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  3. The Knife Edge

    The slaughter started up again, the clones still coming on hoards and yet the Kaar could feel the power radiate from within, the spirit giving him everything to survive - the power to properly fight and kill. As they retrieved weapons from the fallen, their bodies were thrown back by a powerful wave if energy, snapping and twisting limbs in awkward ways as the bodies began to pile up, yet the voices of the two hands entered the Kaar's mind. The clones stopped momentarily, as they were willed by their puppeteer to let the two Hands speak. Obvious statements, promises, and a request to bend the knee to Darth Valyrian - they were fools. Though, the mentioning of his former position brought an unbridled rage from within the Kaar though, he wasn't the former Emperor's Wrath, he was more than simply a puppet that fought for others. Eyes levelling on the two Hands, the Kaar lifted his left hand up and tightened it into a fist, the dark side growing within it as he listened to their words. Bend the knee to survive for what could easily be an hour, or survive and tear the hearts out of those who were his enemies. The choices were to fight a battle against the two Hands and eventually Valyrian or to fight a losing battle, both being less appealing than what was the Kaar's life the day before, but the future was on the line. Not the future of the Sith Empire, but the future of the Sith themselves - he could bend the knee and get beheaded, letting the Sith roam without leadership or he could seize the opportunity and rule the remaining ember. "Valyrian has already become a shell of what he once was. Valyrian commands those weaker than him to fight because they lack spines like their master," the words of both the spirit and the Kaar combined as he watched the horde of clones begin their attack again, leaping up and seizing the Kaar's left hand and stabbing at him with their weapons, "This charade ends now." Each strike brought the pain forth, the dark side becoming thicker within the Kaar's body as it exploded outwards. A consuming field of energy exploded forth from the Kaar as it consumed the clones that came within five meters of the Kaar, their bodies slowly crumbling into piles of dust as the death field drained them of their essence, the Kaar utilizing his own life force to maintain it as the clones were devoured into his own spirit, twisting and corrupting it. Letting his hand drop as he moved forward, the dust of the corpses settling as his blade was lowered to his side in a single-handed grip. While the essences of beings were consumed by the death field, it only allowed the Kaar to replenish his own energy used in the display of all-consuming power. "Now it is even, two versus two. Your lives matter little to Valyrian, there is no need to die to protect the shell of your master," blood could be tasted on the Kaar's lips as his nostrils continued to bleed from exerting himself further, yet it only brought a sadistic smile to his face. Moving forward, the Kaar broke off into a sprint before raising his right hand to try and quickly bisect Niarcmorn immediately, though his strike was intercepted by Chiarmorn's own lightsaber, their minds connected into one being as they pushed the Kaar back with a combination of telekinetic techniques, the Kaar being thrown back into the furthest wall as he could feel his helmet crack off the durasteel, his eyes temporarily rolling back before Alesteus took over, the Kaar's body falling limp before raising from the ground, the smoldering hatred becoming almost palpable as the spirit kept the Kaar's pain suppressed and let the man draw on his energies. The combination of spirit and body meant that if the body was to perish, so would the spirit - providing the spirit more reason to continue to fight while the Kaar couldn't, letting him heal by devouring the power the spirit fed him. Just as quickly as they reacted, the two launched a double-sided assault before transitioning into flanks, Chiarmorn thrusting forward towards the Kaar's legs while Niarcmorn thrust high, attempting to pierce the Kaar's throat and end it quickly. Blade going low to intercept the strike towards his legs, the Kaar raised his hand as a barrier of the Force formed and intercepted the blade, suppressing it's energies and drawing them within to be dissipated, the pain of transferring the energies radiating through his hand as the spirit demanded the Kaar's conscious to resume control, though there was no true reply besides the burning pain and hatred that seeped from within. Pushing the strike back, the male soon went on the offensive as the Kaar continued to draw in the energies of the female's blade, temporarily keeping her out of the fray momentarily. Blades clashed into a flurry before the Kaar received a sharp kick to the knee, buckling his body forward before the woman leaped backwards and out of the fight almost entirely, though the spirit continued to push the Kaar forward, his hands seizing the hilt of his weapon tightly before performing a series of quick slashes to the side before raising up into a powerful downwards slash, though each strike was intercepted as the woman released a torrent of electricity towards the Kaar's back, his body lurching forward as teeth bit through skin, his lip bleeding as his body was cooked by their hatred, though the Kaar quickly turned around to intercept it with his lightsaber, the electronics in his armor temporarily powering off as the Kaar threw his other hand backwards to seize the blade of Chiarmorn with the Force, his hand displaying a potent color of blue energy as it encased the blade in a tight grip. "Strike me once more and I will tear your heart out," hissing out words as the pain of his muscles still contracting from the lightning, the Kaar threw the weapon out of the way and seized the man by the collar of his cloak. Throwing the male into the direction of the lightning, the Kaar let out a feral growl as he practically tore the man off his feet, though as soon as he landed into a roll, the lightning dissipated, as if they knew what was going to transpire if they continued. The loose cloth that hung from his clothing was almost pitch black, small embers dangling from the loose threads as a fist was raised and beat the brand on his chest, blood seeping from the wound as he drew on the rage and pain entirely. What was once displayed had vanished, the miasmic energies disappearing as only Atrox remained, the spirit weakened from fighting while having it's own energies drained. Though, once more they collapsed and attacked from different angles, the Kaar's muscles aching as he had to erect a defensive barrier of blades, his weapon twisting to try and seize each strike before understanding how useless it was against Niarcmorn, her blade always sliding down and attempting to remove the Kaar's own hand, while Chiarmorn only attacked by pressing forward, attempting to seize the opportunity of letting Niarcmorn land the killing blow. Each strike was an attempt to disarm or off-balance the Kaar, though the precision of the woman let most of the strikes work effectively, the Kaar incapable of going on the offense as he was flanked and surrounded. Even without their Force-enhanced senses they were almost perfectly in-sync, each strike being delivered to set to keep the Kaar on the defensive while also scoring strikes. Jumping up into the air as the Force provided him with the boost to escape the two Hands, the Kaar had utilized their striking pattern to predict some form of escape, kicking off the shoulder off Chiarmorn and landing a far distance away, his breathing becoming heavy as he felt sweat and blood pour from his body. Burns and wounds laid underneath his armor, and even though he attempted to keep upright, his body was slouched. Hand pressing against the ground, the Kaar practically let out a pained groan, his eyes focusing on the two that were poised to strike. Hands clutching tightly into balls, the Kaar knelt down as he practically was on his knees, the helmet he wore stained with blood and ash from the clones. Lightsaber dropping and deactivating, the Kaar punched the ground as he looked up and unhooked his helmet, letting his damaged face be opened to the air. Surrendering was an option, yet the Kaar couldn't feel the gnawing feeling within him. Without his armor being fully operational, he was fighting a downhill battle quickly and there was only one option; surrender to the way Valyrian wanted it. "I kneel to the Emperor," the words were spoken hoarsely as he reached out with the Force, grasping two objects that were hidden by the corpses as he shook his head and felt his hair fall into his face, "I will fight to preserve the Sith, I am nothing more than a pawn." Valyrian wanted to play like a clever master of Dejarik? Darth Atrox could play the same game, just with significantly less preparation. Grasping the two objects tighter with the Force, the Kaar looked into the eyes of the Hands and brought his hand up to his face, feigning the removal of hair. Once they moved, they would suffer the pain of losing one another with the target being Niarcmorn. The objects slowly shifted as they raised slowly behind the corpses, the objects being the very object Valyrian had provided the Kaar with unknowingly - and the fact the disturbance in the Force merely blocked out any warning that could be foreseen by the Force. Post Information
  4. Yesterday
  5. Cuyot Arms CRS-5 Rifle - Accepted

    Simple, provides Mandalorians with access to a starter weapon should they want a slugthrower, as well as tying in with one of the longest surviving Clans on the site. Accepted
  6. Based solely on the amount of weaknesses and actual thought out strengths, I can't truly decline this item. Everything else just runs together smoothly. Approved
  7. Starship: ISV-18 "Gundark" close air support gunship Intent: To provide close air support to troops of the Sith Empire Manufacturer: Airframe manufactured by Rendili StarDrive, stripped and uparmored by Karnok Arms, armed by Sith military. Affiliation: Sith Remnant Production Rate: Mass Produced Starship Type: Gunship Armaments: Default armament is two manually-operated rotary blasters, two manually-operated quad blaster cannons, two manually operated ion cannon, one 120-millimeter projectile cannon, all mounted on the port side of the vessel. Modifications: The weapons bay can mount any weapon that can fit inside, and hardpoints can be fitted on the wings to mount missiles, bombs, or electronic equipment. If most of the heavier weaponry is removed, the ISV-18 can be converted into a command vessel (ISV-18c "Krayt") with the addition of a specialized communication suite. Ship Appearance: The ISV-18 is an elongated delta-shaped vessel with short, stubby wings midway along its length. The port side is cut away for a weapons bay, and the cockpit is at the bow, nearly flush with the fuselage, heavily armored. The wings serve more as hardpoints for weaponry or communication equipment than anything else. Length: 81m Height: 18m Weight: 65,000 kg unloaded Armament Rating: Extreme Maneuverability Rating: Average Speed Rating: Very Low Defense Rating: High Strengths: Armament- Capable of devastating most ground targets with an incredible volume of fire. Protection- Heavy armor plating and powerful shielding protects from return fire from ground. Communications- If outfitted with the command package, the ISV-18c becomes essentially a flying command tank. Weaknesses: Slow- The ISV-18 is very slow, even for a gunship, as it is built on the airframe of a cargo vessel. Specialization- It has nearly nonexistent air-to-air combat capability, and requires interceptor escort at all times. Atmospheric- The ISV-18 is meant for atmospheric deployment, and while it is capable of limited spaceflight, it does not possess a hyperdrive, and so is either ground- or carrier-based. Limited cargo space- Its cargo space is mostly taken up by weaponry, generators and ammunition for that weaponry, and shield generators. Only a small space is left. Description: The ISV-18, officially nicknamed "Gundark", is built on the airframe of a Rendili StarDrive cargo vessel, stripped down, up-armored, and given a new powerplant by Karnok Arms. The port side is cut open to create a large weapons bay, which is then filled with weaponry by the Sith military. Optionally, instead of adding weaponry, the ISV-18 can be converted into a command vessel with the addition of a sophisticated communications suite, and gains the designation ISV-18c and the nickname "Krayt". The main purpose of the ISV-18 is close air support; to that end, all weaponry is mounted on the port side, and attack runs are made by performing a pylon turn around the target. It is heavily armed and heavily armored, and so it is nearly impervious to small arms fire, and is still a difficult target for most ground-based weaponry. However, it is very slow and highly vulnerable to air attack, as it possesses no anti-air weaponry, and thus always requires an interceptor escort. It has no hyperdrive, and its sublight engines are weak, so its spaceflight capabilities are generally limited to going planetside and then back to its carrier. It relies mostly on repulsors in atmosphere. The basic ISV-18 carries a crew of 16: 9 gunners, one each for the blaster and ion cannons, and three for the projectile cannon, a pilot, copilot, communications officer, fire control officer, loadmaster, and two flight engineers.
  8. Weapon: CRS-5 rifle Intent: To supply personalized precision weapons for the discerning killer. Manufacturer: Cuyot Arms Affiliation: Mandalorian Production Rate: Limited Quantity Weapon Type: Rifle Weapon Sub-type: Slug Materials: Durasteel, with either veshok wood or plastoid composite Modifications: Comes equipped with bipod and universal scope mount, and can accept various specialized slugs, as well as muzzle devices such as suppressors Weapon Rating: Common Weapon Appearance: Wood or plastoid composite stocked bolt-action rifle, relatively short barreled, with a bipod attached at the front of the handguard. Manufacturer-supplied magazines contain five cartridges. Each example is tailored to the specific being that purchased it. Strengths: Accurate - It is highly accurate at medium to long range. Versatile - As a slugthrower weapon, it can accept various accessories and a multitude of specialized ammunition. Penetration - Slugs will pierce most light armors easily and inflict significant damage on flesh. Weaknesses: Ballistic - Projectiles are affected by gravity and wind, and these variables must be compensated for. Rate of Fire - As a bolt-action weapon, the rate of fire is fairly slow. Heavy Armor - Slugs will not pierce heavy armor. Description: The only product manufactured by Cuyot Arms that is not a one-off creation, the CRS-5 is a slugthrower rifle firing chemically-propelled 10-millimeter slugs to an effective range of 1,300 meters. Manufactured in the Cuyot Arms workshop just outside the city of Keldabe on Mandalore, each rifle is hand-built by Tal Cuyot and his assistants. The rifle is precisely machined from durasteel, and is given a stock measured to the purchaser made from either Mandalore's native veshok wood or plastoid composite. It is bolt-action, ensuring its strength and accuracy, and is meant to be employed against single targets or small groups. The CRS-5 is marketed towards bounty hunters and mercenaries in need of a precision long-distance weapon, but is available to anyone willing to come to Mandalore, pay for it, and wait for its construction. As a projectile weapon, it can take specialized ammunition, and can be suppressed. Its projectiles travel a ballistic trajectory, and thus it is not recommended for use by those not well practiced with slugthrowers.
  9. That lovely College Experience...

    Verrin finally slipped into the room, being careful not to let the odd cat through, just in time to witness a man - presumably a Sith - trying vainly to pick up a sword. Either there was a trick to it, or the fellow was poking fun at the instructor, because he seemed unable or unwilling to lift it. Not having a weapon in his hand, might have saved his life. Then again... with Samhain, it might also kill him. Verrin deftly moved so that he wasn't in the way of the flying sword that Tanit threw to the side - not so much a dodge, as a sidestep. And then his former apprentice went into a berating monologue - something he knew had been in her as his apprentice, but that had grown since her time away from him. Verrin didn't use such tactics himself, but knew plenty of Sith who did. In a way, it was amusing, because she was much smaller in size than her pupil. But seen through the Force, he was a puppy beside her. People often misjudged books by their covers. Yet, as she pointed out in her tirade, the man HAD survived the Korriban Academy (assuming he had done just that). He wasn't useless. Or at least... he shouldn't be. Verrin spoke before the 'student' could respond, asking a question, "So... what's the story with the pet?" He was purposefully vague. He might have been asking the man about his odd cat, who resided for the moment outside the door. But he could also have been talking to Darth Tanit regarding the man before her.
  10. Homra's Stuff

  11. Signature

  12. Stealth Armor for Homra Azner - Approved

    As per working with on the system and this being the reward you were given, I hereby say the Stealth Armor is now... Approved
  13. Intent: To create stealth armor for Homra for infiltration or intel missions - upgraded by Kure for participating in the beta process of the Factory. Affiliation: Homra Azner Production Rate: Unique Materials: Nanosilk and prik Armor Type: Light Modifications: Stealth Field Generator (Advanced) Magno-grip Boots CyberTech Shock Glove Vital Monitor Armor Rating: High Quality Armor Appearance: Strengths: Flexibility – This light bodysuit provides as much flexibility as possible due to the loose fabric around the limbs. Stealth Field – The stealth field generator attached to Homra's left arm contains a sound dampening generator that provides Homra with the ability to run without making much noise. CyberTech - The addition of CyberTech allows Homra to utilize his wristguards and gauntlets to quickly tap into security systems to disarm alarms and retrieve information, though based on the protection of the information it may take awhile. Nanite Fibers - The nanosilk used in this armor is self-repairing that takes about a day to properly mend from damage, though depending on the size of the gash in the armor it could take over three days to properly heal. Weaknesses: Light – This armor was not made with combat in mind, and even with the phrik plate across the chest, it only provides so much protection. High Maintenance - The CyberTech integrated into the armor requires constant maintenance and updates to ensure it is always functioning, mostly due to the amount of power the modifications require to function. Scavenged - Due to scavenging for these items, these items are not the best in terms of what it is available on the market. Security Systems - Due to the amount of modifications on this armor, it lacks proper protection from counter-hacking. Electricity Resistance - The tech used in this armor is weak to electromagnetic pulses and currents of electricity which can disable the technology components of this armor, rendering them useless for an average amount of time. Description: When Homra unofficially left the Jedi Order, he often found himself at the wrong end of sharp weapons or blasters – and he would have preferred to avoid skirmishes because it tended to be a waste of time when he could be looking for the Sith that killed his late Master. To get in and out of high security locations, Homra used darker fabric of the nanosilk to blend in with his surroundings – but that wasn't enough. He'd need to find a way to access databases with as little presence as possible, look inconspicuous, and open and close doors on his own without worrying about losing the device. Homra upgraded his comm link by haggling for parts in junk shops, scavenging items from unconscious or dead people from encounters, and by using whatever meagre credit he could get his hands on to pay for upgrades he could not do on his own. By then, he had a working wrist commlink that also doubled as a datapad – albeit with limitations. Since there is a functioning datapad integrated with Homra's glove, he thought to include a cloaking device to maximise his stealthiness. He had to salvage cloaking chips the same way he got parts for his wrist datapad – haggling, looting from the unconscious or dead, and using whatever credits he earned to pay for the upgrade. Problem was, he needed an energy source to provide power to both devices, and make sure that it's easy to carry. Just to last more than a day, Homra had to use at least three power cells (same ones used in prosthesis) to juice up his armor. Initially, the cloaking device worked for two minutes and would heat up to near searing in Homra's arm so he had to program it to turn off automatically, and the devices ended up lasting for only a day. However, upon returning to the Jedi Temple, Homra had access to better materials, and managed to improve his energy source (three days) and cloaking device (five minutes). This kind of armor is best used for infiltation. Homra can use his armor to get in and out nearly undetected, depending on a location's security measures. He could also use it to eavesdrop or follow/stalk others unseen. He could bypass security cameras and visual feeds, and hack elevators or doors to allow him access. He has recently upgraded the stealth field generator with one scavenged from the undercity of Coruscant, a Mandalorian model that is capable of dampening sound while utilziing light to conceal his appearance, though those with keen eyes can notice slight shifts in the light surrounding Homra. Running during the activation of his stealth field generator typically leads to the exposure of his presence to holo-cams. The addition of the shock glove provides Homra with a way to disable adversaries without inflicting permanent damage, while the magno-grip boots provide Homra with the ability to stick to a wall for a short amount of time. The vital monitor provides Homra with up-to-date statuses on his health, in case he enters an area that is highly toxic, if he ingests any toxins or his vitals begin to drop due to exposure. In terms of combat, this is not the ideal armor. Homra is not made for combat, and his fighting style consists of quick and precise strikes meant to take down enemies as quickly as possible with little to no damage to Homra. His armor isn't made to take heavy beatings, and the electrical components can be damaged even by blunt force. However, due to the light nature of his armor, it allows him to use his natural agility and precise movements with little to no hindrance. As long as Homra stays out of heavy fighting where he is easily outnumbered and outgunned, he'll be fine.
  14. Forge Templates

    The Forge Templates --- Introductory to the Forge Rules Frequently Asked Questions High Quality Materials --- When submitting a submission for the Forge, please add in the Tags section of the post the type (armor, welee Weapon, range weapon, vehicle, starship, droid, or artifact), as well as the Production Rate. Below will have all the types of templates, as well as a restricted template for those who receive Event Tokens and those that reach the rank of Jedi Master or any equivalent, though this template requires Administrative supervision to ensure the item is created without delay. Armor Template Melee Weapon Template Ranged Weapon Template Droid Starship Vehicle Artifact
  15. The Knife Edge

    There were things that Stell Chevric would never forget, and this day was one of them. The Sith Academy on Korriban had been occupied days ago. That didn't mean that resistance was finished, though. Stell and her squadron had been running sorties nonstop since then, ground attacks mostly, but there were still some of those Imperial bastards putting fighters up in the air from a surface base somewhere. They were fighting hard. Stell didn't blame 'em. It was their home. Someone was screaming over the comms. It was the high-pitched sort of thing that wormed its way into one's mind and wouldn't ever leave. Stell did her best to ignore it. It wasn't working. That was the sound of a dying man, Hawkbat Three, Donnic Winton. Donnic's voice was normally- had normally been a deep rumble. She found it hard to reconcile with the drawn-out piercing shriek stabbing into her brain through her earpiece. Beings made horrible sounds in the moments before their deaths, and they tended to be worse when their fuel lines were ruptured and their cockpits were filled with fire. She'd heard too many pilots die in the past few days. Winton had been one of her better friends. She didn't get close to people, so that had been a big deal, at least to her. And now he was dead. As good as dead, at least. All it took was just a second, and you didn't have to make a mistake, either. Sometimes the other barve was just better, and you couldn't do much about that. "Two! Damn it, Two!" That was Hawkbat Leader, shouting over the shrieking. Stell was Two. She'd spaced out for a second, and that was just enough to get her- or someone else- just as dead as Winton. "Sorry, Lead." Couldn't really say much more than that, there. Luckily, they were about done here. Hawkbat Lead was on the last enemy, a single fighter. "Won't happen again." Something flared brightly in her peripheral vision. The screaming stopped. "I'm bringing the bandit your way. Can't get a shot on him. Do your damn job, Chevric." Stell yanked her fighter up into a wide roll, opening the throttle and putting herself on a course to intercept. There had only been four of them out today, Her, Lead, Winton, and Vrik, Winton's wingman. Vrik had taken some hits, had to go back to the carrier. With Winton down, that just left her and Lead. They'd accounted for five bandits between them. One for Stell, two for Winton, two for Vrik, one for Lead. And now they had this last one. The bandit came flashing past, Lead on his tail. Stell clamped her thumb down and lanced the void with bright blue blaster bolts. That made five. She was an ace now. Didn't feel like much. Stell couldn't remember why she'd ever wanted that. The Imps were people too, after all.
  16. Last week
  17. The Knife Edge

    The whole palace shook while Ren was in the Palace's hangar bay, running some maintenance protocols on the droids. The hangar bay shook, soldiers and guards were rushing about to get whoever was important to safety. There were a couple of other slaves shoved in, perhaps to serve the evacuees? Curious, the blond headed over to the nearest terminal and began slicing away. The Empire had its own programming language that he had to learn through blindly - he was afraid that he would have been caught, for tripping so much of the Empire's security programs. Perhaps no one would have thought a lowly slave would have been capable? Shaking his head, Ren focused on the Force and then began to conceal his presence. Ren would have preferred it if he was using a terminal in the security office because he wouldn't need to look for holes in planet security's firewall just to find out what was happening outside. Through the hangar doors, the blond could barely hear anything through the roar of engines departing. "That... was faster than the usual," he muttered, stumped. Usually, Ren would have triggered at least two security measures, but this was a first. Typing quickly, Ren pulled up security feeds and reports. Blue eyes widened in surprise. They were being attacked, by the Republic - of all things! He blinked, feeling numb. Payload after payload descended from Republic ships, uncaring if it hit med centers or civilians, just blindly attacking. There were ongoing reports from some areas of Jedi and Republic troopers being deployed planetside to storm various locations when the orbital bombardment stopped within the area. It seemed like they were just passing through the buildings, heedless of anyone within - Sith, officer, soldier, or slave. Distantly, Ren disconnected the terminal - not even bothering to attempt at hiding his tracks - stepping away and then turned to the evacuation. There were countless of Sith dead, his supposed once enemies, and Ren really should be happy because he was Jedi - wasn't he? Wasn't he? Yet, Jedi were supposed to be protectors of peace and order, not... not aggressors to the destruction of an entire culture! Then again, this was a culture that perpetuated slavery and genocide, there shouldn't be anything wrong with dismantling that kind of system. This time though, the Republic didn't seem to be doing anything better. Ren's head spun in a dizzy circle. Both sides had their points, but of them were so, so wrong. Except, Ren had no where to go. He doubted that the Jedi would welcome him back with open arms, not with Sith writing branded on his face. Should he stay in Dromuund Kaas, then? Die like the rest of the of inhabitants being bombarded indiscriminately? Neither seemed to have any sort of regard for sentient life, and Ren always though that the Republic was somehow always the better option between the two. Except this time around, it's not. Hesitatingly, Ren reached for the Force, wondering what he was supposed to do now. Ren staggered, cold prickling on his skin. Feeling the light of life fade away to nothing, even if the blond was far away from all the horror, unsettled something deep and... primal within Ren. At some point, the palace stopped shaking, and rather belatedly, there was just one ship left for evacuation. Everything came next was a blur of motion and color. The grey of the hangar bay, and then it turned to staring at the steel walls of a ship's interior. Ren was breathing hard and long, hugging himself and trying to make himself as small as possible. He couldn't tell who or what was the status of the sentient beings Ren found himself looking up once he realized that the ship was already exiting Dromund Kaas, other than ash and soot covered his hair and hands. The whole place was overcrowded, and Ren could hear muffled moaning from the injured. At some point, there was a soldier that grabbed him by the collar of his clothes, and dragged him inside the ship before more explosions rocked the palace. Swallowing, Ren gently made his way to where he guessed the soldier ran off to. His head was starting to hurt with so many people pressing around him, the bitter taste of fear, grief, and anger strong in the air. There was someone wearing expensive clothing, but it didn't look grand from all the grime and rips - they were a pureblood, complaining to a very agitated looking human officer. They were by the door, which was kept open simply because so many were passing through it, and closing it was just a waste of time. The blond easily sneaked through them, trying and failing to feel for the soldier that saved him. Technically, Ren didn't want to die, but... it just felt... useless, to continue on with just whatever it was that his life was now. That and Ren was rather curious, because the ship felt like it was taking too long to enter hyperspace. A... disturbance in the Force prickled at the edge of Ren's consciousness, and he found himself walking for the cargo entry. His hand lingered above the access panel, before taking a deep breath and guessing the code based on how smudged the numbers were on the keypad. It took two tries before the doors opened. The lights were turned off, bathing the cargo hold in complete darkness. Supply crates nearly covered the entire area, but the sense of wrongness just increased. Warily, the blond tried to keep his footsteps as quiet as possible, but it was rather impossible. As he got in deeper within the cargo, a flash of light caught within his periphery. He ducked, and then padded towards it. Ren breathed sharply, the Force shrieking in danger as he barely dodged a yellow lightsaber thrown his way. Ren didn't dare to try and approach until he saw the weapon flying back to its owner. A togruta brandished it with his right hand, his left hanging loosely on his side. His face was pinched in a pained grimace, a datapad with a cable connected to one of the ports within the ship. Then the togruta blinked, his eyes roaming all over Ren's face and then he nearly dropped his saber when his eyes widened in recognition. "Aren't you Master Myr'na's Padawan learner? What are you doing here?" The sense of danger was still strong, and Ren tried to speak, but no words would come out. He couldn't remember the Togruta's name, but Ren found him a little familiar. Then the Togruta's eyes zeroed in on the writing across his cheeks and the brand on his forehead. "You're with them?" With a sinking feeling, Ren realized that the Togruta had no idea that it was how the Sith treated their slaves. He opened his mouth to explain, fear and agitation making his heart beat wildly against his chest. "No! I - it's not what you think!" "Started killing off with your master, huh? Always knew you were the bad sort. Easily attached, secretly contacts your family...." Ren felt the words die in his throat. No one was supposed to know that he managed to reconnect with them, that Ren kept an eye on them. He was so careful.... "I understand you're afraid." The togruta's voice was toneless, detached. "But this is for your own good." Almost without warning, a crate flew towards the blond, and he rolled to the side to dodge it. Klaxons were blaring inside Ren's head when the lightsaber sunk into his side. Ren let out a pained gasp, and the Jedi deactivated his saber with a sad expression. The blond fell on his knees, hands shaking as he could only stare in incomprehension at the fatal wound through his stomach. "I am sorry, but this is the better way. May the Force bring you peace." Without as much as a second glance, the Togruta returned to his datapad, typing rapidly with his one good hand. 'No....' Ren thought, tears brimming in his eyes. 'I don't want to die.' He could feel himself slipping away, and fear seized Ren. His consciousness scrambled for its hold on the living world, trying to stay. Gathering the Force around him, Ren focused on trying to force himself to not die, his head heavy and buzzing with a thousand thoughts. It was difficult, and the pain still throbbed at the edge of Ren's consciousness, but he managed to find himself standing up, a strange sensation of wrongness right at the very core of his being. The blond staggered up to stand, swaying on his feet. It caught the Togruta's attention, his eyes widening and then he brandished his saber one more time. Moving on instinct, Ren's hand shot up, guiding the Force into invisible tendrils to hold the Jedi up. The togruta hissed in pain, hands stuck to his sides and then ended up letting go of his weapon. His brows furrowed and then his lightsaber activated, floating menacingly at Ren. Fear pushed the blond to make the Togruta raised its arms up in a parody of a cross, the Jedi crying out in sudden pain. The lightsaber clattered to the floor, rolling towards Ren's feet. With his other hand, Ren called it to his hand, and activated it. "Don't do this," the Jedi choked out. "I - we can work something out. I could explain this to the council - just please I -" "No." Ren's voice was quiet, barely a whisper. His whole body trembled, and the floating Jedi moaned in pain when his injury was jostled by Ren's shaking hold over him. "I just wanted to right by Master Myr'na! Please - don't -" "You didn't listen to me." Ren felt detached, but he could feel a strange heat suffusing his being. It burned, fire flowing freely in his veins, a sick vindictive anger throbbing in heated pulses in his chest. "Why should I listen to you?" "No no no no no no no -" This was something Ren had thought of in theory, something he had seen in the Emperor's... open library. He hadn't tried it before, but now seemed like a very good time to experiment. With a flick of his wrist, Ren maneuvered the Togruta's arm that had him screaming in pain, and - there! Carefully, Ren focused on the Togruta's pain and fear of death, his suffering a strange, but not unbearable, taste at the back of the blonde's throat. The nerves on the Togruta's arm was sending hundreds and thousands of signals triggered by the unnatural angle it's being forced into. Strangely enough, Ren found it similar to how computers connect through networks and transfer data to one another. Ren pretty much sledgehammered his way to gather the Togruta's pain, using it to at least heal the worst of his wound. It felt like forever, and Ren found himself gritting his teeth at the sensation of trying to have the torn muscle and flesh reconnect so that he didn't have a hole through his kidney. If Ren could shut the Togruta up, he would have loved do, seeing as the Jedi disturbed his concentration - but it just gave fuel to Ren's newfound skill at healing himself. At some point, the Jedi did shut up, his voice raspy and weak, and by that time - the wound was no longer fatal, but Ren still needed immediate medical attention. Task done, Ren lowered his hand, and the Jedi dropped gracelessly into the cold floor, moaning weakly. Then Ren found himself at an impasse, unsure and afraid. Does he need to call for help? Have the Jedi taken as prisoner? Now that Ren wasn't knocking at death's door, the anger and the fear drained out, leaving the blond exhausted and numb. Guilt began to well up within him when he realized that he purposely hurt someone who was supposed to be family within the Jedi order. Ren was biting his lips when he stepped closer to the Jedi, kneeling down. The Togruta's eyes were closed, but they snapped open when Ren's hand was just above him. With as much venom as he could muster, the Jedi spat. "Go to hell, you Sith-frakking slave." Then Ren smashed the Togruta's face in with the hilt of his saber. His whole body shook and trembled, and Ren can only see red, the burning heat and anger surging up. Blood splattered the cold floor as Ren rained blow after blow on the injured Jedi. He could feel the Togruta's light slowly dimming away, and Ren can only feel satisfaction as it bled out. It felt far too soon when it finally faded away from existence, just a tiny glow of a dying candle before it was gone. Ren stumbled back, suddenly realizing that he was panting, a rush of energy vibrating under his skin. He felt light, like he could float if he concentrated hard enough. Swallowing, he looked down on his hands. Blood splattered across his pale skin and clothes, and he could feel the warm liquid dripping down his face. A strange impulse took him, and Ren swiped his tongue at the blood trailing down his lips. Togruta tasted bitter with a hint of copper, and it was rather disgusting. Trying to force the bile down his throat, Ren focused on the datapad still connected to the ship. The Togruta was trying to disrupt the ship's navicomp, and the crew was having trouble with punching the coordinates, leaving the ship a sitting target practice for the Republic. Working quickly, Ren started reversing the Togruta's work, and then breathed a sigh of relief once the navicomp came back online. With everything resolved, the exhaustion and pain came rushing back in. Ren stumbled, gritting his teeth in pain and gathering the Force back around him to ignore the pain. He forced himself to turn around and then nearly lost concentration in shock. Someone garbed in dark robes stood a few meters away from Ren, looking at him with a cold gleam in her eyes. Her gaze then landed at the ring of cauterized flesh on his side, pursing her lips in thought. "You need medical attention, yes?" Ren can only nod, already tasting his own blood inside his mouth. "Come on, then." Annoyed, Ren forced himself up, staggering, and followed her. For some reason, he had a feeling things would start looking up for him.
  18. The Knife Edge

    The dual Hands stood behind Valyrian, as he witnessed the destruction. It was to be expected of course - the clones were weak in the Force, weak willed and driven by pure primal motive. His voice in their mind told them to fight, to kill, to savage, and they enacted the orders without thought or reservation. They were the perfect amalgamation of his power, the perfect bodyguard - silent, obedient, and replaceable. For years his Royal Guard had been filled with the clones of himself, the hundreds of versions of his own body used to protect himself. Some might call it vain - Valyrian considered it merely strategic. Even if, by pure miracle of the Force, one of them became self-aware, they would be driven to protect itself anyway. It gave him an endless stream of potential new bodies to inhabit should his current one fail him. Darth Chiarcmorn looked at the battle with an impassive glance - yet behind his lack of emotion was true concern. His loyalty to Valyrian was hardly manufactured like the clones were, nor the bond that he had created with Darth Nidus, yet it was strong all the same. It was hardly love - not anymore - their love had ended many years ago when Valyrian was a younger man in soul and body, engaged in more frivilous affairs. Yet the loyalty remained, a deep insatiable bond, a hope that one day that the Emperor would return the affection with more than sexual favours. He spoke with a confidence, and personal touch that none other could, other than Niarcmorn, 'Valyrian, Atrox is cutting through the clones like they are made of nothing - they are nothing more than a distraction for him. You should leave immediately, destroy the complex, and kill him in the process. There is no purpose in this.' Valyrian said nothing, so Niarcmorn stepped forward, placing her hand on his arm gently, 'We can keep him distracted while you leave. It doesn't have to end here, not today, not with him. Your reign is not over yet, you can defeat him. It isn't heroic, it isn't courageous, but history will always remember you as the Emperor that survived. There are worse fates than that. Don't give in, don't give up. This is not the end.' 'I hadn't even managed to confront Vanessa yet, she will never know the truth,' Valyrian whispered to himself, and the two managed to miss it. Niarcmorn took her hand away from his arm, and behind him, they engaged in a kiss. A passionate one, as their hands draped over each others faces. It was more than a kiss - the lovers were more than just that. There was a deep spiritual bond between them that very few knew - it was only by happenstance that Valyrian even knew himself. Niarcmorn's hand rested on Chiarcmorn's chest for a moment, lingering as a small and silent tear escaped from her eyelid. They were two sides of the same coin, connected in spirit beyond words. Years before, Chiarcmorn was known by another name, and was fatally wounded in battle. Niarcmorn found him in the heat of it, and slayed the Jedi who had managed to slay her lover. Not content to let herself die, she foolishly enacted an archaic and forgotten Sith ritual. Her hand tore open, her blood mixed with his, she gave half of herself to him, in order for him to survive. And he did. Chiarcmorn almost instantly rose from his deathly wound, a deep scar over his heart from where the lightsaber had taken him. By ancient blood rites, she had saved his life, and so his life was dependent on hers. While she continued to breathe, he would. While her heart continued to beat, his would. Any wound that he felt, she felt too. Every sickness, every ailment, every wound. Their minds were one - connected in both spirit and mind. They could live the other side of the galaxy, and still be able to feel their presence as if it stood beside them. They took their Sith names that day, along with a third one - a united entity, of their combined power. Darth Akumorn. It was for this reason, and more, than he had selected them as his left and right hand. 'We are ready,' their voices said in unison. When they united, when their spirits became one, they were more aware, more adept and more powerful than either of them could ever be alone. Yet the weakness inherit in their skill and power was not to be taken lightly. Their kiss was truthful - it could be the last time. Valyrian feared it. Despite his facade, his emotionless faceless husk of power, he loved them both more than words could say - but his love would never compete with theirs. His connection would never be as much as theirs. And so, they fought for their love, and for him, out of true loyalty. How many had died because of him now? How many more were to die because of his inability to fight his own battles. And yet he did not deny them. They left the room and Valyrian kept his emotion sunk deep within. Darth Akumorn walked through the bodies of their Emperor, but did not look at their bloody mutilated faces. Darth Niarcmorn came first, her curved crimson blade hanging to her left, as Chiarmorn followed to the left. Darth Atrox stood in the centre of the great room, fighting the clones still - there were hundreds, waves of them descended on him, unrelenting, almost infinite in their appearance. Where the Sith would slay a dozen, more would rise. Crawling over the bodies of their fallen batch-mates to try and destroy the man they were sentenced to destroy. And for a second, the approaching armada of bodies, stopped. Silence descended. 'That is why he is Emperor, and you are simply a former Wrath,' Niarcmorn said, her voice high and echoing over the sound of battle, 'You fight your battles, while he orders those around him into battle. There is no reason it has to end now,' her final offer, 'You can still bend the knee, and we will let you live. We don't want to kill you, not truly. The Republic are doing a good enough job of it already.' 'You may have discovered his secret,' Chiarcmorn said, his voice coming from the other direction now, 'but that doesn't make you his enemy. Together, with your powers combined, the Republic stands no chance. Don't let this be the last of the Empire, don't let your pride and pursuit of power blind you to the truth. We can still win. The galaxy can still be ours. Bend the knee.' 'Bend the knee.' 'Bend the knee.' 'Bend the knee.' 'Or die.' And then the clones began to move, once more.
  19. The Knife Edge

    Darth Valyrian's "Secret Fortress", Bastion Darth Atrox grit his teeth as he witnessed the chambers slowly drain of their liquids, his hand reaching for his chest as he seized the cloth over his armor, his lips quietly moving as he recited the Sith Code. The words of Sanguira brought a sense of dedication, a willingness to live, yet it brought no emotions of compassion - he was a God amongst men, and he had no time for compassion in the center of conflict. The clones' eyes that opened bore hatred, the Force flowing very much through them - but they were replicas, they weren't Valyrian fully. Weapon being lowered as he assumed the neutral stance of Niman, his furnace of hatred slowly bleeding out as he witnessed more refined creatures also appear, their armor signifying their allegiance to the Emperor. His dominant foot shifting behind him, the Kaar debated on his tactics against a hoard, though the thought was soon cut by the voice of his target - the hubris, the conviction that the man once held dead in his voice. "The Supreme Chancellor didn't just kill your old body, he killed your conviction. Maybe you should understand that the one thing I have that you don't is a belief that the Sith will live, with or without us," the words were spoken quietly and more to himself, but it was the words he would stand by, he had already accepted death as a consequence and that was what made his conviction burn brighter than the feeble ember that was smoldering in the ashes of Valyrian. Watching as the horde, the mindless beasts flashed imprinted with the memories of Valyrian, seized weapons the Kaar drew the Force within him and twisted the knife into the ghost within and summoned it's power forth. Miasmic energy spilled from the Kaar as he watched the horde descend upon him. Ravenous and beast-like, their movements showed that they were untrained and simply children wielding weapons the man had provided them, each strike was met with the Kaar's blade, each swing used to draw the clones in closer, to guide them into the path of another clone. Tactically carving through the horde, the Kaar utilized a series of Tràkata techniques and strikes to go through the weapons of each barbaric clone, hands grabbing what he could as he seized the minds within the Force and attempted to find something - anything - that would've been imprinted to give him an advantage. Yet all he found were old memories, nothing that could give him an edge at all. As the corpses fell, the Kaar could feel the furnace within ready to practically burst - his rage amplified by taking in the pain and fear of each clone and each dying Sith that fought for their cause. Each strike that had struck torn holes within the pieces of Sithspawn leather that had been changed into a lighter material that could be worn without restricting too much movement. Blood seeped from the Kaar's own hand as he attempted to block a vibroblade with his beskar gauntlet, the impact carved a slit across the man's hand as he had guided the blade toward another clone to end it's life. The pain was nothing compared to everything else and that was why the Kaar continued to fight. "Enough," the twisted sound of the dark side spewed from the Kaar's lips as he drew on the hatred within and clenched his one hand together, a mass of flesh and muscle soon fusing together as the sound of bone snapped and cracked, fifty or more clones being forced together with the immense might of the dark side and the Force. The mass of flesh collapsed to the ground in a heap of corpses, blood now staining the lab's floor as he watched the Royal Guardsmen await their moment to strike. Drawing on the mass of death behind him, the Kaar reached out with the Force and lashed out with tendrils of orange energy that twisted around a group of clones that moved before the Royal Guardsmen and sacrificed everything for them. The youthful corpses quickly collapsed into a pile of bone and skin, their lifeblood drained from them in a mere instant, the wounds that he suffered from the blunt trauma sealing in painful ways as the life essence was twisted into life. Cheap replicas of what the Kaar imagined the Royal Guardsmen were. Valyrian was wearing him out, that was his entire plan - he had made mention of no honor, but the Kaar understood why - why would he face death when he could simply flee into another body? The former Emperor lacked that fear. "Sefas, the underling of Darth Nidus - Boss, underling of Darth Nidus. Your contingency plan was to rely on her to keep you alive, wasn't it!? Is she also one of your puppets?!" The question was shouted, the Kaar watching as the Royal Guardsmen took up arms and charged towards the Kaar. Feeling a sharp pain course through his neck, the stimulant flowing through his blood as the technology within his armor monitored his vital signs, the Kaar shook his head - the first vial of combat stimulant flowing freely through his, what was once exhaustion was soon replaced with a calm within the storm. Raising his blade up from it's lowered position to roughly shoulder height, the Kaar shifted to a more comfortable Djem So stance, lowering significantly compared to the more neutral stance of Djem So - the tactical advantage of the Royal Guardsmen were numbers, but the Kaar couldn't simply rely on basic bladework to take out trained Sith, even if they were simple-minded clones. The position provided him security and a wall that could be used to counter strike and intercept strikes, yet the weakness of the clones was the strength of Atrox - they lacked reason and they lacked the emotion to comprehend what was important. The Royal Guardsmen showed they at least were trained in the art of combat, each strike was precise and meant to stagger the Kaar as their blades came in feints, each strike being forced forward, but they did not push into the Kaar's defenses. A flurry of blood red and crimson soon came forward from the Kaar as he grew tired of the games they played - their master's strategy. Springing forth from the lowered position, the Kaar laid a flurry of powerful blows downward, each muscle in his body tensing as he re-positioned his body to follow up with another strike, each strike was meant to be the killing blow - there was no remorse in his strikes as they collapsed the defense of the first guardsman, his blade cutting across the man's chest before being brought back up towards the arm that held his weapon, cutting through the joint in his armor as the hand and body collapsed to the ground. Their weapons found their mark, cutting across the Kaar's beskar'kandar as the heat scorched his chest, burning the flesh underneath as they attempted to find weaknesses within his armor. Fist crashing across one of the guardman's own mask, the Kaar's gauntlet practically crushed the cheek of the man as his fury built up, his rage unlocking the emotions within his body - increasing his power tenfold physically and metaphysically. Watching the man reel, the Kaar threw his lightsaber behind him as it found the thighs of another guard, the blade carving through the man's unarmored thighs as the Force left the hilt of his lightsaber, the Kaar moved forward without grace as his hand sought the throat of the man, throwing him to the ground as he stomped down onto the neck once and twisting his heel with a sickening pop and crack. Watching four other guardsmen come rushing in at the same time, the Kaar reached out with his right hand and pulled on the dark side to summon his hatred forth in a sporadic storm of lightning from his finger tips, the red arcs twisting over one another before finding themselves in the chest of the guards or the lightsabers of the guards, though as he put more of himself forward, the lightning twisted around the blades and sought the head of the guardsmen, inflicting brain damage as he moved forward, watching them writhe as their armor couldn't protect them from the power of the dark side. Needless were the deaths of these clones, yet they put their lives down on the line for their creator - sick abominations that were simply dead at birth. Turning towards the other guard as the Kaar walked slowly, methodically as he reached down and sought the skull of the man, the dark purple energies coalescing at his hand. "Show me what you know, Valyrian's marionette," the words were whispered as the Kaar reached into the mind of the man, fingers turning into metaphysical talons as he drained the knowledge from the guardman's mind, the dark side subduing the man into a catatonic state - the puppet of Valyrian would give him what he desired, or he would simply be a husk that deserved no less pain to live in a catatonic state. Withdrawing the Force from the guardman's head, the Kaar could feel his nostrils practically flowing with blood as the second injection came with more energy, the sting only lasting for as long as the needle required entry. He could fight for only so long as the injections could last, and with only two more vials of stimulant, the Kaar could perhaps make it out alive. Feeling the rush of oxygen now flowing into his lungs, the Kaar at least had the HUD control his vitals to when he couldn't sense what had transpired - his armor had become a nurturing mother in his moments without his Force-enhanced senses. Bringing up his comm-links from his helmet, the Kaar once again ordered the Imperial Guardsmen to change their position, he would bring those that landed on the planet to their demise by sacrificing his own forces for power. "A coward that hides behind countless bodies. You speak of the Sith as if they are dead, but you lack to see the mockery you make of the prophecy," walking slowly as he shouted out, he tried to assess his own injuries through movements without the battle high he was experiencing, "You were the Sith'ari, but your vision hasn't come to fruition because you lack the will to lead! You are no better than Cideon, and that is why I will bring the resurrection of our Sith Order from these ashes.. and bring down the coward who lives in the shadows!" Burn marks and cut marks laced his body, yet he could only feel the sharp pain across his chest, the slash of the guardsman had not only burned his chest with his blade but also branded him with the plate. Tattered pieces of Sithspawn leather hung loose from his body, though he did not seem phased at the damages - it was the outcome of a fight. Watching as the Force Ghost within him manifested, the tattered remains of an old Sephi who the Kaar still didn't know, the eyes of the man simply looking at the armored individual. Instead of binding the power of a Sith spectre, the Kaar had chosen to bind the will of a Jedi for the sole purpose of twisting it's ghost into something it hated. Yet they both lack of bond between master and slave - he did not command the power to harness it entirely because he did not know the Force Ghost's name at all. "Jedi, what do you seek to accomplish by staying silent?" The question posed brought the wrinkled features of the Sephi into a grin, then a soft chuckle, though the Kaar did not return the same lighthearted nature, instead he raised his hand and drew on the dark side - on the bond with death he held - and bent the Force Ghost to it's knees. "I..." The first word was pained, though the Kaar merely continued to curl his hand as if seizing the heart of the ghost before tightening his grip, "I am.. Alesteus and together.. we are strong," the final words brought the Kaar the pleasure to draw on the bound ghost's power. The former weak purple haze turned thicker, more sickening as if the few moments spent drawing on the energies of the Force Ghost drew it closer to true death, yet the Kaar could feel the power revitalizing him - a secondary battery in the Force. Drawing on the Force to seize the hilt of his weapon, the Kaar brought it back to his hand and felt each muscle tense in his arm as he gripped the hilt of the weapon tightly. He had a fighting chance, though the fact Valyrian hadn't shown himself, nor the Hands of the Emperor only brought a sense of dread across the Kaar's mind - if it was true that he would simply draw the Kaar's energies out, he had to find a new plan to survive, other than just fighting with tooth and claw. "Together, we end the Sith Empire and the reign of Darth Valyrian. Together, as one being." A hollowed laughter soon filled the chamber as the voice of the Kaar twisted in an amalgamation of two voices twisted by the dark side of the Force. Post Information
  20. That lovely College Experience...

    The sneer on Tanit's face was telling. She saw him struggle to even try lifting the blade, the blade she tossed to him like it was nothing. There was no trick, no mystical energy needed, just raw physical strength. It was apparent that he lacked the strength necessary though, something that did not bode well for him. She looked at the weapon on the ground and drew the blade back to her hand with the Force. Holding it in one hand seemed fitting given his previous line of questioning, "You insert fiction into reality. The only thing that should weigh heavily on you is the fact that you were too weak to pick up this sword. There is no magic, no secret to lifting it, just power. Your weak arms would be better served to cleaning my office than carrying a sword for the Sith. If you cannot lift a blade, you should not even try to wield a blade. You are pitiful and weak, how did you ever make it off of Korriban?" Tanit spat, her words venomous and hateful. How dare he even try to research the method of creation for such a weapon without even possessing an arm worth carrying it. If his frailties did not end there then she would be doing the Sith a favor by killing him. Tanit threw the old weapon to the side of the room, away from him and away from the her own hand, lest she draw it and cut him down. There was nothing about him that had impressed her so far, and though it was generally frowned upon to slay one's inferiors, when they were as inferior as this one it was hard not to feel the need to cull the weak. That was the nature of the Sith. It was the duty of the strong to dominate the weak, to bleed the out of the ranks of the Order, and only allow the strong and worthy to rise in power. The Dark Side often saw to that itself, in destroying those that sought power beyond their control, something that Tanit had attempted before and learned the hard way. Even as a Kaar in the Empire she was not beyond reproach in the Force, but this man, this weak arrogant worm of a man, had somehow clawed his way out of the Academy and onto Dromund Kaas. If this was the state of things in the Academy then the Overseers need be replaced before the Sith collapse under the weight of startling mediocrity. "Give me one reason right now as to why I should not just snap your neck and be done with it. If you want to be a warrior then you are off to a terrible start. What are the Overseers teaching you on Korriban if you are able to leave the Academy when your body is so weak? Even those that dig into the mysteries of the Dark Side are more capable than you. Please, tell me what you've learned, but humor me. What on Korriban, did you do to deserve the right to leave the Academy?" Tanit practically seethed with fury at the notion that his studies in the Academy did not shape him into at least someone capable of self-defense. She crossed her arms and stood across from what was suppose to be her test subject. If he could not even hold her sword then what hope did he have to learn anything from her? It might have sounded demanding, but she was not going to train a warrior that was not physically capable of holding even a simple sword.
  21. That lovely College Experience...

    Cyrex simply inclined his head and his eyes lit up as Tanit kicked the sword. Part of him wanted to yell at Tanit for doing such a thing. A war blade was not something to just be kicked around like trash. He restrained himself though this time as he crossed the room to it. He studied it a moment, out of a kind of professional courtesy. It was an interesting blade in it's own right. Curved and sharp like a sickle with a long handle and no guard. It looked almost like an old farm tool more than a war blade, if a remarkably kept one that oozed power. Cyrex might not have been overly in touch with the more mystical side of the force but he could sense the dark side well enough on the blade. It had seen blood and death and a lot of it. His good hand wrapped around the hilt and lifted, or tried, he found he had to use two hands though and even as he strained the sword did not rise. That was a surprise considering most blades could be held at least with one hand if made properly. This one...it was heavy and it felt off balance even with the blade still on the floor and the hilt in his hands. The craftsmanship seemed at odds with that thought but the truth was there. How strange... Cyrex heard Tanit's decree about healing even as he struggled with the sword. He wasn't overly worried about it, back home they did not have all the best medical equipment in the brush. That was reserved for the more 'civilized' folk. He wondered though if perhaps he should skip the sword entirely. He wanted to use it true but fists would have been just as well for him. A warrior needed to use whatever weapons were at his disposal and sometimes that meant nothing but his wits. He would learn much from using it though, at least about it's build and limits. True the sword he imagined was very different but he could still learn and apply that knowledge. First though he had to pick the damn thing up. He had to scowl in frustration at it before looking at Tanit. "There is a trick to picking this up is there not? That is why you hand it over so easily. Never give an opponent a weapon that would give him an advantage, that would spell disaster." It was a simple plan but it made perfect sense. Not that he doubted Tanit had the power and ability to wipe the floor with him sith blade or no but all the better to humiliate when he was not worthy of a blade. That thought stung...a lot. Tanit was better at hurting her targets psychologically than she seemed.
  22. The Knife Edge

    TWO WEEKS EARLIER The body of Darth Valyrian gave a sickening heave, a deep gasp of air, almost as if it had never taken breath of its own accord. And it was right - this body, hooked up to an array of cables, monitors and tubes, was one of thousands of the bodies that resided within his sanctuary on Bastion. A sanctuary he had begun construction of before the Empire had ever left Nogatan, a sanctuary so well hidden and isolated that its chances of discovery were almost impossible. Within it, a network of tunnels serviced his many thousands of clones, a gift from Darth Viscerus, left over from his experimentation on the virus that had once inhabited Valyrian's system. He didn't try to lurch up like he had the first time his essence had transferred into its new body - the body was not used to, or ready for immediate use, extra strain caused the muscles to tear and snap. He had torn many of the cables and tubes, tearing massive holes in his skin. It had been a painful and necessary lesson of his own mortality during his first twenty four hours, and so he made sure to control his natural impulse to move his stiff muscles. Darth Nidus stood over him examining the monitors attached to the cables, checking the readings, and finishing the process of staging his body for proper use. 'Is he dead?' Nidus asked with a raspy finality to her voice. She didn't turn to look at the Emperor though, merely looked at the monitors and generally ignored his person. Nidus, Kaar of Mysteries after the disappearance of Darth Renatus, may have been officially a subject of the Emperor, but as the mother of the Emperor, she generally paid it no heed in private. The subject of her maternal connection to the Emperor was not entirely well known - another present from the death of Viscerus. Valyrian gave a deep cough, 'No. The Force tells me...' 'You don't need the Force to know that Dromund Kaas is in siege,' Nidus finished for him, 'nor do you need it to know that the Empire is losing a sudden and crushing assault by Republic Forces. Its like they know how weak and disoriented we are - know exactly where to push, where to force and how to destroy us. In a moment of weakness, the Republic has shown up and annihilated us - all because of you,' she finally turned to look at him, her lifeless grey eyes staring directly into his, 'If you had killed C'erian like you had said, the Republic wouldn't be in a position to attack - they would be in mourning, unsure of what to do. Your failure has doomed us.' THE PRESENT The Sith Emperor watched the monitor, the display of the Republic Fleet hovering above. In the weeks since, he had quietly watched as his Empire was laid to rubble, with his brother leading the charge. Planet by planet, they scurged the Sith from the galaxy, destroying what they could, taking Sith out where and however possible. Whispers within Bastion called it the second Sith Holocaust, while Valyrian thought of it by a different name; The Eidolon Revenge. Darth Nidus had left him now, his condition had improved enough that he no longer required her presence to monitor him. He was at the best shape he had been for years, yet as he watched the devastation, he knew that one way or another, his reign was more or less over. He sensed the shift in the Force - the subtle change of focus, as the power slowly and inevitably drained away from him and into the hands of another. He felt no less powerful - the Force was his to command as it always had been, and he was no weaker, yet it was although the balance of power had shifted in an unseen way. He tried to meditate, but his visions were only filled with clouded shows of blood and fire, destruction and chaos, annihilation of everything and all. The Force was no longer his ally - and he was no longer the embodiment of it. The days had been long as he waited, and considered his actions. At first he considered rising into the frey to destroy the Republic singlehandedly, taking victory for himself. His visions of this chain of events ended in destruction, and humiliation. Then he considered rising back to command, taking the Imperial Armada and uniting it in a valiant effort against the Republic. This too, ended in destruction and humiliation. So he sat in his formidable fortress of steel, surrounded by the copies of himself, and wondered quietly if his reign, his tenure as Emperor, had been for anything at all, or was it destined to end the same way that every endevour he had ever started inevitably ended; in failure. He felt the rage of Darth Atrox long before he felt the Sith's presence on Bastion. In his heart of hearts, he had always known it would be the former Emperor's Wrath that would come for him, that would have the tenacity and strength of will to find him. The Sith's focus was incredible, his power intense, his rage like an inferno of energy that resounded off him. Power worthy of an Emperor, perhaps, if there was an Empire left to rule in the fragments of his disorted reign. He heard the man smash his way into his fortress, buckling the entrance, but Valyrian did not rush to his feet and sound the alarm. Instead he picked up the blade he had laid out on the table beside his chair calmly, and clipped it to his belt. He stepped up slowly, taking the black robe that had been hanging over the back of his chair and clipping it to his person. Faintly in the background he heard the hum of the active lightsaber, so he grabbed the mask which was set out delicately on the table in front of him, and pressed it against his face - taking on the full attire of the Royal Guard. Each of these tasks he did methodically, carefully, and with no rush. There was no point in a dramatic rush, only to be taken down by an errant strike of a blade. Instead he quietly reached out to the Force, and activated all of his clones. Each pod sprung to life with a snap of energy - and immediately, Valyrian echoed deep into the Force, his powers spreading out like an inferno of power, so loud and beautiful that within the confines of this building, it would be almost impossible to find the centre, where the power was most powerful. Around the Kaar, hundreds of eyes sudden rose, and rushed at the Kaar - as the Emperor exerted his will over the living. The Royal Guard, a full platoon of them which had been laying in wait in the central command of the fortress, similarly began to stir and move towards their foe. Valyrian stood watching however - not rushing towards death like a fool, instead looking at the computer monitor in front of him, and using his senses to find his target. Pressing down a button on his console, the speakers echoed into life. 'I see you have uncovered my secret fortress - it was to be expected, of course. I always expected a challenge of power from you - though I expected it long before the Empire was a desolate fragment of its former glory. I will not be Emperor of the ashes. If it is fight you want, I will provide it, but I will not give you the satisfaction of fighting on your terms. I've fought enough Kaggaths, I've killed enough Dark Lord's, to know that honourable combat is worthless. Victory, at any cost.' Valyrian let go of the speaker, his voice echoing into the recesses of the lair, as his horde descended on the Kaar. Holding vibro-blades, lightsabers, axes and any weapon they could find, the clones of Darth Valyrian descended on the Kaar. And there were hundreds of eyes.
  23. The Knife Edge

    Twice, after giving the order to the officer, Verrin turned to one of the Guardians who accompanied him. He knew who she was beneath her mask - his own apprentice, Vanessa - but he didn't call her by name. For that matter, he didn't call her at all. He wanted to. He felt so awful, so despondent, and so tired... all was lost... the Empire had been surprised, decimated, and overrun. Now, it was fragmented - how? How was an Empire so huge, so powerful, brought low by a group of Republic hacks and a handful of Jedi? The woe and doom he felt was oppressive. Part of him wanted to have Vanessa take him in her arms and hold him, and the other part wanted her to end him so he wouldn't have to see his beloved Empire die. But she didn't budge, didn't react to him, and he never voiced those desires aloud. But just then, he received a hailing message from a Corvette-class ship that had entered the space around Bastion. The message called on him directly, stating, "My Lord. Admiral Esk'oban here, aboard Octagon IV - they picked up some of our escape pods when the Spectre went down. We're receiving transmissions that we are not making a stand here at Bastion, is that correct?" Verrin's eyes lit up at the sound of his Admiral's voice. She had military experience that he lacked, and she'd been an excellent facilitator in helping him become integrated with the command of a capitol ship. Now, apparently, she was a survivor without a ship of her own, but she was still willing to serve. And if the crew of the Spectre, however small, was with her... then he had some assistance. If only... Another message came through. This time, it was through the Force. His former apprentice, Darth Tanit now, was reaching out to him. He felt her mind touch his, but she didn't relay any words. Instead, the 'message' that came across was a series of feelings. Raw emotions, carried on waves of Battle Meditation began to offset those employed by the Jedi. And Verrin's face lit up even more. "You old fool," he said to nobody in particular, other than himself. He felt the masks of a few Guardians turn his way, the owner's eyes upon him. "Of COURSE they would use that technique! *I* should have used that technique! They simply beat me to the punch! The element of surprise... THAT must be why I haven't thought to use the power myself!" Verrin turned his mind inward, now aware of the mental treachery, he actively resisted it. His delight was obvious upon his face as the veil of doomed thoughts lifted and were replaced with feelings of anger. And just as he felt better, so too did those around him. One of the more military minded officers even went so far as to address him directly, "My Lord... are we to regroup and take the fight to them?" Verrin shook his head briefly. "No. Stick to orders. We will be abandoning this station for the safety of the remaining people. Finish supplying the ships and prepping them for travel - load as many refugees as you can." He repeated the orders to Esk'oban, who invisibly saluted and moved to explain the situation to the Captain of the Octagon IV. Then Verrin turned, reached for a nearby railing, and looked upwards, as if seeing through the roof into space. "You fracking Jedi monsters... you wonder why we hate you so much... you wonder why we struggle to bring law and order to the galaxy... and once again, you strike us, in our homes, killing our people. You two-faced, self-righteous, ignorant, holier-than-thou..." The rest of the insults faded into the air. "We are not 'done' here." His own Battle Meditation carried his feelings to the Empire at large.
  24. The Knife Edge

    Darth Tanit had arrived with the majority of her fleet over Bastion following the collapse of the defense at Dromund Kaas. In the haze of anger and hatred she found herself in, the clarity of command had come to her for the first time in a very long time. She not only fought for her life now, but for the very existence of her Order. There was no doubt in her mind that this was her destiny, that the Dark Side had guided her up to this point for a reason, and paved that path with struggle to harden her in the face of adversity. Her failure over Balmorra, her struggle to seize Raxus Prime, they were just tests. It was those burning fires, the bitterness of defeat, that shaped her into the cautious and measured commander she was showing herself to be now. The crew of Darth Tanit's flagship were running non-stop, and had been doing so for the past day. Shift rotations came only when they could be managed with minimal loss of function, but she could feel that the exhaution was setting in. Her power was fueled by the fear felt in every man and woman serving under her, and she turned it to the Force, to try and receive some kind of insight into the direction of the Repubilc attack on the fortress world. Clouded vision offered nothing, and so she had to operate on what she saw before her and what she felt. To the starboard side of her flagship a frigate erupted into flames before splitting in two, killing the crew that had not boarded the escape pods that floated among the debris. Rage built in her at the concept of the Empire being shattered by this attack. Captin Jarrum approached from her left side, "My Lord, the coverage of the shuttles to the surface is going as well as could be expected, but the Republic is continuing to press their advantage while we hold defensively..." He said, before Tanit raised her hand to cut him off. He bowed and before he could walk away she motioned for him to stay. Captain Jarrum looked haggard, nervous, like he had been awake for days on end and was running on either caffeine or amphetamines. She felt for him, she too had been awake for over twenty-hours and had only afforded herself minimal rest. He shifted nervously as another large impact rocked the flagship, but Tanit grabbed him by the lapel of his uniform to give him orders, "We are being destroyed while we hold in a defensive pattern. The shuttles to the surface are going to make it, we need to be proactive in this battle now that we are here. Order the fleet to start concentrating their fire vessel by vessel, give the Republic no mercy. Our target is their flagships, their pivots, and their corvettes. Anything we can do to free up valuable space and afford our bombers the chance to get open runs on the battlecruisers. Enough sitting back, we go in, we kill, understood? You have the bridge for now, I must contact someone..." She growled out through her breathing mask. Tanit was furious, and it rippled in the Force for anyone sensitive enough to feel it. Still, the order was given, and Captain Jarrum relayed it to the crew to a lukewarm reception. They were definitely unhappy with the way the battle had gone thus far, but they were going to have to get used to it. If things went as they did over Dromund Kaas then it was only a matter of time then that she too would have to evacuate her ship to the surface, and then wait for the Jedi to sweep in and destroy the Sith. If she had her way though, that would not be happening. Tanit left the bridge to her personal quarters though, and admist the chaos of battle, she reached out to her former master and sought him out in the Force. If she did not seek to speak with him, the she sought to at least connect with him, to know if he had fallen to the Jedi or not. She could sense him though, she knew he was alive, and that was good enough for now. A request from the bridge rung through to her desk which she answered, "My Lord our fleet is moving into position to begin the offensive. Allow me to confirm targets from before. You ordered flagships, pivots, and corvettes, to be the target of our attacks. Is that the order of priority?" Captain Jarrum asked through the comms. Tanit frowned under her mask but pushed the reply button, "Targets confirmed, prioritize their flagships bombarding the planet when possible. Targets of opportunity that can be focused down should be chosen at the discretion of ship commanders. We must do everything we can to alleviate the pressure on the surface and draw fire away from the fortified positions so we can try and push the Republic back. You are to prevent any disturbances to my private quarters, I am going to try to turn the tide of battle..." "Confirmed, thank you my Lord. Relaying your orders now..." He said, finishing his communications. Tanit fought back the urge to return to the command deck and guide the battle. She had gone both ways in her orders though, from being too distant and uninvolved, to being overly involved. She had found that today was a necessary day in which to delegate the power of command to her inferiors though. The battle had gone poorly and as such she had felt that there were few true options but an outright counter-assault against the Republic forces. It was that order she had given though, and to cope with the state that her crew and the crews of her fleet had been in she returned to the Force. Darth Tanit seated herself on her bed, and brought her legs to a crossed position. Battle Meditation was not something she had used frequently, but she knew perfectly well of the power to sway battles with the Force. She reached out to the Force, drew upon her anger and hatred, and twisted them toward the battle at hand. On one side of the coin, she fed the energy of the Force into the Imperial fleet, into the crews, pilots, and soldiers, all fighting for their survival. It was this bolstering effect, she hoped, would give these warriors the measure to ignore their fatigues and fear, and turn their full focused anger and fear against the Republic. Their morale rose under the effects, their reaction times improved, and their overall effective battle presence rose in response to Darth Tanit's urging in the Force. On the other side though, the Republic soldiers and crews would feel themselves weakened, sapped of strength, and their morale lowered. Even if it was only temporary, the tilt in the scale of battle may be enough. There were plenty of last-ditch efforts in the histories turned by a rallying cry, maybe, just maybe this would be the ultimate glory she had hoped to achieve as a military commander...
  25. The Knife Edge

    Hapes Spaceport Home. That was where she had returned to, having been here once before as the Kaar of Diplomacy, unrecognized by her own kin, her own people. Oh how she had longed to take over, to replace the Queen Mother with herself or one of her agents. But alas, her plans fell through when the very biased and judgemental people that made up the governing body opted to a truce of sorts, mostly a trade agreement with the Empire. Had they objected, she could have had her way, but the Hapans weren't fond of the Jedi and their alliances whatsoever. Rising, the woman glanced towards the storage space where bins held various items - mostly attire to suit any climate and occasion (it was important she be properly dressed for her visitations to expand the Empire's territory). Lip curling in distaste, she mentally swore in various tongues, cursing her attention for having not noticed such a simple thing as a stranger's Force Signature aboard her ship. With a wave of her hand, the lid to the stowaway's crate slid off to reveal the sleeping teen. Had she not just seen the genocide of the Imperial people, especially those considered Sith, Darth Sanguira would have killed the redhead for his idiocy. Circumstances were very different from the norm, though, and so the brunette kicked the side of the bin and tossed a grey gausy silk cloak onto his figure. "Put on the cloaks. We are to draw as little attention as possible to ourselves. You, brat, you will do as I say and remain at my side with the others. Understood?" Exhaustion and stress creeped into her voice, part of her still ready and willing to fight while the other half just wanted to soak in a tub of hot water. Donning her own cloak, the hood was drawn up to shadow her battered face and molten eyes, the boy back in her arms. Glancing to the stranger, a loud sigh left her lips when she saw her daughter smile and take the other's hand as though he were an older sibling or parent, as though he were the equivalent of one of Clan Black's offspring that she hung around before Atrox sent her to the Academy. Their daughter was too kind to strangers for her own good. Her lover would have had an aneurysm if he had seen this.
  26. The Knife Edge

    Silas was the son of a businessman and an Imperial officer. If there was one thing his parents taught him that didn't come from his nursing droids, it was choosing his battles. Right now, the Republic managed to pull of a particularly vicious and unrelenting siege on the academy. He was still a little new and was getting to know his... clan mates. At first, most of the older students and instructors ran down to fight off the Republic. Then their numbers began to dwindle as the younger apprentices were then sent down to fight. His clan was holed up in the security office, and the redhead caught one of the staff sneaking to the datacron archives and locking himself inside. Staying in this place was practically suicide, and the instructor handling his clan was already gearing them up for one last stand. 'We're going to die here,' Silas thought with slight distaste, slowly making his way at the very back. They could fight another day, it would be a waste of resources fighting a losing battle. If by some miracle the Empire managed to fend off the Republic invaders, they would be too weak to sustain another attack. Enraged battle cries caught Silas' attention, the apprentices working themselves up to a rage. The noise was deafening in the overcrowded security office, and the door was slightly ajar - someone slim enough could fit through. Taking advantage of the commotion, Silas slipped through the door, clutching his academy-issued lightsaber tightly. There should still be ships in the hangar bay if it wasn't already closed off to keep the Republic from getting through there. On the way to the hangar, Silas heard footsteps, and a quick glance back had his heart racing. Republic soldiers and Jedi were fast approaching, and fear drove Silas to gather to Force around him for a momentary burst of speed. He managed to put a significant amount of distance, but the Jedi should be able to follow up quick. He managed to reach the hangar and opened the door and waited until the gap was large enough for him to pass through. Once on the other side, he found an unfamiliar ship with its ramp down. Thanking the gods of his homeworld, Silas climbed in without checking back to see if the Jedi managed to follow. Just to be sure, he closed his eyes and let his awareness expand through the Force, checking to see if he was alone. There was someone else in the ship, and well, as long as Silas did not disturb him, no one would know he's there. The hangar bay was open, and the ship looked ready to leave at a moments notice. There should be a storage unit big enough for him to hide in. When he found it, Silas got in and made sure to shut it close before allowing himself to sigh and relax. "Alive, at least," Silas whispered to himself, closing his eyes. The stress of narrowly avoiding death utterly exhausted the redhead. The ship lurched and then lifted off, and the distant familiarity of entering hyperspace had finally lulled Silas to a dreamless sleep. ------------ Silas stirred when he felt the world around him shift. He snapped awake when he found himself looking up an imposing, yet familiar, woman with two children. Before Silas could say anything, she kicked his hiding place before throwing a silk cloak over his face. Silas tried not to gape as he scrambled to get out. He tried to remember just how exactly did he end up stowing away in a ship, brows furrowed in concentration. Then it all came rushing back - the academy, the Republic attack, running from Jedi, stowing away. Silas felt... distant. It felt like the fear and the stress happened to someone else. The bodies that littered the floor, the fighting Silas saw on the security screens - it didn't felt real. He knew it happened, he was there for most of it, but it didn't feel... It was like a strange dream. A terrifyingly surreal nightmare, if he wanted to be honest with himself. "Put on the cloaks. We are to draw as little attention as possible to ourselves. You, brat, you will do as I say and remain at my side with the others. Understood?" "Understood," Silas replied, keeping his expression neutral. He pulled the hood up and followed the woman. He tried remembering just where it was he saw her. Then he felt a smaller hand hold on to his, and he looked down to see who took it. A little girl was smiling at him, and Silas just gave her a wan smile, wondering that if he tried to pry her off, the woman who found him might cleave him into two. Then it hit Silas like a freighter. The woman was the Kaar of Diplomacy. A sick feeling settled down at the bottom of Silas' stomach, but he managed to control his reactions and not squeeze the little girl's hand. He kept up with her, trying to think of ways not to offend her and die. Hopefully, she'd think him useful or stay her hand since the Sith had dwindled down considerably. With that, Silas just wondered what it was he got himself into, or if it was too late to look for another escape route.
  27. The Knife Edge

    The world had opened up and swallowed her whole - at least, that's how it felt. Seconds felt like minutes, minutes like hours, hours like days, until only millennia remained. High on the thrill of winning her bout with her Master, she had ignored the lingering feeling in the back of her mind, a doubt that stuck deep within the recess of her senses. She ignored the dream she had the night before, a shadowed figure of the Emperor in hard combat with the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic - a mammoth fight destroying walls and annihilating structure. She had almost forgotten the details of an Emperor laughing as he was killed, the Grand Master turned away, the Emperor looking almost directly at her with veiled smile hidden beneath his cruel haunting facade. But she couldn't ignore the Fleet of Republic ships above Dromund Kaas. She couldn't ignore the Sith dying, the orbital bombardment, the destruction and the chaos. Her Master had once told her that Sith prospered from chaos, that they lingered on it, hungered for it. It was hard to align that teaching with the senseless destruction she was around her, as valleys of Kaas jungle were annihilated with single blasts of Republic siege weapons. It was impossible to reconsile the idea that the Sith enjoyed chaos, when they were dying because of it. Thousands. Millions. At the hands of the peacekeeper Jedi. How could people believe in a Jedi Order that lead such a mighty and ferious assault, when it wasn't just Sith dying, but innocents, civilians, women and children! She went into autopilot, letting the lingering pain of the home she had grown accustomed to being destroyed by the errant blasts of the Republic. She followed her Master's orders, the Library packed into transportable constructs. Vanessa didn't bother going back for her droid - though knew it would inevitably follow. She'd never managed to escape it thus far, why would now be any different. Without thinking, without hesitation, she removed the simple Sith robes she normally wore, and without permission, without oversight, without hesitation, donned the armor and mask of the Library Guardians. In that moment, she wasn't the apprentice humbling following her Master's orders, but a nameless Guardian protecting the legacy of the Sith Order. The Jedi descended quickly after the blasts, and she fought amongst them. She didn't take numbers, didn't keep track of her victories, she mercilessly and without thought, cut down anyone who stood in the way of the Sith Legacy being preserved. One Jedi cursed her, another silently combated her, and she fended them both, using her skill with the saberstaff to slice them into pieces, as the final steps were taken. Her transponder ordered her back to the rendezvous, and she returned to the SPECTRE to Verrin's command. She joined him wordlessly on the bridge, before being dismissed into her private chambers. She cried. Then she stopped. The world had ended, just as it had before, and petty emotions would only get in the way. Now above Bastion, she was one of a dying breed. Standing beside her Master, uniform on, mask covering her face, her passions vested, she waited. And with the Republic annihilating every planet in their path, she knew she would not have to wait long.
  28. The Knife Edge

    Balmorra. Brison watched the invasion from an observation room as the ships approached the atmosphere of Balmorra. She would have been on the ground, but she had a far more useful talent to employ, one that would give her side the advantage. Balmorra...where it had all began in some sense. Oddly enough, the mental attack she had experienced at Balmorra when the Sith had seized it so long ago had given her insight into how battle meditation worked when she had eventually developed the power herself. She trained regularly to maintain that gift. This was its first real test. She sat, resting in the lotus position, closing her eyes. The invasion was just beginning over Balmorra's skies, the utter thrashing the Sith were receiving elsewhere well underway. She had a job to do, and that was making sure her side came home. Funny how things worked out. She had started out a wanted criminal, had nearly blown the second chance the original had given her. She had always been slow to catch on. Always. But now was not the time for regrets. Now was the time to act. Focusing on the calm within, the desire to save those depending on her, she allowed the Force to flow through her...and out into the thousands of Republic Soldiers. She filled them slowly gradually, trying not to be intrusive about it, for it was best to slowly build up resolve and hope, rather than trying to Force it crudely and without tact as Sith did. She could feel the resolve in the soldiers dropping through the atmosphere rising, courage making their minds a wall to despair. She increased that courage gently, while at the same time her mind began to seep into the other side. The defenders. She sent tiny slivers of doubt into their mind, throwing off their concentration as they tried to prepare, not sending them to full on despair, but lowering their confidance every so slowly, ever so gradually, so that thoughts of surrender began to seem preferable. Alluring even. Better than a suicidal defense buying time for Sith Lords. She felt it slowly sink in, aided by the fact that word of how badly the empire was being "owned" in holonet terminology. Surely word would reach them of Dromund Kaas. They had to know it was a losing battle regardless of whether or not she influenced them more down that direction...it was over. After thirty years and Force knew how many friends, lovers and mentors turned traitor, murdered, or worse, the shoe was on the other foot. That made this, what loss number four? Five? For the Sith as a whole? As far as she was concerned, the great galactic war didn't count, and neither did the Cold War. And why? Because you had to take down ALL the Jedi to win. All. Of. Them. And they couldn't seal the deal, any more than previous versions could. They had most of the advantages too...murderous Mandalorians, most criminal networks, and the Chiss-Freakin'-Ascendancy. They had the best intel network in the galaxy... And they STILL couldn't pull it off. Brison felt the troops push the ground offensive, felt the soldiers and Jedi connected to her fight some being snuffed out, but slowly, gradually taking advantage of every weakness, every breakdown in command, while the enemy began to panic, the sheer reality of their situation affecting their ego, their psyche worse than any act of Battle Meditation could. She felt the soldiers on her side push through the streets, encouraged but still cautious, hammering into the center of their capital city with strike fighters, artillery, and, of course, dozens of Jedi everywhere, cutting down the Sith when they got stupid and tried to do anything but run. She took no pleasure in these deaths. But she also had no choice. If she wanted to help take Balmorra it would mean having a hand in literally every enemy death. The ultimate act of kill by proxy. The Shi'ido did not think this counted as redemption. Any act that results in death, even if it was the death of a Kaar, was not a redemptive act. Merely tragic necessity. A result of people refusing to see reason, even after being given every opportunity to turn from a self destructive path. It took hours of meditation, placing great strain on her, but eventually she began to ease up, as most of the defenders were dead by this point. She gradually lessened the connection to thousands, eventually retreating into her own body. The soldiers on the ground and space could take it from here. More than once she saw an Imperial warship explode, and felt nothing but pity for the poor souls that died in pain as some of the ships burned in space. She hoped it would be a long time before she bore witness to such a horrific sight again. As she knew all too well, death by burning alive was the worst. Brison sank into a calm meditation, sweat drenching her forehead, and tried to recover her strength in the Force.
  29. She's All Out to Get You

    She slewed the bike around, cutting off a cargo speeder in the opposite lane and weaving through traffic to cut into a tighter alley. Sterrick yelped again, and at this point, Saris had no wish to deal with the extra distraction. Snatching one of the bacta hypos from her pocket, she jammed it into the woman's thigh and depressed the plunger- that ought to help, at least a little bit. "Be quiet." she said, again, although it was highly unlikely that the human would be able to. She was weak, all flesh, soft and unused to Saris' world of blasterfire and death. The life of a slicer was a fairly simple one, locked away inside, away from the sun, staring at a screen all day, and for an unaugmented mind this had to be difficult. Saris didn't really care. In an ideal world, there would be none of these sudden noises, but she could filter them out well enough that it wouldn't cause any real problem. Tossing the used hypo into the wind, the cyborg wondered for a second whether it would find its way into the intakes of the bike following them, but discarded the thought quickly. That was highly improbable, although it would be incredibly convenient if it did happen. Glancing back, she found that no, it had not, and that the speeder was still chasing them. It was gaining- it was faster than hers, if only slightly. She couldn't lose it, and so she'd just have to deal with it. Pulling her rifle up, she wrapped her cybernetic hand around its grip, aiming it single-handed behind her and loosing a spray of cerulean bolts. Little to no chance of actually striking the target, but perhaps enough to startle the enemy into crashing- but no. The cyborg looked back for a second, and found that the pursuer was apparently unfazed, simply flying straight through the hail of blasterfire. She couldn't have this being follow her all the way back to the spaceport, if she was going to take out whoever Tasker had waiting there for her. Had to deal with one problem at a time. Yanking the bike upwards, Saris pulled it up at near-maximum speed, cresting over the rooftops. [To be continued in a bit]
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