Team Equite Mafia: Clan Arcona
The following Arconans are part of Team Equite Mafia:
Sith Battlelord Andrelious J. Inahj - 10278
Krath Epis Legorii Kryotek Entar - 8893
Obelisk Prelate Etah d'Tana - 8075
Obelisk Prelate Putra - 4015
Obelisk Templar Kratus Vahillus - 9117
Protector Kanis Da'uul - 13458
Outside the fortress of Ludo Kressh
“I did not ask for any of you to accompany me. You are fortunate that your skills were needed when those Black Sun operatives intercepted us, for I could quite easily have slain you.” Andrelious hissed.
For four long days the Sith had been trekking to the location of a fortress once owned by Ludo Kressh. He had been preparing to perform this operation on his own, but Marick had insisted that he be accompanied. Kratus was bearable company, as the two had come to work closely since the cyborg’s promotion to the Arcona summit. The others, though, simply annoyed Inahj. Etah d’Tana kept trying to assert himself as the team’s leader, claiming that the team was made up mostly of Spectre Cell members and was therefore his to command. Putra appeared obsessed with becoming a powerful warrior, and had at least impressed the Arconan Rollmaster with his skills with a lightsaber. The final Equite was Legorii. He had been away for some time but his abilities were as they always had been. Andrelious was glad that he did not have to face the Epis in direct combat.
Kanis, however, was deemed as little more than a tagalong. Kratus had requested that his young apprentice be allowed to join the team that had otherwise consisted of Equites.
“What now, Inahj?” Etah asked as the Battlelord halted several hundred yards away from the temple entrance. The d’Tana was clearly annoyed at the way that Andrelious had simply usurped apparent leadership, but could do little; Inahj was far too wary to fall for any tricks that the Spectre Cell leader may have attempted. Instead, Etah would have to bide his time. Inahj would slip up and it would be then that the Prelate would strike.
“Master..I feel different.” Kanis piped up. He had indeed been fighting with strength and power well beyond that of an average Protector. Andrelious and Kratus had both noticed the changes but chose to say nothing, lest the young Qel-Droman see it as an opportunity to overthrow the pair of them.
“Do not worry, my apprentice,” the ex-Pirate responded. “The Force is favouring us..this fortress is ours to take.”
Kanis looked over to Kratus.
“Use the force, remember your basic training,” The cyborg grunted.
“Keep moving we are going in and watch for traps, these old places are teeming with them.” Inahj commanded.
“Yea, we don’t want anyone to get hurt, right Inahj?” Etah glared at Inahj with a wolf-like grin. Inahj knew Etah wanted the lead of the expedition, but he did not know if he can trust the whole of the team to back him in case Etah decided to commit mutiny, being that most of the team members were Spectre Cell and thus usually under Etah’s command. Inahj pushed these thoughts to the back of his mind as the group continued to make their way into the ruins of the fortress.
Right past the entrance of the fortress lay an unsuspecting Black Sun camp.
“Putra scout the comp and report what you find.” Inahj dictated to the Prelate.
Putra returned after only a short absence and looked over at Etah. “There are 6 people, with the light differences, it does not seem they know we are here. You want me to take care of them or should we just pass them by?”
“Putra! You will report to ME! I AM THE LEADER! ...” Inahj hissed, clearly annoyed at how the Prelate had deferred to Etah instead of him.
The team looked on in amazement. “Of course you are, just a force of habit, that is all, soo, 'sir', what are your orders?” Putra replied, his tone disparaging towards the lone Sith of the group.
“Kill them all of them, check for supplies.” Inahj ordered, regaining his composure and igniting his saber, as the other members followed suit. Kanis, however, hung back from the main assault. The team leapt in upon the unsuspecting camp like a Nexu on its pray, and with a flash of light and a hum of lightsabers the camp was quickly subdued.
“Let’s push forward team. I mean, if that is ok with you, sir” Etah called out.
(Note: edited by Andrelious J. Inahj)
Fortress of Ludo Kressh
The dark-haired Anzat watched impassively. The slaughter was nothing new - they'd been doing that since before they'd first stepped foot in Clan Arcona. The vermin that had fallen to Soulflayer's smoldering blade were innumerable; but they were one. One mass. One waste. One memory.
The Epis was withdrawn, silent. He held back, his crimson eyes flicking with feigned disinterest from Etah d'Tana to Andrelious Inahj, and from Putra to Kratus Vahillus. He was tired of the squabbles and the pettiness, and he yearned for the solitude that he had given up to once more take up his Clan’s mantle.
“Keep moving, stay together,” Etah’s gruff voice urged the rest of the Dark Jedi. Legorii smirked – he didn’t need to look to see the mounting anger on Inahj’s features. He had been in situations like these before. The situation was mere moments from reaching its boiling point and frothing over. And when the eruption did occur, Legorii knew that there would be Arconan blood on the fortress floor.
The corridor that they were passing through was dark, but a draft brushed strands of hair against the Entar’s moist cheeks. There had to be some larger antechamber or hall ahead. Closing his eyes, the Arconan stalwart reached out through the Force, giving himself over to its ebbs and flows. He felt its nuances, carefully manipulating it on the dual arenas of his soul’s ethereal monument and Ludo Kressh’s enduring memorial.
It was the first time he had spoken in hours. Maybe days. The younger members of the team did not know him, and that only encouraged their resentment. His name adorned Spectre Cell’s roster, but rarely did he work with them, and he had never trained beside them.
Putra sneered, and took a step toward him. “Stop? You’re not the only one here who’s tired.”
The Epis opened his eyes. His sanguine gaze met the Prelate’s with an eerie calm. The Anzat appeared to be choosing his words carefully before he spoke. “If you take another step toward me, I will kill you. If you take another step down this passage, he will kill you.”
“I’d listen to him, were I you,” Kratus uttered, watching the exchange between the Anzat and the other Spectre Cell member. His mismatched eyes flitted to the darkness before them, attempting to make out just what it was the Anzat was seeing to urge them to a halt. However, neither his natural, nor enhanced cybernetic eye could distinguish any such figures from the clinging gloom.
Then he reached out with his own senses, closing his natural eye as he allowed himself to transfer out. His apprentice, watching him intently, followed suit, whilst they heard the others resume their petty argument about leadership and what lay ahead.
What they felt was...immense and powerful; a dark, brooding presence filled with wrath. Neither could truly make out what it was, whether man or beast, but it was definitely male...and definitely angry at something. Both opened their eyes rather quickly, returning to the present state of chaos that had ensued in their little group.
“Inahj,” Kratus snapped, his voice cutting across the three others. “Or Etah, whomever frakking gives a damn, we need a plan. Legorii is right, there is something ahead that..quite frankly..isn’t going to take a liking to our little group.”
“I felt it too,” Kanis put forward, confirming his master’s claim.
All argument stopped..for the present, as Etah and Andrelious took a moment to think on the news, considering now not just one, but three of the party had taken notice of this mysterious...presence.
“Maybe, if instead of arguing you had looked about like our fellow member, you would’ve noticed it too,” the Cyborg added testily to the end.
Kanis mused for a moment, he’d been looking back on the entire argument; then all of a sudden he snaped out of his deep train of thought nearly derailing his entire thought process.
“Master Vahillus... Are they always like this? And don’t you think that the black sun have heard us by now?” it was most likely in Kanis’ favor that his tone was not loud enough for anyone but Kratus to make out.
The Obelisk Templar slowly glanced at his apprentice and failed to move his mouth, but yet his apprentice still heard the voice in his head.
“Yes, they’re douche bags, but we must rely on them to get the job done; it would also be in your better judgement to use your force speak ability when speaking in such a matter, I won’t scrape your scrawny remains off the ground after Inahj and Etah run over you.”
“Understood.” Kanis garbled in the same form as his master.
Kanis just looked on at the pair who were once vigorously argumentative and were now silent after having been cut off by his master just mere moments before.
“Now as I’ve mentioned before.” Stated Kratus, “We must formulate a plan, or would you just rather we mindlessly banter around until something either takes our heads off and or devours us.” Kratus tone was brazen and serious.
Kanis opened his mouth to speak, but Kratus almost slaps him in the mouth in the process of covering it; he sent another message into the mind of his apprentice. “Don’t open your mouth... Ever.”
“Protector, stow it” Etah commanded in a gruff tone that let him know that journeyman should be seen and not heard here. Kratus’s student glared at the presumptuous Prelate in response.
Walking past the human, Etah walked over to Legorii. The Obelisk Prelate knew that the Krath Epis had much stronger Force senses. “What do we got boss?”
“One to three subjects down that passage, most likely armed,” the standoffish Anzati stated robotically. It was clear the Krath wished to withdraw himself from the temporal concerns of the Clan Arcona, but loyalty kept driving him back to these missions.
“Legorii, let’s me and you flank either side of the passage,” Etah said switching into a more leader-type tone. “Putra, Kratus, move toward the opening of the passage, draw attention and fire. Make them move toward you and exit the mouth of the passage where me and Legz’ will ambush them.”
“Excuse me, Etah,” Andrelious interjected.
Etah looked toward the Sith Battlelord and cut him off before he could say anything further. “I respect the fact that the Clan Summit designated you as the mission Commander for this mission. I will take any and all direction from you, as it pertains to mission completion. But I am still the Sergeant of the Spectre Cell. They are still my crew, they will report to me and I will issue those orders I feel necessary.” Etah said sternly, the look on Inahj’s face transforming from angry to frustrated. After a painfully long pause, Etah poignantly completed the statement; “This being a combat situation is one of them.”
The Obelisk Prelate nodded to his Archpriest Comrade. While it is true that Legorii had yet to train with Spectre Cell, Etah and Legz went back years and most recently had worked together during the Trials of Loyalty in Port Ol’Val. Legorii moved forward and arced out to the right while Etah did so to the left. As Etah and Legorii took position on either side of the passages entrance, Putra and Kratus moved forward, Kratus’s apprentice not far from his side and Andrelious Inahj leading from the rear.
Putra, Kratus and Kanis moved forward, three black sun solders are patrolling the passage way ahead of the trio. “HALT!” shouts the black sun Sargent as the other two solders point their blaster rifles at the three Dark Jedi. Putra raise his hand and gestures in the motion of a force push towards one of the solders, the effect was immediate, the black sun solder was thrown into the wall of the corridor to such an extent that the solders body was crushed into the wall that had stood for more then thousand year leaving almost no distinction between the two. “whaa” Putra gasp not wanting to immediately kill his foo. “this is just a fraction of the power you could have.” a raspy voice not above a whisper echos in Putra's ears. “What?” thinks to himself, not noticing Kratus and his apprentice had dispatched the black sun Sargent and last solder. “did you hear something?” Putra looks to Kratus, “No.” Kratus replays as the hum of his saber goes silent. “Are you ok?” Kanis ask the Prelate who was visible shaken. “I'm Fine” Putra snaps. About that time Etah and Legorii come from the said hallways and steep over the bodies of the black sun Sargent and solder, Etah notices what resembles nothing more then a gory smear on the wall. “what was that?” Etah ask looking towards the Epis. “Putra over did it a bit.” Kratus points to Putra. “Interesting, I did not know you had that in you yet.” Etah pauses to contemplate the current situation. Etah thinks to himself, “Putra and and I are about the same in power but I could not preform such an act of destruction, what if HE buys for power, ill have to keep an eye on him.” At that moment a voice, not to much above a whisper comes out from the darkness “yes yes you are right to watch him, all of them, they all have there own goals and plot against you” the voice fades out as mysterious as it started. Etah looks around at the others with a glare. Inahj falls in with the rest of the team. “Whats the situation, report to me.” the battle lord commands.
Etah felt like he was on a bender. After you spend so many days on spice that days begin to run together, reality becomes sort of subjective and that is what it felt like today. Putra did something crazy with the Black Sun operatives and who knows what happened to them because Etah felt great. The Mirialan didn’t feel like he was bursting with power, only that he had grown into the level of power that he deserved.
Shaking off the surrealness of their present situation Etah looked around noticing the bodies of the three Black Sun operatives strewn about who seem to have been crushed to death. The Sergeant of Spectre Cell looked to the Clan Rollmaster “We have even numbers; we should pair up and bound down the passage two by two.” Andrelious just nodded having received his fill of Etah’s reasoning a few moments.
Dissent came from a rather unexpected avenue. “Etah we should scroll the passage along the sides” Kratus chimed in.
“Scrolling means walking along side a road instead of crossing it. I think you should get some more infantry training before you try to make decisions,” Etah said a little condescendingly.
“I am a member of the House Summit!” Kratus mentioned abruptly.
“An unofficial member of the House Summit and you’re still a member of Specre Cell. Get ready to move out troop,” Etah responded coolly.
“You’re going nowhere and I’m on my way up!” Kratus interjected.
“I respect your ability but I have served Arcona through three separate Grand Masters and seven separate Consuls. Every Grand Master, every Dark Councilor, every Arconae, every Consul, every Quaestor, I have out lasted them all," Etah stated poignantly.
“It is true that you will probably make Quaestor and hell, you might even make it to the Clan Summit. It’s also true that I’ll probably wind up telling some summit member where they can shove their opinion and loose even my current spot. But I’ll still be around. Long after you decide that it’s too hard I’ll still be a member of Arcona. So don’t try to tell me about how important you are,” Etah said, blasting the Templar with the same kind of logic he had doled out to the Clan Rollmaster.
Looking back to Andrelious Etah moved on. “So two man teams then?”
“Two man teams is an excellent idea, d’Tana.” Inahj replied. He was secretly impressed with how well that Etah was leading Spectre Cell. He had not had many dealings with the Prelate before, and indeed had only met him in passing. Even at the summit meetings Etah was usually a quieter figure.
“Kanis and Kratus. You’re one team.” Etah began, aware of the master-student bond. “I’ll go with Putra. That will leave Inahj to work with Legorii.”
The majority nodded, but Legorii looked disappointed. The Anzat usually cut a solitary figure. Inahj too preferred to work alone, though his time as Gatewarden and Void Commander had made the Battlelord much more receptive of teamwork.
Kanis was by far the newest of the group, but he was feeling buoyant, powerful. He had not long ago been elevated to Protector, but the way he had fought seemed to belie a power well beyond that ranking. Most Journeymen would have felt extreme fear at the nearby presence. Instead, Kanis appeared ready to fight.
Even Andrelious was beginning to feel more powerful. It had been many years since the Battlelord had been elevated in rank, but the Rollmaster knew the feeling all too well. A newly elevated member, whether that be to Grand Master or to Novice, feels the Force flowing through them with a newly reinforced vigour. And that was how Inahj felt. Ready to grasp the Dark Side with more strength than before. Ready for anything.
“Now we are in pairs, I trust the squabbling will stop. We are Arcona.” Andrelious hissed, taking an aggressive stance.
Against six Arconans that were feeling favoured by the Force, nobody would have a chance. Whatever was waiting nearby would soon fall.
Fortress of Ludo Kressh
The Anzat’s chest rose and fell gently. The air he breathed in and out through his bulbous nose was tinged with a sickly-sweet smell, but he scarcely noticed. He blinked slowly and deliberately. Around him, the world was falling by the wayside, discarded as surely as he had discarded his family and his entire life in journeying to Clan Arcona. There were men and women who had grown up here, mechanical killers who had never known anything else.
But not Legorii Kryotek. He had over a century of galactic experience before he’d ever stepped foot in the Dajorra System. And in the past few years, he’d grown tired of the incessant bullshit that stewed in the Brotherhood’s stagnant cesspool. He had seen the decline of the formerly great Dark Side conglomerate. Since he had left his position as Quaestor of House Qel-Droma behind, everything had begun to crumble.
The Dark Side pumped through his veins, leaving his head pounding. His heart beat faster. His fingers twitched. The Force, his longest and truest ally, was rallying to his aid. He knew what needed to be done, and he would do it. He was an Entar, and after that, all else was meaningless.
“Legorii, what the hell?” Inahj was only inches from his face, glaring at him with a mix of anger and curiosity. “The others have gone ahead, and I will not allow them to finish these Black Sun cretins alone.”
The Battlelord headed down the passage, towards the center of the fortress’ darkness that Legorii had first attempted to warn his companions of. He did not wait to see if his partner was following. Shrugging, the Epis allowed a wicked, demonic grin to pervert his features. Soulflayer, gently bobbing at his side, jerked forward – the rest of the Anzat followed.
The scene in the antechamber was chaos. Dark silhouettes flitted through the shadowed room. It appeared as though there were dozens of them, but Legorii knew that was impossible. The dim glows of lightsabers provided some light, but they moved so erratically in frenzied motions that the light was worthless.
Most unnerving about the scene was its silence. There was not a single sound. Not a scuffed boot, not a shout or whisper between teammates. Nothing.
But internally, the chaos was even more fearsome. In the souls of each Dark Jedi, the real battle was being waged. The infusion of many centuries worth of frightening Force power had given rise to six Arconan warriors of greater power, but it had come with a terrible price.
Kanis knelt on the cold, damp stone. His lightsaber fizzled out as it clattered to the stone, and the hilt rolled away from his outstretched fingers. He gritted his teeth as pain wracked his nervous system, and his hands shot to his temples. He opened his mouth as if to scream, but was voiceless.
Putra stumbled against the wall, and with his free hand clawed at the stone as if he intended to dig his way out. He tried to hack at it with his lightsaber, but his blade found air alone. A dark shape collided with him, and though he did not know who it was, the Prelate lashed out.
All around, the team was collapsing mentally. They attempted to rally and close their minds to the dark spirits that were invading them, but it was too late. The insanity was beginning to set in. Black Sun was forgotten, momentarily gone from their overwhelmed minds.
They were in hell.
Whispers flitted through his mind, ancient secrets long buried, powers long forgotten, souls not laid to rest as they should have been. His mind was ravaged before, two halves, artificial and natural, battling for supremacy within his skull. Now more, more voices to add to the clamour. Strong voices, filled with power, desire and suffering.
You’ll never make it. You’re not strong enough.
“Shut up!” the Cyborg bellowed, slamming his cybernetic hand into the ancient flagstone floor, his teeth clenched as tightly as his eyelids.
Around him, the rest of his group struggled in their own capacities; Kanis was upon the floor, on his knees and hands, muttering under his breath as his eyes were shut tightly. Etah was further onward, his lightsaber active within his hands, gazing rapidly about the space as though seeing a thousand enemies all waiting to attack him at once. Putra was still grappling wildly with an unseen enemy, his own senses telling him that the figure was there, yet eyes deceiving him as he occasionally lashed his saber out into nothing but air.
Even Andrelious and Legorii seemed to be mildly affected, though they didn’t thrash about as much as the others. Inahj turned to his companion, his eyesight not as affected as the others in the group as of yet.
“We need to get them up; get them moving,” he stated quickly.
The Anzat slowly turned his head at the Battlelord’s words, meeting the human’s gaze, before languidly nodding his assent. The pair moved opposite, moving throughout their brethren and attempting to pull them from the madness which sought to overwhelm their minds. The first that Andrelious confronted was Putra. His crimson saber clashed against the Prelate’s argent blade. The sudden confrontation rattled Putra, who blinked his eyes for a moment uncomprehendingly, before recognizing both the blade and the wielder. For a moment, anger flashed across the man’s features, a strange light flitting through his eyes until he blinked, his vision clearing.
“My thanks,” he said only, lowering his lightsaber, but not extinguishing the weapon.
Legorii moved upon Etah, coming to stand beside his fellow veteran and seeming to gaze upon the hoard which encompassed his fellow Arconan’s view. “You look a bit lost there, d’Tana,” the Anzat spoke softly, but his voice carrying to the Spectre Cell leader’s ear. “Perhaps I can help show you the way.”
“Can you see them too?” Etah asked, not taking his eyes away from the mob.
“I can, but first, I need you to face me, there is something you need to see,” Legorii persisted, his voice beckoning to the Mirialan.
“But why, we should take these guys, together,” Etah said briskly, then looked at Legorii. “Just like old times,” he added before looking back.
To Etah’s surprise, the mob was completely gone.
“Come on, let’s get the others,” Legorii stated to the bewildered Mirialan before moving briskly away.
Andrelious had already reached Kratus by this time and stood a little ways apart from the cyborg, his eyes gazing at the man, watching his struggles as he attempted to find a plan. Although a part of him wanted to end both the Coruscanti and his apprentice, get them out of the way early, he knew that he would need the entire group, if they were to leave this place alive. With that knowledge in mind, he again activated his blade and stepped forward, bringing the weapon to Kratus’ throat.
The Templar’s natural eye flashed open and he gazed at the weapon leveled at his trachea, his vision confused, swirled. His eyes followed the crimson shaft up to its wielder, meeting the Battlelord’s gaze with little recognition save the slight confusion caused by seeing imminent death before him.
“Snap out of it Vahillus,” Andrelious called. “We don’t have time for this.”
The natural eye blinked, slowly, moistening the organ beneath as he stared at Inahj blankly. The standoff persisted for half a minute longer, before the Coruscanti straightened, nodding his head quickly.
“You’re right. Don’t know what happened there..just..got too crowded up top,” he said, nodding to the Battlelord. “I’ll make it.”
“Good,” Andrelious returned, then gestured with his blade to Kanis. “Get your apprentice up, we need to move.”
Kanis was lying on the cold and dark flagstone floor; his body trembled slightly as his eyes were clamped shut tightly, if one were to look closely enough they could see a tear trying to escape from the corner of one of his tightly shut eyes.
“DEAD! BLOOD! SHE’S DEAD!” Cried the cyborg’s apprentice as he quivered on the floor.
The Cyborg appeared over the young man’s shoulder, looking down upon his apprentice with an odd gleam to his natural eye. He knelt a little ways from the man, keeping both eyes trained on his apprentice whilst keeping his own mental barriers raised to keep the affliction from reclaiming him.
“My apprentice,” he called, his voice carrying. “What do you see?”
Upon hearing his Master’s tone, Kanis still quivered repeating one of his pained cries, “BLOOD! BLOOD EVERYWHERE!” after that Kanis paused before slamming a fist onto the floor still apparently lost in his own demented memory. “She’s so... cold, so stiff.” the Protector’s voice trembled. “I swear I’ll find him, I’ll find him and kill him!” the Protector writhed as he boasted his quivering threats which were shielded by mental trauma and terror.
The young man’s mind was seemingly unraveling before everyone; everything that had pushed him to the darkside had returned to tormenting him; recessed memories which had been unlocked by a foreign force rushed his conscious, but the forces decided to do more than just unleash the memories, they altered them to make the occurrences worse than when he’d first witnessed them.
“SHE’S DEAD!” he repeats in agony; the protector was an emotional wreck, he had no experience with any sort of mental struggles such as this there for his defense was quite lacking in experience and strength, however his mind was not weak for a small portion waged war against the semi-falsified and fragmented memories.
“Snap out of it or I will end you here.” Inahj spat in an obviously annoyed tone, “You’re of no use to us as you are, you will only burden us... I will not allow you to compromise our mission.” Inahj added as he raised his saber.
Upon reception of his words, the young protector’s small bit of rebellious cells took his mind by conquest and his smoky gray eyes opened; he began blinking quickly, his heart raced in his chest, his breath still came as quick short rasps, but he once again had full control over his mind and bore only a very small recollection of what had just happened, he now stared at Inahj who had his saber still at the ready; the young apprentice said not a word, he merely retrieved his saber from the cold floor and wiped a tear from one of his eyes; he said not a word as he stood at Kratus’s side.
The Arconans stood silently recovering from the mental and spiritual onslaught that had just overcome them. Breathing heavily each team member reflected upon the momentary struggles that had just faced them. The bloody memories of Kanis, the weakness of Kratus, and disoriented thoughts of of the other team members weighed heavily upon them. The first test of Kressh's fortress had been an internal one and it had almost succeeded in tearing them team apart from within.
Legorii looked with mild disdain at each member of his team. Their weakness and inexperience had almost cost the team the honor of taking this great fortress for Arcona. Despite their enhanced powers the team had almost fallen and Legorii wondered, not for the first time, if it would be more prudent to take the team's soup and move on alone.
A low and violent groan broke the Anzat from his thoughts as ancient urns and vaults lining the room fractured apart. The corpses of Kressh's retainers and servants awakened as the unnatural abilities of the Dark Side reanimated the dead.
The team of Arconan's moved as one former a defensive circle, their lightsabers igniting in unison......
“Stand your ground!” Etah’s voice rang out through the chamber, echoing in the darkness.
The beams of light from their blades wavered slightly, but whether from fear, shock, repulsion, or fatigue, none could be sure. The figures that were emerging from the shadows around them were ghoulish, composed primarily of dusty bone with motley scraps of long-dead flesh dangling from their reanimated joints. The odor of death and decay alone was enough to overpower the Arconans’ heightened senses.
If not for the new influx of power that had rejuvenated the men when they’d entered the fortress, their cause would have been hopeless. With the influx of power, their cause was still hopeless.
Etah charged first, bringing his blade arcing above his head toward the first stumbling servant of Ludo Kressh. The creature made no attempt to defend itself, and the Spectre Cell leader’s weapon carved through its reconstructed spinal column. Astonishingly, the skeleton barely slowed – its bony frame collided roughly with the d’Tana. Off-balance, the Galeran toppled to the ground, fighting off the bleached metacarpals that were reaching for his throat.
Inahj raised a hand and released a timely burst of Dark Side energy, sending the headless creature skidding across the stone floor of the chamber and scattering its bones. Legorii raised an eyebrow and sighed inaudibly.
“The Dark Side has brought them back into this world, and only the Dark Side can forever remove them!” Inahj shouted, whirling to face the next oncoming threat as Etah regained his footing.
Setting their jaws and clearing their minds, the Arconans set about clearing the next hurdle on their path toward glory.
Etah pushed forward with the Force, such a mighty push that the otherworldly retainer flew roughly twenty feet high for forty feet before causing a plum of dirt to puff up as the body slammed into the loose soil.
Standing, the Battle Team Leader found himself on a slight hill barely overlooking the group. The Obelisk Prelate froze for a moment and it seemed like time froze with him. The long dead retainers of a long dead Sith Lord loomed in the distance, reinvigorated by the Force. Their leathery skin, tanned and cured by centuries of exposure to the harsh sun of Rhelg, hung loosely from their ancient bones. Indistinct murmurs emanated from what used to be the unnatural creatures throats.
The Mirialan’s first instinct had been his lightsaber, as it tended to be. He sometimes referred to his lightsaber as a win button, but the long time Arconan had become incredibly stumped when his lightsaber failed to stop or slow the servants of the Dark Lord of the Sith, Ludo Kressh. Spectre Cell could utilize the Force to manhandle them, but making them fly through the air or bashing them into the rocks isn’t likely to be more effective than a lightsaber strike.
“From the Dark Side they have been called beyond the walls of death. By the Dark Side will they return,” Etah said in a necessarily melodramatic way.
The Obelisk Prelate grimly nodded as a creature of darkness appeared by his side. Kratus, Legorii and Andrelious realized what must be done and each called forth the darkest part of the force to aid them as well, causing multiple creatures of darkness to appear around the group of Dark Jedi.
The way of the Obelisk was one of combat. Against the enemies that the team now faced, the Obelisk methods were failing. Even Etah, known for favouring his lightsaber, was now relying on more arcane methods to despatch the resurrected beings that now attacked them.
Andrelious had abandoned the idea of using his own saber much more easily. As a Sith, the Rollmaster was more open to using the Force, demonstrating the many abilities that the Dark Side had empowered him with.
It was Legorii who continued to lead the way, however, his Krath alignment suiting the situation ideally. The Epis had been the first to stop attempting physical attacks, having realised that the enemies he and the team were facing were almost completely immune.
The situation had become so fraught that the bickering over leadership had stopped. For now at least, the half dozen of Arconans were fighting on a united front.
The Force-based fighting that was required was still a little mystifying to Kanis; though he currently wielded a power level well beyond his ranking, his mind-set was still that of a Protector. It had taken the young man a little while longer to figure out how best to find Kressh’s reborn warriors, but now he too understood. The Force was his ally. The Dark Side his servant.
If that damn Journeyman keeps on slowing us with his inexperience, I will deal with him. Understood? Inahj thought, using the Force to transmit the threat to Kratus. The cyborg briefly turned and scowled at the Ex-Imperial, clearly unimpressed that the Clan Rollmaster would dare threaten a Journeyman.
As Inahj destroyed another re-animated enemy with a powerful blast of Dark Side energies, he noticed that Putra had been caught out by sheer numbers. The Prelate was in trouble.
The young protector stood his ground as he watched Etah and Inahj engage the new found foes. For a moment his vision blurred slightly and he carefully wiped a tear from his eye with the back of his left gloved hand. Meanwhile he kept a firm grip on the shiney silver hilt in his right hand. His fellow Arconans were flying into battle without hesitation and he was not about to sit around in a corner during this conflict.
“For Glory! FOR ARCONA!” shouted the Protector as he charged in with the new found vigor of ten men, his saber hissed and buzzed as the icy blue blade made contact with the rib cage of one of the possessed corpses. The skeletal abomination let out a groan as its upper half fell to the ground, its arms still moved as it writhed on the flagstone.
Kanis growled, the dark memory of his loss causing rage to pulse through his veins. The Protector then angled the tip of his blade down and raised the bottom of the hilt high into the air, gritting his teeth. The skeleton reached out to grab his leg but only found empty air just mere centimeters from his shin. The Protector’s azure blade pierced it’s head embedding itself in the cold flagstone underfoot. Kanis didn’t stop there, he channeled his hatred into a blast of Force energy that fragmented the skeleton, ripping its body apart whilst sending the bones and tatters of rotted flesh flying in all directions.
The protector regained his bearings, but remained in his current state of rage as he trembled slightly from adrenaline.
Meanwhile Putra continues to fights off a small horde of undead sith slaves while the other members of the team are busy with their own battles. Putra lets fly a furry of hand to hand jabs, kicks and throws, holding his own against the overwhelming odds up against him. As Kanis charges into his battle “For Glory! FOR ARCONA! “ the protector shots. Inahj notices Putra in trouble, “Putra!” the team leader shots as she lets lose a force wave wiping out the majority of the undead sith attacking Putra. Putra looks up towards Inajh and nods. By now the numbers of the ancient sith slaves had dwindled to a more manageable numbers. The team starts to fall back and regroup “Looks like that’s it.” Etah comments “Everyone ok... wait whats this?” Legorii pauses. “I feel it too” reply Kratus. The team forms back up in a circle, back to back, a number of shadows can barely be seen from around the team when suddenly the crack and hiss of a number of lightsabes igniting echo through the halls, the red glow lights of the chamber, the team seems to be the surrounded by One Sith aspirants. “11 by my count” Putra comments. “2 for each of us, and 1 for you too Kanis” Kratus jokes. Etah commands “Be ready peoples!” “That's right, stop fooling around!” Inajh also commands. The shadowy figures slowly move in closer to the encircled team. Putra, Etah and Inajh are the first to lift up and ignite their sabers with a snap hiss the other members quickly fallow suit. The One Sith wannabes were now close enough to see their faces.
“Let’s show these dogs just who they are dealing with,” Etah growled, flexing his shoulders.
“I agree,” Putra agreed, giving his lightsaber a slight twirl.
“We’ll take them together,” Inahj stated, his voice low. “Now.”
In unison, the six dark Jedi burst forward into their attackers, their multicolored blades intercepting the crimson of the enemy, breaking their opposition’s assault and forcing the One Sith hastily on the defense. The strategy now was to move swifter than the opponent; not giving the One Sith enough time to rally.
Kratus moved next to his apprentice, keeping the younger man firmly within his field of vision. Even with the strange increase in power they seemed to be retaining, Kanis was the weakest link of the group, with little experience in how to use the power he possessed.
To the Cyborg’s immediate right, Etah tore into his enemies like a rabid dog, his lightsaber moving swiftly through the fray, seeming to possess a mind of its own. His eyes were alight with battle and he was focused, a concentrated hurricane of devastation.
Andrelious, on the other hand, was more precise, keeping his attacks controlled and fluid in an effort to out-maneuver his opponents, rather than overpower them. He moved swiftly, finding the weak spots in his opponents forms and exploiting them, wearing them down before taking the killing blow and moving to the next.
Legorii was a whirlwind of deadly force packed into a concise, tightly reigned wave of destruction that ripped through his opponents with absolutely no mercy, tearing them down and leaving corpses within his wake.
Finally there was Putra, aggressively and artistically cutting his way through the One Sith aspirants, his blade doing a gentle yet deadly waltz amongst the crimson barbs of his opponents.
“Are we finished now, gentleman?” Inahj asked as the final One Sith, a female Twi’lek, dropped dead. The battle had been tough but the superior training of the Arconans had won through. The majority of the group had managed to survive fairly unscathed. Kanis, however, had been attacked brutally by twin Rodians. Their blades had met at the top of the Protector’s shoulder, leaving a nasty injury that required immediate treatment.
“You have the power to heal yourself, my apprentice.” Kratus stated, examining the wound. The cyborg knew that he too could heal it, but he felt that compelling the Protector to use his own connection to the Force would allow him to learn more from the experience. There would eventually be a time that the ex-Pirate would not be there to bail Kanis out. Without key knowledge, the young human would have no chance at Knighthood.
“You have two minutes. Then we go. Without you if you cannot heal yourself.” Inahj hissed at Kanis, peering at the way forward. Legorii stood impatiently to one side; the Anzat clearly wanted to move immediately. The thought of draining Kanis of his the ‘soup’ that Legorii’s species fed on had again crossed the Epis’ mind, but the ex-Aedile of Galeres elected to wait; such an action may have drawn open combat in the group. Against four others, even Legorii, as brash and arrogant as he was, was not confident enough of his own success.
Kanis closed his eyes and began to concentrate. He could feel new, unfamiliar sensations. He called on these feelings to heal him, to sew back together his torn tissue. Slowly but surely, the Protector felt the pain ebbing away.
“Thirty seconds.” Andrelious spat.
Kanis finished – the Force oozed from the tip of his soul, and he inhaled in quick gasps. Red-faced, he gathered his robes around him.
The group moved on. Legorii’s shoulders were slumped, and he reflected on the pointlessness of their situation. They were saddled with weakness and held back by incompetence. When they had set out to bring honor and glory to Arcona, none of them had expected that they would bring shame instead. It seemed as though they would survive, but only just.
And yet, they were strong. Inestimably so. The Force had beckoned them closer, and each felt the continuing pull of the Dark Side within their very cores. What role the remnant of Ludo Kressh’s spirit was playing in this phenomenon, none could be sure. Legorii kept his eyes downward as he walked behind Etah, heading deeper into the darkness.
“Keep your wits about you,” Etah whispered, his voice carrying through the stale air to the back of the single-file line that had formed.
Inahj exchanged a look with Kratus, but neither spoke. Legorii imagined that they were thinking something about how Etah should have taken his own advice, and given their situation, he rather agreed. The silence was uncomfortable. They had faced down Black Sun, the spirits of Ludo Kressh’s retainers, and nearly a dozen One Sith underlings – but the threat that awaited them was far more menacing than anything that preceded it.
Lost in his thoughts, the Anzat barreled into the Spectre Cell leader.
“Steady,” Etah growled as he turned and met the Epis’ piercing gaze with a fierce glare of his own. After a moment’s pause, he turned back around, only to find that –
“Get down! Get back! Run!”
Explosions of some kind wracked the entire group and came from all directions as Etah uttered his excited commands. The ensuing chaos sent members of the groups in all directions, but close inspection of the event proved the loud and bright explosions to be more distracting than they were dangerous; none of the assembled Dark Jedi had been harmed.
Off in the distance, dozens of Black Sun gunmen like those they faced earlier began advancing toward the group but blaster fire from Etah and Legorii proved these illusions to be as harmless as the explosions. The Black Sun gunmen were soon replaced by a legion or more of Ludo Kressh’s undead retainers.
Etah, acted on instinct that the illusions were just a distraction and that the decaying corpses of Kreesh’s former retainers were the real threat, moved swiftly forward. But the hands of the murmuring undead slipped right through the Mirialan Obelisk Prelate.
The false corpses, like the fake Black Sun before them disappeared. But in their stead the day slipped into night and the moon formed into a pair of horns that some might recognize as the horns the Dark Lord of the Sith Ludo Kressh wore on his helmet and were a part of the symbol that Ludo Kressh used as his personal heraldry.
A loud and disturbing cackling could be heard as loud cracks of thunder began, though without the accompanying lightening most people would expect. The horns formed into a person, with ferocious red skin who grabbed the moon and ate it, returning the Rhelg skyline to the brightness of day. The red skin of the proud and powerful man was accentuated with ornaments of gold metal and a cloak make of elaborate royal blue cloths.
“Ludo Kressh,” Legorii uttered with some amount of alarm.
There are places in the world where dark creatures dwell, yet none are more deadly than the mind.
“Run!” Etah yelled.
They ran, back the way they had came, moving with speed as only those on the brink of sheer apocalypse. What had been seen, what had been felt, only urged their speed, forcing them onward. Fear, unbridled and untamed, ran rampant through every member’s mind, regardless of strength. They had all known evil, they had all known destruction and power, but none could express in words what they had seen and felt just then.
Fear leads to anger, anger leads to Hate, and hate...leads to suffering.
They brushed into a side room, hearts pounding in unison, weapons kept deep in their grip. They could hear him, feel him following, smell his hatred and anger..but most of all, they felt his hunger. He, whatever he was, was on a quest; a mission to devour anything within his path. They remained perfectly still, not one moving not even a twitch as he passed.
The air grew still, even their breathing seemed obnoxiously loud...so they stopped doing that too. All was still and they waited, hoping against hope that the spectre had passed, moving on into the rest of the abysmal temple and away from them. They waited.
Then, he was gone. Their senses cleared, their ears failed to catch any further sounds and upon moving into the hallway, their eyes discerned nothing. What had they seen, had it been a spectre or a real creature, not one could guess.
“Let’s get out of here,” Etah spake, his voice only just above a bare whisper.
The others nodded and followed onward.
You don’t know the power of the Dark Side.
As he made his way out with the others Kanis heads deep into thought once again, he recalls his brawl with the female One Sith Aspirant, his remorse still frying deep down and his features and body language still refusing to betray his true feelings about the brawl.
‘Kanis could see the others leap into combat thanks to his peripherals, but he failed to turn his attention from The One Sith Aspirant with whom he was locked tightly in combat. Her hair was jet black much like his own.
The Aspirant’s skin was pale and looked soft to the touch and her eyes were a mesmerizing emerald green, her appearance was more than distracting to the young Protector.
“STAY FOCUSED FOOL!” hissed Kratus as he caught a glimpse of his apprentice’s stance easing up slightly.
Kratus’ shout snapped Kanis back into reality and just in the nick of time. The sharp hiss of the collision between their blades sizzled in his ears as scarlet bore down against sapphire in a test of strength.
“Shit.” muttered Kanis as he reinforced his stance.
“You’re weak.” hissed the Aspirant as she turned the right corner of her mouth up in a smirk.
The two broke away and the Aspirant spun her saber in a show of both skill and elegance. Kanis growled as he held his own blade at a forty-five degree angle off to his side.
The Aspirant extended her arm facing her flat palm at Kanis. A blast of force energy swept over Kanis pushing him back, but the Protector quickly regained his bearings, he’d acquired a stronger resistance to the force.
“So, are you actually going to do something or just stare at me with those beautiful eyes whilst making snarky comments?” Kanis returned to the Aspirant his own variation of her smug grin.
The Aspirant growled as she leapt towards the Protector whom also darted forward. Once again Scarlet and Sapphire met in a violent clash and another power struggle was ensued.
“Flattery will get you nowhere.” Spat the Aspirant.
Crackling and hissing emulated from the two as their quarrel continued.
Kanis ducked beneath a slash dealt by the Aspirant narrowly avoiding his head being taken off, while at the same time he let his own saber fly towards the aspirant’s right hip, but nothing was ever that easy Kanis soon discovered as the Aspirant side-stepped and quickly changed the direction of her blade so that it would intercept Kanis’ strike.
The One Sith Aspirant had definitely had set into her mind that she knew every trick that Kanis had and she was partially correct as she foresaw his next strike. She answered by bringing up her own shaft of Scarlet to intercept the oncoming strike; however what she failed to foresee was that this strike was a strategic ruse, she soon discovered this when the direction of Kanis’ blade was abruptly changed and she let out a grunt as she felt a sharp burning pain in her stomach.
Kanis had lunged forward running his saber through the Aspirant’s gut with critical precision.
The Aspirant’s arms twitched as she looked down at the shaft of sapphire which had tunneled through her stomach.
“You… How?” choked the Aspirant.
“You need not know.” Kanis grunted as he ripped his light saber upward.
The Aspirant’s saber deactivated the scarlet retreating to the sanctity of her saber’s silvery hilt as it dropped from her relaxed hand.
Kanis slightly spun his saber as he cut it off, during the spin he returned it to its sheath and he turned away from the Aspirant’s mangled corpse.
Deep down he held a slight feeling of remorse, but he refused to show any trace of it to the others.’
Kanis is snapped from his daydream by the sound of Kratus’s voice.
“Kanis, stop screwing around and get over here before we leave you behind!”
Kanis paused for one second longer before he caught up with his group.