((Karson, I'm gonna post in the next couple days and ill try to work your character in somehow. The RPG must live on!))

((Darth Maul Clone, I really wish youd read other people's posts. I had my characters meet Katon in post 50 on the last page. Its not a big deal storywise, but I'm just saying))

((Karson, basically a civil war just erupted on Balkest between the human colonists and the Kubaz. There's five rings with some kind of darkside power, but only Genn Ostace, a Jedi negotiator, and Merlidan, a Procurement Specialist caught in the crossfire, know of one of the artifact’s existence. That one ring is in the possession of Trask Heyurk who is the leader of the human colonists. The ring seems to be corrupting a lot of the humans making them violent and irrational.

Currently Ostace and Kess Alto are the only Jedi on Balkest. However, Lieutenant Cors and 3 other Sith troopers happened to be planetside when the fighting broke out. Shortly before that, Katon Bersek (Sith) arrived with his apprentice to make things difficult for the Jedi. However, Malak and the Empire as a whole are unaware of most of this.

If you’re looking to bring Jaden Marx into the equation, the Sith troopers are breaking into the Communications Relay Center to send a transmission to the Empire. If you want, Marx can be the one we notify. If you can’t wait that long, I don’t suppose it’s too farfetched for Malak to have gotten wind of the darkside rings and grudgingly put him in charge of the operation to get them. Is that something a Grand Marshal would do? I don’t know. But I hope that’s enough background for you.))

Lieutenant Cor’s heart lept when the apprentice arrived. Having fellow lightsabers on the battlefield took a lot of the pressure off.

Then that Nautolan came around and things seemed to be getting worse a lot faster than they were getting better.

“Not so fun when the tables are turned, are they?” she said as she Force pushed him back.

The apprentice caught his balance and snarled in reply. He lunged at back at the newcomer crashing his violet saber into her weapon. Genn confidently punced forwards to join the fray. The Jedi’s blows synced up to harmoniously fend off the attacking Sith.

“The dark side fuels my actions!” spat Bersek’s pupil. “I will squash both of you like huks! You are no match for a Sith.”

He furiously swung his weapon in a giant arc. The Nautolan Jedi leaped over the apprentice to dodge the blow while Ostace easily blocked it with his own yellow blade shifting into the more refined Makashi lightsaber form. Genn knew that with Kess exhausting the Sith with her fierce and rapid Ataru style, he could defeat the apprentice with fine-tuned strikes while their opponent was kept on the defensive.

“I suspect you are not a true Sith yet, son.” the Master said gently deciding to put his negotiating skills into effect. “You can’t win. Don’t give into hate and despair. The darkness will consume you.”

The apprentice wouldn’t hear of it. He was a blur of rage continually knocking back both Jedi despite him being outnumbered. However, a bead of sweat running down the side of his face showed that he was weakening.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Cors had managed to open the blast doors into the CRC building.

“Pure Sabacc,” said Cors under his breath as the entrance slid open.

“Lieutenant,” said Davies into the comlink. “They’re going to overwhelm the apprentice. Should we assist him?”

“Negative,” responded Cors who had already thought about this. “We’d just get in the way. And getting to the subspace radio is our top priority. Understand?”

“Yes sir,” answered Jayce, Davies, and Grayner simultaneously. Cors entered the building with his blaster raised. His three troops followed backing into the CRC slowly until the dueling Jedi and Sith were out of sight.

Another reason Cors had decided to leave the apprentice to his fate was that he did not know the will of the boy’s master. If Katon Bersek wished the boy’s survival then he would no doubt see it through. Rendon Cors had seen too many ignorant troopers suffer at the hands of Sith Lords whose affairs they’d thoughtlessly meddled in. The apprentice’s outcome was up to the Force now.

“Shunfa!” cursed Grayner into the comm channel as the Jedi Master ignited his lightsaber and deflected their fire in one fluid motion. “I forgot they were that fast!”

Lieutenant Cors hadn’t been expecting to get the drop on the Jedi. A Sith trooper of his standing never underestimated the power of the Force. Still, they had nearly caught their adversary off guard and he had no choice but to stand his ground and fight. Having their opponent backed up against the CRC building was a definite advantage. Still, they needed to act fast; Jedi had a habit of not staying trapped for long.

“I’m moving in,” called Private Davies excitedly. “Cover me!”

“Private! Negative!” roared Cors. “Hold your position. I repeat, hold your position!”

It was too late. Davies, keeping low, rushed forward and ducked behind a crumbling wall as he continued to fire. The telescopic sights in Cor’s helmet saw the Jedi’s eyes widen in surprise as he realized who his attackers were. If the Sith’s presence on Balkest had been covert to the Council by any degree, it was a secret no longer.

“Dammit, Davies!” said the lieutenant into his comlink. “Next time you disobey a direct order, I’ll shoot you in the back myself. The last thing we’re going to do in this fight is close the distance. We need to maintain our range.”

Their enemy was clearly not going to make this strategy easy.

“—If I leave these troopers here, they will try everything to get inside and stop you,” he said into his own comlink to an unknown accomplice. A second later, he deposited the device into his robes and gathered his glowing lightsaber into both hands before advancing into the street.

“Back everybody! Back!” ordered Cors. “Keep moving and don’t stop until you find cover. I want at least 10 meters between you and the hostile at all times.

His team obeyed scattering tactically away from the Jedi. Davies and Grayner sprinted left while Jayce and Cors banked right firing as they did so.

The target instantaneously became a being of absolute grace leaping into a sideways spin to avoid the torrent of fire. His weapon became a yellow blur sending the bolts off in various directions.

“And for Force sake,” said Cors. “If you see him go for the saber throw, hit the dirt. This one’s pretty handy with the boomerang and I’d prefer the four of us were debriefed with all our limbs intact.”

He and Jayce skipped over to kneel behind a busted speeder while Grayner and Jayce popped into two opposite alleyways at the other end of the street.

“Grenades, now!” exclaimed the lieutenant.

Four fragmentation grenades found their way to the feet of the unfortunate man.

“Eat shrapnel, Jedi Slime!” shouted Corporal Grayner thinking it was over.
It wasn’t. The Jedi Master lept into an inhumanly high backflip just as the four explosives went off. To the four troopers, it looked as if he was heroically leaping out of the blast, his toes riding on the flames.

“Shoot him,” Cors cried as he rapidly fired into the overcast Balkest sky. His soldiers were already doing the same. Incredibly their adversary was able to defend against every single one before touching back to the ground.

“I am Master Genn Ostace of the Jedi Order,” said their enemy as he straightened up holding his lightsaber in front of him horizontally. “You will cease your attack and surrender. Please don’t make me use necessary force.”

Lieutenant Cors hated losing. It was hard to decide what he wanted more: to bring the Sith forces to Balkest or to hold this particular Jedi’s decapitated head in hands.

“Over my dead body, Jedi,” sneered Cors signaling to Private Jayce to cover him as he charged toward Ostace firing off rapid shots.

The Jedi Master stepped back and brought his lightsaber back to dispatch the approaching soldier. But Cors was ready and dove into tumble towards the CRC blast doors past his enemy barely avoiding the expert swing. Before Genn could go after the lieutenant again, the Master was forced to repel the bolts of the three other Sith troopers.

Now Rendon was by the entrance and gave his attention to the security panel by the doors. The good news was that this interface wasn’t particularly advanced and Cors was pretty sure he could get the doors open in the next minute. The bad news was that he was completely open to an attack from the barely winded Jedi.

“Keep him preoccupied,” said Cors gritting his teeth as he went to work. “And remember, keep the distance.”

“Great,” muttered Jayce as Katon Bersek and his apprentice Force-sped off into the distance. “What happened to strength in numbers?”

“Did you see that madman’s lightning just now?” demanded Davies. “I think the last thing he’s worried about is numbers.”

They were in an area of the camp where the rioting colonists were moving away from. The explosions and sounds of blaster fire seemed to be coming from deeper within. The two troopers continued towards the sounds of violence keeping their weapons at the ready.

“I’ll bet my bottom credit that they’re moving towards the queen,” observed Jayce.

“That or the Jedi,” the other private responded. “The colonists seem to be just as sore at him as the Kubaz themselves.”

“The question is, whose side are we on?”

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” Davies tried. “The Jedi is with the Kubaz, obviously. Therefore we should side with the colonists.”

“We just blasted like five of them, idiot!” exclaimed Jayce.

“Well you heard the lieutenant, they’re all hostiles,” defended Davies. “Truth be told, I just really want to shoot things.”

Strangely, Jayce knew what he was talking about. There was something in the air; some sort of dark purpose permeating throughout the entire camp. It took some effort to restrain herself from hurling a detonator at the nearest group of colonists.

“The sooner we find the lieutenant the better,” she said finally.

“Well look at that Rendon!” came the corporal’s voice from behind them. “I didn’t think your privates had taken such a liking to you.”

Cors and Grayner stepped out from behind a nearby alleyway.

“Where are the Dark Jedi, Jayce?” questioned Cors.

“Gone, sir,” she responded glad that there were four of them again. “They just took off.”

“It happens to the best of us soldier,” nodded the lieutenant in understanding. If he had not been wearing a mask, the others would see that Cors’ eyes were bright and excited by the dozens of colonists that he and Grayner had been “forced” to blast through. He seemed to be taking to the dark side energy better than Balkest’s inhabitants. Either their behavior was the result of prolonged exposure to the rings or the dark side aura was simply feeding the soldier’s inherently sadistic nature.

They were by the Supplies Procurement building now. They could see the CRC building just down the street.

“Ya reckon we should let the Empire know about this little incident,” thought Grayner aloud. “I doubt Bersek is acting on their orders. Besides, the communications relay center is right there and it could mean a nice little pat on the head for all of us if we let our superiors know about a potential dark side relic since there’s obviously something making the colonists act this way.”

“Sir, we don’t have the access codes for their transceiver,” objected Davies.

“Well, someone in there does,” reasoned Cors. “And we have blasters.”

“With all due respect, sir,” Jayce began. “Are we ready to bring the fury of the Sith Empire down on Balkest?”

Lieutenant Cors turned around to survey the wreckage before him. The colonists were still fighting amongst themselves and projectiles were flying left and right. Smoke was rising from every facet of the camp. The wreckage filled the lieutenant’s soul and his chest seemed to swell as it did so. Conflict was what he was bred for. Destruction was imminent and it was only a matter of time before the Jedi Order sent reinforcements. Balkest was almost begging Cors for a full-scale war.

“Absolutely, Private,” the lieutenant replied. “Absolutely.”

Davies and Jayce made their way into the spaceport cautiously. The charred corpses of Mir’s encounter were lain in a sort of scattered semi-circle by the first freighter. The blaster shots had hit the ill-fated guards at critical points with frightening accuracy.

“Our Trandoshan friend do this too?” asked Jayce casually.

“Hard to say,” mused Davies. “Whoever it was, looks like they were in a hurry. He made fast work of them.”

“Or she,” corrected Jayce. “Look over there.”

Davies turned to see a tall, ponytailed woman dressed in civilian clothes having a heated discussion with a pair of Duros and a female companion. The first girl’s associate stood by nervously clearly not that enthused to be there.

“What do you think’s going on?” asked Davies.

“I’d guess some sort of smuggling issue,” responded the female trooper. “Doesn’t concern us. Let’s get back to the ship and send the transmission to Balkest 3 before Grayner has both our heads.”

“I was not aware that there were troops stationed on Balkest…” an eerie voice behind them said.

Davies and Jayce whirled around to see two hooded figures approaching them. Jayce recognized them both from when she was stationed on Korriban. Katon Bersek had selected his apprentice from among dozens at the Sith academy. The trials and competition that the students undertook to gain Bersek’s approval had been destructive and terrifying even by Sith standards. Jayce knew from what she’d heard from the other troopers that the prominent young Sith’s ruthlessness had more than earned his place at his new teacher’s side.

“My lords!” exclaimed Davies. He and Jayce immediately bowed solemnly. “Forgive us, we did not know of your arrival. We were just about to contact the base on Balkest’s moon.”

“Identify yourselves,” ordered the man.

“Privates Jayce and Davies at your service, my lord,” obeyed Jayce taking over. “We’re here with Lieutenant Cors’ away team.”

“Lord Bersek,” started Davies. “You should know that the Jedi order has dispatched—”

“I’ve already sensed the Jedi’s meddlesome presence, fool,” snapped Katon impatiently. Davies bowed his head apologetically. “Tell your lieutenant to rendezvous with me in a timely fashion. I may have a use for his little firesquad.”

“Lieutenant Cors will relish the opportunity to crush the Jedi, sir,” said Jayce speaking for her superior. “We are at your disposal.”

“Very well,” responded Katon. Jayce caught the first glimpse of his eyes beneath the man’s hood. She had to stifle a gasp and she was glad she was wearing a visor to hide her expression. His eyes were yellow and angry; the only windows to the darkness filling his soul.

The private’s fear seemed to satisfy Katon. The dark side felt strong on this planet for some reason.

“Follow us if you wish,” he said carelessly strolling past the two soldiers. His apprentice followed suit, but not before turning to sneer at Davies and Jayce.

“Just make sure to stay out of our way,” the young Sith said with the customary disdain for non-Force users.

Davies and Jayce glanced at one another and then followed suit leaving a few meters between them and the Dark Jedi so they could speak in hushed voices.

“Well I would say things just took a surprising turn,” remarked Davies resuming his annoying habit of stating the obvious.

“No shavit,” swore Jayce. “Why don’t you do something useful and let Cors and Grayner know?”

“Okay, okay!” the male private said switching his comlink on. “Don’t get your armor in a bunch.”

Then all hell broke loose on Balkest.

***************************************************

“What the brix is going on!?” exclaimed Grayner pointing his rifle at the rioting citizens.

It was as if someone had flipped a switch on the colony. Citizens who had been acting normally seconds earlier were now participating in mindless violence. Dozens of human colonists were tearing through the streets. Already Lieutenant Cors could hear the crazed chanting.

“Kill the Queen! Kill the Queen! Kill the Queen!”

“You!” called Cors picking out a teenage colonist among a group of ranting humans. “What is this madness?”

The colonist smiled psychotically at the lieutenant staggering toward his with an outstretched hand.

“All hail Trask Heyurk,” raved the boy. “He will lead us to salvation! He will eradicate the Kubaz—”

The colonist stopped dead in his tracks as Cors blew a sizzing hole into the teenager’s chest. He fell face-first into the dirt pathway.

The other colonists roared and rushed at the two Sith troopers. A volley of accurate blaster fire prevented the attackers from entering a ten foot radius of the soldiers. One man was left standing in the middle of the bodies trembling uncontrollably.

Cors strode up to him slowly. The walk seemed to take days. The chaos of the colony was reflected and distorted in the lieutenant’s metallic, silver armor. It was beautiful in a sort of terrible way.

He finally reached the man and looked him square in the face. Cors was taller so the unfortunate colonist was forced to stare up into a cold, unsympathetic black visor.

“I’m going to say this one time,” he said. “So if you have any more insanity, save it. Tell me what’s going on.”

The colonist could only stutter. He was terrified, but he was too corrupted by some mysterious horror to know.

“Kill the Queen…” he whispered as a stream of drool ran down the side of his mouth.

Rendon Cors sighed. He hefted up his carbine and smashed the stock square in between the colonist’s eyes. He relished the sounds of all the little fracture points in his skull as the man went down his bleeding eyes still wide with fear and surprise.

“And I thought this was going to be a dull day,” remarked Grayner walking forward to survey the dead body.

“Lieutenant? Come in Lieutenant. This is Private Davies. Over,” went the sound of Cors’ comlink receiver.

“I read you, Private,” responded Cors. “This is Lieutenant Cors. Have you encountered any hostiles? Over.”

“A few, sir,” responded Davies. “They seem to leave us alone for the most part. They’re looking for the Kubazian queen.”

“Affirmative,” said the lieutenant. He was still puzzled by sudden the outbursts of violence. An entire colony didn’t erupt into madness without some other factors being present. “Did you and Jayce manage to send the transmission, Private?”

“No, sir,” he answered. “Katon Bersek and his apprentice arrived before we could get to our ship. We’re escorting them now. Lord Bersek requested that you and the corporal rendezvous with us asap, sir.”

“Katon Bersek?” muttered Grayner listening in on the channel. “What’s he doing in this system?”

“What’s your position, Private?” asked the lieutenant. His heart was racing faster. With two Sith warriors fighting alongside them their worries were over. They had the potential to flatten the entire outpost. This was something Cors had something of a penchant for.

“Leaving the spaceport now, sir,” said Davies. “En route to the center of the camp. The Dark Jedi are leading the way mind you.”

“We’ll see you shortly Davies,” finished Cors. “Over and out.”

He turned to Grayner grinning behind his visor.

“Let’s get a move on, Corporal!”

A thermal detonator exploded a few meters behind them and knocked both of the soldiers forward. The shack it had been thrown at was completely leveled in a matter of seconds.

“You don’t have to tell me twice!” hollered Grayner. The two men pushed themselves back up, retrieved their weapons, and proceeded to blast their way through the camp glad that they had ammo to spare.

"Useless recruits!" Grayner was saying to Cors. Both men were still waiting for a confirmation from Davies and Jayce by Brawler’s Trap. “We give them one simple assignment. How did those mudlickers get through training in one piece?”

“Be patient, Corporal,” said Cors visibly annoyed by the delay as well. “I’m sure there’s a valid explanation.”

A few moments later, Private Jayce’s purposeful voice came in over the comlink in the two senior trooper’s helmets.

“Lieutenant, we can’t gain access to the spaceport,” she said. “Some sort of disturbance took place and they’re in complete lockdown.”

“Private Jayce, what are you?” demanded Cors calmly.

“A soldier of Lord Malak’s Sith Empire, sir,” responded Jayce without hesitation.

“Correct,” said the Lieutenant. “So let me get this straight: You and Davies haven’t sent out the transmission I requested because the local authorities from some two-bit, mining colony in the Mid Rim barred you from entering the spaceport?”

There was a pause.

“We’ll be in touch Lieutenant Cors,” said the private before cutting the channel.

“See, Grayner?” Cors said turning to his corporal. “Jayce isn’t totally incompetent it seems.”

Grayner only scoffed in reply.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Was he mad?” Davies asked Jayce after she ended the call.

Jayce rolled her eyes behind her visor. Davies was too soft for the army in her opinion. She knew by now that he had had a crush on her ever since they were thrown into the same training group. Truth be told, she’d backstab Davies in a heartbeat if it meant getting ahead.

“You know the Lieutenant,” Jayce retorted simply. “He never gets mad. Just… annoyed.”

“Well was he annoyed?” asked her fellow private.

“Slightly,” she answered. “He made it clear that a lockdown is not our concern and we should have gained entry regardless.”

“That makes sense,” conceded Davies. “I’m still not quite used to this ‘going around and doing as we please’ business.”

“I thought that’s why most people joined up with the Sith,” said Jayce leading the way towards the starport entrance.

“Probably,” said Davies. “I joined mostly because I thought they’d win the war.”

“Coward.”

“Hey, fear leads to the dark side, sweetheart.”

“You’re saying it wrong,” said Jayce coldly. “And don’t call me sweetheart.”

“Well, I’m no Jedi,” he responded defensively. “I don’t know how the saying goes. Speaking of which, do you really think HQ will send someone?”

“An acolyte at the very least,” she said. “Lieutenant Cors is respected enough to warrant our mission a Force-sensitive or two.”

“You sound like you admire him,” pushed Davies.

Before the driven private could answer, they came across the crumpled form of the spaceport official.

“What the—” Jayce started.

“It looks like he’s been robbed,” Davies observed kneeling down to prod the man. The unfortunate individual groaned in pain.

“Broken ribs,” said Davies. “This wasn’t a human that did this. Couldn’t have been the Kubaz either come to think of it. Not enough brute strength.”

“What would be your best guess?” asked Jayce.

“Wookiee probably,” he guessed. “Or most likely a Trando considering the system we're in. I’d guess a bounty hunter. Notice this poor barve’s weapons are missing?”

Jayce hadn’t noticed. She had to admit that for the lack of Davies’ ambition, he did have his moments.

“Why are you so handy with species anyway?” she inquired. “I’d wager you speak more languages than Revan.”

“Doubt it,” Davies laughed. “My father was sort of a diplomat for hire. A kind of negotiator I guess. We traveled around a lot. Went to every major city you can name. I ended up learning a lot.”

“Well I’m glad you’re on our side,” said Jayce quickly not wanting to give him the idea that she liked him too much. “Let’s go check out the starport and hope that this Trandoshan has a soft-spot for Sith troopers.”

((Btw all, I just realized I have 3 NPCs going. It’s a lot to keep track of so while I’m not saying you should just kill them all off, I wouldn’t begrudge anyone for instigating a fight or something along those lines))

“So the Jedi Council has seen fit to dispatch an emissary to Balkest,” mused Lieutenant Cors. “Don’t they know we’re at war?”

“The Order revels in negotiations and peacekeeping, Lieutenant,” responded Grayner. “The question is what do we do about it?”

“Davies and Jayce are going back to the ship,” said the Lieutenant addressing the privates. “Send a transmission to Balkest 3. Inform them of the situation and ask for a Force-sensitive to accompany the away team. I’d feel more comfortable with a Jedi on the surface if we had a saber on our side.”

“Yes, sir!” said Davies nodding. He and Jayce headed back towards the starport.

“There’s something else about Balkest, Rendon,” Grayner admitted. “Something we’re not seeing.”

“I feel it too,” agreed Cors. “That’s why I’m not going to be the one taking a face full of Force lightning for not bringing something of interest to Lord Malak’s attention.”

“Such is the life of a Sith,” chuckled the Corporal. “While those two are figuring out how to relay the broadcast, what should we occupy our time with?”

Cors shrugged.

“Looking for more information is the best course of action,” he said. “That way we can brief the Dark Jedi in full if HQ deems our cause worthy enough.”

“The best course of action?” questioned Grayner.

“Corporal, maybe my instincts are just out of whack,” explained Cors. “But the Jedi’s presence here coupled with growing colonial tensions on top of the bad feelings in both of our guts makes me think we can expect something exciting to happen without us poking around.”

((sorry bro sad))

Cors looked into the shining goggles of the tormented Kubaz. The pitiful creature not only feared for his life, he feared for the livelihood of all his people. Colonization had made this group wary and fearful. It all made the lieutenant’s mouth water.

He turned to the human civilians.

“You can’t do this here,” said Cors.

“Hey! Who do you think—“ started one of the less intelligent ones.

“I said,” repeated Lieutenant Cors. “You can’t do this here. Take it somewhere else.”

It all dawned on them.

“Oh yes, sir!” said the ring leader. “Thank you, Officer!”

“And keep it quiet for Force sake,” added Grayner.

The away team set off again as the three boys dragged away the helpless Kubaz. They were outside the market area now. This less crowded part of the camp had less activity, but just as many suspicious glances.

“The Kubaz should just all be eradicated,” Grayner was saying. “Disgusting creatures. What do you call something that eats filth anyway?”

“Resourceful?” Joyce put in hopefully.

“I don’t recall asking for your opinion, Private,” snapped Grayner.

“Corporal,” said Cors cutting off the banter, not that he minded. “How far is the tavern?”

“Just up this street, sir,” he responded consulting his datapad. “The dealer says he’s in the alleyway now.”

Sure enough, when the four troopers turned the corner, Mir was waiting for them. He was tall, dressed in black and had a smiling, accommodating look on his face.

“Jayce, Davies,” said Cors addressing his privates. “We’ll handle this. Stay by the entrance and alert us if anything unusual arises.”

The two senior troopers marched confidently towards the grinning, pale figure.

“Mur, I presume,” started Grayner.

“Mir actually,” corrected the dealer politely. “And you must be Corporal Grayner.”

“That’s correct,” the trooper responded. “This is Lieutenant Cors, my commanding officer.”

“We’ll take as many of the Czerka blaster rifles as you can spare,” said Cors taking over.

“Skipping negotiations are we?” inquired Mir raising an eyebrow.

“Doesn’t matter,” responded the lieutenant. “It’s a good price as long as they shoot fine. Besides, I can tell you’re too smart to bother.”

“Thanks for the flattery, Lieutenant,” said Mir genuinely thankful for good business.

“I’ll handle the transaction,” said Grayner. “Our ship’s on that slab of durasteel that they’re calling a starport. Can you arrange for the rifles to be on our cargo hold by the time we leave?”

“That’s not a problem,” the dealer assured him. “But I suppose we’re done here. I don’t suppose there’s anything more I can do for you is there?”

Here, Cors took a step closer to Mir so that they were seeing eye to eye. Or rather, eye to visor.

“I have to ask,” he started. “What makes an arms merchant so eager to deal with the Sith?”

“Hey,” said Mir shrugging. “Credits talk, nerf waste walks. Pretty simple if you ask me.”

“Excellent,” said Cors smirking behind his helmet. “Maybe that attitude will encourage you to answer my next question. I need information. Do you know anything at all that might benefit the Sith Empire in regards to Balkest?”

“I’d answer carefully if I were you, Mur,” advised Grayner.

Name: Lieutenant Rendon Cors
Gender: Male
Species: Human
Age: 34
Appearance: Wears the trademark reflective silver armor of a Sith trooper. Cors is muscular in build and bears the look of a seasoned veteran when his face isn’t obscured by a black visor. He has short black hair, brown eyes, and a jaw line that is almost as intimidating as his military-issued helmet.
Weapons: Blaster Carbine, vibroblade, and a couple frag grenades.

The Sith Empire was a force to be feared throughout the galaxy. Its undying thirst for power and conquest left system after system ravaged and torn by Malak and Revan. The troopers, though often considered expendable by the Lords and Acolytes commanding them, were an appropriate addition to the Empire that posed a threat to the Jedi Knights that had defended the galaxy for thousands of years. Their tactics often proved to be as ruthless and destructive as the dark side itself.

Lieutenant Cors was no exception to this description. A former Republic soldier, the years of the Civil War had hardened him into a strict and efficient leader. He had been offered promotions several times, but Cors preferred commanding small platoons of men he trusted. Plus, most troopers knew that in the Sith army, rising through the ranks could be treacherous since superiors often did not take kindly to failure or disappointment.

Currently Cors had been stationed on a Sith outpost on one of Balkest’s moons. He and three other soldiers made up an away-team to collect supplies and intel planetside. It was expected to be a simple mission.

“Grayner,” said Cors as they strode through the market square. “Who is this contact of yours again?”

Corporal Grayner looked up from his datapad. Cors saw his own helmet reflected back at him in Grayner’s visor creating an endless, black doorway of mirrors.

“It was Meer… Mur, maybe? I forget. But he’s a friend of a friend. We can trust him. Plus he’s got loads of those Czerka rifles and I know you won’t turn those down.”

Cors turned his attention back to the market. Civilians gave the four soldiers an extremely wide berth and several individuals disappeared entirely on seeing who they were. Cors excused his Corporal’s informality. The man had proven himself to the Lieutenant on more than one occasion. Grayner also happened to be right. He knew his commanding officer wouldn’t turn down decent weapons at that price.

Cors glanced behind them to where Davies and Jayce, the former being the only female, were nervously trotting along. The two fresh recruits could barely hold a blaster let alone use it, but Cors knew that they needed the experience. Davies also had a knack for languages, which was invaluable to a group of soldiers who could only speak Basic.

A cautious man himself, Cors, unaware of the approaching Jedi, saw little to worry about venturing into Elderslie. Balkest was about as far as you get away from a hostile planet and the inhabitants seemed docile enough when human-colonist tensions weren’t flaring up.

As if the Force wished to contradict the Lieutenant’s thoughts, Grayner suddenly pointed out some commotion up ahead.

“Sir, look.”

Cors glanced over to where three ruffians had a frightened Kubaz backed up against a wall. The insectivore was just a child by the looks of it.

“Filthy Kubazian piece of fodder!” one of them was saying. “You should have just told you and your family to go back where you came from. The other two humans produced a vibroblade and a stun rod.

“What’s going on here?” demanded Cors in an authoritative tone.

The one who had spoken turned around and his expression fell when he found himself face-to-face with four Sith troopers.

“Uh, we were just talking to our friend here. Right fellas?”

His two companions nodded in agreement. One of them had a solid grip on the Kubaz’s shoulder to keep it from escaping. The creature kept squeaking despairingly clearly just wanting to go home.

“The Kubazian is fairly sure they’re going to kill him, sir.” translated Davies unnecessarily.

“It’s really not our concern Lieutenant,” said Grayner voicing exactly what Cors was thinking. “We wouldn’t want to draw attention to ourselves.”

11

(184 replies, posted in General)

Sadriel_Fett wrote:

I was just reading on Facebook that Karen Traviss announced she wasn't doing any more Star Wars books after Imperial Commando #2 because of continuity issues with things in the second season of Clone Wars.  SAY IT ISN'T SO!!!!

http://karentraviss.typepad.com/blog/20 … other.html


Anyone know any details of what she's talking about?  I can only assume it has something to do with the Mandalorians and Boba being in season 2 of the Clone Wars.  I hope we're not going to need another RetCon on the history of the Mandalorians or even the Fett man, himself.  Especially since he's supposed to be a character in the new Star Wars live action TV show.  Cross your fingers.

Here's another article on that:

http://www.theforce.net/latestnews/stor … 125555.asp

So don't worry haters. You dont have to read her anymore. I for one think she's made invaluable contributions to Mandalorian canon. Bloodlines is one of my favorite SW novels of all time and finding this article really upset me.

((Thanks Gunslinger. I totally understand how late I'm coming in, so i'll approach everything accordingly. Hope this thread gets back into swing))

Name: Rancher “Crunch” Grax
Species: Chistori ()
Gender: Male
Age: 26
Affiliation: *shrugs*
Appearance:

http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/thumb/0/07/DHP18Chistori.jpg/150px-DHP18Chistori.jpg

The reptilian Crunch stands nearly 2.3 meters tall. He’s dressed in battle armor scavenged from corpses across the Battledome. The various pieces are hastily cut and bent to fit the Chistori’s massive frame. The armor is almost unnecessary thanks to the warrior’s thick, scaly hide characteristic of his species. Perhaps most frightening is Crunch’s jaw that allows him to dispose of enemies without even firing a blaster.
Weapons: Crunch intends it to be the heaviest piece of firepower he can find. Until then, his claws and maw should suffice.

…

It smelled like carnage. It smelled like war.

Crunch threw his head back and roared as the age-old instincts overtook over his mind. His glorious, violet scales glistened in the battle-stricken daylight. The Chistori’s vision became a sharp, hazy, red color as Crunch transitioned to predator. He deftly dipped to the side allowing blaster fire to fleck over his shoulder. In one fluid motion, Crunch scooped up a rock and hurled it at the top of a nearby hill. The perched assassin went down as the makeshift projectile collided with his skull.

Crunch gave a toothy grin and rolled aside. That was his thing: improvisation. Mama Grax had always known her little Rancher would go far. He had one thing his forty-something siblings did not, and that was cunning.

“Hey Chistori!”

Crunch, still crouched to avoid blaster fire, turned his head and narrowed his beady little eyes at the newcomer. It was an ugly little human prisoner packing a repeater rifle that was much too big for him. To be fair Crunch thought all humans were ugly. But this one was especially ugly.

“Go away,” growled Crunch starting for the village. It seemed like the perfect place to find equipment.

“Wait,” cried the prisoner jogging forward to catch up with Crunch. “Alliance! Alliance! We can help each other out, eh? Like a partnership. How ‘bout it?”

“I work alone,” replied Crunch simply. It was a cliché, but rightly so. His people had always fared better on their own. It was nothing personal. Although in this case it was. Crunch just didn’t like the smell of this human.

“The name’s Gardo,” said the prisoner panting under the weight of his weapon. “What’s your name?”

“Crunch,” said the Chistori really just wanting to be left alone.

“You a prisoner Crunch?” inquired Gardo not getting the message.

“Technically.”

Crunch had in fact been a prisoner. The wanted mercenary had been in the holding cell of two Rodian bounty hunters when the pair’s greed led them to set their coordinates for Teth. So Crunch modified his escape plan. He knew better than to underestimate the hunters who’d bested him, so he waited until the ship landed. When one Rodian made the mistake of getting too close to the holding cell’s bars, Crunch grabbed him and used him to coerce the second bounty hunter into unlocking the door. After a light lunch, Crunch emerged from the ship to find Teth in chaos. He was a little late to the party, but the Chistori decided that the best way to celebrate his freedom was to wreck a little havoc.

“I’m with you brother,” said the annoying prisoner. “Some Mando already took care of the Shell Hutt. With your brawn and my brains, I’ll bet the Galaxy we could take down Gerba. Word is the slug’s already hurt real bad. What do you say?”

Crunch thought about it. Not the partnership; that just wasn’t happening. Crunch was pondering the likelihood of taking Gerba down. He hadn’t gone near the Shell Hutt for a reason. Not only was durasteel hell on his molars, but bloaty Hutt skin was perhaps the least appetizing thing he could think of. Concerning Gerba though, it made a lot of sense to skip a little bloodshed and go straight for the reward. Might as well give it go. But he’d need a weapon…

Click.

Crunch slowly turned around to see Gardo aiming his beautiful-looking Mandalorian Heavy Repeater at the Chistori.

“You must be as stupid as you look,” the human was saying. “Did you really think I’d team up with the likes of you. You made this too easy! I can’t believe—”

Crunch wasn’t listening. His eyes were focused on the wonderful thing glistening in Gardo’s clammy palms. Three words went through Crunch’s mind. Words Mama Grax long had to put up with until the day Crunch left home:

I want that.

“Well I gotta say it was nice knowing you Crunch,” continued Gardo. “I guess I’ll see ya—”

Faster than anyone, least of all Gardo, could imagine, Crunch snapped his head forward and bit the unfortunate prisoner’s face clean off. Crunch lept forward careful to cradle the repeater in his arms as the body fell to ground.

The Chistori wiped his mouth off and continued towards the mock village, repeater rifle in hand.

hehe, im a diehard twilight fan so i have to say edward:

- super strength
- super speed
- marble skin
- reads minds

vamp

- creepy
- agile
- kinda strong
- likes knives
- regenerative power

Big mgs fan too, but if anything I'm gonna say edward's smart enough to find the nanos that would destroy vamp's healing ability

15

(992 replies, posted in Role Playing)

"Okay so we got the bad guy. Party?" put in Vandal hopefully.

Frost grinned and bobbed his head bodaciously. Acero however simply stared straight ahead.

"Big dude, what's your deal?" Frost asked. "We got the bad guy. We totally saved the day... for now. What's your beef?"

Acero shook his head as he surveyed two suspicious men come out of an alley. A young girl was passing and one of the guys motioned to his partner and they both turned the corner after the woman. Without so much as a breath he left Vandal and Frost where they were to follow the two.

Didn't they understand? The days to save kept coming. It was never over.

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(992 replies, posted in Role Playing)

Acero reluctantly clipped his hardy chains back to his interface gauntlets. If there was one thing he put before his duty, it was protecting the world against the fall of the heroes. Harry was doing exactly this in a quick and efficient manner.

Suddenly the red beacon in Acero's right wrist blinked on. That was the bad one. He tried to connect to HQ, but his link had been severed. Another bad sign.

He placed his arm on the table playing the incoming message for the other occupants of the Chromi-jet. This time Lietenant Davis' revolving head was projected from Acero's gauntlet.

"By immediate order of the mayor," said David. "Due to the impending threat that has arisen, all 'supers' are required to report to city hall for immediate processing. Those who fail to comply will be deemed hazardous and suffer the consequences. Law officials may use whatever means necessary to stop them."

The broadcast blinked off leaving everyone aboard in stunned silence.

17

(992 replies, posted in Role Playing)

((No worries, I changed it, s'all good. Sorry for assuming))

18

(992 replies, posted in Role Playing)

Working quickly, Acero unclipped the reinforced chains from his wrists and used them to bind Flame's arms and legs. In one fluid motion he scooped up the fallen super and hoisted him over his shoulder. The wounded villain tried to heat up, just a little bit, but he couldn't muster up enough strength.

Haze looked on helplessly powerless to stop him.

Vandal kicked at a nearby tree in frustration too preoccupied with the thought of leaving her true prize behind in pursuit of Flame.

"If that laid back gun jockey slips through my fingers one more time..."

The other occupants of the park suddenly got a vivid flash of images letting them know exactly what she was going to do.

Acero gestured with two fingers to Haze and then pointed to the entrance to the park. He then opened his palm flat leaving it up to her as he turned to leave with Flame on his back.

"He means you're not wanted by the authorities," explained Vandal happy to translate. "But you're welcome to tag along if you've got nothing better to do."

"How come you understand him so well," asked Haze. "You just met him and you can't be peeking into his head all the time."

"Let's just say we speak the same language," shrugged Vandal lifting herself off the ground before following Acero. "In a sense."

Haze was left standing alone. After a moment of silent contemplation she tread after the others.

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(992 replies, posted in Role Playing)

"Oh crap, it's the steel-man," groaned the police lieutenant as he saw the shining Acero striding over. "This guy gives me the creeps!"

"Don't be so hard on Acero," said his partner. “Back when I was a rookie, I lost my tactical shield in the middle of a firefight and thought I was a goner. Acero shows up and I stay behind him for the rest of the raid. Somehow I got outta there alive. He’s a good guy boss. He’s just the strong silent type, that’s all.”

The lieutenant grunted nonchalantly.

“Who’s this?” he barked up the metallic figure.

Acero turned to where the officer was looking confused and was startled to see Vandal standing next to him.

“Vandal,” she answered for him. “Telepath.”

The lieutenant grunted again. With all you supers in the city it’s a wonder I still have a job. Alright Acero you’re just in time for the action.

“Oni.”

“No.” answered the lieutenant. “Oni is a special circumstance. We’ll take care of him. What we need from you is to round up his mates. We lost a visual on the pyro, but he’s around here somewhere. With your new little mind reader friend here finding him shouldn’t be a problem.”

“Flame has telepathic abilities too boss,” put in his partner helpfully.

“Dammit Bernie!” snapped the lieutenant. “I know what- Nevermind! And Acero, you two take out the one they’re calling Jericho too. If he gets a good vantage point, he’ll be taking out my men like hot cakes.”

The grin on Vandal’s face was so wide, that even Acero got a little chill.

“I have a police commission to sick Jericho?” she asked. “Mister, you have no idea how happy you’ve made me.”

“Whatever,” said the lieutenant turning back to his partner. “And be careful!” he called out as Acero sprinted off. Vandal jumped into the air after him hovering above the line of fire.

Just do exactly what I say big guy. And this’ll be over in no time.

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(992 replies, posted in Role Playing)

Acero walked slowly up to the edge of the bubble once again in his human form. Quite honestly he wasn't too fond of prisons. They irritated him.

He slowly turned his head to the side, Michael Myers style, as if considering the forcefield with apathetic curiosity. His mask was no worse for the wear after Jericho's saving shot other than a gaping hole just under the left eye socket.

Acero suddenly began throwing violent punches at the bubble once again shifting into his steel form as he did so. Other heroes usually rolled their eyes when the "big one" on the team resorted to brute strength, but doing so rarely failed to yield results. After a minute or so Acero decided these efforts were futile and turned away to contemplate a new strategy.

"If you want a true answer about Void and Darklight's past you could just ask me," Vandal was saying.

Acero approached her and spread his hands out to his sides slowly. It was obvious what he was asking.

"Tell... me..."

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(992 replies, posted in Role Playing)

((Acero doesn't need oxygen in his steel form, but alas, he cannot fly either))

22

(992 replies, posted in Role Playing)

Acero put the unconscious Vandal beside some rubble where she'd be safe and slowly inched his way into the ongoing battle. He found himself standing a few feet from... well, himself. A most curious power.

Before Haze could make another move with her psyblade, Acero bull rushed Harry from the side throwing his doppelganger to the ground. Metal punches were thrown as the two scuffled and kicked unable to do harm to each other. Then Harry was shifting. He changed into a Chromium and melted down almost completely. Warm liquid metal was thrust into Acero's face swimming wildly across his mask, forcing itself down his throat.

Acero smacked his own face desperately struggling for breath.

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(992 replies, posted in Role Playing)

((Sorry Adeptus, I took Flame outta that last one. And Sev I thought of that because there were like three things at once going on on the same roof. I think it's okay though, we can just say were on nearby buildings or that only one section of the roof was destroyed.))

Acero was a little thrown off by the new arrival at his back. He'd made it a personal policy to trust the telepaths least of all. Elements in his mask usually kept out the worst of the mind waves, but if this girl was as powerful as he supposed, then she'd have no problem tearing his headgear like tinfoil.

He nodded in approval as Vandal turned several of his opponents against each other. It was no wonder the villains were keeping her locked up. Alright, he'd assume they were on the same side. For now.

"Friend..." he said thinking aloud.

"What was that?" shouted Vandal over the gunfire.

Acero turned his cold, emotionless gaze back to Oni motioning to him with two fingers.

Come with me...

24

(992 replies, posted in Role Playing)

The Void super had ruined everything. The chief was not going to be happy.

The occupants of the bar sprang from their chairs as the roof of Happy Harry's exploded. Acero had transformed. His boots slammed into the table cleanly breaking it into two. There was a whooshing metallic sound as his hands gleamed silver and the eyes beneath his mask became smooth and glossy. He was steel; living steel. Nothing could hurt him now, nothing could melt him. He was invincible. The remaining villains stared at the newcomer surrounded by rubble in shock.

Finally the one called the Colonel got the sense to attack.

"Hero..." he coughed bitterly as dust from the obliterated roof settled down to the bar floor. He leaped forward throwing a confident punch at the assailant.

Acero's right chain was around the Colonel's wrist before it was halfway to his face. Without the slightest effort, the hulking, metal warrior flicked his arm behind him sending the unfortunate Colonel flying into the back wall.

Guns were aimed at him in a second. A thick barrage of bullets rebounded uselessly off every inch of Acero's body. Villains were still squeezing triggers when their clips ran out. Acero lowered himself into a battle stance as his chains became deadly spinning fans.

Bodies were flying left and right with no remorse. When all the men were down, Acero turned to the doorway to see Oni and Jericho striding in; the latter already has his weapon trained on him.

Acero raised an arm to point at Oni. The chain swayed back and forth from his manacled wrist menacingly. The hero pressed the button on the manacle and the rotating head of the chief of police sprang into view.

Oni lowered his head slowly taking a cautious step into the room.

"Aleksander Uy," said the recording of the chief. "You are under arrest for conspiracy against the League of Heroes. Stand and desist. You have the right to remain silent..."

Naturally, Acero didn't like saying the speech which is why he'd had the hologram installed into his wrist piece. Still, it didn't really matter. He didn't really expect Oni to come queitly. He'd almost be disappointed if he did.

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(992 replies, posted in Role Playing)

Acero easily pulled himself up the side of Happy Harry's. Alright, maybe not so easily. He was still a little winded from tracking Haze and those other two across the sky.

Once on the roof, the hero nimbly crawled over to a torn space in the structure where two walls met. The first person in the room below that he took notice of was Oni. Another man with a fearful grin was handing a slide over to another character who plugged the slide into the grip of his deagle. Something about the first man gave Acero the creeps.

Acero silently and expertly settled into a more comfortable lying position on the rooftop by the peep hole waiting for more villains to arrive.