The Shattered Sphere

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zephre
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The Shattered Sphere

Post by zephre » Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:44 pm

THE SPHERE: The Habitat: 10 miles outside the walled city of Eastbrook





There was a chill in the air that only intensified the general feeling of misery of the evening and accentuated how little Camden Rex desired to be here at this very moment. The Jedaii of the Order looked around the staging area atop the hill overlooking the small quiet gypsy camp in the clearing from his vantage atop his equis as the assembled soldiers as he shrugged the heavy brown robe around him and pulled the hood over his head, cutting some of the cold from his large frame. The soldiers were ready for the action, preparing the four barreled revolving long rifles, and the heavy ground mounted repeating machine guns, oiling the mechanism to avoid jamming with thick grease. Some were shrugging on armored battle harnesses over the dark blue-grey long coats, while others checked sidearm's and sabers. Several officers who were likewise on equis spoke in hushed tones, and glanced over towards him occasionally, muttering something he neither cared for nor about.

They were uncomfortable with his being here, that was certain, as the troops would be hindered by the pure letter of the law and not be permitted to commit untoward atrocities on the vagabonds, unless they presented him with a writ allowing such actions from the Court allowing it. The heavy cloud cover threatened rain, which would compound his rather rancid mood, but wouldn't hinder the military action that meant a short life expectancy of anyone in the camp at the hands of the Imperium's assault troops. There were only twelve caravans, two of which were the larger Vardos size enough to hold two families easily. Perhaps thirty or so adults, and they would be armed, though not heavily and would attempt to defend themselves against the troopers. The children would remain inside the caravans, or run to the surrounding woods. If or when caught, they would be turned over to the work houses and be taught a proper trade. Regardless, this particular Gypsy group hadn't much longer to exist.

The Order sent him here to watch over this massacre, to ensure its own agendas were being looked after as well as keep face with the Court. That didn't bother Rex all that much, after all the gypsy's had broken the law and tended to usurp the general order of any area they come to, but he felt his time would have been better spent in other pursuits than watching a rout. Centering himself and blocking out the distraction of the soldiers, he tapped into the energies of the living Force, and was able to see the young presence that appeared to be the catalyst of this military action. The officers had reported that the child was a sharp horned Roochi, the one species forbidden from accessing the living force and was by law to be turned over to the Order or the Military for proper assessment. If the gypsies knew they were here, they'd have attempted to escape with the child, or simply killed it to preserve themselves. They had done neither, and thus sealed their fate.

Rex adjusted in his saddle, and turned the riding beast towards the walled city of Eastbrook and hoped he soon would be travelling back soon. Several large airships were moving along the skyline, their lighted passenger gondolas illuminating the night fog as they passed through patches of thick air generated by power plants situated around the city and by the factories that ran the night shift . Likewise he could see the lamplighters hard at work, as the gas of the street lamps lit, illuminating the cobbled streets. He could see the tower spires of the Temple from here, as well as the expansive Argos Building that housed the Great Analytical Machine, and though he couldn't see the cables that connected the amazing invention to the homes of those that could afford its full potential, they spanned across the city like a spider web, and in the center of it all was the seat of power, Grandwood Palace, which was nearly as ancient a building as the Orders Temple. It was the first Grandmaster of the Order, Valden Atoss, who used his immense power to set the first corner stone for both Grandwood Palace and the Temple which have stood over three thousand years against enemies who would tear down these remarkable edifices. The closer one lived to Grandwood Palace, the more affluence and influence one held, which also meant the area's closest to the wall were reserved for the city's poorest residents, the wretches and other unsavory elements not fit for decent society.

"Jedaii..." a voice broke his thoughts. "is it down there still, or do we have a proper hunt on our hands."

Rex looked towards the voice, and watched Captain Kenth DeFora walk his equis towards him, followed by one of the other mounted officers whose name escaped him at the moment. They wore similar dark blue-grey imperial uniforms befitting their status, though the Captain's appeared to be far better quality and fitted to his frame than his subordinates. They wore keenly inlaid steel breastplates, highly shined and the standard conical helmet befitting a Calvary officer. The pair was two of the ten Calvary officers who were present for this rout, for what the Jedaii must assume was reasons other than the Law.

"Your quarry is still there, Captain. You've no need to beat the woods as of yet." Rex said flatly, taking another look below with the vision. The small bright spot was in the large caravan, near the center. Some form of family get together, he must assume. "Your soldiers have not been discovered as of yet."

"Pity that, a good old fashioned hunt would be just the thing to make the night go quicker." He said as he sidled up side Rex, "Will you be joining us for the evening sport?"

Rex shook his head slightly, not uttering a verbal response.

"The Captain asked you a question, Jedaii.." his lieutenant stated, pointing his chin at him, looking down his nose. The tone of his voice was sharp, as if speaking to a subordinate. Rex shot the young officer a look, and mulled over in his mind how annoyed he was, and whether it was worth showing the lieutenant the error of speaking to him thusly.

"I'm surprised you haven't began your attack, Captain." Rex stated, breaking the moment while turning his equis back towards the encampment. "I'd have thought you'd waste little time for your sport."

"We are awaiting a special guest for the attack, shouldn't be much longer." Defora stated, brushing soot off his uniform sleeve. "Cant divulge it as of yet, of course, very hush-hush, you understand."

His lieutenant nodded, sneering out his jibe. "Indeed, a proper magician, unlike your lot." Several of the troopers in the area moved away from the three men, not wanting to be caught in any form of crossfire between the officers and the Jedaii.

The captain shot his lieutenant a withering look, as did Rex who was nearing the bottom of his patience. The Lieutenant cleared his throat, and backed his equis away from the pair, as Rex looked to DeFora. "Magician?"

"As I said, hush hush.. Syer will answer for his foolish outburst after this is over." DeFora stated, referring to his subordinate.

"This isn't about a child, is it?" the Jedaii demanded, his voice raising in agitation as he pivoted his equis. "You've lied to the Order!"

"Relax, Brother Rex.. " a voice rang out behind them, as the pair startled in surprise. They'd not heard the tack from the pair riding animals, nor the rustle through the trees as they moved up the madar path path. "The Military lies to the Order consistently, as the Order does likewise to the Military. It is the nature of the politics." The older of the two riders stated. He was short bearded, grey haired and had ready smile, which he was beaming at that moment, while his companion was a considerably younger Vi'lan, his twin lekku restrained by leather straps to keep them from unwanted independent movement. Both wore well worn black robes, the Vi'lan's absent a hood to accommodate the tails. On their hip was a similar long sword that Rex had on his own, though their scabbards were old and worn.

"Master Jagger.." Rex said, and offered an appropriate and respectful nod. "I am surprised see the Syth Brotherhood represented here. You are the Captain's visitor, I assume." and gave a nod to the younger man.

"Hardly, Brother Rex." Master Vor Jagger said, his mouth quirking at the corners. "I was informed by Master Quinz at the Temple that you would be here, which peaked my interest." and motioned to the younger Vi'lan. "So Brother Agar and I felt the need to take a stroll. What good fortune to have arrived before the festivities.." and looked to the Captain. "I suppose there is no way to dissuade your actions, is there."

"This is ordered by the Imperial Court, and approved by the Temple for oversight. " Rex spoke up before the DeFora could answer. "It is fully sanctioned."

Agar shot a look at the Jedaii "It doesn't make it right, Brother.." he said, his accent giving him away as coming from the Republic of Kaerradus, across the western sea. It made sense, Rex though, as the vi'lan were the most populous race within the Republic, just as the zhodan were within the Empire. "There's no reason to kill everyone in the gypsy camp, its..." and his voice clipped off as Jagger raised a hand, silencing his apprentice. The young Vi'lan seethed , but kept his mouth shut. The arrival of the pair of Syth from the Black Thorn Monastery peaked the attention of the assembled soldiers who were now watching eagerly from the sides. Coins were being passed around as wagers were being raised between the troopers, who would break first, who would get stabbed and the like. The Captain glowered at the assembled, a smattering of the different peoples of the world, though most seemed to be zhodan.

"My apprentice understands the situation, Brother Rex, as well as I. I must wonder why the show of force over a small gypsy band when it could easily be done with yourself, the Captain and four of his guards." he leaned back into the saddle, placing a finger against his nose. "Now, if there was something to hide, then it would of course be prudent to remove the troublesome caravan, perhaps using the three thousand year old law of banning the use of the living force to the horned peoples, whose lands were obliterated by volcanic eruptions and now live at the whim of the Imperium." he paused, and looked at the captain. "Are you aware that many of the horned people file down their horns to appear blunted to avoid being harassed by the authorities." he's said, miming the filing on his own head. "It's supposedly horribly painful."

"Their living on the dole, the lot of 'em." The Lieutenant Syer said, again in the snide tone as he moved forward. "Better they'd have all died on their little island, be don.. huk...... glurr.." The words caught in his throat as he began adjusting his high collar, his mouth making attempts to draw breath but unable to take any into his lungs.

"I believe we've heard enough from the good lieutenant for one day.." Jagger said, his face showing the slightest bit of annoyance. Syer was clutching at his closed throat, leaving scratches in his skin as soldiers took steps back and looking to their weapons. Captain DeFora's hand drifted to his own weapon, his eyes wide as saucers as he watched his subordinate's eyes begin to bulge from his head. Even the younger Syth seemed taken aback. The entire staging area had become quiet at a tomb with the exception of Syer's jerking movements, desperate for air.

"Brother Rex, don't you think he's had enough.." Jagger said quietly. "He's gone quite blue,"

The Jedaii looked at the old Syth Master, and waved a hand at Syer. With that, the sound of a man raggedly filling his lungs with oxygen broke the silence. The Lieutenant sagged in the saddle, sucking in air and struggling to remain mounted. Rex leaned back in his own saddle and scanned the assembled soldiers, a look of disdain on his face.

"Get him out of my sight, Captain, or my patience may again ware thin." he said quietly, and added. "..again."

Captain DeFora motioned for one of the soldiers, who took the reins and led Syer and his equis out of the area, still gasping as the animal followed the lead and then sent his lead sergeant to take charge of the troops, once again put his attention back onto Rex and Jagger. "An appalling display, Jedaii..."

"You need to teach your officers to not interject their opinions on their betters." Rex stated coldly. "To whom I refer is Master Jagger, of course."

The Captains response on the subject never came, as more horsemen entered the staging area, though these didn't bother a discreet entry though the animal path . Four of them were higher flag rank officers, in splendid uniforms with creases that could cut wood and brightly shined armor plates. Their sidearm's were on display in their holsters, handle covers made of ivory, engraved wood or something equally ostentatious and quite unnecessary, with matching saber on the opposing hip. One of the flag officers wore a meticulously detailed right arm prosthetic attached at the shoulder, which articulated through a series of gears and clockworks under the brass finished covering. The fifth rider wore a heavy fur over coat and top hat, keeping the drizzle from his red face and long cheek tendrils. Yellow eyes glared from under a heavy brow at the triplicate from the Order and redirected his equis towards them, followed by the officer with the Prosthetic arm. Jagger sniffed loudly at the sight, and shook his head.

"Whom is the Dekari, Master Jagger?" Agar said, as quietly as he could, though it was Rex who answered the question.

"That is Lord Professor Algeen Balthor.." Rex said, his voice cold as a grave, "Physician, Researcher into the all things Paranormal and related to the Living Force, and Mage of the First Order and Member of the Court." and looked over to Jagger. "Our Visitor."

"So it seems.." Jagger said ruefully. "These people never had a chance."

Rex set his jaw as the pair got closer, not looking Jagger in the eye. "They broke the law.."

"Of course.." and pulled his reins closer, wheeling his equis around and readying to depart, but giving the Jedaii a pat on the shoulder. "Of course they did.."
The Dekari sneered as he approached them, though it may have been a smile, it was difficult to tell.

"Brother Rex, good to see you again." Balthor said, his cheek tendrils shaking on his deep red face as he spoke, and turned his attention to the Syth Brothers as the General watched the proceedings. "Though I find it difficult to fathom why the Darth from the Black Thorn Monastery would be here on such a frightful night as this?" He said, leaning forward in his saddle, and as if on cue, lightning arced across the sky. A cold rain began to pelt them as people began to scurry about to cover weapon stacks or munition piles. It wasn't often that Jagger heard his official title Darth, preferring brother to the lofty title of his station as head of the monastery. It didn’t please him.

"Perhaps you have plans other than Her Majesty's will?" the General spoke in a friendly manner, though there was accusation was in his tone. "The child for your own order perhaps?"

"Simply put, I had thoughts of suggesting mercy for this band of Gypsies, but I see now that it is moot. We will be on our way." His voice short and clipped as held up a hand, stopping his apprentice from speaking. He gently kicked the sides of the equis, and the pair began the long trek back to the monastery.
"A prudent action, good brother. this is no place for alchemists or librarians.." The General with the Prosthetic arm called out to them. It clicked and whirred as he brought a pipe to his mouth, and took a drag. "Your simply not suited for a marshalling life." Camden Rex glared at the General's disrespect towards the old master, but did nothing this time. He looked towards the two Syth as they moved through the wicked night as the activity in the marshalling area began to take a different tone, one of preperations for attack.

Algeen Balthor's grim features twisted into the deep bass laugh that chilled as much as the cold drizzle of the night. "Dear General, it would be unwise to regard the good brother as a lowly enchanter or scholar. Darth Jagger in his prime was a fine example of a Jedaii Man-At-Arms ever to wield a forceblade. We must have killed thousands in our day, wouldn’t you agree, Jagger?"

Jagger's answer didn’t come, but their figures disappeared into the raining night. Balthor smirked, and said loud enough for Rex to hear. "Of course you do..." and turned to Rex. "Ready to lead the charge?"

"I am here as an observer only, by order of..." Rex began, but was interrupted by the curt words of Balthor. His eyes glowed yellow in the night air, under the heavy brows.

"..Of the Grandmaster, who operates with the Empresses' good graces, and as I am acting as her agent here, under MY good graces." he continued, he face looking more crimson then before. "If I were to report that the Jedaii were acting against the Empresses' wishes, then favor may be lost in the court to the Order, and you may be relegated to an old monastery as the Syth creating baubles and keeping records rather than the palatial palace that the Order so enjoys. That isn't looking after the interests of the Jedaii Order or the Council, is it.."

Rex glared at the Dakari a moment before he reached to his scabbard, unclipped the hilt chain and pulled his weapon. The curved metal blade glowed brightly as if it were constructed of white light, casting luminance onto the surrounding Imperial troopers. It drew the attention of the troops, who now were transfixed on Rex, Balthor and those surrounding them.

"Protectors of the Imperium!" Balthor said, sitting up in his saddle and taking off his tophat, steam raising from his bald red scalp. "Be are truly blessed this day, as Jedaii Camden Rex has seen fit to join our crusade against these vagabonds who flaunt their disregard for the laws of the decent peoples of Eastbrook and the Imperium. It has come to our attention that the demon child in question is confirmed to be of the horned peoples, but are protected by a trio of forcemancers. The Jedaii's inclusion ensures victory." He sat back down in his saddle, and wiped water from his scalp and replaced his Top hat as rumbles of approval move like a wave through the troops. "The Empress sends her heart with you today, on this righteous mission." and gived a nod to Captain Defora. "No quarter.."

"On the line!" The Captain commanded, and on his word, the troops moved into proper military ranks. Defora, his lieutenants and Rex moved around the edge of the troop formations, and took to the front. Rex looked back at Balthor, distaste on his face.

Algeen Balthor motioned to begin the attack...

And smiled...

…........

Brother Jagger could hear the charge, and closed the cloak around him as the rain began the pelt them in a more lively fashion. It was followed by screams, and pleas for mercy which would never be heeded. Agar looked to his master, pleading with his eyes.

"No, my young friend. This isn't a battle we could win today, but soon, we will find the tides have turned to our favor." He said. "Our power is growing, and will surpass those who hold our chains. All we must be is patient.."



THE SPHERE: Outer Shell, custodial deck observation chamber..




The small blue planet continued its faux orbit, kept in perpetual motion on the five remaining pylons that kept the Habitat stabilized. Heavy clouds covered much of the surface, as the damage from the sixth pylon continued to release smoke and steam into the atmosphere. The artificial sun, connected to the outer spheres northern pole, continued to give life giving radiance and heat, though it shown less brightly than it did thousands of years before. The moon's orbit was tenuous at best, cracked and broken from damage sustained years earlier, but remained in the place.

Three consciousnesses kept the Habitat alive... they didn't always get along...




"THE HABITAT MUST BE PRESERVED!! THE HABITAT MUST BE PRESERVED!!

"The red parallel of the outer sphere is green obtuse will become a white perpendicular unless suitable resources are located. In that way only the Habitat can be Purple shift "

"Yes, I am quite aware of the situation with the outer sphere's damage, An-R-ak, but the AyEye is also correct. The Habitat wont survive for long in its current state.."

"THE HABITAT IS THE ONLY CONCERN!! IT MUST BE MENDED!!

"Does he have to shout... I've been hearing his shouting for three thousand years..."

"AyEye is suffering green obtuse as much as the outer sphere, the green perpendicular causes such blue nonagon..

"I know quite well what happened, An-R-ak, I was there as well.. Oh my poor masters, struck down in their prim[/color]es.."

"As we felt it was our fault that the Black Bisectors came to an end, we are now part of the purple parallel, and the three of us are blue parallel."

"Oh, I hadn't forgotten your involvement in my masters demise, or his son's and don’t think the Jedi council will look favorably on the loss of one of their Jedi Shadows.. and my master was a war hero, a privateer of note! You led the Sith Assassin here.."

"Contextual correcton.. The elder black bisector was a smuggler, not a privateer. Additional Correction, Sith Inquisitor whom read as a black bisector.

"Oh Switch off!"

"THE HABITAT!!!"

"Yes of course, back on topic.."

"Blue Parallel.."

"Indeed.. So, We have simply run out of resources to continue repairs within this sector, and it was my masters last orders to keep the sphere alive until help could arrive."

"confirmed report.. continue.."

"We will have to risk returning to Republic space, but it is where we can find proper metals and resources to fix the Habitat before it begins to break apart after all this time. I have my masters starcharts he used for smuggleing from the Fool's Errand, which should keep us away from most unwanted attention. How much could have changed after all..."

"General Concurrence.. Drones will white acute resources.."

"I also believe that we...may need help.."

"Querry?"

"Facts must be faced, the three of us are as damaged as the the outer sphere, and I fear we don’t have much longer to function before we deactive.."

"General Concurrence... A Black Bisector is needed..."

"Indeed.. We must find a Black bisector.."

"BLACK BISECTOR!! BLACK BISECTOR!!"
Last edited by zephre on Wed Mar 25, 2015 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Shattered Sphere

Post by zephre » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:29 pm

THE SPHERE: The Habitat: 15 miles east of Tolivia's Travelling Spectacle Bazaar of the Bizarre's Winter Camp: one week later..


Julian Argos had endured quite enough.

He had tried in vain over the last hour to get some sleep, and usually, he had little problems sleeping in the back of his mothers vardo. For what ever reason, be it the raging storm, the horrible road or the travel food not sitting well in his stomach, slumber eluded him. The young roochie lay in the hammock, swaying with each lurch from the unsteady road and wondered how much longer he would continue in vain to sleep or simply roll out and join his Mother in the front of the land boat. Julian mulled over the past 3 years travelling with his mothers carnival, receiving what his grandfather had called an education that could never be taught at any university. The old man then spun tails of his own time, travelling when a young man which ignited his intellect and changed his view of the world. His Grandfather encouraged such adventures, and stated often that experience was the best professor.

Julian reached over to the cubby hole that he had claimed for his personal effects, and after a couple of misses due to an uncooperative hammock sway, snatched the communique he had received from his cousin Molly. Opening the thin paper, he looked again at the cablegram he had received from at the city of Vander's before leaving Port August, to suss out of there were other clues as to the situation.

It simply said 'Grandfather gravely ill, need you back in Eastbrook now.' and signed simply Molly.

He tapped the communique to his forehead horn as if it could jog loose the hidden meanings behind the words Molly had written, if there were anything hidden. Unfortunately, it was remarkably strait forward. Lattimar Argos, his grandfather, was horribly sick and so ill that his cousin called to him in desperation to return home post haste before he succumbs to the inevitable. Simple and direct, just like Molly. He could appreciate that, as since he had been travelling with his mother, most people that he met tended to mask rhyme and reason behind long winded explanations that generally deflected that whomever was speaking was responsible for something. At times It would be so much easier if people would just get to the point, say what's on their mind and then move on. Simple, direct language.

Julian rolled out of the hammock, and snatched his shirt from the hook on the wall and moved towards the front, quietly moving past the others of their clan who were sleeping peacefully in hammocks, oblivious of the heavy rain pattering the roof of the vardo and rocking with the sway of the road. He took one last look back, opened the drivers door and stepped through.

The covered drivers compartment seated six, but at this time of night there was ample room. His mother held the reins, while one of the Bahts brothers was sitting guard, his rifle resting across his lap. Julian tapped him on the shoulder, and thumbed him to get some rest. Gorman Bahts smiled and handed him the repeater rifle, and headed into the back, more than probably to take the spot Julian had abandoned not long ago. Sitting in the spot his friend had just left, he rested the rifle across his lap and looked out into the rain, the vardos gas lamps flooded the road ahead of them with golden light. Once they got to the winter camp, he'd have to make sure the six draft equis were dried and covered so to not take ill. It was the least he could do before..

"You are leaving, yes?" Tolivia Vellova stated, not so much a question, more of a confirmation. She looked at her son with her grey eyed stare, beetling her eyebrows and pushing black curly hair away from her face, allowing her small horns to show at her hairline. Her accented voice slight rasp had it's entrancing effects on the audiences across the lands, and would hold sway on him if he'd allow it to, which he didn't.

"I am, after we are at the Winter camp site." He said simply, wondering why he thought it was a good idea to come up to the drivers cab. He often wondered if she could read minds. "I mentioned this earlier, Mother, as you remember.." Julian looked out into the rain, as if he could make out patterns in the falling droplets. "He took care of Molly and I after our fathers never returned from the expedition, when he could have easily tossed me to the work farms. Molly is his blood, but I'm not, not truly." he looked back at her. "In their eyes, I am blood."

She nodded, and pulled her oilskin around her, holding the rain off her tanned skin. They sat in silence for a time, as there seemed nothing to say more. His mother proved him wrong, sighing as if resigned to the inevitable. "It is right for you to go to Argos.." She said, "We were fortunate to have you with us for these past three years, and you will have a home with us for so long as you draw breath." Tolivia adjusted the reigns in her hand, and looked at her son, smiling. "Argos is the one good Zhodan is a sea of their corruption, and the world will be a much darker place without him. If not for the Old Man, there would be no Hectur, and there would not be you." She waved her hand dismissively. "The rest of them are worth little more than their ingots." and reached up and rang the klaxon twice, then twice again thus alerting the twenty other vardos, wagons and steamers trains that a right branch of the road was coming shortly. More klaxons, bells and whistles answered back the warning.

Julian smiled, and leaned back into the buck seat. "After we get the steam engines and boilers stowed away in storage, I'll head to Eastbrook."

"In this weather? You'll catch your death." His mother warned, and brought a grin to his face.

"Your occasional maternal instincts warm my heart, Miss Tolivia Vellova." He said, an escaped laugh following shortly behind. "I'll wear my oil skin and hat, and dodge the raindrops."

"Insolence from one whom I carried in my body.." She laughed back, and after a moment her face took a more serious look. "I can't stop you from going to Eastbrook, but keep in mind this isn't the Republic of Kearradus or the Grand Duchy. This is the Imperiums capital and Mister Sabu's territory, and that old Rojjea Gangster will no care of you are an Argos or not." She stated, and rang the bell again, a different pattern then before which signals the road's next change. "They are not kind to our kin."

"Mother, remember that I was born and raised in Eastbrook. I know the dangers of being a Roochie in these lands more than you think." he said, smirking.

"You were raised as a rich boy, to think like a Zhodan, the p'ak that conquered our people and hold the reigns to our yolks." She said, spitting into the night. "They keep the living force from us, and do not allow us to follow our history." Tolivia shot him a hard look. "Your Father knew what it meant to be a Roochie in their world. He grew up in the work houses, and begging before that until he was discovered stealing from the Old Mans house, and for what ever reason took Hectur under his wing rather than throwing him to the Magistrate."

"Father was adopted as Professor Argos son and heir. He had already been a friend to Uncle Orvil and Auntie Ilsha for some time before then when they were children." Julian said, once again hearing her misquoted version of the story. "Father was accused of stealing by the workhouse matrons and was on his way to lose a hand, and grandfather stopped them from doing so." He said, wiping his face from the rain which had changed direction to hit them. Squinting, he looked over and saw his mother pulling goggles over her eyes. "So when you met him, he was a refined gentleman, not a low town grifter."

"Not so refined." she said, smiling. "He was a force of nature.." and after a beat.. "..as was your uncle for a Zhodan."

"As for our history, it was lost thousands of years ago when the continent we came from sank from volcanic eruptions, leaving our people scattered across the world. We have bits of it, but with each generation, more gets lost. Mother Zu is the closest thing we have to a historian, and she only has bits and pieces of it." Julian stated, referring to the carnivals sooth seer and mystic while covering the weapons cylinder with his large muscular hands. "The Roochi wasnt the only peoples to lose, but there were other peoples on the continent with a culture we couldn't imagine. I remember uncle and father speaking of them before they embarked on one of their expeditions. Father kept notes on every expedition they went on, which they locked away in the grand museums archive." he nodded. "His last volume was never found, since the leather book never left his person.."

"I know our history well enough, and I know that the rooch are feared by the Jedaii and the Imperium. It is the reason why our people are treated like dogs and the day will come when we will retake what is ours." Tolivia stated, and the pair remained silent for a time. Julian knew that such seditious dialog within the borders of the Imperium could end not only his mother, but the carnival and everyone in it.

Miles past before Tolivia broke the silence

"You should concentrate on your paintings rather than fighting in the parlors. Your hands can either crush bone or create beauty, it would be a shame if you lost both abilities from some bare knuckle match." she said, and glanced at him. "You are masterful at both, but keep both in mind as well.."

"Fighting earns quicker ingots than painting or sculpting, and a fighter doesn't need to have Patron." he said, settling back in the seat. "Don't worry, I'm not planning on fighting this time, at least not for money." Julian took a piece of cloth that had been stuffed into a crevasse and wiped the water off the barrel and cylinder of the rifle. They were silent for a several minutes before he spoke again. "I will wait for morning to make my way to Eastbrook, with the rest of the troupe. By the time I were to arrive, It would be too late to pay a visit in any case."

She smiled at that, and snapped the reins, spurring the draft equis up the hill, getting them closer to the winter camp.

"Excellent, you can help with payroll in the morning..."
Last edited by zephre on Sat May 02, 2015 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Outer Rim, Non Descript asteriod field

Post by zephre » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:01 pm

"So's I tell 'em if they want more credits, they're gonn have to put on stormy buckets and call me Moff!" Old man Hagar shouted through his helmet com, bringing the entire vacuum suited plasma bore line to laughter.

It wasn’t that the Hagar's story was hilarious, but it broke the monotony of boring into this long forgotten asteroid belt. Blethor-Tuk Independent Mining and Salvage wasn’t one of the top excavation companies, and in some circles, the company has been called fly by night and preforming questionable and opportunistic claims considered so by the mining cartel. As employers they look the other way on safety protocols, blatantly ignore environmental hazards or whether their employees are wanted by the authorities or not. What they did do well was conduct business quietly and under the table, pulling raw bulk materials from once believed exhausted mining outposts.

Ven Blethor and Rend Tuk, both humans from Ord Bueri, operated primarily within the outer rim territories, using an old census archived from Republic Scout Corps star charts. They usually found their best luck on asteroid belts around uninhabited planets, or systems that had long been abandoned due to misfortune. Usually, Blethor-Tuk used the Slim Pickings, a pre-empire bulk cargo mover that had been retrofitted into a mining barge. It was large enough to carry small digger crawlers and heavy granite borers to be effective, and move the mining droids and twenty or so living miners to whatever location they would conduct operations. The kept an eye on what came in and out, and would run at the first sign of New Republic or Imperial ships entering the system, usually giving a short warning before they fled. In fact the only good part of the job for an organic was that they asked almost no question about past transgressions, and tended to pay fairly well.

Old Man Hagar was wanted in three systems for racketeering, for example. He needed to get off Ryloth in a great hurry to avoid the noose, and Blethor-Tuk got a year out of him. Thieves, smugglers, and Murderers were all present and no one knew what each did so long as you pulled your weight.

That included a former member of the Cult of Shadows...

Maus Renda fired another blast from her plasma bore, burnin ten feet further beneath the cold crust of the asteroid, and pulled the heavy device from the burned hole precipice for the assayer scanner, whose operator was named Burris Vorden if she remembered right, scanning if a valuable vein had been pierced by the cutter. After a few moments scan, Burris shook his head and shuffled back for Maus to replace the bore and continue cutting. It was a routine that they have been doing for the past few days along the entire line, with no reward for their labors. Burris shuffled to the next in the line and Maus considered her fate.

She had lost, or rather abandoned the Razors Edge on some backwater she had been visiting to find more of her master's stashes, and she had some luck on some of the ones she'd visited earlier. Enough money to last a bit, changes in clothing, and a place to lay low for a while. She did this for a few months, and it was going fairly well. She'd have enough assets to return to the temple on Yavin and explore the phenomenon fully. The last stash, on some Ord planet whose designation she couldn't remember at this very moment, seemed like all the rest. It was under the old rubble of some giant retail store, and not particularly easy to enter without the aid of the force.

Unlike the others, this one was being watched.

Local law enforcement had the stash under survailance, and clamped down hard on the location which led to her nearly getting apprehended. She led them a merry chase, but she managed to lose them. From what she'd learned, her master was responsible for an impressive body count and the lobotimization of some teenager. There had even been a Jedi present, supposedly to help the young woman bet was keen on bringing anyone who entered the casch to justice. She had barely escaped, and from there her luck only soured.

Soured enough to join with Blethor-Tuk.

The timers in her vacc suit chimed, which was mirrored by the others on the line as work stopped, and the miners shut down their equipment. The days labors were over, and now it was back to the mining ship where there was food, freshers and sleep. Maus hefted the plasma cutter over her shoulder and followed the other miners towards the lift out, listening to the back and forth banter of her fellows which at the moment was mostly fantasizing about what they were going to do with credits they were earning from this strip operation.

She wasn't thinking about her pay, where she was going to drink, or her dark Master, just going to sleep in her coffin shaped bunk and sweet oblivion before waking up to repeat the day again. It was a routine that she had gotten accustomed to. You can get accustomed to nearly anything. She had become accustomed to her life on Arcanix as an apprentice, which was as arduous as could be imagined.

Maus had kept the Force in check since coming here, and nary a twinge of a tremor had shaken her, which was odd that the force tremor that shook her weakened her knees nearly causing her to drop the plasma cutter. There was a danger, and it was approaching quickly.

"Where's the lift?" She heard one of the miners say as the stone ground chose this moment to shift and sway, knocking several of the miners into the walls. The lamps shut off, pitching the miners into complete darkness. The sound of the collapse of the ceiling was the last thing heard before complete darkness...


....

<zZz there any body out there zZz. ZZz still alive zZz,>>

Maus lurched up, gasping for air. It was pitch black, and inside her helmet smelled of sweat and old breath. There was a crackling from the comlinks, and the voice rang in her helmet again..

<<zZz anyone out there...>>>

"Yeah, there are survivors down here, and were in the weeds of our air." She stated. "Were going to need some help getting out of here. Looks like the lift shaft is collapsed."

<<zZz it's a situation out here, so if you can't dig an opening in the next few minutes zZz your a zZz resident..zZz>>

It was getting harder to breath inside her helmet as their words struck home. They were going to leave them here, in the dark to suffocate. That was unacceptable. It was time to do something she hadn't done in quite a while..

Maus let the dark side fill her, all the fear, hate and self loathing fuel her power. Razor's face burned her minds eye, as did everything that had come to her since being thrust onto the insane Sith witch. Rage burned her eyes as she bared her teeth at the collapsed lift shaft, and hurled the first blast of dark force energy she had wielded in a very long time. The wall of dark force pounded the pile of granit in an unrelenting battering ram until the entire pile blew outwards, showing a brilliant star field in its stead..

Star field?

Maus moved to where there used to be the lift shaft and the other side of the tunnel, and stood at the precipice of what remained of the asteroid. It appeared that it had been cut away, a perfect flat surface in all directions where there had been easily another kilometer of rock dirt and ice.

It looked like something bit it in two...

This asteroid wasn't the only one that was destroyed, as what had been once a entire field of rocks was now reduced to a few pebbles and dust. It was picked clean. She stabbed the helmet comlink, and yelled...

..........

"No idea what happened, but we came into system to resupply Belthor-Tuk, and we found this mess.." Goran Qui said, leaning on the wall of the med bay where Maus and the other miners were being checked out by the medic. "The Slim Picken's was wrecked, picked apart like it was a carcass and the 'roids were gone. Your lucky we did a quick scan before we left, otherwise you'd have still been there." The survivors had been given maintenance overalls to wear, and rubber flex boots. Some rations were given them, and they ate them greedily. Their suit timers showed them to be out underground for nearly thirty hours, which left only six survivors and Maus.


She nodded as the ship's first mate spoke, occasionally to make it look like she was paying attention to what he was saying, assembling a mechanical puzzle but she was more fixated on what had happened. Something of incredible power had done this, and she wanted to know what that was. The ship was heading to some sparsely populated dirt ball where they will be dumped like so much refuse.

As she slid the last pieces of her lightsaber together, she smiled at the thought of changing the captain's mind...

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Re: The Shattered Sphere

Post by zephre » Wed Mar 25, 2015 6:06 pm

THE SPHERE: Outer Shell, custodial deck observation chamber..


NOT ENOUGH RAW MATERIAL!! RAW MATERIAL REQUIRED!!!

"It is the best we could find on the shortest of notice.. We have another location in mind that will offer far more than a few days replenishment.. It was a mistake to destroy the mining vessel, it could bring unwanted attention unto us..."

Blue Tangent, the Habitat Black Sphere must take precedence. We will have more drones for white acute when needed next.

"indeed, the insect drones are working well for obtaining the raw materials, but soon it will become necessary to begin looking for materials for them as well, we cannot continue to cannibalize the outer sphere from materials for them."

The Red Parallel is to attain materials to create defenders for the drones, perhaps White Bisectors.

"Agreed, Defense drones may be needed once we arrive in systems closer to the outer rim, since the Sith Empire may still be looking for their missing Assassin even after all this time, and if so we still need assistance, perhaps from the Republic or the Jedi Council.."

The blue nanogon of the galaxy is a red parallel for the blue tangent of our purple parallel, Jedi Sith Republic Bisectors may be Blue

Yes, An-R-ak, but we can't continue as we are now..


FOLD CHARGED!! FOLD CHARGED!!

"Excellent, then we are ready for our next location.. Aggars Shards near the Corellian Trade Spine.."

We are prepared for Yellow Shift..

Indeed, folding space presently...

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THE SPHERE: The Habitat: Avenue of the First; Herald District

Post by zephre » Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:56 am

The Empress Avalla Grand Threatre, or as is has come to be commonly referred to as the Avalla Theater has hosted performances from some of the finest acting and entertainment troupes from around the Imperium, the Republic and even the Northern Kingdoms. Performing within these walls was considered one of the greatest honors a thespian troupe could gain, and a single actor who walked the boards of the stage was ensured a long career performing before the crown. It was built nearly one hundred years prior under the reign of Empress Sheil Avalla, who had a nearly unquenchable hunger for dramatic spectacles as well as those who performed them. It was even rumored that the Empress would occasionally enjoy romantic trysts with the thespians, which of course was completely unfounded and heresy to besmirch her name. More than a few of the Empresses detractors were not seen again after such allegations, though it was no fault of the crown, of course.

The Empress was patron of several troupes, and she finally commissioned the theater that would bear her name to be built within the Herald District. Materials were brought in from all corners of the Imperium, and from the far shores of the Jun Archipelago where there was a sea shell that could only be found there, which was used for the unique pigment for the painted inlays of the décor. It took over a year to build, and when it finally opened for its first showing, it was an event to long be remembered. She and the Emperor would seldom miss an opening night if it couldn’t be helped by affairs of state, sitting among the gold and burgundy opulence of the décor. The boards were centrally staged in the center of the theater, which led to the backstage and uprights where above was the orchestra loft able to hold an eighty piece ensemble. Surrounding the Stage area on three sides were the peasant seats and royal lofts, as well as a comfortable lounge for intermissions. It was a common courtesy to have "one on ol' Sheil" which ensured the success of the venues run. A good producer would of course budget the single shot glass of hooch per seat into the business plan, and it helped keep the tradition going. It was seldom that Empress Mirava Urkartus or her husband Emperor Stephron made appearances at the contemporary Avalla Theater, but when they did, they shared a shot glass with the company and audience.

Tonight's entertainments, one hundred years later, was far from the intent of the Avalla Theater, and verged on the macabre. The Orchestra played a slow dirge as the last of the attendees took their seats.

In the center of the stage was a large metal examination table, covered with a simple white sheet with what was apparently a figure underneath it. Two men in long white labratory smocks moved around the stage, preparing the equipment and looking at the readings on the electric console with a number of nodes attached to long sharp probes and two long handed electric wands. The assistants occasionally rotating one or two of the knobs to keep a lively electrical arc. The electrical panel showed all green lights and nominal needles on the valves and gages as more people took their seats within the stalls and circles, dressed in the most formal of gowns, suits and uniforms. The farthest corner of the wooden center stage was situated a decorated wagon with a small boiler equipped with a steam pipe, connected electrical generator which was wired to the console.

A single Jedaii stalked around the edge of the stage and keeping a close eye on the audience, his hand on his saber. His face was obscured by the brown hood of his robe pulled over his head, but there was no doubt he was here to ensure there wasn’t any interference with what was going to happen. Leather armor could be viewed just under the robe, cured to steel hardness and protected his chest and neck. the Jedaii was expecting trouble of some kind, which was apparent by his watching the crowd as the orchestra began a swell of music, indication that the show was about to begin.

The two lab assistants took places on either side of the console as from the backstage area strode the performer for the evening, and polite applause filled the theater. He was tall and gaunt Zhodan approaching middle age, with slicked back hair dark as pitch which matched his sculpted beard. He wore an exquisite suit, tailored to fit his thin frame so not to look like it hung off of him as clothing did to one with his build tended. He took his place at the front of the stage, where the footlights illuminating him with a dramatic uplighting as he smiled across the audience, pausing to nod at those he knew and particularly wanted to impress. The assembled patrons attended mostly from curiosity and invitation, and nearly all were academics or captains of industry with a few shadowy figures taking places in the private boxes that overlook the entire venue.

No one else could have afforded the price of admission..

The man glanced over to the Jedaii, and gave him a respectful bow, who nodded in return and took a place off to the side, still keeping a watchful eye on the proceedings. The applause subsided as the man waved down the audience, and cleared his throat.

"Good evening, my good friends." he said, his baritone voice projecting easily to all in attendance. "I am Professor Jul Krussik, for those whom I am not already acquainted with, and I am about to reveal what I and my small team have been researching painstakingly for the last few months." and paused for effect.

"Limited resurrection of the recently deceased with pure electricity generated through a the galvatron collider I and my team have brought into the theater this evening. I will prove that with precise placement of electrical nodes on a subject, the unfortunately deceased will once again become valuable members of society." Krussik stated and moved across the stage to the covered human shape on the examination table, which spurred his assistants to action, one taking up the wire nodes and the other taking place next to the console. The Professor made a show of grasping the corner of the white cloth sheet and yanked it away, revealing the corpse of a male Zhodane. Connected to each of his joints was a metal node, to which it was apparent was what the wires would attach too. The crowd gasped in astonishment, and looked aghast at the dead thing before them.

All save one young woman sitting in the center, who lent forward and watched with great interest.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce to you Mr. Kolm Nester, formerly a ward of Drakforth Prison until this morning when he was sent to his final reward at the end of a rope by the Jedaii for multiple crimes of murder. The Jedaii, being most gracious, have made the body of Mr. Nester available for this exhibition." and clapped, which was picked up by the audience bringing a round of applause for the Jedaii which subsided quickly. It appeared to effect the force user very little as he kept his stoic stance.

"Our Jedaii friend is here to keep us safe, as well as that even though this is an exhibition, we do not know the exact outcome we will get by attempting a limited resurrection or if compatriots of Mr. Hester may come calling." Krussik warned gravely, and then returned for a moment to his task of supervising the assistants as they attached the wires to the Connection Points on Mr. Nester's body before turning around. "Oh, and fear not, my dear friends. If Mr. Nester returns to life fully, our Jedaii friend assures us that he will be executed again post haste."

The audience made an appreciative laugh at the joke, again with the exception of the young woman in the center, who simply shook her head and leaned back in her seat and seemingly ignored the man who appeared to be her consort. The young woman's apparent discourse with the proceedings was lost in the audience of nearly three hundred or so theatergoers save one. The Jedaii appeared to keep his attention on that area of the gallery, although the hood made it nearly impossible to know his intent.

"Now that he's connected, I do believe we can begin the procedure." and glanced back to his assistance, who gave him the high sign, and moved to the various machines on the stage as Professor Krussik took his place behind the control console, and donned dark lense goggles. "Using this device, and after an initial burst of electricity to gird the body, I shall first command Mr. Nester to sit up from the table using connected electrical pulses to stimulate his muscles, then to stand and finally..." He paused for a moment for dramatic effect..

"..To Walk!" and threw the switch...
Last edited by zephre on Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Shattered Sphere

Post by zephre » Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:56 am

Molly Argos stormed out of the Avalla Theater along with the throngs of other dissatisfied patrons, shaking her head in disgust at what she had just bore witness. The evening drizzle caused a hazy effect to the gas lamps as the mist turned to steam on the hot metal and glass covers, and felt cool on her skin bringing goosebumps on the exposed skin. Soon it would begin to steam off of her as well, matching her mood.

along the Avenue as the heavy traffic of riding animals, carriages and the occasional steamer moved past at speed. The well lit sidewalk was just as active as the roadway, as the upper crust of Imperial society moved about their business and frivolities within the exclusive Herald District of the city of Eastbrook. Much of the crowd blended into the moving foot traffic, while others moved to carriages which were waiting at curbside for them, while hackney cabs swept in to take advantage of the theater being let out nearly an hour early. The theater goers would have competition with those whom were enjoying dining on the Avenue. The smells of cooking food was intoxicating and alluring, and would have easily drawn her into one of the out of the way cafe for her other indulgence, but she was far too swept up in her own indignation and agitation for a respite. Mixed with the smell of cooking meat and vegetables was the constant smell of the overhead copper steam pipes that left a metallic smell to each breath.

"It was a disgrace to the scientific method.." She snarled as she adjusted the small bustle of her coral evening gown while her companion for the evening moved up behind her and slipped her shawl around her shoulders. She whirled on him, arms outstretched in amazement. "He should have tested his theorem far more than he did, taking meticulous notes, and conducting more tests until you receive the same result each time with only a near zero margin of error." and snatched her umbrella from him. "I shall never get the smell from my nose. A proper man of science would know that a man who has been executed that the spinal cord was severed, and I won't even speak of reinforcement of the..."

"Now, Now Miss Argos.." Count Rale Delgartha, her companion for the evening said in a soothing tone. "Don't excite yourself, it will bring up an scandalous blush to your cheeks, not to mention such an outburst in public is mortifying." He was a bit older than her, and devilishly handsome, and Molly had decided a short span ago that he was breathtakingly stupid. Her Mother had set up this rendezvous to the exhibition in an attempt to garner favor with Duke Delgartha for her agenda to further advancement of the Analytical Machine. Kadence Argos had been running the business side of Argos Analytics and Technology after her grandfather decided that he had to concentrate more on his innovations and inventions rather than the tedious, and had been doing splendidly since then. Now that he was ill, it was imperative that support continued in the Imperial Court, as well as in the public sector.

Molly would forgive her mother, but not give away that she was forgiven too soon..

"Your probably right, Count Delgartha." she said begrudgingly, tucking her umbrella under her arm and grasped his offered arm. Perhaps the evening could be saved, even with her companion. Molly could hold her ire until she reached home, and spoke with her mother, or her auntie Ilsha. Both of them could grasp the issue at hand. Even Julian would give her a debate over the spectacle, and would want to look more into this Professor to see if he was indeed a scientist, or a charlatan.

"Yes, Miss Argos, High strung young women such as yourself are prone to the hysterics, its nothing to be ashamed of." The young count stated, pleased with what he thought was commiseration. "There are professionals who specialize in such things as relieving hysterics though massage therapy.. My mother attends at least three times a week." Molly had heard of the professionals who conducted hysterics therapy, which oddly enough was held to the highest secrecy, and spoken of in quiet whispers and giggles. She had never been to a session, but was certain it wasn’t solely a medical procedure.

"I have far too many pursuits to turn to such diversions." She said, hoping to end that branch of the conversation, an thought to bring it back around to the show they just left. "My ire was raised by the shoddy spectacle of Professor Krussik's scientific experiment." Molly said, explaining carefully in hopes the dullard would understand. "I do appreciate your company, Count Delgartha, I truly do."

"Yes, you are quite welcome, and I can see your misgivings.." Delgartha nodded sagely, tapping his finger to his lips. "I did have one question coming from the theater...." and paused, forming the words in his mind before setting the thought free. "Why would the Professor want to set the dead man on fire?" And cocked his head to the side, much like a daggett being shown a card trick. It was time to end this.

"I am suddenly feeling quite tired, Count Delgartha.." She said, "I believe that I will make my way home, and I don’t wish to be burden on you or your time." and raised her arm of a hackney cab. "I enjoyed our time tonight, and I do hope we can repeat it in the near future."

"Of course, Miss Argos. Shall I accompany you home?" as one of the carriages stopped, the beasts hooves clicking on the cobblestone. Molly grasped the door handle and took a seat on the overstuffed benches.

"No, no need." she said, and added "In fact, isn't your club around here?" and gave the address to the driver. "Your evening wont be a complete loss.." And the cab headed down the Avenue and into the night, leaving the Count curbside.

"Spirited woman.." Brother Camden Rex said as he too watched the carriage disappear into the nights traffic. Count Delgratha looked to his new companion, surprised to see someone there. "Molly Argos, correct?"

"Yes, Indeed. Spirited." Delgratha said, his hands behind his back. "Prone to hysterics, though..."

Rex nodded, and pulled his hood over his head. "If you will excuse my, my lord." and moved off into the crowd leaving the Count behind. It had been a interesting turn of events to see the young Argos woman in the exhibition, and wondered what purpose she would have there. It was no doubt to anyone with her intellect that Krussik was a fraud, though probably not that this experiment was approved by the council to debunk his claims of limited resurrection, and there were already too many practitioners of the Force not under the control of the Order. What inspired her to come here tonight of all nights. The Order would have to keep a closer eye on the young Argos..

He stopped at the alley's mouth, where to more Brothers moved to join him. "What shall we do with the corpse?"

"Let Krussik have it, its his mess, he can clean it up.."

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Re: The Shattered Sphere

Post by zephre » Sat May 02, 2015 9:18 pm

THE SPHERE: The Habitat: Herald district, Argos townhome..


::Had we known this, we couldn't have approved such action, Madam Argos::

The voice coming from the porcelain doll head was tinny and distant as the Analytical Machines Interface relayed the message from Councilor Aldo Gengrus, whom was likewise speaking to a porcelain head in his own office nearly twenty miles away, though not directly in front of it hence the issues with the sound. Even with the quality of the sound, Kadance Argos could tell he wasn't happy with the news of Professor Argos’s medical condition. Aldo was a trusted family friend, which to her meant kept at arms length, and not left alone with papers on your desk. It also wasn't ideal to speak of such things over the Analytical Machines wire, but the Councilor needed to be appeased.

It was a miracle of technology that they speak through the Analytical Machine, which up to a decade ago was strictly for mathematical computing , information retention and telegraphic messages through use of the type keyboards and ticker-tape. Originally, the spoken word interface was a diaphragm and loudspeaker cone, and shortly after it became the practice to place the loudspeaker inside an object to make it more aesthetically pleasing. The Heads became a feature for the wealthy and influential, and were provided in multiple styles. The most popular was the Pretty Maid, Handsome Man and the Family Daggat.

::If this information were to get out, The Imperium could use it as a vehicle to wrest control of the observatory from the Argos family.::

“The Imperium has no knowledge of Father's condition, and to all concerned the kind Professor Argos is still creating and innovating what we have now and that is the story you will continue to report, do we understand each other.” Kadance started, looking through another portfolio as she waited for the response. It wasn't long before she shifted her eyes from the portfolio to the dolls face, which was a sculpture of her husband Orvil’s face.. she had even place a pair of his spectacles on the face, as the dolls face seemed to be missing something without them.

::Have you made plans for worst case scenarios?::

“When don’t I, Aldo..” She smiled and jotted down a bit of information gleaned from the document, and closed the portfolio. “We should speak soon in person, don’t you think?”

::I prefer you beyond arm's reach, if it's all the same to you, Madam. Argos. I get particularly alarmed when you use my given name::

He always was wise, Kadance mused.

“We will speak again soon. Keep the Imperial Court away until the Professor has recovered, and all will be well.” She said, smoothing out her suit dress and collecting the portfolios. “Sleep tight, Councilor.”

::Good Evening, Madam Argos:: and with that the loudspeaker dropped down to the side of the porcelain head, the bellows disconnected from the diaphragm, ending the call. Kadance glance at the interface and satisfied that it was disconnected, placed the portfolios to the correct cabinet and locking it with the key she kept on a long chain around her neck, dropped it back inside her shirt and buttoned the cotton collar around her throat. She walked over to the small bar, and poured herself a whisky.

That wouldn't be the only call she would receive regarding her father in law, who has been out of the public eye for nearly six months. Professor Lattimer Argos was loved by the people of Eastbrook in particular. A commoner from birth with a remarkable mind and the humblest of beginnings, he created his fortune through hard work as an inventor. Failing with endeavors several times and pulling himself up likewise, his inventions became part the daily lives of people, often targeted to the lower class to ease at least a bit of their burden at work as well as their homes. His inventions and innovations improved working conditions in the workhouses and factories all over the civilized world, as it was the same with the household items.

His greatest invention to date was the Analytical Machine, which employed nearly a thousand people ranging in pay from ten to thirteen ingots a week for base unskilled workers, and more for technical staff and artisans running at twenty four hours a day. The Professor kept his personal offices there, as well as his workshop and would visit the work floor, speaking with employees and confiding the occasional off color joke with them. He would occasionally roll up his sleeves and help with the tasks if someone appeared to be having an ‘off day’ as he’s refer to it. She began working for the Analytical Machine many years ago, after being cast out of her well off family for being headstrong, and worked her way to a supervisory role in rather short order. Argos was kind to her, and even offered an attempt to mend the rift between herself and her family.

It was around this time that had cause to meet Orvil Argos, the older brother of the Argos children. He had just began working for the Maddox Agency as an investigator along with his brother Hectur when they by chance met during a Central Bank and Trust in the Bourgess district, to which she had the misfortune to be at while being robbed. Needless to say, the situation was dealt with efficiently, and she met her future husband. They married after Orvil finished his studies in archaeology, and their daughter was born after he received his doctorate.

He was gone before Molly’s tenth birthday...

The knock on her office door woke her from her mind journey, and beckoned whom ever it was to enter.

Mister Geoffrey opened the door, and bowed his gray haired head. He had worked for the Argos family far longer than she had been part of the family, and to her knowledge was the steward to the Argos before the Orvil and Ilsha was born.

“You have a visitor, Madam..” He said simply, and placed his hands behind his back.

“I’m in no mood this evening for callers, Mr. Geoffrey. Please send them away with my regards.”
The old man smiled as he turned his head. “My apologies, Master Julian, you will simply have to leave until…” was as far as he got in his charade before Kadance moved past him and swept her nephew into a hug, her head coming to his chest. She looked at the manservant, who seemed rather pleased with himself grin.

“You enjoyed that, didn't you..” she said, eyes narrowed as she released her nephew.

“Yes, Madam, I rather did..” the old man stated, the slight grin on his face confirmed. “Shall I bring some tea?”

“Please, unless you were about to retire for the evening..” She said as she ushered Julian into her office. Like all of the Argos family, Geoffrey received far more deference than the rest of the household staff simply for who he was.

“I shall attend to it myself, Madam..” and turned towards the kitchens and shuffled off. Julian called out before he was out of earshot his own thanks before turning to his aunt who was at the bar and pouring two small glasses of sipping whiskey, and handed him one of them. He seemed surprised that she handed him the beverage, but took it.

“Welcome Home.” she said, and with a clink of the glasses, downed the brown liquor.

“Thank you, It’s good to be home.” Julian said, and likewise swallowed the drink as her door opened to Molly, still wearing her evening gown sans the gloves. Her daughters grin was wide as she rushed in, the gown making a thushing noise.

“Was she surprised?” The girl asked her cousin as she joined them near the bar. “I hope you was surprised. I saw him walking towards the house as the cab brought me home..” Molly told her mother, excited and having forgotten the scientific abomination she had witnessed.

“I was, dearest..” Kadance said, smiling “Blown over..” as she put the shot glass down on the roll away bar. “Your trip was good, I do hope..”

Julian closed his eyes a moment before speaking, it had been a long night and it was just getting longer.. Direct, precise language..

“It was fine.. How is grandfather, have the doctors said anything as of yet?”

Kadance raised an eyebrow, surprised at his question and unsure how he knew of the Professors condition and then realized it must have been Molly whom had been pushing her to recall Julian. Her daughter sent a message to a cable station across the sea where it was delivered to her nephew. How many eyes have seen the message, and what would be the aftermath. She would have to have a stern talk with Molly about this.

“It is a form of dementia, slow at the start but distressing enough for him to refuse to leave his chambers, and it is possible that he may not recover fully. He has been like this for nearly six months, and he refuses to talk to anyone other than Molly.” She stated “We are keeping the knowledge strictly to family and those with a need to know. Had you not returned of your own volition within the month, I would have sent a representative to bring you back..” Molly nodded, and shifted her gaze from her mother to Julian. “He’s been asking for us both together, and he urged me to get you by any means necessary. He won't say what is wrong until we're together with him.”

Julian nodded, and placed his own glass on the cart. “Then lets go see him.”

“The Master is turned in for the evening, and will sleep through the night after I gave him his evening draught.” Geoffrey stated as he entered the office, pushing the tea service cart next to the luncheon table near the window. “He will be available to speak in the morning, after his rest.” and began to serve in silence. The manservant finished his task, and faced Julian.

“I am pleased you are home, Master Julian. I hope you can help put an end to this distasteful business. Your room is prepared with fresh linens and the windows opened to air it out. Your bag has been put into your room, and your oilskin and hat is in the cloak room..” and turned to leave the office, turning back to face them as he closed the door. “I shall collect the cart once you are finished..”

Dead silence was left in Geoffrey's wake as the three were deciding where to begin.

“We should get Aunt Ilsha, have a proper get together.” Julian said, taking the initiative to pour the tea, and starting the conversation.

Kadance took the cup, and sipped it without cream or sugar, a generally scandalous act for a lady of society. “She won’t be back till tomorrow evening, I'm afraid. Ilsha went to Nanhyfer for a personal project.”

“Tell us about your trip?” Molly asked…




Outer Rim: Blade of Justice



“The male Haruchi’s name is Hectur Argos according to his journal” Jayfives report continued, “and the Human’s name was Orvil Argos, and they refer to themselves as brothers. Both men had wives and children which corresponds with the metal plate portrait that was tucked into the journal.” the holo of the droid was replaced with the journal, which the actual book was currently sitting in front of the Lord Defender Devon Vos in his chambers aboard the Blade of Justice. Zora Al’akahaab stood stone faced, arms folded behind her back as she awaited to answer questions if the Lord Defender had any. She had been gone from the Defenders too long, and felt it was important to bring the book personally, along with the datafiles for Devon to look over.
She had changed little in her time away, with the exception of her language skills had improved.

“According to clues in the Journal, they worked as archeologists, to which Hectur apparently kept immaculate notes of their findings. It shows considerable parallels between where they are from and the Sphere we are familiar with. For example, the language written is a form of the western scripts , though it appears to have evolved from it..” the holo showed pages of the book, which the text translated to galactic standard. “I have taken the initiative to translate the book for ease of use, and a facsimile can be created on flimsy if you prefer.”

The holo changed again to show scenes from the excavation, and made a pass at the two bodies, removed from the portal chamber and kept in stasis to preserve the remaining flesh. holograms of the materials found, including the forensic reconstructions of the two men and the mechanical representations of their equipment. “Their professions must have been hazardous, as they have armed themselves with large firearms.” a rotating version of a five revolving barreled large caliber handgun and a six cylinder handgun of smaller caliber, both obviously slug throwers. More images of the portal room contents are shown, including the damaged portal itself, which appears to have been encased in stone. “The portal appears to be damaged beyond repair, but the exposed sections appear to be unharmed..” He holo shows the undamaged part, an near exact match for the one that is laying dormat in the convocation chamber at the praxeum.

“The Technology level is several millennia evolved from the Sphere, in the beginnings of an industrial age according to the forensic reports of the fat cells, skin and hair.” Examples of the samples and breakdown of impurities were shown, The droid’s voice continued. “I have categorized the information for you to easily peruse at your pleasure in your own time, and Mistress Zora is quite capable of clarification. If you require my presence, Captain Bannon will take me to you directly.

“There is an additional bit of information unrelated to the report, but may be of importance. Professor Ludille believes that this was at one time a Jedi storehouse and cache, but after deeper study into the architecture shows this may have been in fact a Sith Empire listening post, and after finding a unique artifact which I sent with Mistress Zora, I believe that my conclusions will be shown to be correct..” The droid stated. “I have not informed the professor of this, nor given the information to Professor Artemis, but I shall once I have proof..” and the recording ended, only to restart again from the beginning.

Zora moved forward, and pulled a stasis case onto the desk. She pushed the button on the side, releasing sides and exposed a long handled dual blade light saber. It was dark anodized metal, with a sharp trio of spikes at the beam emitters frame, a classic sith design. The weapon had a dark presence around it, as though this weapon had caused considerable strife in its day.

“It feels of the darkness, Lord Defender.. What is your will..”


……………………………………………………


“Hectur” Orvil Argos gasped, holding onto his brother for dear life while keeping pressure on the deep bullet wound on his side. “Set me down, and leave this place. You can’t save…”

“Save your strength..” the large zabrak stated, keeping a firm grip on his adopted human brothers belt as the pair fast walked through the polished volcanic rock corridor, just one out of the labyrinth of passages in this temple. “Once we're outside, we can get down the mountain, sew you up, and from there we will decide what to do with this information..” Hectur said, and added “I could no more abandon you than you me..”

“I appreciate it, brother, but it's unrealistic..” as another of the soldiers appeared around the intersection, his rifle leveled at the pair. Hectur Argos brought up his right hand, which held the heavy five barreled pistol, and fired before the soldier. The 12mm ball caught the soldier square in the chest, knocking him back as the brothers passed the body.

“How about this, we live as long as its possible, and see how it goes..”

Orvil nodded, pain radiating from his wound. “Thats sounds like a good plan.” he said as three more soldiers stepped out into the light, causing the brothers to lurch into another passage before they could see them. Where this one would go was any ones guess.

“What should we do with the information.” Hectur said, knowing that he needed to keep Orvil talking.

“That northern warlord wants this, and they are willing to kill to get it.” Orvil said, holding on to the white polygonal crystal they found on the remains of a zabrak skeleton. “It’s a bargaining chip..

the corridor they traveled opened into a large chamber, with what appeared to be a pool of rippling water in its center which was emitting light, inside a metal and stone ring. In front of the stone ring was a console with multiple crystals arranged in a pattern of red, blue yellow and green which reversed to green, yellow, blue and red. The walls were covered in hieroglyphics, some of which the pair remembered from the chamber they had found the skeleton.

“This is a dead end..” Hectur stated, and turned as soldiers streamed in from the doorway, taking positions along the walls and taking aim. The zabrak leveled his own heavy pistol, attempting to keep them all covered.

“More dead than you know, brother..” Orvil wheezed as more of the northern troopers ran in and took position in front of them, causing them to step backwards towards the water pool. They couldn’t make out the soldiers faces, as they were covered by a filter mask, tinted goggles and steel helmet. From behind these troopers, another man approached, wearing a brown cloak with the hood up over his head. Yellow glowing eyes could be seen from the hood as he spoke.

“You’ve led a merry chase, Argos, but it's time to admit your end.” He said simply and held his hand out.

“Go Rot..” Orvil spat, and the pair took another step back towards the pool. Hectur held his brother up, no longer keeping it pointed at the crowd.

“Troopers..” the hooded man said. “Shoot Hectur Argos..”

Multiple clicks as the hammers of multiple firearms were readied. Orvil held out the crystal. “It will do you no good, the machine that showed the projection was destroyed.”

“I’m sure that will not be a problem..” and pulled his hood back. he was red skinned, and had facial tentacles that hung from high cheek bones which could be , and bony protrusions from the corner of his brows. The man was a Sith Pureblood..

Another soldier came up from behind, and spoke to the man quickly. “The Grandmaster is requesting your status, Master Balthor.”

The man named Balthor nodded. “Well enough..” and holding the crystal by the leather cord as a taunt, nodded to the soldier, who pulled his pistol and fired a round into Orvil’s chest, who fell back into the pool. Hectur snarled and took a snap shot, hitting Balthor in the leg, the heavy round splintering the bone and snatched the crystal from from the dangling cord as the soldier fired again, this time impacting him square in the chest and knocking him back into the pool the same as his brother while keeping a tight grip on the crystal..

light and color overwhelmed him as he fell….


Kali Vos lurched up from her bed, trying to catch her breath as it felt her had been knocked from her, and that she had been swimming in mud. She pulled her shirt up, and looked between her breasts.

A bruise was forming, right where the bullet had struck the Zabrak...

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Re: The Shattered Sphere

Post by coronhorn » Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:42 pm

Unknown Regions: Edges of Chiss Ascendancy
CEDF Ship Quiet listener


Mirtth'Rann'droono stared at his workstation's screen and reran the numbers for the third time, they still didn't check out. MAssaging his forehead and growled to himself and then signaled the officer of the watch. He'd been on the Quiet Listener for nearly two years now and this was the first time he'd ever needed to do so. It was a point of pride but regulations were regulations and were to be obeyed without hesitation,

"Report?" the watch officer questioned over his shoulder from the slightly elevated command chair that dominated the small scout frigate's bridge

"Sir I've discovered an anomaly. It doesn't match anything in the records and the comptuers are having a hard time putting a label on it."

"Show me."

Rand keyed up the holo-projector and the strangely shaped anomaly in the nearby nebula materialized above his workstation. he didn't look but he heard his commanding officer's breathing catch,

"Move."

Rand pushed back from his workstation and allowed the older man to have it. He sat and began working the controls, all of the data was packaged up and then sealed, the watch officer pushed back and then stood. "Speak to no one of this."

"Yes sir."

As the officer retook his position on the command dais he gave orders for a course change, Rand himself retook his seat as the hyper drive spun up and sent the small ship hurdling through hyperspace. Rand was left wondering just what he'd stumbled upon but his discipline as a member of the Chiss Expeditionary Defense Forces wouldn't allow him to broach the subject, at least not in the public space of the bridge. Within minutes of the ship jumping the scout frigate's commander stepped onto the bridge and motioned for the Officer of the Watch to follow him into his quarters and then pointed at him and did the same. Closing out his station he did as ordered a slight tremble in his knees, as the door slide shut behind him the Captain turned his stern gaze on him,

"When did you first pickup the anomaly?"

"12 hours ago sir. One minute it was just a typical neubla and then it wasn't."

"And the computer didn't flag it?"

"No sir, she couldn't make heads or tails of it."

His gaze shifted to the Officer of the watch, "What changed?"

"The gravity distortion waves sir, the visual pattern was still the same but gravity waves were different enough that the computer didn't recognize the phenomena."

The captain nodded, "I assume you've plotted a pursuit course?"

"Yes sir, there are only two possible candidates along the fold vector."

"Very well, set general quarters before we revert and prepare to cloak. I'll send word to the Assistant Syndic that we've found it again. Dismissed."

Rand followed the Officer of the Watch back onto the bridge and retook his seat, a few minutes later the captain followed, he spoke briefly with the Watch Officer and then patted him on the shoulder on the way off the bridge, "Good work Lieutenant."

Rannd shook his head and glanced at the jump timer, two hours on the jump but only one left on his shift and with the ship in hyperspace all he had to do was wait, just what was it that had created the anomaly he'd found. He'd find out soon enough along with the rest of the Quiet Listener's crew.

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Re: The Shattered Sphere

Post by coronhorn » Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:43 pm

Outer Rim: Agramar System
Blade of Justice


Devon Vos studied the blade Zora was holding up, he could feel the small cold aura that she could sense, he could even see it thanks to his gifts but there was one more ability he had that she didn't. It was why he tended to wear gloves most of the time, psychometric he'd been told by Draven's people once a long time ago. He could touch an object and see some of it's past, particularly if it had been involved in pivotal and emotional events and he didn't need to touch the saber to know it had been. He was sure that whatever he'd see when he touched it he wouldn't like but given the lack of alternatives, tugging at the fingers of his left glove he pulled it free and motioned for Zora to hand it over, he took it in his gloved hand and steeled himself,

"Emperor's Blackened bones I hate doing this..."

His bare hand wrapped around the hilt and he opened his mind to the flow... the images stuttered at first and they were all tinged red with rage...

"I'd forgotten what it felt like."

"What felt like?"

"The darkside, the owner, he revels in it. I'm in hallway, looks like an imperial facility. Old Sith Imperial, that explains things some, moving into a large flight bay. There's two men fleeing, one Twi'lek and one... there's a hypergate."

"Master?"

"Jok Zephere? No, far too early for that, must be one of their ancestors and oh does he hate him. The two men are arguing, I don't think they've noticed he's at the door yet, no... they've noticed. Zephere just pushed the other one through and he's turning to face me... him... he's been looking forward to this for a long time. There's something... he killed the other man... the other Jedi's... wife?"

"Unusual for a jedi of that era according to my research, though admittedly the solid information from that era is rare."

"He's sending several of his minions, Zephere just took them down, he's enjoying toying with him but he's getting impatient... Blast... if just slid into view."

"What master?"

"I... no he doesn't know, they just know it's a mega-structure and he's putting off an entire solar system's worth of power. They're... they're trying to harness it... make it into a weapon..."

"My home... a weapon?"

"No... it's not yours... it's different... older... my... no his... his patience has run out..."

Devon's hand snapped open spilling the hilt onto the deck, "Frell, they were brothers... You hear stories... but to see it..."

"Master Vos?"

Devon slowly pulled his glove back onto his hand, "The old Sith Empire found it spinward of Dromand Kas in the remains of a G-type star system. They'd been drawn there by a gravitational anomaly detected in the star, a previous survey had found two rocky inners and 3 gas giants with numerous rocky moons each. They were all gone."

Devon chuckled gravely, "The emperor saw the ultimate weapon, a construct capable of dismantling an entire system, he sent Darth Kaliban to secure it, he failed. I saw it disappear into a gravitational anomaly. It's amazing, the spheres don't move, they fold space. My people were working on something like it but the first ship using the drive vanished."

"All interesting master but how does it fit?"

"They were trying to do something, subvert the governing intelligence of the keepers, the two jedi were trying to stop them. Zephere sacrificed himself to get the other man through the gate."

"But then how did this... Darth Kalibahn's saber get here... in the Agramar system."

"The gate, Kalibahn sacrificed his arm to kill him... his brother... The sphere jumping must have redirected it here."

"That's the other side of this galaxy."

Devon nodded, "The things the builders could do are... impressive."

"That is..." Zora paused, "an understatement of galactic proportions."

Devon laughed, a real belly laugh as he shook off the last dregs of the vision, "As soon as Jay and the others are back on board lets get back to Agramar, I've got a bad feeling about this."

As Zora nodded the comm panel near the door chimed, "Lord Defender, we're getting some strange gravitational readings, the computer recognized them but immediately restricted access."

"Alpha Black sir."

The trip from his private training quarters to the Blade of Justice's bridge was a short blur, the sensor tech stepped aside as he approached and the approriate codes were quickly entered, "Oh no... General quarters!"

"General quarters, aye sir!" the ship's XO echoed, the called echoing into the rest of the ship.

"Gravitational anomaly forming on the other side of the system! The distortions are jamming all hyper-comms and all our hyperdives are offline!" the navigation officer announced. "Gravity waves! Measurable gravity waves! Impact in 5!"

Devon closed his eyes and reached for the force and firmly planted all of the bridge crew in their seats as the ship groaned around them caught in the flux of the gavity waves, "Structural integrity fields at 20% and falling! We've got breeches on decks 4 and 5 frames 404 and 506!"

The tumult seemed to last for an eternity but he knew objectively it had only been seconds, "Get the damage control teams out now! Comms can we get a warning out to Amara?"

"No sir, not even a tightbeam would get through to them right now."

"Tactical, WHAT caused that?" in his gut he already knew the awnser but he needed it confirmed, "Distortions are making it difficult to identify... these readings... they're not making sense... is that even possible."

"Main projector Ensign... now!" he growled.

The main holo shimmered to life and confirmed his worst fears,

"That is..." Zoea started, "What happened to it?"

"CONTACTS!" the tactical officer shouted, "Black bones!"

A cloud of blips rose from the sphere spilling into the depths of the Agramar system arcing through space towards the nearest moons of the system's largest gas giant, Devon knew there were nearly twelve thousand gas miners working on those moons,

"Get me a jump!"

"Sir?"

"Get me a JUMP!"

"Sir the gravitational instability..."

"NOW!"

The clearly terrified navigator turned back to his console, "micro-jump plotted!"

"Execute!"

The ship shuttered as the hyperdrive engaged and the world went white...

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Re: The Shattered Sphere

Post by zephre » Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:13 pm

___________________CHAPTER TWO___________________

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Re: The Shattered Sphere

Post by zephre » Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:18 pm

Outer Rim: Agramar system; Passenger Suite 4 on board the Hapan Queen: Four Hours Earlier...



"So how is this helping?" Jok Zephre asked the holographic representations of his parents as he laid out the clothing he was planning to wear to Princess Alyra’s Ascendance gala. It was his friends coming of age event, which meant Aly was going to celebrate with her presumed peers, ie spoiled rich kids and nobles who tend to look down on anyone not within their pecking order. The pants and shirt were fine and well made, but were of no consequence. The Jacket was a different matter and what made the outfit special. It was a blue waist jacket, buttoned in the front and a near match to one worn by Lando Calrissian dubbed a the gamblers jacket. He had found it in a small boutique store in the old city of Moras Ivar while on a trip with Aly and Goff, where he learned the story behind it from the store keeper.


It probably wasn't Calrissian's, but he liked the way it looked.

The downside of the outfit was the shoes, which offered no traction and were stiff and new. His feet would be killing him after this evening, but at least he wouldn't be his best friends go to dance partner. He had time before the event and could leisurely enjoy the sandwich he ordered and catch the game scores on the holo. He didn't even need to get dressed yet, as he was in his workout shorts and tank top.

That fell to Darian Vos.

<<It doesn’t bother you that Darian is Alyra's date>> Raisa Zephre asked, her holo beaming from the Jedi Temple here she was watching over his sister Catlyn and the Greens, who were being trained to use their new abilities. Jok felt it was best to not mention that he knew of the bounty on Her head from the Marskella corporation in the CSA, along with his Uncle and Jonji Fawks. Apparently, Ol' lady Fokker didn’t take well that her Brother was killed.


"Darian has captured the imagination with the people of Agramar, Mom." he said, his tone showing some mirth within it. "Just this morning, before coming up here he stopped a bank robbery with the help of the Public Safety Division, more him than them of course. He’ll be chief of police by the end of the week!" and held up the jacket, and showed them like one would show off a priceless painting.


<<Force preserve us>> His father said, frowning at his choice of outerwear and pinching between his eyes <<That's hideous>>. Taan Ric crossed his arms, and it was a few moments before the Senator spoke again. <<The Hapen Queen should have dresser droids that can make you a decent jacket>>

Jok frowned "What's wrong with it? its.." he paused, looking for the word. "..retro."

<<Where did you even see that at?>> Raisa said, holding back a snicker. She and her son had a lot in common, including clothing choices. She was lucky that Taan actually paid attention to such things.


"On an old Holovid of the Rundo-Kaffy boxing match, Calrissian was in the front row and was wearing it." he said, and looked at the coat again as if looking at it at the first time. “Well, it was the store owner that showed me the holotape after he found out i had an interest in boxing.” The frills on the collar were a bit much he could admit, and the blue hue of the faux leather was actually kind of nauseating. “He was wearing a cape with it too, I think..” and put the jacket on the bed, knowing it would never leave this suite. “Guy saw me coming didn't he. I knew I should have listened to Aly..”


The two holo images nodded simultaneously.

“So now I need to find something else to wear..”

<<So this is, in essence, a cocktail party for children?>> Raisa said, seeing that her son was coming to his fashion senses.

“More like a club..” and sideshow we wanted to add, but that was another visual he didn't want to bring up. “..thing.”

<<All you need is a good vest..>> his father said, <<Or none, the shirt and trousers are fine enough to wear alone and I know Ule Movros only has the best valet droids available. <<They can make you a good vest in a very short amount of time..>>

“Indeed Sir” VC-9 stated, who had been patiently waiting at the side of the room with Artee “I have several styles of vest that will accentuate the young masters physique. I shall begin by taking his measurements and create a simulacrum of the attire on him.. You don't even need to get dressed.” Jok nodded, spread his arms in a T pose and within moments the droid projected a simulation of the young man, in the pants and shirt and wearing a form fitting vest which then changed style after a few seconds.

Jok has to admit, he liked this better than the jacket he had spent too much for.

<<You got this covered, Jok..>> Taan said, <<Im getting called to the senate floor, so I'll talk to you next week.>> and with a short salutation, cut transmission.

<<See ya later Slugger.. Luvya>> Raisa likewise cut, leaving him alone in the room.

The door opened, and one of the Hapan Queens stewards pushed in a small food cart,led by R9-T5 who whistled a greeting as the droid ushered the young woman into the room. Jok looked over to the steward, and smiled broadly. The steward glanced up, and returned the smile as she pulled the lid off of the plate showing the sandwich and salad he had ordered. She was his age, maybe a tad older and was wearing the ship's steward uniform which was oddly enough a unisex toga. It was suppose to represent the servant attire of the Hapes Consortium, but it was apparently designed by someone who had learned about Hapes from watching adult holos. The bottom of the toga was too short, which was likewise on the men's version. He caught himself staring at her, and hoped she hadn’t. He wasn't the same gawky spaz kid he had been, but he also wasn’t Lando Calrissian.

And what was his sudden obsession with Calrissian he thought to himself.. He doesn't even know the man!

“You may move sir” the Valet droid stated, and Jok lowered his arms. “I will have this vest delivered to your room within the hour, where I will make adjustments as needed..” and with that the droid exited the suite, passing the steward who was setting up the food cart.

“Thanks” he said after the droid, and moved towards the food cart. “You don't need to do that, it's going to be gone in under five minutes.” he said, and looked for a credit chip to give to her for gratuity.

“As you wish, sir...” She said, and held her hand up as he held out the tip “I’m not permitted to take tips, but thank you.” and added “Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“Nope, not that I can think of.” he said smiling and she turned to leave the room.. “I’m Jok..” he said quickly..

She grinned and gave a short nod. “Hello Jok, it's nice to meet you.. I’m Maus. perhaps we can talk later..” and left the room, leaving Jok with his sandwich…

……..


Maus Renda walked away from the room, back to her duties . It hadn't been long before that she had been a asteroid miner, working for a fly by night operation or hiding in a mad woman's safe house and now she was wearing a toga and delivering food to rich brats.

Well, she would reserve judgement, as the guy she just left actually seemed to be ok, but wouldn't be if he knew the truth.

Maybe she could sleep if she told someone. She’s been hiding for so long..

::keep your mind on your prize, little sparrow:: the voice said, and a wave of nausea overtook her, enough that she had to lean on the overly decorated bulkhead. She pulled away the faux leather gauntlet, showing a small black spot on her wrist, which was currently undulating.

“Leave me alone..” she whispered, tears forming in her eyes..

::Oh little sparrow:: the voice said, a oily bass that felt like it violated her mind. ::You weren't so rude when you asked me to hide you from your Master, and I know Razor would Love to know where you were. Where were you when I found you? Hiding in one of her safe houses? It was I who protected you from her..::

“I just want to sleep..”

::It is only MY essence that hides you from the that… what did you call her.. Monster..::

“I'm sorry..” she said,

::Its all right my pet, you’ve been under TERRIBLE pressure.. Well soon there will be a place for you to hide, a place to be safe.. For BOTH of us to be safe..:::

“Yes.. safe..” Maus said, wiping her eyes and continued down the passage, she would be safe soon.. Safe from her Master, and anyone else who can hurt her.

She just had to be patient..

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Re: The Shattered Sphere

Post by zephre » Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:13 pm

AGRAMAR SYSTEM: THE HAPAN QUEEN GRAND BALL ROOM:



Darian Vos adjusted the collar of his shirt once again, craning his neck against the fabric feeling tight against his throat as he scanned the Hapen Queen’s grand ball room and the assembled attendees of Princess Alyra’s Ascendance gala. There had to be at least a hundred plus people in attendance, and just as many crew staff covering the event serving watered drinks and bites of overly fancy food. The attendees were of Alyra’s peer group, so they were the offspring of captains of industry, political figures and the nobility of Agramar. There were adults here as well, but for the most part they were attendants and chaperones. He caught eye contact with Jok Zephre who was standing with Goff Minden. Darian wondered where his sister Kali was, she would likely be down there with the pair of them. He didn't need the force to tell Zephre was glad that wasn’t in the lineup.

The ascendance event was for a young noble to celebrate a coming of age with their peers with minimal adult supervision. The honoured was then to express their plans for the future, of how they were best serve the people of Agramar. It was a tradition that went back several centuries, though contemporary ascension parties tended to be large blowout affairs designed to outdo the other noble families.

Alyra’s grandfather was the owner of Starline Ventures, and the Hapan Queen was the newest vessel in his princess cruise line. Each of the cruise liners were of the same class, Monarch II, and were designed to reflect the particular world they were named for. According to the Duke, the designers of the Hapan Queen missed the mark completely, or as he put it, it looks like someone had heard of the Hapes Consortium in a romantic novel and their fired. It was gaudy

The Hapan Queen was going in to be refitted for aesthetics better representing Hapes only, the vessel itself had high marks of efficiency. This is officially going to be its shakedown cruise, and is making a three day run through the Briar Patch.

Nothing says coming of age like floating through a junk field..

The mixture of junk field and asteroids was evident inside the grand ball room, as the roof was transparent, allowing a perfect view of it above their heads. Generally, an asteroid field wasn't something that you’d want to leisurely cruise through, but the briar patch was a carefully placed and thought out layer of planetary security that can’t be progressed through without a route key and clearance. It was still unnerving.

“A pleasure to meet you, Master Jedi. I am lady Kindi Rojas of House Rojas” one of the young teenage nobles said, bowing her head to him in supplication to him as part of the receiving line. He stood next to Alyra at the very end, with Duke Movros greeting guests at the front, as the host and her grandfather. In between was the Dukes other grandchildren whose names escape him at the moment and some others who were on the higher rung of the Agramar nobility string. She was holding her hand out to either be kissed or shook.

“My family appreciates the good works you have been doing for Agramar.” the pretty brunette beamed a bright focused smile.

“So nice to meet you, Lady Kindi..” he said, giving her hand a squeeze, and he found himself coming away with a flimsy note. He glanced at the note as she moved on to Alyra, and blushed at the intended offering of her appreciation to his service to Agramar since he had been taking his sabbatical on the outer rim world. Quickly putting the note into the inside pocket of his dress robes, he looked over to Alyra, who had finished with the forward young Kindi who was moving into the crowd towards a group of her friends.

“She likes to cause scandal, Darian..” Aly said, leaning in to speak quietly. “Pay it no mind.”

“Already out of my mind, highness..” He said, “I wish they would stop calling me Master Jedi..”

The young princess shrugged, resigned “It's Agramar nobility, there's loads of honorifics to go around.” and under her breath continued “.. and plenty of snark and backbiting as well.”

“You don't like these events, I take it..” Darian said, smirking.

“I have some dental cleaning I’d much rather have done, but it meant so much to grandfather.” she said quietly in her non princess demeanor, “He love traditions like this. Mother left it up to me whether or not the event would go on, since she hadn't had one herself..”

“Weren't they in the middle of the war with the empire?” Darian suggested..

“Well, there is that.” the princess had to admit. “lucky..”

“Alright children, I think that's enough for the reception line.” Duke Movros stated, and made shooing motions. “Go have a good time, don't drink too much and thank you.” with that, the assembled moved off into the assemblage chatting and whooping. Alyra moved over to her grandfather and pecked his cheek. Her handmaidens slash bodyguards moved closer to keep a better eye on her. Darian had discovered that the Handmaiden was appointed position taken from all of the branches of the royal military. They were always women and generally were suppose to pose and friends of the royal, but not the case with the Princess. With her they acted more like bodyguards and it was the first time he’d seen them in the blue dresses of the position as they generally wore their military uniform.

“Thank you so much, Grandfather.” she said, holding his hands. “Its a lovely party.”

Ule Movros patted her cheek. “I’m so glad. I know you would have prefered something less ostentatious, and I appreciate your playing along. After tonight you can do as you will with Jok and Goff..” and as if noticing Darian for the first time. “..and your sister, from what I hear Kali and my granddaughter have become fast friends..”
“That's my understanding as well, your grace.” Darian smiled cordially, and looked around to see if Kali had arrived.

“I hear you're leaving us after the gala.” Movros said as they three of them walked down the steps into the ballroom. Many of the assembled patted the princess on the shoulder and gave her glad tiding or bowed, while others glared jealously.

“Yes, I have a friend who is meeting me in Agramar City spaceport in the morning, and want to be there when she arrives.”

“Why not bring her here?” Alyra asked, looking over at her grandfather to see if it were even possible. Ule looked him square in the face before answering.

“I think Darian has plans already, My dear.” The Duke stated “Though since this is a three day float, if they were to decide to rejoin the join us then you can certainly catch a shuttle at the Starline hanger at the starport.” and gave the young jedi a bow. “Now if you will excuse me..”

Darian and Alyra watched him leave as Jok and Goff sauntered over. Both of them had a pair of flutes of shrilla, the served alcohol of the evening. It was a derivative of a sparkling wines, but far weaker and the effect as rather short, in fact if you shook your head hard enough, the effect would clear. It was tasty, you would get a buzz and worked well for this occasion. They handed the pair each a flute, and raised the glass.

“Cheers.” Goff said, and sipped the shrilla as did each in turn.

Jok nudged his cousin “You were doing great up there, such a natural at meeting and shaking hands.” He said, a bit of light prodding. Darian knew that Jok was usually tapped for such events, being the son of Agramars senator as well a being close to the crown princess, but for this event it was decided that he would sit this one out. He didn’t seem to mind too much, though.

“Have you seen Kali?” Goff said, “She said she would be meet us down here.” the young chef informed his friend.

“She’ll be here in her own time, don't worry..” Darian said not exactly believing it himself. “If its not jedi business, she’ll be fashionably late.” and pulled out his comm.

Aly shook her head. “I’ve never noticed it.”

Jok shrugged. "Everyone's late occasionally. It happens and its kind of a vacation for her, right?" and brushed off his new vest. "She'll get here when she gets here."

Goff nodded, "That may have been the most reasonable thing out of your mouth in.. Well, Ever."

The princess squinted at him.. "Yes... it was.." and pointed a well manicured finger at him, eyes squinting "What have you done with the REAL zeph, imposter.."


"She's on her way down now, she over slept and had to talk to our Mom about something.." Darian stated, putting away the comm. She didn't say what the conversation was about, but she sounded rattled. Kali didn't get rattled often..

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zephre
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Re: The Shattered Sphere

Post by zephre » Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:18 pm

HAPAN QUEEN: PASSAGEWAY


“Mother, I assure you, It wasn’t just a dream! I just don't know how to interpret it.” The young jedi said into the ear piece as she maneuvered the nearly vacant passageways of the Hapan Queen, heading to the Grand Ballroom to meet up with her newly minted friends. She was horribly late, nearly an hour from when she was to meet Jok Zephre and Goff Minden in on the main floor. She was carrying the high heel shoes to allow her to move faster.


<<I didn’t say it was, Kali, I’ve no doubt that it was exactly how you saw it.>> Jola’Edana said, her voice warm in her ear. Kali had told her the entire vision in complete detail, from the way the stone looked to the smell of Orvil’s breath which was stained heavily with the smell of blood.


<<Visions can be difficult to interpret unless you have someone who can give you a key to what you're seeing.>> and after a moment of silence, or not complete silence as she could hear her Mother conferring with the medic Jassik. They were talking about the Juss girl again, or what use to be the Juss girl. The nightmare creature she was now wasn't the little girl that had been her cousin's friend.


“I was a male Zabrak, who got shot and I have a giant bruise between my breasts where he got shot by a slug thrower. Im lucky this evening dress isn't open at the chest line.”


<<I am too, sweety.>>


“What?”


<<Nothing… Have you spoken to Devon about this?>>


Kali halted in her tracks, that wasn't what she had expected to hear. “You think Dad might know something about this?”


<<I wouldn’t put it past him. I think he’ll have some insights..>>


“But I don’t understand.. This has something to do with..”


<<Contact him in the morning, and have a good time tonight. It's not often you get to mix with regular people..>>


“I should contact him now, I don’t want the memory to fade.”


<<Kali.>>


“Night mom!”


Pulling out her comm stick she thumbed her father’s access code and waited, it shouldn’t take long since he was still in the system…



BLADE OF JUSTICE: PRIVATE MEDITATION CHAMBER..

***


Devon frowned at the small device sitting on his desk a few feet away as it buzzed interrupting his attempts at meditation, he started to reach for it with the force but stopped himself and instead pushed up to his feet. The little device showed his daughter’s code so he picked it up and opened the line,


“To what do I owe the honor oh daughter of mine?” he asked as the channel encrypted and opened, “It’s a rare thing for you to call me.”


There was a bit of a nervous laugh from the other end of the line that immediately put him on edge,


“What happened?”


<<Hi, everythings fine dad, I’m safely aboard the Hapan Queen. I… well I was talking to mom about something and she suggested I speak to you about it.>>


Devon’s eyebrow involuntarily rose at the statement, there weren’t many things that Jola would need to defer to him over and none of them were what he would call good things,


“Well, go ahead.”


With those words the damn seemed the break and she spent the next 15 minutes relating a dream, no a force vision, his own breath caught in his throat when she got the end and told him about waking up with the bruise in the center of her chest exactly where the gun shot had hit her in the vision,


<<Dad? You OK?>>


Devon shook his head, “Yeah, sorry, that just brought back some bad memories. Have you been to the ship’s hospital to get checked out yet?”


<<No dad, I’m late for Ayla’s ascension party as it is, I promise you I’ll go after. Have you ever heard of someone having physical manifestations of a vision like that?>>


He hesitated, he now knew why Jola had suggested she speak with him, he was as far as he knew the only other person to manifest physical injuries from force visions, hers luckily didn’t sound life threatening,


“Yeah… me.”


<<You?>> she sounded a bit shocked and really she had every right to be, <<When?>>

“It started after I was dosed with Glitteryll, it doesn’t happen as often anymore now that I have more control back but it can still be dangerous. You’re lucky you got off with just a bruise.”


<< It still hurts and it’s already getting ugly, just glad I didn’t go for a plunging neckline tonight. >>


Devon chuckled a bit and then paused, something about her story was nagging at him, “You stay safe and keep your brother and yourself safe, there’s something I need to look into.”


<<It’s about my vision isn’t it, you know something don’t you?>>


He chuckled again, she could read him even across a link, “Maybe, I need to check something, I promise I’ll let you know if it pans out.”


A sigh ushered forth from the comm stick and he smiled, “Have fun!”


The link died with a click, Devon put the device down and powered up his terminal, the descriptions she’d given him seemed to match the two bodies they’d found with the ring but there hadn’t been any mention of a crystal, brining up the files he checked the manifests again and then keyed open a channel to Jay Five,


<<Evening Lord Defender, how may I assist you?>>


“Were there any crystals found with either of the two bodies at the ring Jay?”


There was a short pause, <<The records don’t indicate anything of that nature but I’m sure you already knew that sir. Would you like me to meet you in the storage room?>>


“Yes and have Zora meet us there, we need to go over what we know about these two a bit more thoroughly, I just received some new information that puts this all in very different light.”


…..



Jay-FivePio moved as quickly as his metal joints would allow him, which was in fact surprisingly fast compared to other Cybot Galactica protocol droids of his type. The blue hued droid kept track of the heat building up in his joints as he rounded a corner to the passageway that led to Secured storage. As he approached the hatch, it cycled and slid open, reading his unique transponder and allowed him access.


All of the cleared materials found were brought here, categorized and inventoried then placed in secured containers for safe travel to the Praxeum Moon, safe from jarring or impact. Once they arrived at the Praxeum, they would be offloaded by his own hand picked loading droids who had been especially programed and instructed to work with unique artifacts. It was all perfect.


Now Devon wanted to look through it all, with good reason he had no doubt. What it would do was take everything off schedule, which was unfortunate as he had planned the entire exchange with mathematical precision, with less than four percent chance of failure. The four percent error would be human dock workers and bureaucrats.


“So you are escorting a princess, Darian..” the Haruchi said, “She is fortunate to have one such as yourself accompany her..”


Jay heard Zora’s voice echoing in the chamber as he came around one of the columns of shelving, to spy her leaning against one of the shelving supports speaking into a comm unit, speaking in a somewhat soft tone. Much softer than he’d heard. The droid was hearing one side of the conversation, and didn't need to hear the person on the other end. She wasn't wearing her cloak at the moment, just the leather uniform of the Defenders. He could see what the med droid had noted about her conditional change from when she arrived here to her current countenance. Zora had added several pounds of muscle to her frame, to where she didn't have the starved look she had when she arrived, and It had vexed his logic circuits on how close to death she had been physically. Weeks, perhaps even days were all she would have had if she hadn't been found by the praxeum.


He logged a note into his memory to send the scanner crew another round of candies to thank them..



“A pleasure barge?” she said sharply, and then softened again. “Not a pleasure barge… Oh, i see. A diversion for the elite and highly placed in society where they can lay about and get fat. That is not so?” Jay’s audio sensors detected a negative connotation to her tone. She suddenly broke into a laugh. “You Tickle freely..”


Jay knew the phrase as meaning “You're joking”


“You do not need to leave early, I shall meet you on Agramar.” she said “you can see my new teeth!” and smiled broadly and Jay had to admit her teeth had indeed improved. Before they had borne the look of her life of hardship and war, now they were white, strait and not as pointed.


“Yes, new teeth.. Because they got knocked out…” She stated.


“The Mandalorians.. It is ok, I knocked out some of theirs as well,” a pause, then “No, they used their medical machines to regrow my new teeth.. It must be quite common if there is a machine to do it.” and after a beat, “It is nice to not feel pain when I chew.”


She noticed him at this point, and gave a head nod to acknowledge his presence. After a few beats, she said “I look forward to it, indeed..” and put the comm back on her belt, and looked to Jay.


“Thank you for allowing me to finish my conversation, Teacher.” She said to the droid, her voice more back to its normal directness, but it still had a hint of the conversational tone she had maintained with Darian. Her basic had improved dramatically during her considerable stay on the archeological dig, and she even picked up some Mando’a while she was there. She still didn't use a lot of contractions, but her speech patterns were far better.



“You are quite welcome, Mistress Zora.” the droid said as he approached. “We are on a hunt for a specific object..” and passed her, shuffling towards the boxes and crates that held the sum of the objects that was in the ring chamber, including the two bodies which were held in stasis. “One that was missed.”


“And what object would that be?” She followed, her mind now racing on what could have been overlooked.


“I do not know, but Devon asked if any Crystals were found, and is on his way down as we speak.” the droid stated, as he pulled out a number of scanning instruments from one of the lockers. “He will give us more detail once he arrives.”

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