Hey guys, I'm the number 10. Go ahead and multiply me. See what happens.
"You are half right. You have indeed been noticed and few would regret your death, as it is apparent that you will not conform to the standard Sith philosophy. This is a dangerous time to stand for your ideals. We are in the midst of a Civil War started because the Sith Lord Cronus chose to turn his back to the Order, and many believe that this is because of his morals. Many Sith loyal to him followed suite. I am not telling you to stop pursuing your own beliefs, only that you must understand that there will be consequences for doing so, now more than ever."
"You have been called soft by many of your brethren. The narrow minded will take this to mean weakness, but you cannot listen to them. Softness isn't weakness. Weakness is weakness. Being merciful to everyone is foolish, but so is being merciful to no one. As long as you are strong enough to defend and maintain your position, you may believe what you wish. That is what being a Sith is."
"Your beliefs have been challenged by Darth Eris and her assassins. You prevailed, though, and so you may continue with your ideals. This is not the first time you will be challenged for holding them, and it will not be the last. You must understand this."
"What about my second question? Why did Cyrus die?"
Tsark, receiving the readings, orders all transports including those from the Enclave to go back to their positions.
"Do not board the Dragon Fang until we have the area secured!"
He sends a message to the Enclave commander.
"I believe that the Dragon Fang may be intentionally overloading its systems, resulting in self destruction. I recommend engaging at a safe distance until we figure out what's going on."
Meanwhile Hul arrives on the Grim Shadow and speeds up to the bridge. Both he and Brax work together to repair their ships as best they can. When the Enclave's Tertiary Strike Fleet arrives a collective sigh of relief spreads throughout the fleet, thankful for additional assistance. This is cut short when the commander of the Enclave forces reveals themselves.
Battle positions are assumed, with Imperial fighters and bombers securing a perimeter between the Imperial Strike Force and the Enclave Tertiary Strike Fleet. A warning is sent by Admiral Hul to Admiral Arkanus.
"Your ships will not approach our forces. You are a traitor who deserted your post. Worse, you stole an Imperial warship and persuaded its crew to commit treason against the Empire. The politicians may be protecting you for now, but I will not serve alongside a traitor."
No moves are made to engage the forces, as it is clear that the majority are made up of Enclave personnel. However the perimeter is maintained and any attempt to approach the fleet will likely result in warning shots being fired.
"You are troubled. Cyrus died, then?"
Not waiting for an answer, Xenos continues.
"Do you understand why you were targeted? Why Cyrus died? It is vital for your training that you do."
The Temple on Korriban had been abandoned for a great deal of time before the Second Galactic Empire rose to power, with the Sith at its head. Even then, it received relatively few visitors as most Sith preferred to train in a Temple nearer the Core, such as the one on Coruscant, due to its position as the centre of political power.
Unlike most other Sith institutions at the time, the Korriban Temple was barren, devoid of any finery or luxury. The entrance was a large stone door, and two Sith soldiers stood guard at its sides. The door opens as Kalus approaches, and he navigates the cold, dimly lit interior.
He doesn't cross many of his brethren. So few that it is noticeable. He can only guess that they have been recruited to supplement the Empire's forces fighting in the North against the Fels or in the South, against the Resistance. He arrives at his Master's quarters to discuss his mission, as should all Sith upon completing their objective. The door opens, and he may enter.
Darth Xenos is standing in the centre of the room facing away from Kalus, his hands clasped behind his back. In front of him is a faint blueish glow, which Kalus recognizes as being a hologram. He cannot see the person his master is talking to, but as he enters he hears a woman's voice.
"-cess. We cannot be too bold. He has too many allies, and we too few. I will continue searching among the Imperials."
Xenos turns his head slightly, and then back to the hologram.
"My apprentice has returned. We shall discuss this at a later date."
The woman sounds surprised.
"Your apprentice? So be it."
The blue glow fades away, and Xenos turns. Kalus towers over his master, but that is common as the majority of Noghri are surprisingly small. He wields no lightsaber, though a variety of daggers were fastened to his belt.
"Was your mission successful?"
She gets up, oblivious to the pain. Fear is overwhelming her, and a tear runs down her cheek as she trembles. She was a rational woman, and there was no doubt in her mind that she was going to die on this miserable planet.
"Look, I just do what I'm told, ok? I was just following orders. I was never meant for this. I was never trained for this. I just... I just follow orders."
He could have killed her by now, but he didn't. He was playing with her. She was a Sith and knew how sadistic they could be, but she was surprised that the anger hadn't made him kill her already. Perhaps he was enjoying her fear.
"Well what are you waiting for? I won't beg. I, I mean... I won't beg."
She sounded doubtful, the pride that comes naturally through Sith training conflicting with her innate, instinctual desire to survive. But there was nothing she could do. Her mind was running a constant loop of possibilities that always resulted in her demise.
The Imperial Strike Force remains within the asteroid field, taking time to recover from the battle.
Finding nothing of use within the building and sensing Kalus approaching, she heads to the rooftop, the full realisation that time is running against her on her mind.
One of the Sith manages to withdraw using Force Speed and rushes away.
Eris heads towards the building and enters, desperately trying to find something that can help her.
Admiral Hul deems the Triumph unsafe and orders the crew to evacuate via escape pods and shuttles, fearing that the next shot would be directed at them as a finishing blow. The Admiral and the command crew swiftly escape in shuttles escorted by Imperial fighters.
Admiral Brax orders the remaining Imperial and Tionese forces to retreat back into the asteroid field, hoping that it will provide some cover from the Dragon Fang. They prioritize leaving the presumed line of fire of the Dragon Fang before retreating.
"Commander, we shall be withdrawing to the asteroid field. The Dragon Fang should be undefended and unable to escape, and you already have the ISB strike force within your fleet. We shall remain alert until the operation is complete but I do not believe our assistance will be necessary for now. Good luck."
OOC: I'm assuming Kalus has heavy armour, as is the norm among most Marauders.
The Sith engage Kalus while he throws their dead companion's corpse. Multiple blades impact on his armour, damaging but not piercing his armour. They try to use their numbers to their advantage, going in for second strikes without hesitation.
Eris stops running, pausing and looking back while her breath comes back to her. This wasn't how this was supposed to go. What was she to do? Go out guns blazing? She would die. Marauders were too dangerous to take on in direct combat. He would be aware of her illusions, and while she was experienced with some Force techniques she doubted they would be useful. She felt panic and real, tangible terror, for the first time since the Academy. She turns and runs as fast as she can.
Eris backs away, slowly at first. She has no idea what is happening, no clue what Force technique he is even using. She had heard the wonders of Force Drain, but what Kalus was doing right now was, to her knowledge, unique. Part of her, a very small, foolish part, wanted to stay and study the phenomenon. Luckily the prevailing priority right now was survival. She turns and begins to run towards her speeder as fast as she can, keeping a constant Force Barrier around her body as protection. Marauders were never to be engaged directly, no matter the situation. As she turns, she shouts to the remaining Sith.
"Abort the mission!"
They do not listen. They had waited long enough, and were not afraid of the fire their prey held in his hand. They quickly get up and resume their attack.
Eris has stepped back now. She needed time to recover from the lightning, and wanted to secure her hold over Kalus' mind. She felt anger within him, but it didn't seem to have made it any easier to infiltrate his mind once more. She gestures to the other Sith, and they begin their assault.
Kalus senses the approaching Sith. They have him surrounded.
The two in front of him swing aggressively at him. The two on his sides wait, ready to react. The one behind him, wounded by Cyrus, thrusts his lightsaber forward.
Eris, her left hand still raised and spurting out lightning, easily bypasses Cyrus' lightsaber and swings horizontally with her lightsaber in her right hand. He yells as his side is opened by the blade, but before he can recover he is kicked to the ground. Before he can even register what is happening his hands are sliced off. She grabs him by the hair and painfully raises him up to a kneeling position.
The lightsabers directed at Eris are intercepted by the surrounding Sith, who throw them off course and crush them.
Kalus is slowly breaking out of the illusion. Enraging him could place him in the mindset required to plunge him back, allowing for an easy kill. As such, Eris and Cyrus can now be seen within the illusion. Before any last words can be said, she beheads the Inquisitor and tosses his head to Kalus. She then vanishes, but her voice floods Kalus' mind.
"How a pair like you rose to your position I do not know. Cyrus seemed promising, but you made him weak. He depended far too much on you for his protection. While you were swinging at the wind he was quivering in fear, being hunted like an animal. Now it is your turn."
OOC: Cyrus isn't a Marauder. Intense pain can't just be shrugged off by all Sith and turned into Force powers. Pain is meant to disrupt focus, not create it xD.
IC: Eris charges forward at the Inquisitor, her lightsaber ready to parry his attack and slice him in two. Somehow he managed to resist her lightning, but the Inquisitor was foolishly rushing towards him. He was an inexperienced duelist and likely blinded by the pain and adrenaline, so this should be an easy kill.
The remaining Sith are now surrounding the trio.
The blades miss as Cyrus rushes forward to meet the Jedi.
As Cyrus is focused on Kalus, Eris sends out a stream of lightning. The last bolt was for show, this is much more effective. The distraction Kalus caused allows the attack to go through, and Cyrus' body is consumed by painful electricity. A single nod to one of the Sith pushes them all into action. All but one start walking forward to surround the duel. One of them rushes to Cyrus, his lightsaber ignited, and attempts to plunge it right into his heart.
Due to Eris' focus on attacking Cyrus, she cannot effectively block the telepathic attack. As such, Kalus hears his partner's message.
Cyrus is gripped by Kalus and brought forward as he deflects Eris' lightning, but still manages to launch his telekinetic wave. Eris holds both her hands up, creating a powerful enough barrier to protect against the wave, sliding back only a few meters.
Within the illusion, Kalus sees the real Cyrus as his Jedi foe and Eris as his partner. As such, it is the Jedi that performs the telekinetic wave as Kalus bolts forward.
OOC: From now on I'll do this duel from the perspective of Eris for simplicity's sake. All moves made by Eris will be replicated within the illusion by Cyrus and all moves by the real Cyrus will be made by the Jedi.
The 5 remaining Sith, one of them wounded, run after Cyrus but when they see him going to engage Eris they keep their distance. They could attack their prey within seconds if need be, but for now they wait.
Eris waves her hand and sends a bolt of lightning towards Cyrus.
Before Kalus can dispatch the Jedi, Cyrus manages to wave his hand and his opponent is sent flying towards the rubble. The Jedi gets up and proceeds to run at Cyrus, obviously intent on closing the distance and preventing Cyrus from using his Force abilities. The Inquisitor looks over to Kalus, a silent plea to get over here and allow him to recover.
The Sith overseeing Kalus hears the commotion, and when he spots Cyrus jumping out of the building he proceed with the original plan and pounces on him as he lands, sending him into the dirt with the Sith on top of him. The Sith begins punching Cyrus as many times as possible.
The other Sith use this time to converge on Cyrus' location, exiting the building and surrounding Cyrus.
Confident that the Inquisitor is dealt with, Eris turns her attention to Kalus and approaches him.
Kalus successfully kills remaining Resistance soldiers, only to hear sounds of fighting behind him. Cyrus is dueling with what seems to be a Jedi, probably the leader of the ambush. He has a single blue lightsaber and is giving Cyrus no room to withdraw. The Inquisitor calls out to Kalus to help him.
There is something noticeably off about Cyrus' fighting style.
OOC: I'm not quite sure how the chunks would tear right through it, seeing as how most of them would be flying upwards and away. If it were a traditional ISD then yeah, there would be a risk of them hitting the bridge but if you look at the design of the Magister then you'll see no raised bridge. As it stands if the projectile hits the forward part of the ship and there is no raised bridge then it would require extreme luck or homing chunks for them to tear it apart. A few might hit the bridge but it is also protected by a medium shield generator.
If you want to hit the bridge, aim for the bridge. If you want to hit the front of the ship, aim for that. I just don't see how both can be hit with the same amount of damage. Its enough to take out the second most powerful ship class (barring SSD) in the Imperial fleet with a single shot, right? xD.
IC: Any other ship within the Imperial Navy would probably have been obliterated by the projectile, but a combination of strong shields and a thick hull allows the Triumph to stay relatively intact. Communications, shields and most other systems go offline, the ship floating helplessly until it recovers from the blow it took. It is difficult to evaluate the full extent of the damage dealt, but it is doubtful the Triumph will be contributing anything more to the fight unless communications can be restored. Some of its weapons still fire at the Hutts but it is very ineffective. The second layer of shielding and communications systems are considered top priorities for reactivation, but it is unsure when or if that can be done.
Admiral Brax takes command from the Grim Shadow. The fleet loses a lot of its coordination following the removal of the Triumph, but luckily most of the Hutt fleet is occupied with the Enclave allowing the small Imperial force vital time to regroup.
"Commander Dai, this is Admiral Brax of the Grim Shadow, personal servant to Emperor Magister. I will be taking over from Admiral Hul. We cannot allow the Dragon Fang to escape, I suggest that we commence a full on attack and close in on the Hutt forces. If they manage to jump, this will all be for naught."
OOC: Do I just chose which large ship its heading towards or are we somehow unable to calculate which ship is being targeted? I'll just assume the former for now.
IC: The asteroid heads for the Triumph. Admiral Hul orders the ships' engines to be deactivated and all power to be diverted to the shield generators. Extra layers of shielding are activated where possible. The area of the ship targeted by the asteroid is to be evacuated, with the most valuable members being escorted to safe zones first. The shields should absorb a lot of the impact, but serious damage is expected regardless.
The rest of the fleet continues its assault. Because of its location, it should have a clear shot at the Hutt forces who are taking cover from the Enclave. Despite this, the damage they deal is reduced due to the size and damage the strike force has sustained.
The fighter/bomber force continue their strikes.
The Ardent frigates open fire on the gravity well generator with their torpedo launchers.
Eris opens her eyes and stands up. The connection had been made, and maintaining it would require little effort. She looks over at Kalus, who was now a fair distance away from the building, swinging wildly. Turning her head to look at the building, she sees that her companions had not yet eliminated the Inquisitor. She waits patiently for Cyrus to make his move.
The Sith grunts as he slams against the wall and stays down, unmoving. As Cyrus exits out into the hallway, a Sith rushes into him and attempting to throw him down onto the floor. The other Sith can be heard nearby, approaching Cyrus' position.
Cyrus holds his hands up and the mortars impact on an invisible barrier. He looks over to Kalus.
"So, you wanna go kill those guys then?"
There is not a lot of places to hide and only a limited amount of rooms, so eventually Cyrus is found by one of the Sith. His location is immediately disclosed and the Sith rushes to engage, his lightsaber ignited. The only conventional escape routes are the door the Sith came through, another door leading to the hallway whose side is open due to the shockwave or a window.
Cyrus deals with the remaining Resistance fighters. The other two groups continue to open fire. The mortars are shifting their aim.
The grenades are swept away and blow up in mid air. The two groups stop advancing and begin firing. Additionally, the mortars are now online and commence firing their rounds. Cyrus ignites his lightsaber and gets up.
"We need to get in among them. They won't fire mortars on their own soldiers, they're supposed to have some ethics after all."
Cyrus will follow Kalus' lead.
Meanwhile the four Sith begin combing the building, constantly talking to each other over their comms devices. Cyrus won't be able to hide forever, but any attempt to move quickly will most likely make him very easy to find.
The two Sith on the roof resort to their eye sight. One is always overseeing Kalus while the other makes rounds overlooking the other three sides.
The two Sith near the collapsed entryway combine their power and push down onto the rubble with the Force. It takes a moment, but they eventually clear the path and continue their pursuit.
Two more Sith jump down and through the windows. One of them spots the Inquisitor and calls out, immediately giving chase. The other follows.
The remaining two wait on the roof, focusing on sensing where their prey is running and preparing to pounce the moment he leaves the building.
Meanwhile two of the Resistance groups begin setting up mortars. The other two advance slowly on the rubble, chucking grenades when in range.
"The Empire will not run from these criminals. We will assist you as we can."
The Imperial Strike Force advances out of the asteroid field. The damaged ships are placed in the rear of the formation, their orders are to provide supporting fire. The heavily damaged ISD and Dominion are ordered to retreat back into the asteroid field until they can either recover or retreat.
The Imperial and Tionese forces take full advantage of the fact that the Hutts are fully occupied by the Enclave to open fire on their missiles frigates. All ships move into optimal range and commence firing.
The Raiders maintain formation and coordinate with the remaining Imperial fighters to protect the force from enemy strikecraft.
The Ardent frigates, maintaining a safe distance from the Hutt forces, speed around the shipyard into a position from which they can fire at the gravity well generator with their torpedo launchers.
The Tionese fighters escort the combined Imperial/Tionese bomber force on a run against the Hutt missile frigates. The closest 10 are targeted
The Sith arrive to the sound of combat. The lightning is visible on the roof, and Eris confirms that that is where the Inquisitor is. She turns her attention to the second mind she can sense, the one that had slaughtered the hired help. She closes her eyes and begins to levitate in mid air, crossing her legs and focusing her mind.
She gestures to the rest of the group, and they all leap onto the roof. Without any warning they ignite their lightsabers and rapidly begin to advance on the Inquisitor. Two burst forth using Force Speed, intent on immediately engaging their prey. The others are ready to block off any escape routes he might try to use.
Kalus blacks out, awakening a few moments later as Cyrus pulls him up. The building was visible behind his friend, in flames. Cyrus is yelling at him but it takes a moment for Kalus' hearing to come back.
"Come on, get up! This isn't as easy as we first thought."
4 Dropships have the pair surrounded, and as they land the ramp opens and Resistance soldiers are running out. They immediately begin firing on the two Sith, though the rubble of the building is providing decent cover.
"I think the Resistance has lead us into an ambush. Typical, eh?"
An alarm rings out as the Inquisitor is picked up on the security cameras. Several soldiers appear at the windows of the building searching for the attackers but finding nothing. 5 more climb the stairs up to the roof, immediately opening fire on Cyrus.
Meanwhile a small group begin to prepare for their strike. Their leader, Darth Eris, briefs them all as they do so.
"The targets have breached the facility as planned. Strike quickly and without mercy, but only at my command. I shall occupy the Marauder, leaving the Inquisitor to you. Do not underestimate him, you are far from being Lords. Failure means death."
She turns and mounts her speeder, as do the six other Sith she commands. They all speed towards the building.
IC: Cyrus detects life within the building, three dozen distinct signatures. Four of them on the roof, six guarding the main entrance. The rest are located within the building. Upon closer inspection there is a back door, but the security around it if any is difficult to make out.
OOC: We didn't underestimate anything, but its not like we can run away from it :/
Instead of the debris slamming into nearby ships, the two chunks are stopped by nearby tractor beams. Additionally all fighters had left its path, seeking to preserve their lives rather than attempt to crash into the large projectile which they had no chance of stopping. The damaged ISD falls back while the remaining command crew attempt to reorganize. Most of its core systems are left intact, but without the bridge they remain uncoordinated.
Hul orders the Dominions to take note of the trajectory the projectile took, and to prepare missiles to intercept the next shot. As such, they cease fire on the Hutt forces.
A message is sent to the Enclave forces.
"We cannot allow them pick our forces apart separately. If you believe that you can hold, then we will stay put and await your reinforcements. If not, then we can attack the rear of their formation and relieve the pressure. We will trust your judgement."
Detecting the approaching projectile, orders are immediately issued to both ISDs to use their large tractor beams to alter its course above the Imperial ships. When in range, they will proceed to do this.
The rest of the force remains outside of the range of conventional weaponry, and continue to shoot down the missiles as they come. 50 fighters so far have been eliminated by the missiles, and 1 of the Dominion Cruisers has suffered major damage. 2 have been weakened. 2 Raiders and an Ardent have also been destroyed.
This leaves the Triump, the Grim Shadow, 2 ISDs, 4 Dominions with varying amounts of damage, 3 Raiders and 4 Ardents. Additionally the Tionese Forces of 3 Star Destroyers and 2 Carriers are left relatively unharmed.
A message is sent to the Enclave informing them that they are waiting for the Enclave's confirmation to engage.