Infiltrate the Jedi Academy on Yavin IV
Watch here for an upcoming run on competition.
It will start later this month, as some of the other CNS competitions close.
Yes it is writing, and you may join Shamash.
It starts on Halloween.
I know everyone got the e-mail, but let's put up the details here just in case somebody forgets what and why we are going to Infiltrate Yavin IV (coming to a MB near you this Monday!):
Title: Infiltrate Yavin 4 (CNS)
Specifics: This will be a run on for the members of CNS only. The topic:
Infiltrate the Jedi Academy and Massassi temple on Yavin 4. Assasinate a high ranking Jedi instructor (anyone but Luke Skywalker or any other famous Jedi from the novels - let's try to stick to a correct Star Wars reality), plunder the lower levels of the temple, and get out alive.
The winner will be determined through clarity of writing, number of posts, and quality of writing.
Start Date: 10/31/2005
End Date: 11/30/2005
Unit in Competition: Clan Naga Sadow
Platforms: run-on fiction via the DB message board in the CNS section
Awards: Third level crescents
It starts on Halloween. (Monday, October 31st)
If you have a question, PM me. No out of context comments are to be posted please for continuity. Instead, PM or email them privately. If you decide to post a relevant picture, include a hyperlink. I'll put an example in my first post. Otherwise, anyone in CNS is welcome.
And so it begins.
From the historical archives:
“When he arrived on Yavin Four, he felt an urge to visit the Dark meditation temple built by Exar Kun. Although Kun's spirit had been banished, other Dark Side spirits occasionally visited this cauldron of Dark Power. Macron met the Spirit of Darth Malak here. Malak was another fallen Jedi turned Sith Lord who had written the very tome Macron had stolen. “
<0500 hours, somewhere in Aethoran space,
inside the Foresight
The last time Mononoke had commandered a ship, the Tarthos Library ended up getting bombed. He had fired ion cannons at his own charges in Sapphire. He hated big ships now.
"My Prefect. This vessel is secure and ready for transit. Your personal transport is secured as well," said the Captain with a look of mild distaste. "I reccomend you use an advanced TIE, but you enjoy that gunboat I see. We are awaiting a few Dark Jedi still, each in their particular vessel. Some have opted to travel together. They are set to complete loading by 16:00 hours, as some were quite far away," explained the Captain.
Macron steepled his fingers with a sigh and slouched in the command chair. He made the mistake of telling Xanos and Muz the story of his trip to Yavin IV. Xanos had predictably bid him recover whatever information he could from the red moon of Yavin IV on Darth Malak, and another secret objective as well. Malak had created the Holocron of Antar IV, and perhaps there was a connection.
I should've kept my fat mouth shut,"
The whole group would jump in short difts designed to confuse tracking systems and hide on the far side of Yavin Prime. The strong magnetic fields and ionic radiation from the gas giant would effectively hide them. Or at least that was the plan, anyhow.
A datapad carrying the names of some who had signed up for the mission was passed over to him. He began to scan them over. Some were powerful, and some less so. All of them would be needed for this mission. Encountering Rebellion forces was quite possible, given the nearness of the fledgling Jedi Academy. Ground resistance was almost certain as well, especially if the infiltration went poorly.
"Sir, I have an incoming vessel," came the report from the recon officer. "It is opening a communication channel."
"This is Krath Priestress Sildrin Rys from Marka Ragnos. I will fly by and wait for further instructions. I hope I am not late.", she said casually via the comm system. She obviously wasn't too fond of military behavior.
She leaned back in the seat of the Tie Advanced, waiting for a reply. It was a standard ship of the fleet with only a very few technical modifications. No particular signs on the ship were visible, which could get assiociated with its pilot. Only a few purple lines on its hull made this ship differ from all others.
She was very eager to participate in this mission, having a knack for old temples and the secrets they held - and the more she was after informations about the old Sith Empire. Macron had read her dossier and knew she was very valueable for this mission. She knew several ancient languages and she was a quite capable lightsaber fighter - not one of the brute or strong types, but very agile. Additionally her keen force senses - due to her blindness - would help a lot.
Lech stood in a Centares star port in the Maldrood sector waiting for an opportunity. It arose when he saw a clumsy middle-aged bothan enter his frigate transport with his wife. The clawdite took one good look at the female bothan and shape-shifted into her image as best he could as he entered the ship.
Lech hid behind cargo waiting for the ship to enter space before he made his move. The wife exited to his right into the dormitory area as the male went straight to the cockpit.
As the ship took off, the lid on one of the crates slid to the side revealing modified blasters that looked quite illegal for intergalactic trade. The shape-shifter smiled to himself knowing that he wasn’t the only one who wasn’t as he appeared.
The knight stood and decided it was time. He made his way to the cockpit and saw the bothan sitting in the leather clad control seat completely unaware of his soon to be deleted future.
“We have a new client,” said Lech. “We need to go to these coordinates in order to drop off the shipment.”
Completely unaware of his “wife’s” true identity the black market trader accepted the coordinates he received and placed them into the navigational system. “All right, but I hope it’s not another lose-lose situation. The last time they used our own weapons against us and didn’t pay.”
“Don’t worry,” Lech replied. “You’ll get your payment,” a smile cracked the knight’s face as those last words passed his lips.
Soon, they arrived at their destination only to find a gunboat and TIE Advanced in front of them. The bothan gasped, “We’re dealing with the imperials? You should have told me sooner!”
“Just open a communication channel.” Lech demanded.
“This is Krath Priestress Sildrin Rys from Marka Ragnos…” the final words never reached the bothan’s brain as a green blade ignited through his chest and tore through the leather of the chair he occupied.
“Dark Jedi Knight Lech of Marka Ragnos reporting…”
A TIE Interceptor with shields bearing the markings of Sapphire Squadron exited from hyperspace near the scene. The Hunter inside opened a comlink. He said casually into the comlink, "I don't think anybody's too late. Jedi Hunter Letiferus Acerbus Mandalore reporting. Good to see you all again, especially you, Macron."
Letiferus was good enough with a blade and with a fighter to be at least somewhat useful on this "infiltration" mission. The Kres[Expletive Deleted]e wasn't bad with a blaster pistol either. As usual, he knew very few details when he volunteered...and knew even less now. He had a few plans and scenarios rolling around in his mind...posing as a force-sensitive seeking training, then playing it by ear was perhaps his best plan.
"Good to see you all," Macron said smiling, over the comlink. "Let's take care of this and get everyone docked ASAP. We've got a few others that should be arriving any moment."
Lucius walked through the Dark hall into the quarters of the Consul. He quietly walked into the room and waited for the Consul to enter. Xanos entered a minute later and glanced at his Black Guard.
"Go follow Macron" he commanded waving his hand "And report everything to me, everything" he hissed and dismissed his Guard.
Lucius walked back to his TIE Interceptor. Ho opened the comlink and contacted the two flightleaders.
"I want you to gather the squad" He said over the comlink "We are heading for Yavin 4 to attack Jedi Academy and Massassi temple. I want this to go smooth, Over"
Lucius lay back and took a deep breath. He waited for a few minutes and directed the ship to the territory of House Marka Ragnos. To win that battle Lucius decided to use someing other then TIE Interceptor.
<08:47, aboard the Foresight>
"Report," shouted Macron at Muktan Zilith, the Seprosian communications officer from across the room.
"Yes, sir. We have reporting for duty so far, one Sildrin, Lucius, Letiferus Acerbus, and Lech. More are incoming," droned the lieutenant in reply without even flinching.
"No s##t, said Mononoke as he stood up with a grin. "Lech is here? Wow, wonder how the hell that Clawdite is. "Or who's face he is sporting," thought Macron.
"So the scans report weapons aboard with no registration, eh? I bet those will cost me if he's looking to sell. Find out will you?" asked the Sith as he scanned an encrypted holonet frequency.
The officer posted a readout indicating estimated Rebellion forces in the area. Macron read them, noting the imminent arrival of a gas mining ship and medical transport from Corellia. That could be a juicy place to start, or may have an escort.
" And Lucius is stepping up. Excellent. Bring him and Letiferus into Hangar Two, and set them up with what they need to operate their craft. Have all 'volunteers' meet me in the map room. See that Letiferus had all the tibanna he needs to charge his blasters up. Get them all a drink too. Clear them all to dock."
"Yes, Prefect," came the polished reply. The buzz in the command deck was quite active, with reports on many aspects of the voyage traveling back and forth with Platform Obsidian.
"Sildrin is here," thought the Quaestor. She was an enigma to him. A woman with a taste for twisted things to match his own, and a burning thirst for knowledge. She would indeed be an asset on this foray.
Macron impatiently tapped his chronometer as he looked out the observation window. "Time is wasting," he mumbled. "Hurry up you guys."
The Astronicus' Reach
exited hyperspace and approached the Foresight
from the stern. The black Vibre
-class Assault Cruiser, a sleek vessel undetectable to most modern sensors, came within range of the Nebulon-B frigate and then disgorged a shuttle of a similar yet scaled down design.
"Sir!" Exclaimed the tactical officer Jerrok Nol, another Seprosian officer, to the Foresight's
captain. "We have a shuttle that just appeared out of nowhere holding station in front of the hangar bay!"
"What!" Replied the captain. "How can that be?"
"Sir, it's requesting landing clearance." Muktan Zilith informed the captain. "It's transmitting it's code clearance now… it's Lord Tron himself!"
"Well don't just sit there staring at your screen Zilith." Barked the captain, "Clear them for docking at once and inform him where he can find the others."
< Foresight Docking Bay >
-class shuttle extended three landing struts as it entered the docking bay. As they touched down and made contact with the deck of the hangar bay the shuttle's boarding ramp lowered and two dark cloaked figures exited. The shorter of the two walked ahead and looked around surveying the hangar. After a quick nod, the taller one walked forward to stand side by side with his assosciate.
"Let us go and see what mission the Consul has awaiting us, Sakido, I'm sure it will be as always something extraordinary."
"Yes, Lord Tron, as you wish." Replied his Black Guard companion.
The font of disaster is lust beyond the spheres...
A presence that had they had not felt for several months, perhaps even years. Even across the expanse of decades, they remembered their first visit to this place, a singular vision that only one of the pair shared with the other. A memory of a lifetime before the other was born in fire from the Dragon's flashing eyes. Now, with a voice like thunder, silent, another Dragon has stepped into a small shuttle. He is Rage contained, bottled into the locus of mere flesh and vapors, a mindset of homicide and perfection: the unification of all destruction into an act of perfect creation.
"Leave this message for our Apprentice." Shan Long said in a gravel-lined voice of cold steel rusted by bloodstains. "We depart for the Sons, we have heard the Call of our Liege. We answer."
"I understand, Master." Eosara said calmly, perfectly at ease in the presence of Shan Long. Trevarus would never allow harm to come to him through this enigma of an Elder.
Out of character for the cold warrior, Xanos Zorrixor paced before the throne from which he ruled Clan Naga Sadow. Something troubled him, nothing revealed the source of this malady: the Force brought him visions of a terrible storm.
"Master Zorrixor?" A voice interrupted his deliberations, most unwelcome.
Only a sharp inhalation betrayed the Consul's irritation, "What is it, Commander?"
"Sir. The Foresight has reported the arrival of Tron Sadow, per your instructions."
"They are still in Orbit around Aetheron?" Xanos replied
"Inform Tron to prepare for Master Caerick's imminent arrival." Xanos said. "Also, Prepare a reception for hangar 12. His shuttle is about to land."
Xanos' singular eye glanced to the Sword of Naga Sadow, where it hung above the Throne. He longed to strike the head from his Master's shoulders with one swift strike from that heavy blade, despite knowing such an act to be futile.
A heavy crimson cloak swirled about his shoulders. Walking down the maze of corridors to the hangar levels, his fury stormed through Sadow Palace. A release of steam marked the expulsion of the hated Dark Councilor from his shuttle, just as Xanos had taken his place between the Honor Guard appointed to greet the Oracle of the Brotherhood. Nostalgia washed over the Consul for a moment, his eyes meeting his old Master's. Now equals, he felt contempt.
"Your arrival was most unexpected, Trev." Xanos said
"And you mock me with this charade, Xanos." Trevarus replied.
"Indeed. You are a Councilor, despite the Naming. Why are you here?"
Trevarus walked through the hangar, through the turbolift that led to the upper levels of a Palace he had never ruled from. Xanos followed him, walking swiftly, trying to maintain his composure.
"I will be joining the Clan on their foray to Yavin IV." Trevarus said, his voice larger inside the small lift.
"Your presence is neither welcome nor necessary." Xanos spat. "Go back to your books and pens, Master."
"Regardless, I will be going. The Dark Council demands that your forays into the heart of Jedi territory be supervised. I will be that supervision. "
Xanos' rage shook the palace, the lift nearly shuddered to a halt.
"Damn you, Caerick. I will not have you stealing records from this Clan."
"Records? Who said anything about records? This new troupe of Jedi has nothing to interest one such as I."
"Then why are you going?
"A score to settle, and a wager to win." Trevarus smiled, maliciously. Xanos paled.
She jumped out of the Tie Advanced onto the metal ground of the hangar. She wore a functional black robe which wouldn't hinder her movements too much. In her mind she was already exploring the temples down on Yavin, she could barely hide her excitement.
She threw her black cloak over her right shoulder and checked her datapad: "Mmmh.. map room. Where might that be?".
Absent minded she scanned the hangar with her force senses- to her astonishment she sensed Tron Sadow's presence together with obviously his guard. She turned around, bowing in a fluent motion, although she wasn't sure at all if he would notice her presence. She indeed felt small all of a sudden. It had been a long time after returning to the Dark Brotherhood. A lot had changed and many of her companions had risen to high ranks, while she .... She bit down on her tongue, and a small sigh escaped her lips. She was very eager, but yet all her studies appeared to slow her progress than really to help her.
She fought the urge to walk to Tron and ask him if he will accompany them, but she didn't dare to make the first step.
Callus stormed down the halls of the Foresight after landing his Z-95 the "Tigrin's Flame" in the hanger and blowing past the others gathered there and throttled a guard to tell him where Macron's office was. He finally cracked the man's will and his neck as he told him the directions.
Callus stormed his way to the office and slammed his fist on the door. "OPEN THIS GOOR YOU PSYCHOPATH!" Callus roared as the dooer finally slid open and Callus saw Macron staring out the viewport. "Ok so what's the big idea bringing us all down here?" Callus fumed.
Macron turned and Callus took in all the oddity that was Macron with the odd face paint and the smell of chemicals in the room let him know that the freak was working on some alchamey thing before Callus came in. "Same old Callus I see." Macron smiled "So..."
Callus shook his head at the bizzare oddities that the Warlord seemed emit like a pugnant odor. "So? You drag me all the way from Sullist to come to your ship for some 'meeting' and all you can say is 'so'?"
<14:47, aboard the Foresight>
"So... yeah. If you had asked my why you were here an hour ago, I could have told you."
Macron turned as he spoke and capped a vial he had been peering at idly with a squinted eye. He placed it exceedingly gently on the counter with a tight-lipped smile. "Welcome, Callus my friend."
He then continued to talk to the obviously agitated Callus. "Lord Tron himself just showed up, and I hear the Oracle personally is coming. That changes everything. Sorry to bother you, but I figured you wouldn't want to miss this. A chance to kill Jedi pigs is a good thing. I thought you were into that sort of thing," stated the Sith with a puzzled look.
“Yeah, I guess so,” replied Callus. “Sullust was a little boring. You know you are nuts, right?”
“Yeah,” replied Macron with a shrug. “It works for me.”
Sildrin had entered the room with a datapad in hand. She looked up at the two occupants, who seemed to be glowering at each other. "This must be the map room then," Sildrin said as she eyed the group. Macron nodded politely. "Make yourselves at home," he chuckled as he gesticulated at the room.
Letiferus and Lech found their way in shortly as the group erupted into casual conversation. Lucius arrived from the docking bay, still wearing his flight suit with helmet in hand.
“Good to see you Lech. And my Sapphire brother, Letiferus.” sniffed Macron as he wiped an imaginary tear from his yellow eyes. "Hello Lucius. Say Lech, what do you want for those...." canted the Sith as he walked off to the side and whispered to the Clawdite.
Around them, the ship’s crew seemed to be at tight attention. There had been rumors of prolonged grisly executions among the Crew after Mononoke assumed command on Aeotheran. The ones that were inefficient or lazy became experiments. As a result, the ship was in fine repair and seemed to be operating quite smoothly now. The sloppy attitude was gone amongst the regular crew, and instead a look of pride and fear had replaced it.
Macron would have to wait until the twin personages made their presence known to start the show. The Oracle had just finished docking in bay 2. The Overlord was relaxing in his chambers, making them all cool their heels. He was an excellent businessman.
“And the Oracle, too,” Mononoke thought. “I wonder why he is here? What does this portend for us all?”
Lucius docked the Foresight with his new X-Wing. He walked into the hall of the ship to find Acerbus there leaned against the wall.
"Nice ship" Acerbus smirked as he shook hands with Lucius.
"When will Revenant arrive?" Asked the commander looking around
"Shortly, Commander is on his way"
Lucius looked around and nodded to Acerbus as he left the hall to see Macron. As the Commander walked by he thought about the mission. He was deep inside his thoughts when one of the cre members of Foresight ran up to him and asked if the ships needs any repairs. Luiucs thought about it and decided that the ship is kind of dirty.
"Clean the ship for the battle, and make it shiny" He said slowly as he walked down the hallway once again, reaching his destination. When Luiucs walked in Macron's quarters the Quaestor smiled and greeted the guest.
"I hope you will find this mission to be quite rewarding" Macron smiled as he poured himself some scotch, "I trust the other members of your crew will be here shortly?"
Lucius nodded as he spoke "Yes, everyone is on their way, I would appreciate if they would each get sleeping quarters"
Macron nodded as he smiled again "All will be provided"
With that Lucius left the Questor to go back to his fighter and install new blasters on it before the battle. The Commander cracked his fingers as he sat in the X-Wing impatiently awaiting the battle.
She nodded to the newcomers, sitting down on a seat. Although many of them ended in casual conversation, she felt a dense tension within the room - even the whole ship. "The calm before the storm?", she thought. Every single nerve within her seemed to tingle and she stood up, pacing up and down.
Then her attention got caught by several vials on a counter and she approached them. She let a hand slide over the surface of the counter, feeling its smoothness with her fingertipps. Carefully she picked up one of them with her sleek hands, sensing Macron's wary eyes on her back.
She blinded out every single physical as psychic sensation, focusing her force senses only onto the liquid within the vial. Poison, excitment rose within her, as she analysed it. A very potent poison with interesting and quite unpleasant effects, she smiled, wishing for a subject to immediately test it. It only needs a few minor changes, she thought - there was something wrong in the molecular structure that influenced the effectness of the poison in a negative way. Reluctantly she put back the vial onto the counter.
I have to ask Macron if he allows me some improvements to the poison, she idly pulled her cloak tighter around herself. Still lost in her thoughts, she flinched as a hand layed on her shoulder. She turned her head to face Macron; her blind blank eyes gazed directly at Macron. He motioned with a hand at the vials, "This will hopefully be a very strong poison. And already now I know several malicious ways how I will use it.", his lips shaped into a scary smile. "But right now it has some flaws. But you already know that, …don't you?", he continued with his eyes narrowed.
She slowly nodded, "I dont know if there is enough time to fix it before our mission starts. Although it might be quite helpfull….".
Malisane lay on the bed in his room on the Delta Class Shuttle, the Platinum Heart, converted and upgraded to his specifications. A glass of wine sat at his side and he reached over and sipped it. The idea of exploring Yavin IV didn't particularly appeal to him too much, but he felt like a change of scenery after sitting in his office at his Envoy duties. Besides it would give him something to distract his attention from his endless wait for promotion and gaining the saber that still sat somewhere in the Tarthos cathedral out of his reach. A little excitement might cheer him up.
The communicator beeped. "Sir we are approaching the Foresight we have docking clearance."
"Very well take her in." he replied.
He got to his feet, pulled his boots on, clipped his alchemical katana to his belt and pulled his heavy cloak over his shoulders. Checking his appearence in the mirror and liking what he saw he turned and headed down the corridor. He felt the shuttle land on the deck and the ramp was already down when he reached it. He smiled, his crew were efficient.
He walked out onto the hangar deck and looked at a guard who saluted when he saw the Clan Envoy. "Escort me to Mononuke immediatley."
A top secret rendezvous took place between the flight leader of the nightfalcons squad and the unsuspecting envoy of house of Marka Ragnos in Yavin 4, 3 weeks from the present time.
As Malisane was admiring the Massassi temple built by one of the greatest Dark Lord's to ever travel the Galaxy Exar Kun, he began to hear what sounded like the buzzing of a craft making its decent. It was Malisane's good friend Maximus Raidoner Mandalore, a seasoned combat pilot and highly decorated Sith Battle Master. Raidoner chose to land a few yards away from the Massassi temple.
Malisane noticed that Raidoner was not flying his Tie-Oppressor as he normally did, this time the force weilding Mandalore landed in a Tie-Aggressor which Malisane found to be a bit strange cause Raidoner swore by his Oppressor.
*Malisane!* Raidoner yelled as he came out of his ship.
The Jedi hunter was happy to see Raidoner in Yavin 4 and hurried towards the Tie-Aggressor to greet Raidoner.
Malisane stood in front of the Sith Battle Master and saluted him in the normal Sith fashion.
Raidoner saluted back then shook Malisane's hand cheerfully.
*First time visiting the temple* Raidoner asked.
*Why yes it is, why do you ask?* Malisane replied.
*Well because I am also a student on Sith History and I now this temple like the back of my hand* Raidoner said as he escorted Malisane into the Massassi temple.
As Raidoner points out the beauty of the temple and its every significance, he fills Malisane in on a two Correlian Corvettes he saw hovering on the other side of yavin 4.
Raidoner thinks that if he could get the authorization from Macron to organize a joint effort strike between the Sapphire and the Night Falcons they can capture both these Corvettes and add them to our fleet.
Malisane being the deep thinker that he is thinks that Raidoner's idea sounds great and the fact that both Squads are more than capable to pull it off.
Raidoner wanted to make sure that both Commander's and all four of their Squad leaders agreed on this strike, by cutting these jedis off from their space support they would be easy pickings for our ground forces to exterminate.
The clan envoy saluted Raidoner as he left to speak to Mononuke A.K.A. Macron.
Raidoner set up camp inside the temple as he awaited orders.
Back aboard Foresight Lucius was getting impatient. Finally his ships have arrived and Lucius ordered the AT-ST walker to be left at Yavin 4 and one trooper to be left on the planet to guard the walker. Having received good news Lucius got inside his TIE Interceptor and tried to establish contact with his Team Members.
"Where the hell are you?" Lucius' voice was heard over the speaker in Raid's helmet.
"Yavin 4" was a brief response
"damn it I need to know where you are at all times, this attack will be perfect, I will not tolerate screw up" roared Lucius over his commlink.
"Calm down apprentice" said the BattleMaster calmly
Taking a deep breath Lucius listened to Raid's mention of the corvettes and got extremely interested in what might come out of this.
"Hold your positions, I will arrive shortly" He said and contacted the rest of the Flight Members to meet him at Yavin 4.
"Contact Revenant, we must take control over the Corvettes" Lucius spoke on the way to Yavin 4 in his TIE-Interceptor.
Acara dropped the "borrowed" blade out of hyperspace, his Interceptor had been damaged in the recent advanced attack on the sun side of Antei. The blade was slow and had todrop out of hyperspace several times on route, but there was at least an interceptor onboard his destination at least. He opened his COMM channel.
"This is Guardain Acara Rayden requesting docking clearence."
"Granted," Came the curt reply.
Rayden flew the Blade into the docking bay and set her down, he made a mental note to return it to Adumar at some point. He set off to find his companion from a few adventures Macron, he was wondering if his commander, Revenant would show up.
Acara Addressed a droid, "Inform Macron that I have arrived and am ready to fight."
Footsteps echoed in the empty hall of the foresight as Lech impatiently paced back and forth outside of the main bridge. Everything was happening a little too slowly for Lech’s tastes. The longer the group took to gather and plan, the better chance the Jedi had of discovering their presence and producing a counter-attack.
Lech was so deep in thought that he hardly noticed Macron approach. “What seems to be the problem, old friend?”
“The problem is that the best way to assassinate someone is to do it covertly. Currently, they are unaware of our presence, but if we wait any longer, they will find us. We need to move fast when we do this.”
Macron sighed. “I know. Right now we are dealing with some major players though. Having Tron and the Oracle join us makes things very difficult and not to mention political. Perhaps we should send in a specialist to be our scout?” said Macron as he gave a knowing eye to Lech. “Someone who excels at stealth missions.”
“I’ll look into that for you,” Lech said, winking at the Quaestor. “I’ll contact you in a couple hours.”
Lech made his way to the escape pods and tucked his robes to his sides as he sat down in the single man pod. With the press of a button, Lech launched into the pitch black of space with his task clear. Now, he just had to make his “crash” look good. He leaned back and smiled as he braced for the immanent impact when the pod reached Yavin.
Callus reclined in a chair while the others assembled in the "map room" rather impatiently as his therapy on Sullist was intterupted as he was trying to raise his body temperature to normal human levels by some strange techniques that the sullistinians had developed for their young. They thought they could help Callus with their technique. He felt it was an exersize in futility but he wasn't paying for it. They said it was an attempt to further science or some crap.
He hated waiting it reminded him of the time on Hoth when he was still a child waiting for the Imperial bombardment to end when the rebels had taken up residence on the other side of the planet. The power had gone out and he'd fallen into a pool of freezing water lowering his body temperature from the normal human level of 98.8 degrees farenheit to 94.7 at the time he felt as if he were in a constant state of hypothermia. He'd learned to adjust and untill recently he'd been fine untill he fought with the Combat master on Kessel in the spice pits. He had almost died from the heat. He decided somthing needed to be done. Now was not the time to think about that. As Macron continued to stare out of the viewport.
"Uh Mr. Quaestor..." Callus said raising his hand. "Can we do somthing now? Or are we all just gonna get to sit here and rot?"
Lech had slipped away quietly for a recon mission. Mononoke knew he would be the perfect man for the job, given his nasty work on Falleen. He eagerly anticipated the intelligence that he would gather. It would put him in a good political position like a maneuvering Sith should be."Thanks Lech,
he thought as he sent a coded message to the Quartermaster to inform him of where to place the 'salvaged' weapons.
Acara and Raidoner had recently boarded as well. Malisane and Raidoner cast a shared glance at each other, remembering their earlier conversation from a few weeks back. Yavin was majestic and powerful, and their knowledge would be of great assistance.
sighed. "Yeah Callus, I suppose we should go. I suggest everyone use their personal vessel if they have one. If not, the Foresight has a few transports. We can't wait forever. Captain, ready the bays and vessels for launch." The crew began to share commands and orders across the networks, putting the machine into motion.
The Alchemist walked back over to Sildrin. "You are quite right. Perhaps we could use that toxin. There is a lab on level 6. You will find it to be well.... equipped. Help yourself. I'll send Sith Security Droid 42
to help you. It has the access codes." His eyes narrowed as he watched her closely. He did not wish to divulge too many of his own hard earned secrets just yet. Sildrin knew her craft well, and Macron was slightly jealous. "Jealousy is of the Dark Side,"
his Master Manji had once told him. He pondered the lesson briefly as he turned to deal with other business.
The group rose from their seats, and each one sought their particular vessel. The Foresight had no particular assigned fighter force, except two auxiliary Tie Avengers. This would be a rag-tag escort, to be certain. The differing vessels would be interesting in a combat situation. "God, I hope we can all coordinate this motley crew well," thought Macron as he strapped himself into The Silooth
, his Assault Gunboat.
Just as everyone was getting situated in their ship of choice a ship-wide announcement blared over all Naga Sadow frequencies.
"My fellow brothers and sisters," boomed the voice over the speakers of each ship, "while your desire to get the mission underway is noble, might I interject a plan of action." Tron spoke with a calm and composed voice and with that came an air of authority. "We wish to get to Yavin IV and successfully accomplish the mission laid out before us by our beloved Consul. However, a swarm of ships is the wrong course of action. Should just one ship be detected all is lost. Therefore, I recommend that we all assemble aboard the Astronicus' Reach
and take it. It is perfectly suited for inserting a strike team into enemy territory without being detected."
Macron nodded to himself, that was a more tactical approach to the matter, he would have to give the Overlord credit for that. Flicking a swith on his own communications terminal he opened a channel to all the members of the strike team.
"The Overlord makes a logical conclusion. All members jump out of your rust-buckets and hop in his shuttle, we leave at once." Ordered HLK's Quaestor.
< - - - - >
Moments later all were aboard the Astronicus' Reach
and it had entered hyperspace. All were gathered in the briefing room, a round amphitheater shaped observatory that had once been used to prepare boarding parties for missions. Lord Tron to the center and after everyone had assembled began to brief them.
"Yavin IV, some of us have been there before and others have not, but we have all heard about it over the past few years." Began Tron, he pointed to a holographic representation of the fourth moon of the orange gas giant Yavin. "I myself went there once with Grand Master Khyron and a small strike team to recover something as well as to destroy something. As you all know, the Jedi are holed up in the ancient Massassi temples constructed by the Sith Lord Naga Sadow and later claimed and built upon by Exar Kun.
"Our primary objective is to recover whatever information we can find in the Sith Holocron
on Darth Malak from the ruins. The Astronicus' Reach
will enter orbit in the southern polar region, the strong magnetic fields and ionic radiation from the gas giant should effectively hide us. I now turn this briefing over to Warrior Mononoke for further details."
"As you can see, there are a number of temples on Yavin IV." Stated Macron, "But the Jedi are only using a few of them, the Great Temple and two others for their training purposes. Our key target, though not positively the location of what we are looking for, is the Dark Temple
located here about 25 km south-east of the Great Temple. The darkside is strong there and the Jedi thus avoid it. Our first strike team, lead by Lords Tron and Trevarus will insert to the east of it in the jungle. The second strike team, lead by myself, will insert due west of the Great Temple, our target is a Jedi Master by the name of Gallas Ren.
"Gallas Ren is a Rodian Jedi Consular
, he has been trained in the Jedi art of negotiations and acts primarily as a scholar. He shouldn't be much of a threat, however, he has come across information of Naga Sadow that we need to recover. And there is the final reason why we need to deal with this Jedi Master.
"He has discovered information in the ancient sith lore he has acquired from Naga Sadow's Temple that refers to Sith Lord Urias Orian. It goes in depth and metions his exile as well as where he settled, the Orian System. Should the New Jedi Order discover our whereabouts we could face not only them but the New Republic fleets as well. Our forces are not strong enough yet to deal with such a threat, therefore, Lord Xanos has ordered us to see to it that the knowledge of Sith Lord Urias Orian be wiped from the records on Yavin IV permanently.
"We will be exiting hyperspace in a few hours, I suggest you all prepare yourselves for the battle ahead, I have divided the strike force into two teams, check the datapads in front of you to see your assignment and report to your strike team leaders. Dismissed."
Acara looked down at his datapad and smiled, he was to acompany Macron. Macron's company usualy meant a lot of fun and fighting. He found a quiet room and sat down cross legged. Closeing his eyes he extended his sences to the galaxy, he could feel disturbences everywhere but they were not relevant right now.
He found what he was looking for, Yavin IV. He felt around looking for anything that might cause a problem, he could feel a great deal of power there but could not see anything concerning him. Yet a feeling of something out of place was washing over him. Something was not right.
Rayden's eyes snapped open, something had stopped his meditation and he wasn't sure what. Standing up he sent a breif messege to Macron Informing him of his feelings and the abrupt end to his Meditation.
Acara stormed out of the room was in, he needed someone of more experience to help him try to understand what had just happened and how. Somehow he felt that no one would have a concrete answer, but someone would have an idea.
Callus while a bit frustrated that the Oracle had put his big nose into every thing hampering the initina plan where everyone would go in their own craft they all had to travel in some cramped shuttle to go to their destination.
Though this gave Callus time to get ready the stale air on the shuttlr gave him a bad feeling. He plopped down in one of the seats in the cockpit next to Macron as one of the other ramking members of CNS present he wasn't greeted with too much hostility.
He did sense some spite from the Oracle but that's to be expected from a DC member toward a Tetrarch like himself. Callus shrugged it off as he plopped his feet up on the panel and leaned back pulling his jacket over his eyes. "Wake me when we get where we're going eh?" Callus said as he drifted to sleep trying to focus his energys and ignore the stale taste in the air.
< Aboard the Vibre-class Assault Cruiser Astronicus' Reach
"You want to tell me again," started Trevarus, "how exactly you conned Goat into letting you use this as your personal ship?"
"Well for starters," chuckled Tron as he began pouring drinks for the two of them, "I didn't exactly ask him. I kind of just used the old 'I'm the Clan Overlord and am assuming command of the ship for the duration of an upcoming mission' trick on the captain of this fine vessel."
"Nice ship," replied Trev, "not exactly what I would have chosen considering what we had at our disposal but it'll do. Plus it's named after you, that had to figure in there somewhere."
"It did." Tron said with a laugh. "But actually, I chose it because of it's capablities. It's 100 meters long, has a crew of 45, can carry up to 60 troops and has enough cargo space for 500 metric tons."
"In other words, it's perfect for this misson." Said Trev. "So now tell me, how are you going to explain to Goat having to use this to fly across the galaxy from DB space to Yavin
"Hadn't quite figured that out yet, but I'm sure we'll come up with sometihing together." Replied Tron.
"Oh don't even… you are not getting me involved in this, I'm merely here to save your ass if you get in trouble." Scoffed Trev.
"Ah well, being a Consul Emeritus has to have some sort of kick-back to it." Said Tron, he raied his glass, "To the former Consuls of Clan Naga Sadow, cheers."
Mononuke stood in the shuttle bay watching the Naga Sadow members assembling around their ships. "Mononuke I need a word." Malisane said from behind him.
The Quaestor turned. "Yeah but be quick."
"Raidoner and I have this idea. We know there's a load of people on this mission already and enough to fall over each other. We want to do a side mission for the Clan."
Mononuke look at the Envoy suspiciously. "What?"
The Jedi Hunter looked at him. "When we were scouting the system out we noticed two corvettes on routine patrol in the system. Raid and I want to make a grab for them with Sapphire and the Night Falcons."
"Out of the question," Mononuke repied, "you're not jepardising the mission and I need both Squadrons under my command."
"This isn't jepardising the mission," Malisane argued back, "plus if we can do this it might draw attention from you guys on the planet."
"You might bring half the rebel's fleet down on us as well!" the Quaestor snapped.
"But nothing. Get into your shuttle and await my orders!" He turned and stalked off.
The Envoy watched him go, then walked over to the Battlemaster. Raidoner smiled. "What did he say?"
"He said no." Malisane replied.
"Damn." Raidoner replied.
Malisane thought for a minute. "You know something Raid," he replied, "I don't know about you but I've been working hard as Envoy recently and with my trials and I think I deserve a vacation. I hear the Yavin system is nice this time of year."
The Battlemaster smiled. "Yes I've heard that as well."
"We can take my shuttle. When the fleet jumps into hyperspace we'll up the speed a little. I've made one or two modifications to the Platinum Heart it can outpace most of the others and they'll be moving at the pace of the slowest ship. The New Republic are using Delta Shuttles now couple of mockup uniforms and we're on board."
Raid nodded. "Sounds like a plan. Who's going with us?"
"Just the two of us. If anyone else wants to join us once we get there that's their business."
The two of them hurried over to the Platinum Heart and boarded and sat in the cockpit awaiting the order to leave.
"We could gather up the squads and hit these Corvettes as long as Revenant and Lucius are willing to risk being charged with insubordination" Raidoner says to Malisane as they flew towards the Yavin system.
"Indeed we could and I know for a fact that this sort of thing is what Lucius loves to do...However Revenant is an officer all the way and might not agree on allowing the Sapphire to take up such a task" Malisane replies.
Both Sith's hungry for glory are about to enter a realm where Victory could bring them everlasting praises as heroes but failure could have them condemned as rogue traitors.
Raidoner only hopes that they can accomplish what they are setting out to do, because to be able to capture two Correlian Corvettes one for each Sith squad could make CNS Sith's even stronger.
Malisane and Raidoner understood this and were not willing to allow such a chance slip by them so easily.
Raidoner contacted Lucius and Requested his presence at the Massassi temple by 1700 hours they could begin they capturing of the Corvette that was stationed at the other side of the moon.
Malisane attempted to contact Revenant so they could plan the capturing of the other Corvette, both men awaited Revenants reply.
"To privelage, my old friend." Trev laughed and tossed back the glass of scotch in a single gulp.
The Oracle withdrew a cigar from the lining of his jacket, cutting it carefully, he lit it with a small flame that erupted from the tip of his finger. Taking a few measured puffs.
"Ya know the best way to deal with Goat?" Trev asked.
"I've an idea." Both Elders took their places on the bridge of the frigate. "Captain, prepare to make the jump into hyperspace." Tron commanded.
Back on Yavin 4 Lucius looked questionably at Raid.
"What do you mean macron does not allow my squad to atatck?" his voiced echoed. "I am in Marka Ragnos, and I will not be told what to do by anyone unless I am under their direct order"
"My apprentice, Macron is in charge of the operation..." starter Flight Leader as he got cut off by his apprentice.
"I will not take orders unless they are directly from Xanos" Lucius turned around and walked towards his fighter.
"Ignorant" raidoner said quietly to Malisane. "You will get suspended if you are not careful" he yelled back at Lucius.
The commander enetred his ship and opened the commlink messaging his Team members.
"All of you will meet me at Yavin 4 at given cootdinates, those who fail to do so will have consequences. Over." Lucius exited his TIE Interceptor once again and walked towards both Flight Leaders.
"Nothing will happen, macron will not even know" he smiled and lit a cigarette offering it to both Siths.
In the laboratory 6 she growled annoyed as she heard Overlord Tron's voice from the speakers. Currently she was aligning a few vials with the poison she wanted to improve, but her mind was somewere else. Raising her head into the direction of the speaker she stopped to probe the Sith Security Droid's memory for more security codes - carefully trying not to leave any traces of her intrusion. "This will have to wait", she murmered.
It gnawed on her that she probably wouldn't have such a chance so soon. She had gained access to one of Macron's lab - with all it's secrets - they were so close and within a moment they appeared to move away billions of miles. "Get me some more empty vials and syringes", she snapped at the droid, "we will immediately leave for the Astronicus' Reach.
"Yes Mylady", the droid replied and collected the wanted objects. She waited for the droid to leave the room and took a final look with the force at the laboratory - then she closed the door and walked to the hangar carrying a metal suitcase.
In a corridor of the ship she met Macron: "Ahh Macron... I will continue to work onboard. I only brought a few items for working on the poison.." He stared at her, wondering if her loyalty or whether her eagerness and hunger for knowledge was stronger. "Here, you can use this room here", he moved to a control panel, letting a small map of the ship appear. She nodded: "I will report immediately if I have news about my... progress. Your droid was quite helpfull, but I have no need for it anymore", she faintly smiled at him and headed for the room. Macron didn't move an inch, watching her as long as she was still in sight.
In her room she opened the metal case, carefully removing the samples of the poison. Right now she would have loved to know more about the rest of the people, but this here was more important - espcially for the mission to accomplish in a successful way. Not knowing that Macron watched her from a small security camera in the room she started to work. Macron leaned over the monitor, confused as he saw her only sitting on the floor - the vials placed on the table in front of her. She wasn't doing anything - only staring at the vials with her blind eyes. He used the controls of the camera to zoom in, focusing on one of the vials. "What the...?", he muttered as the monitor showed that the liquid within the vial was lightly bubbling. Then he realized the meaning of it, She is using the force to manipulate directly the molecular structur of the poison! Changing it!. He stared at the monitor watching for a while, but then decided to zoom out again. He moved the camera back onto her and flinched back - her blind eyes stared directly into his direction - her face remained completely emotionless then her head slowly turned back to the vials. He slammed his fist onto the button to turn off the camera, gazing at the now dead black screen, then his eyes wandered to the Sith Security Droid 42.
< Aboard the Vibre-class Assault Cruiser Astronicus' Reach >
Macron was finishing a datafeed from an Arakyd Viper probot
previously inserted onto the surface of Yavin 4.
The probot droid was reporting that Raidoner, Malisane, and Lucius had somehow managed to depart. They had penetrated the area of the old Massassi Temple where the New Jedi Academy was. Fortunately for them, the small number of students and Masters must be away on a foray into the jungles of Yavin 4. Or else they would have been dead very shortly after encountering the Masters. Even Master Skywalker came here from time to time.
"Those idiots," he spat from between gritted durasteel capped teeth. "Damn, they went and did something Tron warned us against. Let us hope it is the Will of the Dark Side," he muttered.
"How the hell do I explain this?"
Security droid 42 returned as he clicked off the holocom.
he thought. "I wonder what that Krath witch gleaned from it. Using the Force on a toxin.... interesting indeed. I had better keep an eye on that one."
He grabbed a spanner and began to crack open the droid's head. "Whatta we got here?" he wondered as he found a severed wire.
Macron's comlink burped a short coded message, which he retired to his chambers to decode.
It was from Lech, who had safely arrived on Yavin 4 undetected. He was moving towards his intel target right now, having mind tricked one of the local lizards into being temporary transport.
The ship was now in hyperspace, and further information would have to wait. Even with the speed of the vessel, a jump almost entirely across the galaxy from Orian to Yavin would take a week at least. Unless they met a gravity well, that is.
Mononoke rejoined the bridge, and bowed to his superiors as he approached. "My Lords," he said. "My intellence agent has inserted himself undetected onto the surface of the moon. I also have intelligence reporting two corvettes orbiting nearby." Macron decided to make the best of a difficult situation. "Several advance agents have gone ahead as a distraction. My Viper continues to monitor the situation. I have photos from a Dark Eye
as well," he said as he brought the shots up onto the screen.
The door opened and the siloueted figure of Acara Rayden strode in. He bowed to the Lords present and bowed to Macron. He remained facing Macron and addressed him in his usual manner
"Macron, I was meditating and had a vision of Yavin IV. I sensed the presence of Arc Troopers. They were the Elite Clone troopers used by the Old Repubic. That wasn't my point however, when I sensed them my vision was cut off some how from the outside. Someone is hiding something on Yavin IV that they don't wish us to find. They may know we are coming."
Commander Kallek of the Bespin V sat in his command chair idly sipping his coffee. These Yavin system patrols were always simple and boring as a result. The Jedi down on the fourth planet kept themselves to themselves and all the two patrolling corvettes had to do was keep a watch on the system and warn the Fleet Command back on Coruscant of any hostile Imperial Remnant incursion into the Jedi system.
"Sir," the console officer piped up, "we have an incoming craft."
Kallek looked up. "Identify."
"Craft is identified as a JV-7 Delta Escort Shuttle."
Kallek frowned. "That's an Imperial shuttle."
The console officer nodded. "Yes but we have obtained a quantity of them for our own use."
The commander nodded. "Yes I know."
"We are being hailed sir," the officer said listening, "they say they are a NRI craft containing a Colenal with orders for us, the are requesting clearance to board."
Kallek nodded. "Very well." he replied, "have them manoeuvre into position and extend the boarding tunnel."
Commander Kallek stood at the hatch waiting curiously, a couple of his security officers stood ready as with a hiss it opened. In the doorway was a tall Mandoralian wearing the uniform of a Colenal of the New Republic Intelligence service, a young NRI Lieutenant with short dark hair and a guardsmen wearing a heavy helmet covering his face and carrying a heavy rifle.
Kallek saluted. "I am Commander Kallek, in charge of the Bespin V."
The Colonel returned the salute. "I am Colenal Renodiar of the NRI, and this is my adjutant Lieutenant Enasilam. We have come to you with new orders. We must discuss them in your quarters in private."
Kallek nodded. "Very well follow me." He turned and lead the two officers and the guard down the corridor and into his quarters. The door shut behind them and the guard moved in front of it.
The Colonel addressed Kallek. "An urgent situation has arisen that I have been tasked with dealing with. As of now you are on secondment to the NRI. We will give you your new co-ordinates."
Kallet frowned. "What is this situation?"
"We will explain later. You will inform your crew we are embarking on a routine mission."
The Commander frowned. "I will need to confirm this with fleet command."
The Colonel shook his head. "Negative, we are to maintain a communications blackout for the extent of this mission."
Kallek scowled at him. "I am not moving my ship one inch without confirmation from my superiors. I think I'd better contact them now." He turned to the door to find the guard blocking him.
"Is that your final word Commander?" the Colenal asked.
"Yes," Kallek replied.
"Very well," the Colonel replied and nodded. The Lieutenant moved quickly and silently, moving behind the Commander before he even knew he was there, wrenching his head back, clamping a hand over over Kallek's mouth and drawing a dagger across his neck.
Lucius removed his guard helmet and threw it on the Commanders bed. "So much for the diplomatic approach." he commented.
"Not necessarily," Malisane replied, glancing at Raidoner, "we can still convince his crew, lucky my astromech turned out to be so good at tailoring these uniforms are convincing enough. Raid why don't you go out and say the Commander is indisposed?"
Raidoner nodded and smoothed down his colonels uniform before striding towards the door. He walked down the corridor and onto the bridge. He addressed the bridge officers. "I have relieved Commander Kallek from command and confined him to his quarters. These are your new orders...."
As Sapphire Commander Revenant exited from Hyperspace near Dathomir, his Squadron dropped in all around him with a lurch to realspace. "Listen Up, killers. We have a backup run against two possible hostile Corellian Corvettes, plus a rescue run if needed an Yavin 4," he canted.
"We will intercept and dock with the Reach as they approach our vector and recalibrate their jump coordinates. All hands are under my direct orders. Revenant- OUT!"
Yavin Four, at the Dark Temple Site>
Gallas Ren smiled a greenish Rodian grin as the interns moved the heavy equipment off the repulsor lift. This new analytical equipment would help them understand how this Temple had been built, and if it was located on the site on an older installation. Only time would tell now.
The new Master fingered the hilt of his silver lightsaber, and wondered if perhaps more of the fabulous Corusca crystals would be found. This upgrade to a dual-phase saber had been an excellent technical challenge. It would complement his Soresu and scholar’s style forms nicely.
He was a scholar of the Force as well as a researcher, and had recently been made a Master by Skywalker himself. Gallas had fought ardently against the decision. He felt unsure of his abilities, but it was not his choice. He had to let go of his fear of failure, and become one with the flow. It was the will of the Living Force.
"Master, I have a transmission for you," reported Kloorg, a Quarren Jedi Knight assigned as security to this dig. "One of the assigned corvettes has not responded to a hail from the other ship. Commander Kallek of Bespin V did not report. This is highly irregular. The Corvette Hammer also noticed an unscheduled JV-7 class shuttle docking with them. What should we do Master?"
"Patience my student. You must clear your mind of unrest. Remember, the New republic is clogged with politicians who manipulate things and cannot be trusted. This may be some secret meeting. It has happened before."
The Consular focused his mind's eye on the stream of the Force around him. "I see. My vision is clouded somehow..." responded the Rodian. "The Force is unclear. Of course, it could be this site affecting my connection. Hail them please, and ascertain the nature of the situation."
A beautiful red haired woman named Zorini Mekla
approached, and laid her hand on Ren's shoulder. "It will be fine," she whispered. "Trust the Force."
"Zorini, how can you say that just because you are in charge of this dig. Yes, you are a Jedi Weapon Master and study the Old Ways, but..."
(transmission, recieved from the Assault Gunboat Silooth as it leaves
Reference:Dossier 256-VXM, appendix 1A
Subject:Knight Vax Morewind
< Please find enclosed recent surveillance image of unknown Jedi
Master, present aboard New Republic Jedi Transport Gull. Enhanced Dark
Eye droid data image indicates unusual non-metallic casing internal
switch purple crystal short lightsaber, as well as advanced design
multi-length main blade with orange crystal and enhanced focusing
lenses. Subject appears to be wearing combat gloves, protective
goggles, as well as light thinsuit type environmental armor. Subject
communicated with Vax Morewind in a superior postion. Her presence was
very strong in the Force.
Name delineated from droid auditory logs as "Master Zorini Mekla".
Appears as Human female, hair red, eyes unknown. Handedness: ambidexterous.
Identity: unknown. Conjecture: Jedi Weapon Master and Force Warrior,
educated in ancient methods through Jedi Holocron. Weapons indicate
Extremely Advanced lightsaber construction methods and technique.
Approach with Extreme Caution. This Master may be equivalent to Adept
status. Threat Level: High. >
< Macron Out>
Lucis cleaned his dagger on the bed and got out his DX-2. He got out of the small room and spoke quietly to his team members.
"Secure the perimiters, do not make too much mess, but kill everyone in the way." He pointed Raidoner in the right direction and the Flight Leader went into the corridor with a few team members.
"Take your team to the command center" He commanded to his second FL and Malisane quickly followed the directions. Lucius looked around and started walking down the long hallways leading to supply room. "Follow me" he commanded and Kreth who followed with a weapon in his hand.
Lucius turned around the corned and fired a shot from his gun. The soldier who guarded the supply room fell without making any noise. Sith Commander proceeded to open the door. Inside were various guns and walkers, aswell as weapons of different technologies. Lucius got himself a blaster and handed one to Kreth.
"Now lets go to Command post, we need to take over the ship" Lucius grinned as Guardian nodded and followed.
The sleek angular TIE Interceptors flown by Sapphire Squadron docked successfully, if with a little difficulty, with the Reach and the members had boarded the larger Vibre Class Assault Cruiser. Commander Revenant was last to do so and made his way toward the center of the well lit cargo-hold. Stroking his black beard with a gauntleted glove, he surveyed his battleteam.
“Sapphire! Fall in!” he commanded through gritted teeth. His thoughts were on the mission ahead of them and, indeed, on the best strategy to employ. Every mission was carefully planned to ensure optimum performance from each and every one of his flight members. The Group of Dark Jedi formed two rows, shoulder to shoulder, next to each other.
Flight Leaders Lanius Sin and Konar Soisk-Bass stood to attention at the head of the formations. Sin viewed Commander Revenant in expectation. The Jedi Hunter met his gaze with a look of friendly disdain.
“Ok Sapphire.” Revenant continued turning his vigilant gaze to the others. “You have all been briefed on the situation so I wont recap what has already been said. Your orders have been uploaded to your datapads, which you should go over before we take off again. I strongly suggest you do this.” Revenant’s brow creased as he paced down the line of flight members to stop in front of Manesh. He turned and placed a hand on the Sith Warlord’s shoulder. “I sense you are troubled my friend. Perhaps we should discuss this in depth in private.” Waving a hand he dismissed the others. “You have your orders so all we have to do now is wait. Go on ahead and make yourselves comfortable, I’m sure this will be a hard day on us all.”
When the others had finally exited the hold Revenant returned to Manesh and peared at him with blank eyes. All that could be heard was the low monotonous hum of the sub-light engines and the occasional muffled voice carried through the ships corridors.
“What is it that troubles you Manesh? I have sensed something in the tides of things to come too but it is clouded somehow. Perhaps you could shed some light on the matter, I have trust in your abilities.
“It’s a point where I see only one outcome, be it good or bad,” Replied the Warlord. “but it’s hidden from me. Each time I try to focus on it… it seems to dissipate into nothingness. Maybe, if we have time, we could meditate on this together. Our combined wills should help in reaching an answer.”
“That seems wise. I don’t like it one bit. For now we should keep this quiet except for the higher ranking officers. We don’t want to start any undue speculation. Ill inform Macron as he has rank on this mission and undoubtedly would want to know about this. Ill meet you in the small aft storage compartment when I am ready. Here is the location.” Revenant keyed in a command on his datapad to send the Reach’s schematics to Manesh’s. The confirmation of its receival rang out in the empty air of the hangar and Revenant strode out through the wide blast doors into the shadows beyond, his black cloak trailing the air behind him.
Lanius Sin sat cross-legged in yet another of the empty cargo holds. The cold durasteel of the floor was bracing but he carried on with his studies regardless. Around him a ring of spherical oil burners emitted thin columns of aromatic smoke into the air. The light of the fires danced on every surface of the darkened cell.
Keeping focus was hard at a time like this but Sin struggled to retain his grip on the force. Before the brotherhood he had never felt the force in any way other than pure instinct. Now he marveled at the power he could now tap into, and it pleased him. But CORSEC was in the past, as was the rest of his former life. And all that sustained him was thoughts of anger, revenge and lust for power. He had indeed fallen far.
Centering himself again he made a mental note to do well in this mission as his master Macron was onboard and with a wave of his hand the flames of the oil burners snuffed out and Sin was, again, plunged into darkness.
Kreth pocketed the Blaster his Commander had gave him and grasped his Litch-Blade which hung loosely at his belt. Lucius glanced round and smirked, it was no secret to the Jedi Hunter how much Kreth prefered killing up close.
The pair finally got to the end of the seemingly endless corridor and stopped, getting ready to assault the next room. All that stood between the Sith and a whole unit of jedi Guardsmen was a huge set of steel plated doors. Lucius rolled his eyes strode up to the keypad on the door. Slowly he summoned up all his strength and slammed down his fist on it. The pad fizzed violently and emmited a deafening shriek, alerting the nearby guards. Both intruders turned around to face the door but were too slow as it opened neatly. Lucius swore and dived to the floor as a hail of red hot lasers flew straight past his head. Unfortunatley Kreth was not so lucky and got hit in the leg crippling the Gran to the floor, his knife clattering on the ground. Lucius looked in terror and for a split-second the whole scene froze. Kreth was on the floor wounded and Lucius was facing almost certain death against a group of guardsmen.
< Aboard the Vibre-class Assault Cruiser Astronicus' Reach >
Macron watched Sildrin entering the bridge walking to him. It had been several hours after she had had locked herself into the room and worked on the toxic. Her face was rather pale and she looked exhausted. She let herself fall into one of the seats, "It is finished. The toxin should be ready", she reached for a small metal case and handed it over to Macron. "I had no time nor a subject to test it, but I am quite sure it will work. Of course this toxic is no match for a Jedi Master.... "
Macron opened the small metal case, eyeing several filled vials. She had used the special vials for combat use so they won't easily break. Carefully he removed one of the vials, "Very good", he murmered. "A pity we have no proof that this poison will really work..." He stared down at her.
She met his gaze, then stood slowly, standing face to face - her voice was a mere whisper: "You know we don't have any test subjects, so there is only one way to test it. Isn't it? You don't trust me, and it is a right choice not to do so, but my loyalty to Naga Sadow is true.". She hesitated, taking a deep breath: "I guess there is only way to proof my loyalty ... you can test the poison on me. I know you and I can detoxify it before I die. But without your help, I wouldn't make it. I want this mission to be successful - I want Naga Sadow to return in victory."
While pondering her offer, he felt her sincerity and her fear - she knew that this poison could mean her death. His fingers played idly with the vial he was holding. A Krath Priestress as a test subject ... a rare chance, he licked his lips. Or was this poison not worth this risk?
Raidoner and Malisane stood on the bridge of the corvette watching the display screen as the navigator plotted their course out of the system avoiding the other corvette. Suddenly one of the other officers turned to Raidoner. "Sir we're detecting weapons fire in the aft section."
Malisane looked at Raid. "Those two must have engaged the guards." he said under his breath.
Raidoner swore. "Idiots what do they think they are doing?" he muttered.
"I'll sort it out." Malisane whispered back. He turned to the bridge crew. "I will investigate this," he pointed to two guards, "you two with me!".
The Envoy lead the two guards quickly down the corridor, not knowing what to expect. He reached the end of the corridor and was greeted by the sigh of Kreth down on the floor clutching his leg and Lucius standing over him clutching his sword defiantly and being covered by five guards with blaster rifles. Malisane thought quickly, this would take some fixing or the game was up and they were going to have to fight the entire crew, the last thing he wanted.
He turned to to the guard's leader. "What is happening sergeant?" he demanded.
The sergeant saluted, his face looking suspicious but relieved to see an officer even an unrecogniable one. "Your guards opened fire on us Lieutenant," he replied, a trace of accusation in his voice, "we have them covered."
Malisane nodded and sent his thoughts out to the guards mind, gently supressing his suspicions. "Well done Sergeant good work," he congratulated, "it seems even the intelligence service is not free of Imperial infiltrators, though it saddens me to find two in our own ranks."
The sergeant nodded, confused, "Yes sir it is."
Malisane turned to Lucius and gave him a slight reassuring wink, unperceptable to the guards before saying, "Well the Colonel will want to be made aware of this, and I am sure he will congratulate you and your men on your efficiency."
"Thank you sir," the guard replied sounding relieved and less suspicious.
"Put these two in the brig for now under guard. Send a medic to deal with this spies wound we don't want him to die before he reveals who sent him."
"Yes sir," the sergeant replied. He moved forward still covering Lucius and relieved him of his katana and DX2, motioned Lucius away from Kreth then leaned down and removed his weapons as well.
"I will take those sergeant and see they are examined," Malisane replied taking the weapons, "take these two away, and if they resist you have my permission to use whatever force you feel appropriate."
"Yes sir," the sergeant replied, "fetch a stretcher." he ordered two of his men.
Malisane returned to the bridge and approached Raidoner. "Unfortunatley the two guards we brought on board appear to have been part of the conspiracy we were sent on board to investigage Colonel," he said loudly giving Raid a meaningful look, "fortunatley the guards are loyal to the the New Republic and efficient and have detained them in the brig."
"Excellant," the Battlemaster replied, "this affirms our need for investigation." He addressed the bridge crew, "we are grateful for your co-operation in this matter, it seems that more than just Commander Kallet is involved. Rest assured we will ferret out any other traitors."
Malisane nodded and motioned Raid over to a corner. "I don't know how much more time we hav e here Raid before we're found out," he whispered, "with Lucius and Kreth in the brig we might have to think of another plan."
When Kreth entered the brig he saw Lucius sitting on the floor. The Guardian eyed his commander and and walked around the brig.
"Well? Are you going to sit there all day? We need to get out of here! NOW!" Kreth started to speak.
"Your leg is broken" Lucius noted as the Guardian sat down beside the wall.
"So? I can move..." He started as his Commander started to speak again "Malisane has a plan, we will be out of here soon"
"I dont trust him" Kreth said in a quiet voice "He commands the ship, he is one of them dont you see?"
Lucius laughed as he heard the last bit. "Malisane knows what he is doing. He has our weapons secure, and he will get us out of here soon. Dont worry, that is an order" Lucius stated as he closed his eyes "Now try to heal your wound up a bit more, I dont think these doctors can heal good enough"
"Allright, I hope you are right" Kreth cracked his fingers and closed his eyes aswell. "I will try to meditate" He said quietly and both Sith sat in the complete silence waiting for Malisane to think of something to do. As worried as Lucius was he trusted his Flight Leaders and knew they will think of something.
Revenant approached his Quaestor with a look of trepidation on his features. "Mononoke, my friend, a moment of your time, please?"
"Of course," replied the Warrior, "but it can only be a moment - I have matters to attend to."
Revenant explained the uneasy quality he had detected in Manesh's thoughts, as well as his own seemingly unfounded misgivings. Macron seemed to be considering something for a second, his yellow eyes resting on the Sith Commander's blank white stare, before turning away. "I'm sure it's not anything you need concern yourself with, Commander," he lied. No sense worrying his crew unneccesarily.
"You're lying to me." It was a statement, not a question. "We've been through enough for me to know when you're uncomfortable with something." Revenant had an uncanny way of seeing through people, and he didn't need the Force to do it. It was just something about people that he understood.
"I should have known better," the Quaestor laughed. "Acara came to me not long ago with something similar." He explained the young Adumarian's report of his vision - a forest landscape of lustrious, swirling green against a red background, the gas giant Yavin and it's fourth moon, and a feeling of imperceptible dread before it was suddenly cut off by sources unknown.
Revenant frowned and stroked his beard, as he was prone to doing during moments of thought. "I'm supposed to be meeting Manesh in the aft hold shortly. I say we find Acara, go get Manesh and the four of us take the matter to Tron."
"Negative, I have too much on my metaphorical plate at present. Besides, we don't want to report to the Overlord 'til we actually have a report to give him." Mononoke cast a sly wink at his friend and motioned for him to leave the alchemist be. "We will speak of this later, friend." With that Revenant gave a brief bow, turned and strode out of the room.
Lanius Sin walked into Acara's quarters. As usual all the Lights were off and the room was lit by Candle Light, with Acara Meditating on the floor. Since the guardain had actually gotten reasonably good at meditation he had started using it a bit more. A few Dark Jedi had wondered were Rayden kept geting his seemingly endless supply of Candles from but hadn't been able to work it out.
"We brought your Interceptor with us." Sin simply stated.
"Is the Commander here as well?" The young guardian asked without even opening his eyes.
Acara stood up, "I think ill go and find him," Acara went round quickly and extinguished the Candles and left to Find Revenant.
He opened his door and nearly collided with the Jedi Hunter.
"I'll take it you were looking for me then Commander," The Adumarain stated. "Come in."
Acara Went round and re-lit the room again and then turned to the Sapphire commander, " What can I help you with my friend?"
Meanwhile on the Bespin 5 Malisane and Raidoner sat in the late commander's quarters with the door locked, discussing their plan.
"Raidoner we're not going to be able to keep this charade up too much has happened."
The Battlemaster nodded. "No I agree we need to take command and deal with the crew."
"Not easy," Malisane replied, "I don't fancy the odds of taking on fourty crew members with just the two of us."
"It's possible," Raid argued.
"Possible maybe but an unsessesary risk," the Envoy replied, "we have a better option. Before I left I took a bionerve toxin from Macron. Used correctly it could give us the advantage. The brigs on these things are hermetically sealed with their own air recycling system. Lucius and Kreth would be quite safe.
"Would we?" Raidoner asked, "some of Macrons experiments are quite powerful."
Malisane considered this. "Why don't you find an excuse to return to the Platinum Heart and seal the airlock. I can take care of myself."
Raid nodded. "Very well."
Malisane wandered down the corridors to the enviromental systems. A couple of crewmen were stood at the controls. "I need to inspect these controls for tampering leave me for a moment." he ordered. They nodded and left. Quickly he reached into his pocket and withdrew a small phial carefully. He pressed a few controls on the console to turn the air vents onto full and dropped the phial into the air intake vent. He quickly turned and ran out of the room past the two crewmen. He ran as quickly as possible down the corridor until he found his preprepared escape pod, quickly sealing himself inside. He sat back and waited about five minutes.
Kreth and Lucius looked up as the door slid open, and Malisane stood there with a smile on his face. "Your release has been authorised my friends."
Lucius grinned. "Told you he'd get us out."
Malisane lead them out of the cell, Lucius helping Kreth walk and down past the bodies of the crew to the bridge, where a few corpses sat at their terminals still. Lucius pushed one to the floor and helped Kreth sit.
Malisane turned to Raid who was sat in the command chair, "It seems to have worked perfectly, sensors report the only remaining lifeforms on this vessel are the four of us, and the toxin has completely been dispersed by air recyclers."
Raid nodded. "Excellant well done. I've ordered the service droids to start clearing bodies into the waste system."
An alarm came on and Lucius studied a terminal. "You guys better see this," he pointed out, "incoming corvette. They're demanding we heave to and prepare to be boarded."
Acara explained his earlier vision to his commander, how he had seen what could only be Yavin IV and how he had been abruptly cut-off. "Commander Revenant, do you think it'd be worthwhile for us to meditate on this together? Two minds will draw more of the Force than one."
The older Sith smiled. "Exactly what I was thinking." The two Dark Jedi sat down cross-legged, facing each other. Acara placed a few canddles between them and dimmed the lights. They let their consciousness drift out from themselves, and allowed the void where their minds had been to become filled with the mystical energies of the Force.
The current of the Force washed along with it images of another time, a time yet to come. They saw a group of black-clad warriors, presumably Macron and his team, pressing through the jungle. They seemed to be in a hurry, almost as if they were being pursued. It was impossible to say for certain. Perhaps they were the pursuers. There was a flash of red and a swirl of purple globules in two strains, curling round each other in a helix pattern. Another flash and their vision was filled with black. The view pulled back to reveal a T shaped helmet visor.
It was at this point that Revenant and Acara began to feel some sort of mental resistance, as though some great psychic gate was swinging shut. They tried to maintain the vision, but both were harshly snapped back to reality, the naked candel light stinging their eyes........
Lucius thought for a few seconds trying to figure out what the best option could be.
"well we cant really fight another crew of 40 or so people..." he said slowly
Members of the squadron sat for a few seconds in silence.
"We are not doing this on our own" Lucius said as he got up and pressed a few buttons on the control pannel. Before Malisane could ask what he had planned Macron's face appeared on the screen.
"What.....the.....hell?" Said Macron as he could not believe what he was seeing.
"Macron, we boarded the corvette but the second one wants permission to board. I dont want to fight a whole crew with 4 people" Lucius explained the situation
"This is consequences of your own actions commander" Macron stated as he turned around, his back facing the screen "You got into this mess, you get yourself out. Macron Out."
As the communication broke Lucius stared blankly into the black screen.
"Im open for ideas" Lucius looked around the room "Any ideas"
Raven watched the universe materialize around the barrowed TIE advanced as it came out of hyperspace. In front of the tiny craft was the collosal figure of a Vibre class cruiser, the Astronicus' Reach. Raven hailed the the starship that loomed near his small TIE.
"Astronicus' Reach, this is Guardian Raven, reporting in. Requesting permission to dock." He said in the standard method. The reply came quickly, and the Krath recognized the voice immediatly. "Permission granted. Raven, haul yourself over here right now. What do you think you're doing arriving this late??" It was his Master's other apprentice, Macron, the new Quesator of HLK. And he sounded irritated.
Raven accelrated and docked as quickly as possible. Slacking at all would only irritate his commander more, but laziness had never been one of Raven's traits. Swiftly he made his way to the bridge, shoving the occasional ship officer that got in his way. As the bridge doors opened, Macron turned, whirling his robes.
"How dare you arrive so late! The strike team has already been sent! Tron is here, and the founder of our clan, the Oracle himself! You are setting a bad example, and and are trying my patience. You had better have a good excuse!" His subordinate did not waver, but bowed, and began to speak.
"I am sorry, m-"
Macron interruppted. "Nevermind. I was already irritated ast some of my other subordinates. I will hold you in reserve. You didn't bring the Fearless did you?"
Revenant sat alone in the quarters Macron had provided for him, still trying to make sense of the visions he had shared with Acara. A DNA helix and a T shaped visor. It all pointed to the clone troopers that fought for the Old Republic during the clone wars. But they had all been wiped out, had they not? The Kaminoans were no longer supplying the Imperial Remnant with soldiers. Not since after the war itself, hence the reason for Palpatine setting up Imperial academies. Soldiers had to be trained now, not grown. And what of the scrabble through the dense foliage of Yavin IV? He would just have to place his faith in the Dark Side that all would be made clear before too long.
Slowly, he stood up and fastened his long black cape about his neck. There had been talk of his opposite number in House Marka Ragnos and fellow Mandalore, Lucius, capturing a Correllian corvette. That would certainly be a bonus for this mission, but there had been no word as to what had happened to the other corvette that had been present, other than that its crew sought permission to board the one captured by Lucius. Revenant had every confidence in his fellow Sith Commander. Still, four against forty; the odds were not in Lucius's favour. Perhaps he would ask Macron for permission to take his two Flight Leaders, Sin and Konar, to assist. It would all depend on how many bodies the Quaestor could spare. Three TIE interceptors, one of them an A-9 Vigilance class fitted with turbolasers, could probably take out the second corvette fairly quickly, especially if they could be retro-fitted with ion cannons to disable the engines. He made his way to find Macron, and put his request to him. All that could be done now was to wait and see how he responded.......
"Damn!" Raidoner shouted, "I didn't think they'd find us so quickly."
Malisane stared at the display, "Neither did I."
Kreth stared at the screen. "So we fight!"
"Yes!" Lucius said enthusiastically.
"No," Raid replied sadly.
"What?" Kreth demanded.
"We can't beat them guys," Malisane replied, "ship to ship we're evenly matched and the four of us can't manage this thing on our own in battle we'd just planned to sneak into hyperspace before anyone noticed. We can't now."
They watched the display quietly. Lucius sat at the communicator. "They're demanding we lower our shields or they'll open fire."
"Get clear guys I'll handle this," Raid ordered.
"No," Malisane replied, "it's going to be about a week till Macron turns up with the fleet. You take Kreth and Lucius on my shuttle and rendevue in hyperspace with Macron and the others."
"What are you going to do?" Lucius asked.
"I'm going to take care of that corvette before it has chance to call for backup otherwise they'll be a fleet waiting for you," he replied, "go!"
Raid nodded and shook the young Envoys hand, "If we don't meet again I'll make sure they put up a statue of you on Tarthos."
Malisane smiled, "I doubt they will but thanks."
Raid nodded. "Well whatever you won't be forgotten."
Malisane exchanged a few words with the other two and watched them leave, and then sat back in the command chair watching the display as the shuttle disengaged the docking tube and slowly moved away. The enemy corvette ignored them leaving, and a few minutes later they blinked into hyperspace.
Malisane went over to the contols and pressed a few buttons, setting up a jamming field blocking transmissions to outside the system and then thumbed the communicator. "Can I help you?" he asked.
"This is Commander Yaris Gar of the Endor III. Where is Commander Kallek?"
"The commander is indisposed," Malisane replied.
"Who is this?" the Commander demanded.
Malisane shrugged. What harm would a little truth do it wasn't as if they could report him with the jamming field on. "This is Jedi Hunter Malisane de Ath of the Sith order, Clan Envoy of Clan Naga Sadow. I've taken command of this vessel."
"What have you done with the crew filth?"
"They're no longer with us," Malisane replied, "they were in my way."
"You will lower your shields and.." the officer said before Malisane ended the conversation with a flick of the switch.
The Endor III opened fire on the stolen corvette, turbo laser fire bouncing off the Bespin V's shields. The other corvette didn't return fire, it just sat there. Then slowly the ship began to move slowly forward, picking up speed quickly as it's engines were pushed into full thrust. The crew of the New Republic ship were either unable to respond or simply uncomprehending before the two ships crashed together, their shields failing and their hulls grinding against each other before finally they both exploded throwing bodies and debris into space.
< One week later, The Astronicus' Reach, Yavin System >
The Vibre-class Assault Cruiser Astronicus' Reach exited hyperspace at the edge of the system. As it's sublight engines kicked in the crew began preparations for a low orbit insertion of the fourth moon of the red gas giant Yavin. They would have to use the new Viper-class assault shuttles that Tron had had the Silviut Corporation design and build for Clan Naga Sadow.
They would be taking two shuttles since they had two target areas to hit. Tron and his strike team would be heading for the Dark Temple located about 25 km south-east of the Great Temple. Macron's strike team would insert due west of the Great Temple looking for the Rodian Jedi Master Gallas Ren.
The teams had been divided unevenly, but that was Tron's idea since his and Trev's mission to the Dark Temple didn't necessitate a large group. Thus, they would only take two others with them: Krath Priestess Sildrin Rys and the Krath Dark Jedi Knight Callus Bo'Amar. Everyone else was with Macron for his hunt, everyone that is but Malisane who they hadn't heard from since they entered the system.
They were still a ways out and would have to wait to reach the southern polar region before they boarded the shuttles and left though. So until then everyone was on the bridge waiting in anticipation. Back near the rear of the bridge a group of the Dark Jedi were mulling over what had transpired last time they were here.
"I knew we shouldn't have left him." Said Raidoner. "He never stood a chance against a fully crewed corvette."
"He made his choice Raid, not much we could have done about it." Replied Lucius. "Have they located the debris yet?"
"No, we haven't." Came the voice of Sith Warrior Mononoke "Macron" Keibatsu-Goura who strolled over to see why they were upset. "We're still too far out to detect anything in the coordinates you gave us, yet."
"Perhaps we should focus our senses and see if we can locate him through the Force." Suggested the young Guardian Acara Rayden as he walked up to the group. "It wouldn't hurt to try."
"A wise suggestion," replied Macron, "but those closest to him should attempt it, they would have better success."
"We'll do what we can." Said Raidoner.
Meanwhile at the front of the bridge another group of Dark Jedi were talking over the up-coming mission.
"Hmm, yes, this looks plausible." Said Trevarus, he was looking at a map readout of the area around the Dark Temple and pointing the route that they would be using to get to it from the shuttle. "There shouldn't be any students or security patrols monitoring this area of the land."
"My thoughts exactly," replied Tron, "and unless they've updated their security since last I was here, there shouldn't be any monitoring devices at the Dark Temple."
"Excellent." Said Trevarus, he was about to say more when they were interrupted by a young Seprosian officer.
"Sirs, I beg your pardon, but we're getting some unusual sensor readings around the fourth moon. It appears to be a large debris field with some strange energy readings."
"A large debris field?" Asked Tron, "How large? The size of a Corellian corvette or two?"
"No sir, its much larger and older," replied the young Seprosian, "according to the readings it has been there since about the time of the Battle of Yavin when the first Death Star was destroyed."
"You said it was large, is it large enough to have been the first Death Star?" Asked Trevarus.
"Yes, sir, it could be." Said the young officer. "But it was destroyed so I don't understand where the source of our unknown energy is coming from."
Hmm, maybe we should have someone check it out? Thought Tron, this latest developement could be an extra bonus, then suggesting to the Dark Jedi assembled on the bridge he said, "It looks like we have yet another mission to possibly accomplish on this trip. It appears that our sensors have detected some strong unknown energy readings in the debris of the first Death Star. We need one member, and only one member, to do a recon mission to see what exactly it is while the rest of us proceed with our missions."
"We'll be with in orbit of Yavin IV momentarily, everyone should report to the their assigned shuttle in the hangar." Ordered Macron. "If someone does want to volunteer, step forward now and tell Lord Tron."
The strike team members began to file out, as they did so Macron walked up to Tron and Trev to talk to them in private.
"I think it's about time I contacted our inside man to get some last minute intel before we launch." Suggested Macron.
"Not a bad idea, he'll probably have more info for you than he will for us, so we'll be taking off." Said Tron.
Macron nodded and as the three of them turned to leave the bridge they noticed that one member of their Dark Jedi team had stayed behind.
"I wish to volunteer." Said the Dark Jedi.
Raidoner stood off to one side, his eyes closed, surrounded by Lucius, Acara and Kreth. Finally the battlemaster opened his eyes. "Nothing." Raid said finally.
"You sure?" Lucius asked.
"Yes," Raid nodded, "I can't find any dark side presence in the system, just some extremily powerful sources on the planet."
"Could any of them be Malisane?" Kreth asked.
Raid shook his head. "Not unless he's advanced to Grandmaster in a week."
"Could he have left the system?" Lucius asked.
"No," the battlemaster replied, "if the corvette was destroyed, which is what it looks like, he had no ship."
"So where is he?" Acara asked.
Raid sighed, "Well all the evidence seems to point to one thing," he replied, "Malisane is dead."
Macron smiled. He had poked Raidoner in the back as Tron asked for volunteers. The Sith had stepped forward and done it. He would be a natural for this part of the mission, being an expert at fighter piloting and EVA operations. No one would be better suited to explore the ruins of what may have been the old Death Star for that unknown energy source. He even had his own vac suit.
Mononoke bowed to Tron and Shan Long. "Yes My Lords," he said. "I will assemble my team immediately. Here is the access code for the Dark Eye droid in that sector. May the Dark Side be with you." The Sith alchemist then turned to the gathered group.
"Alright, let me grab this com message and then we get started," spoke Mononoke as he drew out his comlink. It was a text only message from Lech on an encrypted channel. After the com finished decoding it, Macron read aloud.
"Have inserted into area. Gallas Ren has left the Dark Demple area and is traveling with four other Jedi toward the Great Temple. Two appear to be Masters, although Gallas himself is more along the lines of what we would think of as a Prelate. There is one other Knight, and two padawans. The Dark Temple appears to be unguarded for now. I noticed another escape pod crash down several days ago east of the Dark Temple. I couldn't get a clear look, but it appeared to be from a Corellian Corvette. Lech out."
The group of Lucius, Kreth, Acara, Konar, Sin, and Revenant formed up around the Prefect as they discussed battle plans. Sildrin walked up to Macron and pulled him aside for a second. The rest of the group ribbed Macron and then turned back to the map.
"Decided not to try the venom? Too weak stomached to see what it would do to me?" she teased.
"I would expect more from a true Sith."
Macron's armor crackled as he clenched a fist by his side.
"No. You have no need to prove your loyalty to me. I looked up your history, and spoke to several of your former superiors," he grinned.
Sildrin narrowed her eyes in suspicion as she realized he had been gathering information on her as well. He had apparently hacked a few databases. Now the information exchange between them went both ways. The Keibatsu's Master was a Krath, and he knew their ways.
"Perhaps some other time," he said with a smile. "We have buisness to attend to at the moment. I wish to savor those moments when we both have time to really enjoy them. We'll take it together. You can't have all the fun."
Raidoner's flies towards the coordinates given to him by the clans summit and as he draws closer to his destination he begins to notice a great amount of debris that seemed to have been caused by a great battle, as he drew closer the debris began to thicken. It seemed that several fleets had been anahilated by what seemed to be a wrecked Death Star.
On a secure Channel known only to the Conclave of CNS Raidoner reports his first findings spoken in codes in case any other
Maximus here I am at the coordinates and it does appear to be a satellite damaged in a great battle.
Roger that Maximus, is that satellite dismantled or is it still operational?
Status is unknown, I will approach it with caution as I try to communicate with its main droid interface if its still functional. From here it appears to be at least 78% intact, I will update as I learn more....Maximus out.
Raidoner's Tie-Oppressor approaches the Death Star from its Damaged side thinking that if any security astromech droids would not pick up his fighter as an enemy ship as long as he maintains low speed it will make him seem like debris, Raidoner's astromech droid did not seem to pick up any life forms on board but the an eerie powerful flow of the force was felt by the Sith Battle Master.
As Raidoner docked the ship and got his vac suit on, he made certain that his lightsaber was perfectly tuned, the Mandalorian did not like being sent to investigate what appeared to be a haunted Death Star smack in the middle of what seemed to be the last resting place of a large Republic Fleet.
As Raidoner's airlock hatch opens he notices a half charred corpse of what seemed to be a Republic Jedi pilot with his saber still in his hand and a frozen look of terror in his face, by the look of his jumpsuit he was a Jedi Chancellor and at that moment the Mandalorian felt a sudden chill run up his spine. Normally Raidoner would cheer at the sight of a dead lightsider, but this was different the fragments of some of the ships had an unrecognizable insignia and by the looks of the debris these ships are extremely outdated.
Raidoner latched himself to part of the torn Death Star and pulled himself into an open airlock as he walked in he notices broken repair droids that seemed to try to patch up the mechanical moon but were destroyed before they could accomplish their task.
Raidoner walks up to another door and attempts to get it open but its electronic switch seems to be damaged, so he pulls out his saber and welds it open.
At that point the Mandalorian sees light down a corridor and as he approaches it he notices that the computer terminals are still functioning, Raidoner immediately tries to extract information from the Death Star.
I managed to upload several schematics and logs from what appears to be the Death Star main engineering room but nothing on its mission or who its commander was.
Great job Maximus, try to get in deeper to its main computer terminal and try to upload its logs.
"Suddenly after removing his datapad from the engineering rooms computer, Raidoner hears the sounds of droids gathering from behind what seemed to be the entrance to a hangar."
Raidoner ignites his lightsaber as he can hear the droids begin to weld down the hangar door...
< Aboard the Vibre-class Assault Cruiser Astronicus' Reach >
She stared at Macron for a moment, but then she replied with a trembling voice: "I am eager for this moment to arrive." Her lips curled into a faint smile. "But for now we really need to prepare for our missions. Somehow I regret not to be at your side, but I have faith in Lord Tron's and Trevarius' decisions." She reached into a pocket of her robe to withdraw a small metal case. "I have managed to synthesize more of the toxin. It may be the wrong time to use it now, since we want to test it later on. But for a small vicious experiment on one of the padawans this should be enough." Her fingers slid over the metal case to press a small button on its side, forcing it to open. In there several small vials were fixed by metal claws. Each had a small needle at the end. She closed the case again and handed it over to Macron "I know I don't have to tell you to be carefull with that stuff. I left a sample in the laboratory. Enough to reproduce it."
Macron nodded, taking the metal case. In his mind he found himself already using it on a Jedi, watching him writhe from pain at his feet, only to end up in the cold grasp of death.
She let her hands slip into the pockets of her robe: "I am astonished that parts of the Death Star are still functioning. I hope the New Rebellion nor the Jedi are responsible for that. If they try to extract informations from the Death Star....", she shuddered. "Or maybe we should hope for them to be responsible and not another much bigger threat.", she looked worried at Macron. She took a deep breath "Ahh, I am sure Raidoner will find out.", she had to grin as she remembered her first encounter with Raidoner. He was excited to meet someone who appeared to be a member of the Brotherhood for a small eternity. Macron replied: "I am sure he will. No one is better suited than him. Unfortunately our contact broke only a while ago. As if something disturbs the frequences. Lucius is just checking it."
She nodded and bowed lightly: "Excuse me, I need to take a few preparations for the mission." She hesitated for a moment, then she layed the tips of two fingers on he back of his hand: "May the Dark Side guide your hand and blade.", she turned around and retreated into her room.
On her way, she was lost in thoughts; thinking about the Death Star, her mission, Raidoner, and Malisane. "Hopefully he made it."[/]. Her thoughts trailed off to what Macron had said to her and it made her frown. What has he found out about me? She gritted her teeth, her mind was racing, What kind of informations could have Macron obtained about her. There were quite a few things she didn't wish for anyone to know about.
After overhearing a com transmission detailing the finding of the Deathstar wreckage, Dark Jedi Gardian Qiw Nuron heads for his personal combat fighter, "Chimira."
Chimira, a prototype "Carnivore" class long ranged assault fighter, is perfectly equiped to suit Nuron's needs. Living space/meditation chambers, spider-web weapons array, prototype cloking technology, and hyperdrive ability make this a perfect craft for any long ranged hit and run missions.
Nuron takes off for Yavin IV with the thought of proving himself worthy of knight-hood by divaulging the secrets of the Dark Side presence withen the Deathstar. As he engages his hyperdrive for the jump from Antei to Yavin IV, he remembers times in the past when he would smougle in exchange for money and parts to build the remarkable craft.
He looks out his cockpit window at Antei, truly feeling that he finaly has found his true purpose, his thought now squarly set on only one thing; Become a Dark Jedi Knight, relieve the galaxy of the pitiful Jedi.
Hyperspace engulfs his vessel...
< Yavin IV, the Jungle Moon >
The sleek, mylar black painted shuttle settled down on the terra firma outside of the Jedi base's sensor range. They were approximately 25km south-east of the Great Temple, but that was not their target location, so they would not have to worry about traveling such a distance.
Rather they were within 1km of their desired target, the Dark Temple
, and would be inside it within the hour. The other shuttle, Macron's strike team, would be setting down as well - due west of the Great Temple. They had their mission, just as Tron and his group had theirs.
"Sir, we're recieving a transmission from the Astronicus' Reach
via a direct line of sight laser beam." Reported the young human pilot of the shuttle. He would stay behind to guard the craft and keep in contact with the Reach
by way of the aforementioned laser beam tranmissions that were unable to be intercepted.
"And, what do they have to report!" Barked Tron.
"Reports indicate that Strike Team Two has landed and enroute to their target." Replied the pilot, sheepishly. "Also, Battlemaster Raidoneer has rendezvoused with the remnants of Grand Moff Tarkin's former Death Star and is beginning his investigation."
"Very well." Said Tron, "Make sure to keep radio silence unless the need should desperately arise for you to contact the Reach
"Very well," began Tron as he addressed his strike team, "we have a destination to reach before the others beginning making a ruckus, let's move out."
And so, the four brave Dark Jedi - Dark Adept Astronicus Sadow, Dark Jedi Master Trevarus Caerick, Krath Priestess Sildrin Rys and Dark Jedi Knight Callus Bo'Amar - headed towards the Dark Temple
Theirs was a journey that would delve into the Dark Side and some of its hidden secrets here on Yavin IV that have laid buried for millenia. Former Sith Lords had visited Yavin IV in its past, and they did not bring just their Massassi warriors
. In order to guard their secrets they brought Tuk'ata - Sith Hounds - and made alchemical monstrosities that would forever keep their dark secrets from the prying hands of would be rogue Jedi.
It would not be an easy mission, but whoever said being a Dark Jedi was easy.
The droids slammed thru the hangar and began blasting at Raidoner, the Sith Battle Master easily deflected the droids attack with his lightsaber. a troop of 12 combat droids were no match for the combat seasoned Mandalore.
Upon inspection of the wrecked droids Raidoner realized that these droids were bulky out dated models, prototypes to ancient droids from the time pre-dating the reign of empress Teta.
Raidoner realized that this Death Star was far older than what was expected, he entered the hanger to find what seemed to resemble three Old Republic cruisers.
"Why would there be Old Republic ships here? Could they have been captured by the ancient Sith?" Raidoner thought to himself as he further inspected the huge hangar.
As the Sith Battle Master reached the other side of the hanger he was amazed to find what resembled a squad of E-wing class starfighters still docked with their astromech R7 droids in them, the mandalore entered one of the ships and in an attempt to gather information from one of the R7 droids hoping thast just like the security battle droids they would still be functional. The upload revealed that this squad of E-wing was indeed crew to this moonlike structure and the droid was awaiting deployment to attack Korriban. The droid also had a map of the structure in full detail, Raidoner now knew were to find the main computer terminal.
"At this point Raidoner realized that this was not a Sith's Death Star, somehow the Old Republic seemed to have had the technology to construct a Death Star"
"Why do I feel such a dark presence here?" Raidoner asked himself.
Upon exiting the hangar Raidoner walked down a corridor that lead him to an elevator shaft that lead to what appeared to be the structures main terminal, in the deck were some skeletal corpses some with Jedi robes and some with Old Republic uniforms. The upload revealed that the Old Republic was planning on destroying the entire Korriban system, the Jedi counsil of this past era foresaw their vanished Jedi rising and forming what was a band of Dark Jedi's reeking havok thru out the galaxy, so they in created this Death Star to eradicate the entire Sith species before they could rise to power. The Jedi were some how stopped, they never made it to Korriban.
"I uploaded everything to the data pad, It seems that this is what the Old Republic calls a "Hope Star" but yet I feel an eerie dark presence in here. I will request some assistance in exploring this structure.
"We will try to send you some assistance as soon as we can gather up our archeological team, in the meantime try to gather as much info as possible and do not destroy anything that seems to be of information value".
Raidoner pushes away a skeletal corpse from a seat that appeared to be the Stars helm and sits attempting to see if the structures engines were still functional.
< Yavin IV, the Jungle Moon >
Barely any lifeform took notice of them as they moved like shadows through the jungle. There were strange animals they came across and Sildrin wished she had more time to examine them, but there were more importants things to attend to. Light shot into their eyes as they approached the clearance where the temple stood. A dull ambience surrounded it - the sounds of animals appeared to be damped and even the light appeared to be swallowed by the dark aura that the temple was emitting. She murmered: "No doubt - this must be it."
She glanced over at Callus, who wiped some sweat from his forehead. She looked questionly at him, but he only nodded. They knew they both had trouble with heat, but from different reasons. Callus had an accident on Hoth where his body temperature had been lowered, she herself was from a planet where even in summer snow was not too unusual. She leaned closer to Callus, whispering: "Don't forget my offer to teach you how to raise your body temperature when this is over. Maybe it will help you. At least it helps my people to survive a sudden snowstorm."
Tron remembered them with a glare to be quiet. Quietly they approached the temple and Sildrin gritted her teeth not to swear. They had crossed the water lake at the feet of the temple, and now the wet clothes clinged uncomfortably to her. But fortunately with a little help of the force their clothes dried quickly. She sighed, wondering how "normal" people could ever get along without the force. But somehow they seemed to do very well without it. "The force causes a lot of trouble… wouldn't we sometimes be better off without it?", she quickly wiped away that blasphemous thought. "No, I would never want to give up the force." She watched Trevarus walk up to the heavy doors in front of it and raised his right hand slightly. A strange silvery gauntlet covered it. Was his tattoo on his forehead glowing? She wasn't quite sure; then she felt Trev's force aura flareing up, as he commanded the doors to open. It nearly blinded her force senses - but what else did she expect from a Dark Jedi Master. "But why are a Dark Side Adept AND a Dark Jedi Master accompaning a mission on Yavin 4? Either it is that dangerous and important, political intrigues are involved or simply the lust for adventures drives them."
They stepped into the dark entrance, behind them the last rays of light warmed their backs. They inhaled the moldy air. Callus got out a small light pointing it into the darkness in front of them. The darkness was barely penetrated by it but at least it gave a hint of the huge dimension of the entry hall. Sildrin tilted back her head, exploring the temple with her senses as far as she could. Darkness didn't matter to her - her force senses had replaced the lack of vision from her blind eyes. She whispered: "I sense many corridors, the second corridor on the left side should lead down to the inner sanctum of the temple. Some places are filled with strange energy… imprints of former strong force users. And I .. sense… lifeforms… ". Tron whispered, a light smile on his face: "Tuk'atas. Mmmh, I wonder how good they are as a pet." Callus and Sildrin gave Tron an aghasted look. A Tu'kata as a house pet?! As they still wondered about that strange idea, Trev was already heading to the named corridor, eager to explore. They quickly followed him.
The floor of the corridor was a bit slippery, but barely anything hinted about the eons of time this temple had been here. Sildrin let her fingertips slide over the walls of the corridors, feeling and sensing the many inscribed runes. Everything tingled within her, this place kept so many secrets she wanted to explore. Suddenly she stopped, sensing a strange force imprint. Meanwhile Trev, Tron and Callus reached the end of the corridor which ended in a gigantic room with a cupola. A few steps lead down to the floor which was covered with a two or three inch thick layer of black water. In the middle of the hall there was a small building- it looked like mausoleum. Two silent figures of stone stood on each side of the entrance. They knew it was the place they were looking for - the holocron was surely in there.
Sildrin still stood within the corrior running her fingers across the strange wall, she heard the small murmers of her companions as they discussed about the mausloleum. "A lock… this must be a lock…", she murmered. She closed her blank white eyes, and concentrated on the "lock" with the force. She pressed herself against the wall, whispering: "Come on.. open..", then there was a *click* and to her horror the wall she was leaning against gave away. She fell forward, wiggling with her arms, but there was nothing to hold onto. Out of reflex she moved her hands forward to cushion her fall, but there was nothing. Then her force senses told her that the abyss was about 20 feet high. She hit the ground, rolling over to cushion the fall. She gasped for air, coughing from the dust. Slowly she stood up brushing her dirty hands on her robe. The wall had closed again. "Great", she muttered and reached out for Trev's mind with her senses as she heard a cracking sound beneath her. "Ok, this is truely an evidence how old this rotten temple really is!!", she thought just as the floor beneath her feet crumbled.
She groaned quietly, waking up. Her head hurted and her body felt bruised from the fall and all the stones that had hit her. Slowly she scrambled to her feet, but a growling sounds made her freeze within a moment. A dark shadow jumped at her digging it's claws into her shoulder and pinned her to the ground. Slobber dribbled from its mouth as it sniffed her. She stared up at the Tuk'ata, hilariously thinking: "Great, I should ask it right now if it would like to be Tron's pet and please not to kill me." A growling voice from a dark corner across the room, made her tremble. She could hardly understand the words, but she recognized the ancient Sith language: "Kill it. The temple must be safe.", another Tuk'ata walked up to them.
"No... wait!", she stuttered on Sith. Through all her studies the Sith language was present, but that she would ever communicate on Sith with a strange species was a new experience to her. The Tuk'ata above her hesitated, growling: "It speaks our master's language". The second Tuk'ata approached with caution. "We.. are here to protect the temple and ist secrets from the Jediscum.", she licked her lips, carefully choosing her words. Those Tuk'atas surely wouldn't be so attired to the idea of letting them take the holocron with them. Or maybe they would? "Jedisssss? Where? Are they here? The temple must be safe!", the second Tuk'ata moved nervously. "No, no.. they are not in the temple… not yet. But there are many of them…. and they want to destroy the temple. We are here to .. help you.", she tried to calm the Tuk'ata. A strange thought came to her: "The temple is maybe truely lost and so would be the Tuk'ata. But there are many places in the Orian system which need to be protected by loyal servants. If we take the Tuk'atas with us… together with all those artifacts…"
"Yes, indeed. We are here to safe this place from the Jedi.", she heard Tron's voice speaking on Sith from the end of the room. Behind him stood Trev and Callus.
The shuttle carrying Macron and his strike team settled down in a clearing two kilometers south of the Great Temple. They would go the rest of the way on foot. The heat was intense, despite the fact that they were shielded from the sun's rays by the verdant canopy of jungle green above them. In several places the path was overgrown and the Dark Jedi had to rely on their blades to clear the way. All iin all, progress was not as fast as they would have liked.
A sharp shriek from the trees to their left startled them. Eveidently their passage had disturbed some of the predatory birds that nested in the treetops. Revenant hoped there were no nearby Jedi who could be alerted by the sudden flight of avions as they took to the sky. Acara and Sin stuck close to their commander. They had been trough a lot and worked well together.
For the most part, their journey went without anything of distinction coming to pass. It wasn't to last, however. About five hundred yards or so from the temple they heard a snuffling in the bushes off to their left.
Raidoner tinkered with the computer terminal at the bridge of the Hope Star trying to get the stars last logs, on the primitive screen appeared what seemed to be the star's final battle.
"Images of pure Sith Starfighter's lead by what appeared to be Human, Zabrak and Twi'lek Dark Jedi Masters met the Hope Star before it took the hyper-route to the Korriban sector.
The Jedi counsil ordered the Republic to gather five fully armored escorts to assist the star of hope but the counsil underestimated the power of the dark side of the force.
Thinking that a mere 25,000 exiled fallen Jedi's would be extinguished in a matter of 6 generations was a huge mistake, these Dark Jedi's traveled and preach the ways of the dark side.
The Dark Side was unknown to the Counsil and the fact that after 6 generations of when it first banned its own that had ambitions of power and glory the jedi counsil predicted what the fallen were planning.
The Sith were lead by an exiled Jedi Master Sinistros, once a hero to the counsil's Republic he was respected and honored.
Sinistros traveled to planet Urkupp to try to bring an alliance between the the Jedi protected Republic and the many unknown worlds. He returned with an alien race called the Dashade, who where a reptilian race resistant to the force.
Sinistros Squad where lead by Dashikian forces and they landed in the Hope!
Sir, we are being over runnd by the Dashae!
We cant hold them!......................................................................................................
'Fire the Hope Ray at their armada.
It ended there, Raidoner saw the Horrors of this ancient attack stood up when a direct commlink came from inside the Hope star
A dark voice calling
Tried to communicate with the dark entity, as he stood up a great force of lightning struck! impairing his body for a short time.
this entity entered the room...his power was ancient and quite skilled!
Raidoner rose up and challenged this being who walked towars him, At first glance Raidoner could not believe his eyes when he saw the figure to be Malisane.......
Macron checked his hololink text message. Raidoner had indeed infiltrated the remains of the Death Star, and had discovered an unusual situation. Perhaps the plans for the Star had been older than they all thought, and some of it remained intact. He had done an excellent job, and Macron was excited to hear the datastream. Raidoner had indeed been perfect. Qiw Nuron had been sent a message as he was inbound on the system, and had been detailed to help Raidoner out.
"Frickin jungle, Sith damned bugs and humidity," Macron muttered as he slapped a hungry Yavin pest that had landed on his armor. It could not bite or sting him through the alloys, but he enjoyed ending it's miniscule life with spite and relish. The sticky guts sprayed across his vambrace and he wrinkled his prosthetic nose in disdain."Disgusting," he thought.
"Bastards," he spat."why the Hell do they always send me to these pest holes,"he wondered mentally. "Can't I travel to a civilized planet for once and kill people?"
A rustle in the brush alerted him. Revenant gestured toward the sound, holding up one finger. Mononoke wondered if it was Lech, and a familiar Clawdite face peered out of the brush. "Aha," he spouted. "Lech. Good to have you with us." The rest of the party nevously relaxed their grips on their respective weapons.
Lech spoke a few words to Macron in a whisper, and a change came over the Warrior's face. "What?" he asked. "You mean, Master Zorini Mekla and her crew are returning to the Dark Temple? What do you mean, she seemed to be a Jedi Weapon Master of the old style? None of those have been seen for `over a thousand years," he scoffed. "You must be mistaken."
- Sith Hounds - craned their heads in Tron
's direction. They glared their eyes at him. Then noticing subtle similarities in his face to that of Naga Sadow, the Sith Lord who had brought them here, they relaxed.
"I am Lord Tron Sadow," began Tron in the ancient Sith tongue, "and these are my brethren. You will cause them no harm."
The tuk'ata that had Sildrin pinned down, backed away and sat ready to listen like a faithful vornskr. The other, however, began circling Sildrin and staring at Tron with venomous eyes. It was apparently the older of the two. It did not take a hyperdrive scientist to figure out that these weren't ordinary tuk'ata. They had been transformed slightly, their grasp of a spoken language was evidence enough of that. Obviously Sith Alchemy had been at work here. Sildrin and Macron would have a field day learning those secrets.
"The Sith Empire is being …rebuilt." Continued Tron, "And soon we will strike back at those who have forsaken our rightful place as lords of the galaxy. But until then, we must remain in the shadows. building our forces and watching the movements of our enemies. In fact, their movements here to this moon have troubled us and forced us to intervene. We cannot let them capture the knowledge that my great ancestor left here."
"No, we cannot," spoke up Trev, "and that is why it is important that we gather all said information and take it back to the other Sith. It is imperative that you assist us in this as well and return with us to guard this knowledge as you have been commanded by your master."
The older tuk'ata stopped circling Sildrin and looked from Tron to Trev and back again. Baring it's fangs it let out a low growl and then unexpectedly sat down like it's companion and nodded it's head. The tuk'ata here had inadvertently been given reasoning ability, but that did not stop it from following its instinct - which had also been altered - to obey all Sith, which Tron just happened to be. Tron had to hand it to grandpa Naga, he sure knew how to concoct some really good Sith Alchemy.
"Alright everyone, we're almost there," came the woman's voice over the hum of the landspeeder. Thre people sat in it, and two more speeders flew behind. The archaeological team had brought in a force to deal with the Sith Hounds and other beasts they had encountered at the site recently. There were several Jedi, a few padawans, and ten armed troopers and an E Web Blaster along with the dig crew.
Jedi Weapon Master Zorini Mekla contemplated this mission. She did not enjoy having to spend time in the Dark Side site, but Master Skywalker had been most specific. She was to ensure the safety of this important dig. She was one of the best saberists the New Jedi Academy had even produced, and as such got these difficult jobs.
She fingered one of her sabers absent mindedly as she felt the flow of the living Force around her. There was a feeling of unease, even more so than the site normally generated. The Dark Side was at work there. Somehow, she could feel a shadow almost cloaking the Temple that had not been there before.
"I have a bad feeling about this," she said to Gallas Ren. "Expect trouble."
Qiw Nuron landed on a hill-top clearing near the coordiantes he had been given for the "Hope Star."
He exited his assault gunboat and surveyed the area. Their was no way he was going to be able to cut his way through this jungle efficiently without the use of a light saber. Unfortunatly he was still a Dark Jedi Gardian, and had not been allowed to construct one. But he did have knowlage of light saber technology, as well as of ancient sith weaponry, and had developed his own unique weapon.
The weapon he called a Anti-Saber. It was basically a Katana made with an ancient alloy developed by the sith, called Kianium. When superheated this alloy cannot be cut by the beam of a light saber, and will cut almost as clean. When kool it would pass strait through it causing the light saber to malfunction and shut down. The only disadvantage of the blade is that for it go through the light saber, it must be tuned to exactly the same electromagnetic feild as the light saber.
Fortunatly, using the Dark Side of the Force, Qiw had trained himself to (after dueling for a few minute) be able to sense the feild.
Qiw went back into his ship and came back out with some basic supplies, as well as a heavy blaster and his Anti-Saber. He looked off into the distance and could see the sillouett of the Hope Star, then headed into the jungle...
Revenant was angry with himself. He should have sensed the presence of another Darksider. Still, Lech was skilled at passing unnoticed - probably why he had been given this assignment. He had done well, acquiring the information on Zorini Mekla.
Still, if she had Mononoke worried then this was definately not going to be child's play. Macron was about as skilled a saberist as any, but the ancient Jedi Weapon Masters were another thing entirely. Their blades were practically a living, breathing entity. Weapon and wielder existed in perfect harmony, executing a gracful dance of combat in time to the song of the lightsaber's hum. They would have to hope that their superior sumbers would be advantage enough.
"Damn Bugs!" said Qiw Nuron out loud as he swatted one on his arm.
He ahad been walking in the directrion of the Hope Star for over and hour, but it didn't seem to be getting any closer.
Suddenly he hears a hissing sound to his left, then his right. A rather large Tuk'ata jumped out of the bushes. Nuron unsheathed his Anti-Saber, not knowing how it would affect the beast, and stood ready to attack.
But somthing was different about this Sith Hound. It did not attack. It instead just sat down i front of him, with a funny look on its face, almost like a dog waiting for instructions.
Nuron took a step foward, and then another. But the Tuk'ata just sat their waiting.
He resheathed his sward. "What do you want if your not going to attack me?"
Just then the hound stood up and ran off in the direction of the Hope Star.
"Hey! get back here." Nuron chased after it.
"Malisane?" Raidoner asked, not quite understanding, "what are you doing here? How did you escape?"
The young jedi looked up at him, and the Battlemaster stepped back and blanched, as he saw the eyes of the Knight. They were different, black from edge to edge without a trace of colour or white showing.
"The one you know as Malisane is gone, Sith," Malisane replied, "I am Sinistros."
"How?" Raidoner replied, igniting his sabre, "how did you do this?"
The body of his former friend laughed. "I have watched, and waited, for a vessel to carry my spirit. Many of the Jedi have been here to this system, but they were unsuitable. I needed a mind that would take my own, where the meld would fit. And then you all came and I watched you. And I was impressed by this young ones actions. I plucked this body from the explosion and let my spirit enter it." He flexed his limbs, "and now I live again."
Raidoner raised his sabre, "Release him!" he demanded.
"No," Sinistros replied, "I have waited too long to live again. Your friend should be honoured, he has the power he seeks, and is a true Dark Jedi Knight, and has given his life for my cause."
"No," the battlemaster replied, "you can not just take his body."
"Stop me Sith," Sinstros said bringing his arm up and igniting his own red sabre, "I have seen Malisane's memories, he took his lightsabre and hid it about his person, expecting his promotion to knighthood. How fitting he will now use it to kill you."
Raidoner went into a defensive stance, "You cannot kill me I am more powerful." he replied defiantly.
Sinistros laughed, "Fool," he replied, "I have knowledge you cannot dream of. I can enhance this young one's abilities, sharpenen his strengths with the force. The power will burn out this shell but it will serve my purpose for long enough until I can find a new host."
The Battlemaster brought his sabre up to block a strike from the other Sith, backing off, and automatically blocked a second, just catching it inches from his body. The possessed Sith attacked again, abandoning any form of defence to relentlessley strike at the Battlemaster. Raidoner defended himself desperatley, whatever Sinistros had done to sharpen Malisane's strength and speed it was wearing him down, and he dared not strike back for fear of destroying any chance of getting his friend back.
Raidoner blocked another blow and brought his fist around smashing it into Sinistros' face pitching the body backwards. Malisane's body was automatically wrenched to it's feet again, saber still in it's hand.
Echoing laughter filled the room. "I sense your weakness Sith," the voice of his friend gloated, "you fear to kill your friend. It is your undoing, What fools the Sith have become, I sense sentimentality."
Raidoner shook his head, but he knew the spirit was right.
Sinstros advanced again, "You have a choice, Sith, strike this body down, or die to it's blade."
There was no sign of Raidoner except his life signature through his comlink, and apparently Malisane was on the scene again. Mononoke felt something slightly wrong with the Knight far away through the Force, but that was not unusual. The Dark Side was a twisted Mistress. He ignored it for now. Malisane should be dead. It must be his Dark Side Spirit urging them on gallantly.
Lech had brought word of a tough Jedi strike force unknowingly approaching the Dark Temple , and Macron felt it was best to fade out and reposition toward the Temple as a backup force. He gestured to the Dark Jedi with him silently, and they used Clan Naga Sadow hand signals. Telepathy would be easier, but yet the Warrior wished to remain low-key for now.
"Frell blast, one of my Dark Eyes is gone," sputtered Macron as he swept his network of spy droids. They were far away. The Arakyd Viper had responded normally. He handed all his data to Revenant. “Help me process this please, Commander,” he muttered.
The Viper had detected land speeders moving rapidly by some four minutes ago, about 4 klicks on the other side of the Dark Temple. Their comm traffic indicated they had recently become aware of the clash of Corvettes.Assistance would be offered by the dig group to any downed friendly crew. They were on alert.
Mononoke shut down his readout and fingered the vials of unholy toxins that he had at hand. The alchemist shuddered at the need to use it on someone. Or anyone. His temples pounded as he contemplated the wrath it would now unleash upon the unworthy. Sildrin had ‘changed it’ and he needed to know how. Their group began to move toward the others through the stinking jungle.
He signaled to the others silently with his hands.
“Be Careful. Use the Dark Side to cloak your presence in the Force.”
Macron and the rest of his team pushed through the jungle. The vastly overgrown paths hindered their progress somewhat, but they made steady, if slow, progress. All of a sudden he was hit by a devastating wave of pain, right behind his eyes. He squeezed them shut as if he could block some of it out. "GRRAARGHH!!!" He arched his back and was starting to convulse violently.
The rest of his companions formed a circle around him, not knowing what to do. Visions burned inside his mind. Again, the helix pattern, only now it was a deep, glowing red. Again the T-visor, only this time it began to burn. As the layers of plasteel blistered and peeled in the heat they revealed a face. The face of the Massassi. Suddenly, as abruptly as it had begun, his fit was over. He lay on the ground, shaking, sweating. "I..." he began, "I... Think we're in trouble..."
Warily Sildrin tracked the tuk'atas with the force, watching their movements. Those creatures had been genetically changed - additionally with a mixture of Sith alchemy to a point currently beyond her own current knowledge. Silently she listened to Tron's words, sensing the tuk'ata's awe for him – she was deeply moved by the same awe - a true heir of Sadow. But a small doubt gnawed on her – a rulership only because of a name was something very familiar to her. Her own family had suffered enough, because they bore a name and a special gift that came with it. Centuries of special breeding programs and genetic manipulations were to ensure the deepening of the use in the force and the special talent each family had.
And it had bestowed a terrible curse on several royal families on her planet. Members were only measured by their strength in using the force and how many sons they were able to sire – like mere animals. A few decades ago even marriages between close relatives weren’t unusual. The results had been terrible - from sterility to children who didn’t even survive the first months of their lifes. And last but not least it, many chose suicide as the only way out. But nowadays there was a small hope for her people to survive. If not for their strong affinity to the force nor their special talents, but their survival. Sooner or later the new blood that intermingled with the old family lines would eliminate all those defects, but weaken their connection to the force.
Something they now had started to accept. But for those from the old blood, had to live with the curse in their genes. This was something she had to live with. She knew too well, that Palpatine had branded her as instable.
Was Tron Sadow suffering from his name? A name that would always overshadow him - everyone had high expectations in him – maybe he would had to compete with the deeds of his great ancestor forever. But nonetheless he bore the name with great pride. Something she currently lacked – one of the reasons why she had hacked the brotherhood database and deleted her true family name. Nothing should hint of her well hidden talent.
She sat up, running a hand to her pierced shoulder beneath her robe. Warm blood ran through her fingers and she scowled. It didn't hurt though since every darksider of the Dark Brotherhood learned to controll pain right from the beginning. To her relief it wasn’t a serious wound. The younger tuk’ata approached her from behind, gently nudging her. Subconsciously she wrapped an arm around its head and gently rubbing the back of its nose, hearing it quietly purr. She laughed a little: “Ok, my friend. Let’s see what kind of dusty artifacts you have guarded here.”. “Too dusty.”, the tuk’ata sneezed.
Tron spoke quietly with the older tuk’ata, then he lifted his head: “We are lucky indeed. The artifacts – along with the holocron – are in the small mausoleum nearby. The tuk’ata know how to deactivate the security systems. Let’s go. We have no time to loose.” He strode to the exit of the room, the older tuk’ata faithfully walking next to him – having him fully acceped Tron as its master. Quick they approached the great hall with the mausoleum in its middle. But before Sildrin could walk down the stairs the younger tuk’ata stopped her - pulling her back by the robe with its teeth. She frowned, but a strange tingle ran down her spine. “The water – there is something with it.”, she whispered. “It needs to be removed”, the older tuk’ata growled. “We will deal with that”, Tron stepped forward, nodding to his companions: “Join me.”
The four of them tapped into the dark side, concentrating upon the force. The tuk’atas crouched down, sensing the use of the force. Suddenly they raised the water into the air, several feet above their heads. At once the tuk’atas got up and walked over to the mausoleum. Tron, Trev, Callus and Sildrin followed them, keeping the water in a bizarre shape floating above their heads, stopping on the stairs of the mausoleum. The four of them let the water drop down behind them, hearing the loud splashing sound from it. The eyes of the stone statues started to glow. Tron stepped forward and said “I am Lord Tron Sadow. Let us pass!”.
The eyes of the statues dimmed and the sealed doors slowly cracked open. Moldy air left the dark entrance and a strong smell of death disturbed their noses.
"Very well then you give me no choice." the Battlemaster replied. He darted forward swinging his saber in a deadly slice towards Sinistros' head. The spirit brought the red saber up to block and was immedialtey forced on the retreat as Raidoner followed up the attack with a thrust that would have skewered the young knights body if he hadn't spun away. Sinistros used to motion to aim his own saber at Raidoners neck and the Battlemaster pushed the blade away and aimed a slicing cut at the Knights shoulder attempting to sever the limb. Sinistros moved slightly and the blade burned his shoulder but his quick reactions saved him from a more serious wound.
The possessed Sith moved back now, raising his saber cautiously. "You think the dead fear pain?" he asked contemptously.
Raidoner shrugged. "We will see."
"I am impressed Sith," the long dead master congratulated, "you have overcome the sentimentality."
The Battlemaster shrugged, "My death wouldn't help Malisane, and I ensure it does not help you."
Sinistros shrugged. "So be it, Sith."
He leapt forward saber swinging in a deadly arch. Raidoner blocked it easily and returned the blow almost catching his opponent of guard and forcing him on the defensive. The Battlemaster went on full offensive now, resolved to his course of action and wanting this finished. His saber cleaved the air again and again, and Sinistros was forced to drive the young Sith's muscles beyond thier limits to block the onslaught. Finally his strength gave out and with a flick of his saber Raidoner sliced the glowling blade into Sinistros' abdomen, before reversing the strike slicing through the right elbow sending the forearm and saber spinning away.
Sinistros fell back gasping, the partially cauterised wound spewing blood onto the floor. Raidoner advanced mercilessley, but the ancient Jedi wasn't finished yet. Raising his left hand he hurled his telekinetic strength at the Battlemaster sending him sprawling to smash against the far wall. Sinistros used all his knowledge to drive his borrowed muscles upwards reaching for the control panel. He keyed in a sequence before falling back exausted.
Raidoner got to his feet and advanced on the greviously wounded figure. "What have you done."
The young human's face forced it's pained features into a dealthy grin. "Wait," he replied, "I have not been idle the last week, the explosion that wrecked the stucture left a suprising amount of the main weapon in place, enough to pull back together if you have the knowledge and the strength in the force. The repairs are not perfect but they are sufficient."
A second later the panel lights flashed. "FIRING SEQUENCE INITIATED," a voice boomed around the room, "COUNTDOWN T MINUS 10 MINUTES."
"No!" Raidoner shouted.
"Too late Sith," Sinistros replied triumphantly, "The sequence is not reversible." He looked at the stunned Battlemaster, "I will suceed where I once watched Vader and Tarkin fail, the destruction of Yavin IV, and my revenge on the Jedi."
"My friends are down there, Tron, Macron, Lucius, all of them!"
The ancient Jedi looked up at him, through his pain, and smiled "Then you should consider yourself fortunate you are not with them."
"I will stop this!" Raidoner shouted back.
"You may as well accept it Sith," Sinistros replied, "and soon when this body perishes your own will be my next vessel."
Raidoner looked his gloating opponent and with a snarl kicked him hard in the face causing the spirit to slump into unconsiousness. He went over to the console and started trying to stop the process. Everything was locked out, firing, targeting, auto destruct, nothing was working. In frustration he bashed the console.
Raid a voice came in his head.
He stopped "Hello."
You have to stop this. the voice replied.
"Malisane?" he gasped, "Is that you."
Yes who do you think? the voice came back, Sinistros' spirit is linked into my body. Now it is unconsious I can reach you. But we don't have much time. You have to destroy this thing.
"How do I know it's you?" Raidoner demanded.
If it was Sinistros do you think he'd be telling you to destroy the weapon?
"Fair enough," Raid replied, "so what do I do. The firing and targetting is locked out I can't get access."
Do it the old fashioned way. Get to your TIE and hit the reactor.
"Right," Raidoner replied, "I'm taking you with me." He picked up the body and shoved it over his shoulder.
Raid leave me, Sinistros is in my body if he gets off the Death Star he will take another body. If he dies locked in a body he's dead forever. I've seen his memories as he's seen mine.
"I'm not leaving you," Raid replied heading off down the corridor, "Tron or Trev or someone will know how to deal with Sinistros for good."
He carried the body back to his TIE and dumped it in the area behind the cockpit chair before strapping himself in. He launched and circled round the debris field until he had the reactor core in his sights. He targeted it and fired a proton torpedo at the core, before quickly angling the interceptor away and hitting the boosters out of the field before his sensors picked up the explosion behind him, and the shock wave rocked his ship.
He stabilised his flight path and targeted the planet. He swivelled his chair and opened the survival kit on the wall and found a tranquillisor, which he pumped into Malisane's neck, trying to keep him unconsious and Sinistros under control until he could land.
He plotted a course to his fellow clan members and hit the boosters.
Acerbus, flying patrol over the planet Yavin, glanced towards the massive hulk of a space station just in time to see his Master's TIE fly towards the ruined reactor core and fire a proton torpedo. Sith spit!, he thought, slamming the scramjets and veering towards the Astronicus' Reach. The shock wave from the ensuing explosion rattled The Force out of his cockpit.
"What the devil is going on over there, Raid?!" Acerbus half-screamed into his comlink.
Raidoner's voice crackled over his comlink. "Why did no one send me backup? Malisane is posessed by a Dark Side Spirit - this crazy guy activated the firing sequence on that wrecked station! I had to nearly kill him, then shut that thing down!"
"Alright, calm down," replied the Hunter. "I'll escort you back to the Reach."
He altered his course once more, flying towards Raid's slightly shaky TIE. Just then, his radar beeped wildy - three X-Wings bearing New Republic markings had came out of hyperspace not too far behind Raid and Malisane/Sinistros.
"Hit it, Master! I'll hold them off while you get back to the Cruiser!"
He pumped the weapons capacitor quickly as Raidoner shot by him at full sublight speed, preparing for a nasty dogfight.
They carefully descended the stairs into the mausoleum, entering a long corridor where statues were seated along its sides. The dark aura from this place was overwhelming. For a moment Trevarus scanned everything, but sensed no danger - at least no danger for darksiders as them. With a disdaining look on his face, Trev kicked over one of the many dead bodies inside the corridor with his boot - a Jedi.
Obviously he and several other Jedis had attempted to steal the secrets from the clasps of the dark temple in vain. "At least their deaths were painful.", Trevarus snarled, staring into the face of the Jedi which still showed the horrified pained look of the last moment of his life. Sildrin whispered: "Trev? We should collect their lightsabers. Our supply of lightsaber crystals are still sparse, although Lech's mission to find more, was quite successful." Trevarus nodded to Callus and her: "A good idea.". The machine to synthesize those crystals had broken down and Lech had brought up a competition for the members of the Marka Ragnos house to seek out for a natural source on other planets.
Soon they had collected 7 sabers on their way down the hall. Sildrin shuddered, she felt being watched. Just as she wanted to reach out with her senses, Callus said: "Those status... they are.. alive!". All four of them stopped, warily staring at the statues. Sildrin stepped closer to one of them :"They have barely any life signs. It appears as if they are in a trance."
Slowly they realized that each of the statue must have been a powerfull Sith. Some were quite emaciated as if they had been vegetating here for thousands of years. Sildrin wiped over a dusty plate, although she was anyway able to read it with the force. "Each one of them was obviously a keeper of this place. This one here was able to put himself into a deep trance before death would devour him.", she raised her head at the statue. The sunken in eyes - halfly closed - appeared to watch them constantly. They continued down the corridor, more than once Sildrin would have loved to stop and examine those half dead Siths, but she feared their wrath in case she disturbed them. A wrath obviously the Jedi had awoken.
Finally they reached the inner sanctum, a small barely lit room with a table in its center. Tron whispered in awe, stareing at the hovering object above the table: "The holocron. Finally." He reached out for it, hesitatingly taking it into his hand. He inhaled deeply, feeling the dark side surging up within him. "Quick, lets collect the other artifacts!", Trevarus growled at Sildrin and Callus. He felt a disturbance, something on this planet and deep in the debris of the old Death Star. Sildrin frowned, wishing she had more time to study this mausoleum, but she was sure Trevarus wouldn't hurry them for no reason. Even the tuk'ata nervously walked up and down in the room. Only a few minutes later after collecting the artifacts they rushed down the corridor and back to the entry hall of the temple.
Sildrin could barely await the moment when she was able to analize the Sith objects. Trevarus looked up at the ceiling, his eyes fixed on a point far beyond the normal sight. Then he whispered: "This threat is momentarily gone." - It was the moment where Raidoner had blasted up the Death Star before it could destroy the planet. The tuk'atas started to emit a low growl, stareing at the stone doors of the temple. All four of them turned their heads to the half opened entrance, sensing now what disturbed the tuk'atas - Jedis.
"You better drop those Sith Objects ... and surrender. I promise you won't be harmed!", a female voice said. The silhouette of a woman appeared in the entrance - she was carrying two ignited sabers.
"Surrender! I think not." Said Tron in reply to the Jedi woman's demand. "You are in no position to make such demands of us. Rather, it is you who should surrender - though I cannot guarantee that you will not be harmed."
"This is your final warning. Lay down the artifacts and your weapons!" Demanded the Jedi.
"I'm afraid we cannot acquiesce to your request." Replied Tron, his voice getting more and more agitated by the moment. "If it is a battle you want, then it is a battle you will get."
Zorini Mekla took up a fighting pose, holding one lightsaber up high and the other down low, her body turned sideways and her legs spread evenly ready to lunge her forward. Tron likewise took up a fighting pose, ignited his lightsaber and as a spur of the moment thought grabbed an ornately designed lightsaber
from Sildrin's collection of seven and ignited it.
Trevarus merely steepled his fingers together, his eyes staring off into deep meditation as he focused his energy, ready to unleash it upon one of the Jedi once they made a move. Sildrin ignited her saber as well and dropped the satchel of extras that she had collected.
Callus whipped out his chrome light blue saber and pointed it at one of the younger padawans. The Jedi ensemble likewise followed Zorini Mekla's move and ignited their sabers as well.
It was four Dark Jedi versus were several Jedi, a few padawans, and ten armed troopers and an E Web Blaster. Tron formed a telepathic battlemeld with the rest of his team and through his thoughts they understood what he wanted them to take out first and foremost. Callus would hit the E-web and it's crew of two. That left Sildrin with the other eight troopers, a piece of cake
she sent back to Tron through the meld. Trev and Tron would focus on the Jedi Masters and work their way down, once Callus and Sildrin had finished with the troopers they would work their way up by attacking the padawans and whomever came after them.
It seemed like they all stood their for an eternity, but in actuallity it was only been two seconds since Tron had sealed their fate. Before he or any of the others launched their attack the two troopers at the E-web screamed as the younger tuk'ata jumped thme from behind. It's claws sank into the back of one while it's strong jaw clenched on the neck of the other.
As all eyes turned to look at that, they quickly turned back to the other eight troopers who were being engaged by the older tuk'ata. It was all happening so fast the Jedi were taken by surprise and Tron wasn't going to pass that up, rushing forward he yelled, "For Naga Sadow!
" and locked sabers with Zorini Mekla.
"Acerbus break off attack and form on my wing." Raidoner ordered.
"Why?" Acerbus asked.
Raidoner glanced behind him at the prone figure who was showing signs of stirring. "I'm not sure long I've got here. I need to land."
Acerbus reluctantly complied. The two fighters hit the boosters and headed towards the Astronicus Reach.
The three X Wings pursued them matching their speed back to the Cruiser. As they came into range Raidoner smiled leading the X-Wings towards the port gun batteries. "Hard to starboard." he ordered and the two Jedi banked to the right. A second later the guns on the Astronicus Reach opened fire, blowing two of the New Republic ships into space. Acerbus altered his course, targeted the remaining fighter and blasted it into fragments.
Half an hour later the two jedi stood watching through the glass into the bacta tank containing the prone figure of Sinistros/Malisane. Around them a dozen Naga Sadow troopers stood with rifles ready.
"Well he's stable," Raid commented, "The wound to his side should heal. Not much they can do about his arm."
"Is he safe in there?" Acerbus asked.
The battlemaster shrugged. "He's heavily sedated," he replied, "but how much effect that will have on a Jedi with Sinistros' knowledge who knows."
"We could put a forcefield around him." Acerbus suggested.
Raid shrugged, "Unfortunatley forcefields don't actually stop the force," he said ironically, "he could disable it in seconds without even moving."
Acerbus nodded, "We'll take it in turns to keep watch for now until we can speak to Tron."
The hum and crack of sabers punctuated the battle. Mekla and Tron were crossing blades, and it was an awesome sight. One fighter let the living Force flow through her, casting aside all attachments and fear. The other was full of anger and passion, and looked inward for his strength. The duality was clear.
The duel was intense. Each combatant was a whirl of glowing plasma, their blades seeming to streak the air between them. The battle was almost exactly even between them, a fact not lost on Tron. No Jedi he had ever encountered fought as well as she, or seemed so detached. She used moves from many differing styles, including the ancient ones. There was no fear in her, only calm.
Trev had risen from his meditative pose and raised his hands toward Gallas Ren. The consular fumbled with his lightsaber as the waves of fear washed over him. Blue bolts of energy lanced his Rodian body, making him dance like a puppet. He quickly realized he should have paid more attention to his combat skills as he fell and lay dying on the dusty floor. More lightning washed over him, causing his cindered flesh to twitch as he moaned in agony.
The Sith hounds were busy gnawing on the e-web blaster crew, and had essentially put the cumbersome weapon out of commission. Callus strode between them, hacking away at limbs with his lightsaber with glee. They drew vibro-bayonets and attempted to defend themselves as they were cut down.
The older Sith Hound had attacked the troopers as Sildrin began to cut them down on her way to the padawans and lesser Jedi. Unfortunately for them, this was a Dark Side site of some magnitude and they were having trouble wielding the Force effectively. Fear began to gnaw at them as the influence of the site and the Darksiders therein affected them.
Macron’s team became aware of the battle as the shouts echoed through their headsets.
“Fall back,” he whispered as the motioned. “Get the ship prepped for takeoff, and make sure the landing area is secure. They will be back soon,” said the Sith.
The unforgiving jungle seemed to grow in size around the Dark Jedi as they made their way back to the ship. A sense of claustrophobia shot into Sin’s mind as vicious looking storm clouds gathered in the small patches of visible sky above.
“This mission is all kinds of wrong,” remarked the Correlian as he chopped through another spine covered tendril. “I’m getting sick of this planet and its damned wildlife. I feel like I have insects crawling under my skin.” The hairs on the back of his neck stood up at the thought.
“I can sense your discomfort my student,” said Macron slowly. His words seemed to echo in Sin’s head, like they were heard by both his ears and the deepest most primeval part of his psyche. The guardian couldn’t hide his anger at being read this way by his master. “Good,” Continued the Keibatsu family member. “Your anger will give you focus and help you toward your goals. But be wary of the control that you must exert over it. Now hurry, I don’t think we have much time to get back to the transport and I fear for our counterpart’s lives.”
The group forged on and in short time the shuttle was in sight, its form only just visible through the undergrowth. Looking up through the jungle canopy Acara Rayden paused for a moment and put out his hand, palm up, and sniffed at the air.
“The rain is coming. In a few minutes we won’t be able to see more than a few feet in front of out noses. And there’s something else.” The Adumarian’s words were a low, steady peace in the cacophony of jungle noises. He stood perfectly still and gestured to the others to look up. “Up there, in the tree tops. Something’s following us.”
Macron smiled for one intensely insane second and his face became blank and as cold as stone. “Hmm,” he muttered to himself. “So this is the answer to our clone visions. Cloning…. alchemy, perhaps in this case one and the same,” his curiosity at odds with their lack of time. No, he thought, we must reach the shuttle quickly.
Suddenly as if from nowhere a human shaped blur shot through the branches directly towards the gathered Dark Jedi. Its now visible skin as red as the Yavin gas giant…..
Raidoner startled. "Malisane?" he asked, "is that you again?"
Of course it is I don't have much to do, do I?
"Fair enough Malisane." Raidoner answered. He caught Acerbus looking at him suspicously and shoed him away.
I've got a plan
"Go on." Raid replied.
This is what you have to do.
Sinistros opened his eyes. He was on a bed and arms and legs were manacled. He struggled against them. His head was fuzzy and he couldn't focus the force. He looked up. A guard was approaching him carrying a tray. "Food time." he said.
Sinistros growled. "Flee while you can." he replied.
The guard shrugged. "I've got my orders." He reached down to open Sinistros mouth and the spirit struck, transfering his spirit into the guard. He dropped the tray to the floor and looked down at the form of Malisane, who was focusing his eyes.
"Thank you for the loan of your body, Sith."
Malisane looked up at him, focusing as he regained control of his body, "You're welcome," he replied grogily.
Sinistros laughed through the guards vocal cords. "This is a weak body, but it will serve to hide in until I can seize another Dark Jedi to host my spirit. Maybe your friend Raidoner, maybe one of the Elders."
Malisane looked up at him. "You won't be able to hide."
Sinistos laughed, "Fool, this guard has no force powers to detect nd your friends will not even suspect I am in here until it is too late."
"I know you're there." Malisane replied.
Sinistros laughed, "That is all too true Sith," he said drawing the guards blaster, "but that is easily fixed. Shot trying to escape. Any last words?"
"Yes," Malisane replied, "your body does not have Jedi powers, and does not have force senses."
Sinistros eyes widened in realisation and spun around raising the blaster as Raidoner brought his lightsaber around in an arch slicing through the neck and sending the head spinning off accross the room. The body slumped to the floor.
The battlemaster looked down at the body, and then at his friend. "Is he dead?" he asked.
Malisane nodded, "His spirit was linked to his host, when it died, he died.
"Good," Raidoner replied in relief. He raised his hand and Malisane's bonds opened. He helped the knight to his feet. "I bet you could use a meal," he said with a smile.
Malisane nodded wearily, "And a sleep."
"Sorry about your arm," Raidoner replied.
Malisane shrugged, "yes, but it was nessesary, and at least I've got the rest of me back."
"We'll sort you out with a replacement don't worry." the battlemaster replied.
The pair of them left the room back down the medical bay.
The red-skinned human leaped at Sin, qulls and bone spurs erupted from its skin. Sin brought up his sword barely being able to block the nearly deadly swing of the Massassi's sword. Sin growled, gritting his teeth as the Massassi's sword slowly digged into his throat. He felt warm blood running down his neck. "Damn, this thing is strong and fast..", he thought. The black eyes of the Massassi stared at him - filled with animal fire.
Suddenly the eyes of the massassi opened wide and Sin was burried by it's body that slumped onto him. The Guardian looked up, seing Macron standing with a small syringe in his hand. Macron gasped, rolling over the massassi's body, whispering: "Unbelievable - a massassi." He was barely able to hide his excitement.
Sin stood up, wiping his neck. "Is it dead?". A cracking sound made both of them turn around, Macron whipped out his saber. But both of them relaxed, eyeing Callus and Sildrin. "Hello Macron, how are.... what in Zandru's hell is this?", Sildrin started. The Sith alchemist bend over the motionless body, his voice filled with excitement and awe: "A massassi. I was able to sedate it. Sin, Callus carry the body to the shuttle! I dont want it to be harmed." Then Macron looked at them: "Where is Lord Tron and Trevarus?"
Sildrin replied: "They both send us back, all the Jedi and padawans are dead. And there was only that Jedi Master... they wanted to deal with her alone. She is... extraordinary. But no match for Tron and Trev", she cleared her throat: "Err.. I mean Lord Tron Sadow and Trevarus. I am sure they will be back soon." She hold up a satchel: "I brought a few presents for our house archives.", Macron licked his teeth, grinning broadly.
"And" she continued "we have found more than just this...", she turned her head and Macron felt her sending out a mental command into the green jungle. Something was approaching them, nearly inaudble the younger tuk'ata made its way to the clearance. It nudged its head gently again Sildrin's side then sat down next to her. "We found them in the temple. The other tuk'ata... is somehow fixed on Lord Tron Sadow and refuses to move from his side. Like obviously Lord Tron's ancestor Naga Sadow had ordered them.", she grinned. "This mission turned out to be a full success."
Macron nodded, staring at the tuk'ata then at the massassi and then to the filled satchel in Sildrin's hands. "A glorious day. Naga Sadow would be proud of us." Sildrin quietly added with a light grin: "And Lord Marka Ragnos." Then she frowned: "I know that Lord Tron and Trevarus ordered us to get to the shuttle... but I am still worried." Macron shook his head: "No. We should obey their commands. Lord Tron and the Oracle are well capable to deal with the Jedi Master. Let's go to the shuttle." Finally they reached the shuttle, waiting there impatiently for Tron and Trev.
Ten score heartbeats counted out the moments which passed between three powers. Two Elders that would match the might of a wise Master of the new Jedi Order. Here in the depths of this tomb, Trevarus appreciated the regal bearing of his own surrogate Father, the Founder of the new line of the Sith Empire. This would be a clash of ancient powers and new blood.
Two minds unified in a singular threshold that only resembled sanity considered the battle between the Heir of Sadow and this Master. Tron screamed, throwing the full weight of his musculature into the grapple, evenly matched to a Jedi Master.
"Father Sadow." Trevarus said evenly, over the crackling of opposing blades. "Allow me the honor of her death, to honor the name you have granted to this Son."
"As you wish, Trevarus Sadow."
In two short movements, Tron disengaged his lightsaber, and crouched into a high leap behind the circle of the challenger to the Jedi Master. Crossing his arms over his chest, he nodded to his Son. With a simple shrug of his shoulders, the heavy black cloak fell from Trevarus' shoulders, vanishing in a thunderclap of displaced air. He stepped forward, hands moving into the lightsaber form he favored, an ancient variation of the even more ancient Second Form.
"I know your name, Son of Caerick. An honorable tomb robber. Thief." Mekla spat this llast word in abject disgust.
"I suffer to say, that I do not know your name, Zorini Mekla. Yet, we have seen your tapesty, and the threads have spun into frayed tatters."
Tron felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise at those last words. The temperature of the cold tomb had fallen another thirty degrees, and his even breath flowed out of his lips in a cool white stream, barely perceptible in the bare lights of the single ignited lightsaber. In the sweep of a single second, a shadow fell over the Dark Councilor's face, and he stepped into a new position, leaping high, his movements exaggerated by grim purpose.
"We are Shan Long," were the last words that Zorini Mekla heard before her death.
In twin gunshots of displaced air, two lightsabers appeared in Shan Long's hands, at the peak of his leap, his body twisted, arcing crimson light flowing like the fags of a great Dragon, thundering his namesake against the blades of their rival, barely parried. Shan Long moved faster, the Force crackled its fury at his command, flowing through his limbs in a primal expression of predatory rage. Exactly sixteen heartbeats later, the battle was concluded.
Shan Long dipped low, pivoting on his right heel, sweeping both lightsabers up in opposite directions. Mekla fell to the floor, quartered, the expression on her face frozen for the moment her life faded.
In a final snarl, Shan Long turned, bowing low before Tron Sadow.
"Our Father", he growled, standing and the shadow lifting from his eyes.
"You have done well, Trevarus, my son." Tron said. "Take her lightsaber for your prize."
The Jedi Master's lightsaber vanished from the floor with a snap of the Master's fingers. His cloak, too reappeared in his hands, clasping it back over his shoulder.
"Come now Tron, we haven't finished yet." Trevarus said, lighting a cigar cocked in his lip.