Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

18 years after the Battle of Yavin...
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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Halomek » Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:33 pm

“It's exceedingly simple, Isis,” Mogon countered. “The only issue is having the resources to make it happen, but if there's one thing I learned from watching Sivter, it was how to do a lot with a little. His ability to put the whole galaxy under siege with some well-placed agents and tactical strikes was remarkable.”

Clara felt sick to her stomach as she thought back to some of the atrocities Sivter had committed in the service of his insane war. Mogon was already too far in the deep end as it was, she didn't want to imagine him doing the same kinds of things. “Please tell me you don't idolize that monster.”

“Of course not, but I do respect what he was able to do,” Mogon answered her. “I can tell neither of you are convinced of what I'm doing, but that's as expected. You haven't seen what I've seen, but you'll come around when you realize the truth of my cause.”

Clara knew they were supposed to be trying to get Mogon to trust them more, but she was also realizing that she was a pretty terrible spy. She was too used to speaking what was really on her mind, especially when she was angry.

“I've just about had it with your high and mighty crap, Mog!” Clara blurted out as she slapped the table. “All you're doing is slaughtering innocent people and trying to justify it with pretty words!”

Mogon's answer was as simple as it was poignant. “Isn't that true of all wars?”

Clara tried to come up with a retort to that, but failed utterly. Instead she fumed in her seat. “I still don't like it.”

“No one should like war, that's why I'm trying to end it,” he said to the both of them. “I don't expect to be remembered fondly for what I will be unleashing on the galaxy, but at least my intentions are noble. When the Republic and the Empire go to war again, do you think it will be about anything other than resource grabbing? The ideals that formed the Alliance are becoming more empty and hollow every day and of course the Empire barely tries to mask its true intentions. I won't stand by and let such a vicious cycle continue.”

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Pryde » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:50 am

Isis winced at his words. He sounds like those peace nuts at the Senate, she thought, but much more dangerous. Somewhere in her mind it felt like she had this conversation before with many of her peers all preaching for peace. There were the war lobbyists too, of course, and Isis found herself in the middle of all of it, one of the few representatives left that could tip the scales in favor of one side or the other. Naturally, there were plenty of Senators attempting to get on her good side but Isis stubbornly refused to listen to them at all. She was not a proponent for peace but neither could she advocate for war. She would never forgive the Empire for Tolaris' death and what it did to Clara, but war with the Empire meant war with Caitlyn's family and by extension her family. She was quite literally torn in two.

"I think I've heard enough," she said, standing up from the table barely having touched her supper. "Thank you for a lovely evening, Mogon," she said with a bow, her high society upbringing showing once more, "but I am not well. I should retire."

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Halomek » Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:07 pm

Clara didn't pretend to put on any niceties as she got up to leave too. She wasn't about to let her sister in all but blood leave alone.

Mogon stood as well, though he didn't seem put off by Isis's reaction. Clara knew that even as wrong in the head as their friend was, there was no way a tactical mind like his would have mistook Isis's feeling ill for anything but what it truly was. Either he wasn't surprised by the reaction or wasn't concerned by it.

Probably both.

“You're going to miss the best part, Isis,” Mogon said to her. “I didn't set the time for this meal arbitrarily. You wanted to know how I was going to make good on my goal, Clara? Well, let me show you. We should be coming up on the Cult of Shadow base in mere moments.” He gestured to the viewports behind him in a clear invitation.

Clara had to admit a certain morbid curiosity about how much of the Cult of Shadow had survived after Arcanix. She looked at Isis. “We should at least see the full extent of what's going on, Sis.”

It seemed clear that currently this room was the last place in the galaxy Isis wanted to be, but she nodded silently before both women approached the viewports.

There wasn't anything to see at first except the odd gray blanket of otherspace, but soon other shapes started to become distinct. At first Clara identified numerous asteroids, hundreds of them, until they got closer and the flicker of blue propulsion could be seen from some of the craters. That's when she realized that they were Charon ships. Apparently these were the vessels that Sivter never outfitted with otherdrives – or maybe never sent into battle.

“Oddly enough, many Charon remain loyal to the Cult of Shadow,” Mogon told them. “At first I thought it wiser to hide news of Sivter's death from them, but I underestimated the Charon devotion to death. The thousands of their kind that died at Mon Calamari are revered and envied. They see it as a positive thing. Add to that how much death and destruction Sivter's war has caused our galaxy and he has been all but deified by them. When I eventually decided to tell them that Sivter had been killed, many Charon felt it was simply the next logical progression of Sivter's plan and that he would return when the time was right.”

“Please tell me you're not going to begin a second Charon invasion of our galaxy, Mog,” Clara asked him as she felt a chill down her spine. This was already much worse than she could have imagined.

“No. The Charon are ultimately too uncontrollable to be reliable,” Mogon assured her, “but they have other uses. He pointed at a much larger shape in the distance. “Behold.”

At first Clara couldn't tell what the unidentified mass that they were approaching was, but the closer they got, the more Clara started to feel a real primeval fear in her gut. It was a creature of some kind. It looked vaguely like a space slug, but it was far larger than any known space slug – hell, any creature at all. It was like a monster out of a creation myth from any number of cultures.

The beast that ends existence.

It was hard to judge scale in space, but the sheer size of it became apparent the closer the Edict got. If Clara had to guess, she would have ventured that the massive ship was only about as big as the creature's closed eye.

“This creature was once a space slug, but it was extensively altered by Uvon Okdoro and the Charon into the world-ender you see before you,” Mogon answered their unspoken questions. “I mean that term literally too. It is designed to burrow into a world and devour its core, turning it into a dead planet. You wanted to know what threat could be big enough to unite the Republic and the Empire? This is it.”

Clara recalled hearing Uvon's name before. He was known as Sivter's monster maker; apparently the one behind many of the unnatural beasts the cult had used in their war, not to mention the so-called Shadow Poison and Korriban Crystals if reports were to be believed. More worrisome, he was also one of the Dark Lords that was still unaccounted for.

“Currently the monster remains in stasis,” Mogon continued. “There's no otherdrive in existence yet that's powerful enough to bring it into realspace. This is one case where Sivter's ambition outpaced his vision. Additionally there are some other failsafes that need to be implemented before it's ready to be deployed.”

Clara's thoughts raced as she began to see the true scale of Mogon's plan for the galaxy. He was going to push the Republic and the Empire to the brink of collapse, forcing them to unite against the monster the cult had created. And that meant...

That meant...

That meant planets had to die. Planets filled with people. A creature like this wouldn't destroy a world instantly like the Death Stars or be as thorough at eradicating a populace as the Charon, but in the end it was all relative. An untold number of people were going to die if it was ever unleashed.

Clara bunched her hands into fists, doing her best to fight a real sense of hopelessness welling up inside of her; not just for the galaxy but for her friend too. For the first time she began to consider that he was truly lost to them and couldn't convince herself otherwise.

She let loose a yell of indecipherable rage before hitting the transparisteel viewport with enough force to break the skin of her knuckles. She then spun to face Mogon with gritted teeth, “You sick son of a bitch! I'll never let you do this!”

Mogon, however, was faster and simply gestured at Clara, flinging her across the room to slam into a wall. Clara sank to her knees and with it all of the fight seemed to drain out of her in the same instant. Mogon hardly needed the Schrai to restrain her, the dread and fear she'd been trying to suppress about Mogon surfaced all at once. Her friend was gone. He was gone and there was nothing she could do about it.

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Pryde » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:47 pm

Isis said and did nothing, even as her friend was being flung across the room. She really did feel sick to her stomach now, for more reasons than one. She had come to the same conclusion as Clara that Mogon was lost to them for good, but a frontal assault now would only end in failure. Instead she fainted, falling into Mogon like a sack of grain. The dark lord of the Sith caught her and held her steady and as he did so she slipped a small, nondescript button from the sleeve of her dress and stuck it to the underside of his belt, activating the device.

"Are you alright," Mogon asked her and Isis nodded.

"I'm--just a little light headed," she said, "I think I really would like to go back to my room now."

Mogon watched her for a moment though it was unclear what he was thinking. If he was disappointed or concerned he didn't show it. Instead he motioned for the Schrai to escort Isis and Clara back to their room. "We'll talk more in the morning," he said as the two women were escorted away.

Once they were back in their room Clara immediately slumped into a chair. She had lost all hope for this mission, that much was clear and even now she worried if they would even make it out of this alive. Isis, however, was busy fiddling with her chrono.

"I can't believe how far he's gone," Clara said finally, "and you, you didn't even say anything."

"What more was there to say," Isis replied, she finished programming her chrono then slipped it off her wrist and set it down on the table. Shortly after a holographic map of the Edict's interior appeared above it and the two women could see a single blip moving along one of the ship's corridors.

"What's that," Clara asked.

"Just a little something Adrian gave me," Isis answered, "I slipped a tracker onto Mogon. Eventually he will head back to his room and once he's gone to sleep I'll find a way to break out of here, sneak into his room and end him."

She had a distant look in her eye but there was no hesitation in her voice. Isis was intent on killing Mogon, even if it meant ending the life of an old flame. Clara wasn't sure what to think, she didn't think her friend was capable of killing Mogon but beyond that she was even more surprised by how she intended to handle it. The Isis she knew would have charged headlong into danger without even thinking of the consequences, but even as Mogon was tossing her around Isis just stood there and did nothing. What's more she devised a cleverly deceptive plan and carried it out without Clara even knowing. It was just so uncharacteristic of her. Clara only hoped it was uncharacteristic enough for Mogon not to notice.

"Alright, assuming this works how do you get past the guards outside and all the way to Mogon's quarters without anyone seeing you."

Isis smirked. "Quex, you there," she said, speaking into the chrono, "Tell me they've got you someplace where you can plug in."

As they waited for a response from the droid Clara just looked at Isis. The other woman simply shrugged, "New Republic Intelligence gets all the best toys."

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Halomek » Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:57 pm

“Looks like you're a better spook than I could ever be, Sis,” Clara replied morosely. “It was my idea to gain Mogon's trust and I couldn't even keep it together for one night. He was probably deliberately baiting us to see how we'd react and I fell for it hook, line, and sinker.”

“It's okay, Clara,” Isis assured her. “Deception has never been one of your strengths.”

“Nor yours either as I recall, but you held it together,” Clara said with a raised eyebrow.

“Politics has forced me to learn a few new tricks,” she replied with an almost regretful sigh, “but you probably helped more than you realize. I might not have been successful if your outburst hadn't distracted him. Now, if I can get in touch with Quex, we might just be able to end this tonight.”

Isis raised her chrono to try contacting the droid again...

***

Tav was doing his best to kill time by lying down in his cot and trying to whistle a half-remembered Corellian showtune when Quex rolled in front of his cell. “You look entirely too comfortable in there for what you've gotten me into.”

Tav grinned at the astromech. “I can't argue with you on this one, buddy. This is probably the dumbest thing I've ever done.” He sat up. “How are you doing?”

“Slicing into the Edict's systems is easy enough as long as I don't try to access anything high level. The Schrai may be intelligent, but they lack any sense of creativity; even a bot fresh out of the factory could avoid their system scans. Their restraining bolt has also been predictably useless on me,” Quex reported. “Before you even ask, I also looped the security camera footage while I'm here, so no one will know we're talking.”

“Uh, yeah, good job,” Tav replied. In truth he hadn't even thought about that last part until Quex had mentioned it. “I don't know what our play is going to be for Mogon yet, but I think the girls will probably need your help more than me.”

“So says the man in the dungeon,” Quex commented sarcastically. “Of course I'll help them... hold on a minute... it looks like Isis is trying to contact me right now. That's certainly fortuitous. I'll open the link. There.” If it was possible, Quex appeared to look a little distant as he replied to Isis. “I'm here, Isis, and Tav is next to me. What do you need?”

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Pryde » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:51 pm

"Gonna need a way out of this room," Isis said, "and a possible diversion but we'll play that one by ear."

She fiddled with the sleeve of her dress, carefully drawing the knife she had hidden there and set it on the table. Clara looked at her momentarily, wondering when Isis had the time to hide a knife up her sleeve. "Pretty sure Mogon's got some guards posted outside," Isis continued, "I don't think drawing them away is going to work so if you can find me a way around them...," she left the rest hanging in the air.

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Halomek » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:47 am

Quex plugged into a nearby scomp link as he homed in on their signal. “Okay, I'm accessing the security cameras by your room now. I see four Schrai standing guard outside. Checking schematics to try and find an alternate way out.”

“Why not just go through the ventilation shaft?” Tav suggested. “That always works.”

“You mean that always works in the holodramas,” Quex replied with a bit of irritation. “Besides, it seems the cult rigged all of the shafts with traps.”

“Can't you disable them?”

“The ones I can interface with, sure, but that's no guarantee there aren't other traps without external links to the system.” Quex continued searching for a few minutes without success. “The room seems to be sealed pretty tight. There are possibilities, but you'd need industrial tools for pretty much all of them and even if you had those, I'm sure the guards would notice the noise.”

“So we just need to think outside of the box,” Tav said to Quex. “Remember that smuggling job on Bonadan a number of years back? What if we try that same thing here, except with a person? Do you think Isis would fit?”

Isis' reply was guarded. “What are you talking about? What am I supposed to fit into?”

“To make a long story short, Tav used a waste collector droid to get his cargo past Bonadan customs. It worked, but the clients had an issue with the smell and things went downhill from there,” the droid explained. “It would be a tight fit, but I think a humanoid with Isis' dimensions could fit inside one of the models they use on this ship if she curled up. I could reprogram one to visit your room and then take you where you need to go.”

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Pryde » Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:31 am

A trash collector droid, Isis was not looking forward to that but it seemed there was no other option. "Alright, set it up," she said, "but give it some time. I need Mogon to head back to his room first. I'm not interested in fighting a Forcer when he's wide awake."

Too many people made the mistake of attacking Force users head on, Isis included. During the war with the Cult of Shadow she had been brazen enough to wade headlong into battle against Sith and Schrai alike. Too many times she relied on her luck to get her out of bad situations, but living with her father, talking to her brother and spending every day dodging questions from the press and politicians alike has helped her learn to think in new ways.

"I'll send you a location as soon as I know where it is. In the meantime keep your head down, I don't want the Schrai or anyone else to catch on to what we're doing."

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Halomek » Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:47 pm

It was a number of hours before Mogon returned to his quarters, during which time Clara was able to regain some of her composure. When the waste droid entered, it did so without any trouble. Such things were so routine that they were almost invisible.

The droid itself was bulky and ungainly, clearly intended for industrial work. It moved on treads and had a large rectangular body with multiple appendages topped with various tools in case the droid needed to fix something or unclog something. When the droid opened its giant chest cavity for Isis to crawl inside, it was thankfully empty of garbage and appeared to be dry too. From what Clara was learning about Quex, she wouldn't have put it past the little astromech to deliberately select a waste droid that was the least offensive to the senses.

It was actually a good thing that it was empty too, since it looked as though Isis would have little room to spare once she curled up inside.

Before Isis could get inside, Clara put a hand on her arm. “You realize, of course, that once you kill him, the chances of us making it back alive are slim to none. Even if by some miracle we escape the Edict and the Charon, there's no way for us to return to realspace.”

Isis nodded. “I know, but it needs to be done.”

Clara nodded back before pulling Isis in for a hug. “If this is the last time I see you, Isis... it's been a blast.”

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Pryde » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:19 am

Isis was a bit caught off guard by Clara's actions, it wasn't like her to get all sentimental. Still she hugged her back and when she pulled away she immediately began the arduous work of stuffing herself into the waste collector droid. It's times like these I wish I was a contortionist, she grumbled to herself though truth be told she couldn't recall ever having times like these.

"Don't worry, Clara," Isis said before the droid's compartment slid shut, "I don't plan on dying just yet. No fething idea how we're going to make it out of here but we'll make it out alive."

Then the droid's compartment slid shut and Isis gritted her teeth. It wasn't exactly the most comfortable of places to be but she could live with it long enough to make it to Mogon's quarters. Really hope this works, she thought as the droid started to move. She really wasn't relishing the idea of one of the Schrai finding her in this thing. Considering how difficult they were to kill back on Necroa she sincerely doubted she could do anything to hurt one of them with a steak knife.

Fortunately, her luck seemed to hold. She'd been riding around in the belly of the droid for more than a minute now and no one seemed to pay it much heed. She tried to listen for any kind of commotion but could barely make out any kind of noise beyond the inner workings of the droid. With nothing better to do she tried to get as comfortable as the space allowed and just waited.

After what seemed like an eternity the droid finally stopped and opened its compartment. When she crawled out she was in Mogon's private quarters. She took a quick look around as the droid wheeled itself back out the door. As she suspected the room was dark and Mogon was asleep. She held her knife in a reverse grip and quietly crept up alongside the bed. She could hear the faint sounds of his breathing and the closer she got the louder her heart began to pound.

Finally she was within arms reach of him and with both hands she raised the knife over her head ready to strike. At that moment Mogon chose to roll over in his sleep and when Isis caught sight of his face she was immediately reminded of a time not long ago when the two of them had fallen asleep in each other's arms. The memory caught her off guard and she hesitated, lowering the knife slightly. Part of her was screaming at her to finish the job but the other part, the part that still cared deeply for Mogon refused to act.

What are you doing, Isis? Kill him, her mind was screaming at her. She had only this opportunity to end this threat once and for all, she had to take it no matter how important he was to her. She raised the knife again fully intent on killing him but again her body refused to act. Damn it, she cursed, her hands falling to her sides shortly before the knife slipped from her grasp. The clatter of the blade against the deck awoke Mogon from his slumber and he blinked his eyes at her before glancing down at her discarded knife.

Isis refused to look him in the eye, not because she was afraid but because she was ashamed. Ashamed of herself for not being able to finish the job and ashamed that she allowed her love for this man get in her way. If he killed her now it would be everything she deserved...

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Halomek » Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:12 pm

Mogon remained in bed, he was barechested and it was clear that his time as a Dark Lord certainly hadn't caused him any problems staying in shape. When he spoke, it was calmly and without any trace of anger: “I had a feeling that you might try something, but I have to admit that you took action sooner than I expected.”

Isis wasn't sure what to expect, but she braced herself for some kind of violent response. “What are you going to do?”

He looked at the knife on the floor again and then back to her. “Nothing.”

“Nothing?!”

Mogon nodded. “You had a perfect opportunity to kill me just now. I was completely vulnerable and yet you couldn't go through with it even after learning the extent of my plan. There is nothing I need to do.”

He then threw aside the covers and stood up, moving in close and placing strong hands on her shoulders. “The real question is: what are you going to do, Isis?”

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Pryde » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:52 am

She continued to avert her eyes, not trusting herself to look at him. His touch had an effect on her and his proximity to her brought back all sorts of memories. Those feelings she had tried so hard to overcome suddenly came rushing back to her. "Why didn't it work between us," she said quietly.

Mogon had no answer for that, neither of them did. Their relationship had ended so abruptly. There was so much left unresolved between them and Isis couldn't help but ask herself why. What was it that drove them apart?

Finally her eyes met his and for a long while they stood there frozen in time. It happened slowly at first, almost with a bit uncertainty, but their lips were eventually drawn together. The kiss became passionate and eventually they fell onto the bed. Their love making continued for some time and when it was over they lay quietly in each other's arms. It was Isis who spoke up first.

"What happened to you, Moggy?" She asked, her voice barely above a whisper, "What made you change?"

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Halomek » Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:09 pm

“I can't explain it any better than what I've already told you, Isis,” Mogon said to her. “You'll never truly understand until the ones you love are taken away forever without any reason, cause, or retribution. I hope you never have to learn that pain.”

He kissed her on the forehead. “I hope you never have to run into the people out there with ambitions far more monstrous than mine.”

***

One Week Later – Ambria

Sigarr wiped his hands on an oily rag. He looked over at Faye with a grin. His appearance had become quite unkempt during their time in the village and he was starting to develop a tan from being outside in the Ambrian sun for so long. In a way, it was if all of the trappings of Sigarr's corporate life had been stripped away and he was reliving his teenage days in rural Saldora again. He had to admit that it felt good connecting with his roots, though he certainly wasn't going to object to getting back to civilization. There was a reason he had worked so hard to become the CEO of the Republic Engineering Corporation; it was because he liked living comfortably.

He patted the rusty hood of the roamer before sliding into the driver's seat. The vehicle was primitive, meant to haul cargo, and in addition to an internal combustion engine it used tires instead of repulsorlifts. The suspension even squeaked as Sigarr sat down. It certainly was no race car, but right now it carried their only hope of getting to Ambria City and off of this rock.

“Okay, cross your fingers, Master Ward,” Sigarr shouted to her. A little to his surprise, she actually held up a hand and crossed her fingers. Sigarr couldn't tell if she was doing it sincerely or as a joke, but either way it was more than he had been expecting. Maybe being out of commission was doing Faye some good too, she was beginning to act more and more like a human.

Sigarr started the ignition and pressed his foot down on the pedal to give it some gas. The engine roared to life as a puff of black smoke exited the exhaust. Sigarr idled the engine before giving it some more gas and this time the exhaust ran clear and the engine retained an even hum.

He laughed to himself before exiting and clapping his hands in triumph. “Ha, ha! I did it!” Sigarr gave a half-serious bow to Faye. “Your chariot awaits, milady. We're on our way to Ambria City!”

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Pryde » Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:17 pm

Isis turned away from him then and climbed out of the bed. "Don't say that," she said, "You're not a monster, this isn't you."

She stooped to grab her clothes and began putting them on. When she was finished she turned back to look at him. "I'm not going to kill you, Mogon, but I am going to save you. As long as I'm alive I will never give up on you, not again. Not like before."

Her memories of their last parting came flooding back to her and it was all she could do to push them aside. With a slight wave of her hand she gestured towards the door. "May I walk myself out or will you have someone escort me?"

**********

Faye was actually surprised at Sigarr's success. From what she knew of them man she never would have guessed he could be so technically savvy, so hardworking. Every hour of every day was spent doing backbreaking work for the people who took them in and all the while Faye had simply been recovering. She felt ashamed of herself, unable to provide any useful assistance while others slaved away for her benefit. It was not like her, she had no idea how to handle it.

"Thank you, Mr. Halomek," she said and she held out her hand towards him so that he might help her into the truck. Once Sigarr had her settled he climbed into the chair beside her and gently eased the vehicle onto the road. The owners of the farm came out to wave goodbye to them and the pair said their farewells as well. Soon after that it was just the two of them on the open road, sitting in complete silence.

Faye could hardly keep her eyes off Sigarr, wondering what she should say to him. How she should offer to repay him. How does one thank the man who has everything? By saving his life, she reminded herself. She had a duty to perform here and she needed to keep her mind on the task at hand.

"Do you have any plans for when we arrive at Ambria?" She said finally, breaking the awkward silence between them.

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Halomek » Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:56 pm

Sigarr raised an eyebrow as he glanced over at Faye. “My plan? Why, to procure passage offworld, of course. Perhaps to Coruscant or Ossus, or wherever you think I'll be safest. What else?”

Faye rolled her eyes. “I mean how to do you plan to do that? We have no money and if someone were to learn who we are, it might get back to the assassins that are after you.”

Sigarr chuckled a bit. “Would you recognize us right now if you were looking for us? I don't exactly match my company profile picture at the moment. As for how I'll accomplish getting us passage, that's all details, my dear Jedi Master. I'll figure something out. Life always provides an opportunity if you know how to recognize it.”

Faye looked out of the passenger window at the barren rocky expanse they were driving through. The ground was parched except for a few stubborn shrubs that somehow managed to survive in such an environment. “I don't understand,” she mumbled to herself.

Sigarr, however, overheard her comment. “Hmmm? What don't you understand?”

She looked back at him. “I don't understand you. A good warrior learns how to predict how others around her will act, but just when I think I have you figured out, you do something that forces me to reevaluate you. It's... frustrating.”

“I wouldn't feel bad about that, Master Ward,” Sigarr said to her. “You're not the first person to underestimate me, in fact I encourage that in the people I meet. I know exactly what kind of man I appear to be on the surface and I play to that as much as I can.” He smiled distantly. “Sometimes it seems like half my career has been built upon people underestimating me. It's easy to fool others when they think you're the fool.”

He looked back at her again, his smile becoming more playful. “What nobody ever understands though is that none of it is an act. I am everything you've seen. I'm as much a boastful playboy as I am a generous philanthropist, or a grungy mechanic, or any other facet that may show up from time to time, but people like to believe there can only be one side to a person, so they pick and choose the label that seems to fit best. In fact...”

Sigarr paused as something seemed to suddenly occur to him. “Now that's strange...”

“What?”

He turned his eyes back to the nearly nonexistent road. “I don't tend to get this chatty about myself with other people. I don't even get this deep with my brother. You're not using some Jedi Mind Trick on me or something, are you?”

Faye shook her head. “Even if I had a talent with such powers, I wouldn't use them like that.”

Sigarr seemed thoughtful before he glanced back at her with fresh eyes. “Interesting... I'll tell you what, Master Ward, we've got a dew days before we arrive at the capital in this rig. Why not use that time to fill in the blanks about each other? I must admit, there are things about you that have me curious as well.”

***

“You're free to move about the ship as you wish, provided you don't cause trouble,” Mogon said to Isis. “Be warned that the Schrai have standing orders to stop anyone who could be an issue, and what one of them sees, they all see.”

“Clara, unfortunately, is another story,” he added. “Unlike you, she's never been able to deal with the idea of sacrificing something for the greater good, and that seems to still hold true. She always wants to save as many people as she can. That's her greatest strength and her greatest weakness. If I let her roam free right now, she will inevitably attempt something. I would rather avoid that.”

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Pryde » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:09 am

"You're going to have to elaborate," Faye replied, surprised by Sigarr's inquiry, "I didn't think there was much I kept hidden."

It was true she didn't talk about her past much or even her own personal feelings but it wasn't like she was trying to keep those things secret. She was open and honest with everyone she met... Well, at least she was honest which she usually considered being open, but maybe to someone like Sigarr that wasn't the case.

*********

"Don't misunderstand me, Mogon," Isis cautioned him, "I share Clara's convictions, it's one of the reasons why we're sisters and while I'm willing to go to any length to protect the people I care about not even I can justify the heartless sacrifice of so many. I won't try to stop you, though, or cause trouble but somehow I am bringing you back from this. I still believe there's a way out for you. You would have killed us the moment we stepped off that ship otherwise."

She stepped closer to the door but stopped as it slid open to allow her to exit. "Before I return I would like to visit Tav. He is--important to me too," she said, "I want to know he's okay."

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Halomek » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:54 am

A shadow seemed to briefly fall over Mogon's face at the comment, but it was gone as suddenly as it had appeared. “As I said, you're free to go where you wish on the ship. I've already been in telepathic contact with the Schrai, so they're apprised of the situation. You should encounter no trouble as long as you behave.”

***

Sigarr chuckled. “Don't get me wrong, Master Ward, I think you're the very paragon of a Jedi Master, as honest, brave, and willing to defend the galaxy as any of them, but you seem to take some of the teachings further than most – especially the bit about guarding your emotions.”

“I know emotions are dangerous for Jedi, but you have a way of taking that to a whole other level,” he added. “Take your friend, Kalja, for example. I've heard it said that she's one of the most powerful Jedi alive, but she doesn't seem to hold back what she's feeling. It's almost like...”

Sigarr stopped himself from going further when he realized he might be pushing things. “Actually, never mind. It's not important.”

Faye, however, wasn't having it. “Finish what you were going to say.”

Sigarr scratched the back of his head and sighed. He wasn't about to try and argue with her. “Alright... It's almost like you're afraid of being human.” He glanced at Faye again. “I've seen glimpses of a loving and caring woman under that warrior's armor you wear, but such sightings are fleeting at best. What happened to make you guard yourself so fiercely?”

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Pryde » Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:48 am

Isis nodded and left the room. The door to Mogon's quarters slid shut behind her and she turned and headed towards the brig. She had spent some time pouring over reports on the Edict collected from various sources. Most of which came from the Republic attempt to board and disable the vessel during the Battle of Mon Calamari. Thanks to those reports she was able to find her way to the brig will little trouble and as luck would have it Tav Garvin was still awake. No doubt he was waiting for the inevitable firestorm that should have accompanied Mogon's death. Isis stood in front of his cell.

"I take it since we're still alive and you're here that the plan didn't go very well," Tav asked her.

The senator fell to her knees and rested her head against the bulkhead. "I couldn't do it, Tav," she said quietly, "I had him completely unaware and I couldn't do it. All I could think about was...," she left the rest hanging in the air. She wasn't sure how much Tav knew about her relationship with Mogon but she figured Clara must have filled him in on something.

"Millions of people are going to die and I could have done something about it. All that blood will be on my hands..."

**********

Faye was taken aback, she wasn't expecting that question. What's more she wasn't sure if she really had an answer for it. She guarded her emotions because that was what she was told to do. It was part of the Jedi mantra, but more than that emotions were a liability. She'd seen it too many times, men and women would carelessly throw away their lives in a vain attempt to save someone they care about. How many Jedi had died because of foolish attachment? How many more had fallen? Faye wasn't about to allow herself to make the same mistakes. She was a warrior and she had a job to do and that meant making sacrifices. Sacrifices like her former master.

"I don't have time to be--human," she said finally, "There is still too many dangers in the galaxy that need to be dealt with."
"Ol' Doc doesn't hide, he hibernates." -- Doc, Star Wars: The Old Republic

"What do you call it when you kill someone and take all their stuff?"
"Adventuring!" -- Tallis and Hawke, Dragon Age 2.

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Halomek » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:55 pm

“The galaxy is always in danger,” Sigarr said to her. “Somehow I doubt that Sivter and his leftovers are going to be the last bad thing that's going to happen in our lifetimes.”

“Then I should be prepared for what comes,” Faye answered him stoically.

Sigarr shook his head. “Somehow I knew you were going to say that. I certainly admire your devotion to the cause, but this is exactly what I'm talking about. Take away your cause and what is left to define Faye Ward as a person? Not much. I'm willing to bet you're stronger than that.”

“You would have me leave the Jedi? Give up what I believe in?” Faye asked him intently.

Sigarr sighed before bringing the vehicle to a stop. Out in such a remote location, chances were slim to none that they'd see anything else on the road until they were much closer to the capital. He looked over at her. “That's not what I mean. Emotions are dangerous, I get it, but I think suppressing them is a crutch the Jedi implemented to cover those who simply didn't have the level of control necessary to keep themselves from being influenced by them. I think mastering your emotions shows more strength than denying them.”

Faye didn't seem to have an answer for that, so Sigarr moved in closer to her. “I would never call you weak, Faye, but you do limit yourself by not even trying. I see in you more than just a great Jedi Master; I see the potential to become truly legendary.”

***

Tav moved over and sat with his back to Isis on the other side of the cell. “I hate to tell you this, but Clara's already got a monopoly on all the guilt over Mogon. She's said as much to me about the blood being on her hands because she wasn't able to go through with killing him back during Sivter's War.”

He leaned back. “I told her that the only one responsible for all the blood Mogon has spilled is Mogon. He killed those people and he did it willingly from what I understand. She, of course, didn't buy it, just like I'm sure you don't buy it.”

“It seems to me like as long as you don't endorse what Mogon is doing, then you have no reason to feel guilty over his actions,” he continued. “As long as as you're trying to stop him somehow, then that's what matters.” He shrugged. “I came to help however I can, even if I do tend to trust my gut feelings more than my common sense.”

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Pryde » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:32 am

Faye looked away from him, unable to meet his gaze. She hated it when he looked at her. Each time it stirred something within her, a sensation she hadn't felt in a long time. For years her stoic heart had grown cold but the more time she spent around him the more he... She shook her head. "I can't," she whispered quietly.

"My Grandfather, my parents and even my master, all of them have one thing in common," she continued after a long pause, "They all gave their lives to save mine and I'm not even sure I deserved it. I was a hotheaded youth and constantly challenged my betters. I always had something to prove and the determination to see it through. My foolishness got the people who cared for me killed. I can't be that person again, Sigarr, I can't be that foolish youth who put everything on the line and came back with nothing."

**********

"I can't absolve myself of the guilt, Tav," Isis said. "Had I been there for him after his wife died I might have...," she left the rest hanging in the air. "He was my first, you know," she admitted, "I had never felt that way about anyone before and I wasn't sure I wanted to. It scared me, so I left him. Didn't even say goodbye, I just slipped quietly out while he was still lying in bed. To this day I wonder what would have happened if I'd stayed. What could have been..."

She sighed and got up to her feet, dusting herself off. "Well, I guess I shouldn't put it off any longer. Time to go face the music." She half turned and stopped, "Thank you, Tav, for being there for us and I promise I'll get you out of here alive."

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Halomek » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:27 pm

Tav waved a goodbye. “Whenever you can find the time; no rush,” he joked. “I don't think this is even in the top five bad situations I've been in – and I kind of wish I was making that up.”

Though Isis didn't see it, Tav watched her go with a thoughtful look on his face. The odds were certainly against them, but one could never trust the odds when a Corellian was involved, let alone two...

***

When Isis returned to the room she shared with Clara, she saw the other woman there sitting in one of the chairs, apparently waiting for her to return. Before Isis could even speak, Clara beat her to it. “You couldn't go through with it, could you? The only way it would take you this long to kill him would be if you two fought, but there's no way that would happen without the whole ship being alerted.”

“You realize we're never going to get another chance as good as...” Clara paused as something occurred to her. “Wait a minute, did you come back alone? No guards? Why would...” Her eyes widened as the pieces started to fall into place. “You... you didn't!”

***

“I think your perspective might be focused on the wrong things,” Sigarr said to Faye. “You know what I did during my teen years? I raced speeders and dated a lot of girls. Now that I'm older and wiser, I race starfighters and date a lot of women. I'll grant you that it might not sound like a lot has changed, but one important thing to remember is that I added running one of the largest starship manufacturing companies in the galaxy to the list – rather successfully too, I might add.”

“You know why it works? Because I never let one influence the other, instead I find ways to make them work together. I have my fun, which removes stress from my life and makes me a more effective leader when I need to run the company. This in turn means that running the company allows me to live my life in the manner I wish.” He smirked a bit. “Present situation excluded of course.”

“If I focused exclusively on one or the other, I'd either be a directionless bum or a stressed out and joyless corporate gundark. That's the point I'm driving at.” He glanced at her again. “I would say you've figured out how to be a Jedi Master pretty well, but you need to remember what it means to be Faye Ward: human. Surely everything about your younger self couldn't have been that bad before you removed yourself from her.”

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Pryde » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:17 pm

Faye fell silent for a long time. Faye Ward... Just who was she, anyway? An orphaned child who grew up a Follower of Palawa and later a Jedi? No, that was too over simplified. There was more going on under the surface and she knew it. She had always been the outcast on Bunduki, the outsider born of two Jedi parents. She was already fighting an uphill battle as it was just to be accepted but even though she had mastered their ways she was never really one of them. She was born to be a Jedi, despite the fact she was so resistant to it at first. Her grandfather and mentor had died to ensure that she get that chance so she dedicated herself to her study to make him proud. In spite of being accepted by the Order and having a master who cared for her as a sister Faye never really had the one thing she had always wanted. A normal childhood with her parents. Perhaps that was why she was so broken. She had her grandfather to teach her to be a teras kasi master and Tasha who taught her how to be a Jedi but no one ever taught her how to be a woman. She didn't even know where to begin.

"We should get moving," she said finally, "I don't think we should be out on the road in the dark in case this thing breaks down again."

**********

"I am going to bed," Isis said simply and without another word she crossed over to her bedroom and closed the door. No doubt Clara was feeling betrayed right now but Isis was too tired to deal with it. She started to unbutton her shirt and get ready for bed, hoping that Clara would not press the issue...

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Halomek » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:12 pm

Clara was not a woman who was shy about expressing her anger and she was known to have quite the vocabulary when it came to commenting on it. However, in this particular instance, she found herself beyond words. After Isis shut the door to her room, Clara began pacing back and forth as she struggled to find some way to fix things.

All she could think of was that her former friend was preparing a plan for mass genocide, the man she loved was locked away in a cell, and the woman she regarded as a sister had apparently betrayed their only chance of stopping everything. Worse, there was nothing she could do about it.

As Clara's anger peaked, she yelled in rage before grabbing a nearby chair and hurling it against a wall. She didn't stop there, however, and started finding anything else loose to grab and break in the midst of her tantrum.

The noise attracted the attention of the Schrai guards outside who came in and immediately rushed towards her. Clara felt herself snatched in the strong cold grip of one of the insectoid warriors and pushed to the floor. The Schrai that held her to the floor hissed as it raised one of its lower secondary limbs, a smaller arm tipped with a envenomed stinger at the end, in an instinctual reaction to stab the threat and kill it.

However it stopped with the arm raised, clearly struggling, before apparently giving up and gently lowering it again. Clara looked at it oddly before sneering at the drone. “What are you waiting for? Kill me already!”

Quite unexpectedly, she reached up and grasped the Schrai's head with both of her hands. “I know you're seeing me through this thing's eyes, Mogon! You may have won over Isis, but you're never going to convince me! I'm not going to hesitate if I have the chance to kill you again. I swear I'll do whatever it takes to keep you from wiping out all those people!”

The Schrai's mouthparts began to move as a distorted approximation of Mogon's voice came out of it. “It's a pity you have no talent for the Force, Clara. You would have made a formidable Sith. However your anger is misplaced. I'm not your enemy. I'm doing this partly because of you.”

Clara's eyes widened in surprise, her anger momentarily forgotten. “Wha... what are you saying?”

“I know how terribly war has affected you, Clara,” The Schrai-Mogon said. “I know what it's taken from you, or rather, who. The aftermath of my actions will create a galaxy where you'll never lose someone you love to war again. Tav won't suffer the same fate as Tolaris or Sol.”

“How could you know...” Clara started to say. “I don't... I... I won't...”

The Schrai finally let go of her, but Clara didn't move from the floor.

As the two insectoids walked away, Mogon left a parting statement: “My plan will work, Clara. All I'll ask from you is to do nothing. Then, when I'm done, you can do with me as you wish. I'll accept whatever fate you deem fit.”

Long after the door closed, Clara remained on the floor before slowly getting up in a daze, going to her room, and curling up under the covers of the bed in a fetal position.

***

The rest of the journey to the Ambrian capital was a fairly sedate affair. Sigarr tried making conversation once or twice, but it seemed clear that Faye wasn't interested in giving more than the bare minimum response, so he left her to her thoughts. He figured that trying to pry would only likely cause her to become more withdrawn.

It was something of relief for him then when they finally reached the outskirts of the city. Ambria City wasn't large compared to the capitals of some other planets, but it was still several miles across. As luck would have it, they ended up approaching from a backroad leading into the city proper, so the signs of trouble weren't immediately apparent.

They managed to venture in a few very quiet blocks before Faye put a hand on his shoulder. “Stop now.”

Sigarr looked over at her, but saw her eyes looking off into the distance as if trying to search for something. Never one to question the senses of a Jedi Master, Sigarr put the vehicle in idle and looked around himself. The city was quiet, unnaturally so.

“What's going on?” he whispered, not exactly sure why he was whispering.

“I don't know...” Faye told him. “Something feels very wrong in the Force. Everything feels... wrong.”

Sigarr grimaced. That was never a good thing to hear from a Jedi. “Nothing would make me happier than to turn around right now, but this city has the only spaceport on the planet. I'm open to ideas.”

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Pryde » Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:16 pm

Isis awoke the next morning to find their tiny suite aboard the Edict in shambles. Great, she muttered to herself, she knew Clara would react badly but this? Maybe she should have stayed up with her and explained the situation, now she felt like an idiot. I've known her for years, I should have known. She walked over to Clara's door and knocked once, then twice and a third time when there was no response.

"Clara, we need to talk," she said, still nothing. "Clara?"

Still no response. She tried to open the door but it was locked. Finally, in a huff she said, "Fine, Clara, when you stop pouting let me know so we can talk."

Then she turned on her heel and left the room. She was fairly familiar with the layout of the Edict but it was still a fairly large ship and finding one person in it would be difficult. So she turned to a nearby Schrai. "Take me to Mogon, um... Please," she said.

The Schrai looked at her and Isis glanced from it to its companion standing on the other side of her door. Finally the first Schrai made a sound and a gesture for her to follow and she did. It didn't take long for her to find him and when she did she only had one question on her mind. "What happened to Clara," she asked upon seeing him, "Tell me you didn't...," she left the rest hanging in the air. Her stance was neutral but her hands were balled into fists in case something had happened to her friend...

**********

Faye waited a moment or two longer before responding. Her first instinct was to just tell Sigarr to turn around and she usually listened to her first instinct. However, in this situation he was right. There was only one space port on this ball of rock and it was here. If they ever hoped to find a way off the planet they'd have to start looking here. "Take it slow," she said finally, "and keep your eyes open."

Then she turned and started fiddling through some left over parts and tools in the back of the truck hoping to find something she could use. There wasn't much there, as she expected, and that worried her. She had a feeling she was going to need a weapon of some sort and there was no finer weapon than a lightsaber. "We need to find a parts store," she told Sigarr.

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Halomek » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:51 pm

“Hopefully there's one nearby,” Sigarr mused. “I'm not that familiar with Ambria beyond what the people in that town told me. REC doesn't have any parts outlets here; not a big enough market for them on a planet this sparsely populated. Unless we get some directions, we could be searching for hours.”

Sigarr scanned the horizon and spotted someone lumbering towards them, though the setting sun obscured their features. “Hey, how about that? We can ask this person if they know a place.”

Faye was visibly tense. “This is wrong...”

Sigarr grinned, feeling a little better now that he had spotted another living being. He shifted gears on their ride and moved towards the person, speaking as he did so: “I'll admit it's been a rough journey, but not everyone we meet is going to try and kill us. Just let me do the talking. Roll down your window.”

Wary as she was, Faye complied.

Sigarr slowed the vehicle down and leaned towards the window as they approached the person. “Hey! Excuse me! We're lost. Do you know... where...”

His words failed him as they finally pulled up and got a good look at the bystander. It was a Human male, or at least what used to be Human. The man's skin was pale, far too pale to be natural, even factoring the waning light in to try and explain it. His eyes were milky white, the irises almost gone. More than that though the skin had been visibly torn on one side of his face to reveal rotting muscle and fat underneath.

Neither Sigarr or Faye had much time to take in any other details as the man lunged at them through the open window. Both of them acted on instinct. Faye reached out and snapped the man's head back with an open palm attack to the forehead, causing him to collapse backwards. Sigarr, meanwhile, hastily shifted gears into reverse to get as far away from the thing as possible.

“What the hell was that?!” Sigarr shouted, looking visibly pale himself. “What the hell was that?!” he repeated again.

Faye had considerably more composure as she watched the thing she had struck start to rise again. “Something unnatural. We need to go. Now.”

“You don't need to tell me twice,” he replied as he shifted gears again and yanked the parking break to force the vehicle spin around and point them away from the creature. Unfortunately the stress proved to be too much for the old farm vehicle as the engine abruptly died as Sigarr hit the gas.

Sigarr frantically tried to restart the engine to no avail. “Oh, come on... Come on!”

Faye abruptly opened her door and yanked Sigarr with her out of the vehicle. “More of those things are coming, a lot more. I can sense some kind of intelligence guiding their actions.” She pointed towards the taller buildings of the city. “We need to go this way.”

“Deeper into the city? Are you nuts?!” Sigarr exclaimed, close to hysterics. “No thanks, I'd rather take my chances heading towards the outskirts!”

Without warning, Faye slapped him across the face. “You've been telling me to trust you ever since this started and I have. Now it's your turn to trust me. We need to go this way. I sense people still alive out there. It... It feels right.”

Sigarr rubbed his face as he warily watched the dead man start to shamble towards them again. Whatever they were going to do, they had to do it quickly, especially if more of those things were on their way. If nothing else, the Republic had to be warned of what was going on here – whatever it was - and their best bet to do that would lie within the city.

Finally he nodded. “Well, if you insist. Lead the way.”

Faye grabbed him by the arm as she started to move. “Stay close.”

***

“Clara is fine,” Mogon assured her. “You know how she can get. She started tearing up your room in anger, the Schrai stopped her, and we had a little talk. I would never harm her or you unless I was given no other choice.”

“Such reactions are something you'll need to get used to, Isis,” Mogon added. “Clara won't be the only person you're close to that will object to what I'm doing. I think she can be won over in time, but I can't say the same for your other family and friends, or Clara's for that matter. They'll all try to stop us when they find out what's going on.”

He looked over at her. “I will of course try to spare those that are important to you, but I make no guarantees. Are you prepared for that? What will you do if, say, Caitlyn challenges me to battle? Suppose I have no choice but to kill her to save myself. What will you do then?”

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Halomek » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:18 pm

Vaathkree

A rare moment of indecision had diverted Arksis Nan from his intended destination of Froswythe. At first he had planned to find Renato's family and slaughter them one by one to draw out the Jedi, but on the way there he had second thoughts. Killing Renato's family would be devastating to the young man, of that Arksis was sure, but would it be devastating enough? What would happen if Renato were to hold on to his Jedi training in spite of the trauma? Where would Arksis go from there to draw out Renato's anger if there was nothing left to hold over his head?

No, it would be far better to have Renato watch (or rather sense) him kill his family and loved ones, slowly, so as to make each death really sink in until he snapped. The problem then was to find a way to do it without having to worry about outside intervention. Arksis wasn't overly concerned about having to fight other Jedi or authorities, but they would be a distraction from his intended goal. Depending on the numbers Renato brought with him, they could even force Arksis to retreat before he achieved his objective.

How then to accomplish the perfect trap to manipulate Renato as he desired? Arksis didn't know. He was intelligent and cunning, but he lacked the necessary guile that had made Sivter such a master of puppeteering his enemies.

So he had diverted his ship to Vaathkree to train in the hostile and unforgiving wastelands of the planet while he mulled it over. It rather reminded him of Arcanix in some respects; volcanic, poisonous atmosphere, relatively lifeless; but it had a few additional factors that appealed to Arksis; the gravity on Vaathkree was much higher than standard and it was known to frequently be bombarded by meteors. In other words, it was the perfect place to test his limits.

He had been on the planet for about a week, straining to meet and surpass his limits, when he sensed a familiar presence approach him. Unlike Arcanix, Vaathkree was not perpetually shrouded in darkness, so making out the cloaked figure approach from the horizon wasn't difficult. Arksis remained where he was, sword in one hand, his stance casual, but one that could also easily switch to combat if required.

“I was wondering if I would see you again, Raii,” he said to her. “Your disappearance after Lord Sivter's death doesn't speak highly of you.”

Raii reached back and pulled back the hood of her cloak to reveal the youthful raven-haired features of Sivter's primary apprentice. She showed no sign of intimidation while in the presence of the much larger Twi'lek Dark Lord. “My master had explicit orders for me to carry out upon his death. That is why I'm here.”

“Is that so? Reforming the Cult of Shadow?” Arksis let his body tense in anticipation of trouble. Though she didn't look it, Raii had been well known as one of the most dangerous combatants within the cult. “Or perhaps you've come to silence those that know too much?”

“The Cult of Shadow is dead,” Raii answered him, so far not appearing to make any aggressive moves. “My master has no intentions of bringing it back. It was proven a failure upon his death.”

“You speak of Sivter as if he still lives,” Arksis commented, not missing Raii's preferred use of tense regarding the Defel. “Surely this is impossible. He was destroyed body and soul. There is no coming back from that.”

Raii cracked a grin. “How many other impossible things did Master Sivter do within his lifetime? Why should cheating certain death be any different?”

Arksis found himself to be curious despite himself. Was she serious? How could it be possible? Dark Side spirits were relatively well known, of course, but Kalja Leidias had destroyed Sivter's spirit on Arcanix. That should have marked his end. Had they all been deceived somehow?

“How-” he started to ask, but Raii interrupted him.

“As I said, I'm not here to recruit you for a renewed Cult of Shadow. I'm here on other business. You were loyal to my master until the end and he desires your services once more. It was his wish that upon his death, his killer should also be destroyed. Unfortunately that is easier said than done.”

Arksis nodded as he felt a surge of excitement rush through his body. “Indeed. Kalja Leidias would be a truly worthy opponent, but she's disappeared from the galaxy.”

Raii shook her head. “She hasn't disappeared. Kalja has sequestered herself on Tython, though that information is known to only a few select people right now.”

“Troubling,” Arksis mused as he tapped his chin. It never occurred to him to ask how Raii was privy to such information if only a few people were supposed to know it. Information about Kalja had always been a priority for Sivter. “That planet has been lost for centuries. We'll never get her there.”

“Of course we will,” Raii corrected him. “Master Sivter knows the location of Tython, or at least how to find it. The trouble will come from actually killing her when we get there. You won't be facing her alone; a team is being formed expressly for the purpose of destroying her – if I decide you're worthy of recruitment.”

Arksis looked at her menacingly. “If I'm worthy? You've come to insult me? Not a very good recruitment tactic.”

“A test is required to make sure you haven't lost your edge, Arksis,” Raii said to him. “There is one traitor in particular that Master Sivter wants killed. He was also the man that beat you on Arcanix: Teshran Lor. Kill him and your place on the team is assured.”

“Also easier said than done,” Arksis growled. “All I know is that he joined with the New Sith Empire, but getting to him won't be easy.”

Raii pulled out a datapad and handed it to him. “Who do you think you're talking to? On this datapad is everything you'll need to locate Teshran and challenge him. I suggest you hurry. That information won't be relevant for long.”

Arksis gripped the datapad tightly as he nodded. He hadn't been intending to challenge Teshran quite so soon, but he wouldn't pass up this opportunity.

Apparently satisfied, Raii pulled her hood back up and turned to go, however Arksis stopped her with a word: “Wait.”

Raii turned to look back at him. Arksis raised his sword and sheathed it. “I have a condition of my own. After we're done killing Kalja, I wish to challenge Renato Farani to another match – one without interruptions. Do you have the resources to make this happen?”

Raii smiled again. “Talk to me after you're dispatched Teshran, but one thing I will mention right now is that my Teroch’dha survived the Cult of Shadow's destruction with very few losses.” She raised a hand and snapped her fingers, which seemed to be the signal for several figures to emerge from hiding around the landscape and reveal themselves.

Outwardly Arksis was unmoved, but internally he was impressed. He hadn't sensed any of them and had no idea how long they'd been there. Raii snapped her fingers again and the figures disappeared back into the landscape.

“Until we meet again, Lord Arksis.”

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Pryde » Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:27 am

"Mogon, I said I wasn't going to stop you and I meant it, but not for the reasons you think," Isis said, "I'm not going to stop you because I don't have to. You are going to stop yourself."

"Isis," Mogon began patiently, "this vain hope you have--,"

"Is not vain," she interrupted him, "I'm not giving up on you. I know the old you is still inside there somewhere and I'm putting all my chips on the table on the craziest bet I've ever made. And yeah, I know the odds are against me but you know what they say about Corellians and the odds."

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Halomek » Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:22 pm

Mogon raised an eyebrow at her response. “You certainly wouldn't want to hear just what those odds are.”

He was about to say more before something else caught his attention. Something was coming towards them; towards the base. He narrowed his eyes as he concentrated. Even with Battle Meditation, it was difficult to pinpoint just what it was, and that was disconcerting to say the least. There shouldn't be anything that could escape his notice when he was truly focused, especially not in a place as devoid of life as otherspace, but he was fighting to get even just a blurred imprint of the object in his mind.

Mogon's eyes widened as the answer struck him. Of course. The reason he couldn't see it was because it didn't want to be seen. With Sivter dead, that left only one other person he knew of that had the skills to pull this off and also could access otherspace.

Isis didn't miss his reaction. “What is it? What's going on?”

He looked back at her. “We have a guest. Raii Meriaz is headed for this ship, no doubt to talk with me.”

She took the news better than Mogon expected. Raii was not someone to take lightly, but then fear rarely got the better of Isis. “Are you two working together?”

Mogon shook his head. “No, she disappeared after the Battle of Arcanix. I don't know what she was up to between then and now, but it doesn't take a lot of imagination to figure out what she's after now. The Edict was Sivter's flagship. She's come to take it back.”

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Pryde » Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:45 pm

Faye fell heavily against the side of a nearby building panting to try and catch her breath. Sigarr was nearby, his hands reaching instinctively out to her to try and stable her but stopping half way. Faye pretended not to notice and forcefully pushed off from the wall and surged forward, grabbing Sigarr by the wrist and pulling him along.

"I'm starting to think this wasn't the best idea," Sigarr said as they ran but Faye said nothing.

She had been fighting for her life trying to defend Sigarr. It was one battle after another here and they were increasing in frequency. In the distance she could feel more of those things moving towards them fast. Eventually, those monsters would corner them and there would be nowhere to run.

Their situation was not without hope, however, though Sigarr wasn't going to like the solution. They ran a few more blocks and Faye had to stop again. She was really pushing herself hard now. Fighting without the aid of a lightsaber was tiring considering this things just kept coming at her no matter how many times she hit them.

"You need to rest," Sigarr told her, "There's got to be someplace--,"

Faye interrupted him when she pushed him to the side as another of those creatures tried to attack him from behind. Several more of them appeared and calling on the aid of the Force to keep her body moving despite her obvious fatigue she quickly dispatched them all. After the last one fell she collapsed and in an instant Sigarr was at her side.

"There's no way you can keep this up," he told her, "and that building you pointed at is still a long ways off. I don't think we're going to make it."

Faye was panting heavily. "I won't," she said between breaths, "but you might."

Sigarr gave her a look. "What do you mean?"

Faye looked away from him and frowned. What she was about to tell him now she wished she had known before they even entered this city. "There's--something here controlling these things," she said finally, "It's been directing them towards me."

"Towards you," Sigarr repeated then his eyes widened with realization. That could only mean there was another Forcer in the city. "So what do we do?"

"You are going to run," she said, "and I will keep moving to draw these things away."

"That's a death sentence," he said to her sternly.

"It's your only chance," she told him, "I promised that I would protect you, Sigarr, well this is part of it." It hadn't escaped his notice that she had referred to him by his first name. "Now get moving! I can sense that more of those things are nearby, if you don't go now...," she left the rest hanging in the air.

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Halomek » Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:12 pm

A lot of thoughts flashed through Sigarr's head as he considered possible alternatives, but deep down he knew that he had already made his choice. He looked over to Faye, who was panting heavily, but still seemed to have some reserves of strength left. She would fight to the very end if it came to that. Sigarr doubted that he'd be able to say the same if he had gone through even a fraction of the physical exertion Faye had put herself though. These... things... were relentless.

He put an arm under Faye's shoulder to help her back to her feet. The Jedi Master tried to shrug it off, but the truth of the matter was that Faye didn't have it in her to resist Sigarr and the undead coming at them. “I'm no fighter, Faye, but I am a man of honor,” he said to her. “I wouldn't be someone worth protecting otherwise. I'm afraid you're stuck with me. As long as we're breathing, then there's still hope.”

They were currently in an alley between two tall buildings. An idea suddenly struck Sigarr, it was a desperate plan, but then this was a desperate situation. The biggest problem with these creatures was their vast numbers, so what they needed to do was even the odds...

Still supporting Faye, Sigarr walked them over to one of the doors that granted access to the alley. He tried the knob, but of course it was locked. He was about to try the door on the other building, but Faye stopped him. “Let me give it a try,” she said before breaking away from him.

Faye closed her eyes and seemed to draw upon some inner strength before lashing out with a powerful kick that smashed open the door. She looked back at him. “Now what?”

Sigarr felt himself grin in spite of their dire circumstances. Faye never failed to impress him. “Looks like we've got about three flights of stairs before the roof access. Think you've got enough in you to make it that far?”

Faye nodded as she seemed to realize what Sigarr's plan was. Either they could barricade themselves on top of the roof, or in the worst case scenario, the stairs would funnel the undead's numbers into something more manageable to fight. Neither was a long term solution, but both were infinitely preferable to staying on the streets.

Sigarr and Faye rushed into the building just as another swarm of the creatures came running at them. By the time they reached the top, Sigarr's lungs were burning. He wasn't out of shape by any means, but an hour or so at the gym every few days of the week couldn't compare to Faye's exercise regimen.

For a wonder, the door that granted roof access wasn't locked, but Sigarr couldn't help but notice bloodstains around it, which likely told of a story of a survivor that didn't end well. The metal door opened outward onto the roof, which they pair quickly slammed shut, but unfortunately didn’t have any way to lock from the outside, so they were forced to prop themselves against it.

It didn't take long for pounding to be heard on the other side as the undead tried to force it open. The pair put as much weight as they could against it, though it was inevitable that they were going to tire before the creatures would.

Faye looked over at Sigarr as their eyes locked. She seemed to struggle with what to say before finally coming to a decision. “Staying with me was a terrible idea, Sigarr... but... I'm glad you did.”

Sigarr felt himself struggle for words. “Faye, I-”

Sigarr's sentence was cut off by the sound of an approaching airspeeder. He turned to see an old Clone Wars-era LAAT speeding towards them. “I don't believe it...” he whispered under his breath. “Faye, please tell me I'm not seeing things.”

Faye seemed as shocked as Sigarr. “I see it too, and I don't sense any hostile intent from the people inside. I think they're coming to save us.”

“The survivors?” Sigarr questioned. “How did they know we were in trouble? For that matter, how did they know where to find us?”

The LAAT came to a hover above the roof, and now that it was closer Sigarr could see that the armaments had been removed. Likely done so long ago to make it conform to civilian regulations. The side door on the aircraft opened up to allow a large muscular man with light brown skin to drop down and join them by the door. His considerable strength aided immeasurably in keeping the door closed. He towered over both of them and Sigarr estimated the man to be a good seven feet tall.

“Can you both still walk?” He asked. “Can you make it to the LAAT?”

Faye answered for both of them. “Yes. We can make it.”

He nodded. “Then go! I'll handle things here!”

Sigarr was hesitant about leaving the man to deal with the horde alone, but Faye grabbed his hand and pulled him with her. She obviously sensed something about him that Sigarr didn't.

Once they were both inside the LAAT, the pilot began to veer away from the roof. Sigarr was about to speak up that the man was still on the roof when an explosion emanated from the stairwell entrance. He looked back to see the large man running towards them while the door they had been struggling to keep closed was blown apart – along with several of the undead that had been on the other side of it.

The large man reached the edge of the roof and leaped off of it into the open door of the LAAT, rolling as he hit the deckplates and slamming into the other side. He quickly got to his feet, apparently oblivious to the hard landing, and smacked his hands together with glee. “Ha! Ha! I've really missed doing that!”

He looked over at them. “I gotta admit I had my doubts when Syla said she sensed some survivors in this burg, but damned if she wasn't right on the money about it. I'm impressed you two lasted as long as you did. Seems like they really wanted at you.”

Sigarr still had enough presence of mind to call upon his people skills. “You're pretty impressive yourself. We owe you our lives. My name is Sigarr and this is Faye.” He felt it wise for the moment to leave their last names out of it. “Who might you be?”

The other man seemed to have no issues about names. “I'm Akron, Akron Kro. The lady up in the cockpit is Syla. She's the one you really owe your lives to. If not for her, we wouldn't have even known there was anyone in need of rescuing out here.”

At the mention of her name, Syla spoke down from the cockpit. “I'm sure you two have been through a lot. Don't worry, we're taking you somewhere safe where you can recover.”

Faye shook her head even though Syla couldn't see the gesture. “No, you'll just be putting yourselves in danger. Those things were after me specifically. There's something controlling them that can sense where I am.”

Akron let out what looked like a knowing smile at Faye's objection as Syla responded. “It's okay, trust me. Before you showed up, I was the focus of their attention. We've got it covered.”

Without any real objections left, Faye slumped into one of the seats as they were brought to their destination. It looked to be a police station that had been heavily fortified to keep the undead out, although there was a huge swarm of the creatures milling around outside of it.

The LAAT landed on the roof before Syla climbed down from the pilot area to greet them. She was a shapely woman with flowing blond hair and distinctive violet eyes, however even more striking than her eyes was her total lack of a mouth. Sigarr was about to question how she had been able to talk to them before when she beat him to it by addressing them first. The voice they had heard before seemed to come from the choker she wore around her neck.

“I'm sure you have a lot of questions, but there will be time enough for that later,” she said to them. “Right now, we need to make sure you two haven't been infected. Akron will escort you to the medical droid to get looked over. Assuming all goes well, we'll set you up with a place to rest and recover and I can fill you in on what's going on then.”

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Re: Legacy of the Cult of Shadow

Post by Pryde » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:17 pm

Isis remembered Raii all too well. It wasn't that long ago that they fought each other during the war with Sivter. Of all the people in the galaxy Raii was probably the one person she was the least interested in seeing. "And if she is," Isis asked, "What are you going to do?"

**********

It was some time later when Faye and Sigarr were finally given a chance to rest. The droid had run a myriad of tests on them first scanning their bodies for any bites and then scanning their internals. All the while Faye couldn't help but wonder what the woman meant by "infected". What would have happened to them if they were? And just how exactly could they have been infected? She had so many questions, but she was also too exhausted to ask them. By the time the woman finally came to their room she was already passed out asleep, leaving Sigarr to inquire about anything they might want to know...

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