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Author Topic: Meanwhile...back in Karmic-Land  (Read 2894 times)

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Offline Karmic

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Meanwhile...back in Karmic-Land
« on: 08/11/13, 11:46:55 AM »
Karmic shook her head, blinking herself awake.  She'd drifted off, again.  That would make it the fourth time now, while trying to get through these reports.

Most of the time she was able to stay out of the business meetings and paperwork and number crunching involved in keeping her mines and refinery working. Keeping the communities of ex-slaves functioning, more or less, smoothly - while still turning a profit and keeping everything fully legal.  Its exactly why she had hired and trained dozens of those ex-slaves who had the talents and inclinations for such boring (as she saw it) work, years ago when she branched out.

But at least four times a year she had to check in with the details, the minute' details - and spend several weeks pouring through everything those who took care of it the rest of the year, had compiled for her to go over.  Her head swam.  It was 4 am and she'd been at this since 7 this morning. Outside of her few hours each evening out, she'd done this for over a week straight now.  Most of it was the standard reviews, but they were also preparing to acquire another mining property - so there was extra work to be done in order to be ready for the transition of owners next week.

She looked over at the caff Khem Val had brought her, what was it now..at least an hour ago?  She took it in hand, zapping it to reheat it again and drank the rest of it down; hoping it would help keep her awake a little longer.  If she could get through this last batch of reports, she could take all tomorrow off to rest, before needing to complete one more assignment - and then be free enough to visit her properties next week.  So much to do!

She muscled down into the information again.  Though even as her mind checked numbers, it wandered, thinking back to how this all started - several years ago now.  How her small start had turned into a bustling, multi-million credits a year, corporation.  How she had gone from rescuing single slaves at a time, when she was able to afford it; to freeing thousands at a time now with each new acquisition of property.  How she had gone from working solo, to having dozens of ex-slaves as fully trained employees of all types, protectors, and assistants on her more covert missions.  She'd hand picked every single one of them, from the many who volunteered to be on her personal staff.

Her mind wandered back to her days as a young Apprentice, before she met Tae.  When she was working special ops, and taking side jobs to subsidize her income enough, along with the stipend from her former Owner, so that once every few months, she'd have saved enough to visit a slave market and free a few of them.  In those early days, it was simpler.  She'd be there fitting in with any of the other buyers, just another Sith - possibly buying slaves for a Master, or a Lord or Darth, who had sent her.  She'd get the one or three she could manage to purchase back to her ship, and then free them.  Take them wherever they'd wished to go, and with some credits in their pocket, drop them off to live their lives - however they would manage to do that.  She knew even then it wasn't the best solution, but it was all she could afford to do.

Her mind continued wandering around, to when she became a Lord.  Her associations and connections she made with Tae as her Master; her own gain in standing and abilities allowing her to rise through the ranks of Sith - to start to stand out for being an effective, efficient, and discreet Assassin.  Her name becoming known in its own right.  The credits coming in faster, and from more sources.  That's when the plan to do what she was doing now started; that's when she started going to the slave markets looking for specific types of slaves. Ones with previous training, ones with specific histories.  She knew she needed to hire those people who could do what she could not do, so that her business idea would actually work.  People she could trust, implicitly.  That's when she started her work on her hand-picked staff.  Freed slaves of particular trainings that she needed, given their freedom and then the option of training and working for her.  Some elected to cut their losses and bolt, thinking to seek safety by becoming lost in the masses again.  But more agreed.

And then finally, having laid the ground work and done the research - the business getting up off the ground.  From her years of contacts, she had slicers and information gatherers in all areas - both underground and not - feeding her the names and information of those who not only traded slaves, but in other things as well.  Whether trading in illegal goods, getting themselves wanted by the wrong people, breaking Imperial law in how they ran their business (usually) by skimming a little too much off the top in the profits that went back into the Empire, and other such activities - she positioned herself to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right people - to bring them down.  She'd been able to shut down, buyout, or force-retirement on a number of slaving trading rings and slavers. Some small, some big.  Though the need and the information never stopped, she was then able to move onto the corporate level.

She still engaged in shutting down or buying out and dismantling (and sometimes re-assembling for a different purpose) various slave rings and markets around the galaxy.  But she also moved on to bigger prey.  Mining operations, Refining operations - corporations that utilized thousands upon thousands of slaves for labor. The types of places she was sold to, when she began her life in slavery.  She dove into their secrets, and found more than enough to be able to maneuver them out of their businesses, to become hers.  All perfectly legal.  And the fact that of the 2 mines and 1 refining operation she'd bought out so far returned more profit back to the Empire than they ever did under previous management meant that the Empire wasn't really complaining either - or listening to much to the complaints of those she'd heavy handed to buyout.  Not her fault they got too greedy. It wasn't too difficult to turn a tidy profit and still make the payments and cutbacks that went to the Empire, instead of trying to skim more profits.  The mistake of so many Darths, of so many corporate heads; simple greed and pride.

And now she'd done it again. They were days away from closing the deal on another mining operation, making it her third mine, and fourth asset.  And this one would be her biggest yet.  Of the properties she'd already gained, she had six thousand freed slaves living and working at them, as full employees.  This operation though would almost double her count by itself - there were 4 thousand slaves working this mine. Four thousand slaves to be freed, and then given the option to leave or be rehired back on.  Most did not leave.  Most realized their best bet of survival, and staying free, was becoming a paid employee and building a home on the property they were now allowed to work and own themselves.

So next week, she'd find herself addressing her newly acquired work force.  Giving the speech she'd now made several times already.  Informing her "slaves" of their new lives, their new options. Setting up their new government for their new community, and helping her "transition team" get established to help the new property in its reformatting.  She always asked them for a six months, the newly freed slaves.  Half a year to show them what she could do for them, what they could do for themselves.

But first, she had a separate mission to complete.  A Darth's Apprentice had been at the wrong place and the wrong time, and gotten himself caught by an underground group of Slavers that attempted to operate outside of the Empire, and outside of the Hutts as well.  Bad idea for them. Good for her.  The Darth had hired her to rescue his Apprentice, in the hopes of keeping all of this a secret and not turning it into an embarrassment.  She would keep his secret; rescue his Apprentice - and locate the main operation for the Hutts to take care of after she exited the scene.  The Hutts in turn would turn over whatever "property" they found in the illegal slaver's possession once they had destroyed the business (and the slavers) as payment for her services.  Several Hutt families had used her for this purpose in the past, among others, and it was a long running and mutually beneficial arrangement between them.  She forsaw no difficulties outside of getting in, and getting out, with the foolish Apprentice.

Her eyelids dropped down again, slowly but inevitably, she drifted off asleep.  The holopad fell from her fingers onto the tabletop.  Khem found her there a handful of minutes later, now fast asleep.  He gently picked her up and carried her to her bedroom, laying her out on the bed and covering her up.  Her ship's crew knew the long hours she kept, and how few nights she spent sleeping already.  Their Mistress's hard won sleep would not be interrupted.

History Posts:  Her Backstory , Darth-Hood

Offline Karmic

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Re: Meanwhile...back in Karmic-Land
« Reply #1 on: 08/18/13, 10:41:11 AM »
Karmic was furious as she and the Apprentice finally arrived onto her ship.  She turned to walk down the hall when the Apprentice grabbed her arm and tugged on it to get her to turn around.  So turn around she did - and backhanded the Apprentice across the face with such force he flew back and slammed into the wall before dropping back to the floor.  He cried out in pain, as his broken arm and busted ribs protested.  She'd hope he'd finally show signs of intelligence now that they were back on the ship, but the emotions she sensed off of him as he glared back at her told her that no, in fact, the pain and shock of what she had just done did not manage to register with any intelligence.  Perhaps he had none.  He got three steps into his charge back at her before he found himself entirely unable to move.

Her eyes glowed softly from beneath her hood as she wrapped him in force energy.  Only when he was bound and floating several inches off the floor did she start to see realization dawn in his eyes, of the mistakes he had made.  With this one apparently, it took a reminding of power to get him to pay attention.

Her personal physician, "Dr. Molton", came running around the corner.  He halted when he saw what was going on.

"Not now, DOC," she emphasized his title as she turned her still glowing eyes upon him.

"But Karmic he..." Was as far as he got before Karmic interrupted him, "I SAID NOT NOW! Sith Business! You'll have him when I'm done!"  She glared at him and he looked as if he would protest further before he just nodded and walked off.  She hated talking to him like that, and knew she'd have to apologize later, but right now this needed to be handled her way.

She turned back to the idiot who had almost gotten them both killed.  Getting to him had gone off without a hitch, as she had expected.  She'd found him in the Solitary cells on the lowest floor of the main building.  He was bruised and battered; clearly he'd been worked over a few times, but still in one piece.  He'd had a force-collar around his neck and as soon as she'd finished cutting it off, he'd bolted from the cell and raced towards the few guards left on duty at the other end of the hallway.  Clearly bent on some revenge despite the promise he'd given her to stay silent and follow her if she agreed to remove his collar before they got back to the ship.  Trusting that he'd had any sense at all had been her mistake. 

She approached the bound and floating Apprentice slowly, allowing anger and menace to taint the Force energy flowing around him - wanting him to see and feel the threat she now posed to him.  Feel it he did, as she sensed his realization and then fear.

"Perhaps you didn't hear me the first time..." She spoke softly.  "Perhaps your capture and abuse by the hands of the slavers addled your wits, though I would have thought any student of Korriban would be able to handle such easy treatment.  I'm willing to give you the benefit of the situation taking your attention away from what I was saying in your cell.  So let me tell you again, and believe me when I say ...I won't give you that benefit of the doubt a second time."  She looked at him, silent, for a few seconds as she gazed into his eyes, sensing his state of mind.  He finally stopped struggling against the bindings of force-energy holding him and slumped still.

"I said.. I am Darth Karmic Draga'zathoth.." his eyes widened as he was reminded of her title.  In his anger and foolishness it was indeed something he had forgotten. "And I was sent here to rescue you...  but do not think for a moment that means I won't kill you myself if you continue to show me that you are not worthy to be anyone's Apprentice. Right now, I even question how you managed to get off Korriban."  Her voice remained quiet, far more anger and contempt coming off that soft voice than would ever have been felt if she'd been yelling.  A fact she'd learned long ago.  Quiet was so much more intimidating than loud.

"Now, can I release you and trust you to behave with my physician?  Or are you going to continue to show your ass and your stupidity by trying to come after me?" she smiled slowly, her lips curling over the tips of her upper canines, "You know...the Darth...that is rescuing you?"

"No.. no. I won't go after anyone. Please..." he said back to her. She could feel him struggling to calm down and listen to her words.  Feel the pain lancing through his senses as he worked on focusing.

She nodded and released the bindings of Force-energy. He dropped, slumping, to the floor.  "You will go with Dr. Molton and do as he says.  You will stay in the med bay until your Master arrives in a few hours to retrieve you."

The Apprentice got to his knees in front of her, his head bowed.  "I'm sorry, Lord. Please, forgive me.  I was crazed with anger, pain. You have no idea.."

She stopped him right there, "YES! I DO!" her anger caused her voice to rise slightly. "Do NOT make assumptions when it comes to me. Apologize all you like but make NO excuses! For they won't work with me. I know exactly what you've been through, and more. YOU have no idea..."  She calmed again, "Your emotions are no excuse, no reason, for your actions tonight.  Your excuses almost got us both killed, when if you'd been in control enough to just do as I asked you to do we would have slipped out free and clear, and your arm would not now be broken.  And I would not think you a fool.  Consider it a very small price to pay, for a lesson you still obviously need to learn."

He nodded again, still on his knees in front of her.  "You are absolutely right, Lord.  There is no excuse for my disobedience tonight.  A Sith must learn how to hold it together under pain and pressure, and clearly... I failed tonight."  His voice dropped, his sincerity clear.  Perhaps this one did have a brain in his head.  "If not for you, I'd be dead right now.  What can I do to make it up to you? How can I prove my worthiness?"

She nodded, her expression serious as she looked back at him.  She finally dropped the hood over her head and he could see her clearly for the first time.  Her long hair braided down her back, the scars from the brand across her face, the slave ring in her nostril.  Her beauty struck him immediately, she couldn't help but feel his attraction. She wanted to laugh.  Males.

She extended a hand to him, to help him stand.  A hand he now saw was encased in slave rings, chains, and bracelets.  He took it firmly, accepting the help.

"Stand.  Apprentice. You need not kneel to me, ever.  We are Sith, we should stand together - not grovel to each other."  Her voice was calm, with none of the emotion from before.  "Stand and learn from your mistakes.  Go back to your training, and if you become a Lord come find me.  We will see then if you have learned anything at all."

He nodded to her. "I will. I swear it." 

She turned and led him further into the ship; nodding to Dr. Molton, she released the Apprentice into his care.  The Doc looked at her a moment, concern written on his face.  She smiled at him and waved him off, ~Take care of him, we'll talk later...~ her voice was soft in his head.  Molton led the Apprentice into her med bay.

"Andy, proceed to the meet-up coordinates with the Darth. Com him and let him know his Apprentice is safe on board and we're on our way.  Then contact the Hutts and send them the compound's location.  They're free to move in.  And of course, contact the fleet waiting on us - we'll be ready to move out to the new acquisition tomorrow."

Androni-Tae nodded and turned to head back to the bridge.  Karmic headed to her bathroom.  She needed a long soak in her (space)hot-tub to get this night off of her.

History Posts:  Her Backstory , Darth-Hood

Offline Karmic

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Re: Meanwhile...back in Karmic-Land
« Reply #2 on: 08/21/13, 03:27:21 PM »
They'd landed only that morning, but already in the few short hours they'd been here the temporary housing, food, and medical tents had all gone up around the original owner's compound and had already started serving the thousands of slaves that waited on them.  Samzun had coordinated the fleet of ships carrying and delivering the almost endless amount of supplies they would need this first week; and he had ensured all was where it needed to be at 'Go' time.  Karmic smiled, she knew he'd get the job done the right way, from the moment she'd told him what she was needing. 

The stage had also gone up, a raised platform off the edge of the compound's wall that over the next week would serve as a focal point for announcements and a gathering point for the various groups the slaves would be divided into.  The original owners, their personal staff, their slave masters and guards, and anyone not appreciative of the new operating policies had already left the planet - had only stayed for the formal proceedings in the change of ownership.  Once Karmic landed and had finalized the takeover, they were asked to leave - immediately.

This mining territory was setup in much the same way she'd seen others.  The Master's home, this one consisting of several moderately sized buildings, enclosed inside walls.  Between the walls and the mine itself just under a mile away, the thousands of slaves lived in squalor - in whatever way they were able to.  Food was distributed once a day, or what passed for food that the slaves were forced to live, and somehow work, off of.  Inside the walls, some level of cleanliness and calm.  Outside the walls, filth, everywhere.  Order strictly enforced by dozens of slave handlers and armed guards - barely controlled chaos.  If the slaves thought they could get away with it, they would have overthrown their guards and owners years ago.  Much the same could be said, she believed, for most such camps.  However; everyone knew the response of the Empire to such rebellion would be swift and complete annihilation; and on top of that most slaves, having been slaves for their entire lives, had such thoughts and hopes beaten out of them long ago.

But Karmic was here to teach them different.  To renew and restore the hope, drive, and sense of self that so many of them had lost.  She took a deep breath, trying to calm herself before her speech; always amazed she, of all people, was still nervous when addressing the crowd.  She looked left, and then right, at the team leaders that stood fanned out to either side, and slightly behind, her.  They all stood ready behind the wall beneath the stage, waiting to repeat the process they'd done now three times before.  Most of them were former slaves and knew what it was like to live on the other side of that wall.  Karmic had come and restored to each them that which they had lost; picked them up out of the filth and squalor and gave them something more to be, to aspire to.  Each of them in turn had pledged their life to her, and her cause.  They were all here because they wished to be, because they believed in what she was doing, and they believed in her.  It was one of Karmic's, and Krayt Industries', basic operating tenants - no one was forced to ever stay with her.  If you stayed,  it was because you wanted to; and if you wished to leave, you were allowed to leave.  A choice every single one of her freed slaves, every single one of the thousands of employees, was given.  A choice these thousands were about to be given as well.

She looked to the man to her immediate right.  This was "Dr. John Molton's" first time experiencing a transition week; his first time leading the Medical team that would see to the immediate needs of the sick and injured among the slaves.  He'd been able to check through her supplies and the setup of the tents, he'd had a couple of days before they landed to get familiar with the training and abilities of the 4 former-slaves that made her on-site medical team.  Each of them having had some training or experience in caring for the sick and injured during their lives as slaves - and then some additional training after Karmic freed them and they decided to remain in their chosen field.  None of them came close to being as gifted as her personal physician but she knew he would lead them well this week and they would all learn from him.  She knew, once John had returned to her employ, that he would be perfect for this job.  She had been thrilled when he agreed to sign on.  She knew once he had experienced everything about this week, that despite the long hours and hard work, he'd want to take the job again.

She smiled softly at him, reaching over and giving his hand a squeeze, to ease any nervousness he was feeling at the idea of standing before almost four thousand people.  He smiled back at her.  She nodded to him, speaking softly, "Ready?"   He nodded back.  They could hear the din of those standing on the other side, waiting to see what was going to happen.

"Alright then." She announced louder, so that all the team leaders with her could hear.  "Its Showtime.  Let's go."  She led the way up the stairs alongside the wall, to the stage on top.  They filed in behind her, single file, spreading out along the stage so that each could be seen, keeping her in the middle.  No one was clothed in Imperial garb and she was not in Sith robes.  She wore a long sleeved, flowing, dark purple, dress that covered her from neck to foot.  Her hair was worn long and flowing, down her back - only the front locks pulled back from her face by a black, stylized dragon, hairpin.   Each of her team leads wore the same shade of dark purple in their shirts, with black pants and boots.  In fact, everyone of the employees and those who worked with her during transition wore Krayt Industries' colors - purple and black - in various combinations.  To help differentiate them from everyone else.

Karmic and her entourage stood, tall and proud, as they waited a few moments for the noise to die down as they grabbed the attention of those waiting from the other side of the wall.  The thousands of slaves knew the mine had transitioned owners.  They had seen their guards and handlers leave that morning, and had waited for their replacements.  They had watched the tents going up, had scrambled desperately for the food being handed out until they realized there was enough for everyone, and still waited for the replacement guards and handlers.  Even now, as purple and black liveried people walked among the crowd, continuing to hand out food, the slaves looked around - tense and anxious.  Change was always scary; especially to those who never felt in control to begin with.

"Please, may I have your attention! All will be explained..."  Karmic's voice rose over the crowd, force-enhanced, it reached everyone of the thousands clearly.  It was calm and inviting, sounding more like someone welcoming them into their living room than giving orders from on high.

"Good day to all of you," Karmic waved, smiling, as her voice projected out over the crowd.  "I am Darth Karmic Draga'zathoth, Founder and CEO of Krayt Industries, which has now bought you and this entire property; though that is not what is important.  You may all call me Karmic."  Karmic paused again, waiting for the last bits of noise to finally die down into silence at her telling them to call her Karmic.  She wanted everyone's full attention before she continued.

"What is important, is that now you are the property of Krayt Industries, and therefore, my property. To do with how I wish...."  She let that linger a moment more, before she grinned wider as she finished, "and what I wish to do is Free you all.  Therefore, as of this moment, as of right now... you are all Free men, women, and children!"  Her voice rose as she announced the last bit, the last word almost drowned out entirely by the rising cheers from the crowd.

The wave of sound washed over, and through Karmic, and she closed her eyes and let it pass.  It washed over all those on stage; a powerful storm of cheering and tearful cries of joy.  The power of the sound, and the emotion - Karmic let it all wash through her.  She dropped her inner barriers just enough to take in that emotion; to feel the power of it for a few moments.  Sith spoke of seeking Power...  there was such Power here, she could ride it for hours.  Enough to change the galaxy, or so she hoped.  The raw power of thousands coursed through her, the thousands already behind her.  Enough Power here for all the Empire, if they would but open their eyes and harness it.

She let it surge through her a minute more, before she raised her barriers again. The barriers that protected her, as a natural empath, from the constant influx of emotions that might otherwise overpower her, or drive her mad.  Her walls raised, the emotions tampered back down again, and she regained full control and self-awareness.  She raised her hands over her head, as her barriers went up, "Please, give me your attention but a bit longer...there is more to explain.."

She waited for the cheers and the crowd to calm down again, before she continued.

"I know most of you are wondering what is the catch. I'm sure some of you don't believe me at all. I don't blame you. I am Sith, a Darth, and you have no reason to trust me.  I know I would not trust me, if I were you.  But I hope, over the course of this week, and in the months to come, I will show you I can be trusted. I will show you, through my action and deeds, that everything I say to you today is the truth.  I do not expect you to believe me today, I only ask you to give me six months."

She paused again as the murmurs rose to her words, and then died back down.

"There is no catch, but there are rules.  Not to your freedom! I want you to know now that regardless of what each of you decide from this moment forward, your freedom is yours! You can do with your lives whatever you wish; the choices and consequences of those choices, are yours to bear. Nothing you decide from this moment forward, would result in my taking your freedom away. There are only rules for those who stay."

"By the end of this week, you will all be recorded as official, free, citizens of the Empire and there will be transportation provided to any of you who do not choose to stay.  Those who wish to leave, will be given a week's pay and transport to any Imperial or neutral planet of your choice, free to make your way in the galaxy however you decide to do so."

"However, it is my hope that you will choose to stay.  If you do stay, here is what Krayt Industries can do for you.  You will be hired on, as full employees, and given a fair salary for the work that you complete for KI.  You will be given a plot of land, to build a house upon and have a small garden, for yourself and your family.  The supplies for this I will sell to you at cost, which can be paid back over time as you earn pay, as an employee.  The lands in holding by this Mining territory are vaster than this mile between mine and wall.  We have done the mapping, there is land for all of you and then some.  So do not fear whether you sign up to be an employee today or at the end of this week, all will get the same plot of land."


She waited for the murmuring to die down again.

"It is my hope you will choose to build a home here, choose to farm the land for food for yourselves and your families, choose to stay as an employee.  It is my hope you will become a community, a true community.  You will choose from among your own who will represent your concerns within the company, who among you will train as guards - to guard for you, not over you.  If you are someone who is already skilled in an area, you will have the opportunity to take up that job and be paid a fair wage for it - whether you teach children, care for the sick, are gifted in metal work, or in construction - you will be given the chance to be employed in that job. I would much rather have people with a natural gift, or trained talent, working those jobs than those who have no experience.  It only makes sense..right?"  She smiled, chuckling softly.  Soft chuckles from hundreds answered her, the amusement of those use to inefficient and illogical business practices finally seeing someone in charge who might just do a few things in a way that makes sense.

"If you choose to stay, I only ask one member of each household, or one person for every 5 to a home, to be a full employee, in whatever way that employ may take.  Your children have no need to work, and no one under the age of 12 will be asked to work."  Her voice lowered, carrying soothing concern from Karmic to the thousands that listened to her softened voice near their ears, "Your families, your households, will be determined by you, and not by blood.  If you are a child alone, you will be cared for regardless of your age or ability to work.  None will kicked out or removed, unless your own actions are shown to be detrimental to the community.  The old among you have a place here in your homes.  All will be cared for.  If you have families on other planets, they can join you here - I oversee personally the reunification of families under my employ.  We want you to make your home here!"

Her voice rose again, more neutral as she continued to explain their possible new reality.  "There are groups here, Ambassadors, from KI's other properties.  They can tell you what KI has done for them and their communities.  Talk to them, hear from them that the words I speak to you today here are true.  They walk among you, in the purple marked by the black starbursts on their shoulders.  They will tell you that, once your community is established and running, traders will come through - traders approved by KI to deal with your fairly in any goods you may wish to buy.  They will tell you that until your own farms are producing, KI will provide food enough for three meals a day for everyone.  You can become your own community...your own trading city...if that is what you choose to be."

"And none of those traders will ever slap you in chains again, if you stay..." Karmic's voice was serious again.  "Those of you who choose to leave, I can only wish you well.  But I cannot further protect you, once you leave this planet.  But if you choose to stay, I can swear to you today - a slaver will never come here to put you in chains again!  My fighting force, and then one day your own fighting force, will keep these lands and this property safe from such creatures!  The other cities, towns, on this planet, will recognize us as our own entity to deal with, and not a place to raid for themselves."

Her voice dropped back down again, as her words became more personal her voice softened, "I was once as you were. I was once a slave. I have worked mines, and I have worked pleasure beds. I wear my chains still as a symbol from where I have been, and what I have come from..." She raised her hands again above her head, pulling back on her sleeves to show the slave chains wrapping her fingers and wrists - the bright sunlight glinting off of them.  Her voice raises as she continues, her conviction clear,  "But I am not ashamed! I do not hide for where I came from because where I came from makes me who I am today! I would not be the Darth standing before you, given power and responsibility within the Empire, a free woman - to be here before you today to give you the same chance that was given me.  To be free, to be what you should be! What you earn for yourself!  It is my hope that you will take what I give you today - and use it - to fulfill your own destinies - as I have fulfilled mine!  You are being given an opportunity today - take it and make it yours!"

The crowd roared again at her final words.  Karmic again closed her eyes, allowing the power of the sound they made to wash through her.  She allowed them to continue for a couple of minutes, before she raised her arms over her head again, asking for their silence and attention one last time.  They gave it to her.

"I ask for six months, to show you what I say is true.  Take this week to think on your choice, talk to those you hold dear, decide for yourselves what you wish for your life.  You will never be kept here against your will.  This week, or any week after, if you choose to quit this company you will be free to make your own way.  The food tents, the medical tents, are yours to be used as you need them this week - regardless of your choice.  Bring your sick, your injured, to our Dr. Molton, " she pointed at the man just to her right, "and his team, and they will be treated.  Eat your fill at our meal stations, each and every day.  If you wish to become an employee, there are Registrars in the tents to sign on with, for yourselves and your households.  And in one week's time, we will have a celebration here the likes of which has never been seen by anyone on this planet.  I hope you to see you all there."

Karmic bowed deeply to the crowd, and they chanted her name.  She smiled, waving, as she stepped back, her speech was done.  The crowd continued its roaring chant, celebrations already starting as groups broke off cheering and hugging and some even already dancing, at their freedom.  Karmic waited a few moments, and then turned, heading off stage.  Her team leaders followed. They gathered in a circle with her as they came down, speaking in hushed tones for a few minutes.

"You all know your duties." Karmic said to them, looking each in the eye. "And I trust each of you will do your best for me, for Them, this week.  I know the days and nights will be long, and we will all be exhausted by week's end.  But thank you, each of you, for the work you do here - and I thank the Force for bringing each and every one of you into my life, to help me now in this.  Each of you know, but I say it again - if you need anything at all - do not hesitate to ask.  Otherwise, I leave you alone to do your jobs as you see best.  Take care, be safe."  She hugged each one of them as they ran off to their teams and their tents. 

She lingered with John, "Watch yourself. Don't over-push yourself the first 48 hours and be worthless the rest of the week.  Pace yourself. The numbers in the medical tents never slacken. Take your breaks as you need them.  Allow your team to do the same.  I'll come by and check on you soon."  She hugged him one more time tightly and then let him go to do his job as well.  She looked around at the scampering main camp, and smiled before trotting off to her own base-tent to take care of whatever new supplies needed to be ordered.

History Posts:  Her Backstory , Darth-Hood

Offline Karmic

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Re: Meanwhile...back in Karmic-Land
« Reply #3 on: 08/30/13, 07:56:28 PM »
(wibbly woobly timey wimey...yes this is before Karmic's actual return..RL and RP time to post never do match up right ;)

They had done it. The first week was behind them.  Karmic, as always, ordered a halt to all work and services three hours before the final gathering to allow for everyone to rest and prepare for the huge party she threw for them all at the end of their transition week.  Her teams, and her new employees, would all get a chance to blow off some steam and stress and celebrate together.  Ending the week the only way one would expect from the Apprentice to the Patron Saint of Parties.

As she adjusted her red and white dress robes for the party and fixed up her hair, she took the moment to reflect on their success.  Her teams really were getting better, more efficient, at everything they had to do for these Transitions.  Having Samzun take over coordinating the seemingly endless train of supplies had been the right decision; for the first time since she started these weeks everything had arrived on time and in full; which in turn allowed everything else to run on time.  Dr. Molton was reporting smooth sailing from his medics and she was sure when she pressed him to continue his work with the team, and with her, that he would sign-on with a more permanent position.  Only a few hundred slaves had not signed on to stay and become employees, which was about what she expected; and they would be shipped out to their planet of choice tomorrow afternoon.  Tomorrow afternoon is when all of the "temporary" teams would pack up and head out; leaving behind those who would continue to work the facility as Directors, Managers, and Team Leads for the next year.  Those numbers subsidized by the newly hired employees who showed the best potential, and desire, to become part of the central system.

But before it was time to leave, it was time to party.

She grinned at herself in the mirror as she checked her holocom to make sure the 'surprise guest' was almost ready for the show.  He was, and it was time for her to get out there and start the festivities.  She straightened the red and white robes one more time, before clipping her lightsaber to her belt and heading out of her temporary quarters.

The "dance floor" was the open space in front of the compound walls, and the stage, where she addressed all of them for the first time a week ago.  The filthy place where they had lived and died for so many years was now unused space, as they all were moving to their own homes and it had not yet been built upon with community-purposed buildings.  As she mounted the stage in the dark, she could hear the rising murmurs of the growing crowd on the other side.  They knew she was throwing them a celebration, but none of them had probably ever experienced something like this.  Lighting equipment, speakers, glitter-balls, food and drink tables, and other assorted equipment were scattered all over the wide area of the 'dance floor'.  It was accommodating possibly over 4,000 people, it had to be big and grand.  The largest party she'd thrown so far, she wondered if it was the largest party her guest had thrown too.

Her team leads soon joined her on stage, still in the dark, including Dr. Molton.  Lining up just as they had at the week's beginning - only this time instead of in company colors they were all in their own party clothes, as she was.   For these few hours, they were not leaders or bosses, they were just people, like everyone else, here to celebrate.  Many of them grinning, having attended these closing festivities several times now, they knew more what to expect - and they also knew how Karmic got things started.

Finally, the lights came up on stage - highlighting it against the darkness of the rest of the facility and grounds.  The crowds murmuring grew quiet, as they all turned their attention once again to Karmic.  For this she planned no real speeches; there needed to be none.  Only a brief introduction and then to step aside and join the party.

Her force-enhanced voice once again projected out over the crowd, "Evening all, and Welcome all of you to your Celebration!"  There was cheering and clapping as the excitement started to be expressed.

"Tonight we are here to celebrate many things. You have all accomplished much in this short week, and I am happy to tell you that the vast majority of you have agreed to sign on as employees and stay with your community."  Another round of applause.

"Starting tomorrow, I leave this place in your hands.  This community, this business, will succeed or fail based on what, on what each of you, choose to do in the coming year.  I have faith that each of you has it within you to raise yourselves up to something better.  Tonight we celebrate what we have accomplished, and what we are going to accomplish.  Celebrate your Freedom! Celebrate the start of your new lives!"  Bigger cheers, louder applause.  Karmic laughed, even through her filters unable to stop herself from feeling some of the giddiness of the crowd.

"And to start those celebrations.  For you, my new employees, my new friends... I have brought you the best the galaxy has to offer."  Behind her in the darkness something started to rise up from behind the wall.  Rising up above the stage, and above their heads.  "To help you ring in your new lives, I present to you our MC for the evening, the Patron Saint of Parties HIMSELF.." her voice grew as she finished the roundup, "MASTER DJ.. Taelios!" 
 
The lights flipped on highlighting the platform that had raised behind them in the darkness.  There stood Tae, surrounded by what could only be described as a throne of equipment, shirtless.  He waved his hands and the music started - blaring through speakers, as the lightshow really got going in response to the beats he played.  The masses immediately began moving and dancing as the party truly began. 

Karmic turned and blew Tae a kiss, who grinned and returned it back to her before returning his focus to his set.  She then looked around at the Team behind her and grinned, and those who knew what was coming grinned back. 

She looked to Dr. Molton and took his hand, "Ready?"  She asked him. 

"For what?" his quizzical expression amused her. 

"Trust me?"  She smirked at him. 

"Of course.." he responded, squeezing her hand briefly. 

"Then let's go - RUN!" So saying, she started to run off the stage, pulling him after her.  He followed her lead, and when she jumped, he jumped as well.  They dove into the crowd and then popped up again as the myriad of hands passed them around, crowd surfing.  A minute or so after they launched themselves into the crowd, so did all the rest of the Leads on stage.

Karmic cackled as the hands passed her above them, each touch connecting her for a moment to the emotions of the person below her, until they finally deposited her around the middle of the gathering.

And then it was time to lose herself to the music, and dance.

((thank you Matrix II Cave Party Scene for inspiration =D))

History Posts:  Her Backstory , Darth-Hood

Offline Karmic

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Racing Thoughts on an Eventful Weekend
« Reply #4 on: 10/01/13, 06:46:29 PM »
*"I would toss and turn at night with your voice in my head,
 Like a broken record all the words you say.
 And when I finally fall asleep,
 You find your way into my dreams.
 But I would never mind, you see
 Cause I get to live my fantasy."

She rolled over, blinking gummed up eyes open.  She was alone in her bed, and the covers were all twisted around her.  Her face and eyes felt puffy, like she'd been crying; but she didn't remember crying before she managed to fall asleep.  Clearly, she didn't sleep easy.

She breathed in and a hitch caught her throat.  Pain and sadness welled up from within her again, and she allowed her Darkness to reach out and swallow it again; feeling nothing but cold numbness moving through her instead.  It rose up to protect her, as it did the night before; as it always did when she needed it to.

She rolled over, keeping the covers curled tight around her.  Her mind returned to the racing thoughts as if they'd never been interrupted by sleep.  So much had happened so quickly.  In just a few short days, her world had been upended twice and that wasn't even all of it. 

Why was everything falling apart? Why now...  why again...

She breathed heavily, letting the coldness overtake her sadness.  She was tired of feeling, tired of thinking, tired of worrying, tired of caring.  Right now, she just wanted escape.  But she was wide awake for the moment, and her brain wouldn't shut off.

It just kept running through all the events that happened over the last few days, running through all the possibilities of the consequences to come and the consequences that had already occurred, running through various ways she could handle each outcome, what each choice could lead to... and so on down the chain.  Run a scenario, run the variables, run each now new scenario, play it out. Rinse, repeat.  Ad infinitum.

She looked back at the last Dancer's Retreat's evening.  Things had been going along relatively smoothly up until then.

And then it all changed...

Walking onto the barge, finding Samzun yelling and berating Stell and Anaris.  Ranting about mistakes made, how they were all idiots.  And then words she never thought she'd hear from him - as he threatened to cut her, and them, off from their own resources if he found them doing something he felt was that stupid again.

She was immediately hurt and furious.  Confused, but livid.  Not wanting to believe what she just heard...  but having no choice.  She remembered the shock she felt, and just standing there, frozen in place, as her mind tried to deal with what he'd just said through her anger and pain.  In front of everyone.  Taking the trust she gave him when she allowed him full access to her, her records, accounts, everything - and throwing it up in their faces as a way to control them.  Control her.

Thank the Force for small blessings.  Seiyd had needed to talk to them; and that was enough of a reason and a distraction for her to just turn and leave the conversation.  And she did.  She knew it was for the best that she just walk away right then.

But it continued to fall apart...

The conversation with Seiyd was only slightly better, though not enough to improve her mood in the long run.  The bounty on Seyid's head by Oba wasn't enough; he was going after all of Hers. Dawn Star.  Her and Hers were being blamed and held accountable for Karmic, Stell, and Anaris's actions.  Something that took Karmic by complete surprise - she never imagined Oba would blame Dawn Star.  She never imagined Oba would even care.  The slaver made his money, an excellent haul by all standards.  Why did he care what happened to the slaves he sold?  She doubted he cared what the non-freed former slaves of his were doing, or how they were being used.  Why would he care about these just because they had been freed?  His money was made, it should have made no difference to him - much less piss him off enough to take out bounties and threaten neutral parties.

She would not allow others to take the consequences that were hers. Certainly not ones who had absolutely nothing to do with the whole thing. 

So it was decided they would, somehow, direct the attention where it needed to be.  Towards one who could take on the threat, and have the best chance at pulling the bastard slaver down once and for all.  On Her.  She only hoped they'd be able to do so before Seiyd, or any other blameless person, took the punishment that was meant for her.  She told Seiyd to just tell Oba she'd been the funding behind Stell and Anaris.  It was the truth; and would focus his attention on her instead.  Seiyd thought it was more personal; didn't think that would do any good because he was just using this as an excuse to go after her - but Karmic still thought it would be the fastest way to try to redirect his attention.  She, of course, would be in trouble with Moirae; but she had no choice now.  She'd chosen her actions, it was time to deal with the consequences.

Under any other circumstances, any other weekend, she would have been pleased and even excited at the thought of getting a chance to take Oba down.   

But on this weekend she knew when she left the meeting, she'd have to deal with Sam.

Back on his ship, words were exchanged.  Karmic panted softly as her mind played it over again.  Her heart racing thinking about what he had said, what she had said.  That when she was going to need him the most...  she'd almost had to fire him.  To walk out.. then and there.  And she had been ready to - if he had tried to push it.  Such disrespect would not be accepted nor taken, not from him, not from anyone.  She would not be held hostage or controlled by anyone.  Ever.  If she couldn't trust him...

She sighed, closing her eyes.  He... kinda... apologized for that threat.  Said he could still trust her; that he wouldn't have actually done such a thing. 

But I never thought he'd ever say such...to begin with...  I never thought I'd question his trust... or that he would question his in me.

"And this is why I hesitated to work with you..."  He had said...

Why did it have to be so hard...?


But she did.  He did.  And now she could only wait and hope he had really understood why she was so angry, so hurt, so betrayed.  The only other choice was to not trust him at all, which would mean firing him... possibly ending their relationship.  Both being the last things she wanted.  Waiting and trusting were all she could do. 

She took a deep sigh and rolled back over the other way again.  Wanting sleep to return and claim her, but her mind would not stop.

That should be enough to deal with... it should have stopped there.  But no.. the downward spiral had only just begun apparently. I just didn't know that yet...

Her mind went back to the mission with Ephese and Cas.  The mission they went on for, at the time, an "unknown" Sith Lord, though they found out on arrival who's information had led to the mission.  She wondered if Quarasha had known Soldin and Norland were the Jedi who were guarding the facility.  She wondered if that had been intentional; she didn't know whether Quar had any scores to settle with Custodum or Shaantil; was not aware of those politics.  She wondered if it would have mattered to her if she had known they were there.  If she would have gone anyway... if she would have tried harder to come up with a way to capture the woman before they were in the heat of battle.

But that was not how it went... and it went down the way it went down.  No amount of thinking was going to change it.  And at the end of it all: installation taken for the Empire, but data lost, and Soldin dead.  She'd meant what she said.  It was a waste.  She'd meant what she said to the Jedi Master who came to Kwenn to warn her of their knowledge and attention.  She was deeply sorry for their loss.  She wished it had ended differently.  She knew her words probably meant nothing at all, but she had to say them.  They were the truth.  She left it up to Master Corozon to determine whether it was worth sharing them or not.  She didn't want to bring more pain to those already grieving.   She knew they had every right to hate her, to come after her, to have their Vengence.  She wouldn't lay down and die; but she would not begrudge them their due.  Choice and Consequence. Cause and Effect. Balance. 

But still that had not been enough...  the spiral was not done with me...

 The final blow... just a handful of hours ago.  Malkisho had walked out on her because of that mission.  Because she was involved in Soldin's death, and he had once called Shaantil friend, he had left her.

"I'm sorry... I have to go.  I won't help you... I won't assist you. Until this is all settled.  Dr. Molton is on leave until further notice...  I'm going to need some distance... for awhile... I need to clear my head... "

"Then just go... do what you need to do."


And then he'd left.   She'd called him in last night to check on her wounds and, she thought, lean on him for support.  She told him about the threats from Custodum, even though she respected the group enough to doubt they would come after just anyone associated with her; and that for now the Master who spoke with her seem to imply they believed this was a Moirae mission, though it was not.  And then she told him the 'Why'.. and he turned from her. 

She never expected him to help or assist or support her in any way against any of Soldin's friends, Jedi or otherwise.  She wouldn't have let him even if he'd offered.  Far too much risk; they were not his choices, or his actions,  for him to answer for.  And she'd never let him stand with her, even if she was in the right, against other Jedi.  Then she was going to tell him about Oba and their plans... thinking she would at least have his support in that.  She was even going to gripe to him about Sam...  just to have someone to talk to about what had happened.

But for the second time in almost as many days she had been shocked to the core at the words of someone she trusted.  Her mind froze when he turned to leave.  She had never anticipated that.  Had never thought he would turn from her and just walk away.

Never thought he'd say those words...  never thought he would be one of the ones who walked away.  And again all I can do is wait... try to trust...

"Perhaps we were just fooling ourselves..."  her words, coming back to her.

Perhaps they were, all of them. Perhaps no one but a Sith could know, and understand, and be friends with, another Sith.  Perhaps she was just fooling herself, in thinking anyone else understood her - truly.  In thinking she could trust anyone not to leave, not to betray her trust, not to eventually turn from her because of who she was.  When she first met Sam she had told him that she didn't believe those promises anymore.  The promises those in love made to 'always..' and 'never..'  The promises she had grown up always wanting to believe in, and thinking once she was no longer a slave, things would change and the promises would mean something. 

But Gad'riel's loss had been too much for her. After he left, she decided she never wanted to hear those promises again.  She never wanted to make them.  Empty words.   But Sam had started to make her believe them again.  Then Mal came back and she started to believe his words too, of friendship, of their bond, and that he would always manage to come back to her. 

But now..its all falling apart... all over again...

I still have Tae...


She smiled slightly, burying her face in her pillow.  She breathed in and out deeply, and just focused on Tae.  She knew he would understand it all, he always had.  And he would let her talk, or rant, or cry, or scream, or even spar with him - if it would help her to feel better.  Even about other men, he was there for her - he let her be her, and loved her anyway.  As she loved him.  He understood, or at least, always tried to.  He was the only one who did.  Who always had.  They had hurt each other, in the past; of course they had.  You couldn't be friends with someone long enough, much less lovers, without hurting each other from time to time.  But they'd always worked it out, fixed it, made up... made things ok - even when it didn't seem they could be.  They had always tried; so far they had succeeded.  Become closer for it.  If she could believe in anyone, trust anyone - it was him.

So far...  what happens when he leaves you too?

She cried out and sat up, punching the bed beneath her.  She held her head, trying to get the thoughts to stop. She wouldn't go down that road.  She wouldn't think about what it would be like for Tae to leave her.  She had enough to focus on, enough to cause her pain, enough sadness from the things that had actually happened to deal with.  No reason nor point to cause herself more pain over things that had not happened.  Time to look ahead, she hoped, and stop focusing on what she could not change. 

If things did not work out as she had hoped, as she always believed they would - there would be other lovers.  There had been others, they had left. She had gotten new ones.  The cycle would continue.  Love...Pain... Loss... Love again.  As it always had, except when others forced her to stop. She had made such promises several times before, and all but once they had each moved on without her - despite what they said, what they promised.  And each time she swore to herself it would be the last time she stopped being part of herself - for someone else.  But then another would come... and ask her to stop... and she just wanted them to be happy...

...they aren't happy now are they?  No matter what you do... being who you are...  they will never be happy. It will never be enough...  They will always leave.  

She screamed out in pain and sadness, claws flexing, ripping through sheets.  The Darkness pulsed again within her, becoming stronger, as it took in more of her pain and anguish.  She let it; she was so tired of feeling them.  Her skin grew colder as it rose up; the air around her dropping several degrees.

Stop it!  Focus on what you can do...  another reckoning is coming...  Prepare.

She panted heavier, even as she shivered, forcing her mind to switch gears.  Contemplating her next moves.  Solutions...  

She'd backed off on her practice and involvement in Imperial affairs (as much as she could) after Jen was killed.  Tae retired, and she wanted to go with him.  Instead of retiring, she'd tried to take a break and focus more on other things.  Krayt Industries, her friends, her loves.  But that wasn't going to work anymore.  She'd taken her break, and now everything seem to be pushing... or pulling... her back again.  She had become vulnerable, and her lack of maintaining her practice regimen had only left her exposed, and gotten her more injured than was typical for her, on that last mission.  Things were happening.  Events moving forward.  Events that she could not ignore, or put aside.  And she knew she would have to be at the top of her game to stay above it all - to survive it all. 

No time like the present... deciding to put into action the answers she saw before her.  She rose from the bed and threw on some robes.  Cold air swirling around her as she moved from her bedroom to her training room.  She started attaching the various weights to her limbs that she used when practicing, and as she stood and started moving her body slowly through her warm up routine, her mind started to settle and refocus itself.  This was her version of meditation: training, fighting, violence, battle - the irony that she shared some of the same thoughts about meditation that Iaera did would not have been lost on her, if she had known.

 
*"...Like a broken record,
 Like a broken record,
 Like a broken record,
 Like a broken record..."
*Katy B, "Broken Record"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdetb3Rubrw

(any misspellings of names is entirely my fault because I'm awful and forget spellings...)

History Posts:  Her Backstory , Darth-Hood

Offline Karmic

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Re: Meanwhile...back in Karmic-Land
« Reply #5 on: 10/19/13, 12:48:58 AM »
"..This is me leavin' ya.."

She walked away from Samzun slowly, her mind repeating the phrase over and over again. What he'd said.  She barely saw the barge in front of her and the patrons moving around.  She was focused on walking off and getting away from everyone, before she lost it.  Her emotions rolled within her and she took several deep breaths.

Her eyes were almost blank as she looked at Stell and Anaris, "Excuse me...  I need to leave... for a bit.." she barely heard her own voice.  She didn't realize she was trembling slightly as she spoke.  They asked her what was wrong, but she couldn't talk about it - not now.  Not yet.  She could barely even think about it.

She walked past Tae, having no idea where she was going. Just walking, focusing on one foot in front of the other.  It barely registered that he was fist-fighting with...someone... wasn't important right now.

... it ain't ok anymore.. it never was...
... hey... I was half-drunk most of the time... I actually enjoyed it
...I tried... I really did...
...You and Tae... I can't do it anymore...
...it never was...
...it never was...


She stopped mid-stance as her mind thought to wait for Tae.  She stared, listening to Sam's voice in her head, over and over again.  Pain ripping up through her as the shock wore off.  The sadness physically starting to hurt.  She trembled again.

~Little one... what's wrong...~  Tae's voice in her head, even as he finished his fist fight.

~He ended it...~ was all she could manage back, softly.

Her eyes closed as the cold Darkness within her rose up, swallowing her pain and sorrow.  The pain lessened the colder she became, and she let it come.  She couldn't take it, not all at once.. it hurt...  hurt so much...  she didn't want to feel it all, not right now.  So she let her Darkness move through her to take it away.

Tae was by her side, putting his arm around her waist and allowing her to lean on him as he moves forward, walking with her.  He leads her away from the barge to a place to sit along one of the sidewalks.  She curls up against him and she sniffs, fighting back the tears that wanted to fall.

They speak softly for a few moments, but for the most part he just sits with her as she gets herself under control.  She grows colder in his arms, but he still sits with her. Stroking her hair and purring softly as he feels her pain and offers comfort.

Finally she looks up at him, "You can go back... I'll be alright.  Thank you... for sitting here with me. If anyone asks, I'm gone for the evening. I... I just can't...go back right now..."

He smiled back at her and nodded, "Understood.  If you need me again.. just let me know."

She nodded, "I love you, mia vita...  can I spend tonight with you?"

He grinned and nodded back at her, standing up and hugging her, kissing her happily.  She manages a smile for him as she hugs him back and returns his kiss.  "See you when you get in later.."  she finishes, as he trots off back to the barge.

She sits there a few more minutes, trying to blank her mind.  She takes several ragged breaths before she stands up again and starts walking.  She doesn't quite know where she's walking to yet, but she walks.  She ends up moving through the promenade, her eyes downcast as she tries to accept Sam's words to her tonight.  Her memories of what he once said to her, colliding with the new words.

She winds up back on the other side of the promenade, at the barge that floated there.  She looks up and over at it, in her mind seeing the night she'd come to Shaddaa after helping Stygus take out his nemsis.  She had been riding high on the power of the Force she'd taken in, and turned to him to help her maintain her good mood.  He had come out here with her...  it was the first time... She sees her and him standing there again, hears him tell her for the first time that he had feelings for her.

She closes her eyes, tears falling, as she shakes her head, trying to put the image out of her mind.  Doesn't matter now...  none of it does...  did he even mean it? Any of it?  How could they have never been right... 

"..I was half-drunk most of the time..."

Pain shot through her again and she whimpered.  Apparently, she had just been fooling herself after all. 

She swallows and gets moving again, finally thinking to tap her com and call her skiff.  The droid picked her up and drove her back to the spaceport where Tae's ship rested.  She pauses, looking down at a large, purple-stoned ring on her index finger.  Turning ice cold, she pulled the ring off her finger and gave it over to the droid, "Give this to Androni-Tae, tell him to ship it back to Gabriel, with the note, 'This isn't mine to keep... sorry for wasting your time.'

With that, she turns and moves into Tae's ship.  Stripping quickly she climbs into bed and under the covers, closing her eyes.  She focuses on relaxing and releasing her Darkness to fill her with its numbing nothingness.  Only a few more tears fall to the pillow before she difts into a fitful, icey, sleep.
« Last Edit: 10/19/13, 01:55:42 PM by Karmic »

History Posts:  Her Backstory , Darth-Hood

Offline Karmic

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Re: Meanwhile...back in Karmic-Land
« Reply #6 on: 11/16/13, 05:23:26 PM »
((this is an IC response to Karmic's dream/vision as described in http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=929.0  which, obviously, takes place immediately upon her waking...))

~~IC~~

Quote
And snapped awake in her own bed, next to the blond-haired man she had fell asleep against.  Her hair matted to her head in sweat as she panted softly, trying to catch her breath.  Her cheek wet with tears.

She turned to the man who shared her bed, sensing him a moment.  He was fast asleep, still.  Whatever had just happened, it didn't wake him up.  She laid there a few more moments, happy not only to be back in her own body but to be back in full control of herself and experiencing the world the way she was use to. Whatever had just happened, whatever energy she did, or did not, actually drain... wasn't with her anymore.  Its residue was though, she felt the way she did after a long fight, after she expended a large amount of dark energy; tired and beaten up.

She got up slowly, not disturbing the sleeping blond.  Grabbing a robe to throw over her nakedness, she tied it tightly around her waist as she left her bedroom and moved through her ship.  She headed up to the observation windows in the cockpit.  Wanting alone time to think.  She nodded to Androni-Tae, who was in the cockpit doing... whatever it was he did.  He looked over, rubbing his eyes and smiling at her.  No words were spoken, but he knew she came up there to think sometimes and so he quietly left.

Her thoughts turned to a few days earlier and the conversation she had with Tae.  She had told Tae she'd felt Him, Other-Tae, reaching for her.  She knew something like this was coming.  Several times he'd tentatively reached out to her, but then had backed off.  She wasn't sure what had made him, or why he chose, to back off each of those times.  Her bond with Tae gave him easier means, access, to her - but he was -not- Tae, so perhaps he didn't find it as easy as he thought it would be.  So she wasn't surprised by what had happened tonight; she had been waiting for it.

And had prepared for it. As best she could.  Knowing that when she was with him, in whatever form it took, her emotions would be scattered and torn.  Her walls would be down.  Her senses overwhelmed and she'd be fighting for every moment of control.  And she would still have to be able to keep something back from him.
 
She thought she had succeeded tonight at least.  Next time was next time.  But tonight, she was pretty confident she had been successful.  And now she had a better idea of what they were facing.  She had never been to the 'Heart of the Force' before Other-Tae had dream-summoned her, or whatever it had been.  She hadn't had a previous opportunity to feel the presence, and the pressure, of the dark side energy there.  But now she had.

Tae's concerns were not misplaced; not that she had thought they were.  They had spoken of this exact issue in that conversation a few nights ago when they discussed the failure of the Imperial team to reclaim, or destroy, the station and Other-Tae.  The failure of the second team they had sent.  She had made the offer then, offered to go alone to the station, use who she was to Him, to Other-Tae, to get close enough to be able to kill him.   No more teams. No one else would have to risk themselves.  She felt confident she would be able to hide her true intentions long enough, and well enough, to deliver a killing blow.  It was her specialty, operating alone, in and out, finish it.

Tae had refused her offer.  He was worried if she went there alone, she wouldn't be able to resist the call of the Darkness to Hers.  Probably worried if she'd even want, or try, to resist.  He also worried that Other-Tae, or the Darkness, would be able to read her anyway. 

So she wasn't allowed to go, at least not alone.

...You need an anchor...  it too dangerous alone...

Those had been his instructions to her, if she -ever- went to the station.  An anchor.  Someone she trusted.  Someone she could rely on to remind her of herself, to bring her back, if she started to lose herself to the Darkness.  Someone to be there to help her maintain sanity and control if she became overwhelmed.

They both figured the next plan of attack would be a combined force, much bigger, to tackle the 'Heart of the Force' and its corrupted puppet. And apparently, the puppet thought that would be the next step too.

She planned on being part of that attack.  Told Tae, not that she needed to, wherever he felt she would be most helpful, to use her.  His clone was no longer him; she had been able to feel that easily for herself - even if some of the words he had used were entirely wrong about her, about them, and what they wanted - hadn't told her.

She would do for his clone the same she would do for Tae if he should ever fall to the Darkness; the same she would expect others to do for her if she were to fall.

Kill him.

And she'd make sure, before she set foot back on that station, she'd have her anchor.

History Posts:  Her Backstory , Darth-Hood

Offline Karmic

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Re: Meanwhile...back in Karmic-Land
« Reply #7 on: 02/13/14, 01:08:32 PM »
(this is just a recopy of the message posted in Deep Space Dalliances for that event; in order to keep "Karmic Stuff of Mine" all in one thread... so from:  http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=929.0 )

Her body thrummed with energy as she boarded her ship from the Fleet, mere hours after the Ritual had concluded.  She was keeping it all under tight control as best she could, but she knew enough darkside energy was rolling off of her to attract attention - even amongst the throngs of Sith on the Fleet over Kaas.  She didn't have to look back over her shoulder to feel their eyes and heads turning to follow the Power that moved through them.  Her exposed senses wouldn't let her...not...feel them.

Raw nerves. Stripped bare. Exposed. On Fire...

That was how it felt from within, and without.  The amount of energy she had subsumed into herself burned through most of her shielding.  It was only the inner layers that still managed to hold, the shields that had been renewed, refreshed, and re-laid over and over again since almost her birth - those held, trembled at times, but Held.  But the rest...

Burning... Shredded.

Forget physical sensations.  The physical had held her in place and in check on the shuttle, when there were others to worry about.  Esk had collapsed, Fio almost had... or did she...Sithspawn can you not even remember the last few minutes?..  and she still wasn't sure it was right to leave them when the shuttle deposited them all back on the landing site to return to their respective ships.  But their crews had been insistent and Karmic was afraid she wouldn't have been able to keep them all protected for very much longer.  So she let them go and hurried through the spaceport to her own ship.  Without the others to focus on, trying to keep them safe....

Moving through the throngs of people, much less the Sith among them, had been the final straw. 

Forget physical sensations.  When she hit that wall of chaotic emotional energy, she lost almost all concept of the physical. Burning Raw Exposed... her senses were flooded with everyoneelse .  Once her shields broke, her filters burned away and all of... them... other... Not Me... Not Me...!! came on in a rush.  She managed to stay aware enough to make her own port in a foggy haze of the emotions rolling off of the hundreds of souls on the station.  And not to stop and cringe at every brush against her from those around her.  Almost all of her overwrought focus centered on keeping contained what was within her.. must not give in.. must not let It out.. Must... Not... every step seem to echo the statement through her body... Must... Not...  the seconds felt like hours.

Her dashade hurried down the ramp from the ship and moved to her side immediately.  Having been with her for years, he'd gone through this before and knew what she needed.  He put her arm firmly through his and grasped it, hard enough to pinch.  He knew she would barely feel it against her skin, but the connection would be enough to make his influence stronger than the barrage of emotions from those at a distance.  He knew how not to feel worry or fear for her, so that she would not feel it.  Instead, he knew how to focus on being calm and safe and welcoming. Concern rooted not from fear, but from empathy. Trusting her.  Simple, direct, emotions.  Pure.  Acceptance.  Patience.

She gasped when he grabbed her, the physical touch focusing her attention like a surgical blade through the chaos of emotions in her head - now able to  breath deeply, in and out, slowly, regaining a hold within herself with his presence.  Able to use his emotions of surety and confident control to bolster her when she could not find her own.  His simple emotions and the physical connection allowing her to feel his emotions as hers, until such time as she was able to feel that way on her own.  She stood with him at the foot of the ramp for a minute or two, just concentrating on him and his emotions.  Focusing on feeling just him...  not everyone else.

She nodded and they moved forward up into the ship.  Andi-Tae piloting it out of the port as soon as she was on board and heading towards the nearest planet they had access to with an ocean.  Khem moved up into the main living area of the ship and sat with her down on the couch.  Her arm never leaving from around his and him never attempting to separate them.  She sat there a moment, blinking slowly, sweat rolling off of her and only partially aware of how hot the ship was for some reason...that's you... now fully aware of the heat coming off of her from the energy she fought back against.  ... no wonder their heads were turning...

Now that they were on her own ship, shielded, out in the vastness of space, the fire lessened.  The souls on her ship knew what to do when she was like this (and several rooms had been specially reinforced for this, including the entirety of the main living area she sat in), and the two cats were nothing but sources of comfort anyway.  She continued to breathe slowly, in and out, as she worked on reestablishing herself.  The clamor of all that awareness of Others...dropping to a manageable level, for her.

But her thoughts bounced around still, wildly.  Even without the excessive levels of energy she had drained off of Spirit-Other-Tae, it would have been a difficult night to get through.  Now, her own raw emotions ripped through her riding those same levels of darkside energy that kept her from being able to moderate her ability to read and feel Others.  Feeling exhaustion threatening to take hold, she fought only to keep control of the Darkness at her core.  She slowly tried to rebuild her walls, trying to focus on the calm radiating from Khem at her side and using it, to rebuild the shields within her so that she could deal better with everything that had happened.

But it seemed her efforts weren't getting her anywhere.  Her mind swam with images and emotions.  She sobbed, unable to get the image of the Other-Tae from flashing in among them - his body, all burned and injured, his tone, his but not His..  it wasn't him... it was him it wasnothimyesyousawhim... itwashimitwasNOThim... flashes from the nightmare the Darkside residue had attacked her with from the decimated Moirae base. The False Memory-Tae looking at her so disappointed, turning from her... telling her she didn't deserve to be with him...notreal... notreal.. thatwasnotTae... that didn't happy...wasn'trealwasn'treal... All the thoughts, all the emotions, all the memories, of the last year, birthday to birthday, rushing back and forth over her consciousness.  Unbidden. Uncontrolled. Illogical in their order, but tormenting none the less.  The carefully built walls burned to cinder, her compartments shattered apart, images moving through her awareness bringing emotions that felt more out of control than the Darkness wanting to rise up out of her...Trying... I've not lost yet...That thought managed to stick.

Until her eyes found the mask.  She had thought she had put it away, but there it was. Out on her desk near the wall.  She looked at Khem, who knew better than to show any emotion other than calm right now, and then back to the mask.  Her thoughts solidified.  The feelings she had felt moving within her for several months now finally sharpening as the Power within her burned away the pretenses and confusions.  It always made this Power tempting.  The amount of clarity it could bring with it, as one's mind saw clearer the Paths of the Force.

In her altered state, no matter how right or true it may be, the Warden's Mask solidified her attention and focus.  She had been unsure what to do with herself right now, and unsure what to do with it since she'd discovered it in the ruins of the Moirae base on Belsavis.  Her birthday had only renewed the confusion of her emotions, something she hadn't understood fully...  until her eyes fell on the Mask.  And in that altered state, her mind reached conclusions.

Her eyes closed and, her arm still entwined in Kehm's as he sat still at her side, she worked on trying to calm her emotions as she slowly released more and more energy out from her to dissipate into the air around them.  Despite keeping it as 'slow and safe' as she could (with that mantra residing in her thoughts), the ship soon turned into a sauna.

She called out to Malkisho through the force, to meet her there.  If he was going to be her Anchor for what was to come; it was time to practice.

History Posts:  Her Backstory , Darth-Hood

Offline Karmic

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Re: Meanwhile...back in Karmic-Land
« Reply #8 on: 03/29/14, 07:11:15 PM »
((  RP timey wimey... This refers back to JediBehr's Thread http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=2363.0  ))

~~~

Karmic finished up her perusal of the latest survey reports from the 3 new properties she was researching.  One of them, was to be Krayt Industries' next take-over; the next new mining operation.  She rubbed her face, shaking her head and sighing as numbers and measurements spun in her head.  She smiled over at the young female Tundra cat laying across one of the piles of papers, reaching forward and giving her a good chin scratch a moment.

She stood to move around from the desk, walking towards the bridge of the Ship, "Andi... we need to start heading over to... nAAAHhhh" she cried out softly, her hand going to her head as she stumbled sideways, her other hand grabbing onto the wall before she lost her balance entirely.  She leaned against the wall, gasping as the sudden wave of Loss slowly passed from her awareness.  Her eyes teared up at the emotion and she sobbed once, softly, feeling the tendrils of a deep and utter sadness brushing against her Force-awareness.  She quickly pulled her Energy back into herself and shielded her mind from further empathic influence.

"Mistress...?" Andi-Tae leaned over from the doorway to the bridge, having heard her soft cry and her words interrupted.  As soon as he leaned past the doorway and saw her leaning up against the wall, he was beside her in a few swift steps.  Taking her by the elbow and leading her over to the couch, "Madam are you alright?!  What's wrong! Are you being attacked?  Khem!" He shouted down into the ship, "Someone's gotten..."

"No... no..." She waved her hand as she sat down heavily on the couch, her breath returning to normal. "Its not an attack.  Oh Andi... oh..."  She finished softly, looking up at Andi with that same complete sadness reflected in her eyes a moment before looking away from him, down at the ground, as she just sat motionless on the couch.  Not even noticing when Andi waved his hand, sending Khem away who had come trotting up from the bowels of the ship.

"Oh... Drexler..." She said softly, barely above a whisper.  Knowing immediately who he had lost.  Only a few people in someone's life would envoke that type of emotion.  She had felt it herself before.  "Corvis...  oh Drex... oh Drex... I am so sorry..." she closed her eyes gently, another tear running down her face.

She opened her eyes again briefly as Andi handed her a glass of water and a towel. She nodded, thanking him softly and dismissing him back to the bridge.  He looked concerned and hesitated to go a moment, but then followed her directions.  She remained there awhile, barely moving as she leaned against the back of the couch and sipped her water.  The two cats soon coming to lay across her, keeping her company.

~~~

A few days later found her at Corvis' funeral.  She was dressed head to toe in deep blacks, every inch of her covered, including most of her head in the deep cowl she wore.  She didn't want to attract too much notice, or get Drexler in trouble for her presence, but there was no way she would have missed being here for Drexler once the message reached her.

She waited, hidden and off to the side, until Drexler arrived with Urso.  It wasn't until they moved past and all attention went with them, that she dropped the Force-Stealth field around her and moved, almost unnoticed, to the back of the small ceremony.  Keeping her head down, she spoke to no one as she observed the funeral. She knew Drex would know she was there, and that was all that mattered.

She didn't go up to hug him after it was over.  Merely waited until he glanced her way.  She nodded at him from under the hood when she caught his eye, blowing him a kiss, and for a moment he heard her soft words in his head, accompanied by feelings of soothing calmness.

~~I am so sorry Drexler, for your loss.  Do not worry about acknowledging me here today, I am going before my presence causes concern.  I just wanted to stay until you noticed me to tell you...  He waits for you in the Force, my Friend.  He will always be with you.  You just have to wait, and you will be united again once more, when it is your Fate. Until then, you have family and friends here for you.  I will check on you in a few days, but if you need me sooner do not hesitate...  Take care, my dear.~~

And before he could respond or even think to stop her, she turned and stepped away, disappearing from sight within a few steps.

History Posts:  Her Backstory , Darth-Hood

Offline Karmic

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Re: Meanwhile...back in Karmic-Land
« Reply #9 on: 04/19/14, 01:17:21 AM »
She walked into her bedroom that night, holding the box Thrax had given her earlier.  She smiled down as she rifled through some of the colors again, before putting it on her desk to sort through and size properly in the morning.

Her thoughts drifted to all they had discussed.  What he'd seen in her...or thought he saw.  As her eyes gazed across her desk, mostly unseeing in her thoughts, her vision caught on the large, fist-sized, uncut, diamond that sat towards the center of its back row of shelves.  And then on to what appeared to be a poorly shot holo-image.  She frowned at her desk and sighed, and moved off towards the head of her bed.

I was right.
I have been fooling myself...
And I have been fooling myself for some time now.

As she came over back to  the desk, she had a medium sized, intricately carved box in her chained covered hands. She slid Thrax's present-box off to the edge of the rather large piece of furniture, and put the other one down in front of her.  She reached over and picked up the large, uncut, diamond and held it for a moment.  Her thoughts drifting back through her many memories...

She takes a deep breath after a few minutes and clears her head as she looks up from the stone, to the much newer knickknack to adorn her desk.  It was indeed a poor quality, grainy, security level feed holo-vid.  A single image in still-frame from the video it was pulled from.  Two Figures, clearly Force-Users of some type, squaring off against each other in the backdrop of what many would recognize was the scenery of The Slippery Slopes.  One was clearly a female, and Pureblood, and had a double-bladed, dark red lightsaber in front of her.  The other one was probably male, but as he was wearing less form fitting robes, and had a hood, his image was not as clear.  His colors were muted, but his single-bladed lightsaber was clearly blue, so probably a Jedi.  But to Karmic, she could practically see the smirk on his face, as she knew exactly what this image was from.  Recognized it as soon as she saw it.

And she smiled, remembering how shocked she had been when he'd given it to her as his birthday present to her.  Him finding it, after all these years.

She takes another deep breath, setting both trinkets down, she opens up the box in front of her.  Its filled with various other knickknacks and trinkets. A few holo-shots, several pieces of varying quality of jewelry, a sealed can of chocolate sauce, a few singular birthday candles, even a few hand-drawn pieces, along with other random bits that probably meant very little to most people but her.

But she knew.  Each one.

She looked back at the large, glimmering, stone as she returned the holo-picture to its place on top of the shelving at the head of her desk.  She thought about the newer of the two gifts and then blinked as the realization hit her.

He's never even seen it.
I ~have~ been fooling myself for some time now.

"Goodbye then... mia vita." Her voice is soft.

She gently places the stone into the ornate box with the other kept items.  She can't help but close her eyes as she shuts the lid.  As she stands a moment, the memory of Thrax's words played out in her head, the scene he painted for her.  Flames of her energy licking up and around her, but not burning her.  Her Darkness as great, burning, wings.  This is what he saw in her?  What spoke to him the same as what he felt at The Maw?  The symbolism is oddly clear and Karmic does not believe it speaks of the Hope Thrax believes he sees in it.  But... his words ring back to her as oddly fitting now, as her fingers glide over the design carved into the box.  Is this what he saw?

She was sure he'd see this particular release of chains as proof that it was time for her to move on, to go beyond, her previous...limitations.  And he was right, there was no sense in her stagnating in her Power in the Force.  She needed to understand It better if she was ever going to ensure that she would never lose control.  She knew she didn't have that comfort of control now.  She knew she could get better.  And knew that one day, she would have to get better.  Or stagnate and die.

She opens her eyes and they go directly to the grainy holo-shot on the desk in front of her.  She smiles softly.  She knew she had enough strength to push at the boundary of control right now.  She knew the man in the picture would not let her lose herself.  He was already aware of her decision and, proceeding with all possible precautions of course, understood why she had to try.

She leaves the desk, tying her robe firmer around herself as she returns the ornate box to its hidey hole near her bed, before moving off out of the bedroom.  The sounds of music drift through the ship.

"...Love; it will not betray you
 Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free
 Be more like the man you were made to be

 And there is a design, an alignment to cry
 Of my heart to see,
 The beauty of love as it was made to be."*



*Sigh No More, Mumford And Sons
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujv3c0TqLRk
(Original Version Credits - Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespere  :aww: )
« Last Edit: 04/19/14, 01:21:18 AM by Karmic »

History Posts:  Her Backstory , Darth-Hood

Offline Karmic

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A Time To Kill
« Reply #10 on: 05/05/14, 03:26:28 AM »
((For the sake of keeping everything together, I am posting the new short story here about Karmic's activities while she was gone for just over a week.  However, for this part of the thread, it is also considered Closed RP - and Deaclin, Kaeilyn/Maive, or Malkisho are welcome to post their character's after responses/thoughts on the whole thing once I'm done posting it up in..um.. couple weeks... *chuckles* Or they are of course free to RP it instead in their own character threads.  Just clarifying for posterity..  :grin:))

IC STORY TIME::::

"To everything - Turn, Turn, Turn
There is a Season - Turn, Turn, Turn
and a Time For Every Purpose, Under Heaven. 

A time to be born, a time to die...
a time to kill, a time to heal..."

-- The Byrds, "Turn! Turn! Turn!"

Far out in the Outer Rim is a planet known as Alateri 4 - a planet rich in a number of minerals - and home to several  large Mining Industry Complexes, and the small cities and farming communities supporting them and their workers.  Not a remarkable planet by any means, outside of the industry that results in its populations' survival.  It is on this planet, years ago, that the then new, and small, Krayt Industries acquired its first mining property and set about to create and test Darth Karmic Draga'zathoth's vision and plan to build a self-sustaining, and profitable, community of the freed slaves of the mines, as employees instead.  To prove that it could be done.  And prove it she did, far beyond even her own expectations.  As such it became not only her first attempt, but also her first victory, and the lessons learned became the blueprint for the rest of KI's acquisitions.

Today the Darth and CEO of Krayt Industries has arrived to settle a problem of a different, if more familiar, nature.  Raiders started attacking  KI Mining Camp 1, or Alpha Community (as those in KI termed it), several months ago.  Over time the attacks have gotten bigger, bolder, and more hostile.  The Security and Patrol teams put into place by KI have done their best, but things have grown too big for them to handle on their own -- last few attacks have lead to causalities among KI's security, the discovery of two force-users among the Raiders, and most recently, with kidnapped female employees.   

This will not be tolerated.  And the Darth has landed to ensure that regardless of which direction the Raiders choose to end this, it will be ended, by the time she leaves the planet surface.

The Darth has brought with her two of her trusted inner circle to assist in her mission - Deaclin, First Advisor to the CEO, Lead Security and Head of Covert Missions for KI (and long-time trusted friend), and his hand-picked partner and trainee, Kaeilyn.

History Posts:  Her Backstory , Darth-Hood

Offline Karmic

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Re: Meanwhile...back in Karmic-Land
« Reply #11 on: 05/05/14, 03:29:35 AM »
"In any case, this changes very little.  We will move forward with the plan as already given.  Just makes it all the more... interesting.." Karmic snickered.  Regardless of the sense of unease she felt from some of the people in the room, she knew they all backed and agreed with her plan, even if they hoped the Darth "in" their boss would not be brought to bear.

They all stood in the main Operations room of KI Mining Camp 1, overlooking a huge projected holo-map of the Mining Operation and several miles around its perimeter.  Red dots marking the Raider's Camp, arrows where they attacked; Yellow Dots for the KI Patrol responses and the KI property areas attacked.   Black dots for the deaths and kidnapped females.

"I must object, Madam.." Kaleera, Camp I's Head of Security, stepped forward past Mr. Tomlin, Director of Operations for Camp I,  and spoke up.  The pale-blue Twi'lek's lekku twitching slightly. "The presence of now not one, but two, force users, does change things.  Please, reconsider, Madam, going to them as a simple employee. Or at least reconsider the use of just two of your guards."

Karmic nodded,  "I know you  never agreed with this part of the plan, Kaleera."  Her voice softened, no longer just Boss to Employee, but one friend acknowledging the concern of the other, "I know if it were up to you I'd go in full Imperial Regalia and backed by two of your best Patrols," she smiled as Kaleera chuckled and nodded in agreement.  "But that does not serve my purposes.  I assure you, I did reconsider this plan, even before I knew of the presence of rogue force-users, and with the possibility that there might be 4 or 5 of them.  And I still wished to do things this way.  The information I can gather by presenting myself as a regular employee attempting negotiations with their group I consider too invaluable should they not accept those negotiations - and force our hand.  Such information I cannot gather from afar while others take the risk for me, and I cannot gather if I present myself as a Darth.  I know that Deaclin and Kaeilyn have the skills to protect me should it come to it, and I can promise you should the situation go that way, I will no longer attempt to stay hidden."

Kaleera sighed but nodded, accepting the decision and knowing it would be pointless to argue.

Karmic went on, "And on top of all those reasons, I will not put another one of my employees at risk needlessly.  To have another of my female employees go in my stead, while I stand here, does exactly that.  It would display a level of cowardice I do not tolerate in myself, or in others.  Especially since such a meeting poses very little threat to me."

Kaleera gave a small smile and bowed her head deeper in acknowledgement of the respect with which Karmic treated her employee's lives.  A respect to their lives that none of her employees were use to receiving from an Imperial,  much less a Darth.  "Understood...Karmic."

Karmic smiled back at Kaleera and nodded to her in return.  Her voice lowered as her eyeridges furrowed, "And of the kidnapped females?"  She asked no one in particular.

This time it was Johns, Kaleera's second, and Head of Patrols, who responded,  having been on the missions himself.  "As far as we've been able to scout, they are still in the camp. They do not appear to have been beaten, but they are... chained."  He hesitated to tell his Boss about the females, knowing she would be very unhappy to hear it, and his experience being what it was, not wishing to be the one to upset a Darth.

Karmic looked over at him, frowning slightly at what she sensed within him, "Do not pull back from telling me the truth. Johns.  Ever." Her eyes locked with his, and in that moment he felt the weight of her scrutiny, as she seemed to look into him and then through him.  "I am no sheltered Noble who fools herself into thinking slaves have a good life.  And I will not take out my anger on you, for their treatment.  Trust me.  My anger will be saved and taken out on those who deserve it.  As it always has been."  The corner of her mouth twitched upwards as she finished her statement, to be met by a smile from Johns.

"Of course, Madam.  Forgive me, I still forget sometimes to whom I am speaking."

"Say no more, Johns. Nothing to forgive.  Just tell me plain and without fear."

The man nodded and continued, "They are chained, though not cruelly so. Able to stand and lay down, and move around in small circles within the tents they use.  They are fed, and given water.  Their treatment beyond that, we do not know as we have obeyed your orders to not remain spying on the camps after dark..."  He said no more.  He didn't need to.  Everyone in the room, much less Karmic, could imagine what else could be happening to those women in those tents besides being beaten when the sun went down.

Karmic nodded one more time, and her voice remained soft as she spoke,  "Thank you for the information.  At least they are still alive, and...well... it could be worse.  Believe it or not, I am actually heartened by what you say."

She then looked around the room, her tone serious and abrupt again, "We all have our orders, and roles, to play here.  I do hope the raiders will accept the offer I will present to them tomorrow morning.  They will have three days to decide.  But if they do not...well..  either way, these attacks will be put to a permanent end before I leave this planet.  Thank you, everyone, for your cooperation and dedication to the people in your care.  You are dismissed."

History Posts:  Her Backstory , Darth-Hood

Offline Karmic

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Re: Meanwhile...back in Karmic-Land
« Reply #12 on: 05/06/14, 07:52:47 PM »
Karmic stood on the western edge of KI Mining Camp 1, just inside the border fence.  She, Deaclin, and Kaeilyn, had been transported here only a short period before. 

Her long, red, hair was braided tight down her back.  Her robes were a dark purple, but plain and simple, tied around her waist with a simple belt.  Her shoes were well worn sandals.  Her double-bladed lightsaber hidden underneath her robes, though within easy reach.  She pulled the hood up over her face, her posture and demeanor shifting to that of someone who has lived their lives serving others.  In the space of a few moments and several adjustments of clothing, the aura of confidence and strength that surrounded the Darth disappeared into one of insecurity and nervousness.  The carriage of someone who was not only use to being ignored, but wanted to be - remaining unnoticed meant remaining alive, to a slave.  She had been skilled in this form of subtle, Force energy, manipulation long before she even knew she was capable of it.  It was what she had become an expert in when she was quite young, in order to survive.  It wasn't until later that she realized it was an unconscious use of darkside energy as a defense.  What had been a rough and instinctual defense in the slave, became part of the higher trained weaponry at her disposal as a Darth.  And one she used quite often.

She took a deep breath, though her shoulders and back remained slightly slumped.  Her eyes closed as her attention focused inward.  She flexed and tested her inner shields as she checked one final time that her force signature was as light and negligible as possible.  A level of energy that hopefully would not be enough to cause alarm to the force users in the camp.  It was in tightening these shields earlier, that she discovered her newly gifted dark-stone crystal, carved to look like a gemstone inset into an intricately carved clasp newly hanging from the golden chains that she always wore around her neck - would respond to the weaving of her darkside energy by merging the Darkness it held within it to hers, strengthening them.  A pleasant surprise, to be sure.  An assistance she would not turn down for the task she was about to do.

Deaclin and Kaeilyn, in full KI guard uniforms, complete with full face helmet and prominently displayed weaponry, stood silently to either side of her.  Waiting patiently.  Their roll not at all an act, even if their overt display of "Guarding" was part and parcel of Karmic's performance.  A Darth perhaps would not humble their pride so to bring such defense with them against a group of criminals; but a simple employee would need them if the Darth wanted to make sure the woman returned with her message delivered, and possibly an answer.

Assured she had done all she could to hide her identity from anyone who bothered to study her harder, she opened her eyes and moved forward.  Deaclin and Kaeilyn followed in behind her as she strolled past the the deactivated KI fences and headed in the direction of the Raiders Camp, several miles out.

History Posts:  Her Backstory , Darth-Hood

Offline Karmic

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Re: Meanwhile...back in Karmic-Land
« Reply #13 on: 05/07/14, 11:33:57 PM »
She stood, patient and silent, outside the perimeter of the Raider Camp.  Having been stopped by a couple of the Raiders 'guards' and instructed to remain where she stood after she stated their business.  Karmic the employee did as she was told, her head down, arms crossed within her robed sleeves in front of her.  Her armed escort standing just behind and to either side of her, looking straight forward.  Each seeming to ignore the presence of the other.

They left her there waiting for just over half an hour.  And in that half an hour, none of the three of them had moved or spoke.  Finally, they were approached by the same pair of guards that had told them to wait, and instructed her that she could deliver the message from her Boss to the camp.  Karmic and her two Guards proceeded to follow the pair of Raiders the several hundred feet further into the camp, that attempted to half-hide at the edges of the jungle around them.

Once they got to camp, it was clear most, if not everyone there, had turned out for this "meeting."  Not all gathered and assembled of course, but all within earshot as they carried on, or appeared to carry on, activities of daily living and 'routine' around such a camp.  Within a few moments of Karmic coming into line of sight with the camp she confirmed several of her suspicions - that they were no armed and trained fighting force, they were not a Merc group hired by someone to create issues for her or for KI though there were clearly several among them who took work as Mercenaries, or bounty hunters, as the wind and opportunity shifted.  Several others sensed to her more of the criminal variety type, perhaps too hunted in their home cities, or too bad at it, to be able to practice their way of life more successfully than raiding turned out to be.  There were several women among them, but none appeared to be clothed or as well taken care of as the two dozen or so men she eyed as she spoke to them.  None appeared to be serving any purpose but taking care of the daily needs of the camp and its men. And to Karmic, none of them felt all that happy or cooperative about it.  She spotted no children.  She also did not see her kidnapped employees.

Several men emerged from the group, clearly intent to take point in this conversation.  It was unclear from the rest of the camp, through verbal or non-verbal cues, how they felt about these men taking 'charge'.  Some clearly didn't care for their leadership, but that was a far cry from sensing any traitors or anyone who might end up taking the deal she was about to offer.  The air was too tense, everyone there too on edge, for her to be able to discern such nuances without devoting more of her attention and force-energy to it.  But that might set off the force-users.

Those she sensed without issue, though she made sure not to 'notice' them directly for several minutes.  There were only two of them.  One did indeed feel 'Sith' to Karmic's force perceptions, as Mr. Tomlin had already suspected, the other one just felt more guarded and reserved.  If she was forced to call it she would not have said Jedi, but she would have leaned towards the odds that the other force-user dealt more in the lightside of the Force than anything else.  He felt conscious of her, but interestingly enough, unafraid.  If either of them suspected she was something other than what she claimed, they remained silent on it.  And she felt no directed attention or attempt to 'sense' her through the Force.

Karmic did not remove her hood as she started speaking, and she kept her hands together in front of her, though no longer hidden by her robes.  She wanted the gold slave chains on her hands and wrists to be obvious and noticed.  Her voice was plain and calm.  Her words simple.

"I give you greetings from Krayt Industries and its CEO and Owner, Darth Karmic Draga'zathoth.  I wish to thank you for your allowing me to enter into your camp and speak to you of my Mistress's offer.  My Mistress only wants this entire affair over and done with as soon as possible, so that her business will suffer no more losses.  It is our genuine hope that you take what she is offering you today and cease these attacks."

Most of the men, as expected, laughed or sniggered.  The women remained silent, and to Karmic's notice, so did others of the men.  Another few seconds of observation and force-perception told her that so far, no one was on guard or overtly suspicious she was not what she claimed to be.

"Thought the Darth of Krayt Industries kept no slaves..."  one of the men spoke up.

Karmic responded, "She does not.  I am another employee of hers, another freed slave.  Madam requested a volunteer to deliver her offer to the Raiders as she was too busy off world to arrive just yet., and as I already said, she is wanting this entire ordeal over as soon as she can make it happen.  I was the one who answered the request, as you have at least one of my good friends kept here."

"You sure are talking a lot for a negotiator...or...ambassador..or well whatever fancy thing you think you are."  Another man snickered and teased, causing answering laughs from others.

The hooded face merely turned to 'look' in the direction of the new questioner.  "I was instructed to be as open and honest as I could be.  Madam does not care me to hide why I am here, as there is no point.  I volunteered for this because I was hoping to ask you to allow me to at least see that the women you have taken here are still alive."

None of the men who had stepped forward to 'deal' with her answered that inquiry.  Instead the first man spoke again, Karmic judging him to be one of the Mercs with the way he handled himself in this situation.  That also probably being the reason he was one of the defacto leaders of this band of merry men.

"Very well, tell us of this offer."

The robed woman nodded her hood deeply to those gathered around the camp.

"My Mistress, CEO of Krayt Industries, Darth Karmic., would like to ask and offer each and every one of you a full pardon from the wrongs you have done her business and her property - if you all agree to come work for her instead - and join the ranks of her full time employees.  To be given the same rights, benefits, and considerations as all of her employees.  To be given the opportunity to carve out a place for yourself in amongst us and prove you are more than just base criminals and Raiders attacking some mining camp for scraps.  That goes not only for the men here, but for every woman as well, and anyone else who allies themselves with you or wants to join you from your own homes and families, as employees with KI."

The camp dropped into silence for a few moments.  And Karmic waited patiently.

History Posts:  Her Backstory , Darth-Hood

Offline Karmic

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Re: Meanwhile...back in Karmic-Land
« Reply #14 on: 05/09/14, 01:38:56 PM »
There was a murmur and then several voices speaking at once.  Some challenging, some denying, and still others remaining in quiet contemplation.  It was those that Karmic covertly watched and focused on, curious as to which way they'd fall and whether there was enough dissention in the ranks to play to her advantage.

"Your offer seems awfully rich for people who, as you have said, have stolen from KI, killed employees, and kidnapped others.  Why does your Mistress..." the first man again, his voice and his face scowled in surprising contempt as he said those words, "...want to offer us this.  Or even think it's a good idea?"

The hooded female nodded to the man again.  "You are correct.  She is aware that it is quite...generous... the clean slate she offers.  But, if you know anything about my Mistress, you would know that this is what she does.  Offers clean slates to those the rest of the Empire, and even the Galaxy, have thrown aside and put under.  Some consider it a weakness, that she is far too soft on us."  The female under the hood smiled, as if this was a pleasant thought or memory, "...however, I know otherwise.  If you knew her, you would know this is not at all uncharacteristic of her."

"If you choose to look at it from a business perspective though, it is this.  It is quite simply more profitable and easier to have you join us as legitimate, paid, employees - than to spend more money, more lives, and more production time in continuing to fight you or to try and just kill you all off.  It also isn't good press and Madam does not wish to have difficulties with conducting business on this planet.  She is hopeful that word of her offer will spread and encourage others to want to come work for KI.  We are a rapidly expanding and have room for more employees at this time."

More murmurs and discussion, and Karmic, and her guards, remained silent and still through them all.

The second man spoke up again, "And if we don't accept.. we don't believe this offer.  Or we just don't want to and would rather spend our days doing...whatever we want...even if it means...this."  He waved his hand as he carved a piece of fruit in two and popped a piece in his mouth.

Karmic the employee shrugged slowly, "Well, I'm sure you can understand, Madam cannot allow you to continue raiding her property and taking her supplies and employees.  If you refuse her offer then she will act in other ways to ensure these raids stop. Once and for all.  I'm sure, knowing she is a Dark Lord of the Sith, you can guess how she will choose to respond to such a refusal."

"Are you threatening us, woman?"  The first man's voice rose in offense, no matter how contrived.  He clearly wanted a fight, or at least, to win at intimidating a female worker who has only come to parlay.

"No, sir."  Karmic responded, her head gazing at the ground and her posture dropping lower, less threatening, more subservient. "I am merely telling you the truth.  The man asked what would happen if you refused. I was only answering his question in the best way I know how.  Darth Karmic will not make this offer again.  If you refuse it, she will respond to that as she decides.  This one does not pretend to know the mind of a Darth, much less this one's Boss."

The words came easily, with no hesitancy.  The deferring honesty and the loss of the identity of the individual.  This one was nothing special. This one was nothing more than she appeared to be.  This one wanted only to survive this encounter and return behind the fences where she felt safe.

They served their purpose, and the man calmed down.  Though Karmic did feel a tightening scrutiny of her from the more cautious of the two force-users.  But she remained calm and quieted herself inwardly, so as not to give any reason whatsoever for the force-user to suspect more solidly that she was anything other than what she claimed to be.  The long learned mantra again circling in her head, 'This one is nothing. This one is no one special.  This one lives only to serve and please and survive.  This one is invisible.  This one is nothing...' She remembered that sense of fear that came with that mantra at times, so it was easy to underlay her energy with that sense of fear now.

As the man calmed Karmic continued, "Darth Karmic has given you and your Camp three days to decide how you wish to respond to her offer.  I shall return in three days time, at this same time of day, to hear your answer."

The men in charge nodded to her and waved her away. "Be gone then. We care not to hear more.  And if you stay much longer some of our ...  not as polite compatriots...  may wish to see how far your... Mistresses.. hospitality extends to her employees."  The 'warning' was not one at all, but a promised threat, meant to intimidate and bring more fear.  The fact that it was no doubt true only helped the 'warning'.

"Please, sir." Karmic's voice was softer, one of someone who knows they have been dismissed but is attempting to have one last request in before following her orders.  "Please... the women you have taken.  May I... May I but see them?  I only wish to know if my friends are alive."

The three men looked at each other and then the one closer to the camp barked an order.  Several women were led out of the tents, chains around their necks.  The kneeled in place several dozen yards away from where Karmic and her guard stood.  Within 'eyesight', and if one raised their voice, earshot, but not much closer.  They looked exhausted, but not immediately bruised.  Their eyes drained and blank, a look Karmic expected from ones who thought they were truly free, only to find themselves in chains again.  It was all she could do not to lash out immediately and free them all.  It would be so easy to... the dropping of a few shields and the relaxing of control... it whispered to her from deep within, tempting her.

I promised them this would never happen again.  I promised them....  I will not fail them... they are Mine to protect.... MINE...

She strengthened her resolve to stick to her plan, and merely nodded at the man in front.  "Thank you, sir. It is good to see you  have not harmed them."  The lie easily hidden among the visible half truths.  She knew no such thing.  "Madam will be quite happy to hear the same, and I'm sure will want to thank you further should you accept her offer, for returning her employees to her so well cared for."

The men snickered and made teased comments among themselves again. Karmic focused inward and allowed the words she heard to pass through her, not allowing it to fan her anger or her Darkness, into responding.

As no other words were said for several moments, Karmic bowed deeply to the camp in front of her.

"Thank you for your time. I shall return in 3 days to hear your response.  I hope you choose to join us."

She nodded deeply again and turned, walking away.  Her guard turned with her, appearing to present their backs to the camp as they left.  Karmic's force-enhanced senses, and empathic ability, staying tightly tuned on the camp as it receeded behind them for any hint of raised hostility or aggression. 

None came.

Until the next day.  The Camp gave its answer.  It raided Alpha Community again, just after dusk,  killing two more patrol members and kidnapping another female.

History Posts:  Her Backstory , Darth-Hood