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 The Killik Awaken, Alderaan - Open
Tohren Vyel
 Posted: Mar 2 2018, 08:43 PM
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7 POSTS
Bantha Fodder
Emissary
28
Human
Joiner
Sarah IS Offline
Citizen


305 ARE

Indomar Valley

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Once, the peaceful and picturesque village of Indomar nestled in a fertile valley between snowy peaks; the kind of landscape for which Alderaan was famous. A farming and forestry community housing a climate science outpost, a little off the tourist track, the area was largely unspoiled. Until now.

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The village as it had been was gone, though fragments of it's elegant structures were still visible amidst the organic mounds that had risen from the ground as though overnight. Their shape was not unfamilar to the locals; fossilised forms of the same were found throughout the Castle Lands; had given the region it's name, but the creatures who made them had been long thought extinct. The insectoid forms that moved amongst the mounds made it clear that this was not the case.

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In the next velley a refugee processing centre had been established, whilst around what had been Indomar itself, the fertile fields had been trampled. Holonet News reporters and curious onlookers had flocked to the area, now being pushed back as the military established formal boundaries. Scientists clamoured to study the creatures, whilst the more militant called for their destruction. Over the whole situation hung the dual questions of sentience and provenance. Were these a thinking species that could be reasoned with, and where had they come from?

Inside the Oroboro Nest

Work, achieve, eat, rest, be content. serve the Hive. His life had held purpose and satisfaction, but no introspection under the influence of the Hive Mind; little independence of thought was required of workers. Whether the tunnels he helped dig ran up to the surface or into the depths, the food that he grew fed workers or warriors, was irrelevant. The work was necessary, and it was done. He'd had neither the need, nor the capacity, to question. Until now.

A gradual, growing awareness came to him, as he worked in the cosy, reassuring darkness of the nest's tunnels, causing him to pause in his weaving of the fine Killik silk and look at his hands, registering for the first time in four years the fact that they differed from the delicate claws of his weaving partner across from him. Recognising that he was not being productive, he yielded his place which was taken by another chitinous body, watching the way that she moved. That was right, and he was right, but he was aware suddenly that he was different. Then he became aware that his difference was needed.

They swarm, why? The thought came through the auras and subtle clicks of those around him, became his own thought, along with the image of beings gathering in structures around the newest hive entrance. His first thought was that he did not know, they were aliens, they did alien things. The flying fingerlings providing the image flew closer, most dodging the swattings as they relayed high-speed images of multiple beings, all roughly the same shape as himself. Not so alien. Such superficial answers were not sufficient. They were as he, and the nest needed his view.

He understood then. Crouching easily in the darkness, the bladed staff that stood him in place of hardened claws laid across his knees, Tohren closed his black-on-black eyes to block out the infra-red outlines of his fellows, and concentrated. Memories that he had not needed for four years floated slowly to the surface, initially making no sense until he unearthed too the mindset with which he had formed them, interpreted them. Ah. They swarm as we would; because we attacked their nest. He interpreted at last, the thought reverbrating throughout the whole of which he was a part.

More than that, as the flying fingerlings provided images of military vehicles, and slow recognition formed in Tohren's mind, no longer accustomed to such thoughts. They intend counter attack. He advised, concern edging the thought.

It is to be Hive against Hive then.

No! The suddenness of the thought caused the nearest weavers to turn and look at him, their auras tinged with concerned assessment over his mental forcefulness; was he ill or injured? Did he require treatment or dismemberment? Calming his mind and aura, Tohren resumed once more the steady state of the Hive. The outburst had resulted from long-buried thought patterns; memories of a time Before. He had studied history, including that of his homeworld. He knew what would happen. Oroboro has fought the surface dwellers before.

Yes.

We did not succeed, but were driven below, and slept.

Yes.

This has happened many times.

Yes.

And each time, we lose something. He drew then from the collective memory, a vision of the great spitships departing Alderaan for the distant stars. This Hive was no longer capable of building such ships.

Yes.

We cannot afford to do so again. This time it must be different. This is why we were woken. The thoughts were his and theirs, no clear differentiation where his own stopped and those of the Hive began. We will be the Emissary.

Yes

So it would be. Leaving the weavers to their work, Tohren went to his sleeping cell to marshall his thoughts, recall again what it meant to be Human, whilst never forgetting that he was also Killik. When he was ready he left, and was met on the way by warriors, and workers who had things for him. Long robes of Killik silk, such as would be acceptable to those outside, and an ancient leather satchel containing items that no Killik needed. He recognised the bag, and some of the contents, as his own. Others had no doubt come from other Joiners, but all served the Hive.

It was time.

Indomar Valley Nest Entrance

Both the news crews and the military, keeping a close eye on Killik activity within the decimated village, noticed the change in activity. Many workers disappeared underground whilst from the entrances came a greater number of the larger warrior cast. Military commanders called their troops to readiness whilst reporters dialed their holocams to maximum zoom.

The warriors arrayed themselves about the nest mounds, but did not advance beyond their standard perimeter. There was a marked pause in activity, before two more warrior caste, larger than their peers, emerged from the main entrance, dwarfing the figure that walked calmly between them. Tall, slim and clad in grey robes that danced in the slightest breeze and shimmered as they did so, their companion was never the less undeniably humanoid.

At the border the Killiks had established the two escourts stopped, and the figure walked on alone. His angular features were expressionless, brown hair slicked back from his hairline, skin pale from time spent underground. Black eyes looked ahead, their exact focus impossible to discern, and he walked as though there were not hundreds of powerful firearms aimed at him. Stopping a respectful distance from the front line, Tohren planted the butt of his wooden staff, it's knarls and bore-holes distinct in the sunlight, and stopped, summoning memory of the words needed to communicate with these beings who were not of the Hive Mind. At last he spoke, voice clear and words solomn.

"We are the Emissary. We speak for the Hive."
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Ziyado Idani
 Posted: Mar 3 2018, 12:29 AM
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4 POSTS
Bantha Fodder
Secretary of Internal Security
37
Miraluka
Serial Killer
Jazz IS Offline
Cult


Leave. It was an odd constraint for what had long been his habit. While largely content with whatever circumstances the Cult of Sadow found itself in, Hush had long displayed a tendency to disappear for stretches of time. It wasn't restlessness, not exactly, but wanderlust. Even before the reorganization, merging his eclectic family with the Confederation of Dolomar, this penchant of his had proven irksome to his Lady Nia'ana. Now, however, with the formalized structure of the Bureau of Special Affairs and particularly his high rank within it, he was expressly forbidden from wandering off.

Thus, leave, a gradual buildup of free time he could spend away from Dolomar's climate-controlled subterranean cities or the specific tasks he was sent into the galaxy to accomplish. The very moment he'd accrued a full week,, he was gone.

Alderaan was not a world he knew well. Officially—and for the most part in practice—neutral in the thrilling and thoroughly delightful war that had engulfed the galaxy, it was a significantly more peaceful planet than most, with a relatively stable government and amicable populace. None of these were qualities that drew the killer's attention. Not in the past, anyway. With his fulfilling new occupation of eliminating those friends who slipped too deeply into mania and psychosis, the Secretary of Bureau Security found that he was not inclined to spend this time away engaged in recreational murder. Indeed, it seemed a wonderful opportunity to explore those Core worlds which had previously been of little interest.

It had been a quiet morning, bright sunlight slanting past the roof of some cafe's posh veranda to warm his face. Sipping chilled tea, he'd been listening to local news headlines, a feminine voice trilling from his datapad on the table. No expectation of being roused to action had joined him for breakfast, but when his distant companion's tone darkened as she began reporting on the escalating situation near Indomar Valley, he took particular notice. Confirmed sightings of unknown, enormous arthropods, miraluka sized or greater? Uncertain military response pending? This was something he had to non-visually perceive.

---

Random civilians were not ordinarily allowed into crisis areas cordoned off by Alderaan's small military. Those bearing identification marking them as leaders of a shadowy Confederation agency—which almost seemed to be taking the place the Jedi Order once had in the days of the Republic—were given significantly more leeway. The young guardsman who had cautiously let him through had warily eyed the archaic swords crossed over his back, but it seemed prudent to go into such uncertainty armed. Hush quite agreed.

Little had occurred since his arrival; more scattered reports had come in, debate had continued among the local leaders concerning their response options. None of it seemed to accomplish much, but it was fascinating to observe. That was all he'd intended anyway. Whatever truth bending he may have done to gain admittance, his presence held no official capacity. He was, after all, on vacation.

At last a change seemed to come over the distant aliens. A majority of those who had been skittering about the apparent burrows from which they'd come vanished back to the depths. Larger specimens emerged, and the Force sensitive assassin could feel the collective apprehension of those around him. Awash in sudden bursts of fear, tension, and emotional preparation for combat, he instinctively reached over one shoulder, hand resting along a hilt. If it did come to open conflict, he suspected the ranged capability of the military would deprive him of any real participation, but he could hope. Optimism was a strong trait in him.

It was not to be. The swarm ceased their approach not far from where they'd appeared, three figures alone proceeding farther. Head tilting curiously, he focused on this trio. All were similar in their aura, the sensation of their presence. All were... bland, to put it bluntly. Emotion did not seem a strong driving force in these beings, nor did any feel particularly touched by the Force. What drew his curiosity so heavily, however, was the disparity in form.

The two flanking creatures seemed nearly identical, larger, more robust iterations of those arrayed behind. But the central being, the one that now walked alone and unconcerned, was decidedly different. It was actually far closer in silhouette to the miraluka than any of the creatures it otherwise felt so akin to. Curious indeed.

We are the Emissary. We speak for the Hive.

This provoked a whole new clamor from those gathered around him. Numerous questions were shouted from numerous individuals, some with the weight of official inquiry. Many without. Some sought clarification, what this Hive was. Others were more direct, asking what it wanted. Hush, of course, remained silent. Incapable of competing with the sudden chorus, he instead circumvented it.

Congratulations, he spoke cheerfully into the Emissary's mind, with no hint of sarcasm. I am the Secretary of Bureau Security for the Bureau of Special Affairs, a branch of the Confederation of Dolomar. I think your title is better. Smiling as much to himself as for the other's benefit, he lifted his hand from where it had lain on his weapon to wave. I suspect you have more pressing concerns, but whenever you're done assuaging the locals, I'd very much like to chat. I'm the eyeless fellow to your left.

Well, well. This had been worth the trip.
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Tohren Vyel
 Posted: Mar 3 2018, 07:56 PM
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7 POSTS
Bantha Fodder
Emissary
28
Human
Joiner
Sarah IS Offline
Citizen


To those with the skill to sense the shape of minds and auras, there was no obvious difference between the lone figure that approached and those he left behind. Calm and purposefulness dominated, together with an unusual uniformity that hinted at the telepathic links between them. To the Force-sensitive, all were non-events. Once there had been the occasional Force-sensitive Killik, but that ability had been lost long ago, together with the means to breed the ship-makers. They were an ancient species in decline, unless their fortunes changed.

If the figure that stood calmly facing the arrayed military and curious onlookers was at all concerned about the myriad weapons pointed at him, he gave no sign. Tohren knew, with the certainty of a multitude of minds, that if a someone put a bullet in his chest, only this frail form would die. His thoughts and memories were now a part of the Hive Mind, and would remain long after he was dust. Each individual being in the Hive existed to serve a purpose, forwarding the greater goal of serving the Hive. This was his purpose, and if he failed another would be sent.

But would they? It was a tiny thought, a miniscule doubt that blossomed in the back of his mind, and his mind alone. Yes, there were other Joiners that might be sent, but non who had trained as he had. The Hive did not breed Joiners the way it bred it’s own, each individual epigenetically imprinted for their purpose. Joiners were flexible yes, adaptable given the right tools, but ultimately random in their abilities. Would they be able to replace him? That seed of doubt echoed back through the Hive Mind, but there was no answer.

The question was largely irrelevant, and not his to ponder. His purpose was to negotiate co-existance, and given the wall of sound that resulted from his initial statement, that was likely to prove complicated. Questions, accusations, demands, all intermingled and impossible for him to answer quickly whilst he was still trying to remember what it meant to not be an insect. Fear, anger and opportunisticness were inherent in those questions; they would be answered in time. Holding up one long-fingered hand, he waited patiently for the furor to die down, yet even as he did so, other words came to him, in the manner of the Hive, but clearly not of it. They settled, discrete, in his mind, and kindled the Hive’s curiosity.

As the voices died away Tohren ran his dark gaze along the front line, taking in expressions and auras, until he found the ‘eyeless fellow’, waving quietly to him. ‘Miraluka’, his memory supplied. Uncommon on Oroboro; on Alderaan. Turning his head to look him full on, the Joiner gave a single, slight nod of acknowledgement. The ability to communicate similarly to the Hive was worth investigating, but the opportunity would have to wait. Then he returned his attention to those gathered.

"We will answer." He stated evenly, when he had their undivided attention once more. "But we cannot answer all of you at once." The ghost of a smile toyed at The Emissary's lips for a moment. “Select from amongst yourselves a single representative.” It was not a request. “We will speak with them.”

(OOC: If anyone would like to jump in and answer him, please feel free. Otherwise I’ll NPC through the initial encounter, and Tor and Hush can talk.)
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Tohren Vyel
 Posted: Jul 7 2018, 11:58 PM
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7 POSTS
Bantha Fodder
Emissary
28
Human
Joiner
Sarah IS Offline
Citizen


The Emissary's demand led to another uproar, as people argued, protested, put themselves forward or stepped back. More questions were hurled and protests made but Tohren made no move to answer, did not move at all except for the occasional slow, reptilian blink. Gradually the hubbub died down again as the senior military officer present shouted down the media and random on-lookers, and her soldiers pushed them back. Uniformed, buzz-cut, armed and built like a titanium waste-disposal unit, she presented a stark contrast to the slim figure that waited with the patience of centuries.

"Alright enough!" She snapped at those behind her, before folding her arms and regarding Tohren with deep suspicion. "I'm Major Nion, and I'm in charge here. Lacking any civilian representation, I'll do." She stated bluntly.

The Emissary's only response was a slight bow of acknowledgement.

"Fine. Who are you? Where did you come from and why did you invade Alderaan and destroy Indomar?" She demanded, her words accompanied by a glare.

"We are the Emissary." He said again with eternal patience. "We speak for the Hive. We came from below, where we have slept. We did not invade; you did." Those last words were accompanied by a slight cock of the head, and behind Major Nion, an angry murmur grew.

Before real protests began, Tohren gestured widely with one arm, a move which again drew the focus of every projectile weapon around him. "Oroboro is hour home, our birthplace. This you know, for you have seen our hives of old; you call them Castles." He was pointing to one of the ancient, organic structures in the distance, much larger than those freshly grown behind him, but still essentially the same. "We recall the Celestials, the Architects, the Rakata. We dwelt here long before you came to our world, and gave it a new name. And we dwelt on other worlds. We saw the Sith emerge from their red world, our claws built Qolaraloq - which you call Centrepoint Station - and we lived on Alsakan before the Rakata ever found it."

The background murmur grew, punctuated by the occasional exclamation, as reporters talked hurriedly in front of cameras, and onlookers talked amongst themselves.

"Then where have you been? Why were there only empty nests? And why now?" Major Nion asked, prompted by those behind her.

"We scattered to the stars in our ships, to found new nests beyond the space that you know. We, Oroboro Hive, are those who remained, and we have slept. As to why now; why not? Everything must happen in a time." He raised a slim hand to forestall interruptions. "We did not intend to destroy the village; it was sited on one of our old entrances, which we renewed. We cannot undo what was done, but we seek no destruction, no death. Only to live as we once lived. We recognise that this world is no longer ours alone; we seek an arrangement, that we might all live and prosper."

Alderaanians were honourable people, proud and fair, and Tohren knew that the government could not seek destruction of a sentient species without open revolt. Retaliation and counter-retaliation would only lead to a repeat of the past, and Oroboro would dwindle again. The holocams would have captured his every word he spoke. No mention need be made of the fact that no longer could they weave their ships, build great stations or challenge the Sith.

Major Nion regarded the strange figure of The Emissary with extreme dubiousness for a long moment, then sighed. "I can't give you an answer, but you've been heard. I'm sure someone with the appropriate authority will arrive to negotiate in time." She paused, touched the earpiece in her ear and listened for a moment. "You're to wait here. Any bug that leaves the perimeter will be shot, but if you stay within it, no harm will come to you."

"Of course." The Emissary replied graciously. Did she not understand the subterranean nature of the hive? "The Hive is here. This valley provides our needs, our workers and warriors shall not venture beyond you perimeter." He promised, and stepped forward.

"I said, you wait here." Nion's pistol was suddenly in her hand, trained on him.

Tohren stopped, turned disconcerting black-on-black eyes on her. Memories slotted into place, recollections and attitude that he had been both bred and trained to utilise. "We do not believe that you have the authority to detain a citizen without due cause." He said blandly.

"Bugs aren't citizens." Nion growled.

"We are the indigenous population, but we are also Tohren Vyel of House Vyel, and a citizen of Alderaan." With easy familiarity he slipped a hand into the satchel at his side and pulled out an identity card which he showed to the Major, every movement followed by her pistol. "We are no Dawn Herald, to meet visitors at the nest's entrance." He added more quietly. "We are The Emissary, and our purpose is to go forth as the nest's representative."

This didn't seem to impress the Major.

"We may egress, or we may receive those who would negotiate here." Tohren pointed out simply. "But be aware Major, that any who remain within close proximity of the nest for any length of time, may find themselves Joining it." Those solemn words caused a stir amongst those watching, and few cautious souls began to hurry away.

It even seemed to give the hardened military veteran pause. "What about those who hang around you too long?"

Tohren shook his head. "We ourself cannot produce Killik pheromones at sufficient strength to induce Joining."

Nion's thin-lipped look suggested that she was decidedly unimpressed, but she lowered her weapon slightly. "I'm not sure I believe you, but not my problem. Still, I have orders. I can't let you leave until I get the OK from higher up."

"Then we will remain for the present." The Emissary allowed in even tones, and the Major nodded and holstered her weapon. "We would however make a request."

"Oh? And what's that.:" Nion asked in dubious tones.

"Please convey my presence to House Vyel." He said in the same tones.

"Are you sure they'll want to know?" Her expression said that Nion wouldn't.

Tohren shrugged. "They will soon learn regardless." He pointed out. "Perhaps they will appreciate learning more directly."

"Deal. You stay put, I'll tell your family you're here." She said, although no deal had actually been proposed. Turning away, Nion started shouting at people to move the perimeter back and pointedly suggesting that anyone who didn't need to be near the bugs might like to go home.

As the crowds began to move, Tohren looked over their heads in the direction of the eyeless man who spoke without words. If the man would communicate with him, now was the time. He had spoken without words, whether he could perceive the same, there was no knowing until one tried. Now would appear to be an opportune moment. He mused, black gaze square in the other man's direction, not that he could likely see it. You can tell us of the bestowers of your impressively long title.
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