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Deep Core Explorations
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Ori`verda Creator
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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
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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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"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
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"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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"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
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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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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
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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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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
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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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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
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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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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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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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"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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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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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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"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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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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"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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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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The first officer, commander Hallin, assumes command of the Judicator as both the captain and Azrael are taken off the bridge. He directs the ship to remain in normal space for the time being until a report is sent to command detailing the events of the Sith's attack.

When the medical bay reports that they cannot wake the captain up, Hallin narrows his eyes. "Lieutenant Falkyria, you have the bridge." He then leaves, taking the turbolift down to the prison cells, where he stands before Azrael, the shield of the holding cell between them. His questions are curt and sharp. "What did you do to our captain, why did you do it, and how do we reverse it?"

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Azrael chuckles mockingly, "Your interrogation techniques could use some work. Provided you're not as dense as you look, perhaps we can come to an agreement of sorts that would be beneficial to both parties?"

The Sith reaches out with his feelings, trying to sense the presence of the unknown entity that had boarded the Judicator.

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The commander crosses his arms. "You're not in the position to be making bargains, Sith. If you're not going to give us any answers, then say so and stop wasting our time. If you want to talk, then talk."

Meanwhile, Azrael senses nothing. Whatever he had sensed earlier is either gone, or hiding itself. That is, assuming there actually is anything in the first place to sense.

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"I'm not? My apologies for the mistake, I was under the foolish notion that as the person who incapacitated your captain that I would be the one holding all the aces in my hand."

Once more Azrael reaches out, this time focusing in on the crew members. He is trying to detect if any of them are out of their usual place, behaving abnormally or have suddenly altered their signature. After spending all this time on the Judicator navigating the deep core, he was at least knowledgeable of a few individuals and their routine patterns.

"You're here with questions, I'm here with the answers. But please, tell me more about how you have leverage over me."

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The commander narrows his eyes. "It's a matter of expediency. We aren't equipped to counteract whatever you did to the captain, but there are more advanced facilities that are. It's just a matter of changing course and heading to those facilities. Sure, we'll waste time, but as it stands, this mission isn't as high a priority. The Deep Core is a place we can explore whenever we so desire, so long as we chart the routes we've taken. And until the captain wakes up, we have officers here qualified to act in his stead."

"Which brings us to you, Sith. The way I see it, the only thing keeping you alive right now is your knowledge of what you did to our captain. If you divulge that, you'll live longer. If you don't, then as soon as the captain wakes we space you. It's a fairly simple matter. And I don't think anyone in command is going to much protest killing off a Sith who decided to go rogue and endanger a mission for no reason."

As Azrael listens to the officer, he extends his senses and discovers nothing unusual. The ship is seemingly unchanged, aside from the commotion he himself has caused.

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"If all the brightest physicians in the Empire came together they couldn't hope to revive captain Alterius, that is the inherent beauty of the Force and of Sith alchemy in particular. What's more, it's usually only the creator who knows how to undo the spell."

Azrael chuckled once again, trying to provoke his adversary, goading him into anger and draw his ire.

"Allow me to correct you there; it's not when the captain wakes up, it's if he wakes up. If you wish to space me, so be it. You'll have damned the poor captain, sealing his fate. Moreover, you'll remain in the dark and never know the motive. Though, I'm not sure someone as dense as you could even begin to comprehend it."

His next attempt is on the ship itself. Although metal and droids are dead to the Force, he can potentially still sense a vague outline if he could only maintain a deep enough focus. Sadly, that wasn't going to happen at this time. An idea for later then.

"So, if you want to risk it, then that is entirely up to you. But you may not have as much time as you think. Tell me, what symptoms has our good captain shown so far?"

The Sith Lord observes the brig from his position, trying to determine just how many besides himself and the officer are present nearby. The Force makes murder, mayhem and great escapes all too easy. But he'll save that ace for a rainy day.

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Azrael senses several squads of security officers outside, likely on standby in case something happens. He is unaware that they have standing orders to execute the Sith should he in any way, shape, or form leave his prison cell.

The commander sighs, keeping his anger in check, refusing to play Azrael's game. "We'll see. You'll remain alive until we can bring the captain back. He's unconscious, but not exhibiting any signs that indicate that he'll die. At least, not yet. We're setting course for a medical facility, and if they can't bring him back, then we'll revisit this conversation."

He turns around, done with the conversation; it is clear that he will get nowhere with the Sith unless he plays games, and the commander is in no mood to do so. The Empire does not negotiate with hostile foreign entities in hostage situations, and this is essentially what this is. As he makes his departure, he says over his shoulder: "Just understand that if the captain wakes up on his own, without any assistance from you, your fate is sealed."

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"Don't take me for some lowly acolyte who you can just threaten, not that you should make a habit out of that either. No, my fate isn't yours to decide commander Hallin."

Azrael assumes a meditative stance and begins scouring the starship once more, trying to determine at first if the outline of the ship has changed. Any changes in the hull, its structure or the many hallways. Though he couldn't possibly and accurately detect all of them, there was always a chance.

After that he shifts his attention to the droids. If any of them are misplaced, he could possibly tell.

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"We'll see about that, Sith," the commander responds. The Empire tolerates the Sith so long as they stay in line. The moment they decide to try and seize power or turn against the Empire, they become enemies to be destroyed. The commander wasn't lying in that Azrael's knowledge is the only thing keeping him alive.

Strangely enough, Azrael still senses nothing out of the ordinary. As he concentrates, however, he feels something strange. A very faint presence nearby, only a few decks down.

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Azrael hones in on the presence.

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As Azrael focuses on the strange presence, it jolts, as if suddenly alert. Then it starts to move. It slowly but surely begins to approach the Sith.

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The Sith Lord simple waits for this mysterious presence to reach him, keeping it inside his sphere of focus without altering the intensity of his gaze.

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As whatever is coming draws closer, Azrael notices something strange: he's at least somewhat familiar with the layout of the Judicator's decks, and is aware of the path the creature would have to take to get to the turbolift to get onto the prison deck. However, it isn't taking that path. It's not even taking a route that would indicate it is using the interior ventilation or something similar to travel discreetly. It seems to be moving in... a straight line, directly towards him, regardless of whatever obstacles may be in the way, as if it were simply phasing right through them.

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It struck Azrael as peculiar how no one saw this presence move through solid matter through the various levels of the starship, perhaps it was something only someone skilled in the Force could detect.

He kept an eye out just in case, extending a bit of effort to persuade the guards not to peek into his cell. With that, he rose to his feet and waited for this presence to reveal itself.

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Eventually, after following what seems like a journey through the solid durasteel between decks, the presence nears Azrael's prison cell. He watches as a creature seems to bleed through the wall; it looks gaunt, almost skeletal, with pale skin that clings to its bones; it seems almost ethereal. White flowing hair floats wildly around its head, defying the gravity of the starship. The creature hovers a foot above the ground, but even if it weren't it would have been a head taller than Azrael. Yellow eyes lacking pupils stare at the Sith as the creature enters the cell completely.

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Simply beautiful, the Sith thinks to himself. This presence is most likely linked to the space station that was destroyed earlier. Its potential an untapped mystery that beckons Azrael to learn more.

Despite his overwhelming joy and curiosity he is able to contain himself and waits for the presence to make its move.

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For a brief moment, the creature hovers, staring into the eyes of the Sith. Then, its face contorts into a snarl and Azrael feels a horrible howl claw its way into his skull, drowning out everything else. The men in the adjacent rooms hear it too and clutch their heads in pain, trying to cover their ears and not recognizing that the sound is in their minds.

The creature darts forward incredibly quickly while Azrael is distracted, clawing viciously at the Sith.

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As shock and surprise shift to pain, more and more pain, Azrael cannot help but chuckle at himself. This presence, this entity has the aggression and ferocity of a Sith marauder like Azrael in his prime. Its energy is raw, unfocused and rough.

Copper, a metallic taste fills his mouth. The room around him turns crimson, an artwork from his blood.

Mad claws rend his clothing asunder, delving deeper within and sinking into flesh, ripping and tearing skin. The pain, the hatred, the obsession with this being is passion and passion is strength.

Through strength, the Sith draws upon the Force to unleash a push to repulse the presence.

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The ethereal creature is blasted back by the Force attack, disappearing through the wall. Azrael can still sense the creature through the pain of his wounds and knows that it isn't done. As if mindless, it charges forward again, talons outstretched. The Sith can feel the beast's savage fury.

Meanwhile on the bridge, commander Hallin receives a report of something happening on the prison deck. He curses and turns to Falkyria, telling her to take the bridge. Her gaze, however, is transfixed on something else, as are the eyes of the rest of the crew. He follows them and sees a creature emerging through the main viewscreen, as if crossing from the vacuum of space into the ship. It drifts forward slowly, as if not noticing the crewmembers.

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Amid the majesty that was a blood painting drawn from his own body stood a lone, unarmed Sith Lord facing off against the great unknown. The rush of adrenaline, the excitement, the pain that coursed through his veins and fueled his fighting power.

It is the brutal poetry of Sith.

Strength, that is part of what it means to be Sith. To be strong; only the strong shall live, the strong shall rule and the weak will fade. This presence will not defeat him, it will not subvert him but instead become yet another figure on his board.

Through power, Azrael moves forward with his own hands balled into fists, white-knuckled to deliver a counterattack powered by the Force.

__________

Driven by fear and instinct, countess Falkyria unholstered her sidearm and fired at the ghastly apparition as quickly as her fingers could squeeze the trigger, her arms realign the weapon from recoil and her mind retain a semblance of coherence amid panic.

The young lieutenant was adamant not to die today.

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While Azrael's punch would have done little to the creature, the augmented Force blast again sends the presence flying. It catches itself this time, hunching over and snarling, though whether it is in Azrael's mind or whether it is an actual sound is unclear.

Security personnel rush into the prison block to see what the commotion is, and watch the battle with shocked and frightened eyes, unsure of exactly what they should be doing.

Lieutenant Falkyria is not alone in drawing her weapon, and many of the crewmembers, including commander Hallin, open fire on the strange creature; the blaster bolts impact it, but it seems unfazed. Suddenly, everyone on the bridge suffers an earsplitting howl that crawls into their heads. The crew try to cover their ears, but they still hear the horrible sound perfectly.

As it releases its mental scream, the creature furiously darts forward towards commander Hallin, shredding his chest with its razor-sharp talons.

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Power, the supporting pillar of Sith dogma and philosophically to every being in the galaxy. Power is gained through various means for various ends but for the Sith it's to grant them dominion over those who are weaker.

Through victory, over this presence Azrael will forge his path and gain dominion over all. He prepares another attack but is too far sapped of his strength to do anything but lose consciousness and collapse to the floor.

_________

Falkyria's ears were still ringing from the shriek as the unknown entity began to attack commander Hallin. On one hand this presented her with an opportunity to flee, get far away from this place and life. On the other, such an act was cowardice and would lead to severe repercussions if discovered.

Her mind and heart raced as the being's claws sank deeper into Hallin. This creature was unfazed by blaster fire and a miss could finish off the commander which may as well be a mercy killing at this point.

Maybe ray shields would work here. The lieutenant turned her gaze back to the monitor only to notice the Sith collapse in a pool of his own blood.

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As Azrael collapses, the security teams make their way into the prison block and immediately open fire on the strange creature, deactivating the ray shield to retrieve the Sith Lord, necessary as he is to the possible revival of their captain. The strange creature darts forward, clawing apart two officers before they are able to reactivate the ray shield. At this, the creature pauses, snarling but not advancing forward, seemingly trapped.

Meanwhile, the creature on the bridge tosses commander Hallin aside and drifts back as it continues to take heavy fire. It seems to pause for a moment before continuing back and vanishing through the viewscreen.

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Falkyria makes note that the Sith has been savagely mauled, something he deserved in her opinion, and was retrieved just barely by the security teams. She takes note that the ray shields seem to have held off the creature, her eyes flare up a hue at the result of the struggle between the Sith and the creature.

The lieutenant holsters her weapon and leaps towards commander Hallin where a small group of officers had gathered already.

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Commander Hallin is alive, but barely. He needs immediate medical attention.

Meanwhile, the creature in the holding cell seems content to watch the security teams as they stabilize the dying Sith.

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"Ensign Torn, get a medical team up here immediately. Ensigns Mallik and Lorak, stabilize the commander." The chain of command was clear, with both the captain and commander out of commission it falls upon Falkyria to take charge.

"Get the commander and the Sith to the medical bay once they're stable."

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The officers obey Falkyria dutifully. A medical team arrives within minutes to take the commander to the medbay after the ensigns stabilize him and more or less staunch the bleeding. As the medical team carries him away and Falkyria notes a team taking the Sith away to the medbay as well, the rest of the officers on the bridge look visibly shaken by the events that had just transpired. First they had lost their captain to a rogue Sith, and now their commander just got attacked by some freakish monster. "Orders, ma'am?" ensign Torn asks.

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"First, transmit the current situation back to command. Then you may initiate quarantine protocols, I want everyone on full alert. Should that thing show itself once again, try and deploy ray shields to immobilize it."

The lieutenant averts her sight from the pool of the commander's blood and instead keeps a close eye on the monitors for any signs of this odd creature.

Under normal circumstances the countess would have been thrilled at the opportunity to command a Star Destroyer and rise through the ranks, but these weren't normal circumstances. A seemingly invincible monster with unknown capabilities was either sitting in a cell or phasing in and out of existence elsewhere on the ship and the people who should be in charge are either dying or incapacitated. If she makes it out of this alive it could dictate the course of her entire career.

The pressure on her tiny shoulders is, needless to say, rather high.

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AK151 Author
AK151

The Judicator transmits its situation to Imperial High Command and awaits a response. The countess' other orders are followed as well, and a shipwide alert is issued, as well as instructions on how to proceed should one of the creatures show itself again.

Unfortunately, they are unable to locate any signs of the creature - or creatures - in the ship. Going over the camera footage of the attack on Azrael, Falkyria notices that it seemed to respond in some capacity to Force attacks, despite being seemingly unperturbed by blaster fire.

The creature in the prison cell remains there, as if a caged and wild beast.

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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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