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  1. 2021 RPF Awards Ceremony

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Star Wars CLOSED Star Wars: Episode X: DUEL OF THE FATES ~ 2021 Best RPG ~

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Sinrebirth , Dec 25, 2020.

  1. CosmoHender

    CosmoHender Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2016
    OOC: Combo with @Sinrebirth and @TheSilentInfluence

    IC: Barriss Sunrider


    Finding herself in the middle of the celebration in Republic Boulevard, Barriss felt out of place. She could not remember being a part of anything like this in her lifetime. She did not celebrate the ending of the Clone Wars for obvious reasons and afterward she had spent the years avoiding other people, preferring only her own company. In many ways, she was admittedly still someone who worked alone when she could. But there were still people in her life right now, people that she wanted to see and make sure were okay after the battle. Specifically Madelyn and her family, including Asteria.

    Barriss didn't forget Nomi's last request, though she couldn't help but wonder if sending Asteria to Ruusan was even relevant anymore. It didn't matter to her, at least. She already had her own mission, her own destiny. And it wasn't on Ruusan.

    As she searched for Madelyn, Barriss couldn't help but notice the people missing from the celebration. Like the kid Dade who looked up at her in awe, the former stormtrooper named Rafe who had filled her with hope, and the loyal astromech droid Artoo who had loyally served Ahsoka. All victims of the murderous Knights of Ren. But their deaths had not been in vain at the very least and Barriss took comfort in that.

    Though while she honored the dead, Barriss continued to look for the living.

    -

    Madelyn held Eleanor for a while longer, before letting go of her daughter and gently leading her back over to the others. "Deep breaths Eleanor."

    She turned her head and spotted Barriss, reaching out with the force. Barriss. I need to talk with you. Are you here?

    Barriss heard Madelyn reach out to her with the Force and she smiled.

    Yes, I'm here. And I'm already on my way over to you.

    Following Madelyn's presence in the Force, she made her way over to where she was.

    Madelyn let go of Eleanor's hand, and patted her on the back before she turned towards Barriss, knowing she was in good hands with the rest of their family. "Barriss! You're alive!" She stepped forward and put out her arms for a hug.

    And Barriss hugged back with one arm, revealing to Madelyn that she was missing one.

    "Alive, yes," Barriss told her. "But not unscathed."

    "Your arm..." Madelyn let out a sharp breath, and pulled back so she could take a look. "You need to go to a doctor." She gave her a panicked look.

    "Don't worry, it was just my mechanical arm," Barriss comforted Madelyn, trying to reassure it. "Losing it did hurt, there isn't even a flesh wound. I'll just replace it like I replaced my actual arm decades ago. Though surprisingly, I am fine. Exhausted, but fine. What about you? How are you and your family holding up?"

    Madelyn sighed, and felt less worried then before. "You let me know if you need any help with fixing your arm." She paused at her question, looked towards Eleanor.

    "We're fine thanks to Eleanor. She killed a Knight of Ren." Madelyn explained. "I'm doing alright. Glad to see the rest of my family." She looked at her other children, "I still have to introduce you I believe."

    Barriss nodded and smiled gently. "Yes, I believe you do."

    They were gathered, the carnival in the background. A woman stepped over and drew her mother and sister into a hug, and turned to Barriss, a warm smile on her face. “I’m Luminara. Nice to meet you.”

    She looked to her mother to introduce Barriss.

    "My second oldest daughter and one of the leaders of our House, our clan," Madelyn explained, smiling at Luminara fondly as she pulled away from the hug. She wondered if Barriss would be able to sense that Luminara was Force sensitive...

    Barriss smiled at Luminara. "It's nice to meet you," she told Madelyn's daughter. "I hope you're aware that you are named after one of the greatest women I have ever known." She did sense that Luminara was Force-sensitive, but she didn't comment on it.

    The woman smiled slightly. “Mom used to always tell me about her Master. I had as many stories about my dads as I did Master Luminara.”

    She turned to the others waiting to meet Barriss and be introduced. “We’re a big clan now - a combination of clans Shysa and Viszla.” Luminara turned back to the older woman. “But we’re never too big to accept others.”

    Barriss smiled softly. "I know what you're implying and I appreciate the offer, I really do..." She sighed. "But I am actually too busy at the moment." She pulled the datapad out of her robe and looked at it. "There is a lot that needs to be done, so I can't even stay here long. I'm sorry..."

    Madelyn watched the exchange as the others came up next to them. She understood that Barriss was busy, but she had hoped she would at least accept the offer.

    "You're always welcome with us Barriss." Madelyn told her. "Are you really too busy to spend some time with my family?" She motioned to her other children and their spouses, if they had them, watched as Asami came up next to Luminara and held her wife's hand, their daughter Randvi clutching the belt on her hip.

    Pre came up next to his mother and smiled at Barriss. "We could help you? Do you need a ship? Supplies?"

    "I have a ship," Barriss answered. "It is still waiting in a repair shop on Level 1313. I know the mechanic and she is probably worried sick about me, which is why I can't stay long. I plan on spending some time in that repair shop getting some well-needed sleep, replacing my mechanical arm, and going over the datapad that I got from the former Chancellor's chamber." She returned the datapad to her robe and rubbed the back of her head. "I was up in the Capitol during the battle, by the way."

    Madelyn frowned, but nodded at Barriss' explanation. "I see. That must have been something." Madelyn tried not to look too worried. "You managed to stay alive at least." She reached out and put a hand on Barriss' shoulder. " You shouldn't keep your friend waiting." She admitted. "Just promise me something? Keep in contact."

    Barriss nodded. "I will, I promise. But there is something else... I heard Nomi one last time during the battle and she made a final request before she was gone. It's about Asteria. Nomi wants her to go to Ruusan and it has something to do with Xundel. I don't know anything else or if this is even still relevant, but I still thought you should know."

    Eleanor scowled and stepped forward. "No." She gave Barriss a stern look. "Firstly, she's too young to go wandering off on her own like that, especially to someone like Xundel. Secondly she's my daughter and heir, and she belongs with her family. Asteria needs to complete her training as both a Jedi and my heir."

    Madelyn gave Eleanor a curious look. "That's a big request to ask of Asteria, but I agree. My granddaughter is not ready for whatever Nomi thought she should do." She looked at Asteria. "Your mother is right. Family comes first and it's her job to protect you until you're old enough."

    Luminara watched the interplay, and eyed Asteria, who was doing the typical ‘child overhearing’ thing. “Do you intend to go to Ruusan?”

    She wanted to cut through the ‘arguing about Asteria before she decides to just go with Barriss because someone made the decision for her’ discussion.

    "I understand," Barriss said to Eleanor and Madelyn. "Nomi just wanted me to pass her message alone and I just wanted to keep my promise to her. I actually agree with you completely. Where Nomi thought she needed to be may not actually be where she needs to be. Plus it may be best to stay clear of Xundel, knowing the company that he keeps." She thought of Vicrul, who had almost killed Asteria during the battle. "I'm not going to Ruusan myself, even if I have a feeling Nomi wanted me to go there."

    Eleanor visibly relaxed, and looked at Asteria. Luminara was right of course. Asteria still needs to make her own decisions. It's probably not helping her much to hear us argue.

    Asteria nodded slowly. “I’d like to hear more about what Xundel has to say…” Luminara had a sharp intake of air. “But only when I’m older. I need to finish what I started, being a Jedi Padawan, and learning my place in the clan.”

    She looked apologetic. “Is that okay, Master Barriss? I wouldn’t be going unless you were, anyway.”

    Barriss shrugged. "It's perfectly fine. Your path is yours to choose, after all. I should have no say in what you decide to do."

    She turned to Eleanor and Madelyn. "I have a feeling that if we don't come to him, Xundel may come to us at some point in the future. So keep an eye out for him... and whoever he may have with him. He may try to gaslight Asteria, so watch out for that as well."

    Eleanor nodded. "We will." She looked down at Asteria with pride, putting a hand on her shoulder.

    Madelyn smiled softly. "Hopefully he leaves us alone. But we will remain vigilant Barriss, thank you."

    Barriss returned Madelyn's smile. "I do want to be with you and your family, Madelyn," she admitted. "Maybe someday. But right now, I have unfinished business... and it involves Ahsoka. That is something from my past that I need closure on."

    Madelyn tilted her head and gave Barriss a curious look. "I look forward to it. But-" She quickly added, "-if you do find Ahsoka, bring her back and introduce her to us. She'll be welcome here as well."

    "That's what I'm hoping," Barriss said with a sigh. "I don't know what became of her, but someone should find out. At the very least, she deserves an apology from me for everything that I did to hurt her." She looked down. "I honestly don't know what exactly I am anymore, Madelyn. I only know that I'm not a Jedi, not really."

    "You don't have to be a Jedi to be a good person Barriss." Madelyn told her. She stepped forward and put her hands on Barriss' shoulders. "And I'm sure Ahsoka will come to realize how much you have changed. How sorry you are."

    "I know," Barriss acknowledged. "But I still owe her that apology, even if she may have already forgiven me."

    Madelyn nodded and hugged Barriss tightly. "Good luck."

    Barriss rubbed Madelyn's back gently with her remaining hand. "May the Force be with you and your family."

    Madelyn smiled. "And also with you Barriss."

    Barriss returned the smile and left. The last that Madelyn and her family would see of her before she disappeared into the crowd again was her back now turned to them.

    -

    Once she had said her goodbyes for now to Madelyn and her family, Barriss still had someone else to seek out before she left to reunite with Trace. She made her way through the crowd, looking for the Force-sensitive who had led the uprising against the First Order. She hoped to talk to him. After all, she didn't think that they were properly introduced to each other during the battle.

    Finn was with Threepio, ladling out food to survivors alongside others she did not know. When he saw he, his eyes lit up. “I was hoping to see you again. I didn’t sense you die during the battle…”

    His eyes dropped a little.

    “Master Finn means to say that he sensed the death of Mistress Rey,” Threepio helpfully interjected.

    Shooting the protocol droid a look, he gestured for someone to take over. “Come on, Threepio.” He dried his hands and walked them to a point behind the queue.

    “Thank you for your help during the battle. I think the Knights of Ren would have gotten us all without you stepping in.”

    "Don't mention it," Barriss told him. "I knew this was where I needed to be. And I am..." She sighed. "...sorry for your losses. I regret that not everyone could have been saved. I also didn't properly introduce myself to you before, but my name is Barriss Sunrider."

    Finn nodded. He didn’t know who ‘Sunrider’ was, but he walked in a galaxy of Skywalkers and Solos and so would not think anything of the name.

    “We can’t save everyone,” Finn said sadly. “I’ve lost a lot of friends - I’ve killed some of them. Those that couldn’t break free.”

    He looked down at his hands. “And I’ve lost people I love.” He took a deep breath and Barriss would feel, with every erg of her body, that Finn was such a straight laced character that he was not even remotely imbalanced by his loss.

    He simply felt, and embraced what had happened with hopefulness. “I intended to set up a place for Force using children. To maybe train Jedi. Ones who understood what we had learned and passed beyond.”

    A hesitation. “But I don’t know if I am the right person for the job. What about you?”

    Barriss sadly shook her head. "I'm not who you think I am. I'm not a Jedi. Not anymore. I've done things that I'm not proud of. Things that I'm ashamed of. I think that what you're proposing does have merit. But it doesn't need a broken old woman like me. What it needs is young men and women like yourself who are free of the last Order's baggage. Though what the galaxy needs more than Jedi are good people willing to fight for it, heroes like yourself who can forge the path to a better future." She smiled gently. "I think you are the right person for the job, Finn." Something floated out of her robe toward Finn... a kyber crystal, the one from the lightsaber that Vestara had cut in half. "And that's why I think you should have this."

    Finn looked at it, surprised. He was going to disagree with Barriss, but the kyber left him speechless. He accepted it, held it in his hands, squeezing it. It began to bond with him immediately, starting the process of finding their color…

    Tears in his eyes, Finn looked up at Barriss. “Thank you.”

    “Oh that is a truly marvelous gift,” Threepio announced. “Artoo will be able to provide you with the schematics of many lightsaber designs for you to work from -“ Threepio hesitated. “I mean, he would have been able to, Master Finn.” His photoreceptors dimmed slightly.

    Barriss frowned and turned to Threepio. "My condolences for the loss of your friend," she said solemnly.

    Finn looked from the droid to the woman. “So what will you do now? You’ve helped save the galaxy, surely that makes up for some of what you’ve done, whatever it was?”

    “I mean, I was a stormtrooper.”

    "Well, first I'm planning on getting some rest," Barriss told Finn. "And a new mechanical arm to replace the one that I lost. Then I have to go through this data that I got from the former Chancellor's room in the Capitol." She pulled out her datapad. "I think it may actually help me find out what happened to someone from my past and bring me some closure. And after that... I don't know. I'll just have to see where my path leads me. Though if nothing else comes up, I do have some people that I care about who are willing to take me in as family. And maybe we will see each other again when I'm done with my mission, if the Force wills it."

    Finn looked at that intently. "Former Chancellor? You can confirm that Hux was aboard that thing when it went up?"

    Threepio looked similarly intrigued. "If we can confirm that Hux is dead, we need only pursue the Vice Chancellor and we can end the war, no?"

    Barriss nodded. "Oh, Hux is dead. I watched him die. When he realized that he had lost, the man committed suicide with a lightsaber from his collection. Though I was able to get some information out of him before his expiration."

    Finn released a breath he hadn't realised he had been holding. "I mean, the guy saved my life once, but he still needed to go down, and I'm strangely happy we didn't have to put his snivelling face through a trial."

    Threepio looked intrigued. "What information did Hux possess? Mistress Rose mentioned that he had been trying to use the Force on her."

    "But that's not how the Force works," said Finn, a bit maudlin, remembering when Han had said that to him once, a decade ago now.

    "He was looking for a way to make himself Force sensitive," Barriss admitted before remembering something else. "I also saw someone else on the Capitol, someone who managed to get off before its destruction. I saw her previously on the HoloNet before it went down after Exegol. I also heard that she died, but I'm pretty sure that I saw Captain Phasma alive and well."

    Finn actually flinched.

    Hard.

    "Phasma died ten years ago aboard the Supremacy."

    His tone was insistent.

    "I killed her myself."

    Barriss frowned. "I'm just telling you what I saw. And everyone thought Palpatine was dead once too, right?"

    "And at one point we thought Kylo Ren and Chancellor Hux were dead too," Threepio unhelpfully added. "Though the death of Kylo Ren was corroborated by Mistress Rey and she's now gone too..." his voice trailed off. "But with Chancellor Hux, his death was only reported in First Order intercepts, we had no reason to believe them."

    Finn looked at Threepio, annoyed. "I'm saying I killed Phasma."

    Threepio looked put out. "I am only restating the facts, Master Finn." His hand took in Barriss. "I am inclined to believe Mistress Barriss."

    "It has to be someone else in her armor," Finn said. "She can't be back."

    In the Force, Finn's gut was churning, his fears feeding his anger.

    But even before Barriss could say, he took a deep breath, and he put out his feelings without any help.

    "Thank you for letting me know, Barriss. We'll have to look into it. Hopefully she went down with the Capitol, but we'll have to keep our eyes out. At least we know Hux is gone."

    Threepio looked to the former Jedi. "Might I make a copy of the data you recovered? It may prove priceless as we hunt down First Order remnants. Several Star Destroyers did escape the Battle of Coruscant, so we shall have to deal with them at some point, and, oh my, the Galactic Warlords too." He shook his head.

    "Does it ever end?"

    Barriss handed the datapad to Threepio. "You can copy the data on this, but I want it back afterward."

    She then turned to Finn. "And as much as I wish that Phasma had gone down with the Capitol, she was able to get into a ship and escape. I did try to stop her, but she got away and I have the scorch marks to prove it." She gestured down at her slightly burnt cloak. "Though I'm sure she will be brought to justice eventually."

    Threepio went to copy the data, and Finn nodded. “We’ll keep an eye out.” He regarded the crystal again. “Thank you, Barriss. Sorry about that. I was just surprised.”

    The protocol droid returned fairly swiftly. “All done, I had BB-8 and D-0 assist with the transfer.” He handed back the pad.

    Finn reached out to shake her hand. “Thank you, Master Jedi. I hope you’ll find what it is your looking for. We couldn’t have done this without you - I hope you know that.” He took a breath. “Whatever happened, you’ve more than made up for it.”

    Barriss took the datapad back before shaking Finn's hand. "May be the Force be with you."

    Before she departed, Barriss gently patted Finn on the shoulder and gave Threepio a respectful nod. Then she was gone, leaving the celebration in Republic Boulevard and setting out for the repair shop of Trace Martez. After everything that Barriss had been through, she was looking forward to seeing Trace again now that the Battle of Coruscant had concluded at last.

    Barriss reflected on what Finn had said about her more than making up for whatever she did in the past. Did Barriss herself believe that? Not really. She doubted that the people that she killed would agree with Finn and nothing she ever did would bring them back. But Barriss was less focused on making up for the past and more focused on just doing the right thing now.

    And in that, Barriss felt like she had succeeded.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @TheSilentInfluence
     
    HanSolo29 and Sinrebirth like this.
  2. HanSolo29

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

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    The following is a combo with @Shadowsun and @Sinrebirth – thank you so much! [:D]

    IC: Lord Vicrul Ren, Chancellor Aryan Graul, Captain Phasma, the Knights of Ren (Vestara & Nihl), the Graul Family (Lyz & Arek), and Senator Haydnet Treen
    Flagship, Kuat

    Vicrul continued to remain silent within his own thoughts as he awaited within his chambers. His mind replaying the events of the past few days. The ceaseless string of lost battles. And now there was the inescapable fact that his former master, Kylo Ren, was dead. This only caused further anger within his heart and mind, for now, he had been died the kill of Hattaska but now too of his Master. It was now unquestionable that he was the Leader of the Knights of Ren, whatever that meant. Being the last member of the second incarnation would lead to that regardless of how 'strong' he was.

    He gazed down at the Dark Saber, so the Last Jedi was dead, and so thus it was his. Truly his. But it was just another empty reminder of what he had achieved. A physical manifestation that he was here not because he earned it, or been strong, but because he had simply... existed.

    And for that Vicrul hated himself.

    Thus was the mindset of the Knight of Ren as he made his way to the Flagship, his eyes dead and vacant as he awaited the arrival of those that had summoned him.

    Similarly, Aryan remained aloof as he departed Phasma’s vessel, his cane marking each step with an audible click. He hadn’t expected Lyz to berate him so harshly when he had expressed his hesitancy to connect with his grandson. While his decision to name his child after Aryan’s abusive father had rankled him, he couldn’t disagree with his wife’s assessment. She had presented a fair point; they had been patient and supportive of him over the years, even when he had faced so much adversity. The least he could do was to extend the same courtesy to Bren.

    That’s why he had ultimately decided to send a silent 'ping' to the young man via his comlink. He would speak with him when time allowed. It was difficult to tell whether that would appease Lyz, but he considered it a start.

    At any rate, it was the least of his worries; the current situation took precedence. Aryan was still wary about the elusive Supreme Leader—the mysterious benefactor who had saved Arek from the Capitol and offered them all a new beginning. He couldn’t fathom why, particularly when his identity remained ambiguous.

    The Force had provided a single clue, a palpable shift that marked the passing of two powerful beings. One he recognized as Rey Skywalker, while the other belonged to Kylo Ren. It was a tragic development, but it also confirmed his suspicions—Ren was not the one in charge.

    Even now, as Aryan shuffled forth and surveyed the hangar, the Force stirred once more; it felt strangely calm, almost as if something was purposely shrouding it to diminish its effect—or perhaps someone was utilizing its power to conceal their presence.

    As if on cue, the Chancellor’s gaze fell upon the group of black-clad figures departing from a separate shuttle. The darkness clung to them like a pungent odor, causing Aryan’s jaw to clench with disdain. He was familiar enough with Kylo Ren’s dealings to know that these individuals were members of the Knights of Ren.

    However, unlike many within the First Order, Aryan was not easily intimidated by their tactics.

    He merely narrowed his eyes and inclined his chin to scrutinize them. It was his only acknowledgment as he waited for the meeting to come to order.

    Vestara took one look at the arriving four and arched an eyebrow, pressing her lips tight. The woman had nothing to say to them. Nihl, stoic as ever, simply watched. He was here to acquire power - power to kill - not to pontificate with what were clearly politicians and a heavy.

    Former Senator Treen looked at the Knights of Ren and brandished a brilliant smile. Lyz was more cautious, conscious of all of their weapons, and her husband’s approach was already enough to warrant an attack by some of the more crazed darksiders.

    Which left Captain Phasma, who simply stepped to the massive double doors that blocked their way forward. Her cape flowing, she turned and stamped her feet together to regard the group.

    "My Lords, Chancellor, Senator."

    Her tone was polite and curt at the same time.

    "The Supreme Leader has summoned you here and I, as his Captain, have been tasked with gathering his new Supreme Council, while he has called forth his new Master of the Ren."

    Vestara and Nihl slightly stiffened.

    "We shall be working together for the foreseeable future. He asks that you acknowledge each other, and acknowledge that each of you brings different strengths and usefulness of the New Order that begins today."

    Her tone grew severe.

    "He asks that you appreciate that he will encourage competition, but will not accept sabotage of the New Order. The time of warlordism is to end; the fractious rule of Hux is over. He is dead, Kylo Ren is dead, and now we shall move forward into the future under the Supreme Leader."

    Her chin tilted up slightly with pride.

    "The rot has been cut from the cause, and now we have the lean and strong and sure. Order shall not be the First thing we, no. We are that Order."

    Somewhere between her defeat and now… Phasma had become a believer.

    Perhaps that was the most terrifying part of all.

    Vicrul's eyes squinted... Supreme Leader? There was someone else other than Kylo Ren that was leading the First Order. Who?

    Truth be told he had very little interest in serving underneath anyone else. Not after the disappointment that had been Kylo, Xundel, and Ren. Vicrul's eyebrow raised as he saw mention of him being subservient to a being he had never met, before it then faded away. The seemingly emotionless Vicrul almost scoffed at Phasma's statement of over Warlordism.

    His mind then caught onto the speaking of Orders... wait... as in the Sith Order? Was that what Phasma was referring to?

    "Who is this Supreme Leader?" he spoke with quiet malice, but not necessarily out of disrespect more curiosity...and perhaps suspicion.

    Leaning heavily on his cane, Aryan inhaled deeply and glanced between the armored Knight and Phasma, one brow quirking to convey his impatience. In this instance, he had nothing to add. The man had asked the same question that had been on his own mind for the past several hours, needling its way into the far recesses of his awareness with enough intrigue and mystery to drive him insane.

    Of course, the Captain’s crude attempt at an impassioned speech had failed to satisfy that yearning. It was nothing more than a theatrical stunt, a smoke and mirrors routine that wasn’t going to convince him of his purpose in this alleged New Order. What he required was closure to better prepare himself for the path ahead. Transparency and honesty were the keys to their success at this juncture, and if they wanted to earn his trust, it was time to drop the ruse and come clean with the truth.

    To emphasize this point, the Chancellor pushed against his cane to straighten his posture, his expression growing stern as he silently demanded answers.

    TAG: @Shadowsun; @Sinrebirth
     
  3. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Connix
    Coruscant, in the days to come

    A Resistance Flag rises from the rubble at the side of the old Capitol. Thousands of citizens fill the square.

    Free.

    Inside a ceremonial hall - the former Senate chambers - Heroes stand at attention.

    Connix stands in an elegant white robe, reminiscent of that of Leia Organa at the Yavin 4 celebration. Lando Calrissian and her top Generals stand with her, including Wedge Antilles and Admiral Bwua'tu.

    Finn, Rose, Poe and Chewbacca stand before Connix. She places Medals of Honour around each of their necks. BB-8 excitedly beeps at their feet alongside D-0 and Whistler.

    After forty years of service, Chewbacca gets his medal.

    Invites were sent to Rhoen, Madelyn, Eleanor, Luminara, Syal, Barriss and the rest, offering them their own awards for bravery and skill. Posthumous awards were issued for Rafe, Dade and the many others who died in the fighting - even for Dol Khan!

    Did they attend?

    Did they resurface?

    What were they doing with their lives, as the HoloNet showed this announcement to the stars?

    To the Free Systems of the Core?

    ---
    Landing Platforms, later that day

    Connix looks down at the blue beacon bracelet once used by Leia to guide Rey back to safety from the Unknowns, clenched tight in her hand. Her last heirloom from the Princess.

    Finn and Rose stand by her side.

    "I was sure I could feel Rey's presence, once upon a time. Or, maybe Leia let me."

    She turned back to them.

    "But now I can't."

    Finn bows his head; neither can he.

    "But there is a calm I've never felt. Balance."

    "That's her," Finn says. Connix smiles, and BB-8 rolls up, beeps to Rose and Finn.

    "Come on," Rose says. "We have work to do."

    Connix approaches Poe and Chewbacca, also on their way. She places the beacon bracelet in Poe's hand.

    "We'll never stop looking."

    Chewbacca gives Connix a big hug.

    "Okay, okay. Easy."

    Finn approaches Poe, holding something under his arm. "Let me know what you find."

    "I will," Poe says with a degree of gravity - as Poe hands him back his old leather jacket.

    "For luck," Finn explains with a smile.

    Poe smiles back, takes it, and hugs him tight. Chewbacca growls and joins in.

    We follow Poe and Chewie to the Millennium Falcon rebuilt to look better than it has for decades.

    Heading up the ramp, Poe sits and flips a switch in the cockpit. "Ready, Chewie?"

    He takes Rey's beacon and hangs it, replacing Han's dice.

    ---
    Quarters - night

    Connix watches from her window as Millennium Falcon jets off into the starfield.

    The Phantom Hawk rockets the other way into empty space.

    She turns and checks on Artoo, still under construction, attended by a repair droid and BB-8 and D-0, rebuilding his destroyed frame. "How's he coming along?"

    Threepio replies. "A quick cycle through his memory banks, and he'll be back to his old self. I hope."

    "He'll be fine, Threepio."

    "I can't imagine what I'd do without him. I know he's stubborn but I, I --"

    "I know," Connix says, smiling. Picking up Artoo's intact memory drive, rescured by BB-8, she inserts it into Artoo, giving us all a flash to when we first saw Leia with a droid.

    Artoo beeps to life.

    As his files catalogue into chronological order, he projects the contents of his memory banks...

    ... and we witness their adventures over the last sixty years, all from the droids perspective.

    ... activated aboard the Naboo yacht and repairing it while under fire...

    ... flying with a young Anakin Skywalker against the droid control ship...

    ... navigating the Geonosian arena as clones and battle droids fight...

    ... a flicker of innumerable adventures during the Clone Wars...

    ... his rapport with Ahsoka Tano...

    ... he and Threepio assisting the injured Padme...

    ... on his missions against Admiral Screed and the Great Heep...

    ... his narrow escape from the snow mountains of Corellia being pursued by Darth Vader...

    ... as Leia placed the Death Star plans within him...

    ... Luke buying him and Threepio from the Jawa's...

    ... Obi-Wan giving Luke his father's lightsaber...

    ... flying through the Death Star trench...

    ... Han getting his medal on Yavin 4...

    ... Yoda lifting the X-wing from the swamps of Dagobah...

    ... Luke saluting from the plank on Jabba's barge...

    ... Leia and Han outside the bunker on Endor...

    ... the births of the Solo children...

    ... the marriage of Luke and Mara...

    ... the Solo and Skywalker family above a blastboat at the Battle of Nickel One...

    ... Luke placing a hand on his dome as they regarded the burning Jedi academy...

    ... his adventures with Rey, Poe and Finn...

    ... right up to the Battle of Coruscant...


    Connix is taken aback by the innumerable memories. It is a catharsis for usa ll.

    She takes a deep breath.

    "Thank you, Artroo."

    Connix leaves them alone together.

    She steps outside, looking up at the field of stars.

    She looks at the vastness of space.

    A star falls, as if descending from the heavens.

    It gives her peace.

    Connix feels Leia leave for good.

    May the Force be with you...

    It is done.

    TAG: @galactic-vagabond422, @TheSilentInfluence, @CosmoHender, @The Jedi in the Pumas
    ---
    IC: Vergere

    I have come. Great lights have disappeared from the Galaxy. And the First Order is shortly behind my arrival

    At Xundel's words, Vergere raised an eyebrow, human-style.

    She still thought it unlikely that the person who had sent the message nine years ago would be here, or would pick up that the message had now been recieved and rush here like carrion to fresh meat...

    ... but she had been proven wrong.

    Pesegam could wait.

    So far the other had not engaged with the weight of that planet name, so perhaps he simply did not know why the One Sith had chosen so.

    No matter, when nobody replied, she would simply encourage him to head there -

    But then, from Bogan came a transmission. Then you have doomed us, and I would cast doom upon you.

    And from Ashla came another. The Light can never disappear, it can only be briefly eclipsed.

    Vergere was about to wisecrack when another came through, this time from Tython proper. We have seen, and seen you, and see you. You call to us, but we know not what you seek.

    And finally from the Chasm...

    What can we say? The lights and darks can't keep themselves apart long enough to build anything. And you bring a darkness with you too? Great. More obfuscation.

    The Fosh ruffled her feathers, offended; avian style.

    But one thing Xundel's sensors would tell him with some certainty; not a single one of them had access to a ship. There was no evidence of such technology at either site.

    Were they marooned?

    Stranded?

    Exiled?

    Questions.

    Answers?

    TAG: @darthbernael (combo)
    ---
    IC: Admiral Trench

    Later

    Johnson was, well, he wasn't left alone.

    He would briefly regain consciousness as Aqualish brutes stepped into his ship and seized him. A stun bolt slapped into his face.

    The next time, when he was manacled, fresh from being clapped with a backhanded blow which woke him enough for the next hit to knock him back out.

    As he was loaded aboard a shuttle, and Trench was speaking. "... I have a war criminal to hand over to your forces. Consider it a goodwill gesture, General Calrissian."

    "This better not be a trick, Trench. The Core Fleet may be busy at Yag’Dhul but one word from me and I'll send the Eclipse to visit -"

    "Not at all, I assure you," the Harch said smoothly. "It's a First Order Agent who happened into our territory as the Battle of Coruscant was ending. He investigated a crystal grove, but we found nothing to speak of within it."

    "Kyber crystal?"

    Trench hesitated. "Not as far as I am aware..."

    "... anything involving crystals is illegal under the original Galactic Concordance. You should know that."

    "We do, we do," Trench said quickly. "But with an Agent specifically visiting our world, fresh from the Capitol..."

    "... yeah, we'll take him in. I'll send a shuttle."

    "... and you'll remember me to the new Senate?"

    Lando sighed. "Sure. I'll make sure to put in a good word -"

    "Thank you, Calrissian -"

    "- and mention that you had this Agent in your hands for weeks now."

    The line cut as Trench spluttered. Growling, the Harch turned around to the bound Johnson and kicked him out of his frustration, black taking him again.

    The next time Johnson came to, he would be sitting in a medbay, handcuffed to a bed and a stoic looking soldier in blue attire peering at him from a datapad. "Ah, he's finally awake. Agent Johnson, I'm here to process you for your trial. You're charged with multiple counts of war crimes and murder while in service to the First Order. I have evidence of a transmission to Imperial High Command that saw our team's insertion to the Jedi Temple jeopardised."

    A medical orderly threw up his hands and stepped off. Clearly the Rodian was frustrated with the officer, probably for interrogating a barely-lucid patient.

    "I'd like to get things started for the trial. You'll likely be the first war criminal on the stand, unless we can find Aryan Graul any time soon." His gloved hand was ready to input an option. "So."

    "How do you plead?"

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox (single, for now)
    ---
    IC: Jedi Master K'Kruhk

    Arkinnea

    The Whiphid could sense that the wheels were turning within the mind of Tirran Huxley.

    But, it was what it was.

    Did K'Kruhk expect the galaxy to have a decade of peace?

    No, he did truly not.

    Between the decades of oppression by the old Empire, the wars against the warlords like Zsinj and Thrawn, the Unknown Terrors and marauding hordes, let alone the civil wars and neo-Imperials... there had been barely half a decade of true peace before the next trauma was visited upon the galaxy.

    Time and time again, a Cold War would become hot, a period of stability would crumble against the imperfect solution to the latter conflict, or arrogance would encourage politicians to overstretch, and the drumbeat of war would begin anew.

    He had been foolish enough to fight in the Clone Wars six decades ago, but he would not allow the Jedi to engage in such irresponsible actions again. The New Jedi Order had been hope, but even that had fallen foul to Kylo Ren and the machinations of Palpatine.

    These were his thoughts while joviality filled the hovel and surrounding areas, as sing-song rose up, encouraged by the Gallusian's off-key opener. There was revelry, but the Jedi would remain the careful watchers of the galaxy. They would provide the balance in the dark, not the light, until they were sure it was time to return.

    And return they would in the hundreds.

    They were all here for the broker to see.

    K'Kruhk patted Tirran on the shoulder.

    "Let me show you around our Hidden Temple."

    TAG: @Mitth_Fisto
    —-
    IC: Lyz Graul

    Aboard the Second Eclipse, Kuat

    The growling and sniping between the new Knights of Ren, and the new Supreme Council didn't do much for her. Captain Phasma was no orator; she was a brute, and her words bespoke threats and dangers. Whoever the Supreme Leader was, he was the person pulling the strings. The puppet master, moving with the brilliance of any manipulator over the past wars.

    Could it be Palpatine, returned after another incredible defeat? Between Endor, Byss, and Exegol, it would be a miracle anyone served him... or was it another Sith? The so-called Rule of Two was a theory, they'd seen that plenty in recent years, between the Disciples of Ragnos, Lumiya and the Lost Tribe of the Sith, even before you touched upon the Knights of Ren. Or was this another political scheme as brilliant as the so-called Lecersen Conspiracy? Was the Moff making another attempt at galactic supremacy, and had collected his old friends together?

    Lyz eyed the former Senator of Kuat itself, Haydnat Treen. A long list in Kuati leaders with a talent for disruption, she had replaced the traitor Viqi Shesh, after all. The Atreus family had long cast a pall of economic machinations in the sector too... were they behind this bid for control of the Supreme Council. For his part, Arek remained silent, glaring at the Knights of Ren, at the Captain, even occasionally at his father.

    Aryan... what he had gotten them into this time?

    At best, Kylo Ren was deranged, but Vicrul Ren? He was a nobody, one of a mostly irrelevant and indifferent Knights, his name the only one to survive across two or three iterations of the darksiders he now led. But those who stood with him? The Stanger? Who she suspected was the mass-murderer Vestara Khai, and a Nagai of all things, evoking the specter of their short-lived invasion of galaxy some five decades ago years ago...

    What did this group have in common?

    Then, the doors yawed open, Phasma stepping off to the left as a procession of crimson armoured guards emerged.

    There were eight of them.

    Behind them stood them sat a man on a Throne.

    He was in robes of golden, indolent upon the chair.

    [​IMG]

    He leaned forward as the Guards split to the sides of the room, Captain Phasma off to one side.

    [​IMG]

    Snoke.

    Lyz took a sharp intake of air, and he crowed a laugh that was reminded her of the cruel voice of Palpatine.

    "My friends! You have come at last."

    He clutched immense hands together, leered over them.

    "I am sure you find my continued existence a surprise, but I did die, after a fashion."

    His malevolence was palpable. Lyz could feel it, pressing upon her with incredible force. She'd once seen Palpatine at a procession, from a distant crowd, and Lyz had felt sick gazing upon his ruined visage.

    Here, and now, it was exactly same.

    And if the non-Force user among the new arrivals could detect it, so too could the Force users. But for them, they would know that this man was real, that he was powerful, and monstrously so. It was like a punch in the gut, a foe that had been strong before but now was unleashed, unbound by a distant master to play a role... when he had been playing the puppetmaster at his own game.

    For how else could Snoke be here, and Palpatine not?

    His strength would render them all but speechless.

    "A humble clone of our dear departed Emperor," he laughed. "A mere copy, no, but the improvement."

    Snoke snapped a short chortle.

    "Who else could have infiltrated the cloning project but from within, to encourage Palpatine that his attempts to create a new body had failed and send him chasing down his death.."

    "Who else could have encouraged those self-same acolytes and fools to perfect the cloning of the 'expendable' Snoke, whose personality of course mirrored that of the Emperor and so was 'no threat'..."

    "Who else could have ensured his vat of clones existed to create a successor not in Rey Palpatine but in Palpatine himself, renamed, reborn, as Tenebrae was renamed Vitiate was renamed Valkorion..."

    He leaned back in his chair, holding his head to the sky and releasing another explosive laugh.

    "The last epoch of conflict was nothing than my origin story." Snoke's grin expanded, eyes sparkling.

    "Palpatine was undone by himself; his much-improved and brutal self, acquiring his own mind and agenda but concealing it, pretending to be the puppet to his ridiculous schemes, quietly encouraging the Dark Lord to bridge the gap between the scavenger girl and Kylo Ren so that they would kill him... and then each other."

    He was crooning, self-congratulating himself in utter narcissism.

    "It was I that had the Eclipse filled with sufficient weapons of war to galvanise them."

    "It was I that concealed the actions of Graul loyalists in sneaking Star Destroyers off the assembly line to the Ghost Nebula."

    "It was I that sent a message through the Coruscanti jamming to the Resistance to let them know that the Capitol was in rebellion."

    A maniacal glint to his eye.

    "And it is now I which will elevate Vicrul Ren to my right hand to anoint him a Darth and to teach him the secrets to unlock his true greatness. It is I which will forge his Knights of Ren into warriors beyond compare so they may better serve him and never leave him alone and bereft again." He acknowledged Vestara, the Stranger, and Nihl.

    And it will be I who reveals unto you your past as a reward.

    These words snuck into the minds of Vicrul and the Stranger separately…

    His immense form swung to the politicians.

    "And it is now I which will cement your rule as Chancellor, Aryan Graul, to manage and reap the rewards of statehood. It is I who will make your wife your second, so you need never worry for your successor. It is I who will make your son the great power that stands between the New Order and the Galactic Warlords and the Resistance, to end this conflict. It is I who will make Treen into the Speaker of the new Senate, when the war is finally ended and benevolent rule is restored."

    And I shall unlock all of Sistros to you…

    The words entangled Aryan’s mind.

    Snoke sat back in his chair, as he was all but risen from it. Phasma stepped besides and behind him on the left.

    "We shall together create true peace, my friends."

    His smile grew all the more carnivorous.

    "And I shall show you what power I can grant you."

    His energy released them at last.

    But he held their lives in his hands.

    Their past, present and future…

    … they would ensnare the galaxy to come.

    TAG: @HanSolo29, @Master Vo'Un'Var, @Shadowsun (singles)
     
  4. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Episode X: Duel of the Fates has officially ended, but the Legacy Trilogy will not come to a close yet.

    We are on the Road to Episode XI: The Hidden Temple.


    Details will go up from 1st September 2021, but replies are encouraged to finalise your characters loose ends, be it directly to the TAG, or indirectly to things you wish to pick up, or combos you wish to run with me and your fellow players...

    ... this story is over...

    ... your characters life's now belong to them again...

    ... for the next few years within the story, anyway...

    ... May the Force be with You all...
     
  5. Shadowsun

    Shadowsun Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 26, 2017
    The Madness of Vicrul Ren



    [​IMG]
    Vicrul eyes narrowed as he viewed the being that was Snoke. His eyes were filled with anger and disgust. Emotions swirling in his mind as the memory of Kylo Ren seemed to haunt him. Vicrul was indeed nothing. He was alone, solitary man, a namesake of an unknown knight of a distant legacy. A being that was nothing and had nothing. And by extension had nothing to lose. Nothing to lose but his life.

    And his life he did not care for.

    Perhaps if Snoke had made his declaration to Vicrul right after he left Xundel, or perhaps if the battle of Coruscant had gone differently. Perhaps if Vicrul had indeed been granted the blood he was so promised. Perhaps if Vicrul had not been abandoned by Kylo Ren, if he had not been used by Xundel, and if he had not been lied to by Ren, then perhaps he would have listened to what Snoke had to say.

    But before Vicrul he just saw one thing. A walking, living lie. Another being that wanted to use him. Treat him as a tool. This was the being that had done so to Kylo Ren, waiting to discard him. Vicrul would not be a repeat of that mistake.

    He refused.

    The being thought they knew Vicrul Ren, they thought they could prod and tap the madness of his mind, control it, use it, bring it under his sway.

    But there was no controlling madness.

    Vicrul ignited the Dark Saber a residual pulse echoing as the Dark Side of the Force roiled throughout Vicrul as in a single bound he leapt to Snoke his blade held high as he came down to slice through his neck.

    His fate had been decided and now it would unfold.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @Master Vo'Un'Var @HanSolo29
     
  6. AgentViper007

    AgentViper007 Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    IC: Rogue Agent Bernhardt Johnson
    Location: Christophsis, then….????


    Thankfully Johnson had gotten some rest...maybe?

    Well until he was rudely awoken by some Aqualish thugs striding onto his ship and stunning him. Before he could pull his blaster out or even put some clothes on.

    When he woke up next he was smacked across the face before blacking out again. He just about managed to feel that he had been handcuffed.

    What the hell is going on? Who are these people?

    As Johnson awoke again his head was ringing. Some alien in front of him, was he in a shuttle of some kind? He couldn't tell what was going on but it seemed the alien was speaking over a comm.

    So I've been taken prisoner. By this alien's group? Handed over to the First Order? The Resistance?

    Well i'll guess i'll find ou- he was knocked out again.

    When he awoke again he recognised the uniform in front of him...Resistance. He didn't expect this to happen so soon. And he was in a medbay of some kind.

    As he was trying to get his thoughts together he could hear certain words. Proccess, trial, charged, war crimes, murder, transmission, team jeapordised.

    So I guess I couldn't do any good before I was put in a cell for life or executed. Hey look everyone the man you thought was dead isn't. And it turns out he was made into an assassin. Lost my bloody ship too.

    And this time he was truly alone. No Lucretia, no Ilsa, no friends. And...did he have family?

    The soldier asked him how he pleaded. Johnson knew he would have to face this moment. That he would have to look his former comrades in the eye whilst he spilled his guts out.

    Alone.

    It's the right thing to do Bernhardt.

    "Guilty" he said simply before falling into the black again.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
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  7. Master Vo'Un'Var

    Master Vo'Un'Var Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 2017
    The Stranger

    [​IMG]
    All of his known life, he had been running and chasing.

    Finally, it seemed, he had found it. What he was looking for. Or at least, the key to his stolen memories. He could feel it. The sensation of something ending, but with many doors opening.

    A smirk crept onto his face. Not the usual sadistic one that covered his visage, but a genuine grin of excitement. It did not stay for long, for the Stranger saw Vicrul ignite the darksaber.

    A frown. No, this could not happen. He was so close. Why would this Vicrul reject the title of Darth? A title that even the Stranger, a man of no memory, knew of?

    Vicrul Ren would not be the one to deny the Stranger the right to his past.

    He couldn't allow it.

    The blade The Stranger had used for this journey now appeared in his hand, pure beskar, strong enough to parry Vicrul's darksaber.

    He moved forward, to protect Snoke, to parry Vicrul, and then to execute the traitor who would've been called Darth.


    @Sinrebirth @Shadowsun @HanSolo29
     
  8. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Tirran Huxley
    Arkinnea

    His singing in a grungy tune had set off a celebration of sorts, and he had been rather enjoying it. When K'Kruhk patted Tirran on the shoulder of his exo-suit.

    "Let me show you around our Hidden Temple." the large mammal had stated.

    Tirran had waved the man onward and followed. It was always good to know the safe places, the ways out, and the paths hidden and open. This would be his bolt-hole away from home from now on. He would keep the deals running of course, but when time was needed and his spies or networks didn't need assistance he would be glad to let others keep the store fronts open and the back doors dealing from his karaoke shops.

    All these other ventures though, he would have to establish and use a set of hidden relays before he could ever send or receive a message here and here would remain unaccounted for on any of his books lest someone hacked them. It was only fair to respect a business partners secrets this way. In fact he would set this place up as part of a longer shadow relay network into the Core and another tail into the unknown regions to send encrypted messages. A copy would remain at this one as it sent everything onwards, and only he when here would know that he had any messages and so to only the selected partners would know the dummy accounts to access to read anything in return.

    He might have to invest in a few droid couriers to run messages out of system to a different node for messages from these people to be uploaded from. Preferably another major grain producers holonet relay so the messages would be lost in the chatter. These were plans for tomorrow and would heavily cut into his profits for a while to recoup, but the security would likely be appreciated and something the Jedi might accept at least partially if not mainly coming from their share of the profits.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  9. TheSilentInfluence

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

    Registered:
    Jul 15, 2014
    IC: Eleanor Magnus
    Courscant

    Eleanor played absentmindely with the medal around her neck. It didn't feel real. She wondered how they had managed to come this far. She sighed and shook her head, shivering in the cold.

    I guess I have to start thinking about the future too. As Mand'alor...as a mother. Even as a wife one day, I imagine. If things work out with Kaz and Amaria.

    Asteria looked up at Eleanor, grinning broadly. “This is amazing. I can’t believe that week ago we were under the Jamming and the galaxy was looking at First Order rule forger…”

    She grinned. “We did it!”

    Eleanor looked down at Asteria and smiled, reaching over to mess up her hair. "We've come along way Asteria." She paused. "The galaxy is a better place because of us."

    They were all present, even Mirta Gev, whatever acrimony she had with the heroes in the past forgotten. She also wouldn’t let anyone forget that Vestara Khai had escaped the battle. The Mandalorian hadn’t earned a medal - she wasn’t quite that forgiven - but she wasn’t in prison.

    Luminara was looking for her sister.

    “Eleanor!” She waved and then pointed.

    Kaz and Amira seemed to be having a quite animated

    Eleanor turned her head as Luminara called her name, and then looked to where she was pointing. Oh force. Eleanor smiled apologetically at Asteria. "Stay with Luminara." She walked quickly to Kaz and Amaria.

    "What are you arguing about?" Eleanor asked as she crossed her arms.

    “Sleeping arrangements,” said Amira.

    “Our future relationship status as we were friends after all…” Kaz said more delicately. “We’re not likely to date each other you see…”

    “So we were working it out,” the Twi’lek said.

    “What does it matter where you sleep?” Asteria asked.

    Eleanor sighed. Of course this would come up. "You know, I'm fine with both of you sharing my bed. If it makes it easier; I'll sleep in the middle."

    She paused. "I'm fine if you don't date each other. It's really up to you to be honest."

    Asteria nodded.

    Amira and Kaz looked at her and back at each other, then back at Eleanor. The former stepped forward and put her hands over Asteria’s ears, before mouthing.

    And what about sex?

    I'm sure you can learn to share." Eleanor said quietly. She then blushed, and added, "We can make time privately. But I want us to communicate."

    She smiled at then. "And you know-" Eleanor looked at Kaz, "-We still have to go on that date."

    Kaz smiled at Eleanor. “I hear Hersperdium is lovely this time of year. Fancy a romantic moon trip?”

    Amira smirked. “Only as long as I get to take you to Ryloth after.”

    Asteria shook off her hands. “I know about sex y’know.”

    “Uh huh,” Amira said, smiling. “But does that mean you want to hear about what your Master gets up to?”

    “Good point.” She ran off back to Madelyn, sticking out her tongue.

    Eleanor nodded, her smile reaching her eyes. "I'd like that. A lot actually." She shook her head at Asteria's comment and laughed a little as she ran off.

    She stepped forward and kissed Kaz first, and then turned to give Amaria a kiss as well. She stepped back after, elated to the point of glowing.

    "I'll have to show you both Mandalore one day too."

    Tag: @Sinrebirth

     
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  10. HanSolo29

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

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    IC: Aryan Graul
    Aboard the Second Eclipse, Kuat

    The room had turned electric, the very air particles seeming to crackle with the intense energy emitting from the man perched upon the kingly throne. His presence was palpable, and the Force trembled in response to such divine power. It practically cowered beneath the man’s absolute authority, almost as if he commanded the heavens themselves.

    That was the nature of the man who finally revealed himself as Supreme Leader Snoke.

    A man who had allegedly died over a decade ago.

    Or at least, that’s what Aryan had read in the data files that covered the early history of the Second Galactic Civil War. He hadn’t exactly been…cognizant of events as they had occurred in real-time, so he had to rely on second-hand accounts to fill the void. In that sense, his knowledge was inadequate—for his standards, anyway. Snoke was essentially a stranger, a simple myth within his mind.

    Perhaps that’s why he didn’t openly react to the revelation; he was surprisingly composed, relatively unfazed by the impassioned speech. While he could certainly feel the man’s influence weighing heavily on his perceptions, including the promises and rewards of a brighter future under his reign—the rebirth of the Empire under a New Order—he couldn’t bring himself to fully submit. He was weary and tired as he leaned forward against his cane, his emotions safely guarded behind his tough exterior.

    However, there was one alluring prospect that played into his temptations. It dealt with the Holocron and the assurance that Snoke would unlock the mysteries of Sistros’ elusive past. The Supreme Leader had conveyed those words to him mentally, tactfully planting the seed as if he was an intimate lover whispering into his ear.

    It needled its way into his mind, much like a spider weaving an intricate web of intrigue and entropy. It mingled with his thoughts, clenched at his chest, and elevated his pulse with the rush of expectation—

    And then Vicrul Ren charged and ignited his weapon to run Snoke through. Another of the warriors—a white-haired stranger—moved to intercept the former’s blade, plunging the scene into absolute chaos.

    The unforeseen attack jolted Aryan back to his senses, his eyes blinking rapidly as he quickly surveyed the room. He wasn’t quite panicked, merely desperate when his gaze finally came to rest on his wife and son. They were his rock and foundation, and in that frantic moment, they were all that mattered. Snoke may have vowed to offer him material gain and prestige—but it was such a fragile thing, as Vicrul had so recently demonstrated. It could easily be taken away from him.

    Not so much his family.

    And so, the question soon became—what did he truly want?

    Glancing one last time at the escalating conflict, Aryan drove his cane into the deckplates and instinctively grasped Lyz’s arm with his free hand. He then canted his chin and met Arek’s gaze, his blue-gray eyes reflecting his determination.

    "Go" he uttered in a harsh whisper, backpedaling toward the shuttle as he made his intentions clear. He pushed Lyz ahead of him to keep her between himself and Arek for added protection. "We need to move now; there’s not much time. GO!"

    Aryan Graul glanced a final time over his shoulder as he continued to usher his family to the relative safety of the landing ramp.

    TAG: @Shadowsun; @Master Vo'Un'Var; @Sinrebirth
     
  11. CosmoHender

    CosmoHender Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2016
    OOC: Combo with @Sinrebirth

    IC: Barriss Sunrider


    Barriss didn't know about the invitation that had been sent out to her. And even if she did know, she wouldn't have showed up. She didn't care much for awards... or publicity. Now that the HoloNet was back up, it wouldn't be long before the whole galaxy knew of her involvement in the Battle of Coruscant. It would be interesting to see what others made of her, but right now Barriss only thought of seeing Trace Martez again. It took some time to find her way back to Trace's repair shop, but eventually she did...

    Trace was working on a freighter - one which looked like Barriss’s. She had a patch on her neck, clearly a wound from the final battle, but she was able, seemingly engrossed in a particularly fiddly part.

    When Barriss saw Trace, she smiled and cleared her throat to get the other woman's attention.

    "Hey," she said. "I'm alive."

    Trace stood up straight away and spun, dropping her hydrospanner. “B- Barriss? I heard that you’d survived but -“

    She was between a blush and flush. “But I assumed you wouldn’t want to see me after I screwed up during the battle.”

    Barriss shook her head and offered a reassuring smile. "Trace, you didn't screw up. And this is coming from a major screw-up." She gestured to herself. "But of course I wanted to see you again. I wanted to make sure that you were okay."

    She smiled. “I am okay. I kinda was working on this.” Trace gestures vaguely at the ship. “For you. Figured you’d need a ride at some point and come knocking.”

    A minor hesitation. “I had figured you’d be celebrating with the other, um, heroes.”

    "I'm not really into celebrations," Barriss admitted. "I also don't consider myself a hero. I'm just... someone who has made a lot of mistakes and was trying to do some good to reduce the hurt." She looked down. "I know I already said this, but I'm sorry about your parents."

    She took a step forward out of a sheer desire to help with her pain. Trace reached out and squeezed her wrist. “I’m sorry about your Master, and how frakked up a life you’ve had. Nobody deserves that, not me or you.”

    The woman tried a smile, and peered into Barriss’s eyes.

    Barriss looked back at Trace and smiled slightly. "I know," she said. "However, we can't just focus on the bad. There will inevitably be more challenges in the future, but I like to think that we're both allowed to be optimistic as well. The Battle of Coruscant is won, the First Order has lost the planet, we're both alive, several people that I care about are still alive, and there is some hope for the future. We shouldn't forget any of that."

    “Several people?” Trace hadn’t actually let go of Barriss’ wrist quite yet. “That’s a lot more than you led me to believe cared about you.”

    She was asking a question within a question there, and you didn’t need to the Force to know.

    "Madelyn and her family," Barriss clarified. "Madelyn and I had the same master, she is one of the last people from my old life left and I didn't even know she was alive until when we were on Bonadon. She was also on Coruscant during the battle, but thankfully she and her family all made it out okay. Afterward Madelyn made me promise that I would stay in touch. I guess in a way she is like a little sister to me and I am so happy that she has made this life for herself since we last saw each other."

    “That’s really amazing,” Trace said. She let go of Barriss. “To have found each other after, what, sixty years? And in the middle of all this?”

    “You must be so happy to have a family again.” She was pushing her voice a little, clearly expecting some reference but not wanting to assume. They had started off in a rocky manner to even become friends, let alone hold a conversation.

    "I am happy," Barriss admitted. "Not just to have a family again... but to have friends."

    This time it was her that grabbed Trace's wrist.

    "You have no idea how long I have been afraid of having connections with others. That's what I was taught as a Jedi. To be wary of attachments. And because I didn't want to acknowledge my feelings that were inappropriate for a Jedi, it drove me to... hurt a lot of people, including those that I cared about. Only now I am more comfortable with those feelings of love that I had, including for Luminara. She was not just my master, but to me... she was my mother." She sighed. "I am not a Jedi anymore. I have made peace with that and I... am ready to love again. That is why I am happy that Madelyn considers me part of my family. And that is why I consider you my friend, Trace. That is why I came back here. Not just for my ship. But to see you, so that we could have time now that the immediate crisis is over. So that I can... enjoy the company of someone other than myself for once. Because unlike before, I am not alone anymore."

    Trace was rendered speechless; there was only really one response to that. She went to kiss Barriss, closing her eyes as she stepped closer to her and brought her free hand up to her face -

    And Barriss did not flinch or try to pull away. Instead she let Trace touch her now blushing face while leaning forward to meet her lips with her own. It just felt right to her.

    The kiss lasted for a while, and Trace needed to breath. Their eyes met, and she smiled, a bit hesitatingly. “Well that was a surprise.”

    She took her hand, indicated the ship and the ramp. “Did you want to see inside?”

    Barriss returned Trace's smile and gave her a nod. "Yes, I would," she admitted, though this was all very new to her. Feelings like the ones she was feeling now weren't, but actually acting upon them was. When Trace kissed her and Barriss kissed back, that had actually been the first time that Barriss had kissed anyone ever and she hoped that wasn't too obvious. However, she knew that she liked it and that right now she just wanted to be alone with Trace after everything that she had been through to even be here. She had no idea where it would lead if anywhere at all, she only knew that she cared about Trace and she felt surprisingly comfortable around her. But other than that... Barriss didn't care. Because for once, Barriss was thinking about her own happiness instead of believing that she didn't deserve any. It helped that Trace knew about her past and knew what she had done, she had even been hurt by Barriss before... but she had kissed her anyway. Yes, this was very new to her and Barriss welcomed the change because she had changed. And by following Trace into the ship, she was moving away from who she was and embracing who she is now: someone who wanted to do good and reduce the hurt of not just others, but herself as well. And the way to do that, as she had always known, was through love.

    Much later, after she had gotten plenty of much-needed and well-deserved rest, Barriss was replacing her artificial arm. She already had the necessary parts in her ship for when she needed to make repairs. She was by no means a technological genius, but she was familiar enough with prosthetic limbs after decades of having one. While she made sure that her new arm could move properly, Barriss noticed that there was a new message in her ship's comm logs. Curious, she decided to play the message.

    Barriss, in the year since the destruction of Hosnian Prime, I have realized that evil no longer lurks in the shadows, and that those shadows are deeper than I could have ever imagined. I know it’s been years, but I did not know you survived, and I have kept a low profile since Order 66. I’m sure we’ll cross paths soon.

    Barriss frowned slightly, realizing that this message must have been sent before the communication blackout caused by the First Order. She didn't know who had sent it, though it must have been someone from her past that she hadn't seen since the Clone Wars. Perhaps this would be something else she would look into later, along with the information that she had downloaded onto the datapad. She had initially hoped that information could help her find out what became of Ahsoka, but right now she wasn't sure of what she was going to do.

    While she thought about it, Barriss gripped the handle of Luminara's lightsaber like she used to before recent events. She looked down at the handle, reflecting upon the many colors its blade had been: green, red, white... and now blue. Barriss still wasn't sure what exactly the blade being blue now meant, but she figured that it had to be something important. It looked nice, at least.

    As she contemplated, Barriss went over to one of the boxes in her ship and pulled out the Jedi Holocron that remained with her unopened for decades. She doubted that would change, even if she herself has.

    But much to her surprise, as she held the Holocron up to get a good look at it, the device actually opened.

    It hadn’t opened in all the times she had attended it before.

    But it did this time.

    There she was.

    Luminara.

    “Barriss, I recorded this for you, and made sure it would be you who found this. I appreciate that I’m about to go to Kashyyyk, but I needed to entrust you with something should anything happen to me. The war is ending, but the Council is worried about Palpatine. The Dark Lord of the Sith is still aloof, and I agree that he must be among the Chancellor’s advisors.”

    She hesitated.

    It was the only sign of the past differences they’d had - and what had happened at the Jedi Temple. Luminara did not say a word about the bombing.

    She simply pressed on.

    It was not condemnation, it was merely acceptance.

    Such was her way.

    “I’ve began working to move items from the Bogan Collection from the Jedi Temple; to erase any reference to them where possible. To a secret point. When you are at peace, this Holocron will open, and you will be able to follow its guidance to them.”

    Her tone piqued.

    “I have hidden the path across many worlds, this Holocron is merely the key, it will take time for you to reach the Collection,” Luminara continued. “In-case someone tries to force the Holocron open, or worse should befall you.”

    Trace was getting up, looking for Barriss -

    Barriss knew of the Bogan Collection, also known as the Archive of Forbidden Artifacts or the Black Vault. It was a hidden vault of forbidden artifacts associated with the dark side of the Force within the archives of the now destroyed Jedi Temple, notably containing ancient Sith scrolls and swords and other relics. Barriss herself had never seen the Bogan Collection, she was only aware of its existence.

    But as she heard the voice of her mother coming from the Holocron, Barriss felt herself start to tear up.

    Trace came over, only part-dressed, and recognized that Barriss was struggling with something, looping her arms around her waist and holding her close from behind. She didn't say anything; she just held Barriss.

    Barriss noticed Trace's presence and welcomed her embrace, though her gaze did not leave the opened Holocron in front of her as she wiped away her tears.

    "That's Master Luminara, isn't it?" Trace said, slowly.

    "Yes," Barriss said with a nod. "That's my mother."

    Trace rested her chin on Barriss's shoulder. "Do you come back to this, so you can hear her voice?" Of course, Trace didn't know that the Holocron had never opened before now.

    "This... is the first time that it's opened for me," Barriss admitted. "It's stayed closed to me until now and according to Luminara the Holocron was only supposed to open when I was at peace."

    "So that's a good sign, right?" Trace wasn't sure, and she was suddenly saddened that Barriss had not been so for such a long time.

    Barriss nodded softly. "Yes, I think it is," she answered, thinking about the journey that could be ahead of her if she chose to search for the Bogan Collection like Luminara wanted.

    "So what are you going to do?" Trace's voice was neutral. Careful, even.

    "I... I think I'm going to search for the Bogan Collection, like Luminara wanted me to," Barriss admitted. "They're forbidden artifacts tied to the dark side and the Sith, incredibly dangerous if they were to fall into the wrong hands. Luminara trusted me with this information and I don't want to let her down... but I also don't have to go searching for them right away." She looked at Trace. "I think I can still stay here for a while."

    Trace nodded. “Well, one sounds like a plan, and the second, that sounds perfect.” She smiled warmly, and leaned in for another kiss.

    “Back to bed?” She blushed slightly, clearly excited by the thought.

    Barriss kissed Trace and smiled. "Yeah, back to bed," she agreed. She had no idea where this search for the Bogan Collection could take her, but Barriss didn't worry about that right now. Because right now she was happy.

    And for the moment, that was enough.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  12. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Supreme Leader Snoke

    For you, all is lost.

    And still that fiery spit of hope.


    [​IMG]


    Snoke remembered it well.

    And his subsequent death at the hands of Ben Solo.

    A quirk of a grin as Vicrul leapt up; a truly malevolent spread of his lips as the so-called Stranger leapt up to confront him.

    An interplay similar to that of the twins, Arcann and Thexan, millennia ago, before Emperor Valkorion. For were not Knights of Ren brothers in arms?

    Then the Graul family began to turn to go. Snoke turned his oversized head and unravelled his hand. “Oh, no, my dear friend.”

    The Force pinned Aryan’s foot to the ground for the moment, a finger pointed. Another flutter of his hand stilled the Praetorian Guard and Captain Phasma. He focused upon Vicrul and the others. For the moment, Nihl and Vestara had simply ignited their blades and stood ready.

    Wary, but not contributing to the chaos.

    Finally Snoke stood, regarding Vicrul as he landed on his feet. “My boy. So raw. So… painful. You have been forged by failure, a victim of my conspiracies to bring down Kylo Ren.” He spat the words.

    “But now,” Snoke said, leering. “You do need to remember you place.” A sneer.

    “That I own you, in life…”

    His hand unleashed a blaze of lightning that caught Vicrul bodily. It ran him through, it illuminated his skeleton, it burned at his leather and flesh.

    Vicrul died.

    “And death,” Snoke finished.

    A flex of his fingers and unconsciousness fell upon the Graul family - upon Aryan, Lyz and Arek. “We shall discuss the proper response to your quaint fears, Chancellor, in due course.” Treen swallowed audibly.

    His beady eyes hungrily took in the Stranger and Vestara and Nihl, who deactivated their blades. “Knight of Ren, stand strong.”

    Snoke turned and sat, heavily, his body’s mass evident. “Because now, we can truly begin with Order.”

    A chuckle.

    “We shall finally do what I taught my old apprentice.”

    Black armoured Stormtroopers began to collect the fallen, and the corpse.

    Snoke smiled to himself contently.

    “Kill the past.”

    [​IMG]


    TAG: @Shadowsun, @HanSolo29, @Master Vo'Un'Var

    @darthbernael, @Jerjerrod-Lennox, @TheSilentInfluence, @CosmoHender, @galactic-vagabond422, @Mitth_Fisto, @QueenSabe7, @The Jedi in the Pumas


    The game is officially done!

    Many salutations to my friends one and all.

    @greyjedi125, the Post-Credits scene, if you would?
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2021
  13. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    I humbly bring you the post-credit scene I was greatly honored to participate in, thanks to the inimitable Master GM @Sinrebirth


    IC: The Supreme Leader

    Elsewhere

    He regarded the subject, one of many such in this part of the complex. At this stage in events, perfection was not required. Not at all.

    Acceptable would suffice for his purposes.

    With a turn of his oversized and almost clawed hand, the mechanism shifted, and fluid drained away. A tweak of a finger, and chords snapped free from the skin, eliciting pain in the creation. A tap of the console, and memory was released into the collection of bone, sinew and flesh, giving a personality to a shape. A flicker, and the glass opened, depositing the clone to the floor.

    “Rise, Kylo Ren.”

    Kylo felt.

    For that was all he could do at the moment. The unyielding floor beneath him, the wetness on his skin, the chill that clung to him, all these sensations, and many more, arrested him in place. There was also pain, both in his limbs and within him. Corporeal pain he understood. Pain of the ethereal sort, the reason for it was not immediately clear to him.

    A plethora of sensations continued to assault his senses.

    He blinked several times and found that his vision was blurred and adjusting, for he could not see clearly, not quite yet. His ears perceived the whirring sounds of machinery, their purpose presently undefined. He couldn’t recognize whatever he was tasting, so reflexively he spat out the strange viscous fluid, simply thinking that it was vile to his palate.

    His mind was awhirl with interminable images and an endless sequence of associations, both familiar and not. In the moment, he suddenly recalled that he'd responded to a name.

    His name.

    Kylo Ren.

    Slowly, he rose by dint of his own volition. The voice that had spoken his name, it did seem familiar, but who’s was it? What was this, presence?

    So many faces and scenes flashed behind his closed eyelids, faces that evoked emotions, that most certainly had names….. so, what were their names?

    The hulking Supreme Leader looked at the man as he closed his eyes. "You will have his memories, the man who you were sprouted from, my boy." His voice was soft, yet with a brittle edge. "Do you understand what you are, who you... were?”

    His brow was knitted in an almost fatherly concern.

    Pain, sharp as a knife stabbed his mind, enough that it made him lose his balance.

    A torrent of memories continued to flood his mind, visions, sensations, emotions, all racing seemingly at once. Experiencing another's living history in such a manner was entirely debilitating. The replica stumbled, then fell to his knees. He placed his hands to his temples, his teeth gritted as he grimaced and his jaw hurt, even as he felt himself struggled to not lose control.

    But that was the problem. What or who was...'himself'?

    "I'm not him...." he spat out, his mind, his 'self', still fought to assert a dominant identity over the memories.

    "I am me....!" he declared, his uncovered body trembling, his breathing labored.

    "Yes," the harsh voice said softly. "You are you, which is precisely what I want."

    "Come, come," he said, not letting the man wonder as to what he meant. A malformed hand helped him to his feet, and swept over robes, and attire. Hanging in a holster was a cylinder, a hilt - a lightsaber, his memory would supply. It didn't have the pinions that his - that Kylo Ren's lightsaber had. "It's for you," he confirmed. "To take your own path... the crystal is un-bled, my boy. I wanted to give you the best chance I could."

    Again that kindness, pressing upon the man.

    ‘Take your own path…’

    The words reverberated in his mind as he held the lightsaber in his hand. His very own Lightsaber

    No, not yet. The crystal. It was un-bled.

    He grimaced at the thought, there was a twitch of an eye, a spike of anger. Memories began to flood back into his conscious mind, memories that brought with them a torrent of anger, pain, suffering…..

    “You….are….mine…..” he chanted, grasping the lightsaber in both hands and switching it on, his knuckles becoming white with the strangling force of his physical grip.

    Raw anger flowed freely, and continued to increase.

    “Mine……” he declared, teeth clenched, lips curled.

    “MINE!!!” He yelled!

    A blast of air swirled about him, flaring out the robes placed over his shoulders, even as he continued to pour every dark emotion, every dark intent into bleeding his blade crimson red.

    That would be the first step in his path.

    The Crystal fought him, bringing up memories, and thoughts, and emotions, a swirling vortex leaning upon him. A mother, a father, an uncle, the shadows of other family members, but also a woman - a woman who filled is every thought like fire and chaos and blood.

    The Crystal sought to remind him of his love for her, surrounded in dark obsession and a murderous desire to control; their shared moments where they were impossibly linked; the realisation that she completed him upon reading an ancient Sith text about the Dyad; his great plans for her interrupted by Palpatine Reborn.

    Her name was beyond him -

    Could he pass through this memory? This feeling, that was not his, that belonged to someone hiding his craven weakness behind a mask?

    There was an intake of air, as everything seemed to stop once he saw her face, her eyes, her hair, her lips.

    Her name. Why couldn’t he recall her name?

    He knew her. Or at least he thought he did. But, had she known him? Had she loved…the ‘other’?

    Why else would he have trouble remembering her name?

    Because she’d never been his. She’d belonged to the ‘other’.

    The ‘other’.

    The weak one. Unsure, insecure, without strength, in need of validation.

    She had betrayed him…. for the ‘other’.

    The realization made him frown, wounded his spirit, made him grit his teeth in anger.

    She dared to spurn him? To leave him? After all he would sacrifice? All of it!!??

    His breath caught and then came in ragged gasps, his ears thundered with the sound of his blood pumping vehemently through his veins.

    Rage like molten lava, began to burn and coat his mind, his memories….turning them all to ashes.

    Rage, there would only be rage….all consuming and liberating.

    Yes! He would show them, he would she them all. He would show them, the Darkside!

    The crystal screamed and broke and bled red.

    He had killed it, and his Master smiled a wicked grin, smashing ruined lips. "Gooooood." His voice was as if reptilian, cloying and thick.

    "Come, come," he led the clone, encouraging him to dress and follow him to the next chamber over. There were other's with his face, hanging in their cylinders, eyes closed.

    Ben Solo's face.

    He had been moving along, focusing on getting his thoughts under control, his mind in proper order. Her betrayal. The surge of hatred it had caused. It helped....but now....

    A gasp escaped his lisp as he found himself frozen in place, eyes gazing; at the cylinders. All of them.

    They....they.....they all had his face. HIS face.

    "No......no..." Anger began to churn and swell like a tsunami, cresting with equal power. His voice quivered from shock, then the blow torch of anger was ignited.

    "THAT'S MY FACE!!!!" He yelled with all his strength. He wanted to shatter the cylinders. They were all thieves! They would awaken and steal his identity, his destiny.

    "MY FACE!!!!"

    The bleeding lightsaber flared suddenly in his hand.

    The Supreme Leader turned a finger, similarly turning aside the blade, causing it to drive into the ground with a scream, throwing up heat upon his face.

    "Let me show you," his voice was gentle even though harsh, and he lifted a hand, tugging at his chin. "I shall show you the truth."

    His power was great, yes, but his tone also had a hypnotic quality to it, as he turned to lead the clone towards revelation.

    As he crossed the arch into the next room, a pair of men confronted them. One had a lightsaber in blue, and the other, a Stormtrooper blaster that contrasted with his orange pilot attire.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    He would know their names.

    Finn.

    Poe Dameron.

    The latter took a shot at him, even as Finn shouted out and rushed forward, swinging -

    His eyes bulged wide in recognition of the traitors! He snarled and immediately gave vent to his rage, even as they themselves went into action. Kylo yelled out in rage and gestured with a hand, the darkside roaring like a black dragon unleashed. His enemies, their attacks, their persons, their blaster fire, all of it, would be held in stasis, robbed of motion, denied all agency.

    "I will show you the darkside!!" he spat at them, his red lightsaber flaring to life once again, held firmly in his free hand. In the next heart beats, it would be him who would rush them down and cut them down, without mercy and without remorse.

    They were slashed apart in an instant - no match for a lightsaber; none whatsoever. There was a blur in the clones vision, and there was another before him as suddenly.

    They were in a rocky area, and she stood there, a yellow lightsaber blazing into life. Her name stabbed his mind -

    [​IMG]

    Rey.

    A cacophony of images arose within him, all the way to their final duel on Kef Bir -

    Now it was he who stopped, frozen in his tracks, unable to move. His facial mask of rage melted at once, replaced by an expression of sheer anguish. His mouth opened again. What began as a sob, became a cry of inner devastation. He fell to his knees, heavily, as if shot through his chest- defeated by her mere presence. His lightsaber rolling away on the floor, already forgotten.

    His head lolled to the side, seemingly becoming too heavy to be held up by his neck. He moaned her name in an unintelligible manner, nearly audible to any who might be listening. She had taken his flame and his light by merely existing. She was his greatest weakness- always would be.

    What could he hope to do against such a power?

    There was a noise of anger, and a surge in the Force.

    Rey's neck twisted at an impossible angle, and she clattered to the floor loudly.

    The scene vanished, revealing it had been a hologram and the others had merely been droids.

    [​IMG]

    "You are a failure like the rest."

    The Force gripped at the clone, and lifted him bodily, shaking him so.

    [​IMG]

    "I have spent ten years on your sorry form, and even now you disappoint me, Ben Solo."

    Supreme Leader Snoke, very much alive and well, rallied against the man. The Force surged for his throat, powerful beyond compare, his anger burning in his piercing blue eyes -

    As powerful as Palpatine had been.

    “NOOOOOOO!!!”

    Kylo reached out with his hand, but it was too late! Snoke had killed Rey before his very eyes. A deep flare of rage so primal it beggared description, pulsed from the depths of his being, but it lasted a fraction of a moment, for the one slain had not been Rey at all, but….a droid?

    Kylo stared in abject disbelief before he was lifted by his Master via the Force. Now it was Snoke who was angry, as he shook him in midair, accusing him of being a failure. Not just any failure, but a failed clone at that.

    Kyle was growing even more confused and frustrated, angrier by the moment. He attempted to fight off his Master's hold, but it was in vain. What was the meaning of this farce? Why was it necessary? He couldn’t understand! The pain was threatening to blot out his already frail ability to reason, then Snoke called him by ‘that’ name.

    Ben Solo.

    “Don’t call me that!” he managed to spit out, almost snarling like a rabid animal.

    “Don’t ever call me that!!”

    "Oh, are you somebody else?" Snoke flicked a hand, sent him tumbling to the floor and slamming his head into the bulkhead. "Do you wish to be Kylo Ren? To have certainty?"

    A PROXY droid appeared, and reappeared as Rey.

    "Then kill it."

    Snoke grinned.

    "The past."

    He loomed over the clone one last time.

    "You have to."

    An anguished cry left his lips as he looked up from where he knelt, then his eyes glared out with venomous hate, his teeth now bared.

    "I hate you!!"

    You are NOT her! he accused bitterly inside his mind.

    There was a dark rumble as Kylo's rage was reignited, then he suddenly leapt forward, howling. His lightsaber trailed quickly behind and placed itself in his grip, just as he descended like a bird of prey.

    "I HATE YOU!!!" He bellowed, even as his lightsaber flared with his anger, then crashed down upon 'her' with a deathly blow! A diagonal power slash for the ‘Rey-droid', a strike delivered fully intending to slice it in two, from shoulder to hip.

    The Rey-droid was bisected, and the torment was over.

    Finally.

    With a soft smile, Snoke laid a hand on his shoulder. “My boy.”

    He soothed the young man.

    “You did good.”

    He turned the clone towards a shadowed area, an indeterminate number of rooms over. There, hanging as if a trophy, was the body of Ben Solo.

    He was not breathing, but there he was.

    A body.

    “Do you understand?”

    ***

    Kylo breathed heavily, his shoulders falling and rising with every breath. The deed was done. His eyes looked down at the bisected droid with disdain.

    You are NOT her…! he accused once again in his mind, then spat at it.

    As he calmed, he became increasingly aware of his Master and his words. Kylo turned where he was bidden to look, and saw a very familiar shape hanging, almost like a trophy. Unmoving. But was it dead?

    “Do you understand?”

    Kylo squinted at Snoke's question, also to peer more clearly at the hanging figure. It looked exactly like him. There was no difference...except...except it had no scars! Kylo's eyes widened in surprise. He looked back to Snoke then back to the hanging form.

    "That's......that's....." He stammered.

    "That's, Ben Solo.” He finally managed to say with certainty and without hesitation. There was a measure of relief and satisfaction in his voice. Had Snoke excised all that was good from inside of him? Was that even possible? If so....

    Kylo closed his eyes and tried to remember his parents, just to see what would happen.

    ***
    The black consumed him.

    And then... he was on Exegol again, facing down Knights of Ren, and Sovereign Protectors... and Palpatine. He was lifted, and thrown. In those depths he saw... people.

    Smaller dipyramid ships, a red-skinned nonhuman, a... Gree? A young woman in furs... a shadowy form... a monk, blinded and then...?

    But then he was back on Exegol, and Rey was dead -

    He gave himself unto her, and his life -

    But simultaneously, he was a shadowed form, walking, becoming corporeal around a mask and a lightsaber hilt -

    He travelled Mustafar, seeking training from a Holocron, then an alien by the name of Tor Valum -

    He stopped the Light of the Beacon -

    He faced Rey again, with no remorse, in the Temple of Mortis -

    But he could not see what happened...

    All he could say was... Ben Solo and Kylo Ren had became separate... and when both were destroyed...

    He had...

    Returned?

    Recompleted?

    He saw Snoke’s golden form, and then lost consciousness...

    ... and was a clone.

    No, many clones.

    Many, many clones, all mad, all failed, all broken.

    Until him.

    ***

    Kylo opened his eyes. His was kneeling on the floor, he was sweating profusely, as if he’d just ran a great marathon, his body and hands trembled- he was weak at the knees.

    What did he just experience? Was it a lifetime, or two?…or something else? It all felt very real, like flood gates suddenly opening and memories filling in the empty spaces in a great rush of lives lived.

    And now he understood.

    He had not seen his parents, because he had none. He was a clone. One of many, but nothing like the ones that had come before him. He was, in fact, one of one.

    All that he knew, all that he remembered, was just an echo, a story, a borrowed experience.

    From now on…from now on….

    “I can carve my own path….” he whispered aloud in realization, before slowly looking up at the one who had brought him into being.

    “Yes, my boy,” Snoke said, grave and smiling.

    “We can.”


    ***


    @Sinrebirth, @darthbernael, @HanSolo29, @QueenSabe7, @Shadowsun, @galactic-vagabond422, @Mitth_Fisto, @The Jedi in the Pumas, @Jerjerrod-Lennox, @TheSilentInfluence, @CosmoHender
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2021
  14. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
  15. ColeFardreamer

    ColeFardreamer Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 24, 2013
    @Sinrebirth Can you or someone reformat this into a fanfic or pdf for better readability than going page by page here? I'd prefer to be able to have this on a reader or something with easier textflow!
     
  16. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    @CosmoHender, we were going to do this, weren't we?
     
    darthbernael likes this.
  17. CosmoHender

    CosmoHender Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Yeah, but honestly I am just too busy these days and Duel of the Fates is just too long and with too many characters to organize easily.
     
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  18. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Me too! But I intend to do it anyway. A slow and steady project mayhaps, emphasis on slow.
     
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