New Sadow Palace
“What the hell do you mean captured!” Consul Robert Sadow screamed at Admiral Aramis Nestor.
The Fleet Commander stood his ground as he had been around the Governor General enough to have seen when he was really angry and this was not one of those times, “The enemy has retreated and we have control over all of our resources except the Platform Onyx
. Attempts to regain control have failed and the only communication we’ve received is a claim they are some group aligned with the Peace Brigade and have a high ranking prisoner.”
“So you are telling me that not only is the Deputy Governor General missing, we also have a visiting high ranking representative aboard a captured facility?” the Consul took the silence from the Admiral as a yes answer, “Very well Admiral, continue with the operations we have discussed. I will assign some members of the Dlarit Special Operations Group to retrieve what belongs to us.”
Admiral Nestor quickly saluted and exited the Consul’s office.
Consul Robert Sadow looked through his terminal trying to locate those to help with this mission. The Orian system was currently a disaster zone and he was having difficulty located many of the senior members and those that he could were already busy with various other missions. The Consul had faith in quite a few of the young and newer members and decided upon giving them the opportunity to make a difference for Clan Naga Sadow. Quickly the Consul typed up a mission statement for the Journeyman of Naga Sadow and hit send.
Greetings Journeyman of Naga Sadow,
It is in times of need that a person’s character is often challenged. Either one rises to this challenge and grows or one fails and perishes. Today your Consul is asking you to assist in a dangerous task that will offer you this challenge.
During the recent attack on our system the Platform Onyx, which orbits the planet Tarthos, was captured and we still have yet to regain control of the facility. It was just reported to me that the enemy holding the platform is aligned with the Peace Brigade organization and claim to have a high ranking prisoner. The prisoner they speak of is Herald Shikyo Sasuke Keibatsu.
I shouldn’t have to inform you of the importance of the Herald’s rescue, right now this attack is a Clan problem, we don’t want to have to involve the Dark Council which is what will happen if I have to report a dead Herald.
For those of you willing to take this mission, you are to report to the Republic-class Star Destroyer Final Way which is in orbit of Tarthos. There you will team up and form an assault on the Platform Onyx and rescue the Herald.
Journeyman, your Consul needs your assistance. Are you willing to accept this challenge?
Sith Warlord Robert Sadow
Consul of Clan Naga Sadow
The plain steel walls of the training room were designed to both prevent anyone training inside from causing serious damage and to reflect sound back into the room, making the warriors inside fight harder and increasing their adrenalin level. Wooden swords clattered together loudly as Ryuk and Nix Graves sparred while Fremoc sat in a corner of the room watching them, his eyes half-closed.
Suddenly, a loud beeping echoed off the walls as Fremoc's hand-held terminal gave off an alert. The Knight snatched the terminal from his belt and read quickly, a dry chuckle seeping from his lips. Then he stood and raised his voice at Ryuk and Nix, stowing the terminal again.
"You two, put those swords down and follow me. We have a mission."
The Shistavanen and the Mandalorian looked at each other, Nix's muzzle drawing up into a smirk as Ryuk felt a grim smile flicker across his face. Finally, time for action!
As the three moved out of the training room, Fremoc tapped his communicator and spoke into it, robes flaring around him.
"Valorian, meet us in the hangar bay, would you? We've a job to do."
Marcus Kiriyu sat bolt upright as his terminal beeped loudly, announcing the arrival of Bob's message. Rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, the Protector staggered over to his desk and read the message, gradually becoming more and more awake as the words seeped into his mind. By the time he'd reached the end of the message Marcus was fully awake and darted over to his closet to throw on some clothes and arm himself for the coming mission.
A few minutes later the door to his apartment slid open and the Protector darted out, running down the halls of the Skyhook towards the hangar. One of the HLAF-500 fighters assigned to the Jade Serpents would be free, and would allow him to get up to the Final Way in preparation for the mission.
Ragnos Cathedral Hangar Bay
As Valorian, Fremoc and his two Apprentices Ryuk and Nix walked into the hangar bay, their eyes were drawn to a large shuttle sitting in the centre of the great space, engines alight. The backwash from the engines flowed towards a lanky figure standing before the boarding ramp, his arms crossed and his exotic-looking robe fluttering around his legs.
Clearing his throat loudly over the sound of the engines, Manji gestured with a thumb towards the shuttle behind him.
"You guys had better get on board. I don't think the pilot wants to wait much longer for you!"
The Journeymen, followed by their Rollmaster, clambered up the boarding ramp of the shuttle as it clamped shut behind them. Making their way to the middle of the ship, they took seats as Manji moved into the cockpit and nodded at the pilot. As he turned back to the Journeymen, a smile crossed the Epis' face.
"Shik's probably gotten himself captured by a woman or something. Let's get up there and save his ass, shall we?"
Engines flared as the shuttle lifted off the floor and moved out through the doors of the hangar bay before shooting upwards into the atmosphere towards the Final Way.
The door to Arack Tavar's quarters slid open with a sibilant hiss, the Apprentice walking in to dump his readings for another Shadow Academy exam onto his bed. As he turned away, he heard an insistent beeping from the terminal on his desk. Moving over to the console, Arack brought up the message and read through it, his eyes widening slightly at the news.
"Have they already gone?"
Quickly, the Apprentice threw on some more combat-oriented clothes than his grey Apprentice robe and gathered his weapons, dashing out of the door of his quarters towards the hangar bay. As the large doors to the hangar bay slid open he saw the glimmer of engines disappearing into the distance as the shuttle sped away. The Apprentice swore quietly, then his eyes were drawn to one of the fighters assigned to the Tarthos defence line sitting nearby.
He'd probably get in trouble for borrowing the ship, but there was a mission to take part in. Running over to the fighter, Arack jumped in and manipulated the engines, lifting the fighter off the floor of the hangar. Again, engines flared as the fighter soared out of the hangar bay and up into the atmosphere, pursuing the shuttle.
Darkness faded in and out as Shikyo slowly began to regain consciousness. Semi-bright lights began to break into the mind of the Herald, slowly bringing him back into the world of reality. As he looked around, he noted a couple of civilians looking at him with awe and terror. Apparently, they had never seen a dark jedi before.
To the left and right of the civilians were monoliths of jagged edges and points. Looking higher up, the Keibatsu began to snarl softly like a beast. Yuuzhan Vong. However, this was not the worst sight he had. Parting the sentients was a younger woman than the Krath. Jet black hair cut down to her shoulders, light brown robes designed in the fashion of a Jedi. As Shikyo looked up, the face became too familiar and a deep growl escaped the lips of the Pontifex. The soft green eyes of the young woman looked over the captured Keibatsu as the sound of hard feet on the platform echoed shortly, followed by a hard thump…
3 Days Ago…
The nightclub stayed nice and dark, allowing the multi-colored lights to dance around the patrons of the club. It had been a while since the war against the Jedi had ended and while victory was truly met, there were questions in the mind of the Herald. His brother had ascended the throne and had become daimyo instead of warrior. While this pleased the younger Keibatsu, it meant tighter security for the Brotherhood and more missions to discover any leaks.
Work was becoming more and more intense and there was no stop for breaks. Fortunately for the Herald, family connections allowed for minor chances to relax before the next mission. As he sipped on the newest alcoholic creation to cross the mind of the Krath, he noted a woman across the club, smirking to himself.
She stood at the bar, wearing a slinky, black slik dress, looking around aimlessly. As he eyes passed over the Keibatsu, they doubled back and met his, smiling gently to herself. Keeping his famous smirk on his lips, he left the booth he was enjoying and moved towards her position, noting her figure. She had very well proportioned curves that demonstrated the perfect body and while her face was not overwhelmingly gorgeous, it contained a natural beauty that made it much more.
Throughout the night, he gave her the same pseudo life he told every female he seduced; working as a representative for a well known company, doing business on her side of the galaxy. As the night of alcohol and flirting continued, the Herald found himself in a dark alley with the young woman, indulging in many pleasures of the flesh. As he broke away from her kiss, he looked into her soft eyes before hearing the sickening crack of something hard colliding into his skull, rendering him unconscious…
Shikyo looked up at the young female Jedi and smirked at her, just as he did that night at the bar.
As Marcus arrived in the hangar he was surrounded by the noise of repairs being made, orders being barked across the deck and the smell of liquid fuels and oils. It brought him back to his childhood, as it did every time. He found the deck-chief and yelled his orders to him over the increasing sounds of an ion-drive with a feedback so bad it made it bounce across the hangar.
"Chief, I want the first HLAF out of here and I need it five minutes ago."
The deck-chief laughed at him then pointed out the birds that were in the hangar bay, "Look son, that one's got a fried control circuit, that one doesn't have any fuel and the one in the corner doesn't have any armaments."
"I don't care," Marcus yelled at him, "I'll fly it. I need to get to the Final Way, it's not far and I doubt I'll run into any trouble." The chief looked at him thoroughly, it was clear what was running through his mind; what would happen to his career if he let a journeyman out into space in a broken fighter. "Alright son, I'll tell you what. Head through that door, there's my own HLAF-500 parked in there and use that instead of these broken birds. But I'd better get it back in one piece, ya hear me?" Marcus was already running across the hall, "Yeah I hear you. Thanks chief!"
Soon as he entered the private hangar he saw the ship, sitting in the middle of the deck. She looked beautiful, but Marcus didn't have time to appreciate it's pristine looks. He hopped onto one of the stabilizer wings and jumped into the cockpit. He quickly ran through the pre-flight checks and then punched the engines, heading out into space. He found the Final Way on the scanners and set a course. It'd be twenty minutes until he arrived.
En Route to Final Way
Fremoc made his way between his two apprentices and Valorian to talk to Manji. There were a few things that Fremoc needed and wanted to know if the Son of Sadow had thought ahead enough. If this mission was going to go the way he thought it would be, Fremoc needed to be at his best with his regular gear. Upon reaching the cockpit, Manji was concentrating on his flying but to see the Epis pilot was a first for Fremoc.
"Manji, did you by any chance pick up my armor and other gear? Maybe even the kids' armor as well?" asked the Night Raptors Commander.
"Everything that you will need it on the Final Way, including your gear," replied the Rollmaster. Fremoc nodded and returned to the passenger area and sat next to Valorian.
"You kids are going to get to see something not everyone will see anymore," Fremoc chuckled as did Valorian. Since retaking Antei no one has seen the Commander in his armor or being referred to as "Demonic." All he had to do was wait and get himself ready on the Final Way.
HLAF Starfighter: Following Strike Unit Shuttle
Apprentice Arack Tavar sighed in exasperation as yet another message from the Tarthos Defense Control tower beeped through the borrowed HLAF's communication unit.
"Tarthos Defense Fighter 1025, come in. I repeat, come in!"
Sighing and contemplating whether to bash his fist through the comm unit, Arack decided against it and depressed the 'Reply' button.
"Tarthos Control, this is Arack Tavar. I have taken this starfighter without proper authorization for a clandestine mission from the Governor-General himself. I will return the craft in one piece, I swear"
There was a crackling sound as the operator responded.
"There's no recorded mission on file, Tavar"
Arack sighed and wanted to take his sidearm and blow his brains out then and there but he answered instead, his voice laced with sarcasm.
"That's because it's clandestine...which means secret! Ensign, if there aren't any more questions, my RV vector is approaching" stated Tavar and the Apprentice cut the communications line with the Tarthos control and continued to float in the shuttle's wake, worried about his upcoming Shadow Academy exam and that his study time for said exam had just been significantly reduced.
Kano Tor Pepoi
Ryuk sat patiently on the floor in a meditative state going threw all the actions that could unfold during the mission at hand. There were many ways this could go wrong but with the team of fellow journeymen eager to kick some ass and make names for themselves it was highly unlikely that this mission would be a failure in anyway.
Manji called to the anxious men, "Two minutes."
Ryuk began to check himself over to find what he would need to acquire before the mission was to start. He went threw his list. Mandalorian Armor. Of course. this was an everyday item. Sith Sword. Check. He could feel the pressure of its sheath across his back. Westar-34. Check. Ryuk tugged at the blaster piston on his side to be sure it was secure. The only things missing were his BlasTech 500 ESPO "Riot Gun" that he loved for the amount of chaos it caused and his helmet. He thought to himself. 'I sure as hell don't wanna be without my chaos gun.'
Just as Manji called it the shuttle was already beginning to open the hatch for the team to make there way out and recieve further instructions.
Nix watched as Master Fremoc got up and walked to the cockpit to talk to Manji. Nix could feel the excitement of the mission in his stomach or maybe it was just his belly growling at him, never the less he felt ready to do his part. As Master Fremoc walked back and sat down next to Valorian, Master Fremoc said, “You kids are going to get to see something not everyone will see anymore," with a chuckle. Nix said nothing but gave a little smile and felt confused about what his master had just said. Feeling puzzled Nix let out a little huff and dropped the thought and scratched a spot behind his ear. While his arm was up he caught a whiff of a strong foul smell of wet dog coming from under his robes. He slowly put down his arm and hoped that no one else had smelled it too.
NOV Nix Graves (Obelisk)/TRP/Marka Ragnos of Naga Sadow
Apprentice to Fremoc “Demonic" Pepoi
Approaching The Final Way
The sky around the shuttle began to blacken, the colour seeping away as the shuttle ascended towards a sharp grey wedge of durasteel hovering above Tarthos- the Final Way. The Star Destroyer loomed ever closer, swelling to fill the viewscreen of the shuttle with a sea of turreted, buttressed grey metal. The shuttle dipped underneath the ship and moved upwards into the open hangar bay, turrets swivelling to watch it land carefully.
The engines flared carefully as the pilot brought the ship into land, tweaking the controls to ensure a smooth landing. The landing struts clinked onto the polished floor of the hangar bay before steam hissed from the vents of the ship, the boarding ramp slowly lowering to tap against the hangar floor. Footsteps echoed down the ramp as Manji strode off the shuttle, one arm tucked into his kimono nonchalantly as he glanced around at the inside of the hangar bay.
A grin twitched across his face before he turned to face the Journeymen standing on the ramp behind him and gestured absentmindedly around him.
"Here we are, folks- the Final Way. You've got thirty minutes to prepare for the mission then I want you all in Briefing Room One, alright?"
A chorus of nods answered the Epis as the Journeymen filed off the shuttle.
One of the Yuuzhan Vong began to speak to his counterpart, occasionally glancing back at the Herald with a disgusted look upon their faces. The Pontifex tested the restraints on his wrists and ankles, trying to not make enough motion that the Vong were alerted. He was getting restless in his kneeling position and found it degrading but it was the price he paid. The doors opened and the Yuuzhan Vong parted as Eliria was followed by a couple of civilian looking individuals.
“Madame Krishnaya, we are grateful for your wisdom but we do not feel that this is wise. He is a threat to our plans.”
The young woman turned back to the older male speaking.
“He is a threat to your plans because you do not understand this kind of man. I do. Now, leave us and please take his watchers with you.”
The two Vong looked back at the Peace Brigade members with disgusted looks upon their faces. They wanted to destroy the woman but the promise of a greater, worthier battle stayed their hands. Grunting slightly, they left the room along with the sullen looking party that followed the Jedi in. As the doors closed, the young woman looked deep into the eyes of the Keibatsu.
“I am sorry for the constant assault against you. It will be over soon. I promise.”
Shikyo smirked sadistically at his captor.
“Oh, I know it will, darling. You think this is bad? Trust me. You have not had a taste of the horrors I’ve seen. This is merely child’s play.”
Eliria lowered herself and placed her hand upon the Krath’s cheek, stroking it gently and watching as her prisoner turned violently away from her hand. A gentle smile placed itself upon her visage, tilting her head to look into the eyes of the Wolf.
“You are right. I have not seen horrors like you have because I have not buried myself into darkness. I have seen the light and seen the path towards it.”
Sasuke began to chuckle demonically.
“Do not waste my time. I do not care one way or another for the light or the dark. They are simply perspectives given to the blind and ignorant.”
Bringing herself back to her feet, she looked down sympathetically at Shikyo.
“Then, perhaps it is time for you to learn newer perspectives.”
As those words passed through the Jedi’s lips, the doors opened once more and the two Vong who had watched over the Keibatsu returned. Eliria turned over her shoulder before leaving her prisoner, leaving the Wolf of Kyataru to the devilish smiles on the faces of the Yuuzhan Vong. Doors closed, weapons were removed and the cries of the Herald began to penetrate throughout the platform.
Hangar of the Final Way
Fremoc stood back for a minute and watched the three men from his battle team exit. Manji stood behind the tall man, watching them all. The Commander turned to the Epis, "Manji, is The Stryker
The lanky man looked at the Knight, "Yes it is, and yes your armor, assault rifle and other gear is on here. Its all in your precious Stryker
Fremoc nodded and headed off to the other end of the hangar bay and activated the security code to let his entrance ramp down. The Knight slowly walked up the ramp and headed to the quarters where his gear was. Immediately he put on his black armor and attached his helmet to the small of his back, while also keeping his tattered robe on. The Knight attached his lightsaber to the right side of his belt and took his pistol and secured the holster to his right hip. His knife went to the left side of his belt and took the assault rifle in hand. Fremoc debated whether or not to take the electrostaff that in the room, but he decided he had enough gear especially since he still needed to take his pack with his explosives.
The Knight began to exit the VCX-820, locking the door to his quarters and then walking down the ramp. He depressed the button on his gauntlet to close the ramp and activate the security system. Note to self, change security code...
Fremoc made his way to the briefing room where everyone else was waiting, as well as his two apprentices.
Midsection C of the Final Way
Marcus sat in one of the many chairs that adorned the briefing room, waiting for the main briefing. So far they were missing only one person, Dark Knight Pepoi.
He didn't feel at ease, most notably because in the past few minutes he had been hurled through a tractor beam, hustled through the corridors of the Final Way by a bunch of troopers then dumped here with the promise that everything he'd need would be taken care of. Yeah, not at ease was an understatement.
Slowly the others started to come in, Marcus standing up to give a nod in respect to the Epis that was with them. Suddenly someone dropped himself in the seat next to the Protector whom he recognized as apprentice Arack Tavar.
"So," the apprentice started, leaning over to Marcus, "What do you think happened?" "Don't know," Marcus answered gruffly while trying to see who they were missing, "but I picked up some comm-chatter on the way in. What it sounds like is that we have regained control over the entire Orian system, except platform Onyx, which is where our herald is being held."
The two of them exchanged a worrying glance just as Fremoc Pepoi entered the room. The briefing was about to start.
Midsection C of the Final Way
"Right," Manji snapped, moving across the room towards a large, round holoprojector. The Journeymen leaned forwards with interest as he tapped a few buttons, the lights in the briefing room dimming as a shimmering blue shape appeared above the projector. Turning to them, the Epis smirked knowingly.
"This, younglings, is Platform Onyx. As you're probably aware from what you've heard and the instructions that brought you here, it's currently being controlled by members of the Peace Brigade organisation; Yuuzhan Vong and a few Jedi."
He paused to let the information sink in, his voice taking on a slightly more serious tone as he continued.
"In itself this wouldn't be a problem; we'd just charge right in there, kill those frackin' intruders and take back the Platform. However, there's a complication..." With a slight cough, Manji turned away from the Journeymen and crossed his arms in front of him. Before him, a panel of shimmering blue light appeared on the holoprojector that displayed a face and a few biographical details in Aurebesh.
"They have a prisoner. Namely, his Excellency Shikyo Sasuke Keibatsu, Herald of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood and my younger brother."
Nobody spoke, an almost breathless silence filling the room. Shikyo was even higher-ranked than Manji; how could he have been captured by the Peace Brigade? As if hearing the unspoken question, Manji responded, turning back to the group.
"He was probably chatting up some woman when they caught him. Shik can't resist the ladies." He chuckled quietly, remembering the last time he'd spoken to Shikyo- the Pontifex had been trying to pick up a Zeltron.
"The plan is really up to you; you can either take an all-guns-blazing approach or you can be more stealthy." Manji's expression hardened as he stared at the Journeymen, face serious. "My only order is that Shikyo is brought out alive and with all his limbs still intact. If any of you damage him through friendly fire or sheer stupidity, I will butcher you myself. Understood?"
A chorus of nervous nods was his answer. The Epis paused for a moment before turning back to the holoprojector and switching the device off, the lights in the room flickering back on. Without turning round, Manji waved a hand absentmindedly towards the group.
"You'll be leaving in half an hour. Those of you who aren't fully armed, get to the armoury and retrieve your gear. Dismissed!"
Final Way Armory
Apprentice Arack Tavar entered the armory, Protector Marcus by his side and gasped at the arrays of armor and weaponry that lined the walls and filled lockers. There were blaster rifles and pistols, explosives of both legal and illegal variant and row after row of armors, everything from an assassin's stealth suit to a heavy demolition technicians armor. Modifications such as increased protection or a medical suite were also available.
However, as Marcus walked in a dazed trance towards a row of blaster rifles, Arack had eyes for only a single weapon hanging some distance from a line of vibroweapons. Quickly closing the distance to where the weapon, a long sword, was hanging, Tavar picked up the scabbard, a simple thing of black leather, and held it close to him. A warm feeling coursed through his veins as he wrapped his pale fingers around the hilt and drew the sword.
A well oiled hiss resounded as the blade came free of its prison and instead of feeling like a durasteel blade should, it felt light and easy to control. Flicking his wrist, Tavar sent the blade spiraling behind him and jerked to a stop as a simple application of the Force halted the chosen weapon of the apprentice.
Turning slowly, Arack saw Krath Epis Manji Sadow standing behind him. "An interesting choice, Arack Tavar. Most apprentices and Journeyman go for the big guns. Yet simplicity is not always bad. But if you're going to wield something like that, you'll want to wear something like that " Arack followed the extended finger of the Rollmaster and saw a suit of interesting armor hanging from a rack not far where his sword had been found...something told Tavar that it would fit perfectly.
Five minutes later, the Obelisk Raptor was dressed in his new armor; a black reinforced jumpsuit similar to the Night Hawks armor that provided protection against flame and bladed objects covered by a light durasteel chestplate, gauntlets, boots, and knee pads. A small steel half-collar around the neck of the armor protected the apprentice against any enemies that may attack him from the rear.
Attached to his left hip was the black scabbard that held his sword and around his waist was a blaster pistol and on his back, in a custom back sling, was a Soro-Suub GLX Firelance assault rifle. With one last look around the armory, Arack exited and made his way to his commanding officer, Fremoc "Demonic" Pepoi and his personal starcraft, the Stryker .
Kano Tor Pepoi
Ryuk made a quick trip to the armory to see if by any chance his Riot Gun and helmet had been placed in there. As he walked threw the doors he was amazed at the many different weapons that were in his reach there. For a brief second the thought crossed his mind to change up his arsenal for this mission but then he decided not to for the simple reason that he knew his gear and he knew the best ways to use his gear. After the thought Ryuk noticed just what he was wanting to see, his helmet and BlasTech 500 ESPO "Riot Gun". Picking up the Riot Gun Ryuk said aloud, "Now the party can begin"
Ryuk threw the gun strap over his shoulder and placed the helmet over his head. Instantly the HUD kicked on and began displaying the distances of various objects and slight heat traces appeared threw the walls of the armory. Not even thinking about his "second eyes" Ryuk headed back to meet up with the rest of the team and to get his direct orders.
Nix made his way over to the armory to get his gear as he walked in he saw all kinds weapons on the wall and the gear that had been placed there. Nix already knew what he wanted to take on this mission he had a feeling that most of the combat was going to up close and in your face type of fighting. He made his way to the body armor and grabbed a light but sturdy suit with blaster plates on the chest, knees, and forearms. After putting on the suit under his torn robes he went for his trusty duel BlasTech K-14 blasters and holstered them at his hips. Nix went for his favorite weapon next his two vibro dagger blades that he had placed on the under side of his forearms. The daggers folded up and tucked away nix let a smile roll across his face with the thought of killing some vong and Jedi in his mind as he walked out of the armory to his master.
ACO Nix Graves (Obelisk)/TRP/Marka Ragnos of Naga Sadow Apprentice to DJK Fremoc "Demonic" Pepoi
Fremoc and Manji stood infront of the The Stryker. They had just finished talking of the options to take for this mission and the One Eyed Dragon turned and left for the command center of on the Final Way. The Knight and the Epis had both thought the best way to move out was to have a main assault team in the VCX-820, while two took the HLAF fighters. The five men walked from the armory, in full combat armor with various weapons. They stopped several feet in front of Fremoc, who shifted his weight onto his left leg.
"Gents, this isn't the first time we've gone on a mission together, and it most certainly won't be the last. Now, Manji and I just talked and here is the plane. Ryuk, Nix, Valorian, you guys are with me in The Stryker. Arack and Marcus, you two are in the two HLAF fighters. We need to go in fast get out fast. If we have problems I will send a secure message to the command center, where they will bring in this lovely Star Destroyer, guns blazing." Fremoc paused for a second, "Any questions?"
Everyone looked ready, and itching to go. Arack was obviously sad because he didn't get to ride on the VCX.
"No? Good. Mount up on your respective ships and we will launch in 60 seconds."
Kano Tor Pepoi
Just seconds after Dark Jedi Knight Fremoc "Demonic" Pepoi made the announcement Ryuk, Nix, and Valorian were in The Stryker and ready to go. Before any of them were even seated Fremoc had the engines running and the VCX-820 lunged forward and made its way towards the hanger exit of the Final Way.
Ryuk watched as the others began going over there gear and thought for a second about doing the same and a feeling hit him. It was a feeling he hadn't experienced in quite some time. It took a second to realize what it was but then it hit him. Thirll. Ryuk once again felt the thrill of the chase. This was no rescue mission to him. It was like attaining a bounty in a very risky situation.
Ryuk ignored the others and quickly made his way to the front of the ship to find his master piloting The Stryker out of the hanger and into space. From each side a HLAF fighter appeared before the ship and crossed over and then quickly darted off towards there destination.
Sitting in an open seat the Mandalorian began to think back to his hunting days and of all the strategies he had used before that could possible come in handy on this smash and grab operation.
Aboard The Stryker.
Feeling the Stryker jump out of the hanger bay of the Final Way out into open space. Nix Graves was sitting just behind Master Fremoc as he piloted his ship. Nix was checking his gear making sure that he had every thing he needed for this mission. In his mind he was running his checklist thermal detonators check, extra ammo check, vibro daggers check, BlasTech K-14 blasters check. Every thing was in place as they should be Nix was ready to kill some thing soon but some strange smell what starting to form under his armor once more and he was the first to smell it. Nix laughed on the inside as to if any one could smell it yet hoping they did.
PRT Nix Graves (Obelisk)/TRP/ Marka Ragnos of Naga Sadow
Apprentice to DJK Fremoc "Demonic" Pepoi
Sweat mixed with blood and the salty solution found its way onto the corner of the lips of the Herald. It was the smallest pleasure the Krath had received since his torturers began their "art". The disfigured visages of the Yuuzhan Vong turned as the doors opened and Eliria walked in, not in her usual Jedi attire, but in something more casual and form fitting. While the pain took up a sizable portion of his brain process, he could still savor in the beauty of her figure. It was a shame that as soon as he escaped, he was going to have to break her tenfold to his own suffering.
She waved the abominations away and looked over her prisoner a moment before following them. This was the first moment that Shikyo had to himself to gather his thoughts and repair his mind. He had fought the Vong but was never unfortunate enough to be tortured by them. Was this what his elder brother endured years ago? Did the cursed creatures inflict pain like this to the Lion of Tarthos? His "cleansing" must have been exponensial compared to the Pontifex's predicament. As these thoughts flooded the mind of the Keibatsu, Eliria had returned with a bowl filled with water and a washcloth.
The young woman dabbed the cloth into the water and began to brush over Shikyo's wounds. As muchas the Herald wanted to turn away and scorn the Jedi, he took what hospitality he could. Closing his eyes, the words of Eliria Krishnaya began to pour into the Krath's psyche.
"Can you continue to endure this, Shikyo? Can the dark side protect you from all this suffering?"
Lifting his head up slowly, the Herald looked into her eyes pathetically.
"Light nor dark could prevent this level of pain. Sheer will keeps me from breaking and the thought that my days are not over are more than enough for me."
"But you thrive off of the idea of revenge and the satisfaction of your pain being paidback. Do you believe this is a way for one to live?"
Smirking to himself, Sasuke retorted.
"Do you believe close-mindedness is acceptable?"
The female Jedi stammered slightly.
"What do you mean?"
"You believe the light is the only way but you have never fought creatures like the Vong. You have not realized the demons that await for each and every one of us. You believe that any way different than yours is purely evil. I have driven weaker beings into insanity and I have cured life altering wounds. I can break and cure. Am I as dark as you believe?"
Disbelief and horror came over the Jedi's face. She could not believe the words coming from the Krath's mouth. She refused to believe that light and dark could come into one entity and exist without chaos. Standing up, she looked into her prisoner's eyes.
Closing his eyes and attempting to draw on the Force, the Keibatsu began to feel over his body to find every single wound. As he began to mend the wounds, a soft gasp escaped the Jedi's lips. The Dark Councilor was not lying. He had repaired the minor wounds to his body. Turning back to the young woman, Shikyo smirked as he could feel the fire burning in his eyes. A sharper gasp escaped Eliria's lips as she noticed the Wolf of Kyataru had deep red eyes. They were not the red and orange eyes of a Sith Lord but they were disturbing nonetheless. Speaking softly, Shikyo began to burrow the seed of confusion he had sown.
"I am not the demon you believe me to be... Not yet..."
The young woman moved quickly towards the doors and left the Pontifex behind. He could feel the distress in the woman and he would certainly take advantage of that. His revenge would come soon and it would come shortly. While he had not lied about his sources of strength against the Yuuzhan Vong, he had kept one secret to himself. He could feel tremendous power approaching his way. He could feel the coming of a One-Eyed Dragon surrounded by flames. Help was on the way.
Around the Herald Keibatsu' Prison
"Ok, boys, you know the plan. Fremoc, Nix, Valorian, and I will go in through the main docking bay and therefore probably face the heaviest resistance. Arack, Marcus, you guys are going to want to move in through thermal exhaust ports 1-X3 and 1-X4" explained Manji Keibatsu Sadow, a last minute briefing taking place over the holo-cams in the Stryker and the two HLAFs.
Marcus' face visibly paled, the Kresshian stammered "Thermal...p-ports? Aren't those spewing...well...thermal gases? The kind that will incinerate us?"
A soft chuckle sounded from Valorian, the only present NR Flight Leader, sounded and Manji replied.
"Normally, they would, but they've been deactivated since the Platform's capture and I packed you two thermal dropsuits under your seats. Those will make sure you don't even get burned. Now, remember, that you'll be dropping through a port in your HLAF, so make sure your fighter is secured or it'll drift off, rendering you two borked if you can't make it back to the shuttle. Once you guys come out of the thermal ports, you'll be on Floor Two of Onyx. Proceed to the floor's security hub and take out any opposition there and wait for us. If you guys move on without us, you won't be counted among the saviors of the Herald...because you'll be dead . Clear?"
Arack and Marcus both confirmed that the plan was indeed clear and the holo-conference was cut off as the Ragnosian and Kresshian garbed themselves in thermal dropsuits, little more than thickly padded robes with laminium armor plates covering the torso, forearms, shoulders, crotch, and legs. Specially made boots and a helmet protected the droppers from colliding with any sort of obstacle and rendering them unconscious.
Thermal Drop Port 1-X3
"Alright Marcus, see you down there" said Arack as he finished securing his HLAF starfighter to the Platform Onyx and opening the drop hatch in the bottom of his "borrowed" starfighter. Taking a deep breath and mouthing a praise to Ragnos, Tavar jumped down, the hatch of his starfighter closing just as the thermal port 1-X3 opened and swallowed the young Novice.
A two minute ride through a dark tunnel spat the Dark Jedi out on a high catwalk just above the secondary hangar of Platform Onyx and another three minutes then coughed up Marcus, the sole member of Ludo Kressh on this strike team.
"What took so long, Marcus?" asked Tavar, sitting on the railing of the catwalk and cleaning his sword. Marcus blushed as he got rid of his helmet and thermal dropsuit, something that Arack had already done away with. "Nerves" the Protector muttered and Arack chuckled before rising and patting his team mate on the back.
"Come on, we have to get to Floor 2's security hub"
Floor 2 Security Hub
"Hey, what the hell are you doing? You have to show some identification to get past here, grunts!" rasped a Peace Brigand Sergeant-At-Arms, his hand going to the butt of his sidearm. From the shadows surrounding the Security Hub (as the capturers of the Platform kept the lower levels at near-dark, Arack Tavar and Marcus silently raised their own blaster pistols and fired in unison, two spears of crimson light sending the Sergeant-At-Arms flying back and hitting the opposite wall with an audible thud.
"Kark!" muttered Marcus as he heard more Brigands exit some door farther down and cautiously move down the hall. "Arack, on my mark...we have to take them out before they see us. But stay out of that holo-cam's eye or this entire operation will be screwed and instead of being the Wolf of Kyataru's saviors...we'll be the strike team that caused the Herald's death" and the Disciple of Kressh pointed to a holo-camera mounted about half way down the hallway that swung back and forth on a pre-set pattern, it's red "eye" observing all in its path. Typically, the Onyx holo-cams could only be turned on and shut off from the central Security Hub, some floors above them.
"Gotcha, Marcus" whispered the Night Raptor Assault Trooper and he looked at his partner with a new found amount of respect; the coward-like Dark Jedi that had taken three minutes to calm his nerves and jump down into a defunct thermal port had been replaced by a smart, cool, and collected tactical commander.
"Ready? Go!" said the Kresshian and they both set down the corridor, drawing standard issue D-SOG combat knives and slamming into their opposition. Blood poured from bodies and pooled on the floor as one-by-one, Peace Brigands of the investigative squad went down hard. Everything was going perfect, the two Dark Jedi acting like wraiths as they assassinated five Peace Brigands, till the last Brigand standing caught sight of Arack and fired his Prax Arms AXM-50 assault rifle at the moving shadow and hit home, sending a green plasma bolt eating through his shoulder.
"Son of a Sith!" cursed Arack and he fell to the floor, scrabbling for his sword and looking around frantically for anything that he could use as a defense as the lucky pot-shooter approached him; he had lost Marcus in their last charge and now he was going to die...the closest thing he would come to having glory was his name on a list of those that had fallen and the only chance he would have at becoming a Knight was seeing a lightsaber in use... "But at least it isn't Manji's taking my head off" thought Tavar, consoling himself in a morbid way.
"Oooh...an invader! Those bastard horned devils told us to bring any infiltrators to them for "cleansing" but you look like good sport, so I'll end your pain now...haha-ack!" started the Brigand and then he stopped suddenly as a flash of silver and a red mist appeared at his neckline and standing behind him was Marcus, two combat knives held in his hands. Sheathing both, the Protector knelt down and picked up his injured comrade, hustling him back to the Security Hub and ripping open a medical station that was hanging on the wall, filling a syringe with healing bacta.
Jabbing it into Tavar's arm, the Novice had to stuff his free hand in his mouth to stop him from screaming as the cooling substance did its work. But within five minutes, Tavar was healed and the two Journeymen of Sadow were piling the bodies of their kills into a storage closet.
As they finished, a text message from Fremoc scrolled across Arack's datapad. "We're moving up to Floor 2...you guys had better be there and not have made a mess...! ~ Demonic"
Tavar shared the message with his new friend and they both chuckled as they returned to the Hub and reclined in the comfortable flo-form chairs that had been occupied just minutes ago by Peace Brigands...Operation Rurouni had begun in full.
Fremoc and the others moved quickly and silently through the Platform, dispatching any enemies that were in their way. The five men entered a lift up to the second floor and met up with Arack and Marcus. Fremoc glanced around looking for any Vong or Jedi but found none.
"Well done lads," said the Knight. Marcus and Arack grunted in acknowledgment. "Let's keep moving."
They turned a corner and walked down the hall before Manji stated, "My brother is close."
The strike team had arrived and the Dokugan-Ryu was sweeping through the platform like a divine wind. He was accompanied by shadows of Dark Jedi but there was power in them nonetheless. Eliria bursted into the quarters with panic and disbelief upon her face. Not long before she arrived, three Yuuzhan Vong appeared with bloodlust in their eyes, an elite Slayer taking the lead.
"This jeedai has brought allies. It is time that we clear away the scourge, starting with the first one."
The female Jedi stood before the grotesque monoliths.
"No. This was not part of the plan."
One of the warriors grunted sarcastically.
"Not your plan, human. Our plan. We cannot allow one jeedai to live."
At that moment, Eliria focused on a set of chairs and flung them in the direction of the Yuuzhan Vong. Bringing their fists back, the creatures backhanded the obstacles, shattering them on impact. The looked back at the female in disbelief. Here they were prepared to clense this platform of all heretics before destroying the mechanical abomination, only to find a heretic in their midst. They looked down at her with a purely sadistic expression.
The lead Hunter brought his hand back and knocked the woman across the room. A sickening thud echoed throughout the quarters as her body collided with the wall. She was alive but unconscious. Shikyo looked on at the violence and turned back towards the creatures. He snarled low yet deep at the Yuuzhan Vong. He had watched their kind pillage the Brotherhood and disregard the bodies of the dead like they were filth. Now, the table would turn. He would bring the pain these monsters desired and he would do so with his bare hands.
Sasuke turned toward the fallen Jedi and noticed the gleam of a lightsaber hilt poking out slightly from her robes. Summoning the weapon to his hands, the Keibatsu Severed his bonds and dropped the hilt in place. The Herald rushed at the first of the Yuuzhan Vong, throwing all of his body weight at the creature, toppling him and extending his hands towards the faces of the other Vong. Sparks of light blue and purple shot from the fingertips of the Pontifex and impacted into the eyes of the creatures. Bloodcurdling cries of agony escaped the lips of the sentients as Shikyo returned his attention to the Vong beneath him.
The Slayer extended his arm and thrusted it forward, bringing out a set of talons that found their mark through the right shoulder of the Kyataran. With a demonic howl, Shikyo grabbed what flesh he could on the Slayer's neck and began to use it as a lever to slam the creature's head into the floor. Twisting the blades into the Krath's shoulder, the Yuuzhan Vong began to snarl at this barbarian of a "jeedai".
Shikyo paid no mind to the pain and let the fire of the biological weapon fuel his anger. He turned one of the two Vong he had incapacitaed and summoned Eliria's saber to his hand. After curb stomping the Slayer, he moved towards the Vong in his sight and lifted him onto his feet. The creature flailed wildly, slamming the spikes of his vonduun crab armor into the Herald before take the lightsaber deep down his throat. The crack and hiss of a lightsaber blade igniting echoed through the armor before the creature slumped over.
As the Pontifex looked over his carnage, he caught the image of a couple of dark robed individuals looking over the carnage created by their target. One individual's expression stood out more so than all the others. Nekura Manji looked at his brother with astonishment and excitement. This was the first time he had seen such brutality come from his little brother. The look in his eyes spoke volumes of pride.
Nodding to the Epis, Shikyo turned back to Eliria and slung her over his good shoulder. Manji looked over the woman before turning back to his brother.
"Do you really need another one?"
Sasuke smirked as he moved forward, responding as he sought an exit from the platform.
"But this one is special. She comes with black lace."
Eliria Krishnaya woke up in a bed of luxury and eligance. It was grand and big enough for three people to sleep peacefully. She took in the sights of the lavish bedroom. It was covered with art and sets of armor, both foreign and very familiar. As she began to get accustom to her surroundings, the door opened to reveal a bandaged Shikyo Keibatsu in black hakama pants and a deep purple sash holding his pants in place. Eliria began to back away from her host as he smirked and approached her.
"Welcome, Eliria Krishnaya. My name is Shikyo Keibatsu and you are now my new student..."