Ask More To Conquest Than Conquering

Veles

Character
Sith Empire
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Champion

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vamp
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Mustafar, Fortress Vader
2341 local time

Lava bubbled and exploded, the endless molten waves crashing against blackened shores. The fires of Mustafar burned endlessly, the wasteland rageful and untamed, seas of orange and black as far as the eye could see. The only building in sight, standing tall like an obelisk, Fortress Vader shattered the skyline like an arrow of evil, authoritative and unyielding. The chamber was silent and so was he, eyes gazing over the infinite kingdom of fire in front of him. His kingdom, one could argue, because there was no one who would even consider taking it from him. Whereas others wallowed in stagnation, shirking their duties and the very creed of the Sith, Veles was not idle. Machinations were to be put in action, conflict to be sought out and conquered--a Galaxy out there for the taking.

The dark side had granted him clarity the likes of which he would have never even considered. His mind was his fortress, his will tempered like steel. He had foreseen what would transpire today, but it was not so much reading the future as it was simply always keeping an ear on the ground, always extending the tendrils of his influence as far as they could stretch. His men were loyal and diligent, his spies clinging like shadows to the civilization of Mustafarians populating the world he had reclaimed. The legacy of Lord Vader hung heavy over the fortress, his memory everywhere one turned. It was to be expected that the demons of his past would rise up, too, in eternal conflict with the one who took the mantle and wielded their power over the world.

He was simply recollecting himself, gathering his strength and honing his focus in anticipation of the battle to come. A war, one could call it, but to Veles, it was nothing of the sort. A self-inflicted massacre for the Mustafarians, perhaps, a genocide that they willfully brought upon themselves. There was no debating with a people that had lived in subjugation for so long only to be freed for decades and then enslaved again. This time, the Empire had not sought them out, had not blown their mines to bits or slaughtered them en masse, and yet here they were, foolish and bold in the face of a force that could put the Galaxy on its knees.

He could feel the Champion approach, nearing the chamber he was waiting in. Veles turned to the entry in anticipation of Jaiku's arrival, his hands at his sides underneath the huge black cloak covering his body. Underneath, he was kitted out for war, a tight-fitting dark rancor leather tunic clinging to his chest, one lightsaber hilt on each side of his waist. His snow-white hair was parted at the forehead and fell on both sides of his face, the back pulled into a tight bun. He had never properly met the man, but his reputation preceded him, and Veles would appreciate the presence of another Sith today. It made things easier, dispelled the uncertain. He was not the type to take aimless risks for the sake of arrogance, not the type to risk himself out of hubris.

"Champion." His voice echoed through the chamber as the durasteel doors hissed open silently and closed behind the man. "Welcome."

@Altaris
 

Jaikus Thorne

Character
Consortium
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First Gentleman

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Altaris
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Jaikus strode down the ramp of his shuttle as it lowered to the ground, his boots carrying him across the blackened, volcanic surface of Mustafar. His vessel brought him to a land at the entrance to the only major structure for miles all around, and where he was set to rendezvous with Darth Veles.

In truth, their objective today was something of an anomaly for Jaikus - rarely taking on work that brought him into direct and open combat. Most of his missions and operations for the Empire were conducted as a member of Sith Intellignece - and thus, remained entirely within the background and out of sight. While his job kept him out of the spotlight to the majority of the Empire, the Axxilan had certainly built a reputation amongst the upper echelons of their Order.

As per usual on official business, Jaikus was adorned in the trappings of a Sith - adorned in his signature, chilling armor. The ensemble of black armorweave and cloth clung tightly to his figure, while the metallic visage of his mask shrouded his bronze complexion and fine features. There was a single lightsaber hilt clipped to his hip, alongside a simple vibro-knife tucked into his belt.

After a few additional minutes of walking, Jaikus strolled through the durasteel doors that led into Veles’ chambers. His posture was rigid and straight - his hands neatly folded against the small of his back with fingers clasped together.

The Axxilan couldn’t help but feel some bit of curiosity about who he was intended to be working with today. Veles was certainly one of the more reclusive Lords of their Order - seemingly not someone who thrived upon the constant supplication and spotlight that others did. Jaikus had only met the man in passing back on Serenno, and it had been little more than a polite hello before moving right along to the people he was actually interested in speaking with.

If nothing else, their work today would be an opportunity to be formally introduced.

“Lord Veles,” Jaikus said, his typically smooth voice distorted and roboticized by the scrambler in his mask. Nevertheless, there was still a polite edge to his words. The Axxilan offered a small dip of his head towards the Sith Lord as he strode forward. The hollowed sockets of his mask lingered on the man before a few moments before flicking out towards the window - citrine eyes underneath scanning the horizon.

“It would seem I have arrived on schedule.” It wasn’t likely to be long before the Mustafarian forces began to march into view. But they would have a bit of time to prepare before that.


@vamp
 
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Veles

Character
Sith Empire
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Champion

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vamp
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"It is good you did, because it seems the drums of war wait for no one." Veles turned back toward the massive window and motioned outside for the Champion to see. "The Mustafarian resistance approaches much faster than we had anticipated. My spies tell me that the general sentiment among their ranks is that this will not be too much of a challenge for them."

He chuckled, and there was a tinge of cruelty within, a hint of the darkness that had gripped him that not even he had realized. Veles was certainly engulfed in the dark side, much more than others, though he still had his sanity. He was still in control. It required a strong will, but it was possible. And yet, even for him, some darkness still slipped through the cracks and into his very being. The dark side was a beast that could never be properly tamed, no matter what anyone claims.

"Are you familiar with the history of Fortress Vader?" he asked, eyes on the approaching masses slowly nearing them from the horizon, their feet stamping on the blackened stone, their earth-shaking march not taking the smallest pause. Mid-sentence, he turned to look at the Champion, who had hopefully approached by now.

This was not the first Mustafarian attack on the fortress, and it would not be the last. Risks like these came with control over the base, though Veles was devising a plan to ensure that he would no longer have to deal with this nuisance any longer. Genocide, however, was a path that he did not know if he was ready to explore.

@Altaris
 

Jaikus Thorne

Character
Consortium
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First Gentleman

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Altaris
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Jaikus kept his gaze out the window, sweeping across the volcanic horizon. He watched the endless molten waves that crashed against the shores of blackended stone, and the way that lava bubbled up and exploded from random points in the earth, spewing liquid rock and metal high into the air. The very environment itself seemed to be nothing but hostile, in addition to the native inhabitants who would soon be upon them.

The Axxilan stared for a few additional moments before returning his attention to Veles. “I presume that general sentiment is soon to shift.” He quipped smoothly. There was no hint of the cruelty or sick satisfaction about what was going to happen. Fighting off the invaders was a necessity, but he found no pleasure in it. The Axxilan had always strayed from surrendering himself entirely to the Darkness as some Sith did, and he clung to his humanity fiercely. Whatever occurred, genocide was never be something that Jaikus could swallow easily.

“I am.” He said smoothly in response to the question, moving to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Sith Lord. Jaikus had always been a fanatic for ancient histories - and the detailed past of Fortress Vader was no exception to that rule. It was among many sites that the Axxilan had spend hours of his time in the last studying and analyzing in great detail. “Very familiar.”

“Familiar enough to know that this will not mark the first invasion on this fortress,”
He said after a small pause, drumming a finger against his forearm, arms crossed over his chest. “Nor is it likely to be the last.” Even if they repelled the invaders. Even if they won decisively, the Mustafarian people would regroup, reorganize and launch another invasion.

“Not unless they are given a reason to.” The Axxilan said simply. He watched as the enemy host continued to draw closer and closer to the fortress, the vast numbers of insectoid soldiers coming clear to the pair of Sith.


@vamp
 

Veles

Character
Sith Empire
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Champion

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vamp
Joined
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Theme

"Wise words were never spoken," he replied, grinning. Before either could say anything more, the alarms of the Fortress began blaring and Veles turned to Jaikus. "I believe that's our cue."

The two strode through the halls with purpose. Veles' cloak flapping behind him, his face set, the Force began gathering to him from the moment they left the chamber. Around them, stormtroopers ran clutching blasters, and red sirens flashed, the alarms unrelenting. He could feel the battle brew, the bloodshed that would follow visualized so clearly in his mind it was like it had already happened. Veles and Jaikus reached the main entrance where dozens of troops waited, lined up and standing straight. The Sith Lord approached the very front of the chamber, surveying the soldiers as he passed by them. He could sense every single doubt, every single fidget in the entire room. He could sense any hesitation, any second thoughts or fear. It was up to him to vanquish it all.

"We stand here on the hallowed grounds of Fortress Vader and we are presented with the extraordinary privilege of defending one of the most important buildings in this entire Galaxy," he shouted, his voice booming off the cavernous ceiling. "We stand here because we chose to, because we made a decision at some point in our lives that we wanted to be part of something greater than the insignificant existence of a single mortal! I stand here and look at you, soldiers, and yet I sense fear! I sense anxiety! Do you not have faith in your Empire? Do you not feel proud that you, out of everyone else, are standing here, blaster in hand, ready to put your life on the line to defend Fortress Vader itself?"

He could sense the room slowly being whipped up into a frenzy, the adrenaline in every soldier's body slowly raising. "I want to see you tear flesh from bone! I want to see you gouge out eyes and smash brains! I want to see blood flow on these obsidian floors! I want to see you die if you are too weak to kill! Go out there and ravage these invaders! For Lord Vader! For the Empire!"

The room erupted into the roar of dozens of soldiers, the chamber rumbling as their feet stomped on the ground. Veles turned to Jaikus and mouthed "That's how it's done," once again a grin on his face. If Jaikus had arrived with expectations of what the reclusive Sith Lord might behave like, they had certainly been shattered from the very beginning.

The main door opened, and they filled into the courtyard, stopping at the massive gate. It, too, swung open, and the masses poured out through it, blaster-fire immediately filling the air, the battlefield a chaos of plasma and rage, the dark side flowing freely. Bolts slammed into invading Mustafarians, but they were not granted the honor of a simple death. The stormtroopers poured gunfire into the corpses freely even as they fell, stomped over their heads and used them as shields as they charged forward, putting the invaders on the backfoot immediately.

@Altaris
 

Jaikus Thorne

Character
Consortium
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First Gentleman

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Altaris
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Jaikus was silent as he strode alongside Veles through the halls of Fortress Vader, his footsteps silent and hands tucked against the small of his back as he moved in lockstep with the Sith Lord. That wraith-like visage remained locked straight ahead, expressionless and unmoving for all that Veles or anyone else could see. Already a plan was developing in the Axxilan’s mind, piecing together a strategy even as the thunderous march of the invaders began to echo into his ears.

The Axxilan stepped to the side as Veles gave his rousing speech to the troops, watching quietly as the Sith Lord worked diligently to whip his men up into a frenzy. Jaikus couldn’t help but admire the vigor and passion in the man’s voice. As a rule, the Axxilan largely operated in the shadows and the background of the Empire. His work within the ISB - even if it had garnered a reputation amongst the upper echelons of the Empire - was kept well out of the spotlight and for good reason. What Veles did - taking the center stage and leading armies and fleets - was something Jaikus would never do.

There was an exhale through his nostrils when Veles turned and mouthed towards him, amusement bleeding even through the metalic mask that Jaikus wore. “Quite the patriot.” He quipped, giving the Sith Lord a tilt of his head in recognition. It was far more than he expected of the reclusive man when he arrived on Mustafar, and even Jaikus had to admit he was surprised by Veles.

His attention shifted entirely as the main gates to the fortress poured open - all of his focus suddenly redirected to the invaders that charged towards the Sith compound. Within moments the air erupted with the sounds of combat, bolts of crimson plasma filling the air and zipping across the battlefield. He watched as the invaders were rapidly put into the backfoot and forced backwards, and it was only at that moment that Jaikus finally opted to join the fray himself. Even if Veles opted to give orders and lead rather than fighting himself, that wasn’t going to stop the Axxilan.

Without a word, Jaikus sprang forward - the Force building around his body and flowing freely through his limbs. It enhanced his already trained agility and speed, and results in the Champion moving at alarming speed as he weaved through the front lines of the stormtrooper ranks - a dark blurr of motion as he rushed to meet the enemy vanguard.

As soon as the emerged from the front lines of the troopers, Jaikus fell upon the enemy Mustafarian’s - his body bent low to the ground, moving like a wraith through the commotion. The Force extended out and coiled around the hilt of the vibroknife on Jaikus’ hip, and with a subtle flick of his wrist, sent the blade spinning like a buzzsaw towards one of the Mustafarian invaders. It spun through the air before embedding itself in the insectoid chest of the natvie, a sickening crunch echoing through the air as it was pulled by the force across the Mustafarian’s exoskeleton - splintering and slicing through the lava-resistant outer shell. Only one the invader fell forward did the vibroknife tug free from the corpse’s chest - pulled by the Force before immediately sent as a razor-sharp projectile towards the next unsuspecting victim.

With one hand Jaikus controlled the movement of the vibroblade, while the other reached for the lightsaber hilt on his hip. The crimson blade snapped and hissed to life with the press of the activation button, and Jaikus immediate lunged towards the closest enemy to him - a northern Mustafarian mounted atop a Lava flea.

Darting low to the ground, Jaikus closed the distance between his foe before springing up from the ground - launching himself into the air and atop the mount that the Mustafarian rode. He carved his crimson saber in a downward horizontal swing, cleaving a molten channel from the rider’s shoulder, down and through the left side of his hip. A push of the Force sent the rider’s corpse from the Lava flea, and Jaikus didn’t hesitate to put the beast out of its misery as well - striking downward and embedding the tip of his plasma blade through the animal’s skull.

Jaikus leapt from the collapsing corpse of the Lava flea, eyes fixated ahead and towards the now retreating first wave. He didn’t give them any chance to regroup and launch another assault, immediately pushing forward to pursue.

His telepathic voice echoed back and into the mind of Veles, ringing loud above the heat of battle. “Seek out their leaders. Capture them alive.”


@vamp
 

Veles

Character
Sith Empire
Rank
Champion

Character Profile
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OOC
vamp
Joined
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Messages
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Reaction score
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Veles' lightsaber ignited, he swept through the Mustafarian ranks like a tornado swiping and slashing, decapitating soldier after soldier, leaving them laying on the ground, charred corpses, their wounds still smoking and sizzling. He flicked his free wrist and a wave of telekinetic energy pushed a group back and over the edge of the cliff. He didn't stop to watch as they careened off and free-fell into lava.

The Imperial front line moved with brutal efficiency, their progress over the battlefield slow but steady. Veles' mind was filled with a telepathic message, and he craned his head toward Jaikus, who was a few dozen meters away. They might as well move deeper into the Mustafarian lines and seek out their leader; the troopers could clearly carry themselves just fine.

"On me." With that, he swung into action, green mist wrapping around his feet and shins. The Sith Lord took off running, weaving and dodging under swords and around blaster bolts. He moved imperceptibly fast, lightsaber held out so that every once in a while he'd clip an enemy soldier in half. He was surrounded by them, having made his way among the Mustafarian ranks. In the far back, he could see a hulking figure sitting on a lava flea that was larger than the rest, which he supposed was the leader.

Jaikus would certainly be trailing him closely, so Veles did not even turn to see if the Champion was following. He reached the Mustafarian leader in a few seconds and came to a skidding stop right in front of the alien's mount. He didn't move a muscle, instead staring down at the Sith Lord from atop his massive lava flea.

"It seems we have underestimated you," he declared, his booming voice carrying perfectly over the sounds of battle.

"It seems you have." He stood there, lightsaber poised at his side, the red blade humming with every move. "And now you must face the repercussions. Dismount."

The Mustafarian wordlessly slid off the lava flea and stopped in front of the Sith Lord, hands raised in surrender. Word spread through their ranks like lightning, soldiers suddenly laying down their arms and simply standing there. Some refused, and were shot down by stormtroopers, but the vast majority were not so rebellious. A pair of troopers ran through the lines and gathered around the Mustafarian general, looking up to Veles for an order.

"Cuff him and find him a cell." He was about to turn to Jaikus to say something when the comms buzzed in his ear.

"Breach in the lower levels. Mustafarian expeditionary force has taken the tunnels into the Fortress, over."

He thought about that for a brief second. Which tunnels even lead into the--

As realization dawned on him, Veles took off running even harder than before, making a beeline straight back into the Fortress.

@Altaris
 
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