Log:Alderaan: Free the Rist
The Republic's worst kept secret. Began as a world of ice with volcanic fissures that, over a thousand or so years, allowed for the creation of various biomes. The biomes appeared from orbit as giant freckles on a sea of white, with green vegetation and the occasional molten hot spot. The Republic used the world for its natural environment as a way to store its worst criminal scum to live out their days.
In the early days of the Old Republic, staff intended to mitigate the prison violence, and biomes had precinct prisons which they managed. Over time, powerful enemies made it impossible to manage the increasingly dangerous security risks, so the Republic took to managing the planet from a space station high above, away from the violence and the need for risk pay.
In time, the Republic lost control of the station too, and it became a cess pool for criminals looking to expand their empire to negotiate with criminals below. In exchange for their freedom, they become enslaved to serve this or that organization, and thus, the cycle repeated.
Knowledge of Belsavis was relayed through the Elder Houses of Galaxy; it seemed even the aristocracy needed a place for their scions who proved too violent for their cultures, who had harmful secrets, or simply needed a place to exile someone where they'd never be found. It should come at no surprise that even Alderaan utilized these services. It is how, according to the narration of Lord Ty Killesa, that House Rist found itself upon the surface of Belsavis.
As the shuttle makes its way through atmosphere, Ty explains, "It is her Majesty's intent that we negotiate the release of House Rist from the confines of this prison world. There are, of course, conditions which need be met; the most important being that the matriarch of this House, Lady Livia Rist, bend the knee and swear fealty. Whether or not we can negotiate that remains to be seen, but I hold out hope that Rist will want a taste of the outside world again."
The Sea Lord shifts as the shuttle rocks. "We will need to locate the facilities that House Rist has claimed as their own and pray they have not come into the possession of tools for their intended trade. I am told by many there exists no deadlier assassin in all the galaxy. For ten thousand years, House Rist has perfected their art. No super weapon of mechanical make has a higher kill count.."
Cadogan West is the unfamiliar face among the assembled team, and he hears out Lord Ty's summary and warnings with a wary raised brow. "You ain't been in any prison afore, have you," he drawls in a voice that mixes lowbrow Old Imperial with a backwater Outer Rim drawl. "They'll have weapons." A drawn breath and he adds, with a glance among the others, "We come up on any data networks, mayhap I can dig something up, elsewise just holler what-for, yeah?" He accepts the holo puck and eyes the projected image for a moment.
The Councilor sat in silence, as they listened to the debriefing, the shuttle still underway to their destination. The puck was accepted, the face studied, before it was tucked away into one of the many pockets in their robes. A brief glance towards 1141, to ensure that the trooper was also prepared, before they rose to their feet. Already hooded and helmed, they awaited only the word to disembark, "We will bring the Queen back her prize."
In the midst of a final prep and check, ET-1141 takes a moment to cant the barrel of his rifle down and aside in the interest of mitigating the risk it may pose in sweeping anyone within the confines of the shuttle with the weapon's barrel. His helmet tilts slightly, turning the lenses of his helmet to regard the puck that is offered. He accepts it with only the faintest of nods, before thumbing the projector to life. He studies the holo-image for a moment, nods again, and finally deactivates it. The puck is placed into a pouch on his utility belt and at that point Kol resumes his final checks.
Satisfied he straightens. It's an afterthought that results in his readying one pouch in particular on his utility belt for rapid retrieval. Once he's concluded his preparations, he lifts his helmet to stare ahead toward Lord Ty Killesa. Swaying with the movement of the shuttle in the atmosphere, a question is presented with a click of his helmet, <"If she refuses to cooperate?">
<"I expect no happy reunion once Livia and mine eyes meet..."> Sealed up in his old commando armor, hued black with only the glowing cerulean visor to give any indication that there was someone inside the suit before Lord Bors spoke. Adjusting the equipment hung from their various hangars.
One hand lifts to tap at the side of his helmet before a small crackle of static ripples over comms and he nods at something, having gone silent again, dropping to one knee with an ancient looking sword drawn and his hands wrapped around the grip - crown of his helmet touching the pommel stone and the faintest motion of his head hinting that he is speaking without his mic keyed.
Cadogan's assertion that Ty had never been to prison checks out, the young sea lord confirming this with a nod of his head. He does not seem embarrassed by this lack of experience, but also comes to trust Cadogan's take on their present situation. The Councilor's confident statement earns a nod from the sea lord as well, and he rises out of habit, when they do. ET-1141's question is regarded with a thoughtful expression, "Her Majesty did not express an option for failure, though were I to hazard a guess, there is but one choice. To defy the Queen is the highest treason any son or daughter of Alderaan may commit. Let us hope reason is a tool among the Lady Livia's vast arsenal."
Ser Bors is regarded with a sideways glance, but Ty held no contempt for the old Knight and his grudge. "They say you fought the Rist on more than one occasion, Ser. I do not envy your experience, but I admire you live to tell the tale."
The vessel is going through the process of landing, and the aft ramp lowers to allow them out. Belsavis greets them with sounds of a jungle and the intense humidity that's spawned from ice and volcanoes being married. Their view is an odd one in the galaxy, and humbling. The landing pad is common with old buildings showing their apparent age. The ice in the far distance stand like walls that go as high as the clouds and disappear. Vegetation from the vast sea of green that grows where ice is not nearly as tall or foreboding. Old speeder paths are carved into the land leaving the landing zone, and oddly enough, there's a speeder there. A young woman with blonde hair climbs out and steps toward the group speaking in a similar accent as Cado, lacking the outer rim edge, though.
"Been awhile since anyone landed, but sensors went crazy, yeah. Who you lot looking for? I'm Kristy, and know what outsiders don't."
"Uhh, Kristy, right. We come seeking an audience with House Rist. Know of them?" Ty says, stepping to the forefront.
Kristy nods her head. "Oh, aye. Creepy lot, Rists. Took up residence in that main facility just there.. the one with towers poking up above the trees, yeah? Well, they did own the facility till Jaloosi took over. Now he holds them hostage, trophies or some such. You want Rist? You have to deal with Jaloosi."
"Seems simple enough..." Ty says, but Kristy is shaking her head. "It ain't. You gotta reach Jaloosi to get an audience, and there's quite a few killers between you and them. I can take you there, but the fighting is up to you."
Ty considers the proposal and looks to the others. "Thoughts?"
Cadogan West checks over his weapons. Blaster with enough juice left.. other blaster.. grenades, knife, yeah. He's not the first to step out into the swirling soup of hot-or-freezing air, but follows closely enough. He eyes 'Kristy' at her greeting, not bothering to hide it as he looks her over for weapons. When she speaks of Rist's current fate, he sniffs once. "One helluva trophy." To Ty, he shrugs once. "Gathering information is off to a bloody good start," he observes deadpan.
The Councilor made their egress from the shuttle with a stride that was both relaxed and purposeful. They had agreed to undertake this task, and clearly, they intended to see it done. There was neither comment nor complaint as the atmosphere shifted, though, as they came upon the seeming do-gooder (in a place like this!), the faceless mask shifted in their direction, clearly considering both the words and the possible intentions of their potential speeder pilot. "We will make faster progress if we do not need to go on foot." A gloves hand reached into their robes to retrieve the one thing which needed no translation. Credit chits.
Other members of the alleged diplomatic party begin to disperse from the shuttle and its ramp, only to encounter Kristy. He moves away from the shuttle's boarding ramp and a few yards away from the gathering of minds that are drawn to Kristy. He takes up a position in order to form what constitutes a perimeter at the edge of the landing area, his blaster rifle up and at the ready with an audible, but soft click of the safety being disengaged. His helmet shifts and casts only a brief glance in the direction of Kristy. Then it's back to providing security to the impromptu meeting at the end of an F-11D's barrel pointed down range.
<"Lived, not untouched or unscarred.">
Said before their exit from the ship to meet with the one called Kristy. The sword housed again in the sheath on his left hip, Bors's hands rested near different weapons when they had their tete-a-tete, noting the state of the newer rifle in his arsenal and taking the time to slot a fresh blast-pack in place.
<"If thee lot wished us bypass some of the wanderings aground, put me at the ships controls and even if meant as a humble freight hauler, in my grip controls shall make her dance and we shall be carried on her back - though some of thee may have hair grayer than mine once we've arrived.">
Slinging the rifle once loaded and then brushing his hand over the shoulder hung sheath where another blade sleeps for now, <"But if we choose to walk and brave the masses, I shall march and carry Her Majesty's banner.">
"Creds have no value here. Only the trading of action, or useful items. Blaster packs, knives, bullets, and weapons have the highest value. Narcotics second, and then of course.. the skin trade. Not certain any of you lot are into that, but if you're feeling generous I could be swayed by pretty boy, there.." Kristy motions toward Cadogan, "or fancy pants.." Ty. Ty's cheeks turn red, "Not certain time allows for such .. distractions, mistress. Best be on our way if you intend to haul us, yes?" Ty clears his throat twice, then shares a look with Cadogan.
"Ahhhh, yes, about that.. see there are defense turrets there on the walls of the facility and such. Being a prison and all, weren't too keen on allowing shuttles in, but..one of yous ought get in to change those turret read outs, might make slipping inside a bit easier, yeah? Plus, you lot get to keep your ship, an leaving it here? Not a capital idea, you what I mean? T-Faced sir there has an idea."
"My recommendation is that any with techno-savvy come with me. We can get access to the turrets and change the target data.. but you gotta be good, know what I mean. Targeting parameters is its own like.. code language, yeah? That said, to reach these things, you have to get to the top of the wall and run for the control shack on each side. Chances are, you'll have company, yeah? You reprogram the guns, they take out the bad guys, and you can shut the hatch to the compound and ain't no body getting out. T-Face over there can even land his purty ship."
"I am not keen to trust this woman, but it is all we have. If killing is our ticket to an audience with this Jaloosi, then we must carve a path through the enemies. I can ride with Ser Bors and provide ranged cover with a rifle. The rock of the seas is not much different from the rock of a starship. The quicker we get these guns to our side, the quicker we turn this to our advantage."
AND THUS, the team split with Lord Ty riding with Ser Bors, and the others braving the jungle ride with Prisoner Kristy. Both prove uneventful until they reach the facility itself. Large walls encase this fortress in a foreboding and ominous fashion. Ramparts upon the wall are reached through the interior, which happen to have some 30 or so wandering lunatics and criminal scum scattered and carrying out their daily routine.
Without warning, Kristy drives the speeder into this massive courtyard and arrives at the first stair case leading up to a rampart. The control booth awaited at the top with a door requiring someone a terminal entry.
Shots pop off at the speeder, sparking off its exterior and catching Kristy in the shoulder. She cried out with surprise, then grumbled. "MOVING TO THE SECOND STAIR, HANG ON!" She moves the speeder through the chaos of fire and arrives by the last staircase, but this time she hops out to take cover. "THERE.. GO UP AND GET CONTROL OF THE TURRETS. THEY SHOULD HANDLE THE REST!"
Meanwhile, said turrets have already begun to open up on Bors.
Cadogan West keeps his eye on Kristy, "Sounds fair," until he cracks a grin at Ty's clear discomfort. Right, the time. "Maybe on the way out, yeah?" he needles the nobleman until his attention is gradually drawn aside to Bors as the noble gentleman speaks. Pale blue eyes slowly narrow in confusion as he passes the elder pilot's meaning. "...You ain't convincing me there's any planet where folk talk like that, yeah?" The words are spoken with a wry curl bending the corner of his lip. When the pitch to split the party is made, Cadogan will join those moving in the speeder, giving the occasional reflexive sidelong glance at the stormtrooper. Clearly, Kol's is a presence he's not accustomed to, yet.
When the shots start plinking the speeder, and Kristy slows the vehicle at the first stairs, Cado is quick to vault over the side, sprinting up the stairs and swiftly bypassing the security to gain access to the first turret control room. Only once he's ducked inside does he draw a blaster.
"Of course," came the heavily modulated voice. The Councilor did not appear dissuaded by the young woman's comment. They only nodded, slipping the credits back into their robes and retrieving, instead, a few phials of pain killer. Quite likely better quality than was available in most of the galaxy. True medical grade. A bit of cutting, as one tended to do on the streets, and even these few phials could stretch a long way. Once those were offered, and whether or not they were accepted, the Councilor moved to join the pilot on her speeder. "I will make the necessary adjustments."
With that decided, they stepped onto the speeder, waiting in silence for the journey to their point of entry. As soon as the speeder made it;s first stop and the young human made his way off, their attention turned to the second set of stairs. They did not bother to engage the enemy. Instead, they moved with preternatural speed to the top of the stairs, skirting enemy that would surely attempt to shoot them in the back. As soon as the door was reached, they went to work, breeching the booth's security and slipping inside.
ET-1141 is quick to mount up onto the speeder. Blaster rifle held at the ready and a knee bent at the speeder's edge. He seems ready to dismount at a moment's notice, though does his level best to at least keep his crimson helmet hunkered down. Where Cadogan spares a glance toward the stormtrooper; that same trooper seems intently focused on his surroundings. His helmet shifts and turns, survying the next hill or path and then the other.
When the journey does come to an abrupt end, Kol's dismount is already locked and loaded. He rolls from the speeder and when his boots touch earth, he begins to move. Barrel up and helmet tilted to at least offer his sights a reflexive, if token, consideration as he begins to move forward while providing his own suppressive fire. He moves quickly into cover and continues peppering his surroundings and enemy positions with blaster fire as he's already surveying the battlefield with the intent to move into his next piece of concealment and, hopefully, cover.
Cadogan's barbs were addressed simply before the parting of ways, <"Need to kindle in my breast the care of what thee believe or nary do is thine first hurdle.">
A-Wing pilots are insane. Even if they don't fly RZAs anymore.
Needing someone to move their craft - Ser Bors: Knight of The Black was never one to shirk in duty. Nor was he one to avoid a chance to put a craft through its paces... whether designed for such or not. The travel of the shuttle being quick, if erratic to attempt to baffle ground sensors and potential AA equipment - the aging pilot having pulled his paint-stylus to put a small number eleven at the very top of the throttle lever slot... as is proper.
<<"Lord Killsea... Brace.">> all the warning given before the ship corkscrews its flight and slews to one side, ethereal rudder being tested to its limits and the engines screaming at system power being re-routed from needless, trivial, sources like Life Support to power the engines and maneuvering thrusters. Weaving through most of the fire, with glancing strikes to shields as they make their approach.
<"Hush"> offered testily to the shield alerts, muttering to himself and seeking a proper, or impromptu, landing spot, growling at the controls when they seem to stick, checking sensors and flicking over reserve power to shields and hunkering further down in his seat to ride out the shaking.
<<"Lord Killsea, can thee see a place to put down?">>
The chaos that erupted from inside this large compound is a touch insane, but the response the team gets is born of complacency. Three quarters of the crew lounging about in the court yard have no idea what's happening until the turrets above begin to open fire, the heavy concussive shots thunderous and scary.
Outside the speeder, Kristy finds a hiding spot and is not seen for the time being. Leaving the covered Kol Goren, the piloted vessel, and the Lord Ty who does his best as a Marine, sharpshooting down below. Three shots ring out and only two prisoners are wounded and incapable of fighting. Ty cycles the bolt and relays over comms, <<"The foemen converge on your location, trooper. I will do my best to help you.">>
With slicers in each cabin, they find the controls to the turrets to be as complicated as Kristy had said. It was it's own code language, and each turret required a manual change to inherit new targeting parameters. (125 x2, if you pass, I'll provide further instructions.)
<<"No Ser, but our people have made it to the turret towers. Perhaps we persist for now, for as long as our shields hold!">> The Captain calls back, hand braced and holding as an experienced sailor would with rough waters.
Cadogan West sets his blaster pistol down flat on the terminal to free both hands for work. A data plug is inserted into the terminal's jack and he quickly navigates through the system's fail-safes. In moments, two of the turrets go silent, accomplishing the most crucial of his tasks. Alas, programming new firing solutions on the fly is another matter, and Cado tries a series of four new inputs without success. "Come on, come on.." he mutters.
The Councilor remained within the control room, quite likely allowing themselves to become an easy enough target. But, that would simply be as it would be. There was work to be done, and not enough time in which to do it. Quick hands and sharp eyes focused on the keys and the computer system which was fighting to withhold its secrets. The sound of slugthrower slugs hitting the metal of the cabin's walls provided a fine counterpoint to the tapping of keys as they found a medium somewhere between finessing the system and brute forcing through the defenses of the system to bring the turrets down. Bring them back up and under their control would be more difficult. The whine of machinery from one of the disabled turrets was lost in the gunfire, as one of the turrets came back on line, swiveling to retarget, not the ship, nor the speeder, but the courtyard and the hostile forces within.
A spark from cover results in a tilt of his helmet and an exhale of breath. ET-1141 reflexively releases his grip on the Sonn-Blas F-11D rifle and allows it to simply fall freely upon its sling. He reaches to take hold of the hilt of the knife sheathed across his chest, even as the snarl of his attacker is picked up by the receptors of his helmet. It all moves so slowly. His helmet turns, followed by his shoulders as the first blow is avoided by the heavy blade of his attacker. Everything seems to slow; likely on account of ET-1141's implants. The wrist is deflected with a blow from a plastoid covered left forearm, resulting in the clatter of the stormtroopers armor. There's a guttural gasp and deep sucking from the attacker's throat as Kol's right hand soon follows with a blade chop of his into the soft cartillage of the screaming prisoner's nose.
The crunch that results soon sends blood rushing from the savage countenance of the man. Sergeant Goren seeks to trap the arm with the blade, hoping beyond hope to at least forestall its full deployment while Kol's own hand reaches for the hilt of the knife angled across the left side of his chest.
It all happens quickly as reality seems to snap back into its normal pace with the opening up of turrets, announcing that they have joined the battle. Between Goren and the prisoner, they both seem to be snarling and attempting to gain the physical upperhand on the other while the battle rages. Someone will die. Whether it's the Imperial or the hardened criminal is anyone's guess.
"Bugger..." keeping his mic off for the expletive when he gets word that there is no landing sight at present. Straining against his seat restraints when the turret fire catches up to his flying, "Either they're well versed, or I've aged too far." free hand striking a console, making the shield alert silence with a 'WHIuuuRRurrp' of final protest.
<<"Ty.">> back on comms, and Bors has dropped titles. Somewhere there is a redhead trying to discern why she is clenching up so. <<"I'm going to do something.">> readouts on the pilot console begin shifting color codes from golden alerts to a very sudden and panicky sort of red. The computer systems fortunate to lack a Heuristic Processor, also known as a Droid Brain when several toggles on one control board are flipped with a sweep on his hand.
<<"Ground. Danger close. You'll know where.">>
The craft meant for troop transport, maybe a rapid combat drop, shrieks when its airframe is made to protest under the fantastically drastic pressures being introduced to it by Ser Bors. Plummeting at speed partway to the ground, repulsor systems protesting and Lord Killsea treated to the sound of engines being fed too much power while thrust is being locked off. Looking to a camera feed, piped to his HUD, Bors sniffs in a most haughty fashion - feeling the ship dangerously closer to smashing into the ground by the second despite the lift systems.
Thrusters fire at full power, liftoff strength and then some if being truthful. Blasting nearly a dozen and their cover into the air like sticks and leaves in a high wind, one of the poor saps pants trailing after in a flailing motion like they were chasing him. That one and their fellows trying to understand what just happened, why they're flying. How Zek's boots are on but his pants are off.
And the shuttle is boosting up, fast enough that even with inertial dampeners at 95 percent, Lord Thul is being slammed into his seat and forced to "HURK" and tighten his body to keep from going into g-LOC... and laughing at the same time.
With one turret firing on the populace, a ship in the air making it impossible for foemen to maintain their cover, a trooper kicking teeth in, and two slicers hard at work on resolving the rest of the turrets.. this plan was shaping up quite nicely. Those who may see the courtyard are witness to the untold slaughter one turret has, but due to restrictions on its lateral limits (how far it can rotate), not all enemies are within its range. Ser Bors helps with that when many are displaced by the output of impulse engines and thrown into the turret's lateral limit. LIDAR tracking allows the turret to spool up and engage targets 3 at a time, and in the matter of seconds, 10 were blown apart. Belsavis did not play around.
Lord Ty fires from the back of the ship, scoring a single hit in three shots. Admittedly, not his best work. He cycles the bolt. <<"Three turrets continue to fire on friendly forces. Once we have control, I think the field will be ours. Keep up the good work!">>
Less than half the thirty remain, and they've taken to hunkering down near the facility itself. Ty is seen leaning out of the personnel hold of the ship, chicken-winging his rifle with one arm, and holding on with the other. He seems to be enjoying himself amidst the maniacal laughter of the ace pilot.
Cadogan West cracks a fierce grin as his next attempt to guess the code input for exclusion is successful. Once he figures out how to tell the targeting matrix what NOT to shoot, the big guns are released to go play, like the gigantic puppies of energized destruction they are. A quick override command added to secure one gate in and out of the facility, and Cadogan turns around to learn his elbows on the viewport frame to watch his handiwork.
The Councilor was not one to give up easily. They had told their pilot, wherever she might have gone, that they would see the turrets under their control, and that was the intention. The more they worked with the controls, the more familiar the controls became, and the system was soon defeated. It was not, however, an enemy to be put down, but a useful tool to be brought to their side. The second turret now spun up, targeted the courtyard and began to do what it could to remove the living obstacles in their way. The rest would have to be removed the old fashioned way.
Sergeant Goren and his new criminal acquaintance are locked in their own mortal combat. Death and destruction abounds all around with bodies and their respective parts being hurled through the air. ET-1141's helmet shifts and connects with an already broken nose with an additional wet and decidedly distinct crunch. The shout of pain erupts from the criminal as his head rocks back from the force of the blow. This is the opening which Kol needs to yank free the serrated blade at his chest when the criminal's grip slackens for that fleeting moment while starts dance behind his eyelids and pain blossoms furiously across the entirety of his face and head.
There's a sickening slurp as the durasteel blade finds purpose and purchase in ET-1141's reversed grip; first in the criminals neck and then in rapid descent from neck across the soft impression between collar bone and shoulder, scratching across flesh and rib bones, and finally parting the flesh and muscle of abdomen as the blade plunges home twice.
The criminal's grip goes slack and ET-1141 swiftly pulls his blade free with strings of crimson still clinging to the durasteel as its quickly pulled back and away to prevent it being claimed by the falling criminals body. Again the blade is sheathed and once more Sergeant Goren reaches to reclaim his grip on the Sonn-Blas F-11D blaster rifle. Quietly he curses its lack of rapid fire capability given the present mission scenario.
He begins to move again having dispatched his opponent and spares nary a glance back to the leaking human form. There is still a mission to see completed.
The nose of the shuttle reaches apex and in an afterthought the speed is bled off, the ship systems issuing another warning with an exasperated helpless surrender as overtaxed systems continue to strain under the paces the old fighter pilot is putting this craft through what he calls 'its paces' and most technical crews regard as 'murder'.
<<"Sensors read turrets down, good work ground. Coming in.">>
The craft hangs in an allowed stall that results in its tumble backwards and to one side, maneuvering jets kicking in before thrusters to right its vector back into the thick of what few enemy remain. Bors leans back in his seat, flight yolk in his grip and throttle lever being worked like it was a simple adjustment toggle, feathering until he is a solid two meter over head height and then drops. Landing gear extended and repulsor systems cutting in before the ship can slam into the ground - but not before potentially smashing down on a few of the criminals caught beneath.
<<"Like a glove...">> nodding at his handiwork, pleased.
It would be an understatement to convey the slaughter that followed as three other turrets turned in unison, spooling up anti-personnel shots and new targets. In a matter of seconds, the turrets unleash absolute hell upon Belsavis, picking apart the foemen in the courtyard with pinpoint accuracy. Even after Kol Goren had killed his enemy and dispatched the body, the turret fired a single shot that ensured the job was done, splattering the organic leftovers all over the cracked duracrete and weeds.
As Ser Bors brings their vessel down amidst a compound now thoroughly locked down from outside influence, the group can regroup at the center. Lord Ty emerges from the hold of the ship just as Kristy is seen walking out to join them. "All that remains is confronting Jaloosi." Kristy says. She points toward the facility, where the doors were already open, and she grins. "I took the liberty of unlocking them while you lot did your thing. Proper good plan if I say so myself.. and I do.." She says cutely.
"..right," Ty confirms. "Best be about it then. Not sure what we face, but let us embark and finish this quest." Ty slings his rifle across his back and adjusts his sword belt so the curve-bladed weapon is available for him to pull.
The group proceeds inside, but they find that guards who had occupied the building were left slain in the halls. Throats slit, some dismembered, and others pinned to the wall and brutally gutted. "Gods," Kristy commented. "Jaloosi's men know no limits to brutality.." Were these all attempts at reaching the main room?
They arrive at the main doors again to find the bodies of slain men and women everywhere. Ty, reluctantly unsure of what else to do, bravely steps forward to tug the large doors open and reveal a makeshift throne room. Skylights allow natural godrays to crisscross and illuminate the interior of stone, and there, seated on a throne of trophies sits the Trandoshan Jaloosi. They rise up, and members of his blood pack step forward to make themselves known to the party joining him in his court of blood. "Ahhhhhhhh, fresh victims to join the murder. The Scorekeeper will be pleased with the numbers I send him this day."
Some twenty people stand around Jaloosi.
Ty speaks, "Jaloosi, I am Ty Killesa. We were told you possess the members of Rist, assassins of great value. We seek to barter for their lives."
Jaloosi laughs, then the others begin to laugh. "There is only one Rist here, pale skin." He points up at a cage where a young girl lay sickly, dying from starvation. "If she possessed legendary skill or value, I think I would have known it, but her kin have not come to bargain for that one's life."
Cadogan West walks through the fire splattered halls toward the Trandoshan on the 'throne' with twenty of his pack. When Jalooshi speaks, Cado eyes the starving child in the cage and leans toward Ty to advice him- loud enough that others can hear- "Traditionally speaking, we blow that guy's head off to show who's swinging big, yeah? With humans, usually his sidekicks back down, but with lizards we might just have to kill em all, yeah? On the upside, we got a good in with the Rist after."
The robed, helmed figure of the Councilor stepped forward, still bearing no weapon. An easy target, yes? Their modulated voice crackled in the relative silence following the Trandoshan's words, "If it is a fight that you want, you may feel free to try to take the first blow. I would advice you, though, to tell us where our quarry has been hidden. Give us the information we need, and I may yet let you live to please the Scorekeeper another day."
ET-1141 moves along with the crowd. Thankfully so when the revelation as to the interior of the structure is revealed. The Scorekeeper? 'Never heard of her', is likely the thought flowing through Sergeant Goren's mind. Then it's onto applying the majority of his thoughts and tactical consideration to the scenario and mission parameters. His helmet shifts and tilts, turning a goggled eye upward to regard the cage and the child within it. Then his helmet shifts down again, following the cable connecting cage to pillar. The group of criminals lurking there are regarding. Then it's back to the Trandoshan that Kol's attention turns.
All the while his left hand holds his carbine at his side, relaxed. Nice and easy. Not threatening at all. He shifts, angling his body ever so slightly and placing the frame of Cadogan between ET-1141 and much of the poorly lit chamber. Two fingers and a thumb dip into a pouch on his utility belt, plucking free a grenade by his sense of touch and familiarity with the grenade's shape alone.
Moving on the flank of the group, a length of metal blades held by power couplings bound about his arm in easy posture to be dropped, save for the hafted grip at the ready. Expression hidden by the helmet, his pace marked with the sort of amble of a man who now has to have tinctures and regular treatments for his joints.
No word is offered when the Trandoshan speaks, but Cadogan's words are listened too, the enemy studied and his fist tightening on the grip of the weapon in hand.
'Fine kettle we've got boiling.' thought to himself as Ser Bors lifts, with a little creek onto the balls of his feet - waiting for all of the galaxy's hells to break suddenly loose. Like when the Stormtrooper pulls out ordnance.
At seeing a young Lady Rist above, and hearing the council from Cadogan West's experience with prison environments, the young sea lord bravely draws his sword with a practiced motion, the metal rasping and bringing attention to himself. "No son or daughter of Alderaan will long endure such treatment. No matter where Rist stands, they are Alderaanian. I abhor you, sir, prepare to meet your Scorekeeper." Ty holds his sword out.
Councilor Cas commanded Jaloosi bring the quarry out? Well he had no such, but the bootfalls of Kristy carry her forward and in front of Ty. Touching her belt and her face, the image that was Kristy fell away like static, and the matriarch of House Rist was revealed. "No need to look any further," She says, her accent high Core and distinctly highborn.
Ty, caught completely offguard by Kristy's identity, steps back. Kristy says,"Long have I endured the filth of this world and taken pleasure in assassinating its leaders. None give me more pleasure than this one." She claps her hands, and stealth generators release the shadowed-mist forms of assassins behind every member of the blood court that opposed them. Before they could react, the Rist assassins dispatch each guard with sudden thrusts of straight-edged katana like swords, then cut their throats.
Jaloosi is slain by an unmasked assassin, short for a man, but he levels the field of battle by removing Jaloosi's legs with a single pass of his sword. Before the Trandoshan can protest, the assassin removes his head. "Bring my daughter down," He commands after all are slain, and the assassins work to do this.
Lady Livia turns to face the group then, her cold, expressionless look and dark gaze meeting each member of the crew before she speaks. "Apologies for my deception. You possessed skills we did not, and I still had an agenda to complete."
Raising her hands, she addresses them, "I am the Lady Livia of House Rist. You seek me. What is it you want from me?"
Cadogan West looks aside sharply as 'Kristy' steps in front of Ty and.. ah. A slow breath is drawn through flared nostrils, pale blue eyes flicking around the throne room quickly as stealth fields and swords are bloodily revealed. In some desperate bid to exert any scrap of calm in the aftermath of the bloodbath, he quips to Ty, "You're up.. Fancy pants," echoing the nickname chosen by the disguised Livia. The young slicer is quite content to let the Alderaanians and Sith do the talking, while he tries not to look behind himself.
The Councilor, as the Rist were unmasked, took barely a moment to look around the room, seeing the figures now arrayed around them. Still, they took up no weapon. Instead, they moved towards where the young girl was being brought down. Barely a glance was offered to 1141, before they shifted their focus to the form being freed from its cage. And while the voice, still modulated, did not shift in its intonations, neither did it offer menace or threat. "I am a doctor. I will tend to the girl." There was a glance to the ones releasing the child, "Lest you wish for her to expire before you can reunite her with her mother." The child certainly did look to be on death's door. Any delay was likely to be to her detriment. Once the girl was freed, the Councilor took a knee, retrieving the necessary supplies to stabilize the young girl, remaining, at all times, positioned so that the Lady could see her child. Consciousness returned soon enough.
There's suddenly blades flashing in the poorly lit chamber and ET-1141's helmet aids Sergeant Goren in capturing it all with its low-light enhancing technology really allows him to pay witness to ever strand, spray, and arc of ruby life's water flashing through the dim chamber. He grunts quietly and it almost sounds like heaving emanating near or around the stormtrooper's bodysuit-wrapped throat. There doesn't seem to be a spray of anything of note from the helmet and without missing a beat ET-1141 begins to move after the Councilor who looks to attend to the malnourished girl. He stands nearby, but not so close to be intruding on the process. He is there to provide security while the Councilor is otherwise occupied. The stormtrooper's helmet shifts to regard one of the Rist phantoms. His helmet dips once, a simple acknowledgment. Then it's back to sentry duty Kol goes with his blaster rifle held barrel-down across his chest.
<"Lady Livia, we need thee come with us, and thine house kin too. Liberated by Her Majesty - perchance to gain amnesty and place again among the Great Houses."> Bors chimes in before Ty could address as goaded by Cadogan.
The slayings had brought back memories of the forests of New Alderaan before others. Crossing blades and being saved from toxins that had been drooled on his skin when his armor had saved him from being cut.
<"Whatever glorious rogue empire thou hast carved for thineself upon Belsavis - likely can do with being heaped upon the rubbish. Cast off the dust of this misbegotten world and return to Alderaan and mayhap Rist may rise again." Remaining standing where he is, the chain-whip still looped over his arm and ready to be snapped to blade form if the circumstances call for it.
He wanted to draw the moment the Rists had appeared. His instincts screamed to draw and charge and it was a wonder he remained where he had stood. That he was speaking clear voiced despite old memories being dredged up.
Lord Ty speaks after Ser Bors, "The Ser is correct. Your freedom, my Lady, need only require one thing."
Before Ty can reveal what that is, Livia's smile tips one corner of her mouth, "That I bend the knee and swear fealty." Turning in place to look over those with her, then of her niece being treated by the Councilor, she nods. "No Empire awaits us here, Ser." Said to Bors and company. "We were exiled here during the war for standing against my Lord Father and his shadow council. Freed, we will bring those responsible for the atrocities during the war forward to face the Queen's justice."
Ty nods, sharing a glance with Ser Bors and nodding, then he unclips something from his belt and activates it. A shimmering image of Aryn Cortess comes into existence, a holo-call, obviously. "Your Majesty, we have established contact with Lady Livia as you commanded."
<"And of her fealty, Captain?">
Livia speaks, and the image of Aryn turns to regard her. Taking a knee, Livia says, "For our freedom, your Majesty, House Rist swears its fealty to serve the crown whenever called upon. We name but one boon in return for our loyalty."
"That Your Majesty permit the hunt of our traitorous kin, and return my House to its rightful, loyal place."
<"You may dispense your justice, my Lady, but first, I have need of you. Old enemies once thought out of reach are now no longer. Return home and we will discuss the details of our Prince's war.">
"Yes, your grace."
The image of Aryn fades and Ty stores the holo-emitter back to his belt. With his free hand, he offers it to Livia and she accepts, rising back to her full height and nodding. "To Alderaan," She asks. Ty confirms, "To Alderaan, my Lady."