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Sarcastrophe [Vanessa]

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#1
Darth Carnifex

Darth Carnifex

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9lD3YjD.png

 

NATHEMA

 

Shimmering and splendid, the dagger-sharp prow of the Behemoth II cut through empty space. Free of the dockyard moorings that had kept it anchored for so many months after Csilla, the rebuilt dreadnought was at liberty to sail the starwaves wherever its captain pleased. That freedom brought the gargantuan warship over the idyllic world of Nathema, one of the many breadbaskets that sustained the Empire's vast population with refined foodstuffs and other essential materials. It had been many years since the Emperor had looked down upon the world, faint memories of conquest dancing within his mind as his shuttle departed the Behemoth II and began its descent through the atmosphere.

 

Fluffy white clouds parted to reveal a landscape of sharp mountain spires encompassing box valleys and wide canyon gorges that shined a vibrant emerald and sapphire. Flocks of native avians darted out of the way of the shuttle as it dipped down through the passes, large sentry turrets briefly turning to face the on-coming vessel before turning back away as a squall of clearance codes were transmitted between them. 

 

Ahead laid a monolith of dark gray durasteel and permacrete, a fortress design to inspire awe and trepidation in the enemies of the Empire that yet lurked within the mountain caves and canyon crags. Hundred meter long banners were strung from dizzying parapets, falling so low that they nearly scraped the forest floor. At the center of each banner was emblazoned the symbol of the Empire, a symbol of triumph and tyranny. Beneath the fortress' shadow was an expanse of deforested land that stretched on for nearly a mile beyond its thick walls, a field of death where no enemy could hope to approach the facility unseen. 

 

But the shuttle that now idled above a large landing pad had no fear of being reproached, it carried a being of immense power and authority. Those officers and technicians in the communications tower could do nothing to turn him away, nor did they have any desire to. It was an event of unprecedented privilege to have the Emperor of All Sith arrive in person to your place of station, and the murmurings of excitement filtered through every being of rank. 

 

The boarding ramp lowered once the shuttle had come to a silent stand-still, bursts of pressurized air spewing from the ramp's hydraulic engines. Each of the Emperor's footfalls was like a thunderclap, his immense muscular girth striding onto the flat durasteel surface with the gait of a conqueror; his head held high above his broad shoulders as a cloak of richest carmine silk draped loosely, fixed to his right shoulder by a magnetic brooch fashioned in the shape of his family's sigil. Behind him strode a cadre of four Crownguard, their lobstered crimson armor shimmering in the dull glare of Nathema's sole sun.

 

Vanessa Vantai



#2
Vanessa Vantai

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Darth Carnifex

 

As the Behemoth II meandered into the Nathema system, Vanessa Vantai herself had been preparing for the inevitable meeting with the arriving Emperor. There was a full fleet of warships within the system, mostly of Vanessa's own designs, ready and willing to engage any ne'er-do-wells who dared try to disturb the order within the system. The hundreds of thousands within the Darktrooper Corps were at the ready - some had been within the demesne of the Sith since before Kaine's first tenure as Emperor, though there was admittedly a degree of discontentment amongst them. Their loyalty to Vanessa, however, would ensure nary a movement would be out of place.

 

Awaiting Kaine at the landing pad was an entire platoon's worth of bloodtroopers, crimson armor and gleaming energy crystals showcased with lightsabers as their waist. Behind the formation of them, which had been split in two, were multiple formations of darktroopers that spanned the length of the walkway into the fortress proper. Within said fortress were plenty of bloodtroopers and darktroopers of various kinds, the elite of Vanessa's elite, ready to respond to any threats that came their way.

 

Vanessa herself was standing near the landing pad, and smiled as Kaine emerged. She was wearing gold-embroidered black robes of a simple pattern quite similar to the ones she had worn at the Emperor's social event. As he walked forward, Vanessa would smile, pleased that the Emperor had arrived here to see the work she had put in to turn this once humble system into a bastion of Imperial might.

 

"A pleasure to see you, my Emperor."



#3
Darth Carnifex

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"The pleasure is mine, Lady Vantai."

 

Emperor Carnifex came to a halt about a meter and a half away from the smaller woman, the wind tugging at his cloak incessantly as it whipped down from the towering canyon walls. His guard stopped with him, vibro-bardiches planted firmly on the ground by their pommels; they neither moved nor spoke while the Emperor was in conversation. 

 

"I spied sprawling farmland in my way in, I am pleased. It is as I envisioned." His eyes slowly swept up past the fortress' central tower and up to the sky itself, where Vanessa's considerable naval armada mingled with the single dreadnought that had accompanied the Emperor. "Your forces are well arrayed for grandeur. I do not doubt that your soldiers would assume parade formations at the drop of a hat, but neither of us are here for parades. Not today, at least." His eyes came back down to look on Vanessa's fair face, a comely face that had often enticed those who thought more with their genitals than they did with their hearts or minds. Despite their past interactions, the Emperor felt nothing as he gazed upon her.

 

"Take me inside. I would rather not waste my time here."

 

Vanessa Vantai


Edited by Darth Carnifex, 04 June 2019 - 12:14 AM.


#4
Vanessa Vantai

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Darth Carnifex

 

"The planet has been ripe for exploitation for some time now. In concert with the orbital formations, I have managed to maintain most of the agricultural yields of this world through external input of materials, rather than borrowing from the world's own mineral deposits." Remaining mostly an agri-world ensured that Nathema would be able to provide both its own population as well as Vanessa's forces with foodstuffs in the event their supply lines from the rest of the Empire were cut. Having a degree of self-sufficiency was important to her long-term plans.

 

"They are the finest soldiers within the Empire." She said. "Each an Imperial veteran, maimed beyond all reasonable repair, rebuilt by my hand or by my staff of medical droids into effective cyborg warriors more rugged, more skilled, and more lethal than the average stormtrooper." She smiled, though it quickly faded as she looked up at Kaine before leading him inside. A quartet of bloodtroopers would wait outside, along with assumedly Kaine's own bodyguards - if they followed him inside, they would follow as well.

 

Once inside, they would head towards a spare room with chairs and a table where they could talk in an otherwise more intimate setting. "I must say," Vanessa said as they would walk to the room, soon entering with no issues, "your visit was quite unexpected. I still haven't yet determined that favor, I must admit, though I admittedly don't know if that was the reason you came." She elaborated. Upon sitting down, she would motion to one of the servants for a platter of appetizers and a bottle of fine wine to be brought to the table - after all, company without even mild snacks was hardly company at all.



#5
Darth Carnifex

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"That is not the reason for my visit, Vanessa." The Emperor had gone from formal titles to first names now, a distinct shift in the tone of this conversation. "I am here because I have heard disconcerting whispers regarding your activities here, far from the eyes of Bastion and Dromund Kaas." In truth, the Emperor was having all of his old companions monitored virtually day and night. Vanessa and Voracitos in particular, as both had the ambition and the resources to actually challenge his rule should they wish. Voracitos was watched more closely than Vanessa was, naturally, as Carnifex had once came to blows with Voracitos for the very same thing that Carnifex now possessed. 

 

"You've amassed quite a force here, bordering on insubordinate in regards to Imperial regulations." The Emperor took his seat, momentarily refusing food or drink as he stared directly into Vanessa's eyes. "What do you plan to do with all of these soldiers, all of these ships? Advanced cybernetic soldiers plucked from the Empire's maimed veterans, paraded before me in all of their glory."

 

He leaned forward, "Speak frankly with me, Vanessa. I do not appreciate all of this secrecy within my own Empire, not when it is deliberately kept from me."

 

Vanessa Vantai



#6
Vanessa Vantai

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Darth Carnifex

 

"Disconcerting whispers?" She said as the bottle of wine and the plate of appetizers - a slice of salami wrapped around a hunk of strong cheese placed atop a cracker, of which there were dozens - arrived. "Hardly surprising. It's not like any of them actually come around. That Inquisitorial agent - Jorryn Fordyce, I believe her name was - left, and I haven't seen her in a long while." She answered. "I figured the Inquisitorium had already garnered all the knowledge they needed to determine whether such activities are a threat."

 

As the inquisition by the Emperor came forward, she stayed silent. When he had finished, there was a moment of silence, before Vanessa soon broke it. "Kaine, may I speak freely in order to respond to your question, without fear of retribution?" Her use of his true name, in contrast to his Sith title or the more proper 'my Emperor' was a deliberate inquest regarding making the conversation more informal in nature. She had no issues with regards to explaining herself to him, none at all - but her explanation, she intended, would be given as peer-to-peer, as Sith to Sith.

 

After all, they had known each other long enough to make such a conversation tenable.



#7
Darth Carnifex

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"I gave you permission to speak frankly, Vanessa."

 

He plucked a single hors d'oeuvres from the platter offered to him, tossing it inside his mouth and slowly chewing it as he awaited the Sith Lady's answer. Then he took the offered goblet of wine, unfearful of any attempts to poison him; though he doubted that Vanessa would even try, and washed down the cracker, cheese, and salami with the dark blue-colored wine. The liquid left an aftertaste of strawberry, plum, and cedar dancing across his taste buds as he gently placed the half-empty goblet down on the table.

 

"A fine vintage, Vanessa. It has been a long time since I had tasted Blossom Wine."

 

Vanessa Vantai



#8
Vanessa Vantai

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Darth Carnifex

 

"Then allow me to be honest." She replied. "I have heard since returning to the Empire of how high you have arisen. There are those within the Empire who speak of you in terms that I have never heard, even during the prior Empire. Claims that you're a divine being, all-knowing, all-seeing, and all-powerful. A belief that your empire will last forever and you will never be defeated." She replied.

 

"I know that is a lie."

 

She would reach for her glass, taking a quick sip of the wine before continuing. "I remember when you were captured by the Jedi, when Krag overthrew you. I remember the time I had to return you back to the realm of the living. These claims that the people believe in are false, and the threat of your abdication, overthrow, or death occurring is in fact a very real thing." She said. "That said, do not take this lack of faith in your divinity as a sign of disloyalty. Under your leadership the Empire is more unified and arguably more powerful than it ever has been, past or present. You've managed to take organizations and individuals who outright loathe one another and piece them together into a competent and capable war machine that has seen to the destruction of the Galactic Alliance, to Commenor, and to the Jen'ari heretics. I have no desire to change this and send us on a slow and spiraling path towards another dark age of treachery and warlordism."

 

She would reach for one of the bites and eat it, swallowing before continuing. "I have gathered these fleets and created these personnel for a simple reason. When you no longer are Emperor, regardless as to who you have chosen or intend to choose as a successor, I wholeheartedly expect certain predatory individuals within the Empire - individuals who feign loyalty to you now in order to take advantage later - to attempt to carve their portions out of the Empire and devolve things into warlordism. I do not want that. I intend to, as such, use the resources at my disposal to force the warring factions to come to a solution so we can pick a leader and the infernal Jedi cannot take advantage of our apparent weakness."

 

With that, she took another sip. "There. Such is my explanation. That is why the Orbital Complex exists. That is why I have so many prototypes and exotic pieces of equipment. That is why I send my men and materiel to where the fighting is whenever we or our allies engage an enemy - to gain them experience. I want there to be no doubt - none at all - that I will be able to bring the conflicting factions' hostility to an end and ensure the Empire's continued existence and conquest over the Light."



#9
Darth Carnifex

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The Emperor was silent during the entirety of Vanessa's explanation, his face revealing nothing. When it was all said and done, the Emperor remained quiet for several moments as he took another drink of the Blossom Wine. When he did finally speak, it was in a tone that conveyed a teacher speaking to a student who had become convinced of an error in understanding. "Divinity is in the eye of the beholder. To a lowly serf on a world which does not know the luxury of technology, we are gods. To an enlightened scholar laden with knowledge of the Force and its many intricacies, we are genetic anomalies. What my subjects choose to believe about me and about the Sith is of no concern, so long as they obey."

 

He reached for his drink, cradling it in one hand and bringing the brim to his lips for another swallow. When he placed it down he resumed, "The Empire is unified and strong, you are correct in that assumption. Its people are galvanized against an enemy which is simultaneously contemptibly weak and dangerously strong, a contradiction which keeps those beneath our heels thankful for the security we bestow upon them. But this state of being for my Empire is not the end goal, Vanessa. Everything that I have done, and everything the Empire has endured, is just another stepping stone to a higher purpose."

 

His eyes bore into Vanessa's, dark and baleful. "Have you heard of Vector Prime?"

 

Vanessa Vantai



#10
Vanessa Vantai

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Darth Carnifex

 

"Such a laissez-faire attitude. That said, our non-divinity is ultimately the truth. We are merely those who have bound the charnel power of darkness to our whims, some more skillfully than others, and some in more... visible ways." Such was in reference to how those who could not use the Force could still pursue the agenda of the Sith and the Dark Side as a whole.

 

"A higher purpose? You're telling me the reconstruction of the Sith Empire, our extensive territorial growth, and the war we've waged to destroy the Galactic Alliance, the Jen'ari, and all who oppose us is ultimately just child's play for some sort of grandiose scheme you have?" She sighed, but his next question soon raised her eyebrows in curiosity.

 

"Are we talking the rift the Vong used to enter our galaxy, or are we talking the book? Assuming the former, how does that benefit whatever higher purpose you have? The void between galaxies is dark, lifeless, and empty. There is nothing out there to reap, no resources to exploit, and no civilizations to conquer. Even a journey to another galaxy would take far longer than even the alchemized body you possess would allow." She sighed.



#11
Darth Carnifex

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"You are short-sighted, Vanessa. You do not understand." Nor will she ever, the Emperor realized sullenly. She was too focused on what she could see in front of her, her ships, her resources, her tenuous hold on the material. The Emperor could not rely on her for this task he has set for himself, there were very few he could trust other than Braxus. Braxus understood, he knew what the Emperor meant to achieve, he possessed vision -- he could see the future. 

 

"Which is a pity." He moved to stand, "You were always ambitious, Vanessa, but I had thought you more of a visionary. I suppose then that I was mistaken." Now he neared, looming above her in all of his splendor and his terror. "I will excuse your previous transgressions and allow you to continue your efforts, no matter how vain they may become. I do so as long as you deliver to me regular updates of your activities, I don't care for the method so long as my demands are carried out." He could not abide such drastic actions being conducted without his knowledge, that was where Vanessa had truly erred in her presumptuous arrogance. 

 

"Do I make myself clear, Vanessa?"

 

Vanessa Vantai



#12
Vanessa Vantai

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Darth Carnifex

 

"Then help me understand, dammit." She sighed. "I don't know what you're planning. I don't know whether it's even plausible or not. I don't know what the end goal of your scheme is, or how it affects the Empire, the Sith, and myself. I can't understand unless you explain what's going on." She sighed, particularly as he stood. Such was met with Vanessa standing herself - she would not flinch, back up, or otherwise showcase a single iota of fear, either physically or mentally. Why would she? She had nothing to fear from Kaine. The closest thing to any sort of harm he could do to her was kill her and attempt to take away the resources she had acquired, and given Vanessa had already experienced such in the CIS, the Fringe, and even the Omega Protectorate, starting from scratch and rebuilding was nothing to her.

 

"Are you accusing me of lacking in Sith qualities, Kaine? I don't know what you're working on, but if you want my support, you have it. You have become the twice-ruler of the Empire and revived it from its fallen former glory, and we're more unified than ever before thanks to you. Regardless as to whatever personal misgivings I have, I will provide whatever is necessary to you for your project, so long as you help me understand." Assuming Kaine moved closer, Vanessa would remain static and unmoving even if he moved within inches of her. "You have doubts about my plans, just as I had doubts about yours. As for your request - I will have a monthly burst data transmission on a selected subspace frequency, transmitting an encrypted packet and the frequency for the next message directly to your Bastion palace. I have no clue who manages your palace's communications systems, but let them know."

 

She would remain standing. "You've been more than clear, Kaine. Now shall we get back to finishing our snack?" She motioned to the table and the half-eaten tray of appetizers along with the half-finished wine.



#13
Darth Carnifex

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Standing nearly three feet taller than Vanessa, the Sith Emperor cast an imposing shadow as he stood less than half a meter away from her. Without a word he turned and reclaimed his seat at the table, settling into it with the swagger and confidence of a conqueror. He did not make a move for any of the food or drink, content on letting it sit there while he watched Vanessa closely. "What do you know about our enemies," he said after about a minute's silence, "The Jedi and the Republicans who have arrayed themselves as our enemy." The Emperor knew all of them; the righteous Coren Starchaser, Captain Atlas Drake of the Kathol Republic, Joshua Dragonsflame, Thurion Heavenshield, Coci Heavenshield, and Jaius Sovv; the list continued on full of Jedi and other contemptible outlaws and brigands. 

 

"And what, in your opinion, is our best chance at beating these ardent foes? Like the Sith, they have proven to be quite resilient. What can you propose that will serve better than the methods we have used to curtail them?" It was a genuine question, the Emperor was never one to disregard the sound counsel of another if it was proven to be wise. He often lent an ear to his Inner Council before undertaking any action that involved the resources of the Empire. His most critical advisor was Lord Tai Fa, who was never one to shy away when the Emperor needed to be reminded of his wits. 

 

"Tell me, and I will listen."

 

Vanessa Vantai



#14
Vanessa Vantai

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 Darth Carnifex

 

"I would still like to understand." She said. "But if we're changing the topic for the time being..." Vanessa considered the question. What she knew about them was simple enough, after all. Her research into the ORC had still been somewhat minimal, all things considered, but of the Silver Jedi there was much she could provide him intelligence on.

 

"I know that they believe themselves to be right. That through their willingness to consider the advice of others, a willingness to provide at least a sensation of safety and freedom, a willingness to spare the rod even when justified in a myriad of cases... they have garnered loyalty." She said. "The Jedi Order we face now is not the Jedi Order we faced those decades ago, Kaine. They, like the Sith, have evolved as the counterpoint to our very existence. And their reach, while at the heart of the Silver Jedi, is not necessarily omnipresent within the Outer Rim Coalition."

 

She took a sip of the wine before bringing a hand onto the table, the center of it flipping over to expose a holoprojector that gently glowed within the room. "The Silver Jedi will require a much firmer hand. The government and military are infested with Jedi, and as showcased by Romi Jade's defection during the ORC's attack on our territory, those who remain are not so easily corrupted, by Taeli or any other infiltrators you have within them." She took another one of the crackers and savored its taste for a moment before continuing. "The Silvers are also a much larger threat militarily. Their forces are unified, uniform, and possess a far more dangerous army and navy than our southern rivals. Namely, their dreadnoughts." Subtly this was a hint on why Vanessa had desired to acquire such a vessel, in order to end the most dangerous weaponry available to the Silvers.

 

"Removal of those vessels from play will permanently shift the balance of power in our favor. By operating multiple fleets with dreadnoughts at their core - and we have more than enough dreadnoughts to do this to a reasonable degree - we will be able to overwhelm the firepower of their remaining naval units once their dreadnoughts have been eliminated. As the front advances into their territory, orbital bombardment fleets will devastate the military infrastructure of the worlds whose space we have secured, while our soldiers conquer the planet, never needing to be at the frontlines and never needing to risk being cut off by a loss in space. And eventually, we will reach Kashyyyk, use our strength to force the Silvers to submit to us or watch as we destroy the government they have created one planet at a time. They will bend the knee, of course, as their loyalty to their people outweighs their desire to destroy us. And hardliners will resist, but we can more than effectively deal with them as needed."

 

She cleared her throat as the holographic images shifted to the Outer Rim Coalition, its logo and the military equipment utilized by it hovering semitransparently before them. "Our southern opposition is going to be quite a bit more difficult to fully extinguish. Certainly we can defeat them militarily with few if any issues - their fleets are comprised of a hodgepodge of worn out ships, ill-maintained and easily defeated. A single one of my battlecruisers was enough to defeat the resistance put against it." She smiled. "Their soldiers are anything but - brigands, smugglers, and rabble-rousers, the lot of them. The only thing keeping them able to rival us are the Jedi from the Galactic Alliance, those who survived the treason."

 

Another sip, another bite. "Your best bet to deal with the Outer Rim Coalition is to assemble kill-teams of the finest assassins the Sith has ever artificed. Infiltrators, murderers of the highest skill and finest caliber. Send kill-teams after the leading Jedi within our enemy. These kill-teams will cut off the head, the veteran Jedi who have managed to survive our subterfuge and who now rule the smugglers' paradise from the shadows. Those novice Knights and Padawans who remain will not be able to control such an eclectic and.. multicultural group of individuals. Internal chaos will result, and that is when we strike." Another sip, and she was refilling the bottle.

 

"I already have plans to neuter their ability to adequately defend against this. There are several stations along the border of their territory, storage facilities where much of the arms, vehicles, and starships of the Alliance-in-exile went. The ORC could, in theory, utilize its strained resources to reactivate this equipment and utilize it against our incurring forces. My plan is to strike at these facilities before our next official engagement with them, ensuring that when our war is truly declared on them, they will not be able to stand before us. I will capture whatever I can and destroy what I cannot." Now that her glass was full again, she took another sip, the wine having already stained her lips a slightly darker hue than normal.

 

"Once this denial of resources and assassination of leadership has been performed, the main assault can begin. Our army and navy will effortlessly sweep aside their forces, but I expect a good portion of them to dump arms and go underground. We will need to leave a heavy peacekeeping presence within their territory for a long time, potentially years, in order to prevent a popular uprising." She nodded.

 

"And how do we prevent such an uprising? We act kindly towards them. Patronizing, in a way. We subdue them with at least feigned benevolence, indicate to them that we do indeed care about them. We eliminate crime. Allow their agricultural, industrial, and artistic bases to flourish. We bring the best of them within our military and civilian populace. And we do as I have done to those who now serve me - we give them a reason to be loyal other than fear. And that's going to be important, because the moment that the remaining loyalist ORC give them a reason to rebel against us, the moment the yoke of oppression is seemingly removed from their necks, they will turn on us without a second thought, viewing us as nothing more than tyrants rather than the government that now rules over them. How you wish to instill such non-fear-based loyalty is up to you, but without it, we will not be able to maintain long-term control over that region of space, just as we failed to maintain long-term control over Commenor."

 

She took another bite. "Have you any thoughts on my words, Kaine - regarding either your pet project or the answers I have given you?"



#15
Darth Carnifex

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Again, he listened in silence. Occasionally he ate from the plater or took drinks from his goblet, but he did not interrupt. He ate meticulously, slowly chewing each and every bite so as savor what little sensations of taste were still rendered viable to him. When she had, at last, finished her long explanation as to her thoughts regarding their enemies and even the management of his realm, the Emperor was mid-chew with one of the morsels she had set out for him. He would not speak with his mouth full, Vanessa had to wait until he had finished his slow chewing and swallowed before she would have her reply. Fingers wrapped around the ornate goblet, lips parting to accept a slosh of wine to wash down his appetizer.

 

"Commenor was an outlier," replied the Emperor, setting the empty goblet aside, "We never intended to permanently occupy the planet. We stayed as long as was required to strip-mine portions of the planet for resources, package away pieces of art, empty their banks, and shackle entire cities into slavery. When the Commenori finally rebelled against our occupation they faced little more than a skeleton crew, manned by those who I considered a fair price to pay should they expire. Besides that, in her haste to see her planet freed she neglected to negotiate the release of every military officer that surrendered during the Siege. We put a collar on every one of them after that and sent them off to Kol Huro."  

 

Kol Huro: the Empire's largest manufacturing system, comprised of seven identical factory worlds wreathed in a skeletal frame of dockyards and orbital fabricators. The surface of every world was an endless hellscape of polluted bogs and machine-cities that churned out everything from starship parts to walkers to rifles, maintained by a rigid system of automated assembly lines, brutish overseers, and slave chattel that toil in abhorrent conditions beneath the surface. It was the Empire's way to consistently cull their slave population, which had risen to over twenty-two billion since Operation Eclipse. They were worked to death with little food or water in the boiling subterranean labor camps, performing menial tasks such as breaking apart boulders extracted from deep below the planet's crust to separate the ore from the base stone, hauling massive carts laden with such ore, and depositing them into gargantuan smelteries. 

 

They had no other purpose other than to work and die in the sunless depths.

 

"You have been too far removed from society, Vanessa. The Imperial Mission suffices to keep the citizenry in check, and when they deviate from protocol and conduct they are apprehended by the Saaraishash and sent to a reeducation compound. When a world is brought into the fold they are treated the same, low is the number of worlds who have resisted the seductions of the white-robed Missionaries. We have always offered the warm hand before the iron fist." He waited until his goblet had been refilled by Vanessa's servants, taking another drink to serve as interlude between his words. "I will remember your suggestions and relay them to my Council, they will determine their merit."

 

Vanessa Vantai


Edited by Darth Carnifex, 19 June 2019 - 12:19 PM.


#16
Vanessa Vantai

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Darth Carnifex

 

"Granting them the blessing of freedom only furthered their hatred of us and stimulated their desire for future vengeance. With Commenor now under the protection of the Silver Jedi, its world being repaired and what remained of its garrison being rearmed, they now pose a threat to us. If not due to their strength, then due to their fanaticism. Their destruction was left incomplete and now they desire to use the resources of the Jedi to harm us, a threat that will waste ships, vehicles, equipment, and above all, lives of loyal and useful Sith and Imperial personnel." She said. "There are a myriad of worlds we could have raped of their resources. Taking that approach was... unnecessary." She drank another sip.

 

"Indeed I have. Then again, why would I have actively involved myself elsewhere within the Empire when there are skilled servants you would consider far more loyal and devoted than I to manage Imperial affairs of any sort?" She sighed. "I am eager to see what your council suggests as a course of action, though given my apparent hermitage here in Nathema, I doubt they will take any suggestions I have to say seriously." She gave what sounded like a laugh at herself before drinking once more. Alcohol having an effect on her was nice.

 

"You know, if you're not going to either give me one of the unused dreadnoughts we have already, or allow one to be constructed to my specifications, how about this? I'd like you to… persuade the Mandalore to give her daughter, Adara, to me to be trained in my ways as an apprentice. After all, after Ayra went fething insane with that Jen'ari nonsense, the least I owe you is an apprentice that is actually loyal to the cause of the Sith." She said, smiling in an almost catlike manner.



#17
Darth Carnifex

Darth Carnifex

    Immortal Sith Emperor

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"The survivors of the conflict are stronger, shorn of weakness. War changed them in ways that nothing else could, and the Dark Side grows with their anger. When they one day face us, anger will have blackened in their hearts. I will feast on such hate."

 

To the Emperor it was a trivial matter. The Force was conflict; the dichotomy of the Light Side and the Dark Side made that obvious. 

 

"In the end, it matters not."

 

His eyes, dark and mistrusting, narrowed dangerously at the mention of the child Adara. The Emperor's typically calm demeanor slipped for the briefest of moments, revealing the unfettered wellspring of hate and cruelty that seethed just beyond the facade of courtesy.

 

"Do not speak of her name again, Lady Vantai. She belongs to another." His words were spoken with such finality that they rumbled deeply in one's ears, as if he were speaking directly inside of your mind than from across the room; rattling the soul with tectonic strength. "None of the Mand'alor's family are to be interfered with." A dark sheen in his eyes spoke the true words that were locked away inside, and they rung with such power veiled behind the deafening silence that followed.

 

 

 

Ţ̵͋͑̈́̒ȟ̵̘̭̳̲͊̾͊̽ę̷̛̠̺̤̦͎̹͔͈̱̏͌̿̊͛̿͂͑̃͘͝y̸̼̻͉̞̭̼͛̄͗̚ ̷̡͉͎̤͖̤̿͂̋́̓͊́̎̇͋̕̚͝ą̵̛͙͖̭̙̬̥͂̊͌͊̌̊̕̚r̴̨̧̻̬͚̱̘̺̘̒͗̋͛͒̋̒e̵̞̣̥͇͙̋̔͆̈̈́̈͝ ̶̬̱͚̓́̀̀̇̈́̔̑̇̽̑͠m̸̡̡͔̽̊͌ī̷̞̰̝̼̲̺͈̹͚̈́̂̓̓̎̑͘̚ͅn̸̺͔̲̬͈̠̅͒̈́ȅ̶͇̜̆͛̐̆͛͘.̷̡̪̹̰̝͍̭̼̼͌͊̚͠

 

 

Vanessa Vantai



#18
Vanessa Vantai

Vanessa Vantai

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Darth Carnifex

 

"At least, we can hope such will be the result." She replied. The only thing she could think regarding Kaine's comments on feasting upon the hatred of those survivors was that it was, ironically enough, hopeful thinking. Kaine could not ultimately be sure of complete and total victory over his enemies - he could rely on the evidence showcasing that they were vulnerable and inferior to the Sith and the Empire that they ruled, but to claim such finality when there was much in flux made Vanessa smile but a moment.

 

Vanessa's smile grew for but a sliver of a moment as she witnessed Kaine's... flare-up? The reaction was surprisingly atypical of him. "Such a barbed resp̗̫̘͚͕̠͖̃̀̿̅̍͢onse from one who cares so little about the mortal world. Do you not consider the Mandalorians a mere tool to be expended as the Empire wills? If I didn't know any better, Kaine, I'd say you were s̷̨̪̼̤̥͎̘̦͇̗̓̉̇͒̾̉̀howcasing some kind of sentiment." There was something wrong about her response for a moment - the slightest sliver of abnormality behind her words. There was nothing possessing her, nothing controlling her, yet something about her seemed wrong. A hint of yellow in her eyes that lasted for but a millisecond would be briefly visible, her presence in the darkness seemingly swelling far beyond what she previously possessed before immediately dying back to its typical levels.

 

Perhaps he would inquire as to what had happened.



#19
Darth Carnifex

Darth Carnifex

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"The Mandalorians, yes, they are tools. Adara is not."

 

She is special, the words went unspoken but they were heavily implied. Long had the Emperor turned the knobs and pulled the levers to strengthen his hold on her, the child whose eyes mimicked his own. She was of the Dark Side, as he was of the Dark Side, and her talents would be fostered by; were already being fostered by, someone that the Emperor trusted explicitly and without doubt. Vanessa could profess her loyalty all she wanted, but the Emperor did not and would not trust her with such a sensitive charge as Adara's tutelage. She needed to be imprinted with Zambrano ideals, not Vantai.

 

"It would serve you best to memorize that, Vanessa."

 

Vanessa Vantai



#20
Vanessa Vantai

Vanessa Vantai

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“Why?” She said. “Do not try to delude me with some silly claim of caring for others. I know whatever care you may have once been able to gestate for people has long since been rotted away by the darkness. If it meant your goals could be successfully achieved, you would gladly sacrifice the life of anyone and everyone in this galaxy to achieve it.” She took a sip. “If it meant that you achieved the dominion over all of existence that I can only presume you are attempting to achieve, you would kill your wives, your children, and the rest of your extended family to accomplish it. I know you would certainly kill me - it’s not as though whatever care you once had for me still remains.” She replied, before taking another bite.

“Look me in the eyes, Kaine. Tell me truthfully that you care about her.” She said. If he did not, it would vindicate that her words were true - that he cared about none in the galaxy. But if he did indicate that he cared about her - well, Vanessa wasn’t going to mock him for caring. She would likely not be deviating from her course with regards to such, but it would at least provide Vanessa with a reason to more care about the Smolstralis.

Darth Carnifex

Edited by Vanessa Vantai, 13 July 2019 - 12:19 PM.