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Thread: The Light Beyond the Veil

  1. #1

    TFA PM The Light Beyond the Veil

    (ooc: If you are interested in playing a First Order role in this thread, send me a PM and we'll work you in)


    The city of Haruul Iska burned. Isolated in every direction by a hundred kilometers, it's ember-laden ghost traced a gradient of red into black against the purple of twilight.

    "We arre too late."

    A shrouded figure stood on a hill with vantage over the city. The only visible part of her figure were her eyes, dark and intense, which reflected in them the fires in the distance.

    "The Orrderr is moving quickerr than I thought. We must adjust ourr pace."

    The dark eyes flicked to her left, to a shorter figure similarly dressed.

    "Enterr the city. Find what surrivorrs you can. I know ourr enemy has come herre forr a rreason. We must make surre they do not leave with what they seek."
    Last edited by Eclipse; Dec 29th, 2015 at 06:47:42 PM.

  2. #2
    A single nod was the only acknowledgement given to her Masters words, but she trusted the gesture would be sufficient.

    A dusty slope, painted orange, was all that stood between Teba and what looked like the Kintan River of Fire. Eclipse had called what sprawled before them a city, but if there had ever been a skyline in Haruul Iska, it was indistinguishable now, transformed by the ravaging fires. Here and there, hard jagged shapes were silhouetted against the inferno. Even at the distance, the young Jedi could feel the heat through the fabric of her body-glove.

    A nudge at her senses - the solemn song of the Force, a plaintive echo - confirmed what both Eclipse and her apprentice suspected. Thicker even than the smoke that came with the flames, was the cloud of fear that hung over Haruul Iska.

    As she sprinted down the hill towards the city, the Jedi readied her lightsaber, her thumb laid over the ignition switch in anticipation of what felt like an inevitable conflict.

  3. #3
    They'd long shed their names. Somewhere between this moment and the settling of other ashes - the ashes of Sanctuary - it had become dangerous to associate with their former lives. It wasn't the danger to self - A Jedi accepted their share of that, but rather the danger to those around them. Friends and innocents targeted in broad-stroke attempts by shadowy figures to destroy the last vestiges of the Jedi. What the First Order lacked in all-encompassing menace, they made up for in the uncanny ability to strike through proxy, even in the heart of the Republic itself. And the Republic? The high ideals of decades ago had quickly cooled into a bureaucratic slog. At first, they were too reluctant to consider the First Order a threat. Now, they were too reluctant to go to war against a resurgent enemy. All the while making clear that the New Republic would differ from the Old in one important way - it would no longer rely on the Jedi Knights to manage the burden of peace and justice. Now those guardians were once again few in number. Scattered, isolated, and vulnerable.

    But not vanquished.

    That distinction had become a matter of obsession for Eclipse. It was a philosophy that gave her the name she now wore. The light covered by shadow was not put out. It only bided it's time to cast it's brilliance.

    As Eclipse and Tba separated to go their own paths, the shadows once again went to work. Eclipse's padawan had learned quickly how to act unseen, but there was still much to teach the student. In three steps, Eclipse disappeared from sight, not even leaving footfalls in the sand to betray her. Only a powerful mind, or a mind with a cultivated link like Tba possessed would have a hope in finding the illusionist's presence. The so-called stormtroopers of the First Order held no such affinity. Eclipse passed by a squad as it policed through the hovels of an outskirt village. The Jedi Knight got close enough to smell the newness of the troopers plastoid armor and body gloves. Close enough to smell the gun oil on their blasters, the stink of ozone and depleted tibanna, and the acrid smoke of burning thatch.

    "Got something, GL-4581?"

    A stormtrooper bearing the pauldron of squad leader turned to one of the soldiers in his squad who wasn't holding a weapon. That trooper held a man-portable scanner, and had paused in his tracks.

    "Picked up a life form reading up close. Or at least I thought I did."

    Befuddled, GL-4581 slapped at the scanner with his off hand, then shook his head in resignation.

    "Must be interference."

    The squad leader's posture shifted somewhat to betray his impatience.

    "Get that instrument calibrated when we return to the ship. The rest of you, we do this the old fashioned way. Four man groups, house to house. Set weapons for stun."

    The assembled squad nodded in unison. "Yes sir."

    As the trooper teams fanned out, a sound from a nearby hovel drew the squad leader's attention. He nodded to GL-4581, who by this time had put his scanner away to draw his blaster.

    "Check that structure, Corporal."

    With a nod, GL-4581 stepped into the rustic home, disappearing through the threshold into it's darkened confines. A few seconds passed in silence, until he called out to the remaining three troops.

    "You'd better see this, Commander."

    The squad leader paused, and reluctantly stepped through with the other remaining troopers. Inside the peasant home, sprawled out on a rug that dominated the living room, was the collapsed body of GL-4581.

    "What the?!"

    The squad leader and his troopers raised their weapons in unison, looking for a threat.


    The stormtroopers to the left and right of the leader fell to the ground like marionettes with their strings severed. As they did so, a dark-shrouded figure appeared out of nothing in front of the leader. He took aim, thumbing his blaster from safe to kill.

    "Drrop yourr weapon."

    Insurgent fingers stiffened open as the squad leader's blaster fell harmlessly to the ground.

    "Be at peace."

    Even the leader's reflexes, training, and adrenaline betrayed him. His arms lowered to his side as he faced the spectre - docile as a lamb.

  4. #4
    While her master became one with the shadows, Teba could only cling to them. Her form-fitting bodyglove with its heavy hood drawn up made her a slim silohuette, one that crept through the long shadows cast by buildings with quick, quiet steps. Having ducked her way into the cover provided by a residential unit, she paused to watch a handful of Stormtroopers pace by. Three wore the standard issue armor of the First Order and the fourth had the narrow-visored helmet of a flametrooper, heavy weapon a dormant threat in their arms.

    The young Jedi looked down the length of the street after them as they passed by, fighting the urge to look at the rising flames a few blocks over, and instead cataloguing what was nearby. Contrary to what she'd initially thought, they hadn't torched everything. That could mean one of two things: either the flametroopers still had work to do, or there was something that the First Order considered valuable in the untouched buildings.

    You aren't here to investigate,
    she reminded herself. Survivors, that was what she needed to find. For everyone who had fled the city, and been caught by the First Order in the process, there might be another who stubornly clung to their home - refusing to leave even as the flames licked at their doors. There was some part of that feeling that Teba could empathise with, as her eyes were drawn one again to the dazzling bright flames. Everything that these people knew would soon be gone, their homes destroyed... just as Sanctuary had been.

    At the risk of opening herself up to painful emotions, Teba expanded her senses beyond her own mind - stretching into the Force and feeling for the presence of any lifeforms nearby. She closed her eyes, the after-image of fire on the back of her eyelids, and felt... life.

    Minds buzzing with confusion, with anger and fear. The Force echoed with cries of despair, washing over Teba in chills. She pulled her senses back into herself and taking a breath to steady herself, she pressed on further into the city - sprinting towards the heat and the fear.
    Last edited by Tba; Mar 30th, 2019 at 04:12:31 PM.

  5. #5
    Eclipse watched the Stormtrooper squad leader as his last efforts to resist her ebbed away. A gloved hand raised in the air, tracing a path with two fingers.

    "Tell me yourr mission herre."

    The stormtrooper's voice replied as commanded, in a droning and groggy tone.

    "The Supreme Leader wants Sernpidal cleansed of Republic sympathizers, and to gather new recruits."

    Eclipse's hand again traced the air.

    "Those arren't yourr only orrderrs. What else werre you told?"

    Again, the stormtrooper succumbed to the power of suggestion.

    "One of the outer rim traders is rumored to have brought a Jedi artifact here. We're looking for it."

    Eclipse's eyes widened somewhat behind her veil.

    "Show me."

    As prompted through the force, the Stormtrooper complied. He pulled out a holo emitter, switching it on. Eclipse's suspicions were confirmed at the sight of a very familiar cube floating in the air.

    "Give me that holo and your commlink, then fall asleep."

    The squad leader handed both items to Eclipse in turn, and then collapsed where he stood. Hurriedly, Eclipse pocketed both items from the squad leader, and pulled out her own comm link.

    "Tba, come in."

  6. #6
    Teba was half way up a deserted stair-well when the call came, her commlink buzzing silently. She took another four stairs in quick strides, far enough that she could peer done the length of the corridor ahead of her. It was empty and so far the building appeared untouched by the First Orders flame-troopers.

    The young Jedi held the commlink close to her lips.

    I hear you, master.

  7. #7
    Eclipse carefully peered beyond the doorway of the hovel. In the distance, she could make out other stormtroopers still canvassing the outskirt neighborhood. A hand reached unconsciously to draw up her cowl, narrowing the thin gap that exposed only her eyes.

    "I have discoverred what the Firrst Orrderr arre afterr."

    Memories came back to the shrouded Knight of her years on Ossus. Formative and vital years where she learned the nature of the Force under her master's guidance. They all learned in the shadows of Jedi who had passed before, amid the ruin of so much ancient knowledge. It took years to uncover the mysteries of the Jedi of long past. They'd only just begun to understand them when...

    ...everything had fallen apart.

    Eclipse stared down into her vox. Her own Master had taught her as much as she could, and now it was her turn to pass on what she had learned. Tba knew only stories of Ossus. It was time that she learned more.

    "We need to meet. Have you found surrvivorrs?"

  8. #8
    The girl walked as she listened, placing each footstep carefully to avoid stepping on what was littered about the corridor. Paper, clothing, even cookware. Tokens of normality, of privacy, scattered about with such carelessness. Each doorway vomiting the contents of the domicile within, peoples lives like so much rubbish. The echo of emotion in the hallway was palpable: fear.

    That made sense, when the First Order were here. When her master paused, Teba ducked into one of the open doorways. She stood in what had once been someone's lounge. Magazines still heaped on a coffee table, a clothes horse bearing a families worth of clothes huddled against one wall. There was a sour smell in the air.

    No... there's no one here. Only echoes.

  9. #9
    "Stay wherre you arre. Be warry." Eclipse warned tersely, then ended communication.

    A good fifteen minutes passed in which Tba remained alone, save for the detritus of conflict the First Order had left behind. Yet, the Padawan could be buoyed by the unique link that she retained with her master. However unseen Eclipse may be to those who lacked the sight, Tba would always know her presence.

    So it was then, that in the midst of Tba's silent vigil, she felt her teacher's unseen presence approach in the shadow. Eclipse stepped out of the shade as if it were made of her, and she it.

    "Therre is morre at stake herre than the fate of Serrnpidal. The Firrst Orrderr's task herre is morre sinisterr than I thought."

  10. #10
    When Eclipse arrived, Tba stood in the centre of the abandoned room. She didn't dare profane the memory of the place by touching anything, let alone sitting down. She was.. an intruder and so felt all the more grateful of her masters arrival, buoyed by strength of the connection between them and the purpose it gave her.

    What is it? What have you uncovered?

    Earnest dark eyes fixed on her master's shadowed face.

  11. #11
    There was so much to tell her. So much that Tba deserved to know. The girl's training in the Jedi ways had been limited in ways that Eclipse's own training had not. It was a different time now. Then, the Sanctuary of Ossus had been a rekindling new hope for the galaxy. It was a place for the resurgent Jedi Order to right the wrongs of the purge that had nearly erased them from existence. When a new purge struck the Order, it came without warning or mercy. An entire generation worth of effort was nearly annihilated.

    Now, there were only scattered handfuls left.

    Perhaps there was not enough time to tell Tba, but just enough time to show her. The shrouded Knight produced the holo emitter she had taken from the squad leader, activating it to reveal a floating cube.

    "It's called a holocrron. They werre ancient rreceptacles of Jedi knowledge."

  12. #12
    At once, instinct compelled Tba to reach out and touch the cube. An artefact of the Jedi that once were, within arms reach? Her fingertips twitched at her side. The only links she had to the Jedi Order were her master and her lightsaber, which she had not fashioned herself as she understood was the Jedi way but which Eclipse had insisted she carry.

    She was so transfixed by the cube and what it might mean that her hand hovered a matter of inches from its surface before she realised what she was doing and tentatively withdrew.

    She had so many questions. First and foremost, however:

    How did it end up here?

  13. #13
    "That is a mysterry."

    The shrouded Knight raised an eyebrow, glancing side to side before switching the hologram off.

    "The ancient temple of Ossus held only a few. Most werre taken frrom that place thousands of yearrs ago durring a cataclysm. When the Grreat Purrge happened, almost all werre prresumed lost."

    Eclipse returned her attention to her student.

    "It would appearr that at least one rremains. Why the Firrst Orrder would want it, I do not know. Such a thing is only useful to one that is strrong with the Forrce."

  14. #14
    "I know why they'd want it," the Padawan said, a grim set to her expression. "To destroy it."

    That was what the First Order did best, after all. The room they stood in was a testament to that fact. Not thinking, her hands formed fists at her sides. It didn't matter that the First Order didn't even appear to have set foot in the residential building; just the threat of their presence was enough to turn a family's life upside down and inside out. Something as important as this - something that could be a boon of knowledge - would be anathema to the First Order, who thrived on prejudice and lies.

    There was another possibility, however. One that almost didn't bear thinking about.

    "They couldn't.. learn from it, could they?"

    Teba's lips pursed, suppressing an anxious tremble. Could there really be anything left for them to take from the Jedi?

  15. #15
    Tba's limited insight into the matter presented two possibilities, each grave in their own particular way. The First Order destroying the ancient knowledge of the Jedi would limit any future resurgent Jedi Order in it's ability to flourish from a place of wisdom. The galaxy was old - many thousands of years, and those millennia had always come and gone with the wisdom of a watchful Jedi Order continuously curated. The possibility that the Jedi may have to persevere with only the teachings that she knew presented Eclipse with a vision of a dark future.

    But was that darker than the alternative? For the First Order to learn anything from the Holocrons, they would need the abilities of an adept. While the Jedi Order had been shattered in years past, the ways of the force had not been entirely forgotten. The old knights of the Imperial Throne had, upon galactic reunification, been brought into service by a Republic longing for mystics that could be controlled by the state. Eclipse knew little of these agents, only to surmise that they operated with a knowledge of the force even more stunted and limited than the Jedi. With the Sith now destroyed by all available observation, who did that leave? The galaxy likely held no fewer potentials for force training than it ever did.

    And if one such adept found themselves within the First Order's ranks...

    "I don't know, Padawan."

    Eclipse's eyes downturned for a moment, but rose again to meet her student's.

    "But it is ourr duty to find out."

    They had no flag. No country. No shared people. They were alone together. Eclipse, the teacher. Tba, the student. They studied the old way as best as Eclipse knew, and they served the master that every Jedi had pledged to serve since those thousands of years began.

    They served the people of the galaxy. All of them.

    Eclipse drew forth the comm device she had taken from the First Order squad leader. She turned on the device, allowing it to receive all broadcasting communications bands. A litany of chatter began to flow through the tiny speaker, and the shrouded Knight listened intently.

    "...sector seventeen alpha secure...

    ...have targets in custody for processing...

    ...requesting air strike on grid three three four... that the artifact is in hand."

    Eclipse's hand froze on the frequency dial, her eyes looking back up to her student's as they continued to listen to that specific band.

    "Our squad is en route to the cordon at city square. Prepare an armored transport for dust off at once."

    The Jedi Knight turned off the comm, stowing it away into her pouch.

    "We go now."

  16. #16
    There is no hesitation in Tba now. One task has been completed and now another begins. What snatches of conversation can be heard over the communicator would be meaningless to another, but her master's trained ear matches the words with what they have uncovered already to reveal a deeper meaning. Knowing that the path she has taken to reach the abandoned apartment is clear, the Padawan starts back out into the hallway, with each step trying to still her mind and emotions in the way that Eclipse has trained her. If they are to encounter the First Order, there can be no room for error, nor even a split second in which to second guess her decisions. She must be focused, or else risk losing what has been stolen once already from the Jedi.
    Last edited by Dasquian Belargic; Feb 9th, 2016 at 02:43:16 PM.

  17. #17
    Master and student began their deliberate journey into harm's way. The city square was a good dozen blocks away, and every indication was that the First Order would be more in force the closer they ventured. Eclipse and her Padawan kept to the shadows, their footfalls silent as much louder footsteps could be heard. Some were crisp and sure. Hard synthetic soles barking against the pavement with no fear of reprisal. Other footsteps shuffled and scraped with an uneven gait, as if moving reluctantly or dragging along the ground.

    "Get the others against the wall."

    "All of them?"

    "Men and women. Separate the children and put them under escort back to base."

    "Yes sir."

    Wails and screams from men, women, and children could be heard as a commotion stirred just ahead, sight unseen. Both Eclipse and Tba knew what lay in store for these people. The shrouded Jedi Knight made a turn to the left, intending to take a circuitous path that would avoid the stormtroopers and their prisoners. She only managed a single step as hesitation gripped her.

    Saving these people put both of them at great risk, not to mention the mission. It was pragmatic.

    Eclipse was tired of pragmatism. She ached for an escape from it.

  18. #18
    Tba crouched low at her master's heel as they waited in the shadows, listening. Here were the people who had fled, or been forced, out of the residential blocks. Squalling children being pried from their mothers arms. The oof of breath being knocked out of lungs and the thud of a tired back hitting a wall.

    Her voice was a whisper.

    "We should help them."

  19. #19
    Shrouded eyes downturned, acknowledging the wisdom of innocence in her pupil's words. Eclipse's gloved right hand tightened upon one of two shoto lightsabers in a scabbard.

    She would not succumb to fear. Fear was the silent accomplice of evil acts.

    "Then you should wait forr the moment to do so."

    Eclipse's eyes glanced back to Tba. Her head nodded slowly and deliberately.

    "You will know it."

    The Jedi Knight stepped back into shadow, becoming it. Soundless footfalls went unseen, and only her student could be sure where they fell.

    At the wall, the stormtroopers of the First Order began to line up, squaring themselves to the frightened civilians. Cries of terror began to grow at the inevitability of their fate. In unison, each trooper raised their rifles.

    They took aim.

    Before the sergeant's arm fell to give the signal to fire, it fell - literally. Severed clean from the elbow.

    "Jedi!" A stormtrooper shouted at the figure standing next to the sergeant who had literally disarmed the officer. A shrouded figure, brandishing a green blade.

    "Kill them!"

    The stormtroopers broke ranks, bringing their rifles to bear on the Jedi. Dozens of shots rained out, hitting their target squarely and passing through clean. But the Jedi did not fall. They disappeared into nothingness, leaving only the blade they'd held in their hand suspended unnaturally in the air. The green blade pivoted sharply, then flew across the distance with speed, spearing a stormtrooper directly in the chest. The lightsaber hit the trooper hard enough to drive him to the ground...where a hand seemed to appear out of nothing to retrieve the blade.

    Eclipse drew her second shoto lightsaber, sparking it's green blade to life as it crossed it's twin. Shrouded eyes turned sharply to the citizens of Sernpidal.

    "Go. Now!"

  20. #20
    Spite turned the barrel of one 'trooper's rifle towards the fleeing citizen but as the bolt flew free, a lightsaber flashed in front of it. Tba skidded to a halt, her Force-enhanced dash kicking dirt and grit into the air.

    "Get out of here!" she shouted, not looking over her shoulder as the Force propelled her bodily into the First Order 'trooper. A cushion of air buffeted the armoured soldier backwards. He gave a cry and fired a burst of erratic shots, first at the Jedi and then wildly into the air. Catching one on the broadside of her 'saber, Tba flicked it back at him like a smash-ball pro. It hit him square in the helmet and knocked his head back, though not as far back as the crack of the Padawan's 'saber hilt striking between his eyes.

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