Ask Which Can Eternal Lie - Act II: The City of Steel and Shadow

Discussion in 'Unknown Regions and Wild Space' started by The Storyteller, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. Skuld Stark

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    She blinked.

    Beneath her helm, the Deuc managed only a faint quirk of her lips, but he would hear it in her voice; a blend of amusement, and a resigned bemusement as well, as they descended deeper into the depths of Agorax. <<"Nei, Tagal, but a bit of care could not hurt.">> He had every cause to stress caution, and perhaps if her senses weren't screaming she would have been just as excited as the rest of the Herodotus team, if not more so. This wasn't like a museum or an abandoned mausoleum, though both descriptions could have applied here. Nei, this was a snapshot into a world that lived on solely by rumor in the stars.

    Though then again, the last time she and Tagal hunted down rumors they were nearly crushed by castles and immolated by pirates. A bit of caution wasn't uncalled for, but she nodded at Irma, patching through her comms to the galleon, and Tagal, as they continued.

    <<"Any unusual readings at all, alert immediately.">> She knew Tagal would hear, and maybe roll his eyes, but this time around she was willing to err on the side of caution. Guarding Irma was a first priority, though she was sure the Tintinna could more than amply handle herself. Nei, it was more for her own sanity, because she wasn't going to play guarded tour guide to a bunch of snillingur fífl.

    The area wasn't properly secured and already he wanted to set up base camp? Just because he was famous in some scientific journal did not mean his likelihood of survival was very strong.

    ...Not that she'd want to help increase it anyways.

    As they would ascend, she continuously scanned their surroundings, footsteps light on the marble-looking floor. Even so, there was still the feeling of being watched. The place seemed to unfold almost organically before them, of such archaic aesthetic that it unsettled. It was too clean, too fresh. Though there were automatic cleaner droids, surely there wouldn't be any on this level? Or for it to be so silent that the air almost started to ring.

    Hopefully, the signs that Irma seemed keen to identify would bring them to the proper place. Some of the syntax seemed correct, but she had never read any language quite like it. It was practically Proto-Basic, though at least the symbols seemed to add up.

    Still, part of her itched to grab Irma and Tagal and hotfoot it out of there. Let the eggheads duke out credit for finding the planet or not even leave the atmosphere. She hardly cared. But deeper into the belly of the beast it seemed to be.

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  2. Tagal Saxon

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    A bit of care could not hurt.

    Showing care was not a strong suit of Tagal's as both Irma and Skuld knew already. He sighed a little bit and he wanted to run a hand through his hair and maybe just leave the place so he could sit down in the Galleon somewhere safe and just relax. The problem with being in situations like this was that it just built up the pressure up and up and up until people turned into arseholes simply because of the stress that they were under.

    He reached out with his left hand and placed it gently on Irma's head as he passed her.

    "I'm sorry I snapped." he told her quietly, "Stress."

    Leaving it at that, Tagal move away from the mouse woman. If she accepted it great but if she didn't that was fine too - they could have a conversation when they were sure the planet wasn't trying to kill them. Tutting at the idea of setting up any kind of camp at all, Tagal frowned.

    "I'd want any kind of base camp to be in a more enclosed area with fewer entrances and exits than this place. Somewhere we can defend if needs must."

    And needs often turned to must in these kinds of situations.


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  3. Irma Kinton

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    When Tagal ruffled Irma's hair, the little Tintinna's expression lifted slightly. It did make sense; she was on edge, but they all were, all except...

    "Mister Saxon, I understand your concern, but this place is empty." Declared the Professor. "And anyway, I intend to be very careful. This place is a trove of pre-Republic artifacts!"

    He looked ahead, up the stairs toward the control center.

    "I just also don't have a lot of time to waste."

    The little group climbed the stairs, their footsteps echoing eerily in the otherwise empty corridors. Irma, walking along near Tagal and Skuld, couldn't help but give an involuntary shudder; she could imagine all those hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles of rooms and corridors, all with nobody in them. That, and there was still something about the planet that was keeping her nerves up, gnawing at the edges of her perception...

    She thought back to the time when, as a small pup, her parents had taken her on a vacation to visit one of her home-world's national parks. There had been a memorial there, commemorating a disaster that had occurred during the construction of a turbo-rail line through the region. Dozens of workers had died, mostly due to corporate negligence, near where the monument was placed.

    Irma had felt the same sensation there that she did here, only here it was much, much stronger.

    "Here we are."

    They had reached the top of the stairs. To either side stretched a long concourse, but directly before them were a pair of massive double doors, flanked by a pair of flanged columns. Above the doors, in a raised, pre-Aurebesh script, was written the word "OPERATIONS."

    One of the younger academics stepped forward, but to Irma's surprise, the Professor held him back.

    "Wait! I've seen this sort of thing before."

    The Professor rummaged through his pockets, removing a matchbook. Hesitantly, he tossed it at the doors.

    There was a flash, a crackle of charged particles, and the matchbook disappeared in a puff of acrid smoke.

    "I'm not some holodrama absent-minded professor, Mister Saxon, this isn't my first rodeo. Believe it or not, I know what I'm doing." Said the Professor, turning to Tagal. "I ran into something like this on a dig in the Tion Cluster. One of my students lost their entire forearm to one; it's a disruptor field. A bit like a deflector, but well... nastier."

    He turned to one of the other academics.

    "I think we'll be needing your expertise, Simon."

    Simon, a male Togruta, nodded and stepped forward. He carried a portable computer on a shoulder strap, as well as a backpack. Walking to one side of the two flanged columns, he found a small control panel set into the wall, and after a moment of sorting through the contents of his backpack, selected a strange-looking connector cable from inside. Plugging his portable into a port on the panel, he began working.

    After a few moments, there was a click, a diminishing hum, and the double doors slid open. Simon flashed a thumbs-up.

    "It's safe now!"

    Grinning, the Professor walked forward, passing between the two columns. Nothing happened, and he spread his arms.

    "Well, now, don't be shy! Ten-thousand-year-old security systems are no match for Simon. Let's see what we can find out here!"


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  4. Skuld Stark

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    She chuckled softly at Tagal's attempt at showing a bit of care; honestly, she didn't expect him to actually listen. Beneath that rough exterior and despite the high levels of stress that permeated the air, he genuinely seemed to care for Irma, and Skuld approved. She was not bad; it was the company the trio seemed to keep in persistence that kept her teeth on edge. But it seemed the Tintinna was picking up on these emotions as well; only the professor seemed truly unbothered.

    Which was precisely why Skuld did not trust the man's attitude. He seemed more invested in the power of this place, than the artifacts.

    The disruptor was new.

    She itched to look at the Torgruta's equipment, to look at the doorways and set up study right here. The implications for technology here ancient enough to presume upon the lives of her distant ancestors was creepy enough; add on the layer that this tech still functioned and she scowled.

    Her fingers tightened on the rifle, faceplate directly at the professor. Any misstep, any moment that her friends and loved ones were in danger... and she would not hesitate to leave that man behind and drag them both out of here. They were getting closer and closer to the nexus of all the power that might have once hummed deep here; it was silent, yes, in these dim dusty green hallways, and yet... there was that feeling.

    She gritted her jaw, keeping her tone deliberately nonchalant.

    "Ten thousand year technology that can still kill you without any trouble, apparently. Strange how no time seems to have passed."

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  5. Tagal Saxon

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    Yeah so the professor was an arsehole and Tagal was going to be keeping an eye on him. He was already considering shooting the man in the head and bullying everyone into agreeing that the professor died due to 'automated defenses' that the man in question underestimated. But for now he decided he would let it be rather than make a scene of it.

    Besides, there was no reason he couldn't do that later if the guy got even more aggravating.

    He eyed the professor.

    "Admitting to past failures isn't exactly something that builds confidence, professor."

    Yeah he was being a bit harsh but what did he care? The professor was an arse so Tagal was responding in kind for now. The disruptor field itself was... interesting. Tagal holstered his weapons for a moment to carefully examine the surface as the professor called up one of his people.

    A disruptor field sounded interesting. Better yet, it sounded like the kind of thing that could be re-worked and sold as a BiT product if all went well. Who didn't want a defensive field that atomized whatever tried to break in eh?

    Tagal turned to the Torgruta technician.

    "I'll want a copy of that system."

    If he was going to be taking the disruptor system, he was going to need something to shut it down during testing after all.


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  6. Irma Kinton

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    Irma shrugged at Tagal and Skuld, cautiously following the Professor. She looked around at the room beyond, impressed.

    "I mean, we know the droids are still maintaining everything... there's probably been some maintenance done over the years." She commented, gazing around. "But look at all this!"

    The control center was massive, a sort of panopticon with tiers of consoles rising up in a cone-like structure, topped with a single command chair. The command chair could look down on all of the stations below it. A few of the stations were even manned; ancient-looking droids stared at glowing cathode displays, occasionally adjusting a dial or pressing a button, but none of them looked up at any of the newcomers. In the background, fans hummed and media drives clicked.

    "Magnificent..."

    The Professor mounted the steps that went up to the command chair, looking around at the tiers of controls as he went. He stopped about half-way up, spreading his arms and looking back at the others.

    "And this is just for one spaceport, of probably thousands! All no doubt linked together in a vast network stretching across the planet! No doubt, we can trace the network back to its center, and what secrets we shall learn then!"

    Tentatively, Irma climbed the steps after the Professor, looking around uneasily at the banks of controls and oblivious-seeming droids.

    "Professor, be careful! You saw the trap they had at the door, there might be more like it!"

    The Professor, reaching the summit of the command dais, ran a hand over the arm of the command chair. Numerous controls glowed on it, by which the human seemed entranced.

    "If there were, they would have activated when I crossed the threshold." The Professor declared, sitting down in the chair. "The disruptor field was likely judged sufficient."

    It was then that the Professor let his hand fall carelessly on the armrest control panel, depressing a glowing red button that had once been under a cover, one which had been opened by some being long forgotten. There was a click, and immediately, the rooms overhead lighting turned red.

    Irma froze.

    "You were saying?!"

    There was a grinding sound, and the handful of droids sitting at control stations looked up, focusing dull, ancient photoreceptors on the beings standing in the doorway to the control room. The tiers of consoles began to sink down, seeming to retract into the floor, taking Irma and the Professor with them.

    And along the outer walls, a series of doors began to grind slowly upward...


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  7. Skuld Stark

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    Well. Family friendly vacation seemed the idea of the day. And though Skuld had to commend to whomever was in charge had good taste... she could have done without the Brainiac movement done by their paid leader, the professor, whose name she had already forgotten. But when he ascended the steps to the dias, she already had her hand on her blaster, just in case. Sure enough, he caused something to happen, and she cursed, prepared to sprint... but she knew that by the time that she would get remotely close to where the human and Tintinna were, they would already be under the floor and gone. So instead, she tossed the blaster towards Irma, shouldering her rifle. Better to know for certain that the smaller woman was armed, than to suppose it.

    She just couldn't have faith in things being rational anymore, and besides... even if she was armed, overprepared was always better. But it seemed, now the rest of the archeological crew was stuck with herself and Tagal, including the Captain, and she doubted most of the others knew how to fight. Best not to leave things to chance.

    "Catch!" she bellowed to Irma, and the thing went sailing towards her. She didn't wait to see if the Tintinna caught it, but she hoped she would; throwing things was Skuld's specialty after all.

    Well, one of them.

    "Behind us!" she ordered in clipped tones to the rest of the crew, then jerked her head at the Captain. "If you can fight, stay. If not, behind." And then, she nodded once at Saxon.

    And though he couldn't see it, she gave a wicked grin. This was what she had been waiting for... and now, finally, she could do something beyond simply standing there. She just hoped the small mouse-woman would be alright... and if the professor was really as hapless as he seemed, wouldn't cause more of a kark-up than this already promised being.

    She wouldn't bet any credits on it not getting any worse, however. These things just seemed to be the luck of the draw these days.
    "Ready?"
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  8. Tagal Saxon

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    Oh yeah this room had it all - it was both a massive find and a massive death trap. He was already going over the multitude of ways he could turn half of the things in the room into traps with nothing but a spanner and some creativity and he didn't even know what half of them were. If he had to guess, he would say that the droids who had been working here knew what each of the machines did so would be far better at making them into traps.

    He really didn't like this room for all the same reasons that he loved the room.

    And then the Professor proved himself to be one of those 'book smart, not street smart' types by, predictably, dooming them all. If he wasn't in the middle of the situation, Tagal would have taken a deep sigh and thought about how this was both typical and oddly mundane these days.

    But since he was in the middle of it, Tagal instead reacted almost instantly to bring his rifle up and squeeze off a duo of shots, taking one of the droids down even as it rose. Both shots had impacted in the centre of the droid's chestplate and thrown it to the ground from the force.

    Tagal watched with a scowl as the droid stood, the blaster bolts having down almost no noticeable damage.

    He tossed his rifle to one side, activating his shield on his left forearm as he drew his beskad with his right hand.

    "Blades!" he barked across the coms, "The armour is thick - target the joints and cut them down."

    He was also going to bank the 'I told you so' he could use because of this until later.


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  9. Irma Kinton

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    The droids that rose from the control boards, sturdy as they were, were no real threat. They were maintenance and utility models, not combat units; they could take hits, but they had never been designed to fight. As the tiers of control consoles sank into the floor, they went with them.

    Although even as they sank out of sight, their watching photoreceptors beamed information back to something infinitely more dangerous.

    The doors around the perimeter of the room finished opening, revealing darkened passages. From inside, a menacing clanking could be heard, and abruptly, twin points of blazing red light appeared in each.

    And then, death came sprinting into the room.

    "No... It can't be! No!!"

    One of the Professor's students, a nervous-looking Neimoidian standing a little ways away from the main group, had drawn a small blaster pistol from somewhere. He began firing panicked shots at one of the dozen or so gleaming droids that had emerged into the room. Most of the shots were hasty, and went wide, although one bolt did hit the target in the shoulder, spinning it to the ground. It went sprawling, but then climbed with a lethal grace back to its feet. As it rose, its arm sparked and fell off at the shoulder, clattering on the floor.

    The droid turned to regard it, and the focused its gaze on the Neimoidian, who was backing up toward the main group, shaking in terror and pumping the trigger of his blaster, which clicked uselessly, the small power pack now empty.

    "S-Slaughteroid!" He called, turning back to Tagal, Skuld and the others with a terrified expression. "SLAUGHTEROI-"

    The droid had walked up to the Neimoidian and slashed one of its razor-spiked bracers across his throat. The alien gurgled, and then sagged to the floor, clutching uselessly at his wound. A sharp movement, and the droid's foot came down on Neimoidian's skull.

    Over a dozen sets of glowing red photoreceptors focused on the rest of the group...



    Meanwhile, in the sinking tiers of consoles, Irma lost her balance, squeaking as she landed on the shifting steps. She looked up in time to see Skuld toss something her way, and caught the blaster in both hands. The control dais, meanwhile, was sinking below the floor, and the last thing Irma saw of the room was slender figures covered in blades emerging from newly opened doors.

    Then, it was dark.

    As the dais sank below the floor, now inverted from its previous configuration, an iris door closed above them. Irma had the sensation that she was still moving, perhaps down a long elevator shaft. Climbing to her feet, she found there was a little light; the consoles still glowed, and she could now look down to where the Professor was, still seated in the command chair, looking mildly stunned.

    "I can't believe that actually worked. Ha!"

    Irma blinked in confusion.

    "And just what do you mean by that?!"

    The Professor looked briefly startled, and then looked up at Irma, heaving a sigh.

    "Oh, you're still here."

    He sneered, and before Irma could move, she was staring down the barrel of a holdout blaster.

    "Good."


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  10. Skuld Stark

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    Slaughteroids?

    Kriffing walking shells of death, and they were called slaughteroids?!

    Ancient tech or not... she wanted all of them. On her ship. Preferably not in pieces, but... she wanted that tech. And though it looked as though they were cobwebby tech, they were smart cobwebby pieces of tech. A small chuckle escaped her lips... and then a full-blown roaring laugh, causing another one of the professor's interns to flinch back, nearly wheeling over to fire at the crazy mountain of a woman.

    The rifle was slung back over her shoulder, and her ax brought out to life with a lethal crackle. The shield, too, sprang to life, and she eyed them all as they almost silently shuffled closer. The body of the Neimoidian forgotten for now, she crouched, the smile twisted into a snarl of savage delight.

    Finally. A challenge. And she would even bet the razor arms were just a perk to their arsenal, but if she could somehow get close enough...

    "Six and six?" she quipped to Tagal.

    "And the rest of you, behind, with blasters. Gonna be messy, keep back and guard up!"

    When the first one approached with a leap of lethal grace, she caught it with a metallic screech against her shield, grunting as she managed to check it back. As it staggered another one sprang forward, attempting to slash from left to right, and a third one also springing where the first had attacked. The second was dispatched by stepping to the left, and then a swing with her ax with a yellow crackle, watching red lights dim. Third one was also shield-checked back, but the blades scraped past shoulder and upper arm. She hissed as it came too close, and with the momentum of her first swing bit into the head module.

    And then the first seemed to recover, and staggered back into the fray. Its' end was equally gracefully dispatched with the high whine of the thermal axe, but Skuld had to admit, she wished to collect these parts later. The third, however, proved a bit difficult, still slashing towards shoulders and neck, and it took a step back and hard shove with the stun prod, wrist twist, and hum as the axe crushed into its' headpiece, where it finally stopped moving with a mechanical crackle and the death of twin red lights. Why always red? Why not blue or yellow?

    However, there was a high-pitched whine from one of the other unengaged three. A sound that never spelled good news to any self-respecting raider or warrior. From within the chestplate, there seemed to be a trump card. And that trump card had all their names on it.

    "Duck!" she shouted, and as one beam pulsed her way, she had just enough fortune to catch the blows with the body of their fallen comrade. Soon, they would be within melee range, but until then, the hull of the thing crumpled with the heavy blow. That was three down, three more to go, but the other three seemed to focus instead on the cowering group behind them. Kark.

    This was why she didn't trust the bookish types. Irma was the exception, but even so.. Skuld wanted a drink after this. She snarled at the impact of the slaughteroid's body. Three down, nine more to go. She only hoped Tagal would at least kindly dispatch the other side of the room... and then she would take care of the rest.

    Provided the rest of the crew could actually be useful and also fire at the karking things. All for one and one for all, after all, and those soft university bodies needed a good training session. Nothing like jumping straight into the fire to cure that, eh?

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  11. Tagal Saxon

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    Why was it that nothing seemed to be going even remotely well today? Well, unless you counted finding all this ancient, operational, tech as a good thing. Which Tagal did not - because said tech was currently attempting to kill two out of the (maybe) five people he actually liked in the Galaxy.

    Which was bad.

    And the kid who was now dead had done them the favour of naming the bloody things and Tagal really kind of wished that the young man hadn't done so if he was being honest with himself. There were large and violent droids gunning for them, they were scary enough on their own. But, oh no, that wasn't enough.

    They had to be called slaughteroids.

    Because of course.

    "Sounds like a name your overly edgy Goth adopted daughter would give them." he told Skuld with a sigh, "Fine. Six and six."

    Tagal lifted his arm and with the other arm pressed the trigger. The wrist rocket shot forwards, crossing the distance to smash into the front of one of the droid. It utterly destroyed the droid it hit while also downing two others with damages that weren't easy to shrug off. Holstering his blade, Tagal made to flank to the side as he drew one of his pistols and plugged the two downed droids with a pair of shots to the head each.


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  12. Irma Kinton

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    With about half their number felled in short order, the remaining Slaughteroids became wary, fanning out. For millennia-old machines, they moved with the smoothness and surety of modern, top-of-the-line models; they withdrew to a safe distance, their postures taught and ready to move out of the way of whatever the group of strangers could throw at them. Unfortunately, the now empty control room gave them no cover, and so they prowled menacingly.

    Internally, their programming raced. Whoever these intruders were, their weapons were significantly more potent than anything in their database. They were not their predecessors, the Mark Is, either; they would not mindlessly plod into battle, confident in heavy armor and mass to win the day.

    Their internal comlinks beamed out a request to their central control system, querying tactical analysis and orders.

    As they did, one of the students spoke.

    "W-We should go, like right now!" Said a Mirialan female. "Those are Mark II Automatic Conquerors... Slaughteroids! They're the most advanced combat droids Agorander's empire ever manufactured! And you've already killed about half of them!"

    She stood, aiming her small blaster at the remaining droids.

    "Which means they'll be calling for backup right about now!"

    At that moment, the remaining droids straightened, as if receiving a remote command, and charged at the group from all sides, bladed forearms gleaming...



    Irma, meanwhile, was holding the blaster Skuld had thrown her behind her back, trying her hardest to keep it out of sight of the Professor. She looked down the barrel of the Professor's own weapon; it was a tiny holdout blaster, insubstantial by most measures, but in a confined space like this it was as good as a heavy repeater.

    "What... what are you doing, Professor?"

    The Professor sneered, lounging back in the command chair. The control dais was still descending the elevator shaft, lights in the walls whizzing past at increasing speed.

    "Do you know," he intoned, "just how long I've been searching for this place? Everything else, all the discoveries I've made, they are nothing compared to Agorax. I've searched for decades, only for a nobody little librarian to have the secret coordinates thrown into her lap!!"

    The sneer became a scowl, and he leaned forward again slightly.

    "So, I'm a little bitter about that, but that isn't your question. You're asking why I'm betraying your friends and my students, and leaving them to fight a roomful of war droids while I make my escape."

    Irma's fingers tightened on the grip of Skuld's blaster. The skin on the back of her neck crawled.

    "I'd... wondered about that, y-yes."

    The Professor smirked, and shook his head.

    "Well I suppose, then, that I should give you some history."

    Irma watched as the Professor reached down, and carefully rolled up one of his pant-legs to the knee. It revealed gleaming metal and transparisteel, a completely cybernetic leg, its working components visible behind a transparent casing.

    "Far from here, there is a planet called Notron, at least by the people who lived there. On my first expedition, as just a student, I went there with a group to study an ancient crash site a scout had spotted from orbit. As it turned out, the planet spawned fearsome weather systems; our shuttle crashed going in, and I was the only one who survived. That's when I lost this leg."

    He rolled the pant-leg back down.

    "And was given... glorious purpose."

    He grinned.

    "There are pockets of survivors from Agorander's empire scattered across the Galaxy, in isolated places. Most are primitive savages by now, but a few, like the ones who found me, had held onto their technology, if not all of their true history. I'm still not sure why they accepted me, but they did, and they healed me. They gave me the work of art you saw... and I became one of them, for many years."

    His grin turned to a grimace.

    "But the outside world did not forget about me, and eventually they came looking. They "rescued" me... and brought me back to what they called civilization."

    Abruptly, the dais cleared the shaft, descending into a vast, vaulted chamber, as big as any indoor space Irma had ever seen. Droids were scattered around, mostly the workers Irma had seen earlier, but also ranks upon ranks of the slender, bladed war machines she had caught a glimpse of before. The Tintinna's eyes widened.

    "The Republic, the Empire, the Jedi, the Sith... don't you see! They are nothing compared to what was! What could have been!! In what I thought was a pathetic remnant, I saw the embers of the future! The cultures that are must be cleared away, and Agorander must tame the stars again!"

    There was a manic gleam in the Professor's eye, and he gestured out at the ordered ranks of war droids.

    "And here... here still... is the fire that will wipe the Galaxy clean! And I, I will unleash it!"


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  13. Skuld Stark

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    Oh, this was lovely.

    Flanked and head-on, the wonders of strategy with machine. There were endless scenarios with which one could argue the cold logic of machines; that they were without the human call to empathy, that their biggest strength was that their relentlessness and mercilessness gave them an edge.

    Clearly they never met the rage of a berserker.

    As the other sides were pressed into by the three others on Tagal's side, she knew that others would be coming. But the last thing they needed were more enemies closer on their heels than these adversaries. If there was to be nothing to their backs, then they could worry about backtracking, and finding Irma. Maybe even the Professor. But by this point, she just wanted to snag the mouse woman, and have her and Tagal hotfoot it out of there. The bookish ones behind them were smart; they could find their way out of here.

    Unless, of course, this was all deliberate by the Professor, and he hoped to kill the competition.

    Which was really a shame, because she really wanted to give him a good clock to the jaw. With her helmeted head. Maybe just a few times.

    Overkill? Maybe. But she was tired of the games, and of humoring these walking death-machines.

    The moment she swung her bulwark forward, the droid stepped back, having learned from its' predecessor that the woman could shield-check.

    Now for the human element.

    As it sidestepped, she swung her ax---still embedded in the body of its' fallen comrade---against the head of the thing with a satisfying crunch of full momentum, taking the other one flanking her down for good measure. But when the third slashed razor arms against the meat of her shoulder, it did not meet flesh.

    Instead, it oddly met the cold coating of a cybernetic limb. Her head slamming down into its' circuits met another end, but her ears rang dully with the slammed impact, and she stumbled, tasting blood where she bit down hard into her lip. Turns out she learned more than the language around Tagal, but it wasn't always the smartest of things to learn.

    Then there was the matter of the third one, scrambling free. As she felt the tinnitus of the impact ringing dully, she became aware of another whining sound... and this time, it came from the chestplate again. However, one of the shots from one of the Professor's kids caught it on another limb, and the shot went off-target. However, it was just close enough to Skuld's head she could feel its' heat, causing her to stagger. But then the thing focused... and charged towards the student. They managed another two shots before Skuld managed to yank her blade free, throwing it hard...

    The robot body crumpled against the student with robotic limb still upraised, prepared to slash down at another unarmed throat.

    That left three more, and Skuld had two more axes left to throw. But Tagal seemed more than adept than she, avoiding sharp limbs and blasting chests. The girl had a point, however.

    "Back to the ships," she clipped to the girl and the crew that remained, the moment the rest of their slaughteroids would be eliminated. Who knew how long they would have left before more arrived, first was to get their unarmed number to safety, and then rescue Irma. Hopefully that blaster could help, but Skuld couldn't help but worry.

    But first... three other droids had her axes' names on them. She yanked hers free, prepared if either Tagal needed more assistance or if more came. But they needed an out, now. And a game plan to get their companion back.

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