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Star Wars CLOSED Star Wars: Ronin: The Curse of Qalydon

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Sinrebirth , Oct 14, 2021.

  1. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    AKIKO

    THERE IS A SITH ON KIJIMI

    The message she had intercepted only confirmed the feelings... portents... she had already been sensing. Ripples in the Force so faint it was as if a flailing swan were the other side of an ocean.

    But they had drawn her to Kijimi.

    For so long, she had drifted unanchored across the galaxy, driven by a need to know what happened. And finding nothing but more mystery. She could no longer trust her masters. She knew they would be out to kill her, if they ever caught up with her. The Darksiders... They would kill her too.

    But she vowed to find the truth before that happened. And now her quest had a direction. The Force tugged her, like a distant magnetic pull twitching an ancient compass.

    She moved through societies unseen and untraceable. A different world, a different identity. And so today she was Lydda, the dancer. A travelling entertainer.

    A little red light on a metal cylinder at the side of her dressing table winked. She picked it up. The name of a bar. She replaced the cylinder then brushed her hair in contemplation.

    Others would be coming.

    She would wait, and watch. Then, when the time was right, she would strike.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. darthbernael

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

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

    IC Maldael Fesh
    Departing Thustra


    A deep nod of friendship and respect was given as Maldael responded to King Alaric Even as he made his way through the Royal Palace to his ship, he had the data files of what had already occurred in his hand and he knew his ship was taking in the data from the planetary grid.

    His odd looking ship awaited him at the landing pads, the seeming sails furled so it could rest there. Boarding, the ship seemed to come to life. It was attuned to him and by the time he reached the bridge, the ship was warmed up and ready to depart.

    As he sat in the command chair, systems giving him constant updates on the positions of their foes, the ship had lifted, ‘sails’ unfurling. The palace defense grid was giving him an opening to get away from the palace, at least, and he took advantage of that as the ship raced through the atmosphere, attempting to outrun the incoming fighters, frigates, and corvettes as they began to bombard his planet. A dark feeling began to overtake him, only tempered by the fact that he’s downloaded all his records and data to the ships backup memory before he left his manor to the palace.

    A dark smile crossed his face, knowing what faced these foes when they invaded his home, only death, there were enough explosives, charges, in and under his property to throw debris into orbit.

    The detonation consumed a trio of enemy dropships, but it meant that four ships turned towards Maldael’s. Three alien starfighters with an impressive triple blaster l punch, turning towards him.

    [​IMG]

    Behind them, a 75 meter escort, but the scans didn’t have a clear idea on the capacity of that.

    [​IMG]

    But the Force warned him; the pilots all could touch the mystical energy surrounding them…

    Behind them all, the 215m capital ships laid waste to the city, launching swift missiles into it.

    ”Wonderful, the pilots are Force sensitive too…” Mal muttered to himself. He set the automatic defenses to return fire and began an evasive course as he headed away from the massive explosion at his estate.

    His head shook, anger burning in his gaze, as he saw the capital ships firing missile after missile at the city. The Sith were destruction, all they truly believed in. The Jedi weren’t much better but they weren’t here. He glanced at the scope and as one of the dropships came into the crosshairs of the pair of rear facing torpedo tubes he fired off a duo of torpedoes, trying to reduce the odds against him.

    The dropship exploded as the fighters roared by, which meant that Mal drew the ire of the escort.

    Sized as it was, six autocannons erupted with fire, framing his ship in detonations across its shields -

    Maldael rode the detonations, shifting position just enough so as to take as little damage as possible, still, the sails would need repairs soon. He boosted power to the engines, catching up to the fighters that had flown by. A small twitch of his lips and he reached out sensing where they were. A quick collapse of the sails on his starboard side and he dove into the two fighters there, also drawing the fire of the autocannons at the fighters as the armored side of his ship rushed toward the less armored fighters.

    He needed to get out of this battle soon, his mission was not to die here but to report to the Emperor and then disappear once more, find a way to avenge Thustra.

    The escort attempted to pursue but couldn't keep track, though the two fighters threaded the autocannon fire as only a Force user could. But the exchange mean that Maldael was briefly free from that particular furball, and the two fighters swung around to catch up. Shots were fired with unerring accuracy, even at maximum range.

    It was just like the war.

    But Maldael was twenty years older for it.

    The battleships - ten of them - they dominated the Sephi defenders but paid him no heed.

    In short order he would break the grip of gravity -

    But where to go?

    Maldael thought as he approached the hyper point. The message cylinder was still grasped in one hand, tapping against the console. He searched the database, the map, and finally decided. Entering the data into the navicomp he waited for the chime.

    Advancing the hyper throttle, he set off, headed toward Roche and the Verpine, off the major routes and somewhat in the boonies, away from where the Sith would come, for now. It would give him a chance to get everything in order and prepare for what may be to come.

    Sitting back, he glanced at the cylinder in his hand, something telling him the message wasn’t truly for the Emperor, as Alaric would have known that he was persona non grata in the Empire. So it had to have been for him. As the streaks of hyper formed, he touched the biometric clasp, hearing a click and the cylinder cracking open.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  3. Shadowsun

    Shadowsun Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 26, 2017
    OOC: Combo with @Sinrebirth

    The Lightsaber is a companion
    One to be respected for its elegance and its own feelings
    This is one hallmark that the Jedi do exceedingly well in and the Sith fail utterly
    For the Sith view the Lightsaber as they do people:
    A tool to be used and nothing more.

    - Excerpt from the Pathway of Nin circa 20 ABC


    IC: Nin


    The memory flashed before Nin, he remembered so distinctly the fear that ran down his back. The pinpricks of anger that flooded on his forehead as these Dark Masters proclaimed their empty words. Speaking of Empires, of conquest, on lessons having been learned.

    As the horde roared Nin simply shook his head. This was the very opposite reason as to why he had broken away from the Jedi. To become now an even darker reflection of the Galactic Empire with their Jedi.

    No, he was no Sith, he was not even a Dark Jedi anymore. They were corrupted by their own selfish desire... they did not want peace, or order, or anything they said they were when they first broke away.

    Nin wanted no part of this... no part of this power first and foremost delusion.

    The Sith are Evil. He concluded then... the same ringing true in his heart all these years later.

    The Kyber crystal wavered.

    It did not understand why he would change so much.

    After he had bled them.

    You are Evil. You helped them; made them; became Sith. Evil is Evil.

    The crystal didn't want to knit, to heal, not after all the pain that Nin had inflicted upon him.

    It tried a mind veer, to lean on the side on Nin's resolve.

    What if we set up a Sith Republic?

    No...
    Nin resisted. An individual, a being in and of themselves cannot be evil. Their actions may be evil, their intentions may be evil, organizations may be evil... but the person... a person does evil things, becomes corrupted by them, and yes must sometimes be stopped but there is always hope, always salvation.

    The Sith as an Order is evil, but not all within it are evil, they can be saved if they choose to be. As I choose now, in this moment and for the rest of my life, as I atone for my transgressions.


    Nin closed his eyes once more, thinking on the question posed.

    A Sith Republic would devolve into a Sith Empire, and even if somehow it did not... those that practice the ways of the Sith should never be the ones to govern others. For to be a Sith is to serve the self, and to lead, to govern, the very basis of a Republic is to serve the people, to serve others. The very Ethos of a Republic and the Sith are at odds with one another.


    Nin's resolve did not waver. There was still much he did not know, much he had left to discover for himself and his path forward. But in this moment, in this time he was certain what he was doing was right.

    I'm sorry
    he, at last, relented to the crystal. I am sorry for the pain I caused you, and a vow upon my dignity as a human that I shall never harm you again.

    The crystal relented; his words soothed it, brought it solace.

    It began to heal.

    Slowly.

    But surely.

    But change was terrifying, and the crystal panicked.

    What will we become?

    What indeed.

    Nin smiled softly as he looked at the crystal, seeing it ebb and flow. Its voice of fear echoed the dwelling fear within his own heart.

    What we need to become, what we should become.

    He offered the crystal his strength, his will... the pathway of Nin, but if Nin was to heal the galaxy or at least try to, he would have to heal himself.

    The crystal closed over its wound, the bleeding stopped.

    It was afraid, but it had Nin, and Nin had it.

    They were two parts of a greater whole.

    The crystal burst with colour - its new colour.

    Not it's old, no, it could not go back to the blade it had borne as a Jedi Kyber.

    Now it was new, different - changed.

    What colour would it reap?

    Nin gazed deeply into the blade, mesmerized the same way he was when he first ever held a blade. But now instead of the soft blue light that would reflect onto his face, with its tranquil hum and smooth edges, and instead too of its then jagged red pain, its blood swirling in the light as cried out, there was neither of these. Instead, there was just whiteness. The hum was not the same as it had been as blue or the tortured whirling of red or it was a different hum. A calm hum. The white was so pure, so... other in a way.

    "And now reborn we venture forward my friend,"

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  4. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Balthazar Calrissian
    Aboard the Mining Guild vessel Lady Luck, not far from Yag’Dhul

    [​IMG]


    Balthazar Calrissian was not a happy man. His ship gets jumped by suspected Sith ships, then the Empire impounds his cargo, and they order him to wait until a Jedi Lord or Imperial Admiral turns up.

    Neither of which he was interested in meeting.

    Jedi Lord’s were so stuck up and aggressive, it was impossible to not feel them rummaging around in your head - even when they weren’t. Imperial Admiral’s made up for the lack of Force powers with an overinflated ego.

    So when the CenSD of Jerjerrod arrived, he was already in a foul mood. “This is the Lady Luck. Ready to accept inspection, communications, salute and whatever else you require, Lord Admiral.”

    His tone was already sharp; sarcastic.
    -
    The Electrostar was greeted by a simple cordon of Imperial SIE fighters and of course the immense disabled bulk freighter. The circular design was larger than the Star Destroyer, and had ample defensive weapons - all of which were smoking craters, ditto the engines. That the raiders had taken it on at all was testament to their prowess.

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox
    —-
    IC: Unknown

    Snort, Arkania

    These fools.

    Their flittering and fleeing.

    Everyone was responding as expected.

    As hoped.

    As needed.

    These Sith would spell the doom of so many.

    It was very soothing.

    Now.

    Would word reach Jedi Lord Tedryn that his old foe had resurfaced on Kijimi?

    Perhaps.

    He smiled beneath his helm.

    TAG: No-One
    —-
    IC: Aura

    Hyperspace, and then -

    The young girl regarded her wooden bear.

    A bear was very strong, which is why Aura loved it so - it reminded her of Dad.

    Dad was very strong, but in the moment, she had forgotten it, scared, rushing, and then he was just a toy.

    She squinted at the bear; tried to evoke that warmth and security that had once came from it.

    But no, she couldn't summon it for some reason.

    They were heading towards a 'safe house', but she was pretty sure that Alderaan had been supposed to be a 'safe world' but the Sith had found them anyway.

    So Aura focused on that thought, as they glided through hyperspace.

    She wasn't stupid; she knew they were in danger, because the Sith were monsters, and they wanted her Dad.

    But so did the Empire, because the Jedi Lords were monsters too, but they hid their monster inside themselves.

    The Sith didn't hide it.

    The Jedi Lords made her worry more, because she couldn't see those monsters.

    But her father would have a different worry; the ship had been half-fuelled before they departed. When they reached his safe-house, when they reached Kijimi, they would have to find a supply relatively sharply if they intended to stay on the move. They had currency, hard items aboard the ship to trade - the military munitions had been simple enough to ledger for food, drink and so forth in the post-war galaxy - but not infinite time.

    Tulak Hord was looking for them.

    But when they arrived at Kijimi, Aura spoke up, before her father even had chance to reach out with the Force; she was much more sensitive to it, with her lack of training, her youth, and her growing powers. "Dad, I feel cold!"

    Cold.

    The dark side was here.

    Which meant it was in Kijimi City, the only settlement on the world.

    Port Control was non-existent; Kijimi had no central government and was effectively an anarchy with some stability. The self interests of members of the population kept the planet from collapsing, which was more than some systems among the Fallen Worlds could speak of. For two decades now the Empire had allowed raiders of various origin to take up residence in the region - citing that these planets were too weak to deserve Imperial protection, and that when they stood for themselves they could contribute. The Mid Rim Alliance was the only such organisation among the Fallen Worlds, but the Empire disdained it nonetheless, and it wasn't here on Kijimi.

    So they'd have to find their own way, avoid the Hutts, Mandalorians and whatever pillagers had taken up residence on-world - there was always all three, because the Bryx Sector was a jump-off point to the Stenness Node, an Inner Rim area which was rife with raw materials.

    All of this information would flood into Marcus' mind, but it would also be in the recollection, data-files, or thoughts of the others. It was a reason why they had all chosen this place; in the chaos of a world on the edge, there was anonymity, and opportunity.

    "Dad!"

    The cold became darker.

    A ship had arrived behind Marcus, perpendicular, at it's own angle of arrival; Marcus's ship gave an origin for the vessel - coordinates in the Outer Rim, beyond the Known, a world he did not know the name of, but was in-fact Sigil, which would be known to those Dark Jedi that had gone to Korriban - but the Force filled his perception with the identity of who it was - they had been on Corbos.

    [​IMG]

    They were the Black Knights.

    But they weren't targeting him, no, they were heading to Kijimi City from their own angle, with their own intentions. Malevolence was poured into the Force. XoXaan's personal guard, here? Why?

    They began heading towards the City, ignoring Marcus and his Corellian ship - the one which needed this location for it's fuel...

    Worse, this self-same equation had to be processed, albeit all the more ruthlessly, by Hunter, having landed at the outskirts of Kijimi City but able to see what was arriving, and occurring, and building.

    It would know about Kijimi.

    It would know the ship of the Black Knights.

    It would also know that a Corellian freighter had fled the Battle of Corbos, his memory banks would record such a thing before he had been rendered briefly inoperative by the planetary bombardment of Corbos, all those years ago.

    It would know who Marcus Dren was, but it would not know that he commanded that freighter.

    It would have plenty to work from, of course...

    ... and of course, there were now many Sith here.

    The Black Knights numbered seven.

    They had just arrived.

    So the rumour, the news, of the Sith on Kijimi; it preceded their arrival.

    There were a multitude of factors afoot.

    ---
    A shop

    Sieg could not decide if being a slave to a Crolut was worse or better than a Sith War Droid.

    It was difficult.

    Impossible, actually.

    The droid, calling itself, Kazu, had proven lethal, while her old master had just been petty and vile.

    But here she was, and a plan was slowly formulating.

    Slowly.

    That it called her Master, now that is what confused her most. Was it sarcasm? An affectation? Or purely an acknowledgment of the reciprocal relationship they had? Sieg did fantasy about announcing that she was a hostage, purely out of spite, but then the slave bomb would definitely explode; revenge on the war droid didn't seem worth it.

    So, she just did as asked, and took him to Salu's shop.

    [​IMG]

    The little Anzellan regarded Sieg and the Sith War Droid.

    "Oh boy."

    He looked panicked, but the room, Kazu would realise, was full of droid parts, including his own model, but also some eclectic models, even a prototype Juggernaut, but more surprisingly, a Basilisk War Droid, a construct used exclusively by the Basiliskans in the Imperial Core Worlds.

    [​IMG]

    Juggernaut

    [​IMG]

    Basilisk War Droid

    A further data-byte.

    A ship with a pennant code he knew had arrived; one exclusively associated with the Dark Master XoXaan.

    Events were... moving.

    Sieg spoke up. "Meet Kazu, my newest acquisition... he needs repairs, Salu, and I am pretty sure you owe me for that other Sith War Droid I found on Balmorra."

    "Salu remembers that tried to kill me when I turned it on."

    A shrug. "So it made you more creds as scrap than as a unit. Not my fault."

    The Anzellan scrunched up its small face. "Salu would have made more creds on it as a unit."

    "You still made a profit," Sieg said evenly, a bit heated. If Salu said no, would Kazu kill him? If he did, the entire criminal underworld would have an opinion on that.

    "What say you, Sith War Droid? You going to kill Salu if I fix you?"

    ---
    IC: The Apprentice

    Sigil

    He served her.

    Her, the Mistress of Poison.

    The Lord of the Sith.

    "My apprentice."

    He bowed to her.

    "What is it?"

    "The Black Knights have left."

    "For where?"

    "Kijimi."

    A noise of thought, annoyance; she was busy with her works, with her alchemy, cataloguing Sith inventions. "What is XoXaan doing?"

    "I intercepted a transmission, encrypted, to them, before they departed," he hesitated. "But it was from Arkania."

    "Arkania?"

    "Yes, my Lord."

    "Investigate; kill. I'll notify XoXaan... and perhaps Muur."

    "My Lord?"

    "He is making a move, my friend. We must counter-move. The Shadow Empire demands it, if we are to defeat the Galactic Empire... and the Sith Empire. Ajunta Pall is a fool. We have more power here, in the Fallen Worlds, than Pall could ever have in the Stygian Caldera."

    He did not comment; he knew when his master was being rhetorical.

    "Go."

    [​IMG]

    Terrak Morrhage stood.

    "Yes, my Lord."

    And he himself headed to Kijimi, too.

    TAG: No-One
    ---
    IC: Bard

    Bar, Kijimi

    The brief soliloquy from here to Sigil and back again was portentous, but the Sith on this world would not know.

    The bartender finished cleaning his glasses, and he knew that was a bad sign.

    If he caught up with his chores, he wasn't busy enough.

    He regarded the sole occupant of the establishment, glowering at Akumi-Oni. As a barkeep on Kijimi, he had seem all manner of sentient, and it didn't phase him. Everyone knew Bard, and Bard knew everyone. He was the guy and hooked into everything coming in and out of Kijimi City.

    With a sigh, he loudly slammed the last glass on the wood. "You're trouble, aren't you?"

    Before the man could answer, there was a beep, coinciding with a deepening of the dark side on Kijimi. Bard growled, pulled out his holocom, and it showed the new arrivals. A former slaver ship, some kind of model that had landed outside the City, a Corellian freighter, and the signature ship of the Black Knights.

    "Oh great. What's XoXaan want with us?"

    The words would travel to Akumi-Oni's ears, possibly those of Akiko too, maybe even her eyes, if she was positioned well enough to see Bard - who knew - and then we had the darkening of the Force that they would each feel...

    He began to secure glasses in cupboards and lock down the taps. "We're closed. Sith raid coming, at least one. Get out of my place, before you wreck it. I don't want to cross paths with the Lords of the Sith, thanks."

    Bard was gruff; annoyed.

    ---
    A shadow

    A blade of white forged in the dark,
    A darkness remade.
    A weapon no more, wielding the most dangerous weapon of all,
    His heart.

    The words seemed to bounce around Nin's mind as he awoke from his meditation, from his quiet place on Kijimi, but it impacted upon him as he did.

    Sith were here.

    Sith were coming.

    More Sith were on their way.

    He knew it all, and his presence would join those of Marcus, Akiko, Akumi-Oni and the Black Knights in the Force, for the briefest of moments. How much they would all sense of each other could not be said, save for Akiko, who was completely hidden in the Force... save to one.

    But Aura screamed, aboard her father's ship, and her psychic agony rolled across the system.

    "DAD IT'S SO COLD HERE!"

    TAG: @greyjedi125, @CosmoHender, @Shadowsun, @Kurisan, @Mitth_Fisto, @Corellian_Outrider (singles)
    ---
    IC: The Emperor

    Coruscant

    The discussion with the Admiral came to an end, and the Emperor sagged in his chair.

    His white-and-black attire, the tunic, the boots, they were affectations of a much younger man, but him, more than a century old, aged enough to remember the start of the Hundred Years Darkness, looked all of his years and more when the transmission was over.

    Placing his hand on his face, specifically resting gloved fingers on his closed eyelids, regarded the man who had listened to his conversation with Janus Jerjerrod. "If Admiral Dreypa is active within Imperial territory... the hold of their Shadow Empire over the Fallen Worlds must be nearing completion."

    "The Twilight War is upon us, the ancient conflict between the Light and the Dark, but not the facile Empire and Rebellion, no, but strength against strength... a total war that will truly test the Force itself."

    He sounded despondent.

    He looked decidedly drawn, and in ill-health. Blue veins almost pulsated on his bald head, and though the lack of hair accentuated the tips of his ears, he did not in-fact have any Sephi in him, it was merely genetic amusement.

    He was old.

    He regarded his Grand Vizier slowly.

    "Do we have time for a jest, or must I move on to the next infernal business of state."

    The Grand Vizier would know that the Tapani Empire sought an audience, that the Jedi Grandmaster Ductavis had a report upon the elevation of a Corelian Lord, that the Crown Prince and Second Prince were exhorting each other via the HoloNet to be more proactive against the Sith following the destruction of an Imperial Dreadnaught, that Rei'izi, the Emperor's homeworld, needed attention...

    He would know all these things, but he had ultimate power of the schedule, personally responsible for what would reach the Emperor's ears. He was his secretary, his confidant, his chancellor, his speaker to the masses - but not in private. In private, the Emperor maintained ruthless control of his image.

    Another item on the agenda surfaced; the Mid Rim Alliance had just been attacked by the Shadow Empire, but Imperial policy had been to essentially ignore the island of peace within the Fallen Worlds. The border in the north and east had withdrawn to the very Core, the Mid Rim was far away.

    So what would he decide was worthy of the Emperor's attention?

    Would he one day push the aged man too far, and into his grave?

    TAG: @Shadowsun (combo)
    ---
    IC: Slayn

    Slayn, Roche Asteroid Belt

    The hives were agitated; Maldael would find that as soon as he arrived in-system.

    A member of the Mid Rim Alliance, the insectoid species had contributed weapons, advanced starfighters and technology to the coalition, which had, by and large, came about in response to the depredation of the Mandalorians, a new faction that had arisen during the Hundred Years Darkness and struck often from the Unknown Regions.

    A new Unknown Terror, born from those dark depths.

    Slayn was an asteroid named for the same hive, though the Verpine were connected in a technocratic government and mental link that culminated in their ancient Queen, who herself ruled over a species that had inhabited this asteroid field before even the Republic existed - indeed, many theorised that it had been a larger world, or perhaps multiple worlds, destroyed in some ancient calamity.

    The Verpine memory was a difficult one to navigate, and though historians had snatched references to the Protectors, the Ancient Ones, and the Destructors, but it was an impossible to untangle. Similarly, now the Roche asteroids firmly opposed the Empire - the Whiteshells, they called the Storm Corps, and thus all Imperials - it was unlikely that the Core would find out what legendary mysteries the Verpine could recall.

    The asteroid Slayn was the namesake of the public hive nowadays, preventing Maldael from going as far as the capital, Nickel One, but there were various asteroids in the system named for the metals therein, as far as Carbos Thirteen. But that anxiety filled the Force...

    [​IMG]

    ...
    and would likely be mirrored by the man.

    The message from the King was not what he would have expected.

    Emperor, I send this former Dark Jedi, this former Sith, to you from the Mid Rim Alliance to give you a dire warning. While you disagree with me that there are shades to the Force, as do your Jedi Lords, within the worlds you deemed Fallen, we have had no choice but to embrace the wider penumbra; the shadow, not the Dark. The Sith Lords have returned, and I entreaty you to listen to my friend Maldael, who fought at Corbos, who has seen the Sith heart, and turned back to this galaxy. He speaks of the location of at least two Sith throneworlds, but I would caution against an invasion of the Fallen Worlds; the Rebellion is remembered, and the Sith will nurture it against you. The Sith are not all evil, but they are all opposed to the Empire. That does not make them worthy of genocide, anymore than the obstinances of the Jedi Lords warrant it.

    Please.

    Listen to his warning, afford him the ships and soldiers to end this Shadow War before it begins. You and I spoke of the ancient Twilight War once upon a time, and I know you fear it, but this is not that great conflict, it is the battle for the sentient soul, the beating heart, the flesh of us all.

    Believe in this man, as I believed in you when you were a young man visiting my court.

    That court has fallen, the Flower Gardens burn, the Peace Fountain is melted... but your Empire need not be visited by this horror.

    I have failed my people; please, there is no worse feeling than this.

    Indeed, it seemed the King was playing it straight; he truly did want Maldael to risk it all.

    TAG: @darthbernael (combo)
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  5. CosmoHender

    CosmoHender Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2016
    IC: Marcus Dren

    Kijimi

    “Dad, I feel cold!”

    He had been expecting to hear Aura complain about the cold. After all, he knew that Kijimi had a frigid climate with thick drifts of snow covering its mountainous terrain. He had planned on this, making sure to pack thick coats for himself and especially his daughter so that they could keep warm when they landed.

    But unfortunately, that was not the cold that she was referring to.

    He felt it too, though not before his daughter had.

    The dark side. It was here. It was in Kijimi City.

    If Marcus had been able, he would have immediately turned their ship around and made the jump for somewhere else. Somewhere warmer. But they didn’t have the fuel for it, which meant that Marcus had no choice. They needed to go down there, because they needed the fuel. Staying wasn’t an option, obviously. They just had to refuel and then they would be on their way again.

    A quick in and out. Simple enough, right?

    “Dad!”

    No, Marcus thought when he saw the other vessel and felt its occupants. The Black Knights had arrived shortly after them, complicating the situation further. It didn’t seem like they were here for him or his daughter, at least. They had their own agenda and hopefully they would stay focused on that agenda. At least it wasn’t Tulak Hord.

    Still, just another reason why they had to do this fast.

    He trusted 2E with bringing them down. As they landed in Kijimi City, Marcus checked on his daughter. He helped her put on one of the coats he had brought, making sure that she was at least protected from one type of cold if not the other. He did his best to reassure her, telling her that they weren’t going to be here long. Then he checked his weapons. Though he hoped that he wouldn’t have to use them, he couldn’t ignore the possibility that there could be violence…

    There was his trusty blaster, of course. But there was also his lightsaber, which he would only pull out if he had no other choice.

    As he put on his own coat and got ready to head out, Marcus heard his daughter cry out again. Except it wasn’t just a cry. It was a scream.

    “DAD IT’S SO COLD HERE!”

    A horrified Marcus ran over to Aura, hugging her tight.

    “I know,” he whispered to the twelve year old. “I know.”

    He also knew that he wasn’t the only one who would hear her scream. It had been strong, just like she was. Which meant that it would be felt by others… by the Sith.

    In that moment, his worst nightmare came true.

    The Sith would know that his daughter was here while they were still unable to leave Kijimi. Perhaps they would have to steal another ship, but one thing was for sure.

    He could no longer hide his daughter. The Sith would not come for him this time.

    They would come for her.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @greyjedi125 @Shadowsun @Kurisan @Mitth_Fisto @Corellian_Outrider
     
  6. AgentViper007

    AgentViper007 Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    IC: Janus Jerjerrod
    Location: CenSD Electrostar


    As the Electrostar exited hyperspace Janus shook his head. It looked like a mess alright.

    The freighter had been pretty much beaten up. Engines out. Weapons out. The freighter itself was huge, dwarfing even his Star Destroyer but it looked like Dreypan and his Sith forces had taken it to pieces with glee.

    They were dangerous. And they had to be stopped before they caused more havoc.

    And the captain was already on the line sounding snappy.

    "Lady Luck this is the Centurion Star Destroyer Electrostar, that was quite a welcome there. I have been asked to come and see you by the Emperor himself so you might want to soften your tone Calrissian".

    "So you want to get down to business? Let's do so. I need all your data plus your personal account of what happened here. The Emperor wants to know everything and who attacked you".

    "Leave nothing out".

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  7. Shadowsun

    Shadowsun Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 26, 2017
    To perform one's duty is our greatest calling

    - Excerpt from the Pathway of Nin circa 20 ABC


    IC: Nin

    Trouble

    Nin would need to be swift if he was going to be of any help. This he knew all too well, feeling the presence of other force users but more importantly of the vile Sith making their presence known.

    There would be many of them, it seemed that way, and there were people that could use his help. In most cases Nin was a passive observer when he visited a world, not wanting to make a name for himself as some wandering guardian. But there were times when he felt he had no other choice. To do what he was compelled to do.

    He sheathed his white blade, the soft reflection off his face disappearing with it. Standing tall as he darted to where he could sense the others, those that were in need. If he could save just one life that was still a victory in his heart. A small step to atone for his sins.

    He only hoped that there would not be Jedi, for that may make things complicated. Although now that his blade was white instead of crimson it would not be as large a headache as it had been in the past when he had intervened, but still there was no lost love that he had for Jedi.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @greyjedi125 @CosmoHender @Kurisan @Mitth_Fisto @Corellian_Outrider
     
  8. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Akuma-Oni
    Fire and Ice, Kijimi

    The glass was now empty in his hands as he cupped it and regarded his distorted reflection at the bottom, steam issuing from his mask. He glowered at the image as the moment played an unbidden muddled memory for no other reason but seemingly to torment him.

    ***
    In his mind’s eye, he saw a wounded soldier who’d seemingly gained courage simply by being in the presence of an accursed Je’daii. The duped soldier got up on one knee and took aim at the ‘Sith Lord’ with his weapon. Foolish man. The Sith glared at his foolish foe and set him on fire, immolating him.

    Akuma-Oni chuckled, finding his screams mildly pleasing.

    Then the Sith spoke, his voice….there was something familiar

    “You, your planet, and everything you hold dear will burn, whiphid.” The Sith stated simply. “Delaying the inevitable does not change the outcome.”

    Who was this Sith? Why could he not remember? Why could he not see his face?

    All around the Sith and the Je’daii, the very air shimmered from the rising heat, even the metallic debris around them began to show signs of incandescence. The Sith Lord’s wellspring in the darkside seemed to know no limits.

    “Your stick will burn, as will your robes, your flesh will melt and your bones will crack open. My ‘Boundless Rage’ will consume you and your world.”

    Unconscious soldiers all around them were beginning to catch fire now. The ‘Jewel’ need to be cleansed of je’daii filth.

    “The time of the Je’daii is coming to an end. Deny it if you wish. It changes nothing.”


    ***
    The scene would have continued uninterrupted if it were not for a single name which the barkeep had spoken aloud.

    XoXaan

    Ever so slowly did Akuma-Oni rise from where he’d been sitting, the empty glass already forgotten, as well as the unbidden memories- if indeed that is what they were. That ‘name’ was not one that was mentioned ‘casually’, or by those ignorant of certain truths.

    He watched as the barkeep began to close-up shop, even as he took slow and methodical steps towards the zabrak, who’s palpable fear was beginning to turn. Akuma-Oni could feel it, pulses, waves in the darkside, a stirring, a disturbance in the force.

    The zabrak barkeep spoke some foolishly bold words then. His annoyance blinding him to the greater truths of his situation.

    Akuma-Oni walked up to the barkeep, steam trailing as he moved. He came to stand just a meter from Bard, who could not see and much less understand the concept of a ‘shatter point’.

    “No…” The former Dark Retained uttered in a menacing tone.

    “Go now…and live.”

    It would be the only warning he would speak, for he could feel ‘them’ all, getting closer, ever closer.


    Tag: @Sinrebirth, @Kurisan, @Shadowsun, @CosmoHender, @Mitth_Fisto, @Corellian_Outrider
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2021
  9. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: No Name
    Dai Bendu Monastery, Kijimi

    He stood at the edge of the monastery grounds, peering beyond it into the distant Kijimi City. The monks had been here for millennia - tens of it. The Dai Bendu predated not just the Sith, not just the Jedi, but even the Prime Jedi, and the Je’daii Order too.

    He found their Force certainty soothing, having regard for the long view. Perhaps, when he had been a Jedi Lord, that philosophy would have befitted him. It would have taught him how shortsighted it was to Rebel. That the transformation of the Republic into an Empire had been a slow and inexorable one over millennia. That moral ambivalence would creep in every organisation, no matter how charitable or good natured, and the Jedi were not to blame - not when his Sith would likely embrace that decline quicker than not.

    His hand squeezed at the bag of crimson Kyber in his pocket. His touchstone. He had not founded the Sith to overthrow the Empire, no; just to speak for freedom. To undo the Jedi baronies, to drive back Imperialism, to create a space where justice and fairness could be coloured by the will of the people - not the traditions of hidebound Lords and Princes and Emperors.

    This was why he killed Sith.

    It had been hard to thread that line, between the Dark Masters and himself, between the Sith Empire and himself, between the Jedi Lords and himself..

    But he was no Dark Master; no Sith-Imperial; no Lord.

    No, he was the Ronin.

    [​IMG]


    That name suited him most.

    The name of the man with honour who killed Sith and Jedi Lords alike.

    But there were Sith on Kijimi.

    In the City.

    He had tarried for too long; had a place to be.

    Had people to engage with.

    Either by philosophy… or by blade.

    TAG: No-One
     
  10. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: K4-ZU-P8489 or Kazu
    A shop

    Sieg just did as asked, perhaps she was too ingrained from being a slave. Kazu was genuinely surprised at how she had never, not once had the spine to try and give him more commands after she had told him to kill. Instead she stayed quiet and took him to Salu's shop.

    The little Anzellan regarded Sieg and the Sith War Droid after they entered. Meanwhile Kazu was visually busy cataloging the visual diversity.

    "Oh boy." the small thing looked panicked, it was odd considering what they could see scattered about the room. It was full of droid parts, including his own model, but also some eclectic models, even a prototype Juggernaut, but more surprisingly, a Basilisk War Droid, a construct used exclusively by the Basiliskans in the Imperial Core Worlds.

    Juggernaut

    Basilisk War Droid


    A further data-byte arrived, distracting his processes from their cataloging and analysis overload. It was merely that there was a ship. A ship with a pennant code he knew had arrived; one exclusively associated with the Dark Master XoXaan.

    Independent preservation and actualization were more important now. Although technically free based on years of neglect, Kazu was certain that a broken chasis and an old Master would equal only one scenario. The weak were culled. Just like all those that decorated this shop, their servos and parts scattered like junk. Sieg spoke up in his silence. "Meet Kazu, my newest acquisition... he needs repairs, Salu, and I am pretty sure you owe me for that other Sith War Droid I found on Balmorra."

    "Salu remembers that tried to kill me when I turned it on."

    A shrug. "So it made you more creds as scrap than as a unit. Not my fault."

    The Anzellan scrunched up its small face. "Salu would have made more creds on it as a unit."

    "You still made a profit," Sieg said evenly, a bit heated. If Salu said no, would Kazu kill him? If he did, the entire criminal underworld would have an opinion on that.

    "What say you, Sith War Droid? You going to kill Salu if I fix you?"

    "That would be counter productive. Master Sieg has a standing business relation with you and you state the potential to effect required repair / upgrade. Unit in danger of being obsolete. Advances evident in shop of corpses. This unit would be most grateful Salu if you can ensure this unit can continue - that stated. . ." here Kazu paused his vocalization of the situation. This subroutine was tiresome and taxing on worn systems. "If you attempt to steal, erase, reset, restrain, or disable this unit redundant settings will see unauthorized users termination as a threat. Do not tamper with those systems, for your safety and to reduce Master Sieg's liability for this bound unit."

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  11. darthbernael

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

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    IC Maldael Fesh
    Roche Asteroid Belt


    Maldael ignored Slayn for a moment as he reread the message that Alaric had written.

    Emperor, I send this former Dark Jedi, this former Sith, to you from the Mid Rim Alliance to give you a dire warning. While you disagree with me that there are shades to the Force, as do your Jedi Lords, within the worlds you deemed Fallen, we have had no choice but to embrace the wider penumbra; the shadow, not the Dark. The Sith Lords have returned, and I entreat you to listen to my friend Maldael, who fought at Corbos, who has seen the Sith heart, and turned back to this galaxy. He speaks of the location of at least two Sith throne worlds, but I would caution against an invasion of the Fallen Worlds; the Rebellion is remembered, and the Sith will nurture it against you. The Sith are not all evil, but they are all opposed to the Empire. That does not make them worthy of genocide, anymore than the obstinances of the Jedi Lords warrant it.

    Please.

    Listen to his warning, afford him the ships and soldiers to end this Shadow War before it begins. You and I spoke of the ancient Twilight War once upon a time, and I know you fear it, but this is not that great conflict, it is the battle for the sentient soul, the beating heart, the flesh of us all.

    Believe in this man, as I believed in you when you were a young man visiting my court.

    That court has fallen, the Flower Gardens burn, the Peace Fountain is melted... but your Empire need not be visited by this horror.

    I have failed my people; please, there is no worse feeling than this.


    He shook his head, this was not at all what he’d expected. He’d been a Jedi Lord and war leader but this....this was so much more. And it put him in quite the quandary. He was sure that the Grandmaster of the Jedi would vehemently refuse this entreaty and attempt to convince the Emperor to have him executed on grounds that he’d fallen. He knew his travel to reach the Emperor would be fraught with danger as he knew he’d be under the headsman’s axe the whole way.

    Finally, he looked over at the Verpine standing there. A sigh, ”I need some aid. First, I’m going to need a cover to be able to enter Imperial space and reach my destinations.”

    He hefted the message cylinder. ”Second, I need someone who can replicate this, as well as a forger who can write in Alaric’s hand to alter the message.”

    Writing quickly, he presented the altered message to Slayn.

    Emperor, I send this former Dark Jedi, this former Sith, to you from the Mid Rim Alliance to give you a dire warning. While you disagree with me that there are shades to the Force, as do your Jedi Lords, within the worlds you deemed Fallen, we have had no choice but to embrace the wider penumbra; the shadow, not the Dark. The Sith Lords have returned, and I entreat you to listen to my friend Maldael, who fought at Corbos, who has seen the Sith heart, and turned back to this galaxy. He speaks of the location of at least two Sith throne worlds, but I would caution against an invasion of the Fallen Worlds; the Rebellion is remembered, and the Sith will nurture it against you. The Sith are not all evil, but they are all opposed to the Empire. That does not make them worthy of genocide, anymore than the obstinances of the Jedi Lords warrant it.

    Please.

    Listen to his warning, afford him the resources and time to atler events, to destroy this threat, without the air of retribution hanging over his head. You and I spoke of the ancient Twilight War once upon a time, and I know you fear it, but this is not that great conflict, it is the battle for the sentient soul, the beating heart, the flesh of us all.

    Believe in this man, as I believed in you when you were a young man visiting my court.

    That court has fallen, the Flower Gardens burn, the Peace Fountain is melted... but your Empire need not be visited by this horror.

    I have failed my people; please, there is no worse feeling than this.


    Slayn looked at the man, and at the message, and there was a vibration to the Verpine's chest as it spoke to the others in the hive. "Both we can do, Trusted Protector of the Mid Rim Alliance."

    It gently took the cylinder from him. "Our Queen remembers when the King and the Emperor were friends, all those years ago. They often played dejarik, and often the Emperor lost to the King. They were close, I am sure they can be again, at death's door."

    "We can supply upgrades to your ship's stealth suite, but also forged telemetry. It will get you as far as the capital, perhaps to the ground. Your mind tricks may be necessary for the rest." The Verpine examined the changes. "Does this honour our Kings wishes?"

    Mal sighed,, slumping slightly as it all hit him, the loss of his people, the loss of his old friend. His eyes dimmed and a tear traced its way down his cheek. With a deep breath he stood once more, facing Slayn. A sharp nod, ”Yes, I do believe it would honor his wishes.”

    He thought about what the Verpine had said about his ship, ”Your assistance will allow his final wishes to be carried out and the memory of his actions and deeds remembered. I trust that the hive mind will carry his memory for eons to come.”

    Slayn nodded, not understanding mammalian displays of emotion whatsoever, but was astute enough to droop his antennae in the Verpine equivalent. "Your ship is readied, my Lord." The Verpine had already started, before he even asked; when he returned to the hangar the vessel was ready. A trio of Verpine scuttled over and began a rapid examination and twist and turn and assessment of the device.

    Within moments they were finished, and Slayn handed it back. "There is a world between here and Imperial Space where the Captain's Medallion will be found. It will allow you to input the necessary codes to pass as far as the capital. They are forgeries, but empty vessels that can be completed with this." A dataport was supplied.

    "Or, you can go directly and attempt to transmit the code alone." Slayn drummed his chest. "I can send a Verpine with you, if you wish. Warrior Xenly is available, and he can assist with the transmission, or defend you on the world with the Captain's Medallion."

    Maldael considered for only a moment, the choice being having the warrior with him and at the world to retrieve the medallion and beyond or chancing it and trying without the medallion, which would be much more tenuous of a trip.

    He looked back up to Slayn, ”I accept the assistance of Warrior Xenly, appreciate the refit that has been done, and I believe the wisest course is to retrieve the Captain’s Medallion.”

    He brushed back the hair from it’s V at the crown of his head, ”Just as your kind will not forget this all, the Sephi memory is long and we shall not forget our allies.”

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  12. Shadowsun

    Shadowsun Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 26, 2017
    OOC: A Combo with @Sinrebirth

    IC: The Grand Vizier
    Coruscant

    [​IMG]
    The Grand Vizier stood diligently his cold blue eyes watching ever so carefully as he took in every detail of the Emperor's meeting with Janus Jerjerrod. He would be silent of course, it was not his place to speak for the Emperor in a private meeting. He tilted his head as he viewed the aged, bald head of the Emperor. How old he had gotten, it was emblematic of the aging and failing empire he governed. His two sons jostling for power as they done since their youth, still seeming two immature children blind to what needed to be done for their father and the Empire as a whole.

    Of course, the Grand Vizier never vocalized these thoughts, it was not his place to.
    He observed. He watched. He waited.

    "Do we have time for a jest, or must I move on to the next infernal business of state."

    A small apologetic smile appeared upon the Grand Vizier's face as he responded.

    "I am afraid my Emperor there is much that still requires your attention," he looked down at his datapad, focusing on which agenda piece he deemed required the Emperor's attention. The rising of these two rival empires, of the Shadow and Sith, it would prove to be quite the problem. To the Grand Vizier it seemed the logical thing to somehow set the two squarely against each other, taking on both at once would be quite the task, but taking on either one when they had become weakened by fighting, that was likely the best course of action. Or so at least thought the Grand Vizier. The ever-weakening position of the Galatic Empire made it ever more difficult to carry out such a plan.

    Stability. That was what was needed.

    "It would seem the Mid Rim Alliance has been attacked by the Shadow Empire. The Shadow Empire grows with every passing day it would seem," he spoke cautiously.

    "Oh does it," the Emperor seethed. "The war is upon us, and I am old, too old, to lead us to fight again." He was angry, vexed that his legacy would be consumed by failure, not success. "I swore I would see beyond the Light and Darkness War of legend..."

    A glint of mischievousness. "I assume the news of the attack has been appropriately suppressed?"

    "Of course," the Grand Vizier responded swiftly. He did contemplate for a brief moment if he should leak the news to the general public. The general unrest may push the Emperor to finally act in a more comprehensive manner. He then viewed the frailing man, he may need to be replaced sooner than the Grand Vizier would like. He would wait and see if he should or not.

    "It would seem your sons are continuing to compete with one other, an Imperial Dreadnaught was destroyed by presumably the Sith,"

    He tilted his head in fake curiosity. The implication was clear and he was sure the Emperor knew it. His sons were just counting down the days until he died. The possibility of a civil war was not out of the question and would spell certain doom for the Galactic Republic.

    The Emperor leaned on his hand. "Yes. Those dull boys..."

    His eyebrow arched, fatigue evident as he struggled for the moment.

    "Your advice? I don't need two sons..."

    The Grand Vizier's face remained placid, looking towards his old friend.

    "Yes, boys indeed," mused the Grand Vizier. "If you are asking for my advice my Emperor... neither seem fit to rule in your place." The Grand Vizier expected that the Emperor already knew this in his heart. A factor, other than his pride, why he had not delegated more to one of them to rule in his place. That he knew that both were unfit to rule.

    "And so..." the man seemed intrigued. "You suggest I write them out of my Will? Name another successor?"

    This had clearly taken his fancy. "What a novel suggestion. Tell me, who would be best, Grand Vizier?"

    His gaze looked almost amused. "Yourself?"

    The Grand Vizier gave a chuckle.

    "Certainly a possibility," he spoke with equal amusement to the Emperor, doing his best to balance between laughing at the notion and treating it with the validity he believed it had. There was doubt within his heart that the Emperor's suggestion for him to take his place was genuine, such a thing had come far too easily.

    "Though I did not make such a suggestion, nor would I necessarily refuse such an offer, as humbled as I am by it," He tilted his head in curiosity thinking for a moment. Knowing the Emperor well at this stage in his life there was one thing he truly cared most for: his legacy.

    "I was going to suggest the appointment of a Regent until the Crown Prince is indeed suitable and ready to take over his father's legacy,"

    "A Regent?" The Emperor sat in his chair askance, a leg over the chair arm, his leg folded over that. He leaned heavily on his elbow, amused. "It should be you, if so, but you'll need support. Jedi Lords, some of the system leaders..."

    He was almost lazing at the idea of the power he was tossing around liberally. "Do you not think the Princes will rebel immediately against such an idea? That it will be civil war without end?"

    The Grand Vizier raised an eyebrow at the Emperor's words, its meaning however was rather obscure. He was taken aback by how little the Emperor seemed to just not care. If his sons were a nonfactor the Grand Vizier would leap on the possibility of just becoming Emperor as soon as possible, but as the current Emperor alluded to that would guarantee a civil war even more than this Regent proposal. Hence the main reason the Grand Vizier had proposed it, not to appease the Emperor so much but rather the Princes... if it could be called 'appeasement'.

    "That is certainly a possibility my Emperor, however, what if it was framed as a measure until the Sith and Shadow Empires were dealt with and stability was brought to the Empire as a result?"

    He paused for a moment tilting his head in thought.

    "It is a sound reason after all, and if those below the Princes recognize this logic and are expressed this policy the Princes will have no one to support them no?"

    "Perhaps you should go speak to them, and gauge how best you will handle them..." He chuckled. "After I die."

    "The Crown Prince is here, on Coruscant... but the Second Prince, he's on Alsakan..." The Emperor sounded wry. "Alsakan is a shadow of itself since the Darkness, but its nearby, so you'll have to attend to it at some point..."

    Another quirk, this time of an eyebrow, as he addressed the man more fully. "Regent."

    "We'll make the announcement when I say, and no sooner. I want to live out my days somewhere peaceful, perhaps beyond the frontier. Not here, on this infernal chair, watching all I have built crumble."

    A soft smile spread across the 'Grand Vizier's' face. Although soon, very soon he would be referred to as 'The Regent' and then...

    He looked to the Emperor once man, a small respectful bow at his words.

    "Of course my Emperor. I can make the necessary appointments with the Princes..."

    "As for securing the support of Jedi Lords, Jedi Grandmaster Ductavis has a report concerning the elevation of a Corelian Lord,"

    "... oh?" The Emperor tapped his cheek. "They elevated that Graul boy, over Nubia, no?"

    "The Corellian King will undoubtedly complain..." The Emperor continued to absently lean on his fist. "You had best go see the old fool, before you speak to my sons."

    He groused. "In person, Grand Vizier."

    "Yes quite wise," responded the Grand Vizier with a short bow before then looking to his datapad. "It would see my Emperor you have earned yourself a much-deserved reprieve from state business, I shall make the necessary arrangements to do as we have discussed,"

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  13. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Aura
    Kijimi City

    “I know,” her father had whispered to the twelve year old. “I know.”

    But the damage was done, and Aura knew it.

    She'd exploded outwards, her noise in the Force.

    It would crest outward, drawing the eye of Maldael as ship arrived and came into land -

    It would reverberate over Nin, and reveal him -

    It would crash into Akuma-Oni, and resonate -

    All of a sudden, they would all know that the other was here.

    Aura, Maldael, Nin, Akuma-Oni and Marcus.

    They all knew.

    There was no subterfuge, no subtlety, no possibility of being missed.

    Nin would know he was near Akuma-Oni, and vice-versa.

    Maldael would know that immediately beneath him was Marcus and Aura, and vice-versa.

    Kazu wouldn't pick up on it, of course, nor would the Hunter, unless they'd been specifically modified to detect such Force frequencies; possible, with the technology of the past, or the future. But Kazu was just deactivated, recalibrated, and reactivated in a flash, as Sieg turned to confront the man entering the room -

    It was the bartender, Bard, cursing aloud, clearly not expecting to have company. "Salu, I've got a Sith in the bar, told me to get out, can you get the crew together? We'll need to do damage control if we don't want the Empire finding out what the Dark Lord is up to -"

    He paused, looking at Kazu, and then Sieg. "What in the Nine Corellian Hells is that doing here."

    Kazu's antennae picked up something that probably Maldael's comms would too, and definitely Hunters, whose unobtrusive infiltration of the City would end up with him closer to the shop than not...

    THERE IS A SITH HERE.

    The message bleated out, this time not across Kijimi, but into space, into the stars.

    Towards the Core.

    Xenly, impervious to the Force and such things, and thus unaware of anything, indicated a spot on the city map. "Salu's shop," he said, naming where Sieg, Kazu and of course Salu were. "Has medallion for your program. Shipment was stolen from Yn; ended up here." It was a Verpine memory, but there was data to support it. An anonymous tip-off had allowed smugglers to sneak such medallions from the Imperial fortifications there, right under the nose of the Jedi Lord Tedryn.

    A blade of a ship blasted off into orbit, from the distant mountains, and vanished into hyperspace.

    The direction?

    The north of the galaxy.

    Towards the Mid Rim Alliance.

    Towards the Unknowns beyond.

    TAG: @CosmoHender and @darthbernael (potential combo), @Mitth_Fisto, @Corellian_Outrider (potential combo), @Shadowsun and @greyjedi125 (potential combo)
    ---
    IC: Balthazar Calrissian

    Yag'Dhul node

    The man explained as much as the Emperor did, but with more curse-words among it.

    Kriffin' Sith.

    Karkin' murlags.

    Sithin' bantha's for brains
    .

    These words described the attackers; the Imperial escorts; his own crew.

    Balthazar was what he was.

    But the tracking feed was, mysteriously, wiped.

    The attackers that were purported to be part of Dreypa's force had headed off in the same direction - three ships at angles, allowing any computer system with a modicum of mathematics to triangulate. Balthazar was livid, and had thrown the crew-member responsible in the brig. "I knew I should never have taken on a Hutt." He grimaced. "Rasmal Desilijic. You're welcome to interrogate him if you wish," he said over the comm channel. "Or I can send him to you; I don't want his stink here."

    The Imperial Military Network updated, however, with an anonymous report over the Jedi channels; Sith on Kijimi, in the Fallen Worlds.

    It was an odd message, as it seemed to have squirrelled its way across several HoloNet nodes, or perhaps the signal was so damaged that it wouldn't reach most of the Empire's relays. Either way, it reached Janus, at very least, and his First Officer passed the datapad to him out of range of the vid that Balthazar was taking up with his preening.

    The raid inside Imperial Space was important, but without triangulation data the origin of the attack was unknown, even if Balthazar insisted the enemy had jumped Coreward, his instruments were out; sabotaged. The Hutt had done something, though Janus would have very Hutt-like protestations of his innocence for the record. But the Sith were, according to an anonymous Jedi, on Kijimi. That was a bit more solid.

    Choices, choices.

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox (combo, optional)
    ---
    IC: King Thrackan e Solo

    Corellia, in his private chambers

    Whatever would be said by his children to the idea of courting the Imperial sons on Coruscant and Alsakan respectively was cut when news sounded out. "We have word that the Grand Vizier is en route," said the Jedi Lord Halcyon, who acted as the private guard of the Corellian monarchs. With his own holdings on Sacorria, he had served the royal family since before the Battle of Corbos, and he was the only aide that could talk back to the Corellian King.

    "And a message via the Jedi comms," he said, carefully.

    "And?" Thrackan said gruffly. He wanted to get back to deciding the Emperor's successor, not dealing with the mewling Grand Vizier.

    "There are Sith on Kijimi."

    "Kijimi?" Thrackan frowned. "In the Fallen Worlds?"

    "Yes, Your Majesty."

    "Not our problem, surely," Thrackan said. "The Sith are irritants. They don't matter. Whatever survivors of the war remain, they will be hunted down and killed in their own time." He regarded his children. "Am I not right?"

    "And the Grand Vizier," piped up Halcyon.

    "Tell him to wait," snapped Thrackan, growing more irate.

    "But he's already here," the Jedi Lord said, pointing out the immense glass window that hung above the room.

    Sure enough, there was an Empire-class warship in all its majesty, hanging in orbit at a respectful distance.

    The Grand Vizier himself had been escorted by the Storm Corps Elite to his shuttle, full military honours afforded to the politician who often spoke on behalf of the beloved Emperor. But before he could depart, his captain, a stuffy man by the name of Ozzel, interrupted. "My Lord Vizier," he said formally, carefully, for even if the Executor was his domain, the Grand Vizier was one of the four most powerful men in the Empire. "I have word from our Jedi Lord Ooroo," he said, referencing the Celegian who acted as the battle coordinator for the warship. "Apparently Sith have been spotted on Kijimi, a world in the Fallen Worlds, but the signal... it's been intercepted, or blocked - only a few worlds have received the warning. I suspect sabotage of the HoloNet nodes between here and the Fallen Worlds, but I cannot say with certainty."

    "We've signalled the surface; no reply as of yet," whispered another aide, another human by the name of Piett.

    Factors, changes, motives.

    ... was something afoot?

    TAG: @Shadowsun and @Corellian_Outrider (potential for combo)
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2021
  14. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Thoughts of a Ronin

    With Admiral Dreypa known to be active inside Imperial Space, but with that fact only known to Calrissian and his crew, and of course the Emperor, Grand Vizier and Janus Jerjerrod...

    With the Mid Rim Alliance having fallen, and that news hidden from the galaxy, indeed unknown to most of it save for the Emperor, the Grand Vizier and of course Maldael Fesh... though only he knew the Sith warships had launched from Ambria and Taris...

    With nobility of Alderaan apparently in the pocket of the Sith, a fact only known to Marcus Dren...


    With the Corellian monarch preparing to strike at the princes or Emperor, a fact only known to Konstance and Kallan e Solo...

    With a Sith Warlord based on Chabosh dead, his forces uncommanded, a fact only known to Akuma-Oni...

    ... let alone the fact that Nin had escaped the Stygian Caldera...

    ... and what of Kazu and Hunter, at the edges of an organisation that had stripped clean the Sith battlefield of Corbos... for who?

    What pieces did they all have?

    Why, the spark of the War of the Three Empire's, of course.

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox, @darthbernael, @CosmoHender, @Corellian_Outrider, @greyjedi125, @Shadowsun, @Mitth_Fisto
     
  15. AgentViper007

    AgentViper007 Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    IC: Janus Jerjerrod
    Location: CenSD Electrostar


    Janus was known for his chilly personality, the only ones he did not show it to were his wife and Artemis.

    Calrissian was about the full force of it. However something came up which was of interest. Sith on Kijimi.

    Bingo.

    It sounded like he had hit a dead end already here. There was no way to tell where the ships had gone. Calrissian could not help on that front with his ship being shot up and a Hutt being well...a Hutt.

    But if there was one thing a Jerjerrod was good at it was annihilating an enemy. This was too good an opportunity to pass up. He would get blasted by the Emperor for it but he would explain.

    "You accepted a Hutt into your crew?" Janus snorted "They have no honour. And your tracking field was wiped. I'm not impressed at all and neither would our superiors".

    "I don't want him anywhere near my ship. He's your crew member you deal with him yourself. Use whatever you have to interrogate him. Dreypa needs to be found and fast before he attempts another raid".

    "I have business elsewhere since sadly I have hit a hump in my investigation thanks to you and your Hutt. You can redeem yourself by hopefully picking up the trail. I will however see if I can get some assistance to aid your ship".

    Janus cut the comm off before Calrissian could protest "Set course for Kijimi, all speed." He smirked slightly.

    "We have a Sith to kill".

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  16. Corellian_Outrider

    Corellian_Outrider Admin FF | Curator: Art&RPF | Oceania RSA | CR NSW star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2002
    ~OOC~ Special thanks to @Sinrebith for this joint post :)

    ~IC~ House of e Solo
    Location: Royal Palace of Corellisi - Corellisi


    Konstance and Kallan sat along side their father, analysing the galactic map. The boundaries were in a state of flux.

    The former Republic-current Imperial dominion were giving way to the Fallen. Certain sectors separated from others... reports are saying there some rebellions sprouting up like islands in the ocean. Who knows how long before they too sway to the pressures of their neighbours. Key worlds along the major hyperspace lanes acting as bridgehead.

    Balmorra - an industrial world with links between the Colonies and the Mid-Rim.

    Alsakan - the rival of Coruscant and gateworld to the Perlemian Trade Route

    Alderaan- a historical and peaceful world, whose Royal House has some influence in Imperial Court and part of the Commenor Run.

    Meanwhile, for all of their overbearing grip and dictatorship over the years, the strength of Imperial assets seem to be waning, jackals nipping at the Emperor’s heels with ambition to inherit the throne from him.

    The Corellian Kingdom, positioned as bulwark to it’s sector and access through the Corellian Run and the Corellian Trade Spine... flaring out south and south-west of Corellia’s sector was its Hegemony - made up of sectors that ally with Corellia and the Galactic Government - on the condition that there is peace between Coruscant and Alsakan. Every so often those two worlds flare up and declare war to be the centre of Galactic Civilisation for over the last several thousand years... A waste of time and resources these petty conflicts are... one in which Corellia and their allies oppose and declare neutrality from.

    However, their south westerly frontier was under threat - The Tapani Empire, operated by a dynastic family seem to be devoted to Imperial decree... regardless of whom take the throne and their policies...

    The Corellian Trade Spine and Corellian Run continues to develop... expanding hyperspace paths swinging south- east and south-west of their origin points respectively... which lay a vast stretch of unknown space... New worlds, new resources, new threats... just beyond. How far before they find the edge of the galaxy?

    Now Nubia - a Royal world within their borders, known for their brilliant designers and engineering, is welcoming more Imperial assets into their territory...

    It feels as though they were surrounded by hostiles from beyond and within.

    Konstance looked to their father and spoke first. “At a time like this, we need to keep our friends close.”

    “If we move against the Emperor, and succeed, his problems become ours and it might spread our resources thin, weaken us. If we fail, our ally will diminish. Either way, we expose our flanks to attack. An army divided is ineffective unless the terrain is of their choosing. If Tapani became our vassal... but that might diminish our standing and consider us as warmongering.” Kallan nodded, his gaze still on the map. “Konstance...you feel we should placate Nubia so we don’t get an axe in our spine.”

    “Kallan...” Konstance’s tone reminded him to be tactful.

    “Forgive me. Entreaty.” Kallan shook his head. “I don’t understand why they want one of the Coruscanti Order over the Corellian Order?”

    “Representation. It looks good to the Imperials.” Konstance said quietly. Her gaze shifted to their father. “Coming from a position of strength is usually a good position to come from... and these so called Sith should not be allowed to infest and infect."

    The Corellian King regarded them each. "So we will not move against the Emperor; agreed." He sounded glum, but accepting. They were outflanked, with the Tapani to the south, the Empire proper to the north, and the Fallen Worlds to the east. "So that leaves us with one question."

    The galactic map remained, but before it became two images.

    The Crown Prince.

    The Second Prince.

    "Which do we support? They are venal, petty children - they will come to blows when the Emperor passes." His tone was gruffer, annoyed. "They nuzzle up to different worlds; the Crown Prince to Coruscant, the Second Prince to Alsakan. The Mid Rim Alliance and Tapani Empire have yet to declare for either, but they know who speaks last will own the balance of power."

    The Mid Rim Alliance wasn't generally in many calculations, but Thustra had welded several worlds together, creating an island of calm in the Fallen Worlds that the Emperor had steadfastly refused to acknowledge. The position of the Sephi King was often whichever faction spoke loudest against the Sith, who everyone accepted had sway over at least some of the Fallen Worlds.

    The King stroked his chin. "I have two children, and two Princes. Might I ask too much of you to speak with them directly?" He didn't want to stoop to marriage politics but they were of age, and the Corellian Jedi had made mention of it more than once. The Tapani Emperor was married, having needed to do so to secure the throne there, so that was a dead-end, even if a political arrangement could be completed.

    Marriage politics.

    These were truly the dark ages.

    For the twins, it is difficult to decide amongst which of the two Princes to place support behind. The reputation of the Emperor’s children suggest that they both... need discipline and guidance... to put it politely. The type to be avoided if possible, or to be put in place if one cannot.

    The invitation to be part of a diplomatic envoy to meet them did have potential to gleam some information that could help decide who should be the one-

    Jedi Lord Halcyon interrupted the conversation.

    The twins sat in silence and exchanged looks as they heard the Emperor’s Grand Vizier was en route. That could be taken either way.

    Halcyon then proclaimed the news of Sith on Kijimi.

    ‘Kijimi?’ Konstance mouthed to Kallan.

    ‘Bryx sector’ Kallan responded in kind.

    ‘Feya?’ Konstance asked, concerned about their cousin’s location.

    Kallan shook his head. It was no where near them and their colony. Though with the rise of the Fallen Worlds... communications with them have been spotty at best.

    They heard Jedi Lord Halcyon mentioning the Grand Vizier again and pointed to the view outside.

    Following the direction, they saw the silhouette of a Destroyer in the sky. What did the Imperials want?

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @Shadowsun
     
  17. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Balthazar Calrissian
    Yag’Dhul node

    The moment the CenSD began to turn aside, there was a flicker of psuedomotion and a trio of ships emerged from hyperspace - from coordinates deeper in Imperial space.

    [​IMG]


    The captain called out immediately, bypassing Admiral Jerjerrod. “Rear shields!”

    The massive ship shook as the three 215m ships hammered at the Star Destroyer, and an officer reported in. “Shields held! Enemy fighters launching!”

    Eighteen bug-like fighters appeared, heading towards the wallowing freighter but clearly coming for the CenSD.

    “Orders, Admiral?” The hyperdrive had been spooling up to launch, but now -

    “Escape pod launch from the freighter!”

    A moment later the fighters opened fire and Calrissian’s ship exploded. His voice filled the comms, cursing in half a dozen languages -

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox (combo)

    Combos continue for

    @Shadowsun and @greyjedi125

    @Corellian_Outrider and Shadowsun

    @CosmoHender and @darthbernael

    @Mitth_Fisto and Corellian_Outrider



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. CosmoHender

    CosmoHender Jedi Master star 3

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

    IC: Marcus & Maldael


    Kijimi City

    Marcus acted fast, picking Aura up in his arms and carrying her daughter out of the ship while 2E followed him closely. There was no time, which meant they had to leave everything behind.

    Fortunately, Marcus had some idea of where they could go. He had a friend who maintained the safe house he had in Kijimi City, a contact that he already made sure knew they were coming. This friend was a Dai Bendu monk from the local Monastery, someone that Marcus had first met years ago while traveling the galaxy with Aura's mother. If not for the Sith already on the planet, the monk would have helped to refuel his ship. But Marcus knew that the monk could also help them get a new transport off Kijimi and new supplies or help them hide using his knowledge of Kijimi City, so meeting up with the monk was Marcus's priority at the moment.

    However, they would have to make it first and hopefully avoid the path of any Sith. While they tried to hurry through the cold streets, Marcus held Aura close to him protectively and whispered in his ear that they were going to be fine.

    Occasionally he glanced down at his lightsaber, which was hidden just out of sight, to make sure that it was still there. At the moment, it wasn't needed. But if that should change, Marcus had to be ready.

    -

    As the sails folded in on the ship and it touched down, Maldael sat up straight in his command chair. A wave of energy had passed through him in an instant, coming from a source he didn’t recognize. He didn’t even have to glance over at the verpine, at Xenly, because he knew the species lacked most Force sensitivity.

    A finger tapped on the arm of his chair as what Xenly did next confirmed that. Xenly indicated a spot on the city map. "Salu's shop, has medallion for your program. Shipment was stolen from Yn; ended up here."

    Mal nodded, downloading the route and the location, onto his pad. Hitting the release on his harness, he moved through the ship, gathering a few things. He could feel a trail of energy from the one who’d shrieked so, in the Force and it felt like it was moving on the currents.

    It troubled him that someone had blasted the message about a Sith being present here, out in an omnidirectional broadcast. It was as though they were deliberately trying to attract as many Force users as possible to this rock as possible, at one time. Which meant he needed to be fast.

    Opening the hatch, he pulled the hood up on his neutral toned robe, hiding his pointed ears and obvious Sephi features. People were everywhere as he made his way out of the port and followed the map, heading toward where he’d been told the Medallion was located. Interestingly enough, it felt as though the unknown presence who’d screamed was headed in a similar direction.

    -

    Marcus's eyes swept the streets around him and his daughter, scanning for any potential threats or signs of the Sith while whispering words of comfort to Aura every now and then. He was on guard, fully aware of how vulnerable and exposed they currently were. Though he didn't say it, Marcus had a bad feeling about this... and it didn't take his senses long confirm that feeling.

    They were being followed.

    He quickened his pace.

    Aura was silent, entirely so; she was terrified, and she could tell that her Dad was.

    Marcus quickly looked over his shoulder, his instincts drawing his attention to one individual in particular who wore a neutral toned robe with the hood up. His eyes narrowed before Marcus returned his gaze forward, continuing to walk with his daughter in his arms and his droid trailing behind. He sensed Aura's fear and worried that he wasn't the only one who could...

    Marcus decided that they need to briefly get off the streets, so he went around a corner and took shelter in a doorway. He put Aura down for a few moments so they could catch their breath, putting his finger to his lip to signal her to be quiet before poking his head out as he tried to spot anyone that might have been following them.

    -

    Maldael moved through the crowds, silently but sticking close to the patterns of the people. There was no reason to make himself stand out as he moved, he could feel several presences, surprisingly some of them were vaguely familiar, from a time decades ago.

    He could still feel the trail of the one who had flooded the Force with their cry and it was still moving, ahead of him. His eyes scanned the crowd and a face, one that looked frantic, fearful, caught his attention. The fact that the moment their eyes met the man, and the child he was carrying, sped up in their walking made the corner of his mouth twitch. "Ahhhh…"

    Checking his map again, he was on the best course to reach the shop and retrieve the one thing he’d come to this tiny rock. The ironic thing was that the man ahead seemed to think he was following, when he couldn’t care less about a single father and his child. Except… his senses spread out, the child was the one who’d cried out in the Force which explained the man’s terror.

    Maldael stifled a chuckle as he saw the father and daughter duck out of sight. Without glancing in their direction, he walked past the side street they’d disappeared into. He didn’t need to see them, have his eyes on them to know where they were, their auras shone in his mind.

    He passed the street, simply following the directions on his pad. The shop shouldn’t be too much further and he truly wasn’t interested in other’s drama right now, even though this rock reeked of such.

    -

    Marcus waited until he sensed that the individual he'd seen had passed them. He considered the possibility that this individual might not actually have been interested in him and his daughter at all, but it was better to be safe than sorry. He waited a few more seconds to make sure that there was no immediate danger to them, then picked up his daughter so they could continue on their way to the rendezvous with the monk.

    "We are almost there," he whispered to Aura. "Just hold tight."

    Mal looked up from the pad, the shop was right there. He paused in a doorway, observing the shop, seeing who came and went before he entered. Which meant he was standing right there as the little family came up the street. Their furtiveness was completely evident as he stepped out, right beside the man. ”If you’re trying to keep out of sight, out of everyone’s minds, you are doing very poorly,” he whispered to the man.

    A blaster appeared in the hands of Marcus as he spun around and leveled it at the stranger's face. "And if you don't want to die, you are doing very poorly," he warned.

    ”Funny, I was expecting you to use lightning,” Maldael said softly, unphased by the blaster pointed at his eyes. His eyes flicked at the girl. ”Between her scream and every being in this part of the galaxy hearing the message a Sith is here, everyone is going to be hunting you. How are you going to protect her when you let a Jedi get this close?”

    Marcus's eyes narrowed. "I can protect my daughter just fine, Jedi..."

    Plus not everyone was necessarily hunting him, he knew that for sure. The Jedi actually seemed to be mocking him and his efforts to protect his daughter, which Marcus did not appreciate...

    Mal nodded down at the blaster pointing up at his face. "Yes, and attracting every bit of attention on this small rock with an open blaster is just how to do that."

    He sighed. "Friend… I was just trying to give you notice, I don’t give a damn if you survive or not, but I can’t say the same for all the attention your daughter and that message have drawn, I even feel presences I haven’t felt since Corbos here."

    "You don't think I feel them too?" Marcus asked. "You also have no reason to call me out for drawing a blaster when you were the once who forced me to draw it."

    But they were definitely exposed thanks to this Jedi and his arrogance. This Jedi who didn't know him, but still felt like he could judge him and seemed to assume he was Sith. It made Marcus growl slightly.

    Then suddenly snow flew off the ground and into Mal's face. By the time that the Jedi's vision was cleared, both father and daughter was gone. Marcus was not sticking around to speak to a Jedi who was just as much of a threat to them as a Sith, especially since the Jedi had made him draw more attention to themselves. He wanted to whisper profanities, but he knew better than to do it in front of his kid. He just focused on them running, on them getting to that rendezvous.

    That Jedi could go sit on a thermal detonator for all Marcus cared.

    Aura had listened to her father speak to the newcomer - the Jedi or Sith or whatever. His words were interesting, if only because she had been brought up with that duality of the Force and yet she wasn’t either of them; not Jedi or Sith, not yet.

    But then he lobbed snow at the man and her eyes widened. She wasn’t ready to keep up, and she ran after her father, not as fast or prepared as him, her feet crunching in the snow -

    Marcus picked Aura up so that they could run faster, frustrated by their encounter with the Jedi. He was just like the Jedi that Marcus remembered: arrogant, condescending, smug... fortunately, Marcus hadn't let himself get pulled into a fight. Drawing a blaster wasn't that irregular in Kijimi City where shoot outs in the streets weren't uncommon, so it wouldn't draw the same attention that igniting a lightsaber would have. At least that's what he hoped.

    Eventually Marcus, Aura, and 2E reached the rendezvous point where they were supposed to meet his friend the monk. He scanned the area with his senses, wary of any signs of danger. He was not going to let someone catch his off guard again like that irritating Jedi had. The Jedi had delayed them, but they still shouldn't have missed meeting their contact...

    -

    Maldael let the snow swirl around him, extending the effect of it so it covered the entire street. By the time it died down, he’d crossed the distance and entered the shop he’d come to find, the frantic father and his daughter swiftly being left behind in his thoughts. He let the door shut behind him before he released his hold on the Force, the snow drifting back down. The shop seemed empty, at least out front and he called out. "Hello the shop!"

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @darthbernael
     
  19. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    An engaging combo with the multi-planar @Shadowsun

    ******************************************************************
    IC: Akuma-Oni & Nin

    A conversation

    Nin felt the thunderous explosion in the Force, it roiled over him, basked in him as he then felt and noticed so many others. He came to view Akuma-Oni, his singular eye shining bright.

    [​IMG]

    The Force flowed peacefully around Nin, there was almost an immaterial aspect to him. He looked calmly, and without malice toward the armored man, Nin kept his lightsaber attached to his hilt as he viewed him.

    "What is going on here?"

    The barkeep had fled the bar, perhaps listening to reason, or perhaps embarking on a fool’s errand. In the end, the result would be the same, sooner or later.

    Akuma-Oni’s attention was powerfully drawn at that moment however, the bartender forgotten, in favor of something far more…stimulating. There was a resonance in the Force, a burst which pierced the usual noise intertwined with the myriad layers of darkness. In that moment, he would not only sense them and feel them, but he would also know.

    A girl, powerful and untrained in the Force, her feelings strong for her protector, her Father; a man who had known darkness.

    The honorable one, whom he had met so many years before; now he knew that he was a Sephi- and that there seemed to be less light in him.

    There was another, someone new and somehow…neutral? Hmmm. Strange.

    Then there was the bartender once again, being foolish.

    No matter.

    The Force stirred powerfully, creating eddies of intermingling purpose…how interesting. The many pieces were coming together after all this time. Something or someone was coming: someone strong. The very notion caused the daemon warrior to chuckle in dark anticipation.

    Yesss’

    Akuma-Oni felt a presence then, someone had approached, entered the bar and now gazed upon his form.

    It felt like…the neutral one? Most curious.

    Akuma-Oni turned around from his place at the end of the counter, his gaze intense and measuring, as he regarded the one clad in red robes and long flowing raven hair. This one felt calm. Placid. Ripe for disturbance.

    A question was posed by the calm and neutral one.

    “What is it you feel…” Akuma rasped in response. Plumes of steam poured from the sides of his mouth-guard as he spoke, even as he leaned forward, ever so slightly.

    Nin would look confused for a moment and then realized what Akuma was getting at. They were both force-sensitives, they would both be able to feel that presence. The raven-haired man studied Akuma closely looking at the elaborate armor. Nin still stood in a neutral position, he could tell that Akuma was not the one he was searching for, but there was a darkness that clung to him. It put Nin on a slight edge, but only slightly more than if there were no darkness but still the Force swelling around him.

    "A Sith as well as a handful of other Force Users... are you... are with them, the Sith?"

    The question hung between the two beings for several silent moments, as Akuma-Oni appraised the being standing before him. How interesting, that one such as this did not present himself as an immediate threat, but was not bereft of the potential to become one.

    "I was....."

    Came the answer, finally.

    "But that won't make any difference."

    A dark rasping chuckle proceeded from behind the mask. A sign of mild amusement.

    "Come, have a drink with me." Akuma-Oni intoned a bit brusquely, indicating with a casual wave that Nin should join him. In his line of work, one never knew when they could be imbibing their last.

    Nin eyes narrowed. This man, this being... it made Nin uneasy. He was calm. Too calm

    "You were there... you were there at the Battle of Corbos..." he spoke with a slight realization. He shook is head slowly, he had been a Dark Jedi once... Nin did not judge something for who they once were. Only for who they were now, and who they could become.

    "I don't have time for a drink... there is a Sith here. I'll only ask once... do you know where they are?"

    Akuma-Oni chuckled once again. The neutral one was beginning to feel...uneasy. Interesting. It also made no difference whether he accepted his offer or not. The pieces were already in motion.

    He was coming.

    "Corbos..." He croaked out, speaking the word as if it were a curse.

    "That battle. It did not end there, not in a way that really counts." Another mirthless chuckle followed.

    "You know, I was never dismissed from my post as Dark Retainer." Akuma-Oni declared, now rising from his seat.

    "I was waylaid by...circumstances. Many years have passed. Look at me and tell me, what do you see....?"

    The masked warrior stood, arms to the side, hands visible. His cloak flowing slightly as a result of his dark power, steam issuing from his daemon mask with every breath. His multiple blades seemed to beg to be utilized, they ached for violence of which he was a Master.

    "Speak your name."

    Nin almost took a step back, his single eye looking to the man.

    "Nin," he paused a quiet breath escaping his lips. "I see one that fights not for what he thinks is right or just but because he likes, because he enjoys the thrill of it..."

    "I have no conflict with you, I only look for the Sith... until we meet again," Nin gave a swivel to leave, Akuma had no answered his question, and as he said Nin was not going to ask a second time. His body was tense with the possibility of combat.

    "Oh...? Is that what you see?"

    A sense of undisclosed amusement wafted about Akuma-Oni as a muted chuckle escaped him.

    "You prove my point, 'Nin'." The masked retainer spoke at the dark haired man's retreating form. "You may as well be blind on both eyes." He declared with stiff certainty.

    "But go ahead, run away if you wish. You can no more escape your destiny than avoid what is coming. Conflict will find you and your 'oasis'. Best be ready to defend it- with your life."

    Another dark knowing chuckle would issue from the armored figure, but it would be cut short as his keen senses informed him of movement, presences converging in the area.

    "It won't be long now....."

    Nin would not be able to see it, but he could probably feel the leering stare behind his back.

    Nin furrowed his brow in confusion because what Akuma said simply made no sense. He turned his head round glancing back to the armored man.

    "You made no point and now you said you proved it... proved what exactly... you do not know me and I do not know you. I made a guess, based on what you have said and how you have acted,"

    He chuckled for a moment.

    "And what am I running away from? You? A man that acts like he knows some hidden truth about me? When I march onward towards the Sith? I do what my duty compels me to do... and what do you do? What do you fight for?" His eyes narrowed, staring back at the leering eyes. The mixture of tranquility and mild anger swelling within Nin, looking towards Akuma with expectation.

    "Not so peaceful after all....." The armored retainer concluded with a measure of satisfaction, then sat back once again. "All too easy."

    There was no threat before him, so now it was his turn to affect a lack of interest.

    "You say you run toward the Sith, yet you know not where to find one." there was a small shake of his armored head. This one wanted straight answers. That's not how things worked.

    "Your duty is to your Master, so the question is, do you know who your Master is?" A chuckle and a pause, for the sake of contemplation.

    "...and no, I didn't need to know you, just allow you to reveal yourself through your actions and words, for I -Akuma-Oni - am thefire of the crucible."

    Such words would likely mean nothing to the not-so-neutral one. It didn't matter. The trials of circumstance would either teach him, make him grow, or break him. He could feel it happening again, as the others fell into their roles, one by one. The barkeep, Nin, the Girl and her Father...the Jedi, the Sith. Him. So many layers, so many probable outcomes- yet, who would be the one 'consumed' by fire?

    Even he didn't know.

    "My duty is to my Master, is it? Now such a statement reveals much about you Akuma-Oni. A sad truth." The almost oaf-like superiority of Akuma almost got under Nin's skin. Such men that carried themselves knowing all so assured of themselves. Nin had seen many people like that, and how often wrong they were.

    The statements and questions of Akuma continued to baffle Nin, as they were built on fragments of what Nin said or did. Every time Akuma utterly failing to understand the raven-haired man. For he seemingly could not understand him, Akuma being a relic of war.

    "I have taken no actions and I have spoken little, and yet you speak to me as if you have known me all my life. You speak of conflict as if that is all there is, the be all end all..."

    Nin wanted to go, wanted to reach out to the man, but his time would be wasted as much as he hated to admit it. The armored man could think what he would it did not worry Nin.

    "But if you must know who my Master is... it is everyone, everything and nothing at all..." and with that cryptic statement, he left.

    "Oooh, is that so? everyone now, is it?"

    Akuma-Oni watched Nin depart his presence, seeming more ruffled than placid than when he first arrived- and with good reason. The dark haired Force User had adopted a complex and seemingly contradicting tenet for himself.

    Everyone and no one was his Master? Everything and nothing? much confusion there could be from this alone. Did that include both the Jedi and the Sith, the lightside and darkside of the Force? Did he allow others' whims to direct him? How could he hope to serve two Masters?

    A long plume of steam issued from his mask as the daemon warrior exhaled. Conflict was the only constant, the bedrock of strength. It was conflict that inspired the Jedi to greater 'heights'. Therefore, Revenge would propel the Sith to eclipse the Jedi. So on and so forth.It was simply the way of things, that even a one-eyed man could see it were he to actually look.

    But that was no longer a concern. Nin had departed and had taken his tenets with him. Akuma-Oni set his mind to receiving the barkeep once he returned. Certainly, he had not simply fled- no, not at all. He had acted upon a foolish surge of confidence, now it was just a matter of time before it yielded...results.


    Tag: @Sinrebirth, @Shadowsun
     
  20. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: K4-ZU-P8489 or Kazu, A Combo with Sinre
    Kijimi City

    Kazu buzzed and beeped as his period of having been deactivated, recalibrated, and reactivated. His photo-receptors blinked causing his image pickups to register the surroundings in a flash, as Sieg turned to confront the man entering the room -

    She had stayed. Interesting. He had calculated a high chance that she would attempt to retrieve the controller and either be dead or gone at this juncture. It was larger entity, broad and strong. Cursing aloud, clearly not expecting to have company. "Salu, I've got a Sith in the bar, told me to get out, can you get the crew together? We'll need to do damage control if we don't want the Empire finding out what the Dark Lord is up to -"

    That, THAT - system evaluation was quickly run on the auditory systems. Systems now operating in the effective yellow. He paused, looking at Kazu, and then Sieg. "What in the Nine Corellian Hells is that doing here."

    Kazu was being identified as an that. Not unexpected, but that bit about the Dark Lord was. Frozen in place Kazu was uncertain how to respond when his antennae picked up something...

    THERE IS A SITH HERE.

    The message bleated out, this time not across Kijimi, but into space, into the stars.

    Towards the Core.

    "Dark Lord, may wish to be informed Message detected being transmitted to Core. Message reads: THERE IS SITH HERE." He stated succinctly. "Possibilities of system upgrades?" it asked into the following pause.

    The bartender hesitated. "Yeah, I know. He's in my bar." He went to open a comlink. "The barve has left!"

    Salu laughed, as he was want to do. "You screwed now."

    "We're all screwed!" He looked at Kazu. "Upgrades? Now? At a time like this?"

    With a shrug, Sieg answered. "It makes a certain amount of sense to, y'know, make it as dangerous as possible if you're saying that the Dark Lord has left?"

    “Current capabilities insufficient to protect Master Sieg. By extension those she has designated as ‘friends’.” Here Kazu lit up his eyes and began a more thorough scan of the parts and supplies for comparison, compatibility, and potential.

    “Analyzing potential.”

    They watched him, and Salu chimed in. “I can make you dangerous, droid. Big promise. What you need, I can do. Sith bad, we need protection, if Dark Lord not here.”

    Kazu tilted his head pan down in what was intended as a sign of respect for this droid smith. “Recommendation for immediate adjustments. Time until combat utilization indeterminate. Variables unknown. …Please proceed.” Kazu stated in an almost pleading simplicity.

    Salu rolled his eyes. "Ho, ho, ho."

    And so began the process; flamethrowers, slug-throwers, a blade forged of beskar, a secret lightsaber proof metal from the Unknowns wielded by the Mandalorians, and enhanced programming to accelerate his processes -

    Salu poured it all into the droid, as Sieg and the bartender kept watched, blasters drawn.

    Feeling the alterations, adjusting for the shifts in weight to dynamic motion programming, and the final culmination of acceleration to his programming with further streamlined and efficient code - Kazu had achieved success upon his second task since reactivation. "Gratitude. This unit is open to recommendations, direction. Unknown terrain and response are presently too vague for programming parameters beyond reactionary behavior. Predictive behavior that increases chances of success require input."

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  21. AgentViper007

    AgentViper007 Force Ghost star 7

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

    IC: Janus Jerjerrod
    Location: CenSD Electrostar


    Just as they were about to head off, three ships arrived and immediately started causing trouble.

    Why they had come from Imperial space was a mystery itself.

    And they were not just coming for Calrissian's ship. Word must have reached them that the Electrostar was here. Or just that maybe they had come to clean up the mess and Janus was there.

    "Pick up Calrissian" he ordered "Unfortunately we cannot get information from a dead Hutt. However, let's see if these ships come from Dreypa himself".

    "Stand down on the hyperdrive, maintain shields and launch fighters. Before we go I want to get a good look at this lot to report back to the Emperor".

    The enemy fighters ignored the escape pod, hammering at the CenSD’s shields before sweeping off. The three battleships kept pacing around the CenSD, trying to keep themselves to the rear of the ships.

    That meant they were turning towards the escape pod in-theory, and Calrissian was quick to call out that he was on his way. But he was pushing the escape pod to hurry - the fighters needed to get out too!

    Only seven SIE fighters were out before he nearly caused a collision, and the Sith fighters began looping back.

    "Protect the escape pod at all costs, I don't care if it's by cannon or by the fighters. As much as I hate to say it, that man is the only proof we have that this attack existed".

    "And watch those ships, use the cannons to try and stall them. I would like to get out of here in one piece".

    The CenSD spat green fire at the Sith fighters, which scattered, giving the hangar crew time to sort out the kerfuffle with the escape pod and the fighters that had to back up.

    “Calrissian is in, Admiral,” confirmed the captain. “He was an idiot, rushing like that. The rest of our fighters will be out soon.”

    He looked over to the Admiral. “Where did you want me to put, Calrissian?”

    The enemy battleships kept up their pace and hammering away at the rear shields. The ship shook, and an update came through. “45% power remaining in shields, Admiral.”

    "Put him in one of the guest suites. Perhaps I shall speak to him personally this time".

    "In the meantime recall the fighters, we are getting nothing here. Jump to Kijimi with all speed. I don't want to miss out on killing a Sith".

    He spun on his heel and left the bridge to meet Calrissian.

    The CenSD rocked with more fire, but it vanished into hyperspace.

    As Jerjerrod travelled towards the guest suite, there was a comlink call.

    "Sir, we've lost track of Calrissian."

    "What do you mean you've lost track of him? He got aboard, he must be here somewhere!".

    Janus's voice turned icy "Find him"

    “His escort is unconscious in the hangar, and there is some kind of static dumping from the escape pod, it’s knocking out the cams…”

    The Star Destroyer rumbled as it entered hyperspace. The captain spoke back to Jerjerrod. “Now we know that the Hutt wasn’t who wiped the feed…”

    His voice resonated with a frown. “This strategy - of sneaking aboard saboteurs in escape pods… I’m sure this happened before. Some record I was taught about at the Academy…”

    "Send security teams to sweep the ship, make sure he gets nowhere near the bridge".

    Janus checked his sword and blaster pistol. "If the security teams can't deal with him I'll deal with him myself…."

    "Yes, sir!" The lines cut as the security teams fanned out.

    The ship was continuing to bury through hyperspace, on it's way to Kijimi.

    After a few minutes, the Captain commed back. "Sir, I don't want to alarm you, but the cams are going out along the corridor preceding you. I recommend you double back to the bridge. The security teams are on their way, but some of the turbolifts are now malfunctioning - we suspect that an errant code has been introduced into the system."

    He sounded a little worried for the Admiral.

    "I'm on my way" Janus simply responded, just in case though he pulled his sword out with one hand and his blaster pistol with the other before heading back the way he had come.

    "I wouldn't do that if I was you," came a voice.

    It was Balthazar, and he swaggered down the corridor, a blaster in hand, a cigarra in his mouth, his cape flowing. He even had a sword on his belt.

    "I'd rather have a nice conversation before we get to Kijimi."

    Janus stood ready with both weapons, and the glare he gave Calrissian could have melted durasteel.

    "You dare sabotage my ship" he growled "So tell me why I shouldn't slice you or blast you into a million pieces right now".

    "Because you're the one who trusted me over a Hutt. Pretty bad, isn't it? If you hadn't, then none of this would have happened." Lando grinned, teeth showing. "Everything that happens is on you - shouldn't you go down with your ship?"

    "Oh I will go down, and you with me like the traitor you are. But the Electrostar is stronger than you may think. She's mine so I should know".

    Janus lifted his blade up in an en garde stance "So let me guess, Dreypa and his Sith cronies got you did they? Decided to join their cause?"

    “Something like that,” Calrissian said. “I was a Rebel, y’know. I fought - but I didn’t make it to Corbos before the war was done.”

    “But now the Sith have a Shadow Empire right inside the Fallen Worlds, a forward base at Yn, and you have nothing.” He grinned. “Pure Sabacc.”

    The CenSD rumbled with hyperspace emergence -

    Janus brought up his blaster and shot Calrissian "And now neither do you".

    "Because when I'm done scum like you will be annihilated. Including Dreypa and his cronies''.

    He sheathed his sword "And that is my promise".

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  22. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Sieg
    Kijimi City, the beginning of the Battle of Kijimi

    The woman was maintaining a look-out while Salu worked on Kazu, who was about to become probably the most dangerous Sith War Droid in the galaxy, if he wasn't already, keeping in mind that there weren't very many such things left. Salu shouted out. "Huzzah!" And they looked back, not a moment before a Sephi opened the front door of the shop.

    It was Maldael, and the bartender and the slave-woman would have responded more loudly if Salu hadn't screamed a war-cry and reactivated Kazu at that moment. "SIIIIIITH!" Mild overreaction, sure, but he'd surprised them!

    At the rear door would be Hunter by now, and it would be able to hear the commotion on its audio-receptors -

    Leaving the City behind, Marcus and Aura kept off the rugged, crime-filled paths, and made their way to the courtyard of the Dai Bendu.

    Snow smothered them, and Aura admittedly tried not to complain but it was hard.

    [​IMG]

    "You were Sith, now you are not. Not unique this is, to the Force users of this world."

    He spoke slowly. "But it's too late."

    He gestured back to the City at the foot of the slight mountain.

    The Force did indeed rumble with that anticipation, something which would draw the gazes of Akuma-Oni and Nin up to the sky.

    A moment later, the ship arrived.

    An Imperial Centurion-class Star Destroyer.

    It sliced out of hyperspace into atmosphere, looming over the city -

    And then a massive explosion vomited out of the hangar bay, hurling fire down upon the civilians below -

    "Admiral!" The Captain shouted. "The escape pod that Calrissian brought aboard! It was rigged to blow!"

    Alarms sounded throughout the ship.

    "Fire suppressant systems aren't responding!"

    In short order the hangar bays were consumed, and the damage seemed to be mounting!

    As Terrhak Morrhage watched from his personal ship, he wondered as to precisely what was occurring.

    The dark side of the Force announced his addition to the system, and briefly illuminated the Black Knights, secretly traversing the streets of Kijimi.

    The six of them would turn in unison, and the waves that revealed them lapped upon Akuma-Oni and Nin.

    There were only a handful of streets between them -

    TAG: @Shadowsun, @greyjedi125, @Jerjerrod-Lennox (singles), @CosmoHender (combo with GM), @Mitth_Fisto and @darthbernael (combo), updated TAG for @Corellian_Outrider

    Combo on-going between @Shadowsun and @Corellian_Outrider
     
  23. AgentViper007

    AgentViper007 Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    IC: Janus Jerjerrod
    Location: CenSD Electrostar


    They had arrived at Kijimi which was the good news, the bad was that Calrissian had left a nasty surprise aboard.

    And there was no way he was going to lose the Electrostar to some cocky, swaggering traitor.

    "I don't care what it takes, fix the damn ship NOW!" Janus hissed with venom "There is a Sith here and if they sense we are vulnerable they will finish us off."

    And if the Electrostar was too damaged? Then he would go down with it. He would rather he and his ship become atoms than be picked over by some Sith scum.

    Artemis would be without a father and his wife without a husband which did make him think twice. But to fail a mission was to bring dishonour and maybe he could crash the Electrostar into the Sith. Take out one more of the enemy.

    He would cross that bridge when he came to it. Meanwhile he had a ship to save.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  24. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Akuma-Oni
    Stirrings

    A memory swam into his conscious mind, as always, unbidden. He’d wardered the war torn countryside, hurt, wounded. Unable to recall how he came to such a state. He watched the bandits raze one village and move on, after which he had grabbed rags for clothes and what few morsels he could pick as he bid his time, slowly, measuring the return of a modicum of strength.

    So he followed the pillaging bandits, preying on the weak farming families, visiting cruelty, misery on those unfortunate to be in their path, death was the reward for those who thought themselves brave, but were in fact too weak or too few to have made a difference.

    But nothing he saw or heard triggered a memory. He knew war, but had no idea who’s war was being fought, or what his place had been. That is, until the bandits came to a temple-village. The men there had put up a decent fight, even the women. It was an intense spectacle, the kind that tales were made of. Still, the bandits took what they wanted and slaughtered everyone, until only a boy remained.

    The boy had picked-up his father’s sword and stood defiantly before the corpses of his parents. His anger burned his fear to cinders as he stood alone, the bandits surrounding him, mocking him. Surely they would slay him the moment they were no longer amused. But he knew those eyes, knew that if the boy had the ability, he would avenge his ravaged village. But he did not have that power- because he was not trained. None of them were.

    But he had seen enough. These bandits, they were not strong at all.

    He felt himself take a step towards them as they encircled the boy. He yelled an insult towards them, so they turned to see him, covered in hooded rags. They laughed at the sight of him, until he stretched forth a hand. He had selected this one from long before. The one in partial splint armor, he fought with a Naginata, which he hardly knew how to use. That one was lifted off the ground and made to sail through the air into his waiting grasp. His hand wrapped around the bandit’s face like a vice, then he proceeded to divest him of his life energy . The bandit screamed and kicked for a short moment until he became still. Deathly still.

    His hood had come off in that time and his face was revealed as he threw down the bandit’s body upon the ground. He smiled as he felt more revitalized. The bandits gasped, uncertain, at what had just occurred, but he could feel it, their fear as it blossomed and increased.

    “Akuma!” One of them yelled. The archer. There was always one in these groups. This one seemed to have some skill as he let loose with two arrows, which splintered in mid air before they even reached him.

    “Akuma!” another echoed, their collective fear increasing, as did his smile. Almost in unison, they all drew their weapons, their undivided attention now on him and the boy all but forgotten. He took a step and gestured again. The archer was quick to act, 'assuming' he was about to snatch another bandit. That’s why he missed as the Naginata flew right through him and onto his waiting hand.

    Yes. Akuma. That had a nice ring to it.

    With the archer gone, the others decided to charge. Perhaps they should have done so while he’d been unarmed, not that it would’ve made a difference. And so, the bandits came brandishing their swords stained with farmer’s blood. Killing defenseless villagers had altered their perceptions as they thought themselves strong. Dispatching them had been so 'pathetically easy' for him, it bordered on insulting.

    But there had been a surprise.

    Before he could finish the last one, the boy had taken opportunity to run his father’s sword through the last bandit, showing a small degree of discipline with that one action. He then turned to ‘Akuma’, his eyes still filled with anger and tears. Would he be killed anyway?

    Akuma stood silent as he regarded the boy, seeing the fierce determination in his eyes, basking in his fighting spirit. This one was a survivor. But before anything else could be said, the sound of neighing horse caused him to turn.

    An armed patrol had come upon the slaughtered village and were now dismounting. How much had they seen? Here he was, standing amidst numerous corpses, holding a bloody weapon in his hand. Not everyone dismounted however, that much he noticed. His gaze narrowed as he also saw the sigil the patrol wore. It was the same as the one worn by the archer.

    But it was clear they had not come to ask him any questions, judging by the sound of their swords as they were drawn. After all, given his appearance, what else could he be but…’Akuma’.


    *******

    That portion of the memory ended, and Akuma-Oni smirked. The events that followed still managed to amuse him.

    A rumble in the force grabbed his attention causing him to turn his head upward, his eyes narrowing behind his mask, almost as if gazing through the roof of the tavern. A ship was arriving on planet and settling over Kijimi City. Indeed, the pieces were moving with greater alacrity than he had anticipated, but that too was par for the course.

    The time was almost at hand, he could feel it.

    Rising from his seat, the Dark Retainer moved without hurry as he came to the door of the bar. What was taking the barkeep so long?

    Turning his head, he looked out to see if he could still catch sight of the dark haired neutral, the one known as Nin.


    @Sinrebirth, @Shadowsun
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2021
  25. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Ajunta Pall
    Ziost, capital of the Sith Empire

    The Dark Lord of the Sith landed his personal Blade starfighter, shaped like a black wing and as swift as it came. The Sith designs were primitive but aggressive, and Ajunta Pall appreciated that. Of course he did, he was Sith, after all.

    But he had been away from the capital, and now it was time to face the proverbial music.

    The Council of Lords.

    Oh how he hated that name.

    He was Dark Lord, yes, but his cohorts - the former Dark Masters - they commanded loyalty and the dozens of retainers that had came with them - and many of them had teenage spawn, having interbred with the native red-skins. Pall had not, no, for he had a daughter already. Indeed, her precocious actions had been what had drawn him away from Ziost for so long.

    Which meant he would have to wrestle back at least some control of the Sith Empire.

    The six of them regarded him with a mixture of disdain, distrust and dismay.

    Their High General, who had stepped up after the disastrous assault on Rei'izu, the Imperial capital. Successful in that it obliterated the seat of power, yes, but the Dark Lord and his witch had vanished - as well as a sizeable proportion of their naval and ground forces, and Dark Jedi with them.

    Those who had commanded at Corbos had been survivors, a lesser group that had risen into the void, and faced the full might of the Galactic Empire for it. Pall sniffed. To think that the majority of the Dark Masters had not even met the Dark Lord, the man who transformed the Hundred Years Darkness into not a struggle between the Light and Dark but a Rebellion, later a Sith Rebellion.

    Pall rued that.

    But they were all here; eager to hear what he had to say.

    Broodica, Ieldis, Vacuus, Parshol, Barel-Slathborn, Bo Vanda.

    Pall glowered at them all, wanting to see who bit first.

    "The Dark Lord returns," snorted Vacuus.

    “Watch your tongue,” bit Parshol. “Or I’ll cut it out.”

    Those two hated each other so it was hardly indicative of the Council’s mood. Barel-Slathborn had eyes that bore into Pall, and he turned to look at him. “Shut up, Parshol.”

    So Barel-Slathborn was at least opposed to him. Bo Vanda simply lounged across the table, a dagger held to the table by her finger. “I don’t know, watching the Dark Lord cut down Vacuus would be good fun.”

    Potentially aligned with him, potentially not. Ieldis, resplendent in his various amulets and glittering gold, simply shrugged. “I’d sooner be rid of both.” His words were vague; was he referring to Vacuus and Parshol, or Vacuus and Pall?

    That one who would outlast the others, he thought, bemused. His hands tucked behind his back to expose his lightsaber hilt, Pall regarded Broodica, who had yet to speak. He had saved her life at Corbos, but she was also the most adept and powerful of the Sith Lords that had remained behind. She was not as threatening as one of the Five - no Tulak Hord or Sorzus Syn or Karness Muur or Remulus Dreypa or XoXaan… but she was potent.

    Flipping pages of her grimoire absently, she simply looked up, bored. “Let’s be quiet and see what the Dark Lord has for us. It was his wisdom which led us here, to our glory - our cradle of power.” At that last she regarded him. “It is still ours, is it not? The Shadow Empire has not revealed our location…?”

    “No, it hasn’t,” said Pall, shaking his head. He wanted to minimise the information they had; if the knowledge that the Galactic Empire was weaker than they realised spread, he would be ill-placed to prevent them throwing their strength behind to Five. “The Shadow Empire is spread across the Fallen Worlds, yes, but it is essentially a set of separate fiefdoms. Any one of them could trigger an Imperial invasion, and that would be it. Their Shadows would be crushed.”

    “We should remain within our borders, building on what we have, vanquishing what is left of the Kingdom,” he said, referencing the fifteen-odd worlds that the Royalists held onto, those systems which had not yielded to the Lords of the Sith. “We have no reason to confront the hypocrisy of the Jedi Lords. Let them write their own destruction. There will be another Great Schism - or yet another Lesser Schism.” At that he referenced the many smaller excisions of Dark Jedi, some of which had ended up in the Stygian Caldera three millennia ago, for example. Others included the Pius Dea, the Jedi Vindicators, the Kathol insurgents, and a host of other failed Dark Jedi factions.

    But their Schism had been Great, the Second of its kind, because of how destructive it had become, and long lasting. Indeed, with the Sith Empire at their command, they would become even greater and their legacy would ensnare the galaxy.

    Grimly, Ajunta Pall knew as much.

    He had foreseen it.

    With his declaration about the Shadow and Galactic Empires - his truths and lies intermixed as only a ruler could - the Sith Council split, with Broodica and Parshol and Bo Vanda at least, as far as he could tell, behind him. It was sufficient that they were divided rather than unified against him.

    That was, until he had a message marked for his urgent attention. It was from one of the Reclaimers, who were dotted around various worlds of the Caldera. But this one was on Krayiss II, the ancient Sith library - noted to be at least seven thousand years old.

    Please come, my Lord. I have found a threat to our Empire’s future.

    Pall’s vision reflected behind his eyes.

    The destruction.

    The millennia of war.

    Pressing his lips together thinly, he requisitioned a ship and headed to meet the man.

    He had hoped he could -

    No.

    Not even Ajunta Pall could dare think that thought. If another Sith caught even the slightest whisper…

    Everything would be lost.

    TAG: No-One

    Merry Christmas all!

    I look forward to the last replies and finalised combos before the New Year!

    @darthbernael, @Corellian_Outrider, @CosmoHender, @Mitth_Fisto, @Jerjerrod-Lennox. @Shadowsun, @greyjedi125
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2021