Posts: 4195
  • Posted On: Jun 12 2010 6:04am


It was strange seeing a world lit up but be unable to talk to it. It was perhaps a first in the history of spaceflight but one that oddly comforted Captain Prentiss Blood. For if he was receiving signals from the planet below, it would mean they would probably have scant hours (if not minutes) of life left collectively.

His startship floated in orbit throwing out waves of passive sensors looking for anything untoward.

"Tracking scan...movement!" someone reported and the weapons officers began slowing positioning their weapons manually. If they allowed the computer to do it, it would throw out all sorts of sensor feeds and secondary signals to get a lock. While these signals were not of the sort that more often than not automatically attracted Reavers (like holonet signals), in an area that was 'dark' these signals would stand out. And if there was anything one wanted to avoid in Reaver Space, it was standing out.

"Courier," came the final recognition as the vessel closed. It was a risk to allow a ship that close, especially if it was a plague ship but one did what one had to do.

"Light up the docking port," he ordered. The small, fighter type vessel, built more for speed than fighting, connected allowing the pilot to exit his craft. He knew other governments tried to make the ultimate fighter with massive armor, super speed, outstanding shields and powerful firepower but the Bandomeerian Navy was happy if their Courier Ship could outrun a Reaver pursuit.

A type of etiquette arose with the creation of the Courier Force within the Bandomeerian Navy and Prentiss was no exception when it came to following it. On every starship, a room or two were always set aside for Couriers. They ate the best and were given preferential treatment. After all, they were the eyes and ears of Bandomeer and braved Reaver Space every day. It was an organization with the highest death rate but the one that was the most critical.

Captain Blood was in his quarters when the Courier Pilot was shown in.

"Pilot Niche reporting," and Prentiss turned to face an alien female which startled him. While he intellectually knew there were females of various species serving in all manners of responsibility, it still surprised him when he came face to face with it.

"Captain Blood," Prentiss introduced himself and gestured for the pilot to sit. "I am afraid all I have to offer you is water but, I assure you, it is the best damned water this side of Bandomeer."

The pilot refused by gave the Captain the prerequisite chuckle as if playing out a formula before arriving to the issues at hand.

"What news?" he finally inquired, knowing he had to know and also knowing that he probably did not want to know.

"The Coalition as retaken Maridun," she relayed and Prentiss whistled. "That must have been a bloodbath."

"I was not there but they seem to have fortified the world. It seems the world is to be used as a platform for further excursions in Reaver Space. There are rumors of another joint fleet between all nations with the purpose of erradicating the Reavers."

"That would be...," Prentiss frowned, "logistically impossible."

The pilot shrugged, "Be that as it may. The GC have attacked Garos and seemed to have an easy time of it. Considered Reaver weaponry relatively ineffective and they seemed to also have incurred little (if any) casualties."

Captain Blood frowned. "So the Reaver Group in the area is either laying a trap or...they are gone."

"Or it is as the Cooperative News Feeds are promoting, they have totally destroyed the Group," the pilot remarked.

Prentiss sighed, wanting desperately to hope that was the truth but unready to admit it just yet. "God-willing," was all he replied.

"There is something else.." the pilot began after a lull of silence.

Captain Blood was surprised at her reluctance but patiently waited for her to find her voice.

"When the Reavers first invaded the Borderlands they seemed to remain relatively within those borders save for a slight bleed-over into Coalition, Commonwealth and Contegorian space."

"And?" Prentiss gently prodded.

"And," the pilot responded with some exasperation, "nobody seemed content to leave them well enough alone. The Imperial, Kach Thorton, ordered his fleet to engage the Reavers and they did not let up until he left to Coruscant. Now, the Coalition and Cooperative fleets are pretty much doing the same thing. All Thorton did was stir them up and lost quite a few ships in the process."

"And now the Coalition is doing the exact same thing."

"But they seemed to have gained a foot-hold on Maridun," Prentiss pointed out.

"That's just it!" the pilot stood up and began to pace, "Their ships are not any better than the Empires! There is not one government who has encountered the Reavers who has not lost ships and lives."

"So the Coalition had a little bit more lives to throw at the problem than the Empire was willing to do," the Captain pointed out, however odd that statement seemed.

"The Rancor is a dumb brute animal but you still respect it. From what I've seen, from the Coalition to the Imperial strategy, they don't respect the Reavers."

"But they have made progress, from your report."

"Something is happening. In talking with other Couriers, certain areas are having less incursions."

"So you are saying they are dying?" Prentiss asked.

"I am saying, that the BCF Command thinks they may be migrating," she flat out told him. "If that happens then other galaxy sectors will have infestations and instead of many individual Reaver Groups inhabiting the Borderlands, we will have maybe one or two?"

"Which would mean that this sense of low numbers or little presence from the Reavers would be temporary.." Prentiss murmured. "Sort of like a virus consuming all it can before spreading," he remarked, bringing is medical training to mind.

"Which would mean that the Reavers are finding that there are not a lot of resources to keep all their Groups, however many there are, contained. Or they are sated for now with everyone's aggressiveness and are looking for...nesting grounds?"

The Courier shuddered, "Now that is a scary thought."

Prentiss was not about to disagree. "Get something to eat. I need to go down and consult the Council."


"The Coalition has retaken Maridun," the comm officer stated as the Captain of the Stellar Explorer checked their consumable report. The Commonwealth Exploratory Vessel was enroute to Elom, the newest member of the Commonwealth. Being positioned inside, what was considered 'Reaver Space', it was paramount that the world be included in the proprietary HL Network that was standard across the Commonwealth. It was hoped that removing the world's reliance on the standard holonet would quell the chances of Reaver Incursions.

Incursions!, the Captain snorted. Call them what they are! Attacks! Brutal attacks!

He looked up and felt himself breathing easier. "Jolly good, show! They may yet turn the tide, rolling these Reaver beasties up into a ball and destroying them for good!"

"Reports indicate they did it rather easily. Simple freighter bait to draw a Reaver Fleet then a smack down by an-even-bigger Coalition Fleet and bam! They are space dust!"

"It couldn't have been that easy.." the Captain's voice seemed to be soured, no doubt thinking of the Commonwealth's own First Advance Fleet that entered the former Borderlands to give aid and had not been heard from since. It was generally presumed that the entire CW Fleet had been lost. An experience that had not happened since the start of the Domain War a few years ago.

The Gunnery Officer turned, "I have a buddy in the Coalition Fleet. He told me that they did lose some ships. Still, it was like their heart just wasn't into making more crazy zombies or taking GC ships."

"Maybe they couldn't," some one else chimed in. "I hear they got some new defense system, Tetsuo or something like that."

"Testudo," another corrected.

"Sounds like a martial art," the Captain commented checking the ETA until Elom orbit.


"Interdependent shielding," spat the old man. "Why does every single new tech have to be the Second Coming of Empion?"

"Why do you have to be angry at every innovation made by someone other than you?" came the biting retort.

"Because it's not an innovation. It's the same'd damned shield generator. Just, instead of one giant generator protecting a world, it's a bunch of itty bitty generators that power only a fraction. Then they say, abra cadabra, we'll take power from here and put it over there and with two overlapping shields, it'll be stronger." The old man mimed what he considered was a Coalition Marketing Genius.

"It is stronger."

"Of course it's stronger! You have two generators covering the same'd damned space! But what about that other space? The brilliant minds over at Cooperative, Inc. think a person is only going to attack in one spot?! Need I remind you that the Yuuzhan Vong had command ships orbiting the whole of Capricia..."

"Stuff it you old Rancor baby! You hate everything new!" came the effectionate reply that only served to drive the old man angrier.

"They knew how to make stuff in those days! Not like slicker-in-spit polish teenage techs they spew out nowadays! I swear, if Seth Vinda smiles at you, keep your hand on your wallet! It's all about flashy and short term function! Never about making stuff to last the test of time. Like this Hardlight nonsense! How is any self-respecting technical archeologist going to look at our bones and machinery and know what half of it does since the hardlight components are..turned off!?"

"Well, the more advanced a civilization, the easier it is to erase all evidence of it."

"Bah! Spare me your socialist meandering babble! Now come and let me show you something truly amazing!"

The Captain of the CW-VSD Scion lifted his eyebrows at the change in subject and followed the Theorist to his lab.



"By the maker! What the hell happened here?" Captain Herridian Wye asked standing up from his chair as the Stellar Explorer entered orbit.

"Terminus Station looks to have been thoroughly gutted. Scorch marks are consistent with Reaver fire."

"Where is the Reaver ship?" Herridian barked out and a flurry of inquiring fingers were launched.

"All scans coming up negative, Sir."

"Sir, Comm from the planet, LOS. We need maintain a steady course and heading to keep the comms open."

"Helm, you answer to Comms for now."

"Helm, aye!"

The Captain walked over to the Comm Station. "What have you got?"

"Hold one, Captain. Planet was attacked. Virus is dirtside. Has been for the past twenty hours."

"Twenty Hours? The reports indicated that Reavers raid only. Twenty hours is an aweful long raid.."

"Sir, begging your pardon but perhaps the Terminus Station destroyed the Reaver ship along with themselves?"

The Second snapped his fingers, "Virus has nowhere to go. Can't leave and so is staying.."

The portly Captain's eyes widened. "I do not even want to think about the hell that has been going on down there."

"Hyperspacial Terminus!" interrupted a scanning crewman.

"Weapons go hot! What have we got?" Herridian ordered scrambling over to see the readings for himself.

"Small bugger... Weapons hold! Courier Ship! It is flagging us on holonet!"

"On the monitor! That crazy..." the Captain was interrupted as the Bandomeerian Pilot's voice filter through.

"Commonwealth Ship. No time. Bandomeer under attack by Reavers! Need help, Please!"

The holosignal cut off and the Courier Ship flew past the Stellar Explorer and jumped away.

Captain Wye sat back down. "They must be desperate to initiate a holosignal," he observed.

"Probably figured the beasties are all at Bandomeer," the Second replied and the crew waited silently.

Herridian knew that going headlong into a Reaver attack could spell doom for he and his crew. He also knew that he could not simply leave Elom to it's fate.

All the classics describe a great military blunder of the kind you are contemplating!

"Order Colonel Vinda and the Providence 1st into the shuttles. Tell him to prepare for an extended stay against Reavers," he voiced his decision.

"Helm, prepare to make best speed to Bandomeer."

The Comm crackled, "Captain, you leaving us to kill zombies?"

Herridian frowned at the comm, "No, Colonel. I am leaving you to protect the Eloms and Elomin. A dead zombie would still constitute a threat, I think. Burn them if you have too."

"I read you Captain. We'll take care of them," came the cheery reply that belied both of their concerns.

"Godspeed, Colonel. To you and the First."



"They are swinging around! They are swinging around!" the Scanning Crewman shouted as the inertia dampeners screemed to catch up to the wild maneuvers of the Helm.

"Fire at the big one! The big one!" Prentiss yelled as the weaponry of his ship lanced out vaporizing the tendrils that had imbedded themselves into an RBN vessel. Hopefully, the disconnection would allow those poor bastards on the ship a chance to defend it or evacuate.

It was bound to happen. After having a hundred or so couriers moving about a path at any one time, one of those couriers were bound to return with Reavers at their back. One system more explored, one fronteir too far and a courier found themselves in a nesting ground, or holding point, or waiting area or whatever the place that some Reavers gathered their numbers was called.

The courier tried to shoot out of their like a wingbat out of hell but this time something had caught them. The ship itself had made the jump but not before a tendril from a ship brushed against the tiny vessel.

And there, in hyperspace the pilot watched in horror as the slimey film began to coat the fighter. He tried to bring it out of lightspeed but no avail and every so often the holonet would go online and then off. As if marking a trajectory that the fighter was unable to change while in hyperspace. Hyperspace that the fighter could not manually leave until it ran against a mass shadow of whatever its destination was.

Unfortunately, that destination was Bandomeer.

As soon as the fighter dropped out of lightspeed, it's holonet system flared up before the RBN could respond by blowing the courier up. It was too little, too late.

The emerging Reaver resembled not one ship but a conglomerated mix of several ships stuck together made into the size and shape of a small moon.

"At least we know why the Coalition has success on Maridun and why their attacks seemed to subside. They were making that thing!"

Captain Prentiss Blood could not fault his Executive Officer, Ranu Ru's, comment but it did not begin to help him figure out how they were going to get out of this one.

And so they fought.

The weaponry of thousands of laserpoints converged and scattered so fast it was like the Royal Bandomeerian Navy warships and fighters were flying into a lightshow. Only this lightshow was deadly as the beams pierced metal, bone and flesh bringing all to a fast boil only to freeze in vacuum.

"Tendril! Port Side!" a crewman warned and the Helmsman ran though a quick series of calculated moves before shouting, "It's going to hit us!"

"Prepare for boarders," Prentiss punched into the shipwide comm system.

"The tip of the tendril spreading from the monsterous conglomeration split open four ways as if it was going to take a huge bite from the hull of the RBN Flag. The shields did not even flicker as the tendril absorbed their energy. As the 'mouth' came down towards the hole two streaks of weapons fire dissolving the tendril's end causing it to slink backwards towards that from which it came.

"Commonwealth ship, entering range," the scanning crewman reported when Prentiss turned a questioning glance his way.

The Reaver was almost toying with those ships that constituted the RBN as those men, women and beings gave their lives to buy seconds more for those on the planet below.


The introduction of a Commonwealth ship changed that formula not one bit and more Reaver tendrils were sent it's way.

"What the hell is that!?" Exclaimed Herridian as his starship banked and dodged more easily than the battleships of Bandomeer.

"A new Reaver, I presume," his Second offered.

"You think? Scan it!"

The Stellar Explorer angled most of it's sensor arrays towards the Reaver noting that while several hundreds of thousands of weapons were keeping the Bandomeerians busy, there were others that were falling to the planet in the form of bombardment.

Explosions of enormous size were scattered all over the planet as Herridian grimly looked at the intelligence feeds indicating the devestation was far more than the population could handle.

"I don't think we can kill this thing.." Herridian whispered as the bottom of the spherical Reaver projected a bright, concentrated light.

"Is that a superlaser?!" The sensor officer cried, "Energy readings are off the scale!"

"No!" the Caprician fell back into his chair as the light intensified.


"NO!" Prentiss shouted as fifteen more shots struck his warship in various places. "I did not come here to be chased off another planet!"

"Fire! Fire everything!!" he screamed himself hoarse and the gunnery crew released everything they carried striking the sphere mid-center.

The brightest part of the light was suddenly ejected, traveling down towards the planet as the combined weaponry of the remaining RBN fleet struck. The resulting explosion rendered their sensors momentarily blinded.

As the feed came back on, not even the combined nuclear strike from the fleet's remaining stores had destroyed the Reaver. A chunk had been vaporized by their attack but the mass of the Reaver still continued to fight, as it started to destroy the remaining ships of the fleet.

But the planet was still there. The bright light was not the pulse of a superweapon but something else that was fired at the great ocean of Bandomeer.

"What did they fire?" Prentiss asked but the Scanning Officer could only beat his equipment with impotence. The equipment had had it's day.

"What did they fire?" the Captain asked again, looking around for the Commonwealth Ship.


The Stellar Explorer was dead in space as Herridian massaged a bump on his head from being thrown around by the blast.

"If the planet exploded, we should be dead.." he muttered staring at the massive Reaver out a viewing port.

"Maybe we're dead and in Reaver heaven?" someone replied in the darkness of the bridge and the Caprician laughed.

"Now there's a dreadful thought."

"Whatever they shot to the planet, it was not a superlaser.." as the drift of the starship brought the planet in view. A planet in fire and in the midst of fighting for life. And losing.


The Reaver stopped it's firing. The tendrils that had been shot up and quickly regrown retracted into the massive conglomeration of vessels and the sphere began to move away from Bandomeer.

"It's leaving.." gasped someone drawing Prentiss' attention from the bone he was setting to the viewscreen.

"Sensors online yet?" he asked as he went back to setting the bone of a crewman.

"I don't think they will be online for a while, Captain."

"So we do not know what they shot to the planet?"

"I do not think we will ever know-" the crewman started before being interrupted by the Comm Officer.

"I think I know what they put there."

Prentiss finished the wrapping before getting up and approaching the station.


The crewman pointed to his station readings, "See the gradient here. It's trending into areas beyond the equipment's functionality."


"The holonet stations were locked down so I cannot access them but I believe, whatever they put there is transmitting in those ranges."

Captain Prentiss Blood looked back as the Kaminoan Ranu Ru came up from the Engineering Deck.

"Do I turn on the holonet, Ranu? It could bring that thing back and we will not survive another attack."

"This object is broadcasting on holonet frequencies?" the Exec asked the Comm Officer.

"As much as I can tell with this equipment, yessir."

"Maybe they are trying to tell us something?" Ranu suggested to Prentiss.

The Captain came to a decision. "Turn on the holosystem but for no more than one minute and then we shut it off."

Ranu looked over at the former doctor. "That is going to be the longest minute of your life."



Herridian Wye of the Stellar Explorer sat at a table with what was left of the Bandomeerian civilian and military leadership.

"The Reaver device is transmitting on the holo-frequencies but it is nothing coherent that we can make of it the message."

Captain Blood flipped a switch and a long, melodic moan seemed to fill the air. After a few moments he switched the sound off.

"It device is located quite deep under the surface of the ocean so getting to it is already going to be a nightmare."

"Maybe that's the point," Herridian murmured, "The Reavers do not want anyone touching it."

A rather haggard looking woman cast a disbelieving glance at the Caprician. "So, the Reavers are smart?"

Herridian sighed and leaned forward, "Look, we know the Reavers have done some pretty intelligent things and some pretty stupid things so a scientific concensus of Reaver intelligence, sentience or whatever is very divided.

We know they are reactive but they are also proactive in ensuring their numbers no matter how many are blown away. They are adaptive.

This could be merely an adaptation for your planet being dark to their holosweeps for so long?"

"Or," declared a Bandomeerian Scientist, "this could be an animal marking it's territory. The purpose of this was not cull our numbers or infect us but to simply launch this device and ensure nothing could damage it until it was out of our reach. Once that was accomplished, it simply left."

Another sighed, "Whatever it is, the Reavers know where we are with that thing broadcasting. Why don't we activate our own holonet and organize better?"

"We do not know what that would do. Would our own holonet chatter interrupt this device's signal? Will it augment it calling that ..that thing back to us?"

"Maybe the device explodes with Reavers if the signal is blocked or overwhelmed by our own?"

"Now there's a frightening thought."

"The point is, we do not know. We are all hanging on by a thread. We need to rebuild.."

"Why?" came a despondent voice that drew everyone's eyes. The Botanist rubbed her tired eyes, "Don't look at me like that! We lost too much this time around. Our orbital facilities are smashed, the fleet is only at a quarter strength, let alone numbers and...and.. and this Reaver is just too damned big. It took our last measure of firing nuclear warheads at it to even put a dent in it. We do not have the resources to create that much firepower in our current situation. We either leave or we die."

Prentiss shook his head. "The starfleet is not equipped to transport even a tenth of Bandomeer's remaining population."

It was a room of despair and Herridian felt every bit of it. These people had, for the past year, survived by their wits, courage and ingenuity only to have it blasted away by yet another Reaver.

"I could help," he offered.

"What do you mean?" someone asked.

"My vessel utilizes hardlight technology so there is a chance our signals will not even tempt the Reaver. Even so, I would recommend putting my ship in a nearby star system and organize your build up with Homeworld or the Commonwealth. We bring in some first class equipment and see if we can help you determine what that thing is in your ocean. We help build up and arm up your people. We can relocated your wounded and those that want to leave back home leaving only those who want to fight.. Really, whatever you feel we can help you with.

You need support but it's your show. You know these Reavers better than most people and we are playing catch-up.

What do you say?"

The Executors may kill me for this but dammit, these people need help!
Posts: 4195
  • Posted On: Jun 12 2010 4:01pm

Vahaba Asteroid Belt

The mighty red warship Estralla responded with static as it slowly entered the system, heading straight for the heart of the asteroid base.

"What do you make of it?" One of the sensor operators asked and the Commander shrugged to himself.

"IFF is weak but it is there. See, along the port side, the ship appears to have been in one hell of a fight.."

The computer bleeped and drew his gaze from the scanning console.

"Estralla... hmm.. Not on the list of usual suspects.. That red paint tho.." he began cross-referencing the name with an unofficial list and a flag came up.

"Inferno Fleet. Well I'll be damned. A long damn ways from home.."

"Sensors are showing low power emissions, shields not raised and weapons powered down. The engines are running though," his partner at the station commented. Then smirked, "Seems to be the only thing running on that bucket."

"I wonder who they fought?" the Commander murmured before toggling a switch, "Ship in distress. Guide them in."

The vessel's engines began to cut out and with a grinding crunch, the warship drifted to a stop against the docking clamps of the base. Being an asteroid, the docking mechanisms were required to be omni-fitting for most classes of starships. They were equipped to handle anything from Smarts to an old YT freighter.

The Commander of the Port Entry greeted the standard security when he arrived at the portal. "Major, you got here in record time. I was up in Command when this bird game in."

The security leader grinned, "We were checking the arrival of a small time peddler."

The Commander frowned, "Contra-band?"

The security man shook his head, "More like trying to skimp on his port duties."

The Commander grimaced. The duty taxes coming and going from Vahaba were unpopular but, as always, when Smarts asked, the leaders crumbled. Not that he could find fault since the Cooperative was financing a push into Reaver Space.

The docking clamp gears whirled back opening the docking door. The Commander frowned at the closed door of the ship. "Get some techs in here to link a power coupling to the mechanism and get this door open!"

He watched as the security used the handle of his blaster to bang against the metal craft but there was no answer.

The Commander stood aside as two groups of techs carried over the massive coupling cables to attach to the warship connected to the dock. After listening to several members swear to themselves, torches were lit up and the covers over the coupling connections were removed and the cables attached.

"Come on baby, we got you tied to mother's milk now.." murmured a techy, clapping his hands together in satisfaction.

They heard gears beginning to spin on the inside of the ship's hull before they noticed the slight rumbling moving up and down the asteroid.


"What's going on?!" shouted someone as the station began to vibrate.

"They are starting their power plants! No! No! NO!" came a shout from a maintenance tech, clearly aghast that someone would do something like that.

"Can we unbuckle?" the Commander shouted over the hum as the lights began to dim.

"They tied their power plant into our own power systems. Our systems are not designed for us to be a dry-dock facility!"

The rattling began to die down as the power consumption of the warship began to subside."

That thing is pulling most of our juice and if we simply unbuckle it, we'll cause a chain reaction that could cause our own generators to overload. Could take out half the asteriod with it and propel the other half against the half million rocks floating about!"

"Who the hell are these guys?"

The gears finally caught and slid the massive airlock door open. A man in a Confederation Admiral's uniform stood in front flanked side to side and rear by what the Commander could only assume were Shock Troopers.

Their weapons were leveled forcing the Commander to put his hand out halting any action his Security people might have been contemplating.

"I am Commander Varis of the Rock," he started when the Confederation man raised his hand.

"Tut, tut, Commander Varis. No need to be nervous. We had to be sure," with a snap of his fingers, the Shock Troopers disappeared back into the warship.

Commander Varis motioned to his Security who instantly raised their weapons. "Be sure of what?" He glanced at the rank pins on the uniform and added, "Admiral?"

The Confederation Officer studied the Commander for a moment before pointing out the obvious, "We could have simply shot all of you and dumped your bodies into space. If you shoot me, this ship will fire point blank at your precious Rock blowing it to bits. I do not have the time or inclination to be your wet-nurse at present but we need your people and we need them now."

"Be sure of what?" the Commander insisted and the Confederation Officer's brow wrinkled in clear irritation.

"That the Reavers had not arrived before us."

"Reavers?!" the Commander squawked out as if biting down on a rancid bean. "There are no..."
"They are on the move, Commander and the more time we spend yammering about them coming, the sooner they will be here. Again, I need your people and I need them now!"

Still trying to wrap his mind around the Reaver approach, Commander Varis motioned for his Security to lower their weapons. They had actually already done so, their resolve wavering a the mere mention of the impending threat.

"We need to warn the Coalition," the Commander started but the Confederation Officer waved the comment away.

"How do you propose to do that, Commander?"

"What are you talking about?" Varis snapped back, his mind racing. "We've got a full Holone---" his voice trailed off.

"Precisely," the Confederation Admiral replied.

"What do you need my people for?" Varis asked.

"Let's walk and talk, Commander. Time is precious.." and the Confederation Officer began walking into the asteriod intent on some unknown destination.

"I don't just need your people. I need all of the people," the Confederation Officer replied.

Rhaz will have a field day with this! Varis thought.

"For what?" the Commander asked again struggling to keep up with the Confederation officer's pace.

The man stopped and Varis nearly ran into him. The Officer turned to the Commander and frowned, "This is the heart of the Worker's Party, is it not?"

"Well.. yes," admitted Varis.

The Confederation Officer's features brightened. "Brilliant! I need the people to work, of course!"

Of course, the Commander rolled his eyes.

Jensaarai Gen 3 and Gen 4 completed before project is retired

Jensaarai History and Philosophy project started by Jensaarai Jax

One Month Ago...

"Let me get this straight? The Jensaarai take part of their philosophy from Sith, they believe Sith propaganda about the Jedi for a generation or two and yet they consider themselves the pinnacle of everything the Jedi should be?"

Jensaarai Jax smiled at the other. "It is but one fundamental that I am researching. It may be that the holocron teacher was simply performing it's, shall we say marketing program. Every agency has them.. 'Join me, we're the best!'"

The man laughed at that. "Now, that I can believe."

The laughter dwindled and the man folded his arms, "Tell me, Jax. What are you doing here? Why do you come here?"

The Jensaarai grinned, "I wanted to be the first to tell you that the Project has been canceled."

If the other man was as jubilant as Jax, he certainly did not show it. Instead, he merely inquired, "How many generations did they go through?"

"Only four," Jax replied, a little put off at the lack of joy.

The man saw it and smirked, "Do not fear boy, I am happy you accomplished that much. But you do realize that the government only needed four generations to do a proper analysis of progeny effects, yes?"

"To do what?"

The man sighed, "You realize that the differences between generations is merely the serum formula? Therefore, all four generations are really Gen 1's since they are all serum to subject. So, the question has to be asked, what would the effects be if the Gen-1 subjects of the Genetic Renovation Program have children? Will the potential be passed or will the serum need to be applied over and over?"

Jax was horrified, "They wouldn't!"

The man grinned, "Ahh.. those were the days. When the Doctor gave me room, a large bed and many females. All I had to do was impregnate them."

"You raped them?" Jax as aghast.

"No, no. I impregnated them. They were willing. Remember, the Genetic Renovation Program was all about choice. You yourself was offered the potential and chose to accept."

The man's eyes momentarily darkened, "Except for me. I was given no choice."

It was hard for Jax to sympathize with the man's lament at the moment. Too much of the arrogance, the presumptuousness he had had his fill of with the recent visits.

"Tell me, is the real you like this?"

The man shrugged, "We were the same up until a few years ago. After that, his experiences either added or subtracted from his personality just as my experiences either added or subtracted to mine."

"Subtracted," Jax teased. "Living in a resort and getting to have sex with whoever you want.."

"Not," the man corrected, "With whoever I want but with whomever would want me."

At Jax's confusion the man clarified, "Some people get weird about having sex with a clone."

"The point was, it was an experiment and I was a lab rat. They brought in the women and we had sex. My opinion of the women was irrelevant."

"Oh.." Jax replied. Then he shook his head of the images in his mind, "So the government needed four generations to test this?"

"Very nice, Jax. You are thinking. No, Gen-1's could have sex with each other or with non-force users. But, if you like the results, you would need at least four generations to maintain a viable population."

"So my efforts to push the government into discontinuing the project merely coincided with their figuring out they did not need it anymore?"

"Don't beat yourself up about it, Jax. Your heart was in the right place," the man commented.

"But why you? Why create you? Not for sex at any rate if the Gen-1's, 2's and so on could do it themselves."

The man smiled grimly. "The Gen's were put out into the field rather quickly. If something became of their coupling, it was not at the behest of any experiment or study. It was an incident that required attending too. I am the caged one. But as to your question of my creation? Because, young Jax. The serum was made for those who wanted it and so it was first offered to the social rejects, nobodies and CSIS officers of our citizenry. After a while, the question would come up, why offer this gift to just the anybodies of our society and not our royalty? Our leadership?"


"And Confederation leaders are very pragmatic. It's how they get to be leaders, you see? They are not fools. They do not just accept another's report on something. They needed to see that the serum would work with them."

"So they made you.."

"They cloned me into being and injected me with the serum."

"Did it take?" Jax asked, interested despite himself.

"I don't know. Is the 'real' me a mighty force user in your Jensaarai ranks?"

Jax frowned, "No. He's not a force-anything! I mean, he's a biggety somebody in the government but I don't see him wielding sabers."

The man frowned, "Palpatine never wielded a saber and he was a bigshot in the government. My question to you is, as a Jensaarai to be looked up to as someone who will not make the same mistake as the Jedi, how do you look for a force user that does not use the force until it is too late?"

"I imagine the Doctor's are keeping you here because it didn't take and so the 'real' you as you put it decided against taking the serum," Jax suggested, avoiding the question entirely.

The man held up a finger. "You may have a point. However, it may be that the government does not want two of me running around."

"What are you talking about?"

"What do you mean, what am I talking about? The real me is one of the greatest tactical minds of our century!"

"Then we would have two..."

"Come, now, Jensaarai! Think! Look at the human side of things. Could you live with an exact replica of you? Could you live knowing that there was another you doing things, in your name or his name behind your back, not knowing really if their intent was the same as yours?"

Jax frowned, "Well, when you put it that way.."

"And so here I stay. Created for a purpose that has since become obsolete and now caged like an animal. I often wonder why you simply do not put a blaster shot through my brain."

"Because we are not inhuman." Jax responded.

"But keeping me locked up in here is?"

"It is for your protection as much as ours."

"Ahh... Your admission that Jensaarai do not answer to the CSIS or Confederation Government because your charge is the betterment of the galaxy...except where I am concerned."

Jax narrowed his eyes, "I follow what the Force teaches. And, right now, I am being told that to release you would bring the galaxy more harm than good."

"No, Jax. To keep me here would bring more harm than good. But you do not look at the individual equation. You keep your eyes on the big, galactic picture. And that is why you will fail just as magnificiently as the Jedi. Because in keeping your eye on that big picture, you ignore the individuals that make that picture possible."

Jax nodded, "There is some truth in what you say. I cannot answer for the government's mistakes. They are going to make them. But I can do what I can to alleviate them."

"So your visits to me are to salve the conscience of the government? Of the real me?"

"I do not think the 'real you' knows you exist. But no, I am here to salve your temper. I do not like this situation any better than you do but I will do what I can to make it as bearable as possible."

The man growled, "Easy enough for you to say out there while I am in here." Then his eye softened, "Though to be fair, you are sincere, Jensaarai."

"I feel a certain... connection with you." Jax admitted.

"I will leave here, Jax. One day, I will leave."

"You'd need an army," the Jensaarai replied with sudden cheerfulness.

"You forget that I am one of the greatest tacticians of our century."

"How can I with you reminding me every so often?" Jax retorted beginning to stand up.

"Before you leave, Jax, answer me this. You say I am here because the serum did not take?"

"I say you are here because the government feels you need to be here. Given the circumstances of your creation, I suspect the serum did not take."

"And you trust the government?"

"You said so yourself, could they allow for a clone of one of the most decorated officers in the fleet run around? Now, if you will excuse me.."

"You are not asking the right questions to the government, Jax."

The Jensaarai sighed, "The government realizes that it is accountable.."

"Realizing it and acknowledging it are two different things."

Jax exhaled loudly, "Tell me, what questions should I be asking?"

"You understand the circumstances surrounding my creation. The need to be sure if the serum would take before actually injecting it into a ..'real' person?"

"Without condoning it, yes."

"Relax, Jax. I am not out to trap you." The man held up a finger, "If they did not know how the serum would take to the real me, how did they know it would take with Adrian?"

"How what?" Jax did not see that question coming.

The man stepped as close as he could safely, staring Jax in the eye, "The question is, was Adrian Ravenna the beginning of an experiment or the end of one?"

Jax chuckled, "You cannot put that much of an unknown quantity into the CSIS or military. They were sure the serum would take. Of course, this is all presuming that Adrian was a candidate. His abilities may have been natural."

The man grinned, "It does not matter who was the prototype. The question is: how did they know it would take?"

Jax coughed on the last chuckle and a thought struck him, How indeed?.


The man watched the Jensaarai leave and a thought entered his mind.

I thought he'd never leave!

I like him. His sincerity appeals to me.

He evidently likes you too. Cannot stand that you have sex with women. Perhaps he is jealous.

Perhaps. Who knows what other dreadful side-effects this serum has.

If you come onto me, I will gut you.

The man laughed.

I mean it! the thought insisted.

Keep your mind on task. This new inquiry by Jensaarai Jax will scare the government and they will reassign him while they create an acceptable cover story. In any event, they will keep him too busy for him to keep his regular visits to me.

This Jensaarai has an ability to pierce through lies..

Which is why I have never lied to him. Now, where are we?

The ship will be completed next week.

Then inform the others that we will make our move then. We have everything in place. We just needed the ship.

What do you want to call it?

The escape?

The ship.


The man grinned.

Call it the Estralla

What is funny?

The Estralla was the name of the hotel where my son was conceived.


The man rolled his eyes at the voice's petulance.

Oh, and Korah? Be sure to have the ship coated with the exact polymer I wanted.


Why am I out here? Jax complained to himself. He had been reassigned to look for survivors of Reaver attacks and it was thought that the area was a battleground for an Imperial fleet.

They had found several escape pods but as he floated out towards one (since they were not going to bring it aboard until they were sure), he took a look through a window, shining his portable light into the interior. The sight that met him was bloody, vicious and lost.

The Reaver virus' affect on flesh was known and those affected were called Zombies. But that was sort of incorrect as holnet zombie nerds (they called themselves 'purists') argued that the infected could not qualify since they were still...technically alive. Sure they fed on flesh but since they were not the 'living dead', technically (one nerd was really adamant), the infected could not be considered true zombies.

Besides Jax coming to the conclusions that teenagers had entirely too much time on their hands, he considered that the creature he was starting at might not be the 'living dead' but it was part of the 'dead living'. For how could an existence like this be considered living?

All the pods were rejected and as soon as they entered their ship and went through a decontamination process, the ship opened fire on the escape pods vaporizing the inhabitant inside.

There were some that thought the infected should be somehow contained for that time as to when a cure was found to 'bring them back'. But those against the idea argued that perhaps they would not want to be brought back. How does one who did the things the Reavers did live a normal life in society again? They would shunned socially as much as a cannibal or child molester. Can a rehabilitated child molester go back to a normal life?

Everything about this job was depressing. There were so few survivors. Those that the Reavers ignored after battles simply found themselves floating about. Some would make planet-fall. Some drifted in space and eventually starved or suffocated. Others just ended their own lives by breaching the pod seal.

"Jensaarai, we have something..."

The ship's sensors picked up a rather large chunk of metal floating in an elliptical orbit.

"That used to be a ship?" someone asked from behind.

The appearance of what was once a ship did not shock Jax. No, what sent him into shock was that he felt waves of agony coming from the place.

"Someone is aboard and they are in great pain!" he whispered.

It took them a few hours to cut through into an opening while sealing the breach behind them. It would not do to have the inhabitant vented into space by their efforts to get to them.

The ship had literally been melted and as they made their way through narrow corridors and came up to a lump of flesh that cried out with each movement.

It was a person to be sure. But one whose arm and leg had been so badly burned it was a wonder they were alive.

"Sith spawn! It's a woman!"

Medical Frigate Lavarian

"She said her name was Captain Malice of the Imperial Navy," the agent posing as a nurse stated.

"Don't recognize the name," her Handler commented.

"Her fleet was responding to a battle but when they arrived, it was over. They were going through the wreckage when some sort of discoloration and spores were seen clinging to their ships. Apparently, as they worked, several ships were being infected and taken and soon they were fighting their own. Her flagship also had the spores and so she drove it as close to a nearby primary as she could."

The Handler choked, "She flew into a sun?"

"Gutsy but it worked. If you want to call having half your body burned a working success."

"So, when are we turning her over to the Imperials?"

If the agent was stunned by her handler's attitude, she did not show it. "We're not. Jensaarai Jax has taken over her care and it appears that she is Abhean."

"That is just great!" the Handler remarked. "I should just request the CSIS put her down."

"The Jensaarai might have something to say about that."

"Adrian Revanna takes orders like everyone else from those above their pay-grade. He's CSIS which means he will follow orders, Jensaarai or no."

"Shall we issue our people to shoot Imperial survivors on sight?" the agent replied and her Handler scowled.

"Thank you for your report, agent."

When she left, the Handler saw Jensaarai Jax leave the patient's room. He stood up and walked over calling to Jax.

"Yes?" Jax replied, rather tired.

"I need to ask you a few questions regarding an escapee."

The Jensaarai blinke, "A what?"

"A clone escapee," the Handler clarified and Jax's eyes widened in realization.

"Oh," then he smiled, "Well, he said he was going to do it. Now, he did it."

"Why didn't you inform the proper authorities?" demanded the Handler drawing Jax back into a serious mode.

"I did. I inform them after all my visits since he makes that same statement of escaping at every visit."That took the wind out of the Handler's sails.

"We would like your help in apprehending him.." the Handler started but Jax shook his head.

"He must be still on the world somewhere. You don't need my help. He favors a rather famous person anyway so as soon as he surfaces, nab him."

The Handler reddened with embarrassment. "He is no longer on world. He stole a rather highly advanced and powerful prototype."

Jax frowned, "By himself?"

He did not think it was possible for the Handler to redden further but the man did. "He had a crew."

The Jensaarai folded his arms, "The he recruited from his cell?"

The Handler knew he would have to come clean and exhaled sharply. "You were assigned this duty because of the questions you were asking regarding the Genetic Renovation Program."

"The canceled Genetic Renovation Program," corrected Jax.

"Be that as it may, several aspects of the program remained active, such as that aspect that contained the clone. That aspect of the program also provided for the care for others. Those deemed unsuitable and rejected prior to the Jensaarai prototype."

Jax frowned in anger at the man for disturbing his peace. "Just how many are we talking about here?"

The Handler handed Jax a report and the Jensaarai's fingers cracked the display, his anger mounting.

Apparently, I only scratched the surface of this damned program!

So, a clone of one, if not the, most brilliant tactical minds in the galaxy running around with an army and all of them rejects of the GR Program!

They are going to send a fleet after him!
Posts: 4195
  • Posted On: Jun 12 2010 4:05pm
Reaver Space

“They are blocking all channels!” screamed the Comm Officer as he threw off the equipment especially designed for his ears.

Regrad, ever the example of calm, motioned a claw to the young crewman and simply interjected, “Next time, just switch off the channel.”

The Comm Officer had the decency to look chagrined under the reproof and put his equipment back on after switching the comms off.

The warship shook as Reaver elements fired broadside after broadside into the Coalition battlegroup and the Prime Minister could see that this was different.

The fleet he had gathered had found success in his circumnavigation of the border surrounding Reaver Space. They would, every so often, exit hyperspace. Some ships would activate their holonet systems, taking the time to update Coalition Command and get updates from home. Reaver Duty, as this was now being called, was a thankless task and Regrad was glad he had taken the time to be a part of the expedition. The men, women and gentle-beings that served needed to see that Coalition leaders were willing to share the same hardships as they. Especially when they were sent out into the deep reaches of space to wage war against yet another enemy that was right out of children’s horror stories. In any event, the holonet usage would invariably attract whatever Reavers were in the area and the fleet would tear them to bits. The problem with this rather straight forward strategy was that it played havoc with materials and personnel. The fleet had to continue on to the next location, attract yet more Reavers and do the same thing again. If they returned to port with their injuries and damage, the Reavers would recoup their losses at an incredible rate and whatever machines and personnel were lost would be in vain. No, the forces had to take what damage they had incurred and continue on, attract the Reavers again, pound them and keep pounding them until either the Reavers or Regrad’s Fleet was destroyed.

Well, hopefully not until that point.

Starships are not necessarily designed for relentless conflicts with no end in sight and so the damage had taken its toll even as they seemed to be on the last leg of their journey.

While they had not exactly destroyed all Reavers, they had fired the borders hoping to ensure the Reaver borders remained static and somewhat secure.

Until now.

Regrad’s force had been exultant during their last stop to hear of the Cooperative Fleet plunging deep into Reaver territory, though, truth be told, it was the Reavers who had taken a chunk out of the Cooperative and they were merely responding to that invasion. But the reinforcement of Maridun and the Cooperative enthusiasm at having beat back the Reavers gave them all hope that the tide of this scourge was changing.

And not a moment too soon with the ‘Declaration’ from this Artanis having been sent from the former capital of the Empire.

They had begun the last leg of this journey with renewed hope in the face of a new galactic war on the horizon but this…

He stared out at the holographic representations of the battle outside and saw that this was definitely something different..

His fleet had emerged from Hyperspace at the prearranged coordinates and had activated their holonet systems as they had in the past. When there was no response (no Reavers charging) they repositioned themselves to jump to the next pre-arranged coordinates. The jump itself, however, became a nightmare.

The Reavers had appropriated quite a few interdictors. But unlike most fleets with interdictors, the Reavers did not try to trap Regrad’s entire force. No, the interdiction fields were small and so Regrad’s warship, along with only a handful of others, were caught. He had entertained the hope that the rest of the fleet had gone on ahead but as soon as he ordered the holosystems up and running, he soon found that the rest of his fleet had also been caught in various areas across the quadrant and he instantly saw the strategy of these zombie makers.

The weak interdiction fields were meant to only trap a few starships making them easy pickings for the Reaver groups lying in wait by their interdictors. His fleet was scattered all over the quadrant along the same vector. The distance between his ships made it impossible for line of sight laser comms to be effective which justified the Prime Minister’s decision to activate the holosystems. And now the Reavers were transmitting something that resembled a banshee scream.

Human literature is full of appropriate terms for a variety of situations… his mind absently thought even as the other was discarding ideas.

“They’ve got us,” someone else commented rather calmly, too calmly for Regrad’s piece of mind.

The flagship shuddered under a variety of turbolaser onslaughts, his own gunners working furiously to keep the approaching plague ships at bay.

“Ships broadcasting in holonet have never survived Reaver Space.”

He did not know how that bit of conversation with a trader earlier in his mission popped into his head but he was glad it did. He knew he had to act and now.

“Send the Scramble Code!” he ordered firmly and the holonet of the flagship delivered the short, simple order that put an end to their mission.

The Reaver tactic had worked and his fleet had to survive to warn others.

The fleet had devised the Scambler Code at the onset since they were not sure what they would be expecting in their fight around the Reaver border. Since holonet was compromised, it was determined that the Code be simple and short. The holonet system would deliver it instantly and then shut down. Any holosystem in Regrad’s fleet receiving the Code would also instantly shut down as their captains put the order in motion. Once transmitted or received, each ship knew that they had to break off and head to a preprogrammed destination. Those preprogrammed destinations were supposedly designed and ready (hopefully) to handle any ship that turned up infected. Some procedures would call for the complete destruction of the ship (if necessary). Regrad knew that would play badly with civilians since they had not yet experienced what those worlds within Reaver Space had. There were even some people that just did not believe. Thankfully, the military understood the necessity and the soldiers who came face to face with the Reavers accepted the possibility of having to die to protect those back home.

Hopefully the numbers would be few as the holosystem disconnected and shutdown. There would be no way for the Prime Minister or the ships in his group to know who in the fleet was able to escape without the holosystem unless they were close enough for a sensor readings at the speed of light. But he did not have to know for the Scrambler Code required captains to look after their own.

“Jump!” he ordered as several weapons overheated allowing a window for small Reaver ships to penetrate the firing and aim themselves towards the ship’s shields.

Regrad would not give them the chance to test their mettle against the ship’s shield generators as the flagship accelerated away.

“We will be hard pressed to make it back to the Coalition, Prime Minister,” the engineer reported and Regrad clicked his claws on the arm of his chair, both minds working in tandem for a solution.

As it turned out, he arrived at one.

“When we next drop out, change our heading to for the Commonwealth. We are damaged and will require assistance.”

“Will they actively repair and rearm a Coalition warship?” his Executive Officer asked.

The Prime Minister shrugged. “We shall see. But it is time they came down from the fence.”
Posts: 4195
  • Posted On: Jun 12 2010 4:07pm
Vahaba Asteroids

Commander Veris, William Rhaz and Security Head Gozo sat at a table while the Confederation Admiral paced.

"You're stealing our ore," Rhaz stated flatly. It was not a question.

"And conscripting your men. And taking your fighters and whatever else can be of use to stop these damned Reavers. Believe me when I tell you, your men and your fighters will be returned to you once this inital threat is over. But we need to reconnoiter this system quickly and repair the strongest warship we have at our disposal, namely, mine."

"We have already sent a signal to Coalition Command informing them of Inferno Fleet's presence and of the expected Reaver advance."

The Confederation Admiral nodded, "I expected you would. Unfortunately, the signal will not reach your command for another week, if that."

"So what can you tell us about the Reavers, Admiral?" Rhaz asked, realizing that this Admiral believed a situation was brewing. He decided he could be part of the solution or part of the problem, having an inclination of how military men viewed things. It was the same with Admiral Blakely.

"They are the devil's own spawn!" snapped the Admiral and then he subsided. "I was at the head of a Confederation fleet when the Reavers attacked. At first, we held our own but it quickly became known that we were not going to win the battle."

"Were you outnumbered? We took a look at your hull coming in and it was fired from all sides. It is a wonder you escaped." Commander Varis added.

"How did you escape?" the Security Head asked.

The Confederation Admiral's eyes blazed. "We were able to escape at the sacrifice of a great many Contegorians."

The three denizens of the Rock fell silent. Rhaz finally muttered an apology.

Commander Varis, to his credit, had his eye on different things. "We've heard about the Reavers. I don't understand what makes them so effective. The push at Maridun to reinforce that world seems to have gone out with out so much as a blurb. I think Smarts has figured out how to beat them."

The Confederation Admiral smiled grimly. "Gentlement, I do not know about this Smarts or what it seems to know or not know. I've read the latest the Confederation had on these Reavers and what I know is this: Reavers seem to win easily when their prey is most confident of their strength. Therefore, it makes sense for us to operate with a healthy sense of fear."

William Rhaz nodded at this, "Respect what you fight or it will kill you."

"Exactly! The Reavers attack in two ways: One, they fight conventionally meaning as you or I would. With ships, missiles, turbolasers... the capabilities of the craft they inhabit they can use. Two, they fight their way. The biological infection that strikes at flesh and metal and a mechanical virus that eats through hulls.

"With such a deadly combination, what good can we do against them?" Varis complained.

"Gentlemen, there are scientists over multiple borders that are fighting about the nature of the Reavers. Just what they are is still a mystery but what everyone seems to be accepting now is the fact that these Reavers may mimic the pattern of insects."

"Insects? Like a Hive?"

"Well, I do not know if they are of a Hive mind or have various Hives, but the analogy of the insect remains. When they encroach upon an area, they set up their own patterns of behavior but eventually they simply become part of the area. It is when others interrupt their pattern (whether by another insect or human) that a different type of behavior takes over. We get bit or in, extreme cases, killed."

"So how does that help us?"

The Confederation Admiral sighed, "When people encroach upon an area, we change that area to suit us. Humans...well, most species, do not adapt to suit the area they invade, they make the area suit them. And when Reavers appear, what do we do but try our damndest to blow them from the stars. It is inevitable that they adapt."

"Again, what does this tell us?"

"It means you will have to send another message." the Admiral stated.

"What do you mean? Saying what?"

"To tell your Coalition to ignore you. Not to come, not to send ships, not to do anything that will disturb you."

"What?" Rhaz stood up indignantly.

"Listen to me!" the Admiral pounded his fist into the table, "I've seen the damned Confederation reports! Every goddamn time any government gets the idea that it would be better to face off one of two things happen: The Reavers win and get stronger. The Reavers lose, adapt and get stronger. Now, it is being broadcasted that the Reavers were just handed a serious defeat at Maridun, maybe Garos?
So, the Reavers just lost big. They will adapt! They will move! And their next targets may just curse the Coalition to their graves!"

He held their gaze now. "I plan to reinforce what we can in here. I plan on hiding here and making sure there is nothing! Nothing, no signal, no ship, nothing to trace back to us here. The Reavers come and we test my theory. If they fight, we will defend you with our lives. If they move on, we are onto something and we pass it on to Coalition Command."

"Sort of a non-interference policy?"

The Admiral nodded. "When you are the weaker, you don't want the attention of the strongest."

William Rhaz nodded at the strategy. It seemed sound enough but he still had suspicions. "Tell me Admiral, you want to command this facility? Is that what you are asking for?"

The Confederation Admiral shook his head, "No. I am commanding the Estralla. I just need all of the people here to impliment the strategy. However, command or leadership of those people I leave to you and yours. In fact, my people will need to fall under your command structure in order to supervise the work."

"Well, as a civilian leader, I do not have the authority to command your soldiers, Sir. Even with your permission."

The Admiral smiled, "I know. However, you do have a small administration office here. If my people and I are granted citizenship, then you can lead us, correct?"

William Rhaz's eyes widened. "It is irregular but, yes, you are essentially correct."

"These are irregular times."

The leader of the Rock nodded at that. "Well, welcome to the Coalition Admiral...?"

"Lucerne. Corise Lucerne," the Admiral supplied helpfully.

"Hey!" Varis exclaimed, "I heard of you. You used to be a Coalition Citizen!"

Admiral Corise Lucerne shrugged and ginned, "I guess second time's a charm?"


The Security Head turned to the Commander and whispered, "Corise Lucerne?"

Commander Varis chuckled, "The Fox, himself. Or Slime Devil, depending on who you talk too. Contegorian Confederation's most decorated officer. Probably one of the most brilliant tactician of our time. We are damned lucky he stumbled onto us..”

"Oh," the Security Head replied, staring at the Confederation man speaking into his comlink.


Three days later the Reavers arrived...
Posts: 4195
  • Posted On: Jun 12 2010 4:39pm

“Prime Minister Regrad to see you, Sir.”

“Thank you, Clair.” The Executor of the Commonwealth replied. Seth Vinda turned from the office window towards the entering Azguard, the most powerful politician in the Coalition. At least, if you believed the holofeeds.

“Welcome, Mr. Prime Minister. To what do I owe the pleasure?” he asked, motioning to a seat specifically designed to comfortably accommodate a person of Azguardian build and frame. An aide had already prepared refreshments and Mr. Vinda took it upon himself to offer a glass to the Prime Minister.

Regrad, for his part, nodded in greeting and sat down. As the Commonwealth politician handed the glass to Regrad, a thought formed that the human had performed a diplomatic no-no in that with serving Regrad a drink, he placed himself in the inferior, subservient position. Of course, since Vinda was playing the part of host, it would make sense for the man to make his guests comfortable, even those guests that show up unexpectedly as he had done. His reptilian eyes glanced into those of Mr. Vinda, and he knew his intelligence reports were accurate.

Seth Vinda was definitely no inferior!

“I was under the impression you were with your Reaver-Hunting Fleet,” the Commonwealth man brought up by way of small talk.

“Given the Reaver propensity for attacking holonet sending/receiving technology, we felt advance warning of my coming would unnecessarily put Commonwealth citizens in danger. Especially with the Reavers on the move.” The Prime Minister did not exactly comment on Mr. Vinda’s observation but the Executor had already forgotten that in favor of the latter part of the statement.

“What do you mean, on the move?” he asked darkly, in spite of himself.

Just because the Reavers had not yet been attracted by the hard-light technology and communications of the Commonwealth did not mean they would not attack if they followed a holo-only ship into their space. Recent reports from Commonwealth Customs Commission showed that the organization had their hands full (and then some) with scheduled imports entering their space.

And that was only ‘scheduled imports’. Who knew where smugglers or even random, small-time merchants put their ‘at risk’ factor? Whatever that figure was, Vinda knew it was higher than they were comfortable with.

“They have tactics and their typical predictable nature is being turned upside down. The Cooperative seems to have a foothold into their territory but gaining it was relatively easy. We believe that they have pretty much scoured the old Borderlands of those ships they can find. Having been sated by members of the Coalition, Confederation, Imperial..”

“And Commonwealth..” Vinda added with disgust. The loss of their Expeditionary Force felt like a personal blow and slight to the former CEO.

The Prime Minister gave an almost human shrug, “Be that as it may, their numbers must have grown at an incredible rate and with everything consumed…”

“They are looking for more feeding grounds,” Vinda finished.

“There has been no major push in any direction like what happened with the swarming of the former Borderland Protectorate. But there are increasing reports of Reaver infestations sectors away from the Borderlands and our own recent experience with them also leads me to agree with those conclusions.”

“I take it your military or other members do not agree?”

Regrad sighed, “If it were only that easy. It’s the people. The Coalition Navy is not as cohesive as I might like. Our ships are identical but they are the property of the planets they are meant to protect. When I go and ask for ships to engage an enemy, I only get the ships of those member worlds who agree. The Cooperative is the same way and has hit the same problems but hopefully their Guardian Project will help alleviate member world concerns. In the meantime, people are scared and worlds may be pulling their ships back in hopes to ensure the protection of their worlds.”

“That can be a problem,” Executor Vinda replied and one brain in Regrad flared up at the almost patronizing tone.

“Most reports showed these creatures as simple-minded zombies but there is some sort of mind behind their actions,” the Azguard insisted.

“What makes you think so..?” Seth asked and Regrad shifted one of his lidless eyes towards the Commonwealth Executor.

“Zombies do not fly starships.”

Vinda grunted at that. It was a point. How would a zombie know how to make the calculations necessary to make jumps to light-speed? Or did they just jump at random?

“You are, of course, welcome on Etti-IV,” Vinda replied sitting down himself, opening a cigarra case. After the Prime Minister refused, he took his time lighting up allowing the Azguard time to taste the refreshment.

The mixture in the Prime Minister’s glass was thick and sweet. “Ahh, that tastes delightfully like a drink from my home world.” he sighed giving a hiss of contentment.

Vinda was no expert on Azguard physique but it seemed to him that the reptilian politician was tired. Perhaps it was just his extra-sensory perception at work here?

After a few moments of both enjoying their refreshments, Regrad his beverage and Vinda his cigarra, the Prime Minister came to the point, “Mr. Vinda, I have always wanted to ask…” he paused, “And I hope you will not be offended..”

Curious, Vinda gestured for the Prime Minister to continue.

“The Coalition has always stood for the light. We have given speeches to this effect. We have railed against the excesses and abuses of the Empire just as the Rebel Alliance of old and we still support that Alliance, now! We have engaged the Empire in battle after battle, to our detriment. We have been painted consistently as the bad guys. We have engaged the Empire and lost our Onyxian Commonwealth. In fact, there is rebellion inside the Cooperative worlds from the Onyxians which is creating all sorts of headaches. The Confederation was once a part of us and has gone its separate way. It feels like I have been pushing a Star Destroyer up the tallest mountainside on a high gravity world!”

Seth Vinda knew what was coming, “And your question?” he gently prodded.

“WHY?” the Prime Minister hissed in frustration.

Vinda was startled for there was no direction to the question. “I am sure I do not know your motivations..”

“Not why me? I know why I have done the things I have done and said the things I have said. My question is, Why you? Why have you done the things you have done and said the things you have said?”

Before the Executor could reply, the Prime Minister shook his head. “No, that’s not right. The question is not why. The question is, ‘Why haven’t you?’

Why haven’t you stood up to the evils of this galaxy?

Why haven’t you stood for the light?

Why haven’t you … why haven’t you helped?”

“You seem to be a good, kind and generous person… Is there something more…?” the Azguard’s voice trailed off and it was Vinda’s turn to experience a sharp anger at the question. He felt like standing up and striking the reptile out of his chair and to his senses.

Of course he is a good person!

Of course he is a kind person!

Of course he is generous!

How could this leader not know that I…

Seth Vinda’s thoughts trailed off and his anger suddenly lost its motivation. Of course there was no way for anyone like Prime Minister Regrad to know what kind of person Seth Vinda was especially since the former CEO had a habit of keeping his private matters private.

The reason Regrad and (for all he knew) others grew frustrated with Vinda and perhaps the Commonwealth was because of their middle, centrist stance on most things. The others would not know what the Commonwealth was doing because they were not a part of it.

And that…that was the fundamental shift in Commonwealth ideology and what seemed to set them apart from others. They did not seem to concern themselves with the goings on of other sovereign nations.

He signaled for more refreshments and as the aide came and went he used the time to collect his thoughts. He stood turned his back staring out the long glass window behind his desk and took several long thoughtful drags from his cigarra, finishing it. Once Regrad had his glass refilled Seth Vinda turned to the Prime Minister.

“I will answer your question, Prime Minister. I will answer it because you need to know what kind of person I am and what I… what we, the Commonwealth, have done. I will answer it because it will soon affect you and it may require some hard choices of your own.”

You are going to join the Empire! Regrad thought in panic as he studied the steady, determined eyes of the other. Simon Kaine came and wooed you like a hormonal teenage human female! The man has been gone a couple of years and still he --…

“Let me ask you a question, Prime Minister,” Vinda started, interrupting the reptile’s mental tirade.

“What does the term: Of the people, by the people, for the people mean?”

Regrad happily licked the thick drink with his tongue, content to discuss the interworkings of his own ideology, “It means that people pick their own leaders. It is the basis of democracy.”

Seth Vinda smiled at the answer, for it was a typical answer. “You are correct with the first part, not so much with the second part."

Regrad bared his teeth in disagreement, “What do you mean? Democracies are by the people..”

The Commonwealth Executor held up a finger, “Remember, the Galactic Empire was voted and cheered for by the people and before we go into the Empire not being for the people, I’ll have you know I’ve seen some empires care for their people better than some democracies. Therefore, the term can be used in connection with all sorts of governments presuming they are actually Of, By and For their people.”

Regrad did not believe for a second that the leaders of the Empire were for anyone else but themselves but he could not deny that the politicians of the Old Republic did vote for the reorganization. Heady off the triumph of the Clone Wars, or perhaps just plain drunk off victory itself after years of defeats, they still voted and cheered for their own demise.

Vinda nodded as if understanding the thoughts going through the Coalition Prime Minister. “There is a saying that states that ‘people have the governments they deserve’.”

“I do not follow,” Regrad admitted.

“Prime Minister, who voted you into office?” the Executor asked gently.

“The people of the Galactic Coalition,” Regrad answered grandly, feeling his scaly crest rise in pride.

“So how do you serve the people of the Galactic Coalition by meddling in the affairs of other nations? How do you serve the people of the Galactic Coalition by denouncing and condemning the nations that are their neighbors stirring up those winds of war?”

The Azguard reared back as if shocked. “But the Empire is evil,” he declared.

“But the people of the Empire did not vote you into office to liberate them,” Vinda interjected quietly.

Regrad opened his mouth to retort but found that he could not refute the statement for it was a fact. Coalition voting booths did not extend beyond Coalition boundaries after all.

“Prime Minister, freedom is not a commodity that one can simply hand to another. Freedom is a right that has to be earned. Your people used their earned freedom to vote you into office. They voted for you to look after their interests, not the interests of people residing inside the Empire, the Dragon Imperium or other dictatorship.

You asked me why I did not war on the Empire? Why I did not shout condemnations at another sovereign nation for their own internal governing actions? Because the people of the Commonwealth did not vote me into office to look after the interests of people outside the Commonwealth, they voted me to look after their interests. The Commonwealth Government is made up of people inside the Commowealth. It was created by the people of the Commonwealth when they voted and this government rightly acts in a manner that is for the people of the Commonwealth. I cannot wrap liberty and freedom into a basket and hand it to citizens of other governments.

And that is a fallacy that I believe has hurt and is hurting the cause of the Light. Because every faction of the lightside seems to be of the belief that it is their Force-given right to impose freedom and liberty onto the citizens of other nations.”

“It is their right!” Regrad insisted though he started to feel a pain in his stomach.

“At any cost?” demanded Vinda.

“At any…” the Prime Minister stopped.

“There is an organization called the Alliance to Restore the Republic out there somewhere,” Vinda began and Regrad nodded empathically, “Yes! The Rebellion..”

“The Rebellion? What are they rebelling from? No,… I am talking about this Alliance to Restore the Republic. They are not a part of the Empire or a part of any empire or government that we can see so how can they be really rebelling from anything. To rebel, you have to be a part of something. The only thing they are a part of, that we can see, is this self-made alliance and they are not rebelling against themselves are they? In any event, I digress. I believe this organization does control the populations of what? Four worlds? Five?”

“Something like that,” Regrad admitted noncommittally.

“If they are an alliance to restore the Republic and they have been operating for all these years, then, the question I and others have asked is: Why haven’t they?”

“What do you mean?”

“What I mean is, what are these people waiting for? There is no set minimum requirement of planets needed to form a republic. Every year these planets refuse to make a government for their people, they do the populations on the planets under their sway a great disservice. Instead they send out their warships to attack planets of other sovereign nations just because they do not like the governing techniques of those planets. This, by definition, makes them no better than pirates and those who support these activities should know better.”

“They have a right to protect themselves..”

“From what, Regrad?! What? No one is hunting them. They are not defending themselves! The Empire couldn’t care less about them so why are they attacking?! In recent years, I have come to know Luke, Leia and, through my daughter, the Jedi and I can say that one teaching they profess to, and if anyone is to be a judge of what is for the Lightside and what isn’t, it is the Jedi! They profess that the Force is used for defense, never attack. So you have a loose alliance of planets providing the support of a fleet of warships whose sole function is to attack nations who do not measure up to their standards in defense of a philosophy that they themselves do not follow. It is a significant point, you know.”

Regrad shifted closer as if to whisper to the Commowealth man, “Vinda, they sent their Inferno warships to the Bothans after their world was razed by the Empire.”

Seth leaned in towards the Azguard, “Regrad, the Bothans do not need warships or weapons. Not anymore at least. They need food and medical supplies. The Commonwealth has sent two of their hospital ships into the area. But that is beside the point. You do not strike a person getting him good and angry and then slap a weapon into their hands. That is not only stupid, Regrad, it is callous. If this alliance to restore the republic had actually formed a republic they may have been in a much better position to give aid to the Bothans and actually help heal them rather than just slap weapons in their hands using them in their hurt state to fuel an ideological agenda that they themselves are not following!”

Regrad leaned back, “That is rather harsh..”

“This is galactic politics, Prime Minister. If you are going to promote yourselves as better than everyone else, then it behooves you to actually be better than everyone else. A difference that makes no difference is no difference. If you employ the same tactics as your enemies, then you are no better than your enemies no matter what you call yourselves and no matter what you claim your ideological belief is. It is definitely not an easy road to be sure. The easy thing is to simply level those you don’t approve of with bombs, turbolasers and superweapons but you would only be replacing one empire with another.

But you know this.”

“But the Alliance is supported by some Jedi,” Regrad appealed.

“I know, Regrad. I know. But consider this: The Jedi are only normal people with extraordinary powers and they have been wrong before. The ends do not justify the means.”

Regrad started to nod and then shook his head, “Wait… Wait! You destroyed the Corporate Sector Authority because of a feud you had with their leader? We have intelligence operatives too so please do not place all your contempt on us. We do get some things right..”

Vinda stood up, grinning. “That you do, that you do, Prime Minister. And I will admit, as CEO I did not care for the goings-on of galactic governments. Vinda Corporation was my baby and I protected her like she was family and the employees were my family. The Corporate Sector Authority’s destruction was not about making the galaxy a better place and any thought of the Republic was the thing of fairy-tales.”

The Prime Minister, interested in the man that for so long remained an enigma, leaned forward and asked, “What was it that changed you?”

“I was a guarded man, you see. Given to trust only those within the Corporation. But looking at things from a difference perspective does change the way one looks at the galaxy. Vinda Corp was responsible for the livelihood of the world of Bonadan but the actual running of the world as separate from the Corporation never occurred to me. I never counted on getting entangled with the Capricians.”

“They are a people I do not know..” admitted Regrad.

“Like me, they were insular. Paranoid and stubborn about everything and I suppose that kindred spirit appealed to me. Honest to a fault and they honored their word so I guess they did appeal to me for those are the qualities I try to display in myself. As I helped save their world from an invasion by the Yuuzhan Vong, I got to see more of the interaction between a people and their government leaders. When I heard of my Corporation’s fight with the CSA, I realized that those people on my worlds should have had the same sort of leadership. I learned I had a daughter that I desperately wanted to get to know and when you’ve stared death in the face you being to realize that life is more important than commodities. You begin to realize that what good is accumulating things if you never are able to enjoy them or share in the enjoying of them? In any endeavor I work at, I work at giving it my best. And, in forming a government like the Commonwealth, I hope at the end of my days that something is left behind that not only I enjoy but those to whom this government is for also enjoy it. How does one build it? You take the model of the best government in history, namely the Old Republic, and you work to improve upon it.”

“The Republic,” Regrad started slowly, “was built upon principles. But are they principles that you hold dear as well? It’s hard to know where you stand when you’ve not said or commented much on what has been going on.”

“Prime Minister, I believe that the Sith represent a grave threat to others. Their very belief system is warped and perverted. However, I also believe that illicit drugs such as spice can be as grave a threat for when a life is destroyed, what does it matter the manner in which it is destroyed, whether by extreme drug addiction or Sith lore?

However, I also believe in a person’s right to choose.

The people of the Commonwealth chose me as one of their leaders and I try to do so to the best of my ability. The Commonwealth has fought when it needed too but it’s existence is not out of any need to rehabilitate the galaxy. It is in existence to ensure the peace and security and protect the rights and freedoms of the people within its borders. Every innovation and technological advancement is towards that end.

While you have been making grand speeches on the holonet, I’ve been behind the scenes building upon our founding principles, working to make the Commonwealth people and the Commonwealth government stronger.”

As Regrad continued in his silence, Vinda felt a little frustrated. “Regrad, people under the age of 40 or 50 do not remember the Old Republic except as the talk of old men. Hell, even those who are 40 or 50 don’t remember it all that well since things were pretty bad right before its reorganization into the Empire. All people have are your speeches, the talk of the Jedi and the wonder in the previous generation mind’s eye regarding the good old days and what else? The back and forth of propaganda over the holonet?”

The Prime Minister drew his gaze from this drink and Seth reached out and put a hand on the other’s shoulder. “Regrad, to where and to whom do you think a person can look and say, ‘Look! THAT is the Republic!’”

The Coalition Prime Minister let out a long hissing sigh. “You serve your people well. And I appreciate your repairing of our ships. The galaxy has left you alone for quite a long time but I fear that it is a situation that cannot last.”

“Spoken like a true believer in the Force,” Vinda commented as he walked back to the window to gaze out at the Commonwealth capital. “Nothing stays the same forever and I am content to believe we have used our time well.”

He turned back to the Azguard, “We are happy to help, Prime Minister. And in the near future, we are going to do more..”

There was something in the verbal foreshadowing that drew the Azguard out as he stared at the back of Seth Vinda. The Prime Minister stood and, placing his glass on a nearby stand, he walked over to the window. “You sound ominous.”

“It will be ominous to some people. But we have been preparing to move forward for quite a while and now, with most of the pieces in place, it might as well be now; especially, in light of this declaration by the Cree’Ar.”

“You are going to fight?” For some reason the Azguard felt a tingling under his scaly skin.

A chime sounded before Vinda could reply and a voice intruded, “I am sorry to interrupt, Mr. Vinda but Executor Darksword is here.”

Seth Vinda did not even get a chance to respond when the officer doors were pushed open and the Dark Lord of the Sith walked through. The Prime Minister for his part had taken a defensive stance readying his claws. If Lupercus wanted to attack then he would exact his pound of flesh from the back of the Sith before going his way to meet the gods!

“What is this!” Lupercus demanded throwing a data pad at the desk of Mr. Vinda. The former CEO did not flinch but narrowed his eyes at the intrusion.

“As you can see I am in a meeting,” he started out saying just to annoy the Sith and it worked for Lupercus smirked at the man seeing his calm demeanor as a front.

“It’s just been canceled. If you think my people are going to stand by and…” Darksword threatened referring to the Hapans.

“They are my people as well and I will do everything in my power to see that the legacy of your brother is upheld. And if you think I give a damn about your opinions, then Mr. Lupercus Darksword, you have been deceiving yourself. But I understand that is a common Sith trait.”

“You little man. Your fine clothes cut just as easy to a lightsaber.” The Sith let his robe drop open and his head stood at the ready.

“Is a fellow Executor threatening me? That is cause for post removal.” Seth stated to Regrad almost conversationally.

Lupercus stretched out his hand but Seth Vinda remained where he stood when, at least in Lupercus’ mind, the man should have been thrown violently backward out the window onto the pavement many floors below.

He could feel the power flow through him so there was no Ysalamir present but it was as if some invisible force was absorbing the push leaving Vinda free to move about unfettered.

“It is not wise to upset a Dark Lord..” Lupercus warned.

“Ahnk is dangerous. You, sir, are simply annoying. If you do not like what is on the data pad, then as Executor, you may vote as your conscience, such as it is, dictates.”
Posts: 4195
  • Posted On: Jun 12 2010 4:41pm

"DIE!" Lupercus shouted moving forward at a speed that surprised the Prime Minister. The Dark Lord had already closed the distance his saber raised with a speed that defied sight. The saber came swiftly down and ended up striking another surprising the Dark Lord. So surprised was he in fact that the newcomer was able to Force Push the Dark Lord back against the far wall.

"You are under arrest, Lupercus Darksword, for the attempted murder of Seth Vinda," the newcomer stated calmly pointing his lightsaber at the Sith’s head. Hate radiated through the hedonist’s eyes, his lips curling into a snarl but there was not mistaking that the man in front of him was capable of stopping the Sith.


"Try it," Luke Skywalker ordered, his saber never wavering.

Lupercus’ hand moved away from his saber as the doors to Vinda’s office opened allowing in a security force that grabbed the Sith Master by both arms and helped him up under Skywalker’s watchful eye.

"Take his saber.." the Grandmaster Jedi ordered..


VSD Ravager

Admiral Danetta Pitta Jr. frowned at the security code that beeped in front of him at the Security Station Pitt. He knew the meaning the code flashing before him but he had never seen it in all the years of service to Lupercus Darksword. It has recently been updated to conform to their new situation but the general message was the same.

“Lord Lupercus is in trouble,” he murmured. He had been surprised at Darksword’s audacity to show up and take his brother’s place and position within the Commonwealth government. The fact that it had worked so far lessened his fears and they had opened their stores to receiving the supplies their Lord had prepared for them.

“The fleet consumable replenishment is nowhere near completion.,” answered his Second but the Admiral realized that was merely a Commonwealth strategy. While Darksword was able to arrange for the replenishment, he had the nagging feeling these Commonwealthers were dragging their feet. It had been the better part of the month and they still were not nearly as full as they should have been. He, however, had not made waves since Darksword was playing at being and Executor of the Commonwealth and he still had not figured to what end.

His, however, was not to question his lord. His was to obey and the code was the code.

“Admiral, a message from the Commonwealth government requests your presence on the surface. It seems Lord Darksword has been arrested for the attempted murder of Executor Seth Vinda.” The Admiral did not flinch outwardly but he felt a groan wanting to escape his lips. If the former Governor of Corellia had tried to remove Mr. Vinda from the galaxy of the living, then surely he had a good reason for it.

Still, the fact that Mr. Vinda could arrest a Dark Lord of the Sith was, in and of itself, impressive.

“Order the fleet to raise shields and power weapons.”

“Shall we order fighter pickets?”

Admiral Pitta shook his head. “We will not need them yet. The Commonwealth Fleet is patrolling the system so we will have perhaps fifteen minutes before…” the Admiral stopped.

“Shall we initiate local jamming?”

Pitta shook his head, “They use a different style of communications network and we do not have the time to waste figuring it out in order to jam local transmissions. The CW Fleet will see our aggressive stance and hear from their Command soon enough. No, we need to focus on this code.”

“Sir? Planetary shields have been activated and civilian traffic is being warned away. System Defenses are coming online and initiating targeting procedures.”

“Our penetration ability?” the Admiral calmly ordered.

“The shields will be fully powered in the next five minutes and our weaponry will be fully deflected in four.”

After a moment he ordered the system to relay his response,” To Commonwealth Government, I will prepare my shuttle for travel to the planet below. However, not knowing the situation on the planet, I am sure you will forgive us if we maintain our defensive posture.”

“They may order us to lower our shields and weapons,” his Second whispered. It was one thing to have the element of surprise as they did with Relephon. Here, they were caught flat-footed but their weaponry was still such that it would be a deterrent.

If the planetary shields were able to strengthen in the four minutes, though, no shot fired from his fleet would be able to meet the surface of the world. Though to fire on the world would imperil his Lord, especially if he fired blindly.

He could reduce the orbiting facilities to slag and destroy much of the in-system fleet if needed. That would, however, reduce his own fleet and without the Corellian Protectorate supporting them, any losses they incurred would be difficult to replace.

“Prepare the shuttle,” he ordered.


“Why would they go to a defensive posture so quickly? Before we initiated ours?” Vinda asked with concern. The Prime Minister hissed in amusement wondering how long it would be until fire began to rain down.

“You are dealing with a Sith Lord, Executor. It seems the easiest explanation is that Lupercus Darksword had some way to get a warning off to his people.”

“We do not deal with many darksiders though we are learning quickly,” Vinda growled in response.

“Where was Luke Skywalker hiding? Was he in the office?” the Prime Minister asked as he ran the recent events over in his mind.

“The wonders of hardlight technology, Prime Minister. The walls of my office are actually farther back than they appear. What you see is a hardlight projection that brings the walls closer allowing a person or persons to remain unnoticed but privy to whatever takes place in my office. Mr. Skywalker simply had to hide his force presence and the eyes did the rest.” Vinda snorted, “I should have had an entire Marine contingent backing Luke up.”

“You have the Jedi Grandmaster weigh in on all your meetings?” Regrad asked.

Seth smirked, “Only since Lupercus Darksword came into the Commonwealth.”
Regrad turned his head to Vinda, “Somehow, I gather that you knew Lupercus was not only on world but you purposefully sent something to him that would, how do you say? Piss him off?”

Vinda’s smile was enigmatic. “As I said, we are learning quickly to deal with darksiders.”

Regrad had heard from various news outlets upon arriving of the Jedi Master Leia Organa Korban’s twins being attacked and he wondered if two force users were parents, what would that make the children?

Powerful force potential there. No wonder the Sith are interested.

There were so few force users known who have had two parents with force talents and he stretched his mind to recall even one instance.

“Open the shield to allow the Admiral’s shuttle,” came the order and the Prime Minister was surprised that the battle-hardened Admiral Pitta had capitulated so easily. His position was relatively precarious but one, in this situation, was not always able to depend on Imperial level-headedness.

“Shield has closed and is now fully operational,” the report was relayed and Vinda breathed a sigh of relief. “The time between activation and fully charged always makes my heart beat a little faster. We are now relatively safe from any bombardment.”

Regrad hissed his disapproval. “You may disparage my reasons for going to war with the Empire, Executor Vinda, but please do not discount the fact that we did go to war. Our wealth of experience in fighting the Imperials, even to our defeat, is nothing to sneer at and I assure you, in my experience, one is never relatively safe where they are concerned.”

Vinda pulled out another cigarra and lit it. “Be that as it may, Prime Minister, perhaps we should go back…”

And that was when the Imperial Shuttle suddenly exploded in midflight.


“The shield is down, Admiral!”

Pitta grinned a feral grin silently congratulating the engineer who had set the timer.

“Ravager fire ventral guns until we move out of range and launch missiles. Prepare the fleet for departure!”

The Venerator Star Destroyer’s missiles descended in clusters as the city defensive batteries began to answer their intrusion. The defending fire was sporadic, though and explosions began to scatter rocking the previous calm within the city.


Luke Skywalker had felt a sharp rise from agitation to fear but before he could dwell, Lupercus Darksword had snapped his bonds and had delivered a vicious back-kick.

An explosion knocked out the plexiglass window and Lupercus smiled grimly.

Good man, Pitta!

Knowing he did not have time to retrieve his saber, the Dark Lord dove out the window landing onto a walkway several stories below.

He kept moving feeling the force presence of the Grandmaster behind him knowing that if he paused even for a second to glance back or get his bearings, Skywalker would be on top of him.

He noticed the powerful planetary batteries charging, knowing their aim was at his flagship.

Tuborlaser light danced from the heavens disrupting the charging cycle of one weapon but it was not enough. Two more fired from somewhere in the distance back up at his fleet.

Lupercus raged at the conflict being fought without him as he raced to find a…

A vehicle!

With an extraordinary leap, he put more distance between himself and Skywalker. And burst into the space lane reserved for shuttles. He has spotted one incoming and as his eyes quickly scanned the small hanger they fell upon a person disembarking from a newly arrived craft.

“Stop!” came Luke’s voice from behind but Lupercus had already moved toward the shuttle, bounding up it’s landing ramp and slapping a control panel behind him to raise the ramp.

“What’s going on here?!” came a voice from the cockpit but a strike from Lupercus crushed his windpipe. His fingers were dancing across the start up cycle of the shuttle. His hand went to his boot and he activated his comlink.

“Pitta! Get me some cover fire, now! I am coming up in a shuttle!”

He moved back into the pilot’s chair just in time for Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber to pierce air instead of skin. The Jedi was standing atop the cockpit glass and had punctured it with his lightsaber.

Lupercus almost laughed in surprise. Who knew that the former moisture farmer had it in him?

His hand slammed down on the controls releasing the gravlift thrusters. Luke Skywalker rolled off the cockpit glass as the stop of the shuttle slammed into the ceiling of the smaller hanger. The thrusters of the shuttle roared the life and the craft shot out of the hanger just as a cluster of missiles struck overhead.

“Pitta! There’s damage to the cockpit! I won’t be able to escape the atmosphere! Pitta!”

If the Admiral was responding, Lupercus could not hear over the blowing wind from the hole Luke Skywalker had carved into his cockpit window.


Admiral Pitta frowned at the transmission. In a galaxy where spaceflight was as common as tying one’s shoe, it was difficult to remember there were a few things that could hinder such travel. A compromised cockpit was one of them.

“Order the Ganges and Porion to intercept,” he ordered.

“Sir, without support, they’ll be cut to ribbons!”

“You’re relieved! OPS, carry out my orders now!”

Two Victory Class Star Destroyers had broken from the exit vector formation that Pitta was maintaining and descended into the atmosphere, their hanger bays ready to receive the fleeing shuttle from the surface.

Several more shots from the planetary batteries massive guns struck the Ganges while Lupercus’ shuttle managed to get aboard the Porion.

Both VSD’s tried to climb as the defending fire became focused on the Porion and the rest of Pitta’s fleet.

“Enemy ships entering range now!” and Pitta’s eyes turned to see the once empty space on their flank fill up with the patrolling Commonwealth Fleet.

“Jump! All ships jump!” he ordered and the harassed Imperials disappeared.

The Ganges was not able to achieve the appropriate vector and the Captain was not willing to die just to save Darksword’s skin. Therefore, he signaled a surrender while damage control measures were enacted.


Admiral Wilkar walked into the Command Station and Prime Minister Regrad got his first measure of the man that was rumored to be a hard drinking and hard speaking.

“The bastards slipped our net!” he barked out and Seth Vinda motioned him over to the holoprojection, if it could be called that, showing the representation of the Etti System.

“Not all of them, look,” his finger pointed to the surrendered VSD.

“A Vicstar,” Wilkar murmured in disgust.

“You may not have been able to get everyone but you got enough. I am sure we will be reaping a much larger reward in the near future.”

Wilkar made a large sniffing noise and informed them, “I am sending recons out to find out if they are truly gone or not. They were able to get away quickly because they maintained formation in an escape vector. It pulled them out of our gravity well and it put us out of range of their turbolasers.”

“So that’s why the bastards were using only missiles at the end!” snapped Mr. Vinda. “An EMP from the exploding shuttle to take out our shield generator from the inside. A rather ingenious move..” the Executor mused.

Regrad nodded, “They may have the devil’s own heart but they are not stupid.’

Luke Skywalker came into the room fussing over a tear in his garment.

“Are you hurt?” Vinda inquired and Luke smirked, “Just my pride.”

“Well, you would have gotten him if he had stayed and fought,” Vinda responded reassuringly.

“I am almost happy he chose to flee instead of fight. To take down a Dark Lord in the middle of the city would have put far more citizens in danger and the fleet above could have decided to stay and make a fight of it.”

The Prime Minister agreed, “They would have laid waste to this entire planet just out of spite and put an end to your plans.”

Vinda puffed out an amused circle of smoke. “It’ll take more than the deaths of our fearless Admiral Wilkar, myself and Luke Skywalker to stop the Commonwealth people from doing what they mean to do. We are a stubborn bunch like that.”

“So you are going to get off your bums and fight?” Regrad asked wanting confirmation of what has been building up in his mind.

Seth Vinda turned to the Azguard, raising an eyebrow, “We are going to do more than that, Prime Minister. We are going to do more than that.”

“The shackles of failure have ridden the lightside for so long that no one seems to want to reach higher content to fight the evil we see so clearly in others but fail to fight the evil inside each and every one of us.

That every step we take and then go no further is just one more mark on evil’s wall of triumph.

Each time we go no further, we get wrapped up in our own little concerns, propagandists take little slices of skin and lose sight of that hope the galaxy is burning for.

Each time we go no further, we content our selves with attacking the worlds and shipping of those we consider evil and give nothing back in return allowing evil to refill the vacuum!

Each time we go no further, we begin to believe that the hope we yearn for will never come.

As a result, we turn to desperation and, in the end, that desperation turns us into the thing we hate most.

All that changes tomorrow.”

The Prime Minister looked from Luke Skywalker to a grinning Seth Vinda in bewilderment, “What are you talking about?”

“Perhaps this will help,” Luke handed Regrad the tablet Lupercus had thrown at Vinda’s desk.

The Coalition Prime Minister felt comforted that SethVinda and these Commonwealthers wanted to finally do their share. He could read the excitement in their eyes, remembering the excitement in his own irises when he went to war against the evils of the Empire.

“I can only hope that, in some small way, my example helped. The Confederation is working for a common goal I am sure we can all agree will be mutually supportive of our various roles. In fact, I welcome the day when…”

If Seth Vinda is going to start making grand speeches, then I am damn well going to do so too!

“The Confederation, yes,” Vinda interrupted, “We are sending a sizeable chunk of credits their way tomorrow,” Vinda replied. Seeing Regrad’s open mouth remaining open, he added, “And to the Coalition as well. Also, a sizable force is being sent to Bandomeer for the defense of that world against the Reavers.”

“But why?” the Prime Minister asked in shock. “What do you want?”

Seth turned to Luke, “Do I have a sinister face? No one ever seems to believe my humanitarian efforts.”

“Well, you are rumored to eat babies,” the Jedi offered and Vinda waved him away.

Turning to the Prime Minister, “Why, Regrad? Because we can.”

Regrad’s mind began to see the possibilities of rearming the Coalition, returning to Mon Calamari, and scouring the galaxy of these Reavers!

And the Cree’Ar?

The coming conflict will be a war on two fronts.

Yes, he would welcome them into the Coalition of Brothers for the coming conflict.

Yes, he would….

His eyes gazed down at the datapad and his grip tightened as they digested the meaning. The claws on his fingers dug into the datapad construction as the words were fused into his mind.

“You can’t be serious..” he whispered, looking up to gaze at the man with his unblinking eye.

Seth Vinda’s grin became shark-like and he met that gaze levelly, “Deadly."

This will change everything!
Posts: 4195
  • Posted On: Jun 12 2010 9:37pm

Lupercus wondered what it was about this world that always drew his attention. For the longest time, it was home to that annoying little Jedi cult, the Observer Order and he had taken great relish in the group's destruction.

Orchestrating the move to satisfy a whim was not usually the preferred method of choosing a strategy but Moff Bhindi Drayson had backed his play and had shared in the glory.

But during that time the Commonwealth had shown up interfering with the Empire's (or, rather, his) plans for the Observers and those that supported them (namely, everyone residing in or around the system).

It did not matter that some of the inhabitants to call the world home were not affiliated with the Jedi Observer Order or not for, in his mind, if they did not actively support the Order's destruction then they were condoning it's existence. There were those who still paid some allegiance to the old New Alliance. It was said Joren Logan's wife was buried on the world though why anyone would care for that bit of trivia was lost on the Dark Lord.

And so, using his unique connection with the newest member of the Commonwealth, Hapes, he sought to obtain the necessary access into the reasons for the Commonwealth sticking their nose in matters that did not concern them.

And, in those classified documents he had reviewed, he saw the extent of the Commonwealth interference in the fact that those remnants of the Order and New Alliance residents had escaped into the welcoming hands of the Commonwealth.

It was a situation that burned within him a hatred for all things Commowealth and all things Vinda. He had not known the former business mogul but he could honestly say that he officially hated the man.

If not for Luke Skywalker, he would have run the Executor through with his saber.

"My Lord?" intruded the voice of Admiral Pitta.

"Yes, Pitta?" the Dark Lord replied almost absently.

"We have arrived. However..." the Admiral stopped and Lupercus looked up in annoyance.

"However?" he prodded.

"We have far fewer ships arrive than what we left with. After scans, we have determined several had exited hyperspace prematurely. While the ships we found on scan is a fraction of those that are lost, I feel that what is happening is the same for all, even with those ships outside our scanning range."

"What has happened?"

"The consumables provided to us by the Commonwealth were contaminated. We have found the residue of an insect to be lacing our entire stock of stores. Many men are sick and some are getting sicker."

"Lethal?" Lupercus asked and at the Admiral's answering shake of his head, the Sith found himself strangely disappointed.

"No, Lord Darksword, the effects are not lethal. They have, however, caused critical stations to go down with the Med Bay filling up and our fleet is operating with less ships and those ships are with far less active crew."

"Monitor the situation, Admiral Pitta and give me regular updates." The Dark Lord hated the fact that if he had remained on Etti-IV, the bastard Seth Vinda might have arranged for his entire fleet to come down with this strange illness. Yes, there was much the Commonwealth Executor had to answer for.

Perhaps, he would turn Seth Vinda's daughter over to the darkside?

Perhaps, he would simply use her and discard her like the Nightsisters?

In any event, for now, what he was looking for was on Almania. He had the fleet begin to interdict the approaches will he investigated the surface.

What he felt surprised him.

An old force presence of Recon Klain, frozen in some sort of temporal field. It was of a act the old Sith Master had cast on the Jedi Tyscio Korban during the former's turning of Iriana to the darkside. He vaguely remembered the tale from Klain when the old coot told the story of Iriana's turning, of the interference by this Caprician boy.

He had discovered in the Commonwealth archives that the boy had been in some sort of stasis and had just woken up. If Klain had been less focused on adding yet another confused bitch to the Sith numbers and more on potential evident in the boy's appearance, it might have been the Sith who held sway over this part of the galaxy and not this irritating Commonwealth.

"I will get my revenge, Vinda. Those you love will suffer before your eyes... right before I blind you!"
Posts: 9
  • Posted On: Aug 18 2010 8:29am
All it takes for evil to triumph is for a good man to do nothing in its face.

Standing against evil. Even if in vain. Even if so standing results in pain, or death. Simply standing against it is a victory in and of itself.

Evil must be opposed.

When evil can be tolerated, it can be consolidated; it can be enhanced, strengthened, and emboldened by the perceived indifference of those around. And if that indifference persists, it can become untenable.

Evil will always win when it is unopposed.

When it is opposed by one, slowly, it becomes opposed by all. One convert begins the process. And even in his death he lives on in the resolve by those remaining to fight the injustice by which he found his end.

Sometimes, the choice to fight evil requires that one sacrifice everything they’ve ever known. Their family. Their love. Their home. Their very life itself must be denied in order to do what they know is right.

It is never an easy choice to stand against evil.

But it is always the right choice.

“Greetings, fellow gentlebeings of the galaxy. By now, you have heard the declaration of Artanis Daz’Da’Mar. It likely shocked you. Perhaps, frightened you. I understand your feeling, for I too was stunned at the arrival of the Cree’Ar to this galaxy.

My name is Issk. I am formerly a soldier in The Galactic Coalition. I never resigned my commission officially, although this may be considered a formal resignation if so desired. I am not speaking on their behalf, as I no longer pledge my allegiance to them.

In order to tell you what I am about to tell you, I need to begin at the beginning. I was a soldier. One of thousands of soldiers from hundreds of worlds. I came from Azguard; it was my home. My family and my loved ones were from there, and my friends were all members of the Coalition. I was told I was fighting for freedom. I never questioned that, because I was always too busy fighting.

One day, I was assigned to a world called Kiyar. You may have heard of it, or you may not have. I will present you with the brass tacks version. Some time ago, a man named Kilam Black made a broadcast asking for help from the galaxy at large. The world of Kiyar, his homeworld, had come under siege. The governments of the galaxies united, saving Kiyar from certain doom, and establishing a coalition to oversee the planet.

But somewhere, this coalition failed. Cree’Ar forces had received the transmission when it first was broadcast, but some years later became ready to offer assistance. On their investigations, we found a world starving, and on the brink of collapse. As a member of the coalition on the world myself, I do defend our efforts; our shortfalls in aid I can only blame on the decisions of my superiors to pursue foreign wars in place of domestic assistance.

Regardless of our actions, however, the Cree’Ar came to believe that our coalition was enslaving the people by the conditions in which they lived. As a society that values freedom, they found this unacceptable. They attacked.

They were perhaps wrong to attack; hindsight affords them the opportunity to decide now, but at the time, they felt it was the only chance the people of Kiyar had to be free.

And so they attacked. And we… myself, my men, and the Coalition forces standing guard on the world, fought them. We fought them into the bitter hours of the morning. Until the medpacks had all been spent. Until the canteens all lay dry and discarded. We fought them to the death. Ours, and theirs. We fought them.

But they won.

They had superior technology and superior numbers. The order came to surrender, and so some of us were taken prisoner. But the leader of the Cree’Ar… at the time, a different Cree’Ar, named Kal Shora… wanted to keep on relatively diplomatic terms, even despite an undiplomatic first encounter. He negotiated the evacuation of the civilian population, the treatment of the wounded, and the turnover of prisoners of war.

Some chose to stay. Some people had made this their home for their entire lives. They could not well leave now. But the Coalition, for the most part, left. A few doctors stayed behind. A few of the diplomats, who had become engrained in the society itself. And one single soldier.

I stayed.”

Everything is different when it is presented as base mathematics.

There is much less left to interpretation and imagination. Instead, every object, every aspect, every angle of every thing, all were broken down to the numbers and figures of the spatial coordinates, density, volume, and temporal resonance that which composed them. The mysteries of the universe became simple background information delivered in endless, unintelligible streams. If one stopped to listen, the snow became a snowflake; the stream became a drop, and the information became understandable. But as it was delivered, one learned to stop seeing the trees and focus simply on the forest.

It took practice.

But there wasn’t much else to do. Since the end of hostilities on Kiyar, Issk had watched from a distance as the rebuilding was undertaken. He wasn’t allowed in public; officially, as far as the Coalition was informed, Issk had been a casualty. Kal Shora explained that his reliance on the Nexus for the energy that now sustained his body would be considered torture, and that if Issk were to rejoin them than he would both die and create a complex diplomatic situation through which the Coalition would likely be obligated to avenge his death. So he stayed in the shadows, lest any of the Coalition members there recognize him. After a certain point, Kal Shora explained, Coalition policy and resources would shift away from this sector, and all remaining agents would be withdrawn. Then, it would no longer matter.

The first day Issk had wandered from the holding cell, he found an Azguard man being beaten. He demanded that Kal Shora stop it and, to his surprise, Kal Shora did so immediately. The man was released into medical care, and after his wounds were healed, he was released into the general population. When Issk asked why Kal Shora let him go, the man answered that Issk would, in time, provide without violence all the information the other man did.

That measure of cost certainty made his interrogation an inefficient energy expenditure.

He had such a cold way of justifying things, did Kal Shora.

He was correct, of course; eventually, Issk told Kal Shora much about his people. Issk was proud of being an Azguard, even though he realized that physiologically, he would never again be one of them.

Conversely, his conversations with Kal Shora revealed much about the Cree’Ar. Kal Shora often spoke derisively of The Church and the Priests of the Cree’Ar, but he was a deeply spiritual man. He spoke of the day he saw the ruins of Ador and the cold feeling he was left with inside. He spoke of how tired he had grown of chasing the Yuuzhan Vong as they fled and how, finally, that search for their last remnants had brought them here.

He spoke of Zeratul, the man he loathed as a spy but respected as a warrior.

He spoke of Artanis, and how his recent arrival had cause political friction within the Cree’Ar. The two had differing theories on command; Artanis was more rooted in the words of law, while Kal Shora was more progressive and adaptable. Judicator Resfidel was proof of that. Kal Shora’s command style was controversial, but he was a hero to his people, and politically impossible to sabotage.

So far. Kal Shora, though, was convinced that Artanis had a plan.

One day, Issk and Zeratul watched a group of tek’a’tara install a device on the surface of Kiyar.

“What is it?” Issk asked. His cybernetic systems were fully capable of analyzing it’s purpose and function from a detailed scan of the components and how they interlocked together, but that could only tell him so much. Zeratul could tell him everything.

“It’s a hypergate,” he stated. “We build them on worlds in which the infrastructure is still being constructed. We bring already fabricated installments from other worlds through the gates in order to expedite construction.”

“Does not the Nexus construct everything we need?” Issk asked. There was a hint of something vaguely like sarcasm in his tone.

Zeratul, for his part, merely nodded. “Almost everything,” he said.

The hypergate then activated, spewing out a hiss of steam into the air as the atmosphere inside the cone of the opening wormhole was nearly instantly vaporized. The shimmering surface of the wormhole itself was a sight to behold, as was what came through.


Dozens of them.

“Priests,” Kal Shora clarified, stepping from behind the pair to witness the arrival of the additional Cree’Ar. “They will bless this world and wish good fortune on its people, and on the Cree’Ar. After that, no harm will come to this world as long as we remain it’s keeper, for it will be protected under the watchful eyes of our gods.”

Issk nodded slowly.

Kal Shora was a complex man.
Posts: 9
  • Posted On: Aug 18 2010 8:33am
“I stayed because I wanted to ensure that Kal Shora kept his word. And he did. He set about restoring the world of Kiyar to the state it was in before the wars began to destroy it. The Cree’Ar have a plant… rez’sha’g’aa’lo, I believe they call it… that feeds on radiation in the soil. It purified the ground which then led to the gradual purification of the groundwater. With the water cycle now clean they removed sediment in treatment plants and provided clean energy with something they call the hyperping generator. The world began to thrive.”

After several months, the Cree’Ar prediction came true. With another war on the horizon and the planet in enemy hands, the remaining Coalition presence evacuated from the planet, leaving the inhabitants to stay under Dominion rule.

One man stayed. He was a doctor, looking after the hospital. When Issk asked, Kal Shora said he was aware the man was staying and had offered to periodically resupply him with the raw materials he needed. That made Issk curious.

“We can tend to the medical needs of these people,” Kal Shora said, “through the Nexus. But, as you are well aware, that is a treatment that comes with a price.”

Issk was indeed well aware of the price. The Cybernetic Nexus replaced the functionality of his brainstem in interpreting, coordinating, and recommunicating the electrical impulses along the network of nerves within his body. The implant, placed at the base of his spine, could only function if it were recharged once every forty eight hours. Thus, if he left the Cree’Ar, and did not return within that timeframe, the implant would shut down, and the ability to control his body would cease to function.

It was quite the tradeoff, though. The implant was far more efficient than the flesh based mechanism that had existed before. He was able to read and react to situations before they even developed. His body moved before his brain would have realized there was a need before. He saw, and understood, everything. The clarity The Nexus gave him was something he could never experience purely as a singular, organic being.

That said, he missed being an Azguard.

“Walk with me, Issk,” Kal Shora said, pointing to the door of the compound. “The Doctor here can no longer communicate anything relating to your presence, so you are now free to move about this world.”

Issk followed the taller being as he strode, his three legs moving seamlessly across the sand. Kal Shora often complained about how dry he found this world; a side effect of the nuclear devastation that it had been exposed to was a cooking off effect of both the surface and the shallow ground water. While the deep ground water was unaffected, it was also deeper than could be practically accessed. As such, the air, and everything else, on this world was very dry.

Kal Shora explained that the Cree’Ar came from a world they called Ariguan now; the word Ariguan originally meaning Sanctuary, it made sense. Ariguan was a departure from many of the Cree’Ar worlds in that the integration of machine and society was more modest; many of the buildings on Ariguan were still crafted from heating the sand from the shores, and the oceans… Kal Shora often spoke at length of the oceans on Ariguan. The red seas beat against the rocks when the sun disappeared around the bend, and Kal Shora often found himself wishing he could be a boy again, swimming out as far as he could manage… sometimes, farther.

Kal Shora pointed to the sky, and Issk gasped when he saw what it was.

A tornado.

“Tornadoes are…” Issk began, trialing off.

“Not this one,” Kal Shora stated. “While it’s true that nuclear detonations often cause convection forces, and that the people here obviously turn and run the other way when they see one, this one is artificial; it is of our design.”

Issk frowned. “Why would you create a tornado?”

Kal Shora opened his palms. “Because everything is everything, Issk,” he stated, cryptically. “You can create any measure of mass from another, equal measure of separate material, but you cannot create something from nothing. The convection is pulling the irradiated dust and debris from the atmosphere down into The Nexus…”

Issk followed the cone down. “And you’re converting the material stored in the air into water,” Issk said. “Creating a lake, with which the Kiyarians can begin to farm again.”

Kal Shora shook his head. “Not exactly,” he said, but didn’t offer clarification beyond moving his wrist mounted communicator closer to the line of his jaw. Issk was still not sure how they spoke; suspecting that the Cree’Ar had some sort of orifice or gland that emitted sound from behind their jaw, for there was none evident on their face. “D’a’dool,” Kal Shora commanded, and then he turned away from the spiral.

Issk did not; his face was frozen in curiosity. From above, lances of dark red fire rained down from the sky, smashing into the water and sending it careening up, and then back down again. Each time, less water flew, and less water remained to be blown apart again. Issk stopped thinking and began calculating, allowing The Nexus to do the math for him. “Atmosphere,” he concluded. His voice did not fully transfer his awe.

“More efficient than making another tornado,” Kal Shora commented of the process they used to return the water to the air. The ship above, a Tholatin Class Star Destroyer, was launching turbolasers down into the water, effectively vaporizing it. In so doing it redeposited the clean water into the atmosphere while The Nexus continued to cycle in the heavier, radioactive materials from the impure air. The cycle would slowly, over the next forty two days if Issk’s calculations were correct, but surely purify not only the air, but as a result of the water cycle, the surface water as well. With the groundwater already undergoing purification…

Issk did the math again. “Within a year, this world will be… entirely habitable. No more fallout. No more radioactive storms. No more tainted water and sick plants. You are remaking this world.”

“No,” Kal Shora said. “Not me,” he clarified, “only our technology. The debt I owe this system does not end with the recreation of habitable surfaces.”

“Debt?” Issk asked.

“When I came to this world, I believed that the people of this galaxy were honest to their word,” he said. “I followed the words of liars and deceivers, and once done, my actions could not be undone. As such, we stand at war with your people. The Azguard… the Coalition in general, but one is one and as is the other. No, I intervened… with good intentions, but with incorrect information… into the sovereign affairs of this galaxy, and as a result, our two peoples are at war.”

Issk nodded. “I see, but I do not understand. How, if not by repairing this world, and fostering better relations with the people of this galaxy, do you repay your debt?”

Kal Shora turned to face the Azguard. “That,” he said, “can only be told to me, by you.”

“But I didn’t leave. I didn’t leave because the longer I stayed, the more I watched the Coalition fighting pointless wars created through their own aggression against enemies new and old. All the while, planets within lost more and more of their wealth to fund these wars to the point where they had no choice but to mortgage themselves to the Vinda Corporation to bail them out. And still, they never stopped fighting.

I didn’t want to be a soldier in pointless wars. To die on foreign soil. I wanted to go home. But that is no longer possible. My actions, today, may cause me to be labeled as a traitor. I have to accept that. Because I see wrong, now, in the universe, and if I do not speak, then that evil will stand unopposed.

And evil must be opposed. In all forms and facets we must fight against injustice and the actions of wicked and the damned. Today, I make a stand.

Not against Azguard. For Azguard. I make a stand for the people I loved. My people. I make a stand for them against what they have been manipulated into becoming.”
Posts: 9
  • Posted On: Aug 18 2010 8:40am
Kal Shora explained why Issk had been created.

Kal Shora could not, himself, speak basic. He found it to be too difficult for his aged tongue to master. Zeratul had picked it up, but was hardly fluent to the point where he could complete complex negotiations.

The Nexus, of course, could speak any language. But, as Kal Shora said, many found speaking to a network of computers to be intimidating or otherwise undesirable. Issk was a medium; he had the knowledge of, and access to, The Nexus, but appeared as a man, and spoke as a man. He would be their diplomat, and the face of their armies, to those worthy of more than just their weapons fire.

But there was an ulterior motive. Kal Shora wanted to understand the Azguard; he had seen them in battle first hand, and respected them as warriors, and as people. And only an Azguard, Kal Shora reasoned, as had been an Azguard in charge of the Coalition relief force at Kiyar, only an Azguard could determine when Kal Shora had repaid the debt he had created by his actions invading this world.

Issk was not happy to have been given this role without his consent… but, Kal Shora seemed honest, and honorable, in his intentions. So as Issk studied Kal Shora, so did Issk study the Cree’Ar.

He watched their operations in this part of the galaxy expand and evolve. One day, he traveled with Kal Shora to Garqi. Issk had not heard of the world; when he confessed as much to Kal Shora, the Cree’Ar admitted the same. He had allowed for the Priests to select worlds with reports of Yuuzhan Vong activity and to dispatch portions of his fleet to those worlds. Garqi, he had found out, had been one of those worlds.

Why Kal Shora had been summoned there was a mystery. Even he himself did not know; only that Zeratul had told him it was important.

When they arrived, Issk and Kal Shora were brought to the surface to witness Zeratul’s discovery. Vejuun greeted them before the skey’g’aar had a chance, and began speaking, as he often did, in tones barely slow enough for Issk to follow.

“As you know, we have been working on a way to use The Nexus Core to create living material from inert material, such as soft soil or rubble, but so far the system is incapable of creating it due to the inability of The Nexus to create the energy pattern we refer to as neuraleptic energy,” the scientist said. “Zeratul helped us conduct some of those experiments, and, well, his mission here may help us further.”

“How so?” Issk asked. He turned to Kal Shora, who seemed contemplative.

“We caught one,” Vejuun told them.

Kal Shora’s eyes lightened. Issk, though, did not know what he meant. “One what?”

Vejuun looked uncertainly at Issk, and then turned to Kal Shora.

The Cree’Ar nodded. “Show us.”

Vejuun walked to the wall and pressed a button. A blast panel lifted, exposing the transparisteel behind. On the other side was a ragged, beaten man. His body was marred with wounds; they appeared, from Issk’s initial estimation, to match the type of wounds left by melee combat with the Yuuzhan Vong.

“A native of the planet?” Issk reasoned, and Vejuun shook his head. “Then who is he?”

“He is a Jedi,” Kal Shora said, voice slightly betraying his excitement. “You captured us a Jedi.”

“As much as I’d like to take the credit,” Vejuun, the diminutive scientist, joked, “it was mostly Zeratul. As you know, he has some talent with the bladed weapons they use, as well as a mastery of some measure of their dark arts.”

Kal Shora waved a hand, dismissively. “He yet bleeds,” the Cree’Ar said, pointing to a wound on his arm.

Vejuun nodded. “He was near death when he encountered our forces. He resisted us and attacked us, killing several tek’a’tara. The bleeding is a necessity; the Yat'a'leg'a'lora, as you know, use organic poisons in their weapons. We have injected him with the appropriate antibodies and are allowing his system to…”

Abruptly, the Jedi vomited; his arms and legs jerking against the chains as his body went through a fit.

Vejuun, looking slightly disgusted, attempted to continue. “We are… allowing his system to purge itself of the toxins.”

“I see,” Kal Shora added. “Is he conscious?”

“Oh yes, he’s quite aware of his surroundings,” Vejuun responded. “He’s quite feisty as well. He killed four tek’a’tara before they could successfully administer the anti-venom.”

Kal Shora’s eyes flashed with his excitement. “Are the systems ready?”

Vejuun checked. “All systems are indeed ready.”

Kal Shora stepped forward, standing tall. Anticipation was palpable from his stance. “Issk… you have asked me, before, how I felt confident that we could oppose the Jedi.”

Issk nodded in recollection. “Yes, I so asked,” the Azguard replied.

Kal Shora turned to him even as he addressed Vejuun. “Release his bonds.”

At the Cree’Ar’s command, the restraints on the man’s arms and legs released. He fell to the ground, dropping to his knees. The door to the room opened, and tek’a’tara began approaching.

When he moved, he moved like lightning. He struck quickly and precisely, dropping the cybernetic creations with ease. He seemed to be suffering no ill effects of the lethal toxins the Yuuzhan Vong had administered to him. He moved as a Jedi had been advertised to move; almost superhuman in the stretching and contorting of his musculature.

Kal Shora did not seem impressed; if he was, he did not show it. Instead, he remained stoic. “Turn the generator on,” he said to Vejuun, who nodded.

With the flip of a switch, the warrior changed. He gave out a loud grunt, as if he had been struck, and doubled over. With another grunt he flayed, falling to the ground and howling in pain. Whatever had happened, it had taken the life out of him. Kal Shora motioned with his head, and then began walking into the room. Issk, somewhat reluctantly, followed.

“You seemed so strong only a short while ago,” Kal Shora said, in Cree’Ar, though he knew from experience that the Jedi would have a translation device already inside his ear. “Now look at you; you can barely stand.”

The man threw a sharp punch, but Kal Shora was faster. He caught the hand and then brought up his own knee, and in a somewhat nauseating crunch, broke the man’s radius bone in half. That brought a fresh grunt and a fresh heave as the man fell.

“The Jedi,” Kal Shora said, somewhat derisively. “Looked upon by so many as so powerful a fighting force. But look at you. We’ve reduced your fight considerably, haven’t we? They tell me you’re a Jedi Knight… Ganner Rhysode, I believe your name was. You’re supposed to be a powerful warrior… so why are you on your knees before me?”

“I bow…” Ganner said, pushing himself up, “for no one!”

He stood level with Kal Shora, defiantly. “I see,” the Cree’Ar answered back, and then physically answered back, spinning his hip to allow one of his massive legs to branch out and curl behind the Jedi’s. The impact created another snap, this one of the human fibula. He fell again, and this time, it seemed unlikely he would rise again. “You are a creature of pride… that is understandable. Heretofore, you have had the power by which you could exercise a position of dominance over others.”

“I won’t,” Ganner added, “give in to your torture.”

“Oh, you need not worry about that,” Kal Shora said. He gestured to the door, and a pair of tek’a’tara arrived. They gave Rhysode water, which he immediately pushed away. Kal Shora knew from what he’d been told that Rhysode’s pride refused to let him eat or drink in front of his captors, but the gesture was made all the same; and when Kal Shora left, the water would still be there. “I am not your enemy, Ganner Rhysode. Not of you. Just of the Jedi. But I would never ask you to turn against them. I know that you are what you are. I will never require you to provide me with information to use against them, or for you to deliberately side against them. If, at any time, you should choose to, then the invitation to do so will be extended, but I am not here to torture you. I’m here to free you.”

“Free me?” Rhysode spat out. “You’ve kept me locked in a room for weeks. That’s hardly freedom.”

Kal Shora nodded. “I admit, you may not yet be physically free, but you aren’t ready for that. You are still a prisoner of your philosophy, and before I can set you physically free, you need to know the truth. You need the answer to the question that has haunted you for decades.”

“What question would that be?” Rhysode asked, voice heavy in sarcasm.

Kal Shora curled his talons under the man’s chin. “You want to know the nature of The Force.”

Rhysode spat, coating the Cree’Ar’s arm with blood. Kal Shora nonchalantly shook it off as he let go of the Jedi before him. “I know more about The Force than you ever will,” he said, pushing himself up as much as his broken leg would allow. “The Force is my ally, and a powerful ally it is.”

Kal Shora cocked his head. “Is that so?” Kal Shora stepped forward, and seized the Jedi by the chin again, this time wrapping his other hand to the back of the man’s skull. “Will The Force stop me from snapping your neck and ending your life?”

“If you kill me,” Ganner began, but Kal Shora stuck him. The ends of his sharp talons left a deep cut in the man’s cheek.

“Mere moments ago, you shook off the effects of a poisonous venom that would kill most men, and effortlessly slaughtered four cybernetic warriors augmented to be more than a match for any human,” Kal Shora recounted, “and now, look at you. Your Force is nowhere now, Jedi. You have a broken leg, and a broken arm, both of which require either surgery, or significant Jedi healing to fix. And now…” Kal Shora said, running the pads of his fingers over the line of blood that marked Ganner Rhysode’s face, “now, Jedi, you can’t even heal a simple cut.”

“Tricks,” Rhysode said. “Ysalamiri can generate…”

“Do you see any of them here, Rhysode?” Kal Shora posed. “All you see around you is metal walls and technology, and that, Rhysode, that is why you fall. Because beyond the rumors and superstitions about what your Force really is, there is evidence, and science, and technology, and that, Rhysode, that is why we are better than you. Because what you take to be power, we realize to be energy. We found out what your Force is. And we found out how to stop it.”

“You can’t stop something so vast,” Rhysode shot back. “That which binds all life together, that which creates…”

“We can, and we have,” Kal Shora said, confidently. “We found the wavelength of energy that makes a Jedi a Jedi, you see. It’s neuraleptic energy. Created by, and required to create, all sentient life. But the Jedi don’t make more of it than anyone else; that was what we assumed. What we discovered, thanks to you, is that you merely… harvest it. The fields created by the life forms beyond you are drawn to you, and used by you, to make yourself more powerful. You aren’t inherently, genetically or otherwise, superior to others. All you do is know how to manipulate an energy field that all lifeforms have access to. Well… now, so can we. And, as you can tell by you being on the floor and me standing over you… we can do it better.”

“You can’t stop me forever,” Rhysode said. “I will overcome…”

“We know,” Kal Shora answered back. “You see, all of this? Felling you? Stopping you from healing? This is the effect of taking away the fields you are used to drawing from. We have devices stationed outside that are capturing and storing the energy fields by which you draw your power. That dark, cold feeling you felt, the one that knocked you down… that was withdrawl, Ganner Rhysode. You are an addict, you see; addicted to the power of The Force. When we remove that power, you feel empty, and weak. And you are.”

Rhysode said nothing. Kal Shora gestured with his head, and the tek’a’tara lifted the Jedi up to his feet, with Rhysode careful to keep his broken leg from contacting anything.

“But we are aware that you will, in time, adapt, and overcome,” Kal Shora said. “The technology we have around can drain the field from the surrounding area, but in time, you will simply accumulate the energy from within, and when we least suspect it, you will use your powers and escape. Fortunately, we developed this.”

Kal Shora reached up. Though Ganner struggled, four tek’a’tara held him fast, and he was unable to resist the cold fingers of the Cree’Ar, who attached a small metallic disk over his temple.

“This device will capture all of the neuraleptic energy that your brain creates,” Kal Shora stated. “We will then empty it and store it as our own. You will… need to get used to the emptiness, Ganner Rhysode. It will be with you for a very long time.”

The Jedi looked up, and Kal Shora thought, for a second, that through the Jedi calm, he could read a flash of hatred in the man’s eyes.

Issk, watching the entire exchange from the doorway, felt somewhat cold about it all.