Star Wars Roleplay: Chaos

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Bring them into the fold

The Yuuzhan Vong were not quickly broken. In their souls was something that could last for weeks or months under pressure and torture. Ardgal had a love-hate relationship with the beings.

On one hand, extremists of theirs had helped to make him the soulless being he was now. They had cut him off from the Force, made him soulless, searching for something he doubted he would ever find again--connectivity to the world around him. He hated what they did to him, and he hated them.

But they had something he wanted, he needed. Biots. Tech that was unparalleled and unable to be rivaled. The warrior didn't have many that he considered his own, but Virgil, the Mando'ade, the Godkillers. They were close to him. For them he would go to any end--even if that meant taking the Vong in and making them a part of his own.

The general looked at the dark blood dripping off his knuckles with cold indifference. Before him the Shaper that he had brought in weeks ago was still alive. The battered face was still in tact, the body wheezed, its teeth mostly knocked out. The one eye in its skull stared out from behind its swollen eyelid with a still vivid defiance. It was tied to the chair with bonds too strong for it to break, even if it hadn't been sleep deprived and hungry.

<<I have to hand it to you,>> the general said flicking the blood off his hand, <<Your lot have spirit.>>
The battered alien could barely muster up the strength to spit, that mostly dribbled down its split lips and chin in a thick bloody mess, <<You are nothing, you are infidels, you will all fall for this. The gods will punish you.>>

<<I'd like to make you alert to something,>> Ardgal said pulling a chair up from the other side of the room, <<We aren't too different. You and I, we are more alike than you think,>> the general turned the chair backwards, crossing his arms over the back of the chair and sitting down. <<Some of your own, did things to me. They thought I would be a god. So they shaped me, battered me, soaked me in a lot of crap. They tore me apart, cell by cell, to my very DNA and rebuilt me. Do you know what it feels like to be torn apart?>>

The shaper gave him a cold stare for an answer. <<The gods savor the pain. It is a gift.>>

<<Yeah, sure whatever>> Ardgal said with a shrug, <<So they did things to me, horrible things I am still recovering from. They called me one of your gods. I hold your life in my hands, I guess that makes me your god>> He paused, the Vong did nothing, refusing to even turn its head in his direction. Ardgal gripped its broken jaw, elicting a spasm of pain before he jerked the monster to face him with its one remaining eye, <<I will kill you, slowly, painfully, in the worst ways you can imagine and nothing can stop me. And you wanna know the worst part? You will die a failure. A coward's death. And your gods will call you disgraced, to forever wander the void.>> The threat sunk home. He could see the resolve melt away in the Vong's eyes. Its one hope, its one religion was torn from it. <<But you can stop this. You can make this all end. I will untie you, give you a blade and you can die an honorable death in battle. All you have to tell me is what I want to know."
He released the vong's jaw and let its head drop. The warrior could feel his rage boiling inside. He heard a sound escape its throat--was it crying? The general shook his head in disgust, rising and pacing across the room. He had never seen or heard of these beings ever having any feeling besides hate. He must have broken it. Tattered and shattered it beyond repair to gain any other emotion from it. A string of syllables escaped its lips, frantic, emotional, and hurried. His Vongese was too slow to pick it all up that fast.

<<hold up, hold up, slow down,>> Ardgal commanded stepping closer, but the shaper didn't stop. His pistol came out, slamming against its forehead, the barrel pressed on its temple, <<I said slow down.>>

<< Feucia, its on Felucia,>> the being managed, <<We call it Paradise. Its supposed to be the home of so much, a safe haven for us to make a new citadel, a better age of hope and prosperity.>> The being turned its head up, looking at Ardgal with an honest, pleading eye. The general glared into it, as if to boil the truth from lie with his stern look alone. <<Now, please, please, let me die a warrior.>>

Ardgal waited a second more, <<If you wanted to die a warrior, you should have thought about that before you surrendered.>>

A single blaster shot rang out in the interrogation room. The warrior calmly holstered his weapon as his warriors hurried in the room. He gave them each a half smile and a nod, "Good work men, thank you for your quick response. Put this one on ice. We may need the DNA later."

"Yes, sir."
Ardgal wasted no time. He donned his armor and quickly took one of the shuttles alone. He didn't tell Virgil, or log where he was going. The general knew that she would want to come with him. But there were somethings you could only do alone. And this was one thing that the man had to do by himself. The shuttle was worn, like everything else he owned, but it did its job and he would make sure to replace it the moment things were by far too gone. Work was tight, being some of the best in the galaxy sometimes paid well, other times, it was hand to mouth. He was doing everything he could to keep things together sometimes. Even knowing that didn't make things better. Sometimes just knowing that things were failing against his best efforts was just plain awful.

When the shuttle came into real space over Felucia it gave a protesting whine. The general gave a sigh as he guided the ship closer to the planet and entered orbit. With a flip of a switch he activated the sensors. A spark went up from the console in protest before the static-filled screen came full of the read out. And his scan began. What he was looking for gravitational anomalies. The vong tended to give out some strange vibes along the gravitational level. And if this Paradise was what the shaper had claimed to be, it would register. After three hours in orbit, he got a ping. The general noted it in his helmet's hud, pinging it on his helmet's map before bringing the shuttle down five miles out in the middle of the jungle. The last thing he wanted was to bring himself out into the open. He knew Vong hated tech--and by extension cyborgs were deadmen around them.
Following his map, it didn't take Ardgal too long to travel through the jungle to the gravitational disturbance. The massive hill it led him to was made from huge bounders piled on top of each other. Dirt, fungus, and moss had taken root on them, and in their crevices but the shape of the boulders sticking out from this massive pile was evident. The general did a scan of the hill, it was certainly where these disturbances were coming from. He overlapped the sensors, detailing his readings with what the shuttle had found.

Bingo. The cross-analysis yeilded a discrepancy. He pressed against one of the stonefaced outcroppings, it gave way opening like a door the size a humanoid could easily walk through. He smirked slightly. Sometimes it paid to be an abomination as these beasts would call him. The general tucked in carefully, and made his way into the darkness. The humidity readings were through the chart, even for Felucia in this tunnel. The ground was incredibly soft, coated with organic stuff. It went down in a slant, strait ahead, by his read outs for almost two miles, going in half a mile into the planet's surface.

At last the tunnel opened up. What he saw made the general stop and stare, partially in awe, partially to get a firm read out on the data.
It was beautiful, in a way, the light shimmering off the water. His scanners were picking up massive amounts of life, both above and under the water, in the massive stalactites and as the outcroppings themselves. Everywhere there was nothing but life, and zero tech to be felt or seen.

This must be paradise, Ardgal thought to himself with sketpicism. He let the optical zoom on his helmet reach its max as he looked in at the closest stalactite. The beings moving along in the semi-darkness were Vong alright, and Vong biots too. He stored the rifle on his back, a plan already beginning to form in his head. It was too dangerous to call in for backup, there were some things that only a general was supposed to do, and at that, by himself. He had to recon this, he had to do that alone, and he had to do that now. Ardgal didn't know when he would get a second chance.

He grabbed handfuls of the green slime off the ground, smearing it all over his armor. The cortosis sheen would vanish under it, and while it wasn't preferable, it was better than looking like a metal can in there. Taking one more deep breath, the general dipped into the water and began swimming closer.
Staying under the water wasn't an issue for Ardgal, he was a very heavy man by himself and his armor, well that made him well over 300 pounds. As carefully as he dared, the general swam closer. If he approached too fast, they water disturbances would alter them, and then he was karked. Even the water wasn't shy of the vong life forms. Aquatic biots drifted or swam through the waters, blind fish, and beings he couldn't quite make out in the dark swam around. He was far from alone in these waters.

He came close to one of the stone outcroppings that went down into the water itself and he realized that it was covered even bellow water in housing units. Along the above water sides there were cause ways, walk ways, homes, a whole city on each one. He felt begrudging admiration as he came closer. Careful as he could be the general pulled himself out of the water, hanging onto the rock wall. He could see a nearby causeway made from coral that looked like it lead to one of the other stalactites. He looked closer in the dim light--the entire network of underground vong cities were connected by these causeways. They were as inventive as could be when they had to be.

He angled his right gauntlet, aiming toward the closest one. With a quiet hiss the grapple hook shot out, slicing through the air and finding purchase in the coral facing. A quick tug confirmed it was secure before the general let the winch pull him up with a soft whirl. As he ascended along the rock face he could hear and see the vong moving around. He could catch parts of their conversations, bits and pieces of their life. Most of it was incredibly mundane, even to the point of being horrifically boring. As he pulled himself up onto the causeway, Ardgal knew what he had to do next--find the man in charge.
Even in ideal recon missions it was a challenge to stay hidden from the locals. But when you were a totally different race wearing slime covered armor in a society of folks who wanted to sacrifice you to their gods for this abomination--it became infinitely harder. Hand over hand, Ardgal crawled over the coral causeway to the next outcropping. It was easily large enough for two or three beings to walk on its flat surface. On the other side a small house that looked empty in its shell holding was waiting for him like a welcome beacon. Ardgal stealthily slipped in. He took a moment to catch his breath and calm his nerves before running his evaluation.

No matter what race you were all men of power had one thing in common--they liked to be protected and at the center of it all. He switched on the analysis computer lodged within his skull. It flickered through the data, gathering all the visual cues, vetting through the needed and pointless aspects with clarity that could not be challenged. It took a few minutes for the data to be referenced, cross referenced and produce a result for what he wanted--the probable location of the leader of this settlement. A single answer came--above, at the warren directly above it all. Ardgal looked up and muttered a curse under his breath. Overhead it looked like a twisted vong-castel with flickering, glowing lights and some sort of abomination like citadel that they would certainly fall in love with.

"Damn," he muttered to himself.

There was only one way to do this--fly into the hornets nest as the saying went.
By the time he had reached the top of the stalactite, Ardgal's upper body was quivering with exhaustion. It was no small feat to climb hand over hand a few hundred feet up a sheer-face cliff. As he finally pulled himself up onto the Yorik Coral outcropping he had reached the suspended city.


This part of the city was the most active yet, with Vong walking along the many causeways, going in and out of the buildings at regular intervals. Ardgal watched for several minutes as his body caught its second wind. The analysis chip in his brain began looking for patterns, running complex algorithms on the data. Even if they didn't realize it, there was always a pattern to social behavior. Even the most chaotic and seemingly random behavior had patterns.

Data complete. Path being charted.

The cyborg parts began feeding directly into his optic lobe. He could see a shifting red line, showing his most ideal way through the mess to his destination.

He lunged towards a nearby building, pressing himself against it to hide from a passing Vong. The warrior lurched out of his hiding spot, rolling across an open door way to another. On his knees, Ardgal waited as a trio of vong passed him by unawares. The general's feet crossed a side Yorik coral silently with hurried steps as he made his way to another cluster of buildings. He barely managed to wedge himself between two of them before a pair of Vong passed him by. He fell in behind them, casually following in their shadows before diverting off on a second path that led him to the feet of the citadel he had come for.
The vong came in, dressed in strange flowing robes. They were alive, judging by the way they fluttered around the being's body, almost like they had a living will of their own to move. He was old, even for a vong, he looked venerable judging by the coral-looking cane in its hand.

As he entered the room, the phosphorescent bug mounted on the ceiling lit the area with a cool yellow glow. His steps were measured with an aged gate and a sense of carefreeness if there ever could be such a thing in a vong. All of that vanished in a moment.

<<Make a sound and you die>> Ardgal ordered stepping out from his hiding place.

The older being's joy melted away as it looked down Ardgal's blaster pistol. To the warrior's surprise, it raised its hands calmly in surrender <<Whatever you want, I cannot give it to you.>>

<<Drop the cane>> Ardgal ordered, ignoring the statement. It was obeyed. He motioned with his pistol, <<Over there, sit.On the bed. Nice and slow.>> With the gate of a venerable being the Vong limped to the bed, sitting with aching bones. Silence filled the room for a few minutes as Ardgal waited for the Vong to speak. It said nothing. <<Are you familiar with Yun-Yammka?>>

The vong nodded, <<A god created by the priests ages ago, the holy texts for quite some time held nothing-->>

<<Yes or no?>> Ardgal cut in.


The forwardness and ease that this was going with took the general by surprise, <<Cultists, dedicated to this god did things to me. Horrible things. They twisted me, shaped me, made me a lot like one of you.>> The words came out with disgust, <<Now your going to tell me how to fix this or I will kill you, slowly. Without mercy.>>

<<They did things to you, experiments that should not have been done,>> the Vong agreed with a nod of its aged head, <<For that, I am sorry.>>

<<I don't want your apology,>> Ardgal said taking a step forward, <<I want a way to fix this.>>

<<It cannot be done,>> the alien said with a slight shrug, <<I am most sorry, but it cannot be done.>>

The general pressed his pistol against the crown of the Vong's head anger boiling inside of him, <<Don't play games with me.>>

<<Why would I lie?>> it asked looking up at him with calm, dark eyes.

After a tense moment, Ardgal lowered his weapon, <<What is this place?>>
<<This is Paradise,>> said the vong simply, <<A colony for us to try and start again. We are a splinter group for Yhuuzan Vong who want to just live a live apart from the galaxy that hates them, the worlds that would kill us and cast us aside. For many years this place has been a secret, known only to a few. This haven was used to repair, restore, and for a few alone. But as the decades wore on, rumors of this place grew. Some of our people came in, and we maintained the secret to just a few. We have worked hard to stay hidden from the galaxy at large, so we can just live in harmony with ourselves.>>

Ardgal cocked his head to the side, <<You've worked hard to keep this colony a secret.>>

The vong nodded, <<Very hard.>>

Ardgal rolled an idea through his mind. Suddenly he holstered his blaster pistol and sat on the bed next to the Vong. All tension was removed from his body, <<We each have something the other wants then.>>


<<I have the location of this sanctuary, and in less than a nanosecond I could broadcast this, everywhere, to everyone, all the data I have and its a lot. I could tell the terror groups who hate your kind and they would attack this place, leaving no survivors, not a single-->>

<<You wouldn't dare>> the Vong snarled, anger flashing in its face and voice <<You would never make it out of here alive.>>

<<Maybe so, but you would all die,>> Ardgal said with a careless shrug, <<I hate my life anyway, that's no real loss, now is it?>>

The vong got the message, it eyed him suspiciously, <<What do you want then?>>

<<I want you, all of you, to work for me>> the general said with a casual wave of his hand, <<and as long as you keep doing as I please, giving me what I ask, I will keep your secret safe. The moment you stop, you are all dead, even if I have to slit your throats myself.>>

The vong gave him a long, hard look, <<You are a cruel being.>>

<<I learned from your kind well,>> Ardgal shrugged, <<These are your choices. What do you want?>>

The Vong pursed its lips for a moment before sighing, <<I don't really have much of a choice, now do I?>>

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