Star Wars Roleplay: Chaos

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[Solo] The Chosen Few

ʜᴄ sᴠɴᴛ ᴅʀᴀᴄᴏɴᴇs
"No." The pale man simply said the word most of the time. Sometimes, he would shake his head slightly, then continue to hobble down the line. He was thin, yes, but his thinness wasn't born of anything but unsettling weakness. Looking at him revealed that something, somewhere, had gone deeply wrong. This man was not supposed to be walking around, making judgements, giving orders, or examining things. He wasn't supposed to be outside. He belonged in a hospital bed, or a morgue, or a prison camp. Did he choose to be this way or was it some hidden consequence of whatever occult powers he dabbled in?

Beuka Myu didn't care. The atrisian woman was a medical craft pilot for the Sith Empire of Athiss, and she knew who she served. She knew what she was doing. It didn't, simply didn't matter what they looked like. They were aliens, or they were people so changed by things that they did that they may as well be, but they were powerful. And the Sith were the bringers of order, the keepers of peace, the harsh lesson that a chaotic Galaxy needed. She had learned this at the Academy as long as she could walk.

But still, seeing the Sith was different than revering them, and she felt the urge to cringe away welling up in spite of her best efforts as the man grew closer. The personnel he had ordered lined up were eclectic: most conspicuous were a few Sith acolytes, some of them with the letter Forn branded on their cheek or forehead for 'failure,' the refuse of Kalee, Ziost, and Korriban. Others held their heads high, still certain of their prospects at becoming Sith.

"No." He would say to each of them. The exception was when he passed over a failed acolyte. "Yes. You are chosen, take your place with the others." Then another. "No. Failure, useless." The second one, the failure, made no motion at the distinction, offered no awareness of his fate, but there was a flash of light as though a blaster had just been fired, and a faint hissing noise, like acid chewing through metal, and the "failure"'s body had sprouted a hole the size of a man's fist straight through its heart.

It crumpled, softly to the ground, and burst into blue flames that turned the rest of it to ash before any near it could make out the twisting and blackening of its flesh. The Sith Lord moved on, paying little heed to it, but those further down the line grew ever slightly more nervous.

Beuka kept her head high. She wasn't a failure, she knew she wasn't, she couldn't be, she would not be. That man had chosen to take the trials, and knew what happened if he failed, he had made his own destiny. Hers was hers to make, and she was not useless. She screwed up her eyes tightly for a moment, not wiping the sweat beading on her brow.

"Yes." Her eyes flew open, it was all she could do not to stumble backwards at the man's words. For a moment, she examined his face as he examined hers. It was astonishingly human. Not red-skinned, not ridged, it was soft. Feminine, youthful. The eyes were swirling, supernatural gold, as though lit by starlight from within, and the skin and hair were pale, as though leached of color. He had a warm smile on his face, but the way he looked at her made her feel like a sample on a slide.

"You are chosen. Take your place with the others." He pointed to the failed acolyte, standing away from the group. They were joined by a border security records official, and those were all the chosen.

Chosen for what, she did not know. The Sith were cruel and the Sith were kind. Anticipation mingled with fear as she awaited her destiny.
ʜᴄ sᴠɴᴛ ᴅʀᴀᴄᴏɴᴇs
'Training'. For piloting, this meant a useful, if dull, series of vision and reflex tests, simulations and manual memorization, basic certification courses. In the Panopticon, she had no idea what it meant. She was taking classes in speaking Huttese. She was training in swordfighting. Sometimes, she would be asked to simply clear her mind and meditate. To call it 'random' was an understatement. Sometimes, she felt like the whole thing was a cruel Sith joke that was being played on her.

The walls of the building were metal, as were the floors. The only viewports were on the upper decks, and that 'initiates,' as they were called, were not permitted on the upper levels. No, none of that. But there were screens and speakers everywhere.

"Mahska Gang forces readying monopoly on Lower Sphere savorium trade." it might say at one point. Or, "Weapons shipment from Iridonia inbound to Floating Market without permit." Or even "Darth Abyss sighting reported. Likelihood of actuality: 0.02%. Berli'muur corporation dividends consistently lower than projected."

And pictures, too. Charts, graphs, all sorts of pretty images. Mugshots. Pictures of mangled corpses, schematics. Sometimes they'd stay up for hours, rattling off meaningless numbers in the background. Sometimes it was just a brief tone and a flash of meaningless color. The trainers seemed to know what it meant.

Ah, the trainers. They rarely ever spoke, and mostly left the Initiates alone. Some were black-robed figures who would come and go frequently, showing up only once every couple weeks to offer expert combat advice and review -- quite clearly Sith. Others were droids loaded with pertinent knowledge.

Most unsettling where the two who stayed. They were not reserved, they were quite clearly empty. They waited in the same spots every day, rarely moving. They wore the same clothes. And they wore the masks... masks too close. Perfectly smooth metal, reflecting their surroundings. They were the ones who provided most instruction.

Their voices were tinged with the sound of metal.

Life had a flow, in the Panopticon. 'Panopticon'. No one was certain where they first had heard the name -- probably one of the monitors -- but it sounded like something omnipresent. Something unlimited. Nothing like the prison she felt. She was made for the sky, but her world had been narrowed to winding tunnels, her life smoothed into a stream of minutes into minutes, day and night absent in the constancy of the light.

Then, something interrupted the flow. "Don't eat your lunch."

"What?" She turned to who said it, curious. It was a... big man. Not fat, not tall, simply overwhelmingly present. The brand identified him as the failed Sith acolyte.

"You wouldn't know it, but they have drugs in it. Nothing immediate, but it builds up in your system. I can feel it... with the Force, y'know?"

"You can... okay. Why tell me this?" Sith games already had put her here, she was far from eager to play more of them -- and she didn't entirely trust this man.

"What's your name?"

"It's... Beuka." She looked at him, aghast. She had needed to search for it, for a moment. How long had it been since she was called by her name? Not long enough to forget, certainly. She searched, desperately, for her memories of arriving here. It was a blur. They were there but... faded.

"They think they can break us down -- look, I'm planning an escape. I've peeked around with my powers... this place isn't an underground vault. It's in the air. We can get out when they next dock to refuel."

"This is... a lot."

"It's happening, with or without you. But you have a bright-eyed look, even with the drugs they put in us. Eat only once a day and you should be fine."

She didn't talk to him again. But she did avoid eating. Maybe it was coincidence, but she slept much less easily that night. After a few hours of tossing and turning, the screen in her room flickered on. Shapes and colors played in sequence, and whispers were audible, but unintelligible. She didn't sleep, simply regarding it with fascination, and the noises continued until morning.
ʜᴄ sᴠɴᴛ ᴅʀᴀᴄᴏɴᴇs
She was bleary. Tired. Screens... whispering to her in her sleep? Drugs in her food? It made little sense. All she had was a ray of hope to sustain her. She expected to be tested. And for a moment, she doubted. Why should she not take the drugs, listen to the whispers? The Empire was a righteous force. That wasn't an idea that was planted in her head, it was something she had always believed. That Beuka had always believed. Her name, she never used it anymore, but it was her. And then, she resolved to go. To be free.

Her Empire was precious. Her identity, more so. She would not be.. made a drone.

The trainer, the drone, spoke to her. "Surgery. Room 14, Corridor Grek."

Surgery? She was a pilot, and only knew basic First Aid. She was just getting the hang of Huttese, and her bladework was passable, where they adding yet another bit of useless information.

Then she saw the acolyte who offered to help her escape on the table. "What is --"

"Calm, calm. You honestly don't have anything to fear."

Standing behind her how long had he been behind her was the man. The pale, thin nightmare of a Dark creature, and his golden eyes seemed to her now a yellow, radioactive poison. She couldn't move. She couldn't voice any objections as she laid herself down on the table, her body moving of its own accord.

"Your training has been accelerated. You can blame your friend for that. The others, of course, will refine their marksmanship, bladework, linguistics... the whole spectrum, they must refine it to a certain degree of mastery, muscle memory, before the flash-imprints can do their work properly, softened so that nothing lingers... but you will be given my personal attention."

This was like a dream, a bad dream. She wanted to move, to run, to scream, but her limbs had turned to lead, her tongue to heavy fabric. Her strongest efforts put out the weakest, frailest gestures. She managed to gasp.


"Why not?"

Unable to answer, the darkness took her. The sound of whispers grew louder, and she was aware of syringes and needles. She felt like she was floating.
ʜᴄ sᴠɴᴛ ᴅʀᴀᴄᴏɴᴇs
After her head was washed with chemicals her hair fell out in small clumps and then large clumps clumps of black hair on the ground and around her and they washed it away and there was an alkaline smell and it was gone.

The cybernetics pulsed in her head and her chest and her arms and she felt them moving inside her and around her like insects under her skin but she didn't care and she wasn't worried not worried at all she had nothing to fear.

There were wires in the empty spaces in her head and she felt like there was something that was supposed to be in those two spaces but she couldn't remember what because her head was full of light and she couldn't remember where it went like the holes in the side or the hole in the front middle or the things that should have gone over her mouth or in her mouth there were tubes in her arms and back and stomach and --


Another flash of light. Memories. Moving swords, purpose. The monitors spoke, she listened. She saw the pictures without looking at them, she heard the words without needing to listen.

They were washing her down with oil to take her to the Master (Praise the Master) and she had no clothes on but she would get robes eventually and would no longer be an initiate they said they would call her Proxy and she didn't know what that meant --


-- she knew what it meant it was a name for her sisters/brothers/siblings and she was not afraid to be Proxy she was Proxy they were all Proxies and what do Proxies do? Serve the Master (Praise the Master).

He looked at her with his face and it was blurry but she could see the colors behind him and inside him the reds and the blacks and the yellows and was this what they called the Force ---


It didn't matter just serve him serve the Master (Praise the Master) go up to them he holds a mask in his hand and it has no holes in it and she can taste the air, but she remembers the mask, and she remembers fearing the mask, and she remembers Beuka --


And he is pressing the mask to her face and smiling and she feels a tingle of joy in her body as meaning floods her and she realizes she has purpose and this is good and --


-- and she realizes --


-- Praise the Master --


-- name? --


-- She realizes --

--She real --

-- She --

-- Sh --


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