Darmus watched his display turn green, dataplague deployed. The game was afoot. If he managed to get out of here alive he could settle into his apartment and wait until that one foreign device popped up. "Looks like I got something," he said as he unplugged his datapad from the server and turned to face... KARKING KRIFF
The Zeltron jedi's face was half burned away and she looked worse for wear. No, that was an understatement: She looked like a walking corpse. The sight startled him and he quickly looked away to the cause and not only noticed the large gap in the floor, but also that it was too big for him to cross. The only thing the Zeltron could cross in her condition was over to... well, death, basically. Not wasting time he carefully pocketed his datapad and then just a little bit less careful pulled the Zeltron to her feet. "Lean on me!" he refused to look at her again and instead put his focus on the security door and what lay behind. Hopefully his confidence made her comply.
By the time they reached the top of the stairs, Darmus was significantly less gentle with the Zeltron and he half-dragged and half-carried her out of there as fast as he could. The last time he'd been there no snipers fired on him and this time no one did either, but it was also hard not to see the gunship approaching. As fast as his body could carry both himself and the Zeltron, Darmus dashed away from the ruins hoping that he'd soon reach a perimeter defense set up by first responders that could heal the Zeltron before it was too late. He had not time, energy or breath to inform the Zeltron of any of this.
Helen, upon entering the chamber behind Hannibal, instinctively wanted to raise her blaster at the beings that she found inside, but managed to resist. If anything, anything, could be called an Evil Space Wizard, it would have to be the person standing in the center of the chamber, surrounded by dead-eyed alien monks who had, until quite recently, been chanting ominously.
Helen had long ago stopped counting herself among any of the major spiritual denominations of her home-world, but she doubted there was anything wholesome about the faith practiced here. For the moment, she stayed silent, observing the situation, and trying to clear the oily, oppressive sensation that seemed to cloud everything...
She had never seen such hatred before. Revulsion, fury, even resentment, yes. But staring into those mad, half-blind red eyes, she saw nothing but death, and accepted it. She had the moment the door fell. There was a sort of peace to it, despite the agony of it all. She couldn't feel her leg anymore, and the burns' bites were lessened. This ain't so bad.
The only thing that annoyed her was her shots were aimed at his gullet yet they still flew wide.
Damned Force users and their karkin' shite cheating a---
The thought was interrupted by a sound. A flash.
The body jerking then flying back, spattering into fragments, into nothing. She sat there in slack-jawed silence. Stared at the crispy flesh that began to stink the room. He was just---he was just there. Not a second ago. She could still feel the heat on her vibroknife. And then pain rushed back, with a screaming clarity.
She screeched, unloading her stun weapon into the remains, into the floor, hard shuddering gulps of air wheezing in and out with every shot. "Damn karkin' Force users and their karkin' damn stupid powers! How do you like that, huh?! All those stupid flips and throwin' doors at me, how do you like that huh?!" She gave one last short, desperate laugh at the sheer absurdity of it all. Somehow, she cheated death again. Someone out there had her back. The barking laugh gave way to a pant, then groan of agony as the movement jarred her leg again.
She felt light-headed, trembling as she stared down the remains of the Sith.
They wanted their records. Probably wanted to erase them too. But the hard datafiles were still there, still in their boxes. She stopped the bastard. But someone else was out there, with the E-web. She wanted to know who else was brainless enough to come down here.
"Come in here, kid. Show me rank."
Her tone would brook no argument. She tried peering around the jagged edges of duracrete where the Sith had cut his way through, but she couldn't see her helper.
If they were some fresh recruit, she might request a promotion.
She was gettin' too old for this leg work... well.
The Zeltron thought she caught a glimpse of something on the terminal screen, followed by the ranger's unexpected delight and anticipation for something. But then the man turned to her... Never before had Kori been looked at like this. Wariness? Resentment? Mistrust? Sure, that happened before, in her worst moments. But shock and aversion was never a thing someone experienced when looking at her. The Zeltron was a stranger to such feelings, so Darmus's reaction was like an extra gut punch. Her injured hand instinctively reached for her cheek, only to have her once-beautiful features wince from pain. What happened to my face?!
Despite her ghastly look, the Zeltron thought that she could stand. The pain was largely sealed off in a far part of her mind through Jedi techniques. But that required a lot of focus; the little Kori could spare revolved around her stun pistol currently in the ranger's possession—a memento from her fathe—and around stopping the Sith. So when the Ranger offered her help, she let him take the lead because she was too distracted to refuse. "I can still fight..." the purple alien grumbled loudly, while being carried away; soaking the ranger's clothes (as well as her own) with the blood from the cuts left by duracrete chunks in the explosion.
The Dark Side presence in the building diminished rapidly since Sirius's retreat. Little did Kori know that the Neimoidian Sith in the records room had been slain. To her, it was as if the perpetrators got away unpunished. "Need to stop... The Sith..." Despite eager to get back into the fray, the Zeltron did try to walk, to make it at least somewhat easier on the ranger. Over time, her steps would become more confident, as Kori's body slowly recovered. Yet the man still moved too fast for her, so she'd stumble occasionally. For now, one regret pulsed through the Jedi's mind: I... Wasn't... Prepared.
Izel shook her head, still disoriented from the blast. She could still hear a faint ringing as Isen's words came to her. "I'm fine, Master. Don't worry about me." The Vratix sighed with relief and raised her other hand to grip Isen's arm as she remained on the ground, still shifting back and forth as she struggled to maintain her balance. Her apprentice was still alive, that was what mattered most. But they still had a mission to carry out, and she wasn't sure if she was in any condition to do so.
Isen was asking her what to do. Izel looked at the Kiffar with a faint sense of bemusement. It was unusual to see him so shaken up. But then these were rather extreme circumstances. Izel struggled to collect her thoughts and speak up. "The... M-mission..." She muttered, shaking her head again to shake the stars from her vision. "Need to reach the center... Stop this..." Her eyes scanned over the room. From what she could see there was still no obvious exit. But there was the orb. She pointed to it.
"There... It must... Have something to do with that..." She looked back at her apprentice, holding his arm tightly. She hesitated, trying desperately to clear her mind. "Leave me here." She said firmly. "I'll be alright. I can heal myself I just need time. We must stop this at any cost. These... Sith..." She spoke the word with an uncharacteristic venom, her fingers digging into Isen's arm. "They won't stop. They'll kill this entire world just to make a point. We must stop them." She released him and laid back, struggling to catch her breath. Just speaking those few words felt exhausting. "Go. Now." She ordered.
He had really wanted to make sure that the Sith wasn’t going to come back and the lack of something stinking up the air like he had been stinking up ‘the Force’ was good. Crix could honestly say that he was happy that the Sith, the monster, was dead but that didn’t change a few facts that he didn’t really think he could just ignore.
The main one was simple but oh so very powerful; he had killed someone.
Sure, the person he had killed had been such a terrible creature that some might still call it a mercy for the Galaxy and a righteous thing. It might be a good thing on the whole but for him? He felt sick to his stomach that he had killed the man and, more, that he couldn’t say that he wouldn’t do the exact same thing again if he had the chance.
It was that last revelation that informed his next action – throwing up to the side, all over the last soldier he had just stunned before. Shaking like a leaf, he spat out some of the foul-tasting liquids in his mouth and staggered away from the turret. He shot the man he’d painted with his evacuation with another stun bolt just in case.
He slumped against the wall of the record’s room and tried really hard not to look at how the blasts had ravaged the Sith’s body. Like someone had taken a hand and torn chunks out of the man’s body with careless ease. But, of course, he failed to look away so instead just looked at it even as he called out to the Ranger.
“H-hey so…” he coughed slightly and forced himself to look at her, “Where’d I find out where a Ranger is stationed? Lookin’ for me mom, Trys?”
He could trust a Ranger with that much, surely? Crix hoped he could because he was feeling slightly faint at this point and he really wanted this to be over at this stage.
Corran would be fine or he would be a corpse – either way there wasn’t any point in worrying about it. Either he was going to be fine (in which case he had a group of people there to fawn over how brave he was) or he was going to be a corpse (in which case he didn’t really matter anymore so time to move on) and either option meant nothing to Lorcan’s overall mission. Get to the armoury, grab something that could make big booms and get back to wreck a gunship so badly that he was banded from the spaceport out of fear.
Or something like that.
Mainly he just wanted the armoury so when he spotted someone standing between him and the place he didn’t give much thought to it. Drawing his vibroblade with his right hand and his blaster pistol in his left, he wouldn’t wait to actually listen to the old man.
Either the old man was a Sith or he was legit some lost old man… and Lorcan didn’t really think his reaction would be different. He would respond to an annoying/panicked old man in the same way as he would some old Sith windbag and that was to fire two stun bolts aimed at his decrepit old chest without missing a step.
Sith would probably evade it or block them, which would give him chance to respond with his vibroblade. If it was just an old man?
The realities of battle and conflict made themselves quite plain, and the emotional toil would be something Isen was not yet accustomed to. Izel Thral, Isen's master and mentor, struggled mightily. She had taken the brunt of the beast's attack, and was suffering greatly. Isen was worried. Rarely did he show emotion outwardly, but this was one of those rare moments.
"Leave me here." Master Thral told him. "I'll be alright. I can heal myself I just need time. We must stop this at any cost."
From a pragmatic standpoint, Isen wished that she would be the one that would be able to continue the mission and that he was the Jedi laid out and immobile. He believed that Master Thral would be able to mend herself over time, but he also knew that she was the wisest and most experienced of the two. The mission had a much better chance of succeeding should she be the one that carried on. Still, as hard as it would be, he knew that he must answer this call.
These... Sith...They won't stop," Izel told him. Isen could feel her angst and fury as she dug into his arm. "They'll kill this entire world just to make a point. We must stop them. Go. Now."
Isen nodded and helped her get comfortable one more time before standing. He grabbed the orb, roughly the size of his fist and stashed it away in a hanging pocket from his belt. He approached the door that the beast apparently had been charged protect. Isen looked for controls to open the door, but found none. He felt as if there should be some way to open the door from the inside. If there wasn't, there would be no need for the beast to protect it from this side.
The Padawan looked over his shoulder to see if there was any guidance from his Master, but she was still shivering, trying to muster up energy to begin her healing process. "Time is of the essence, I suppose," Isen said to himself. He ignited both lightsabers and drove them side by side into the top of the door. He would try to cut a circle out of the door and simply walk through it. If he couldn't open the door with buttons, he would try a more...brash...alternative.
The thermal detonator, though damaged, had still been devastating. @Nykoria Tallis being on the very edge because of her hasty retreat had doubtless saved her from a short, painful death by incineration. Sirius could feel she was still alive, as he expected. A badly wounded Jedi was worth more than a dead one, tactically speaking, though he certainly wouldn't have minded if she'd met her end. But he and his group had other work to do to secure their retreat. Last he checked, another Sith was in the area Sirius was headed to as well, one of Vyrassu's madmen. He was briefly distracted by the report of Talak Rand's appearance, but he trusted Overwatch to be handle to handle him well enough.
@Darmus Onn and his dataplague would find themselves simultaneously too early and just in time. Many of the Ranger station's systems were shorted or destroyed and remained uninfected, and others simply weren't connected to the primary network, but there was a secure console by the basement armoury that had a foreign system plugged in. It disconnected from the console shortly after, but Damus would be able to confirm the plague had spread to the foreign system before it was disconnected. He may well be able to trace that system to where it would eventually end up if the user didn't notice the dataplague before it was too late.
@Dr Ilana Morata and @Trini Halrixien had survived the Sith woman's spiteful final attack, though with severe burns along Ilana's arm and a long cut from a vibroblade across Trini, respectively. @Corran Velt was not dying, as @Falynn Tikarsis could determine through careful observation. Outside stimuli may result in autonomic pain response with even the slightest touch, sweat would pour, breathing rapid and ragged, but the Sith venom rarely killed its victims unless they had a particularly weak heart. He was undergoing an extended response to pain. Though the brave Ranger could be cured of further damage by a dose of toxin removing medicine, his nerves had been attacked. He would remain in pain for another day with lingering sensitivity during the recovery period, but he would survive.
In particular the stripping down and removal of Corran's blast vest by @Lorcan would be agonizing. Luckily Corran wasn't awake for the waves of burning agony the simple movement of cloth over skin would provide.
Down in the records room, @Vera Coulter made her desperate stand against the rage-crazed Nemoidian. The thrown console dug deep, sinking into flesh and crushing bone. The blade of the Nemoidian's lightsaber seemed to intensify under the influence of his rage, crackling and sputtering wildly. The Dark Side twisted chaotic around him, stun bolts veering wildly off course despite the short range. Vera's vibroblade quickly began to heat and warp as the Nemoidian bore down, hatred burning in his half-blind eyes. She would die. She would pay! She wou-
Thunder rang from the hallway outside the records with entrance, bright crimson cannon bolts its lightning. The barrage of E-web fire that @Crix Aran behind the Sith interrupted his rage-induced assault on the old Ranger, cutting him down and blowing him across the room, burning through several consoles, and reducing the already damaged records station to useless slag. The smoking remains of the Nemoidian landed in several places, inert and very much dead. So dead. The very first dead person Crix had ever made in his life, in fact. But at least he and the old Ranger were safe, for the moment.
@Lorcan made his way into the basement unopposed, a series of wall signs leading him toward the hall containing the armoury. As he turned the corner he would easily spot another person halfway down stepping out of the door to the evidence room, turning to look at the ex-Ranger. An old man, countless wrinkles creasing his kind-looking features and back bent by the weight of years- an image rather marred by his eyes, practically glowing a wicked yellow-gold and the scarred lightsaber clipped to the belt of well-worn robes. He smiled in a grandfatherly way upon spotting Lorcan.
"Oh, another guest? I'm afraid you'll have to come back another time. We're busy here, you see," he said, slowly and steadily beginning to walk toward Lorcan, wrinkled arms bent before his body. Obviously a Sith, clearly physically weakened by age, but he still stood between Lorcan and the armoury.
Back outside, @Mara Kensei would quickly find that the two soldiers were anything but friendly. When she announced herself their helmets snapped toward her and, realizing she wasn't one of them, both open fired with a duo of bolts each from their E-11D rifles directed toward her center mass.
In the distance the gunship passed by the station, leaving a trail of dead and wounded CorSec officers in its wake. It banked around to direct itself toward the ruins of the Ranger station from a new angle and locked its weapons on target- this time, all of them.
The snipers had stopped firing for the moment, a brief lull in the rain of precision blaster fire.
Within the building @Talak Rand had found himself in, the descending lift finally reached the bottom. With an anticlimactic ding the door wooshed open to reveal- a holoprojector plate, thirty centimeters wide. After a moment it flared to life, the full colour image of a young man shrouded in darkness filling the life. His eyes were black as pitch, seeming to look both at and through Talak, and his stood with military poise and precision. Despite it being only a hologram, the sense of something Dark surrounding the figure would be all too clear. A vague shimmer there, the ghost of movement in a shadow there, and the familiar sense of being hunted by something hungry. If Talak launched the glass he would see them pass directly through the hologram and shattered against the wall and projector, doing no more than sending a wave of static through the image.
"Talak. So you are on Coruscant. Shouldn't you be checking on Ms. Aran?"the figure asked coldly, raising an eyebrow and checking a datapad in his left hand. He saw the detonation of Trys Aran's apartment as confirmed and on schedule."Although, it would be pointless, I suppose."The young man looked back up at Talak with those dead, dark pits he had for eyes, the tiniest smirk forming on the edge of his lips.
"Ah shit." Mara brought her arms up in front of her, using the Matukai Gauntlets to block the first shot completely, while the second shot deflected off of one gauntlet and grazed the edge of her coat. The third and fourth bolts made contact with her gauntlets, and each of them deflected to hit the sides of the alleyway. "Let's even the odds, shall we?"
Mara stuck both of her hands out towards the soldiers, channeling the Force out towards the soldier's guns. Mara would then grab onto the guns and pull her hands back, hopefully wrenching the weapons from the soldier's hands, if not, it would at least distract them for a moment. While the soldiers were distracted, Mara took this opportunity to sprint forwards, closing the distance, and aiming her fist to connect with the sternum of the soldier on the left.
The ground rumbled with each step the giant took. Alarmed Minerva looked up and saw the bull rancor raised its fists and brought down them. She rolled out of the way seconds to spare as the rancor’s fists slammed to the ground, crushing bones and rocks alike. However, the monster had left his guard down with that strike and Minerva immediately took advantage of it.
Swifty she drew her pistol and fired three bolts toward its right eye. While it’s hide can withstand lasers, it’s eyes should be more weak in comparison. “Piss off freak!” The mercenary shouted in defiance.
The woman watched as they tried to reason through what this place was, but they had been given only a glimpse. It was partially by intent, but their investigation was not hindered were they to pursue more.
Not Dathomiri magick, the woman almost snapped as she heard the Jedi state that the tendrils were "witch magic." Her eyes were hard and furious for a moment before she vanished.
Come, she said, appearing suddenly to the main group and leading them back to those who were inspecting the carvings. None of the monks seemed to be interested in responding or speaking to the newcomers, but the explorers would be able to hear a quiet muttering from each of them as the Forgotten passed them, as if they offered some respectful salutation.
With all of the newcomers now gathered in the same area, she stood before them and looked over each of their faces. As those who had come before them, they would now be faced with a choice.
You've each come here because you heard the Song of the Spirits. They've called to you because they have seen something in you. You've been called on to act as a bulwark against the terrors of the galaxy, she said. Despite the mystery of the situation, none of the Jedi or Sith would sense anything to indicate deceit in her words.
If the explorers continued to examine the tendrils of the "cloud" etched into the wall they would see that the carvings of the tendrils continued toward a door at the far end of the room before being turned back, as if they were bouncing off of a shield along the frame of the door. It was clear that the carving was intended to evoke such thoughts.
These same doors now opened with the motion of the Forgotten's hand. The room on the other side was perhaps thirty meters in diameter and in its center was a ten meter diameter pool filled with a liquid that glowed the same color green as the woman who spoke to them.
Drink and take up the mantle of a defender, she said. They would each feel a strong, inexplicable compulsion to obey.
Preface: this is not a requirement. If you do not want roll, you do not have to do so.
For those of you interested in a less scripted interaction, you may roll a d100 to resist the effects of the manipulation. While you may modify your roll according to your assessment of your character's mental fortitude, please do not add more than a +10 to your roll maximum. The difficulty to beat is a 70.
The rancor's fingers sliced clean off, leaving it reeling with... pain? Pain? For a half-second, Nara's mind couldn't make sense of what she was seeing. She'd always assumed that the AMS made the creatures immune to pain. Maybe it was different for the ones like this, the more intelligent ones? Or it was some property of the sabers?
Act now, wonder later.
The stump slammed down, shaking the duracrete below them. Chips and cracks scattered over her boots as Nara moved quickly, launching herself onto the stump-hand as it smashed into the floor. She'd cling to the stump as the creature raged, getting lifted up as the rancor raised it's hand.
If the rancor raised it's hand, Nara would kick off from the stump, using the momentum and energy from the raging Rancor to leap towards the creature's protruding, gore-smeared face. Gritting her teeth, Nara would drive her saber into the first part of the face she might reach, hoping to use her combined strength and momentum to drive the plasma as deep as she could into it's face and head. Even if she didn't kill it, she hoped it'd cause enough discomfort and pain to severely inhibit the rancor's attacks.
Talak was prepared to launch the glass shards, but quickly realized the situation and let them fall to the ground. There was no one there, but a thick darkness surrounded the area nonetheless. While the man himself may not have been here, Talak knew he wasn't far.
Then he started talking. Talak hoped with every fiber of his soul that he was lying. That the reason he couldn't contact Trys was because she was off world and not dead. No, he didn't believe it. He would have felt if Trys were dead. She wasn't. But he had no doubt that the man had tried. That the intention had been specifically to kill her.
His hand tightened like a vice around his saber hilt and he approached the projector slowly. Each step was measured and his face was like the face of death. He stared from behind cold eyes and what should have been an etched look of rage was far more chilling. There was a look of almost sickening amusement as he drew eye to eye with the projection.
Run and hide, he said quietly, in a voice that was enough to elicit chills from nearly anyone.
His foot came down on the transmitter with a crunch and without hesitation he was on the move. He hit the buttons for all ten of the top floors of the building for every elevator in the building and maintained enough pressure on each of the doors with the Force that they could not close until he allowed it. Cutting out the cameras in each of the elevators, eventually, he entered one, cut a hole in its roof, climbed up, sat, and closed his eyes. They all began to move at once.
It was a variant of a technique that most people knew, but as an assassin, the Arcanist had once perfected the maneuver. The world seemed to melt away around him as he traveled until he focused in singularly on the presence of the man he was hunting. Inside the lift, attacking him was all but impossible without the lift stopping, which allowed him the focus he needed to get a much better idea of the man's location within the building. Perhaps not a precise location, but close enough to start the hunt.
Felix lined up behind Grayza and the Lepi that was accompanying him, it brought a little comfort to now have a master with them and they weren't completely alone, meant could let there guard down a bit, at least for now. He noticed a hesitation in the master as he looked at the doorway, was there something he was sensing that Felix couldn't? Felix didn't know nor did he want to but he trusted the master, so he followed behind when he moved up the ramp.
Felix first saw Mandalorian, he had met before, well he had only met one Mandalorian and that was him or at least that was his armour, he didn't know what he looked like under it could be some total different for all intents and purposes. Then his eyes found Indy and his mind went straight back to the ship and how he started the misadventure, he tried to hide behind Hannibal by placing him between the both of them and averted his gaze.
By doing so he eyes went to the sith, or least he believed them to be Sith, he had never met or seen one before but they were dressed and looked like what he heard and had imagined, his body instinctively tightened, as his fight or flight instinct began to kick in.
He took a second to calm himself while Hannibal made his introduction, his eyes drifted over to the Forgotten, watching her and how the monk-like people interacted with her, did they worship her? he didn't know what to make of it but before he could think she made her announcement.
His mind hung on one word. "Drink". It was on that word he realised that his throat felt so very parched, without thinking he started to walk towards the pool intent on drinking unless somehow stopped.
Okay, yeesh, not Witchery. Still, the woman's reaction was just what Indy had hoped for; some sort of reaction out of the woman meant that the ghost was something of its' own will and not some machination of else. But her suspicions intensified at others coming in, and a door mysteriously opening.
At the sight of the green liquid, then seeing Hannibal and the others coming through, she swallowed. Not them. Don't involve them.
But she said the words; Drink and become a defender. The words were like honey, the sweetest promise to something she aspired to be. An alluring promise, the green liquid seemed promising, even pleasant to the senses. But something stopped her, a single voice in her head, grown louder as she snapped back into reality.
"I already am," she declared firmly, staring at the ghost with a gritted jaw and a flash of gold in her eyes. "Jedi Knight, protector of the galaxy."
And she stared down the woman with all the determination she could muster, spine tall. "And I don't need a drink to prove it."
Seeing Roland beside her, she lightly grasped his hand with her own, hopefully to stop him from the hazy influence the witch might have cast over them, then clipped her lightsaber and grasped Hannibal's as well. She would have grabbed Max as well, but he was out of arms' reach. And then a smaller figure moved out from Hannibal's shadow, and her eyes widened.
"Felix, no!" she hissed out at him, moving as though to reach out. But he was already starting to move out of her own reach again, and she didn't know what to do.Dammit, why the hell was he here anyways?! How?!
If he snuck on her ship, so help her by the Force he was gonna face a wealth of punishments if they made it back to Ajan Kloss.
When the new group of Jedi and companions entered, Maeve felt a sense of unease from the rodent. She eyed the mouse creature careful, relying on her instinct to immobilize the newcomer if she did try to pull her blaster on her. A spark of determination came from the Jedi newcomer as he decided to speak to the monks.
"Not gonna work..." she hissed but her attention turned to the apparition that had reappeared in the room with them. She walked to them through the aisles of monks who seemed to recognize the ghostly woman's presence, seeming at peace or even blessed to her presence. Maeve didn't like it, though no one would give them the answers they wanted, there were other hints that raised reasoning to why the should have not come as far as they did. Stopping in front of them, the ghost made it clear she was not done with them; finally explaining the call they had all heard, a Song of Spirits, and Maeve scoffed at the meaning. If she had a credit for every time a Sith preached about spirits and their spells, she could buy the entirety of the galaxy. This seemed like nothing new, but it still warranted caution; the undead still had their own agenda and this spirit had one that outlined they would be chosen for something special.
Maeve hated this idea.
The doors in the hall once sealed, now opened, revealing a ghostly pool.
"Ghost pool...great..." she muttered, but as the ghost gave her command, Maeve, felt a strong urgency to obey. Even against all logic that told her that would not be a wise idea, the dark woman walked calmly to the pool; she felt her vision narrow, her hearing hallowed to the rest of those around her. She knelt down, tipping her mask just above her lips to scoop a handful of the liquid into her mouth.
Roland's eyes flicked behind his visor at the ghostly woman. But this is Dathomir...so who are these people. The Mandalorian looked towards Indy wondering if she had an idea. Hasn't mattered much until now. Hell, our word for Sith is just 'not jedi'.
He watched as the others approached, noting the newest arrivals some of whom he knew already. The Forgotten faced them again and looked at each of them in turned. At which point Roland felt a tingle run down his spine. It's like she can see my face. No, I get the feeling it doesn't even matter what my face looks like. That thought did not bring the Lieutenant any comfort.
As the phantom spoke he didn't believe her a liar. He just couldn't make sense of it. Since when did he need to drink from a fountain. There were plenty of red flags along the way that he had thus far chocked up to cultural differences. Not only was Roland not about to remove his helmet in front of others, he didn't have nearly enough answers to satisfyingly move forward. There was an influence there that the Mandalorian felt, but it seemed to evaporate as he heard Indy's voice. It was only afterwards that he realized one of his feet had left the ground. When he felt the tips of Indy's fingers slide into his gauntleted hand he didn't move at first. The ranger looked to the side, making sure the Jedi was still there. His gloved hand returned the hold. A slight smile found its way to the man's face at seeing her's.
Others didn't have the same experience and were making their way to the glowing pool before Roland could think about questioning the Forgotten. Indy's hand left his grasp and he heard her shout Felix's name. The Padawan had begun walking towards the liquid as if in a trance. Not good Indy was already moving to intercept ahead of Roland.
Ugh helping out the Sith woman hadn’t been a pleasant experience but he would take it over even a temporary ally taking the full brunt of that ‘attack’ because that had been nasty in all the absolute worst ways. Shaking his head, he did his best to walk it off rather than linger on it. If he lingered on it then it would just fester away, best to just leave it to one side and step away from it emotionally so it didn’t stick inside him.
Of course the arrival of everyone else he had sensed on the planet was… weird but okay, he wasn’t going to complain.
Instead he just nodded to Hannibal before wiggling his eyebrows and gesturing to the Sith Lady behind her back – she seemed like the kind of person Hannibal could have fun with. And she seemed like she could use a laugh. However his friend took it would work as well because, well, it would be funnier that way.
When it came to wanting to be a protector… Max had been a protector from the first day he left the academy, perhaps even before. Back when he didn’t even know that the Force had a hand in his skills or his luck he had wanted to protect others. So when the call came to take a drink, he didn’t really want to resist and that had an impact on his decision and his lack of resistance to the compulsion.
Hard to resist a compulsion to do something you would do anyway.
“Remember to stab me gently if I go too weird.” He reminded Hannibal, “I’d do the same for you, Hans.”
Then he knelt down beside the pool, reached down with a cupped hand and scooped up some of the weird mixture. He drank it down, doing his best to shut off his taste buds, not that he thought it would make much of a difference.
Something told Altina that Master Grayza didn't have a way off the planet at all. She gave the Lepi a nod of greeting, but otherwise said little. At the word shackles sounded upon their own entry into the strange gathering, Altina shivered. She did not understand at all what was going on, much less understand the other, non-Jedi who gathered her. Her thoughts echoed her studies yet again: if the specter spoke of such a valiant cause, why do the Jedi not seem to desire an alliance with them?
As the ghost compelled them to obey, Altina felt like her gut was on fire. She collapsed on the floor, gasping for air as she curled up from the unending pain. Her focus shattered completely and she started hearing even more of the mysterious voices.
She could feel her clothes dampen from the sweat. Altina tried to peer through the pain, to reach out to someone who could help. But her vision was marred by a luminescent green light. Straining through the pain, Altina thought that the specter was next to her. But, there were many gathered around her. No one seemed to have noticed them yet: were they in the room the entire time?
"She's ready," one of them said. "Sooner than anticipated."
"She had drank earlier, but her attunement is... different: perhaps that is why," another replied.
The first came closer, reaching out with one hand. "Join with me."
Altina was too drained and pained to offer a response. She tried to ward them away, but was only able to conjure a soft gust of wind instead. Ever since she began training as a padawan, Altina never felt more afraid. She tried again, emitted an even weaker pulse of air with a hand. The ghost was upon her before a third attempt could be made.
It felt like her essence was being pushed aside, making room for this specter. Altina screamed out. Both the pain and powers she had no understanding of continued their torment.
As usual, it seemed, his commentary had been ignored. To be fair, the monks looked like they were busy standing around being creepy, Sith were not known for their sense of humor, and Indy was standing in front of a bunch of old stuff. Also a ghostly figure appeared before everyone, which Hannibal was pretty sure he couldn't top in terms of attention-gathering. His eyes narrowed slightly at it, having had few positive experiences with ghosts and spectres, but followed it nonetheless along with everyone else.
He stepped up by Indy and Roland, looking around the chamber while the spectre spoke of the call. The imagery was certainly... Evocative. Hannibal's eyes followed the tendrils to the door, finding it a moment before it opened to reveal the Chamber of Mysterious Green Liquid. Ominous.
Drink and take up the mantle of a defender, the spectre had said, an offer, a seductive promise. No, a demand. The energies of this place closed in on him, he could feel it, trying to drown out his will and urge him forward to the pool, and the smile slipped away from his face. His eyes turned, locking onto the figure, his presence in the Force freezing solid into a durasteel fortress, defiant of the spectre's efforts. The hand Indy grasped squeezed back, glad of her presence.
"I defy you," he declared icily in reply to the spectre's demand, a sentiment spoken both verbally and through the Force. The things the spectre said about bulwarks and defenders were grand, but Hannibal had never been one for vaguely inspiring speeches. She may not be lying, but one didn't have to lie to serve one's own ends. As far as Hannibal was concerned, forcing the choice proved her efforts were self-serving, hidden behind half-truths. He couldn't help but notice the spirit hadn't mentioned what was to be defended.
Others seemed to fall under the compulsion. Hannibal's attention was drawn as Indy called out to Felix, who had moved out from behind the Jedi Master. The Sith woman also, along with one of the Padawans and- Really, Max? Hannibal gave the other Jedi Master a withering look, but also a small nod. There was no stopping him. Felix had moved out of his reach while he'd been dealing with the spectre's influence, Indy seemed to be doing something about it, and Hannibal was wary of the spectre and her army of glaze-eyed monks. His other hand reached out instead to Helen, trying to grasp her and draw her close while keeping an eye on the spirit.
"Helen, stay behind me," he insisted, putting some Force-y oomph behind it in the hopes of mitigating whatever the Spirit was trying to do. Everyone else here had someone to protect them, but the little Lepi had crashed in this place on her own and had no training for this sort of thing. He wanted to help Felix and Altina, but the ghostly woman clearly had some kind of power and he didn't want to risk spreading himself too thin in case she tried it on him again. The nature of this place was dangerous, and he couldn't let it in.