No Rest For The Wicked: Run On
<< Unknown Regions >>
Admiral Jade Fareesh tapped her fingers against the side of her command chair. Her short brown hair was tied back in a tight pony tail, and a single scar running down from the bottom of her lip to her chin the only truly distinguishing feature on an altogether average looking human. He uniform reflected the plethora of medals she’d earned over her career, wrinkles barely visible at the corner of her eyes.
“This ‘team’ of yours. You really think they can pull this off?” She said aloud, her voice steady.
Shrouded in the shadows of the command center control room, a hooded figure chuckled darkly. In an eerily soft, icy voice, the figure whispered, “They will not fail me. Just make sure your forces do as I directed, and everything will be fine.”
The Admiral felt a shiver run down her spine. Rouge Jedi, Sith, whatever this “Radius” character was, it did not sit easy with the war-veteran. While she had a platoon of elite soldiers at her disposal, she knew it was wise to go along with what Radius said. They both had a mutual goal and desire--Power--and would work together to achieve it...for now.
Sotodeh Sanghedi glanced back and forth, his eye-like eyes confirming the location of the security camera’s around him to pinpoint the blind-spot. The only person that could see him was his partner standing off to the side. With nimble dexterity, the Trianii knelt down and planted the demolition charge, quickly joining his partner as they continued on their way on patrol.
“That’s the last of them?” Sotodeh’s partner inquired, his head straight forward. Likewise keeping his eyes forward, the former bounty hunter nodded his head.
“It’s almost time, Soto” The Eickarie spoke softly, his voice calm but laced with collective confidence. Glancing sidelong, Sotodeh studied the look on his partner’s unique face. While similar in shape to a typical human, his green, reptilian eyes and scaly green skin where in no way disgusting as they where intimidating. He was no taller than the lean Trianii and clad in the typical white armor of the Citadel Guard looked unassuming at most. From the way he carried himself with an almost elegant, militaristic posture with his hands clasped casually behind his back, however, it was hard to distinguish him as Col-rah, quite possibly the most deadly assassin in the galaxy.
“Jessiah should be in place,” he continued without bothering to return his partners glance. “The only thing left is to secure him.”
“Right,” Sotodeh nodded. As they continued to walk, they glanced into a dark path with a stone arch, conveniently shrouded in shadows on either side. The two partners glanced at each other and took their positions.
A comm radio echoed out; Patrol team Aurek, this is command, do you copy? We’ve got a prisoner that needs transport coming in from the north gate. Do you copy...
As the two Citadel Guards crossed through the arch, Sotodeh and Col-rah concurrently grabbed a hold of each and pulled them into the shadows. The subtle sound of necks snapping echoed out softly through the night. Col-rah picked up the fallen comm and replied, “Aurek team en route to pick up the package, over.”
Captain Clint O'Donnell of the Citadel Guard watched, mesmerized, as the blue-skinned Twi’lek danced before him. He seemed to be entranced with every move of her curved body and chuckled softly as he watched her crawl over his body, grinding her hips down against his groin.
“This will get me that new rank...” Jessiah said in a soft, innocent voice. The Twi’lek leaned over to look right into the eyes of the Captain, narrowing them seductively as she licked his cheek up to his earlobe, where she bit softly and whispered, “..won’t it, Captain?”
“You are a naughty little soldier, aren’t you? Yes, of course it will...” A grin crept across her lips as she moved to kiss his lips, giggling slightly down at him as she sat back, keeping him pinned beneath her. She took out a pair of handcuffs and leaned back over, reaching for his hands.
“Oh, I love it when you play dirty...” The Captain grinned, allowing himself to be tied down to the bed posts, closing his eyes as he felt her grind down against him. His eyes would never open again, however, as the next sensation that swept over him was the pillow smothering his face. He tried to call out, but it was all futile, his hands bound to the bed posts his lower body pinned down with surprising strength. Soon enough, his struggle ceased.
Jessiah grinned and kissed the unmoving Captain’s cheek. “Men...” she mumbled, shaking her head, moving to the dresser to take keys, his personal datapad, and whatever other souvenirs she saw fit. As she turned to leave, she looked back over the Captain, who even in his lifeless state still sported a rather nice bulge in his boxers. Biting her lip, Jessiah glanced at the clock and then back at the Captain.
“I have time...” she muttered, climbing back over the captain and pulling down his boxers.
Ryuuk kept his head low as he stared at the ground, the Noghri’s black eyes unblinking. His hands and feet where shackled with heavy chains. He was tall for a member of his species, which wasn’t saying much, as he was still a good head and a half shorter than two Citadel Guards escorting him on either side, both armed with shock-sticks. The former Death Commando’s skin was matte grey like most of his race, but what stood out most where the ritualistic tattoos and scars littered across his body from years of torture and experimentation in Sith laboratories. He had been stripped of his armor and wore only a primitive loincloth around his waist.
“Kaz-ay...Kaz-ay...” The Noghri whispered to himself repeatedly. Reap...Reap.... as it translated to galactic basic. He stopped as he heard a pair of footsteps approach, a familiar scent reach his nostrils. He craned his head up slowly to see an Eickarie and a Trianii. A wicked grin crept across his face, his dull, jagged rows teeth emerging.
“Partol Team Aurek. The prisoner is secured. He was carrying this weapon on him which needs to be delivered to the Captain as soon as he’s brought to the dungeon cells.”
“Copy that,” Sotodeh confirmed, reached out, grabbed a shock-stick and prodded it against the captive. “Come on you scum, get a move on it.”
Ryuuk very slowly craned his head up at the Trianii, his black eyes glimmering with murderous intent. The grin on his face was evident as the shock stick seemed to barely phase him. Sotodeh felt a chill run down his spine and prayed that Kazeshi would stick to the plan and understand that he was just playing his part. For all he knew, the Noghri would attack him instead of the actual targets.
By his calculations, their allies mission had already been set into motion.
The ship’s engines roared as the ISD Eye of the Abyss exited hyperspace, emerging solemnly into Dojorra space.
From the comfort of his office, Sashar pinched the bridge of his nose with his fingers and shook his head. He had been proud of the way his clan had fought valiantly, but the stale taste of defeat still weighed on the Consul’s soul. As a leader, it was his burden to carry.
An alarm sounded over his private comm, and the Consul grumbled as he slammed a button on his desk.
“Someone better be dying,” The Mandalorian muttered.
“Sir, we’re getting a distress signal from Arconae Primus. They are reporting a fleet of...Imperials attacking the Qel-Droma temple.”
“For slice’s sake...” Sashar spat, quickly grabbing his robes and throwing them on. “Prepare an immediate jump to Arconae Primus.”
Sotodeh and Col-rah veered slightly from their course to the dungeons, instead making their way towards the Throne Room, where there target rested.
“Kaze....Kaze...” Ryuuk muttered, a little louder now. Turning his head ever so slightly, Col-rah whispered, “Soon, my friend, you shall have all the blood you wish.” The Noghri let out his version of a gleeful giggle, continuing to mumble “Kaze”.
“Hey, you two! Where are you taking him?” A female voice called out. The trio stopped and turned to regard the Twi’lek walking towards them.
“To the dungeons,” Sotodeh replied, eyeing the Twi’Lek he knew was none other than Jessiah. She walked her way over to him and kissed his cheek, slipping something into his pocket as she did. With a sly wink she touched his shoulder lightly and made her way off in the opposite direction.
I’ll go clear Tomreyaa for landing. We’ll be waiting at the extraction zone.
Jessiah’s voice echoed out telepathically in both Col-rah and Sotodeh’s heads. The pair nodded and watched slink off. Now in possession of the proper access codes, it was time to unleash The Reaper.
“Zandro, defend the temple while we signal the fleet!” Sashar’s voice crackled over the radio comm’s.
Zandro echoed, flipping a series of switches.
Zandro and a small command of fighters swooped in as an attack formation, easily turning the tides of the battle. Ablative coating tore, scraps exploded and lasers spewed in a brilliant display of the Mandalorian’s skills. However, the Imperial forces started to retreat.
From the bridge of the ISD Eye of the Abyss, Sashar grit his teeth and slammed his fist down.
“Zandro, fall back for now. I’m sending out Sukhur’s Legion, follow and track them down to whatever hole they crawled out of!”
“Roger that,” Inarya replied, the rest of her Battleteam and a squad of fighters following her as they began pursuit of the fleeing imperials.
The consul ground his teeth together. Just then, another beeping chimed in.
“Kemp!!!” The Mandalorian growled angrily. “What’s going on here?”
“Sir...it seems that the attack on Arconae Primus seems to have been just a distraction. The Citadel has been attacked...
Explosions detonated from every corner of the Citadel. Alarms sounded and patrols scattered around in discord.
Explosion in Sector 1. Explosion in Sector 7. Explosion in Sector 3.....
The Captain was not responding, and the Lieutenants where scrambling to organize the Citadel Guard and coordinate with the control rooms.
Sotodeh, Col-rah, and Ryuuk made their way towards the throne room. Col-rah un-chained the Noghri and handed him his robes, and then his prized and unique weapon, the Kusarigama-saber. The singular, coiled chain sported two small cylinders on each end that resembled short lightsabers. Black eyes glowing with bloodlust, the Noghri let out a laugh.
“It’s time,” Col-rah stated, making haste towards the Throne Room.
“Remember, shoot the ones that don’t look like me,” Sotodeh leaned down and reminded Ryuuk. The Noghri just looked up at him, grinned wickedly, and followed after Col-rah.
Outside the Throne room a platoon of heavily armed Citadel Guards stood ready with their Force Pikes and Blasters activated, prepared to defend the door behind them at all costs. From high perches on each side where two sets of Snipers
poised to take out the first things that moved.
They never got their chance as the three Intruders where too swift. Out flashed Sotodeh Sanghedi, his pair of twin LL-30 blaster pistols glistening as they cried out their unique shrieks. Each sniper grunted and toppled forward, two slumping backwards and the other two falling over the ledge onto their comrades below. Soto quickly took cover as a flurry of energy bolts where returned, the Force Pike wielders advancing forward.
They stopped in their tracks as a Noghri slowly made his way towards them, swinging what appeared to be a long chain with glowing red tails of humming beams of light. Ryuuk’s once black eyes glowed white as the chains lurched forward, lashing out at the anything that stood before him.
The guard’s tried to pan out, but the lightsaber on each end of the chain-weapon twirled in deadly circles as the Noghri Death Commando channeled the dark side of the Force into his actions, drooling from the mouth and laughing maniacally as the sound of searing flesh and screams of pain echoed out. “KAZE, KAZE, KAZE!!!!”
One guard actually managed to dodge one of the sickle-sabers, charing forward with his force pike. Ryuuk swiveled his head head to the side and cackled, yanking back hard on the chain to bring the sickle-saber back to his grip. The attacking guard never saw the humming red blade slice right through his spinal cord, blood gushing as the two halves of his body fell harmlessly to the floor.
“Col! Snipers out, Reaper is active, go!” Soto yelled, laying down cover fire to support Ryuuk. His blasters shrieked as two more guards dropped.
Without wasting another moment, Col-rah blurred into motion, no longer wearing the Citadel Armor but instead his coveted and renown charcoal trench coat. Calling on the Force to guide his actions, the nimble Eickarie sprinted forward, dodging the stray bolts that flew his way and then leapt into the air, effortlessly clearing the distance from the ground to the sniper perches. Landing gracefully, Col turned and nodded his head at Soto, disappearing into the Throne Room Chamber.
Sotodeh grinned and turned his attention back to the guards, raising his pistols to fire. He stopped though and felt a shiver run down his spine as his comrade decapitated another pair of the remaining guards, who now where exiting out of the opened Throne Room Door. They never stood a chance against Ryuuk, known through the galaxy as the “Noghri Reaper”. Instead, Soto did his part and turned towards their exit path, and began to pick off the sets of guards that came rushing through.
His cat-ears twitching, Sotodeh detected the familiar footsteps of his comrade returning. Glancing over his shoulder, he saw Col-rah leap down from the sniper perch, landing with a graceful roll and coming back to his feet, pressing up against the same cover as Sotodeh. Looking down, a grin swept across Soto’s face as he saw that his comrade had succeeded in his mission. Gripped within the hands of the Eickarie was the fabled Abyssal Tome. Their mission had been successful.
“Ryukk! Let’s go!” Soto yelled, but the call seemed to fall on death ears. Growling, he took a step towards the Noghri, but was stopped by Col-rah’s hand. Closing his reptilian eyes, Col reached out with the force and entered the Noghri’s mind.
There will be time to kill more later, I promise. We got what we came for, we need to go, now.
The Noghri’s eyes returned to normal, and he recalled his chain, swiftly making his way over to Col-rah’s side. Once together, the three made their way towards their exit path, where a small ship awaited them. Standing with a bow-caster in his grip, Tomreyaa, a tall albino wookie, helped clear a path to the boarding ramp. Soto, Col, and Ryuuk sprinted forward and made it safely into the ramp, Tomreyaa howling as he fired off the last of his rounds and closed the ramp.
“What do you mean the Tome was stolen!?” Sashar exclaimed, exasperated.
“That’s what reports are showing, sir. I’m looking into the leak as we speak.”
Sashar growled, “Don’t bother, I’m sending in my teams. You’ve done enough.”
Kemp grit his teeth, angered at the thought of failing the Consul.
“As you wish, Lord Consul.”
Water splashed over the dirtied yet handsome face of Marick Del’Abbot, revealing a pair of vibrant blue eyes staring into a mirror. Another splash of water crashed over his pores, brown and red stained water swirling down the drain.
It was a painful word to the proud Hapan. They had fought hard against Taldryan and Naga Sadow, but it all had been in vain. The lives lost, the blood shed, and for what? This was the way of the Brotherhood, however, and over the past year of service in its’ ranks Marick had come to accept it.
Despite the many wounds scattered across his body, nothing stood out that would survive a nice bath in a bacta tank. Grabbing a towel Marick dried his face, sitting down on the cot in his private quarters. Draping the towel around his bare shoulders, he laid back and let his head hit the pillow for the first time in days. His eyes closed slowly.
Suddenly, a loud series of beeps echoed out through his quarters, snapping his eyes immediately open. Glancing over at his comm, he winced slightly as the voice of his Consul resonated.
“All Battleteam Leaders report to the briefing room. Now.”
“Great...” Marick mumbled as he sat back up bowing his head forward with a sigh.
Reaching under his bed the Hapan pulled out a locked crate and snapped it open. Pulling out a black full-body suit, Marick slipped into the first layer of the Oblivion Specter Armor. The armor-weave clang to his skin around his corded figure, the micro-processors analyzing and scanning his body. Next came the the blast dampening vest that bore the Oblivion logo over the heart. A pair of leg guards fasted easily over the armor-weave suit, as well as two gloved bracers. Marick stretched a bit, the armor allowing for practically one-hundred percent flexibility and mobility of the body. It wouldn’t hold up well on the battlefield, but for the types of missions and combat that Oblivion specialized in, it did the job. More importantly, the suit analyzed the user’s body temperature and adjusted itself accordingly to keep it stabilized.
Fastening a belt around his waist that bore his family logo, Marick heard it click into place, confident in the sound-dampening generator he knew could be activated for stealth purposes.
The final piece of the Specter Armor was a black metallic headband that stopped at each temple. Tapping the side of the band, an opaque black visor snapped across Hapan’s eyes, leaving only his mouth and flowing black hair visible. Calling his saber to his hand with the Force, Marick stepped out into the hallway.
He had a feeling the Consul wasn’t calling himself and the five other leaders to his office for afternoon tea. No rest for the wicked, I suppose.
| ==== No Rest For The Wicked ==== |
The Arconan Consul felt like he was going to vomit. The empty feeling inside of his gut caused to grind his teeth against one another.
Sitting in his chair at the head of the briefing room table, Sashar waited impatiently for the rest of his Summit to assemble. Braecen Kaeth was already present, the Proconsul standing with his hands folded behind his back. Next to him stood both Quaestors, Sanguinius Tsucyra Entar and Celahir Erinos and their Aedile's, Dritan and the newly appointed Cethgus.
Of the Battleteam Leaders, Luciferus "Scyrone" was first, followed curtly by newly appointed leaders Ruluk and Zod Ramiel. The Shadow Gate and Wolf Guard leaders stood on the right of the table, which seemed to be the Qel-Droma side. Marick was next to filter in, the Oblivion Brigade leader taking up position closest to his Aedile. Scyrone stood alone, as was expected since Inarya and Sukhur's legion where out scouting.
Once everyone was assembled, Shashar rose to his feet, letting his gaze fall on each person standing around him.
"My brothers. I know that you are weary from battle and the vile cloud of...defeat hangs heavy. It hurts because we know that we are the best, and hold ourselves to higher standards than any of the other pathetic clans in the Brotherhood."
The Consul continued to make sure he made contact with everyone in the room. For any of his flaws, Sashar had the respect of the entire clan, and rightfully so.
"With that in mind, I regret to inform you that, we have no time to lick our wounds. As you've been told, the attack on Arconae Primus was a decoy to keep us away from home. As we made our jump, the Citadel was attacked, and the Abysall Tome was stolen."
The only reactions in the room came from the Battleteam Leaders, as the others had already been briefed. Ruluk and Zod looked at each other, then over at Scyrone. Marick's eyes narrowed, his posture remaining straight as he shifted his weight slightly from foot to foot. The tacticians mind had already started analyzing the information, his mind going off in multiple directions while he kept his eyes on the Consul to show that he was still listening.
"You all know how valuable the Tome is to the clan. Needless to say, this is our number one priority. But until we figure out what the hell happened, we're throwing darts in the dark. Also, there is the catching up with work, deals, and transactions, transfers, and other [Expletive Deleted] that's piled up while we where at war. It will be up to you, Battleteam Leaders, to find that Tome."
The Consul whipped his head and locked eyes with Marick. The Hapan met the gaze evenly.
"Marick. I've granted all the requests you asked for in terms of the restricting of Oblivion. You are to get to the Citadel A.S.A.P and do what you where created to do. Do NOT make me regret my decisions."
The Hapan bowed his head lightly.
"I won't let you down, sir."
And with that, he nodded to his Aedile and Quaestor and turned to leave, white robes flowing behind him.
Sashar whipped his gaze to Ruluk next.
"Shadow Gate, I want everyone in your outfit scanning the black market, holotnet, EVERYTHING. Anytime the word 'Tome' or 'Abyssal' is mentioned, I want to know about it. No link goes unchecked."
Ruluk straightened up his posture. "Yes, Lord Consul."
Sashar nodded and addressed the other two leaders. "Wolf Guard, you are to stand by and make sure that no MORE of our defenses are breached or caught off guard."
"Sir, yes sir!" Zod barked, rather excitedly, determination on his face.
The Consul looked over at Scyrone. "Black Hammer, you are on stand by for now. Once we get locations on that Imperial fleet from Inarya, I want you ready to deploy immediately. "
Luciferus bowed his head in understanding.
With that, the Battleteam leaders filtered out to go about their individual tasks. Shortly after, the rest of the Summit filtered out, leaving the Consul alone. Rubbing his temples, he sat down in his chair and looked around. He blinked twice, and then scratched the side of his head.
"...wait, where is Zandro?"
As Inarya and Shukhurs legion made pursuit on the fleeing Imperials, a lone, familiar ship zipped in to join their ranks.
"Figured one more wouldn't hurt," Zandro, Battleteam Leader of SoulFire, chimed in over Inarya's comm.
Sanguinius scowled as he stalked from the intimidating office of the Consul. He was pissed off that Sashar had once again overridden him in order to send the members off on what the Anaxsi saw as a wild goose chase. "Fething mandos, always have to resort to combat based tactics," the Entar spat, the words echoing around the unusually empty corridors. That fact did not register with the newly frocked Templar as his Aedile followed after him. The immense presence of his subordinate clouded out the flames of the others in the temple save for the two who commanded the Quaestor to send out the teams.
The Quaestor repeated himself to some degree. "Fething Mandos...." but the comment was interrupted by a coarse laughter. The sound put Sanguinius on edge.
"What does it matter my student?" the coarse laughter faded into a deep tone as the Zabrak spoke. "The Consul demands, and we follow. It's what we have always done." The Iridonian was his usual brisk self. Unwilling to ingratiate himself as others did. It was a quality Sanguinius admired, admired but also hated.
"You know why it matters Cethgus, don't insult me by pretending to be dense. I know you better than that. I'm not some bloody Plagueian anymore," The Entar muttered the last sentence, but the Aedile still caught it as a grin appeared for a moment on the tatooed face.
"You're right, but I'm not sorry for insulting you. You should have learned by now how to act in the Shadow Clan. It was afterall your choice to flee here."
"How I should and how I do act are two completely different things you fething idiot." the anger and feeling of hopelessness made the Anaxsi strike out at the nearest target. "Just because some ancient text that I couldn't care less about disappeared, we should abandon all our contracts and sour our ties with the scum of the Galaxy's underworld." The Quaestor paused for a second, regaining his breath before continuing. "I know Qel Droma couldn't give a [Expletive Deleted] about this kind of stuff, what with their Quaestor being a close brother of that idiotic Consul. But we have to make a bloody living in Galeres." Sanguinius finished, elated that he had finally put his emotions into words.
"You accuse Sashar of favouritism?" The deep voice of the Exarch boomed behind the young Equite as they continued into the deep tunnels and warrens of the citadel, where they could continue this conversation unheard, for now of course. "That's ironic coming from you, young one."
"Why is that ironic? Because you're my Aedile?" the centurion snorted. "You're my Aedile because you were the logical choice. Who else could I trust in this House? Especially as I'm an outsider."
"You say you're an outsider, but then why are you now an Entar?" the Iridonian retorted.
"I'm an Entar because I showed my dedication to this motley crew of bounty hunter wannabes against those fething Taldryans and Sadowans." Sanguinius snapped back. "Now shut up before I get really angry." The false threat rang sour in the air for a moment before the two men burst out laughing at the thought of the Galerean attempting to bash the Exarch around.
The laughter stopped suddenly as the duo noticed they weren't alone. Emerging from a shadowy tunnel doorway, a hooded figure appeared. The two Obelisks stiffened as they turned to face this stranger. "What do you want old man?" Sanguinius snapped angrily. Silence met him for what seemed an eternity before the hooded figure raised his hands to pull back his hood. The two Galereans slackened their posture, the Quaestor breathing a sigh of relief as he recognised the newcomer.
"Ragnar....Nice to see you again."
"Likewise newbie." The old veteran glanced over to the Zabrak and nodded in a mixture of respect and recognition. "Commander." Ragnar fought a grin as he saluted his old master and friend.
Ragnar had fought alongside the Exarch in three different Clans. The two men had bled together and saved each other's lives countless times. The bond they shared made Sanguinius feel jealous. An emotion the Templar hated. It made him feel weak, and feeling weak was most certainly not a good quality in a Quaestor.
"So Quaestor," the latter word was inflected just enough to let Sanguinius know that Ragnar was goading him. "Whats the problem this time? Forgotten how to fly your fighter? Or have you left your teddy bear in Jusadih?"
Sanguinius fought down the urge to strike at this arrogant figure, but he knew that he needed the skills of this old soldier. "Not me this time old man," he knew that nickname urked the veteran. "Looks like someone nicked something important to the Clan. The big boss sent all of my associates to retrieve it." Ragnar nodded in understanding.
"You want me to keep an eye on them?" he asked.
"That would be appreciated, try not to be recognised. It would be...distasteful to let the Sergeants think I don't trust them."
"I understand little one, it shall be done." the veteran disappeared back into the shadows as seemlessly as he had appeared.
Sanguinius turned his head to stare hard at Cethgus. "Don't get me wrong, but he scares me at how easily he fits into the Shadow Clan."
Cethgus' only response was a deepthroated chuckle as the two summit members left the warren of tunnels towards the landing pad on top of the citadel.
“Good to have you with us Zandro,” The Twi’lek said smiling, she was slightly glad that she wasn’t going to be doing this on her own. She looked across at one of the crew men, “Make the preparations to let Zandro’s ship dock, we will be needing all the help that we can get,” Inarya waited until the crew man that she had just addressed began to work hastily on one of the consoles that littered the Bridge, before turning and leaving to meet her fellow Battle Team Leader in the docking bay.
As she walked down the corridors of the ship, she watched the members of the crew and her own battle team rushing around getting preparations ready for the battle that each of them knew would lay ahead of them. Inarya reached the docking bay and smiled as the figure of Zandro waiting for her as the door opened. “Well come aboard,” She greeting him with a warm smile.
“I figured you could use a hand,” he replied.
The conversation between the two of them was cut short by a beeping that erupted from the Letian’s belt. Inarya reached down to the comm device hushing the beeping with the reply.
“Yes,” She said in a short tone.
“Ma’am, the Imperial ship has been identifed orbiting a nearby planet would you like us to pursue.”
“That was the reason we were chasing them,” Inarya said back sarcastically. “Ready my team to depart when we land.” She looked back at the Battlelord in front of her. “I trust you are ready?”
“I always am," he replied.
“Good.” Inarya replied before contacting the Arconain base
Ruluk exited the briefing room at a fast pace. Not very far away from it, he pulled out his commlink and spoke to the Battleteam. "Shadow Gate, wherever you are right now, I need you right here, right now." And with those simple words Ruluk cut off the transmission. Ruluk wanted to go to rest a little before the meeting with his team, but a hand firmly put on his shoulder stopped him.
"Driftan!" Ruluk exclaimed. “What do you need from us?” The Aedile waited a few seconds before opening his mouth, and answering, "I am going with you, Commander."
"Tha--... That's an honor for me, sir." Ruluk said surprised. Then he spoke about the meeting with the team, and it's expected time. Driftan nodded in approval, and Ruluk nodded back. With that, they left for their own paths.
The Corellian Sith Commander was happy to see most of his team reunited inside the ISD. He repeated the words that the Consul had already thrown out to him before. Some of the members liked the idea and nodded slowly. Some others just widened their eyes and watched without saying any comment.
Once Ruluk had finished dividing the Holonet search of the Tome into small groups, he took a mug from his desk and started drinking from it, showing an incredibly calmed attitude for these times. Later, the Flight Leader, Guardian Nix Saren, spoke eagerly as always, "But, won't there be fight at all?"
The Commander left his mug full of Hot Chocolate on his desk, letting a strong clack be heard and some of the dark liquid pouring away. Then, he said, "Oh, the question is not about *if* there will be fights, it's about *where*. And the answer... It’s your job to find it out."
Ithorians: usually very friendly, not combat orientated and liked nature a lot. Luciferus was almost opposite. He was friendly when he needed to be, but not mean. He heavily enjoyed combat, unless it took way too long for the specific amount of enemies involved. Luciferus also enjoyed nature, because most of the time, it fed his hate for humanity. Actually, all of his actions that he does feed his hate for humanity. The history of the galaxy would have been so much brighter if it weren't for the humans. Human Jedi everywhere, claiming to be ultimate emperors, or the best damn thing since the Lightsaber was invented. And Ithor would still be a planet, not a Yuuzhan Vong junkyard. Very few Humans have proven themselves to Luciferus to show him that Humans aren't that bad. Braecen, the man who helped Luciferus get his Lightsaber, will always be remembered as one of the best Humans he had ever known. Robin Hawk from Clan Scholae Palatinae will always be remembered as a close ally to Luciferus. Humans can gain the trust of this Ithorian, but it is a slow process.
Usually Luciferus' focus of the hatred of Humanity is a large subject, but when the Tome was stolen from the Citadel, Luciferus had to help with getting it back. He and Black Hammer would be doing that, along with the other teams.
Luciferus walked back to his quarters. The briefing room he had just left behind sat quiet. Everyone had been given their orders. But Luciferus' was different. He wouldn't be protecting. He wouldn't be guarding. He wouldn't be chasing. He would be pounding! That was what his mission was, at least him and Black Hammer Brigade. The Dark Jedi Knight entered the quarters that had been leant to him. He immediately open the large cupboard in which his armor lay. The Obelisk Centurion armor seemed strong and efficient. Along with his graceful robe, nothing seemed like it could penetrate this Ithorian when he wore it.
But before he put it on, he needed to contact his team. Luciferus went to the console in his room.
"Black Hammer Brigade. I need you all to report to the entrance of the docking bay within one hour. Seems like our trip back home just got just as difficult."
The Knight moved in a demanding pace towards the entrance of the hangar. What he saw was utter shock! Just the other night, he had looked at his team's roster! Mage, Tirano, JScumm, Llats Ordo were the only ones on the list. What he saw was weird. A few younger recruits looked around and saw Luciferus and immediately rushed over to him and saluted him.
"We are here for duty, SIR!"
Mage bent over and whispered to the Ithorian, "Nooooobs!"
Scyrone would didn't think he would be seeing these members on such an important mission.
"Oi! Just get your hands off of your heads! I don't need a salute. I don't care about formalities. Just show up when I need you. That's all I really asked for."
They slowly whispered among themselves as Luciferus walked past them. Everyone followed him into the hanger. He was going to tell them exactly what they needed to know was going to happen.
VanWyck walked up to the rest of the Battle Team, and ordered them to as soon as they were done with their watch, to meet back in the barracks and await further orders. The two members of Wolf Guard looked back to their Executive Officer and asked him if he knew why they were being ordered back to the barracks?
"We have orders to proceed back to the Arcona home world once there we are to await further orders, I said."
"Very well sir, we will head back to the barracks as soon as we have finished our watch, one of them said."
VanWyck walked inside, and turned to the two Wolf Guard members standing guard inside of the room with the Summit , and relayed the orders that he had been handed to him.
"Understood sir, they replied."
The head of the Summit approached VanWyck, and asked what he had just told the men?
" I was informing them that they are to report to the barracks, and get ready to head back to the Arcona home world, there we will await further orders, I said."
"Oh okay VanWyck, the man replied, and told him that he was dismissed."
"Yes sir, and snapped to attention, and proceeded back to the barracks."
ISDII Eye of the Abyss II
Commander Zod Ramiel slipped through the other Summiteers as they all left the meeting room with the intent of ordering his men to the barracks they had been lent. When he saw that no Wolf Guard members were standing guard outside of the board room, his face went livid and his hand reached for the Bandit Sword sheathed on his waist.
"Where the kark are they!? We're the Summit Guard for Sith's sake!" thought Zod and he opened himself to the Force in an attempt to get a lock on each of his Wolves when suddenly, a stronger Force presence eclipsed his own as a pale hand came down on his armored shoulder.
"Be the opposite of stressed, Commander. Your Executive Officer was a tad hasty and ordered the rest of the pack to the barracks" came the silky voice of Krath Archpriest Lan, the Wolf Guard's Senior (advisor to the BTL). Zod exhaled and sighed in relief. It was a slightly dumb maneuver to order the Summit's protectors away from the Summit (even if that was what Ramiel was going to do) but the Jedi Hunter had to applaud Major VanWyck's intuition.
"Thank you, Colonel" replied Zod and Lan simply removed his hand and fell into step beside the BTL.
Wolf Guard Loaned Briefing Room
"Ok men, I wish our first mission could've been on better terms but alas, it's not. As you all know by now, our capital of Selen and Arconae Primus have been ruthlessly attacked by forces unknown. To rub salt in our wounds, the Dajorra Intelligence Agency's HUMINT director has just revealed that the wanton destruction of Primus was merely a distraction for the true objective on Selen. While I cann--" Zod explained but was immediately cut off as angry hisses and oaths of vengeance resounded around the room.
It floored the Commander; he was in command of a unit made up of relatively new members (save for Lan and Andrelious) but already their dedication to the Shadesworn Clan ran vein-deep.
The Epicanthix let the outburst continue for just a fraction of a second before raising a gloved hand and ordering "ENOUGH!" over the din. It took a while, but the assembly fell silent.
"As I was saying, I am not liberty to reveal what the true objective was but I can tell you that we have orders. Until further notice, you all are being deployed to Eldar and Arconae Primus to meet with the garrison commanders there and find out 1) why our defenses were not in tip-top shape 2) help with security, and 3) ensure that our defenses are ready in case that the tangos come back. Though I doubt that they will, as Sukhur's Legion are in pursuit" finished the DDF officer.
With that accomplished, Zod fired up the holo-projector and a picture of the planet Eldar appeared, with red x's denoting where the Wolf Guard advance teams would be going. Alongside the x's were a list of names.
"Eldar-bound are the following; Kyros, Aikitoy, and Cat. Led by Andrelious Inaj and Tam Zerik" Zod rattled off the names before the projector swallowed up Eldar and replaced it with Arconae Primus.
"And going to Primus will be Haruun Orontes and Cora Tyree with Major VanWyck in command"
"What's our primary objective, sir?" asked the Flight Leader and leader of Advance Team 2, VanWyck.
Zod smiled at his XO before lowering his voice and replying "Convey the displeasure of the Summit, Major" and Joseph nodded, a grin also playing on his face.
"Right, that's all. Dismissed" ordered the Sith and his men shuffled out of the meeting room and towards the armory where they'd pick up their Blackfang armor and select appropriate weapons. As the Commander was making his way out of the meeting area, he ran headfirst into a tall, strapping, figure cloaked in the robes of a Krath Elder.
"Am I not to be assigned, Commander Ramiel?" asked Dark Side Adept Strategos Thanatos Entar Arconae, crossing his arms. Gulping, the Jedi Hunter met the Consul Emeritus' gaze and muttered.
"I was...ah... unaware of you being assigned to my unit, sir"
Strategos clucked his tongue and whispered "Perhaps you should check your datapad, Commander" and sure enough, as this was said, a 'ping' sounded from Zod's robe pocket. The Epicanthix didn't need to look at the datapad to know that it was a message notifying him of the addition of the Spectran standing before him.
Gathering his wits, Zod said "Well, let me amend my folly by giving you a choice, Dark Adept Entar. Eldar, Arconae Primus, or here on the ship"
Strategos nodded silently before moving away. Relieved that that encounter was over, Ramiel withdrew his datapad and typed a message to Archpriest Lan letting him know that he also had a choice of where he would go. With that done, Zod retraced his steps back towards the Qel-Droman Summit's quarters and entered his own room, donning the Commander's set of Blackfang Armor before exiting the room and crossing the hall to stand between Quaestor Erinos and Aedile Housan's loaned abodes.
When VanWyck and the rest of Wolf Guard boarded the ship that would take them back to Arconae Primus, VanWyck walked over to JH Zod's quarters and hit the door chime, to let him know that there was someone there.
Come in Zod said.
Yes sir, I replied, and walked into his quarters.
The door hissed shut behind me quickly.
So VanWyck what can I do for you, Zod asked?
Well I wanted to apologize for pulling the guard detail off earlier then they were supposed to be sir, that was not my intention sir, I told them that when they were finished with their duty, that they were to head back to the barracks and begin getting their gear ready to ship back to the home world, and they must have become overly anxious.
I figured as much Major, after all ROOKIES, and both of them laughed about the remark.
When we get back to Arconae Primus, I plan to run some combat drills, and evaluate the preparedness of the base, and then debrief them on their performance, and then run them through another drill until we get their readyness at 100% sir, VanWyck said.
I know you will Major Zod said, now let's forget about business, and join me in a drink, how does that sound to you Major?
I say that sounds really good sir, VanWyck replied.
The commander of Shadow Gate had barely finished briefing his command when his comm link beeped for his attention. Pulling the small device from a pouch on his belt he activated saying “This is Ruluk”
“Ruluk, this is Proconsul Kaeth. I know a man who may be able to help you in your mission. He's an old friend of mine and a former member of the Brotherhood. He can help” said the Proconsul.
“I'll contact him at once my lord” stammered the surprised Jedi Hunter.
It was early on Nar Shaddaa, barely past 6 in the morning, when a still very drunk Jaysun Adumarii was woken by the insistent chirping of his comm unit. With a groan of protest he rose from his bed and crossed his small apartment, stubbing his toe on an empty bottle along the way, and hit the receive button.
“What?” he slurred as he took in the young looking face on his dirty screen.
“Ahh, Jaysun my name is Ruluk Okoth I'm a member of the Brotherhood. I ha...” started Ruluk before Jaysun ended the call and staggered back to his bed, once again stubbing his toe on the empty bottle. Before his head had even hit the pillow the infernal device began to chirp once again. With a growl he rose and stalked over to the console, punching the receive button. The young man's face appeared again.
“Jaysun wait, please, before you hang up can you please just hear what I have to say” Ruluk pleaded.
Rubbing his red, tired eyes Jaysun replied “You've got two minutes kid”
“Thank you,” said Okoth before saying “as I was saying I am a member of the Brotherhood. I was asked by Braecen Kaeth to contact you. We have something of a situation here and he thought maybe you could help us resolve it”
“What's in it for me?” queried Jaysun.
“Full reinstatement to your former rank and membership in Clan Arcona” replied Ruluk.
Looking over his shoulder at the dump he currently occupied with thoughts of his former life running through his head Jaysun said “Ok kid, what do you need me to do?”
Timeros entered the citadel without fanfare, clad in Spectre armor sans visor, an ebon presence amongst the crowd of returning soldiers. No one asked him for identification; Oblivion’s grim enforcers did not need any and were recognizable on sight. Nor did the Pontifex attempt to maneuver his way around the sizeable crowd of just-returned men and curious onlookers, as the fear projected almost unconsciously from his mind did the work of parting the crowd for him, leaving him an easy way in.
The Entar stepped within, closing his eyes without while continuing to move, reaching out with the Dark Side. AEF soldiers, Citadel guards and more flitted within his mind, each touched and then turned against himself with almost comical ease. And, within that maelstrom of thoughts and feelings, the Entar sought –and found- a single specific one…
The Entar turned on his heel and marched into one corridor, the leaden weight of his presence distorting crowds and muting the flow of conversation as he went about his way until eventually, he found the man he was looking for.
Oh for fetch’s sake, Timeros. Stop that. Marick had turned towards him. The Knight’s face was unreadable thanks to his helmet, but the slight irritation in his mind’s emanations spoke volumes. Around him, people huddled.
We are intended to inspire fear, sir. Timeros responded crisply, each tone cold enough that it resounded like a falling icicle.
In our enemies, not random passersby. The Sergeant appeared to be fixing his subordinate with a Look, though it was hard to tell behind the black visor.
And as we hunt down traitors, who can tell who are or are not our enemies? Anyone might be at any moment, was what Timeros thought but did not broadcast. Instead, he sent, Of course, sir. I’m sorry, sir. The weight around him lifted, and people around the two straightened their backs as if confidence had suddenly flooded back into them. There was not a trace of remorse in his voice.
Better. Are you aware of what has happened here?
No, sir. I heard vague rumors on the way here. Nothing of substance.
Good. Behind his visor, Marick seemed to relax. That means we’ve contained the bad news. Full story?
Bullet points will suffice, sir.
Abyssal tome was stolen. We are to find out who and how, deal with them, relay all information to our retrieval team. And, speaking of teams…where is Legorii?
He should be around somewhere, sir. He said he would join us in a while.
All right. Marick sent the impression of a curt nod. We will wait for him then. Oh, and Timeros?
I told you turn off that damned power of yours.
The weight of dread, which had been slowly creeping back up as its master was distracted, ceased at once.
Of course, sir. I’m sorry, sir.
Cethgus Kuga stood with Sang as they finished their talks the Exarch left the office heading to his own, he would return to his Quaestor in a bit but first he had someone he wanted to talk to. As the office door shut the Aedile locked the door and went over to the hologram that was already waiting for him, as a smirk came to his lips he looked at the cloaked figure.
“How is your mission going my old friend?”
“I have just arrived undetected and am currently over watching Inarya and her team” his voice was echoing around the office.
“Good, I will update Sang later on the information, for now just keep an eye on them but keep your distance” Cethgus stood there and made sure that his orders were clear with his old friend.
“Ragnar, one last thing, be safe my old friend” with that the hologram faded away ending the conversation between the two of them instantly leaving the Exarch alone once more in his office.
Cethgus sighed and left the office leaving it once again empty, as he did so he walked over to the Quaestor office and would give him the update on what Ragnar’s situation currently was. Opening the door he walked in and looked at his Quaestor knowing that Sang would want constant updates from the teams when they possibly could.
“I have just spoken to Ragnar my old student” his voiced spoke with aged sound this brought Sang’s attention focused upon him.
“What did he have to say” Sang looked interested to see the progress that he was currently making.
“Well he has arrived undetected and is now watching over Inarya’s team like a hawk, he will communicate with us and update us when possible” His voice echoing around the office.
“Good, Good” Sang went back to looking at something that was on a datapad leaving the Exarch standing there.
“When do we get involved then?” behind his voice there was some anticipation and tension the Exarch didn’t like sitting back and doing nothing.
Looking up from the datapad the Entar just looked at Cethgus and shook his head not bothering to reply to the Iridonian but at the same time he was also choosing his words carefully.
“Patience you will have your chance soon enough”
“I grow tired of all this pencil pushing, I just hope you have a plan” his voice was old but it showed a sign of his youthful lust to be at the front
The two battle team leaders made their way swiftly towards the bridge, Inarya wanted to at see the planet that they would be fighting on before she landed there.
”Do we know anything about this place?” The Twi’lek turned to one of the consuls and addressed the man that was sat behind it.
”No Ma’am, it does not appear to be anywhere in our data base.”
”Great.” Inarya muttered under her breath.
”Something the matter?” Zandro walked to her side addressing the young Twi’Lek.
”It’s just something about all this doesn’t seem right.” She said, there was a noticeable frustration in her voice.
"What do you suggest?”
“Orders are orders, we have been instructed to find them and report back on their location, we have to do as ordered regardless.” Zandro said nothing in reply just simply nodded; he could feel the anxiety radiating off of the female Dark Jedi Knight. “Right tell Sukhur’s Legion to meet at the docking bay and be prepared to leave.” Inarya said before leaving the bridge.
The Lethan walked back to the docking bay he mind swimming and twisting with doubt, she hated the unknown especially when it involved the lives of her Battle Team. She sighed deeply and continued to walk; her past was fast it showed both her anger and frustration at the situation.
“Ma’am is everything ok?” The voice made Inarya jump she her mind was so clouded that she did not sense the presence of the female in front of her.
“Xathia.” She said with surprised. She was glad to see a friendly face and smiled back and the female figure in front of her. “Yes everything is fine, just do something for me.” Xathia looked back at her puzzled.
“Of course what?”
“Just be on your guard down there.” Xathia opened her mouth to reply to Inarya but she had left her and made her way through the door of the docking bay. Inarya walked through the door to the docking bay the faces of the rest of the member of Sukhur’s Legion standing before her, each of them dressed in their armour ready for battle. She cleared her throat and addressed them.
“We are about to land on an unknown planet, we don’t know what is waiting for us down their so each of you be on your guard.” The
Twi’lek walked onto the transport that would be carrying them to the planet and as shortly join by the team. Once everyone as on board the transport disembarked sending the team to the planet’s surface.
The planet was covered in the thick dense forest, lust green trees and woodlands surrounded them was the stepped of the transport ship. Inarya could feel that there was something not quite right but she could not quite put her finger on what was causing it, she turned to address her team.
“We need to move with caution, I know that this kind of environment for battle is what we favour but we know nothing about this planet. “
She watched the team reacted she knew that they were just as anxious as she was, even though they we’re the first when it called for situations like this but this time it was something different. There was a sense throughout the team that this was not going to be a normal fight. “Alright men let’s move out.” The team activated their scout armour making them blend effortlessly into their environment as they move out into the vast unknown forest that lay before them.
VanWyck and JH Zod continued their conversation over their drinks. When it was done, VanWyck stood up after he was given a couple cases, and walked out. Once he got back into the corridor of the ship, he decided to head for his chambers on the ship, so that he could begin looking at the items inside the case.
Once he got inside of his chambers, he sat the cases down, and poured himself a drink while he read the information about the new toy that he was going to be wearing. As he continued to read the information, VanWyck thought to himself " This new toy is really awesome, he also wondered if it had been put to any kind of testing in a simulator of sorts or not, he thought." As he continued to read the information about the toy, the smile that was on his face grew larger and larger. VanWyck felt like a little kid in a candy store. As soon as he finished reading the information on the toy, he decided to break out with the second case, and look at it.
The second case was placed on to the table in front of him. He opened the case, and to his surprise there were two nice weapons, a blaster rifle and a blaster pistol, both of which he looked at with anticipation of shooting. Just the thought of shooting something with these new play toys that he had just been given. The only thing that remained in his mind was the fact that Zod wanted him to be careful with the new armor, and not shoot anyone with the new toys, unless it was a last resort.
As he continued his comlink beeped. Yes sir, VanWyck replied.
Major have you had a chance to look over the information about the new toys that I handed you, Zod asked?
Indeed I have sir, and I must say that I am looking forward to putting this new toy on, and showing it off; just waiting for you to give me the word sir, VanWyck said.
As Sukhur’s Legion went further into the lust forest in became thicker, the canopies of the tree almost completely blocking out the sun above them making the visibility in front of them hard. The teams continued to press forward the anxiety inside of Inarya grew with every step that they took, there was something about all of this that she didn’t like. Why would they run only to land on a planet and partially hand themselves over? The Twi’lek shook her head erasing the thoughts from her mind as they walked through the ever encroaching woodland.
They came into and large open clearing, the sun gleamed down brightly causing each of them to shield their eyes from having only just adjusted to the lack of light. There was an un-natural silence that fell upon them, the various different wildlife had stop the soundtrack that had been playing since they had got off the transport, the only sounds that could be heard of the gentle breeze rocking the leafs on the trees.
Inarya and the rest of Sukhur’s Legion stood still and silently, they each knew that there was something wrong with the silence that had fallen upon the clearing. Each of them stood with the hand clutching their weapons ready to fire given the right signal. Inarya looked over to her team that stood around her; she could see in their faces that they were not happy with the situation that they had found themselves in.
A sudden burst of gunfire erupted from the tree line in front of them, breaking the silence of the clearing.
Inarya shouting to her team as bullets flew over her head, the sounds of gunfire echoed in her ears. The team scurried like flies behind cover as the gunfire continued, the Twi’lek knew that they were pinned down. The sound of fire doubled as the team began to open fire into the trees, the unknown attackers moved forward out of the tree line towards Sukhur’s Legions position giving them a clear angle of fire. Inarya darted over her bit of cover taking aim noticing Zandro bringing one of them down. Her shoot clearly hit another one before she darted back behind cover.
As the fire fight raged is was clear to them that they were outnumbered and out gunned, Inarya knew that they could not last much longer at the rite that they were going.
“Everyone retreat back to the tree lines now!” Inarya watched as Sukhur’s Legion got up and made a move back to the tree lines which they had entered the clearing from. The team regrouped in the tree line, watching as the advancing squid moved closer to their position. Inarya gave the signal for them to retreat back to the shuttle, as they ran the sound of blaster fire echoed all around them. Sukhur’s Legion reached the shuttle, a group of soldiers stood before them; they all knew that this fight was lost.
A shadow in the trees watched Inarya and the rest of her team being led away, he stood up and reached for the comm at his belt.
"Sir we have a problem."
Zod swilled his drink around the finely-cut glass from the officer's mess before putting it down on the sidetable of his loaned quarters. VanWyck had come to see him promptly after the Commander had been relieved from guard duty by a newer (but very able and loyal) member of his Guard. Driftan Housan and Celahir Erinos would be safe under his watch. Of this Zod was sure.
It was with that comforting thought that the O-5 opened two cases identical to those that he had given the Major but five minutes ago.
In the first case, snuggly wrapped in mesh, was a suit of dark gray/black armored fatigues not unlike what orthodox light infantry units wore complete with a dura-flex shell for the shoulders, neck, and arms. An opto-insulated jacket, fatigue trousers of the same material and plasteel combat boots served as the main "skeleton" of the armor. Underneath the armor were additional accessories; Tactical Trident Goggles, a balaclava, thigh holster, and kneepads.
Zod quickly swapped out of his bulky Blackfang armor and into the Red Cell Suit and stretched; the fatigues provided nearly 75% more movement and flexibility than the ceremonial armor (which is how the need for the Red Cell Suit had come up in the first place) while sacrificing about 65% of the protection (since there was no durasteel used). Sliding the Vulcan Six-NinE pistol (from the second case) into his left thigh holster, the Commander walked over to his desk and keyed in the activation code for his comlink. Two minutes later, Commander Zod was being saluted by a green Petty Officer as he boarded a Lambda T-4a bound for Arconae Primus.
About an hour later
DDF Garrison, office of Lieutenant Colonel Jacob Terp
"You must be Commander Zod Ramiel. Welcome to the Northern Garrison" said Lieutenant Colonel Jacob Terp, Dajorra Defence Force. The two O-5s shook hands and then Terp returned the crisp salutes to the three soldiers flanking Zod; Major Joseph VanWyck, Lieutenant Cora Tyree, and Sergeant Haruun Orontes.
"Could I offer you any refreshments?" asked the Colonel as he rounded his desk and gestured to a mini-bar. Zod shook his head no and though it was apparent that Colonel Terp had only been offering to the Commander, he didn't refuse when VanWyck requested a water.
The deputy commander of the Northern Garrison then indicated two flo-form chairs as he sat down in his seat behind a synth-wood desk. Despite VanWyck being of a higher paygrade, he offered the second seat (Zod had already taken the first) to Cora Tyree, as she was a female.
"Now, Commander, how can the Northern Garrison help you?" asked Jacob Terp, playing dumb despite the fact that Ramiel had explained the reason for his visit in the message he had sent the light Colonel from the shuttle. So, Zod wasted no time in reminiding him -- or hiding his displeasure at the fact -- of why they were here.
A blushing Jacob Terp nodded and then waved his hand to cut off Zod's accusations. "Where do you want to begin, Commander?"
Tapping his chin, Zod stood up and looked not at his Army equal but at his three Wolves.
"I was thinking a trade, Colonel Terp. You could take temporary command of my Wolves here; Major VanWyck, Lieutenant Tyree, and Sergeant Orontes and go out to the Anti-Aircraft and Surface-to-Air Missile sites to see if there was a glitch in the programming or something of that sort. Lieutenant Tyree is very adept at spotting and rectifying those types of problems" the Jedi Hunter explained.
"And in return?" inquired the light Colonel, raising his blonde eyebrows in anticipation. Ramiel turned to look at Jacob.
"I would like to review your troops. Please have them assembled in fifteen?"
Colonel Terp nodded and breathed a sigh of relief; he had thought he would be seeing a court martial or a demotion. Instead, all that this Naval officer wanted to do was review his troops. Normal for a shakedown. I mean, what was the worse that he'd find? An untied boot lace? Jacob Terp thought to himself as he led the four members of the "Combat Assistance Company (Airborne)" out of his office.
He sat alone, trapped by the metal of the room's bars and the indignation that he had been captured yet again.
This is getting old. I'm bored of this now, time to finally act.
Rising slowly to his feet, he let his mind flit outwards, probing delicately at the minds of the two guards who stood outside the door of his cell. Unsurprisingly, they were vigilant and determined, but an undercurrent of fear was noticed by the Dark Jedi, bringing a grin to his face. These guards, despite appearances, were green and had no idea what he was capable of, unarmed as they thought he was.
I'm conscious and in control of my own mind, I am a long way from being unarmed.
Concentrating fully on the task at hand, the Dark Jedi stretched his mind outward and nudged one of the guard's minds, distorting his thoughts enough to make him turn to look inside the cell that the Jedi was currently stood in. As he did so, he implanted an illusion into both of the guards' heads that the cell was empty, enforcing his will on their defenceless psyches.
“The prisoner is gone. Open the door, we need to see how he escaped.”
The panic in the guard's voice was mirrored in the hurried opening of the door by his fellow and the Dark Jedi allowed his grin to grow slightly, the thrill of battle slinking into his mind like a lurid wench from the depths of Nar Shaddaa. As the men got the door open and entered the cell, the Jedi sprang into action with ferocious precision. His left arm wrapped around the shorter guard's neck and hauled him towards the now-visible Jedi as his right hand darted out and slammed into the other guard's throat, crushing his Adam's apple and destroying what had once been his trachea. The man dropped, gasping pitifully, to the floor and with a jerk of his left arm the Dark Jedi snapped the neck of the guard he had grabbed and allowed the now-lifeless corpse to fall to the floor next to his asphyxiating fellow. The conflict was over in less than a second and the Dark Jedi stooped down to recover the weapons from the pair of guards, along with the belt of power packs that had been strapped around the now-dead guard's middle. Looking down at the gasping form on the floor, Zandro contemplated putting the man out of his misery but decided that time was of the essence, and he didn't have the luxury of waiting around to make sure everything died. Rushing out of the cell, the young Dark Jedi ran over to the cell that was nearby and housed the female leader of the group he had been captured with. Opening the door with the key he had appropriated from the now-dead guard in his own cell, Zandro handed over one of the blasters he had gained before speaking quickly and directly to the woman before him.
“Listen, I'm going to break out. Here is the key and a blaster, get your squad out if you want, or wait here for rescue; not really my concern. I'm doing this alone, you will only slow me down and the fleet needs the location of this base.”
“The rumours are true, you really are arrogant.”
Zandro flashed a roguish grin as he readjusted the scrap of cloth that covered what remained of his left eye.
“It is only arrogance if you can't back it up. I'm supremely confident, and I know that whatever I come across, I can handle. You guys I'm not so sure about. You're on your own, I have a mission to accomplish. Good luck, I'll send someone to give you a hand as soon as I get back.”
Not waiting for a response the Dark Jedi rushed from the room, his gait brusque as he went in search of his belongings and a means of escape, his senses already stretching out to prevent any ambushes from his would-be captors.
The Battlelord was making swift and brutal progress, the only clue as to his whereabouts being a trail of corpses that he left as he explored whatever base it was that he was trapped in. Noting the increasingly clean and well-used nature of the corridors that he was passing through, Zandro assumed that he was getting close to one of two places; the command centre or the hangar. Not entirely sure which one he wanted to find first, the Arconae nonetheless made his way onwards, the thrill of the hunt rushing through his veins as he advanced. Minutes passed before Zandro found himself outside a reinforced door, behind which there were a large number of what he assumed to be enemies scattered around a large area.
Hangar. We were stripped of our weapons and armour here, let's hope they didn't move them on.
Looking down at his body, Zandro knew that, in his undergarments, he was decidedly vulnerable if he got hit. His first priority had to be regaining his lightsaber, as he could defend himself effectively with it against blasters, giving him a much better chance of living through the encounter. Skulking through the door and slipping into the cover afforded by a stack of crates nearby, the Battlelord stole a quick glance around the hangar, getting his bearings in relation to what he had seen when he had been first offloaded in the cavernous space. A spike of victorious excitement exploded within him when he saw that, as he had initially hoped, whatever enemies he faced had not moved the captured equipment from the hangar yet, and were even examining it and laughing to themselves, clearly pleased with the haul. One of them caught the Arconan's attention and immediately angered the man as he realised that the figure he had spotted was toying with his lightsaber, clearly pleased with himself.
You die first, scum.
Reaching out with the Force, Zandro waited until the man had the weapon turned off and point in the general direction of his body before depressing the activation trigger with a quick jab from the Force. Immediately, the blade sprang to life and impaled the man, causing him to drop the weapon and flail backwards. The lightsaber deactivated itself and dropped to the floor, momentarily forgotten in the confusion and ignored as it shot across the floor towards where Zandro was hidden. The cylinder slapped into the Sith's outstretched palm and the Battlelord immediately felt almost whole again, ready to face the enemy ahead. However, one of the figures reacted immediately and was already bounding towards Zandro's position far faster than should be possible.
Jedi, he sensed my use of the Force. Frack, this isn't good, guess I need to take him out quickly. Here's hoping he is the only Force-user amongst them.
Abandoning his position of cover, Zandro rose to his full height and ignited his lightsaber, the crimson blade flaring to life and banishing what little shadows surrounded him. Bringing the weapon up, the Erinos charged forwards, running headlong towards his rapidly advancing foe, a yell of rage and violence splitting his lips as he advanced.
A chime brought Driftan out of deep thought as he looked up to see who was entering his office. The hazy green that once danced on the walls from his myriad of communication screens was replaced by a calm white as the Qel-Droman Aedile flicked a switch. Ruluk seemed to hesitate for a moment as he crossed the threshold of the office, his hand clutching tighter on the datapad in his grip. Without a word, he handed it to Driftan.
The Dark Jedi Knight’s eyes scanned the information on the screen then darted back to the top in order to reread what he had just taken in. As he finished, he set the datapad down and addressed Ruluk, “Are you certain these reports are true?”
Ruluk’s weight shifted left then right before he answered, “The primary message was intercepted then verified by our own sources on the ground. We are continuing to monitor all communications, but as far as I can tell, this is legitimate.”
The wrinkles on Driftan’s face scrunched together as his reaction reflected the frustration he was feeling inside. The rash actions of reactionary fools. He had advocated a slow, steady, calculated response, but the Tome meant too much to some within the Clan, and those connections had controlled their response. Whatever the case may be, he still had a job to do, and he would carry out his responsibilities.
The hallway outside of the Consul’s office seemed to radiate with the Dark Side. Sashar was obviously fuming inside the walls and his anger was permeating the entire area. As Driftan approached, he could sense the weight upon the guard’s minds that were stationed outside to secure the Primarch’s safety. It always made Driftan laugh to think that a Dark Jedi of Sashar’s status needed protection, but he did see the effect the guards had on most visitors.
As he rounded the corner, Driftan saw the intimidating presence of Cethgus Kuga waiting outside for the Consul to allow him in. A slight nod was all Driftan offered, as the two never seemed to see eye to eye, and it was best just to let the status quo be. A few minutes later the doors to Sashar’s office slid open and the guards motioned for the two Dark Jedi to enter.
The Consul rose from his desk and stood in front of his two subordinates. He looked first to Cethgus and motioned for him to begin. “My Lord, one of my agents reports that Sukhur’s Legion has been taken captive along with Zandro. Apparently, they were ambushed while trying to pursue our attackers.”
The calm on Sashar’s exterior was betrayed by the anger rising up in the Force. Both Cethgus and Driftan could sense it and neither one wanted to be the person who set off the firestorm. The Arconan Consul turned to Driftan and raised his eyebrows. “Lord Consul, my contacts have confirmed what Cethgus has already reported. They have all been taken captive and are being held.”
Moments seemed to tick by like hours as the two Aediles waited for their Consul’s response. “I am done sitting back here and waiting. It is time for the full force of this Clan to bear down on its enemies.” With that, Sashar moved back behind his desk and began issuing orders to his units…
The datapad of each Arconan commander began to spring to life with urgent messages of orders and preparation. Zod opened his orders and began to read:
ATTENTION: All Arconan Battleteam Leaders
FROM: Consul Sashar Arconae
…..The time has come for us to strike back at our enemies. I am issuing direct orders for the next phase of our attack. Sukhur’s Legion has been taken captive along with Commander Zandro. In order to respond, here are your current orders:
Black Hammer, Soulfire, and Wolf’s Guard: You are to proceed at once to the last known location of Sukhur’s Legion and track down where they have been taken. Prosecute our enemies with extreme prejudice and rescue as many Legion members as you can. Also, each team is responsible to bring back one prisoner for further interrogation.
Oblivion Brigade: Find out who the traitors are within our own ranks and seek out any further information on who was behind all of this. When you find any information, send it directly to me.
Shadow Gate: You are tasked with securing mercenaries for our upcoming battle against who is ultimately in charge. Use all of your contacts and pay off whoever you must in order to make up for our lost military units.
That is all……
Zod closed down the communiqué and a small smile began to cross his lips. I guess it’s time for us to finally have some fun…
Sith Commander Ruluk, sitting down, turned his datapad off and put it away. After watching his team continuing with their preovious orders, he sighed. They found nothing. They were inefficient. Something in Ruluk's lead was wrong. With Knight Driftan Housan, results were immediate. Sashar was pleased at the perfection in Driftan's management of a simple battleteam, and not any battleteam; this one was the only one in charge of economics in a whole house. They say that economics is the base of the structure in a society. Therefore, if economy is crippled, then all the other pillars of society fall with it. Leading something that important couldn't be easy, but Driftan could make it through.
Ruluk, on the other hand, was having big trouble. His mind was never economic enough. He always prefered action rather than vision. Being on the field (or even better: to be under the field) rather than watching it. Still, under Driftan's command, he did a great job. For that reason, Driftan chose him as his heir.
The Jedi Hunter gave it a second thought. This is a test, and I won't fail. Things were going to be hard, but he was up for it. Or, at least, that's what he believed. I can make this, I will.
"Team," Ruluk spoke out loud, "a new assignment has been given to us." As with the last command, one side of the team liked to hear about the new mission, but the other was skeptical. Ruluk stood up and with a few clear words he explained the next work to have done. To finish his speech, he said, "We will return home, and by then, we will have found the robbers, ourselves. We will make our clan proud." Some little doubts went into Ruluk's head, but he kept them to himself.
Ruluk sat again before giving more a more concrete mission. Shadow Gate's orders were clear. They needed to hire mercenaries to aid in battle. But for Ruluk, it wasn't enough, he wanted to impress with more than that. Then, he came up with an idea.
"Gentlemen, half of you will stay here, and do what you were doing before. We need to find something around the Holonet. I'm sure something is going to come up much sooner than you expect to." Then Ruluk stared at the other half and continued. "And for you, you will come with me. Get your ships... and your pilots if you need them... and gather up with me at the closest hangar. I will be waiting for you. In two hours, we're gone."
"But you," Ruluk said after a small pause and pointed to Nix. "I need you to keep an eye on the ones staying here. You are in command for now. Remember that JUMBLE is here to help you as well." After hearing his voice, the administrative assistant droid nodded and went back to his world of numbers and statistics. "I am going to help here, if you let me." Commented Sir Hanson Kryloth. Ruluk nodded in response.
The commander signaled his squad to get ready. Nix stood up and asked him, feeling a little disappointed, "Why must I stay here?" "I am going to see if Driftan wants to come with me and to bring with him his friend, Jackson Shinner. Then, you are the only one left to lead this. If I'm putting you in charge of this, it's because I believe that you can do it. Can you?" "...Yes... Sir." Nix answered and moved back to his seat, disgusted with his orders.
The squad in charge of going with the commander moved out of the place. Ruluk followed. Once they were out, a tall, muscled figure with a very simple clothing approached them.
"Oh, Nice to see you, Templar Jaysun. I was fearing that you didn't want to come." Ruluk said after recognizing the man's face. The man followed, a bit confused, and went next to Ruluk. The Sith told him, "You are coming with us, Templar. I want you to be the... persuasive... power for us. Mercs never accept deals easily, so I need somebody like you. You know, you could help us as well in clearing out the path for us, as we will surely get trouble on the way. And you can also help us w--"
"Do you think I'm your servant?" Jaysun, with an angry look, interrupted, "Who do you think you're talking to, kid?" He relaxed his face and, with a big confidence, he answered his own question. "I'm someone with a much better understanding of everything than you'll ever be."
"I bet you are, or the proconsul himself wouldn't have recommended you." Jaysun widened his eyes a little. Ruluk continued. "You can do whatever you want. You can stay in the room behind us, you can go with us, or you can go on your own, and why not return to wherever you came from? It's up to you." Ruluk paused and stopped to let the rest of his team walk by. Then he continued, "Just remember why did you come here. I will explain the details of our mission later, that is, if you decide to come with us."
With those last words, Ruluk resumed walking.
Ruluk kept staring at his old datapad. It was probably the only thing that he carried with himself that could have parts of his past. After looking for some information, he turned the datapad off and prepared himself for his upcoming showdown. It was time to meet at the hangar.
12 Hours Since Leaving Arconae Primus
"Execute with extreme prejudice, eh? I like the sound of that" chortled Captain Tam Zerik. The Mandalorian was leaning against the wall of the Atmospheric Shuttle's small restroom as his Commander, Zod Ramiel, dried himself off from his sonic-shower.
"I know you do and those are our orders to the letter. We're to rendezvous with Sergeant Luciferius Scyrone and Black Hammer Brigade by oh-dark-thirty groundside on X3" the Sith Hunter responded, swapped his towel for the simple trappings of a military office; soft black tunic and trouser combo, gloves, and boots. Though there were magnetic placeholders reserved for a nameplate, rank insignia, and awards on the uniform, Zod didn't bother attaching them. This black ensemble would be covered by the his gray armor in a minute anyway.
"Fetch me my armor, please, Captain. I must speak with Major VanWyck" ordered Commander Ramiel and Tam nodded, parting ways with the Epicanthix as the former made his way to the front of the shuttle and the latter went to where Joseph VanWyck, Major and Executive Officer of the Wolf Guard, was staring into the black velvet of space. He was already garbed in the gray jump armor of Zod's team and the Epicanthix grinned as he saw the blue pauldron attached to Joe's right shoulder, the DDF symbol of an XO, an attachment that Joseph had "borrowed" from Lieutenant Colonel Jacob Terp's Northern Garrison.
"You ready, Major?" asked the Sith as he swapped salutes with the Human and he recieved the expected reply.
"Oh yeah, sir. Excited. Nervous, but defenitely excited." The nerves were to be expected, and truth be told, Jedi Hunter Zod "Rao" Ramiel was feeling them to. No one in the history of Clan Arcona, or the AEF or DDF, had ever performed an atmo-jump
through the atmosphere before; the record height was the troposphere. That was until today anyway....
Like 13 birds of prey, the men and woman of the Wolf Guard Battleteam sprinted out of the Arconan Atmospheric Shuttle and jumped into the deadly embrace of space, their helmets the only thing protecting them from immediate suffocation. The helmets themselves gave off an intimidating look (as they were inspired by the helmets of the Sith Warriors of the Sith Empire) while boasting a complete tri-wheel of vision modes and, most importantly, an air-recycling system.
"Oh...oh...oh my GOD! We're on fire!" Lieutenant Cora Tyree as the team hit the planet's atmosphere and sure enough, the ablative coating on their armor caught fire and slowly burned away.
"Don't worry, we'll be through soon, Lieutenant" replied Zod and he was right, within 30 seconds of his reassurance, the Wolf Guard was through the atmosphere, totally unscathed. The only thing they'd have to make sure to do was re-coat their armor with ablative spray before making another complete atmo-jump or they would be incinerated in the atmosphere.
Within the helmet's HUD, Zod watched their altitude drop and at the designated level (500 ft), he went over the helmet-integrated, team-wide comlink: "Alright Wolves, power up your R-4 cubed" he ordered, referring to their R-444 (hence the quip 'cubed') Skyswooper para-gliders that were attached to each Guardsmen's back. Each Dark Jedi (and support team member) did so and for the next two-hundred-and-ninety-eight feet, they enjoyed their first real mission's descent, which could be described more as a plummet.
"Sir, we're at 201.2437 ft" Captain Tam Zerik suddenly announced (as the logistics expert, the Mandalorian had the exact altitude level displayed on his HUD. The rest of the Team only had whole numbers to judge by). Therefore, next to Zod, Captain Zerik was the next most important person on the Team as without him to tell the exact moment to open their gliders, they could suffer an entire slue of consequences; most of which were fatal.
"And...200.666! Wolves, OPEN!" Ta'ika shouted and as one, a muted "BA-WUMP" resonated throughout the night sky as 24 pairs of wings opened.
"Wolves, report...are we all good?" inquired Commander Ramiel as he slipped his legs into the control-riggings.
"Beta's green, sir" came the voice of Major VanWyck, using the 2IC's callsign of Beta to identify himself. Zod himself was Alpha.
"Wolf 3's solid, sir" reported Krath Archpriest Lan.
"Add 4 to that number, Zod" Strategos Thanatos Entar Arconae's smooth voice said.
"5 and 6 are green as peas" Lieutenant Tyree informed her superior.
And so each member of Wolf Guard identified themselves as safe...that was until they reached Wolf 12 and instead of getting the expected "Wolf 12 is good, sir" they instead recieved an ear-splitting scream.
"HOLY KARK! SIR, MY WINGS JUST CLOSED! THEY WON'T OPEN! HELP ME! I'M LOSING CONTROL!!!!" this was Wolf 12, Lance Corporal Dek Jetter and as if the cruel gods wanted to convince Commander Ramiel and his two wingmen (VanWyck and Zerik) that Corporal Jetter was indeed doomed, the aforementioned enlistee went hurtling past Zod, his arms flailing each and every which way.
"Zod! What're we going to do!" Cora panicked and she leaned her body forward, making her pick up speed as if she hoped to catch the Lance Corporal. But then, an invisible hand grabbed her Skyswooper and held her in place as the baritone of Strategos Arconae rang out.
"Hold, you silly girl. There's nothing we can do for him" the former Arconan Consul stated coldly and then released his Force-grip on Lieutenant Tyree and the blonde woman, sufficiently quelled, fell back into the spearhead formtation.
"Dead man fall--oh [Expletive Deleted]! He's going to hit the lake!" Lan said, cutting off his joke with this devastating realization. Again, the cruel gods struck out and as the 12 remaining Wolf Guardsmen soared over the treetops of Planet X3, a huge splash appeared as a 130 pound marine (plus 30 pounds of gear) collided with a circular pond to their left.
"Damn!" muttered VanWyck before turning to look at Zod (he had managed to come next to him as the Wolves flattened out). "What do we do...?"
Zod was silent for a moment, half because of horror at losing a man and half because he was sure that that splash wouldn't have gone unnoticied by the people behind Sukhur's Legion capture.
"Put down by that pond. Sink your R-444's" the Sith Commander ordered and his soldiers did as told, banking to the left and then swooping around the pond twice like avian hunters before landing.
As soon as the warriors had landed, Zod was struggling out of his R-444 and putting holes in the wings with his armory lightsaber. That accomplished, he tossed it into the water where it vanished beneath the surface with minimal ripples, though they multiplied as the other teammates Skyswooper's were thrown in as well.
"Alright, lets move out! We need to get out of here and reach Sergeant Luciferius within 2 hours. The attack begins at 0830, which is apparently dawn here" explained Zod and after switching out his helmet for his iconic, Sith warrior-inspired mask and shrugging on a black overrobe, he led his company into the dense trees.
"Sir, two of the Supps aren't following" Lan reported, using the slang word for "Support Team", and Zod turned around. True to the schizophrenic's word, Staff Sergeant Gregor Malan and Gunnery Sergeant Wilf Vag were standing by the pond's shore, still fully armored, including their R-444s. Seeing that these two non-Force Sensitives, who Zod thought of as inferior to himself as a Force-wielder, had disobeyed one of his direct orders triggered a red haze to descend over his vision. But, Major Joseph VanWyck realized what was happening and quickly placed a calming hand on Ramiel's armored shoulder.
"Sergeants...I said move out" spat the Wolf Commander but the 'supps' merely shook their heads which caused the red haze to rapidly return to Zod's vision.
"Sorry, sir. But Corporal Dekk Jetter was one of us. We're going to stay here and see if we can bring his body up. He was a good kid, and deserves a proper funeral. And I know his parents, Commander; they'd really appreciate having something to remember him by and you see, there was this necklace that Jetter always wore and..." Gunnery Sergeant Wilf Vag explained, looking down in shame (he had never defied a CO before, and especially not a Foxtrot Uniform).
As he glanced up, hoping to see understanding in Commander Zod Ramiel's eyes, he instead came face-to-face with an emerald blaster bolt that burrowed right between his eyes. The last thing he saw was his Dark Jedi Commander holding a Vulcan Six-NinE blaster pistol, its tip curling. Then, the career marine fell back.
In a second, Staff Sergeant Gregor Malan had his E-19b Carbine unslung and ready, a series of his own emerald blaster bolts on their way to his friend's killer. But as Zod was about to roll to safety, the two Krath of his Battleteam (Strategos and Lan) stepped to the front and the Elder held out his gloved palm and the three plasma bolts dissipated into the leather as Lan simultaneously clenched a fist in the SSG's direction and then punched out with it.
Gregor Malan went tumbling back, his hands going for his throat as he began to choke. But choking the marine would've taken to long so Lan punched out again and Malan flew backwards, his neck hitting a tree with a sickening crack. He was as dead as Lance Corporal Dekk Jetter and GySgt Vag in half the time, such was the power of the Force.
Breathing heavily from having given into his anger, Zod nodded to Lan and Strategos in thanks, even though he knew that they hadn't put on that show to save him, and then snapped his fingers. His voice distorted by the mask on his face, Zod said:
"Krytos, Cat, VanWyck; strip their armor. Destroy their identi-chips and weapons. And then throw their corpses in the pond. Let them sink with Jetter. After that, meet us at this location" and the Epicanthix tossed his Major a datapad containing a map to where the staging ground for Wolf Guard and Black Hammer's joint assault would take place. With that, Zod Ramiel turned sharply and strode away, the darkness of the forest gobbling up the armored Sith in a second. Wordlessly, Tam Zerik, Cora Tyree, Lan, Strategos, and the rest of the Wolf Guard followed their CO.
As Zod stalked away, he muttered under his breath. "Well this is a feng disaster. That Jetter kid was always more trouble than he was worth...."
As soon as JH Zod and his part of the team disappeared, VanWyck looked back at his people and quietly began to motion to them that they were going to prepare to move out, and to stay low and quiet since we do not know if the enemy has any patrols in the area. From now on any time we need to talk to each other, we will only use hand signals, so make sure that you are able to see everyone. Now before we move out are there any questions from any of you, VanWyck asked?
Sir I have one, one of the men said.
Yes what is your question, VanWyck asked?
What do we do if we should happen to see a patrol on the move, he asked?
Well son, it is simple if you see an enemy patrol in our area, signal us, and we will take cover, we are not going to engage the enemy unless we have no other alternative. We have to do what we can to keep the enemy ignorant of our presence as much as we can until we begin our assault, VanWyck said.
Now if there is nothing further, we are going to get moving, we have a lot of time that we need to cover, and we do not have much time, as he looked down at his time piece, VanWyck said.
With that said, the rest of the team shut their mouths, and they got moving to their assigned location so that they could link up with the rest of the Wolf Guard Battle Team, and get ready to assault the enemy base.
While they were on the move, VanWyck noticed a fair size number of enemy forces moving in their general direction, VanWyck quickly placed his arm up with his hand closed, and then opened it back up to signal next that he wanted them to get down, and to not make a sound no matter what.
Several minutes went by as this patrol decided to remain in the area for a while. As he continued to observe the enemy, VanWyck began to look around and try to see if there is any way that their attention could be diverted else where, he thought? As he continued to observe the surroundings, VanWyck noticed that there was a nice dark area, now all he had to do was find something that would be heavy enough to make some noise to draw their attention away from this area, so that we can move out.
VanWyck turned to his men and told them as quietly as possible that he was going to find something that he could throw, so that it would draw the attention of the enemy patrol in the area, and with any luck, they would go out and try to find the location of the noise, and in that time we will move out cause we have to link up with the remaining Wolf Guards, and the other Battle Team, and we can not afford to be late, VanWyck said.
VanWyck looked down, and noticed a nice size rock, big enough for him to chuck away from his teams location, and hopefully he can throw it far enough to allow his team to haul ass out of there before the patrol figured out that it was only a rock, and tried to come back and look for the persons who threw it and kill them. VanWyck picked the rock up and tossed it several feet away, and when it landed, the enemy patrol heard the sound of it hit the ground, and went off just as VanWyck had hoped that it would to investigate the sound. As soon as the last man was out of sight, VanWyck quickly looked at the rest of the men, and told them to move out.
It was about 0730 hrs. when VanWyck and his team made it to the link up point. VanWyck ordered them to set up a perimeter defense and just hold their positions until the rest of the team got there. At 0753 hrs. JH. Zod and his part of the team showed up there, which sent a nice little tremor through the force which was felt by VanWyck, letting him know that Zod was there.
VanWyck quietly made his way over to Zod, so that he could report what had happened after they separated.
When he got over to Zod, VanWyck looked at him, and said how nice it was that he could make it for the party, he thought that it was going to be up to him and what remained of the Wolf Guards and the second battle team, but here he was.
What have you to report Major VanWyck, Zod asked?
Well sir it is simple we made our way here, but while we were on our way, we encountered a large patrol that moved into our location. Through quick thinking on my behalf, I found a rock and tossed it away from our location, which sent them on a wild goose chase, and allowed for us to make our way here quickly and quietly with out further problems, VanWyck reported.
Well done Major, very well done, Zod replied, you maintained cover and did not try to expose your position to them or not by fighting them, which is key to this operation, and you are to be commended for a job well done Major, Zod said.
[For the purposes of continuity, Ruluk is still a JH and therefore doesn't have a lightsaber or special robes yet]
"Corellia?" One of the members going with Commander Ruluk Okoth asked. "Yes," Ruluk replied, "I'm sure I will find some old friends here."
The trip to Corellia was smooth and easy. After they had met in the hangar, they left immediately to arrive as soon as possible to Corellia. Once there, they barely got used to the new enviroment before moving on to a small yet famous bar in Coronet City. In the bar, it took only a few minutes for Ruluk to meet eyes with an old Bounty Hunter friend of his: Dars Labdor. "Gentlemen," Ruluk said to his team, "I am going to spend a while with some friends. I will convince them to go with us. You... can do whatever you want meanwhile." Ruluk Nodded and walked to the table he was used to go to some years ago. The rest of the team got scattered around the bar.
Draul, a brave and strong apprentice in the team, who had no talent in the force to advance through ranks, passed by a group of smugglers speaking about a Twi'lek and a feline species making trouble there, followed by a reptilian species and a Noghri. Draul, who knew the records of the infiltrators and their looks, noticed immediately the connection between the smuggler's description and the possible thieves of the Tome. He, with his bravery in his mind, instantly approached the smuggler and tried to question him. The smuggler, who seemed to know more than meets the eye, took his escape route, with Draul going right behing him. Ruluk, who noticed the accusations from Draul, pursued.
Draul ran as fast as possible, gradually getting closer and closer to his target, water splashing away with each step given by the runners, amidst the heavy rain over the city. Every few seconds, the smuggler looked back, only to see his death closer than before. Eventually, he turned at the wrong place and ended in a closed alleyway. Finally being able to breathe, Draul walked to his target. Suddenly, Draul's body was kneeling, his head being two meters away from it. Jessiah, the blue Twi'lek, put her lightsaber back at her belt. Ruluk arrived to see Draul laying on the floor. Jessiah instantly noticed the new presence and approached the Commander slowly, admiring the looks. Ruluk stood still. She moved on a little closer and whispered, "Care to leave this man alone?" She turned her head to the smuggler, then back to Ruluk. "For me, please?" Jessiah's eyes were stabbed in Ruluk, clearly trying to get into his mind.
Ruluk removed his coat out of the way to unholster his old DeathHammer handgun. Jessiah quickly moved to a safer distance, having been warned by the force of the upcoming attack. "No weak brains around," Ruluk said, proudly. Ruluk fired three consecutive shots. Two were easily evaded by Jessiah's speed. The third one was confronted in a different way. Jessiah ignited her blue lightsaber and deflected the last bolt. Ruluk swiftly crouched, the blaster bolt passing just over his head, and he took advantage to fire a low shot. Jessiah jumped up high, being pushed by the force, which also gave her the speed to thrust forward, getting her blade as close to Ruluk's neck as possible...
Dark Jedi Knight Jaecyn Kai Interm blocked effectively Jessiah's lunge. After that, a critical amount of clashes gave light to the gloomy alleyway. The blue and white sabers confronted ferociously, both with great speed. But then Jaecyn had to fall back. Jessiah was clearly superior than both he and Ruluk. Then, a Shuriken appeared out of nowhere, though she could make it suddenly stop mid-air. It was Earnest, who had arrived to the battle as well. As the shuriken fell to the ground, Earnest went into the shadows again.
Jessiah, without losing sights on Jaecyn and Ruluk, focused on revealing the location of the hidden Jedi Hunter. That, however, made her discover an additional prescence on the alleyway. It was the Krath Epis, Vassan Rokir Arconae, who was approaching the site of battle. Jessiah was both outnumbered and weaker against such threat. Among the confusion, the smuggler made a foolish attempt to escape. Ruluk went straight behind him. Jessiah wanted to pursue as well, but she was trapped at her own trap. The alleyway had no other way out. Jessiah had to face the Dark Jedi around her. She made the first move.
This time, the smuggler was caught much sooner. Not wanting to waste any more time in the event, Ruluk asked for some speed from the force to finally crash with the smuggler and bring him down. The interrogation that followed was very short. Between a scared smuggler and lots of violent menaces, the information needed was revealed very quickly. Jessiah wasn't alone in the planet, but probably the feline being who was with her had left after seeing her in trouble. They were planning to stop on Cato Nemoidia next. Alright, time to finish gathering up mercs here, Ruluk thought as he released the smuggler and headed back to the bar.
"So that's the plan? Get in, grab Inarya, get out?" asked Lieutenant Colonel Zod Ramiel, the Battleteam of Wolf Guard, of his infantry-superior, Colonel Luciferius Scyrone, who commanded the heavy assault Black Hammer Brgiade.
As an Ithorian, Scyrone showed no expression but he nodded and said "Quite, Ramiel; my men will be causing ruckus with the Red Spike and the Pride of Selen ". The senior Battleteam Leader was referencing his Team's two vehicles; an LAAT/i (Low Altitude Assault Transport) and a Canderous-class (CAND) Assault Tank.
"And we'll be taking the Cudgel ?" inquired the Wolf Guard CO, pointing to a blue-washed holodisplay of the second LAAT/i loaned to the Dark Jedi for their rescue mission.
Lucerifius simply nodded again.
"Rest up, we attack in 12 hours" was the Ithorian's final statement before dismissing his HQD-counterpart from his tent. As Zod returned to the designated area of the camp reserved for the Wolf Guard, he looked deep into the darkness of X3's night and with Force-enhanced perception, could make out the outlines of two Low Altitude Assault Transports and one Canderous-class assault tank. He and his seven soldiers would be in the troop bay of one of those "larty's" in less than half a day's time he realized, deploying to their first combat scenario as a Team.
"It's going to be one hell of a day tomorrow..." muttered the Epicanthix.
Operation: Sukhur's Rescue
The complex on the planet designated as X3 was of standard Imperial construct; tall, gray, ugly, and most importantly, well defended. Far below the LAAT/i Cudgel that was carrying the Wolf Guard Battleteam, small white specks could be identified as Imperial Stormtroopers, rushing to and fro in an attempt to either put out the fires that wracked their compound or stem the onslaught of the black-armored figures that poured through the ruined iron gates, soldiers of the Black Hammer Brigade.
"Colonel Ramiel, we're at Point 00453. Proceed with Phase 2?" asked an Arconan Expeditionary Force pilot, a young woman holding the rank of First Lieutenant.
Lieutenant Colonel Zod Ramiel, CO Wolf Guard, looked around the troop bay at his Wolves; "Helmet up, men" he ordered and as one, the eight members of the Guard (Zod included) slipped the new durasilver chesplates on over their black robes and went to work tightening their combat boots and tying up the bracers that provided protection for their arms.
Returning his attention to the question poised to him by the 1LT pilot, Zod nodded. "You may proceed with Phase 2, Lieutenant" he said and looked out the viewport as the larty's two high-powered, wing-mounted, bubble-lasers charged up and with the distinctive "bzuuup" sound, carved a sizable hole in the Imperial's base.
"GO GO GO!" yelled the light bird as the men of Wolf Guard, now clad in the durasilver armor (complete with cape) of their station, jumped the small gap from the hovering LAAT/i to the base's unorthodox entryway, courtesy of the Cudgel.
"Form up, weapons at the ready" ordered Zod as he unclipped his standard issue Armory lightsaber from the simple belt around his waist and thumbed the activator switch, the red blade flaring to life. The Wolf Guard's Executive Officer, Major Joseph VanWyck, stepped up behind the Epicanthix and tapped Ramiel on his shoulder.
"Err...sir, if we use our lightsabers, we aren't going remain undetected for very long"
Zod Ramiel, Jedi Hunter and Battleteam Leader, merely turned and looked at his new, yet close, friend and smiled. The crimson light from his saber reflecting off of the commander-issue duragold chestplate only served to accentuate the wickedness of Zod's smile as he leaned over and whispered
Major VanWyck just smiled and nodded back at his Commanding Officer and friend, and chuckled about the whole idea. VanWyck pulled his armory lightsaber, and switched on the brilliantly bright green blade. “This was going to be an interesting mission, VanWyck thought to himself.” VanWyck continued following his CO not sure where they were heading, but he would follow him into the gates of hell and back, that was for sure. The only thing that he knew is that they were heading into a base, but what the mission was, VanWyck did not know for sure, but that was perfectly fine with him.
As they continued on their way, VanWyck could only wonder what was going to happen.”Sir will we get to see any combat do you think sir, VanWyck asked with great excitement in his voice?” “Zod looked back to VanWyck and just smiled and said that more then likely there will be combat I’m sure, Zod replied.”