Log:Sith: The Iron Fist

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Sith: The Iron Fist

OOC Date: March 15, 2024 (Optional)
Location: Malidris City, Iridonia
Participants: Tamsin Cas, Alys Zapal, Qar-Duun, Kol Goren and Reverberate as GM, Sith Empire

"My patience is... nearing its' limit. If the reports from conscript transport are correct, then I want attentions elsewhere and this little uprising tended to."

Kessa's image, broadcast via holonet, loomed. Her face hidden in shadow and the folds of her robe gathering shadows that make her image even more ethereal.

"End it. Now. I need no prisoners. I need a message. Let them know that up to this point I had been giving them time to come to understand. Their folly has come to finality."

The building the command shuttle was nearing grew closer, anti-air fire was lancing from the roof and from windows at the transport craft inbound from atmosphere as were heavy emplacements trying to slow the approach of APC craft moving on the streets. It had been a hotel between residential and commercial zones, whether it had been chosen in hopes of its location to shield it or proximities to something were rendered irrelevant. Survivors, prisoners, from prior raids had been put in chambers with Kessa herself to glean information sought. The core of the Iridonian Rebellion was here. The core of the cancer and it was to be cut out.

No Imperial Army. No Fighter-Corps strikes. Today Death Troopers and The Sith were being deployed and supported by only members of the Stormtrooper Corps. Full destruction was granted. If their defenses proved too tiresome to work through, orbital strikes were authorized.

"Send a message. No survivors."

"As you say, Empress." Darth Achlys, as the ship approached their target had already risen to their feet, robes settling with preternatural grace, helm secured, as it always was. No sign of their weapon, of course, but then, such was their choice on most occasions. Once the message had been relayed, Achlys turned to regard the two acolytes who had been selected to assist on the mission.

"You will follow my lead." There was no word given that they should allow Achlys to lead from the front. That was a given. They were their charges to protect. But it was clear that action was expected. Achlys' helm turned, regarding DT-X10. The barest nod offered, as Achlys stepped forward into position, the trooper who was their usual shadow now positioned to their right.

"You have your orders. See them through."

Her first mission since she was set loose. Alys, as she sat in the transport, let the anxiety grow and bubble. She let it slide from nervousness to fear, then she twisted that fear into anger. Only then did she grow strong, the Dark Side burning in her veins. She is free. Her chains are broken.

Soon these rebels will be broken too.

The Acolyte looks to Achlys as they speak, her eyes peering from under your hood. "It will be done, my Lord," she says, rising from her seat and reaching under her cloak to pull her weapon. It's not a stunsaber. Instead, the loose shape of an electro-chain whip dangles by her side, unignited for the moment, but she relishes the heft of it in her hand. She moves to stand a couple paces behind the Sith Lord, breathing slowly and focusing her rising fury into something useful.

Qar-duun held his saber in 'guard position,' backward-facing. Presumably it will immediately rotate to block incoming fire? Though his style of robes are unconventional, they're fit for purpose-- and no self-respecting Sith goes without a facemask to terrify the unwary. "Where you lead, I follow," he agrees in a modulated tone.

For his part DT-X10 stands at the egress port with his carbine held within a single hand. The other rests upon a rung above, offering him stability against the jostling and rocking of the shuttle as it makes its approach to target. The Death Trooper's helmet pulse emitters have been activated, which lends to the lower portion of the helmet a ghastly green glow as the real-time emissions feed valuable tactical information of the commando's surroundings into his helmet. The reflec coating of his armor would make it difficult for sensors and scanners to pick him up, but given the open warfare nature of their mission such a thing will likely be unnecessary. Unless these rebels are far more technologically equipped than imagined. An assortment of grenades and pouches adorn the trooper's black armor and illustrates just how prepared he is to leverage all manner of destructive capability onto their mission objective.

The orders spoken by Darth Achlys aren't given immediate acknowledgment, but the older Death Trooper likely didn't require much instruction after many missions and even more time. Now he waits. Ready to cast himself onto the battlefield from their presumed rooftop insertion. As the shuttle begins to sway and shift, signaling its maneuvering to bring them closer to their point of entry, Exten's hand releases its hold upon the rung and settles itself around the familiar underbelly of his carbine's barrel.

The shuttle pilot was already dropping the ramp while laser fire spattered against the doubled shields - weapons powers diverted to the double fronted screens. Nose lifting as the craft slews to the side to keep the gangway from becoming a firing line before it hits the ground with a grind of metal on the material of the building roof, some of those anti-air weapons turning to follow the craft's movements.

Repulsor driven APCs shriek past, roof mounted repeaters chattering, swinging wide to create bulwarks before lengthwise hatches opposite the building drop to begin disgorging black and red armored troopers. Rifles up and silent as communication between them remains distinctly to private channels, carbines pulsing crimson as they round corners and begin a steady firing march for the structure.

Iridonians, humans, twi'leks and more can be spotted in the windows of the building, five floors and the length of it containing who-knows-what modifications to make this a firebase out of a visitors hotel. Doors remain closed, the transparesteel panels blocked by durasteel panels set to blockade.

But there are still windows. They can't fire through solids.

The ground shakes with the heavy step of an AT-AT lumbering from behind where the shuttle flew in from, a show of force. A deterrent for the local population suddenly deciding they wish to pick a side.

Achlys swayed only for a moment as the transport hit the roof with teeth-rattling force. As soon as the exit was available, they moved, a step taken, a second, before the leapt, far further than would be considered normal, landing almost directly behind the one who appeared to be calling the others. That distinctive flame coloured blade erupted from the hilt that slipped into their open palm, before the blade slashed up and out, separating one half of the insurgent from the other. Understanding that they would draw attention, Achlys swiveled to make certain they could be targeted by the cluster of weapon-wielding troops The blade flashed, hitting nothing, but doing what it was, perhaps, intended to do...intimidate the enemy.

Alys is tiny and nimble, her feet adjusting to compensate for the movements of the transport. When the hatch opens, she watches Alchys leap out and lay waste to the commander. Alys follows. She jumps, hitting the roof hard, tucking and rolling in a wash of black cloak before she comes up to her feet. She opens her cloak and hits the activator switch on her whip, the links igniting and starting to crackle and hiss.

As the Darth goes for the commander, Alys heads for the more elite troopers, swinging the whip in a diagonal arc from right to left, striking the man before she pivots, whirling the weapon around as the near-human stumbles. The whip wraps around his neck, and she sneers, wrenching it hard, the crackling blades severing his head from his shoulders.

She roars at his companions, daring them to strike. Because she is dumb and egotistical.

Qar-duun marches forth, executions happening to his left and right! Amid the smoke and the terror he stalks, silver blade lashing out like a buzzing tongue! The crackling saber finds no purchase once, but the second attack is fuelled by the fury at missing the first and a screaming man blocks the next incoming burn with his forearm!

The egress ramp drops and out goes Darth Achlys. The other acolytes prowl from within like Corellian sand panthers with the scent of blood in the air and prey in abundance. DT-X10 is swift to follow in their wake and moves into the wake generated by Darth Achlys. The pulse emitters feed information to his helmet, along with the position of his allies. Only the slightest of shifts of his helmet is cast this way and that as he visually acquires the position of both acolytes while they move onto the rooftop.

As rebels begin to spring from their various points of cover, the Death Trooper's blaster rifle whines. The shrill report of its firing sounds out with rapid, controlled bursts. Screams and cries of anguish erupt as the carbine spits lances of burning energy into one target after another.

Some dead. Some fallen. The battlefield quickly begins to become grisly and Exten does not delay in continuing his forward momentum, as he moves to cover the back of Darth Achlys.

The windows are regarded and already DT-X10's hand begins to slip from carbine in order to retrieve a care package from his midsection in the form of a grenade.

Their commander and veterans downed, the remaining rebels spread out - firing towards the sith as they spread out - initial focus on the known Sith Lord and the Death Trooper with them.

On the rooftop, there is a stairwell access and now abandoned guns that had been utilized for AA fire, though below the ledge of the rooftop fire continues down towards the other forces firing at the steadily approaching troopers. One of those red-armored figures dropping to one knee to fire a man-pak torpedo thrower at the barricaded doors with a report that shakes the entire structure.

From below, several fist sized holes are opened as repeater fire lances up, missing potential marks or perhaps intended to try and hem in the invaders away from the accessways downward. Or perhaps from the doubled doors themselves that split open with a hailstorm of attempted suppressing fire.

Despite the bodies falling, and the approach of additional insurgents, Achlys was not unaware of what was going on around them. The sense of pain from behind them brought their attention around, and their saber was held in low guard as they fell back, free hand retrieving a hand-held portable bacta charge, which they stabbed into Alys, before they moved to return to position, putting themselves between the acolyte and any incoming fire. No words, simply action.

Alys is nothing if not eager. Sometimes it ends with her beheading a dude. Sometimes it ends with her getting REALLY SHOT. The blaster bolt wings her hard, making her stumble back, dropping to one knee. The perils of not wearing much in the way of armor.

Luckily, the Sith Lord is there to make sure she doesn't die. Though she might lose points for it.

She hisses in more pain as the injector is driven into her shoulder, but once it's cleared, she immediately feels better, rising back to her feet and taking her place behind Achlys, whip still hissing and crackling.

Qar-duun, either 'left to his own devices' or 'covering friendly action,' pulls the Force into his limbs and twirls his weapon, sweeping broadly *back* and *forth* drawing an 'x' while the men he faces are driven back or killed! Snarling from behind his mask, he presses forward!

The stairwell erupts with blaster fire pouring outward. Toward the Sith forces. DT-X10 seeks whatever cover is immediately available and allows his carbine to drop away, hanging by the sling that permits it to remain floating about his frame. He reaches to his midsection and one of the grenades held there. It's with practiced precision that he plucks the object from his combat harness, primes the charge, and tosses it around his narrow cover and greater concealment toward the blaster-riddled frame. That same frame catches the grenades and causes it to thunk loudly, before dropping uselessly to the area immediately outside the stairwell.

The explosion pops off and the clatter - and whiz - of shrapnel impacting soft and hard surfaces can be heard. Ineffective.

DT-X10 does not curse or otherwise permit the pain in his shoulder to allow his composure to break. A battlefield is no place to lose your head. As one of the headless aliens nearby could attest, after having lost its head to the hands of Acolyte Zapal.

DT-X10 retrieves his carbine and spying Darth Achlys tending to one of the acolytes, he prepares to begin offering covering fire.

The grenade at least gets heads down, figures in the doorway swinging back to avoid shrapnel and the concussion chasing after. The one kneeling over the other Sith draws attention when wild fire resumes and the quartet still out in the open begin folding back towards the open ingress, trying to get inside.

Again the building shakes as one of the cheek cannons on the approaching walker chars a gaping hole in the side of the building, spewing debris out over the lot where the APCs stand and the troopers press forward with the barest acknowledgement to avoid the largest hunks of masonry tumbling down.

Troopers begin pushing in, weapons screaming mingling with the calls of the injured and dying.

No attack was a poor attack, whatever the outcome. As Achlys pressed forward, some of the masonry that had been torn apart by her trooper's grenade rising around them, before a few of the larger chunks flew forward, rocketing into two of the better arms insurgents still in the stairwell. Achlys moved, not with nearly the same speed, mind after all, could move more quickly than body, but their saber flashed up from that low guard, slicing through one of the insurgents still on the roof, blade dancing just out of reach of a second.

Alys, feeling rejuvenated and still furious, lets the Force flow through her as Achlys resumes the attack. She flicks a switch, and her whip clanks together, becoming a sword of sorts. Not quite a lightsaber, but still quite crackly and angry. She surges forward, joining the Sith Lord in the art of violence.

The first grunt she comes across screams, wrenching her blaster towards the charging Acolyte. The rebel gets run through, the crackling blade punching through the woman's throat in a shower of evaporating blood. Alys whips the blade free, lashing out at the next closest soldier, wounding him heavily, but leaving him alive and in fear.

Qar-duun continues his steady march, stunsaber swinging. Lest anyone argue the burns it delivers are non-lethal, the force and grace of his attacks proves enough to remove combatants from the fight with injuries they may never recover from. If they survive. He lashes out at the resistors again! and again!, snarling as the blood thuds through his head!

Breaking from his cover and concealment, Exten's carbine in hand once again. He begins to tread a practiced march - steady and inexorable - toward Darth Achlys. Those fallen aside by virtue of duracrete to the face and body are soon given a traitor's execution. Which is to say without regard, remorse, or recognition. There is a potential threat. It is eliminated by the whine of a blaster and the scent of burnt flesh to herald to demise of a pair of rebels. Onward he marches with his carbine held ready and sweeping, preparing to fire at the next opening and opportunity.

As the attack presses the rebels begin descending, firing up the stairwell to cover their retreat back into the building. Calling out for support, their own mingling with the mass of others as the Sith forces press in. The wounded Death and Stormtroopers left to survive until medics can reach them later, or to die if too weak to hold out.

The rebels forces now being pressed from above and below, consolidating steadily for necessity as much from lack of options. The cheek guns of the AT-AT speaking again, turning duracrete molten and fusing bone to it when rebels attempt to get clear through the earlier blast, their passage in the open brief and horrific.

The howl of a turbolift being disabled and falling echoes through the building, even over the report of blasters and hand ordnance detonations. Desperation, fear and anger filling the air, thick enough for those sensitive in the Force to practically wade through it.

With the rebels now firmly within the building, and with the orders given to them to destroy all comers, Achlys nodded, though it was likely to themselves and no one around them. That faceless visage looked down, the fire of their blade swirling an eerie pattern across their helm and body to any of the insurgents who might be looking up towards their door.

It was not, however, above they should have been concerned with, but below, as the building strained and bent to the Sith Lord's will, a wounded and dying animal, screaming sounds of steel and stone twisting as the stairwell shook, the support structures compressing and falling in on themselves as the stability below the insurgents fell away. "Prepare for the destruction of the building. Exten, do make sure they can't claw their way back up."

Alys watches Achlys, feels them use the Force. She steps up to stand next to the Sith Lord, fire of their lightsaber casting hellish orange glows across the Acolyte's pale skin.

She growls, thinking of her wound, remembering the sharp, burning agony. Remembering the death and violence.

She reaches her free hand out and adds her (comparatively meager) telekinetic might to that of Darth Alchys. A garden hose against a fire hose to be sure, but it helps as she adds more force to the wrenching waves.

The comm channels soon come alive with orders spoken, relayed, confirmed, and acknowledged. The stairwell begins to crumble beneath the combined might of a Sith Lord and an Acolyte. A power possessed by both that the Death Trooper may not fully understand - but does possess some limited understanding of its capabilities. One which he has learned not to trifle with, underestimate, or deny. Thus as the stairwell crumbles, DT-X10 adds what he is able to the mix in the august pursuit of following Darth Achlys' orders.

The det pack is removed from a pouch affixed to his shoulder. The foil around it ripped, then torn away, and summarily discarded to join the future garbage heap that the hotel will become. Just one more scrap of refuse to get lost amid the debris and rubble.

"Charge deployed, Darth Achlys," the Death Trooper reports over shared comms. Without the Death Trooper's scrambling protocol activated, the commando's voice is left neutral, albeit modified by the soft distortion inherent with comm systems and further modified by the helmet itself reprocessing the voice to reduce the ability for some lucky listening station capturing the true voice of a deep cover operative and commando.

DT-X10 begins to withdraw though he pauses to cover the withdrawal of Darth Achlys, Acolyte Zapal and Qar-duun. In doing so his helmet shifts, tracking the barrel of his blaster over their surroundings.

It's to the stormtroopers and Death Troopers that have pressed into the lower levels of the building that his words are spoken, "DT-X10 to all units. Withdraw to perimeter. Nothing escapes by order of Darth Achlys and our Empress. All units report to Control when you've reached a secure position. Exten out."

Then he begins his own withdrawal.

The withdraw order given, the troopers begin a rapid ex-fil, those who get out moving to cover exits, open windows, and the massive hole blasted into the side of the building. Fusillade fire in ranks works to keep heads down. Orderly, as if the action today was rehearsed for the precision drilled into the troops.

The rebels within trying to find an opening, any opening, voices raise as please for any assistance go out on open comm channels. The encircling of the building proceeds, those brought down by errant fire grabbed by fellows not in the firing ranks to be pulled for cover as medical troopers begin setting up triage stations behind the APCs.

Commands moving down the line the AT-AT steps forward to lock itself in a bracing position while its main cannons begin to charge.

<<"AT-AT 443-Aurek, readying fire. Fifteen seconds, mark.">>

The warning going out and the command shuttle lifting enough to aim the ramp for the Sith and the Death Trooper, scooping them up and barely allotting time for Exten at rearguard to get both boots on before the craft is boosting. Soaring up at an angle with a trio of seconds to spare before the first heavy blast strikes. Filling the structure with heat and light, chased by a second shot, a third and a fourth. The thermobarics buckling walls and blowing out transparisteel windows before the entire building becomes a fountain of molten stone metal and glass geysering into the air.

The troopers look on, stoic in the face of such destruction, watching the destruction while the shuttle makes for the command ship in orbit.

Alys feels a fierce pride in her aid of the Sith Lord. She expects no thanks, only criticism of any visible weaknesses or flaws. Even so, the sound of metal and stone falling and twisting below makes her eyes gleam in satisfaction.

As the shuttle swings back, Alys stows her weapon under her cloak and calls upon the Force one more time. She sprints to the lip of the roof and, using the Force, leaps up in an impossible arc to land inside the shuttle as it finishes its approach. She skids to a stop, boots squealing on metal, and then falls into a seat, belting in.

Qar-duun extinguishes his weapon and strides as leisurely for the ramp as he had through the defenders of their... former... position. He, too, assumes his seat wordlessly and awaits report of their effectiveness...

Achlys allowed the two Acolytes to precede them, as well as those troopers making their way into the shuttle, the step required seemingly impossible, until it wasn't. They were the second to last to step up onto the ramp of the shuttle, followed only by Exten. Achlys did not move for a seat, however. The order had been to oversee the destruction of the insurgents, and so, they watched, faceless mask reflecting in that slightly matte mirror the flash and flame of the explosions as the building was reduced to so much rubble and glass, the insurgents within entombed there. A hand reached out to touch Exten's forearm, before that mask turned back to consider the two Acolytes, "You worked well today. Tomorrow may not be so easy." As if to punctuate their words, the flame blade winked out, the hilt disappearing back into the concealing folds of their robes.

One boot barely leaves the rooftop as the shuttle begins to lift away and Exten is kept from being left behind - or worse, quite literally falling behind - by virtue of a hand grasping. He may be an elite commando within the Sith Empire's war machine, but he is still - technically - expendable. Albeit at great loss in terms of training, experience, and invested credits into said training and the equipment that he wears.

Thankfully he does not fall behind by virtue of gloved hands that connect. A shuttle crewman and Exten having a moment of camaraderie when the shuttle babysitter aids the commando in climbing aboard.

The acknowledgment from Darth Achlys earns a bow of his helmet in recognition of the Sith Lord's acknowledgment. He will surely be swelling with pride later after such wordless recognition. As Achlys turns to the pair of Acolytes, DT-X10 turns back to watch the visitor's hotel become a mound of molten metal, a pool of slagged duracreet and transparisteel, along with the organic bits that would be fused with it all.

The expressionless helmet looks on with heartless resolve and soon the pair of green glowing lights switch off, becoming dormant as the black of the Death Trooper's ensemble becomes uninterrupted by the light of the tactical pulse emitters.

As the shuttle climbs higher and higher, with the ramp drawing closed, DT-X10 turns back to regard the Sith as he observes and remains silent. Like a good trooper does.