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Lucian Eidolon

The Knife's Edge

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Lucian Eidolon    1,578

REPUBLIC SENATE

Supreme Chancellor's Office

 

 

The clash of lightsabers sounded through the room, as the colours of red and blue illuminated the darkness. Behind the mask, Sefas' brow began to sweat, the blue blade slashing through the red cloak that encompassed him, tearing it from his body, letting it float to the ground with a flurry of colour. He pushed the advantage - using a short Force Push to push the fabric over the Chancellor's body, and give him a momentary advantage. Leaping over, his lightsaber burned through the carpet, clashing at the Chancellor from behind. But, he wasn't quick enough.

 

The Chancellor slashed back, the first of his twin blades hitting Sefas' extended blade, the second cutting around from the other direction, forcing Sefas to duck quickly out of the way, and throw the Chancellor against the wall with the Force. He extended his hand with a flurry of lightning, the Chancellor using his lightsaber to block the oncoming current. He breathed deep into his mask, the oxygen in his system helping him keep focus, despite the chaos he had created. C'erian Eidolon, Grand Master and Supreme Chancellor would not be an easy foe to take down, and Sefas had never thought it would be.

 

These two had battled blades before.

 

It had been many years earlier, but even back then, the former servant had matched him blow for blow. Although their styles had changed, the masks and titles they wore were different, each blow was matched. Every parry had a counter, each to a fro. The twin's were too well adjusted for one another - and yet Sefas had to try. He pressed his luck, lifting his hand to crush his opponent in a deadly Force Crush. Hatred poured from every pore in his body, his mind focused on the complete and utter destruction of the Grand Master, of his twin. Yet there was a sudden loss, as the Grand Master gave a burst of energy, blowing everything in the room away. A massive repulse of energy, the objects in the rooms became projectiles, smashing walls apart, and shattering glass. But there would be nobody coming to save them.

 

His Crush was immediately suspended, as he too was forced hard into the wall, the cheap interior wall cracking against him, propelled into the adjacent corridor, and smashing into the second wall. Winded slightly, the Grand Master crawled through the hole, his weapon drawn, pointed down at the Sith Assassin, 'Who are you?'

 

For a moment, Sefas gave no reply, his mechanical sounding breathing echoing out the mouthpiece. Even with his resistance, there were limits to the human body. He smiled, his head down, as he focused his senses outwards, finding his saber, and summoning it. The Grand Master leapt into the air, narrowly missing the blade, parrying it lightly as it entered Sefas' outstretched hand, who immediately leaped up to strike the Grand Master again. The attack never landed - the Grand Master no longer fooled, as he quickly spun his twin blades, parrying the mark with one hand, taking the arm with the other. The lightsaber landed on the ground as Sefas screamed through his mask. He threw the Grand Master away with his other hand, unleashing a huge bolt of lightning towards him. 

 

Not taking this, the Grand Master focused his energies on Sefas, using the powers of breach to momentarily cut the others power with the Force. The lightning subdued, and the assassin fell to the ground in agony. C'erian stepped forward gingerly, stepping over rubble and broken objects as he did. He spun his lightsaber down into the mask of the would be assassin, and once again asked.

 

'Who are you?'

 

The self named Lord Sefas gave a chuckle in almost cracked determination, 'Don't you recognize the face of your own brother. Its been a long time, but surely,' he said, the mask giving a hiss of air as it moved, his working hand unfastening the clips, letting it fall from him face. Emperor Valyrian gave a chuckle, looking at his twin for the first time in years, 'surely you wouldn't forget this face.'

Edited by Kure
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The Grand Master's was stuck to the spot - for a moment, at awe with the situation he was placed in. Not only was the assassin an Imperial Agent, but his own twin - the Emperor himself. On Coruscant, a feat which was no mild untaking. Months of touch and go, quiet assassinations in the night, slowly showing his mask to the face of Republic security, and it had been the Emperor all along. No wonder their forces had never touched him - how they had so easily been subdued, so quickly dismissed. A myriad of coincidences become so evidently clear, but the shock of seeing Lucian here, of all places, shocked him to his core.

 

'Its not possible,' C'erian muttered to himself, his hand firm and the lightsabers blade still turned down towards the Emperor's chest, 'You can't be here. This isn't possible. You are the Emperor - not some simple assassin. Why risk so much, in order to take me out? And then to FAIL. And you have failed, of this we can both be assured. Your defeat is only moments away.'

 

The Emperor simply smiled, his thin lips and pale almost translucent skin produced the image of a man much weaker, much more frail than he ordinarily might be. He made no attempt to move - yet the Dark Side coursed through him like waves of rippling energy. The room felt almost electric in his presence - a dangerous tactic, if the Grand Master had ever felt it, 'I may die, but your death will still come by my hands. We are not the first, of course. Our genetic template was created by Atrumcavus, and so it continues with us. And I have perfected what Atrumcavus once sought to do.'

 

The penny dropped, the Grand Master went deathly pale, 'You have clones, don't you. How many have you burned through now? No,' he decided against it, 'I don't want to know. You are a thing of darkness, a creature of vile corruption. You are exactly what Atrumcavus would have become - you are his legacy. Rejoice in the fact that he succeeded. You have become everything you hated, everything you fought so hard to prevent. Then again, you probably see it no other way now.'

 

The Sith Emperor smiled, and C'erian brought the lightsaber down, tearing through the chest plate and piercing the sinew within. There was a wince of pain as the blade entered into the Emperor's body, the lightsaber tearing through major arteries, and cauterising them shut all the same. His body was wracked in pain, yet only a small glimmer of it showed in the shadowy figures eyes, a cruel smile twisting into the ghostly facade, as the Emperor pulled a scalpel from almost nowhere - a hidden relic, an old weapon of an older time, when things were required. 

 

He sliced through the Grand Master's leg with surgical precision, forcing the Grand Master to the ground in a pool of blood - the muscles and ligments in his legs broken and torn. The twist forced C'erian's lightsaber slice through the Emperor quickly, the ghost-like smile disappearing into the void of lifelessness, the Dark Energies in the room pulsating, as the Emperor forced his spirit out of his body, and out in the darkness, through the void of space, to where a new body would be waiting for him. The room, what was left of it, tore itself apart in the chaos, the dark energies burning and crushing the objects around them, leaving the Grand Master alone, bleeding in the dark.

 

C'erian summoned the last of his Force reserve, healing himself with a glow of green energy. It was only temporary, and only enough to stop the bleeding, the full treatment would be longer still. After a short, not inconsequential time, he pulled himself to his feet, leaning heavily on the wall as he ignored the pain, limping slowly towards an exit. A figure appeared in the doorway - and for a second, C'erian became alert. He drew the Force to him instinctively, before the figure of his personal aide, data-pad glued to his hand as normal, an overly concerned look on his almost-human brow.

 

'Your Excellency!' he said with some urgency, his eyes looking the tattered and bruised Grand Master up and down over and over again, 'What...'

 

'You will find the body of Darth Valyrian in there,' C'erian referenced behind him, to the shattered remains of his office, 'He was the assassin all along. I defeated him, but there will be more - there is no time now to explain. He will rise again - and we must be quick if we wish to end this war once and for all,' his voice was firm, with a gravitas he had never before utilised in his duties, 'Summon the Admiralty, and engage the Military Forces. Our time to act is now - and there is so little time, or room for error.'

 

Somehow, the Senior Aide to the Chancellor understood. Within minutes, via hologram, the Supreme Chancellor, the Jedi Council and the highest ranked members of the Republic Military understood their orders, and their target, as the Chancellor entered into a shuttle leaving for the nearest available Star Cruiser. There was no room for error now, as the Chancellor had said in the moment. Not a moment for hesitation. The time to act was now, or else they would continue down this path until there was no-one left to fight it.

 

Their target: Dromund Kaas. 

 

Their goal: The end of the war.

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~ TWO WEEKS LATER ~

 

In orbit of Sartinaynian (known commonly as Bastion)

"Sith's Envy"  Valor-Class Cruiser

 

The attack on Dromund Kaas had transpired better than his wildest imaginings - yet as the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic stood on the command walkway of Sith's Envy, the Force felt calm and deliberate around him. Patience, sacrifice and opportunity had all presented their hands, and one by one given the Republic the opportunity and advantage that they had always needed to succeed. 

 

Within hours of activating the fleet, the largest portion of the Republic Military appeared over Dromund Kaas like a cyclonic wave of energy. From orbit, the Republic unleashed a tirade of orbital strikes, crippling the infrastructure of the Spaceport and Kaas City - while crippling the fleet that had been left to defend Dromund Kaas. It was absolute slaughter - the Sith had never seen it coming. Whats more, the Emperor was still missing, recovering presumably from his transfer of consciousness after his death on Coruscant - leaving the Dark Council alone to defend the planet. With the will of the entire Jedi Council, and the greatest Republic minds, the Sith were unable to coordinate, unable to quickly gain a defensive stronghold. 

 

When the Emperor's flagship, Limitless entered, the battle seemed almost like it might turn. Yet a few dedicated Jedi flew their shuttles directly into the shuttle bay - fought their way to the bridge, and pilotted the behemoth directly into the heart of Kaas City. The Sith Fleet began to scramble then, as the Republic picked them off piece by piece - running, scampering as they considered their options. The Republic Fleet broke into two, continuing the assault on Dromund Kaas, while the other half lead by C'erian, went directly to Korriban. As he assumed, much of the left over fleet had assembled here, using Korriban as a secondary port of call, but it was no match for the Republic offensive. So quick, so harsh, the Sith never stood the chance. A delegation of Jedi lead by Gnost-Dural stomed and took the Academy, taking down Darth Lyran and Darth Xisad in the process as they tried to establish a foothold.

 

Meanwhile on Dromund Kaas, names of other Dark Councillor's began to appear. Darth Cognitus was killed while trying to protect the Sith Citadel, Darth Ragas was slain in the main offensive. Within days Dromund Kaas was a ghost of its former self, a shell devoid of life except by its native inhabitants. Korriban was inhabited by Republic forces, who held the Sith Academy firmly. And so, as they went from planet to planet, purging the Sith from the worlds they had known, they discovered Darth Vowrawn. 

 

He surrendered himself to the Republic on some remote Sith world, giving himself freely to the Jedi as long as they would let him live. C'erian gave him one ultimatum - he would have to surrender the location of the fallback world for the Sith. He gave it somewhat reluctantly, thrown in shackles, with seven Jedi to guard him as he was taken back to Coruscant. A little known world known by the Imperial's as Bastion. And so, they were here.

 

On Bastion, the last of the Council; Darth Atrox, Darth Tanit, Darth Verrin, Darth Sunder and Darth Sanguria were destined to meet. Here, they encountered the very last of the Imperial might. Here, Vowrawn strongly suggested, they would end the Sith once and for all. Maybe they would, C'erian thought grimly, but in a fortress world they could hole themselves in for weeks, months even, without ever being discovered. He turned to the Force for answers, but all it gave him was a sense of patience, a feeling of peace.

 

'You're here, I can feel it,' C'erian muttered quickly, speaking through the Force telekinetically, unable to sense but knowing all the same. Darth Valyrian was here. There would be no doubt. He leaned heavily on the cane he had needed since the attack on Coruscant, and walked to the viewport at the end of the command walkway, staring deep into the planets surface below. Imperial vessels and Republic ones were engaged in battle, but more importantly, shuttles were departing down to the planets surface, where it was hoped, the Republic would find the last holdout of Sith, and destroy them.

 

Easier said than done.

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Homra Azner    83

Homra kept still, his fingers barely touching the hilt of his lightsaber. He didn't know anyone within the transport, the Echani children he interacted were in the temple, while many agemates either died in Tython or were storming Dromund Kaas. As much as Homra hated to admit it, he joined the Gnost-Dural contingent for personal reasons.

 

Before returning to the temple, there were rumours that the Sith he was chasing returned to the Sith Academy. He had no way of confirming those rumours at the time, but now? Now, Homra could see for himself if the Holocron he was trying to retrieve was still here, if the Sith he was looking for was still here.

 

The Echani took a deep breath. He could take care of his personal goals after the Republic acquired the Sith Academy. Except that may give his master's killer ample the opportunity of escape if he doesn't take care of it first. Besides, the thought of storming the place and possibly attacking the inhabitants made him queasy. Were there children there? He wasn't quite sure if the Sith had the same policy when it came to taking in initiates. Or apprentices. Whatever their term may be.

 

There was a low hum of conversation within the transport, and the Force buzzed with energy right beneath his skin.

 

"This better be worth it," he muttered to himself.

 

Almost without warning, the order came and everyone came rushing out. For a red planet, Korriban was cold and dry, and a quick glance at his interface showed Homra that his temperature going down. Homra's heart was beating fast, though, and the adrenaline rush just made Homra extra aware of his surroundings. The stoneface looked ancient, and the intimidating triangular architecture even more so. Homra couldn't tell if the etchings on the walls were aesthetic or inscriptions, but it would definitely be something he'd be looking up later once all of this was over. If it ever will be over.

 

Homra slunk away to the shadows, where he would draw the least attention to himself while the rest of the Jedi and Republic troops stormed past the academy's first line of defense - instructors and what looked to be older apprentices. It was hard to find a decent hiding spot, so working quick, he activated the stealth generator and then broke into a run. Homra's footsteps were near silent, but the commotion of the skirmishes  and the near-deafening klaxons drowned it out. A little application of Force stealth made sure that if ever someone using the Force to see would hopefully dismiss him.

 

By the time Homra managed to find a terminal, the stealth generator automatically shut off. The area around the terminal was thankfully empty, and he guessed that some of the higher ranking Sith were deeper within the academy. What about the lower ranking ones? Would they be used as fodder? Shaking these thoughts off, the Echani activated his gloves and used it to access the academy map and then downloaded it on his datapad. There was a roster too, and it took longer for Homra to download it as well. There were heavily guarded information on the database, and staying any longer was a bad idea.  He just made sure that some cameras would be blind for about a minute and a half and that some of the doors were easily opened.

 

Hurried footsteps began to approach, and his stealth field was still charging up. He glanced up, the ceilings were high and no one usually checked these.... Gathering the Force at the soles of his feet, the Echani jumped up and quickly activated the MagBoots as he flipped gracefully in the air and let his feet stick to the ceiling. A contingent of sith hopefuls ran by, gripping lightsabers and whatever sharp and pointy weapons they could get their hands on. Homra's brows furrowed as he concentrated on walking past them. He can only mask his alignment, and they were all probably too concentrated on the intruders to pay any attention to him.

 

A red light flared on his wrist, warning Homra that the MagBoots were about to deactivate. The party of sith were already gone, so he dropped down to the floor, using the Force to cushion the impact. He pulled up the map - it wasn't exactly an enormous archive of holocrons per say, just for datacrons. He pulled up the roster and just skimmed through the profiles of students and instructors. There were a few profiles missing, and there was an encrypted file. Still, that looked promising.

 

The fighting from the main halls began to grow louder, and the Echani realised that the Republic was pushing forward. He should work fast, then.

 

Homra just avoided most of the people, and the distant awareness of the camera's blindness ticking down made him tense. He thankfully managed not trip on his way to where the datacrons were stored.

 

Homra nearly bumped into a few sith far too often for his liking, and Homra was already on the second floor when he ended up face-to-face with a very peeved pureblood and a twi'lek in an empty hallway, the Force already blaring in alarm a second too late.

 

"Uh - fancy meeting you here," Homra greeted, hands already going for his lightsabers clipped on his belt. "I know you guys are angry 90% of the time, but if you let me pass, I can go where I want and you can go to the fighting downstairs. How does that sound?"

 

If anything, that probably angered the two more. With an angry yell, the pureblood activated her saber and rushed at Homra at what he belatedly recognised to be Juyo. Moving on instinct, Homra sidestepped the strike, only to have his head nearly cleaved off by another lighstaber. The twi'lek was using Shien.

 

He needed to end the fight fast before things turn sour. Gathering the Force around him, Homra directed it to hold the twi'lek still. He spun on his heel to dodge another strike from the pureblood, using the momentum to jump towards the twi'lek and knocked her weapon off her hand. The red lightsaber deactivated and Homra took that as the chance to grab the cluster of nerves at the back of her neck and then activated the shock feature of the glove. She went down fast.

 

Homra let out a sharp breath when he felt the searing blade of the pureblood's saber graze his side. Pain and heat erupted, and Homra dropped down to his knees to avoid her follow-up strike. He rolled into a standing position, hissing as he pressed his hand on his injured side. The lightsaber instantly cauterised it, but a quick peek at his vitals showed an elevated heart rate. Better finish up quick, then.

 

He removed both sabers and activated them, blue and green light glowing ephemerally in contrast to the pureblood's red. He held both of his weapons in a reverse grip, slipping into Form V.

 

The pureblood charged with a war cry, leaping over her unconscious companion with both hands on her lightsaber. Homra took a quick step back and deftly dodged her feint. He avoided her strikes as much as possible, seeing that she was pouring too much strength for him to handle whenever she attacked. She left heavy scores on the durasteel walls, and the floor already had cracks growing under her feet.

 

"Well, if ever the Sith thing doesn't work out, you could go for nerf wrestling herder." Homra almost lost his head at a strike that hit too close to home, narrowly stepping to his side. He went on avoiding her attacks and tried not to instinctively meet out her strikes, sweat already dripping down his forehead. He kept dodging and avoiding, not going in to engage the pureblood's saber. "Alright, alright! How about peace-keeping diplomat for the anger issues?"

 

Without warning, Homra slammed back to the wall with a loud crack. Pain spread across his back, and the Echani tried blinking the black spots dancing in his vision. The world around him was turning blurry, and the Sith was grinning as she began to advance on him with her lightsaber brandished. A quick spike of adrenaline and Homra threw the blue saber at her, and she knocked it off with her own weapon and it deactivated as it clattered on the ground.

 

She raised her lightsaber, her stance screamed she was aiming for a fatal blow. Another spike of clarity, and Homra called the lightsaber back and it activated mid-air as he aimed for her back. With a smug smirk, she spun on her heel to catch and then deactivated it. Then Homra rushed forward with his saber aimed for her back, but she turned back to him to meet his blow, but Homra quickly maneuvered himself to get beneath her and then deactivated his saber so that her weapon only met empty air. Moving fast, the Echani shoved his lightsaber at her stomach and quickly activated the device, the green blade impaling her through her robes.

 

She gasped, and her expression contorted into fear then rage as Homra pulled it up and through her, cringing as he let the blade pass through where he guessed her heart would be. Then she fell back, both sabers falling from her hand and hers deactivating as it rolled away on the floor. The Echani deactivated his weapon, and picked up his saber, clipping it back to his belt and then turned on his heel to head resume looking for the archives.

 

When he got there, the access door was locked and it denied Homra access when he tried opening it with his datapad.

 

"Simple solutions to simple problems, eh?" He grinned wryly and activated the lightsaber he had on hand, and then began cutting a way in. It wasn't a perfect circle, but it was large enough for Homra to pass through. He kicked the metal off, and then ducked his way inside.

 

The archives looked to be empty at this time, but a slight trickle of awareness from the Force said otherwise. Rows and rows of datacrons were stored on durasteel shelves. A warning shrieked through Homra's awareness and the Echani found himself slamming into the metal shelves.

 

Dizziness had him lightheaded, a flash of red danced through the black spots growing in his vision. Slowly, he felt himself being lifted up, a firm pressure around his neck.

 

"You should have stayed home when you had the chance, boy." Forcing his eyes to focus, Homra found himself looking at a human with red hair and dark facial tattoos. "That's what your master would have wanted."

 

Choking, Homra tried reaching for his lightsaber, but invisible hands pinned both of his hands to his side. Gritting his teeth, Homra forced himself to talk.

 

"Why?" He managed to say. "Why... didn't you kill me? You could've. So... why didn't you?"

 

The sith narrowed his gold eyes, and with  gesture of his hand, sent Homra flying through the other end of the room. Before Homra could regain his bearings, the sith's footsteps retreated outside, and the Echani had to grip on to the shelves for support, muttering a long stream of curses. Still feeling dizzy, he plopped to the floor and let out a sharp breath, trying to reign in his frustration. Minutes passed, and Homra managed to force himself to stand up.

 

There was a nearby terminal he accessed, and then he checked to see what was going on with the siege. The Gnost-Dural team was already advancing to the second floor, and reinforcements from the Academy were just passing by his location, trying to drive out the invading force. There were more coming, and he had no idea how long would it take before the Sith were fully driven out of their own temple. The Echani wondered if he should step out and help, but his current state of disorientation would likely make him more of a liability than an asset - so he opted for resting a little until he could stand up without feeling weak in the knees.

 

At some point, the fighting reached outside the archives. The dizziness was all but gone, so Homra guessed it was his cue to help.

 

Activating both sabers, Homra stepped out and joined in on the fray.

Edited by Homra Azner
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Carnifex    54

Hell had come to Dromund Kaas, in the guise of the armies of the Republic.

 

They had descended upon the planet en masse, orbital turbolaser fire bathing Kaas City in flame, leaving only ruins for the soldiers to pick through, slaughtering all that crossed their paths. More soldiers than Carnifex had ever seen, with more purpose than he had thought the Republic could muster. From all he'd known up until that day, it had seemed that the Republic had been bogged down by its Senate, needless debate hampering any cohesive action it attempted- but it appeared all had changed. 

 

He'd fought them, lightsaber blazing in unity with the blaster bolts of his men through the smoking rubble that the strikes had left, but to no avail. Too many, endless hordes of the enemy pouring through any gap in Imperial lines like a swarm of insects, cutting the Sith army into small, ever-shrinking pockets. 

 

A disaster. There was no other word to describe the event. 

 

His company, or what was left of it, had been close to destruction. Surrounded, running low on power packs and explosives, Carnifex and his men had resigned themselves to death. In a way, certain death was freeing- all that remained then was to take as many of the enemy with them as possible, and they had begun that work in earnest. Lightsaber scything through Republic troopers, blasterfire raging around him, Carnifex had let the current of the Dark Side into himself, let its power amplify his rage, and had satisfied himself with the knowledge that if he was to die, tales would be told of the manner in which he was slain. In the midst of the enemy, battle-cry still upon his lips... the only death that he would ever want.

 

And yet the Force was not finished with him, it seemed. The Imperial flagship had been destroyed in orbit, crashing down upon the city. Its death-throes had immolated much of the city, laying waste to what had not already been reduced to rubble by the Republic fleet's turbolasers. No doubt hundreds of thousands had met their ends in the fires of the Limitless' death, but it had proved the salvation of Carnifex and his men. 

 

They'd been caught at the edges of the blast, its shockwave flattening all the buildings around. Carnifex had lost consciousness momentarily, awakening to find that he had been tossed twenty yards from where he had stood before and partially buried in the remnants of the apartment building they'd made their stand in. It had been a scene worthy of the sagas, the massive dust cloud settling as armored men dragged themselves to their feet. 

 

The heavy hum of repulsorlifts had heralded their rescue, a squadron of five gunships thrumming in, towards the epicenter of the blast. Brave men, all of those pilots, all of the crews- braver than Carnifex could ever hope to be. Suicidally courageous, borne on wings of bright blasterfire, what was left of the 88th Support Squadron had swooped over, before circling around to land. 

 

The 88th had hauled them out, what was left of his company filling the vessels over capacity. They'd had to jettison some weaponry just to fit men into two of the vessels. And then they'd run. 

 

Retreated. Evacuated. Not run.

 

The technician working on Carnifex's prosthetic hand nodded at him; once more, the Sith touched each one of his left fingers to the center of his palm. The rubble landing on him after the death of the Limitless had torn off the thumb and forefinger of his metal limb, but durasteel could be replaced. The Force had been with him, unlike far too many of his men.

 

"Alright. Should be good. Need any more calibration, find me." said the technician, dropping his tools back into the battered metal case he'd brought them in. "Or someone else. These things are pretty simple."

 

Carnifex nodded, metal hand curling into a fist. "My thanks." he said, truly meaning it. The man had installed replacement digits and gotten them in working order within fifteen Standard minutes, something to be appreciated, even if the task was as simple as he'd said.

 

The tech shrugged, shoving an oily hand into the pocket of his coveralls and turning to leave. He had more to do, after all. No shortage of work, not now. 

 

The Sith pulled himself up from where he'd sat on a battered folding chair. He had been surprised that it had managed to support his weight- he still wore his armor, rough-beaten durasteel plate layering his bulk. Apparently these chairs had been designed for more than that, and weren't the flimsy things they appeared to be. 

 

They were on Sartinaynian, the world known as Bastion, the last vestige of Imperial power. At this point, they were simply awaiting the Republic's arrival; from what Carnifex knew, they were in orbit already. Leaving his tent, he looked up and found that yes, indeed, they were in orbit. Minute flashes of laserfire shot back and forth between multicolored points of light. It would not be long, then, before they landed.

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Darth Verrin    2,072

"How did we get here?"

 

Verrin asked the question, but nobody deigned to answer. It wasn't that it was such an odd or difficult question. But it was a strange fact, that given the number of people moving about - military people rushing from here to there, civilians fleeing, but not sure where to go - that nobody stopped to notice the Kaar sitting upon a shipping crate, looking for all the galaxy like he wasn't a Kaar, a Darth, or even a Sith.

 

For that matter, for an 'Empire', there was a distinct lack of organization in the massive hangar bay on Bastion. But they could probably be forgiven that. Not forty-eight hours earlier, they had all been living their lives on Dromund Kaas. It was just another day in the Empire. Soldiers drilled, civilians worked, droids moved to and fro.  Businesses operated, children played in the streets, and shady deals were made in back alleys. Verrin's day had been similarly average, starting by training his apprentice, Vanessa.

 

They trained in combat together, and in a positive way, they trained one another in the saber staff. Verrin had experience and skill over his apprentice, but she made up for quite a lot with vigor and natural talent. She was learning the skills from him, but he was pushing his own by working her. It was a symbiotic relationship, noted by the fact that when she managed to knock him down once with a well-placed boot, she didn't finish the maneuver by driving the tip of her plasma blade through his neck. Oh, she held it on him for a moment, likely savoring the win (and possibly deciding if their relationship had ceased to benefit her), but something about the look on his face gave her pause. There was no hatred there - merely mild confusion. She had asked him what was wrong as she withdrew her weapon and cocked her pretty head, but he could only shake his own and reply, "Something is off... not right... in the Force. Can you feel it?"

 

She admitted she couldn't, and they went on about their days. Later in the morning, Verrin was working with his other apprentice, Holle.  She was working hard to master her telekinetic abilities - her desire to choke the living heck out of someone was almost like a fine mist in the air - a palpable thing one could taste or feel. But she too noticed a distraction on her otherwise focused master. She paused in her efforts to ask about it, and he replied to her as well, "Something is off... not right... in the Force. Can you feel it?

 

She couldn't sense it either, which left Verrin to wonder if he maybe had the flu, or some other virus. Maggie, as ever, was diligent about his health though, and affirmed that he was as hale and hearty as ever... for his age. From one of his apprentices, that last line might have been a dig, something to get under his skin. But from his loyal droid assistant, it was merely factual in nature, and made him sigh.  He was getting older, and some day soon, he'd have to do something about it if he wanted to continue on.  The question he'd been unable to answer though was exactly that: did he want to continue on?  He had no family, and no living legacy.  The Empire was his family, the Library his legacy, and one might argue that his apprentices were part of both, but when every day was a test to see if they would finally tun on him and kill him, he doubted they felt the same way about him.

 

And then, all of a sudden, some time around noon, the attack came. Massive Republic vessels appeared in space above the planet in force, unannounced, and began an attack of unprecedented violence. Finally, that sense that 'something is off' clicked and made sense.  This was what the Force had been trying to tell Verrin was coming, but he'd been too busy, too distracted, or too blind to heed its warning. The planet scrambled and began to fight back - the Empire's military was no slouch - but it wasn't consolidated, it wasn't prepared. Intelligence failed to arrive early enough, and Verrin suspected that either the Darth in charge of Intelligence would be executed for failure, or one of the sitting Kaars had sold them all out maliciously. Unfortunately, the intensity of the attack didn't leave a whole lot of time for speculation. It could only be reacted to. So the Empire did just that.

 

Command ships from nearby places, like Korriban, arrived on the scene first.  Between them and the normal planetary defenses, they managed to throw a speed bump into the otherwise overwhelming event. But it was a stop-gap.  It was stuffing a towel under a door that smoke was flooding through. It was slamming a window closed in the face of a tornado.  It was doomed to fail - but it did what it could to buy time. They needed that time to scatter, to pack what they could, and to evacuate.

 

Fortunately, Verrin's long tenure as the head Librarian had taught him a few things. There were measures in place, protocols for emergencies. He'd used them when Nogatan was attacked, and developed them further when the Rakata invaded with their Madalorian troops. In seconds, the Library went into its own state of emergency, and with the press of a button, shutters slammed down over shelving, heavy lifter droids emerged from the lift to the basement, and the knowledge contained therein was transferred to a waiting cargo ship, named simply, 'Betty', the only ship of its kind in the galaxy.  It was too old to be in regular use anymore, and its core drive was lethal to the pilot in prolonged flights. But it could carry the entire contents of the Library, and was historically ignored in evacuation as exactly what it was - a civilian vessel. It just needed some cover to get free of an attack.

 

And that's where the Spectre came in. Verrin's capitol ship emerged with the Emperor's Leviathan, and stemmed the tide of battle for a brief time - brief enough to allow several civilian ships a chance at freedom. They broke free of the planet and shot out into space - for some, Bastion was their destination, for Betty - that destination was unknown. But escape they did, even as the Republic regained their footing, and the Leviathan was disabled.  Dromund Kaas's gravity pulled the massive ship into orbit quickly, hungrily.  And Levaithan fed her, and fed her well, smashing into the city proper and horrifying the remaining people of the Empire - as well as creatures far out into the jungle who wondered what shook the ground that they walked upon.

 

The call from the military came through, loud and clear - the planet was lost, and all should leave, if able, and head to the man-made escape raft known as Bastion. Built by Emperor Cideon, the place had been designed to salvage the remains of his Empire should the attack from Nogatan to Dromund Kass fail some years back, but it hadn't failed, and so Bastion stayed adrift in space, like a forgotten bunker. Only now, it was no longer 'forgotten'.  It was needed. And wasn't it nice to be needed?

 

Verrin gathered what people he could onto his own personal fighter ship, piloted by Vessker's husband - a man simply known as Key. It shot out into space, and the expert pilot navigated the chaos, even bringing them through a field of debris that was created when the Spectre finally gave up its last effort. Verrin didn't have time to salute his Admiral Esk'oban, or mourn his people aboard that ship. They were gone. If he lived, then maybe... maybe in time, he would.

 

The flight to Bastion was fast, but Verrin worried - there were too many vessels heading that way.  There was no way the Republic wouldn't find the mystery satellite. Again, they were simply buying themselves time so that the remaining warships of the Empire could cripple the Republic enough that they might survive. 

 

Not win... survive.

 

"How did we get here," indeed.

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Coventry    47

"Karma," the white armored Sergeant said through the electronic piece in his white helmet which was streaked with a strip of blue as he hefted his light repeater. "Is a schutta. She's been nagging the Republic's ear for years, but today, Karma is gonna nag the Sith's ear! For today, we avenge the humiliation of the sacking! Today, we get to be the uninvited guest that puts their dirty-ass feet on the table and drinks all the beer in the fridge and steals all their nudie holos! I know some of you are scared. Most of you are gonna die. But you WILL put a boot up this Planet's ass before you do! The historians always thought they'd be talking about the sacking of Coruscant forever! But them historian fellas are gonna HOWL over THE SACKING OF DROMUND KAAS!" 

 

The soldiers roared in approval in the drop ship. Coventry was silent, eyes closed, reconciling himself with the fact he would inevitably kill someone here. This was a military invasion. It would be impossible to take most of its defenders alive, in spite of his desire to do otherwise.

 

He focused on the Jedi Code, finding some comfort in its embrace. And then the drop ship had landed. He was clad in his dragonscale equipped robes and gauntlets a brand new, heavy durasteel mask covering his face, a large visor allowing him good vision

 

He had left nothing to chance taking what was in his opinion his most versatile weapon...Carra's staff. His staff now. He had also brought Tongg's shoto, just in case.

 

He couldn't NOT take Carra's staff, now that he thought of it.

 

The battle plans had distributed them smack dab into Kaas City. He went ahead of the others to the hatch.

 

"Hey Sarge! Why'd they give us a Consular!? Aren't they just diplomats?" one of the troopers called out.

 

"He's one of their wizards!" The Sarge answered. 

 

"Ohhhhh...one of their real freaks," the trooper muttered. "You good at throwing stuff with your mind?"

 

Coventry turned to look at the trooper, his dry gaze almost seeming to ask: "Dude, seriously?"

 

The Trooper shrugged. "Never mind," he muttered, hefting his rifle. "Stupid question."

 

"Their flagship crashed in the city. Thousands are dead, but there are still thousands left defending the streets to the temple! We stick together, and we do our Job. Jedi! I hope you can use that laser sword good, 'cuz we need some old fashioned psychic murderin'!" The Sergeant shouted.

 

The hatch opened and Coventry's green blades flashed on as he ran forward, manuevering the blade around in a defensive Soresu pattern enhanced by the staff's wider coverage. He manipulated the blade around his body, deflecting a swarm of blaster bolts flashing from the defensive barricades in the street. The Temple loomed in the distance. Most of the city was on fire.

 

The staff twirled around in tight arcs as he moved cautiously forward, expending as little energy as possible, moving only as fast as he needed to to intercept the bolts or dodge them, opening himself to the Force as the soldiers fired from behind his moving cover, advancing on the Imperial Soldiers firing desperately.

 

The rate of fire increased, and his defensive arcs grew tighter, faster, the green blades a bright fan around his body, careful to keep from hitting the men behind him by accident. One man fired a grenade launcher at the barricade, destroying it and blowing up everybody inside.

 

A flare of warning in the Force alerted him to the danger above him, and without really thinking he shifted to the nearest Republican soldier and shifted his blade in front of the man's face, deflecting a blaster shot that would have taken his head off. The rattled soldier chucked a frag into the window of the office building the shot had come from. A blast echoed seconds later and he felt the life within cease.

 

The soldier he saved gave him a thumbs up and Coventry returned to the front of the group. So far, everyone with him was still alive. He intended to make sure as many of them as possible went home, Force willing.

 

Just then another, stronger danger flared in his senses, and he barely managed to pull one of the troopers out of the way of a thrown red lightsaber.

 

He saw him in the distance. A man in black robes and armor, catching his thrown lightsaber. The Sith Warrior went into a Shien stance.

 

Coventry shut off one end of his lightsaber, holding the remaining blade horizontally over his head. The soldiers headed into the blown open building the sniper fire had come from. They weren't stupid enough to get in the way of a duel, knowing they would only make it difficult for him to fight a Sith.

 

The Sith force leapt forward, a crushing overhead blow coming for his skull at high speed. Not being stupid enough to stand still and try and deflect or block it, he dashed out of the way with the Force's aid. He then found himself blocking endless fans of fury-filled heavy strikes, and he used his own knowledge of Djem So to inform his Soresu defense, not trying to outright block, only deflect and dodge, retreating around the street at every attack. 

 

"Stand and fight coward!" The Sith roared through his helmet.

 

Coventry didn't respond to the barb, as he was not one of those Jedi who bantered during a duel. He had always found that a very annoying trait in some Jedi. One because it was unnecessary to talk unless it was a call for surrender or the enemy to see reason...not bloody likely in this situation. 

 

Two because with VERY few exceptions, such as Inoy, it was damn near impossible to pull off well or with any semblance of talant.

 

His silently shook his head very emphatically at the Sith. No. He wasn't going to stand and fight.

 

This seemed to provoke the Sith even worse than words would have. He charged, attacking from overhead and the side with fast, vicious attacks, and Coventry was just barely able to dodge or deflect them, as they came fast and with as much force as could be practically delivered by his opponent.

 

He had talant, whoever he was. And experience. He was a focused attacker, constantly trying to hit the same side and wear him down, which was starting to annoy Coventry. He parried the swipes and stabs, even as it began to take more and more energy to react. Which wasn't good. The enemy blade was starting to get very close to skewering him with his Djem So assault, and he couldn't stay here and defend all day, he had to get these men to that temple intact.

 

His defensive arcs passed close to his body as he manuevered on rocky, uneven terrain to escape the murderous attacks of his heavily armored and slightly stronger opponent. 

 

It was with great reluctance that as his opponents blade came down, Coventry forced his blade in a high block to meet it, shunting his opponent's blade off to the side...

 

And activating his other blade, which he then transitioned with quite the strain on his ankles in a twirling downward slash that cut the man in half diagonally, who let out an ungodly scream of pain and rage as he fell to the ground in two halves, dead.

 

"I'm sorry," Coventry said remorsefully, disgusted at having gotten blood on his hands. But the Sith had absolutely brought this on themselves. The Sergeant had been absolutely right: This was their Karma. Thirty years of it, crashing down on their heads.

 

He wondered how long the Republic had been planning this massive invasion. It seemed even the Mandalorians couldn't stop them at this point. It mattered little. The same people who had planned the sacking of Tython had likely planned this. From what he was hearing among the troops and other Jedi, the planets controlled by the Sith were getting hammered harder than his intestinal tract after too much vegetarian chilli. 

 

The soldiers came out of the building, smoke obscuring the vision of the cityscape and part of the temple. He could still feel its evil radiating, even from this far out.

 

"Is it dead?" The Sergeant asked of his newly slain opponent.

 

"Like my potential as a singer," he croaked uneasily in his malformed voice, disgusted at having to take a life.

 

"Thats one. A thousand more of those bastards to go!" The Sergeant roared. "Lets go burn their gorram school for fascists to the ground, boys!"

 

"Oorah!" the troopers shouted. Coventry gave them all a thumbs up, activated his blades and they all charged down into the street toward the temple, intent on smashing their way through the next barricade, and the next one after that. They met with fierce resistance at an intersection between black, imposing buildings, Coventry lifting a piece of collapsed wreckage with his telekinesis, holding the large object with some strain, and hurling it at a turret nest, purposely giving those inside it just enough time to escape it, even though the soldiers behind him ended up shooting them regardless. Better than death by crushing.

 

More Sith appeared, one armed with a saber staff, the other armed with two seperate lightsabers. Coventry went on alert at the sight of the one with the staff. His robes were a high quality silk, adorned with Sith symbols. His face, a Togorian man's bore all the traces of corruption. He grinned unpleasantly, and Coventry knew what he was instantly.

 

One of their Inquisitors. His regalness, even in the face of what was certainly the destruction of his empire, gave it away.

 

Even now, he thought the Sith could win.

 

No sense in waiting to be attacked at this point. And there was nowhere for the soldiers he was protecting to retreat. He charged forward, shifting his attack stance to one bladed Soresu, intent on keeping the focus on him and away from his allies.

 

Both the master and clearly the apprentice charged at him as well, the master flinging bolts of lightning, Coventry letting it grind against his blade as he got within striking range, the apprentice, a chagrian cutting loose with a furious Jar Kai assault, while the master attacked with staff Niman as well. Coventry kept his senses open, well aware of a Niman users propensity for encorporating force attacks in their sword play. They were both fast and strong too, and Coventry was forced to push his Soresu to the limit, ducking, dodging, parrying, shunting the apprentice's right hand blade into the path of his master to confuse and hold them off. He felt the burn creep into his muscles.

 

A warning flared in the Force came as he sank deeper into the passivity of form three, not daring to apply any of the others he knew due to not wishing to take too many risks with the lives of those under his protection. He saw the snarling hate began to creep up the masters hand in the form of an electrical arc, and Coventry force jumped overboth of them as it discharged, and in that moment of terminus in his air time, he saw the world go upside down, saw the apprentice turning, screaming in rage and force jumping through the air...

 

...and getting peppered by some well aimed shots from the Sergeant's repeater.

 

The Master turned, snarled, at the soldiers, clearly surprised as Coventry landed. He broke into a a Force dash, staff casually deflecting their shots. Coventry calmed himself, focused, and held out his hand, concentrating on the ground beneath the Inquisitor.

 

The Inquisitor yelled in surprise as he began to lift up, spinning around in a mini whirlwind. "NOW!" The Sergeant yelled, and the platoon opened fire, even as the panicked Inquisitor desperately tried to hold off the storm of shots and uselessly misaiming his lightning while trapped in the whirlwind, Coventry straining hard to keep it going even as the Sith struggled to escape it. The Inquisitor gave a death cry when the bolts inevitably got through, blasting large chunks of him off and killing him instantly.

 

Coventry ran up to them. The soldier he had saved from sniper fire, the one who had landed the shot that had blown the Inquisitors head off, gave him a thumbs up. Coventry returned it.

 

"Hot damn, I never thought I'd get to kill a Sith set to spin cycle. Truly this is a day of miracles!" The Sergeant boasted. "You, Jedi...you're alright in my book."

 

"Mutual," was all Coventry said. 

 

The Sergeant nodded, and the pair took point ahead of the others, prepared for any danger at this point.

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Darth Atrox    700

Bastion, En-route to Darth Valyrian

 

 

The message had been sent to Darth Sanguira personally to evacuate and escape to the outskirts of the known galaxy, though the last of the surviving Sith stood on Bastion - a false hope that would only delay the inevitable. Dressed in his battlegarb, the Kaar brought up his HUD as he spoke to the troops meant to guard key locations around the city - the remnants of the Imperial Guard being forced to lead the soldiers to their eventual death. There was only one true solution, one that would risk it all just so the Sith would be preserved - Valyrian had to die and the remaining Sith had to escape.

 

Fingers clutching tightly as the dark side practically consumed his being, his meditation drawing on the deaths and the sacrifices of the Sith and soldiers of the Sith Empire - the hubris of the Jedi only gave the strongest amongst the Sith the power to be their eventual destruction. The less beings to contain the dark side, the more concentrated it became and with that the Kaar looked up from his position from his Fury-class Imperial Interceptor and saw the first line of shuttles coming down towards the planet - even with the anti-air guns, they would land unless there was something to delay the first line.

 

Fingers letting go of the starship's docking ramp, the Kaar drew on the Force as he leaped down from the low altitude and let the Force coil around his being - letting it become one with him. Twisting as he approached the ground, the Kaar landed onto the duracrete and durasteel that laid above his destination. The man could hide his presence from the Force, but it couldn't hide it from life form scanners - and with the large amount of life coming from a concealed destination, the only way to find it would be following the schematics of Bastion. Even with the power the Kaar felt though, he couldn't simply use the Force to tear his way downwards, but he could use the thing the Republic had supplied him with.

 

Hands raising up into the air as he drew on the Force Ghost within his being, his eyes that were twisted crimson and sulfur soon displayed a building of corrupt power, a miasmic purple haze flowing from his being as he sought one of the shuttles and seized it within his mind. Hands twisting as the Kaar envisioned the pilot's neck with his left hand, a sickening twist of his hand and the other hand guiding the shuttle towards him, the Kaar let out a bellowing roar as he drew on the Force to become a weapon, crushing the engine as it started to veer to the side, the dark side practically turning it slowly into a burning heap of metal as it came towards him. Ripping the shuttle downwards with both his hands, he let the burning shuttle crash down twelve feet before him on the entry way, the blast practically demolishing the durasteel gateway as the embers and force blew towards the Kaar.

 

Drawing on the Force to shield himself from the energy and concussive Force, the Kaar slowly walked forward as the bodies of crawling Jedi and Republic troops came towards him, the fight still bright in their eyes and shattered visors. It was pathetic, their holy crusade would only spell the death of countless who fought. Hands clasping together as the Force Ghost slowly appeared and manifested as they both walked towards the Jedi and troops, the Kaar soon drew on the very core of his hunger, as the energy expanded outwards in an explosive manner, turning what was blind to the Force to ash in mere moments, before those that held onto the Force found their own connections severed and their life drained from them. Countless purple and orange tendrils pierced and drained each individual, sucking them dry of what life they had and what Force they had. The husks soon dropped as the Kaar felt the flame lick his side, yet there was no emotion on the surface of his armor or face - no muscles clenching as if he struggled.

 

Their deaths were meaningless, they deserved no words of honor - they would chase down the children and women and slaughter them for being Sith, they were no better than the Sith. Their holocaust would be complete if the Sith didn't do anything, if they stood there and licked their wounds. Stepping to the edge as he watched the wreckage tangled in cables and metal, the pilots hanging limp from their cockpit as if they were attempting to save them. Nothing would save the Jedi and Republic today, they wished to force their crusade upon the Sith Empire believing it was simply an eye for an eye? Then there was only blood for blood on this day.

 

Drawing on the Force, the Kaar reached up to his helmet and contacted @Darth Verrin - his enemy on the Dark Council would need to be the intelligent savior while Atrox secured the future of the Sith. They needed to set aside their differences to ensure the Sith would survive, yet the man's knowledge could perhaps save those Sith with him. Darth Tanit knew her duty that it was to the Empire, but he hoped she would do the smart thing and provide assistance to the Kaar of Ancient Knowledge, while Darth Sunder was simply a liability at the moment, the man would only serve to slow down the escape - yet the man could survive anything, so it wouldn't shock the Kaar if he somehow lived.

 

"Darth Verrin, I request you get out off Bastion with as many survivors as you can, guide them through space and keep in contact - the Imperial Guardsmen and our soldiers will hold the line. The Sith will be in your hands if Valyrian and I do not survive, do not think you can simply die from old age," speaking coldly as the Kaar took the final step from the ledge, the Kaar withdrew his lightsaber and prepared for his leap of faiths.

 

Twisting as he brought his blade to life with a snap-hiss, the Kaar plummeted downwards bringing his weapon down across the cables that held the burning wreckage and soon found himself in a free fall with the shuttle. Darkness consumed the Kaar and the shuttle, the flames providing a small amount of light as the Kaar felt the Force guide him, his blade carving through cable after exposed cable to keep himself from being sliced, or broken, in two as he finally reached the bottom. The Force comforted his fall as he heard the shuttle strike the ground and fall to the side. Even with the schematics to Bastion the underground was fairly unmapped, yet the signature of multiple life forms pointed in an unmapped direction. Deactivating his lightsaber, he strapped it to his belt as he gritted his teeth, the sign of life suggested there was significantly more than one, yet there was no reason for Valyrian to hide with multiple individuals, outside of his Hands - and perhaps that was the only emotion he could muster in surfacing.

 

"HK, bring the vessel down below and ensure I have a safe escape route planned - I don't think I will want the Republic coming towards us in full force," the words that escaped the Kaar's lips as he shook his head, the thought of bringing the Republic here was the final solution, yet if he failed then the Republic would have the 'last of the Sith' and the Sith Emperor to take as their captive or kill - probably the latter.

 

Walking for what seemed like forever, the Kaar came across a durasteel wall - or what appeared to be simply a durasteel wall. Fingers being thrown out as he drew on the dark side, he scraped the walls with his 'talons', the Force looking for an opening before the concussive force found way, tearing it slowly apart as he did the physical motion. The doors barely budged, yet the Kaar could open it now that there was a weakness in the structure without dropping the entire tunnel on him with Kinetite. Drawing on the Force once more as he pulled his hands backwards, he gathered the dark side and the Force into a ball of erratic red energy, the twisting pressure growing in size as the Kaar focused entirely on it before throwing his hand forward. The pressure soon found the exposed mark and burst around it, creaking the metals before forming a decently sized-entrance.

 

Walking forward as he entered into the newly formed entrance, the Kaar withdrew his lightsaber and broke into a sprint, his fears coiled within his emotional furnace once more as he ran. Fear would be his end, he had to conquer it fully to wear the title of the Dark Lord of the Sith - yet he wasn't the only Sith'ari on the planet. The prophecy was a twisted amalgamation of words meant to be interpret the return of the true Sith, and it was to be lead by the destroyer and creator. Valyrian was the destroyer of Cideon's grandiose design, a design meant to soften the Sith in a life of luxury and without pain - a life of futile order through suppressing beings for what they were. Atrox was the one who would lead them from the burning ashes, recreating them into true perfection. Both of them had been twisted by Cideon, bound by some unruly Sith magic, yet Valyrian had broken Cideon's hold over him, while Atrox found a way to warp his into power - into a prison for a spirit.

 

Together, they would become the Sith'ari and bring retribution to the Jedi for their holy crusade and crush them, in time.

 

Emerging into a chamber, the Kaar soon found his target resting in a medical pod and moved forward. Rage coiled within him as he activated his blade and forced it through the transparisteel with a sharp hissing noise, the liquids within the tank bubbling as the blade found it's mark and killed his target, yet the Kaar found no pleasure in the kill, there was no significant display of power from the now dead corpse - there was.. nothing. Nothingness that made the Kaar feel almost sick, the life monitor on the medical pod showed the pulse become zero, yet there was nothing. Eyes looking up into the more youthful appearance of the man, the Kaar withdrew his weapon as the superheated liquid poured out from the opening and looked upwards, unaware of his surroundings as he stood in the chamber of countless Valyrians - countless bodies that could be used and disposed of.

 

Stumbling backwards as the Kaar let out a bellowing yell, he threw his hand upwards and released the torrent of rage and fear within him into a small spherical ball of electricity and sought to call Valyrian to him personally through the Force - to set an example of what his betrayal meant to the Kaar. Were the bodies like the Sith to him? A simple vessel that could be tossed away because he could simply keep on living in secrecy? The rage of the Kaar's own questions brought the lightning spiralling out in multiple directions that struck countless equipment and set it ablaze, or simply destroyed it through sheer power - the dark side growing into a disturbance through the Force, a call for Valyrian to fight.

 

"VALYRIAN! Come and fight! We settle this like the old Sith, a true Kaggath! Choose to hide behind your bodies and Hands, and I will tear out their hearts to drink their life force!" The challenge was made and only Valyrian would decide how this would happen - he could conceal himself behind the Force, or he could fight like a true Emperor.

 

Hand dropping as the Kaar let his Force-enhanced senses fade, a small grin played upon his face - he had trained his own battle senses without the Force and with the disturbance surrounding them now, the Force would merely be a hindrance to rely on for the coming battle. Fingers sliding around the hilt of his weapon, he held it low to his side as he awaited for his HUD to pick up the first movement around him. Valyrian's fighting style was the only thing the Kaar didn't know, unlike his recording of Verrin, but that only made him thirst for the Kaggath more.

 

An easy victory wouldn't decide the fate of the Sith, afterall.

 

 

Post Information

Spoiler

Force Powers: Force Sense, Force Choke, Force Crush, Telekinesis: Master, Force Walking, Death Field, Force Armor, Force Leap, Force Storm.

 

Decided to give Verrin something to do, since he is probably the only intelligent one out of all the Kaar's on Bastion with an idea of secure spaceroutes - also he's old, so him fighting may make him break a hip :P I imagine working with Je'ka to develop some story there may be good as well!

 

The Force Storm causing a disturbance in the Force can, well, obviously be felt with everyone that has the Force - afterall, the Jedi Crusaders have a tendency to slaughter countless Sith to allow more powerful vessels to exist, and it's Atrox's calling card to Valyrian and eventually the Republic ;)

 

@Daniel fight me, Aussieboy. I killed like, five clones, that's like 1/50th a Valyrian, but still.

 

Edited by Kure
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Darth Sanguira    226

Korriban

 

Already battered from surviving the blasted massacre on the Empire's capitol city, the place most of those in power were stationed, the brunette looked as though she had been sent to Mustafar and had to walk through its core to get there.  With the Republic attacking so strongly, there was one thing on her mind, the same thing on her lover's mind: get their children to safety.  Perhaps not out of a parental duty or love (well, except a portion of their more human selves), but for the sake of keeping their legacy alive.  Darth Atrox and Darth Sanguira knew they wouldn't live until age took their souls to Chaos.  They were sith, warriors meant to lead others to victory or die trying.  Battle, the threat of death lurking around every corner, that was the path they both willingly chose, and why their bloodline and power it held being preserved was so important.

 

The Academy was crumbling, history of their kind being destroyed by powerful attacks that came from both sides.  Bodies littered the halls, all ages from young to old, but her senses indicated her children were still alive - she felt them, felt their energy with ease despite the many Force users surrounding the place, despite the powers that made Korriban so sacred.  They were a beacon amongst the many energies, her connection to them strong, stronger perhaps than even their father's since she had carried them full term, had birthed them.  

 

Jedi that turned their attention towards her were wiped out if they tried to attack, to block her path.  The gall of that Grand Master, of the Jedi and Republic had pushed her rage past its containment point, similarly to how the specter threatening her baby's life had done.  Only this time she was in proper physical shape, had energy and her mental barriers were as strong as ever.  A few of the stronger Jedi that confronted her took precious time away from her task, but this only fueled her, the pain they caused by smashing her into walls being returned tenfold as she tore their limbs from their bodies with the Force, its invisible tendrils of dark energy acting as extensions of her own limbs.  

 

Plunging her lightsaber into the back of a soldier pressing her children, the woman turned with her weapon and beheaded two others that ran into the room. They had ten minutes to get back to the ship before the pilot left them there to die.  Picking up Korvus since Julith could keep up better than the younger of the two, the Kaar hurried them along, keeping their path clear.  By luck or fate, she avoided direct confrontation with Jedi Council Members, and had she not felt the passing of Darth Lyran, the femme likely would have remained to fight alongside him while knowing her children were safe.  Running and allowing the destruction of their people as well as culture was not in her blood, never had been.  But with only herself the last Kaar alive on Korriban, she knew it would be futile to remain and face multiple opponents that were the strongest the Republic had to offer.  Instead, she boarded with them, leaving those on Korriban to their fate.  Some would escape, but most were doomed.

 

Praising her children for their strength, the woman gave pause when the pilot notified her of her lover's message.  Fists clenching, she gave a nod and ordered the pilot to take them to Hapes, a place they could hide in until she could get them all back to Atrox's compound.  Still, him sending such a message made her feel uneasy, and a longing to be at his side, to have his back like in previous wars grew stronger by the second.  

 

Eyes closing, the woman concentrated on their connection, their distance straining it, limiting the amount of communication they would have.  Feeling the draw of her blood, of his blood, of their pain and suffering, of their fears and dreams, Sanguira reached out an invisible hand towards him, towards the Alderaanian warrior that had over time stolen her heart, had become more than a tool and weapon to use for advancement in society.  

 

"Kure, I have them.  We will go to Hapes.  Whatever you are planning, come back to me in one piece or I will never let your soul find peace in Chaos.  Understand?  You...you should have seen them, our children are strong-"  With the distance cutting her off, the brunette fought back the lump forming in her throat, disgusted by her own emotion and weakness.  Instead, she focused on keeping the young ones calm as they entered hyperspace with coordinates set for Hapes.

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Darth Verrin    2,072

Verrin stayed sitting on that crate for a while, trying to mull over the situation, and hoping that news from other Kaars arriving would at least make the last day or two seem less terrible. He knew, in the back of his mind, that some of his negativity stemmed from lack of sleep - he didn't require much, but he did require some - so when his reverie was interrupted by a young officer of the Empire, he didn't bark back.  Instead, he let his eyes roll up to focus on the man in uniform, even though his head remained tilted down.

 

"Lord Verrin, the ships that made it here are refueling and supplying for a longer journey. But the Republic could arrive at any time. Darth Tanit said..."

 

"Darth Tanit?"  Verrin interrupted, "Where is she?"

 

News of a fellow Kaar, and his ex-apprentice in particular, perked him up for the moment.  She was part of the military arm of the Empire, and if she survived, then he wouldn't have to shoulder the responsibility of leading the refugees from Dromund Kaas.

 

Unfortunately, the man replied, "Unclear, My Lord, but her last message suggested that Bastion was equipped to repel attackers - to a degree.  It's a type of battle station, but bringing it online and manning the various positions is taking every body we can muster as they arrive. Until she makes her presence known here, we need a voice of authority."

 

Verrin managed - just barely - not to groan. Thoughtful governing was his wheelhouse, not military command. If the troops here were counting on him, then they were truly on their last leg. Verrin wished Esk'oban had made it to Bastion. She'd know what to do.

 

But Darth Atrox's last message to him contradicted this request, and the former 'Hand' of the Empire could not have been more clear: Verrin was to take any remaining survivors and leave Bastion behind, before the Republic arrived. He hadn't dictated a final destination - and perhaps there wasn't one - so that left a significant decision in Verrin's hands. If it had been any other Kaar, or another time and place, Verrin might have got some pleasure or satisfaction from being trusted with such a task. He and Atrox had historically not worked well together, and their philosophies on the Sith often conflicted. So just now, it seemed the request was more an act of desperation than admiration - a sign of how dangerous the situation at hand was.  Atrox likely could have chosen any other Darth to perform this task.. if any of them were available.

 

Verrin finally nodded at the man. "Your orders are to fully fuel and supply the ships for a long trip - fill them to capacity as much as possible. Bastion will not be the tombstone for this Empire. Our epitaph will not read, "They fought bravely, but futilely", or some blurb about how the Republic was right, and the Empire was wrong. Set defenses to whatever automated capacity they have, such that if the Republic does arrive, they will be sorry they did - both from being fired upon, and the fact that most of us will not be here. Understood?"

 

The soldier seemed to.  He smartly saluted and then ran off to set the wheels of this plan into motion.

 

But Verrin's next thought was where he would take them all? Where could an Empire in disarray hide?  The Outer Rim? Perhaps. But he wasn't sure they'd be moving millions of people. He suspected it'd be more like thousands. They didn't need an entire system.  They merely needed a planet. Where, though?

 

His first option wasn't the 'best' option, but it seemed reasonable enough: Dathomir. The entire jungle planet was so steeped in the Force that it often hid detection of Force-sensitives.  He'd been there a few times, searching for the remnants of Vakar Sadarri's space yacht, but to no avail. The tribes would have issue with the sudden influx of the Empire, but Verrin wagered they could quickly erect significant defenses to hold off any attack the locals might muster - even with their rancor pets. And the planet wasn't so far out of the way, that they would be cut off from civilization of nearby systems. They just wouldn't be able to have the presence that they once did. It would be less of 'the Empire', and more an establishment of 'the Sith'.

 

Verrin didn't rush to his decision though. More refugees kept arriving , and he wanted to take as many of them with him as he could.

 

ooc: I think this is accurate. If not, just PM me and I'll edit.

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Brison Yi    38

Balmorra.

 

 

Brison watched the invasion from an observation room as the ships approached the atmosphere of Balmorra. She would have been on the ground, but she had a far more useful talent to employ, one that would give her side the advantage.

 

Balmorra...where it had all began in some sense. Oddly enough, the mental attack she had experienced at Balmorra when the Sith had seized it so long ago had given her insight into how battle meditation worked when she had eventually developed the power herself. She trained regularly to maintain that gift. This was its first real test.

 

She sat, resting in the lotus position, closing her eyes. The invasion was just beginning over Balmorra's skies, the utter thrashing the Sith were receiving elsewhere well underway.

 

She had a job to do, and that was making sure her side came home.

 

Funny how things worked out. She had started out a wanted criminal, had nearly blown the second chance the original had given her. She had always been slow to catch on. Always.

 

But now was not the time for regrets. Now was the time to act.

 

Focusing on the calm within, the desire to save those depending on her, she allowed the Force to flow through her...and out into the thousands of Republic Soldiers. She filled them slowly gradually, trying not to be intrusive about it, for it was best to slowly build up resolve and hope, rather than trying to Force it crudely and without tact as Sith did. 

 

She could feel the resolve in the soldiers dropping through the atmosphere rising, courage making their minds a wall to despair. She increased that courage gently, while at the same time her mind began to seep into the other side. The defenders.

 

She sent tiny slivers of doubt into their mind, throwing off their concentration as they tried to prepare, not sending them to full on despair, but lowering their confidance every so slowly, ever so gradually, so that thoughts of surrender began to seem preferable. Alluring even. Better than a suicidal defense buying time for Sith Lords.

 

She felt it slowly sink in, aided by the fact that word of how badly the empire was being "owned" in holonet terminology. Surely word would reach them of Dromund Kaas. They had to know it was a losing battle regardless of whether or not she influenced them more down that direction...it was over. After thirty years and Force knew how many friends, lovers and mentors turned traitor, murdered, or worse, the shoe was on the other foot.

 

That made this, what loss number four? Five? For the Sith as a whole? As far as she was concerned, the great galactic war didn't count, and neither did the Cold War. And why? Because you had to take down ALL the Jedi to win. All. Of. Them. And they couldn't seal the deal, any more than previous versions could. They had most of the advantages too...murderous Mandalorians, most criminal networks, and the Chiss-Freakin'-Ascendancy. They had the best intel network in the galaxy...

 

And they STILL couldn't pull it off.

 

Brison felt the troops push the ground offensive, felt the soldiers and Jedi connected to her fight some being snuffed out, but slowly, gradually taking advantage of every weakness, every breakdown in command, while the enemy began to panic, the sheer reality of their situation affecting their ego, their psyche worse than any act of Battle Meditation could. She felt the soldiers on her side push through the streets, encouraged but still cautious, hammering into the center of their capital city with strike fighters, artillery, and, of course, dozens of Jedi everywhere, cutting down the Sith when they got stupid and tried to do anything but run. She took no pleasure in these deaths. But she also had no choice. If she wanted to help take Balmorra it would mean having a hand in literally every enemy death. The ultimate act of kill by proxy.

 

The Shi'ido did not think this counted as redemption. Any act that results in death, even if it was the death of a Kaar, was not a redemptive act. Merely tragic necessity. A result of people refusing to see reason, even after being given every opportunity to turn from a self destructive path.

 

It took hours of meditation, placing great strain on her, but eventually she began to ease up, as most of the defenders were dead by this point. She gradually lessened the connection to thousands, eventually retreating into her own body. The soldiers on the ground and space could take it from here. More than once she saw an Imperial warship explode, and felt nothing but pity for the poor souls that died in pain as some of the ships burned in space.

 

She hoped it would be a long time before she bore witness to such a horrific sight again. As she knew all too well, death by burning alive was the worst.

 

Brison sank into a calm meditation, sweat drenching her forehead, and tried to recover her strength in the Force.

Edited by Brison Yi
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The world had opened up and swallowed her whole - at least, that's how it felt. Seconds felt like minutes, minutes like hours, hours like days, until only millennia remained. High on the thrill of winning her bout with her Master, she had ignored the lingering feeling in the back of her mind, a doubt that stuck deep within the recess of her senses. She ignored the dream she had the night before, a shadowed figure of the Emperor in hard combat with the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic - a mammoth fight destroying walls and annihilating structure. She had almost forgotten the details of an Emperor laughing as he was killed, the Grand Master turned away, the Emperor looking almost directly at her with  veiled smile hidden beneath his cruel haunting facade. 

 

But she couldn't ignore the Fleet of Republic ships above Dromund Kaas. She couldn't ignore the Sith dying, the orbital bombardment, the destruction and the chaos. Her Master had once told her that Sith prospered from chaos, that they lingered on it, hungered for it. It was hard to align that teaching with the senseless destruction she was around her, as valleys of Kaas jungle were annihilated with single blasts of Republic siege weapons. It was impossible to reconsile the idea that the Sith enjoyed chaos, when they were dying because of it. Thousands. Millions. At the hands of the peacekeeper Jedi. How could people believe in a Jedi Order that lead such a mighty and ferious assault, when it wasn't just Sith dying, but innocents, civilians, women and children! 

 

She went into autopilot, letting the lingering pain of the home she had grown accustomed to being destroyed by the errant blasts of the Republic. She followed her Master's orders, the Library packed into transportable constructs. Vanessa didn't bother going back for her droid - though knew it would inevitably follow. She'd never managed to escape it thus far, why would now be any different. Without thinking, without hesitation, she removed the simple Sith robes she normally wore, and without permission, without oversight, without hesitation, donned the armor and mask of the Library Guardians. In that moment, she wasn't the apprentice humbling following her Master's orders, but a nameless Guardian protecting the legacy of the Sith Order. 

 

The Jedi descended quickly after the blasts, and she fought amongst them. She didn't take numbers, didn't keep track of her victories, she mercilessly and without thought, cut down anyone who stood in the way of the Sith Legacy being preserved. One Jedi cursed her, another silently combated her, and she fended them both, using her skill with the saberstaff to slice them into pieces, as the final steps were taken. Her transponder ordered her back to the rendezvous, and she returned to the SPECTRE to Verrin's command. She joined him wordlessly on the bridge, before being dismissed into her private chambers.

 

She cried. Then she stopped. 

 

The world had ended, just as it had before, and petty emotions would only get in the way. Now above Bastion, she was one of a dying breed. Standing beside her Master, uniform on, mask covering her face, her passions vested, she waited. And with the Republic annihilating every planet in their path, she knew she would not have to wait long.

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Silas was the son of a businessman and an Imperial officer. If there was one thing his parents taught him that didn't come from his nursing droids, it was choosing his battles. Right now, the Republic managed to pull of a particularly vicious and unrelenting siege on the academy. He was still a little new and was getting to know his... clan mates. At first, most of the older students and instructors ran down to fight off the Republic. Then their numbers began to dwindle as the younger apprentices were then sent down to fight.

 

His clan was holed up in the security office, and the redhead caught one of the staff sneaking to the datacron archives and locking himself inside. Staying in this place was practically suicide, and the instructor handling his clan was already gearing them up for one last stand.

 

'We're going to die here,' Silas thought with slight distaste, slowly making his way at the very back. They could fight another day, it would be a waste of resources fighting a losing battle. If by some miracle the Empire managed to fend off the Republic invaders, they would be too weak to sustain another attack.

 

Enraged battle cries caught Silas' attention, the apprentices working themselves up to a rage. The noise was deafening in the overcrowded security office, and the door was slightly ajar - someone slim enough could fit through. Taking advantage of the commotion, Silas slipped through the door, clutching his academy-issued lightsaber tightly. There should still be ships in the hangar bay if it wasn't already closed off to keep the Republic from getting through there.

 

On the way to the hangar, Silas heard  footsteps, and a quick glance back had his heart racing. Republic soldiers and Jedi were fast approaching, and fear drove Silas to gather to Force around him for a momentary burst of speed. He managed to put a significant amount of distance, but the Jedi should be able to follow up quick. He managed to reach the hangar and opened the door and waited until the gap was large enough for him to pass through. Once on the other side, he found an unfamiliar ship with its ramp down. Thanking the gods of his homeworld, Silas climbed in without checking back to see if the Jedi managed to follow.

 

Just to be sure, he closed his eyes and let his awareness expand through the Force, checking to see if he was alone. There was someone else in the ship, and well, as long as Silas did not disturb him, no one would know he's there. The hangar bay was open, and the ship looked ready to leave at a moments notice. There should be a storage unit big enough for him to hide in.

When he found it, Silas got in and made sure to shut it close before allowing himself to sigh and relax.

 

"Alive, at least," Silas whispered to himself, closing his eyes. The stress of narrowly avoiding death utterly exhausted the redhead. The ship lurched and then lifted off, and the distant familiarity of entering hyperspace had finally lulled Silas to a dreamless sleep.

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

Silas stirred when he felt the world around him shift. He snapped awake when he found himself looking up an imposing, yet familiar, woman with two children. Before Silas could say anything, she kicked his hiding place before throwing a silk cloak over his face. Silas tried not to gape as he scrambled to get out.

 

He tried to remember just how exactly did he end up stowing away in a ship, brows furrowed in concentration. Then it all came rushing back - the academy, the Republic attack, running from Jedi, stowing away. Silas felt... distant. It felt like the fear and the stress happened to someone else. The bodies that littered the floor, the fighting Silas saw on the security screens - it didn't felt real. He knew it happened, he was there for most of it, but it didn't feel... It was like a strange dream. A terrifyingly surreal nightmare, if he wanted to be honest with himself.

 

"Put on the cloaks.  We are to draw as little attention as possible to ourselves.  You, brat, you will do as I say and remain at my side with the others.  Understood?"  

 

"Understood," Silas replied, keeping his expression neutral. He pulled the hood up and followed the woman. He tried remembering just where it was he saw her. Then he felt a smaller hand hold on to his, and he looked down to see who took it. A little girl was smiling at him, and Silas just gave her a wan smile, wondering that if he tried to pry her off, the woman who found him might cleave him into two.

 

Then it hit Silas like a freighter. The woman was the Kaar of Diplomacy. A sick feeling settled down at the bottom of Silas' stomach, but he managed to control his reactions and not squeeze the little girl's hand. He kept up with her, trying to think of ways not to offend her and die. Hopefully, she'd think him useful or stay her hand since the Sith had dwindled down considerably.

 

With that, Silas just wondered what it was he got himself into, or if it was too late to look for another escape route.

Edited by Silas Kitsuchi
so that there's no need to post twice
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Darth Sanguira    226

Hapes Spaceport

 

Home.  That was where she had returned to, having been here once before as the Kaar of Diplomacy, unrecognized by her own kin, her own people.  Oh how she had longed to take over, to replace the Queen Mother with herself or one of her agents.  But alas, her plans fell through when the very biased and judgemental people that made up the governing body opted to a truce of sorts, mostly a trade agreement with the Empire.  Had they objected, she could have had her way, but the Hapans weren't fond of the Jedi and their alliances whatsoever.  

 

Rising, the woman glanced towards the storage space where bins held various items - mostly attire to suit any climate and occasion (it was important she be properly dressed for her visitations to expand the Empire's territory).  Lip curling in distaste, she mentally swore in various tongues, cursing her attention for having not noticed such a simple thing as a stranger's Force Signature aboard her ship.  With a wave of her hand, the lid to the stowaway's crate slid off to reveal the sleeping teen.  Had she not just seen the genocide of the Imperial people, especially those considered Sith, Darth Sanguira would have killed the redhead for his idiocy.  Circumstances were very different from the norm, though, and so the brunette kicked the side of the bin and tossed a grey gausy silk cloak onto his figure.  

 

"Put on the cloaks.  We are to draw as little attention as possible to ourselves.  You, brat, you will do as I say and remain at my side with the others.  Understood?"  Exhaustion and stress creeped into her voice, part of her still ready and willing to fight while the other half just wanted to soak in a tub of hot water.  Donning her own cloak, the hood was drawn up to shadow her battered face and molten eyes, the boy back in her arms.  Glancing to the stranger, a loud sigh left her lips when she saw her daughter smile and take the other's hand as though he were an older sibling or parent, as though he were the equivalent of one of Clan Black's offspring that she hung around before Atrox sent her to the Academy.  Their daughter was too kind to strangers for her own good.  Her lover would have had an aneurysm if he had seen this.

 

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Darth Tanit    464

Darth Tanit had arrived with the majority of her fleet over Bastion following the collapse of the defense at Dromund Kaas. In the haze of anger and hatred she found herself in, the clarity of command had come to her for the first time in a very long time. She not only fought for her life now, but for the very existence of her Order. There was no doubt in her mind that this was her destiny, that the Dark Side had guided her up to this point for a reason, and paved that path with struggle to harden her in the face of adversity. Her failure over Balmorra, her struggle to seize Raxus Prime, they were just tests. It was those burning fires, the bitterness of defeat, that shaped her into the cautious and measured commander she was showing herself to be now.

 

The crew of Darth Tanit's flagship were running non-stop, and had been doing so for the past day. Shift rotations came only when they could be managed with minimal loss of function, but she could feel that the exhaution was setting in. Her power was fueled by the fear felt in every man and woman serving under her, and she turned it to the Force, to try and receive some kind of insight into the direction of the Repubilc attack on the fortress world. Clouded vision offered nothing, and so she had to operate on what she saw before her and what she felt. To the starboard side of her flagship a frigate erupted into flames before splitting in two, killing the crew that had not boarded the escape pods that floated among the debris. Rage built in her at the concept of the Empire being shattered by this attack.

 

Captin Jarrum approached from her left side, "My Lord, the coverage of the shuttles to the surface is going as well as could be expected, but the Republic is continuing to press their advantage while we hold defensively..." He said, before Tanit raised her hand to cut him off. He bowed and before he could walk away she motioned for him to stay. Captain Jarrum looked haggard, nervous, like he had been awake for days on end and was running on either caffeine or amphetamines. She felt for him, she too had been awake for over twenty-hours and had only afforded herself minimal rest.

 

He shifted nervously as another large impact rocked the flagship, but Tanit grabbed him by the lapel of his uniform to give him orders, "We are being destroyed while we hold in a defensive pattern. The shuttles to the surface are going to make it, we need to be proactive in this battle now that we are here. Order the fleet to start concentrating their fire vessel by vessel, give the Republic no mercy. Our target is their flagships, their pivots, and their corvettes. Anything we can do to free up valuable space and afford our bombers the chance to get open runs on the battlecruisers. Enough sitting back, we go in, we kill, understood? You have the bridge for now, I must contact someone..." She growled out through her breathing mask. Tanit was furious, and it rippled in the Force for anyone sensitive enough to feel it.

 

Still, the order was given, and Captain Jarrum relayed it to the crew to a lukewarm reception. They were definitely unhappy with the way the battle had gone thus far, but they were going to have to get used to it. If things went as they did over Dromund Kaas then it was only a matter of time then that she too would have to evacuate her ship to the surface, and then wait for the Jedi to sweep in and destroy the Sith. If she had her way though, that would not be happening. Tanit left the bridge to her personal quarters though, and admist the chaos of battle, she reached out to her former master and sought him out in the Force. If she did not seek to speak with him, the she sought to at least connect with him, to know if he had fallen to the Jedi or not. She could sense him though, she knew he was alive, and that was good enough for now.

 

A request from the bridge rung through to her desk which she answered, "My Lord our fleet is moving into position to begin the offensive. Allow me to confirm targets from before. You ordered flagships, pivots, and corvettes, to be the target of our attacks. Is that the order of priority?" Captain Jarrum asked through the comms. Tanit frowned under her mask but pushed the reply button, "Targets confirmed, prioritize their flagships bombarding the planet when possible. Targets of opportunity that can be focused down should be chosen at the discretion of ship commanders. We must do everything we can to alleviate the pressure on the surface and draw fire away from the fortified positions so we can try and push the Republic back. You are to prevent any disturbances to my private quarters, I am going to try to turn the tide of battle..."

 

"Confirmed, thank you my Lord. Relaying your orders now..." He said, finishing his communications. Tanit fought back the urge to return to the command deck and guide the battle. She had gone both ways in her orders though, from being too distant and uninvolved, to being overly involved. She had found that today was a necessary day in which to delegate the power of command to her inferiors though. The battle had gone poorly and as such she had felt that there were few true options but an outright counter-assault against the Republic forces. It was that order she had given though, and to cope with the state that her crew and the crews of her fleet had been in she returned to the Force.

 

Darth Tanit seated herself on her bed, and brought her legs to a crossed position. Battle Meditation was not something she had used frequently, but she knew perfectly well of the power to sway battles with the Force. She reached out to the Force, drew upon her anger and hatred, and twisted them toward the battle at hand. On one side of the coin, she fed the energy of the Force into the Imperial fleet, into the crews, pilots, and soldiers, all fighting for their survival. It was this bolstering effect, she hoped, would give these warriors the measure to ignore their fatigues and fear, and turn their full focused anger and fear against the Republic. Their morale rose under the effects, their reaction times improved, and their overall effective battle presence rose in response to Darth Tanit's urging in the Force. On the other side though, the Republic soldiers and crews would feel themselves weakened, sapped of strength, and their morale lowered. Even if it was only temporary, the tilt in the scale of battle may be enough. There were plenty of last-ditch efforts in the histories turned by a rallying cry, maybe, just maybe this would be the ultimate glory she had hoped to achieve as a military commander...

 

Spoiler

Ya'll nerds need me to change anything just tell me. :^)

 

Edited by Darth Tanit
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Darth Verrin    2,072

Twice, after giving the order to the officer, Verrin turned to one of the Guardians who accompanied him. He knew who she was beneath her mask - his own apprentice, Vanessa - but he didn't call her by name.  For that matter, he didn't call her at all. He wanted to. He felt so awful, so despondent, and so tired... all was lost... the Empire had been surprised, decimated, and overrun. Now, it was fragmented - how?  How was an Empire so huge, so powerful, brought low by a group of Republic hacks and a handful of Jedi? 

 

The woe and doom he felt was oppressive. Part of him wanted to have Vanessa take him in her arms and hold him, and the other part wanted her to end him so he wouldn't have to see his beloved Empire die. But she didn't budge, didn't react to him, and he never voiced those desires aloud.

 

But just then, he received a hailing message from a Corvette-class ship that had entered the space around Bastion. The message called on him directly, stating, "My Lord. Admiral Esk'oban here, aboard  Octagon IV - they picked up some of our escape pods when the Spectre went down.  We're receiving transmissions that we are not making a stand here at Bastion, is that correct?"

 

Verrin's eyes lit up at the sound of his Admiral's voice. She had military experience that he lacked, and she'd been an excellent facilitator in helping him become integrated with the command of a capitol ship. Now, apparently, she was a survivor without a ship of her own, but she was still willing to serve.  And if the crew of the Spectre, however small, was with her... then he had some assistance. If only...

 

Another message came through.  This time, it was through the Force.  His former apprentice, Darth Tanit now, was reaching out to him. He felt her mind touch his, but she didn't relay any words.  Instead, the 'message' that came across was a series of feelings. Raw emotions, carried on waves of Battle Meditation began to offset those employed by the Jedi.  And Verrin's face lit up even more.

 

"You old fool," he said to nobody in particular, other than himself. He felt the masks of a few Guardians turn his way, the owner's eyes upon him. "Of COURSE they would use that technique!  *I* should have used that technique!  They simply beat me to the punch!  The element of surprise... THAT must be why I haven't thought to use the power myself!"

 

Verrin turned his mind inward, now aware of the mental treachery, he actively resisted it.  His delight was obvious upon his face as the veil of doomed thoughts lifted and were replaced with feelings of anger.  And just as he felt better, so too did those around him. One of the more military minded officers even went so far as to address him directly, "My Lord... are we to regroup and take the fight to them?"

 

Verrin shook his head briefly. "No.  Stick to orders. We will be abandoning this station for the safety of the remaining people. Finish supplying the ships and prepping them for travel - load as many refugees as you can."

 

He repeated the orders to Esk'oban, who invisibly saluted and moved to explain the situation to the Captain of the Octagon IV.

 

Then Verrin turned, reached for a nearby railing, and looked upwards, as if seeing through the roof into space.  "You fracking Jedi monsters... you wonder why we hate you so much... you wonder why we struggle to bring law and order to the galaxy... and once again, you strike us, in our homes, killing our people. You two-faced, self-righteous, ignorant,  holier-than-thou..."  The rest of the insults faded into the air. 

 

"We are not 'done' here." His own Battle Meditation carried his feelings to the Empire at large.

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Lucian Eidolon    1,578


TWO WEEKS EARLIER

 

The body of Darth Valyrian gave a sickening heave, a deep gasp of air, almost as if it had never taken breath of its own accord. And it was right - this body, hooked up to an array of cables, monitors and tubes, was one of thousands of the bodies that resided within his sanctuary on Bastion. A sanctuary he had begun construction of before the Empire had ever left Nogatan, a sanctuary so well hidden and isolated that its chances of discovery were almost impossible. Within it, a network of tunnels serviced his many thousands of clones, a gift from Darth Viscerus, left over from his experimentation on the virus that had once inhabited Valyrian's system.

 

He didn't try to lurch up like he had the first time his essence had transferred into its new body - the body was not used to, or ready for immediate use, extra strain caused the muscles to tear and snap. He had torn many of the cables and tubes, tearing massive holes in his skin. It had been a painful and necessary lesson of his own mortality during his first twenty four hours, and so he made sure to control his natural impulse to move his stiff muscles. Darth Nidus stood over him examining the monitors attached to the cables, checking the readings, and finishing the process of staging his body for proper use. 

 

'Is he dead?' Nidus asked with a raspy finality to her voice. She didn't turn to look at the Emperor though, merely looked at the monitors and generally ignored his person. Nidus, Kaar of Mysteries after the disappearance of Darth Renatus, may have been officially a subject of the Emperor, but as the mother of the Emperor, she generally paid it no heed in private. The subject of her maternal connection to the Emperor was not entirely well known - another present from the death of Viscerus. 

 

Valyrian gave a deep cough, 'No. The Force tells me...'

 

'You don't need the Force to know that Dromund Kaas is in siege,' Nidus finished for him, 'nor do you need it to know that the Empire is losing a sudden and crushing assault by Republic Forces. Its like they know how weak and disoriented we are - know exactly where to push, where to force and how to destroy us. In a moment of weakness, the Republic has shown up and annihilated us - all because of you,' she finally turned to look at him, her lifeless grey eyes staring directly into his, 'If you had killed C'erian like you had said, the Republic wouldn't be in a position to attack - they would be in mourning, unsure of what to do. Your failure has doomed us.'

 


THE PRESENT

 

The Sith Emperor watched the monitor, the display of the Republic Fleet hovering above. In the weeks since, he had quietly watched as his Empire was laid to rubble, with his brother leading the charge. Planet by planet, they scurged the Sith from the galaxy, destroying what they could, taking Sith out where and however possible. Whispers within Bastion called it the second Sith Holocaust, while Valyrian thought of it by a different name; The Eidolon Revenge. 

 

Darth Nidus had left him now, his condition had improved enough that he no longer required her presence to monitor him. He was at the best shape he had been for years, yet as he watched the devastation, he knew that one way or another, his reign was more or less over. He sensed the shift in the Force - the subtle change of focus, as the power slowly and inevitably drained away from him and into the hands of another. He felt no less powerful - the Force was his to command as it always had been, and he was no weaker, yet it was although the balance of power had shifted in an unseen way. He tried to meditate, but his visions were only filled with clouded shows of blood and fire, destruction and chaos, annihilation of everything and all. The Force was no longer his ally - and he was no longer the embodiment of it. 

 

The days had been long as he waited, and considered his actions. At first he considered rising into the frey to destroy the Republic singlehandedly, taking victory for himself. His visions of this chain of events ended in destruction, and humiliation. Then he considered rising back to command, taking the Imperial Armada and uniting it in a valiant effort against the Republic. This too, ended in destruction and humiliation. So he sat in his formidable fortress of steel, surrounded by the copies of himself, and wondered quietly if his reign, his tenure as Emperor, had been for anything at all, or was it destined to end the same way that every endevour he had ever started inevitably ended; in failure.

 

He felt the rage of Darth Atrox long before he felt the Sith's presence on Bastion. In his heart of hearts, he had always known it would be the former Emperor's Wrath that would come for him, that would have the tenacity and strength of will to find him. The Sith's focus was incredible, his power intense, his rage like an inferno of energy that resounded off him. Power worthy of an Emperor, perhaps, if there was an Empire left to rule in the fragments of his disorted reign. He heard the man smash his way into his fortress, buckling the entrance, but Valyrian did not rush to his feet and sound the alarm. Instead he picked up the blade he had laid out on the table beside his chair calmly, and clipped it to his belt. 

 

He stepped up slowly, taking the black robe that had been hanging over the back of his chair and clipping it to his person. Faintly in the background he heard the hum of the active lightsaber, so he grabbed the mask which was set out delicately on the table in front of him, and pressed it against his face - taking on the full attire of the Royal Guard. Each of these tasks he did methodically, carefully, and with no rush. There was no point in a dramatic rush, only to be taken down by an errant strike of a blade. Instead he quietly reached out to the Force, and activated all of his clones. Each pod sprung to life with a snap of energy - and immediately, Valyrian echoed deep into the Force, his powers spreading out like an inferno of power, so loud and beautiful that within the confines of this building, it would be almost impossible to find the centre, where the power was most powerful.

 

Around the Kaar, hundreds of eyes sudden rose, and rushed at the Kaar - as the Emperor exerted his will over the living. The Royal Guard, a full platoon of them which had been laying in wait in the central command of the fortress, similarly began to stir and move towards their foe. Valyrian stood watching however - not rushing towards death like a fool, instead looking at the computer monitor in front of him, and using his senses to find his target. Pressing down a button on his console, the speakers echoed into life.

 

'I see you have uncovered my secret fortress - it was to be expected, of course. I always expected a challenge of power from you - though I expected it long before the Empire was a desolate fragment of its former glory. I will not be Emperor of the ashes. If it is fight you want, I will provide it, but I will not give you the satisfaction of fighting on your terms. I've fought enough Kaggaths, I've killed enough Dark Lord's, to know that honourable combat is worthless. Victory, at any cost.'

 

Valyrian let go of the speaker, his voice echoing into the recesses of the lair, as his horde descended on the Kaar. Holding vibro-blades, lightsabers, axes and any weapon they could find, the clones of Darth Valyrian descended on the Kaar. And there were hundreds of eyes. 

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Darth Atrox    700

Darth Valyrian's "Secret Fortress", Bastion

 

Darth Atrox grit his teeth as he witnessed the chambers slowly drain of their liquids, his hand reaching for his chest as he seized the cloth over his armor, his lips quietly moving as he recited the Sith Code. The words of Sanguira brought a sense of dedication, a willingness to live, yet it brought no emotions of compassion - he was a God amongst men, and he had no time for compassion in the center of conflict. The clones' eyes that opened bore hatred, the Force flowing very much through them - but they were replicas, they weren't Valyrian fully. Weapon being lowered as he assumed the neutral stance of Niman, his furnace of hatred slowly bleeding out as he witnessed more refined creatures also appear, their armor signifying their allegiance to the Emperor. His dominant foot shifting behind him, the Kaar debated on his tactics against a hoard, though the thought was soon cut by the voice of his target - the hubris, the conviction that the man once held dead in his voice.

 

"The Supreme Chancellor didn't just kill your old body, he killed your conviction. Maybe you should understand that the one thing I have that you don't is a belief that the Sith will live, with or without us," the words were spoken quietly and more to himself, but it was the words he would stand by, he had already accepted death as a consequence and that was what made his conviction burn brighter than the feeble ember that was smoldering in the ashes of Valyrian.

 

Watching as the horde, the mindless beasts flashed imprinted with the memories of Valyrian, seized weapons the Kaar drew the Force within him and twisted the knife into the ghost within and summoned it's power forth. Miasmic energy spilled from the Kaar as he watched the horde descend upon him. Ravenous and beast-like, their movements showed that they were untrained and simply children wielding weapons the man had provided them, each strike was met with the Kaar's blade, each swing used to draw the clones in closer, to guide them into the path of another clone. Tactically carving through the horde, the Kaar utilized a series of Tràkata techniques and strikes to go through the weapons of each barbaric clone, hands grabbing what he could as he seized the minds within the Force and attempted to find something - anything - that would've been imprinted to give him an advantage. Yet all he found were old memories, nothing that could give him an edge at all.

 

As the corpses fell, the Kaar could feel the furnace within ready to practically burst - his rage amplified by taking in the pain and fear of each clone and each dying Sith that fought for their cause. Each strike that had struck torn holes within the pieces of Sithspawn leather that had been changed into a lighter material that could be worn without restricting too much movement. Blood seeped from the Kaar's own hand as he attempted to block a vibroblade with his beskar gauntlet, the impact carved a slit across the man's hand as he had guided the blade toward another clone to end it's life. The pain was nothing compared to everything else and that was why the Kaar continued to fight.

 

"Enough," the twisted sound of the dark side spewed from the Kaar's lips as he drew on the hatred within and clenched his one hand together, a mass of flesh and muscle soon fusing together as the sound of bone snapped and cracked, fifty or more clones being forced together with the immense might of the dark side and the Force.

 

The mass of flesh collapsed to the ground in a heap of corpses, blood now staining the lab's floor as he watched the Royal Guardsmen await their moment to strike. Drawing on the mass of death behind him, the Kaar reached out with the Force and lashed out with tendrils of orange energy that twisted around a group of clones that moved before the Royal Guardsmen and sacrificed everything for them. The youthful corpses quickly collapsed into a pile of bone and skin, their lifeblood drained from them in a mere instant, the wounds that he suffered from the blunt trauma sealing in painful ways as the life essence was twisted into life. Cheap replicas of what the Kaar imagined the Royal Guardsmen were. Valyrian was wearing him out, that was his entire plan - he had made mention of no honor, but the Kaar understood why - why would he face death when he could simply flee into another body? The former Emperor lacked that fear.

 

"Sefas, the underling of Darth Nidus - Boss, underling of Darth Nidus. Your contingency plan was to rely on her to keep you alive, wasn't it!? Is she also one of your puppets?!" The question was shouted, the Kaar watching as the Royal Guardsmen took up arms and charged towards the Kaar. 

 

Feeling a sharp pain course through his neck, the stimulant flowing through his blood as the technology within his armor monitored his vital signs, the Kaar shook his head - the first vial of combat stimulant flowing freely through his, what was once exhaustion was soon replaced with a calm within the storm. Raising his blade up from it's lowered position to roughly shoulder height, the Kaar shifted to a more comfortable Djem So stance, lowering significantly compared to the more neutral stance of Djem So - the tactical advantage of the Royal Guardsmen were numbers, but the Kaar couldn't simply rely on basic bladework to take out trained Sith, even if they were simple-minded clones. The position provided him security and a wall that could be used to counter strike and intercept strikes, yet the weakness of the clones was the strength of Atrox - they lacked reason and they lacked the emotion to comprehend what was important.

 

The Royal Guardsmen showed they at least were trained in the art of combat, each strike was precise and meant to stagger the Kaar as their blades came in feints, each strike being forced forward, but they did not push into the Kaar's defenses. A flurry of blood red and crimson soon came forward from the Kaar as he grew tired of the games they played - their master's strategy. Springing forth from the lowered position, the Kaar laid a flurry of powerful blows downward, each muscle in his body tensing as he re-positioned his body to follow up with another strike, each strike was meant to be the killing blow - there was no remorse in his strikes as they collapsed the defense of the first guardsman, his blade cutting across the man's chest before being brought back up towards the arm that held his weapon, cutting through the joint in his armor as the hand and body collapsed to the ground.

 

Their weapons found their mark, cutting across the Kaar's beskar'kandar as the heat scorched his chest, burning the flesh underneath as they attempted to find weaknesses within his armor. Fist crashing across one of the guardman's own mask, the Kaar's gauntlet practically crushed the cheek of the man as his fury built up, his rage unlocking the emotions within his body - increasing his power tenfold physically and metaphysically. Watching the man reel, the Kaar threw his lightsaber behind him as it found the thighs of another guard, the blade carving through the man's unarmored thighs as the Force left the hilt of his lightsaber, the Kaar moved forward without grace as his hand sought the throat of the man, throwing him to the ground as he stomped down onto the neck once and twisting his heel with a sickening pop and crack.

 

Watching four other guardsmen come rushing in at the same time, the Kaar reached out with his right hand and pulled on the dark side to summon his hatred forth in a sporadic storm of lightning from his finger tips, the red arcs twisting over one another before finding themselves in the chest of the guards or the lightsabers of the guards, though as he put more of himself forward, the lightning twisted around the blades and sought the head of the guardsmen, inflicting brain damage as he moved forward, watching them writhe as their armor couldn't protect them from the power of the dark side. Needless were the deaths of these clones, yet they put their lives down on the line for their creator - sick abominations that were simply dead at birth. Turning towards the other guard as the Kaar walked slowly, methodically as he reached down and sought the skull of the man, the dark purple energies coalescing at his hand.

 

"Show me what you know, Valyrian's marionette," the words were whispered as the Kaar reached into the mind of the man, fingers turning into metaphysical talons as he drained the knowledge from the guardman's mind, the dark side subduing the man into a catatonic state - the puppet of Valyrian would give him what he desired, or he would simply be a husk that deserved no less pain to live in a catatonic state.

 

Withdrawing the Force from the guardman's head, the Kaar could feel his nostrils practically flowing with blood as the second injection came with more energy, the sting only lasting for as long as the needle required entry. He could fight for only so long as the injections could last, and with only two more vials of stimulant, the Kaar could perhaps make it out alive. Feeling the rush of oxygen now flowing into his lungs, the Kaar at least had the HUD control his vitals to when he couldn't sense what had transpired - his armor had become a nurturing mother in his moments without his Force-enhanced senses. Bringing up his comm-links from his helmet, the Kaar once again ordered the Imperial Guardsmen to change their position, he would bring those that landed on the planet to their demise by sacrificing his own forces for power.

 

"A coward that hides behind countless bodies. You speak of the Sith as if they are dead, but you lack to see the mockery you make of the prophecy," walking slowly as he shouted out, he tried to assess his own injuries through movements without the battle high he was experiencing, "You were the Sith'ari, but your vision hasn't come to fruition because you lack the will to lead! You are no better than Cideon, and that is why I will bring the resurrection of our Sith Order from these ashes.. and bring down the coward who lives in the shadows!"

 

Burn marks and cut marks laced his body, yet he could only feel the sharp pain across his chest, the slash of the guardsman had not only burned his chest with his blade but also branded him with the plate. Tattered pieces of Sithspawn leather hung loose from his body, though he did not seem phased at the damages - it was the outcome of a fight. Watching as the Force Ghost within him manifested, the tattered remains of an old Sephi who the Kaar still didn't know, the eyes of the man simply looking at the armored individual. Instead of binding the power of a Sith spectre, the Kaar had chosen to bind the will of a Jedi for the sole purpose of twisting it's ghost into something it hated. Yet they both lack of bond between master and slave - he did not command the power to harness it entirely because he did not know the Force Ghost's name at all.

 

"Jedi, what do you seek to accomplish by staying silent?" The question posed brought the wrinkled features of the Sephi into a grin, then a soft chuckle, though the Kaar did not return the same lighthearted nature, instead he raised his hand and drew on the dark side - on the bond with death he held - and bent the Force Ghost to it's knees.

 

"I..." The first word was pained, though the Kaar merely continued to curl his hand as if seizing the heart of the ghost before tightening his grip, "I am.. Alesteus and together.. we are strong," the final words brought the Kaar the pleasure to draw on the bound ghost's power. 

 

The former weak purple haze turned thicker, more sickening as if the few moments spent drawing on the energies of the Force Ghost drew it closer to true death, yet the Kaar could feel the power revitalizing him - a secondary battery in the Force. Drawing on the Force to seize the hilt of his weapon, the Kaar brought it back to his hand and felt each muscle tense in his arm as he gripped the hilt of the weapon tightly. He had a fighting chance, though the fact Valyrian hadn't shown himself, nor the Hands of the Emperor only brought a sense of dread across the Kaar's mind - if it was true that he would simply draw the Kaar's energies out, he had to find a new plan to survive, other than just fighting with tooth and claw.

 

"Together, we end the Sith Empire and the reign of Darth Valyrian. Together, as one being."

 

A hollowed laughter soon filled the chamber as the voice of the Kaar twisted in an amalgamation of two voices twisted by the dark side of the Force.

 

 

Post Information

Spoiler

Force Powers: Force Crush, Force Rage, Lightsaber Throw, Chain Lightning, Drain Knowledge, Force Walk

 

I hate you, Daniel, but luckily I had set up Atrox's armor long ago to be basically combat armor. I also chose not to do the simple Death Field xd short post xd because I'd rather save that for another time ;)

 

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Lucian Eidolon    1,578

The dual Hands stood behind Valyrian, as he witnessed the destruction. It was to be expected of course - the clones were weak in the Force, weak willed and driven by pure primal motive. His voice in their mind told them to fight, to kill, to savage, and they enacted the orders without thought or reservation. They were the perfect amalgamation of his power, the perfect bodyguard - silent, obedient, and replaceable. For years his Royal Guard had been filled with the clones of himself, the hundreds of versions of his own body used to protect himself. Some might call it vain - Valyrian considered it merely strategic. Even if, by pure miracle of the Force, one of them became self-aware, they would be driven to protect itself anyway. It gave him an endless stream of potential new bodies to inhabit should his current one fail him.

 

Darth Chiarcmorn looked at the battle with an impassive glance - yet behind his lack of emotion was true concern. His loyalty to Valyrian was hardly manufactured like the clones were, nor the bond that he had created with Darth Nidus, yet it was strong all the same. It was hardly love - not anymore - their love had ended many years ago when Valyrian was a younger man in soul and body, engaged in more frivilous affairs. Yet the loyalty remained, a deep insatiable bond, a hope that one day that the Emperor would return the affection with more than sexual favours. He spoke with a confidence, and personal touch that none other could, other than Niarcmorn, 'Valyrian, Atrox is cutting through the clones like they are made of nothing - they are nothing more than a distraction for him. You should leave immediately, destroy the complex, and kill him in the process. There is no purpose in this.'

 

Valyrian said nothing, so Niarcmorn stepped forward, placing her hand on his arm gently, 'We can keep him distracted while you leave. It doesn't have to end here, not today, not with him. Your reign is not over yet, you can defeat him. It isn't heroic, it isn't courageous, but history will always remember you as the Emperor that survived. There are worse fates than that. Don't give in, don't give up. This is not the end.'

 

'I hadn't even managed to confront Vanessa yet, she will never know the truth,' Valyrian whispered to himself, and the two managed to miss it. Niarcmorn took her hand away from his arm, and behind him, they engaged in a kiss. A passionate one, as their hands draped over each others faces. It was more than a kiss - the lovers were more than just that. There was a deep spiritual bond between them that very few knew - it was only by happenstance that Valyrian even knew himself. Niarcmorn's hand rested on Chiarcmorn's chest for a moment, lingering as a small and silent tear escaped from her eyelid. They were two sides of the same coin, connected in spirit beyond words. Years before, Chiarcmorn was known by another name, and was fatally wounded in battle. Niarcmorn found him in the heat of it, and slayed the Jedi who had managed to slay her lover. Not content to let herself die, she foolishly enacted an archaic and forgotten Sith ritual. Her hand tore open, her blood mixed with his, she gave half of herself to him, in order for him to survive. 

 

And he did. Chiarcmorn almost instantly rose from his deathly wound, a deep scar over his heart from where the lightsaber had taken him. By ancient blood rites, she had saved his life, and so his life was dependent on hers. While she continued to breathe, he would. While her heart continued to beat, his would. Any wound that he felt, she felt too. Every sickness, every ailment, every wound. Their minds were one - connected in both spirit and mind. They could live the other side of the galaxy, and still be able to feel their presence as if it stood beside them. They took their Sith names that day, along with a third one - a united entity, of their combined power. Darth Akumorn. It was for this reason, and more, than he had selected them as his left and right hand. 

 

'We are ready,' their voices said in unison. When they united, when their spirits became one, they were more aware, more adept and more powerful than either of them could ever be alone. Yet the weakness inherit in their skill and power was not to be taken lightly. Their kiss was truthful - it could be the last time. Valyrian feared it. Despite his facade, his emotionless faceless husk of power, he loved them both more than words could say - but his love would never compete with theirs. His connection would never be as much as theirs. And so, they fought for their love, and for him, out of true loyalty. How many had died because of him now? How many more were to die because of his inability to fight his own battles. 

 

And yet he did not deny them. They left the room and Valyrian kept his emotion sunk deep within. 

 


 

 

Darth Akumorn walked through the bodies of their Emperor, but did not look at their bloody mutilated faces. Darth Niarcmorn came first, her curved crimson blade hanging to her left, as Chiarmorn followed to the left. Darth Atrox stood in the centre of the great room, fighting the clones still - there were hundreds, waves of them descended on him, unrelenting, almost infinite in their appearance. Where the Sith would slay a dozen, more would rise. Crawling over the bodies of their fallen batch-mates to try and destroy the man they were sentenced to destroy. 

 

And for a second, the approaching armada of bodies, stopped. Silence descended.

 

'That is why he is Emperor, and you are simply a former Wrath,' Niarcmorn said, her voice high and echoing over the sound of battle, 'You fight your battles, while he orders those around him into battle. There is no reason it has to end now,' her final offer, 'You can still bend the knee, and we will let you live. We don't want to kill you, not truly. The Republic are doing a good enough job of it already.'

 

'You may have discovered his secret,' Chiarcmorn said, his voice coming from the other direction now, 'but that doesn't make you his enemy. Together, with your powers combined, the Republic stands no chance. Don't let this be the last of the Empire, don't let your pride and pursuit of power blind you to the truth. We can still win. The galaxy can still be ours. Bend the knee.'

 

'Bend the knee.'

 

'Bend the knee.'

 

'Bend the knee.'

 

'Or die.'

 

And then the clones began to move, once more.

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Ren    111

The whole palace shook while Ren was in the Palace's hangar bay, running some maintenance protocols on the droids. The hangar bay shook, soldiers and guards were rushing about to get whoever was important to safety. There were a couple of other slaves shoved in, perhaps to serve the evacuees?

 

Curious, the blond headed over to the nearest terminal and began slicing away. The Empire had its own programming language that he had to learn through blindly - he was afraid that he would have been caught, for tripping so much of the Empire's security programs. Perhaps no one would have thought a lowly slave would have been capable? Shaking his head, Ren focused on the Force and then began to conceal his presence. Ren would have preferred it if he was using a terminal in the security office because he wouldn't need to look for holes in planet security's firewall just to find out what was happening outside. Through the hangar doors, the blond could barely hear anything through the roar of engines departing.

 

"That... was faster than the usual," he muttered, stumped. Usually, Ren would have triggered at least two security measures, but this was a first. Typing quickly, Ren pulled up security feeds and reports. Blue eyes widened in surprise.

 

They were being attacked, by the Republic - of all things!

 

He blinked, feeling numb. Payload after payload descended from Republic ships, uncaring if it hit med centers or civilians, just blindly attacking. There were ongoing reports from some areas of Jedi and Republic troopers being deployed planetside to storm various locations when the orbital bombardment stopped within the area. It seemed like they were just passing through the buildings, heedless of anyone within - Sith, officer, soldier, or slave. Distantly, Ren disconnected the terminal - not even bothering to attempt at hiding his tracks - stepping away and then turned to the evacuation. There were countless of Sith dead, his supposed once enemies, and Ren really should be happy because he was Jedi - wasn't he?

 

Wasn't he?

 

Yet, Jedi were supposed to be protectors of peace and order, not... not aggressors to the destruction of an entire culture! Then again, this was a culture that perpetuated slavery and genocide, there shouldn't be anything wrong with dismantling that kind of system. This time though, the Republic didn't seem to be doing anything better.

 

Ren's head spun in a dizzy circle. Both sides had their points, but of them were so, so wrong. Except, Ren had no where to go. He doubted that the Jedi would welcome him back with open arms, not with Sith writing branded on his face. Should he stay in Dromuund Kaas, then? Die like the rest of the of inhabitants being bombarded indiscriminately? Neither seemed to have any sort of regard for sentient life, and Ren always though that the Republic was somehow always the better option between the two.

 

Except this time around, it's not. Hesitatingly, Ren reached for the Force, wondering what he was supposed to do now.

 

Ren staggered, cold prickling on his skin. Feeling the light of life fade away to nothing, even if the blond was far away from all the horror, unsettled something deep and... primal within Ren.

 

At some point, the palace stopped shaking, and rather belatedly, there was just one ship left for evacuation.

 

Then a sudden wave of pain and fear and death assaulted Ren. Thousands and thousands of bright lights burst into nothing, the dying screams of countless lives bursting in his mind's eye, the loss of life shaking Ren down to his bones. The blond couldn't help it. He barely ate anything, but how does it matter now that he's retching his guts out now? The pain and grief from the loss of many lives had him on his knees, trembling and heaving stomach acids, tears forming unbidden in bright blue eyes.

 

Everything came next was a blur of motion and color. The grey of the hangar bay, and then it turned to staring at the steel walls of a ship's interior.

 

Ren was breathing hard and long, hugging himself and trying to make himself as small as possible. He couldn't tell who or what was the status of the sentient beings Ren found himself looking up once he realized that the ship was already exiting Dromund Kaas, other than ash and soot covered his hair and hands. The whole place was overcrowded, and Ren could hear muffled moaning from the injured.

 

At some point, there was a soldier (injured he's going to die die die die) that grabbed him by the collar of his clothes, and dragged him inside the ship before more explosions rocked the palace. Swallowing, Ren gently made his way to where he guessed the soldier ran off to. His head was starting to hurt with so many people pressing around him, the bitter taste of fear, grief, and anger strong in the air.

 

There was someone wearing expensive clothing, but it didn't look grand from all the grime and rips - they were a pureblood, complaining to a very agitated looking human officer. They were by the door, which was kept open simply because so many were passing through it, and closing it was just a waste of time.

 

The blond easily sneaked through them, trying and failing to feel for the soldier that saved him. Technically, Ren didn't want to die, but... it just felt... useless, to continue on with just whatever it was that his life was now. That and Ren was rather curious, because the ship felt like it was taking too long to enter hyperspace.

 

A... disturbance in the Force prickled at the edge of Ren's consciousness, and he found himself walking for the cargo entry. His hand lingered above the access panel, before taking a deep breath and guessing the code based on how smudged the numbers were on the keypad. It took two tries before the doors opened.

 

The lights were turned off, bathing the cargo hold in complete darkness. Supply crates nearly covered the entire area, but the sense of wrongness just increased. Warily, the blond tried to keep his footsteps as quiet as possible, but it was rather impossible. As he got in deeper within the cargo, a flash of light caught within his periphery. He ducked, and then padded towards it.

 

Ren breathed sharply, the Force shrieking in danger as he barely dodged a yellow lightsaber thrown his way. Ren didn't dare to try and approach until he saw the weapon flying back to its owner.

 

A togruta brandished it with his right hand, his left hanging loosely on his side. His face was pinched in a pained grimace, a datapad with a cable connected to one of the ports within the ship. Then the togruta blinked, his eyes roaming all over Ren's face and then he nearly dropped his saber when his eyes widened in recognition.

 

"Aren't you Master Myr'na's Padawan learner? What are you doing here?" The sense of danger was still strong, and Ren tried to speak, but no words would come out. He couldn't remember the Togruta's name, but Ren found him a little familiar. Then the Togruta's eyes zeroed in on the writing across his cheeks and the brand on his forehead. "You're with them?"

 

With a sinking feeling, Ren realized that the Togruta had no idea that it was how the Sith treated their slaves. He opened his mouth to explain, fear and agitation making his heart beat wildly against his chest. "No! I - it's not what you think!"

 

"Started killing off with your master, huh? Always knew you were the bad sort. Easily attached, secretly contacts your family...."

 

Ren felt the words die in his throat. No one was supposed to know that he managed to reconnect with them, that Ren kept an eye on them. He was so careful....

 

"I understand you're afraid." The togruta's voice was toneless, detached. "But this is for your own good."

 

Almost without warning, a crate flew towards the blond, and he rolled to the side to dodge it. Klaxons were blaring inside Ren's head when the lightsaber sunk into his side.

 

Ren let out a pained gasp, and the Jedi deactivated his saber with a sad expression. The blond fell on his knees, hands shaking as he could only stare in incomprehension at the fatal wound through his stomach.

 

"I am sorry, but this is the better way. May the Force bring you peace." Without as much as a second glance, the Togruta returned to his datapad, typing rapidly with his one good hand.

 

'No....' Ren thought, tears brimming in his eyes. 'I don't want to die.'

 

He could feel himself slipping away, and fear seized Ren. His consciousness scrambled for its hold on the living world, trying to stay. Gathering the Force around him, Ren focused on trying to force himself to not die, his head heavy and buzzing with a thousand thoughts. It was difficult, and the pain still throbbed at the edge of Ren's consciousness, but he managed to find himself standing up, a strange sensation of wrongness right at the very core of his being. The blond staggered up to stand, swaying on his feet.

 

It caught the Togruta's attention, his eyes widening and then he brandished his saber one more time. Moving on instinct, Ren's hand shot up, guiding the Force into invisible tendrils to hold the Jedi up. The togruta hissed in pain, hands stuck to his sides and then ended up letting go of his weapon. His brows furrowed and then his lightsaber activated, floating menacingly at Ren.

 

Fear pushed the blond to make the Togruta raised its arms up in a parody of a cross, the Jedi crying out in sudden pain. The lightsaber clattered to the floor, rolling towards Ren's feet. With his other hand, Ren called it to his hand, and activated it.

 

"Don't do this," the Jedi choked out. "I - we can work something out. I could explain this to the council - just please I -"
 

"No." Ren's voice was quiet, barely a whisper. His whole body trembled, and the floating Jedi moaned in pain when his injury was jostled by Ren's shaking hold over him.

 

"I just wanted to right by Master Myr'na! Please - don't -"

 

"You didn't listen to me." Ren felt detached, but he could feel a strange heat suffusing his being. It burned, fire flowing freely in his veins, a sick vindictive anger throbbing in heated pulses in his chest. "Why should I listen to you?"

 

"No no no no no no no -"

 

This was something Ren had thought of in theory, something he had seen in the Emperor's... open library. He hadn't tried it before, but now seemed like a very good time to experiment.

 

With a flick of his wrist, Ren maneuvered the Togruta's arm that had him screaming in pain, and - there! Carefully, Ren focused on the Togruta's pain and fear of death, his suffering a strange, but not unbearable, taste at the back of the blonde's throat. The nerves on the Togruta's arm was sending hundreds and thousands of signals triggered by the unnatural angle it's being forced into. Strangely enough, Ren found it similar to how computers connect through networks and transfer data to one another.

 

Ren pretty much sledgehammered his way to gather the Togruta's pain, using it to at least heal the worst of his wound. It felt like forever, and Ren found himself gritting his teeth at the sensation of trying to have the torn muscle and flesh reconnect so that he didn't have a hole through his kidney. If Ren could shut the Togruta up, he would have loved do, seeing as the Jedi disturbed his concentration - but it just gave fuel to Ren's newfound skill at healing himself. At some point, the Jedi did shut up, his voice raspy and weak, and by that time - the wound was no longer fatal, but Ren still needed immediate medical attention.

 

Task done, Ren lowered his hand, and the Jedi dropped gracelessly into the cold floor, moaning weakly.

 

Then Ren found himself at an impasse, unsure and afraid. Does he need to call for help? Have the Jedi taken as prisoner? Now that Ren wasn't knocking at death's door, the anger and the fear drained out, leaving the blond exhausted and numb. Guilt began to well up within him when he realized that he purposely hurt someone who was supposed to be family within the Jedi order.

 

Ren was biting his lips when he stepped closer to the Jedi, kneeling down. The Togruta's eyes were closed, but they snapped open when Ren's hand was just above him.

 

With as much venom as he could muster, the Jedi spat. "Go to hell, you Sith-frakking slave."

 

Then Ren smashed the Togruta's face in with the hilt of his saber. His whole body shook and trembled, and Ren can only see red, the burning heat and anger surging up. Blood splattered the cold floor as Ren rained blow after blow on the injured Jedi. He could feel the Togruta's light slowly dimming away, and Ren can only feel satisfaction as it bled out. It felt far too soon when it finally faded away from existence, just a tiny glow of a dying candle before it was gone.

 

Ren stumbled back, suddenly realizing that he was panting, a rush of energy vibrating under his skin. He felt light, like he could float if he concentrated hard enough. Swallowing, he looked down on his hands. Blood splattered across his pale skin and clothes, and he could feel the warm liquid dripping down his face. A strange impulse took him, and Ren swiped his tongue at the blood trailing down his lips. Togruta tasted bitter with a hint of copper, and it was rather disgusting. Trying to force the bile down his throat, Ren focused on the datapad still connected to the ship.

 

The Togruta was trying to disrupt the ship's navicomp, and the crew was having trouble with punching the coordinates, leaving the ship a sitting target practice for the Republic. Working quickly, Ren started reversing the Togruta's work, and then breathed a sigh of relief once the navicomp came back online.

 

With everything resolved, the exhaustion and pain came rushing back in. Ren stumbled, gritting his teeth in pain and gathering the Force back around him to ignore the pain. He forced himself to turn around and then nearly lost concentration in shock.

 

Someone garbed in dark robes stood a few meters away from Ren, looking at him with a cold gleam in her eyes. Her gaze then landed at the ring of cauterized flesh on his side, pursing her lips in thought.

 

"You need medical attention, yes?" Ren can only nod, already tasting his own blood inside his mouth. "Come on, then."

 

Annoyed, Ren forced himself up, staggering, and followed her.

 

For some reason, he had a feeling things would start looking up for him.

Edited by Ren
included the limitless crash
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