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Messages - Orell

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...and if you thought "Military Intelligence" was an oxymoron, whooo boy...

Sith Intelligence is probably not as effective as Imperial Intelligence was. Say what you will about Darth Jadus (...but not right now, only so many hours in the day), but it was a clear pattern throughout the Agent storyline: The more the Sith get involved with spycraft, the worse it gets for the Empire, for the people on the ground, for civilians, really for anyone within saberin' distance.

Still, it'd likely also attract Sith that are interested in that sort of work, and they'd be better equipped to not just torture anything that gives them lip. Probably better able to manage the tangles of Sith politics and avoid all of their operations from getting ruined by Darth Stabbiwonkers types.

But there's a reason why the Republic was able to, at one point, get a sleeper agent into the organization and have him progress to being the Sith Intelligence's Minister's right hand man. Granted, Lana was more of an operations manager than a spy, but if that was the top brass at the time, and she quit, one only wonders how capable her replacement is...

Events and Occasions / Re: Jedi kNight: A Plague on Dravik
« on: 05/30/19, 06:55:59 PM »
I will totally be there, just might be a bit late!

I might have to back out of this. Parents are coming into town, and there's tentative plans to meet up on Saturday, sorry. I'll let you know if/when things solidify :(.

Events and Occasions / Re: Allies on the Road to War
« on: 05/11/19, 02:35:47 PM »
Gah! Could've sword I'd said that I'm interested in this fun!

And the 25th is fine by me, Quar will be in attendance :D.

Holocrons and Info Nodes / Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« on: 04/08/19, 01:37:09 AM »
The Lesser Evil

One week after the Battle of Ossus

"You want what?!"

"A meeting with one of your very talented intelligence operatives."

"...I knew I should not have picked up this comm. Unknown caller, obviously suspicious, but what do I have to lose? And just on principle, I should never pick up a comm, I have people to pick up comms, if my comm rings, it is bad."

"We live and learn, cutie, but-"

"You are not my type."

"Is it the breasts, the lack of hair or the occasional dalliance in shameless evil?"

"All three. Why are you wanting this... meeting?"

"I wish to offer my services to the Republic, of course. An ugly war is coming and I'd much rather be on the right side of it. But I'm no idealist, I know that such things would need to be handled under the table."

"I am sure. And why should I even consider such a request from you?"

"You know my abilities. You know my position regarding the Empire. It's hardly a shocking request."

"Not yet convinced."

"Fine, I tried. Because you are a good, noble government official that's being contacted by a foreign agent wanted for numerous crimes. Clearly, as a responsible elected official who has done nothing wrong, you would report this communique to the correct agency to ensure to them that you are not compromised. And would have to divulge the subject of the conversation."

" are blackmailing me for picking up a comm."

"You were correct, you really shouldn't have picked up."

Corellia Palace Casino, Nar Shaddaa, some time later...

Agent Wellin sighed, carefully polishing a glass behind the bar. The annoying part of working undercover was that civilians rarely got the message. And that the casino's patrons would always order the most obscure drinks that they could.

"You really shouldn't water the drinks down so much," Sariana said into his ear, the handler's voice annoyingly clear through the background chatter of the casino. "If you get them drunk enough, they'll probably leave you alone."

"Or they'll pester me for more drinks," he muttered under his breath. "Eyes on the contact yet?"

"Negative, party pooper. She's twenty minutes late already, good odds she's not going to-" There was a pause from the other end of the line. "Huh."

"...please don't hold me in suspense, Sar."

"Eight o'clock? And, uh, sorry. Just saw her."

Wellin turned his head, his eyes tracking onto the yellow Twi'lek woman at the edge of the bar, waving vigorously at him. "Excuse me sir, do you happen to know how to make Corellian Tea?" the woman said, her grin so wide it threatened to split her head in half.

Wellin strode over, giving his best managing-a-potential-asset smile to her while motioning for the other agent behind the bar to deal with the actual customers. "I think so, miss. Is that the one where you frog blast the vent core?" he asked, slipping the code phrase into the conversation.

"Oh, yes, but only after you lightning the rubber with ozone," the Twi'liek replied, her own code phrase coming in just as bluntly. "You really need to start leaning on encryption, you know."

"It has downsides, and you're late," Wellin said, smiling while looking over the woman. She was dressed in a run-down outfit, probably purchased from a second-hand store and thoroughly cleaned, but no obvious bulges he could see. Older than most of the dancers he'd seen on Nar Shaddaa, but he wasn't expecting a set of barely legal lekku to waltz in tonight. "How do you like the security?"

The woman smirked, looking around half-theatrically. "Three snipers, a half-dozen other agents and what I'd guess is a bulky scattergun under your coat." She gave Wellin a grin, extending her hand. "Either that or you're exceedingly happy to see me. Go ahead and call me Quarasha, I'm not your enemy here."

Wellin took a step away, looking down at her hand, his own showing a brief movement to the weapon hidden under his jacket. "If you want to hold onto that head, you'll keep your distance. Also, you missed a few," he added, giving a quick smirk but not shaking her hand.

She retracted her hand, letting out a long sigh. "This isn't a scheme of mine, my motives and actions are sincere."

"Positions reversed, would you believe that line?"

"No," Quarasha said with a faint, false laugh. "But that doesn't make it a lie."

"Well, how about you pretend like I don't know anything about you but your rap sheet," Wellin said, eyeing the Sith. "A few dozen murder charges, accessory to at least four digits of murder, a few of the fun charges like 'Attempted Regicide', let me tell you, that's a special one." He gave his own quick, fake smile. "Why should I believe a word you say?"

Quarasha stared at him. Her eyes remained focused, five seconds, then ten, then twenty and more, her stare boring a hole into his forehead. Wellin stares back, or at least he tries to, his eyes flicking away for relief as her eyes bore into his skull.

He'd heard that getting into a staring contest with Jedi was foolish, but at least you didn't have to worry that the Jedi would kill you with their mind if you stared too hard.

"You know more than my record, agent," Quarasha said. "The person that set up our meeting has plenty of collateral on me, as we both know. She's too smart to not share that with you."

"That's not-"

"Do you mind if I cut through your espionage-style kath crap so that we can get to the fun bits?"

Wellin hesitated, looking back over Quarasha. He thought of her as a schuuta, sure, but that didn't mean he thought she was wrong. "...fine." He sighed. "I know of Nima Kluub, I know about your troubled relationship with the Sith Lord Alnas, I know that you pitched in to save us from Zakuul." He gave Quarasha another smile. "Congratulations, we'll print you a medal. But none of that proves you're on our side, and we don't have a place for traitors."

Quarasha couldn't help but laugh. "You work, gleefully I might add, alongside the Jedi Order, which accepts ex-Sith with open arms. You truly wish to say that the Republic has no room for traitors?"

"Jedi are Jedi, SIS are SIS, we don't share personnel..." Wellin sighs. "Fine. You're a schutta, but you're capable. We're suspicious assholes, but we're... not against getting help. Like you said, let's skip the kath crap and move on." He leans on the bar. "What assets do you have that you're willing to use to help?"

Quarasha smirked, leaning on the bar herself. "Large accounts of credits under assumed identities-"

"How much?" he interrupted.

"8 digits to start with. Trusted connections and blackmail on multiple Imperial officers scattered throughout the Imperial military-"

"Multiple meaning two?" he cut in to ask.

There was a flinch from the Sith. "I'll give you a redacted list. But for now, less than you hope, but more than you suspect. Accurate Star Charts of Imperial holdings-"

"How accurate?"

"More than weeks, less than months." Quarasha let out a smirk. "There's other things, knowledge of Imperial hierarchy, intelligence on Hutt schemes, intelligence on what Republic officers have been compromised..."

"Compromised by people besides you?" Wellin asked, knowing she wouldn't answer, not that it mattered too much. If someone's been compromised by a minor Sith in Hutt Space, they might as well be on Sith Intelligence's payroll.

"Oh, and you'll get me," Quarasha said, standing up and giving the SIS agent a little twirl. "A Sith Assassin with more kills than you can pin to me, and an asset that your organization can set loose on the enemy without any of those poor, terrified voters back home knowing about it."

"And you'll take out anyone we tell you to?"

The Sith's voice went cold. "You need to work on your comedy. I'm an ally, not a minion, and just because I'm willing to do your dirty work doesn't mean that I will do it sight unseen."

"You have to trust your handlers. We don't always get the full picture, just what needs to be done."

The anger was starting to come on strong for the Sith. "I spent years in the Empire doing what I was told. I gave the Jedi information on another Sith because I loathed what he was doing. If your people want something done sight unseen, find someone else."

Wellin held the stare, then leaned back, smirking. “...well, good to know you’re not trying to charm us.”

“Charm would make you suspicious. I’m here to be taken seriously.”

“Shouldn’t we be suspicious? Given your history-”

“Everyone’s suspicious of me, and I tired of it years ago.” She pushed away from the bar, eyes sharp, staring daggers into the intelligence agent but leaving a comm behind. “My offer is made. Contact the saved number on that if you have something for me. Anything else?”

Wellin hesitated. “Your colony, Nima’Kluub-“

Is. Not. To. Be. Touched,” Quarasha interrupted, leaden tones landing hard. “Try using them as leverage, and I’ll show you just how much damage I could do to the Republic if I wanted.”

He backed away from the counter, raising his hands. “Easy, easy! I was just talking about trade, resources, maybe a refueling point for covert operations! There’s a bit of a resource crisis going on, you know, that whole reason your ex-apprentice tried to murder an entire planet?"

Quarasha stared down the SIS agent, mind spinning at the seemingly earnest information. "I'll consider it. The threat stands."

"Fine, fine, I'll make a note, Agent Q is really bad at playing nice." Wellin sighs, lowering his guard as he looks over the Twi'lek. "...if you don't mind me saying... I wish teaming up with you didn't make sense."

Quarasha snorts and walks away. Wishes were a fool's game... and if she had her wish, she wouldn't have to do any of this at all...

Events and Occasions / Re: Ossus: Legends Never Die (Part II)
« on: 02/12/19, 09:44:48 PM »
Shall be there, and Quar will actually be strong enough to fight back this time!

Events and Occasions / Re: Ossus - Legends Never Die
« on: 02/09/19, 09:39:47 AM »
Actually, you can reach Ossus without having done the new missions. Went there on my sub-20 Pub-Quar alt just fine :).

Events and Occasions / Re: Ossus - Legends Never Die
« on: 02/06/19, 09:11:49 PM »
Quarasha likes Jaade (...she really enjoys him taking the piss out of the Jedi >_> ) and feels like she still owes Dassalya a bunch. Besides, between the Jedi and the Sith, she thinks she has a better chance in a galaxy dominated by Jedi.

Sure, it's more pragmatism than ideology, but she still kinda likes the Jedi, she just doesn't want to be one of them. Don't worry, she'll totally be on their side and do all the necessary rotten stuff that the Jedi hold their nose at!

Events and Occasions / Re: Ossus - Legends Never Die
« on: 02/06/19, 11:26:22 AM »
Hrm. Question for the GMs: Would Quarasha count enough as "Republic" for the purposes of this event? She's certainly on the Republic's side when it comes to the conflict, but don't want to have her intrude if it'd make the event a nightmare to do.

Cantina / Re: [SPOILERS] Jedi Under Siege
« on: 12/20/18, 10:50:15 PM »
So, one bit... I'm wondering if it's possible for Gnost-Dural to be dead right now. Here's the three possible cases for him as I see it:

If you're Imperial and take the LS Option: Gnost-Dural is taken as a prisoner by the Empire.

If you're Imperial and take the DS Option: Gnost-Dural is struck down by Malgus.

If you're Republic: Gnost-Dural barely survives being struck down by Malgus.

Follow me? What if Malgus didn't actually kill off Dural? Same as he didn't try to kill Malora, just threw her aside? And Gnost-Dural is still determinant because he's captured by the Empire, but that's an easy thing to recify in-story.

The presence of Malgus is what's honestly fascinating here, because his presence makes no sense in such an interesting way. Acina and Vowrawn are smart, sharp, sensible Sith. There is no possible reason they would trust Malgus an inch, no matter what he says, because of his betrayal at Ilum. He's clearly being forced to follow their instructions, but how much control do they have, how much does he have?

I'm not thrilled to be back to a faction vs faction storyline, they seldom work, but I'll admit, things are looking pretty interesting so far...

Cantina / Re: State of the Galaxy
« on: 11/30/18, 10:49:39 PM »
That they're merging some of the branches is a bit of a good sign, at least. I wonder if the upcoming content is going to merge more of them, especially when it comes to who's in charge of the Empire...

Shall have to see what happens to Acina when the update comes. If I were them, I'd go to the old standby for the "sided with Acina" storyline: "Empire's on the verge of defeated the hated Republic and Jedi, time to stab other Sith in the back!" :D

So... yeah.

For one, I'm holding out hope that Bioware decides to merge Star Forge and Satele Shan into one server. Merging by Time Zones instead of by Playstyles was a bad idea, and it's hurt the game.

But... yeah. I have a *lot* of characters, and while I don't use most of them regularly, that's still Quarasha, Kyri, Lien, Merrant, Asori, Anakithane being used regularly, plus minor characters like Alyonna, Zhel, PubQuar, ImpKyri, Everen, Shaantil and others. If RP were to vanish from this server and I absolutely wanted RP... I'd create new characters on Star Forge. There's no way I could justify to myself transferring more than 1-2 characters. Because it would be leaving a lot of people behind.

I dunno about the long term status of this game. Right now, I'm more focused on reaching October in a somewhat sane state, work's been hell on me. But unless Bioware creates a "Transfer all your characters" option at a remotely affordable price, I think it's unfair to expect anyone to move from this server, no matter how green the grass on Star Forge is.

Events and Occasions / Re: A Dread Mind
« on: 07/19/18, 03:53:03 PM »
7:30 is about as early as I can make it, sorry :(.

Events and Occasions / Re: A Dread Mind
« on: 07/19/18, 01:55:51 AM »
I want to be there tomorrow, but it's kinda a coin flip. Okay odds I'll be on time(ish), good odds I'll be a bit late, might miss it outright.


Look, at the end of fucking Tuesday I had put in over 20 hours of work. And I did OT tonight. It's just one of those weeks, with any luck Kyri "Troubleshooter" "That means I shoot Trouble" Orell will be available to help with the crazy-ass Jedi shit going down >_>.

Holocrons and Info Nodes / Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« on: 06/28/18, 08:29:32 PM »
Battle of Sorialas (Jedi Holiday Part 8)

Note: This is a converted chat log from the event I ran for Dassalya, SivWysan and LVT. Stuff happens in it, a lot of it, and a lot of combat too. These tend to be a bit clunky to read, as RP often can be. Aside from a few edits for readability, reorganizing things so each scene is handled alone, clarity (and spell-checks), this is all of what happened...

When we last left our heroes, Merrant was on Treslanis IV, when the Empire invaded and have been up to some less than polite things. The Republic is aware that the Empire seems interested in strip-mining the planet using a device called the Hillbreaker.

The Republic has "graciously volunteered" three Republic frigates, led by Captain I Don't Care of the Abstello, the 22nd Marines and two SpecFor Squads, Patchwork and Lancer, to foil the Republic's plans, under Knight Dassalya Nasadee's command.

Merrant has 'sent word' to Dassalya, telling her that now is the time to attack, and after a time in Hyperspace, have arrived in the Treslanis IV system, with Three Frigates, a Thunderclap Gunboat, Lancer Squad aboard Daimren's vessel and the various dropships holding the 22nd, along with a certain stowaway...

Hark has donned a troopers uniform, one from an attached navy officer of the ground assault. He'd keep to himself, as the navy and the army don't often mingle, and do his best to not be noticed by any others who may know him and be in attendence.

Harkasone remains unnoticed on the dropship, a combination of "someone else's problem" and everyone getting ready for the fight to come.

Dassalya, aboard Patchwork Squad's Gunboat, now has the chance to look over the map. Three Imperial warships, clearly outmatched, seem to be moving to engage the Republic force.

Dassalya stands over the shoulder of the gunboat's co-pilot, watching the ship's readings as they come in. "Captain Abstello," she says, loud enough for the comm to catch her voice. "I do not sense any additional danger. Shall I leave the naval engagement to you?"

"It is Captain I-Don't-Care, Master Jedi," says the Captain of the Abstello over the comm.

"She doesn't care," muttered Captain Brightstar, head of Patchwork Squad.

"I apologize. Mirialan naming convention," Dassalya amends smoothly. "Are you ready to engage?"

"Closer." There was a pause over the line. "We should be able to handle the Imperial warships. We'll screen for you until you hit atmosphere."

There's a crackle from the comm system, a voice coming in very weak but still just audible. "Knight Merrant to any Republic forces, please respond and let me know I got the comm codes right."

"You have the comm codes correct," Dassalya replies. Only the most observant in her vicinity would notice the faint relief visible in the easing of tension around her eyes.

There's another short pause before Merrant speaks up again. "...good. Too long. Sending position of the Imps construction site. They're building a device here that's going to blow up the mountain and kill a lot of people. I know how to disable it, but I don't know how long until it's done."

"Need a few things," he continued. "Local militia is approaching the site from west, up from the city's direction. They're not well equipped and they'll need support. There's also a decent landing area to the east of their base. Second front would help thin the Imperial line, give me room to get inside and start sabotaging. Also, in case we screw this up? Need someone to get to the comm center in the city. Tell people to get somewhere safe and take cover. Hope we don't need that."

Captain Brightstar looks over at Dassalya. "We've hot-dropped into firefights plenty. Bet the Marines could use the decent landing zone, though."

She nods her understanding, and then turns back to the comm. "Your sit-rep is appreciated, Knight Merrant. Please alert us if your understanding of the situation changes." She waits a moment to see if Merrant has anything further to add, then addresses Brightstar. "Captain. Have the 22nd land at the proscribed landing zone to the east. Patchwork Squad and I will drop to the west and unite with the militia. Lancer will assist Daimren in taking the communications centre. We will make our assault at—" She checks her chrono and makes a quick calculation in her head. "—13:00. We want to hit them as simultaneously as possible to ensure as much distraction as we can."

Brightstar nods and starts relaying the orders. Aboard the 22nd's dropships, an annoucement comes in: "Attention, all hands. We will be deploying to the planet's surface shortly and assaulting a light Imperial fortification in the mountains. Report to unit leaders for additional orders and be ready to move."

The ships move in, the heavy frigates racing ahead of the dropships and gunboat. Before long, turbolasers can be seen streaking across the vacuum, fire and return fire between the Republic and Imperials. No fire can be spared for the smaller craft, however, and they streak towards the planet and the city below.

From above, it looks fairly normal. A small urban area, surrounded by kilometer after kilometer of farmland in the basin formed by the heavy mountain range. The atmospheric entry rocks the landing craft, with Daimren and Lancer Squad arcing away towards the city, while Dassalya, Harkasone, Patchwork and the assembled might of the 22nd race towards the mountains, mountains where, even at this distance, blaster fire can be seen.

The City

As Daimren came in low, he smiled thinly, pleased to see a fairly clear flight path into the city's Comm center- but suspicious of anything too easy. He put the ship in a hard drop before leveling off with a wobble, looking to take full advantage of his ship's EM stealth while looking to all eyes a civilian craft struggling to flee from the firefight. He tapped a few side keys, blowing some extra O2 tanks on one wing, starting a small localized electrical fire in a backup area, and struggling to like the ship had taken damage. Then he stood up, facing the crew and continuing to fly with his cybernetics with his back to the oncoming cityscape.

Daimren eyes Lancer Squadron from under 3 days grizzle and an old spacer's cap over his customized but somewhat worn looking cyber-assault light armor. He had played up the role of a sympathetic ex-Republic vet doing merc work on the Rim brought on to advise and handle the tech situation without taking too many shots- or revealing his Jedi identity, hopefully. His lightsaber rested tightly in a hidden leg pouch he kept lined with scanner-jamming mesh.

"Alright folks, here's hoping we're in and out before they know it, and this is a cake walk. In case they don't though, I want Tetch and Eben's to stay up top, man the side guns and keep the landing secure in case of fast evac. Everyone else, we will land like a wounded garbage scow looking for shelter, and hit the door before they know what hit them. The ship will have a 6 meter jamming field to fry a few extra hidden alarms, though once inside we're on our own. Remember, the faster we can get this done, the less risk of alarm to the Imps and more lives we can save."

"I'll have my carbine, but trusting you folks to cover my six so I can work the keyboard magic. We'll try and shut the power first, but if we can't we'll fight to central control and pull the plug on any alarm fast as we can."

The SpecFor troopers nod, although Daimren could sense a bit of a chuckle coming from them. "Good plan, we'll keep your ass nice and shiny."

A couple others seemed initially visibly alarmed at Daimren's leaving the ship pilotless, then chucking when he tapped an implant and they figured it out. He then spun back around, guided the ship the rest of the way in and yelled a final "brace!" as they came down hard and skidded a few feet at an odd angle- yet one that helpfully ended up with their rear deployment hatch pointed at a slight angle to the sole rooftop entry. The air shimmered slightly as a jamming field sizzled into life, and the troops pulled off their belts and sprang to leave in 2 lines, covering the roof with their sights, looking for any trouble.

The roof is still oddly clear, an obvious door leading the way down. Even a convenient map noting where you are, where the emergency exits are and where the primary comm station is. "Force praise fire codes," one of the Lancer squad mutters.

Daimren chuckles. "One of the blessings avoiding Imperial construction methods. Here's hoping this will help keep it that way."

"Don't let your guard down though. I'll check the locks, then clear the first landing while I try and locate the power conduits." Daimren quietly slides a custom lock-breaker over the door, letting it run while flicking his left wrist to reveal an EM scanner and several auto-drills on bendable serpantine mounts, hoping they get lucky with the power grid

The lock's broken before he even finishes his sentence. The building was built to withstand pranksters and thieves, not a serious incursion. The analysis of the building's EM signature is odd, though. There's really only one place with power on right now, the main comm center. Everything else is at barely background levels of power, as though the lights are off and nobody's home.

Daimren frowns reaching out slightly in the Force, though his sense powers are lesser, and activiating his suit's flickering partial camo blur effect, "I have a bad feeling about this," he murmers. "Too easy. A moment." He pretends to finish some scans, but actually sprays a small dose of recon nanotech out of his wrist mounts, tiny drones that scope out heat or hidden power sources ahead. Then he motions the troopers forward, following in the middle himself and moitniong for a tight recon formation.

Daimren and Lancer don't hit any conflict at all, until they approach the comm center. A good baker's dozen of heat signatures there, seemingly on guard.

Daimren drops low, doing a final scan of the area outside the comm center, looking for any possible points to plug in to further distract. Meanwhile he waves the troops in, tossing a lock-buster on the door and motioning for stun grenades, concussion only. "Try to keep the fire to a minimum in there, we need that equipment intact. And leave the door, in case we need to defend this place later."

Imperial Marines were capable, Lord Alnas' force especially so, but against Special Forces with full information on the enemy and time to prepare? The doors were breached, stun grenades were sent in, and barely more than a dozen shots were fired to eliminate the twelve soldiers within.

The only figure within unharmed was the one without a weapon, a shaking, balding man, stunned both by the sudden violence and the liberally applied stun grenades.

While Daimren worked the systems, regaining command and quieting what few alarms were raised by the assault, one of the soldiers gave the shivering man a salute, recognizing him from a briefing. "Governor Baylen? Captain Olsen, Lancer Squad, Republic Special Forces. Are you alright?"

"...y-yes..." the old man stuttered, his eyes fixed on the corpse of the Imperial captain that had, so recently, been browbeating him into submission.

"Sir. Intel suggests that the Imperials intend to detonate a device that could kill most of the citizenry. We are working to disarm said weapon, but in case of problems, we need you to inform the public of the situation."


"They should get inside, sir. Preferably underground, until the situation is resolved." He looked back at Daimren, still working the computers. "Our... 'advisor' should be able to get everyting set up. Can you tell your people they need to get inside and underground?"

Baylen blinked. Then blinked again. Then, nerves finally finding purchase, he stood. "Yes. Of course. Thank you, all of you. And I hope your friends are as fortunate as you."

The East

The 22nd flew over the Imperial camp, and the slumbing hulk of the Hillbreaker, and soon found the landing zone, a brief bit of flat land in the jagged mountain range, no Imperials to contest. The soldiers within raced out, officers around shouting to secure beachheads and get ready to advance. No imperials... yet.

In the din of the criss-crossing orders, Harkasone slips quitely away to the hills and casts away his uniform for his Jedi battle armor while watching the battle set-up, looking for signs of a counter attack by Imperial forces after they organize against their new foes.

A few troopers give Hark a curious look, but either assume he's scouting or that he's someone else's problem. But the distant sound of stomping boots tells them all exactly where the Imperials are coming from. Imperial Marines in heavy armor race across a pass ahead, blaster fire spraying both ways as the soldiers keep each other honest... and from his vantage point, Hark could see the sign of a small flanking force, moving through some more rough path.

Hark checks the terrain of their small path. A ridge above them perhaps, is the path on a ledge itself... there is a small ledge overlooking where the path probably is, not easy to reach or approach. For normal people anyway.

Hark summons the force, hoping the burst is small enough to mask over the din of battle, and pulls down the ridge with full force, with the objective of slowing the small group. He fires his borrowed blaster up in the air as the Imperials become preoccupied, hoping that the soldiers that this squad was flanking, would be alerted.

It does the trick, Hark could see the soldiers starting to regroup and reorganize to cover that flank. But Hark easily senses a familiar feeling from the flank, and the sound of a pile of rubble being thrown out of the way with the Force.

"As always..." Hark glances back, to silently observe to main push; collecting his thoughts on his friend's situation. After a moment, Hark throws back the hood of this robe and stop trying to conceal himself in the force. He leaps into the path, into the path of the signature.

A dozen rifles are raised when Harkasone lands on the pass, but a raised hand holds them off. "...hello, Hark," Asori says, igniting her Lightsabers. "Here to convert, talk or fight?"

"What's the likelihood that either one of the first two would work?" Hark gives her a bitter, wan smile; laced with sadness.

"I meant you converting," Asori muttered, staring him down. "...Sergeant, find a different path. I'll handle things here." She slides into a combat stance, waiting for the troops to fall back.

Hark watches them go, moving from a crouching stance; to balancing on the pile of rocks. "Yeah... Let's talk, I guess. What is it exactly do you want to do here?" Hark asks, without hostility, though with definite curiosity in his voice.

Asori glowers at Harkasone, staying in her combat stance. "The Empire needs the minerals here. People will die, yes. But a tiny farming colony in the middle of nowhere for the whole of the Empire? There's no question."

"If the colony you came from had minerals that your Empire needed to survive; would that constitute as a 'small' sacrifice? This place is only slightly bigger, isn't it?" Hark holds her gaze, a serious expression written on his face. "If you remove the people from the government they should be serving, What's left in its purpose?"

Asori scowls, glaring at Hark. "Nima'Kluub doesn't have those minerals. And my path is with the Sith. You told me to pursue that."

"I did. And you should do do what you feel is right. I stand by that." Hark gestures around them. "You signed on to protect innocent people like this, right? You said you had the flexibility under the Sith to do it."

Asori growls. "I'm defending my people. Either get out of my way or try to stop me."

"This place is under Imperial martial law. These ARE your people. But you let Zhel loose on these people?" Hark shakes his head, unfazed at her threat. "I wanted you to be the best person you could be. Is this it?" He asks, his question purely honest.

"They murdered one of my finest officers, because I was too soft to do what was needed. They aren't worth a damn thing." Asori shifted, in a way that Hark knew was the precursor to a leap.

Hark moves his hand under his robe as he balances, looking at her. "Letting Zhel loose, and planning to destroy the planet didn't originate as a revenge plot."

"It's what the Empire needs, Harkasone. So is this." She says, and leaps at him, bringing both Lightsabers down at his shoulders.

Hark brings his prepared lightsaber from under his robe; having read her move, bringing it up with an easy block. He pulls her smashing down into the pile of rocks with the force as she hangs in the air from the parry without holding back.

Asori gets smashed into the rocks, her armor taking most of the blow but still leaving her hurting and off balance. She tries to make distance, throwing herself away from Hark while sending a few smaller stones at his head.

Hark leaps off the rock, circling around the larger once for cover. "I'm here to make you think about yourself. Improve yourself. Be a better person. I know you can do it."

"I don't need lessons from you, Hark!" She shouts, pushing one of the rocks at him and starting to close the distance.

Hark quiets, muttering only to himself for a moment. "As long as you keep your memory of this, anyway..." before going silent, and ducking behind the stones; using how they're strewn about as a line of sight maze.

Asori moves quickly, trying to track Hark, moving to slash at him when she can, well aware that fighting a Jedi in a rock garden is like standing in a pond and mocking a Sith.

Hark ducks back, staying out the way of her deadly blade. He leaps back onto another rock behind him, before slipping down onto the other side of it, and disappearing into the maze.

"Stop hiding and fight me!" Asori shouts, still pursuing him, going around the boulders instead of over them, ready to attack the first thing she can.

A blade lashes out from behind a bolder quickly slashing at head level before retreating back into the rock it was behind. "Do you sleep well at night, Asori? Do you ever wonder if you are doing the right thing?" The voice echoes around the many walls of their battlefields.

Asori growls again, turning aside the strike before continuing to pursue, chasing the echoes, hunting him down with a greater and greater rage. "I sleep great! And I'm doing the right thing!"

Hark's voice is honest, not at all judgemental. "Shouldn't you be asking yourself that?" A rock flies at her from dead ahead flying at a good speed.

Asori cuts the stone in two, still trying to find Hark in the Jedi in the maze of stone. "I don't need to!"


"Because I know!"


"Because I know!" She repeats.

"That's a pretty childish response, you know." Hark steps out from behind the last rock of the maze, slashing low with his saber, letting her momentum do his work for him.

Asori flips over the saber, landing briefly before striking at Harkasone, the spins, flips, rolls and slashes graceful and light, like the dancer she had always insisted she wasn't. Her muttered "Shut up," however, lacked a certain finesse.

Hark leaps back, towards the edge of the a cliff this part of the path curved around. "It's over Asori. I've bought enough time." He gazes at her, expectantly.

Asori paused, staring him down. "...diversion. Two pronged attack. Third prong somewhere else. Smart." She sighed, shaking her head. "Gaines, get back to the site!" she shouted, charging at Harkasone, double-feinting before swinging at his waist.

"You'll learn from this and be a better person in time. I really do believe in you." Hark deactivates his saber and takes the slash, letting it sink into his armor.

Asori seems almost shocked that the blade managed to sink in, a moment of fear hitting her.

With the adrenaline of his injury. He grabs her wrists, and takes them both over the edge of the cliff together. "For now... take some time to sleep on it..."

Asori was taken entirely by surprise, only barely able to hit her comm, shouting that she needed help... before going silent.

The West

As Patchwork's gunboat slows, approaching the noted path, Dassalya could see the fighting going on underneath them. A large collection of maybe-civilians, some wearing body armor but most in civilian clothing, being pinned down and struggling against the entrenched, and up-hill, Imperial position, including what looks like a pair of heavy cannons at the top of the path.

Dassalya activates her personal comm and radios Merrant upon it. "Merrant. Do you have any further information on the militia? We do not wish them to think us Imperials before we have an opportunity to explain ourselves."

Merrant chuckled. "I told them you're coming. The person in charge is the second grumpiest Cathar I've met, called Gherrod. Just shoot in the same direction they're shooting and you'll be fine."


Brightstar races towards the exit. "Patchwork, go! Sal, get the ship to safety once we're down, I don't like the looks of those cannons!" he said as the other members of Patchwork started to drop down to the ground.

Dassalya leaps from the gunboat and executes a three-point landing. Her senses immediately reach out, seeking for danger, for the forms of the militia, and scouring the area for pitfalls and places of advantage.

The Gunboat takes a few potshots at the Imperials, but the press of the cannons are too much and it's forced to withdraw, leading to a chorus of groans from the militia.

The locals are mostly scared and angry, and the reason for the fear quickly becomes apparent. The weapons in their hands, some of them are stolen Imperial weapons or police-issue blasters, but between the civilian grade blasters and the antique slugthrowers bouncing rounds off Imperial armor, they feel outmatched.

Dassalya ignites her sabre and launches forward, aiming for the head of the militia's line. "Militia! To me!" she shouts, holding her sabre aloft in a holovid shot of a valiant Jedi. Without waiting further, Dassalya whirls to face the Imperial line, grasps a shattered outcropping of rock, and hurls it at them.

The rocks smash into the protected position and send the soldiers first scattering, then dead as the few decent weapons the militia had gathered tear into them. There's more hope in them now, a Jedi is a good thing to have at your back.

"Jedi, we need to take out those cannons!" Brightstar shouted over the cheers and blasterfire. "If we get much closer, they're going to tear us to shreds. I think my team can take the one on the left, can you do the right?"

"Yes!" Dassalya struggled to keep up with the blasterfire now directed at her—the majority of her deflected bolts went spinning off into the sky or studded harmlessly wide of their targets. She juked to the side, darted back, then leapt forward to gain herself some manoeuvring room as the Imperial's were forced to track her.

The Imperials are definitely firing a lot at Dassalya, so much that most of them fail to note Patchwork forming up and slipping along the left flank. The Squad's heavy gunner carried something that might, in another light, be considered a handheld artillery piece. A few careful shots and the gunner is clear, lifting up the cannon and firing a stream of blasterbolts right into the stem of the enemy emplacement, creating one more explosion for the embattled ground.

Dassalya takes advantage of the chaos created by the explosion to charge the right cannon. With a whirling of green light, she slashes the main targeting computer and uses the lightsaber's blade to form a near-instantaneous weld of its aiming mechanisms. Before the Imperials can recover, she leaps beyond and continues batting away blaster bolts.

Another cheer from the militia as the Imperials fall back again, the local forces advancing, a few enterprising souls charging up to the top of the hill after them... only to be met by a new wave of blaster fire and the telltale crackle of Sith Lightning arcing through them.

"Hold back!" Dassalya shouts. "Advance as one with the troopers!" She doesn't, however, follow her own advice. Lightsaber readied to catch lightning, she storms the ridge to face the foe on the other side.

Dassalya's met by another torrent of blaster fire, Imperial troopers huddled behind barriers and rocks. And she sees the Sith in question, a Pureblood wearing black and silver, and a particularly distasteful expression as he looks over Dassalya. " this it?"

The militia does slow down their advance, even seeing Dassalya race forward, with Captain Brightstar and a grumpy looking Cathar trying to keep order among the force.

Again, Dassalya struggles to keep the blaster bolts at bay. One slices through her robes just shy of her bicep, another is barely deflected into the dirt beside her toes. With a gathering of Force, she leaps to the side, disarms an Imperial trooper who has approached with too great of confidence, and throws out a telekinetic wave towards the bulk of the enemy soldiers.

The troopers are scattered, but not badly harmed, and quickly get back into position once the militia, supported by Patchwork, make the ridge and get to their positions. The Sith, however, cares little and throws lightning at Dassalya, the exchanges of blaster fire focused on soldiers vs soldiers, leaving Dassalya and the Sith to their dance.

Dassalya catches the lightning on her saber and, with grit teeth and painstaking care, redirects it into the sky and away from her own troops. "Surrender," she says, falling into a neutral, low guard. "No one else needs to die here today."

"Your surrender is not accepted," the Sith says with a sneer, more Lightning, more crackling. "You think you could defeat Lord Zhel, girl?"

Dassalya once again catches the lightning on her blade and redirects it with the same care. "I think Zhel died five years ago." She slips into a more active guard—one hand before her, her saber held parallel to the ground, pointing forward. "You do not need to meet so ignoble an end as him."

Zhel growls. "I am Lord Zhel, girl! You will die here and your-" His stream of lightning is cut off by a blaster shot from Captain Brightstar, easily battered away by the Sith but still earning a glower from him. "Do you mind, we're busy here!"

Dassalya seizes the moment and lunges forward. As her saber thrusts forward to strike at Zhel's center mass, her free hand tugs him towards her in the Force.

Zhel is dragged in, but he seems to catch the trick quickly enough, bringing his saber around just fast enough to push Dassalya's blade away. "Die schutta!" he shouts as he tries to strike at her, seemingly as effective in the melee as anyone that uses lightning as their first, last and only option normally would be.

Zhel's blade is thrown off its mark by a carefully timed push of the Force. Dassalya recovers her saber from its errant path and thrusts again at Zhel's chest. For as vengeful as the Pureblood is, she is calm. "Your namesake was more eloquent."

Zhel scowls, stumbling away from the stab before his free-hand unleashed another volume of lightning. "I am destined to surpass him! Who cares about eloquence?!"

The green saber shifts to catch the lightning on its blade, but, even as it does, Dassalya reaches out to send a hail of fist-sized stones at Zhel.

Zhel swings the Lightsaber around, intercepting most of the stones, but taking a pair to the ribcage. His cry of pain is short, though, and it's second verse same as the first, more lightning, trying to overwhelm her guard.

Dassalya struggles against the onslaught. Loose hairs about her head begin to stand on end as the charge of the contained lightning builds. She twists her saber in an attempt to send the torrent arcing back towards the Pureblood.

Zhel yelps as the lightning feeds back on him, backing away, batting away a pair of stray blaster bolts as he sizes Dassalya up. "Let me guess, the humidity is just awful?" He says, mocking her hair before sending another wave of lightning.

Dassalya is already on the move. Her saber snaps the lightning into an Imperial trooper who ventured too close to their duel, then darts to the side with Force-enhanced speed and sends a violent jet of telekinetic energy Zhel's way.

Zhel winces at the friendly fire, about to say something curt about how people shouldn't get in the way... and then he gets thrown into another set of Imperial marines, making about as comfortable a landing as heavy armor would be. The marines just push him aside and continue firing back at the militia and Patchwork squad, something of a stalemate in the blaster battle for now.

Zhel is momentarily off-guard while he finds his feet.

Dassalya seizes him with the Force to plow him face first into the ground.

Zhel is about to fire off more lightning at Dassalya when he realizes what's about to happen, and can only just close his eyes before he's slammed, face-first, into a mountain. He does, however, manage to throw another blast of lightning at her, mid painful groan.

Dassalya could even sense a twitch of amusement from a few of the nearby troopers, even as they point their rifles at her, trying to drive her back.

Dassalya deflects the lightning, but it leaves her open to the first salvo from the troopers. A bolt burns across her thigh. With a wince, she retreats to find cover behind a nearby outcropping of rock.

She puts her back to the moss covered stone and attempts to recover her breath. Her saber stays ready by her side.

Zhel muttered as he took cover himself, clutching as his bleeding nose. "...yes, yes, I'm fine. The Jedi will have to do better than that to beat me!"

One slow breath. Another. Another. As Dassalya allowed her calm to centre her, she focused her inner eye on the wound on her leg. Flesh slowly knit. Pain eased. She extended her senses beyond herself, seeking to pinpoint, exactly, the nexus of Dark Side energy that would Zhel's location.

"Is that all you have, Bresix?" she called, her voice pitched to carry to the Sith.

"Shut up you kriffing schutta!" he shouted back at Dassalya, albeit somewhat nasally. He did stand, however, and sent out another blast of lightning at where he thought Dassalya to be.

The outcropping caught the brunt of the blast; Dassalya whirled out from behind it and made to seize Zhel yet again with the Force.

Zhel grimaced, seeing the outcropping explode instead of the Jedi... then an all too familiar feeling of being seized by the Force, a muttered "not in the face" coming from the Sith.

Dassalya disengaged her saber and let it drop to her belt in a telekinetic, controlled fall. Then, both hands thrust before her, she set the Force to pin Zhel's hands to his side and drive him to his knees.

Zhel is forced to his knees, struggling against Dassalya's grip, when two things happen.

First, the Imperial troopers with nicer gear and more stripes stop firing and look around. Something's changed.

Then, the loudspeakers in the base speak up. "This is Knight Merrant. The Hillbreaker has been disabled. Job's done, nothing left to fight for here."

There's a cheer from the militia, even some of Patchwork getting in on it, but the Imperial troopers act quickly, several of them pouring fire down on Dassalya, the others falling back.

The saber snaps back to Dassalya's hand, but her hold over Zhel is broken. She deflects the blasterfire clumsily, nearly hitting one of Patchwork with a redirected bolt, before she is able to retreat beyond the angle of the upward-firing Imperials.

She casts a glance either way down the line of her troops—were any hurt? Were any cut off from the group? Did any require assistance?

The Imperials grab Zhel, who's still protesting that they can somehow win this fight, and fall back, heading to where shuttles might be found, but with plenty of covering fire as they fell back. Comms from the 22nd would tell a similar story, retreating Imperials.

Many in the fighting force are injured, however, mostly the civilians, and more than a few on the hillside that couldn't make the climb. The Cathar shouts for everyone to hold position. "We won, let's not get killed trying to win more!" he shouts, glaring at the Republic Captain making his own arguments on the subject.

Dassalya activates her wrist comm. "Captain I Don't Care, there may be additional Imperial shuttles departing the planet. Do you have the resources to intercept?"

She moves to the nearest wounded in cover and begins triaging injuries.

The first roars of shuttles sound as she hears I Don't Care's response. "We will try. The Imperial warships are losing this fight but they have not lost it yet. And if we were to 'sell out' for an intercept, we would expose ourselves to a flanking strike. What, prepare a flanking course. Soon, try to work out firing solutions in case we cannot close."

Shuttles roar, not that far off, lifting off, either to reach other soldiers needing evacuation or making for the stars themselves.

"Understood, Captain. I trust your judgement."

She turns her attention fully, then, to treating the injured.

Captain Brightstar muttered as he came close to Dassalya, helping with the triage. " you really? His pilot's name is 'Who'."

Dassalya decides to ignore that comment in favour of her work.

Those looking, up in orbit, as the string of Imperial dropships returned home, would see a few explosions, long-rage fire intercepting the retreating units, but not so many. In not too long, word would come down that the Imperials had retreated, albeit after losing most of their orbital fleet.

And, as Dassalya is treating another of the injured, a familiar brown hand drifts into view, helping keep pressure on a wound. "Hey."

Her eyes flick up to take in the face she knows so well. A smile flits across her lips, and then she returns her attention to the task at hand.

"I am glad to see you are here."

"I'd rather be seen somewhere else," Merrant says, smiling at her. "Has Gherrod given you much trouble yet?"

"I cannot say I have exchanged two words with him," she replies. With his help, she bandages the wounded civilian she's treating, administers a pain reliever, and relieves her into the care of her companions. Dassalya rises, looking about for others to assist.

An angry looking Cathar walks up to them. "...Jedi, couldn't you have done that faster?!" he growled, but beneath the angry face, Dassalya could see a bit of warmth and relief in the man.

"Wanted to disable it without blowing anything up. Harder than it sounds." Merrant gestured at Dassalya. "Knight Dassalya Nasadee, Mister Gherrod, local corner-store owner and part-time revolutionary.

Seeing no one in immediate need of her, Dassalya allows Gherrod the courtesy of her full attention. She bows her head at Merrant's introduction.

"I am happy to meet you, Mister Gherrod. I hope the next time may be under more favourable circumstances."

Gherrod sighed, looking her over. "You saved my city and everyone that I talked into fighting here. From a Sith too. Seems like a good circumstance to meet."

Merrant just rolls his eyes.

Dassalya, again, bows her head, but this time in acknowledgement of his gratitude. "I did not save it alone. You and yours had the courage to stand against the Empire. That is not a small feat to be ignored."

Gherrod nodded, then tries to bow his head like she did. "...I don't plan on ignoring it. But thanks. So, is this where you give me the speech about joining the Republic?"

"Do you wish to join the Republic?"

"No." He said, sighing. "But I want to join the Empire a lot less. I'm sure the politicians will fight over it. Assuming they didn't kill all our politicians."

"If you join the Republic, it is true that it will better be able to send you aid if the need should arise again," Dassalya says calmly. "However, if your world does not wish to join the Republic, then I will not attempt persuade you otherwise. Your fate should be yours to decide."

Captain Brightstar jogs up at that. "Got word that Lancer Squad manage to rescue your governor. I mean, the one that was here before. Not sure if that's good news or bad, but it's something." He quickly salutes the Jedi. "Any orders for us, ma'am? Abstello's holding orbit, pretty sure all the Imps scampered off."

She turns to Brightstar. "They may return in an attempt to recover their assets here. I feel it wise to remain a little longer to deter any such efforts and to offer aid to the people."

Once again, her attention shifts to Gherrod. "If you are amenable to our continued help, that is."

Gherrod blinks, then looks around. "...wait. When did I get put in charge?"

"When you started shouting," Merrant replied.

"At me," chimed in Brightstar.

Dassalya hides a brief smile.

"...fine," Gherrod muttered. "You are welcome here by me for as long as it takes for the politicians to find their ass with a map. That work?"

She nods. "It is." She looks to Brightstar. "You have your orders, sir."

Brightstar nods, then starts relaying orders into his comm, particularly about sweeping the city, checking the infrastructure, making sure that Sorialas City would be open for business tomorrow, and the days after. Gherrod goes after him, if only to make sure that the right things were given priority by the offworlders.

Meanwhile, Merrant just smiles at Dassalya. " time, you're coming on vacation with me."

She chuckles and shakes her head. "I believe we found ourselves in a similar state of trouble last time we attempted to go somewhere together, did we not?"

"Exactly. If I'm going to stumble into a giant mess of chaos, I want you with me." He smirks.

Another smile. "Yes. I do seem to have a way of getting you out of it, do I not? Come, let us see what else the people need of us."

Merrant nods, going off with Dassalya... and looking forward to going home.

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