Tarentum Special Forces 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.
Maxamillian Von Oberst, Frosty Romanae, Altheseus Levathan, Hades, Scion Altera, Ernordeth Puer-Irae, Saronyx, and Aventine had been chosen to become part of a Special Forces team, doing what they can to aid Tarentum. The eight of them sat uncomfortably in a Delta-class JV-7 escort shuttle, talking amongst each other about the mission. They orbited Ashas Ree above the One Sith’s fleet and gathered as much information about the planet as they could. It took a while, but they finally found what they were looking for: the Temple of the Sith Lord Garu.
Scion spoke up. “Alright, everyone. Our mission is to make sure the Temple is safe for entry. It will be shrouded by the Dark Side. After we have confirmed its safety, we will call in the rest of Tarentum and scout the area as we wait for them. Does anyone have any questions?”
Saronyx raised her hand. “Why was I chosen to be here?”
Scion chuckled. “I know what you’re capable of. You can get just about anywhere. If we need you to enter the Temple to make sure it’s safe, you’re going to do it. Understood?”
“Yes, sir,” Saronyx replied with a nod but doubted her worth to Tarentum.
“Excellent. Any more questions?”
Everyone else was silent. Aventine was nervous, being the newest Tarenti on this mission. Scion and Hades looked at each other, telepathically speaking to one another. Oberst was focused on the task at hand. Levathan hummed a tune to himself, confident that he left the remainder of Battle Team Jen Kaari in the hands of Archean Erinos. Ernordeth was proud to be able to serve and to set an excellent example for the House. Frosty thought of his brother, Dox, who was waiting for orders aboard the Magnus Kaerner. Saronyx remained doubtful of her own abilities.
All of a sudden, there was a crash. The ship rocked violently. The ship captain’s voice was heard. “Sirs and madam, the right wing has been hit with a missile. We're not making it back to the fleet! I need to set her down!”
Ernordeth Puer-Irae had been reflecting inwardly when he felt the ship’s convulsions from the missile strike. Ernordeth scolded himself for allowing his mind to wander off so distantly without being aware of his surroundings. His skin instantly warmed as his blood jolted to his skin, as his senses snapped back, like elastic, into action. Jrep Roeo, the name floated to the top of his mind. Ernordeth recalled a section in the mission dossier revealing that Jrep Roeo had been a former New Republic captain who always seemed to be playing good cop, bad cop with no partner to fill the good cop’s shoes. “I’m sure Jrep Roeo and his flotilla are responsible for this.”
Ernordeth looked at each member reading the expressions of each Special Forces member’s faces while their gaze was turned to him revealing his theory and who his finger was pointing to. Most of the group seemed alert, yet collected, as they had years of experience and had long left the “juvenile” days of being a Journeyman behind. Saronyx’s purple mouth remained composed as she tried to hold her mask in place. However, her eyes were wide and the tendrils upon her head swayed ever so slightly from a mostly unnoticeable nervous twitch. Aventine, being the newest to the House, was the most aesthetically nervous with a look of fear plastered on his face and his hand hovering above his favored hand cannon. Ernordeth shook his head no towards Aventine, as his hand returned to his side. “Brothers and Sisters of Tarentum, do not be afraid. We stand here today united and nothing will stand in our way of success. Any fear you are feeling must be twisted into fuel driving you forward with all of us.”
Ernordeth looked towards Scion for his advice now. Not only is Scion his superior and friend, but he was once the Wing Commander of Wing VI of the TIE Corps. The ship groaned as it continued on its crash course through the atmosphere of Ashas Ree. It was too late to make any adjustments. Scion spoke to the group “Tarenti, all of you should brace yourselves for impact and reach out with the Force. Once we’re planet side, we’ll need to leave the wreckage behind with as little of a trail as possible. We don’t want any One Sith operatives to track us down.”
It’s impossible not to see the white polar ice caps and green blend together out of the bridge window as the shuttle speeds to towards Ashas Ree. Flashes of the past months flutter in Ernordeth’s mind in the fleeting seconds between the atmosphere and surface of the lush savanna that awaited them. Glimpses of new, fresh faces and elder embraces within the walls of Castle Tarentum are the first images his mind shows. We’ve worked ourselves and began rebuilding our House. I won’t allow anything to get in our way; Tarentum will always be. Our growing flame is about to start a fire and the Iron Throne will begin to see how formidable we have become, once again thinks Ernordeth.
As the escort shuttle dug itself into Ashas Ree’s surface the crew stumbled around in an attempt to maintain their footing. “Let’s go. Now!” Scion exclaimed to his group. Tarentum’s Special Forces’ strode out of the ship attempting to put distance between them and the wrecked Delta-class JV-7 escort shuttle…
As most of the team attempted to get their gear together after the crash, Sith Battlemaster Hades just sighed. He looked over towards Scion, who caught his glance.
"What?" Scion asked while he continued to help others to first get their bearings and then their gear.
"How many times in the past few years have we been in this exact same position?" Hades said as he calmly stood and picked up his pack, checking it over before slinging it over his shoulder.
"What, the shuttle?" Scion said as he grabbed his own pack and stepped towards his friend.
"I swear, we either need better shuttle pilots or we take a Corvette down next time. I mean we were TIE Pilots and I've been shot down so many more times in a shuttle going to some forsaken planet than I could ever have being in a TIE." Hades smirked a bit as Scion laughed. "I hear ya. Now get your crap and get off this ship." Scion ordered.
Hades nodded then went towards the bridge of the shuttle. "Give me a minute."
"It's your ass. But we are leaving in 60 seconds." Scion said as he followed the rest of the team out the emergency hatch.
Hades pried open the door to the shuttle and confirmed that the pilots were dead. He then moved towards the sensors panel which was, to his astonishment, still active. Pulling out his datapad he connected the device to the sensors of the shuttle. After a few seconds he was able to link his datapad to the sensor panel, letting him know anything that the ship's sensors pick up within 50 miles. Granted they weren't extremely sensitive, but they would pick up ships and personnel boarding the shuttle, which is all he wanted. Grabbing one of his trusty thermal detonators he rigged a makeshift booby-trap for whomever wanted to find out where they were going. Placing the thermal detonator against the control panel and gently leaning one of the pilot's body forward to hold the pressure switch in place of the powerful ball of fun. Making sure he was not going to blow himself up, he checked his work and exited the ship, grabbing the pilot's emergency rations and hold out blasters as he did so. He caught up with Scion and the others fairly quickly.
"Satisfy your morbid curiosity?" Scion asked as he was marching the group in a straight line (to avoid any guessing how many people are in the team, if Sand People can be that smart so can Dark Jedi).
Hades grinned, then began to explain what he had done to the sensors.
"Wow, good thinking. Show Oberst." Scion said before catching himself. "Never mind, I will. Great job though."
"My pleasure. Any idea where the heck you are going?" Hades said.
"To the temple!" Lev said matter-of-factly, obviously overhearing the entire conversation. Hades rolled his eyes and smiled at Scion.
"Yep. Going to be a fun time." Hades said as he took a swig from his flask.
Around them was a plain of waist high, dry, brown grass dotted sparsely with trees, which were neither large nor small. The scene was uniform; the grass covered, rolling hills blended into one another right up to the horizon, allowing clear line of sight for miles around, with the light from the Ashas Ree star shining brightly down on everything. The only distinguishing landmark; their crashed Delta 7 and the furrow it ploughed through the ground.
A soft, warm breeze blew through the tall grass, rustling it in a pleasant, dry ambiance of sound. It was pleasant, if they were not on an unfamiliar world during a time of war, Levathan would be tempted to simply lay back and let time pass by with contentment.
However such were dreams of another time, Levathan shouldered a heavy PLX-4 missile launcher he had found, and fell back into line following the others along. Oberst was leading the group through the grass towards something his extended senses had found of interest, his hulking form flattening down a path for Scion, who was discussing something on a datapad. Followed by Hades giving occasional input which Levathan could catch a few words here and there. Next was Saronyx; following the crash, she and Aventine seemed somewhat dazed, but pulled themselves together quickly enough to impress. The androgynous human following the twi’lek certainly had a promising mind, as well as a quick wit to match, as the two were already stirring up banter between them. Levathan simply followed behind Frosty, whom was himself relaxed as seemed to be casually strolling along. Levathan’s mind seemed to wander as always in these situations, he stared at the blue sky, allowing the warm breeze and pleasant atmosphere to permeate him.
“What’s that?” Saronyx said curiously, stopping mid-banter and looking at the sky.
“What’s what?” replied Aventine, now looking at the sky as well.
Rather suddenly, the leading group stopped and became more alert, causing the twi’lek and Aventine to stop just as suddenly. Levathan almost walked right into the young human as his mind returned to where it was supposed to be.
“That!” exclaimed Saronyx, now pointing at a faint, black dot high up above them.
Squinting at the dot and shading his eyes from the bright light, Levathan saw the dot become larger the longer he stared at it. Finally resolving into three dots, he heard the faint, high pitched whine of starfighter engines.
“Everyone spread out and get down! “ Shouted Scion, as he recognized what was coming.
The knight got down on one knee and readied the PLX-4, thanking Oberst’s seeming paranoia at packing such a heavy weapon as well as having it loaded with the special “Savant” evasive guided missiles. (The missile would fire and imitate a dumb fire rocket before activating its guidance system and home in on its set target.)
Looking through the optical sights, he settled on the three incoming Starfighters, and waited for them to come into range. He could now see the distinctive silhouettes of an X-wing and two TIE-type fighters. Levathan could see flashes of red and green as the fighters opened fire, still outside launcher range. He gripped the launcher tighter and calmed his nerves, knowing that the lasers weren’t as accurate in atmosphere at that range. The heavy impacts from the laser cannons, the smell of the ionization, the burning of the grass and the vibration of the ground growing as their shots became more and more accurate. Now in range at 10km, a tone sounded, signifying target acquisition as the reticule turned red. Still he waited, he has four missiles and three targets but he couldn’t risk missing. 8km, he could now feel the heat of the blasts and the dirt rain on him as the shots tore up the ground, gritting his teeth, he waited. 6km, he felt sure now, they were coming right at him, front quarter shots were tricky, but he knew he wouldn’t miss at this range. Squeezing the trigger slightly, taking up the first pressure and preparing to take the recoil, now taking the second and last pressure to fire-
Both TIEs suddenly split off strangely to either side; strangely because they had moved sideways through the air and out of the view of his scope. A second later, the X-wing simply dropped out of the sky, as it suddenly and very sharply nosed towards the ground, also dropping out of Levathan’s scope.
Standing and relaxing the launcher, he could see a rain of debris falling from the two TIEs, their wings had been pulled off and the remaining pieces, cockpit and all, were allowed to fall to the ground. Then an explosive flash, followed by a concussion wave and of air and sound hurtled towards them, flattening the tall grass as the X-wing slammed into the ground, its armed weapons detonating instantly. Saronyx and Aventine now stood, surprise and a little confusion on their faces as they looked at pillar of smoke 5km away.
“Wow, he must have armed a torpedo or something,” Remarked Hades, letting his arms fall to his side.
“Sorry to take your fun Lev, but we might need those missiles,” said Frosty as he walked up to the knight, “next one’s yours, promise.”
“Effective range on a PLX-4 with Savant missiles is 10km; you forgot that the target was moving towards you at the same time, decreasing its relativistic range, don’t make that mistake again. Next time I might not be here to drop an X-Wing for you,” said Oberst plainly as he rejoined the group.
Shouldering the launcher again as Scion dusted himself off and approached, Levathan was about to reply as a beam of light slammed into the ground about 2km away, followed by several others.
The look on everyone’s faces was enough to realize they all knew what was happening; the One Sith wanted them bad enough to try to shoot them from orbit.
A low rumble crawled across the plains, following the bright flash of the orbital laser blast. The Dark Jedi could all feel it deep in their chests.
"Everybody pair up and spread out!" Scion's voice cut through the rumble of another, still closer blast. "Stay low, use your cover! Don't attract attention! Don't get shot! Go! Go Now!"
The team split off in pairs, each pair heading in a different direction.
"Let's find some cover and signal the Magnus Kaerner and try to even the odds." Hades didn't speak; his voice simply echoed in Scion's mind. The two men were sprinting in more or less the same direction as Oberst had indicated, but neither man could sense it himself.
A shockwave rumbled from behind them. The orbital turbolaser had zeroed in on where the entire group had been standing a short while before.
Finding cover was easier said than done. Ashas Ree seemed to be waist high grass as far as the eye could see, in every direction. Scion began to realize that running was futile. As he slowed to a stop, Hades did as well.
"How're you doing?" Hades asked out loud.
Scion's image shimmered, then faded out of view. In his place, smoke poured seemingly out of nowhere and coalesced into the form of a man. It only took Hades a moment to take his friend's hint and do the same. The two Tarenti smoke demons loped off through the grass while the very light bent around their masters, rendering them nearly invisible to optical scans.
"Never better," muttered Scion. In truth, his left knee throbbed from his old injury. Running had never been his strong suit after recovering from it. It wasn't enough to hold him back yet, but he knew it could quickly get much worse if they had to keep running.
Hades activated his comm, his arm shimmering briefly into view as he moved. After a brief conversation and a few expletives it became clear that help would have to wait: the Tarenti fleet was engaging the One Sith fleet but had encountered a minefield at their flank. They would have to traverse across the entire enemy fleet to engage the ships that were bombarding the planet. The on-duty commander assured them the battle was progressing as planned, but it would be at least another hour before the bombardment could be stopped.
In the distance, a turbolaser blast struck the two smoke demons. He released his demon when he saw the flash, allowing it to simply dissipate into the air. Let the enemy think they had killed one of his team.
"So, what's plan B?" Hades asked.
Aventine pulled Saronyx with him, and the two ran at a 90-degree angle from Scion and Hades. Saronyx and Aventine were clueless as to where they were going; they were ordered just to run and find cover. And don't get shot.
"What are we going to do?" Aventine was nervous, at the least. "There's nothing around here except grass."
The grass... Saronyx fell to the ground as if she tripped, completely covered by the tall grass. Aventine looked around for her before being pulled into the grass himself. Saronyx had her hands above her head. "I was told that if I'm ever being shot at, I should get to the ground and my hands should protect my head. This is only temporary; we need to find a better hiding spot."
Aventine chuckled. “You can’t be a good little spy if you can’t follow your master’s teachings, right?”
A smile played on Saronyx’s face. “I remember my teachers’ stories. Each teacher had been saved because they got down and covered their heads.”
What worked for some won’t work for others, however, as the duo soon learned. A turbolaser hit the ground near their heads, missing them by mere inches. Saronyx yelped and moved backward.
“New plan: we crawl as fast as we can until they stop shooting or we find better cover.” Saronyx stood on all fours as she spoke.
Aventine got on all fours and nodded; the two crawled in the direction they were going before. Still hidden by the tall, dry grass, the duo crawled as fast as they could until Saronyx saw something shiny on the ground. They made their way to the shiny object and soon were able to see what it was. A One Sith agent had dropped a comlink. Saronyx and Aventine stopped where the comlink was so as not to lose it. The young Twi’lek called out through the Force.
“Hey, Scion! I found something!”
Hades looked around at the grasslands all around him and silently cursed this planet. Give me a stupid tree! Come on! He silently screamed to himself. He heard another member call out to Scion that they had found something. Scion touched his shoulder and Hades nodded, knowing his friend was moving over to the others while screaming to everyone else. "Keep moving!" he shouted right on time.
Hades began to crawl in their original direction before remembering his datapad. He pulled it out as quickly as his Danthomiri hands could. The connection was still active with the shuttle. Which meant no one has bothered to search the shuttle. Which also meant his little surprise has been left undiscovered, fortunately. Though right now, that didn't matter. He pulled up the sensors he had connected from the ship earlier and he tried to boost the signal even just a bit. After a few seconds he seen he was successful. Scanning the surrounding area ahead he found what he was looking for. A shrub forest. Something they can get in and hide. And whatever wildlife might also be in there will help mask their signatures. Memorizing the bearings he risked standing to shout to the group as he began to make off towards the shrub forest.
"Move this way! Shrub forest just over a mile away. We have to move people! Go go go!"Hades screamed at the top of his lungs as he also projected his plan and direction through the Force. As him and a few of the more brave members of the group began to ran he had a flashback to the time he was in command of a corvette for the Reconnaissance Office for the Emperor's Hammer. While his ship was heavily modified, it still had the standard orbital sensors for bombardment based on optical imaging with a weak thermal imaging backup that is easily confused by heat. That small revelation gave him quite an idea. He grabbed his blaster from it's holster and began firing into the grassland indiscriminately. Most of the shots began a small fire upon impact as he ran past. As the more fires were started the more the bombardment started to move in his direction as the smoke began to grow and cover the rest of the group. Unfortunately he was not covered by the smoke. As the gunners adjusted their fire, Hades peeled off from the main group assured the rest knew where they should be running. The gunners tried to anticipate his path as Hades ran, but he would always change directions in a random pattern, but always heading towards the general direction of the shrub forest.
As Hades continued to run, he relied heavily on the force for both strength and hope. The strength because he was not a teenager anymore and he was getting tired. The hope was because this was probably the most idiotic thing he has ever done (and that's saying something) and he can only hope he will be drinking an ale later and laughing about it.
The purple twi'lek and her friend (Aventine, was it?) crouched low in the grass, but Scion could see something in her hand flashing in the sunlight. As Hades dashed off and attempted to draw fire from the orbiting fleet, Scion ran toward the pair. It felt like a fire was burning inside his knee by now, but he put it out of his mind.
"What is it, Saro?"
"I found this commlink," she replied excitedly. "It's not one of ours!"
The commlink was a small, cylindrical device with a metal cover and was polished to a high shine. A loop on the end was supposed to allow it to be fastened to the uniform, but the metal had been broken and apparently the device had fallen off, unnoticed. The casing was badly dented.
"Good find, Saronyx, but now you two need to run. Follow Hades to the trees, but don't get close to him until you're out of the open."
The twi'lek hesitated.
"You're not coming?"
Scion shook his head no.
A turbolaser blast crashed to the ground several meters away. The shockwave threw all three Tarenti to the ground, showering them in stinging shards of dirt and stone particles. The roar left Scion's ears ringing, and a high-velocity stone fragment had sliced a gash in his forehead from his temple to above his right ear. It didn't hurt, but a disconcerting quantity of blood was already beginning to seep down through his eyebrow and into his eye. Saronyx reached instinctively to wipe his face, but caught herself short. She glanced at Aventine and the two sprinted off in the direction that Hades had taken.
Scion knew time was short before the next blast would have him zeroed. He knew it was crazy to be trying to find signs of tracks under such pressure and time constraint, but he had to try. Any normal tracks would have been obliterated by the blast just now, so the Sith reached out with his thoughts, focusing on the commlink. Images flashed through his mind, disjointed and confused.
A scene began to coalesce in the Quaestor's thoughts. The commlink falling into the dirt. A gray-armored figure on a speeder heading toward some trees. The same figure falling from some height. Scion's eyes snapped open, and suddenly he understood: the owner of this commlink was in the shrub forest Hades, Saronyx and Aventine were running towards.
Scion ran after them. As he did so, another turbolaser blast annihilated the patch of grass where he had just been standing and left it nothing but a blazing ruin.
Red beams of charged death came down from the sky like rain now, obliterating anything it fell upon so fast and with such force, that all that remained after impact, was a shallow crater lined with black, cracked glass and the stinging smell of ozone.
Oberst knew exactly how this would end, he had seen and ordered the like before; they would either all die trying to save each other, or only the fastest and strongest would survive, as only running the full mile with Force assisted legs would ensure survival, the rest would be vaporized.
“No more,” the hulking Obelisk Elder whispered.
He had had enough of losing Tarenti; reaching out to the minds of all the members of the team, he gave out his orders, ensuring no chance at questions or delays. Hades’ actions gave him everything he needed.
Blackness; he couldn’t see anything, his head felt like it was stuffed with wool and his chest felt tight; it was heard to breathe. Yet it was comfortable, he knew his body was in a position that should be uncomfortable, yet there was no discomfort, as long as he didn’t move. If he moved, he knew he would have to return to the world of the living, to a world that was causing concussion waves to run through his bed. He was tired.
Fortunately, Levathan didn’t really have a choice in the matter. As Oberst’s telepathic command resonated through his skull, his eyes snapped open and he sprang forward, running at full sprint in a direction that was decided for him. His legs hurt, the right side of his torso creaked with every breath and his right arm felt numb and tingled at the same time, however by a silent command that would have overrode his will had he not complied, he ran. There was little thought, and only a little pain that managed to seep through the haze of adrenaline and the Force the knight was now swimming in. Pulling his lightsaber from his belt with his left hand, he ignited it and dug the point into the ground, still running, vaguely aware that he was now leaving a trail smoldering grass in his wake.
Finally coming to his senses, Levathan had the presence of mind to maintain the Force flowing through his nerves, numbing his injuries. He didn’t know how long he had run for, however he assumed it must have been for a long time, as the sky was now darkening, as though the day was now entering twilight. Slowly coming to a stop and extinguishing his lightsaber, he could still hear the concussive impacts of the orbital bombardment behind him, yet it now seemed erratic, coming in quick bursts, but more spread out. Turning around and looking up, he finally understood why this was the case; the sky was grey, the now blazing trail he had left was now expanding out, like the wake of a craft passing through water, slowly coming to overtake him in flames. However from that inferno, grey smoke billowed up and flattened out above his head, rolling and boiling as though it struck a ceiling. Levathan was awed; he could feel the living Force around him, holding that smoke. The air was almost palpable with it. Levathan would have loved to observe this more; however a feeling of urgency had been slowly welling up within him. Deciding he had to move, he now started a slow run back and to an angle of the trail he had left, in a direction that felt right, back towards a deeper smoke cover.
Just a few minutes since starting his trot, the sky had darkened further while the air had heated up significantly. Where previously it was possible to catch brief glimpses of the blue sky; now it was completely occluded, with more and more light coming solely from the orange flames that now surrounded him on all sides, except his path forward. It was getting hard to breathe, the heat was bad enough, however with the fire almost pursuing, he was now inhaling some smoke as well, and to make matters worse, the ceiling of smoke had also been steadily descending as more of the grassland burned. Using the Force to further augment his body, Levathan was now more in control of his breathing, taking less breaths but maintaining his body’s functions, as he loped through a flame lit and crackling world. He was unable to stop or slow, for a certainty that the flames would consume him, so to take his mind of the worsening pain from his ribs, he started a mental survey of the now hellish landscape.
Ahead of him, was a corridor of long grass, still untouched, but now casting sharp shadows all around each blade from the multiple sources of light. The sky was now black; the air ahead of him was starting to become hazy as the smoke descended further. With the only source of light coming from the ever growing and ever closing flames around him, it was almost as if the sooty air started to glow, as it refracted the light from the fires. The only sounds he could hear were of the tremendous crackle and popping of burning grass and his own, deliberate breathing; the concussions from the raining turbolaser blasts, having ceased, unnoticed some time ago. Particularly bright spots appeared from time to time, which Levathan could sometimes make out as the flame cloaked forms of trees, like white beacons in a sea of flame and smoke.
The pale knight had unconsciously quickened his pace and was now at a full run, holding the sleeve of his sweat drenched robe against his nose and mouth, in an attempt to filter some of the, now smoky air. Yet there was naught he could do, but move ever forward, even as he could feel the steam coming off his robes.
Frosty kept running strafing left and right. Each step was firmly implanted into the ground. As his feet thumped against the ground, he noticed his claws were perfect for this terrain. His black cloak hovered against the tall grass as he moved swiftly, ground strikes booming in his back. From above the Dashade seemed like a shadow sweeping the planes.
He was on the far right flank of the scattered group. The closest to him was his Aedile, Ernordeth. Frosty took a look at his team mates. Each had troubles of his own. Fire was starting to chase them from the back. It was a one way trip in Frosty’s mind even though the destination might not be the same for all.
His thought process was interrupted by two large blasts. He was caught in between the fire rounds as they hit the ground. Too quick for Frosty to respond he found himself falling down as the ground in front of him started crumbling beneath his feet.
Frosty blacked out and found himself under stone rubble. A loud noised echoed through his head. Pain followed like nail stab through his skull. As he regained his senses the Obelisk tried to free himself. As soon as his right hand was free he touched the back of his head only to discover a cut on his skin. Relieved he started pushing the debris off him. His veins started popping from the effort as he pushed the biggest rock of him.
He looked around him to what seemed to be a corridor of some sort. Light fell from the opening hole above illuminating the dark green stone that the walls were made off.
With a limited connection to the Force, Frosty was isolated and was wondering if at least Ernordeth saw him go down.
“Son of a Sith! Not Frosty…” Ernordeth Puer-Irae said as he sprang towards the hole the Tarentae had found himself in. With his red, Sith herculean body of muscle bound brawn, the Aedile began shoveling rocks away with his bare hands, calling upon the Force to enhance his strength. He didn’t need much help, but the faster these rocks were off of Frosty, the less damage would be done to his body.
With the rubble scattered to both sides of the Tarentae and Aedile duo, Ernordeth hoisted the Dashade to his reptilian human-like feet. Ernordeth began to feel swift stabs of pain as his body temperature elevated in this subtropical climate. The crimson hued humanoid had been frozen when he was only 12 standard years old in a cryogenic hibernation capsule. This led to an unfortunate impediment; whenever he exerted himself at a high level of activity for too long or was in an extremely warm climate he felt pain and his lungs began slow, nearly failing.
Frosty Tarentae was aware of his House leader’s condition and started moving his plan into action. As a Dashade, he could dissipate heat. He’d never tried to use this with anyone else and usually just used this to avoid life detection sensors. Luckily Tarentum’s Special Forces on Ashas Ree stayed strong as Frosty’s heat dissipation helped the Aedile return to a more natural internal body temperature.
“Thanks Frosty. I guess neither of us would be in such good shape without the other.” Ernordeth chuckled.
“This is true. Neither of us will have any life debts today.” the Dashade spoke.
The light of a raging tempest of fire shone through cracks of the green, black walls. Frosty and the Child of the Wrath used their strength, pushing with the Force, opening a hole in the wall, crumbling on top of a One Sith agent.
The other Special Forces members had finally evaded their pursuers and grouped together in the trees. “We’re near the temple now. Let’s get this over with.” Scion watched as the other five nodded in agreement.
The duo sent a distress call through the established connection with the Marshal and the Tarenti saw to their left was a group of One Sith agents glaring at the Dashade and Sith-like humanoid. The group sprang towards them as lightsabers hummed to life…
Frosty took a split second to look at the two One Sith agents. From what he could tell one was a human and one was a twi’lek. They were both covered in black and red tattoos. `
Frosty grinned at the incoming enemies as he gripped his saber with both his hands. Ernordeth took his fighting stance also.
The groups clashed saber on saber. Frosty pushed his opponent back with all his power than tried a swing at the other enemy that was busy with Ernordeth. But the human, whom seemed the older and more experience fighter, parried saving his comrade in the nick of the time.
Frosty replied with a flurry of left and right attacks each time not finding its target. The Dashade’s opponent was skilled but he was no match for Frosty’s strength. With each attack Frosty put more power into his blows. The One Sith was stepping back, retreating. Frosty felt the opportune moment and dived in with a vertical blow but the human felt the attack coming, aided by the force. He backfliped into the air quite high, letting Frosty have the time to look back and see his Aedile situation.
He was fighting the twi’lek with ferocity. Frosty drew one of the vibroknives from his belt and threw it at the One Sith hitting him in the back. His body shook in shock as his gasped for air. Ernordeth seized the moment and impaled him with his saber.
“Frosty look out“, yelled the Sith.
The Dashade turned back and instinctively parried with the hand he used to throw the knife. Horror engulfed his eye as he saw the One Sith cutting his left hand off at the middle of his forearm.
He fell to ground and watch the human preparing to give the Dashade his final blow. Frosty was ready to meet the gods of Urkupp but the human wasn’t. He eyes were fixed and his body motionless. He dropped his saber from his hands, disengaging as it hit the ground.
In his pain, Frosty didn’t hear Hades firing his blaster at the One Sith.
Hades pumped a few more rounds into that little son of a wamp rat just to be sure. He was laying on his stomach above the two peering over the edge of the opening. His face was dirty but the bright, evil smile was always present.
"Nice place you got here. Do you have room for a few more? This is a lot better than that forest up ahead. " Hade said as he pulled out his comlink. The fire and the heavy smoke hung low overhead, obscuring him from view of that damn Corvette's optics.
"Scion, Frosty found a cave system. They already have taken down two One Sith agents. Gather the rest of the team and get over here." Hades heard a short reply before dropping himself down into the hole. He looked towards the AED, "Can you help the others when they get here? Ill tend to Frosty."
"Sure thing." Ernordeth said as he moved towards the first member of the team peering over the large hole. Hades then moved over to Frosty as he grabbed a trauma field bandage from his kit. He then applied the dressing and tied it off before making a sling for the wounded Tarente to cradle his arm in. He then applied a local pain sedative to the lower arm.
"That should do it Lefty." Hades said with a smirk.
"That's not funny."Frosty said with a frown. Hades stood and stretched out his left hand.
" 'Oh, hey! Let me catch a lightsaber!'" Ernordeth turned away from the elder two to avoid smiling in their direction.
"Shut up!"Frosty said, this time a little bit light hearted. By this time the entire Special Forces team was down in the cave system.
"Okay, Hades you are on point. Lev, you take rear guard. Ernordeth, stay with Frosty and the rest of you square yourself away and get moving. "Scion ordered once he was down and checked on his team.
"Rodger that." Hades said as he grabbed his lightsaber in one hand and his blaster in the other. He moved on ahead of the team in the direction the One Sith appeared. What they did not know was how far this tunnel system went, but as they marched forward, signs of the One Sith increased with Hades and even Saroynx taking out a few sentries along the way.
Several hours later, the group appeared before a black archway. As the team approached, the Dark Side of the force was heavy upon each and every one of them. It was clear where they were.
"The Temple." Scion muttered to no one in particular.
The temple seemed enormous, but its true size was nearly impossible to tell from the dark, torch lit light that barely let the chamber. The power could be felt by everyone.
Surely the distance between me and the walls of this room should cause a great echo affect. Aventine thought and inhaled.
“Don’t even think about it.” Scion Altera and Maxiamillian von Oberst-Tarentae sternly whispered in unison.
“We don’t want to alert every One Sith agent here of our presence to have them flank us all at once.” Ernordeth Puer-Irae spoke in a hushed voice next to Frosty Tarentae’s recovering form.
“Well what’s the great plan now, Firebird?” Hades smugly asked as Saronyx smirked.
“Yeah, we found it, now what?” Altheseus Levathan asked concurring with Hades.
The QUA looked around trying to get a sense of direction of where to go. His eyes furrowed as he looked at the Marshal. “I feel the power, but it’s hard to pinpoint. You try and see if you have any luck.”
Oberst, being a Dark Side Adept, had the strongest connection to the Force out of all the Special Forces members. “I sense a powerful…weapon of some sorts. It’s in this direction; follow me.”
After what seemed like another hour they combing through the temple they arrived in a throne room. They surprisingly had not encountered any One Sith operatives during their trek.
“There. That’s what we've been looking for. Look at how intricate the design is…” Oberst marveled at the weapon they’d been searching for.
Decoratively displayed was Lord Garu’s Sith sword that had been forged by the hands of Tritos Nal.
Fearing their time was nearly up, the Special Forces of Tarentum claimed the sword. Oberst signaled for a pickup as everyone ran out of the temple. They boarded the Magnus Kaerner with grins and relief on their face. They had achieved their goal with no time to spare.
( Accidental post.)