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Deep Core Explorations
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Ori`verda Creator
Ori`verda

When the summons came to present herself on the bridge Falkyria was occupied assembling her FS-1 Farshot, a sporting blaster rifle. She was halfway finished when the order came through. Leaving the weapon, the lieutenant strapped her sidearm and holster to her uniform and set out.

Along the way Falkyria met up with the Sith Lord, Azrael. The man was wore a hood over a tall white mask with vertical, glowing yellow slits. His file stated that he was human but that mask and his body language gave off a very alien aura. Why all Sith insisted on such impractical clothing was beyond her. Though she couldn't tell, Falkyria felt as if he was watching her. It was unnerving.

Arriving on the bridge the young lieutenant stood alongside the captain, straightened her posture and offered a salute.

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AK151 Author
AK151

Captain Alterius nods curtly as Falkyria walks onto the bridge. "Assume your station, lieutenant. We have a distress signal nearby. We will be there within a few minutes." Falkyria notices that the bridge crew are on alert; it seems the captain is taking no chances and has ordered the ship to prepare for battle.

The Ecthelion plots its jump to hyperspace and lurches forward, disappearing into the stars towards the distress signal. Even in hyperspace, the spaciousness of the Deep Core means that it'll be at least a few minutes before they reach their destination.

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Ori`verda Creator
Ori`verda

"Captain, permission to speak freely?" the young lieutenant begins. Provided she is allowed to speak her mind, her reply would be something along the lines of "Wouldn't it be more prudent to forward this information to command and sending a scouting party ahead, rather than risking the entire vessel, sir?"

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AK151 Author
AK151

"For all intents and purposes, lieutenant, we are the scouting party," the captain replies. "We have forwarded what information we have to command. Likewise, a squadron of our fighters has already been deployed and has reported no immediate danger, at least in the area where we will be dropping out of hyperspace."

As if on cue, the Star Destroyer Judicathelion emerges from hyperspace several hundred kilometers from the space station, reuniting with the squadron of TIE fighters it had sent ahead to investigate. The station continues to emit what seems like an automated distress signal. Neither scanners nor visual sensors detect any sort of exterior damage to the station, and there's little indication as to its actual purpose.

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Ori`verda Creator
Ori`verda

"Not a fan?" The Sith Lord startled Falkyria despite knowing he was keeping his gaze firmly on her. She quickly recovered her composure straightened her posture, but even then the cloaked figure towered over here.

"No, my lord." The lieutenant replied curtly and yet the Sith remained, fixated even. Falkyria swallowed and "The Judicator is far from home, cut off and about to spring what seems to be a trap."

"Have you considered that perhaps our good captain Alterius is already fully aware of this? Besides, where is your sense of curiosity lieutenant?"

"Isn't there a saying about curiosity killing the kath hound? If it were up to me I would destroy the station from afar and have a crew scan what remains." While discussing the finer points of curiosity and traps, Falkyria prepared a boarding team the captain would no doubt wish to send.

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AK151 Author
AK151

The captain ignores Lord Azrael's presence, showing no visibly signs of unease. The same cannot be said for the rest of the crew, who eye the Sith with trepidation. Alterius' voice brings them back to their senses. "It is evident that this is a trap," he replies to Falkyria's musings. "Either an ambush waiting for us to draw closer to the station, or something on-board." He looks at the space station, his eyes narrowing. "Full power to shields and bring us in closer. Slowly."

The Judicator's shields flare as power pours into them, bolstering them somewhat at the cost of its weapons. Meanwhile, the Star Destroyer inches slowly towards the station, closing the distance bit by bit.

As they draw closer, the captain turns to Falkyria. "You enjoy having your boots on the ground, lieutenant. Head down one of the hangars and prepare a boarding party." His eyes shift to Azrael. "My lord, if you wish to satisfy your curiosity, you are welcome to go as well."

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Ori`verda Creator
Ori`verda

Boots on the ground wasn't quite the correct term. Safe, sound and removed from any battle was far more appropriate. Falkyria had killed before, the adrenaline rush is of taking life is a high unlike any other, but it didn't make her fond of risking her life dying over a mere expedition. The term cowardice would most certainly apply if not for her current predicament.

A hell of her own design.

One short and silent elevator ride together with a Sith Lord later and the lieutenant began to note the uneasy feeling subsiding, if only faintly. Inside the hangar bay a squad of Stormtroopers was at the ready near an Atmospheric Assault Lander, as expected the captain wished to board the space station.

As the vessel crossed the space between the Judicator and the space station a thought struck Falkyria, in hindsight she should have made preparations for a fighter escort.



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AK151 Author
AK151

As the Judicator draws closer to the station and the boarding party prepares to launch, sensors pick up a powerful radiation spike in the main reactor. In an instant, the radiation reaches a critical mass and the entire station detonates in a massive explosion, likely engineered and enhanced through the use of powerful explosives.

Radiation floods the Judicator's sensors, rendering the ship blind. Its shields flare as they take the brunt of the damage, with all power to the aft shields being redirected to the bow to keep them up.

After less than a minute, the explosion fades and the radiation subsides; nothing remains of the space station but rubble. Strangely enough, there seems to be nothing on the attack. This seemed too well-engineered a trap to be a freak accident, but the next component of that trap is not evident. The Judicator detects nothing else of note in the area as its shields recycle and replenish.

Falkyria's boarding party is relieved that they had held off on launching until the Judicator had drawn closer. Else they likely would have been caught in the blast and incinerated.

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Ori`verda Creator
Ori`verda

Shock waves rocked the Judicator, lights flickering on and off as power was fed into maintaining the shields and energy was redirected. The countess brought up a portable communicator and requested information on what had occurred and what her next set of orders were.

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AK151 Author
AK151

The Judicator's sensors detect nothing strange or out of the ordinary in the wreckage of the space station. The timing of the blast notwithstanding, all signs point to some sort of freak accident.

"The station detonated all of a sudden," the captain replies. "No signs as to what caused it, and there's nothing else on scanners. Return to the bridge, lieutenant. We're going to stay here a bit longer to finish our investigation and then head out."

The boarding party disbands, feeling a bit uneasy over the strange circumstances before them. They're well-aware that none of this makes any sense, but there aren't any proper explanations. If this were a trap, they should have attracted some fire by now, surely.

Azrael, however, feels something else. For the faintest instant, he senses a tremor of life... directly outside of the ship. It vanishes just as quickly; a trick of the mind? In any event, he senses nothing else strange.

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Ori`verda Creator
Ori`verda

The pair return to the bridge; with the lieutenant returning to her post and Azrael simply standing around very near. The countess had begun to dismiss the leering eyes, during her stint at the academy there were plenty of overbearing instructors and fellow students looking over her shoulder. Granted none of them were Sith Lords who wielded laser swords and magical powers.

Falkyria's mind was occupied with a paranoia she choose to keep to her self. Deep space platforms don't just explode out of the blue, there was something behind all this.

Nearby, the Lord of the Sith was similarly falling into contemplation but over something else entirely. There was something dark hiding within the countess he aims to drag forth and into the light.

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AK151 Author
AK151

Captain Alterius narrows his eyes as the reports come in. There seems to be nothing wrong. A scenario with the textbook trappings of an ambush seems to have resolved itself with no trouble. The wreckage of the station offers no further clues as to what went wrong; best the crew can tell, the reactor suffered some sort of catastrophic malfunction.

A theory being proposed and passed around is that something happened on the station - maybe a radiation leak cut the crew off from the communications blisters or something similar - forcing them to set up an automatic distress signal. The Judicator simply arrived too late to be of any assistance as the reactor succumbed to whatever damage it had suffered and went critical.

Alterius doesn't buy this theory, but there is little evidence to back up any other idea. He'll include it in the report to command, emphasizing it as a mere theory backed up by little more than circumstantial evidence.

"Stand by to jump to hyperspace," he orders. "Once the report to command has been sent, I want us out of here. Set a course for deeper into the coreward sectors. Let's see if we can't find anything else interesting." That is, after all, why they were sent there in the first place.

The Judicator eventually comes about, its engines flaring as it darts forward before disappearing into hyperspace, leaving the wreckage behind.

Meanwhile, Azrael once again, at the edge of his mind, feels a faint unfamiliar presence for the briefest instant. It disappears too quickly for him to pinpoint exactly where it could be - assuming there is anything to begin with - but he can confirm one thing: whatever it is, it is inside the ship.

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Ori`verda Creator
Ori`verda

Azrael mouth curls into a small grin behind his tall, white mask. His senses are still sharp as ever despite the nearly fatal episode that had befallen him some time ago. He wasn't mad when he sensed this entity the first time around.

The Sith stepped towards Captain Alterius requesting a moment to discuss a matter of command in seclusion and privacy.

Standing over a terminal the lieutenant Falkyria was far too deeply into her work to note the departure of Azrael. Her nerves had calmed somewhat upon entering hyperspace.

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AK151 Author
AK151

Alterius nods, leaving the bridge in the hands of his first officer before stepping off to the side, out of earshot of any other officers. "Yes, my lord? Is something wrong?"

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Ori`verda Creator
Ori`verda

"Nothing yet," Azrael states matter-a-factually "You are temporarily relieved of command captain." not waiting for the response of Alterius, the Sith applies the Force very precisely around himself and his intended target.

He obscures the recording devices by shaking them, audio similarly won't pick up anything as its recording components are shook. The captain is knocked out by more simple means, an alchemical aerosol concoction which renders Alterius unconscious and should keep him that way for at least a few hours.

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AK151 Author
AK151

As the captain falls unconscious, one of the officers notices him fall and immediately starts panicking. "Captain!" he shouts, drawing the attention of everyone on the bridge. An ensign calls for security and many of the men reach for the pistols they have strapped to their hips, drawing them and aiming at Azrael; the chances of them killing a Sith Lord are slim, but if they concentrate their fire they may stand a chance, even with their small arms. If anything, they can delay him long enough for security to get there.

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Ori`verda Creator
Ori`verda

The Sith Lord raises his hands slowly to his sides, stopping just below his hips with fingers outstretched. Lieutenant Falkyria likewise unholstered her sidearn and aims at the treasonous Sith.

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AK151 Author
AK151

"Don't move, Sith," the officer who had alerted the others exclaims. "I don't know what you did to our captain, but if you try anything, we'll gun you down without a second thought!"

Meanwhile, security teams board the turbolifts to the bridge, weapons armed and ready; any threat on the bridge is nothing to take lightly, and they're prepared to kill if necessary.

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Ori`verda Creator
Ori`verda

Azrael ***** his head to the left, "I'm sure you will."

Once the security teams arrive to deal with the seemingly rogue Sith, said Sith does not resist his arrest in any way, shape or form.

Meanwhile, Falkyria moves to check on captain Alterius while keeping her distance and an eye on Azrael. This sudden new turn of events only fueled her paranoia. What was Azrael thinking, is this a result of that radiation leak or was it something he planned all along, are all Sith like him. Answers would have to wait for the time being.

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AK151 Author
AK151

"Take him to a holding cell," the first officer orders to the security team. "Be careful. He may try something on the way there."

The security team directs the Sith off the bridge and escorts him to the ship's prison cells, taking precautions to ensure he does not escape; backup is put on standby in case Azrael tries anything and the turbolift is locked down temporarily, instead being controlled remotely from the bridge.

The first officer looks at the captain. "Take him to the medical bay. Find out what that Sith did to him. Drop us out of hyperspace and send a report to command."

The Judicator emerges from hyperspace, drifting in empty space while the crew adapts to the new situation.

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Ori`verda Creator
Ori`verda

Once more Azrael complies. He doesn't resist during the walk, he doesn't resist when faced with the holding cell and he doesn't resist once he is locked behind it.

Medical bay has no idea how to awaken the captain but can confirm that he is alive and well, showing no particularly nasty symptoms. It seems as if he is asleep or some sort of coma. The alchemical compound they are able to sample is too complex and would require another Sith skilled in the field of alchemy to ascertain if there is a way to wake up captain Alterius right away. As it stands now, there is no telling when or if he will be back on his feet.

Countess Falkyria compiles a notice for command and transmits it. She asks the first officer and others of similar rank who will take command of the Judicator and is next highest up the chain of command.

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Description

The Star Destroyer Judicator is sent on a mission to explore the Deep Core on behalf of some members of the Imperial admiralty, who, as of late, have become more and more interested in combing the mysterious and uncharted territories.

Aboard the Judicator, serving as first officer, is lieutenant Freya Falkyria zi Starkroße, a young officer of royal blood, likely sent on the expedition with the expectation that there would be little harm in an exploration mission - though she is likely unaware of that line of reasoning.

Also aboard the Imperial-class in a more clandestine capacity is an envoy sent by the admiralty personally to oversee the operation: a Force wielder by the name of Sidas Shadowstar. Though to everyone on the ship, he is simply Azrael. Most consider him a Sith, but this assumption is not entirely correct. Regardless, he keeps to himself and makes himself scarce. Despite that, his presence puts the entire crew on edge.

Two weeks into their expedition, the Judicator receives a distress signal from a fringe space station - unmarked and unregistered. Probably some independent junkyard scrap dealer, or possibly a pirate base, though the latter likely wouldn't send a signal unless in significant danger.

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