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#12446510 Jun 08, 2016 at 12:50 PM · Edited over 3 years ago
56 Posts
Cirsei, the Dragon Queen, stood there among the dead and wounded, drinking in the sights, burning it into her memory. The smell of burnt carbon and flesh. The smoking ruins of electronics and smoldering remains of persons. Blaster scorches and debris strewn across the area... Carnage. In the lair Queen's lair. Once the mess was cleaned, the bodies cleared, the holes patched, there would be blood.

As the scene begins to change, this begins to play...

Well Mama told me, when I was young
Said "sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely, to what I say
And if you do this, it will help you some sunny day"
Oh yeah

Ardenith is carried off on a stretcher, a breathing mask placed over his face, and quite unceremoniously dropped into a kolto tank, eyes closed, and by all appears unconscious...

"Oh take your time, don't live too fast
Troubles will come, and they will pass
You'll find a woman, and you'll find love
And don't forget that, there is someone up above"

...A miraluka, elegant and young, gives a shy smile to you, and a feeling of warmth floods your being... But the vision shatters like glass and flashes blinding white before fading to black...

"And be a simple kind of man
Hm be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won't you do this for me son, if you can, if you can"

... A ranking Handler 2 stands before you, who is pinning a set of badges to your uniform, you look over to a woman dressed similarly to yourself, who nods approvingly.

"An' get your lust from the rich man's gold
All that you need now, is in your soul
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try
All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied"

A nobleman, viewed through a sniper's cross-hairs. The tension on the trigger is felt, rather than seen. A guard runs up to the nobleman, trying to get his attention, but it's too late... You pull yourself from the Sniper scope to look over at a woman beside you, who shakes her head at you... And you throw down your rifle.

"And be a simple kind of man
Be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Won't you do this for me son, if you can, if you can"

You see the woman from before, screaming at you, you scream back at her... Words mean nothing here, and all you can feel is the hate and anger. Suddenly your grabbed from behind, and see Handler 2 staring down at you. He holds a set of implants in his hands, and grins his unsettling grin down at you. Fear stabs through you...

"Boy don't you worry, you'll find yourself
Follow your heart, and nothing else
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try
All that I want from you my son, is to be satisfied"

Missions, kills, and commendations roll past in a haze... You feel... numb, and trapped. You've shot, stabbed, poisoned, and buried so many people... And for a cause you never asked for...

"And be a simple kind of man
Be something you'll love and understand
Baby be a simple, kind of man
Oh, won't you do this for me son, if you can"

And then... One day it happens... the Minister of Intelligence himself comes to you and says, "....After reviewing your record... Highly decorated... Free to retire..." The words are lost in the sense of relief that floods to your bones. You're free. You can leave.

"So baby, be a simple, be a simple man
Oh won't you do this for me son if you can"

And light flickers in through the tank as Ardenith begins to awaken... By degrees, the realm of the living returns, and after a couple minutes, the shi'ido, newly reformed to his old "human"" form, awakens to find himself in a 6 by 8 ferrocrete cell.
Homo Homini Lupus
For More Often Than Not, We Forget to Act Human to Others
But Still, Despite Our Forgetful Nature, There is Always the Next Day
#12449353 Jun 09, 2016 at 12:58 PM
56 Posts
(With the sole exception of Ardenith's interrogation, the only portion of the story line left are the events that transpired at and around the Smuggler's Ear. These events are left in the hands of Thyssen, Cirsei, and the Q to roleplay and finish within their own timetable. As it stands currently however, the main storyarc for FITE is OVER! REJOICE!)
Homo Homini Lupus
For More Often Than Not, We Forget to Act Human to Others
But Still, Despite Our Forgetful Nature, There is Always the Next Day
#12449470 Jun 09, 2016 at 01:39 PM · Edited over 2 years ago
334 Posts
Of course, leaving the Smuggler's Ear wouldn't be all that simple without another bump in the road. And said bumps in the road came in the form of a four-man security team, and what appeared to be two engineers in uniform jumpsuits, standing in front of the stairway which lead up to the platform where Thyssen's precious vessel sat docked. One of the engineers was busy conducting a scan of the Lonely Specter while the other studied the data his partner was collecting on his datapad. When the guards finally took notice of Thyssen and his posse, they quickly went from being relatively lax to ready to fight at the first sign of trouble.
#12449762 Jun 09, 2016 at 03:42 PM · Edited over 2 years ago
520 Posts

Upon reading Ardy's last message, Kermit commences with the rejoicing!

- - -

Thyssen took note of the change of atmosphere, but didn't bother breaking stride until he was actually ordered by one of the armed goons to "Halt!" His head did a slow, methodical scan of the scene before tilting upward to look up at the outline of the Specter. Ignoring the goon's request for identification and a reason for his being there, he tapped a finger to his ear and connected himself to the transport's bridge. "Everything alright up there?" He asked.

Dilphi's voice came over the line. On the surface she sounded collected, but Thyssen knew that she was skirting a personal edge. She didn't take kindly to strangers attempting to breach the Specter's personal boundaries. "I told those mooks that they weren't gettin' aboard this ship without some kind of writ or warrant."


"You still see 'em down there, don't you?"

Thyssen smirked, said, "Good girl." and rung off. Now his attention became focused upon the ill-tempered individual glaring at him from only a few yards away. "Sorry about that. I'm what you might call a 'repulsorlift parent.' Can't go a quarter of a cycle without checkin' in on the little ones. What were you saying?"
#12452334 Jun 10, 2016 at 03:51 PM · Edited over 2 years ago
334 Posts
"I can answer that," the second engineer proclaimed, easing his way between the armored security and the salmon hunter. She shifted on her boots, shooting the chief a look - who quickly backed off - before 'aheming' and holding up the datapad.

"We're scanning your ship and logging it. Queen's orders. You yourself, Mr. Krupp, will be on our Watch List. Apparently you're not a fan favorite to the Family."
#12452861 Jun 10, 2016 at 08:21 PM · Edited over 2 years ago
520 Posts
"Big Mother's watching, is she?" Thyssen said after expelling a sigh of over-dramatic exasperation. He couldn't help but note the irony of having the revelation come on the tail-end of his snarky reply, but wasn't enamored with the cosmic coincidence enough to warrant more than a moment's mulling. "Yeah... That would make sense! Does this mean that we're not allowed to board, or...?" He spoke the question in a tone of voice that he knew would carry to the back of the column that had come to stand with him. As he'd hoped, murmurs of annoyance and frustration began to be exchanged between the individuals therein. He had to hand it to Gareon, he still had a knack for pickin' expendables. He (Thyssen) hadn't even drawn up their contracts yet, and yet there they were, already anxious to throw their lives on the line in the hope that they'd be rewarded with fame and fortune.
#12460977 Jun 14, 2016 at 03:51 AM · Edited over 2 years ago
334 Posts
"We're finishing up the scans, but I don't think you being aboard would be an issue," the engineer responded just as fast, placing a hand on her hip and canting her eyes over the column of mercs, "but uh...considering your company, the security team is here measures."

She glanced idly back at the assembled Ear security, and leaned in with a whisper. "I think the faster you leave the better. Just a feeling."
#12462787 Jun 14, 2016 at 05:30 PM · Edited over 2 years ago
520 Posts


Thyssen tossed the lady engineer a wink as he proceeded on past her. "Don't worry. You can tell the Queen that we won't be soliciting her subjects for very much longer. Just need to have these fine ladies and gents fill up the necessary paperwork and..." He clicked his tongue, loudly. "We'll be on our way! C'mon!"

((Time for another cutscene!))

The Protomen's cover of the Tim Cappello song "I Still Believe" begins to play as the crowd of mercenaries begins to make their way up to the Lonely Specter. Standing in front of the ship are Kearse, Dilphi and Miss Beast, all of whom exhibit varying degrees of impression as they step aside to allow the new hires to ascend the ramp leading up into the ship. There's a brief verbal exchange between Dilphi and Thyssen which ends with the former throwing the latter an ear piece. The camera follows the device (from afar) as it leaves the lady Zabrak's hand and enters Thyssen's, who in turn slips it around his ear. He's barely said the equivalent to a "hello?" when a smash cut reveals that it's Cirsei on the other end of the line. At this point everyone can only watch as the two have a somewhat heated exchange. When the communication ceases, everyone looks at Thyssen expectantly. From the way people take turns glancing at one another as the man explains that the crisis on Tatooine has resolved itself in their absence, it's easy to assume that they're all thinking the same thing: "was this trip nothing more than a big waste of time?"

In fact it would seem like Miss Beast is in the process of asking this very question when a woman who had made a point to break away from the group and stop briefly to speak with the security team below suddenly boards the Specter without permission. The ship's crew stares after her, expressing various degrees of surprise, but ultimately it's Thyssen with a shrug and a "c'mon, let's go" gesture who gets the ball rolling once again. At this point we smash cut to a close-up of the Specter's engines flaring to life.

"Are you okay with this?" Xyrna asks Thyssen during a rare moment when more than just the soundtrack is scheduled to overlay the story. Her words are interspersed with a brief glimpse of an older woman, human, mature but beautiful, with lines that only helped accent the finer features of her face, standing on a balcony that provides her with a view of everything that the asteroid's interior provided. Dark gray eyes with chutes of silver stared down at their domain from between curtains of black hair that were only just starting to gray with age. For clothing she wore an elegant hooded dress, black in color, that perfectly hugged her curves and yet somehow didn't oversexualize her. In the distance, the Specter can be seen taking to the skies. (...) At this point we would transition into a brief montage, which focuses upon Dilphi as she attempts (and succeeds) at getting permission to leave the Smuggler's Ear. This segment would be relatively self-contained and last the better part of a minute, all so that the audience will be able to familiarize themselves with the gorgeous Knowhere-like interior of the shadowport.

The camera continues to follow the Specter even after she exits the artificial canal. With Dilphi at the controls, she deftly bobs and weaves between asteroids until she finds herself just yards away from open space. At this point it's only a matter of the Zabrak going through the motions of typing in a set of coordinates on pilot's console and pulling back on the master lever. Pinpricks of light elongate into beams and then... Bam! The armed transport leaps into hyperspace.

The sound of the ship making this noise doubles as a transition back to the Argosy of all places; specifically to the engine room, just as a team of armed individuals breaches its way inside. Leading this group is Cabotta Thorne, who steps in before everyone else after there's a notable lack of resistance. He sweeps a flashlight across the room as his men storm in behind him. As people begin shouting the word "Clear!" from all around him, Cabotta's eyes narrow in suspicion. We hold on this look for a few seconds before transitioning back to the interior of the Specter via an L cut. (This would actually be the first of several as the audience is taken on a tour of the craft.)

Dilphi and Kearse share the cockpit, the former looking over her datapad while the latter goes over diagnostics from his station just off to her left. Khim is alone in the rear turret, watching hyperspace zoom on by. Miss Beast, Karvis and Sweetie are in the lounge with the four Ear natives. (...) Thyssen and Xyrna are in their quarters, naked but covered strategically by shadows, with the latter holding onto the former, who appears to be in the process of experiencing some kind of emotional breakdown if the way his body shakes is any indication.

After spending a good 5 seconds on that final shot, a dissolve takes us to the moment when the Specter ultimately reverts into realspace above Tatooine. Three cuts occur seconds later; the first showing us the craft entering the planet's atmosphere, the second showing us the Sand Vipers - fresh out of prying themselves out of a couple of escape pods - all looking up as one and tracking it with their eyes as it soars over heard toward the Dragon's Den, and the third showing it actually landing at the Dragon's Den.

The hangar in which the Specter ultimately touches down in is filled with a few dozen individuals, all of them armed to some degree. "Somehow I don't get the feeling that this is a 'welcome home' party." Thyssen says, observing the gathering from within the cockpit. The focus would then cut to the exterior of the ship as its ramp distends. One by one the occupants marches out, starting with Thyssen and Xyrna and ending with the horde of hired guns that they had acquired during their short time abroad. The mystery woman, however, is conspicuously absent from this group.

As Cirsei (with Jaronn at her side) approaches Thyssen, no doubt to give him the tongue lashing of a lifetime, the camera cuts to an oddly out of place KJC officer as he slips out of the hangar undetected. From time index 03:11 on until the end of the song we focus exclusively upon this guard as they give themselves a tour of the heavily damaged facility. Several times the audience would see key characters like Gabriel, Chef, Andy and Kenngri, all in the process of pulling their weight. But things don't really come to a head until the guard reaches the facility's detention center. There, he relieves the man already on duty. Once the man is for sure far and gone, his replacement proceeds to peer at and then subsequently turn off all of the security monitors for that area.

Finally we would cut to the cell of Ardenith. The Shi'do, sensing that he was no longer alone, looks up. The door was shut and yet the guard from before stood in there with him, looking down at him with a truly neutral expression. The two hold their gazes until Ardenith finally asks, "What?" And then we would cut to a close-up of his face as it morphs into states of shock and then utmost contempt. Whatever it is he's seeing is accompanied briefly by the sound of what can only be described as bone and meat shifting about. When the sound stops, he says but one word...

#12482497 Jun 21, 2016 at 11:19 PM · Edited 3 years ago
215 Posts
Cirsei's combat boots strike the hangar floor with such force that a loud bang accompanied each step. Though, this could have been due to the dead silence. Even the Queen's children would have at least been able to feel the very tangible, very bitter anger that hung in the air.

The dragon, with one flick of her wrist, gestures to the entire group in front of her. "Out." All of the Specter Crew began to walk out, then; except for Thyssen. He knew what was coming.

As the last person of Thyssen's crew -- that being Xyrna, extending a very solemn look back at her husband -- exited the hangar, Cirsei began. "Before we do --" she paused, gesturing between the two of them, "-- this, let's make two things abundantly clear." The woman maintained a respectable distance from Thyssen, and stayed perfectly still while speaking, arms behind her back all military-like.

"First," she said, holding up her left index finger, "You kriffed up. There is no argument about that. In fact, if you so much as even attempt to excuse yourself, you should do yourself a favor and space yourself right now." Cirsei stared at him, just waiting for a response that would give her the right excuse. He said nothing, diverting his gaze to the ground before meeting hers again. "Good. Secondly; I am an extremely -- no, infinitely -- forgiving person. Do you understand, Krupp?"

"I underst--"

"Oh, no no no," she hastily interrupted. "You are not to speak. In fact, as I explain to you the truth of the two premises I just set, you are to remain perfectly still and be perfectly silent. Clear?" Thyssen said nothing and did nothing; he didn't even nod. "Good."

Cirsei began pacing back and forth in front of Thyssen. The entire Dragon Guard was watching, uneasily, as Cirsei readied to set her example.

"Let's review," she said, gesturing openly with her hands. "Our stronghold was assaulted by a considerably dangerous force today. Now, as a response, I stayed here. I commanded our forces. In fact, I led the assault on the jammer that was breaking our comms as well as hailed all of our available forces. But while I was doing that, what were you doing?" She paused, as if to wait for an answer. He didn't give one. "That's right; you high-tailed it. And no, it wasn't out of fear, of course -- it was to regroup and provide reinforcements."

Cirsei took a much longer pause then, as if thinking; but Thyssen knew that Cirsei knew exactly what she was going to say.

"But I can forgive you for leaving, Krupp; because I am a forgiving person, and you are only my second. So I don't expect you to...always make the choices that I would make. But then, Krupp, you KRIFFING --" she clenched her fists as tight as she could, and the Wolf of Rishi definitely saw a vein popping out, "-- dilly-dallied. You took too long and by the time you came back here with three kriffing soldiers, we had already resolved the issue. Do you know what this battle was like, Thyssen?" She very quickly got in his face, then, close enough that their lips were just barely touching and Thyssen could smell her smokey breath. "Let me give you a little taste." She removed one of her gloves and thrust it as hard as he could into Thyssen's stomach, making him double over and moan in pain. As he was bent, she clocked him just below his temples, and he went down. Cirsei walked away, back at that respectable distance.

"But I can forgive, that, Thyssen, because you couldn't have possibly controlled how long they would keep you at the Ear." He stood, slowly, and resumed his position. Once up, he saw Cirsei grabbing a round object from the hands of Henji: a KJC-painted helmet. Cirsei immediately chucked it at Thyssen's feet, shattering the visor -- but leaving Thyssen unharmed, if a little caught off guard. She got back in his face, whispering this time. "But the one thing I can't forgive, Thyssen? The one thing even I, the paragon of forgiveness that I am, can't reconcile?"

A long, long pause. No one dared speak, and Cirsei stayed where she was. Her eyes didn't waver and not one muscle on either Thyssen or Cirsei moved.

"The fact that it was your friend -- who you convinced me to keep in our company -- was the reason that dozens of my men have died at the hands of Imperial Black-ops. You kept so much from me, Thyssen. The fact that he was a Shi'ido; that he was even remotely involved with ImpTel; that he could have been this much of a liability." She walked away, back at that distance, and spoke very, very calmly.

"I don't like being out of the loop, Krupp. And this was the single biggest loop you could have kept me out of. A mistake like this is not what my second-in-command makes. This is the kind of mistake that that down-on-his-luck, incarcerated hired gun that I approached all those years ago with an offer of extreme generosity makes. So instead of treating you like my second, I'm going to treat you like I treat all Krayt's Jaw soldiers who kriff up this hard."

Cirsei Altaros walked up to Thyssen Krupp, then, puts her bolted gloves back on, and strikes him as hard as possible in the jaw. He fell over, and she kneeled over his moaning being.

"That helmet belonged to one of the men that could be alive today, Thyssen. For his sake, walk yourself to your cell and have one of the guards confiscate every single item you own, lock you in there, and give me the key." Extending a hand, Cirsei rolls Thyssen onto his back so he can see the meaning in her eyes. "And I swear to both moons of Tython, Thyssen Krupp, that if you wallow -- oh, if you wallow -- I will personally come to your cell and make you drink your tears, throw them back up again with your scat lunch, and then drink what you threw up. Get over it and be ready to fight in two weeks, which is what I've told the guards is your sentence. Are. We. Clear?"

Seeing as Thyssen's jaw was possibly broken, he couldn't articulate the words. But he got up, holding his mouth, and walked towards the brig.
#12482618 Jun 22, 2016 at 12:30 AM
120 Posts
Though Jay was efficient, her rampage was no less messy. The halls she had been through were littered with bodies, though her equipment had been mercifully spared the blood and gore clinging to them - As well as the smell. As the jammer was brought down she made short work of finding her wife, all but ignoring the retreating forces.

She was silent, cloaked, and perched on the rafters, idly watching Cirsei's humiliation of Thyssen. Though every fiber screamed at her to end the man, she knew better than to undermine Cirsei's authority like that. No, she'd have her way with him later, when the spotlight was off him. Xyrna's husband or not, he would learn that it wasn't just Cirsei's wrath he needed to fear for this - It was hers, as well.

Still, as he lay on the ground, a simple throwing knife lodged itself in his chest in a lazy arc over Cirsei's head. Nowhere near deep enough to harm permanently, and aimed where the armor was just thick enough to take the blow yet still pierce the skin, this wasn't the mark of an amateur. This was a statement, one that her wife would recognize.
#12484679 Jun 22, 2016 at 05:17 PM · Edited 3 years ago
520 Posts
The shock of it was still enough to send Thyssen staggering to his knees. If he could have screamed an obscenity, he would've. But someone else did it for him. "What the frak do you think you're doing?!" Kearse snapped. He had lagged behind to watch and see just what all Cirsei had planned for Thyssen. The lesson that he'd learned from her, while harsh, was something that he could see Thyssen was willing to take. But this? The Echani's knuckles clanked and whirred as his cybernetic hands balled into fists. "He was already accepting his punishment!"
#12484751 Jun 22, 2016 at 05:38 PM
120 Posts
"Holding my temper." The woman was as wind, a breeze from the rafters to barely a foot from the man. Reaching up to depress a button on her helmet, it collapsed in sections, revealing the stony face of the Wife of the Dragon, Jaronn Elandril. "He yet draws breath on the mercy of Cirsei. Her wrath isn't the one he should be fearing. Her discipline shall not be the only punishment."

She was as a statue, even as she stood before Kearse she seemed half-shrouded in shadow, bangs hiding one eye, yet seemingly enhancing the promises of death the other gave. This wasn't a woman one wanted to argue with.

And the way she curled her hand into a fist, the glint of yet another blade held there? This was a woman who was barely an excuse away from slaughter, such was the palpable fury emanating from her. While Cirsei managed to convey her fury so eloquently, the shadow before Kearse needed no words whatsoever.
#12484816 Jun 22, 2016 at 05:54 PM · Edited over 2 years ago
215 Posts
A blaster bolt found its way in between Kearse and Jaronn's feet, and Cirsei stormed over to the pair, her coat flapping in the wake. Once there, she spoke angrily, casually using her blaster as a pointer. First, she looked at her wife. "You absolutely are not within your rights to attack one of my subordinates, even if you didn't harm him. You are not KJC, and you are certainly not his superior." Then to Kearse. "And you were supposed to leave the hangar. You're on thin ice, considering Thyssen grabbed you from the command of a man that was trying to kill me. Both of you get out of my sight." She really, truly meant it.
#12484883 Jun 22, 2016 at 06:16 PM
120 Posts
It was almost comical, how her anger petered out completely as Cirsei spoke. Her dignity remained intact and she didn't flinch, but instead was replaced by a passive air. Her expression said 'we'll talk later', but later would mean when the two had privacy.

Though she'd be damned if she left Cirsei alone. Her stealth generator whirred into life, rendering her nigh-invisible, and she stepped into the shadows. Knowing her, she wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. Not after what just happened. Besides, Jay was good at staying out of people's sight. Cirsei's, included.
#12485084 Jun 22, 2016 at 08:05 PM
520 Posts
Thwip! Jay's knife, still wet with Thyssen's blood, sunk itself into the sand where she once stood. It had been Thyssen himself who had dislodged it, but it had been Kearse who'd added the unnecessary bit of theatricality. It was difficult to tell if there was a thinly veiled threat behind the gesture, or if it was just the Echani's way of attempting to return the woman's equipment. Knowing Kearse, though, it was a mixture of the two. Regardless, once Jay's message had been returned to sender, the white-haired man helped his friend in the salmon-colored coat limp out of the hangar...