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Forceblind


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Ventessel
03.28.2013 , 11:35 PM | #31
Quote: Originally Posted by Quifand View Post
Ah, I see what you meant now. You do have a point, my ideas for the end are, perhaps, not to scale quite yet. But I look at it this way... that with words, there are no limits to what you can do. Besides, if it does prove too difficult, I can study the works of other authors for reference, many of them may have thought of approaches that would work far better than my own.
That's a good stance to take. You can always build up to the more epic conclusions, and one of the best ways to prepare to write well is to read other great works. Some of my personal favorites as far as inspiration go are Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, Orscon Scott Card, and Stephen King.


Quote: Originally Posted by Quifand View Post
One of your characters, Haytham Kenway, has the exact same name as one of the primary antagonists in Assassin's Creed 3. It's odd because the two even have similar personalities and descriptions, to a point. Funny... guess it is a small world after all.
Oh, hahaha, that actually may be an accidental allusion. I based the character in the story on one that my friend played in a SW d20 campaign. I just asked him about the character name, and he said that he did base it off the Assassin's Creed character to an extent. So, yes, turns out to be a small world even if I didn't realize it.

Many of the initial plot elements for my story were initially conceived as the background for a Saga Campaign I ran. I've changed many things for narrative reasons, but the basic character concepts and story arcs were first envisioned as d20 adventures.
The Heir to ChaosAdded Chapter Sixteen-- 17 APR 2013
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” ~ George Orwell

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Quifand
05.20.2013 , 07:28 PM | #32
CHAPTER 19: Reassigned

“IS HE OKAY?” Xavier asked Lord Vain as she entered their room. Since the ship had been stolen, Cor-sec had requisitioned a room for their Sith guests to use. Vain had only just gotten back from the Council tower, where Darth Arctis was still in talks with the Corellians.

The room was large enough for a party of twelve, which fit well for their smaller party of eight. The squad had already made themselves at home while waiting for the Sith to do their thing.

Their job of escorting the Sith had been shot down after the incident with the ship. The Corellians weren’t quite sure what was going on, and it looked like they wanted all of their bases covered.

So, the squad had went to the room, and prepared themselves as best they could. While they didn’t think it would actually be attacked, they had fortified the room with reinforced walls, mines, auto-turrets, and everything else, in a very Imperial style fashion. It could all be taken down in under an hour.

Vain, who had just arrived with Ardun, found herself swarmed by the squad, who were worried for their captain. Vaughn, the medic, took Ardun from her and over to a cot at the side of the room to begin running tests. The rest of the squad, satisfied that their Captain was safe, turned on Vain.

“So…” Xavier began, pulling a chair over and plopping down. “What the hell happened with the ship?”

“Not sure.” Vain spoke, distracted, as she grabbed a seat. An image flashed before her eyes, the truth to her lie, bright blue eyes and an impossible foe.

“You’re lying.” Jane snapped from her spot at the back of the group, to Xavier’s right.

Anger flashed in Vain’s figure, veins showed and muscles tightened. And then they slowly loosened, in what was certainly defeat. “Yes. I am.” She looked up, passively, at Jane, “How’d you know?”

“The Corellians found you trying to slice a hole in the blast door with your saber. Obviously you’d had some contact with the thieves beforehand.”

“And here I thought it was something I’d said.” Chuckling, Vain closed her eyes; “I’m getting too paranoid for my own good.”

“Paranoia is kinda required in your business. Occupational hazard, you could say.” Nicholas laughed from his spot by the door. He was, ironically, the image of paranoia, dressed in almost full armor and sitting behind a heavy turret, sights locked on the door, daring the Pubs to strike.

“Yes,” Nodded Vain sagely, giving Nicholas an appraising eye, “Occupational hazard indeed.”

The room was quiet for a few moments after that, an unspoken question in the air. Vain refused the break the silence, knowing full well she would have to answer these soldier’s questions eventually, and that they were going to ask her that question. The one people always seemed to come back to.

Ardun had, the Correlian had, it seemed everyone but her master had noticed it.

Xavier finally broke the silence. “Alright, Vain. We need to talk.” The soldier’s hands all went involuntarily to their weapons. Safeties were flipped, and holsters unbuttoned. They were ready for a fight. Vain almost laughed. The Sith really did have a knack for fear.

Occupational hazard indeed.

“Talk away.” She said, picking up her lightsaber and giving it to one of the soldiers, Alex, she thought his name was, in a gesture of peace. The soldier took it and moved a few steps away, and before Xavier started talking, Vain could have sworn she saw the soldier start to take it apart.

“What happened at the academy?”

Vain was taken aback. “Why would you ask that?” From the looks on the soldier’s faces, they had anticipated this response.

“Gut feeling.” Xavier lied blatantly; thumb massaging the grip of his sidearm.

“You’re lying.”

“Maybe I am. Maybe I’m not. Doesn’t change the fact that you’re dodging the question.”

“Any other question…” Muttered Vain, “Just tell me why, please?”

The team turned to look at each other, nodding and shrugging back and forth. Jane in particular was shaking her head slightly, looking pointedly at Xavier. Xavier glared back and turned to Vain. “Alex told us about Ardun’s interest in those files. Figured since you were interested in him, those files were probably the problem. Wasn’t sure, but you just proved it.”

Jane shook her head and walked away, an irritated twitch to her stride. Xavier watched her go, and then turned back to Vain, his eyes furrowed. “We’ll discuss this later, maybe when Ardun is back on his feet. For now,” Xavier gestured towards the back of the room. “Showers, coffee, and food back there.”

Nodding thanks, Vain stood and moved to the back of the room. There were a thousand and one things going back and forth through her mind; Ardun, the blue-eyed foe, Arctis, the squad’s concern, the Academy, and more. But none of it stuck, one thought kept floating to the top. One word.

Shower.


----------



Xavier didn’t like being in charge. He really didn’t like it. Too much power, too many decisions that had to be made, too much weight on his shoulders.

And then there was just dealing with the squad.

People were a pain to deal with.

Especially women.

Especially Jane.

It had been his idea to confront Vain about the Academy files. It had been his idea to admit to her their source. And everyone had agreed.

Except Jane.

And now he was going to have to deal with the fallout from that. She had walked off rather unhappily, and, even though Xavier knew he should just let her steam, he felt like he needed to talk to her about it.

Not what he was supposed to do when he was in charge, he knew, but still, it needed to be done.

Jane was back by her cot, weapon in her lap, cleaning it. Oil and grease was already slick on her fingertips, as she muttered frantically to herself, hands moving up and down the gun easily. He heard only snips and snatches of what she was saying, but it seemed to be something about ‘men’.

Alex was on the cot across from Jane, curiously dissecting the lightsaber. He looked up as Xavier came over, and sat up hurriedly, collecting the dismantled pieces. “Words I should not hear.” He spoke softly as he shuffled past Xavier. “Not fun.”

Shaking his head, Xavier sighed at Alex’s comment. Sometimes the man didn’t know when to keep his mouth shut. It was forgivable, given his conditions. But still annoying.

“Why are you here, sir? Shouldn’t you be talking to the Sith?” Jane asked. The tone was incredibly bitter. Not surprising. Women were bitter individuals.

“You don’t agree with my approach?”

“You’re in charge, sir.”

Looking around to make sure no one was paying too much attention, Xavier turned to Jane and threw up his arms in annoyance. “Didn’t I tell you to drop the sir?”

“Yes… sir.”

“Drop it, soldier.”

“No, sir.”

“Solider, I am in command…”

“No, sir”

“Soldier…”

“Sir.”

“Damn it, Jane, please.”

“Alright.” She finally looked up from her gun. At first, Xavier thought that was because she had finally decided he was more important than the gun. And then he realized that she had just finished cleaning her weapon.

He was still secondary.

“Come on. We need to talk.” He looked up and around. “But not here, alright? I’ll meet you outside, on the roof.”

“We’re not allowed up there.” Jane protested, brow furrowing as she watched Xavier stand and make for the door.

“Five minutes.” He said, leaving the room, to Nicholas’ dismay, and leaving Jane without the last word.

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Quifand
05.25.2013 , 09:33 PM | #33
CHAPTER 20: Vengeance

“SO WE have an agreement.” Councilor Belos stated. He was an older man whose head was just entering the first stages of balding.

“Good. The Empire thanks you for your… consideration.” Arctis could barely keep her smile back. It was so easy. So easy.

“When will the funds be transferred?” Councilor Belos again, the man really did have a passion for money.

“As soon as I can contact the Dark Council. You need not worry, Councilor.” The Darth let the smile through here, if only for a moment, to let herself gloat a little in victory.

“Is this the right thing to do, Belos? Sell out for money like this?” That was Councilor Todo, one of the vocal opponents of joining the Empire. Belos, though it looked like a flicker of static, nodded outside of the visual, as though signaling a guard. A few moments later, Arctis heard a quick burst of blaster fire and Councilor Todo’s image flickered out.

“I believe we are unanimous now. We await only your message to declare our new allegiance. I will see you then, Darth. Good day.”

“Good day to you as well, Councilor. And do not worry. You will get your money.”

“I hope so, Darth. I hope so.”

The images flickered out. Darth Arctis giggled like a little girl. Corellia belonged to the Empire. The door in the side of the room clicked loudly. The lock had been disengaged. Moving over, she slipped through the door like a shadow into the small antechamber beyond.

Her apprentice was gone, the soldier with her. Arctis was pleased with that. Vain had been nothing but a liability of late. Perhaps it was time to end her apprenticeship… Arctis stroked the thought, amusing the idea, playing with different scenarios for Vain’s death. For there was no other way a Sith apprenticeship ended but with death.

“She’s long gone. Told me to tell you. Back at the place we rented out for your people.” The voice was behind her to her right shoulder. The Darth spun, snarling. The captain, Holmes, was there, a blaster in his hand, a pipe to his lips, laughing to himself at the Darth’s anger.

“Hello Commander.” Hissed Arctis. The pipe fizzled out. Giving it a frown, Holmes pulled it out of his mouth and examined the end. It was bitterly cold to the touch. Arctis sneered with black humor.

“Really?” The Commander asked, glaring at Arctis.

“Be happy with the fact that that is all I am doing.” Threatened the Darth.

“You seem awfully happy for someone whose negotiations just went badly.”

“Ah, what makes you think that?”

Holmes heart sunk. She had said that far too smugly. “What else would they have said?”

The Darth simply smiled. “Oh, many things, Captain.” Holmes did not reply. The Sith moved cockily towards the exit elevator. “I win, Captain. I win.” The doors slammed shut behind her.

Suddenly, Holmes felt a need to sit down. Blood rushed to his head and he felt… faint. The Sith hadn’t said it explicitly, but he knew.

He knew.

Corellia was lost.


----------



Light came rushing back in a rush of sensation. Michael took a heavy breath in surprise, feeling waves of pins and needles flooding through his body.

But it still smelled like a wet bantha. A quite horrible smell.

Still not fully aware, Michael peered through the screen of the kolto tank again, to be greeted indirectly by a familiar face.

A very angry face.

“Let my man out of there!” John Holmes yelled at the doctor in charge. Even though it was spoken at a yell, Michael could still only barely hear it through the thick glass of the kolto tank.

The doctor, who was obviously under duress, was feebly arguing with Holmes, pointing at a set of papers and x-rays nearby, even picking one or two to show. Holmes quickly knocked the papers aside and pointed back at Michael.

Attempting to refuse Holmes again, the doctor was slapped in the face. Michael chuckled from inside the tank. The commander had never had problems with corporal punishment. The doctor, still staggering, started yelling and gesturing at his nurses. They began running around the kolto tank, unplugging wires and inputting sequences. Michael felt the kolto begin to drain from around him, rendering the tank slowly empty. The gelatin-like feel fell away from his body, and nerves began to feel actual air.

The tank emptied, the nurses opened it up and began attending to Michael, moving him to a nearby cot to recover. The commander strode over, pipe tucked firmly into his mouth, a scowl on his face.

“You messed up, kid.” Of course those were his first words to him.

“Sorry, sir.”

“Don’t apologize. My fault for sending you in unprepared. But that’s in the past now. How’s your loyalty?”

Michael looked up in confusion. “Sir?” Maybe the kolto was just dulling his thoughts, but that hadn’t sounded right.

“Corellia? Or me? Answer quick, kid.”

It had to be a trick question. “You, sir. You’ve had my respect since I joined the force.”

“Good. Come with me.”

The commander pulled Michael unsteadily to his feet. One of the nurses flinched, and moved to stop them, but Holmes’ withering glare stopped her. Supporting Michael with one of his arms, the pair limped out of the med bay and a distance more until Michael felt able to walk again.

Still didn’t smell any better, but, he could walk.

And that also meant his mind was working a little better. As they pulled out into Axial Park, just a block or so away from the med center Michael had been moved to after the explosion, Michael stopped by a bench, parking himself down in it.

“Can we talk, sir?”

Holmes, having not even noticed Michael sitting down, spun in alarm. After giving Michael a very suspicious look, he came over and sat down next to him. “What about?”

Staring off into space, Michael took a minute before replying. “I’ll quit Cor-sec for you, sir, but I’d like a reason.”

“Who said anything about quitting Cor-sec?”

“Please.” Michael shook his head, the dulling effects of the kolto having finally worn off. “The question of my loyalty, your urgency coming down here, your breaking of the standard recovery time for officers. It was obvious. I know what, just not why.”

Now it was Holmes’ turn to stare blankly into space. “She’s gone.”

“Your wife?”

The commander chuckled, “Na, my wife has been gone for years now.” He paused again before responding, “No… I mean Corellia. My child… I’ve tried to keep her safe my entire life. Now… I’ve failed her.”

The sun was shining high in the sky. Axial Park sat before them, a sea of green in a forest of buildings. People laughed and played in the park. Taxis sped by; flickers of yellow across their vision. Billboards flashed advertisements. Doomsayers rambled about the Empire.

Life went on.

A tear ran down John Holmes’ cheek, briefly illuminated by the sun. A golden drop. “I failed.”

“What do you mean?”

“The Sith. They’ve negotiated a treaty. They’ve… bought Corellia.”

“Impossible.” Now Michael felt himself choking up. It couldn’t be. The images seemed a joke now. A cruel ploy. Looking out, where he had just seen sunshine and people and life, his mind played out the truth. The Republic would never just let Corellia leave. The Empire would never just let the Republic take it back. War would break out.

People screamed. Bombs went off. Craters appeared. The sea of green was consumed by dots of brown. Taxis littered the streets; flaming messes. Doomsayers led cults, their ideas proven true. The billboards flashed propaganda. Soldiers marched. Blood spilled.

Corellia would never be the same.

“I thought the same… once.” Holmes’ eyes were closed. “But sometimes credits can sway hearts more than loyalty ever could.”

“Loyalty…” Michael repeated. He was loyal to Holmes. To Corellia. But it seemed ironic, almost. How easily he could betray Coran, but how much he praised himself for loyalty.

The two just sat there a while more, watching one of Corellia’s last days. Like watching an old dog play with the children, knowing how soon his day will come. Seeing the clock ticking above his head.

Seeing the time run out.

“So what are we doing, sir?”

“Depends. You ready to give up on Corellia?”

“Hell no, sir. Hell no. Have a plan?”

“You mean, ’Have a plan, sir.’”

“Oh, yes, sorry, sir.”

“Yes, I do.”

There was an awkward silence as Michael turned to look at Holmes expectantly, waiting for the plan. “Sir?” He asked cautiously.

“I already hacked the cams, watched the negotiations. It was that damned Councilor Belos who betrayed us. I figure we’ve got two routes. One; getting local support and overturning the decision, turning the people against the Council. Or two, tracking down the Sith and taking them out before they can report success to the Empire. “

“So, the first one?”

“Course.”

“Any idea how we’ll do that?”

“Simple.” Holmes turned to look at Michael, “We get into the Council building, hack the cameras, just like I’ve already done, and copy the footage. Put it on the news, and watch Belos burn.”

“So why didn’t you already do it, sir?”

Holmes let a loud sigh out through his mouth. “Kid, in my day, we did a lot of slicing and hacking and all of that nonsense. I won’t say we were good, but we got by. Just enough to find proof. We always believed that getting people to talk was more effective.”

Michael couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “You didn’t know how, sir?” A laugh snuck through.

Turning on Michael, Holmes was about to snap at him, but quickly gave up. “That’s right kid.” It was a very defeated tone of voice.

“Don’t worry, sir.” Michael jested, “It’s okay to be old.”

“Call me old again and I’ll shoot your privates out. With a slug thrower.”

Michael gulped, “Understood, sir.”

“Good. Now let’s get to work. My girl needs saving.”

And with that, Michael mused, the images seemed to fade a little. The light shone through, and, if only just for a moment, he could see the people laughing and playing in the park, the sun shining down, the world at peace.

But it was only for a moment.