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Author Topic: Tales From the Dark Side  (Read 2467 times)

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Offline Darshendros

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Tales From the Dark Side
« on: 10/12/14, 11:55:41 PM »
Conscription

Private Monz sighed with boredom as he sat at one of the monitoring stations aboard the space station orbiting the planet Wutan, a backwater in the Outer Rim that no one really paid attention to, except the cartels that operated in the system. He had joined the space marines to fight his homeworld's enemies, not sit on a space station and watch blips on the radar. Not that there ever were any. The station wasn't even fully manned, running on a skeleton crew while the officers got drunk in the cantina on the promenade. Wutan's enemies had long ago been vanquished. The most they had to worry about were space pirates, and even they didn't come out this far.

But something did.

Monz leaned back in his chair, propping one foot up on the terminal, and lighted a deathstick. As he took a sweet drag and filled his lungs with acrid smoke, he nearly fell over as his terminal sounded with an alarm. Unidentified ships entering the system. He gasped and coughed out the smoke, snuffing the deathstick out and righting himself on his chair, looking down at the terminal. Three blips were shown. Three ships. He reached over to the comm terminal to alert his shift commander, but just as he was about to make the call, the blips vanished.

"Huh?" Monz blinked, looking again. Nothing. He hit the terminal with his fist. "Stupid machine! Must be glitching out again."

* * *

"Cloaking device active and maintaining power, sir. They do not see any of our ships."

Moff Lannist stood on the command deck on the bridge aboard The Emperor's Wrath, his gloved hands folded behind his back, looking out of the main viewport at the planet Wutan. "What about when we exited hyperspace?" he asked.

"If they did," replied the bridge officer that addressed him, "it would have appeared as a technical glitch. Not enough time to respond."

"In any case, put fighter squadrons on standby until we make orbit. Remember, we are not supposed to be here," Lannist said.

"Yes, sir."

Lannist walked over to the holoterminal. Darth Magius appeared, sitting in his meditation pod. "My lord, we have arrived."

"Yes, I know," the dark lord replied. "Ready my shuttle for departure."

"As you wish, Lord Magius." Lannist bowed.

The Harrower flagship of the Tenebrous Gospel, The Emperor's Wrath, was flanked by two Terminus destroyers, also cloaked. Remaining undetected, they orbited around Wutan on the opposite side of the planet from the space station. An unmarked shuttle departed from the bottom hangar and entered the planet's atmosphere. Wutan was a temperate planet, much like Dromund Kaas but slightly hotter, with forests, mountains, deserts, oceans, rivers; everything a planet habitable to humanoid species needs. It was also an isolated, neutral planet orbiting a tiny star too far out in the outer rim to serve any tactical or strategic value. It wasn't even marked on most star charts. Wutan was a planet where people went to hide or purchase goods they wouldn't be able to purchase without it going on anyone's database. Their main export: slaves. More specifically, gladiators.

Like the Mandalorians, the Wutang were a warrior race divided into faction tribes. They looked nearly human, except for their pointed teeth and clawed hands. They took pride in feats of strength, marking their achievements with ceremonial tattoos and piercings, and settled any disputes they had in gladiatorial rings, often to the death. Unlike the Mandalorians, however, they never expanded beyond their own system, other than to fight their enemies on the neighboring planet, but that war ended a century ago. When they started making bargains with the Exchange and Hutt cartels, selling slaves for profit, they no longer saw any need to pursue expansion beyond raiding neighboring planets for loot and prisoners. Occasionally, they also made underground deals with the Sith Empire.

The shuttle landed in a clearing near a small forest. A group of riders mounted on lizards rode up to greet it, standard bearers at the front of the pack holding black and yellow banners depicting the insignia of one of the Wutang clans. A pair of Imperial troops exited the shuttle before Darth Magius and a protocol droid, flanking him as he walked down the shuttle's ramp. The clan's leader, riding at the front and center, dismounted his lizard along with two of his own guards, and walked up to greet the Sith Lord in kind. They stopped within ten meters of each other.

"The great and powerful Darth Magius of the Sith Empire, Sith Lord and dark master of the Emperor's most esteemed cult, the Tenebrous Gospel, bids you greeting and thanks you for inviting him to gaze upon your beautiful planet," the droid greeted in the Wutang language.

The clan's leader nodded his head, acknowledging, and then spoke in return. The droid translated.

"I am called Jhisza, chieftain of the Bronks. I bid you welcome, dark lord, and look forward to demonstrate the strength of my warriors to you. My warriors are the strongest of the Wutang, trained in the thirty-six chambers, and have known no opponent that they could not defeat in combat."

"We'll see about that," Magius replied. He gestured forward. "Lead on."

"My master looks forward to your demonstration and wishes to see their prowess," the droid said.

Jhisza provided lizard mounts for Magius and his men, securing the droid onto the back of one, and led them back to their village deep in the woods. Village was putting it lightly, as Magius soon realized. It was a fortress, with walls twenty meters high and manned watchtowers, brick buildings and smoothed, dirt roads. At the center was a large tower that stretched beyond the forest canopy, perhaps the most fortified building within the walls. It was surrounded by what looked like a military garrison, soldiers training, forging weapons, fighting in the pits.

Vibroswords and bowcasters seemed to be the most common weapons among the warriors, though Magius would guess he would find other similar weaponry among them if he spent enough time here. Nothing more advanced than that however. If the Empire ever decided to claim this planet for whatever reason, no matter how great their warriors, they would fall.

They came up to the stables, where they dismounted and tied their lizard mounts, and then went to the main fighting pit. Jhisza had assembled his clan's finest warriors to participate in a tournament for the Sith Lord. Magius was eager to see if the chieftain's words rang true. He stood beside the chieftain as he addressed his warriors from the raised platform where he sat to overlook the fights. The droid translated quietly to the dark lord.

"Warriors of the Bronks, today you fight for the chance to serve a powerful lord from the Empire! Fight as you would your enemy, for only one of you will be awarded this great honor. Begin the first match!"

* * *

The audience roared and cheered as the last two combatants circled each other in the pit, slashing and jabbing at each other, their blades ringing with each clash. After fourteen fights, these two remained, but neither were exhausted, and despite the minor wounds they both received from their earlier matches, their strength held true. Despite all that, Magius was bored. He had hoped that perhaps he would be able to find a Force-sensitive among them, but with each match, he realized there were none. Impressive warriors, to say the least, but nothing he could use that he couldn't hire a Mandalorian for. Then again, he didn't come here to hire anyone.

The crowd's cheers rose as the finishing blow was struck and one of the warrior's heads rolled across the ground. He rose his weapons to the air, turning to face the chieftain and the Sith. Magius took a step forward as Jhisza was about to congratulate the winner.

"Droid, tell the chieftain that I will fight him next."

"Master, is that wise?" the droid questioned.

"Do as I command or I will sell you for parts on our way back to Dromund Kaas," Magius said in a flat, calm tone. The two Imperial troops behind them chuckled in their helmets.

The droid yelped and complied. "M-my master wishes to fight against the winner, most honorable chieftain."

Jhisza laughed and slapped his thigh, standing up. The crowd quieted down long enough for him to say some words, followed by more cheering. The warrior in the pit lowered his weapons and looked up at Magius with a fanged grin. Good, he still wants more.

"Chieftain Jhisza says that he would be honored to see you fight his greatest warrior and wishes you luck," the droid said.

"Of course he would." Magius jumped down into the pit, bloodlust in his eyes.

The chieftain shouted something and the warrior charged toward Magius. The Sith's lightsaber flashed to his hand almost instantly, blazing on with its fiery red blade, and went into a sudden flurry of multiple slashes and slices that stopped the warrior in his tracks. He screamed as his body suddenly flew apart in pieces, cloth and tissue still burning bright orange from the wounds inflicted by Magius' lightsaber. The crowd was silent.

Jhisza shot up from his seat and shouted something, the tone of his voice indicating that he was angry, offended, shocked.

"Chieftain Jhisza says that you fought with dishonor, using a sorcerous weapon," the droid translated. "He says you will be executed for your actions."

It was Magius' turn to laugh. "It is true, your warriors are impressive, but they are no match for a Sith. Emperor knows, I doubt they'd be able to kill Mandalorians. You will all serve me, but not as warriors. You will be my slaves. Translate, droid."

"U-uh, yes master." The droid complied and translated what Magius just proclaimed. It seemed to make the chieftain only angrier. He shouted again and several warriors in the audience jumped down into the pit, drawing their blades.

Magius' response was swift and deadly. The dust stirred around his feet, disturbed by a sudden shockwave of energy emitting from him. He sheathed his lightsaber and curled his hands into fists, raising them. Opening his hands, he unleashed a sudden storm of Force Lightning all around him, striking everyone and everything. The crowd panicked, screaming as they tried to get away as those around them began suddenly dropping dead at their feet. The warriors in the pit scrambled to avoid bolts of lightning raining down upon them, but in the end, they too fell to the ground. The chieftain watched, unbelieving what he was witnessing. Such power.

The front gates to the fortress village suddenly exploded into splinters and shards. Out of the smoke came a hovertank, flanked by a platoon of Imperial troops. Around the smoking fighting pit, more red lightsabers suddenly flashed on as Sith acolytes revealed themselves. Jhisza, deliberately the sole survivor, was surrounded.

"Your people belong to the Emperor now," Magius stated as he rose back up to the chieftain's platform, floating in the air.

Where there has been one shuttle in the clearing outside of the forest, there were now four. The additional three were clearly marked Imperial shuttles, guarded by troops. The Wutang were herded onto the Imperial shuttles while Magius boarded the unmarked one he had taken down to the surface, returning to The Emperor's Wrath. Jhisza had been bound and taken with him. He would be needed to keep the new slaves in line.

Magius got on the holocom. "Moff Lannist."

"Yes, my lord?" Lannist replied.

"As soon as the slaves are on board, burn everything. Leave no trace of our being here."

"Yes, my lord."

The Wutang's last memory of their village would be seeing it go up in flames.

* * *

"There is it again, but now there's only two!" Private Monz exclaimed to his commander.

"What the?" Commander Ricci hailed the unidentified ships from the terminal. "Unidentified vessels, you are in Wutang space. Identify yourselves and your intention of being here."

They were answered by a hail of turbolaser fire from the Terminus destroyers, destroying their shield generators and communications array. A squadron of Imperial starfighters and bombers descended upon the space station, destroying laser cannons and any fighters that managed to leave the station, and then the freighters. Ina matter of moments, the station was completely destroyed.

The Wrath stayed in orbit while the destroyers sent shuttles down to the planet's surface, raiding resources and capturing more Wutang to make into slaves. All but the warriors were taken, who were instead killed by the troops as their villages were easily overtaken.

The Wutang were kept in holding cells below decks on both of the destroyers, while the surviving chieftains of the Wutang clans were brought aboard the Wrath. Their images were broadcast to the prisoners on both ships, their chieftains bound and on their knees with Imperial blaster rifles aimed at their backs.

"Your lives on this little planet are over," stated the protocol droid's voice over the comms, speaking in Wutang. "You belong to the Empire now. Serve us and you will be rewarded with a pleasant, easy life, free of pain and suffering. Defy us and you will suffer the same fate as your chieftains."

The chieftains, Rhisza, Jhisza, Dameth, Raekon, and the one known in their tongue simply as, The Old Bastard, were executed with one shot to the back of the head all at once.

"Long live the Divine Emperor."

After the planet was thoroughly bombarded to erase any evidence of Imperial involvement, scraps and pieces of salvaged destroyed ships bearing the markings of the Exchange and some Hutt cartels were jettisoned before the fleet jumped to hyperspace.
« Last Edit: 10/17/14, 04:57:03 PM by Darshendros »



Offline Darshendros

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Re: Tales From the Dark Side
« Reply #1 on: 10/17/14, 08:23:18 PM »
Sibling Rivalry

Aboard the Republic cruiser, Whitebase, Kaimona Oshumv stewed in the shielded cell they kept her in the ship's brig. Her fellow crewmates that survived and were also captured with her were being kept in cells next to her's, two in one cell and two in the other, separating the males and females; all awaiting trial once they landed on Coruscant. The Republic capital was the last place she wanted to see again. She knew that if she couldn't escape somehow, she would be executed, if not put in a prison cell for the rest of her life.

"Cap'n, tell me you got a plan," whispered Teeg from the next cell over.

"Workin' on it," Kaimona replied. She stood up and walked up to the ray shield, calling out to the guard passing by. "I want to see my brother!"

"Keep quiet, pirate scum," the guard said.

"His name is Sergeant Mavus Oshumv. I need to speak with him," she insisted.

"The only thing you need is a bolt between your eyes, pirate. Now sit down and shut up!"

Kai glared at the guard as he walked past and then turned around and sat on the bench in her cell, holding her head between her hands.

"Cap'n," whispered Teeg again, "Moris thinks he can get us out."

Kai looked up, looked at where the guard was. He was back at the post, talking with the other guard on duty. "Don't do anything stupid, Moris," she said.

"Trust us, captain, it'll work."

She heard Moris begin to make groaning sounds, followed by Teeg calling out, "Guard! Guard! Help! My friend, I think he's sick!"

The guard sighed and walked over to the cell next to Kai's to investigate the commotion. "Pipe down, scum!"

"My friend is sick. He needs to go to sickbay!"

"Quit faking it or we'll give him a real reason to go to sickbay," the guard said and unslung his blaster rifle.

Moris groaned louder and began retching, moaning in pain. "Please, ya' gotta help him!" Teeg pleaded.

"Ugh, alright. You, stand back!"

Teeg stood back against the wall while Moris continued rolling on the floor. The guard waved over his partner before deactivating the ray shield and stepping inside, keeping his blaster level.

"On your feet, prisoner."

"Ugh! I can't! The pain!" Moris complained, hugging his sides.

The guard reached down to grab Moris by the back of his prisoner shirt. "I said, ON YOUR FEET!"

Moris sprang up and grabbed the guard's arm, swinging him toward the wall where Teeg stood. He took his rifle and struck him across the head, knocking him out. The other guard immediately began running back to their post to sound the alarm, but Teeg shot in the back.

"Good work, boys!" Kai said. "Now get me and the others out of here."

They got the rest of the crew out of their cells, locked the unconscious guard up, and then went into the storage room where their gear had been placed.

"There aren't enough of us to take an entire Republic cruiser, as much as I would love to take it," Kai said, "but we can steal a shuttle and get off this ship before it reaches Coruscant. Stay together and don't hesitate to shoot anyone that tries to stop us."

* * *

Mavus Oshumv stepped into his commander's office, standing at attention before her. "Sergeant Oshumv, reporting as ordered, sir."

Commander Vienn put down the datapad she had been reading. "At ease, sergeant. I asked you here to speak with you about one of our prisoners. The pirate captain is your sister, is she not?"

Mavus placed his hands behind his back. "Yes, sir, that is true."

"You joined the Republic army together, but she dropped midway through and... disappeared. Why?"

"Sir, my sister has a... strong personality. She didn't like taking orders. She got in trouble a lot because of that."

"And you have been looking for her ever since she left Coruscant. Is that why you requested to join my unit?"

"Yes, sir. It is. I had heard rumors that she had fallen in with pirates. I never imagined that she'd be the one leading them though."

Commander Vienn nodded. "Your sister and her crew will be tried for crimes against the Republic. It's very likely that she'll be sentenced and executed."

Mavus grimaced. "I... understand, sir. She must face the consequences for her actions."

Suddenly an alarm sounded throughout the ship. Vienn contacted the bridge. "What's going on? Report."

"Sir, the prisoners have escaped! They're headed toward the hangar."

"Have all personnel suit up and report to the hangar," she said before cutting the channel and looking up at Mavus. "You too, sergeant. We cannot let these criminals escape."

"Yes, sir." Mavus saluted and double-timed it out of the office, grabbing his gear from his quarters and joining the other Republic troops on their way to the hangar.

* * *

"They're onto us now."

"I told you that door wasn't to the refresher."

"Keep movin', you guys. We're almost there," Kai said as another group of Republic soldiers filed out into the corridor behind them. The hangar door was just ahead, but they kept having to find cover and shoot the soldiers trying to shoot them in the back.

"Teeg, get to the door and get it open!"

"On it, cap'n!"

They had, so far, managed to make it all the way there from the brig without losing anyone, but the odds were greatly stacked against them now that the entire ship knew they had broken out. It was only a matter of time before they all got killed if they didn't get to the hangar soon. Teeg pried open the control panel to the door and began working to get it open while the others covered him. Meanwhile, more soldiers were filling the corridor.

"Anytime now, Teeg!" Kai yelled.

"Got it!" Teeg said as the hangar doors opened.

"Go, go, go!"

The five of them ran into the hangar. Kai shot out the control panel to close the doors and lock them shut, but she knew it wouldn't last long. The hangar contained two shuttles and several starfighters. Kai picked out one of the shuttles and rushed toward it with her crew. The hangar doors opened soon after and the troops filed in, firing at the pirates.

"Cover me!" Kai said as she boarded the shuttle. The other four fired back at the troopers, but they were vastly outnumbers and outgunned. Moris cried out as he was shot in the gut, doubling down and clutching his sides.

Inside the shuttle, Kai got into the cockpit and started the engines.

"Give it up, Kaimona," she heard a familiar voice say behind her, followed by the cocking of a pistol.

"Brother, how good to see you again," Kai sighed. "Are you going to shoot your own sister?"

"Not unless I have to," Mavus said.

"Cap'n! Moris is hurt!" Teeg said. He and one of the female crewmen pulled him aboard the shuttle.

Mavus turned around and pointed his blaster pistol at them. "Freeze!"

"We don't have time for this." Kai took her pistol and struck her brother on the back of the head. "Tie him up, we need to take off. Sable, let's go!"

"Sable's dead, cap'n," Teeg stated.

"Damn the Republic."

The shuttle lifted off as the hangar bay doors began to close. They made it out just in time though and veered away from the cruiser. The Whitebase turned in pursuit and began firing its turbolasers at the shuttle, but it soon jumped to hyperspace.

"Cap'n, what do we do with him?" Teeg asked, looking at Mavus, who had been stripped of his armor and weapons and was tied up in the back of the shuttle.

Kai looked back at her unconscious brother. "He stays with us. It's been a long time since me and my brother shared some quality time together."



Offline Darshendros

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Re: Tales From the Dark Side
« Reply #2 on: 10/23/14, 08:19:37 PM »
False Prophets

An Imperial dropship glided over the jungles of Dromund Kaas, a hundred or so kilometers west of Kaas City. The skies were gray and overcast with a light drizzle, but such conditions would favor the strike force aboard. Gorr, the Zabrak Sith Lord of the Tenebrous Gospel and Darth Magius' enforcer, led the team of Imperial troopers strapped into their seats in the cargo hold. He was garbed in black Sith Eradicator armor with a hooded robe, his tattooed face concealed behind a dark mask.

"Our sources indicate there is a Revanite compound five clicks north from our landing zone. We will assault the camp at dark. Leave no survivors. If by any chance their leader is in the camp, we take them in alive. The master wants to... interrogate... him or her. Thoroughly."

The troopers snickered in their helmets.

"Thirty seconds to drop," announced the pilot over the intercom. The lights in the cargo hold turned red and the side doors opened, revealing the wet sky and the jungle below. The dropship hovered over a small clearing. The red light shut off, the troopers dropped down into the forest, safety cables latched onto their belts to help safeguard their descent. Gorr dropped down into the jungle without any cables and was the first one on the ground. Once the troopers were safely on the ground, they detached their cables and the dropship retracted them. It flew away immediately, turning back toward Kaas City.

They moved swift and silently through the jungle with practiced movement in groups of six. Gorr took up the rear, separate from them, keeping a wary eye on their surroundings and his senses aware of any disturbances in the Force. As the strike team moved closer to their objective, they encountered a patrol from the enemy camp. Two Revanites wearing trooper armor walked down a path ahead of them.

"Do we engage, my lord?" one of Gorr's troopers whispered over the comms.

"Quietly. Hide their bodies," the Sith replied.

A sniper on the team took them out with two quick head shots. Their bodies were dragged into the bush and concealed before the team moved on. The squads went in two different directions as they got near the compound, covering the east and west sides; Gorr continued north.

The compound was in a small clearing in the jungle. It was an abandoned Imperial bunker with two guards posted at the entrance and a watchtower on the other side. A generator provided power and there was a comms tower on the roof.

"Red team, in position."

"Black team, in position."

"Remember the plan," Gorr said, "Leave no survivors. Attack on my mark."

Gorr reached out with the Force, raising the a large boulder nearby and hurling it at the watchtower, smashing it completely. Rockets from the east and west side of the clearing soared through the air, blasting the comms tower and the generator. Red Team and four troopers from Black Team rushed into the clearing, blasters firing. The remaining two stayed in hiding, a sniper with a spotter to eliminate any Revanites that tried to escape. The guards at the door were too slow to react but very quick to die. Their demolitionist set a charge on the door and they took cover as it was blasted open.

Gorr moved in ahead of the troopers once the doors were open, lightsaber blazing red, deflecting shots away from his men while they took care of the rest. He dealt with any Sith also in the compound, tearing them down with brute strength and the Force. If it were not for the kolto probes from the team's medic constantly healing any injuries he might have sustained from blaster fire that slipped past his lightsaber, he might have been overwhelmed before long.

Once they realized their fate, the Revanites turned and began retreating further into the bunker. It only made them that much more easier to kill.

"Red team, I want all of the data those computer terminals contain. I don't care what it is. Get it all," Gorr ordered.

"Yes, my lord. Red team, move out!"

Gorr and the four members of Black Team continued to sweep through the bunker. The surviving Revanites tried to beg for surrender, but the Sith enforcer wasn't having it. Before executing them, he asked the whereabouts of their leader, but they either didn't know or were exceptional liars. Being that they were Revanites, it was more likely the latter.

"Black Five, anyone come into your crosshairs?" Gorr asked over comms.

"Negative, my lord."

"Copy.  Alright, finish up in here and then get back to--" Gorr paused suddenly. Something felt wrong. The blast doors in the back. One of his men was slicing its controls to open it. Something was behind it, and as soon as the doors were forced opened, all hell broke loose.

A Rakata War Droid opened fire on the slicer and two other troopers, taking them by surprise. Gorr snapped out his lightsaber and deflected a couple more shots fired toward him before diving into a roll behind a pillar.

"War droid! Take it down!"

They scrambled for cover where they could, but the droid unleashed a missile barrage, taking out two more of Gorr's men. The Sith came around from behind the pillar and hurled his lightsaber toward it, slicing through its missile launchers as it swept around the droid. Gorr leaped through the air as his saber return to his hand, bringing it up and stabbing it through the droid's chassis. It was a war droid though, built to take a pounding, even from a Sith warrior. It unleashed a sonic shockwave and knocked Gorr back and then focused its firepower upon him. Gorr used his lightsaber to reflect the shots right back at the droid. The troopers laid down suppressive fire, wearing down its armor. Gorr channeled the Force and shoved it back into the room it came out from.

"Rockets!" he called out.

One of the troopers picked up a rocket launcher nearby and fired it at the droid while it was recovering to stand up, blowing it to pieces. Gorr sheathed his lightsaber.

"Fall back. Collect our wounded. We're done here."

Back at the rendezvous point, the dropship was already waiting for them. They loaded their dead and wounded into the cargo hold before climbing in. Gorr looked down at the bunker's smoking remains as the dropship lifted off, deep in thought. The droid wasn't what he sensed inside the bunker, but it was all that came out from behind those blast doors, he pondered. Something else was there. Something powerful. He made a mental note to report such to Darth Magius when they returned to Kaas City.



Offline Darshendros

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Re: Tales From the Dark Side
« Reply #3 on: 10/25/14, 05:40:54 PM »
Conscription, Part II

Abandoned Hospital, somewhere on Dromund Kaas

"It's alive! IT'S ALIVE!"

The biomechanical cyborg sat up from the operating table and reached its hand toward Dr. Algernop's throat. It suddenly began to shudder and shake, however. A bright spark flashed from within the chest cavity of its torso and it tumbled heavily to the floor, ceasing all movement.

"And it's dead," Algernop sighed. He nudged the cyborg body with his foot just to make sure. No response.

Once he had gotten the cyborg back onto the operating table with the assistance of his laboratory droid, he opened up its chassis to find out what went wrong. A plume of smoke came out of it as soon as he cracked it open, and from the smell of it, he guessed it was something electrical.

"Ah, there's the problem," he explained as he yanked out a piece of hardware covered in milky white goo. He set it on the table and instructed his droid to bring him a replacement, re-attaching it and making sure he didn't cross any of the wires this time. Before he could try reactivating the cyborg, he heard the buzzer from his laboratory's entrance. Grumbling about always being disturbed, Algernop went to find out who was at the door.

"Yes? Who is it?"

"Imperial Postal Service. We have a shipment for a Doctor Algernop," replied a man's voice through the intercom.

"Bring it to the back," he replied.

A warehouse was attached to the laboratory, where Algernop kept his supplies, livestock to experiment on, and to receive the occasional shipments, courtesy of the Empire. He opened the warehouse doors and was greeted by a squad of troopers escorting a transport. On the back of the transport was a large cage containing a dozen aliens with shock collars around their necks.

"What are these?" Algernop asked the delivery man.

"Aliens, what's it look like?"

"No, I mean, what are they called?"

"Bloody hell if I know. You going to sign for these?"

Algernop grumbled and took the datapad, signing it. The shipping manifest had them labeled as, "Alien: Wutang; Homeworld: Wutan". They must be the new test subjects he had been asking for months for. Once the cage was secured inside the warehouse, they all left. Algernop called in a couple security droids to watch over them while he set up some new holding cells to place them in, in another part of the lab. He had plenty enough space to put them each in their own cell alone, and once they were ready, the security droids helped fill them.

"Now then, to finish my latest creation," Algernop said as he returned to his laboratory, only to find his cyborg missing and his lab assistant laying in pieces. The front door had also been bashed in, from the inside, but it was still shut. The cyborg was still in the lab somewhere. Distraught, Algernop ran a hand through his ginger hair.

"Lord Magius is going to literally kill me if it escapes!"

Algernop called more security droids and grabbed his bowcaster. Thankfully, the rampant cyborg left enough of a mess in its wake for them to track it down, finally cornering it in an empty wing of the lab. The droids were thrashed as they tried to restrain the cyborg. Reluctantly, Algernop shot it in the head.

"Back to the drawing board, I guess," he sighed. "It's a good thing that new shipment arrived. Maybe these will turn out better than deceased Sith. Oh, this is going to be fun!"



Offline Darshendros

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Re: Tales From the Dark Side
« Reply #4 on: 11/09/14, 06:42:38 AM »
Erini Aftermath

The Emperor's Wrath dropped out of hyperspace approaching the Kalakar Shipyards, a moment later joined by the XoXaan and Ebony Blade flanking its sides. The Harrower was battered and bruised but had seen worse days. The day spent traveling in hyperspace from the Erinian Nebula afforded some time to complete repairs to more critical systems. Thankfully, with the cloaking drive undamaged, they didn't run into any more encounters while the flagship's weapons were offline. A lot of the auxiliary systems and electronics that were damaged by the Erinian superweapon still needed to be replaced however, which meant that the dreadnaught was going to be spending some time in drydock undergoing repairs. For the crew, this meant some shore leave, time to reunite with friends and families on Dromund Kaas or other Imperial worlds.

The Inansi that were brought aboard during the battle in the Erini System were again being herded into shuttles, this time bound for Korriban and Kalakar Six, where they would be re-educated and trained in the ways of the Sith and the Dark Side. Darth Magius watched over their departure, disappointed that he wasn't able to take away all of the Inansi refugees, but he accepted what he was able to take. He had already arranged for them to be trained by Overseers on Korriban loyal to the cult. Undoubtedly, they would run into their kin during their time there. He wondered who among them would prove to be the strongest. Their families would reside on Kalakar Six where he could keep an eye on them.

Moff Lannist had stayed behind while the rest of his bridge officers departed on shuttles bound for Dromund Kaas. He had taken the flagship's close call with destruction as a personal affront to his pride as a commander and was determined to find out the nature of the weapon used by the Erinians, so as to develop countermeasures against such types of weapons in the future. The Emperor's Wrath will never be rendered defenseless again as long as he was in command.

Lannist joined Magius in the hangar to watch the Inansi boarding their shuttles.

"Forgive my assumption, my lord, but I was under the impression that we were going to burn that planet for its defiance," Lannist said.

Magius crossed his arms over his chest. He had his mask off, the look of displeasure on his bearded face apparent. "Perhaps, if our fleet was the only one present. However, there were simply too many players this time, and we still had assets on the ground." The Sith Lord grumbled as he looked down at the refugees. "At least we partially completed one of our objectives."

"One ship is better than none, my lord," Lannist replied. "Frankly speaking, it was a miracle Qoasha even made it, considering her piloting skills."

"The Force is strong with her, even if she is a bit touched."

"Yes, my lord."

"What is the condition of my ship?"

"Primary and secondary systems have been mostly repaired since we left the nebula, my lord. Shield generators are functioning at half power until the damaged parts are replaced. We lost half of our turbolasers and ion cannons as a result of the energy blast, mainly on the side of the ship that took the brunt of the attack, and a third of our quad-laser cannons. Our shield management systems prevented further damage to the ship, which is how we were able to get the engines back online so quickly, but it will take at least a month to complete all repairs, my lord."

Magius stroked his beard as he listened to the Moff's report. The damage wasn't as extensive as he feared. Even if they were forced to stay in the battle, as crippled as the ship was, it could have still inflicted some significant damage.

"Very well," Magius replied, "Give your people some shore leave until repairs are complete, but I want a skeleton crew left aboard. I don't want people sneaking aboard and planting bombs everywhere again. Station extra sentry droids at all critical areas."

"Understood, my lord." Lannist saluted and spun on his heel, marching off to give out his new orders.

After the last shuttle departed, Magius made his way to a hangar on the opposite side of the ship. There, a dropship awaited to take him down to the surface of Kalakar Six, its cargo bay containing a giant metal crate that took up nearly all of its space. Magius placed his hand upon the crate, feeling the terrifying presence contained inside.

"Let's go for a walk, boy."
« Last Edit: 11/09/14, 03:14:01 PM by Darth Magius »



Offline Darshendros

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Re: Tales From the Dark Side
« Reply #5 on: 11/13/14, 11:53:44 PM »
The Rite of Ascension

Shadows moved through the treetops, quick and silent, their forms blending into the dark canopy of the jungle. In a clearing up ahead, a lone figure stood. He had crimson skin covered in dark armor, the curved hilt of a lightsaber gripped in each hand. Demolus sensed them approaching. They weren't quiet enough to hide themselves from the Force.

They all sprang out at once, five figures in dark, hooded robes, flying through the air and wielding cortosis-edged vibroblades, attacking simultaneously. Demolus ignited his red lightsabers, parrying the first two blades and pushing them away, ducking under a third, turning and slashing at the knees of one of the robed assailants as he ducked under a fourth, and blocking a fifth blade from behind with his other saber. They back away, none of them injured but more wary, circling around him as the pureblood rose back to his feet. They should have pressed the advantage.

Demolus sprang forward, calling upon the Force to augment his speed, rushing toward the robed figure in front of him and burying both of his lightsabers into their chest before they could raise their vibroblade back up. He sprang off to the right, turning as he swung out, slicing the arms off of another. The attackers adjacent to them began moving toward Demolus, but he was too fast. He dashed out between them, his lightsabers slicing their abdominal section as he passed, and then brought them back forward as he reached the fifth assailant, arms crossing over high and beheading them.

An assassin droid's head rolled out from underneath the hood when it fell to the ground. The other hooded figures had also been droids, their mechanical innards sparking from where Demolus' lightsabers had cut them as they too fell. The battle wasn't over though. Demolus felt the ground tremble as something big approached. He turned around in time to see a large war droid emerging from the jungle. The Sith sprang up into the air as it unleashed a barrage of fire from its laser cannons, pummeling the ground. Demolus flipped and sprang off the trees, trying to stay ahead of the droid's firepower, but also maneuvering himself into a better position to attack from.

The war droid pursued, tracking Demolus' movements, but it was unable to get a lock-on due to the trees in the way. It settled for spraying the treeline with more blaster fire, but the Sith was moving too quickly to be hit, springing from tree to tree nimbly. The droid noticed he was gradually making his way back toward itself and had paused on a large branch just long enough. Target lock achieved. Firing--

A pair of red streaks of light flashed through the air, slicing through the droid's arms. They fell off and hit the ground as the sabers arced around through the air and came back toward it, only to be snatched in mid-air by Demolus as he soared through the air toward the droid. He reversed the grip on his right-hand lightsaber and went into a rapid spin as he descended down upon the droid, looking like a glowing buzz saw and cutting through its core as he sliced past it. He landed on the ground in a kneeling several feet behind the war droid, lightsabers held out behind him. Multiple hot glowing lines criss-crossed the droid's form and slowly began peeling away as it fell in pieces and exploded.

Demolus deactivated his lightsabers as he rose back to his feet, catching his breath.

"Impressive."

Demolus looked up to his master standing in the jungle in front of him.

"Most impressive," Darth Magius said. "I have taught you well."

"Master," Demolus replied in a breath, dropping to a knee before Darth Magius.

"Rise, apprentice. I hope you did not spend all of your energy fighting those droids. You still have one challenger left."

Magius stepped aside, revealing the hulking red form of a Pureblood Sith warrior, his scarred body outfitted with cybernetics and other tech, head shaved bald and half of his face covered in machine. He held a lightsaber in his cybernetic right hand. Demolus felt something odd about the warrior, but he couldn't pinpoint what it was, since he had never felt this sensation before. Magius sensed his apprentice's confusion.

"That feeling you feel is the void. The absence of the Force. This was your predecessor, Lord Thonos. As you can probably guess by now, he's not exactly alive. Not exactly dead, either. If you ever fail me, apprentice, you will share his fate. Now prepare yourself. This is a fight to the death."

Demolus took a couple steps back and drew out his lightsabers, igniting them in his hands. Thonos came forward, his steps heavy, his dead eyes staring into the smaller Sith's soul. He ignited his lightsaber and rushed forward with a sudden burst of speed, red light arcing laterally through the air nearly 180-degrees from right to left, slicing through several tree trunks around him. Demolus had avoided the powerful slash though, springing up into the air, but he lost his footing as the trees he was using to maneuver around the larger Sith suddenly began tumbling down. He had no choice but to ride one down, leaping off just before it hit the ground, slashing down with both lightsabers from high.

Although Thonos was long dead, his corpse reanimated through Sith alchemy and cybernetics, he retained all of his fighting skills. He stepped back and thrust out his left hand, sending a pulse of Force energy at Demolus and sending him flying back in the opposite direction. The apprentice's back slammed into another tree and he fell to the ground, but landed on his feet. Gritting his teeth, he channeled the pain and called upon the Force, moving to suddenly and quickly that his form was nearly impossible to distinguish. Thonos grunted as he was attacked from seemingly all sides, getting cuts across his arms, thighs and shoulders. Demolus suddenly appeared behind the big man, bringing his lightsabers up to finish him off, but Thonos turned around and slammed his fist into the apprentice's face, sending him staggering back with dizziness.

Magius watched the duel from a safe distance, confident in his apprentice's abilities, but wondering just how far Demolus could reach for the sake of surviving. He had hoped to use Thonos for a more significant event, but with his new enforcer proving to be even more powerful than the dead Sith Lord, he decided to use him to test his apprentice instead. It was long overdue anyway.

Demolus switched to hit and run tactics, springing around the slower Thonos, slashing and cutting away at him. The more wounds Thonos took, the slower he got. That's how it seemed anyway. When he saw an opportunity to score a critical strike, Demolus reached in with one of his sabers to sever off Thonos' right arm, only for it to suddenly be blocked. He brought in his second saber, but Thonos simply re-positioned himself to catch that blade also.

"What...?" Demolus gasped, realizing now that he was being toyed with.

"In life, Lord Thonos was a master of Form Five. In death, the absence of pain has refined that form to a greater degree," Darth Magius stated.

Thonos pushed Demolus' sabers away through sheer strength, turned, and roundhouse kicked him across the face with his armored boot. Demolus went flying to the ground, his lightsabers deactivating as he lost their grip. His head was pounding and he could taste the blood dripping out of his mouth. He heard Thonos approaching and knew that he was finished.

If you ever fail me, apprentice, you will share his face.

"I... will not... become... an abomination!" Demolus cried, channeling his rage.

He picked up one of his lightsabers from the ground in his right hand and got to his feet, holding it at his left side. As Thonos lurched forward, raising his lightsaber over his head to attack, Demolus dashed in, activating his lightsaber as he swung it out, slashing so fast that it seemed almost instantaneous. It stopped the hulking Sith in his path, a searing gash burning across his torso. He stood there for a moment, bringing his hands down and looking down at his wound. His knees gave out as he put a hand to his stomach. The upper half of his body fell in a different direction. As the light faded from Thonos' eyes again, it began to rain.

"Congratulations, apprentice," Darth Magius said as he emerged from the treeline. "You have proven yourself as my strongest pupil yet."

Demolus was still in the throes of rage. He yelled out and charged toward Magius, but the Sith Lord snatched him up into the air with a flick of his wrist. Demolus gasped as the air in his throat was suddenly cut off.

"The time to challenge your master will be soon to come, apprentice, should you desire to do such a stupid thing," Magius said, "but that time is not now. Remember your place."

Magius released his hold and let his apprentice drop to the ground none too gently. "When you've recovered your strength, come to my chambers. I have an assignment for you."

"Yes... master..." Demolus rasped, rubbing his throat and watching Darth Magius walk away and fade into the jungle.
« Last Edit: 11/14/14, 12:39:12 AM by Darshendros »



Offline Darshendros

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Re: Tales From the Dark Side
« Reply #6 on: 12/06/14, 11:08:41 PM »
The Hunger Game

Word came down as the acolytes at the Sith Academy on Korriban trained and performed their trials: Darth Magius had arrived and wished to see some of them. Although very few of them knew the dark lord's name or reputation, his status as a Darth was enough to stir up rumors as to the reasons why. Was he seeking new apprentices? Offering positions to serve him in some fashion? The few that did recognize his name rumored that he was seeking new acolytes to join his cult. Whatever the reason for his visit, what was known was that only the strongest and most skilled among them would be offered this audience, and so they strived even harder to stab each other in the back.

Overseer Memnon made note of this to Darth Magius as they observed the acolytes under his charge. He also mentioned the fact that none of the acolytes he was in charge of training showed any exceptional abilities, but he didn't expect much out of former slaves and aliens. Darth Magius couldn't care less about their abilities, however. He had not come to Korriban to seek out the strongest of Memnon's students, but for the weakest among them.

With the increasing threat of renewed war with the Republic and new enemies making themselves known to the Empire, Darth Magius has had little time to hunt down any theorized locations of Force ghosts to add to his power. As a result, that power has begun to wane and weaken him, feeding off him until he could refresh it with a new essence to satiate it. It was the price for the power he had gained centuries ago, one he willfully paid. Normally, that would involve killing some Jedi somewhere, or some unfortunate Sith that crossed or betrayed him, and feed off their essence before they could become one with the Force, but lately everyone has been behaving themselves and the war ended years ago. Coming to Korriban was an act of desperation and risked exposing his nature, but these were desperate times and he couldn't afford ignoring the hunger any longer.

"I want to see these three," Magius stated as he looked over the profiles of the Overseer's acolytes and his notes of their performances through their trials. The three he chose were the least capable among them, the weakest and most likely to die either through incompetence or being ravaged by any of Korriban's dangerous creatures.

"Those three, my lord? But... they're worthless. Hardly capable of being Sith, if they even survive through their final trials," Memnon said.

"Must I repeat myself, overseer?" Magius asked with a warning in his tone.

"N-no, my lord. I will summon them at once."

Magius waited inside of Memnon's office while the acolytes were fetched. Two of the three he had asked for arrived later, the absent one apparently not surviving their trial. The Overseer was right about that, at least.

"My lord, the acolytes you requested," Memnon stated.

Magius turned to look them over. Risha, a female twi'lek with dull green-yellow skin was a waif, her blue eyes full of doubt and fear as they were cast down to the floor. Tomlen, a male human, tried to compose himself with strength and confidence, but Magius could sense the weakness in him. He lacked physical strength but didn't have much mentally to make up for it. The Force was not strong in either of them, but it would be enough to stave off the hunger. For now.

"Leave us," Magius told the Overseer.

Memnon bowed his head and left the office, leaving the acolytes alone with the dark lord.

"Acolytes, I asked to see you because you have been chosen to complete a most important task for me. Upon the completion of this task, I offer you the opportunity of joining the chosen of the Emperor, and there is a chance I will take you as an apprentice as well. Failure, of course, is unacceptable. Work alone or work together, I don't care, as long as it gets done.

In the Valley of the Dark Lords, there is an unmarked tomb that was breached by Imperial soldiers when they retook Korriban from the Republic, but they died instantly upon entering. Some say it was because they were not Sith. Others say something inside killed them. You will go to this tomb and retrieve any artifacts you find, but should you encounter a presence within, you will not engage it. Do you understand?"

"Yes, my lord," they both answered.

"Excellent. You're dismissed then, acolytes."

They bowed their heads and hurried out of the office. Overseer Memnon entered after they left, looking at Magius questioningly.

"My lord, I apologize for eavesdropping, but did I hear correctly? There's nothing in the unmarked tomb except bones," he said.

Magius shrugged. "They don't know that. If you'll excuse me, Overseer, I have somewhere I need to be."

"Of course, my lord." Memnon stepped aside, bowing his head.

"And Overseer," Magius said before stepping out, "If you ever eavesdrop on me again, the last thing you hear will be your cries as I tear off your ears."

"A-apologies m-my lord. It will never happen again," Memnon groveled, bowing his head even lower.

Magius threw the Overseer against the wall with an electrified blast of the Force. "See that it doesn't."

As the dark lord exited the Overseer's office, the two acolytes were making their way deeper into the Valley of the Dark Lords, where the unmarked tomb was marked on their map. While they had agreed to work together, seeing as how they have both struggled to keep up and survive ever since arriving on Korriban, naturally they both also plotted against the other. Risha was the more sinister of the two. Having been a former slave, she knew how to use her physical appearance to get what she wanted, especially from men. While Tomlen wasn't exactly her type or attractive in general, she saw the lust in his eyes every time she caught him glancing at her. It was a weakness she recognized and was eager to exploit. Tomlen, on the other hand, figured he could just bash her on the head and take the artifacts for himself once they had completed their task, and then move on to become the dark lord's next apprentice.

What neither of them suspected was that the tomb was a trap. A large stone slab slammed shut over the entrance to the tomb as soon as they both entered it. Tried as they might, neither of them could move it with physical strength or the Force. Risha thought it felt like something was holding it down, resisting their efforts. There had to be another way out. Maybe if they found the artifact Darth Magius wanted, they would be let free, but so far the tomb didn't look like it had much of anything besides old dusty bones and broken pottery. There was something there with them, though. They could feel it watching them. The sensation became stronger as they wandered deeper into the ancient tomb, exiting a tunnel into a large burial chamber with a shattered sarcophagus. Standing in the center of the room was Darth Magius.

"My lord? Why are you here?" Risha asked.

"We haven't found any artifacts yet, my lord. Please don't kill us!" Tomlen said.

Magius sighed, almost feeling sorry for the feeble-minded Tomlen. Almost.

"That's because there are only old bones in this tomb. Soon, your's will add to their number," he said.

"You lured us here just to kill us!" Risha exclaimed as she drew the training saber hanging from her belt.

Magius laughed. "It's far more complex than that, but ultimately, yes. Stay still, this will only hurt a little."

The twi'lek launched herself toward Magius. He almost felt sorry for her. Almost. With a gesture of his hand, he sent her flying back against the wall. Tomlen turned tail and tried to run, but suddenly found it very difficult to move his legs forward. Spiked chains with barbed hooks suddenly sprang out from the walls, hooking, wrapping around, and tearing into the acolytes' flesh, binding them in place.

"I don't want to die! I don't want to die!" Tomlen wept.

"Oh Maker," Risha sighed, "Can you kill him first, at least? If I have to listen to this human's crying any longer, I'll kill myself!"

"Overseer Memnon was not overstating it when he told me you two were worthless. Consider this as a blessing." Magius raised his hands and began to channel his power, tapping into the acolytes' connection to the Force, redirecting it, feeding off of it. Their bodies grew weaker as he drained the Force out of them. As their blood flowed from the cuts made from the barbed chains binding them, Magius then fed on their life force, until nothing remained of them but dried and shriveled husks laying on the floor.

The dark lord exited the tomb moments later. The large slab that had been blocking it was gone. There might never have been a slab to begin with, as the entrance was clear and there were no signs of it ever being there. Only the footprints of the dead acolytes disturbed the sand. Overseer Memnon was waiting for him outside.

"You were right, Overseer. Those acolytes were indeed worthless," Magius said.

Memnon blinked his eyes. "Yes, my lord. I trust that I should not await their return."

"No, you should not," he replied.

Memnon bowed his head and turned back toward the academy. A shuttle came by and hovered over the unmarked tomb. Magius leaped up into the air, landing on its wing and opening the shuttle door.

"Let's go home."



Offline Darshendros

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Re: Tales From the Dark Side
« Reply #7 on: 12/19/14, 06:42:37 PM »
How to Catch a Jedi

Savlen kept his hands on the table. He was clearly at a disadvantage and didn't think the Sith wouldn't follow through with its threat. "So... What now?"

"You're going to finish your beer and walk out of here."

"You're letting me go?"

Jevlas chuckled, "Who said anything about letting you go?"

The padawan glanced around the cantina. The twins and their weird friend were gone, but the Imps that he had followed inside were still at the bar, staring back at him with blaster pistols aimed. Jevlas watched him closely, gauging his reaction, guessing his next move. The Sith rolled back out of his chair as the table suddenly flipped over. Savlen threw off his cloak as he stood up and drew both lightsabers, deflecting the blaster bolts being fired by the Imps at the bar. The door flew open and two more Imperial troopers stormed inside, armed with blaster rifles. They provided a moment's distraction, just long enough for Jevlas to spring back up to his feet and deliver a shocking flash of Force lightning. Savlen cried out as he lost control of his body, muscles spasms wracking his body as electricity danced around him.

"Take him!" Jevlas said. One of the troopers fired a stun round that knocked out the Jedi.

Savlen woke up to find himself trapped in a force cage. His lightsabers were gone along with his communicator, and he was in a dark room next to several other empty cage cells. His wrists were bound together with manacles and he had a shock collar around his neck. The last thing he remembered was the cantina, Imperials, and the masked Sith. They must have captured him, but where was he?

He inspected his cell for a few minutes. It was a standard sized cell, big enough for him to curl up on the floor and sleep, if he wanted to, and tall enough for him to stand. He couldn't find any flaws in its design that he could use to break out of it, however. Damn Imperial designs.

Savlen tried to sense what was around him through the Force, but found his senses clouded. The dark side was strong here, making his efforts difficult. Suddenly, he heard distant screams coming through the walls. Torture?

"Kriff, kriff, kriff... What am I going to do now?" he murmured to himself as he paced around his cell. "I need to get out of here and contact Master Hawking somehow."

The lights came on as a door somewhere unlocked and opened. Savlen watched as a pair of Imperial guards dragged an unconcscious Erinian into a force cage across from his, tossing him in before activating it.

"Hey! Let me out of here!" Savlen yelled.

The guards looked back at him and chuckled. "Well, good morning, sunshine," one of them said in a cockney accent. "Oh yeah, we'll le' you ou', alrigh'. Af'er we let the Sith know your awake. Heh heh heh!"

They exited the detention room but left the lights on. Savlen could heard them joking outside. Was it really the morning after? How long has he actually been here? He couldn't help but wonder how his master's mission went, or if he'd noticed that his padawan had failed to report in. Savlen sat down on his knees, closed his eyes, and started to meditate.

He recounted the events leading up to this moment, trying to figure out what went wrong. Most likely, one of the Erinians he talked to gave him up to the Sith or they had eyes on the cantina. Either way, he needed to figure out a way out of this mess. The Force would guide him, as it always did.

"Savlen Haen. Padawan of the Jedi Order. Member of the Jedi Custodum. Your master is... Jedi Master Hawking Shatari. Now that is an interesting bit of information."

Savlen opened his eyes to see the masked Sith standing in front of his cell, reading from a datapad. Jevlas turned his gaze upon the padawan.

"Don't look surprised. There aren't that many Jedi operating in this sector and it was easy enough to download the data off your communicator. You really should get a stronger encryption."

"Whatever you want, Sith, I'm not giving it to you," Savlen said defiantly.

"Yes, they always say that, don't they? Fortunately, you have nothing we want. Your master, however... How much does he value your life? Would he come to your rescue, do you think?" Jevlas chuckled behind his mask.

"When my master learns that I'm here, he'll come for me, and you'll be sorry he ever did!"

"How sweet. We shall see. First, though, you will tell us everything we want to know about your dear master."

"You'll get nothing out of me, Sith."

"Yes, they always say that too. Guards, bring him to the interrogation chamber."

Jevlas stepped back as the pair of guards from before came up to his cell, deactivating the force cage. The Sith kept his eyes on Savlen as the guards roughly pulled him out and pushed him toward the exit.

"The more you cooperate," Jevlas said, "The easier this will be for you. You gain nothing by trying to be a hero, Jedi."

Jevlas "interrogated" Savlen for hours, though it seemed like an eternity for the padawan, subjecting him to numerous forms of torture in order to get the information the Sith desired. Despite his lack of training in resisting enemy interrogation, Savlen held out, even when it felt like he was going to die. The stims they injected him with prevented that from happening however, just barely. At the end of the night, they threw him back in his cell. He was so exhausted, he couldn't even meditate, so he just went right to sleep. Even that small luxury was denied him though. He was woken up by a recording playing over loudspeakers at a near-deafening volume, a woman's voice proselytizing about the Sith Emperor, over and over, every hour of the night.

While the padawan was being deprived his sleep with repetitions of Lord Eskenah's sermons, Jevlas sent a message to Darth Magius, who appeared over a holocall.

"Hawking... That name again," Magius grumbled. "This could be a rare opportunity or a waste of time, depending on how mcuh the Jedi values his padawan's life."

"That is my reasoning as well, master," Jevlas replied. "How do you wish to proceed?"

"Use the padawan to lure in Hawking," Magius said. "A Jedi Master is far more valuable than a lowly padawan. Continue interrogating him. He has to know at least something."

Jevlas bowed his head. "Yes, master. I'll keep you updated."

"I would advise taking him off Erini. With the Republic gaining further influence, it is no longer hospitable for our operations. We can't risk the Jedi learning of our movements."

"Getting through the nebula will be troublesome."

"But not impossible, as we learned recently."

"It will be done," Jevlas said.

"Contact me once you've gotten out of the system. The Emperor protects," Magius said before he ended the holocall.

Jevlas exited the room he was in, addressing the two guards waiting outside. "Prepare the Jedi prisoner for transport," he ordered.

"Wha' abou' the o'her one, milord?" the cockney guard asked.

"What about him? Kill him, you fool."

The guard cocked his rifle while the other one went to find a hover palette used for moving carbonite slabs and went into the detention area to carry out their tasks. Savlen was unconscious in his cell, mumbling Eskenah's sermons in his sleep, when they deactivated the force cage and froze him in carbonite. In the cell across from his, the prisoner was curled up and rocking in the corner when they deactivated the force cage and put a blaster round through his head.

"Bloody Kyn. I'll be glad to finally ge' off this rock."



Offline Darshendros

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Re: Tales From the Dark Side
« Reply #8 on: 01/06/15, 11:16:16 AM »
A Makeover for Magius

Darth Magius emerged from his chambers one day appearing quite different. He looked smaller in stature, younger, and most different of all, he had no hair, no beard. Some say he took the body of a young acolyte or performed a ritual to suck the life force out of them to rejuvenate himself and appear young again. Some say his former body grew too old and decrepit and that he transferred himself into a cloned body, sacrificing a vast amount of his collected power for renewed life. All we know is, he's called The Stig. The truth remains a mystery, but one thing is for certain: he's never looked more terrifying through the Force than now.




Offline Darshendros

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Re: Tales From the Dark Side
« Reply #9 on: 03/13/15, 10:47:35 PM »
"The Emperor is dead."

Those four words resounded in Magius' head for a moment. The news was a sudden shock. It was something that was not supposed to happen. Yet, here it was, being told to him by someone he trusted.

"Have you confirmed this?" Magius asked over the holonet transmission. The line was encrypted, so no one else could eavesdrop and also learn of this dire news.

"I have reliable sources that told me of the attack on Kaas City and the Dark Temple. The Republic's attack on Dromund Kaas was only a diversion. The Emperor was their true target," replied the holoimage of Darth Magius' apprentice, the assassin Jevlas.

"Who else knows of this?" Magius asked.

"If the Dark Council knows, they have yet to act on it. With all of the recent in-fighting, perhaps they haven't had a chance to yet. There is something else, master..."

A holoimage of Darth Malgus suddenly appeared, replacing Jevlas.

"Fellow Sith, citizens of the Empire. Too long the strength of the Empire has been beholden to the infighting of the Dark Council and the disappearance of an apathetic Emperor. Sith, children of Sith, warriors everywhere, I declare a new Empire, open to all who long for conquest, freedom from inhibition and the right to follow their passions. The Dark Council is dissolved. Those who will join Darth Serevin and supporting me, cast aside your titles and let me lead you to victory.

Those who will not, prepare to face our stealth armada. The Emperor is gone. His station and power are mine. We will conquer the galaxy while the Emperor sleeps."


After the message ended, Jevlas reappeared.

"He knows..." Magius said quietly.

"Master?"

"Darth Malgus would not make such a bold declaration if the Emperor were still alive. His death has given him the opening to make his play... An opportune moment at an inconvenient time. It is something we have discussed once, but I didn't think it would ever come to fruition."

"You would join this traitor, master?" Jevlas asked incredulously.

"Traitor? Lord Malgus is a true patriot. He led the attack on Coruscant, destroyed their beloved temple. I was there. If anyone is fit to truly lead the Empire in its time of need, it would be him. If word of the Emperor's death reached the ears of its citizens, of the Sith, what do you think will happen, apprentice? No doubt, the Republic knows and is making their move, growing bolder in their attacks."

"The in-fighting would get worse," he said after a moment's pause, sighing deeply. "The Republic would seize upon that moment of weakness to strike."

"We will not survive this war divided. We must unite with Malgus' forces before the Empire grows too weak. I will take my fleet to Ilum. I expect you to join me there along with Lord Gorr."

"As you wish, master." Jevlas bowed and his image disappeared.

Darth Magius stepped out of his quarters aboard the Emperor's Wrath and proceeded to the turbolift to the bridge. Crewmen and officers walking the corridors avoided any unnecessary eye contact with the powerful Sith Lord in black hooded robes. His steps fell silent upon the floor plating. With the way the hem of his robe shuffled around his feet, nearly obscuring his steps, he seemed to float his way down the hall. He reached the bride to see Moff Lannist, ever the proud officer, standing at the center of the bridge, hands behind the small of his back, looking out through the main view port.

The Emperor's Wrath was conducting a patrol in the Ziost system along with the rest of her fleet, consisting of two Terminus-class destroyers and a Gage-class transport. A squadron of Imperial starfighters flew along between the vessels. The stars were clear. No hostiles in sight.

"Moff Lannist, there has been a change of orders," Darth Magius said as he came to stand beside the officer.

"My lord?"

"We are to depart for the Ilum system immediately. I will tell you more when we arrive."

"We have not yet finished our patrol here yet, my lord," Lannist dared to reply.

"We are taking the fleet. Send the command to your captains," Magius said more insistently.

"Yes, my lord."

The starfighters were recalled into the hangar of one of the destroyers. Hangar bay doors closed as the fleet made ready to jump into hyperspace, staying in formation as they turned to align themselves with Ilum's star. They vanished in the blink of an eye as their hyperdrives engaged, emerging moments later several thousand kilometers from the planet Ilum. The icy planet was already surrounded by fleets of ships from both the Empire and the Republic, both sides pitching ground wars, fighting for territory control. The planet's only strategic value were its crystals, which the Jedi and Sith used to power their lightsabers, but the Empire had found another use for the crystals: stealth technology. Darth Magius' fleet had prototype versions of the Adegan Stealth Drives equipped already. The Empire sought to equip the rest of the fleet with them now.

"Engage the stealth drive," Magius ordered. "Take us into high orbit. I want a channel opened to Darth Malgus' fleet."

"My lord, forgive me for asking," Lannist said, turning to face Magius, "Are we here to capture the traitor, Malgus the Betrayer?"

Damn, he must have heard the message too. Lannist was always too loyal for his own good. Magius turned to him and used the Force to strangle his throat, forcing the Imperial to his knees as he gasped for breath. "No, my dear Lannist, we are here to join him. If the Empire is to survive, we must all join him!"

"F... Fo..." Lannist gasped, the veins on his face growing thick as his skin began to turn blue. Magius released his grasp.

"I'm sorry. What was that?" Magius asked mockingly.

Lannist spent a few moments gasping for breath. "Forgive me... my lord... I did not mean... Of course, we will join... Lord Malgus."

"Excellent choice, Moff," Magius said before turning to address the rest of the bridge crew. "Does anyone else have anything to say? Will you wait to see your beloved Empire devour itself, or will you join Darth Malgus and conquer the Empire's enemies?"

No one said anything. No one even looked up. No one, except one foolish ensign.

"M-my lord, wouldn't we all be bran-- hurk!" The ensign was lifted up so suddenly into the air that his neck snapped as his head hit the bulkhead. His body dropped lifelessly to the floor.

"Good! Now get me a channel to his fleet."

Magius stood in front of the holoterminal as image of the Empire's greatest warrior appeared.

"Lord Malgus, I have arrived."

"Lord Magius, welcome to the new Empire. What happened to your beard?" asked Darth Malgus' mechanically distorted voice.



Offline Darshendros

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Re: Tales From the Dark Side
« Reply #10 on: 03/13/15, 10:48:04 PM »
The Battle of Ilum took a turning point after Darth Malgus declared his New Empire and himself as Emperor. In a surprising move to address the greater threat, the Empire and the Republic set aside the war to attack Malgus' space station. Darth Magius monitored the battles from the station, while the Emperor's Wrath and its fleet of stealth ships engaged both Imperial and Republic vessels around the planet. Much to his satisfaction, they proved themselves ineffective against the stealth ships, which were melting them down before their positions could be triangulated. On Ilum, however, things were not turning out as well in their favor, with news of Darth Serevin's defeat reaching the station.

"Why do they fight us?" Magius asked in frustration. "They should be joining us to crush the Republic and driving them out of this system. Instead, they fight together against the tide that will crush them both."

Standing to either side behind him were his apprentices, the hulking Zabrak warrior, Gorr, and the pureblood assassin, Jevlas. They remained silent, letting their master vent and pace back and forth. They had just arrived a day before to join Magius aboard Darth Malgus' space station, among many other Sith who had answered the new Emperor's call.

"Fools, all of them," Magius hissed. He turned to face his apprentices. "Hope for the best, apprentices, but also always prepare for the worst. Should the tide of this battle turn against our favor, we do not want to be here."

"What would you have us do, master?" Jevlas asked.

"Ready my ship for a moment's launch and keep it guarded," he said, "Gorr, take a shuttle and return to the Wrath. We will take what's left of our fleet out of here should the need arise and regroup at Kalakar Six. Has anyone else from the Gospel come to join us?"

"No, master," Gorr replied in a deep tone.

"Damn them, then. Go. I must speak with Emperor Malgus."

Magius waved them off and turned away from them. They exchanged a concerned glance to each other before walking off to accomplish their tasks. The Sith Lord continued to brood, playing out all possible scenario outcomes in his mind. Best case scenario: the stealth armada destroys both the Imperial and Republic fleets before either side could mount a counter-attack, they claim Ilum and its surrounding systems, expand the fleet. Worst case: Malgus is killed and everyone associated with him is branded a traitor to the Empire, get killed as well. Unless it's the Republic that captures them, then they might just spend time in one of their luxurious prisons.

Magius snapped back to reality as he heard an alarm going off. There were intruders aboard the station.

* * *

"Sir, Lord Gorr is requesting landing clearance. Should we allow him on board?"

The bridge was littered with broken droids and body parts and more than a few terminals had blaster holes through them. Most of the bodies were of Imperials, but some Sith lay among them as well. Moff Lannist slung his rifle over his shoulder, turning to face the officer addressing him.

"Grant him clearance to dock and then send a security team to greet him in the hangar," he said. "Remember, he's Darth Magius' apprentice. Shoot first."

"Yes sir."

Imperial guardsmen surrounded the shuttle as it docked in the Emperor's Wrath's hangar, blaster rifles trained on the hatch exit. When nothing happened after a few minutes had passed, one of them approached the shuttle and accessed the control pad to open the door. As soon as it opened, the soldier was sent flying across the hangar. Lord Gorr leaped out of the shuttle, igniting his lightsaber as he landed among the soldiers, spinning and dodging away from blaster shots he wasn't deflecting away with his lightsaber.

"Traitors! This is how you repay your master?!" Gorr yelled as he rushed one soldier suddenly and drove his lightsaber through their chest.

"Keep firing!"

Fueled by rage, the Ravager cut down another three soldiers, ignoring the pain from the shots that found their mark on his armor. The remainder of the security team was scattering, finding cover to escape the Sith's deadly lightsaber, but he was strong in the Force and no distance was safe from him. He leaped far through the air, crushing another soldier under his armored boots, and then lifted up some heavy crates to throw at the others. Out of the corner of his eye, Gorr caught a glint of light.

"Got you," Lannist said quietly as he looked through the scope of his rifle, pulling the trigger. At that same moment, Gorr had turned, spotting the Moff on a balcony overlooking the hangar floor, and hurled his lightsaber at him as the rifle fired, hitting him between the eyes as the saber flew through the air, finding its mark through his chest. Gorr went down. Not even the Force could save one from a perfect head shot.

The lightsaber clattered to the ground as it deactivated. Lannist dragged himself away from the edge of the balcony to sit up against the wall, his breath ragged. He was dying and he knew it. Some of the remaining soldiers ran up to check on him, but it was too late for any medical attention. He grabbed one of them by the collar and pulled him close.

"Contact... Captain Walker... Get this ship... out of here. Long live... the Empire."

* * *

Darth Magius sensed the death of his apprentice. Something had happened aboard his ship.

"We have been betrayed," he grumbled to himself. "Just as expected, I suppose. Ulrich was always the finest officer. A pity that his actions have just signed all of their death warrants."

Alarms were blaring all over the station, set to self-destruct. The new Empire had fallen before it could rise and along with it the dream of a true, dominating force in the galaxy.

"Fools, all of them."

Magius entered the hangar where his ship was docked, dragging a body behind him. Jevlas waited for him at ramp to his ship, giving a questioning look to their unexpected passenger.

"It's time for us to leave, apprentice."

"Yes, my master," the pureblood replied, boarding the ship along with Magius. The Fury-class Interceptor retracted its docking clamps and cleared the space station's hangar bay with enough time to reach a minimal safe distance, jumping into hyperspace.



Offline Darshendros

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Rise of the Emperor, Part I
« Reply #11 on: 05/01/15, 11:24:42 PM »
Kalakar Six - Former Operations Outpost of the Tenebrous Gospel


Deep below the volcanic surface of Kalakar's sixth moon, beneath the silent and solitary Sith temple, power generators hummed to life, drawing upon the moon's geothermal energy to provide power to Darth Magius' secret underground lair. The dark corridors lit up, crimson bars spaced out along the lining of the walls to mark the way. Sith banners hung from the rafters, draped behind statues of Sith heroes and dark lords known throughout the Empire's history, along with the customary statues of the Emperor himself, lit from the lighting fixtures on the ceiling. The lights came on in Darth Magius' chambers as well, as the black meditation pod in the back let out a hiss of pressurized steam and slowly opened, the top half rising toward the ceiling. The Sith Lord seated inside, wearing only plain black robes, was turned toward the pod's opening. His blood red eyes opened with a fierce glare, staring off at whatever it was that dared wake him from his slumber.

Since retreating to his secret base after the fall of the Gospel, Magius had been in deep meditation, gathering his power while expanding his senses to watch the galaxy around him and track the movement of his enemies and former allies, keeping himself aware of the events unfolding as the war against the Republic moved on. Jevlas Sarrai, his last remaining apprentice, served as his eyes and ears as well. The assassin had secretly joined the Dread War on Magius' behalf, but nothing was gained from the effort.

Magius rose from his meditation pod and walked over to a communications terminal, dialing in his apprentice's holofrequency. The image of the Sith apprentice appeared before him, head bowed in reverence.

"How may I serve, master?" Jevlas greeted.

"I sensed a disturbance in the Force, apprentice. Strong enough to awaken me from my slumber. Where are you now?" Magius asked.

"Yavin Four, master." Jevlas toned then turned grim. "I take it you have not heard the news yet."

"If it's about Revan, don't bother," Magius said irritably, "That damned name has been everywhere since he suddenly returned. Again. Some people need to learn how to stay dead."

"Revan's not the only one. The Emperor has returned."

"Ah, now it all makes sense," Magius said gravely, rubbing his chin. That revelation came to no surprise to him, however. He knew that the Emperor would return eventually. Immortals are hard to kill, as he can personally testify. The timing couldn't have been worse, though. Or perhaps that was the Emperor's plan all along.

"Go dark and begin making preparations for my return," Magius said after a moment of thought.

Jevlas bowed his head, understanding. "Yes, master."

Magius ended the transmission and exited his chambers, taking a lift down to the factory three levels down, where he had an army of droids working endlessly on a new starship that would take him around the galaxy, supervised by the ever-loyal and orderly 2V-R9.

The factory was built into a large cavern, big enough to hold several shuttles stacked on top of one another. Large robotic arms and conveyor belts moved parts around from the forges they were created from into other machines whose functions he did not care to remember. The droids put it all together for him to accomplish any tasks he needed of them, using the resources available on the moon as well as the nearby shipyards.

"Master, how good it is to see you!" the droid stated when Magius entered the factory's control room. "You will be pleased to know that your new starship is fully armed and operational, ready to depart when you are ready, master."

The starship was spade-shaped, customary to most Imperial designs, with dark-colored hull plating and two large boosters. It was slightly larger than Magius' previous starship, a Fury-class interceptor, but smaller than a corvette. The cockpit was located near the ship's bow. Four weapons hard points, two on each side of the hull behind the cockpit, and one more on the underside, stowed the ship's arsenal of turbolasers and missile batteries. Point defense turrets located on the bow, port and starboard sides of the ship defended it from missile attacks.

"Have the ship moved to the hangar. I will be taking it on its maiden voyage tonight," Magius said.

"Yes, at once, master. Is there anything else I can be of assistance, master?"

"Assign the factory droids to the HK project and then report to my ship. I'll need you around to yell at should anything go wrong with it."

"I assure you, master, your new starship is fit for duty. You will find that its functions are far more efficient than most modern Imperial designs. If you like, I can explain in detail all of its functions, engineering, and--"

"No, that's quite alright, Toovee. Just carry out my orders."

"Yes, master. At once."

Satisfied, Magius left the factory and took the lift back to his chambers, thinking of a name for his new ship as he opened his large armoire to select which of his outfits to wear.

"Could never go wrong with black."

Sunlight entered the hangar as the heavy doors above opened. The engines hummed as they warmed up, waiting to erupt into life as the hangar lift raised the ship to the surface. Magius sat at the helm with 2V-R9 in the co-pilot's seat next to him in the cockpit, waiting for the docking computer to release the clamps holding the ship. The ship's controls were kept similar in design to the Fury-class, so he had no doubts about piloting the vessel. The heads-up display glowing in front of him showed all systems functioning at nominal levels. As soon as the ship was released from its docking clamps, Magius pulled back on the control stick, raising the ship into the air, and then turned it vertical and hit the boosters, sending it shooting up into the sky at high speeds. The landing pad vanished as holographic projectors activated and concealed it, blending into its scorched surroundings. The ship would enter into the moon's orbit a minute later.

"Activate the stealth drive and then set a course for Dromund Kaas," Magius told Toovee.

The ship appeared as an unidentified blip on an Imperial patrol's scanners before suddenly vanishing. They jumped into hyperspace before they could come around to investigate.
« Last Edit: 05/01/15, 11:31:46 PM by Darshendros »



Offline Darshendros

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Rise of the Emperor, Part II
« Reply #12 on: 05/16/15, 10:45:29 PM »
Dromund Kaas

The Maleficent exited hyperspace just beyond the defense perimeter around Dromund Kaas. With the ship's cloaking still active, it went undetected as it approached the planet and entered its atmosphere, landing in a clearing in the jungle near the Dark Temple Pass. During the landing, Darth Magius monitored the HoloNet, listening to reports of attacks on the planet Ziost, a Republic fleet invading. More bodies for the Emperor. Fools. He wasn't concerned about any of that though. If he was, he would be on Ziost, dealing with that mess. The distraction was welcomed. He would need it for what he came here to do.

"Welcome home, master," came a voice from the shadows as Magius exited the ship. His apprentice, Jevlas, appeared before him, bowing his head. He wore a black hooded robe, a double-bladed lightsaber hilt hanging from his belt.

"Is everything set?" Magius asked.

"The way to the temple has been cleared," Jevlas replied.

Most of the Dark Temple had collapsed after the Republic attacked the Imperial capital. With the Emperor gone, the area had been all but abandoned except by scavengers and the Imperial Reclamation Service, but after their previous attempts to excavate the Dark Temple, resulting in everyone becoming possessed by Sith spirits, they kept a wary distance from the ruins in case the spirits were roused again. The Dark Council had declared it a restricted area. Anyone caught trespassing without authorization would be executed.

The pass leading to the Dark Temple was littered with broken droids and corpses being scavenged by the jungle's wildlife. Archaeologists, scavengers, Sith, killed by what were obviously wounds inflicted by a lightsaber. The way was clear, as Jevlas had stated. Magius led the way, with his apprentice and HK-51 accompanying him.

"Very efficient, apprentice," Magius commented.

"I always am," he replied with a smirk under his hood.

The entrance to the Dark Temple was blocked with collapsed rubble. With the use of a GSI probe, they were able to determine where it was most stable to begin clearing a path inside, which took about an hour to finish. HK-51 remained outside on sentry watch with orders to kill anyone who approached. Inside the temple was dimly lit by torches and ambient electronics. The bodies of Imperial Guardsmen and Sith slain by the Hero of Tython still remained in the halls, their remains never carried out since the temple had collapsed. It was an easy trail to follow to the Emperor's chambers, but that was not where Magius was heading. That area was completely inaccessible anyway.

"Steel your mind, apprentice. No telling if the Sith spirits are active again or not, now that the Emperor is gone."

"Don't worry about me, master. I've dealt with worse while serving you."

Magius grinned. "We need to find a way into the vaults where the Emperor kept his artifacts. Probably a secret door somewhere. Search the shadows while I commune with any spirits still lingering around."

Jevlas nodded and faded into the darkness, soundless footsteps carrying him away from the Sith Lord. The shadows became as bright as the gloomy light outside, making it far easier for him to navigate the twisting halls and winding corridors of the temple. The Dark Side permeated through the bricks in the walls like black ink dropped into water, but nothing he found so far indicated any secret passages into the alleged crypts below. He shifted out of the shadows as he climbed up to the second floor, overlooking the main hall from the balcony above, where he watched his master approaching the large central statue. His gloved hand idly wandered to the hilt of his lightsaber.

Magius gazed up at the statue, a focal point for the Dark Side energy that filled the temple, and whispered the words of an incantation, drawing upon his connection to the Dark Side. The whispers of the dead soon filled his mind, faint and unintelligible, their essences floating around the halls like barely tangible wisps of light.

"I call upon any spirit knowledgeable of this temple's secrets. Make yourself known to me."

He waited for a moment. No response.

"I am Darth Magius, Lord of the Sith, Devourer of Souls! I call upon any spirit knowledgeable of this temple's secrets. Make yourself known to me!"

We know who you are, demon. You are unwelcome here. Numerous voices. Spirits. Angry.

"I'll be gone as soon as I have what I came here for. Now show yourself!"

What you seek is no longer here. Taken by another.

"Impossible. Who else has been here?"

What you seek is no longer here.

"Then I will take what I can find."

A surge of energy erupted in front of him, taking the form of what Magius could only assume to be some ancient Sith Lord, judging from the ridiculous looking horned headdress and ornate robes. Magius instinctively reached for his lightsaber.

Leave this place or seek your demise, Sith, the spirit said.

"I don't have time for this," Magius said irritably as dark energy began to radiate from his body. "You will tell me what I want to know!" He thrust out his hand, his will reaching out to grasp the spirit and bend it to his will. The spirit cried out and began to strain, resisting Magius' power, but the Sith's assault was relentless. "Tell me or I will devour you like all the others," he hissed.

Noooo! The spirit's form burst with a shock of electrical energy, throwing Magius back and breaking his hold. Whatever the spirit did opened a rift in front of the statue, from which a colossal terentatek appeared. It looked much larger than the usual terentatek, more evolved. No doubt, it had been created using Sith alchemy to further augment the creature. Magius drew out and ignited his lightsaber, backing away as he threw a burst of Force Lightning at the hulking creature. The terentatek shrugged it off as if it was nothing and charged, sending Magius flying into a stone pillar with a swipe of its claw. He bounced off of it, albeit painfully, and rolled back to his feet to face the monster.

"Jevlas!"

The assassin was already on the move, hopping across the tops of the statues that lined the main hall and igniting his double-bladed lightsaber as he leaped toward the terentatek. Sparks flew as the pureblood's blade raked across its back, but its thick armored hide made it resistant even to lightsabers. It left only a deep scratch. The terentatek turned its attention toward Jevlas, roaring in anger. Jevlas jumped back and called upon wards to protect him, drawing the creature's attention long enough for Magius to attack from behind. Magius swept in, using the Force to augment his speed, slashing at its back, but once against its thick hide protected it from harm. He put some space between himself and the terentatek as Jevlas ducked and weaved under its massive claws swiping at him, striking when he saw an opening but causing little to no damage.

Magius unleashed another barrage of Force Lightning, but it did little but to remind the creature that he was there. It turned toward him again, roaring and charging, but Magius rolled out of the way. He lifted and hurled a large stone block, smashing it against the creature's body. It managed to make it stagger back, but his efforts only seemed to be making it angrier.

"Master, I suggest a change in tactics," he heard Jevlas say.

"I agree. Keep him distracted."

"What?!"

The terentatek turned toward Jevlas, swiping a massive claw down at him. He easily avoided the attack, leaping up and springing off the terentatek's spiked arm to slash at its face, but his attack was turned away by one of its huge tusks as it swung its head away. Jevlas retreated and used a burst of speed to get behind a pillar to catch his breath. The monster pursued, smashing through the pillar to get to the pureblood. He rolled away and called upon his powers to vanish in a sudden puff of black smoke before another claw came crashing down into the floor. He reappeared an instant later behind it, spinning around and slashing with both sides of his lightsaber across the back of the terentatek's legs. It roared with pain as its hamstrings were cut, sending it down to its claws and knees.

"Any time now!" Jevlas yelled out.

The terentatek was getting back up to its feet already, its wounds quickly healing. Magius was channeling the Force, waving his hands, focusing his intent purely upon the terentatek, his eyes glowing bright crimson. He reached out with his hand as it turned toward his apprentice, but then it suddenly paused and turned toward Magius instead, as if sensing what he was attempting to do. Roaring, it charged toward him, but Magius continued channeling his power, his hand turning up as if grasping something in the air and then closing into a fist. The terentatek suddenly shrieked and lost its footing, crashing and sliding across the ground before its momentum came to a stop just in front of the Sith Lord. A pool of blood formed from its fanged maw. It was dead.

Megius recovered himself as his apprentice walked over, prodding the fallen creature with his foot to make sure it was really dead.

"What did you do?" he asked.

"Terentatek hide is highly resistant to Force effects, and in this one's case, lightsabers as well, it seems. Not so much what's underneath all that though. I made its heart explode. Doesn't matter how big and scary of a monster you are, still dead if your heart spontaneously explodes inside your chest."

"And I thought the terantatek was scary..."

"You know nothing, apprentice. I want this creature's hide. It could make for some useful protection."

"Yes, master. Did you discover the location of the Emperor's vault?"

"I was only able to get a glimpse from that spirit before it ran away. It's deep below, somewhere in or near the crypts. Still need to find a way down there. Have you found any secret passages?"

"I'm afraid not, master. They're either very well hidden, even from the shadows, or don't exist at all."

"Dammit all to Malachor," Magius cursed. "Continue looking. We'll salvage this creature's hide after."

Their attention was suddenly drawn to the faint sound of blaster fire toward the temple's entrance. Magius gritted his teeth. This excursion was proving to be more annoying than he anticipated. He brought out his holocom. "HK, what's the situation?"

"Statement: An Imperial shuttle has landed in the courtyard, master. I am currently engaging twelve meatbags who think they stand a chance. Warning: Another meatbag slipped into the temple wielding a lightsaber. Query: Do you wish for me to pursue?"

"No. Handle the troopers," Magius replied. He turned off the holocom and looked at Jevlas. "Take care of our guest."

Jevlas ignited his lightsaber. "With pleasure, master." He vanished into the shadows as he stalked toward the temple's entrance.

Magius looked up at the large central statue again, tilting his head as if a sudden revelation came to him.

"It's so obvious."

Magius walked around to the back of the statue. Reaching out, he channeled the Force and directed it toward the statue, straining as he pushed against it with all of his strength. Stones ground together as it slowly moved back, centimeter by centimeter, until finally revealing the passageway hidden underneath. He pulled up his hood and descended down the stairway to the crypts below.
« Last Edit: 05/17/15, 04:50:15 PM by Darshendros »



Offline Darshendros

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Rise of the Emperor, Part III
« Reply #13 on: 05/21/15, 11:15:12 PM »
Inquisitor Furiosa hungered for glory. From the moment she entered the Sith Academy on Korriban, Furiosa had to prove herself better than her peers. Although she had been born into slavery, the young lethan twi'lek exhibited a strong connection to the Force early in life, which she demonstrated when she lashed out against one of her abusers. She was brought to Korriban, where she barely passed her trials. They nearly cost her life, but she completed them nonetheless. The only thing stronger than her hatred was her love for the Empire. They saved her life. She would repay some of that debt by bringing in the traitors that dared to defile the Dark Temple.

Furiosa ignored the corpses on the ground as she made her way up the winding staircase to the main hall of the temple. The hulking corpse of the evolved terentatek was still warm when she found it, and standing before it was a Sith in a black hooded robe, gripping the hilt of a double-bladed lightsaber in his gloved hand, waiting for her. She didn't recognize him, at first, until he spoke.

"Furiosa," Jevlas said, "How unfortunate it is to find you here."

"Jevlas?! Why are you here?" she asked.

They had met a few months ago, while Jevlas was operating under his bounty hunter alias. She had hired him to capture a defector, found out he was a Sith. While he refused to take her as an apprentice, he did teach her a thing or two when they weren't sharing a bed.

"My master will not be disturbed," he replied with a cold tone. "Leave this place. I won't ask twice."

"Darth Magius... is your master? Then that means..." Furiosa shook her head in disbelief.

"Always the quick study. You stand no chance against me. How do you think you'll fair against him?"

"I've learned a few things since we last met, lover."

Furiosa drew out her lightsaber and ignited it, springing toward Jevlas and slashing at him. The Sith ignited both ends of his lightsaber and parried her strike effortlessly with one end, pulling it back to swing out with the other toward her thigh. She stepped back and lowered her lightsaber, blocking it and going on the defensive suddenly, as Jevlas followed it up with more quick strikes, alternating blades, attacking from multiple angles. He was just too fast.

He flipped over her, lightsaber spinning around, bringing it down to strike her from above. Furiosa rolled under him, turning around and bringing her lightsaber up to block the strike and then thrusting out her hand and throwing him back with the Force. Jevlas slammed back against the wall, but his focus remained sharp. As she came after him, leaping through the air and thrusting down with her saber, he leaped up into the air just before she could strike him, spinning around to face her back as he came down, his weapon poised to strike. She turned back and slashed across with her lightsaber, slicing his lightsaber in half across the center of the hilt. The broken halves fizzled out as they tumbled out of his hands. Furiosa pulled her lightsaber back to thrust it into his heart, but the Sith unleashed a barrage of Force Lightning into her before she could strike.

Furiosa cried out in pain and shock as electricity coursed through her body. Jevlas shoved her back against the wall and continued the assault, forcing her down to her knees. Smoke began to rise through her robes and her skin blackened and boiled as she was burned alive. Jevlas stopped once the screams ended.

* * *


"Observation: Either your weapons are defective or your marksmanship is poorly lacking. I choose to believe the latter."

Of the squad of ten Imperial troopers that had accompanied the inquisitor to investigate the disturbance at the Dark Temple, three of them remained alive, two were grievously injured, and the rest were dead, laying at the steps to the Dark Temple. HK-51 wasn't even taking cover anymore, as the three troopers that remained a threat seemed to be shooting wildly in its general direction.

The assassin droid wasn't completely unscathed though. It had taken a few shots to its chassis after its energy shield collapsed, but not before it took out half of the squad. HK destroyed their transport as well, cutting off their means of escape except into the jungles. They were huddled behind the burning wreckage for cover, one of them laying down cover fire while the others tried to patch up their comrades as quick as they can. The droid threw out a smoke grenade before activating its stealth field generator.

"Frak, he's gone!" cried one of the troopers.

"What do you mean he's gone, private?" asked the sergeant.

"Gone! Vanished in thin air."

"Bloody Maker, it must have a SFG. Form up and-- grrlgk!"

The sergeant suddenly gurgled blood as a vibroblade burst out of his throat. The assassin droid appeared behind him, knife in one hand, blaster pistol in the other. It shot the private through the helmet and then the two injured soldiers huddling against some debris. The last remaining trooper cried out in horror and scrambled to his feet, tossing his rifle and running toward the jungle, leaving his comrades behind. HK holstered its weapons and pulled out the sniper rifle slung behind its back, took aim, and fired a single shot. The fleeing trooper's head burst like a watermelon.

"Assessment: All hostile meatbags terminated. Disabling assassination protocols."

* * *


The hall was illuminated only by the red-orange fiery glow of Darth Magius' lightsaber. All around him were busts and statues of past Sith Lords buried here since the days of the ancient empire. He thought of the secrets he could learn here. There was so much potential but not enough time.

The Dark Side felt strongest here. It saturated the floor, walls, ceiling, and everything it touched. Magius could hear the whispers of the dead as he walked the halls of the crypts, taunting him, tempting him. He could feel something trying to get past the walls guarding his mind. Someone could go completely mad if they lost their way here. Thankfully, Magius made a mental note of where the exit was, or so he thought when he glanced over his shoulder to see the exit no longer there.

"Fuck."

You're fucked. So fucked. FUCKED!

"Silence!" he yelled out.

No one was there. Magius sighed. This was going to be a long night.

Gripping his lightsaber more firmly, he pressed onward, glancing down every corner he passed, trying to gleam some insight on where the Emperor's treasures could be hidden. He went down one tunnel only to find a dead end. When he turned around to go back where he came, however, he found the layout of the passage he left changed. There was foul sorcery at play here, and it meant to trap him here forever. Something continued probing at his mind.

"You won't deceive me with such parlor tricks," he said aloud.

A faint sound turned his attention down the corridor, barely a whisper. This way. Magius followed it into an open, empty circular chamber, glancing around warily.

You have finally arrived.

We have been waiting for you.

Magius brought his lightsaber in front of him, both hands gripping the hilt. "Show yourself!"

All around him, violet balls of flame suddenly ignited, lining up around the chamber along the wall, twelve in total. They floated across the floor and converged together in the center, growing larger, but Magius felt no heat coming from the flames. He watched as the flames took shape, taking a step back and gasping. The heel of his foot brushed up against the wall behind him. The doorway had disappeared.

"Impossible."

A serpentine form bathed in violet flame rose up before him, spreading bat-like wings that spanned the width of the chamber. Cold, black eyes bore down on him and he stared right back, gazing upon a reflection of what was.

"Who are you?" Magius demanded to know. "What... are you?"

A cacophony of voices suddenly filled Magius' mind, deafening him. He clutched his head trying to block them out, but they only persisted, all of them speaking at once, unintelligible, incoherent. His head was throbbing in pain.

"Too many voices!"

The flames shrank back into the form of a sphere, glowing like a distant star. The voices died away, leaving only silence, until one voice among them spoke.

You do not belong here.

"I've heard that before, and I don't care," Magius replied.

The Phobis Core is not for you to possess, but we can grant you something greater.

Something you desire, another voice said as a humanoid apparition suddenly appeared next to the sphere. Ornate robes, large hood, face concealed behind a mask. Its hands were adorned with plated gloves with curled talons.

Power. Forgotten power. Former glory, said another voice, higher pitched, feminine. Another apparition appeared, female, tattered robes hanging in strips. Nearly nude except for the mask covering her face.

Isn't that what you want, Darth Magius?

Or do you prefer your real name?

"You know nothing about me!" Magius growled.

The sphere suddenly pulsed and struck Magius with a searing bolt of energy, driving him back against the wall. Electricity danced across his limbs and wrapped around him, draining him as it lifted him into the air. It felt like his very essence was being ripped out.

"What... do you... want?" he gasped out.

Let us in.

The sphere's energy suddenly released him, dropping him to the ground. In his suddenly weakened state, Magius was unable to keep the thing that had been probing at his thoughts from rushing in and filling his mind. He cried out in agony as pain seared behind his eyes like a hot knife. The voices returned, so many voices, speaking gibberish, too many thoughts. He couldn't sort through them, so he gave up trying and just went along for the ride, closing his eyes and hoping for a quick death. Images flashed in his mind of people and places he had never seen. It was too much to bear. Everything faded to black.
« Last Edit: 05/22/15, 01:08:26 AM by Darshendros »



Offline Darshendros

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Rise of the Emperor, Part IV
« Reply #14 on: 05/24/15, 08:37:33 PM »
Darth Magius woke some time later, alone in the dark chamber. He wasn't sure how much time had passed. His robe hung in tatters off his body and his lightsaber was on the floor. As he reached for it, he couldn't help noticing something different about his arm. His skin was red.

"What did you do to me?" he asked aloud as he pulled back his arm. He removed his gloves, finding his hands also red.

He heard no answer, but a single thought entered his mind. Purified. He reached up and began to feel his face. What was once smooth skin was now more rigid, spines on his cheeks and brow, tendrils around his mouth and chin. Speculations ran through his mind of what could have possibly happened to him while he was passed out. Maybe whatever he had encountered here somehow rewrote his DNA, changing his appearance. Maybe it went deeper than that. He needed to find a mirror just to be sure.

Magius picked up his lightsaber and rose to his feet, looking for an exit. There was a doorway on the opposite side of the chamber, even if he remembered not seeing one there before. This place would be the end of him if he didn't find a way out, artifacts be damned. He seemed to have an easier time finding his way back to the exit than searching for the artifacts, as if the Force were guiding him, or perhaps throwing him out. He didn't belong here, as the entity had stated. Whatever happened to him, it was logical to think that only worse things waited if he dared to venture further. Defeated by ghosts. This was surely the lowest point of his career.

Magius climbed out of the hidden passage behind the central statue to find Jevlas waiting for him above. Not recognizing him, the Sith ignited his lightsaber and moved into a fighting stance.

"Who are you? Where is Darth Magius?" Jevlas demanded.

Magius raised his hand and grasped Jevlas' throat with the Force, lifting him into the air. "Perhaps if you were less quick to draw your weapon and more keen to the Dark Side, you would recognize your own master regardless of the face he wore."

"M... as... ter?" Jevlas gasped.

Magius released his grasp on the apprentice, dropping him to the floor where he gasped to catch his breath. "Unless someone else went down there after me, who else could I be?"

"What happened?" Jevlas asked, staring up at Magius' new form. Pureblood, just like him. How was this possible?

"I don't know," Magius replied, "but we need to get out of here before more reinforcements arrive. We'll have to come after the artifacts another time. Stop staring."

Jevlas averted his eyes. "Yes, master. Our guests are all dead. The way should be clear, for now."

"Let's go, then."

Jevlas ran ahead while Magius trailed after him. He was weaker than he realized, but he dared not show it in front of his apprentice. Outside the Dark Temple, HK-51 was collecting trophies before being ordered back to the ship. Magius cast a glance over his shoulder at the temple before retreating into the jungle, knowing he would never get another chance to find those artifacts again. At least he didn't leave completely empty-handed. The question remained what exactly he had left with, however.

They found another Imperial patrol snooping around the clearing the ship was parked in. A simple cantrip distracting them away allowed them to slip by unnoticed and they boarded their ship. HK-51 and Jevlas piloted the vessel while Magius retreated to his quarters, where he was finally able to gaze upon his new face.

"Adas' breath," Magius gasped, touching his face again in the mirror. He didn't even recognize himself, except for the eyes. Those remained the same, at least. "Pureblood," he whispered to himself. "Purified."

Magius sat back on his bunk and began to laugh - a mad, cackling laugh that could be heard all the way from the cockpit. Jevlas and HK-51 shared disturbed glances - if droids could look disturbed.

The Maleficent was still cloaked as it broke from Dromund Kaas' orbit and jumped into hyperspace.