Log:The Force: Not So Stationary
Engineering was ad-hoc - this starbase now revealed to be an amalgam of parts from salvaged cargo cruisers, stations and anything else its builders had acquired and found spaceworthy, enough, to build this Outlaw Tech headquarters. The main station being a stitched together monster pieced together from what appeared to be an old Victory Cruiser and MC-80 engineering control.
Monitors from everything from frigates to fighters were cobbled together into a functional, if chaotic, array of controls and monitors that all reported artificial gravity threatening to give out, a barely stable life support, and gravitational warnings coinciding with the dulled alarms warning of positional thrusters straining against the black hole.
With atmosphere stabilized on the bridge, those present there were faced with a similar conundrum. Tactical was clearly two old fighter cockpit consoles woven together, sensor stations from light cargo freighters and the main control a poorly jury-rigged in Mon Calamari style command seat dangling precariously from its track gimbal.
A holo-pit broadcaster was struggling to engage, flickering in and out with glimpses of the station, the black hole, and reads that were too brief to make out for the moment with the frequent interludes of sparks and black-outs of the display. Outside of the viewports not blocked by the debris used to seal breaches, light and shape was warping from gravitational interference, making the nebulae gases and dust off the accretion disk stretch and compress irregularly.
The only certainty for both sections that the agents of the Force could see from their respective places was simple and threatening; time was running out.
As Kalus took in the scene at engineering, she tried to understand what was being conveyed over the monitors and how it could change their current conundrum. The voice that came over the comms was the modulated tone from the mask she wore, hiding the pleasant ring of high society. <<"We have arrived in engineering. In what way can we aid?">>
Things were not going well. They could admittedly be worse, but they were not good. Zev knew a bit about starship engineering from having grown up on one, but he was also not sure what he was entirely looking at. Pulling one of the monitors that was on a swivel to get a better look at it, <"Just tell me what you need."> He'll try to do what he can with what they've got, but this place was falling apart before it was falling into a black hole.
With the troopers working to keep the atmosphere where it ought to be, Achlys made their way towards what amounted to the control center of the station. They moved with care, gloved hands drifting over the varied controls, before settling at one terminal in particular, "I will see what can be done to bring the system back online and communicating effectively." There was no emotion in their voice, but by the looks of the place, not an easy task.
Within the systems of the station: The system seems confused and garbled, reporting inertial dampeners are pulling most of the power due to gravity anomolies, sections of the ship having trouble communcating with one another and thruster systems screaming about overtaxed they are.
At Kalys' words, Achlys replied, "The station is reporting that most of its power is being diverted to the inertial dampeners. Can you increase the system's power without risking an overload? If we can reduce the amount of work required for the system to continue operating, we may be able to improve control." The mask turned to the Jedi, "How skilled are you with computers?"
The entire station quakes, loose joints rattling and hollows within the bulkheads giving echoing knocks. An alarm klaxon tries to engage before squealing wildly and breaking down and a recorded voice moving in and out of normal tempo tries to announce structural integrity percentages.
In engineering the monitors on display were showing fluctuating power levels with most of the thruster systems normally meant for course correction to stop orbital decay were now trying to keep the entire structure from sinking into a point of utter darkness and crushing pressure. The main reactor chugs, sparks flying from an overflow capacitor moments before all of the lights on the station blaze to dazzling levels.
Even the half dozen, the compliment of the Sith Honor Guard, in engineering were made to shield their helmet eyelets.
"I'm fair at it... reckon..." Qutha responds to Achlys, face drawn into a frown as he looks to one of he monitors, swallowing and tapping at some of the keys, bringing up a static laden, flickering readout and shaking his head at the results. "Don' know how we'se gonnar git all this coordinated though..." standing and folding his hands into the sleeves of his robes while the scrolling data throws stabbing bursts of light to his features.
Another squawk rips through the internal PA system before speakers across the station begin blowing out in showers of sparks and the groan of compressing metal starts to become a constant.
Unclipping her mask, Kalus reveals the face behind it. She was not an evil looking person. Blonde hair cupped a face beginning to show its age, yet a natural charm and intrinsic beauty shaped the features of this highborn. <<"Acknowledged.">> Kalus said, her actual voice coming over the comms now.
When Zev said he wished to be told what to do, Aryn nodded and addressed their group amid the chaos, sparks, and noise.
"All of you remove your helmets and look upon the faces of the people around you. For this moment, we are no longer Sith, Jedi, or soldiers. We are people trying to survive an event. People, who require our sharpest intellect, and quickest action. Set aside all notions save this; we must survive."
Standing before the monitors, hands clasped at her back pinning her cape in place, Aryn took command of the group. "Presently, monitors are showing a number of systems requiring more power, whilst a power overflow is indicating a potential meltdown. Begin rerouting power to components that are showing negative draw. We must feed these components to right our course. -- Begin."
"You do well enough," was Achlys' reply, as they saw the Jedi get to work, his assistance allowing them to continue trying to finesse the system. "Thank you for the power increase. The systems are beginning to stabilize." Not entirely, however, and Achlys spoke again, "I am using minimal power to seal off the sections of the station where there are no life signs." With less life support to direct around the station, with luck, and the Force, of course, they might be able to consolidate the power outputs to where they needed them. The Jedi had asked how they would coordinate. Perhaps it was the will of the force, as the two teams worked in harmony.
The computer before him is from a freighter, he can't make out exactly what model but he could at least tell what kind of ship it was from. Zev starts tapping away at the console, turning to look as Kalus takes the mask off, and orders all the troops to do the same, "I think I might be able to route power through here but it might cause other problems." He tells her, before doing it.
After finishing his re-route, everything suddenly feels heavier as they lose some of the inertial dampeners, "As long as we can keep that reactor from overloading we'll probably have a chance." He grunts as he moves though, trying to get at another salvaged display nearby.
Feeling heavier, loose items on floors rattle less, but movement feels as if each were wearing weighted anklets and bracelets. A vest filled with lead plates. Nothing crushing or debilitating yet; but comfort is dropping for certain. Somewhere near engineering a sound like a flagpole being rattled in hand begins to sound with greater and greater intensity. Soon combining with a noise like someone would hear if chewing foil, but somehow outside of their head.
The troopers start moving, one turning a narrowed eye on the Lepi and sneering as they work at the systems, one ducking a shower of sparks from their station while another slams a hand against their own. The entire station rattles again, shifts as if tilting on axis several degrees.
"Reckon that aught'a he'p..." On the bridge, Qutha nods to Achlys's words, frowning further. "Reckon I gonna see if there's aught else I kin does. But f'some've it... Well I need yer permissions." stumbling and lifting a hand to the side of his head as he tries to concentrate with all of the chaos going on around them.
"N'iffin' I kin muster up what I needs to..."
As Achlys's work to seal systems continues, more power begins to report in engineering. Dribs and drabs to be distributed in the floating tomb. Engineering systems bleat and failed internal comms trying to function and resulting in feedback screeches running up one corridor and down another. The interference itself beginning to bleed static into personal comms.
Aryn remains aloof to the more personal notions and sneering of the troops in regard to their proximity to the Lepi. They would not defy the command of a Dark Lord lest they intended to earn one's wrath. To the Sith, those commands were as good as law.
Rocking in place while observing the read outs calmly, the Dark Lord nods her head. "Well done, people. We are filtering power where it needs to be, but the station is suffering stress in numerous places; without the inertial dampeners, we will begin to feel the pressure. That said, based on the laws of motion as we know them; for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If we are to pull away from this gravitational force, we must lose something."
"Begin looking for compartments and sections of the station which are nonessential. Ensure life forces are not within them, and begin the process of depressurizing. With any luck, thanks to comms being down, those within the control hub will see we are prepping these sections to detach. Doing so will allow dampeners to incorporate the smaller mass of the station without putting excess strain on our resources. -- Begin."
"That depends entirely on what you need permission for. If it is to direct the troopers, you may have it. This is hardly the time for us to argue over our ideologies." They would simply have to trust that the Jedi would care more about his own self preservation than directing the troopers to do anything not in keeping with their usual command. Their own hands continued on the computers, engaging with what amounted to the electronic sprits of the station to try to keep them from drifting, "The computers are reporting that there are rolling power issues which are causing the station to lose control. Like a hare trying to escape a fox in a field. Can we divert any forces to try to look at those systems?"
"Heard," Kalus says as one of the troopers calls out to her. "Our mission remains unchanged. Begin releasing the pods, we must--" The power cut off and Aryn turned in place with a gentle sway of her cape. "It appears we taxed the delicate balance of power too much. Reset the power grid; pathways should return to the state they were before the collapse."
"As you release the pods, inform me of our mass reduction. For each significant shift in weight, we must attribute the new surge in power we gain. Those surges will be directed to our dampeners. Trust in your training, and remain focused. We /will/ solve this."
"If you like. You will not find peace there." That much was true. Achlys did not dwell within a maelstrom of rage, as some Sith were likened to do, but decades of embracing the darker side of the force had not left their mind unchanged. Still, there was the greater part of themself which was still the Daughter of Muun they had been nearly born, and the Knight they had been in their middle years, and it was that analytical part which allowed them to keep the peace between the two warring factions within themself.
None of that, of course, was within their forethoughts, but the undercurrents were there regardless. At the forefront, was the work being done to try to route control to the station.
"Hells." Zev mutters to himself as everything goes dark around him for a moment, "Come on, I didn't do that!" He nearly curses, as he whacks the panel with a hand, which comes back online with enough power to tell him that the atmosphere was becoming unstable, "Hey I hope you can hold your breath for a while." He says towards Kalus and her contingent, "Atmosphere is getting unstable, the whole life support system might collapse any second now and I'm really not sure what we can do to recover it."
The disconnection of outer compartments of the station come with rattling shakes, with vocalizer distorted voices calling on sections as they release and others taking the sudden bucks in power to try and balance levels, energy being fed up to where Achlys works, strengthening her commune with the system to set a trap for the fleeing blackouts she is casting after.
"I ain' s'pectin' peace. But I thankee jus' the same." head lowering and eyes closing as he continues to drift on the currents of The Force. Expanding his thoughts and letting his mind ride out on the maelstrom about them until it crashes against Achlys, rebuked by the hold the Dark Side has on her.
Below some of the troopers begin to curse and scramble at Zev's report, heads turning to Kalus from time to time while others pause and touch their hands to the sides of their helmets, <"We're getting distortion on system comms as well!"> Somewhere nearby, as atmospherics fluctuate, a section of hull suddenly frosts over before life support cycles back around, the grilled floor beneath engineering's feet crunching with hoarfrost.
Above, with the systems speaking with her, adjustments to telemetry come and go, the descent halting then creeping again and in the midst of the chaos, comes a voice that emanates all around. "Don' need peace... Jus' trus' in Th' Force... Keep workin'... Concentrait wit' me..." no sensation of digging around, not even touching surface thoughts. Simply a net cast between them to let the power of the Force, Light and Dark, collect between them.
"Let go an feel th' Force 'round you... No sides f'vit. Jus' th' Force."
Aryn took to pacing between the monitors, her very aura appearing to seethe, but the look on her face some how serene. Chaos consumed the work stations around her as frost flash-froze portions of the bulkhead and the decking beneath their feet. Aryn closed her eyes in that moment and remained in the steady pace, using her foot falls to serve as the metronome to induce a state of meditation.
From her perspective, the Force began to resonate from her like a bubble. It expanded outward, encompassing her, those around her, the room, and eventually the station itself. Around this bubble, she felt the current of the force, the opposing and like natures of power as it fluctuated and moved in tandem around this singularity.
In this state of meditation, Aryn submerged in the power of the living force, relinquishing her need to control and simply allowed the current to take her away. From her perspective, she was back home in New Alderaan, floating upon the surface of the green lake by her villa, staring up at the blue cloudy skies and distant snowcapped mountains.
The noise of the station, its destruction and struggle, the voices of the troopers as they fought against the inevitable forces of nature were all replaced with silence. It was not a state of peace, or chaos, or even anger that fueled this connection. Aryn simply vacated the confines of her body and became a conduit of the Force, as if becoming part of a network she felt forming from a familiar presence.
Achlys had not been raised in the old Sith traditions of every being for themselves, nor in the traditions of servant surpassing the master, and so, despite the initial wall of force, their mind did open to the Jedi, allowing the calm he offered, the connection he carried within his own being to lift their work. And when was given, Achlys allowed to flow out of themself. It was said, was it not, that all beings were connected through the force. Perhaps, for this moment, they each were allowed to feel it. Both those whom the Force worked through directly, and those for whom the force was simply a part of their being which they could not reach. Troopers, technicians, all of those who were working to bring the station under their control. Even the computer spirits, in their way, began to find order in the midst of their electronic chaos. And it was reflected in the decreasing spikes and lulls in power as it tried to right itself.
As things around them seem to be falling apart, Zev gets a feeling, the sense of the Force around him. Not just the normal sensation of it, something more. He moves away from the computer console for a moment and closes his eyes, letting his mind reach out through the force to the others.
His hands move across a few of the controls, and when he opens his eyes back up, he finds himself looking at power starting to stabilize. He doesn't think they're out of the woods entirely, but they may have enough time to actually get out of there now. He glances back over his shoulder towards Kalus, checking if she was getting the same readings.
Cast on the waves, head tilting when a familiar sensation brushes against the edges of consciousness, buoyed by the aid given by Achlys as the zelosian continues to bob in mid air, gathering up each wave being caught, brow creasing as he struggles to attend the differing forces, the inevitably vicious 'voices' that rose from the Dark Side itself creeping into his mind and whispering nightmares and hatreds that draw aa vein to stick out in his temple - unable to maintain the peace and serenity he desires but letting it flow just the same.
His voice, carried on the currents that threaten to take hold of him, begins to echo, "Mind to mind. See what is seen. Feel what is felt. Act as one." Dark lines begin to writhe across his face, despite his attempt at serenity, as if his veins were being burst and the chlorophyl is flowing beneath. Half lidded eyes don't loose their emerald glint, but a poisonous green glow begins to seep into them.
For those able to feel the force, the noises of the station begin to fade, a ruddy tinge seeming to creep at the edges of vision, longer shadows, gloomier light. But the motions of each seem to act in concert. The station itself seeemed to halt its vibrations, though the yawning nothing of the hole in space was barely fractionally smaller. But a connection was made. Undeniably. The light and dark refusing to blend, but streaking through one another, an equal 'shape' forming in mirror to one side or the other.
A unity of diametric opposites.
Maybe they'd get out of this alive.