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Tanlili

Matsu Ike

Emberlene's Daughter, The Jedi Generalist
Character
[member="Maple Harte"]

The trip from the Unknown regions to Ando Prime had been faster then she had expected. The ship they had managed to secure for their own use to fly them around after escaping the Kanzer well it had helped a lot. Still Matsu couoldn't think that leaving the Unknown Regions. She had the ship from Ando at least and it hadn't been covered in that much snow so.. that was a good thing. When the jedi master had ev erything ready her and Maple had set out but she used the travel time and the privacy to work on things. Specifically equipment, something for Maple, a suit of lightweight armor that would prove highly protective to her.

There was also the equipment itself, blasters and melee weapons if they needed them, if should could help it holding her parasol the jedi master wasn't going to waste it. The beskar blade within and the force enhanced wood that would allow her to heal better then most other things in the galaxy. Coming here to Dantooine would be something as well, she wanted to make sure it was one fo the best experiences they would have after everything. She had told and she had learned a great deal about her new companion. SHe would only have to make it fair so that Maple wouldn't feel self conscious when she was finishing up a log.

Matsu was bringing in what else she could in the ideas, to help them, to defend them, to give them what they might need in case of dangerous situations. THe jedi master was looking from her place in the cockpit towards the citadel that Maple had suggested. She knew a few other things as well.. mostly that they were somewhat near the enclave and vaults where they had first met. Strnge that this should continue and bring them both back here where they first saw each other... The force itself works in mysterious ways as the jedi master set her ship down. Standing up and working on her hair to make sure it looked proper.

She walked towards the ramp, standing in the thick soled boots, cleek and gleaming with synthmesh to protect the wearer. Her under robes that went into them was silvery white, going up her legs and leaving a belt with her thigh pack, two sheaths on her ankles. One for a combat knife and one for the small mini drones that had been developed to slice into security systems. The outer section of the robe covering her boot before it went up to her waist. The cloak covering her arms and leading to the channeling gloves, their crystal network letting her channel the lightside of the force for missions like this.

The exterior of the robes, her cloak fell to the ground, just dragging on it and covering her up everywhere if she closed it. Wearing it at the shoulders with the hood up that held in her mass of hair, her arms were inside of the robe as she walked. The clasp at her throat secured giving the jedi master a look of plainness but it was anything but that she would prove to the ones who could become a threat. This citadel and this danger would not catch her off guard. She was working on more of it with her sabers on her hip and there was a few other tricks to use in case Maple needed help. "Ready." She said it awaiting her.
 
The Golden Eye
Writer
Location: Here (http://starwarsrp.net/topic/125655-loste-citadel/)

Maple was thankful the trip had been so relatively short to Ando Prime. She had wasted no time arranging for the Silent Erika to be flown back to Dantooine ahead of them with specific instructions that it was to be landed just outside the mountain range where Loste Citadel was. It had given her time to plan out their next course of action, because that place was anything but secure. Skip. She was possessed by the ghost of an evil gungan sith lord. Skip. Back on the ship. Stop freaking out Maple.

The assassin within her however was practically giddy to return to its old haunt. Perhaps it wanted to compare notes with a former peer.

Regardless, she had watched occasionally as Matsu had worked while Maple piloted before switching back to Matsu. The Jedi Master's attention to her work was meticulous...being in charge of something like Sasori Research it would be natural to be a bit paranoid about maintaining consistent quality. She had been the same way as a Marksman. It was just a thing with some shadows. Their meticulous nature, whether eliminating a Sith or uncovering some dastardly plot against the Order (Usually one of at least ten thousand per day, at least, that was how it had seemed to Maple at the time, Someone somewhere, was always plotting) never went away.

Maple had brought her staff and her VT Dart Gun, loaded with tranqs. The plain, unadorned cortosis weave staff had so many surprising uses. She had also brought her Marksman Rifle. She hoped she would not have to kill anything to get what she felt was hers by right of compensation for Mimban back. But she was not going to take chances.

She was still in her black Sasori Light Armor when the Citadel came into view. The Silent Erika's transponder pinged but Matsu flew past it, continuing on to the Citadel itself. It was old. An old blocky fortress temple hidden in the clouds. Its brown stone stained by erosion and moisture. Cleaning bill was going to be an absolute nightmare. Unless of course she was into the whole ancient and mysterious thing these sorts of places had, which she was. Skip. Hyperdrive's had never been invented, nor had subspace communication. Civilization died on each little planet, shouting into a vacuum. It took centuries. Skip. The ship set down through the parted and massive hanger roof behind the frontal citadel facade. She saw evidence of ivy on some of the mechanisms. She felt strange, seeing it, seeing this again. What had she expected? Closure? A sense of accomplishment? 'Ha ha, Ursy, all your base are belong to Maple?'

Probably that last one. Maple, eager to try that weird new armor Matsu had constructed, took off her old sasori light armor and slipped it on. She felt...charged...somehow.

She met Matsu at the ramp. "Welcome to Loste Citadel, once the home of my brothers and sisters The Marksmen." She hit the ramp and descended down, noting how comfy the armor was. The hanger floor was an off white color and the corners of it were dark and life had crept in over the years.

"They were founded by Hiram Loste, a shadow with a particular focus in unorthodox weapons and long range killing. He chose to form his own specialzed cadre of students to demonstrate the viability of his approach to blending Jedi training with the skills, discipline, and precision of a long range fighter. I lot of what I was taught was based on many of his techniques. Never met him personally. He was killed in battle and his student Ursula Sandraven--"

Maple paused at saying the name out loud. It still rolled off the tongue so naturally, her name.

"--Sandraven took over." Maple said uneasily, making her way quietly, pulling out her VT gun and taking point for someone who was technically a guest in her house. A very large house, which 'might' need a little pest control. No telling what had nested here while she had been away.

"Must have cleared out way before we got here. Probably defunct now..." she muttered.
 

Matsu Ike

Emberlene's Daughter, The Jedi Generalist
Character
[member="Maple Harte"]

Matsu looked at the combat suit on Maple seeing the citadel in the distance as she listened to the information about it and who had been there. She was looking over at the woman with a smile on her face. She recalled a few things but getting the fittings for the people here. She checked out some of it with the force, letting her senses expand outwards as she stood there making it easier as it were... In truth she could do it while moving and with ease but if she stood still it would allow her to expand outwards and cover a planet as needed. She could expand further, sensing more of it as she touched the heart of the universe her force crystal that was connected.

"I see." She said it and held no judgement in her voice, she was open to learning about Maple, glad that she was offering her this trust to tell her about her past. Matsu had revealed a number of things she had done and face as well. "We shall see though who is here." She had a tranq gun as well, something created by one of the nature p[reservation groups within Sasori that studied and maintained animals on worlds. It was useful for her to be able to use before she tapped in on the inside of her cloak with some of the other equipment including a pheromone grenade. For kinrath and leigrek's to get them into an area or away from people.

Checking though with Maple as she went towards the citadel hands at her sides under the cloak the jedi master offered what support she could. "Whatever is in there Maple, we will face it together, I trust in you and so we can't fail. Hopefuly you trust in me and realize that united there is nothing that can stand before us or pose a problem. Even information that might be hard to find or the ghosts of some ancient darksider who created monsters on the edge of the galaxy." She offered a wider smile though that opened and showed plenty of teeth but also reached her eyes with a good amount of humor.

She was curious about the girl though, wanting to make this a more enjoyable experience so that they would get the work done without having to aggrivate each other.. that was always better and the jedi master had presented Maple with her lightweight armor and some of the other equipment. A few things for her ship mostly the small rekali sphere that could work to repair and protect it while they were away. Ensuring it was ready and prepared should they need it, the chevron pad was made that she would be able to if need be have access and a way to personally contact the jedi master. Or the Library AI designed for the jedi.
 
The Golden Eye
Writer
The hanger had always been drafty, even when fully shut. Maple kept her weapon at the ready. The ivy had completely overtaken the hanger in many parts, slinking over dead computers and and a hanger observation room. Maple ventured in, remembering the old codes. The passageway looked forced open however.

"We're not alone." She whispered to [member="Matsu Ike"], pulling out her tranq gun as she accessed the old terminal in the dilapidated room. The screen flickered with faint bursts of blue symbols as she typed commands, opening the locked down door behind her.

She went silent as she heard voices.

"Do the Sith know of this place?" she heard someone, a man, ask as she creapt through the shadows of the passageway.

"No. As far as I can tell, Loste Citadel lived up to its name in that regard...until we found it of course." She heard a woman speak from around the corners of a wide, worm like passageway.

"Who built this place?" the man asked as Maple poked her head around the corner, seeing two Kanzer priests. One, the female, a red Twilek of middle age, was currently trying to pick the lock of one of the old marksman dorms.

"Jedi, after the plague. Inhabited by a band of their assassins for some time. They never figured out where they were striking from."

"Whoa, so you're saying these guys struck from within Sith Space? That's crazy..." the man, a Whiphid in black robes spoke. "What happened to them?"

"Disbanded after one of them was killed on Mimban from what I heard. We found out about this place from an anonymous tip." The Woman answered. "There is some sort of key to a lab or something."

Maple went still. Lab? She knew of no lab in this complex.

Getting out her tranq gun, Maple fired one at the Whiphids neck, then the woman once she turned around in surprise. Maple went over quickly to them, stripping them of a knife and a small submachinegun, as she then proceeded to finish hacking the lock open with her staff, pulling the door aside and staring into the decrepit but considersbly large dorm. Could house two in an emergency, which there often had been.

"Matsu, help me search this room." Maple whispered, wondering about this lab she had never heard about. Where was it? And whst was the key to it doing in here?

What the hell had happened to this place? Why would Ursula abandon it? Ursula had put years of sweat into making this place a home. Why throw that all away?
 

Matsu Ike

Emberlene's Daughter, The Jedi Generalist
Character
[member="Maple Harte"]

Matsu was looking at Maple as she crouched down and listened to the others. THey had found this place.. had gotten a tip... about here? She hadn't even know it existed whihc said a lot when the main caretaker of knowledge and jedi lore didn't know a place existed. Still the jedi master was moving and she had her cane as well as her stunner that was able to handle most problems. "It is strange, I will admit but whatever happened to lose this place to people... it might still be happening. I have gone to places where the force attracted far more dangerous things and we wil have to run that risk most likely." She said it but was watching what Maple had going on here... what they would be able to do before checking out the bodies. "These ones though don't tell me much, if they were hired to verify that the tip was real.. it could be dangerous if they don't report in. Even thinking they just ran afoul of traps proves something is here."
 
The Golden Eye
Writer
Maple frowned. If someone knew about this place, if anyone knew about this place, it was bad, bad news. It meant acting quickly would be both necessary and vital to the survival of this place. But Matsu also had a point about the other, possible dangers. Whatever had made Ursula abandon this place...Maple couldn't imagine less than total disaster making Ursula abandon the tomb of Hiram Loste.

"We'll need to get into Ursula's quarters...what lab...?" Maple muttered to herself before she found the key. It was a white plastic card with a gold strip, hidden under a mattress. She grabbed it and slinked down the passage keeping alert for any possible threats. She could not sense any as she moved, the passages achingly, hauntingly familiar to the Assassin inside of her. She felt the coldness of her old persona, the one that hadn't understood normal life very well, bubble just under the surface of the snow of madness. Skip. She and Matsu were both elite imperial agents. Skip. Reality sped up, fast forwarding, rewinding a bit, and fast forwarding at triple speed for Maple, glossing over some of the more dilapidated passages, as well as the non-fact that tachs were growing out of her muscle fibers.

Finally, she reached the doors leading to Ursula Sandraven's chamber. They were large, almost cathedral like in scope, with carved reliefs of the ancient Jedi Laborers who had cut Loste Citadel out of the mountain itself.

Maple inserted the card into a nearby reader, feeling a sudden, extreme anxiety. The doors parted on giant tracks, sliding open almost silently. Maple entered the gigantic bed-chamber that doubled as a dueling room. Great statues of griffons stood at the side of the rotted, circular remains of Ursula's bed, and Maple was very disturbed as she felt not the faintest trace of Sandraven, not one ounce of her presence remained. A blank. A large, disturbing blank.

Maple stepped forward tentatively, nervously, eyes darting around in uncertainty. Her whole posture had changed. It wasn't the slinky confidence of a silent predator. It was the hesitant, trotting posture of a lost and wounded woman. She felt drafty suddenly.

"I didn't learn how Ursula was recruited by Hiram until after I faked my death on Mimban. Old account from a long dead journalist who eventually lost her battle with cancer..." Maple explained to Matsu almost as an afterthought as she hesitantly walked towards a faded picture on a large display of old photos, most covered in dust or rotted over.

Maple, then known as Uri Udinia was in the photo, clad in a tight fitting shadowsuit, holding a rifle. She looked about twenty one in the shot, and her master Ursula, a beautiful, curvy, violet skinned Twi'lek woman with sharp blue eyes, clad in her own shadowsuit, stood in the photo, both were balancing slightly on their respective cane sabers. Maple was a little surprised at Ursula not looking human, and felt the cold flash of raw terror as it dawned on her for a second just how truly unreliable some of her recall was.

"The Journalist's account says she was first encountered in the mountain ranges of Serenno, inside an empty, barren facility whose purposes could never be determined. There was no violence...no blood...no evidence of anything wrong...she was just there, already an adult in her mid twenties. Waiting. Naked in the dark when Hiram and the journalist accidentally found the place while on the run from a powerful Sith Sorcerer. Couldn't get a word out of her as to what she was doing there. But for whatever reason she helped them kill the Sorcerer. She demonstrated powerful Force potential in the process. Hiram...apparantly against his own better judgment from what I read...decided her potential was to great to pass up, and chose to blatantly ignore how she had been first encountered. He convinced her to become a Jedi..." the woman trailed off looking for the lab entrance.

"Strange, isn't, that this woman could be my mentor, yet be completely unexplainable when it comes to her own personal history. I trained with her for years...never even got a hint of that story until I left. Guess I wasn't the only one who tried to leave their past behind." Maple muttered, looking at her new friend. "You see anything?" She asked of [member="Matsu Ike"].
 

Matsu Ike

Emberlene's Daughter, The Jedi Generalist
Character
[member="Maple Harte"]

Matsu was looking at her... at the room while she walked and through the citadel itself with a raised eyebrow. She clasped her hands behind her back though while she was watching it all. THe jedi master was listening to the history as she thought about it. She had encoutnered some like that... jedi who seemed ot have just appeared. "That is something that can happen, we have experienced and documented anomalies within jedi and force users. Some of them come from.. places that can't be explained." She said but was looking at the pictures. Where last time they had taken cues from her in the library... now Maple was in charge and giving her a good idea of what they could find here.

She was surprised about the twi'lek though. Maple had spoken about her and she had seemed to be well human... maybe it was a mind trick. A way to do one final thing. Ursula used the force to obscure her looks to everyone... or it could have been what was going on it Maple's head. Matsu touched her shoulder and she spoke. "Perhaps she did it to protect you, without a means to actually describe her to others.. if case someone tore into your mind to find her. THey woudln't be able to." She was looking for something of a brighter side to it.... something that could be been a final show of a masters love for her padawan.... hopefully maybe.
 
The Golden Eye
Writer
Maple as she searched for the supposed hidden lab entrance listened to Matsu's confirming the raw, horror-inducing idea that one day some one like Ursula could just...show up. And no one, now where, would at first make anything of it, except in retrospect. Maple wondered if Hiram Loste had ever lain awake at night, wondering if inducting a mysterious naked woman inhabiting a strange place for no reason (Except horror. The answer had to be horror-related. It would not make any sense otherwise.) had really been the best idea.

Did he ever wake up in a cold sweat, wondering why she had been there. Did he ever have nightmares over the possible answers? Had he ever worked up the nerve to ask her directly? Would she have answered? Did Ursula even know the answer to that question?

Who just shows up out of the blue one day, with absolutely zero explanations?

As Maple paced the room, looking for some smoking gun that would reveal how cleverly it was hidden, she felt Matsu place a hand on her shoulder, suggesting that perhaps her master had mind-tricked her into recalling her appearance differently.

This idea earned a dark little chuckle from the ex-shadow to [member="Matsu Ike"].

"Ursula seems just about conniving enough to do something like that, I suppose..." Maple offered, at last finding a cleverly disguised switch on the large bed. She twisted it and a panel next to her slid open, revealing a card slot. She inserted the card she had found earlier into the slot, and a carved relief on one wall revealed the entrance to a dusty, electric-coil-strewn lab, that looked ripped straight from another century. Maple ventured in, touching the dusty, spider-web covered equipment of the lab.

She could not feel Ursula. No trace.

"Ursula Sandraven may have been my teacher, but she was...very manipulative. Maybe I never really knew her at all...maybe she went to some other strange place, to appear naked to the next poor bastard that tries to recruit her..." Maple wondered, but with an obvious snideness. She saw books and vegan flipping them open...

"This is interesting..." she muttered, looking at the blue prints for a bodysuit. Just then she heard more voices from down the passage leading to the bed chamber. Maple felt a foul darkness suddenly.

"Company," she breathed, setting her staff to heavy stun...
 

Matsu Ike

Emberlene's Daughter, The Jedi Generalist
Character
[member="Maple Harte"]

Matsu gave a nod of her head to Maple, seeing everything going on in her face but not in her head. The jedi master moved with some percision. Fingers grazing the walls and pictures but there was much more to it seeing the hidden entrance, the equipment and feeling the air when she felt it. On the edge of her senses for but a moment. Someone or something was here and skills like field detection while older, while very strong were not as accurate in telling you somethings. The jedi master moved back a little while Maple had her weapon ready and she produced a stun rod. One of the shatory rods she had gotten for this as it was non lethal in knocking others out and had a paddle beamer for range.... downside was it could kill if you beat someone with it but then so could anything else... the upside the jolt it released was made to take down a rancor. "Wait for the moment to figure out who they are, we might not find much information on their persons."
 
The Golden Eye
Writer
Maple moved in slowly, the stealth field on this magnificent but somewhat restrictive light-armor kicking in as she went invisible. She saw two more cultists, both female this time. They were both clad in a bright red bodysuit, the ancient symbol of Bogan emblazoned in a darker-than-dark ink, wielding black, double-bladed Vibroswords whose blades were shaped like cleavers, but had a relatively thinner profile. Kanzer Assassins.

She'd fought Kanzer Assassins on Chandrila once. They could spin like tops in battle. Their swords never stopped moving once combat began. They were swift, lethal opponents, even alone. And there were two.

"Do you know how we learned of this place?" one asked the other as they split up, searching the vast, lonely looking stone room.

"One of the priests mentioned that the information had been delivered by a woman with purple eyes..."

Maple stopped cold. Skip. The Mind-Binder chased her in the dark through the cornfield, black blood flowing from a smile it had cut into its face. Skip. Maple moved closer, the squirrels her feet were now composed of arguing about whether or not they should order delivery or simply go to a restuarant. She almost told them to shush, as they were very distracting, but then quickly remembered that they weren't real. She refocused and creapt closer, slowly, patiently...

"What did she get in exchange?"

"Don't know." answered the other cultist as she observed the photo Maple had been drawn to. "It is not our place to speculate. Our job is to find this lab, take its notes, and then get out after we plant the charges."

Maple, upon hearing this, swiftly ended stealth by connecting her staff and setting it to heavy stun.

The Assassins noticed her in an instant, and went into guard surrounding her. Maple stood there in a nuetral guard, waiting.

"One of the Assassins, a blond, muscular woman let out a chuckle.

"This must be the one who took care of the group we sent down here."

"Where is your base located?" Maple asked quietly, sternly, in a tone that had once belonged to Uri.

"And she thinks she's in a position to make demands..." chuckled the other, a brunette haired woman. "Who are you to make such demands of The Kanzer?" she wondered arrogantly, her skin pale and eyes yellow. She was not as muscled as her companion.

"Uri Udinia."

"Lies! The Golden Eye died on Mimban!" The Blond Kanzer snapped. "If you're Uri Udinia I'm Darth-karking-Vader."

"If you're Darth Vader, I gotta admit, you are lookin' fine as hell."

"Cute." the Brunette snapped. "But I don't think you'd like our idea of fun. Its a bit too bloody for you."

"Try me."

The blond shrugged. "As you wish."

She struck first with her cleaver like Vibrosword, using her obvious speed and power to try and overwhelm Maple in two quick diagonal swipes. The Brunette was far faster and reached Maple first, cleaver blades making a whoosh as they sped towards her knees. The staff shifted out of place to catch one blade, and Maple back-flipped out of the stronger woman's swipe to decapitate her. The Brunette reached her again first and Maple drunkenly dodged and weaved the rapid spins and stabs she executed in seconds, her staff parrying some of the blows but the blond was moving in fast, attacking as soon as she saw an opening to Maple's face. Maple barely managed to parry the extremely heavy blow from the blond which sent her to her needs, forcing her to roll out of the way as she hit the ground to avoid slices from both women that would have gutted her or gone through her skull. She heard the tip of one of the blond's swords barely miss her right ear as she twisted and executed an upward spin strike to her attackers face, which was just as quickly and viciously parried by the blonde, while the Brunette pulled a shallow series of fast moving frontal spins aimed at her left rib-cage. Their Echani training was showing. Likely worked in teams. The Brunette was the fly, buzzing in with razor slices, always moving too fast for a proper retaliation. The Blond was the hammer, bringing down her swings and spins with crushing strength, hoping to overwhelm while the Fly distracted. Personally, Maple didn't think The Hammer needed the Fly...the Fly sometimes moved too quickly, interfering with The Hammer's rhythm...in this one way, Maple had been fortunate up to this point...The Hammer could not fully employ the full capability of her offense. Maple had to decide quick about who to take out first. The Fly's strikes were like lightning, and Maple was forced to retreat backward, the slices from the Fly getting ever closer the Hammer nearly as fast, but compensating with raw strength that took all her might to parry. She could not keep this up much longer.

Maple chose The Fly. As the Fly's stab moved towards her chest like greased lightning. Maple suddenly shifted her stance to the left, keeping track of the Hammer, who had flanked her, and was attempting a downward impale, but she was two and a half seconds behind the Fly.

Maple parried the Fly's stab shifting it into the path of The Hammer's. Maple executed a mild Force pull on the Fly's head as the swords were met, slamming the Woman's face into Maple's knee, breaking her nose and knocking her cold. She backflipped out of The Hammer's sudden burst of aggression the spins and stabs of her cleaver-bladed double-sword sending sparks from the ground as the vibro-enhanced tips passed through stone floors, Maple barely staying out of their radius.

The Hammer suddenly executed a running spin forward, which transitioned into a hard spin-kick that caught Maple off-guard, and she barely managed to get her right arm up to cover her head from a kick that had the kinetic force of a metal club and which, if it had connected, would likely have instantly snapped Maple's neck. But because of her fast reflexes, the worst she suffered was a dislocated arm as that kinetic force sent her flying into the other wall opposite her, nearly dislocating her other arm as well. The ex-shadow rolled on the ground, the air knocked out of her lungs as The Hammer sprinted towards her, spinning her blades around her body, building up kinect force to rip through her.

Maple pulled her self up on sheer willpower as the blades watched, her eyes catching the exact rhythm of the Hammer's motions as the sword hilt was moved around her muscular frame. As the Blond moved her blade into the radius that would hit Maple's face the ex-shadow seized the hilt of the sword, and used it to aid her springboard off the ground with The Force, landing on the hilt for the briefest of moments and forcing it downward, using it as a spring board for her next back flip, her boot catching the Hammer's jaw, flinging her backward and knocking her out cold as Maple landed, catching the hilt of The Hammer's vibro-double-sword. She stood up...for a split second before collapsing to her knees.

"Class..." Maple breathed to the defeated pair.

"dismissed."

She looked for [member="Matsu Ike"]. "Uhh...Matsu? Think...I...used up all my badass--fuel."
 

Matsu Ike

Emberlene's Daughter, The Jedi Generalist
Character
[member="Maple Harte"]

THe jedi master was listening and stayed at the ready for anything that might happen when she moved forward. Crouched and Maple was beign stealthy before the others were speaking about the reasoning of being there... who gave them the information and then well how they were going to fight Maple when Matsu came out. By then though Maple had really started to lay into them and the jedi master herself was moving with her hand and cane. She could stun the others who were there moving around the edges of Maples combat zone as they seemed to be attacking her. THe jedi master herself though reached out and was listening to everyone.

Then the fighting was over and Matsu was moving to each of them with restraints and turned her head to see maple with a raising of her eyebrows. She gave a smile in a moment though while she moved to stand next to her. "Maybe but it was very impressive." Crossing her arms over her chest where she looked around at the restrained ones ont he ground. She moved the weapons to the sides while speaking. "So the Kanzer found soemone who would give them information and lead them here... not something good but if they are worried about what might be here then we will just need to find it for ourselves."
 
The Golden Eye
Writer
Arriving: Siva. (http://starwarsrp.net/topic/134322-siva-joyuese/)


"We got bigger problems..." Maple breathed. "They're gonna plant charges and detonate this place's foundations. We...we have to...to...

Maple winced as she felt her dislocated arm. The other one was not doing too well, either...

"Matsu...Matsu, you ain't got time to heal me..." Maple spoke, the pain starting to catch up hard. It hurt so bad she could barely think. "You have to stop them...They'll definitely be in the lowest levels of this place...and...and...wait...what is that..."

Maple felt a familiar presence close by, getting closer by the second. Maple's heart swelled with relief when she realized who it was...

She'd always felt Siva easily in the Force, despite the fact the Twi'lek had no sensitivity towards it herself. The woman had a warm but focused nature that made you know she was trustworthy. Siva had never disappointed anyone save her military superiors.

Uri Udinia had known Siva's sister only a short time before the Bone Cancer had finally ended her. The healer's had had to cut off all her pain receptors to give her relief in the final hours. That pain had made Siva steal an experimental medicine in a desperate attempt to save her. It had failed, and Siva's career as a Combat Surgeon was over after the theft was discovered. That was how she had ended up doing the odd recon job and intel gathering for the Marksman.

Maple had been trying to protect Siva, by faking her death after Mimban. But The Silent Erika's presence had let Siva know otherwise. Maple knew she probably should have used another vessel, but she could never discard The Silent Erika.

Plus, her schizophrenia had made Maple fear saddling Siva down with yet another sick woman to care for. Her madness had only gotten worse in that time. Eventually she would not be able to completely hide it, the doctor had told her, almost begging her to institutionalize herself. But if there was anything that Maple feared more than the Mind-Binder, it was wasting away in a mental hospital forever. It was no death for a warrior. She understood all too well why Mandalorians prefer dying in battle. Death by pills and adult diapers and creepy orderlies was worse.

It was times like this, barely conscious, in great pain, and preferring this to retirement, that Maple knew with an icy clarity in the snow of her mind that she would die in this business. It was better this way.

She finally heard rapid footsteps. When she saw Siva, for a moment, she felt the same as Uri had the first time she saw Siva Joyeuse.

The shade of her skin was an apple green. Her form, muscular and curvy, was hugged by a skintight black combat suit. Her face and lips were heart shaped, face symmetric and defined. Her eyes, a darker green than Maple's settled instantly on the bounty hunter as she marched in, pistols drawn. Se-14's with the scopes removed. She saw Maple, clearly injured, and her pistols swiveled to [member="Matsu Ike"].

"Siva! Siva, its cool, she's Jedi! Oh and hi! You look lovely today!" Maple called out without a hint of sarcasm in pain-laced words.

Siva holstered her blasters, pulling out a medical kit from her back pack as she ran over to Maple.

"Started your ass kicking early today, eh, Uri?" Siva joked, her underworks Coruscant accent tinging her words as she reached Maple and Matsu. She was slightly taller than the bounty hunter. By reflex over all the other injuries Siva had treated over the years, Maple gestured to her arm and Siva examined it.

"Simple dislocation. Gonna leave a nasty bruise..." Siva noted, popping the arm expertly back in place, making Maple grunt in severe pain before injecting her with a hypoinjector full of pain killer.

"How'd you know where I was?" Maple asked.

"I came to your old stomping grounds because I had my ear to the ground and heard the place had been sold out to the Kanzer. I'd hope to reach this citadel before they did, keep 'em from getting whatever they were trying to get. I see I was late...and you got started without me."

"They're gonna level Loste Citadel. They came looking for a lab in Ursula's chambers."

Siva blinked, dark green eyes widening.

"Since when did that snake find time to build a hidden lab?" Siva asked, glancing at its entrance. Siva's opinion of Ursula was even worse than Maple's. "Damn her. Even missing, she's still causing problems..."

Siva turned her eyes to Matsu, and an impressed unsubtle glance made her raise a brow.

"Can't fault your current taste in company though..." Siva joked in a seductive manner.

"Matsu Ike, meet Siva Joyuese. Siva Joyuese, meet Matsu Ike..." Maple replied, giving an explanatory wave of her hand.

"You're pals with the head of Sasori?" Siva asked in clear surprise. "And whats that armor you're wearing? Looks fancy...and it hugs you nice..." Siva added with a grin.

"Us former Shadows tend to get along..." Maple grunted. "And the armor was made by Matsu."

"Well what's our next move? We don't even know how many may be here. I think the lower levels might completely controlled by them...saw a lot of boot prints near that turbolift with the rattle your damned snake of a master always said she'd fix but never got around to..."

Maple turned to Matsu. "Take Siva down there with you. I'm too messed up still...I'll contact you by comlink once you're down there. Guide you through it. Siva can help too, she's been here before...questions?"
 

Matsu Ike

Emberlene's Daughter, The Jedi Generalist
Character
[member="Maple Harte"]

Matsu was worried about Maple and she was moving to her side as she focused the force energies themselves.... then she felt a few things. THe dangerous intent of the kanzer and a twi'lek approaching as she looked up at the woman holding the blasters. Matsu was focusing the force energies thesmelves to heal her. She couldn't accelerate the skills themselves until the twi'lek was working on maple and the plan was being given. Matsu bowed her head to the twi'lek in greeting and acknowledging her being here. She was looking at a few of the other things here, reaching out and letting the force itself. She could feel the kanzer as she was moving.

"Alright, we'll head down." WIth a look on her face when she rose up feeling the force energies itself linger on Maple as her hand did from her shoulder. "Alright, please be careful... I am rather fond of traveling with you. Would be a shame if you couldn't travel... who else would I infiltrate all female death cults with?" She said it when she was moving around trying to check it out while the twi'lek was coming with her. She didn't say anything to big... mostly just focusing as she let the force itself guide them towards the kanzer. THe jedi master entered the lift as she spoke sending it down but was descending through a vent instead.

"Alright, I am on my way, is there anything that might be dangerous down here defense wise?" She was asking both of them but she didn't know the twi'lek silva she knew maple and it would make more sense that she would try and confirm between the two of them. She was reachingn out with the force and pushing it outwards until she let the basement levels, the lowest levels come into her mind. Matsu jumped down the shaft itself and landed with muffled feet until she pushed forward going through a vent grate to land in a crouch. She was reachign out witht he force and she could feel Maple above and Silva with her. THe kanzer all around them.
 
The Golden Eye
Writer
"Eh, that place is a ghost town, security wise. No lasers or emplacements." Maple answered wearily over the comlink of [member="Matsu Ike"].

Siva, who was close behind Matsu in the vent system snorted.

"Ursula never got around to reinforcing the place like it should have been. If they ever came under assault, the logic was that it could be abandoned quickly." The Twilek explained as she followed the Jedi Master in the vent, crawling.

It was not long before they came to the lower levels of the citadel. Siva dropped behind Matsu, and the lower levels looked to have been cut from the rock itself. There were ancient reliefs of the Jedi who had carved this place out in a semi-circle of Granite, which was seperated in two by a gigantic hour-glass with no sand inside it. On the floor was the gigantic apparent seal of The Marksmen, depicting the symbol of the Jedi Order at the center of a stylized Eye, which itself was surrounded by four equidistant crosshairs in a diamond pattern. It was set against a cap of Transparisteel, the images themselves in red. Underneath that cap was the sarcophagus of the Founder.

"We've exited out into Hiram Loste's tomb." Siva said into her own comlink.

"Okay...okay...let me think..." came a reply from the comlink. "There's an emergency passage at the north end, it'll take you down to the dueling chamber...Gods I hate that place." Maple said on the other end.

"Uri was down there once...she was attacked by...something...its gone now, whatever it was...but she's never been back here since. Told me all about it." Siva explained as she traveled past Loste's monument and a series of glassteel cases containing his belongings, including the remains of his sabercane, which was incredibly similar in design to the one Maple sported from time to time. The chamber itself seemed to be all stone, with thick, heavy supporting pillars at key stress points, girded with engraved durasteel.

Siva headed to the North end of the stone chamber, working the old keypad.

"So...how did you meet Uri?" Siva asked casually as she worked the keypad...

Meanwhile...

Maple, as she rested on the rotted bed, realizing where they had exited out, stirred at an uncomfortable memory.

She hadn't been kidding when she said she hated the dueling chamber. It was the one place she had never gone after that night, after she had brought home Lur Redtide's vessel as her own.


Skip.

She was still a Marksman, dressed in purple training robes, her hair trimmed short. She was holding her sabercane as she wandered into the dueling chamber of stone, vast and somewhat ovular in design. The red emergency lights on the walls were running. She felt no fear. Back then she was not someone who could be brought to that state easily. Tonight however, was going to be an exception.

Uri was silent as she moved forward in the unsettling silence.

A voice had called out to her. In her sleep. Not the usual one, this was different. Strange and dark. Unfamiliar. Uri went deeper into the dueling chamber. Her keen ears picked up a shifting movement, a footstep.

Uri's cane activated, viridian blades providing more illumination, showing reliefs of Jedi and Sith duelists.

She heard something wet and slick ahead and she went slowly, the light from her cane blades going ahead.

She saw a mass of ripping, gray flesh, and a flash of intense psychic pain that made her stumble back in pain as the mass of flesh took on a feminine but detail-lacking appearance.

"Urrrrrriiiii..." it hissed, having no face.

Uri said nothing, but took a step back. She felt a writhing, putrid corruption from it, stronger than any she had ever felt. Its flesh was pale, and rippled subtly. It held a lightsaber. A Sith one, from the trophy room.

"Soooo strong..." it hissed without a mouth taking a shifting, slithering motion forward to her. "So insane...deep down..."

"What the feth are you?"

The creature's red blade activated.

"Its better if I show you. Thank you so much for waking me..."

It snarled, rushing for her.

Skip.


Maple shot up in the rotted bed, panting in fear.

What the hell was that? Was that a memory?
 

Matsu Ike

Emberlene's Daughter, The Jedi Generalist
Character
[member="Maple Harte"]

Matsu moved quickly and silently letting the force muffle her feet until she crouched down. Looking at the tomb, the displays and the feeling of the force as she reached out to feel Maple whose mind and thoughts were drifting. "I met her here on Dantooine, I was exploring and excavating the ruins here of the jedi enclave and temple. She was searching for something and discovered me when she went towards a vault we had found." She said it with a grin and that had been a rather fun experience to say the least. All of the work that they were doing for now though. She could feel something in Maple's mind that was more like a cry for help and then it was gone as the jedi master moved. "Whatever might be here or was here could hav left something dangerous though and since there are no defenses the citadel itself could be have been left exposed and open." She said it while moving though with a grin on her face where she was looking itno the force to feel the people around them. Her instincts were to infiltrate and then knock out if there was a threatbut there might be places they would have to go or options they could do.
 
The Golden Eye
Writer
Skip.

The creature's blows came fast, hard, and ruthlessly. Uri Udinia knew it was Niman, but some variant twisted to evil ends. She could barely fend off the hideous monster's attack, retaliating when she could but her foe's movement was so fluid, Uri might as well have been striking at air.

"Oh, how I wish I could have shed the lies for you earlier..." it hissed as it drove the Shadow backward.

Uri fended off a thrust that would have scorched her shoulder had she been slower.

"But I was too weak. Too weak to emerge...but then you won...you beat Lur Redtide. You achieved...you'll never know how greatful I am. I have so much to show you."

"I having nothing to gain from you, monster..." Uri snarled viciously. The shadows surrounded them both in the chamber, claustrophobic and oppressive. Most oppressive.

"Don't be so narrow, Uri...you yourself are almost like me...almost...but not yet."

"I am nothing like you." She asserted.

"We're both killers..." the monster hissed as it swiped at her leg..."We're both good at it, and we have no regrets..."

"Speak for yourself!" Uri snapped, blocking the blow and swinging at its face in a pickaxe like motion.

It parried and she found herself in a saber lock.

"Don't stay in the light...you're the only person I could bring myself to call 'daughter'. You woke your 'true' parent, in a sense...your mother in the dark..."

The fully human Uri could only recoil from the lock in disgust and backed away in confusion, nearly losing her sense of orientation in the shadows around her, the red emergency lights casting both of them in a scarlet pallor.

"Show me your madness, young Uri..." the faceless, emaciated creature spoke as it dashed forward, executing a strike to her left...

Skip.


Maple got out of the bed, knowing that memory had been real, and that her madness had so scrambled her she had forgotten it.

But what had triggered it? She could not figure out why she was getting all this now. She breathed hard for a few seconds and got out her comlink.

"Siva, how far along are you both?"

Meanwhile...


"They called her The Golden Eye once." Siva replied to [member="Matsu Ike"] as she moved past the security door, going past the passage that lead even deeper into the bowels of the Citadel. "She's a good woman, Matsu...she's not what she was when I met her and...and she's...fragile...more than she seems."

Siva was not a fool. She knew there was something Maple wasn't telling her. Knew she was holding it in. But Maple refused to talk of it and Siva was scared to ask. All she could do was be there for her. But she could not truly help unless she knew what it was that was hurting Maple.

Sure enough, as she got to the bottom of the emergency passage, the oppressive feeling of the stone closing tight, she finally was greeted by the sight of the cavernous foundations carved from the mountain. She saw at least two dozen Kanzer setting charges on the support pillars, which were massive. Natural light shone through the cavern, and she saw glowing fungi everywhere.

Siva tried to move forward silently but she had never been good at stealth. She tripped and disturbed a loose brick, drawing the attention of the Kanzer, who opened fire on her with submachine guns, but the Twi'lek was shockingly agile as she drew her blasters and returned fire, getting behind a natural spike of rock and hitting one of the Kanzer.

"Ike! I'll cover you! Move! Get the detonators off the pillars, I'll distract them!" she yelled, blasting a few more Kanzer in the face as they tried to flank them.
 

Matsu Ike

Emberlene's Daughter, The Jedi Generalist
Character
[member="Maple Harte"]

She felt something in her mind, a brushing as something was coming from Maple and her focus on her changed to the moment when the Kanzer were around them and she was moving quickly. THe element of surprise cast away but a small look of amusement came upon her face. She moved quickly as her saber activated and she let the white and silver blades dance to deflect blaster shots, ionizing crackles of the air when she was going after the electronic equipment of the explosives to disable them and spun around quickly to pull one of them to her. Quickly and with a whirlwind approach that allowed her to kick the kanzer to the side.

She was letting her mind focus on the moment and disabling the explosives became a top priority to her she wanted to protect the citadel itself and stopped just long enough to send a small shockwave of kinetic energy to propell two of them up and into the air. THen grabbed and clapped them together as she moved about with her attention on the Twi'lek as she motioned her forward to go after the rest. Her mind was racing and processing the information around her... the explosives and the support pilars before the ionized blast excited the air and made her hair stand on ends for a moment when the device became slag in the hands of one kanzer getting a scream of pain before they dropped it.
 
The Golden Eye
Writer
Siva blasted three Kanzer trying to dance around her and she moved from cover and advanced. She would NOT let them blow up her sometimes-lover's home.

Uri had looked like a mess, Siva thought. A mess that was messier. She dodged a spray of submachine gun fire, unloading her fully automatic pistols and perforating her would-be killer.

A kanzer struck from the shadows with her vibrosword, and Siva dodged the slice that would have effortlessly taken part of her head clean off as she grabbed his sword arm and twisted, snapping his wrist, then shooting him in the head before she was surrounded by other assassins. She executed an elaborate twist in the air, dodging sword strikes that had come from multiple directions, firing both her pistols and taking out two of them, using the momentum of her legs to help her leap up and chest kick a soldier, causing him to drop his sword as he was hurled backward. She caught the sword after tossing her pistol in the air, using it to crudely parry away a vertical slice from the remaining one and shooting him in the head, tossing his sword aside, catching her tossed pistol and shooting the three sword wielders behind her trying to flank her. All head shots. Siva didn't pause, knowing if so much as one of those charges went off chances are the entire Citadel would crush them as its foundations were destroyed. She moved through the stony cavernous foundations, shooting everyone that wasn't [member="Matsu Ike"], and being shot at in return. She ripped one of the charges off a support pillar and deactivated it after shooting the ones who had tried to set it off in a desperate attempt at victory. She kept moving down the foundations as she pegged more of the seemingly endless Kanzer in the head, in the back of her head worrying over Maple, worrying over her pursuit of this faceless enemy that had never shown themselves. Was Maple simply being paranoid?

Siva had long suggested them both just going to ground and retiring. Siva at least, knew she couldn't keep this up after forty. She'd slip, start making mistakes. Uri though...Uri had enough energy for both of them. Uri was the warrior. Siva was just the paid bounty hunter. Deep down, a part of Siva knew Uri would never leave the business. It was one thing to know it deep down however...it was another to state it openly, and as she shot another Kanzer woman, Siva knew it had not yet crossed that point with Uri.
 

Matsu Ike

Emberlene's Daughter, The Jedi Generalist
Character
[member="Maple Harte"]

Matsu was moving witht he force, the Kanzer were dangerous but as she was observing so was this twi'lek and that told her a few things about Maple... mostly that she really really needed to be more careful but there was just something about her. An invigoration that pushed the jedi master to realy want to protect and help her. She was a capable warrior, a skilled fighter... so saying she wanted to protect her was kind of an off putting thing... Maple had mroe then enough protection but Matsu was a jedi and she could work to protect her from things like this.. the dark influences here as she moved and one fo the Kanzer was here near her.

SMall and lithe, with muscles visible in the robes as she danced around with a blade and the jedi master moved. Her words coming out and they were dathomirian compared to many of the others. The Kanzer might have been in the unknown regions but there were a collection of females that they raided from ships, from slavers or anywhere in the galaxy. COuld have even had some exiled witches or nightsisters there when the jedi master herself was moving. The jeid masters blade rising up as she stopped her and took her hand. Sending the kanzer back into the chest of another with the force flashing before her eyes.

Her vision was going slower, her perceptions of the area heightened as Matsu smiled to herself within the moment. She could feel soemthing from the twi'lek and from Maple within the force when she stopped and her hand raised up. With the silver blade of her lightsaber shimmering with the force itself. TO produce an arc of force light that made the rising feeling of darkness retreat. SHe was brightening up the area and the Kanzer were screaming as they fled away from it. THe benefits of being a jedi master skilled in it before she moved and looked at the Twi'lek feeling the area around them. "We have it cleared for now but there is a lot more of them."

She could feel all of them, she could taste it all practically in the air before she was moving towards the pillars and the equipment. Using one hand she shifted and drifted them so that they were reinforced with earth shaping. THe stone expanding and wrapping around the pillars as she looked at the twi'lek and offered a smile on her face. WHere they could check it all out would at the very least. She was moving out to find Maple as they had cleared it with disabling the other doors, a rekali sphere was being set up to defend and watch it. She could get an alert from it while she had felt it here... something had been in the tomb and it lingered but it wasn't coming out to face them.

Matsu was arriving back though as she moved with the twi'lek and didn't speak as much but she could feel Maple and moved into the room to meet her... attention to everything but the jedi master herself moved up to embrace her and she spoke. "There is something down there.. I am not certain what but whatever happened... whatever you saw down there." She left it going and she had sensed something before she was touching the woman's face and listening to the force. Using it to calm the room and allow the force energies themselves to the area here. "DId you manage to find any information in here?" She said it and ran hands along her shoulders looking up at Maple.
 
The Golden Eye
Writer
Maple looked around at the room, shuddering, remembering only her fight with that strange, faceless creature. It had never shown itself again after that night. No one had ever learned where it came from. Its presence in the Force had been utterly corrupt...yet she had sensed confusion and anger from it also and...something else...something too horrible to have coming from a monster like that.

She wasn't too familiar with that emotion...she had been taking by the Jedi young. But if she had to make a guess, then the sensation from that...creature...

...was motherly affection.

That the creature could ever think of itself that way to her both frightened and disgusted her. That creature was not worthy of affection...it was a perversion of the Force."

"I got a few notebooks..." she said idly, remembering the disturbing duel, though she was suddenly having trouble recalling how it had ended due to her schizophrenia choosing that moment to obscure a more accurate retelling...

...that is, assuming ANY recall of Maple's could be considered accurate. But it felt true. The monster was real. And no longer here. But traces lingered.

"Whatever you saw down there, or experienced...its an echo..."

Siva, who had been listening, arms folded and pacing grew inquisitive...

"What? What was down there? All I shot were Kanzer."

"A monster...once...a long time ago...gone now..." Maple trailed quietly, looking between her and [member="Matsu Ike"]. "I don't know what it was...but..."

"But?" Siva asked.

"...I think it knew me. I'd just beaten Lur Redtide for the Silent Erika. I don't remember anything like that watching me when I fought him. Spoke to me like I was its...daughter...it...wanted to be my mother."

"I don't get how Ursula's supposed to be this badass Jedi Shadow yet a monster slips through her perimeter. Sloppy. Very sloppy..." Siva grumbled. " I swear that woman was too overconfident...she might as well not have been there at all if stuff like that's going to happen..."

"Siva, why are you more hostile to Ursula than a horrible, faceless monster that seemed to be trying to forcibly adopt me?"

"Because at least the monster was honest about its intent..." Siva replied simply. "Creepy as hell, but honest."

Maple didn't have a retort for that.
 
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