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Open The Dig Site

Black Noise

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((Open within reason. Anyone joining will be with the Mandalorian's party))
Empress Teta Planet Theme

A gentle rolling breeze brushed aside the tall grasses on the plains of Empress Teta. Voices and machinery echoed across the grasslands as a small, but very well funded, archeological site underwent construction. The site, a massive, unnatural, square hole four meters wide and tall, seemed to lord itself over the men and women setting up cranes and pulleys despite being in the ground. A rich looking Iktotchi man in purple finery sat quietly at a small table. An array of ancient datapads, so old that they were encased in airtight, vacuum sealed containers in order to allow no moisture inside, laid before him. He did not so much as give the artifacts a glance.

Rather, he was fixated on the woman who sat across from him at the table. At least he thought it was a woman, a Mandalorian's face was harder to catch a glimpse of than the head of the Supreme Chancellor's dick. Smiling at his own joke, the Iktotchi, Jevral Hayim, tapped on the protective glass of the ancient datapad and spoke.

"So, you're the best, right? We've asked the organization for the best before and, well, let's just say their results were less than stellar. They still havent emerged from that pit. It's supposedly supposed to have been a jedi prison, you know! Or at least these records I've dug up say as much. The Jedi kept prisoners down there they felt were too dangerous for the public to even know about. They're all dead now, of course, but the artifacts down there are just, this place is so old and, I dont even know what to say..."

Jevral sighed deeply, trailing off for a moment before resuming, "This is my life's worth. The culmination of ten years of searching, working through both Imperial and new republic sponsors. You must understand, I can't have this be ruined. You need to go inside there, disable the traps, and retrieve something for me personally. It's a lightsaber belonging to a Sith Warlord. He is my ancestor, I traced my lineage back almost four thousand years to him. I would like to have it, and of course you'll be paid handsomely for all this trouble. In Beskar or new republic credits, I have both. Is this acceptable?"

The man, sweating bullets, stared directly into where he believed this women's eyes were. Of course she knew the general idea of the mission before arrival. But Jevral needed her to accept and go down that pit. Even more importantly, he needed her to come out of that pit alive.
 

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The Mandalorian woman sat opposite her potential client silently, allowing the male Iktotchi to ramble on. She only took bounties, people, living or dead- it didn't matter, but this was... new. The only reason she was even entertaining the idea was the reward... Beskar. It was literally the only thing that she would come anywhere near a former jetii location. The filth. The bounty hunter did not even like being near this place let alone the thought of going down into a place where dar-jetii were kept by jetii. Ori had been lead to believe by the old stories that these dar-jetii were killed, or exiled... not put into a prison. Seems the foolish jetii would have been better off killing their enemies and being done with it. All the resources and time put into a prison was a waste and just made them seem far more foolish than Ori had originally thought them to be.

She let out a low sigh as finally he stopped speaking. Now it was time for negotiations and finding out just how much she was getting from this annoying and dangerous job.

"I have no need of useless Republic credits. I am here for the beskar." Ori spoke finally, for the first time since she sat down; her Basic had a edge to it as if it wasn't quite her first main language. Her voice sounded modified as it went through a mic and speaker in her sealed helmet. Though changed it was clearly female in tone but firm and focused. Clearly, the Mandalorian bounty hunter was not here to chat. "How much are you paying me for this job?" And so all she had to do was get through traps, disable them and get a jetii'kad, one of a dar'jetii to boot.

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"What she means to say, is how much are you paying us for this job?" Telkath cut in, standing a couple of feet behind his begrudging squad mate. His arms were folded, and his voice too was modified due to the helmet he wore, though his own accent was more seasoning rather than substance. "Some people say they'll pay handsomely, then skim on the bill when the time comes to collect."

The elder Mando kept his gaze fixed directly on the client, rather than looking at Oriana to judge her reaction. He hadn't wanted to work on a job with anybody else, let alone one of his own people, yet the job at hand was not one that could be accomplished easily. A prison made to hold Jetii or those similar to them was not a place anybody would tread into lightly. Going into some tomb simply to collect a Lightsaber was not on Talketh's to do list either, but he needed funds at the end of the day. And his armor had certainly seen better days.

"I'm not as picky as this one." Talekth continued, nodding towards Oriana. From those he knew that still remained in frequent contact with his people, Talketh had heard that the woman was eager to prove herself in the big bad Galaxy. An heir to clan Ordo, where he had long since left his own clans behind. "But if you want me to go into that dar'yaim just to find some Jetii weapon, then I'll be taking my payment in Beskar and credits."

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The Iktotchi man nodded, paying attention to both and analyzing their speech patterns. The woman appeared to be, if not more dangerous, than more likely to turn him down if he did not tread carefully in his speech. The man was more predictable to him, he had dealt with many of his sort in his work with the Imperials. Powerful, arrogant, and difficult to deal with. But arrogance did not mean weakness, and Jevral was careful to not forget this.

Snapping his sandpaper fingers, Jevral summoned a Weequay in makeshift armor carrying some sort of small square container. Once it was set down on the table, Jevral turned it towards himself and input the code away from where the Mando's eyes could see. When the top of the container popped off, the roughly fifteen Weequay scattered around the camp immediately stopped and looked in their direction. Jevral, chuckling nervously, waved them back to their work. "Sorry, they're fitted with tracking fobs for this container. If it's opened or tampered with before I disable their fobs then they will all be alerted. For protection, I'm sure you understand."

Tilting the container down so that the Mandos could see its contents, he would describe them accurately before closing it back and handing it back to his mercenary. "I have eight plates in total, seized from Imperial Warlords in their scattering. The plates and the money will be yours to split and figure out amongst yourselves, once I have my lightsaber. Understand?" At that, he would stand. Two Weequay, armed with vibrostaffs, moved to flank and protect the noble as he lead the Mandos towards the prison's, or tomb's, entrance.

The descent would be a long one, and it was one the Noble would not accompany the Mandalorians on. Only a single Weequay, operating the lift, stood with them. His face grim, he would not speak for several minutes, not until the lift landed on the floor of the tomb. It stretched nearly two full kilometers down. Tapping a giant water pump, he gave a few quick instructions. "First test, pretty simple. Jedi code. Emotion, yet peace. Ignorance, yet knowledge. Passion, yet serenity. Chaos, yet harmony. Death, yet the Force. Yer gotta input that at the door or the bastard won't open. After that, good luck. Don't be down here more'n a day, the lift floods when it rains and it'll be a week 'afore we can dig ye out. If'n it don't rain agin durin' that time. Ye kin?"

At that, he started the lift, leaving the Mandalorians alone to their thoughts. Before them laid a long, dark hallway that appeared to have been dug out of the rock. At the end, an ancient door with a keypad connected to the side.

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Ori did not move nor acknowledge the tone or speaking of the other Mando, chosing to not rise to the ire in his voice at her pickiness. In her eyes, the mere fact he was a Mandalorian was the one reason she wasn't filling his helmet full of blaster fire and taking the reward for herself. After all, Mando or not, he could be useful in this old prison. Her only motions beside breathing, were to lean over to see the beskar's authenticity. Satisfied enough, Ori stood shortly after her client did. She wasn't bothered one damn bit by the bodyguards accompaning him. She didn't plan to have to seal with them, but if she did have to... well, she'd see how well they liked grenades, and her WESTAR blasters.

She memorized the code, listening intently to the guiding Weequay for any information she could possibly need down there. Hearing that the lift floods regularly, Ori looked over at the Weequay, then to the other older Mandalorian. So stared back into the surrounding darkness as the guide left. Ori looked over to the other Mando, pulling out one of her WESTAR blasters just to be ready. She lowered the scanner attatchment, scanning the surrounding areas for traps.

Finding nothing that would be dangerous or out of the ordindary, Ori stepped forward, still scanning carefully. Emotion, yet peace. Ignorance, yet knowledge. Passion, yet serenity. Chaos, yet harmony. Death, yet the Force. Approaching the locked door, she put in the Jedi code, and waited, ready with her blasters.

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The ancient durasteel door creaked open, letting out a little puff of dust from the top as it did so. It appeared as if the door had slowly adjusted to being opened multiple times in the recent days, though the water, now able to reach and infiltrate new cracks, would surely make quick work of this old door in the coming years. Behind the door laid a long and dark hallway, barely illuminated by industrial lights haphazardly screwed into the ceiling. The lights appeared far dimmer than they should, and a palpable darkness could be felt sweeping out from the hall.

The stench of death and decay permeated the hallway, and it would push itself through even the rebreathers of powerful mandalorian helmets. Thankfully, it wasn't poisonous, just nasty. Dried blood covered the floor, almost as if someone had 'painted' it onto the floor, rather than if someone had died here. At the end of the hallway, there appeared to be two main paths. One path seemed to brighten a little bit, the path on the right. The path on the left, however, darkened significantly, and it appeared that the trail of painted blood took the left hand path.

The path on the right, unfortunately, lead to a dead end. A cave in where rubble and boulders blocked the hall. While one could blow the rocks apart, such explosions were not advisable this far down. The left hand path, however, would find itself ending at a large common room. Dozens of bodies littered the floor along with what appeared to be shattered bodies partially frozen in Carbonite. A few more frozen bodies lined the walls, with their panels to unfreeze them fried.

The bodies appeared to be those of mercenaries, perhaps the first or second exhibition sent down here. Some of the limbs had been detached cleanly from their bodies with surgical precision and were nowhere to be found. At the end of the large room, Ori would see three more doors with writing above them. In an ancient script of Aurebesh, the words 'Mechanical Room,' 'Confiscated Items,' and 'Freezing Chamber,' were written above the doors. One description per door, of course.

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Ori looked at all of her surroundings, it call came to the same conclusions she had before she stepped foot in here. THis could go very bad if this place flooded. Not only flooded, but collasped even. What guarentee was it that this relic was even in this ruin? Hopes and desires meant nothing in the face of facts and hard truths. Ori suddenly had a very ominous feeling in the pit of her stomach. It wasn't fear, but a feeling that she was in over her head now. Something was here... still, even now. It had to be. Surely ghosts were not a thing, but she could not deny this place had a darkness over it, inside of it's walls and very formation. How many had died here, trapped like beasts, unable to fight for thier freedom or death. How many died here in dishonor? How many still lingered here, trapped in these cells, thier lifeless remains still here even in death. There was no march for them, just the cells. How many were watching her even now? An absurd notion, of course. But she couldn't deny the feeling of having eyes on her... in some form or another.

The stench, death and decay and now nearly stagnant water from close by, added to these feelings as she looked down at the trails of old dried blood. Probably the mercenaries the client mentioned earlier. Now they too where here, least they died giving a fight against something... Or did they? Maybe ... the traps? Or just falling debris? Realizing she had just been standing there for far too long, she took her first real steps inside, her helmeted eyes folowing the trail of blood. Which to take? One path looked brighter than the other, and less blood. Maybe one the mercs did not take and this unexplored? Or just caved in further down? Hm. Only one way to find out. Still scanning her surroundings, Ori headed to the right, finding the reason it was not well traveled.... caved in. FIgured. She turned around and started down the path the blood was leading her to, down the left side hall.

The left hall ended in a large area, which made her fell only slightly better. She looked at the slabs of carbonite prisoners, seeing thier panels destroyed. Hm. Tough. Too late for them, forever stuck in that honorless state. Some where broken on the floor, even. The 'fresh' bodies were for sure the mercs sent down here before she was. Taking a moment, she examined the scene around her. Missing limbs, not much evidence to go on, save the near surgical precision it seemed to display. Hm. SHe was not liking this, but with beskar on the line... it was a takeable risk. May those that came before her guide her. She stood back up, looking to the exits out of this room. Seemed rather clear cut where a relic might be. She picked the Confiscated Items door.



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As the 'Confiscated Items' door slowly slide open, a deep crackling laugh rippled through from somewhere far deeper inside the room. What should have been a very small room with a handful of shelves appeared to have been 'excavated' by dozens of powerful explosions, vastly expanding the amount of space inside. Hanging from the ceiling from crude hooks, handcrafted by bent armor plates and grappling wire, were the dozens of missing limbs.

Sitting quietly in the back of the room, a hunched figure crooked its head up and spoke. Its voice was horrible to listen to, a grinding, grating, gravelly sound like rocks being drug across the surface of a thousand chalkboards.

"Is it someone new?"

At that, a crimson blade of light illuminated the room. The lightsaber, the target of the search, was just within Ori's reach. Of course, the red blade also illuminated the dozen more bodies littered across the floor, half eaten. This monster, now finally visible, looked absolutely wretched. His skin, like sandpaper, had wrinkled and shriveled up with age, yet it still held some moisture from an intense sweat that refused to cease. His eyes appeared glassed over, as if he couldn't see what was around him, and his head was adorned with two large horns that wrapped around his face and stretched past his jaw to his chest.

Standing, the laughter began once again. The monster wanted a fight.

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The scanner picked up surfaces in the dark room as the door opened revealing a room that seemed to have supposed to have been smaller than it was. The scanner detected carbon scoring from explosions that must have been used to extend the size of the room. Strange. Ori scowled as te scent in this room was getting through her sealed helm worse than before. Maybe this room was the source of the sm- Her thoughts paused as the voice scrapped through her mind and against her ears, her scanner lit up a target just in time to see the red glare of light as a lightsaber turned on. Ori's eyes widened The sight of ...hanging limbs like a meatlocker, caused her jaw to drop.

By Mandalore...

The red light fell upon everything, including the figure of a grizled and very old and broken Iktotchi. In his hand... The item she was here to find. Fuck. This being looked... OLD. And then it clicked. This wasn't some scavenger or worker gone mad. It WAS the client's ancestor. A prisoner trapped down here. This was a real ...living... dar-jetii infront of her! This was his own jetii-kad she was sent down here for. This was not good. Remaining silent, Ori just stood there in shock and survival mode, letting her brain sort through possibilities and courses of action. And then he stood. Nope. No time for thought out plans and strategy. Gotta shoot from the hip. Somehow she sensed something deeply dark... evil, from this being and it was like the world around her was telling her to beware, caution... maybe even run. Ori ignored that urgent call as weakness and cowardice. No, she was here for a mission and she was a Mandalorian of Clan Ordo.

As the being started to laugh, Ori spoke. "I'm going to need that lightsaber. Give it to me and I will leave you be. If you do not.... I take it. You die. And I blow this place into the rubble pit it is overdue being." Her tone was firm, no negotioations, this was what was going to happen. Sensing this being was going to go with the fighting option, she readied her Verpine Shatter rifle. Let's see how this dar-jetii liked metal instead of blaster fire.


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The laughter twisted and curved about the corners of the dimly illuminated room, distorting the surroundings of the room into a muddle of blood, limbs, and entrails. Slowly, the world around the two began to shift and change. The arms and legs hanging from the hooks grew mouths and joined the ancient monster in his devilish laughter. The blood began to crawl and run along the walls like a million insects skittering and scritching as they moved.

Then, finally, the half eaten corpses slowly began to raise themselves up off the ground. Their movements shambling and weak, like pathetic amalgamations of the undead. But they did not raise their arms, nor did they approach the mando, and no sound came from their decaying lips. Instead, they backed themselves out of the way, slowly forming a battle circle around the two. The instant they had encircled the two, each body locked arms and gritted their teeth, preparing to stand steadfast no matter what came their way.

The Sith, holding out his lightsaber, still ignited, suddenly stopped laughing. "This, old thing? You desire it? You seek to take it? From me? I see, come get it then."

Tossing it into the air, the lightsaber locked itself four meters up into the air above the pair as if it had been caught by an invisible hand. The Iktotchi, raising his fists, began shouting. With every word, the room rocked and shook, threatening to collapse at any second. The arms and legs beat themselves on the floor as the corpses began to stomp and chant rythmically in Mando'a.

"I challenge you, Mandalorian, to the Battle Circle!" Pointing at Ori, he demanded, "As challenged, dictate your terms!"

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Disgusting! Ori was tempted to recoil from the sight of the ..... laughing mutilated limbs and dead bodies. She raised her Verpine Shatter Rifle as she watched them form... a ring? Her eyes narrowed as she observed warily. Then the chanting began... How did this... being know all of this? Something told her that what was supposed to be a mock battle was going to be quite real. He did the chalenge so she got to choose the weapons both used. She for sure did not want the saber involved. Beskar was good, resistant.. but not for long. Not against a damn jetii'kad.

"What are the rules for your battle circle, dar'jetii? I seriously doubt they are honorable as our usual ones." Ori demanded to know, she wasn't going to choose if she didn't know the set of rules this damn dar'jetii was using. Or worse... no rules. no honor.... as she suspected. And all of this was a mockery of her people and culture. "Battle circles are not to the death. They are for honor and battle prowess."


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The Iktotchi paused for but a moment, then laughed. A cruel darkness spread from his voice and manifested physically across the walls, twisting the stone and rock into distorted and disfigured faces. These too, joined the Sith in laughing at the Mandalorian. Tearing his robe, the Sith revealed what may have once been a chiseled and toned upper body. But now, scarred beyond recognition, it was naught more than a mass of writhing tissue and wrinkles.

Now dressed only in the tatters of what used to be the bottom half of his robe, the old man shouted, "Rules? You seek rules? I shall tell you of these rules, you shall use every method at your disposal to fight me, and you shall still fall! For I am Sogar! Warmaster of Exar Kun! Fortune and Force has blessed you that you should fall at my hand. Now! Fight me! Fight me and rejoice in your death!"

At that, Sogar charged the Mandalorian. His clawed right hand outstretched, he sought to slam his open palm into the side of Ori's head. His left hand twisted into a claw at his side, gathering some sort of strange energy. To Ori, a natural force sensitive, she would be overtly aware of the darkness he was gathering in his second hand.

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"I don't care who you are. I don't need you, just your weapon."

That's all Ori needed to hear, it was just as she assumed, to the death. Nothing had changed.... but now she had wasted time. The young Mandalorian did her best to not focus on the fucked up shit happening around her. She had her target, she had her mission, and even her targeted item just right there. It was clear to her what needed to happen now. FIGHT! .... and survive, of course. Seeing him step towards her, Ori rose her Verpine Shatter Rifle and started to unload on him, stepping away from the room.
 
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As Ori stepped back, attempting to move away from the room, she would be shoved back forwards by the joined corpses. This was a battle circle, leaving would not be allowed. Simultaneously, Sogar's free left hand snapped out, halting the travel of the verpine shatter rifle's slugs mid-air. Heated metal floated midair betwixt the two for not more than a milisecond before it was flung into a handful of the corpses to the side.

As the shots hit the bodies, the dead mercenaries continued their chants. One lost a leg, another part of their face, and one more half his arm. Yet chant they did regardless, for they felt nothing.

The shots taken care of, and Ori unable to run, Sogar's hand would slam into the side of her helmet. Of course, it was unlikely the hit would do more than knock the helmet to side. Sogar was strong, but the power of Beskar was not something that could be underestimated.

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Ori's surprise of being pushed back in was only overshadowed by her surrise of her ammo being heated an directed elsewhere like.... nothing she had ever seen before. Her eyes widened in shock, slowing her reaction to bring up her arm to block, taking the hit to the helm and staggering to the side. She put her rifle back, swifting drawing out her vibroblade from her thigh, crouched there for a moment, before she lunged in. aiming to thrust the blade into his body.

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Sogar smiled once more, tapping his horns and hopping backwards as Ori drew her blade and crouched down. A voice echoed in the back of her head, shoving its way through her mind, unbidden, "Don't you understand?"

The Iktotchi held out his arms as Ori thrust, allowing the blade to pierce directly into his chest. Grabbing the hilt with one hand and grasping Ori's arms with his other, Sogar flung the Mandalorian away while holding the knife inside his body. Laughing once more, he ripped the blade out of his body. Blood spurted from the wound, it hit an artery. The weapon had absolutely hit something vital, creating a lethal wound.

And he laughed.


"Come on! This the best you can do?" He shouted, the anger in his voice raising.

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Ori was once again stunned at this ... this.. creatures resilience, audacity, and just sheer maddness. He didn't even care! Ori knew her training, that would be lethal, he sould have been begging for his life- not that she would help or anything would help. Yet here he was, treating it like a damn flesh wound! She looked at him, in such close quarters, as if she was actually seeing hm for the first time. WIthout her scanner up it was more easily seen, the wounds, the age, the.... darkness. No... no she... felt the darkness rolling off of his very being. It wasn't just the dead moving and the ring of corpses taunting her traditions, it was something far darker, far deeper... it was... unknown to her. But every fiber of her being rang out with the clear scream of danger.

Or was that her own self? She was flung quite powerfully away from him, without her blade. Damn it! He was still laughing! Talking in her mind somehow? HOW?! Tricks. yes, it... this was all tricks, dar'jetii tricks! Ori fought to keep focus, head ringing as she got back up. "Trickery." She took up a battle stance. "Then fight me with honor! Hand-To-Hand. None of your filthy dar'jetii tricks." She still didn't understand how he was still standing and laughing like he wasn't bleeding out.

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As Ori shouted at the Sith, beams of orange light, like solar flares off the surface of a dying sun, erupted from the corpses around her. The twisted and arced around the room for but a moment before finding their mark in the flesh of the bleeding Iktotchi. The light stitched his wound together and, within a second, it had completely healed and scarred over. It was as if he had been attacked and stabbed there years ago.

Pointing her out one more time, the Sith shouted, "Wrong!"
His voice shook the room, dirt and debris began to fall from the ceiling, "There is no honor in combat! This is why your people died by my hand! This is why you will too!"

Boulders began to fall, the ceiling caving in around them, "You have power, you have strength, but you're too weak and stupid to use it! Draw upon your anger, reject my reality or die!"

At that, a massive boulder fell from above, aiming to directly crush Ori.

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