The Enemy Within


14-06-2006 20:17:30

The Enemy Within
Event ID: 1
Platform: Writing - Runon
Description: It is an unstable time in the Brotherhood. While some of the most overt hostilities between Clans have been resolved through the recent feuds, mistrust and duplicity run rampant between Clans. You have reason to suspect foul play against your Clan from each and every Clan in the Brotherhood as your field agents, internal surveillance and cantina visitors have brought to your attention information that clearly implicates other Clans. At the same time, your Clan has been targeted by others with unfounded accusations that you have sabotaged their workings. From the above premise and situation, the entire Clan will develop a run-on that will chronicle the Clan’s situation throughout the war. Your goal is to stay as well on top of the events that unfold as possible and develop them into an epic storyline. You may describe events in other Clans or in the Council if they help your storyline, but the focus and the heroes should be among your own Clan. This event is one where regular participation will provide a substantial part of your score, so motivating members to constantly contribute is vital. It is the only runon in the war and lasts for the entire duration.
Rules: The runon is created in a protected area of the messageboard. Only members themselves may edit their posts and only within 48 hours of originally making that post. Upon compiling the runon into a finished story, it is permissible to edit posts for grammar and spelling. The original sentence structure and content must remain as intact as possible. In addition, the following edits may be made to achieve a better story flow:

* You may swap the order of two directly adjacent posts (to eliminate problems with people posting at the same time).
* You may (and should) add chapter numbers and headings. Chapter titles are appreciated. You may not make edits to correct any continuity problems.

Submit the edited and compiled runon in a Word document suitable for printing and reading as a continuous story. The original runon must remain untouched on the messageboard for verification of posters and post dates as well as crosschecking edit intensity.
Scoring: The runon will be scored as follows:

* One point is given for each member who posts at least once in any given week (weeks are counted Wednesday to Wednesday), regardless of the number of posts. Extremely short posts (< 200 words) may be discounted.
* The runon is graded for quality at the end of the war as if it were a single piece of fiction. The winning Clan receives 1000 points, the second 700, third 500, fourth 350, fifth 200 and sixth 100 points.
* All posters having scored at least five points (i.e. posted in five different weeks) will receive a Nova of the appropriate type for the placing.

Starts on: Jun 14, 2006
Ends on: Aug 23, 2006
The Enemy Within
Event ID: 1
Platform: Writing - Runon
Description: It is an unstable time in the Brotherhood. While some of the most overt hostilities between Clans have been resolved through the recent feuds, mistrust and duplicity run rampant between Clans. You have reason to suspect foul play against your Clan from each and every Clan in the Brotherhood as your field agents, internal surveillance and cantina visitors have brought to your attention information that clearly implicates other Clans. At the same time, your Clan has been targeted by others with unfounded accusations that you have sabotaged their workings. From the above premise and situation, the entire Clan will develop a run-on that will chronicle the Clan’s situation throughout the war. Your goal is to stay as well on top of the events that unfold as possible and develop them into an epic storyline. You may describe events in other Clans or in the Council if they help your storyline, but the focus and the heroes should be among your own Clan. This event is one where regular participation will provide a substantial part of your score, so motivating members to constantly contribute is vital. It is the only runon in the war and lasts for the entire duration.
Rules: The runon is created in a protected area of the messageboard. Only members themselves may edit their posts and only within 48 hours of originally making that post. Upon compiling the runon into a finished story, it is permissible to edit posts for grammar and spelling. The original sentence structure and content must remain as intact as possible. In addition, the following edits may be made to achieve a better story flow:

* You may swap the order of two directly adjacent posts (to eliminate problems with people posting at the same time).
* You may (and should) add chapter numbers and headings. Chapter titles are appreciated. You may not make edits to correct any continuity problems.

Submit the edited and compiled runon in a Word document suitable for printing and reading as a continuous story. The original runon must remain untouched on the messageboard for verification of posters and post dates as well as crosschecking edit intensity.
Scoring: The runon will be scored as follows:

* One point is given for each member who posts at least once in any given week (weeks are counted Wednesday to Wednesday), regardless of the number of posts. Extremely short posts (< 200 words) may be discounted.
* The runon is graded for quality at the end of the war as if it were a single piece of fiction. The winning Clan receives 1000 points, the second 700, third 500, fourth 350, fifth 200 and sixth 100 points.
* All posters having scored at least five points (i.e. posted in five different weeks) will receive a Nova of the appropriate type for the placing.

Starts on: Jun 14, 2006
Ends on: Aug 23, 2006


15-06-2006 05:41:30

“Well, I heard that Clan Tarentum tried to sabotage one of Arcona’s ships. Quite atrocious,” the trilling laughter that followed grated the nerves like fingernails upon a chalk slate. “Really, they’re supposed to have the military geniuses of the age, and they can’t plan a proper sabotage? How galling.”

“Oh, that’s not the worst of it, dear,” the male tenor slipped in smoothly, like velvet against a lover’s skin, “they had one of their disgusting germs on a robe and tried to infect Taldryan with it. Ghastly.” The man attempted to pour more champagne into his partner’s flute, but missed. He dipped his lips to her neck to chase after the golden liquid. Her laughter sounded through the room like the peals of a rusty bell.

The cloaked figure in the wings frowned, and walked up a hidden flight of stairs to his office. This wasn’t right. Not at all. His mind raced a light-year a minute, attempting to process this information. These rumors. “No,” he muttered quietly to himself, “this certainly does not fit well with what he knew of Tarentum and the Tarentae.” Trevarus Caerick, the Porcelain Dragon, closed turned from his office door to the stairs leading to the communications relay on the top floor of the Amicus Club.

* * * * * *

“I can assure you, Master Caerick,” Oberst’s reply was crisp, “we made no such undertaking. Our forces remain intact.”

“And the droid fighter?” the Master Caerick arched his brow carefully, sarcastically.

Oberst smirked, recognizing his own inquisitive expression turned against him, “We are a Clan of Death. Why would we utilize droids? That would rob us of potential troops.”

“And the other rumors?”

“Someone did attempt to poison our water supply, apparently a probe was let loose some time back at the planet. It slipped in quietly because it was moving so slowly.”

“It was launched at the planet? But, that’s absurd! Your throneworld is nearly entirely water!”

“It would be hysterical if it wasn’t for the fact that where the toxin was immediately released, did not bleach a significant portion of one of our coral reefs.” Oberst’s frown accentuated the displeasure in his tone. “There is only one other coral bed with that species of coral like it on the planet, I have agents currently working to collect samples to be preserved and try to create a new environment. It will be costly, but I believe the endeavor will be profitable in the long run.”

“It’s a rock,” Trevarus stated flatly.

“It is not a rock,” Oberst began patiently, “it is an animal. It is part of the food chain. If we loose the coral, the algae will grow without check and starts killing other, larger fish. Fish Clan Naga Sadow relies upon since your own farms are strangled due to your local problems.”

Master Caerick grimaced, “I did not think of that.”

“Apparently,” Oberst began dryly, “If you will excuse me, though, I have a meeting to attend.”

“Of course, Warlord, do not let me keep you any further.” The holographic image of Trevarus bowed and then winked out.

* * * * * *

The meeting room was not pretty. The Grand Hall had been converted for a meeting between the Summits, with the Tarentae in attendance as observers. The large table in the center of the Grand Hall was where the Summits of the Clan sat, with the Tarentae keeping to their thrones upon the second landing of the Grand Dais.

“The Justicar will not listen!” Welshman slammed his hand down on the heavy wooden table in emphasis, “He has dismissed our formal complaints about the trade deficit between Clans Taldryan and Tarentum. These continued losses are cutting into our profits and immediate operational budget.”

“We are completely at a loss for how to collect on what is owed to us?” the Yvethan speaker scratched the surface of the table with a long claw and frowned.

“We have a few options open to us,” a soft voice cut in, “we can seize Taldryan’s assets in the area. If I am not mistaken, some of their craft are still unloading goods?”

“That could be construed as an act of war,” Master Bloodfyre cut in, “are we prepared to reinforce this plan of action?”

“We could always lose their ships,” Oberst stated simply. He glanced down at his datapad, “Their next stop is Antei. We still control the Shroud. To get through, they need our escort. If our escort happened to abandon them in the Shroud, they would lose the ships, and we could say that they must have misheard the coordinates we gave them.”

“Interesting idea, Apprentice,” Master Zero’s soft voice once more carried through the Grand Hall, “a very interesting idea.”


15-06-2006 08:49:33

“Slightly easier and less risky to pull off…” Agreed Welshman.
“Still, the goods being dropped off at Yridia IX for further shipping will be missing our regular cut which again bites into our profits and increases theirs. We could impound the freight, plant a few weapons or some such in the containers and fake a data trail leading to some made up Yridian dissident group. Feasible?” Continued the Consul.

“That’s a lot of work for a few tons of consumer objects.” Stated Frosty, the long serving Quaestor of House Gladius and a new initiate of the Tarentae.

“It’s the principal behind the actions that’s important here.” Sato Kahn spoke from next to Quaestor Frosty.

“We have the means at our disposal to perpetrate such an act. Wouldn’t such an act reflect back on Tarentum however should their cargoes fail to arrive at their intended destinations?” Queried the Field Marshall.

“Don’t the ships initiate a series of random jumps so people can’t back track the ships to us Oberst?”

“True, but it’s akin to an unspoken understanding with our partners in the Minos Cluster where the goods come from. Not that they have the strength to take us on but as far as they know we’re just some obscure cult who supply them with some essentials. It wouldn’t pay to have them nose in too far into our business.”

“Fine, in that case just keep them in quarantine for awhile until we figure out something to do. As to the Shroud, when are they due there?”

“With their hyperdrives? 3 or 4 days. The main bulk of their journey will be on the Hydian way which should make it perhaps a shorter time.”

“Can we get a ship there before them? I want this to be handled by one of our Jedi.”

“Easily, the Necrosis could be there within 48 hours at the most.”

“Good, get her prepped and put someone you trust to carry out these orders on board. Taldryan will loose some ships and we will have a small measure of retribution. Now onwards to the other Clans who have besmirched us…”

Sith Bloodfyre

15-06-2006 14:45:45

“Uhh, gentlemen,” a voice interrupted,” if I might venture an idea.”

The gathering of Tarentum’s leaders turned their gaze to the speaker, the recently-made Aedile of Tridens, Doni Tzu. The Warlord stood and glanced around the room, ensuring that everyones’ attention was on him.

“While retribution is certainly an option,” the Warlord stated, “there are other alternatives. ‘Losing’ one of Taldryan’s ships would provide some form of punishment to their Clan, but would benefit us very little. We would still be out of what they are withholding, and they would likely withhold additional goods to recoup their own losses, causing us to lose more.”

“You make a good point, General,” Oberst responded. “What course of action would you suggest?”

“Marshal,” Donitz continued, “what I would suggest is a course of action that will recoup our own losses. Force them to give us what is ours by right. We are the Guardians of the Shroud; none have passage through the Shroud without our assistance. Recoup our losses there; tax all who wish to enter, or leave them to their own accords to try and find passage through. And, should they wish to attempt passage on their own, they will consequently lose ships and goods, and will either pay us, or incur steep losses for their folly.”

“So, as I see it now,” Welshman interjected, “we have a few options available to us. We seek revenge through punishing their trespass, which could be construed as an act of aggression, or we tax all ships through Antei, which would be seen as a possible right, given the effort and resources we expend through guarding the Shroud.”

“Maybe I see things on a different level,” Frosty spoke up, “but we’re talking about a response to a small margin. On the surface, it seems like such a trvial matter, so why would we care. But at the same time, we need to make a very public, very specific statement, that no one gets away with stealing from Tarentum. I say we hit Taldryan hard. Sure, we can have someone else do it, if we don’t want it tied directly to us, but I say we send them a message. We know what they’re doing, and if they continue such dishonorable acts, we’re not afraid to break their proverbial thumbs.”

“While I agree with my counterpart that action is required,” Master Bloodfyre said softly, “I have to agree that we must not look like the aggressors. At the point in time, at least. Taldryan are the criminals, and we are simply executing a right that is afforded us due to the expenditures that we make to guard the Shroud.”

“That might make us look weak,” Tarentum’s Proconsul, Telona Murrage announced. “I think we can all agree, the outward appearance of weakness is not what we wish to exude.”

“While I understand your argument, Proconsul,” Master Bloodfyre replied, “I do not believe it to be the likely outcome. It is far more likely that taxing Shroud passage would make us look greedy, but the Dark Council would not be able to deny our right to make up for the losses we incur through guarding the Shroud. And, quite frankly, if we settle on the taxation of Shroud passage, that will also stall this issue long enough that we can prepare for proper retribution against Taldryan for challenging us in such a manner.”

The gathered leaders fell into a thoughtful silence; Welshman leaned back in his chair and pressed his fingertips together in front of his face, pondering what action to take. It fell upon his shoulders to decide, as he was the ultimate authority within the Clan, both as Consul, and as the Prince of Yridia. Everyone in the hall waited for his reply…

* * * * * *

The Interdictor Charon maintained its position outside of the only known “safe entrance” through the Shroud of Antei. The ship was one of the Dark Council’s, under the authority of Tarentum’s Summit. Prelate Jason Hunter had been assigned to the Interdictor as the representative of Tarentum’s will, and “advisor” to the ship’s Captain. Officially, he was an advisor; unofficially, he was the true decision-maker onboard the Charon.

Captain Arrec Taaka tread slowly around the bridge of the Interdictor, watching the activities of his bridge crew, ensuring that they were on-task and efficient in their work. Captain Taaka could’ve left those duties to his senior officers, but Taaka was a “doer,” not a thinker. He liked being involved in the daily affairs of his crew, liked making sure that they knew, he was watching, and he was taking notes of every good deed, as well as every bad deed.

Jason Hunter strode quickly onto the bridge, heading directly for Captain Taaka. The Captain heard the footsteps, turned at the sound, and stood patiently in place when he caught sight of the Prelate.

“Captain,” Hunter said softly, as he reached Taaka’s side. “I’ve just received word from Yridia. By order of the Consul of Tarentum, we are to stop all transports and ships from entering the Shroud. Apparently, some issue has arisen, and a temporary halt on passage has been called for. Any ships approaching should be informed of the delay, and are to be asked to maintain position outside of our weapons range until further notice.”

“Prelate,” the Captain replied, “I will be happy to execute these orders, but your Summits should be aware, this action will make people very unhappy. Even a temporary halt on passage will upset the routines of many ships.”

“The Summits are aware of this,” Jason replied, “and any negative responses are to be disregarded. Until further notice, no passage through the Shroud. I will return when I have further information from my superiors.”

“As you wish, Prelate,” Captain Taaka replied.


15-06-2006 22:52:18

Alarm sirens shrieked as the ship was violently torn from hyperspace by the Interdictor and brought back into normal space.

“Captain, we have a ship which has just been brought out of hyperspace heading outward from the Shroud, sensors indicated only one life form aboard the ship.” the young Ensign informed his Captain. The young Ensign kept his question as to how the ship with only one being aboard it was able to navigate

“Ensign inform the ship that it will power down it’s engines and await further orders.” stated the Captain.

Deep in the bowels of the ship were the chambers of the ships sole living being, was suddenly and violently shaken from his meditation. The meditation was all that was capable of holding the august passenger in check, those self-imposed chains now broken a torrent rage and anger flowed thru his body. A dark violet light escaped from the fringes of the mask, which along with the hood of a cloak obscured the figures face from view.

The Prelate in the ships ready room, Jason felt the presence of his old friend thru the force and also sensed that his friend was on the edge of releasing his full power on anything that foolishly stood in his way. If he was going to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control he would need to act quickly.

The view screen suddenly flickered to life revealing a young Ensign with who appeared to be the ships Captain standing behind him. “This is the Interdictor Charon of the Dark Council….” Before the Ensigns could utter anymore his eyes glazed over as he collapsed lifeless onto his console.

“I have no use for the Council nor its messengers, I will be allowed to pass or you will be removed.”

Just as the Captain’s throat began to constrict, Hunter appeared within the view screen.

“Spears, my old friend have your coordinates ready we will be dropping the interdiction field momentarily. When I get back to Yridia we will need to sit down over a large bottle and reminisce on old times.”

A simple nod was the only form of acknowledgement that the Adept gave and it was more then his old friend had expect considering all that had transpired in the last few months. With that the view screen blinked back into non-existence.

“Captain, drop the field and allow the Dunatis to pass.” Hunter ordered.

Looking over to the Prelate the Captain’s curiosity was apparent on his face, even as he hand clutched at his now sore throat.

“He is a former member of the Council, former Consul of Tarentum, and a member of the Tarentae. If you happen to have the misfortune of running into him again, I would suggest you allow him to do as he pleases. Now have the field lowered, I have to prepare a communication to inform the Summit that Spears has been seen heading in the direction of Yridia.” Hunter told the Captain.


16-06-2006 03:51:46

Consul Welshman's datapad beeped with new information. He chuckled as he read Captain Taaka's report of the first catch of the day. "I suppose we should tell those whom have free passage to expect a slight delay. The good captain may not be so lucky if Trev is stopped unexpectedly." The other Tarantae present smiled knowingly. Welshman continued, his tone more serious. "Now that the stalling tactic has been implemented, we need ways to exact retribution on our enemy, or enemies as the case may be. Suggestions?"

Bloodfyre chimed in. "Enemies...that's an excellent point. With the recent pact between Arcona and Taldryan, we can't be certain Tally acted alone."

"True," Telona replied. "Of course, if we are to act, we should do so in coordination with our own alliance partner, Naga Sadow."

"...Which complicates matters further," the Consul tacked on. He pounded his fist on the table, frustration bubbling over. "C'mon people, we've been going around in circles for several hours now. Has the Dark Side not shown anyone a path to Tarantae victory?" The gathered Clan members avoided eye contact with their leader. They all were at a loss.

Doni'Tzu raised a clawed hand. "If I may be so bold--"

"--You may," interrupted Welshman.

"Thank you. I'm just going to think aloud for a moment, please forgive me for perhaps speaking out of his newly-acquired place. I am not truly understanding the cause of all this commotion. Certainly, the Clans are always poking and prodding each other. Why are these pinpricks so different from other pinpricks? Is the cumulative effects of them that makes us yearn for revenge? Or perhaps the perception that the Dark Council has failed to adequately address our many and varied claims? Or did the recent feuds whet people's appetites for blood and not alleviate the tension between the Clans?"

"Get to the point, Doni," Bloodfyre said.

"Sure. My point is, we should try to figure out the cause of the hostilities before we decide on a course of action. Otherwise, we might exacerbate the situation. The interdiction is a great idea as it buys us time and causes problems for everyone else, problems that might precipitate out the cause."

"So," the Consul began, summarizing the Yevethan's wandering thoughts, "you want us to determine the cause before determining the solution? An admirable goal, but that may take a while."

Adien Falaut

16-06-2006 04:09:56

With the increasing threat’s to Yridian system the Doomsday, Anubis, and the Stygian are ordered near Yridia IX awaiting hostile forces. Already assuming patrol the Stygian begins to maintain sensor sweep while keeping close to the Anubis, as well as the Doomsday for support. At first time creeps by slowly absolute no contact for the first few hours they are there.
A few hours later a young ensign yells, “I have something on sensors coming into range!” Melkor gets on the comm. And asks Sato, “Orders?” Sato replies, “greet them first in case they are an ally, and then we shall go from there.” Melkor acknowledges, “very well.” Now awaiting the vessel to come within range of the comm. Melkor sits and watches.
A few moments later the vessel jumps out of hyperspace then ensign quickie says, “A Starwind-class Pleasure Yacht.” Melkor broadcasts, “Approaching vessel please identifies?” The yacht after a moment replies, “This is the Ventrade of the clan Naga Sadow requesting to enter the system.” Sato comes over the comm. at first just monitoring and answers proceed to the Itanna Asteroid Belt and await farther instructions.” As soon as it was ordered it proceeds into the system.
Melkor sat back in his chair and waits hours pass without farther activity. Sato comes over the comm. not long after and informs Melkor and Merlance that he as picked up a contact as soon as he does it shows up on their sensors too. As soon as it jumps out into Yridian space all three captains inform it to identify it and it replies “this is the Darkstorm of the clam Taldryan.” Instantly Sato orders “hold passion and await instructions.” And Merlance ready to drop fighters as soon as order and Melkor joins reading to take down any fighter that the Taldryians drop themselves from the clearly modified CRV. Sato gets on a secure comm. channel and informs the rest of the fleet of the situation and awaits farther orders.


16-06-2006 07:32:08

“It’s one of the things about being a Dark Jedi, we’re so easy to slight…” Continued Welshman the new line of thought and enquiry having added an extra layer of depth to the proceedings.

“The source of our power does bestow some traits upon the less disciplined followers of the Final Way that is true. It proves what a rabble we have to deal with if they allow their emotions to dictate policy.” Elaborated Telona.

“The Brotherhood is teetering on insanity. We…”

“Not quite Sato.” Oberst interrupted “it seems that at least three Clans have some measure of decorum. May I direct you all to your datapads, it seems that Arcona have attempted to throw a proverbial skifter into the deck, a move which has failed.”

Glancing down at his datapad Welshman felt his stomach tighten up, if he had eyes he was sure they would have bulged out at this moment.

“Arcona tried to sign a military alliance against us?!” Welshman shouted incredulously.

“Indeed. I have to say this chain of events is in a way beautifully timed. Arconan spies must have been unaware of your meetings with Sarin. By going to him with this offer he was honour bound to refuse they have alerted the whole Brotherhood to their deceit. We can only assume that Taldryan was also a knowing partner behind this venture but that’s not a given yet. I’ll have to think about this…” Mused the Warlord.

“This is indeed un-expected. I wonder what they’ll make of the tax we’re levying against them at the entrance to the Shroud?” Asked Frosty.

“Try to force the issue no doubt. Not much they can do to the Charon however seeing as it’s a DC ship. However we should expect an “emissary” from those two Clans to come here to Yridia.” Answered Sith Bloodfyre, his drawn cowl and cold, emotionless voice adding extra weight and menace to his voice.

“Are our defence grids ready for such a “emissary” as you so delicately put it?”

“It depends on the size of the attack Proconsul. We could deal with any task force Arcona could send against us. Throw Taldryan into the mix as well and things may become problematic.” The Yevethan aedile stared off into the distance before continuing “we should activate our assets in these Clans. Any information we can gather regarding fleet dispositions and movements would be beneficial to any decision making. To do anything now would be counter-productive.”

“Fine. Authorise the tax on any ship currently not allied with the Clan and see to it we get some reliable information. Now, anyone care to attempt to divine the why of all this out?” Challenged the Consul, optics focusing on everyone present in turn.


16-06-2006 09:37:02

Standing in that chair and looking at the others over the table, listening to Welshman talk, Frosty slowly got lost in the forming storm of his thoughts. Although he realized his presence was needed there as the Gladius Quaestor, all he wanted at the moment was to chop of the members of the various enemies he encountered during his life as a Dark Jedi. He had quite a list made up in his mind of all the adversaries he always wanted to destroy but never had the chance. In the last war he was but a mere Protector, now... Mature in all his traits and powers… He laughed on the inside when next thought came to his mind.

Snapping out of contemplation, Frosty took a look around the table and saw an empty chair. The Quaestor remembered that Sato left to command his ship under Welshman’s ordered.

“Why am I standing here, discussing, when Sato might be having fun out there?” thought Frosty.

He ceremoniously pushed the chair away as he stood up.
“If there’s nothing else to be discussed I would like to leave this meeting in order to prepare my troops. Maybe put Gladius into intense training…”

“Sure Frosty, we’ll contact you if anything important comes up.” replied the Consul.

“Thank you, Welshman. Brethren…” added the Dashade as he bowed slightly.

A few moments later Frosty was heading for the Gladius base in his personal shuttle.

“I wonder what Sato is doing at the moment?” asked Frosty out loud in the solitude of his ship. With the echo hitting his eardrums, the Quaestor responded with a push of few buttons.
Seconds later, Sato responded.

“What can I do for you Frosty?”
“You can brief me on the Doomsday status.” replied Frosty revealing rows of teeth with a slight grin.

“Well we just made contact with a Taldryan ship, hold…” the conversation got interrupted as Sato was about to finish the sentence.


16-06-2006 17:29:18

The Yevethan leaned back in his chair, tapping the clawed fingers of one reptilian hand slowly on the table as he watched the Quaestor of Gladius depart. As Frosty's candle-born shadow receded into the doorway and around a curve, Doni Tzu's tapping slowed as thoughts, facts, statistics, conjecture, promises, treaties, balances, and a litany of other comparisons which cumulatively created the vast strategic canvas in his mind slowly pieced together, as if a puzzle. The sound of chatter between Tarantae and Summit members seemed to fade away as his thoughts began to lead themselves, jumping ahead of each other for precious time in his conscience, and horrible thoughts started to show. The clawed tapping slowed, and slowed, his vision tunnelling until all other stimulus and even the grip on reality itself took second nature to the numbing truth beginning to form in his brain. At once the last piece slammed into the picture, the artist stepped back to behold his work, and what he saw caused his very being to shrink. Reality came back into focus, his forest-green eyes darted this way and that, noting various conversations, and almost despondent that none were looking at him. The Warlord took a breath and stood, his colored nasal ridges quickly shifting from a neutral pale white to a deep purple of worry, if any in the room knew enough to identify the color as such.

"Wait!" He cried out, above all others, not caring for the slightest decorum.

At once a score of faces turned to ascertain both the source and the reasoning of this outburst.

"What is the meaning of this outburst?" the Consul was the first to speak.

The Tridens Aedile's dew claws extended from his wrists and he leaned forward, digging them into the table to support his torso, conveying an image of importance as he looked about the room.

"Lisssssten to me. You are all missstaken. We are all in great danger" were the first words to stammer out of his lips, nearly forgetting his language and lapsing into a classic Yevethan accent.

Had the Tarantae Warlord a lower rank or less reputation he may well have been laughed out of the Grand Dais, but with the recent victory against the combined forces of Plagueis and Arcona, none could deny that he would be heard out. Still, Welshman crossed his arms in some doubt.

"And how is this, Aedile?" he queried.

Suddenly Doni Tzu glanced upwards to the faceless guards at the entry and exitways of the chamber and waved an outstretched hand at them all. "All of you, leave us, immediately." The soldiers complied with haste and rushed out of the hall.

The Yevethan looked around the room again, reacquiring the attention of all.

"Not all is as it seemssss..." he hissed, lapsing, before regaining his composure. "The maximsss of war tell us that to destroy alliances is the second greatest achievement one can aspire to in warfare. Now we have heard rumors, facts, reports, and all manner of things from all across Brotherhood space. There is an astronomical improbability that all clans would escalate covert actions against each other simultaneously, in addition to the obvious fact that in all our knowledge all of the actions ascribed to our Clan against other Clans were not authorized nor originated from our Clan. The reasonable assumption would be that this is the same across all Clans as it is all happening at the same time and everyone is denying everything."

Master Bloodfyre cocked his head sideways, scrutinizing his Aedile in curiousity. The grand hall was utterly silent for a moment. "Go on," he beckoned.

Doni Tzu's face contorted a bit, in a mixture of concern and anger. "Do we not ssssee? An unknown force is attempting to coerce us all into fighting each other, so that when we are finished, we will all be ripe for the taking. Whomever this opponent is they have sufficient resources and knowledge to determine very secretive weaknesses of our clans and others - may I just point out the poison in our water supply in the castle?" Some murmuring and nods accompanied this comment, specifically due to the nauseating sickness that several had already experienced. "We can reason conclusively then that both our Clan and all other Clans have been deeply and fatally penetrated by this heretofore unknown force or entity. That we have not been able to detect who or what they are by the force indicates either that they are extremely powerful or they have some extremely nifty items at their disposal, such as Ysalimiri to mask their existence." After this comment there was much louder murmuring and a look of shock on the faces of many as they began to realize the implications of what their General was saying.

The Yevethan lowered his gaze to the table, and the volume of his voice simultaneously. "There are only two conclusions as to who might have the resources, motivation, and wherewithal to cause all the clans to attack each other. The first conclusion is that it is the Dark Council itself who seek to exterminate all the Clans and in their place erect the one Overclan as the guide to the Final Way. The other conclusion is that a politico-military entity from outside Brotherhood affairs has completely penetrated our organization and decided that we are of sufficient threat to cause us to wipe each other out, before they roll us over in our weakened state. If this conclusion is true, then I would not be surprised if the same thing is happening to Dark Council forces and members at this very moment, but that they are keeping it a better secret than we are. Lacking any real evidence neither conclusion can be settled upon but it must be one of these two."

Slowly his dew claws retracted until his palms were resting on the table and he looked up once again, around the room, and then squarely back at his Consul. "Consul, we are being cooked, simmered, in a frying pan of our own defeat. Before long our enemy will decide we are weakened enough and he will strike, of this there is no doubt. All of us gathered in this room are in immediate danger. The next most logical step for our opponent is a fully wrought decapitation strike aimed at all Clan leadership; if our enemy has already penetrated us this far, his eyes and ears are already everywhere. The assassins could be our guards, they could be our citizens... they could even be our clanmates."

The tension in the Grand Dias of Tarentum was never thicker.


16-06-2006 21:38:15

A beep from the comm station in front of Welshman broke the silence but not the tension. The Consul looked down at the controls until it beeped again. With a sigh he pushed a button while the others held their breath.

"This had better be important." Welshman said flatly.

"Sir we've got a situation out here." Came Frosty's voice. "The Doomsday reported contact with a Taldryan ship but the signal was interrupted. I am on my way to their last known co ordinance. What orders do you have once I reach my destination?"

Oberst was already making his way out the door by the time the Gladius Quaestor had finished. Zero quickly followed as did Rekio. All but Telona seemed to squirm in their seats, ready for a chance to at least show some military might. Welshman ran a hand down his face slowly before responding.

"You will receive orders from the Marshal. Report back to me as soon as you make contact. I want to know exactly what is happening out there. Welshman out."

The man clicked the comm station off and then gave his permission for the rest to leave to their duties. His Proconsul was the only one left in the room. She was still sitting there with the look on her face the same as when Donitz put forth his theory. Welshman could think of only to pick up his datapad and head for the door.

"I refuse it." Her words stopped the man. "I refuse to believe we should suspect our own clanmates. Suspicion will only cause this clan to tear itself apart." She paused. "If it is your will I'll be Tarentum's envoy to the other clans until things are settled."

"That might be what our enemy wants." Welshman replied coldly over his shoulder. "I won't have you leaving."

"I am the best choice if an envoy is needed. I hold no command in our fleet and I have the trust of most in the other clans."

Welshman said nothing once the woman had finished talking. He stood there for a few moments before continuing out the door, leaving her alone in the cold room without an answer.

Sith Bloodfyre

17-06-2006 20:50:24

Doni Tzu strode silently beside the form of Sith Bloodfyre, the Quaestor of Tridens. Tridens was based within Castle Tridens, and as such, Doni Tzu and Bloodfyre were “already home” from their meeting once they had left the presence of the Consul. The Yevethan was silent, pondering his previous words, and the vision they had accompanied. Bloodfyre was silent, but it had less to do with the meeting, and more to do with the body language of one person at the end; Telona Murrage, Proconsul of Tarentum, happened to be on the Sith Master’s thoughts at the moment. Doni Tzu could easily discern that his Quaestor’s mind was occupied with something important.

“Your thoughtssss are occupied, my friend,” the Yevethan said softly.

“They are indeed,” the Shaevalian replied. “Our Proconsul seemed… ‘distant’ during the entire meeting. Her words were few, but her posture said much. I do not believe we can count on the Dark Angel for much action at the present time.”

“What action do we need from here?” Doni Tzu questioned. “For the time being, sssshhe needs only asssssist our Consul in his duties. We are not at war… yet.”

“My friend,” Sith answered, “I have known Telona Murrage for quite some time. She and I have been close allies and friends since shortly after she joined Gladius. She is as much a warrior as I am an ally to… say, the Lord Hegemon. There is the possibility that such an alliance could temporarily form, if our existence depended on it, but fate would likely dictate otherwise. Telona has the potential to be a warrior, but fate guides her in other directions.

“Your words about our Clansmen possibly being traitors bothered her,” Bloodfyre continued. “I could see it in her eyes. Telona has always had that quality about her; she does not doubt people, sometimes to her detriment. No one in Tarentum is infallible, and even members of this Clan have succumbed to treachery or deceit again their brothers. She may not remember those instances, but I do.”

“You suspect that she could be a weakness, that our enemies might hope to use against us?” the Warlord queried.

“It is possible, my friend,” Bloodfyre replied. “If there are spies within this Clan, she is a potential region for them to try and gain assistance and information through. Telona is certainly not weak, but at times, she can be overly trusting. And, in many ways, she has the best relations with the other Clans. Again, it could be a point that our enemies may seek to take advantage of.”

“The question is, then,” Doni Tzu began, “what do we do?”

The two continued walking, without truly deciding their course. They simply wandered the halls of the ancient castle for some time, while the Sith Master and his Aedile pondered the future, and tried to discern what their actions should be. Bloodfyre slowed to a halt in the middle of one of the more impressive hallways within the castle; the hall was erected of transparisteel, and allowed a perfect view of the sea waters above and beside the castle, as well as the sea life that traversed the area. Sith glanced out into the waters for some time, and then turned his head slightly to the Yevethan beside him.

“I think for the time being,” the Sith Master said softly, “we should avoid contact with the Proconsul. If anyone is using her to gain information, it would be best to keep our own intelligence and plans for preparation safe. I will speak with her when I return.”

“And where do you depart to now, Quaestor?”

Sith turned his head back to the scenery of the ocean waters, and nodded his head slightly towards the waters and, more specifically, to a certain destination beyond.

“I will travel to De’Thavyn, and speak with Tel’Ratha,” Bloodfyre answered, almost a whisper.

* * * * * *

“…I’m sorry that your delay has cost you time and money, but that is not my concern,” Captain Taaka said cordially. “What is my concern, is that I have been instructed to halt passage through the Shroud, and accept five percent of your current shipment as tax and payment for allowance through to Antei.”

“We’ve never had to pay a tax before!” Captain Sarai was nearly livid, and probably would have strangled Taaka, if she’d been aboard his ship. “This is completely ridiculous, and I will not acknowledge any such right to tax my ship; drop your gravitational field and allow me passage!”

“Madam,” Taaka replied, “your recognition of any right to tax passing ships is not required. I have been charged with collecting the taxes, nothing more. I cannot allow you passage if you do not pay, and I have the reinforcements at my disposal to ensure that you do not attempt passage without authorization. You have three options available to you. Either pay the tax, depart and return to your home system, or be destroyed. You have sixty seconds to decide before I lock weapons onto your ship.”

The female Captain of the Otaurin was speechless. Sarai was late by three days, she’d been having systems failures that had cost her time, and would eat into her own profits, and now, she was going to lose even more by being charged some new tax to pass through the Shroud. She was so stunned by it all, that sixty seconds had passed seemingly in a heartbeat.

“Captain,” one of Sarai’s officers spoke up, “they have locked weapons onto us. What are your orders, ma’am?”

“Dammit, Taaka!” Sarai was shaken out of her stunned silence, but she was still irate beyond description. “Drop your weapons, and take your cursed tax. I hope you rot in hell for all of the trouble you’ve caused me this day.”

“Captain Sarai, I hope you have a pleasant journey through the Shroud, and have a wonderful stay on Antei,” was Taaka’s glib reply.

“Go to Endor and play with the Ewoks,” Sarai muttered under her breath. “Once we are through here, and their ‘tax’ has been taken care of, take us to Antei. And see if we can gain an audience with someone in-charge. I want to know if this wretched tax is even legal.”


18-06-2006 19:45:55

Thoughts churned through his head as he walked out of the Grand Hall, possible methods and solutions for the problem chasing each other vying for supremacy. He could order a full scale invasion of a rival Clan to seize back the credits they were owed, attack the Clan that dared attempt to sign a pact against them, economic sanctions screamed to be used or he could simply do nothing. Become frozen by indecisiveness and allow his Clan to be dragged down to obscurity and destruction. Things were so much simpler when he was back in Tridens and nothing but a lowly pilot who followed orders and killed in the name of Tarentum.

Before he knew it he was walking down the long, dark corridor which led to his quarters. As befit a Consul of one of the Great Clans of the Brotherhood his abode was stationed in a corridor all on its own. The large, dark stones which made up the corridor lent a foreboding air to the whole Castle and since the recent upsurge in hostilities the ambience seemed to weigh him down that much more. Sighing he focused his optical goggles on his keypad and began to enter his code. It was then he noticed something strange, it took him awhile to recognise what it was, a small amount of thermal activity on the keypad. Somebody had recently been using the keypad, trying to gain access to his room and it must have been in the last few minutes to still be registering on his enhanced “vision” reaching out with his Force senses he could detect no-one in the room.

“Strange…” Murmured Welshman. The unknown agent must have failed in his attempt and fled.

Keying his door open Welshman stood in to be embraced by darkness, he very rarely bothered with light in his own quarters. He only came here to sleep and his goggles would amplify any stray photon which entered the room giving him enough light to find his way to his bed. It was whilst walking past his inert computer desk that he noticed there was more light then usual, frowning once more he turned towards the source and felt his jaw drop. A LED counter was clicking down towards zero, no doubt a bomb, turning his back on the device Welshman began to run towards the exit to his room but he wasn’t quick enough. With a flash that overloaded his sensitive optics the bomb detonated showering the area with energy and shrapnel. Cocooning his body in a web of Force energy Welshman managed to deflect some of the incoming debris but not enough. Feeling the needle sharp impacts of tiny slivers of metal cut through his body Welshman winced in pain and felt a profound anger rise within him. Who would dare try this inside his own home?! It would be the last thing he would feel for a while as the energy overcame his defences and plummeted him into agony filled unconsciousness.

It was whilst falling into the state of blissfull non-life that Welshman felt the faint stirring of activity near him. Clan members were suddenly in a panic and arriving in his corridor and if his perceptions were correct similar attacks had happened all over the Castle with the other Summits targetted for assasination, things were indeed dire for such a bold move to have been undertaken.

“By the Force…” Whispered Zekk as he ran into the Consul’s quarters at the head of a security detachment and witnessed the carnage present.


19-06-2006 01:07:45

“Has the perpetrator been caught?” the blond man carefully inquired.

“Negative, Admiral,” Oberst glanced up from his datapad, meeting the eye of the holographic projection of his Naval Commander squarely, “I am sealing off the Castle. No one is allowed in or out.”

“Will the Castle undergo communications blackout as well?”

“No, communications will remain open, however all channels and signals will be carefully and completely monitored.” Oberst turned as an aide handed him another datapad, “Master Bloodfyre’s launch departed the castle prior to the order to seal the doors. Would you be so kind as to have one of our Escort Shuttles awaiting him upon my villa on the Sea of Darkness? Until further notice, you are the senior most commander in the field. Proceed as you would, but proceed with caution. Major General Romanae is currently on Yridia IX, coordinate with him.”

“Understood, Corsair out.” Armus’ projection flickered out. Oberst continued to scan the datapad for anomalies, ignoring the din and activity around him while he digested the information available. Turning towards the nearest guards’ captain, “Double the guard around the Consul. I want escorts for all Summits and Tarentae. If they refuse, have them take it up with me.” Oberst turned on his heel and strode from the War Room.

* * * * * *

“Which do you fear more,” the refined voice cut through the air, “The wrath of my former Apprentice or mine?” Corporal Lyst could do no more than swallow, his Adam’s apple bobbing visibly, betraying his fear and anxiety. He really didn’t want to face the wrath of the robed man before him, but he also did not want to let his commanding officer know that he had refused an order, because that would mean quite possibly facing the wrath of the Field Marshal. In effect, Corporal Arvin Lyst was caught between the rock and the hard place – heavy emphasis on “the” in both instances. “Sir,” he began in earnest, “Marshal Oberst said that anyone who disagreed with his orders could take it up personally with him.”

Master Zero sighed, audibly, “Fine. Let us go then. But, I stop at the facilities, and if you even think of following me in there, I will make sure that what happens to you makes whatever Maxamillian could dream up look like a holiday.”

“Yes, my Lord.” Lyst relaxed considerably, as his squad fell into step – two ahead, two in front, with himself directly ahead of the Clan Elder. They didn’t get far. The rapport of a blaster being fired, twice, cut through the din of boots on stone. The two point guards fell. Burns marking one on the neck and the other on the forehead, where the blaster bolts had made contact with flesh. Corporal Lyst pointed his long arm down the hall, only to be shoved out of the way of two more blaster bolts. Lyst heard a snap-hiss and then the two bolts reflected off of a blue-white blade, back from where they came from and then a groan and thump as something, or someone, down the hallway fell. The two remaining guards ran forward, weapons trained. “Report,” Lyst called out.

“Sir, get ba -,” the shout died out as an explosion rocked the hallway, the second explosion to rock the castle today. Lyst’s last conscious thought, as the firestorm came towards him was, “Where did Master Zero go?”


19-06-2006 18:46:36

“Sir the Dunatis has just exited from Hyperspace and is appears to be preparing to land on Yridia II. Shall we hail, the vessel and inform him that non are allowed to enter the Castle for the time being?” Inquired the Communications officer, the news of what had happened at the shroud was had arrived and the officers voice echoed with the fear of having to inform the Adept that he was not allowed to do something.

“Negative inform the Field Marshal of the Adepts arrival, and allow the Dunatis to land. If the Field Marshal doesn’t want his Apprentice to enter the Castle he can bloody well tell him himself.” Answered the Admiral.

The smell of chaos lingered in the air, as the Adept disembarked his shuttle. A small squad of three soldiers ran to greet the Adept as he approached the Castles entrance.


The Sergeant’s words were cut of by the sudden hiss of the Adepts crimson blade igniting.

Before the guards could react the Sergeant’s body was severed from hip to shoulder, before the blade reached its apex the Adept turned and down swing of his blade sliced the Lieutenant from shoulder to hip..

“If my Masters have reason to prevent my entrance, they may inform me of their reasons themselves. Inform them that I shall wait here for further word.” Spears stated evenly as he watched the Private depart as quickly as he could.

Sitting down the Adept reached out with the Force and summoned the dark necromantic energy that flowed from the depths of his twisted soul. The souls of those he had just murdered remained with their corpses stunned by the suddenness of their demise. The spirits sensed the Adept reaching out to them, testing their wills thru the Force. The Adept felt their gaze upon him.

For a moment Spears lowered that Mask that served to cover his true face from the world, his eyes testing their resolve, his eyes burning into their souls demanding their obedience. The Spirits still weak from the transition could not help but bend to the Adepts will.

The Spirits took guard around their new Master, bent to his will they waited on any to approach so they might vent their frustration at their forced servitude.


20-06-2006 00:30:38

The quarters were thick with black smoke and debris strewn about everywhere.
Fires were blazing all around and one Dark Jedi was in the middle of it all.
Welshman laid unconscious, obviously knocked out by the explosion. Blood was seeping out from the various wounds Welshman had suffered; his right leg was twisted in an awkward position, and a bit of his bone was protruding out.
Zekk waved his hand moving the flames that were between him and the unconscious Consul. He knelt down and immediately started to examine him thought the force.
The force told him that he was still alive, barely.

Zekk turned to one of his security officers that had accompanied him.
“We need to get him out of here, and fast. Get me a repulsor sled.”
“Sir, I’m just a new recruit, I don’t know where they are kept,” the officer said.
Zekk looked at him with utter disgust. “You’re lucky we need all the men we can get, Or I would have no problems with killing you right here and now for your stupidity, You will find them at one of the infirmaries, there’s one not far from here, now go! If you don’t find one, don’t bother coming back to my team. Zekk ordered
The officer ran off while Zekk stayed there with the fallen Consul.

A short time later the officer had come back with a sled.

“I see you were able to find one with out too many difficulties,” Zekk said sarcastically.
The officer nodded his head timidly as he passed Zekk the sled.

“Alright now you four get him on there while I contact the infirmary that we have a high priority casualty coming their way.

The security team loaded Welshman on to the sled and rushed him to the infirmary.

Zekk looked at the destruction trying to find any clues that would help him figure out who was behind this attack. He shook his head, the damage was very severe if there were any clues they would have been destroyed along with the blast. He decided he should go check the security recordings.

Sato Khan

21-06-2006 02:22:27

“I want communications restored time yesterday Lieutenant!” Sato barked as his connection with Frosty was inadvertently severed. The Taldryan warship though hovering just beyond weapons range ran a parallel course taking it closer to Yridia IX…and the Tarentum ground stations there.

“Helm put us into a higher orbit; we’ll keep those buggers as far out as we can by placing ourselves ‘twixt them and the planet.” The Doomsday lurched into a hard port turn as it increased speed.

“Comms., open a holo-channel to the commander of the Darkstorm. I also want the duty shuttle launched, tell them to head to the edge of the interference and send a priority one signal encrypted to the Marshal, apprising him of the current situation.”

Sato turned sharply as the holo-image of a robed figure coalesced behind him. Removing his cowl, the young Priest allowed a scowl to play its way across his hawkish features as he realised that his counterpart was arrayed in the robes of a Journeyman.

“Perhaps you would care to explain why you are in the heart of Tarentum space Jedi Hunter? In full violation of every agreement between our respective Clans,” Sato inquired without preamble.

“We are in pursuit of a spy vessel under the control of Naga Sadow, our sensors tracked it to this system. You will surrender the ship known as Ventrade to our custody immediately to avoid any further complications,” the Jedi Hunter retorted almost automatically.

Sato took a brief moment to ponder…the Force swirled and eddied in a pattern of disturbance that he had never before encountered. The current situation made no apparent sense to his logical mind. Whilst it was true that paranoia had engulfed the Brotherhood as of late, he found it nearly impossible to believe that a rival Clan would send a single vessel commanded by a naïve journeyman into such a volatile situation. He sensed an elusive ulterior agenda, pregnant with threat.

He was knocked out of his reverie, however, when a sudden volley of turbolaser energy arched its way from the Doomsday’s forward battery; striking the Taldrayn vessel broadside directly amidships.

“WHO GAVE THE COMMAND TO FIRE!!!???!!!” The Priest screamed in rage as he realised the security of his ship and position had been comprimised.


23-06-2006 11:31:15

Doctors and healers plied their various forms of magical skills and gifts on the fallen Consul. They worked as fast as they could; luckily, Welshman had brought himself and the medical team time by dropping into a hibernation trance. After stabilizing the patient, the doctors extracted the shrapnel shard by tiny shard. A painstaking task, to be sure, but a requisite one. Otherwise, the Consul might never fully recover.

During the surgery, the healers worked on Welshman’s mind and soul, trying to keep him among the living. Tarentum may be the Clan of Necromancers, but having a dead Consul creates some very tricky challenges and welcome opportunities for enemies. They were able to connect and communicate with the wounded Sith, and, though the connection was faint, got information on the attack from the victim.

Outside the operating room, the Clan gathered and waited. Confusion, anxiety, anger, frustration, despair, sadness, and denial all mixed together for a wonderful cocktail of Dark Side energy. Oberst yelled and barked orders constantly into his comlink, trying desperately to push Tarentum into action. Telona, the successor should Welshman pass on, sat in a chair in the corner and stared blankly at the door. Many others in the Clan argued as to what to do next.

“It’s Tally’s fault,” screamed a Protector. “Only they could be so bold!”

“Yeah,” a female Priest joined in. “And our assertion of our right to tax passage through the Shroud has only enraged them! They have motive! They must pay!”

“Starting a war with Taldryan is not going to solve this problem,” a gurgling voice opined. “We don’t even know who set up the attack. It might have been someone within the Clan.”

“Don’t be stupid, fish,” Oberst yelled at the Mon Cal in between yells to his subordinates. “Nobody would be foolish enough to risk my ire, let alone the ire of the entire Clan.”

Rekio agreed with his fellow Tarantae. “Definitely not possible. Yet I’m not sure that Tally are to blame, either. I mean, Arcona and Taldryan are allied, so it could have been either of ‘em. And let’s not forget those throughout the Brotherhood who departed us on not the best terms.”

A third Tarantae entered the conversation. “Well, we need to take action,” Frosty said. “We cannot be seen as inactive. Only complete fools would be us to be weak, but, unless we prove otherwise, they’ll be able to forever call us slothful.”

“True,” Troutrooper said. “But it’s hard to know what our next move is when we don’t have any information or foreseeable path in the Force to guide our decision-making. We should prepare to assert our dominance—Oberst is already preparing our troops and Zekk is working on the investigation—but wait until we know more.”

“So,” Cannibisia summarized, an sadistic grin splitting his face. “You want to wait and see, huh? Perhaps that’s why you and your old buddies failed miserably at everything you did.” A purple blade shot up next to Cannibisia’s neck. Troutrooper then found his neck surrounded by six glowing blades.

“C’mon, TT. He didn’t mean it,” Kromtal said. Troutrooper nodded and shut off his saber. The Tarantae followed suit. “What we need to do is not kill each other,” Kromtal continued. “We have plenty of enemies, and they’d all enjoy watching us take each other out.”

All nodded their heads in agreement. The conversation was interrupted as the lead doctor emerged from the operating room. Even he, a non-Force-sensitive being, could feel the Dark Side currents swirling violently in the waiting room. “The Consul is in the bacta tank. He should survive, but he took the blast hard. It’ll be at least a week before we even consider waking him.”

Oberst stared hard at the doctor. “A week? Make it two days. We need him now; every second he’s not with us is valuable time lost.”

He shook his head. “I can’t and won’t do that. I know how much he means to the Clan, and it’s not like we’re not trying everything we know how to get Welshie back to full strength. He needs time to heal. If you’ll excuse me, I have a very detailed report to fill out.” The doctor gave a quick nod then returned to the operating room.

Relief now mixed with hope, but confusion still was the main ingredient. The only change in the situation was that their Consul was alive and would be okay…in a week.

Suddenly, Telona stood up, her calm and confident demeanor seemed to increase her height. “I have a plan…”


23-06-2006 13:03:11

He had been floating around in the netherworlds of the Force for what felt like forever but he knew it couldn’t have been that long. He got the occasional imprint from the realm of the living, glimpses of concerned faces and distant space battles past and present.

The other tormented souls he shared the realm with howled and cried as they flocked around him. He was one of them. The Jedi who so callously enslaved them and used them, Jedi that were being moulded by the Keepers who had previously enslaved them since close to the discovery of the Force. Can you not see we suffer enough? Howled the collective. Damned to an eternity in purgatory because of the selfish desires of the Necromancers and their cohorts. If he could have Welshman would have scowled.

Turning his mind away from the un-dead and their grievances he took stock of his situation. This was similar to a Force trance but different on so many levels. He felt separated from his body yet the occasional sliver of pain flickered through to his consciousness. Given time he’d find a way to get out of this limbo.

It was then the real pain began. Thundering rivers of agony traced through the non-corporeal Welshman making him howl into the darkness. Again and again came the anguish spiralling his thoughts into confused jumbles.

And then there was nothingness.

He could feel that he was once more in his body but yet he could feel nothing. No pain, no sensation. He couldn’t even move his mouth to speak. But his inner ear accorded him the sensation of floating. In zero G? No, he had been in Castle Tarentum when the explosion happened. Ahhhh that was it, a bacta tank!

Any other thought the Consul may have had was washed into oblivion when the strong sedatives took control and plunged his mind once more into darkness.


25-06-2006 22:19:59

"I want you all to listen up because I won't repeat myself." Telona looked around at those gathered before continuing. "Oberst, I want Sato to pick apart the Doomsday piece by piece. I want to know exactly why it fired on that Taldryan ship. I will send Master Zero to handle the interrogations. Where is Zero anyways?"

"He's on the Corsair doing his own interrogations." Oberst answered. "Armus can finish that up."

"Good." Telona nodded. "Have Zero use whatever means necessary to find the one responsible. If he has to tear into their mind then so be it. In the mean time, Rekio, I want you to go to the Aegis and oversee repairs to that Taldryan ship. I'll deal with explaining the situation to Duga and Benevolent. I also want you to pick a few people and take the opportunity to slice into their databanks and copy whatever you can without leaving any evidence."

Rekio nodded with a crooked smile on his face. He had a few people in mind that would be right for the job. He could put on a good front too if need be.

"Oberst, have our other ships pick up their patrols. Double the number of fighters out there if need be. Also invite the Journeyman from that Taldryan ship here for dinner with me. I'll also explain what's going on to him. Have Lord Kane come to my office too, I have a special job for him. Frosty, you are to return to Gladius with Spears and search the base. I want every room searched for possible explosives and unregistered weapons. Doni, I want you to do the same. Since Sith is not here, take Troutrooper. Form a team of trusted clan members to help if you so desire. I want reports on my desk in twelve hours. Everyone else, continue your daily routine. Now get out of here."

The room emptied slowly until all but Telona and Oberst remained.

"What kind of special job do you have in mind for Lord Kane?"

"He will pick one of our younger kitchen hands, brainwash the child as the trigger finger behind the attack on that Taldryan ship, and we'll hand the kid over as a show of good faith. I'd do it myself but there are too many elders in that clan. Only a past Grand Master will be able to trick them."

"What shall we do with the real perpetrator if he or she is found?"

"I'll leave that up to you."

Oberst clicked his heels together and walked off, satisfied for now. Telona stood alone for a few minutes before pushing her way into the operating room. The medical staff looked up but said nothing as the woman went over to the bacta tank Welshman was in. To her, the Consul looked bad. With a solemn expression, she sat down beside the tank and placed a hand on the glass. She made a silent promise to return and help him heal after she was done for the day. The Proconsul then left as silently as she had entered.

Rekio Corsair

26-06-2006 11:27:49

The end of the shuttle’s landing in the Aegis’s ventral hangar bay was signaled by a hiss of released pressure from the repulsorlift. A shapely lone figure, clad in the uniform of Tarentum’s military personnel, stood by the landing pad, waiting for the shuttle’s passenger to emerge. The loading ramp descended and a young man stepped out onto the landing pad.

“Governor-General Corsair, welcome back.”

“Lieutenant Colonel Riaamya, how’s my spaces station?”

“Busy.” the Executive Officer said softly and then turned to follow her commanding officer into the main corridor. “We were contacted by the Darkstorm shortly after we received confirmation of your expected return to the Aegis.”

“Oh? And how is Jedi Hunter what’s-his-name?”

“The Taldryan representative is rather irritated, sir.”

“Good.” the Tarentae said with a smile as they passed through another hatchway and on to a lift.

“Judging from initial reports, the Darkstorm suffered no serious damage to its hull. Nonetheless I have been told that we are to receive the ship and its crew for repairs.”

“That is correct. When the ship docks with the Aegis, detain the crew onboard until Lady Telona or Marshal von Oberst instruct otherwise. I do not want them running all over my platform like a goddamn playground.”

“And the Taldryan representative, sir?”

“Let him sulk with the crew; maybe that will take him down a notch or two. The Proconsul will inform us when she’s ready to interr … I mean, have dinner with the ‘representative,’ Corsair said with a smirk.

As the duo reached their destination, the Sith Warlord turned on his way out the lift and looked at his Commenorian counterpart who seemed to be zealously contemplating her assigned tasks in her mind. She looked up, unaware the lift had stopped moving. She was given a faint smile before Rekio turned back and continued walking toward his office, rambbling on as he went.

“Double the guard on the North Pier and move the rest of the regularly scheduled traffic to the other two.”

“Already done, sir. The Field Marshal ordered it earlier. And I have also have opened a secure com channel with your requested contact.”

“Excellent work, Riaamya. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a meeting t … “ Rekio stopped abruptly as he opened his office door and stared in total dismay. “Miss Riaamya, what the hell is all of this?”

“It’s paper work, sir. Procurement forms, requests, supply and personnel transfers, preliminarily data from Taraph, a fiscal report from Minos-Mestra ..”

“No, really?” Rekio interrupted with a stab of sarcasm, “What is it doing filling up my entire desk?”

“Well, sir, most of it is waiting your signature so it can be probably filed.”

“Don’t you mean ‘so it can be processed?’”

“No, sir. The Grand Chamberlain or the Field Marshal have already processed most of it, with the Consul’s blessing of course.”

“And they couldn’t sign for it?”

“No, sir. They said you have to do it.”

Rekio let out a loud sigh as slumped his shoulder and began scuffling into his office. “Lieutenant Colonel, be sure to note that I hate them for this…”

“Yes, sir. Already noted from last time,” she replied cheekily.

“Oh,” Rekio said, pausing for a moment. “What happened to that Starwind-class, the Ventrade, that the Darkstorm accused of being a spy?”

“It entered hyperspace again shortly before the Doomsday opened fire on the Darkstorm.” The Excutive Officer said, pulling up the information on her datapad.

“Odd.” Rekio said flatly, distant in forming thoughts. “Get me a record of all our scans on the vessel and the IFF confirmation from this visit and the last.”

“Right way.” Nei Riaamya complied, nodding before she left down the hallway to complete her assigned objectives.

Rekio finally sat down into his chair as the door closed behind him. He allowed himself a moment to take in everything that had been happening and try to discern why it was that the Ventrade gave him such a bad feeling. It’s just not right.

The sudden buzz of an awaiting incoming transmission pulled him back to reality. He pressed the button on his control counsel to activate the transmission.

“Rekio Corsair."

“Ahh, Mr. Fox, nice to hear from you again as always.”

“Same. Though, I wish you didn’t always need something every time I hear from you.”

“It’s a technical question at least. There will be a ship arriving at the Aegis shortly to recive repairs. We need to be able to dive the ships systems to scan for any valuable information."

"Well," Licah thought for a moment, "the safest method would be to set up a remote proxy and go in through there. That way, if you crash their defense barrier they won't be able to trace it back to your systems."

"That might take too long to set up." Rekio chewed his lip for minute, "What about something simpler, more direct?"

"Such as?"

"Such as a diagonistic."

"A diagonistic?"

"We'll have them power down to a diagonstic mode and then peretrate their system under the guise of scanning their ships with our system.

"That should work. They'd get a lot incoming hits, so it be hard to monitor any extra ones." the Knight paused, "That is, If they're dumb enough to fall for it."

"I believe they are."


27-06-2006 13:21:36

The turmoil that gripped the Summit and other leaders hadn't affected the Journeymen of Tridens. In fact, other than the bomb attack and misfire on the Taldryan ship, many were still in a cold war point of view. But even this didn't affect the training time or recreation of the ambitious and mostly carefree people in the Castle.

As Telona gave orders to her subordinates, Elric Kyes was sparring with long time friend Sephiroth Storm. The match had been going on for five minutes, and blood splattered the marble floor every meter or two. The vaulted ceiling of the room was made of glass and provided a spectacular view of the surrounding ocean.

Troutrooper came into the room as Elric was kicked square in the chest and slid toward him and stopped at his feet.

“Get up and get dressssed. We now have a job that needsss doing.” he said with his classic accent.

After a lightning fast shower and haphazard dressing, the two showed up right in front of the Yevethan, waiting for his orders. He escorted them to a small arms closet where a few rifles and pistols were kept, in case of a riot or rebellion that luckily got into the castle.

“Sir,” asked Elric “What is it that you wanted us for?”

Troutrooper turned and replied, “Get some weapons and I will tell you.” He swiftly slid out of the room, the Hunters in hot, curious pursuit. As the moved through the corridors, fellow Dark Jedi and soldiers darted out of the way, staring. Whether it was because Troutrooper looked like he was on a mission or that he had two armed followers, the Journeymen didn’t know.

“This is on a need to know basis,” the Yevethan started, “and you need to know what to do; so… We are searching for anybody who would happen to want to kill our Welsh.”

The two Hunters nodded in unison of understanding. Continuing, Troutrooper said, “We will search the Kitchen, the hangar, and then all officers of this House and Clan.”

“Is that not treason?” asked Sephiroth

Troutrooper made an about face and stared down the offending Journeyman. “We are to suspect anyone. Even the Tarentae and The Proconsul herself. I owe my allegiance to this Clan more than the Dark Angel.”

Upon entering the Kitchen, the proverbial crap hit the fan. Half of the workers weren’t human, and Elric was the only one who knew both Gran and Rodian. Throwing down pots and pans, Sephiroth made a mess, and added three dead to the mix when they didn’t “cooperate”. There was nothing in the Kitchen except broken glass, spices littering the floor, and a few body parts.

Troutrooper gave the sudden order. “Let’s go. There is nothing here except a few scared workers.”
As the trio exited through a back door, Sephiroth glanced back to see Kane Vader entering the destruction, hood up.


A young Journeyman stole away from the peering eyes of those around him. He kneeled down and activated a hologram. From it appeared a shadowy robed and hooded figure figure.

“I have done as asked, yet Welshman is wounded but alive. I’m sorry Master.” He stammered

The hologram muttered “Do not fear. The attack on Jac Cotelin didn’t go as planned either.”

The young man gasped in relief.
“But,” The image continued “I cannot have you falling into enemy hands.”

A blaster shot rang out in the dark room. It connected cleanly with the young mans head. He slumped forward and lay very still. The hologram disconnected its signal as the shooter, hidden in the room, came forward. Picking up the small cube, he turned and left the smoking body to lay for discovery.


28-06-2006 13:43:24

The murder of the misguided Journeyman was the last task he had to perform here at Castle Tarentum. Proficient at manipulation and forcing compliance he had been dispatched by his Master to this Clan to cause as much un-rest and turmoil as possible, a task he had accomplished in a rather spectacular manner.

Exiting the room the Journeyman had been using as a base for all of his subversive actions the shadowy assailant made his way through the darkened corridors and headed towards the main hanger. His extraction code had been flashed to him from a point in Yridian space before it had been cut off, undoubtedly after the ship or probe had made its leap to hyperspace to avoid un-due attention. His new orders were simple, find his way to the platform Aegis, cause some trouble there if possible before exiting the system, ready for his next strike on the enemies of his Master.

The path he had chosen saw him soon arrive at Tarentum’s main shuttle bay, a large cavity in the Castle which held a few of the Clan’s specially adapted shuttles amongst other vehicles. Gazing towards the end of the hanger he noticed the shimmering wall of the magcon field and beyond it the impressive mass of the ocean held at bay. Faint sunlight was perceivable throughout the shimmering depths, highlighting shoals of fish and the ancient coral which littered some of the high rising bluffs of the area. A beautiful and magnificent sight, pity that soon he would help bring about its destruction.

Closing in to the entrance of the shuttle he had chosen to facilitate his escape the agent had to bite off the urge to swear as a pair of guards along with an undead servant slid in neatly to intercept him. His exit foiled scant seconds before it could be enacted.

“State your name, rank and intention.” Barked the nearest guard, voice full of authority and finger gently caressing the trigger of his rifle.

“I’m a…” Began the spy before he was rudely interrupted by a voice coming from the entrance to the hanger.

“Are you my pilot?” Shouted the Proconsul Telona Murrage, dragging in tow a slightly bedraggled and confused servant and almost half a dozen lesser ranked Jedi of Tarentum.

Nodding numbly the Agent couldn’t believe his luck. The Force was with him today and he would complete his mission and gain his Master’s appreciation.

“You were supposed to be in the ready room. Oh inconsequential, get this shuttle prepped for flight and make it quick.” Bustling past himself and the Guards the Proconsul and her entourage boarded the shuttle.


Dox sat in the command seat of Sword’s Sheath monitoring the banks of information which allowed him to know everything that was happening within the cloaked asteroid base. So far the disruptions which had been occurring in Castle Tarentum had not been happening on Gladius’ base, an excellent chain of events due to the absence of many Jedi who were on business or training ventures in Castle Tarentum or Yridian space. Somehow however, be it a hint from the Force or simple assumption, he knew that the peace would not last for Gladius.


“Governor General a moment of your time if I may” emanated the voice of Lieutenant Colonel Riaamya from his desktop communicator.

“Lieutenant Colonel, to what do I owe the pleasure so soon after our last exchange?”

“The CNS ship that recently left the system Sir. Her vector didn’t match up with any known CNS assets in the galaxy nor has any past CNS ship taken this vector when exiting the system.”

“Have you plotted the vector?” Queried Rekio, interest rising in his voice.

“A preliminary one Sir.”

“I’m on my way to C&C. Corsair out.”

Rekio Corsair

29-06-2006 01:42:23

As quickly as he could without running through walls, Rekio Corsair made his way to the Command Information Center at the heart of the Aegis platform.

The busy room was stunned in silence for the urgency in which the ranking member of the Aegis entered the room. The entire staff paused from their duties to regard the Governor-General’s abrupt entrance and could quite clearly see a struggling Nei Riaamya in the background who was trying to catch up.

“I want a side by side comparison of the IFF transponder and ion trail scans of the last two visits of the Ventrade as well as a listing of any data or communication transmissions it made when it was in system.” Rekio barked, shattering the abeyance of the room into a hustling of personnel

By the time Executive Officer Riaamya made her way into the room, only a few moments had to pass before the requested information appeared on the CIC’s main screen.

It was clear to everyone that though the codes transmitted by the IFF transponders were the same, thus identifying the Ventrade as a friendly ship, the ion trails left behind by the ship’s hyperdrive was different both times. Perhaps most disturbing of all, was the fact that during its most recent trip, the Ventrade was only in system long enough to transmit a short burst of data – one aimed at Yridia II.

Rekio’s chest tightened as it filled with anger and tension. “Get me a priority channel to the Field Marshal and the Proconsul NOW!” he exclaimed. “And notify rest of the Council as well.” he said, storming back out of the room.

A buzz in Rekio’s indicated in incoming transmission. “Sir, we were able to get a hold of the Field Marshal but were unable to contact the Proconsul.”

“Where is she then?” he probed.

“She has recently boarded a shuttle and is on her way here.”


What luck! The derelict Journeyman thought. Not only did I find a way out of the Castle Tarentum and into the Aegis, but the Proconsul herself fell into my lap. Perhaps if I detonated as soon as we arrived in the hangar …

Too sloppy. A soft, yet stoic voice rang in the traitor’s head.

What? I must be paranoid.
He tried to soothe himself.

Not quite. The voice said again. You are too sloppy.

The spy felt his stomach sink as he was now cognitive of that fact that the voice in his head was not that of his subconscious paranoia, but that of Seraphi Ater.

Hah. The voice rang again with a hint of malice. Did you think that an Adept of the Force would remain so effortlessly oblivious to your ruse? And such a sloppy one at that, she jested.

He felt her reach out through the Force and subjugate her will on his. His conscious became imprisoned in the husk that was once his body, and became a puppet of the now ill-tempered Telona Murrage. They would arrive at the Aegis soon, and he would no doubt experience suffering greater than he could ever fathom. He failed.


“This lax in security is insufferable! Heads will roll for this!” bellow the holoprojection of a furious von Oberst.

“It’s fine.” Telona insisted from the other end of the large, rounded conference area. “This turned out to our advantage.”

“One question, if I may.” The projection representing Frosty interjected. Telona nodded with approval.

“How did you know that the Journeyman was a traitor? You have a propensity for being naïve in regards to reprehensible behavior within the Clan.”

“Don’t confuse overtrusting with ignorant. I love my Clan, and thus know every person in it. There was something off about him, something fake.”

Frosty nodded in understanding.

Rekio Corsair cleared his throat, drawing attention to him. Out of the eight members of the Tarentum’s Inner Circle assembled, only Rekio and Telona where physically present in the room on the Aegis. The others were communicating via holoprojections from their various posts.

“As stated earlier, the Darkstorm’s ‘diagnostic’ revealed nothing of relevance in their databank; thus suggesting they genuinely believe the Starwind-class to be a spy vessel of Naga Sadow.”

“Where you able to discern why Taldyran believe the Ventrade to be a spy,” inquired Spears

“Not presently. We are analyzing the recovered data in the hopes that we might. However, more concerning is what we uncovered regarding the Ventrade. It seems as though this ship is not the same Ventrade but rather one intended to imitate it.”

“Then you are sssuggesting that an outside party used the guise of the Ventrade to lure the Darkstorm here and provoke conflict between Tarentum and Taldyran?” calculated the Yevethan.

“That is correct, Admiral. The projected destination of the Ventrade is the Shesharile System.”

The Proconsul chewed on her lip and then made her decision. “Then, Equite Noctis, you have your leave to assembly a party and pursue this lead. We will fill you in at the conclusion of the meeting.”

The Sith’ari nodded in acknowledgement of the given task and gathered himself to leave.


29-06-2006 23:03:38

Two sets of heavy footfall echoed through the marble trimmed hallway. It was the first time that the “Symphony of Doom,” as Oberst’s tread had been nicknamed years ago by the Castle staff, had accompaniment. The torn and weathered cloak of the second figure billowed out behind both of them, like Death’s own shadow. The man was a stranger to the staff, and where they passed, servants and apprentices both cowered into niches and alcoves in fear, only later wondering who accompanied Tarentum’s Field Marshal. None had ever seen the tall, armored figure before. And the figure was armored, that everyone was certain. Ornamental armor covered him from head to toe. No flesh was exposed. And the armor was old. One could see the age, clearly, but it was well kept. Black as anthracite coal, the scrollwork and detail upon the armor stood out as etchings of silver. At the figure’s side, hung a large sword. Nearly four feet in length total, the sword looked heavier than sin. The blade was as black as the armor he wore. The aura of Death that normally clung to Oberst was dwarfed by the armored figure. Where Oberst’s aura spoke of the death of thousands upon thousands, the Knight’s aura spoke of millions upon millions.

The door to one of the primary laboratories in the Castle opened as the two imposing figures approached. There they saw an older, lean gentleman. Sitting at the head of one of the examination tables, the older man had his hands placed upon the temple of a young man, a boy really, that lay unconscious upon the metal slab. Head bowed, Grand Master Kane Vader spoke, in slightest of whispers, to himself, to everyone and to no one. He did not look up until he was done. “Marshal,” the Grand Master Emeritus began, “I am finished.”

Oberst bowed his head slightly, “Lord Vader.”

Kane quirked a brow, “You do not kneel before a Grand Master?”

“I kneel only before my liege,” Oberst started, “but I bow in respect before a true Master.” To emphasize his point, Oberst bowed deeply from the waist.

Kane turned quickly to the armored figure, “And tell me why I should not kill you for your insolence?”

An acidic voice issued strongly from the figure, “Because I am already dead.” This answer caused another quirking of Kane’s brow.

“Lord Vader,” Oberst began, in his baritone, “may I introduce Lord Vidar Khyven, Commander of the Keeper’s Guards.”

Understanding dawned upon Kane’s face, “Ah, you are their eternal guardian. Intriguing, Master Zero has mentioned you.” Turning to face Oberst once more, Kane stated, “The whelp is finished. When he awakens, he will attack. I figured, we best not take any chances and make sure he looks like he had to be subdued.” Flicking his glance towards Khyven, Kane continued, “I took the liberty of placing a lightsaber on his person.” Kane ghosted a smile before walking out.

As the doors to the laboratory closed with a hiss of compressed air, Oberst spun around, drawing, igniting and parrying with his lightsaber in one fluid motion. The familiar snap-hiss of the two lightsabers was immediately followed by the crackling of the two blades colliding. The young man’s face was set and determined, but the fear was in his eyes. He knew just whom he was facing. The Apprentice’s blue blade slid against the Warlord’s red blade as the young man attempted a feint. Drawing upon his physical strength and what raw potential he had in the force, the younger Apprentice quickly turned the feint into a lunge, followed by a series of hard, fast strikes that were deflected by the seasoned veteran. The Apprentice drew back for an overhead slice, only to find his blow blocked by Oberst’s lightsaber and a metal sword that crackled to life with the dark, eldritch powers of ancient Sith Alchemy.

Backpedaling quickly, while blocking the strong blows from his two larger opponents, the younger man attempted to collect himself, and then figure out how he was to get by the Beast of Tarentum and whomever the large armored man was. Stretching out with the force, the Apprentice hurled a tray of instruments at the two larger men. Oberst snarled in annoyance as a scalpel cut across his left cheek. “He’s mine!” he barked at Khyven. Leaping forward, Oberst proceeded to use his raw strength to rain blow after blow upon the hapless Apprentice, whose blocks were anywhere but effective. Each blow shot pain up his arm, as the raw force of the blows resonated throughout his arm. With a flick of the wrist, Oberst disarmed the Apprentice, stretching out with the Force to catch the lightsaber in midair. His crimson blade trained level with the young man’s throat. Reaching up with his left hand, the one that held the erstwhile Apprentice’s blade, Oberst wiped at the wound on his cheek. Looking up from the back of his gloved hand, where the blood left a dark, wet impression against the black leather, Oberst hissed, “That’s it?” before that same hand lashed out in a fist, catching the Apprentice on the right temple. The Apprentice reeled, and backed up into the wall, only to have his head slam into the wall as Oberst’s fist connected once more with his skull. As darkness overtook him, the Apprentice heard, “It’s a good thing we are sacrificing him. He would not have lasted in combat training with me.”

* * * * * *

“I am sending the person responsible for the firing upon Taldryan’s ship up now, Proconsul,” Oberst’s lip twitched as he said this, “I am also sending an escort with him.”

“I was under the impression,” Telona arched a slender brow as she stated this, “that an escort was standard operation procedure for the transport of prisoners?”

A second figure’s holographic projection emitted next to Oberst’s on the podium that Telona Murrage, Seraphi Ater and Proconsul of Clan Tarentum stood before, “May I introduce to you Lord Vidar Khyven, Commander of the Guard for Masters Shade and Tel’Ratha. You are familiar, I believe, with those guards. Master Zero brought them with him aboard the Sword’s Sheath when we needed to neutralize that Draugr.”

Telona scowled, “Last I checked, they didn’t help us stop the Draugr, instead Master Zero and those guards attacked us in the hangar bay.”

Oberst waved a hand, “It was a necessity, My Lady. Still, Master Tel’Ratha has sent Lord Khyven to assist us in ferreting out these traitors.”

Telona’s frown deepened, “Very well, Field Marshal. Lord Khyven, I will expect your arrival upon the Aegis.” Lord Khyven bowed, before his and Oberst’s images winked out. Telona muttered under his breath, “I know we’re Necromancers, but why does he always bring us the dead?”

OOC: Check the Character boards tomorrow for more info on Lord Khyven, but suffice it to say, he's one of those Keeper Agents I've been working on for a while as background info for the Clan. I thought now would be a good time to introduce him.


30-06-2006 10:10:03

The journeyman sat strapped in a very uncomfortable chair, his mind already ravished by the Proconsul. He rocked back and forth, muttering to himself. Rekio slid open the cell door and stood in front of the now slightly insane traitor. Rekio made a rhythm as he paced around the chair. He stopped back in front his target and smacked him across the face, knocking him over.

“Hmmm. You seem to holding quite well. Too bad you will be sacrificed.”

The journeyman muttered something very odd. Rekio kicked him in the head, sending him rolling across the floor. Blood trailed on the path, and Rekio knelt down next to his victim.
“Now. Tell me who you are working for, and I will execute you myself. Or, we could continue this game until Oberst comes. You should know how fun he is.” He chuckled to himself. Rekio hadn’t had this much fun in months.

The Journeyman said a long incantation, loud this time and Rekio was taken back. How could he know such a language? So few were taught that, and it was older than the Brotherhood, back before the Star Chamber, and before the Sith rose against the Republic. Rekio stood erect and left the cell.

The bomb squad led by Troutrooper stopped dead in front of Zero’s office, and upon hearing the yelling and swearing inside, Sephiroth looked and Elric and said,

“Does anyone else think that we should just say that we checked Zero?”

Troutrooper nodded a yes and turned to see Doni Tzu coming with his own patrol.
“TT, leave these men to me, take command of the House until I come back, I have been summoned to the Aegis. “

The Hunters fell quickly in line, following Doni to the hangar and into the shuttle.

An interrogation team entered the cell where the traitorous Journeyman lay, still in his own blood. A Trandoshan spoke to him, trying to figure out what his name was, who he was working for and the standard information before he was sacrificed. A woman stood in the back of the five man crew, and slowly drew two lightsabers. None noticed the hostile action; they were much too busy with the wounded man on the ground. The woman smiled under her hood; the task would be completed, and she might escape with her life. She ignited the two blades and cut down the team in a flurry of orange and yellow light. She stopped as the last body fell in half. The Journeyman spoke the incantation to her, she answered with the same.

He smiled, he knew his pain was about to be over, he would join the dark ancestors of old. The woman then beheaded the young man as he lay on the floor. Looking around, she sheathed her sabers and ran down the hallway towards the hangar and her escape.

Elric looked out the shuttle windows to see The Corsair, the two Gunships and the Anubis fueling up and getting in formation. He had only seen this many ships once before, during the Rite of Supremacy. He was awed then and was still. The shuttle maneuvered in and out of the ships, and finally landed in the Anubis herself. The high ranking Journeymen were set up in their quarters, and as Elric swung outside the bunk doors, he ran into a hooded woman. He almost fell to his back and the mysterious woman stumbled a little.

Elric felt so much Dark Side power in her, he immediately excused himself.

“I’m sorry ma’am, I didn’t see…” he began

She replied “Oh. Its alright, I didn’t drop anything.” She started to move to the side when Elric posed the question,

“I haven’t seen you before, who are you?”
She stopped dead in her tracks. her plan was tearing apart at the seams already. She knew she would have to fool this Hunter good, but how?

“I am Helena; I was stationed at Antei as a Rogue. But I was recently taken back by the Clan.” she said so innocently.

He was fooled completely. “That makes sense. Hope to see you around Helena.” he said, walking backwards.

She smiled and asked, “I don’t think I caught your name sir, and that would be?”

Elric chuckled and said, “Elric Kyes, ma’am.” And off he went.

She turned around, facing an empty hallway. “I will remember that when it comes time to kill you.” She thought to herself. Her mind began to get on the sinister task at hand, and she walked silently through the ship.


01-07-2006 02:27:11

The Field Marshal turned from the holo projector to address his former Apprentice. Before speaking a word he noticed Spears staring deeply into one of the wall lights a faint glow emitted from under his mask.

Even lost in the tapestry Spears could sense his Masters attentions had focused on him. The cold empty whiteness of his eyes was revealed as he opened his eyes. “You have my apologies for violating the lockdown however the orders were not convenient and until such time as I am able to bring my wife’s attackers before her so that she take pleasure at watching the look in their eyes as I removal their souls and bind them to our servitude. I am unable to accept any order that stands in the way from my goal, and our Consul has information that I might use to this end. I shall aide as I can but my vengeance will not be delayed.”

Without giving his Master time to respond the Adept stood and bowed his head first toward his Master and then towards Lord Khyven. “Lord Khyven please pass along my apologies to Lady Telona for not rendezvousing with Frosty but I have business with the Consul that I must attend to first.” With these words Spears turned and walked from the room towards the infirmary.


Two souls now stood guard over the Consul keep even the Infirmary staff from approaching until such time as their Master lifted his order to keep all from the Consul.

The Bacta tank that held the Consul began to crack, just as the Adept stepped thru the sliding doors that opened into the infirmary. Pressing harder with the Force, the bacta tank began to crumble from the strain. Suddenly the glass shattered with both the fluid and body it contained spilling onto the floor. The Adept began to pull the Force deeply into himself fueling his power, Spears was able to see the very ebb and flow of the Consul’s life force and drawing up his own strength he poured his energies into the Consul. Cells began to repair themselves bone and skin both quickly healed as the Force poured into Welshman; toxins and sedatives alike were washed away with the flow of energy as it left his body. Within moments the Consul began to come around the fog slowly fading from his mind as the medical staff looked on in utter amazement.

“You and I have much to discuss.” Spears spoke to Welshman as the Consul began to stand on his own two feet.


OOC: For those of you not used to the Clan powers, I used The Tide of Life on Welshman. The Clan powers while clearly focused on the Dark Side are centered on life and death and may be manipulated as we see fit.


02-07-2006 22:55:27

Troutrooper sighed as he watched his Aedile take his little bomb squad. And we were having so much fun, too. I got them to think I was Doni’Tzu; they’re never gonna live that one down. Oh well. Guess I’ll go see how Welshie’s doing. He waddled through the empty halls of Castle Tarentum. The recent events kept everyone either in their rooms or shuttling from one place to another (or one ship to another). Clanmates chatting idly in the halls or meditating quietly in the vespers room just were not seen during these frenetic and frantic times. For a newcomer like Troutrooper, the dearth of chances to befriend his new Clanmates saddened him. He welcomed the chance to work with people he would one day be fighting alongside. He sighed and continued towards the infirmary.

As he approached, though, Troutrooper felt a surge in the Force, something he had never felt before. The pull on the Dark Side was strong and focused, but not on him. Oh no! Someone’s come to finish Welshie off! The Pontifex ignited his saber and dashed down the hall. He burst open the door to the medlab to see a fatigued Spears and a slightly confused but upright Welshman amidst the shattered remains of the bacta chamber. Troutrooper’s jaw and arm both went limp, his saber almost falling out of his hand. “Wha…?”

Spears looked over his shoulder. “Hey…Trout. Welshie’s back…Yay.” The Consul gave a modest wave. “I hope…I hope they’ve dealt with the assassin.” Troutrooper, still stunned, could only muster a nod. “Good. Let’s get our man back to his office. We’ve been leaderless too long.” Spears and Troutrooper helped Welshman get his footing as the ground was still slick with bacta. They let him go once outside, and the Consul seemed fairly stable on his feet. Nodding, they headed to the Consul’s office.

Sith Bloodfyre

05-07-2006 15:08:36

Not far from the villa of Warlord Oberst within the Sea of Darkness, two Masters had spent several days traversing the ethers of time and space. Within De’Thavyn, all was not as it seemed. The great obsidian structure had become one of the few Correspondence Points of the universe, and as such, those who knew how to manipulate the secrets of the universe could use the powers of this place to see and experience all things past, present, and future. Silence had recently fallen over the two Masters, as both sought to remember everything they had witnessed, as well as to try and find meaning and understanding within their visions.

The cold, blue eyes of Tel’Ratha stared intently at his student, Master Bloodfyre. The Quaestor of Tridens had come to him several days ago seeking knowledge and words of wisdom regarding the oncoming conflict within the Brotherhood. The two had seen twin beasts battling over a stretch of land that was both fertile and rich in both plant life and beasts. All things within this choice realm seemed to be within the path of a great conflagration that threatened to destroy everything, and yet, the advancing fire was not the focal point of the vision.

In yet another vision, the two Masters had seen a number of men standing in a circle, debating endlessly some topic of great importance. Though the words of these men were easily heard, they were not easily discerned, for they spoke in some dialect that Master Bloodfyre could not understand. If Master Tel’Ratha understood these men and their words, he did not impart any such knowledge unto the Quaestor of Tridens.

The two Masters then stood before a single individual cloaked in darkness. The lightless being seemed to be the source of darkness, but he was also enveloped by it, as if the very darkness itself protected this person. No words were exchanged between the Masters and this lightless person, but both Tel’Ratha and Bloodfyre knew this man was important, and somehow, he would have bearing upon the great conflict that was to come.

Time had passed, but time also ceased to have meaning with the two Masters. As all visions came and then faded, Sith Bloodfyre stood alone with the Keeper, Master Tel’Ratha. The two were once again within his crypt-like laboratory. The chambers of Tel’Ratha were some of the strangest within De’Thavyn, which was very much an oddity of the universe. Very few could understand the nature or the exact construction of the Keepers’ sanctuary; the obsidian structure looked different to each person who laid eyes upon it. Though it may have once been constructed with a specific layout and feel, the power of the Keepers had seemed to recreate this place according tot heir own designs.

“Tell me, young one,” Tel’Ratha said, breaking the silence between the two, “do you know the meaning of these visions?”

“I do not, Master,” Bloodfyre returned. “I have seen many things, as have you. I have wondered many times what these portents suggest. I had hoped that you might be able to shed some light upon these subjects for me.”

“Return to your Castle, Master Bloodfyre,” the Keeper replied. “Events are unfolding within your world, and you are not going to find the answers to these visions here. I have shown you what I can; your mind will reveal to you the rest.

“I will say one thing, though,” Tel’Ratha continued. “The dark figure that we visited, the one shadowed in darkness… he is known to you. Find him, and you may begin to unravel the mysteries of this conflict. Be mindful of all things around you, Master Bloodfyre. Not everything is what it would seem to be.”

“I appreciate your time and words of advice, Master Tel’Ratha,” Bloodfyre said, bowing low before the smaller Keeper before him. With that, the Quaestor of Tridens turned and left the presence of the enigmatic Keeper.

* * * * * *

The shuttle had only landed minutes ago, and already, activity was flaring up within the landing bay of Castle Tarentum. Sith had expected that he would likely be greeted by Castle guards, but the number of guards arrayed before him was almost a shock. More than two dozen guards had been posted within the landing bay, and had originally stood before the shuttle in a defensive manner. Once Master Bloodfyre had descended the landing ramp, the guards had eased; it was rather easy to figure out who the robed man before them was.

“I assume something has happened that has caused the heightened state of security,” Master Bloodfyre stated softly. One of the guards nodded and approached him; it was a member of his own House, a man well-known to the Quaestor of Tridens. The being known as the ShadowHunter, sometimes called Daryus, was kin to the Sith Master.

“My Lord,” Daryus began, “it is good to see you returned. I was given word that, upon your return, you are requested to attend Warlord Oberst. Someone has made an attack upon our Consul while you have been away, and the Brotherhood seems ready to splinter into chaos and war. There are now two Grand Masters.”

“…two of them you say?” Bloodfyre asked. “How is this possible?”

“Master, I know not,” Daryus replied. “I only know what I have been told, and what I have seen with my own eyes. Messages are spreading across the Brotherhood. People are choosing sides, and trying to convince all around them to take sides with them. Rifts are said to be opening up within every Clan over which of the two Grand Masters to follow.”

“I would hope that Tarentum has not splintered as the rest of the Clans may have,” Sith said softly. “I should have returned sooner.”

“I am certain that Tridens and Tarentum will benefit from your returned presence, Master,” Daryus replied. “Please, my Lord. Allow me to escort you to the Marshal.”

“No, my friend,” Bloodfyre shook his head. “Maintain your guard here, if this is where you have been posted. I will find Maxamillian myself. Thank you for the information.”

“It is my pleasure, Master,” Daryus replied with a bow. The Knight returned to his post with the rest of those guards assigned to the shuttle bay; Daryus’ gaze followed the Quaestor of Tridens as the Master left the bay area.

* * * * * *

“It would seem that I have found the meaning of the twin beasts,” Bloodfyre whispered to himself.

“I see you have returned.”

Master Bloodfyre looked up to stare into the face of Tarentum’s Marshal, Warlord Maxamillian von Oberst. Sith nodded slightly in response to Oberst’s statement and slowly closed the distance between himself and the Marshal, who was standing in the open doorway of Tarentum’s council chambers.

“Yes, just recently,” Sith said, stepping through the doorway as Oberst moved to allow him entrance. “I have just spoken with Daryus within the shuttle bay. He mentioned an attack upon Welshman, as well as war breaking out over two Grand Masters.”

“It would seem that there are two Jac Cotelins,” Oberst replied. “I can only assume that your words about twin beasts have some bearing upon the situation. Was this given to you in a vision with Master Tel’Ratha?”

“It was,” Bloodfyre nodded, “as were other pieces of information. Unfortunately, I have yet to comprehend them all. Tel’Ratha said that I would begin to find understanding once I returned to the Castle; it would seem that he was correct.”

“Perhaps I can offer some greater insight to your visions, Master Bloodfyre.”

Both Bloodfyre and Oberst turned their gazes to the doorway of the council chamber to see a man of noble and impressive visage standing in the doorway. Both men within the chamber bowed their heads slightly to this powerful figure. The newcomer entered the room and stopped several feet away from Bloodfyre and Oberst.

“Grand Master,” Sith said softly to Master Vader, “it is an honor to see you again. And I would welcome any such insights you might have into these visions that I have seen.”

“Well then,” Kane said in reply, “perhaps you will sit with me and tell me what you have seen.”

Bloodfyre nodded low in response, and the three men moved to take seats at one end of the great table within the chamber. Kane turned to glance at the still-open doors of the chamber, and with nothing more than that same glance, the doors shut and were sealed with the power of the Dark Side; none would disturb the three of them until Kane chose to unseal the doors.


06-07-2006 07:44:35

Bloodfyre briskly narrated the details of his visions with Master Tel’Ratha. Throughout his dialogue he was aware of a presence in his consciousness, it did not threaten, but probed the recognition of his time at De’Thavyn. At moments, questions arose within his mind, and received their answer without any definite effort from himself.

"The Darkness infests itself within my mind, without it I cannot sustain coherence. But every effort, while sustaining my faculties, forces me to delve deeper. There are no shadows, simply a black void that imparts vague notions and unimaginable anger", posed Kane, his gaze steady.

Kane let out a shallow breath, his posture visible weakened. For a moment a window opened into the volatile mind of the former Grand Master. Incommunicable insanity swirled viscously throughout the chamber, babbling, inconceivable voices echoed in unknown tongues, projecting fleeting images of vivid, powerful emotions.

The window slammed shut. A feint wisp of foreboding vibrated throughout the Force, contained solely within the chamber yet an impression of events unfolding elsewhere.

"Those voices are a recent occurrence. I do not welcome them," all semblance of weakness, of a curse that betrayed Kane's lost humanity, had passed, "and truthfully I imagined them to be a manifestation of my own madness".

"The language is similar to that of the visions, not identical," Bloodfyre paused in concentration as to recall the words spoken by the men gathered in the circle, "many of the markings, the phrases I could distinguish, could be a derivative dialect".

"An interesting notion, Master Bloodfyre," addressing the older Master, Kane's bleak gaze focused instead on Obsert, "the voices I hear were not meant for me, and I certainly cannot fathom whether the Darkness is itself the origin or simply a conduit. It disturbs me that Master Tel’Ratha did not speak of them, for he must hear their echo as I do. As must Khyven. If I understand his nature correctly".


09-07-2006 15:46:21

Jason Hunter, Prelate of the Obelisk Order, stared out the ship's forward viewport. Before him, the Shroud swirled slowly, its collection of space dust shifting in the solar winds. In the years that he had served as a naval officer, he had never taken the time to admire the galaxy's many wonders, primarily because, when he was able to see outside of a Star Destroyer, he was strapped to the command couch of a starfighter. But now, having been given the duty of being Tarentum's envoy to the small fleet that patrolled the entrance to Antei, he had that time.

Now, however, things were different. Traffic had been halted, with only those who paid tariffs being allowed to pass. This was creating tensions in the area, and Jason could sense things building to a crescendo that would end in a bloodbath. He had the ship's crews prepping his TIE Defender, just in case he had to vault himself into combat. His fingers idly stroked the hilt of the lightsaber that hung on his left hip.

It hadn't been too long since the feud, but already he was thirsting for battle. This duty station had given him plenty of time to think, but it had left his warrior side bored, and now it was stirring, desiring conflict.

Not too much longer, I suspect, he told his Warrior, as he drew his lightsaber from his side and deftly thumbed it on. The deep blue blade leapt to life, thrumming evenly with power. This was a new blade to him, but already he had that connection that he had fostered with his past two lightsabers. It trully was a fine weapon, and had already tasted combat and victory. Soon, my will taste the blood of brethren from other Clans. However, I wish that it didn't have to happen...fighting amongst ourselves like this. Alas, such is the life of a Dark Jedi.


10-07-2006 06:25:48

The strange precession wound its way down the foreboding stone walled corridors of Castle Tarentum, the Consul still drenched in bacta, clothed only in the undergarments they had placed him in prior to immersion in the bacta tank and fumbling and stumbling around the corridor in his sightless daze. The Headmaster emeritus, steeped in the Dark Side flanking the Consul to the left unfazed by the scenario and to the right of the Consul one of the newest additions to the Tarentum family, the Mon Calamari Krath known as Troutrooper who every now and again cast a worried glance towards the blinded Consul and discretely moved any items that could have tripped up the Consul with the Force.

Feeling the Force rise once more in the amphibian Jedi ready to move a small mouse droid Welshman stopped and turned to face the orange and purple skinned Krath, his eyeless ocular orbits fixing themselves onto the fish-eyes of TT.

“Friend, I am not so weak as I appear. You have done much for the Clan in the short time you have been with us but know this, it is by choice and by pride that I remain the way I am. I could have had eyes cloned and grafted into me many, many times over the years but to do so would make it appear as I am ashamed of what I am. This is a badge of honour, of injury received serving the Empire a much more fitting badge of honour then any medal they would choose to pin on me. It’s this pride which led me down the avenue of the Sith, a pride that is best left intact. I would appreciate it if you were to allow me to make my own way to my quarters.”

Turning away from his two companions Welshman strode towards the nearest turbolift with a new vigour, relying on memory and Force insight to guide him in the right direction.

Smiling Spears cast a look towards the confused Calamari.

“Come Pontifex, while he may prattle on about his strength, pride and dignity he is in no shape to face any aggressor which may still be in the Castle. When we reach his quarters you are to stand guard outside while I have my meeting with him. Let no-one in.”
“Adept.” Troutie replied with a bow.


The lift ascended smoothly and de-accelerated to a stop on the floor of his residence. The Force was still heavy with the imprint of the chaos and destruction that had resulted in his injuries. Slowly making his way through the twisted perma-crete and sculptures that littered the floor he entered into his quarters and probed with the Force. No afterimage could be discerned from inside the room as there could be outside in the corridor, indeed it felt like the room had already been restored to a vestige of usability.

“Our maintenance staff certainly deserve their salary…” Muttered Welshman as he made his way to the new Woshyyr wood desk that took over a corner of his study. Extending his hand Welshman tugged at the latch which held closed his wardrobe before summoning one of his spare robes. The robe floated on the Force currents before landing on his outstretched arm. Shrugging on the robe Welshman once more began to feel warm as the liquid bacta seeped into the weave of his robe, damping the fabric and causing the already darkened material to become a shade yet darker.

“You need to brought up to speed on a few things Consul.” Resonated Spears’ voice around the faithfully rebuilt quarters.

“Then indulge me Spears. I know that Telona is no longer on the planet, her presence is faint and distant. The others are still here but other then that I have no idea what has transpired.”

“For one thing we caught the perpetrator of all the sabotage attacks in the Castle. He is on the Aegis with Telona and Rekio being pumped for information. The Taldryan ship is also on station there being repaired. We’ve also just received a priority update from Rekio. The Naga Sadow ship appears to have been a ruse to try and lure Taldryan into this system, he’s tracking her vector as we speak and dispatching probes along possible courses.”


“Perhaps. Regardless Telona is talking with the Taldryan captain and trying to appease him, however if he got off any communiqués before he was disabled then we’re royally screwed. Ships have upped up their patrols and I have the assurances of the commanders that not even a grain of dust can get into the system.”

“Good. What is the status of the patrols in the system?”

“You’d have to ask Oberst or Kessian. All I know is every single Tarentum asset in the system is somehow engaged with the task at hand…”

At that moment in time every intercom in Castle Tarentum activated and bellowed out a clarion call of alarm. One of the anonymous voices of Tarentum’s sensor operators followed, voice spiking in alarm.

“We have incoming hostiles! IFF broadcast identifies them as a Taldryan strike force. We have heavy bombers escorted by fighters on an intercept course with Yridia IV. The Anubis has scrambled an intercept squadron but requests reinforcements.”

Quiet fell over the office of Welshman Corsair Tarentae as the recent announcement echoed around in the minds of those present.

“Tell me Spears. Has that operator never heard of a personal communicator?”


13-07-2006 10:11:33

Living energy vibrated throughout the Council chamber, it ebbed and flowed as each of the three Sith explored the meandering paths of the Dark Side. Tendrils of thought probed the hidden recesses of the Darkness in the hope of answers. The three had quickly exhausted their discussions of Bloodfyre's visions, for every new understanding had only exposed greater questions. Now they concentrated their efforts in meditation: Just as the Darkness fed off their tainted emotions, the Sith fuelled their current meditations from the resonance of each other's efforts with the Force.

The folds of Bloodfyre's pitch-black robe rested securely across his right shoulder, but had fallen oddly on his left when - a few minutes earlier - his body had convulsed as an unconscious reaction to the intensity of his mental concentration. Revealed from beneath the misshapen robe, the Master's body armor cast a series of unusually shaped shadows across the massive table at which they sat.

Clad in his Imperial uniform, not a sound came from Obsert. His chest rose with the ease of his breath, but the exhalation made no sound. Following the line of his face down from the short-cropped hair, the only perceivable break in his stone-like visage was intermittent tension of his jaw muscles.

Eyes wide, black, and focusing on nothing, Kane visibly shook with effort as he sought the origin of peril the Brotherhood was now exposed to. Small droplets of sweat traced their way down the creases of his face, lending a glistening texture to the ravaged skin. The eyes twitched.

The vibration in the chamber escalated to a crescendo of humming energy. Visible manifestations of the Darkness danced through the minds of the Sith. Strings of images flashed before them, of actions long forgotten that continued to impact the present course of events.

Obsert rose, his footsteps the only audible sound in the room. With it, the crescendo crashed to an end.

“We have incoming hostiles! IFF broadcast identifies them as a Taldryan strike force. We have heavy bombers escorted by fighters on an intercept course with Yridia IV. The Anubis has scrambled an intercept squadron but requests reinforcements.” To the three men in the chamber, the voice seemed to scream its words, painfully reawakening them to the physical realm. Bloodfyre stood up, his robe falling across his armor, and Kane let out a short, sharp breath.

The doors to the chamber flew open, the hinges bending as the colossal doors slammed into the walls beside them. The massive structures shook and came to a rest. Tiny cascades of dust fell to the floor of the open doorway.


17-07-2006 00:35:44

"Sir." The honorific drifted into Jason's ears, disturbing him from his light meditative state. The Obelisk turned his attention away from the viewport and to the young ensign who stood in the doorway of his ready room.

"Yes?" Jason responded, rising to his feet as he noticed the worried look on the clean-shaven man's face.

"A transmission has come from Yridia IV. Clan Taldryan is currently attacking, and the Anubis has requested reinforcements."

"Very well, have my fighter prepped and ready."

"Sir!" The ensign snapped to attention and gave the Prelate a crisp salute, before turning on his heel and sprinting off down the corridor.

"So, the time for me to act is finally at hand," the Corellian whispered to himself, collecting his old TIE Corps flightsuit from the small bed he had laid it upon earlier. He hadn't changed it since the Split: it still had his Lieutenant Colonel rank plate, his wings, and Sadhe Squadron patches in their appropriate places. It hadn't seen much action since then, either, and was still fairly clean. It had spent much of the past few years in a locker or closet, where it had only accumulated dust.

Quickly, he stripped out of his robes, and zipped himself into the flightsuit. After affixing his lightsaber to the clip on his waist, he gathered up his helmet and gloves, and double-timed it towards the bridge.

As the doors slid open, Jason approached Captain Taaka, who turned briskly towards him upon his arrival.

"Captain, I'm sure you're quite aware of the situation at Yridia," Jason said without preamble.

"Of course, sir, and I'm also aware that you're most likely headed there shortly."

"Of course. As envoy of the Clan, I'm putting you in charge of the situation here. Just keep the status quo, and if anyone tries anything fast, turn them into vapor. Especially if their Taldryan far as I'm concerned, we're at war now."

"Yes, sir," the Captain replied, saluting Jason, which he promptly returned before leaving the bridge and making a beeline for the hangar. On his way there, he had a few spare moments to reflect upon the events that were taking place in the galaxy around him, and to wonder as to why he was recieving so salutes and "sirs" since his arrival onboard. Well, I am wandering around with a Lieutenent Colonel rank on my chest...which I did earn, but haven't been given that respect since I left the EH. Oh well...better take respect where I can get it.

Shortly--it wasn't a very large ship--Jason Hunter was strapped into the command couch of his TIE Defender, and ready to launch. "All systems green and primed, Control."

"Roger that, Sadhe One. You are go for launch," the feminine voice of the Traffic Control said over the comm.

"Aye, aye. Sadhe One launching." With that said, Jason eased in the repulsorlifts and, once he was half a meter off the deck, kicked in the three ion engines and rocketed through the magcon field and out into open space.


Almost half an hour later, Jason exited hyperspace, and immediately his scanners came alive with color. His IFF transponder picked up Tarentum's ships, displaying them in green, and the forces of Clan Taldryan, which were red. The color-coded dots mingled and swirled together, showing just how pitched the battle was. Though Tarentum's space forces seemed to have caught off-guard by the slightly larger invading fleet, they were putting up a stiff resistance.

Shunting power into his shields, Jason jammed the throttles to their stops, sending the deadly TIE straight towards the battle. He was a good five kilometers distant, but closing fast. He switched his weapons over to proton torpedoes, and took aim on the most distant of Taldryan's capital ships. It was too far for his targeting computer to get a lock on it, but he let the Force guide his hand, and squeezed the trigger.

The torpedo lept away from the starfighter on a column of blue flame, streaking towards its target. It was off by a few degrees, heading more past the ship's nose than directly at it: the Dark Side told him were to precisely fire his shot, so that the craft flew into the rocket.

Letting the shot drift from his attention, Jason switched back to lasers, linked them for quad fire, and headed down into the fray between starfighters. Coherent light lanced between them, marked by the occasional eruption of light as some poor pilot met his doom at the end of a laser strike or missile.

Time to show them how Wing V did things, he thought, picking a TIE Fighter as a target and following him effortlessly through the other pilot's maneuvers.

Sith Bloodfyre

17-07-2006 01:40:41

Jason kept his TIE Defender on the six of his selected target, waiting for the perfect opportunity to fire, when the craft was locked into his sights. With the Dark Side to guide them, the pilots of Tarentum who were Force-trained rarely “rained laser fire” across the field of battle; their shots were deliberate and precise, and typically hit their mark as planned. Jason opened fire on the TIE Fighter he has targeted, and within moments, the enemy craft exploded in a fireball.

“One down,” Hunter said as he opened a communications link with the rest of his Clan. “Sadhe One to Tarentum control; this is Prelate Jason Hunter, reporting for duty. I figured you all could use a hand. I hope I’m not disturbing your fun.”

“Always good to have another fighter, Sadhe One,” one of the other pilots replied.

“Agreed,” this time from the Corsair, the Clan’s flagship. “Sadhe One, this is Admiral Armus. Fall into formation with Hammerhead Squadron and assist them.”

“Acknowledged, Admiral,” came Hunter’s reply.

The fight within Yridian space continued, with fighters screaming across the emptiness between the capital ships that were present upon the battlefield as well. Though there were definitely reasons to be caught up within this battlefield, there were other happenings that filled the attention of others…

* * * * * *

The doors had blown inward in the Clan’s council chamber, and the force of the impact sent a small shower of dust down upon the heads of the three men who were within the chamber. At the doorway to the chamber, standing just outside of the doorway, was the Consul of Tarentum flanked by Troutrooper and Spears, who had accompanied Welshman now for some time since he had been brought out of the bacta tank by Spears himself.

“I hope we’re not disturbing you, gentlemen,” Welshman said, a slight smirk upon his lips.

“I hope we’re disturbing them,” Spears joked. “They’re usually trying to hide the good booze from me.”

“Apprentice, this is no time for your humor, or the good booze,” Oberst said. “We have hostiles in the area, and something elusive behind all of this nonsense. We’ve been trying to discover the reason behind all of this, to no avail.”

“Yet,” Master Kane whispered, but still loud enough for all to hear him.

“I’ve actually come to find out what has been happening,” Welshman said after a glance at the Grand Master. “Spears and Troutrooper have been attempting to catch me up, but I thought we all might find some more current information here.”

“Consul,” Bloodfyre interrupted, “I am sure the Marshal can get you up to speed on things here. If you will excuse me, I believe I am needed elsewhere. As Master Kane has said, we have yet to find any answers. And I, for one, am tired of waiting for answers to come.”

“Master Bloodfyre,” Welshman replied, “I wouldn’t dream of detaining you any longer. Good hunting.”

“And to you as well,” Bloodfyre replied with a small smirk upon the corner of his mouth. “Master Kane, would you be so gracious as to accompany me?”

The Grand Master nodded slightly and followed the Sith Master out of the council chambers; the Consul was left with the company of Marshal Oberst, Spears and Troutrooper. When Bloodfyre and Kane were out of earshot of the council chamber, Sith stepped closer to the Grand Master as they continued along their course.

“Master Kane,” Bloodfyre spoke softly, for Kane’s ears alone. “I do believe I am quite finished with waiting for answers, as I have said before. I see madness enveloping the Council with this petty issue of dual Jac Cotelins. And I find it irritating that this issue is slowly drawing in the Clans, seemingly against their will.”

“It is rather… chaotic and confused, Master Bloodfyre,” Kane replied, a slight nod from him adding to his statement. “Some would say that is the very nature of our kind, the very lifeblood of darkness. Chaos, destruction and fear.”

“While I would generally agree, Master Kane,” Bloodfyre responded, “I am not quite certain that the destruction the Dark Side would wish is presently happening. This is wrong, I can feel it. Neither Jac seems willing to do anything, except press their own power, no matter the costs to the Brotherhood; no matter the cost to the Clans, especially.”

The two continued walking, and grew silent whenever they passed anyone who might hear them. As they continued walking, the two found themselves outside of the landing bay of the great Castle.

“What exactly are you preparing to do, Bloodfyre?” Kane queried.

“Grand Master, if you would consent,” Sith said, “I propose that the two of us make our way to Antei. I have heard rumors that the Dark Hall was sealed off by the Dark Council; I would like to know why. I’m sure they would claim that it was ‘to keep the false Jac away,’ but that does not sit well with me. If the Council members who sealed the Hall believed the Jac they followed to be the true Grand Master, they would’ve attempted to bring him to the Hall, and affirm his power through fortifying his forces there.”

“I see where you’re going with this, Bloodfyre,” Kane nodded. The Grand Master seemed to lose sight of the present, and of his current surroundings. His eyes were almost glazed over with an unconscious stare for several moments. Others may have wondered if the Grand Master had suddenly gone comatose, but Sith was almost positive that the Grand Master had drawn upon the Dark Side to peer through the ethers of space and time. Or, perhaps the Grand Master had been caught up in a vision or premonition of the Force. Within moments, Kane blinked his eyes, and looked directly at the Sith Master accompanying him.

“Very well,” Kane said. “Let us depart for Antei. Make a shuttle ready for our departure.”

The Quaestor of Tridens nodded, then headed into the shuttle bay as he pulled up a comlink to make preparations to leave, as well as to inform his Aedile, Doni Tzu, that the Yevethan was to be in charge of Tridens while Bloodfyre was away – again.


21-07-2006 06:25:27

The half a dozen A-wings scythed through space to engage the advanced screen of escort fighters whilst the remainder of the Anubis' complement drove forward in a futile game of catch up with the speedy little interceptor. From the bridge of the Escort class carrier MERLANCE watched the numerous tactical feeds and sensor screens and took stock of the situation. Hundreds of fighters ranging from immaculately maintained Taldryan fighters to riff-raff wings of Uglies, ungainly amalgamations of many different fighter types welded together to construct a bone fide death trap.

“Commander, have high Command responded to our distrss call?” Queried MERLANCE.

“Aye Sir. The two Gunships are deviating from their patrols to come provide us with assistance. Fighters are also being scrambled from the Aegis and other Clan facilities to aid us.”

“Any sign of this invasion being carried out in other sectors of this system?”

“No Sir. It seems to be localised in this area of the system. It also seems to correspond with an area we recently lost some sensor coverage. Also according to tac-updates from Governor General Rekio it seems to correspond to the vector the apparent Naga Sadow ship arrived in the system.”

“This conundrum becomes more intriguing by the minute.”

By now the A-wings were skirting along the leading edge of the fighter cloud vaporising fighters with their powerful lasers and concussion missiles. Within seconds they had accounted for over a dozen kills.

“Call the A-wings back, they can't survive out there. Have them move back to the main fighter force.”

“Done Sire.”

“Situation on Yridia IV?”

“Localised fire-storms and a lot of agriculture destroyed. It seems that the enemy force is now en-route to Yridia II and the Aegis. ETA forty minutes.”


“So tell me Field Marshall. What I've been missing.”

“Long story.”

The next 10 minutes were spent going over the details of Taldryan's invasion of Yridia and the subsequent assaults along with the apprehending of the mole and the two Jacs. A confusing tale but the apparent truth none the less.

“Can we stop the invasion Oberst?”

“Hold it back until we get reinforcements from our Brotherhood allies and Minos Cluster protectorates but not defeat them totally. They have thousands of fighters, we've destroyed many true as they assaulted Yridia IV but they seem to be reinforcing themselves down one particular corridor. The defence batteries around II will thin them out some more if they carry on their push in this direction. We're safe enough Consul.”

“Much obliged. How's ShadowFoxx handling his new duties?”

“Sufficiently from what I gather.”

“Excellent, now I'm off to have me some new eyes fitted. I shall be in the command centre within twenty minutes to help co-ordinate our defences.”

Maarek Stele

25-07-2006 17:08:40

It hadn't taken long for the ship to ship battle in Yridian space to expand in all out fight to the death. TIE Fighters of every shape and size were now engaged in furious combat that was quickly filling the surrounding space with debris and dead bodies. Compared to the quasi-religious life of a member of the Dark Brotherhood, which he'd been living for the past three months, Maarek felt at home behind the controls of a starfighter even in the middle of this hell. Piloting a TIE Avenger, he pushed forward on the throttle diverting more power to the engines in search of his next prey.

He didn't have long to wait as he spotted a trio of TIE Interceptors in the distance. Maarek pushed his control stick downwards, sending his fighter into a dive as he approached the Interceptors. He continued this until the Interceptors were within firing range and then pulled back shooting his Avenger straight upwards. Before the enemy TIEs could respond or break formation, Maarek fired a full volley from his Avenger's four laser cannons, which connected with the center TIE Interceptor vaporizing it.

The remaining enemy fighters banked in opposite directions as Maarek's fighter screamed past them both, turned and looked for another target. One of the TIE/Ins headed straight for Stele's position firing on all four cannons. But the TIE Avenger was a faster model and was already out of range of the Interceptor's lasers before it could target its opposition. But Maarek was never one to deny a fool his wish. He banked in the direction of the TIE/In which was firing on him, heading straight in its direction. Just as the Interceptor entered firing range, he decreased the TIE Avenger's speed and directed his ship diagonally to the left. The Interceptor flew right past him as he brought his fighter around the TIE/In, lined up the enemy fighter in his gunsight and fired.

'2 down one to -'

Before he could finish his thought his ship was suddenly jolted as a series of laser blasts slammed into his rear shields. The last TIE Interceptor had sneaked in behind him and was in more then adequate firing range. Even with the Avenger's shields, if he couldn't shake this last TIE/In his piloting days were over. He decided to try something desperate and banked again to the left keeping his fighter in a continued spin. The TIE/In fired too late missing Maarek's ship, but gave chase continuing to fire. The spin Maarek's TIE/Av was in kept the TIE/In from being able to get a clean shot.

'Have to time this just right if I'm going to pull this off.'

The TIE/In continued to fire and then stopped all of a sudden. Maarek steady his ship, and then dived upwards. He directed all the fighter's shield power to the forward section and targeted the TIE/In. The TIE Interceptor's lasers had recharged just as Maarek's Avenger beared down on it, closing the gap, all cannons blasting. With no shields at all and at such close range all of Maarek's shots hit, destroying the TIE/In completely.

Maarek steadied the flight path of his fighter and checked the damage log. Just then a general order came over his comlink. It was directed at all available fighters in the area to assist Hammerhead Squadron. Stele checked his navi-computer to pinpoint their location and set in the coordinates.


30-07-2006 03:25:55

As Welshman waited for his new optics, he pondered the situation. On the one hand, most of Tarentum favored destroying both ‘Jacs’. They lacked the specific information they needed to make the proper decision, and what little they did have pointed to two Grand Masters more interested in garnering power and glory for themselves at the Clans’ detriment. Attempting to undermine the power of the Clan was tantamount to treason, which carried but one sentence.

However, the Consul also recognized that the other Clans did not straddle the fence: they had chosen their sides and were already engaged in proving themselves correct through violence and the complete eradication of the enemy Clans. Tarentum’s alliance with Naga Sadow and Plagueis was tenuous at the moment. Oberst relayed how both Manesh and Sarin had contacted Castle Tarentum several times, trying to persuade Tarentum to join the red Jac. In the meantime, Tarentum had lost a few fighters to ‘errant and independent-minded pilots’ and ‘friendly fire’ from both Sadowian and Plagueis pilots. Taldryan and Tarentum would slaughter each other regardless, but Arcona and Scholae Palatinae would turn their guns away from the Tarenti if Welshman ordered his Clan to turn blue.

In addition, Tarentum did not have the strength to destroy all the other Clans as would be necessary if Welshman pursued the former option. Tarentum would be hunted down by whomever won, which, considering the situation, would be those who sided with the blue Jac. The enemy is destroyed first, those on the sideline die next.

The Consul left the medlab with a new eye but no clue as how to proceed. Halfway to the Lord Marshall’s office, Troutrooper stopped him. “Got a minute, boss?”

Welshman nodded. “What’s on your mind?”

“What’s on everyone’s mind? The war. All this red versus blue stuff, it’s confusing and frustrating, but ultimately, we need to pick a side.”

Another nod. “Agreed. What side do you prefer?”

“I see the short-term advantages of blue: simple numbers game, four Clans to two. But in the long run, we lose.”


TT stared into Welshman’s eyes as he did whenever he was about to lecture someone, which was quite often. “Should we ally ourselves with the blue Jac, we will defeat Plagueis and Naga Sadow. Eventually, the blue Clans will turn on one another. There, we have no allies. We hate Tally, who’s allied with Arcona, so we either ally ourselves with CSP or make friends with our mortal enemies. Not an attractive prospect.”

“But should we side with red, we might not even survive. Plagueis and CNS are faring so well as it is.”

“I’d take my chances with a three-on-three fight. Who knows,” the fish said, shrugging. “We might be able to construct a cross-color alliance. Anything’s possible at this point”

Welshman remained silent for a moment before speaking. “Thank you, TT. Unless you had something else, I need to get back to work.” He nodded acknowledgment of the Mon Cal’s bow and headed to Oberst’s office.


Maarek Stele swung his fighter around in the direction of Hammerhead Squadron, and caught a damaged but dogged Taldryan Interceptor unawares. Serendipity, thy name is this encounter! A quad laser burst later, and Maarek had another stamp on the side of his Avenger. He skirted the explosion and sped towards Hammerhead. Luckily, he was not harried and made it to the relative safety of the squadron quickly. “Hi guys.”

“Hi,” the commander’s voice was battle-hardened and gruff, his speech clipped. “You’re two-three’s wing now. Hamheads, pattern delta-fiver on my mark…Mark!”

Maarek duly obeyed both commands, sliding in as two-three’s wingman and executing attack pattern D5 perfectly. In the middle of his barrel roll, Stele noticed a bunch of bogeys disappear. What the…?

“Huh?” “Where’d they go?” “CNS just died!”

“Shaddup,” the commander took charge. “Admiral says CNS and CP are off-limits. You shoot them, I shoot you. Focus on Arcona, Tally, and CSP. Out.”

Whatever, the Novice thought. They all die in the end anyway.

Maarek Stele

30-07-2006 10:54:41

All of a sudden the battlefield in Yridian space started to change shape as fighters and warships engaged in combat with each other ceased hostilities and began reassing who was friend and foe based on a change of 'color'. Maarek was aware of the Clans tendency to war with each other for the slightest whim, but he was beginning to wonder whether the leaders of the Brotherhood and its Clans were just power hungry or simply downright insane. But despite all of that he had made the choice to join the Brotherhood and been indoctrined into Tarentum and given a side just like all the others who hoped to become Dark Jedi. He'd just have to play this scenario out and hope to score enough kills to satisfy the bloodlust of his Clan's leaders.

As he re-checked his TIE Avenger's targeting systems, and confirmed the squadron commander's orders that he was only to target ships belonging to the Clans of Scholae Palatinae, Arcona, and Taldryan, Maarek noticed another Tarentum fighter approach the squadron. A TIE Defender flew parrallel to the rest of the squadron and opened a comm channel to the rest of the squadron.

"Prelate Jason Hunter of House Gladius of Tarentum, reporting to reinforce and assist Hammerhead Squadron."


30-07-2006 17:20:13

The Proconsul of Tarentum had not left the viewport in the command center of the Aegis since the fighting had begun. She had stood there, silent, in her contemplation of the entire situation. She listened to Rekio bark orders and the reports that came in over the communication channels. Whenever something of interested came across the comm. channels she would stretch her mind out to the minds of her fellow clansmen and see through their eyes. It whole mess was nothing new to the woman. Much to her dislike, Dark Jedi were prone to fighting over the silliest things and choosing one of the Grandmasters to follow was silly in her book. Telona caught a glimpse of a shuttle leaving Castle Tarentum and she would have inquired who was aboard but her attention was quickly drawn away

“We are what?!” Screamed Rekio. “Choosing a side! You’ve got to be kidding me.”

The man paused as he listened to the person on the other side of his communicator. His face twisted in anger at what he was hearing. Those on the bridge could only guess at what he was hearing. They knew, however, to not ask. The staff continued to monitor the channels and called out that a ceasefire had been called for from the Naga Sadow pilots and the Plagueis pilots. The other fighter pilots were retreating to their base ships. The order to pursue them was handed out and Telona could only hope more of their ships did not suffer damage.

Rekio slammed his fists into the communication consol after his conversation was completed. He was clearly not happy but he had calmed down a bit. He sucked in a deep breath before joining Telona by the viewport. He was certain she had been listening but he felt it necessary to relay the message.

“Welshman has just ended the battle out there for us. He chose one of the Jac’s to follow.”
“And which one are we to bow before?”
“The one everyone is calling Red Jac.”
“You do not agree with this decision?”
“No I don’t.”
“I do not agree either but I will follow the Consul. We should send an envoy as quickly as possible.”
“Master Sith and Lord Kane have already gone to Antei.”
“Really?” Telona paused. “Not them, someone else. Prepare a shuttle to take me to the Castle. Have Elric pilot.”

Rekio looked at the woman and she returned his gaze in kind. He frowned and shook his head before turning back to bark commands at his staff. He turned back around to tell her which shuttle to use but Telona was gone. He sighed heavily; nothing about her surprised him anymore. Rekio went back to his duties a little less angry.


The specially outfitted shuttle glided into the main bay without so much as a bump. As Elric shut down the shuttle’s systems, his passenger disembarked quietly. Telona strode through one of the hallways as she made her way to her office. The Castle was as quiet as the dead and each footfall echoed loudly down the halls. Troutrooper heard these footsteps as he patrolled around. He quickly moved to intercept knowing whom he was headed for just by reading the Force signature.

The Mon Calamari caught up with his human Proconsul at an intersection. He was eager for news from the platform and the skirmish that had taken place. Yet when the yellow green eyes of the woman came up to meet him he could say nothing. Telona studied him for a few long moments. He could tell she was working something out in her mind and something told him it had everything to do with him.

“There is a shuttle in the main bay. Take it and go to Antei as an envoy of Tarentum. If Elric is still there have him pilot it.”
”An envoy?” Came the fish’s response. “I would better serve the clan here.”
“I did not stutter. Besides, I want someone close to Jac to watch him. Someone I am fairly certain I can trust.”
”What of Anshar? Was he not the Consul of Tarentum in the past.”
“Anshar made his decision all too quick for my tastes. Can I trust you to do this task?”
Troutrooper paused for a moment. “Yes I will go to Antei as an envoy.”
“Good, now if you’ll excuse me, I have things to do.”

With that Telona continued down the hallway and left Troutrooper to his orders.

Maarek Stele

01-08-2006 12:52:50

The conditions in the Yridian sector had only gotten worse as the number of destroyed ships and dead soldiers and pilots continued to mount.

"Hunter, you've got a pair of Gunboats on your rear", Maarek warned his Brotherhood senior. The Prelate's abilities as a TIE pilot almost put Maarek's own to shame. Even though Hunter was a member of the Obelisk order of the Brotherhood, whose specialties exclusively were ground combat; Stele witnessed the Prelate take down a dozen fighters in only a matter of minutes.

But Maarek was no slouch himself. Starwing Gunboats were heavily armed and shielded ships but those same systems could be draining on the engines making them easy enough prey with the right ship. Maarek maneuvered his Avenger behind the Gunboats and opened fire with a quick succession of quad bursts. The shots wore down the first Gunboat's shields and with the third volley cut the fighter into fiery pieces. The second Gunboat broke off pursuit when it realized its intended target had friends and tried to make a run.

"I'll handle the second one Stele", the voice said over Maarek's com link. The TIE Defender swerved left chasing after the Gunboat with impossible speed. The Defender, even with its shields and lasers at max, was too fast and in a matter of seconds caught up with the fleeing enemy fighter, opened fire with both its Ion cannons and lasers reducing the Gunboat to a fireball.

Maarek joined Hunter shortly, bringing his Avenger parallel to the TIE Defender. "The Brotherhood takes its internal disputes seriously doesn't it."

"This is the way it's always been", Hunter responded. "Unity is important in the Brotherhood but our order believes in survival of the fittest. We respect those who are the strongest and hold the deepest conviction to survive and triumph. It is under that principal which we unit. Only though strength is there true unity. You'll learn that in time Stele."

'Unity and strength, huh. If only he knew.' Maarek's thoughts drifted for a moment back to the day when the Empire had first descended upon his backwater home world on the Outer Rim, how he'd been taken aboard the Star Destroyer and the first time those words had been uttered to him. They had become his personal creed and motto, the words which justified his loyalty to the Empire and his pursuit to insure its light was never extinguished. To hear these words from a Dark Jedi warrior gave him pause and made him consider for a moment that the Brotherhood's goals were perhaps more in line with that of the Empire's, and subsequently his own, then he'd ever suspected. But there was also a great deal of evidence that pointed to the contrary.

Just as his mind was assimilating all of this, a Lambda class shuttle appeared out of nowhere, streaking overhead the two TIE fighters. Maarek and Jason both pushed down on their flight sticks to avoid a collision. But as his TIE Avenger dove for protection, Maarek noticed something strange. A purple hook shaped marking on the underside of the left wing.

"Where in the name of Darth Revan did that maniac come from?!", Jason shouted over the com.

The shuttle was traveling at its top speed and in a direction taking it away from the combat zone. Maarek checked his radar to determine the ship's allegiance and found it was designated with a red color, meaning it was on their side. Yet something about that marking was nagging at his thoughts.

"Prelate Hunter are any of the House or Clans insignias in the shape of a purple hook?"

"No. But part of the Taldryan crest has a hook shape attached to it."

'Oh no'! Maarek had seen that shape before in his researching of the Brotherhood and its separate clans. The Taldryan symbol was a collage of three shapes. A crescent moon, a five pointed cross, and a long curved hook. The implications of what he was considering at that moment were heavy enough but so were the consequences if he was wrong. Either way if he didn't tell Hunter or at least someone within Tarentum it might be disastrous for his own Clan's outcome concerning this squabble. And while he did view this whole war as petty, his own mission depended on advancement in the Brotherhood . . . which would be remote if the Clan he'd been placed in was destroyed. Despite his better judgment he opened a com channel to Hunter. "Prelate Hunter, that shuttle was Taldryan."

"WHAT?! Maarek have you been ingesting spice. That's impossible that ship was designated by our threat indicators as a friendly."

"Prelate, I don't know what to tell you but that shuttle has Taldryan markings. Part of it looked blotched out like someone had tried to paint over it in a rush. But it was definitely the Taldryan crest. Correct me if I'm wrong but if that shuttle is Taldryan and it's showing on our systems as a friendly, we could have a problem on our hands."

Hunter was finding all of this a little hard to swallow. Treachery and deceit went hand in hand with the Brotherhood and all of its infighting but this . . .


04-08-2006 07:47:31

Troutrooper ambled along the corridor hindered by his body's physique, limbs adapted for movement in water forced to drag him through these dry stone corridors How ironic, I'm on the wettest planet in the Brotherhood and I haven't been for a swim yet thought TT a brief pang of nostalgia rising to his thoughts. Entering the hanger the Mon Cal Krath saw that the shuttle was indeed present and with a rather robotic looking individual standing guard over it. Only the Pontifex's Force prowess allowed him to label the individual as being alive rather then the automaton he initially thought it was.

“Elric?” Quizzed TT

“That's me. What can I do you for?” Replied the Hunter without raising his gaze from the datapad in his hands.

“Telona has requested I go to Antei. She volunteered your services to me.”

“An unarmed shuttle throughout that melee? Well, who am I to argue with the ProConsul's wishes. Do you have any gear you need stowed or will it just be you coming?”

“I only require transport for myself.”

“In that case we can be ready to go in a few minutes, especially with the PCON's authority hovering over your orders. The request is logged in the flight computer, we have our exit window in 3 minutes.”

“Much appreciated Jedi Hunter”

Seated in the passenger compartment of the Lambda shuttle TT gathered his thoughts and wondered to which dangers his mission would next take him. The shuttle rose on its repulsors and taxied into the airlock, or perhaps more appropriately a sea lock, and a heavy bulkhead slammed down to isolate them from the Castle. Sea water began pouring into the lock and eventually the outer door opened revealing the dark ocean beyond. Specially adapted engines pushed the shuttle out of the lock and towards the surface which it punctured and then kicked in the main engines raising the shuttle towards the darkness of space and the Brotherhood's capital so many light-years away.


“Welcome back Consul” nodded Oberst towards Welshman as he entered the tactical office.

“Thank you Field Marshal. One never appreciates the gift of sight until one looses it. Regardless, what's the situation out there like?”

“The armada is drawing closer but we're putting up a stiff resistance. Our allies from Plageuis and Naga Sadow have arrived. To be honest I don't know what they hope to do once they get here, they can inflict damage but nothing crippling. I've instigated a withdrawal of all of our ships in system to Yridia II. They'll begin arriving soon.”

“What's the numbers game like? There's too many red blips for my liking...”

“25 fighters of various types and a dozen light capital ships and transports nothing heavier then a Corvette as of now. Even if this is a Taldryan venture they seem to be keeping their heavy cavalry to themselves. With our allies in tow and our Force assisted pilots we'll have no problem dealing with them eventually, the only question is how much damage they can cause.”

“Excellent, excellent” Said Welshman a smile blossoming on his face “are Korras and Sarin present on the allied flagships?”

“Sarin is but there seems to have been a leadership shuffle in Naga Sadow. The Proconsul is now in effective control of the Clan.” A troubled flicker passed over the Marshal's face, the loss of Korras as the CNS CON meant that one of Tarentum staunchest allies in the DB was powerless.

“Send them all our thanks for coming to our aid. Also ask them for an update on the Jac situation.” Welshman ordered one of the many tacticians scattered around the war room.


“Commander the Gunships are vectoring away from us and returning to Yridia II!” Howled the sensor officer towards MERLANCE on the bridge of the Anubis

“Query command as to their intention.” ordered MERLANCE.

“Ahhh, Sir we're ordered to re-collect fighters and make way to Yridia II as well. We've been given a orbital slot to take up.”

“Hmm. Well get the fighters back and head out.”

“Aye Sir.”


“ Priest Sato. We're closing on the rear of the enemy formation. The CP and CNS ships are moving to link up with us.” Informed Sato's first officer.

“Understood. Inform high command of our status and get ready to engage the enemy.”

“Aye Sir.” the officer replied.

“Sir... It appears we have a problem... After the earlier incident it seems that someone disconnected fire control from the main computer net...” Mewled the terrified weapons officer.

A blaze of anger fired up in Sato's soul and he turned to fix the Yridian conscript with an iron gaze.



Lord Khyven haunted the corridors of Platform Aegis his intimidating height and armour evoking memories of a completely twisted Darth Vader to those who had the fortune to serve under the old Lord of the Sith. Similar to the Lord of the Sith Khyven showed no hint of natural skin was visible under the light absorbing black of the armour and even his voice had a odd resonance when issuing from his helm.

Armoured hand rested on the pommel of a sword who's blade was so fine and sharp it could probably through any substance invented by man. It was towards this blade being removed from it's scabbard that the eyes of the Taldryan crew were drawn.

“Sir, I'm going to have to ask for some identification.” Came the hesitant voice of the Tarentum guard who stood watch over the Taldryan ship and crew.

The Guard of the Keepers did not even bother to look down at the human Guard, not even a Force sensitive he was a mere worm in the eyes of Khyven. A contemptuous flick of his hand and the guard fell to the floor lifeless his life stuff drained from him and causing his skin to tighten and curl around his body, to anyone seeing the body they would have easily believed that this corpse had been dead for thousands of years.

“You of the Clan Taldryan... Your treachery has threatened the safety of the Keepers. I cannot allow this...”

Removing the sword fully from its holder Lord Khyven proceeded to destroy the Taldryan crew.


“Governor-General, we have a issue in the Taldryan bay...” Riaamya spoke softly across the command centre of the Aegis


Telona walked past the guards who flanked the entrance to the Tarentum War room and cleared her throat.

“Good day Gentlemen”

“Telona” Nodded Welshman in welcome.

“Proconsul, I trust your mission space side went successfully?” Queried Oberst.

“Indeed, although trusting to the situation outside I think it was a wasted effort.”

“Perhaps, still we acted on evidence we had available to us at the time. Events beyond our control occurred and we're in the mess we are now. This also helps answer the question about the earlier ersatz CNS ship, one of the Jacs' must have sent it to sow discord.” Answered Welshman.

“Summits, Field Marshal. Fighters are in weapons range of the Aegis and our defence vessels! Orders?” Shouted one of the sensor operators.


04-08-2006 15:23:21

“Commodore Negu,” Oberst began, “Bombers in system are reported to be hitting hard. And with Battlegroup Kraken currently out of system, I lack the fighters to stop them all. I am, therefore, invoking Executive Order 57. You will launch two squadrons of TIE Defenders and intercept the remnants of those bombers headed towards the PLT Aegis.”

The shark-like eyes of Commodore Negu stared back at the hologram for a few seconds before asking, “What is the reasoning for invoking Order 57?”

“Possible threat to the Shroud itself.”

“They have not advanced towards the Shroud.”

“If they continue and hit the Aegis hard enough, there will be a problem patrolling the Shroud, as I will retain Tarentum’s forces in system.”

The Nautolan’s eyes clouded over, “You cannot possibly abandon the Shroud like that, you are charged with its direct defense.”

“My priority is to Tarentum, Commodore,” Oberst barked back, “And I cannot watch the Shroud while at the same time fighting off these attacks.”

“Very well, Marshal,” Negu ground out, “two squadrons of TIE Defenders are on en route.”

“Excellent, Commodore,” Oberst smirked, “Redeploy Task Force 2 close to Koros, and have your Interdictor fire its grave wells. Let only 1 of those fighters return to wherever they came from.”

The Negu hissed between pursed lips, “Yes…sir.”

* * * * *

“Tell the Aegis to open fire, and scramble Squadron Eta. Move those corvettes out to screen against the incoming bombers.” Oberst turned his head to an aide, “Find out where Task Force 2 is. Now!” The aide quickly ran to a comm station to carry out the orders.

Turning his attention to the battle display, Oberst gazed at the unit for a few seconds, “Are those fighters in ion cannon range?”

Welshman’s eye piece whirred and clicked into place, “An ion cannon can’t do much against fighters.”

“It doesn’t have to,” turning towards another aide Oberst ordered, “Fire in the general area of the incoming bombers. Disrupt their attack pattern. Cease fire once our Interceptors have closed to engage.” A few moments later, the tight bomber pattern was disrupted. The display showed none of the bombers hit, but they were now breaking up formation, easier pickings for his Interceptors.

“Sir! Defenders from Task Force 2 have arrived!” a non-com barked from somewhere to Oberst’s left.

“Cease ion cannon fire.”


06-08-2006 01:43:39

As the shuttle exited Yridia II atmosphere the Mon Calamari passenger sensed something was out of place. There was a hole in the force within the shuttle, at first the Pontifex hadn’t noticed it but as he became adjusted to the shuttle the feeling had grown steadily stronger. The sound of one of the doors in the shuttles passenger quarters sliding open drew Trouty from his train of thought.

The visage of a large robed figure appeared in the door, a mask covering his face.

“Spears? I was under the impression this was to be a solo mission?” Trouty asked the question clearly directed at the man’s purpose aboard the shuttle.

Walking into the room the Adept picked a chair opposite the Pontifex “It was and still is, however we have other business to attend to on Antei, and this was the only shuttle cleared for launch. If you are seeking what I believe you to be seeking I should be there.” Spears stated gruffly.

The Adept closed his eyes as the Mark once again awoke from its slumber, unveiling the tapestry before him. Pulling the Force to him Spears traced the threads towards the Dark point that was his target.

Bloodfyre sensed his old friend reaching out with force, touching his mind. Opening his consciousness to Spears the Master reached out to connect to Spears mind and thru it to the Tapestry. As he did a torrent of visions exploded within his mind, filling his mind with countless voices all speaking at once.

Kane sensing the mass confusion within Bloodfyre’s mind and reached out and broke the connection between the two Elders.

For details on the Marked visit

Sith Bloodfyre

11-08-2006 11:07:03

“Such chaos must not be welcomed into your mind at this time, Sith Bloodfyre.”

“Very well, Master Vader,” Sith replied. “It was meant as a message, I believe; we will be having company.”

“Yes, I know,” Kane stated. “I could feel the touch of Spears Tarentae within your thoughts. He will arrive when he arrives. For now, we concentrate on where we are, and what we are here for.”

The two stood before the great doors to the Dark Hall. The structure was truly impressive, constructed entirely out of obsidian, or some other black rock, polished to a perfect shine. It stood out against the terrain as a jewel of darkness, and a place of power. Sith had not returned here since he had left the position of Sith High Warrior; none had succeeded him. It was unknown to the Sith Master whether Master Vader had ever been here, but it was possible, of course.

“Do you sense anything within, Master Kane?” Sith asked, still staring at the dark building.

“Confusion, doubt. Questions and answers. Great power, but also great weakness, as well,” Kane said, his eyes closed, focusing on the Dark Side of the Force. “This place is not empty.”

“Then we shall have to enter at the ready,” Sith nodded.

The doors swung open before them, pressed inward by some unseen hand, likely the result of Kane’s power. Sith led the way as a sort of guard to the Grand Master, though Kane likely needed no such protection. The Sith Master reached both hands under his robes and removed his dual lightsabers, kept separate for the time (though they could be linked into a staff weapon). He ignited the weapons with the familiar pop-hiss, and the way before them glowed with a dull, red hue. The Sith Master took each step up towards the dark doors in turn, followed a few steps behind by the Grand Master. The few short meters into the Dark Hall seemed to require eternities to pass by before they did, but in truth, the two Sith entered the Dark Hall within seconds; the great doors swung shut behind them, Kane’s power sealing the doors to all except those he wished to allow entrance.

“When Spears finds passage here, the doors will open to him,” Kane said offhandedly. “Until then, we are alone with whatever haunts these halls.”

Sith nodded, though he kept his eyes towards the halls stretching out before him. Though the Dark Hall was unlit at the present, the Shaevalian and his light-sensitive eyes could see everything. He had kept his hood up nearly everywhere he went, guarding against any unwanted amount of brightness. Though Sith likely could’ve removed his hood and been more than comfortable here, he kept his hood down low over his eyes mostly out of habit. The pair sensed nothing here at the entrance to the Dark Hall, and so, proceeded onward.

* * * * * *

“I sense something up ahead.”

“As do I,” Kane nodded slightly. “I sense something very familiar.”

“I can see a faint glow,” Sith nearly whispered. “Dim, but… angry. It looks almost live seven pairs of eyes, but not eyes.”

“Sith war droids,” Kane explained. “What you see are seven pairs of mechanical eyes, just now taking notice of us, I’m sure. They are likely trying to identify us as either friend or foe.”

“You’re certain they’re war droids?” Sith didn’t turn his head, kept his gaze focused on the far end of the hall. “I wasn’t aware that the Dark Hall was guarded by such constructs.”

“The Dark Hall is not,” Kane said flatly. “And yes, I am quite certain what they are. I should know my own creations. These are guardians of the Star Chamber, my gift to my brothers and sisters who inhabit the chamber. They should not be here. Only a member of the Star Chamber may call them into service.”

The seven pairs of glowing eyes seemed to be getting brighter, indicating that the war droids were coming closer, and fast. There was a growing sense of anger and malevolence in the air; it seemed quite apparent that the two Sith had been identified as a threat and foe. Sith held his two lightsabers up at the ready, while Kane seemed almost frozen within the Force, reaching out with unseen hands towards the war droids.

“Jedi weapons will have no effect upon these, my friend,” Kane said, his eyes closed and focused upon the Force. “They were created to be resistant to both the Force, and the infamous lightsaber.”

“I will not be caught defenseless against any droid, whether it be of Sith creation or not,” Bloodfyre nearly screamed in irritation. He seemed prepared to jump into battle against these droids, but was caught by a firm hand on the back of his hooded robe and yanked back just as the ceiling collapsed between the two Sith and the war droids. Sith turned and quickly began to follow behind the Grand Master, who had turned down a side hall, and seemed to be pursuing some unseen objective.

“You will not be caught defenseless, Sith Bloodfyre,” Master Kane said after a few moments, when the two had slowed to a fast walk. “But you are also not prepared to face my creations. We will be in time; it will take them a few moments to find an alternate route to where we now go.”

“And where do we turn now, Master Kane?” Sith said in mild curiosity.

“The Dark Side holds much knowledge and power, Sith Bloodfyre,” Kane said softly. “Reach out with your unseen hands, with senses that rely not on physical ability, but on personal power. Reach out, and you will see what we are looking for.”

* * * * * *

“The Dark Hall’s armory,” Master Kane said at last. The two Sith stood in the doorway of a great trove of weapons and armor, all of them tools of the Dark Side of the Force. Within the room were several ancient suits of armor, along with a large number of weapons that looked as old as time itself. There were literally hundreds of bladed weapons – swords, daggers and more – along with spears, axes, bludgeons and more.

Kane stepped slowly through the room, glancing at various weapons or seemingly impotent trinkets. And yet, both Sith knew that everything within this room radiated with the Dark Side. They could feel the very presence of great power within each and every item herein. Sith’s gaze followed the Grand Master for a time, watching as he stepped through the place, but after a time, the Sith Master began his own search of the room.

After a few moments, Sith stopped at one corner within the room. Only two items had been placed here, as if to act as a message to him. One particularly ancient set of armor rested on its stand, a great and elderly sword rested against the chest piece. Sith stepped closer, and could feel the power focused within this corner of the room. With a silent word of respect to whomever created these items, Sith took the sword in his hand by the hilt and lifted it out of its former resting place. The sword almost seemed to light up the room as it now shined with the touch of a Sith Master.

“You are ready for battle,” Sith whispered. “You will taste blood again this day; I can feel it.”

“That is the sword of Adryyk Tyne,” Kane’s voice echoed across the room. “It is a powerful weapon, forged by Sith Alchemists in the time of the third Dark Lord of the Sith Empire. Tyne was a Sith Lord of great power and respect in his time. It seems appropriate that you hold it in your hands.”

“And the armor?” Sith turned his head back to the suit of armor resting in the corner, a slight nod in its direction.

“It likely belonged to Tyne,” Kane answered. “Admittedly, I am unsure. I do not recognize it at the moment. Its presence does not have a particular taint to it that other items have. It is how I identify these items, by who they ‘feel like.’ Who they have been warped by.”

Sith almost seemed reluctant to set the sword back down, but finally rested the ancient blade against the wall, and moved closer to the suit of armor and began to dress himself in it. Though it seemed much more than outdated in this modern era, it seemed fitting to take the protective suit of whichever Sith Lord had owned it for himself. After long moments, Sith had finally finished attaching the armor to himself, with some assistance from Master Kane near the end. Sith once more took the ancient Sithsword of Adryyk Tyne in hand, and adjusted the hood of his robe over his face once more.

“I believe we are ready, my friend,” Master Kane said. “And we are about to have guests.”

“The war droids?” Sith queried, turning his head to glance at the door.

“No, other allies,” Kane replied. “I sense Spears Tarentae, along with a Mon Calamari. I believe his name is Troutrooper, if I am not mistaken.”

“It will be good to have them here,” Sith nodded.

“But they are not alone,” Kane continued. “If they are not careful, I sense they will find themselves ambushed by others. The Clans begin to gather to Antei. The final battle approaches.”

Sith stretched out with his senses, and indeed, he could begin to feel the same portents as described by Master Kane. Antei was soon to be caught up in war, and the Clans would come to ascend over the rest. It was uncertain where either Dark Council would be in this conflict; they almost seemed unimportant. The Clans would be the deciding factor in all of this, not the Dark Council, or even the two Jac Cotelins.

“We need to get to the communications array,” Sith said. “We need to contact Tarentum. If they are still caught in battle at Yridia, it is a ruse, a deceit meant to keep our attention away from the Shroud. The Clans are coming to Antei, as you say. I feel it as well.”

“Then let us find Spears and Troutrooper, and then we will contact Tarentum,” Kane barely nodded, before turning and leaving the room. Sith had not seen the Grand Master take up any of the artifacts from the room, but it almost looked like a jeweled amulet adorned Kane’s left hand. It reminded Sith of an image he had once seen of Exar Kun.

“I think we may just defeat these war droids, and the other Clans with ease,” Sith whispered. Master Vader turned his head slightly, and for a moment, it almost seemed to Sith that a glimmer of insane mirth shone upon the face of the Grand Master.


11-08-2006 14:01:46

The twenty four TIE Defenders descended upon the enemy bombers like avenging angels, concussion missiles corkscrewing between the two formations crossing the intervening distances within seconds to detonate in orange clouds of roiling plasma and hypervelocity shrapnel, viridian laser light flashed from the TIEs in staccato bursts only to flare out against the invisible shields of the encroaching bombers. Shields on the enemy invasion force flickered and died, generators erupting into a brief storm of radiation and debris as the energy saturated and overloaded the deflector screens.

Within scant seconds all but one of the enemy force was destroyed. Destined to become a concise yet spectacular meteor shower for the entertainment of the primitives of Yridia II. The surviving bomber, one that had lagged behind the main formation and as a result had survived the initial onslaught turned tail and drove deep towards the outskirts of the Yridian system aiming for the edge of the catchment zone of the Dark Council Interdictor class Cruiser that was on secondment to Clan Tarentum. With a flicker of pseudo-motion the bomber launched itself into the alternate dimension of Hyperspace and was left the Home System of Clan Tarentum to deal with the attack.


“All units stand down the threat has been eliminated. I repeat all units stand down and return to their hanger facilities all Taldryan ships have been vanquished. Tarentum forces have driven the invaders from our system.” The voice of one of the Field Marshal's many subalterns carried into the banks of powerful communication devices located in the tactical room which transmitted the order to cease hostilities to every allied force in the system.

“Excellently done Field Marshal, now perhaps you could indulge me a few moments of your times so I can make use of your tactical knowledge.”

“What is it Consul?”

“If that was an invasion of our home system by our mortal enemies why then did it feel so easy? Surely they'd have sent some of their heavier vessels? Bombers and gunboats aren't what I'd use to strike a blow to anyone of our defences.”

“It's obviously a feint. A diversion tactic while they focus their main attention some place else. The question is where...” Oberst fell into a contemplative silence and delved into the Force to seek the answers to the questions he needed an answer for.

“Have our troops at the Shroud picked up any build-up in the area?” Quizzed Telona.

“As of two hours ago, negative Proconsul. The only traffic in the sector were scheduled transports. The garrison knows to contact HQ should there be an attempt at incursion into the Shroud.”

“Proconsul, can I ask you to meditate on this? You're greater power and understanding of the Force will open up avenues locked to others...” Telona to Welshman nodded and walked out the door “I will be in my office, I have a letter that needs to be drafted to the Dark Council. The attack on our holdings must not go unpunished and Taldryan must pay the price in one way or the other. Field Marshal” Turning on his heels Welshman exited the tactical room and made for his freshly repaired quarters.


Captain Taaka of the Interdictor class Cruiser Charon tapped his finger absent-mindedly on the datapad holding the data from the latest sensor sweep. He knew what he'd find in it, freighter after freighter all queued up waiting for guidance and permission to enter the Shroud. After the taxation demands had gone out traffic had ground to a standstill as freighter captains commed their superiors asking for authorisation, some handed over their goods in the hold of one of the many Tarentum ships present in the sector whilst others turned on their vectors and headed for home the late delivery penalties obviously being cheaper then the tax Tarentum was levying. The only deviation from the norm was the recent passage of two Tarentum shuttles carrying two teams of emissaries, comms had them down as 99% probability the shuttles carried at least Sith Bloodfyre and then much later on a shuttle bearing TT. Both had their destinations down as Antei proper.

It came therefore as a bit of a shock when alarm klaxons started to thunder around the bridge of his command.

“What the kriff?! Shut those damned things off and give me a sitrep!” Commanded Taaka every hint of lethargy and boredom burned out of his system.

“Sir... It looks like we have a situation developing off to our starboard...”

“I assumed that from all the noise! Now give me some details Lieutenant Garth.”

“A fleet has dropped out of hyperspace at the edge of our interdiction cone. They're making towards us and the entrance. Numbers and stats being transmitted to your 'pad Sir.”

Looking down as the numbers and letters flickered across his screen Taaka felt his heart drop. This was an invasion force flying under the IFF of Arconan, Taldryan and Scholae Palatinae. The enemy.

“Get me the Consul on Yridia. Tell him and whoever you can get that we have a situation here, well try to keep them occupied as long as possible. Send them every gigabyte of data we have available. And for Sith's sake tell them to get a force here to help us!” His strong voice carried authority and command and no hint of panic could be detected. He had a duty to do and he'd be damned before he forgot that.

“Yet more incoming Sire! Another fleet of similar size! This one's vectoring in between us and the other enemy force. Confirmed, make that almost twice as many ships facing us.”

“IFF the same?”

“Umm... Querying their systems now Sir... Scratch that sir, they're friendlies. CNS and CP.” Garth turned in his seat to give his Commander the news a smile playing across his features.

“Next time think to check the IFF before opening your mouth. Update the data stream and fire up the holocomm. Send out the call for reinforcements.”

“Aye Sir. Message packet is en route to Yridia. Confirmation of delivery received.”

“Thank you Lieutenant, now pray they get here in time.”


He'd made it half way to his quarters before the alarms began ringing once more. Suppressing a flash of anger and annoyance Welshman turned on his heels and headed back to the command room.


13-08-2006 23:40:54

Troutrooper and Spears walked wordlessly through the Dark Hall, each focused in their own way. The Gen'Dai continuously tensed and eased the grip on his lightsaber while the Mon Cal felt the Force for any and all foreboding signs. They made their way through the mines and crumbling walls of the Dark Hall, saddened and angered by the senseless devastation. Twice they stopped to examine specific cases of wanton mutilation of the Brotherhood's most hallowed hall: in the Dark Hall foyer where vandals had slashed the holographic portraits of all the Grand Masters and in the Clan quarters, which were so heavily mined and booby-trapped that entering was preposterously dangerous.

They found themselves at the end of a long hallway deep within the bowels of the Dark Hall when Spears raised a warning hand. Trouty stopped and nodded, sensing something in the Force as well. Spears then dropped his hand and casually sauntered towards it. "No worries, fishy. Tis only Master Kane and Bloodfyre."

The fishy ignited his saber. "No, tis not 'only' them."

Spears turned, his face angry and quizzical. "Don't be stup--" He cut himself off, his blade glowing bright in the darkened hall. They peered towards the end of the hall and could barely discern several metallic forms behind their Clanmates. It looks like, the Sith messaged the Krath, droids of some kind. What, I cannot tell.

I concur. War droids, perhaps. Their size is about right, but the build is like no war droid I've ever encountered.

Spears, Troutrooper, a third voice echoed in their minds. What you see are specially-modified war droids. They are impervious to the Force and lightsabers. You cannot defeat them. Run.

The Tarentae turned to sprint, but the Tarentum did not move. "Who was--"

"That was Master Kane! If he says we can't win, we can't win. Move!" As he finished, Kane and Bloodfyre caught up with them. Wordlessly, all four hurried off away from the oncoming sentinels. Running along the lines of the Force, the Tarenti rounded several corners and traversed a couple staircases, finally stopping when they could no longer sense their pursuers nearby.

The Mon Cal gasped for breath, his flippers hurting from the sprint. "That...that was fun." He turned to the Grand Master and bowed. "Ma...Master Kane...An honor...sir."

Kane acknowledged the bow. "Thank you. Next time an unfamiliar voice infiltrates your mind, however, you would do well to heed it." They all chuckled. "Now, suggestions, and make them fast. More than droids pursue us."

"My saber is always ready," Spears said, malevolent thoughts glowing behind his eyes.

"I'm with Spears," Bloodfyre added. "A Grand Master, two Elders, and a Pontifex. We're nearly unstoppable. Fish?"

Troutrooper frowned. "I'm a Krath; running head-long into battle is nigh abhorrent. Master Kane, sir, please tell us what we can do to stop those weapons of mass destruction."

He shook his head. "Only Bloodfyre and I are prepared to meet them in battle."

"Then you two take the droids," Spears said. "TT and I will handle the Dark Jedi."

"Sounds good."

Trouty shook his head. "No. I've got a better idea..."


Dark Jedi from the Clans allied against Tarentum could feel their powerful foes nearby. Arconans, Palatinae, and Taldryans hunted the Tarenti through the ruined Dark Side edifice. The Krath in the group sensed their prey had stopped. Battle was close. Some smiled, some sneered. Some joked about how easily these heroes from Tarentum would be dispatched. Some were focused on the task at hand, silent and steely. All were ready to obey their Consuls' orders.


The killing machines were the metallic incarnations of the Grim Reaper. Efficient, deadly, unemotional, the modified war droids sought the Tarenti for no other reason than they were programmed to. Someone had turned them on; only the intruders' deaths could halt their murderous machinations.


Trouty fumed as he waited at the bottom of the staircase. I'm the slowest one of the four, and yet I'm chosen for the task that requires fleetness of fin. Great. I hate being the lowest-ranking member. The Pontifex reached out with the Force and quickly found his targets. "Hey, jerkwads! Over here!"

The horde of enemies spotted the Mon Cal and pointed. Brandishing their sabers, they charged after the now-departing fish. Up the stairs they climbed, the faster beings gaining on the slow fish. Several steps from the top, Troutrooper leapt, bolstered by the Force.

As planned, he ran into Spears, who was also being chased. "If this doesn't work, at least I won't be around to suffer the shame of my plan failing."

Spears laughed. "We'll resurrect you, then mock your wandering soul for all eternity." They passed by Master Kane, then joined them at the ready. Bloodfyre, coming up from behind, also joined them. All nodded, their tasks completed, their minds now set on the task at hand.

Troutrooper's pursuers reached the top of the stairs moments before Spears's pursuers passed by the staircase. The Dark Jedi were so focused, concentrated on killing the Mon Cal that they did not notice the war droids behind them until a straggling Jedi Hunter screamed in agony. Surprise quickly morphed into horror as the punchline of Troutrooper's great joke hit them: they were now caught in between four powerful Dark Siders and a group of rampaging war droids. Bloodfyre, knowing their success was assured, had informed Welshman that victory was in hand.

Battle was now at hand.


14-08-2006 16:47:00

PRT Dock Alfar was setting a course for the yridia system in his modified TIE interceptor when he received a garbbled message from his master The Great Spears Tarentae.


Dock quickly set a course for Antei to aid his master. He finished typing in the coordinates into the navicomputer, and with a flicker of pseudomotion, he was off.


The interceptor came out of hyperspace above Antei, from his cockpit, Dock could see several starships high above the dark hall. He directed the interceptor into the atmosphere so the enemy ships wouldnt notice him, and flew towards the dark hall. He set down the fighter behind a boulder that partially hid the intercepter from view.

he sheathed his sith sword, and took out his blaster pistol as he snuck around various rocks towards the large doors. he glanced over at the crafts on the ground, and only saw one droid guard walking around. reaching his hand out, feeling around with the force, Dock picked up a small rock, and threw it against the hull of one of the ships with a loud CLANG!!! The droid turned and ran towards the sound, and Dock quietly ran through the doors.

He started running down the hallway, until he came upon a large section of ceiling that had fallen, blocking the way. feeling with the force, Dock looked down a number of hallways, until he felt which way his master had gone, and ran down it. about half way down the corridor, he heard the distinct sound of lightsaber combat. keeping his blaster at the ready, dock slowed down to a walk to remain quiet and undetected. as he walked around a curve in the hall, he saw the glow of lightsabers on the wall. he continued walking, and saw many dark jedi engaged in combat, but most importantly, he saw his master fighting one. taking careful aim with his blaster, Dock fired one shot at his master's opponent. As the shot neared its target, the dark jedi placed his lightsaber in the way, the shot going off at an odd angle, but with his saber out of the way, Spears stabbed him, and went on to the next victim.

while choosing who he would distract next, Dock was attcked by a fellow protector, and his katana. Drawing his sith sword, Dock looked him in the eye, and attacked. He was soon lost in the battle with his fellow members of Tarentum.


16-08-2006 20:55:36

The war droids and the now five heroes of Tarentum were as merciless as effective. Screams could be heard from both ends as lives were being extinguished by sabers running their deadly course and by droids literally punching through bodies. The blood shed lasted for a few seconds. The droids stopped the massacre and turned. Something was calling them. The six droids rushed out, ready for action.

Spears, Kane, Troutrooper and Bloodfyre had butchered many; the survivors in their terror, turned tail and ran, tripping over carcasses and blood.

TT shouted his victory cry and the others followed, all except Kane Vader. Kane’s silence fell like a plague, infecting those around him. Dock wondered about this and asked of Kane why he didn’t join in the celebration. Kane then looked at the fish and said,

“Do you not feel it?” the four reached out into the Force, and one by one, it dawned on them. Kane continued, “War has reached the Dark Hall. It is on the doorstep.” And so it was, for as the droids and Dark Jedi rushed outside, a battle of galactic proportions was taking place. Droids from the Blue Jac armies met the undead of Red Jac and Tarentum. The two massed not on Antei, but on Lyspair. The two armies fell into perfect formation. Undead pulled all manner of weaponry out: launchers, blasters, Vibro-weapons, and lightsabers all found there way into the hands of the zombies. Droids in perfect unison readied rockets, mines and grenades for the Battle that would destroy the Shadow Academy.


The Space engagement was already in full swing as the ground armies suited up for the suicidal attack of the other side. Red fleet had recently been joined by the Tarentum fleet, with guns blazing straight out of hyperspace. The Blue ships were now fighting two fronts, one Tarentum and the other CNS and Plagueis. The situation had been turned to maybe the most important Red victory. To add to this, the Scholae Flagship had taken a hit on two back engines and spiraled out of control. Fighters were flying every where and in the thick of it was Maarek. Flying in and out of enemy formations, he decimated the first waves of fighters incoming for the Corsair. The regular human pilots, even in Interceptors could not match the abilities of a Force-enhanced pilot.


Red members had dug in for the long hall, equipping E-Web cannons and heavy turrets. The droids and troopers made their first attack on Lyspair, which proved suicidal. The main Shadow Academy was heavily fortified. Trenches lined the facility, and they were filled with men in battle stations. Trying a second time with heavy transports, the made alarming gains, and they stopped in their tracks as the AT-AT fell. The side bunker, off to another end of the valley, was another story. Twice Blue Alliance troops managed to enter, and twice the Red forces pushed them out and onto the open ground. And a team of AT-ST’s were pulled to make a rout in the bunker.

As Welshman arrived on the battle scene from his personal shuttle, he immediately took command of the situation. Launching two AAC speeders, the bunker would more than hold the line. He continued barking orders to lower generals as the mass of infantry and armor slowly crept to the defense lines of Lyspair.


Elric maneuvered his way into the Hall, reaching out as he slithered his way through the corridors. Upon entering an unimpressive corridor, he was met with four separate eyes.

“Damn. Now I’ve done it.” He thought. And he heard Kane’s voice in his head and it spoke three words:

“Run. Run now.”

Obeying this voice, the Hunter turned his back and found the group of Tarentum. Out of breath, he tried to make a sound, but Kane spoke first. “Your curiosity will kill you someday, young man. You might have doomed all of us.”

On cue, the four war droids entered.

Maarek Stele

17-08-2006 05:37:11

The shuttle looked like it was about to make a jump to hyperspace. Command from the Yridia fleet had not responded to Hunter's hailing, so without the go ahead Maarek powered up his TIE/ad's own hyperdrive system. He maneuvered his fighter towards the shuttle, taking him directly behind it and lined it up in his gun sights. He then activated the fighter's tracer lock system, an additional modification that had been made to a lot of advanced TIE models in the fleets of the Brotherhood Clans, and fired off a single round. His computer readout showed Maarek that the tracer had hit the shuttle's hull and lodged onto it, just as the shuttle disappeared into hyperspace. Maarek locked onto the shuttle's hyperspace route and activated his fighter's engines to make the jump. A transmission suddenly started to come threw over the Tarentum Clan secure comm channel but by then Maarek had made the jump to hyperspace. He was gone.


Maarek's TIE Avenger exited hyperspace a short time later. Only to his surprise he had left one battlefield only to enter another. The battle over Antei was worse then the Yridia skirmish as Brotherhood warships and fighters from all the clans were engaged in the fighting.

As Maarek exited hyperspace he almost collided with a Star Destroyer, pulling up just in time to avoid being splattered over its hull. The tracking device indicated that Antei was the location the shuttle had jumped to. Coincidentally the Brotherhood's home system was also apparently the location where the last battle in this war between the Clans was to be fought. The message which Maarek had missed before he jumped to Yridia was repeated via his navi computer which was a call for all Tarentum forces to gather in Antei. He checked his radar HUD to locate the Clan's flagship and plotted a course for it to join the other fighter squadrons in its defense. The location and purpose of the mysterious shuttle would need to take a backseat as Maarek reached the flagship and was instantly engaged by a host of TIE Fighters and Interceptors. For a brief time he set his concerns over the shuttle to the side as he concentrated on the battle at hand, targeting fighters allied against him, his Clan, and its allies.

The first wave of enemy fighters were easily taken down, the TIE Avenger Maarek piloted giving him an edge in both firepower and protection over the older fighter classes. Even when the rival Clan fleets began deploying TIE Avengers, Assault Gunboats, and TIE Defenders, Maarek would not be dissuaded from his mission as he proceeded to destroy one enemy fighter after another. He flew his TIE Avenger towards the formations of the enemy fighters sowing death and confusion among any transgressor who came towards the Corsair. For the first time, in the middle of that chaotic battle in space, he could almost feel himself channeling the Dark Side of the Force. Summoning it by will to enhance his reflexes and piloting skills. He had always had a preternatural sense towards flying in combat missions, but for the briefest of moments he actually could 'feel' the Force flowing throughout his whole body. It was only for a moment, but in the midst of his killing spree, gunning down the enemy fighters, he felt for the first time what it truly meant to be of the Dark Side.

Maarek's reverie was broken as his navi-computer began beeping all of a sudden. The computer had picked up the shuttle he was tracking making its way down to the surface of Antei, putting it on a course that would take it near the Dark Hall, but away from the main battle on the surface of the planetoid. Faced with the threat of the enemy fighters and unknown danger the shuttle represented, Stele was at a crossroad as to how to proceed. Continue to protect the Corsair or pursue the shuttle to Antei's surface. By the time he was given clearance it might be to late. Relying on his gut instinct he maneuvered his fighter towards Antei, breaking away from the battle zone, and set a course for Antei towards the shuttle's landing sight.

Slipping through the enemy lines was easy enough as he approached the planetoid and entered its atmosphere. As he approached the shuttle's apparent landing sight he flew low to try and avoid detection. A short distance away the battle on the surface was becoming intense as armored vehicles and ground troops were engaged in heavy fighting. Out of the corner of his eye, in the distance Maarek could see the plumes from various explosions rise from the surface below and the silhouettes of a number of the giant AT-AT war machines used by both sides of the conflict, through the front canopy of his TIE.

Maarek set his TIE Avenger down a short distance from the tracer's signal. He removed his flight helmet, grabbed his DH-17 blaster pistol, exited his fighter, and took off in the direction of the shuttle. The shuttle had landed within walking distance of the Dark Hall, among some craggy rock croppings to better hide its presence. Maarek spied it from behind a slab of rock and noticed that the ship's boarding ramp was down, and was being guarded by what looked like two Imperial Stormtroopers in black armor. He decided to take the offensive sneaking up towards the rear of the shuttle. Maarek leaned over and picked up a stone off the ground and flung it. The noise caught the attention of the two guards who looked over towards the direction of the sound. One nodded his head to other indicating they should take a look. As they left, Maarek sneaked to the front of the shuttle and proceeded up the boarding ramp.

As Maarek looked around the shuttle he noticed the cockpit was empty, meaning either the pilots had gone elsewhere or were in fact the two guards he had just distracted. He quickly checked the navi-computer but the flight logs had apparently been either removed or wiped as the shuttle's onboard computer was void of any useful information. He looked out the cockpit canopy and noticed the two guards begin to come back towards the shuttle. Maarek worked fast as he headed towards the rear of the shuttle, locating a weapons locker, and proceeding to blast the locking mechanism off. He quickly grabbed a KX-60 blaster rifle and a pair of thermal detonators. Maarek also noticed that a number of other weapons were also missing from the locker, from the apparent empty slots. But as to how many hostiles had actually made their way from the shuttle and into the hall was unknown.

The black Stormtroopers came back to the shuttle as they heard sounds coming from inside the ship. They began running towards the shuttle and up the ramp as they heard the noises but found no one on board. They inspected the cockpit area and found no one, checked the main passenger hold and finally moved towards the rear compartments. They noticed the partially opened door of the weapons locker and it’s destroyed locking mechanism. The Stormtrooper kept their blaster rifles at ready as they inched into the compartment. The lead looked carefully at the partially open locker, inspecting it for any booby traps. The trooper couldn't see any wires or triggering device, so he opened the locker. Nothing looked suspicious or out of the ordinary. The lead Stormtrooper told his counterpart to check outside the ship again and complied. As the other one proceeded back towards the front of the shuttle, the remaining trooper looked around the rear compartment again and noticed a E-11 blaster rifle lying on the floor only a couple of feet away. The trooper leaned over to pick it up, but failed to notice the live thermal detonator lying beneath it.


Maarek was halfway between the shuttle and the Dark Hall when he heard the explosion and stopped running. He looked behind and saw a plume of smoke rise over the rocky formations and smiled. Stele then turned back in the direction of the hall and started to run again.


18-08-2006 03:24:52

Fighters streaked past the bridge tower of the VSD Corsair. Flashes of green, red, blue and yellow could be seen. Outside, a cacophonous dance between multiple ships and fighters; inside, the bridge was a hive of activity. At the center of this activity, a blond human stood staring out into the fray. His ship was held in reserve, and he wasn’t about to override his commander’s orders. Vice-Admiral Armus heard the metallic rimmed clank of boots against the metal floor. Without turning around, he held up a hand, and a datapad was carefully laid. Without looking at the datapad, he turned his head slightly, the young Ensign that handed him the pad began, “Sir, with the Field Marshal’s compliments. You are to take Battlegroup Kraken into the Shroud and to Antei. The Field Marshal will remain with Mako and the two task forces.”

Armus completely turned his body to stare at the Ensign, “Oberst doesn’t have enough ships to take on that fleet.”

“Correct, sir, he isn’t going to keep them from the Shroud, just buy you, as well as Plagueis and Naga Sadow some time. He wants a hot drop onto Antei of General Doni`Tzu and Major General Frosty.”

Looking down at his datapad Armus frowned, “We are to pull away from Antei after dropping troops?”

“Yes, Sir, he has sent an alert to three of the other task forces to rendez-vous with you around Lyspair as well as Plagueis and Naga Sadow.”

“Very well,” turning in the general direction of the helm pit, Armus barked, “Order Battlegroup Mako to form up. Set course for Antei, through the Shroud. Inform Captain ShadowFoxx that he is to recall fighters, once fighters are back, we make the jump to hyperspace.”

* * * * *

“Have the Charonand Acheron re-deploy their interdiction fields,” Oberst stated. Motioning with his fingers he ordered, “I want fighters to screen Armus’ move into the Shroud. Once they’ve jumped send those fighters to harass those two Victory-classes.”

“Sir! Anubis has recalled fighters, they are making the jump now.”

Oberst watched the BAC projection as the interdiction field from the two Interdictors realigned, and opened a gap for the Corsair, Anubis, Havoc, Stygian and Necrosis to make their jump. “Once they’ve made their jump, inform Sarin that he can make preparations to follow in five minutes, and Naga Sadow five minutes after them.” Oberst ordered.

Sato Bruth’Kothae, Captain of the B/CRS Doomsday arched a brow – accenting his already sharp features, “Won’t we be outnumbered?”

“Yes we will, Warrior,” Oberst looked up and met Sato’s eye, “Once Plagueis and Naga Sadow are through, we will keep the interdiction field and make a running sortie, falling back around Yridia IX.”

“That doesn’t help us with being outnumbered,” Sato commented dryly.

“I’m fairly certain that those ships are ferrying troops, and the bulk will break away to Antei. Task Force 5 has already jumped in system and is holding close to Yridia IX northern magnetic pole. The interference is keeping them hidden,” Oberst looked back to the BAC. “The other three Task Forces are already deployed near Lyspair. Once Armus drops off the troops, they’ll fall back to a defensive position.” Oberst watched the two Lancer-class Frigates of Arcona fall back and away from the conflict, flashing. “Inform Commander Leed that there is an opening in quadrant III, and that I expect his bombers to use it to hit the Maelstrom,” Oberst informed one of the many aides that stood by.

Sato objected, “Surely they’ll fill the gap before then?”

“They’re sloppy. Look how they’re spread out,” Oberst motioned with his hand, “they’re trying to project power, and have left themselves wide open.” Sure enough, the BAC showed several TIE Bombers heading to the gap and releasing torpedoes. Watching as the last of Clan Naga Sadow’s ships jumped out of the system, Oberst barked out, “All ships are to disengage and head for their positions around Yridia IX.”

* * * * * *

Strategos swore under his breath as he read his orders. He was to remain in Yridia and keep Oberst in system, while Clans Taldryan and Scholae Palatinae made their way to Antei. With most of Yridia’s forces already out of system, and nothing heavier than a Bulk Cruiser, it was reasoned that it wouldn’t be hard to pin Oberst down. He had, after all withdrawn from near the Shroud. Still the Spectran was not pleased. He wasn’t going up against some two-bit Warlord of any of the Clans with more aspirations of glory than brains. He’d have to outfox a fox. He had already pointed out that the Fleet should have been redeployed, but was outvoted in favor of just spreading their mass through space. Look where that got them. The loss of two Lancers and a Carrier, those ships had withdrawn from the conflict and headed back for repairs. He scowled once more at his orders as his ship made its way to Yridia IX.

“Sir,” a young Lieutenant called out, “Interdictors have engaged their fields, fighters moving in.”

Strategos glared at the Lieutenant, “Intercept those fighters, I want a full screen up, don’t let them get close to the ships.” Strategos then turned his glare to his own BAC, trying to figure out how he could move in close and start dealing some damage to the mostly picket and escort force that Oberst had arrayed. “Get us closer to that Northern pole, hopefully the magnetic field will interfere some with warhead tracking.”

“Aye, sir,” he heard some random crewer bark out. Suddenly, he felt the Eye of the Abyss rock several times. He looked up, and out of the viewport and saw why, over twenty-four more TIE Defenders screeched out at him, firing torpedoes. Swearing to himself, Strategos ordered, “Get us out of here. Now!”

The ship shuddered several more times before the lights began to flicker on the bridge. “Sir, it’s too late. Primary engines have been disabled, shields at one-third strength.”

From the communication pit he heard, “Sir! Message from the Doomsday. It’s Marshal Oberst, he is requesting our surrender.”

If looks could kill, every single one of the crewers in the communications pit would have been a corpse, and ready for use by Tarentum in one of their Necromantic rituals, instead Strategos ground out, “Inform the Field Marshal that we surrender.” Looking back up at the BAC Strategos muttered to himself, “Looks like Kaiann will be short several ships.”


21-08-2006 01:57:01

Spears, Bloodfyre, Troutrooper, and Dock panted from the exertion of fighting both Dark Jedi and Kane Vader’s specially-modified war droids. As they fueled their internal tanks with Dark Side energy, they scanned the battlefield that was Antei. While the fight on the ground crescendoed, the space battle raged out of control. All three longed desperately to aid their Clanmates and sworn allies in that theatre.

However, the battle on the ground was nearly upon them. Blue forces were already on the planet’s surface. Red forces, led by Armus’s battlegroup, would be arriving shortly. Oh, and the war droids were not yet defeated. Their little conflagration in the hallway would be a warm-up for the terrible havoc yet to be unleashed.

One red soldier was already on Antei. Spears saw him first. He pointed at a Sith running full bore towards them. “Is that…no. Couldn’t be. Is it?”

Bloodfyre reached out. “Yes…Yes, it is…Maarek…He’s one of ours.”

“Maarek?” The fish enquired. “What is an unchaperoned Protector doing here?”

Spears shrugged. “Dunno. Message relay?”

“Doesn’t matter now,” the Quaestor said as he waved to the Sith. “What brings you to Antei, young Protector?”

“Sir,” he said, bowing. “I tracked a shuttle through hyperspace. The battle above Yridia is nothing compared to what’s happening above here.”

Bloodfyre nodded. “Yridia and Antei.”

“And Lyspair,” Dock chimed in.

“Right. Three theatres, two armies, one prize. Sounds like a party.” The Dark Jedi Master smiled as he grasped his Sith Sword and spun around. The party looked behind them to find Elric mere steps ahead of four war droids. “Oops. Forgot to mention the four war droids. Dock, Maarek, get Elric and get to cover. Spears, TT, you know this dance.”

Dock and Maarek grabbed Elric just before a war droid separated the Jedi Hunter from his feet. Spears stepped in and engaged the droid, covering the three Journeymen’s escape. Their three-person waltz was simple enough: Spears and Troutrooper blocked and parried for Bloodfyre until the Quaestor could seize upon an opening in one of the droids’ defenses. Once the outer hull was cracked, the droid was susceptible to Dark Jedi weaponry and magic. The dance had worked three times in the Dark Hall, but they were aided by both a Grand Master and a hoard of confused and panicking Dark Jedi. Surrounded by four focused and fearsome foes, the moves were less fluid and more forced.

The Journeymen watched in amazement as the two Elders and one Equite proved their strength in the Force. Spears turned one of the massive robots around, allowing Bloodfyre to slash through its nearly impenetrable hull. Troutrooper finished off the metallic beast, then the steps were repeated on a second droid. Their entrancement was shattered by the sound of dropships careening from their mothers. Their Clan’s dropships were nearly down with Plagueis’s and Naga Sadow’s following. They nodded to each other, then ran to join their Clanmates in the ground-pounders ball.

Bloodfyre leapt to pierce the third droid’s hull when the other droid passed out of his field of vision. He finished his strike, landed, then realized in horror as the fourth war droid was closing in on the Journeymen. “He can’t do that to our Journeymen!”

Spears saw it, too. “Only we can do that to our Journeymen!” They leapt after the robot though even their Force-aided leaps could not bridge the distance between them and the droid. Instead, Spears Force-pulled the three around to the droid’s left and back to him while Bloodfyre took another leap and planted his sword squarely in the droid’s chest. A purple saber embedded itself in the Sith Sword’s hole, and the war droid threat was no more.

Exhausted, they rested in spite of the ever-widening battlefield that threatened to quickly engulf them. With all dropships down, the armies made their way towards the Dark Hall. Both hoped to secure the Dark Hall and thus claim ownership of the Brotherhood. Inexorably, the armies surged towards the sextet.

“Master,” Dock said. “We need to—“

“Quiet,” Spears replied, fury burning in his eyes. “You were told to hide, but you disobeyed. We will deal with your insubordination later. But yes,” the hate slowly seeped out of his irises, replaced by focused thought, “We need to move and move quickly. Bf, plans?”

He nodded. “Let’s get inside the Dark Hall and prepare for the onslaught. We may be able to secure some secondary locales before we’re overrun. Besides,” he glanced up at the color-coded bombers. “We’ll be safe…ok, safer from the bombers if we’re inside.” They grabbed their weapons and hastily made their way to shelter.


21-08-2006 19:02:24

The blue swirl of hyperspace ended abruptly and Battlegroup Kraken lurched into the fray above Antei, surprising the combatants already locked in battle. Kraken was a small force, to be sure, but their sudden introduction into the scheme of things could not be overlooked by the Taldryan and Arconan personnel involved. Ships on both sides adjusted fire, realigned targeting computers, and in some cases took evasive action to rid themselves of the new threat. Unbeknownst to Kraken's opponents, the Tarentum ships were not there as a threat at all; in fact, none of the "red" ships were.

The fact was clear that the Red forces were outgunned in sheer weight of capital ships and that a space battle for supremacy over Antei would prove costly to both sides with no clear victor. Therefore, in lieu of combat, a trickier decision had to be forced.

Protected closely underneath the Destroyer Corsair, the assault cruiser Necrosis cruised in the shadow of the larger vessel, flanked by the two Kraken gunships. Realization dawned on most of the Blue forces when the Tarentum starships did not form up with their compatriots from Naga Sadow and Plagueis, but rather made an immediate flank-ahead movement towards Antei itself.

Warlord Armus coolly assessed the situation, gesturing towards the helmsman. "Rotate the ship, present the dorsal facing towards the enemy lines." He quickly looked to his other side, at the communications bank. "Signal the gunships, inform them to form up under us, and flank the Necrosis. We are to protect the General and the Deaths Head from any attack."

A few hundred meters beneath him, the Yevethan Doni Tzu was speaking to the assembled armor platoon commanders, as well as the individual tank commanders. The interior of the small cruiser was dark, and the faint smell of industrial lubricant, ozone, and tibanna gas filled the stale air. Heavy repulsortanks of the Deaths Head armor company swayed imperceptibly on their chocks with each movement of the ship, their cruel intent not apparent on cursory examination. At the small briefing table, a holographic image of the Dark Hall was displayed for all to see. The Yevethan himself, a lithe and diminutive creature, was tellingly dressed in robes typical for a dark jedi, except for a rocky off-grayish camouflage pattern to blend in with the surface of Antei. A sharp intake of breath seemed a hiss and he set his arms on the table palms-down, assessing the map as he began to speak.

"Commanderssss, you have already been given a cursory briefing but I will explain the more intimate details to you now. Several Tarentum elders are now inside the Dark Hall, and communications with them lead us to believe that they either have or will soon have acquired means to end this war promptly. However, as we can all see, our opponents wish to either secure this for themselves, or at least prevent us from having it. This is where we come in." The General gestured at the map, which levelled to a top-down view of the Dark Hall. "There is only one legitimate entrance to the Dark Hall, here, at the main gate. This is where the Deaths Head will deploy. The tanks will form up in platoons and maintain a general line abreast formation. You are to secure hull down positions where possible, and this should be made easier as there are reports that ground fighting has already turned the grounds into a virtual moonscape. We are to prevent anyone who is not an ally from entering this Hall." Doni Tzu folded his arms in front of him, and the map zoomed out. "Now, there are two.." his speech was interrupted as Blue forces had apparently acquired the intent of Battlegroup Kraken, and the Necrosis shook from a torpedo hit from a starfighter. Loose equipment fell around the men; clipboards, bottles of chemicals, tools, even a few automatic weapons. The turbulence subsided as the General looked annoyingly upwards at his unseen counterpart aboard the Corsair; surely the human vermin could protect him better. With a snarl he looked back at the map. "As I was saying, there are two alternate entrances. There is a capacity for entrance through the observatory on the roof, as well as some tunnels underneath the castle. The AT-AA's of the company will keep an eye on the rooftop and assure that no vertical envelopments are attempted unmolested. The tunnels underneath the Hall we can do nothing about, but we have been told that they are small, incomplete, and cramped; therefore, entry into the Hall via this method is probably not a threat. Additionally we will be protected from aerospace threat by our sheer proximity to the Hall, as no Clan dares destroy it with a miss, and our aforementioned AT-AA's will keep clear the tactical threats from starfighters and the like. The Scout walkers here will be of little use, so they will stay near the AT-AA's and deal with any infantry which attempts to threaten the tanks by flank. If there is nothing else, prepare for deployment. I remind you all that this is an extremely hot drop zone, so be prepared for immediate action."

As if to serve as a portent to his closing statements, the efforts of Blue starfighter forces to repulse Battlegroup Kraken from her bold mission were becoming more desperate. Several were unloading all their ordnance, tasked to other missions, on the Corsair, hoping to blast her away from her role as the shield of the Necrosis; previous attempts to go around the Corsair had just met with fiery death at the guns of the two close-riding gunships. In the end their efforts were too little, too late, and the surprise entry of Battlegroup Kraken and her desperate mission were just too much to stop. As the Corsair and her two gunships peeled away, the Necrosis herself began a steep descent into the thin atmosphere of Antei, beyond the reach of most Blue starfighters. As the helm signaled Admiral Armus of the Necrosis' descent, he quickly chopped a hand downwards, a signal to release one further alpha strike of the Destroyer's turbolaser batteries, and then Battlegroup Kraken flashed away into nothingness and the security of a nearby system, along with the rest of the Red capital ships.

The interior of the Necrosis, packed with munitions, equipment, soldiers, and tanks, now became an even more unbearable existence as the heat from reentry cast a faint red glow from the command deck throughout the cavernous storage areas in the back. The entire crew, the arrogant Yevethan included, strapped themselves to whatever structure they could find as alarm klaxons and voice alerts notified all inside that the cruiser was beginning dangerous maneuvers for which she was not designed. Arching down at a steep fifty degree descent, sporadic antiaircraft fire rose up to meet the vessl, all but a blob of fire in the sky to observers. Blue forces on the ground had not achieved a good ratio of force to space, however, and what rose to meet the Necrosis either fell to the ground short, or missed completely. Apparently Blue ground commanders had planned a traditional methodical assault on the Hall itself and were assured that it was lightly defended. That status was about to change.

Doni Tzu closed his eyes in total realization of his helplessness as the time for landing drew near. A green light flashed on somewhere deep in the cargo hold and a very loud klaxon sounded this time. Securing himself in the Deaths Head command chariot, he gripped the webbing harness that held him to his seat with clawed fingers and waited. Suddenly the roar of quickly traversing atmosphere filled every sense, and a tremendous force gripped him by the shoulders and pulled him, the Chariot, and the entire company of tanks out of the cruiser. As the chariot flipped end over end into bright daylight, he could see, for a half second in the rotation, the Dark Hall in its imposing stature coming closer, and closer.. and then... then, the world was wrenched upright with such force as to draw the breath even from his normally gravity-tolerant physique. The gates of the dark hall rushed up to meet him, and then the screen of the Chariot was black as all movement ceased utterly and suddenly, and he was thrown forward, as if the punishment he had taken thusfar was not enough. Around him the tanks and armored cocoons of the less aerodynamic vehicles were plowing themselves into the soft ground around the Hall. Promptly the Yevethan instructed the crew of the Chariot to start the command network and get the company organized.

Forming up around the gates, the imposing view of the Tarentum repulsor tanks, each with crude skulls painted on their hulls, silently warned all who approached of the swift end that awaited them should they issue the challenge. That challenge, however, was approaching, slowly, but in great mass... the mostly disorganized ground forces of Taldryan, Arcona, and Scholae Palatinae were reforming and redeploying to attempt to meet this tremendous force, as final as many of them thought the effort would be.

General, Dark Side Adept Doni Tzu


22-08-2006 23:34:22

“Sir, XIX Corps has finished deployment,” the midshipman stopped two paces behind and to the right of Armus. The young man stood ramrod straight, awaiting a reply.

Armus let out an even breath, “Recall all fighters. Inform Sarin that we are falling back to Lyspair.”

“We are just leaving General Doni`Tzu and Frosty?”

“Yes. They’re to stall for time. Kaiann won’t engage in orbital fire that close to the Dark Hall,” Armus turned to meet the midshipman’s eye, “He’ll want to take it as intact as possible.”

* * * * *

Looking through macronoculars, the Yevethan commander watched the enemy forces draw closer. The undefined mass of man and machine grew ever closer to his own lines. His armor was what stood between that corpulent mass and the Dark Hall. Within the walls of the Dark Hall, an infantry regiment stood ready. “How many?” the Yevethan asked no one in particular.

“Almost 40,000 men, sir,” someone to his right reported. Doni`Tzu did not even turn to acknowledge it. He opened and closed his fist, extended and retracted his dew claws. Turning to his aide, Doni`Tzu said two words, “Open fire.”

* * * * *

“What the hell is going on down there?” Kaiann roared from the bridge of the Excidium. He had sent Duga Taldrya Arkarso to the surface 45 minutes ago with enough troops to deal with the armor company that was reported to be arrayed outside the walls of the Dark Hall.

“Sir,” a young Army Lieutenant began, “There was a Corps hidden from physical view and sensor view. As Duga moved forward, his initial advances were slowed by firing from a particle cannon deployed outside the walls. As he pushed onwards, ready to engage General Doni`Tzu, a large armor column hit his right flank, bringing his entire force to a standstill.”

Kaiann eyed the Lieutenant for several moments, “Why was his flank unguarded?”

“Duga was following your instructions to storm the gates, sir. He didn’t think tha -,” the young man’s response was cut off as his trachea was sealed. His eyes bugged, and his hands flew to his throat, attempting to ward off the invisible force that strangled him. After several moments, he keeled over. Even after he collapsed, Kaiann did not loose his grip, ensuring that the young man was truly dead. Turning to another aide, Kaiann snarled, “Launch transports, get more men down there.”

“Sir,” the young man stammered, “the transports were heavily damaged on their return from the surface by fighters from Tarentum and Plagueis. They hit them while they were still in the atmosphere, far from our covering fire.”

Kaiann swore under his breath.

* * * * *

The bridge of the Dark Prophet was a buzz with activity. Benevolent, Proconsul of Clan Taldryan, was coordinating the repairs to the transports. His hangars were full, with engineers working overtime trying to get hull strength and shields back online for those transports so that they could immediately send Duga reinforcements. Ben cursed under his breath. Shuttles had launched from the Excidium, but rather than ferry even a company, the shuttles had touched down away from the fighting, on the outskirts of the city close to the Dark Hall.

“Sir, Carrack’s approaching,” a crewer called out. “They’re on an approach vector. Markings indicate they are the Nighthawk and Wrathraven of Arcona.”

“Hail them, find out how bottling Oberst is going,” Ben went back to inspecting a datapad.

“Communications failed, the ships both have severe damage. They might be closing to launch a shuttle or short range communications.”

Ben looked up from his datapad, “Very well, close in on them, get to within short range communications range. Instruct the Leviathan to follow.”

“Aye, sir.”

Ben continued to make changes to repair orders as the Dark Prophet made its way towards the two Carracks. Within a few minutes, he heard the same crewer call out, “Closing in on short range communications range. The damage looks worse than we thought, sir.”

Benevolent stared out the bridge at the two Carracks and noticed the heavy carbon scoring on the hulls. He could even see where plates had been destroyed, exposing decks and bulkheads. “Damn,” he whispered to himself. That’s bad.

“Sir, the ships are firing up their engines!” the crewer screamed franticly.

Ben’s head whipped up, “Bring us about, full right rudder. Raise shi –!” The rest of his command was cut off as explosions rocked the Victory-class Star Destroyer, as the smaller Carrack ran, full force into the larger ship. What Benevolent would never see is the second Carrack ramming into the Leviathan.

* * * * *

“Sir, the Dark Prophet and Leviathan have been destroyed,” the second officer of the Doomsday reported.

Oberst looked up from the Captain’s chair, “Excellent. Instruct Vice-Admiral Armus and Consul Sarin to move the joint fleet to Antei. It’s time to end this. Inform the Cerberus and Creeping Death to form up around us. Have Task Force 3 and the Creeping Death launch a screen of fighters once we deploy.”

The Lt. Commander saluted, and then walked off to give orders.

* * * * *

“Once we establish our position, Admiral,” the soft voice intoned, “I will require a shuttle to take me to the surface.”

“With all due respect, Maste –,” Armus’ statement was cut off.

“Once we establish our position, Admiral,” the soft voice intoned once more, “I will require a shuttle to take me to the surface.”

“Of course, Master Zero,” Armus acquiesced.

* * * * *

The mass of ships exiting hyperspace literally startled everyone into action. The crew of the Excidium was still attempting to digest the loss of the other VSD and the B/CRS. So, when a host of capital ships and fighters appeared 5 klicks off their port, the crew of the rest of the Blue Alliance ships were left flat footed, before Captains screamed for red alert.

Braecen collected his thoughts and quickly barked out, “Launch fighters, I want the enemy fighters kept busy. And have those Lancer’s open fire. I don’t want anything to get through.” He didn’t like what was happening by a long shot. The loss of the two capital ships, gave him a pretty good idea of who was in command of the enemy fleet.

* * * * *

“I think, Admiral,” Oberst began, “We should perform another hot drop.” Turning to the holographic projection of his Commander of Air Group, Oberst instructed, “I want you coordinating all fighters, ShadowFoxx. Detail at least two dozen fighters to protect those drop ships, and another dozen fighters and dozen bombers to hit anything the enemy might be trying to launch.” ShadowFoxx’s projection saluted and then flickered out. “Sarin, Korras, prepare your men.” The two Elders nodded their heads in understanding and flickered out. Steadily eying the remaining senior officers, Oberst stated in clipped tones, “You have your orders. Dismissed.”

All but one projection flickered out, that of his Chief Naval Commander, “Sir?”

“We need to end this quickly. I want naval superiority.”

“We don’t have the heavy firepower to knock out their ships of the line.”

“Once our fighters have closed to 1.5 klicks, those Lancer’s will move out to provide an anti-fighter screen. Once that happens, get our Corvettes and Gunships over there,” Oberst glared at the BAC next to the remaining holo-projection in annoyance, “Don’t have them go systematically. Just hit, and hit hard. That should deal some heavy damage and force them to withdraw.”

Armus nodded in understanding, “Understood Marshal.”

“Oh, and Admiral,” Oberst stated before his second in command could leave, “Good hunting.”

* * * * *

And annoyed Master was a bad thing, Troutrooper slowly realized. Two annoyed Masters was worse. Add an increasingly more piqued Grand Master, and suddenly the Krath wished he was elsewhere. Sure, the Sith War Droids were bad, and the enemy commandos wandering the halls didn’t help any, but at least they didn’t lob stray artillery at the Dark Hall. And that’s where they found themselves. Some blessed soul had decided to use lob artillery to unseat the defenders outside the walls. Good idea, except that blessed soul had never taken a mathematics course. Otherwise, said blessed soul would not have overshot their target, flinging a shell into the Dark Hall and causing a bit of a cave-in. Yes, the cave-in had stopped some of the commandos, but that also left Troutrooper, the Journeymen and the Elders somewhat trapped at the moment. Oh, how he wished he were elsewhere right now.

And then the banging started. Not against the obstruction. No, that would have been too easy. The banging started against the walls. Lovely, Troutrooper thought to himself, We’ve angered alchemically treated Sith cleaning crews.

* * * * *

“Once more, pet,” the soft voice intoned. A pale hand reached out to sooth the beast’s raw and bloody appendage. The shuffling mountain of flesh upon flesh nodded once in understanding, and then continued to slam the wall. With a shudder, the stone cracked and fell. In synch with the falling wall, Zero heard the familiar snap-hiss of four lightsabers. Seeing a blur of movement, the human Dark Jedi reached out with the force and stopped two Journeymen from charging his golem. Arching a brow he stated, “I really wouldn’t, if I were you. Slazycha is already in pain.”

“Couldn’t you have just cut through the wall, Master Zero?” Bloodfyre intoned.

Fixing the younger Master with a level stare, Zero responded, “Don’t be so crude. How long have you been trapped there?”

“How long since the fighting moved into the Dark Hall?” Spears replied evenly.

“Oh, just a few hours. Master Caerick is currently fighting his way for the library. I figured you all were having difficulty moving this debris and decided a new course of action was needed.”

Having been staring at the golem so intently, Grand Master Kane finally spoke, “Where did this come from?”

A smile ghosted Zero’s lips, “I found some volunteers.”

* * * * *

“Eta squadron, you have an opening at 28-mark-77. Punch through and drop off the goods,” ShadowFoxx barked. Watching his BAC aboard the ESC Anubis he watched as the mix of B-Wings and GUN’s closed into the gap, and dumped torpedoes into the rear of the Dark Seraphim, slowing it down considerably.

Motioning to a portion of the hologram, he was instantly given a more detailed view of a portion of the naval scene. He watched TIE Defenders advance in formation, and begin cutting down Interceptors from CSP and Tal. Noticing a problem, he quickly ordered, “Beta squadron, disengage. You’re too close to that Lancer.” He watched as all but one Defender moved quickly. The last, took several direct hits, enough to disrupt the shields, and damage the engines – it was quickly cut down by TIE Fighters. ShadowFoxx grimaced.

* * * * *

The Yevethan left a swath of bodies in his wake. With the fighting withdrawn into the city proper, he had been forced to abandon his tank. Now, he waded through the battle, a towering ghoul, wielding his dual lightsabers. His troops advanced with him. Quickly deflecting a trio of blaster bolts back to where they originated from, Doni`Tzu paused. He grinned. There, standing in the middle of the field was the enemy commander – one of them anyway, but the only one that mattered to the Tarentae. Doni`Tzu fell back into a ready stance with his two lightsabers.

Duga took the invitation and rushed. Using his forward momentum the human sprang forward, his red blade crashed against the two yellow ones with the all too familiar popping noises. Duga, a master of his style, knew not to let up his attack. Faster and harder he rained blows down, only to find each one blocked time and again by one of the Elder’s lightsabers. He could not score an opening in the Yevethan’s defenses, but he could force the Elder back. Which he continued to do. More blows rained down, and more blows were blocked, but Duga noticed something. The parries and blocks were starting to come slower. He pressed the attack. With one vicious strike, he knocked both blades up. Leaving Doni`Tzu’s torso exposed. Quickly, Duga lunged. Only to realize his mistake at the last moment, not recognizing the feint for what it was. The last thing he felt was a slight burning against his neck as the Yevethan side-stepped and brought one blade down against his neck.

* * * * *

Twenty kilometers to the east, the Proconsul of Tarentum fared only slightly better. She acted as support and Division commander to Korras’ Corps. Charging from the front, she had secured the high ground. Her lightsaber served as a beacon for her troops. Following the Angel of Death as she dispensed her gift to her enemies.

* * * * *

Within the library of the Dark Hall, three masters vied for supremacy. Masters Zero and Trevarus Caerick pressed their attack against the bulwark of Clan Scholae Palatinae. What she lacked in ability in the Force, compared to the venerable Zero, she made up for with skill in battle. He was not used to fighting. That was something best left to his Apprentice. Still, with the Thrice Marked at his side, he was capable of keeping the Ralconian from gaining any distinct advantage.

* * * * *

In the throne room, a different battle took place. One for the very survival of the Brotherhood. Jac fought Jac, around them lay unconscious bodies, the Herald and the Lord Hegemon most prominent between them. Still, smaller battles were being fought. Xanos Sadow found himself trying to fend off an assault by Masters Bloodfyre and Sarin. And Rax von Kluge had bitten off more than he could chew when Master Kane Vader had stepped up to him. That just ended messily. The Seneschal sought to bar Master Vader from leaving the Main Hall. The Seneschal then ended up impaled at the end of the Grand Master Emeritus’ lightsaber. Master Vader left the Equite bleeding on the floor. Not dead, but seriously incapacitated.

Kane continued down the hall. His target was the inner sanctum. Where the Star Chamber convened. Should they choose to convene on Antei. Turning to look behind him, he noticed one of the Jac’s was being pressed back. Shrugging, he turned his head forward again, only to see the Lord Hegemon standing before him. “Grand Master,” Kaiann started, arrogance seeping into his voice, “can I be of assistance?”

Kane strode forward, calmly, “Stand aside, Master Entar. I would like to retrieve something from the Star Chamber’s sanctum.”

Kaiann ignited his lightsaber, “I cannot allow that, Lord Kane.” Kaiann lunged. Only to find his saber blocked by a red blade. Kaiann followed the blade. He saw the sneering face of Tarentum’s Field Marshal. Without taking his eyes off the Lord Hegemon, and keeping his grip firmly locked, Oberst stated, “By your leave, Lord Kane.”

Kane nodded once. As he entered the doorway to the Inner Sanctum, he turned one last time, to see the Deputy Grand Master subdued by Masters Bloodfyre and Sarin.

* * * * *

Oberst smiled, as he heard Kaiann snarl. He watched his opponent disengage their blades and draw back. Before Kaiann could attack, Oberst beat him to the punch. Not bothering with attacking the body, Oberst struck Kaiann’s lightsaber. Hard. The blow was strong enough to send painful vibrations up the Elder’s arm. Kaiann withdrew slightly, falling back into a double handed grip, “You cannot possibly beat me,” the Elder stated.

Oberst continued to smile, “I don’t have to.” Kaiann never noticed the figure step out of the shadows and smash a brick into the back of his skull.

* * * * *

Oberst’s communicator went off, “Sir, Armus reporting. Blue alliance ships have surrendered.” A few seconds later, it went off again, “Field Marshal, the ground forces are in full withdrawal.”

Staring up from the unconscious form of the Hegemon, Oberst nodded at his old friend, the first Krath in Tarentum. And made his way over to remaining Jac. The one that knelt before the body of the dead Jac. Without looking up, Jac spoke, “Oberst instruct the military to stand down. I will address the Brotherhood shortly.” Seeing a dismissal, Oberst frowned and walked away. Not before making eye contact with Sith Bloodfyre and Sirrus, and then making his way towards the Inner Sanctum. He heard the familiar snap-hiss of a lightsaber and then the thud of a body. Reaching out with the Force, he sensed the shock on Sarin’s features. And that Sirrus and Bloodfyre still drew breath.

Now, they would rebuild.