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3 Gungan

About Whips

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    Single Mother

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    Coruption I
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    Blood Red Synthetic Crystal - 3SP-3SP = 0
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    Alex Murphy
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  1. Whips vs. Pendragon Estate!

    Pendragon pursued Li into the entrance hall, feeling her presence, weakened, panicked, and enraged. This was going to be easy. "WHERE ARE YOU?!" he shrieked, one hand sprouting arcs lof lightning between the fingers. "You're pathetic, Darksider. All that and you run when confronted with a true challenge," Pendragon gloated as he got closer to her presence. "You're in the big leagues now! And there is no room for failure among the big leagues. Come out! Come out so that you might die quickly. You've earned a fast death, if nothing else. Didn't expect Lash's demise to be quite so humiliating. Was almost entertained, and then I remembered I wouldn't get to see her strip for me anymore." No answer. Pendragon only grew more enraged as he headed up the steps to the guest area, candlewax from the slave he had murdered earlier still caked on his feet in little nodules. He felt her presence grow closer. "Where's your tongue now?!" Pendragon snapped in the darkness, his lightwhip cracking in the dark. "No more Penny jokes?! I will mount your head on MY WALL FOR THOSE ALONE!" He kicked open the door to one room he sensed her presence in, and saw her, standing close to a restroom, silent, Lash's lightwhip illuminating the dark of the room. She was smirking, and that only upset him more. "Prepare to die...Penny," she joked. His temper flared, and he charged forward, flinging his whip forward. Li leapt backward, her lightwhip deactivating, concentrating with all her might to telekinetically pull her knife, which she had lain on a dresser drawer behind Pendragon as he had entered the room towards her... ...its point however, was aimed at Pendragon's back, and he sensed it too late, too commited in his attack and his hate to see the deadly position he had put himself in until it was too late. In a way, it was a metaphor for how his entire night had gone. He screamed as the blade impacted close to his spine, rendering him paralyzed. He screamed in rage, in too much pain to use the Force. Li grinned as she hit the ground. Pendragon snarled in rage, eyes sulpher, skin going paler as she activated her blood red blade and sliced his arms and legs off. He never stopped screaming. Li lifted him up with both arms, knife still in his back, and dumped him on the guest bed, the knife going deeper. He screamed more in rage, coughing up blood that splattered red on Li's face. She smeered it on her face, a red mask, and the act let Whips out, who chuckled evily as she got on the bed with him, seeing fear at last, understanding how badly he had underestimated both her, and by extension, Morgana. Morgana was in truth the one who had struck the final blow. This student of hers merely the crude knuckleduster she had used to metaphorically break his jaw, his addled, pain ridden mind at last understanding, horrified that it was Morgana who had turned out to be his superior, if only for the fact she had chosen a far better student than he had on his end. She raised the blood red blade and he began screaming in terror. "What reason have you to fear, Pendragon?" Whips asked, eyes sulphur as she drank in his suffering through the Dark Side, body invigorated with an electric charge. It was clear in her eyes she intended to be slow with what was left of him. She leaned forward and whispered into his ear, repeating her question. "What reason have you to fear? Your soul has been dead for years." Outside the room, had someone been present, they would have seen slow, repeated flashes of red, followed by horrific screams of agony every ten seconds. This process carried on for an hour before Li walked out of the bedroom, her face washed clean of blood, the evil creature that had ended Pendragon imprisoned once more...for now. And carrying Pendragon's head by an ear, a look of utter terror on his face. *** The squad leader Li had deliberately left alive, woke up in agony, only to see Li put a boot on his throat. "Now," Li snarled. "Where. Is. My. SON?!" She dangled Pendragon's severed head over him. "Unless you wanna join him..." "I'll talk," the leader got out, too wracked by pain to do much but comply. *** Li had left the estate as it burned in various parts, everyone on the grounds dead it seemed. She faced no opposition as she left. She had recovered her belongings, and true to her word, she stopped at Kato's house, knocking on the Lurmen's front door. The dark furred Lurmen opened up the door, blinked as she dangled Pendragon's head like a treat, and the short alien snatched it. "Thank you," Kato said quietly. "My wife rests in peace." "I expect our deal to be honored," Li said coldly. "Getting that bastard's head wasn't easy." In the snow fall of pre dawn, Kato nodded, handing her a datapad. "Use these contact frequencies anywhere you like, my contacts will get in touch. Whatever we can acquire, you can have if you pay for it. And because you have done the Lurmen's such a service...you'll get it at a permanent discount." Li nodded approvingly, and her eyebrows raised when Kato handed her a mask. It was a black, skin tight hood with a rigid form and a porcelain white faceted durasteel face of a woman with a smirk. Raised durasteel horns were on the upper forehead. "A souveneir," he explained. Li took it, nodding. "Have fun with the head." "I'm gonna coat the skull in electrum!" he said excitedly, shutting the door. Li proceeded to the spaceport, holding off on contacting the pilot that had brought her here. She still had to wait a while. There was still a neck to snap. *** Li had utterly exhausted herself in using the Force, so she didn't detect the naked fear in Kato as he shut the door, staring at his guest. She was wearing the form of Lash, but he knew it wasn't her. He knew the smell of the thing that had been outside his house earlier. "Okay, she got your gift," Kato said warily. "Are you going to kill me?" The creature wearing Lash chuckled softly. "Of course not. You did your part. And besides, I myself may have a use for you someday. A connection on the Black Market is always a good thing." "Until I outlive my usefulness." The beast in Lash's skin rolled her eyes. "Ugh, so fatalistic. I don't kill 'everyone' I no longer have a use for, relax." Kato stood rigid. "What do you want with her? The woman?" The monster that looked like Lash smiled. "Why, a successor of course." "You gonna turn her into you?" Another smile. "My dear Lurmen," she said, leaning forward in the cramped dwelling. "What makes you think she's not halfway there already? The Beast rose, telekinetically opening Kato's front door. He didn't get in the way as she left. It turned, staring at him with pus-yellow eyes. "Good day, Kato. Congratulations on your revenge." "I'm not sure how to take that coming from you," Kato. It shrugged. "Can't it just be a compliment?" the beast asked. "Call in advance, next time," Kato said. Ryleya chuckled. "Of course, Kato, of course." Kato shut the door as the creature levitated off the ground and floated off into the slowly picking up snowfall, disappearing into the white.
  2. Whips vs. Pendragon Estate!

    "Squad two isn't responding," one of the devil-masked mercs said on the personal comlink in their helmets. "Want to go investigate?" "No," the leader of the mercenaries said firmly, voice disguised by electronic synthesizer. "If everything we heard about this place is true, straying too far is too risky." "What were those things we shot on the estate grounds? They were eating the Iotrans." Another merc asked. "Probably prisoners. Drugged, driven over the edge, used for entertainment. Saw similar stuff in imperial prison camps. But these particular crazies remind me of these old stories of a real nasty Sith..." the leader explained, checking his surroundings which were garish and opulent, lined with expensive paintings, busts... "Who?" "Lady Vious. Sith Lord. Complete monster. Even by Sith standards she was particularly despicable. Good thing she's dead..." "How'd she eat it?" "Some Cyborg did it, from what I heard. Killed her with some sorta super thin lightsaber. Lightfoils, I think they're called. He nearly died in the process but he got her...albeit barely. They say Vious liked to drug and torture and starve people just for kicks, just to watch them scurry around and tear people apart. I wonder if this guy read about her, decided to take a few pages from her book." "How dangerous is this Pendragon?" another merc in the four man team asked "Rumors abound he spent time in imperial space, but nobody could dig up much else. Could mean anything." "How dangerous is this Li?" "She likely has basic training in the Force. And given she's been trained by a wanted Dark Jedi..." "Whatever. We have her master, her helpers AND the boy. She is either coming with us quietly or they ALL die--" This information made Li, who had just gotten within striking distance, go mad with rage. Her blood red saber activated, and with wild, furious swings, she violently cleaved through their legs, the mercs having reacted too slowly as she had snuck up on them to strike. She violently hacked through them with rabid screams of hate and frustration, leaving only the squad leader alive, albeit missing both his arms and legs. All the others were a pile of body parts. Just as she was about to interrogate him, she heard Pendragon's slimy, aristocrat tone. "There you are. I confess to being surprised...I had just spotted you on my monitors still in the Stronghold...you have a helper..." "Penny!" Li teased brutally with a smile. "What ELSE shall I take from you tonight? Hmmm...lets see...took out your squeeze...took away your pride...huh. Guess its just your life left now!" He was even more disgusting now that she was getting a good look at him. Obviously a depraved brat who liked oil. Where had his father gone wrong? The oiled, metal speedo wearing Muun, snapped on his orange lightwhip and cast it towards her blade. Li fled the other way, forcing Pendragon to pursue. "You think you can escape?! This is my house!" Pendragon snarled. "I know every centimeter of it. Whatever shadow you cower in, I WILL find you!!!" Li fled back into the main hall, heading up the stairs into the guest rooms section. Had to buy time. Find something, ANYTHING, to kill the freak with. But what?
  3. Whips vs. Pendragon Estate!

    Pendragon watched, in shock as it all played out over his screens. The cannibals rushing through the hidden entrances of the mansion itself. His own depraved party had fled only minutes before and he was at a loss for what to do. His top enforcer was dead. His little game had been beaten. His failsafe was triggered. He...might actually have to fight. He was not unfamiliar with the concept. He had fought more than his fare share of battles when he had still been a Sith apprentice. The thing was...he hadn't done it lately. Not a serious problem. He still had a good command of the Dark Side. As good as Morgana's apprentice had proven to be, she was still a novice at the Force. He could kill her, but given how she had gotten the better of Lash, he would have to put some effort into it. He watched as his fleeing guests were torn apart on his viewscreen. The only thing he could count as fortunate was that he himself would have an easy time getting through his hoardes of self created monsters. Morgana's apprentice had destroyed a large chunk of them as it was. He had been a fool. Even someone as wanting as Morgana could occasionally find themselves a rough diamond. And Morgana had found a particularly large one in the dirt. Pendragon, still in his lewd garb, dragged went to a nearby panel on a wall next to his viewscreen and retrieved a backup weapon. It was the same one he had trained Lash with. An Orange lightwhip snaked forward from a jeweled hilt of black metal. Pendragon coiled anger and hatred in his heart but it had been a while since he had actively called on the Darkness for anything more than a Force Choke. The Darkness still filled his body eventually, albeit sluggishly. But it was still his to command. Just as Pendragon turned and march off to find Li and kill her for ruining his night, he failed to notice on one monitor screen that a group of armored, devil themed mercenaries had just kicked open the front door, having tracked Li to here. And as much as he had let his skills dull, he didn't sense them. At all. *** Li had just made it out of Pendragon's lavish personal quarters, creeping down darkened passages lined with ancient armor lined behind Transparisteel cases and slaughtered, chewed bodies, both guest and guard. The power had been mostly killed by the failsafe activation so Li was in her element...darkness. Her lightsaber and newly acquired lightwhip were clipped to her belt, and she had set the other weapons and her prize save her dagger aside, knowing it would only slow her down when she went to face Pendragon. Defeating him in truth was not required of her...she had already achieved her objective, and gotten Pendragon's secrets. But Pendragon had angered her greatly. And the thing trapped inside her was thrashing around, begging for more. Begging to emerge. Li figured killing the Bastard would quiet it for a while. She sensed the threat just as she descended the palatial front staircase to the main entrance, which was a black and white checker pattern lined with strips of red running horizontal and vertical on the floors and walls, from what she could make out in the greatly reduced lighting. A square, golden chandelier hung overhead, the center composed of crystal. The armored mercs that looked like devils burst through the front door, kicking it open. Li retreated, hiding behind a pillar lining the staircase, her dagger out. She was still too drained to call on the Dark Side or the Force in general, and given the number, who were significantly better armed then those jokers underground, she wasn't quite certain she was ready to take fully trained warriors on yet with her lightsaber in such an exhausted state. But she would do it if left with no other choice. However, Li's strengths had always lain in stealth. She was an artist at it, and her skill had been gained and scrounged at, and reached a point that would have made any soldier, perhaps even a spy jealous. Give her a knife and a dark room, and she owned the room. This was just a slightly larger, dark room. And that meant she had plenty of options. Li wasn't stupid. She knew their vision was likely enhanced. And that left a problem. She would have to isolate them and take them out one by one. But it was doable. The Sand People of Tattooine after all, had excellent night vision. It hadn't saved that war party in the end as she chased them across the desert. It wouldn't save these men. As some of the men moved upstairs, equipped with automatic scatterguns, Li retreated further up the steps, and silently used the raised filigree on one pillar to climb up it quietly as possible...and waited as a few of them went past her underneath. The black armor helped blend in with the dark shadows overhead. As she dropped down silently, landing carefully as possible and making no noise she began to creep up on one merc who was lagging behind, covering the rear of the first two. She spotted the gap between the helmet and chest. She sprang forward, blade sinking into the soft black tunic underneath, severing the spine. He began to drop but Li made sure his drop was quiet and assisted, and lay him down gently, pulling the knife out and dashing forward swiftly, quietly. She spotted a knife, clipped to the back of left most mercs armor. She checked it at a distance. No strap holding it in Steadying her breath, she moved closer to that merc even as the devil themed fighters went down the passage of gore and dead bodies. With a deftness that bordered on the ghost-like, she plucked the knife so quietly from its sheath and so swiftly that the merc didn't notice. In one swift motion, she tossed the knife into the gap between the helmet and chest of the right-most mercenary and when the one she was standing directly behind turned his head in surprise, Li reached out and twisted the head further, so that the merc was staring directly behind him when he fell dead, his neck broken. Li smirked, checked their pockets, and found what looked like a durasteel garrote. She seized it immediately, smirked and then proceeded to the grand entrance hall to finish the others off.
  4. Whips vs. Pendragon Estate!

    Li stared at the vile, fat creature proclaiming itself her benefactor. And it was clear that unlike Morgana, Ryleya was the real deal darksider. Extremely dangerous. Li knew it was a bad idea but this wasn't her first time breaking into a place full of security. The Demon was more than likely telling the truth about security waiting. "What are you going to do?" Li asked. Ryleya smiled, and Li cried out in pain, clutching her head as she dropped to her knees, Ryleya held her hand over Li's head. It felt like her mind was being split open, something new being shoved into the recesses that hadn't been there previously. It was pain she had rarely experienced as new knowledge settled in. "That should be enough to see you through the rest, Ryleya finished gleefully. "The technique is called Force Camoflage. Though your stealth technique is superb, the shadows can only hide you so well. And be warned. Other enemies amass at this place's gates. Don't try and hide from more than three at once for now...you aren't strong enough. Now, feed on your pain for strength and go forward, young Dark Sider...what Morgana sent you for is in the very next area...but no doubt the cannibals will be everywhere. Along with any guards that have not fled." Li rose up, feeling sick. "And what of you?" "My part is done...for now. But only you can decide what you want to do from here. If the Dark Side truly calls to you...if you truly wish to make it your own, then finding me will not be difficult," Ryleya answered, her disgusting form deflating and folding back into itself...and taking the form of Li herself, black armor and all. "Only you can choose to go forward into the darkness. What sort of existence will you have otherwise?" Ryleya answered, her eyes still that nauseating, slick pus yellow color. "You can be so much more than a criminal. You can be a force of nature. I kept track of you after my defeat...you were aggressive when the odds were in your favor...but a doormat otherwise. Don't waste your gift. Embrace it. Embrace the Dark Side..." Ryleya finished with a smile that somehow seemed revolting despite her now beautiful appearance. "I will buy you some time. Make Pendragon think you are still down here while you are making your way to his quarters. The shapeshifter went to the door, lifting the bar keeping it in place and striding out to face the cannibals on the other side with an active red lightsaber. The real Li, in the meantime, headed towards the VIP turbolift, hitting the button labled "Private Quarters". Her head swam from the intrusion but she undid the service latch and headed up it as the turbolift moved upward. She took the moment to catch her breath, make sense of the new knowledge in her head. The turbolift trip was a speedy one, and Li got out her knife as it reached the stop. Unsurprisingly, she heard the sounds of blaster fire pepper the inside. "Check the service hatch! Gotta make sure!" one Iotran Guard yelled. Li knew she had seconds to act, and the pressure was on. Nothing forces perfection like life or death. As soon as the hatch flew open, Li reached out to the mind of the Iotran as he pulled himself through, straining brutally as he balanced his feet on a hand rail and peered in her direction. The sharp pain in her head was agony but the Iotran didn't see her. "Nothing here! She set up a distraction!" The Iotran man grumbled, getting down. "Well then lets go shore up the east end! Damn cannibals are pouring through the entrances Pendragon just HAD to put in under the damn floors!" One of them yelled. Li waited until they were gone, and collapsed on the turbolift roof, panting. Her Force reserves were utterly exhausted at the moment. Everything hurt. Everything. But Li knew she had to keep going. To stop was to fail Kev. Had to reach Kev. Had to. Had to hold him again. The Dark Power called to her from within, but she ignored it. Whatever was so terrible down there that brought out that evil creature in her was far enough away that the evil was back under her control. For now... Until she put on her mask again. Li forced herself up, dropping through the hatch and collapsed into a heap on impact. She pulled herself forward, dragging herself painfully along the ground. She was right back where she started. Pendragon's private room. After a few moments, she pulled herself up, beginning to search the room for what Morgana had sent her to fetch. She imagined even Pendragon wasn't stupid enough to leave it in the open. She began looking for hidden switches, buttons. These pretentious artsy rich types liked to be clever, hide the means to their secret stash in plain sight. Problem was, this was all being searched by a woman who was a master of hiding in plain sight...it wouldn't stop her for long. Her eyes settled on the picture of Morgana cradling her dead sister. It made sense, him hiding it with who he hated most...that saying about keeping enemies closer popped into her head. She went over to the painting, running her fingers on its back edge. She felt a switch flick and a wall parted in two, revealing another chamber full of Pendragon's personal belongings. Li smirked and strode in, observed worthless looking nicknacks on display, and then spotted the only thing Morgana had sent her to obtain. But it wasn't a scroll. It was a datapad, resting on a pedestal. She strode forward and picked it up. It was locked. There was a phrase displayed on the screen. "Type in the Sith Code." Morgana had told of this code. In a rather off handed manner. Li thought the code strange, its scope limited and impractical for everyday applications. If you were truly superior, why shackle yourself to ANY code? If the whole point was being able to do as you saw fit, when you saw fit, then wasn't the Sith Code itself just another shackle in the end, to be abused, ignored, taken advantage of and exploited mercilessly in others who took it seriously? But given that Pendragon had made it the key, Li suspected the interpretation of the code went a little deeper than that. In any case, she wasn't sure she was capable of caring, so long as she achieved her objective. If that meant abusing some code a group of dogmatic fools took too seriously for their own good, then she would do it. Uncomfortably, as she typed in the code, she felt the evil in her stir...react to it...she fought down the feeling of ecstacy from the murderous creature in her chest, apparently enamored with the Code by its very nature. The Sith Code called to it. The display unlocked, and Li gazed at a bunch of notes and journal entries she couldn't quite make sense of, was too exhausted to even read in detail, and stuffed the datapad into a travel sack she found next to it, along with a transparisteel container filled with red and orange synths and decided it was now time for Pendragon to die.
  5. Whips vs. Pendragon Estate!

    As Whips flicked her weapon left and right, the Droids finally got within range. One struck out, a vicious horizontal slash that forced Whips to backaway, still not proficient yet at using the whip to zone her opponents. she flicked it into a high twirl, before bring the rope like weapon down to wrap around the hand of one droid, which immediately caused it to hiss and smoke, the metal of its hand glowing as the heat from the whip took its toll, though it still didn't cut through the way a real saber would have. The droid pulled back, its hand disabled, but it resumed attacking with its good arm. The other three droids charged, and Whips was forced to duck and dodge wide, heavy slashes from that strange fighting style she had never seen before, while retaliating with wide slashes of Form One and flicks of her flexible blade, which bent around the blades of the droids as they tried to crowd her, the strike from her whip hitting two of them in the face, throwing off their vertical attacks but only just barely, as Whips was then forced to retreat towards the cannibals still rushing in, slashing through them with her pilferred weapon and enjoying each delicious death howl from them at the same time. The droids whose ocular sensors hadn't been damaged by her last attack pursued, violently hacking through the snarling insane men and women to reach her, when Whips having cleared a group of them out from her general vicinity twirled her weapon to the unarmored leg, of the closest droid and yanked, pulling its legs out from under it only to get her head nearly cut off by the remaining droid, which attacked with strong stiff slashes designed to beat her into submission. Whips was once again forced to retreat, flicking her whip through more cannibals even as she backed off to the other end of the room, forcing it to go through any foe her weapon had not sliced through in the retreat. But it hacked through everything eventually, severed parts flying everywhere, throwing the screeching beasts off of it to advance. She snarled and lunged forward with a series of twirls and cracks, seemingly talented at her new weapon despite having never used it before now, and the thing was forced to back off, trying to parry the weapon but not truly programmed to react to do so...another foolish mistake of Pendragon, given who his second in command had been. Whips was able to get the tip past the droid's parry attempt, slashing into its durasteel neck, creating sparks that came from ruined power feeds and circuits. The thing sputtered and died, dropping to the ground. The other droid she had yanked to the ground was being violently pried apart by a locust swarm of cannibals applying animal strength fueled by insanity. The last two droids were stumbling around with their ocular sensors damaged, she slashed her way through the mad victims of Pendragons depravity. Not because she felt death would be a mercy for what they were now, but simply because they were in her way, and she found she took great delight in causing them pain. That maliciousness fueled her persona, every flick of the whip and howl of agony a note from a violin to her warped perceptions as she slashed and slashed through the hoard with her weapon, finally reaching the droids, still blinded, and used the whip to slash the joints in their legs, the heavy robots falling down as she brought a boot down on both their necks, breaking them and rendering the droids non functional. She would have stayed to slaughter the rest, but there were too many, and with the last droid fallen, there was no need to stay. She went to the golden door they had been guarding and kicked it open. She quickly shut it and through the large bar ont a specially built catch in the door to hold it close. It was a golden button on a pedestal, under a beam of light surrounded by darkness. She started to go to it as the Force rage started to wear off, but stopped. She took one of the remaining arrows from her quiver and tossed it. Slug thrower bullets rain out peppering the ground the arrow hit. She looked up. She spotted them at last, turrets hidden in the darkness. With one last exertion, she pressed the button by using telekinesis to force it down. "Caution. Fail safe activated. Good Luck, Pendragon," a female voice announced. Whips snorted at this. Pendragon was truly pathetic, wishing himself good fortune. As the rage wore off, the exhaustion set in...and a new problem arose, for while Whips had tapped the Dark Side deeply to survive the previous fight, it had taken much of her strength to maintain her immersion in it, and thus, her control of Li's body. And with this massive vicious expenditure, she simply did not have the energy to concentrate on being her any longer. Even the darkness of this place could not help now. So Whips murderous, vicious nature began to fade, melting back into Li's subconscious, who went cold and started shaking uncontrollably in terror at how good being Whips had felt. Li could not ever risk letting that...thing...near her son. No telling what would happen. "Ah! You survived!" called a familiar, female voice. Li turned to the right of her, and spotted the Woman in the Gray dress, coming out of some kind of cloaking field. Li backed away, knowing she was no longer in any condition to even attempt fighting off the beast. The blindfolded woman smiled, stepping forward. Li took another step back. "Still having trouble truly controlling your darkness. Don't worry, happens to the best of us," the Woman said. "But you have activated the failsafe in this place...all the exits are opened. Beyond me is an elevator that will take you right to Pendragon's quarters...where he will have men surely waiting to kill you. But I can help, if you will let me..." "No need to play mysterious benefactor. I know what you are. Who you are. You're that...demon I ran into on Tattooine." The woman smiled..."Well," she continued, "Since we no longer need to play with pretense..." Li struggled not to be sick as the woman's features bulged and distorted, the entire surface area of her body going a sickly, pallid white as the dress disappeared to become part of skin while thin, greasy rags erupted from hidden pockets of flesh to cover sickeningly little on a gross, slick and greasy, bulbous form that just finished growing a pair of Lekku out of it, the face shimmering like wax as it took on an ugly, wooden face with wrinkles and a long, crooked nose. The eyes opened, pus yellow orbs that glimmered disgustingly in the darkness like fresh mucus from someone with influenza. The creature floated to her, dirty looking toenails inches off the ground. "You will need one gift more from me in order to survive. Unfortunately, I don't have time to teach so we're gonna have to do this the hard way..." Ryleya hissed. "What's the hard way? And what do you get out of this?" Ryleya laughed. "I rarely run into Dark Siders with such a potent natural talent as yours. There are Sith apprentices who study for months, and never make it past a challenge like what you just did. And even the ones who do are often barely alive afterward. Such a thing must be nurtured, to further the will of the Dark Side. The Empire is stagnant...its Sith are trapped by their own overconfidence, and I sense it will be their downfall. Many of them will die, more than likely when that downfall comes. And when the rats get driven into the shadows, its the perfect opportunity for fresh blood to rise to the occasion, keep the Dark Side healthy with cruelty and slaughter and greed," she proclaimed. "You can either embody the darkness of chaos, or the darkness of Tyranny, like the Sith do, should you choose to go to them. But this is a dangerous time for you now. Pendragon is weakened but he is still formidable. I reccomend an indirect route to his defeat. And the hated Jedi, once they learn of your existence will attempt to destroy you on convert you to the hated light. But you must keep to the Dark Side. It is the true path, the sweet path. Morgana's aims are limited and I sense her time is drawn nearly to a close...but there is more like me...more OF me, I should say." "What of my son?" Ryleya glowered. "If he is your only chain...than that chain, like all chains, must be broken. I thought I had gotten my previous prospect to understand this, but he is...resistant to belief on the Darkness and its aims for its own sake. At the end of the day, your only true love must be the Dark Side." "I won't kill my son!" Li screamed, horrified, then angry. "And if you come near him..." Ryleya scoffed at this. "Oh, relax, I'm not as strict about this as some other masters would be. Besides, the severing of the chain must be done by the one bound to it. It would mean nothing if I ended Kev. Besides, I was telling the truth when I said I have too much respect for him to try. We'll cross that bridge when you are strong enough to cross it." "And if I'm not?" Li demanded. Ryleya scowled at her. "Than the higher mysteries of the Dark Side, of power, remain out of your reach. And I have no further reason to stay interested in you. But I have confidence in you...that darkness in your body screams for freedom. You need only stop fighting it. Let it take over. You'll be reborn." "Into what, a mindless machine of death and savagery?" Li accused. Ryleya shrugged. "If you want." "But whats the point? What's the Dark Side's point?!" Li shouted in confusion. Ryleya stared. "The Dark Side's point is to make those born with the Force embrace their full potential," she answered quietly, patiently. "To embrace what they truly are, free of limits. Free of the perceptions, the memes that bind the rest of a corrupt and degenerate galactic society. A hypocritical society. The Dark Side imposes death for all forms of weakness. By slaughtering the innocent, we show them how lacking they are in defense. By creating chaos, we show them how their peaceful ways teeter constantly on the brink of failure for lacking the strength to make it better able to handle disruption. By taking away the freedom, their happiness, we reveal how it was all built on a house of cards just waiting to collapse the moment someone tipped it. We reveal them the truth...WE are the ones who are free, not they. Because we have the strength to kill and fight and grow stronger and risk death for our goals, whatever they may be, while they are forever roaches, hiding under the robes of the closest Jedi Knight they find, or behind the slave-soldiers of bloated and inept Republic that can't even bring order to the bowels of its own capital planet. If they were truly strong, truly steadfast, all followers of the Darkside would be obliterated wherever we rose, because they would be proving wrong our assertion that we knew better. Instead, all they can do is reduce us to a handful, and then like a bacteria grown resistant to medicine, we spread and infect the organism again. They have never truly defeated us, and they never will, because, to paraphrase something I heard from a butler I met in a shuttle once, they aren't willing to burn the woods to the ground to flush out the criminals." Li stared and to her cold disquiet, found she agreed with a lot of what Ryleya said. Ryleya moved closer. "Let me help you, welp."
  6. Whips vs. Pendragon Estate!

    Whips finally reached the center of the city, sticking to the shadows, and almost groaned as she spotted the building. It was a pyramid shaped building covered in white and gold tiles, with statues of a Muun...presumably Pendragon's father lining all four corners of a building five stories at its peak. The statues of the robed Muun had rotating cameras in their hands. Whips heard the snarls of the cannibals in the distance and knew she had to move in now, risks be damned. She sprinted forward. Timing her sprint when the rotating camera turrets moved away. Her lightsaber flashed on and she drove it into the Pyramid's outer wall, cutting a hole in as quickly as possible, knowing she didn't have long. The thick cut of wall soon collapsed inward. She rushed inside and blinked. It was a maze of transparisteel walls, and some kind of droid, one she had never seen before, tall and imposing. It was lanky with a cylindrical torso and tall, sphere-like head with a red ocular sensor swiveling left and right. She spotted in its skeletal, human like hands something silvery. A lightsaber. "You've got no chance, Dark Jedi. My droid is a Czerka Prototype specially modified and programmed by yours truly," Pendragon snarled over a hidden intercom. "You may have lasted longer than anyone. I'll even give you credit for killing Lash where all others had failed...but your success stops here. You want that failsafe? Its at the center of that maze. Don't think about trying to cut through the walls. Those walls have special sensors. They feel anything go above them or feel so much as a blaster bolt, the explosives under the floor detonate. Or did you think I'd be so stupid as to put a transparisteel maze without a failsafe as well?" "Whats to prevent your droid from tapping the wall and detonating them to stop me?" Whips asked. "Because I'm getting a show, one way or another. And even if you figure a way through the maze, that droid will stop you cold. So go ahead, Darksider. Go ahead and make your vain attempt at glory." "You actually sound pissed for once Penny. You know what that is? Fear," Whips sneered. "I'm making you look bad ain't eye. Seems Lash was your poison pill, and my inferior in more ways than one. See, you know if I reach that little failsafe you are out of luck. This little mock playground comes crashing down. Which leads me to wonder...why would a man so desperate to stop me warn me about the only thing that could possibly save his ass at this point? You didnt warn me about the pit in that guard tower," Whips pondered, stepping forward to the maze entrance. "And that's because I don't think there are any explosives. After all, if the failsafe was meant for you to reach, you wouldn't risk such a lethal trap when it could easily backfire, especially if a foe was in pursuit. No. You are trying to use fear to slow me down. Problem is, Ryleya already taught me considerably about fear," Whips snorted, tapping her active blade against the wall nearest to her. No blast. "Nice try, Penny," she gloated, gleefully cutting the wall down. "You're a bad pazaak player." "You insolent little shavit," Pendragon snarled, no ounce of bemusement left in his voice. "You think you are special? You are nothing! A stain Morgana collected on a rag! Your success is merely luck! As my guardian will prove! And then I will mount you on a wall after having taxidermied your corpse!" "If all that is true, Penny, tell me...why you yelling?" Whips asked. No response. "Its finally hitting you, isn't it?" Whips asked slicing through yet another wall to get to the center. "You've enjoyed the high life, feeding into your decadence for so long you don't remember the thrill of real struggle. Of overcoming adversity. So you hide in these walls, hide from what a joke you've become as you throw your pointless little parties." Whips sliced through another barrier, the Droid going active. "You mock Morgana for her shortcomings, but really Penny. How are you any better? At least Morgana is largely a self made woman, and she earned her skills and actively maintained them. But you? You are a rich malcontent. You insult the Dark Side with your lack of struggle. You hide, like a worm under a rock. I, on the other hand, earn my victories, meager though they are at the moment. The Dark Side favors me this day. And this day will end with your blood on me," she snapped, cutting through the final barrier. The droid sprang forward, orange lightsaber flashing on. Whips' lightwhip was out, the tip being flung experimentally at it. *** The droid, despite its stockiness, was surprisingly agile and deftly avoided the whip, bringing its orange blade down in a style Whips didn't recognize, forcing her to roll out of the way of its heavy overhead attack. The droids feet was wedded to the white and gold tiled floor, and Whips twirled and flung her new weapon's blade at its legs, forcing the droid to back off, which was good for her as it allowed for time to think. She wasn't sure she had the physical strength to attack it or defend against it head on. Had to improvise, but how? The snarl of cannibals outside quickened her blood, and she relished the intensity of the moment. She fed on her fear of dying, using it to stay in control, keep Li under longer and prevent her from ruining it. The cannibals poured through the hole Whips had made and she grinned. "NOW ITS A PARTY!" she yelled, bloodthirsty. Her bravado was rewarded when four more droids of the same build erupted from hidden platforms in the floor's hatches. It seemed Pendragon didn't leave much to chance after all. Her weapon twirled anits tip sailed towards the nearest one's chest, forcing it to deflect the tip but not before the flexible blade bent around its orange straight one and scored a deep burn mark across a cortosis chest. The other droids rushed her, and the screaming, dirty cannibals rushed in also, mindlessly attacking the droids, but also mindlessly attacking her also, swiping at her head. Whips cackled, giving an experimental twirl which violently slashed through the faces of four of her victims, giving herself to her rage, instinctively increasing her speed and strength. As she began to slash and twirl with wild abandon and cared only that her blade hit something solid, and since the cannibals were swarming her, the stink of their madness on already greasy, pallid skin, the whip ended of slashing and grazing into a lot of them, incapacitating some on the sheer pain of being hit. The droids, however, began cutting their way through the swarm to reach their true target...
  7. Whips vs. Pendragon Estate!

    Whips ran as fast as she could, the Cannibals loose everywhere, snarling and huffing as she gave chase. The men were busy fighting for their lives, caught off guard by Pendragon releasing the cannibals earlier than usual. She ran past crude stone houses and flickering street lamps. She saw fires ahead of her. Flame throwers. It didn't matter. She had her weapons back, plus one new one. Let them try and stop her. She flashed on her blood red lightsaber, tapping into her rage again, letting it soak her brain in fuel and light a match. She saw in red as she spotted four more guards ahead and without even pausing in her stride, brutally sliced through them in a wide arc even as a pack of cannibals continued to chase her through narrow cobblestone streets. *** Pendragon was silent. Everyone was silent in the Sun Room. He watched, fists clenching together as Lash had died in the most grotesque manner possible. She had let her anger get the better of her, and now Morgana's student was running to the exact center to get to his insurance policy. Morgana, it seemed, hadn't chosen some halfwit. She had picked someone able to adapt and think on her feet. Lash had been right. This one HAD been too dangerous. Not only had she lasted far longer than anyone else, she was now in genuine danger of humiliating him again and turning his own doomsday switch against him. One of his guests, a human woman, drunkenly rose. Pendragon didn't even remember her name at the moment, so beside himself in his rage. "Well, this is new. Pendragon at a loss for words," she joked. Her beauty somehow marred from the depravity she had engaged in already despite her raven locks and fair skin. Pendragon dashed over to her with Force assisted speed and snapped her neck. She dropped where she stood. "Boil her," he instructed the other guests, while he got out his comlink, watching with mild amusement as the guests dragged out a large cauldron from the built in kitchen in the walls. While the dumped the impudent woman in the giant pot, Pendragon got out his comlink. "All guards on the outer estate, withdraw. This is a direct order. You are to proceed into my inner sanctum and stop the woman attempting to reach the center of it by any means necessary. Fail, and you will suffer ten times what Lash suffered. Get moving." Pendragon threw down the comlink in a rage. "Cook!" he shouted at the guests. *** Kev ran through the tunnels hearing hell unleashed in the distance. He was out of breath. He stopped, struggling to take in air. It was all that witch's fault, he thought, struggling to breathe. Not Morgana. Not really. Ryleya. It was all her fault. A horrible thought came to him suddenly. What if his mother hadn't really made it out from The dead witch's tower? What if...what if the witch's magic had somehow...remained. What if Kev had never won that day? What if, in ending that bloated thing's life, some...small piece of it's evil had escaped in his mother? Kev didn't want to think of the other possibility. He couldn't. Couldn't stand the idea that his mother might have always been that way, deep down, and he couldn't see it...or wouldn't... They should have run. Run to the core worlds. Run for the thickest part of the underworks they could find. At least there any wickedness his mother pulled would have been limited, lost in the drone of a thousand other crimes and victims. He should have been more forceful, more a lot of things. That settled it, he thought. Morgana had to go. They had to take her down by any means. And then...Kev somehow had to convince his mom to let go of her powers. The more she used them, the more she wanted to use them. The more horrible she would get. Morgana had been a far more savvy con artist than his mother had given her credit for. She had completely upended everything. Kev ignored the fact that their troubles were his mother's doing. He did not see the red hands until they reached out to snatch him. Hands belonging to a grinning devil. Kev screamed as the Devil of Mustafar seized the boy, clapping a hand over his mouth.
  8. Whips vs. Pendragon Estate!

    Whips cursed. It was the Twi'lek. She got out the rifle as she heard a shuffle of guards start rushing upward. Whips flip-cocked her cut down lever action rifle one handed and cackled, opening fire into the hapless guards as they tried to get closer to her, charging up the stairs, a bullet going through a bare face. The other guards, realizing she had a gun, and that their armor, designed according to extremely ancient methods, wasn't ever meant to go up against even simple fire arms, retreated, some jumping out the windows on the second story to evade her bullets. After seven shots, she was out of ammo and the one remaining guard decided to be brave, charging up and swinging a sword for her face. Her rifle dropped and her knife came out, ducking his sword swipe and driving her knife between the plates in his abdomen, kicking him backward, he swooned by charged forward with wild, ferocious swings, desperate to behead her. She clenched her hand, and invisible tendrils of the Force closed around his body, immobilizing him, causing him to drop his sword when he could not quite swing and Whips sprang forward driving the knife upward between the plates, into his heart. He dropped, dead. Whips sheathed her knife and grabbed her rifle, loading more bullets into it. She would have one chance against Lash to get this right. She headed downstairs hesitantly. Lash had the advantage and she knew it. That strange lightwhip had reach but she suspected it would suck at actually blocking, meaning Lash would have to constantly move. Plus, given its length...she would also need room. Whips got an idea. If Lash wanted to get her, she was going to have to come in to do it. She went to the nearest window. "COME IN HERE IF YOU'RE WOMAN ENOUGH!" she shouted back. Whips heard Lash shout for her body guards, and cursed mentally. She'd give Lash credit; whatever other things the Twi-lek might be, stupid wasn't one of them. She ran back upstairs and climbed out the window she had originally gotten in through, and continued to climb upward quietly, even as she heard shouting from inside the primitive stone building. In the distance, she heard the shrieks and howls of the Cannibals in the distance growing louder. She continued to climb silently until she reached the top. Crawling on all fours. She got out her rifle, taking careful aim, and fired at Lash's center of mass. The Dark Jedi dodged it, to Whips unpleasant surprise and jumped a seemingly impossible distance towards her, as the shrieking of the Cannibals in the distance grew closer. Lash's bodyguards still outside the building opened fire at an approaching pack of them. Whips had seconds to react and did the only thing she could, force pulling the woman out of the air and sent the flailing Dark Jedi crashing to the ceiling. Whips backed away as Lash sprang up in pure rage, slinging the tip of her flexible blade at Whips face only for Whips to Force pull Lash closer, making her stumble and making her run face first into the blond woman's forehead, which crashed into her nose sending her swooning backward, and she dodged Whips gunfire more out of desperation and instinct than talent. She retaliated with another erratic strike to her opponents midsection and Whips bolted left to avoid the blade, scrambling forward and tugging her sash off when she spotted her lightsaber hanging from it. Her blood-red blade shot out and she barely parried a secondary strike whose tip scorched her shoulder badly, leaving an ugly burn on her right shoulder. She fell back as Lash drew her whip back for another strike. In a desperate move, Whips dropped off the side of the building, driving her saber into the building itself, slowing her descent just enough that she reached the bottom at a safe rate, even as she heard frantic snarling behind her. She barely managed to swipe her blade forward in reflex and cutting through three cannibals. She thoughtlessly swiped through four more that got too close, showing zero mercy, momentarily lost in her bloodlust as she started to gleefully cut through the pack of beasts. Lash's shout of rage broke her from her merriment and landed beside her, and the two were suddenly attacking eachother again, the Cannibals having been momentarily scared off. Whips slashed with murderous abandon forcing Lash to dodge her violent hacking and counter with swift twirls of her whip, forcing Whips to back off. "Im guessing this isn't how you imagined your evening going," Whips cruelly mocked. "You're DEAD!" Lash snarled in fury, bolting forward, nose broken from Whips earlier headbutt. Whips charged forward, throwing her hate into her strikes, and when Lash tried to ensnare Whips blade again, Whips struggled tugging backward before she got an idea. It was crazy enough it might work. Whips struggled as best she could, making sure the tension was as tight as possible for Lash's whip...and let go of her blade, Force pushing the entangled saber forward using the momentum from Lash's pulling attempt to aid its direction. Lash screamed, unable to move away as the entangled saber tumbled through the air towards her, slashing through her left arm, carrying the flexible blade of her own whip past her in its wild tumble with Whips blade and ensnaring her shoulder, part of the flexible blade going through Lash's right leg and wrapping around her neck. Lash dropped, screaming in horror and agony as her own blade ate through her flesh, burning through her lekku and eventually her neck, severed head and brain tails tumbling from a rapidly burning body, both blades starting to burn through the ground itself, though for the lightwhip it was taking longer. Whips rushed forward, grabbing both blades, carefully untangling them, even as she heard the Cannibals starting to rush forward. Without really thinking about it, she flicked the lightwhip tip into a cannibal's face, taking its jaw off, her past experience with whipping people to death giving her some minor, albeit crude insight into how the weapon worked, as well as picking up a few things based on how Lash had worked the weapon, though her use was far cruder, and much less crisp than the way Lash had wielded it. It was just really simple, experimental twirls and slinging, and a few times she pulled back on the weapon, she had to dodge the Whip blade to avoid its former owner's fate. Once the Cannibals were driven back once more she looked at Lash's corpse and spat on it. "That's what you get for being eye candy," she said mockingly, shutting off the Whip and clipping it to her belt. The body guards outside were dead, eaten alive by the Cannibals. She saw one defender in the stone building, one of the bodyguards Lash had sent in to force her out staring. "You...you killed her..." the Iotran bodyguard said. "All these years and no one managed to get the better of her...until you..." Whips eyed him with pure contempt. This one didn't seem interested in fighting. Seemed she had beheaded the snake. "Tell me, does Pendragon have anything left? Perhaps if your info is good enough I will allow you your life." "Most of Pendragon's entertainment is dead or worse by this point. You're the only one who has ever lasted this long. Maybe you can escape...maybe you can kill the evil prick..." "How so?" "Pendragon was always paranoid that one day not even his money would be enough to buy his life if the guards turned on him for his crimes. He has a "doomsday" switch installed in the cavern somewhere." "What's it do?" "It activates hidden tunnels in the cavern that lead up to the mansion itself...but this means anyone, including all these cannibals would be able to get inside. Plus, all the security turrets would turn on the guards inside the mansion and on the mansion grounds. Like I said, Doomsday." "Where is it?" "At the only place in this entire death trap that truly contains the last of his father. At the exact center of this place. Don't worry...you'll know the building when you see it." "How come you know of it?" "I've worked here for years, found out about it by accident when Lash let something slip about a few months back. Me and Lash used to be kinda friendly, at least as far as a Dark Jedi gets to being friendly with the help. She could have cut my head off after realizing what I knew but instead she just gave me a warning to not utter a word. But she's dead now, and the only reason I stuck around was because she was easy on the eyes, but now that you kriffed that up," the bodyguard muttered, "I got no reason to continue working for the crazy nutjob that owns this place. I got no reason to lie at this point. Now will you spare our lives?" *** Whips walked out of the guardhouse two minutes later carrying three severed Iotran heads. "No," she answered, tossing them next to Lash's corpse, which was already being taking apart by the Cannibals.
  9. Whips vs. Pendragon Estate!

    Lash and a pack of mercenaries entered the staff turbolift to the hidden microcity in Pendragon's cavern. The cannibals were ready to be released by the staff in the security section of the mansion above. But in truth she was looking to kill the Dark Jedi herself. Li had humiliated her one time too many. The only caveat would be how to do it in a way that would not anger her employer. And she wanted this. The cannibals would overwhelm her but that would deprive Lash of feeling Li's blood on her fingers. She licked her lips at the thought of how tortured and labored that Dark Jedi's death would be. "Remember boys...I'm the only one who spills her blood. You are to merely prevent her escape. If she dies at your hand, you die at mine," she warned them. They all wordlessly nodded their heads, powering up blasters but setting them for stun. She got out her lightwhip, the hilt a black color with no shroud, but a spiked pommel. Li's lightsaber hung from a sash around her waste, a trophy really, but useful in case the whip wasn't enough. As the turbolift reached the cavern's bottom and opened, Lash heard snarling sounds. Familiar ones. She started swearing mentally as Pendragon contacted her on her earpiece. "Pardon my releasing the cannibals ahead of schedule, but frankly, my dear, your motives are transparent to me. Just making sure you stay on task." "Of course, milord Pendragon," she said suppressing her frustration at the thought the cannibals would kill the Dark Jedi before she could. "New plan, boys, switch to lethal, shoot anything that snarls at you. They're loose now." The armored mercs started swearing violently. *** Whips worked her way through darkened streets, sticking to shadows and avoiding the patrols that had suddenly gotten heavy in number, bearing torches. She stuck to natural allyways made by the buildings after that, though the patrols were starting to explore them also. Whips soon realized she was in a dragnet. They were now systematically hunting her. At one point, desperate to evade detection, she had climbed an open window into a darkened room. She crouched under the window, huddling, as a guard came by and used his torch to peer into the room. Whips dared not even breathe. And even if she hadn't been just a hair's breadth from detection what she saw when the torch lit the room would have stopped her breath all the same. They had all been made to stand in a corner, facing the wall. The skin had been flayed off. And they had been impaled on spikes. They had clearly been human, in varying ages. The part that was Li shivered in horror and disgust at Pendragon's insanity. Whips ignored this part forcing more hate to the surface to keep her buried. The natural taint of this entire cavern aided her greatly. Soon the guard stopped looking and Whips moved through the darkness, noting the smell from the corpses. As she moved through the house in near darkness she noticed more flayed corpses positioned in the corners, and she got the disturbing feeling this wasn't the only house down here Pendragon had decorated like this. She found steps that led up a floor and went up it silently hoping for a window she could climb out through or even just reach the roof. Her danger sense kicked in and she quietly got out her bow and drew and arrow from the quiver knocking it, and drew the bow to full draw and fired where she sensed the dangerous life force, hitting the invisible archer who had been perched at the top in a small adjacent bedroom filled with a rotting corpse pile. Whips quickly went over and searched the corpse, the arrow having gone through the archer's eye. She took his credit chits from his wallet. She heard snarling and screaming however, and immediately rushed to the window, watching as snarling, starved, emaciated men and women in scraps and fragments of clothing, mostly naked, charged through the streets, tackling the unlucky guards who were too close or too slow to draw their swords. They were swarmed, like a tasty dead insect gets swarmed by a pile of ants. She saw blood splattering where guards fell. Others were brutally hacking away at the weak men and women, driven mad by a combination of drugs that increased aggression and damaged the logic centers of their brain as well as torture and starvation. Whips didn't care. The weak would die in the wild. It was only natural. She heard snarling down stairs, suspected those flayed corpses would only buy her so much time and crawled out through the window, just barely reaching the top of the roof from her position and pulled herself to the top, just as the feral pack of monsters reached upstairs. She heard blasterfire, and her danger sense ratcheted higher. These cannibals were a nuisance. Whatever had come with those blasters was the real problem. She remembered where she was in relation to the rest of this gigantic abattoir Pendragon had constructed. The guard house containing her slug thrower was nearby. In fact, in the distance she could see guards falling back to the square building with purple banners draped over it. For a second she questioned the wisdom of trying to reacquire it in all this chaos but Whips eventually realized she had no choice. The slugthrower was the only one with range, the only one with true stopping power if all else failed. Whips made a plain jump unassisted to the next roof, looking for a relatively empty street where she could continue her way unimpeded. She broke into a run when she climbed down from the roof top and made a short drop to the street, heading directly for the guardhouse, which was now filled with guards. A cannibal leapt from the shadows, only for Li to bring it down with a hammer blow from her cudgel in mid-leap, smirking as she felt the starving man's skull shatter against it. She continued her run, away from the blaster fire, sticking to the shadows in case not all the patrol were running for their lives. She heard the shrieking and snarling of the cannibals behind her along with the death screams of plenty of Iotrans. The ripping and tearing of flesh loud even at this distance. As she closed the distance between her and the guard house her knife came out and she put it in her teeth and began quickly using the uneven bricks and natural hand and footholds of the way the place had been built to ascend to the third story as quietly as she could, by climbing up the corner of the building, the smell of blood becoming intense. She made her way carefully to the third story, though she nearly lost her grip when some of the brick crumbled. She heard the shrieking grow louder as she took a peak through the window, assuring herself no one was there, before carefully and tentatively climbing in, just as she heard footsteps on a nearby staircase in the stone structure. She ducked behind the solid wall serving as railing for the staircase as two guards headed up, each checking a seperate window. "The sick bastard released them at a different schedule than normal!" One grumbled. "What the hell's his problem?! He know how many rookies were out there tonight?" "Look at it this way, if they figure out how to survive you know they belong!" another joked morbidly, without an ounce of humor. Whips rose silently and crept to the nearest one, sticking her knife inbetween the armored plates on his back and shoving it in. He managed a single gasp that got the other guards attention, only for Whips to grip his neck with the Force, making him choke. He fell to his knees, gasping, as Whips pulled the knife out of her first victim and with a smirk, took aim. She tossed the knife hard, aiming well, and struggled not to laugh as the blade went cleanly through the man's eye and sank into his head deeply. She walked over, releasing her force choke and pulled the blade out of the corpse, completely absorbed in her carnage, plucking a set of primitive metal keys from the dead guard and heading to a nearby closed door with a built in metal lock. She began testing the ring of keys on each lock, until a rusted one finally opened the door. She stared. Her slug thrower rested on a simple wooden table with a pouch of ammo next to it. Li smiled...and tossed her knife into the face of an archer hidden by a stealth field. It was the drawing of the bow that had given him away, not her Force Sense. She saw the knife stop in mid-air, disrupting the field and revealing the Iotran archer, whose face looked to be in a state of shock. "Nice try, Penny," she remarked under her breath, grabbing the slug thrower. Checking it. It still had the ammo she had loaded into it from earlier. She smirked. Now her chances of survival looked considerably improved. As she put it in the empty holster slung over her back, attaching the ammo pouch to her belt. Then she heard it. "DARKSIDER! I KNOW YOU'RE IN THERE! COME OUT AND FACE ME!" Lash shouted from outside.
  10. Whips vs. Pendragon Estate!

    Whips moved swiftly in the darkness, unconcerned with the effort it had taken for Pendragon to build a small city underground. She stuck to the shadows, where she was naturally the most comfortable. She sensed the remnants of suffering permeating the area, creating a delicious fear and agitation she could see in the others patrolling its streets. This place must have been saturated with suffering over the years, and she tried to draw it into herself, take in the horror and evil of this place and make it her own., but was surprised to find that there was little beyond imprints. She had a theory, one she could not be certain of, as she didn't truly know much of the Dark Side beyond instinct, but she was starting to think the reason she was so easily drawn out was because this place, even though it had only echoes of evil that it had still enhanced the innate bloodlust Li possessed, giving it form and definition as long as she drew on it, without having to wait for Li to put on a mask. Meaning that as soon as she left this place, her ability to take over might gradually fade, and she would once again be under Li's dominion. The thought angered Whips. Li had been a doormat, albeit a cunning and quiet one, always ignoring her own desires for adventure. The thing now calling itself Whips had first come into being when Li had given into her rage at her parents death, violently slaughtering the war party of Sand People that had murdered her father and mother through stealth and ambush, stalking them for days as they tried to make it back to their enclave. She hadn't been truly seperate from Li then, as Li had spent the next few years of her life trying to forget what she had done nearly losing all reason in her solitude. No, whatever Whips was, a fugue state, a seperate persona, or simply the real person underneath the unsophisticated moisture farmer, or some combination of the three...it had truly started to be seperate from Whitewolf when she had murdered Kolbu the gangster. Li had surrendered to madness and bloodthirst in torturing the man that had burned down her home. And in that moment, Whips had truly started to take shape, subtly influencing all of Li's actions since fleeing Castell, however, before now, it required Li changing her appearance in order for Whips to truly get any freedom. And Li always retained final control. But not today. Whips approached the guardhouse, modeled much like the last one, and saw two guards standing by their posts at the front. Iotrans, just like the last three. She darted into the shadows, taking cover behind a statue of Pendragon in swirling, large robes. "How come he ain't released the cannibals yet?" one Iotran asked. "He usually cuts 'em loose by now." "He wanted to change the schedule up tonight," the other answered. "I HATE it when he does that. It's bad enough he never gives any warning. Last time we did this I didn't see one of those mutilated freaks until they were within striking distance. Just barely managed to stab it..." "Tell me about it. Last year, me and a buddy of mine were set to patrol the fountains down in the center of this place. Those drugged up nasties had made a nest in one of the alcoves. My buddy gets snatched and torn apart. They were so dug in it took me and a couple of others with flamethrowers to drive 'em out. Still can't get the smell out of my nostrils. "You hear about who they got down here this time? Some sort of Dark Jedi. Lash caught her with a lightsaber and everything." The first Iotran peered at the second. "Serious?" "Like an earthquake. Why you think we stopped getting check ins from post zero?" "How are we supposed to stop a Dark Jedi?" "The bowmen will get her...eventually." "But what about us?!" "You signed the dotted line. You knew the risks." "This is some shavit..." Li was about to move from cover, the guardhouse was surrounded by a wall of stone brick, one and a half times taller than Li. The brick work was rough and primitive however, allowing for plenty of places to grab and climb...but then her keen eyes picked up a shimmer in the air next to the guards. Man sized. Faint, but there. It was a stealth field. Li had seen them used before, had even learned how to work one, but never owned one. She would have to be extra careful. Pendragon had shelled out for high quality units...it had been sheer luck she had spotted it. The cheap ones light bending field shimmered more. Whips moved from cover, keeping to the shadows outside the guardhouse perimeter, slowly, quietly. She got close to the wall and began to quietly climb it, and in seconds she had reached the top, pulling out her Trench knife, her dark outfit blending her in with the darkness above from the cavern. Her trench knife came out, and Whips floated it telekinetically with an evil grin, aiming the knife at the shimmer. Exerting the max amount of speed possible she sent the knife at the shimmer. She smirked as the knife stopped. She heard a gurgle as the man's stealth field failed and he collapsed, causing the guard's to head over, to try and help. The knife had gone through chainmail, impacting the midsection, buried deep. Whips then sent a bolt of electricity a piece at both of them, feeling the painful sting and burn on her hand as she leapt down, removing her cudgel why the guards were stunned, their muscles having seized up, forcing them still even as they began to tumble, her cudgel reaching their unprotected face, with two swift, heavy whacks. They fell down dead. Whips grinned, enamored with her own brutality. She plucked the keys off one guard, retrieved her knife and opened the front door with the keys to its lock Inside, she noticed it was quite different, having an expensive looking red carpeting, faceted statues of Muun's made of marble, and in the center of the place lay a simple table, holding her bow and arrows. Whips was no fool, anymore than Li was. She approached cautiously, looking for anything that did not belong. She moved forward, slowly. She had been just about to take a step when she noticed a seam, faint but there in the carpet. Two seams actually. On that ran horizontal and the other vertical, all the way to the table at the center. Li took out her cudgel, tapping the seamed floor. The floor ahead collapsed, revealing a bed of sharp, jagged spikes. And then Pendragon's voice spoke up. "Well, done, disciple of Morgana. I would have been disappointed if you hadn't noticed that. Still, though, you are along fairly early. No reason to get truly excited about you just yet." Assuming he could here her, Whips huffed in annoyance. "Really Penny? A bed of spikes? How...horror film. All that money, you'd think you'd come up with something original. This is pedestrian. No wonder you are so bored." "I am going to mount that tongue of yours on my wall," he snapped. Whips ignored his threat, instead focusing the Force to retrieve her weapons, lifting them from the table telekinetically, floating both bow and filled quiver to her direction, over the bed of spikes. "My father first discovered this cavern, supported by natural pillars, when I was but a boy. He instantly had dreams of a private, hidden sanctum, though his tastes were far different from my own. He wanted to make a this cavern resemble the images he saw in his mind, wonderful floral patterns, an entire cavern as a piece of art." "Sounds like a guy with a better plan than yours," she taunted as she grasped them, slinging the quiver around her back. "My father lacked vision is all. I made sure to rid myself of most of it once he was gone. Those marble statues you see are among the last signs of his influence. I saw this place for what it was, a nice, isolated place for my...delights." Whips heard nothing more from him but was not dissuaded. She had to get her slugthrower next but that was deeper in the complex. She turned and headed back out. *** In the Sun Room, one of the guests, a male Bothan, was still annointing himself in the blood from the slain slave next to him. "I must say, Pendragon, your Dark Jedi certainly is getting through the early parts quicker than most do. She even spotted the bowmen that killed the last one...AND she is taking the piss out of you--" Pendragon turned around, walked over to the guest, smiled, and snapped his neck. The other guests cheered, not even drunk. Pendragon chuckled, bidding his slave to come over and drip more wax on his feet. "First impudent prick of the night. Ladies, gentleman, you know what to do." The guests scrambled up with scalpals Lash had passed out while Whips had been making her way to the second guardhouse and immediately began slicing and cutting into the dead Bothan, for no other purpose than a rush and to collect a souvenir. They were prepared to do this to each other also, in the event Pendragon decided one of them was to die for angering him. Pendragon looked at Lash. "Triple the patrol in the central sector, and prepare for the release of the cannibals. I want her hearded in. And in case the cannibals do not succeed, I want you down there to finish her off. She has insulted me for the last time. But do try and give a good show of it when you do. Nothing boring, okay?" Lash smiled wickedly. "As you wish, milord Pendragon." The purple Twi'lek walked out of the chamber, heels clicking as she walked past a guest caressing a lump of Bothan flesh.
  11. Whips vs. Pendragon Estate!

    Li listened to Pendragon's proclimations, watching the golden sphere at the top of the stone tower. The Pilot had warned him of Pendragon's penchant for using cannibals, so if she did well it probably wouldn't be long before he resorted to using them. Li began looking around for her cudgel, smiling as she spotted it. "Okay, Penny, let's see what this hell hole has that's got everyone so scared," she muttered. Li instantly crouched in the shadows, listening as she heard footsteps, spotting what looked like an guard in purple silk clothing with a basic durasteel armor and helm, armed with a simple, double edged longsword with a hand and a half hilt, the pommel a red orb of transparisteel. He had obviously been sent to intercept, test whether or not she could be killed on the spot. She hugged her place in the shadows on the wall, watching as he ventured to the seat where she had been deposited, and she advanced behind him, utterly silent, moving with her clothing and placing her feet evenly on the rough ground to reduce noise. Her cudgel was primed for a strike, and his back was to her. She targeted the back of his head, whose neck was protected only by chainmail. She swung her cudgel, smiling as she heard a sickening crack that signified a broken neck. The guard crumpled face forward, dead, sword tumbling out of his hand and clattering to the ground. She ignored the sword, it was too heavy a blade for her liking. Besides, the rest of her weapons were down here...or so Pendragon claimed. Li would kill every single person here if she had to. She didn't care. Pendragon would die. His secrets would be Morgana's...but they would be hers first. Li decided she needed to leave the starting area, get a better idea of what she was dealing with. She took a few steps forward out of the darkened alley. She saw a street lined with torches, but a few good shadows to hide in. Pendragon had used a natural underground cavern...she could see gigantic support pillars by the stone tower, where Pendragon was getting a good view of this. He had to have spent millions for all this. How did he hide where the money went, she wondered. Lawyers? Good ones? Beneath that tower was a grid of small buildings, not going above four stories, and watchtowers lit with torches. Almost a microcity. They had not been kidding when they said it was a primitive military fortunes. She still didn't understand what Pendragon got out of this. He must be so rich he was bored out of his skull. No challenge in his life. Li felt a stab of realization as she realized this might be, in a way, a foreshadowing of her own fate if she succeeded. Settled down into nice and quiet routine...and with these new powers, these new skills having virtually no purpose beyond keeping a roof over her head. Where was the fun in that? Where was the point? Li had hated being a punching bag on Tattooine. She had watched Morgana do virtually nothing with her power save hunt a man likely no one cared about. She was here, alive, seeing more action, more adventure, than she had ever seen. Even killing the war party that had murdered her parents wasn't exhilarating, just a hatred driven chore that was complicated by hot suns and dry sand. This...this was special. If there was anything she would ever be greatful to Morgana for, (even though she would never admit it outloud) it would be giving her the chance to experience true adventure, put her skills to the test. And test the power of the Dark Side. Li ventured into the street, bolting quickly into the shadows as a pair of guards came with torches. They peered around suspiciously, having obviously heard her dispatch the runner-up. They drew their swords and stepped forward slowly, while Li hid behind a pillar with polygonal shapes painted onto its surface. She decided to test that bit of wisdom the beast had chosen to bestow upon her. She reached out, stretching her perceptions, focusing on her hatred and rage as that creature had advised, placing her faith in the Dark Side without hesitation, feeling a giddy sensation when she felt it swim up her spine. It was intoxicating. She let more of it into her, letting it fill the recesses of her mind as she tried to seize the guard's throat with the dark side. He struggled, making her struggle more. She dug even deeper, The Darkness readily aiding her in her task, since she was giving herself so freely to it. With a snarl of hate, a telekinetic grip tightened around his throat.. He stiffened, coughingmuscles locking him in place as she rushed forward bringing the cudgel down on his face, smashing it with a wet but satisfying crack to Li's ears. The bloodthirst had entered her, as it had on Tattooine, except the Dark Side was amplifying it's effects. Making it take over, driving the sane part of her away...at least for now. Li's eyes fluttered in her head for a second. And then the part of her the thugs had given a name to, the part that Li had ignored with Kev's help, came out. Whips smirked, striding confidantly over to the still screaming guard, putting a boot on his throat to make him stop. That thing the thug on Castell had seen in Li's eyes was out in full force and the mother of Kev was...somewhere else. "Maybe if you stop shrieking long enough, you might be able to direct me to the rest of my weapons," Whips said gloatingly, delighted as she watched him shake and shiver. It was only appropriate. "Make it stop!" He begged, out of his mind with fear and pain from having no defense against her powers. "Of course," she lied. "Where are my weapons?" "T...They're scattered. Put into seperate guard buildings. Don't...know where which weapon was...p-p-placed in which." "Good boy," she replied coldly, bringing her foot down harder and breaking his neck. She savored feeling his death, his agony...and was pleasantly invigorated, if only for a second. Whips looked around wondering which guard building she should go to first. She made a note to refine her technique for future interrogations...she needed to get more info out of the next guard...and she wanted to make the suffering last longer. Whips swooned, the bloodthirst beginning to wane. The bloodlust she was composed of. She could have maintained herself longer had she her mask, which served as a focus, a truth Li had subconsciously realized...and perhaps for that very reason had forgotten to take it with her. She thought about focusing on the Dark Side more to maintain this new state, free of whatever token morals her old self maintained but drawing on it so readily, so greedily, had been exhausting. So for now, the bloodlust that had been amplified and finally given persona by Li crossing this threshold thanks to the Dark Side, retreated, letting a corrupted but still sane mother wanting to see her son again reassert itself, hiding behind whitewolf's sulphur eyes, knowing Li would drawn on that threshold again...and then the bloodlust would take hold. And it would be harder to shake off next time. Li blinked, knowing that suddenly she had felt like she did when wearing her mask...except it had taken only the Dark Side to conjure that state of mind that was wanton and murderous. She had felt only cold...but a pleasurable cold, one she wasn't sure she wanted to be free of. At the same time, the realization just using the Dark Side could bring her to that state, without the mask...and no longer quite in control of her actions at that...frightened her. She needed some semblance of control if she was going to care for Kev. The mask was a safety valve. A way for her to be someone else without placing her son in danger. Li, deeply troubled by this revelation, ventured back into the shadows a tad more hesitantly. The bloodlust hiding behind her eyes and keeping quiet. For now. *** The Mute looked at Morgana as though she were insane. He had barely survived getting jumped by five guys, and now she expected him to jump onto a shuttle? He was injured. And how had she made it here without getting spotted? She should do it if she was that stealthy! The gunfire resumed, tearing through the walls of the apartment building they were in, forcing him to hit the ground, gesturing for her to do so. He had no idea how to take that thing out, especially as it had a lock on where they were, and would no doubt be sending reinforcements armed to the teeth in here after it stopped shooting. He gestured for Morgana to find a hiding spot as he crawled into a torn open apartment, six more devils entering from the staircase below, armed with flamethrowers, which they immediately started spraying above them, hoping to draw their prey out. *** Li moved through the streets in the shadows, still unsure about how she felt about what she had just experienced. She was under no illusions that the part of her that came out when the mask came on was dangerous to every living thing around her. But the feeling of euphoria the Dark Side had given her was so incredible...she wanted to taste it again, even if it meant risking the mask state, which deeply frightened her. It influenced her actions and thoughts enough as it was, but she had always been able to shut it off before. Always... But what if she could not? Worse...what if she didn't want to? How could she be a mother then? As she spied a rectangular, temple like structure surrounded by a rock garden in the distance. It was simple brickwork with narrow windows, patroled by three guards with torches. She looked, no real way to sneak through. She would either have to cause a distraction or... Tap the Dark Side again. Doubt, for the first time in a long time, entered Li's mind. Li decided she needed to use it. This was a dangerous situation. Very dangerous. The creature had warned her that she needed to, for her own purposes obviously, but still the truth. Li dug greedily into the Dark Side again, but digging into her own reserves out of instinct, bubbling up her hatred, her rage, her terror and uncertainty, and used that to stretch out her hand, finally getting an insight into how a certain power she had tried to refine on Castell worked. One of the guards began clutching his throat, he struggled but she focused harder, easier this time, too distracted with her task to notice the bloodlust had begun to seep into every pore of her mind, tinging her vision red. She was awkward with it, and the guard still struggled, but he was clutching his throat, having genuine trouble breathing as he was sent to his knees, struggling stand, forcing a shout out between Li's unsteady grip, and getting the guards to come over. Li snarled with rage, and with great effort, and the aid of the Darkness, choked him unconscious. Li collapsed to her knees from weariness...but it was Whips who rose with a cold smirk, empowered by her rage, using it on instinct to infuse her muscles, her whole body with the Dark Side, allowing her to charge forward with a savage yell at great speed, taking the remaining two guards by surprise, as they readied the swords, but Whips' instinct-driven use of Force Rage allowed her to cross the distance from her hiding place to the court yard in two and a half seconds, swiping aside a sword blow with her cudgel thanks to now improved reflexes, kicking the guard so hard in the stomach he was flung backward into a wall. The last guard made stab for her torso, but Whips spun around, seizing his sword arm and lifting him by the neck with a snarl of hatred and chucked him face first into the wall with his friend. Whips swooned, the rage fading from her body, but she had loved the feeling, the mere use of it having given more definition to her own nature, and making her take root much more quickly in Li's mind. She strode over, weary, and tired, but now much more in control. One guard was struggling back up when he was hit by a bolt of electricity, sending him to the ground with a shriek. Whips felt his suffering, drinking it in, feeling the Dark Side repair her body and give it new energy somewhat. She delicately placed a boot on his hand, snapping all his fingers. He shrieked, only for his shriek to be cut off by Whips giving him that same unsteady Force Choke. They were all the same aliens in control of the mansion estates. Whips needed the fuel to keep going, stay in control longer. The less Li had a say, the better. She had hated being stifled. All to have some boring, normal life. Which would have led her back to her being a doormat for the whole galaxy. She crushed his fingers some more, and choked off his air supply with the Force, squeezing his trachea a bit too hard until she accidentally snapped his neck. "Oh, drat. Gonna have to work on the pressure," Whips remarked cruelly, not sorry in the least. She went to the other Iotran. "Lets see what entertainment your friend will provide..." *** A few minutes later, the Iotran had cracked after she had busted his knees with her cudgel. Li's knife was in there, Whips had gone to get it after breaking his jaw. She had then proceeded to use that knife to slowly kill him, scalping him first, every ounce of suffering feeding the dark side, mending the wounds on her skin, feeding the innate cruelty and contempt for life this persona was composed of, a malignance that had silently taken root after that desert monster had first invaded Li's mind, a little, tiny bit of the fiend imprinting, little more than a seed, looking for the right water to grow and become terrible in its own right. It had received that water finally, a being of pure cruelty sprouting to existence when its foolish host had unwisely tapped too hard, too far, too fast. Whips had gotten more information out of this one, in the end. She now knew which weapons had been taken to which guard house. She would go and get them. And then she would make Pendragon suffer and bleed. She was infused enough with suffering that she didn't feel Li coming back anytime soon. In any case, she could now maintain a hateful and cruel state with little effort. She gripped the Dark Side firmly in her mind, rooting it there, accepting it without reservation, as the witch had advised Li. She forced it into her bones, drinking its power. She needed more. Thirsted for more so she could remain in control, so Li couldn't bubble up at the last second and ruin it all. Whips headed down the elaborate, twisting road, keeping to the darkness...keeping an eye out for more guards, knowing Pendragon was bound to try something soon.
  12. Whips

    Character Skills and Abilities Force Powers Enhancement Force Dash Force Body Restoration Force Invigorate Protection ~ Astral Force Sense Telepathy Perception ~ Psychokinesis Telekinesis: Intermediate Force Wound ⇉ Force Choke Force Push Environment Drain Life Force Shock Skills Melee Weapons Novice Blade Weapons Throw Proficiency Lightsaber Novice Single Saber Novice Lightwhip Form I: Novice Shii-Cho Survival and Stealth Novice Survival Novice Stealth ⇉ Intermediate Stealth ⇉ Expert Stealth
  13. Whips

    Skills, Abilities and Talents: Li forced herself to become an expert at changing her appearance and moving through shadows undetected, sneaking up on people and ending them before she can be ended. Since her introduction to the Dark Side, Li has shown a steadily growing natural connection to it, as well as a basic understanding of torture. Talented lock pick enthusiast. Also has some experience with torture. Biography: Li was once the average child of two moisture farmers. Her father was a poacher of Sand People banthas, as he figured they had no right to complain when all they did was kill everyone they met. He implanted the maxim she would live by for the rest of her life: do whatever it takes to take care of yourself and kin, even if it screws over someone else. When she was sixteen however, the sand people, having finally tracked down her father after a mistake on her part led them right to their home they laid waste to the farm, brutally murdering her parents while she hid in a safe room. She chased after them in a brutal trial across the desert, eventually killing the entire war party of fifteen men through stealth and ambushes. She then went back to the remains of her home, rebuilt it and then spent the next few years of her life quietly going insane from guilt and isolation, losing her grip on reality and how to relate to other people. However a path out of her self imposed hell presented itself when one day, hunting wild dewbacks she decided she would adopt a child after watching a bantha care for its young. She named the baby she took Kev, and raising him began to lift her from her descent into madness, finding some semblance of humanity as she doted on him. But ominous portents heralded her future. A few years before she was forced to leave Tattooine She and her son experienced a run in with the Dark Side in the form of a shapeshifter dubbed Ryleya the Geo Witch, who kidnapped them both, with the intent of making Kev her slave and draining Li of her life and knowledge to assume her identity. Kev interrupted just as she was getting started and resisted a mental attack of the witch, beating her to the floor with a stun baton, buying enough time for Li to revive and murderously stab the Shi'ido while she was set on fire. Believing she and her son had killed the creature, she and her son went home but the damage was done, as the mental attack had given Li some unconscious inkling and connection to the Dark Side. Eventually local thugs ruined her home life when they began harassing her for protection money. But Li, having lived by her father's wisdom, refused to capitulate, resulting in one of the thugs burning her home to the ground, and nearly killing her and her son in the process. Li snapped from the pressure, tracking the thugs down and torturing him to death by whipping him with a piece of rope, causing her to acquire her nickname. She escalated the situation when she then murdered the local crime boss and friend of the thug, when he tried to detain her. Encountering the Dark Jedi Morgana on Castell, who discovered her after she killed two drug pushers to obtain a small fortune, and offered to train her, which she accepted. Morgana got on her death list however when she threatened to kill her son during a training session. Li is now plotting to murder Morgana horribly after obtaining every bit of knowledge Morgana has.
  14. Whips

    Name: Whips (Real name Li Whitewolf) Gender: female Species: Human Force Rank: Novice Date of Birth: 3660 BBY, 29 years old. Appearance: A beautiful, fair skinned blond with short cut hair, yet possesses a feral air about her...has icy blue eyes and is lean and wry. Personality: Li was once a shy and withdrawn, quiet person but that was because she had no interest beyond survival and caring for her adopted son. Now that she is studying the Dark Side she has embraced a long hidden thirst for violence is best described as completely amoral, flirting with sadism and cruelty and will think nothing of hurting those actively standing in her way. The one way she clings to humanity and sanity from years of isolation and survival in the desert is her adopted son Kev...he is the only person in the world Li genuinely loves after her parents passing at age sixteen. Fascinated by masks, and enjoys pain. Li operates on a near constant survival basis, much like an animal, and does not understand the purpose society or civilization serves. Other people are merely obstacles or boons to that goal. If something will facilitate her survival she will consider attempting it. She can become easily infuriated and often does not think of the consequences to her actions, and has a terrible understanding of "fancy" words, though she is a quick study and keen to perceive the truth about someone, and will often feign ignorance so it may not be as easy to take advantage of her as it may first seem. That being said, she DID spend most of her life as a moisture farmer. Many things in the galaxy she has no context for are present.
  15. Whips vs. Pendragon Estate!

    Li snuck through the rocky pathway leading to the greenhouse in the back of the estate, and it wasn't long before she spotted another guard doing his rounds by a locked gate that led to the back. There was a flashlight on the rifle he was carrying. Li had to move quickly. She still had her cudgel in hand as she approached, ducking behind a tree planted in the pathway on the side as the light came her way. It came closer and she tensed, waiting for it to pass by her. The Iotran walked by the tree and the cudgel slammed into the side of his head, and he fell forward, Li catching his blaster rifle, having seized his fingers as the cudgel had made contact so he wouldn't squeeze the trigger reflexively. She dragged the body behind the tree, stripped him of his blaster clips, and his key card, which was labeled for the Green house area, the yard outside and maintenance shed inside. The security guys were smart. They compartmentalized so no one card could get you into more than the area they were meant to be relevant to. Li went over to the gate and used the keycard to open it quietly shutting it after swiping the card over the reader next to it. She headed down the rest of a graveled path, bushes on her side, more of those red lampposts guiding her way. She saw two guards armed with flashlight heading her way. "How is wealth--fortune--measured?" Pendragon's voice over the loud speakers asked suddenly, startling her. "Is it the size of one's house? The number of outfits in one's wardrobe? The number of vehicles in one's garage? The amount of food in one's storage unit? No, no, no, and no," he asserted. "Though my Muun...'brethren'...would disagree surely. Real wealth...real success...I long ago learned when I was...away to study...to learn...things...that true fortune requires different merits of measurement. Namely, the first measurement, is how jealous you can make others...how much you can get away with through sheer shameless audacity...the level to which you are both able and willing to impose yourself upon others and inconvenience them and get away with it, without ever having to make amends or redress...that, my friends...that is true wealth...if you can do that, the speeders, the food, the homes, the whores...those will all fall into place in time, like they did with me. If only a very specific rival of mine had remembered this rule, she might not be quite so wanting in her goals...I can't begin to tell you the number of times she was humiliated...first by her parents, then by her instructor and finally by a deranged psychopath that caused her sister to jump off a gorram building...and that isn't even counting all the times I got to humiliate her. Oh, she hated me so! It was adorable actually...when she wasn't proudly and loudly proclaiming her background and using her sob story like the attention whore she was..." Li snickered slightly as she heard all this while making her way up the steps to a transparisteel section of the mansion shaped like a bubble. She couldn't see too well as to what was inside. She swiped the reader with her keycard and an automatic door slid open quietly with a hiss. She was inside. Now to find Morgana's little prize, off Pendragon somehow and escape, in that order. Li gasped. The greenhouse was lined with exotic looking plants she had never seen before, arranged on pedestals and with custom fountains that were silent at the moment, polygon shaped and in various sizes with a faceted look to them. The plants rested on stone nests that spiraled up to the top of the greenhouse, supported by metal lining the transparisteel structure. Pendragon in the meantime, continued speaking, this time over a house P.A. System. "Some, upon witnessing the delights I and my associates engage in while throwing these little shindigs say I am an evil man. Obviously, I disagree, but not for the reasons some would suspect. It is not because I think everyone would act the way I do if given the chance...why, if the other Muun's knew what goes on here they'd have me killed for making the race look bad. No, the reason I say I'm not an evil man is because I think evil is merely a perception, a meme enforced by others. If I don't view myself as evil, merely a man not constrained by frustratingly dull society and simply exploring sensation to it's maximum...why...I'm perfectly innocent..." Li, for reasons she didn't quite understand, found his rhetoric seductive, even though she knew it was ultimately self serving. Li never bothered with excuses, herself. She made her way through the rows of strange plants and finally, after a few twists and turns, found the exit, swiping the reader next to the door... ...and was greeted by a few dozen Iotran guards pointing blaster rifles at her. The lights came on and Li heard a snap hiss behind her as a purple skinned Twilek woman wearing a white Leotard and durasteel high heels with a noticeably muscular frame came out from behind, her lightwhip dragging it's blade on the ground behind her. "Welcome," she said with a silken tone and a smirk. "Welcome to Pendragon's home, Dark Jedi." Li's lightsaber was out instantly, but a flick of Lash's weapon ensnared her blade and ripped it from her hands into Lash's waiting palm. "You're just in time for the festivities," Lash said with a wicked laugh, giving a hand signal to one Iotran, who fired a stun bolt at Li, knocking her out cold. "Prepare her for entry into the Stronghold, but bring her to Pendragon's chambers first. He wanted to speak to her personally," Lash ordered the Iotrans. *** Li was splashed awake by a bucket of water. She looked around, tried to move and realized she was trapped in a seat with built in restraints in some sort of lavish bedchamber colored in scarlet and with gold sheets on the bed, which was circular. There was an oil portrait of Morgana cradling a bloodied woman with clearly broken bones, whom Li guessed to be Patricia. Morgana clearly looked pained and whoever had created the oil painting had gone to great pains to imagine the would be Sith's suffering, which made Li smile in malicious amusement. She found herself wishing Morgana had another sister, so she could kill her right in front of her teacher, though such an act would almost certainly mean her death. "Do you like it?" called out Pendragon's voice. "Morgana's nose is a little big but otherwise...spot on..." "I knew you served Morgana," his voice called out. Li craned her head and saw Lash next to her holding a bucket. She saw an area in the chamber concealed by a crimson sheer. She could barely make out a tall figure in a taller chair. "This one is hardly worth killing, Pendragon," Lash opined. "She barely knows how to work a lightsaber..." "You shouldn't always judge a Darksider by their ability to work a blade, Lash...especially considering how your own weapon is hardly without weakness..." Pendragon replied. "Some...have other talents." "So tell me, Penny, what kind of a name is Pendragon anyway?" Li snarked. "I know of Krayt Dragons...never heard of no Pen Dragon." "My father's legacy," Pendragon answered. "Our original name was boring, so he changed it. Got it from a book, some story about a peasant pulling a songsteel sword from a stone..." "Oh, no, tell me you're one of those pretentious artsy types that go by only one name, Penny... Li grumbled, only to be punched in the face by Lash. Li split some blood out. "You'll have to pardon Lash, she has a thinner skin than I do...it serves her well, but can be irksome at times, especially when I'm trying to have a conversation," Pendragon said from behind the veil, his features still obscured. "You should take that as a hint, headtails," Li snarked at Lash, who punched her again. "I don't like this, Pendragon," Lash snarled. "I was always taught to immediately kill the one's who aren't scared..." "You should be scared," was all Li said. "Feisty little one," Pendragon chuckled. "Amusing...I always get so annoyed by the one's who start immediately blubbering in fear." "Morgana was kinda glib about you...do you deliberately do this to everyone you catch, try and act all mysterious and shavit when you're just a spoiled little rich schutta with way too much time and money? You'd think you'd do something constructive, Penny," Li turned to Lash. "So, are you and him having sex, or something?" Lash snarled and gave her another blow to the jaw. Li chuckled again. "You like pain, schutta?!" Lash snapped. "What's the matter, don't you?" Li asked. "Got a few ways to draw some screams from you if you're game..." she added suggestively, though in truth she was just trying to screw with the Twilek's head. "She'll do splendidly in The Stronghold," Pendragon said. "Has everything been prepped? My guests grow impatient in the Sun Room." "The Stronghold is ready, Pendragon. I doubt she'll last long," Lash said in derision. "What's this about a Stronghold?" Li asked. "Tell me, Darksider, would you like to walk away from all this alive?" "What are you talking about? I 'am' going to walk away from this." "I like your confidence. Let's see if it's well placed," Pendragon said. "For the record, Penny, you're going to die screaming along with your...girlfriend? I'm sorry, I'm not clear exactly what's going on between you two. Why...why is she wearing that white leotard?" Li asked, looking Lash up and down. "I'll admit, she's got the body for it, but the high heels...not a good combo. It makes you look...easy..." "Let me kill her, Pendragon. Pretty please?" Lash growled. "I admit, your thighs are superb though...you do leg lifts a lot? Does Penny help?" Li asked in a mockingly sweet tone. "Motherkriffer--" Lash snarled, going for her lightwhip... "Lash..." Pendragon said calmly, but there was an unmistakeable undercurrent of warning in the way he said her name. Lash's grimace only grew when Li made a whip cracking sound with her mouth. "That's right, Penny, keep your dog on a leash when she's in heat," Li snarked. "Do you spank her?" "We're getting off track," Pendragon said quickly, knowing it was taking Lash all she had to keep from killing the arrogant Dark Jedi on the spot. "The Stronghold will kill her if she's weak." "Did you make purple slut here run the gauntlet before you let her...work for you?" Li asked, her voice dripping with insinuation. "SCHUTTA!" Lash shrieked, punching her in the face. Li laughed. "Enough, Lash," Pendragon said with naked command. "So what's this 'Stronghold'?" Li asked. "Is it where headtails here got her leotard?" Lash glared at her when she said this. "The Stronghold is an artificial environment that mimics elements of ancient cities and castles. I spent years putting it together," Pendragon explained. "The Premise is simple enough...I dump people like you who breach my home inside and me and my guests watch you die horribly. "In all the years I've run it, no one has ever escaped. I'm a sport though...no advanced weapons or scanners are giving to the guards to hunt you, just their senses and thoroughbred Kath Hounds. Nothing but ancient weapons, the bow, the sword, the mace--" "You, sir, are kinky," Li said with a grin. "However, I have given the bowmen some stealth field equipment...no need to make it completely even." "And what if I manage to make it through all this?" Li asked. "You go free of course. The exit is at the far end of the stronghold. But no one has ever escaped. No one." "Probably because you cheat. You know, you disappoint me," Li snickered. "I come here expecting some wicked sorcerer in a sinister mountain retreat. Well, you got the mountain retreat down, but as for you? All I see is a spoiled little rich boy who doesn't know what to do with himself, hiding in his own little world because he doesn't know how to function out side it. Maybe Morgana didn't want to deal with you because you ain't worth facing in person, Penny..." Li felt her throat constrict suddenly. She couldn't breath and her vision went red around the edges. "I am more than a match for Brillante. I am her superior," Pendragon stated, a hint of genuine anger entering his voice for the first time. He let go and Li gasped in sweet air. "You're Morgana's type of student...ignorant and feral and easily manipulated to her limited whims. I see why she chose you..." "Do you ever do anything useful with your wealth?" Li asked, undeterred. "I can think of literally a thousand things more useful to do with my money than investing in this stuff. Worse, you're too impersonal...I do my dirt up close..." Li said, looking right at a furious Lash as she said it. "More fun that way. You ever take your time with that whip? I have with mine. Adrenaline rush like you wouldn't believe..." "Pendragon, let's just kill her right now. I got a bad feeling about this. She isn't like the others..." Lash was given pause as Li flicked her tongue at the Twilek. "We are killing her, my dear," Pendragon said. "Well, it would have been nice to have a productive chat, but as is so typical of Morgana she chose an uneducated hooligan." "What the kriff is a hooligan? Does everybody on this stupid ice world use fancy words?" Li asked. "Here, I got a fancy word: cacophony. Used in a sentence? I'm gonna cause such a cacophony in this schutta you're gonna have to deal with me personally, after I take my time with your slut here," Li said, who was punched in the face yet again by Lash. Li spit out more blood. "Charming," Pendragon muttered. "I suppose I should have you marched to the Stronghold before Lash gets any more blood on my carpet. Off with her." A panel opened up from the wall behind Li, and two halves of a capsule were rolled onto a track system under Li's feet, closing around her chair and sealing. "This is some spy movie shavit, I love this! Great idea, Penny!" Li called out from the darkness of her capsule as her capsule lowered through the floor. Lash turned to Pendragon. "Orders?" "Leave the cudgel we found on her at the starting point...I do not wish her completely unarmed. It's not sporting. And prepare for my entry in the Sun Room." "As you wish...though I strongly protest this course of action. She's different...can't you feel it?" "I admit...it's not like Morgana to pick someone with such an openly hostile nature...I'm not all that certain Morgana realized what she was training until she was committed," Pendragon confessed. "But regardless, she won't make it to the exit. No one ever does, and even if they did, they'd be immediately killed by my guards." Lash smiled. "You always think ahead, Boss." "Thank you, Lash." *** The Sun room was a gigantic, circular golden chamber, lined in gold filigree, and the main light came from a gigantic globe of a sun with a cheerful though somewhat rustic smile, done in the old Pius Dea era style of faceted polygonal crystal that gently turned in place, showering golden light on the inhabitants of the chamber, who reclined upon gigantic cushions. Most of them, women or men, human or alien, were clad in sheer silk, human and Twilek slaves feeding them grapes. One of the guests, a male Togrutan, held up goblet of wine, clearly sloshed. "Pendragon, old chum, where are you? When's this game of yours start?" "Oh be patient, Huru, you know how Pendragon like's his entrances," said a Rodian woman. "I just hope it's not like last year. One can watch only so many young men be boiled in feces before the rush wears off. The novelty of it wore off after the third one, to be truthful. It was VERY amusing the first time though..." "It was most stimulating when he opened that pregnant Lurmen up though..." said a female Rodian, downing another goblet of wine a slave poured. The large Turbolift doors opened at the end of the chamber and out stepped Lash, her durasteel heels clicking on golden marble. "Ladies, Gentlemen, I present to you...Pendragon!" she said, giving an introductory wave to the veiled chair carried by weak humans with obvious leprosy sores. They carried it on their shoulders, as it was mounted to special bar rests, which they set down with great effort, all groaning in pain. They waited, and Lash cackled as her lightwhip came out, slicing through their diseased flesh and killing the screaming, cowering slaves where they stood., to the roaring applause of half naked guests. "Finally, some action!" Huru exclaimed enthusiastically. "The best is yet to come..." Pendragon trailed, coming out from behind the veil of his special chair at last... He was tall, like most Muun's with a sickly, greasy sheen of sweat and pungent oil across his whole body, clad in only a metal speedo. His brow possessed patterned knife scars, rings piercing his lips and the flesh underneath his nipples. Images of leprosy sores and needles were tattooed across his chest and when he smiled, there were a few teeth missing on the bottom row, having been knocked out by his Sith Master out of sheer disgust and horror at the abyss that was his depravity upon discovering it. Pendragon had barely escaped with his life that day. His neck still bore the scars from when the old Bith had tried to open his trachea. His fingernails were overly long and painted strawberry pink. At the center of his sternum was an image of a Sun, smiling. "My friends," he said warmly, gesturing his arms as though he were embracing all of them. "Welcome once again to my true face." The walls around them, in actuality high definition viewing screens, flickered from their default color, showing a capsule being lowered from a transparisteel tube system and setting down on a target painted on the ground in an artificial alleyway. "This year, I have some entertainment different from the usual thieves and killers I've dumped into the Stronghold in the past. I have found for your amusement a Dark Jedi." The Guests perked up at this. One Rodian just poured wine on his chest and moaned suggestively. Pendragon stared at this. "Well, at least we're all in a good mood," he joked, gritting his teeth as a female, brown haired and pale skinned slave poured a drop of hot candle wax on his feet. "Yeah...keep doing that...you stop I'll kill you..." "Pendragon is definitely in a good mood...he usually doesn't start with the candle wax..." a gray haired male Bothan noted. "I take it the strangulation will take place shortly?" "Patience, Volso, Patience. Coruscant wasn't built in a day. Besides this is a special occasion. This fool is a student of my oldest rival, Morgana," Pendragon explained. "As you know, Morgana was the primary reason my Master refused to continue my training as a Sith. She discovered my...heh heh...proclivities. No one was more surprised than my master when he discovered he could still be repulsed by another's acts. It's my belief that when he discovered what I did for kicks it actually caused him to rethink his entire life for the briefest of moments...which probably contributed to the beating I received..." the Muun chuckled. "Maybe that's part of the reason Morgana hates me so...maybe she doubted just a little herself..." "Tell me you're going to release the cannibals, Pendragon," Huru called out. "It was so funny last year, watching all the men you stationed down there die..." "My dear Huru, I'm gonna release every kriffing cannibal I have in stock...when the time is right..." Pendragon laughed playfully. "Now WHERE! IS! MY! COMLINK!" he shouted suddenly, ending the shriek with a girlish laugh. Lash handed him on and he stiffened, eyes rolling in his head as a slave poured more hot candle wax on his feet. "Testing...testing..." he called out, eyes still rolling upward in his head. "Darksider? Can you hear me?" On the screens in the Sun Room, the capsule holding Li popped open by remote. The restraints on the chair released and she was out. "If you look on the ground, you'll find that my men have deposited your cudgel for you. Your other weapons are down there of course, but it's up to you to discover their location. Except for your lightsaber of course, which remains with my lovely assistant, Lash...can't let it be too easy for you now can we?" he asked, bemused by his query. "You should be seeing a great tower of stone and brick about four blocks away, with a great golden sphere atop it connected to the stone cavern above. That is where I am currently. If you can make it to the top of my tower, I'll let you go free. You can go crawling back to your master. Perhaps she'll kill you for your failure. Funny thing is I'm not even sure what you were here for originally, but at this point...who cares?! Let's go insane!" he cackled. "The only thing standing between you are approximately a hundred and fifty guards, Kath Hounds and...other surprises..." he laughed. "Try not to die too quickly...now if you don't mind, me and the others have to start the festivities...Ta!" Pendragon turned to his other guests. The light from the globe above dimmed. "We all know this next bit..." Pendragon announced. "Everyone except the slave's of course..." One of the slaves noticed the guests palming daggers. The slaves started to back away... "The festivities commence...NOW!" Pendragon shouted. The guests leapt up, some with knives, others with machetes, and immediately begin to murder the screaming slaves. Pendragon smiled as some of the blood splashed across his face and he looked down and saw the slave beneath him trembling as she poured more wax on his feet. "Oh no...you're fine, trust me," Pendragon assured her. "Just as long you don't. Stop. Pouring." The slave trembled but nodded her head and continued dripping hot wax on his feet, drop by drop. "Not so fast. You gotta go one, precisely one, drop at a time. Two or more irritates me. Remember! Violent death!" he assured her as more blood from a murdered slave splashed his face. *** Castell... The Smoker, the man who'd been hunting Li and now Morgana since this whole thing had started, snarled as the weequay threatened him over the Comlink. He was high up in his assault shuttle, where Morgana could not reach him. There were now reports of a shuttle engaging what was left of his men on the perimeter. "How many we got left?" the Smoker asked, his cigar smoke graying the air." "About forty, on call," the Pilot answered. "Boss, you'll be lucky if YOUR Boss doesn't have your head..." "You just concentrate on flying," the Smoker snarled. "We got that detachment chasing Li to Mygeeto? Like I ordered?" "Yes sir. Shouldn't be long before they arrive...wait, hold on, getting a frequency alert..." the male human pilot trailed, appearance concealed by a full flight suit and helmet. The pilot turned to him. "It's Mr. Prosper...he wants to talk to you..." The Smoker paled but took out his comlink. "Patch me through..." he said hoarsely. The Pilot nodded. "Mr. Prosper?" the Smoker called out. "Why is Li Whitewolf and her son not in my custody?" an icy, rough voice of a man asked on the other end. "We've run into unexpected difficulties," the Smoker admitted. "She has Force Sensitives helping her. They've killed many of my men--" "You were warned of Morgana." "It's not just Morgana...there are two others we didn't know about...blind guy with a saber in his cane and...my guys tell me there's a weequay." "Failure against one Force User would have been unacceptable...but even you couldn't have prepared for three..." Mr. Prosper said. "But I think ahead as well...that is why I sent reinforcements behind you." The Smoker paused. "We're getting reinforcements?" "A mercenary outfit...the Devils of Mustafar." The Smoker went white. "You sent the Devils?" "Yes..." Mr. Prosper answered. "Pull your men back, Johann. The Devils are already filing in...with more specialized training. And weapons..." *** As Kev ran through the cramped tunnel, he occasionally caught glimpses of the streets above to to exposed grating. He stopped when he heard a sound above them, like thunder. He dared to peak through a grate. They came out of the mist of the night. They were all clad, men and women, in bright red armor. Their faces were covered by helmets stylized to look like grinning demons, with their tongues hanging out They were equipped with weapons Kev had only seen once before on Tattooine...Charrics. There were dozens of them. Some looked like their armor were equipped with combat exoskeletons. As the Devils of Mustafar ran to secure the perimeter around the Meat Factory, they all activated cloaking fields... Kev had no choice...he had to keep running. He broke into a sprint. *** "Secure the perimeter," the Head Devil ordered in a synthesizer-disguised voice through an encrypted comlink in a soundproofed helmet. "And shoot down that shuttle attacking Mr. Prosper's men." One of the Devils nodded, taking out a rocket launcher and getting into position on the second floor of an apartment complex that had been abandoned when the shooting had started, right where the shuttle had been reported. "Estimate of time before Authorities interfere?" The Commander asked. "They're too scared to even go near what's happening. Colonial police from Czerka ain't equipped for this. They're gonna have to get military here to flush us out. That will take them about an hour," the Devil next to the Commander said on the cobblestone street. "Their comms will be jammed soon." "Prepare to strike on my command. Hit fast and hit hard. No more softball stuff. Use Flame Projectors at close range. They won't be able to deflect your charrics...the impact will threaten to knock the lightsaber out of their hand. Gunship ready?" "Gunship ready, sir," the Devil replied. "Seventy caliber fragmentation rounds, as you requested." "Good. Morgana may have defeated simple mercenaries but the Devils of Mustafar will be her end," the Commander said with a clenched fist. "Start your attacks." A rocket shot out from the apartment complex, hitting the engine of the shuttle the Mute was piloting, which was sent crashing into the street. The Mute was dazed as he struggled to escape the wreckage, bleeding and injured...the plan had gone pear shaped. He heard the Gunship before he saw it with his Force Sight. It was blaring opera music on some speaker, more Devils leaning out it's side with a heavy machine gun. The Devils outside the Factory's main entrance tossed in smoke and flash bang grenades, opening fire on anyone they spotted moving with automatic scatterguns, even as the gunship opened fire on the factory, shattering it's walls. "DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" the pilot on the gunship screamed. The Mute sprinted into an alleyway, trying to sense out the boy. He was too far away...he had to help Morgana somehow! The buckshot barely missed his face. He broke into a run, barely staying ahead of the squad of Devils sent after him. He kicked down a door into another building...he didn't know where to run at this point, he just needed to get out of their line of fire. He sprinted up the stairs and the devils followed. He had to find someway to shake these guys... He could hear them coming after him up the flight of stairs, firing scatterguns at him. He barely stayed out of the way, and surviving not one but two shuttle crashes had taken the wind out of him. He had no choice...they'd run him down like this. He had to attack. With a yell he Force jumped towards them from on high, tackling them on the flight below even as small pellets of buckshot got him in the leg and arms. The Adrenaline numbed that for the most part as his green blade came out, stabbing one in the groin and using him as a human shield to absorb gunfire as he pulled out the pistol on his now dead Hostage and opened fire point blank at the two in front of them, hitting them in their unarmored throats and dropping them. A garrote slipped around his neck from behind. The remaining Devil. He struggled, choking, vision going black as he was forced to drop his cane. He still had the pistol though, so he fired behind him, hitting the Devil in the foot. The armored mercenary screamed letting go as the Mute tackled him with a yell, firing into his foe's armpit and penetrating the flight suit, killing him. The Mute collapsed from exhaustion, to tired to even shuffle uselessly before forcing himself back up. He needed to distract as many of these devil masked freaks as possible. He ran up the steps, knowing he needed to get that gunships attention first before it obliterated Morgana and whoever she had called to her head. He soon reached the rooftop, still clutching his pistol as the Gunship fired on the meat factory's walls. Fires had broken out throughout the building and if he wasn't so intent on keeping his word he would have written Morgana off for dead by this point. But he was in range, and if there was even the slightest chance she was still alive AND he could give her the opening needed to take that damn thing out he had to try. The Mute gave a war cry, opening fire on the gunship, peppering the Cockpit with weak, ineffectual bolts. The Gunship turned it's attention to him and he gulped, running as the gunship opened fire on his position. He barely got back inside, hitting the floor and crawling to the stairs as gunfire tore through the area above him as he barely reached the stairs...