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Author Topic: Where the Light Fails (NS Cult Evocaii Arc)  (Read 2055 times)

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Offline SivWysan

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Where the Light Fails (NS Cult Evocaii Arc)
« on: 11/11/14, 05:48:43 PM »
This thread is Maerin and Minnette for now- though if folks have interest in this portion or the ongoing Nar Shaddaa Cult story I am running, don't hesitate to drop me a line.  This will mostly feed into next weekends' next episode- and takes place about 5 days after the Nexus' Closure, the morning after a meeting with Babbo the Hutt.

Deep enough in any ocean, there is the place where light fails.  In the smog-choked ocean of rust and flesh that is the Smuggler's Moon, that does not take long.  Some places, however are darker than others- reserved for the uttermost dregs and castoffs of society.  It was at the gateways of one such place that Maerin Wysan found herself missing the dawn, waiting pensively for a friend. 



They were at the under-edge of the Duros Sector, not far from its borders with Karvgaddaa the Hutt's former domain.  Few Duros, contented as they were to spending years encased in metal ships, would even venture to this place.  It was largely empty, a rare sight for Nar Shaddaa and devoid of much noise, save the occasional groan of machinery or an aging structure swaying high above.  A single rusty sidewalk ran along the feet of some distant tower, with equally rusty pipes dropping over the edge and down, down, down into seemingly endless darkness.  They were going to climb one of those pipes- all the way if they were lucky, to a place few dared to tred.  To the door step of this whole systems' rightful owners. 

Maerin checked her climbing gear, extra lights and night vision goggles, and gave one more look over the pipe she had chosen,  hoping it would hold.  Minnette should be here soon. 
« Last Edit: 11/11/14, 07:10:31 PM by Siv_Wysan »



Offline Seraphie

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Re: Where the Light Fails (NS Cult Evocaii Arc)
« Reply #1 on: 11/11/14, 06:53:35 PM »
Minnette made her way through the unfamiliarly dark and empty streets, much deeper in Nar Shaddaa than she had ever been, other than to help close the Nexus. Her mind wandered back to those moments, all that they fought, all that they lost... all that they won, hopefully, if the Hutts would let them finish the job without making a mess of it.

She wiggled her left wrist in the new, used piece of armour on her arm. She'd sacrificed her left arm armour on that day, the carbonite in its freezing mechanism succeeding in neutralising one of the baridium bombs. She'd sacavenged for a fast, cheap replacement, but it was a poor match to the rest of the outfit, and the carbonite freezing mechanism was both empty and inoperable. It would have to do. At least it would provide some protection. Her skin still itched at times from the last of the healing from the burn from that same day, but Maerin's cream had done wonders, accomplishing most of the healing quickly and leaving no scarring.

Her mind wandered to Caben for a moment, helping treat her burns when she first got back to the Wysan estate that night, exhausted, drained, not even thinking of the fact that she was revealing herself as the wearer of that same armour she had anonymously robbed him in. She shook her head lightly, clearing her thoughts. Focus on the task. Other thoughts later.

Her mind alert and focused once again, she looked carefully through the darkness, switching on a magnetic light and sticking it to her helmet to light the way ahead. She moved a little faster, until she spotted Maerin, between the pipes. She slowed her pace just enough to give Maerin time to recognize her before she got too close in this ominous place.

She opened her helmet enough to show her face and smiled, "Hi Maerin. So, what's the plan from here?"

Offline SivWysan

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Re: Where the Light Fails (NS Cult Evocaii Arc)
« Reply #2 on: 11/11/14, 07:49:47 PM »
Maerin smiled as she sensed Minnette's Force presence, stepping out from behind the pipes to avoid startling her.  She also did her best to cover her own worries about family on the other side of the Moon, where a violent night was only beginning.   

She wore her robes, repaired from a set gifted by a jawa tribe but singed badly during the mess at the Erini wedding.  They suited her in most places in the underworld, tattered but meaningful, matching the lives of so many in this place.  She also had a climbing harness and some rope in a pack on her back… along with a few other items for later. 

"Glad you made it safely, Minnette."  She looks around them, a long canyon between massive slabs of rust-plated duracrete.  The narrow-railless sidewalk they stood on had a partner once, judging by the tattered fragments hanging here or there.  This side seemed to have decided to stay up through sheer stubbornness.  "This is the last level of the city that exists on what passes for urban records here.  Officially we're in low-income housing but, as you can see the only people who use this place anymore are passing swoop gangs and scavengers."

Something skittered along the wall about a half level below- but Maerin did not sense any danger.  Simply life, defiantly hanging on even here.  She continued.  "From here we go down 20 levels, then through some duct-work to a safe-house of the tribe.  In better times we might have been able to find one of the Evocaii's nomadic villages coming up for supplies or work- but these are far from better times."  Her faced grew pained, and concerned.  "They definitely took some losses from the gas bombs, though I don't know how bad.    I' promised to bring some medical supplies… frankly I'm surprised my contact even agreed to meet us.  Let me introduce us and do the first of the talking- this could be a little tense.  But I've known this tribe for a few years, and they trust me if anyone."

Maerin unhooks her rope and harness (she'd have told you to bring some), and reaches into her pack for night-vision goggles and a rebreather.  "Keep one of these handy too.  We're so low, airflows can get weird and sometimes toxins or a rotting mass of trash can send up a death-cloud.  I've got a scanner on my belt to warn us."

(Feel free to add anything, but I'll keep us moving)

Attaching magna-spikes to the firmest surfaces they could find, the pair began the slow, cautious rappel below.  About ten stories down, the air became noticeably moister, and dripping could be heard to their right.  Pointing through infrared, Maerin showed Minnette a tiny waterfall, trickling over a ledge into buckets tethered to the side.  "Artificial stream.  No real rain makes it this far down, and most of the water outlets are toxic.  But the Evocaii set up artificial condensers, make their own clouds and hide the collection points from scavengers.  Some are pretty advanced systems, nano particle drop-formation makes it cleaner than anything you could gather up above."



Offline Seraphie

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Re: Where the Light Fails (NS Cult Evocaii Arc)
« Reply #3 on: 11/11/14, 08:10:50 PM »
As Maerin described the trek they were to undertake, Minnette's gaze followed one of the pipes as far down as she could see, wondering just how deep one had to go to find the actual surface of the moon. It was a question she had considered before. Sitting high above even what passed for the highest "ground floor" level, in the Dancer's Palace, she sometimes wondered what the actual distance was between the physical, natural surface of the moon and her floating-in-the-clouds appartment. She once again appreciated the good fortune life seemed to be bringing her lately. She simply nodded at Maerin as they both began to prepare for their descent.

Minnette pulled a small camera from her pack, also with a magnetic clip, and attached it to her helmet, aligning it with her light, but leaving it off for the moment. This was the one new item she had splurged on. Babbo wanted proof? She'd make sure to get it for him. She'd make sure the time the rest of the team was buying them at a high price tonight was worth it.

Minnette pulled out her harness and rope, more newly, quickly, cheaply acquired used items, and followed along side Maerin, down into the abyss. "I'll let you do all the talking unless you nudge me to pipe up or they ask me anything directly. I'm unfamiliar with the Evocaii culture. I've been to Hutta before and seen some of their camps there, but it isn't a much better environment than this." Her voice echoed strangely in the void between pipes and duracrete. She pointed the light on her helmet towards the trickle of water. "Impressive. They seem to actually be doing a better job of seeing to their well-being here than on Hutta. I guess it helps that they're completely hidden here." She thought for a moment before adding. "If the water they generate is that clean, they should sell it."

Offline SivWysan

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Re: Where the Light Fails (NS Cult Evocaii Arc)
« Reply #4 on: 11/11/14, 08:33:56 PM »
Noticing the camera, Maerin gave a cautious nod.  "Lets be careful filming in their holdings directly without checking.  They are understandably guarded about their movements down here.  Good idea though.  We'll need to be… careful in what we choose to bring back.  I don't want anything that could be used by others on the Council as an excuse for more purges of these poor folks." 

As they paused, briefly to look at the water, Maerin listened appreciatively.  "Not a bad guess for a 'newcomer,'" she said, smiling.  "There are two different cultures here and on Nal Hutta now.  The bulk of the people- entire cities- came here in several resettlement waves, thousands of years ago, while those who stayed worked most directly for the Hutts, and were quickly indentured or enslaved.  Plenty of that happened here too, once the Hutts also stole the moon and needed slaves to  build this place- but as the builders, the Nar Shaddaa Evocaii were able to install backdoors and secret routes.  Though what remains is but a fraction of the millions who once lived on Evocar, the Free Evocaii here are proud of their self-sufficiency and ingenuity."

She paused, looking on the water with a smile.  "Not a bad idea… though if word got out about their technology, its more likely they'd simply lose it to the nearest swoop gang.  Better to keep their secrets, and protect their way of life.  I'd ask you to do the same, while where down here."  She paused, cautiously.  "There is much I don't even know.  I suspect they grow food somehow, but have never been trusted with that information.  They are a resilient people."



Offline Seraphie

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Re: Where the Light Fails (NS Cult Evocaii Arc)
« Reply #5 on: 11/11/14, 09:36:08 PM »
Minnette nods, "Of course. I'll only film anything within their territory with their permission. I'm not looking for any record of even their existence. This is for proof for Babbo, that the cult still exists and that he should stop the overly agressive council members from making a bigger mess of it and let us deal with it quietly. That's all. Make it clear to them that if they wish to hold onto the camera while we are with them, I'll hand it over until we leave."

Minnette looks at the water again, nodding at Maerin's request for silence, suddenly uncomfortable with just how much trust she's been given, by total strangers, in so little time. She wonders for a moment at this, not sure herself as to whether or not they should really trust her, leaning more towards the not. She looks down into the void, the darkness reflecting the sudden darkness of her thoughts, as she waits for Maerin to lead the continuation of their descent.

Offline SivWysan

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Re: Where the Light Fails (NS Cult Evocaii Arc)
« Reply #6 on: 11/13/14, 09:48:04 PM »
Maerin sensed… discomfort in her friend, but did not comment on it.  Minnette would have to share as she wanted in her own time. 

As they descend even deeper, the dark vision googles range of few faded out into the distance, and they realized they were dropping through a vast, open expanse.  Here and there, strange shimmers broke the darkness.  If they paused for a moment, and compared the view without the glasses, they might notice tiny, razor-thin shafts of focused light were being reflected down from somewhere up above, nearly imperceptibly.  Bringing what little light remained further than it could travel on its own, to some unknown destination. 

At long-last, they reached what appeared to be a tattered, rusty shed or sentry-post at the edge of a building that had long ago fallen into ruin.  Below its platform, the abyss again fell away in the dark  A tiny single room lay within the shack, with a battered plasteel table.  Maerin motioned them forward after unhooking and stowing their ropes.  Going to the table she found a candle, which she lit, covering and uncovering 3 times in view of the doorway.  Its light flickered in a sickly fashion, but was still brilliant against the surrounding darkness.  Then she put the flame out, and motioned for Minnette to wait, their hands on the table. 

Like a silent shadow, a young man was suddenly with them.  A face in hovering in blackness towards the back of the room, the women might realize that he was dressed in some sort of infrared-blocking cloak.  On his back was strapped a long-rifle with a wicked-looking bladed tip… it appeared to be handmade.  Like many of his kind, the Evocaii's slightly sunken eyes and long-nose seemed to give a passive appearance at first… but this one's eyes took on a fire that was startling at points in his speech.  Every movement was precise and hinted of coiled violence.   

Maerin spoke first, softly.  "Abuthal.  Thank you for coming."

The man regarded them cooly.  "Maerin of Wysan.  This is the friend, you mentioned.  Can she be trusted?"

"She is one of those who sealed the Blight on your world, and guarded my own life.  She is honored by our family."

The man looked her over her again, with faint surprise.  "Allies of the Wysans will be welcomed.  But not to our villages."  His look darkened considerably.  "There are none left… standing... that outsiders may tred within."

Maerin nodded, respectfully.  "Will the Leader speak with us?"

"He will speak, but I know not if you will be pleased by his words.  Come, we should keep moving."  His eyes darted upwards, fiercely. 

Evocaii pic- though not this one in particular 
« Last Edit: 07/10/15, 04:16:23 PM by DaimrenVelKorr »



Offline Seraphie

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Re: Where the Light Fails (NS Cult Evocaii Arc)
« Reply #7 on: 11/14/14, 04:07:14 PM »
Can she be trusted?

The words echoed in the dark places of Minnette's mind. She bit her tongue and said nothing, though a resounding no screamed back at her from somewhere within those dark places.

She is honoured by our family.


Minnette noticed the subtle difference in wording. Honoured, not trusted. Somehow she was more comfortable with those words, though somewhere within a sadness sat. How difficult a thing trust is. Should anyone trust her? What would it take to earn that trust? What would it take to keep that trust? Who does she trust? What would it take for her to trust someone?

She looked from Abuthal to Maerin, suddenly confused. Was he not leading them to a village if they were to speak to the leader? Yet he said she was not to see their villages. She turned her gaze back to Abuthal, "Am I to wait here?"

Offline SivWysan

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Re: Where the Light Fails (NS Cult Evocaii Arc)
« Reply #8 on: 11/14/14, 04:29:24 PM »
Maerin was, for just a second slightly overwhelmed by the depth of emotion coming off of the others- though not an empath like Karmic, the double-edged Sense gifts she bore as a Corellian of Jedi blood could sometimes be distracting.  A fear and hesitancy, again from Minnette which she was consciously trying not to pry into, and Abuthal's usual fierce protectiveness and suspicions.  He looked to her, impatient to move, and she decided it would be best for her to answer. 

Turning to Minnette, she clarified, "I believe our host is referring to the fact their recent... losses have made the few villages that welcome guests no longer an option.  Out of respect for the privacy of their remaining territories, we will use a neutral meeting ground to speak with the elders I requested an audience with.  It will be a bit lower, but away from their secret communities."
« Last Edit: 11/14/14, 04:31:42 PM by Siv_Wysan »



Offline Seraphie

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Re: Where the Light Fails (NS Cult Evocaii Arc)
« Reply #9 on: 11/14/14, 05:18:21 PM »
Minnette nods, giving Abethul a reassuring smile, relaxing as the confusion is cleared, the clarity pushing away the darker thoughts for the moment.

Wanting to ensure nothing puts the trust given at risk, she reaches up to her helmet, removes the camera and offers it to Abethul. "I have a recording device on my helmet, though it's turned off right now. I hope to use it to record useful information for us in continuing to fight this blight on this moon and your communities. Please hold it until you're comfortable with my using it."

Offline SivWysan

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Re: Where the Light Fails (NS Cult Evocaii Arc)
« Reply #10 on: 11/16/14, 09:16:40 AM »
At her words about "blight" Abuthal gave a wry look for a moment- but did not elaborate.  He accepted the camera, then noted, "You will need to hand over your weapons as well, once we arrive at the meeting location.  But you may keep them for now."

Maerin nodded, not appearing surprised at this condition.  "Of course- we know how cautious the Leader must be in these times." Lead the way. 

He walked them out of the shack and around the side of the larger building foundation it was straddled up against, to a waiting set up speeder bikes.  Through their night-vision the group could tell they were clearly time-worn and cobbled together, but still displayed a sense of pride- the metal and plasteel including runes and carvings. 

"Faster this way.  You can all fly yes?"




Offline Seraphie

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Re: Where the Light Fails (NS Cult Evocaii Arc)
« Reply #11 on: 11/16/14, 09:47:37 AM »
Minnette looks curiously at the building foundation they walk around, taking in details, cracks, signs of wear, momentarily trying to separate what is wear from age and what may be wear from damage done. As they approach the bikes, she adjusts her night vision scanner, which is down over her right eye and then adjusts her helmet flashlight to point further ahead, so that it will be a better mix for the speed of the bikes. She stops for a moment though, and adjusts the flashlight towards the speeders, slowly running the light over each, taking in the runes and carvings on them.

At Abuthal's prompt of "faster", she turns away from purusing the decorations on the bikes and readjusts her flashlight for the ride. She chuckles at Abuthal's question, her usual hosting mechanism of trying to put anyone at ease kicking in, "Only with a vehicle. Not my prefered mode of movment without one." She turns back towards the bikes, careful not to shine her light in anyone's eyes.


Offline SivWysan

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Re: Where the Light Fails (NS Cult Evocaii Arc)
« Reply #12 on: 11/16/14, 01:51:37 PM »
Maerin gave a small chuckle, but Abuthal ignored the comment, focused on departing.  He leaped onto his bike, which made some odd noises but ran smoothly once started.  Pointing forward, he jetted off into the darkness to guide them- apparently so confident of his night-vision and memory that he did not bother with lights. 

They descended down even further, massive pillars of building foundations surrounding them like a primeval forest, but still no bottoms in sight.  They spotted a few more of those thin light-slivers here and there, as well as a few partially-open chambers where the lights seemed to terminate in half-open ruined structures- the light scattering within to dimly illuminate what appeared to be abandoned settlements, intricately carved and nestled inside the decaying superstructure like cliffside dwellings.  Their speed did not allow for further inspection, as they dropped even lower into the depths of the urban jungle. 



Occasional warm updrafts emerged from the cavelike environment and, here and there the women could see tiny, glowing flying creatures of some sort, producing their own light.  Some flew as swarms of dots, others larger, singular ribbons menacingly pursuing the others.  None approached the bikes, however darting back into the shadowed buildings like shy fish as they passed.

Finally, a wide, flat platform- large enough for two light freighters- appeared out of nowhere, and Abuthal led them down to it.  A thin spire beneath it vanished into the depths.  They landed on one side, powering down the bikes, and could see a cluster of figures, emerging from a sail-barge of some sort across.  As they rose, Abuthal reached out his hand.  "I'll need your weapons now... all of them."
« Last Edit: 07/10/15, 03:53:44 PM by DaimrenVelKorr »



Offline Seraphie

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Re: Where the Light Fails (NS Cult Evocaii Arc)
« Reply #13 on: 11/16/14, 02:15:53 PM »
Minnette found herself wishing they could slow down so that she could actually see the ruins they were passing. She doubted she'd be able to find her way back to them on her own. She gave them only the most cursory glances though, focused on following Abuthal through the forest of pillars. Her flashlight was of little use, its light not carrying far enough ahead to provide much illumination in the dark expanse. She focused on the view in her right eye, through the night vision scanner, careful to always keep Abuthal in the centre of her field of view.

As they set down on the platform, she looked curiously at the group already there. As Abuthal spoke, she unlatched her belt with both of her blasters, removed her knife, in its sheath, from its compartment along the side of her boot, hooking it onto the belt, and removed her side pack, with a few stun grenades in it, hooking it also onto the belt. She passed the laden belt to Abuthal, speaking to him, "The left arm piece of my armour has a carbonite spray device, but it isn't fuctional. The right arm piece is built to hold a flame thrower and a dart thrower, but neither has ever been installed since I've owned the armour."

Offline SivWysan

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Re: Where the Light Fails (NS Cult Evocaii Arc)
« Reply #14 on: 12/03/14, 08:54:56 PM »
Abuthal cocked a wry brow at the woman's thorough inventory of armaments, but accepted the weapons without challenge, as well as Maerin's lightsaber and a couple of stun-grenades.  He then motioned for them to walk ahead of them towards the gathered dignitaries.

As they approached, an oculus high above adjusted, allowing dim reddish-orange light to illuminate the platform, with one of those concealed, mirror focused beams. Standing in a semi-circle behind three older figures were six warriors, dressed in similar infra-red dampening cloaks but with heavier, ornate but stealth-lacquered armor breastplates beneath.  On their ears they wore headband-like brow shields, worked with both lacquered metals and technical workings suggesting they might be vision enhancers of some sort.  They were a dusky blue, save the central guard whose was a burning crimson.  The guards bore long, staff-like weapons with retractable, possibly electrified blades running out of the last half-meter.  Of the older figures, a man and a woman stood back, their heads still half covered in cowls, while the central figure stood forward, his robe pulled back and a fine, but subtle headdress of interwoven metals flowed back a bit like feathers or tendrils from his head.  A range of copper and dull bronzed colors, it appeared dignified and finally worked, but not gaudy.  His under-robes spoke of some archaic style, worn and simple but with incredibly detailed patterns and scrollwork on closer examination. 

As they approached, Maerin recalled some brief notes she had given Minnette in preparation for the meeting:
The Free Evocaii are vastly different from their scattered and enslaved kindred on Nar Shaddaa.  They were removed enmass from many classes and walks of life in much greater numbers, first to clear entire continents for Hutt occupation, and later bringing educated and skilled engineers to the Smuggler's Moon to rebuild it as well for their purposes.  But the Evocaii had several centuries to adapt to their new home, and prepare for their inevitable second betrayal.  Though many completed the work, they have attempted to maintain, in secret as much of their civilization, art and learning as possible, here in the depths.  They are not a ramshackle band of slaves but the remnant of a global civilization.  Resourceful, resilient and fiercely protective of the freedom they have carved out for themselves down here.  Often utilizing the fruits of their forced labor for their own purposes, in the shadows of depths no other race sees value in.  Diffident and quiet as they may act in their interactions with the upper levels, they proudly still claim the forgotten soil of this entire moon, and are the only ones with the skill and courage to still walk it.  Here, in their domain we must remember that.

I have prepared a symbolic gift for you to pass their leader, when we arrive.  I will say the words, but present it, with both hands outstretched and head slightly bowed, when I speak of it
(Minnette received a small power-cell, of advanced workmanship she suspects may have been Caben's).


As they approach slowly, Abuthal leading from behind walking his shock-tipped sniper rifle like a spear, the central of the guards standing behind the elders raps his blade-pole on the ground four times ceremoniously, and shouts a challenge an an ancient tongue, which he repeats in Basic.  "Who enters the domain of the Free, the Fierce, the Final Witnesses?"

Maerin continues her approach respectfully, pausing two meters from the leaders and intoning.  "Two who honor the old Compacts, and bring Rain and Light to those who keep Ancient Soil."  She steps forward a final meter, hands extended as she showed Minnette and bearing a beautiful, crystalline-worked vase of clear water.  She then gives a gentle nod to Minnette. 

As they near the main leader, the women notice his wizened age, eyes creased with both fatigue but also gentle laugh-lines.  His skin, slightly paled by the darkness nevertheless retains the rich coppery hues of Abuthal's.  On first glance, one feels at ease in the presence of his kindness and hospitality… but upon seeing his eyes, they would see, deeper the same fire, perhaps fiercer, that burned in Abuthal's. 
« Last Edit: 12/04/14, 06:17:36 PM by Siv_Wysan »