This is the thread for Xathia's Knight Trials in which she and several others will attempt to steal a Nebula Class Star Destroyer for Scholae Palatinae. The expected participants are:
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The brand-new Consul Phoenix Olkyssagh Palpatine looked at his datapad again, closing his eyes and then opening them back up again, the disbelief on his face evident. Incredible, he thought to himself, just incredible.
He thought the possibilities through for a few moments, and guided through the Force, he started to punch in orders on his deskcomp. He also ignored the fact that his fingers were trembling with anticipation and unholy glee.
Next, he opened up a channel on his commlink. His sexy, sexy assistant, given to him as a gift by Cooch, answered him back with that sexy voice of hers, “Yes, my Consul?”
The emphasis on my made him gulp a bit, but then he barked out, “Get me Timbal. I need him here, in front of me, within the hour.”
“As you wish, my Consul.”
Phoenix grinned a lecherous grin and continued working.
Timbal walked into the Consul’s working office, both drooling over the curves of the assistant as well as over the smell of hot caf being just brewed by the Consul. A quick growl by his stomach reinforced the fact to the Epis that once again he was pulled away from his meal before he could sit down and eat it.
“Consul, Timbal reporting in,” he mentioned, throwing a sloppy salute at his old friend. Phoenix mirrored the salute and waved him towards a particularly comfy chair, and didn’t have even ask about the meal, as he just served the Epis some of the hot caf and assorted pastries to calm down the Epis’ hunger pangs.
“Hey, what do you have going on at the moment?” Phoenix asked, directly getting to business.
“Nothing really besides the initial training of the replacement crew members for the Fleet. I’m just getting our naval academy re-set up after being bombed out of existence by the Yuuzhan Vong, but it’s mostly a temporary base until we can get the buildings re-done. Not that its’ a priority at the moment,” Timbal further added with a wave of his hand.
The Consul nodded. “Ok, that’s what I thought, but I just wanted to check.”
“Oh,” Timbal added, just remembering something. “I have just taken a Student as well, sorry, forgot that I should have mentioned that,” he said, with a sheepish look. “Sorry, still not used to having one.”
Phoenix eyed the Epis, who notoriously was a loner in this aspect. “Oh? Who are we talking about?”
“That semi-new transfer from Arcona, the one that came after Fionn and Selene from Arcona,” he said, with his face clouding up with hatred over the name of their hated enemy. He still had not forgiven them for the loss of one of their capital ships by a sneak attack.
Timbal nodded. “She seemed a bit out of place, and although she was an Arconan before, she seems to have taken in with the Clan whole-heartedly, and I can appreciate that. Also, she’s real close to earning her Knighthood, so I figured that I’d step in and help.”
Phoenix shrugged, “Sure, whatever. As a matter of fact, I have an assignment for you, and she could be of help. As a matter of fact, you’ll definitely need some help with this one.”
Timbal arched an eyebrow. “Oh? I really didn’t think that there was a mission that I couldn’t complete myself,” Timbal proclaimed haughtily, and the Consul agreed, ego and all notwithstanding.
“Yeah, well, this is different. I’ve recently come upon some information that I think you, with your skills, would uniquely be suited towards.”
Timbal’s face changed, now curious, but he didn’t say anything, just expecting the Consul to lay it out.
“The Grand Master has just sent word to me about a unique opportunity, and I need the best on this mission.”
Timbal frowned a bit. “Oh? Their ‘favors’ usually entail some sort of payback eventually...” he trailed off, remembering his own experience as a Consul.
Phoenix nodded, “There was a catch, but we’ve already paid that price. Actually, this information comes to us precisely because of our actions last week against the Yuuzhan Vong in Antei and here. We’ve gained this information as a reward of sorts.”
Timbal nodded, things becoming clearer in his head now. “Ok, so what is it?”
Phoenix grinned. “We have word that some of the Grand Master’s schemes have produced several ripe fruit, waiting to be plucked. On Mon Calamari, there are three Majestic-class heavy cruisers that are very close to being completed that are just aching to be snatched. Oh, and to that list add a Nebula-class Star Destroyer.”
Timbal’s jaw dropped. “You’re kidding me?!”
Phoenix grinned even more. “Nope. Apparently he’s been fiddling with Republic Engineering work orders, and one week from now everything will be in place for a special ops team to raid the facility and come out with the ships. I’ve already put in orders to have some of our troops handle the cruisers, but I really want that Nebula. So, put together a team and go get it. I’m going to send you some additional support, but remember that it’ll be mainly just your team that’s going to be stealing the ship. After you take it, you’ll meet up with a new crew for the ship plus a security detail to handle any remaining Republic forces, and then bring it back. That’s it.”
Timbal grinned back, “Hell, that’s it? You got it, bossman. I’ll set up the team right now and get out there.”
“Ok. Also, you won’t have any support from the fleet, since Braecen has apparently taken the bulk of it to chase down the remnants of that Yuuzhan Vong fleet that attacked us last week. We’re expecting word of their return within a day or two, but…”
Timbal frowned, “Yeah, I heard about that. Sommetra wasn’t happy about just chasing off without fixing up all of their damage, but hopefully they’ll be ok.”
Phoenix shrugged, “We’ll find out soon enough, but you should be long gone before they get back.”
Timbal nodded and stood. “True enough. Ok, let me go get the team together.”
The Consul nodded back, “Oh, and leave Rev and Cooch behind, I need them for some other stuff. Anyone else is fair game, though.”
Timbal was a bit annoyed, but he just saluted crisply and marched out, already planning out the operation in his mind.
He then took out his commlink and ordered Xathia to meet him at HAD’s hangar bay when he got back. They’ll have to hit the ground running...
Fionn dan LocutHal
"...Are you sh*tting me?!"
A loud thunderous voice echoed through the makeshift room both FIonn and Xath were holed up in until their regular quarters would be finished.
"That bird's gone off his conker! He wants us to steal a nearly finished Nebula class Star Destroyer?!"
Came the wordless reply from Xath, though accepting her master's mission, she was still a bit nerved by the task that lay before her. After all, a mission to Mon Calamari, deep into New Republic territory isn't to be taken lightly, especially for Journeymen such as their selves.
"Right then, I'm coming with you, this I gotta see for myself."
Fionn quickly gathered up all of his belongings he needed on the trip, as Xath sought out her various weaponry and specialist gear. Swiftly making their way to the location specified by the former Consul.
Arriving at the HAD landing platform, the pair quickly made out Timbal's lithe, muscular figure standing nearby a transport of some kind, as well as a makeshift briefing room hastily prepared as the Epis appeared to rustle though his datapads in order to get the ill-prepared presentation in order. Swiftly making their way over, the pair were courteously greeted by the tanned Alderaanian.
"Ahh, my Apprentice, and Hunter Fionn, glad you could make it as well, we're gonna need all the help we can get on this particular mission. Please, take a seat."
the former Consul said whilst motioning them into some prepared seating arrangements.
"I'm gonna wait with the briefing until the others have arrived, no sense in explaining the whole plan time and again."
The enthusiastic Human exhilaratedly related to his 2 newest accomplices.
"There's fresh coffee over there by the stim-caf machine if you fancy a cup."
Anga was in the communications room speaking to her husband, Sharad, who was on a mission in Kr'Tal when a young tech tapped her on the shoulder to deliver Timbal's message.
"Babe, I've gotta go...Timbal has something for me to do!" Anga said regretfully.
"Alright, but tell that guy that he and I still need to get together for a 'boys night out!' " Sharad grouwled protectively.
"Uh-huh! Right, as if!" After a few more words, Anga disconnected the communication channel and made her way to the hangar to see what was so important that he needed her RIGHT NOW.
As she entered the hangar, Anga saw Timbal standing with two strangers to her...as she got closer to the small group she recognized the Xathia. She was Timbal's new apprentice.
"I really must make an effort to get to know her better!" Anga muttered to herself, it was odd to think that her former Master had taken on a new student. Anga looked foward to the day when she herself would have someone to guide.
"Hola, Timbalito! What's Up!? What was so important that you interrupted my daily chat with Sharad? Oh, and he says that you and he need to get together and party!" Anga said as she slipped her arms around Timbal in a familiar hug. As she stepped back she turned to face the strangers.
"Hi, I'm Anga Salinas. I'm glad to meet you Xathia, you and I are somewhat like sisters, I suppose!" Anga shook the women's hands and stepped back while looking up at Timbal. He grinned at her as he shook his head.
"We're on assignment, Anga."
Anga instantly sobered up and stood straighter as she waited for the rest of whatever he had to say.
Impetus answered the call on her comlink to hear the voice of the Quaestor RevengeX, and his task for her and Laurus, a wookie knight to link up with a task Force fighting to win back the Rakatan Temple.
“Should Ararin come?” She questioned after the details of the task were confirmed. While she’d have preferred him to go everywhere she went, sometimes a non-Force user could clearly be a hindrance. RevengeX’s response of ‘I’d advise against it’ was enough to convince her, and marked the end of their exchange.
“Ararin, love.” Impetus’ soft speech helped to mitigate the imposition. “I have a task from the Quaestor. It’s gonna be fairly difficult, but I can’t take you along with me.”
“As per usual then.” He snapped. “I sit here, worried sick with you away, fighting, powerless to do anything about it. I’m tired of waiting, I want to fight by your side again!”
“Please, Ararin…” Impetus maintained her soft voice as she tried to explain the situation, but was interrupted by another call on her comlink.
“Impie Korin!” She chirped happily into it. This time the reply came from Timbal Palpatine, explaining the plan for the capture of the Nebula Star Destroyer. “A couple of minutes too late Timbal, just got word of a task from RevengeX. Ararin could take my place though.” He glanced up as his name was mentioned
“I was kinda hoping for both the Korins.” The hint of disappointment in Timbal’s voice was easy to detect. “But if you can’t make it, I guess he’ll suffice.” Timbal cut off the conversation there, presumably with more people still to contact.
“Ararin, meet Timbal and his team at the HAD Hangar Bay. I need to meet with RevengeX.” He nodded in acknowledgement. “Good luck, love.”
The two shared a long, deep kiss before departing in their separate directions. Ararin had mixed feelings about this mission. It was the first time he had ever been sent on a task without Impetus, triggering emotions from nervousness, to an eagerness to make an impression, and not merely be known by being Impetus’ husband. He quickly ensured he had his typical arsenal with him, a DH-14 Blaster Pistol at either hip for easy access, and an X-45 Sniper Rifle made an X shape with Impetus’ Sapphire Blade.
By the time he reached the hangar, Xathia, Locutov and Anga were already waiting with Timbal. While he knew their names, the human-twi’lek hybrid had never really conversed with any of them. “Impetus is unavailable, but I’ll try to take her place.” He said nervously.
“Relax a bit.” Anga said warmly. “We’re still waiting on a few others.”
The wait for the rest of those attending was dragging on. Xathia didn't know what Timbal had exactly planned, except that they were kidnapping a Nebula Class Star Destroyer and so far it was with Anga and Ararin, and from the look of impatience upon her master's face, several others. The girl's stomach was growling in complaint though she ignored it, the Huntress was more annoyed about not being able to grab a bottle of rum in time. Impetus had just left the hangar and Ararin's gaze was still lingering over the door as though in hope she would return.
The girl's fingers traced over her litch blade's handle as Timbal continued chatting away on his comlink. The strong emotions that everyone else were emitting were swirling around the young woman's own, her nerves and excitement becoming like a rollercoaster as her memories of minor thefts drifted gently into her conscience, the Huntress remembering the thrill she always got from doing so. This was a lot bigger then anything she'd tried before.
"Damnit. Why does everyone I want have to do something else?" Timbal muttered as he turned off his comlink before looking back at the small gathering.
"Coz they don't place stealing a ship as exciting as anything else." The girl answered back casually whilst inspecting her nails that had collected more dirt from various places as the comlink on Timbal's belt started bleeping.
"Yo!" A fuzzed sound was all that the Huntress could hear, but it must have been good news since her master's face lit up. "HAD hangar! And I suggest bringing an extra bottle, my apprentice didn't bring any." Raising an eyebrow, Xathia's green eyes locked onto her master's darker skin, who merely grinned widely in return.
Timbal was too eager to sit, and was aimlessly wandering around in the same circle for the countless time in a row. A cluttering came from down the corridor as her master leapt to attention, a dark shadow entering into the somewhat cool hangar, and another one following who dragged a large crate.
"When you said you needed a hand, I didn't have this in mind!" The shape of Yzarc panted.
"You agreed to it before asking, plus you are my pet Obelisk and Aedile. You get these tasks regardless." The Quaestor replied, a smirk plastered across her face as the Aedile left muttering under his breath and glaring at a chuckling Fionn.
"I said an extra bottle, not a crate!" Timbal exclaimed, his jaw dropping as the calculations in his mind went haywire. Ararin moved away from the former Consul, unnerved by the arrival of the Sith, whose appearance was a little intimidating in the poorly lit hangar.
"Actually, I just made Yzarc bring this for fun. I have only brought bottles." Rasilvenaira answered casually, tossing a bottle towards the Journeyman from her bag. Anga's head lifted from her daydream at the sight of a blurred coloured movement and fixated her line of sight onto the now open bottle as the female Quaestor folded her arms. "When are we getting started then?"
“We?” Timbal said, frowning a bit. “Sorry, Ras, Phoenix gave strict orders that all House summit members remain in-system.”
Rasilvenaira had a flash of annoyance on her face for just a few brief moments, but then shrugged it off and sketched a brief salute to the members present. “Very well, I’m sure there is a reason for it. At least my gift will go to good use,” which was confirmed by the lecherous look on Timbal’s face on the crate. “Well, gotta go, see ya’ll later!”
As she turned, with a purposefully stomping of boots, a small band of rough-looking characters in casual clothing joined up, with the seeming leader saluting the Epis and then standing at attention, prompting the others to do the same.
Timbal crisply returned the salute and said, “At ease, Sar’Major.” The newcomers relaxed some, eyeing the rest of the assembled Brotherhood members with a deadly calm. Behind them, a small army of cargo droids labored with a mess of luggage, prompting a raised eyebrow from the senior Clan member. “I’m assuming that you’re packing a lunch?”
With a feral grin, the same lead guy merely waved vaguely at the luggage, and simply said, “We’d be happy for you to inspect our contribution, sir!”
Timbal smiled a particularly sly smile, and walked over to one of the big canisters. He opened the case, and packed neatly in along with a bunch of power packs was a well-worn but obviously well-cared for BlasTech F-web heavy repeating blaster, the upgraded version of an E-web. With a self-contained shielding system, they’d be well protected and able to lay down ample firepower.
A short inspection of the nearer containers revealed more small arms and heavy firepower, more than sufficient to handle any threat to their mission. Satisfied, Timbal motioned to the droids to load up the Luna, the brand new Lambda-class shuttle that they were borrowing from the Clan fleet.
Turning back to the trooper, Timbal motioned for them to join the Brotherhood members, and activated a portable holoprojector.
“Ok, briefing time. Some of you are in the know of some of the basics, but let’s get everyone in on the same page. In about fifteen minutes, three special operations teams from the First Special Ops Battalion will be departing for their targets, as shall we. We’ll be heading off to Mon Calamari for a special operations mission of vital importance to the Clan. We’ll be executing our mission at roughly the same time, although we’ll be working independently from the other groups. Each of those other teams has the mission to board and each take a nearly complete Majestic-class heavy cruiser.
The shock from them all reverberated through the Force, but Timbal just smiled a smile that was ten percent amusement and ninety percent challenge. “Our mission is to board and take a nearly complete Nebula-class Star Destroyer.”
That little bombshell did much to spike the level of speechless-ness in the group. Timbal pressed on. “Each of the other groups should be able to handle their respective missions, since each team is a just shy of a full company each of mixed special ops troopers as well as some regular troopers in the Clan military. Our team, however, will just be composed of us ten.”
Fionn spoke up. “Ten? Against Sith knows how many defensive assets?”
Timbal nodded. “Yes. There are several reasons why just the ten of us can take it. First, the Grand Master has been fiddling around with the crew and construction assignments for all four vessels, and has given us a one-hour window in which over ninety percent of the crew will not be present. During that time, we infiltrate our ship, take over the main and backup security centers, and lock the ship out from outside interference. Once that’s accomplished, we’ll have very little time to take the bridge and fly it out of there.”
“Surely we can’t just crew the bridge with just us ten?” Xathia said, with a worried tone.
“Of course not, not at first. Six is just enough to crew the bridge to take her out and rendezvous with a Clan support ship outside of the system. The support ship will contain a skeleton crew and a support security detail that will immediately board the ship and secure it, allowing us a chance to jump out, confuse our trail, and finally come back home in one piece.”
Timbal paused, if but to gauge their moods. Mostly, he felt excitement, a bit of worry, and interest in the mission. Oddly enough, from the new group he didn’t feel anything but supreme confidence in them and in their mission. Timbal continued. “To that effect, we have here one of the best squads in the First Special Ops Battalion. Sar’Major, feel free to introduce yourselves.”
The Sergeant Major leapt to his feet and turned with military precision to face them. “Sir, Sergeant Major Jose Shan, Second Squad, Twenty-Eighth Platoon, Charlie Company, First Special Ops Battalion reporting,” he barely shouted. The other four troopers had unconsciously sat up at attention at that, and Timbal waved them back at ease.
“The Sar’Major here, as well as his team are veterans from quite a few Clan military engagements, and the Sar’Major here was one of the few who was able to defeat a Yuuzhan Vong warrior in a straight up battle without being Force-sensitive. Although like the rest of the Clan military his unit has suffered massive casualties, they remain deadly, or perhaps even more so for what they’ve been through. Consul Palpatine has lent them to us for this mission, and I have nothing but the utmost of confidence in them. They’ve also apparently brought along quite a few other toys for us to play with,” Timbal said with another sly grin, echoed on the face of the Sar’Major.
“So there you have the operational concept. Now, for your specific assignments,” Timbal continued, all business now. He handed out assignments to each one of the nine warriors under his command, and reviewed the plan, making slight changes as they came about. “Ok, any other questions? No? Ok, to the Luna then. We leave in less than four minutes. If you haven’t taken care of any personal business, now is the time. Dismissed!”
With that, the long-time Clan member turned, and ascended the ramp of the shuttle, the dreadful weight of command once again settling on his shoulders....
Watching the well built male board the ship, the female mentally sighed. She had cleared all her outstanding problems that weren't Timbal related before she had made her way down to the cool hangar. Tilting her head forward into her bottle-free hand, the girl tried to focus and calm her jilting and dancing nerves. She could feel Fionn nearby though he was speaking into the comlink, sorting out his problems with the Aedile probably, it would be the first time that the house summit would be without two of their fangs. This was a daunting trip that lay ahead, and the Huntress knew it as she boarded Luna, finally bored of waiting for Fionn who she decided could find her on board.
'Why did you even bother to come along? You wouldn't last a minute if you had to defend yourself, so turn around now whilst you still can. You know we're right.'
"The only thing you're ever right about is planting seeds of doubt in me and that my father hates me. That feeling is mutual and you guys need to zip it, I've let you stay in my mind so far."
The Journeyman muttered in reply to the hissing voices who tried to keep her on Ptolomea. The newest members interested her, they had little in the way of Force power, yet they all were brimming with confidence just in the way they walked. Her saber hilt bumped gently against her broad hips, as she weaved her way through them aboard the ship. Trying to hunt down her master was like finding a needle in a haystack at times, especially since she could depict so many male emotions swirling around her as the Krath attempted to even loosely locate the Epis.
"Xathia!" Sharply turning her head, the long bangs swung around with her face, as her locks of hair whipped several beings within range. "Stop storming off, Timbal's at the opposite, and you're just heading further away from the room." Anga grabbed the shapely young adult's arm and tugged her away from her current path. "He's asked for us all to assemble at the back of the passenger area."
"And that concludes the plan."
Timbal had been talking for what seemed like an eternity, the apprentice of the well built male could feel his emotions radiating from the pressure of leading the operation as she took a final mouthful from her current rum bottle.
"And Xath is going to have to stop drinking for the entire part."
"Well you can't be drinking if you're fighting." Her dark skinned master replied, tilting his head and smiling at the Huntress. He signalled for everyone to disperse, before pulling the Omwati through the gathering of people to the cockpit. Unnaturally sliding through the door as it tried to close on the young adult, she muttered about the Epis's grip. "Go and sober yourself up enough to fight."
"I fight better drunk."
"No, you only think you do."
His young Student fumed, and he gathered from her expression that she some more protests, but he cut her off. “Listen, when I was at your rank I wasn’t tanked up to the gills all the time,” he said, lying through his teeth, “I was busy working hard to earn my lightsabre by any means necessary. So I buckled down and got to doing what needed to be done, and was finally deemed worthy. I think that you have that potential, so buckle down, concentrate, and get to stepping.”
Timbal left his Student, still fuming, but he knew that it would get through. He knew that she wanted that honor more than anything, and would do what she had to do to get her revenge. Timbal sighed at that, he himself knowing what it was like to go through such powerful emotions that left emptiness inside, but she was young and the young needed to experience such things for themselves.
Enough of that, he thought to himself. Let’s get to work.
Settling into the navigator’s station, he punched in the course. The pilot that was on loan to him was just completing the last of the pre-flight checklist, and glanced up to see the mission commander step in. “Hello, sir, I’m just about done here.”
Timbal nodded, and pulled up the nav program. “Ok, from here we’re headed towards Bimmisaari, from there towards Gand, and finally up to Mon Calamari. Once we get up there, follow the mission protocol. We should be already cleared to dock with the Nebula, so go ahead and do so. Once we’re offloaded, break clear and leave. Phoenix would kill me if we lost the Luna.”
The pilot nodded, already aware of the mission parameters. “Very well, sir. Looks like the last of the boarding is complete. Shall we leave? Clearance has already been granted, and some of the other teams are about to depart as well.”
Timbal glanced at his chrono, then nodded. “Yep, let’s be on our way.”
“Very well, here we go!”
With the collapsing of the millions of lines back into their customary pinpricks of light, they arrived. Timbal glanced out of the view port and was staggered for a bit. For all of his military experience, he hadn’t really seen a shipyard complex this vast. The sheer amount of ships being built, both civilian and military, was impressive. Settling back in, Timbal got back to business, just in time to hear the incoming hailing transmission.
“Incoming shuttle, this is Mon Calamari yard control, transmit your clearance codes immediately.”
“Yard control, this is shuttle 3233A. Transmitting clearance codes now.”
After a few moments, they were granted clearance and were directed to their target. Timbal saw it and grinned. Smaller than an Imperial-class Star Destroyer, it nonetheless could fight one to a standstill. The sleek ship was just waiting for them to board, and Timbal knew that she would be theirs.
“Pilot, let’s get moving. We don’t know how much time we’ll have, and I want to have as much of it as possible.”
“Right, sir. Docking in about three minutes. You may want to get the team ready.”
Timbal grinned, and left to gather the team.
“Ok, troops. A bit over two minutes to go. Remember, we’ll probably encounter a guard as soon as we touch down. I’ll be in the lead, and lean towards the left exit. Xathia will be behind me, and half of the squad with me. Anga will take the other column, with Fionn, Ararin, and the rest of the contingent following. Remember, once those blasters start going off, we’ll be on a strict time limit. Anga, make sure you take that secondary bridge. You should hit it at the same time we hit the main bridge. Troops, no mercy. Let’s make this quick, and take no prisoners.”
Timbal moved to the edge of the ramp, and felt the shuttle touching down. Reaching for his lightsabre, he gripped his old friend and gathered himself once again. Calling the Force to him, he immersed himself into it, and felt a bit of shock.
He couldn’t stop now, the ramp was coming down…
“Sithspawn, they’ve got a Jedi with them, the entire ship is awaiting us!”
The ramp finished dropping, and several things happened all at once. A loudspeaker came on, “Intruders! Drop your weapons and come out!”
Timbal felt the ship shudder a bit, and he knew it was caught in a tractor beam.
Finally, he felt a sense of wary satisfaction from that Jedi out there, and Timbal’s lips twisted in contempt. Looking around, he saw the shock of the moment hit the others of the team. Screw this, he said to himself, it’s time to act.
The veteran of countless battles turned, and hit the activation button on his lightsabre. The cerulean blade lit up his face like a demon from the nether hells. “They made a big mistake. Time to make them pay for it.”
With that, he charged forward, knowing the rest of the team would follow....
Seeing the hangar full of New Republican troops made the Huntress's stomach lurch heavily. Dread weaved itself through her system as her hands clenched themselves around the hilt of the War Blade, her body in the shadow of Timbal's charging and slashing form. It was the ultimate steal, the familiar and arousing emotions of excitement and fear fresh in her psyche as the female battled behind her master, slicing and stabbing, blocking and dodging as she edged towards the centre of the hangar, not daring to let the Epis out of her sight. Each trooper was proving to be a new challenge as she dared to fight them off, trying to lame her with a blast to the leg or stomach.
'Xath… flash them, they'll be so stunned you can make a clear get away to the door.'
Noticing the grin of the Alderaan as a chuckle echoed through her mind, the Journeyman made a mental note to throw a book at him later, as she slammed her sword into a trooper with extra help from the Force. The repetitive feature of trying to get past all these New Republican troopers was beginning to annoy the Omwati, as she tripped up yet another one and sent him crashing into a colleague, Ararin chucking the other one into hers before becoming immersed in another battle.
'Xath, make a dash for the door when I say now. I'll keep them away from you. Remember what you need to do; I'll fend them off from you and keep them distracted.'
Spying the former Consul not too far off, she nodded at him and continued her little scrap of a fight with a new guard who seemed unaware of what they were aware of.
Swinging her sword around with her, the female dodged and weaved through the crowd as her master replaced her almost instantly in front of the troopers, leaving the door way clear for the Huntress to get through. Though her emotions said to keep on fighting them with Timbal, the Krath knew better then to turn against orders and put her sword back into its scabbard, preferring her litch blade to be in her hand for easier movement through the seemingly silent corridors.
Xathia felt even her quiet steps would give her away as she crept through the maze of corridors. No matter how many maps she studied, once you were there it was difficult to exactly place yourself even with a map. The Omwati remembered the words of Timbal aboard the ship '"Sithspawn, they’ve got a Jedi with them…"' as she searched for some form of life within the labyrinth of passages. Suddenly sensing the being, the young adult melted against the wall as it made its way towards where she was.
"I know there's someone here, I can sense them, but why can't I find them?" He muttered. The Huntress held her breath, hoping he would continue his trek. "Who's there? I know you're around. I won't leave until you show yourself."
'Silly Jedi, thinking that it'll work, like I'm some apprentice.'
The Jedi activated his lightsaber with a snap-hiss, the soft hum of the blade unnerving the girl a little as she tried to scramble a plan together to get out of this mess without confronting him. She knew he wasn't a Jedi master, a master would have found her by now. Slowly the Journeyman let out her breath, and quietly took some more in, feeling her panic rise.
'You are the Silver Shadow that resides in the Night, and you are scared of some Jedi? How weak and foolish can you be? You've been entrusted with clearing the way to the bridge, and you're being held up by a Jedi? What are you, an Obelisk?'
Snarling at the voices, the Krath brought herself from out of the shadows, the dagger enclosed in her hand, and an icy expression across her porcelain face. The Jedi was a near enough mirror look for the Omwati as to what she'd look like as a male, which deeply disturbed her.
"Who are you?"
"No one knows."
Leaping for the male, Xathia struck out with her Litch blade, dodging the nervous swing of the buzzing saber at the last minute. Smirking, the Huntress knew she'd ruffled his feathers and nerves as she threw a knife at him, slicing his ear and cheek as it sailed past, parting his skin and dribbling a faint red line of blood. Dashing for her adversary, the Journeyman knew time was tight, and guessed from his expression, that this was not something he was use to, as the Omwati hurled another knife before capering away from the saber, her arm singed by the blade, stinging away and making its presence ever known.
"Then no one will miss you when I slay you if you are not known."
Lunging for the lithe female, Xathia quickly unsheathed her sword, dropping the dagger to the floor, as she sensed beings a faint while away. Blocking the saber, the Jedi looked into her eyes and pushed her back. Throwing her arm out, the Krath stabbed the Jedi in the stomach with the dropped dagger, before knocking him around the head with her sword quickly, in a panic that the beings were more guards.
"I am the Silver Shadow in the Night that disappears again."
She muttered, swiping the deactivated saber, and her blood coated dagger, the Huntress dashed away from the quickly nearing beings. Her mind filled with her destination, the bridge, as one of those beings came up behind her.
"Took your time getting here didn't you?"
"I had a small matter to take care of."
The training saber hilt and lightsaber hilt hit on her hips alternatively, which her master's eyes fell to, and emitted a huge grin, as the pair came crashing into the bridge, their prize within their grasp.
“Phoenix gave strict orders that all House summit members remain in-system.” Timbal’s words grated on the Quaestor’s nerves as she despised being left out of an adventure like this.
“Very well.” Rasilvenaira thought as she stalked back to her office.
Once back in the familiar surroundings of her personal sanctuary from which she commanded Ptolomea, the Sith reached out for a particular energy pattern. “Veritas, I have something for you to do.”
As the sinister red and black plated droid stepped forward from the shadows, he nodded, “What do you require?”
“Only what you do best. There is a transport preparing to leave, you will get on it, but remain unnoticed if at all possible. I want you to go along and make sure that silly Krath, Timbal, doesn’t get my House members killed on this mission. Do whatever is necessary to make sure none of them are harmed.”
The droid’s expression never truly changed, but the Battlemaster chuckled as she imagined the droid smiling with pleasure. She knew Veritas well, from the time he joined her contingent of droids after being given to her by Macron. The wardroid had a passion for killing and destroying things, and such a mission was bound to please him.
“As you wish, if there is nothing else I shall depart at once, lest I miss the transport.”
“Go, report to me once the team returns.”
Without further conversation, the droid turned and left the office.
Stealing on board the transport without being noticed was fairly easy for Veritas as he watched the humans busily preparing themselves, no one paid any attention to the stealthy droid slipping onto the ship. Finding a convenient place to conceal himself, Veritas ran down a mental check of his various weapon systems to occupy the time while he waited to be needed.
As Xathia made her way to the bridge and rendezvoused with the rest of the team, a volley of rapid blaster fire from behind and to one side startled the whole team. But the responding fire warned the team that they’d nearly been flanked and they scrambled to defend themselves. The bold red and black droid slowly moved into view as he continued to blast those he labeled as enemies.
“Veritas?!” Xathia stared in amazement as she recognized the droid belonging to her Quaestor.
“You know that thing? Who’s side is it on?” Timbal asked as he ducked a blaster shot aimed in his direction.
“He belongs to Ras, she must’ve sent him along. Leave it to Ras.” The Omwati chuckled, and then focused her attention on the fight at hand.
Veritas fired away with obvious glee until finally there was no further sign of any resistance. With a resigned sigh, he turned towards the humans and strode over to where Xathia stood.
“The Mistress said I should come keep you humans from hurting yourselves. So I am here.” The acidic sarcasm in the droid’s voice was unmistakable.
“Stop.” Anga said in a hushed voice to Ararin and Fionn as they accompanied their squad to the second bridge. “Someone's coming.” The group paused for a few seconds.
The footsteps of the patrol sounded like rain clattering down in just the next corridor. “How many of them do you think there are?” Fionn questioned.
“Who cares, we'll take them all out.” Ararin said confidently.
Anga reached into the Force as she detected the life energy of the patrol. “Bold, but there're only 5. It seems like the best idea. We'll wait till they come closer and then ambush.”
The torrent of out-of time footsteps grew louder and louder. Anga's activation of her lightsaber was followed by a silent moment of concentration before it spun off her hand and around the corner. The group let out a laugh as a scream of pain was heard from a man they couldn't see, and Anga's weapon returned to her. The laughter was broken, however, when the four remaining guards hurtled around the corner, looking to avenge their comrade.
Ararin instinctively drew Impetus' Sapphire Blade simultaneous to Fionn's withdrawal of his Sith Sword. Putting all of his strength into the strike, his wife's exceptionally sharp weapon cleaved one of the patrol in two before he could even react. Merely a second later, fatal blows from Anga and Fionn cut the patrol down to a single fighter, who was swiftly decapitated by the swords of Ararin and Fionn.
“Are these patrols even trained?” Ararin questioned. “I've only been using swords since the great war.”
“Don't get over-confident.” Anga warned. “We're almost at the bridge.”
Despite the deadly situation in that they were in, Timbal felt a surge of elation. Combat has always been something that brought out the adrenaline, and he felt it flowing throughout just like the Force flowed in his veins. Although the war droid was a surprise, he didn’t mind that the Caliburnus Quaestor didn’t make him aware of his presence. Actually, it might come in handy. He wasn’t able to get the shuttle clear, and he wanted it to be clear before they assaulted the bridge…
“Hey, you droid!”
The war droid looked over to Xathia, ranking Caliburnus member present, and asked, “He really isn’t referring to myself, is he?” he asked contemptuously.
Xathia nodded, and said, “He’s my Master, and he’s the mission commander. I think you need to pay attention to him.”
The droid looked over at the Epis, and studied him for a moment. “Xathia, I seriously think that he may not be-“
Xathia cut him off. “Veritas, we have no time for this nonsense. Follow his orders, because we have a job to do!”
The droid rocked his head back a bit, clearly offended. “Very well, Xathia,” he bit out, clearly not happy. Turning back to Timbal, he drawled out, “What do you want, human?”
Timbal rolled his eyes. “Glad that is sorted out. The shuttle is caught in a tractor beam, and we can’t spare the time to go out and deactivate it. The Consul will kill us if it’s even scratched, so we need to have it depart the area immediately. Go deactivate the tractor beam, anyway you can. Go!”
The droid straightened up a bit, obviously happy that he got a chance to destroy something again. “Very well. I have scanned for and obtained your commlink frequency, so I will contact you when I complete the task.” The droid didn’t wait for an answer, and merely marched away with a purpose.
Timbal rolled his eyes again. He had a bridge to assault. Their troopers were setting up the F-Web, perfectly placed to blast stun bolts into the bridge, which would not cause any damage to the delicate controls. The blast doors were closed, but that posed no problem to his lightsabre. Before he got to work, however, he wanted to ensure of the progress of the other team. Feeling through the Force, he got a sense of readiness coming from Anga. Very well, the team is ready. Timbal hardened his resolve, and felt the same emotion coming from his old Student, and knew they were going to do this thing. “Ready, team. In five. Four. Three. Two. One...”
Fionn dan LocutHal
Waiting silently in a side-corridor some yards away from the door to the secondary bridge, Knight Anga Salinas swiftly instructed the two Commandos assigned to their squads to rig the door with their breaching charges. As the dark clad figures sped off after being given the “All-clear” signal by Timbal’s former apprentice, the female Dark Jedi turned to her 2 comrades in arms.
“Remember, we don’t want any damage done to the bridge, Phoenix said that any damage done to the ship would come out of our pockets, so be careful!”
The small human spoke, stress clear on her voice. As the last of her whisper faded into the minds of her fellow team-mates the diminutive Krath peered around the corner, to see how far the two Special Operatives were with their task of rigging the door, seeing they were done, she signalled Ararin and Fionn to get themselves ready.
Affirming his grip on the hilt of his Sith Sword, the towering Sith stepped forth from the shadows, Ararin behind him, his girlfriend’s Sapphire Blade held in his palms, as a look of anxiousness crossed his face.
Signalling the 2 darkly clad operatives to go ahead, Anga shielded her eyes from the white flash of the explosion from the breaching charge. Storming ahead with her two comrades behind her, the pack entered the bridge, running into the skeleton crew stationed to guard the area.
As the two Commandos rushed in, having their weapons set to stun, they swiftly made quick work of the two front-most guards, followed by the Knight Salinas, cutting down two approaching guards with her purple hued lightsaber, whilst slamming another one into a bulkhead with the use of the Force. The battle raged on, though its outcome had already been decided way before, coming in as fast as his lumbering legs could carry him, Fionn easily dispatched and crushed the New Republic guard training his blaster-rifle on the team’s leader. He had barely moved around as the ancient Sith felt a severe twinge of pain come from his right upper arm, gazing upon its blackened and singed surface, the towering humanoid set his gaze on another guard, sneaked away in a corner as he felt the gloom of fear rise over the guard’s diminutive figure.
The guard’s rifle loosely held in his hands, the human looked upwards, straight into the angry gaze of the Jedi Hunter, as he brought it up, ready to push the trigger, the guard held his eyes clenched in fear.
“Will you two quit playing about?! We haven’t got all day you know!”
Came an angry shout from the Knight as she mauled another pocket of soldiers. As Fionn turned his gaze back towards the guard, he saw the limp and lifeless corpus huddled over, as Ararin’s blue blade stuck through his chest.
“Right, that’s the last of them. You! Quickly close the door and seal it, I have some silly notion that their friends will have heard us.”
Came the command from Anga, as she motioned one of the commandos towards the door. As she looked around the bridge, seeing if any damage was done at all, the Knight grabbed her com-link.
“Anga to Timbal, Anga to Timbal, Timbal do you copy?”
“Roger Anga, Timbal here.”
“Bridge is secure, one minor injury, but nothing serious, no damage done to bridge.”
“Roger Anga, remain there for now, I’ll radio back with further instructions in a bit, Timbal out.”
“Roger, Anga out.”
Knowing that Timbal was read to make his move and bust the bridge, the Huntress took a deep breath and kept her dagger tightly enclosed in her hand. Her nerves dancing like ewoks in her stomach as the Epis broke through the blast door with his saber, the look of pure concentration amusing the female Krath a little before being yanked through the door. Muttering about the grip of the Equite, the Omwati rubbed her arm, staying in the shadows of the side and behind her master, mimicking his steps carefully.
Sensing her master stir and smoothly change his movement, the Journeyman became aware of approaching bodies, though the excitement radiated from the male and knew they were going to end up battling these unfortunate souls that dared to take the bridge. Biting her lip, and tightening her grip around her dagger, the Huntress anxiously waited for their imminent arrival.
"What do you think of that new ship?"
"Piece of beauty."
'We'll jump them at the last minute. They won't be expecting us if I'm correct. Just try to avoid them noticing that second hilt on your belt; they'll suspect you've slaughtered their Jedi Knight.'
'He was an easy target, how could they expect him to protect them?'
Ignoring the question, the male Krath created a dark shadow that covered his apprentice as the guards drew closer, their conversation hardly deterring from the ships, the female's ears pricking at their descriptions and her desire to capture the ship growing hungrily. Subconsciously licking her lips and twisting the dagger handle in her hand, the Huntress waited for Timbal to move and lift the dark shadow over them. The Epis slowly dissolved the darkness and stepped out behind the path of the small group of guards.
"The door's broken! Security breech! Raise the alarms!"
The leader of the group yelled as they reached the door a short distance away, a grin erupting over Xathia's pale face as they turned around and found themselves against two individuals who seemed to have appeared from nowhere. Her master's hand was clamped over his saber hilt, the pure look of terror giving the Omwati a deep thrill as a smirk grew across her face.
Wordlessly the elder Krath activated his saber, and slashed out to the nearest one who dared to breathe, as the Journeyman struck out with her dagger, knocking the guard swiftly away as she kicked the other one, sending him flying to the floor. Feeling Timbal's desire to get past this easy work as they kept on knocking the guards back, trying to maim them enough to be able to get away without problems. Stabbing one of the guards in the chest, and swiftly kicking the other in between the legs, they sunk to the ground, their egos deflated like a pin to a balloon, before the female sliced their throats, the metal floor turning red quickly with their blood as the Epis finished off his two guards.
Dashing away towards the end of the bridge as Timbal's comlink started bleeping, the Huntress could feel the adrenaline pumping through her system as they got to the second blast down, blocking their way through. Answering his comlink, Anga confirmed that the second bridge was also clear.
"Last part now and we need to get that ship in tact. Phoenix is going to kill me if it's got so much as a scratch on it."
Veritas made his way through the ship toward what he had determined to be the control center for the tractor beam holding the shuttle in place. Incoherent sounds emanated from the droid as he muttered to himself in a language that only Rasilvenaira would have understood. For the most part, Veritas disliked organic life forms, considering them inferior and weak, however; his programming left him no choice but to obey one in particular without question, and he would protect and serve those whom he had been directed to look after.
To the droid’s surprise the control center for the tractor beams was relatively unguarded, and the two humans that had attempted to raise some measure of alarm were permanently silenced by the wardroid who chortled with glee at the chance to kill something. Bloodlust temporarily satisfied, Veritas focused his attention on disabling the tractor beam systems. Deciding against using too much force, figuring a massive explosion may elicit unwanted attention, he simply blasted the various computer panels to smoldering bits until the one remaining display affirmed that the tractor beams no longer were able to function.
Pleased with himself, Veritas signaled Timbal’s comlink.
“Mission complete, tractor beam disabled.”
“Wonderful, return to my position, we may need you further once we get the shuttle clear and take over the ship.”
“Oh joy and delight, I may be of further use.” Came the sarcastic reply as Veritas severed the communication and began his trek back to where Timbal and the others were located.
Timbal clicked his commlink to the channel with the shuttle pilot. “This is Timbal. You should have felt the tractor beam drop, so get out of here. We should be moving in five minutes, maybe less. Get the word out to the rendezvous crew that we should be there soon and to prepare for boarding.
The pilot acknowledged, and Timbal glanced at the status board, and waited to see that the shuttle indeed was getting clear. Once it jumped to hyperspace, Timbal hit the “outside lockdown” button on the auxiliary and temporary control panel on the Captain’s chair, and all over the ship blast doors closed, completely cutting off access from the shipyard slips to the interior of the ship.
Ok, that’s done, he thought to himself. Next up....
Timbal glanced at the security holos, and fiddled with the controls. Ok, just as he suspected, several squads of security marines were making their way to both bridges, and that threat needed to be neutralized. Thinking quickly, he re-opened the channel to the war droid.
“Veritas, Timbal again. We have a security team on its’ way to the secondary bridge. Intercept and destroy, then kill anything left in the security center.”
The droid bubbled back an affirmative response, and Timbal changed channels again. “Anga, you’ve got a security team on its’ way to you. I sent Veritas to intercept, just catch what he misses. Fionn could help you do that. Then get ready to depart, and I’ll need Ararin to man the engine station. You start punching in the coordinates for the rendezvous point into the navicomp, let me know when you all are clear and ready to go.”
A crisp affirmative followed, and Timbal looked over at his Student, in a bit of shock over the events of the past few minutes. Through the Force he called the lightsabre hooked on her belt to his hand, and took his own and tossed it to her, ignoring the surprise on her face. Timbal was throwing switch after switch and just murmured to her, “Take my lightsabre, since you’re more familiar with it than this one. Intercept and destroy the security team coming this way. Then come back as soon as possible. Take the Sar’Major here and go now.”
She nodded, and waved at the trooper to get his attention, and they both vanished.
Ok, he thought, time to get moving. He started to give the other two troopers orders, and the ship started to come alive....
Dashing down the corridor, her master's saber hilt clasped tightly in her left hand, the footsteps of the Sergeant Major were hitting the floor in adjacent thuds to hers, creating a dull tune as the pair searched to intercept the security party. The Huntress knew that it was vital to the mission to slaughter these beings in order to take off without problem and get away as soon as possible. The Sergeant Major seemed to be purposely keeping in the shadow of the Krath, as though indecisive of where to go.
Picking up a moving group of individuals as the Omwati turned a corner, she could feel the temptation to activate the saber and just swing out at whatever moved within range, yet her knowledge told her that it would do nothing for her, except make the Journeyman look like an untrained idiot. The troop was moving nearer as she moved into the shadows, despite the look of the Sar'Major, he moved silently along side.
"They may be coming this way, don't move." The female muttered, tightening her grip over the somewhat familiar hilt subconsciously, lying in wait like a lion for its prey.
The gathering edged nearer, Xathia's nerves upsetting her stomach as she licked her lips and tried to suppress the pressure to slaughter every being that moved. Hearing the steps edge closer, the Huntress could feel the Sergeant Major's restlessness grow with each step they took. Taking her foot out, the female put all her weight onto a creaky grate, the reverberation catching the cluster of security's attention.
Swiftly activating the blue saber, the Journeyman struck out to the nearest guard, his blaster breaking upon contact of the humming blade, as the Sar'Major took on the nearest two to him. Swiping the saber around, Xathia quickly glanced over her shoulder and saw that the Sar'Major was really not one to worry about as he struck another guard down before she stabbed the weapon through a trooper.
The security guards were proving tougher then the young adult expected as the fight wore on. Though they were down to the last two guards, the Krath knew it shouldn’t have taken them this long to wipe out the problem. Slicing through the air and arm of a sentry, the Omwati took a final swipe as the Sar'Major shot down the other.
Nodding at the male, the Journeyman started the trek back up to the bridge, knowing her master would not wait a second longer then he had to.
Timbal ran down his mental checklist. Ok, we’ve got ship security destroyed or about to be, Anga’s got the secondary bridge on lockdown, the shuttle is safely away and into hyperspace now, and we’ve got the ship sealed. Time to get this big momma moving.
Running his practiced eye over the sensors board, he saw nothing that could stop him now, although he knew that the security team would’ve sent out a burst transmission to get the shipyard defenses racing in. And a race it would be, but Timbal wasn’t about to lose. Hitting a switch, all of the tethers holding the ship anchored to the slip were blown off the Star Destroyer, and Timbal slowly brought up the maneuvering engines up to speed using the auxiliary helm controls at his station, veering the Destroyer from the slip. Once clear, and heedless of the slip behind him, Timbal punched in full throttle on the engines.
The massive ship, slow at first, but soon began to pick up speed. With a whoosh, the door to the bridge opened, and his Student and the Sergeant Major walked in, apparently pleased with themselves. Wasting no time, Timbal ordered the Sergeant Major to watch the sensors, knowing that at any second they’ll get some sort of company.
Barking, he ordered Xathia, “Xa, take the gunnery station over there. I expect to have some sort of fast reaction force here any second, and you need to blow it away.”
She nodded, and raced off to the indicated station. Reaching for his commlink, he opened a channel with Anga.
“Anga, Timbal here. We’re moving, get to computing a hyperspace jump to the rendezvous point if you already haven’t done so. Let me know when you’re done. Also, let Ararin know that unless ordered otherwise by me, he’s in charge of conning the ship to the hyperspace point. Clear the gravity well and jump out as soon as possible. I’ll be handling our response to any incoming threats.”
The Knight crisply replied in the affirmative, as usual. “Sensors, what do we have?”
“Sir, you called it. We have an initial flyby of a flight of X-Wings headed this way. They’re hailing us, of course.”
Timbal nodded. “Ignore them.” To one of the troopers, he said, “Keep at the communications station. Open up a channel to the rendezvous force.”
While the trooper obeyed, Timbal looked around and activated the emergency defensive suite. While nowhere near as good as a dedicated gunnery crew, it at least gave him a little hitting power, probably enough to scare the X-Wings away.
“Guns, I’ve activated the auto-fire sequence. Take over each battery as needed. You don’t have to kill them, just keep them away.”
The beautiful and slender Student nodded, and immediately started to open fire on the incoming flight of X-Wings.
Timbal saw them scatter, but he knew that they would just reform up in formation and come back, this time with proton torpedoes aimed at the bridge. To the other trooper he just glanced at, as he was already at the shields station. She answered the unasked question.
“Sir, bridge shields are up and at one hundred percent. We should have the rest of the shields for the entire ship up within fifteen seconds.”
Timbal grunted, pleased. From a cold start bringing up the shields was no easy task, but the trooper was obviously trained. “Sensors, what do we have?”
“Sir, the X-Wings are temporarily fleeing, but it looks like they’re joining up with a Carrack-class cruiser and a system patrol craft, both headed this way. Should be in range within thirty seconds. Beyond that, we have a Neb-B frigate with its’ escorting fighters also scrambling in. They should be within range in about a minute.”
“What about the Majestics?” he asked.
He concentrated for a moment. “They’re moving as well, looks like the majority of the defensive fleet went for them first. They’re almost clear of the gravity well. They should make the jump within a minute. Most of their opposition is light, and they’ll make the jump before some serious firepower comes in at them.”
“Ok, looks like we’re going to win this one. Communications?”
“Channel open now, sir.”
“Timbal to Razgriz Force. The Majestics should be jumping out in about a minute. We should be jumping out shortly thereafter. Remember the plan, and also remember to expect company right after we get there, so no dilly-dally when we get there. Gunnery crews are first to board.”
Ai’leen Sommetra surprised Timbal by answering. “Roger that, Admiral,” she said, with an obvious twinkle in her eye. Timbal arched an eyebrow, but then was distracted when his Student opened up with a pair of batteries.
“We got an X-Wing, more of a lucky shot than anything. The Carrack is returning fire, and the SPC is still closing. The Carrack seems to be giving covering fire for the SPC, which suggests that they might have troops on board.”
“Guns!” he barked, “Concentrate on that SPC! Communications! Give me the other bridge!”
“Yes, sir. Open.”
“Anga, we’ve got an SPC coming in. We’re trying to destroy it, but it may make it to the hull before we can jump. Just a warning to expect possible boarders. Also, how long until we can jump?”
She replied back, “We’ll clear the gravity well in a bit, and we’ll have a jumping solution within a minute after that.”
Timbal knew that this would mean that he would have to tangle with the frigate for a short bit, not to mention the Carrack.
“Ok, Bridge out.”
Timbal started to worry a little bit. “Guns?”
“Almost… got… it…” his petite Student replied, her voice obviously hushed indicating that she was immersed in the Force. Suddenly a bright splotch of light illuminated the left of the bridge view port, and she gasped. “Target… eliminated,” she said, in a sorrowful voice.
Timbal’s eyes narrowed to slits, becoming hard as steel. “Snap out of it, engage the Carrack!”
She blinked a bit, and Timbal almost moved to replace her at the station, but she did as ordered.
Without missing a beat, he asked, “Sensors?”
“The Carrack is fully engaged now. The Neb is about to enter the fray. About ten seconds until the X-Wings have a proton torp lock.”
“Guns, get the X-Wings! Lay down a barrage!”
She wordlessly complied, and Timbal nervously looked at the sensor board himself. He knew that their shields could easily withstand the fire coming from both the Carrack and the frigate, so he could ignore them temporarily, but the proton torpedoes could really ruin the day since they could punch through the shields.
They launched, with Xathia claiming one right before he launched at a bit over five kilometers out. Twelve torpedoes were streaking in.
“Guns, get the torps!” he said in the same monotone voice that his Student had just a bit ago. With the Force, he stretched out, and saw each of the torpedoes coming in. Since the X-Wings had launched them in pairs, Timbal got a Force hold on one of the edges of the exhaust port of one torpedo, and with a push, he bent the metal, causing the torpedo to instantly go off course. Timbal repeated the process with four other torpedoes, but then he ran out of time.
With a double slam, two torpedoes hit, the plasma ball of flame already rolling itself out of existence, snuffed out by the hard vacuum. “Damage?” Timbal shouted.
The female trooper answered, not shaken one bit. “The shields absorbed the impact, sir. So far no damage. The fire from the frigate and the Carrack isn’t helping, though.”
Timbal sighed in relief. “Sensors?”
“Both ships are now firing on us, and are trying to concentrate their fire on the engines. More fighters are on their way in, estimated time to arrival in about a minute. The Majestics have jumped, and we’re clear of the gravity well.”
“What about us?”
A ping from Timbal’s board lit up, answering his question. With that, the stars elongated into star lines, then into the brilliant tunnel that composed hyperspace.
Timbal both sighed and sat down heavily. They did it, but they were not out of the woods yet....
"Xa, take Fionn and Veritas with you, and take out those still onboard with us who aren't supposed to be here. Eliminate anyone you come across who is a crew member, and take this with you."
Tossing the Huntress his sabre, the former Consul dismissed his pale apprentice and waved his hand over to the semi concealed doorway, instructing her way. With a smirk in her emerald eyes, the young adult dashed out into the hall, and into the towering male that was Fionn.
"C'mon, follow me and help me find Veritas. We need to do some eliminating, where do you think the droid will be hiding?"
Wordlessly sneering, the Sith pulled the girl in the direction of the Quaestor's droid.
"So, the meatbag wants us to find as many, if not all, of these crew members and make them non existent?"
"Yeah." The Krath replied.
"And he said to find me to assist you two in this little massacre."
"Yup." She said.
"Where do we start?"
"I think if me and Fionn take the west corridor, and you take the east one, we'll find out where most of them are hiding. They aren't going to lie low and just let us take this ship without putting up a fight; they're going to scrap for it, tooth and nail. Veritas, if you find them all, send us a message on the frequency ok? We'll do the same if we find them all, though it seems to be a bit of a dumb move to all be together." The Huntress concluded.
"They are designed to just be the ship's crew; they won't have that many brain cells." Fionn added. Nodding, the female took her master's hilt out of her belt and grinned, signalling for the droid to take the corridor opposite the two humans before disappearing down the dully lit passage.
"Why do all these corridors look the same?!" Xathia exclaimed in exasperation, slamming her fist into a wall panel before groaning and quickly suppressing the pang of pain that was emitting from her Obelisk decision.
"Veritas, you come across anything yet?" The Hunter said into his comlink, stressing the 'anything' to the droid.
"Of course I've come across stuff, it just doesn't live and I can't destroy it. Stupid meatbag." Was the static reply, causing the female to giggle, only angering the Arkanian further.
"One day I will short circuit your sarcasm if you aren't more helpful."
"He answered your question Fionn; don't get so antsy about it." Xathia snickered at the male Sith, who merely death glared the Omwati. "You haven't seen anything that could be killed then Veritas obviously."
"Of course not Xathia, I'd have told you so if there was anything." The droid tuned out of the frequency, leaving the two humans none the wiser as to where these crew members were hiding. Sighing, the female continued the trek down the never ending corridor, residing herself to getting lost and becoming part of the ship.
After a short while longer of hearing nothing other then their footsteps, the two Hunters heard a sharp shuffle of steps, as though the owner was trying to avoid being heard. Stopping immediately, the male crept towards the panel closest to where the sound was coming from, and bashed a hole through it as Xathia activated the sabre, its azure blade palely reflected in her skin. The stunned faces of three adolescents who were blankly staring at the odd pairing faced the Krath and Arkanian before they swiftly decapitated and killed the guards.
Looking closer at what they were stood in, and how they got there, resembled an odd concept. Xathia studied the enclosed space, and there seemed to be no way to get in or out, except through a hole above them, which appeared to be too small for even the guards to get through. Stepping back out into the passageway, the two Caliburnus members shrugged to each other and continued through a doorway.
"And we will be taking back our ship." Came from behind them, twisting around and activating the sabre automatically, the girl's senses were on edge as her emerald eyes locked with a crew member's. Swiftly taking on the task to disembowel the male and anyone that wasn't Fionn within a few metres, Xathia struck out smoothly and quickly, using everything she could remember from Timbal's teachings.
Gasping for breath, the female picked up her comlink. "Veritas, we've just eliminated a small group after going through a doorway. Have you found anyone yet?"
"I destroyed some meatbags a short while ago. They thought they could over power me." The droid snorted. "There seem to be more on their way, I think they like hiding." He continued in glee at the thought of killing more crew members, as the sound of muffled screams and yelps of pain came over the comlink. The group of five that the two Hunters had destroyed seemed to be more then a handful, even though they weren't trained in combat, they could easily over power in pure numbers. Nodding at the Sith, the Omwati unrelentingly went ahead through the next door, resigning herself to what lay ahead.
"Veritas! Where are you?" The Krath barked down the comlink. She had just killed another few guards that the girl had come across on her way back to check for any guards left over.
"I'm in the next corridor judging from where your frequency is." Veritas drawled back. Though the two humans and the droid had managed to kill off anything so far that they had found, they had no idea how many members were still left, and no idea where each other was exactly. Fionn and Xathia had split at a fork in the corridor, to save time backtracking and going down the other corridor. The female was tired, there'd been an unrelenting wave of crew members since they'd found the first three in the wall panels. Rubbing her eyes, the Omwati trudged further on. "Now you're getting further away." Veritas snapped. Growling, she turned around and went the direction which she came from. "Yes, now you're getting closer."
"Just hurry up and find me. I want to find out if there are any more guards to slay before I go and declare the ship empty to Timbal." The Huntress sighed, and continued to the end of the passageway, before walking into the droid. "I can't sense anyone nearby, but that doesn't rule out that they've all been killed."
"Oh joy, I can't wait to find any more." The droid replied, though the Krath Huntress could only guess that it wasn't in sarcasm since murder was the only thing that Veritas enjoyed.
Picking up on around eight Force beings in a group that were moving quickly, the Omwati veered off to the left down a tight corridor, musing over that the Arkanian would probably have trouble getting down it. Noting that the beings were straight ahead, the female activated the sabre again before the droid made her stop and let him pass first.
"You cannot win against seven of us Sith!"
"Who said so?"
"We outnumber you seven to one, so give up now!"
"Seven to one, that seems unlikely meatbags." Veritas drawled, and released his weapons into the nearest member, who silently died quickly.
"Five to three seems much more likely." The Krath added as she stuck her master's sabre through another guard. "And you really aren't that hard to defeat. We've been running around killing off you people all day."
'They told me that they are the last ones surviving Xath, we get rid of these and we can go back.'
Snarling, the 'speaker' of the group wielding his sword as the female stood in front of him in a challenge to defeat them. Guessing that he was going to make his moves brashly and quickly, the Omwati stood still and firm, letting him cast the first move. Throwing the blade around harshly, the male expected it to just break the sabre from the look on his face at what he was really faced with to defeat. Drawing the sabre down and away from the weapon, Xathia threw the humming blade across an unprotected area of his body, drawing the smell of burning flesh to the air. The faint clashings of Fionn and Veritas in the background were nothing but usual to the female as she made the 'speaker' regret everything in his plan before diving the blade through his chest and then swiftly decapitating him as the droid and Sith stepped back from yet another bloody mess in the halls.
Smirking over her shoulder, Xathia made her way back out of the corridor, tuning her comlink to tell Timbal what had happened.
Timbal checked his watch again. Just a few standard minutes left, and they’ll be at the rendezvous point. His commlink crackled again. “Master, Xathia here. Mission accomplished, the crew has been eliminated. Zero casualties.”
Timbal nodded to himself. “Ok, make your way back up to the bridge. We should be arriving in a few minutes.”
His Student acknowledged, and he switched frequencies. “Anga, Timbal here. Seal off the secondary bridge, and scramble the access codes to something we would know. Then make your way here, since we’re close to arriving on station.”
His former Student crisply replied an affirmative, and Timbal closed the channel. The Epis was antsy, knowing that he had precious little time to board the entire crew before the pursuit force would arrive. He worked out the order of things in his head, and then settled in his chair. This thing would work itself out within the next hour, he knew.
With another woosh, the door to the bridge opened up, allowing Xathia and her small force to arrive. Xathia took up her former station, after guiding Fionn to an auxiliary acceleration couch. The droid took up a defensive position at the door without being asked.
Timbal ignored all of this, his eyes intent on his chrono. “Oooookay, reversion to realspace…. Now.”
The brilliant tunnel of light dissolved back into their millions of pinpricks of light. Timbal immediately asked, “Sensors?”
The trooper stood quietly for a moment, running a full scan. “Sir, everything is as expected. The Majestics are here and in good repair, already taking on crews.”
Before the Epis could say anything, the trooper at the communications station said, “Sir, incoming communications from the lead transport.”
“Sir, it’s Sommetra here. We’re ready to immediately transfer over the crew to the ship. Congratulations, I might add,” she said, with an obvious glee in her voice.
Timbal half smiled, and then got serious. “Ok, I need you here above everything else. Next will be the gunnery crews, then the bridge crew. I expect a fight in a few, so we need to get ready.”
“Copy that, sir. I’m already moving, and the gunnery crews are eager to get started. Estimated time to get the gunnery crews in place is five minutes.”
Timbal shook his head, “It needs to go faster. Let the transports land in the bay directly if they have to, and use all of the shuttles now. I only think we have two or three minutes left.”
A pause, then she replied, “Roger that. Crews are responding, I’m pulling away shuttles from ferrying over crew members to the Majestics to compensate.”
Timbal nodded, “Once they’re done, they can continue with the Majestics. One at a time, we’ll provide cover for them.”
“Roger that. Sommetra, out.”
Timbal waved to the trooper to cut the line, and the sensors officer spoke up, “Sir, incoming fighters dropping out of hyperspace, three zero one mark three three.”
Timbal frowned for a second at that vector reading, and then a light bulb went off. “Are those fighters of Imperial nature?”
The trooper at the sensors station fiddled a bit more with the controls. “Yes, sir, TIE Defenders, actually.”
Timbal smiled lopsidedly. Looks like Phoenix sent some support. “Communications, open up a link with the fighters.”
After a moment, “Opened, sir.”
“Timbal to incoming fighters. Please feel free to take up station protecting the Nebula. We’ll be covering the Majestics until they can load up and leave. We’re expecting company in about a minute. Once they arrive, engage and destroy. We’ll be doing the same. Authentication,” Timbal paused, a full smile coming on his face, “Thran’s mom likes to give oil baths. Counter-sign?” he asked.
“Timbal solicits in the refresher.”
Timbal chuckled and replied, “Roger that, identity confirmed. Keep a sharp eye out.” He motioned to cut the link. He kept staring at the sensor board, mentally urging the transports and shuttles to hurry. Finally, they started to offload their troops, and Timbal noticed through the Force a familiar and singular presence approaching the bridge in a hurry. Timbal turned to Veritas, “Sommetra is approaching the bridge, try not to open fire.”
An electronic snort followed, which he let go. There were far more important things to take care of than deal with the annoying automaton. The mature and slender female arrived, and immediately took her place beside her old friend.
“Nothing as yet?”
Timbal shook his head. “No, but any moment now.”
They both noticed the gunnery station lights turn on one at a time as their crews finally arrived and activated them, the stern stations first. In rapid succession, they were turning on, and then Timbal noticed through the Force another small group hurrying to the bridge, one of them being Anga. Turning to Veritas again, he mentioned, “Bridge crew coming.”
Turning back, the sensor board lit up. “What have you got, Sensors?”
The trooper ignored the new arrivals to the bridge and replied, “Sir, we’ve got the same Carrack and Nebulon-B that we saw before, plus an escort carrier.”
Timbal winced, and knew that the carrier was probably loaded to the gills with bombers. To the bridge crew that was taking their stations, he mentioned, “Ok, take out the carrier now, before they can launch all of their fighters and bombers.”
Before he could complete the sentence, the bass thrum of multiple turbolaser batteries were reverberating through the ship, hitting the hapless carrier squarely in the middle. The other two capital ships were clearly surprised by the sudden danger they just found themselves in, but they dove in, their own batteries firing away.
The carrier managed to launch about three squadrons before their shields were pierced and the powerful turbolasers of the Nebula ripped into her, crushing everything in their vengeful path. One bolt ignited a ready store of proton torpedoes, causing them to go nova and starting the chain reaction that gutted the ship from the inside out.
Timbal didn’t have to tell the Defenders to go after the fighters, as they went straight for them, dropping the bombers like flies despite the escort. The two other capital ships were trying to maneuver towards the stern of the Nebula, but one of the Majestic cruisers started to provide covering fire from that angle, forcing the two smaller ships to try and close in to avoid the full brunt of the Destroyer’s fire. Although initially successful, the gunner crews on the Destroyer finally got the hang of their new equipment and savaged the frigate. While attempting to give the frigate cover, the Carrack attempted to do multiple slashing attacks, using its’ relative speed to its’ advantage. However, several solid battery hits squarely on its’ bow floundered the light cruiser, allowing the Destroyer to mercilessly batter it with a crushing volley of more turbolaser fire. Leaving it adrift in space, with emergency pods being jettisoned, the Destroyer once more focused its’ anger on the frigate, by now clearly attempting to jump into hyperspace.
Timbal wouldn’t have it, and ordered a full barrage. The wave of turbolaser fire collapsed the last of its’ shields, and the frigate was snapped in half at the spine of the ship, with both ends tumbling end over end into deep space. In the meantime, the TIE Defender squadron had their way with the bombers and had finished wiping out the fighters, allowing a few to flee back into hyperspace.
By this time, all of the transports had disgorged their crews on all of the ships, and they all jumped out to their secondary rendezvous point, leaving twisted wreckage behind.
The new flagship of Clan Scholae Palatinae had proven their worth, and more importantly, so had a certain Student.
OOC - This ends this Run-on. My thanks to everyone involved, thank you for being part of Xathia's journey towards her lightsabre, and for contributing to Clan lore.
My thanks again!