Log:Jedi Order: Byss - The Abyss Looks Back
The Spire had been eerily quiet in the wake of Rey's meeting with Moff Pax, but with the information in hand, the Jedi's mission was finally in sight. All they had left to do was find the Sentinel facility and wreck whatever is inside so that the Sentinels cannot carry out whatever their nefarious machinations might be. With the information from Pax's office in hand, it seemed clear that the facility could be found by an exposed access tunnel laid bare by the Schism that had split the city, and the group set off for the Gulf, wearing their disguises, on the pretense of investigating rumors of a freedom fighter rally there.
Here at the edge of the street, the pavement falls away, cut in half by some enormously powerful excavation tool. Ben stands at the edge, his helmet removed, looking down into the gap towards the channel carved through the earth, far below. From here, the mangled structures and machinery of a modern city that builds building atop building, constructing blocks in layers as much as horizontally, are all laid open by whatever ripped through it eleven years ago.
"This is it," Ben reminds the others, stepping back for a moment. The Libertine and TIEs sit on an abandoned pad, conveniently located near the edge. "If we can stop them, we can leave and never have to think about this place ever again. Keep your wits about you. This is Palpatine we're dealing with, and even though he's dead, assuming this will be easy would be a mistake."
"Were your eyes sharp enough to see our destination," Aryn asks, braving the edge to look down absent her helmet as well. Wavy blonde hair hung free and took flight the moment the wind touched it. She was not scared of heights, but she depicted a fall from here would be a long time to wait for the inevitable end. She steps back carefully, and tucks the helm under her armored arm, turning to look to Ben and the others.
Elrych had climbed down from his TIE and made sure to do a preflight check just incase they needed to run out of this place and make a speedy get away. That seemed to happen often.
The Jedi Knight, disguised behind the helmet of his TIE flight suit, dual hoses and all attached, he adjusts the speaker setting on his chest controls. His voice pitches and then lowers before leveling out. <<"Well... at any rate. It should be a hell of a time? Aye?">> He looks around at the others, nodding his head as if to beg the question. He wouldn't blame them for not responding. He moves over to where ARyn peers down, doing so himself. He shrugs. <<"Let's get this done with then...">> It's true, Elrych was gettin wiry of this place.
Vhe chews on the inside of her cheek as she looks to the Libertine, their ships. The Ysanna steps forward to get a better look from withint the red helmet that keeps her identity her own - for now. Nothing ever lasts. <"I would not be considering this a fun excursion. But it must be done."> Her head turns, helmet swiveling to take in the other Ysanna, giving him a nod.
No smile. That is lost within the covering as is the saber still strapped to her side despite the force pike in hand.
"I'm not going to be much help in a fight. If I remain behind with the ship, at least I could send you a message to let you know if anyone tries to come in behind you." Chani uses the collective you, referring to the red-robed, armor-clad Jedi gathered together around the edge of a deep depression into the ground. Like a couple of the others, she has her helmet tucked under one arm. The base of the pike's haft is planted into the duracrete, with her fingers clenched about it to ensure it doesn't tumble off into the hole. "I don't want to get in the way." She speaks this mostly to Aryn, the blonde noble who has, so far, provided her with help. "This is not the kind of place that you can afford to be distracted from your own safety."
Zan had a good look at the report, and she too is in the TIE armour, ready to flee at a moment's notice. Though not without the others. <<We're leaving droids at least to guard the ships, right?>> she says simply. <<"in case the Moff is following after us with some storm troopers? >> She's still weirded out a bit about that visual scan, and really wondering if this is ... as the saying goes ... a trap. She takes a breath, ans her eyes widen at Chani's words, just as Zan is thinking about trouble too. She turns to nod to the other, respecting her tactics, if nothing else. <<But I also don't know if we want to leave anyone alone. >>
Rune likewise had his helmet removed, thankful to be out of the oppressive tightness of the thing even if for just a few minutes. He peers over the edge along with everyone else, not terribly sure what it is that they were looking for. Regardless, not thinking about this place would certainly be a welcome state of mind for the youngest Ysannan, he currently has quite a bit to think on as it is. Even so there is one person that Ben mentions which causes an eyebrow to lift higher on his forehead. Vhe's nod finds a thin lipped smile and a questioning expression. He pauses for a breath before he leans over ask, "Who is Palpatine?" Figuring that person would be rather handy to know, especially since he seems to be tied heavily into their mission. He too has the cylinder of light attached to his belt below the billowing red robes, the pike is leaned against his chest, both hands clutching it for needed support near the edge of the precipice.
<"I would very much like to leave and not come back,"> Kasia remarks as she looks down into the abyss from near the edge. Not right up against it, she trusts the others to have seen the way to get in. The warning that it won't be easy prompts a soft sigh, but a slight incline of the helmet that she still wears. It might be a nod. There's a subtle twisting at the waist that has her looking over at Chani, then Aryn, then over to Ben and Rey.
Jax removes his helmet as he looks down over the side. He frowns for a moment in contemplation. "I don't like it here anymore than the rest of you. Though does that mean we should abandon the population? I mean they need a chance at freedom like the rest of the galaxy." Then he exhales, "But your right, Palpatine and the rest. Just cause we're at the end. We should not expend it to be easy."
Rey descends the boarding ramp of the Libertine, having ditched the black jacket and added a black satchel that is slung over her tunic and belt around her waist. The red gloves are gone as well, leaving her long sleeved tunic covering her arms down to her wrists that are wrapped in black leather vambraces. She joins the others and draws in a soft breath as she sweeps her eyes over those present. Chani gets a momentary look. "This is good training for you." She says calmly. "If nothing else, your perspective and feedback might come in handy as well. But I won't ask you to come along if you feel you're best served at the ship."
A glance is given to Rune. "Palpatine, refers to my Grandfather, in most cases. He was the Emperor of the Galactic Empire, and ruled over most of the galaxy... in his time. His time is over though." She mutters that last part softly and barely audible at all. She doesn't quite seem like herself either, and most all of those with her here can see it. This place is tainting her, wearing her on as well.
"We killed him," Ben mentions aside to Rune, for context. He looks over at the ships, giving the trio a long, considering moment, and then looks back to the Gulf. "I don't know what we're facing. I'd rather have you all than wish I did later." Aryn's question prompts him to take a few steps south, lining himself up with a particular landmark on the far side of the Gulf, and then lean as far out as he can without falling in, peering down at the side of the wall he's standing on. Then he rocks back flat. "I can't actually see it, but it should be below us, exposed to the air," he admits, hitching up his robe and tucking into his belt so that it's more of a poncho than a floor-length affair.
Stepping to the edge, he turns and puts a red-booted foot out over the edge, lowers it down, carefully finding somewhere to stick his foot that holds him up, and then the next awkwardly follows, until he's vanished down the side. No ropes, because why would anyone ever bother with those?
"I understand," Aryn says softly to Chani, though to show that she's prepared for this, she draws out a familiar Theed-Arms S5 weapon, and toggles the ascension cable, or in this case, the DESCENSION-- descent cable. The harpoon is fired into a firm surface and latched safely in place. Tugging the tether, Aryn glances up after Ben has answered her, and Chani finds her answer. "If she is to come with us, we can at least descend in safety. Miss Chani, if you consent, please come close and take hold of me. We can go down, safely, together." Aryn offers, and while there is also concern of combat, it would be the Jedi that were there to support and help protect her.
There is a look to Vhe and then Kasia, and of course Rey who seems a bit off. <<"Yeah. Let's just get the kriff outa here.">> Elrych observed the ledge for a moment, watching Ben go down. He nods to Aryn who offers Chani assistance before moving to head over the ledge himself. He let the force well up inside of him. The Suit he wore was not the most adventagious towards his dexterity but that's not what really mattered. It was the ability to hold ones weight and grip onto proper footing and hand holds. He manages, but just, as some rocks slips down when he makes a misstep, catching himself. TIE Fighter cockpit gloves were not made for climbing. Nor were the suits boots. He looks up to make sure the others are making their way along.
Hiking up the robes when it comes to her turn, she waits for Elrych and then with some space, goes to her knees and swings her leg down to find her first food hold. Its not graceful by any means and she is quickly gripping the edges to keep from spilling and falling. If not for the Force, Vhe would likely have gone falling - who knows how far. Her red gloves grip the edge and she shakes, straining as the next handhold is locked onto.
Its a slow process and only with the force is she able to find each. <"Okay...okay..."> spoken to herself as the sweat begins to drip down her brow beneath the helmet.
"I'm only concerned for everyone's safety," Chani responds to Rey and Ben's encouragement to come along. Not long after, she spies Aryn drawing a familiar weapon from her homeworld and attaching the hook to a secure spot. Chani glances between the noble woman and the hole before them, before finally tucking her pike into the crook of her elbow. Lifting the helmet, Chani dons it, then secures her force pike to herself before stepping over to Aryn and standing in close. Rather than saying anything, she simply wraps her arm around Aryn and then takes secure hold of the belt beneath her robe. With nothing else to hold them together, Chani isn't sure how well this is going to work. She doesn't doubt the cable's integrity, merely the ability to get down without something unfortunate happening in conjunction with this route.
Zan listens now, quietly. She's happier with all the team together, not leaving one behind, so that's all good. She waits her turn and starts down the cliff, with a thought. We should have brought rope for this. And that is what she's thinking as she starts to slip, fingers losing their grips as Zan starts to feel that horrible nasty butterfly in her stomach, the one that says she's about to become acquainted with flying, without a fighter.
"Oh." comes Rune's reply, the overwhelming sense of needing to stay quiet in this matter coming shortly after their replies. Another good idea from Ben and the young Force user follows suit, tucking his robe into the belt to provide a bit more maneuverability to the garments that most of them wear. He waits and watches the others move forward to try their hand at climbing down the side of the cliff, stepping up to peer even sharper over the edge than he had before. Rune reminds himself that things always look higher than they are when looking down from above. He has to remind himself of that due to the rush of adrenaline that courses through his veins and the slight quiver that takes his knees.
Just before he's able to take his turn down the side of the cliff, Rune sees Zan begin to slip and fall. Using some of the quick reflexes he relied on in the wild, the Ysannan darts forward and latches onto her wrist, yanking her backward and away from danger. "You are good." He comments, his own chest rising and falling rapidly at the near catastrophe. Of course, that doesn't really put much faith in the entire enterprise, the descent already fairly daunting. Still, it's his turn next and he moves to the edge of the cliff, slowly lowering a foot down until it finds purchase. With a reassuring smile, that may or may not be actually reassuring, the young man works his way over the cliff and out of sight of the ships.
The good thing about Kasia flouncing around in dresses most of the time is that she's pretty accustomed to navigating terrain with long, flowy outfits, so this should be... okay it's not easy, but she manages it. Slowly but surely she goes over the edge and climbs down. <"I always think--"> She begins while descending, pausing a moment to flex her gloved hand. <"In times like this, I really should do more to build muscle. Then I hurt the next day and don't want to, and the cycle repeats."> She is much stronger than she once was, but there's a fair amount of fluff with that muscle.
Jax slips his helmet back on, "This gear isn't designed for climbing." Jax says as starts his climb. "And Just remember we don't get to choose our family or destine to fall in the same pattern as them." He says as he climbs easily up the side. Wait wasint the last time he was climbing something, he was racing his mother up the side of a crane to rescue a soldier? So maybe he is a bit more like Amber than advertised.
Rey listens to the others while they start their descent. She doesn't use any climbing assistance equipment, as she reaches the ledge she just maps it out with her eyes and then spins herself around to drop down and boldly just 'grab' the edge. Her booted feet impact against a durasteel support and her hands move to start to guide her body down the chasm.
Her eyes look over to the others as she watches over them as best she can, observing the others as they climb. "Well done, Rune." Rey says when she sees him catch Zandra to sturdy her. Her eyes go to Aryn then. "You'll have to keep a look out for more of those kinds of tools, seems very useful."
Progressing further, Rey smiles faintly at Kasia too. "It's a good hurt. Or so you have to train yourself to believe. A hurt that signals progress. Though I certainly understand." She speaks casually while climbing, as though she's quite a lot of experience at it, but even she's fell from time to time in difficult climbs.
The climb is alternately simple and arduous, depending on the segment of the ruined chunk of bifurcated city the Jedi are traversing. Embedded perhaps fifty feet down, recessed from the rest of the sheared-off buildings, is the entrance to an access tunnel, shielded by... nothing. Whatever used to keep this entrance to what lies beyond inaccessible from improper access was destroyed and torn away. Into this, Ben drops, tugging his robe free again. He's not wearing the helmet, that would be much too uncomfortable and burdening for a climb like this, and he glances back with a measure of surprise at those who are, shaking out his arms from the strain of the climb. "Good, no one fell."
The door, regrettably, was not ripped free with the rest of the tunnel, and its austere slate grey panels sit stubbornly in place. Two control panels, one on each side of the door, block the way forward. He sighs, hands settling on his hips as he examines the arrangement. "Let's see if we can get this open."
Aryn's booted feet hit the surface of their landing and she transitions carefully down, her ankles aching at first from the sudden transition from no weight to dead weight, and she has to step it out to make the feelings subside. For now, she disconnects the cable cartridge from the pistol and holsters the weapon, allowing the cable she and Chani had used, to dangle for when/if they came back up that way. The pistol? She holsters.
"Are you attached to this door, by chance? I believe the majority of us can make quick work of it otherwise..." Aryn asks of Ben before pulling the portion of the robe back that revealed her lightsaber hilt. It might save them some time.
"Just run the course at Ajara... it's literally an entire body work out." Elrych says to those talking about working out and the benifits of such. He always found the jedi exercises enough along with what ever PT was required for whatever Squadron he was in this week. He drops down onto the out cropping without much preamble, turning to help others if they need a hand.
A look to Aryn as she suggests using their lightsabers. <<"Could do...">> He nods reaching for what appered to be an oxagyn cylinder on his belt... but those that knew would not notice that it was his darkstar and angleshine polymere lightsaber hilt. Clever boy...
The helmet comes off now that they are down here and Vhe glances to the others as its set down on the ground beside her. "Its damaged, I suggest we give them some help and remove it for them. Free of charge." Her hand slips out of her robe and the bronze saber with its swinging kirruk tooth is revealed. She steps forward and past Ben, "Excuse me."
Blue light sizzles, cutting the air as she depresses the button and steps forwrad with saber overhead to begin the slow work of cutting the door free.
The descent has Chani's grip on Aryn tightening progressively until they get to the bottom. Once her booted feet touch the ground, she's quick to separate herself from the noble, adding a few feet of distance between them. Her back partially arches as her visor starts to tilt upwards, but it never reaches the point where she can truly glance up. Straightening, Chani's gaze fixes itself towards the door that's impeding their path. She glances between those gathering up, first towards Aryn and then towards Elrych. Not having any method to aid the group, she stands out of the way, ensuring that she'll be no impediment to whatever it is they decide to do to get past it. <"Is there a more quiet way to handle it?"
Zan's breath is a bit fast, and her heartbeat even faster. That was close. She smiles to Rune, who just probably literally saved her life. << Thank you. >> she says, as her breath comes back to normal. Too close. She takes another couple of calming breaths, her emotions calming, as does her expression. << Mental note for next time, bring rope in the TIE - >> Yes, she does look up at that fighter speculatively for a moment. But - they need those on the way home. She takes a few moments, before she follows in Rune's steps, making her way the rest of the way down more cautiously. Thus, the others are there and starting on the door when she arrives. She simply stays where she is, taking a look to see if there is any hope of a lever or control panel still working.
Kasia manages to make it all the way down without falling, or needing help. It's a good day! So far, anyway. Both gloved hands clench and relax, flexing away discomfort from the climb as she turns to make her way over to Ben and the door. Her eyes move over the control panels on either side. "We could try these..." She pauses to glance back at those with sabers. "Or that. Whatever gets us in there."
"You are welcome." He replies as she starts her descent. A bright smile appears at Rey's encouragement, "Thank you." being spoken in gratitute. Rune's own arms strain as he makes his way down the rocky face. Even with as much time as he spent in the wilds of Ossus, not a whole lot of climbing was involved. Finally his right foot touches the edge of the durasteel walkway and he breathes a sigh of relief. Rune hazards a look down the rest of the way, nudging a rock over the side and gripping onto a piece of the nearby wall to prevent himself from plunging into the abyss. Having satisfied himself with being safely on the ground and no longer on the cliff face, Rune steps back from the edge to pull the robe from his belt and prepare for whatever is next. The light from the sabers reflecting in his bright hazel eyes as he moves to the side to allow them space to bypass the door.
Jax looks at the others and makes his way to the consoles. "Lets try asking nicely before using the universal key." He says taking off the helmet. "Are there any confirmed incidents of the Royal Guard actually fighting in these uniforms. I could see more in a Tie Fighter helmet." He says taking a deep breath. Then he goes to entering codes to try to slice the terminial. Then trying everything he knows, even trying to rewire it. He ears an electrial shock for his troubles. He shakes his hand, "Alright universal key it is."
Rey is the last to leave the wall, wanting to make sure th eothers all made it in to the passage following after Ben. Once they do, she finagles her own way over to the mouth and then appears via swinging her body in and landing on her booted feet. Her eyes scan over the others before she looks to the door blocking their progress.
She gives Jax a moment to try his slicing prowess before her right hand comes up and her eyes close for a second. A moment later and the door hisses as the hydraulics activate, the door opens a few inches, then stops, grinding gears can be heard before it suddenly pops fully open at her command of the computer systems and mechanics within the bulkheads that it now recedes in to.
"It's always best to use lightsabers as a last resort." She quietly relays. "I think it can be too easy to grow overly dependent upon them." She nods her head once and motions for the others to move ahead.
When the door opens, the entrance leads into the darkness. Lines of light along the ceiling flicker into life, illuminating the corridor for the Jedi to follow it.
At the end of the passage, a hexagonal room awaits them, with banks of control panels set along every wall and a master console that dominates the space in its center. Viewed from above, the layout would strongly resemble the Imperial emblem itself. Each wall has a door in the middle, identical to the one they entered through, and a transparisteel panel above it to allow observers to see beyond, though all of them are dark for the moment.
Ben steps inside, casting wary glances around but gravitating towards that massive centerpiece. As the others follow, the strips of light set in the ceiling flicker and pop, cutting down to an emergency level that casts the chamber in an eerie glow as a haunted voice fills the air. "At last... my child returns to the nest. Did you really believe my plans include you... without me?"
Sinister laughter bubbles up from the dark recesses of the room, and red-robed figures, with domed heads, stride slowly in unison, one from each of the five doors. A deeply-lined face lights each dome, the image of haunted eyes staring ghoulishly at the Jedi. "And now, young blood of my blood... your meddling comes to an end."
Cast in the emergency lighting of this room they have traveled too, Aryn felt alone. The ruse had come to an end, and the haunting laugh of the late Emperor conferred an eerie sense of evil over the room as robed figures strode into view whilst the threat was issued. Aryn was chilled to her core, and believing the situation beyond the means of diplomacy, she drew her lightsaber and stepped in front of Chani in an effort to protect her.
Aryn strikes outward in a flurry of three controlled swings and darts backward, walking that thin proverbial line, her free hand high and behind her for some semblance of balance. "Stay behind me," She informs Chani. "I am not eager to see you harmed again!" She brings her weapon to the defense, holding it out in front of her, this time, as opposed to her side. The blue energy of her lightsaber cast its blue hue over her face and reflected in her eyes.
"I mean guys... it's a door. I don't think the way we do it matters... There's noone watching us I don't think." Elrych nods towards Jax as he has a hard time. "Sometimes we should trust our instincts." Defending Vhe's decision and choice. Though as Rey opens the door with her ability he simply shrugs and moves along with other.
Upon entering the hexagonal room the Jedi Knight pauses and sighs. His lightsaber was still in his hand from when he was going to help Vhe and Aryn cut into the door before other means were taken. He presses the red button, the brillian blue blade coming to life. Drawing the force within himself, he launches towards the Sentinel beside Arny, the blade lashing out. The suit hampered his movement, not used to the heaviness of it. The helmet got in the way of his vision. Two rapid strike before the third one hit... and it hit hard carving into the red clad being.
There was no words for the Jedi, no contemplation... simply action.
Vhe's helmet is left behind where she placed it down to draw her saber so when the voice sounds out she lifts her hand to her head and looks about for it. Though in moments it does not at all seem like it matters as the figures step into view and she turns to the others, the cyan blade humming softly beside her as she holds it downwards.
The blue plays off the red, casting a faint purple sheen to the robes she wears. With a final push and upwards drive of the velvet like cloth over her shoulder to free up her movements it bundled up against her throat and across one shoulder. Vhe steps forward and as the others engage, so does she.
Aryn's blade lands several times but the sentinel yet stands so the Ysanna hurries into the fray, waiting for her fellow to clear the space before she swings. Its an upward arc that carries her through to the next attempt which is on the sentinel Elrych engages. The blade misses by only a breath before she twists back around but stumbles over her own food and ..the robe. The blasted robe.
<"This is unsettling."> Chani's entrance into the chamber with the others draws the blunt admission of how the atmosphere of the chamber makes her feel. It's incomparable to the chill that runs up her spine when the cackling laughter starts. Chani halts on the pathway leading towards the center, gaze rapidly darting between the five individuals that emerge and threaten them. As she feared, Aryn's quick to promise her protection, necessitating that her attention be divided between fighting and protecting herself and protecting another person entirely. Lightsabers begin casting illumination around the chamber as they're activated and Chani watches as they begin to attack the sentinels in a flurry of light.
Zandra is towards the back fo the group, as they come in, a hand automatically ont he lightsaber. it's become a habit. She arches a brow at the creepy sentinels, and then it dawns on her. This is why they're here. Those ahead of her are already attacking, and Zan promptly goes to join in. She starts with only the green blade out, using her saber for the moment in a fairly traditional fashion. She tag teams along with the others, working as a team, much as they've been training to do. "Immediate threat first, but be wary. I don't trust this at all."
Rune has an uneasy feeling about this place, the chill of the setting slowly creeping into his bones. He walks slowly behind the rest of the group, giving an occasional glance back at Rey as she follows behind. The glances are two fold, one: to make sure he's not the last entering the room and second: to make sure he's not the only one feeling the unease. The reason for his apprehension is soon made clear as the creepy voice echoes around them and the doors hiss open to admit the domed droids with the equally as off-putting projections.
Rune motions in a general 'everywhere' fashion, "Palpatine?" before retrieving his stunsaber and depressing the button. The area about the young man is bathed in a bright white light, the beam itself shifting as he darts in to slash at one of the red robed figures. His first swing connects and he feels the impact, though the light seems to pass right through the figure. He's still in amazement at the earlier sensation when he swings again, this time the blade slipping just wide of his target.
Kasia seems happy to let whoever can open the door open it, standing off to one side until it happens. "Well done." It's a general praise, and then she follows the others into the the room. The sound of that voice makes her cringe within her helmet, but she moves with the group all the same. The golden hilt of the saber is pulled free from where she had it stashed, activating the blade and charging in to attack. Woosh, the blade swishes over one of the sentinels missing wide once, twice, three times, unable to hit the domed droids. <"These things are faster than you'd think.">
Jax follows in with the rest of the group. Then the factory begins to take a creepy turn as well Rey's Grandpappy's AI dupleganger begins to speak. The Corellian's hand goes into his robes and produces his own saber. The blue blade extending from the hilt that obviously once was swoop handle. Jax joins in with Rune, Vhe, and Zandra attacking Sentinel Two. His first slaber slash missing as the droid dodges away. "I noticed. They're also tougher than one would think." His next two saber strikes hitting the droid. "By a measure. I am usually not a fan of orbital bombardment. I may revise my thoughts on the matter this time."
The walk through the base was an ominous one to say the least, the Jedi could all feel the darkness of this place through the Force, a residual trace of the Emperor's commitment to the dark side of the Force. Like a chill that bypassed your clothing, your body, and went straight to the energy that makes you... you. It's unsettling, it's tainted, and it can cause one to grow weaker with their connection to the light side, if they do not steel their will and focus their confidence to not let fear overwhelm them.
"Stay vigilant." Rey says to the others before they reach the Sentinel chamber. "This is a dark place, but we're here together, and we'll see it through." Her voice is quiet, like the rest of the base.
When they all filter in to the Sentinel chamber, the doors open and their foes present themselves. Rune gets an affirmative nod to his one-word question. "His puppets." She adds, eyes on the Sentinel droids.
At their combined unified announcement of their 'end', Rey watches the other Jedi all ignite their sabers and in response she simply shakes her head from right to left. "Oh. I don't think so." She says, swiftly and quite relaxed sounding.
Her hand snaps up and she calls upon a wave of kinetic Force to flow from her presence across the room to slam in to one of the Sentinel droids while the sabers begin to swing!
"An upstart queen is no match for the power of the Sith," Palpatine's voice echoes through the chamber, coming from all of the Sentinels as much as it comes from none of them. It just fills the space. "My plans stretch through the generations! I will /rise/, immortal. Eternal."
The Sentinels snap weapons from seemingly nowhere: one moment, they're unarmed, but as the Jedi leap into the offensive, what appear to be force pikes spring into their hands. Whatever they're made of, they seem to withstand the blows of a lightsaber. And true to Kasia's word, the droids are fast, moving with surprising speed and agility. Whatever is in the weapons must be in the droids as well, judging by the way they're able to keep together after being sliced by lightsabers, their robes scorched and cut where the hot metal beneath is laid bare.
Ben's saber ignites, the fiery blade spitting burnt ozone as he chases the Sentinel Rey pushed into the wall, slamming the weapon into the spot where the droid is only to draw a line across the console there. Twisting, he clips its torso but it tugs its body away easily before he can land a second hit.
Aryn sprung backward just as the upward swing of Vhe's lightsaber caught her foe and ended its reign of terror. "Well struck, Vhe--OOF!" Aryn ducks, bending over to avoid being struck, only to be hit /hard/ in the chest, her plastoid armor shattering from the weight of the blow, buckling her knees. The wind is effectively knocked from her lungs in a wheeze /before/ she hits back first on the ground, her offhand wide to help sustain the fall in the fashion of a martial artist who understood absorbing the blow; it had become muscle memory.
Unable to breath, Aryn lashed out from the ground, cutting the Sentinel's legs right out from under it. It toppled, she swung again and missed, but as Aryn got to her knee, she struck the sentinel across its torso splitting it in two halves.
Aryn tried to rise up and stumbled back, wheezing still, trying to breath. She finds a wall to lean against, and /finally/ sucks in air. It was like she had emerged from water after holding her breath forever, and even then it was labored. She labored there a moment, her eyes wild but searching for threats, and looking for Chani to make sure she was okay!
Elrych reels back as the Sentinels go on the attack, twirling about their Lightsaber resistant force pikes. Luckiy, the Jedi Knight was a skill duelist and spent a lot of time fighting the Duel Elite droid along with training along side Vhe and the others. A master of the Lightsaber? Not quite but he was well on his way there.
Moving into the momentum of the Sentinal's finally strike, his blade cuts right through the damaged one he was facing off with. Bifuricating the machine right down the middle. THe fishbowl with Palpatine's face? It bursts like a lightbulb smashing against the ground, sparks shooting out from inside. <<"Stick it in your speaker hole bucket of bolts!">> He shouts, spinning and striking out at the next target after a nod to Vhe to advance with him. Yet the Sentinel blocks his blades.
Vhe kicks back her robe after stepping on it when she switches her target. But its as if the robe does not want to stay back over her shoulder like the dashing sword cape its meant to be! "Thanks, Aryn. Not...*mmph* bad yourself." It slips forward and Vhe contends with making sure she does not tangle with the others, her saber swings and misses twice before the fabric comes tumbling down in her way.
It leaves her third strike clean through the air for the low crackle and hiss as it passes. Her fingers flex on the hilt as she eyes the sentinel yet unharmed by any of them. She gives Elrych a look.
"You did not hit it either." Her eyes quickly assess the others as the number of sentinels dwindles
Watching the Jedi act is a sight to behold, even if the continued rhetoric by the sentinels is ominous in nature. Chani begins to wonder if Byss is but one little nest, as the sentinel had called it, among a whole hive of them around the galaxy. Can they route out all the evil if they have to spend all their time searching for these bastions of the late Emperor? Whatever is floating through her head quickly derails as she's forced to continuously move herself in respect to Aryn's own positioning, both distant enough from the woman's person that she's not hindered in movement, but close enough that she's not a tempting target out in the open. She still has her force pike at guard in both hands, ready to defend herself if absolutely necessary, but being raised on a pacifist planet did not prepare her in any way for these encounters.
Zandra with the second of the sentinel robots down moves to the third, swinging at him as he's the next target. There's a slash forward one way, a duck and another slash, lower this time, and Zan is trying to keep moving. The chill in the air and the monologue of the dead guy is beyond disturbing, something about it setting her teeth on edge. She ends up really being little more than a distraction as that sentinel maanages to dodge and parry her attacks without even breaking a sweat. Well, the sentinel's not breaking a sweat. Zan might be. She tries to keep an eye on who is doing well and who might need some help, as she can, though the battle is enough to take all her attention for the moment.
"He was not a very nice person, was he?" Rune asks as he works on dodging the eerily fast and competent baddies in red. It's a dance of red and black figures with bright colored lights thrown in to spruce up the place. To anyone not coming from the wastes of a planet, it might seem like a killer light show in some club. As it is, Rune dances away to look for another opening, his blade of white arcing about in the air as he moves.
The moment he had been waiting for comes and he darts in, taking a couple of swings at the pesky figure who had been evading everyone's attack. He was no different and the being cackled as it moved safely away from his attacks. "This one is difficult!" He calls, as if the rest of the room didn't notice their swings went wild. Rune backs up into the group, saber held in front of him, eyes narrowed and ready for whatever comes next.
They're fast. Faster than Kasia likes. And they're able to deflect and take hits from sabers! She has never been a particular fan of droids, only using them here and there when necessary, and this whole experience certainly isn't going to dissuade her from this notion. <"I can see why we needed to come here and stop this,"> she voices over the comms, that sentiment punctuated with one of the pikes juuuuuust managing to clip her armor. An audible 'oof' can be heard, but her armor takes the brunt of the damage so that she'll just be left with a nasty bruise on her arm.
There is an unseen purse of her lips as she exhales through her nose. She hasn't a sassy remark, just momentary surge of annoyance that she tries to quell, but maybe not too much. She steps in closer, now slashing at the sentinel with more ferocity than finesse, cutting through robe and metal beneath. The second slash sloughs away more of the robe and leaves behind more damage, but the third is caught in shower of sparks by the pike. She presses for a few moments as though trying to cut through it, then pushes away to retreat a few steps.
Jax shakes his head, "I will not complain about C-3PO being annoying." Jax gives Elrych a nod as took down the 2nd one and then the other Corellian moves in on the 4th one. His saber lashing out with a quick strike, "The Emperor wasn't a very nice person? He was a Sith Lord and ruled most of the galaxy. We really need to get you caught up on Galactic history." Jax calls out to Rune. HIs saber digging deep into metal body. "These things are definitely not the same specs as a B1 battledroid." The droid dodging and parrying his next two strikes.
One of the droids comes up on Rey as she turns her attention to the one she'd shoved away. It strikes her good and true across her arm, sending sparks bursting off of her clothing and severing her sleeve, along with with the skin beneath it. Rey recoils in a flash of pain that she soon pushes away with steely-concentration.
Her right hand dips beneath her black satchel to draw out her saber which she flicks on and holds out at her side, the golden beam growling in the chilled air of this chamber. With her left arm bleeding, Rey watches Kasia corralling one of the droids and scoring hits across it before Rey approaches and cuts it down from behind with one fell-sweep of her sunshine saber!
"This factory... this... nest... it ends here, it ends now. Palpatine's minions are put to rest, with the evil soul of the man himself." She looks to the last remaining droid then and raises her saber up before motioning to it. "I am the heir to his legacy, and I intend to see it buried."
"My legacy has yet to be finished... and you are merely a footnote," Palpatine's voice insists, oozing menace and evil. The last remaining Sentinel droid launches itself at Elrych, lashing out with its force pike and smashing a divot in the metal floor and a crack in the transparisteel panel on the wall in the process.
Ben is close behind it, but whatever sensors these droids carry sees him coming and each swing is far removed from the droid by the time it gets there. It doesn't help that he fights with all the grace of a lumberjack, each swing carrying his full weight behind it whether it connects or not.
Pushing off the wall, Aryn moves with a bit less grace than before, stepping in just as Ben makes his third swing. She swings and misses, but spins in place carrying her momentum like someone would if they used a real sword. The duo of strikes land low before Aryn is encouraged backward, making way for another member of the team to strike whilst its focus was upon her for a moment. Aryn is quiet, breathing heavy, but she holds a guard well and steps backward as if walking along some unseen line!
<<"Your legacy ant kriff... already you're a fading memory from the Galaxy. You failed and the Jedi rise again.">> Elrych says from behind the helmet for his TIE Flightsuit. He raises his blade, high, point tipped down in the stance of Form Seven. Before he had been using Niman, a stance that balanced all aspects of attack and defence and brought all the forms together as a cohesive art. Yet this switch indicated that this Knight was done playing. While his swings were not as heavy and cumberson as that of Ben's, they were as if a flurry of many blades were unleashed upon the remaining sentinal. Sparks flew as the blade whiped around, vrooming about, the glow awash over the black features on his helmet. His and Aryn's blades slive into the Sentinal, ripping it into nothing more that molten scrap.
Elrych stood there staring down at it before looking to Vhe and giving her a rather stupid thumbs up.
Shoving the robe back over her shoulder again Vhe watches the concerted efforts of the group down the sentinels one after the other and relief starts to flood through her. It shows across in the faintly shiny face that causes her wayward strands of hair to stick to her skin.
As Aryn and Elrych move in on the last that Jax managed to hit, Vhe turns about, saber held ready but finds that they have at least ended the immediate threat. Wariness still clings to her motions as she does not yet put away the saber, instead firming her grip and speaking up. "Do you think there will be more?" Like a hive perhaps.
If this is the end, she will be more than happy to call it that. Her eyes move across the surroundings once more to see the thumbs up. Brows lift and she upnods to him before her attention quickly searches for Rune, Chani, Kasia, Zan and finally Rey and Ben. Everyone is ..still whole. That is definitely a win.
"Are you alright?" More often than not, Chani finds herself asking that question to the noble woman. She's most concerned for the sickening crack she'd heard when Aryn had been struck. <"Is everyone okay?"> There's not much in the way of talking going on as the fight tapers off, but Chani hopes to get people thinking to check themselves over. It's the least that she can do in this moment. "Your armor looks damaged." Back to speaking purely with her voice rather than the communication, Chani glances over other parts of Aryn's robes and armor, seeking out any additional wounds that the woman might have missed as the adrenaline was rushing and she was in combat. "Thank you for protecting me. Again."
With all that's going on, Zan ends up on one knee not too far from - well from any of the other jedi, really. She's next to one of the fallen over sparking dead droid bodies. There's a calm look on her face, the dual bladed saber still open only with the one blade. "What else do we have to destroy," she asks quite seriously, "to free Moff Pax and these poor people forever from the tyranny of these sentinels?" Her gaze too goes to the others, individually, but there's a certain thoughtfulness about Zan now, as she maybe didn't miss some of what has been going on, this time. "I mean, there's a lot of computers here - is there a way they can put those AI brains into new droids?"
As the last foe falls in a heap of metal, Rune breathes a little easier. "I do not know." Rune helpfully replies to Zan's question. "I hope we have helped." He steps out of a ready position and disengages his stunsaber, the white blade retracting into the hilt. Hazel eyes scan the room for injuries, the worst of which seem to be on Rey's arm. "Alright?" the youngest Ysannan asks with a nod toward the gash on her bicep. While he looks around the room, peering into the opened doors from which the red robed fiends emerged, he replaces the hilt of the saber on his belt, in almost a smooth motion. It seems he's getting a little more adept at that, the off and on portion of the weapon bit at least. Rune moves over to one of the droids, nudging the sparking contraption with his toe, half expecting the thing to spring to life. "We did well?" He asks of no one and everyone, his regard shifting from individual to individual while a smile grows on his lips.
Kasia retreats another step as Rey steps in to finish the job on the Sentinel, then turns to look around for signs of more of those wretched droids. When she spies none, she deactivates her saber with the sweep of her thumb. "I think we did do it. I hope?" she replies to Rune, turning to look around one last time, just to be sure.
Jax drops into a form three stance. His left hand extended palm up. His right hand pulled back with the saber drawn back ready to lash out to deflect a blater bolt. His eyes closed for the moment trusting the force to guide him more than his own sight. He is on guard for the moment ready for any traps from Palpatine and the Sentinels.
Rey stands over the last Sentinel droid as its body parts clatter to the floor. She holds her saber blade pointed downward to the side, and swipes her thumb across the activation ring to draw the golden blade back in to the metal hilt. At Rune's question sent her way, Rey glances at him, then down to her arm. The black sleeve has rolled down to her elbow, and the wound itself is still bleeding, coating her arm in blood. "I'll live." She says regardless of it, and offers a light smile.
Her lightsaber is reattached to her belt beneath her satchel and her right hand comes up to pull the satchel up over her head, clearing the braided buns on the back of her hairline and then raising the bag up to hold it in her right hand as she opens it with her left.
"We're destroying all of it." She states then as she dips her hand in to the bag and pulls out a Detonator Charge. Just like the ones Han and Chewie used on Starkiller Base's oscillator facility.
She offers one to Elrych first, then to Aryn, and Chani, to Vhe and everyone else in succession.
"Spread out, go through the rooms and plant the charge on a place your feel is 'right'." She tells them, holding one more in her hand for herself. "We'll meet back up at the entrance and make our way back to our ships." She hands the charge in her grasp to Ben then and motions for him to go, intending to follow him to wherever he decides to set that charge up.
When the last Sentinel falls to the floor in pieces, its robes smoking, its cut metal limbs glowing, its glass dome cracked and fading, something shakes the chamber, a tremor that seems to stir from deep in the bowels of the city. The lights in the rooms beyond blare bright, casting the assembly lines in sharp relief where dozens more of the mechanical bodies hang in rows, waiting to have their domes attached.
The assembly room explodes.
Belching smoke and flame, the door to the area beyond roils with heat that washes out in a wave over the Jedi. Ben backs away, slapping at sparks that land on the front of his robe. "Perhaps the old man didn't want us looking too closely," he suggests, deactivating his saber and moving to tuck it away when a second, deeper tremor rumbles through the earth. "...We need to go. Now."
The charge in his hand forgotten, Ben takes off down the hallway, making sure the others are following him. Halfway down, he realizes something, skids to a stop, and takes a few steps back the other way, throws the charge, and starts running for the exit again.
As the Jedi clear the entrance and start scrambling up the side of the Gulf, a low, shuddering boom rattles them on their perches, and a gout of fire spits from the entrance below into the expanse. "No one will notice that," Ben says quietly, clambering the rest of the way up with the others and hustling for the ships.
By the time they're prepped for takeoff, smoke is streaming freely into the sky from the Gulf below, and as the trio of ships take flight and head for the outer reaches of the atmosphere, a pair of H-shaped fighters jet out from the Spire, but it's too little, too late, and the Jedi make the jump into hyperspace, leaving Byss behind!
Post-script: At the top of the spire, a technician in the black beetle helmet of the Empire hands a chunky datapad to Moff Pax. "Sir, the communications array is repaired. We're ready to make contact with the rest of the Galaxy whenever you're ready, sir."
"Excellent. Most excellent. It's been too long. Far too long."