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 Deep Space--Altering the Course of the Galaxy

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PostSubject: Deep Space--Altering the Course of the Galaxy   Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:37 pm

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And you... one of the most infamous killers in recent history. I have the contract of a lifetime for you. The Supreme Chancellor of the Republic is currently en route to Coruscant from Anaxes, from visiting his family. If you hurry, I have an ambush in waiting, ready to activate gravity well generators from behind a stealth field. This will pull him out of hyperspace, and you can kill him yourself. How does... two hundred million credits from the Galactic Banking Clan's personal account sound?

Simple words, really, spoken in a matter of seconds, but they were proof of the real fragility of the state of the galaxy. A few select phrases spoken to the right person, and the galaxy's fate could be reversed. The trouble with most idealists (or sadists, as the case may be) is that they can never find the right person to speak to, or the right words to speak. That was not a problem the Dark Lord of the Sith usually had. With the Force to guide him in both seeking and speaking, and with a host of powerful Force-users and near-limitless resources at his disposal, the Dark Lord was a formidable force in molding the galaxy's destiny. And a Dark Lord had returned, to wreak his havoc and mold the galaxy once again.

Lord Belial, the Dark Lord, had found the right person in the bounty hunter Slayer. He had found two other people that were "the right people." And the plans he had laid out--and the incentives that went along with them--were the words he needed to move the galaxy. And it was not in a direction many would be happy to see it go.

Slayer himself did not care. He had lived through many stages, through light and through darkness, as well as various shades of gray, and his life rarely was affected negatively by the change. There were, however, occasions in which he would be affected positively, and this was one such case. With the "contract of a lifetime," as Belial had so aptly put it, Slayer would be able not only to enjoy himself in the moment, but to look forward to many more enjoyable assignments in the future, for though he had never suffered for lack of work, the successful killing of the Supreme Chancellor would not only put him on the Sith's list of people to turn to if a hit was needed, the bonus it would add to his already formidable reputation would make him even more of a living legend among potential employers. All of that, plus the very nice sum of 200 million credits, for the death of a simple man, an assignment that would probably not prove to be any more challenging than some of the bounties he took up already. A true win-win situation it was, for as much as Slayer received, Belial and the Sith would receive about as much: the opening they needed to take total control of the galaxy and to send the Jedi into hiding. It also didn’t hurt that Belial had told them of his designs to wreck the economy, thus giving Slayer advanced warning enough to sell his stocks—as well as short-sell several others, which would make him enough money to finance a sector of planets.

The bounty hunter quivered inside with anticipation, though he let none of it show. He stood on the bridge of the Interdictor Star Destroyer Belial had provided him, along with several other ships including an Imperial Star Destroyer and a full complement of TIE starfighters. Many were the strange looks he received from the crew members, and he did not blame them; it was not every day they were commanded by a creature scarcely taller than a Jawa, let alone one who hid every part of his body except for his glowing eyes and clawed hands and feet in a hooded cloak, and one who wore almost his weight in weaponry around his waist. Of course, Belial himself had chosen a form that was not exactly physically imposing, either, but they were at least accustomed to him. They knew nothing of the Slayer but through reputation…and a fearsome reputation it was, but one that did not seem to fit the form that now stood in front of them.

Slayer glanced down at his chronometer and nodded in satisfaction. Based on the original information given, the Supreme Chancellor would be coming into range of the gravity well generators in approximately 30 seconds, but of course standard procedure on the travels of such important people was to vary the timing so that an ambush just like this one would be averted…but of course they didn’t take into account the instincts of a Force-user. Slayer had to time the gravity well generators just right in order for the mission to go off before a hitch. He motioned for the controls to be transferred to the nearest station, one that he now occupied, then opened his mind to the Force.

He felt the currents of the Force around him, flowing through every living thing in the entire galaxy, informing their actions, moving through their thoughts, involved in every aspect of their lives whether they were aware of it or not. He could feel the other parts of Operation Deadlock coming into place, and could feel the other forces in the galaxy, most notably Redack and the Jedi, subtly moving their pieces and weaving their webs; though it was impossible to say what exactly they were doing, he could tell that they were on the move. Something big was coming, he knew, something even bigger than the event in which he was now taking part. Operation Deadlock was only the beginning—it was a mere diversion to the real conflicts at hand, the conflicts between the true masters of the galaxy—the Force-users. All of this Slayer could sense as he opened his mind, and another shudder of anticipation ran through him as he pondered the implications.

And, of course, he sensed his quarry, coming closer to the crucial point of no return. Jerking his thoughts back to the here and now, Slayer quickly reassessed his battle plan one more time, making sure it had no flaws, then barked loudly to the crew, “Be ready to fire all turbolasers at these two sets of coordinates on my mark, and fire all ion beams at the third set at the same time.” He transferred the coordinates of where he estimated the ships would be dropping in; the first two coordinates were those of the escort ships, while the last set indicated where the Chancellor’s flagship would be. He could simply order the destruction of the flagship as well as the escort ships, but Slayer’s policy was to witness the death of his quarry; he never made assumptions. Besides, where would the thrill of the hunt be if it were so easy?

“But, sir,” the chief lieutenant said, “the targets haven’t arrived yet.”

Slayer briefly toyed with the idea of killing the man for his stupidity, but decided against it. He was never the type to use fear against his men—in his experience, fear did not inspire loyalty so much as loathing and could result in a betrayal at any moment. “You let me worry about that. I know what I’m doing,” he said evenly, turning his attention back to the screen in front of him…and back to the Force.

They had long since passed the thirty second mark and were approaching the two-and-a-half minute mark. At this point there was enough deviancy in the Chancellor’s official time to make them safe from most normal hijackers. Even if someone had placed an Interdictor along the official route, the Chancellor would be jerked out of hyperspace at the far end of the capital ship’s range and would almost certainly have been able to escape with the aid of the escort ships. Slayer planned to yank them out much closer to the Interdictor to reduce their chances of escaping to zero; it was also probable that they would sustain some damage from the sudden drop out of hyperspace.

Now! screamed his instincts, and he shouted, “Mark!” before keying in the code to power up the gravity well generators. The crew was obviously perplexed at the prospect of firing at empty space, but they complied with his orders regardless.

It was a beautifully executed ambush. The Chancellor’s escorts, two formidable-looking frigates, dropped out of hyperspace to encounter a barrage of firepower, and without shields they were quickly overwhelmed and destroyed. The Chancellor’s own ship was a large Super Star Destroyer, one that had more firepower than the two largest ships in Slayer’s task force combined, but it, too, was caught unawares, and the ion cannon salvo wreaked havoc on their systems. They nearly managed to get their shields up, but they had been disabled by the vicious bombardment, as had many of the laser cannons. Still, they had enough left that their return fire was a vicious column of angry red lights, but they evaporated harmlessly against the fresh shields of the two Star Destroyers, who continued their ion cannon onslaught until the flagship was dead in space.

Slayer did not stick around to watch all of this; in fact, after he had activated the gravity well generators he had walked briskly from the bridge, heading down to the special hanger where his Dark Panther had been docked. As the Super Star Destroyer was firing its final feeble attacks before its systems were completely overloaded by the ion blasts, Slayer was taking off out of the docking bay, his swift Corellian freighter making its way towards the docking bay of the enemy capital ship. He quickly overtook the swarms of TIE starfighters that had erupted from the bays of his own capital ships, some of which were now engaged with the determined starfighters that had been launched out of the Super Star Destroyer, and used momentum to blow quickly past the enemy fighters. He didn’t care about them; though they were a threat to his own starfighter force, they were insignificant in the scope of the entire mission, and the TIEs were doing their job of distracting the stubborn defenders from those who were about to invade the giant ship.

It took some tricky maneuvering, but Slayer managed to wedge his way inside the main docking bay of the SSD, first blowing the doors wide open with a well-placed concussion missile, then racing inside before the secondary safeguard doors closed behind him. Carefully selecting the weapons he needed and leaving the rest in his ship, Slayer exited the Dark Panther with red and gold lightsaber lit and ready to deflect the volley of blaster bolts that came his way. He made short work of the technicians and security guards in the hangar, and then, consulting the datapad he had acquired, the one with the map of the inside of a generic SSD (which, his research had suggested, this one was), he rushed out the doors and down the corridor. The Chancellor would most likely be in either his quarters or on the bridge, so Slayer would check those two places first. One thing was sure, though…he wasn’t getting off this vessel. The escape pods had been completely disabled by the ion cannon assault and were useless, and there was no other way out. It was a big ship, but the Chancellor could only hide so long…and he would have a tough time escaping a Force-user.
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PostSubject: Re: Deep Space--Altering the Course of the Galaxy   Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:37 pm

The technicians and workers he encountered on his way were painfully easy to dispatch, and the troops seemed to find him one-by-one and were just as simple. He knew things would get tougher as he neared the Chancellor’s location, but for now it was smooth sailing.

He made his way to a turbolift and used it to ascend to the deck containing both the main bridge and the lavish quarters of the Supreme Chancellor. As the doors opened, he found himself facing off with a small contingent of troopers. His blades were a blur as he whirled them about, deflecting blaster bolts back at his farther attackers and slicing the closer ones to pieces. In this narrow corridor, the troops had surrendered their advantage in numbers and were effectively challenging him two-by-two. It was an elementary matter for Slayer to cut his way through, and they had only succeeded in telling him that he was on the right track.

He heard a crash up ahead and to the side, and the sound of blasterfire being exchanged. A grin spread across his face beneath the hood as he took note of that; the Chancellor’s fate had now been completely sealed, for the Sith infantry had now arrived.

He quickly arrived at the scene of the battle. The Sith troops were outmatched and were taking casualties…but no more. Slayer leaped into the fray and decapitated the nearest enemy trooper, rallying his own troops, and they made short work of the enemy forces. As the fighting calmed down for a second, Slayer paused to give the commander directions. “Commander, send half of your troops to investigate the bridge and to distract the commanders until I get there. A quarter of your troops will come with me to take the Chancellor’s quarters, and the rest of them should stay here and guard our backs. After the Chancellor is dead I will leave you to secure the rest of the ship…you’ll have reinforcements by then, of course.”

“Very good, sir!” the commander said, then turned and barked orders at his troops. He led a detachment down the corridor towards the command bridge, and Slayer himself went down a different quarter, some of the troops tailing him.

His lightsabers made short work of the lightweight door to the Chancellor’s inner sanctum, and he burst inside, followed closely by the troops. His danger sense served him well, for as he entered he just managed to roll out of the way of the barrage of blasterfire that greeted him. His troops weren’t so lucky; five of them fell to the vicious salvo, and a few more dropped due to the next one. By then, however, Slayer was already making his way across the room towards the troops he believed were assigned to protect the Chancellor. His sabers flashed and the troopers began to fall in droves as his own forces opened fire.

Trusting that he had depleted the enemy numbers enough for his troops to finish them off, Slayer pushed past them and into the main bedroom. “Come out, come out, wherever you are!” he said, slamming the door behind him and using the Force to place a large chair against it. Of course, they could just blast through, but he suspected they were a little busy right about now. Walking into the room proper, he took a look around…and barely managed to duck back behind the wall as a barrage of blaster bolts flew past where he had just been. He had had only a brief glance, but he could have sworn what he was up against was no mere human, but a pair of Yuuzhan Vong Hunter droids. That…could be trouble. Though they had been designed for combat with the Yuuzhan Vong, YVH droids were very effective in any sort of combat endeavor. One droid would prove a tough challenge for a Jedi Knight, and two of them would have an even shot at defeating a Jedi Master, depending on the circumstances.

Fortunately, Slayer was certainly no amateur. This final bulwark between him and his quarry would not stop him, no matter what. In fact, things had just gotten a whole lot more interesting.

Leaping out, Slayer brought both sabers up to parry the intensely quick shots that fired out at him, but the ones he managed to deflect back did nothing except char their chestplates. Laminanium armor, Slayer noted, even more durable than the quantum armor that had protected the Sun Crusher from a glancing blow from the Death Star superlaser. It was a smaller scale than that and could be penetrated, but it had a self-healing quality and was still difficult to pierce. A pair of lightsabers would do the trick, but the problem was getting near to them. It was all he could do to keep parrying their attacks, let alone advance towards them.

He leapt back behind the wall, seizing some time to catch his breath and strategize. A quick glance around the room revealed the distraction he needed. Lifting his clawed hand, Slayer waved, and the gigantic bed uprooted itself from the ground and flew at the corner in which the droids (and presumably their master) were. There was a crash, and then Slayer leaped out to see his handiwork.

The droids had been knocked aside and were struggling to their feet, while Slayer could see a pair of feet sticking out from under the bed. Leaping forward, Slayer brought his two sabers together and combined their power to slash through the torso of the first YVH droid, severing circuits and rendering it inactive.

There was still the second one to contend with, and before Slayer could turn completely it was on him, knocking one saber out of his hand and gripping him in a crushing vise. Slayer couldn’t bring his saber up to strike at the droid without hitting himself, but he was by no means out of tricks. With a quick burst of Force power, he lifted up the first droid and sent him flying at the window, while at the same time pushing back against the droid that had him in its grip. The transparisteel shattered, and suddenly the vacuum began sucking at everything that was in the room. Slayer managed to grab hold of the corner of the wall, but a well-placed Force Push ensured that the second droid was not so lucky. It went tumbling outside into the void, never to be heard from again.

Slayer paused for a moment to call his lightsabers back to his belt and to affix a breathing mask from his belt onto his face, then spared himself a glance at where the Chancellor had been. The bed was gone, of course, but the Chancellor had managed to open up the closet and grip onto the sturdy bar affixed inside. He hung there, glancing helplessly all around, and Slayer grinned. “Farewell, Chancellor. The galaxy is out of your hands now.” With a quick burst of Force Lightning, Slayer caused the man to spasm, thus letting go of his handhold and tumbling out into space. Without a space suit, he would freeze to death quickly out there, and there was no chance of his survival.

Satisfied, Slayer began to pull himself away from the hold in the glass, and, with the use of the Force, managed to escape the death trap of a room. As he shut and sealed the door behind him, he paused a moment to catch his breath, and then commed Belial. “This is Slayer. Mission accomplished.”
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PostSubject: Re: Deep Space--Altering the Course of the Galaxy   Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:14 am

((Quick post, not much to say on a commlink.))

Belial heard the news quickly, and nodded. "It is done, then. I will personally have the credits wired to your account. You have brought peace and order to the Galaxy... and I will see to it that you are given control of the Bounty Hunter's Guild in the new Empire."
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PostSubject: Re: Deep Space--Altering the Course of the Galaxy   Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:55 am

There was a pause, and then Slayer said, "Very well, then," and switched the comlink off. He could care less about bringing peace and order to the galaxy; that was for idealists, and he suspected the Sith had something else in mind anyways. The credits were what he was after, and after his 200 million credit payload and his short-selling of many stocks in multiple corporations, he was a very rich individual...that is, if the Apprentice Jerex had done his job correctly. He was also lukewarm on the idea of taking control of the Bounty Hunter's Guild, which was, at least for now, a part of the Empire. It felt like he was committing himself to a side, which was something that he hadn't done in more than a decade, and he preferred to remain independent of the powers in the galaxy. Of course, the Jedi would likely view his actions here as him declaring a side anyways, but he hardly cared what they thought...and no matter what, even as the leader of the BHG, he would not swear his allegiance to the Sith or the new Empire. It was not his way.

He walked briskly to his ship, ignoring the Sith infantry who were even now taking position of the SSD, and took off. He felt a need to head back to his stomping grounds, on the planet he thought of as his, Corellia.

((Post closed))
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