Page 1 of 1

Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:17 pm
by Beorht

The great observation gallery looked out over the snowy, ruinous wasteland. Statues and crypts dotted the landscape, if one knew how to look. Ashin Varanin turned away from the window and leaned against the railing. Beneath her, in the great hall of the Academy, instructors drilled the scions of a hundred worlds in lightsabre forms.

After so long in company with the Dark Side, the Academy's aura didn't disturb her; rather, it welcomed her like a fire. The aura of her companion, however, was something else entirely; and despite Ashin's unexpected and newfound power, she found herself avoiding the older woman's eyes. She lifted her chin and met Sirena's gaze. In the Council of the Sith'ari Centrality, and among the Sith Lords and Masters of the Sith Empire as a while, Ashin was an equal. Though she stood before the Empress, she could behave with dignity. They were of a height; it wasn't as though Sirena loomed over her. Not like Velok, or to a lesser extent the still-gargantuan undead who carried out Sirena's will.

"What do you see?" said the Sith Empress, pointing down at the students. Ashin played along, leaning farther over the railing. After due consideration, she straightened and looked her liege in the eye. She'd never met Sirena before, though her assistance to Velok had helped pave the way for the Centrality's recognition of the Empress. Now she'd been summoned, just as the Empress was making her inspection tour of the unified Sith Academy here on Ziost. Most of the students of the Stormblessed had come here, though the Centrality still used it for training - just training of a higher level, usually.

"I see discipline, unity and potential. And I see the opportunity to see what other factions teach their people."

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:16 pm
by Halcyon508
"Very good." The Empress said with a smile caressing the woman's hair with an outstretched hand. "You see discipline, you see unity, and potential." She smiled, it was a sweet smile not often associated with a Sith Lord, nevermind a Sith monarch. "But there is still something you don't see." Stepping to the side she examined the students once more. "Power." The woman slowly strode towards an area of the balcony with a small throne and took a seat. "You talk of unity but unity can only be obtained through power." Beckoning the other woman to stand beside her she continued. "People claim to want freedoms and liberties but at the end of the day what they want is order. They want to know that the trams will run on time, they want the status quo, for their entire existence to remain the same. That's what Palpatine didn't understand. Yes he understood force, but he didn't understand how to properly use it. You don't use displays of power at Random, there needs to be a purpose behind it. Remember the mantra; Peace through power, my darling girl, and unity for power."

The valley had increased her powers tenfold allowing her the vision of clarity to unify the Sith Empire, her Empire. A green skinned apprentice approached her with a gawky smile on his face. "Have you met Ander Kell?" The enchantress motioned for him to sit on the ground next to her thrown. The Green Skinned alien obeyed in his stupor sitting down and letting the woman run a hand through his strange alien hair, or at least what passed for hair on the alien male. "His master is the Lord of Almania." Staring at the youth she smiled viciously, "Do I look so young as to fall for such a simple seduction?" Pondering her words she continued, "This boy isn't much older than my own son, and yet...." the words stretched on as if she suddenly realism where she was. It was a ruse, and a simple one. Everything the woman said now was calculated. "Peace through power my darling girl."

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:37 pm
by Beorht
"And power comes from a variety of sources, and through a variety of tactics," Ashin said, considering the boy's link to the lord of Almania. Sirena didn't even look the part; late teens. Early twenties at the most, and yet apparently she was much older, if Ashin's sources were right. They usually were. "And therefore all tactics are on the table; that's the lesson you wanted me to learn, isn't it?"

Sirena smiled. It was not a nice smile, but Ashin did sense approval.

Ashin smiled back and turned away from the throne, looking back down at the training students. "And yet the overuse of tactics like that could have unintended consequences. Who would respect an Empress who slept with every Sith in her Empire? So there must be limits, there must be discretion, and there must be sound judgment and due consideration, where others would...rush in blindly." The alien was a good-looking boy, come to think of it. "Passion, but disciplined passion. I can appreciate that. But order - anything for order. I've seen too little of it; and I've seen when it's used well. Justice. I executed a Sith Knight the other day for murdering a civilian, in case you hadn't heard, Your Majesty. Order, justice, harmony. On the worlds I oversee, the people want to be safe, and I give them that."

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:35 am
by Halcyon508
"An interesting diversion." Sirena remarked. "It was within your right, however was death truly necessary?" Pausing the woman stared down at the youth. "Only in death does service end." Letting the words sink in Sirena smiled viciously. "We could have put him to service, let him work off his debt to society."

The woman seemed distracted, her cheeks flushed slightly, "An example had to be made." She said finally.

"An example?" Sirena cooed as she lifted Anders hood over his head, "That punishment is quick and decisive? Better to let him serve as a slave stripped of power and broken, a thrall to be abused by his betters."

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:43 am
by Beorht
"I see your point," Ashin said. She turned and leaned against the glass, looking out over the snow-covered ruins of Ziost. The cold glass distracted her from the flush. There was no reason for her to be feeling this way; the boy wasn't that attractive, and she had some years on him...

She glanced back at Ander and realized he wasn't Ho'din like she'd thought; or at least, not totally Ho'din. Whatever his species, he resembled a Falleen, and whatever mind-enthrallment Sirena had worked on him might just have triggered pheromone glands...

That would explain a lot.

Of course the Empress would know what was going on. She acknowledged and ignored her own resentment, in favour of respect for the strategy. Years dealing with the Cult, drugs and poisons had given her powerful tools against them. She could theoretically neutralize the hypothetical pheromones and wash them from her system.

No need. I'm stronger than this.

She leaned away from the window and smiled. "Yes, I see your point," she said - not the smartest thing she'd ever repeated, but her mind was elsewhere. She focused on the here and now, on the conversation. "There were other factors, of course, but I may have been too quick to settle on an appropriate sentence.

"Your Majesty has a reputation for diversified knowledge. I'm curious as to how many holocrons you have. Lord Sarastro claims to have seen two in your possession."

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:28 pm
by Halcyon508
Sirena smiled a devilish grin. The boys pheromones were clearly having an effect on the woman but she fought them off. It was admirable in a way how even under the influence of a foreign compound she tried to probe the Empress's secrets. "How many does Lord Sarastro have?" She asked in a soothing voice, "I suppose it doesn't matter." Waving the thought off before Ashin could react properly to it she said simply, "I have vaults of knowledge my dear, and that's all you need to know."

"Let me ask you something darling." She paused as stared at the woman standing up to look her in the eyes. "What do you want?"

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:50 pm
by Beorht
"I think I'll be honest, Your Majesty. I've spent my entire adult life trying to deal with forces of chaos. Sivter, the threats and disorder and entropy of the Unknown Regions, the adaptive alchemical monsters we all fought last year here in the Sith Empire. I would have liked the freedom to live my life as I saw fit, free from fear, but I never had that. Now I'm a Sith Lord, and I have that freedom, and I can bring that freedom to billions of others. I bring order to the Centrality, I fix what's wrong. And I'll learn anything I have to learn to bring that about.

"More...I crave knowledge for its own sake. I love to learn. I love to succeed. I've learned my skills from great Masters and specialists, but I can feel that I'm on the verge of a whole new level of power. I was never powerful when I was young; I never sought power out. It was thrust upon me artificially, and developed because of the discipline I imposed on myself. And now that I have it, I want to understand it. I know the whats and the hows, but I need to know the whys."

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:00 pm
by Halcyon508
The blond woman reached a hand towards Ashin's sullen face and caressed her cheek lightly. It was almost affectionate. "If my son was more like you...." Said once more alluding to this mythical child of hers. "Although perhaps he is more like you than even I suspect." Sirena's facial expression turned to stone. "And when you have knowledge? When you have order? When you understand your power? What then? What do you want? When you know the why's what do you want?" It was a simple question, but not a simple answer. What does anyone want? Does anyone truly know? Sirena recalled the same questions posed to her many years ago. Her answer was much more simple... "My darling girl..." she continued with an affectionate coo, "I'd love to see what motivates you."

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:09 pm
by Beorht
"What does anyone want, but to feel good? Neurochemicals. You could say it's all neurochemicals. I'd like to leave a mark. I'd like to burn a couple of people to the ground. I'd like to bring an end to this mess of stupid stubborn self-rightousness that pervades every Force sect in the galaxy." She didn't flinch at Sirena's hand on her cheek. "I spent my powerless youth and most of my life after that raging about the injustices of life and the universe. Until the Jukre trained me in the Unknown Regions, until I learned to accept the Dark Side, I never spent much time thinking about which ones I would actually change.

"I find I like Velok's goals. There are a lot of irresponsible people, wastes of talent, wantonly destructive and highly immature, who just need killing."

She hesitated.

"And honestly, I think I'll challenge the premise of your question. I have power; if I spend time around you, I'll get more of it. That doesn't mean I'll ever stop gaining power. Nor does it mean I'll ever be satisfied or accomplish all my goals. It's a process, to me. There will always be someone above me to try and take down."

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:33 pm
by Halcyon508
Sirena recalled her hand from the womans face. Her smile slowly turned into something more sinister as she closed the gap between the two of them. Ashin took a few steps back until she felt the railing of the balcony on her back. The Empress kept closing in on her until their bodies touched and Ashin's upper body bent ever so slightly over the rail. "You have power?" Sirena asked simply, "I could kill you right now, I could destroy those barrier in your mind and make you a drooling infantile slave like that one" She jerked a thumb to Ander Kell sitting obedient by the throne. "Or could have you hunted throughout the galaxy everywhere you go by men who know how to do such things." Her smile softened as she grabbed at Ashin's belt and pulled her away from the railing, away from the edge. "But you spoke your mind in my presence, you challenged me. Not many have the daring to do so. I believe I will keep you around. Keep you close to me. Teach you what it means to truly wield power, to truly be powerful." Moving back to her throne she playfully sat on it's cushion. "My darling girl, I will show you things you could only imagine in your wildest fantasies."

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:21 pm
by Beorht
She laughed, just a quick chuckle. "Sorry. It's just that I've been in this exact spot before, strangely enough. I've stood in the presence of people who could kill me with a thought, and been chased across the galaxy by people who, yes, know what they're doing - well enough to raid Jedi Temples and fortress worlds for me. But this is the first time I've been in this position and been flattered by it.

"You have a deal, Your Majesty. Would you prefer Master?"

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:20 am
by Jagtai

A trio of large assault fighters, painted all black, penetrated the atmosphere and darted downwards towards the Sith Academy. At the last minute, they veered off and touched down on a landing platform connected to the academy.

Two groups of four heavily armed soldiers filed out of two of the fighters. The center one turned out to contain three humanoids; a Human, a Togruta and a short, green avian-like humanoid. Curiously, the Human and the Togruta seemed to defer to the short, green humanoid.

The party was met by a pair of Stormtroopers led by a woman clad in black.

"Whoever you are, you're trespassing. The punishment for which is dea..." Her speech was cut short, as the short green humanoid lazily extended a hand. The woman was lifted from the ground, clutching her throat. The stormtroopers were dissuaded from interfering by eight blaster barrels suddenly pointing in their direction. His voice was soft and deep, but with a razor's edge, when he spoke.
"Speak of death, do not. Much better than you, know death I do." The woman fell hard onto the ground, as he released his grip on her. "Lord Yuddic, I am. Here to see Valkner, we are. Tell him, you will." The woman kneeled after catching her breath.
"Of course, Lord Yuddic. I apologize."
"For the weak, apologies are. Go you will."
"Yes, Lord Yuddic."

As the woman turned and virtually ran from the platform, the Togruta smiled.

"Quite a show, Lord Yuddic." Her voice was soft and almost seductive, much like the woman.
"Lord me, you will not. Only for upstarts, that is." The Togruta smiled mockingly.
"Of course, Lord Yuddic."

* * * * *

The woman kneeled before Valkner.

"I apologize, milord. I stood no chance against him. He called himself Yuddic." She awaited her master...

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:15 pm
by Beorht
"Yuddic? An unprepossessing name, is it not?"

"Yes, Lord Valkner."

"I've heard the name." The big Anzati grinned, all tooth and threatened proboscis. "I've been expecting a new influx of teachers from the Enclave, and of course they would send someone they thought could stand a chance against me, for prestige's sake if not in actual hope of winning Headmastery from me. I hope he isn't alone?"

"A Togruta and a masked humanoid. The mask is of the standard Revan typology." She fidgeted and glanced back at the closed door of Valkner's office.

"More and more popular in this day and age. I'll see them now, girl."

Establishing his dominance over the Academy's current teachers had not been a simple matter. Golasj Murt and Sirena's Mon Cal witch were each powerful in their own right. Yuddic was, perhaps, the first with a genuine shot. His species lived for centuries, and that was time to experiment.

Well, that was all right. Anzati lived a long, long time too. He'd trained as a Sith under Darth Kren, of course, but when he met the human he'd already been a master of the Anzati way, powerful in mind control and the quieter ways of the Force. A drinker of soup - life and potential and energy and luck.

If Yuddic truly did mean to challenge him for Headmastery in the Sith way, he might get to drink the soup of a Sith Master.

He got up from his desk and buckled on his breastplate, then the rest of his armour. Only when the alchemical plate was in place did he sit back down and gesture. The door opened.

"Yuddic, is it? I'm Rolf Valkner. Finally the Enclave graces us with its share." He ignored the others, the Togruta and the masked humanoid. "I trust you've found your assigned quarters satisfactory?"

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:36 pm
by Beorht
"Welcome to the Sith Academy, the single greatest institution of the Dark Side of the Force. Teachers and students from every part of the Sith Empire come here to compete, to measure themselves against each other, and to gain in power. Knowledge is available, both from skilled tutors and our holocron, but only to those who prove themselves worthy. The greatest achievement a Sith student can make, the whole focus of your lives here, is to prove yourself worthy and be taken as an apprentice by the Sith who visit Ziost." The Twi'lek boy, a senior student, was walking the group away from the hangar tunnel and into the main galleries of the Academy.

"Maybe you've already spent a few months or years training. If you've been sent to this academy by one of the lords of the Sith Empire, it means you have a basic understanding of the fundamentals. You are not as strong as you think you are. Or maybe you're a new recruit to the Sith Empire, or a promising potential student picked off the street. You'd better catch up. People die in here. We strengthen each other by competition, and we do ourselves and our Empire no favours by holding back. Being caught at murder is against the rules. Duels, if they're between approximate equals, can be to the death.

"There's a large town beside the Academy. Earn enough prestige, survive long enough, and you'll be let outside the Academy to visit the town's edifices of entertainment, or to wander in the wilderness. You saw the snow on your way down, but don't let it fool you: there's more outside than meets the eye. Bring back something valuable or impressive from the crypts and ruins under the snow, and you'll earn the chance for greater learning. Don't kill or misuse the people of the town if you can avoid it. Murder is punishable by death or worse. My first week here I saw a woman wired into a bizarre cyborg body - permanently.

"Other than that, there are no rules."

One of the students, a Korunnai boy, raised his hand. "So I could challenge you, right here right now, and take your place?"

"You could." The Twi'lek boy, almost a man, appraised him frankly. "But you wouldn't be much of a challenge. Everyone's blood is up on their first day. A lot of stupid decisions are made. Being a Sith is about more than killing. It's about manipulation, gamesmanship, respect, strength of will, situational awareness-"

The crimson lightsabre blade brushed and charred his chin as it poked up through his chest. He looked down, gaping, and the blade eroded a portion of his chin before it was withdrawn. He fell forward and did not move again.

In the stillness, the young Selkath that stood behind him rejoined the tour group of first-day students, replacing his lightsabre at his belt. "Boring tour so far, yes?"

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:24 pm
by Jagtai
Yuddic and his companions entered the room. The little green man wore a simple black robe and carried a walking stick. He seemed quite fragile.

Valkner delivered his little speech, visibly upsetting Leeturus. The human was about to reply to Valkner in no uncertain terms, when Yuddic raised a hand.

"Play games, do not, Valkner. Know me, you do." He hobbled forward. "Fear for your position, you do. Do not. Here for your head, I am not. Here to teach, only." He smiled, revealing rows of razorsharp teeth. "Unless a fight you would prefer?"

Yuddic did not fear Valkner. He had been a Sith for nearly 300 years and a Sith Master for the better part of those years. He was confident that few in the galaxy could challenge him and live - and Valkner wasn't one of them.

Not that duels interested him. Over his three centuries as a Sith, he had found that equal parts of carefully placed kindness and mercy did more to build loyalty - and through this influence and power - than the usual mindless Sith cruelty. Yuddic far preferred to have others fight for him. Besides, he was not interested in being Headmaster - too many students and teachers wanted that position for it to be safe. It was far safer to remain at least nominally loyal to whoever was Headmaster.

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:49 pm
by Beorht
"The Sith Empress smiles on competition. It keeps us sharp. But among those of us with genuine power, Yuddic...she prefers us to leave each other untested in any mortal sense. And she enforces that preference.

"Tell me of yourself and your companions. What skills do they have? Where shall I send them, and to what students?"

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:43 am
by Jagtai
Yuddic nodded, content that he did not have to prove himself in a fruitless duel against Valkner.

"Very good. Aware you are of myself, in the mysteries of the Force well-versed. This," he gestured towards Leeturus, "is Margent Leeturus, Blademaster of renown. Skilled in all combat techniques is he. Do well to have him train warriors, you would."

He gestured towards the Togruta.

"An assassin of some skill is Vanna Tek. Future assassins would do well, trained by her. Your choice at Headmaster, it of course is. As teachers, defer to your authority we do."

Nominal loyalty was often key.

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:00 pm
by Beorht
Valkner stroked his chin. "Then Yuddic, apart from teaching I'll put you in charge of winnowing those more senior, more powerful students who are competing for apprenticeships with visiting Sith Lords that prefer a more advanced apprentice. Many Lords and Knights come here looking for students - some like them young and impressionable, others prefer a student with more experience. There are several weak Masters on staff - Golasj Murt from the Dark Council, Akora Niathal from Sirena's Sisterhood, and Bos Ten Kam - another from the Centrality. Make use of them, be careful of them. You're undoubtedly powerful, but some of them possess a certain low cunning. Those Centrality people get uppity sometimes.

"We already have an assassin on the premises, a woman named Melae Chann. I'd prefer no struggle for influence between you two, Tek. Divide the teaching duties between yourselves, encourage competition between your students, but if either of you wakes up poisoned, it better be because you trained someone too well.

"Leeturus, is it? Good. We have a Marauder or two on staff, but someone with more technique is always appreciated. Sirena was supposed to send me a true Blademaster, but you got here first. You get his job, unless someone else arrives and challenges you. You know the drill. I doubt you'll have trouble getting Bornan Drejj to listen to you - he's probably our top Marauder.

"Right, then. Go forth and teach."

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:32 pm
by Beorht
The amphitheatre was large and filled with obstacles. Melae Chann had spent all night arranging it, making the setup perfect for these particular students at this particular level. Lord Sannasa Moth was here, a blademaster for the Sith'ari Centrality, and he wanted a student with some background, some existing strength in the Force. He didn't mind if they didn't have a specialization in the lightsabre already; he would teach them that. At least that's what he'd told the Mikan when he'd called ahead. The pink-skinned Sith Assassin lined up several teenagers, all advanced students, at one side of the room. Above, in a gallery, Lord Sannasa watched from behind his green lacquered mask. "The object is to be the first across the room," she said.

Ander Kell stood there in line with the rest of the teens. He knew that Melae Chann was a Mikan, and that they often took the form of a beautiful near-human woman with pink skin and pure white eyes. They would attract someone to them and then turn into their true form, a huge jelyfish, and consume their prey. Ander could see why it worked as he looked the woman over. Smiling he released some of his pheromones into the air.

Melae Chann made no visible reaction. In truth, her biology was so vastly different from his that his pheromones had no reaction at all. Farther down the line, though, a skinny brown-haired girl shivered. At the call of "Go!" she sprinted into the obstacles - over one, around another, weaving between two more. A thrown lightsabre snapped past her eyes, then carried on towards the green-skinned boy. She stretched out a hand and blasted the sabre into a wall, narrowly missing him. She kept running. Her own sabre, basket-hilted, flared to life and carved through a net; she didn't slow down.

He could sense heat in the girl rising and continued to release his pheromones into the air. The saber being thrown had been a near thing. Watching the girl run through the course, and suddenly, he had a new target. A devious smile crossed his face as he set off across the course. The force allowed him to navigate the course with confidence jumping over a wall and launching himself down in front of the girl. As he charged he made sure to get a good look at the girl in front of him. It was a race she wanted, and she’d get one. He had to keep himself in the running without besting his opponent. It was hard in many ways, letting the girl win by a hair….

There were others running the race...and one, a stocky Selkath, slapped the far wall an instant before Jess. She cursed, then shrugged. "Distraction!" bellowed Melae Chann. "Cooperation has its advantages, but distraction cannot be tolerated! Verdigris!" A Twi'lek jumped forward. "You threw your sabre at a fellow contestant. That reflects lack of faith in your own abilities to run the race. It also means you weren't looking at the three obstacles that could have been circumvented with quick sabre work! Jessamin Traverts! You paused to redirect the sabre, potentially saving the life of Ander Kell! You gained a useful potential ally and lost the race! Ander Kell! Force alone knows what you were doing. Don't think because I'm not always humanoid I can't see! You kept staring at Miss Traverts, and you lost the race! Bluenote! You won the race! How did you do it?"

"I remained aware of my surroundings but focused on my goal, Lady Chann!"

"Yes you did, Bluenote! Well then! On to the next test!"

They stood around the perimeter of a pit filled with loose round stones about a foot across - a constantly shifting floor. Suspended high above the middle of the floor was a shiny golden gauntlet. "First one to bring me the gauntlet wins! GO!"

Ander couldn’t afford to lose this time. He set his pheromones into overdrive and stood next to this Traverts before the woman told them to go. He ran towards the center of the ring, He was half way there before he was intercepted by Bluenote, the Selkath, intercepted him. Kicking his foot out he tripped the pudgy looking creature and used his body as a stable step to jump into the air. He grabbed the Gauntlet fairly easily, now the trick would be getting it back. As he landed he ignited his saber and smiled sweetly at the girl. “Jess is it?” He asked his pheromones in overdrive. “Won’t you help me get this glove back to teacher?”

She laughed at him, but in the process breathed in sharply. A look of confusion crossed her face. Then a series of rocks blasted at Ander. The Twi'lek stood not far away, sending rock after rock in Ander's direction.

Ander dodged the first rocks, however holding the glove was preventing him from using the force to redirect the debris. Performing a roll he put the glove on his hand and deflected and redirected one of the rocks with his hand sending it flying at the Selkath who was only beginning to stand. He had to keep moving as the ground wasn’t stable. As the ground started to shift he lunged and landed behind Jess Traverts. “Lets do this.” He said, “move with me.” He commanded.

Something about his face or his voice or...something...just melted her. But she'd been trained as a Jedi, not a Sith, with a much higher emphasis on self-discipline. And so she took a step forward as if obeying him, then stepped sharply back and planted a back-kick in Ander's gut. The rocks flew from under him as the Twi'lek got back in the game. Jess Force-pulled on the glove with all her strength.

With the girl pulling, and the Twilek throwing rocks, Ander had to think quickly. The glove was on his hand, and it wasn’t going anywhere. He held on as Jess pulled the glove, and him straight into her. The floor started to shift and he immediately pulled the girl onto another platform. “Lets try this again.” He said his arms wrapped around her.

Another rock started towards them and he lifted his hand and stopped it in the air. Still grabbing her he jumped into the air and headed towards their instructor. “Bluenote is back up.” He said letting go of the girl and running towards the Twilek once more. He slammed a shoulder into the mans gut and knocked him over just before the platform under his feet gave way.

Now so furious at being manhandled that her hormones were a distant memory, Jess pointed at Bluenote and slammed a rock into his upper thighs. The Selkath buckled. She did the same to Verdigris as she made her way, empty handed, to stand before Melae.

Melae Chann rolled her eyes. "Charming. Young love. You can't bring someone with you, though. And so the round goes to Ander K-" "Excuse me," said Jess, levering herself away from Ander, "but he didn't actually bring you the gauntlet. It's here...but he hasn't given it to you, and I'm betting he has no intention of giving it up."

Melae laughed. "Round goes to Jessamin Traverts. Ander Kell can keep the gauntlet."

It wasn’t the result he’d expected, but it suited his purpose. He wasn’t supposed to win, just look like he was trying “Very well then.” He said lifting up his hand. The gauntlet covered his mechanical limb perfectly. Each finger tip was pointed in an aggressive looking style. Yes he liked it. “What’s next then?” Staring back as Jessamin he let a smile cross over his face.

"What's next is you shut up," said Chann with some asperity. "You think Lord Sannasa was impressed by you constantly trying to fondle your way to victory, Kell? The next test is one of endurance and power rather than agility and cunning. Buried at the bottom of this stone pit is an amulet. First one to place said amulet in my hand wins. For her education, you'll be joined by a fifth competitor: a girl named Rave." A dark-haired girl about twelve or thirteen years old stepped out of the hall behind Melae.

Kell smiled at the girl who fluttered her eyes in response. He took off his shirt as he approached the pit of rocks. He began by lifting up several rocks and throwing them at the other participants. Everything was a feign. The others began to desperately dig into the pit while Anders searched with the force. He found a power source, something dark and ominous. Concentrating he began to pull it up while moving enough rocks to make the others think he was working.

Rave hesitated at the edge of the pit. She spun; her knife flashed out, and Melae Chann's hand tumbled free. The girl stepped in close, knife flashing - and then Melae wasn't a pretty red-skinned woman, but a jellyfish monster, tentacles writhing. One caught Rave a glancing blow and threw her into the pit. Force Lightning snapped around the amputated tentacle, cauterizing it, then blasted Rave. The girl hunkered down and took the brunt of the blast, twitching and jerking. Another blast laid her flat out on the rocks. Melae gave her a third, then stopped.

Jess - distracted by the eldritch horror of the scene - kept digging her way deeper and deeper into the rocks. She didn't notice the subtle shift in the Force coming from Ander Kell.

The amulet was lifting up slowly until finally it poked out from under the rocks. Suddenly with more might Kell launched the amulet into the air and did a backflip. He caught the amulet in the air and landed just in front of the girl, Rave. “Her hand please.” Smiling he licked his lips The girl stood up slowly and stared at him. The girl at first had a flat expression, which slowly melded into a vacant smile. “You’re a very pretty girl.” Anders added extending his hand. As the girl began to move he steeled himself and prepared for a possible assault. It never came. Instead she placed the strange slimy hand in his. As the others started to crowd him he slowly lifted up the hand and placed the amulet in it. “I believe I win.” He said leaning over and giving the girl a light kiss on the forehead.

"That you do," said Melae Chann as she descended into the pit, once more in humanoid form. "By the strict interpretation of my words, you do." Rave, for her part, kept her face blank. Jess, hip-deep in rocks, cursed as she scrambled her way out. She glanced at Verdigris and Bluenote, who seemed similarly embarassed. Rave giggled. "So that's Ander one, Bluenote one, Jessamin one," said the Sith assassin. "One final test - a straightforward test of lightsabre ability, here on the rocks. Ander will fight Verdigris; Jessamin will fight Bluenote; Rave will fight me." Rave's face went blank again.

Rave kept her eyes on the Mikan even before they squared off. She'd shamed Melae, but been rewarded with enough lightning to keep her body twitching at odd moments. It was in her best interests, then, to keep her distance, wait as long as possible, to give her knotted muscles time to relax, and for the twitching to stop. Melae - now with a hand again; she'd transformed a different tentacle into a replacement hand - grinned an inhuman grin and allowed Rave to keep her distance. The two Sith circled each other. Rave hefted the sabre, overlarge for her hands, then shrugged and tucked it back into her belt. She drew her knife, still gooey with jellyfish slime. Seren had made it for her with alchemy. Melae's eyes narrowed and she gestured. Rave began to choke. She nearly panicked, but cool and distant in her head was the remembered voice of her clone-donor and former indweller, the Nightsister Sira Ves. Your feet are still on the ground. Rave dashed forward, using what air she had. Melae danced back, but Rave darted under her guard and slashed across the Mikan's thigh, flailing. The choke released. Rave rolled under Melae's blade, then caught a strike on the knife.

The next strike batted the knife from her hand. Melae reversed the hilt and struck her senseless.

Bluenote was good, Jess noted clinically. Very good. The Selkath was a student of a student of the Order of Shasa, descended in combat lineage from servants of the Empire. He had a couple of years on her and his style was pure Djem So that battered against her Makashi and warmed the alchemical basket hilt of the sabre Mor had forged her so long ago. Her wrist bent at a strange angle. The Selkath spun, reversed his blade, and went for a stab to the gut. She spun and sucked in her stomach - the blade sliced her clothing. He ducked a backhand, spun away behind her, and then his sabre was resting against her throat. In his cold, fishy way, he was waiting for the kill order. "Hold," said Melae. "Well done, both of you. Traverts, see the new Blademaster. You need to expand your horizons. Makashi just doesn't cut it against some opponents. Bluenote, well done - when Kell and Verdigris are done, you fight the winner." Jess glanced their way, then went over to Rave, who lay senseless on the ground.

She picked the younger girl up and carried her out of the chamber, uninterrupted.

Anders paired off against the twi’lek, Verdigris. He ignited his saber as the alien youth attacked him. He dodged blow to his head and riposted pushing the teen to his backfoot. It was a good way to start the fight. The two danced about exchanging blows. Ander had a slight edge over his opponent. Another slash was driven at his waist which he blocked with a low slash. The next time Verdigris stabbed at Anders he side stepped around the blade and struck with a spinning backhand knocking the twilek off his feet. Ander following up with a slash which the boy dodged.

The fight went on like this for some time with no clear advantage being taken until finally Verdigris knocked the saber from Kells had. The boy quickly closed the distance between the two and controlled his opponents saber arm to try and salvage the situation. He squeezed hard with his mechanical arm, the pain forcing the twilek to drop his saber. Hooking his leg Ander tripped the boy and landed on top of him. The two were rolling around on the ground vying for a superior position.

The twilek was panting now and taking slow sparse breaths as his resistance slowly began to fade. Ander understood what was going on and instead of further pressing his attach reached his hand behind the youths head and pulled it into his own kissing him. The two rolled around like this for several seconds before Kell reached out with one hand and pulled his saber to him. He quickly stabbed the boy in the side killing him as they lay on the ground. Ander stood up and licked some blood off his lips.

Valkner smiled as he watched the scene below. Yes this was a good position for him to be in, he thought.

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:09 pm
by Halcyon508
Walking around and watching the various methods of people train was entertaining to a point. It had been a few days since Ander had thrown the fight against Bluenote. He couldn’t blow his cover or be selected by another master. The Empress knew his mission, but it didn’t seem to matter. He figured that he knew what she was up to though, if all her lords are vying for power or fighting amongst themselves than she’s safe and secure at the top. Of course Kell had made come up with a few objectives of his own. Searching the Academy for Jess had been an interesting diversion, but now he found something equally diverting. Rave stood watching other students work on their saber techniques.

“So…” Kell said softly walking up behind the girl, “I’m happy to see you’re still here…” She smiled back up at him with the same vacant stare she had before. Like tendrils he penetrated her mind and asked simply, “Do you know where Jess is?”

How was he to know that others had been inside her mind, in far more insidious ways? How was he to know that Rave, despite having all the hormones of the average thirteen-year-old girl, had access to the memories of a master Nightsister? She muttered a word through lips gone numb and steel doors slammed closed around her mind, catching and twisting his mental probes in psychically painful ways. "Do you know where your balls are going to be?"

Ander recoiled in pain. It was unexpected, but he quickly regained his composure. “I wasn’t aware you cared.” The old fashion way would have to be enough. He pressed his body against hers and let her take in the insane pheromones he produced. She made an audible groan of pleasure as he stroked her face with his hands. “Where is Jess?” He asked again.

The girl looked back at him with longing eyes. “She’s down in the mess hall…” She replied. Ander had just checked their earlier but he suspected she had only just arrived.

“Very good.” He replied, “Now let me give you something.” Leaning over he kissed the girl before walking off dismissing her with an idle waving hand.

Rave sat there for about five minutes, staring after him, before something clicked in her mind. It seemed like Ves was laughing at her - it roared in her ears. She raised her hands and lightning filled the practice room. Nobody else was in here. Passing Sith glanced in and uniformly took a double take. Wind whipped and roared in the room and the halls. The storm died down, not from fatigue or lack of enthusiasm. Her eyes burned with shame and rage. She set out through the upper levels of the Academy, trailed at a distance by one or two curious teachers. She ascended to the very highest levels, the domain of visiting dignitaries and of the Masters - Valkner, Yuddic, Niathal, Golasj Murt. She hesitated, then proceeded to Niathal's room and knocked loudly.

It wasn’t the familiar MonCalamari who answered though. Instead it was a girl? Young and graceful. “You have a guest Niathal darling.” She called signaling the girl to come in. “Such a delicate looking thing.” She added as Rave walked past her. “And who might you be?”

"I'm called Rave," she said, looking the girl up and down. Her eyes tightened at the corners; she had good instincts. Even though she walked past her, she didn't turn her back on her, or on the door to Niathal's room. "I was a student of Seren Mordavo before his death; I'm a clone of the Nightsister Sira Ves. I'm useful and I have a problem."

“Of course dear.” The woman said with a bit of a smile. “It’s only polite though for me to introduce myself though, especially now that you’ve been introduced.” She extended a slender hand, “I am Darth Sirena, You may call me Empress Sirena, or your highness.”

Rave pursed her lips, then nodded and dropped to one knee. She kissed the air above Sirena's knuckles in the Nightsister fashion, the gesture looking ridiculous coming from a thirteen-year-old. That done, she stood. "Maybe you can help me then, Empress Sirena. There's an older student who likes to get inside my head. I can keep him out, but he's got pheromones, and that slows me down. I need to be pheromone proof. And I'll pay any price."

“Any price?” Sirena’s lips pursed as she said the words. “How did you think this would be achieved?”

"Sira was an alchemist, and Seren had been around the block. I know what alchemy can do. Make it so pheromones don't do anything to me. Too many Zeltrons and Falleen around...Falleen thinkin' if they get the drop on you they can control your mind. All they can do is slow me down, make me dumb...but that's too much. That'll get me killed. And I'm useful."

“What is your goal, your end game? Mere immunity? What good does that do you?” Sirena herself had pheromones, and was half tempted to use them on the girl now. “You wish to modify yourself with alchemy, because your body is weak. You seek to improve yourself. I can understand that, admire that.” Pausing in her speech she walked over to a pedestal and stared at the book. “Poor Niathal could do something for you, but I could do better. In order to achieve your goal would you do whatever your Empress commanded?”

"My goal?" Rave smirked. "I'm thirteen years old, but I've seen empires at my feet. I don't have time for endgames. I need to deal with Ander Kell, or at least make it so he doesn't deal with me. He'll use me and kill me. So yes, I said any price and I meant it."

“I this Ander Kell.” The Empress said unimpressed with the girls declarations. “He is a weak willed boy who believes he is something more than he is. He uses his pheromones to control women and believes that’s power, and perhaps on a small scale it is. Ander Kell will only gain more power of you if you allow him.” She laughed a little bit and patted the girl on the head, “He even tried to use his gifts against me…” winking she added, “and failed.”

A grin split the little girl's face. "Poetic justice, Seren used to say."

“Yes Seren does say things like that. A real bore if you ask me but the man has his uses.”

She'd had the wind knocked out of her more than once; this time, she kept her jaw from going slack, though she ducked away and her eyes watered. "He's alive? And with the Sith Empire?"

“Alive?” Sirena thought about it for a moment. “In a manner of speaking. I bonded his spirit to a body of my choosing.” A smile crossed her face, “he serves me now, a devoted servant. You could see him again if you wanted, I could arrange it for your good service to me.”

He'd been looking for her. She was sure of it. And since she'd only been here on Ziost for a little while, one more child, one more student, he could have missed her. "I only want to be immune to pheromones. There aren't many people who can do alchemy at that level." She could find Seren on her own time, or make a separate deal with Sirena. This was the priority.

The smile faded from Sirena’s face, “You’re a very clever girl.” Moving over to the table she examined the Jars carefully. There was a strange thorny flower and a black slimy ball which drew her eye. The ball was no larger than an old coin. Sirena picked it up in her hand and reached out “Swallow this.” She said depositing it in the girls hand.

It was either part of the solution or a whole new problem. Sirena was obviously someone who felt she needed to have control over people, but the risk was outweighed by the problem with Ander. She took it and swallowed it. "And?"

Sirena plucked the flower from its thorny stem and gave it to the girl. “Chewing these pedals will give you an hour of resistance to his charms. It isn’t immunity it is resistance.” She added, “I’ll need you to do two things before I can grant you immunity to pheromones” Lifting up a finger to indicate the first step she said, “I’ll need you to steal Kell’s breath and inhale it deeply.” Then laughing she said, “And I’ll need the blood of an enemy, just a drop or two no need to make a mess.”

Rave smiled, and smiled wide. She bowed but didn't kneel, then took the flower. "It'll be done, your Highness." She left Niathal's quarters and descended through the levels of the Academy until she found herself back at the cave full of smooth flat stones. She jumped off the edge into the stones, pinwheeled her arms to regain her balance, then set about searching. It had been half-buried under shifting rocks when Bluenote and Jess Traverts dug their way out, after Ander used it with the amulet. She retrieved the battered hand and climbed up the ledge, then went back up through the tunnels. Within ten minutes she was knocking on the door. "Your Highness, here's the hand of Melae Chann. I cut it off."

“An instructor as an enemy, you are bold indeed.” If it wasn’t for the knowledge of her true identity the Empress would appear almost innocent and pretty to the untrained eye. “I shall eagerly await the next ingredient. You will need to suck the breath from Anders body. But remember, these pedals only grant but a small resistance.” Before Rave could respond Sirena added an addendum. “And I don’t want the boy hurt.”

Rave's face crumpled in disappointment. "Gotcha, Your Highness." She turned and left, but her disappointment was turning into a plan...

The one thing Mor hadn't thought of, Jess reflected with some asperity, was that when he sent her to spy on the Sith Academy and evaluate it, he hadn't technically given her a method of contacting him. She'd accordingly spent a few hard-won favours to get a real-time text link - not with him, but with a CCO in the field. Her old friend, basically her foster brother, Volan, now going by the name Darth Kerboros, had been sympathetic but unhelpful. Then again, he didn't really understand how powerful those pheromones had been. She was certain that's what they were, at least, having had a quiet word with several other female students.

Her first plan of attack would have simply been adaptive nose plugs, but she was too used to having good tech available, and credits too. In here, though rich students got taken care of by their parents or sponsors or estates, Jess wasn't 'supposed' to be rich. She certainly wasn't officially here as the sister of a Dark Lord.

And so she would have to find her own solution. The research she'd done indicated that pheromones responded poorly to Force poison-neutralization techniques, though it would give her some added measure of resistance. She knew those techniques well - after all, Mor worked with alchemy, and that involved some very poisonous substances. And she'd been helping him for years, like Volan and Darion and the rest.

She would simply have to rely on self-discipline, and on her growing hatred for Ander Kell. And that would just have to burn the pheromones out of her mind.

At the moment, Jess was enjoying a leisurely meditation session. There were no shortage of topics that provoked anger in our heroine, but one naturally swam to the forefront.

It was time to change up, a new tactic was needed. Teeth and eyes stared at the target and the predator moved towards his prey sitting down next to her. “Meditation?” He asked in a soft voice. “It doesn’t seem all that sith like does it?” Shooting her a smile he quickly added, “I was a bit curious about you and decided to take the direct approach.”

"I'm surprised," said Jess without opening her eyes, "and that's for two reasons. One, you may be an insufferable whoreson, but it's not like you to be wrong. Whoever trained you might have missed the fact that plenty of Dark Side traditions, including the Sith, emphasize meditation. Trust me. I'm rather furious right now." She opened her eyes. "But the second reason I'm surprised is that it's not like you to act like a person. Fine. I'm just like you and half a dozen others, high-level students sent here to quietly ferret out what can be ferreted out." She chuckled. "Once I spotted the pattern, everything fell into place. I bet you threw that fight with Bluenote to stay in the program."

“Perhaps.” Ander said smiling back at her. “Perhaps I stayed because of you.” His shoulders slumped after a shrug. “Have you noticed how the other females, of almost every species treat me? The first person, besides our dearest empress, to not fall for my little bag of tricks… was you.” His next words were calculated and, at least in part, true. “Someone in my position, it’s lonely… I’m sure you can relate.”

"Oh, you're good," she said. "I half believe you, but I think that's because what you're saying is half true. Your 'bag of tricks' is...formidable...but if you actually want people to respect you, you need to learn some sense of proportion. I don't think well of the girls around here if a whiff of pheromones and literally being swept off their feet is all that it takes. Where I come from, if a guy grabs you and shoves you, moves you, tells you to move...that's the sort of thing that'd make me call my brothers." She grinned a predator's grin of her own. "Say thank you."

“You’re objective is the same as mine.” He said softly looking around to see if anyone was watching. Of course people were watching, but they were all innocently enthralled by the green skinned boy. “And you’re trying to tell me that if you had the same skillset I do, you wouldn’t use it?” Pausing for a moment he quickly added, “It wasn’t personal, I just had to show off a little bit for the instructor to still look competitive. Besides, you started it. You ‘saved’ me from the hurled lightsaber remember?” A smile crossed his face, “you choose me as an ally then, and I choose you right after…”

About to say something, she hesitated and closed her mouth. "Hm. You know...I've had worse allies. You could be useful to me. I have a thought, a plan that requires at least two people, that could work for both of our purposes. But one whiff of pheromones and you're done. In several senses."

“I can’t always control them.” Ander admitted carefully. “In times of stress they may be released, in times of high emotions, and if I get…” He stopped his sentence and looked away from her. He stood up and stretched his arms a little bit. “Well you are a very pretty girl as I’m sure you know. And I should probably leave before I accidently let loose some of my pheromones.” As he walked away he turned to her and said in a hushed voice, “Those whom hath so joined together, let no man put asunder.”

The only reason she didn't turn to watch him go was because she was sitting cross-legged in a meditation chamber, facing away from him. A hint of a blush decorated her cheeks, but then she focused on anger again. Yes...this would be an interesting game.

Breath from his lips... Rave cursed like a spacer, drawing attention from children her own age. She thought of lab procedures and trapping gases, but then she thought of Sirena's casual sexuality and realized exactly what the Empress was doing. She was supposed to kiss Ander Kell. In defiance she pondered vacuum chambers and knocking the wind out of him. Maybe a simple pheromone sample would do - the air was thick with them, sometimes, so thick she could almost smell them. But no, alchemy didn't always respond to the normal logic of chemistry and genetics - that was what Seren had told her, anyways. She grimaced and thought of getting someone else to kiss Ander - but then what? Bring them to Sirena? Somehow she thought the Empress would be less impressed. And though she could theoretically kiss whoever had kissed Ander, that would dilute the sample. Pity. She'd rather kiss Yuddic. And the other part of her, the twelve-year-old, was scared stiff.

She forced herself to think in straight lines, like Seren taught her. Her initiating the kiss would be suspicious. Knocking him out would probably not be feasible - he'd seen her surprise attack on Melae Chann. No, he had to be induced to kiss her. And just like that, it was a game again, a simple manipulation.

Her first stop was the girls' dorms. There was a Zeltron she knew, about fifteen, stereotypical of her species and age but a born killer. She laughed hard at Rave's plan, but secreted pheromones on purpose, thickening the air in her dorm. The Zeltron had control, and Rave had a bruised flower petal under her tongue. She got out of there without unduly arousing the Zeltron, once her skin and clothes and hair were about as permeated as they could probably get. Then she asked around...and within a couple of minutes she found Ander Kell. She assumed a look of guarded curiosity bordering on hostility. The pheromones had already quickened her pulse and dilated her pupils, so if he payed attention for that, he'd think...well, connect the dots.

Ander noticed the girl. Ah his favorite pray, he thought as he approached her. He exuded his mind numbing elixir into the air saturating the area with it. “How is my favorite girl?” He asked cooing a bit. He had never noticed before, but Rave was starting to become a pretty girl. In a few years he’d gladly add her to a list of conquests. Staring into her dark eyes he watched her shiver a little. They were already dilated, as if someone had begun his work for him. But there was something else. Ander felt a desire in himself. “What are you up to today?” he asked innocently.

She had to play this just right, but she submerged her stress. Sira's voice half-whispered to her, telling her that men all wanted to dominate and be aggressive. She raged about how unnatural it was, but Rave blocked that out as irrelevant. So she turned away, sulking, and said nothing. She was walking in the dark here, trying to draw him in. The clothes she'd chosen with the Zeltron's help were tight enough that she obviously had no weapon, so he wouldn't suspect a trap.

Following the girl Ander reached out a hand. “There is no need to be shy.” He gave her body a one over look. She was fit, and her clothing revealed it, and her scent that she gave off… “Could it be?” He wrapped his arms around her from behind. She now faced the full brunt of his physiology. “Were you trying to impress me?” He asked.

She spun in his arms and kissed him, hard, breathing in. Then she broke free and ran - the image, the very picture, of a shy twelve-year-old who had done something embarrassing and liberating.

If Ander had such a hold over the girl already, then things would be getting rather interesting….

Rave arrived to see Sirena waiting with a superior smirk on her face. “Everything went according to plan my little darling?” she asked licking her lips. Rave nodded at her turning her smirk into a wicked and pretty smile. “Oh by the way, the pedals I gave you… they don’t give resistance to anything, they simply contain a poison of my making, not as much as the thorns of the plant but still I suggest you take this.” The proffered a vial from her sleeve and held it high in the air. “If you weren’t able to fight off his pheromones on your own, if you got suckered in… well it wouldn’t have been pleasant.”

Surprisingly few emotions resulted. Rave nodded, and an old phrase of Seren's came to mind. "I respect the strategy," she said. "Now, what was the ball I swallowed? And what's the next step?"

Sirena stepped forward and crowded the girl. “Ah that…” She leaned in lowering her face to face with the girl. The empress kept coming until their lips were intertwined, suddenly pain erupted from the girls body. She tried to escape but Sirena gripped her tightly. Her throat was burning as something started to crawl up her throat. It took a few seconds before there was a release.

The Empress backed away as the girl recoiled from her and put her back against the wall. Between the witch’s teeth was the black ball from earlier. “Delicious little one.” She said after delicately plucking the creature from her mouth. “If you’ve done as I instructed then this creature will have ingredients needed for our little elixir.” Placing the creature into a jar she closed her eyes. “Now let me ask you something very important. What do you want to achieve here?”

This time, actual feelings erupted. Rave hawked and spat on the floor of Niathal's sitting room. She'd had a gut feeling going into it that the black ball would be one of the less pleasant consequences. Even so, the end goal remained worthwhile. "My time has value, Your Highness. So does my attention. If I go to do something - anything - I wanna be sure that I'm the one that wants it. I don't wanna look over my shoulder all the time, or think about whether someone's screwin' with my head. So this isn't about just one thing, it's about everything."

“So you don’t want others to manipulate you.” The Empress appeared in thought. Rave doubted very much that she didn’t know exactly what she was about to say, but watched her acting none the less. “You don’t want him to have power over you then?”

“Yes.” Rave said firmly.

“Would you like power over him?” the Empress posed the question. “Power over many.”

"I can kill. That's simple enough. I'm imagining him begging for his life, or obeying me...yes, yes, I want that a lot." She left aside the question of the many. For a thirteen-year-old, there is the self and there is the other. The concept of the many doesn't mean all that much.

“I’ve been busying myself while you were gone. You’ve given me the final ingredient to this elixir.” She walked over to the table. “I need you to reach out, use the force, and crush that black ball into a fine paste when I tell you to.” Winking at the girl she turned and started working with several concoctions and said, “love your new style of clothing, it suits you.” Pausing for just a moment she poured a strange golden liquid into the jar with the black creature. “Crush it please.”

Rave blinked and blushed at the compliment. She made herself focus, looking at the little creature. She'd cut off a woman's hand, killed others; why was squashing this thing so difficult? She shook her head and gestured, and the thing imploded. Its blood and stranger fluids percolated through the golden fluid, and what remained of it began to sink. She frowned and clenched her fist, and the remains constricted, then were pulverized.

The liquid turned slowly to black and quickly Sirena added another liquid component. “I am going to make you an offer my little darling.” Handing her the Jar she said, “That is your immunity for pheromones. Once you drink it you’ll it will take a week for the changes in your physiology to take hold.” She smiled and walked over to a cloth covered box. “And here is a way to get you more power, a way to make that boy beg at your feet, and live for you. Not immediately mind, but in time.” Her hand gently played at the cloth before pulling it off. Inside was a strange creature, clearly created through alchemy. It felt dark through the force, a manifestation of the Empress’s will. “Do you want power my little darling?”

"Are you talking to me, or the critter?" said Rave, voice dry. "As long as I don't have to swallow this one."

“Drink your little potion now, while I explain.” The creature lashed out violently. “This creature is a parasite. It will attack you and crawl its way inside of your body.” Her hand approached the cage and the creature attacked striking against the side of the page. “It will go into your body, and you will have to fight it. With all your strength you’ll have to fight it. And if you win, well… a piece of it will remain. You’ll become more like me darling. I too have Kell’s gifts, but enhanced through the force, along with other abilities granted through my magic’s.”

She stretched out to the Force as she raised the beaker to her lips. No immediate danger presented itself, but then again - despite flashes of power and insight - she wasn't that knowledgeable or strong in the Force yet. She shrugged and downed the beaker of unmentionable stuff. "How do I fight it?"

“You focus your power inward,” Sirena said “you strike at it like you would an infection. It will try to dominate our mind from within, and when the battle begins, you will either know how to defeat it, or lose.” Reaching out a hand she stroked the girl’s cheek and sent sensations of pleasure across her body. “I wouldn’t have brought it here if I didn’t believe you had better than equal chance of surviving my little darling.”

Rave's lip curled. "I've held my hand in the fire. I've been possessed by a Master. I can take it."

“Very well…” Sirena grabbed the girl hard on her arm. She pulled the girl to a table and began to strap her limbs down so she couldn’t move. “You’ll have to fight it off with nothing but your mind.” She said as she walked over the crate. There was a timer on the side. “I will be locking you in with it, and will come back in twenty minutes. You’ll either be dead, taken over by the creature, or victorious.” Giving Rave a nod she left the room.

Several seconds passed before the timer pinged and the cage door opened. The creature leaped at Rave and forced her mouth open with mandibles and crawling into her body…

She knew true telepathy was a myth, but as she gagged and choked and cried and puked her mind went in one direction and one direction only. Seren...hear me! Seren! And he was there, cold but kind, distant, overjoyed and relieved and concerned because he could feel her fear. He sent only assurance, and whether or not he lied, she didn't care, because that was what she needed. He'd told her once that she was the best he ever trained. He'd told her she was a daughter to him. And a daughter, a student, of Seren Mordavo simply couldn't give in.

For the first time ever, she consciously drove into the memories remaining to her from Sira Ves' time in her head. She saw the Nightsister's relevant experiences in a moment, formed a strategy, and realized that if Sira could do something like this, her clone certainly could. With that realization, the pain intensified. And she transcended it. It was still there, but she could ignore it. She hit it hard, hit it with all the strength given her by Seren and stolen from Ves - and more, the strength that was innately hers. And the creature shuddered and died, just before the door opened and Sirena came through. The straps unbuckled themselves and Rave sat up. She spoke in a rasp through her savaged throat. "This better be worth it."

“The creature’s body inside of you will be destroyed by natural defenses.” Sirena said. “But as your body destroys and erodes it, it will change you. Into something more like me.” She licked her lips and smiled at the girl. “You don’t know it yet, but I’ve just given you the most powerful gift you could imagine...”

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:00 pm
by Beorht
Ander walked down the corridor towards the headmasters office. The training schedule he’d been put on had given him nearly no free time, and now that he seemed to have some he was being summoned, no doubt for the perverted mans pleasure. Why was his training so time consuming? Could it be that the Empress wanted to stunt his mission? Make him look bad in his masters eyes? He doubted it. The Empress no doubt had other concerns. Another thought crossed his mind. Why was Valkner calling him to his office? He would have to be on his guard against the mans advances. He turned the corner and saw Rave standing at the door and beamed a smile at her. “How is my favorite girl on campus?” he asked approached suddenly less concerned about the Headmasters appetites.

Rave favoured Ander with a gigantic smile. "Just lovely. Thank you so much for asking. The only thing that could brighten this day further is running into you, Ander Kell. I always love waiting for Valkner's tender ministrations." The smile vanished. "What did YOU eat this morning to get you so happy?"

Not even needing to use his pheromones and already the girl was smiling at him. Ander slowly closed the distance between the two of them and began to let loose his alien physiology. “Rave why must you be so jealous?” he asked in a caring voice, “you know I care for you don’t you?”

"You're like five years older than me, you flirt with everyone, even the Zeltrons call you a whore and you have green skin. Yes. I know you care for me."

Taken aback Ander quickly did a double take. He increased the pheromones in the air and starred daggers at her. “What did you do Rave?” The boy demanded answers.

"Oooooh, here we go." She turned the full force of her thirteen-year-old's grin on him. "What did I do? I got educated. I went to school and got educated. It's funny how that works, isn't it? A friend of mine told me once that experience is a harsh teacher, but fools won't learn from any other. Well, I got some experience."

The grim expression on Ander’s face quickly lightened into a jovial smile. “Every answer is a reply but not every reply is an answer. You bear some watching Rave.” He said, “You’re not like the other girls, oh how they fall so easily to my tricks but you, you’ve adapted and overcome.” Ander stuck out a hand. “Friends?” his voice almost purred at the words.

"Prove it. And get that checked. Is that plegm?" She didn't shake the hand, just turned back to the door as it opened.

Rave sniffed the air and grinned. "Anzati can smell pheromones, you know. Ander honey, you should be more careful about trying to seduce the Empress' pet. Ah, and here's Miss Traverts, pupils dilated as usual."

“The empress?” he choked over the words losing his composure for the first time in…. well as long as he can remember. “The Empress and you?” Pangs of, jealousy? Or else some other similar emotion erupted to the surface as he thought about that. He remembered vividly Sirena’s cursed and then stared back at the girl. “Anzati can do many things. I’ve beaten off the Headmasters advances, if he tries anything on you I shall endeavor to help you. For the Empress.” If nothing else he was devoted to his sovereign.

Ander smiled as he saw Jess who smiled back at him. The three walked in together to see the Empress sitting on Valkners desk in a provocative post. Ander felt a shiver run up his spine at her mere sight. “Do you know why you are here?” The Empress asked.

Taking a knee Ander quickly said, “No your highness we weren’t told.”

“I have summoned you to perform a task.” The witch said standing from the desk. She walked towards the door to leave the office. As she passed Ander and Jess she slowed down and let her fingers gently caress their cheeks as she walked by. “Master Valkner will fill you in. Don’t let me down.”

"So," said Valkner. "You're all supposed to be bright little children and so forth. I'll keep it brief. There's a crypt under the ice on the other side of this planet; the coordinates are in a shuttle's computer. Go there, get through the ice, get through the crypt, bring back anything remotely valuable. Especially an urn full of a certain substance. Bring it back safe, bring it back soon, try not to die. Paperwork, you know." He examined them all for a long moment. "You're dismissed."

As they filed out, Jess tried to keep control of her thoughts. Pheromones were still in the air - she was sure of it. "I can fly a fighter, but maybe not a shuttle. How about you, Ander?" Rave scowled.

Ander walked out the door. He heard Jess talk but could only make a single reply, “Isn’t the Empress the vision of perfection?” He said with a vacant smiling expression on his face. He had no doubt seen it in many of victims before and had he been in the right state of mind might notice the irony of the situation.

Rave gagged. Loudly. Jess blinked. "I guess I never noticed it before...but yeah, I wonder how she stays so...young. Well, I noticed that before, the one time I saw her...I guess I mean I wonder how she stays so..."

"Pupils," said Rave.

"Right," said Jess.

“I could fly.” Ander said shaking his head a bit. “I can fly.” He added more reassuringly. A moment of pause when he looked at Rave and Jess. He knew it was the empress’s influence but both of them looked to beautiful to him now. Jess especially caused his heart to pump with extra excitement. Could this have been the Empress’s plan? What could she possibly gain from something like this. “What about you Rave?” He asked trying to focus, “Can you fly?”

Rave blinked. "As it happens, yeah, yeah I can." Jess looked from Ander to Rave and frowned, then headed down towards the docking bay. Rave threw up her hands and followed. "Pheromones. Some girls are SO weak-minded."

Re: Sith Academy: The Dark is Rising (open)

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:15 am
by Jagtai
The Crone
Typhon System

The room was dark, save for a red crystal that cast an eerie light, revealing a lavish wooden table. A hooded figure sat at the table, reading an ancient scroll, occasionally checking a stone tablet. The walls were covered with shelves, each holding numerous scrolls, bottles with strange contents, stone icons and hundreds of other artifacts. There was no mistake - this was the room of a scholar of the Dark Side.

The holo-communicator on the table beeped. Darth Kabal sighed, annoyed with being disturbed in his studies, and used the Force to flick the switch. The image of a handsome older human male appeared. The man bowed.

"Milord." Kabal livened up. Alister Corely never contacted him unless it was important. Nevertheless, he hid it well, when he replied.
"Corely. What is the meaning of this disturbance?" Corely bowed again.
"My apologies, Milord, but when I was inspecting our latest batch of merchandise, I found something you might find interesting." Corely's eyes shone with a mixture of greed and malice. "Very interesting indeed." Kabal shook his head.
"I do not have the time to go now." Corely nodded.
"Of course, milord. Shall I do nothing else?" Kabal nodded. A plan had formed in his head.
"You shall wait and gather the interesting parts of the batch. I shall send an emissary in my stead."
"How shall I recognize this emissary, milord?" Kabal smiled.
"You will not be in doubt."
"Yes, milord."

Orvax IV

A shuttle dropped out of hyperspace above Orvax IV. It was painted a solid gray, and although it stood out, it was still nondescript enough to be ignored.

Onboard, Sienna Torr wondered about the assignment. Kabal had asked her to go to Orvax IV and inspect the merchandise that the Black Shyrack had procured. He had given her a location, a name, a small metal token, and a small, non-descript crystal as well, and sent her on her way. He had not mentioned exactly what the merchandise was.

After setting down the shuttle, Sienna made her way to the Black Shyrack headquarters. She was met by Alister Corely, who welcomed her.

"Welcome. I am Alister Corely. I assume you are the emissary of Lord Shyrack?" Sienna nodded and handed the token to Corely.
"I am. Are you Corely?" Corely nodded.
"I am indeed. Come."

Corely led Sienna into the building and down to the dungeons. The dungeons were filled by dirty and emaciated humanoids of various species. It seemed that the merchandise was likely to be one or more slaves. Corely led her past numerous dungeons, until they eventually reached one far in the back of the cellars. Corely stopped and fiddled with the keys. Meanwhile, Sienna took a look inside the dungeon.

Three young human females sat huddled in a corner. One of them caught her eye. She had a beautiful face, even when covered in dirt and grime. Long brown hair flowed down past her shoulders, half covering her dark, sorrowful eyes. She was cradling a red-haired girl while speaking soft words to the third girl, a dark-haired beauty whose dirt-covered cheeks were lined with streaks from tears.

She turned to Corely.

"Who are they?" Corely shrugged, obviously uncaring.
"Slaves, bought or captured from various places across the galaxy. What do you think?" Sienna shrugged. They were beautiful, certainly, but she was not looking for concubines, and neither did she imagine that Kabal was.
"They are beautiful, but I fail to see the reason for my presence here." Corely smiled knowingly.
"You will see soon enough." The lock clicked, as Corely unlocked the door. "Come."

Corely and Sienna entered the dungeon. The girls huddled closer together. Corely withdrew a small stun baton.

"Get up." The girls had obviously felt the effects of the baton before, because they quickly got up, the brunette helping the red-head. Corely smiled. He turned to Sienna. "Test them."

Sienna withdrew the crystal, walked over to the brunette, and held up the crystal. It began to glow brightly. She repeated the exercise with the other two girls with similar results. She looked at Corely.

"They're Force-sensitive." Corely nodded.
"Yes. Are you interested?" Sienna looked at the girls. Their fear and anguish was almost tangible. She could sense strength in them, however. Strength that could prove useful both to them and the Enclave.
"I am. How much?" Corely smiled.
"Fifty thousand credits a piece." Sienna withdrew a credstick and threw it to Corely.
"Done. Have them sent to my ship."

En route to the Typhon System

Sienna rose and stretched. It would be several hours before the shuttle reached the Typhon system, but at least they were safely in Sith space. She double-checked the autopilot and walked out of the cockpit.

On a whim, she went to the holding cells and entered the cell where the brunette was held. She sat in a corner, stun-cuffs on her hands and feet. When Sienna entered, she raised her head. Sienna knelt down in front of her.

"What's your name?" The girl answered defiantly.
"What's it to you?" Sienna pressed the cuff control, sending hundreds of volts through the girl. She didn't make a sound. Sienna let go of the button.
"What's your name?" The girl spent several seconds composing herself after the shock before answering.
"Vella. Vella Espeveth." Sienna nodded.
"How did you end up here?" Vella shrugged.
"You bought me." Sienna shocked her again. Still Vella said nothing.
"How did you end up here?" Vella grinded her teeth.
"A man in my village wanted to marry me, but I rebuffed him. In retaliation, he gathered some of his friends and set upon us. They killed my father, kidnapped me, raped me, and finally sold me to slavers."
"Good?!" Vella spat out the word. "How is that good?!" Sienna smiled for the first time.
"The pain and gnaws at your heart. Use that pain and anger." Vella looked suspicious and intrigued at the same time.
"We can teach you how. We can give you the power to seek your revenge over those who hurt you. We," she paused for effect, "can set you free."

Vella didn't reply, but Sienna could see that she was considering her words.

"What about the redhead?" Vella looked up.
"Her name is Atelia. I think she was a princess of some sort. Her father and fiancée were killed by an usurper, and she and her sisters were sold to slavers." Sienna nodded. She too would have pain to draw upon.
"And the dark-hair?"
"Pyrene. Her father, a governor, had her lover executed for sleeping with his daughter, and she fled, only to be captured by slavers." Sienna smiled. Corely had picked them well.
"Thank you. Rest now. You need your strength."

The Crone
Tython System

"So you think they could be Sith material?" Darth Kabal and Sienna was walking down the halls of the Crone. Sienna nodded.
"I do. They have immense fear and anguish to draw upon and are strong in the Force. If they can be taught to utilize that fear, they will be strong indeed." Kabal nodded.
"Are you interested in taking one of them as an apprentice?" Sienna nodded.
"The brunette interests me. She is strong and determined. She will make a fine apprentice, if she survives the Academy." Kabal stopped and looked out of the viewport. Finally he nodded.
"Very well, I trust your judgement. Take them to the Academy and have them enrolled." Sienna nodded.
"Yes, Milord." She turned to leave.
"Take Ves with you. She has business on Ziost."
"Yes, Milord."

Academy grounds

The shuttle touched down on a landing pad, and the ramp extended to allow the passengers to exit. First came Sienna, followed by Vella, Atelia and Pyrene. The group was rounded out by a tall, tattoed woman - Sith Lord Sira Ves...