Author Topic: VE: Alive  (Read 127379 times)

Offline Syren

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Re: Alive
« Reply #135 on: January 24, 2012, 09:05:08 PM »
Byss: Imperial Capital

In the days that pass as Mara heals, Karen takes the opportunity to do a little press. She is transported to the surface for a few appearances, a restaurant, a nightclub, all while rabid fans beg for more. The rumors swirling around her engagement have reached a fevered peak and she hints at plans that may or may not occur after the Confederation conflict is resolved. She insists the safety of the people and integrity of the Empire is more important than her happiness which earns her major kudos from the networks.

Her ring is photaged to death as is her every move along a carefully crafted mini-tour that somehow manages to inspire. The Imperial public is so easily amused by the once and future Empress. Admiral Price is with her every step of the way and notifies her when Mara is well enough to visit. He escorts her back to the Corporeal Quandary where she takes her leave and returns to the executive floor.

Privacy is of the utmost importance.

Karen finds Mara sitting in the lounge. She smiles brightly and resists the urge to hug her, settling instead for making them a well deserved cocktail. Their current appearance would not even remotely suggest they had barely escaped the Coruscant Asteroid field with their lives. They toast to the victories they have shared when Karen's face grows more serious.

"We have a problem," she says. "And you are not going to like it."

Mara turns, "Tell me."

"It seems that in response to the Confederation interference, the Imperial fleets now impose a blockade around Corellia. I am told things are not good. A time-table for Judec's surrender was issued and expired without so much as a peep from him. The coward. Attacks have begun, attacks I will unfortunately not be able to stop. Dementat is out for blood and he will not rest until he has the Confederation on its knees and the High Commander's head on a platter. Don't hate me but I released a statement in support of these actions."

Karen pauses, inhaling sharply, trying to gauge Mara's impossibly neutral expression.

"The situation does allow us an opportunity to get within range of Centerpoint despite another interesting and highly suspicious intelligence report."

"Which says what exactly?"

She cannot help but cringe.

"Melanie and Kimber are confirmed to be in the Corellian Sector. I don't know how or even where they are but something tells me this is not an accidental occurrence. If my father knows the walls are closing in, it would not be beneath him to use them as leverage. As selfish as it is, I need them to know I have not become the person they believe I am. I want to save them as much as you want to save Corellia. So, I really need your clarity here, Mara. How should we proceed?"


-TBC
Syren

Offline Medivh

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Re: Alive
« Reply #136 on: January 31, 2012, 02:43:53 PM »
Byss: Imperial Capital

"It seems that in response to the Confederation interference, the Imperial fleets now impose a blockade around Corellia. I am told things are not good. A time-table for Judec's surrender was issued and expired without so much as a peep from him. The coward. Attacks have begun, attacks I will unfortunately not be able to stop. Dementat is out for blood and he will not rest until he has the Confederation on its knees and the High Commander's head on a platter. Don't hate me but I released a statement in support of these actions."

Mara is appreciative of Karen's forthrightness.  Here, in the privacy of the executive suite, she admitted to playing politics.  Of course, a moment of honesty didn't wash away one simple fact.  She had also broken her word.  That Corellia would be safe, would be free.  Was it true?  Karen, the Emperor's cherished love, could not persuade him to halt his assault?  If that were the case, what guarantees could she make for once the Confederation was defeated? Why would Dementat stop himself from taking an easy-to-take target?  Mara says nothing at first, watching Karen fret and then continue

"The situation does allow us an opportunity to get within range of Centerpoint despite another interesting and highly suspicious intelligence report."

"Which says what exactly?"

Mara watches as Karen gives a kind of wince.

"Melanie and Kimber are confirmed to be in the Corellian Sector. I don't know how or even where they are but something tells me this is not an accidental occurrence. If my father knows the walls are closing in, it would not be beneath him to use them as leverage. As selfish as it is, I need them to know I have not become the person they believe I am. I want to save them as much as you want to save Corellia. So, I really need your clarity here, Mara. How should we proceed?"

A part of Mara wonders just how well the game is being played.  They have been through a lot together, and yet, Karen had gone back on her word.  Even if it was only a little bit. Even if it wasn't her fault.  Mara was a droid. She understood - all too well, as the death of Scott St. Claire, Valerie Gellar, and a number of others indicated - that even the best intentions cannot cancel out prior programming.  Karen wanted the glory of the Empire. And if that meant sacrificing her integrity - at least as far as Mara is concerned, she might consider it worth it in the long run.  Could she?  What would Karen do if it meant she had to choose between the Emperor on the one side and her friends on the other?  Which would she choose?

Mara did not need to make those choices.  At least, that's how she felt.  She was fighting to find meaning in her own life, and free Corellia while doing it.  Would she sacrifice others to meet that goal?  Would she let Karen get hurt?  Or ... well, anyone else?

She had let Governor Tacofer die, hadn't she? Couldn't she have protected him if she had sacrificed herself? her anonymity, her secret origins?  Maybe she and Karen weren't so different, stuck in hard place, trying to do the impossible.

Maybe she had better offer Karen the benefit of the doubt - that somehow, when things resolve themselves, Corellia would be left to its own devices.  If only it survived the war.

Why Corellia?  What is the benefit of the Empire hitting Corellia, if the weapon, Centerpoint, is just a hop away?  The obvious answer is because the weapon was designed for long-distance attacks, and Corellia was too close.  So then why, oh why would Judec - and Alexander Winton by extension - leave Corellia with as few defenses as it had, knowing it would lose?  Unless ...

Mara looked up at Karen.

"Your father is going to attack Corellia."

Karen shook her head, not understanding.

"He is going to do to Corellia what he did to Duros - destroy the imperial fleet with the Centerpoint weapon, and care little about what happens to the planet itself.  That's why the Corellian fleet isn't at full strength there.  Because Winton needs it for the next phase of his attack."

Now it is Karen who looks bewildered.

"But the weapon - it can't"

Mara shook her head

"Your father - he doesn't care what he destroys as long as he wins in the end.  Is Dementat at Corellia now?  Or is it just his admiral?  Either way, the imperial fleet that is there is going to be decimated.  You need to go and warn them"

"Me?  What about you?"

Mara shook her head

"No - I need to go to Centerpoint, as soon as possible.  I have to try to make sure that machine never fires again.  I'll sabotage the weapon, you and I will meet back up together, and together, we'll take on your father as a team"

TBC
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Offline Syren

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Re: Alive
« Reply #137 on: January 31, 2012, 08:50:45 PM »
Byss: Imperial Capital

Karen is floored by the connections Mara makes but surprise eludes her. Alexander Winton had once been a man of principle, or at least she had liked to think so. To know now that he would risk an entire planet's population to destroy the Empire she and Dementat were trying to build fuels the fires of her rage.

She also knows her actions, the press conference and subsequent tour, has disappointed Mara. This knowledge brings guilt in the tangles of their newfound friendship and respect. She had made promises, ones she is not certain she can keep. Her bond with Dementat is intensely strong but is it stronger than his lust for revenge against the Confederation? Could she sway him to leave them alone once Judec and his forces have been defeated? Her powers of persuasion had always worked in the past. Well, for the most part. Her looks and talent nearly always got her what she wanted. This fight goes much deeper than that but she has to play a role in order to maintain leverage to get them within range of their goal - her father's ultimate destruction. Karen knows all too well how fickle the public can be and to not speak out in support of her lover would cast suspicion where there could be none. She must appear to fall in line with these goals and she was careful not to go so far as to say they should take Corellia for themselves. The Confederation, in league with her father, must be stopped. There is no getting around that. This conflict is means to an end and she only hopes that after the dust has settled, she would be able to honor her word.

The surprise finally comes when Mara suggests they split up - she to Centerpoint and Karen to warn Dementat and the fleet.

"I have to try to make sure that machine never fires again. I'll sabotage the weapon, you and I will meet back up together, and together, we'll take on your father as a team."

She ponders this.

"I have unmarked Intel shuttles available for operatives looking to maintain a low profile."

Karen makes arrangements with Admiral Price then glances back at her, a fresh wave of emotion crashing into her.
 
"Your shuttle is waiting in docking bay twenty-six. Are you sure about this?"

Mara nods, moving past her toward the door. Karen swallows hard, fighting the urge to grab her, to do any of the things she would have done with a friend she doesn't want to see get hurt, to suffer as so many of them had. Keeping composure, she calls after her.

"You can always reach me through the Force and for Maker's sake be careful."

Mara turns, their eyes locking in the moment before the lift doors close.

"I will."

Karen packs a relatively small bag, clipping Alexia's saber to her belt before heading down to her personal shuttle bay where the transport is idling. Admiral Price is standing at attention near the bottom of the open ramp, looking pained.

"Forgive my candor, your Highness but do you really wish to join the fleets on the front lines?"

She smiles, lightly touching the side of his face.

"It's destiny, Landon. You have always served me well and my gratitude at your loyalty goes deeper than you will ever know. If I need you, trust that I will call."

"Good luck, your Highness."

She nods and moves steadily up the ramp. She did not request a support team to accompany her, emboldened by Mara's quip about her piloting skills. She is going alone. Once the ramp is sealed and she is strapped in, she takes the controls and eases the shuttle out of the bay over the swirling glow of Byss. So long, my dark friend, who knows when we shall meet again.

As the shuttle gains distance from the Corporeal Quandary, Karen opens a hail to the Saevia's Revenge and identifies herself. Not even a moment later, Dementat's voice fills the cabin.

"My love."

"Hold your position, I'm coming to you."

She cuts him off before he can protest. This is no time for a domestic. The nav computers calculations are complete and with a gentle tug on the controls, the shuttle flares into hyperspace for Corellia.


-TBC
Syren

Offline Medivh

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Re: Alive
« Reply #138 on: February 05, 2012, 05:10:06 PM »
Byss: Imperial Capital

"I have unmarked Intel shuttles available for operatives looking to maintain a low profile."

Mara tilts her head at Karen, stunned by her quiet acceptance.  She had grown since they had first met, no longer the carefree sith princess. She was thoughtful, careful. And trusting of Mara, in a way that Mara was still unsure if she could reciprocate.  At least while Corellia was in the balance. But, if nothing else, Karen had earned something from Mara - her respect.

The arrangements for the shuttle are made efficiently, the crew of the Corporeal Quandary obedient to the last.  They are standing together for the last time before they separate.

"Your shuttle is waiting in docking bay twenty-six. Are you sure about this?"

Mara simply nods, quiet with her own feelings, and with introspection, feeling the weight of task before her.  She is about to disappear through the door when Karen calls back to her

"You can always reach me through the Force and for Maker's sake be careful."

Mara turned, her eyes meeting Karen's as the lift doors begin to close, Mara lifting her hand to her ear, but did Karen catch that?  It was meant to be a reminder of another method of communication - the earing/communicator Mara had made Karen when they had set out on one leg of this journey.  She could hardly remember where it was. Naboo? or some other place?  Either way, Mara hoped that Karen remembered it, lest the power of the Force fail them.

Down at the shuttle, Mara is alone, save for a few technicians going about their business, final checking the shuttle. She doesn't stop, doesn't wait a single moment even.  Time is of the essence. Before even sitting, she begins powering up the shuttle, running final readouts as it hovers toward the docking bay entrance and out to space, setting nav coordinates, a treacherous route out of the Core, purposely avoiding Corellia and its fleet of interdictors, circling around to reach Centerpoint from an alternate direction.

In hyperspace, she feels more alone than ever, running schematics on herself as well as the ship.

She can almost feel it coming this time.

FLASH

There she is running again, carrying that bundle, dodging enemies and fire and avoiding those close to her. She sees Karen and Melanie Masterton in battle, the Emperor dueling with Alexander Winton, a soldier and a pregnant woman, and still she runs with that bundle.

What does it mean to be alive?

FLASH


Centerpoint Station

In the deep space between Talus and Tralus, she emerges from hyperspace to see something she had quite expected.  A massive fleet of ships, a larger force than anything at Corellia, lying in wait. Expecting the imminent attack of the imperials.  she recognized ships from the Coruscant Asteroid Field, under Phage's command, the ones that had disappeared before they had entered the platform.  Any many others.   She let the ship power down as much as possible while contemplating what exactly she was going to do in order to reach the platform in one piece.
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Re: Alive
« Reply #139 on: February 09, 2012, 02:28:40 PM »
Centerpoint Station

Mara's instruments were off the charts, struggling against the energy that was passing beneath her ship.  She felt it buck against her, felt it whine in protest, but she was making progress.  And no one had spotted her. She hoped.

The massive station, a central sphere with two cylinders jutting out opposite ends, loomed closer and closer to her.  Massive didn't even adequately describe what this was.  Larger than any space station, the sphere by itself was probably the size of the second death star, and the cylinders added tremendous size to it.  Of course it controlled gravity - it was big enough to probably produce its own.

Except it didn't, Mara had to remind herself.  The sphere used artificial gravity, while the two cylinders spun around fast enough to have centrifical force simulate gravity.  The amount of energy the station had to expend just to keep that basic function going was enough to drain a starfleet, quickly.  But Centerpoint had a massive, and mysterious energy source, in its very center.  the key to its power, and the weapon it housed.  The structure drew closer and closer, and finally, Mara began to break away from her path, yanking hard on her stick to fight the ship's desire to go down into that deadly energy field.  She could see the satellite up ahead, wondering to herself if she could just fire at it, and destroy it.

But no, that wouldn't work.  She could see the shield shimmer ever so slightly.  No stray shot would knock out that creation.  Plus, it wouldn't destroy the ship's stronger capabilities, to hit further targets.  This satellite was made of different metals than the rest of the ship, and the contrast told Mara that it was part of Alexander Winton's plan, to hit smaller targets, ships instead of planets.

Finally, she felt the ship break free of the gravity grip, her ship suddenly surging forward and she had to ease up on the controls.  Her small shuttle skimmed just a few meters above the surface of the sphere, and she began trying to figure out how best to break in.

She passed, letting the shuttle  float over the spinning cylinder on the far side of the station.  That was when she first heard the warning.

"Unidentified shuttle - you are not authorized here.  Power down and prepare to be boarded"

Mara had no intention of letting that happen.  Pressing the throttle forward, she picked up speed, turning slightly to begin circling the station along the same motion as the cylinder itself.  She heard the blasts of lasers behind her, and scanners were picking up Corellian fighters, a half dozen, closing in on her.

"Unidentifed shuttle, power down now, or you will be destroyed"

Mara only sped up more, moving the stick back and forth, and sending the ship in zigzags to avoid the fire.  Great. So much for an unseen approach.  She abruptly flipped the shuttle, turning it on to her attacks, letting loose a flurry of her own laser fire and knocking out two Corellian Fighters in the first volley, then swung back around to get some distance.  She felt a shutter as the ship took some hits, red lights flashing on the dashboard.

More enemies were closing in, and she knew she wasn't going to make it long like this.  She began aiming the ship toward Centerpoint, speeding up as much as possible, and triggering the landing claw to connect to the station itself.  Setting the ship on autopilot, she grabbed her blaster, and moved to the hatch, twisting it, pushing it open, and feeling the vacuum of space.  She was almost out!

Not five seconds later, the shuttle burst into a ball of fire, the Corellian fighters zooming past.

TBC

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Re: Alive
« Reply #140 on: February 13, 2012, 01:36:30 PM »
Centerpoint Station

Primary systems have been compromised ...
Rerouting power ...
Backup systems, functioning at 85% ...
Running, diagnostic ...
Data storage ... unharmed ...
Cognitive Processors ... unharmed ...
Endoskeletal frame ... 95% functional ...
Biometric skin ... 70% functional ...
Optical scanners ... unharmed ...
Reactivating subroutines ...


Mara blinked, watching swirls of light spin around her.  It took her several seconds to realize it wasn't actually swirls, but stars.  An almost endless field of stars, marked only by the occasional dimness.  She barely remembered what happened - the explosion, her ship destroyed, and almost her along with it.  Apparently, instead of he graceful exit, she had been blown away from her ship at high velocity.  And now, she was spinning somewhere in the vicinity of Centerpoint Station, though of course, the force of the blast could have sent her miles away.  Closing her eyes, she went through the results of the automatic diagnostic.  Main power had been compromised, and apparently, she was missing a fair amount of flesh.  That would be pretty.  And of course, she was still spinning.

Going through her options, she gently activated a magnetic field.  Nothing strong, to be sure.  Nothing that would help in a normal atmosphere.  But if she was even remotely close to anything metallic, the smallest magnetic field should stop her spinning.  At least, that was the theory.

She didn't feel anything at first.  After several minutes, she opened her eyes again and smiled with the slightest amount of relief. She was slowing down, and those streaks of light almost looked stars now.  And she could see her target coming into focus.  It took several more minutes before she had just about stopped moving, and found herself about 10 meters away from one end of Centerpoint's massive hulk.  It was spinning fast, creating that artificial gravity that kept it functional.  Now, if only she could reach it.

glancing down at herself, she tried to assess what she had on her.  Clothing and skin were charred in various places, and dried blood hid some of the more untasteful injuries.  But luck, apparently, was with her.  Her holster was still firmly in place, it's durable material barely the worse for the wear, and her blaster was still tucked safely inside.

Doing a half sommersault, she rotated her body so that her legs were pointing away from Centerpoint, her head facing the fast-speeding station.  Pulling out the blaster, she aimed it  at the open space between her feet, took a deep (and unneeded) breathe, and fired.

The streak of light that shot from the weapon shot across the expanse of space until it dissipated.  But the pushback from firing pushed Mara in the opposite direction - toward the station itself.  With virtually no friction to stop her, she began sailing toward Centerpoint.  Quickly holstering the weapon, she put her arms up in front of her head, praying she didn't lose a limb in the process.

Head craned upward as she watched the space between her and the station closing, bracing for the impact.

WHAM!

Just as she was about to hit the station, she grasped a pipe that seemed to run along its circumference.  Her body was jerked in a rush of speed.  The sudden acceleration would have been enough to kill most lifeforms, or at the very least, take off a limb.  As it was, even Mara felt severe pain, was holding on for dear life as she felt herself being pulled from the station she grasped so tentatively.

With effort, she pulled herself in more, wrapping her arms, around the pipe.  Her feet were swinging out, but she tucked them in and then wrapped them around the pipe as well. Then she began inching along the pipe, slowly but surely.  At some point, the pipe had to lead inside the station.  And that would be her entrance as well.

TBC
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Medivh
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Re: Alive
« Reply #141 on: February 24, 2012, 11:08:17 AM »
Centerpoint Station

She felt like she was being weighed down by huge blanks of duracrete and metal, the speed of the station's rotation, creating the artificial gravity, was also making her movement a lot tougher than she would have liked.

Slowly, Mara inched along, wrapped around the pipe that was keeping her from flying back off into space.  She had no sense of how far she'd gone, her sensors working overtime to keep her sense of balance.

Finally, she found what she was looking for.  The pipe came to a juncture, a point where it split off in several directions, including into what appeared to be a large ventilation box.  That had to be her ticket in.  At least she hoped, or else she could be sitting out here forever.  Grasping firmly to the pipe, she pushed her legs out in front of her, ramming them into the box.  With each hit, she felt the swing of the artificial gravity pulling her back and she had to adjust her position, holding tight, kicking out again.  Finally, the box gave way, a small square of metal punching out into space.

She crawled forward along the pipe and slid into the open space, allowing herself to be pressed against the outer wall of the box while she took a moment to rest and get a sense of her surroundings.  The box was the end of a closed circuit ventilation system, ray shielded so it kept air in but allowed certain particles out.  And luckily, it allowed her in.  At this point in the vent, it was a bit grimy, the accumulated dirt of a large portion of the this side of the station, at least the parts that had not been sucked out into space.  Up ahead, another opening, leading into the ducts that ran through the station.

After another moment break, she pushed herself up, feeling the weight of the gravity, strongest still here, but at least manageable.  She could stand here.  The entrance she was taking was up, further into the station.

With a firm foothold, she was better able to utilize her strength, knocking away the vent opening and climbing up into the duct.  Her scanners had been damaged in the explosion of her ship, but she was able to get a small readout of her location. She was in the lower, outer ring of the cylinder, an area used mostly for storage, due to increased gravity that makes most uncomfortable.  Living quarters were further in, where the gravity was at about the same level as on most habitable worlds.  In the upper levels, gravity was a bit lighter, and probably used for scientific research.

She registered that there was a lot of activity here on the outer level - artificial activity, though very little bio readouts. This must be where the machinery of the station was located.  either that, or she had found the last target - the droids that were located on Centerpoint.

She began moving through the vents, vertically and sideways, until she finally came to what felt like a good opening.  Punching out, she pulled out her blaster and hopped down to the sound of running machinery.

There it was, just as she expected.  The most frightening thing she had ever seen.  An army of MagnaGuard IG-100 droids.  They looked like an army of Phages. An army of droids, and the factory building more every minute.

She didn't have her charges on her anymore.  She would have to hardwire the system to overheat, and hope it would explode.  Quietly, moving through the statues of inactive droids, she got a very eerie feeling.

Then she got the message from Karen.  It was staticky at first, she couldn't quite place it.  Was her communicator damaged?

"Mara...?"

Well, regardless, she knew who was calling her now.

"Karen, my communicator has been damaged.  But I've found them. I've found the droids.  There are a lot of them.  An army.  We're going to need a lot of explosives for this one.  There is a docking bay at sector O-179. It's fairly close to my location, but probably heavily guarded.  You'll need to ... wait a second"

There was a small buzzing sound coming from around Mara, slowly getting louder.  Then she saw it, perhaps the scariest thing she'd ever seen. One by one, the red eyes of the droids around her lit up.  The army was coming to life.

"Karen - they're being activated.  We need a new plan."

Mara backed away, moving out of the lines of droids, back to where she had made her entrance.  One by one, she heard the whine as the droids were being activated.  She jumped back into the vent, just as she heard them turn, start marching toward their destination.  Ready to kill.

"Karen.  We won't be able to take on these droids on our own."

TBC
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Medivh
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Re: Alive
« Reply #142 on: March 13, 2012, 12:44:31 AM »
Centerpoint Station

Mara hid in the ventilation shaft, watching through the grating as droid after droid marched beneath her.  If they ever thought to look up, she might be their next target, and an easy kill.  These looked like Phage, but they didn't have his pride, the weakness that allowed his defeat.  They would kill when ordered, no questions asked.

She had waited for several minutes, but the marching seemed endless. How many droids were on this station? Sure it was huge - but didn't it house OTHER things? like a big weapon that could destroy, well, anything?  She decided finally that too much time was being wasted. She couldn't contact Karen, both because of the broken transmitter, and for fear of making noise.  Instead, she started moving along the shaft, silently as she could, inching, inching, inching.

Her schematic readout of the station was only minutely helpful.  She was making her way in the opposite direction of the droid armies, hoping to eventually put distance between them. Whether she was closing in on Karen's location, if Karen had landed, was another story entirely.

Every so often, she would reach an intersection, curving much like the shape of the station itself, but she ignored them. On and on she went, through the bowels of Centerpoint.  Until finally, she could go no further, at least straight.  She could hear, through the metal, something like the sound of two well greased pieces of metal sliding against each other.  She had reached the edge of the cyllinder, where it connected to that central sphere. To go further, she would have to move from a fast moving object to a very stationary one.

Only a few places on the station allowed for that movement. Several deceleration ports existed, where one goes inside a tube that starts out at the speed of the cylinder's rotation, and it slows until it stops and connects to the other side.  But those facilities would be disabled in a fight, plus they took a long time to decelerate.  The only way in, therefore, was in the very middle.  The very center of the cylinder connection.

Mara couldn't go forward, but she was able to move up.  A vertical shaft brought her deeper into the station, away from the rim that she had crawled in for hours now.  Still in the vents, she managed to avoid the various battles going on - though occasionally, she caught sight of blasted metal, or saw through vents droids or soldiers moving through hallways.  Not her concern. Not yet, anyway.  She had decided it would be too difficult to find and reach Karen. Instead, she was heading to the source.

Up up up.  The climbing would have been impossible for a human.  Even for Mara, droid that she was, was injured and after hundreds of ladder steps, was beginning to register the fatigue.  Finally, she reached the very top of the shaft, a sealed porthole above her.  Pulling out her blaster and raising it with one hand, she opened the porthole with the other and climbed out.

She found herself standing on a very high platform, overlooking the large empty space in the center of the cylinder.  Looking upward, she could see, about 100 meters above, another platform, raised up from the opposite side of the cylinder.  The gravity here was lighter, so close to the center.  Behind her, the massive blastdoor that opened when the weapon was being used in its full, long range capacity.  Now, it barred her way.

That was when the lights dimmed, flashed for just a second. The weapon had been fired.  And in that moment, the blast doors opened, just a pinch, and only for a second, right in the middle.

Sure, why not make things more complicated?

Glancing around, surprised that she was alone, she took a soft jump, testing the area around her.  She felt light, as if on a moon bounce, or floating in water. Her feet touched down again and she glanced upward, determined.  Bending her knees, she sprung upward, hard as she could.

The pull of gravity dropped, lower and lower, and she began to feel herself spinning - or rather, the station was spinning around her.  She sailed through the air - and then felt the inverse, gravity pulling her, face first.  She watched, the dizzying effect as her landing point rotated around her over and over again, kicking out her feet in a froggy-style to accelerate just a bit. Timing had to be perfect. Hands outstretched contacting with the platform on the opposite side (though it was possible it was actually the same platform, having rotated around her).  She felt herself rolling backward catching her grip just before falling off the platform, down several stories to the occupied decks below.

So the theory worked. She could fly across the expanse. Now, how to get to and stay at that middle point.

Adjusting herself, she set up for another spring, this time, aim slightly slanted, toward the giant blastdoor.
One. two. three.  Jump.
There she went again, sailing through the air, the entire station spinning around her thousands of times per second but she was focused on one point, a semi-stationary point, grasping at the fine grooves of the metal to stop her flight.

And there, holding steady at the very center of the cylinder, with centrifical force equal on all sides, she hovered, weightless. Waiting.

It was another long wait - apparently, the weapon needed recharging.  But finally, she got the warning signs, grasping the metal firmly.  3. 2. 1.

A flicker of light, compressed air sucking through the tiny hole.  And she released, letting the suction of air pull her through the gap in the seconds of the blast before the blast door slammed closed again.

As she came through, she saw the most beautiful golden light, hovering in the very center of the expanse, glowing, pulsing light.  Centerpoint's energy source.  She felt it pulling at her, it's own source of gravity, so intense and strong.  She quickly began to panic, on her uncontrolled flight.  Grasping desperately, her foot hooked onto the only thing in this chamber besides her and the energy source - the metal frame of the arm that extended out the satellite that effectively triggered the weapon.

It was still retracting to safety after the last blast, and she grabbed hold just as it tucked passed her.
Gravity pulling at her toward the center still, she clung to the metallic arm, dragging her way to its base, which hooked up to the ceiling of the chamber.  There, she grimaced as she glanced at a small observation window of scientists staring bewildered at her.

Turning her head, she saw another observation area - only much nicer looking. A huge office, comfortable yet sparse furniture, high backed chairs.  The local residence of the high commander.  And there he was, sitting in his chair, staring out the viewport at the stars on the other side, oblivious to her.

Caring little about the possible repercussions of her actions, she clung to the metal arm with one hand and pulled back out her blaster with the other.  Firing several shots in quick succession, only to find the transparisteel windows were reinforced.  No laser fire was going to do the trick.

"great, now what?"

The scientists were scrambling to get assistance, and she predicted she didn't have that much time.  She looked around and found, just at the base of the metallic arm, a hatch, probably there to allow technicians to run repairs if necessary.  Well now, it was her ticket inside.  She made her way to the hatch, and  busted it open, firing several scatter shots through before she slipped in.

She was once again in tight quarters, a service tube, but now, she knew her directions, and where she was going.  Only a few dozen paces to the right, and she reached her destination,  a service entrance. Kicking it in, she burst into the room, the high commander's office

Blaster out, she approached the desk.

"Hello, high commander."

She circled around the desk and stared at the figure there.  It was him. Saga Judec alright.  But he was definitely not alive.  His body had strange marks around the neck, but otherwise, he looked remarkably well preserved. His blank eyes though - they gave it away.

"I'm afraid the High Commander has been dead for some time now.  He outlived his usefulness"

Mara turned the blaster aim ready, shots fired but the man in front of her put out his gloved hand, and the shots seemed to go nowhere.

"That won't be necessary, Mara"

Mara held the blaster steady, pointing it at him.  He looked familiar, but not just because of his resemblance to Karen.  He looked remarkably like the picture in the Winton residence.

And his smile looked so much more sinister now.

"Yes, I know who you are. I've known you longer than you've known yourself.  But please, let me introduce myself.  I am Alexander Winton"
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Medivh
SWSF: Legacy of the Force
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Offline Medivh

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Re: Alive
« Reply #143 on: March 18, 2012, 04:20:28 PM »
Centerpoint Station

"Yes, I know who you are. I've known you longer than you've known yourself.  But please, let me introduce myself.  I am Alexander Winton"

There he was.  The mastermind himself.  It was remarkable how human he looked, and yet he also had a distinctly evil appearance.  Maybe it was the eyes or the smile.  Or maybe it was just what Mara knew about him.

Or, maybe he felt like he didn't have to hide anymore, because he felt like he won.

Mara was a bit put off by his pleasantries.  She glanced down from his face to his outstretched hand, then back up at him.  Did he really expect her to shake?

A moment later, he withdrew it with a shrug.

"Well, you never were one to get stuck on ceremony.  Let's talk about why you are here"

Mara took a deep breathe, slowly going through what weapons she still carried on her.  She still had the blaster, and tucked in a safe place in the utility belt, a thermal detonator.  Could she wipe him out with just that?  Probably not without taking out herself in the process.  She continued listening as the man spoke.

"I know your too smart to think Judec planned it all by himself, the downfall of the Empire through a cunning ploy, the appearance of over confidence backfiring as Corellia bit more than it could chew, while saving a fleet commanded by droids for the trap.  Judec was a brilliant mind, but never quite that subtle.  You met up with my daughter, learned about some of my prior schemes - and realized I was still alive.  You may even have had the assistance of another one of your creators.  Medivh."

Mara didn't say anything, but her mind was whirling.  He knew about Medivh?  As if reading her next thought, Winton continued.

"Medivh - yes, I knew of him.  A self exiled man.  So much potential, and then, struck with guilt.  Quite a weak emotion for someone headed for greatness.  Cacooned in a machine, buried in a swamp.  Watching the galaxy passively.  He could have told you a great deal of information.  He is, afterall, one of the few men I regarded as my equal.  At one time, at least.  But no more.  I have destroyed him, finally.  His guilt at immortality left him vulnerable to my attack and Medivh, and all his vast knowledge, are now gone."

Gone.  Mara's ... father?  she never had really finalized the label she placed on Medivh, but she definitely considered him to be family. And Winton had killed him?

"Did he tell you what I had become?  How I truly could no longer be killed?  Quite a remarkable ability.  Dying is exquisite, perhaps you will even try it one day"

He smiled at his own odd humor, but it looked to Mara more like a sneer.

"Which brings us back to you.  You were here to stop Judec.  But more, you were here to stop me.  And Karen?  Karen is here to bring about the end of a prophesy that is patently false.  Well, not entirely.  You see, I learned long ago that all real prophesies come true, but they are indecipherable.  HOW they come true is a matter of planning.  When my wife unlocked that gem of a prophesy, I found the key to greatness.  Not just immortality - but ultimate domination.  Look what I have done. I brought the powers of the galaxy to its knees with just a few words.  But all of it, every last bit of it, is thanks to you, Mara"

For the first time since his introduction, Mara spoke

"Me?  What did I ever do for you?"

"Well of course, you were the prototype.  Phage was a servant of Medivh, but a programming glitch - caused in part by me, I admit - made him a monster. A ruthless being that could create armies to threaten the very galaxy.  That glitch led to the rise of the Confederation and Saga Judec, and me to my place of greatest influence.

You were not Phage.  He always thought he created you, but your programming was never entirely his to create.  Medivh, me, Patten - the three of us created something special.  Phage only took the program we made and brought it to life.  But oh, the things you could do.  Regeneration was never a perfect thing, because it was always limited by computer software. Until we saw what happened to you.

Your repairs before leaving Corellia - we were able to scan things in your programming that had never existed in a droid before.  That programming was inserted into all the programming that became a part of me.  And then, of course, your little visit to Coruscant is what brought me back to life.

That's right Mara - you are the reason I am both alive today, and about to become ruler of this galaxy."


Mara took a step back, shaking her head

"No - that can't be. THat doesn't make any -"

"sense?  perhaps not. But its true.  If it weren't for you, Corellia would not be at war with the Empire, the weapon would not have been reactivated, and Dementat would not at this moment be heading to his death"

Mara tried grasping at the weight of responsibility he was placing on her.

"But you-"

"I couldn't care less, Mara, how many individuals die.  They are all of them expendable.  I get what I want.  You just helped me"

"Why are you telling me this?"

He smiled again.  How quickly she had grown to hate that smile.

"Because I want you on my side, working for me.  You are brilliant, Mara.  Stronger, faster, more intelligent than anyone else in the galaxy.  You would be my most powerful servant."

"Until I was too much of a risk to you, outlasted my usefulness and became expendable?"

The accusation might have tripped others up, but no, Alexander Winton didn't miss a beat.

"Precisely.  You begin to understand how the galaxy really works.  No one really cares about anyone. Karen loved having friends, until they became a risk to her, and then she set out to destroy them.  She allied with you because she needed you. You allied with her because you needed her.  And Dementat and Karen, for all of their supposed passion - their love is also about the collision of destiny.  If either one ever suspected the other, one of them would be dead fairly quickly.

You and I need not play that game of affection.  We understand the situation.  You work for me until it's no longer to your benefit, and I keep you around until it's no longer to mine.  And then, one of us will kill the other"


"Or fight each other for eternity, being reincarnated"

"Ah, well, of course, that part only goes one way - I have many, many, many duplicates.  You, as a prototype, have just you.  When you die, that will be the end of Mara Anna Gellar"

Mara took another breathe, tilting her head
"That doesn't seem to be a fair deal"

"But it is the deal I offer.  You can accept it and live until you think you can kill me, or die before the Emperor does"
"A very sith notion - a master and apprentice, until one kills the other"[/color]

"THe concept is true enough - the two strongest in the galaxy should only need to worry about each other, and the rest are all pawns.  I think you would make a fantastic ally and my best adversary in a long time.  It would be truly enjoyable"

"With millions dying in the middle"
"All souls are expendable, Mara.  You and me are just the ones who can outlast the rest. So what do you say?"

Mara glanced out beyond Alexander Winton, out the viewport at the battle raging in the space beyond.  explosions rocked back and forth, both fleets suffering heavily. She couldn't see from here who was worse off.

It was a game to him.  He had been bored with life, so he set out this plot in motion. And now, seeing his victory so close, he anticipated more boredom.  So he wanted Mara to be his adversary.  To work with him to consolidate his rule, until she tired of him, and then fight him to the end.  And then, she would be replaced by a new adversary.  To keep him and his eternity from boredom.

"I have a third option"
"And what's that?"
"That you be the one to die die.  today"

He laughed out loud. A truly evil laugh.

"I don't know who you think you are dying for.  The galaxy despises you"
"That may be true.  But I made a solemn vow that I don't intend to break"
"A pity. Such a pity.  Goodbye Mara"

Alexander Winton's hands suddenly lifted, palms facing Mara and he pushed out.  Like a rush of wind, Mara felt herself shoved hard, flying through the air to the back wall, nearest the door, collapsing to a heap on the ground.

More evil laughter.

TBC
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Medivh
SWSF: Legacy of the Force
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Offline Medivh

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Re: Alive
« Reply #144 on: March 22, 2012, 05:57:21 PM »
Centerpoint Station

Mara should have anticipated that - Alexander Winton had the power of the Force.  Karen had said that he was not given the gift - that it had passed from her mother.   Of course, Alexander could have easily created in his own new incarnation the same switch that had been placed in her.

Her injuries felt more accute as she crumpled to the ground, body running a quick assessment as she focused on Winton, walking toward her slowly and methodically.  His hand was out then, and Mara was lifted up into the air.  Both hands together then slowly parting and Mara could feel what he was doing - using the Force to quite literally pull her apart.

Not if she had anything to say about it.

Reaching down into her subroutines, through her cybernetic systems, she activated that spark, that connection that would bring the Force to her aid.  Not too strong, but strong enough and a moment later, there it was, coursing through her.  She looked down at him and then brought her own arms around her, letting the Force envelope her, protect her.  Winton's hold broke and she landed on her feet in front of him.

He looked at her with curiosity for a moment, maybe even surprise, but then he smiled again.

"Well, look at you.  All grown up.  Apparently, you really HAVE learned about your potential"

Mara's gaze was cold as she pushed out with her hand, the Force push streaming toward Winton - who put out his own hand to block the simplistic attack.  Then he pushed out again, the energy coursing back toward her.

Mara reached out, feeling the Force, the attack toward her, and with her arm, she swatted at the energy, batting it away (and incidentally, sending it to crash into one of the chairs in the room.

Meanwhile, Winton had reached out with a hand, a locker at one end of the room opening and an electrostaff hovering across the room to meet him.  He began to approach again, Mara taking a step back, eyeing the weapon as he activated it.

Swing. A horizontal swipe, were Mara's abdomen had been moments earlier.  She flipped backwards, using her own strength, with just a slight adjustment with the Force to smoothly land near the locker, pulling out another electrostaff.  Why have two?  Ah, of course - he liked the fight.  Winton was moving faster now, closing in with the weapon and slashing again, Mara quickly activating hers and putting up a defensive block, then spinning about to strike herself

Winton blocked, pushing hard, and forcing Mara's arm wide spearing forward with a deadly push of the staff, Mara twirling backwards to avoid it, pushing out with her hand, letting the Force course through her and pushing out again.

Winton had not been expecting that, and he went flying back to the opposite side of the room, Mara, regaining her balance and momentum, running after him, jumping high in the air and landing a strike down where Winton had landed.

Only he had spun about now, swinging low and tripping Mara to the ground.  Now he was axing at her wildly, Mara turning side to side to avoid the strike, before she flipped up her legs, pushing them hard into his abdomen and forcing him back.

Each regained their footing, holding the electrostaff defensively.

Mara still had the cold look.  Winton was smiling.

"I'm impressed.  Even for a droid, you are much more of a fighter than I thought"

"It's what I'm good at"

"True, but then again, so were many, many droids.  I have armies of warriors who cannot fight like you"

"It comes with the ability to control my own actions"

He shook his head

"No - you have the ability to second guess yourself.  That's a weakness.  Battle Droids never do that"

"No, but their controller does.  ANd his mistake affects an entire army."

"Armies are replaceable.  You and me?  Not so much.  Well, actually, that's not true.  I have replacements if I die.  And you?  I can create another one of you if I so desire"

Mara shook her head

"No you can't.  You're not that smart"
"I know people who are"
"You've killed people who are.  You don't really know anyone anymore"
"I know you, Mara"
"Hardly"

Mara moved in now, making another strike, blocked by Winton, blocking Winton, back and forth, the hum of the electrostaffs clashing about the room.  Occasionally, one would hit the other, and each was looking worse for the wear.

At one point, weapons were hot against each other, Winton sneering in between the two blades at Mara.

"You know, you cannot win. If you strike me down - I'll just be back a minute later.  But if I strike you down?  That's it.  And you aren't strong enough to beat me more than once"

"We'll just have to see about that"

Mara banged the weapons high in the air, forcing an opening, rotating the electrostaff around and stabbing it through Winton's torso.  The weapon dropped from his hands and his body began to collapse.  But he didn't stop grinning.

"See you in a minute"

Alexander Winton dropped to the ground, blood pooling around his body.  Mara stared at him for a minute, then looked around.  Was he dead? Gone? Destroyed?  Not likely - he seemed confident his replacement system still worked.  But at least she had a minute or two before  - before what?  If he kept coming, why fight him, until she died?  Better to destroy the station, and him with it.

She was about to leave, out through the main door - but when she opened it, there he was, standing, smiling.  And already armed.

He had a heavy blaster rifle, aimed and pointed at her.

"Ah, we meet again.  A nice kill.  Clean and quick.  But I am starting to tire of this"

Mara knew what she had to do - she had to get away from him.  Get out of here.  Being here was doing no good.  Her eyes watched the weapon in his hand.  Then back up at him.

"Well, if you think the only way you can beat me is with a better weapon.  Even after I've already fought and you are fresh off the assembly line"

"it's not that.  It's a question of timing.  I only have so much time to play this game with you, and that time is just about up"

That was when they heard it, over the loud speaker

"Members of the Corellian Defense Force - My name is Artemis Soldys.  I am, like you, a soldier.  I joined the ranks to defend Corellia from the evils that would have us destroyed.  To defend us from Phage, from the Empire.  But we have been deceived, and we have been betrayed.  High Commander Saga Judec tempted the Empire to attack us, putting our people in jeopardy.  He violated the sacred law, that Corellia will never allow the use of battle droids again, and has created massive armies to fight for him.  And he enslaved us with machines, taking away our ability to think, our ability to fight for what is right.  These crimes cannot go unignored.  This station - Centerpoint Station - is a symbol of Judec's corrupt reign.  Now, we have been freed.  Freed to make our own decisions.  We are tired, we are drained, but we are Corellians, and we know what is right.  I ask you all to now make a choice.  If you are too weak to fight - make your way to an evacuation point. Get off this station.  But if you are prepared to stand for what is right, have the strength and fortitude to defend Corellia against our own sinister traitor - then gather what arms you can.  And together, we will destroy this abomination.  This station, and the droid plague.

FOR CORELLIA!"


Alexander Winton glanced up, and Mara took advantage of the distraction, swatting the weapon out of his hands, letting it fall inside the room, and yanking him inside.  NOW, it made sense for her to stay - keep him here long enough so this Corellian soldier could do the job of destroying the station. Whether or not she was still in it.

Winton had grown from cocky and smiling to angry, furious., And he wrapped his arms around Mara, ramming her into a wall, then turning to the door.

"No time for these stupid parlor games anymore"

He was heading out when Mara threw herself back at him, tackling him to the ground.

Together, they wrestled on the floor for a minute before both chose a new point of interest - each clawing for the gun, just out of their reach.  Mara grabbed it first, lifting it to point at him, but he grabbed her arm, twisting it.  The blaster went off, destroying a nice piece of upholstery.  Then he had it in his hand, turning it toward her.

"AAAHH!!"

She yelled as she pushed out with the Force, just as he fired, and the blast rebounded into Winton's face -not enough to take him out, but leaving this version of him scarred.  Beneath the damaged, charred flesh, small amounts of metal could be seen.

"That's enough Mara"
"You don't tell me what to do, Alexander.  I'm not one of your toys"
"A matter of opinion"

He reached out with the Force, lifting her high in the air, and then immediately throwing her to the ground, then rolling her around on the floor, bouncing her into anything he could,including his dead body.

She meanwhile, was trying to get a grip of herself, the beating starting to wear her already injured battered self down.  Finally, she reached out with the Force, grabbing the blaster and firing wildly as she was spun about.  She sensed she hit the target, for a moment later, she had landed abruptly on the ground.

No time to waste, she picked up the dropped gun, headed over to where Winton was rising, and fired several more shots at his head.

Quite enraged, he stalked toward her, not doing a good job blocking.  She kept firing, repeatedly, watching more flesh chip away, more and more inhuman as he clawed out for her, finally collapsing a foot in front of her.  She blasted a few more times to be sure.

"that's two"

She glanced toward the door again, one way in. one way out.  She had to go that way to make sure HE didn't just ignore her to target the Corellians.  She started moving to the door, but that feeling of weariness was growing.  She was injured, not too severely but enough to hamper her.  It was unlikely she would beat him again.  Still, she had to stop him, no matter the cost.

She exited the door, glancing down the long hallway toward the rest of the station.  No, too far.  She turned the other way to see it, blinking as she realized the symplicity of it.

A turbolift.  One that didn't connect anywhere else but here.  Her scanners saw that the tube led down several floors to a heavily fortified room that could not be accessed.  A large room, secure in the heart of the station, and filled with the equipment needed to ...

The turbolift hummed as the hydraulics were activated.  The door opened and there he was.  No, he wasn't smiling as Mara took aim.

This time he blocked, and with a clench of his fist, the blaster in Mara's hand crumbled like foil.

"You are starting to bother me, Mara"

He pulled from his side a thin cylinder, and Mara took a step back.  He held it up, pressing the small activator on it, and a beam of gray light shot out.

"You like the powers of the jedi?  Let's see how you like it now"

And he swung with the lightsaber

TBC
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Medivh
SWSF: Legacy of the Force
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Offline Medivh

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Re: Alive
« Reply #145 on: March 25, 2012, 08:33:06 PM »
Centerpoint Station

Mara watched as the gray-colored lightsaber was wielded with skill and grace.  Apparently, Alexander Winton had been practicing, or maybe he had programmed the techniques into his subroutines.  No time to find out.  Mara instinctively reached out with her hand through the still open door of the office, calling to the Force and pulling one of the abandoned electrostaffs to her - and just in time, as the saber came down upon her.  Electricity hummed, the staffs own electrical current protecting it (and her) from the deadly saber blade.  But Alexander Winton was unrelenting, strike, strike, strike, strike - Mara was growing weary, her damaged systems, and the damage she had sustained in the previous battles with the indestructible Winton had made it harder for her to fight back.  Blow after blow was countered only defensively, and Mara was forced back against a wall.

Finally, Winton made a blow just a bit wide, enough for Mara to only need to block with the tip of the weapon, weaving it around to strike against Alexander.  Finally, with his defenses widened, Mara struck a few blows, keeping him off balance.  She remembered  what she was trying to do.  BUY TIME for the Corellians, those she had sworn to protect.  Even if she died, it would mean they could succeed.

Just ... hold.... him ... off ....

And then she felt it.  A moment of pure dread as she was about to strike a heavy disabling blow against him.  Force his next reincarnation to come up from that factory.  That dread made Mara shake, taking a step back.

"Karen ....  KAREN!  NO!"

She knew it. Could feel it in her soul.  Karen was dead.  Feel it in her soul?  Did Mara really have a soul?  Existential question, not the right time.  Mara fell back again, the weapon falling from her hands.

Alexander Winton regained his balancing, eyeing her curiously but not advancing.

"You could feel her ... and feel her die"

The fact that the enemy was speaking instead of attacking was surprising. Maybe he did have feelings for his daughter?

"I never could.  I never had that gift.  Even now, I am not connected to her."

Mara, who had only given him slight attention, turned fully on him now, eyes burning with fury.

"HOW COULD YOU DO THAT?  SHE WAS YOUR DAUGHTER!!!  YOUR OWN FLESH AND BLOOD!!!  YOU LET HER DIE!!!"

Alexander Winton shook his head, but a smile was on his face.

"Now Mara, the prophesy said only one could live.  I intend to be that one.  Besides, as I said. anyone is replaceable"

The sheer inhumanity, to have fallen so far, left Mara stunned.  She reached out with her hand, and with a yell quite frightening she pushed out with the Force, letting the little dial inside her go to its full strength.

Alexander Winton's weapon dropped from his hand and he was lifted high into the air, Mara's hand guiding him up into the ceiling, pressing everything she had against him.

"SHE WAS MY FRIEND!"

Winton, for his part, was pressed into the metal ceiling, but he looked at her with a look, so cold and calculating.

And then it happened.

It left her.  Alexander Winton landed on his feet, and Mara felt a deep, empty void inside her.  The Force had left her.

Winton moved to pick up the lightsaber, reigniting it and slowly advancing on Mara.

"You forgot, I built you, Mara.  I know all your little technical intricacies.  And like I said, I can control you just as well as any other machine.  The Force is not with you anymore Mara.  Now, it's just you, by yourself"

Mara blocked out the panic that she felt. Droids shouldn't feel panic after all.  She could fight a jedi, force or not.  As Winton moved in for a killing strike, Mara ducked down, rolling on the floor and picking up the discarded electrostaff, igniting it to block as Winton struck again, then turning a wide strike of her own.  Parry, thrust, block, swing.  Back and forth.

Mara quickly glanced around, trying to find a way to regain the advantage. trying to refind the Force within her, or had he actually succeeded in shutting it off completely with a mere thought sent her way?

A checkpoint box was in the wall not too far, and Mara ran back toward it, yanking it open and typing something quickly into the machine.

Alexander Winton jumped forward and landed, again ready to strike Mara with a killing blow, but his saber was suddenly blocked by an energy field.

Mara, exhausted, pulled away from the box, turning to face Winton.

"You may have the Force, but I have been a machine a lot longer than you have.  I know how things work, because I'm used to being one"

Winton glared at Mara, then offered a mocking bow.

"Well done"

His hand then punched out, a burst of the Force, and the box exploded, the energy field vanishing and he was quick to strike.

Mara held up the electrostaff, but the weight of his attack pushed her down, a quick strike, and she found her leg now had a huge burn mark.  THen down hard again, the two weapons getting closer and closer to Mara's head.

"Goodbye Mara"

Winton began angling the saber more, ready to cleanly take off Mara's head - when suddenly, he was thrown back, through the air, held above the ground, body pressed against the turbolift.  Blue currents of lighting flashed forward striking Winton, his body shaking, tremoring.

Mara, who had just about resigned herself to her fate, blinked, glancing up to see Dementat, a cold fury on his face, pure hatred in his eyes, hands outstretched as Force lightning erupted from them at the enemy.

Winton's weapon dropped from his hand, and his body went limp, falling to a heap on the ground.  Dementat approached and without hesitation, sliced off his head.

Then he turned to Mara.  Mara, who was trying to stand, but found her injuries making the movement a bit more difficult.  A non-droid in her condition would have been dead a long time ago by now.

She did manage to stand though, turning to face him, the Emperor.  A sad look on her face, the anger on his subsiding only slightly as he looked back.

"I'm sorry, Emperor"

He shook his head.

"I am emperor no more.  Not without her."

At that moment, the crunch of a dozen battle droids was heard down the hall, approaching and firing on the two of them.  But just as they reached the corridor, as Dementat was ready to fight them down, they suddenly stopped, and then shut down completely.

"Your Corellian friends must have destroyed the droid transmitter"
"I can hope so"

They heard the turbolift whirring, bringing up the enemy yet again.  Dementat turned to face Mara.

"She made a promise to you - that the Empire would not touch Corellia.  I cannot keep that promise. I don't know what the Empire will do.  But you - I sense that your role in the galaxy is not yet through Mara.  I believe, wholeheartedly, that the one the prophesy meant to live ... it was you.  You must survive now, Mara."

The turbolift doors opened and there he was again, as if never in a fight, good as new.

"My armies have been taken away from me ... All I have left to command ... is myself"

And then another stepped out of the turbolift.  And another. And another.  A sea of the same face, the face of Alexander Winton, stepping out of the turbolift.  If one was hard to beat, facing ALL of them would be impossible.

Dementat turned to Mara.

"Go, now.  Get off the station. Survive.  I will deal with him"

Dementat's saber was already moving wildly as Mara turned and did his bidding, running down the corridor as fast as her damaged legs could carry her, just as they heard the intercomm.

"Weapon has been activated - countdown in 60 seconds.  Lockdown procedures have been disabled"


TBC
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Medivh
SWSF: Legacy of the Force
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Offline Medivh

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Re: Alive
« Reply #146 on: March 26, 2012, 09:52:32 AM »
Centerpoint Station

Mara is running.  Running as fast as she can.  She doesn't know if she is being followed by the nightmare, or the sense of oncoming doom.  She just knew, somehow, deep in her cybernetic gut, that time was running out, and she had to hurry.

The corridor was eerily empty, sirens blaring, the only other sound besides her feet pounding against hardened steel.

The corridor ends and she steps into a turbolift, feeling the irony of waiting asshe waits for it to arrive and then for it to bring her down to a level closer to the nearest docking bay.

It opens with a hiss of the hydraulics, and then she is moving again, again down an empty corridor, not really caring what lay in the rooms on either side.

"Wait!"

Everything in Mara is telling her to keep running, keep moving. Time is running out.  But she stops, glances back, and after a moment's hesitation, turns back to the open room.

There she was, a woman Mara had never met, and had barely ever seen.  But she knew.  She knew who it was because she had seen the pictures.  Karen.  Valerie. Melanie.  and

"Kimber ..."

The outfit only confirmed the suspicion.  Only one of the four socialites would be wearing a designer dress in the middle of a war scene.  She steps forward, glancing only briefly at the soldier dead on the side.  Her attention was on Kimber.  her last surviving sister.  Surviving now, at least.

"Valerie..."

Mara blinked.  Kimber called her Valerie?  But of course, Kimber knew Valerie was dead.  And Mara probably looked like quite a haggard version.  Was she still really that mistakable.  Of course, by the looks of things, Kimber wasn't totally conscious.  And though it was against Mara's wishes to lie to her - to lie to her sister, she sensed that this was one time where it would be alright to pretend.  Just for a little while.

She nodded her head, drawing closer.

"Yes ..."

"Valerie, help me."

Mara knelt down beside Kimber as the next contraction came.  Another one came close after.  Kimber was about to give birth.  Mara knew what she had to do.

Getting herself in position beneath Kimber, she prepared herself for receiving the child.

"On the next contraction, I need you to push - push as hard as you can."

Fully dilated, the tip of the child's head could be seen, now was the time.

"Come on Kimber, push"

"Valerie, I can't do it - I'm too weak"

"Kimber, you can.  Push.  Push"

Mara wasn't looking at injuries, had lost track of time.  There was only this isolated action.  Kimber was giving birth, and her receiving the child.  Nothing else mattered.  For several tense minutes, Kimber pushed, and Mara coaxed.  And then, there it was.  There he was, the cry of the child popped that bubble, as Mara grabbed a piece of serated metal, cutting and tying off the umbilical cord, and wrapping the child, the boy in a piece of torn fabric, torn from Rydan's mandalorian garb.

She moved around to Kimber's side, the girl sweating, eyes dilated, still severely in pain.

"Riley ... his name is Riley..."

Mara nodded, holding the child.

"Valerie ... you'll take care of him ..."

"I ... I will"

She offered a weak smile, blinking at the darkness closing in.

"My dress ..."

"Don't worry Kimber.  You still look fabulous ..."

Kimber's eyes closed, a soft smile on her face, her body slumping down beside Mara, who clutched the child in her arms.  Mara fought back the wave of emotion.  Her sister was dead.  The last connection she had to humanity.  Gone.  She bent down, pressing a soft kiss to Kimber's forehead before pulling away.

Crying.  No.  She had one last connection.  Here, in her arms.

"Don't worry Riley. I'll take care of you.  Your Aunt Mara will take care of you."

The sirens are blaring louder now, and Mara is reminded of the imminent danger.  Wrapping the child a bit more carefully, she turns and runs.

TBC
« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 09:54:27 AM by Medivh »
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Medivh
SWSF: Legacy of the Force
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Offline Medivh

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Re: Alive
« Reply #147 on: March 27, 2012, 09:55:40 AM »
Centerpoint Station

Mara is running.  Running as fast as she can.  It is no longer just her - cradled in her arms, wrapped in mandalorian fabric, is the newborn child of Kimber Patten.

She didn't have time to think, to process the events of the last hour.  She just had to run.

Everything around her was shaking, as if slowly coming apart.  She could feel the heat of explosion on her tail, urging her to run ever faster.

Remarkably, she reached a docking bay, watching as the last shuttle took off.  Panicky, she glanced around, praying for something, anything to fly off this death trap.  There it was, parked in the corner, and ignored by those trying to get more off - a single Corellian fighter, scorched but otherwise intact.  She ran to it, holding the child in one arm as she popped the latch and climbed in using the other.  The floor of the docking bay was shaking, metal starting to bend against an unseen strain.

Sitting in the cockpit, child cradled in her lap, she pulled the hatch down, watching as a burst of flame erupted from the path she had just come out of.  She could feel the heat, the child crying desperately.

"Shh ... we'll be out soon.  Shh ...."

powering up engines, she began steering the small fighter toward the opening.

She felt the pull, the gripping pull of gravity pulling backward.  Wrapping one arm protectively around the child, she pressed the joystick forward, full power to thrust, and the vessel shot out of the docking bay, just as the flames consumed the docking bay.

She didn't look back, just kept flying, had to get out of reach.  The engines whined in protest, working so hard before they'd even warmed up.  But she kept it going, flying toward an unseen target, the blackness of space.

===========================

With a grinding sound, the two cylinders of Centerpoint came to a sudden halt.  They stopped spinning, entirely.  Those who had been running, heading for the ends lost the one thing holding them down - gravity, and they began floating up.  No traction to pull their feet further, to escape.  Then, even worse, they felt it again, gravity, but not to the floor.  It was pulling them down, down back the way they were coming from.  Hundreds still on the station were being whisked down toward the central sphere, now consumed in fire, metal, and the deadly energy of the weapon.  Screams of so many were snuffed out as they fell sideways into the gulping flames.

Centerpoint's two cylinders continued making louder and louder noises, bending up and inward on themselves.  The crashing, horridness of the huge station folding in on itself, growing tighter and tighter.  Flames burst in a dozen places, molten metal flying every which way.

The metal began to spin, faster and faster, tighter and tigher around the energy source, forming a spherical trash heap, smaller and smaller and smaller.  It quaked and then burst into a final magnificient shower of flames, metal flying every which way, crashing against ships too close to the station.

Then it was done - the station was gone, and only floating debris remained.  No one was sure what happened to that ball of energy.  It may have still been there, maybe not.

===================================
Mara felt the pull of the station ease off, and she dared glance behind her to see the end of the destruction.  She took a deep breathe, turning down to the child in her lap.

"How's Corellia sound, Riley?  Sound like a good home?"

The child had momentarily stopped crying, which Mara took as an affirmative.

"Good idea.  Let's go home
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Medivh
SWSF: Legacy of the Force
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Offline Medivh

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Re: Alive
« Reply #148 on: April 01, 2012, 04:52:26 PM »
Corellia

Mara and her small Corellian shuttle exited hyperspace around Corellia, a stark change from when she was last present.  Unlike Karen, she hadn't stopped here during the imperial siege.  The last time she'd been here, she had been on the run.

A group of corvettes signaled for her to land at a damaged but functional platform, trying to keep track of all the incoming craft.

She landed as carefully and softly as she could, cradling the newborn in her hands.

Popping the hatch, holding Riley with one hand, she eased down using the other for support.

A young paper-pusher from the Corellian Defense Force Approached:

"Name, military position, other useful information"

"I'm Mara Anna Gellar"

"Got it. Mara Anna ... did you say Gellar?"

The soldier glanced up from his datapad, blinking when he saw her.

"You - your the one on all the announcements.  You were declared a traitor"

Mara shook her head

"It was part of Saga Judec's propoganda.  I worked for Governor Tacofer before he was killed"

The soldier looked suspicious, glancing over Mara and her injuries. And then the child in her hand.

"Where'd you get that?"

"Let's just say there are things you probably don't need to know about for your inspection.  Are you going to clear me or not?"

"You need to get those injuries checked"

"I'll be fine"

"It's standard procedure, Ms. Gellar.  Let me direct you to the infirmary, and we can watch the child while you get-"

"No!  Me and the child are fine.  We go together.  I don't need to be checked out. I just want to go home.  Coronet"

"Ma'am, I am not giving you clearance without you following procedure.  Now, just let me have - "

The soldier was reaching out to grab the newborn.  But before he could do anything, Mara reacted, her free hand pushing him back.

"I told you we're fine"

But Mara, in her injured stated, seemed to have forgotten that she was no mere human.  The man was pushed hard against the far wall, gasping for breathe.

"What the hell .. what are you.  SECURITY!"

Mara felt a sense of panic running through  her systems.  And perhaps for that reason, she didn't think.  Instead, she did the only thing she could come up with - She ran back to the small snub fighter, climbed in, and powered up.

A dozen uniformed soldiers were running toward her as the vessel lifted off, the baby was crying again.

"Shhh ... shh .. we'll be alright.  It'll just ... take some more time"

She was back in space, and two fighters from the defenses were starting to focus their attention on her.

She turned toward the stars, punching the sublight engines to get clear of the planet's gravity well so she could make an escape.  But where too?  Mara realized that for all of the progress she had made, anyone who trusted her, any friends she had made, they were all dead.  She had no one. No one but Riley, who apparently sensed the urgency of the problem, as he was crying louder than ever.

As Corellian fighters started firing at her rear, she punched into hyperspace, fearing that she would be spending the rest of her life running from her past, never truly having a home.

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Medivh
SWSF: Legacy of the Force
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Offline Medivh

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Re: Alive
« Reply #149 on: April 10, 2012, 03:23:34 PM »
Mara felt like an outcast, in danger of being hunted down for what she was in a galaxy that looked on droids not only as not human, but as a threat.

Her calculations took her to the only place she could think of where she might find - with some luck - an ally.  A place to hide, and a place to rebuild, until it would be safe to return to Corellia.

The Wheel

The small Corellian fighter, Mara and the young child in tow.  The child cried a lot, and Mara had been forced to stop to steal supplies that she herself had never needed.  A strange milky formula that was sold for newborn nutrition.  Diapers.  The most mundane things for the most fragile of creatures - a newborn.  She had begged a passerby with her own child to help with proper procedure.  Droid knowledge didn't really help when it came to raising a child, and her subroutines were for infiltration, murder, espionage, not domestics and family rearing.

Then, a need for fuel, stolen from one of a dozen shady space ports between her and the destination.

Tired and dirty, Mara guided the fighter through the empty void toward the rotating space station.  The Wheel.  So many memories.  She had killed here, and come here with Karen for help.

Now, the only person she could think of to turn to was here as well.

Following the guiding lights, she landed at a hangar near the northwestern most spoke of the Wheel, descending down the ramp with the child cradled in one hand.

A middle-aged administrator approached, grim but polite.

"How may we at the Wheel be of assistance?"

Mara glanced over him quickly, rocking Riley in her arm.

"I need to speak with the administrator.  Tell him ..."

She paused, debating what to say.

"Tell him that I'm the one he sent to Ord Radama"

The man was confused, by whispered into a commlink.  A moment later, he nodded, turning back to Mara.

"I have instructions to escort you personally to the administrator."

It was so different from last time.  Last time, Mara and Karen - who had the time, barely trusted each other, and clashed in more ways than one - had been escorted with a group of a dozen battle droids.

Now, there were none.  In fact, Mara noticed as she made her way toward the executive turbo lifts that she did not see a single battle droid in sight.

News had reached her about the result of the war.  Restrictions on droids had been further curtailed.  Military droids, even the mindless battle droids, had been outlawed in Corellian, Imperial, and Republic territory.  The Wheel, somewhere along the border of the Republic, had probably bowed to pressure and either hidden or destroyed their battle droid security force.  Instead, there were more uniformed individuals lining the cooridors, though none were approaching.

Mara wondered if it was trust or some other feeling that led to the lack of escort.

The turbolift ride was equally silent and uneventful, and the trip down the hall of the executive suite was quiet as well.

The blast doors opened, and there stood the administrator, Amir Faram his gaze cold and piercing, just as Mara remembered it.  A proud man, probably in his lower 30s, semi-muscular build, cold blue eyes.

"Leave us"

The other officer nodded his head and stepped out, the blast doors closing behind him, leaving Mara alone with the administrator.

Faram continued staring for several minutes, looking at both Mara and Riley then back up at Mara.  Finally, he spoke.

"Mara Anna Gellar.  Corellia's traitor.  Your last companion was killed on Centerpoint, and I am curious about this new companion of yours.  And I hope you haven't brought more trouble in your wake. I imagine you have quite the story to tell"

Mara nodded.

"Administrator, if I can trust you, then I definitely do"

TBC
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Medivh
SWSF: Legacy of the Force
May the Force be with you