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Alchemy, Beasts, and Children Oh My!

Valik

Professor of Alchemy
Character
Throughout most of his life Warren Valik had been a scientist/alchemist/sith of the Sith Empire. The bulk of his work was done during the reign of Darth Desmius, having created near-mass produceable Sith Swords, mines that neutered the Mandalorians if used properly, a gun that could effectively capture Force-users, and many other such devices. Then there was the battle of Roche, resulting in the 'murder' of Desmius, and the crowning of the 'Shadow Emperor', aptly named in truth. The larger man never really got involved in the politics of the Empire, resulting in a few coups and nearly a civil war, before a certain umbaran took the throne.

It was about that time Valik took his leave of the Sith Empire, and headed to the Imperium and discovered a wonderful little planet called Gallos. Brimming with chaos and natural selection the world was a haven for all things terrible and biological. Before he could organize an expedition however, the Imperium collapsed, putting a limit on his resources. After leaving and collecting himself with the Fringers he decided to take a return trip, with what little men he could muster, before the planet was gobbled up by the Sith Empire. So after landing his ship and setting a rough perimeter he went out into the planet's jungle, unaware of the youth he'd be meeting shortly.

@[member="Saeldar"]
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
Gallos. This was the planet that the young girl had tracked the renown Alchemist down to... It had taken some time, and a large amount of resources, for her to finally make it here, but in the end she knew it would be worth it. Thyrian had to be dealt with, and that meant pulling out all the stops, leaving no stone left unturned, she had to venture down all possible routes and avenues in order to do an effective job. She couldn't ruin her chances, or those of her secret Apprentice, through lack of expertise. No, if there was one thing that this young girl was, it was thorough. And thus she guided her ship down into the atmosphere of the planet, cruising it down past the jungles into a clearing, and began to venture forth from the ramp. "Stay put, little droid" she murmured to the astromech, there was no need for stealth nor the detection of life signs. She already had her trail, she merely needed to follow it...

And then she began her exploration, how on the trail of @[member='Valik'] who remained just one step ahead of her at each moment. For once the shadow walker was less secretive about her position here ~ this was a planet that was barely inhabited, at least where they were, there was no spaceport to dock at, and to be quite frank she just wanted to have the Alchemist in her clutches. You are not usually so impatient she thought of herself, with a small sigh. In the distance, the way she had come, the ship activated its cloaking shields, rendering it invisible to the naked eye... Which would hopefully keep any predators off it. Further into the jungle she wandered, getting closer to her target with each step...
 

Valik

Professor of Alchemy
Character
Valik continued on, his crew numbers slowly decreasing as they went along. The jungle was harsh, and the creatures harsher, but Valik had a specific prize he wanted, and he wasn't going to leave without it. In the midst of tackling beasts and firing off ballistakinesis he felt a slight twinge. He was being followed.

Who could it be? The presence was decidedly less . . . Refined, or at least was masquerading to be. There was also only one registrable presence. He had been careful not to leave too much of a trail since left the Empire, so a squad of inquisition was unlikely, but he supposed one could have found him by chance. There was always one way to find out what was going on.

"Men, advance ahead I'll join you shortly." He commanded, and they continued on while Valik lingered behind. He put his back to a tree, and began to focus a slight, but noticeably dark and sinister energy in his right hand. He was waiting for the presence to appear.

"At this point a brute would attack you, a weakened or cowardly man would tell you to flee, but instead I will ask you a question. What use do you have to me as something other than an experiment?"

@[member="Kära Vi'dreya"]
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
Onward she pressed... That is until she heard a voice up ahead. He was breaking away from the men? With a frown she too halted where she stood, feeling a sudden spike of Force energy surround the area. This wasn't a good sign. Her lightsaber was resting against the inside of her left arm, ready for her to drop it into her hand should things turn nasty. She hoped that they would not.

When a voice was sounded the girl narrowed her eyes in its direction. He was within the trees, that much she knew, just ahead. He must have halted already... Taking a small breath of air she pondered over his question, before biting her lip. What use do I have to him? She supposed it would be the same use she had to anyone she learnt from...

"The promise to continue one day continue your teachings" she said... Knowing full well that Sith did not want to be forgotten, be that they themselves or what they brought to the Galaxy, and if that happened to be alchemical creatures and the likes... Well then it was what she could offer him, was it not?

"Come from the shadows, Valik, you're no coward."

@[member="Valik"]
 

Valik

Professor of Alchemy
Character
A small chuckle rang through the air as the voice, that of a young girl, perhaps a human teenager, or it's equivalent, spoke of what she had to offer. Legacy, he supposed it was something that would matter to most Sith, but when Valik's deeds were done on the galaxy none would forget his name, of that he was confident.

"Come from the shadows, Valik, you're no coward." The girl continued. This time Valik held his laugh, as the dark focus on the tips of his fingers finished.


"There is a difference between cowardice and intelligence young Sith." He said, as he left his tree and began to walk, towards the source in the Force, the source of noise. She was young, she was a student, she was no threat, but perhaps she could yet be useful.

"Similarly Pride and Practicality are at constant odds with each other. One does not defeat an adversary because he believes himself strong, but because he makes himself strong." He said as he passed a tree, dragging his fingernails on the bark and making clear cuts as he went along. Though his quick-and-dirty work on alchemizing his fingers didn't make them invincible or conduct force lightning it did make them sharp, perhaps sharp enough to cut through beskar, certainly sharp enough to cut through skin. Not really a threat, but a demonstration of power, something that would show her who she was dealing with and whet her appetite for knowledge at the same time.

"Furthermore, your offerings are all but empty. Legacy is something you offer to the weak, those who don't have the the strength or intelligence to carry out their plans of grandeur. Regardless of whether or not I take an apprentice I will be remembered, because I will destroy this galaxy plague by plague, destroy planet by planet, unleash monster after monster until the galaxy's can find and kill me, if they can." He said as he spotted the white haired girl, looking down and gazing into her eyes as his lit with a shade of yellow only obtained by the power and corruption of the darkside.

"What I need, or what I want rather, as a true Sith needs nothing but his own mind and power, is service, and a pair of ears in the right places. Everything has a price, but should you pay it I could show you the secrets of creation, the secrets of manipulation, and the power to play god. " He continued as he marched forward towards the girl, nearly a foot his shorter as his eyes continued to pierce into hers, as his voice rung of confidence, power, and perhaps even madness before he finally stopped, mere feet away from the girl.

"Tell me young Sith, are you willing to pay the price?"

@[member="Kära Vi'dreya"]
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
Somewhere deep inside she was glad that he did not hold his legacy in high esteem. It would make this all the more inviting to her, it meant finding a real arrangement, one which benefited both of them. When he began to walk towards her she narrowed her eyes at him, she could tell she was being scrutinized. He likely thought her just another Apprentice in over their head. Well he was wrong there. As young as she might appear she'd experienced more than most, and it had earnt her a rank at a far younger age than most acquired it. All the same she listened, perhaps she could play up to this...

Then she realised why she'd been drawn to him and his use of the Force. With the show of Alchemy evident in his actions where the tree was concerned she understood, and from this alone she sensed he was definitely the right person to have sought out. "I have to say, I'm glad you're not the typical Sith offshoot who craves remembrance through others" this she accompanied with a slight shrug, before continuing, her icy blue eyes set up and fixated upon the sickly yellow of Valik's iris'. A fleeting, ghostly smile worked its way upon her lips, but in a heart beat it had disappeared, lost to pristine features.

"To serve one while serving another... I could aid you more than you could possibly imagine, Valik. But the question is, how can you trust that the same won't be done to you?" Raising a brow, she then shook her head. "Alas, you have things I need, skills I would like to acquire, and if truth be told I'd get nowhere in the Empire if I played by the rules. You call it a price? I call it a beneficial arrangement for the both of us. An assurance of our futures and plans to come." With a very slight inclination of her head, she said; "I am willing, but on a level playing field. I am not the Apprentice your eyes betray you into seeing, nor will I be treated as one. A mutual arrangement between two proven Sith, now tell me... Do you agree to these terms?"

@[member="Valik"]
 

Valik

Professor of Alchemy
Character
"Mutual agreement? Level playing field? You a bold one little sithling." Valik said at the girls suggestion. "One that belies your position. You came to me for knowledge, of a particular skill few are gifted in. Beyond myself there are perhaps another six or seven in the galaxy skilled in the art of Alchemy, perhaps one or two of those with anything resembling the skill I have. One of which hasn't been seen for decades, the other maintaining a cult east of the Atrisians." He continued, as his face began to reshape itself, removing the ghastly palour and yellow eyes normally associated with the corruptions and power of the darkside.

"You underestimate the applications of Alchemy if you think this to be an equal trade. Or perhaps you overestimate the power of the Sith Empire, and usefulness of their knowledge. In either case I suppose you'll be remedied of that quickly enough. If you're half as smart as you are lucky enough to find me you'll learn to at least recognize true power quickly enough." Valik said, before turning around and walking away, motioning for the girl to follow. He had wasted enough time sitting in one spot while they could speak on the move.

"You will try to outsmart me, likely kill me of course. No true student of the Sith is likely to accept the presence of one more powerful than themselves, nor should they be. Anything else would show a lack of hunger, a lack of desire, and all-together an unworthiness for that which I will teach. It is up to you to determine the viability and consequences of such actions. It is also up to you to prove yourself an asset, worth training." Valik continued, not bothering to go over consequences. She learn soon, if she hadn't already, that their were many, many things worse than death, and Valik had purpotrated most of them one time or another. Besides, no good game of cat and mouse started with giving so much information.

"It is so hard to find good help these days." Valik stated, as he came upon a dead soldier, and picked up the man's Gorgon rifle and a couple grenades from the man's pack. "A question young Sithling." He began as he went along, though it wasn't really a question, but a test. "How does a man capture a Rancor alive and on foot?"

@[member="Kära Vi'dreya"]
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
It was then that the young girl did something Valik would likely not have expected. A grin spread across her face, somewhat in delight. Yes, she liked this man, he knew the true worth of things, he was not one to aimlessly pass things out, to want silly things in return... A tiny chuckle left her, hardly shaking her frame, but it was the best anyone had gotten from her since her days with Thurion Heavenshield. "I underestimate nothing, I know it's true worth, I was testing how far you would go, how willing you are to teach an art such as this - I have seen it given to the unworthy, I've seen it handed out as though it were nothing, all for mere nothingnesses in return. I did not truly think that what I could offer you neared what I ask of you, my Lord Valik, on the contrary. You see.... You have what I want, but what I have you do not need... I am not disillusioned enough to think of it otherwise." No, he had gone above and beyond her expectations, which led her to wanting to learn from him moreso than anyone else.

It was then that she followed after him, into the depths of the forest which surrounded them, no doubt he was trying to reclaim the trail of his men. From the way he spoke it seemed as though he were willing to give her a shot, of course how she could prove her worth to a man such as this was beyond her... She was not very good at showing her abilities, but that did not mean she lacked them, nor that she failed to exercise them. Kara was merely controlled in the way she did things, the effects which rung out from her actions were never immediate, nor were they meant to be. Short term plans were not good enough for her. When they stumbled upon the dead soldier she glanced around, looking for what could possibly have done it. Likely a predator in the forest, but if that were so then they would have a hard time sneaking up on her. She was, after all, a shadow in her own right.

To the question she remained silent, walking one step behind him through the jungle. When she finally felt ready, she merely answered; "You trick it, then you trap it." before adding; "If you attempt to bring it down right away you will make a mistake, falter, they are the stronger. So you back it into a corner, you give it no means of escaping, outsmart it, use everything to your advantage - the terrain, environment, your personal skills, but in the end it will be down to intellect; after all, intellect is man's defence in the world. Where beasties have their claws and their fangs we have our minds."

@[member="Valik"]
 

Valik

Professor of Alchemy
Character
"Many of those who call themselves Sith would say otherwise, instead relying on intricate saberplay or overwhelming Force usage to stop the beast. Methods that can work, but mostly don't." He said as he continued onward, disassembling the Gorgon Rifle of the soldier, and taking only the ammo, not the actual rifle itself. "It is good that you do mot limit yourself in such a way. You have passed the first half of your test Sithling, but there is a difference in knowing something and applying something." He said, before bringing attention to one of the apprentices words. He wasn't sure if she had brought it in intentionally or unintentionally, but depending on her methodology that it would make her rather foolish, or perhaps very clever. Time would tell which, but he would always plan for the more dangerous option.

"And as you haven't proven yourself I am not your Lord, yet, only your judge. Your service and my teaching will come in time, provided you can back up your words." He said before stopping and raising his hand. Kara would feel a twinge of the darkside, Valik could feel it too, but with his experience in alchemy he could feel the unnatural origins of the beast.

"Our prey awaits." He said, and pushed through the Forest brush towards the presence , it growing stronger as they arrived closer, the screams of his dying men resounding through the air. As they pushed through the brush the duo finally found sight of the creature, which wasn't truly a rancor, but something else. Valik smiled at how complete the specimen was, he wasn't expecting such data to work with.

"Alive." He commanded, and watched as the girl went to work.

@[member="Kära Vi'dreya"]
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
The young girl continued to walk alongside him, head tipped to one side in minor thought as ever - each step she took carefully measured while she focused on his words. For the most part she said nothing, but it was clear he had misunderstood where she had been coming from with the comment My Lord - a shame, but then again it was in her nature to be dubious in the eyes of others, it was something which assisted her after all, it kept people on their toes, and meant they rarely knew what was truly. In order to keep manipulating such she did not correct him, instead she allowed his ideas on what she had meant to flourish, hiding a knowing little smile behind her impassive wall. Kara kept her passions safely guarded, released at the opportune time - it was rare that she flashed a smile, or any other form of emotion, but when she did release that which was pent up inside... Even for a new Knight it could be deemed unexpectedly impressive. The Force was her forte, it was her ever present ally which she had subjugated just as strongly as she had the Ashborn.

With a twitch of her lips she showed a rare sign of humour - what Valik had said was to be taken literally, it seemed, and while many would shy at such a challenge, especially considering the alchemical, twisted form of the chrysalide rancor. Instead of shying from it Kara seemed to immediately take to the challenge, embrace it even, and so she nodded her head just once, a small but certain gesture, and stepped around through the trees. To begin with she merged with the darkness, so much so that both Valik and the Rancor would find it nigh on impossible to keep up with her movements. Her presence in the Force likewise shrunk - it would not do to have the rancor rampaging at her before the fun had even begun. There would be no need for her lightsaber this time, it would only require delicate and precise Force usage to back this hulk of a creature into a corner, metaphorically speaking of course.

Its legs were, of course, its stumbling point, the weaker spot upon its anatomy due to the overhulking size of its torso and head. When she flashed from the trees it caught onto her presence and for a moment seemed confused - after all she had almost literally come from nowhere the rancor was concerned. Now came the difficult part for Kara - avoiding those gargantuan fists which threatened to squish her, or grab her, in order to crush her attempts at capturing it. She used her mental influences to begin instilling fear within the creature, and while it wasn't a sentient being and thus unable to understand the vast complexities she was presenting it with, the feeling of flight passed through it all the same. Rather than run towards her the creature began to back away, and with each step forwards she took it took to stumbling backwards away from her.

But it did not last too long, for where would the fun in that be? Instead it suddenly yelled at her, a loud roar which shook the surrounding trees and threatened to burst her eardrums. Yet the tiny girl barely even quivered under the vocal onslaught, instead using the moment to flick a fairly large rock in the direction of the creature's mouth while it was open. It wasn't in any way intending to harm it, after all she didn't want it to choke and die as that would defeat the purpose - instead she hoped to rile it up enough that it would give chase. And so it did.

A grin appeared upon her lips as she found her muse, leaping up into the treetops she led it on a merry little venture through the forest and only descended from the trees when the rockface of the vast mountain range was found. Feigning a sense of being the prey to the rancor's predator the young girl halted and waited... And the moment the creature lashed out at her she darted forth between its legs and off towards the back of its body. Far more nimble and agile than the monster she turned and abruptly crushed the back of its left kneecap through a concentrated blast of telekinesis, causing the creature to buckle and cry out loudly in pain. When it tried to move in order to attack her it found itself in further agony, limping and unable to reach her in time.

This time when she began to dominate its non-sentient mind she succeeded completely, beguiling and forcing it to back down with a few well placed twists within its consciousness, effortlessly making it known who was the true predator here. The creature was clearly frustrated, the way a caged animal would be if tormented, but like the latter it was now restrained and subject to her whim...

@[member="Valik"]
 

Valik

Professor of Alchemy
Character
Stealth, fear, quickness, telekinesis, mind games, composure, this woman had potential. He wasn't sure if she had the same potential he did in the realms of alchemy, but even if she failed him as an Alchemist, Valik suspected she would not fail him as a Sith. Furthermore, Valik in truth had little concern over how well the woman adapted to his teachings, only what she could provide to him. With her displayed abilities she could surely serve some to use to him, which was reason enough to keep her along.



"You handle yourself better than most." He said to the girl @[member="Kära Vi'dreya"]. "Now let's the beast out of here soon. There are rumors abound of cortosis on this world and I'd prefer not deal with scavengers. We'll go blow up my ship, leave nothing left to trace, and head off world on your ship." He said, heading away from the clearing. "We'll begin examining the beast when we enter hyperspace. Chrysalides are more of an advanced creation, but you'll learn a good deal."
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
Without showing any external control over the beast she mentally urged it on as she herself turned to follow after Valik; it seemed he was willing to teach her a thing or two now, which was definitely a step in the right direction. For now she had to keep proving her worth, she presumed, but the outcome would be worth it. As though being led by some unseen leash the creature followed after her, a slave to her every whim which was directed to it through her mind. Every so often it would make a distressed noise, but it did not bother Kara - it was of no threat to them any more, none at all so long as she upheld her mind.

Through the forest they trod, past the bodies of many of his now-dead men, until they reached his ship. She waited while he set up the detonation timer, and then they exited back through the forest. They were a few kilometres away when the ground shook with the explosion which would rip his ship to pieces and leave no evidence of who had owned it or why they had been here. Instead she led him back through to her own personal ship, which thankfully had enough space for the three of them. R1 beeped a greeting, while Skydd stood alert beside the pilot seat, waiting on her. He mentioned something about her return, but aside from that had nothing to report.

Then she took to the seat, got the co-ordinates from Valik and allowed the ship to hover and then fly out of the planet's atmosphere, from orbit and off into space at hyperspeed, so that they could continue on their way.

@[member="Valik"]
End of post.
 
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