[GJWXIII] Plagueis Run On

(Ronovi Tavisaen) #1

Primary Theater: Thuvis Shipyards

PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: Dispose of threats within the Shipyards and seize control of the facility- either for the Brotherhood, or to return to the Principate.

SITUATION: Thuvis Shipyards suffered heavy damage during the initial salvo of attacks blamed on the Brotherhood. Numerous sectors of the Shipyards have been ventilated to space, and the Principate defense forces protecting the Shipyards have been decimated, but not completely eliminated with around four dozen soldiers still on the station. The crew repairing the shipyards - and their families - are housed in a platform that is secured to the shipyards, and it has remained intact. Intelligence reports indicate that the Collective used their opening attacks as means to descend on the Shipyard, supposedly to protect its inhabitants from the plague of Force users. Inquisitorius agents report that the Collective is attempting to install an AI similar to the Technocratic Artifact recovered from Meridian station to establish full control of the shipyards for their own efforts. Several dreadnaughts from the Collective’s Battle Group Elysium are maintaining a defensive position in orbit around Thuvis Shipyards, and numerous Collective troops from that same battlegroup have moved to the Station, as well as members of Project Indigo. Moreover, the Principate has dispatched elements of its 5th Fleet to protect the shipyards is present both in space and on the Shipyards themselves.

Member Participant Snapshots:

Ronovi Tavisaen
TuQ’uan Varick
Scudi Ferria
Gaius Julius Caesar
Tahiri Thorn Morte Tarentae
Wrathus
Arden Karn di Plagia
Tra’an Reith di Plagia
Furios Morega di Plagia
Andrelious J. Mimosa-Inahj
Kookimarissia Mimosa-Inahj
Brimstone aka Seabr’imsto’nedansr
Ranarr Kul-Tarentae
Abadeer Taasii
Muse Nashesir
Talos
Silent
Kul’tak Drol
Zuser Whuloc
Blackhawk
Khryso Mallus
Obsidian
Sarai Andromeda

Alt/NPC Snapshots:

Kz’set
Regik Seyl’an
Tadia Zoler
Swil Phift
Ro-Tahn Vang Drakon
Razor Ragnarhawk
Nah’kor Trevain

Links and Resources

Lyra System

GJWXIII Fiction 1

Clan Run On Competition

Theater Combatants

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(Ronovi Tavisaen) #2

The Ascendancy - Meeting Room
Lyra-3K-a system
37 ABY

In the cold, nearly empty space, a dance of lights began. Vivid grids of green and red appeared like a hand had perfectly drawn them - planets, moons, coordinates, locales, all representing vital points of interest. Then, from every corner, came blue. Vivid silhouettes emerged as if from the walls, crystallizing yet still fragmenting with each blink and flicker. The holograms stood out starkly from the holomap that had formed, witnesses to the data that had been fed to the Ascendant Fleet’s flagship by the diligent Inquisitorius’s reports.

Were it not for the fact that Admiral Cyvvaria Ranin accompanied her, Ronovi Tavisaen would have been the only individual physically present in the Ascendancy’s war room. The Dread Lord of Clan Plagueis stood with her arms folded in front of her, dressed in a crisp black uniform, her lightsaber hilt and DH-17 resting comfortably against her hips. Meanwhile, members of the di Plagia circle burst to life in technological form: Tra’an Reith, Furios Morega, and Kz’set, the Verpine representing Arden Karn as the latter navigated personal matters elsewhere. Even if the admiral hadn’t been in the room, Ronovi would have been far, far from alone.

As the Epicanthix eyed the map, she allowed others to speak.

“The Inquisitorius has reported that the Collective is fully engaged with the shipyards,” reported the hologram of Wrathus, Aedile of Ajunta Pall; he was speaking from his position on the Dominant, alongside his superior, Tahiri Thorn Morte Tarentae. “They plan to plant an AI unit to take full control of the station. All under the guise of camaraderie with the Principate.”

“I can confirm thiszzz information,” Kz’set buzzed. “I waszzz able to hack some transmissions from enemy dreadnaughts.”

“Any specs on the AI unit?” asked Admiral Ranin. “Can it be disabled remotely?”

“Most likely not. We don’t have much information beyond that,” replied Wrathus, his voice reduced to a low and harsh growl through the static. “But I’m working on it.”

“The Wrath has a lock on the shipyards’ battalions,” TuQ’uan Varick, the newest Dread Lord’s Wrath, interjected. “We’ve detected that four dreadnaughts from the Collective’s Elysium Battle Group are in orbit and on the defense. The Principate’s 5th Fleet is on standby as well.”

Ronovi’s eyebrows furrowed. “What are we looking at with them?”

“Two Frigates, two Light Cruisers, two Bunkbusters, three Corvettes, and three Star Destroyers,” TuQ’uan rattled off. “Two Victory-class, one Imperial I-class.”

“Pushovers, then,” chuckled Wrathus.

The hologram of Julius Caesar, Aedile of House Karness Muur, bristled at this. “Four dreadnaughts are nothing to sneeze at.”

“Not concerning in the least,” argued Kz’set. “We could wreck their fleet.”

Ronovi raised a single hand to stop the back and forth, then lowered it slowly. The skin on her fingers was clammy, and she cracked her cold knuckles. Standing here among her peers and Ranin, once again in control of an entire fleet, she was all too reminded of how inferior she was at the helm of a ship. In fact, her one and only naval success had been during the campaign against the One Sith during the Dark Crusade, when the Ascendant Fleet had conquered Athiss airspace. That, in and of itself, had been a fluke at best and fool’s luck at worst; and without the guidance of Solus Gar, who was long gone, the burden of being commander was beginning to weigh on her conscience.

So she relied on her instinct when she spoke next.

“What’s stopping us from an all-out assault here?”

There was some audible chittering from the holograms. Tra’an, his face hidden behind his mask of bone, decided to seek clarification. “Is that what you’re ordering, Dread Lord?”

“Possibly,” replied Ronovi. “No sense in playing nice. If we take the shipyards, we’ll have seized an extraordinary asset - one that would cripple both the Principate and the Collective.”

Now TuQ’uan sounded alarmed. “You mean to attack both groups?”

“Why not? The Principate isn’t exactly about to give us the time of day due to our slaves. Why should we give them what they won’t?”

“I like this.” Wrathus turned gleefully to Tahiri. “Prepare the squadrons for bombardment.”

“No, master,” groaned Tahiri, reminding her former mentor of her status while also attempting to be respectful of their past.

As Ronovi gazed around the room, it became quickly apparent that few of her fellow leaders approved her idea; even her own Wrath had not taken her surprise suggestion very well. This, of course, irked her. In the short time she had served her second tenure as Dread Lord, she was already used to being vetoed and hooked to a short leash. Certainly, she lacked finesse and subtlety, and she had a past reputation, but how many years, if possible, would it take to clean the slate?

“It’s no use obliterating a potential ally and alienating the Principate even further from the Brotherhood,” Julius opined. “If anything, this is a great opportunity for us. We could kill two birds with one stone here.”

“Crush the Collective’s dreadnaughts,” sneered Wrathus. “Save the children.”

“There are several families in the station,” Tahiri agreed. “If they’re in danger, the Principate would want to protect them.”

“And we still have time to convince them that we are, in fact, on their side,” stated Scudi Ferria, Quaestor of Karness Muur, who had remained mostly quiet during the discourse. “Perhaps a meeting is in order.”

“The installation of the AI unit must be halted,” declared Kz’set.

“And we still have ships to blow up,” Furios added. “We have a lot to do, don’t we?”

Yes, Ronovi thought, a feeling of resignation soaking into her like a cold shower. We certainly do.

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(TuQ'uan Varick) #3

Wrath - Meeting Room
Lyra-3K-a system
37 ABY

TuQ’uan tugged at the hem of his jacket, standing uncomfortably still as the blue holograms surrounding him blinked out of existence one by one. The shift did little to lessen the cold feeling of the room. Eventually, only one figure remained before him: the Dread Lord.

Ronovi’s hologram let out a deep sigh and turned to face him directly, her gaze not quite as cold towards him as it once was.

“Give the orders.”

“Yes, sir!” TuQ quickly barked his response back. “Or…uh…ma’am.”

The massive Epicanthix disappeared before he could fix his mistake - or figure out what mistake he had made,for that matter. This was the Kel Dor’s first time acting as Proconsul in any official capacity, and he was already off to a rough start. TuQ’uan gave his head a shake as he tapped away on a nearby consol; he had much more important things to worry about right now.

“Ensign,” he spoke into the comm unit attached to the console he was on. “Open an encrypted channel fleet wide.”

Silent Scream - Bridge
Lyra-3K-a system
37 ABY

Captain Yamret Ohli stood looking out at the vast field of stars stretched out in front of her like billions of pin pricks in a pure black sky. Her years of service on star ships had never been able to quell how awe inspiring this view was to the Weequay captain, even in the heat of battle when death and destruction seemed imminent, she could always find solace in this view.

A set of footsteps gently tapped against the durasteel floor behind the captain, bringing her back to the present.

“Sir, there’s an urgent transmission being broadcast to the Ascendant Fleet,” the meek voice of a lowly lieutenant spoke.

“Let’s hear it.”

The lieutenant nodded, signaling the young man sitting at the communication controls. With a click and a slight hiss the bridge speakers came to life and a voice boomed throughout the bridge.

“Attention, all members of the Ascendant Fleet: this is TuQ’uan Varick, your Wrath. As you are aware, we are in a precarious situation. The Collective is currently trying to sabotage any chances of an alliance between the Brotherhood and the Severian Principate, and the Sevarian Principate frankly doesn’t know who to believe.”

The mood on the bridge turned grave; even Yamret found herself unconsciously balling her hands into fists at the mention of the Collective. While she may not have been a Force user herself, the Collective blight had taken away far too many of her brothers and sisters in arms. Many of them she considered friends, if not family, who had all sworn allegiance to the mighty Ascendant Clan.

“The Collective have pushed and pushed, spreading their lies and deceit about the Brotherhood, and now, they are trying to do that once again. But we won’t let them. We will need all hands on deck for this plan.”

An awkward silence filled the large room, with only the hum of the engines vibrating through the ships hull.

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(Khryso Mallus) #4

Silent Scream - Bridge
Lyra-3K-a system
37 ABY

There was a slight auditory crackle as the Wrath of Clan Plagueis cleared his throat. “Said plan will involve multiple phases. First, we will be sending in some of our top negotiators. We want to make sure the Principate understands that we are on their side and the Collective is acting in hostility. However, we can’t sit idly by and hope our words get through to them. We need to prevent the Collective from taking control of the station regardless. This is why we will be sending two teams of infiltrators along with the negotiators. We’ll handle the Principate with our right hand while our left hand takes the fight to the Collective.”

Khryso Mallus, newly promoted Dark Knight of Clan Plagueis, sat at attention in the bridge’s command chair. Normally, this piece of furniture would be reserved for Captain Ohli, the commanding officer of the Silent Scream. However, for the sake of this operation, Knight Mallus had been given command of the vessel, and so he commandeered the chair for himself. The captain didn’t seem to mind, which was probably a good thing, considering that they would be working together for at least a few hours.

A few hours that the Chiss preferred he didn’t spend idly. He had been quite pleased to be given this command, temporary though it may be, and he wanted to take the opportunity to prove himself. Unfortunately, with what the Wrath had revealed of the plan so far, it didn’t seem to include most of the fleet. When the Kel Dor’s voice did resume after another pregnant pause, Khryso’s worries were put to rest somewhat.

“Once the Collective threat to the shipyards is overcome and we can be sure the Principate understands our position, the Ascendant Fleet can move in and obliterate the gathered Collective Forces.” The atmosphere on the bridge almost immediately turned from silent apprehension to a sense of purpose and resolve. Khryso could feel the will of the crew strengthening, hoping that they would get their chance to take the fight to the Collective.

The Chiss, while pleased he may yet get his chance at action, didn’t have the same energy he felt radiating from the others. He had never had the chance to fight the Collective before and didn’t have a personal stake in the fight. To him, they were just an enemy that needed dealt with. He was more than happy to do so and he had every intention to end them, but he felt oddly distant from a bridge crew that less than a year ago he might have considered peers.

“While we gather our agents for the first phases of our plan,” the Wrath concluded, bringing Khryso back to attention, “the Fleet should remain on standby and ready to engage in a moment’s notice. You have your orders. Adapt. Ascend. Avail.”

The crew chimed in on the final word of Clan Plagueis’ mantra. Khryso remained silent, leaning back into his chair. The transmission from the Wrath ended with a final click, prompting everyone present to relax a little. The captain retreated from where she’d been standing near the viewscreen, moving toward Khryso’s right shoulder.

“Send a transmission to the Dominant,” Khryso said. “Assure them we’ve heard the Wrath’s commands and are on stand-by.” The Collective had their plans, and if they were to discover the location of the Ascendant Fleet, starting any kind of assault against the Plagueian Navy likely wouldn’t be in the cards. Nonetheless, Khryso intended to stay on guard.

“Captain,” he added, only turning his head slightly to regard the officer, “ensure we’re ready to respond at a moment’s notice. If we get called in, I want us tight on the Dominant’s starboard side.”

“Yes, my lord.”

The silence that followed the brief exchange was accompanied by an anxious busyness. Now it was just a matter of waiting for what could be quite a while. Everyone was ready to do what had to be done, and in the hours that would come to pass as they sat idle, Khryso could only hope that nobody lost their edge.

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(Scudi Ferria) #5

Vigilant - Meeting Room
Lyra-3K-a system
37 ABY

Scudi Ferria let out a deep sigh as she paced the Vigilant’s meeting room. The Chiss was still new to Plagueis, and yet here she was, in a position of influence during a war. It was enough to make one’s head spin.

One individual who was seemingly not phased at all by recent events was Scudi’s inherited second in command. Julius Caesar stoically stood and watched the new Quaestor of Karness Muur. The man gestured for his superior to join him at the table the two had been at during the talk with the di Plagia and the rest of the Plagueian leadership.

“Since we don’t have our assignment yet, I figured we could talk. It doesn’t do you any good to be worrying about anything just yet. So if you have any questions about any of this, ask them and I’ll do my best to bring you up to speed,” Caesar spoke pragmatically to his new boss. He’d been around Plagueis long enough to know that whatever was coming wasn’t going to be easy and they’d need Scudi to be at her best to succeed.

“Sorry, this is just a lot to take in, you know? A couple of weeks ago I was doing a job for Tahiri, now I’m Quaestor of this house. It’s a lot of responsibility, so I appreciate that you’re here to help. My first question is: what is up with those di Plagia folks? I don’t see what makes them more important than the regular members that allows them the authority to shape policy.” Scudi had stopped pacing and lightly tapped rhymically on the desk as she spoke.

“Di Plagia is an honour given to those who are deemed to be the best of the best and requires many years of service. With that comes a certain level of respect. They may be just as powerful as other members but they’ve taken advantage of the opportunities presented to them.” Julius elaborated on the nature of the di Plagia.

“I’d question giving people an excuse to give up and live off their past glories, but I suppose we should talk about something else. Do you think we’ll get to carry out the diplomatic mission, or do you think they’ll go with other people?”

“Well, logically we’re the best choices, as we believe in the mission and were the ones to put it forward. With all due respect to our sister house, their Aedile isn’t exactly known for playing well with others. That makes us the most suited leaders for the task, and to send people who don’t bear some kind of responsibility would be offensive. Therefore, I think that we will be picked; whether we’re allowed to do so alone is another matter.”

“You think they’ll saddle us with oversight?” The Chiss asked her Human subordinate.

“I wouldn’t quite phrase it like that, but yes. I do see them sending one or two extra bodies on the mission. I can’t imagine the di Plagia keeping their hands off, and Tavisaen will want someone on the scene. Whether that’s going to be the same person, I couldn’t tell you, but we should be prepared for anything.”

Julius took a seat at the table while he spoke, wanting to rest his old bones until they were needed again. Scudi nodded at the Aedile and followed his lead in taking a seat.

“I appreciate you sticking around, Caesar. I’ll really need you and your insight into how things work around here. I’ve never really had this much responsibility -I’ve always been the one serving others when I’ve been in a group setting. Apart from that, I’ve only had to focus on taking care of myself. It’s going to take some time to adjust but with your support, I’ve no doubt I can become what I need to be.”

“The Dread Lord would not have chosen you if she thought you were not capable. As much as her performance matters, perhaps even larger scrutiny will be placed on those she chooses to hand responsibility to. Besides, people like us need to stick together.” It was difficult for Julius to see exactly what it was about Ferria that the Dread Lord had deemed to be worth appointing her as Quaestor but his loyalty to Plagueis meant that he would do his best to help her succeed. The responsibility to reason why wasn’t his, his responsibility was to do or die.

“Yeah, given how they treat some people who aren’t like them, we’re rather lucky they see us as useful.” Scudi thought back to how she’d heard of the unrest among what she’d been told were being referred to as “assets” from now on. The Force users hadn’t been particularly diplomatic in how they dealt with the manner.

The holoprojector on the table began emitting a low-pitched tone, indicating that someone was trying to contact Karness Muur’s summit. Scudi gestured for Julius to stand as she did so herself. Once the pair were on their feet the Chiss accepted the call. A bright blue figure of a Kel Dor was projected from the device. Scudi had never seen this individual before, but Julius recognised it as TuQ’uan Varick, Scudi’s predecessor.

“Greetings, Wrath. Do you have orders for us?” the Aedile asked expectantly.

“ I do. You and Scudi are to represent us in negotiations with the Principate’s 5th Fleet at the shipyards. I will be coming along with you, purely to ensure that the mission is a success. I’ll try not to interfere with your mission. Once we’re in transit, I shall brief you both on points we believe will best serve our goals. That is all for now.”

The holoprojection disappeared about as quickly as it had appeared, and the leadership of Karness Muur now knew their mission.

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(Andrelious J. Mimosa-Inahj) #6

Dominant - Meeting Room
Lyra-3k-a system
37 ABY

Andrelious and Kooki had headed straight to the meeting room as the orders came through. Although new to the clan, both were old hands at conflict and were determined to prove that they could bring their brands of success to Plagueis’ already well stocked table.

“Barely been here a week, and we’re already off to fight again,” Kooki declared crossly.

“I did tell you something was happening. Taldryan was gearing up for it, too,” Andrelious explained.

“But now we’re dealing with Imperials as well as those cyborg bastards. Which makes me wonder if you think we’re even on the right side,” the Alderaanian replied.

“From what little I know of the Principate, I’m not impressed. Seems they rejected a lot of their Imperial roots. They’ve even joined the Republic. They’re not real Imperials. Not anymore,” the male sneered.

Members of House Ajunta Pall started to file into the room. The Mimosa-Inahj couple nodded in greeting, but few returned the favour: many still saw the new arrivals as potential enemies. One young female seemed to catch Kooki’s eye briefly.

“She probably shouldn’t go on this mission. She’s pregnant,” Kooki commented.

“And remind me what you were doing just two weeks before you gave birth to our son?” her husband queried. An icy stare from the Alderaanian made him regret it instantly.

Tahiri, Ajunta Pall’s Quaestor, breezed in. The majority of the assembled crowd fell silent as they waited for their leader to begin talking.

“Are you two planning on coming with us for this one?” the Togruta questioned, glancing straight at Andrelious and Kooki.

“Well, we didn’t move to Aliso for its cheery atmosphere.” Kooki answered matter-of-factly. Andrelious sniggered.

“Er…don’t you two have children?” Ranarr Kul-Tarentae questioned.

“They’re quite safe with their grandparents a long way away from here. Next question!” Kooki responded.

“Does he actually talk? Every time I’ve spoken to you two, I don’t think I’ve heard him say a thing,” Tahiri commented, pointing at Andrelious.

“I have my moments. Wait until we’re in the field. You’ll see,” Andrelious answered. “Speaking of the field, I’d like to introduce you to an old friend of mine. Swil, come here,”

A large, dark-skinned Human made his way towards the much shorter Andrelious. “Swil Phift. I’ve worked with Lord Mimosa-Inahj for many years now,” he announced.

“You’ll be able to show me just how useful you are. Take a seat, everyone,” Tahiri instructed.

Andrelious sat between Kooki and a young Togruta who bore a resemblance to the Quaestor.

“So does marriage make you into some kind of attack animal?” the Togruta asked.

“Excuse me?” Andrelious demanded.

“Simple. You only seem to do as she tells you,”

Lines of annoyance started to appear on the Seeker’s face.

“Quiet, Ro-Tahn,” Tahiri ordered. “Please forgive my brother. He can be a little impetuous.”

“I guess I’m not the only one who does as he’s told,” Andrelious teased.

“You be quiet too,” Kooki snapped.

“Thank you, everyone. I’m sure that most of you heard the Wrath’s orders. I will be leading an Ajunta Pall team of infiltrators myself. Kooki, I understand there are a lot of families aboard the station. I know that you’d be particularly keen to keep them safe,” the Quaestor declared.

Guess she’s been reading our files. I’m impressed. Andrelious thought.

Kooki nodded. “If the Collective are anywhere near those kids, they’ll soon regret that,” she hissed.

“Andrelious, I need you to coordinate with our starfighter squadrons. Once the time is right, we’re going to attack the Collective Dreadnaughts. I believe you’ll be assisted by backup from Karness Muur’s forces,”

Andrelious raised his hand in acknowledgement and climbed to his feet. “I’ll make sure my Defender is ready,” he explained.


Dominant Hangar

Andrelious came across a technician examining his TIE Defender, Sharpshoot II with a look of slight confusion.

“I’ve checked your ship’s systems three times, my Lord. The power output seems higher than what I’d expect from a TIE Defender,” the technician explained.

“Yes. We had to upgrade the power generator to facilitate the heavy lasers. Did you equip my ship with a full load of warheads?” the Sith demanded.

“Of course, my Lord. You have a full load of proton torpedoes,”

“Good. I’ll get the pre-flight checks finished. If I need you, I’ll let you know,” Andrelious said, his tone dismissive.

Climbing into the cockpit of his TIE Defender, Andrelious smiled warmly as he eyed the pictures of his children that adorned the few spare spaces on the control panel.

I do this for all of you…

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(Arden Karn di Plagia ) #7

ISD Ascendancy - Meeting Room
Lyra-3K-a system
37 ABY

Arden knew at some point he was going to regret stepping down as Dread Lord, and that feeling was starting to come on to him. While he had planned to keep his distance for a time - hence why Kz’set had represented him in the initial meeting - this particular situation had demanded his involvement. From what he knew of both the Principate and the Collective, this situation needed to be managed carefully or it could explode into a serious kerfuffle no one needed. He had been carefully preparing for this particular eventuality, and he wasn’t going to let Ronovi ruin it by charging in recklessly.

Trailing behind him as he entered the Ascendancy’s meeting room was a chrome plated protocol droid of the PZ series. The droid was an investment Arden had made to cover what he observed to be a glaring weakness in the clan. For all their strength on the battlefield and in covert operations, what Plagueis lacked was a charismatic diplomat. The droid, which Arden had nicknamed “PeaZce”, was acquired from one of his corporate contacts who had tailored the droid’s programming to assist in sensitive negotiations, particularly ones where an organic diplomat might be at risk. It wasn’t a perfect solution, but it would have to suffice.

When Arden and the PZ unit entered, Ronovi wheeled around to look at him.

“Karn, already looking to nitpick?”

Arden smirked and let out a small chuckle. “If you want to call it that.”

Looking rather impatient, Ronovi simply stared. “Get on with it, then.”

Arden exhaled and replied, “I’ve heard you’re putting together a group that is planning to try to speak to the Principate. I’ve also heard that you intend to have Tu’Quan lead this group.”

Ronovi raised an eyebrow. “He’s the Wrath now. He serves as my voice in this matter.”

“While I respect Tu’Quan’s abilities,” Arden answered. “He isn’t exactly the best talker. I shouldn’t have to tell you that diplomacy is about more than a nice hat.”

Ronovi couldn’t deny what Arden had said, but her glare narrowed, anyway. “The hat is a plus, though.”

“Perhaps,” the di Plagia replied. “But you need someone with far more skills than him if you don’t want this to go poorly.”

“Like yourself?” The Dread Lord snarked.

“No, him”. Arden pointed a finger back at the droid who took a step forward.

“Greetings. My designation is PZ-1176, though Master Karn refers to me as PeaZce. In addition to my standard translation protocols, I’ve also been upgraded with programming for etiquette, negotiation, and galactic legal systems.”

Ronovi looked to the droid and than back at Arden. “Galactic legal systems? Really? You have a droid lawyer?”

Arden shrugged. “Never know when that will come in handy. But I thought you’d react to the name.”

The Epicanthix wasn’t amused. “The name is ridiculous, too. That said, you do have a point. Diplomacy isn’t exactly our strong suit. And I’m guessing you and the droid are a package deal?”

“A safe assumption,” Arden replied.

“Fine, go help out.” Ronovi’s reluctance was clear, but there wasn’t really any other choice. “But remember, you’re not in charge.”

Arden shot Ronovi a look and his tone was clearly sarcastic. “Oh, of course not.”

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(Tahiri Thorn Morte Tarentae ) #8

Dominant - Meeting Room
Lyra-3k-a system
37 ABY

Standing at the head of the meeting table, Tahiri gave everyone their assignments and told them to make ready everything they needed for their individual tasks. Finishing the meeting quickly, so that everyone could get prepped, Tahiri asked if there were any questions. None came forward, so the Quaestor dismissed them. After everyone but Wrathus and Ro-Tahn had left, the Togruta sat heavily.

When she had been chosen for this position, Tahiri couldn’t have imagined going into a conflict like this so fast. The fact that her Aedile, Wrathus, was also her Master didn’t help matters especially when he decided to question her or did something that only made the situation worse.

Why, why, does he have to be reckless?! I know he’s brilliant, but frack, he just won’t listen to anybody!

“So what’s the plan, Quaestor?” Wrathus asked, folding his arms.

“Yeah, what’s this all about, really, sis?” Ro-Tahn asked before Tahiri could reply to her Master.

“Be quiet, fool. You have no business being here in the first place,” growled the tall Epicanthix, not even turning to look at Tahiri’s brother. “Why do you even have the right to be on this ship? You aren’t even a part of this clan!”

“Tahiri asked me to stay after the meeting,” the Togruta replied nonchalantly to Wrathus. “And if she is a part of this ‘clan,’ then I am, too.”

“That’s not how you come into a clan,” Wrathus snapped, now turning toward Ro-Tahn.

“Where there’s family, there’s a place for you.” Ro-Tahn stood up to his full height, even though he was shorter than Wrathus.

Wrathus unfolded his arms and leaned against the surface of the table, a menacing grin spreading across his face. “Family is a weakness, boy.”

Tahiri could feel the room darkening between the two. Ro’Tahn had some Force abilities, most of which were untapped. What he did know and use was the rawness of the Force. Her younger brother had a very strong Rage ability that she had observed the couple times he’d sparred with her. Wrathus, however, was fully trained in the Force. Ro-Tahn was not trained, and he had no skills with a lightsaber. Which meant he had no way of truly defending himself against Wrathus.

Tahiri watched the confrontation with both amusement and disgust. She needed to put an end to this now so that they could get down to business. Slamming the palms of her hands down on the table, she sprang up, an air of frustration and darkness emanating from her.

“Enough!” she growled, as she pushed her darkness between the two men, engulfing them both. This surprised both men, more Ro-Tahn than Wrathus, who had been ready to Force choke the Togruta.

“Oh, apprentice, I’m just having a bit of fun,” Wrathus claimed.

“Fun?! This is not the time, nor the place, to have fun,” Tahiri snapped at her Master. It was a thing the Togruta never thought she’d do - at least, not without repercussions. “Do I have to remind you who is in charge here?”

“Oh, come on, Tahiri, don’t be too hard on him,” Ro-Tahn interjected.

“And you.” Tahiri’s attention turned towards her brother. “I don’t need you constantly getting into fights with everybody. I can’t protect you all the time.”

Ro-Tahn looked slightly hurt, then angry. “I don’t need your protection anymore, sister.”

“I’m not going to argue with you right now, Ro-Tahn. You are to report to the hangar bay until the fighting starts.”

“What, so you want me to do clean-up and maintenance work, while you go do all the fighting?” Ro-Tahn asked indignantly.

“No, I want you to be ready in case we need you,” Tahiri replied softly, rubbing the bridge of her nose. “I’d like you be prepared, okay, brother?”

“Okay, sister. I’ll be ready.” Ro-Tahn’s expression softened. He knew that Tahiri was only looking out for his well-being.

“All right, you can head down to the hangar.”

With nod to Tahiri and a glare at Wrathus, Ro-Tahn headed out of the meeting room. Only he didn’t fully exit. Stealing off to one side, the Togruta hid himself in one of the doorways.

Tahiri sat down again and turned on the holomap displaying the shipyards, tapping in the coordinates of a few key points of interest in the Thuvis shipyards.
“Let’s start with at least two points of attack, one nearest to where the AI is located, and the second near enough to the families, without damaging any of the quarters on that level.” Tahiri began to lay out the plans of the infiltration teams’ two-front attack.

“Then I’ll chose this point. It’s far enough to not cause damage to family quarters, but close enough to the action.” Wrathus pointed out.

Tahiri nodded, then went on to outline when the diplomats were to leave and when they were to enact their portion of the plan.

“You’ll need to disguise your ship,” she said after finishing the initial plan.

“I don’t mind, as long as I get to kill some Collective trash. I’ll go start doing that now, unless you need more of my time?” Wrathus turned to head out, glancing back for any objection.

“No, that’s all I wanted to catch you up on,” Tahiri replied, nodding to him as he left the room.

Once Wrathus was gone, the Quaestor smiled in the direction of the meeting room’s other exits. “So was there anything you wanted to add, Ro-Tahn?” she asked the shadows of one of the doorways.

A sheepish Ro-Tahn emerged and smiled apologetically. Tahiri smiled back, now seeing a way to protect him and let him do something beneficial.

3 Likes
(Brimstone aka Seabr'imsto'nedansr) #9

Vigilant
Lyra-3K-a system
37 ABY

Isolation. Seclusion. Alienation.

Alone.

That was Brimstone. The Chiss that everyone knew but tried to keep their distance from. He was always strictly business oriented and never trusted anyone, except for a few he allowed within his close knit circle. Fellow Plagueians and soldiers always kept their distance. They viewed him as an uncaring, unsympathetic individual. Uniformity and structure was always his personality. But the few that have worked alongside with the Chiss knew he was strictly loyal to a fault. He would never betray the clan or those he served under.

Brim stepped off his ship, the Nehso Retan’ci (Black Silence), a Firespray-31-class Interceptor, along with a black chrome-plated 3PO protocol droid, K’ebatas (Loyalty). He had been tinkering with the sensors and electronics for monitoring transmissions (and possibly breaking into secret transmissions from the Collective). Shortly after he had returned from Mustafar earlier when the clan decided to take a sabbatical, the leadership had changed drastically within Plagueis. Gone was the former Dread Lord, Arden, replaced by Ronovi. He felt she was the correct choice and one of the “few” he had trusted enough. She was always stern with him, especially since their days as allies in the former clan Tarentum.

Also changed was the leadership in House Karness Muur. Gone were those that craved power with the Force to those who weren’t infused in it. He knew Lieutenant Colonel Gaius Julius Caesar from prior missions he been on with, a great soldier he thought highly of. But they replaced the new Quaestor with a fellow Chiss, Scudi Ferria, with he knew nothing about. Even with all the data of every personnel he had built up over the years, Scudi was one he didn’t have much intel on. And that concerned him.

The Battlemaster wasn’t comfortable with changes in leadership. To him, that was a weak link in the chain of uniformity. But Brim knew what he had to do: Accept the inevitable change. But he was loyal to his clan, a fault he always found to be a weakness in himself.

“K’ebatas, go find out where the Council is now and if I am needed there for any briefings,” he told his droid.

“Yes, master,” was its reply.

The droid toddled off and through the hangar doors, closing behind it. Brim walked over to a control panel displaying the logistics and weapons of the hangar. He scrolled through different inventory applications and found the one for refueling and weapons for his type of vessel. He picked a full refueling and 8 torpedo warheads to be installed into his ship. The fleet was preparing for war, and he knew it was time to get ready.

A deck officer from logistics showed up a few minutes later. After a small conversation and a couple signatures, four other personnel came with rolling carts with eight cases, two on each cart, of the torpedoes he had ordered.

“Go ahead and load them in their tubes onboard,” spoke the Chiss. Even though it had been years since he was in the Chiss Defense Expansionary Fleet, he was still strictly militaristically minded.

As he watched the torpedoes being loaded, one of the technicians stopped to ask him a question. “Sir, I don’t mean to be intrusive, but are you the same Brimstone who commanded the Predominant?

The name of his former ship made him feel like his collar was tightening around his throat. “Yes, I am the one who got the ship destroyed while under my command,” he replied without removing his gaze from his ship.

“Well, I had a few friends on that ship that perished.”

“And you want to tell me your grievances of it? Step in line; it’s pretty long.”

“Oh, no, sir, I wasn’t here to complain. I was just wanting to say thank you. Despite all that happened, rumors are that you took it personally and haven’t let any of the other soldiers down since. Just wanted to say thanks.”

Brim just kept staring at the loading of the weapons. “I appreciate your sentiment. Thank you” he replied without looking away once.

The tech went back to carting up his payload for loading. The mention of his failure still haunted Brimstone, and he knew that many resented him for losing one of the Plagueis ships. To him, it was a weakness in his armor that left him susceptible to mistakes. And mistakes were what tended to alienate a person from others.

The technicians came off the boarding ramp and left. The last one gave a nod to the Chiss, and he returned the approval. “Respect is earned,” he thought to himself.

3 Likes
(Talos) #10

Vigilant - Quarters
Lyra-3K-a System
37 ABY

Talos let out a sigh as he stretched himself out on his bunk. Here he was again, back in the thrall of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood and, it seemed, hurtling towards another war. Talos’ previous life in the Brotherhood had been consumed by war, and it had been that very thing that drove him off in the first place.

A new Clan, maybe, Talos thought as he danced the hilt of his newly obtained, but mass-produced, lightsaber through his hands. But no new name…not this time.

Over the course of almost ten years in the Brotherhood, Talos had been known by many names and had been part of almost as many prominent organizations.

“d’Tana,” he muttered to himself, swinging his legs over the side of the bunk and sitting up. d’Tana had been the name of his first Family upon his knighting in Clan Arcona and the name he had worn when he led his first command, the Blue Mist Squadron, to win the mantle of premier Battleteam in Arcona.

“Umbra,” the Sith said to no one in particular, alone as he was in the basic quarters assigned to the Vigilant’s mid-level Force Users. Talos grimaced as he pushed himself to his feet and remembered how, in a plea for acceptance amongst the Shadow Clan’s elite, he had thrown his lot in with the Shadesworn terror organization and been transformed into a twisted, Force-hungry savage.

“Talos Erinos,” Talos whispered softly. It was only through the efforts and love of the Erinos Family that Umbra had been destroyed and Talos restored. Gaining membership in Arcona’s erstwhile clan of Mandalorians had been the highlight of the Kiffar’s young life. But New Tython had changed all that.

The site of the last major conflict that he had been a part of with the Brotherhood, New Tython had seen the forces of the Brotherhood clash against a resurgent Jedi Order in a bloody battle that had ultimately taken the lives of two of his closest brothers and mentors.

While the rest of Clan Arcona had returned home flush with victory, Talos was wrought by grief and guilt. Such negative emotions had led him to joining the War of the Three Families, a feud among the Erinos, Entar, and d’Tana families. The result of that conflict had seen Talos abandoning the Soulfire Strike Team, shirking the name of Erinos, and fleeing not only Clan Arcona, but the Dark Brotherhood as a whole.

Now, almost half a decade later, here Talos stood, clad once again in the traditional dark armor of a Sith with the iconic weapon of a Force user clutched in his hand.

“The past is dead,” Talos said heavily as he thumbed the activator on his lightsaber and birthed the crimson blade into existence.

Talos swung the weapon through the basic moves of Ataru, his chosen form of lightsaber combat. He had to admit that holding a lightsaber again felt good. With a slinking hiss, he extinguished the blade and clipped the hilt to his utility belt, running a hand over the DL-44 blaster pistol on his thigh, ensuring that his secondary weapon was still fastened in place.

Confident that everything was as presentable as it could be, the Kiffar swept his rows of black-and-gray hair behind his shoulders and palmed the holopad to open the door to his quarters. Immediately, the “hubbub” of a naval ship and its crew preparing for…something…met his eyes and ears. Surprisingly, though, the clamor did not bother Talos as much as he thought it would.

Stepping out into the controlled chaos, the Battlemaster let a small grin play across his lips.

Let’s go find out what exactly is going on, he thought as he began to walk, not oblivious or unappreciative to the Vigilant’s crew parting like an ocean in the presence of a Force user. And what better place than the command level? The leadership should be there.

Upon joining Clan Plagueis and House Karness Muur, Talos had been the recipient of two significant surprises. The first was that his former ally and acquaintance in Arcona, Ronovi Tavisaen, sat the position of Consul. The second was that his own Quaestor and Aedile were not practitioners of any side of the Force, despite leading a House in a Clan both named after significant Sith Lords. Needless to say, Talos had his doubts.

The Brotherhood had certainly changed in the time he was gone, the absolute power given to those who commanded the Force obviously not so absolute any more. But he was determined to give everything a chance.

The past is dead, Talos reminded himself as he drew ever closer to the Vigilant’s command level.

4 Likes
(Gaius Julius Caesar) #11

ISD Caelus - Command Bridge
Lyra-3k-a System
37 ABY

The chaos of the past few days had started to wear on the crew of the Caelus, and it’s Commander was not exempt.

Zand Hammor hadn’t slept in two days. The news of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood’s attack on the Lyra Colony had shaken the Severian Principate to its core. And as the Commander of its only fleet in the system, Zand was perhaps the most important individual in the entire system.

The Duros was a well seasoned officer of the Principate, having served many years under the watchful eye of Lucian Niatinus himself. His previous commissions saw him in command of Corvettes, Cruisers, and Star Destroyers, all of which now comprise the Severian Principate’s 5th Fleet. His adept ability to inspire those under him resulted in a crew that would follow him to the end. Now he was almost in over his head.

The bridge was stirring with excitement and nervousness as the Caelus was likely to be the last line of defense of the Thuvis Shipyards. Various levels of enlisted and officers scurried about to their stations at each change of shift, careful not to miss a second of their assigned duties. There was clearly tension in the air, but the calm demeanor of their leader eased any concerns. Until a moment later.

“Commander, there is a vessel approaching! Technicians are confirming a Plagueis heavy cruiser, call sign Vigilant.” The loud voice of the communications officer caught the attention of everyone present.

“Prepare to fire on my command!” Zand bellowed.

The former slave had heard rumblings about Clan Plagueis and their rumoured slaves. He would rather die than see his crew succumb to being captured. The Duros’ red eyes blinked just as the massive ship entered the vastness of space, accompanied by a few of its fighter squadrons. The Duros quickly gazed around the room, gauging his crew’s attention to the situation.

The Executive Officer, a short female Human, stood at attention. “Commander, w-w-we are p-p-picking up an incoming transmission. Your p-p-pleasure, sir?” Despite her stuttering, she was an excellent officer whom Zand had often stood up for in private meetings.

“Launch two squadrons, immediately,” the Commander boomed to his crew, who acted on his orders immediately. “Display transmission, Lieutenant.”

“Yes, sir.”

Almost instantly, the holographic image of an elderly Human appeared, much to Zand’s surprise. He stood tall, gripping his cane tightly for support. The insignia on his collar indicated he was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Ascendant Fleet.

The figure continued to flicker as it spoke, “Commander Hammor, be advised that the Vigilant has no intention to attack anything in this system. Your presence is needed onboard for an urgent meeting.”

“Lt. Colonel -” the Duros began to speak.

“Caesar. Ascendant Fleet. Clan Plagueis.”

Commander Hammor was a bit taken aback by the gall shown by Caesar and the Vigilant. “Let me get this straight: you jump in and demand me to meet you onboard a slaver ship? No. Exit this system now. There will not be another warning.”

“Commander, firing upon this ship will bring the wrath of the entire Plagueis fleet upon the system. Our operators have uncovered pertinent information regarding the recent attacks on the Lyra Colony. I’d advise you to board a shuttle immediately. You will not be fired upon.”

The Duros looked over at his XO, who shook her head. Zand hadn’t given any consideration to the Plagueian’s request. He was prepared to order the full assault on the cruiser. “Not a chance, Caesar.”

“Then we will have two shuttles dispatched to board the Caelus under the flag of diplomacy,” the old man replied; he was clearly not going to take no for an answer. “Commander, you need to see this data for yourself. Once onboard, the Vigilant will take a defensive position alongside the Caelus to assist with the security of the shipyard.”

Zand was confident in the 5th Fleet’s ability to protect the shipyard. He was not, however, confident that the Principate’s intelligence reports were always correct. He took a shallow breath before speaking. “Two shuttles.”

“Excellent. Onboard will be myself, TuQ’uan Varick, the Proconsul of Plagueis, Arden Karn, a representative of the di Plagia, and Scudi Ferria, the Quaestor of Karness Muur. We will be keeping our sidearms and weapons on our possession, but be assured that we have no desire to use them. There will be no attempt to disarm us, and there will be no attempt on our part to harm anyone on the Caelus. Cease transmission.”

The old man’s hologram disappeared as the transmission ended. Chaos erupted around Zand as he stood there briefly before barking out his orders in preparation for the Plagueian arrival.

4 Likes
(Ranarr Kul-Tarentae) #12

Dominant - Quarters
Lyra-3K-a System
37 ABY

Although no one really knew the outcome for a fact, the summit had made a decision. Ranarr was curious, and he knew for certain that not every Plagueian would fully agree on whichever plan they had, but they would always follow the orders of their superiors. Ranarr Kul-Tarentae, for instance, didn’t like the idea of a full out battle. He fought too many of those in his past. He knew how that would turn out.

Ranarr got into his quarters and headed for the bathroom. He turned the sink on cold and looked at his face in the mirror. He saw dried blood covering the right half of his face and a deep cut right above his eye. He leaned down to the sink and splashed water on his face to try to get the imaginary blood off. Suddenly, there was an image of the dead bodies he left lying on the floor during the previous time he went to war, flashing behind his eyelids. He started to rub the water over his face to get the image out of his mind. He blindly flailed for a towel and wiped his face off hurriedly. His hands were shaking. The Cathar grabbed a small container from the bathroom cupboard, screwed the lid off, and poured back the last two remaining pills. His past weigh heavy on him.

“I must prepare!”

Ranarr stomped into the training room and slammed the door behind him. He walked up to the weapons table and picked up a knife. He looked at the floor and closed his eyes.

Death filling his mind.

Unknown faces.

Life draining away.

A whip of his arm threw the knife at the human shaped target at the other side of the room. It stuck in the wooden board behind the target, just missing its left shoulder. He grabbed another knife, slightly cutting his own hand.

A drop of blood.

A sting on his hand - dizziness.

Chaos in the head.

He started to shake and threw the second knife. Again, it missed. He picked up two more knives and saw an exploding fleet on the screen in his mind.

A spark of anger - ignition.

The Cathar threw the two knives and stabbed the forehead and neck of the dummy. Suddenly, the face of the dummy was his own face, and his eyes rolled back in his head. Ranarr let out a terrifying roar.

“I must clear my head!”

3 Likes
(Tra'an Reith di Plagia) #13

Dominant - Hangar
Bridge of Onyx
Lyra-3K-a System
37 ABY

Tra’an double checked his loadout for the Firespray he called home more often than any other place in the galaxy. His launchers were split controlled, one with regular concussion missiles, the other one with a specialty payload.

After the last brush with the collective, he’d picked up a unique set of EMP warheads, designed to overload the circuitry of the heavily shielded enemy craft.

“Every advantage in a fight,” he muttered to himself.

“That’s right,” came the malicious response from the Magnaguard whom he still hadn’t given a name too, despite having owned it for over a year now.

“Never give up an advantage you don’t have to, especially in ship based combat. It’s not exactly like you can trust that magic that you do to save you,” it scoffed further.

The autopilot beeped mournfully at him, still not happy about being mounted in a combat vessel. Having been taken from a frigate he’d captured and raided for supplies, its gentle nature was still very much at odds with his own, and that of the malicious predator that guarded him.

He had noted the arrival of Andrelious and Wrathus, signalling that Tahiri’s meeting had come to an end. A message arrived on his holo-com, with a copy of her meeting notes with a suggestion that he attend to the Collective fleet once they had permission to engage in assault.

“As usual, I’ll leave target selection up to you,” the Quaestor’s voice drifted forth. "I would request that you keep an eye out for Andrelious and the fighters until given permission to directly engage. He’s one of us now, and I trust you to keep him safe if it comes to it.”

Tahiri’s notes scrolled across the screen again, a written copy of her voice data in case he’d been unable to listen to it. His Questor was nothing if not thorough.

“I really do tire of being set to guard these pups,” the Magnuaguard said. “They should not be loosed if not hounds to hunt.”

Tra’an snorted derisively in answer as he stood to leave and go speak to Andrelious. “Pups becomes hounds through the hunt. We must teach them how,” he lamented laconically to the droid, who only growled in response.

3 Likes
(Silent) #14

Fearless – Captain’s Room

37 ABY

The Shi’ido sat crossed-legged in the center of his room, feeling the Force all around him. His droid, an HK-unit, stood in his charging station on standby mode. The room illuminated to a low dim as the intercom through out the ship opened up.

“Father, there is an incoming message from Clan Plagueis.” Blue said

Blue was the child of Silent, made up of his DNA and his wife’s, created in the lab to be a powerful Force user. Her abilities in healing even the deadliest wounds was her strong suit.

“Child, ignore the message and leave me be, I want nothing to do with them,” Silent replied coldly

“I would, father, but it’s a message from the Dread Lord herself,” Blue said.

“I will be there shortly.”

Fearless – Cockpit

Silent was stunned to find not a hologram of Ronovi, but of Furios Morega di Plagia. The man had appeared to have been busy, perhaps going on a different mission away from the shipyards altogether.

“You’re not the Dread Lord,” he spoke angrily.

“Least I’m not TuQ’uan,” smirked Furios. “That would be insulting.”

“What do you want?”

“Cold as ever, I see, Silent,” Furios replied.

“Live a couple hundred years, with a wife in carbonite and a disease you can not find a cure for and see how warm you feel,” Silent growled.

“True enough,”

“Do you mind if we stop with this tea sipping session and get on with what you want?”

“You’re not a stranger to the battles and wars this clan has faced, my dear. And your darling Dread Lord is calling on all Plagueians to fight another war against….”

“I am going to stop you right there,” Silent spat. “My answer is no. I am old. I am tired. I have fought and served this clan for many years. And for what? A new shiny for my desk? A new promotion?! These do not make me fight for the clan.

“Then what will?” Furios asked, his grin still simmering on his face.

“The Di Plagia.”

Furios chuckled. “You wish for the title of Di Plagia? For what? You’re a loner, Silent. You may have served many years, but what have you truly done since your last command, other than hiding on your ship and making a landing on Aliso every few months for supplies?”

“I could care less about being apart of your little secret circle of meetings the Di Plagia have,” scowled Silent. “I am only interested in its perks, mainly those nice little secret experimental researches you have going on behind the scenes.”

“Oh, what are you going on about, my good man?”

“If what I believe to be hiding behind that title is true, I can finally get what I need to cure my wife and be rid of this life as a pawn in the Dark Brotherhood once and for all,” Silent replied.

“If you want a title, Silent,” Furios grinned, “then I’d suggest actually showing up in Lyra and helping out at the shipyards.”

“Send me your location, I will be there soon.”

Silent cut the transmission. Shortly after he received, a new message with the coordinates.

“Blue, take us to them. When we arrive, Fate and I shall stay. Take the ship and Abaven back to Aliso and await my orders.”

“Father, do you think they will give you the Title?” Blue asked

“Never,” said Silent. “which is why you and Abaven are going back to dig around and see what you can find. Take any life that gets on your way - the only one that matters is your mothers. I will return when the war is over. If you do not hear back from me in a month’s time, then I have died on the battlefield, and it will be up to you to take care of your mother.”

“As you wish, Father.”

4 Likes
(Zuser Whuloc) #15

Vigilant Hangar Bay

Lyra 3K-A System

37 ABY

“Get the fracking kriff out of my way!”

An unfortunate hangar tech suddenly found himself shoved aside by an irate, young Human, goggles pulled down over said individual’s eyes.

“What in the hell are you trying to do? Blow this entire hangar to oblivion?! ‘Cause if you keep trying to tinker with that proton warhead like you were, you would have done a great job!”

Zuser Whuloc stalked up to the confused tech and pulled the goggles over his forehead.

“If I ever see you near the Spectre again, I will personally jettison you into space and shoot you. Now get out of my sight.”

Spinning on his heel, the Maverick stalked back to the Spectre, grumbling angrily to himself as he went. Other techs quickly move out of the path of the irritated human.

“If you want anything done right, do it your kriffing self…”

Yanking the goggles back down on his face, a large spanner flew from the tool tray and into his waiting, outstretched hand. A quiet murmur touched his ears as he turned and saw the crowd part slightly, revealing Brimstone with an irritated expression on his azure face. Giving a salute, Zuser turned back to the tool tray with various parts on it.

“Brimstone, to what do I owe the pleasure?”

“Whuloc. Why are you terrorizing the hangar crew?”

“Oh! Well, you see, these so called ‘well trained’ morons keep getting in the way, and one of them just tried blowing up this entire hangar by thinking that taking a hammer to a proton warhead! That’s why!”

“Have you tried not screaming at them and threatening them with death?”

“They lost that chance when I caught one improperly trying to load heavy ordinance.”

“Be that as it may, we are at war, Whuloc. Respect the crew, and they will respect you.”

The maverick frowned as Brimstone turned on his heel and walked away, leaving Zuser alone with the Spectre. Quietly, the human hefted the wrench in his hand and muttered under his breath.

“Yeah, I’ll respect them when they don’t try and blow us all up.”

4 Likes
(Ronovi Tavisaen) #16

Ascendancy - Command Bridge

Lyra-3k-a system

37 ABY

“Captain Serrus.”

Serrus sat upright at the sound of the Dread Lord’s voice and saluted out of pure instinct. “Yes, my lord.”

“Are the diplomats on the move?”

“Yes, my lord,” interjected Ranin from the main console. “Caesar and Ferria are on their way to the Caelus from the Vigilant. Shall I give the go ahead for Karn and Varick?”

“Yes,” said Ronovi. “Have Arden’s ship dock on the Wrath. He and TuQ’uan will go in the shuttle together.”

“Understood.”

The woman folded her arms in front of her again and looked out the viewing portal. Outside, the shipyards, flanked by Collective dreadnaughts and the 5th Fleet, appeared impenetrable. But the Ascendant Clan had other plans - plans more nuanced than the ones she had initially conceived.


ISD Caelus - Command Bridge

Lyra-3k-a system

An hour later

Silent and with bated breath, the crew of the Caelus watched as two shuttles emerged from the Ascendant Fleet. Specifically, Lambda-class T4as, gliding through the cosmos. While the ships they arrived from were certainly still on the offensive, no squadrons or task forces appeared, so the shuttles moved without back-up.

This surprised Zand for two reasons: First, Lambda-class T4as were quite Imperial in nature, so seeing familiar vessels nearly calmed him rather than setting his teeth on edge. Second, the lieutenant colonel had kept to his word in more ways than one; the Vigilant was moving to flank the Caelus’s starboard side, while the rest of the Plagueian fleet remained far off. If Caesar hadn’t been able to ease at least a few of Duros’s concerns before, the clan’s actions were doing it for him.

Watching the shuttles hurtle toward the Caelus’s hangar bay, Zand gave a curt nod to his XO. “Grant them access.”

“S-sir?”

“Grant them access,” he repeated, more firmly this time. “We’ll see what ‘information’ they have for us.”


Thuvis Shipyards

Lyra-3k-system

Same time

Meanwhile, in the shipyard stations, the Principate’s crew that remained worked tirelessly to bring things as closely back to normal as possible. Around them, as techs mended wiring and maintenance workers shuffled about, the entire space was abuzz with gossip. Families who remained huddled in their quarters in order to stay safe prattled on about the “deception” of the Brotherhood - and how the Collective had their backs.

It was an illusion that would be dispelled in the loudest of ways.

Buzzing from the north, another Lambda-class T4a zipped its way from the belly of the Dominant and toward the easternmost section of the shipyards. Then, with a sudden lurch, slowed its velocity until it was nearly orbiting the stations, just out of reach of enemy radar and sensors. With delicate but fierce precision, it had been stripped of all markings of the Brotherhood, all insignia of the Ascendant Clan.

The pilot, Tadia Zoler, hovered over the console and frowned. The skin around her forehead puckered up, not helped by the tight bun her hair was kept in, and her emerald eyes focused steadily on the other shuttles making their way toward the Caelus. Behind her, a small strike team of Plagueians - from both Karness Muur and Ajunta Pall - sat strapped to their seats, their weapons and sidearms at the ready.

Tadia turned and was about to ask for orders. She didn’t have to speak.

“Wait, Zoler,” hissed Wrathus, his face hidden under his dark helmet as his voice oozed out nearly demonically. “Let’s pretend we can be patient…just this once.”

3 Likes
(Wrathus) #17

Thuvis Shipyards
Lyra-3k-a system
37 ABY

“Team A, this is Ascendancy. ‘Open Door’ is a go. I repeat: ‘Open Door’ is a go.”

While no one could see it through his helm, Wrathus smiled. “Understood, Ascendancy.” Turning off the comm, he spoke loudly. “Zoler, take us in. Drol, get ready, we need to make sure this landing doesn’t kill all of us.”

The Zabrak nodded. Any other day, he would’ve taken the chance to prod the man, but he knew that Wrathus was all business when it came to battle and might kill him on principle if not for fun. So he kept his mouth shut and started focusing on drawing the energies of the dark side around him.

The next few minutes passed in complete silence as the shuttle barreled through space towards the shipyards. The ship’s systems indicated that they’d been detected.

“All right, people, this is it. Initials only from this point on,” Wrathus ordered in a curt tone, his old military training coming to bear. “Z, make the call. D, we’re up.”

He sat forward in his seat and extended one of his hands. Kul’tak mimicked his actions and for a moment, nothing happened, but then they could see the almost imperceivable bubble of energy shimmer into existence around the nose of the shuttle.

“Mayday, mayday! We were hit in the crossfire! We’re coming down hard! Hang on, this is gonna hu - !” Tadia shouted into the comm before killing the channel. “Well, let’s see if they buy it.”

They did. “Lambda shuttle, this is Thuvis Shipyards. If you can hear us, try to put her down in the landing area. Emergency crews will be waiting. Good luck.”

The comms went silent after that. The rest of their short voyage passed in silence until the proximity alarms went off as they closed in on 100 meters. The alarm switched to a constant tone as they passed 50 meters.

“Brace!” Tadia called out.

Everyone save for Wrathus and Kul instinctively cinched down on their harnesses. Their hands were shaking as the bubble they created struck the side of the shipyards. The nose of the ship followed after punching a gaping hole in a warehouse section of the station. The Lambda-class T4a’s angular hull smashed into the surface of the shipyard. Everything vibrated under the impact. Metal bent, twisted, and shrieked. People, too, bent, twisted, and shrieked. The explosion colored the space in orange, the flames were sucked out into the vacuum of space before the emergency system kicked on, and shutters slammed down over the destroyed sections of the outer hull.

The shuttle’s enormous speed and mass allowed it to retain momentum and it skidded along the station floor, gouging metal, trailing fire, crushing bodies.

Wrathus savored the sounds of chaos. They hadn’t simply crashed into whatever spot on the station they pleased. Their intel indicated that this warehouse had been converted into a barracks for the Collective troops stationed on the shipyard.The shuttle soon came to a halt. For a precious moment, everything stood still before the landing ramp of the shuttle swung open with a clang. Tadia, Muse, and the handful of non-force-using troopers “staggered” out of the shuttle, coughing and groaning.

“Don’t shoot! We’re not your enemies!” Muse shouted as a group of Collective soldiers approached them, blasters at the ready.

“If you don’t stand with the Collective, then you are all our enemies,” the lead soldier retorted, unnatural fervor and malice dripping from his voice. With a shaking hand, he fired a shot that missed Muse by a fraction of an inch and scorched a hole in the hull of the shuttle before shaking his head and rubbing his eyes as if just waking up.

The Twi’lek sighed. “I really wish you hadn’t done that.” At her words, three irregular hums sounded off from within the shuttle as three lightsabers sprang to life.

Chaos erupted as the Collective soldiers opened fire.

The three Sith easily deflected the bolts back from where they came from. Wrathus howled and leapt from the shuttle into the middle of a squad of Collective soldiers. He punctuated his landing with an explosion of Force energy that cast the soldiers away like dry leaves.

Kooki, not to be outdone, picked a soldier approaching the non-Force-users from behind, gathered her power into a blunt object, and fired it at him. The ball of energy shot through the air and struck the man in the chest, caving it in and sending him flying.

The Brotherhood’s forces, while severely outnumbered, took the advantage early and rode it all the way to a complete slaughter. Several minutes later, a group of panting emergency technicians ran into the hanger and stood dumbfounded at the sight. Bodies littered the floor like fallen trees after a hurricane. The Lambda-class shuttle was now aflame, set alight to cover the ruse.

The technicians, clad in Principate uniforms, carefully made their way through the field of corpses and approached the survivors. Several of them looked like they might be ill. Kooki moved to meet them. The lead tech spoke first.

“What happened here?”

The female Sith sighed and let out a long breath. “After we crashed, these soldiers brutally attacked us. We’re lucky to be alive.”

The techs’ unprotected minds were easily swayed by her powers of manipulation.

“Well, that’s good. I have no idea why these soldiers would attack you like that. They said they were here to protect us from the Brotherhood’s forces.” The lead tech turned his head as Wrathus strode past him. “You aren’t from the Brotherhood, are you?”

Kooki smiled and shushed him. “No, we’re not. Don’t think too much about it. Now, is there anywhere we could hunker down till this blows over?” She tugged at the unseen thread she had connected to his mind.

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(Muse Nashesir) #18

Thuvis Shipyards
Lyra-3k-a system
37 ABY

War. Muse couldn’t believe it. She knew when she joined the Brotherhood that she would be called upon to fight. She never dreamed that it would be in a war. Sure, she had heard about all the bloody wars that the Brotherhood had waged normally between their own Clans. Now the whole Brotherhood was at the throats of their enemies collectively.

She thought of Taranae, her long-time friend from Naboo. She was the reason that Muse had come seeking the Brotherhood. The ship her friend had “borrowed” had a tracker placed on it and Muse was keen to know where Taranae had been headed in such a rush. When the redhead had last spoken to her before taking off in the ship, she had known something was off. She had, of course, followed her tracking signal and found a planet she had never heard of: Aliso.

There she found Taranae had become a completely different person from the shy creature she was before. She had become a fighting machine and someone to be feared by anyone who stood in her way. She had found her friend and would stay by her side. Right now, Taranae was in Lyra Colony doing her own part for this war as Muse worked in the shipyards

There had been noise everywhere, and smoke had burned her lungs as she strained to see through the chaos playing out ahead of her. Bodies were strewn everywhere as the Brotherhood had brought the fight to the Collective, and she had ducked blaster bolts as she unclipped her DL-44 blasters from each hip, bringing them to bear on the origin point of her assailant’s shots.

She had smiled, satisfied, as a scream told her that she had hit her mark perfectly again. Crossing her arms and aiming her weapons in a diagonal stance away from her, she had let off two more volleys and three others had fallen to the Corsair’s blasters.

It hadn’t taken long for the small party from the Lambda shuttle to decimate the Collective forces in the area. One body lay in a crumpled heap, slumped against a cabinet, while others lay in haphazard positions where they had fallen to blaster fire, crushing or blades. The battle had died as quickly as it had begun.

Muse took one last look at the chaos they had sown here. She holstered her weapons and looked on as Kooki spoke to a newcomer. Muse watched as a glazed expression appeared in their eyes. She wondered at the show of power and thought about Tara being able to do it too. Apparently, the newcomers were technicians and were trying to work out what had happened. Kooki spoke to them and assured them that the party were not with the Brotherhood. Muse was amazed that they accepted the excuse as reality after what had just transpired, and after a brief exchange, the boarding party moved onwards with the technicians.

“We’re a little concerned about the safety of the families with enemies at your doors,” spoke Kooki. “Maybe we can help? Our presence will ensure that none of the families will come to any harm if you are attacked.”

“We value your offer.” replied one of the techs. “I’m sure we will be a lot safer with you around. Please, come this way.”

The technicians headed off towards a corridor on the far side of the warzone, and the assembled Brotherhood followed, under the guise of friends and protectors. Muse couldn’t help but smirk as they were led onwards. The ruse continued.

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(TuQ'uan Varick) #19

ISD Caelus - Hangar Bay
Lyra-3k-a system
37 ABY

As the pair of Plagueian shuttles settled into the place in the hangar bay, Zand stood with his back to them, a small circle of officers and advisors huddled around him. Outside of this gathering, everything appeared normal: mechanics continued to work on prepping shuttles and organizing cargo containers while chaos ensued within the group. Speaking in panicked, hushed tones, they interrupted each other and pointed angrily at information displayed on the datapads in hand, all except Zand, who struggled to keep his calm demeanour and listen carefully to what each of them had to say. All the while ignoring the Plagueian delegates as they descended the ramps of their respective shuttles.

“Enough!” he barked; the weariness of the past few days was weighing heavily on his patience. “We’ll get to the bottom of this soon enough. In the meantime, put the Caelus on high alert. If these so-called allies decide to pull anything, I want us ready.”

“Yes, sir.” A Togrutan officer nodded and rushed out of the hanger to relay the orders.

A loud clang drew the attention of everyone in the hanger to a young Human who had dropped a small pile of missiles off of a cart while transporting them to be loaded, with the exhaustion setting in the Human had failed to properly secure his cargo.

“Chief!” Zand cried out and waved the deck chief over. His frustration was growing by the moment. “Get that kid out of here before he kills us all. Now!”

The Duros then took a deep breath to calm his nerves. He couldn’t wait for all of this to be over so they could all get the rest they desperately needed. A junior officer cleared her throat, drawing his attention back to the matters at hand.

“Sir,” she spoke and nodded her head in the direction of the approaching diplomats.

As Zand spun on his heels to greet his guests, he took in the sight of the motley group that had demanded this meeting: two Humans, a Chiss, a Kel Dor, a droid - and only one with any sense of a uniform. They looked like a group of businessmen and mercenaries more than politicians and leaders. And what was with the stupid hat on the Kel Dor?

Rumours of their practices aside, I have to admit, they’ve hit their diversity quota, Zand chuckled to himself.

“Welcome to the Caelus, Lieutenant Colonel. I hope your trip over here wasn’t too inconvenient,” the commander’s tone was less hospitable than his words.

Gaius nodded. “I believe you will come to appreciate our visit once you’ve seen what we came to show you.”

“Of course,” Zand spoke softly. A thought occurred to him as he remembered a piece of information from the heated discussion just moments ago. “Lambda-class shuttles, I do appreciate seeing a fine piece of Imperial engineering." His tone warmed just a touch. “You know, we don’t see too many of them around anymore. And definitely not in impeccable shape such as yours! Do you mind if I ask how many you have?”

“Only a few, and we take very good care of them,” TuQ’uan chimed in, putting a stop to the conversation. “Now if you don’t mind, can we get started?”

“Absolutely, if you’d follow me.” Zand turned and led the Plagueians out of the hangar.

As the group cleared the door, a half dozen security guards fell in line behind them, rifles ready in case these newcomers made a move they didn’t like. The commander didn’t trust this group or the organization they represented, but he swore to himself that he would get some answers about what was going on here before they left.

ISD Caelus - Meeting Room
Lyra-3k-a system
37 ABY

A large oval table sat in the middle of the cold, durasteel room. On one side of the table sat commander Zand and two other officers of the Principate’s 5th Fleet. Directly across from them sat Scudi and her Aedile, with TuQ’uan and Arden flanking them while PeaZce stood behind the delegates. Armed guards stood around the perimeter of the room and on either side of the room’s only exit.

“Shortly before your arrival, a Lambda-class shuttle went down, forced into an emergency landing that resulted in the shuttle colliding with our shipyards.” Zand looked each of the Plagueian delegates in the eye as he spoke. “Then, you land in my hangar bay in a pair of Lambda-class shuttles. If you ask me, there is something strange going on in the Lyra system right now. So, before we get started with whatever it is you felt was so imperative to share with me, let me ask you one simple question. What the frak are you really doing in my system?”

The Duros signaled to the officer sitting to his left. Taking her queue a Twi’lek officer hurriedly handed a datapad to Gaius, who in turn passed it to his compatriots.

“I can assure you, commander, the Plagueian fleet had absolutely nothing to do with this,” Arden spoke up.

“We’ll see about that.”

“If you distrust us so much, then why don’t you check in with your own people. I’m sure they’d be happy to clear the air.” Scudi’s crimson eyes focused intensely on the commander’s.

Without breaking eye contact with the House Karness Muur Quaestor, Zand reached down and activated the comm unit on the table.

“This is Commander Hammor. Put me through to security at the shipyards”

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(Kookimarissia Mimosa-Inahj) #20

The technician stopped just outside the perimeter of the civilian area. Kooki was feeling so many emotions right now, and some of these did not like co-existing with the others. Part of her missed her own children, and she really didn’t want to be apart from them, yet simultaneously, she was taking a small amount of solace in that she was going to be protecting others from the Collective. Her inner hatred towards Imperials was rather small in comparison to how much she loathed the Collective.

Once the group got into a more central location, they looked around. It was sparser than Kooki thought it was going to be. A few people milled about, and they looked around upon the arrival of these strangers. The leading technician nodded silently at a male who was carrying a bag of tools back to his homestead. He looked a bit grubby from a shift repairing ships, but he was a family man at heart. He nodded silently in response, although his facial expression didn’t reflect how he was feeling inside.

Within a few minutes, a small crowd had gathered.

“Right! Simply put, the Collective are coming for you, and they are ruthless. No one and nothing will be spared should you be found. Your options are to die or to come with us, we’ll take you to your nearby fleet,” Kooki explained.

Most of the crowd looked startled and rather rattled by this announcement. Suddenly, one woman at the back, whom Kooki recognised as being pregnant, spoke up.

“And why should we listen to you?! We don’t know you. You turn up with all these fancy weapons and expect us to blindly follow you!” she expressed.

The technician hadn’t known Kooki long, but had quickly learnt she was not one to be questioned.

“Everybody move! GO!” she yelled.

The objecting woman’s husband tugged at her arm.

“Come on, love. We need to get out of here,” he ushered.

“No!” his new wife boomed,the stressful situation worsened her erratic mood swings .

Kooki took pity on the woman. “It’s all right. I get it - I wouldn’t trust me either. But seriously, I’m a mother, and my children are safe from all this impending destruction. And I want the same for everyone here.” she soothed.

The young female wiped away the tears trickling down her cheeks.

“Find a safe haven, and soon your two will become three," Kooki hushed.

“Two weeks left,” the female whispered, patting her top gently. “Thank you, Miss…”

“Kooki. Miss Kooki,” the Battlemaster replied, waving farewell.

“Quick! We need to pack and fast!” the mother exclaimed to her new husband.

“Already on it,” he replied.

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