This RO is written by Etah d'Tana of Arcona and Rian Aslar of Taldryan. Both are of the Obelisk Order.
While outside the temple Boyna the war of the Orders rushed on, a small group of Obelisk rallied around their leader in one of briefing rooms located in the upper levels of the temple. The steady roar of war was eminent inside.
“Gentlemen, I have gotten new orders for all of you.” said Shaz’air Taldrya switched a button on the display table surrounded by the 8 Obelisk of House Taldryan and the holographic display of the surface around the temple Boyna came flickering to light.
“As you can see,” the Quaestor continued, “even since we take losses we still hold our lines at the moment but Intel provides that if we didn’t reinforce them they will fall.” His gaze turned between them, he knew all and trusted them with his life like they trust him with their own. “That for you will be dispatched as reinforcement on different locations. Ben, you Shadow and Adrian, you will ensure that the Turbolaser emplacements on the left side of the temple stay safe.” The son of Taldryan pointed with the tip of his right index finger at on point of the map. “While you Vladet, Corax and Raiju take on the emplacements on the right side of the temple.” Then he readjusted the projection of the temple changed it to an only top view map showing the blueprint layout of the temple.
“You Rian, you are assigned to reinforce the auxiliary vents on the left stern area of the second floor, report to the commanding Prelate.” The holo-map deceased flickering. “Ok you all got your orders. Now dismiss.”
They nodded and left the room, only Dark Jedi Knight Rian Aslar hesitated, his face full of determination but his mind twisted in agony. “Is there anything wrong with your assignment Rian?”
“No my lord, it’s only…” again the Taldryanite hesitated. “It’s only them. I mean I can sense them, it seems like they were everywhere…”
The Quaestor put a hand on the Tetrachs shoulder. “I know my friend, but remember even if they were Arconans, they are Obelisk too. That’s all what currently matters.”
“Yes my lord.” Aslar straightened and attempted to leave the room, newly ensured although a slight twist remained. He rushed through the halls of the temple and down the stairs to the second level passing numerous Obelisk and countless troops from all different houses, preparing for battle. The auxiliary vents on the left stern area he was assigned to protect were part of a lightsaber combat training facility, currently only dim lighted with shadows pooling in every corner. As he passed through the room a person clad entirely in black emerged from one of the shadows, a shadow he himself seemed to be part of. As they approached each other the Tetrach recognized the style of the robe he wore, an Arconan Shadesworn. The demonic black face under the hood surveyed him trough pure red eyes.
Etah glared at the young Knight and grunted. “Least they sent me someone with a Saber this time. Else you would be useless.” The Prelate shifted uncomfortably, the tip of his blaster rifle briefly peaking out of his robes, conjuring images of Red Clad Imperial Royal Guardsmen. The Prelate brought his body around in front of the Dark Jedi Knight. “We’ve been being attacked by the last vestiges of Crack’s robotic Army coming out from the depths of this temple and we’ve caught more than one Sith trying to sneak past us. The droids are no sweat but the Sith are a slippery lot so keep your eyes pealed.”
As the Shadesworn finished speaking, there was a commotion in the background. The Obelisk Prelate stopped moving and looked to the ground utilizing the force to listen intently. Etah heard a shift on the deck and looked to his left, but nothing was there. He heard a shift to the right and looked but nothing was there. Out of nowhere a gray blur sped in front of his eyes. ‘Whoever this is, they have to be an Elder to move that fast’ Etah spoke silently into the mind of his young companion.
The Arconan wordlessly produced his lightsaber. The room echoed the dreaded hiss as the Sakiyan’s purple blade sprang forth and then again as the Dark Jedi Knights equally purple blade followed suite. The Prelate made circling motions with his saber trying to goad the elder into action or perhaps trying to defend himself in whatever direction the person might be coming in. The bait was not taken and whatever figure had been there, seemed to be gone.
As the Dark Jedi Knight’s mind began to drift, half a dozen bolts issued forth from the Equites pug nosed EE-3 Carbine rifle. The blasts landed in the metallic bodies Crack War Droids, as they approached the Prelate and the Knights position. Three droids fell but there were many pairs of red eyes behind them. The Wroonian also began firing, though less skillfully with a small blaster pistol in his left hand. One, two, three, four droids went down but they kept advancing undaunted as a group.
“Where did they come from?” the Knight shouted as he holstered his pistol and began beheading the droids as they approached him.
“It doesn’t matter where they came from, only where they are going” the sage Prelate replied. ‘Where is that’ the Knight thought to himself as he continued to fend off the Droids. Just as Rian opened his mouth to ask, Etah proclaimed boldly, “to hell!” Etah quickly slung his rifle on his back as he began to engage the droids with his very own Shadesworn, duelist hilted blade.
Three of the droids rushed for the Taldryan Knight on their sharp tipped feet. He ran toward him, dodging their piercing energy bolts. The first of them leapt for him when he was in range, and he sliced it into pieces right out of the air. The other two parted and came for him from opposite directions. Rian instantly engaged the one closer to him first, knowing that the other one will attack him from behind.
His motion seemed like a blur, as he accelerated by the Force, leapt for the droid. His blade drew a glowing line over the droid’s body, ad then its head exploded. Tiny bits of metal rained down at the Wroonian half-breed. He turned his purple blade raised into a defensive position, expecting the attack of the last droid.
The attack didn’t come. Instead the young Obelisk saw the droid crushing into a ball by a gesture of the Prelate.
The Prelate danced through the droids, deflecting their bolts back at them or slicing their bodies into pieces, always searching for a sign of the yet unknown Elder. But for the moment he or she decided to stay hidden anywhere in the numerous shadows. Instead he saw his young companion lunging for one of the droids while exposing his back to another one. His decision came instantly with a gesture of his free hand he lifted the droid into the air. It tried to fight back the invisible hand lifting it into the air, it lunged out and its sharp pointed feet scratched over the ground for ground searching for anything to hang on. Its resistance didn’t last for long, the moment the last of its legs was in the air the invisible hand around it tightened its grip, wrenching its body and limbs into a lifeless ball of junk.
With a muffled thug the ball fell to ground allowing the two of them a short moment to recover.
The Taldryanite was first two speak again: ”Thanks, man. I owe you one.” He reached out with his hand to shake the one of the Sakiyan. ”I would have never expected an Arconan fighting as well as you did.”
The face of Etah was as expressionless as a rock. ”Spare your words for later, the fight isn’t over yet.”
For the first time Rian too, could glimpse a blur rush from one shadow to another, but there was no time to give into it as more rattling came from the vent. Then he saw them. No less than another dozen of droids came through the vent toward the two Obelisk.
The Prelate’s eyes narrowed and his lips curled at the child’s comment. He wanted to respond immediately, but when faced with no less than twenty four bright red eyes, he quickly decided to focus on the matter at hand.
As he stepped carefully toward them, Etah grabbed his rifle off of his back and raised his EE-3 Carbine rifle to about a forty degree angle, he tapped the trigger once. The instantaneous burst of light ripped through one of the droids legs, causing it to fall. Raising the carbines barrel only a few degrees while continuing to step, he gingerly tapped the trigger again. The violent bust of light ripped through one of the droids legs, sending it sprawling to the ground. Still closing with the enemy, the Sakiyan raised his weapon and fired again; the blast going through an enemy droids crotch area, destroying it.
The barrel of the carbine continued raising itself with every subsequent shot and with slight pressure to the handle; Etah forced the barrel slightly to the right. In this manner his carbine fired into the stomach of the next droid, the chest of the next droid and the head of a sixth droid, disabling them. Slinging his carbine with a practiced ease, the Prelate stabbed downward twice; easily destroying the two droids that had been downed by shots to the leg and thigh.
Having closed the distance with the remaining six droids, Etah held his saber out. Taking short steps that resulted in very tight full body spins, the former Questor made sure the tip of his blade came in contact with the droids chest, before stepping and spinning again. One, two, three, four, five, and six, they went down in this manner. The movements were smooth, had they not been performed in the middle of battle one would have sworn it was practiced ballot.
The Taldryan Dark Jedi Knight watched Etah’s artful and deadly display in one eye and kept his other eye out for the blur of light thought to be an Elder, and given who they had been fighting, probably a Sith Elder. The Wroonian was impressed to be sure but pride would keep him from giving anything more than backhanded compliments. He was also distracted by the possibility of having to face a very powerful Sith momentarily, quickly running through his mind of the legendary Sith he knew of.
“You wouldn’t expect an Arconan to fight so well, because the Obelisk of your House are the dogs of the Sith,” Etah spitefully commented, taking his young companion by surprise.
“Arcona are not the true heirs of our beloved patriarch Ferran. That is Taldryan alone, and we have a myriad of victories from which to support this claim” the Knight said proudly.
Etah sneered listening to this child regurgitate fallacious dogma. “Ferran was a drunkard and a fool” the Sakiyan commented with a snort.
“You would speak of our father that way?” the Knight responded flabbergasted.
“Ferran was a fighter and an assassin and no one to be emulated otherwise. You shouldn’t spend your energy deifying mortals who were likely just as flawed as you are” the Prelate responded cynically.
“Your only saying that because the Clan Arcona has never significantly contributed to the Obelisk Order and you want to minimize the achievements of the Clan Taldryan,” The Dark Jedi Knight said, spitting forth common Tally rhetoric.
“Like a child you speak of what you do not know. Blazer was the first Obelisk High Commander, the first Commander of the Royal Guard and founder of the House Galeres which dominated the Obelisk Order for many years and last year, dominated the entire Dark Jedi Brotherhood. Galeres has been a rock of the Clan Arcona for much of its existence.” The Sakiyan said perhaps a bit angry. “Unlike Clan Sally where the Obelisk get little say and are relegated to being war horses for the ambitions of greater men!”
Rian clenched his teeth. He himself knew better than anyone how powerful the influence of the Obelisk became in Taldryan. Weren’t most of the current leaders in Tal of the Obelisk Order? Wasn’t he the first Obelisk passing the original Rite of Initiation and becoming a descendant of the Phoenix? Anger took more and more control over him.
“You know nothing about the Obelisks influence in Taldryan.” The Knight pressed out between his teeth. “And you know what? You and the rest of yours rested in your cradle of Power, while we grew stronger day by day.”
“You might be stronger than in the past, but still weaker than any Arconan.” The Prelate’s anger increased by the infamous words of the young man, at the edge of his view he glimpsed again that blur, steadily decreasing its circle around the two Obelisk.
Pure hatred glowed in the eyes of the Taldryanite, who too saw the blur rushing by but for the moment he was wilfully ignorant about whoever it was. “Perhaps the time has come to show you the Strength of a Taldryan Obelisk, Arconan.”
The Sakiyan Prelate stood now a couple of paces away, a contemptuously amused expression on his face. “You are naïve and sheltered, thanks to the nonsense your teachers have fed you.”
For a moment their words hung heavily between them. Then Rian lifted his lightsaber. The tip of the purple blade pointed at the Arconan.
Etah laughed a dreadful cackling sound full of mockery. “What now boy? Do you intend to kill me? You forget we were both Obelisk.”
“I ought to attack you. Any kind of alliance with an Arconan is flawed at its heart.”
The Prelate stood not far from the Knights lightsaber tip and seemed more amused than afraid. “The twilight of Clan Taldryan’s dominance had passed into the dawn of Arconan supremacy, before you ever joined the Brotherhood” Etah chuckled malevolently, “and apparently no one ever bothered to teach you the difference between a Dark Jedi Knight and an Obelisk Prelate.” Etah’s stance got lower, his jaw clenched and his muscles began flexing and he prepared himself to slay the upstart youth.
Before the electric signal could from his brain to his hand, there was a commotion. The supposed Elder moved again and against with such speed that their features were non-distinct. But he began to slow, his form began to emerge. The blur became humanoid and then human. He appeared behind the Dark Jedi Knight and struck him in the back of the head with the hilt of a lightsaber, with such force that the Wroonian was immediately thrown to the ground and knocked completely unconscious.
The figure came to a stop dead in front of the Prelate. Etah found himself staring into a very familiar brown eye, framed by long locks of dark hair. A thousand thoughts ran through Etah’s head. He was Obelisk; he was assigned to protect this area of the Temple from infiltration. The Temple had in fact been breeched and infiltrated by a Sith. Had it been anyone, his actions would have been clear. He would have engaged and defeated the enemy securing the temple as was required of him. But the man standing in front of him in the Soulfire-esk Neo-Crusader Armor was his Questor.
It was an interesting paradox of thought he was caught in. To attack and possibly harm a revered Arconae would be unthinkable. But to let a Sith past, into the Obelisk stronghold would likewise be unthinkable. Were he more removed from the situation he would be able to appreciate irony. But he wasn’t, he was in the moment with the tip of his saber pointed at a close comrade, whose saber tip was likewise pointed at him.
Time did pass in seconds, but it felt like minutes or hours. It was as if the world was in slow motion. As time squeezed by he contemplated the thousand wrong actions he could take, along with the very few he could take that would bring this situation to a positive resolution. He quickly came to a decision. It could backfire and wind up in not just death, but also failure. However Etah thought it his best shot to do the most right and the least wrong.
The Sakiyan Prelate deactivated his saber and dropped it to the ground, putting himself at his Questor’s mercy. For one half second the Equite assumed his life forfeit, but a look of understanding came over Zandro’s face and he too deactivated and stowed his saber. “I’m not here with Sarin and his band of idiots;” Zando began. “I’m here to collect Arconan’s. We need to head back to Dajorra. Something is afoot and if we don’t meet it head on we could lose our home.”
“Most of them are two floors above. I can retrieve them and have them aboard within an hour my Lord.” The Sakiyan stated, realizing just how useless his current role is at the Temple. The Prelate silently followed the Battlelord through what he had been sacred ground. So it was that the great Order War of ABY 33 ended, at least for Etah d’Tana. Force disciplines were not enough to bind people. In the end it is the love of their House and the hate of other Houses that would hold true.