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Fandom Star Wars: Galaxy Torn

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  2. Star Wars
Ilon VI.jpg

Ilon VI
Deep Core
Castle Obsidian

The Super Star Destroyer Eclipse had every right to be as large and domineering as it was.

That was what the Grand Admiral would tell those who inquired about its outrageous size and appearance. It was an extension of himself; of his ego and pride and accomplishments throughout the war against the Rebellion, and he defended it as such. But despite that very fact, despite his attachment to the battlestation, Sheraff Goalin acknowledged that it did not belong to him.

The Eclipse was meant to be commanded by two people, not one man. It was to be the Emperor's grand flagship. He was supposed to command it alongside his new enforcer, the Dark Legate Arganth, but the plan changed. Arganth was killed on Ruusan along with most of Palpatine's Legion of Dark Jedi, and by technicality, the Grand Admiral was next in the line of command. As much as he had mourned the Legate, Goalin was more than happy to serve directly alongside the Emperor, and took the position without any sort of hesitance.

Then the plan changed again. His Majesty’s apprentice, a former Rebel hero by the name of Luke Skywalker, usurped the throne, had murdered Palpatine in cold blood and became Emperor himself. The New Emperor used what forces he'd taken from "murdering" the Emperor—who was inhabiting a clone body, and who had survived by transferring his essence away to Exegol—to secure victory for himself and his allies. He had no loyalty to the Empire, no shred of remorse for the lives lost or the jobs taken or the power vacuum left on countless planets when he disbanded it, not to mention the disorder such a thing would cause.

Grand Admiral Goalin had never liked Luke Skywalker. He hadn't liked Rebels to begin with, but it was even worse that he'd been forced to actually serve the former Alliance general. Skywalker had proved his values remained no different than before when he murdered Palpatine. As Emperor, Skywalker had rarely spoken to the other Imperials, barely acknowledged Goalin's existence outside of a few brief formal meetings and when he was giving orders. A pitiful excuse, the Admiral had told himself, and he had been right.

Now here he was, in control of it all. This power was his for the time being, or at least until he could find a suitable heir to the throne. It would be difficult, this he knew; many of those serving under him would have loved nothing more than to slide to the top for their own selfish deeds, but the Empire did not need another failure—it did not need another Luke Skywalker or Sheev Palpatine. It needed a leader. One who would take every loss to heart, treat every success with praise, and care more about the Empire's survival than themselves. That was the perfect ruler in his mind. If he could build such a man, he would, but even the long, cylindrical cloning tubes standing over him could not produce such a thing.

Their control panels, flashing red and blue and green and an assortment of other colors let out a cold whistling sound every now and then as the life support systems struggled to maintain themselves. The only other sound were the bubbles of the cloning vat rising to the top where they collected and then burst. Tinted with a dull blue, Grand Admiral Goalin could see through the glass container perfectly; floating inside was a pale, limp reincarnation, its eyes closed, a rebreather lodged into its mouth. Like a stained paintbrush's bristles, spiked red hair with blonde roots sprouted from the man's head, flowing and dancing as the liquid within was pushed and pulled by heated jets of air.

The overhead lighting submerged the room in an uncomfortable red glow. Its black walls and floor paired for a look that contrasted against Goalin's, and the constant red hue did not help. His snow-white tunic and trousers now looked pink, and his golden epaulets were being undermined by the clone of Palpatine.

A grimace crossed the Grand Admiral's face. This was all that remained of the now-deceased Emperor. A single clone held together by mere strands; its life support system had grown critical long ago while they had been in orbit. Breathing inwards, the Grand Admiral let the air out in the form of a sigh. He'd come here for the cloning vats against the knowledge that there were still remains of the failed Emperor.

"Dispose of it," he called to the personnel over his shoulder, his voice strict yet without venom. "We no longer have any use of the clones. Have the cylinders cleaned and brought to the Eclipse's Science Division."

One of the personnel, a woman wearing a white jumpsuit and holding a tablet in the crook of her arm, nodded. "At once, Grand Admiral," she said, then began typing on her datapad. The order would be carried along and received by labor workers. Goalin took solace in the fact he could count on them to get the job done.

Sheraff stood there for a moment longer as he cast a final glance at the clone body. His eyebrows furrowed ever so slightly. A chill ran through his spine. This was it—after this clone was disposed of, nothing would be left of Palpatine aside from holorecordings and the Empire itself, of course. The thought hadn't properly settled in until just now. It truly was the end of an era.

But there was no use in standing around and fretting about what could have been, or what was. Goalin was here now, he was the one in charge, and he needed to carry the Empire to victory. Or, if nothing else, survival. He spun on his heel and walked to the cloning chamber's exit.

◈ ◈ ◈

cares too much.jpg

Galactic Core
Imperial City

Before anything else, ships orbiting the ecumenopoli known as Coruscant had to pass through Oribtal Traffic Control, otherwise they wouldn't be allowed to enter. Kolaren Doragon was no stranger to this routine; working for the New Republic required constant travel to and from the Imperial Palace. Needless to say it had all become really old, really fast.

But this time was different. This time, the Jedi Knight was here on other business. Business that was actually worthwhile, something other than wasting his time hunting the dying Imperial Remnant. Finding a lead on Tyber Zann had proven to be more difficult than he had expected, but, things had finally seemed to go his way when he had arrived on Takodana. He had met a Mandalorian who claimed to have information—or knew somebody who had information—on Tyber, or at the very least, the Zann Consortium.

All he needed to do was run an errand for the Mandalorian. Solve a puzzle, play detective, it was nothing he hadn't done in the past. A former business associate had went missing near the underground level Kolaren had lived most of his life on, and, one coincidence lead to another until he agreed to investigate in exchange for information.

After a while, the Jedi Knight's semicircular T-6 shuttle was given clearance to land. It normally didn't take too long, largely in part due to the shuttle's paint scheme and model. It was a T-6, used by Jedi and Republic agents during and before the Clone War, retrofitted with blaster cannons for Kolaren's comfort and with accents painted in the New Republic's signature gold and blue. Those working in the Orbital Traffic field had long since identified it as a Jedi craft and knew that it was clear.

The shuttle softly hummed as Kolaren guided it down towards the Imperial City. He tapped the coordinates to the Imperial Palace into the navicomputer, and allowed the craft to autopilot itself until the building came into sight. A year ago, he would never have been able to navigate the surface on his own. The Galaxy still felt to large sometimes. Too spacious. It was the opposite of claustrophobia.

But he was here now, and he was only returning to the lower levels because work demanded it. The Imperial Palace appeared through the shuttle's viewport, and, seeing this, Kolaren grabbed the controls and disabled his autopilot. His hands eased the two controls forwards and the spacecraft obliged; it gently slid forwards through the air without a bit of turbulence until a small slit in the pyramid-like structure's base came into sight.

Kolaren eased back on the repulsors that carried the craft forwards and flipped a long pointed switch on the center control dashboard. The semicircular hull surrounding the shuttle's cockpit and engines rotated from its vertical angle to a horizontal one, allowing it to lower its three landing gear and land within the Palace's hangar.

A brief few minutes passed as diagnostics ran themselves inside the ship. Eventually, though, its long, narrow exit ramp extended to the hangar's floor, spitting steam and filling the area with the smell of smoke and metal and heated repulsors. Knight Kolaren strode down the ramp, dressed in an attire he did not usually keep—a dull off-grey smuggler's shirt as well as plain black cargo pants. His lightsaber hung from his belt and swayed from side to side as he carefully descended the strip of metal and stepped onto the hangar floor. His eyes narrowed into a sliver as he glanced around. Mechanics and mechanic droids walked to and fro, carrying tools and guiding hovercarts filled with tools and equipment to operate on the official New Republic craft lining the inside. Kolaren's shuttle would be safe here. It was better than bringing it to where he was going.
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cursed with ideas
Location: Tatooine, Mos Espa
Time of day: Late afternoon
Characters: Kohvee
Mentions: n/a
"Alright, look, I'm sure we can work something out."

He wasn't completely clear on what it was that had set them off. Sure, he might have been instrumental in spreading a rumor here and there that might have painted each of them in a less-than-flattering light, which in turn may or may not have played the former allies against each other before they figured out the conflict was arising from the same dubious source. But that was just business, certainly not something that warranted the personal offense the trio of humans that faced him were radiating.

"E chu ta, dopa-meeky kung!" the biggest of the three spat. Go to hell, you double-crossing scumbag!

"So that's a 'no' then."

Kohvee barely ducked the first swing of the apparent leader of the group, relishing for a split second in the crunch of knuckles meeting duracrete behind him. That definitely broke something, and the man howled in pain, throwing another wild strike. This time the dodge couldn't come fast enough, and the fist met its mark in Kohvee's abdomen, sending all his air out of him in a huff. A boot came his way next, but in his hunched position it was an easy enough thing to shove the strike off its path and roll out of the way.

He scrambled to his feet to see the other two were closing in. He didn't have the wall at his back anymore, and Kohvee felt the beginnings of the sinking feeling that came with the realization he was in over his head. Not that he'd never been in similar positions before - he'd been living alone on these streets for some time now, he knew how to take a beating. Honestly, for the kind of people he associated with it happened a lot less than expected. Didn't make it hurt any less.

Three on one was never good odds, and they were older and stronger than he was. The outcome was decided almost before it had started, and Kohvee shifted focused to trying to take as little damage as possible rather than the futile goal of winning. Just wait it out and look for an opening to get away. That was all well and good until the guy on his left managed to get a firm hold on his arm, the one on his right taking that as an opportunity to dart in and try to wrestle Kohvee's rifle free from him, which in turn left him unable to see their leader's fist coming up-

This time the crunch wasn't the breaking of bone, but the sound of delicate electronics meeting their end as Kohvee's mask absorbed the brunt of the force.

Now it was personal. Kohvee snarled, dropping his weight straight down to break the holds on either side of him, shifted his feet to brace himself, screwed his eyes shut to dart a quick plea of here I am, help me to Elder Sky Brother and shoved.

The alleyway was suddenly very still. Kohvee froze for a moment, the dissonance of the sudden quiet ringing in his ears. He cracked his eyes open as he straightened fully, confusion and an odd but definite feeling that something important had just happened soaking his senses.

The thugs to either side of him had both taken steps back, and were now looking with what seemed to be fear in their eyes, glancing between Kohvee and their leader who was... now... lying in a heap in the dust of the alley... no less than 30 feet away. A bright smear of red decorated the duracrete next to him. He wasn't moving. None of them were. That must have been all his instincts needed to snap back into action, because the next thing he knew he was in an all-out sprint two streets away.

The more twists and turns of the Mos Espa streets he put between him and that alley, the more a snake of anxiety wound itself around Kohvee's guts. What was that? He couldn't have done that, right? Plenty of weird stuff happened in this city, there wasn't much left on this dirt-ball that surprised him anymore, but what had just happened, that was impossible. Right?

Kohvee finally came to a halt just on the outskirts of the main market district, his breath coming in short, stuttering gasps that definitely weren't just from the running. He needed to calm down. Whatever it was that had happened, it had gotten him out of a bad situation. It wouldn't do any good to draw attention to himself now and get right in to another one.

He pressed his back against the sun-baked warmth of the duracrete building he'd stopped by. Its solid surface grounded him, and Kohvee worked to slow his panic and wrap a sense of calm and don't-notice-me around himself. It wasn't really working, not like it usually did, but luckily at this time of day most beings had too many of their own problems to worry about to concern themselves with him. At least he hoped so.

Location: Coruscant, Imperial City
Time of day: Mid-day
Characters: Veill
Mentions: n/a
This job was refusing to go as smoothly as she'd like. Veill had taken the assignment on it's offer of credits to the seemingly disproportionate apparent difficulty. Everyone else's information networks must have known something she didn't however, because she was seeing now why no one else took the job.

On the surface, the target didn't appear to be anyone particularly special - some minor ties to the Trade Clans, a distant relative involved in New Republic politics, patron to a respectable performance art guild of all things - but the payout should have been enough of an indication that there was more to them, and now that she was here, at the target's home, well, the place was built like a fortress.

Sure it was aesthetic enough it could pass off as an artistic if not eccentric rich being's home, but it was set with just enough of a gap between it and surrounding structures to make some kind of secondary entry impossible. Comprised of all broken sight lines and thick, reinforced duracrete that by their placement hadn't come to be by looks alone. To make matters worse, it was becoming evident someone had tipped them off - she was on day four of watching the place, and she was only just starting to draw out a pattern from the ever-shifting rotations of guards that practically swarmed the halls. It was going to be a nightmare to get inside, and the target never ventured out that she'd seen.

"Karking hells," Veill swore as yet another guardsman emerged into the frame of the window she was currently watching, apparently to deliver some words of message to two who stationed in line of sight. Even at this distance she could discern the bulky build that concealed body armor gave to his frame, and though she couldn't place the make, the blaster strapped to his hip looked high powered.

She growled, finally lowering her macrobinoculars and leaning back in the shadow of her perch. She was three blocks down from the building, having taken up station several stories up from the entrance to her target's home. It gave her a good overhead view of any comings and goings of the place, but it was lacking in the cover department.

Speaking of - Veill glared through her visor, squinting up at the yellow sun over head which was just beginning to manage to peek between the tall spires of buildings here. Normally being noticeable in sunlight wasn't an issue on Coruscant, but this target was apparently rich enough to afford a view of the sky. She'd have to move soon, the patch of shade she was using to obscure herself was shrinking woefully small. Tonight she'd make her move. Veill was really beginning to hate surveillance.


I pull levers
Location: Coruscant, Imperial City
Time: Mid-day
Characters: Veill and Baxter
Mentions: Noil Noil


“Bit early for bats, isn’t it?” hailed a voice from the Defel’s side. The man hadn’t been there for long, only just now getting the chance to light a thin tabac roll. He’d pull in an exaggerated drag, as if to jumpstart the conversation, whilst sat one-legged-crossed atop the building’s rooftop hatch. Indigo smoke cleared from his head as he began to speak again.

“Sorry. It’s just, I’m not used to seeing y’all this many levels up,” he’d follow her line of sight, right to the abode of her target, “Or tracking such big marks, for that matter,” he’d explain with a nod. Another drag of tabac was taken before he’d continue, “I’d never take em on, that’s for certain. Though, guess there really isn’t a need to, not after today anyways,” the man seemed to be alluding to something, though before allowing his company to guess as to what, he’d rise.

Careful not to impede on her valuable shade, the stranger approached and leaned against the same wall as Veill, though some feet away. He’d take another lazy glance at the compound, tilt his head, and then roll up a sleeve to check his watch. Eyes still fixed to the face of the band, he’d continue. “Five minutes, that’s all I’m asking. I’ve got a client, he’s got a job, and let me tell you it’s a hell of a lot more doable than this one.” he’d shake his sleeve back down, dropping the arm to his side in the process before looking towards the assassin.


cursed with ideas
Location: Coruscant, Imperial City
Time of day: Mid-day
Characters: Veill, Baxter
Mentions: Bronco Bronco
Veill startled at the sudden voice nearby, scrambling to her feet with a growl to try and cover the indignity of being so caught off-guard. She cursed herself for slacking in her awareness of her surroundings. She wouldn't have expected to find anyone else up here, but that was no excuse. Mistakes like that cost your life. She aimed her snarl at the man, a hand hovering over one of the vibroblades at her side as he spoke.

“Sorry. It’s just, I’m not used to seeing y’all this many levels up.”

If I'd been doing my job right, instead of like a wet-eared pup, you wouldn't have seen me at all. She thought with wounded pride, her lips curling over sharp white teeth. His polite nonchalance was scraping along her nerves, achieving nothing more than making her more wary than if he'd come at her with aggression. She didn't trust anyone as a general rule, but that went double for those who talked with this casual smoothness. It either meant they were hiding something, or they were manipulating you, which wasn't any different than anyone else, but it was definitely the more annoying way to go about it.

"Sneaking up on people like me isn't good for your health," she said, her low, gravely voice grumbling out into the space between them, "Why should I care what your client wants when I've already got one of my own?" And why me? she left unsaid, but did wonder. Why seek her out specifically, and how did they even know of her? She hadn't heard anything from the Syndicate since taking on this assignment, and she didn't generally take on independent work. She'd have to re-evaluate her methods once she was clear of this. She needed to be invisible.


I pull levers
Location: Coruscant, Imperial City
Time: Mid-day
Characters: Veill, Baxter
Mentions: Noil Noil


"Sneaking up on people like me isn't good for your health,"

“Well it’s one way or the other,” the man grinned, lifting his now half singed tabac roll and placing it in his mouth. He’d chew on the end as she spoke, contemplating his own response to a valid question. Though not entirely sure what he was at liberty to reveal, it seemed the usual half-truths of the trade would suffice. Enough to peak her interest, came his inner instruction.

“Because for once I think he can offer the better deal. Not to mention you’ll actually get to do your job,” he’d wave what seemed like a frustrated hand towards the distant compound, “None of this, red herring skugsnot,” another drag from the role, bringing it nearly to its end, seemed to quiet his bubbling agitation. “‘Less you wanna wait around another…'' he'd spare a second glance at his watch, “...three or so minutes to watch the fireworks.”

The man’s gaze became focused on the compound, as if in anticipation. He’d pull in the last of the roll, leaving nothing but a small roach dangling from his lip. He was quick to flick it away, letting it flutter as it descended down from the rooftop into the depths of the planet below. “Let me ask you something, when was the last time you heard back from your employers?” He left little room for the assassin to answer, “Doesn’t matter, you’re probably thinking. They’re syndicate, they’re mysterious like that, you’d reason,” his tone began to take on one of slight impatience as he crossed his arms. “But what if they’re not the types you’re dealing with? What if you were getting played? I’d be pissed, pissed enough to listen at least,” he left the insinuation to dangle between them, becoming more comfortable against the wall as he waited for a response.


cursed with ideas
Location: Coruscant, Imperial City
Characters: Veill, Baxter
Mentions: Bronco Bronco
One way or the other, sure, that was why he was going to all this trouble. Veill rolled her eyes, the action hidden behind her visor. She relaxed a little as he continued to talk, reasonably doubtful that the stranger meant her direct harm. Meant to make some kind of slimeball business deal, sure, but now that she'd had a moment to get over being caught unaware she didn't judge him as someone prone to violence. If he'd ever actually get around to his point she might even care what he was going on about.

"I didn't get this far in life by questioning the Ragnar," she snapped, shifting uncomfortably at his implication that he had information she didn't, "nor by trusting them either. You're still breathing, aren't you? I'm listening."

She stooped briefly to snatch up and toss on her cloak, resolving her form into something easier to look at for human eyes. Defel fur didn't make them invisible, but the way she'd understood it, the way white light seemed to skate off or be absorbed in turn made focusing difficult for other species. Breaking it up was a consideration she'd learned. Mostly she was just stalling for a moment to try and puzzle together the pieces of information he'd conveyed.

Her target was a bigger deal than her data packet had let on - that much she had gathered already; he was representing an employer of his own, one that wanted her for some other job; something big and probably destructive was about to happen at the compound in question; and lastly, the Syndicate knew about this, and had sent her in anyway. It was that last one that started up a low, sub-audible growl in the back of her throat. The man had better have something damned good to say next, for his own sake.

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