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Author Topic: Fall of the Rancorous - Bluewing Descends  (Read 1328 times)

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Offline blingdenston

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Fall of the Rancorous - Bluewing Descends
« on: 08/17/15, 03:05:55 PM »
Rancorous planetfall +13 hours

"It is, quite frankly, out of the question," said the Muun, steepling his fingers.  The hologram's blue glow briefly whitened with static...signal noise rendering the instantaneous interstellar communication scratchy.

"With respect, Mister Demdal...this is no longer simply an IGBC concern," said Ran-del Qardaak, hands clasped before him.  "The Rancorous is an Imperial warship, and it will attract a response from the Empire....and Mygeeto is not merely an InterGalactic Banking Clan protectorate, but a Republic world.  Giving us access to the telemetric data from your sensor network could give us a vital leg-up on rescue operations."

"Under the Munificus Carta, resource-rich celestial bodies discovered and claimed by the Clan are subject to our Statutes of Secrecy.  We could no more share such secrets with you than we could the contents of a safety-deposit box on Aargau."  Frenn Demdal leaned forward, patronizing hauteur evident even through the hyperwave hologram.

"Besides, we are not completely unfamiliar with the Empire.  I'm certain that we'll be able to come to some sort of equitable, peaceful compromise with both them and the Republic."

Rancorous landing +60 hours

The comms in Ran-del's ear hissed, turning Supremacy Three's whistle into a popping mess.  "Sith's blood, look at it!  It's like Denon all over again..."

Ran-del's Flashfire rolled a 180, exposing his canopy to the high-albedo surface of Mygeeto 'above'.  The sun's radiance bounced almost completely from the surface of the ice-planet, but the blinding light was interdicted by the vast number of starships in orbit around the planet, turned from an icy glare to fingers of radiance reaching out between the engines of empire.

"Empire, Republic, IGBC...I don't recognize all of those cruisers to port," Ran-del murmured, flicking his eyes to his flight metrics to ensure that he remained in formation with the rest of Supremacy Squadron.

"Erinian and Chiss, Supremacy One...all the Galaxy's new and freakish friends, brought together to duke it out over the big doonium corpse down there," said Anra Keeg, the Duros ace known as 'Supremacy Two' and Ran-del's wingbeing for the action over Mygeeto.

Ran-del nodded, sighing.  How did they get here so quickly?  Mygeeto is Republic territory...an entire Sith fleet shouldn't have been able to get this far this fast!  He angrily reached up and switched on his canopy polarization, blocking out the planet's albedo and leaving his pale face cast in the blinking lights of his readouts.

Ever since he'd caught wind of the distress call, he'd had what Master Pallivik called 'the Itch'...the pressure of immanent action that he'd honed, through Jedi discipline, into precognitive insight.  It was the same Itch he'd gotten before the Dark Nexus Incident on Nar Shaddaa...when Eldarus Villem, for his own arcane reasons, planted  a collapsium bomb on the mantle-level of the Smuggler's Moon, threatening to crack it like an egg and kill everyone from the swamps to the skyscrapers.

He'd lost track of the ruthless martinet after then, absorbed in the attack on Tython by the Revanites, as well as more immediate targets than the untouchable Admiral.  But now...with his ship scuttled (revenge, perhaps, by the Erinians for his assaults against them?, he mused), there was a chance to bring the old man to justice.  Or, at least, to stop him before he did something desperate...something that could threaten Mygeeto as he had Nar Shaddaa...

"Kinrath One-Two!  Incoming missiles!" Ran-del snapped out of his reverie as Supremacy Seven's voice barked over the comms.  His eyes flicked to the scanner...hi-burn proton torpedoes...no enemy contacts. They couldn't be locked onto them...their sensor masks and small size meant that you had to get damn close to a starfighter to lock-on, and that gave them plenty of warning.  "Intercept!  Countermeasures and point-defense guns...keep that fusillade from hitting the Heroes of Karideph!"

Supremacy Squadron scrambled, moving with tactical precision, a baker's dozen white-and-red starfighters diving between danger and death.  Ran-del waved off the targeting computer, relying instead on his instincts and the quiet strength of the Force to guide his shots.  With the Heroes of Karideph at his keel and the incoming protorps at 11-o'-clock-high, he pulled back slightly on the yoke and breathed in, then let his breath hiss out as he worked his index finger, firing a line of blue bolts from his nose-cannons.

The first burst was a wash...he missed the comparitively miniature target by meters.  Around him, Supremacy Squadron hit the afterburners, trying to intersect with the missiles' paths and deploy anti-torpedo mines and ECM-blasts.  Ran-del worked his controls lightly, decreasing speed and breathing in again, the Flashfire's nose wiggling in the space before him as he filled his lungs, then slowly exhaled and flicked the trigger.

FLASH.  The torpedo went up in a shower of bouncing photons and scorched tibanna gas, the proton core undetonated.  Ran-del didn't stop, though.  As the rest of his squadron set about trying to interdict the torpedoes, he played his little breath-game, letting the Itch guide him, letting the echoes of the Force reverberate from infinity and into his nerves, orienting his shots by the will of the Force and the power of the Jedi.

He was able to sputter out enough laser-bolts to take out another two protorps before his flight carried him past the plane of attack.  He moved his finger away from the activation stud, and began breathing normally again, quickly checking his scanners to find the rest of the squadron and moving into formation with them.  Reports came in from the Heroes of Karideph...

"Shields at 82%!  Damage minimal.  Supremacy Squadron, Captain Sheridoth wishes you good hunting."  Ran-del smiled a bit at that...their combat patrol had just become an attack run.  He moved to position with Keeg as Supremacy Squadron oriented itself towards the Imperial lines and set out to find whoever had fired those torpedoes and make sure they couldn't do it again.

As he set his course and reallocated power to his engines, though, he looked up again at the ship-shrouded planet 'above'.  He felt the Itch...and knew, in his heart, that he would make planetfall sooner than later.
« Last Edit: 08/17/15, 04:13:30 PM by blingdenston »
Pehn Qardaak - Captain of the Rodomontade
Ran-del Qardaak - Big Time Space Hero
Lastagir - Hunter for hire, no plans to retire
Hyse Qardaak - Scholar and Warrior of Peace

Offline blingdenston

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Re: Fall of the Rancorous - Bluewing Descends
« Reply #1 on: 08/18/15, 02:46:20 PM »
Eldarus dialogue and scenario by @recoveringgeek, all pictures but last courtesy of @Stygus and @Brintte

Rancorous planetfall +73 hours

The Mygeetan wind was focused to knife-like chill as it raced over the corpse of the Rancorous.  The punishing wind made a forlorn wailing through the shattered recesses of the once-dreadnought that was only muted by the sound of explosions and blaster-fire from the chaos in the air and on the ground around it.  The only relief from it for the frantic survivors and the scavengers who made their way to it was in struggle...or death.

The conning tower leaned perilously, the floors twisted at an angle and the rents in the hull letting in jagged spears of cold blue light.  Furious as the wind pouring through was, though, it could not match the furor of two men locked in combat within.  One was old, proud, but stained and wounded...his dove-gray uniform and blood-red armoring torn and stained, his cruel face bent in rage as he let the Dark Side's power fuel his attacks.  The other was young, also proud, also wounded...his black tunic perforated with blaster near-misses, a scorched slash down his back showing where the Admiral had taken the early advantage.

Eldarus Villem lashed out with a jackbooted foot, causing Ran-del Qardaak to leap back.  He reoriented his grip on his archaic red-glowing lightsaber, the swept-hilt digging into his hand as he thrust forward to impale the Jedi Knight.  Ran-del stumbled, but, despite his pain and the speed of his enemy's attack, he brought his blue blade up to turn the point aside once, twice, then issued a short slashing gesture towards the Admiral's sword-hand, forcing him to come up short and check his attack.

Ran-del pushed forward, his waffle-soled boots scraping across the ice-rimed deckplates, pushing furiously to negate the advantage of Eldarus' high ground.  His knees bent, he stamped his foot, an appel; as the desperate Admiral drew his weapon close to guard against a thrust, Ran-del made a short, agile jump forward...a balestra, leading into a powerful lunge that nearly drove Eldarus' saber into his own chest.

The Jedi battered at the Sith, their hissing blades popping furiously in the cold wind as Ran-del's focused attack sapped at more and more of Eldarus' energy.  The Admiral growled, pushing back, trying to free his blade...but Ran-del would not yield.  The growl turned to a hoarse, phlegmy exhale, and Eldarus drew on main strength to check the flurry, pressing the forte of his saber against Ran-del's, locking the sparking blades and pushing down on the young Knight, closing to within spitting distance.

"Have you been to the deepest, coldest corners of our Galaxy?" Villem asked, his face red with death-rage.

"Yes!" Ran-del growled, trying to resolve the lock, moving his feet for more leverage and finding Eldarus' superior position adamant.

The Admiral shook his head, almost sadly.  "I...have been to the Unknown Regions...I have...seen them."  Eldarus squinted his eyes with a chill, desperate passion, pushing against Ran-del's saber and shoving him backwards as much with the Force as his body.  As the Jedi stumbled back, Villem rushed him, taking to the air like a raptor and slamming his saber into his foeman's.

"They are...they are coming for all of us." the Admiral wheezed, each bitter proclamation followed by a brutal stroke that numbed Ran-del's arms and threatened to shatter his defense.  "This...this war?  It is a game to them.  We are toys.  They will break us, as this ship breaks."

Ran-del gritted his teeth and, as Eldarus raised his saber for the final blow, broke left.  He threw himself to the ground in a shoulder-roll, the Admiral's saber sinking into the deckplates where, a second before, the Jedi had been.  Ran-del lashed out with a kick, glancing the Admiral's knee as he struggled to recover from his powerful stroke.  The Jedi rushed back to his feet, pressing the attack, but Eldarus' flailing retreat kept Ran-del from bringing his saber in close.  Instead, the younger man brought the pommel of his saber against the Admiral's mouth with a crack, drawing blood and staggering him backwards.

"You're speaking nonsense!" Ran-del shouted, following his pommel-strike with in-fighting, striking at Eldarus' saber with the forte and middle-third of his blade, trying to capitalize on Eldarus' staggering.  "You're trying to justify the horrors you've wrought, on the Galaxy and yourself!"

"No," Eldarus said, blood on his lips, "They are coming.  They will strike now, at our weakest.  They will come, and nothing we do will stop that."  The old Admiral slumped, his saber dipping, his guard at lowest ebb.

Ran-del checked his instincts, forwent the killing stroke.  He pointed his saber at Eldarus, face etched with wary confusion.  "Then end this!  Stop this madness and end the conflict!"

Eldarus shook his shaggy head, hissing saber hung at his side, shoulders slumped.  He breathed in the ferociously cold air in hoarse gasps, eyes cast down.  "These Empires we cling to, Jedi...they will fall.  As has my chance to save them..." He looked down at Ran-del, eyes briefly dull and face etched with sorrow.  "...as has my chance to save my son."

The Jedi gestured with his saber, his own face desperate.  He plead: "Nothing ends unless you give up on it!  If you surrender...if you give in to despair, then despair will always win!"

"This is the end...prepare yourself," the Admiral said, straightening his weary shoulders and standing proud, face flecked with freezing blood.

"'Death, yet the Force.'"

Eldarus lifted his saber, face twisting into a masque of furious pride, eyes darkening to the color of wine and pus.  "Only your death!"  The Admiral swelled with the Dark Side, reaching out and clawing a hand at Ran-del.  The Jedi's windpipe suddenly closed off with a sickening squelch as tremendous pressure settled in over his throat.

Ran-del gasped a final breath, then began to struggle against the invisible ligature, eyes wide and face pale as the Sith-trained tyrant stalked down towards him, his twisted hand closing ever tighter as he ripped the life from the Knight.

Ran-del felt death rushing on...first would come the sudden black-out as his oxygen-deprived brain shunted consciousness in an effort to maintain itself.  He'd slump to the deck, and Eldarus would finish him with a single stroke.  The Jedi tried to remember all of his training, seeking every secret mantra and Force-technique...anything to keep him aloft.

He found it near the surface, a white-hot rage...an anger and a fury at the Admiral's weakness and blindness.  He grabbed onto it.  ENOUGH!  He lashed out with his off-hand, thrusting out with the Force and catching the Admiral amidships.  The old man went flying backwards, lightsaber lost and tumbling through a rent in the floor as Eldarus plowed into a precipice of twisted doonium extending like a broken bone out from the shattered hull, over the far blue surface of Mygeeto below.

Eldarus skidded to a halt, armor making a hideous screech against the deckplates.  With inhuman agility he threw himself back to his feet, reaching out to strike again with the Dark Side at the Jedi.  But the Jedi was already there...he bounded like a grim specter over the rent in the deck, twisted in midair, and struck, driving his saber into the Admiral's chest.

Eldarus' eyes went blank, his mouth slack.  As Ran-del twisted his saber and dragged it free of his torso, Villem staggered and plunged, head over feet, into the bright and icy abyss beneath.

Ran-del's saber hung loosely at his side as he walked slowly to the edge.  He looked down, saw the shattered Admiral's body far, far below.  They will come, and nothing we do will stop that.  Ran-del stood in the screaming cold and shivered.

« Last Edit: 08/24/15, 05:43:04 AM by blingdenston »
Pehn Qardaak - Captain of the Rodomontade
Ran-del Qardaak - Big Time Space Hero
Lastagir - Hunter for hire, no plans to retire
Hyse Qardaak - Scholar and Warrior of Peace