Taldryan Regular Run On
Run-on Competition: The Chain of Duty
This will be a unscripted runon event. Each unit will have two teams: the special forces runon, where only members of the special forces may post, and the regular runon, where all members (even those in the special forces) may post. The Special Forces runons will be the official submission for qualitative judging.
1. 250 word minimum per post.
2. 1000 word maximum per post.
3. Players must post a minimum of 2 times.
4. Players may post as many times as they desire.
5. Edits may occur on a post until a follow on post has been made (follow on posts include "reserving" a space). Only the author may edit their post on the forums. Admin use on the forums during the run on is expressly prohibited for participants. (Email Sarin and myself for anything)
6. Members may reserve post, but no posts can occur until after the reserved post is written.
7. The event will be graded by Raken, Sarin, and Muz using a rubric that focuses on creativity, plot development, realism, and grammar.
8. (Special Forces) Only two members of the Special Forces will be permitted to sit this event out.
9. Members failing to post 2 x times per phase will be disqualified and will not be given credit for participating in the event.
Hyperspace somewhere near Ashas Ree
Admiral Chaf'arha'nuruodo, the commander of Taldryan’s flagship Justice, would always take a quiet moment to relish the moments before leading his battle group into battle. As with the previous attacks on worlds controlled by the One Sith in the name of the Dark Jedi from the Brotherhood, Farhan understood the logistical value of striking soft targets with the primary purpose of developing strategically located beach heads for upcoming operations. He even approved the targets the battle group has recently been appointed for by the Taldryan Dark Jedi and their superiors from the Iron Throne, lightly defended worlds lacking in natural resources. And as it has been for the three worlds that came before Ashas Ree the plan was simple as it could be: Take out the outnumbered rearguard through sheer military weight, land ground forces and then establish a line of defense of their own before One Sith reinforcements in the sector can respond to the threat.
“Exiting hyperspace in sixty seconds, Admiral.” The Navigator seated in the front section informed him.
“Open a general comm channel.” A voice next to the Admiral commanded. The voice belonged to a man clad in black-and-gray and of only slightly paler skin than his. Farhan hasn’t even noticed the Taldryan Quaestor having re-entered the bridge of the Justice again.
“Radio, you have heard our Lord Quaestor.”
Rian felt the familiar surge of deceleration, and the star field outside the bridge’s canopy turned from solid streaks of white into the white-dotted blackness of real space. The battle group vanished hyperspace on the edges of the Ashas Ree system, far enough to not be affected by the local sun’s gravity well but still close enough to the planet to be within weapons range within a few minutes.
“Guess we’ve arrived.” Lokasena said, sipping his cup of coffee. Bubbles and Miranda sat across from him. The younger and recently promoted Battle Team Leader seemed a bit unnerved.
“Everything okay, hun?” Bubbles poked an elbow at Miranda, who smiled at her. “Yeah sure. Just a bit excited.”
Lokasena took another sip. “It will all be fine. Once we land, things will work out. You did your homework, just waiting for our final orders now.”
“How do you stand the waiting?” Miranda asked the two experienced Krath out of the Wardens of Unity.
“Usually I try to relax, get my gear ready, maybe spar a little to relieve tension and go over the briefing again.” Said Bubbles. “It helps me to focus.”
“You know, Bubbs, I’d be happy to help you relieve any tension.” Lokasena winked. “I’d be happy to kick your butt again, anytime.” Bubbles smiled.
“What about you, Master?” Miranda turned to Lokasena who took a deep breath before he responded.
“Pretty much the same, get my gear. Meditate a little and go over the plan. It’s all you really can do, until it all starts.”
“Yeah, I suppose so. It’s just that… So much could go wrong.”
“Things always go wrong, Miri. The question is, how do you handle it when they do go wrong?”
“Sound advice! Now stop worrying and get your stuff. Final briefing shouldn’t be too far away.” Sena said in a comforting tone.
He made his way to his weapons locker and clasped his saber hilt and Mormegill sword to his belt. A comm. Unit, a scanner and a skin flask with water. Just the basics, for now.
As the Battle Group reverted to real space the command deck of the Justice came alive with acknowledgments from different sections.
"Sublight drives engaged and reading nominal."
"STRADEF operational, defensive sphere at 75% and climbing."
"Sir, Black and Gold squadron are deploying. Matsuki and Spectre are on standby."
Rian Aslar had been following the incoming acknowledgments and reports closely and raised an eyebrow at the Admiral. "What of the TIE Advanced squadrons?"
The Battle Group Commander threw the Quaestor a lopsided grin as if expecting the question. He proceeded to shift his gaze to the deck's radar officer. "Mister Winslow, a status on Triumph and Scar squadrons if you will."
"Yes, Sir." the stocky operator replied promptly. "Both squadrons have exited hyperspace approximately 1 kilometre to our forward bow and are currently in anti-bomber screen formation. They are clear of contacts."
Rian met the older man's grin with a nod. The Admiral had deployed the TIE Advanced squadrons before their jump and had ordered the hyperspace capable craft to plot their own course here. The jump had been a simple one. No meticulous calculations would have been necessary to ensure the fighters would reach their destination at the same time as the flagship. “You didn't want to be caught off guard entering the system, very prudent.”
The communication officer spoke before the veteran could reply. “Admiral, the Valor is reporting multiple fighter contacts and are engaged.” He licked his dry lips quickly before continuing. “They indicate their squadrons are outnumbered two to one."
Farhan walked over to the radar operator's station and peered over the man's shoulder before giving his main display a cursory glance. “Mister Brekken, assign a Lancer Frigate to the Valor's port side. Just the Fury will be sufficient.”
The Admiral was about to move on as something on the radar display caught his eye.
Strands of silver hair shimmered as the harsh light of lighting-tubes above the bunk illuminated the room. Alarms continued to blurt their annoying tones in the background, their shrill shrieks echoing throughout the metallic ship. Another conflict for planetary supremacy was about to commence and everyone on Justice was to prepare for it.
Kazmir rolled around in his bunk again, his cheek hitting a wet spot of saliva as he did so. The young Echani started to moan as the sound of alarms began to get on his nerves. Rising up into a seated position, he smacked his head against the upper bunk with a loud thump.
“Frack! Who put this shit here.” He exclaimed while rubbing the red marks on his forehead before sliding out of his bunk.
“Ugh. Where did I put my clothes? Oh well, whatever.”
With a loud yawn he scratched the back of his head and looked around the room. His cybernetic eyes flashed a warning in the corner of his vision. Activating it caused a pop-up message from the summit to pop-up requesting all Taldryan forces to gather at the bridge for their briefing.
The young warrior proceeded to make his way to the bridge, causing heads to turn as he made his way down the ship’s corridors in nothing more than his boxers. As he made his way towards the bridge, streaks of light zooming past a nearby viewport caught his attention. Looking outside towards the black void of space, he could see dull grey ships taking on their squadron formations.
“Heh, important people always show up late to a party anyway.”
As he neared a corner, he could hear familiar voices having a light hearted conversation. Rounding it, he found himself in the company of Sena, Bubbles, and Miri. The later two just gave the young Sith a straight stare as their eyes widened.
"Stamps! More stamps! How can I do my job without stamps?" the old man shouted at his assistant, “look at this! A promotion for Chaosrain! I need a stamp! Boy, where are my stamps?" The old man’s aging voice bellowed throughout the dirty hovel, also known as the Chancellor’s Office to no avail. "Where the hell is the Boy?" Howlader shouted.
"The Boy? Sheesh, Howie, you should probably get that checked out," Shadow Taldrya mocked. "For one, you shouldn’t be dreaming about boys. Second, you’ve been having that dream for months – and you haven’t been Chancellor in twenty years. In any case, Yacks interrupted my whoring for this? He implied that something was terribly wrong with you – so I of course came a running."
Howlader, still only about one third-conscious questioned: "Wait. What?"
Shadow continued: "You got left behind on Karufr when the rest of the House went off on another damn fool errand against the One Sith. Anyway, I really only came back here to get my favourite cane. Can’t very well whore or pimp without it. You may want to check that blinking red light in the corner." Shadow Taldrya bounded out of the room as quickly as he came.
Howlader rolled out of his bed and pawed at the terminal for a few seconds, trying to make the blinking red light stop. Finally, he found what he was groping for:
You have 150 messages.
Howlader muttered to himself: "Well, that is above average…" then he pushed the play all button and let the messages fill the room…
Quaestor Aslar: "Howie, where are you?"
Keirdagh Cantor: "Where the hell are you?"
That theme continued for another 148 messages, with increasing volume and levels of anger. It became apparent to Howlader that he was needed elsewhere. He resolved to find his pants, his lightsaber, and the keys to the Old Folks’ Homes ship – Senility.
"I’m a comin’, boys!" Howlader shouted to no one in particular - and like that, he was off.
“Dare I ask why you choose today, of all days, to relinquish the need to wear clothing?” Lokasena said, in his most calm, and calculating voice.
“Kaz, you can’t be naked in here. This is the mess-hall.” Bubbles mused, poking Miranda again with her elbow.
The young Sith looked up and for a moment didn’t even seem to notice. Lokasena turned and shot her a glance.
“Are you that used to seeing your subordinates in the most casual of wears?” he raised an inquisitive eyebrow.
Miranda looked away suddenly and turned red. “No, not really… although in certain cases I might allow a slightly more casual dress code.” Hinting at the Priest’s need to look very official, almost all the time.
Kazimir looked down and became aware of his exhibitionistic display. “I… I’m gonna go fix this. Meet up in Rian’s office?”
“Sounds like a plan.” Bubbles raised her cup to him and winked.
The Sith Battlemaster turned and made haste to put on some more appropriate attire.
“Well, I guess I’ll get ready for the briefing to. You two coming, or are you still pondering the depths of the living artwork that blessed us with his presence just now?”
The two women looked at each other and then back at Sena. “uhm… yeah…” they said in unison.
“It’s so reassuring to know that you’ll have my back, when it all hits the fan out there.” Sarcasm blasting from his vocal cords as he got up while finishing the last in his cup.
“Don’t be late.”
He walked out into the corridor and made his way to his quarters. As he walked in, a soft caw sounded from the corner.
Sena took his saber hilt and clasped it to his belt at the small of his back. Also the sheath that held his Mormegill sword, always on his left hip. He put on his cloak and hid his scanner inside the folds. The Priest was about to walk out the door, when a loud caw could be heard.
“Come on, then.” Sena said.
Corvus didn’t need to hear that twice and flew up out of the corner and perched on Lokasena’s shoulder.
“Let’s get to work, my friend.” And they walked out.
Nyssa winked at Miri “One day I'll persuade him that there are far more comfy things than those stifling robes. Now, we should get read for this briefing, priorities and all that...” moving towards the freezer, she glanced back over her shoulder, “Bubbs' number one rule for attending briefings – always take ice-cream. What flavour do you fancy?”
A few minutes later the two women entered the Bridge, and found a spot perched on the edge of a console close to those members of the Wardens of Unity who had already arrived. Noting his student somewhat uncertainly carrying a large bowl of ice-cream, Lokasena opened his mouth to comment, “We're not late, are we?” interjected Nyssa, “Only, this was the only thing I could think of to take my mind off such impressive scenery, Miranda objected, of course, regulations and all that, but I'm afraid I insisted....”
“Well I can hardly reprimand a Journeyman for following the example of her Rollmaster now can I?” came Sena's reply, his tone wavering between amusement and a hint of mild irritation.
“Exactly, now, is this briefing getting started soon or what?” Nyssa scanned the Bridge, eyes quickly settling on the forms of CSD Justice's Admiral and Rian Aslar, both looking intently at a radar display.
“They look a little distracted,” commented Miranda, the new topic of conversation making her feel like it might be safe to speak again “let's just hope it's nothing too exciting...”
Talon Drear walked onto the command deck, closely followed by Nero Inferni. The Obelisk Templar was still trying to get used to the idea of being a respectable veteran with the responsibility of both safeguarding and training his own apprentice. He threw a glance back at Nero, to see the Guardian trying his utmost to use the force to lift a slice of a Correlian tangerine from the palm of his hand.
Talon smiled to himself. Telekinesis had been a struggle for him for most of his time as a journeyman as well and had only recently made itself more available to the Equite. Like his apprentice his early connection to the force had drawn him almost exclusively to the use of internal powers, boosting his skills as a duelist foremost.
“Nero, there will be time for levitating fruit later,” Talon heard himself say, “keep your thoughts on the here and now.”
That instant the Templar bumped into Nyssa, who had been standing on deck with her team.
His Zabrak apprentice grinned ferociously. “Here and now, gotcha.”
Talon shot him a venomous glance before composing himself and smiling at Nyssa. “We gotta stop bumping into eachother like this, Bubbs.”
“I'll say,” replied the Epis with a smile, “whatever happened to the common courtesy of saying hello first?”
“Meh, giving you a heads up takes all the fun out of it.” said Talon, while adding a wink.
“Tangerine, anyone?” Nero offered, beaming with pride as the Zabrak managed to levitate a small slice of the fruit in his outstretched palm.
The Zabrak entered the room suited up in the Phase II-mod.IV Battle armor that was standard issue to the Wardens, with a black hooded cloak over it. On his left hip was a plain katana, and on his right was the Armory Lightsaber issued to all Journymen. At that moment in time Nero was oblivious to where they were headed; all of his attention was focused on the piece of fruit in his hands that he was trying to levitate.
“Nero, there will be time for levitating fruit later, keep your thoughts on the here and now.” He heard his master say to him.
Nero looked up when his master spoke to him, just to see him bump into the Rollmaster, suppressing a chuckle he said, “Here and now, gotcha.”
The Zabrak went back to focusing on the fruit slice in his hands, ignoring the short conversation between his master and the rollmaster. He was surprised that he managed to levitate the fruit and interrupted Talon and Nyssa to say, “Tangerine, anyone?”
Nero moved his eyes to gaze over each person in front of him, starting from Talon and ending on Miranda. “Hello Lokasena, Rollmaster, and Miranda,” said the Zabrak Guardian.
While he was gazing over Nyssa and Miranda, he saw that each of them had a bowl of ice cream in their hands. He was confused as to why the two girls brought ice cream with them, and he wanted to find out.
“So, Rollmaster is there reasoning for the ice cream?” he asked politely.
A fog rolled through the ground cover as rain drizzled through the treetops. A shadowy figure stalked through the overgrowth, unbeknownst to all around. The Primarch had been following the trail of a group of One Sith through the jungle in hopes that they would lead him back to their base of operations. The group he was following were sitting across a ridge; it wasn’t long before they started to move again.
As the group got to their feet, a low din began to roar through the jungle. As the noise rose in intensity, the world began to shake. The former Consul was soon knocked to the ground by the violent shaking. Branches began to drop out of the sky as the sound and the furious shaking intensified. Chaos rolled onto his back and looked toward the sky; it was then that he noticed the fog had thickened so much that he could no longer see the low level branches. THe last thing that went through the Primarchs mind was a large branch.
“AHHHHHH.” Chaos shouted as he awoke.
“Who’s screaming on my ship?” asked Howie.
“Why the crap is the Home shaking!”
“Oh, it’s you Failbot. We’re on Senility and we’re flying toward Ashas Ree.”
“It’s our new theater against the One Sith. Somehow they left without us. You might want to check your comm. I had 150 messages of Yacks and Rian yelling at me.”
The Primarch took the old Chancellors advice; “You have 0 unheard messages.”
“Well, they haven’t remembered to tell me about this. I think I’ll stay on the ship and catch some Z’s.” stated the Primarch.
“If I have to do this shit, you do too.” Howlader said with some grump in his voice.
The Primarch cursed the name of Yobagoya under his breath. “Ugh, fine. Let’s get this over with.”
XS-800 Light Freighter Senility
Five minutes from Cotelin-class Star Destroyer Justice
The hum of Senility’s engines provided Howlader with a welcome and otherwise calming distraction from Chaosrain’s noisy activities. It was not as if Howlader did not get along with the Obelisk Primarch, on the contrary – the old master considered him a close friend, but his penchant for failure seemed to affect even his sleep Chaosrain’s sleep included rolling around into equipment and bulkheads, and otherwise interrupting Howlader’s peaceful voyage.
"Chaos! Wake your ass up. You have been sleeping for hours – and frankly, that’s my thing."
Chaos did not respond to his yelling. So Howlader decided on an alternative measure – and used the force to throw a number of objects at the Primarch’s head.
"OW! YOBOGOYA! What do you want, Howie?"
"We just dropped out of hyperspace and we have nearly reached the Justice. Yeah, I forgot to tell you that we’re going to rendezvous with the Taldryan Fleet before hitting the planet. I need you to get on the horn with the commander of the CAP so we can enter their defense perimeter. Once that’s done, hail the Justice and coordinate with the LSO so I can park Senility somewhere."
Chaosrain Taldrya, an Obelisk, was utterly unfamiliar with all the acronyms Howlader had just spouted off, and was only about to utter a confused: "Uh, what?"
"Ugh. Right, you weren’t in the Navy. I will take care of it." Howlader flicked a couple of switched and dials on the main console: "Justice CAP commander, Senility, requesting permission to enter defense perimeter and will transmit codes for confirmation." Howlader keyed in the clearance codes and waited.
"Identity confirmed. Welcome to the fleet, Senility. Happy hunting."
"Right, Chaos, that didn’t sound so hard, did it?" Chaosrain did not respond verbally, but did offer an obscene gesture.
"Justice, Senility, request permission to land."
"Permission granted, Senility. Welcome aboard."
Howlader eased the XS-800 onto the deck of Justice, opened the hatch and deployed the ramp, and then exited the ship. "Chaos! Time to find out what crazy assault or scheme is in store for us now."
Miranda looked at Nero and smiled. “you as nervous as I am?” she asked with an almost shy smile.
“Maybe even worse.” He replied to his Battle Team Leader.
“Allow me to steal her away for a moment, Nero.” Lokasena interrupted. “Our fearless leader should be focusing on the briefing.” He put an arm around Miranda and guided her to one of the front chairs.
“Sit down and listen, and don’t interrupt.” Lokasena then sat down a row behind her, next to Nyssa.
When Miranda looked over her shoulder, she saw the Rolemaster smile at her.
They had become friends, and that was very important. It could be a bit daunting with all the boys running around. Nyssa always kept things light. Miranda wasn’t sure if the relationship with her Master was bordering on something more than casual, but the young Sith made a mental note that she would have to as Nyssa about it sometime. Her Master had always avoided the subject, whenever it came up.
Then she heard Sena clear his throat a bit louder than necessary and she quickly turned around. Rian and the Admiral where taking a position front and center while still conferring with each other. Miranda couldn’t hear what they were talking about, but she would know soon enough.
Finally Rian looked up at the collection of Taldryan warriors and began to speak.
“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for coming. I know tensions have been rising but it took us a while to come up with a solid strategy.”
“Here it comes…” Sena whispered behind Miranda. “The military intelligence bit. A true contradiction in terms.”
Rian continued. “Our military intelligence has intercepted….” He went on as Mirand suppressed a chuckle.
Rian threw the both of them a harsh look, silencing even the young Commanders breathing immediately before starting for a second time. “Our military intelligence has intercepted encrypted data streams being submitted to the enemy, informing them about the military strengths and position when the combined Strike Force was about to enter the system. In short terms somewhere aboard this ship is a spy or traitor and I want you to find him, no matter the cost, though I would like to prefer him captured alive rather than dead. The Admiral will now brief you with the rest of information we were able to trace back, Admiral Farhan.”
The Admiral nodded, taking the lead position while Rian in the mean time strode back to the console where he was standing with the Chiss before the briefing had started talking quietly to the stationed officer. “My Lords, my Ladies, as our Lord Quaestor has already told you, shortly after leaving hyperspace we met a well organized blockade, not only successfully stopping our advancement to conquer the planet of Ashas Ree but also in knowledge of which evasive maneuvers and offensive formations we would apply. It was then when we uncovered a high jacked signal working within our comm channels delaying any communications between our Forces directly to the enemy.”
Followed by a short pause Rian took the word again. “Luckily we found the signal and adjusted an encrypted channel of our own to warn the rest of the Strike Force. Admiral, we just received a confirmation from both battle groups, they have then changed course to enter the system from different positions. Now let’s hope they don’t have any spy or traitor as well.” Farhan nodded again. “However, we just did an internal sensor swap and discovered a silenced alert that someone has entered the Hyperdrive before we entered hyperspace, it may be possible that this was our spy, and that he or she is still hiding in there, since due to the high temperatures in there thermal scans won’t give out any results. “
“So this is where we should start looking at. Now let’s go Wardens” Miranda said, already being on her feet and moving.
As soon as Miranda got her associates on the move, shadows started to unwrap in a far-off corner on the bridge. Kazmir took a step forward, remnants of shadow loosening their grip on his clothing as they retreating back into the mass.
“Lord Aslar…” the young Sith exclaimed as he fell into a kneeling position before continuing “…Master Pandala and Chaosrain have just boarded Justice.”
The Wroonian turned his head, his amber eyes focusing on the silver hair covering the Echani’s scalp. “Excellent. I’ll have someone hail them so they can meet up with the rest of the group. In the meantime, I have a separate task for you…”
Purposeful strides ensured Kazmir quickly traversed the maze of corridors that made up Justice’s bulk. A security leak was not uncommon during stretched-out periods of conflict, that was a certainty for those that had experienced such battles before. Another such certainty was; there is never just one. Kazmir himself probably understood this better than most members of Taldryan, possibly even better than some of its more senior members. After all, it was he that successfully infiltrated Revan. It was he, that in the last Great War, relayed information to the proud warriors of the Kr’tal system that concerned the movements of the House of Odan-Urr.
A myriad of turns, straights, and turbolifts later – the battlemaster found himself in the mess. Thinly crowded and largely silent, the messdeck was much like any other area of the ship during war time. But even the most battle-hardened soldiers, and their dark masters, had to eat. It did not take Kazmir long to find who he was looking for, it did not matter to him how crowded an area was – he always found them.
Long threads of gold flowing down over wickedly eye-pleasing curves. Shining emeralds peering onto a plate. Smooth, long-fingered hands holding utensils. Despite what her overalls tried to say, this woman was clearly not part of the snubfighter maintenance crew that she had sat down with. A slight mental nudge on the Echani’s part was enough to get her attention.
“Watcher 5, reporting for duty…” her voice, as always, reminded Kazmir of birds of paradise, “…oh Lord Natas! You survived Rhelg, thank goodness.”
“Skip the pleasantries, Neesa. We have work to do.” His cybernetic eyes donned a red hue as a small amount of harshness crept into his tone.
“Very well, my lord.”
First, they would have to find how the traitor, or spy, got his intell to the outside. After that, they would have to establish a log of every other such activities, the where’s, when’s and how’s. It was not the most enjoyable of tasks in this line of work, but Kazmir would dutifully complete it nonetheless.
“Engineering, please reroute Hyperdrive energy ánd backups through the secondary relay. Deactivate the super conductors and primary heat exchangers.” Lokasena spoke into a wall panel.
His orders were confirmed and he joined Nyssa and Miranda on their way to the access panel.
“Even if they switch it all off, so soon after a Hyperjump, it’s going to get hot in there.” Bubbles sighed.
Shooting her a sidelong glance, Sena commented; “Pretty hot out here too!”
Miranda looked back at her Master with a look of “C’mon, really?”
The Krath Priest just shrugged and got out his scanning device. He punched in a few keys and handed the device to Miranda.
“You can use this to scan about ten meters ahead when you’re in the ducts. Should give you enough response time.”
“What does it react to?” she asked, eyeing the device.
“Microscopic changes in air density.” Sena replied, focusing his gaze at the end of the corridor. “Besides, it’s casing is composed out of a natryllin-alloy.”
“Natryllin’s very rare.” Bubbles frowned. “How did you get it?”
“I’ll tell you sometime. Right now, what’s important is that it makes it easy to detect, even through all the thermal spikes.” In his mind he was probably running a hundred scenario’s already. “That way I can keep my eye on you two when you enter the ducts.”
“Guess you won’t fit, huh?” Miranda said to the tall man, causing Bubbles to grin a little.
“Very astute…” Sena retorted as they reached the access panel. “Now get in, and find out who’s causing all this trouble.” He lifted the hatch for them and a wave of warm air escaped from the duct.
“Mercy, this will be fun.” Bubbles pursed her lips, ran her fingers along her face to catch any stray curls and tied her hair up in a tight pony tail. She crawled into the confined space of the duct and Miranda quickly followed.
“Be careful, you two.” Sena called in after them.
Nero crawled out from under the bulk of the Assault Transport. “This one is clear,” he muttered mid-sigh while dusting off his armor, “tell me again why I’m the one checking for explosives in all of the confined spaces?”
Talon closed the maintenance hatch on the Lambda-class Shuttle he had been inspecting and chewed pensively on a slice of tangerine before answering. “Have you ever checked for explosives underneath an Assault Transport before?” He peeled off the last strips of white pith from another slice before lobbing it into his mouth.
His apprentice popped out his head from under the Stromtrooper Transport he had crawled under next and threw him a bemused look. “No, of course not. “
Talon took in the amusing sight with a smile. “Then consider your horizon broadened. Any new experience should be used to your benefit on your way to knighthood.” The Templar leapt up on the broad section of a B-Wing that had scaffolding in place around the various sections of its structure. “Now on with this inspection. Remember, covert ops has a holy trinity: Infiltration, Espionage, Sabotage.”
After Rian’s briefing it had been obvious to all that they had fallen victim to the first two practices and if any sabotage was to take place in the invasion fleet, the hangar bays with all the troop transports would make a very suitable target indeed. Checking the air ducts had been a wise course of action, but they led to a lot of other places ripe for sabotage. Besides, the Templar thought, trouble rarely comes alone.
A blaster bolt shot past, inches away from Talon’s cheek and the man dropped to his belly onto the hull of the bomber he had been walking on.
“Well, this is fun.” Nyssa said, to no one in particular. Miranda, who was crawling a few feet behind the Krath, overheard her however. “You think so?”
“Let me put it this way…” Bubbles sighed as she wiped a strand of hair from her sweaty forehead. “One day I’d just like to be assigned a mission on a beautifully sunny planet, with little furry animals. I mean, danger is okay, but hey… bunnies. You know?”
“Yes, and I’ll fly you there in style myself. But for now we have to make do. The view I have from back here wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for when I got up, this morning, either.”
Nyssa stopped and looked back at her. “Something wrong with my backside, Commander?” and smiled.
“Let’s just say I know a person who’s missing quite the show. He would prefer this view over me.” Miranda winked.
“You guys DO realize that I can hear you, right?” A voice came over the communicator on Miranda’s wrist.
The young Jedi Hunter turned red, and it wasn’t because of the heat.
Bubbles raised her eyebrows. “We do now!” she said and began to laugh. Miranda soon joined in.
“Come on, Ladies. Focus, this is serious. Remember why you’re in there.”
“Yes… yes… you’re right, of course. We’ll just keep on cr_” Miranda’s voice was cut off.
Lokasena was standing outside, holding his communicator closer to his mouth.
“Miranda? Miranda, I didn’t quite get that last bit.”
Lokasena tapped the device a little and frowned. “Miranda, come in. Bubbles, you there?”
The Krath Priest felt panic.
Miranda stifled a yelp as the well-aimed backwards kick from the Epis in front of her took out the support of her left arm; given her right was raised as she was mid-conversation with Lokasena, the manoeuvre left Miri falling face-first onto the floor of the duct, just milliseconds before blaster fire zipped passed overhead. Risking moving her head to glance forwards, she noted the Taldrya had also pronated herself, flattening herself against the duct floor. Miri looked to the communicator, and swore under her breath at it's current state of repair, “They really should make these things more resilient if they expect us to crawl through tight spaces” she commented quietly.
“I wouldn't worry, if he doesn't hear from us he'll come running – just think, he can save the two damsels in distress this way, and...ssh a second” whispered Nyssa as the blaster fire relented,
“Whoever it is they're moving off, it looks like a fork in the duct ahead, they've gone left.”
“Well this is going to be an incredibly high speed pursuit.”muttered Miri, hauling herself once more onto hands and knees, brushing the dirt from her chin, a bruise already starting to form, “And by the way, 'Ow'. You could've just told me to duck.”
Nyssa threw her Commander back a smile, already crawling along the duct, “But then Sena wouldn't have anything to berate me over, would he?” Miri chuckled, shaking her head slightly, she really was going to have to get to the bottom of her two friends' relationship.
“The com logs show nothing aside from fleet communications,” Watcher 5 let out an exasperated sigh.
“So there’s no significant time lapses between communications?”
“Not at all, Ka-z-mir. There’s no sign of any tampering with the logs. It’s all here.” Neesa’s lips pulled up in a sly, teasing smile.
“Do you think he somehow bounced a multi-layered transmission of off a nearby ship? And address me as you should, even if we are currently in private.”
“Oh come on. We practically grew up together. Remember Salas V? I was there with you. New Tython, same story. “
“Yes, I do remember. I also remember that it was by my recommendation that you were selected to become a Watcher and to serve aboard Justice when the previous Watcher earned his promotion. Now, do you think it’s possible we can continue our assignment?”
Another sigh left the Watcher’s lips. “It’s a possibility. But such a feat would require insane amounts of luck, and skill. Possibly both.”
“Are there any ships in the force that have reported anomalies in their communications grid?”
“Let me bring up reports from other Watchers…” Neesa proceeded to conjure a datapad and scoured the reports of her fellow intelligence agents. “…the Valor apparently has some problems with glitches now and then.”
“Is it possible they have some sort of bleed?” The random thought of the Echani caused the Watcher’s head to turn, raising an inquisitive eyebrow. “Don’t give me that look. Keep searching.”
The agent did as told. The special agent aboard the Valor had attached a file of the glitched coding that maintenance was able to pick up on, but Neesa did not see a connection to the random glitch and the situation aboard Justice.
“Don’t tell me that you believe this spy was able to glitch the Valor’s communications, implement a code that caused a bleed at set times, and managed to sneak a hidden message of our plans into a fleet-wide transmission. I mean, sure, I could possibly do it. But I’ve been trained for this since I was born.”
Without warning, the inquisitor snatched the datapad out of the agent’s hands. The piece of coding provided by the Watcher aboard the Valor was indeed a jumbled mess, yet his eyes caught on to a very well-disguised pattern. It made Kazmir chuckle.
This looks exactly like something Orv would do. And for once, the young man was glad to have played some of the retired Seneschal’s games.
He pressed the biggest button on his com unit, directly connecting him to Rian.
“Lord Aslar, have someone hail the Valor. Have them send over all maintenance reports on their communications grid since we left Rhelg. And have them send over all personnel files of the workers who have access to do so.”
“And this will help us how exactly?” Rian sounded a bit bitter, probably because of his subordinate’s rather commanding tone.
Kazmir ignored the question and continued, “Have someone cross-reference that data with recent transfers from the Valor to the Justice. Whoever pops up is our spy, or spies.”
“…alright-“ the conversation awkwardly ended, Rian was probably ticked off. Neesa merely laughed at Kazmir’s disturbed look, but his side of the job was done. Or was it?
The portal opened with a hiss. A grey metal wall and rows, rows of space crafts was on the other side. The portal room was big. The crackling sound of the portal being maintained quickly filled the room with electricity and the smell of ozone. An old man, with white hair and many wrinkles along with a woman could be seen, standing a few meters away from the entrance.
"I guess it's time for us to part." He spoke.
"I suppose so, honey." The woman replied with a soft, tender voice.
"It's certainly been a long time."
"I know. Thank you for all the things you have done for me."
He had put on his old suit and armor and everything. They shared a quick kiss before his departure back to the Other Realm. Bearing the proud insignia of Taldryan on his chest, he walked back a few steps, and bolted at the portal, diving head-first through. The gateway then was sealed with a snap, returning silence to the room. An audible sigh could be heard.
Talon scanned for the shooter with the Force. It was a tall man in black engineer standard uniform. This probably is the spy. A few more shots were fired at his direction, as the assailant moved toward the bomber. Suddenly, he felt a disturbance in the Force. It's like a funnel had appeared, a portal opened in midair, in which there were no signs of the Force at all, but the Force just seemingly to be absorbed without end through it. With his amplified hearing, Talon could hear a conversation in a foreign language on the other side. A black figure dived out, landing on the spy with a loud thud. As quick as it appeared, the portal was closed. The Templar got on his feet, slid off the bomber and approached the two laying on the floor.
The interloper got up and dusted his attire. It surely felt strange and weird to a degree easing into his younger self. Who would know that he had to spend 50 years at that universe before he could go back? He was such an decrepit old man, but now he's young again, full of vitality. It's good to be back. Talon got near the man and took a closer look. What he found was not what he expected at all.
"It's a long story."
“Of all the stupid… Unbe-fraking-lievable…” Sena cursed as he crawled to the location where he found the broken communicator.
“They just left it here. No; “Hey Sena, we’re gonna go do whatever now. Bye!” I swear if I catch those kittens alive, I’ll_” Covinus’ was silenced by the sight of scorch marks from blaster fire on the sides of the duct. He immediately started to crawl as fast as he could, bumping his head and shoulders in the extremely narrow passage way. But he didn’t care. He even put his hand on an exposed circuit in the floor. Not even flinching, the Priest tried to up his tempo even more.
He finally came to a halt as the duct opened up before him into a collection hub. Here there were several consoles and a door that led to the internal corridor that would run directly past the drive core.
He stepped out and suddenly felt a hand over his mouth and a voice say; “Shhh…”
He resisted the urge to break free forcefully and relaxed a bit as he saw it was Bubbles holding him and Miranda standing in front of him with an index finger on her lips. She then pointed at the door and made a gun with her thumb and index.
Lokasena caught on quickly and Bubbles released him, just a bit slower as was necessary. Both Equites had their hands on their saber hilts and Miranda stood by the door, ready to open it.
She silently mouthed a count down from three-two-one. The door slid open and the two Krath leapt through. Down the corridor a man turned around and raised a weapon. The bolts were deflected by Bubbles as Lokasena darted at their target. Panicked at the sight of the tall Krath thundering towards him, he turned and ran.
The corridor was wide enough for two armored men to stand abreast. For Sena it was quite a relief, especially when both women overtook him with lithe footsteps that could bounce of the surface of water, or so it seemed.
When it comes to speed, enthusiasm will always win from experience, and so it was that Miranda actually grabbed the man as he ran in front of her. She caught the back of his collar and yanked it back as fiercely as she could. The man toppled over backwards, on top of Miranda.
In a blind frenzy he fired a few shots. One hit the floor, directly next to Miranda’s head. Two others shot past Bubbles as she was closing in. He was about to line up a shot between the Jedi Hunter’s head, when Bubbles grabbed his arm and twisted his wrist. “Sorry, can’t let you shoot the boss. I need the paycheck!” and winked at Miranda. She smiled in return.
“I’m not afraid of you two.” The man spat. Miranda got up and brushed herself off. “That’s okay… we’re not the ones who are going to interrogate you. He is…!” She said just as Sena walked up, panting and trying to catch his breath.
“Well, give him a minute.” Bubbles added, which caused the Priest to raise an eyebrow and pat his stomach, as if to blame it for his fitness.
"We've got people out there risking their lives for this House and you two are showing up NOW!" blasted the furious Aedile.
"Listen Yacks, there's a perf" started the Primarch.
"NO. I'm not listening to your mee krob right now, boy. Howie tells the story."
"So, Chaos and I got off Senility, and we were hurrying here until we saw the cafeteria. Chaos suggested we get some food, because we wouldn't be useful if we lacked the energy to do things. So, Chaos got some food and I drank a few beers, most notably the Hammer's Grande Imperial Reserve Stout. And then we hurried here."
Yacks stared on, speechlessly for a few moments. "The computer says you landed THREE hours ago. And, THAT is why you missed the briefing and have jeopardized YOUR brethren?"
"That's not, exactly, how I remember it." Chaos said.
"Ok, tell me how it happened, Chaos." Yacks said with a sharp tone.
"It better be better than what Howie said or I'm spacing the both of you."
"So, Howie and I got off Senility, and we were hurrying here until we saw the cafeteria. I suggested we get some food, because we wouldn't be useful if we lacked the energy to do stuff. So, I ate a blue milk steak and a handful of their finest jellybeans. Also, Howie drank a few beers. And then we hurried here."
"You're stories were EXACTLY the same!" screamed Keirdagh.
"No they weren't! Howie forgot what I ate!" Chaos added to the conversation with anxiousness in his voice. "AND it was from my perspective!"
Howlader said nothing at all; he just smiled as the former Consul dug himself deeper onto Yacks mee krob list.
"Get out of my sight, NOW." yelled the old Sith High Warrior. "Stop wasting everyone's time, and go help someone. OH and stop making the old folks look so frakking lazy. We fight that mee krob enough without your help!"
Nero was underneath yet another starcraft when Talon was shot at with the blaster. The Guardian heard the sound of blaster fire hit wall, and slid out from underneath the bomber. By the time he had gotten out, three more shots were fired. A strange “portal” opened up behind the spy, and a black figure fell out of it and knocked them to the ground. Nero saw his master slide down the bomber he was on and head towards the figure, he noticed that they started to talk to each other, but wasn’t in hearing range.
Behind him, Nero heard the tell-tale hiss of a blade being unsheathed and the sharp point of a dagger pressed against his back.
“Don’t talk or you will die,” said a feminine voice behind the Zabrak.
“You just made the worst mistake of your life spy.”
“What makes you say that?”
Nero turned around slowly to face the woman and grabbed the knife in her hand. The Guardian turned the blade so it faced her, and the pushed it forward. He wasn’t going for a killing blow, only enough to get her to drop the knife. Nero felt the warm blood flow down his hands and the woman’s grip on the knife disappear.
“Don’t worry, you won’t die...yet,” Nero whispered into her ear.
Removing the blade from the wound, and applying pressure to it, Nero turned around and looked at Talon so he could use the force to speak to him.
“I have another spy back here, wounded now. Give me the word and I’ll end her miserable life.”
Lokasena Corvinus was already sitting at the table, when the subject was brought in to the room they had prepared.
“Have a seat, mister…” Sena looked at a data pad in front of him. “Timor Landi.”
The young man’s eyes widened. “How do you know my name?”
“I know a lot about you, Mister Landi. Have a seat.” The Krath said in a calm voice and motioned to the chair opposite from him.
Timor just stood by the door and didn’t move, his eyes staring at a blank space on the wall. Lokasena looked at him and recognized the blind look of a zealot.
“I assure you, you’ll be sitting in that chair. So just do out on your own initiative, please.”
Timor shot Lokasena an I’d like to see you try-look, then started to sit down and stare at the Priest.
“Says here you’re an armed forces man.”
“So what went wrong, son?” Sena looked at Timor, with an almost understanding look on his face.
The traitor just stared at him. The Krath’s face altered so fast. From understanding, to anger. Lokasena slammed his fist on the table.
“WHAT SEEMS TO BE THE PROBLEM, MARINE???”
Timor Landi snapped out of whatever stoic delusion he was having and looked at the Priest with slight awe.
Miranda and Bubble, who were watching in the other room through a vid-screen, both stepped back and swallowed for a second.
“Yeah…” Bubbles replied.
“Sir, we were under orders.” Timor broke down.
“We?” Sena snapped. “Who else?”
“I can’t say, sir. They’ll kill me.”
“Marine, you are obviously under the mistaken impression that I’m asking a favour. I want those names! I want them NOW!”
After their Quaestor Rian's orders to search every nook of the ship for the spy, the warriors of Taldryan dispersed from the bridge, some going in groups and some solo. Draco took the solo route. Sure, he knew that going in a group was more advantageous in finding the spy and having collective strength. But since they also needed to spread out all over the ship and since there is always the chance of individual hunters getting hunted themselves, Draco went to search alone.
During his constant search, he kept constant communication with the Quaestor and with the Commander. He'd also keep his ears peeled to hear of any clues during all the cross-conversations with the other search parties. For a well over two hours he searched the corridors and cargo holds of the ship but he found nothing.
A little later, he came across a collection hub. The Collection hub was circular, with consoles lining up the walls. He saw a corridor going past the drive's core. Even from here he could hear blaster firing and sounds of struggling not far away. His face lit up with anticipation and excitement, and he cocked his blaster and ran towards the source of the sound. Skidding to a halt, he saw Bubbles and Miri outside the door and staring at the glass screen.
Hearing the sound of him skidding to a halt, Miri turned around. "Draco! Where did you come from?"
,"Long story. Umm..."He said breathlessly, looking at the glass screen he saw Sena interrogating someone. "...why is Sena pounding him? He caught the spy?!"
,"We all did." said Bubbles.
,"Wow..." Draco made a mental note. Next time there is a search mission, he's going in a group. Suddenly they heard Sena thumping the table with his fist loudly. It's sure not going easy there.
He went in the room. "Hi Sena. Need help?"
Sena just shook his head and waved to him to his side. Its a sign to take a seat and start help in the interrogating. He understood that every second delayed can mean lives lost needlessly. He saw from Sena's datapad the man's name.
"Timor Landi, who do you work for? Whose orders are you following?"
"I said they'll kill me if I say a word," frowned the spy at the new person who just entered and has started questioning him.
,"If you do, they'll certainly kill you. If you don't tell, we will. But if you do tell, we may also protect you from harm. Your choice."
Timor stared at the Zarbak. He just handed him choices as if from a checklist from a lunch menu. His choice...
"Well," Timor started, "I suppose you kind of make a point. I'm probably dead either way, and that's quite depressing. You know, I was an only child. I'm the last of my line. The last! The death of me will be the end of the Landi Clan, and who would want that?" His shoulders drooped. "Father will be so disappointed." Sena let out an exasperated sigh. He glared at Timor, but said nothing. Timor, noticing Sena's discomfort, shifted in his seat. he coughed once, scratched his head, cleared his throat, and said "Alright, I'll do it."
"But if I tell you, you have to promise me one thing!"
Draco nodded. Beside him, Sena sat quietly, staring at Timor. Sena wondered, first, if this Timor was stupid enough to trust a Dark Jedi's word, and second, just who else they had to find, and where they had gotten to. The entire ship had been searched!
"Ok, well, let me put it this way... It's been years, and I'm desperate..." Sena and Draco exchanged glances, then both nodded. Timor continued, "You see, about, oh, a decade ago, I had this amazing fried fish from Mon Calamari, and I just..." he trailed off, reaching for the menu. He looked over it, "I just don't see anything I want on here, so if you really want me to talk, you're going to need t-" Timor was cut off; suddenly he fell silent and grabbed his throat. As Sena and Draco both rose out of their seats, the young man let out a single, rasping croak, and collapsed onto the table.
“That’s just great!” Sena bellowed to the ceiling, then turned to Draco. “And you…!”
“uh-oh…” Bubbles said to Miri and quickly walked out of the observation room.
“You had him pondering about his family. I was about to break him.” The Krath seemed to from several inches as he towered over the seated Sangria.
Bubbles came storming through the door. “It’s not his fault, Sena.” Lokasena shot her a look but knew his friend was right. It wasn’t Draco’s fault. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t be angry, and he needed an outlet.
“I have to go.” He said.
“Go? Go where?” Miranda said as she came in.
“Somewhere I can still be usefull.” Turning back to Draco he pointed at the corpse slumped over the table. “You, clean that up.” Then he left the room. Miranda, Nyssa and Draco stayed behind.
Walking through the corridors of the ship, wheels were turning in his mind. It was a puzzle and puzzles needed solving. He didn’t even know where he was going, until he found himself outside of Rian Aslar’s quarters. The door chimed and he heard “enter”
Rian was standing in the middle of the room, a data pad in his hand. He looked up at Lokasena.
“Priest, how can I help you?”
“Don’t play with me. You know more about what’s going on. Loyalty blinds Miranda, she won’t go against you. But this has gone too far! The ship is in danger, procedures are falling apart and I’m all out of leads.”
“Very well…” Rian said. “you might want to sit down for this.”
Just as Talon was about to inquire further about Retden literally coming out of nowhere, he got the mind pulse sent by his apprentice and answered it promptly. "Keep her alive and subdued for now, information is ammunition." He quickly glanced at the sprawled body of the dead spy and noted the ackward angle of the man's neck and head. Talon opened his mouth to question Retden about the portal, but thought better of it. “Thanks for the assist Retden, I’m sure you’ll tell me all about your.. arival in due time.”
“Time is right.” the Guardian replied with a sly grin, while dusting off his attire.
Talon threw him a puzzled look, but still beckoned the younger man to follow him to his apprentice. Nero Inferni had just finished bandaging an apparent wound on the spy’s hand and smoothly lifted her up.
“She’s a pretty thing.” Talon said, after looking at the unconscious woman slumped over Nero’s shoulder.
“Well this pretty thing tried to stab yours truly to death a minute ago.” replied the Zabrak, tightening his grip around the female’s legs.
Talon nodded. “I know, you handled that situation well. Right now, we need to get this woman debriefed. Retden, could you get on the comms with Rian? I’d like to take her straight to him.”
The Guardian acknowlegded the request and stepped back to activate his communicator.
Talon leaned into Nero as Retden was talking, lowering the volume of his voice. “Keep an eye out during our little trip to Rian. For the moment trust nobody.”
Shortly thereafter, the threesome and their captive made their way out of the main hangar bay and headed for their Quaestor’s office.
“Retden, could you get on the comms with Rian? I’d like to take her straight to him.” Talon said to him.
The comms? What comms? Oh, right, that comms. It’s been a while. With a single click of a button, nothing happened. Another click, nothing happened. Retden fumbled furiously on the communicator. How does this thing even work? Deciding to swallow his ego, then called out to Talon.
“Hey Talon, how does the communicator work again?”
“Really?” The Templar sighed. “Let me show you. First you press and hold this button here, wait until the screen lights up, then slide this over there, then click this button, then click that button, then press the unlock button, then click that button over there, then click the person who you wanted to talk to, then finally move it closer to your mouth and talk into the receiver here. Also the battery appears to be out. Normally these go on for 50 years, maybe a production error. When did you check it for the last time?” The Templar explained to Retden the long-winded explanation of using the comms and asked him a question.
“Errr... about 50 years ago?”
“Ugh, wait… no, we have more important things going on, just brief it to Rian and we’ll be on our way to him.”
Retden followed exactly what Talon said, but it didn’t work. Oh, the battery. He swiftly reached in his pocket and took out a high-powered battery taken from the other world. Retden quickly learned a lesson that not every battery works with everything, as the communicationthingy immediately started to buzz and whirr until a tiny pile of smoke curled up from one end.
“Here, take mine.” Talon said, handing his own communicator to the Sith.
“Hello Rian, it’s Retden here.”
“Retden? Where have you been for the last 5 months!? And why are you using Talon’s comlink?” Rian’s voice was full of confusion.
“Long story. Anyways, I’m here with Talon and Nero. We got a spy unconscious, we will take her to you now. And about the comlink, mine kinda blew up in my face.”
“Good job. Good job indeed.”
Cutting out the communication, Retden threw the comlink back to its original owner, who caught it with one hand. Talon then signaled for the two to go.
It happened so suddenly that Draco had no time to react. Their prisoner was words away from telling them who told him to spy and sabotage their mission, when he suddenly collapsed on the table...
Sena was naturally livid! It looked liked he was on tipping point from the moment he walked in. And now his prisoner dying on him was the salt straw. He bellowed at Draco, blaming him for getting the prisoner killed. His words made no sense at all. But that did'nt keep him from shouting. At first Draco was too shocked to respond. He looked again at Timor to confirm visually that he's dead.
Sena told him and pointed at the dead body to mop it all up. Anger flared at this point inside Draco and his eyes turned to slits and he was well on his way to shout back at Sena, but the entrance of Bubbles and Miri quietened him. They calmed Sena too, telling him that Timor's death was'nt anyone's fault. While this calmed him somewhat, Sena still scrowled and exiting the room. Draco thought he could be going to the bridge or to meet Rian to tell him about the mission. But his head was still throbbing from the shouting and from his bottleed-up anger.
Without a word and without waiting for anyone he set about cleaning. He punched the dead guy to make sure he was dead before beginning.
"Draco! What're you..." cried Miri in amazement.
,"Well we can't throw a live prisoner into an airlock can we? Better check before you throw."
Then Draco started dragging the body out of the room, out of the corridor from which he entered and went to the nearest airlock. He shoved the dead body inside, the dead body having considerable weight although it was dead. Once he shut the door, Bubbles gave commands to the console and in a few moments Timor Landi the spy was ejected off the airlock and went hurtling like a rock in space...
"Alright lets head back to the Command right away. They'll want to know what happened. Besides we'll get more information there than here." said Miri.
Rian guided the Priest over to a set of comfortable looking couches before turning to a near bar. Raising a bottle filled with an amber-tinged liquid the Quaestor continued: “Want one, too?”
Without waiting for a reply, Rian filled two glasses with the aromatic scented liquor before applying a tiny cap to one of them. Within the blink of an eye the capsule containing a high concentrated neural toxin dissolved, blending in the liquor as it was never there.
Lokasena took the glass from Rian, measuring the liquor in the light, tasting the scent like his Quaestor has done just a couple seconds ago before he raised the glass to his lips. The Priest took a long swig and closed his eyes. The liquor felt smooth, yet smoky.
“You’ve got quite a good taste, Rian,” Sena admitted. “But this isn’t a social call. Now tell me what is going on here – truly.”
“Not much to say. We won, we lost.” Rian said with a shrug toward the Priest. “The Iron Throne thought it would be an easy task to conquer the One Sith, but as you can see...”
“I said don’t play with me, Rian!” Sena instantly was on his feet, threatening his counterpart with his imposing figure – or at least he wanted to, but somehow his world felt different, tottering and as fast as he was up, he found himself back again on the couch, his vision starting to blur out.
Peering through his blurry eyes he saw Rian rising from his couch, his form and voice transforming into someone he has never seen before. “Things are about to change for your kind soon.” The man/woman/being said turning his attention from the Priest back to the datapad he had placed in his pocket in the mean time. It read: Copy in progress ~100%
“Well then, Priest, I got to leave you now, and don’t bother your state isn’t permanently, it will last only long enough to allow me to leave the ship as you.”
The Shapeshifter breathed in deeply and then changed into the form of the Priest, saluting at him before leaving the room. Outside the cabin he raised his comlink to his mouth. “Hangar Team, do you copy.” – No response.
“I repeat, hangar team do you copy.” – Again no response
Kriffin’ bunch of lazy asses, if you don’t do anything on your own. Which way was the hangar again?
Picking a direction at random he almost ran into a pale skinned man, sporting silver hair and robes of a Dark Jedi Associated with Taldryan who was talking with someone via his comlink.
“Hey you, can you tell me which direction the hangar is? I got special orders from the Quaestor that requires me to leave the ship.”
“Yes. Yes .Yes. I know that. Yes. Neesa, can you stand by for a moment?” Kazmir’s head bobbed up and down as if he was having a face-to-face conversation with the Watcher instead of over his comlink. His mind then focused on the man he nearly passed by.
“Hey you, can you tell me which direction the hangar is? I got special orders from the Quaestor that require me to leave the ship.”
The overly jovial manner at which Sena spoke rang an alarm in the Echani’s mind. The Krath was known to be serious to the point of being on edge. Not to mention that he had seemingly forgotten the layout of a ship that the majority of the Dark Jedi forces had been travelling on for the better part of a whole year.
“Fine then, the hangar is just where it has always been, take the elevator down 2 floors, go straight then take the first left then go straight in a long hallway until you see a console, then open the first door on your right.” The Battlemaster directed his teammate.
“Thank you for reminding me. I’ll be on my way.” With the conversation over, Sena sped off.
The changeling followed Kaz’s directions. As he exited the elevator, klaxons and alarms blared, the loud speakers on the flagship bellowed.
“THERE’S A CHANGELING ON THE FLAGSHIP! NO SPACESHIPS ARE AUTHORIZED FOR TAKE OFF!”
The Changeling panicked. His cover, his perfect plan has just been blown up.
No, this wasn’t the end, he still had some aces in his arm and as long as he had those he would be able to fulfill his duty and provide these files to his master. But how should he get off the ship? There was only one way left, the escape pods!
The Changeling rushed down the hallway, searching for the escape pods. Just as he got half way through the corridor, the doors to his left slid-open, revealing two more Dark Jedi.
“Sen-,” Nero said surprised, his gaze fixed on the strange weapon that appeared seemingly out of the nowhere in the Changeling's hand.
“Nero, that isn’t Sena.” Talon said, his lightsaber instantly filling his grasp, as did those of the two Journeymen.
A concussive wave of energy bursted from the device as the changeling triggered it; causing all electronic equipment in the vicinity to overcharge. The blast was powerful enough to temporarily shut down Talon’s saber, which caught both himself and his apprentice off-guard. Something the Changeling swiftly took to his advantage, knocking both Dark Jedi out
cold with pinpoint strikes to their necks.
As it rushed further along the corridor, noticing the console the silver haired mongrel told him about, he abruptly fell flat on his back. Dazed from some form of impact, his eyes regained their focus as they settled on a man in a suit of armor.
“Oh sorry, I guess I should be more careful.” Sena said while letting out a jittery laugh.
Without warning, the man ignited his saber; it’s green blade shrieking to life before settling on a hum filled with bloodlust. The Changeling’s eyes widened as he mashed in the button on his disruptor, but no energy pulse followed. Apparently the device only packed enough charge for a single use. Retden’s face set itself into a haunting smirk as he recognized what was in the changeling’s hand, and then promptly proceeded to sink his emerald blade through its supposed heart.
The changeling let out a violent shudder, its weapon dropping harmlessly to the ground, emerald death impaling it. Retden deactivated his blade, his smirk still wide across his face, and the creature slumped helplessly to the ground. The changeling’s features immediately shifted from that of the familiar Lokasena to an awkward looking creature with pale white skin and deep, heavy-set eyes. Its mouth was twisted in pain, and it said nothing as Retden felt the last of its lifeforce leave its body.
The Jedi Hunter glanced down the corridor and noticed his compatriots unconscious on the floor, though he could tell they were still alive. His attention returned to the deceased slave and he knelt down, reaching into the pockets of the uniform the creature was wearing. There’s got to be some indication of who this guy was, Retden thought to himself.
Finding nothing but the stolen datapad, Retden pulled out his commlink. “Intruder taken care of,” he reported in.
Rian’s familiar voice rang back, “And?”
Retden’s smirk finally faded. “Nothing new. Just the datapad he stole. He took out Nero and Tally first. They’re alive, but…”
“No, Retden. Is he alive? We needed him alive.”
“No. An opening presented itself.”
Rian’s disappointment was audible, even through the commlink. “Very well. Report to the medbay with his body; I will meet you there. Immediately afterwards, prep for deployment. It’s about time we put this spy nonsense behind us and see to the One Sith.”
Retden frowned, hoping he hadn’t offended his Quaestor overly much. He glanced down at the dead body, then easily threw the alien over his shoulder. He remembered the astonished look on the face of the shapeshifter moments before his death, and this brought a smile to his face as he trudged off to the medbay, dead spy in tow. He hoped this would be but the first of the One Sith to taste his blade today; there would be many more, this he knew.