Templar: Order in Exile
Adrian DeMolay, Templar Grandmaster (Human, Male)
Catherine Montgomery, Templar General (Human, Female)
Elise DeMolay, Templar Trainee (Human, Female)
Shield, Templar Assassin (Human, Male)
Eric Krieg, Templar Fenrisian Commando (Human, Male)
Kale 'Slyk' Mezaid, Templar Fenrisian Commando (Zyrian, Male)
Alesia Hardrata, Templar Fenrisian Commando (Human, Female)
Bethany Tesh, Templar Infiltrator and Pilot (Human, Female)
Union Collective Personnel
Alexander Daniels, UC Marine (Human, Male)
Iskander Quaid, UC Minister of Galactic Defense (Human, Male)
Fey Keeler, Celestial Witch (Human, Female)
Haden Vek, Corsair Captain (Zyrian, Male)
Kyra Vek, Corsair Technician (Zyrian, Female)
Balak Flynn, Corsair Officer (Zyrian, Male)
Tanya Dalor, Corsair Officer (Human, Female)
Corinthia Feln, Black Witch (Human, Female)
Lucien Volpe, Templar Overseer (Human, Male)
Lira Hecate, Templar Fenrisian Commando (Zyrian, Female)
Gorrok, Teague Reever (Teague, Male)
Templar Archives: Brief History
In 1119 A.D. the Knights of the Temple of Solomon were formed in order to protect innocent Christian pilgrims from the vicious raiders and various other scourges which plagued the wilderness during their journeys to the holy land. Many Years later, the brave warriors of this knightly order were responsible for reclaiming Jerusalem itself as well as many of the holy relics which were held within the holy city's walls. They became wealthy from their exploits, and with that wealth came power beyond the wildest dreams of even the greatest of the kings of Europe. The prestige of the Knights Templar did not go unnoticed however, as it garnered the suspicion and eventual animosity of those who weren't included within the order. However, their enemies were unable to openly strike against the greatly respected order of Christian protectors. Many difficult years passed by, and the order began to weaken due to the complacency brought about by years of power, causing them to lose many of their holdings within the holy land to the Muslim invaders. The enemies of the Templars quickly took advantage of their weakness and used their losses in the holy land as evidence to declare that they were no longer favored by God and were therefore to be declared heretics in the eyes of the church. They sought to wipe the Templars from existence for the sake of their own greed. Pope Clement V ordered the destruction of the order at the behest of the French king Philip IV who owed the Templars a great deal of gold. October 13th 1307 A.D. many innocents were brutally slaughtered during the ensuing inquisition against the Templars, including the last Grandmaster of the order Jacques de Molay. After the infamous brutality of the inquisition, the Templars were thought to be gone from the world, along with their vast wealth of knowledge and their many invaluable holy artifacts.
But a few still remained. The last survivors of the order went into hiding; some rumors even suggested that they fled as far as the new world, so as to learn of the true powers of their sacred artifacts in secret and without further persecution. Over the centuries the Templars learned much in their isolation and were able to gain power and wealth yet again and thus manipulate the events of Earth's history to suit what they believed to be the greater good. The assassins within the order's Divine Hand were used equally to remove the political threats to the faith as well as the actual demons which whispered into the minds of normal men. Yet throughout the centuries the order still remained in the shadows of society as a myth, a legend meant to enthrall youthful minds with ideas of the glory of a bygone era.
By the year 2135 A.D. the development of efficient antimatter generators and bio-synthetic fuel fabricators lead to a boom in clean energy production worldwide. The new source of energy finally grants the human race the ability to efficiently conquer their own solar system through the use of new ships which were capable of moving from planet to planet at much greater speeds and expend less energy in the process, than the primitive rockets of a bygone era. In the year of 2150 A.D. a Templar front company by the name of Terran Hypernautics, planned to utilize their energy resources and a newly developed interplanetary ship to create an outpost on Pluto as a way to monitor the rest of the solar system. Upon setting up a facility Templar research crews discovered the remains of what appeared to be the wreckage of an ancient ship deep within a crater that was discovered not far from their outpost. Within the vessel they found technology that surprisingly, wasn't much more advanced than what they currently had at their disposal, with the exception of a devise that would in the near future be known as a wormhole field drive. The new device would open the door for humanity to quickly explore and expand beyond its own solar system, when they were ready for such technology.
In 2201 A.D. the designs for the wormhole field drive were 'developed' by the new United Earth Republic's military research branch, leading to the creation and development of what were to be called colony fleets. Massive ships were constructed at newly built dockyards around the moons of Jupiter with the sole purpose of discovering, terraforming, and then colonizing new resource rich worlds beyond their own solar system. A new golden age of expansion and exploration was about to begin for the human race. Yet the Templars still remained vigilant, always protecting humanity from their own immaturity, even going so far as to leak information about designs for their lesser Dreadnaughts. Even the weakest category of the Order's Dreadnaughts were massive kilometer long ships which were capable of blasting the surfaces of hostile worlds into dust with advanced mass driver cannons and rail gun turrets. The UER was quick to develop these devastating new ships in order to properly defend the territories that would be conquered by the new space-faring human race.
In the year 2250 A.D. Templar researchers develop new methods for synthesizing stronger, lighter materials that could be utilized in the development of new, and nearly indestructible armor plates for both the construction of the hulls of advanced war ships and the individual armor segments for the warriors within the Order.
It is currently the year 2307 A.D. one thousand years since the supposed destruction of the Knights Templar and yet they still endure and survive in the shadows of modern civilization. The human race has colonized hundreds of worlds and has made contact with several new sentient, and species. The Zyrians, an elegant race of near-human creatures are amongst the closest partner races with humanity, sharing similar social views but vastly different ideals on military doctrine. Zyrian skin tone is unique as it ranges from cyan and lavender to deep blue and dark purples. The Zyrians also have a distinct dimorphism between male and female members of the species. Males appear to be almost entirely human with the exception of their blue-green skin tones, the twin rows of venomous barbs that crown their skulls, and the deep red patches of rough skin that lined the underside of their necks. Females are noted to have a perfectly symmetrical series of thin tentacles growing from their scalps. These head growths are called strands. Zyrian strands grow in patterns which are eerily similar to that of human hair growth and range in length from the shoulder to the mid-back. Red or orange bands of color around their strands are a mark of extreme beauty amongst their people. In combination with these traits, Zyrians have iridescent glowing liquid silver colored eyes which lack any visible pupils or irises. It is often said that they can 'see' into an individual's soul and know exactly what they were thinking before they could even act upon their thoughts. However, that assumption is untrue. Zyrians are highly observant as a species and to them other species' subtle nervous tics may as well be an open admission of their intent. Zyrians have developed a close alliance with humanity relying on the humans' superior military prowess in exchange for their diplomatic skills. Amongst other notable sentient groups humanity also maintains a tense relationship with a reptilian species known collectively as the Teague. The Teague come from a harsh desert of a world, where pursuing a prosperous life and individual freedom often means taking them from others. The Teagues' aggressive, survivalist mentality followed them when they were finally capable of leaving their blasted and scarred home-world, and started conquering others. The extreme ideals of expansionism that the Teague embodied put them at odds with the relatively peaceful Zyrians early on in their expansion. War broke out between the two species, in 2267 A.D. the sheer brutality of the Teague clans and their military forces came close to wiping out or enslaving the majority of the Zyrian Union's edge colonies until the UER ninth expeditionary fleet stumbled across the hotly contested section of the galaxy in 2269 A.D. and were subsequently engaged by a small Teague raider fleet. Teague fighters and slave ships were heavily armed but poorly built and had hulls covered in inferior armor, this forced Teague pilots to use their speed and firepower to take out targets in an unruly swarm of ships hoping that their numbers would overwhelm their targets. However the ninth expeditionary fleet's crews were well-trained and disciplined enough not to break formation when faced with numerous Teague ships. The ninth expeditionary fleet was more than a match for any Teague armada. The largest ship in the fleet was a massive two kilometer long dreadnaught named the ESS Kiev. During the Teague wars the dreadnought was noted for effectively destroying of an entire Teague war-fleet and then subsequently bombarding one of the nearby Teague worlds to the point where it would be uninhabitable for centuries to come. Within three weeks the bulk of the UER's fleets arrived in the conflict zone, quickly eradicating and subduing the aggressive reptilians with brutal efficiency. Seeing the strength of their newly arrived saviors the Zyrians quickly took the opportunity to open communications with the strange new race and worked to establish a union between the two races. In an effort to prevent such bloodshed from occurring again in the foreseeable future the Union Collective was formed, to maintain peace in a galaxy full of newly interacting sentient species. Upon learning of these new species the Templars extended their vows from merely looking after humanity's interests but to the nobler ideal of protecting galactic balance and fighting for the greater good of all sentient life.
Valcona: Forested Wastes: Midnight
Filtered air forced its way in and out of Shield's genetically enhanced lungs in deep steady breaths as he wove his way through the dense foliage of one of Valcona's great forests. He had been running for the better part of four hours in the hopes of catching up with his fleeing quarry, a known witch, cult leader, and heretic by the name of Zayna Feln. She had tried to throw the Templars off of her trail by fleeing to one of the UC's largest trading worlds and lying low within the crowded cities and spaceports that dotted Valcona. Her decision however proved to be her own undoing, as Templar Intel agents had every camera and surveillance device on every world within this section of the galaxy monitoring for any information on her whereabouts. Shield's partner and the pilot of their ship, a young woman by the name Bethany Tesh, was the first to find the rogue heretic hiding in an abandoned structure within the residential district of Khmer. Bethany's discovery made the honor of Feln's removal their top priority. The witch herself was responsible for many recent outbreaks of demonic infestation which had left several nearby worlds completely uninhabitable and so heavily corrupted with demonic energies that one could not walk upon their surface without going mad. The Templars had to send several dreadnaughts into the area around the lost worlds in order to initiate extermination protocols upon the ruined planets. Extermination protocols were a last resort for any Templar containment fleet. When a world was deemed to be beyond cleansing within the decade by an overseer, the massive guns of Revelation class dreadnaughts were used to light the doomed world's atmosphere aflame killing every living creature on it, down to the simplest of single celled organisms. Extermination was an extreme way of dealing with corruption, but it was necessary sometimes in order to protect the galaxy as a whole from the scourges of demonic possession.
"Fool Templar, you know not what you deal with!" a crooked, obviously insane voice yelled from somewhere within the forest, causing Shield to stop in his tracks and duck behind a rotting pile of logs just before a sudden, unnatural, flash of electricity exploded on the ground where the Templar had previously stood. The explosion itself would've been nowhere near strong enough to actually harm Shield, or even scratch his armor for that matter, but he was always cautious when it came to combat survival, especially when he was dealing with a witch. He wasn't about to take any unnecessary risks like an undertrained initiate. Rash actions could result in death or worse, the failure of a mission.
"You know your time has come to an end witch!" Shield yelled from behind cover as he drew an assault rifle from his back holster, in the hopes of goading the witch into speaking or launching another one of her attacks so that he could pinpoint her location, "and I have been chosen to personally escort you to the fiery gates myself."
"Brave words for
" the witch was cut off by a sudden burst of flechette rounds from the Templar's assault rifle. Shield couldn't help but grin from behind his mask as he saw all of his shots hit home within the witch's torso, causing the woman to gasp both in shock and pain before a cruel grin split her face. The bleeding holes in her chest quickly began to heal and close up as if Shield had never shot her.
"You cannot kill an immortal, child," she laughed contemptuously before she shoved her slender hand in her attacker's direction. The motion of her hand caused the heavily armored assassin to go flying through the air and into the solid trunk of a nearby tree hard enough that it would have killed him if he were a normal human, and even still he felt dazed and winded from the sudden impact. Slowly he got back to his feet and turned to face his attacker, only to have a ball of searing flame explode on his faceplate, causing him to stagger back yet again and drop his assault rifle to the ground.
"Looks like you dropped your little toy," Zayna stated with the same psychotic grin as she raked her fingernails across the scorched faceplate of Shield's helm, surprising him with how quickly she seemed to be able to move, "not that it did you much ugh
Sharp pain raced up through the witch's abdomen as Shield suddenly drew a knife across her gut in a practiced and decisive stroke that caught her off guard. Before she could react or even take a step backwards the Templar lodged the blade just under her ribcage and pulled it upward in a stroke that either sliced through or broke every rib in her chest, causing her to fall to the ground and convulse in unimaginable pain.
"May God have mercy on you, for I surely will not," he stated coldly before waving his hand upward in the air, summoning a ring of searing blue flames which began to consume the body of the now screaming and convulsing witch, "burn heretic."
The consuming flames that surrounded the witch not only scorched and burned away her skin, but absorbed and fed off of her magical reserves until there was nothing left and the witch was forced to succumb to death's eternal embrace. The flames themselves were the result of an ancient Templar Assassin technique which was designed to deal specifically with the beings that practiced magical arts. The flames fed off of magical energy, the more powerful a witch was, the hotter the flames consuming it became. The Assassins' disconcerting ability to feed off of magical auras made them feared warriors within the order. Assassins were raised and trained separately from the ordinary members of the order, for many did not trust them or the rituals they performed during their regiments. Young assassins were schooled in strange methods which allowed them to not only sense magical presences, but also feed off of them and weaken them to the point of submission. Psi-Ops specialists were especially fearful of and hostile towards assassins, as they often felt weak or nauseous when one was nearby, often saying that it was like standing near a psychic void which threatened to consume the light of their own lives. Despite the feelings of animosity that assassins garnered, they were a necessary check for the increasingly powerful witches who were arising in the galaxy. When all that remained of Zayna Feln was smoking ash and a few blackened bone fragments shield knelt down next to the pile and muttered a soft prayer for the deceased before he grabbed his fallen assault rifle and checked it for damage. He let out an annoyed groan when he saw that the rifle's magnetic field generator had a large crack in it and realized that he had neglected to bring a spare to replace it. Templar assault rifles like the majority of their weapons utilized advanced magnetics to accelerate thin metallic flechettes at extreme speeds towards their intended targets. These flechette guns were incredibly accurate, remarkably light, and had almost no recoil; however the magnetic field generators used by the guns were sensitive to sudden jolts such as being thrown against a hard surface or being dropped to the ground. To counteract the inherent sensitivity of their primary firearms, flechette guns were made with easily removable external magnetic field generators which could be replaced just as easily as a spent magazine. Of course it was up to the Templar in question to remember to bring spare MFGs with them on their missions.
"Stupid amateurish mistake," Shield griped at himself before flinging the useless piece of equipment to the ground and returning to his feet. He spared another quick glance at his latest target's final resting place before beginning the long trek back to Valcona's massive capital city and primary spaceport of Khmer.
Valcona: Khmer City: Early Morning
Bethany stared balefully down at the plate that was set in front of her not realizing that she had been playing with the food on it for the last half hour. Shield had been out of contact with her since the night before, and naturally she was worried about his well-being.
Despite the fact that his cold demeanor and sadistic sense of humor was often at odds with her more laid back and friendly personality, she still considered the assassin to be one of her closest friends and she dreaded the thought of him being killed by some psychotic witch in the dark forests of this world.
"It's gonna get cold if you keep that up girl," a familiar cold gravelly voice deadpanned behind the young woman, causing her to jump up from where she was sitting and throw her arms around the man who was now standing next to her booth, drawing the envious gazes of several of the restaurant's male patrons. Bethany was an attractive woman after all, long raven black hair, friendly silvery blue eyes, and in her own as well as many other people's opinion an amazing figure. During their various missions she had often used her looks to distract guards and other individuals of interest while she dug through their pockets, or while Shield was infiltrating rather heavily guarded compounds. Men, and even some women were always willing to drop what they were doing for a pretty face. Shield often criticized Bethany's particular method of information gathering, stating that not everyone would be stupid enough to fall for her act but it had served her well so far and she couldn't justify denying herself such a useful, or fun strategy.
"I told you to stop doing that," he growled as he put his hands on her shoulders and pulled himself from her embrace so that she was now looking directly at him. His face as usual was covered below his eyes by a bandana-like shroud which prevented people from seeing his true visage in its entirety. Most onlookers automatically assumed that he kept his face enshrouded in order to hide some sort of deformity or even a terrible burn injury, something not uncommon in this era despite the advances that had been made in reconstructive surgical techniques, people who lacked the funds for such things often had to live with their conditions until they were finally able to pay for a surgeon's services. However, she knew that it was actually because assassins within the Templar order were forbidden from showing their faces in public areas where outsiders and local security cameras could identify them. However Shield took it a step further than he needed to, vowing that nobody, not even another fellow Templar, would see his face until he had successfully removed two hundred witches from the galaxy, and from what Bethany had been able to gather, Shield has kept to his vow since the day he achieved his place as an assassin at the age of seventeen. No records of his real image existed in any archives that she knew of, and none of the other Templars that she had spoken to throughout her travels with him could recall what he looked like with the exception that he had relatively pale skin, long dark brown hair, and piercing grey eyes.
"Yeah, well I worry about you when you don't check in every hour like you're supposed to," she shot back, shrugging his hands from her shoulders, "so I assume that your hunt was successful?"
"The families of her victims can now rest easy," he stated reverently, showing the only genuine form of emotion that she ever saw from him, "are you gonna continue eating, or can we leave?"
Bethany sighed before looking down towards her half-eaten breakfast and shook her head, deciding that it would be best to just head out and eat on their ship later. It always unnerved her when Shield sat across from her and blankly stared at her while she ate. Without a word she placed some credits on her table and began to walk towards the exit with Shield silently walking close behind her to the right.
"What number was this one?" she asked, breaking the silence as they walked from the restaurant towards the nearby docking platforms and their ship.
"One hundred and ninety-four," he said in a low voice that she was barely able to hear.
"That many huh?" Bethany asked, not willing to deal with more of a silence than was necessary, "you've really made progress on your vow, how many years has it been since you started your little crusade?"
"Nice try," he almost chuckled, knowing that she was trying to deduce his age through a poorly veiled personal question. Bethany was always trying to find out more about him despite his efforts to remain cold and aloof. However she was an incredibly curious individual who never gave up on anything that she was focused on, one time early on in their partnership Shield had to have a very colorful conversation with her about leaving surveillance drones in their ship's bathroom in order to find out what he looked like with his face uncovered.
"What's my next objective?" he asked without much interest as they reached their ship. The ship, Stalker as Shield named it, was a newly built blockade-runner class gunship with a sleek hull that was shaped much like a talon with a state-of-the-art heavy mass driver cannon positioned under its nose as well as two mass rotary gun turrets on either side of its gleaming black hull. It wasn't the largest, or most luxurious, ship in the galaxy, but it was very well armored and it provided the two of them with their own private, albeit small, rooms and a small mess area as well as the other amenities that were necessary for a team that often performed long range reconnaissance and assassination missions throughout the wild parts of the galaxy.
"Our next objective," she stated, crossing her arms in front of her chest and glaring at her partner, her ocean blue eyes daring him to say otherwise.
"Whatever, what's 'our' next objective?" he asked again in a mocking tone.
"You're just gonna love this one," Bethany admitted with a mischievous grin on her face as she walked up their ships loading ramp, leaving Shield outside rubbing his temples in exasperation before he followed the young woman into what was essentially their home.
"Are you going to tell me who our target is or not?" he griped as he sat down in the copilot seat next to her, his piercing eyes threatening to burn a hole into the side of her head.
"Do you really want to know?" she asked, continuing to grin mischievously to further Shield's exasperation. Bethany truly enjoyed getting under his skin like this, especially since she was one of the few people in the galaxy who wouldn't end up filleted for deliberately getting on his nerves like this. She would often make him reveal tidbits of who he truly was behind his masks in order to get information about their more important targets.
"You do realize how childish this game of yours is right?" he asked, silently hoping that she would just drop it for once.
"That may be," she admitted, her grin still plastered on her face, "but you're not getting your target until you decide to play along."
"Fine," he groaned while rubbing his temples in a vain attempt to prevent another rapidly building migraine, "what do you want to know this time?"
"Really, you're gonna give up that easily?" Bethany asked in a slightly disappointed voice as she pouted her lips in a mock frown, "it's no fun when you do that."
"Take it or leave it," he sighed as he leaned back in his chair and put his feet up on a nearby control panel, "I just want to get going already."
"Fine then, how old are you?" she grumbled in disappointment. He had finally figured out how to make yet another one of her personal games become dull, now she was going to need to find a new way to bother him, her day just wasn't complete until she saw that little vein of annoyance appear on his left temple.
"Twenty, now who is the target?" Shield deadpanned before shifting into a more comfortable position in his chair, ignorant of the surprised look that appeared on Bethany's face.
"You're younger than me?" she asked, not entirely believing what she had just heard, "that can't be right, you have to be at least twenty-five."
"Nope, now will you please just give me the target's information?" he dissented without any emotion, "I want to get this over and done with already."
"Whatever, here are your next victims," Bethany stated while typing at her console, bringing up the image of an attractive young human woman with shoulder-length blonde hair and shimmering green eyes, and a slightly older Zyrian Male with deep cyan skin and a kind, handsome, if not lean face. The human female was clad in matte black Templar armor that was very similar to Shield's own armor design, with the exception of a yellow lightning bolt slashed across the crimson cross symbol on her right shoulder-plate. The Zyrian's armor however, was of a segmented design reminiscent of the armor worn by the warriors of the ancient middle-east, although it was made of the same super-durable materials that all Templar armor was constructed from. His shoulder plate also had the same odd symbol on it as his human counterpart. Shield leaned in closer when he noticed these small details, immediately realizing what he was seeing.
"Traitors," he growled, blue fire visibly burning in his eyes, "what're their service records like?"
Bethany quickly moved her hands over her console and brought up the supposed pair of traitors' service information. A long list of merits and battle honors appeared on the holographic screen before them, surprising Bethany, while Shield maintained his usual stoic demeanor as his emotionless grey eyes scanned their targets' records for anything that might hold even the smallest shred of importance to the success of his mission.
"Former Fenrisian commandos and veterans of over thirty separate battles, numerous battle honors for acts of selfless bravery in the field
the girl's fluent in eight different languages and twelve dialects
the Zyrian's highly proficient in hand to hand combat as well as being an expert marksman
interesting," Shield read out loud in a disturbingly cold monotone that gave Bethany chills, "the pair of them are responsible for single handedly eliminating several Teague slaver camps during the recent campaign on Antaal, very impressive."
"So, what's your verdict oh great hunter?" she asked, her voice heavy with sarcasm as she tried not to let him see how uncomfortable she was at the moment.
"Our targets certainly have guts," Shield admitted grimly, "I wonder what they'll think about when I show them what they look like."
"You're sick, you know that right?" Bethany asked with a disapproving glare at Shield's overtly sadistic joke.
"You're the one who claims that I need to develop a sense of humor," he assented, genuine amusement present in his voice as he watched Bethany's facial expression go from disturbed to confused surprise as she realized that he was actually teasing her.
"Didn't expect humor from you psycho," she admitted, regaining her composure by using her pet name for her usually stoic partner to help get herself relaxed again, "but that was a little dark for a joke don't ya think?"
"I'm an assassin," Shield deadpanned, losing all of the amusement that had been present in his gravelly voice just moments ago, "now, where are we heading?"
"The reports say that they were last seen travelling together towards the expansion zones in the Rift Cluster," Bethany stated, continuing to type away at her console while trying to absorb as much of their targets' information as she could, birth dates, dental records, psych profiles, everything that would help her and her partner better understand, and therefore track the young woman and her Zyrian companion down.
"I still don't understand one thing," she said, still focusing intently on the holographic screen in front of her, "why would somebody so honored within our order just go rogue like this?"
"It's not our place to ask," Shield warned, not wanting to complicate what should be a relatively simple mission.
"Come on, even you have to wonder about things like this," Bethany continued without giving Shield's words so much as a second thought, "if you ask me, this particular mission sounds kind of suspicious."
"I didn't ask," he growled, not liking where Bethany's line of thinking was going. Shield, like many of the other assassins within the Divine Hand, was conditioned to be unquestioningly loyal to the Templar order and its hierarchy from a very young age. Questions regarding the morality of their missions and ideas of dissent were next to impossible for him, but Bethany did have a point. Why would an elite commando team from the prestigious Fenrisian battalion, a pair of individuals who had served the order with great distinction and loyalty for many years, suddenly go rogue?
"Fine, I'm just saying that I don't like the feeling of this one," she admitted while she began powering up their ship for another long journey.
Rift Cluster: New Belize: Approaching Main Colony Docks
The deafening roar of an Osprey class colonist transport's engines made Alesia's teeth rattle in her skull as she tried to find a more comfortable sitting position amongst the noisy crowds of new colonists that were crammed into the small atmospheric transport's dimly lit passenger bay.
"We're gonna be ok kid," Slyk told her while placing his hand onto her shoulder in an attempt to comfort her, "It shouldn't be easy for them to find us this far out in the boonies."
Kale Mezaid, or Slyk as he preferred to be called, was like an older brother to Alesia. His soothing kind demeanor was often more than enough to get Alesia to relax, even in a situation as dangerous as their current one. They were deserters from their oaths as Templars, and as such their lives were forfeit in the eyes of the order, despite the reasoning behind said desertion. Alesia knew that Slyk's words were only meant to help her relax, but at least he was willing to make an attempt at comforting her.
"They'll still find us, eventually," she dissented softly, almost mournfully, "what do we do then?"
"Try to talk some sense into whoever they send after us," he said, his usually friendly smile becoming more of a grim frown, "and we pray that Volpe hasn't gotten to them first."
"What if he has?"
"Then we fight and do whatever we can to survive," he sighed, not willing to look her in the eyes. Human eyes always showed too much of their innermost feelings for his own sense of comfort. There was something about the way light seemed to move in the iris that relayed what was on their minds, and he knew all too well what was currently on his companion's mind at the moment. Sure they had deserted the order, but it was all for the right reasons. Initially they had been sent on a mission to the arid world of Maing, where the two of them were charged with the removal of a small cult that had begun to organize itself there. However, upon landing they were almost immediately met by another team of Templars, who said that they were there to escort the two of them to a nearby forward operations base. Yet, as they walked with their unexpected escort Alesia noticed that there was something about them that just wasn't right. Their movements were twitchy and erratic, their speech was somewhat strained. They almost acted as if their actions were being forced upon them. Curiously they followed their strange escort and were brought into a small camp filled with even more Templar soldiers; all of them exhibited the same strange behavior as their escorts. Slyk remembered Alesia asking him what was wrong with them in a hushed voice, just before the two of them were roughly shoved down to their knees when the familiar masked figure of an overseer stepped out of the camp's command structure, by his side was a middle aged woman bearing the armor of a Psi-Ops specialist and a wicked grin on her otherwise attractive face. He remembered Alesia demanding an explanation as to what was going on, only to have the overseer, who wasn't showing any signs of the other Templars' conditions, backhand her hard enough to split her lip open. It was then that the strange woman, the only other person in the camp not exhibiting signs of the strange condition, started to laugh, a cruel ugly chortle that made his quills stand on end. Slowly she sauntered over to Slyk and knelt down next to him so that her lips were uncomfortably close to his ear, and she whispered what she and the overseer, Lucien Volpe, had planned for not only the two of them, but the entirety of the order itself. Apparently the woman wasn't actually a Psi-Ops specialist; in fact she was a witch, a powerful witch who Volpe had sanctioned to do research into various black arts for him so that he could dominate the minds of anyone he chose. He intended to wrest control of the Templars from their current Grandmaster with an army of mind controlled warriors who would follow even his slightest request at the drop of a hat. Alesia and Slyk were intended to be the newest recruits into his slave army.
Upon hearing these plans Slyk angrily slammed his head into the witches face, causing her to fall backward, yelling in both pain and rage as the mild toxin within one of his cranial barbs worked its way into her system, causing the wound that the barb had caused to immediately swell. As if following up on what Slyk had done Alesia slammed her armored fist into the side of Volpe's head with enough force to send his helmet flying through the air.
Without thinking Slyk jumped up to his feet and grabbed Alesia's shoulder plate and hauled her up, all but dragging her as they made a mad dash for the exit of the camp. Strangely, none of Volpe's mind controlled Templars were making any attempt at stopping them, in fact Slyk remembered seeing them just lazily standing around, the Templars who were not wearing helmets had blank thoughtless looks on their faces. At the time however he didn't care, his whole world was centered on getting himself and his closest friend out of there as quickly as possible.
Once they had reached their ship he remembered frantically preparing for takeoff before blasting through Maing's atmosphere at maddening speeds. After they had left the system they made their way to the nearest Templar fleet only to be hailed as traitors to the order for attempting to 'assassinate' Lucien Volpe and deserting their duties as Templars, shortly after that the entire fleet started opening fire on their small ship. Thankfully the fleet that they had contacted had only consisted of a light frigate and three gunships which they had managed to easily escape by retreating to a nearby UC colony where they sold their old ship, hid their armor, and procured safe transport onboard a colonial vessel that was en-route to the far-flung Rift Cluster world of New Belize.
Slyk hoped that they'd be able to somehow both hide from the Templars' assassins on this world and contact someone within the order who would be willing to listen to them and do something about Volpe's corruption.
"Passengers may begin offloading now," the automated voice of their landing shuttle's p.a. system stated, causing the various passengers within to begin milling about as they grabbed their stowed luggage and began to head for the small ship's exit ramp.
"Hopefully we'll be able to contact support on this backwater," Alesia grumbled as the two of them followed a crowd of colonists out of the landing shuttle, and into New Belize's surprisingly empty landing zones.