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Etryan
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re: A Return to Order

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How many days?  How many long, sleepless nights had it been?  It seemed either yesterday or an infinite number of lifetimes ago.  The large man paced the floor of his newly purchased home, deep within the Dromund Kaas skyline.  Just moments ago, he had walked slowly to the ornate double doors that would lead to his balcony.  The man imagined that the architects who had designed these units assumed it would be used to allow in fresh air on a balmy day.  It was unlikely they would ever be used as such.  In fact, Etryan Duskat had never opened them before tonight and he wasn't certain he would ever have need to open them again.  As it was, the doors now lay open to the chilled midnight air, though Etryan did not notice the cold this night.  He was far too wrapped up in other thoughts.

 

He had placed the signs, subtle but unmissable to the correct eye.  He had let himself be seen, only for a moment, but long enough for word to spread with some luck.  And now, he had laid open the path in.  Yes, there was little else to be done now but wait.  Wait and wonder. 

 

It's the wondering that makes things difficult..

 

This thought rose briefly in his mind before being enveloped by the others that had been swimming around for hours now. 

 

Have I been gone for too long?

Will they accept me still, after such a sudden absence?

Would I?

Do the Templars still thrive, hidden in the shadows?

Am I still a Templar at all?

 

These thoughts drove constantly at Etryan, egging him into action.  But action was not an option at the moment, only waiting.  And so he continued to pace the floor, glancing often toward the open double doors, wondering if he would see Enalis standing there, or someone in his stead, or someone to end his life, or no one at all.



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Enalis Nailo
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"Dromund Kaas..." The young Archon muttered to herself as her agile fighter slipped from the neon grasps of hyper space, the ever storming mass filling the luminescent view of her cockpit. A smirk crossed her face as the low groan of her astromech droid filled her head piece. "Don't worry X4, we won't be here long." finding a certain humor in the little droid's displeasure of the Imperial capital world. Though trepidation is far from unfounded. not but a year ago Morrigon's Revenant Strike Fighter would've been atomized upon entry. The dusty jade gaze of Morrigon fell upon the onyx instrument board, a plethora of readings simultaneously breaking upon the craft's mainframe, a chaotic symphony of computerized chimes screaming for attention. She lifted her armored hand to the gaggle of switches, silencing their pitched cries. With a gentle press inwards Morrigon correct her bearing,  aligning the tiny vessel for atmospheric entry, her free hand engaging stealth parameters "...I agree X4, I don't want to take my chances with any of Marr's dissidents." the hull of the ship virtually disappearing as the atmosphere took hold, heating the war tested durasteel body.  

"Siren to Tac-com, atmospheric entry complete, making final approach on target." Morrigon called into her headset, pitching the nose of the Reventant towards the capital, the cloaked ship invisible to not just the eye but all but the most advanced of sensors, slowing her approach, kicking the massive engines into silent mode.

"Copy Siren, proceed with caution, target is potentially volatile." a scratchy male voice resounded back over her headset as the Morrigon careened further downward, skimming just above the tree line of Kaas forest.

"Copy that, continuing on approach vector delta five, switching into black mode." she flipped one of the switched upon her instrument panel, not waiting for the overwatch reply killing her comm system. "This had better be worth the risk." she growled to herself as her destination quickly came into view. Morrigon pulled back on the stick, bringing the ship up from the tree line and soaring over the outer wall of Kaas city. The dismal expanse of imperial pride a shadow of its former self. Trade had never been worse, morale was at an all time low, and now Marr allying himself with 'Terrorists' and giving them free reign of imperial space? Morrigon found herself ever thankful to be confined to her ever faithful Revenant. She pushed such thoughts from her head as the Kaas skyline came into view, slowing her bird to hovering speeds she carefully kept her distance from any sky traffic. The massive bulk of the strike fighter dwarfing that of the common speeder, throwing the entire operation away on a chance bump was a dilemma she hoped to avoid. She cursed softly to herself as she manuvered through the narrowly spaced building, finally coming up just beneath her location. "Wish my luck X4." she said softly, removing her comm-piece; replacing it with her mask, hidding her face beneath an array of sensors and armor.

With one powerful jump, and the aide of the force, Morrigon soared upwards from the stealthed fighter, clearing the gap and landing upon the precipice of the Kaas City complex, the robes of her armor fluttering behind her in a mass of ebon and scarlet fabric. A swift scan of the perimeter revealed no obvious defensive emplacements for her to be concerned of, and with a final glance back she entered into the dimly lit home.

She stalked her way through the home, with the silence of a ghost, passing by a full body mirror she caught a glimpse of herself. Morrigon stood at five feet nine inches tall, her armor adding a few inches, her ebon robes etched with crimson outlines and her rank stitched keenly into her sleeves. She wore armor nearly identical to that of her master, if not for her smaller stature and feminine curves it would be easy to mistake one armored being for the other; a thought that she couldn't help but silently chuckle over. Despite the bulkiness of the armor, Morrigon's alluring figure figure still remained highlighted, thought such a thing concerned her little.

Sweeping from room to room she continued the search for the elusive target. A man that had disapeared from their ranks many moon prior, taking with knowledge and leaving behind even further questions. It was but a few moments before Morrigon found herself climbing the stairs to the upper terrace of the apartment, and standing their upon the perch of a pair of magnificent ornate doors was the frame of a large muscular man, far taller than her even with the benefit of her armor. Instinctively a hand slid down her waist onto the smooth metalic pommel of her lightsaber, firmly gripping its cylindrical form. She called out, in a voice filled with icem "So it would seem that the haunted scholar at long last reveals himself."



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Etryan
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Etryan turned his head slightly toward his visitor, his eyes no longer darting around now that they had something to focus on.  His churning mind stilled itself, allowing him to think clearly at last.  He had been mentally warring with himself since the very moment he had decided to return.  There had been, more than anything else, all the quiet he could have hoped for in his journeys.  In fact, it was safe to say there was a fair bit more quiet than he had truly wanted.  But then, that was one of the reasons he had decided to return.  That, among others, of course.  

 

"So that is what I'm called now?  Haunted Scholar?  I suppose its better than the other names I've been known by lately." the man turned the rest of his body to face Morrigon, a slightly bemused smile just barely cracking through his otherwise emotionless face.  "I had wondered who would be coming," Etryan said, glancing down at the woman's lightsaber for the briefest of moments before returning his stare toward the young woman.  She was wearing new armor since the last time he had seen her, though it was certainly familiar.  A nearly identical set had been worn by the man who had recruited Etryan so long ago.  The same man who had certainly ordered Morrigon to arrive in Etryan's home, though the large man was still unclear as to her intentions.

 

Etryan had chosen not to don any armor tonight, intending it to show his desire to maintain civility during this meeting.  Instead he was wearing a dark grey jacket which stretched tightly across his back.  It was difficult to locate clothing that would fit properly on his large frame prior to his departure and he had gained considerable bulk in his time away.  Now it was nearly impossible.  Below the jacket was a simple set of pants, a jet black belt strapped around his waist, and a pair of combat boots strapped to his feet.  Though he had intended to avoid portraying any violent intent, Etryan's physical stature made such a feat near impossible.  He had even forgone his own lightsaber, choosing to leave it on the table out of reach.  The man knew that Morrigon had likely done her research and had seen him in action in the past.  As such, she was aware that much of Etryan's combat capability rested outside of his saber skills, but he hoped the symbolic gesture would make his intention clear.

 

Both of his arms rose up, sweeping to either side in an open gesture.  "I'm sure there are questions that need answering, yes?"



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Enalis Nailo
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Emerald gaze, hidden beneath the beskar mask, fell upon the ornate hilt of Etryan's lightsaber. With a slow and deliberate gait she strode her way to the table, her armored fingers slipping about the sabers. Her thumb slid over the intricate designs carved into the cylindrical weapon. "Answers merely beget more questions." she answered simply flicking the ignition, a midnight blade, erupting from the intricate crystal structure housed within the tube, wreathed in a flame colored glow, casting an orange tint about the room. "You kept your blade?" her curiosity piqued upon seeing the signature black blade of the Dark Templar.

Morrigon carefully, with a deliberate precision, maneuvered the ebony blade about the air surrounding her. The crackling of pent up energy reverberating about the somber halls of the Kaas apartment. She released the power that held the blade, the orange glow dissipating as the the dark energy blinked out of existence. "I, however; do not seek answers from you." her voice laced with a frigid disdain for the man who left the order at such a critical time. Despite the urgings of her mentor she still harbored great resentment for the so called haunted scholar. "I come with a simple demand." she lofted the lightsaber across the open expanse of the room towards Etryan. "Return."



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Etryan
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The hilt lofted through the air, though Etryan did not allow his eyes to roam from the woman.  Opening his hand slightly, he gestured toward the quickly moving reminder of his path, willing it to return to its true home.  The satisfying thud of metal on leather greeted his ears as he swept the saber hilt onto his belt quickly and silently. Subconsciously, the man flexed his fingers, a nearly imperceptible spark arcing off them displaying the feeling of releasing the familiar tool so quickly.  

 

"Yes, of course I kept it. It would be foolish not to."  He eyed the woman, her emotions toward him clear enough in her tone.  Though he would like to insist otherwise, Etryan was not surprised.  He had been gone for quite some time now.  To expect otherwise would be nonsense, a trait the large man held no regard for.  No, the so-called "Haunted Scholar" had no such disillusions as to believe he would be greeted with any sort of warmth.  Even so, he was being greeted, which was a step in the correct direction.

 

"And yes..I will return as requested.  My travels have come to a...well...they've given me all they could."  He shifted his shoulders slightly, the jacket pulling on them uncomfortably.  "To where am I needed, exactly?"

 

 



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Enalis Nailo
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"We'll be making our rendezvous with the seventh fleet." she remarked, that frigid tone still present. Her gaze left the sabre upon his hip, a bitter taste in her mouth. The signature black-core crystal was only premitted to be carried by the most elite of the Dark Templar, and for one whom she viewed as just a hair's step away from traitor to be wielding one insighted in her a burning anger. Pushing the anger down she brought a gloved hand to her helmet, clicking her comm piece on.

"Bring the ship up to the penthouse balcony X-4." She would deal with her feelings later, as for now she had a mission to complete. She said nothing further to man before her, instead turning and making her way back towards the balcony, stepping into the steady rainfall, the roar of the massive turbo engines now filling the small apartment as the stealth field dropped, the elegant quad winged fighter peered down at them, the ebony hull accented with raging streak of scarlet, the unmistakable hooded skull of the seventh legion emblazoned upon the war vessel's hull. X-4 navigated strike fighter to be level with the balcony, the cockpit shield sliding forwards. The ship was designed to be a one-man fighter, but did feature a rather cramped passenger position.

"Hope you don't mind tight spaces." she smirked behind her mask, taking a small amount of solace in the discomfort the tiny compartment would cause the larger man.

Her hands where a blur of motion as she flipped the nav-computer on and began plotting the complicated jump route that would bring them to the rest of the fleet. "Prep the rad shield, initialize hyper drive, power from weapons to turbo-drive engines." she called out the commands to her droid companion. She knew stealth would only get her into the city as numerous alerts would've already been triggered. It was not long till blips began to appear on her radar, the Kaas City Security likely responding to the disturbance. "Raise deflector shields." she finally stated as she gunned the massive engines. The fighter lurched forward as the vertical engines cut and the primary thrusters took hold, the Revenant fighter rising upwards through the Kaas city sky leaving the security cruisers in its wake, the powerful deflector shields negating all drag as the ship blitzed past the sound barrier and climbed to exit velocity. The computer began screaming as the automated planetary defenses began to lock onto the lone fighter "Punch it X!" she called as the little droid completed his final jump co-ordinates.

Time and reality began to distort around the fighter, the hyperdrive screaming to life as the ship was propelled into hyperspace, blasting out of the Dromund Kaas atmosphere leaving a massive shock wave behind it as Morrigon and her cargo escaped to safety.

*~*~*~*

Morrigon had slipped into slumber, having ignored any invitation to conversation, opting to harbor her resentment of the man she once respected. The cockpit glowed a faint scarlet, the hyperspace shield having come across the cockpit view. A soft alarm sounded as the entered into their sixth hour, the heads up display showing sixty seconds till their hyperspace exit. Rousing from her slumber she began the necessary checks for their exit, lowering the cockpit shield, filling the tiny fighter's compartment with a bring blue light. A few seconds later the hyperdrive whined down as the came out of hyperspace in front of the massive seventh fleet. 

It was quite the sight to behold, dozens upon dozens of massive state of the art war ships, brandishing the same colors of the fighter the two sat in. At the center of this massive fleet lay the Aurora.  This Aurora was far different from the one that Enalis flew before Etryan's departure, that Aurora, a Phantom class, was crippled beyond repair in the opening stages of the Zakkul invasion. This ship, one of only three, a Nightmare class dreadnought. A good three times the size of an imperial Harrower, Enalis's capital ship stood a titan. Armed to the teeth and, like other Dark Templar vessels, equipped with state of the art stealth projectors. 

"Siren approaching on vector alpha 7-2, requesting permission to dock, mission complete." she called through her comm link as the tiny ship drew closer and closer the massive behemoth.



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Etryan
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As Morrigon turned toward her ship, Etryan turned away.  He glanced back at his apartment, eyes drifting slowly across the large and barren space.  The short time he had dwelled here seemed much longer in his mind.  The bare walls and sparse furnishings told the true tale, however.  The table centered the room, a thin layer of dust gathered on the place settings he had laid out upon moving in.  One of the two chairs was untucked, and moved near to the bookcase.  The books were mostly pittance, remainders from the previous occupants.  Etryan had not deigned to read past the first chapter of any of them.  They offered nothing of value.  Across the room lay the entrance to the large man's chambers.  He had lay in there just once, on the first night in the home.  The silence did not agree with him, so he spent the remainder of his nights in the main room, with the large doors open.  The sound of the city far below bringing far more peace than the silence had.

 

Now there was nothing for him here.  The few clothes he had obtained were bedraggled and would have little use in the future if all went as hoped, and he had no belongings to tie him to this place.  And so he turned his back on the apartment, following Morrigon to the small ship that awaited him. 

 

He shifted slightly, sitting down in the seemingly intentionally small passenger seat.  The posture of the woman in front of him made it clear that she was not interested in any sort of conversation at the moment, and so Etryan settled himself and awaited the journey's end.

 

*---*---*---*---*---*---*---*---*

 

While Morrigon slept, Etryan found himself unable to follow suit.  There was a degree of tension and anxiety surrounding the immediate future that was uncharacteristic for the man.  Accepting of the fact that he would find no solace in rest, he instead slipped into somewhat of a meditative state as he stared endlessly at his surroundings, stirred only as the startling blue of hyperspace replaced the faint, warm red of the internal console.  

 

"Quite the sight...Marvelous."

 

The dreadnought rose in front of the small ship, seeming to go on nearly without end.  Even disregarding the imposing array of weaponry clearly visible bristling from the massive flying city, Etryan knew the technology powering the ship would make an unauthorized approach nearly impossible.  Taking in all that he could of the vessel, Etryan waited to board, wondering what awaited him.



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Morrigon brought the Revenant fighter in to one of the enormous hanger bays of the Aurora. Flight deck personel guided the strike fighter into its landing position. The engines roar turned to a low whine before finally being cut completely as the cockpit shield slid forward allowing the two to exit the cramped compartment. Morrigon did not wait for the pit crew to bring up the stair ramp, rather dropping from the cockpit the cold floor. She motioned back for Etryan to follow her as she quickly made her way towards the hanger exit, the roar of the coming snad goings of craft dieing instantly as the massive bulkhead sealed behind them. There where so many unanswered questions. Morrigon maintained her silence, leading the pair through the maze of the massive dreadnought, ignoring those who saluted the ranking officer, others simply scurried from her path, recognizing the foul mood that she was in. The two came to one of the numerous elevator shafts that filled the ship. 

"Why'd you leave?" she finally broke her silence, her masked gaze turning to the much larger man beside her. At one point she'd considered this man an uncle, almost a second father away from her master. His sudden departure, and one that at the time she was too young to truly understand, had tormented her for a long time. The now veteran warrior, hardened from numerous battles, only felt anger and animosity towards him. The hum of the elevator shooting up through the numerous decks the only sound.



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