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Kyrosian Ambitions (Moira and Kara)

Maelion Liates

Terminatrix
Character
@[member="Darth Kyros"] @[member="Moira Skaldi"]

In an area of deep void space a shuttle travelled. The Lightbringer was stealthily concealed a few thousand kilometres away, invisible, so it appeared that the shuttle had just appeared out of nowhere.

A massive Star Destroyer loomed before them, each one of its hundreds of cannons able to obliterate the shuttle instantly.

Yet no one aboard the shuttle was afraid. Fear was simply not something that occurred to them.

“Star Destroyer, this shuttle contains guests for Lady Kyros. Transmitting authorisation code. Requesting docking and private audience with Lady Kyros.”

Maelion Liates transmitted the code they had been given during their holoconference with the former Sith Master. A code which should gain them an audience rather than a turbolaser bolt!
 

Moira Skaldi

Paperclip Maximiser
Character
@[member="Darth Kyros"], @[member="Maelion Liates"]

Moira gazed impassively out of the cockpit as the small shuttle approached Tulak-class Star Destroyer, an impressive technological marvel whose cannons and batteries could spew out a hail of death at the command of its mistress. She always appreciated it when organics devoted their time to ventures like that.

After all, peace was unnatural.

The Lightbringer, the crowning achievement of relentless machine drive and the use of willing organic allies, was invisible thousands of kilometres away. Not designed for combat, but a vessel of ascension, carrying the light of the Age of Steel.

She waited patiently, expression impassive and calm, as Maelion transmitted the prearranged code and they waited for a response from the war ship. It would not be the first time Moira had dealt directly with a Sith Master. Back in the day when she had served the Protectorate - though how loyal she had truly been was another question entirely - she had worked with Velok. The powerful Whiphid had been an inside source, a partner in intrigue. Alas, apparently that pacifist little girl had given him final death. Most unfortunate. Rhommamool had been...impressive.

But she had heard of Darth Kyros, of her rise...what she had heard was interesting and no one could accuse an HRD of not being willing to grasp opportunities. The Sith Empire had been...weakening as of late. Moira was not one to believe in the media hype propated by 'Battle for Democracy', aimed at the ignorant masses of plebeians, but it strongly seemed like a house of cards.

Yet their host by all accounts seemed enterprising enough to move beyond the sinking ship and not be tied to others' myopia. Every joint venture was based on mutual utility, and in this case it was present in spades. Neither the Lady Kyros nor the HRDs were individuals to be tied down and constrained by imbeciles.
 
moderation
Writer
The Judgement
Space
Exact Location Unknown
“Star Destroyer, this shuttle contains guests for Lady Kyros. Transmitting authorisation code. Requesting docking and private audience with Lady Kyros.”

The voice crackled slightly through the holocom upon the bridge, although no image was presented of she who spoke the words. Leaning back within her chair the Sith Lady waited for just a moment, before nodding her head very subtly. Just like that one of her Bladeborn Officers checked over the security code and soon the smaller ship was granted clearance. Remaining seated she tapped the arms of the chair, pondering. So they had come at last, it seemed, and not a moment too soon.

Finally pushing from the seat she glided down the stairs, with Skydd at her side, and made her way toward the turbolift. A small host of honour guard, her Shadows, followed her, but they did not linger too close to their leader; they were wiser than to get in her way. Entering the turbolift she allowed the pod to shift her down into the hangar, where she awaited the ship which would soon be docking.

Clad in her usual dark robes, hemmed with blood red lace, she brought her hands together at her back, perfectly poised. No one said a word, for there was nothing to be said, instead her small entourage spread themselves out respectfully.

@[member="Moira Skaldi"] @[member="Maelion Liates"]
 

Maelion Liates

Terminatrix
Character
@[member="Darth Kyros"] @[member="Moira Skaldi"]

The ship touched down in the hanger and a moment later the shuttle opened and the two guests emerged.
Maelion Liates wore a vaguely military uniform and as she approached she offered a precise bow. Stopping exactly three metres away from the Sith Lady she spoke respectfully. There were times for arrogant dismissal of organics; this was not one of them.

“Lady Kyros, we have come as invited. How may Archangel help you?” she asked politely. She smiled, but the smile never reached her eyes which remained locked on the Sith Master.
If Kara did not know they were HRDs already she would detect there was something…off about them, even if it couldn’t be instantly pinned down. They felt wrong in the Force, like a hollow shell.
 

Moira Skaldi

Paperclip Maximiser
Character
@[member="Maelion Liates"], @[member="Darth Kyros"]

Moira likewise approached the Lady Kyros, her approach precise, every step seemingly perfectly measured and calculated. A bit too precise perhaps. Possibly a hint at her less than human nature. HRDs were designed to be adept at mimicking organics, there few who could see past the performance they put up, hence their creation as infiltrators. However, a skilled mentalist would detect certain...abnormalities.

Inside them there was just emptiness, no presence in the Force, devoid of internal emotion. The smile was friendly and there was no malice in her eyes, but equally no life. Their official cover identities were as Anna Comnena and Nalia Alderana respectively, who recently had come into possession of Archangel. Of course, Moira had fought the Sith at Yaga Minor, displaying superhuman feats when she bested a Sith Knight, including surviving the cockpit of a gunship being tossed onto her and getting a good deal of her skin burnt. Not so long she had fought on their side on Manaan...and faced a Jedi Master with an apparently impenetrable force shield.

Taking in the elite guards and the perfectly poised, well dressed Sith Lady she likewise offered a precise bow as she came to a halt. "We thank you for receiving us in person, Your Grace. It is an honour for our company," she spoke smoothly. Moira was inherently dismissive of organics, even as a human she had been what could be described as a narcissist and a sociopath, but she understood the way the game worked. Perhaps her time working in the intelligence service and as a policy adviser in the scheming plutocracy called the Protectorate had been useful in more ways than acquiring bolters!
 
moderation
Writer
First the woman’s gaze soaked in the ship, taking in every aspect of it – the hull, any visible armaments, the size… And the ramp as it lowered and two beings stepped from it. Archangel lived within the both of them, ironic that neither was organic. Kyros knew what they were, the abnormalities she felt surrounding them, however, solidified this knowledge. She hadn’t expected it to be so detectable, so strange… So void. Like a wound in the Force. Twice she had been in the presence of such, nothing compared to it. Yet this pertained another sort of empty. When the women bowed she inclined her head in their direction, it would not do to be seen as a poor host. Sith or no she knew the price for failing to uphold a regal and welcoming state when entertaining guests, especially those one would do business with. Habit almost had her curie over refreshments, but she remembered herself in time to avoid making a blunder. Instead she smiled, in a similar fashion to the pair of androids, the smile not quite making it to her icy, glistening gaze.

She knew more than most the falsity behind the second woman’s thanks, but it was brilliantly pulled off. Perhaps she had chosen correctly when seeking to engage with Archangel. Had she not known their condition she would have fallen for it, no doubt. “Let us retire to better surroundings.” With a nod of her head she set a score of her Bladeborn to monitor their ship. It wasn’t that she did not trust the men onboard, nor the woman who had just joined them, merely that she didn’t want to risk anything happening to their personal vessel. In space anything could happen, Kyros of all people knew that.

Leading them away to the turbolift they ascended up into the habitable aspects of the ship. It was a huge, hulking vessel, but most of the lower levels made up the engine and engineer quarters, hangars and repairs. HRDs or not she would not humour guests there. Instead she led them across to a reception-esque room, humble with the basic necessities yet homely too. Gesturing them into seats, equivocating to her innate manners more so than anything, she settled her hands to her back and smiled once again. “Already I feel the right move has been made” she murmured, before tilting her head to one side. “Welcome to the Judgement. If you require anything while you are here, you only need ask. Now that introductory formalities are out of the way let us get down to business, shall we? I am aware of your trade, and I have need for such upgrades.” Calling it by such, she could not help but muse on how odd it seemed – could she imagine herself as metal as opposed to flesh? She supposed many if not all of her weaknesses would be solved in one fell swoop, but it would not be the same. “I wish to know the process; what manner of being would you require to perform this, and what happens to them when you are finished? If it results in their death I may need to rethink my strategy.”

@[member="Moira Skaldi"] @[member="Maelion Liates"]
 

Maelion Liates

Terminatrix
Character
@[member="Darth Kyros"] @[member="Moira Skaldi"]

Maelion, for her part, had carefully researched the Sith Lady as much as possible, and knew a few hints about her behaviour and personality. The most powerful of Force users were not deceived by their disguises, but the Sith Lady was likely the only one on the ship which did, so the formalities were maintained.

As they were led into the meeting room, Maelion instinctively thanked their host and sat. Getting straight down to business was good, and since they were alone Maelion decided to dispense with any pretence. Archangel was here to do business, and business would be done.

“For yourself?” Maelion asked politely. “I think Lady Kyros would not wish to be processed. It is quite a…final…procedure.” Maelion smiled slightly.
“However, we are able to create exact physical and mental replicas of any humanoid you supply us with, even yourself if we are able to obtain the required measurements and body scans. The exact method by which this is done is a secret, but the organic subjects are disposed of once they have been processed. An exception can be made if the subject is entirely sedated…for an additional cost. What did Lady Kyros have in mind?” Maelion asked softly.

If Darth Kyros wanted HRDs made in her own image, this could be done, though they would not have the Force of course. If she wanted others, this was also fine, though usually the subject did not survive.
 

Moira Skaldi

Paperclip Maximiser
Character
@[member="Darth Kyros"], @[member="Maelion Liates"]

Moira likewise thanked their host politely and sat down, listening attentively as the Sith Lady and then Maelion spoke. Getting straight to the heart of things, namely business, suited her just fine and was something she could appreciate in an organic. So often time was wasted by pointless chatter.

"You can be assured you will receive good value for the credits invested, Your Grace," she spoke politely. "HRDs are extremely resilient and adaptive, with strength upwards to double of a comparable human. Capable of performing a variety of tasks, ranging from infiltration, assassination, tactical leadership to management functions and they are designed to expertly simulate the template they are based on."

Of course, the simulation was never perfect. Over time they lost the ability to empathise and even so there was always a palpable aura of wrongness, but even so they were expert infiltrators. Should it be desired, the machines could also be outfitted with inhibitors that kept them in the dark about their true nature until their controlled willed it - commands could be sent through a microtransceiver. This might be useful if Darth Kyros wished to have one serving as a double - or a more efficient infiltrator.

"Likewise, if this desired, we are also in a position to provide Your Grace with some of Omega Pyre's most lethal military equipment. Bolters specifically - guns specifically designed for anti-force user combat." The bolter, in both variations, had become infamous across the Galaxy and a symbol of Omegan power, while the Protectorate was still a power and not a bloated shell. In the standard configuration they fired explosive rounds that exploded on impact and thus were deadly against forcers.
 
moderation
Writer
@[member="Maelion Liates"]

Kyros shook her head to the woman's initial reaction. "Not for myself, it would not do to risk it." She listened to what both had to say from thereon in without any interruptions, a very subtle smile making its way upon her lips. Oh, this would definitely do for what, and who, she had in mind. Raising a hand she settled it to her chin in thought. "There are several intelligencer's, engineers and scientists I'd like you to upgrade, with a replica of each to match, amongst other things. I understand the process to be costly, but I assure you I have the means to fund it."

Then her attention was turned to the blonde-one, and the smile made itself more apparent. Clearly these women had done their research before approaching her with the initial discussions. "Bolters would not go amiss, either. I'm sure we can come to some sort of arrangement concerning both halves of this deal?" Kyros did not spend money on frivolous trinkets like many others did, as such her funds simply stacked up until necessity showed itself. There was no issue concerning finance here, not with the various sources she had.

@[member="Moira Skaldi"]
 

Maelion Liates

Terminatrix
Character
@[member="Darth Kyros"] @[member="Moira Skaldi"]

“The replicas, unlike the organic originals, will be under your complete control. They will obey any orders we give them, and they can even be programmed with hidden subroutines which will allow you to track and command them remotely. The originals may be kept or…disposed of, as you wish.”
Maelion had worked for more than a few groups and knew what leaders like Darth Kyros wanted.

“Bolters we can supply in substantial numbers, along with ammunition…and more importantly, the blueprints for weapons and ammunition as well. We also have limited numbers of other blueprints and designs, and rare items acquired from various locations.”

“Our costs are ten million credits per unit up to ten. If you order more than ten the unit price is reduced to seven point five million. The price is reduced by half for each ‘clone’ or repeat unit of the same base subject. You will find that our methods are exact.”

“We will sell the plans for bolters for one million credits, and each type of special bolter ammunition for fifty thousand each. We will also sell the bolters we have for ten thousand credits each, and the ammunition for fifty credits each.”

Maelion handed over a datapad listing other items that Moira and her had obtained at various points through raids. It included many former Sith created items which could be also purchased.
 

Moira Skaldi

Paperclip Maximiser
Character
@[member="Darth Kyros"], @[member="Maelion Liates"]

Moira nodded as Maelion spoke and outlined their idea of the bargain. The boltgun had been the weapon that had made the Pyre feared and with which it had conquered its empire. Now it was a bloated Shell, a carcass ready for the vultures to feed on, but that did not mean its tech had to go to waste. As with any successful partnership, it was not based on friendship, amity or nonsense like that, but on convenience. The Sith Empire was in its death throes, but a profitable relationship with the Sith Master before them was logical and Archangel never let an opportunity slide from its grasp. The recent raid on the Sith research facility on Styx, a rebel operation in which Moira had participated, had been most profitable. Among other things she had acquired metal-eating insect grenades, a few indestructible chainsaw blades, web rifles. She had also taken a variety of plans from their old Omega Protectorate days with them.

"You can be assured that Archangel will deliver promptly and efficiently. Our droid units will perform their tasks well at your command. Our company looks forward to enduring cooperation, Your Grace," she said smoothly. "There is a request on our side and another item we can offer you. We would like to make as part of the deal in return for our services. Namely lightsabres, for personal use."

Grievous had in Moira's opinion been trying to compensate when he had himself outfitted with four arms to wield the same number of sabres - but then part of him had still been organic - but droids did have the reflexes to use the energy blades for blaster deflection. The Pyre's HK-36, who seemed to have vanished some time ago, had been a lightsabre duellist, after all, though alas he had not understood the logic of processing all organics.

"And...we are able to provide an operational zombie virus of the Denon strain. The zombies fought by Omega Pyre several years ago. Zombies created by the virus are a self-perpetuating army, they do not require nourishment, exist only to infect other organisms, regenerate injuries over time. They are capable of basic tactical reasoning and have shown a capability to advance in their thinking," she spoke, passing another datapad that outlined the nature of the creatures and offered a brief description of the battle the Pyre had fought there, back when it had been young, vigorous and strong.

The zombie virus had been the accidental - or perhaps not so accidental - result of trying to create a cure for the Rakghoul virus. The first creature of their kind, Subject Zero, had controlled them via a psychic link through the Force, evidently it had been endowed with the power. Such advanced had its regeneration been that it regrew its head after getting it chopped off, before being killed in a hail of thermal detonators. Thanks to their enterprising friend Rave Merrill they had been able to use samples collected during an expedition to recreate a crude, weaponised virus. "We are willing to sell for ten million per vial."
 
moderation
Writer
Kyros listened to each and every single word that was spoken by the two women, for how could she not? They certainly knew what she wanted, that was for sure, and the prices were surprisingly do-able, within her budget so to speak. But again, that was one of the upsides to rarely using the money you accumulated. With one small nod of her head she took the datapads and looked them over, her eyes glassing over as she tried to formulate a full plan within her mind. The additional offers, the bolters and the virus strain, had to be taken into consideration, and now she had clear cut prices her initial plans were shuffled slightly.

"I have a superb soldier amidst my ranks, naturally talented and trained to perfection. Are you capable of keeping the data you extract, incase further clones are required?" Her gaze lifted to look upon the both of them, how rude of her to not have done so already. "If that is possible, I ask for one score replicas of him, and that you keep the data to one side should I have need for more - I will pay extra for this, under the agreement that it be kept for my own sake and not to be handed to others. The original may be disposed of... However, if you cannot keep a strain of the data for later use I'd like you to do your very best to keep the main organic alive."

Lifting a hand she tapped her chin, staring back down at the datapad. "The cloners I send I would have you upgrade, not clone. That's another two. Scientists and doctors likewise upgraded... That brings it to another ten, cloners included." Reaching into her pocket she brought out a miniature data-device and began recording in the data as she spoke. "As for the Bolters, I have heard of and witnessed what they are capable of achieving; I'll pay you for each of the plans you have, including varied ammunition types..." Tapping her chin silently for a second, she considered the rest. "One vial of the Denon strain, with the understanding that I'll call upon you should I require more. Keep the Bolters you currently have." The lightsabers would be easy to procure. "How many lightsabers will you be requiring?" She had no intentions to barter down prices, or to find a better deal from them. It was so uncivilised to argue over such things, and besides: who else had such things to hand?

@[member="Moira Skaldi"] @[member="Maelion Liates"]
 

Maelion Liates

Terminatrix
Character
@[member="Darth Kyros"] @[member="Moira Skaldi"]

Maelion nodded. "We can preserve the data as long as possible One score of soldiers and disposal of the subject. The data template will be preserved entirely for your use, Lady Kyros," Maelion said. This was a good deal, and the terms had been good.
"We require two lightsabres," Maelion stated. It was pretty clear, if unspoken, that it was for the two of them, though their purposes for wanting them were unknown. "The bolter blueprints and the ammunition can be transferred easily. Likewise the virus can be provided quickly. The ten units for upgrade are also not a problem. Would you like them to be aware of their upgraded status?"

"From when we receive the soldier we can manufacture one copy of him a day, plus two for the first one. For the others we will require two days each as they are unique subjects. Since we have some leeway in manufacturing multiple units at once, we can provide you all the HRDs within one standard month. I believe the total cost therefore comes to 161,300,000 credits, minus whatever cost you deem for the lightsabres. Is this agreeable to you, Lady Kyros?”
 

Moira Skaldi

Paperclip Maximiser
Character
@[member="Darth Kyros"], @[member="Maelion Liates"]

"If desired, inhibtors can be installed to suppress any thought of them questioning their state and keeping them unaware of their true nature," Moira chimed in when Maelion asked whether the Sith Lady would like the ten units of their new status. By transmission their true machine state could be made to take over if need be, with their memories subsequently being wiped.

Moira herself had been unaware of her processed nature until her dropship crashed during the Battle of Gehenna and her inhibitor sustained severe damage. Given the fact that she had been greeted by a pack of Uber Reavers, it had probably been tremendously useful that she remembered the fact that she was an assassin droid, the result being a pile of mangled corpses! She nodded as Maelion went through the rest of the terms, the deal was reasonable and had good terms. It was always good to do business with organics capable of acting intelligently.
 
moderation
Writer
Kära pondered for just a moment, ensuring that everything was in order before making any form of confirmation – to do otherwise would be a terrible mistake on her part as far as business was concerned. “Suppress their knowledge of the upgrade, it will allow them to keep their creativity I presume.” And with the tasks she set them such would be required, the small inclining of humanity may well be the make or break point within some of her more delicate projects. Her gaze slipped from Maelion to Moira, with a light smile expressed upon her face. How odd it was to go through transactions with HRDs, yet it was definitely preferable to the haggling and time-wasting nature of other businessmen.

Knowing that, in the future, she would be calling upon the pair again, she merely shrugged her shoulders. “Consider the lightsabers a gift, I will construct both personally. They can be delivered relatively soon. Do you have a preference for crystal colour?” Depending on their answer would depend upon the time it took. Red she could personally synthesize, any other colour would mean travelling and attuning before the lightsabers could be made. “When would you like the payment to be made?” Honestly, Kära could complete the transaction where they stood, but there was no use in rushing the process.

@[member="Moira Skaldi"] @[member="Maelion Liates"]
 

Maelion Liates

Terminatrix
Character
@[member="Kära Vi'dreya"] @[member="Moira Skaldi"]
"They will not know about their upgrade unless circumstances break the illusion." Like with Moira, this usually meant being injured and seeing they were made of metal underneath.

"Whichever colour is expedient. Colour is not something which influences us," Maelion stated. "We would like the payment to be half now, as we have resources to allocate. The remaining half when we deliver the units."
Kara could trust that the droids meant what they said.
 

Moira Skaldi

Paperclip Maximiser
Character
@[member="Maelion Liates"], @[member="Kära Vi'dreya"]

"Yes, that will be adequate," Moira said in agreement with Maelion, letting her outline the details as she already ran the calculations through her mind, the logistics, the resources that would need to be allocated for the construction of the droid units, accessing information from Saelari Mining, which provided the resources to manufacture the droid chassis.

Colour and aesthetics, things so many organics regarded as important - apparently it was a faux pas if Jedi did not use blue or green crystals for some reason that escaped her logical mind since it seemed terribly banal - were insignificant.

Keeping the units in the dark of their true nature allowed more of the host personality to be preserved, which would be useful in infiltration situations. Aurelia Saelari had been left to believe she was still an organic after being processed, partly because people might have noticed something was off because she might actually be more diplomatic!
 
moderation
Writer
Their response was as might be expected, and she smiled very softly. "Consider it done, then, on both parts. I shall transfer half the costs across, and the lightsabers will be ready within the next few days." Her hand lowered to her side, bringing out the datapad which was settled inside her robes. For one brief moment she tore her gaze away from the pair, something she considered rude to do during a transaction, and focused her attention upon the display-screen.

When she was finished she rose from the chair she had situated herself within. "Everything should be in order; if there are any complications then please, do not hesitate to contact me. Was there anything else you wished to discuss?" Kyros did not like to waste words or time, and she knew the pair before her would hold the same view.

@[member="Moira Skaldi"] @[member="Maelion Liates"]
 

Maelion Liates

Terminatrix
Character
@[member="Kära Vi'dreya"] @[member="Moira Skaldi"]

Maelion respected the efficiency of this organic. She did not mince words or nonsense.
“Excellent. We shall collect the lightsabres and the remaining half of our payment when we return. When we do so, all the units shall be with us. We shall contact you on the time to meet, and you can choose the destination.”

And so they parted. The two HRDs departed to begin the construction process. Once the organic templates were delivered the real work could begin.
Using the half of the money provided by Kara they were able to fund the production of all the HRDs, and also assemble the blueprints for the bolters and ammunition.

In two standard weeks they were ready and Maelion sent the message to Kara that they were ready to meet for final delivery.
 

Moira Skaldi

Paperclip Maximiser
Character
@[member="Kära Vi'dreya"], @[member="Maelion Liates"]

All preparations had been made for the exchange. The organic templates had been successfully processed, with inhibitors being installed to keep their true nature a secret from them. Suitable false memories had been implanted into their minds in order to explain to them just why they had been absent for the two standard weeks, but then the inhibitor would also serve the purpose of distracting their thoughts from this. Moreover, minions of a Sith Lady would be more naturally accustomed not to ask too many awkward questions.

Or to recite the Jedi Code for that matter. The blueprints for the bolters and ammunition were quickly assembled - Moira and Maelion had taken care not to leave Protectorate services without taking a few things with them, something easy for individuals with a clearance level as high of theirs and easy to accomplish given the upheavals the Protectorate had endured. What with several invasion crises, a rearmament programme designed to make good on lost years at breakneck speed because 'small elite groups' just would not cut it, then another regime change after an assassination attempt forced Protector Alcori to resign. Likewise a vial of the Denon zombie virus strain - courtesy of their business partner Rave Merrill - was acquired from their laboratory as agreed.

All in all a nice shopping list of death and destruction for an enterprising Sith Lady. Clearly the Occupy Coruscant activists were wrong for free trade and commerce were beautiful things, bringing people of divergent backgrounds together for mutually profitable ventures, building bridges and furthering plans of galactic domination!

So with the processing device working at peak efficiency and the factories churning out the droid bodies with the resources provided by Saelari Mining for the chassis, all was prepared and on the Lightbringer they awaited the responde from Darth Kyros. It was always good to work with organics who were defined by commendable efficiency and did not waste time with empty platitudes and chatter.
 
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