Log:Sith Empire: Aggressive Negotiations

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The team stops an assassination on the hope for Troiken

OOC Date: May 13, 2024
Location: Night City, Taris
Participants: Ban Iskender, Tamsin Cas, Qar-Duun, Bors Thul, Alys Zapal, Aryn Cortess

The briefing had been quick, and took place prior to the team boarding a train-tram bound for the space port. Lady Livia Rist, a member and leader of a family of the most elite assassins in the galaxy, provides the context in a succinct but informative manner. "Her Majesty has brought to our attention a sensitive matter requiring our expertise. A Xexto exile of the Troiken people has come forth as the rightful heir of Troiken; he is a welcomed alternative to the despot presently occupying the seat of power. In order to gain momentum and support with his cause, he must present his case before the Elder Houses and be officially recognized as a legitimate heir."

The last call for the tram was made, and people began to move toward the various 20 cars that made up its length. Lady Livia continues. "It is our duty to ensure this man makes it to the meeting. Her Majesty (Aryn) emphasizes the importance of this crucial task, and has assigned the leadership of this mission to His Highness, Prince Ban. -- Board the train, oversee the pick up of Ilik Omnenos.." She shares the holo-puck with the Xexto's likeness, "and ensure the future of Troiken is delivered to the palace, alive." Livia stored the puck and looked to Ban for anything more to add. "Ser?"

Ban Iskender has donned his mask for the occasion, a minimalist depiction of a human face in silver, with a single tear engraved beneath the right eye. When Lady Livia looks to him for any further information , the soldier states in his steady baritone, "Air cover has been assured," with a short dip of his chin toward Bors. "Those who would strike here will have ample resources, and little restraint. Be prepared for explosives, sabotage, thermal detonators, and similar such gambits. If there are those here with queries, give them voice now," he invites, eyes passing over those assembled.

Achlys, was, if nothing else, an experienced operative, and had worked often enough with both the Knight of Tears and the Lady Rist, that falling into the routine, even for a mission as lacking in routine as this one, did not seem much to phase them. So, the image was committed to memory, and they moved to accompany the two acolytes as the team coalesced. "Will Omnenos be accompanied by any other sentients who must be preserved, or are all an acceptable loss, if it comes to that, save himself?"

Qar-duun awaits clarification, meditating on either the spinning holo or the violence shortly-to-ensue. He rests still, placid or fully tensed? Difficult to tell beneath his suit and its attendant mask.

Alys is also along for this trip, because missions are far more engaging than running through combat sims in the outpost! Even if they mean she has to interact with other people.

The price one pays.

The Acolyte is swathed in her robes, hood up, and she's silent through the secondary briefing. Keep the target alive, kill anyone else who interferes. This is pretty standard. She pats her hip, double checking that her whip is still there out of habit.

"No questions."

Ban Iskender answers Achlys with a level, "Preserve as many of the Xexto entourage as you may, but Omnenos is paramount. Further, there is this: I wish one of the assassins taken alive. The higher in rank, the better." Bors' quip earns a flat sniff from behind Durandus' mask, and the Knight of Tears steps to board the waiting train.

The final blow of the departing horn filled the immediate sensory as the last of the sentients piled aboard, the team included. It was not a long trip through the Night City of Taris to reach the structure that dominated one side of the city with a massive bowl design. From the vantage of a window aboard this cramped train, one could make out the thousands of berths for the ship traffic. A separated platform stood apart and above the main structure, where denizens could climb the many, many, many stairs in order to reach the tram platform.

Even from this distance, one could see the laser light show happening at the station as a fight consumed the near endless rise of stairs. A protective party huddled around a single sentient waited at the top of the platform whilst a company of combatants trailed behind and below on the stairwell, pinned down by automatic-laser weapons.

The tram pilot had begun to doubt this stop as being their next until the cold touch of a sharp knife rested against the back of his neck and a dark haired female materialized out of thin air beside him. "Make the stop," Livia said smoothly, her voice calm and soothing despite the peril that lie before them.

The tram makes the stop, slowly drawing near and sallying close to the platform. When the doors opened, there was mass confusion, as Ilik's party stormed aboard, people frantically tried to get off. Livia placed her hand upon the pilot's hand, specifically the hand controlling the hatches. Easing it forward, she doomed who she may by encouraging him to close the doors. "A change in course, Captain." She says softly. "The Evening Palace, southern entrance. Lives depend on how quickly you pilot this vessel to that destination. This is not a threat." A final pat on his shoulder, and Lady Rist disappeared again.

Aboard the train, the team found the quarters cramped with ample seating and little in the way of walking space. This was further compounded by the fact that people were stirred up from the commotion of the tram stop, the fighting, and the violence that doomed those with poor enough luck to have gotten off, or those having missed the stop altogether. Ilik, at present, was crammed into the 19th of 20 total cars on the tram. None of the hostile party had boarded the train at the stop, but that was rapidly changing as air crafts appeared outside the train with open doors and door gunners leveled their turrets at the back two cars. "GET DOWN, SIR!" One man yelled to Ilik, pinning him to the ground just before the BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR of spooled up laser cannons began to blast into the sides of their car, cutting any who stood, or sat, within window view down. Glass shattered, sparks rained down everywhere. Crawling through the chaos amidst the glass, gore, and death was Ilik, the next car (Car 18) where his saviors presently waited.

Ban Iskender had surveyed the car up on entry, extending his senses to silently scan for the presence of any mind in the vicinity which carried the telltale agitation or hostility that would mark a potential assassin aboard the train. Darth Durandus seems content until the firefight in progress draws his eye to the spaceport station. "They are enthusiastic , if naught else," he comments dryly, drawing his sword with one hand and extending the other toward the embattled princeling. Visibly, there is no change, though any with a sense of the Force might detect a protective barriers forming around the scrambling Xexto. Aloud, he instructs evenly, "I pray one among you escorts mister Omnenos into our care."

The Knight of Tears had been precise in his explanations, and the target was, if not secured, then certainly in sight. Achlys, who did not move to assist the escaping noble, having felt the wave of force energy which escaped the Knight to provide some protection for Omnenos, turned their attention to the most pressing threat to life and limb. They stepped away, towards the windows, allowing them an unfettered view of the two air support crafts now opening up on the rear of the train.

Was there some quick calculation behind that faceless mask, judging whether the lasers had done their work and depopulated the rear car? Not an answer Achlys seemed prepared to give, as they simply focused their will and their intention on the closest craft, some invisible force appearing to grasp the craft and make light their work, as it tugged the flying machine from the sky, sending it hurtling down to earth as it collided with the twentieth car, the entire former passenger carrier shearing off and falling back onto what was now a fiery track, leaving only one to deal with. Well, that and the concussive force of the explosion of shift meeting car, before the train continued forward.

Qar-duun stalks, Frankenstyle, to the portal it was indicated blocked their way. Surging with the power of the dark side (or even the anger required to simply call upon the Force,) he cleanly pulls the offending metal from its hinges and sacrifices it to 'speed' and 'velocity,' sending a piece of jagged aircraft-rated steel careening into the night with a keening wail!

Instinct had carried him before thought when weapons fire began. Down, because he knows full too well not to be overly reliant on the armor, the elder Alderaanian huffs, a burst of static through his vocalizer before he mutters, <"Cheek."> Snorting and shuffling to get to a crouching posture with the screaming complaints of his knees and lower back. Intent to make his way towards the focus of this operation.

"Good job old man..." muttering just low enough to keep his vocalizer from picking up, "Fall over. Perfect. We didn't need those knees..." Cane held before him, ready to engage as needed whilst he scuttles along.

Aboard the train as the chaos starts to erupt, Alys moves towards the car with the embattled VIP. She reaches under her cloak and pulls her electro-whip, flicking it into sword mode. With it, she strikes at the lighting tubes, plunging that end of the car into shadows and harsh lighting from outside. She lowers her weapon and backs into the corner, trying to use the Force to erase her presence.

She's not that good yet.

Instead, she slinks down into the shadows, doing a fine job of melding without Space Wizardry. Then she waits. To hurt someone.

The train shook violently as one of the offending air craft was guided into the back car. Fire erupted immediately, and emergency systems dictated the car be released before the explosion could spread and consume the entire tram. Twenty souls lost their lives to the action, killed instantly by the sudden collision and subsequent explosion. Fiery debris rained down from the night sky as the other craft continued its assault, crimson laser blasts tearing a hole into the side of the train and cutting through people, seats, and everything in sight.

Ilik was at wits end, nearly accepting his fate when he looked ahead and witnessed a door being ripped from its track and cast outward. It was probably the most incredible feat of strength he had witnessed in his life, but he had not the gumption or presence of mind to say so. Renewed vigor brought him to the waiting party, crawling quickly to close the distance.

Meanwhile, the noise of men landing on the rooftop of car 18 was heard over the chaos. Plasma torches cut through the roof in an instant, and TROIKEN ASSASSINS dropped inside, landing on people in the aisle, seats, or whatever random place they could drop. FIVE (5) in total, armed with blaster weapons prepped to engage. Currently embroiled with the chaos of people before them, they shot into the innocents occupying their path, indicative of warriors who had yet to spot their objective.

Ban Iskender ignites the blade of his ominous sword with a screeching hum. As the Xexto gains their car, the masked knight bids the diminutive alien, "The Queen of Alderaan sends her regards, sir." His blade is brought up before him, casting a glow up on the silver mask in slow salute toward the assassins as they burst in from above. Almost as an afterthought, the rapid firing door gun of the gunship outside is ripped from the ship's structure with a gesture of Ban's off hand.

While the objective was not entirely in hand, a choice had to be made between everyone piling on to the rescue, and one or more moving to provide cover. Achlys chose cover, and they made use of size, and speed, and experience to dance their way, after a manner of speaking, through the bodies clogging the train car, some living others bodies now little more than obstacles to be walked or climbed over. Achlys, though, was relentless, and the Sith Master moved ahead, a calm breeze in the midst of a storm as they closed the distance between themselves and the firing threat. The hilt of their saber slid into hand, the fireblade hissing to life as they spun the weapon, cutting through one of the bodies now falling into their path from the gunfire, their second strike cutting down one of the assailants. Four more, now, and Achlys had made of themselves a prime target.

Qar-duun cleanly clears the debris, the chairs, the bodies-- but his whirling blade finds no purchase, merely adding a 'strobe effect' to the howling of outside air, the smell of burning flesh and the cries of those engaged in dying...

Seeing the quintet descend, the glowing cerulean visor obscuring him, Bors stretches forward in the aim of placing himself between threat and threatened, <"Ho and stand, back thee down - I am well past time preferred for recline and should thee acquiesce we might part on better terms?">

He knew it was a futile gesture, but gentleman's code demanded he grant them that brief quarter, the can lifted before his face as if it were a blade's edge - held in his left hand and toggled with the flick of a switch to engage the short blade to spring out - caught in his right on his approach.

Creaking shoulder recoiling when the blade is deflected at first - only for the old man to swing again - the tip to run across the shoulder of the foeman, drawing blood.

Chaos boils around Alys as she remains in her little shadow oasis. Lightsabers and blasters. Violence, screaming, and tears. The stench of ozone, blood and charred flesh. Alys breathes it all in. Soaks in the torment. The Force bubbles within her, responding to her will as she feeds it with the pain of others.

Her eyes gleam yellow in the dark as she submerges herself into it. Asassins come through, passing so close to her she could touch them. She doesn't.

Instead, she picks the straggler of the bunch, lifting her hand and giving her wrist a negligent, dismissive flick. The brute barely knows what happened, because one second he's taking a step. The next he's falling to his doom. It's a long fall, long enough for him to likely go insane from terror.

At least it won't be too long.


With the offending turret dealt with, the ship bearing hatred for the train was forced to break contact, veering off to one side to catch lower air. This cut out a lot of the auditory overload and violent sensory, allowing the team to focus on present threats. One assassin is cut down in succinct fashion by the Dark Lord Achlys, and another is severely wounded by a pinpoint strike made by the elder Black Knight (Ser Bors).

A second parishes when they are sent, against their will, back through the hole from whence they came to fall the thousands of feet to the ground below. This left three, one of which was injured.

The Troiken Exile realizes that the entourage engaged in combat were on his behalf thanks to a clarification made by Ser Ban, the Knight of Tears. "Alderaan." He said, a touch of hope written on his face.

Lady Livia's voice is heard over comms, <<"Automatons have taken flight and landed upon car sixteen, my Prince. They converge to your location.">>

Darth Durandus sees the hope that blossoms on the face of the Xexto as the little alien breathes the word 'Alderaan', and for a moment Ban is reminded of an age long past. Hope, grace, idealism. For a moment, unseen behind the pitiless mask, he feels himself smile. Then, Livia gives warning of what is to come, and this skirmish must be ended. <<"Understood, Lady.">> His voice is raised to order curtly to the assassin facing Qar-duun: "You will //YIELD//." His next words are for his own companions: "Automatons approach from above and the fore: be ready." A short nod acknowledged Achlys.

Achlys trusted the Knight to see to their intended target, and their focus remained on the assassins, blade held at ready as bodies continued to fall away, some bearing the scorch marks of blasts which had been intended for them, and yet, never seemed to manage to quite reach them. But that mystery was one to be left unsolved, as the assassin fell to their blade, before Achlys gave a quick assessment of the situation. "I will move ahead to engage the incoming wave. Get him to safety." Surely, the assassins were not the only ones with the ability to exfiltrate their people. Achlys moved, heading towards the door between cars, though they would close the door behind them. So polite.

Qar-duun, presented with a willing captive, guides him to his knees before *swat-swatting* his cheeks with the glowing blade until he passes out from the static racing through his nervous system. Bap, bap! Stay down!

It's pandemonium and and crowds, Bors dips to one side with a 'dad huff' that carries through his helmet speakers, the short blade again going wildly to one side and ringing off of a stanchion hanging from the car ceiling. One might even envision a Ramiesque following of the motion to show off a needless amount of action before a fist closes over the rim of his assailant's armored collar.

For dramatic effect, and clearly not for balance, <"Bad form."> Blade sliding then between gaps in plating to fill a lung with fluids before the Black Knight releases his grip to let the man sink to the floor. Bors sighs, unconsciously, nearly dragged with, leaning up against the nearest wall.


Language, Bors.

Aly's eyes begin to fade from the sickly yellow back to their usual violet as the chaos simmers down for a moment. She catches Qar beating a man into unconsciousness, the various Superior Sith doing things that she will one day be able to do. Even as the envy for her 'betters' burns, she knows they have a task to do.

Emerging from the shadows, Alys slinks through the car towards the Exile, pulling her wrist to her face and speaking through her comm link.

<<We've stopped one wave, but we have more coming from the other end of the train. Send our exfil ship to the back end, and I will deliver the package.>>

The Acolyte does her best to be kindly to the prince, but she's not good at it, it comes off as flat rather than pleasant.

"Come with me, I've called a ship to get us out of here."

The train continues to speed through the night sky, avoiding major towers and other living arrangements. Smoke trailed behind the vessel, and small minor explosions occasionally blipped along the exterior, cosmetic damage at best, engineering damage at worse. True to the word from Lady Livia, a complement of automaton were making their way across the rooftops, ripping open a hole in Car 17 to drop inside. Nine (9) in total appeared, crushing the life from people they landed upon, and igniting death poles that growled with purple hues upon their end. "TARGET IN VIEW. ENGAGING." The lead droid called, moving forward and knocking any bystander from their path that was unlucky enough to cross it.

<<"LP/OP Four-Two-Six copies. Sending distress now, over.">> Was the Imperial response to Alys. A few moments pass until the night sky, high above the night city, is filled by the ominous arrival of a Star Destroyer. The Merciless loomed, lights and engines online as a series of precautionary squadrons are deployed, and TIEs enter high orbit flanking an extract vessel. <<"ETA.. four minutes.">> Rattled off the modified voice of a female pilot.

As the automatons storm into the train car, Ban holds his post in front of Ilik Omnenos, glowing sword held upright in a vertical guard. "Destroy them," he bids his fellows. Droids need not be taken alive to reveal their secrets, afterward. Some aspect of these particular models of droid are familiar to the stern swordsman, and Durandus feels a snarl twist his lip where moments before he had smiled.

Achlys gave no indication of trepidation, as they moved forward to engage the full complement of warrior robots that had made their way into the train car. If they had to move and twist to avoid the general rabble and detritus of bodies, it seemed to matter not at all. There was only the mission, and their current purpose. A far cry, for those who had knew them in other environs, from the scholar they usually were in service of the Sith. Three sweeps of that blade, two serving only to send bodies or people out of their way until they could reach their target. There was as little emotion in the Sith as there was in the enemy they faced, before it was cut down.

Qar-duun stumbles, hoping to recover his dignity by launching into a performance: "There *once* was a (kriff) clever spider named-- oof-- 'Alice,' whom--" his muscles throb and biceps curl, nearly tearing his blastproof robes as he axe-chops into the droids, strikes deflected! He growls, feral, swinging AGAIN and AGAIN, *rrrAAAA--* Is-- is this comedy?!

<<"Four minutes, that is absurd, that is poppycock and twaddle! Why in -my- day," Saurians roamed old Alderaan? "I would be on site in half that time. The nerve!"> Ah yes, that will spur them. Grouching.

Bors sighs at the sight of approaching droids, and begins to push forward again in Achlys's wake, grumbling about the absolutely inefficient pilots on their exfiltration team.

Still wielding his sword-cane with the distance closed the old man takes a swing, blinking when he finds his wrist caught by a mechanical hand. <"I say..."> attempting to swing the other half still in his left, only to be caught again - held fast and looking the droid in the optics, <"Cheek!">

Alys stays behind Bors and in front of the Prince, watching the combat while keeping a hand on the Xexto's arm to make sure he doesn't fall out of the hole or run away like a fool if the droids get too close.

She draws a breath through her nose, trying to use the Force to enhance herself, but it won't come. She's not used to this ability in the thick of combat, only in the training room where she can try until she gets it right with no true consequences.

The failure makes her grit her teeth, her frustration fueling the Dark Side for when she tries again.

<<"Understood, Ser. Engaging afterburners..">> Was the response Bors coerced from the flight team as they answered the challenge with disciplined vigor.

Meanwhile, the fight was on as the Dark Lord Achlys was locked into a furious battle with one set of droids, and Ser Bors and Qar-duun with others. Not much in the way of progress is made, the models proving their mettle with masterful counters and parries that were smoothly executed. Setting up for the counter, they pressed their advantage.

Before they could attack, the one closest to Lord Bors was struck from behind, a sparking blade emerging from the chest of its chassis before it was withdrawn and used to remove the cranial unit of the droid. The legendary Rist assassin appeared before Ser Bors, a grin on her face. "Miss me, my Lord?" She joined the old Knight's side demonstrating generations of unity and common cause as Alderaanians.

Three (3) bots remained.

<<"Extraction craft approaching from aft, my Lords." Claimed the female pilot from moments before.

Darth Durandus restrains the powerful urge to Wade forward and join the fray, but his will holds, the objective must be maintained, and so the Knight of Tears stands statuesque before the little Xexto. Still, chivalry has demands, and as two droids converge on Bors, he admonishes one with the words, "Bad form." Further admonishment is offered in the form of a telekinetic blow that strikes the bot simultaneously from above and below, crushing it utterly, before adding a twist.

Achlys could hear, but did not respond to the communications being bandied between the team and the extraction ships incoming. That was not their current task. Just now, the mission was to eliminate the threats to the package and leave the way clear for said extraction. No quarter given, nor retreat implied, only the falling of bodies around them as the robots continued to fire into the crowd. perhaps they hoped, as it was said, that even a blind space squirrel could find a nut one day.

But not today, as the Sith pushed ahead, a quick twist of their blade cutting through the robot ahead of them, but leaving no clear path to the other. And so, it was force of the mind which would have to do, as Achlys turned their mask towards the final robot, venting the last of their rage on the hapless, but not blameless construct, it's body compressing as through caught between two anvils, before Achlys turned to rejoin the team.

Qar-duun, surging with the power of the dark side, is alas surrounded by ruined machines and defeated opponents. He swings at the nearest train-seat, whether via reflex or simply a 'need to annihilate a thing.'

<"A gentleman may pine but nary misses, m'lady."> Flexing his hands to get feeling back now that he had been freed from his particular predicament.

Only to turn towards approaching robots, hand raised to bring the li'l vibro-blade to enguard, pausing, blinking, then looking at the weapon of the inorganic plunged already into his other shoulder, <"Ow."> Blinking and then before he knows it the droid that had just given him a good stabbing... It's gone. Being paperballed and Bors is stumbling backwards,

<"I recall why I prefer my fighter."> Seeing Tamsin cut down the last before he is falling back, in part to await their exit and also in the hopes someone else will be in front to be stabbed if there's another wave.

Alys makes ready to use the Force again, but by the time she's mentally prepared, all of the automatons have been reduced to so much junk on the floor. Her frustration flares for an instant, then it's gone, her eyes leeching back to violet once more.

Still wary that they may get jumped again, she maintains her hold upon both her weapon and the VIP. You never can be too careful. Especially when you're standing so close to a gaping opening with a very, very long drop.

The vessel approached the train as the last of the murder bots were put down, its front ramp and hatch opening to reveal troopers inside, gesturing for the team to jump aboard. It was not a death defying feat, but time was not on their side, either. Crossing over happened quick, and the vessel broke off from the train and angled down toward the Night Palace, the noble haven of all Tarisian aristocrats and the venue for the Elder House court awaiting the exiled Xexto Prince.

Upon landing at the palace, the group is met by a royal entourage: Lady Kiko Alde, the Grand-Duchess Avlin Teraan, and Ser Lars Syrush, the First Sword. They parted to reveal Aryn, who wore a sporting tunic of white and green, and a cape to match. "My dear exiled Prince Ilik. I trust my esteemed comrades found you at the right moment -- good." She says, not giving him a second to answer. "Now, your fight begins. Breathe life into your cause. We have done our part, so you must do yours. Now, with me."

Aryn spares a look at the team affording a subtle nod of thanks before her entourage leads the Xexto exile away toward the luxury and pomp of a noble affair.