Galang strode through the hall to the audience chamber, The Staff of Kings held casually in his well-manicured right hand. The gathered courtiers parted to let him through, an acknowledgement of his bearing more than his regal status. Many kings were at the palace of the emperor today for the annual presentation of tribute. He would have preferred not to come, to avoid the emperor and the dangerous intrigues of the imperial court, but failing to appear would anger Emperor Zul. As much as Galang hated the Emperor, he feared him even more.
Reaching the doors of the audience chamber, Galang turned to his attendants. They bore a heavy burden of pelts, boldly striped in viridian and ebony. The arboreal tiger was rare, and at one time its skins were only worn by his ancestors, the kings of the Bethari. Now the pelts went only to the Emperor. He saw that they were ready, turned back to the doors, and gave a slight nod to the guard. The guard opened the door, as formal and ritualized as the staff in Galang's hand. Zul's safety was secured by the unobtrusive excruciator drones - their levitor coils buzzed softly as they silently scanned for blasters, explosives, unregistered levitors. He strode in as the doors opened.
"Lord Emperor Zul, Bethari presents its tribute -- the pelts of thirty arboreal tigers" Galang stood quietly as his attendants heaped the pelts in the middle of the chamber, laying the largest of them over the pile unfurled for best viewing. These were not taxes, which were collected in a more systematic manner, but a supposedly spontaneous gesture of loyalty. That this "spontaneous" gesture involved continually turning over an emblem of his royal family was a cruel joke that Zul both insisted on and delighted in. He smiled as he rested his feel on a footstool upholstered in fur of striped vididian and ebony. His thick purplish lips squirmed into a cruel grin as he looked down at Galang from his throne. His black eyes were vacant wells devoid of pity or empathy.
"I have already claimed your sister as this year's tribute to the throne of Meridad, but your offer is a generous addendum and serves your kingdom honorably."
Galang was taken aback, struggling to maintain his composure. "My sister?"
"Yes, your younger sister Lallura. I've claimed her for my personal pleasure regiment. She is rather young, but after a few years of training she should prove both mature and skilled. I must say I look forward to the pleasures she will provide."
Galang's face twisted in anger. "You have no right!"
A murmur passed through the assembled crowd. Zul merely raised an eyebrow in surprise, smiling slightly at the outburst. Galang knew he had made a serious mistake. It was treason to question the absolute power of Zul. He hastened to repair the damages. "My apologies, lord, I didn't intend to question your authority; I only.... To claim tribute, when what I freely offer..." He forced himself to breathe deeply, doing his best to suppress his anger. "I had hoped.... Being of the royal blood of house Hautep, My sister is of greater value inspiring her people."
"Am I a pauper?" Zul's eyes gleamed in merriment. "Am I to choke every asset for its greatest value? What of the joy of life? Perhaps you need some instruction in pleasure - I can have your sister tend to you when her training is complete."
Galang charged the throne, his ceremonial staff raised for a killing blow. His shout of rage faltered after fifteen feet, his step faltered five feet later. By the time he'd moved twenty-five feet he was doubled over in pain, collapsing to the floor in agony. Zul watched him writhe there for a moment, then rose from his throne and strode forward. His nullifer ring glowed a bright emerald as he entered the pain barrier. He stood over Galang a moment, kicking him sharply in the side to turn him onto his back. He drew the imperial sword with practiced fluidity, then adjusted a knob at his belt. Galang gasped, muscles unclenching as the pain barrier was switched off.
"Come then" Zul taunted, "strike me down."
Galang rose to his feet unsteadily. He was noted as a fierce warrior, and the pain barrier hadn't done him any real injury. He still had a chance. He faked more fatigue than he felt, stumbling forward into an abrupt charge, staff lashing out at Zul's chest. Zul parried his thrust, spinning aside and plunging the point of his sword into Galang's thigh as he passed. Galang dropped to one knee, then twisted, attempting to sweep Zul's feet from under him with a low swing of his staff. Zul leapt it, his boot crushing the fingers of Galang's outstretched hand as he stabbed him in the neck. Blood jetted from the neck of the stricken king. He sat up, clasping his hand over the wound. Zul picked up the staff, noting it's heft and workmanship. With an air of detached afterthought, he swung it savagely into Galang's face, crushing his nose and sending him tumbling backward. He struck again and again, shattering Galang's skull, and eventually the staff as well. He finally stopped when there was little of the dead king's head left to destroy. he turned back to his throne, tossing the shattered staff nonchalantly over his shoulder.
"I hope your sister proves more entertaining. Kallas, I think it best that Meridad should have a new conquest, do you have any suggestions?"
"Yes lord, a planet called Earth...."
I'm looking at starting a space opera with a strong flavor of Flash Gordon, a spicy kick of Battle Angel Alita, and (thanks to Oreo for the suggestion) a soupçon of Chronicles of Riddick. I'm looking for players to work together against the evil Emperor Zul, whether intrepid humans launching themselves into the unknown or subjects of Zul's oppression. Races and genders are open, and some players may balance their revolutionary agendas with apparent loyalty, but everyone should be opposed to the villain (boo, hiss!) and prepared for some swashbuckling adventure.
There'll be more sex than you would see in a 1930's serial adventure, of course - I'd ask that you respect the wishes of individual participants before engaging them in anything. Non-consensual scenes are appropriate in the context of tyrannical domination, but the heroes shouldn't be cheerful rapists.