[VOICE] Choose Your Own Adventure - Ronovi, Wuntila, Sashar


16-07-2011 14:10:22

Sent: 344.53.21-032
Received: 344.53.22-461
By: Shadow Academy Actual


Its come to my attention that the aforementioned agents are now enroute to retrieve the Holocron of Darth Ruin. Eos is slightly closer to us which will allow us, given the proper motivation, to beat them to the planet and retrieve it before they do. You will use all available to means to obtain, transport, and place in my hands this artifact. Failure to do so warrants death. Prevent the artifact from falling into enemy hands at all costs.

~His Excellency
Taigakori Aybara Dupar
Headmaster of the Shadow Academy


16-07-2011 15:10:54

The Citadel did not welcome Ronovi into its corridors and stairwells, despite her still new Arconan ties. Its dark tower, perfectly balanced on the tip of its plateau, welcomed no one. However, those honored leaders of the Shadow Clan had grown accustomed to the grim but magnificent architecture of the space, and they no longer considered themselves unwanted guests. Instead, they had become a part of the architecture itself, its Gothic windows and malicious spires, almost carved from the marble and stone themselves.

Ronovi was not ceremonious in her exits and entrances, and therefore she waited patiently as the guards somberly pulled the doors of the throne room open until she sauntered across its hallowed floor. She did not expect the Consul to be here - operations to rescue him were still continuing, and there was no guarantee of his survival. Given his track record, however, Arconans remained somewhat optimistic.

Instead, Ronovi found herself staring into the eyes of Sashar Arconae, who remained dressed in his war-scarred Mandalorian armor. She then craned her neck slightly to gaze at Wuntila Zratian Entar's face, who stood along the dais just below the vacant throne. She still had a hard time believing that her Proconsul was in fact taller than she was, as she had become accustomed to towering over others both in Port Ol'val and on Lyspair. After a moment, the Exarch dipped her head in a brief but humble nod, as she was not one to bow or curtsy around superiors who she also considered allies.

"Gedet'ye, Ronnie," Sashar said, maintaining a surprisingly casual air around the Epicanthix as his tongue trilled out the Mandalorian speech, "stop catering to formalities and simply tell us why you have asked for our presence."

Ronovi felt her back stiffen as she righted herself, stifling the small smirk that she was tempted to put on display. "I suppose I'll put aside the 'Honorable Leaders or Arcona' introduction and get straight to the point. My boss sent me from Lyspair to speak with the summit and Arconae concerning a proposition."

"As you can see, we're not quite gathered together," Wuntila replied, his brow furrowed against his ice-blue skin. "But as the present Arcona leader, I'll listen."

"Are you familiar with the Holocron of Darth Ruin?"

It rang a bell with both of them. Ronovi smiled.

"Taigikori has asked that members of the Brotherhood make the effort to retrieve the holocron from Eos before 'others' get to it first. Of course, since I'm his right-hand at the Shadow Academy, he wishes for me to take the lead in the operation. In other words, he's put me in charge of putting together a small team and traveling to Eos myself to find this treasure."

"Tempting, elek," murmured Sashar. "Certainly there'd be plenty of Arconans just dying to take part in such an operation."

Ronovi nodded. What she did not expect was what Sashar said next.

"Too bad I'm doing it instead."

"And I," Wuntila cut in, his eyebrows now somewhat raised rather than staying nestled in their creased homes.

The young Epicanthix blinked, the saliva having temporarily tried from her mouth. She cleared her throat loudly. "As much as I'd like you both to come," she said, "aren't you supposed to be watching over the clan?"

"We're not worried," Wuntila replied. "Arcona will be placed in the hands of the respected Arconae. As for the Consul, I have been notified that we are close to ending our operations in an attempt to find him. If all goes well, he will returned to Dajorra space in one piece."

"You seem rather confident about that," Ronovi said, and she was, too. But she was not used to Wuntila being Mister Sunshine.

"Luubid, Ronovi," Sashar interrupted. "Ultimately, you've found your team. And considering the dangerous volcanic terrain of Eos, it is jari'eyc that we have the right equipment and the proper beskargam. Wuntila, I suppose we'll be taking the most efficient vessel for such an atmosphere?"

"There ought to be something we can pick up from our military reserves," remarked Wuntila. "What do you say, Ronovi?"

The Proconsul didn't even have to ask her. After all, she had been personally selected to take on this mission by the Headmaster, and she wasn't going to back down from yet another challenge. Ronovi could already glimpse the red silhouette of Eos deep within her subconscious, the intimidating prize confronting her in her mind. Such power emanating from the holocron could not be handled lightly, and she would need level-headed teammates to properly control it and bring it to Brotherhood space. With two of the most triumphant warriors of Arcona beside her, it wouldn't be a problem.

"All right," Ronovi finally replied. "I'll meet you both here at the break of dawn tomorrow, provided it's suited to your fancy."

"Vor entye, Ronnie, but I'm not too picky," Sashar said, his voice lifted in a teasing lilt. "Dawn it is. Until dawn, however, re'turcye mhi."

It was an appropriate goodbye followed by an appropriate departure. Yes, Ronovi thought as she left the throne room, maybe they'd meet again. A potential end always lay across the ground they walked on like a scabbed hand; all they had to do was escape its struggling fingers for another night.


20-07-2011 18:11:32

The orange-yellow of dawn threw a veil of ochre over Estle. The dark stone buildings and staggered levels of the city glimmered and gleamed in the morning dew. The impressive structures of Estle grew larger and larger as the Citadel’s shadow enveloped them, silhouetted by Dajorra rising behind. People already flooded the narrow streets below, but atop the plateau, the Citadel sat with a quiet, eerie stillness. It had not been the same since the capture of Zandro. Arconans across the galaxy had come and gone in search for the Consul. Now, only a skeletal presence remained as the search continued. The shadow that shrouded the city seemed to be the same shadow that shrouded the Arconan spirit. Wuntila was more than aware of this condition. He was suffering from it himself.

The speeder from the citadel – an Arrow-23 – glided over the barren landscape outside the walls of Estle and down towards Giletta. Inside, Ronovi and Wuntila sat silently, pondering the seemingly simple mission, every now and again exchanging glances. They had both received a notification from Sashar during the night ushering them to the Arconan wing of the Giletta Spaceport. The wing itself spread out as an extension larger the commercial port as a whole. It was surrounded by razor-wire fence and tall, thick walls; both preventative measures against the inner machinations of the private port. The Speeder pulled up to a small access point in the wire fence, manned by two Arconan representatives, both KKE-Clone troopers. A simple nod from the Proconsul as the speeder slowed and the gate swung open.

“I hope to god Sashar has some meaning to this. If this is another of his games I–” Ronovi began.

“It isn’t.” Wuntila interjected, staring out onto the empty bays of the Arconan port.

Where once a myriad of personalised ships and cargo freighters sat amongst the bustle of Arconan activity, now rested a single ship flanked by two figures. It was the Valour’s Fall.

“Good morning.” Sashar said with a smirk as Ronovi and Wuntila exited the vehicle.

“Isn’t it.” Ronovi said, her voice dripping with sarcasm.

“I’d like you to meet Captain Yamato, Ronovi. He’ll be our pilot for this coming mission.”

“Pleased, I’m sure. Shall we set off?”

“I like that idea.” Wuntila finally stepped into the conversation.

“Come then, we’ll get moving.” Sashar said, spinning on his heel and strutting onto the ship. Ronovi and Wuntila exchanged a glance and followed him into the custom ship of Soulfire Strike Team.


29-07-2011 17:10:46

The Valour’s Fall was a second home to the Special Operations division of Arcona. It had been modified to hold no less than three LAAT/i gunships on somewhat exposed metallic frames attached to the exterior and the cargo bay had been converted into a small barracks which held the sixty commandoes attached to support the core team. It was mercifully absent of its usual ‘cargo’ when the trio departed. The only people accompanying them would be the Valour’s Fall’s crew of thirty six men led by Captain Yamato and Teroch Erinos, Sashar’s son.

The Agave-class Picket was a highly advanced reconnaissance vessel designed mainly for scouting ahead of main enemy forces and whilst it was ideally equipped to accomplish this objective, it was also an excellent mobile base of command for Soulfire, due in large part to a highly advanced sensor/stealth/communications package. It was upon these stealth capabilities that the team were putting their faith for the infiltration of Eos.

“Eos is the moon of Aurora Prime, the throne world of the Emperor’s Hammer Strike Fleet. It is also the former location of the Dark Brotherhood’s Shadow Academy and the Dark Council’s Throne. The moon itself is barren, much like Antei and its temperatures are enough to give a wampa hard nipples, so wrap up warm. However, the moon’s surface is something we’re unlikely to see, frankly. Between us and the moon is half the di’kutla strike fleet. We’re talking the SSSD Sovereign, their first Battlegroup, the Torpedo Sphere Empress Teta…and most importantly of all, their remnants of the Brotherhood: Clan Alvaak.” Sashar paused to let it sink in and looked all of the occupants of the briefing room in the eye.

Wuntila stared back, unconcerned. Ronovi’s one organic eye was a glacial calm, Captain Yamato’s wide-eyed stare might have betrayed concern, however Sashar had worked with him for years. He always looked surprised. Finally, Teroch looked bored.

“If we try to sneak in without a working cloaking device, we’ll be seen. It’s as simple as that. This place is a ubiqtorate base as well as a shipyard and the remnant is unlikely to have anything less than an impenetrable sensor net in place. Even with a cloaking device, I’m guessing they’ll have a crystal grav-field trap in place to stop just that eventuality from occurring. Finally, Clan Alvaak is the former ‘Grand Admiral’s’ own Clan…and the only one which stayed loyal during the split. I used to be a member of said Clan. They’re a shadow of their former selves, but still, they have one or two seers in still amongst them, according to the DIA’s latest roster hits. Those seers are trained to perceive hidden threats to the Hammer.”

“So…how do you propose we get in?” Yamato asked, taking a sip of coffee.

“The DIA has helpfully supplied us with a fake transponder. We’ll be disguised as a privateer in their employ which utilises an Agave. The only issue is that the code we’ll be using is a month or so old…that might raise some flags and we may need to get creative.”

“Define ‘creative.’” The Sith smirked knowingly.

“Oh slice, oh slice, we’re all going to die?” Teroch supplied, before throwing a warra nut in the air and catching it in his mouth.

Sashar grinned. “Exactly. We’re going to be landing on Aurora Prime, where the good Captain will be busy buying supplies, whilst his crew make spectacles of themselves getting very, very drunk in the Spaceport bars, insulting the locals, and generally drawing as much attention as possible. Meanwhile, a LAAT/i will have detached from the hull as we pass close to Eos and do a routine garbage dump and will deliver us to the surface. From there, we find a safe place to land, hoof it to the Shadow Academy, break in, get the Holocron, and get out in time for the Fall to pick us up and get us safely back to Lyspair. Questions?”

Nobody raised a hand.

“We’re fifteen hours out from Aurora Prime. I suggest you all be well-rested. There will be others trying to recover this holocron and I know none of us like to come second.”

Ronovi and Wuntila nodded and the meeting dispersed. Sashar found himself alone in the small briefing room, sitting opposite his son.

Buir, why are we actually diving head-first into this maalras nest for the Shadow Academy? Don’t you hate the headmaster?”

“It’s not a case of hating him. It’s simply settling a debt. He betrayed me, which is second nature to a Sith. Would you hate someone for simply being true to their nature?”

“But said nature makes him an aruetyc di’kut. We can hate for that, right?”

“Not in the Brotherhood, or we’d hate everyone. Taigikori wants this trinket, and he’s handed the opportunity to settle the debt to us on a platter. All we have to do is be true to our nature.”


“By remembering the betrayal and paying him back by destroying the shab’la holocron. Then we’ll be even. Balance will be restored.”

“Your companions won’t like that.” Teroch observed, popping another warra nut into his mouth.

Sashar grinned wolfishly. “That’s why I’m not going to tell them.”


04-08-2011 16:32:40


The plan had gone so smoothly that Ronovi was slightly skeptical that it had actually happened. Out of all things, it had been a meteor shower that had been distraction enough to get them into the LAAT/i and maneuver safely down to the moon. It was as if Sashar's strategy was more a prediction of the future, though the Exarch wouldn't put it past him that he had some moderate precognitive ability.

The landscape of craters seemed quiet at a distance. Now that the LAAT/i hissed quietly as its doors opened, Ronovi could feel the pulse of hundreds of life forces in the air. She watched as Wuntila and Sashar moved about the vessel, preparing their equipment and their armor. But they did not leave the ship just yet.

"I never thought there'd be so many people here," she whispered as she checked her weapons on her belt and buttoned her coat fully up.

"Colonists," Sashar bluntly replied. "Auroran and Imperial. And don't forget this is still the Hammer's homeworld."

He stopped talking so as to adjust Kurs’utreshy’a beside the holster of his customized SSK-7 and then sling his LJ-50 across his shoulder.

"Most of the essential perimeters are heavily guarded, and they've even dispatched some guards to the former Dark Hall," Wuntila added. "You have to give the Hammer credit for its vigilance."

"Vigilance?" repeated Ronovi. "Sounds like paranoia to me."

"If you had dealt with a massive Exodus of several of your members and lived with the possibility of their group growing stronger and returning for a prize, I think you'd share a bit of paranoia as well," said Wuntila. "Remember that."

Ronovi furrowed her brow and buried her hands deep within the pockets of her coat. She could feel the bulge of two SSK-7 pistols against her fingers, a rough comfort. By the time she looked at her allies again, they had placed their helmets over their heads and Sashar was looking pointedly at Ronovi.


"You're in no fit state to travel Eos with that kind of get-up," Sashar's voice whistled from its cover. "That's why I brought you beskargam as well."


"Get to it," insisted Sashar. "I want to start moving in less than an hour."


Ronovi was not used to heavy armor. True, she did try to wear breastplates or thinner armor as a mode of protection on certain missions, but usually she resorted to putting her life at risk for the sake of manuevering. As she had put on the thick, black battle armor and the complementing helmet, the Epicanthix had first predicted that it would have been stifling. As she stepped out of the LAAT/i, however, she was sorely mistaken.

"Thank goodness I decided to pull my coat over this damn thing," she thought briskly to herself as she moved to keep up with her team members. Her eyes flickered to her sides to remind her that her blasters, lightsaber, and other weaponry had all been comfortably equipped.

From a distance, the once grand edifices of the Brotherhood loomed over the vast craters that the three had to navigate around. The terrain could not simply called rough; in truth, it was nearly disorienting, as each step warranted another potential slip against one precipice or another. Still, Sashar knew the way quite well, as his years as a member of Alvaak were probably surging back to him as he strolled and leapt across the ground.

They had walked for several miles before they stopped to rest. Ronovi wished she could lift her visor for a drink of water, but Sashar was already talking.

"Within a mile of the Dark Hall, we'll see Hammer patrols," he was explaining. "Verde employed by the Fleet Commander to keep an eye out for those who wish to infiltrate its vaults once again."

"And the former Shadow Academy?" asked Ronovi, who was quite unused to the tinny sound of her voice through the helmet. "What about that?"

"While there may not be as many guards, it's best to approach wisely," said Sashar. His words were staggered, as if he were pausing for emphasis. "Take a breath. Haalur. You should both already feel the vibes of the Holocron palpitating around us. We're closer than ever, and those of the Hammer must feel it too."

"And therefore their instinct would be to protect it," Wuntila cut in.

"There are more things within the Academy here than you would imagine. Things we were unable to take with us." Sashar rose from his rocky perch, his head pivoted toward the horizon of raised earth before them. "Shaadlar. There's no sense in dawdling now."

Somehow, as they started their trek again, Ronovi felt an uneasiness around Sashar now. True, she sometimes felt intimidated under the gaze of the Arconae, the powerful Adept she had viewed from a distance for so many years. But this vibe was different. It was as if she could feel Sashar calculating without seeing the potential mathematical result. Something was brewing in his head, and Ronovi couldn't smell what it was.

She looked toward Wuntila and wondered if he felt the same way. It was only when she could detect the blank expression on his face under his helmet as he walked forward that Ronovi decided to - for now - let it go.