Team 5 Run-On
Members: Tiberius, Roxas, Coop, Scion, Telona, Apollo, Kaira, Drodik, Auron Maysonn, Sanguinus, Incendus, Andrelious
* Individuals must have at least 2 posts at 250-words minimum apiece to count as having participated
* Overall each Run-On must have a minimum of 20 posts at 250-words minimum apiece
* Cannot edit a post once someone else has made a follow-up post
* Cannot make consecutive posts; At least one other must have posted after you
All Run-On fiction must follow from weekly fiction posted.
Week 1 Details
* No cure can be found for the Plague
* It is not known how this Plague came to be
* Currently all Journeymen are in Stage 1 of the Plague; Equites and Elders are not yet affected
Stage 1 Details
At Stage 1 the Plague has taken hold, feeding on the Force abilities of infected. As it “feeds” on the infected it transfers some of that energy back into their bodies. At this stage the infected gain +2 to all physical attributes (STR, CON & DEX). Although the ability to summon the Force is fully removed, they do not appear to feel pain in the same way and appear to be channelling the power [CTP] constantly.
Any Force powers used on the Infected seem to reinvigorate them, rather than stop them. The infection takes such usage into itself and adds to its feeding.
Outside the Shroud
The shame in fleeing was ever there in the Prelate’s mind as he ordered his companion to bring the shuttle out of hyperspace. The Force was calling to him, whispering advice to the Obelisk. It told him that here there were friends, friends that would help them, protect them, aid them.
The glare of the stars turned into darkness as the craft buckled and shook as it dropped out of hyperspace. The viewport showed an Imperial II Star Destroyer hanging there in the vast blackness of space, the outer lights declaring to all and sundry that the might of Tarentum was present.
Sanguinius gestured to the blinking light that told the Dark Jedi that they were being hailed. “Open the channel, Andrelious.”
The Battlelord hastened to obey, despite being from a different House from the Quaestor. The mutual respect between the pair enabled them to ignore niceties. The Gatewarden currently occupied the role that Sanguinius once did, leading Shadow Gate, Arcona’s eyes and ears.
“This is the Imperial Star Destroyer, Magnus Kaerner. You are in Brotherhood space.Transmit your code now or be destroyed, unmarked shuttle.” A disembodied voice erupted from the loudspeakers, the voice sounding tinny to the ears of the Arconans.
Andrelious turned in his seat to glance inquisitively at Sanguinius, who merely smiled in return. The Obelisk swiftly keyed in a code that went originated from the Treaty of Kessel. It declared to the Tarentum vessel that the occupants of the shuttle were friendly and thus were to be welcomed on board.
The tinny voice issued forth from the speakers again. “You have clearance to land, shuttle Praxeum. Welcome to the Kaerner.”
The craft shook as a tractor beam took hold of the shuttle and drew it inwards towards the docking bay that was used to receive important individuals. A third Arconan made their presence felt as Incendus made his way into the cockpit. “Master, what’s going on?”
The Jedi Hunter’s master spoke, never wasting a word on meaningless drivel. “We have fled Antei, after the pandemonium there. Our...esteemed colleague joined us when we left the combat centre.”
The Journeyman frowned, “I know that, I meant what’s going on now?”
Sanguinius interrupted. “I felt a disturbance in the Force. We are meant to be here, I know it.”
The two Qel-Dromans glanced at each with worried looks, it wasn’t like the Entar to rely on the Force like that. Something was definitely going on.
Kel Rasha Coast
Explosions rang throughout the city. Crimson ran on the streets. Those that were once allies suddenly
turned on each other. Armory sabers clashed against lightsabers. Screams of civilians were heard
throughout the city as Journeyman became even more bloodthirsty than usual. Roxas pulled a bunch
of female clothes into a large duffel and handed it to his girlfriend, who was shaken by the stories on
the news. He grabbed her up and they ran outside to jump into a speeder. The transport roared as it
launched from the small parking spot and into the air.
“Where are we going to go?” The blonde in the passenger seat asked “If they are after strong Force
users, won’t they be after you too?”
“There’s no time to think like that, I’m taking you to the only safe place I can think of.” Roxas said as he
keyed up for a shuttle off planet with his datapad “You’re going to meet my folks…”
She cut him off “But they didn’t raise you! How can you know that I’ll be safe with them?”
The Mandalorian sighed before continuing “I issued an order as the only fully trained warrior of Clan
Buurenaar. Anyone else under the name has to follow my order. They don’t know about my use of the
Force, so keep that secret. After issuing the order I became the acting Mandalore of my Clan….”
Anti-air towers fired at the small speeder as it got closer to the spaceport. The little speeder was
bounced back and forth by the force of the explosions of missing shots.
“Damn I can’t fly worth a kriff as it is, let alone with morons shooting at me.” The Assassin growled.
Kel Rasha center
A tall blue Nautolan ran through the street with blaster bolts flying by him. The others in his class had
gone nuts and started attacking their masters. He didn’t understand what was going on, but he was
going to get out of there quickly. He quickly rounded a corner and saw a Knight stabbing civilians and
laughing. The Knight turned to see Coop standing there and charged. The Nautolan raised his hand to
send a Force push, but nothing happened, he would have tried again, but the Knight was upon him. He
evaded as the Knight slashed with his saber. Coop quickly ran toward the space port The only way to
figure out what is going on is to get to Sepros, the summit will know what to do he thought to himself
as he ran. The Knight rounded the corner and started chasing Coop, swinging his saber wildly. A hand
reached out from an alley way as the blue skinned alien passed by, it grabbed and jerked him from the
“This way.” A DSOG trooper whispered to the Nautolan “We are falling back to the spaceport.”
Coop followed silently, hoping the knight was off their trail.
Kel Rasha Coast
On route to spaceport
Roxas could feel her fear through the Force and it was understandable, but he would die before letting
any harm come to her. The spaceport came into sight, just as more shots came at them from the front.
He lowered the speeder close to the ground and jammed the throttle so hard that it almost broke
off. The little craft screamed as fast as it could go, mere feet from the ground. As it approached the
spaceport, a shot hit the engines and the speeder hit the ground skidding to a stop on the landing pad.
The canopy flew open and Roxas launched himself out with his cyan saber ignited to deflect blaster
Many DSOG troopers leveled their blasters at him, just before a cloaked figure hollered “Hold your fire!”
The figure removed the hood to show the face of a Sith named Tiberius di Cloud. Roxas hadn’t really had
any formal greeting with him, but this was a good a time as any.
“What’s your name?” Tiberius inquired with a curious baritone.
“I’m Roxas Buurenaar.” The Mandalorian replied, surprised that his reputation hadn’t preceded him.
“Are you nuts?! Why didn’t you contact us? We wouldn’t have shot at you.”
The Assassin was puzzled and it showed in his voice when he queried “You wouldn’t shoot at me?”
Tiberius stepped closer as he spoke “No, the Journeyman are attacking the stronger Jedi.”
Roxas lowered his lightsaber and took a breath before speaking again “I have precious cargo and need a
ship to Mandalore immediately.”
An unfamiliar voice came from behind the Mandalorian “Mandalore? What for? You wouldn’t be
deserting us would you?”
“To ask such a question then you haven’t heard of me. I was the apprentice to the Fist and the only
direction I run is toward battle…” He turned to face the unfamiliar voice “Like I said I have precious
The man leaned to the left to get a look at the “cargo” my name is “Coop Ter’An by the way. Oh, your
cargo is a woman.”
“Keep from her or I’ll kill every last one of you.” Roxas said with the most stern and violent tone his body
could produce “Any and all reasons as to why aren’t your concern.”
The Sith waved a trooper over “Find the transport that Roxas is asking for and get the best pilot possible
to handle the task. We don’t need someone as strong as him turning against us at a time like this.”
The trooper saluted and then sprinted to complete the order. Moments later the trooper returned with
a pilot that Roxas had actually used before.
“Is this Pilot satisfactory Sir?”
Roxas nodded “Yes, I trust him. Take her to Mandalore and guard her with your life…” he reached into a
pocket and then handed the pilot a sheet of paper “Escort her to this address and offer to stay and help,
if they don’t need you then return here and help the civilians.”
Roxas then helped his girlfriend onto the ship and carried her luggage. She pulled off his helmet and
kissed him goodbye. She had tears in her eyes, so he wiped them away.
“Don’t worry, you’ll be safe.” He said just before the door slid shut and the engines turned on.
The Mandalorian watched the ship leave while speaking further with Tiberius “So how long have you
been on the clock?”
“I’ve been at the spaceport since early this morning. I came down from the skyhook to take a small
vacation and get a tan. Thanks to this crap my plans were ruined. I was going to go the that bar on
Tarthos..um…the Crossroads, but I heard that it’s closed down. Who would deny a Sadowan a drink? It’s
Roxas pat Tiberius on the shoulder as he replied “I was the tender and had to close the bar, when those
Sithspawn Ewoks attacked. The power generators were destroyed and now everything is under ten feet
of snow. If this goes well, I’ll buy you a stiff drink.”
The Sith looked extremely frustrated, but didn’t speak. Coop walked toward them and broke the
silence “So are we going to Sepros so the summit can tell us what’s happening?”
“Has there been contact from the summit?” Roxas inquired.
The Sith shook his head saying “No. There has been no contact from the summit and from what the
troopers have told me, the situation is the same across the system. Not only that, but it’s as if the
journeyman are actively seeking out the stronger Force users in Naga Sadow.”
Roxas thought before speaking “Then let’s head to Antei and see what the Council has for us.”
“Sounds like a good idea to me.” Tiberius quipped.
The three Sadowans boarded a ship. It’s engines wined as it lifted into the air. The ship took shots from
all around them. It seemed that more of the city had fallen prey to the crazed Journeyman.
“Sirs, We’ve been hit.”
“Fly faster!” Roxas shouted “I don’t want to die before getting off the ground!”
The pilot pushed the throttle until the ship burst through the atmosphere of the jungle planet. The pilot
flipped a few switches and typed the destination into the navicomputer before the hyperdrive kicked
on. The ship entered hyperspace, but after a few moments later the ship exited and an explosion was
“The frak was that?” Tiberius asked curious as to the state of the ship.
The pilot came over the comm system “The hyperdrive exploded, and it took out part of the engines we
are stranded almost exactly between Antei and the Orian system.
All three dark jedi spoke in unison “Damn.”
[ISDII Magnus Kaerner - Cantina]
The younger man's grin was contagious. His dour companion sported a similar expression as he raised his glass of scotch to his lips. The ice cubes jingled inaudibly over the din of the crowd. The cantina was bustling, save for a swath of seemingly inviolable space around the two gentlemen seated at the bar. It seemed as if the entire crew was packed into this one room. A red faced young man, a mere boy by the dour man's reckoning, asked a little too loudly what the pair were celebrating THIS time. The grinning man turned to him, eyebrow raised and face instantly devoid of any expression.
"I wasn't aware that the Captain and XO of a ship required an occasion to offer her crew free drinks. You don't have to drink that one in your hand if you don't want it."
He made as if to snatch the drink from the boy's hand.
The boy stammered for a moment and was about to hand over the glass until Apollo winked, and his infectious grin returned. It quickly spread to the boy's face as well, but any further response was lost in the cacophony.
"So you finally came around," the dour man asked as his companion returned to face him, still grinning. "Sith Battlemaster. I think it has a nice ring to it, but it'll take awhile to get used to it on you."
The former Krath's eyes gleamed.
"I always was more of a pilot than a researcher. It'll be a good change."
"Congratulations again, my friend. I am sure the change will suit you well."
Apollo's commlink beeped suddenly. He groaned before grabbing the small device off his belt.
"XO here, go ahead."
"XO, Bridge. We have a transport requesting permission to dock with us. They have a good clearance code. They are from Clan Arcona."
"Have a security team meet me and our new guests." Just as he was about to cut the link, the officer on the other end wasn't quite finished.
"One more thing, sir." the MK's comm officer asked nervously. Apollo scowled at the commlink, as if the officer could see him.
"We are getting the automated relay from the old Gladius base. Someone is trying to access the base using an old code. "
Apollo turned serious for a moment. The Swords Sheath was the old base of House Gladius, the only true home he has ever known. If anyone was trying to gain entry, he was definitely interested.
"How old, Lt. Sparks?"
"Around 3-4 years sir." Apollo's mind started to race with thoughts and ideas before he answered.
"Wait until we dock the incoming shuttle then move to towards the Sword's Sheath at flank speed." Apollo ordered. Scion looked at him oddly.
"What do you think it is?" Scion asked, sipping the last of his whiskey.
"No idea, but we'll find out. I suggest you take the incoming Arconas while I worry about the Sword's Sheath. Deal?" Scion knew how seriously Apollo took the security of his old base.
"I hate you. Fine." Scion said as he stretched. Apollo smirked before turning to leave.
Apollo was quick to make it to the bridge. As soon as he stepped onto the gray durasteel decking he heard the familiar "XO on the bridge!".
"Status?" Apollo barked to no one and everyone at once. The operation officer was the first to speak.
"Shuttle Praxium landed in the shuttle bay and we are on our way to the Sword's Sheath as we speak. ETA Twenty minutes."
Apollo nodded in silence before a low "Very well." escaped his lips. Drawing upon the Force heavily he reached out to his old home, remembering every room and hallway, every rock and every space. He could feel someone in the Force, but could not pinpoint who it is. The following twenty minutes felt like hours. But before long, it was over.
"We are in range, Sir." The sensor officer said, staring at their console before continuing. "It's an old Lambda-class shuttle. It's holding close to the Sword's Sheath."
"Open a channel." Apollo ordered as he walked to the front of the bridge near the viewports. The comm officer nodded that the channel is open.
"Un identified shuttle, this is the ISD Magnus Kaerner of the Tarentum Navy. Identify yourself." Nothing but static was received. Apollo tried again with the same result.
"Sir, I'm getting a text response from the shuttle. The message say that it does not have a working voice communication suite. It has an old but valid code and is requesting permission to dock."
Apollo nodded his approval. "Have three security teams meet me in the forward hanger, immediately."
The Sith Battlemaster tried to keep from running towards the lift. He could feel something in the Force, but could not see what the Force was trying to tell him. A few minutes later, he stepped out on the the forward hangar as the three security teams took their positions. They all watched in unison as the old shuttle eased onto the deck, the touch of a good pilot. Soon after the ramp began to lower to the deck with a soft hiss. Apollo stood directly in front, his right hand at the small of his back where he kept his lightsaber, just in case. His body stiff and formal but ready to leap into action in a moments notice.
The shuttle occupant came down the ramp quickly but stopped halfway down and locked eyes with MK's XO. Apollo's world slowed to a crawl before stopping all together. His breath held in his chest as if he was suddenly buried alive and the air trapped inside was the last he would ever feel. A smile crept to his lips without his knowledge or command. The woman standing before him returned the favor before running down the ramp and jumping into his waiting arms. She kissed him deeply before wrapping her legs around him. The stunned security guards didn't know where to shoot or blush.
Soon after the kissing duo took a breath and looked at each other.
"I missed you." She said.
"I missed you too." Apollo said as he smiled as bright and as big as a human possibly could.
"I can see that." Telona Murrage untangled herself from Apollo and stood in front of him as she returned his warm smile.
"You're back.. " Apollo managed to get out. His mind a swirl of emotions, all good.
"Yes. Yes I am." Telona smiled before sliding her hand inside his arm. "So, show me around this monstrosity. I have a lot of catching up to do." She said before squeezing Apollo's arm and added a wink for good measure. The two strolled off the deck as the three security teams looked on in puzzlement as to what the frak just happened to their XO.
[ISDII Magnus Kaerner - Cantina]
The old man rose slowly from his bar stool, savoring the aftertaste of the last of his whiskey. He pulled his uniform jacket closer in around his shoulders and watched as Apollo disappeared out the door to the cantina. On a whim, the old man turned back to the bartender.
"Shaun, you got a bottle of something special back there? Apparently somebody invited Arconans aboard without notifying the Captain. I probably shouldn't go greet them empty-handed."
"Sure, Cap. You know I've got what you need. Try this."
Shaun rummaged around behind the bar for a moment, then set a dark green bottle on the bar. So much dust had settled on it that the label was nearly unreadable. When Scion lifted it, a gray ring of dust marked its place on the bar. The Captain brushed off the label to reveal that it was one of the oldest bourbons he had ever seen.
"This will do nicely. Thanks again, Shaun. Please have it sent up to my office. I'll be meeting with the Arconans in there shortly."
The Captain turned from the bar, and made his way out through the crowd.
By the time Scion arrived in the hangar bay, the shuttle Praxeum was only two minutes out. Members of the security detail milled around nearby, snapping to attention when they spotted the Captain's arrival. The old man walked over to where the Flight Officer was overseeing the technicians as they engaged the tractor beam to bring the shuttle into the hangar. The officer saluted briefly, then returned to his work. Seeing that everything was proceeding normally, Scion decided not to interrupt.
It always thrilled Scion to see the giant bay doors open, revealing the wide blackness of space. It seemed something of a miracle that a permeable magnetic field was all that separated him from the frozen vaccuum.
The tractor beams had engaged successfully. The tri-fold wings of Praxeum became visible a few moments after the bay door stopped moving, and moments later the vessel had touched down on the hangar floor ever so gently. Three cloaked figures emerged. The hairs on the back of Scion's neck stood on end when he saw them. He had never liked Arconans, despite their status as Tarentum's allies. They had often been rude to Tarenti Quaestors before the Clan had collapsed, and now they seemed to feel they had taken House Tarentum under their wing, and they wouldn't let any Tarenti forget it. The old man couldn't see what the Tarentae saw in these so-called allies, but an unplanned, unannounced visit could only mean trouble. He would have to put his misgivings aside and make the best of this.
"Welcome to the Magnus Kaerner," he said as cheerfully as he could. "I am Scion Altera, the Captain of this ship. Please, allies, join me in my office and you can reveal the purpose of your visit. My XO will join us there shortly."
Sanguinius Tsucyra Entar smiled kindly. He felt as if some small piece of the puzzle had been put in place, but it had become clear to him that this was far from the end.
Some where between Orion System and Antei System
Coop shifted in his seat under the sheer boredom that had befallen the crew of their useless shuttle. Roxas and Tiberius had sat in their discussions while throwing weird glances over their shoulder at Coop. Coop had never seen Roxas’ face before due to the fact that he had never seen the mandalorian without his helmet on. He did not appreciate the stares nonetheless, nor did he like them from the rest of the crew either. Coop shrugged of the glares and began digging in his pocket for something to pass the time.
“Nothing,” Coop sighed as he finished rummaging through his pack for eleventh time, “Ain’t anybody got some cards!?”
More silence and awkward stares at Coop as he shifted again under the scrutinizing stare of Tiberius who had shot another glance over his shoulder at the irritated Guardian. Coop felt like he was back at home after he had killed the human who had attacked his father.
Coop hated the feeling, and now it was more evident than ever, at least then he had the force even though he had not begun to realize what it was, but nonetheless he had it. Now was emptiness, and he felt weak from it.
Across the cargo bay of their shuttle was a blaster rifle leaning against the wall with about twenty more that looked just like it. Coop didn’t know why but he kept trying to move the one with the green sling. Just a little movement would suffice. It would show that the force had not abandoned him. Coops brow furrowed as he concentrated on the stock of the blaster rifle. He could feel sweat forming on his forehead as he went through the actions.
Coops heart sank as he watched the blaster just sit there. With a resounding sigh Coop grabbed his bag and began rummaging through it again. A loud bang caused everyone to flinch in the cargo bay. Coop shot a look at the rifle with a green sling. It lay there on its side, the only one along the wall to fall in his direction, had he retained his abilities, had he held onto the power that he loved so much.
“Sorry,” a trooper nearby yelled to all of the crew in the bay, “my bad, my rifle sling caught it.”
Coops heart plummeted as he watched the soldier pick the rifle back up and replace it where it had sat. ‘Why couldn’t you have just kept your mouth shut, I could have endured long enough even on a lie you idiot.’ Coop thought to himself as he glared at the soldier as he joined back up with the others. Suddenly Coop felt something heavy wedged in the bottom of his pack. Coops heart jumped almost out of his chest.
“Hey ladies!” Coop hollered, “look what I found.”
Coop held a small rectangle about a half inch in width with a big red spade on the box.
“Anyone up for cards,” four of the soldiers broke off from the main group.
‘Gotta enjoy the lil tings,’ Coop thought to himself as he dealt out the first hand.
Arca Praxeum District- Menat Ombo, New Tython- Midday
Flashes of blaster fire ripped through the humid air of Menat Ombo's Arca Praxeum district; a common sight in the current age of turmoil. From the fallout of the Brotherhoods atrocities to the rise of the Menat Presidium, and the secession of The Peoples New Dawn, chaos was further augmented by the recent warfare with a mercenary force in the wilderness. The ancient peacefulness of Harakoa would remain by all accounts and conscience of the present citizenry, be forever lost to the annals of time. The Jedi had come some decades prior, and with them had followed despair.
Saber blades of all hue sprang from their armory hilts polluting the surrounding stone enclosures of the Praxeum exterior in a collective hum. Bodies, writhed and contorted lunged through the air aiming to strike an opponent for which they were supremely outmatched against. By Brotherhood standards those of Journeymen ranking were far inferior in martial skill as to the Equite class.
“Stun! I Repeat! Immobilize the aggressors!” yelled the voice of Deo Sol, Commander of The Jedi Corp, a branch of the Kotahitanga-Unity Defense Force. He spoke into his com-link to the others in the Corp “Orders from High Councilor Va’lence are to incapacitate the aggressors. Attackers are known Jedi Trainees!.”
A gurgled response broke out from the other end of the channel as Deo warded off an incoming Apprentice with a blaster shot to the abdomen. A spiral of blue energy knocked the man back in moment of stasis. Deo called upon a Harakoan soldier to detain the unconscious man.
Deo lifted his comlink to his mouth, “Master Va’lence, the south eastern quadrant has been secured. My men are reporting the fighting is heading toward the west gate. What are your orders?”
The sound of ricocheting blaster bolts being deflected pierced the com. “I’m en route there now, close the South entrance, we need to contain the entire district. Rendezvous at the West Gate!” spoke the voice of the Nagai High Councilor.
At high noon the fighting began to die down as the K.U.D.F. troops secured and contained the entire district. At the West Gate of the Praxeum District the last of the fighting raged on. A wall of Equite Jedi present in the city flanked by soldiers of the Force Corps baring down on the charge of psychotic journeymen subduing them in a cacophony of restraint.
At last a heavy silence filled the vacuum following the roar of battle.
Drodik meandered throughout the walled plaza observing the aftermath, “Commander Abuli, isolate the detainees separately in the Praxeums holds, I want no contact of any sort between any of them, is that understood.”
Commander Abuli nodded and departed from the High Councilors presence.
“Deo,” Drodik called out to the young Commander, “- is Apprentice Cale among those detained?”
The Officer scanned through the manifest several times, the last time more worriedly.
“No sir,” he said, “We’ve turned over every inch of the Praxeum itself as well, he’s not in the structure.”
A fire burned in Drodik’s belly at the revelation,
“Keep an eye out for him, he needs to be brought in… Await my orders.”
The Nagai made a sudden departure from Deo’s presence, a few meters away an adjutant from the Halls Of The Watchmen, Kaira Rohana’s voice broke out, “Master Va’lence,”
The Nagai turned.
“A message from the Council is awaiting you.” She said
“I’ll head over to Ooroo Abbey right away,” he replied believing the message to be from the Menat Presidium.
“Not City Council sir…” she looked drained of positive energy,
“The Dark Council….”
Halls Of The Watchmen- High Councilors Office- That Afternoon
The message detailing the uprisings on Yridia and other systems echoed in Drodiks conscience. He looked at the provided security footage and first reports of the incidents erupting across Brotherhood space.
‘What is happening?’ he thought to himself.
The robed figure in the holo feed dissipated into static leaving the growing fire in Drodiks stomach burning further.
He pooled over every detail of the enclosed message analyzing every facet and symptom of this “Scourge”.
“Each symptom is present! It’s not a local disease, it can’t be!”
“They knew; for days they knew this outbreak would happen…” he thought further to himself as he summoned several choice Odanites to undertake a dark venture.
“Why tell us at all?”
Odain Vonoro Spaceport- Sunset
The summoned Odanites arrived at the shanty spaceport in the southeast side of town. Present were Jedi’s Kaira Rohana, and Auron Maysonn. With the High Councilor, the Jedi Adjutants boarded the Arthos, and slipped into hyperspace toward Brotherhood space. Their goal: Find a solution to the crisis at hand.
May the force be with them all.
Imperial-II Star Destroyer Magnus Kaerner
Andrelious J. Inahj dutifully followed Scion, who was leading the trio of Arconans to his office. The Qel-Droman Equite was no fool- he could detect the distrust and dislike that his supposed ally felt towards him and his colleagues.
“Captain Altera…I know you’re not very keen on Arconans. But, I assure you that the behaviour of some does not represent us all.” Andrelious began, as the small group entered a turbolift. Scion pushed one of the buttons, and the lift began to ascend towards the upper levels.
Scion frowned, before turning to the Battlelord. “You expect me to accept that your turning up like this is a pleasant visit..who are you, anyway? I don’t recognise the face from any of our past meetings.”
“I am Command….Battlelord Andrelious Inahj. I’m….a leader of one of Arcona’s most important units..” Inahj replied, almost revealing the nature of Shadow Gate to the Tarenti.
“All you need to know is that he’s a colleague of mine, Scion.” Sanguinius continued, shooting a stern look of his own in the direction of the Gatewarden.
The turbolift reached its destination, its doors opening with a quiet hiss. Altera quickly slipped out and marched a short distance down a corridor, before tapping a few buttons on a keypad. Another door opened, this one leading into a large office.
As Scion sat down, he motioned to his ‘allies’ to do the same. Sanguinius and Incendus were quick to comply with the request, but Inahj took a quick swig from his hip flask before also sitting down, flanked on either side by his Arconan brethren.
The Tarenti nodded in the Qel-Droman’s direction. “So you like a drink, Inahj? I assure you that such behaviour is most definitely tolerated on this ship. All I ask is that you put your own away. We have something special here on the Kaerner.”
“He’s always drinking..” Incendus mentioned nervously, but an icy glare from his master silenced the Hunter before he dared speak further.
Chuckling lightly, Scion opened a drawer to his left, and extracted four small glasses. Into each glass, the Battlemaster poured a measure of the aged bourbon, before handing one to each of his guests.
Sanguinius sipped from his glass. “As Andrelious said, Altera, you clearly are not comfortable at our presence here, but I am sure you have noticed that something is happening. Something terrible. Just take a look at Incendus here. Days ago, he was a promising young journeyman. Now, he has no connection to the Force. It’s only because of his trust in Andrelious’ judgement that he is not trying to kill us,” he explained.
“We have had reports of similar incidents within Tarentum’s ranks.” Scion answered.
Andrelious consumed his drink in a single swig, seeming to enjoy it immensely “We have just returned from Antei. Things are even worse there…”
Imperial-II Star Destroyer Magnus Kaerner
Two pairs of boots clanked down the metal hallway, followed at a distance by three more. Laughter rang off the walls. It seemed a bit out of place on a warship full of Dark Jedi. It was welcomed though. An Elder to the Brotherhood and to Tarentum had finally returned. The young Journeymen escorting her and the XO of the ship exchanged glances. The infection was eating through their minds as they listened in on the conversation.
“So I won that hunk of junk in spite of what that scum of a pirate said. Never bet against me!”
“What an idot!” Apollo chortled. “I am glad you are back with us. I take it all went well?”
Telona nodded her head. “The Vong left a nasty mess but those refugees left a bigger one. It took longer than I thought to do cleanup.” She paused. “Seems you are doing well Battle Master. The Sith order was more of your calling but I couldn’t convince you of that.”
“Yeah I wouldn’t have listened anyways.”
Suddenly the woman stopped and faced the Sith with a serious expression on her face. Apollo knew that look. It was a look of misgiving, worry, and quiet questions. She glanced at the Journeymen who had stopped as well.
“You can talk to me later about what happened to Gladius. I am puzzled about what is going on now. Something doesn’t feel right with those Journeymen. Has there been changes to their training?”
Apollo cocked an eyebrow. “No not much. Why?”
The Adept closed her eyes and touched the Force, focusing on those she knew in other Clans and the DC. The Journeymen twitched but stood firm in their place. She shook her head a few moments later and opened her green eyes. Worry danced across her face.
“Turmoil and an empty void are spreading in all systems. There are those who are fleeing. We also have guests. You should attend to them but don’t linger. I think we should try to find as many of our fleeing neighbors as we can and then put our heads together.” Telona took a deep breath. “I need more time to think. Have one of these Journeymen escort me to some quarters. We will talk later.”
Apollo nodded and gave the order. He wanted to spend more time with her but he was XO after all. He had duties to tend to, including the knot in the pit of his stomach. The rumors he had heard had been confirmed.
Imperial-II Star Destroyer Magnus Kaerner
"How so?" asked Scion, with a minimal expression of concern.
"As I mentioned earlier, Incendus would be attacking all of us now if he didn't trust in Andrelious' judgement," interjected Sanguinius. "Many other Journeymen have begun thrashing about at anything unafflicted. As we speak, many Dark Jedi struggle to nullify the escalating chaos unfolding on Antei. I find it quite fascinating really."
Scion's countenance expanded even further. "Do you have any idea as to what is the cause of this?"
"Nothing," said Andrelious. "We just know that it seems to be originating from the Academy."
"It sounds quite tumultuous," responded Scion. "If Antei falls, so does the rest of the Brotherhood. While we may be segregated by our Clans and Houses, we are one whole."
"Which is why we've come to ask for your assistance. We need to try and get to the bottom of this, said Sanguinius. "Preferably while the Equites and Elders are mostly unaffected."
"Hmm..." The Arconans could clearly see that he was balancing two opposing thoughts in his mind. "Our units are in alliance. However, I'm not sure if we're in a position to help out at the moment. Plus, we suspect that Arcona has some small unit within it hidden from Tarentum. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with a plot against Tarentum, but I won't have this request be a trap." With this statement, Incendus and Andrelious once more shot worried glances at each other.
"You're paranoid," Sanguinius said. "Arcona has secrets. But so does the rest of the Brotherhood."
"This is true," replied Altera, "but I just want assurance that this isn't a trap.
As the three more experienced Dark Jedi debated with each other, Incendus sat there and thought about the current situation, the taste of bitter bourbon lingering on his tongue. What will become of Arcona? Will the Force return to me? The Force. It was once the only thing that kept me going. But now, it has so easily turned on me, releasing it's soul-crushing wrath upon us. It has abandoned me and the ones I called friends.
Incendus looked up to a glare from his Master. "Control your thoughts, boy," he whispered.
So many minutes that seemed like hours passed before the Sith were done.
"I'll speak to my allies about this," ended Scion. "Until then, feel free to retire to our living quarters. I'm not sure why my XO hasn't made it yet, but we will look into this request, my friends. You have my word."
"Remember what you said earlier," said Andrelious. "We are one whole."
Imperial-II Star Destroyer Magnus Kaerner
The trio discussed as they passed through the hallway.
"I wonder how this is going to end," said Andrelious.
"I think that Altera will accept," said Sanguinius. "He seems to understand that we are in this together, especially since we signed the Estle-Eden Axis.."
"I worry about what will come about from the riots," said Incendus. "As our members are forced to fight each other, our number will continue to decrease. We need to keep a strong hold on the galaxy, and we need numbers to do such a thing.
Andrelious and Sanguinius looked back at him, surprise showing clearly on their face. It wasn't often that a Journeyman made such a statement.....
‘Answers,’ Kaira thought to herself, ‘yes answers, to so many different questions’
Kaira had her own set of questions she wanted answered. Her own life had been turned upside down the moment the first journeymen showed signs of the infection. At that moment Kaira stayed away from the house with her daughter. It was too late of course, Krystal had been infected. At least she was only a little girl. What damage could a 4 year old cause right?
The truth was Kaira knew just how much trouble a 4 year old could get into and cause. Before she had left to help her house, she left a medical droid in charge to care for her little girl. They were to keep her asleep though out the whole plague as the brotherhood had started calling this sickness. For now her daughter was safe but that couldn’t be said for the rest of them.
Kaira turned to her leader and frowned. “Master Va'lence al'Tor, Sir what is the plan?”
She wanted some kind of reassurance from her leader that he had a plan. She wanted to know why they were out here in space anywhere and where were they going? “Where are we going anyway?”
Kaira had never really met the other members of the team that accompanied them. Of course they were together on this mission so she would get to know them better later on.
“Kaira calm your mind.” Master Va’lence al’Tor broke the silence, “We are going to check things out with the other members of the brotherhood. You see this is happing all over brotherhood space.”
Now Kaira looked even more concerned when she heard a beep from the computer. There was a ship out there maybe dead in space for it was not moving. “Drodik, there seems to be a ship out there, it is drifting dead in space. How should we deal with this?”
Aboard The Arthos
Space: Something-Something Quadrant
The Nagai Councilor scanned through the readout on the panel before him and proceeded to punch in a number of sequences. A diagnostic popped up on the screen indicating the vessel to have undergone several disabilities rendering its functionality in jeopardy.
Kaira turned to Drodik, “All power has been transferred to their life support system sir. It’s signature is that of a Brotherhood Vessel, Sadowan.”
His deep azure eyes darted toward her, “Message,”
At this command Kaira readied herself to transcribe a dictation for forward to the disabled craft:
“This is Jedi High Councilor Drodik Va’lence of The Order of Odan-Urr….Given the situation escalating on all Brotherhood systems, your company aboard the Arthos is welcomed, even more so amid the circumstances regarding your vessels present condition. If you agree to honor Darth Ashens mandate and join our company in peace we will proceed to dock and make the necessary transfer of personnel.”
Kaira finished transcribing the message and sent it along to through the stranded vessels emergency comm channel. “Its gone sir, now all we have to do is wait.” She said.
Drodik stood from his seat and looked out the cockpit windows.
“And prepare.” He retorted
He knew something within him was changed, he had felt it when he spoke to the Presidium. His connection to the force was diminished, if not entirely gone at some points. He was a Jedi no longer, at least in the sense of being able to commune with the energy of the force. The plague, whatever it was had touched him. A sense of anxiety filled his bowels with a fiery apprehension and fear.
Having lost force ability this handicap was his only bluff, he knew that if the darksiders discovered this he too would endure the same fate as the fallen journeymen and the collapse of the Jedi Order would be imminent especially given the wound on New Tython that he was bent on healing. The thoughts of fear abated as he thought of the beauty and splendor of New Tython and the simplicity of its people. He had found a broken paradise, and to fix it he knew he had to summon the courage to continue and survive so as to return to his true work which was only just beginning.
---A few moments passed and the appropriate signal was given that the vessels personnel would abide the DC mandate and proceed in wartime peace aboard the Jedi ship the Arthos. After the ship had successfully air-locked and linked ramps a quarrel broke out to which a lone member in the fear of infection and compromised security was forced back into the stranded vessel for fate unknown.---
Imperial-II Star Destroyer Magnus Kaerner
With all aboard the vessel zipped into hyperspace only to emerge upon the massive ISD-II the Magnus Kaerner. The Star Destroyer was an impressive technological feat; its sheer size and function in comparison to the Arthos made one weep for the mind that envisioned and carried out its construction.
Identifiers were communicated with the communications bridge of the Kaerner and permission was immediately given to enter the designated hangar bay reserved for important heads of state and high-class vessels. Being a top-priority mission the Arthos was escorted into the bay with several tie fighters.
The blue tractor beam rattled the vessel illuminating the entire cockpit as it was pulled into the bright and militaristic hangar. Once the ship touched down the pressurizing systems aboard finalized their work and the ramp was lowered.
“Kaira, keep the engines at full operation,” he said as he pressed a series of controls.
“Sir?” she questioned as she carried out the order.
All Brotherhood members aboard the Magnus appeared in the hangar and approached the Arthos. An intense fire burned in his stomach once again, it hadn’t eaten in days.
Calm and collected, the Nagai Jedi stood in the cockpit windows watching while he awaited as the Brotherhoods top members were greeted outside by the occupants of the stranded ship. Full attention of the party outside turned as they looked at the still active Baudo Yacht.
“Kaira, set the aperture on the engines to .40” he said calmly.
And she did.
The roar of the engines grew louder. Puzzled, the Dark Jedi’s, every one of them aboard approached the Arthos to speak to its Nagai captain. He waited as they approached growing ever closer. From the camera on the console next to him he watched as they finally came into view on the aft ramp.
‘Force be with me’ the Nagai said as he threw his hands onto the ships controls.
After executing a series of commands, an explosion ripped through the Baudo Yacht Arthos’ engines consuming the entire hangar, the vessel, and all occupants in and around. The ensuing explosions led a domino effect of multiple explosions which cascaded consuming the entire starboard section of the Magnus Kaerner.
Outside the ISD-II Magnus Kaerner
- - - “Master Drodik,”
Kairas voice reached out through the hum in the Nagai High Councilors ear. It took her several moments to gain his attention before he acknowledged her.
“The bridge has given us permission to dock in the Hangar.” She said puzzled at the Drodik’s withdrawn countenance. He swallowed sternly and looked forward toward the Magnus. A moment passed,
“Proceed, Master Rohana”.
Imperial-II Star Destroyer Magnus Kaerner
The tempo inside the vessel had changed. More infected and turning their anger, fear, and hate against one another. As more Force users arrived paranoia seeped into the cracks. No single being was left untouched anymore. Now it would be down to a matter of personal restraint.
Perhaps the last person aboard to feel the effects of the infection just yet strode quietly down the hallways. She observed the crew as she went by. Even they were affected by this rampant epidemic. Not Force users but still affected. She pondered this as she walked. To her, they seemed to be more depressed than anything.
The Force flows through all in our galaxy.
The young Journeyman that had shown her to her quarters stopped her thinking and her feet. He glared at her with pure hatred, hand on his blaster pistol. The red haired woman just shook her head in sadness. She hated seeing this up close as much as she hated reading the reports of all the fighting in all Brotherhood systems.
“Don’t even think about it kid.” She said quietly. “You don’t know what you are thinking. You need to go to your quarters and take better control of your emotions.”
“Sith spit woman!” He yelled as he pulled his weapon and fired.
A seasoned warrior, Telona easily dodged the bolt simply by reading the young man’s movements. She gave him a push through the Force. Nothing happened except for an increase in his rage. He shot again and again mindlessly. She weaved through the barrage quickly and brought a sparkling green dagger up to his neck.
“I have no need of the Force to put you down kid.” She hissed.
He had no rational thought to his actions. The Journeyman dropped his gun and tried to wrestle with the Elder. He was pumped up from her earlier usage of the Force but blind strength was no match for fighting skills. She quickly floored him and cracked his head to knock him out.
This is not good. I can’t take them all out. More are onboard. How far up has this gone? I must go see Apollo. I need to get answers from the DC.
The Epis brought the Jedi ship to dock with the much larger Dark Jedi vessel ISD-II Magnus Kaerner. Something about being around so many dark Jedi again had Kaira feeling ill at ease. The last time she had been around so many dark Jedi they had been at war. She knew already that one on board this ship was someone she did not relish seeing, but right now her forces had to be on her own leadership. Drodik seemed to have withdrawn into himself during their trip to find help and possibly answers.
Kaira turned as she left the controls of the ship to her house leader. Her eyes bore into his, “Drodik, I am here for you, I answer to you and only you.”
It was all she could say at the moment to let him know she would be on his side no matter what happened. ‘This was just another mission with the man, right?”
“Thank you Kaira,” Drodik paused, “Shall we head out to talk with the Dark Jedi leaders that have come to meet us?”
They exited their ship with caution as they came to a halt in front of a group of dark Jedi. Kaira wondered just how many of them around her were showing symptoms of the Plague that had gripped so many. ‘Had it spread to those higher up yet?’ So far she had felt nothing in the way of a loss of power and that made her feel a bit sad for those that had.
There before them stood a number of dark Jedi. Kaira put on a slight little smile as she came to stand before them. Behind the Jedi stood the Dark Jedi from the small shuttle they had picked up. They had joined them on their ship but had been rather quiet for the trip to the Magnus Kaerner. Was this just there way or were they waiting to be with more dark Jedi before they would take action against the Jedi. This illness or plague had hit the Jedi just as it had the dark Jedi, so no one was safe.
Apparently, the whole of the Brotherhood was now sending its plague-ridden refugees to the Magnus Kaerner. Captain Altera stood by patiently as several figures exited a ship reportedly from Odan-Urr. On his way here from his meeting with the Arconans, he had killed an insubordinate young man to spare his own life. Less than a week ago the old man would have trusted this crew to fly the ship directly into the nearest star without hesitation or complaint. Today, he could scarcely walk its corridors without his very life being threatened.
"I am Scion Altera, the Captain of this ship. Welcome to the Magnus Kaerner."
The Light Jedi and their unlikely Sadowan companions approached cautiously. Despite Darth Ashen's mandate for peace, they knew the risk they were taking by coming together here. But what choice was there?
"Please follow me to the conference room. Representatives from Arcona have already arrived and will join us there. I'm sure you will agree it best that we discuss our predicament and our strategy for resolving it together."
"Very well, Captain," replied Drodik. "I thank you for your hospitality in this time of crisis."
The words were pleasant and polite, but Drodik's mind was descending through fire into rage. He envisioned murderding this old Dark Jedi Captain in dozens of ways. He could feel the eyes of the crew members peering at him as he passed. He imagined they could sense the darkness welling up unbidden in the Jedi's soul. That they knew his connection to the Force had begun to slip away.
Scion held one hand in the other behind his back to keep his fist from clenching. The nervous tick would certainly give away the fact that he was terrified of what was to come. Earlier he had killed a man. What should have been a shove into a wall had drunk in so much of the Dark Side that the boy's chest had exploded all over the wall like a bucket of red paint. The reports over the last few hours had been all too clear about the course of this disease, and they had all ended the same way: cut off from the Force and put down like some animal.
The entourage arrived in the conference room just ahead of the Arconans. Apollo was waiting for them, but his usual puckish grin had been replaced by a stony facade. Telona was nowhere to be seen.
"Scion, the bridge reports that we are underway back to Yridia II. The Marshal has recalled all Tarenti vessels. A large invasion fleet has somehow made its way through the Itaana Belt and is approaching Castle Tarentum."
"They 'somehow' made their way through?"
"Yeah. The message said they picked off the automated defenses from long range, as if they knew exactly what to target. It said their fleet is larger than ours, although somewhat older."
"Then we go to our deaths, and we take as many of them with us as we can. Better, I think, than rotting within from some disease."
The Captain turned to the Odanites, Arconans and Sadowans that had entered the room with him.
"I am so sorry, my new friends. Genuinely I had hoped that coming together here would be a way to devise some solution to our mutual problem and bring aid to all of our various worlds. It now appears that the Magnus Kaerner was a false hope. We have been summoned in defense of Yridia. I am sure you will all understand and respect the duty that Apollo and I bear. The guards outside will show you to your quarters. Apollo and I are needed on the bridge."
The Dark Side of the Force raged through Scion Altera as it never had before. He was invincible. Not even Darth Ashen himself could stand in his way now. The Magnus Kaerner would sweep this wretched "invasion fleet" aside like sand in the wind.
Imperial-II Star Destroyer Magnus Kaerner
“I don’t know what is going on here, but I don’t like it.” Andrelious J. Inahj said. He had taken a seat at the large table in the conference room, and glared at the Odanites and Sadowans with distrust.
“I agree. And now our hosts have effectively taken us captive.” Sanguinius responded.
“Master…which of these bastards took my power?” Incendus asked, his tone indicating bitterness towards the others, the ones he didn’t know.
“Right. Prelate Tsucyra and I will try to figure out exactly what’s happening. The rest of you are either already infected, or about to go down. My advice is that you all stay here..” Andrelious barked. The Battlelord was feeling supremely confident, as if he could take on whatever invasion force was attacking Tarentum himself.
The Entar was so taken aback by his colleague’s assertive behaviour that he simply followed as requested. Some in Arcona did not trust the ex-Imperial, but the Galeres Quaestor had been one of the first to believe that Inahj’s intent was indeed noble, at least for a Sith.
“Andrelious…are you sure that this is wise? That bitch Kaira is the same rank as you..she won’t be affected until the same time as you. And the others are beginning to lose their mind. Surely you noticed that Incendus blames the other units for his plight? I suspect that things are about to take off.” The Prelate said, as the two Arconans headed towards the bridge.
“I don’t give a frak. They’re diseased. They’ll fight among themselves, and then come to take us on…for that matter, how do I know YOU won’t turn on me? I can already sense your grip on the Force slipping away.” Inahj replied bluntly.
The Galeres Quaestor sighed. “I can’t guarantee that I won’t. Some of the journeymen are becoming little more than animals.” He said, horrified of the prospect of losing the Force connection that he relied on.
As the two Arconans reached a turbolift, the doors opened. Inside were six angry Tarenti, clearly addled by the ongoing Horizon plague.
Aboard the MK
Roxas and coop followed a trooper to the room that they would be staying in.
“Why didn’t you say anything in there? Are you stupid or something?! I’m talking to you!” Coop hollered at Roxas, the plague already had a strong grip on his mind.
Roxas turned his T-shaped visor to the Guardian and spoke in a tone that would have made a rancor scared “I’m going to tell you this once and only once, shut the frak up. I’m doing whatever it takes to survive this weird situation that we have fallen into.”
The Guardian scoffed “You’re weak and nothing you do will help us. You should have stayed with the Sith, you are making the Clan look bad.”
“You do realize that I’m stronger than you right? Even without the Force I can frak you up so bad that the Gods wouldn’t be able to recognize your corpse.”
The Nautolan narrowed his brow in anger as he replied “I would like to see what you got sleemo.”
The Soldier of Tarentum took off, down the corridor to get away from the Sadowans before signaling that there was an altercation between Force Users.
“I would say that you are going to regret calling me that, but you won’t live long enough to learn your lesson.”
The Templar focused his mind and raised his hand to unleash the power for which Naga Sadow is known for, but to no avail. Anger grew in the Mandalorian. So no more Force powers, that’s fine I don’t need the Force. He thought to himself as his and Coop’s sabers ignited almost in unison. The blades were both calling for blood, but only one would be victorious.
Coop’s mind was in a rage as he spun his emerald lightsaber in close, tight circles. Coops glare narrowed as he felt the rage boil over. Coop roared in at the Mandalorian with a slash from his right to his left with his left handed emerald armory saber.
The bright clash of the emerald and cyan lightsabers knocked both Sadowans back into their perspective fighting stances. Coops ability with a lightsaber was more muscle memory than it was any form of the force. Coops rage at the Mandalorian was unfounded but he found that he did not care. Roxas was just someone he could take all his pent up aggression out on.
Coop spun in low to his left and brought a slash across the midsection of Roxas who easily dodged it by kicking his hips back. As Coop allowed the over swing of his lightsaber he spun it around his back to guard from Roxas’ downward slashes. The blades banged back and forth as both combatants went after each other. Coop had the physical advantage but he did not have the experience of Roxas’ training. Coop knew that if he were to prevail that he would have to disarm the Equite and take him down physically.
Coop was just purely stronger and more agile than Roxas and even with Roxas’ more extent knowledge of lightsaber dueling it did not make up for Coops pure physical prowess. As Coop came charging in at Roxas he swung from his left to his right with a vicious onslaught. The equites training was the only thing keeping him in this fight. They were evenly matched with their lightsabers more on the fact that Coop was channeling all his rage and strength into every strike and using his newfound agility to dodge the Mandalorian’s attacks.
Roxas’ cyan blade came in fast and smashed against Coops defending emerald blade. Coops blade didn’t even budge as Roxas’ blade bounced violently back. Coop struck from his a defensive stance with a stab that Roxas dodged with an easy side step. Coop had a slight advantage if he could remove the equalizer. Roxas was no longer Coops better. What had made Roxas his better had now fled his fellow Sadowan. The tides had turned in Coops favor. He was stronger and more agile than his clan mate and both of them knew.
Coop ducked Roxas’ slash and took a few steps back. Coop took another swing at Roxas who easily dodged the downward slash. Roxas spun around and brought a leveled slash at Coops head which he ducked under and stepped in behind. Coop slammed his forehead into the glass of the Mandalorian helmet, splintering the visor into pieces. Coop stumbled back swatting back and forth to keep the Mandalorian back. He did it out of sheer reflex due to the fact that the head-butt didn’t even cause him to flinch. Roxas seemed equally as undaunted as Coop at the surprise attack.
“How about we do this old school?” Coop piped up as he deactivated his lightsaber and took a Carinor stance.
“Big mistake,” The Mandalorians has always renowned for their physical prowess in hand to hand combat. Coop knew what he was asking but Coops styles were based on sheer strength and with his addition of the Carinor style he procured training in he could now use this newfound physical speed.
Coop took a strong stance across from Roxas who took up a more offset stance as he brought his hands up and in close. Coop knew this stance from watching some of the soldiers grapple. Coop rooted himself to the floor. He knew all there was to know about broken gate and had received a good amount of training in broken gates advanced fighting style, Carinor.
Coop came in close to Roxas with a roll that put them arm’s length apart from each other. Coop brought an earthquake kick around leveled at Roxas’ head. The Mandalorian easily caught the powerless kick.
“Is that all you have got?” Roxas laughed at the Nautolan who just leveled a smirk his way.
Coop spun his hips and put all his strength in his other leg as he brought it around in a flying kick to the side of the Mandalorians head. The Equite shifted at the last moment and caused the kick to collide with the man’s helmet at a weird angle, sending it flying across the room and into a wall. The Mandalorian looked at his dented helmet across the room then leveled a glare at the Nautolan. Coop knew that his Carinor was what set him apart but he also knew that the only reason he didn’t take the equites head off was because the Equite had experience on his side. Coop stepped in close and leveled a close jab at Roxas’ face but hit nothing but air. It only then just occurred to coop that he had faulted and came out of his rooted stance to strike the man. Coop had not time to correct as the Mandalorian grabbed Coops arm and swung his hips into Coop’s. The blue skinned Nautolan was airborne before he could grab onto the Mandalorian. Coop came slamming through a dinner table and some chairs before he came to a stop across the room. Coop came up fast and low at the Mandalorian this time. He planted his feet just short of the Mandalorian and began his ferocious onslaught of strikes.
Roxas batted them away and countered the Blue skinned alien’s onslaught with his own strikes. This continued on for a few minutes as the combatants continuously worked to catch the other off his guard and deliver a solid hit. It was not working and Coop knew that he was getting tired as a hit ricocheted of his shoulder and harmlessly away. Coop fell back into his Carinor training and began striking with two appendages. He snapped out a harmless left jab and brought in his right knee with all the power he could muster. The Mandalorian did something that surprised the guardian. He took the harmless jab to the chin and blocked the knee with his own upraised knee and lowered his elbow to assist with the block. Coop tried a few more tricks that he had left but to no avail. The man was reading his weak attacks and blocking his strong ones. Coop could feel the fatigue in his joints he didn’t know why but he was slowing down. Coop disengaged and took a few bounding steps back and away from the Mandalorian.
Gotta give it to the man, he has conditioning, Coop thought to himself as he tried to stare down the Mandalorian. All of a sudden something snapped inside Coop. He just stopped and stood there looking at Roxas stunned. Coop became mesmerized by Roxas’ glowing red eyes and couldn’t look away. It was soothing and eerie to Coop fell to his knees looking at Roxas who seemed to be moving in slow motion. Coop could only barely register the activation of Roxas’ cyan blade but his body seemed paralyzed from Roxas’ eyes. Roxas walked up to Coop and raised his lightsaber to deliver a killing blow. As the blade slowly came inbound a crimson blade appeared from behind Coop and slammed into Roxas’ cyan blade knocking Roxas’ slash away with ease. As Coop fell to his right he looked up and saw Scion standing over him.
Apollo and Scion walked quickly to the bridge. Even with the Force seeming to rage inside them, the decades of military discipline mandated how they reacted to the situation at hand. The command crew of a star ship do not run unless it is imperative that they do so. But even so the two officers, best of friends any other time, seemed to be annoyed with one another. They reached the bridge, Apollo slightly ahead of Scion. The latter giving a scathing look to the other as they assumed their posts. Scion standing in the middle of the bridge while his XO stood behind the Operations Officer for the MK, reading over the incoming communications from both Tarentum other Houses or Clans as well as sensor data gathered for the past few hours that he was not on the bridge. After a few seconds Apollo turned towards Scion and walked towards him.
The Captain of the MK stood next to the port crew pit, looking down at his crew. He could feel his XO turn towards him and begin walking. He clenched his fists, feeling Apollo’s eyes drilling into the back of his neck. He silently wondered to himself if the Sith Battlemaster would reach for his lightsaber that was tucked into the small of his back.
“Captain Scion, aparen…” Scion cut off his XO with a wave of his hand.
“My dear Captain Apollo, why are we not moving towards Yridia II?” Scion turned towards the object of his disdain. To his delight he seen muted rage flow behind his so called friend’s eyes. The Force was strong with Apollo. It was Apollo who had recruited him into the Brotherhood long ago. It was also Apollo who helped him train with a lightsaber. But his XO’s skill was not important. Scion could feel the Force flow through him. The pure power he felt, it was as if the universe itself have deemed him worthy of a gift greater than anything he had ever dreamed of. He smiled as he finally locked eyes with Apollo, awaiting his answer.
This is my friend. I do not want to kill him. I do not want to take his head off with a swift strike of my lightsaber and watch it roll across the floor. No, not at all. Apollo slowly lowered his hand away from his waist and away from his saber. He took a long breath and smiled at Scion. Though that action seemed to piss off his friend more so than actually reaching for his weapon would have.
“My apologies, sir. I’ll get us underway momentarily.” Apollo turned to the helm and barked the order for the MK to make way to Yridia II at flank speed. He also ordered the navigator to plot a micro-jump to make the journey as quick as possible. Once finished he turned his attention back to his friend.
“Orders given, sir. Now, if I may?” Scion nodded reluctantly and moved closer. Apollo turned his datapad towards Scion.
“We are not the only ones under siege. It seems several other Houses and Clans are under attack. The makeup of which appear to be similar in nature to the fleet approaching the Castle.”
“But why would someone attack now?” Scion asked in puzzlement.
“It shouldn’t be hard to figure out.” Apollo retorted. Scion’s eyes flashed with anger before another voice joined in.
“He’s right, it is obvious.” Telona seemed to arrive at the perfect time, as usual. She appeared to glide over to the senior officers of the MK before touching Apollo’s elbow with a gentle reassuring squeeze. The touch seemed to let the frustration of the moment melt away.
“What do you do before you send troops down to a planet?” she asked no one in particular.
“You soften up the target.” Scion said, suddenly realize what is indeed happening.
“You mean this disease isn’t a natural act of the Force? We were targeted and attacked?” Apollo said as a different kind of anger started to boil within his weathered chest.
“Precisely. Someone had to plant this disease and know what would happen to us.” Telona confirmed as she studied the same datapad Apollo was holding earlier.
“It makes the only tactical sense. Our fleets can combine and stand up to the attackers without a problem. But divide us and cut us off from what we rely on the most…. “ Apollo trailed off.
“And you have the perfect recipe for a hostile takeover of Brotherhood space and holdings.” Scion concluded.
“We’ve got to get to that battle. We need to get Anshar and the rest onboard.” Apollo said, looking at his watch.
“And the enemy fleet?” Scion asked with a smirk.
“Frak ‘em. Order our fleets to disengage and retreat to the opposite side of the planet where we will meet up with the house leadership. After that, we withdraw.” The XO said without much emotion, as if he was describing what he had for breakfast.
“And leave the planets of Tarentum defenseless?” Scion asked, clearly not believing what he is hearing from such a long standing member of Tarentum. Even Telona looked puzzled.
“Listen, even if we get into the fight. What can we do against all of that? Not a damn thing.” Apollo’s voice started to rise as he went on. “So we move in and scoop up what we have left and meet up with whoever is left at Antei.” Both of his friends shook this head in disapproval. Apollo was quick to make his point.
“If we leave, they will stop attacking and just start to take over our planets. With the resistance our troops can dish out in a guerrilla type warfare, it would buy us a enough time to come back with a larger fleet. But we must regroup. The Brotherhood will fall if we stay divided.”
“May the Force be with us..” Telona said as the MK began it’s micro jump.
Imperial Star Destroyer II Magnus Kaerner
Sanguinius’ saber was in his hand before the doors to the turbolift had fully opened. The aquamarine blade flared into life, quickly joined by the Sith’s.
The two Arconans waded into the tiny compartment, hacking off limbs and adding more shades to haunt them in their nightmares. The Quaestor grimaced as he killed; he hated killing the poor unfortunate Journeymen. The Tarenti had, through no fault of their own been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The Battlelord decapitated the last remaining Journeyman, a mere Acolyte by the look of his robes. Andrelious turned to look at his companion as the body collapsed to its knees and keeled over. “This is bad, Sanguinius.”
“I know,” the Anaxsi stated, nothing else needed to be said.
The Qel-Droman continued, “We shouldn’t have come here, I can only sense danger.”
Sanguinius said nothing, his silence speaking volumes. The normally quick-witted and silver-tongued Obelisk was lost for words. His face was pensive as he stood there, towering over the carnage that the Arconans had caused within the lift. His chest heaved slightly as he regained his breath.
The Gatewarden rested a hand on the Prelate’s shoulder, his concern clearly evident. “Are you okay, Sang?”
Turning his head to face his compatriot, a mixed look of resignation and fear marred Sanguinius’ face. “I can’t feel anything.....” His arms fell down to his side, dropping his lightsaber. The hilt clattered to the floor, disturbing the silence.
“The plague has me now....”
Time seemed to slow as Kaira sat in her chair in the conference room aboard the Magnus Kaerner. She was unsure of those around her. Who was infected? Who was to be trusted? The Jedi was not sure she could trust even her own leader right now. The force seemed to enhance her rage like never before even when she was a dark Jedi. Things had changed so much in the last hour that she was not sure what to do. Though the best thing she felt at this time was to sit and listen.
Once the captain of the Tarentum ship left the room Kaira turned to Drodik. What would they do? If it was only her she would sit back and let things play out. She was in no rush to do harm to the ship or the people aboard it. There would be time to get away if things went bad. However what was Drodik thinking about? Would he just sit back like she could right now?
“Well what is the plan Sir?” She chose to ignore everyone else in the room.
Without a word Drodik stood and headed for the door. Kaira was surprised but Stood and followed after him. Where was he headed? Why had he chosen to just leave her like that?
As they walked down the corridor of the ship she reached out to touch his shoulder. The sudden touch sent a sharp ripple on the force to her mind to jump back. Just as she did Drodik had turned to lash out at her. With a small shake of her head she saw the anger in the eyes of her Quaestor. “You are not yourself sir please let me help you.”
There was a curled up smile that grew on the face of the Odan-Urr Leader as he faced the woman. “You, are nothing to me anymore Kaira. I know your help would only be to kill me as it would seem my powers are gone in the force but yours are not why is that? You have the force….your nothing but a lowly woman. How can you surpass me? How is it you are so much stronger then I am? NO it can’t be you stole this power from me. You are not to be trusted.”
There was shock on Kairas face as she heard these words. The man in front of her was not the man she knew from her time as a Jedi. He was dark and full of anger. The darkside seemed to taint each word he spoke. As he finished she let a soft giggle come from her lips.
“I am stronger because I have learned more about the force and done more then you have. You think you can simply push me aside and do as you wish? Well you can blame me for this but I did not take your power from you. That you did on your own you lost it.” Kaira was very agitated with her leader.
Who could tell what would happen between them in the next few moments. There was too much uncertainty with the illness and the others on the ship. Kaira watched closely to see just how Drodik would react to her words the man seemed to be sizing her up. That only made her smile and know she could easily stop him if need be. She would then lock him up in a small room to be left to his own devisees. No matter what happened she wouldn’t kill him if she could help it.
Aboard the Magnus Kaerner
Incendus watched as his fellow Arconans left the room, feeling a slight bitterness.
They left me with a bunch of bastards that I don't even know, he thought to himself. What if they attack me?
He suddenly felt eyes all over him. He looked up and noticed a couple of Sadowans glaring at him. He didn't hesitate to return the stare.
"What do you want? I don't like this anymore than you do," he said to the Sadowans, his piercing eyes still locked into a cold, fiery gaze. The moments in that room were cold and bitter feeling, and each minute seemed to pass like an hour. He noticed the look on the Odanites' faces as well. Some of them wouldn't even look around the room, just stare at the floor. It was easily to feel the anxiousness around him.
Suddenly, the atmosphere changed as the Dark Jedi heard an explosion and an alarm go off. Everyone suddenly got out of their seats. The older Jedi escorted their teams out of the room, while Incendus left alone. He didn't trust any of them.
Incendus darted across the hall, following the sound of a couple more explosions before finding the room he wanted. When he opened the door, he saw before him a battle, a platoon of Tarenti against a smashing wave of addled and affected Tarenti.
Hmmm....This isn't my battle, he thought to himself. Then again, I guess that the Tarenti are my allies. At this point a blaster bolt nearly missed his head. He charged in, completely unaware of what would happen.
He attacked one of them, impaling them with his armory sabre before taking out his blaster and shooting another. He jumped and pounced on one of them, decapitating him, and then turned around and attacked another. He missed, and was hit by a blaster bolt to the left leg.
The battle continued to go on, until all of the affected Jedi were eliminated. Incendus began to feel relief, until he noticed the unaffected Tarenti slowly crowding behind him.
"What?" he said abruptly, confused.
"How do we know you won't attack us?" asked one of the Tarenti.
Before Incendus could answer, he was shot at by one of them. The blaster bolt narrowly missed him, but when he got up to attack them, they all fell down in an instant. He turned around to see a Dark Jedi who he didn't know, but bared the Tarenti symbol. Suddenly he got in a defensive stance.
"Relax," said the unknown Jedi. "I came to help. I saw you fend off the majority of the affected Tarenti, and then my so called "allies turned against you."
"Why would you do that?" asked Incendus.
"Because you helped us," he simply replied. "Just be ready for another battle. We've jumped into hyperspace to go and defend the Brotherhood."
Aboard the Magnus Kaerner
The MK came back into normal space as smoothly as always. The battle raged before them in space. Telona watched as the military machine went to work on the bridge. Both Apollo and Scion needed this to keep their minds off of plague within them. So when a crewman came with a report of fighting in the halls, she took the message and made her decision.
I will keep them all at bay. None will step foot onto this bridge. Treaties or allies be damned.
She slunk over to Apollo and gave him a peck on the cheek. “Believe in your abilities as I do. I will make sure none stand in your way.”
Then the Elder left as quickly as she could. She planted herself within the only corridor to the bridge that was open to those without high level security codes. It was her hope that she did not have to put anyone down. She stretched her senses outward to get a feel for the emotions onboard. Contention was everywhere.
A war raged inside the people onboard the MK, within those people, and outside in space. It was overwhelming even for the Elder. She thought hard on Apollo’s and Scion’s words. They made sense but something still didn’t seem right.
Telona’s thoughts were interrupted when a turbolift shaft opened to allow a passenger off. Another infected Journeyman stepped out. The crazed look on his alien face turned to the one person standing in his way. A person still imbued with the Force. Another turbolift opened as the Journeyman started down the hall. Equites she did not know and did not care at this point to know. They would all fall before her sizzling blue blade.
Let the war being.
The battle was, for lack of a better word, amazing. Anshar, the Quaestor for Tarentum, had done a fantastic job of keeping the battle from reaching Yridia II. That is, if Anshar was still alive. Apollo pushed the thought out of his mind to focus on what was at hand. Tarentum's fighter squadrons have always been feared in the past. Some of the non-Force sensative pilots were legends in their own right. Several of which could have easily joined the Elite Omega or Tau squadrons from several years prior. And whomever was controlling the battle for Tarentum knew how to use them effectively.
The fighters of Tarentum acted as an effective fighter screen to ward off any enemy starfighters that dared to challenge them. The two enemy ISDs began to push the envelope towards Tarentum's Navy. The Corsair, a Majestic Heavy Cruiser, had long range weapons and targeting sensors as did the three Belarus medium cruisers. Combined they laid down heavy fire upon the two ISDs as well as the smaller escort craft from the enemy fleet. But they could not last long, the enemy's flagship began to move forward. Up until now it had apparently stayed out of the fight. But fortunately, the MK had come out of her micro-jump behind them.
"Launch all fighters! Bombers, attack the flagship. All fighters except for the TIE Defenders are for escort. Defenders conduct a missle run agains the shield systems of the closest ISD. Lets help our fleet out!" Scion yelled as soon as he understood the situation.
"Ops! How many shuttles and transports do we have?" Apollo screamed while watching the sensors and many other readouts.
"Four sir!" Came the reply.
"Have them loaded with as many explosives as you can fit! When they are done launch on remote control." That recieved a puzzled look from the crew. Though Scion knew what Apollo was thinking.
"Do it!" Scion ordered. Screw standard military stratagy. The two old warriors shared a look, both being long time fighter pilots, they both yerned to be let loose in a cockpit once more.
Minutes seemed to tick by until the payload was ready. By that time the MK had closed to within turbolaser range and began exchanging broadsides with the enemy flagship.
"Ready sir!" came the Ops officer.
"Launch!" Apollo yelled.
Soon after the enemy's flagship began to show secondary explosions as three out of the four transports found it's mark. The MK began to close in on the closest enemy ISD, who just so happened to be without shields. A cheer erupted throughout the bridge as the tide had finally turned. A new sense of hope was shared with all. Maybe, just maybe they will live out the day. Maybe.