Team Awesome - House Taldryan
Sid - #9193
Vodo - #3729
Mav - #332
Tally - #91218
Ziggy - #4715
The mountain was proving itself an opponent to be reckoned with. A treacherous ascent riddled with crevices large enough to swallow a man whole and icy blasts of wind had so far nearly doubled the time the team had estimated to reach the summit. Telaris swore inwardly as crushed rock and pebbles fell down on him. Shifting his body in a suitable position for his right arm to temporarily hold his weight by itself, he wiped the dust from his face with his free hand and risked a brief look upwards to the cause of his discomfort. Five meters directly above him Sithspawn looked back down and exchanged glances with the Dark Prophet. Telaris held the Zabrak’s gaze for a short while longer before reaching back for the pick he had embedded into the mountainside to resume his climb.
Above them Talon and Vodo were crouched together on a section of rock that protruded from the side of the mountain. The small platform also served as a belay for the party’s safety line, which was secured with several durasteel hooks shot into the granite surface. The wind shear seemed to intensify as freezing blasts of air hit the duo from alternating sides. Even though the Dark Jedi Knight was huddled up against the Twi’lek, Talon was forced to raise his voice to a near shout in order to be heard.
“Once Shaz makes it up here there will be no more room on this platform,” The team’s junior member involuntarily turned his face away from a particularly harsh gust of wind before continuing. “I will have to release the hooks and climb up to the next point and resecure our safety line there.” Talon pointed towards a wide fissure in the mountain. “Looks wide enough for our safety line and the entire crew. You think you can keep Mav and Peer from ripping eachothers throat out while I decorate our new place?”
The Twi’lek half-cyborg looked down the mountain past Shaz’air towards the last two members of the team as if assessing their situation before providing his answer.
“I guarantee nothing.”
Talon smirked and reached down to help Shaz’air onto the ridge before patting him on the back.
“Don’t make yourself comfortable just yet, Shaz.” The Jedi Knight all but shouted into the ear of his Aedile.
The knight climbed on ahead leaving the Epis with nothing more than a humored sneer. The man was good at it, though he lacked metal prosthetic talons with which to grab at the rock. Vodo used his advantage in grip and leverage to lift the remaining members of the lower climb onto the platform. This wasn’t amateur hour, the Taldrya were well acquainted with one-another on a personal basis, and the recent simmering tensions between the two elders was kept to a minimum on the small tableau on which they know currently stood.
The ascent was taking longer than it should have. No one here, save for Talon it appeared, was a talented climber or well trained in it. Also, again, the others did not have reverse-articulated prosthetic legs tipped with large, grabbing talons. The irritation with which he carried his own impatience must have been all too clear to Shaz’air as they briefly made eye contact. Vodo saw in his former apprentice a hint of that antipathy the Templar carried against him. It was as though Vodo’s gift of rebirth, of—relief, was nothing but an abjuration of nature.
“Remind me again why the Quaestor gave this particular group these orders?” Telaris growled at no one in particular as he steeled himself for the next leg of the climb
Sithspawn spat something over the edge and watched it drop for a moment. His voice was wry and full of impertinence, “I’m being punished. Rian never did forgive me for that incident. He knew this would be my own private little hell, working with you again.”
Anger flaring, Vodo barked at the two men, “Drop it! Snarl like Nek dogs on your own time.”
As Vodo's verbal rebuke echoed, Sithspawn felt an overwhelming desire to rip off one of the cyborg's prosthetic legs and beat him with it. Suppressing the desire, he drew in a calming breath and reflected.
Sithspawn had felt his disgust with the other Taldrya growing as they ascended. The Zabrak was not known for his patience under the best of circumstances, let alone under the current conditions. He paused briefly, savoring the respite from climbing to reflect back on what brought him to this point. Contemplating the unfortunate incident with Rian only served to spike his rage further. Having to take orders from a Quaestor many years his junior was a source of constant frustration. Combined with his brash nature, this led to many an altercation with the leadership of Taldryan.
Sithspawn contemplated the current assignment. On one hand, Rian had forced this task upon him as punishment, knowing that having to guide the younger Taldrya would anger the Zabrak almost as much as having to work side by side with Telaris Cantor.
Sithspawn glanced down towards Telaris, who was currently dangling from a climbing rope that Sithspawn held on belay. As he began contemplating the easiest way to arrange a fatal accident, he observed that Telaris had his eyes locked upon the Zabrak. Forcing a smile, Sithspawn gestured upward towards Telaris, beckoning him on.
As Telaris climbed, Sithspawn drew in a labored breath as he strained to keep the rope from slipping. Beside him, Talon Drear had just finished hefting Shaz'air to the next anchor point. Vodo had seemed to scale the rock face with ease, which brought Sithspawn's homicidal thoughts of dismembering the cyborg to mind again. Smiling at the sadistic thoughts, he continued on.
Although the knight was an experienced climber, he had seriously misjudged the distance towards the fissure and was already regretting the meager preparations he had made for the journey. The reinforced fibercord he had coiled up diagonally from his waist to his right shoulder was starting to cut into Talon's neck as he slowly made his way up and away from his team. The regular fibercord which he had detached from his harness for the climb to the next anchorpoint normally ran from one teammates harness to the other and was standard equipment. It was durable and suited to provide extra stability and recovery time in case one of the team lost his footing or grip, but it would not secure the team to the mountain.
For this the climber had brought a heavy duty belay gun, which was capable of embedding durasteel supporthooks into all but the hardest of rocktypes by driving spikes into the three inserts of a supporthook when placed against a surface. Coupled with the reinforced fibercord this made for a decent safety net for the rest of the team. This enabled a more experienced climber to climb up first and secure a support that would hold the entire party that would follow him up a mountain.
However, the downsides of this system were starting to take their toll on Talon. He had to climb practically unsupported using his picks to the next anchorpoint. Because of the size of the supporthooks and belay gun it was only suited to be used at an achorpoint where the operator had sufficient room and footing to drive the spikes in. This made it impossible for a climber to use it during his own ascent while the size of the equipment also prohibited him from bringing a smaller belay support system for use in his own climb next to the heavy duty system which he already carried.
Spast! You just had to cheap out on bringing some anti-grav support pads didn't you, Tally?
Far above Telaris, Talon seemed to slow, the weight of his climbing gear clearly finally getting to the Knight, but Telaris didn’t think that would matter too much. The group had almost made it to the summit of the mountain; Telaris could see the edge of the cliff they had been scaling, and could sense tremendous energy not far from that edge. He tried to reach out with the Force, but the overwhelming power situated atop that mountain blocked his every attempt. None the less, something didn’t seem right. Telaris was jerked from his thoughts by another pebble bouncing off his forehead, and he looked up to see a smirking Sithspawn. At this point, he was positive the Zabrak was enjoying kicking dirt into his face, but it hardly bothered the human; after all, the two had long ago ceased being anything resembling friends and Telaris half expected the Zabrak to cut the line and leave the Prophet literally hanging. That, however, would have meant stranding the twi’lek Vodo as well, and Telaris didn’t really expect that out of Sithspawn.
By now, Talon had placed what appeared to be the last durasteel supporthook just below the cliff edge, and the climber pulled himself up and over the edge, finally reaching solid ground. He had tossed the heavy belay gun to the ground, and was turned sideways on the rocky surface, face flat against the cold rock; before surveying the area, he pulled himself to his feet and looked down over the edge, pumping his fists in the air triumphantly, fiberchord line still attached to his side. “Made it!” he yelled down to the climbers below. Sithspawn was only two durasteel supporthooks from reaching the summit; Vodo and Telaris were one behind, with Shiz’air just below them both. The group below saw Talon turn away from the edge, presumably stepping deeper into the plateau; what they couldn’t see was what sent Talon rolling off the edge of the cliff, just moments later, the Dark Jedi Knight screaming as a hail of blaster fire lit up cliff edge.
The body grew larger rapidly as it picked up speed. From the short glance Vodo could give it he could not discern if the Knight was alive or not. Risking the chance that he wasn’t a casualty the Twi’lek launched from his small perch, catching the limp form by impacting into him. Enveloped by Vodo’s embrace the two of them swung back towards the cliff face, the rope attached to Vodo’s harness acting to reacquaint them with its primary purpose. The rock approached swiftly until they slammed into it harshly. Talon slipped from Vodo’s grip momentarily as his robes shifted unexpectedly. A quick clasp at the air, his hand guided by the Force, and Vodo caught the falling man once again. Shaz’air climbed quickly to support from below.
They did not see as the Dark Prophet leapt into action. Grasping at the lead rope attached to his beltline, Telaris began to sprint horizontally. He followed this course until satisfied. He turned and sprinted back, this time with seemingly inhuman speed and agility. The rope acted as a pendulum swinging him high into the air at the arc of its counter-swing. Severing the cord he gave it one more tremendous leap and looked up at the approaching form of Sithspawn. Not to be left out, the Dark Adept imitated the maneuver and was himself propelled upward in a burst of Force assisted strength.
Telaris grabbed at the rope at the apex of his flight, mere meters short of the top, Sithspawn landing beneath him 2 meters down rope. They locked eyes momentarily, their earlier situation suddenly reversed.
Vodo ensured Shaz’air, now at his level, was firmly in control of Talon. He could feel the resentment emanating from the Exarch as he turned and climbed up after the two elders. Concentrating on focusing his passion, Vodo willed the Dark Side to imbue his prosthetics with additional power. He began ascending again with some vigor, albeit less quickly than Telaris’s effortless leaps.
Sithspawn and Telaris made their way to the edge of the cliff, their rivalry quickly becoming sparked once again as they hurried to secure a position while the rest of their company gained their feet. Talon planted his feet on the flat surface of the landing, his heart slowing to a steady pace as the adrenaline of his fall began to wear off. A small gash adorned his cheek, noticeable by some dirt and a small droplet of blood starting to ripple where the edge of the mountain had found its way past his defenses. He looked at Shaz'air for a brief moment, then patted him on the shoulder, "You're up."
Grappling with the fibercord, the two Elders made haste in order to regain the lost time they had garnered by Talon losing his point.
Large chunks of rock and debris fell from the cliffs lip, a sign that the defenders at the top were surrounding their prey. Sithspawn spat a volley of curses as he saw his counterpart reach the last supporthook with ease, one hand resting on the hook while the other found its way to his belt, securing his lightsaber. Telaris’s feet found some well-placed notches in the side of the mountain, securing his weight as he ignited the blade on his double-bladed lightsaber.
Crimson bathed the Zabrak as he came within a meter of the supporthook, his body hanging momentarily in the air as he held onto the reinforced cord, his blood pumping adrenaline despite the long climb he had just previous endured. The two elder Taldrya glanced down once more to see the Taldryan Aedile in pursuit, his large mass making it difficult for him to make a quick ascend. Talon was shortly behind him, while Vodo awaited at the second to lowest platform for the troop to have proper grounding.
The duo glanced at each other and made eye contact; years of trials and missions in Taldryan made it easy for the two to communicate without verbal aid. Telaris grinned for a moment at the Adept and then pulled his weight onto the top of the supporthook as his right leg found its footing before he propelled his body forward and up, his chest facing the unknown attackers above as his body careened past the lip of the cliff. Blaster fire replaced the space that Telaris had just filled as his body went out of sight from the rest of the Taldrya company.
“Like hell I’m letting him take the glory,” said the Obelisk Adept. Following in the same motion as the Prophet, Sithspawn lunged his body onto the threshold of the hook before calling upon the dark side to lift his body high into the air and above the edge of the cliff, his emerald blade springing to life just as he came in sight of the blaster fire. Battering away red blaster bolts, he found Telaris doing the same, distracting the lasers into the ground. The eldest Taldrya turned his head as a gust of wind blew quickly over the peak of the mountain, his eyes maintaining their lock on his oppressors. His voice carried through the air as he yelled loudly, “Sith, the cannon!”
The hum of a E-web sounded through the wisp of cold air, Sithspawn’s gaze finding its way to a small barricade 20 meters off from Telaris. 4 soldiers stood around two heating pylons – two soldiers surrounding each pylon which stood beside an uncovered bunker. In the center of the bunker was a small gap where the barrel of a large anti-infantry gun sat. Behind the gun were two soldiers, one maneuvering the weapon and one shouting behind him. Sithspawn's ears perked up for a moment to catch the voice of the commander, “Set-lock on the Alien; FIRE!”
The Adept crouched into a roll and then landed back onto his feet as he made a brisk pace to a nearby boulder. Closing his eyes, he felt the force guide his footsteps, his weapon tracing the aim of the gunner in preparation to deflect whatever was about to come his way. “Kriffing mercs!” Shouted the Obelisk.
Telaris maintained his steady posture, slowly advancing towards the barricade with ease. His eyes suddenly adjusted as the wind changed course, the trailing snow making a gap for him to see the ominous shadow of Ludo Kresh’s great fortress in the distance. Past the small nuisance of a barricade and behind some small cliffs he could see the dark, residual outline of the Sith Lords. The force prickled the back of his neck as he heard the sound of the next party member coming over the edge of the cliff; Shaz’air’s bulky armor clanking against the rock.
Sithspawn deflected the barrage of incoming fire with his lightsaber, slowly but steadily advancing towards the emplacement. Out of the corner of his eye, he observed Telaris begin to move towards to flank the enemy. He sensed Shaz’air approaching from behind, beginning to charge towards the opposite flank.
The Zabrak glimpsed their objective in the distance. With the fortress in sight, Sithspawn dug in his heels and allowed his resolve to flow through him. Locking eyes with the turret gunner, Sithspawn pivoted, sidestepped, and did everything in his ability to frustrate the gunner while the other Taldrya prepared to assault.
Telaris hooked back towards the bunker, slipping through the fog of war and emerging at the side of the pylon. Effortlessly, he cut down the soldiers, focusing in on the commander. As Telaris slowly stalked forward, the commander backpedaled, raising his hands in surrender. With a smirk, Telaris thumbed the control on his lightsaber, deactivating it. The commander exhaled a sigh of relief, cut short by Shaz’air’s blade plunging into his back.
The three Taldrya turned back towards the cliff. Vodo knelt at the edge, locking his arm around Talon’s wrist and pulling him over the edge. Gesturing towards the fortress, Sithspawn growled. “Talon, if you’re done playing acrobat for the day, I’d like to continue on.”
Telaris shook his head in disgust as he look at Sithspawn. The sheer arrogance that the Zabrak exuded brought forth frustration that he barely managed to contain.
Catching the subtle twist of Telaris’ head in his peripheral vision, Sithspawn turned to face him. He bared his teeth at Telaris, silently daring the Dark Prophet to speak. After a brief pause, he shrugged, and began walking towards the distant fortress.
Vodo looked at Shaz’air, communicating his frustration with the Elders silently. Both turned and began to follow Sithspawn. Talon Drear shrugged, rubbed his hands together for warmth, and started off as well.
Telaris lingered over the corpse of the soldiers, inspecting the details presented before him. His inquisitive mind lingered upon several details. The equipment, weaponry, and garments worn by the soldiers were all too familiar to the Dark Prophet. He scanned the horizon, sniffed the air, and trudged forward towards the other Taldrya.
Vodo’s gaze followed that of Telaris. There was a sneer shared between the two men as recognition arose between them. “The Black Sun.”
“This mission is posing more technical issues than I had anticipated,” said Vodo. “Sparse Sith Acolytes are fine, but a organized syndicate like the Black Sun? Perhaps we should separate into groups to cover more ground, and keep our presence to a minimum?”
“I agree, that does pose as a good option,” stated the Dark Prophet.
The tall Exarch marched up behind Vodo, his milky-white eyes bearing down on Telaris. “No, we will only split up if it is absolutely necessary. Communication should be kept from person to person so as to keep our radio signatures low. We still aren’t sure of what lies ahead, so splitting up is out of the question for now.” His deep voice was forced into a yell as the wind surrounding the summit began to grow.
Shaz’air turned around to find Talon pulling up the fibercord and rolling it into small bunches. “Talon, you and Sithspawn take point. I’ll follow in the rear of the company.”
The Obelisk Adept looked up from a display panel he had found at the guards station and glared at his Aedile; he wasn’t one to take orders, despite the Exarch’s position. “Apparently there are 3 more stations like this surrounding the “hood” of the fortress. Of course we find ourselves coming up the side of the mountain where one of the only 4 posts are.”
“Perfect. We’ll stay away from the edge of the mountain, then,” said Talon. “What else?”
“There are fewer, more stocked stations up ahead, surrounding the fortress’s entry ways. Apparently there are ‘special’ guests here presently; that would explain why those guards opened fire on Talon so quickly. They must have been ordered to be alert.” Finished Sithspawn.
Vodo made eye contact with Telaris, who nodded in confirmation. “There is more than Mercenaries here, keep your eyes and ears sharp.”
Talon's emerald saber sliced through the Black Sun operative in front of him and despite of the howling wind the smell of burnt flesh lingered in the air. It fueled the Dark Jedi Knight's actions and time seemed to slow down to a crawl for him as he felt his senses reaching outwards on their own. To his left he felt confussion and terror in two other beings. Casually focusing on one of them, the warrior felt his senses zooming in until he was inside the man's terrified brain. Concentrating further he could see what had transpired mere seconds ago from the agent's point of view. No, he couldn't just see it. He could feel it. Talon felt the man's shock as he saw a robed figure jump onto them from out of nowhere, lightsaber ignited. The knight saw himself dodging a flurry of panic shots from the teamleader before cutting into him. A snarl formed on Talon's face.
Releasing his focus on the man, the warrior picked up a mix of anxiety and determination directly behind him. Pulling his blade clear of the dead man Talon swung it back up and behind his back, effortlessly deflecting the blaster shots directed at him. He felt a moment of sheer joy as two of the deflected shots found their way to the two other operatives. The knight had never been good at deflecting shots, let alone redirecting them towards opponents. However, he felt no surprise. There was only an arrogant confidence. And it grew as he shut off his lightsaber, while lifting the last surviving member of the Black Sun scouting party in the air with the force. As the man hung suspended in mid air, Talon could feel bones snap under the growing duress of his hold. He held the agent's terrified gaze for a hearbeat longer and smiled before crushing him to death with impunity.
"Ziggy, you missed all the fun." Talon heard himself say as the rest of the team caught up with him.
The Dark Side Adept spat at the ground infront of him.
"You're insane, rookie. Storming that team and jumping in the way you did. Lucky to be alive too."
Talon's smile faded as he finally dropped the still suspended corpse to the ground.
"Luck had nothing to do with it."
The knight turned and brushed past the elder, the smile returning to his face.
"Let's see what this place has to offer."
“Not so quick,” Sithspawn snarled, reaching for the Dark Jedi Knight.
Telaris turned towards the fortress, temporarily ignoring the commotion behind him. His eyes fixed upon an obvious entryway; a large, stone archway carved into the imposing stone walls, an enormous double red door seemingly the height of at least a half dozen men. Likely guarded by whatever is clouding my senses. Some of the others might not survive, if they catch up… Telaris gave a quick look over his shoulder as Vodo and Shaz’air rushed to separate Sithspawn and Talon. No great loss…
“Not at all my fault you’re slow,” Talon said lightheartedly and without turning, not realizing that Sithspawn was reaching for him. A moment later, Talon felt the Force-enhanced grip of the Obelisk Adept tighten over his shoulder and stopped in his tracks, just in time to notice Telaris disappear into the mists below the fortress. Talon tried to jerk his body free, but failed. “What the hell?”
“Damn it you two, we have a mission to complete!” Vodo barked. Sithspawn ignored the man, his grip tightening on Talon’s shoulder.
“I’m sick of this disrespect,” the Zabrak snarled, spitting with every word.
“Release him,” Shaz’air said. “I’m your Aedile, and we need him for this mission. Release him!”
Sithspawn laughed as Talon’s shoulder began to crumple slightly. The man let out a cry of pain, then reached for his lightsaber with his free arm. Sithspawn, however, was quicker, kicking the man’s legs out from under him and releasing his shoulder in one smooth motion. Talon crumpled to the ground. “Not worth my time,” he said, “And I’m not about to let that damn Prophet steal all the glory.”
The rest of the team turned ahead and noticed Telaris had completely disappeared.
“Where the hell did he go?” Sithspawn said aloud as he moved quickly away from the downed Knight. Behind him, Shaz’air and Vodo helped their ally to his feet. The three exchanged frustrated glares.
Talon brushed himself off. “Enough, we have to catch up to them; who knows what they’ll do to each other if we aren’t there to stop them.”
Shaz’air and Vodo both nodded and the three quickly trudged off into the mists.
Sometime not too much later, the Aedile’s party came to the large red double doors they could see from the plateau, and they saw Sithspawn slip into the darkness beyond. The doors had already been cracked open, though how that came to be, they were not sure.
“Do you feel that?” Vodo asked. Shaz’air and Tally exchanged shrugs. “There’s… something inside.” The Twi’lek stopped and peer in to the darkness beyond the doors.
“Yeah… Two elders who may be about to kill each other. Let’s get in there!” Tally said, pushing past Shaz’air and Vodo to enter the fortress.
“He’s right,” Shaz’air said, moving past Vodo into the darkness.
As Shaz’air entered the darkness, he noticed dim lights barely glowing along the side walls of a huge chamber, at least eighty feet high, with enormous columns lining the room. He began to study the area, suddenly surprised by the clarity at which the Force came to him here; he could ‘see’ and sense things he would ever have expected with additional strength. He touched a column and his mind was instantly flooded with visions of the past. Astonished, he stepped backwards, just as he heard the sound of lightsabers clashing not far away. Turning his attention towards the sounds of the noise, he moved quickly towards them.
Unsurprisingly, and unfortunately, Telaris and Sithspawn were standing opposite one another, lightsabers ignited. “Damn it, you two!” Shaz’air boomed. “Enough!” With his voice came a surprising shockwave of power emanating from his person, enough to draw the attention of both Elders. They turned towards him. “Finally, you’re listening… Now, what the hell are you do-“ His words were cut short as he heard a lightsaber ignite behind him.
Almost instinctively, Shaz’air drew his own blade and turned to face his opponent. The Epis’ lightsaber clashed instantly with the green blade of Talon Drear, the Dark Jedi Knight’s glare obvious through the Force.
“Out of my way, Shaz’air. The two of them will just keep us from our charge. You can’t trust either of them, and one of them already tried to kill me,” Talon growled. The man was angrier than Shaz’air had ever seen him. “The three of us can do this without them. Don’t you feel the power? This place… it’s incredible!”
Shaz’air took a step back, his blade still held defensively. “Maybe but… wait, three of us? Where is Vodo?” As Shaz’air spoke, he heard harsh words exchanged and lightsabers ignite once more behind him; through the Force, he could see the two Elders were fighting once more. Their party was completely fragmented and it seemed as if violence might be the only way they escaped from this place... and it seemed almost certain not all of them would be leaving.
The footfalls of Black Sun assassination teams crunched across the icy terrain opening up before the fortress of Ludo Kressh. Maneuvering from a single file line into a "v" wedged formation the mercenaries maximized their fields of fire and ability to cover one another. The Black Sun operatives were not a collection of spacer rabble, but a professional and hardened military unit. Trained under intense conditions and forged through countless combat engagements, the mercs were a formidable oponnent for anyone, even Dark Jedi.
Their employees had guaranteed them a large sum of funds, but had also guaranteed the Black Sun operatives a strategic advantage over the Dark Jedi within Kressh's ancient fortress. The Taldyran warriors would become susceptible to the dark forces within, but the force deaf Black Sun team would be obvious to the whispers of glory and power.
With a hand signal the Black Sun team infiltrated the fortress and moved into position to engage the Dark Jedi within. Moving with precision the team maneuvered through long corridors before stepping into the center of madness.
Lightsabers arced and waved with speeds unrecognizable by the human eye as the Taldyran cadre engaged one another. One Dark Jedi, identified through his target packet as Telaris Cantor, turned and faced the Black Sun team with a smile in his eye.
The merc team leader screamed his final command as a lightsaber flew through the air at his head.
"Open fire now....now now!"
The hallowed halls of Ludo Kressh’s ancient fortress whispered sub-vocally to him. He couldn’t make out distinct words or phrases but the meter of their incantation, the inflection of the power was undeniable. There was a power here yet, and it was far from dead. Blinking suddenly Vodo wondered where he was and how he’d gotten here. It was unlike him to go off alone and yet here he was. Lost and alone. Sithspawn had been drawing his saber against Telaris, but now he was here. The Fortress’s power still spoke to him, seducing him back into a stupor.
It spoke of the glory of ages past, of Lord Kressh’s power and of the deceit with which Naga Sadow had deposed him. The Epis walked along, admiring the ornate carvings inlaid to each wall panel, wrought from single pieces of obsidian, granite, and marble. Each one told a story, etched into stone so that all who’s eyes fell upon them would know of the majesty of the Sith for millennia to come. It was a Krath’s dream come true.
The Fortress, though more than 5000 years old showed little of the decay and ruin so common to former Sith Worlds. The halls of his own modest Villa upon Kaltace held many artifacts and mementos of destroyed and vanished temples from across the Galaxy. All of which would fit snuggly and with room to spare in this unimportant hallway. Vodo glided along, running his hands across dust encrusted surfaces, ancient and weathered. He examined every detail as he went, oblivious to the distant, barely audible retorts of blaster fire that echoed through the temple.
The hall continued into the heart of the Fortress, growing ever larger as its vaulted ceiling, checkered with supporting buttressing and carven beasts, while the ambient light seemed to vanish little by little. Pulled into the heart of the darkness, the Twi’lek moved forward unabated. Stepping through a threshold, clearly delineated by the shattered, rotted remains of a massive iron-wood door, Vodo was forced to ignite his saber in order to see. His eyes, evolved over millennia to see in the low-light conditions of Ryloth’s subterranean dwellings took in the scene as the light of his silver light saber washed over the remains of Massassi Warriors, still garbed in their tarnished yet regal armor.
Raising the blade higher to send the light to the far reaches of the room he began to make out shapes in the distance. Surrounding a podium stood five hunched figures. His heart began to race, the chanting in his eyes and in his mind grew louder. Stepped forward the only foreign noise was of the gentle whine of the servo-motors in his prosthetics as they flexed and whirred. He stepped towards the dais, mindless of the bones that were ground to dust beneath him as he strode. The figures came into focus as he neared. Vodo curiously examined their hooded, mummified faces as he approached, their once proud armor glinting from beneath the rotted, frayed remains of cloaks that still covered them.
Drawn, like a Moon-bug to flame, Vodo knelt before the dais and what he could now discern as a throne. The massive stone edifice sat empty, coated in centuries of dust. His knee touched the silty floor, his head bowed low and covered by his own cloaked hood.
“What is thy bidding, my Master?”
The Black Sun opened fire as the red blade of Telaris’ lightsaber sliced through the air. The commander dived out of the way, the blade harmlessly passing over his head and away from the Black Sun lines. Telaris drew his second lightsaber and deftly deflected incoming blaster fire, advancing slowly towards the line of enemy troops, his free hand guiding his blade. Spinning crimson hurdled back towards the back of the commandos, and the commander, having rolled onto his back shouted “Incoming, back left!”
Blaster fire ceased from the squad immediately in front of Telaris as the commandos dived out of the way of the incoming lightsaber, but it did not stop the blaster fire coming from elsewhere in the temple. Sithspawn had chosen a different group of commandos and stalked towards them, smirking, blade drawn. The commandos were divided into two squads, each comprised of three four-man fireteams; one squad faced the two elders, while the other had moved out alongside the far wall, likely hoping to flank the Dark Jedi. This had caught the attention of Shaz’air and Tally, but neither Sithspawn nor Telaris seemed to pay any attention to their more junior colleagues.
The scattering of one fireteam forced the entire squad to concentrate on the Prophet. With inhuman speed, Telaris deflected blaster bolt after blaster bolt, catching his returning blade with his free hand. The commander regrouped his fireteam near one of the large pillars. Telaris noticed a large sconce made for several torches fastened to the pillar and with a simple nod of his head, ripped it free from the side of the pillar and sent it hurdling down towards the commandos.
Talon gave Sid a cursory nod before bursting into a sprint to close the gap between them and the squad of soldiers that were moving to outflank the rest of their group. The knight stretched out his senses whilst on the move and felt the first flickers of cognition from his enemy. Tightening his grip around the hilt of his ignited saber he prepared to deflect the barrage of incoming fire.
He felt the first bolt go wide and paid no mind to it. Then his senses picked up the bolts headed for his body. Deflecting the first with a low parry he ducked underneath two more as he felt his Aedile forming up behind him, likewise deflecting the fire that was being directed at the duo.
Focusing his senses forward again he felt the next wave of blaster bolts headed towards them as they left the barrels. He sensed the lead bolts inbound for his head and tried to pick up on the rest of them before realizing that he couldn’t. As a wall of nothing seemed to come at him, deafening his force senses, Talon slowed his pace and shook his head as if trying to shake free the veil that had fallen over him.
Sid slammed into Talon’s back, knocking the man to the ground just as the blaster bolts passed where his head would’ve been.
“Great, they have an Ysalamiri.” The Aedile said to himself while pulling the confused knight behind a nearby pillar.
Talon groaned as he rested his back against the dusty support.
“A creature that projects a bubble around itself, inhibiting any use of the force inside it. I’ve had the misfortune of running into one before.” Sid replied as he risked a glance around the pillar before ducking back behind it to escape a hail of laser blasts.
After seeing several blows from his lightsaber glance off of the armor of the mercenaries, Sithspawn opted to attempt a different course of action. Reaching out with his left hand, he sent a bolt of lightning shooting towards one of the nearby mercenaries. Although the mercenary's armor dissipated the electricity, Sithspawn used the momentary blindness suffered by the merc to his advantage, flipping over the merc and using his lightsaber to impale the foe. As he dove forward towards the next foe, Sithspawn's battle focus dropped. Realization of what had occurred came to the Zabrak as he lost connection with the Force. Sithspawn quickly backpedaled out of the affected area, yelling to Telaris as he ran
"Mav! They've got a Ysalamir!"
Telaris swiftly decapitated his current opponent and turned towards Sithspawn. As the Zabrak engaged in a tactical retreat, he paused beside the corpse of a fallen merc to remove a discarded blaster pistol. Once again reconnected with the force, Sithspawn telepathically communicated his intent to Telaris. The Dark Prophet ignited both his sabers and prepared himself for the onslaught that was to come.
Sithspawn took up position behind Telaris. As the Prophet continued to deflect incoming blaster bolts, Sithspawn leaned towards his ear and shouted over the roar "I didn't have time to hunt for a rifle, but if you can get me within 15 meters, I should be able to make the shot and still be outside of the ysalamir's bubble".
Telaris gritted his teeth and nodded, beginning to plow forward. Sweat began to form on his brow as he switched entirely to a defensive stance, angling the incoming fire away from the duo as they slowly advanced towards the enemy. Sithspawn held the blaster pistol at a low ready, careful not to muzzle the Prophet's back during the advance.
As they closed the gap, Sithspawn began to concentrate on slowing his breathing, timing his inhalations and exhalations to slow his heart rate. He began taking half steps behind Telaris, allowing the distance between them to grow slightly. He paused, adopting a stance with one foot slightly behind the other, approximately shoulder width apart. Tightening his master grip on the weapon, Sithspawn began bringing the pistol up over Telaris’ right shoulder. As he shifted his stance slightly, the Zabrak extended both arms and began acquiring a sight picture of the ysalamir. As he exhaled his breath, Sithspawn smoothly and steadily pressed the trigger of the pistol to the rear, sending a blaster bolt flying over the Dark Prophet’s shoulder. The bolt flew straight and true, impacting center mass on the ysalamir. The creature shuddered, falling off the nutrient frame that it had been perched upon.
Shaz'air came between Talon and the squad that was firing upon the two Dark Jedi as he helped his comrade gain his consciousness. "Talon, back up. We need to..."
The tall Obelisk's mind wandered off from his present state, visions of old coming into view. He saw visions of countless robed and armored figures strolling the large hall, some acting in friendly tenses, others in harmful strokes of combat. Let them fight... they will destroy each other... then you will be the one true force to reckon with.
The warm touch of the past spoke to him with seductory tendons, speaking to his core. Shaz'air was pushed backward by an outside force, the slightly transparent visions ceasing in his minds eye. He felt cold hard stone on his back as his ears perked up at the sound of blaster fire. The cloth material that covered his armor was smoldering at his shoulder; the burnt fabric choking his vocal cords.
"Shaz'air! What are you doing?!" Shouted Talon, his emerald blade now held upright in a defensive position over the two dark Jedi. The Miraluka moved his glance from the Knight to to squad that was now forming on them, a steady volley of 4 blaster bolts every second. The Exarch felt his hand become hot and pained. He let go of his ligthsaber as he sat up, clutching his strong arm. Wires zapped around the hole that bore it's way through the hilt, it's core disabled from a well-aimed blaster bolt.
Shaz'air's gaze strayed towards Telaris and Sithspawn, the duo now moving upon the oppressors with speed and vigor.
"The dark ones... they are speaking to me!" Said the Aedile, his eyes finding the back of Talon who was now keeping the two safe from oncoming fire. His voice was horse, almost strained. Talon looked at his friend in the eye, a sense of knowing shared between the two. "Leave those thoughts; block them. Close your mind to them. Engage the enemy." The words from the Knight ran through Shaz'air like wild fire.
Standing up, Shaz'air reached behind his robe and grasped a leather wrapped pommel. Extending his arm he unsheathed the Sapphire Blade. "I cannot see with those beasts around. They're power is too strong over my kind; without the force I am blind. I will stand back and distract the squad; you need to fall back and find Telaris and Sithspawn. One of them needs to remove this Ysalamir, otherwise I am no help to you."
The two Obelisk soaked in the atmosphere for a moment, Shaz'air still hiding behind the cloak of Talon's defenses. With his lightsaber out of commission, he would need to rely on his deceptive techniques in combat if he wished to allow Talon an escape route. He reached forward and patted Talon on the back, signaling for him to move.
Talon nodded, casting a final glance at his Aedile before sprinting towards the rest of his company. Shaz'air called upon the dark Side of the force, meanwhile attempting to batter away the voices that were lodged in the back of his mind. He scanned his surroundings; his gaze set upon Telaris's loosed lightsaber only mere meters away from the advancing squad of Black Sun operatives.
With their edge in combat restored, Telaris and Sithspawn quickly bridged the gap between them and the remnants of the enemy squad, which had formed two makeshift fireteams to compensate for their losses and retain unit cohesion. The sole surviving automatic rifleman brought up his E-web rifle - a portable version of the mounted heavy blaster turret - and began laying down a base of fire to keep the Dark Jedi at bay.
Sithspawn reacted instantly, rolling to his left to find the cover of one of the many pillars that adorned the ancient hall. As laser bolts bit chunks of stone out of his cover, the Dark Side Adept periodically popped out of cover at alternating sides of the pillar to return fire with the blaster he still held. Glancing to his right he saw Mav stalking around the two fireteams, waiting for the right moment to move from cover to cover, slowly moving into a position to flank the enemy.
The Zabrak smiled grimly from behind his cover as he heard the distinctive hum of a swinging lightsaber amidst the enemy squad. He paused for several hearbeats to ensure his position wasn't under fire anymore before darting out of cover to join the carnage.
As the last of the soldiers in the squad fell to the blades of the Taldryan veterans Talon Drear skidded into Telaris' view from behind one of the pillars.
"Mav! We got pushed back behind cover," The knight sputtered out before catching his breath. "Couldn't get close enough to that force eating lizard and now they've got Sid cornered."
The whole of the building hummed with energy, fueling those sensitive to the Force into aggressive forms of who they were outside. Ludo Kressh’s final demise at the hands of the Dark Lord of the Sith Naga Sadow had been a bloody and terrible affair. Sadow’s forces had assaulted this bastion first from orbit, and upon finding their strikes had little to no effect, had landed untold thousands of Massassi troops to assault it from the ground. Lacking any significant siege technology the frontal assault saw tidal waves of flesh thrown against the Fortress’s ramparts until they’d at last broken through. The defenders had fallen back in disarray, everyone attempting to save themselves with nowhere to run. They were hunted down, cornered, and eliminated. Only the Castellan and his Lieutenants, all powerful sorcerers in their own right, remained and they were naught to give up their master’s fortress without a fight.
Fireteam 3 of the second squad moved along one side of the massive entry hall’s second story landing, mindful of the growing com-silence over their helmet coms. Two men stalked forward, their rifles scanning the way ahead. One covered the drop to their left where sporadic bursts of blaster fire and light saber whirring would occasionally explode then die-off just as quickly. A third man carried an enlarged backpack, hollow, that contained a special cargo. The fourth covered their rear, his sights washing over every inch of the path they’d already trod.
They walked cautiously, trusting that the small lizard would protect them from the Jedi and supposedly from their presence as well. Under the cover of its blanketing effects they moved. The point man stopped mid-stride, raising a closed fist into the air calling a halt to their progress. Everyone obeyed automatically. They were dead silent, straining their every sense to determine the cause of their pause.
“Marko, what’chya got?”
Their sealed helmets contained the noise of the communication and they could communicate securely and silently, “There’s something down there. Its hiding behind that last pillar; far end of this landing.”
The second man moved up beside him and knelt, scanning the dark, “Right. You two, fire and maneuver. We’ll cover you from here.”
Quick acknowledgments were repeated and the two assigned began to move forward. The Ysalamir in the backpack came with them as they took turns, lunging into cover and moving forward. Confident their mates had their back they covered each other during the other’s dash to the next cover as well. They closed the distance rather rapidly, reaching the end of the elevated landing. Flashing a couple hand signals they coordinated a plan to jump around the massive stone edifice and shoot whatever was there. Before the plan could be enacted however they were surprised by the appearance of a half-cybernetic, dark-skinned Twi’lek male.
Without a moment’s hesitation the two men began to fire. The Twi’lek moved faster than they had expected however, carried to the left then up a wall and on top of them on the power of his tremendously powerful legs. The two operators that had remained back to cover opened fire as their friends’ head and ribcage were crushed into meat-colored pulp under the Dark Jedi’s sudden attack, sending the enlarged backpack sailing over the railing to the floor beneath. The man on point became suddenly concerned at the bolts were flying back at him with some measure of accuracy.
“Fall back, we’ll regroup with Squad 2”, he tapped his buddy on the shoulder to signal he should go first to find instead a silver blade protruding from his friend’s shoulder blades.
The Twi’lek’s long-handled saber was buried to the hilt in the man’s chest, having been thrown like a javelin. The moment’s distraction was the man’s doom as he returned his attention to the target to find him immediately before him. He managed to squeeze off a single round before a powerful taloned foot was rested on his chest and he was being crushed into the stone floor. His blaster fell from his hands as he struggled to breathe. His chest was unable to fill and he fought against the pressure to squirm free. The claws began to dig into his skin as they clamped down. He heard the brittle snapping of his own ribcage and the sickening squish that accompanied the doom of his internal organs.
Telaris was breathing heavily from the effort of maneuvering at inhuman speed. Sithspawn panted beside him, their differences temporarily set aside as they relished in the weight of death in the air. Both men were combat veterans and harnessed the Dark Side to rejuvenate their mortal bodies. Talon and Shaz’air moved up to them, breathing heavily as well.
“Those weren’t your run of the mill Mercs”, Sithspawn decided it was his turn to point out the obvious, “and how in the Seven Corellian Hells did they score Ysalamir?”
Shaz’air hung his saber hilt from his belt, “I don’t know, but I’m concerned about Vodo. We haven’t seen him since we entered.”
“I sense something”, Telaris’s head swiveled to the far end of the hall, at the gallery landing that overlooked the entirety of the voluminous hall.
The Epis’s head appeared over the railing, visible to the three others. They watched as he jumped over the stone balustrade and fell to the floor below. Oddly, the antechamber wasn’t filled with the clamor of his metal legs striking the still polished floor. Evenly more strangely, as he approached, it became apparent that the Twi’lek was floating. His talons drug along beneath him, several centimeters from the ground, providing no explanation to his movement.
Shaz’air called out, “Vodo?”
Telaris could sense it though. This was not the former Consul of Taldryan, “Aedile, stay back.”
The form of Vodo stopped several meters from the three of them, “You who have trespassed these hallowed halls are condemned to die. I, Jur’ekk Ta’allid, Castellan of Ludo Kressh and most faithful of our Lord, sentence you to die.”
Telaris and Shaz’air froze. Both immediately realized the gravity of the situation, taking a step back, preparing to strike down a fellow Taldrya if the need arose.
The snap-hiss of a lightsaber broke the tension. Sithspawn held the blade downward, dragging the tip along the floor as he walked forward. “Jur’ekk the Pathetic,” Intoned the Zabrak “A pitiful pawn of Lord Kressh.” As he circled the blade lazily against the floor, he sneered as he continued, “Jur’ekk the Weak. Jur’ekk, who could claim no power for himself, and instead rode upon the coattails of his master, where is your master now? He has abandoned you, leaving you a relic of this world.”
Telaris and Shaz’air exchanged glances. Sithspawn’s mannerisms were not consistent with everything they knew to be true about the Zabrak. Sithspawn raised his blade and shouted “When I remove your head from your body, I will have it sent to Lord Kressh, so that he may know Wasmarza Foia, Sith Sorcerer, is master of this temple now.”
Talon Drear stepped around Telaris, moving forward to take up his position at the side of the Twi’lek. “Castellan, Warrior Jargaqia stands ready to defend these halls.” His eyes flickered red briefly, as he too drew and ignited a lightsaber.
Telaris sensed, rather than felt, a strong presence in the Force rapidly approach. A cold wind swept around his body, chilling him to the core as an entity battered against his torso. An aura of aggression and rage overtook the Prophet, as he braced himself against the mental onslaught. Telaris’ body contorted as his mouth opened in a silent scream. He felt the presence enter him, pushing his consciousness to the side as it asserted control over his limbs.
Shaz’air watched in shock as Telaris stepped towards Sithspawn, coming to rest beside him. “Brother,” the Prophet intoned “must we toy with the Castellan and his lackey any longer?” Telaris licked his lips as he stretched both hands towards Talon and Vodo. Lightening crackled between his fingertips as he stood, ready to battle.
Sithspawn turned towards Telaris and nodded “The time has come to establish our reign, Ranasio. With a primal roar, the Sithspawn shouted “Attack!” He extended the lightsaber high overheard and reached out with the Force, lifting a nearby boulder and hurling it towards Vodo.
The spirit of Jur’ekk stomped one of the cybernetic legs that belonged to the Twi’lek in defiance to the words that came from Telaris’s mouth, lightsaber held upright as he blocked the purple-white electricity that licked his surroundings. “You blaspheme the great name of Lord Kressh and his faithful servants. Our Lord was no fool to your petty uprising, and neither were we. Let’s finish this, scum!”
Wasmarza chuckled aloud at the Castellan as his counterpart lit the dim hallway with electric light. “Indeed. We shall finish you.”
Sithspawn’s body dropped his lightsaber to the ground and stood in a wildly kinetic position, with his strong arm thrust high into the air. A deep, demonic growl leapt from his tongue. Instantly a dark, almost black lightening ushered its way from his palm in a high-arc towards Telaris’s own dark side energy. Together the lightening became as thick as solid mass, engaging the bodies of Vodo and Telaris and the spirits encased in them.
A deep, maniacal laugh echoed through the corridor from behind the two Elders, adding to their own howls of depraved heart. This laugh was disheartening to Wasmarza and his fellow sorcerer, Ranasio. The body of Telaris broke off his attack – Jur’ekk and Jargaqia regaining balance now that there was only one stream of dark side energy attacking them, and was much more manageable to block with their lightsabers. Ranasio turned around in time to find the culprit of their disturbance, only to have the large mass that was Shaz’air tackle him to the ground.
The Obelisk Exarch lay atop of Telaris’s possessed body, eyes flaring with a firey red color unlike that of the Miraluka’s natural eyes – his breathing was heavy. Shaz’air stood up with impeccable speed, grabbing Ranasio by the collar of his robe and threw him near his counterpart to a tall, stone pillar that stood beside him – bolts of electricity licking the body of the Cantor as it neared the range of the dark side energy.
“You mock the very idea of Lord Kressh with your very existence, Warsmarza! Your solider Ranasio is just as pathetic as you are. You are no sorcerer. Look at the weapon at your hip. You coward. You know nothing of the dark Side, nor the teachings of our Master and Lord.” A deep, unnatural rumble came out of the Aedile of Taldryan’s mouth. It sounded dark, oily, as if there were gravel lodged in his throat.
Jur’ekk and Jargaqia remarked in unison, their strength gaining at the sight of their resurrected brother, “Chara!”
At the familiar sound of that name, Shaz’air’s body flared up, his arms raising as if to catch the moon from falling, head lifted to the sky he bellowed allowed, “Lord Ludo Kressh! Your servants have not given up on you! Give us your blessing and we will sacrifice these beings in your name!”
Telaris rose to his feet, stepping out of the path of the electrical bolts of his comrade. “Your master is dead, as you will be, Chara Seguin!” As he spoke, Ranasio leaped from where he stood with speed and great kinetic flight towards the heaving Exarch. Simultaneously as he flew through the air and closed the meters of distance between he and his target, Telaris’s body held both hands outright, a spark of dark side energy growing from the size of a small marble to that of a human-torso. “Die, lapdog!”
Ranasio slammed his fists into his Aedile, electrocuting Chara Seguin as he threw the possessed man hard against the stone behind them both. Ranasio stepped slowly towards the prone and injured man, lightning dancing over his fingertips as he prepared to land the final blow.
Jur’ekk would have none of that, however; stepped forward, he ripped a chunk of floor free and sent it flying towards Ranasio. Jargaqia dove towards Wasmarza, breaking his concentration momentarily as the two drew lightsabers and connected in a deadly dance of blades.
Deep inside Sithspawn, something stirred. Wasmarza had the Adept, but… Sithspawn could see something wasn’t right. Telaris never used lightning, and Sithspawn knew it. He knew it, because he had studied the man for years, planning for the day when he would drive him to the ground and electrocute him with all the rage he had built up for the rewards and praise the Cantor had received when Sithspawn had deserved it. That rage, now, as present as ever… allowed Sithspawn to regain control.
“ENOUGH!” Sithspawn screamed, breaking free of Wasmarza. He threw his saber to the ground and hurled a bolt of lightning towards the surprised Jargaqia; the duel broken, the Sith Sorcerer retreated, confused by the sudden change in his opponent.
“Wasmarza has lost himself. You are alone, Ranasio, and now you shall die!” Jur’ekk shouted as he drove towards Ranasio. Ranasio spun away from the Castellans strikes, drawing his own lightsaber to parry the attacks, erecting force barriers and shields where necessary, and where his own defenses failed; Ranasio was a skilled combatant when it came to the Force, but he had little strength or dexterity to engage a foe in melee.
“Telaris! I know you are in there, you son of a bitch. You are a Prophet of the dark Side; he is a mere Sith Warrior.” The words of the vilified Sithspawn boomed throughout the room. The Obelisk Adept recognized the voice of Talon Drear backing up that of his own, and host of that voice coming to his side. “Your deeds have spoken to my soul, Sithspawn. It looks like you have done some good for once…”
Sithspawn ignored the pestering Knight that stood at his side. The spirits of the dark Sith lords and sorcerers wanted Telaris for their prize. He was powerful, strong and knew secrets about the dark Side that others merely dreamed of.
Shaz’air ran to the side of Talon, his heaving continuing as his body fed off of the aura of the fortress’s bowels. “Let’s kill him now, Jargaqia! I see you have converted one of the blasphemers to our cause!” Eyes blazing with hot fire, Chara spat as he spoke.
The Adept turned towards Shaz’air placing a hand on his shoulder, “Yes… but you will be the one who is converted very soon, shaz’air.”
The tall Obelisk realized that the spirit of Warsmarza had fled from the body of the Sithspawn and his eyes widened with understanding. “Jar-!” The Adept pushed Shaz’air hard in the gut using whatever force he could call on in the instance of a split second. The Miraluka’s body went sailing through the air, arms and legs extending outward as the fist of his comrade landed directly in his abdomen. The body of Shaz’air became lifeless as it flew through the air and made contact with the same stone pillar that he had previously sent the possessed body of Telaris into.
The younger Taldrya’s body went limp as it slammed into the stone pillar.
The one known as Jur’ekk slunk quietly out of the shadows behind Ranasio, and moved upon his prey with quick precision and power. The Twi’lek slunk a free hand over the shoulder of Telaris’s body and slid his arm around his neck in an arm bar, his other hand igniting the pale violet color that was distinct to Vodo Biask Taldrya. Jur’ekk held it outright towards Sithspawn and Talon in a threatening manner, meanwhile his other arm slowly began to tighten around Ranasio’s neck.
“Lord Kressh’s memory begs for the death of this usurper, and for the life vessels of you all that are present here, even my fellow brother, Chara.” His lightsaber withered back and forth in anticipation to eat the flesh of the dark Jedi that stood before him.
“Telaris, think. Neither you nor I consider using the dark arts in such a way that would drain our very life-essence, only to supply mere moments of splendorous light at our finger tips! You have a weapon of the ancient Jedi for a reason. You are true to the art of swordsmanship.” Sithspawns voice was on the verge of anger; at the verge of strangling the spirit of Ranasio out of Telaris’s body. But he kept his distance, knowing that Telaris’s true mind was stirring through the muck and mud that was Ranasio.
Vodo’s voice tainted with the dark side – you almost smell the decay and death on his breath as he spoke. “There is no Telaris. There is no Ranasio. There is only the will of great Sith Lord Ludo Kressh. I will do his bidding and execute this non-believer.” Jur’ekk released the body of the Dark Side Adept and threw him forwad, Telaris tripping on the skeleton of a fallen Sith lord of past. Vodo leaped forward, his prosthetic legs propelling him forward with great speed and precision in pursuit of it’s prey, his lightsaber drawn high above his head in a ‘death-stroke’ position.
Sithspawn had already read into Jur’ekks actions and, as Telaris fell, he grabbed the ligthsaber from Talon Drear’s hand and threw it to the ground. The rage inside of Telaris’s eyes faded as he fell, gaining eye contact with Sithspawn as he did so.
The voice of the dark Prophet rang through the Adept’s mind. He knew what he had to do.
The emerald blade still lit, Telaris spun in mid air to fall on his back, his strong hand catching the hilt mid-air. With pristine course and action the Cantor brought his weapon to bear across his chest, blocking the strong and powerful strike from possessed Epis. As Cantor intercepted his enemy, Sithspawn was already mid-stride – sidestepping the footing of Vodo’s mechanical leg and pressing all of his weight into the ribcage of the Twi’ek. Jur’ekk lost balance, and fell to the ground with a violent clank and crash of durasteel. The repulsers on his legs hissed as they regained their compression.
Telaris bolted to his feet, not sparing any moment of time for the spirit of Jur’ekk to gain his footing. The Prophet grabbed the Twi’lek by the throat, his large hand violently caressing the pale skin of his fellow Taldrya’. Sithspawn was at Telari’s side within a second, the butt of his lightsaber hilt cracking Vodo directly in the left brain-tail. The spirit of Jur’ekk gasped out in pain, but his voice was silenced by the hand that was cutting of air supply. Sithspawn spoke first, “Vodo. You are being possessed by the very spirit you warned us about. Awaken, brother, and live to see another day!”
Shaz’air walked up behind Vodo and smacked him hard across the head with the butt of blaster rifle. The light behind Vodo’s eyes faded and his body went limp. Sithspawn could not help but grin, and Telaris looked at Shaz’air with a flare of anger. “Do not fret, my brothers. I did what needed to be done. He will recover as the narcissistic Twi’lek we know… in time.” Said Shaz’air, his eyes filled with a sense of pride in his accomplishment.
“Call for our transport. We won’t be needing a stretcher.” Said Telaris. “Our job is done.”