible.

    Leia woke up a bit as they hit the ground, and was aware of someone holding onto her. "How far away is Master Vhardia?" Leia asked quietly. "I don't like this place."

    Vhardia landed well, of course, albeit with a final jerk - but she was greeted by a man, who stood with his foot on the hull of her pod... as if he’d stopped her with his own power.

    It was Kyle Katarn, and he waved at the black-stone statue behind him as the pod splintered and collapsed, opening its contents like a fruit-shell. BB-8 cooed in concern. “The Temple of Exar Kun, a Dark Lord from four millennia ago. His spirit was supposed to be here, but he went off to support Darth Zorn, the greatest of the Sith. He and all the Sith ghouls, throwing in with their most powerful creation.” Kyle snorted in a very-un-Kyle manner. “It’s a shame I wasn’t here before the Battle of Exegol... all those Sith would have known real power.

    As he spoke, he turned back, his smile widening, teeth sharpening, the beard receding, his arms splitting, his hair elongating, his Jedi robes becoming a transparent dress, his eyes turning black as his pupils expanded and a pinprick of light appeared in the centre.

    Abeloth
    had survived the Maw.

    For Renn and Leia, they’d been sent elsewhere in the jungle - away - leaving them suddenly by a cave... a cave which had been disturbed by their landing, relatively soft as it was. From the shadows emerged a bouncing pack of Tukata - dark side hounds - eight of them, smelling Jedi blood -

    Renn popped the hatch of the capsule, senses questing and finding the bounding dark presences. Stepping free, he pulled Leia close, ”Stay with me, these things are a lot of trouble.” he stated as calmly as he could.

    He shifted slightly, becoming more lithe and agile with a pair of extra arms. Two took up blasters and two lightsabers. The blades ignited, one silver, one yellow as he began firing shots as precisely aimed as possible. Working the blaster fire from the outer edges of the pack toward the center, he kept the blades out of the path of the firing, preparing to go toe to toe with the hounds.

    Leia nodded and looked at the hounds that came towards them from the shadows. They felt dangerous in the force. Leia realised, and she wondered if she should help. Leia reached down for her lightsaber, hoping she could defend herself in time-

    "Oh it's the monster thing."

    Vhardia gave a grim look as she spoke, trying to keep a tremour from out of her voice as her hand tried to resist moving to her lightsaber too quickly.

    "Yeah you're too late, they're all long gone. Zorn dealt with them. That's the advantage of having an infestation of Sith in a galaxy, they tend to kill each other off."

    She tried not to think of where Renn and Leia were or what had happened to Kyp, focusing instead on controlling her breathing.

    Blaster fire reflected off their hides, and they launched forward - Leia’s blade was out in time and the first hound to reach her was in such a rush it basically impaled itself on her blade, even as two died to Renn -

    The remainder five scattered around them, circling in unison. If the two tried to use the Force on them directly, the hounds would be resistant, as with many Sithspawn, but they were coordinating, staying out of reach of their weapons for the moment.



    Trying not to think about things didn’t work around an Old One.

    “Oh,” Abeloth chuckled, ignoring Vhardia’s insult. “Kyp is just fine...” she flexed a tentacle and he came out the Temple entrance, holding his throat. “He was supposed to be Exar Kun’s apprentice, a self-declared Dark Lord, bless. But here he’s just a meek Padawan learner.”

    The woman chuckled. “And as for the Sith? Oh, I happen to know where about ten thousand are, all nice and isolated and desperate for a saviour.” She held a tentacle to her chest. “Which will be me, of course.” Abeloth smiled broadly. “But it would be much more efficient for me to have two ‘me’s’ running around, and I’d really like a more feminine form for an avatar.”

    A leer.

    “I can make it painful... or painless, when I take you, my dear.”

    Renn could feel something very dark in the distance but he had to focus, had to keep Leia alive. He wanted to grab her and run toward the darkness, believing that whatever it was was what Vhardia was facing. But he was responsible for the young woman now. He could tell that the tuk’ata were going to be trouble.

    The blaster bolts ricocheting off of their hides made him slip the blasters back into their holsters and those two arms grab another pair of sabers from his belt. A smile crossed his face, they were dark side creatures and what could be a more tempting meal, something to draw them into range, than something quite light sided. It could also draw the interest of whatever it was that was facing Vhardia.

    Concentrating for a moment he reached inside himself and slowly he filled with energy. The forest around them began to crackle with the pressure of the Light Side fighting the influence of that Dark that had fallen over the world. His smile became beatific as he turned himself into a beacon of the Light, still physically appearing the same but in the Force a shining light.

    ”Be ready, Leia, this should drive the beasts absolutely nuts.”

    Leia looked startled as she managed to kill one of the creatures and stepped back. She moved closer to Renn and raised her lightsaber defensively as he spoke.

    "I'm ready." Leia answered.

    Vhardia scowled.

    "What you think I'd just offer myself to you?"

    She glanced around at her surroundings, wondering if she could somehow use them to her advantage.

    "I can't let you live."

    The light shattered the pack mentality of the Tukata, sending them tumbling away for the most part, but two were so antagonized they rushed forward - one at Renn's back, and the other leapt with its jaws open to crush Leia's head if it managed to reach her -

    Abeloth spied Vhardia's wandering eye, and snark as well. "All that is to hand is the Temple, my dear, and of course, this beautiful statue of obsidian." She grinned at the visage of Exar Kun. "Allow me to assist you." A tentacle whipped out and cracked the base of the black monument, sending it tumbling towards Vhardia -

    Wherever Vhardia leapt, Abeloth would leap after her, intending to catch her in midair and ensnare her in tentacles -

    Renn’s beatific smile didn’t change. And he didn’t change his posture until the tuk’ata was almost upon him. In that moment he shifted, the sabers floating from his hands and back to his belt. The limbs collapsed back into his form and he shifted. He went from facing one direction to facing the other without moving. Two massive arms reached out and wrapped around the one leaping at him, pulling it closely, into the Light side energy that was surrounding him in huge quantity. At the same time one leg kicked out, aiming to take the one leaping at Leia in the side of the head, turning it just enough from it’s leap so she could kill it.

    Leia brought her lightsaber up as one of the creatures leapt for her head and drove the blade into the creature's body. She stepped away and watched, tense and ready; trying to sense with the force if another creature was going to come after her like the previous one did.

    Vhardia saw the statue falling towards her.

    For the briefest of moments, she considered letting it crush her. It was what a jedi master like Katarn might have done, to prevent Abeloth having her way. But she was younger and hadn't acquired the sacrificial, suicidal streak that jedi tended to pick up with age.

    She leapt but knew the tentacle monster woman thing would come flying at her. Looking to make any sort of opening, she brought her lightsaber up to slash at tentacles as she pushed away as hard as she could.

    The rest of the pack had decided enough was enough. With half their number dead, they concluded the prey wasn’t worth it, even their fear overriding their rage -

    The creatures turned tail and fled!

    This happened just as a blast of power rippled into the Force, giving them a direction for Vhardia.

    That exertion did nothing to Abeloth but to cause her to grin, but the lightsaber lashed through her tentacles as the statue slammed to the floor and kicked up a massive wave of dust -

    She screamed out and the disruption separated them, sending them both tumbling to the ground. Abeloth snarled, writhing the handful of tentacles she had left and turning to look for Vhardia -

    An exertion in the Force ripped a thousand year tree free and it oriented as if a giant base-ball bat!

    As the tuk’ata turned tail and fled, Renn turned toward Leia. He checked her over to be sure she was fine. He didn’t want to face Vhardia if she’d been hurt or worse. Luckily she had done well and appeared uninjured. ”Very well done, Leia, your bladework is very good. Thank you for guarding my back.”

    He’d felt the blast of power and was able to feel the ‘tether’ or trail of it that told him where it had come from. Power that deep meant that whatever Vhardia was facing was very strong. But he had to be sure Leia was good first. ”Whatever is after your Master we need to find out and help her. I fear it’s something quite powerful and she could use our aid. But let’s not rush when we get there, don’t want you injured if you see her in trouble.”

    He extinguished his sabers, shook himself as he shifted and returned to a more ‘normal’ humanoid form. Keeping one in hand he closed his eyes and slowly drew down the blazing power of the Light he’d been emitting. Turning to face the direction he’d felt the power blast come from, he gazed at Leia, ”Let’s go help her.” he said before he set off in that direction.

    Leia felt proud of herself, but also sensed her Master was in trouble deep down. She looked at Renn as he praised her on her bladework and smiled up at him. "Thank you Master." She replied, and nodded at his following words. "Yes, I'll be careful. But we still need to help her." She watched as he changed back into a more humanoid form, and then followed Renn once he started to leave. "We need to hurry Master."

    Vhardia flipped to the ground and, hidden within the dust, she took a couple of seconds to decide what to do next.

    She was tempted to run, but it seemed pointless. There was nowhere to go except the jungle and leading the monster-thing to Renn and Leia wasn't an option; both due to her concern for their safety but also owing to a slight stubborn streak which, despite recognising that Renn, with the lightside of the force at his disposal, was a whole different league to her in terms of power, didn't want to be seen as running to him for help at the first sign of adversity. It made her bristle just at the thought.

    So it gave her immense satisfaction to see that she had taken off a few tentacles and that Abeloth was looking justifiably pissed off as she tore a tree from the ground and searched for her with murderous intent.

    Vhardia's playful nature got the best of her in that moment, and she couldn't help but call out "Careful with that, you'll damage the body you're so keen on taking!" Anticipating swift and furious retribution, she dived to the left, keeping a defensive stance.

    Abeloth slammed the tree down where Helinith had been, and snarled. "Impertinence must be punished. I am a Goddess, and if I cannot have you, I'll have Leia... a younger body will last me longer, after all." She swung her giant club sideways, far too massive to easily dodge -

    For Renn and Leia, their success was heralded by an overwhelming threat in the Force. A cannonball arched in, smashing to the ground before them, and then laser fire rained down, burning down the jungle around them -

    It was a ship.

    More specifically, Ship.

    A Sith meditation sphere!

    [​IMG]

    It was sentient, in the Force they would feel it's loathing for the Jedi -

    But also Renn would sense how much it hated Abeloth, and serving her.

    Renn erected a shield of energy, deflecting the bolts as they rained down around the two of them. Pulling Leia closely again so that he could reduce the energy expenditure, he faced the ship. He could feel the darkness in it and that it hated those that served the Light.

    His head tilted to the side, ’But not as much as it hates the Chaos Goddess.’ he thought-mused.

    He continued to only react defensively but reached out to their attacker. ’I am not Sith nor Jedi. However I sense that you are shackled, compelled by one you desire never to serve. Would you reduce her, her presence and effect on this world, if I free you from that bond?’ he sent to it.

    Abeloth's strong reaction to Vhardia's taunt only made the woman grin and fueled her playfulness further still. She watched the tree swing towards her and jumped forward to meet it, using the force to grab it and grip onto it on all fours as it moved.

    "Sorry I didn't catch that last bit. Did you say you were the goddess of ugly tentacle monsters or goddess of temper-tantrums?"

    Leia looked up at Master Renn as he pulled her closer. Some kind of ship? She wasn't entirely sure, and waited until Master Renn had finished speaking. She could also sense that whatever it was hated the light.

    "Did it work? Will it help us?" Leia asked quietly.

    The Sith meditation sphere paused, recognising power, but not as much as that of Abeloth. She directs me against the Jedi and Sith equally. But she is Almighty. You cannot defeat her alone; even together, you two would just be able to undo her control over me.

    He spoke to both of them, drawing Leia into the mental discussion. After a heartbeat moment Ship continued on. I may consent to taking you to your Jedi friend, if you free me. Abeloth will consume her soon, and take her body, or… the hull sprouted half a dozen weapons to point at them.

    As for Abeloth, she discarded her tree-trunk bat and simply bodily seized Vhardia with invisible power. “I’ve had enough of your tongue, child.” Her tentacles writhed, and her jaw was opened by a motion in the Force, and her tongue was being tugged at -

    Renn nodded, ”We shall break her bond to you. You may be an artifact of the Dark but nothing deserves to be a slave to another.” The Light rose up in him as he spoke and he turned his gaze to Leia, ”I am still growing in power so we need to do this together.”

    He reached out, letting his power touch hers, and then reached out to Ship. He could feel the ties binding it to Abeloth and as he began to tug at them, loosening and weakening them. When Leia added her attempts to his he could feel that they would rip the sphere free of the Chaos Goddess’s clutches.

    Vhardia tried to jump away but felt herself gripped in mid-air too late to do much of anything about it and realised she'd probably pushed Abeloth too far.

    You've done it this time, Helinith

    She frowned as her mind used the wrong name, but she didn't have time to ponder that now, as her mouth opened against her will and she cried out at both the resulting pain and the horror of realising exactly what the tentacle monster was trying to do. Unable to move, she reached out with her fear and gripped a large rock that was behind the chaos goddess, desperately trying to tip it over onto her... She felt a flash of dark side energy momentarily surge through her head even as she tried to regain composure and return her mind to a calmer state.

    Leia nodded at Master Renn and reached out with the force to add her light to his so they could help the force user together. Okay. But how does this work exactly? She thought to herself. I guess I just have to keep helping. I hope this is the right thing to do.

    Ship was freed with the combined effort of Renn and Leia, and with her focus on Vhardia. She turned to look at the Sphere as it filled the Force with its joy, and went to leave its captor -

    Abeloth flailed her tentacles and reached out her mind to take back control -

    And was slammed across the back of the head by the rock, there was a colossal crack, and she looked back at Vhardia, an eye hanging loose, her rage climbing, enough to rip the woman to a blood splatter -

    When the rest of the temple collapsed on her.

    In her panic, Vhardia had actually dislodged a segment from Exar Kun’s obsidian fortress, and Abeloth was buried alive, her face and upper chest crushed. For a moment her legs spasmed, and then they were still, reverting back to the form of Master Katarn.

    It was over.

    The Force settled into silence at long last.

    Ship vanished into the stars, and the three of them would be able to regroup, comm and head back to the Great Temple, where there remained a single ship for them to take.

    Renn sighed and sagged in relief as the Ship disappeared. He released the energy he was holding and sagged a bit more. As the world transformed around them once more, the dark energy dissipating, he stretched ‘breathing in’ the sunlight and energy, rejuvenating himself.

    He turned toward Leia, ”We did it little one, Ship is free and it seems we cleansed the moon, well us and Vhardia.”

    He reached out his senses and felt the young, female Jedi Knight in the distance. Smiling down at Leia once more, ”You did wonderfully and I am grateful for your aid. Let us go rejoin your Master and figure out where to go from here.”

    Reaching out a hand, he held it out to her so they could walk to Vhardia together.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @TheSilentInfluence, @darthhelinith
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
    HanSolo29 and Sinrebirth like this.
  25. JediMasterAnne

    JediMasterAnne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2004
    OOC: Another short combo with the GM

    IC: Chancellor Feyna Organa

    New Alderaan

    With the comm calls out of the way, Feyna set aside her comlink and finally started checking out what all was here. She recognized the famous Killik Twilight--moss-painting was a fading art; Feyna had never attempted it, though she'd used to paint and sketch in her youth. These days she unfortunately didn't have much time for hobbies. Some bottles of Alderaanian wine...the Organas had grown grapes for emerald wine at their ranch, but there were other varieties besides. Some of Padme's old dresses...Feyna would look through those next, but the box kept drawing her eye.

    Feyna sat down in front of the box, inserted the key Winter had given her, and turned.

    The music was an old Alderaanian lullaby; mirrorbright. It had a cadence to it that was soft and lulled the listener in.

    Mirrorbright, shines the moon, its glow as soft as an ember
    When the moon is mirrorbright, take this time to remember
    Those you have loved but are gone
    Those who kept you so safe and warm
    The mirrorbright moon lets you see
    Those who have ceased to be
    Mirrorbright shines the moon, as fires die to their embers
    Those you loved are with you still—
    The moon will help you remember


    The music was silent for a moment, and then it switched to a hologram; of her father. Bail. He looked down sweetly at her, clearly not seeing Feyna, but imagining her reading this. “Feyna. I’m so proud of you.”

    He hesitated, clearly bringing himself to say more but wanting to give her a chance - there was no option to pause what he was saying, so Bail, some fourteen years ago, was being understanding that this might be a surprise...

    She knew the tune, the song...how many times had Breha sung it to her as a child? She hadn't heard it in such a long time, though, and the memories it stirred up--

    She was not prepared to see her father's image when the song ended, and to hear his voice, speaking to her...

    It wasn't as though Feyna hadn't seen or heard any kind of recording of Bail since his death fourteen years ago; there were many copies of his old speeches, which the HoloNet liked to pick and choose from to run every year around the Return. Breha's too, and Padme, Mon Mothma, Garm...there was no shortage of official footage.

    But those images only showed public messages by the public persona--not the private, personal side of her parents that Feyna missed so terribly, that, until now, she'd only had memories of.

    Hearing him speaking to her, saying her name, expressing his pride in her...she'd been fighting a lump in her throat for a bit, but now her eyes began to sting. She swiped at them as she focused again on her father's hologram, it seemed like there was more--

    “I recorded this before we meet with convene the two Senates on Alderaan, just in-case. I’m sure Emperor Amedda will have something planned for us, nor do I trust Aryan Graul. I know the Jedi are sending Anakin and Obi-Wan, but they only just stopped Palpatine... so if anything does happen to me, I wanted to make sure you knew that you shouldn’t blame yourself.”

    Bail’s eyes were gentle. “This session is our last and best hope for peace. I’ve placed us all in jeopardy, running the Rebel Alliance in secret even as the Republic seems to parley with the Empire. But I had to do something to save those worlds that Amedda held onto - Ghorman, Lothal, Mimban - they needed our help. I just wished I could do more for those populations crushed by the Separatists too.”

    “But you? You seized the perfect chance to save the galaxy. Even if Amedda betrays us, even if Aryan is revealed to be a threat, even if some Dark Jedi cause problems - you’ve started us down the road of unification and progress. No matter what we lose, it was my daughter who took the first step to end this Cold War.”

    “That’s what I’m proud of you for. For that first step. I just wanted to make sure that you knew that, Feyna, because I know that you’ll keep putting yourself on that path - and it’s hard to be the only progressive person in the room.”
    He looked thoughtful. “I used to stand in the Senate and speak at length, for hours at a time, about how the Clone Wars were eroding our freedoms. With Padme, with Mon, with Garm.”

    “I can only hope you find your Padme, your Mon, and your Garm, my child, and that you can steal the same moments away from politics that I did - with you, and with your mother. Because that’s who you’re also fighting for - not just for what is right, but for those you love.”

    “I love you, Feyna.”


    Silence.

    The recording had stopped.

    It was over.

    Feyna let out a shaky breath as the recording ended and the hologram shut off--it came out as more a sob, though, and she'd already stopped trying to hold back the tears. She hadn't let herself cry over all the horrible events of the last few days, not even in private, and she was finally able to release a lot of that pent-up stress, which was compounded by the emotions brought out from Bail's message.

    It took a good few minutes before she pulled herself back together a bit, but eventually she wiped her eyes and dried her face.

    "I love you, too, Dad. All of you..." She thought of Breha, Padme, Leia...Anakin, Obi-Wan, everyone. Even Luke, as he'd once been. "I miss you, so much."

    She sat for a few more minutes, hand resting on the box, remembering, thinking about everything he'd said in the message. Once she felt calm enough again, she took the key out of the box and tucked it away in her pocket for safekeeping; she'd find a chain to wear it on later, perhaps.

    Now, to sort out those dresses...

    Some of them were Padme's old Senate gowns; Winter had evidently had them all altered to fit her, as Feyna was a little taller than Padme or Leia had been. Feyna found herself wondering what sort of reaction it might stir up if she went to a session wearing one of Padme's dresses--the blue gown with the purple overcoat was probably the most recognizable...

    The more casual ones were more suited to private time, and some were more revealing than Feyna would normally wear. The pastel halter dress was here, though; that had been one of Little-Feyna's favorites, though now she couldn't remember if she'd ever actually seen Padme wear it, or just hanging up in her wardrobe.

    She did wonder, in the back of her mind, if Padme's actual wedding dress was in here--she hadn't seen it yet, and honestly, she wasn't sure how she felt about having it, if it was. She could wear it, but it should have been Leia's--all of them should have been Leia's, in another timeline. The other outfits were one thing, but a wedding dress was sacred...Feyna almost felt like she'd be stealing something. Maybe if it was here, she'd just put it away until little Ben was grown; if he ever married, then it could be returned to the Skywalker line.

    As she kept looking, Feyna pulled out her comlink--Winter might still be just outside the room, but she wasn't sure; she could have wandered off to handle arrangements for the ceremony. "You can come back in now."

    TAG: @Sinrebirth