Ask Further into the shadows

Darth Ceryx

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To say the exploration into the Unknown regions was uneventful, would perhaps be a gross understatement. Having already clocked three standard weeks of sub light space travel, broken up by the investigation of two worlds, the first being the Oceanic World that would later be revealed to be Ahch-To, then the second world being Demir. Both of the two investigated worlds sharing a common trait, the presence of the Dark Side that had drawn the two unlikely travelling companions towards them, although predominantly it was the Blonde Sith lord who was drawn to those worlds, the Zeltron Jedi master, had little choice but to comply and follow in her captors foot prints - though perhaps the term captor might have started to loose it's meaning, giving the gradual softening of their perception to the other.

Having recently departed an orbiting trade hub and space station situated within the Stivic system to replenish supplies, and fuel for the blonde Governor's ship. The two had spent the last four days, perhaps even pushing 6 travelling through the endless black of the unknown regions. Skirting along the boarders of the
Chiss Ascendancy and Garwain Unity territories, once again seemingly traveling without a fixed course or direction. The only semblance of an indication as to where the ship was headed, was the occasional change in direction brought on following from the Sith Lords emergence from her meditation within her quarters.

Sitting in the pilot's seat, the blonde started out into the void, the Jedi had been relieved from the confines of the cockpit to take a break and get some time to rest. Leaving the Sith lord alone with the endless black void ahead of her, the hum of the ship's engines and her thoughts. Clicking her tongue within her mouth the blonde turned her attention towards the navicom, her eyes narrowing as she studied the scanned astrological bodies that was showing up on the HUD. Taking a deep breath she closed her eyes and channelled the force through her, listening out for the currents of the Force, reaching for the slightest change that would might give indication to whether they were on deviating from their current destination.

The Sith's eyes opened, as a brief moment of clarity flashed through her mind. Her hand reaching over towards the console, and proceeded to punch in another course correction - causing the ship to roll and bank slightly as it adjusted it heading. Sweeping the star-scape beyond the transparisteel view port around to the side, revealing a small orb of a planet in the distance. Sitting back in her seat, Alyse nestled herself into the cushioning of the seat for a few moments before reaching over and picking up a book, and proceeding to open the text back to where she had left off.

@Catbert
 

Nykoria Tallis

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The mission into the Unknown Regions was quickly shaping up to be one of Kori's longest and most eventful yet. It hadn't yet beaten the errand trip from Ajan Kloss to Batuu, or a long stay on Batuu to recover and retrieve a corvette for the Jedi Order. And even though Alyse, Kori's partner for this expedition, was estranged at times—not much different from Nykoria just after she had been Knighted—the blonde kind of grew on the Zeltron.

Of course, there was that little fact that Kori was a Jedi, and Alyse was a Sith, and they were supposed to be mortal enemies after the Eternal's proclamation. But somehow, that fact was becoming less and less relevant. To the point that the Governor of Bakura even agreed to cover some of Nykoria's personal expenses. Food and clothes were nothing new; but mechanical parts that could be used in construction of a lightsaber? Alyse was taking a huge risk there, and yet she had granted Kori's request.

The time that Nykoria had to herself was mostly spent by the workbench, crafting what would later become her new lightsaber. A Jedi rarely had to do something like that; the saber was "a Jedi's life", meant to stay with you for good. So, to Kori the process felt almost like her first time. It wasn't helpful that that station where the duo had last stopped at didn't boast a variety in choice. To the point that Kori's new saber staff would have different switches and emitters; even the length of its halves would differ.

In short, the Zeltron had her hands full in her downtime. That's not even counting the holocron that she had collected on Ahch-To along with the crystals for her new sabers. So far, Nykoria only managed to ascertain the holocron's approximate age, and scratched the surface of the knowledge within. Some records had been outright denied to her, citing "lack of experience". Apparently, the gatekeeper didn't find Kori's rank of Master in the new Jedi Order sufficient. Even with these obstacles, the Zeltron had learned a thing or two about handling pain and toxins. It provided a fresh perspective on the Force for someone who had spent most of her time training with a lightsaber and augmenting her strength with the Force.

Despite the inertia dampeners, the turn of the ship was noticed as the stars changed their positions, and the nearby planet disappeared from sight. Putting the uncooperative holocron and the unfinished lightsabers aside—next to the metallic pebble from Demir, radiating trace amounts of Darkness—the Zeltron pushed herself up from the seat and headed towards the cockpit.

While on her way, Kori's gaze lingered on the fridge, reminiscing a bottle of wine that the unlikely duo had shared on Ahch-To. A part of her felt like a repetition was in order. Yet the other part reminded Kori that a Zeltron could easily down the entire bottle alone and not get properly drunk. Not to mention that the ship seemed to be approaching the destination, and the mission (however unspecific it was) had to come first. With a sigh, the Zeltron moved on.

Upon walking into the cockpit, she proceeded quietly towards her seat. There was no greeting, not even a word from the Zeltron Jedi to the reading Sith. But for different reasons that one might think. Alyse was a studious type, and probably wouldn't like to be interrupted. So for the moment, Kori simply landed on her seat, cast a glance at the approaching orb in the distance, and then looked at the navicomputer. I wonder if this planet will be any better than last.

@Topher
 

Darth Ceryx

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A slight arch of her brow was the only clear acknowledgement of the Jedi's entry into the cockpit, the blonde much like how the Jedi's arrival was conducted, remained in silence as her gaze was fixed upon the text wrapping around the open pages in front of her. Though if there was anything that had been learnt from the excursion shared by the Sith and Jedi was that the announcement of the arrival and presence of the other was something of a waste, both were attuned to the Force and would undoubtedly know where the other was, and given that they were cohabiting a ship in the middle of space, it was not likely that the other would have ventured all that far - the only times it seemed that any announcement to the others presence was made was more out a manner of politeness if one was quickly nipping into the communal refresher compartment to grab something if the other was using a shower cubicle.

The silence remained for a few moments longer, the only sounds lingering was the ambient beeps and whirs of the equipment within the cockpit and the turning of the pages as the blonde finished her way through the latest chapter that she was reading. A slight sigh escaping the Sith's lips as she closed the book and set it down beside her, signalling that she was returning from her studies, before her gaze shifted over towards the Jedi Master for a moment. "Has your Holocron been any more receptive to your inquiries?" Alyse spoke, out finally breaking the silence. figuring that it would be best to perhaps avoid the topic of Kori's lightsabres for the time being, sensing that there was an underlying frustration to the lack of components available for her to fashion her replacement with.

As she allowed the Jedi the opportunity to respond, the blonde turned her attention towards the approaching planet, her eyes narrowing in suspicion slightly, something was off with the planet through the sensations it cast within the Force. Especially when her eyes were moving towards the nav comm console and scanning over the various ping readouts from the navigation beacons that were on the planet's surface. There was going by the data being broadcasted from the surface, three major settlements with their own space port. But the ships outgoing automatic handshakes were largely being ignored. Combining that with the near silence that resonated from the Planet through the Force, something wasn't adding up.

Although not to be deterred by the lack of any response from the automated systems, the blonde took control of the ship's helm and prepared for its entry into the planet's atmosphere and its descent towards the surface - afterall it was not uncommon that the automated systems may not be responsive, power outages, incompatibles between protocols, atmospheric interference being only but a few of the possible contributing factors. Alyse remained relatively quiet as the ship continued on its landing approach, looking to concentrate more on the task at hand rather than discuss at length the peculiarities that were presenting themselves.

As the ship made it's final approach, over the space port. The Sith's eyes narrowed as she took in the abnormally dormant nature of the Space port. From the countless times she had docked at ports across the galaxy, not one of them failed to be a hive of activity, here however there was an eerie stillness to it. Ignoring it for the time being, Alyse focused on ensuring that the ship was landed before allowing herself to indulge her curiosity.

Once the ship had finally sat down, and it's engines entered it's powering down cycle. The blonde rose up from her seat, leaning against the flight console and craning her neck around as she looked through the transparisteel viewport, looking for the slightest sign of life artificial or biological. "Something isn't right here" Alyse commented as she continued to look for the remotest indication of near by activity.
 
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Nykoria Tallis

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A soft scoff of surrender was the first reply to Alyse's question. "Apparently, I'm not yet 'trained enough' to learn some of its secrets," the Zeltron admitted her troubles rather quickly. Something she couldn't imagine doing just a few weeks before. "I did learn some things, though I figure you'd prefer bacta patches or injections," Kori added with her lips curling up and her head turning towards the Sith; a reminder of the moment on Ahch-To when Kori had attempted to share the Light within her to heal the blonde Sith's wounds.

In fact, it was the lightsaber that the Jedi Master was making more progress with. Sure, the two parts of the saber staff were shaping up to look different. But at least Nykoria knew the path there, and had a pretty good idea where it would end up. Unlike the holocron, which was still an enigma. There was also another side question she had been meaning to ask Alyse, but the Zeltron sensed a sudden shift in the blonde's attitude. Relaxed attitude changed into total focus. The blonde was preparing for landing as usual, but even then something was off. Something about how the very planet felt in the Force... or rather, about how it didn't feel.

Only when Nykoria saw the empty skies, did she realize what was off. The place was deserted. While Alyse investigated the windows and the consoles, the Zeltron stood up and stretched out, joining her companion by the viewport soon after that. "Yeah, I don't like it either. You think you've got some spare weapon for me? I mean, you being there with a lightsaber helps. My connection to the Force helps too. But being out there without a lightsaber or even a blaster still feels like being naked at times."

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Darth Ceryx

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An inquisitive arch formed on the Siths eyebrow as the Zeltron asked about there being a spare weapon that the Jedi could use., Normally given the circumstances arming a captive was seen as potential suicide. As those weapons could be turned on you as soon as they were handed over. However this was far from the typical arrangement or relationship that would be expected, after all would the sith have even consented to the Jedi Masters request to rebuild her lost lightsabers. Clicking her tongue for a moment in thought, the blonde turned her head to the side for a moment.

"I think I might have a few things stowed away" Alyse spoke out as she returned her gaze back to the Jedi, holding it for a moment. "I'll go take a look, if you want to get ready in the meantime" she added before turning and moving towards the corridor to retreat to her private cabin. Stepping into her cabin the blonde made her way to her foot locker, before crouching down and opening it, then proceeding to rummage through the various articles of clothing and sundries before digging out her old side arm, a DL18 blaster pistol that she used to carry on her person for protection, before her asscention to Governor which came with a security detail that was near constantly posted around her - baring the odd periodic test shot the weapon hadn't been used beyond acting as a visual warning.

A few further minutes later and the blaster pistol was accompanied by a simple pearl handled short vibro blade, which similar to the blaster pistol, was without much use, beyond being concealed within her clothing or on her person. Having constantly resisted the will of Darth Locura's cult, the then young teen had elected to carry the concealed dagger like weapon for her own protection should the Gotal command that the cult turn on her. However once she had fashioned her lightsaber, the need for the vibro blade fell to the wayside.

Speaking of which, with her spare weapons set aside on her bed. The blonde moved to the ornate sealed lockbox, before placing her hand on its surface and channeling the force through her and into the container, releasing the locks and opening the top compartment where the Sith Lords lightsabers were contained. Picking up both her core lightsaber and the one dropped by her mirrored manifestation, and clipping them to her belt, before closing the lockbox and locking it with the Force.

The door to the Siths quarters slid open as the Sith lord stepped out to rejoin the Jedi in the main compartment of the ship. Her eyes raising to meet Kori's as she handed over her spare weapons "These are all I have spare" Alyse commented before walking towards the entrance ramp of the ship, her hand raising to press on the door controls initiating the opening sequence before turning to the Jedi. "Let's just hope we don't need any heavier firepower" she added somewhat dryly
 
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Nykoria Tallis

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Alyse would find the Zeltron waiting by the door of her cabin, leaning against a nearby wall. When the time came, she accepted DL-18 with a nod of restrained appreciation. Kori remembered that model back from her Coruscant Law Enforcement Academy days. Old and nothing to write home about, but it did get the job done. Pointing the business end away from Alyse, the ex-cadet looked down the iron sights before setting the bluster to stun mode.

Next came the vibroknife with the pearl handle. As the Zeltron's hand wrapped around the grip, there was a slight, barely-perceptible surge of the Force. Kori's expression changed, as the brown eyes looked at the blade with sudden realization; it was as if Kori noticed something unusual on the blade. It only lasted a moment, before the Zeltron raised her gaze again—looking past the blonde, at a nearby wall, while wiping the side of the blade against her thigh, as if trying to put it into the scabbard that wasn't there. A sigh followed, and the Zeltron replied with a not so confident "Thanks."

Blaster pistol in one hand and a vibroknife in the other, Kori followed Alyse towards the ramp. "You know, I'm hoping I won't need to use even what you gave me," she added with a degree of concern, mirroring what Alyse herself might've felt while having to carry the knife on her person back in the day.

@Topher
 

Darth Ceryx

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The blonde took a few steps down the boarding ramp, only to pause and look towards the Jedi as she spoke out to her, her brow furrowing as she noted the concern present around the Zeltron, a sigh escaping her lips. "We make do with what we have" Alyse offered, as a tentative smile curled on her lips. "Though what I said before still stands, whilst we are in the uncharted and unknown. We will exercise caution" she offered in reassurance, after all she had no intent on running head long into a fight that she could not win if she could help it, if things were looking to be stacked against them then there was no point in hanging around.

And with that said, the blonde offered a quick nod before turning her attention back to the boarding ramp and continued to disembark. Stepping away from the ship, the Sith lord's eyes intently panned around her perimeter, her gaze scouring the surroundings like a mandalorian Shriek-hawk looking for it's latest prey. But for all that she could see in the immediate surroundings was a vacant space port, and if it wasn't for the holoboards still flashing through the various product advertisements, artificial lighting and still running equipment. Her thoughts would have turned to this place being abandoned or left derelict.

Passing through the eerie stillness of the space port, the two progressed into the adjoining street, which like the space port shown signs of recent life with stalls still set out, holoboards broadcasting product placement, lights, even some degree of ambient music. All that was missing was the local populace. The further and further the two progressed deeper into the settlement, the narrower and narrower the Sith's gaze became, looking for the slightest detail or sign that would give explanation to what had transpired here. But there was no signs of a fire fight, skirmish or conflict of any sorts, it was albeit in a morbid sense peaceful.

Coming to a stop, the blonde's attention was drawn to what appeared to be news vendors stand, her brow furrowing as she looked at the various publications that were sitting on the racks. "The latest date on these are about five days ago" Alyse spoke out as she turned her gaze and attention back to the Jedi master, pointing towards what must have been the last printing of the local new publication. Giving the Jedi moment to examine the publication for herself, the Sith turned her attention to the wider street, looking for the faintest semblance of an indicator what had taken place. From what she had gleaned on the front page of the news spread it seemed to be little more than a normal day, no signs of an impending apocalypse or anything.

Once the Jedi had finished, and the pair resumed their walk through the street, the blonde came to a sudden halt as she turned the corner ahead of the Jedi. Her eyes widening at the sight of what lay before her. "What the Fuck!" Within the centre of the settlement, there was what looked like a large assembly of the local populace within the area, but the populace that was gathered - was little more than a wide collection of bodies laying lifeless on the ground. Looking around her briefly to make sure that nothing or no one was around baring the Jedi, the Sith then proceeded to advance towards the nearest body, crouching down to get a closer look, her brow furrowing as she examined the body. She could see no signs of weapons fire, trauma, or any form of discolouration. The only distinguishing features of this body like the others was that it's state of decomposition was far too advanced for what could have occurred within the last five days, it looked like a near skeletal dried out husk.
 

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Kori's nod followed the Alyse's reassuring remark, just like the Zeltron herself followed the blonde. Blaster pistol in one hand, and knife in a reverse grip in the other, the Jedi walked on through the seemingly abandoned spaceport. Reaching out with her senses, desperate for a clue as to what had caused the vanishing of all the residents... And finding nothing at all. It was as if all the people just decided to go for a stroll and left the city.

When Alyse stopped at the news kiosk, the Zeltron approached her, taking a quick glance at the newspaper. It didn't make any sense. Why would the people just disappear? No sign of struggle, no nothing. "I don't like where this is going," she mumbled, checking her weapons again. Without a holster and a scabbard, she had to keep them in her hands. Not a bad precaution for a place that gave her bad vibes.

It seemed that the duo would find nothing at all; Kori looked forward to their departure from the creepy place. And then Alyse cursed. Outloud. For the first time that the Zeltron had known her. With an expression of morbid disbelief in her voice. It felt like the chord of tension had finally snapped. Rushing towards the corner, gun at the ready, the Zeltron was relieved to find her companion in good health. But what she saw ahead... It called to her and revolted her at the same time. No, not again!

To the Zeltron's dismay Alyse headed towards the macabre pile of bodies up ahead. Kori tried to follow, but each step and breath was harder than the last. Yet somehow, the Jedi knew it wasn't the Dark Side stifling her; it was something else, something all too familiar. The Zeltron's mind literally screamed at her to turn back, leave, and never return... But it was already too late. A few meters behind Alyse, she would stumble and fall on her knees, hands by her sides. A rasp gasp that accompanied the fall combined all at once: pain, fear, nausea.

After that, the Zeltron didn't even seem to breathe. The trembling and twitching of her lips and closing eyelids was the only indication that she was still alive....

@Topher
 
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Darth Ceryx

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The Siths eyes narrowed as she continued to examine the body, seemingly undeterred by the morbid sight around her. Even if she was earlier shocked by the sight, the Sith lord did not seem all that affected being so close to what would be considered a disturbing sight. The Jedi on the other hand seemed hesitant to approach, and felt like she was keeping a distance. It wasn't until the sound of the Jedi collapsing, that the Sith's attention was pulled away. Accompanied by the sound of the snap hiss, emanating from the blondes purple lightsaber as it erupted into life, the blonde bolted upright and swiftly spun round on her heel.

Realising that perhaps Kori's collapse had illicited too much of a heightened overreaction, the ignited lightsaber was disengaged and clipped back onto the Sith's belt, as she swiftly made her way to the Jedis side and kneeling down. Her hand reaching towards the Jedis face, fingers softly running over the side of Koris scarred face, allowing for slight surge of the Force to flow from the tips of her fingers, probing and sensing the unconscious form of the Jedi, searching for indicators of her condition.

Despite the lack of breathing, there was still a sign of life within her. Taking a deep breath, Alyse moved her hand to lift and take Koris hand into her own. Slender alabaster fingers of both hands wrapping around and tightly cupping that of Koris hand being held firmly in her grasp. Closing her eyes Alyse focused the energies of the Force within her, drawing upon the darkside but only pooling just enough to serve the Sith's intended purpose.

With a sudden sharp jolt, the blonde used a concentrated form of a Sith torture technique intended to inflict pain. But rather than it being for the intent to create a body and mind shattering amount of pain that a Sith would perhaps typically seek to use on a victim. The sith lord instead recreated the sensation of a pin being suddenly pricked into the underside of the each of the Jedi's finger nail beds, figuring that the sudden sharp momentary flash of pain from the tips of the Zeltron's nerve endings should be enough to jolt her out of her unconscious state.
 
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Nykoria Tallis

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The Zeltron reacted momentarily to Alyse's action. A coarse gasp. The purple palm wrestling itself out of the fingers that had inflicted the pain. Brown eyes staring wide open, and a brief expression of fear mixed with pain after the Kori's sudden awakening.

Even before realizing what was happening, she crawled backwards, half-a-meter away from the Sith. Only once she realized that it wasn't an enemy that was causing her pain, the Zeltron could finally inspect the palm and the underside of her nails in more detail. After making sure there was no damage, the purple-skinned Jedi—still half-lying on the ground—would finally turn her gaze towards the blonde not so far from her.

"Next time, I'd prefer a splash of water or a slap on the face to wake me up," the Zeltron would finally reply after an awkward break. In a way mirroring how Alyse had treated Kori's attempt to heal her on Ahch-To. A soft surge of Light within the Zeltron would be obvious, focusing from her entire body towards the hurt hand.

With a sigh, the Zeltron would sit up and reach for her gun and the knife before an attempt to stand up. "I'll try not to faint next time," she'd say after an awkward pause.

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Darth Ceryx

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Well the Jedi's reaction was.... expected, to a degree. A slight smile of internal relief curled on the Sith lord's lips as the Jedi came round out of her unconscious state. And seemed to instinctively separated herself and put a small bit of distance between herself and the Sith lord that moments ago had induced a instantaneous flash of pain within the tips of the Jedi's digits. A tense silence fell between the pair, before the Jedi spoke, stating that she would have preferred to have been woken with either a slap or being splashed with water, before looking to tend to her hand to find whether there was any wounds. The blonde simply arched her eye brow up as she lightly shook her head, the logic seemed to be there, however the Sith knew that regardless of the application as to how Alyse would attempt to wake the Jedi, in her dazed state it would be subject to misinterpretation.

The Sith's eyes remained locked with the Jedi's for a tense silence, before a grin curled on her lips. "Oh sure, if I used water I'd be waterboarding you, if I had slapped you, I'd have been taking advantage of an opening to attack you" Alyse commented, as she folded her arms in front of her chest, casting a look of indignation towards the Jedi. "A quick instantaneous moment of pain, was enough to make sure that you were not comatose, after all you weren't breathing" the blonde elaborated as her hands fell down to her side, before a light chuckle escaped her lips. "I would have hoped by now, you would have figured if I had any real intent to harm you, I would have acted on it by now" she added as she cocked her head to side slightly as if to question the Zeltron.

As the Jedi righted herself and attempted to stand up, the blonde looked over the Jedi for moment, before raising up from own crouched state. "What made you faint?" Alyse questioned, her expression carrying a look of concern rather than the false look of indignation she had held a few moments ago.
 

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The blonde's joke evoked a quick burst of sincere laughter from the Zeltron. Kori couldn't hold it back even if she wanted to. For a few moments her own lips curled up. However, the smile soon faded as the memories of when and where she was returned to the Jedi. The more serious question was met with a more serious response: "It's not you... It's the pain. I thought that much was clear."

While Kori was adjusting her clothes and slapping off the dust here and there, another question arrived. "It's nothing serious, I'll be ok," the Zeltron blurted out curtly, almost without thinking, as if she was used to answering that question in exactly that manner. A few moments later though, she would turn her face sideways, towards her companion. Her expression softened a little: "Jedi call it psychometry. When I arrive to a place or touch an object, I can relive the strong memories or feelings associated with it." After another pause, she added reluctantly: "Sometimes it happens unwillingly. I never had it in a while, and got lax in shielding my mind from that."

Now that the genie was out of the bottle, Nykoria briefly turned her head towards the macabre sight nearby: "Before you ask, I haven't seen what killed these people," She continued to gaze at the grisly sight, lips pursed. "All I saw was the large crowd walking towards there, as if casually..." The Zeltron pointed at the collection of bodies and turned back at Alyse: "And then sudden outburst of fear at the end, interrupted by the pain under my nails."

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As the Jedi revealed the reason for her turn, explaining that she was overcome by images cast into her mind through her Psychometry and falling into a trance like state, rather than being rendered unconscious by an outside influence as what the Sith lord had initially feared. Her alabaster skin betraying a slight flushing of her facial features. A slight moment of sheepishness lingered around her mind as realisation sank in that she had over reacted in concern for the Jedis perceived unconscious state - as to why she had reacted in such a way? Perhaps now wasn't the time nor setting to figure out.

The Sith pursed her lips in thought as she looked around the grim tableaux that surrounded the two. Her eyes narrowing as she recited the Jedis description in her mind, mentally visualising the mass of people that had gathered, seemingly casually and without any sign of being forced or coerced. Then suddenly a wash of fear and then.. well even if the vision was interrupted, it was obvious what the end result was.

Exhaling in resignation, the Sith reached a hand for one of her lightsabers. There was something that perhaps from ancient myth and folk lore that would draw a similar comparison, and if her suspicions were in fact true then she would not be wanting to come face to face with it. After all it was concerning to have heard that one of her fellow Darth's had exhibited a trait similar to what she was suspecting, but unlike the Darth what Alyse could feel on this world, was not the taint of death in the Force, but it was a void - as if the Force itself had been consumed.

"We best be headed back to the ship" Alyse stated as she turned to face the Jedi, her words carried with a familiar finality to her tone. With a twist of her hand the sith unclipped her saber from her belt and wrapped a firm grip around the hilt, before starting to walk at a brisk but not rushed pace back towards the adjoining side streets.

As the two drew almost level with the news stand that they had investigated, the Sith came to an abrupt stop. "Finally something that that would satiate my hunger" a disembodied voice spoke out, either carried in the wind or into the back of the two Force Users minds
 

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There was something else that the Jedi's senses picked up. Something that could be described as a soft nudge in her chest. Something that there and then seemed familiar, yet outlandish at the same time to the Zeltron. Upon inspecting further, Kori finally noticed the source of the disturbance, raising an eyebrow in surprise. Alyse Ti'Varnus, Governor of Bakura, a cold and calculating Sith Lord, has just blushed.

Sure, it was only a momentary weakness, and the blonde did regain her composure quickly. But the damage was done. In the same way as a drop of blood indicated that something could be harmed or killed, so did the blush indicate something. Sith or no Sith, reserved or not, Alyse was only human. And for a few moments, she was her more genuine self.

But it wouldn't take long before the usual focus and authority returned to Governor Ti'Varnus. Drawing her weapon, the Sith had decided to leave the planet. Kori didn't pick up any fear—if there was any, it was well-concealed. Just the usual determination and urgency, coupled with the apparent knowledge what they were dealing with.

"Hey," Nykoria raised her voice anxiously, increasing her pace to a jog for a moment, just so that she could catch up with the blonde on the move. "Care to explain what it's all..." But the question was interrupted by an eerie bodiless voice.

Finally something that that would satiate my hunger.

"Right..." the Zeltron added with a much less entitled tone, turning around. She would now stand back to back with the Sith, just so they wouldn't get attacked from behind; still ready to follow the blonde's lead back to the ship. A purple finger slid towards the fire selector, setting the DL-18 from stun to kill. Even though the Zeltron felt that this change probably wouldn't matter much...

@Topher
 
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Darth Ceryx

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Whilst there was at first a clear element of the Jedi being caught up in a state of confusion, as to why the blonde had so abruptly decided that they were now going to leave. Questioning and seeking an exploration for the sudden turn about. It seemed that with the bodiless voice that echoed out to them was clear enough of an answer for the Jedi, seemingly cutting her of and silencing her line of questioning with a single worded conclusion.

The Sith's eyes narrowed as she surveyed the street ahead, looking for any semblance of an indicator to the voice's physical presence. But like how it had been for the two as they had traversed through the streets originally, there was nothing but silence and emptiness - and no other signs of any disturbance or anything out of place from the last time they had passed through. "I'll explain when we get back to the ship and off this world" Alyse spoke, as she moved her free hand behind her to lightly tap at the Zeltron's waist, signalling that she was about to move.

With a hurried pace the Sith lead the two through the empty streets, her eyes darting all over her surroundings looking for the slightest hint of trouble. After all, there had only been a disembodied voice that spoke out to them, if the will of the Force was worth anything beyond a pinch of salt - the source of the voice would be far enough away from them to pose any threat before they could make their abrupt escape. "Just one more street and we'll be...." Alyse spoke over her shoulder to the Jedi before coming to a grinding halt as she turned the corner onto the street that lead to the entrance of the space port.

Ahead of them, was undoubtly to the Will of the Force's constant machinations to screw everyone over. Stood a solitary figure, it's skin mottled, withered and corrupted beyond its original natural hue, its hair long black and stained with a greasy sheen that looked like it had not seen any semblance of hygiene in years. Darkened pit like shadows lay around the figure's eyes, all of which standing out in a stark contrast to the sun bleached white gause like fabric that hung around it's withered frame.

The blonde's hand tightened around the grip of her lightsaber, but for the time being it remained dormant whilst she studied watched the figure's movements like a hawk, looking for the slightest hint of aggression or that it was about to attack. But the figure's movements were slow, laboured and seemingly without energy, as it slowly lowered itself down into a crouched position within the greenery that lined the street's side. Its hand stretching out towards the ground before the plant life started to wilt and turn black in a growing wave.

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"We have no option now" Alyse grunted as her eyes phased into their milky white state, her mind opening up into the Force and proceeding to channel and bend it to her will. Holding her free hand out, the Sith lord projected a wall of Force energy that would encompass the two, forming a barrier that would attempt to block the oncoming wave of death and decay.
 

Nykoria Tallis

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Stakes suddenly got a lot higher. Nykoria still wasn't sure what she was dealing with; but the voice didn't bode well, so the Zeltron was concentration incarnate. She stood rigid, her eyes going over the surroundings, until a tap of the waist from Alyse indicated it was time to move. The Jedi walked backwards, letting Alyse take care of leading the way. Kori wouldn't even need to look over her shoulders; so concentrated she was, that she could sense where Alyse was stepping.

What she couldn't predict was Alyse's sudden stop amidst the sentence, nor what the blonde saw. The Zeltron's back bumped slighly against the blonde'sm before Kori turned around to face the new threat side by side. Whatever emotions the Jedi had about the "new arrival", the only difference expressed by her face were the compressing lips and the blaster pistol aiming at the eldritch being, knife held next to the pistol in the other hand.

Despite an earlier threat, the abomination didn't seem to pay the Jedi any mind, instead leaning to the ground. But any hint of a chance was gone when Alyse stated they had run out of options. Kori herself soon realized that: when life itself seemed to be drained from the plants nearby, and the invisible wall of death headed towards the duo.

Somehow, that seemed familiar. Nykoria had sensed something similar, and not too long before. Back on Sullust, when the Eternal itself had joined the battle and murdered one of its own followers by draining the life out of her. With a deep breath, the Zeltron called upon the Light within herself. Force knew she would need it soon.

While Alyse tended to the duo's defenses, Nykoria adjusted her aim for a perfect shot, the finger almost squeezing the trigger. Almost. Somehow, Kori still believed that they could avert the catastrophe. "Kriff," she mumbled, setting the pistol back to stun for now, but not daring to pull the trigger just yet. One could never tell what that shot could cause.

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Darth Ceryx

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It seemed that for the briefest of moments, the barrier would stand in the way of the oncoming wave of decaying earth. An opportunity that presented the two with a moment to seize the initiative and hopefully break the advancing tide that this figure was controlling. But with the sound of clicking as the fire selector in the pistol was rolled round to stun, and the trigger not pulled - The moment of hesitation perhaps, had now sealed their collective fates.

As the wake of the darkening ground touched and connected with the barrier that the Sith Lord was maintaining. A sharp pain ran though her arm, if there were such away to describe it, it were similar to the sensation of a friction burn on her skin, but from within the deep tissue. The pain was accompanied by the feeling of the channeled Force energies being forcefully siphoned out from her. The spreading corruption that the figure had unleashed, wasn't draining the life from the greenery. It was draining the Force!

Feeling the sensation of her eyes phasing back to their natural state, the Sith lord closed her hand, collapsing the barrier and breaking the ethereal contact that she had with this entitys ability. The sensation of the Force being pulled out if the Sith Lord, came to a sharp end, but it would only last for a few moments until the spreading corruption would reach their bodies... And then, well if the bodies were anything to go by, a rather unpleasant conclusion.

"We have to go back on ourselves" Alyse spoke, though her words came out in laboured and panting breaths. "Get out of its reach and force it to move" she added before taking a few gingerly footed steps backwards, before clenching her hands tight. Willing herself to push through and regain her second wind, as she started to replenish and refocus the Flow of the Force back though her.

Whilst at first her movements were sluggish, the further they retreated back on themselves in the previous street, the lesser the hold of fatigue had on the blonde became, as her energy started to recoup back to the point where she was when they were hurriedly making their way to the Ship.
 

Nykoria Tallis

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As the invisible wave of decay collided with Alyse's shield, Nykoria sensed what could be described as a calm, yet steady whirlpool tugging at her very self. It was accompanied by a sense of revelation, immediately shifting into disbelief and pain. A sideways glance at the blonde proved Kori's fears: the shield did not work, and Alyse was yielding with a wince. Stepping backwards, Nykoria finally took the first shot: a stun bolt aiming at the creature's head. Another jogging step backwards was followed by another shot, before Kori would finally turn around and run.

"Got it!" the Zeltron raised her voice a little. Unlike Alyse, she wasn't exhausted by the little exercise. But then again, Kori's life force hadn't been drained either, and after conjuring a barrier no less. She did defer to the Sith's expertise on the matter. Whatever that thing was, it was closer to the Dark and what the Eternal had done, than to anything that Nykoria had encountered.

Besides, the plan was solid. The reach limit did exist, as evidenced by the fact that the life on the entire planet hasn't been devoured yet. And what to make of the people just gathering in one place, seemingly on their own? So far, there were more questions than answers. And one unknown threat.

"Got an idea," Kori pointed at a nearby swoop bike. Once belonging to someone who had the misfortune of living here, apparently. "I throw it, you blow it up?" Even before Alyse would agree, the Zeltron would focus on the bike. "With fire, or lightning, or whatever!" But if the agreement was reached, Kori would toss the bike the moment she'd see their new enemy. There was little doubt that the stun pistol wouldn't stop the abomination for long, if at all.

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Darth Ceryx

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Taking a moment once they had came to a stop, the blonde focused on trying to recoup and recenter herself, seeking to regain control over herself. The exertion of having the Force so harshly pulled from her, had taken a heavy toll on the Sith - the sensation was nothing like she had experienced before. She had felt that malice filled and violent lash of Force lightning, the oppressive crushing weight of her energy and stamina being drained from her. But whatever this figure, terror or entity had exacted upon her, felt as if it had consumed a part of her very essence, leaving a small void within her that was proving difficult to fully recover from.

The blonde raised her gaze up and seemingly out of an absent minded state as the Zeltron spoke out to her, suggesting that she had a plan before gesturing towards a swoop bike. A light nod of understanding was offered in confirmation, as she clenched and unclenched her free hand like she was a cold handed nurse getting blood to circulate to her hand before touching a patient. Though in this instance she was making sure that she was able to channel the force through her hand, small crackles of electrical energy arcing between her fingers providing the confirmation that she was still able to do so.

A slight chill ran down her spine as the figure slowly came into view, approaching with the movements of a shuffling body that had been ravaged by the effects of a long lifetime. Alyses gaze moved quickly to Kori, to see that she was in fact ready - before tracking her sight towards the swoop bike.

With an outstretched hand, a stream of lightning projected out from the Blonde, towards the improvised projectile. But there was something different with the arcing energy, whilst it still crackled and engulfed it's way throughout the chassis of the bike. There was a noticeable lacking in its potency, something that the Jedi would be sure to see having already witnessed up close the lightning that the Sith Lord could conjure to her will. But despite the potency not being up to par, the blue streams had managed - if only just, to serve its purpose.

With a dull explosion, shards of twisted metal, burning fuel and debris rained down towards the figures position. Forcing it to stop in its crouching down, to slowly and laboriously turn its focus away from satiating it's hunger to dealing with the shrapnel headed it's way. Whilst it didn't seem to do much to contend with the metal that tore at its frame, leaving notable gashes over its arms, torso and legs. The figure seemed un-phased as it stretched it's hand out towards the wave if burning fuel - that seemed to almost immediately extinguish itself, as the entity absorbed the Force energy that lay at the centre of the burning liquid.

The figure then turned its attention back towards the two interlopers, before once again lowering itself to touch the ground, but it's movements were less laboured, still by normal standards the figure was sluggish, but from his original shambling state, it was possible to see that its movements has marginally gotten quicker. As was the rate at which the darkening wave radiated out from around the entity, it was as if the more of the Force energy it was able to consume the quicker it's actions would become.
 

Nykoria Tallis

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Kori's eyes widened as she saw the figure emerge again, seemingly undeterred by her previous shots. Despite that, the Zeltron still went with her plan, and Alyse delivered on her end. The explosion was nasty—not as bad as the thermal detonator that Nykoria had once witnessed on Coruscant, but still devastating. And yet, it didn't seem to make the things better; only worse, as evidenced by the abomination picking up the pace.

Firearms—set to stun at least—didn't seem to work. Explosives didn't help much either. The Force... Well, Alyse's drained and exhausted state demonstrated what using the Force on that thing could lead to. In fact, if it could consume fire, then blaster bolts would probably be met with the same fate. "I'm running out of options here!" the Zeltron shouted, trying to maintain the air of confidence around her. After all, there was still an option or two left.

Switching the grip on the knife to hold it by the blade, the Zeltron threw it towards the enemy. At first, it seemed like Kori threw it way too high and off course, and it would hit the ground before reaching the target. But the knife didn't seem to follow the law of physics. Instead of losing speed and altitude it gained them, as the Jedi outstretched her purple palm towards it. Then it would completely stop at mid-point of the flight, a few meters above the ground... And then Kori made a hurling motion, sending the blade spinning towards the abomination's forehead just as it was kneeling down.

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