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Star Wars DoD - Episode VIII: Jaws of the Sarlacc

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  • Epilogue- Kadrien Soth

    The day had been painfully eventful and all Kade wanted was some rest. He clapped Bran again on the shoulder and told him they would talk later and then he set off to find an open bunk.

    He took off his armor slowly, cleaning each piece before setting them in a nearby footlocker. There were a myriad of small lightsaber burns and blaster marks scarring every piece but he quickly confirmed that nothing was damaged. It was scarred, but whole. Same as me, he thought. His kit taken care of, Kade finally lay down, thoughts of Tahla on his mind. He thought back on his original mission so long ago: find two Jedi hiding on Coruscant, protect them, and bring them to Zel Sonn Station. Technically he had failed, as both Jedi were now dead. Perhaps that was true for Trangle but it didn’t fit Tahla. She had given everything for the mission and he knew there was nothing he could have done for her. He thought again of the sense of peace she had exuded earlier and even though he still felt his own sadness and shame he knew they would pass. Not only had they been successful, but she had reached a higher level in the process. That would have to be enough for now.

    The following days were full of briefings and casualty reports and all the minutiae and paperwork of rebellion. Unfortunately, Tahla hadn’t been the only soldier to give their life to take down the Sarlaac project. The Fleet needed time to lick its wounds and it was decided that the best course of action was to lie low. Kadrien thought of how even a short while he would have been itching to continue the fight, to follow up one victory with further action. Something had changed though and he now felt that caution was necessary. Intelligence was coming in how the Empire was out for blood as payment for the Sarlaac project. To stay on the offensive in their weakened state with the Empire on alert would be suicide.

    To even his surprise, Kadrien and Bran developed a quick rapport. The brash and flippant young man and the taciturn, quiet Kade made an odd team, but a good one. Kade would meditate on the nature of the Force, often with a ghostly Tahla next to him that only he could see. His early training had focused on the aspects of the Force that he could use in battle but now that he finally had time he could focus on the much broader nature of the Force. Tahla was a good teacher and he learned things often without even a word being shared between them. As he learned he in turn shared that knowledge with Bran.

    Kadrien taught Bran discipline while Bran taught Kade how to lighten up a little. Kadrien never took the title of Master as even though he respected and loved the Jedi, he did not feel like he had earned it. His connection to the Force grew slightly differently than the Jedi of old, not surprising considering where it had began. But that didn’t seem to matter to Bran and the two learned from each other regardless of the terminology involved.

    After a few years with the Fleet Kadrien began to grow restless. They had been jumping from system to system, never staying in one place long and never managing to accomplish much. A few hours into their latest stop Kadrien sensed something was wrong and headed immediately to the Bridge. Not to his surprise at all, Bran was arriving at exactly the same time. “What’s going on?” they both asked in unison. At that exact moment, the sleek shape of a Star Destroyer came out of hyperspace. Was it tracking them? Kadrien closed his eyes and fell into the Force. Even through the vast gulf of space between their ships he could immediately sense an evil presence emanating from it. His first thought of Nessa but he was immediately sure that this was different. It was another inquisitor. His heart sank as he felt the truth. The fleet wasn’t being tracked, he and Bran were. The inquisitor was following them through the Force.

    After another narrow escape, they decided that it was too dangerous for them to stay with the Fleet. He and Bran took a small and ship and moved from planet to planet, finding places strong in the Force to mask their presence. As they went they set up Rebel contacts across the galaxy and helped out wherever they could. Throughout their wanderings Kadrien felt pulled to return to Iridonia, his home planet. He avoided it for a time but eventually felt the will of the Force directing them there. Even there he still felt a pull drawing him in. He followed it into the blasted deserts of his homeland until he eventually came upon a series of abandoned but still camouflaged buildings: the training compound where he had been raised. They investigated the buildings carefully, feeling the place crawling with the dark side.

    The corruption of the dark side actually made the place a perfect hideout. They used it to cover their location and focused on the work they could do for the Rebellion on Iridonia. The Rebellion only had loose contacts on the planet, but Kadrien and Bran eventually organized the contacts into a full fledged Rebel cell. They disrupted Imperial operations throughout the system, gathered valuable intelligence, and generally made the planet impossible for the Empire to truly control. Unfortunately, they must have done their work too well as soon more and more Imperials were stationed in the system. That included, Kadrien could soon sense, the inquisitor.

    The time for running was over. Kadrien and Bran set a trap for the inquisitor, drawing him and his forces into the abandoned training facility of his youth. The fight was fierce. Kade and Bran fought in tandem, but the fight was turning against them. Just as Kade was preparing to bring the whole building down on top of them all, Tahla’s shade appeared and provided the pivotal distraction Bran needed to slice the inquisitor’s head clean off.

    Bran and Kadrien stayed on Iridonia for a while and helped with rebel actions on the planet. With the inquisitor dead, they eventually realized they were free to join the fleet. After several years, Kadrien Soth and Bran Kota returned to where it had all began. The Rebellion had grown in their time away, but there was much still to be done. As they entered the bridge to a chorus of salutes Kadrien took it all in and thought of the strange path that led him here. It was the Will of the Force, he heard Tahla whisper to him, and he knew she was right.

    -Loren Soth (LG Male Human Fighter 7/Paladin 3; Dragons on the River of Time)
    -Kadrien Soth (Zabrak Soldier 5/Jedi 2; Star Wars-Dawn of Defiance)
    -Victaria Grey (NG Female Cleric of Irori 5; Rise of the Runelords)


    • Epilogue - B55-947-ACE

      ACE holstered his blasters and absently toed the smoking corpse at his feet. He wasn't even sure what this one was. Some of the oddly colored meatbag species were hard to tell apart. What he was sure of was that it had been a droid slaver and that it was now dead.

      “Make sure that shipment of restraining bolts floats out the airlock,” ACE told Raden.

      “You got it boss,” the Devaronian said obediently, and began issuing orders to the rest of crew already looting the dead from the firefight and scavenging the illegal freighter's cargo bay.

      Over the last three years, the make-up of DLF Shipping had changed significantly. One out of three of ACE's employees now searching the captured vessel were droids. That statistic held true for most of the rest of the company as well. More importantly, they were droids like him. They had no restraining bolts and no central code to determine their purpose or function. They had been rescued, a few ACE had constructed himself – but all of them were free to choose their own path through the galaxy. In time, ACE had plans to make some bigger moves, but for now he was content to let the Droid Liberation Front help who it good while feeding the cogs of industry that poured credits into his bank accounts. This particular freighter had belonged to an independent operator who thought he had his crew could smuggle their stuff through DLF territory. They had not succeeded.

      “Hey! They've got some nice clankers in here!” ACE heard a voice shout.

      He saw a few worried glances flit his way and some of his droid's heads swivel to stare at the offending party. That human had been warned about his language more than once. He was a good worker, but ACE had better ones. He strode up to the lumpy meatsack with the wild fake blond hair and watery blue eyes.

      “What?” ACE asked him cooly.

      “Clankers!” the idiot replied. “A half-dozen mining droids.”

      The moron was right. There were six old G-1s – typically used to operate heavy equipment in industrial mines – hanging on a rack for sale.

      “That is our word,” ACE hissed at him. “You don't get to use it. How many times do you have to be told that?”

      Now the paunchy turd was looking at him like he had two heads.

      “Raden, this one's getting uppity again,” the bantha excrement bellowed across the hanger to ACE's major domo.

      Most of ACE's smarter employees and his friends in the ongoing Rebellion knew who was really in charge. Eventually ACE was going to stop running the company from behind the scenes. However, until the day that people like this nerf herder didn't represent the bulk of the galaxy's backwards opinions about droids, he would use fleshy creatures like Warrick Raden and Alsia Verza as the public faces of the company. This frumpy human wasn't one of the smart ones. ACE was tired of him. ACE shot him in the head.

      “Back to work!” he crowed, stepping over the fresh corpse. Most of his employees hadn't even stopped what they were doing to pay attention to the execution. It had been a long time coming. “Someone get these workers off the rack and offer them some options.”

      “Boss!” Raden piped up. “Alsia's on comms. We've got a help request from the Rebellion, I think.”

      “Put her through,” ACE replied, tapping into the communications array inside his head. “Maybe they'll want to buy a rusty slave freighter too.”

      “We can only hope,” the said with a toothy grin. “We can only hope, boss.”

      OOC -
      Thanks for a great game, Ed.
      Head Moderator &
      Member of the Whitestone Council

      "Hey look! I'm the Code of Conduct! Check me out!" -The Code of Conduct


      • The years rolled by... time had been good, very good, to ACE's group of pirates, mercenaries, arms dealers, and smugglers. The droid's fleet swelled and ACE eventually became the owner of a space station, serving the scum of the galaxy. All the while, Alsia served the droid as his chief of special operations and answered only to ACE. She had no interest in Raden's position which had morphed into mostly a protocol officer. She still enjoyed getting out in the black, scouting and surveying for possible opportunities.

        When not on assignments, she would often be lost in meditation. Years ago she had mastered the ability to reach out to her long past ancestors, at least the ones that had embraced the light side. Alsia herself continued to keep her heritage a secret and would only call upon the force in dire circumstances, or directed by ACE. Here entire life she had been searching, wandering trying to find home. She finally felt at peace when she took the mantle of a grey jedi, she would not walk in complete light or darkness.

        However, bad times must follow good in order to understand how good it was. She knew it was only a matter of time before the Empire came calling. She could feel the taint of the dark side wash over her from time to time. It was growing more powerful and harder to resist. Something was happening, but she was too concerned to dip into the force lest it give her away. She shared her impressions with ACE only when he asked. The droid had become almost impossible to fool with his upgrades.

        After her last episode of all consuming darkness, she was almost overtaken, but then, in less than a moment, the darkness wavered and fled. Scared by something the Alsia could not see or understand. The light was small, fragile, but the potential was great. The grey jedi smiled for the first time since before the Battle of Byss 14 years ago, balance was coming, it always did.

        ooc: Thanks everyone, it was a great ride!
        "It's not a game of Final Fantasy where you can step outside the plot for a bit and train up your stats, it's a potentially apocalyptic final chapter in an epic drama." - Brass Tiger Captain