Star Wars: Total War (Closed, Started)

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Viking Incognito:
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Caster Udea
Unhappy with suddenly being jerked out of his chair, Caster nevertheless kept a calm face.

"The Empire, eh? Which one? The Empire that Palpatine would use to commit genocide, or the one that Thrawn is basically running in the time being? I'd be hesitant to try scam either side if I were you."

Rez's arm gripped tighter around his neck, pulling him away. "Now now, not too tight, you wouldn't want to damage the bounty now would you? I just hope that you are satisfied with working for the Imperials, with what little they're offering....."

Stalydan:
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drmigit2:
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Xyras stood, still hooded and fully robed, stood amongst the bodies.
The Gamorreans had fallen with ease, their clumsy, untamed strength being no match for a Jedi Master's honed expertise.
He switched his saber off, as he looked around him. A large crowd had gathered, woken in the night by the sounds of battle. Most were stunned, others fearful, but a few were pushing their way through. They seemed aggressive, and Xyras immediately clicked why: Bounty hunters.
'I should've known, a bloodbath in the street, and with a Jedi no less, will attract some of the more deadly folk...' he thought. He knew full well that the Empire was pulling the tactic the old CIS did in the days of the Clone Wars: High bounties for Jedi heads.
On a planet like Tattooine, word would get around fast, and to the most interested ears.

He acted quickly. 'No need for more blood to be shed, but if they insist..' He thought, turning tail and running. He leapt onto the roof of a house as blaster fire headed his way.
Xyras knew his agility would evade most of them, but if...
The familiar sound of a jetpack filled the dull night, as two of the bounty hunters soared above the building and continued raining fire upon the Jedi.
'Quite the mistake..' Xyras thought, as they had now made themselves more obvious targets with the orange flames lighting them up.

While he could not clearly see their bodies, he knew roughly where to deflect the shots by the flames visible from the pack. As they fired, he deflected the shots, and one of them hit one of the bounty hunters square in the chest. He fell with a scream, and Xyras heard the thump as he hit the ground.
The other bounty hunter was clearly of different stock, however, and dodged all deflected shots with surprising skill.
Xyras could've sworn he saw a Mandalorian-style helmet at first glance, but he couldn't be sure in both the dark and the primary focus of the battle.

This was going nowhere. Xyras decided the best course of action would be to simply end the battle, and while he wasn't keen on the idea of using his Force powers due to the dishonour involved, he turned, and reached out with the Force. For a brief moment, he allowed his passion to seep through him, for the balance a Jedi must always maintain to be tilted, and he felt a surge of control and power.
The armoured bounty hunter stopped suddenly, and plummeted to earth, landing hard on the sandy ground.
Xyras took the opportunity, and sprinted as far as he could away from the commotion.
Taking refuge in an abandoned hut, he decided to wait it out a couple of hours, at least until dawn.

mcpop9:
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Redryhno:
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"Ya, ok." Del said as he caught his lightsaber. He could see to two remaining Commandos waking up. Del walked over and knelled beside them. "Are you guys alright?" he asked. They both answered in the affirmative. "Ok. Head to the infirmary, get yourself checked out. I'll meet you there in a little, you missed a lot." Del helped them to their feet and sent them in their way.

Del removed his helmet and tucked it beneath his arm as he walked over to the bridge's view port. After looking out at the destroyed city, he turned to Pana. "How do you plan to take on the Republic, Empire, and Sith all at once?"

TheBlueShotgun0:
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"Very simple running this kind of war. You attack the enemy supply lines, if any, gather forces to engage in larger battles, retreat once you have completed your objective. Send in mercenaries as decoys to draw off the smaller force while you blow holes in the hangar and the majority of the flagships." He looked Karcot directly in the eyes with that comment, and laughed when he saw the man's eyes harden, and his hands gripped the lightsabre a moment before gaining control of himself.

He hasn't risen to his full power, but he can't hold back that rage forever.

"This Sith temple has been lost for the past couple of centuries. Think what you will of Sith artifacts, Karcot, they will help achieve more goals than a hundred Destroyers filled to the seams with veteran troopers and droids ever could. While on the planet, there will be crystals you will need to reconstruct you sabre."

Soviet Heavy:
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Viking Incognito:
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Vorir Beldra
While Rez had Caster in his arm and the Mandalorian newcomer had his blaster pistol on the crowd and the old man, a man, nearly undistinguishable amongst the crowd of young smugglers and crooks, sat and sipped at his caffeine drink. The man watched the events unfold before him with slight amusement; the old man seemed confident that he would be making out of this situation unscathed when he appeared to pose no real threat. The young man at the far end of the crowd raised an eyebrow as the old man almost unnoticeably reach within his robes and withdrew a small metallic object; his movement easily missed by someone without a clear view and lacking the eyes of a trained marksman.

Deft hands for an old man, he thought.

With a quick push of a button, an audible beeping could be heard from underneath the table. The old man sitting down with his hands beneath the table eased in the chair, leaned back and took a sip from his drink. After sating his thirst, he set the drink back down and a wisp of a smile cracked on the corners of his mouth.

"You hear that?" He asked in a low rasp, "A fairly distinguishable sound, wouldn't you agree? In my hand I hold a thermal detonator capable of vaporizing myself, Caster, you, and whomever that Mandalorian over there may be as well as everyone in this cantina."

"Yes, that's right, everyone. So I don't wanna see any movement 'til me and my friend here are finished." Briefly, the old man scanned the large crowd of people around them as he spoke. He then turned his attention to the one holding Caster. "Well, you may want to sit down, but stand if you prefer; so long as you understand we're going to be here for a while. So, tell me, why did you choose to side with the Empire? As far as your files read, you're just a mercenary out for your next payment. Now, sure the Empire pays well, but you're taking a massive leap, going from merc to soldier. And who's to say Thrawn won't kill you and space your useless corpse once you've returned to him? Surely you must know how merciless of a killer he is."

"Well, it's been a while since I found myself in a situation like this." Rez said, unimpressed.

The sound of men rapidly pushing their way through the crowd could be heard, the rest of the Lance crew was coming quickly.

Rez kept his guns where they were, as did Thresh.

"To answer your question," Rez said "I am no one's soldier. But you would have to be a moron to realize that sooner or later, everyone will need to pick a side. This isn't some gang war on the outer rim, this is a war that will decide who runs the galaxy. You used to work for the Empire and you say Thrawn is a killer, but do you really think he doesn't see the same thing? If I declined his offer, I would have no choice but to work for the Republic, and he wouldn't allow that. But you're right. I shouldn't trust him and I don't."

At this point four more mercs showed up, weapons ready. Thresh gave them a silent shaking of his head, and they all stopped just outside the range of the detonator. They understood they shouldn't get involved.

"Now That we have this peaceful moment, I think we should clear the air." Rez continued. "I'mm willing to put all this aside and leave. We already have the up-front pay, and I'm sure we could get quite a sum by selling the information we have gotten so far. But I just want to know something. What the hell is your plan? Why are you running off with Udea here? I feel at this point, the least you could do is tell me that."

mcpop9:
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Redryhno:
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Del looked at Grissk with a look of hatred. "Ya, maybe I'll tag along then." he said. "I should go check on my men." Del walked towards the elevator. "Watch yourself, Grissk." he said as he passed the alien. "I'll have to field test that new saber eventually." He stepped into the elevator and keyed for the infirmary.

The elevator stopped it's decent and the doors opened to a hallway. Del followed the signs to the med center to see a female Bith assessing his men's wounds. "Are they ok?" he asked as he entered.

"They'll survive." the Bith said, clearly dissatisfied that she was treating an enemy. She then forcefully shut her medicine bag and stormed out of the room. Del thanked her, but she gave no sign that she had heard him.

Del then turned to the two men. Both had their helmets off. One, the sergeant, sat on a table while the other leaned against it. "So whats goin' on, boss?" asked the sergeant.

Del sighed. This was going to be hard to explain. "We're going to be working with these guys for a bit."

"With the Sith?" said the other Commando, skepticism in his voice.

"Not exactly." said Del. "These guys have split off from Ryn'Talos. They're sort of a separate faction now."

"And they've allied with the Empire?" asked the sergeant.

"No. They're against everyone." Del said.

"So why are we helping them?" said the Commando, standing up strait now. Del could see he was getting angry.

"Because if we don't they'll space use, that's why." Del commanded. He didn't need these two men questioning his orders; they were the only true allies he had on this ship. "I don't like this anymore than the next guy, but it's preferable to getting killed."

"So if they make a move against the Empire, we're just suppose to play along?" That was the same Commando.

"Of course not. Trust me, we'll be getting off this ship and back to the Empire ASAP. But until then we play it cool, understand?" The first "yes, sir" came from the sergeant, but the other hesitated for just a moment. Del hoped he wouldn't be a problem. "There's one more thing you should know" he continued. This was going to be hard to explain, but they had a right to know. "Before it detonated, the bomb was put on a starfighter and flown into the Avenger's hanger. When I triggered it, it destroyed a big part of the ship and killed a lot of crewmen."

The Commando's looked at each other, then back at Del. "Well, sir" said the sergeant "It sounds to me like it wasn't very much your fault. You pulled that trigger with the intention of giving your live in service to the Empire. There was no shame in your actions."

"Thank you sergeant." It was comforting to hear somebody say it. "Now clean yourselves up, find a dorm, and check your equipment. Pana's sending us to an old Sith temple, and I'm bringing you two with me. Your dismissed."

TheBlueShotgun0:
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mcpop9:
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"Your fall on the field did not come from your sabre failing. You and I both know that, Karcot. Do not threaten me."

Karcot entered the elevator and left, Grissk took the leather mask from his face and tucked it away inside his breastplate. He walked towards Pana.

"Are you sure of this Imperial, Pana? It didn't take much to turn him to our side, at least for the time being. I know few of the weapons both the Republic and Empire carry, but do you know of any material that is able to not be split in twain from a clash with a lightsabre? You were an artificer once before. Don't avoid the question if you know the answer, you owe me that much.

"Also, you know that you need me for the excursion at this temple, you can no more understand old Sith than almost anyone on board, besides me."

He knew that he was walking a dangerous line here, but he needed to know her positions on a few of the issues cropping up. Not knowing would be infinitely more dangerous, a careless misstep later could cost him his head, and Scorekeeper would not allow him to be taken into her world should that happen. He fully intended to become the strongest he could possibly be, and that Imperial was simply another obstacle when he decided to fight, a good obstacle as well, his head would bring him many points.

Viking Incognito:
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Soviet Heavy:
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Vorir Beldra, Abregado-rae
"So, doing away with Thrawn's leash, are you? Taking the money and running, as it were? Quite a bold move. Definitely one not to be taken so lightly." The old man paused a moment and took a sip of his drink before continuing. "As for the information, I can't help but have the curiousity to know just what it is you have to sell. However, before we move along any further, I would like you to release our good friend Caster. It sure would make me feel substantially less uneasy if you showed some sign that you're really stepping down."

The young man that sat at the far end of the cantina moved around, using the crowd as cover, to get a clearer view of the situation without making himself conspicuous. He was certain the only reason they were still here was to watch the carnage, should a skirmish ensue. The armed men that had recently arrived only strengthened their suspicions and made a few of the patrons anxious.

Viking Incognito:
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Mortis Nuncius:
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Caster Udea
"If I may add," Caster interjected, "Beldra has yet to decide if he wishes to work for me. However, the offer is still open should you desire more credits. You can find I am a very persuasive bargainer. It could be fun!"

The crowd looked on in a mixture of disinterest and anticipation as the standoff continued.

Tiger Sora:
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Captain Pirate:
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Tarr Voxin, Nar Shaddaa
"You boys have been at it for five hours now." said the servant droid with an irritatingly sweet voice. "Don't you think your bodies should take a rest? My sensors indicate that the Kiffar is reaching the limits of his alcohol tolerance. Perhaps one of you should take him ho-"

The serving droid's voice was cut off by a loud bang as its head exploded. Tarr tucked his smoking pistol back into its holster and went back to drinking.

"Soo," he slurred. "Got'ny jobsh liiiineed up, wolf laddy? Could do with summmm cheerin'up."

Soviet Heavy:

Captain Pirate:
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Nova set her drink down, well.... spilled it is more appropriate. It probably would of landed intact if Tarr hadn't gone and shot the servant droid. "I'sh doyn't have anythinnnng lined up yet. Styll need to collect the last one. I hear that Imperial Thrawwwyyyyyn is looking for high skills, thinking of geeting some work there. I'm sure he'd looove to have the bestest most skiiled bounty unter in the halaxy on staff. Maybee you'll can tag along"? Nova slumped over the table, she'd had it. Five hours of drinking had done her in. There was gona be hell to pay in the morning if no goons are able to track her down for killing that Hut before hand.

Drokath's eyes opened wide at the outset of dawn. He could feel that Hann and Xyras were seperated, a smile formed on his face. Now is the time. He pulled out a small rectangular object and pushed a few buttons. The Empire will be here in minutes, if I plan to grab Hann then I have to do it now. Stun him, take him on the ship, kill Xyras.

He donned his trader's outfit once again, though now his lightsaber was hidden in his sleeves. As he rushed to where Hann was staying he could hear the Imperial ship landing in the distance. They were earlier than he expected, this would have to be fast. Most likely Xyras would escape otherwise.

As he ran down he felt more free than ever, despite the fact that in all honesty chains were being sent at him in a record speed. The look of Tattoine early in the morning with both suns approaching the horizon is unrivaled. He took it in knowing that one way or the other, it would be a long time before he could ever see this again. In the distance he could see the apartment complex in which he housed the Jedi. He was right, Xyras was the one absent, the force beckoning from the room was much weaker than he had seen in the master. He slowed his pace as he entered the complex and made his way to his target. He approached the door to the apartment and knocked a few times, sounding urgent. As Hann opened the door he said in a worried tone "Hurry, the Empire is landing ships, they want our heads! Where is your master?"

Captain Pirate:
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drmigit2:
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"I don't know! The last time I saw him, he was fighting some Hutt cartel men sent by a Sith. I tried looking for them but I lost them in the town. I came out and saw a couple of injured mercs in the street and presumed that Xyras had ran back here. I went in his room to check on him but he wasn't there. I've been trying to find him but I think he might be suppressing his presence in case of any more Sith" Hann said to Kendet as he was told the news.

"We've got to find him. He might be strong but he's not going to be able to take out a whole landing fleet himself!"

Rez jerked the arm he had around Udea's neck, shutting him up and making him cough.

"I'd like to let him go but I can't trust you won't kill me anyway. How about this, you deactivate your bomb, and at the same time, I'll let Udea go and holster my weapon and Thresh will do the same. My men waiting outside however, will help us escort the two of you somewhere more private to talk so these people can drink in peace. How does that sound?"

Soviet Heavy:
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Tiger Sora:
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drmigit2:
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Stalydan:
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Delras Zez, Nar Shaddaa

'I guess someone had to be the conscious one..' Zex thought as he watched Nova slip off, and Tarr didn't look far off. Besalisk's were naturally more resistant to alcohol than smaller species, and Delras wasn't drinking much anyway, so he had remained rather sober.
As he went to take a sip of his light drink, he heard a loud noise outside. A clunky looking ship landed outside the bar, and out walked four armoured men with rifles.
Bounty Hunters, come to claim Nova for her business with the Hutts.

Delras turned around hurriedly. Nova still unconscious, Tarr vaguely aware of where they were.
"Damnit!" He shouted, as he drew all four of his blaster pistols and kicked the door open, charging outside.
"Come on then, you impotent scum!" He yelled, opening fire. A quick barrage left one of them dead on the ground, steam rising from his lifeless chest, as the other 3 headed for cover.
He shot another in the leg as he ran, and while he stumbled, Delras finished him with a clean headshot.

By this time another two combatants had exited the ship: One was simply a human wielding a rifle, and he got into a firing position as he saw Zex. The second, however was a far more formidable foe: A Destroyer droid. Delras had heard of old CIS models being re-purposed by third parties, and this one, repainted in black and green and with extra arm blasters, was terrifying evidence.
Its shields activated, and Delras ran back inside as the droid attempted to blast him apart.
"Tarr! Get Nova behind the bar!" He shouted, holstering two blasters in favour of thermal detonators.

Xyras, Tattooine
Morning had come. Xyras exited his hovel, and made his way back to where he had been staying with Hann and Kendet.
Glancing at the sky, Xyras faltered in surprise. Enormous, dark, triangular shapes filled the sky: Star Destroyers.
The Empire had come to Tattooine.
They were approaching fast, and in the distance Xyras saw some landing.
'Finally, they've invaded such a neutral planet..' He thought, as he ran into the apartment.
"Hann, Mr Kendet! We must leave, the Empire is here!" He explained, as he pulled out a small, remote-looking device. "It is lucky I planned for such an occasion that I would be separated from my ship..." He said, tapping a few buttons.
At a puzzled look from Hann, he elaborated, "It remotely controls it. I should be able to pilot it over to us and land outside the city, then we can get off this planet and alert the Republic to the Empire's invasion here..."

As the trio exited the city, the familiar red Firespray approached, and landed in front of them.
"Mr Kendet, welcome aboard the Target." Xyras introduced, running up the landing pad and making his way to the pilot's chair, as the Stay Destroyers were now very close to the surface of the planet, some already dropping the invasion forces off.
Blaster fire was heard in the distance, as the Hutt clans' men and the hostile natives fought back for their own neutrality.

Captain Pirate:
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drmigit2:
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Climbing aboard the Target, Hann went to the cockpit and activated the planetary distress beacons encoded with the message "Under Empire attack. Send support ASAP". It would be a day at the latest before any big amount of help would arrive; most of the troops stationed would have left by now. Not all of them but enough to give the Empire a better chance of taking the planet.

"Master, I'm going to check supplies and perform diagnostics on the new parts. It won't affect the ship but I'll be gone for a few hours" he said as he finished sending out the message to the Republic channels. Hann went down into the maintenance hatch to start the programs and check over the upgrades. He looked over many of the new parts to check they were correctly placed and functioning properly. They seemed to be okay but he would have to wait until while to see if that was true.

As he made his way back into the loading bay to check supplies, he heard a clattering sound as a metal canister hit the floor and rolled out from behind a crate. Knowing something was behind them, Hann picked them up with the force to reveal a Jawa cowering in fear next to the wall.

"<Don't kill me!>" it said as Hann put the crates back down as he walked around behind them to lead it out to the middle of the loading bay.

"How did you get in here?" he asked.

"[I was doing the repairs on the ship and slept here last night because the cantina wouldn't let me stay]"

"Hmmm... you don't seem to be lying" Hann replied, looking at the small robed creature. Relaxing, he shouted up towards the cockpit "Master Xyras. I think we have a new crew member... not sure if you're going to like it or not though"

This...this was unexpected

Drokath did not expect the Empire to take a full invasion force down over a couple Jedi, there had to be something larger on Tattoine or they would have simply hired additional bounty hunters, either way this was getting on his nerves. He climbed aboard the Target and began looking around, it was much nicer than his little trader's ship. Though he had backups, he kind of hoped he would be able to bring back the little vessel, it had kept him alive through much more than this.

"If you think we can escape an entire Imperial invasion force on a small ship like this then you have some form of death wish. That S.O.S signal could be our saving grace if we simply find a good place to hide. One has to wonder what the empire would want though, I highly doubt they would commit this much to killing a trader and two Jedi."

Drokath contemplated calling in the Sith Ascendents but they were busy with other battles and Tattoine could hardly be called important enough for a counter invasion. He almost had Hann too, he cursed in his head and began to go through counter plans.

Then, a realization hit Drokath, with Grubo dead the Empire could take the city within minutes. Whatever leadership had formed would be broken and the Empire would be crawling in this location.

"Xyras, Grubo the Hutt is not a very powerful leader, pretty up in coming actually, I don't think he will hold out long. We need to go now! The Empire will have this city very quickly."

Viking Incognito:
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Mortis Nuncius:
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Caster Udea
"I'd be more than happy to do so, my friend. However, I do feel that you owe these patrons something for your transgression. We can take this outside as soon as you're ready, but surely if you want to keep them off your back, something must be done to placate them. This can be a dangerous place after all."

Caster glanced around the cantina, examining all the patrons, their emotions mixed with anger and fear. Come on, Vorir, what are you waiting for? Stop sitting there and do something!

Captain Pirate:
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Tiger Sora:
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Tarr Voxin, Nar Shaddaa
The sudden blaster fire was dimmed by Tarr's intoxication. Sliding off the table with Nova in hand, his psychometric power accidentally went off, telling him a lovely story about the life of his liquor glass from the assembly line to its service of drinks and other fluids he'd rather not think about. Sliding behind the bar counter, Tarr fired blindly over the counter top, eliciting screams. He wasn't quite sure if they were the ones he wanted to hit, but the sound made him feel fuzzy inside.

"You didn'tell me thatsh you were being chashed," he slurred. "Where'sh the fun in hidning thatsh form me?"

CJ1145:
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Katarn, Mon Calamari Orbit
A handful of the mercenaries had backed out, but most had stuck with Katarn and the New Republic. The Troopship cut through the atmosphere and into orbit. They were met with an unpleasant sight. Hundreds of starships had been reduced to drifting hulks, their atmospheres long since expended, leaving dead scrap metal in their wake. Between the destroyed ships, Katarn was amazed and horrified to find that the remnants were still fighting. Any sane person would have long since abandoned the conflict as a lost cause, but the Sith and Imperial ships continued to duel in the wreckage of their brethren.

Five Star Destroyers, their hulls burned black and with smoke trailing down to the planet, formed a bulwark of the remaining Imperial Fleet. The Sith Ships were scattered but relentless, some resorting to ramming Imperial ships. But the sight that dimmed Katarn's hopes the most was of the burning shipyards. The station that they had defended hours earlier was aflame, with entire sections listing away from the station where they were sheared off by concentrated Turbolaser fire.

"Where are we headed sir?" asked one of the SpecForce soldiers." The man sounded tired, weary and crushed. Mon Calamari would hold for now, but the cost to all sides had been severe. It was a vicious battle, but the Shipyards would have to stand on their own, for what they were worth.

"Reports say that the Empire has attacked Tatooine." said Katarn. "From the ocean to the desert."

TheIronRuler:
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Sarik, Vjun
Sarik wondered if Julia knew that Whiphids from his clan tended to avoid mountains. The jagged rocks were treacherous, and the sheer drops to either side made him feel as though he was trapped. Still, she pressed onwards and upwards, leaving him to trail behind her.

"How much further until we reach the top?" he called. She didn't answer him immediately, and kept climbing. How much further was it to this temple and its Scepter?

Soviet Heavy:

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.
Julia took another breath from her inhaler and looked back at the view of a dead planet. Underneath her was Sarik struggling to climb on the unstable terrain of the mountain. She took in another breath. Julia looked up and caught a glimpse of what appeared to be the entrance. "I can see it!", she cried out to Sarik. She dashed forward and jumped up, her hands struggling to keep up with her pace. She eventually reached stable ground and stood at the mouth of a cave, the damp air only added to Julia's feeling of curiosity.

She took another breath from the inhaler and stared down at Sarik. Julia helped him up to the platform, "I won't make fun of humans... any time soon", Sarik said while trying to catch his breath. Julia reached for her handbag and held a small disk in her hand, after pressing a button on it the disk began to emit a bright light. Julia raised it up and peered into the cave, "Lets go", she said and Sarik followed.

Inside were the crumbling walls of the cave, half collapsed hieroglyphs littered every corridor, telling a different tale in the language or the Sith. Julia took another breath from her inhaler, "This planet is bad for my lungs", she said under her breath.

TheIronRuler:
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Sarik, Vjun
The cave walls slowly but surely gave away to smoother, engraved sides of an ancient corridor. The light of their glow rods cast twisting shadows across the iconography, the letters dancing in the bobbing lights. The air was dry and dusty, like an old crypt that lay undisturbed for thousands of years. The close walls muffled the sound of their footsteps as the pair delved deeper into the Temple.

The corridor continued on for what felt like miles. It took them nearly an hour to reach its end. The entryway opened up into a much larger cavern, filled with looming totems covered with the carvings of ancient Sith Lords. Great spires connected the ground with the ceiling, their twisted shapes rising like pillars of flame and ice. Sarik's fur bristled. There was something unsettling about the architecture of the palace. a buzzing noise filled his ears, and he thought he heard whispers. When he tried to focus, the sounds disappeared.

"Any idea on where this Scepter might be housed?" he asked. The room of pillars stretched out in every direction, a chamber so large that his light barely illuminated the area around them. They pushed forward, unsure of what lay ahead. Sarik felt apprehensive about continuing further, but Julia persisted, and he kept his feelings to himself. The whispers were getting louder.

Soviet Heavy:

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.
The light in Julia's hand grew as she pressed the button harder and the disk managed to illuminate the entire wall in front of her. What she saw was a row of magnificent almost perfectly preserved statues of men and women holding actual swords of the olden days. In the middle was a small corridor leading to a statue much larger and detailed than the others. This one, however, held a different item than the others near him. Julia recognized it as the staff.

"This is it!"m Julia cried out and ran towards the corridor. She stopped before entering it and took another breath from her inhaler. "Sarik, we found the scepter", Julia said and signaled him to follow her. She took a few steps into the corridor and felt the ground itself shake.

Landing on a pressure plate, Julia brought a stone wall down from the roof of the cave, effectively blocking her way out and leaving her alone in the small corridor staring at the face of a Sith Lord holding the Sceptor. "Sarik?", Julia cried out nervously. She took another breath from her inhaler. "SARIK?", she shouted through the stone.

TheIronRuler:
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Sarik
I knew this was a bad idea...
"Julia!" he shouted, clambering up the collapsed wall. The dust choked the light from his glow rod, making it impossible to see. He didn't hear a response. Silence swept in, surrounding him. The light dimmed further, before going out altogether. That wasn't right, it had a full charge just moments ago.

Then the voices started again, their chorus growing louder and louder. Strange words he didn't understand began filling his head as he stumbled through the darkness. Sarik could have sworn he saw shapes moving in the dark. Drawing his pistol, he began chasing the shadows. One of the wisps offered a hand to him, but as he took it, it disappeared, laughing. Frustrated, he fired his blaster off into the distance.

"Show yourself!" he cried. "What have you done with her?!"

The voices crept into his mind, speaking to his baser thoughts. Sarik clutched the sides of his skull, grimacing at the pain as the shadows skewered him with black spears. The pain was unbearable. Screaming, he scrambled to his feet. Looking down, there was no spear tip in his chest as he had felt, but the pain continued.

Moaning, he lashed out, firing his blaster again into the darkness. "Where are you?" he shouted.

"Right here."

Soviet Heavy:
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Viking Incognito:
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"You'll have to excuse me," the old man said, "but the idea of being 'escorted' by armed men to some place away from witnesses isn't very comforting. No, we'll find some place with plenty of people that aren't so...tense. First thing's first, on my count we'll both put away our weapons and talk under more civilized conditions. Deal?"

The old man smirked a bit as Rez nodded. "Good. Three...two...one."

In tandem, Rez's crew had put away their weapons, Udea was free from Rez's hold, and a rapid set of beeps resembling the deactivation of a thermal detonator was heard from beneath the table.

"Absolutely remarkable, it appears I can trust you. For now, at least..." the old man said. A good portion of the patrons seemed to be at ease now that there appeared to be no immediate danger to their well-beings. The old man brought his hand above the table an revealed 'thermal detonator' which was, in actuality, a small datapad which he laid atop the table. He couldn't help but smile as he stood from his seat and removed from his ear a small comms reciever and set it on the table as well. "Now, I must be off. Not without my payment, of course."

The young man watching from the crowd stepped forward and tossed a credit chit to the old man who snatched it out of the air and waved it cheerily at the young man before stepping away. The young man sat at the recently emptied chair, set his caffeine drink on the table and pocketed the datapad with comms earpiece. Looking from Rez to Caster, Vorir gestured to a couple empty chairs at the table as he spoke, "Please, sit down. Order a drink. Hell, order the whole cantina a drink while you're at it - it's the least you could do for disrupting the peace."

Stalydan:
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drmigit2:
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Xyras ran down to the cargo bay, and saw the Jawa.
"Let him stay, will be good to have someone extra to watch the ship I suppose." He decided, smiling warmly at the diminutive creature. It nodded eagerly, as Xyras pondered some things.
"Hmm.." He began, "I vote we stay here, and await Republic reinforcements. We'll only be reassigned to this planet if we leave, anyway. We could park the ship somewhere and begin fighting the Stormtroopers in the city. Mr Kendet, you're free to join us, or you can stay somewhere safe if you wish."
Xyras returned to the cockpit, and began trying to contact Kyle Katarn to see when reinforcements would arrive.
The comm hologram flickered, and the familiar, friendly bearded face appeared in transparent blue.
"Master Katarn, how long roughly before your battlegroups arrive on Tattooine?"

Captain Pirate:

Stalydan:
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drmigit2:
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Drokath thought carefully, Katarn is coming now? This is not good, the more Jedi around the worse I will fare. I guess I will have to play this act for a while.
"Considering my alternative is dealing with the Empire by myself, I will stick around with the highly trained warriors with glowing doom sticks. If you need a gun or a pilot, you have my services at your disposal."

As Drokath looked out the window, he could see in the distance the palace of Grubo, or what remains, it is still a shining beacon in the desert, but that is mostly because of the smoldering ashes that remain. By now the Empire was probably nearing the city and were setting up to invade it. Soon, hundreds, maybe thousands of soldiers will be barging in and with Kendet's bad rep with the Empire thanks to some shady dealings and more than a few dead storm troopers, this would be an unwelcome visit.

TheIronRuler:
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Sarik
The spectral figure came into view, faintly illuminated in a sickly green light. It looked like Julia, but it wasn't. There was something wrong with the figure. Sarik couldn't place what it was, but the... thing appeared more grotesque than anything he had ever seen before. And yet, it was strangely alluring in its own revolting way.

"You're not Julia." he dismissed. "What do you want with me?"

"I want to give you what you want." the Julia specter's words flowed silkily from its lips. "Stop deluding yourself. Why did you help her? You could have left her to die at Gasanda's hands, you could have given her back to the Hutts on Kor Desilijic and walked away rich. But you didn't, and I know why?"

Sarik turned away. He wasn't going to listen to this thing. "I did what I had to. I'm fed up with the Hutts walking across everyone. She gave me a chance to escape, and I took it. There's nothing else to it, no matter what you think I feel."

Julia's eyes glowed. "Ah, but I think there is something else to it, Sarik. I know how you look at her. I know what you feel. You seem so.... protective of her. You're almost... jealous in your attempts to safeguard her. Surely its not out of any paternal instinct. You've been gone from your clan far too long to remember such a thing. No, I think it is something else that drives you: Companionship."

Sarik's fur bristled. "I'm not listening to this. And I'm leaving here, with Julia. Get your claws out of my head, witch." he started away from the specter, descending into the pitch black dark of the temple.

"Don't turn from me so quick!" screeched the specter. Sarik felt a sudden tug, before violently being twisted to face the not-Julia. Her features had changed. Long fangs and elongated talons replaced fingers and teeth, the green light of her eyes turning coal black. The thing gave a leery grin. "You still haven't seen what I can offer you......"

There was a blinding flash, and suddenly, Sarik was no longer within the temple. Where he was, well, that was the new question.

Mortis Nuncius:
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Viking Incognito:
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Caster Udea, Abregado Rae
Caster clapped his now free hands. "Nicely done, mr Vorir. My benefactors will pay handsomely for your aid. We don't forget our friends. Now, gentlemen, there is no reason we cannot be civil about these discussions. And unlike our mutual friend Thrawn, I am much more flexible in whom I allow employ. Please, sit."

Though his face was masked by his helmet, Caster was sure that Rez's Mandalorian partner was scowling. He flashed a patronizing grin at the mercenary. "No need to be upset, my dear friend. Money is money after all, and if you are willing to listen, you will find I can pay quite well. I'm sure Mr. Vorir here can attest to that. The rest of your men, have them all sent drinks on my behalf. I have great plans for any who wish to listen. A king must know how to play his opponents before he can think of winning."

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Tarr Voxin, Nar Shaddaa
Tarr wasn't sure just who was shooting at them, but right now he didn't care. A Nikto jumped through the Cantina entrance and got a table to the face for his troubles. The sudden eruption of gunfire had riled the other patrons, and a full on brawl broke out, leaving Zex, Nova and Tarr caught in the middle, their assailants separated by the crowds.

Hauling himself up to the bar, Tarr grabbed Zex's arm. "Who're theesh guysh anywaysh? Should we shoot them'r jusht try to leave through the backsh doorwaysh?"

Before Zex could respond, more blaster fire ripped through the air, evaporating several vintage bottles of ale and showering glass over the bar top. Tarr lazily fired his blaster, pegging two shots into someone or other's chest. Nova was up and shooting as well. He wasn't sure what she was aiming at, but it definitely sent people running for cover.

"Why Thrawn, anywaysh?" he asked. "He paysh well sure, but the guy is liablly to screw you over. Unlesh you're a reguler liek Fett, they don't pay full price.."

Del lay in a cot in the dorm that he and his Commandos had claimed. He had removed his armor and wore only the black body glove that normally lay beneath the armor. Both Commandos where eating in the mess hall, so Del was alone. Del didn't like siting around. When ever he had free time, he felt that he should be using it for something more constructive than just sitting around, but their was nothing for him to do at the moment. To entertain himself, Del decided to reflect on what had brought him to this point...

Jedi Temple, Yavin 4, 3 years ago.
Del Karcot sat cross legged, meditating, on his room's balcony. Before him stretched the jungle of Yavin 4. Through the force, Del could sense every life form in the jungle, from the massive trees and complex animals to the trillions of simple microorganisms living in the dirt. The abundant life was calming and comforting the Del.

The door to his room hissed open and Del sensed two new life forms enter. A Zabrak and Human. Del already knew who they were. Turning and standing, Del bowed for the two newcomers. "Master Thar'tul. Master Katarn." he said.

"Stand, Jedi." Master Thar'tul, the Zabrak, said. "You're a Knight now. There is no need to be so formal." He said it in a kind and friendly tone, a tone that Del had grown used to over the last few years.

"My apologies, Masters." Del said, slightly embarrassed. "Old habits die hard." He stood back up. "What brings you to my room?"

"We just wanted to congratulate you." Katarn said. "It's not every day that you become a Jedi Knight."

"Thank you very much, Master." Del said. "It really is an honor."

Katarn walked past Del and looked out from the balcony, resting his hands on it's edge. "I remember when Jead first brought you here." the man said, referring to the Jedi who had discovered his force sensitivity. "You were so wild, so rebellious, but even Luke saw your potential." He turned back to Del. "Now look at you. You're a grown and responsible Jedi Knight. You make us all very proud. Especially your old master here." he said, indicating Thar'tul.

"Well I wouldn't be and Jedi without you two." Del said. "You ought to be just as proud of yourselves as you are of me."

Katarn chuckled at that. "Non-sense. Your success is your own doing. We just helped to push you in the right direction."

"Well I'm grateful all the same, weather you like it or not." Del said, smiling. He had always enjoyed Master Katarn's company. During his training, Katarn had taught Del much, and he had been present during the Knighthood Ceremony last night. "So what else is there. Surely you didn't just come by to say 'good job'."

"No I didn't." Katarn said, straitening up a bit. "I'm also here to deliver your first solo assignment. You're to oversee peace talks between a group of Imperial loyalist rebels and the New Republic government on Arkanis. Think you can handle it?"

"Of course" said Del. He had hoped that the assignment would put him on a battle field, but this would be fine, if a little boring. "When do I leave?"

"Tomorrow afternoon." Katarn said. "Once your mission is complete, report to the council on Coruscant."

"Coruscant?" Del asked in confusion. "Why not here?"

"Because we're building a new temple there." Katarn said with a smile.

"A new temple?" Del said. Now that he thought of it, it made sense. The Jedi needed to be in touch with the going-ons of the galaxy, and what better place to do so then the center of government.

"Yep. And we're all going to help make it." Katarn said. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have other duties to attend to." With that, he walked out of the room before Del had a chance to thank him for his visit. Clearly he had somewhere to be.

As Katarn left, Del turned and embraced Thar'tul. The Zabrak had been his mentor and role model since he was 18. Del loved him like the closest of friends, and respected him like the wisest of elders. "I'm so proud of you." he said as he pulled away. "You've come so far and learned so much. You will make an excellent addition to this new order." Looking into his eyes, Del could tell that his words were sincere.

"That's right, Master. I will." Del said, smiling. "Because I've learned from the greatest of Jedi how to do just that."

"As Master Katarn said, your success was not my doing. You've always been able to do what you've done, I just made you realize it. But your journey is far from over, young man. I sense many trials in your future. We all must climb many mountains in our life times, Del, and you have yet to face your largest one."

"Well, Master, between the Force and your teaching, I'd say I have a pretty good harness."

Thar'tul laughed. "I swear, Del. If you where as skilled with the Force as you are with flattery, you may be able to give Master Skywalker a run for his money." Ceasing his laughter, Thar'tul looked as if he remembered something, then opened a pocket on his belt. "I nearly forgot, I have something for you."

"What is it?" Del said. He expected something else from the counsil, though he didn't know what.

"A gift, from me to you." Thar'tul said, and drew out a small, red crystal. He handed it to Del with great care. "It's called a Dragon's Eye. It's a very rare crystal, and when used in your lightsaber it will enhance the blade's electromagnetic field, resulting in a stronger blade that is better at deflecting blaster bolts and other lightsabers."

Del was beyond words. The stone he now held in his hand must have cost a small fortune, and Thar'tul was simply giving it to him. Besides that, the practical use of the crystal sounded outstanding. Del tried to articulate his feelings, but all he wound up doing was moving his jaw up and down. Thar'tul chucked. "Your welcome." he said jokingly.

"I'm sorry." Del said, finding his tongue. "This is just so awesome."

"You deserve it." The Zabrak said, laying a hand on Del's shoulder. "Come on, lets get some breakfast." Stowing the crystal in his pocket, Del followed his old master out the door and to the temple's cafeteria.

drmigit2:

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CJ1145:
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Kyle Katarn, Crusader Gunship, Tatooine.
The small Mandalorian gunship careened through Tatooine's upper atmosphere. They were behind schedule, and the Empire had a stronger foothold than they were expecting. Kyle watched from the cockpit as the sun shields dimmed the boiling planet's flaring skies. Several Star Destroyers were holding position over Mos Eisley. It was an important spaceport to be sure, but that many ships seemed like overkill, especially when their likes could have been better used at Mon Calamari or elsewhere. Something was up.

"Commander, we're getting a signal from the planet." said the comm officer. "It's origin appears to be a Firespray class patrol ship, going by the signature of Target. They say they're Jedi. The one on the line right now claims to be one Master Varik."

"Varik?" exclaimed Katarn. "Put me on with him right now. Xyras, what are you doing out here in the Outer Rim? We've barely had any contact for nearly a month, we'd thought the Ascendants had got the drop on you. Need a hand?" In the hologram, Katarn noticed the Zabrak behind Xyras and his padawan. "Who's your friend? Were you looking to run, or would you prefer to help me and my buds fight off another Imperial attack?"

Soviet Heavy:
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Drokath gazed upon one of the greatest Jedi in history, out of all the people that could have shown up, this might have been the worst person aside possibly from Skywalker. A diversionary tactic could aid him in possibly drawing Katarn away but for the time being... Xyras began relaying the events that had transpired thus far to Katarn, including his location, a small unnamed trading outpost outside of Mos Eisley. As he finished, Drokath decided to answer Katarn's question.

"The name is Kendet, I am a trader running the moisture route, I recruited the help of your Jedi to protect me along the route, now I am in this mess haha. Don't worry, I am not dead weight, I can run a blaster as well as some of the best. I know this city pretty well and I can tell you that the hutt running this place is probably dead by now. The defences of the city are poor at best and without some aid, I will be a prisoner, and the two next to me will end up dead. The main attack is stationed at Mos Eisley, so I understand if you go there yourself, but if you could send over some forces, that would be ideal. Also, whoever is leading this assault is for sure some sith master, high ranking. One of the sith Xyras mentioned was a powerful master, that can only mean he worked for someone even more powerful. This will be very dangerous, I think if you accompany us after the city is clear, we could bring someone very dangerous to justice."

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