The War has Begun.
Quejo looked up with an emotionless visage. His eyes were intense and his veins not only pumped blood, but hate. The wind of the departing ships whipped off of his body, catching his robes, lifting them into the air with strong pulsating gusts as he watched them tear through the atmosphere. A smirk played across his face as he turned to see who was creating the footsteps behind him.
"What is it?" Quejo asked with a demanding tone.
The frightened flight deck officer just bowed his head and shook, as fear began to imbed itself into his mind.
"Sir...I...I...dont think we have the fire power to hold off the Oriens Obscurum fleet."
Quejo just stepped forward until he was nose to nose to the trembling Officer.
"And what lead you to this outrageous conclusion Commander?"
"Our strong point is ground combat not air bourne assault." He stated through clenched teeth.
"Then I suggest we do what we can until my men are ready."
"Yes sir." The Officer hissed before turning away from his Quaestor.
"Oh and Commander."
"Ye.." The Commanders response was cut short and a thud was heard as his head began to roll across the floor of the flight deck completely severed from his body.
"Dismissed." Quejo laughed before disengaging the silver blade of his saber.
Quejo then began to walk towards his Chamber's, stopping infront of the Krath's training room. His feet clanked on the metal grate flooring as he came up to Master Doto who was training the new Krath Initiates.
"I want to slip a shuttle onto Eldar as soon as possible."
"Why?" The Master asked before thrusting his hand forward, knocking one of the Initiates to the floor with a burst of energy.
"I want you and the other Krath to scout the planet and inform us immediately of any enemy vessels that may have landed. I also want to know where my men and I will be landing when the Obelisk are ready for the full on ground assault."
"Very well." Mejas replied, readying his men for the mission of great importance.
Quejo just proceeded to his chamber's where he then began to prepare himself for the war that had just begun.
Sirens blazed on Boral as the Oriens Obscurum fleet was within range of their destination. Having a head start would no doubt help them maintain their advantage in the first stage of the war.
Octavian laughed sinisterly as he began to speak through his commlink to the ships that surrounded his shuttle.
"Today men we do battle. We will advance at all costs. Eldar is ours for the taking. Fight with vigilence or die trying. We wil....." Octavian was cut off as the first ships of Galeres flew in, guns blazing.
"Damn Quejo he's more worried about possession of the planet then the welfare of his allies." Octavian thought to himself before shouting out the first command. "All men form on my rear. On my command attack the Galeres fleet and do whatever you can to get to Eldar's surface. I want to be the first to land!!" He shouted through the commlink, static breaking up his command but sending the general idea to his men.
Koskian growled as he swung his fighter around again, wondering what his insane Qauestor thought a full assault against the Sith pilots of Oriens Obscrum would accomplish. The Prelate had told him about the former Consul's mission, but he didn't think they needed to sacrifice this many men to distract them from a shuttle.
Cursing to himself as he watched a flight of TIE's headed planet side, the Obelisk gunned his own ship to speed, closing distance with the trio and blasting one before they were aware. His time as a pilot in the old TIE Corps had not been spent idly, he decided, as he wasted a second fighter.
The last one was obviously a Jedi pilot, easily evading him as it dipped through the atmosphere and down towards the trees below. Checking his own sensors, he saw the Krath Master's shuttle drop towards the surface, seemingly unscathed, until one of the engines burst into flames. Cursing again, Koskian turned about to follow the shuttle.
"So Bandon wants us to do the scouting?" The Priest looked over the compartment he was in. He knew the answer he was going to get. He knew that Doto was starting to get annoyed with him. He also knew everyone was suffering from war weariness and needed a little boost to their system.
Snarling Mejas snapped a glare back at Ktulu as he replied. "Yes Xyler. Though your family has had the pleasure of not being on the wrong end of Bloodfang" The Master tapped his trusted lightsaber at his side. "It will not be long before you will be if you keep up your meaningless banter."
"This from the Master of few words."
It was what snapped the last fringe of patience in the Masters mind and the Priest had been waiting for it. In the same brief instant both Dark Jedi had moved. The Master throwing bolts of force lighting at the Priest, while Ktulu ignited his lightsaber and leapt to the side.
A small finger of lightning lanced out and licked the Priests hand. His hand spasming as the attack withdrew itself, Ktulu watched as his lightsaber flew through the compartment and hit the bulkhead energy blade first. Reflexes tested time and again reacted before the Priest could quite grasp what was happening. His uninjured hand reached out and through the force caught the blade before any damage could be done.
"Magnificently done Xyler." Doto snarled. "You've not only managed to push me but you made a fool of yourself as well."
Ktulu could only pay a portion of his attention to the Master as his senses set off an internal alarm. Some of the other Krath had noticed it as well.
"There's a fuel Leak!" one of the Guardians Shrieked.
With a rough shove through the force Ktulu silenced the Guardian and watched as sparks started to light up. Within seconds the sparks had died out. Not knowing how or why Ktulu looked around and saw the source of the enclosed sparks. Mejas Doto stood at the head of the compartment glaring at the Priest.
"Shall I say it again Xyler?" Mejas asked.
Ktulu only stared back. Unsure of what to do as it was rare he had come face to face with a Master in combat. The force was generous only so often for him to still be around. As he was about to reply Mejas' face changed expressions. Alarms started to go off internally and within the ship. Ktulu looked up at Mejas and started to move forward when suddenly an explosion rocked the shuttle.
Within moments the compartment filled up with smoke as the fumes lit up and started to create black thick choking clouds.
I guess I can say everyone's got the adrenaline going now. Ktulu thought himself.
Mean while in a hilley planet a sedistic soldier is training for combat.....
Cerberus turns his head from his training parters and looks at the skys and sees that it is blood red.Then a evil grin comes upon his face,and he begins to laugh harder and harder.It is a evil laugh and it scares his combatents.Then slowly the laughing slows and finally stops.
"Looks like I will be able to start the real training.",he states to one fo his sparing partners.Without warning of any kind he seavers all three of their heads,and as he his slowly covered in blood from head to toe.He laughs the evil laugh once more.Then he takes his blood red sword,and wipes it clean on one of his old sparing partners body,until he could see the blue blade once more.
"I hope there are stornger oppenents out there,my sword craves blood.Jedi blood that is.", then with out a moments hisation he jumps on his hover bike and leaves toward the nearest port,hoping that during this war he is able to find,and kill a Jedi and take his lightsaber or even better a lightlance.
Meanwhile in a bar outside of town.....
"I heard there is a war going on and that,it is between dark Jedi.",said a old barkeep, with blueish skin.
"Na... there is no such thing as dark Jedi they are all made up, and besides if there were i would just use this blaster to kill them.It's not like they can block that with their hocus pocus."said a man with a battle gear on,pointing to his blaster in his side holster.
All of a sudden he is in a wall, and then he is hanging by his feet upside down.
"I believe you told us, about how you were going to kill a dark Jedi with that blaster?" said a dark voice from the back of the bar."Well here is your chance, because you have a dark Jedi right in front of you, or is this hocus pocus to strong for you?."said the man in a black cloak, with his hood over his head, so no one could see his face."Well if you not going to shoot me then..."Suddenly then mans torso falls to the floor.The bars music stops, and the mans gets up and pulls out his blaster but, before he can even fire a shot he is kill.Stabed though the heart by a red lightlance.
"So this is how i start the war."said the dark Jedi leaveing the bar."By killing a whole bar of stupid ass people?Well then, I think i will enjoy this war..."
The Galeres footsoldiers had actually acquired numerous TIE Fighters and shuttle-support. The thought came to Hitokiri's mind and he simply could do little but blink. He turned his attention to the command center aboard the bridge of the Wrathraven. Seated around this console were Tuskani, Revaan, and Octavian. The Aedile approached and spoke softly. "My master, Quejo has led them on a direct assault of our position. We have taken casulties substantially in one sector yet our own score ratio is two-to-one. It appears those Galerians are creating a screening and holding action for a shuttle to get planetside. Shall we open fire with all turbo-lasers?"
All eyes in the room were now wide open. Tuskani was the first to get his senses back from the shock of the comment. "Lord, this is a simple conquest, not a full-scale genocide of our houses. I suggest we fire our cannons in area volleys as to force the enemy to pull back and we shall dictate their next move."
It was the Shingen Octavian, now Krath Archpriest, who finished the debate. "No. No tricks or ruthlessness. Honorable space combat we shall have but not bloodlust. Order all support craft to be used to gather the wounded. Both wounded please. Tell our men not to fire on evac-suits or disabled fighters. Live fighters are still shoot to kill. Quejo may have the determination yet I still possess this Carrack. What honor is destroying Galeres in one volley? Plus I sense we may need those knights once we get on the surface. Continue as planned, start landing the Auxilliary Trooper Forces we gathered from Qu'ed around the natives' largest city. All fighters are to engage the Galeres pilots."
Minutes later the first scouting reports trickled into the command center. Octavian read them carefully and paused for a second. "Interesting. Let us see if Quejo knows this as well. We will wait to tell him till the space combat is decided. Interesting indeed. Inform Arcona Headquarters on Selen at once."
The Exarch growled as he watched the smoking shuttle plummet towards the surface. Triggering his ships tractor beam, not particularly strong but the shuttle seemed to have some control of repulsorlifts, he slowed the wounded ship down. Watching the shuttle settle not so easily onto the ground, Koskian landed his own ship.
“Oh, how pleasant, saved by a d'Tana” stated Ktulu, obviously displeased with this turn of events.
“What are you doing down here, Exarch, your supposed to be up there shooting Sith” growled Mejas, a tight feeling around Koskian's neck suddenly.
“I don't answer to you anymore, Doto, and certainly not to any Xylers, be glad I was down here fools.” choked out Koskian.
Releasing his hold, Mejas turned to survey the remaining Krath, and stretched out with the Force. Pointing north he simply said “That way” and headed off into the woods. Kosk and Ktulu exchanged looks, glares of daggers before they heard a whine above them.
“Oh shi...” shouted the Obelisk as he dived behind the fallen shuttle, hearing the cannons of the Oriens' fighters open up. Looking up to see a smoking crater where his own ship had been, he decided it was best to follow the eccentric Krath Master.
The Dark Jedi Master surveyed the terrain around him as he marched ever onward. They had crashed in a forested area, thick canopy now covered there march forward, but the undergrowth was sparse and easily negotiated. The former Consul was concerned with the party behind him, though relieved that Koskian d'Tana had haphazardly joined them!
Communication through the Force was all that would be allowed from here on in. While it was unknown whether Oriens, or as Mejas preferred to call them - the Dead House, had taken any vantage points on the ground there was the chance of scouts or local Keadeans or Sardinians drawing unwanted attention to the scouting party.
"My children of chaos, as requested by your Quaestor I shall resume comand of this party. Koskian - this does mea you will be bow before me for one final mission!" The malice of the Zabrak's words burst through his shark like teeth as if it were the venom of a cobra. "Tetrarch's will also stand down before the reveared Mastery of myself."
Koskian nodded with a smile n his face, he knew Mejas well and knew of his distinct lack of diplomacy. By jesting with the Exarch this was a sign of respect towards his Aedile. Strategos on the other hand kicked the ground in fury, his relationship with the former Consul was far more tumultuous and this was a straight-up attack on the Epis's abilities.
"We are large in numbers and few in power. We have many Journeymen and far too little Yeomanry. Perhap this mission will be the stepping stone you require to evolve?" The Zabrak paused as surveyed the Journeymen around him. "We must split into two units and take sepeate tracks north to ascertain information for your Quaestor."
"I shall take the 2nd team Mejas, you'll definately need to split us between the two teams." said Koskian.
Mejas nodded. "You'd best take your drunken family member Alex along with Strategos and that bumbling fool Ktulu. Then take half the dross. I shall take Vassan, Valnir and Kandos with remaining apprentices."
The Dark Jedi realigned themselves into their respective parties and with a nod from the former Consul, the parties moved out.
Mejas reached out directly to Koskian, "Do not fall for the lives of the journeymen, they must prove themselves today. Contact me within the hour and remember Koskian, you are a fellow di Tenebrus Arconae - embrace it and allow it to destroy your every opponent."
"You got it Doto, until we meet later - Embrace the Darkness."
Kandos fell in with Mejas' group as the started off down the track, he quickly took up a rear guard position as it was likely that their 'landing' hadn't gone unnoticed and there was the possibility of somebody following them.
As they moved deeper into the forest the canopy began to get thicker which made the area darker. Strangely there was little to no noise from native wildlife, this gave the Priest an odd feeling as practically all the forests on the many worlds he had been to had some form of wildlife.
There was a sudden yelp and a thud as one of the apprentices fell over something and landed on their face, Kandos sighed and shook his head. As the Apprentice got up off the floor Mejas walked back through the group and smacked the unfortunate person round the head, knocking them into a bush. With a mumble he walked back to the head of the group and continued going.
As everyone moved off again, more carefully this time, there was an explosion above and to the right of them. As the group watched a damaged TIE craft plummeted out of the sky and crashed with a louder explosion a few kilometres away from their current position.
Ark gulped as he watch Mejas slap the foolish Apprentice. Careful not to make the same mistake, Ark took extra precautions to walk slower and avoid the roots that had overwhelmed the jungle floor.
Since Quejo had sent the Dark Jedi down onto the planet of Eldar, Ark had not spoken a single word. The blinded one had not wished to be noticed by someone as powerful as the Dark Jedi Master that was now leading the group.
“Should we check out the TIE’s landing site?” he heard one of the others say. Not recognizing the voice, he assumed it was one of the apprentices that had spoken. Immediately, Ark heard Mejas’ whispered voice.
“Yes, Journeyman. We must. It could Dark Jedis from Oriens that could pose a threat!”
And communicate with thoughts. Our enemies could find us if we talk too loudly, Ark heard in his head (1). It was Valnir, advising them to use projective and receptive telepathy.
The Miraluka, still trailing slowly behind Kandos, reached into his robes. His shaky hands retrieved his stolen hunting pistol. He was prepared to act as a marksman in case they fell under attack.
The surrounding was green, motionless, and seemingly peaceful. However, Ark could feel feel the Force telling him that danger was approaching (2). The Equites and Elders were wary and seemed to know as well. The only ones who seemed oblivious to the Force were the unsuspecting Apprentices. They would probably die first.
_ _ _
(1)- Receptive Telepathy
Jin'ei Mifune kicked off the hatch to the ruined TIE fighter and pulled himself free of the craft and instantly falling to the muddy earth from disorientation. After a moment, he pulled his face free of the dirt and glared up at the sky. *Dammit!* he thought, fury gripping every fiber of his being. *Why the HELL did I have to try and shepherd those damn Novices!? It almost got me killed!*
Cusing fervently under his breath for breaking formation for the sake of those unworthy scum, the Guardian stood and looked around the crash site; both wings of the TIE fighter had ruptured and cumbusted into flying fireballs...at least until he had hit the tree line, then they had flown off all together, and knocked over a few trees, creating a devistating noise. Jin'ei sensed the air carefully for any unwanted attention from his explosive "entrance". He quickly detected a faint trace of numerous moving hostiles somewhere farther into the jungle of trees, but it was gone almost as soon as he felt it and he was unable to refocus on them again.
After another moment of focusing, his cloths drenching in the sheets descending rain, Crimson, as was his name in the past, pulled free his vibro-scythe and, dropping into a low crouch, seemed to dissolve into the trees.
*time to play* he thought, a small smile spreading over his shadowy, cloaked features.
Koskian and his Krath charges trudged through the forest, the sounds of thunder in the distance. He hoped this planet didn't have some sort of chemical rain like Vjun did. Looking back at the short line of purple robed Arconans, he shook his head. Glad that he had Alex and Strategos with him, he himself couldn't protect all of these weaklings himself if the locals should be displeased with them.
“Why are you in charge anyways, this is a Krath mission!” stated an uhappy Ktulu. Alex turned and looked at him for just a moment, eyes narrowing. The Priest hopped and grabbed his bottom, and Koskian thought there was going to be actual physical violence.
“Cut it out, both of you, they'll hear us,” said Koskian, peering into the woods aroun them.
“Who will hear us? There's nobody around for a dozen kilometers!” shouted the Xyler.
The Obelisk chuckled inwardly, knowing the situation was anything but funny as he lifted his hand, pointing to the left of the Krath.
Meanwhile on a far distant planet in the 9th sector.A dark Jedi is racing to join his soldiers and go into battle but first he must stop and arm himself.In his mind he says one thing over and over,"We are at war ,and in this war there are Jedi with lightweapons.Most have lightsabers,which is good but i want a lightlance, that would be great."Little does he know he will get his chance at one soon enough.
Then he sees it a small object moving closer and closer.He pays it no mind until he gets close enough to see it.A lightlance,his long awaited weapon.He quickly fires a shot it hits the bike.The pliot is sent flying, but quickly gets up.Cerberus stops and looks at his oppenent.
"I see you have a lightlance, give it to me now!!!"said Cerberus."What are you going to do if i don't?"demanded the stanger."Kill you and take it you grave robber!!!"stated Cerberus.
"Really well then come on and try.This should be fun.For a while until I wish to kill you that is."said the stanger.
"Oh well then by all means all powerful Jedi,let us begin."said Cerberus with a evil like grin on his face.
"Well if you insist"said the stranger with the same evil grin on his face.
As though they read each others minds,but without saying a thing the fight begone.
They both reached for their weapons.Cerberus pulled out his blue sword and charged his oppenent.The stranger drew his weapon but was to slow.He was unaware that Cerberus was a Sith Apperentice, and was very fast indeed.He barly missed the blade.
He flipped backwards and threw off his cloak,so now you could see his armor which was black and scaled.His head was covered in a helment that covered up everything including his eyes.
"Are you from the house of Galeres?"asked the stranger.
"Me the house of Galeres?HA,I am at war with them now because i am from the house of Oriens."said Cerberus.
"Well how unfortunate, for you I am a assassin for the house of Galeres, and I have orders to kill all Oriens that I come across."Said the assassin.
Now he had all of Cerberus's focus on him.Cerberus was looking at him, though his long white hair.The two black scars, that look like tatoo's,that ran up and down his face, and went over his eyes;were now fixed upon him.Cerberus's eyes that were once a sinster cheerful blue; were now cold and dark,as though Cerberus was looking right into his very soul.Then he knew, that this was not going to be a easy fight.
Then before the dust settled Cerberus moved foward.This time though he was serious.He seemed faster and the assassin seeing this ran foward, towards his foe.there was no clash of swords just the sound of the wind,the lightlance,and the two combatants feet hitting the ground.Cerberus new that if his blade went up agansit the light saber that it would be cut in half.So there for he stayed away from it, he knew that he would have to get the assassin off guard, but how was he going to do it?
The fight lasted 20 minutes, but to the two combatants it seemed like hours.Both used the force, at one another.Then a well placed boulder and foot,hit Cerberus.Who went flying through the air,and hit the ground and skided until he hit a rock.
The assassin saw his chance he walked over to Cerberus, and kicked his sword from his
hand and stomped the sword.Then he rasied the lightlance, and perpared the final blow.
All of a sudden a shot was heard, the assassin was shoot threw the heart three times.
The shooter was Cerberus.He had saw the blaster in the holster of the hover bike,and had forced it over to him.As the assassin fell to the ground Cerberus got up, and shot the body again to make sure he was dead.Then he bends over and takes the assassins lightlance.
He takes a long look at it and says,"I think I will keep this as well."
Then he jumps on his hover bike, with all his new prizes and sets out for the port.He radios Octavion,"Sir I am on my way, I ran into a pest, but no worries it has been taken care of.I will be at the port in about ten minutes, wait make it five."
"Well I guess Mejas' title of "bumbling fool" is now well earned." Ktulu commented dryly upon seeing a group of Eldarians. Not sure if they were the Sardinians or the Keadeans, Ktulu turned to Koskian.
"They're the resistance what does it matter?" Kosk replied calmly with a slight grin on his face.
Shrugging Ktulu turned back to the natives. "It doesn't really. Only that it's your problem oh mighty team leader." Turning his back on Kosk, Ktulu started to walk away when Alex stepped in front of him blocking his path.
"Don't start with me d'Tana. I've had it with the Rokirs and now I want some peace before I run all over you guys." Ktulu stated with a confident smirk casually looking back at Koskian.
"Tough talk for someone who's so low on the power scale don't ya think?" Alex said. Keeping eye contact with the Priest.
Long moments passed by as the two stared each other down. When it seemed like the two were not going to do anything Kosk turned to the rest of the group. "Alright take out the mess Xyler started and don't get yourselves killed."
Hitokiri Bokuzen Mifune
The communication line was dead to Jin'ei's TIE Fighter, and Hito couldn't stand leaving one of his family behind. Thr silence was beginning to ache at the Aedile, and he planned on taking care of the problem. He was going down to the planet, to find his son, as well as take the planet's defenses. He headed toward the bridge of the ship, and found Shingen sitting in the commander's seat. There was much turmoil, as the space battles continued to escalate. Shingen continued to give out comands to the flight leaders, as well as the team leaders. Hito continued towards the seat, and stood in front of the Quaestor.
The Sith finished giving out his comands before turning back towards his friend.
"Yes, Bokuzen. What is it?"
"Permission to go down to the planet, and recover a fallen ally, as well as take the planet's defenses."
"But, right now we're engaged in space combat. You do realize that they will be targeting you."
'Of course, that's why I plan on taking my TIE Fighter to escort my men."
"Are you sure about this?"
"There's not a doubt in my mind, old friend."
Shingen looked deep into the eyes of the Mifune Patriarch, and could see the determination he had set within them.
"I understand. Jedi Hunter Mifune, permission grnated. Take a squad, recover Jin'ei, and capture the planet."
Hito deeply bowed, and was greeted by the same gesture from his friend. Bokuzen took off in a run, and rushed to gather one last person, Devani Te'Arianu. He would need her assistance for the ground mission.
Mejas Doto and his squad of Dark Jedis travelled through the dense forest, not percieving any signs of life. They neared the crash site of the downed TIE Fighter, preparing to extract any tools or resources that could help them survive their trek through Eldar.
Minutes before, an Apprentice had collapsed from hunger. When one of his fellow Apprentices had moved forward to help him up, Mejas had pushed him away (1).
"Weak Dark Jedi will not survive," the Dark Jedi Master had said, emphasizing the word 'weak'. "We cannot let the fatigued one hinder our conquest. Leave him." Not daring to disobey an order, he followed the rest of his party, leaving his helpless friend to die.
I wonder if I'm doing the right thing, thought Ark. He tilted his face up and could sense a heated space battle raging on between Oriens Obscurum and Galeres. All of meh Mifune brothers are of Oriens. I'm fighting against meh family...
However, he dared not speak of his doubt in the vicinity of Dark jedis who were considerably more powerful than he. Burying his thoughts, the blinded humanoid had no choice but to quietly follow along and fight for Galeres.
_ _ _
Jin'ei wiped his scythe free of the blood. As he walked over the murdered corpse of the Galeres Apprentice he felt no regret. *He was weak, and the weak cannot be allowed to hinder the strong...I understand the Galare pack leader all too well, I think...besides, I spared him a pathetic death*
No man can ask for a better death than a death by the sword
The Mifune assassin, using his unparalleled stealth skills and his cloaking device, had located the group of Galare and circled around them undetected, now he tracked them...waiting patiantly for the opertune moment to strike.
We fight our own battles, we shape our own destiny
The Wrathraven was sitting stationary in orbit around Eldar, taking light strikes against the Galeres fighters and the planetary defenses. There was news of a downed Obscurum knight and now Hitokir had led a squad planetside to evacuate this member. From the garbled radio chatter the communications officers could piece together the downed pilot had killed a lower ranking Galeres member. There was no going back now.
In the dawning hours of this war it was simply pilot against pilot ship to ship. Now it was hand to hand bloodshed. The Galeres forces had a team on the ground as did Oriens. Gritting his teeth Octavian made the hardest decision he ever had to make. "All batteries open fire on the Galeres forces. Fire at will. All heavy barrages to take out the planetary shieldings and whatever weaponry they may possess. With the Obscurum Armed Forces landing on their shuttles have Epsilon and Omega squadrons flying ground support missions. Prepare my shuttle, I will personally go to the surface and meet with Quejo when he arrives at the enemy capital."
Tuskani, seated nearby, rose and voiced a question. "Sir, what makes you think Quejo will land with his men?" Octavian nodded and answered. "He will be forced to. He cannot subjugate the world with a handful of fighters and a few shuttles of knights in space. Also with the Wrathraven's guns hemming his ships they have little reason to want to stay in orbit. Admiral Valorian will stay at the helm of this vessel while we are away. Give orders to call off orbital bombardment once Galeres and our men are grounded."
Quejo smiled as he gazed out the window of his shuttle, bringing with him the remaining fleet of Galeres.
"I want all but four of you to flank the Oriens Obscurum fleet. Remain unseen until I say otherwise." The static of the commlink played Quejo's raspy voice through each and every one of Arcona's vessels. He then continued. "You four, stay with me. "
"Yes sir." was heard in response.
The shuttle of Bandon screamed through space, eventually coming within range of Eldar. He continued to stare out of the large window of his shuttle. His eyes scanning the blaster bolts and the metal they were imbedding into. His house was taking casualties but so was Oriens.
With a look of hate, Quejo stepped out of his shuttle, his long black robes trailing behind him in the self created breeze. With him were the Galerian Knights, true Warriors at heart.
Quejo then pulled his lightsaber from his belt and began to march forward, the feet of his men sending a chilling sound reverberating off of the treeline.
As they marched into the dense forest, Quejo reached into his robes and pulled a comm from a concealed pocket.
"Now." He said to the pilot's who were ready to flank the Oriens fleet. "I want to hear their screams." He finished.
Obviously Octavian and Bandon had two different point of views on this war. Quejo's was to take the lives of anyone in his path and Octavians was to complete the mission.
"Kosk, Mejas, Stay where you are and I'll be with you shortly.Be advised the scanners on my shuttle detected lifeforms closing in on your group. I'll be there to assist when I can, sit tight."
Mejas quickly ordered the group to spread out and get ready for combat. As the lower ranks spread out into a perimeter the Dark Jedi Master attempted to locate the incoming life-forms through the Force.
Kandos placed his A280 Blaster Rifle on his back and, drawing on the Force to help him, leapt up into a nearby tree to get a better sniping position. As the Priest got settled between the branches he activated his weapon's scope and panned around the immediate area looking for movement.
"That way", Mejas said as he pointed in the direction of the life-forms.
The group took up position for a possible ambush, moving behind trees, etc. Kandos, in his tree, shuffled round to get a better view in the direction Mejas had pointed before using the scope's zoom to try and spot any movement.
Whoever is out there is in for a shock, thought Kandos as he thumbed off the A280's safety.
What's this, thought Ark as he gripped Fraa'apa's Hunting Pistol tightly in his hands. Focusing on the Force, he was able to make out a silhouette of someone (1). Jin'ei is followin' us.
Tilting his head to the right, he could tell that Mejas was too busy ordering the foolish Apprentices about to notice the Mifune following them. Ark shook his head.
A single Guardian won't pose a threat to our mission, he thought. Ignoring the presence of his Mifune brother, Ark put his mind back on the task at hand.
Suddenly, a shot rang up from above and a scream was heard. "A hit!" Kandos shouted from above. "Watch out, Dark Jedis!!
Almost immediately following the Krath Priest's warning, a trio of Dark Jedi leapt out from behind the overgrown bushes and trees. The Oriens Dark Jedi, armed with Lightsabers as red as the color of a Liagrek's eye, surveyed the surrounding. They clearly underestimated the Galerians in their arrogance. Either that or they did not know they were up against a Dark jedi Master and a few Equites.
_ _ _
(1) Life Sense
Hitokiri Bokuzen Mifune
The forest's density was unbelieveable. The Dark Jedi, led by Hitokiri, were relying on their weapons to cut their trail across the woodlands. Constantly, the Aedile called on Devani to sense the presence of her brother, and each time brought them closer to the Mifune assassin. As they continued through the forest, Mifune recollected the crashsite, and the fallen Galeres Apprentice.
'It's a shame that we're relying on the bloodshed of Dark Jedi for the capture of a planet.'
The Aedile stopped in his tracks, as he picked up the sense of his son, Jin'ei. However, he picked up the signatures of other lifeforms: members of the Galeres task force, led by Mejas Doto, with Okazani Mifune not far behind. He held the group in position, and closed his eyes, concentrating on the presence of his son.
Apparently, this caught a hold of the assassin, and turned his direction to the Mifune Patriarch.
'Hito? Where are you?'
'Approximately 20 meters from your position. What's your condition?'
'Under the radar, tracking a group of Galeres knights. Mind if I take them out?'
'No. Okazani is in the group, and they have a Dark Master. Even Shingen won't be able to handle Mejas. Follow my presence, and we'll begin our assault.'
'But, I have them.'
'Jin'ei, regroup now.'
There was a pause of disappointment, as the Guardian considered his Aedile's words.
The young Mifune began to move from his position, when Okazani called out the Mifune assassin.
Bokuzen could hear the words echoing throughout the trees, causing fear to trace down his spine. He unsheathed the Mifune Muramasa, and the screams of the Mifune Clan yelled back at the lone Galeres Mifune. Hito turned back towards his team.
"Knights, there's a Knight of Boral trapped. Let's get him back!"
With that said, all weapons were unsheathed, and set into offensive stances.
"Devani, take three men, and begin your shadow work."
She nodded, and quickly chose the three shadows that would assist her in picking off the weak. Mifune screamed in anger, and began his charged to the already startled warriors of Galeres.
Ark, also known as Okazani to the Mifunes, stood under the tree that Kandos was shooting from. The Miraluka, horrified by what he had done, was confused. His House, Galeres, was now locked in combat with his brothers, sister, and father. Should he stay true in the name of Galeres or would he assisst his family?
He could do nothing but watch Orien's strike team collide with Galerian Knights. Armed with only a pistol and his sheathed Mifune Assassin dagger, Ark ducked under a protruding tree root to formulate a plan.
Meanwhile, Mejas, in his anger, summoned the will of the Force. Preparing a tremendous mental attack, extended out his free hand. With a quick gesture, one of the Oriens' Dark Jedi's lightsaber flew out of his hand (1).
The trio of Dark Jedi Knights that had revealed their position before Ark shouted Jin'ei's position, looked horrified as one of their own's lightsaber faced them. With a couple more gestures, the lightsaber thrusted foward and impaled it's owner through the chest upon Mejas' command. The inexperienced Knight choked up blood before collapsing to the muddy floor, dead.
Mejas continued to use the stolen lightsaber to attack the remaining two Dark Jedis, hardly expending any focus. In seconds, the Dark Jedis were slain and Mejas released his hold on the stolen lightsaber.
Mejas wheeled around to face the newcomers. His eyes laid on Hitkiri, the Aedile of Oriens Obscurum.
_ _ _
Devani motioned to one of the Dark Jedi shadows, “You! Take him and her, now!” Turning, she glanced at the second shadow standing beside her. “You, make sure you take out that one, he’s shaking in his boots!” The third Dark Jedi asked, “And me?” Devani glanced around the battlefield quickly, “There! You see the young one; she is weak, when you have finished with her, return to me. Go!” The Protector glanced around, spotting a fellow Oriens in trouble she unsheathed her Shyarn and plunged it in the Galerian Knight’s back. Bloodlust rushed throughout her entire body and an almost ecstatic state took her over, battle is what she lived for.
The entire battlefield was quickly soaked with the blood of Arconans. Dark Jedi fought Dark Jedi in this small battle for the control of Endar. Hitokiri led the battle against the Galerian Knights. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Mejas on an intercept course.
Hitokiri Bokuzen Mifune
Hitokiri noticed the Master charging at him at full speed. He knew there was no possible way he could evade the wrath that was known as Mejas Doto. He got onto his commlink, and contacted Shingen. Static filled the frequencies, as his connection began to clear up.
"Shingen, I got major problems down here."
"We have major problems up here to. What's your condition?"
At that moment, the Dark Master unleashed his lightsaber, and began a frenzied, yet tactical, strike. Mifune could only attempt to dodge the strikes, and with so many trees, and rock formattions around, it seemed a little bit more easy. The Aedile continued to dance around with the Krath, as he continued his report.
"I'm under attack... Mejas..."
The Quaestor sunk deep into his seat, as the name of Mejas began to ring in his ears. He knew that his friend would not be able to fight against the seasoned veteran. He had to make a plan, and he had to make it quick.
"Hang in there, my dear friend. I'm sending you support."
The commlink cut off, as the Quaestor of Oriens Obscurum turned toward Tuskani.
"Pin-point that location, and send a squadron of TIE Bombers. Glass that area."
He knew that the plan was suicidal, but he also knew the strength of the Aedile. They would survive. They had to.
Cerberus was now on a Broading ship readying for battle.He and his troops had be sent to attack,broad,and destory a ship in the Galerian fleet.
Cerberus told his men to be quite,because he had an annoucment to make.
"Men we have been ordered to attack ships in the Galerian fleet and take them over.They are, as we speak, are trying to flank us.We, as soldiers can not allow this to happen.We are about to begin broading, and as far as i know they have not picked up on us yet.So we are safe for now.After we are done broading the ships, we will go down to the planet, and attack all the soldiers they have around our capital.We will be done broading when we are given the signal.I know we are out numbered but we have surpise.Plus our fleet is fighting like there is no tomorrow.Everyone will fight, if you do not I will kill you myself.Is that clear!!!"
" SIR, YES SIR!!!!!" The soldiers all yelled.
Then broading ships broading gate,enters the ship with a BAM.The soldiers pour out of the broading ships.The crew of the ships are taken off guard, and their casillties soon mount up.A soldier following Cerberus asks,"What is the name of the ship?"
Cerberus replys,"The Knight's Guild".
Jin'ei Mifune let out a blood lust roar of hatred into the harsh winds as he charged up the hill, full sprint. Only one thought occupied his mind; If he was going to die today because some pathetic Galeres rat made his postition...if it was the last thing he did, he would find him, and then send his soul screaming down to hell.
As he reached the top of the hill however, he came to a dead stop. His House, House Mifune, had engaged the Knights of Galeres.
Damn...this...this can't be good. They attacked to protect my position!...Damn it Hito, DAMN IT!! This is all my fault, mine, and no one else's. I had not been cautious enough in my approach, and my position was made...FU*K!! My brothers and sisters are dying down there, Mifunes who he had personally taught, dying...because of me!
As he stood atop the hill, he knew he could not make it down in time to make a difference; his House, The Great House Mifune, was fighting a loosing battle...there were Jedi Masters down there...there was no way...
Jin'ei gritted his teeth in utter rage, the rain dripping down his face, nearly blinding him as it came down in sheets. Suddenly, he dropped to one knee and pulled the X-45 sniper rifle off his shoulder, while lying his vibro scythe on the wet ground next to him. Crimson took careful aim on the Dark Jedi below him...he suddenly saw Hito's face in his scope...defending against a Dark Jedis' attacks. Jin'ei smiled and started to turn his scope to a target that was not already as good as dead when he suddenly froze. He recognized the face of that Galeres Knight from somewhere...
Jin'ei quickly zoomed his scope back on the figure fighting Hito. Sh*t..., he cussed quietly under his breath...that ugly son-of-a-b*tch was no other than Mejas, a fking Jedi Master.
Jin'ei blinked his eyes quickly, trying to get the rain out of them. Shouldering his rifle, he took careful aim...there was no room for error...Hito could not hope to last much longer....
The assassin's weapon fired with a hiss as the thin bolt of hot plasma streamed out, faster than sound, in a perfect bolt, straight at the head of the unsuspecting Dark Jedi Master below him.
Kandos continued to stay concealed in the tree as a battle raged below him, he had spotted movement on top of a nearby hill and was trying to scope out the target. Whoever it was fired into the battle and given away their position, which the Priest quickly used to his advantage and aimed at the source of the sniper fire.
Zooming in using the scope Kandos aimed his weapon at the opponent sniper and had a perfect head-shot lined up, he pulled the trigger. When nothing happened he was confused for a second but the answer was obvious as he looked at the charge counter for the A280's energy cell, it was empty.
Cursing his luck Kandos ejected the spent cell and grabbed another from inside his robes, slotting it into the weapon and re-aiming at the target, which was no longer there. Before he could try and find the target again he heard a noise from above the forest canopy and saw the silhouettes of a squadron of TIE Bombers flying towards the battle.
As the TIEs started to bomb the area Kandos cursed again and leapt out of the tree, nearly landing on an Apprentice as they made off deeper into the forest and away from the TIEs.
Koskian grasped the hilt of his lightsaber, hearing the snap-hiss of Strategos' own blade, as well as Ktulu's. The locals, whichever group they were, had begun to advance out of the trees. Swords of steel and brass, spears tipped with iron heads, the soldiers were covered in chain mail armors.
“Sardinians,” muttered Alex, having recalled something of the Eldar races. Kosk glanced at his brother, and noted the growing aura of darkness around him. Small tendrils of shadow were coming away from that growing cloud of shadows.
The Sardinians paused for a moment, apparently not so unaccustomed to lightsabers as to be frightened, but they seemed to have a healthy respect for them. The clouds overhead deepened further, a storm was coming, rumbles of thunder and flashes of light.
A scream of engines overhead made everyone pause, the Sardinians looking up in terror as a squadron of TIE Bombers flew overhead. Koskian could feel Mejas in that direction, and knew those were bombers of the Dead House. A low growl escaped his throat as he leaped towards the nearest group of armored Sardinians, cutting into them as they still looked towards the bombers.
Ktulu and Strategos both attacked, charging into the Sardinians, blades flashing as they cut through swords and spears. Alex smiled, lashing out with tentacles of shadow, impaling soldiers as they approached the younger Krath that cowered behind the Epis.
The Galerian Dark Jedis were now on the move. Running through the dense jungle while the TIE Bombers flew over head, dropping Photons Torpedoes behind the squad. The skirmish had been abandoned and the knights of Boral had went the opposite way.
Mejas disenganged his blade and placed his hands together. Some of the Equites did the same. The Force through him, a master of the Dark Side. Mejas raised his hand, the tip of his pointing finger erected vertically up at the sky as the others did the same (1).
Seconds later, the TIE's over head started to tilt towards each other. Surprising the Sith pilots, the Dark Jedis on the ground forced the TIE's together. With their minds, the TIE's collided against each other and exploded. Slowly, the half a dozen TIE Bombers slowly diminished.
Valnir looked up over head at the sky that was raining death upon their heads. The threat was no more.
Taking a head count, Mejas spoke up impaciently. "How many dead?!"
Daring to speak up, Kandos saluted and replied,"We have lost five Apprentices and a Novice."
"That's not too bad," muttered Mejas. "Very well, we continue in this direct-"
"But that's not all," interrupted Kandos. "Ark isn't with us, though I sense that he is alive (2)."
Ark trudged through the jungle alone. He slowly trailed after the Mifunes. He had made his decision as to who he would aid in this feud. He knew that the Mifunes were not too far ahead and that they were resting ahead. Minutes later, he found them, healing their minor wounds. They had set up a small camp in a clearing.
Daring to show himself after revealing Jin'ei's position, he stepped out from behind a large piece of foliage.
Hitokiri spotted him and immediately stood up and drew his Muramasa. "Why are you-?"
Ark kowtowed and dropped the pistol. "I am sorry that I betrayed meh brother's position earlier. However, I must aid meh family during times of war." Ark tilted his head at Jin'ei before kowtowing to him as well. "I choose to be Orien Obscurum's ally for the time being. I know that placing in Jin'ei in danger was wrong. It will be your choice whether or not to trust me, father."
_ _ _
(2) Life Sense
Devani sat alone tending to the cuts and scrapes she had obtained during the battle. The low rumble of voices surrounded her but the surrounding countryside was oddly silent. Picking up her Shyarn she did not wipe it free of the clotting dark blood as the other Knights of Boral did. “I take your strength.” she whispered as she licked the red substance from her blade. Kneeling, she bowed her head to the ground mumbling words of a sacred rite. Getting up she rustled in her bags, looking for food and water.
Uneasy, she glanced around the makeshift campsite set up by Hitokiri, something was not right. “Master, we are not alone,” she spoke quietly to Hitokiri. He took her at her word, moving around the camp quickly but nonchalantly, speaking to each Knight of Boral, warning them to be ready but to do so without alerting those hiding and watching. Devani approached Jin’ei who was sitting off to the side in deep concentration. “Jin’ei. Jin’ei!” she murmured softly, “Prepare, they will attack soon if they’re smart.” Nodding, he grabbed his Vibro Scyth, pretending to polish it but maintaining a good grip prepared for any “surprises” that may appear. Grinning, Devani felt bloodlust rising as the excitement of the impending skirmish filled her. At the back of her mind, however, she wondered if this was just a bit too coincidental with Ark’s reappearance and “allegiance” to the Mifune family.
Jin'ei, the Mifune Assassin was in the process of healing his wounds from the terrific crash he had enjoyed earlier, when Okazani walked into the clearing. Having distracted the Galeres Dark Jedi Master long enough for the TIE deversion to pull him away from Hito, he had rejoined his Mifune brothers and sisters and had quickly been informed as to the identity of exactly who it was that had earlier made his position. Now with the traitor so readily 'surrendering' to the will of the Patriarch, Jin'ei had his doubts.
Standing with his huge scythe held easily in his hand, Jin'ei walked over to stand by Hito, looking at the Galerean Mifune. "We should make sure that he didn't bring anyone else with him," Jin'ei suggested to the head of the Mifune while never taking his gaze off of Okazani. "Never know what the bantha can dragged in."
Hitokiri Bokuzen Mifune
Hito moved toward Okazani. He had a small amount of doubt, but that feeling would soon be put to the test. He stood behind the Miraluka, and placed his hand on his shoulder. He could feel Okazani tense up instantly.
"You know why I'm here, do you not?"
"Yes. I do."
"Then, you understand why I must do this..."
There was a pause of hesitation in Ark's throat.
The Mifune Patriarch placed his hand upon the Krath's forehead, and closed his eyes.
"Tell me what you see..."
The Force began to concentrate around the two Mifunes, as Ark began to sense the life all around him. He started to filter out the lower lifeforms, working towards the more complex organisms. He worked his way to the most complex organisms, humans and humanoids. They continued to crash through the woodlands, causing enough noice that it startled the Knights closest to the two warriors. Okazani and Bokuzen concentrated further into the Force, revealing a figure. As the shadow began to take shape and color, a face could clearly be seen. It was the visage of Corran Halcyon. The concentration of both Mifunes ended, as happiness filled the mind of the Patriarch, yet despair filled the mind of the Mifune from Galeres. Hito turned towards Devani, as well as the other knights.
"Men, we have support..."
Crimson's tense features broke into a wide grin at the news. As Hito went toward the center of the clearing to get everyone's attention, Jin'ei walked up to Okazani and put his hand on the Mifune's back. "I'm glad your with us on this one, Ark." Ceric said quietly, looking at the gathering knights. "...otherways I might have had to paste you one!" He exclamed, smacking the Galeres Mifune upside the head and walked off into the crowd, laughing.
Spotting Devani, Jin'ei Mifune walked over to stand beside her as she listened to Hito speak. "Hey, Dev. You...ah, didn't get hurt in the skirmish, did you?" he asked, watching her carefully.
As she looked up at him in surprise, he quickly reinerated,"Because that would be pretty sad, you know...I mean, those Galeres were caught off guard, so..."
“I’m fine Jin’ei,” Devani replied softly, “Just a few cuts and bruises; I didn’t have to face any of the Equites, just an Apprentice. I think you’re confused; I wasn’t talking about our skirmish with the Galerian Knights. There is someone or someone’s out there watching. They’re waiting for the perfect moment to strike but I’m watching them. I’m glad you weren’t hurt and as much as Ark’s betrayal must anger you, think of the battle ahead. We need all the fighters we can get, after we conquer this planet, then take your revenge.” her voice trailed off as Halycon walked slowly into the clearing.
Ark, or Okazani, as the Mifunes called him, was not paying attention to their conversation. Corran, here, on Eldar! This was a deadly threat to the Galerians. However, traps and danger works both ways. Without hesitation, Ark concentrated on the Force, bending it so that it became a telepathic commlink (1).
Kandos! Kandos!" a Krath on the other side of the thick forest heard. He perked up as he recieved a thought from Ark, who Mejas had declared traitor. He glanced around to make sure he wasn't daydreaming. If Ark had betrayed them, why was he trying to get in touch with a Galerian?
What is it? Kandos thought angrily. He did not want Mejas to know that he was communicating with Ark.
Halcyon is here on Eldar! And he's with Oriens Obscurum.
What? thought Kandos, who was taken aback by the shock. Well, don't worry, Mejas has informed us that Quejo is down here as well.
Thank goodness, we're saved! Listen, I am NOT a traitor. I just followed them and found an opportunity to spy on our foes. Tell Mejas we're at...
Snapping out of his trance, Ark turned his head as Devani called his name for the sixth time.
"Huh? What?" answered Ark hastily. The sister of Mifune raised her eyebrows.
"What were you doing?" Devani asked. Ark shook off the question as he attracted everyone's attention. Everyone's eyes were on him.
"Look, Quejo is on Eldar as well! And Mejas, combined with Quejo's power, is more than enough to stop Corran, no offense, sir," explained Ark. The group looked uneasy after hearing this. "Also, they seem to be headed this way. We need to retreat or build a trap for them. I was a part of Galeres and I know some of their battle tactics. I suppose I should tell you..."
Deep down inside, the Krath had niether allied himself with Galeres nor his Mifune allies. He only wished that both houses would clash. For the time being, he would make himself seem to be allied with both groups. For this, he had his motives, and they were far more complicated than just to stay on the winning side. The best way to describe Ark's allegiance and his mysterious logic was that he was... rogue.
_ _ _
(1) Projective Telepathy
Devani was annoyed by Ark staring off into space, she didn’t trust him but she was willing to give him a very thin shadow of a doubt. Something just wasn’t quite right, glancing around the encampment she wondered where Himura was hiding out. Hitokiri was busy talking intently with Halycon and Jin’ei was busy arguing with an Apprentice, I didn’t hold much hope for the Apprentice if he even slightly annoyed the tall Guard. Thinking back she couldn’t remember if he had been in the original landing party or if he was on his TIE fighter above Eldar. Was he apart of the TIE fighters that had bombed the Galerian Knights. She hated not knowing but knew she could do nothing about it at the moment. However, while Halycon and Hitokiri determined what to do with Ark, she decided she would discover who was watching them from the surrounding countryside.
“Jin’ei,” she tapped his shoulder. “WHAT!” he whipped about, no doubt he that Devani was the Apprentice trying his luck. “Oh, it’s you Devani, what is it?” he said still annoyed. “This is going to take awhile. I know there is someone out there watching. I’m gonna look around see if I can find them. Don’t have all the fun while I’m gone. Okay?” Devani laughed, “I’ll see you later.” Turning she walked off and faded into the woods.
Hitokiri looked up as Devani disappeared into the forest.
"Be safe!" he shouted after her. Sitting down, he looked to the sky. It was growing darker, but they could not start a fire without attracting the Galeres' forces attention. Suddenly, all the noise around Hitokiri ceased. He looked around, confused for a split second. But then he realized that he was getting a telepathic transmission through his mind that had blocked out all other noises (1).
Bokuzen! was the sound. Hitokiri recognized it as Shingen, the tactician of the Mifunes. You must eliminate Okazani!
Confused, the Sith thought back, Why? Can he not be trusted?
No, he can't! I have foreseen the Galeres knight marching into your camp and killing you in your sleep (2). It must be Okazani leading them to you!
No buts! He is from Galeres. We may be a family, but we are also Dark Jedis. A Dark jedi would certainly be willing to sacrifice his family in exchange for his right to wield a Lightsaber. Eliminate him, now!
Hitokiri nodded, wondering why he had not thought of this before. He drew his Muramasa in one swift motion and pointed the tip at Ark, who was surprised.
"Okazani, will you betray the Mifunes again?!" Hitokiri snarled angrily. If what Shingen said was true, then the Galerian must die for such an honorless act.
Ark, taken aback, blinked. He had not planned to betray the Mifunes. If it seemed to his father that he wanted Oriens Obscurum to lose this battle, it was a misunderstanding.
However, Okazani had no time to explain. Hitokiri jumped forward, his Muramasa echoing loudly as the blade slammed down vertically. Ark rolled off the log that he was sitting on not a second too soon. The Krath jumped to his feet as Hitokiri pulled his weapon out of the log. Empowering his legs with the Force, Ark granted himself temporary speed (3).
Without a second thought, Okazani dashed into the woods as fast as a cheetah, while Jin'ei fired multiple blaster bolts after him.
I had no intention of killing meh family nor stopping Oriens Obscurum, Ark thought angrily as he ran. All of his plans had been foiled. There was only one person that I wanted dead...
_ _ _
(1) Receptive Telepathy
The distant sound of Blaster fire made some of the Galeres Apprentices jump and they began to mumble to each other, most of them had been jumpy since Kandos had reported what Ark had told him. Through the Force Kandos sensed that the commotion had something to do with Ark, What a surprise, the Priest thought to himself.
Kandos walked over to where Mejas was sitting, "Any word on the Quaestor?"
"In that case I'm going to find out what is going on with Ark, and maybe do a little scouting."
"Somebody should just kill him and be done with it." Mejas said with a snarl.
"Always a possibility I suppose." Kandos replied with a grin.
With that the Krath picked up his A280 from the tree it was leaning against, checked it had a fully charged cell in it and set it to "Rapid Fire". He then moved off from the group in the direction he was sensing Ark was, being careful not to make any noise and dampened his presence in the Force (1) so Ark wouldn't sense him coming.
- - -
(1) Force Suppression
Hitokiri Bokuzen Mifune
He could not believe that Okazani would turn his back on his family, but then again that's the way of the Dark Jedi. He gathered up the rest of his men, when he received a transmittion from Shingen.
"Hito, I'm sending you my landing coordinates. I want you to send the team to collect us, and refresh themselves."
"Alrighty, Octa. Halcyon's with us right now."
"I know. I plan on meeting up with him, so we can fight against Mejas and Quejo."
"Ok. I want in on the fight, as well."
"Understood. What's the condition of Okazani?"
A rapid sound of blasts came from the within the trees, and he could feel the life of Okazani slowly slip away from the Force.
"Confirmed. I'll meet up with you in a few."
"Lookin' forward to it."
The Mifune Patriarch began to gather up the remaining forces, when he realized that Devani had not checked back in. He started to get a little more concern. She was his apprentice, and he could not leave her in the area with the Galeres squad hot on their trail. He decided to split up their forces. One group would meet up with Shingen, while the other one would find Devani.
"Jin'ei, escort Halcyon to Shingen. Take the Apprentices with you, and if they show cowardice, kill them. I'll be taking Himura and Kazuya with me to find Devani. We'll meet up with the landing craft once we've found her. Dismissed."
Everyone began to pack up and move out. Jin'ei was a little upset by the decision, but Hito didn't want his emotions to play a part of their mission should things get worse. He gathered up his belongings, and joined his two sons.
I hope she's alright...
Devani walked as quietly as she could in the woods, eyes searching for their unknown spy. The forest was strangely quiet and that worried the young Apprentice. She wondered how things were going with Ark, was he traitor or no? Suddenly she saw him run swiftly past her barely glancing her way. “What is he running from?” she wondered. Suddenly she felt a presence force her to stop; she couldn’t put on foot forward. “What?” she panicked slightly and then she heard three booms close by…blaster shots. A gasp escapes her lips, searching out with the force she tried to sense Ark but…there was nothing. She did sense; however, another presence. She takes a deep, inward breath, it was Kandos!
Jin'ei, Halcyon and a handful of Apprentices marched through the trees toward the appointed LZ. There was little need to mask their movements as they had Halcyon...though it also had to do with the fact that they were moving away from where the battle would be taking place. This little fact bothered the Mifune assassin to no end.
Careful to mask his thoughts from Halcyon, Jin'ei's thoughts burned fiercly in his mind, I'm moving away from the battle! This is..urgh...I understand if this was an important mission, but its not like Halcyon can't tend to himself, for Forces' sake! And Devani is out there...I shouldn't have let her...oh...thats why Hito sent me on this baby sitting mission..sh*t.
Well...so Ark is dead...I felt it through The Force...his life leaving him. A shame. I was hoping that he could serve more of a use before his time. Alas, tis not meant to--
Jin'ei Mifune's mind suddenly cleared, and he could hear the forest go quiet. He instinctivly stopped, bringing a fist into the air. An Apprentice that had been following close behind with his hood pulled low didn't see the signal in time and bumped into assassin...Jin'ei spun around wrapping his hand around the shocked Apprentice's mouth, placing a thumb under his chin and squeezing. As the stupid Apprentice slowely died, Jin'ei listened hard. The whole troop stopped, most to watch Jin'ei squeeze the life out of the Apprentice, but others catching on that something was wrong.
Halcyon narrowed his eyes and scanned the trees quietly, reaching slowely for his saber.
There is something...something out there.
Ark looked up to face Kandos. When he had seen his fellow Krath with a blaster, his first instinct was to duck and cover his head.
Kandos, held his gun up, smoke leaving it, proving that he had fired. The shots, however, did not connect with the Miraluka's head. Instead, it missed several inches to the left, leaving singes on a tree.
Kandos had also made a fleeting gesture with his hand to hide Ark's presence in the Force (1) (2).
"W- why didn't you kill me?" muttered Ark, embarrassed to face the Galerian after he had ducked and yelped.
"The shots were intended to miss," Kandos replied coolly. "I shadowed your presence in the Force to make the foe think you're dead. It could prove advantageous if you make a surprise appearance when we meet your friends again."
Ark nodded. "Very well. I am no traitor, I'll say again. We must go catch up with Mejas. I have... grave news. Has Quejo reached the group?"
Kandos shook his head, unsure of whether the Quaestor had or not. Quejo had not appeared when he was last with Mejas half an hour ago. Ark sighed.
"Well, it could be as I feared. What if Corran has stopped him? He had joined the Mifunes."
_ _ _
(1)- Altered State
(2)- Force Suppression
Kandos was about to lead Ark back to where he had left the rest of the Galerians when he felt a presence through the Force, Devani was close by and there were three other people not fare behind her, but too far to identify. Instinctively Kandos dropped to one knee and raised his Blaster rifle to his shoulder, thumbing off the safety as he did so.
With Devani moving closer it wouldn't be long before she spotted them, and any possible gains from Ark's supposed death would be lost.
"Time to go." Kandos whispered to Ark.
The pair of them moved off at a run, Kandos was making little if any noise but Ark seemed to have the innate ability to stand on or brush past anything that would make noise.
"Will you be quiet, if anyone hears us it will take more than the Force to stop them spotting you." Kandos scolded, Ark mumbled a reply but the Priest didn't hear him.
Devani's presence in the Force didn't seem to be getting any further away and Kandos could only guess at how she was following them still, but he bet it was Ark's fault.
Her breath caught in her throat…not only was Kandos 50 feet from her position but Ark was alive! “I have to get back and tell Hito about this!” she thought. “But should I follow them? They could lead me to the Galerians which would give us a definite advantage!” biting her lip, Devani worried about what she should do. Suddenly she sensed Kandos knew she was there, he and Ark started moving off at a slow run. With a split second to decide, Devani moved forward, no longer held back by that strange force. A confused look covered her face but she quickly refocused on the issue at hand: how to avoid Kandos sensing her presence. He must know she was following, should she return with the news of Ark’s life or continue to follow them? Wham! Devani ran into another of the walls, she couldn’t put one toe forward. Anger and frustration rose up, what the Hell was happening? Turning around she gasped, the blood draining from her face and she fell to the ground with a moan of agony.
Jin'ei walked over to Corran, who was staring off into the trees. The Mifune Assassin telepathecally inquired, Sir? Can you...tell what is out there?
Halcyon slowly shook his head, still staring straight ahead.
One of the Apprentices carefully stepped over the crushed corpse of the late Dark Jedi Trainee who had unwisely angered Jin'ei, and asked from a safe distance,"Uh, Masters? Do you think it could be the natives...or mabey Galeres trying to flank our position?"
The Mifune Assassin knew damn well that whatever was out there, it was not something as simple as a flanking monuver. After a moment, the Arconean Guardian suggested that Halcyon should continue to the LZ and that he, Jin'ei, would investigate the disturbance in The Force.
"Perhapse...I should come as well. I am curious as to what "it" is," said the Dark Side Adept thoughtfully.
"With...all due respect, sir, I am sure it is nothing worth troubling you over, besides...Shingen will be waiting for you. I will insure that whatever "it" is, it does not hinder us in our mission...after I have confirmed that it is not a problem, I will rejoin you at the Landing Zone."
After a moment, Halcyon nodded his approval and continued on to the LZ.
Jin'ei, motioning for three Apprentices to follow, and headed toward for the disturbance.
Devani woke up disoriented. She looked groggily around trying to discover where she was. How long has it been? She wondered. Rubbing her eyes she tried to get a hold of her surroundings but her senses were muted in a way. Shaking her head she crawled towards the light that was streaming in one corner and found she was actually in a small cave of some type. Then it all came flooding back to her and she turned to face the grotesque figure silently watching her. “You can’t hold me,” she yelled, “I’m a Dark Jedi!” Devani leapt forward towards her captor but again felt the field that prevented her from taking a step forward. “Who are you and what do you think you’re doing?” she growled. He smiled and she could tell he was enjoying this and Devani didn’t like that one bit. “I’m Sardinian,” he smiled widely, “We don’t take kindly to fools trying to take over our planet! I was sent to lure one of you ‘Dark Jedi’ and bring you back to my master, Kijak. We will then torture you until you reveal to us everything we want to know: troop deployments, strengths, weaknesses, everything.”
Jin'ei signaled a silent stop to the Apprentices behind him. There was a clearing dead ahead...and that cold feeling in his stomach told him that the disturbance was eminating from there. He scanned the clearing, with his eyes, his ears, his heat sensative scope, and then finally with the Force, using it to scan for hidden enemy life signitures....nothing, and yet he knew there was something there.
After a moments' consideration, Jin'ei pulled the X-45 sniper rifle off his shoulder and motioned one of the Apprentices into the clearing. The Apprentice hesitated, for a second too long; Jin'ei had already sliped a dager through a slit in the Jedis armor, peircing a vital organ. The young woman slid silently, gasping, to the ground where she began the slow process of bleeding to dead.
Jin'ei shouldered his rifle, aiming out into the clearing and motioned another of the Apprentices forward. This time, there was no hesitation.
Kandos motioned Ark to stop, he could no longer sense Devani and he wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not. As he looked around he began to look rather confused.
"What is it?" Ark whispered.
"This is where I left Mejas and the rest, but I can't sense them any where around here." Kandos replied.
"Couldn't we just be lost, this forest IS pretty big."
Kandos looked at him angrily. "I know this is the place, but it looks different to when I left, I can't explain it."
The Priest suddenly looked up and stared off to the west, "I've got something, five people, not Dark Jedi."
"Locals?" Ark replied with a bemused expression.
"Must be" Kandos looked down a at a map of the area he had been carrying in his robes, "They are heading out of the forest and towards some caves over in that direction."
As nobody from the other house was around Kandos had stopped suppressing Ark's presence in the Force, this allowed him to stretch out with his mind and detect the people.
"Should we take a look?"
"Well Ark, it is better than sitting around here."
With that the pair of Krath started to run in the direction of the locals, and the caves.
It seemed like weeks since Shadow had re-routed his ship to the Eldar planet to assist Kandos after his distress call, now here he was hidding in undergrowth and trees following his fellow arconans, trying to figure out what wa going on. Kandos and Ark were trying unsuccesfully to creep around, but shadow could here Ark from his hiding spot even without audio sensors, suddenly his sensors lit up like a chrismas tree, there were locals all over, blast, Shadow lined up his blaster on the nearest target and programed it to track and kill the first 5 is succesion, the sky lit up with explosions as Shadows blaster simultaniously tracked and eliminated 5 of the locals, he then leaped into the air with his jet pack and landed feet away from Kandos, "Hi, got ya message quick lets get into this cave whilst we can"
The Sardinian torturer was still grinning when they heard blaster shots outside the cave. The smile was wiped off his face as he looked from the entrance to the scene outside the cave. A Sardinian scouting party was being massacred caught in a fire fight with three Dark Jedi to the north and glancing to the south he noticed a nervous young Dark Jedi edging himself into the clearing. “Time for us to get outta here,” he mumbled, “Wouldn’t want Kijak to lose his little prize, we need that information.” The brute began to think and it was painful for Devani to watch as his face screwed up grotesquely. How did I allow myself to be captured by this? she wondered. Now was her time to escape and judging from what she’d seen of her kidnapper, it should be no problem. The Sardinian pulled out a comlink, “I’ve got a situation, I’m going to need cover if I’m going to get the Dark Jedi out of this cave.” A garbled voice tried to speak from the other end but the Arconians had jammed all frequencies preventing contact between the Sardinian forces.
Devani smiled, “So what’s a, ahem, smart guy like you going to do?” His eyebrows knit together as he thought. Something bothered Devani as a light crept into his eyes. He pulled two small devices out of his pocket. “See these? These are a prototype of devices that will be given to all Sardinians so we can defeat you! Watch and learn!” he placed them, one on each wall of the cave and beckoned her forward. Cautiously she advanced until she reached them and met that unexplainable force that had prevented her from moving forward earlier in the forest. What?! Why can’t I move forward she thought but all that escaped her lips was a simple grunt. Blaster shots grew louder as the fight was drawn closer to the cave’s entrance. An idea began to formulate in Devani’s mind but she had no way of implementing it. Focusing she tried to focus her power and reach out to see who was fighting outside the cave, she wasn’t sure it would work because she didn’t’ know how the devices worked. It was harder but she sensed Kandos…Ark…Shadow, all Galerians! But reaching further out she sensed…Jin’ei? "Jin’ei! Jin’ei!”
"Damn Sardinians..." Shadow muttered as three more Sardinians charged out of the murky cave.
Sighing, Kandos drew his Lightsaber. Minutes later, the last of the natives fell to the groud, spewing blood onto the once green forest floor. Eight Sardinians now layed on the ground, dead.
Kandos disengaged his Lightsaber as Shadow holstered his blaster. Ark popped out from the log he had ducked under.
None of the Galerians were injured; the Sardinians had barely put up a fight.
"Well, that's that. Into the caves," muttered Ark. He got a disapproving look from the Equite.
"Did I hear that right? YOU telling us to go in?" asked Kandos amused. "If I remember correctly, you had did almost nothing when we fell under ambush except scream and duck under a log. Now, YOU'RE goading us into go into more danger?"
"Scream? I did not scream and hide under a log. My blaster, errr... malfunctioned and I dropped it! I went under the log to retrieve it."
"It takes you five minutes to pick up a blaster you dropped?" grinned Shadow. "Nevertheless, let's go."
"But it did..."
The Galerians looked around at the bloodshed surrounding them befroe the began their slow descent into the caves.
As the three Dark Jedi walked deeper into the caves the area began to get very dark, Kandos was silently thankful that he was fairly adept in the ways of Shadow Crafting as he augmented his sight using the Force.
"Dark in here isn't it." Ark whispered.
"Well it IS a cave." Kandos said sarcastically.
"I was just saying.." Ark muttered in reply.
"You sense that?" Shadow said as he stared off into the distance.
"Hmm, yes. There is something strange in this cave, it feels like two people but seems to be muted some how."
They continued on into the cave and eventually got to a junction where the path split in two, none of them could sense the others in the cave clearly enough to get an exact direction even though they were now not very far away.
Kandos turned round as the other two stopped and looked around.
"So, which way?"
Hitokiri Bokuzen Mifune
Now it's locals... When the Hell are we gonna stop gaining enemies?
Hito had tracked down Okazani, and followed them towards the cave. Ever since his master had become the Quaestor of Galeres, he knew a lot of their fighting skills, and tactics. There was no way they were going to kill one of their own, especially since he had connections to the enemy. He would deal with Ark later. The caves were intricate, and were very foreign to the Jedi Hunter.
"Don't you think we should regroup before going back into there?"
Kazuya was a fist fighter, and could not stand fighting in close corners. Hito let out a soft laugh.
"No need to worry. We're not following them."
The Mifune Patriarch took a look to the left side of the caves.
"Because that's where we'll find Devani... and Jin'ei."
So, he disobeyed my orders... Looks like I'll have to deal with him, as well.
The three Mifunes continued towards Jin'ei's group, hoping to join with them. He would need their assistance in case they met up with the Sardinians or the Galerians. They moved with quick haste, and managed to cut their distance with them by half in no time. Himura shouted out to the rushing Guardian.
It was a bad idea, because a few Sardinians had heard them, and were well on their way to intercepting both Mifune teams.
...Here we go again.
"Hmm?" muttered Shadow. "Did anyone hear that?" he asked in a low whisper.
"Sorry, that was meh stomach..." mumbled Ark. Kandos moved his hands up to his face, feeling embarrassed that he resided in the same house as this idiot.
"No, not that. Unless, of course, your stomach says 'Jin'ei' whenever you're hungry," scolded Shadow. "I thought I heard an echo."
"I heard it, too," said Kandos. "It was probably foot soldiers from Oriens Obscurum. maybe they plan to excavate this cave for whatever reason?"
"Nah, if they shouted Jin'ei, it must be the Mifunes. Be careful. Don't hurt them too much," Ark whispered. Then, realizing what he said, he added," we could, uhhh... interrogate them."
Kandos looked at the Guardian suspiciously. Shadow, however, took no notice of Ark's remark.
"Boy, kinda hot in here, huh?" whispered Ark. He reached into his robes and pulled out a metallic flask.
"What is that, Ark?" inquired Kandos, though he already knew the answer.
"Correlian Salt Ale," Ark said happily. He removed the cap and took a long swig without offering his fellow Dark Jedi any. However, Kandos and Shadow didn't seemed to mind. They had enough sense not to get themselves tipsy while Oriens Obscurum were occupying the same cave as them.
As soon as Cerberus had said that, there was a brust of chatter.
"But sir,the this is a ship for the elilte of Galeres.Which means we will run into the knights of Galeres."
"No we will not.Because they are all fighting on the ground.So the ships best soldiers are not even here.Which means the ships is ready for the picking.Well what are all of you looking at get to work taking this ship over.NOW!!!!!"
"SIR YES SIR!!!"said the soldiers once again.
"BEEP,BEEP,BEEP".Cerberus looks to his right, as his communitcations officer tells him he has got a new order.
"Sir, message from HQ."said the officer.
"I take it give it here."said Cerberus.
The message read:
You are here by ordered to come back to the planet.It is very critical that you and you best squad come to the planet.Leave your other troops, to contend with the ships.We need you to capture a outpost that has just been reactly captured.If you can take this outpost out for us.Then then the soldiers we have coming down from the north,will not have to waste men on this simple outpost.Good luck Cerberus.Now move out.-Headquarters.
"Tell GHOST SQUARD to get ready we move out now."Said Cerberus.
"As you wish sir."Said the officer.
Twenty minutes later.....
"Ok, now that is the outpost there.They might have already heard us land.Hopefully not,but just in case.We will go in slow.The outpost is guarded heavily,so be careful we need everybody on this mission.Now move out."
Cerberus moved from the group of soldiers.Then he crept slowly from tree to tree.
Then he saw him a Jedi Hunter.He knew then that this was not going to be a easy fight.Then with out warning he heard it.The sound of blasters firing in the distance.He turned back to the Jedi, but he had already pulled out his weapon.Cerberus had no choice he would have to fight this Jedi.Like it or not.So as quitely as he could he reached for his lightlance.Then hoping to catch the Jedi off guard.He quickly as he pulled out his weapon, and ran for the Jedi.The Jedi had faster reflexes that he thought.The next thing Cerberus knew he was no the ground.With the Jedi rushing him as fast as he could with his red blade.
Cerberus quickly got up and flipped backwards to miss the blade of the Hunter.Cerberus turned on the lightlance and the battle truely began.For a moment the Hunter looked at the lightlance.Then he slowly began to laugh.
Cerberus caught off guard by this asked "What is so funny?"
The Hunter said that it was his blade that it was not a real lightlance but a laser in a small forcefield.That while it looked like a real light weapon it was really a very good look-a-like.
The Three Amigos continued to walk through the cave, Shadow could see that the floor was uneven ahead and wispered to Ark and Kandos "mind your footing", typicaly just as he said that Ark fell flat on his face with an echoing crash, "sorry" came a mufled comment from Arks buried face.
Kandos simply put his hands up in surrender, "I give up, is it not possible for you to ever be quiet Ark", Ark go to his feet and began to try and creep silently.
Shadow stopped all of a sudden and it took the others a few seconds to realise he had, "my heat sensors are picking up a huge amount of body heat from the other side of that wall, there are also several large energy sources. we will have to be very carefull from now on, especialy you Ark.........
Kandos reached out with the Force, on the other side of the wall he could clearly sense about twenty people and after a few seconds he managed to discerned that they were locals. While the Priest was doing this Shadow used his armour's sensors to try and figure out what the large energy sources were.. Eventually it became clear that some of the energy sources were made up of lots of smaller energy reading in close proximity.
"Just a large group of locals, shouldn't be much of a threat." Kandos said as he looked back towards the other two.
"No wait, the energy sources seem to be piles of Blasters or something similar, along with two bigger weapons." Shadow replied.
"Blasters, these lot don't have anything remotely like a Blaster, do they?" Ark whispered.
"Well it looks like they have got some from somewhere. Right then lets take a look, and if it is possible Ark could you not give away our position."
Ark didn't reply as the group moved deeper into the caves.
"Ark? Not giving away our position? That'll be the day," chortled Shadow, who couldn't help but comment. Almost immediately after Shadow whispered that, a loud *bang* hit the ground floor and echoes of the sound rang through the caves.
Turning around, Kandos and Shadow saw that Ark had somehow, unsuprisingly, tripped over the hems of his robes. The metal flask that he had been sipping out of flown out of his hands and collided with a rock, creating the sound they heard earlier.
Kandos sighed and helped Ark off of the ground. Shadow, however, did not pay attention to the Guardian. His face fell as he saw twenty Sardinians flood into view. They must've heard Ark.
"Oh boy, prepare for a scrap," he muttered. He turned around to face Kandos as the Krath Priest drew his green Lightsaber. "Hey, can Ark use Drunk Master?" he asked curiously. "That would counter his drinking problems."
A faint boom resonated in the small room Devani was now in. The Sardinian had moved her through the caves to their new position, into this room filled with all the implements needed for a very painful torture. Grabbing her arm he tried to push her down onto something similar to a bed with thick metal clasps to hold her on. Devani had other ideas, however. As the would-be torturer grabbed her arm she twirled quickly, breaking his arm. He fumbled with his other hand to grab a blaster-like object but she tripped him, stepping down hard on his arm so that he released it in utter pain. Putting her knee into his back, she leaned down and whispered in his ear, “Don’t EVER mess with a Dark Jedi!” Forcing him up on his knees, she grabbed his head and twisted it swiftly enjoying the crack of his neck breaking.
Knowing she didn’t have much time till this Kijak man showed up, she picked up her Shyarn, strapping it to her back. Seizing the blaster she edged toward the entrance of the room, glancing in both directions before easing her way out carefully. In the distance she thought she heard blasters firing and muted screams. She took the direction away from the fight heading down a twisted and dark tunnel.
As Blaster fire erupted from the Sardinians' position the three Dark Jedi ran, dived or fell into cover. Kandos quickly took his A280 off his shoulder and calmly checked the energy charge in the cell before switching the weapon to 'Single Shot' and flicking the safety off.
He glanced over to Shadow, who was crouched behind a rock on the other side of the tunnel, "Covering fire."
"On it." Shadow replied as he set his Blaster to target the group of locals.
"NOW!" Kandos shouted and Shadow opened fire, immediately the amount of incoming decreased as three of the Sardinians were cut down.
Under the cover of Shadow's fire Kandos stood up and snapped off two rounds in quick succession and was rewarded by two locals dropping to the floor dead. As the Dark Jedi opened up on the locals the Sardinians were pushed back down the tunnel into better cover, however the floor was now littered with bodies of those not quick enough to find cover.
Where ever the locals had got the Blasters from they obviously hadn't had time to train much with them as their firing was erratic and mostly off target. However, through the sheer amount of fire poured out by the twelve remaining Sardinians, Kandos was hit in the left shoulder and Shadow was hit in the chest. Fortunately for the Jedi Hunter his armour stopped most of the damage.
Revaan was lost. There was no other way to say it. He had split off from Hito's group when he saw human-like shadows moving on his left. He'd followed them to a clearing and only then realized it was a trap. Six or seven locals were lined up and ready. He had been lucky only because they had no aim. After killing four, the rest retreated in a dead run. Checking for damage he realised that both his comlink and datapad were busted. Now he was roaming in the general direction he thought he had been going.
He heard very faint echoes of blaster fire and yells coming from his left. He walked forward cautiously. He saw several Sardonians running from a cave. Shortly after came Kandos, Ark, and Shadow. Revaan reached out with the force, trying to sense anyone from Oriens. He felt, albeit faintly, the presense of Hito, Jin'ei, and Devani. He broke his contact, feeling sweat dripping from his brow. Even though he was Krath, his control of the Force was weak and erratic. He watched the three Galeres knights while he crouched behind the tree line.
I wonder what they're doing chasing down these weak creatures instead of Oriens knights, he thought as he witnessed Ark trip and fall flat on his face while chasing the Sardonians. He looked back at Kandos and Shadow. Shadow motioned toward his postition, apparently arguing with Kandos. Kandos closed his eyes, and Revaan could tell he was using the force. Kandos turned to Shadow, said something, then called to Ark.
This won't be good, Revaan thought as he pulled out his DC-44, not good at all.
The last few Sardinians were finally cut down by brutal Blaster fire as they ran out of the caves and towards the trees, the three Dark Jedi then lost no time in moving to find out who was watching them from the tree line. As they did so Revaan opened fire from behind a tree, his shots forced Shadow and Ark into the cover of some nearby rocks, Kandos on the other hand drew and ignited his Lightsaber before deflecting the bolts coming towards him off into the distance.
Using the cover provided by the Krath Priest Shadow opened fire in Revaan's direction, causing him to duck behind the tree. As the incoming fire stopped Kandos moved towards the tree line at a dead run and leapt into the air.
As Revaan took a quick look around the tree he has hiding behind he noticed he could no longer see Kandos, Not good he thought to himself. Suddenly there was a crash above him and he was covered in falling leaves, as he looked up he saw the Priest land in the tree above him.
Reacting more on instinct than anything else the Guardian raised his Blaster and fired off a few shots, Kandos however was no longer there and the Blaster fire sailed over his head as he dropped out of the tree and landed in front of Revaan. With one quick swipe Kandos sliced the front six inches off the DC-44 before kicking Revaan to the ground.
Placing the end of his Lightsaber an inch from the Guardian's throat Kandos smiled, "What do I do with you then?"
"Riiight, nice, Kandos," muttered Ark, who appeared from behind a tree with Shadow following behind. "Don't kill him, though. The Mifunes would be furious."
"What would you care of them? You have pledged allegiance to Galeres, no?" asked Shadow amused. He stowed away his blaster and awaited for Kandos to do his thing.
"Well, don't kill him. Though this is war, unnecessary death of potential allies is unwise," said Ark, looking a helpless Himura. The Oriens Guardian eyed the tip of Kandos' green lightsaber uneasily.
"Well, worry not, a mere Guardian won't have that much potential
to be a helpful ally," Kandos hissed, emphasizing the word 'potential'. He moved the blade closer to the fallen enemy's face, slowly, as though to intimidate him.
"You'd better not," threatened Ark, snarling under his breath. Shadow looked shocked as this conversation matured.
"Ark? Whose side are you on?"
"I'm with Galeres, but I won't allow you to kill a Mifune,"said the Miraluka. Himura could be used and he did not want bait to be discarded so easily.
Revaan watched as his fate was being decided. Heavy drops of sweat covered his face, partially caused by the heated sabre in his face. Ark seemed to be helping him. But why? Didn't he prove himself to be a traitor twice already?
"I won't allow you to kill a fellow Mifune!!" Ark shouted at last, his voice choing through the forest. He drew his blaster and unwisely fired at the Equite.
Kandos, surprised by Ark's action, whipped the Lightsaber away of Revaan's anxious face to deflect an incoming blow. Shadow drew his blaster as well. but before he could fire, Ark pulled the blaster away from the surprised Jedi Hunter (1). The blaster flew out of his hands, and rather than land in Ark's free hand, it landed on Revaan's lap.
"GO!" Ark shouted at Revaan, who did not hesitate. He grabbed the blaster and, boosting his leg strength, jumped (2). He arced over Kandos as the Krath Priest took a horizontal swing at him. The Oriens Guardian landed on his feet and dashed into the caves, as Shadow pulled out another blaster and followed him.
As he was distracted by Revaan getting a hold of a blaster and jumping over him, Kandos could not resist trying to cut the Zabrak in half as he was in midair. Although he missed, this gave Ark the crucial seconds he required to escape. As Kandos turned around to face Ark, the young Miraluka had been swallowed by the green that was the forest.
_ _ _
_ _ _
OOC- Yes, I do know meh actions and decisions are wierd, random, and erratic.
Devani walked stealthily through the caves alert to every sound and movement. The complexity of the cave’s passageways had confused her for awhile but she realized she was getting close to the exit as they began to lighten and fresher air washed over her. Suddenly Revaan came bursting into view running as fast as he could a blaster in his hands. Dodging blaster shots he didn’t notice the young woman in the shadows. Devani reached out with the force and discerned the source of the blaster shots towards the Guardian…Shadow. Hanging back further in the shadows she reached out to Revaan. “Brother! Take the tunnel to your left and loop back, I’ll take care of Shadow.” Devani whispered in his mind. As Revaan burst out again in front of her she whipped out her Shyarn and as Shadow passed her, her sword ripped his fleshy thigh. Tripping, he rolled and fired shots at the young woman. Meanwhile, Revaan turned around and pointed his blaster inches from Shadow’s head. “I wouldn’t advise it.” He said calmly. Anger quickly flashed across the Jedi Hunter’s face. Sliding her Shyarn back into its sheath, Devani walked over to Shadow. “What should we do Rev?” she questioned. “Hitokiri, Jin’ei, and Kayuza are close by.” He replied keeping a firm grip on the blaster, never letting his eyes leave their captors head. “Jin’ei! Hitokiri! Kayuza! Revaan and I are near the exit of the caves and we have Shadow. Please hurry here, we’ll wait for you.” Devani whispered in their minds. Taking out rope, she tied Shadows hands and feet in a way to allow him to walk. Taking the lead, she moved to a small, offshoot of the current tunnel and a small opening, Shadow forced to walk behind her. Revaan followed his blaster still pointed at the Jedi Hunter’s sweating brow.
Jin'ei took aim with his X-45 as the Apprentice took several cautious steps into the open clearing and then stopped. After a moment, Jin'ei raised his head and telepathically yelled, What. The F**K, are you doing!?
The Apprentice's feeble telepathy was barely audiable from his lack of skill as he managed, M..Mas..ter.! I..c...ant...mo..v...!
Jin'ei raised an eye brow, just as three arrows peirced the Apprentice's chest. Jin'ei raised another brow at the fact that the Apprentice did not only not fall, but failed to so much as shudder from the impact. Even though Jin'ei had caught sight of the hidden archers, he tried to sense for life singnitures, yet again, as the life of the Apprentice slowely ebbed from him, but he could feel nothing...except a sort of sheild that seemed to intercept his efforts. The Mifune Assassin did not have to be a genius to figure out that the "sheild", was the same one that immobalized the unfortunate Apprentice.
Jin'ei handed his sniper rifle to the single surviving Apprentice and telepathically informed him of the locations of the three 'locals' that were positioned in the trees around the clearing...who obviously thought themselves well concealed. If there were others, they had yet to show themselves. Jin'ei Crimson, meanwhile, activated his stealth generator and snuck off through the trees and around the clearing. The Crimson Assassin positioned himself under the first archer. Then, gently hooking his scythe around a strong branch, lifted himself up, feet first, wrapping he legs around the neck of the surprised archer, he pulled himself, and the archer, back down into the brush and snapping her neck. He was already moving as two arrows struck the ground where he had been only moments ago with a resounding, "thud thud". The "thud" was then followed by a nearly silent wisping sound as a single plasma bolt escaped Jin'ei's X-45, weiled by the surviving Apprentice, and stricking another archer through the neck. As that perticular archer fell, three more arrows flew out of the trees into the brush that conceiled the Apprentice, but those fell harmlessly short of their target.
Smiling, Jin'ei silently scrambled up another tree, snapping the neck of second archer, then leaping into the air, barely avoiding an arrow (as his steal generator had deactivated on touch with another organic), and landing with a twisted round-house kick into the face of a another archer, sending him tumbling into the net of invisible force fields in the clearing. From there, the assassine ran along a narrow branch, barely avoiding another another streaking arrow, then leaping down to a lower tree, scythe swinging, beheading an archer, and quickly falling to the brush below, then rolling along the damp ground as an arrow imbeded itself near his face.
Hmm...another one somewhere...
Jin'ei didn't have to look hard, because this one came to him; with a wild roar, the warrior swung a steel battle axe at the assassin's head. Using the Force to slow its descent, Jin'ei rolled, feeling the wind ruffle his hair, and the thunk of the ax as it hit the dirt near his head. The local warrior landed a solid kick with steel boots to Jin'ei's ribs, and yanked the ax back again, pulling it over his head for another swing. Jin'ei, however, not letting the cracked ribs slow him one second, rolled back into the warrior and with one swing, slid the blade of his vibro scythe neatly through the warrior's layers of armor, skin, and guts, then standing up in the same motion, reversing the grip on his weapon and beheading the local-dead-warrior.
As Jin'ei calmly turned from the falling corpse, bringing his hand down to try and heal his wound, he saw a cloaked, hooded and fully armored local standing over the corpse of the newly late Apprentice...aiming the assassin's own X-45 at his heart.
Suddenly, a telepathic message cried out, Jin'ei! Jin'ei!. That was Devani!!...was what Jin'ei thought as the bolt struck the distracted Dark Jedi Guardian in, and out, of the stomach.
As Jin'ei's eyes went wide with shock, and then rage, and finally dispair for Devani, his last thought before darkness took him was... Well FU--.
Hitokiri Bokuzen Mifune
Finally. Some relief... And a member of Galeres...
Hito couldn't help but smirk. Devani and Himura were together, and they had captured a knight from Galeres. The only thing left to do was recover Jin'ei, and haul ass to the LZ.
"Kazuya, recover Jin'ei, and meet me back at my location, alright?"
With a nod of his head, he began his scouting of the caves. The Aedile began, with great haste, to the location of the two Knights of Oriens, hoping to see the last look of pain on Shadow's face. As the lifeforce of both Himura and Devani began to get closer and closer, Bokuzen began to slow down his pace, as he approached an opening in the caves. Tied to a tree was a weary-looking Shadow, and Revaan and Devani. He slowly walked towards Shadow, and looked at him.
"What do you think we should do with him, Hito?" said Devani.
He wanted nothing more than to plunge his sword deep into the warrior's throat. However, he had something else in mind.
"Leave him, and let him hope the Sardinians find him before our troops do."
A presence began to enter his mind, and it was very agitated.
"Hito-san. I'm on my way... Jin'ei's hurt really bad. When I get there, run for the LZ."
"Sounds like a plan, Kazuya. I'll be looking for ya."
Rapid footprints echoed, as two Mifunes exited the caves.
The remainding Knights of Oriens left the caves, without bothering to look behind. Shadow's screams were the last thing they heard, before hearing the deployment of troops and vehicles. Shadow would be very lonely, and that could bring a smile to Hitokiri's heart.
Jin’ei came to, but kept his eyes shut tightly, partly for deception, and partly for the screeching pain in his gut. Flexing his muscles, the Mifune Assassin tried to discern the extent of the damage, and barely managed to stifle a gasp as he almost passing out again from the pain: The blaster bolt from his X-45 seemed to have missed all vital organs, and had cauterized the wound on entry and then exit. He could feel himself being dragged…by the feet. The assassin sensed around him carefully, making sure not to make any movement. There were three of them…locals by the feebleness of their mind…the leader of the group…the cloaked one who “captured” him, was dragging Jin’ei, the other two were on either side of the “unconscious victim”. The one on the Mifune’s right was holding a sword in the right hand and a loaded crossbow in the left, the one to the left loosely held twin steel short blades.
Damn! How could I have let myself be caught off guard like that!? I’m no help to anyone now…and for all I know Dev could be…
No. I will...I will tear this planet apart if I have to, but I will find her.
But first…these as* holes…
Suddenly, the assassin’s eyes flew open, and he his hands flew up, pointing at either of the warriors at his sides. Before they could react, he Forced one to plunged his sword forward, over Jin’ei, and into his counterpart with the crossbow, while the man with the projectile weapon, in shock, fired the bolt, right into the chin of the horrified swordsman. Then, Jin’ei, with a roar of rage and pain, pulled himself up into a sitting position, and, twisting the short blade free of the falling archer, swung it around, cutting his bounds on his feet and rolling backwards into a crouch facing the hooded man.
The man simply stopped, and then slowly turned around, a wide, sadistic smile on his shadowy features.
Jin’ei smiled back twice as wicked, and with a blood lust roar, leaped at the man. The assassin’s opponent, simply held up a hand, and there froze Jin’ei in mid air as if held by an invisible force field.
Holy Sh*t, this never gets old, thought an enraged and very immobile Oriens assassin.
The man slowly pulled free a nasty looking dagger, and then still smiling started for Jin’ei. He suddenly stopped two feet away, his dagger in the air, after hearing a blaster shot. Still smiling, he fell to the sodden earth. Very dead.
Kazuya stepped out of the trees, blaster smoking.
As the three Oriens Dark Jedi left the caves Kandos came out of hiding, rather than bother chasing after the traitorous Ark he had instead decided to rescue Shadow and had been hiding a short distance from him inside the cave. Unable to sense anyone close by th Krath Priest stopped suppressing his Force presence, as he did so Shadow looked up and in his direction.
"Took you long enough." Shadow said in a snarl.
"Well at least I came."
"Come on, untie me so we can get out of here."
Using his Lightsaber Kandos cut through the bonds that held Shadow, he and the Jedi Hunter then made their way quickly and quietly out of the cave. With Shadow limping along behind him Kandos headed into the forest and away from the caves.
Where we going?, Shadow said telepathically.
We should rejoin the rest of our house, wherever they have gone. Where did you leave your ship?
Not far from here, I hid it well enough so nobody would have found it unless they were really looking for it.
Well then, that sounds like a plan. Kandos said as they headed off deeper into the forest.
Kandos filled Shadow in with the full facts of what happed during his absence, after he was finished, Shadow simply stopped dead still, Kandos could feel the pure rage pouring from him, but it was not the usual dark side rage, this was cold anger, Shadow said nothing but took his bigest clip from his ammo holder and slammed it home in his blaster power point on his shoulder. Shadow then Turned on the spot and fired his repulsor pack, Kandos had a hard time keeping up with him, he knew where he was going, to find the traitor Ark, they had both thoght him to be a friend, but now that friendship had been smashed and Kandos could almost see the cold determination in Shadows eyes even with the helmet on.
It was not long when Shadow stopped and simply pointed towards a small house and handed Kandos a pair of macro binoculars. through them he saw a small window, once he focused on it he saw Ark and Revaan sat at a table talking over a small meel, suddenly he saw a shadow and couldnt believe his luck there was Devani aswell, Shadow simply nodded and Kandos saw his blaster aiming on its shoulder mount then without any warning he fired, there was a thunderous roar as the heavily upgraded A280 unleased its full auto fire power, Kandos had to use th force to dampen out the sound, then he also began to acuratly send fire into the house he knew that the damage to the house and its ocupants would be teribble but it had to be done............ >:)
As Blaster fire erupted through the walls the Dark Jedi inside the house dived for cover, but not before Ark was hit in the shoulder and Devani was hit in the thigh. As the two Krath outside continued to pour fire into the house Kandos felt a sudden surge of the Force in immediate area of their targets.
"Somebody called for help in there." He shouted to Shadow over the noise of the A280s.
"Let them come!" Shadow shouted back harshly.
When Kandos stopped firing in order to change energy cells he heard a noise over the din they were creating, it sounded a lot like troops and vehicles moving through the forest towards them. Reaching out with the Force the Priest located a group of twenty Oriens troops heading towards them with what felt like a vehicle of some kind behind them.
"They have backup on the way, lets get this done with." Kandos said as he got to his feet.
Still firing, although by no means as much as before, the two of them moved towards the house. When they were close enough Kandos threw a stun grenade in through the remains of the window, the blinding flash and concussive force produced by it was enough to knock out almost anyone, even those with access to the Force.
Walking in through the door Kandos and Shadow found the occupants unconscious, slumped on the floor where they had been taking cover. As the Priest grabbed Ark and lifted him up he saw his Jedi Hunter counterpart stood over Devani, staring down at her.
"Come on, we got what we came for, this traitor isn't going anywhere but with us."
"What about them?" Shadow asked, looking up at Kandos.
"Leave them, we don't have time."
Moving at a dead run the two Krath made their way out of the house and back into the forest. A minute or so later the Oriens troops turned up and found the unconscious, but alive, bodies of Devani and Revaan, but no sign of Ark.
With a battle cry, Jin'ei crashed through the wall of the pathetic local-built-house. Devani and Himura were lying immobile on the floor, surrounded by pools of their own blood and the resently arrived Oriens medics.
Damn! I'm too late!!, the assassin thought in anguish.
As he stormed up to the center of the room, he shoved one medic to the floor, and at the protest of another, Force Pushed him through a burning wooden wall. Quickly scanning Devani and then Revaan's injuries, he could finally catch his breath at the realization that they were both still very much alive, albeit unconscious.
As a medic cautiously came up and started to treat Jin'ei's wounds, the Mifune Assassin scanned the room, taking in the still smoldering blaster marks in the floor, as well as the utter destruction of two of the houses' walls.
This place was hit hard...Nar Shaada style. Damn good times.thought Crimson, as a cruel smile slowley started to spread over his features.
He looked down at the unconscious form of Devani.
Don't worry babe, he telepathically communicated while brushing some hair off of her perfect facial features,I'll get them for you. Don't you worry about a thing. After compleating the message, he made sure to have it echo in the solitude of her unconscious thoughts, so that when she came to, she would know exactly what he was about to do.
Shoving the medic aside, Jin'ei flinched, as he stood and shouldered his X-45 and Vibro-Scythe. As the medic moved away, the Mifune quickly glanced over at Diablos, also known as Kazuya, who was too busy conversing with the commanding Oriens officer, to notice the assassin slip away into the trees after Devani's attackers.
"Uhhhh..." muttered Ark as he came back to consciousness. As his eyes opened, he took note of several things. First, the sun was rising; he must have been passed out for the entire night. The grenade hadn't been too friendly and didn't help any considering that Ark had drank Correlian Salt Ale the day before and now had his head panging. The second thing he noticed was that his hunting pistol and his Mifune Assassin dagger were no longer strapped to the belt that hung inside his robes. And lastly, Shadow had a menacing blaster held up to Ark's face, a sickening look of anger on his face.
"Explain," snarled Shadow as he clutched his thighs with his free hand. "Now! Before I shoot!"
Kandos was twirling his Lightsaber in his hands. He sat on a log and there was ashes on the ground before him indicating that there had been a campfire. There were also carcusses of natives animal on the floor. Both Dark Jedi had been fed. But looking around, Ark percieved that Galerians left no food for traitors.
"Alright, I can explain," muttered Ark. He looked up at Shadow furiously as he clutched his head. he was having a headache. "I was acting as spy against them. Again."
Kandos scoffed. "Spying on them? Oh, you shouldn't have," was the sarcastic response.
"I was! And I can prove it!"
"Go ahead, show us your proof"
"Did you not notice that I fired at you with blasters? If I wanted to kill a dark jedi, I'd have gone up close and stabbed him in the heart and end it. I knew that you'd deflect it," Ark answered angrily. "I didn't want Revaan to die because I knew he could be used. And I had used him," the Krath finished proudly.
Shadow looked at him surprisedas he lowered his weapon. "What did you learn?"
"Oh, not threatening me with a blaster now, eh?"
Shadow raised his blaster again threateningly. "If you'd prefer a gun to your face, that's perfectly fine with-"
"Alright, I get!" Ark muttered. "I learned that the Sardinians had these special devices that could hinder your movement. Dev there had stolen a pair of these from her captor's corpse. I was just about to drug Rev and Dev and steal it."
Kandos raised his eyebrows. "Well, why didn't you?"
Ark scoffed. "Well, some guests decided to have a gunfight! You know, if you dare speak of this Quejo, you two will be killed for insolence, not me!" Ark threatened. "Now, let's keep this incident our secret, eh?"
Kandos, had been searching Ark's mind for lies (1). The Miraluka before him truly was a Krath. He reeked of deceit, though some of his words held merit. Grudgingly, Kandos replied,"Fine, we'll keep this quiet from Quejo unless we get more evidence of your betrayal."
Ark smiled again. "Ah, but I haven't betrayed you. You shall find nothin'."
_ _ _
(1) Receptive Telepathy
“…Sleep tight…” the words rang in Devani’s head, that and a splitting headache. Then it hit her, “Jin’ei!” He was going after Shadow and Kandos. “Sitting straight up was not a good idea,” she thought painfully. Glancing around the demolished remains of the house she noticed Revaan rubbing his head. Kayuza was just five feet away talking on a com-link with Hitokiri. Standing up slowly, she walked over to the Jedi Hunter, “Jin’ei is missing?” she questioned. “Yes, off on some foolhardy attempt at revenge, I don’t doubt.” He snickered. “Our orders are to proceed directly to the Landing Zone to meet Hitokiri, Halycon and Shingen. We don’t have time to waste in order to retrieve him, he is on his own. We will move out in five minutes.” He turned in dismissal. “I can’t just leave Jin’ei on his own,” Devani worried. Though she still felt a bit shaky and her headache had not receded she knew what she had to do. “Kayuza! Kayuza, I’m going to help Jin’ei. We’ll meet you at the Landing Zone. I will not fail our House. I must find him!” she told him. “Fine, but it is your scalp to lose. We will not wait long.” he answered. “Fine, see you at the Landing Zone.” she turned and walked towards Revaan. “Brother, I’m going for Jin’ei, I’ll see you at the Landing Zone, okay?” Nodding his head painfully he slowly rose and gave her a quick hug. Careful not to rush to fast she walked off into the forest, eyes keen on signs of Jin’ei’s passing, which she knew would not be easy considering he was an extremely good assassin.
As the three Dark Jedi walked through the jungle Ark seemed to be getting more than a little irritated, the other two had not told him where they were going and he had to simply follow them. A few feet in front of Ark was Kandos and Shadow, the Jedi Hunter glanced back at Ark for a second before going back to looking where he was going.
What do you think about him? Shadow said telepathically.
Well the next time he betrays us we simply kill him, no two ways about it. Kandos replied.
Sounds good to me.
A few seconds later Shadow stopped suddenly, his Mandalorian armour's sensors had picked up something, "Movement, on the edge of sensor range."
Kandos closed his eyes and concentrated, "A group of locals, transporting something big from the feel of it."
Ark wandered up to the pair of them, "What's going on?"
"Nothing much, just some locals." Shadow said as he carried on walking.
"Shouldn't we take a look?" Ark asked, a little surprised.
"Not worth it, we are nearly there." The Jedi Hunter replied.
The group made sure they staid away from the locals as they neared Shadow's ship. As the approached it Kandos and Shadow removed the camouflage netting placed on it to keep it hidden.
"A ship, why do we need a ship?" The still surprised Ark queried.
"We are going to find Mejas and the rest of the House, Quejo must have met up with them by now, where ever they are." Kandos answered.
Moments later the small ship took off and, skimming just above the trees, headed off in the direction of the last known position of House Galeres' forces.
Jin'ei switched off his cloak as he watched the ship take off with a smile. Waiting until they were just over the most locals populated part of the forest, the assassin pressed the trigger on his detonator. A fiery explosion erupted from under the right wing of the shuttle. As the ship nose dived toward the ground in slow spins compleatly out of control, the entire ship became engulfed in a ball of fire, before finally disapearing beneath the tree line.
Jin'ei had tracked the three Galeres all night, and was most pleased when they had stopped to rest. The assassin, having lived for a great part of his life in the 'wilderness' of Nar Shaada, was most used to staying on the move for days at a time...apperantly these Jedi had not lived such a productive life before joining the Brotherhood, thought the Mifune pleasantly. After they had unveiled their ship, it had taken the skilled, cloaked assassin, not minute to install the remote mine onto their hull.
Most satisfied, The Crimson Assassin leaped off the tree...a falling leaf would have made more noise.
An eye for head, mother frackers...
Mejas walked onto the Bridge on the Capital Ship of Galeres.
"Sir, we just recieved contact with the three stranded fools," said the Dark Jedi Master as he bowed down. Quejo wheeled around to face him.
"Excellent. When will they be here?"
Mejas smirked. "Alas, their craft, apparently, blew up as they left orbit. They clunked back down into the forest.. Yes, several TIE Fighters that were patrolling actually saw an explosion actually saw a tiny explosion in mid- air."
Quejo shook his head. "Those fools! What went wrong?!"
"We have lost all contact. Again. But they live still. I can feel it (1)."
--50 seconds before the explosion--
"I feel that somethin'g wrong," muttered Kandos as he punched a button (1). He was carefully piloting the craft as Shadow's thigh was still bloodied from Devani's Shyarn in the cave encounter. Ark however, wasn't paying any attention to the other two.
They've been awfully quiet, thought Ark. When he had asked about why they would need a ship, Kandos had spoken innocently. Too innocently, almost as though his voice was of feigned casualness. Ark had wanted to delve into Kandos' mind because he had a knack for uncanny situations such as these. He knew somethin' was up.
However, the Krath Priest was much too experienced. He could easily resist Ark's attempt to search his mind for information. Shadow, however, was a more suitable target. The Jedi Guardian, no matter how strong his mind was, would surely not be able to resist a Miraluka's attempt to break into his mind. After all, Ark was intelligent, wise, and is of a naturally Force- sensitive race.
The Guardian had barely stuggled as he broke into his fellow Galerian's mind (2). Information of his last mental conversation with Kandos oozed out, almost freely flowing into the Force to be sensed by all.
Ahhh, so that's it, thought Ark, smiling smugly about his accomplishments. Sahdow looked at him confused, apparently not noticing that Ark had broke int0o his mind. They'll kill me if I do anything sneaky again. Heh, I'll stay low for now, then.
Suddenly, Kandos' suspicious voice rang out into the silence. Even though there was no proof, his anger took his mind and he senselessly accused the traitor, Ark, of a crime he did not commit. "ARK! It had better not have been YOU who planted a detonator on the-"
That was the last thing the trio of Galerians would hear for a couple of hours.
_ _ _
(1) Life Sense
(2) Receptive Telepathy
Reread last paragraph, have made an important change!
It was not easy to track Jin’ei and Devani worried she had become lost in the vast woods. Her leg still throbbed from the shot to her thigh and her splitting headache was bothersome and distracting. Sitting down on a log she concentrated as she sought to control the pain, she needed to focus. Suddenly her tattoos lit to life, whirling and spiraling all over her face. “Yes, Mother I know what I’m doing. I’ve just been a little distracted…. Father, I inherited your sense of direction, I can find my way back….I would be honored to perform the ceremony.” she spoke as if conversing with several persons. Standing up, she knelt upon the ground pressing her forehead into the soil. “Father, give me will. Mother, give me power. Clan, give me strength.” The tattoos slowly moved back around her eyes fading to a dark black.
Getting up, she felt renewed and moved off quickly, traipsing again through the forest tracing Jin’ei as best she could. Off in the distance she heard a small boom, the ground shaking slightly. “Jin’ei!” she thought and rushed forward, running as fast as she could towards the explosion where she knew she would find the assassin. Abruptly, a branch on the ground seemed to jump up and she tripped, twisting her ankle and landing with a soft thud. Anger, annoyance, and pain quickly flooded Devani’s soul. Focusing on her ankle, she tried to mend it, she didn’t want to lose Jin’ei’s tracks when she was so close but she just didn’t have the power. Standing up painfully she limped forward slowly when she felt a blade held to her throat, Sardinians stepping out of the foliage smiling wickedly. "Not again!" she thought as the dusk began to settle on Eldar.
Hours after the right wing had blown off and the craft had plummeted back into the green, Kandos was the first to regain consciousness. Choking up specks of blood, he looked around. The Krath Priest had been the least injured for he had been strapped to the street. Ark had been meditating for some reason and Shadow had been talking on the Commlink.
Unstrapping himself, he took note of where his allies are. Ark had somehow managed to get his head stuck in a storage bin, the strap on his metal flask cuffed his hands. Shadow was slumped over a seat stained with blood.
They probably wouldn't be up for a couple more hours.
The ship's sensors revealed detonators on the right wing and the hull Kandos thought angrily. This had better not be Ark's fault.
The ship had been damaged beyond repair. Looking out of the shattered window, Kandos realized that the sabotaged wing had broken off completely.
It was about half an hour before the other two Dark Jedi regained consciousness, Kandos had resorted to using the Force to try and wake them up (1,2), this had worked but it had still taken time. During this time Kandos had managed to scavenge all the useable equipment that was still in one piece, he had also been doing perimeter sweeps, using the Force (3), to make sure nobody was around.
After Ark and Shadow had woken up it had taken a while for the Jedi Hunter to be able to move around fully as he had sustained injuries in the crash that his armour hadn't been able to stop. Ark on the other hand had spent a while trying to get the storage bin off his head, finally resorting to using the Force (4).
Both Kandos and Shadow kept looking at Ark accusingly, both suspected that he had something to do with the explosion but neither could prove it so it hadn't been worth killing the Guardian.
Kandos had also managed to fix the comm link and had managed to contact the Galeres Command ship, asking for exfiltration from their current predicament. Unfortunately the Galeres forces were still a little busy and nobody was available to fly a shuttle down to them, therefore as Kandos had been the only one awake at the time, had decided that the three of them would stay on the planet and do some behind-the-lines work against the local forces.
(1) Altered State
(2) Accelerate Healing
(3) Life Sense
"Awesome, now all we have to do is sit around and wait some more," said Shadow angrily. Sour about the starboard wing of his craft being blown off, he kept throwing nasty glances at the Guardian. "Ark, do YOU know what could have possibly happened?!" he yelled when he finally decided he was unable to contain his rage.
"Are you accusing me of somethin'?!" the Miraluka yelled back just as angrily.
"Well, yeah. Twice you have defied us. First, Kandos told me about how you ran off to spy aginst the Mifunes after the TIE Bombers swept the forest. Then, you helped Revaan escape and I had to pay the price," replied Shadow, gesturing at his bandaged thigh. "Are you saying that you wouldn't have sacrificed yourself in a suicidal flight for the glory of Oriens?!"
Ark shook his head. "And why would I do that? Was I helping Oriens at whne the Oriens Knights attacked us shortly before the bombin'? Did I not reveal the Mifune assassin as-" Ark halted. "Of course! Jin'ei is an assassin. And a pretty good one! I'll bet anythin' that it was he who rigged the ship."
Shadow scoffed. "So you blame it on Jin'ei? Any proof?!"
"Of course. I was with you the whole time. Between the minute that you took the cloaking off the ship and when we sat down in our seats, I was with ya! I did not leave your sight for a second. Plus, you know how clumsy I can be! Kandos can confirm this from our trek through the perilous jungle."
Shadow remained silent. "Fine. But that doesn't change the fact that Kandos and I saw you with Revaan and Devani!"
"As I told you before, I was spyin' on them. And I learned of these little devices that could prevent movement. I was about to snag the ones Devani had stolen and offer them to Quejo. Maybe I'd be promoted for the discovery," Ark added as an afterthought.
"And what about the time you joined them after those TIE Bombers was over our heads? Tryin to get on the winning side, no doubt!"
"And who was it that warned you about Corran bein' here? If he chose to make a sudden appearance, the Galerian troops'd be dead!"
Kandos, who was listening, knew what Ark was saying was false, though his story was fabricated so flawlessly, there was no wrong he could spot. Kraths and their manipulative brains... This seemingly fool could lie about the situation from every angle...!
"That's enough," muttered Kandos. "What if the Mifunes have followed us this far? You want to fight with all of those injuries?"
That shut up the pair of Journeymen. Shadow looked away angrily, thinking about the cost of the repair. Ark went back to wrapping his shoulder to stem the flowing of blood.
The Crimson Assassin leaped out of the trees, the wind ruffling his cloak while making the locals below him deaf to his presence. He landed with a sickning THUNK!, as his scythe splayed the nearest local, the other four spun on him, opening fire with their crossbows but hit nothing but air. The assassin disapeared, then reappeared, gutting another of the warriors, then disapearing and reappearing again. A shower of blood preceeding his arrival every time.
They were all dead before they could be sure what had hit them. Lying in the center of the slaughter was Devani, bound and gagged, looking up at the shadowy form of her fellow Mifune. In the setting sun, Jin'ei looked like a wraith, a ghost from another plain, his cloak shifting this way and that in the breeze.
When he turned to look at her and she saw his face, her eyes watered at the look of fear that she saw there. Fear for her life.
As he gently cuts free Devani's bonds, he picked her up and carries her off to a place less exposed to the elements.
Having risked a fire, the two Oriens Knights now huddled around it for warmth.
"The night on this planet is very cold," wispered Devani, as she presses up against Jin'ei for warmth.
"I suppose...I suppose we should contact Hito and have him send us an extraction unit...he will be pleased with our accomplishments, that is certain,"said Jin'ei as he opened his comm link. After the message is sent, he looks down at the woman in his arms and she looks up at him,"It...will be a while before they can send somebody with the wind above the trees so strong."
They stare into each others'eyes with an intensity that makes the roaring flame before them seem like a candle next to the fiery passion of a thousand burning suns. When they kiss, it is with a passion that dwarfs even that.
She almost yanks my head clean off, shoving my mouth into hers so hard it hurts, her kiss a savage thing, savage and endlessly angrey, an explosion that blasts away all other thoughts and makes a thousand promises of what is to come.
Halcyon's here, Mejas hasn't contacted us in nearly 8 hours. I'm stuck here with the damn d'Tana's.
Ktulu looked up into the distance. The sounds of TIE's flying overhead were now constant. They all headed to the same place. Some would come back but then ultimately return to the same location that they had come from. West.
"Leave it to Mejas to take all the fun and leave none of it for us!" Kosk exclaimed.
"At least were getting the job done." Strat commented from behind Ktulu. "You should actually thank him when we see each other. I mean no resistance and we never take more then five minutes to clean up the messes Xyler always makes." Strat smirked at Ktulu looked back at him.
"And if it weren't for my mistakes you wouldn't be having any sort of fun d'Tana. If you want I'll turn this Entar on you to keep you amused." Ktulu sneered.
"Well I say let's have one of the apprentices for breakfast. Get an early start and make a meal out of whoever screws up first." Alex said loudly as he stood up.
There was a quick shuffle of robes as the apprentices stood up ready to head out.
Grinning Kosk nodded at Ktulu and Strategos. "With new light we shall take the first stronghold and put up the banner of Galeres. By the looks of it we'll be coming up on one of the mining sites and then we party."
Kosk grinned as he nodded for everyone to head out.
"Excellent! Just great," Ark huffed angrily. He held his flask upside down and just a few drops of his Correlian Salt Ale dripped onto his tongue. "I'm outta drinks, y'all!" Ark announced as though it was the most important problem they were facing.
Kandos walked up to the Miraluka and, despite the Guardian's injuries, slapped Ark around the head. "You want us to be heard or somethin'?" whispered an agitated Krath Priest.
"No, it's just that-" Ark started. But his eyes widened as he paused. He gasped and gestured at several figures that had slipped into the clearing from behind some trees. "What are those ugly-?"
Kandos wheeled around and found himself face to face with several barbaric humanoids clutching vibroblades. They had dark skin and had face paint smeared all over their face. They wore leather clothings that looked as though they were stitched together by blind tailors. "Shadow!" roared Kandos and the sleeping Jedi Hunter woke up. Recovering from his interrupted slumber, he pulled out his blaster for combat once more and turned to face the foes.
But the marksman yelped, jumped, and almost dropped his weapon. "What are these ugly little-?"
Kandos interrupted him. "Keadeans! Watch out, they are considerably faster and smarter than the Sardinians."
As the Keadeans charged towards the three Dark Jedi the Galerens, Shadow dropped to one knee and aimed his Blaster at them, Kandos drew his Lightsaber and activated it before taking up a defensive stance and Ark hurried off to find somewhere to hide.
Shadow opened fire and cut down the two closest locals, the first was put down with a head-shot and the second was almost sliced in two by the three Blaster bolts that hit it in the stomach. Meanwhile Kandos leapt into action and blocked the fist Vibro-sword, slicing the top six inches off the weapon, before cutting the Keadean down with the return strike. The Krath priest then picked up the next closest attacker and threw him backwards into the next two, before charging forwards and decapitating the three of them.
A few seconds later Ark came running back the other way, chased by another group of Keadeans. The Guardian stumbled and fell over, but his incompetence saved his life as a Vibro-sword passed through the air where his head had been a second before hand. Ark quickly rolled onto his back and looked up at the confused local before drawing his dagger and stabbing him in the chest.
Suddenly there was the sound of engines and heavy Blaster fire cut down the remaining Keadeans, the Lambda-Class shuttle quickly landed in the clearing next to the crashed ship.
Kandos looked over at Shadow, the Jedi Hunter had a confused expression on his face, "I thought you said they couldn't spare anyone to fly a shuttle down?"
"Erm...." Is all Kandos could say in reply.
As the rear hatch opened the pilot ran out and shouted to the Dark Jedi, “Orders are to pull out any remaining scouts.”
“Fine by me.” said Ark as he looked at his empty flask.
Quejo stood in the midst of the remaining Galeres forces, surveying those that had survived and what injuries they had sustained. He had sent the lone shuttle to recover his disparate forces and bring them all together once more. The final battle would be fought on Galeres’ terms, and the Bandon would have it no other way.
"Warriors of Galeres." Quejo spoke through clenched teeth. "We're where we want to be. Taking it to the ground was a mistake on the part of Octavian, he should of crippled us when he had the chance." He looked into the eyes of the men standing before him, before he continued. "There's a large facility on the other side of that rockface. It's where they house their mining operation. Inside is their armory and barracks so if we take that, their defense will be greatly reduced when we start assaulting their camps and towns. What I need is two teams to move ahead of our major strike force. Soulfire Brigade."
"Yes Sir." The team responded.
"I want you to hit the armory and Barracks. Qel Droma."
"Yeah?" Ktulu asked.
"I want you to scout ahead and take out any resistance keeping us from that town. I myself will see to it that Oriens Obscurum keeps their distance. If they happen to breakthrough I'll send you a message to flank our current position. When you come in, Oriens Obscurum will be crushed. If we cant turn them to our cause, then they shall be destroyed."
"Yes Sir." Ktulu responded with a sadistic smile on his face.
“Sir, we have reports of Galeres troops falling back to an unknown location”.
Octavian stared into the dense jungle, trying to force his vision through the foliage and peer into the great darkness that seemed to loom just past his own eyes.
“Tell our own forces to fall back to this facility”.
“But sir, our communications may be compromised. Galeres will be able to…”
“They will hit us here. We know it. They know it. Do as I command or I shall find someone to carry it out for me”.
As the communications officer scurried off to do as ordered, the Krath Quaestor allowed his eyes to close and his mind to wander. His focus was on the lone Elder of the house, the newly returned Dark Adept.
Gather what forces you can. Return to the facility but go to our flank. I need someone there to hold our position.
As commanded, Quaestor.
The connection broken, Halcyon quickly set out on a run calling upon the members of Dark Phoenix with whom he had joined up with when he set foot onto the planet.
“This team is mine to command, Adept”, the Zabrak Reevan called out, having recently caught up with his team.
“This is war, Krath. We do not follow the niceties of command. We are here to defeat our enemies using what we can. This is still your team to command, Guardian. Feel free to do what you want only after we are victorious”.
The cocky but younger dark jedi smouldered but remained tight-lipped. Behind him stood two members who had been previously thought lost, Devani and Jin’ei, both of whom gave each other a slight wink and followed the rest of the team to the flank of the armoury and barracks.
“We are here as commanded, my Quaestor”, Hitokiri bowed as he stood before his leader.
“Good. You shall lead the main thrust. I expect the Galeres forces to attack at any moment. We shall draw the line here”.
“Our forces have not all arrived yet. We’re missing nearly half the house along with a number of soldiers. I am certain more survived”.
“They have and they have their orders. Do your duty and we may be able to end this here and now”.
The Jedi Hunter bowed once more and went to his large group and prepare his own defences.
The teams of Galeres broke off and dove into the jungle. Quejo stayed behind barking out orders for the men to take defensive action as they lined the trees with sniper rifles. Further into the Jungle, Quejo sent a small team to set up proximity mines. No one was getting to them and if they did Quejo had his personal body guards behind him, sabers ready.
Quejo then closed his eyes and began to send messages to the Quaestor of the opposing House.
"Ooooctaaaaavian..." He called in a sadistic tone. "I know you're here and when I find you, your blood will stain my hands."
"Quejo, I knew you were here. But there's something you dont know. Send a team to the east."
Quejo looked around and waved his hand for a team to go east. As he did so an explosion of great magnitude was heard. Laughter then rang in Quejo's mind, it was none other then Octavian.
In an instant the shouting of the Knights of Oriens roared from the jungle. Quejo just turned and smiled as he ignited his saber.
"Attack the Scum of Oriens, fire at will." Quejo yelled to the snipers.
Shots rang out but the Knights of Oriens were relentless in their advance. Seconds went by and finally the Warriors from both houses clashed.
Shadow, began to methodicaly sweep his way through the ranks of enemy troops, using the terian as cover and taking short assault burst with his jump pack he unleashed bolt after bolt of plasma from his bow andthe roar of his shoulder mounted rifle was terifying, scores of the enemy were being picked off, force users and no force users.
Shadow could see on his sensor map that Kandos was leading his own assault detatchent into the enemy lines, after many hours of scouting they had managed to find a large group of Oriens setting up for some sort of mass ambush.
Suprise had been total, scores of enemy had died before they even knew what was happening, Shadow could feel the dark side pulsating in the air as he and his fellow warriors reveled in the slaughter of there enemies............
Kandos kicked the door in and ducked back out of sight, at the same time a member of his assault detachment threw a grenade into the room, the explosion killed two Oriens troops that had taken position inside the building and wounded a third, the Krath Priest quickly finished off the soldier with a burst of Blaster fire. His detachment had moved in on the left flank of the town and had quickly engaged the enemy forces that had taken up position inside the perimeter of the town and were now making a building by building search of the area. When the Oriens ambush had been discovered Kandos had called for support before moving in and attacking the first few buildings, members of Battle team Qel-Droma were leading their forces in an assault on the town from multiple directions in order to cause as much confusion in the enemy as possible.
As the Priest's squad cleared the building of other enemies the rest of the detachment were doing likely wise throughout the area and the carnage was hitting an all time high.
"Breach and clear." Kandos shouted and his squad took up positions around a doorway, one member was just about to kick the door in when a fusillade of Blaster fire cut him to shreds, along with two other soldiers. One of the more awake soldiers managed to throw a stun grenade in through the tattered remains of the doorway and as the grenade went off Kandos charge into the room with his Lightsaber ready. A few seconds, and about five dead enemy soldiers later, the room was clear.
The comm-link cut in and a soldier shouted, "We need support, enemy forces are..........."
The drop ship swooped in over the camp site at the same time that a lighting bolt streaked across the dark sky.
As it descended, kicking up a strong wind, one of the doors slid apart and Revaan peered down at the deserted camp site.
Damn, he thought angerly as he checked the coordinates again,This is where their signal came from. Where could they...., his thoughts were inturupted as Jin'ei jumped down off a tree, preforming a perfect side flip before landing to the right of the hover ship. He looked up at a bewildered Revaan, smiling. "Its about time you showed up...we just about ran out of things to do!"he yelled over the roar of the craft.
The battle was soon over with very few manageing to escape the slaughter, suddenly of the roar of his blaster came a call on the com. "re-enforcments needed in sector 12, repeat re-enfrocements needed in sector 12" Shadow checked his map and saw that he was in sector 12, who the hell was saying this then.
He contacted Kandos on the com and told him what he had heard, then then becan a hunt for this mysterious voice.
they soon found its location, deep in some undergrowth was a durasteel door...........