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Author Topic: What You Leave Behind  (Read 4230 times)
Karmack
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 681
Posts: 3147


Light side points please.


« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2018, 06:45:48 AM »

Chapter 3 - Trial by Combat
 -part three

Running was not an option – the droid did not fatigue – nor was hiding – thermal sensors would give his heated body away in a second.  So attack it was.

He vaulted up and over a line of low structures just behind the droid, which wheeled with blinding speed to turn a lance laser toward him.  The speed was no longer a surprise but it was no less difficult to deal with and Silman dodged as the droid leapt up over three meters to gain distance - it had learned that Silman wanted a close-quarters battle and it was doing everything it could to avoid it.

Silman chased it, avoiding the fire, and the droid jumped up again, reversing.  Dropping from the sky with cannon blazing, it tried to stomp on him, and Silman deflected blue lances of energy as he launched himself out from under its landing point.  The Kage didn't clear the zone entirely, staggering slightly against the shockwave, and as the droid recovered he launched himself up inscribing a lightning-fast flower patter with his saber staff as he passed the massive droid while it began to raise its cannon.  Sparks showered both combatants as one blade bisected the massive blaster, liberating the energy stored in its power pack in a massive explosion that fortunately vented away from the Kage.  The second side of his flower pattern sliced into its lower back, the cut slowed more by the phirk than Silman had anticipated.  The Kage pulled out earlier than he would’ve liked – more depth and strength was needed to bite into this stuff - and he landed lightly.

 Hoping to follow up Silman moved like lightning, gracefully scribed a somersault to land behind the droid.  For once he seemed to have the initiative, yet before he could turn to launch his attack a sliding side-kick caught the Kage in the back.  Silman had just enough warning to roll with the attack, robbing it of its bone-breaking impact, but he found himself flying out-of-control back across the village, the droid in hot pursuit.

Silman gathered himself and curled up, ducking into a roll that prevented him from taking debilitating damage as the machine leapt after him, trying to pummel him into the pavement.  Pain bloomed in his awareness from serious ligament damage in his left hip and knee.  It only added to his collection of deep bruises, freely bleeding cuts and scrapes and sprained joints competing with his nauseating draw on the force for attention…..  Silman did his best to ignore them all as he slipped in close to engage the droid point-blank.

Planet Hell indeed...

****

“Your Kage seems to be doing very well,” Cha noted as Silman finally appeared to be gaining the upper hand.

Karmack couldn’t agree with that assessment. Silman had been overconfident, and the droid had punished his hubris.

“I fear my droids will be considered quite unfit for your Militia's purpose given how easily it has been defeated...”

As a former inquisitor Cha must be able to sense how strongly Silman was pulling on the force to keep together.  He would also be able to evaluate how capable a warrior Silman was ... and yet he had still almost been overwhelmed.  And Cha must know that there were few if any more capable warriors within the Order...

“We will have to work on the programming. The data from this fight will certainly assist in perfecting close combat protocols.” Cha continued.
Karmack avoided any reply beyond a short affirmative ‘hrmmm’, still sorting through the veiled suggestions with which Nimmin Cha was littering the conversation...

****

Silman ducked under a fist that punched a hole through the wall behind him – he could not afford to get hit even once – any blow that thing landed would break bone.  Its strength came at a cost of flexibility, however, and Silman used the force to throw himself through the droid's legs, his saber extended.  It was a desperation move - the droid had him cornered, his lungs and limbs were on fire, and he was running out of options.  So ... go for the knees...

The forward roll and lunge was executed with flawless precision for all its desperation.  The droid's lightning reflexes saved its right knee, the leg rising so that the blade struck and rebounded from the phrik armor.  But the left did not escape.  The blade still didn't have enough power to sever the internal structure, but it did slice through power runs, actuators and hydraulic lines.  The Mark IV staggered, the left leg buckling.

It was too much to hope that damage would topple it: rolling back up Silman came through in a round house kick pouring the force into his boot, slamming energy into the droid's back and toppling it at last.  Silman didn't hesitate – he needed to kill it before it auto-repaired or something!

The Mark IV was already rising as Silman sprang forward.  Ignoring the pain in his body, the fatigue, and the large collection of minor wounds he'd acquired he pulled deeply on the force, augmenting his battle song with a motif that flooded his body with energy and enhanced his strength and agility.  He knew from experience that he couldn't keep this motif up for long, but he didn't need a lot of time.  In fact, if this took more than a few seconds...

Sweeping in between its heavy fists, Silman launched himself onto the back of the droid and plunged his saber deep into the thorax. Rather than try to cut, he used his augmented strength and leverage to 'stir' the blade around.

The droid bucked under him, back arching, hips twisting...  Silman managed to keep his place, barely, and his attack finally bore fruit - there was a flash and muffled <<crump>> from inside the Mark IV, followed by a billow of acrid black smoke from plasma melted components.

The droid made a final heave, flipping itself over.  Silman was tossed off and slammed into a wall.  He landed on his feet but fell to one knee, bracing himself up with his left hand, his saber still held in his right as the droid slowly sat up and on its three remaining limbs started to crawl toward him.

Heaving out a breath he spun around to the side and sliced into the pauldron weapons before they could lock onto him, metal and sparks flying into his face as he pounded at the droid with clumsy heavy strokes he would’ve upbraided any Knight for using.

With each exhalation another blow but still it kept turning, and he kept shifting as it tried to grasp his legs. The thick armor simply wouldn’t give, its auxiliary systems must be deep within its skeleton to keep this up.  Finally the flaming red lights of the eyes, burning lava amidst Hades began to flicker and die as is power reserve collapsed, the scarred smoking body crashing to the ground.

Finally over…

Silman deactivated his blades and collapsed into a seated position, leaning on the remnants of the wall behind him.  He stopped his battle song and sang a healing motif, letting healing force energy flood his system as he simply sat still, chest heaving.

Before he could react the right arm sprung back to life and gabbed at his knee.  In furious reflex he pounded out a force blast that sent it skidding in a dusty divot through the ground.  Back on his feet, his blade back in his hands his face scrunched in anger – what did it TAKE!

Brutally, sloppily, he pounded the thing into the ground with blow after blow of the force, crushing each of its limbs into the pavement, only stopping when the limbs were dissected, the massive fists crushed and splayed apart...

Silman flopped to his knees, drenched in grimy dusty sweat, switching off his blades, Utterly exhausted.

Next time, Karm, it’s all yours...

****

“Well what an impressive display!”  Cha cheered as the droids red eyes died to black.  “I must say I’m quite thankful the Mak’Tor stayed hidden during the Empires reign…a tragedy to think I might’ve been on the end of your Kages blade there ... or my brother on the end of yours.”

He knows...  The realization rolled through him, and Karmack tensed, his hand again on his saber...

Silman below, wounded, heaving in exhaustion, Da'Ne and Colonel Ta'Re and a brace of healers with him.  Defenseless...

Four more droids, immense killers marching through the dust toward them...

Cha was smiling now, a tusk-cat about to devour a Gungan.  Karm gathered himself: Was a brother's vengeance about to begin? If so his fight would begin on the balcony, not below.  Maker, into your hands...

Cha clapped him on the shoulder. "Happily, those days we might have been enemies are long past us."  Karmack flinched at the touch despite himself.   

“Come,” Cha turned to his companion whose presence Karmack hadn’t even acknowledged for being so caught up with Cha, “Let us congratulate the Kage on his win!” Below the two droids simply dragged the sparking wreck of their fallen fellow away.

*** Chapter End ***
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Master Singer of the Mak'Tor

TheDutchman
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 689
Posts: 2780


Guardian Blue is my life


« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2018, 12:51:00 PM »

Karm...

That.

Was.

BADASS!!

Wow, Cha is one SMOOTH guy.  What a way to play with your prey... And Kage Lo, glad that he was victorious but...yeah definitely an undercurrent there between him and Cliff that will doubtful come to a head sooner or later.  And those Mark IVs are enough to really give me pause, and not just because of the trouble that they gave Kage Silman...

Absolutely loved the Hades Training Ground.  Those Mak'Tor really don't mess around!  This is a wonderful story and the further we get to know the more I want to read  Smiley

...I kind of wonder just WHY the Aethans would befriend people like Cha...

But I'm looking forward to finding out  Grin
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Maenowan Nexu Master of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG, Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO

Karmack
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 681
Posts: 3147


Light side points please.


« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2018, 02:27:47 PM »

Thanks Dutchman.  I wanted to say that LSG has a LOT of input into this chapter.  For that matter, we've both put a lot into all of the pieces.  Some of them I take the lead and some he does, but there are certainly his prints on this as well as my own.  :-)   I think the final product is better than anything we could have done individually.  I know its better than I could do alone! 

More to come.  And yes, the Mk IVs are intimidating.   Glad the Separatists didn't have them.....   *shudder*
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Master Singer of the Mak'Tor

Lord_S_Gray
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 33
Posts: 646



« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2018, 03:59:35 PM »

Wow, Cha is one SMOOTH guy.  What a way to play with your prey...
...I kind of wonder just WHY the Aethans would befriend people like Cha...

Think you answered your own question Dutchman! what better way to keep your enemies off balance than having a smooth talking guy like Cha as your mouth piece?

As Karm said this was probably the chapter we went back and forth on the most (so far), the whole Hades ground was a great idea of Karms, but one little snippet I really loved that he put in was the description of Cha's presence - "Overly smooth, more like a commercial jingle than a true song." And also allowing his Kage to take a beating!
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Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

TheDutchman
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 689
Posts: 2780


Guardian Blue is my life


« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2018, 08:08:10 PM »

Thanks Dutchman.  I wanted to say that LSG has a LOT of input into this chapter.  For that matter, we've both put a lot into all of the pieces.  Some of them I take the lead and some he does, but there are certainly his prints on this as well as my own.  :-)   I think the final product is better than anything we could have done individually.  I know its better than I could do alone! 

More to come.  And yes, the Mk IVs are intimidating.   Glad the Separatists didn't have them.....   *shudder*
Think you answered your own question Dutchman! what better way to keep your enemies off balance than having a smooth talking guy like Cha as your mouth piece?

As Karm said this was probably the chapter we went back and forth on the most (so far), the whole Hades ground was a great idea of Karms, but one little snippet I really loved that he put in was the description of Cha's presence - "Overly smooth, more like a commercial jingle than a true song." And also allowing his Kage to take a beating!
Well then, let me say this and say it with conviction:

This collaboration is BADASS!!

I think that this is my most favorite yet!  Karm, LSG: you guys are AWESOME!  I am LOVING this story!  Seriously: I can't wait for more!
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Sig courtesy of DarthScrub

Maenowan Nexu Master of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG, Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO

Taegin Roan
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 1454
Posts: 4891


Lord of the Force


« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2018, 01:58:44 PM »

Been a hectic couple of days, so I'm just now getting to read this, and wow. That was awesome. Being able to almost beat a Kage is no simple thing. Well done, and those things are scary.
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"I am the Outcast's Shadow" - Taegin Roan
"We are the spark that will light the fire that will burn the first order down." - Poe Dameron

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Lord_S_Gray
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 33
Posts: 646



« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2018, 11:23:58 PM »

Chapter 4 - What Was Left Behind
Part 1
Karmack sat comfortably, a cup of cafe steaming in a highly efficient mug on the table next to him.  The Book of the Way lay open where he'd done his daily reading.  Passages about trust in the Maker that he knew from years of study and meditation that he still found challenging.  Wait on the Maker...but I hate waiting!

His thoughts turned to Silman, recovering after his fight with the droid.  The monster machine had indeed been impressive, far more capable than any droid any of them had ever seen.  It still didn't have the imagination or raw ability to improvise that a live soldier possessed, but it was fast, well-armed and very hard to kill.  Silman had done well to defeat it.  Without pride Karmack knew he would have done better, but only because of his unlocking of so many of the Ancient One's secrets. 

But that wasn't the only battle fought yesterday.  Karmack replayed his conversation with Cha over again.  What was the point?  It was like the entire thing was meant to keep me off-balance...

Karmack felt the first rays of the sun on his face and he smiled, leaning back and singing a song of praise and joy.  As his mother had taught him, it was the only way to start the day.  Karmack remembered sitting with his mother fter his father had died, listening to her sing with joy even while tears streamed down her cheeks.  He hadn't really understood then.  He wasn't entirely sure he understood now.

But he sang...

Later, the song finished, Karmack topped off his cafe and opened his computer to find a message in his personal queue. His request for primary sources and records regarding the Mak’Tor and their time on Coruscant had finally gotten a few replies, one from Obroa-Skai noting they had some copies of minutes from various Jedi Administrative boards under Grand Master Kimar, some touching on resources being taken away from – ‘Gray co-research’ programs,  from Lorrd University Library indicating they had a partial copy of the Original Saga of Vyth, but most intriguing of all..

[To: KahReMack@ MTZ_MaA.Mstr.Holo
[FWD: FWD: Mak’Tor Histroical Manuscripts
Dear Master Mack,
Professor Sejan of Bart’Leth University Library has forwarded your request for information regarding historical Mak’Tor manuscripts, specifically the Tragedy of Odjina (also known as the Saga of Vyth), and the Fall of the Starfire. 

Our organisation has supported historical research by the University through scholarships for a number of years, as such we are delighted to offer our expertise and assistance in your research of these matters. 

We invite you to visit our office on Commenor to discuss our mutual passion for this fascinating part of galactic history.  Details along with vouchers for business class transport and accommodation are attached for your convenience and may be redeemed any time over the next 12 months. 

We look forward to hearing from you and furthering research into this important area together.

Ms. L. Andisdottir
Director
Aethena Society Commenor.]


It was overly generous, unfailingly polite…but what set the hair on the back of his neck standing straight up - was the name.  Specifically, the spelling.  "Aethena Society" ... "Aertemis Industries" ...  the odd similarity could be coincidental, but after yesterday... "Cha..."

"Hmm?" arms snaked around him from behind and linked around his waist as Arnor pulled him tight in a good-morning hug.  "What's that?"

Karm turned and returned the hug, kissing the top of Arnor's head.  "I was thinking..." he handed her the pad as they parted.

Arnor read the message.  "Karm, you know this is a trap."

Karm took a sip of his cafe.  "Maybe.  Maybe not.  Cha is playing a long game and is probably mixed up in this somehow, but if he was strictly looking for revenge he would have done it yesterday.  If he'd hit us with all five of those droids, unprepared..." Karmack left the thought unfinished. 

Arnor's eyes were intense and Karmack could feel both her concern for him and her anger, rage and the residual terror of her attack bleeding through in the force as she spoke.  "Karm, don't trust him.  Whatever he's up to it is for his own good and your ill."

Karmack wrapped her up and kissed her again.  "I know, my love.  But I have to go.  If nothing else I need to get a better grasp of just who and what we're up against.  Cha..."  He took a deep breath.  "He was ... slippery.  Oily.  His conversation was filled with hints and pokes, like he knows all about you ... and can't help but tell you so, but only in the most circumspective way possible, so you're never entirely sure just what he knows ... if anything at all."  Kamack broke the embrace and stepped back to the window,  sighed and took another drink, staring off into the distance.  "He knew all about what happened to his brother.  He knows all about us.  And I know nothing about him at all.  Who he is, who his friends are...  I need to know..."

Arnor laid her hand on his arm.  "Leave him to me.  You have more important things to do than track down a droid salesman."

"Are you sure?  After..."

Arnor's eyes flickered with memory, but they were solid and resolute.  "Namman Cha is dead.  He has answered to the Maker for his crimes.  His brother is just ... his brother.  I will be fine.  As for this invitation..." she sighed.  "...you're going."

Karm smiled and nodded.  "I have to.  There's a chance, small I admit, but a chance that they're entirely legit.  And legit or not they may have a clue that can lead me to the Starfire."

"So, when do you leave?" Arnor said, forcing a smile onto her face.

"Soon.  I have a little more research I want to collect, but the Society very graciously booked me a first-class room on the next transport.  It leaves in two days."

"A round-trip ticket I assume?" Arnor asked, eyebrows rising interrogatively. 

Karm chuckled.  "Yes.  First thing I checked."

"Very well.  Be safe my love.  Just do me one favor." Arnor walked over and draped her arms around her husband's neck, pulling him close. 

Karmack grinned and hugged Arnor tight to himself.  "Anything my love."

Arnor kissed him, slowly and passionately.  When their lips parted she stared into his eyes.  "Don't get yourself killed."

Karmack grinned and nodded, his eye twinkling.  "Yes, ma'am."

<<<<>>>>

Ken took a deep breath.  Sing the song.  Trust the Singer.  Tell the truth…   He turned and face the gathered members of the Sons.  But from behind a pounding in his ear,

YOU – ARE – A – TRAITOR

He wasn’t he knew - yes he had deceived them…he was a spy…but not a traitor…He turned intent on telling Scrubber just that…but as his face moved a black metal hand gripped his skull

PHWuuuush

His head was plunged under water, into deep blackness, a piercing vice crushing his head at the temples…his memories…his mother, his father…his knighting, his training all leaching out of him by a painful osmosis into the black sea around him as the hand kept squeezing them out of his mind…

He was drowning…drowning in his own memories and a sea of black, he gazed up through the shimmering remnants of his very identity as they leached out, above the pool an uncaring figure in midnight armour held him down…impossibly strong, unimaginably powerful, and utterly Silent…a silence into which this Drinker of Souls now intended to send him…..

“ghuuuh…” Ken sat up a cold sweat covering his face…It wasn’t the first nightmare since the violation of his mind in the drumhead before the Sons of Kessel…nor would it be the last…

He slid silently out of the bed, Ry lay quietly dreaming as he moved to the ensuite refresher.  After his proposal he had rented a small mid-tier apartment in Sierra, only a half-hour hovercar trip to the Mountain…a place for the two of them before the wedding and a more permanent home was found.

A splash of cool water felt soothing physically…but mentally the pain remained.  What had been done to him could only be charitably called a force delve…it had left behind a trail of wreckage…it was as though before his memories had been a neatly arranged library, then a black mag-train had sped through it straight into the shelves scattering every last tome. 

In addition to the nightmares he’d had strange memories come up, from his childhood or teen years, triggered seemingly at random and painfully detailed…cleaning a rifle had caused him to slip into a solipsistic dream of his mother nursing him as a toddler with a cold, checking his credit-balance a vivid recollection of a razor ball match when he was eleven…

He breathed deeply and began a calming song, a healing song…he had spoken to a number of singers and they had done what they could…but whatever technique had been used on him was beyond their experience to understand or correct…Their best hope was that over time it would recede of its own accord.

He glanced into the mirror, Ry lay still apart from her breasts rhythmic rise and fall…he needed to get over this…for her…for their future…yet…why had he allowed it…he should’ve resisted better…a Koawan shouldn’t be so easily delved…

A sharp pain in his palms told him he was unconsciously clenching his fists again. That creature…that Black Armoured monster…what had it taken from him…and what had it left behind.

<<<<>>>>

She felt him slide softly back into bed, this was the third time this week.  No one knew if more nightmares were a good or bad thing…she hoped it was a sign it was working its way out…

She wanted to help him but just didn’t know how…it was…the whole thing with the Force, was just so…so beyond her ability to understand or empathize with – it worried her.

To be a Mak’Tor Knight, to use the Force, to feel it within was a huge part of Ken’s life, and always would be…yet it was something she could never share with him, never understand.  It scared her, the Force had been with him since he was a child, she was an interloper in comparison. 

They had never really talked about it, so far as Ken seemed concerned it wasn’t an issue…but he was the one with the Force, not one outside of the club looking in. 
One day, before the wedding they needed to talk about it…one of the dozens.

Step by step…she turned to stroke his back softly as he settled down again, touch by touch, word by word they would work through it all.

<<<<>>>>

She bit her lip, an old habit she hadn’t indulged in years, but then the words on the comm-messager were from someone she hadn’t seen in years.  A short, precise acceptance, along with a string of documents to complete to ensure that when they arrived they weren’t delayed for too long by the CEDF…they needed to provide details on the ship, time of arrival, exact cargo details…departure time…

Sighing she got to work, travelling to Csilla was a chore but it was something she needed to do.  She didn’t except her family to approve…but she wanted to at least show them her future husband.

“That from Csilla,” Ken inquired taking up the seat opposite, the only other seat in point of fact in the small apartment, his quarters on Aestis Minor had been bigger she mused.

“Yeah…it’s all go…”

“You sound nervous,” Ken noted, doubtless reading her anxiety in the force

“It’s just…very different back home…” she had discussed with him why she had left the Ascendancy…frankly it was as cliché as it came, girl from a military family who doesn’t want to live under her illustrious forebears shadow ventures out into the galaxy to the disapproving stares of the Houses…winds up finding a cause she could believe in and using the talents a Chiss Academy provided best – flying fighters and killing variant aliens.

“We’ll probably get stopped and searched at least 50 times…”

“I know,” Ken leaned back and took a sip of his packet soup breakfast

“And a welcome as warm as the glaciers of the city,” an easy smile on his face,

In preparation he had been diligent in reading up on Chiss culture from guides she had provided, she appreciated it, but knew it would still be quite a shock from what he was used to…the rigidity, the formality…all the things she left behind.

“hey,” he leaned forward with an open hand

“It’ll be fine,” instinctively she reached out to take it, their finger mingling and engagement rings briefly rubbing,

“We’ve taken on Two Star Destroyers together, I think we can deal with a few Chiss border guards,”

She smiled warmly as a quiet chime beeped on Kens comm,
“Sorry…” he glanced down,

“Go ahead take it,” she said supportively as his face dropped

“Problem,”

“Not sure…the Kage wants to see me in an hour.”

<<<<>>>

A gaggle of people surrounded a Teidowan holding a mall portable holo projector in the hall way.  Ken checked his chrono, he was early for the meeting with Silman, so slowly pressed into the gathering,

“What’s everyone watching?”

“Oh, haven’t you seen it,” an older Teidowan Ge’Re’Tal stepped aside to let him through,

“It’s from the other day, one of the Men at Arms recorded it,”  Kens height allowed him to see the slightly jittery but unmistakeable form of Silman the height of Kens hand made up of blue pixels, ducking and weaving under a hail of fire, then.

He froze…if there was any consolation it was that everyone in the small crowd was so fixated on the bootlegged holo-vid they didn’t notice his lapse, and couldn’t feel the trickle of fear up his spine…a massive humanoid figure that moved with horrific grace and speed pursuing the Kage…something about the figure…the way it moved, the curve of its armour…

“What…what is that…” his mouth was suddenly dry the memory of Black Armour dominating his thoughts…could he…no surely he wasn’t on M’Tzigon…Silman, Dad wouldn’t allow it…

“Some kind of battle droid,” a younger Tediowan said, “Nearly blasted the Kage’s head off,” He couldn’t watch anymore, he pulled out of the crowd making a show of checking his chrono to imply he was running late rather than running away.

<<<<>>>>

Silman was outside in the small reception before his office,

“Ah Ken, early as always, come…are you alright?”  The Zabrack had a number of fluro blue bacta patches on his face and was favouring his right leg.

“Yes…just…saw the holo-vid of your fight Master…it was…”

Silman nodded gravely, “Yes…I’d be very interested to know how that vid was recorded and how it got out…” he spread his arm behind Ken to guide him in,

“…but that’s not what I wanted to discuss please come in.”

Inside Ken gratefully took one of the three seats in front of the desk, rather than sit behind it Silman sat beside him.

“I know you’re going to Csilla with you fiancé as part of your leave after your extended placement with the Sons,”

Ken nodded, Silman no doubt had signed off on the leave form himself,

“It’s a difficult thing, getting into and out of Csilla, and I hate to ask this of you on such a personal visit and after such a long time undercover…but if you can I need your help following up a lead there,”

That shocked Ken…the Chiss were as far from M’Tzigon and galactic politics as you could get short of Bakura. 

“I’m going to be honest with you Ken, The Joint Chiefs are considering purchasing Battle Droids to bolster our ranks in the current climate, the one I fought was a demonstration model produced by a group called Aertemis Industries…it uses an Imperial design but with what we know are Chiss modifications…what I’d like you to do, is if you get a chance see what you can find out about this company or anyone the Chiss are selling technology to,”

Slightly stunned Ken simply half nodded half stared

“I don’t want you putting yourself at risk, the Chiss are frigid at the best of times…no offence…” Silman tried to inject some humour, Ken seemed oddly distant of late.

“But I also imagine they don’t often do business with ‘aliens’ as they call us…so if you see anything, hear anything while you are there regarding droids, nanite fibre or encryption tech sales…”

Ken nodded more confidently

“I’ll keep my eyes open Kage…”

Silman smiled

“I know I can count on you Ken, your performance with the Sons was exemplary, but I want to be clear, I’m not expecting anything and won’t be disappointed if you don’t get a chance, the Chiss are cagey and play close to their chest…play it safe, the last thing we need is the Chiss angry with us!”

<<<<>>>>
Logged

Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

Lord_S_Gray
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 33
Posts: 646



« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2018, 11:24:49 PM »

Chapter 4 - What Was Left Behind
Part 2
“Coming down,” Bursa called as the empty pallet descended thought the roof as she sat on an old wooden chest as she watched Gurph, his fur covered in dust, fill a box with candlesticks that…hummed?...in the force.

Her connection to the force was marginal at best...enough to let her resist a mind probe, sense someone coming and occasionally, if she was really angry, make a rock move. 

That small edge had allowed her to quickly rise in the ranks in a scouting crops, until while on assignment in the mid-rim putting down some rebellion or other an Inquisitor had noticed her…two weeks later she was on a ship with documents ‘requisitioning’ her for his use. 

What had followed was two years with the sweaty psycho, having to ‘please’ him between hunting former Jedi, a quick suck was preferable to coping a beating if only just…she still woke some nights gagging from the nightmares of those days.

When he finally got his face blown off by a wrist mounted flame thrower belonging to another Inquisitor, she was re-assigned - five years of stalking old Jedi ruins for bits and bobs, occasionally being assigned as back up for one of the dozen or so trumped up dren lickers who called themselves Darth.  The action was infrequent, most of the ruins were abandoned, the populations nearby wiped out or didn’t care.

As Gruph finished loading up another bunch of the junk she hopped off the chest and helped him lift it over onto the pallet.  Iphrati Nyder had ferried dozens of weird and ancient things back to the various vaults the Empire had constructed.  Why they collected them at all she wasn’t sure…nominally it was for the Emperors personal use, but there was so much dumped in the vaults he would never have time to go through it all.

Didn’t matter now, the crotchety old man she had only seen once from 200 metres away at a military parade on Carida was blown to bits now, and instead of piling stuff into the vaults, she was now piling stuff out of them.

Once the Death Star had blown…again…the credits had stopped coming, the Inquisitors had turned on each other and she was out of a job.  Heading to Socorro because…why the frell not, she’d run into Bursa another scout for the old days who’d left on a mission with an Inquisitor years ago and never came back, and his lupine Shistavanen mate Gruph…and frell did they mate the sound going right through the ships walls…

They stole on a plan of making some quick cash raiding the Vaults before the Reb’s or the ‘True Believer’ Imps got to them, after the first success they’d picked up a fourth partner in Tendar Solax an Inquisition drop out with more scars on his face than kills to his name. 

She glanced over what little was left to be collected, some old books, a hideous statue of an emaciated Mon Calamari, trying to decide if this dren was worth hauling to Canto Bite for sale at Nyssia-Cordaba Auction house…she could never tell how much this stuff would go for…some things she thought would be valuable, scrolls and weird looking books, garnered no interest, others like half a broken lightsabre sold for thousands of credits. 

Might as well take it all just in case she finally decided.  So far business had been good, but she knew it would slow fast…there were rumours of a bunch of Jedi wannabes called Templars who had the same idea as them, a few other ex-Imp crews she’d met on Socorro, and rumours of some outfit in black armour of some kind stalking around some of the places they’d tagged.  There was a finite number of vaults, finite number of valuable kriff and finite amount of time before someone else got there.

“This one too,” Gruph growled at the hideous statue,

“Why the frell not,” she sneered giving the place a last look over…she should probably use her force sense, reach out with your anger the Inquisitors would say.

A slight glimmer in the back of her mind, she crouched down and looked between the empty utilitarian shelves of second hand durasteel. Just under one of them, squeezed at an angle to the wall was a small cube covered in dust.  As she crawled over she felt the air vibrate slightly around it as her finger gingerly closed in.

“What’s that,” grunted Gruph as he lifted the statue,

“Our Retirement fund” Nyder smiled as the blue light peeked through the mote sprinkled air.
<<<<>>>>
Logged

Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

TheDutchman
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Force Alignment: 689
Posts: 2780


Guardian Blue is my life


« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2018, 06:11:47 PM »

Excellent job "running with the ball" with Ken, LSG!  Ah, yet MORE Aethan-induced nightmares... Poor guy.  And now heading into the Ascendancy?!  This...could go either way...

I'm liking the perspective in part two from Nyder: being an underling can suck... But I'm wondering what holocron they've found...

Again: absolutely LOVING this collaboration!
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Maenowan Nexu Master of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG, Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO

Karmack
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Force Alignment: 681
Posts: 3147


Light side points please.


« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2018, 07:43:27 AM »

Chapter 5: The Invitation
part 1

Located in the mid-levels of a high rise of Chasin City on Commenor the office was large, dark and lightly furnished, a chair behind the clear desk and two moderately priced chairs in front, but immaculately clean…there was a scent of plasteel and the acrid tinge electro-dampening paints in the air as if it had only been recently refurbished…

Karm suspected it had been prepared for this specific meeting…two points for suspicion.

Telow'na had little information on this Aethena Society…it was a private charity founded from bequests centuries ago that offered scholarships to numerous Core universities and sponsored various academic symposia and conferences, there seemed nothing unusual about it at all…indeed the small quotation beneath the blue lit sign at the entrance to the office even sounded like something from the Psalter.

“Get wisdom, get understanding: forget Her not. Forsake Her not, and She shall preserve thee: love Her, and She shall keep thee.”

Third and fourth points for suspicion.

After being directed in by a bored looking secretary he had stopped dead when he saw what was on the other side of the desk…he had to struggle to stop his hand from summoning his sabre.  Beside the seated form of what looked like a twenty year old woman was a statue of deepest night – Black Armour...   But no…this wasn’t the…thing…that Ken and Jorya had seen with the Sons of Kessel…this one was tall due to the armour certainly, but without it he guessed the person inside would only be of average human height.

It was no less terrifying, the underlying Song of life and existence seemed to cease around the creature.  He briefly wondered if these oblivion monsters were some kind of rare and expensive Bodyguard…but surely Telow'na would’ve found out if they were simply for hire?

“Welcome Master ... Mack? Is that the title you prefer,” Came the sweet young woman’s voice

It will do well enough... Karmack thought.  “Yes, thank you Miss…”

“Lyssia Andisdottir,” she replied gesturing to the seat.

Any thoughts he had that the deathly statue behind her was some kind of hired guard were soon obliterated as he realized the song was just as dead around her, the force itself nullified.  He recalled there were techniques that could create a void in the force - but only the most powerful users could achieve it, and only then for a short period of time.  She hadn’t said anything beyond her name yet he already distrusted her as the force seeped from him.  He felt sick ... vulnerable ... exposed...   Intellectually he knew that it was not uncommon for business people to have body guards and dampening devices for avoiding eavesdroppers, but this?  His gut told him this was somewhere he should not be.

He would need to be cautious not to allow his emotions to affect his thinking or lead him to make incorrect assumptions…The galaxy was full of all manner of species and groups that used the force in different ways…this woman must simply be a member of such a group…he must not judge her for that.

“May we offer you some refreshments Master Mack?”

“No thank you,” he straightened himself in his chair, acutely aware even without the force that the bodyguard was burning holes into him behind that helmet.  “I must say I have never heard of your organization before Ms. AndisDottir,”

She smiled softly…young and very beautiful, she had shoulder length dark hair done in a relatively standard short pony tail with wisps to the side of her forehead left loose touching just to the side of her blue-grey eyes…  “We tend to keep a low profile especially in troubled times such as these.”

He nodded, that wasn’t overtly unusual, many NGO’s and Charities had lain low during the Empire’s reign.  “I was intrigued to receive your invitation…and interested in how you came to know so much about Mak’Tor artefacts?”

“We thank you for accepting it, Master Mack.  Well then, to business … we understand you are currently investigating the history of the Ancient One and the Starfire.”

That hit him hard, and Karmack struggled to hide his consternation and keep his face blank.  He had told no one outside of the Council of Balance, Arnor and Chillum about his investigations.  So either these people had some impressive surveillance ... or there was a spy deep within the Mak’Tor.   He won his battle to keep his composure and took a deep breath: there was no sense lying now, and with a quick glance toward the looming abyss coloured sentinel decided he would not risk any kind of confrontation by exposing their eavesdropping.  He could play along … for the moment.  

“True, information about the Ancient One and Starfire are a part of my research aimed at recovering some of our history.  Much has been lost over the years … I hope to fill some gaps,” he smoothed his purposes.

“Indeed…well we have an interest in those items specifically as part of our own research program…we asked you here because we believe we could assist each other,”

He kept his expression as neutral as possible.

“We have some information and…experience that could advance your research by months…possibly years…and we are willing to offer it to you in exchange for allowing us an opportunity to experiment with and test the crystals once you have obtained them with a view to duplicating their properties and understanding their construction process…” she paused for a moment.  “And a complete compilation of the information they contain.”

The combination of being without the song and confronted with details about the crystals he had barely spoken about was making him perspire…the shadow guardians presence doing nothing to diminish his uneasiness…based on Ken and Jorya’s description of Black Armours…abilities…this was a being that could snap his neck before his eyes even registered it had moved.  Karmack hummed a calming motif subliminally.  Even cut off from the force, the familiar notes of the melody helped sooth him.  “You are very well informed Miss Andisdottir…” he needed to be cautious…very cautious …with his words.  “May I inquire as to what specifically you intend to do with this information once you obtain it,”

Her eyes squinted ever so slightly in annoyance.  “The same thing you intend to do with Master Mack, to help fill gaps in the historical record.”

Karmack suppressed a sigh.  Playing word games would get them nowhere.  The question was simply who would be blunt first…  "As you are no doubt also aware, Ms. Andisdottir, these crystals also possess a potent ... weaponized potential.  Upon whom do you intend to use that?”

His attempt to throw her off her stride with his candor failed.  “Again Master Mack, our intention is the same as yours: As a defense against … unknown future threats that we can sense and wish to be as prepared for as possible.”

There was too much truth in her statement to be denied…she was younger than Ken yet seemed wiser than Chillum.  The Black Armoured Man continued to stare him down…the physical equivalent of her intellectual prowess.  So if your intentions are so pure ... why all the muscle and intimidation?

“Let me pose a hypothetical…” she sifted out of the silence, “If you were aware of someone developing a weapon capable of say destroying an entire solar system…a hyperspace cannon that could annihilate a dozen worlds in a single blast from across the galaxy…what would you do?”

He paused for a moment, considering.  Carefully...  “In the interests of the right to life of all beings I would attempt to prevent that research going ahead. I would … try to convince them to stop.”

“That is unlikely to succeed,” she replied.  "And when your negotiations failed?"

Karmack let his eyes narrow, sensing the trap...  Honesty always...  If he was to be damned, then be damned for who he really was!  "Well then I would use ... other methods ... to prevent such a weapon from being deployed.”

She regarded him carefully for a moment.  “Interesting…what makes you think you have the right to interfere at all?”

Karmack masked his surprise at the question.  What did she mean?  How could any moral person not interfere?  But then it hit him, hard: he was assuming a common definition of morality... His face turned thoughtful as he considered it.  Why did he assume he had the right to interfere?  And how to explain it?  "I suppose, Miss Andisdottir, it’s not so much that I feel I have a right to interfere as I would feel morally obligated to defend the millions or perhaps billions of innocent lives represented on the planets such a weapon might target.”

When her expression remained unmoved he pressed on.  “There are times when the use of force, even deadly force, is unavoidable and even necessary.  It is always regrettable.  And the same moral standard that compels me to defend the innocent from such a weapon also compels me to do all that I can to employ deadly force only when it is absolutely necessary and only against specific, legitimate targets.  The indiscriminate killing of innocents via a terror weapon is simply immoral, and on that ground I would oppose it."  Karmack cocked his head to the side.  “Tell me Miss Andisdottir: how would you respond”

“We…”  He noted she always referred to ‘we’ never ‘I’ ,  “...would seek to benefit from the knowledge, perhaps even contribute to its development, allying with its maker…then obtaining the designs for ourselves to both replicate it and develop countering devices.  We would never tell someone what to do or not to do with their own resources and intellect.”

“You don’t consider it immoral to assist in the production of a weapon of such ... indiscriminate mass destruction?” he replied.

It was only because he had been trained to read micro expressions when he lacked the force to detect a lie, as he did now, that he notice her suppress and eye roll.  “We have no interest in a paternalistic discourse on morality  - This is not a galaxy in which one has the luxury to make choices based on some moral code you wake and decide to follow one day.”

Karmack felt a bead of sweat trickle down the middle of his back.  Somehow he was sure the Sentinel before him knew all about it...  He set his fear aside and plunged ahead.  "Our morality is not something we 'wake up and decide to follow one day' Miss Andisdottir.  Whatever terms you use, you also operate on a moral code.  The Way of the Maker has served us well for millennia.  I will put my faith in it."

The eye-roll again...  “Indeed it has…but was it not the case that one of your forebears went to sleep one night without this moral code and the next day decided to adopt it…you simply follow that individual’s path, a path you can choose to disregard at any time?”

Karmack smiled, and despite the tension in the room he relaxed slightly.  This was ground he'd covered before, both internally and externally.  "Miss Andisdottir, the Way was given to us by the Maker.  He neither slumbers nor sleeps, and He blessed us with knowledge of His creation and the moral code he built into the very fabric of the Universe.  Through both natural revelation and the special revelation he visited on the ancient Seers the Way was determined.  It did not appear overnight, and it is not something we ... something I ...  can deviate from or disregard.”

As ever her face was ice.  “Setting this discourse aside for the moment, it is that kind of scenario for which we invited you here Master Mack,”  Her eyes gazed straight into his and Karmack caught a flicker of blue lighting arcing in their depths.  “The weaponized potential of the Ancient One and the Starfire combined is extreme, and we both know it.  Your pursuit of the knowledge to make use them is the equivalent of designing a personal Death Star.”

His heart sank at the accusation, not because it was completely antithetical to his belief’s to use any weapon so indiscriminately, and hurtful to be implicitly compared to Palpatine…but because at a very base level it was a good analogy…the crystals could be considered a Mak’Tor super-weapon.  What did his pursuit to obtain it to defeat and unknown enemy say about him?

“And we do not want to be on the receiving end of its fury…so instead we offer you our assistance in obtaining it with a view to vaccinating ourselves against it.”

Karmack looked at her eyes, deep perfect blue in perfect white skin, lightning dancing in the depths.  The Armoured figure beside her was a physical manifestation of the null space which stood like a gaping hole in the force that screamed emptiness.  Point five for suspicion.  Game, set match...

This woman was at least as strong as the sentinel, even considering whatever strange properties his armor possessed.  Perhaps with a full connection to the force, with his battle song in full voice, with his chorus to channel it...he might…no, not even then.  Not alone.

And that was the final point.  He was alone.  Cut off from the force when he needed it most being pressed with what Du'an Chillum would have called the 'hard sell'...   He needed time to think, to clear his head...  "You make good points, Miss Andisdottir.  Points I must meditate on and consider.  Perhaps we could adjourn and meet again in a day or two?"

She didn’t immediately answer him, letting him sweat some more.  Finally she replied, “We are offering you a quick and easy way to obtain what we both want, then we can go our separate ways…We have come to you, and been honest about our concerns…”  Her face an unreadable mask of pure white skin that contrasted sickly with the light sucking darkness of her body guard.  “Take your time…but consider very carefully the implications of refusing our offer,” she relented

The black scar in the force before his eyes meant he could do little else.

She rose slightly as the door hissed open behind him, and as he stood Karmack chanced on a last attempt to feel something…anything from either of them.

Karmack met her eyes again, looking past the youth, past the perfection, past the lightning that danced threateningly behind them.  He looked into the windows of the soul ... and felt ... nothing.  Like everything else in this room, her eyes were a null space.  Unreachable.  Unreadable.

He bowed.  "You have given me much to consider.  But consider it I must.  Until tomorrow then."
Logged

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Master Singer of the Mak'Tor

Karmack
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Force Alignment: 681
Posts: 3147


Light side points please.


« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2018, 08:06:10 AM »

Chapter 5: The Invitation
part 2

Whilst his hosts had offered to pay for his accommodation and food at a very exclusive hotel he chose to spend the night at an out-of-the way hostel near the spaceport.  The room was small, clean, and easily defensible should the need arise.  Not that it would make much difference.  If they want me dead, I will be dead.

It had been a relief, far greater than he cared to admit, to feel the flood of connection to the force, to again hear the song, as he'd left the office and the very…intimidating…folk who occupied it.

Karmack sat in a comfortable position, his body still while his mind churned.  The choice was before him: he must make it.  That much was certain.  But at what cost?  To partner with these people seemed to be a partnership with evil.  Not the focused, contrary evil of a Sith or Dark Singer, perhaps, but the ... the lack of morality.  The absence of compassion, of love...

No.  That wasn't right either.  They had compassion.  Morality.  Love.  But only for themselves.  Only for their own.  They were totally and completely focused inward.  They wanted the Ancient One and the Starfire, or at least copies of them, for their own purposes.  Purposes they were unwilling to share.  They spoke of sharing the technology, of inoculating themselves against the weaponized potential of the crystals, asking him to believe their purpose was purely defensive while implying that his own was nefarious...

He returned to her analogy of the Death Star.  It had stung ... it still stung ... to be compared to that monster Palpatine.  But was if a fair comparison?  Was he just after a Mak'Tor 'super-weapon'?  In the moment he'd been unsure, the question itself throwing him off-balance...

That was the point, Karm.  The realization rolled through him, and it made sense.  She was trying to throw him off-balance.  Both of her examples - a theoretical hyperspace cannon and the very real Death Star with its super-laser - were weapons of mass destruction.  The crystals, while extremely powerful, were not.  They were precision instruments, to be put into the hands of a Master, or perhaps a group of Masters, and even if they were used offensively would still fall far short of even a simple planetary bombardment by a Star Destroyer, let alone a true planet-killer, in overall effect.

So.  A straw-man argument after all.  But one backed up by extremely successful intimidation tactics.  And he still had no idea who they were or what they really wanted with the Ancient One and Starfire.  Whatever they said, it wasn't defense.  The warrior in the room with Miss Andisdottir wouldn't have needed any help taking him down, and they obviously had some way of presenting and holding a force dampening field.  Everything about the meeting was designed to intimidate and unsettle him - or any other strong force user.

But why?  What were they afraid of...

The realization startled him into speaking out loud.  "They're afraid of me..."

Karmack rolled the though over, examining it.  No...  Not me specifically.  They're afraid of what I represent...  Of extrinsic morality, of being held to a standard that might jeopardize who they were today, what they'd become.  They were so focused on their goals and objectives, so absorbed inwardly on their path that they couldn't even consider the greater benefits of accepting the basic tenants of right and wrong that they had left behind, that the Maker Himself had built into the very fabric of the universe.

And without that common understanding of right and wrong, good and evil, they easily shifted to the "Us vs Them" mentality that made it moral to use and even kill others as necessary to further the only thing that mattered - their goals.

But what were those goals?  What did they want?  They wanted the crystals, obviously, but why?  Was it really just for defense against the possibility of the Mak'Tor having and using them?  Or did they have some other use in mind?  And what if he didn't cooperate with them?  What then?  What were the possible outcomes?  If he rejected their offer, the obvious result was conflict, perhaps even his own immediate death.  The members of this Aethena Society only presented a binary solution set: Be my friend, or be my enemy.   

They made their friendship look very attractive, and being their enemy utterly terrifying.  But did it really work that way?

Relationships built on something as fickle as 'mutual interest' rarely lasted.  In time, interests diverged.  Yes, the combination of the Ancient One and the Starfire could be a ... potent weapon.  But it had other capabilities as well.

His thoughts flickered to the guard behind him and to the abilities that Ken and Jorya had reported of Black Armor with the Sons of Kessel.  These people are ... impressive.  They know us, know our capabilities.  In the name of defence they wish to duplicate those abilities.  But what do we know of their people?  Of their capabilities?

What were they offering of their unique technology for the Mak'Tor to duplicate, to maintain the balance?

The answer to all those questions was one word: nothing.

And yet...  Despite it all this the offer may in fact be the best and quickest way...

Karmack stilled his mind.  Maker, give me wisdom! he prayed, then dove into the song, listening and tracing its melodies and harmonies.  Everything in perfect balance...

Balance.  That was the key.   The Universe operated in a state of dynamic balance.  Not just physically but morally.  Evil was inevitably the result of someone getting out of moral balance, out of harmony with the Maker.

And there was no balance here.

With a sigh Karmack realized he really had no choice: he must decline the offer.

He knew there was a very good chance he would die, that as soon as he refused Andisdottir’s offer her hulking guard would tear his head from his neck and pluck the Ancient One from his sabre. But he had to do this…he could not simply send a comm message…this might be the most wilfully suicidal thing he had ever done, more than fighting Mendax, more than delving into the depths of Coruscant to find the Spire and the Balance Stone, more than confronting Mellichae on Dantooine…and yet…

He had to stand before her and refuse her, to look into those empty eyes and state his case…to face it head on and not shy away from the consequences of resisting…this wasn’t an evil to be fought from a distance …this wasn’t evil as the absence of good…this was a primal, vicious mindset that didn’t even contemplate right and wrong to know itself twisted. He would hold his own morality before it, would challenge and confront it in the hopes that they would, eventually, see the Truth. 

Even if it cost him his life.

---

Once again he rode the turbo lift up alone in silence, idly watching as the floor lights blinked and the ground receded through the transparisteel.  The same bored secretary was at the desk idly painting her nails a pastel pink…but the quote beneath the sign had changed to read:

“Rebuke a wise woman and she will love you, give instruction to a woman and she will be wiser still”

Again it sounded like the Psalter…was this an attempt to mock him, to warn him? Or perhaps…perhaps the mere fact it had garnered a reaction from him was proof they had just scored a point against him…troubling he was already thinking of them as an enemy.

Again taken into the same room, Andisdottir was there, along with her guardian, it was almost as if they hadn’t moved for the whole time he had been gone…for all he knew that was the case.

“Master Mack, can we offer you any refreshments, we hope you had a pleasant evening,” She began offering him a seat.

“No thank you,” he remained standing to her annoyance.   “I won’t take up much of your time,”  Karmack looked at her, then at her guardian, and realized the intimidation was gone.  He might die in the next minute, but the die was cast. “I considered your offer long and hard, Miss Andisdottir.  It was very ... compelling."  He met the guardian's basilisk gaze, the black armor sucking in the very air around it, and smiled.  His eyes went back to her impassive, nearly unreadable face.  "I would very much like to see our peoples become friends, or at least good neighbors, but I cannot agree to the terms you offer for this ... joint venture.  I am afraid that I must decline."

As he finished he waited for the inevitable, for the cold press of the black guards hand around his throat, or the piercing pain of its sword through his heart…like so much in this room there was simply…nothing.

Andisdottir sighed,  “We are disappointed Master Mack…but we respect your choice…should you reconsider you know where to find us,.”

And you know where to find me he thought.

As he neared the door he paused for a moment  "I did have one more question if I may Miss Andisdottir."

She seemed indifferent, "Please."

"As you know much about Mak'Tor history, perhaps you can offer some guidance on another area of my research, specifically into the truth behind the Saga of Vyth..."

For the first time her face shifted, her countenance darkened and eyes narrowed, her guardian placed a heavy, but unnervingly silent foot forwards, he realized he may have just pushed too far.  She quickly glanced toward her guardian and he stepped back...again silently as a tomb...  "It is a myth Master Mack, nothing more...just like your Maker."  Her caustic comment told him he had struck something very sensitive.

He smiled gently and bowed.  "Good day Miss Andisdottir." As he left he felt the black guards eyes burn into his back.

---

He turned to her as she flicked through a holo-store that sold shoes on her datapad.  “He’s left the planet,”

“mmmm…”

Her ‘receptionist’ was sitting on the desk eating the small sweetened cakes that Master Mack had not wanted one by one.  “Well I suppose that’s that then…” she finally said over the chewing.

She reached out and slapped her sisters butt.   “Stop stuffing your face and go call Friend Cha,”

“Whatever,” she said hopping off and heading out.

“Why didn’t he listen?” she wondered idly.

“Outsiders only understand one language,” he replied.

She shrugged indifferently and picked out which pair she would buy from the list, then with as much interest as she had just chosen shoes for the theatre,  “Activate Mendax,”
Logged

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Master Singer of the Mak'Tor

TheDutchman
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 689
Posts: 2780


Guardian Blue is my life


« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2018, 10:46:36 AM »

 Shocked

"Activate Mendax!?!"

What a way to cap off this PHENOMENAL chapter!  Good on Karm to have not only the courage of his convictions BUT the bravery to confront the Aethans.  GO KARM!

Ahem; sorry.  It's just that this installment was AwEsOmE!  Excellent treatise on the questions concerning a (or many) universal truth(es)...literally  Smiley. Karm's VERY human discomfort was PERFECTLY conveyed.  Great writing!

Did I mention how incredible this post was?   Wink

...HOW am I supposed to wait for CH.6 NOW?!
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Maenowan Nexu Master of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG, Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO

Karmack
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 681
Posts: 3147


Light side points please.


« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2018, 11:07:34 AM »

...HOW am I supposed to wait for CH.6 NOW?!

I usually find that a good cup of coffee and some relaxing music helps...  ;-)
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Master Singer of the Mak'Tor

Lord_S_Gray
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Force Alignment: 33
Posts: 646



« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2018, 03:32:10 PM »

Ahem; sorry.  It's just that this installment was AwEsOmE!  Excellent treatise on the questions concerning a (or many) universal truth(es)...literally  Smiley. Karm's VERY human discomfort was PERFECTLY conveyed.  Great writing!

Indeed this was one of my favorite chapters to work with Karm on, put his character in a very tough position and drilled into some fascinating issues, almost like ideology of Karmack versus pure pragmatism of Andisdottir.  One of my favorite bits was Karm's "nothing" - he's looking into these potential enemies and seeing nothing, no hate, no care...just emptiness, there is something very troubling about that.
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Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

Taegin Roan
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 1454
Posts: 4891


Lord of the Force


« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2018, 11:45:29 AM »

I usually find that a good cup of coffee and some relaxing music helps...  ;-)

Haha, nice. Cheesy

I have to agree with TD though, this was absolutely incredible. And the mental battle between Karm and Andisdottir, even though it wasn't really shown, you could tell there was something there. One of my favorite things about this collaboration is t the fact that you and LSG work so well together that you cannot really tell who wrote the chapter, and that is absolutely awesome. Can't wait for more.
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"I am the Outcast's Shadow" - Taegin Roan
"We are the spark that will light the fire that will burn the first order down." - Poe Dameron

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