Star Wars Roleplay: Chaos

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The plan remains, but the tools change

The ship Iridonian
Kessel Sector, unknown coordinates​
The blackness of space again invaded the private ship of Arthos Vynea as he waited on bended knees before his Master. He greeted her in the way he always did with a repetition of the Sith Code, and then obedient silence. There had been a change of plans forced upon the pair, and Arthos had acted when the opportunity arose. The only question that mattered to him however was would his Master agree.

He did not speak first however, but waited by her feet for her will. Some apprentices found this kind of thing offensive and sought out immediately for a way to become the superior. Arthos was no such fool however. He needed her, and he needed her even more for the way she pushed him into growth. Any disobedience would be felt anyway through the force by his Master, and then even if the lessons continued she would hide things from him.

The only answer was simple, complete loyalty, and complete obedience.
"Peace is a lie there is only passion; Through passion I gain strength; Through strength I gain power; Through power I gain victory; Through victory my chains are broken; The Force shall set me free."​
Silence. Nothing but a dull echo of his words reverberating through the hollow room. Her left hand twitched as the muscle tightened, the Apprentice remaining on his knees before her, waiting for permission to rise, or even to speak. He did nothing save allow his chest to rise and fall with his steady breaths, head bowed subtly in obedience, in submission. Yet all the same her anger flared, the only tell tale sign for Arthos being the hand, if he even looked upon it. Then said hand rose and struck him across the side of the cheek, the back of the hand striking sharp and hard, with more power behind it than the petite woman's frame should have mustered. Clearly she had the Force backing her.

Again the silence dragged on long after the resonating reverberation of the slap ceased to be. It hadn't even aided in lessening her rage, and yet outwardly... She was the epitome of calm and collected, despite the action she had just carried out. Then, slowly but surely, she crouched down to his level, her knees not quite touching the ground as she glared at him. "You have no strength. You hold no power. You are not victorious." With the final word she struck his other cheek and rose back up from the ground, taking in one slow breath to keep herself composed. She did not even ask him to explain himself, she did not give him leave to, she simply stood over him, letting her words sink in...

@[member="Arthos Vynea"]

OOC note: I gained prior permission for the slaps to hit.
Arthos merely knelt there in obedience, both strikes still stinging across the his face. He had already made a decision though, and he would follow through with it, no matter the cost. In truth he also understood one other thing. Every time you hurt a Sith, you simply made him stronger. For his rage, and passion increased with the pain, and until a Sith's final breath they would always grow stronger in the dark of the Force. It was a sweet seduction that once you tasted, you simply didn't want to escape.

So he stayed in silence his spirit in control of his passions, and the force around him a silent tempest worth of energy just in wait of his command. He had learned his lessons so far, and even her strike would not allow his emotions to flare beyond control. When she was ready to hear him she would tell him, but until then his silence continued. He would let his obedience, and discipline speak for him.

@[member="Kära Vi'dreya"]
Good. It seemed her lessons had paid off, and Arthos had learnt well. She did not let on that she was pleased with this aspect, though; there was still the small matter of the Republic Senate to handle. The silence dragged on until it turned to discomfort in the very air itself, and then some. But finally, perhaps it was because he had shown the control she needed him to, she spoke. "Explain yourself." She did not need to say more, he knew what it was that required explanation. If he didn't then he truly would be useless to her, and she might as well end his pathetic existence now.

Stepping back from him she continued to glare down, not giving him leave to rise up she wanted to hear what he had to say from his present position, where she could see every minute action he made, the twitching of his muscles and each breath he took. She wanted him to realise why he was here, who was in control of the situation, of him and his life and his future power... Truth be told Arthos was disposable, but he would be hard pressed to find another Master willing to work with him should he ruin his name here today. That he needed to understand.

@[member="Arthos Vynea"]
At last the long silence rewarded, and in truth Arthos knew his discipline was being rewarded with a chance to retain his position. Without her he would be back to square one, and in truth he probably would never leave this ship alive. He would die, the only true promise that his lips would never be unsealed. "Yes, my Master. The Republic has atrophied to the point where it was no longer a usable tool. They've surrendered the Shepard to the CIS, and grovel before the galaxy in fear of war. Word came later about this Axis of Powers, and again they appeased the true powers of the galaxy and bared their throat to them. In truth their blades are rusted and will do your plan no goo, Master. The Confederacy on the other hand is riding to a new high in power. They've extended their borders extensively, and even obtained the Shepard through simple intimidation. I choose a different tool for the plan when the chance arose. I would not have acted without your permission, but I had a very limited window to do this in."

Finished speaking he simply sat their quietly, and awaited her judgement.

@[member="Kära Vi'dreya"]
Her Apprentice had given her much to mull over. So the Republic was once again showing the weakness it had always contained? How should she feel about this revelation? Glad that they could be crushed underfoot, or perhaps annoyed that there would be no sport to be had. Truth be told she didn't feel anything, although his initiative would likely prove beneficial to her. Stepping closer to him she crouched back down to his level, practically belittling him into the ground as she stared, eyes unblinking yet completely steady in herself.

"On your head be it." Was all she retorted in the end, a short yet sharp warning; if this goes amiss, Arthos would be the one to pay for it, by her hand or by theirs it did not matter so long as the truth did not come out. When she finally rose up she gestured for him to do so, too, before turning on her heels to face the window. "To stand within the Senate and do as you did means you have been practising that which you were taught. But it is not enough to merely cover up your Force Sensitivity; all it takes is for one versed in the mental to skim your mind and everything falls to the ground. Your mind is weak. But it will not remain that way..."

As ever she could not bring herself to simply compliment him, if one could even call it such. Encouragement had to be met with a sharp push, to make him aim for better, to make him do more and work harder.

@[member="Arthos Vynea"]
Slowly he rose as he listened to her words, and again realized he knew nothing of the power of the Force. His mind limited its usefulness even before he had known what one could do. How did one steal a thought from your mind, or defend against such a thing? Had she already gleaned through his thoughts before he'd spoken them? It matter not either way, it was simply another reason to respect her.

He didn't waste his breathe asking how one would defend their own mind from intrusion. The fact that she'd said he needed to learn it meant she would teach him, and the fact that she let him known it could be done meant she may even teach him how to do it one day. So he simply stood by her as silent as a second shadow in the darkness of the ship. he was a tool, a weapon to be used, and he understood this. He would let her hone him till his strength was enough for her to deem him worthy.

@[member="Kära Vi'dreya"]
Without even looking at him the Knight exerted her power over his mind, allowing her focus to be brought into fruition in order to twist the internal mechanisms his brain possessed to bring him a sense of physical pain where there was none, likely enough to bring him staggering to his knees before her. When she turned to face him her eyes were like glowing embers, alight with passion and fury that the rest of her did not show. Yet it was there for a mere moment, and while the pain in his mind upheld she became much more regal in her appearance, as innocent as one could muster up.

The Force is capable of a great many things, Arthos, most of which you will never even begin to understand. But you need to learn to defend against whatever is thrown at you. Even now, as she spoke directly into his mind, her lips not moving at all, she began to sift through his thoughts, pulling up some of his most darkest secrets, desires and most traumatic memories, bringing them to the forefront of his mind to continue the mental onslaught. If he did not understand prior to this then there would be no doubt left within his mind following. This was something he had to learn to block out, for the sake of his sanity as well as the falsities he showed the rest of the Galaxy.

Finally she relented, releasing her grip from his mind so as to give him a moment of respite. "That is what you will be working against, until such a time as I deem you ready to leave my presence and continue the task at hand. Do you understand?"

[Again I gained permission to do the above. @[member="Arthos Vynea"] ]
Without warning pain shot through his entire body enough to drop him had he not been already touching the force. As was his body quivered in response, and his knees sagged. He had already failed in her eyes though, and he could afford to show any weakness to her again. Even then her words crept through his mind as thought its was her own. The Force is capable of a great many things, Arthos, most of which you will never even begin to understand. But you need to learn to defend against whatever is thrown at you.

His thoughts were filled with his past as he relived events that he thought behind him, and others that never truly left. Even as he saw them the passion that was a squall suddenly burst to life as his passion erupted from the visions. He was in the eye of the storm again, and she had fueled him there with those visions. It had been all too easy to tempt to rage from him, and with just a little searching of his mind she'd revealed his secrets to his mind's eye once more.

"That is what you will be working against, until such a time as I deem you ready to leave my presence and continue the task at hand. Do you understand?"

With a nod he answered his mouth feeling dry from his emotions, and the ease at which his mind had fallen prey to her. The question was how did one protect their mind? Did he need to focus on something mentally to keep her from scanning it? Could he use the force to create a barrier that she couldn't pass through, or perhaps there was another way. First though he would try each method as she moved through his mind to reveal his secrets again. Focusing his mind on one thing he brought the one thought that was simply unbreakable, his mother's face. With that thought firm in mind he attempted his first method, engage in one thought so firmly his mind couldn't be so easily ripped apart.

Now all he could was wait for the assault that was sure to come.
@[member="Kära Vi'dreya"]
"Fool" she hissed when to the surface of his mind came something to be used against him, a weakened link in his armour. "This will be used against you by whoever you show it to." Her assault on his mind intensified, showing him images of his mother, she who had been brought to the forefront of his mind, in all manner of gruesome ways, but each ending in the same bloodied fate, be that following torture or other aspects. The last one she pressed upon him was he himself slaying her. As she pressed this image she stepped close to his body, lording over him yet again. She wanted him to feel the pain that could be subjected to him through the mind alone.

Not once did she relieve the pressure placed upon him, but she did decide to prompt him. "There are ways to block your mind completely, but there will always be someone able to break this down. Instead you need to perfect a secondary defence mechanism before you even begin the first." Gently she crouched down before him, head tilted to one side. "Imagine, within your mind, an endless maze. Somewhere that they will find themselves lost within should they try to enter your mind. A forest, the depths of an ocean - whatever you can visualise best, but it must be unending, it must be vast and formidable, else they will break it down. This stops them from ever gaining access to your mind unless you wish them to - or, of course, they manage to break you physically to let your mental down."

Then she stood, waiting for him to attempt it. Like the suppression of his presence this would have to become a continual, subconscious, unbroken process. But this was only one of three layers he had to make, there was so much more to the mental defences she would put in place. He would be here for a very long time this time, as opposed to the standard handful of days. She could not let him head to CIS territory without this being perfected - the Republic had been crumbling for months now, they were less acute in their senses than they had been, especially in comparison to the CIS. No, he had to get this under control.

@[member="Arthos Vynea"]
Arthos was consumed with hatred as the images floated through his head as if real images. Till finally she struck on one that was so close to truth it consumed him. For a moment he lost all control and his rate, and hate built up until he could feel it literally seeping out of his skin. The inner torment that haunted his dreams had been manifest again in front of his eyes. He could not have looked upon his Master with more hatred if he tried, but in truth the hatred was simply a reflection of his own soul. With a gasp of air he took control of his emotions again, but there was no way the pure torrent of emotions could be missed that had slid out of the man.

As she crouched down besides him and spoke he could her presence, but simply continued looking down now. His form now bowed at the knee again before his Master as he attended her words. If a maze was required, it was a maze he would create. It would be no simple maze of trees, or sea though. No he wanted a maze made up of the heavens themselves. Slowly he created an entire world in his mind, the planet covered in the heat of lava, and to one invading the mind possibly even painfully so. The maze itself though was to fly amongst the clouds against the wind.

Without knowledge on how atmospheric flight worked in the first place the mere complexity of it would be too much to move though. For any intruder would have to fly as a bird through the air currents, and attempt to find the heart of the storm through a hurricane of wind. It was the easiest thing to form up in his mind despite the myriad of complexities. It was the actual way he felt while touching the force,and in the force he was the eye of the hurricane. These winds were as natural to him as if they had been there all his life. The winds were always changing, and flowing which made finding anyway in nearly impossible as it was in constant flux. It was a circular maze that simply weaved in, and out through the pattern of the storm's winds. The cruel truth is there was no way through the maze.

@[member="Kära Vi'dreya"]
Finally she saw it, true understanding which flashed through the Apprentice knelt before her. She knew that he wanted to lash out, but by some miracle he restrained himself, unlike the Ashborn who had gifted her with a scar across her left cheek in thanks for her subjugation of his being. Oh this control was good, it would be useful in his endeavours, the anger he had could easily be drawn upon to keep him fuelled and afloat. When she was forced to face the whirlwind that was his defences, the impassable maze, she slipped herself back from his mind and took a physical step backwards, head tipped to the left for a brief moment of thought. "Better" she finally said after allowing the silence to stretch between them for quite some time, "But by no means perfect. One only need think themselves able to fly to be able to find you. Work on that."

Slowly she began to step away from him, her face completely impassive and without emotion and yet internally she was still fuming with her discovery. With a flick of her wrist she sent a blast of kinetic Force in his direction in order to try and knock him once again off focus, so that she might speak to him properly. "But that is only two layers complete; that which suppresses and that which hides. For this to be perfected you must learn how to set up a secondary consciousness to disguise your lack of one within the Senate."

With one foot infront of the other the young woman began to pace around her would-be student. In many ways he had given her an excuse to train him but in others he had a very long way to go. "You will inform me of everything you learn when you return to your new found territory. But likewise you will follow through with this plan to the fullest; do as they say but only so it will fulfil our own means, our own end. But know this; if they see you fit enough to raise to a higher status within your training, if they believe you able enough to become a Knight, you will not be finished here with me. You will be my Apprentice until I deem you ready to be otherwise, Arthos, and should you try and deceive me, try to escape, I will drag you right back here. I am the only thing holding your world together; don't you forget it."

And with that said she turned on her heels and disappeared without a trace, immersed into the Current so that she might leave him there to ponder on all he had learnt.

[End of my posts, feel free to do a last one for Arthos. We will sort out a tertiary training thread for the third phase when you're ready :) @[member="Arthos Vynea"] ]
Keeping his focus off the hurricane of thought he used as separated his mental focus. His constant practice of art of the small benefited him here as he was already used to using his mental muscles as easily as breathing. He still had to make a third pattern of thought, the mind of Arthos the Viceroy. That he'd need time to create as he formed a final layer of personality. Time, and planning would be required for that, and the details would make or break it.

Taking the physical blow his body leaned towards the floor, but it didn't shake him mentally. Standing he watched her leave in confusion, why would he betraying her? As she vanished into the shadows Arthos just shook his head more left in confusion then usual, what didn't he know?

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