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ComNet > Dark Jedi Order > Archived ShadowNet > Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
 
 
 
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Topic:  Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
Raziel
ComNet Sultan
 
Raziel
 
[VE-ARMY] Colonel
[VE-DJO] Dark Jedi Exarch
[VE-ICS] Privateer
 
Post Number:  2648
Total Posts:  2873
Joined:  Feb 2001
Status:  Offline
  Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 22, 2013 10:57:52 AM    View the profile of Raziel 
OOC:
So this is a the first public runon release for a long time. The rest of this story is behind closed doors, but it was felt that this first part was suitable for release. In particular, because there has now been an official statement on the existence of an Imperial Jedi Order.

In our timeline the Reborn Emperor storyline never happened. Instead Skywalker was free to start his New Jedi Order much earlier. In response to the threats of Republic Jedi and a Reborn Sith Order aligned with Thrawn, the existence of our own Order had been revealed. Carefully controlled media statements discuss the existence of a Jedi Order determined to protect the welfare of all Imperial citizens and to see the corrupt Republic replaced with a new Emperor.

Some names in the story have been classified.


Imperial Network Star Wars Image



    Jared Summers kept his cab steady as he joined the stream of traffic. Usually he'd try and weave his way through the closely packed hover vehicles, but he was carrying the kind of client that wouldn’t have approved of such manoeuvres.
    “What time did you say you needed to be there?” he asked. The man in the crisp suit lowered his newspaper and looked at Jared's reflection in the mirror.
    “I have plenty of time,” he responded calmly. He checked his watch before clarifying: “Thirty minutes in fact, no need to rush.”
    “You're local?” Summers asked.
    “Yep, south of the Bowers Pass,” the passenger replied, his tone friendly. He was now fiddling with an electronic device of some sort.
    Summers assumed the suit was probably logged into his corporate network and working, so put the audio baffler back on and put his music on. He hummed along quietly as the traffic shuffled forwards.

    A metallic crash startled the driver and instantly brought him out of his reverie. The car dipped backwards and he fought with the controls. The traffic was closely packed both horizontally and vertically in the tunnel, so if the car dropped a couple of metres he was liable to crash.
    The vehicle quickly levelled and Jared saw what had collided with his vehicle in the rear view mirror.
    “What the fuck do you think you're doing?” he shouted after winding his window down and sticking his head out. The man crouched on the boot of his hover car looked at Jared, but didn't reply. He slowly stood up, glancing behind him. Straightening out his scarlet robes the man scanned the road ahead.
    “Seriously, what the fuck?” Jared reiterated. “Get off my...” but the Reborn Jedi had already gone. Jared's jaw dropped as the scarlet robes fluttered behind the man who had just made an inhuman leap. He slid back into the front seat.
    He sat in silence for a moment, sharing a glance with the passenger in the rear view mirror. Neither said a word.
    Another crash and the driver was back at the controls of his taxi, levelling them out again. His head was back out of the window in a flash, aiming another string of profanities at the latest 'crazy' to jump onto his car.
    “Be calm citizen,” this one replied. Jared stared open-mouthed at the man standing on his vehicle. This one was decked out in silver armour, white a brilliant white cloak. “We are here to help,”
    Jared watched in silence as this one too made an inexplicably huge jump from his vehicle. The man in white jumped to one more vehicle and then bounded onwards to the wall of the tunnel on the far side before disappearing down a corridor.
    The driver slipped back into his seat once more and went back to sitting in silence with his passenger. Only when his passenger prompted him that the traffic was moving again did his hands move to the controls.


~



    Rathgar's legs pumped as he fled. His scarlet robes billowed out behind him and he wished he had the time to discard the cloak. He skittered to a halt and changed direction and sped off on a tangent. As he had turned he caught a glimpse of his pursuers, their bright white cloaks contrasted starkly with the drab paint job of these corridors.
    The Reborn Jedi wished he had his communicator to call for help. When he had been cornered at the archives and forced to flee, it had fallen loose from his pocket. He let the Force guide him as he rushed through the maze of corridors. They were close behind him, but there could be time to send a quick message. He sped onwards, ignoring the lactic acid burn in his legs.


~



    The window behind Rathgar burst inwards. He shielded his eyes as thousands of tiny shards of glass filled the air. When he lowered his arm two men stood inside the room.
    “Put down the communicator,” one of them said calmly. Rathgar did as he was told, placing the pay phone back on the wall.
    “You may as well arm yourself,” the other added. In one smooth motion the men in shimmering cloaks activated pure white sabers. Rathgar kept his hand close to his own saber, but didn't act yet.
    “There will be no mercy.”
    “Emotions, even sympathy or pity lead to the dark side.”
    “The dark side cannot be tolerated.”
    Rathgar activated his saber then. It sounded like the two other Jedi were reciting their teachings. Probing their feelings – and even looking at their expressions – Rathgar could see that no quarter would be given.


~



    Javick marched briskly into the Great Hall. At the centre of the hall P[classified] had had a dais built. Once this had been complete the Grand Master had brought down Kadann's massive chair from the old council chambers and had it placed on top. Now the vain master could sit upon his throne and watch his minions closely.
    Javick bowed low before his master. “I have some news, Lord.” he said.
    “Go on,” P[classified] replied, waving for his apprentice to stand.
    “Another one of our men was taken out by the Arbiters this morning: a Knight.”
    “These Jedi are becoming troublesome. How many is that now?”
    “We've lost fourteen,”
    “All killed, none taken?” P[classified] asked.
    Javick shrugged, “They believe that all emotions must be purged and the dark side eradicated. They are quite firm in their zealous beliefs, but we we can't be sure they didn't capture Rathgar.”
    “Admirable...in a way. I hear they have even convinced a few worlds to allow their Jedi to conduct trials and carry out sentence using the Force alone. An enemy we cannot hope to understand or reason with. We need to track down the last of Kadann's followers so we can turn our attention to the Republic. Anyway, this Knight?”
    “Before they reached him, he left a message. You should hear it.”
    “Very well,” P[classified] replied. Javick pulled a small box from his pocket.

    “This is Rathgar, reporting in. The Arbiters caught me in the archives...don't underestimate them...they're powerful!” The speaker was loud enough that P[classified] could hear the words well, but the sound was tinny. The man speaking had a deep voice, but was panting heavily and pausing for breath.
    “Chased me half way across the city, but I evaded them. I need help, but you need to know. I've found it. I know where it is, the information is in my terminal back at the archives. It...it could be ours...The Valley of the...” the words were cut off by a large crash and then there was silence.


~



    “Do you wish to articulate some defence against the accusations?” Master Ackoam asked. No reply was given. The Master of the Arbiters leant towards the scarlet robed figure. The defendant twisted his neck awkwardly to try and look back at Ackoam, but the stocks were locked tightly.
    “You are a practitioner of the dark arts and your judgement has come,” Ackoam breathed the words more than he whispered them. “Brothers, what is the fourth Truth?” he asked quietly.
    “Casting aside morality to pursue a greater goal is to hunt for sustenance in a barren wasteland.” The shout from the assembled Jedi, after Ackoam's quiet words, made the accused recoil.
    “The third!” Ackoam shouted, standing over the Reborn and looking to his men.
    “The Dark Side, when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” The ten Arbiters stood in a neat row. Their gleaming white cloaks matched the banners that hung from the walls.
    “There is a chance for redemption,” Ackoam spoke. A thin smile graced his craggy face. In the dimly lit room the maze of wrinkles were particularly obvious. “We will not tolerate the Dark Side in any of its manifestations, but we are here to bring the Light to all. Brothers: the tenth Truth!”
    “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. The Force is faith, and it will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation it will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it!
    “You have turned from the path of absolute morality. You have succumbed to your emotions and now do the will of the Dark Side. You are not entirely to blame. You have been led astray, but we are here to bring you back to the Light.
    “Would you turn your back on the darkness? Eschew all emotion and join your brothers? It is a noble calling doing the will of the Force, ensuring that moral virtues return to the galaxy. The road will be long, hard and painful. Death would be the easier path than the cleansing, but I am not here to be merciful. Now you have been defeated in battle, you must see the truth. Will you attempt to turn to the Light?”
    The Reborn Jedi shifted in the restraints and looked at the line of Jedi opposing him. Each stood tall, head held high. They stood frozen in place, their eyes locked somewhere above him. All of the Arbiters had refused to look him in the eye since his capture. It took him a few moments to speak, and when he did his voice was weak and croaky.
    “I was taken from my family and brought to Master Rarc Spartacus on a world cloaked in darkness. I am willing to turn to the light.”

    “Excellent!” shouted Ackoam. “Bring forth the Tainted!”
    Rathgar looked to the back of the hall as he heard a commotion outside. Panic started to well up inside him as he realised some form of ritual was about to happen. He had expected to be taken back to his cell immediately and to have some time to mentally prepare himself for what was to come.
    As the great doors swung inwards a small figure was revealed. The man started to shuffle into the room. Where the Arbiters in the line stood tall, this one was bent and cowed. He was wrapped in thin grey robes that looks somewhat like grubby bandages. When the man pulled back his cowl he revealed the face of an old man. His features were gaunt, his eyes sunken and dark.
    This was the Tainted. His ability to read minds was both a blessing and a curse. He was revered among Ackoam’s new sect, yet at the same time feared. The armoured Jedi soldiers moved well out of the way as he shuffled across the room. The Tainted was showered in riches and gifts, whereas the rest of the Arbiters were forced to leave behind all material wealth and possessions. However, the Tainted was locked away in his chambers and monitored continuously. The shackles around his ankles ensured he could never flee and if he showed any signs of turning away from the Light he would be struck down on the spot.
    The Tainted walked up to the Reborn Jedi and knelt before him. He reached out with a bony finger and, placing it under Rathgar’s chin, lifted his head until they made eye contact. They pair remained locked in this gaze for a few moments.
    Without warning the Tainted moved his hand away, letting the Reborn’s head flop forward. He grasped his head with both hands and held tight.
    “Argh! Aiiee!” Rathgar screamed in agony, before going silent. Ackoam waited patiently.

    A few minutes later the Tainted withdrew from the Jedi’s mind and slowly returned to his feet. His shackles clanked as he turned to face the old Jedi Master. The Artbiters stood passively, waiting the decision.
    The Tainted shook his head. “He is still thinking of escape. He believes he can start to turn to the Light and then flee,”
    “Very well,” Ackoam replied. As the tainted shuffled away he moved next to the Reborn Jedi. His saber was in his hands now.
    “My apprentice,” he said. “Please speak the eleventh Truth,”
    “Mercy is not a show of passion, it is an indication of compassion,” said a red haired girl in the line of Jedi. She spoke the words quietly. Even though the hall had been silent before, an even deeper silence followed her words.
    The silence was broken by the sound of a saber activating. Ackoam brought it down in a single clean stroke.
    Ackoam turned to his Artbiters and said, “Ensure he is buried properly. This man was not our enemy, but we cannot afford pity. The Dark Side is our only enemy, those who succumb to temptation must be turned to the Light. If they cannot, they must be removed before the taint can spread. Never forget that a single servant of the Dark Side brought down the Republic and the servants of the Light. Their presence cannot be tolerated. We cannot grieve their passing - we cannot afford any emotion. That is our chosen path.”
   

~



    “I sense your apprehension young one. Do not keep your reservations to yourself, speak your mind.” Ackoam and Anora were walking back through the halls of their new home. Concerns had been expressed about the old Jedi Master’s strong beliefs and so he had been removed from the position of Headmaster of the Praxium on Yavin IV. Skywalker had returned to the position temporarily, but the hero of the Republic could never spare too much of his time teaching. Besides, Ackoam thought, the whelp probably had no taste for it because he had no experience in the matter. Kina Ha and Kyle Katarn were heading things up at Coruscant, and so Ackoam had taken his followers to Chandrila. Here they had found a new home where Ackoam could teach his followers.
    Kina Ha disappointed the old Master. She too had experienced the horror of Order 66. And yet she preached tolerance and had called Ackoam a ‘bitter old fool’. Ackoam would save them all from the Dark. In the end, they would thank him.
    “The accused was thinking of escape.”
    “Yes?”
    “How do we know that once he had started on the path, that he would not have embraced the Force?” she asked.
    “To those who have been blinded by their emotions, the Dark Side can seem very bright indeed. He would not have turned.”
    “But you cannot be certain?”
    “We do not have time for absolute certainties,”
    “Yet you constantly speak in absolutes,” Anora retorted. When she saw the Master’s hard stare, she instantly regretted the words.
    “I worry about you. You spent too long talking to a servant of the Dark on Cylea. You should have destroyed him.”
    “He let me gain information on a greater evil. The ones who have turned that whole word dark. The destruction of so many lives…” she recalled, looking to the floor. “It was devastating to feel,”
    “He was a snake and he tried to poison your mind with words. You cannot afford to mourn the loss of those people, we cannot afford the luxury of emotions. The Dark knows how to turn them against us. We must learn to accept pain, whilst always looking to the Light.
    “I think you should undertake another third ritual of cleansing. You alone can purify your soul, but the ritual will help.” Ackoam said.
    “As you wish Master,” she replied. She bowed low and then turned down a side corridor.
   

~



    Anora slipped off her cloak as she stepped into the antechamber. She unbuckled her straps and removed all the pieces of her armour. Her skin was coated in a thin, grimy layer of sweat underneath all the layers.
    When she stood naked, the Arbiter before her opened the doors to the chamber. Anora had been under Master Ackoam since the start. He had experimented with many different methods of ‘purifying the soul’. He had started with fasting, moving on to leaving trainees in the baking sun. Anything that caused permanent physical harm had been quickly discounted. Anora had hated them all. But she couldn’t discount his methods. Each of the techniques left her feeling focussed. Her mind would always feel empty of excess thought, ready to be steeled for the task ahead.
    The Arbiter at the door handed her a simple pair of goggles as she entered the chamber. The room was large, with rounded metal walls that made it look more like the inside of a tank; that was essentially what it was. There was a loud noise as the door behind her was sealed, and she was left in silence with her own thoughts.
    There was a hiss as the acid cloud started to fill the open hall. It was somewhat wasteful to use the large hall for one person, usually the ritual was conducted by the whole organisation.
    The burning sensation started at her feet. It was most acute in the fleshy part of the skin between the toes. But the greatest pain was yet to come. When it passed her waste the pain was severe. It wasn't meant to be excruciating, the acidic cloud would only burn off some of the surface skin. She looked down to see that her legs were already shining red.
    It was when it enveloped her head that the pain peaked. She held her breath for a few moment, but then accepted the pain and took a deep breath. The vapour burned the inside of her nostrils and throat. She knew she would cough droplets of blood for days.
    She retreated back inside her mind. Anora started to recite the Truths and older Jedi Codes. They steeled her against the pain, each phrase a barrier against the increasingly powerful sensations. By the time she was done the niggling thought that this was just a punishment for her outspoken nature had completely left her mind. There was no place left for thoughts, only the mantras and her resolve.
   

~



    On the surface of Cylea the great ash cloud still blotted out the sun. The world had been plunged into a darkness that would remain for generations to come. A long line of Cyleans marched through the rubble. Each of them carrying a great weight of building material on their backs.
    They upped their pace at the crack of the whip. On the remains of the building above them a Reborn Jedi swung his arm around and brought the whip to bear one more time. With this snap the whip actually caught the Cylean unfortunate enough to be the closest.
    The broken people of Cylea marched through the darkness. The Reborn Jedi, his face covered in a scarlet mask, looked on. Each Cylean was separated by a few metres. That was the law. The race required physical contact to communicate, and so Master P[classified] had decreed that physical contact was barred. Without communication a broken people had no way to organise a rebellion.
    The Reborn Jedi prepared to swing the whip again, but this time he paused. A strong wind whipped around him, flinging his delicate scarlet cloak around. The wing carried another cloud of ash that fell above the marching slaves below.
    The Jedi took a few steps back from the crumbling wall and crouched down out of sight. He closed his eyes, and yet he still saw the landscape around him. Now, however, a figure stood before him. He barely recognised the withered figure before him. A long, unkempt beard had grown on his face. The avatar of Kadann looked distinctly unwell.
    Master Talon pulled the mask from his face and spoke, “You look tired, old friend.”
    “Do not worry about my physical condition, the Force sustains me. I am risking contact because it is time for action.”
    “It is time to free you?”
    “I am afraid not. The time was close, but now I have disturbing news. I am close enough to Rarc than I can spy on their plans.”
    “And?”
    “They have found a nexus in the Force as great as the Maw.”
    “Where?”
    “Ruusan. The Valley of the Jedi. If they take it all our plans will be in vain. The Reborn taint must end here, on Cylea.”
    “I will rouse the Order.” Talon stated. The image of Kadann faded and disappeared from sight.
   

~



    Raziel was in his rooms when the transmission came through. He was lying on his bed, simultaneously reading reports fed to him by contacts in intelligence and watching the galactic new channels. In the next room his new apprentice was studying some books he had loaned her. These had never graced the shelf of an official library, he hoped their content would be motivating.
    “Encoded transmission for you,” said Jegora over the internal comms.
    “Very well,” Raziel said, leaning forwards. “Who from?” he sensed this was important.
    “It is the Grand Master.”
    “Put it through now,” Raziel instructed. There was a click as the channel was changed. “Master Talon?” Raziel asked.
    “Yes, how are things?” Talon said. Raziel found his tone almost casual. His voice sounded cracked, as if breathing was a challenge.
    “Well, we are preparing…”
    “Possibly not fast enough,” Talon replied. “We take the war to the Reborn again soon, but once again we find ourselves reacting to events.”
    “What has happened?”
    “They have found something as great as the Maw of Cylea.”
    “You and Kadann are able to extract information from their ranks?” Raziel replied.
    “Of course. They have found the location of the Valley of the Jedi. Fortuitously the New Jedi Order found out first. They will attempt to stop the Reborn desecrating that land.”
    “Do we need to intervene then?” Raziel asked. “We have worked with this New Jedi Order to stop a common enemy already, perhaps we could propose another alliance to…”
    “The Arbiters have discovered the location. You have heard of them? They concern Kadann and he spends much of his time meditating on the future,”
    “An alliance is out of the question with their kind. They will not distinguish between ourselves and the Reborn.” Raziel said.
    “That is problematic. Do whatever you must to stop the Reborn.”
    “We shall,”
    “One more thing Headmaster, I must break this communication soon,” Talon said.
    “Yes?”
    “You have led the Order in our absence. The Citadel is lost, but you bloodied P[classified]’s nose more than he will admit. You have shown leadership I thought beyond you. Truthfully I thought you would save you own skin.”
    “Thank you Master,”
    “It will soon be time for you to take your place as a Jedi Master. Take the Order to war Raziel.” Talon said. Before there could be a reply a click signalled the end of the conversation.

    Raziel paused for just a few moments before calling the bridge. “Jegora?”
    “Yes?”
    “Keep us in range of a subspace bouy and patch me through to Naval Command on the hidden channels. Find Wyl.” Raziel instructed.
    It was a few moments before the audio signal clicked again. “Vice Commodore Trykon here,”
    “It’s me,” Raziel replied. “How are the preparations?”
    “They are going well,” Trykon replied. Even on a heavily encrypted, tight beam signal there was no need to go into details.
    “Off the books?” Raziel asked.
    “Those that hold the budgets have been suitably influenced. There will be no record.”
    “Excellent. We are going to bring the schedule forwards.”
    “How much?” Trykon replied. Raziel detected the slightest waver in his voice.
    “We will collect everything tomorrow,” Raziel stated. “The Subversion is going into battle,”
    “It will be difficult,”
    “But it will be done.”


~



    Raziel stood next to Jegora Fal as the Subversion dropped out of hyperspace. The Dark Lord of the Sith swivelled his chair back and forth giving orders to the droid crew.
    “I suggest we come out of stealth mode,” Raziel advised the man sat next to him. “This ship’s abilities should remain unknown, even to our own men. And that,” he said pointing to the ISD on the view screen, “is a lot of men.”
    Orders were balked at the droids. The ship started venting excess heat and emitted noisy signals. It wouldn’t do for so many crew members of the ISD to start talking about what they could – or rather could not – see on their instruments.
    Raziel looked at the deep space station that sat between themselves and the ISD. He nodded his head to himself and strode from the bridge.

    There was a hiss as the doors slid open. The wind rushed past Raziel’s face as the pressure was equalised. On the other side of the threshold Wyl Trykon was waiting. Behind him was a great open room, several stories high. A group of ten men stood to attention behind him. Each of them was clad in a pristine Naval uniform and carried a large bag across their shoulders.
    Raziel looked at them carefully. Then his eyes turned to the supplies that were laid out on the deck behind them.
    “Our maintenance droids will bring the supplies aboard. You will take our new crew on board, but none of your men are to enter the ship.”
    “Very well,” Trykon replied.
    “You have ordnance, supplies and weaponry?”
    “The best I could muster at such notice,” Trykon replied. “It was easy to acquire the ordnance, all standard issues and produced in vast quantities. The weaponry for the Eta3s was more difficult, we couldn’t get any hyperdrive modules or even docking rings.”
    “But weapons?”
    “We found some experimental lasers in storage. Ultra-light weight and packing a punch!”
    “Why were they in storage?” Raziel asked.
    “Sustained fire mode didn’t meet requirements. The budget to modify them was never found. I thought they would be suitable,”
    “Very well, get it done. We need to be battle ready in two days.”
    “I could put together a team of my most trusted engineers to…”
    “No,” Raziel replied before turning and walking back into the Subversion.


~



    There was a knock on the door. Raziel slowly got to his feet and walked across his rooms. The door slid open and he was greeted with a crisp salute.
    “Captain Adeus,” Raziel greeted, before waving him in.
    “You wished to see me sir,”
    “Formalities are not required right now. Please have a drink,” Raziel replied, waving towards the jug of caf on the table.
    The Captain walked to the table and placed his hat next to the jug before pouring himself a drink.
    “I wished to find out what kind of man you are Captain,” Raziel said, his tone confident, but friendly.
    “My record should speak for itself,”
    “Please, sit,” Raziel said, lowering himself into a chair. Adeus sat down and Raziel leaned forwards, placing his elbows on the table and his chin in his hands.
    “Your crew,” Raziel began. “All young men. Talented but young men. They have no partners, children…few attachments. And yet you have a family, three children and a distinguished career. Why would you sign up for a six month tour knowing you won’t be able to communicate with the outside world?”
    Jonathan Adeus considered this for a few moments. He knew the answer, but knew he would be judged on the phrasing of his reply. “Quite simple,” he replied, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. “My pension has been…wasted. A single tour on this ship would secure the future of my family,”
    “But this is a very dangerous tour” Raziel replied. He sensed a panic in the older man. Was he not told? No, it’s not that…
    “I was told my family would be fully paid as per my life insurance plus the payment for this tour?” he asked.
    “Of course,” Raziel replied, sensing the other calm down.
    “Then whatever happens their future will be secure,”
    “You would die, just to secure their financial future? Even when they are not in any real danger?”
    “For my family? Anything.”
    The reply was so certain. Raziel probed the man’s mind, but he already knew the words were true. “I respect that,” Raziel said. Internally he tried to come to grips with the concept. Did the Order count as his family now? He had nearly laid down his life for them on Lopen, could he do that again?
    “What do you think of the ship?” Raziel asked.
    “Cramped, hot and dark.” Adeus replied. “But she is a remarkably ship, the expense to put this level of technology together must have been astronomical. Ships of the line are purchased in bulk, and expected to last for hundreds of years. Now we know its parameters I must say it is much like the submarines of old.”
    “And also made for a long tour. The crew are adapting to conditions?”
    “They are finding it strange. I am sure they will adapt. Not being allowed to talk to the other men on board is difficult.”
    “It is a necessary step,” Raziel replied. “Even though you all hold the very highest clearences.”
    “It is understood,” Adeus replied, holding up one hand. “They are a little shaken. These boys were all born after the clone wars. The Jedi are little more than a legend to them.”
    “Of course. I thought perhaps entertainment would help. The great hall will be free for your men on two evenings a week for R and R. Our holo library is stocked with films. Hopefully this will make the transition easier.”
    “They will do their duty. But…thank you.”
    Raziel turned his head to one side and looked into the distance for a moment. “My apprentice is on her way for a lesson.” He explained. “I am glad Wyl chose well, we will speak again, but I’m afraid we must cut this discussion short.” Raziel was already thinking about their new human crew. He would have to monitor the mental state of the crew, he could ask Kami, but she might become bored…


~



    When Zarya entered the room a few minutes later Raziel was flicking through the galactic news stations again.
    “Do you spend a lot of time watching the screen?” she asked.
    “I spend a lot of time watching the news,” he replied.
    “Why?”
    “The media controls the minds of the galaxy. I want to know what they are saying. Sometimes…” he said as he paused the image on one channel. “…I like to change what they are saying.”
    The image was of a typical news room. Open plan with workers scurrying in an office behind the presenters. Raziel pointed to one of the women in the background. “She is one of ours,” he explained. “I like to ensure some stories can be buried, and others can reach prominence,”
    “This is a pretty extreme anti-republic channel?” Zarya asked.
    “And a lot of people in the Republic watch it and believe every word said,” he replied. He continued flicking through the channels until something caught his attention.
    “Turn to page forty seven,” he instructed. “Tell me what you feel about the Rule of Two.”
    “An incident has come to light in deep space!” the reporter on the channel exclaimed. Behind him was a stock image of an Imperial transport. “The Terrorist group campaigning for the abolishment of animal slaughter has capture an Imperial shuttle on a hyperspace lane that sees little traffic. Over a hundred hostages have been taken, yet no demands have yet been issued. Whilst Vast Empire command never comments on the use of SCOPE troopers, it is likely that special forces have been despatched. The Empire has a zero tolerance policy on terrorist activities.
    “Dr Stevens of the Lotaith Institute for Criminology has called for this stance to be relaxed, particularly after the threat of biological weapons use has been ruled out.”
    “I’m afraid,” Raziel said. “There will be no lesson today,”

    Raziel burst into the bridge. “I want to know how close we are going to pass by the terrorist incident in the mid rim.” He instructed. The Captain nodded at one of his crew who set to work.
    “If we change course we could be there in hours,” came the response.
    Kami, Jegora…war room. Raziel instructed.

    The pair were already waiting in the small room when he arrived. They had already taken up seats around the wide circular table. Raziel walked up to them and tapped a few commands into a console. The lights dimmed and a holo image of the transport appeared before them.
    “We are ahead of schedule for Ruusan, but we are making a detour,” he said.
    “Why?” Kami asked plainly.
    “It is time for the Order to be revealed.”
    “I’m sorry?” Jegora asked.
    “It started on Copperline. We have been seen and we cannot hide our existence forever.”
    “Why now?”
    “I have been looking for an opportunity for some time,” Raziel explained. “We can diffuse a terrorist situation, and decide for ourselves how we are portrayed in the media.”
    “Very well,” Kami replied simply. Jegora’s expression suggested he was less keen on the notion.
    “We have two stealth shuttles. A Sect of shades will dock at the rear of the ship,” Raziel instructed, pointing to the holo image. “They will move quickly to engineering, kill as many as possible and cut off the power.
    “A Sect of Marauders will come in from the Port docking bay and rush to where the hostages are being kept, it is probably the main storage bay, but they will alter their plans accordingly. Garryll will lead them. Ensure that all hostages survive.”
    “As you wish,” Jegora replied simply.
    “Oh and make sure the Marauders polish their armour and smile for the camera,” Raziel replied. “Once you have become heroes you’re going to get some air time!”
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Garryll Gates
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Garryll Gates
 
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  RE: Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 23, 2013 12:08:28 AM    View the profile of Garryll Gates 
The deck shuddered as the Subversion changed its course. Gates wondered about the drop from hyperspace for only a moment, then went back to his exercises. A step and a swing, then a different swing from that position, each motion smooth and slow. The Great Hall was as empty as it could be these days, with only a handful of Jedi lounging about or practicing like he was.

As such, he was able to do a full suite of moves, with dancing footwork and a humming lightsaber in his right hand. He left his hand empty; with his recently-discovered ability to summon lightning to his fists, Gates felt that it would be worth the hundreds of hours of practice it would require to be as capable with one hand on his lightsaber as two.

Slowly, he brought his blade from a high right follow-through to a crouching shoulder-to-pelvis cross. Again, a disturbance interrupted his exercise. “What do you want, Jegora?”

“The Headmaster had a fancy,” his former Master rumbled. Gates shut his blade down and straightened up. Flanking Jegora were a half-dozen of the Marauders.

“Combat? It’s too early,” Gates replied. “So this fancy had to do with the course change, then?”

“It did,” replied one of the Marauders. “Terrorists, apparently.”

“I’m always up to crack some heads, Lord,” Gates directed his response to the newly-anointed Dark Lord of the Sith. “But why now?”

“Politics,” Jegora practically growled.

“Ah,” Gates responded understandingly. The assembled men and women all shared a moment of silence, the single syllable describing each and every one of their feelings exactly.

“So how soon?” Gates asked.

“Three hours. Raziel has the basic outlines of a strategy, but you’ll need to get it ironed out and kitted up by then,” Jegora said, then turned on his heel. “Make sure to do this right.”

Gates nodded. “Jan, roll one of those holoprojectors out. Someone go find my Apprentice, Valthir and the damn mongrel.”

“Mongrel?” asked the man Gates had pointed at.

“Hond,” Gates said flatly. “Jegora’s current apprentice. He’s probably hiding somewhere. Find him and bring him here.”

The man nodded and departed. The holoprojector he’d ordered rolled out a minute later, and he tapped it on. “So here’s where the Lord Headmaster wants us to make our entrance.”

His finger stabbed into the hologram, poking the fat transport craft in the port-side docking bay. “It’s big enough to hold our transport, and with these ships, it actually can’t be shielded. Serious design flaw, but it works for us.”

The other Marauders nodded; Valthir and Vexus joined the circle as he was finishing this thought, the former nodding, the latter bowing slightly.

“It would be expected that they would hold all the hostages in the most convenient place: the central cargo hold. One place to keep a few dozen people hostage, and you’d only need a few guards to do it,” Gates continued. “We can sweep in from these angles, and eliminate all of the guards before they can begin to take out hostages. The Headmaster was very clear on that point: we want zero friendly casualties. We’re to look invincible and reliable. I will lead this team. Tristan - ” Gates pointed at the Knight who'd been highly visible on Copperline - "will lead this second team. Jan; the third."

“That’s asking too much,” complained one of the Knights huddled around the projector. “We’re only Jedi.”

“How often do you get asked to play hero?” Gates grinned. “I’ve got a whole shitload of medals to prove I am one. This operation would be impossible - if this was a team of Stormtroopers I was talking to.”

The Jedi he’d sent after Hond reappeared, the half-Chiss sullenly following.

“But it’s not. It’s a team of damn Jedi Knights, and this is what we do best. Take the fight to the enemy and teach them not to mess with our Empire,” Gates said emphatically. “And we’ll look damn good doing it. We’re due in under an hour. Armor up.”

“Isn’t that overkill?” asked Jans. “They’re just terrorists. They won’t even be able to touch us.”

“It looks pretty,” Gates replied, shutting down the holoprojector. “And looks are half of the impression.”

~An hour later: On Stealth Shuttle-1~

“Boarding action will commence moments after we drop out of hyperspace,” the pilot said over the intercomm, his voice flat and professional. “In three...two...one...mark.”

The shuttle was filled with the clack of the Jedi making their final preparations - armor checks, patting extra weapons, grenades or adjusting their lightsabers to be easily reachable.

Garryll Gates sat in the cloesest seat to the exit ramp. Once upon a time, he'd been a pointman, and now, supremely confident in his own abilities, he'd be one again. He looked down the aisle at the rest of the small force, and nodded to them. “May the Force be with us.”

Company Commander of Phoenix Company |Tactical Officer of the Army | Adept of the Dark Jedi Order | Captain of the
Bloodfist in the Osk Company
TO/MAJGarryll Gates/3SQD/1PLT/1COM/1BAT/1RGT/Tadath/VEA/VE [SCP][RoM][ICE] [IH] [CCA] [BC] [SRP] [AS-4] [ES1] [CoS] [EW1] {RESx3} [ESC09] [RoTx2] [CRoS] [AoT] [CoZ][CoDS][VT][CRoM][SoS][GRoM][KAD][RCA][*QW 12*](3.1)(1.1)

SM/NEO Gates/Eagle Sect/Lopen/VEDJ/VE (KC1)
Longtime leader of Blackjack Squad
For Tadath, for the Empire.

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Kami
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Kami
 
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  RE: Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 23, 2013 2:00:59 AM    View the profile of Kami 
Kami strode quickly from the war room, the clack of her boot heels on the polished floor echoing down the narrow hallway before her.  With a gesture so familiar it was almost subconscious, she stretched out her senses and brushed the minds of a dozen or so selected members of the Order.

I have a task for you. Meet me in the hangar.

Some of the Knights sent a pulse of acknowledgement. Others were barely unable to suppress their irritation at being summoned. The ranks of the Krath were slowly splintering under the guiding hand of long surprised factions. The tension had been made worse by their confinement on-board the Subversion and Kami’s abrupt withdrawal from supervision. While several stalwart supporters of Kami had approached her and questioned her aloof behaviour she had given them no answer. They would not understand. Not even if she sought to explain.

It was to Havock, and Havock alone, that Kami had briefly made mention of the rising dissension. Kami recalled her own words now, her lips silently forming the words as she rounded a corner and made towards the lifts.

"In order to cut out a growth you must first discern how far it has spread."

She reached the lifts just as Jegora appeared from another hallway. Kami arched a brow at him in what passed as a gesture of amusement before stepping inside alongside the newly appointed Dark Lord of the Sith. The Subversion was a virtual warren of interlinking corridors and hallways. She did not think that she would ever be able to find her way around as easily as she had on Lopen. The Citadel had become her home in a fashion that a ship simply could not hope to replicate. The artificial nature of the Subversion was a pale mimicry of the fierce presence of Lopen’s rugged landscape.

“This parade could very easily backfire on us,” Jegora said evenly as the doors clamped shut. His eyes were fixed pointedly on the display panel of the lift.

“Any mission has the potential to go sidewards,” Kami replied nonchalantly, her own gaze following Jegora’s. “We must trust in Raziel’s judgement.”

Jegora grunted at her response, a deliberately vague acknowledgement, and folded his muscled arms across his broad chest.

When the doors reopened with a pleasant ding Kami swept out and continued towards the hangar. She felt Jegora’s gaze track her for a long moment before he also moved, his presence dimming as he paced towards the Great Hall and his own people.

Havock was waiting by the curved entrance to the hangar, dressed in fitted robes for battle, her lightsaber hanging from her hips. She pushed off the wall and fell into place at Kami’s shoulder as they both moved into the largest open space on the Subversion.

A small group of Jedi had already gathered at the base of the ramp of one of the Order’s stealth shuttles. Most of the group was comprised of Krath, but some Sith were intermingled between the close-knit groups of those either opposed to or supportive of Kami’s position on the Council. The unusual presence of the Sith was very much reflective of Jegora’s sudden influence. While not overly suited for delicate political manoeuvring, the Dark Lord of the Sith was an even-handed and fair leader. Discussions between he and Kami on Lopen had yielded some early positive results. He was suitably wary of the Krath but did not consider them enemies as Josto had. Those Sith who preferred to use guile in combat were now allowed under Kami’s command in the Shades, just as Krath who enjoyed butting heads and sabers could now join the Marauders.

Times were changing. There was no longer just Krath and Sith, only the Order. But while Jegora had encountered little resistance to what some considered a 'breach of tradition' with the Sith, Kami had the slightly more complicated job of holding together a group that had become accustomed to questioning the course of things in the acquisation of knowledge. They would not bend a knee to her simply because she told them to. In fact, demanding such a display of subservience would likely see Kami’s throat cut overnight and a new, warmer body sitting in her place on the Council by the morning.

As always she was forced to tread carefully even amongst supposed allies. Jegora would have absolutely loathed being in such a position. However Kami, easily bored and seldom amused, relished the delectable challenge of it.

“Ari,” Kami’s voice rang out as she stopped several meters from the group.

There was a moment of silence during which several furtive glances were exchaged before an exquisitely beautiful woman stepped out from behind her comrades. She took a step forward and lowered her head in a necessary show of respect.“My lady.”

Kami regarded her for a moment before speaking again. “You are my second.”

She sensed Havock’s brief flash of surprise in the Force before it was deftly smothered. Ari was slower to control her own reaction.  Shock, elation, and finally suspicion flickered unihibited in her mind. These reactions were mirrored by some of Ari’s companions before Ari herself regained control and lowered her head again.

“As you wish.” she told Kami.

During the length of the exchange Raziel had appeared, walking across from the other side of the hangar where he had finished examining the identical shuttle that would be carrying the Marauders to their destination. At the Headmaster’s back a slim man with the manner of an aristocrat was matching his longer strides to Raziel’s shorter pace. The man’s robes were different to his peers, clearly the slightly worn handoff of another Jedi scrounged up quickly following Raziel’s decision to pursue the terrorists.

“Our navy contact,” Raziel stated as he came up to Kami. He did not bother to assign the man a name.

Kami spared the man a disinterested once-over before focusing on the Headmaster. “Are we ready?”

He nodded. “Garryl will be down shortly.”

“On board the shuttle,” Kami told her Sect. They complied immediately, breaking ranks to board the shuttle. They could scheme all they wished on the Subversion but even the most disloyal were aware that the heat of battle did not allow for the questioning of orders. Havock moved from her shoulder and fell in line with the others to board.

“Everything under control?” Raziel’s lips twitched as he watched them file up the ramp.

“Of course,” Kami delivered the line with practiced confidence.

The Force highlighted the powerful combined presence of the Marauders before they even started to march in on the other side of the hangar. A tall well-built man lead the group to the second shuttle before ushering them up the ramp with an air of impatience. After a few minutes his head tilted towards Kami and Raziel as though considering their presence.

“Master and apprentice are virtually identical,” Kami said to Raziel, her own lips curving into a smile. She raised a hand to Gates and curled her fingers down in a mocking wave.

Raziel nodded, “He’s perfect for what we need.”

“A poster boy you mean,” Kami countered. “I hope you told him to smile for the cameras.”

“A face for the Order,” Raziel corrected her.

Kami shook her head in exagerrated disbelief. “You really have thought of everything.”

Raziel’s expression became solemn, his brows drawing down over his green eyes. “No,” he said. “Not everything. Not yet.”

*        *        *        *        *        *

An hour later. Stealth Shuttle Two.

“At ready,” Ari’s sultry voice reveberated about the tiny passenger compartment as the shuttle bucked beneath heir feet. “Marina, Havock, Damon, to the fore.”

Kami let the younger Knight arrange the Shades into a loose form for disembarkment, ignoring Havock’s esaperated look as Ari paused to look her up and down.

Permission to deck her? Havock’s murmured in Kami’s head.

Patience. Kami sent back. Let her play commander.

As the shuttle bucked again, the scrap of metal on metal suggesting an oversight of the pilot, Ari moved before Kami and unclipped her saber. "On your order mistress."

“Thank you,” Kami rose fluidly to her feet, her own saber clasped lightly in one hand. “Let us begin.”
|| Retired ||
[LoR][CoR][IG][GCA][BC][BM][CDS][EW][ES][GRP][GS]
------------------------
|| Krath Magician || Krath Order ||
CM/KM Kami Sharpe/Lion L-01/Krath/Dark Jedi Order/Vast Empire

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Raziel
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Raziel
 
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  RE: Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 23, 2013 9:39:38 AM    View the profile of Raziel 

    Raziel took a few moments to compose his thoughts as the shuttle approached its destination. He allowed himself to settle into a trance-like state and clear his mind. He didn’t approach things quite as some of his peers did. He did not let his emotions explode in a frenzy as he met combat. His were focussed onto a knife edge. It allowed him a mix of power and complete control. The downside was that to achieve this state he had to allow his subconscious mind a degree of freedom; he often acted in combat before his conscious mind could intervene.
    His time on Raxus Prime seemed to have helped him achieve even greater levels of focus. Trying so hard to reach the Force under the influence of the Ysalmiri had been something akin to high-altitude training. His connection to the Force now seemed much stronger as a result. His awareness of his surroundings was incredible. With his eyes closed he could feel every motion around him, every fidgety movement and errant thought was registered.
    He allowed his thoughts to drift to the objects in his hands. So often they were there without him consciously recognising them; they were a part of him now. He lifted one up and opened his eyes to look at it. The pattern etched into the hilt was fascinating. Whorls cut into an intricate pattern covered the polymer grip, and yet each groove had further patterns edged within those. They went right down to the level well beyond that which his eyesight could discern. A scan had revealed the patterns were etched close to a molecular level. A beautiful, fractal wonder.
    He wondered what that said about his subconscious. These were perhaps the first thing he had ever created. Before that he had only ended things. Killing as an assassin, cutting away the excess and decay so that the new could grow in its place. More a force of nature than a real person. Perhaps the patterns were his subconscious trying to express some creative freedom. Maybe, if his life had been different, he would have been a great artist. He would never know.
    Maybe this new Order was his greatest creation. Certainly he had stood by it, grown it around him with pride. It was terrifying what his mind was capable of when it found traction. Gui Sui P[classified] stood in the line of his focus now. It would not end well for the old Jedi Master.
    As they approached their destination he got to his feet and stretched out. He removed his robes, preferring to take advantage of the adaptive camouflage abilities of the stealth suit issued to the Shades. He could not deceive a camera with the Force. More importantly, the suit could deceive all manner of sensors designed to spot life forms.


~


    “I was wondering when you would come! How do you like my new seat of power?” P[classified] grinned as the figure approached. The stranger in the dark robes had his path blocked by Javick and another pair of Reborn Lieutenants, but P[classified] waved them aside.
    “It is…disturbing?” replied the man. The underside of the dias had been hollowed out, that was there was a space between the surface of the dias one which the throne sat and the floor. P[classified] had chosen a bizarre filling.
    “A reminder to those who oppose me,” P[classified] said.
    Aldraic M[classified] nodded, but sensed the madness in his old comrade. Perhaps his experiments with the Maw had taken their toll. He looked at the dias again. The bodies of Griffen Sect had been squeezed into the gap. It meant that P[classified] appeared to be sat on a great mound of bodies. They had clearly used something to preserve the deceased as there was no smell.
    “I liked their crimson robes,” P[classified] carried on. “It is like I am sat on a sea of blood!”
    “I have returned to join your new Order,” M[classified] said, wanting to move the conversation along.
    “You will swear fealty to me?”
    “Of course, I want to be placed equally to Rarc though.”
    “That can be done, but you will need to prove yourself!” P[classified] said.
    “Go on…”
    “You will lead a force of two of my Lieutenants, five Knights and forty Drudges. You will need to go to Cylea so they can be enhanced by The Maw. You can drink from its power too,”
    “But Master…” Javick began looking agitated.
    “My Bear, you will have your time. You have already basked in the glory of taking the Citadel, let another have his turn!” P[classified] spoke. Javick bowed low, but shot M[classified] a warning glance. Another Master above him was not something he wanted.
    “I think I will pass on the Maw, until I understand it fully of course,”
    “As you wish, you will be taken eight men to Cylea and assemble the rest of the force. Then you will go to Ruusan. Thrawn has promised me two frigates and a platoon of his finest Stormtroopers to assist. He is so desperate for more of our assistance!”
    M[classified] bowed low, but kept his eyes on the other Master at all times. He turned on his heel and strode away.
    “And Altraic…” P[classified] called after him. “…You will need some scarlet robes!”


~


    “And we can report that there is no further activity near the transport,” the reporter lied. She stood before a screen that showed the transport idle in space. “Authorities have stated that this is a matter for police forces and the military will not intervene.”
    Laura Descel knew full well that in the next room several squads of elite SCOPE troopers were being dressed as police officers. Of course, the press was happy to go along with the lie as long as they were rewarded with interviews afterwards. There were Imperial laws against the press putting citizen’s lives at stake. If they reported truthfully – that the military were preparing for an assault – the hostages could all be killed. Twenty years ago that had happened when they had falsely assumed all communications had been cut off in a similar terrorist incident.
    “We now have a list of names of hostages, that we have been allowed to report…”

    In the next room the Platoon Sergeant was trying to keep his voice down: “What do you mean ‘stand down’? I’ve got twenty boys suited up and ready to roll!”
    There was a murmur from the com unit in reply.
    “No one has jurisdiction above SCOPE in these situations! It’s a hostage incident, this is our fucking bag! Don’t tell me the police are going to fuck this one up too?”
    Another murmured reply.
    “Yes sir, of course. It’s just emotions are a bit high a few minutes before a gig like this…thank you sir, of course I understand. We’ll stand down and await instructions. We already have the medical frigate waiting just outside the combat zone to jump in…of course sir.”   
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Skarr
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Skarr
 
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  RE: Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 24, 2013 3:54:08 AM    View the profile of Skarr 
Vexus sat alone in his room. Garryll had suggested he take a day to continue studying on his own. Several musty tomes sat around him on his bed as he practiced levitating each one individually. He breathed in and out slowly as each tome rose and fell before he moved onto the next one. It was a painfully simple exercise, but Garryll had insisted that simplicity was where everyone had started. Vexus had been annoyed that he was not being challenged properly, but he valued the time away from his master. It allowed the man to pursue his own agenda. The books he studied now were of Sith lore, of the old battles, the Empires, and the many worlds the Sith had conquered and claimed as their own. All of it fascinated him.

A sudden beeping noise interrupted Vexus’s meditations. The book before him dropped back down to the bed. A low growl escaped his throat. He swung his legs off of the bed and stalked to the door, keying it open. The door slid open to reveal another Dark Jedi.

“What is it?” Vexus snapped impatiently.

“Your master has need of you. Be sure to bring your saber.” the man turned on his heel and walked away without another word. Vexus grabbed his white robe from its hook and called his training saber to his hand from across the room. He left the tomes on the bed and searched for Garryll in the Force. He found his master in the Grand Hall. Around Garryll stood several other Knights and Dark Jedi.

Vexus joined the circle of men with another new arrival, bowing to his master slightly. From what Garryll was explaining it sounded like all of the men and women assembled were joining Garryll on a mission. What surprised the acolyte the most was the revelation that the Jedi were going to be revealed to the galaxy. The implications were many. The mission seemed simple enough, secure hostages and look flashy while doing so. Vexus smiled, it was not a challenge as Vexus wanted, but it sounded fun.

Garryll finished his speech and the assembled group began working their way towards the armory. When they had arrived, his master pulled Vexus to the side. “Noble, you will be wearing this armor.” The old soldier handed his apprentice a folded up suit of armor. “This armor is modeled after the Marauder armor, but it’s the training variation. It can still stop blaster shots, so it’s perfect for this mission. Put it on and grab a few blasters. I trust you can shoot one?”

“I fought for my homeworld both before and after Kuat was attacked by the New Republic. I think I can handle one fairly well, thank you.” Vexus replied. His master grunted and moved past to speak to another Dark Jedi. The acolyte grimaced and began taking the pristine white robes off. After his armor was in place, he decided it was a comfortable fit. He had worn armor before, but nothing so much as this. It was lightweight and the fabric that composed the suit was soft. The armor plates were also unobtrusive. Vexus felt powerful in the armor as he walked over to the blasters. He chose a pistol that he holstered near his lightsaber and a rifle that he slung over his shoulder.

After the Dark Jedi were armed and armored, Garryll led them to the hangar.

***
The shuttle was minutes away from leaving hyperspace. Vexus sat with Garryll, Hond, and a man named Valthir at the end of the shuttle. His master turned to the three of them. “You three are part of my team. I’m going to be taking point. Valthir and Hond, you will be on my flank. Vexus, you’re taking the rear. Your blasters will be more effective from the back.”

Keep an eye on Hond. He may try something treacherous if the opportunity presents itself. Vexus locked eyes with Garryll as his master sent the message through the Force. He nodded slightly, almost imperceptibly. The pilot’s voice sounded over the intercom. He announced that the boarding action would begin momentarily.

“May the Force be with us,” Garryll announced to the shuttle.
SL|CoT:A|PC/1LT Skarr/1SQD/1PLT/1COMP/1BAT/1RGT/Tadath/VEA/VE
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"May God have mercy on my enemies, because I won't" General George Patton
"A leader leads by example not by force." Sun Tzu, The Art of War
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[This message has been edited by Skarr (edited May 24, 2013 4:35:27 AM)]
Trykon
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Trykon
 
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  RE: Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 24, 2013 9:49:34 PM    View the profile of Trykon 
In his dream, Wyl was running down a dark tunnel, with a woman’s laughter chasing after him.  The scene was hazy, and disjointed – Wyl couldn’t tell if he was running through the corridors of his own ship, or the hallways of the Citadel on Lopen – but one detail was horrifyingly constant: the cackling kept growing louder and louder behind him.  Wyl ran faster than he ever had before, and felt the reassuring sensation of the Force flowing through his muscles, granting him superhuman strength, speed, and stamina.  But it wasn’t enough.  The laughter grew ever closer, until at last he could feel the Dark Lady’s breath on his neck, and then ice-cold fingers with long nails were digging into his shoulder...

Wyl Trykon woke up screaming, flailing his arms, and kicking violently in the dark.  For long, confused moments, the nightmare continued into the waking world, before his eyes adjusted to the low, nighttime lighting of his bedroom, and he recognized the comfortingly familiar surroundings of the Captain’s berth aboard the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Adjudicator.  As his brain retched itself awake, he threw off his sweat-soaked sheets, and vaulted himself out of bed.

Still breathing heavily, he padded to the refresher, and splashed cold water on his face.  The man who looked back at him from the mirror looked haggard.  The rivulets of liquid running down the gaunt, barely recognizable face were like mighty rivers on some lonely alien planet, carving deep, ugly canyons into loamy, greasy-looking soil.  Wyl frowned, making the effect even more pronounced, and turned away from the mirror.

“Lights,” he commanded in a hoarse half-whisper, and the environmental controls instantly bathed Wyl’s quarters in cheery illumination designed to mimic the exact wavelengths of the visible spectrum produced at dawn on the planet Kuat.

Usually Wyl found the effect calming – a pleasant way to start his days – but after the nightmare, the reminder of his home planet only brought back painful memories of his first Mistress, and with them the trauma of Fai Simsin, and of Aleema Keto... and of Zaq Hawkes.  “Lights!” he growled again, and the room brightened a bit more, to match the standard lighting scheme used throughout most ships in the Vast Imperial Navy: harsh and functional, with no room for sentimentality.  That’s much better, Wyl thought with approval, even as he involuntarily squinted.

His bedside comm unit buzzed, and with an exasperated sigh, Wyl picked it up.  “Yes?” he asked impatiently.  He wasn’t due on duty for another two hours.

“Sorry to wake you, sir,” came the voice of his adjutant, Petty Officer Jak Marr.  “But there’s a transmission for you, on the ‘special’ channel.”  Jak was almost comical, in his overemphasis of the euphemism they’d chosen to describe signals from the Order.  Despite his rude awakening, Wyl found himself smiling.

“That’s okay, Zaq, thanks,” Wyl said indulgently, before catching his slip.  “Jak,” he amended stupidly.  “Thank you, Jak.”  He shook his head, rubbed at his forehead with his free hand, and sighed softly.  “Put it through please.”

The line clicked over.  “Vice Commodore Trykon here,” Wyl said, with as much professionalism as he could muster.

“It’s me,” the Headmaster replied.  “How are the preparations?”

Wyl thought of all the work he had done over the preceding months, ever since that first, fateful transmission had beckoned him back to active engagement with the Imperial Jedi Order.  He thought of the lying, the manipulation, and the staggeringly large-scale fraud he had been forced to perpetrate.  All to funnel Navy resources to the Dark Jedi...  “They are going well,” was all he said.

“Off the books?” Raziel asked.

Wyl frowned.  “Those who hold the budgets have been suitably influenced,” he promised.  “There will be no record.”

“Excellent.  We are going to move the schedule forwards.”

“By how much?” Wyl shot back, a knot forming in his gut.

“We will collect everything tomorrow.  The Subversion is going into battle,” Raziel declared.

Wyl shook his head.  Transferring his hand-picked personnel all at once, on such short notice, would be hard to conceal from the bean-counting bureaucrats who oversaw the Navy’s logistics and personnel departments.  To say nothing of his orders to move a bunch of experimental weapons systems to “new storage facilities,” on the same day.  “It will be difficult,” he hedged.

“But it will be done,” Raziel ordered, before cutting the line.

Wyl hissed out a long, slow exhale.  Then he clicked over to internal comms again: “Mr. Marr, I’ll be in my office in ten minutes.  We have work to do.  While I’m getting ready, send the prepared info packet to Captain Adeus and the others.  They’re to leave as soon as possible.”

***


By the time the strike teams were leaving the Subversion a few days later, Wyl Trykon had reached the limit of his patience.  All his hard work over the past months seemed to have been taken for granted by the Headmaster, and the man’s stubborn paranoia had made fitting the “borrowed” weapons to the Eta-3 starfighters much more difficult than it should have been.  Without being able to enlist the aid of Navy mechanics and engineers, Wyl had been forced to accomplish the task personally, helped only by a surprisingly obliging and amiable Knight named Ayme Katash, and by the Order’s frustratingly obtuse droids.  But he’d done it, by sacrificing sleep, and Raziel’s precious secrets had been preserved.  Although why we even bothered doing it that way, given what we’re about to do, I will never understand, Wyl thought darkly.

He was standing in Stealth Shuttle Two with the other Shades of the Order, about to storm a hijacked Imperial transport, in a mission that would reveal the Imperial Jedi Order to the Galaxy.  The secret was about to be public knowledge, and the revelation could not come soon enough, for Wyl Trykon.  I’m tired of secrets, he admitted to himself.

But even as he had the thought, Wyl shielded his mind from the other Dark Jedi on the shuttle, unwilling to risk being vulnerable in front of them.  All of them – especially their leader, Mistress Sharpe, a powerful Dark Council member who reminded Wyl of Fai Simsin – were potential threats.
As abhorrent as lying and manipulation might be, they were also the only proven ways to survive.  And Wyl still desperately wanted to survive...

So when the shuttle bucked slightly, indicating they had a hard seal with the target transport, Wyl stilled his thoughts, and dove headfirst into the emotions they had stirred up.  Frustration, loneliness, anger, fear, and even grief all raged within him, and with them came the Dark Side of the Force: the ally who offered Wyl the best possible chance of survival.  With great focus, Wyl guided the flow of energies within his body, and felt his muscles respond, tingling with anticipation.  His lightsaber was in his hand, and his thumb was poised over the activation button, when Mistress Sharpe gave the order to begin the assault.

The Shades surged forward into the ship, making their way toward the engineering section, where they could cut the ship’s power.  When they finally encountered the first of the hapless, naïve activists who had resorted to taking innocent people hostage, the poor man became a convenient target for all of Wyl’s pent up aggression.  Like a hydroelectric dam bursting, Wyl’s rage overflowed, and seconds later he had to use telekinesis to prevent the terrorist’s severed head from continuing to roll down the corridor and out of sight.

A senior Krath in his group shushed him, and Wyl bowed his head in acquiescence.  The beheading had been too loud, even though his lightsaber had only been turned on for a moment; he sent a ripple of apology out through the Force.

That done, Wyl continued his silent creeping march forward, toward the main engine room.  And he was careful not to let the others see his broad smile.
CNW/VCOM Wyl "Trick" Trykon/ISD Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE

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Aeos
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  RE: Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 25, 2013 11:33:05 AM    View the profile of Aeos 
OOC:
Please see the link to see what a PSU is:
http://www.imperialcenterstore.com/product/1291/
Raziel, let me know whether I'm stepping out context with the Reborn and how they are portrayed,




Lopen. How he hated this dirtball. It was hot, dark and windy almost everyday and offered virtually nothing as a compromise for its ill qualities. The stench of the previous inhabitants who occupied the Citadel still clung to it, a thought that sullied any redeeming qualities left in the Citadel such as its vast gardens, training grounds and extensive library. Not that the library was as impressive as he was led to believe. The material and information it held was almost of no fresh value to the Reborn although there were several shelves that were suspiciously empty.

Anto Kirra was a short man, barely reaching up to 1,5 but his powerful physique made up for what he lack in lenght. Stormy grey eyes scoured the stormy grey sky, anticipating the future. From where he stood on the second spiral of the Citadel he could see almost everything. New Reborn trainees sparring down below in the courtyards to the curving horizon of the planet. He turned around, resting his gaze on the central spiral. While he was  by no means an exceptional Jedi, he liked to think he held more control over his unnatural powers than the most of the Reborn here. After all, he had started his tutelage in the ways of the Force as a padawan at the New Jedi Order. His exposure to the Maw only saw to the augmentation of an already talented individual. He smirked. And despite his talent and status, he still could not discern and anticipate the activities that unfolded inside the central spiral which towered above almost everything else on Lopen.

He spent most of his time in the current spiral when he was not training or sleeping. The library despite its misgivings was where he felt most comfortable at. He was one of the few Reborn who valued knowledge almost as much as they valued power, but most here regarded it as waste of nonsense. Knowledge was power, just a different form than what the Sith here were used to. Any judgement that had been directed initially for his awkward appreciation of the library had been dealt with swiftly through brute force. He was still a powerful individual who could hold his ground well in any fight. The discipline of his previous teachings has seen to that. He smirked at the memory of his earlier years spent as a padawan.

He was originally from Correllia and had attracted the attention of a passing Jedi Knight who took him back to Skywalker where he started as young boy learning the ways of the Force. But his inherent impatience and disregard for authority could not be tempered, a quality Lord Spartucus recognised as soon as they met only a few short years ago. Turning him from his path with the New Order had been an easy process but unfortunately he lacked the power and potential of Javick and it would still be many years before the Masters would consider him of more value. For now however, he was content serving as a Lieutenant to Javick. It meant that he had more insight into the Reborn’s flurry of activities without bearing the political strain of active involvement. Even the Reborn as efficiently as it had replaced the previous order, it was still fraught with dangerous mind games and scrambles for power and territory.  While he was arrogant, proud and strong, he had rational instinct that tempered those qualities and ensured his self-preservation in the Reborn

Kirra sneered at the traineees below him. Drudges. He scoffed. A miserable and embarrassing representation of the Reborn. While he understood the nescesity of their presence, they were still an unwelcome presence. They were of a peasant class, only slaves to the will of the tainted powers within them, not one a true wielder.

“Lieutenant,” a voice crackled over the comm unit clipped at his ear. He sighed. Such crude devices for communication when they were the wielders of the Force! But alas, some these drudges could barely control any Force and was reduced to working in the Communications spiral or other areas which did not require much control of the Force.

“Yes, continue.”
“We have an incoming ship approaching. We’ve asked for clearance codes but there has been no response.”
“Well, you know the protocall. Shoot it down.” He barked, miffed that the drudge could not think beyond his own incapacities.
“Sir, I would but there are some circumstances here. The ship is registered to a Dark Jedi Knight Aeos, we believe she might be onboard. Communication with the ship’s AI has confirmed an unconscious individual onboard.”

“Interesting, very interesting. Bring the ship in. I’ll send guards over.“

Three Hours Later
Kirra found himself intrigued, leaning against the frame of the door with arms folded, observing the flurry in the medical room as the droids tried to stabilise the girl connecting her with a variety of fluids while cutting her out of her robes. They have only retrieved the girl from the ship mere minutes ago, first requiring security clearances and then safety clearances. The personnel were currently in Communications tearing the E-9’s programming apart as soon as they discovered the PSU that contained ‘Aeos’. While very little information had remained intact with the invasion on Lopen, they did manage to recover some roster data such as hers. It would seem when the Headmaster had anticipated the invasion he had seen to the destruction of most of the data concerning the Order.  The PSU indicated that she has been in stasis at least for a few months, possibly years which would also explain the illogical return. Neither she or her ship are aware that Lopen has been compromised.

You better have a good explanation for why you allowed the dirt to live.
He flinched outwardly at the violent intrusion in his thoughts. The Bear was not known for his subtlety.
Special circumstances that might be of interest in the future. As soon as I have enough data, I will report to you directly, Sir.
There was no indication of response or acknowledgment following which meant for now the Bear was at ease. He frowned as he reached out to Aeos. For a Knight, despite her severe unconscious state her mind was incredibly vulnerable. Most Force practitioners had an instinctive shield that provided a minimal defence for intrusion. But this girl had none, in fact her powers barely registered currently.
He would need her awake to confirm her state however.

“Droid, I need a report.” He pushed himself from the frame into the room. The nearest droid turnedd to him, it’s faceless mechanical voice starting to speak.

“Minimal fractures to the ribs, broken collar bone and leg. Several lacerations across body, broken jaw and lightsaber stab wound to the abdominal and a major skull fracture”
“Sounds like she had quite the beating before activating that thing. Wonder why the attacker would leave her alive?” he muttered out loudly.
“Sir, her recovery process should be a few days to two weeks depending on the treatment of your choosing, but the fracture in her skull will most probably result in memory loss. We need the subject awake to determine the extent of it.”

“Memory loss?” Kirra queried curiously, looking at the girl again, her face as pale as the sheets beneath her.
“Yes, Sir.”

Very interesting he thought.

“Proceed with optimal treatment and keep me informed by the hour on her progress.”

http://www.vastempire.com/wiki/index.php?title=Aeos
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[This message has been edited by Aeos (edited May 25, 2013 11:33:51 AM)]
[This message has been edited by Aeos (edited May 25, 2013 11:36:41 AM)]
[This message has been edited by Aeos (edited May 26, 2013 5:43:08 AM)]
Garryll Gates
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  RE: Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 25, 2013 7:12:43 PM    View the profile of Garryll Gates 
The shuttle landed with a heavy thud on the port-side hangar’s deck. The ramp dropped with a whine of servos, the metal-on-metal clank signifying its complete lowering. Gates hadn’t waited for the sound, and he’d been out of the shuttle while the ramp was still a couple feet raised.

The rest of the Marauder strike team disembarked as enthusiastically, and the moment the last Jedi dropped combat boots onto the hangar deck, the ramp shot back up. The shuttle scooted back into space on its repulsorlifts; its orders were to hold position a few kilometers off until the Marauders called for their pickup.

Gates swept towards the main hangar exit. Not a single one of the party had detected enemies in their immediate vicinity, and the quick exit from the shuttle had been mere good form and excitement.

“Tristan. Take your team up route two; Jan, route three,” Gates pointed at the various exits from the hangar. Jan, an ex-strikebreaker from Sianat, was a huge brute of a man, rippling in physical strength and brutality. Shock and awe rounded out the man’s arsenal, and he was an ideal choice for such a take-no-prisoners fast-moving mission.

“Noble, Mongrel, Valthir; with me,” Gates barked, and pressed the door controls open.

The first enemy Gates came into contact never saw the man that killed him. Gates’ lightsaber ignited in his right fist, held down at his leg, and swept up with a single, smooth stroke. The terrorist was cleaved from hip to shoulder by the grey-silver blade, collapsing instantly. A couple of his comrades turned, suddenly panicky. Vexus fired his blaster a half-dozen times at the further man, taking him at least twice in the chest and head, and toppling the man.

The last of the men managed a few shots, but they were all wild of Gates. Hond ducked, cursing colorfully, managing to dodge the blaster shots. Valthir ignited his own lightsaber, a brilliant maroon blade, and deflected the dangerous shots, catching the last bolt and deflecting it squarely back into the terrorist.

Gates kept his lightsaber lit, and strode past the dead men. “By the Force, Hond, at least pretend like you’re going to help!”

“I’d have been fine not coming along, asshole,” the half-Chiss hissed back. “If that big fucker hadn’t found me, I’d have been fine back on the ship.”

“Hardly going to become a Knight like that, scum,” Vexus added.

“Shut up,” Hond growled again, pointing his lightsaber, still unlit, at Vexus.

“Focus, idiot,” Gates said over his shoulder. “There’s enough on this ship trying to kill you already. And when we get to the real destination, there’ll be even more. You’ll die if you don’t learn how to work together, and we’ll need every able Jedi we can get to handle the next mission. This one’s a cakewalk - so learn how to work as a damn team.”

The two bickering Apprentices quieted, mostly. Hond still muttered a constant stream of curses under his breath.

After a dozen seconds of walking, they came across a sealed door. A slowly-blinking light above the door indicated it was a passenger compartment.

“Hostiles,” Gates said after a moment. “What d’you reckon, Val, setting bombs?”

“Or looters,” replied the other Knight.

“Probably,” Gates snorted in disgust. “Alright. Stand back.”

The three other men took up a vague impersonation of door-stacking positions, Hond and Valthir standing to Gates’ left and Vexus to his right, ready to invade the room. The controls had a blaster bolt through them, so Gates raised his lightsaber, and plunged it into the right side of the doorframe. He dragged it around the frame, the durasteel offering little resistance.

“On my go,” Gates said, the presences in the next room perking up with curiosity and wariness. His cut complete, he drew his lightsaber from the door and gathered the Force to his palm. A moment’s concentration, and he released it, blasting the cut-apart door into the room. In the same instant, he was following the smashed metal into the room, lightsaber ablaze and presence filled with the anticipation of combat.

Company Commander of Phoenix Company |Tactical Officer of the Army | Adept of the Dark Jedi Order | Captain of the
Bloodfist in the Osk Company
TO/MAJGarryll Gates/3SQD/1PLT/1COM/1BAT/1RGT/Tadath/VEA/VE [SCP][RoM][ICE] [IH] [CCA] [BC] [SRP] [AS-4] [ES1] [CoS] [EW1] {RESx3} [ESC09] [RoTx2] [CRoS] [AoT] [CoZ][CoDS][VT][CRoM][SoS][GRoM][KAD][RCA][*QW 12*](3.1)(1.1)

SM/VIA Gates/Eagle Sect/Lopen/VEDJ/VE (KC1)
Longtime leader of Blackjack Squad
For Tadath, for the Empire.

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Aeos
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Aeos
 
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  RE: Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 25, 2013 7:45:57 PM    View the profile of Aeos 
EDIT: S[classified] turned to a hologram as he is located on Cylea currently.

The Citadel

“Where do we stand on intel regarding the Dark Jedi Order? I hear every damn report except the one I want to hear.” P[classified] uttered quietly looking down on the small council from his throne of twisted bones and flesh.

No one so much as twitched when P[classified] asked the inevitable. They all knew they had squat, but no one was about to confess it. All their plans had been going accordingly until the landing on Lopen. That is where it should have ended. They had anticipated a few members escaping but not almost the whole Order including several key members. They had underestimated Raziel’s competency. They had underestimated the iron will of the Order’s ability to fight as one unit while riddled with the new power vacuum that had appeared at the loss of their Lord Kadann and Talon’s presence.

“Please, someone any news that would not further speak of your incompetency as my council.”

One or two members besides Javick and Spartucus shifted their stance, their faces as hard as the stone of the Citadel in which they resided now. Spartucus' lip curled into a soft smirk, his face flickering in the blue haze. For the moment, he was currently located on Cylea, and communicated as a hologram for the time being. it was a comfortable position, the distance between him and Lord P[classified] making it more difficult for the latter to read him. He gazed at his fellow council members, waiting for their response to P[classified]'s quiries. How close were they to the DJO's end? As soon as they thought they had corned the Order’s whereabouts, it changed and revealed to be either a false lead or a trap. The DJO only made noise in Communications if they were about to hit, or had hit something. Like mosquitoes. A befitting term for the Dark Jedi Order, P[classified] mused. Small, annoying, invisible and occasionally deadly. Nothing they couldn’t deal with, but it still required a heavy hand of pest control. But it if it wan’t brought under control right now, it could be problematic in his alliance with Thrawn.

“Perhaps your apprentice can offer us some insight as to why he allowed a member of the Dark Jed Order to land on Lopen.” Spartucus said, his face controlled, his tone friendly and layered with innocent curiosity. The Bear sneered at the pretence from under his own mask. Spartucus was not fooling anyone, however his intention to cast P[classified]’s apprentice in a bad light will fail. Javick still enjoyed the good graces of his Lord P[classified].  The latter raised his eyebrows in curiosity.

“I am sure my apprentice would have a very good excuse as for not informing us immediately, right Javick?”

P[classified]’s hard glare for a second rattled his apprentice but then he regained his wits and coughed, and stepped forward facing his Master directly followed by a deep bow.

“My Master, the reason the Knight still lives is due to her special circumstances of which I am sure would be beneficial to the Reborn. This is the reason I have not report it yet. I needed more time to consider her condition and gather information.”

“And which might that be?”

“She arrived here with severe injuries and indication that she has not been in contact with the DJO for at least two years. My subordinate has interviewed her a couple a times and it would appear that she does not even have any memories of the Order. Most likely as a result of a skull fracture. She’s completely convinced that she is still a soldier in the Vast Empire’s Army on Tadath. A squad leader.”

“And how is this beneficial to us?” P[classified] leaned forward, scrutinising his student’s shifting feet when Spartucus asked the question. P[classified] frowned at the behaviour. It would seem his student still had much too learn. He was arrogant, and wet behind the ears with inexperience despite surpassing his subordinates many times over..
“She still has a strong connection to the Force. We can use her. Induct her. Use her against the DJO.

“An interesting development of little worth at this time. Yet…why have you not reported this earlier?” P[classified] inquired.

Javick shifted his feet again, this time truly loosing grip on his carefully controlled facade.
“I could not make a logical report without all the pieces. We only pieced the information together early this morning. Even though she's been here for nine days already, we needed her in a minimal functional condition to determine her use. I assure you if we thought of her as useless, she would have been disposed immediately.”

“I see. Well, seeing as we are no more closer to Raziel and his ragtag Order, this girl might have some insight. I will see her tomorrow.”

Javick frowned.
“She doesn’t appear to remember them even.”

“I will rip every piece of information stored in her head until I am satisfied. If she survives we can send her with the next batch to the Maw.”

*******

Terrified. There was no word that could be closer to describing her current state of mind than terrified. She clenched and unclenched her fists, trying to ease the adrenaline and stress out of her. Whatever this, wherever this was, something was terribly wrong despite the strange hospitality that Anto Kirra has shown towards her. Her instincts were screaming at her to call for something. Her right hand rolled open, a strange de ja vu of anticipation swept over expecting her comfort to come flying into her hand. Aeos retracted her hand back and swept it through her short hair which now barely reached her ears. In the haste of the medical operation, they had cut away her braid for optimal working space. She was still in bed, but Kirra had came earlier and told her to get dressed to meet his superiors. The way he had said it however did not bode anything well.  Aeos’ saving grace was her ability to remain calm under pressure, a key quality amongst others for why she was the squad leader of the Jesters. While her instincts were storming around one another in circles, her head remained cool and calculating despite the migraine. She needed to keep her head right now. It was the only thing she could do.

She had woken up only three days ago in severe pain and agony. Pain as the state of her physical injuries registered for the first with her conscious senses, agony that her squad was no where to be found. They were still on a mission in the Mid-Rim when suddenly everything went black for her. She could not remember anything past being on a shuttle with her soldiers. To her horror Kirra told her that had been years ago and that she was assumed dead by Head-Quarters on Tadath. Any other questions she asked was met with stony silence, and she deducted that he was not at liberty to discuss anymore than that. She sat on her bed, waiting for her escort to arrive. Whether she was a prisoner or not, she knew instinctively that currently she was no in position of any authority whatsoever. She had also deducted that escape would result in termination. She has never been one to rely on her instinct, preferring the logic of assessment, but right now her gut was screaming at her to remain inactive. Not that she was capable of anything beyond walking and basic movement.

“Come.”Kirra’s voice from the door sounded, interrupting her train of thoughts. She nodded silently and with a grimace pushed herself to standing and then following her silent companion. He had a strange pressure around him that piqued her curiosity. It was familiar, but at the same time it contained a tainted darkness. While she did not trust the man in front of her, she was well aware that she owed her life to him right now. They saved her from the ship she was on when it had crashed on the planet, but to what gain? She felt calm, almost too calm for what was happening around her but disturbed at the same time. If she could only locate her soldiers, she might feel better. Kirra led her through a series of corridors and court yards, all of them eerily familiar.

“This place, reminds me of somewhere.” She said softly, grazing her hands over the stone. Kirra smirked amusedly at her.

“Usually I would not give advice to your sort,  but you are about to meet one of the most powerful men in the galaxy. I suggest you behave appropriately to this honour. It is unusual that he would even see someone of your…class.”

The insult rolled off her back, more interested in this P[classified] character than Kirra's insult.
“Why would he bother seeing me then?”
“He’s bored.”

They came to a stop in front of two massive doors. Kirra winked at her, his words still sounding in her head.

He’s bored.

That did not sound good.  She jumped as the doors started opening. She glanced around confused, who were opening the doors? Kirra pushed her from the back and she stumbled through the narrow gap of darkness before the doors closed again.

http://www.vastempire.com/wiki/index.php?title=Aeos
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Qualified Combat Engineer

CPO_Aeos/(=*A*=)][MC1](=*SA*=)
[This message has been edited by Aeos (edited May 25, 2013 7:57:55 PM)]
[This message has been edited by Aeos (edited May 26, 2013 5:52:37 AM)]
[This message has been edited by Aeos (edited May 26, 2013 8:18:42 AM)]
[This message has been edited by Raziel (edited June 1, 2013 10:47:20 AM)]
Valthir
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Valthir
 
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  RE: Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 26, 2013 1:05:32 AM    View the profile of Valthir 
“So, do I get any fancy armor?” Valthir asked, grinning at his companion.

Garryll glanced at him before answering, “No, not like ours. You aren’t one of us. Yet.”

“Yet?”

“Well, I assume that you are at least interested in helping us, else you wouldn’t be here. Maybe that could turn into a more . . . permanent situation. Give it some thought.”

“Will do. Anyway, I do actually want to know what I get in the way of armor."

Garryll pulled a package from under his arm and tossed it to Valthir, “Here. You’ll find some basic armor. It isn’t . . . fancy, but it’ll do for now. I need to go take care of some pre-mission things, so I’ll meet you at the shuttle. I suggest you take a bit of time to talk to Vexus and Hond. You’ll probably be working with them quite a bit in the near future.”

“Aye, aye.” Valthir said, snapping off a quick salute.

===================

You aren’t one of us. Yet.

The words reverberated in his head as if his mind was determined for him not to forget them. Valthir glanced at Garryll, who stood on the other end of the shuttle bay, conversing with the other two Jedi that he had assigned teams to. They had met each other years back after Valthir had been assigned to Garryll’s squad as his second-in-command. Typically, that would be cause for dissension among the ranks. Typically, Valthir would have been seen as an outsider put in a position that he did not deserve and would have been resented for it. And yet . . . the squad had flourished and had grown quite close as Valthir and Garryll formed a team quite unlike most others. He grinned as memories floated to the surface of his mind, memories of their time in Blackjack squad. Eventually, Garryll had left and Valthir had been promoted to squad leader, but something hadn’t been the same. Consequently, he resigned after a short amount of time. The grin turned slowly into a frown as he continued down that line of thought.

He had resigned because he no longer felt right in the squad without Garryll. It wasn’t a dependence on the man, an over-reliance on someone else. He and Garryll had worked together closely for a while and had reached the point where they could work independently of each other on a mission, yet still somehow manage to predict each other’s actions and account for them. Simply put, they had made up such an efficient and effective team that he could not go back down from that.

And now here was a chance to do that again. But he had changed since then, as had Garryll. Would it be the same?

No. It can’t ever be exactly the same.

He started to sigh and nearly made his mind up there, but the sigh caught midway as a thought occurred to him.

It can never be the same because we aren’t the same people. But that doesn’t mean that we can not achieve that same level. Or even go beyond, now that we have the Force to aid us.

A sharp rap on the metal near him caused him to look up sharply. He had been deep in thought and missed Garryll’s approach. The man looked at him with a slight frown on his face, a question in his eyes.

“Just thinking on it, as you asked.” he answered.

The question disappeared and Garryll’s face smoothed. He nodded.

“And?” he asked.

Valthir, firmly within reality now, felt the attention of Vexus and Hond settle on him. The only movement Vexus made was a slight twitch of the eyes towards Valthir before he caught himself. Hond was much less subtle, completely turning in his seat to regard the pair. For a moment, he considered speaking normally and giving his affirmation, but rejected that notion. He liked to mess with people sometimes and, from what he had gathered so far, Vexus was a bit of a spoiled brat and Hond was just a hateful asshole. Both would most likely spend quite a while trying to puzzle out his meaning, though Hond would probably give up before Vexus. Valthir had to stop himself from grinning.

“Just be glad I like fancy armor.”

He sent a pulse of amusement towards Garryll and received one in turn, along with a nod. As Garryll turned to sit down beside his apprentice, Valthir caught a glimpse of a faint smile on Garryll’s face. A glance at Vexus and Hond revealed near identical expressions on their faces, puzzled frowns. Again, Valthir quashed an urge to grin. His attention snapped back to Garryll, though, as the man spoke.

?“You three are part of my team. I’m going to be taking point. Valthir and Hond, you will be on my flank. Vexus, you’re taking the rear. Your blasters will be more effective from the back.”

A momentary shudder traveled through the shuttle and Valthir nodded, acknowledgment of Garryll’s words and their entry into hyperspace. The journey wouldn’t take long, if he remember correctly.

A faint feeler touched his mind, immediately followed by a sendings. Be wary of Hond. He needs no reason to murder an ally, only provocation. It was Garryll. Valthir did not react, only continued to idly glance around. Based on Vexus’ glance at his master, he received the message as well. Valthir formed a response and reached out to Garryll. Mental communication is damned useful, isn’t it? Regardless, understood.

A short time later, another shudder shook the shuttle, signaling their departure into realspace. Almost simultaneously, the overhead speakers activated, directing the pilot’s voice across the entirety of the shuttle bay.

“We have entered realspace. I repeat, we have entered realspace. Ready up. Boarding actions to begin in two minutes.[/i]

A sort of silence fell across the bay as conversations ended abruptly and beings began to check their equipment. In the wake of this, Garryll stood up, gradually gaining the attention of everyone. Once the last had ceased moving, he spoke, simply.

“May the Force be with us.”

The holos were filled with long motivation speeches designed to produce the effect of increased courage and bravery, a call to action designed to “pump up” the listeners on screen. They were surgically crafted to also arouse such a response in the audience as well, to the point where most ignorant beings believed that one had to give a speech before an important event or everything would fall apart. Some people weren’t even aware of the second part of that belief, just that a lengthy speech should be given and that was that.

Fools.

Valthir snorted softly, shaking his head at the thought. Garryll inspired with six words. All around him, men murmured the words to themselves, nodding as they finished. Many Jedi outside of the Marauders saw them as glorified serial killers, men hell-bent on nothing but complete and utter destruction. They saw the Marauders as overconfident fools, just waiting for them to be the wrong men at the wrong moment and fall, fall so far.

Valthir was no idealistic fool. They were all of these things, and more. They were an unstoppable force, a wrecking ball in whatever plans the enemy had. To see these men in their shining armor descending upon the battlefield meant a sudden uncontrollable bowel movement and stark terror. They were madmen, true, but they were Garryll’s madmen. And Valthir would be one of them.

And yet another urge to grin. He did not tramp it down into the ground, but let it have its way. Grins always eased his worries, his anxieties. Grinning always made him feel alive. It also reminded him that he had not lost his humanity, that he had not lost himself to the dark side. That was important, to him. Others embraced the dark side, fully, losing themselves in the process. He had recently heard rumors about the Dark Lady of the Krath that suggested . . . terrible things. He had also seen others in his time with the Order, others taken by the dark side.

He still remembered the taint that he felt through the Force when looking at them. Not even making contact with them, from just merely looking at them. He remembered the rancid taste that filled his mouth, his nose, his entire being. Just the memories would spur him towards the near source of water to frantically wash it away. When touching them . . . the Force itself seemed to cry out in his mind. He shuddered. He had only seen a few like that and it was not an experience that he wanted to experience again.

Around him, beings began to stand up and Valthir realized that the speakers were blaring with a message indicating the imminence of the boarding actions. It took him seconds to check his gear, running through the checklist mentally. He had remarked to Garryll earlier about how light and deceptively unrestrictive the armor was. Idly, he thought about how much easier his time as a Stormtrooper would have been had he had access to armor like this.

A muffled thump sounded as the shuttle shook again, this time more violently than earlier, and the ramp dropped. Instantly, Garryll was moving, immediately followed by Vexus, Valthir, and a cursing Hond. Once outside, Garryll began giving orders. There were no enemies in the hangar bay, but that could change quickly and they needed to be moving before it did. Behind them, the last Jedi left the ramp and it shot up, re-engaging with the shuttle. With a thrum, the shuttle’s repulsors engaged and it rocketed upwards and forwards out the hangar, switching to the main engines as it exited the hangar bay.

Valthir watched as the other two strike teams veered off to follow their specific routes and then turned to follow Garryll, falling into his flanking position as he did so. Hond fell in beside him, his explosive cursing relaxed to a subdued mutter. Valthir felt Vexus at his back and knew that his blaster was out and ready. As they approached their exit, he grabbed his lightsaber, feeling the familiar weight in his palm. The warmth of it in his hands soothed whatever small worries he still had.

The first death was moments after the hangar doors opened, Garryll’s quick strike leaving no room for reaction on the dead man’s part. Meters away, another group of the terrorists did have enough time to react and began to move to shoot on the group of Jedi. Vexus poured a half-dozen blaster bolts into one of them as Garryll and Valthir closed the distance to the other one. The man, clearly rattled, mostly missed his targets. A few shots did come dangerously close to hitting Valthir, but he caught them on his blade and attempted to deflect them back towards the man. He failed on the first few attempts, but eventually succeeded, catching the man mid-torso and downing him. Valthir knew that he had been lucky that there had been only one man. If there had been more, there would have been no way that he could have focused enough of his attention on his blade to be able to bounce the blaster bolt back towards his source. He could have easily just deflected them past him, or even dodged them, but completely bouncing them back was almost beyond him.

Something else to add to the list of ‘Things Valthir Needs To Learn.”

As he brought his attention back to the group, he realized that Vexus and Hond were arguing and Garryll was berating them. He was entirely unsurprised. Waiting patiently until they were done, he followed Garryll as the man walked past and headed further down the corridor. Valthir stepped over the dead body, not even bothering to look down. It was already out of his mind.

What was on his mind, however, was the faint notion of activity in the Force that came from down the corridor. He assumed that Garryll noticed and that the other two did not and neglected to mention it. After all, one was Garryll’s apprentice and the other one might as well be Garryll’s apprentice. Even here, Garryll was still a teacher and this might turn into a lesson. From what Valthir had seen so far, even battle could be the perfect time for lessons. In fact, battle frequently was the most perfect time for lessons. He snorted in amusement.

As they moved down the corridor, the feel of activity became sharper, until they stopped at a sealed door.

?“Hostiles,” Gates said after a moment. “What d’you reckon, Val, setting bombs?”

Valthir didn’t immediately reply, instead extending his presence into the room and attempting to get a feel for their intentions. After a moment, he was satisfied that he was not wrong and withdrew.

“Or looters.”

“Probably,” Gates replied, snorting. “Alright. Stand back.”

Quickly, Garryll cut through the door, but left it standing. Valthir watched with approval. Typically, someone would just plunge the lightsaber in and force it the way that they wanted. Garryll did not, electing to ease it in and let it do the cutting. In addition, he only used the tip of the saber, which would not leave half the saber hanging out the other side of the door as a giant sign saying “Heeerrrreeee’s Jedi!” As a result, most of the beings in the other room did not even notice until he was already halfway through the door, and even then they only felt curious. It wasn’t until he finished and removed the saber that alarm began to blossom. It was too late by then.

Definitely looters.

While Garryll had been cutting, Valthir had impressed upon the other two the importance of getting a feel for the location of everyone in a room that is about to be assaulted.

“You have the gift of the Force, so why not use it in a way that will definitely improve your odds of survival? If you know where all the living beings are, you won’t be surprised and if you have a blaster, you can take them out quickly, provided they have no way of deflecting or blocking the blaster bolt. I put emphasis on the living part because there could always be turrets, heavy weaponry, or droids that can surprise you, so don’t think you’re fine if you sense no living beings. Overconfidence can kill just as easily as ignorance.”

Vexus, to his credit, nodded and looked thoughtful as he stared at the wall, presumably trying to feel into the room. Hond just snorted and shook his head, turning away from Val.

Well, you can’t win them all.

Garryll held up a hand, attracting their attention.

?“On my go.”

He held it for a beat, then slammed it forward, pushing the door. It rocketed away, slamming into the room and, unless Valthir misheard those cries of pain, took out a few beings. Garryll followed the door in, lightsaber held at the ready in case of itchy trigger-fingers. Fortunately, none were around and the first few seconds were a complete bloodbath, metaphorically speaking as no blood was actually shed. Instead, limbs flew, liberated from their bodies, and heads rolled, also liberated from their bodies. The door’s sudden entrance had sown confusion upon the ranks, stifling any sort of actual opposition. Shortly, the room fell silent, outside of the gentle hums of the lightsabers. As Valthir and Garryll looked at their handiwork, Valthir couldn’t help but be reminded of a macabre art show he had once visited, years ago. Of course, the art show had used the limbs, bodies, and heads of dummies and they hadn’t been riddled with blaster bolt holes or lightsaber burns, but other than that it was quite similar.

“Pitiful. Barely even put up a fight.” Garryll muttered, shaking his head.

Valthir was about to respond when a shout from outside the door drew his attention. A body fell through the gap, a blackened line of flesh cutting across the man’s torso. Hond stepped in after the corpse, lightsaber lit and held down.

“Finally got a kill, Mongrel?” Vexus said, sneering.

Hond opened his mouth to reply and managed to get out something that sounded like “bloody ungrateful” before finding that he could not make a sound. His eyes bugged out and then focused angrily on Garryll, who shook his head, looking bemused. Confusion clouded his face and he switched his gaze to Vexus who was making a similar expression and attempting to speak as well. Finally, he remembered Valthir and glared daggers at the man, who was grinning openly.

“Ah, finally you come to me. I was wondering when you’d remember that I was also here. Anyway, if you two act like children, don’t be surprised when you’re treated like children. Honestly, you’re a bit of an embarrassment to both of us.”

Waving his hand, the gags vanished. Neither wanted to talk though, instead choosing to glare at Valthir. He touched Garryll.

Step 1: Get them to focus their hatred on a single object and unite them in hatred of that object. Maybe now they’ll be a little more, well, not friendly, but maybe they’ll be less inclined to spit on one another when interacting.

Valthir felt incredible amusement from Garryll and almost looked to see if the man was grinning, but decided not to. The man’s face would be stony, giving nothing away. He, on the other hand, did not care and grinned.

You seem to forget that the only person that you won’t have at your back is the one person that you haven’t pissed off yet. Just a thought.

Valthir snorted as Garryll’s voice faded. You seem to forget how quickly I can move and react to things.

Garryll was silent for a moment. True, but still watch out. I don’t think Vexus would pull anything, but Hond is another story, as I told you earlier.

Valthir neglected to reply in words, only sending a pulse of affirmation. The group had moved back into the hallway before Garryll verbally spoke.

“Now that we have that detour done with, we need to keep moving down the planned route. Let’s go.”

He stepped forward as the other three formed up behind him. Their travel was uneventful for a few minutes before they heard shouting and gunfire. Ahead, bright flashes lit up where the corridor suddenly turned to the right.

“Hopefully we’ll find a challenge there.” said Vexus.

Hond grunted something that could have meant anything, but was mostly either littered with curses or consisted entirely of curses. Garryll nodded, possibly to himself.
Valthir
Adept of the Dark Jedi Order
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Havock
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  RE: Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 26, 2013 8:36:50 PM    View the profile of Havock 
Three hours before

“So you came back just to tell me I can’t go?”

Havock’s eyes fell on the figure of Ari as she continued to bark orders at the members of Krath. The Shades looked up at the fiery woman with reverence and moved in a panic to comply with her will. The entire scene brought fury to her veins, and a pulsing need to punch the woman cascaded across her nerves and dissipated helplessly beyond her fingertips.

Bailey was still speaking as Havock stared. Her voice was a pleading request to be anywhere but on the Subversion especially during the coming conflict. Ayme understood, she really did, Bailey had been locked away by her spacer father for over a decade and this had to feel like Havock doing the same thing to her once again.

“What’s your deal with her?”

Ayme blinked. “What?”

“Ari, the dark haired girl you are just glaring at for no good reason. Baro says she’s the only one around here that has anyone’s back. In fact, since she’s in charge maybe I should just ask her if I can go.”

“Bailey.” Ayme’s voice dripped with venom vile enough to cause Bailey to step back as though she’d been stung. “You are not ready.”

Havock turned to leave and nearly collapsed as a presence suddenly returned to her senses after an impossibly long time. She was dimly aware of Bailey repeating her name over and over again as she sank to the floor of the Subversion.

Aeos had been missing, presumed dead, a fact that was only enhanced by the lack of her presence in the Force. Ayme and Aeos started out as squadmates and on fairly good terms, with the elder of the two constantly giving advice and showing concern in her own way. It seemed as though the moment they discovered they were sisters Aeos ran away emotionally at every opportunity.

Now, without any warning or sign, Aeos appeared on the edge of Ayme consciousness. A floating avatar of her sister that ignored her prodding through the Force. There was no connection only a faint awareness that the other was out there somewhere.

“She’s alive.” Ayme’s voice sounded distant and scratchy as though she had just emerged from a desert. Her hand pushed Bailey away and she quickly scrambled to her feet, running before she was fully upright in the direction of the cockpit.

Kami stood frowning as her eyes examined a data pad in her hands.

“Kami, its Aeos. She’s alive.”

The Krath Pontifex raised an eyebrow but didn’t look up from her datapad. “Calm yourself.” Kami tucked the datapad into her robes and gripped Havock’s arm, pulling her to the corner of the room.

“Now, explain.”

“I can feel her presence, I think…”

A recruit approached the two women. Ayme didn’t recognize him but given her attention to the new arrivals.

“Miss Katash? There is a priority one comm message for you from someone named Noma.”

Havock nodded and took several steps to her left to access the
nearest terminal. An image of a young woman with blond hair tied back in a pony tail appeared on the screen. “Heya Havvie, enjoying your time at magic camp?”

Kami eyes slowly moved from the screen to the side of Havock’s face in contempt. Noma was on board the Ryujin, in a way she was the Ryujin. The pretty young woman was actually a sophisticated AI running the ships computer.

“Priority message Noma?”

“Right, well I was scanning the system and came across that E-9 Explorer you have been looking for.”

“Aeos.”

The AI rolled her eyes.

“Can I finish? Anyways I made sure her very uncouth ships computer knew to make a course correction as Lopen would not be the best place to go. Of course they didn't listen so no telling where they are now. I've been trying to pick them up again unsuccessfully. But you don't need to say it I'll keep scanning. I did check and…detected no life signs on the ship Havock.”

Havock nodded. “She was there, thank you Noma.”

The two women turned and locked gazes for a lingering moment.

“I know what you’re thinking, and it’s not happening. You must realize that this mission…”

“I know.”

“And there is nothing…what?”

Ayme lowered her eyes then let out an exasperated sigh and returned to the crew quarters to wait for Ari to tell her she could get a move on, as Bailey’s blue eyes glared painfully in her direction from the rear of the cabin.

Stealth Shuttle Two

The shuttle buckled just enough for Ayme to know they had docked with the Imperial transport. The revelation to the rest of the galaxy that there were Jedi didn’t matter at all to Ayme. She didn’t care if people knew what the members of the Order could do all she wanted was to find her sister.

They disembarked in their groups heading towards the engineering section of the shuttle. She could hear stifled screams and bodies thudding to the ground in the distance.

“Dammit Katash, keep up!” Ari’s voice was a screeched whisper over the commotion, but didn’t motivate Ayme to move at a faster pace.

Her hands ran across the durasteel until they fell on a terminal. A door to her right opened and she swiftly ignited her lightsaber and decapitated the crewmember without a second glance. The ships computer gave little information, but the crew manifest was useful.

We are heading towards the main engines, where are you Katash?

Havock jogged softly in her stealth suit and leaned close to Ari who flinched at the feel of breath on her neck. “Commander, there are twelve souls on the ship currently. Minus the one that lost his head by the terminal back there.”

Ari skidded to a halt just outside the door as Damon worked on hacking the controls. “You know what your problem is Katash?”
Ayme smirked and raised an eyebrow in question.

“You’ll never amount to anything and you’ll answer to me for the rest of your life.”

Ayme rolled her eyes at the ebony skinned woman and pushed Damon to the side. She turned back towards Ari as her palm flattened on the door controls then walked through the open door seconds later.

Marina and Damon followed her leaving an exasperated Ari to follow in their footsteps.
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[This message has been edited by Havock (edited May 26, 2013 8:44:20 PM)]
Kami
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  RE: Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 26, 2013 10:09:46 PM    View the profile of Kami 
As she descended down the ramp of the stealth shuttle Kami shrugged her robes off and left them to drift down to heap in her wake. The sleek stealth suit beneath left virtually nothing to the imagination, highlighting every curve and dip in the wearers body, but she turned to face her Sect with no pretence of modesty.

Lead on. Kami caressed Ari’s mind with the command and felt a pulse of revulsion from the woman keenly in the Force in response. Unperturbed by the younger Knight’s obvious distress, Kami projected her amusement and suddenly cut off the link between them.

Ari frowned at her from her position amongst friends, holding the expression in place even as the technology of her suit kicked in and rippled a path across the length of her face. At the same time that Kami witnessed her own suit shift her hands into nothingness the small group of Krath before her winked out of sight.

They started forward as one, Raziel and Kami hanging back to allow the younger members to draw first blood. The first terrorist that they encountered went down as the aristocratic navy man leapt upon him with saber raised. Kami arched a brow at the display, unaware that the man had even possessed the skill to attempt such a manoeuvre, even as Marina hushed him for being over-enthusiastic in his kill. The second terrorist to stumble into their path appeared to lose his head almost as though by accident, his mouth frozen into a wide grimace, the brief flicker of a saber blade the only visible sign that Havock had struck him.

They paused for a moment as Havock and Ari exchanged words barely audible over the hum of the ship’s engine. Kami didn’t need to hear the words nor see the expressions of the two Knights to know that a challenge had been laid down. Marina and Damon had taken a subconscious step back from the two, probably not even aware that the caustic nature of the raw emotion being projected in the Force had dictated their actions.

Almost subconsciously Kami’s gaze tracked to where Raziel was still standing calmly at her shoulder. He was, of course, not visible, but for someone so used to reading his presence in the Force it was almost as though she could perceive his fingers as they circled impatiently about his saber hilts.

Thankfully Ari and Havock’s conversation had halted and once again the Sect were able to move forward. Havock took point, having clearly accessed the ships logs at some point, and led the group down a long slanting hallway away from the hangar and deeper into the bowels of the ship. They continued unchallenged until the corridor swept into a 3-way junction. Ari immediately drew to a halt just before the junction, her senses alerting her to the presence of four terrorists patrolling down the hallway to their left.

Kami stood forward, her command whisper-soft but clear enough for those about her. “Continue towards the engine room.”

Havock didn’t hesistate, well used to trusting Kami’s judgement, and started down the hallway to the right. Ari was slower to obey but when she finally turned and moved after Havock the rest of the Sect followed suit.

Kami was only somewhat surprised when Raziel lingered behind.

Not worried anymore? Kami asked him, the comment tongue-in-cheek.

Disabling an engine is easy enough. Raziel replied.

Kami withheld her next comment, aware on some level that the Headmaster was unapologetic about his somewhat bloodthirtsy tendancies. Her pointing out that the former assassin wanted to ‘wet his blade’ was as pointless as stating the presence of gravity. There were no longer many secrets between the pair, but even in the Order speaking of a comrades…appetites…was frowned upon. Raziel did not remark upon Kami’s penchant to forcefully dismantle the minds of her foes. In return, she did not comment on his remarkable capacity for killing.

Even for the depraved there were certain rules of etiquette.

The two swept towards the incoming patrol almost in sync. Raziel moved like a wraith, his feet not even seeming to hit the ground, every movement cloaked in silence. Kami had to work harder to mimic the Headmaster’s movements, directing the Force to still the air about her shifting form and keep her own footsteps light.

After traversing several hundred meters the patrol became visible. They were clad in mismatched gear common for mercenaries, various weapons slung over shoulders or held at ready in their hands. No doubt some canny terrorist, perhaps someone who fancied himself a leader, had deduced that the presence of the Marauders meant that there might be other enemy forces on board. The patrol had obviously been sent to secure the engine room. They were moving forward, loping into a run every few meters, their gazes fixed on the hallway ahead and their weapons held loosely. They did not expect to come across the enemy. In fact, all four felt much safer below decks having escaped the glowing blades of the Sith above.

Kami stretched out her senses with practiced ease, sweeping through the minds of all four as they closed to within several meters of their position. Two were more fearful of their leader than the strange enemies that had abruptly appeared on-board the vessel, their minds consumed with the ways with which they might be torn limb from limb if they failed. Another was focused on dredging up the faces of her children from the depths of her memory, one dead, one still alive in slavery, held in ransom for her service. The final terrorist was fixated on the presence of the sabers he had seen displayed on the vid screens of the bridge. He was a hero-worshipper this one, young enough to be enamoured by the sight of Jedi, even if they meant to do him harm.

Kami gestured with one hand and all four members of the patrol immediately spun about, drawn by the sound of ghostly boots in the hallway behind them.

“You hear that?” The woman ventured, taking a step in the direction that Kami had pointed her.

Raziel slid up behind her like a viper, striking out with the tip of one of his sabers and driving it neatly through the woman’s chest where her heart lay. The terrorist let out a gurgle that was muffled by Raziel’s spare hand before collapsing to the ground in with a sickening crunch.

Her three friends didn’t react at all to her death. Their minds were still firmly focused exactly where Kami wanted them to be. One actually stood on top of one of the dead woman’s strewn limbs, frowning slightly as he stumbled, unable to comprehend why the floor had tripped him up.

Raziel ignited his other saber with a practiced flick of his wrist and stepped into the midst of the remaining members of the patrol. Extending both arms on eiher side of his slight frame, he span in place, neatly driving both blades through the torso of the surrounding terrorists.

Kami withdrew as he did so, unwilling to risk being caught in the minds of the dying, and watched as the dismembered chunks of the patrol fell to the floor alongside their already dead comrade.

“It’s never much of a challenge when you do that.” Raziel said, deactivating both of his sabers.

“I apologise,” Kami answered, her gaze already moving from the patrol in disinterest. “Should we catch up to the others?”

Raziel moved back to her shoulder. “After you.”
|| Retired ||
[LoR][CoR][IG][GCA][BC][BM][CDS][EW][ES][GRP][GS]
------------------------
|| Krath Magician || Krath Order ||
CM/KP Kami Sharpe/Lion L-01/Krath/Dark Jedi Order/Vast Empire [PO]

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[This message has been edited by Kami (edited May 26, 2013 10:18:54 PM)]
[This message has been edited by Kami (edited May 27, 2013 6:26:19 AM)]
Raziel
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  RE: Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 27, 2013 10:12:30 AM    View the profile of Raziel 

    Raziel let Kami take the lead. Whilst the stealth suits would gradually adapt the make the wearer virtually indistinguishable from the background, it could not keep up when in motion. Kami appeared as an ethereal outline before him; the suit's colours shifting to try and match the battleship grey walls. As good as the suit was, the curves of Kami's body in the tight suit were clearly visible against the background, even if the surface of the suit remained indistinct.
    Raziel chastised himself for becoming briefly distracted. There was a part of his subconscious that he allowed freedom during dangerous situations. It was animalistic, instinctive and dangerous. It allowed him a greater connection with the Force and led to his reactions circumventing his conscious thoughts. However, he had to push that primitive part of himself back. He would allow it greater freedom when there was just the killing to focus on.

    A group of five by the escape pods on the port side, Kami told him. Raziel closed his eyes and reached out with his senses.
    Four terrorists and a hostage, he corrected.
    We weren't supposed to deal with any hostages, Kami replied.
    If we don't deal with it, and they launch on an escape pod with a prisoner...
    The mission has to go perfectly. Kami surmised. 
    Without pausing Raziel turned down a corridor to their left. He overtook the Krath Lord and padded silently ahead. He hadn't wanted to deal with the hostage situation. Garryll's group had the difficult task. Dealing with a handful of half-trained radicals was no challenge to a mix of Knights and Templars, but the hostages complicated things.
    Raziel's army careers had been relatively short, though he had been on the verge of a commissioned rank before leaving. The Special Forces were well prepared for hostage situations, but it required months of dedicated training to have a chance of saving innocent lives. Many situations went south as soon as the first shots were fired.
    The Jedi had the advantage here. Most of the army training revolved around coordinating the team. Killing came naturally to his Jedi, and the Force allowed them to coordinate as a group to a degree impossible with verbal communication. If Garryll could get the Marauders to work together - and with their twisted sense of honour they would probably follow his lead – Raziel's plan might just come off.

    Raziel unclipped his saber as they reached the group. A lone terrorist was guarding the intersection of corridors. This one would have to go down quickly and quietly. Raziel mentally urged Kami to hold her position. He considered using his saber for the kill. He had modified the blades to activate almost silently, and on short-phase the blades were a dull violet.
    However, as Raziel allowed the subconcious hunter back into control, his heightened senses noticed another problem. It took him a moment to realise why his mind was noticing the cold breeze on a part of his exposed skin. The inside of the ship was cramped, the ventilation flow led straight to the rest of the group. In such conditions the smell of burnt flesh could travel quickly.
    Raziel discarded the notion of using his saber, holstering it again. He grasped a knife that was strapped to his left thigh. The blade was ten inches long and wickedly serrated. He felt Kami's query through the Force, she knew he chose tools to be functional, not for their appearance. The knife was a butcher's implement, designed to cut through tough toughened sinew.
    When he sensed the moment was right Raziel rounded the corner. His feet made no sound on the hard metal floors as he closed the distance on his target. The primal assassin was in complete control now. In a few steps he was behind the man. His right hand moved up the head and the other held the knife out to the side. The point of the knife was remarkable steady in the air. It remained aimed at the neck as Raziel waited for his target to inhale.
    The serrated blade struck with remarkable speed. The tip entered the left of the neck a few centres metres behind and beneath the larynx.
    “Ack...” was all the victim was able to utter. The tip of the blade went straight through carotid artery and jugular vein with a trained precision. Raziel allowed the serrated edge to do its work. He felt the cartilage of the trachea give way to the blade, holding his victim's scream in his throat. Blood sprayed across the floor as Raziel pulled the knife back out, the second motion fully severing the windpipe.
    Kami was already beside them as Raziel slowly lowered the man to the floor. The pair had developed something of an understanding in their struggles against internal threats on the Citadel. Whether that understanding would translate to effectiveness on the battlefield had not been tested properly. It soon would. Raziel turned his senses elsewhere as the life force of his victim ebbed away. The other three targets were nearby, their hostage kneeling on the floor.
    Fortunate, Raziel signalled, pointing Kami's attention to the hood on the hostage's head.
    That isn't, she replied, in turn pointing him towards the terrorist with a pistol trained firmly on the hostage.
    “We will have to be quick,” Raziel decided to whisper.
    With some trepidation he opened up his mind to the Krath Templar. Communicating at the higher levels - words and imagery - was simple, but slow. Communicating at the lower levels of emotion and thought was far quicker, but required a degree of trust. Whilst Kami was one of the very few he shared a personal relationship with - though the word 'friend' stuck in his throat - this degree of trust was not easy for him. However, they would need a greater level of coordination ahead and he formed a mental link. Thick barriers were erected around the inner sanctum of his mind, the Krath Lady was curious and sadistic if nothing else.
    “I suggest you find a cloth first,” Kami said. Following her thought Raziel looked down at the slick coating of blood that covered his stealth suit. In the half light it looked quite black. He took a piece of fabric from the victim's back pocket and started to wipe the darkness away.


~



    Blake tried to control his terror by taking deep, even breaths. When the terrorists had placed the bag on his head and pulled him away from the main group he had feared for the worst. He had heard some of his friends scream as they roughly dragged him away. His thoughts had turned to his past as he tried to find some inner peace. The helplessness of the situation had threatened to overcome him, was he to be the first of their victims as they negotiated with the authorities?
    If they had planned to kill him, they were taking their time over it. Instead the group of men were chatting idly amongst themselves. Blake had tried putting faces to the three men as he waited for his death in silence and darkness.
    In the absence of his vision his other senses had started to compensate. He turned his head to try and fix on a new sound. He was certain he could hear muted footsteps, and they were coming closer. It distracted him from macabre thoughts to consider this for a moment. He doubted that Imperial Stormtroopers moved so quietly, but he had heard for the Commandos and SCOPE Troopers that handled such situations.
    The sound stopped and after nearly a minute he was left wondering if they had been created by his imagination. His captors had gone quiet, which worried him. Were they stood over him now, steeling themselves to take the shot to end him? They hadn't seemed like professionals.
    Then the commotion started. It started with a yelp to his left, then there was a buzzing sound to his right. There was a yell and the loud screech of a blaster being fired. He felt air against his neck as something passed close by him at speed. There was a thud close by, followed by a scream. He heard louder footsteps now, and the sound of large objects falling to the floor – had that been a body?
    “Hello?” he dared to call out. There was no reply. “Anyone?” he called out again. This time there was a faint whisper, but he didn't make out the words. He was about to try and move, when he felt something brush against the side of his face. Slender fingers ran gently down his jawline and came to rest on his neck.
    “Relax,” a feminine voice whispered softly in his ear. “It is all over now,”
    “Could you take off this...”
    “Just relax,” reiterated the voice. Blake felt his pent up emotions fading. He a wave of serenity smothering the angst. “Just rest, someone will come for you soon.”
    Blake took a deep breath as he let his mind empty of thoughts. He was vaguely aware of the gently hand stroking his shoulder as he slipped out of consciousness.

    “That should do,” Kami stated as the eased the sleeping hostage to the floor. Raziel merely shrugged in response. His throwing dagger had lodged itself firmly in the sternum of his victim. There was a sickening crunch as he tugged it free.
    “Should have kept the cloth,” he muttered to himself.
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Aeos
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  RE: Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 27, 2013 6:06:14 PM    View the profile of Aeos 
Gui Sun P[classified] leant back into his throne, his face impassive as he waited for Javick and the droids. He regarded Aeos’ unconscious crumpled form with detached interest. Luring her in had been ridiculously easy, her mind full of information for the taking. She might not remember anything, but it was still up there in her pretty head. Withdrawing it was equally as easy as it was torture for the young dark Jedi. At times there were flashes of her mental defences setting itself back into place, her instinct overriding her consciousness for the act of self-preservation but it was all the same to him. The acquisition has left her nearly broken and him with information that provided new possibilities. The doors opened, the light blinding Javick’s shape for a moment before it disappeared with the doors closing.

“You called my Master?” Javick asked, ignoring the woman at his feet. He was on his way to train some of his lieutenants when P[classified] called for him.
“Have this one trained, she should be able to pickup most of what she knows within a few days. She’ll last longer than the drudges against these people. “
“Besides inducting her, was there any useful information she gave?”
“It would seem she has a sister in the Order. Not particularly close, but through their link we might be able to track their whereabouts.”
“Should I worry about her turning?”
“No, I have taken precautions. Her past life will not be an issue. Her Order would be nothing more than the enemy. Send her to the Maw with M[classified].”
“Yes, my Master.” Javick bowed, gesturing for the nearby droids to retrieve Aeos and take her back to the medical bay.

**********

”Train her. Make her usable. She’s yours.”
“I thought she was under your supervision as Lord P[classified] instructed."
“I don’t have time to teach a pup to walk. Maybe when she’s more interesting after the Maw.”


Hence the reason why it was Kirra and not Javick who was currently pushing his lightsaber against Aeos’ training saber. Sweat dripped from her and stuck her light clothes to her frame.  They were already en route to the Maw, the ship full with new Reborns waiting to drink from the fountain of power. Kirra smiled ferally at the thought of it.  But for now he had to focus on trainining Aeos along with the other new recruits. They were sparring in one of the empty training rooms on the ship, away from other Reborn where Kirra could focus and study the girl, see what she knew.  She was in a catatonic state when P[classified] had finished wit her. Her face chalk white, the insides of her palms bloodied where her nails had cut into the flesh when the droids retrieved her to continue her treatment.

A direct conversation with P[classified] when there was such a massive difference in power between the two of them, was a moment Kirra did not envy for himself despite his own inner ambitions to enter the council. Tiring of Aeos’ futile struggle against his push he shoved her back, and turned away walking away from her. It has been three days since  P[classified] ‘spoke’ with her. Three days which she spent without uttering a word, her eyes empty and unfocussed. He had been worried when they started training. She would need to be focussed if they were going to train. However, she responded surprisingly well, her reflexes instinctively seeking out the guidance of the Force as she blocked his strikes.  It was to be expected however, she’s been taught extensively for the past few years and no amnesia could completely overwhelm instincts programmed into the muscles and senses.

“Tsje.” He spat to the floor and deactivated his saber. They have been at it for a couple of hours, and he still wanted to get some work done besides training the ‘pup’ as Javick had described her. The first two hours when they started out were the most frustrating. She was completely useless with the training saber he had provided, her hands clumsy, her form weak and her legs full of burns where she accidentally brushed it against herself, seemingly unused at the strange weight.

“No, not yet.” Aeos said, stepping back into a defensive stance. The first words she’s spoken in days. He arched his eyebrows in surprise. It would seem she had more fight than he had expected.

Three Hours Later
Tired, exhausted, drained, and empty were some of the words that could describe Aeos’ current state of mind. Her body has healed much faster than she anticipated, credits to the excellent medical facilities Lord P[classified]’s Order provided but her mind was still reeling in shock at the information overload bubbling in her.  She dropped for dead onto the makeshift bunk bed not bothering to excuse herself as she disturbed the other Reborn recruits around her. 

Her squad was executed. No proof or paperwork of the circumstances but she believed Lord P[classified] as he gently told her of what happened. How they were en route to an off-world mission, the sudden attack and the cold execution of the Jester Squad. Her miraculous escape when a squad member pushed her into an escape pod. Eventually ending up with the Reborn. The attack led by Sergeant Gunnery Kami Sharpe of the Iron Hourse Squad, under Major Raziel’s command. It made no sense, these two people were her colleagues and superiors. They would never betray their values and the Wildcard Platoon. There was no logical explanation in the story, but she believed P[classified]. His words were resolute and unquestionable.

What happens now?” she asked, her arms supporting her frame from dropping to the floor. The stress  and impact was overwhelming her. Verkur, Decembrist, Eviscares, dead. Some of her closest companions snuffed from this life. And she herself now suddenly an orphan.

“Slaughtering your squad is not where they stopped. They are wanted for treason against the Empire. We will find them, and you can help us. “ She shook her head, nothing was making sense, but his offer was eerily enticing, eliciting a foreign bloodlust in her.

“How?”
“We’re a special division of unique individuals with unique potential who are addressing this and hunting down these criminals. You would know them better than most of the my Order. My people would appreciate your insight.” The strange sense of bloodlust stirred in her again as disturbing images of Sergeant Sharpe’s mangled and bloodied body flashed through her thoughts. She flinched from the sudden intrusion of violence.

“What would my role be here?” she asked cautiously, struggling to concentrate on P[classified]’s face while trying to clear her thoughts which were becoming increasingly more jumbled and confused.

“I hate to do this to you, but I will need to extract information from you, an unpleasant but necessary process if we are to catch these people. You understand. You want to help us track them down.”  Aeos moaned, her body shaking, barely remaining conscious. 

She steeled and stilled herself. If she wanted to honour her squad’s death she needed to be strong. This was not the moment to be passive. Her mind was clear for a moment. Her soul confused but calm. The Jesters would have wanted revenge. She screamed into her hands, the strange lust for revenge flaring up, licking at her soul. Only through revenge could she restore their peace.  For a moment she remained still, her decision hesitating on her lips. This was wrong, but it felt so right. 

“Yes Lord P[classified].” She said defeated, and got up at the command of his beckoning hand. She ignored her instinct’s violent protest. Why should she be afraid, why should she question if Lord P[classified] provided the answers? His hand waving lazily into her face was the last memory she processed and then it was utter and complete darkness.

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Bloodhound
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  RE: Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 28, 2013 5:46:15 AM    View the profile of Bloodhound 
Hond added another name to his list.

The list was getting longer, which was annoying. Hond bit back his rage as he tugged off the dead man’s boots. They were a good set of high leather boots and would be an utter waste on a corpse. Hond pulled them on and tested them for feel. After months of going barefoot he felt restrained wearing them, but quickly let it subside. He felt like after so long going barefoot it was about time he actually wear shoes. Especially in a fight.

“Hurry up, mongrel.” Gates yelled back at Hond.

Hond growled and loped back into the formation. Garryll wasn’t above allowing Hond his few pleasures and oddities as long as Hond did what he needed to. They’d known each other for a long time now and while neither much liked the other and Hond certainly planned on killing him someday they had managed to find a way to work together. For the most part. Hond hated Vexus of course, but for the most part considered him beneath contempt. For the moment at least.

Hond’s left hand itched to wrap itself against the blaster shoved into his waistband and shoot Valthir in the back. The cold metal against his bare skin screamed at him to be used. Both the lightsaber in his hand and the blaster in his belt longed to be used.

Blaster fire drew Honds attention a second or two after everyone else. His abilities in The Force did not lay outside of arms reach. Without Force augmented senses he was at a disadvantage compared to the knights or even Vexus. Hond was still wary of The Force, it still terrified him. He bit that fear back as best he could and pulled down the wall between him and the ball of emotion that seemed to be just outside of his vision.

Moelik Hond’s sense exploded into clarity. The world was sharper and brighter, he could hear more clearly and the metal against his skin seemed to scream to him even louder. Hond’s dirty white robe felt like sandpaper against his torso, the lightsaber was slippery in hands with the sweat of his palm. The lights above were blindingly bright, the sound of the groups boots as the charged down the corridor were deafening.

The four cascaded straight into the rear of the terrorist group, maybe eight beings being pushed at from the front by another group of marauders. Hond lept into them, abandoning his position in the formation. It was partly in hopes that Valthir would catch a bolt in the back, partly to blow off steam. Hond’s lightsaber technique left much to be desired. He swung wildly and forcefully with both arms. The blade was not a perfect match to him, but it could still cut flesh.

Wide swing the left, partial to the right, right foot behind the left and pivot driving the end of blade into a mans eye socket. In the few moments Hond swung his saber like a batton Garryll and Valthir had already darted ahead of him.

Moelik Hond kicked a stray intestine off his boot as he deactivated his saber. He had slaughtered two beings, and while Garryll strode forward to talk to the other marauders Hond began to rummage through the pockets of the people he had killed. This was his only real income now that they were on the Subversions and bullying the lower apprentices was even more frowned upon than before. Hond managed to find a handful of credits and half a ration bar that he chewed on idly.

“Mongrel!”

Hond cursed to himself and stood up, kicking an arm out of his way dejectedly as he made his way to Garryll. Garryll stood with the other Marauders, in their armor and clean robes. It was a stark contrast to Hond blue skin, malnourishment and tattered white robes.

“Wear these,” Garryll held out a pair of shaded goggles, “We can’t have the public associating you with Thrawn.”

Hond visibly snarled, but kept the worst of his anger back. One day he would kill all of them. These antiquated fools. He begrudgingly slipping the goggles over his head and pulled greasy hood of his robes up. He was going to murder all of them one day. He kept that part to himself. It was his and all his.
I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all. 
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[This message has been edited by Mongrel (edited May 28, 2013 7:06:23 AM)]
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Garryll Gates
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  RE: Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 29, 2013 12:03:10 AM    View the profile of Garryll Gates 
Hond truly was a problem. Chiss, half-dressed, dirty and unhealthy-looking, he hardly cut the heroic figure that made for live holo gold. And while Gates understood, as a former soldier, that efficiency and deadliness could be packaged in almost any way, the average layman expected supermen. Bronze chestplate and dark robes with a sweeping cape, now that would sell their status as instant heroes. A half-dressed half-Chiss with an ugly mouth and a foul temperament, that would do the exact opposite.

Gates hoped that with the goggles hiding those trademark red eyes, the hostages they’d be rescuing would simply overlook the dirty man. But that was what he’d signed on for when he’d dragged Hond in after him. Even now, he could barely comprehend why he had ordered the Mongrel in with them, but finally decided that he’d rather have the man under his watchful eye than sulking uselessly on the ship. When, and perhaps more appropriately ‘if,’ Hond became a useful member of the Order, he could look back upon this incident and think positively of it.

Garryll snorted as he turned to Tristan, the other Marauder team’s leader. Hond thinking positively of anyone was less likely than a child discovering the mystery of the universe. “Tristan. Make sure your team is on time at the next point. We breach precisely at 0517, local time. The entrance time must be precise.”

“Roger, sir,” Tristan inclined his head a centimeter. “We’ll be on time.”

“You’d best be, posterboy,” Gates grunted. Tristan flinched at the verbal slap. Secrecy had been the creed of the Order, until Tristan had managed to get himself splattered all over after Copperline. “The Order demands much of you.”

“I won’t disappoint, Lord,” Tristan said, and waved his two companions forward.

“You’d best not,” Gates muttered to the man’s back. “Val, Noble, Mongrel: with me!”

Valthir stepped after Garryll without a word. Vexus nodded quickly before falling into his position, and Hond raised his voice for a choice curse before grudgingly sliding into line.

They jogged away from the carnage of their last skirmish, hands on weapons. They had only a short way to go, now. They were closing quickly on the final goal: the main cargo hold. The Headmaster’s sound tactical thinking had been correct, and almost every single Jedi onboard the ship could certainly feel the huge nexus of panicky hostages in the bowels of the transport.

As they closed, the panic began to fill the Force so completely that it made it difficult for Gates’ own sense to draw a clear picture of any hostiles that were nearby. It clearly inhibited the others, as well, as they had nearly stumbled into another team of patrolling terrorists before they’d detected them.

Gates threw his off-hand upwards into a ‘stop’ signal. The three other Jedi halted instantly, their own senses attuned forwards. “Contacts. Prepare to obliterate.”

The patrol, a simple five-man half-squad, rounded the corner, weapons at port-arms. They were eviscerated in seconds as three lightsabers lit and a pair of blasters went off a dozen times.

The leader went out the fastest, Gates’ lightsaber slicing back-and-forth through his torso, cutting him into three. Valthir’s blade punched through a terrorist’s throat, then jerked to the left, leaving the man’s head attached by a scrap of skin and muscle.

Hond body-checked his target down, and slammed his own lightsaber downwards, all power and no elegance. Gates caught the motion in the corner of his eye as he was disemboweling a second terrorist. Even if he didn’t particularly like Hond, Jegora had been quite lax in the half-breed’s formal training. No duelling skills at all - his form was full of wasted motion, using his saber like a club.

The last terrorist collapsed, his face and upper chest a char from the blaster bolts Vexus had pumped into him.

“This should be the last patrol,” Gates said, stepping over the grisly collection of severed arms and legs, and bodies missing heads. “Two minutes to breach.”

They turned the corner, their target a dozen meters before them. There were doors that branched off of the hall they jogged down, but each was empty of life. Likely, they were auxiliary cargo holds or some other form of storage.

They stood before the final door - beyond it, there was an orgy of nervous, fearful hostages and hyped-up terrorists with itchy trigger fingers.

“One minute,” Gates said, checking his chrono. “I will enter first, and go down the center. Valthir will be next; Hond, third, going left and right. Vexus, bring up the rear, on my heels.”

For once, they followed orders without complaint.

“Ten seconds. Prepare yourselves,” Gates said, igniting his lightsaber and extending his left hand towards the door. In his mind, he could feel the rising anticipation of the other two teams of Marauders, but he ignored them. The enemies before him would die. He gripped the door in the Force, mentally preparing himself for the last few seconds.

“Two seconds...one...go.”

Company Commander of Phoenix Company |Tactical Officer of the Army | Adept of the Dark Jedi Order | Captain of the
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Kami
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  RE: Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 29, 2013 3:48:19 AM    View the profile of Kami 
Damon reversed the direction of his bright orange blade and brought it down through the rifle of his foe as easily as though he were carving air. The terrorist recoiled, bringing the stumps of his fingers up before his eyes, before Damon thrust forward neatly and drove his saber through the man’s chest.

The smell of burning flesh permeated the air as the terrorist flopped backwards to the floor of the engine room. Fighting down a wave of nausea at the stench, Damon looked up just in time to see Ari dispatch her second terrorist with a beautifully executed riposte. Across the immense room, partly hidden by the curve of the walkway surrounding the hulking form of the engine, Havock casually lopped off her opponent at the knees before pushing what was left of him over safety railing. The terrorists scream was cut off as she slammed heavily into the ground several dozen meters below.

“We need to find the controls.” Ari said calmly, tossing her braid over her shoulder like a holovid model, seemingly unperturbed by the spatter of blood across her chest.

“Which ones?” Damon asked, gesturing to the few monitoring stations visible just from his position. “There’s too many. And we don’t have explosives.”

Ari’s gaze narrowed as it flicked to Damon, her disapproval at his bluntness evident. They had agreed not to show any weakness in front of Katash. After all, she was just a pawn of Sharpe, and not to be trusted.

“Not an issue.” Havock planted a hand on the railing and swung her legs over until she rested facing the engine. Damon felt her draw deeply on the Force, sensed the dark energy swirling in and about her form, but abruptly lost his connection as the other Knight channeled it inwards. As he watched the array of lights flashing alongside every panel of the engine began to flicker, then flash red, as Havock unleashed a wave of carefully altered energy at her target. Above their heads a siren started to wail puntuacted systematically by a robotic voice.

“Warning. System failure. Warning. System-“

As quickly as it had started the voice ceased. Almost simulatenously the thunderous hum of the engine stuttered, then died, to leave the room in complete silence. The bright lights of the room flickered off and cast everyone into darkness.

“…Damon. What do we?” Marina shifted uneasily at his side.

Slowly, inching along at the edges of the walkways, emergency lighting began to glow. It wasn’t much, indeed for anyone without the Force it would still be like walking blind, but it suggested that even the terrorists followed safety protocols and had installed the necessary evacuation systems.

“Look,” Marina directed Damon’s attention with a fierce nudge in the Force. Katash was still perched precariously on the railing, her attention focused on the machine. Marina did not need to speak to convey what she was thinking. It was completely clear in the feral edge to her excitement in the Force.

Ari’s presence joined the light meld, conveying quickly and quietly with her followers.

Shall we? Marina asked.

Ari didn’t stop to think. You have my permission.

It was Damon who stood forward and lay a hand heavily on Marina’s shoulder.

“No,” he told her aloud. Silently, he continued. There are others in the room that we do not control.

Ari’s resulting anger at his noncompliance was like a physical blow. You dare-

Havock leapt down from the railing and landed with a thud before Damon. In the half-light she looked like a ghoul, her features stretched and shadowed as she turned her head to regard him.

“Finished chatting?” she asked him, flashing him and Marina a grin. Marina sneered at Havock yet Damon was much more controlled in his response.

“Impressive,” he told Katash, carefully moderating the tone of his compliment so she knew that he wasn’t really that impressed. The truth didn’t matter. Not in a game that had so many shifting political alliances.

At the back of Damon’s mind Ari was still seething, the promise of a reprisal ingrained with the overwhelming strength of her irritation. He furrowed his brow in concentration and pushed her free of the meld. Now was not the time and place to scheme. Not with so many witnesses.

As though aware that something was afoot the man named Trykon stood forward to stand at Havock’s shoulder.

“What now?” he asked, the question diplomatically addressed to everyone.

“We finish off the remnants,” Ari stated regally, unwilling to be upstaged by Katash once again. “Then report to Sharpe.”

Lady Sharpe,” Havock corrected her. It was said casually but the threat was clear for all to hear. “We’ve done what we came to do. The Marauders can strike in darkness.”

As Ari led the way out of the engine room, Marina broke from Damon’s shoulder and jogged to catch up. He watched her go then wordlessly fell in line next to Trykon as the rest of the Sect followed. His involvement with this attempted coup against Sharpe was becoming risky. Ari was showing her hand far too early in the piece. The only way they could achieve their goal was if they remained calm, focused and united in their efforts.

“Having second thoughts Woods?” Havock murmured as she swept past him.

Unable to respond, Damon just glared at her back, his mind whirring as he sought to plot exactly how his status had changed just from this single task.
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[This message has been edited by Kami (edited May 29, 2013 3:50:51 AM)]
Aeos
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  RE: Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 29, 2013 12:38:04 AM    View the profile of Aeos 
Shaya Sal was a woman, a twi’lek not to be trifled with. Under no circumstances was Anto Kirra to assume he held authority over her. Her lekku twitched, a silent curse in her own language which only another twi’lek would have understood. She was tall for a twi’lek but curvy with thick lekku that was tattooed and bound together by a simple leather strap. As a rutian, her blue skin was ridiculously common, something she rectified by inking her body in delicate dense floral designs that changed the hues of her skins to purple at times.

  She leaned with her back against the curving wall behind her, silently regarding Kirra’s new apprentice. The girl herself was of no interest, it was the role she was playing currently that was interesting. The fact that Kirra found Aeos was sheer dumb luck. Despite his ambition and power she still considered him to be weak, a quality framed by his foolish understanding of power. He merely saw the effort of retraining Aeos as a job that would rackup points with Javick. She however, saw it as opportunity. Aeos’ unusually fast progression had nothing to do with his skill as a trainer, it was remnants of memories fuelling her reactions to his training. The new Reborn recruit was still adapting to her new life, but Shaya could see the passive personality resurfacing, challenging the mental constraints P[classified] had placed. While Shaya was an excellent fighter, she was reasonably apt in mind manipulation and it was easy to recognise Aeos’ tampered thoughts.  Kirra’s job was to foresee the cultivation of these thoughts into violent loyalty, guiding her away from any old habits hampering her drive. His job was so much more than simply reteaching her, and the fool failed to see that. Usually she would allow such mistakes to bury themselves and not intervene, however Aeos would make a fine addition to her own particular ranks. She was powerful but easy to control through her relapsed state of naivety.

When they attacked Lopen, Shaya’s lost some capable Reborn. Her thoughts bristled at the memory of it. She wanted to claw onto the Sharpe bitch in particular and she sensed that Aeos could somehow provide insight into the Krath. The woman was the reason why she was left with almost no following of Reborn. She sensed that they were two women very similar in thought and character, and while she was amused by it she also felt threatened by it. Raziel was the biggest threat to the Reborn in his ability to unify the Order, but Sharpe was a dangerous wild card. Her ease to infiltrate minds could be problematic for some of the ‘saner’ Reborn. She would not allow that threat to be an issue when they finally met.

Aeos parried Kirra’ s blow with an upward block, immediately pushing his momentum and swiping in a circular arch at his torso which he left exposed. She grinned as the tip of her training saber singed at his armour. The short man, undeterred by her offence jumped backwards and launched his own crimson lightsaber at her  flying through the Force which she blocked effortlessly only to find his fist jamming into her gut. She stumbled back for a moment and propelled herself forward again. The rythymn  of offence and defines was a familiar one to her and it comforted her in her strange new circumstances.

She had been terrified when Kirra first tossed her the trainingsabre, questioning his sanity when he informed her that she was familiar with it. The unnatural ease with which the Reborn fought, throwing their opponents through the air at times was surreal to her. She’s never seen anything like it before in the Army, but she found it comforting and easy to slip into. They had been right when they said she had a natural talent for this form of combat, a notion she prided herself in. She was picking up new techniques and stances in a matter of days that took most the Reborn from several weeks to several months to master. It meant she could eventually rise in the Reborn ranks. More importantly, Jester Squad’s death would be revenged. The stronger she became, the more easy she would secure victory over the traitors.  She’s never considered herself to be someone driven by vendetta or ambition, but it was qualities that’s been festering in her lately, leaving her with a hunger to excel, improve and kill. Her footing in the Reborn was shaky, as her new comrades sneered at her and thought of her inferior. Her docility was tested severely by their spiteful attitudes and open challenges to her presence in their midsts. Aeos snarled outwardly at the thought of the Reborn trainees and violently pushed Kirra from his feet in retaliation towards them.

“Enough!”  Shaya pushed herself from the wall and withdrew her lightsaber.

“Fuck of Sal.” Kirra pulled himself back on his feet. Aeos’ confidence in the Force and use of it was growing each day and so was her determination. Most of the times she was passive and neutral in her training, but recently she’s become increasingly unpredictable in her temper which was shifting across the emotional spectrum chaotically, a parting gift from P[classified] it would seem he mused. While he remained superior in power to her, he found it difficult to temper the training according to Aeos’ shifting needs. Which is exactly why Sal needed to back off. The twi’lek has been observing for the past two days, and she never did anything aimlessly.

“You seem to be lacking grip on the girl. You should backoff and let a real master teach her the ways.”

“He’s doing fine as it is. “ Aeos said, coming to Kirra’s defences, her face betraying her confusion at the interuption.

“Which is exactly the problem.” Shaya sneered.

“Javick entrusted her to me. He would not be happy about thi-“ Kirra started before Shaya interrupted him.

“Javick doesn’t give a shit. As long as the job gets done, he won’t care how. Hand the recruit over to me and focus on training the drudges. “  It was an open challenge and insult to his capabilities. Kirra barred his teeth at the twi’lek. They have never shown open animosity to one another before, in fact they barely acknowledged one another, so why would she care now?

Shaya activated her lightsaber, the dark violet splaying beautiful hues over her cerulean skin. She smirked at Kirra and mock-bowed.  The latter snarled and sprung at her in response.

Aeos backed off to the side immediately, not understanding the fight. She frowned in annoyance at Shaya’s interruption of her training but at the same time found herself unwillingly enthralled by their combat. She’s only seen training thus far, but she knew that the participants in this fight would have no qualms with decapitating or killing one another. It made the fight intense, real and enticing. The hum of the lightsabers as it vibrated through the air before clashing with one another was violent and exciting. Shaya’s style was wild and elegant, reacting on the whim to Kirra’s solid form imbued with practised combos and stances. It was clear who would win. Kirra was afraid of compromising his defence in exchange for offence. She found it strange that she could read so much into the battle, but at the same time encouraged that she was able to do so.

Shaya jumped in a graceful arc over Kirra’s forward thrust with his lightsaber. She landed at his exposed back and with a deft kick slammed him from his balance follow by a sweeping kick to his legs landing him on his side, his lightsaber rolling uselessly to the side.  Her lightsaber hovered at his throat. Kirra scowled at her, unable to move.

“Do you still think Kirra is appropriate to be your master?” Shaya asked looking at the Reborn on the floor with open disgust.

Startled by the direct question, Aeos was unable to answer. The moment of indecision was taken from her hands when she felt the foreign presence of Shaya ripping into her thoughts. She bit back a scream and pushed back only to be crushed under the mental pressure. She tried not to whimper, vague memories of P[classified]’s interogation flying into her head.

Kirra has not been teaching you anything. How do you wish to avenge your squad if you have master who can’t teach? Shaya whispered into her head as she toyed ruthlessly with the different memories in Aeos’ mind flitting different faces and scenes at her. The Squad, Sharpe, the squad, Tadath, Sharpe and Raziel’s bloodied faces-

“Stop it!” Aeos screamed, sinking for an umpteenth time with the Reborn to her knees.

Shaya withdrew both from Aeos mentally, and from Kirra’s vulnerable shape beneath her. She turned around, walking away from Kirra and closing the distance between herself and Aeos. When she reached the new Reborn, she hoisted Aeos’ shaking form up into the air wrapping her completely in the Force. She stepped to Aeos' side.

“You should understand that I am much more suited to teach you.” Shaya said softly into her ear. She dropped the girl unceremoniously to the floor as she pulled and straightened her clothes and left the room at a leisure pace.

Aeos breathed raggedly, dragging a shaky hand through her hair trying to still her thoughts. Shaya had beaten Kirra and while she was grateful in everything Kira has done for her, Shaya had been right to say that she wanted to learn new techniques. The twi’lek’s easy intrusion into her head had also terrified her, realising it was an aspect Kirra has never addressed. His shortcomings as a teacher would grow her own vulnerabilities. Kirra’ stoic demeanour was a mismatch for her own growing confidence and she needed a teacher who could acknowledge it.

Kirra grunted and started pushing himself up to continue the lesson only to find Aeos’ back facing him as she left the room, following in Shaya’s wake.

OOC:
I was hoping to provide more insight into the Reborn with this post, but it ended up becoming too long. Currently need to cover alot of ground in terms of character and scene setting.

http://www.vastempire.com/wiki/index.php?title=Aeos
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CPO_Aeos/(=*A*=)][MC1](=*SA*=)
[This message has been edited by Aeos (edited May 29, 2013 12:42:39 AM)]
[This message has been edited by Raziel (edited June 1, 2013 10:51:26 AM)]
Raziel
ComNet Sultan
 
Raziel
 
[VE-ARMY] Colonel
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  RE: Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 30, 2013 6:36:39 AM    View the profile of Raziel 

    The Master-at-Arms grimaced as his warhammer connected with another of the foul Reborn. The hammer connected with the man's sternum, shattering the breastbone. The Master-at-Arms stepped over the crumpled form of his foe, leaving him to die in pain. In the background the Warden shouted so loudly that his voice rang out clearly above the clamour of battle. He encouraged his men and occasionally recited the most important paragraphs recovered from ancient Jedi Holocrons.
The Master-at-Arms could sense how this unnerved the enemy. The Reborn had numbers, but the Arbiters had unshakable will. They way they conducted themselves in battle – the two Honoured Fallen who had died so far had carried on battling til the last breath – was putting fear into the Reborn.
    And yet it would not be enough. As he stepped forwards, his Chains of Honour swinging from his wrists, another pair of the depraved stepped forwards to engage him. His phrik hammer parried to first blow, but the attack was incessant.
    He had always been a believer in Ackoam's teachings. When Ackoam gave his speeches about the deprivation of the Dark Side he had lapped up every word. The tales of pale and twisted subjects of the Dark had seemed extreme to him. He knew that not every one of the twenty comrades he had brought to battle had the same unshakable faith.
    But now they had been presented with a manifestation of pure evil. The taint upon these “Reborn” was abhorrent. They threw themselves upon his men, fuelled by pent up rage and fear of their masters. Every one of his men who walked from this battle would have true Faith in the Force. He knew there would be many cleansing rituals back at their home after coming so close to the taint.

    The small Republic battlegroup had found an Imperial task force already waiting when they arrived at the system. The man in charge of the fleet had wanted to hold back and wait for a larger task force to be out together. The Master-at-Arms had some choice words about the man's bravery and insisted on attack.
    The twenty Arbiters had landed on the world alone. Master Ackoam had declared the Valley sacred ground – only the worthy would be allowed to defend it. Unfortunately the filth of the Dark had already infested the tunnels underneath the valley. This was their third sortie against the Reborn forces. The enemy had the great numbers and held the entrances to the underground chambers. They threw unholy powers against his men, bringing forth bolts of lightning. This would be the third time that the Arbiters had failed to break their ranks. This time they had lost one man in exchange for three of the enemy.
    He declared a retreat and they started to break away. The Warden went silent. No words would be shouted whilst they retreated from battle. The Reborn allowed them to break off this time, which was unfortunate. The first time they had given chase and the Arbiters had cut down five more of them on the open ground.
    This would be the strategy now. They would advance on the Reborn defences and fight defensively. Eventually their enemy would be worn down by attrition or lose their willpower and flee. The Master-at-Arms knew that greater threats lurked deep underground. The enemy had left their weakest to hold the line – cowards. He relished the notion of testing himself against even greater enemies. He would strike them down with his hammer and cleanse the valley. He would do so under the gazes of the Jedi heroes of the Army of Light. One day he could become an Honoured Fallen, and perhaps his own visage would be carved on the walls of a holy site.

~

    M[classified] stood at the threshold of the central chamber. Inside a wide open hall had been carved out. Great pillars reached up to the domed ceiling, and the faces of the ancient Jedi looked down from the walls. In the centre of the room was the final goal. A great dome encapsulated the Force Nexus – the power that Raac and P[classified] craved so much.
    This power felt different to the creation on Cylea. It felt pure. He had witnessed the Reborn who were subjected to the power of the Maw. Their minds did not return unaffected, they reeked of the taint when they returned. Altraic M[classified] had refused to subject himself to the same rituals. He knew that it would only temporarily empower the Reborn, and yet the mental and physical degradation appeared far more permanent. But this power...this felt like something he could control.
    M[classified] had no plans to serve P[classified] indefinitely. His former apprentice would learn his place eventually, but right now he had cemented himself as the head of the Reborn. M[classified] had greater plans that had already been set in motion. There were other forces who he could subjugate. The Citadel would be his once again.
    M[classified] looked to the Lieutenants who had been sent with him – Kirra and Shaya. “Stay here and guard the chamber,” he instructed. They turned to each other and shared a look. M[classified] knew that they had no reason to trust him.
    “Now!” he instructed more forcefully. “But she,” he said, a long bony finger pointing to Aeos, “comes with me.”
    Kirra and Shaya bowed in acquiescence. Even with the power of the Maw still fresh in their veins they dared not challenge the Jedi Master. As they turned to great stone barrier slammed back into place. They felt the other entrances to the chamber closing.
    What are you doing? Shaya questioned Altraic. There was no response.
    “We should contact Master P[classified],” Kirra suggested.
    “How? We'd need to get back onto the surface to send a message. Those fucking fanatics are between us and daylight,”
    Kirra visibly recoiled, cursing his lowly position. Javick, Kirra and now P[classified] had all put him in his place. With a flush of anger he pulled his saber from his belt. Shaya started to react, but Kirra plunged the blade into the stone barrier. It slowly entered the wall, but two feet of solid stone could take an hour to break down.
    “If he means to betray us,” Kirra said, “We will do what must be done.”

~

    “Don't come any closer, I'll shoot! I can hear you!” shouted to terrified gunman. Kami looked to Raziel. Though he could not see her he could sense her thoughts. He imagined the Krath Lady raising an eyebrow in amusement.
    “It's me, Jon!” Raziel shouted back. “The fuckers are everywhere!” By the third word Raziel had pulled a name from the gunman's mind. By the fifth he had taken on a slight accent without thinking about it.
    His ability to mimic and fit in had developed at a young age, and was perhaps the first manifestation of his abilities. His skill with the blade and stealth were trained abilities that he had honed for years. His ability to blend in with a crowd, to lie convincingly and manipulate were more natural talents. He did it without conscious thought, naturally changing his tone, expressions and even his personality without thinking. The Hutt's assassin masters had used this to turn him into a faceless killer. A blank canvas that could become anyone to get close to a target.
    Having his own personality erased as a child, it was only a few years ago that that Headmaster had started to try and reform his own personality from the mess of emotions and thoughts that had been woven throughout his mind. He had been surprised to find that there was a playful nature and a wicked sense of humour desperate to emerge.
    Raziel had to stop considering this for the moment, realising that his conscious thoughts had disrupted the personality he had taken on to talk down the gunman. With a brief flicker of annoyance at the notion that he had been robbed of normal life back on Nar Shaddaa he fell back into the persona.
    “Hit us hard on desk 6, fucking shit hit the fan and we shot up the place. Dan took a bolt to the belly and had t'leave him.” Raziel then reeled off another stream of expletives. Apparently this gunman's vision of 'Jon' was of a slightly unstable and foul-mouthed individual.
    “Alright, I was trying to head to the pods on the port side. You got a torch or anything?”
    Raziel's keen eyes could pick out the pair in the near-perfect darkness, but he did not need his vision. He hoped the darkness did not cause a problem for some of the Trainees they had brought along. Perceiving the world around you with the Force, and completely replacing your eyesight with an image of your surroundings were very different things.
    Raziel sensed the man relax the grip on the trigger. The pistol was turned away from the hostage's head. That was all Raziel needed.
    He brought up the rail pistol in one smooth motion. He let the Force guide his aim and double tapped the trigger. Both magnetically accelerated rounds went through his target's skull.
    Calm this one down as well, Raziel suggested.
    We weren't supposed to have to deal with hostages,” Kami replied as she approached the bound woman.

    “Well that's that I suppose,” Raziel sighed once the woman had slipped out of consciousness. The pair had gone to meet up with the rest of the Shades when they'd sensed another terrorist trying to flee the ship. 
    “We'd best collect the rest,” Kami suggested.
    “If the Marauders have done their work we had best collect some of them that might not – shall we say – present the side of the Order we want to convey?”
    “That might be wise,”
    Raziel allowed himself to drop back into deep thought as they walked back through the corridors. Having been in close mental connection with the Krath Lady before, he withdrew and closed off his mind. As he did so he felt the faintest ripple of fear cross the surface of her thoughts. Was she scared that he might have picked up on something? Could she be hiding something from him, a plot against him? Not only did he not believe that notion but the fear had a difference aspect. It had been an uncomfortable fear, was there something shameful being hidden?
    Raziel stopped considering the notion. His mind was racing now that the battle was nearly over – or at least his part in it was. He was simply over thinking things. Much like himself, Kami liked to keep her secrets, it was probably just a general fear that she had perhaps opened her mind up to Raziel too much during the battle.
    Which led him to consider his actions on Raxus. Selflessness was not a trait he cultivated and he was deeply uncomfortable with his actions. Not only in what it meant to him, but how it would be perceived by the rest of his peers.
    He had held the line on the Citadel, but he had been driven by his anger. On Montellian Serat he had again put himself at risk, demanding the Operator had freed Sharpe. Again through he had been driven by anger at the presumption of the machines. His actions had been calculated. That was what he did unless he unleashed his anger. He had always put himself at great personal risk in the past, but every risk was calculated. In each impossible mission he had weighed up the odds, made a plan and succeeded.
    His actions on Raxus Prime were different. He had been in control at that moment, but he had reacted to put himself at great personal risk. The Order as a whole meant something to him, but the loss of Kami in exchange for the destruction of the Jedi holocron would have been a fair trade.
    Individual actions relied on instinct. His hands would swing a saber, or fling a dagger without conscious intervention. But throwing his body underneath a falling comrade without thought for the personal risk – that was out of character for the Headmaster.
    As he replayed events in his mind he felt a knot form again in his stomach. For a man who liked control he didn't like the notion that he could be losing it again.
    “How many plots are you weaving together in your mind right now?” Kami asked quietly. His silence clearly giving something away.
    Raziel turned and looked at the Krath Lady. He briefly sensed her apprehension. Kami knew the Headmaster had a way of  manipulating events events to achieve his goal. She sensed from that look that she was being considered in some way, incorrectly assuming that she was being placed in some of the Headmaster's grand schemes. She had enough schemes of her own without being considered a pawn in someone else’s.
    Raziel turned away quickly at her inquisitive gaze, feeling that he'd been caught out in a secretive act. He had no notion on how to really deal with emotions of his own beyond simple fear and anger. Fondness could not be turned into a weapon. If she was the closest thing he had to a friend, perhaps it would be wise to try and reach out in some way.
    “If you need assistance with Ari and the others, you only have to...” Kami's snort cut him off.
    He had no idea if the notion had perhaps offended the proud Krath, but he was glad of the darkness. He felt a warm flush reach his face. It was so easy for the assassin to play a part or mimic a personality. Why then was it so hard for him to play a real person himself?
    As they walked on, Raziel considered that a silent and mutual respect and an unspoken agreement to work towards common goals was all the pair would ever share. A simple 'thank you' or a request for help was perhaps a step too far.
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[This message has been edited by Raziel (edited May 30, 2013 8:12:20 AM)]
[This message has been edited by Raziel (edited June 1, 2013 10:52:24 AM)]
Aeos
ComNet Disciple
 
Aeos
 
[VE-ARMY] Captain
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  RE: Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 30, 2013 7:17:05 AM    View the profile of Aeos 
OOC:
NB: I wrote this last night before Raziel's post, so the flow is a bit disjointed. This post takes place before his post. Nothing major, just cementing Aeos into the Dark side XD


On another part of the ship, Shaya smirked as she observed the recruits she’s singled out to be her new followers. With Kirra’s defeat at her hands earlier,  she was inheriting his responsibilities and charges and she herself was now one step closer to Javick, and Lord P[classified]’s council. The last few days had been most interesting with Kirra losing Aeos to Shaya and essentially losing his last shred of authority with virtually everyone on board.  Majere seemed unconcerned with the ongoings between the Reborn, as long as every action saw to the growing strength of the Reborn. In fact he seemed to encourage the process of weeding out unwanted elements. Despite Kirra’s strength, he misjudged his place in the pecking order. Shaya merely stepped in to fill the void his weak leadership left.

Convincing Aeos however to finally give into her own festering bloodlust had proven to be difficult. How the girl ever survived to be a Jedi Knight for the Dark Jedi Order was beyond her. She was constantly fighting and suppressing her own inhibitions. And as she grew more accustomed to wielding the Force again, so she grew mentally, making it increasingly difficult for Shaya to twist her thoughts. It was only at night that she could ease into Aeos’ head to dissolve her inherent sense of compassion and honour. The nightmares she suffered chipped her emotional stamina, her tolerance was a slipping on a daily basis. Shaya smiled at the memory of the first lapse.

Two days earlier:
“Aeos, you need to strike harder!” the twi’lek barked from across the gym at the two sparring Reborns. Aeos gritted her teeth in frustration and pushed the other trainee; Loah’s lightsaber away from her face. Shaya found the notion of training lightsabers to be ridiculous and replaced her white training saber with the blood red energy blade as soon as they had left Kirra.
“I thought we have to earn these.” Aeos said in confusion studying it in her hands.
“You will earn it soon enough.” Shaya said jovially anticipating her new apprentice’s days ahead with a feral grin.

Currently Aeos found herself buckling under Loah’s strength. While he was not so quick on his feet, his unnatural strength more than made up for it as Aeos felt her bones chatter every time they crossed blades. Loah was a Reborn they only picked up a few weeks ago who showed actual potential in the Force and not just a mere presence. He could intuitively use it without any instruction and he was a rising star amongst his new comrades. He was large man who worked as a miner in his previous life and it was of no surprise that Aeos’ presence agitated him. She was strong in the Force, but she was naive and weak, essentially useless. A decadent drudge as far he was concerned, yet Shaya seemed more enamoured with her than any of the other recruits. He snarled and launched again, determined to unseat Aeos of that attention. They have been sparring against one another for only a day and while he was strong and fast on his feet, Aeos fought with unnatural experience and seemed to be hindered only by her own insecurity.

“That’s enough, go wash up and report back to me. Next!” Shaya commanded seeing no fast approaching end in sight between the two recruits’ current spar. Two other Reborn trainees sauntered over to the training circle, already fingering their lightsabers excitedly.

Aeos flipped back and deactivated her lightsaber. She gave a small bow to Loah, acknowledging the end of their bout. Loah spat to the ground and walked towards Aeos unperturbed by Shaya’s watchful gaze, his lightsaber still humming. He was not finished yet.

“Backoff Loah.” Aeos said with a frown. She didn’t understand his anger, but brushing over his thoughts she sensed his thirst to prove himself and that was more than enough reason for him to challenge her.

“I don’t feel like backing off. “ He replied smirking at her, dropping into an offensive stance.  Aeos sighed, waiting for Shaya to put a stop to this. Unsurprisingly, her new master only seemed to find amusement in the new development and was already waving the other trainees away from the mat again.
“Lady Shaya has called the fight. We’re done for the day.” Aeos warned again, annoyed, and threatened by Loah’s slow advances. She did not have time time for a challenge of territory, not when she had a bigger target in mind. Loah was hindering the process. Her thoughts tightened as anger flashed through her for a moment.

Shaya cocked her head to the side her lekku jangling with it as well, piqued by how her trainees would handle one another, their animosity in an open display of a challenge. She gently intercepted their thoughts, analysing it. Loah showed nothing of interest to her, his mind was ready, his arrogance disappointing. However, Aeos was a bit too docile on the outside to her liking when in her mind she was mulling sentiments of annoyance and a building temper. It just needed a small push.

“I’m not doing this.” Aeos scoffed turning her back to him, her regard of him instantly visible to the other trainees. Loah snarled again and this time launched himself at her exposed back.

Aeos’ reactions were lighting fast, a credit to her previous tutelage. She whipped around, her lightsaber barely igniting as she sidestepped his strike and tore through his arm, decapitating it.
The man fell backwards in shock, cradling his cauterised stump that was still smoking in a silent moan.
Shaya would have expected Aeos to simply walk away but she found herself pleasantly surprised when Aeos continued her assault on Loah as she straddled him at the waist and dipped the tip of her lightsaber to  his contorted face. His body suddenly spasmed into a spread eagle position as Aeos pulled at his limbs with the Force. Every pair of eyes in the gym focussed on them. Aeos spoke softly but acidly, driven by the loss of control within herself.

“I do not have time for your antics. Next time I say back off; you listen. Next time I speak; you listen. I have bigger fish to fry than you. “ She said slowly in a low husky voice carving the energy blade into his skin, drawing a criss cross of wounds across his cheeks and nose, disfiguring his features completely.  The young recruit screamed at the new intrusion of pain but Aeos continued until only his eyes remained untouched. He needed those to see.

Shaya nodded in approval. It would seem Aeos was establishing herself into the pecking order at last. The fact that she was marking her new territory was surprising but it also indicated that the careful meddling that she was concocting on the girl at night was at last reaping results. P[classified] would be pleased with her.

Aeos withdrew from Loah and released him from her hold. For a moment, her eyes swept over the gym, studying all the trainees around her. She held their gaze for a moment, willing their eyes to the floor in submission. They were inferior, and there will be no further need for them to challenge her again.

The taut silence was interupted with another Reborn entering into the gym. He gave Loah a terrified look before forcing his eyes in to Shaya.
“Master Majere wishes to see you.”
Shaya frowned. The master could have easily informed her through the Force. She clicked her tongue in annoyance.
“Aeos, you seem to be handling this. I want some recruits ready to spar when I’m back.” She ordered Aeos who had a definite hold of her new authority now. Aeos nodded silently, still eyeing all the recruits suspiciously, gauging their intentions. 

Hours before landing at the Maw

Red blood as deep as the setting sun pinked in the clear running water over her shaking hands. The refresher did a wonderful job from keeping the smell of it soaking into the steaming walls while Aeos tried to clean herself up.  Next to her, on the shelf right below the mirror that reflected her blood splattered face, another face was staring back, grey, lifeless and bodiless, filled with the last moment it did not enjoy. A face contorted in anger and surprise eternally. The Reborn suffered a painful death, his decapitation was a slow and agonising process hindered by the blunt edge of the dull dagger Aeos used as she saw his head away from his body while he screamed in silence, his vocal chords already broken.

Her face was still, not betraying an ounce of the turmoil inside her. She’s always had authorisation to dispose of someone. The reason was clear, the objective justified, but this kill…this kill was cold murder. Her first one, or so she thought.  She did not know that she has performed a couple of them as a Dark Jedi Knight for the Order. She did not know she was simply reliving a very old and rehashed memory of her own actions. Her initiation into Shaya’s circle required brutal compromises and sacrifices. Becoming Shaya’s apprentice was not as easy as simply following her. Shaya believed in survival of the fittest, a philosophy in which all her followers were baptised through different trails.  Shaya sought proof of her intentions, a demonstration of what she intended to do once she faced the Order. Simply craving for their deaths was not good enough for Shaya. She wanted to see her student work for it and earn it, she wanted her student to cultivate her inner bloodlust. The victim was a drudge, no one in particular, only to prove that she was committed to her cause. Loah would have been an excellent subject, but his disfigured body was her demonstration of her authority to the rest of the Reborn recruits.

Your mind is ready for this, but your heart lacks conviction, I suggest you practise more conviction and bring me proof.

She braced her arms against the sink and stared at her pale reflection. She should be petrified of her actions, but it was the absence of it that shocked her. She was an Imperial who followed orders but never relished in the implications of it. She always saw it as simple paperwork, a sane excuse to detach herself from the grisly reality of it. Before all of this; she was working her way up into Wildcard Platoon to land a desk job where her authority could serve both the Empire as well as her own sense of justice and compassion. She was no longer that person the moment she beheaded one of her comrades, the moment she decapitated another trainee’s arm. Actions that her superiors oddly ignored, actions that she found a strange and unnatural satisfaction in.

We will be arriving at the Maw in four hours. Master Majere wishes to head to Cylea afterwards. Shaya whispered unexpectedly into her head.
I have what you asked of me. She felt Shaya’s satisfaction seep through the Force.
No need to show it to me. I’ve already seen it the day you followed me.
Aeos chuckled in-affectionately her master’s message. No surprise there.

http://www.vastempire.com/wiki/index.php?title=Aeos
[LoR][ESC1][ES2C][CoR][CoS][SC][EW:1][RCoD][GRoM][GRP][CCA][GC][KAD][MRT]

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CPO_Aeos/(=*A*=)][MC1](=*SA*=)
[This message has been edited by Aeos (edited May 30, 2013 7:28:31 AM)]
[This message has been edited by Aeos (edited May 30, 2013 2:02:28 PM)]
[This message has been edited by Raziel (edited June 1, 2013 10:53:06 AM)]
Garryll Gates
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Garryll Gates
 
[VE-ARMY] Major
[VE-DJO] Sith Vitiator
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Post Number:  2094
Total Posts:  2159
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  RE: Reborn VI: Valley of the Jedi
May 30, 2013 2:58:18 PM    View the profile of Garryll Gates 
The door slammed inwards as the lights cut out. Gates smiled thinnly - so far, everything in the operation was going exactly as planned. Never in his career in the army had a mission been so pinpoint in its timing. The other two teams of Marauders slammed their own entrances in at the same moment.

Gates barrelled in, lightsaber igniting. His eyes were closed. A terrorist that had the misfortune of being close to the door was cut in two with a single stroke. Each team leader had stormed in simultaneously, and Gates could feel a whirlwind of exertion in the Force as the Marauders crashed into the cargo hold.

He immersed himself in the Force - darkness, flying blaster bolts, humming lightsabers and screaming, sweating hostages inhibited three of the five normal senses, and the last two were barely appropriate here. And when none of the normal senses could be trusted, the Jedi would increase their already massive advantage. Each Marauder drew on the Force, letting it guide his shots or his slashes, as they honed in on each terrorist in turn.

Their victims had no option but to fight, and to die as the humming blades sliced them apart in turn. Ten seconds after the Marauders stormed into the cargo hold, the emergency lighting flickered on, the transport’s secondary generators managing to rouse themselves and provide a minimal amount of energy. Two-thirds of the terrorists lay dead by then, however, and the last third was being torn apart.

Gates’ eyes snapped open, but he continued to let the Force guide his blade. Almost carelessly, he let his saber flicker about him, catching blaster bolts and deflecting them high or back at their origin. The hostages were still screaming, but many had had the sense to dive as low as they could get.

Quite quickly, the shooting ended. The terrorists lay in pieces or riddled with blaster bolts all around the perimeter of the cargo hold.

“Clear?” Gates barked across the hold to the other team leaders. “Any of them alive?”

“All clear here, sir,” Tristan replied, tucking his lightsaber back into his belt.

“Enemy eliminated,” Jan confirmed, waving his troops up.

The hostages had slowly calmed down, and were now warily looking at their saviors. Gates quickly stepped forwards and started speaking, to preempt any questions.

“Imperial citizens: you are safe now. The terrorist threat has been eliminated,” he said simply. “Imperial special forces will be along shortly to clean up and help you return to your homes and loved ones. Please remain calm. Again, the threat has been eliminated.”

“But who are you lot?” yelled one man, near the center of the group. “Because if I had to say...”

The rest of the Marauders gathered with Gates. He let a small smile rise on his face, and ignited his lightsaber, then said simply, “We’re Jedi.”

Behind him, the Marauders began to file out of the door. The ex-hostages started talking excitedly, and a couple stood up, hands extended. Gates raised a hand, palm towards them, and shook his head lightly, before turning and leaving out the door.

“Back to the shuttles. Tristan and his team will come with myself and Vexus, and will exit via the port hangar,” Gates said, pointing at each in turn. “Jan, take the rest and link up with the Headmaster and the Lady of the Krath.”

Gates could feel his Apprentice swell up with pride at being chosen to accompany the group that would make brief contact with the media. Garryll chuckled lightly to himself, then led the group towards their egress.

Immediately outside the hangar, they finally made contact with the Imperial special forces. Stormtroopers, shiny in their SCOPE armor, raised a dozen E-45s at the assembled Jedi.

“Halt!” barked the leader, a tall trooper with a platoon sergeant’s chevrons. “State your intentions!”

“We are the Imperial Jedi Order, sergeant,” Gates replied crisply. “You will find the hostages in the main cargo hold. The terrorist threat has been eliminated, but the hostages may need medical care.”

“What?” asked one of the soldiers. “Jedi?”

Gates nodded. “Can we pass, sergeant? We have pressing business elsewhere.”

The sergeant’s rifle remained trained on Gates’ chest for a few more moments, then lowered. “Yes sir. Sorry sir. Stand down, men. Command says they're clean.”

The Stormtroopers nodded and the two groups passed. Beyond the door, the hangar was filled with shuttles and dropships. Their own shuttle, its armor stealth-black and sensor-reflective, sat quietly in the center of the Stormtrooper dropships and the military reporters’ armored civilian transports.

“Tristan,” Gates muttered. “Walk next to me.”

The Knight nodded and stepped forwards, as the Marauders walked quickly down a short flight of stairs and made a beeline towards their craft. A few floating cam droids buzzed towards them, massive camera lenses in the center of their bodies twitching to get a good look at them.

“Will the rumored Jedi have a moment to answer some questions?” squawked one droid.

Gates shook his head. “The Order has pressing business elsewhere. Our leaders may have a statement for the media in several days, but our primary mission requires our full attention at the moment.”

“Can you divulge any information on this important mission?” another droid floated up.

“All I can say is that this mission is extremely important to the well-being of the Empire and our Order. Further information is classified,” Gates replied calmly. “But we will succeed. We will not fail.”

With that final statement, their stealth shuttle’s ramp opened, and the Marauders quickly filed in. The cam-droids took a few more stills, but the ramp shut quickly and moments after that, they were taking off, flying towards the Subversion and their next mission.

“Upon our return, check weapons and armor,” Gates said. returning quickly into a commanding tone, “Then link up with the rest of the Order. Get any injuries checked out, and prepare yourselves once again for battle.”

Company Commander of Phoenix Company |Tactical Officer of the Army | Adept of the Dark Jedi Order | Captain of the
Bloodfist in the Osk Company
TO/MAJGarryll Gates/3SQD/1PLT/1COM/1BAT/1RGT/Tadath/VEA/VE [SCP][RoM][ICE] [IH] [CCA] [BC] [SRP] [AS-4] [ES1] [CoS] [EW1] {RESx3} [ESC09] [RoTx2] [CRoS] [AoT] [CoZ][CoDS][VT][CRoM][SoS][GRoM][KAD][RCA][*QW 12*](3.1)(1.1)

SM/VIA Gates/Eagle Sect/Lopen/VEDJ/VE (KC1)
Longtime leader of Blackjack Squad
For Tadath, for the Empire.

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[This message has been edited by Garryll Gates (edited May 30, 2013 3:13:15 PM)]
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