This post has the following content warnings:
Oct 28, 2020 3:35 PM
Shortly post-Order 66, the galaxy is a very dark place (Tai and Sage self-inserts in Star Wars: Rise of the Empire Era)
+ Show First Post
Total: 142
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

-Oh, they reconize her, now. They lower their cloak further, stepping out of their hiding place, though their hand does come to rest cautiously on their lightsaber's hilt.

"Knight Diǎnrán," they greet, "...It's good to see you well."

Permalink

Diǎnrán pauses, taking in their cautious stance, before lowering her lightsabers and shutting off their power with the customary hiss.

"Knight Sage," she gives them a nod, "meeting any other Jedi in these times is indeed a relief. Am I to presume the five clones I sense are Senth squad and haven't been turned into meat droids?"

Permalink

"They're mostly unaffected, yes," they agree. Their eyes flick to Dune, then back to Diǎnrán, "I'd been assuming there might be something about the RCs which leaves them able to break the brainwashing responsible, where the others can't," they say. "Your presence suggests that I was right, Commander?" 

Permalink

"General," Dune greets with a perfunctory nod, holstering his weapons, although his hand rested on his slug pistol grip, "if you mean the Orders, I imagine they have something to do with the differences between us RCs and the bog-standard trooper, either the needle-necks figured out some way more efficient to mind-fuck us or it's that aggression chip they put in the younger batches."

Permalink

"Chips?" Their face twists at the idea, "That... could explain it. The way the clones we fought while escaping Coruscant felt... It was like their personalities had been overwritten. They really did feel like fleshy droids, as you said. For Senth, it mostly seems to be an impulse to attack Jorel and I if we move too unexpectedly - and they can resist." They shake their head, "We knew there were some contingency orders included in their flash training, but nothing like this."

Permalink

"How could we have been so fucking stupid?!" Diǎnrán roared, turning to punch the corridor wall, subconsciously calling on the Force to fill her body as she did so.

The metal creaked in protest as she tore her gauntlet from the wall.

"Dune found out about the chips as early as Geonosis -- the first Geonosis when they mobilised the whole bloody Order to save Kenobi and those two reckless idiots," she admitted, feeling the roiling of her emotions she sucked in a breath to regain a semblance of calm, "he -- we -- thought that it was suspicious to chip the clones but when Dune told me about the aggression conditioning the Commandos have to go through and the disastrous Nulls we wrote it off as a faster, more efficient method than the conditioning."

"I was going to have Dr. Natasi take a look at the chip when we got the chance, having something that's a part of you that you don't fully understand is idiotic," she continued, feeling the piston and motors in her left leg shift as she moved back to face Sage, "but it was never important enough to delay a mission for and none of our medical staff specialised in neurology."

Sighing, she motioned for Sage to follow her as she headed back to the med bay, "I have what we do know in a datapad in the med bay, better than standing around in a corridor like younglings waiting for a reprimand from their crechemaster."

Permalink

They start when she yells, going tense for a moment but quickly relaxing again before she turns back around. 

Permalink

"Let's," they agree once she comes to her conclusion, starting after her down the hall. "I can get you what we have on the orders, too. It's an encripted file, and Hack's only about half-way through it, but it's better than nothing. We've only had it since just before the battle above Coruscant earlier this week. If we'd known how important it would be," their mouth tightens, and they breathe out slowly, mantaining their calm.

"It's like everything has been coming together to work against us. If we'd just had a little more time-"

Permalink

"We did have the time," Diǎnrán interrupted, "we could forestalled the use of the clones as an army until we fully understood them, or not have joined as generals ourselves, or conducted concurrent testing on them."

She took another deep breath to calm herself and shot them a mildly apologetic look.

"Hindsight is 20/20. But what I don't understand is what exactly happened. The clones got an order, one of those special Orders Dune mentioned, then I guess the chips took over like a slave bolt on a droid and made them all into meat puppets, I get that," she said, "but what I don't get is how that happened. The Kaminoans aren't ambitious enough and don't have enough of a grudge against the Order to do it on their own, and Kenobi said that the clones were commissioned by Master Sifo-Dyas and he wasn't a darksider, at least I don't think so."

Permalink

And let the Sith and the Separtists run roughshod over the galaxy while they stalled and hemmed and hawed and refused to help? They don't say it, but it crosses their mind - they've been hearing furtive discussions on the topic in the halls of the Temple since the beginning of the war.

...Force, the Temple.

They push those memories aside for now, refocusing on Diǎnrán's words. 

"I was too busy running to look into what exactly had happened, on Coruscant. But, the Sith must have been involved, somehow. A plot like this... The entire Order has come to rely on the GAR so heavily." They glance at Dune, "Many of us trust the Vod'e more than we've ever trusted anyone outside the Order. A plot meant to use that trust, to turn it into our downfall..." It reeks of Sith. 

Permalink

"Dooku was the Sith behind the CIS, but he died over Coruscant," Diǎnrán mumbled, "his death shook the will of the CIS to continue."

Raising her voice to normal volume, she continued, "I don't think Dooku was behind all of it, he isn't subtle enough for it, he was a Guardian not a Sentinel. On top of that he died over Coruscant, nobody who is as visionary and patient as the one that must've put this in motion would've ever exposed themselves like that without contingency plans. So I think he was the Apprentice, and the genocide that followed was the Master's doing."

"Furthermore, our reliance on the clones, and the Order's decision to jump into the war, those never sat well with me," she shot Dune an apologetic look as they walked down the corridor, getting an easy shrug in return, "we aren't the same Order as we once were in the past, our numbers were too few to maintain some of the legacy practices we had; we were already stretched thin as it was and too many of us weren't suited for war. Nobody I knew who practiced Niman and went to the first Geonosis ever came back, and so many of our diplomatic Jedi were pushed into generalship and died for it--" Her eyes widened and she stopped in her tracks.

Permalink

"Ma'am?" Dune gripped her shoulder firmly and gave her a gentle shake.

"Ma'am, are you alright?"

Permalink

"I know who the Sith Master is,"  Diǎnrán continued blankly, distractedly reaching up to give Dune's hand a reassuring squeeze.

"A lot of the pressure to push the GAR into integrating the clones and for the Jedi to enter the war came from the Senate, and they're notoriously slow on everything, but suddenly they made a concerted push on two fronts almost simultaneously and with enough momentum that all of us couldn't help but get swept up into it. It doesn't make sense, unless the Master was in the Senate and organised their efforts they would've been deliberating until Core Worlds started falling before rushing out a haphazard bill like they always do. And the one person in the Senate who's benefited the most from all of this, who kept accumulating emergency power after emergency power, is the Chancellor--but, it can't be him," she turned to look searchingly at Sage, "if it was him then that means he was right in front of us this whole time for years as a Senator and again as the Chancellor and none of us, not even Master Yoda, noticed a thing!"

Permalink

Sage stops as well, frowning hard, "That-no, the Chancellor? That can't be possible, we would have noticed-" 

They pause, then let out a sigh, rubbing at their temples, "Except... there are techniques, which can hide Force Sensitivity," they say, slowly, "It takes the skill of a Master to do it without spending all your attention on it, but it is possible. But to hide your Sensitivity from Masters as skilled as Yoda? Then again, the Dark Side is suited to deception," they consider. "And... anyone with any kind of foresight has been saying for years that Coruscant has been growing too Dark to see clearly." 

...And why hadn't they listened to them, anyway.

They twitch minutely, setting that aside for later thought, "There must be a holonet connection on this station. Maybe checking into whatever the official story the propogandaists are spinning will give us more pieces of this puzzle?" 

Permalink

"We can at least see who they're targeting and who's capitalising on this," Diǎnrán agreed, "as things are we'll probably be branded as traitors or something to explain why they had GAR attack the Jedi, although I'm not sure how they'll spin it that every single Jedi suddenly turned traitor simultaneously."

Permalink

"Popular opinion has been swinging against us for this whole war. They might be able to swing that for the Jedi who were actively fighting, at least - and most people don't actually know much about the rest of the Order." They pause, expression twisting, "I... don't know how they'll spin what happened to... to the Temple, though," they say. They'd been half-way across the planet when the order went out, but that had been more than close enough to feel... 

They push those thoughts away again.

"I need to update my squad," they say abruptly, lifting their wristcomm and tapping at the controls to comm Galvan. 

Permalink

"Ah."

What else was there to say? Offering condolences for having to feel all the babies and children -- the Order's future -- be extinguished as callously and quickly as snuffing out a candle would hardly help.

Permalink

Midway through clearing the maintenance wing of the station, Galvan heard the telltale chime of his wristcomm.

Pausing the squad's progress, he raised his arm to receive the call.

"General," he greeted, "what's your status?"

Permalink

"In the clear, so far, Sergeant. I've met the welcoming party - Knight Diǎnrán and her Commander, Dune. We're going to go over what intel we have between us, and look into what we can pull off the holonet. Anything alarming on your end?"

Permalink

Ah, Dune. He remembers a panicked and green platoon commander, his shiny armour bleeding a rusted red and his blaster shaking every time he heard a Geonosian war cry.

"Nothing so far, General," he replied, "all seems normal, we've mid-way through the maintenance wing; docking wing is clear."

Permalink

"Good... That's good to hear. Let me know when you've finished your sweep - and I'll keep my comm set so you can track me on your HUD if there's an emergency." 

Permalink

"Understood, general," he acknowledged, "we'll be in touch."

With that he signaled Senth to continue their sweep.

Permalink

They comm Jorel, as well, letting him know what's happening, and then turn their attention back to the other two, "That's everyone, lead on? Unless you'd rather go over this in the medbay, in which case I should retrieve the datapad with the orders on it from my ship."

Permalink

Diǎnrán paused, torn.

Worrying her lower lip, she replied, "I would prefer the med bay. My Padawan is....indisposed at the moment and Dr. Natasi is caring for her. Plus the good doctor is our best bet at figuring out exactly how the chips work and what they do."

Permalink

"Of course... If you'll give me directions, I'll retrieve Jorel and the pad and meet you there?"

Total: 142
Posts Per Page: