The Obsidian Blade
Try to keep the groups balanced. Its ok if the story comes off a bit disjointed at first because of the several groups. Once finished, the story will be edited so that it makes more sense. Keep track of what your group is doing.
If you mostly play the flight sims, please do the space battle first and then go to the surface. A few people may join Donitz in the hovertanks.
Not everyone will get to kill a Jedi. I’m sorry, but there’s only so many to go around. Expect the Jedi to be skilled, as well. They too have access to the Force. Don't be worried about pushing your character a bit, but remember your limitations in terms of Force abilities.
You may “call” a post. Simply post very quickly “next post” or something similar. You should get your post up as quickly as possible after that. You’ll have no more than 6 hours to post before you get skipped over. Also, do not stack up “called posts.” Example: If I call a post, you should not call a post until after I have made my post. If you call a post, please use the edit feature.
Please do not jump way to far ahead in the story. Let's make it last a bit.
NEW Rule: Please give other people time to post. If you've posted within the last five posts or so, wait a bit longer to see if anyone else will call a post.
You must make at least 3 quality posts to be considered for 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place. A quality post is at least 1 page in MS word (12 pt font). Excessive bad grammar/spelling and miuse of Force powers will harm the quality of your posts.
Most important: Have fun
Over 4000 years ago, three brothers, wealthy beyond all but the most imaginative minds but their names lost to history, embraced the Dark Side. Seeking to make themselves into the greatest warriors ever, they sought out the famed sword maker Andarin Corin. They sought a sword more powerful than any that had been made before it and they agreed to pay any price Corin named. For three years, Corin toiled on the weapon, forsaking all of his other projects. The brothers waited, sometimes impatiently, for the weapon. Exactly three years after weapon was commissioned, Corin summoned the three brothers. There, he unveiled the weapon.
The entire blade was made of solid obsidian, sharpened to a razor’s edge. The blade was broad and it was laced with silver. The hilt was made of blood red gems, separated by more silver. The brothers were intrigued by the weapon, but as the eldest brother went to pay for the weapon, the youngest of the three brothers slew his two siblings with his own dagger. He then turned on the sword maker, killing him to avoid paying for the weapon. So much hatred had been woven into the blade, through mystical Force skills now long lost, that when the lone surviving brother reached to pick up the weapon, it burned his hand. He was forced to use the special gloves of the sword maker in order to carry the sword. The brother made his way back to his home where he kept the blade hidden, basking in its energy, but fearful of losing the blade in battle.
In time, the house of the murderous brother fell into ruin, but the blade was discovered by Sith archeologists. No one, not even the strongest of them, could wield the blade. The blade abruptly disappeared. Some claimed it had developed its own soul, capable of controlling weak minded apprentices to do its bidding. Legend and rumor became myth and The Obsidian Blade, also called the Bloodless Blade for never having shed blood, became the Holy Grail of many followers of the Dark Side. The blade, though, has never been found, nor has any trace of those who sought the sword ever been found.
Anshar sat in his chair, reading through the Obsidian Blade’s story. He had heard the whispers amongst the apprentices in the Shadow Academy who had read of the blade. Only two had claimed to go in search of it, and, of course, they had never been heard from again. But, now, on a distant moon just across the edge of known space, rumors of the blade had risen. Jedi, with the support of the New Republic, were scouring the tiny moon. An intercept of some transmissions had revealed the search for a major Force artifact, some of which hinted at the Obsidian Blade. Even if it was not the sword, if a major Force artifact was on the moon, the Jedi could not be allowed to have it. A small ping announced the arrival of Welshman to Anshar’s office.
“You called for me?” asked Welshman, bowing briefly. Most people would probably expect a more elaborate office, especially for the Consul of the clan that was the Brotherhood’s central trading point with the known galaxy. But, Anshar had only the desk and a few bookcases. The window provided an excellent view of the expansive surface of the ocean, making it perfect for watching the storms that occasionally rolled across the surface of Yridia II. Welshman had learned from working with Anshar that storm watching was a habit, perhaps even a hobby, of Anshar.
“You’ve read through the transmissions we intercepted, have you not?” asked Anshar. Welshman nodded. “Regardless of what this artifact is, I believe it is in the best interest of the clan to either claim it or to prevent the Jedi from getting it. We will need teams to go to the surface of the moon, as well as a small task force to deal with any enemy ships that we may encounter. Begin mobilizing the clan for the mission. We will brief them on the situation while we are en route.”
The clan members assembled around various communications stations on the ships. The Corsair was in the lead, with the Anubis, Havoc, and Necrosis formed up behind it. At each station, a holoprojection of the small moon was shown. Oberst’s voice came through. He carried out the briefing as the Marshall of Tarentum’s armies. “There are four points of interest on the clan’s surface that our scouts have identified. As near as we can tell, there are mixed forces of Jedi and New Republic infantry at each location.” Two gold dots appeared above the moon’s northern pole. Oberst continued: “These are the two New Republic vessels known to be operating in the area. One is a modified corvette and the other a Nebulon-B frigate. Our fleet will corner the ships and either capture them or destroy them. Most of those clan members who are pilots will aid in this part of the operation before descending to the planet surface. Each house will be responsible for two of the locations currently occupied by the Jedi and the New Republic forces. Gladius will take locations one and two.” Two red dots appeared on the moon indicating where Gladius’ teams would go. “Tridens will take locations three and four.” Two blue dots appeared, showing where the Tridens teams would go.
“Zekk and Archean will each lead a Tridens team,” continued Oberst. “Welshman and Frosty will each lead a Gladius team. Anshar and I will set up a central base on the surface for coordinating the mission. From there, those clan members who helped with the battle in space will be sent to reinforce the teams on the ground. Also, Donitz will have command of the new hovortanks. His objective will be to destroy the New Republic’s ground base.” A silver square appeared on the surface of the moon, roughly in the middle of all four search sites. "Until further data can be gathered, especially the strength of the Jedi, each team should proceed with reasonable caution. If you discover any information regarding the artifact, or the strength of the enemy, contact us immediately. At this time, we do not believe that the Jedi know the exact location of the artifact, but rather that the sites provide clues to the final location.” There was a brief pause. “Good luck and good hunting.”
Ylith sat in his room, looking at the lightsaber, which his wife used as a weapon when she was a light Jedi. He wanted to hold it, but knew he shouldn’t. The anger of not having one himself was boiling up inside of him, yet he didn’t show it to his fellow clansmen. Suddenly someone knocked on the door. The Obelisk rose from his seat and opened it.
”Archean, what a pleasant surprise.”
”I hope you’ve heard the rumors of the Obsidian Blade?” Archean began and he sat down on the bench inside Ylith’s quarters.
”I have heard of it, why do you ask?”
”Anshar is mobilizing the entire clan to go to a small moon outside known Galaxy borders, I think there is a connection between them. Tridens and Gladius will split up, so we wont be able to join forces like we used to..” Archean said with some sign of disappointment in his voice.
Ylith nodded and smiled slightly. “Well after all we’ve been trough with the Phoenix Crest, I am sure we can look out for ourselves.” The Hunter said smiling.
”Indeed brother, just come back in whole this time.” Archean said pointing at Ylith’s mechanical arm.
”Don’t worry, I’ll try to avoid tanks this time.” The Obelisk said with a smile and Archean returned it, bowed slightly and left the room, leaving a worried Ylith behind.
The next day Ylith reached the shuttles and met up with his Daemoni brethren.
”Well brothers, good day isn’t it?”
Tyren, CannabiS, Dox and Fenn looked up and greeted the new sergeant of Daemoni.
”What’s the plan Valheru?” Dox asked.
”We’ll be part of the main attack force, we’ll be going in first and be the front line, plus I have more missions of myself.”
”Doing something we shouldn’t eh?” Tyren asked grinning.
”If you look it that way, yes, I’ll just call it, advance scouting.”
Dox smiled and the Daemons grabbed their gear and headed for the armored shuttle, designed to land in the front line and can take punches from most anti air artillery.
Ylith glanced one more time to the Castle he called his home, hoping he will make it back in one piece. He looked at the red ribbon tied to his hand and when he reached the shuttle and closed his eyes, played back what happened this morning, forgetting the worries to come.
”Where will you be going Ylith?” Abigail asked the morning before he left. Ylith looked at her and said, “A small moon outside known galaxy, the New Republic is looking for something and we need to find out what it is.”
”Why must you go? Haven’t you done enough?” she asked,
”No, I have to, for the clan.” He said and she sat down next to him, holding him within her arms. She took out a red ribbon out of her hair and tied it to his hand.
”Never forget why you’re fighting, and never forget who will be waiting at home.”
Suddenly the obelisk awoke when the shuttle roared into Hyperspace, together with other ships to go to the front line first.
Sitting in the cockpit of one of Tarentum’s TIE Defenders Welshman hazarded a look around the Anubis’s cavernous hold. Only filled with two squadrons of starfighters the Escort Carrier was nearly empty with starfighters having more then enough room between them. It should make landing and taking off a bit easier mused Welshman as he looked at a lot of green pilots loping towards their fighters, X-wings, B-wings, TIE Interceptors hanging from their roof racks, a half squad of A-wings were nestled close to the door ready to thunder out into space upon reversion and engage any initial defenders and draw their attention away from the main launches. And there he was in the middle of them in a TIE Defender acquired from his ship the Creeping Death. His ship may not have been part of this assault so it had only been a small matter to rotate one extra fighter to the Carrier.
Looking around the cockpit Welshman quickly familiarised himself with the controls, a TIE Defender was as different to pilot from his SorroSub Preybird as a push bike was to a land speeder. Instead of having a stick like most other fighters did the TIE line had a kind of steering wheel reminiscent of a low power repulsor vehicles and a pair of knobs to handle altitude and pitch adjustments.
“Welshman, this is Merlance. Is your squadron ready?”
“All pilots are reporting in, we’ll be ready to kick some ass when we revert to real space. Talking of which how long will this hyperspace jump last?”
“It will be hours yet. “
“Fine, any tactical updates from Kessian or Oberst?”
“Only a rough estimate on starfighter numbers. They seem to have modified the Corvette and it’s carrying half a squad of fighters. That coupled with the two squads on the frigate gives you 30 fighters. That means even this ship is carrying almost twice as many fighters as they are, you shouldn’t have bothered bringing along your TIE you should have gone straight down to the surface.”
“Yeah well I thought I could use the practise. Will you be joining us out there?”
“Not sure, I’ll see how things go. Anyway I’m transmitting some sensor readings of their fighter patrol paths our scouts gathered. Enjoy, Merlance out.”
Looking at his comm. board Welsh saw a amber light began flickering as he saw the data streaming in. A quick button flick and the data began streaming straight into his visual goggles superimposing a hazy red orb over his “normal” vision. This orb was crisscrossed with faint blue contrails donating ion trails. To no surprise the main concentration of flights were over the zones of interest pinpointed by Oberst however some flights struck out from the planet and into intra-system space. The scanners didn’t have the resolution to pick out where these went so Welsh ignored them.
Switching off the feed from the comm. monitor Welshman jumped with surprise to see a grinning figure standing in front of his cockpit. It was Archean, leader of Tridens and one of the fighter pilots currently stationed on the Anubis Reaching up Welsh opened the hatch of the fighter and climbed out and dropped to the floor to land beside Archean.
“Hey what are you doing here? Would have thought you’d be in one of the troop shuttles.”
“Nah, not yet anyway. I volunteered to lead Gi in those T/Is up there.” Said Archean pointing vaguely in the direction of the TIE racks.
“Great, in that case I’ll make sure me and the X-wing guys take care of your sorry unshielded asses.” Said Welshman suppressing a grin.
“Keep saying that Lord Proconsul and you might just believe it eventual.” Retorted Archean bringing up his fingers in a gesture universally recognised.
“Get to your ship Archean, we’ll carry on this convo over the comm. lest I end up throwing you out of an airlock.”
“You’re welcome to try!” Stated Archean before throwing a sloppy salute and walking towards the lifts that would take him up to the TIE Interceptors. Coiling his legs Welshman used the Force to augment his leap and jumped straight onto the top of the TIE Defender’s ball cockpit grabbing hold of the open port and dragging it down with him as he descended into the acceleration couch.
Open his comm. board once more Welshman paged his X-wing squad the tactical data and requested any advice they could come up with. Immediate duties completed he sat back and readied himself for meditation, it was during this stage of quiet contemplation that his communicator began recording many a jocular comment aimed at him from the roosting TIE Interceptors. This would be a long wait…
The transport shuddered as it traveled through the white obliqueness of hyperspace. Equipment rattled and ship components whirred as Fenn tried to gather his thoughts in the dim light. This thing might protect us on the way there, but it’s severely lacking in the creature comforts. Dark Lord forbid that they spend any creds to make this trip tolerable for the grunts. The Daemoni trooper removed his rantok from his lap, setting it so the tip of the blade balanced on the grimy floor. Holding on to the hilt, Fenn looked at his immediate superior, who was dressed in his loose-fitting Jedi Hunter’s robe, under which Fenn was sure was some type of armor. Clearing his throat, the Guardsman asked, “So, what can you tell us about where we’re going?”
“Not too much, I’m afraid,” Ylith responded dispassionately. “The moon we’re headed to is all but uncharted. There isn’t even reliable data on surface climate or conditions…although I’m sure it’s habitable,” The Valheru added, seeing the concerned looks on his troops’ faces. “There are reports of multiple New Republic strike groups planet-side, as well as a few of those light-sided scumbags. Our primary task is to locate a dark-side artifact called the Obsidian Blade before the Jedi can claim it.”
Many eyebrows went up at the mention of their target, Fenn’s included. Fenn had only heard about the mystical dark side-imbued weapon in brief summaries gleaned from the libraries of Castle Tarentum. The Jedi Hunter understood how important this mission truly was to the Brotherhood. If the Jedi reached this sword before they did, they would surely attempt to destroy or otherwise purify it of its power.
“We’ll be heading to the ground immediately, to one of the possible locations of the weapon. There, we’ll... eventually meet up with Frosty, who is in charge of the overall mission in that quadrant. Just remember,” Ylith stated, extending his forefinger towards the huddled soldiers, “that doesn’t mean I don’t have a say in what we do. If you find anything, report it to Frosty or me. Don’t be an idiot and try to claim the glory for yourself.”
Tyren made a face at that, obviously dismayed at receiving orders before the action had even stared. Dox just smiled, and unhooked his lightsaber, switching it on in a flash. Everyone recoiled to the activation of the blade in such a cramped compartment. “Just as long as my blade gets a taste of some Lightie blood, I’ll be happy.” Ylith gave a look of disgruntlement at the Knight, with what Fenn assumed to be a flicker of jealousy in his Commander's eyes. Dox quickly deactivated the saber, then slumped back into the bench, going into a meditation.
A monotone voice of what could only be a droid or a navicomputer sounded from some unseen speaker above. “Attention. We will be reverting to realspace in approximately one hour.”
Morombath sat in the confines of the transport ship, surrounded by his friend Taliana and his Master Yukika, along with the members of the Keepers of the Night whom he does not know well yet. His mind trying to cover many topics at once as he stares at the drab interior.
This is the first time he has been on a mission with his new family. Considering how much of a recluse he is most of the time, perhaps this is a blessing. Not only will he have the excellent opportunity to train with his new master and his closest friend Taliana, but also get to know the rest of the Clan. There were some who he know only by name, and others that he recognized from spending time in the bar. It will be a new experience to fight alongside these people who he has joked around with in these last few days.
His eyes slowly drifted down to the datapad he brought with him. It contains the mission briefing, along with all the other data he was able to procure at his security level. Along with all the mission specifics and data on his enemy, he brought as many legends or even references to the Obsidian Blade that his extensive searches into the databank revealed. The more he knew, the better he would be able to react to the situations.
He also brought along with him a second datapad which contained training manuals along with strategy and tactics for the Reverse-Blade Katana given to him by his master and his Naginata pole-arm that is his weapon of choice. He also brought the specs for his modified D3-94 Commando Battle Suit so he can train on what his strong and weak spots are relative to whichever weapons he is using. He pauses for a moment, looking up, realizing that all these tactics will only be helpful for the soldiers he will be facing. Any Jedi that he faces on the other hand will take an entirely new strategy.
Because he is a genetically modified creation, Morombath is literally hard-coded with numerous fighting strategies and tactics. As he escaped before much of the training was actually put into real form, much of his training is more akin to re-learning than discovering something for the first time. One thing that his creators did not include was all things Jedi, dark or light. Thus, his Dark Jedi Brotherhood training with his master has focused on the force. Even with these things in mind, he has never faced a Jedi. He will be sure to stay close to Yukika and Taliana, otherwise he may not return from this expedition.
His gaze shifts again to those around him. Some of his companions are talking, while others are meditating or reading as he has been doing. Suddenly, he feels a slight tingle that he cannot understand. He is about to dismiss it when the com chimes in "One Hour Until Real Space." His first inclination is to be fearful, but he dismisses it, knowing that nothing will get him out of this, and a negative view going in will not bode well for him. As if sensing his distress, Yuki reaches over and takes his free hand, squeezing it for a moment and then gracefully pulling away. He look up at her and catches a slight smile before she resumes her meditation. He looks to Taliana, lost in her own thoughts.
He shuts off his datapad, placing it with his other supplies. His grip tightens around the hard wood of his Naginata as his eyes drift closed, allowing himself to drift into a meditative state for the remaining part of the journey, clearing his mind of all concerns and preparing himself for the task that will soon be at hand.
Windos sealed the last purple and black armour plate to his arm, the final component of the armour suite he had ordered for members of the Circle he had, until not twenty four hours earlier, been in direct command of; the Keepers of the Night.
The Dark Jedi Knight let out a soft sigh then raised his head and glanced across the transport at his old Circle, some wearing the same armour as Windos, others wearing their own custom armour.
Placing his helmet on his seat, Windos rose and walked over to Levathan, placing a hand on the new Tetrarch’s shoulder. “Take care of my baby, Levathan.” Commanded Windos, resisting the urge to address him as Tyro.
“She’s my baby now, sir.” Levathan replied, placing his hand on Windos’ forearm. Windos tried to stare the new Tetrarch down, but eventually gave up, passing Yuki and her apprentices, the two newest Keepers.
Finally Windos stopped at Artemis, his fiancé and closest friend, nervous look engulfing her face. “Stick close to the Keepers; you’ll come out of this fine.” He said, offering a reassuring smile. Having done the rounds, Windos returned to his seat but and harnessed himself in for the decent onto the moon, even if it was still at least 60 standard minutes away.
In a bright, wide open, grassy meadow on the planet Mandalore, a lone Jedi sits shrouded completely in darkness.
Everything was still, and calm as this Jedi sat there in a deep meditative trance, feeling the Dark Side of the force flowing through him.
There was no noise, just the breeze blowing through his long black hair, everything was quiet and at peace.
Suddenly that peace had become disrupted as a chiming sounded, and the Jedi’s head snapped alert to the distraction.
Zekk stood up, and said “End program,” and the grassy meadow disappeared leaving behind a cold heartless durasteel room. This was Zekk’s meditation chamber with morphing capabilities.
Zekk grabbed his datapad and looked over the information that had been sent to him. He stroked his chin nodding with satisfaction. “So were going after the Blade...”
Zekk had once gone after the famous blade long ago but had failed to recover it when he and his squad were ambushed by the Jedi.
Flashes from his past flooded his head. He could feel the anger rising up within him. He knew if he was to go on this hunt, he would surely meet with her again.
He would then decide whether if he would kill her or not. As Commandant he was given an order, so if killing the only woman to capture what was left of his cold heart, then so be it. “One less Jedi,” he muttered as he bent down to pick up his helmet that rested there peacefully just as its owner had been. The T-visor reflected the image Zekk’s face as it was snatched up into his arms.
“I don’t particularly enjoy my bridge being this crowded,” Master Zero stated dryly. He surveyed the other three men around the battle analysis computer situated behind his command chair.
“You just worry about keeping the Corsair in one piece, let us worry about the rest of the fighting,” his apprentice deadpanned. His gaze left the BAC once to lock eyes with his Master before returning to analyzing the holoprojection. Keeping his eyes on the projection, he asked, “Admiral, what do you suggest in terms of engagement? The frigate and corvette won’t be too much of a problem, but those fighters might prove to be an annoyance.”
“Close in with the Corsair, let the Anubis hang back and vomit forth most of her fighters and then engage.”
“Simple enough. Very well.” Turning to one of the aides waiting around them Oberst asked, “What is our status?”
The aide scanned his datapad before replying, “Sir, our five vessels are on time and on target. We’ll be dropping out of hyperspace within the hour.”
“Sir, one of the transports launched before we made the jump. They said they had orders to be prepared.”
Kessian spoke up immediately, “When we drop out of hyperspace, recall that transport immediately. We cannot and will not spare a fighter screen for them.” The aide saluted and punched in the new orders.
Master Zero made his way back to the Captain’s chair as he awaited the squadron to drop out of hyperspace. As he settled in, a crewer approached with one of many datapads that would circulate to him, detailing the operational status of his ship.
* * * * * *
The bridge was a frantic hive of activity. Directly ahead and slightly port, the enemy frigate crept closer. The Corsair, at maximum firing range, was making its first shots. Closer, fighters swarmed and buzzed around. The quick and sharp flash of laser fire danced around like a festival’s fireworks display. Only this display had the intent to cause damage or deal death, not celebrate.
The BAC now displayed the relative distances of every ship currently in the fray. And that had the attention of the four men now surrounding it. Oberst had ordered the launch of the Clan’s alphabet fighters in an effort to confuse and frustrate the enemy, and it had worked. Carefully coordinating the Clan’s fighter movements, he’d ensured that his own X-Wings swarmed in and around the enemy. An enemy so used to being able to spot the opponent by sight. They had already shot down a handful of their own comrades, giving Tarentum that much more of an edge.
“Three X-Wings have broken off from the main group and are headed towards the Anubis,” Kessian began, “A-Wing group Kappa, move to intercept.” As soon as he’d made the order, he watched the six A-Wings break off and run after the enemy fighters. The computer marked the launch of warheads, and he watched as the missiles and the enemy fighters blinked out of life on the holodisplay. “Merlance, launch your Gunboats. Their target is the Corvette. I want hits on the engines and the sensor array.” The only acknowledgement to the order was to see several dots, representing the gunboats, move away from the Anubis on the screen. Kessian was definitely in his element.
Heavy and fast footfalls against the metal floor sounded closer and closer to Armus, he turned in time to see a crewer, their badge designating them from Sensors, run up and start, “Sir, we are picking up more fighters at three kilometers. They’re Y-Wings.”
Upon hearing the news, Oberst turned to one of the aides near him, “Have the A-9 pilots suit up and launch. Knock out those Y-Wings.” The aide saluted and ran off to carry the order.
“Sir, the transport is under attack. Four Z-95 headhunters have engaged it. They are requesting help.”
Over the communications channel, Welshman interjected, “I can take two fighters over to take care of the Headhunters, Welshman out.”
“Negative, Proconsul,” Oberst began, “That transport was under orders to return to the Anubis. I will not pair off fighters because they are refusing to obey an order.” Oberst turned to the Communications pit, “Inform the Transport that they are to make their way back to the Anubis. We cannot afford to pull fighters from the line to cover them. This was already made clear to them when we jumped out of hyperspace.”
A huge explosion forward and starboard, and the sudden disappearance of the enemy Corvette on sensors punctuated the statement. Armus began, “Gunboat’s Delta report. I said to disable engines and sensors, not blow it up.”
The group leader’s reply came through on the comm, “Sir, the torpedoes did take out the engines and sensors, but two of the enemy X-Wings crashed into it after being ionized.”
Kessian swore under his breath. Just then another aide shouted out, “Sir, the transport is down to quarter shields and has lost its starboard engines.” Kessian began cursing people who couldn’t follow orders.
Tyren was in his usual dull mode. He didn’t look so excited about this mission, nor did he feel so. He was going on a ground mission.
~I hate those! ~ He thought. ~I’d much rather prefer a space battle. In my X-wing I feel a lot safer. ~
The shuttle they were in was a modified Imperial Troop ship. Not much of a comfort but it served its purpose.
He turned to Dox. “Master?”
“Did Frosty tell you anything specific about this mission? I mean I don’t like the idea of runnin` into a battle without a detailed briefing.”
“Yes I know. I feel the same way. Unfortunately Frosty didn’t say a word to me or any of the Romanae.”
Tyren let out a low sigh. This wasn’t good. He knew that going against the Jedi and their New republican forces blindly was equivalent to suicide; since most of the Daemoni were still below Dark Jedi Knight they almost stood no chance against the saber-wieldering Jedi. Most of the Daemons sat in meditation but Tyren`s mind was to troubled for it. He got op from his bench
“I`m going to the hangar!” he said and went out of the holding area.
The little hangar, if it could be described as one, was more of a storage area. A lone matt-black X-wing stood there. Tyren`s pride and joy. He stole it when he was running from the Jedi. His ship had to be transported this way since he was, for all he new, the only one in the Dark brotherhood who had a T-65. The other members of the order were granted a usual Imperial star fighter, be it a Squint or an advanced and they were transported mostly on capital ships. The Guardian observed his ships exterior, looking for any signs of deterioration. There were none. Te mechanics of the Sword sheath were doing a good job in maintenance. He passed his hand over the surface of the ship looking at the X-wing, Y-wing and all other vessels his destroyed during his time in the DB. There were even a few TIE-s.
Jumping into the cockpit he checked and rechecked the systems. Functioning perfectly, proton torpedoes were loaded and ready, lasers crossed at 350 meters, just right for doing ground operations and dog-fights at the same time.
He finished the systems check and turned his head. His R2 unit was in its designated place.
“Kryatt!” the R2s sensors engaged and he whistled lightly.
“Be prepared for a quick exit. I have a feeling were gonna be destroying some ground targets soon.” the R2 whistled and deactivated as Tyren jumped out of the X-wing and left the hangar to join his brethren again.
The fighters whizzed past each other in an excellent display of skill and precision, dodging incoming fire and other fighters that were already engaged in the area.
The Quaestor of Tridens and Battle Team Gi were in amongst the battle.
“Karel, the order has gone out, the B wings and Gunboats are going to engage the frigate, over.” Archean said as he fired off a few lasers at an enemy fighter in front of him.
“Roger that Archean.” The new Sith Commander said as he dodged a few laser shots “Gi, get ready to provide cover for the fighters engaging the frigate.” The Battle Team responded and they and Archean’s interceptors were soon on course to the frigate.
“Ok men, let’s surge ahead and get these fighters off the behinds of our bombers.” Archean said as he accelerated in front of the other fighters.
“Roger that, sir.” Karel said as he manned up with an enemy fighter and proceeded to engage it. Odin, Cain and Silent Jay each went after their own bogeys, doing their best to overcome this threat.
“Ok, the bombers are going in.” The Hunter said as he barrel rolled to overcome a few laser shots.
The Bombers were getting closer to their target, the frigate was in range, a few moments later the bombers released their torpedos, aimed directly at the frigate.
The Shuttle suddenly roared back into normal space and all was dark.
While the other members, even Dox, checked where they were and if they
were even here their Valheru only smiled.
”What’s so funny Ylith?” his brother said while having quite a sign of anger hidden beneath his tongue.
Ylith raised his hand and silenced any coming commentary.
”We are on a special recon mission, we took a hyperspace detour and we are now at the far side of the moon.”
Dox looked surprised, “Did you plan this?”
”Together with Archean before we left the castle.” Ylith said with a grin with a really curious circle surrounding him.
”Let me explain, in an hour we’ll touch down on the surface of the moon,
we’ll be on the night side while our ships wage war on the dayside.
We’ll scout the area and report in when we reach day,
the ships will hover above the planet, meaning they wont turn with the planet.
Lets just say we’ll be the advance party.”
Dox who was grinning of the idea of gaining first blood of the enemy looked back up to Ylith.
”Does Welshman or Anshar know about this?”
”I hope Archean didn’t forgot to tell him, otherwise we’re in tro…” Ylith had barely spoken or the shuttle was shaking hard.
”Sir! Multiple fighters ahead! And one Republic frigate!” the captain said making many twists.
”Damn! Tyren, get your X-wing out and head to the other ships,
tell them about the hiding frigate! Pilot, get us to into the moon’s atmosphere ASAP!”
”Yes sir!” came the reply and suddenly the shuttle turned in all directions.
Ylith walked to Tyren who was in his smaller sized X-wing.
”Don’t do anything heroic Daemon! I want you back in one piece!” His Valheru said to him and their grabbed each others wrist as a sign of goodbye.
”I won’t let you down Valheru.” His words were and he launched his modified X-wing into
the vast cold of space heading straight for the Corsair who was in orbit just 5 minutes away.
Ylith got back to his team and a large amount of turbulence
told him they reached the atmosphere of the moon.
”This is where the fun begins.” Dox said grinning and Ylith glanced one quick
look at the red ribbon still tied to his hand.
Fenn suddenly noticed and looked at his Valheru. “Everything alright sir?”
”Fine fine, just thinking,” The Valheru rose and looked at his members.
“Lets make those Republic bitches pay for trespassing our sacred land!
Give them Hell! Give them Fire! Burn them down! Like only the Daemons can!”
A monotone cheer from his members all at once gave the
Valheru a feeling of pride and the true feeling of leadership.
”Touch down in 2 minutes sir!” the Pilot yelled from the cockpit and they all reached for their weapons,
getting ready for maximum resistance.
Welshman surveyed space around his fighter and took note of events. A squadron strength force was aiming towards the battle and was 3 clicks away and closing. Closer at hand was the enemy Nebulon B and it’s screen of fighters, roughly fifteen of mixed types. Approaching fast on the besieged starship was a group of bombers and half a dozen TIE Interceptors. Welsh didn’t like the look of those numbers. Leaning forward Welsh flicked on the comm. and hailed the Corsair.
“Oberst, orders?” He stated simply into the communicator.
“Take your X-wing squad and cover those bombers. Help out the Interceptors flight.”
“Yes Field Marshal. Welsh out.” Flicking his comm. unit over to the chosen frequency for his squad Welshman relayed the orders to the X-wings. Orders received the X-wings peeled apart into a strike formation and headed straight for the soon to be outnumbered bomber/interceptor forces.
Within a few dozen seconds the trailing interceptors, which were holding back on the speed front to match pace with the lumbering bombers began to drift into the range of his T/Ds sensors. Markings matched those of Gi’s flight.
“Karel, Archean! Thought you guys could use a hand!”
“Plenty of them to go around., not that we couldn’t handle them of course.”
“Fifteen against six Arche, don’t like those odds. Now move out the way and let us shake them up a bit for you.”
Adding slightly more acceleration to his craft Welshman did the sums. His squad would arrive mere seconds after the half squad would be bounced by the Rebel fighter force. He didn’t like the thought of that, the unshielded TIEs would be shredded by the superior firepower of the Republic fighters. It was in the middle of these mid-combat musings that a new contact hypered in to the fray smack bang between the soon to be clashing squadrons, a YT-2400 freighter I.F.F tag painted a unknown Yellow and broadcasting the name Dark Wind.
“Dammit. All ships target the unknown, assume it is hostile!” Barked Oberst across the comm. channels.
“Hold it its me! Freighter Dark Wind here, thought you could use some help!” Commanded Yuki across the wavelengths.
“Very well, help things out in that quadrant until something more pressing comes up” Replied Oberst after a short pause.
With that exchange over Welshman again concentrated on the battle that was soon to be joined…
The X-wing blasted out the magnetic field that divided the small storage area and the vacuum of space. The shuttle with his brethren was catapulting down to the surface with the New Republic frigate still on them, lasers firing whilst the squadron of B-wings that was following the ship came after Tyren.
“Oh Kryatt dump!” he said, then heard a whistle behind him.
“No I was`nt talking to you Kryatt!” he said while examining his monitors.
“Gimme the sensor read out. Need to know exactly how many, where and how fast those fighters are.”
The information from the sensors began scrolling on a monitor left to him. It showed that there were 12 fighters, B-wing class, half a click aft.
~Dang! I’m gonna have to fight `em. ~ he thought ~Screw it! ~
He pulled the throttle to one quarter speed and broke starboard whilst doing a spiral that put him head-on with the squadron of B-s.
“Who wants to play chicken?” he asked as though the enemy pilots could hear him. Pushing the throttle to full he braced himself for impact while firing a barrage of blaster fire toward the enemy. One B-wing, struck by the barrage, turned into a flaming fireball, another lost his port wing and part of the engine. The momentum sent the snub fighter twirling out of control into open space. Tyren passed threw the wall of fighters and laser fire almost untouched. One of the blasts hit his front shields, shattering them, and another scrambled his forward sensor array.
“Damn! Kryatt see what you can do about those shields. Without them were dead as that B-pilot.” having heard the approving whistle from behind him he turned the fighter around, toward the Corsair and the other battleships in the moos orbit.
“Kryatt! We’re running out of time! Hurry up with that shield.” he mumbled as he saw the B-wing turning for another pass. There was half a click of space separating him and the enemy.
“KRYATT!!!” he yelled. The small R2 squeaked as he reengaged the deflector screen.
This time having passed the enemy he was less damaged and he introduced one fighter with his four laser blasters.
Now he punched his snub fighter to max throttle and headed for the Corsair.
“Corsair, this is Daemon 2! Do you copy?” nothing but a lot of static. The B-wings moved ever closer with each passing second.
“Corsair, this is Daemon 2! Do you copy?” for a few seconds it seemed as though Corsair was out of range but then the comm spoke.
“Daemon 2 this is Corsair! What is your position?”
“I am…2 clicks port of your current position. There’s a New republic frigate on the night side of the moon. I suggest you dispatch a squadron to deal with it.”
“I’m being chased by nine B-wing fighters. Requesting assistance. Can you spare a fighter or two?”
A few seconds that seemed like eternity passed then the comm fizzled once again.
“Negative Daemon 2! We can not spare fighters. You’re on your own!”
There was nothing he could do but blast his way toward the fighters in battle…although he knew he wouldn’t make it he punched the throttle to full.
Rage had knocked on Zekks door
"Master Z are ya ready?"
"Yes come with me and get the others ready" said the prelate from his visor.
Rage was wearing black clone armor under his robes...due to his phisology he couldnt wear a helmet without looking stupid
He walked down a corridor with his master and was getting the oters as soon as they were done they went to the transport that would carry them to the battle.
As Zekk gave the briefing, rage was getting nervous
This is my first major battle..and why in the hell am i nervous?.
"Do you have any questions?" asked Zekk
"Nope" was the answers heard
They were soon off into the last frontier called space, Rage was lookin out of into Hyperspace thinking...his enlognated jaw showing signs of his teeth grinding his hands twicthin towards his Krath War Blade and Retractable Bo.
"Are we their yet?" said the Shistavanen whose adreniline pumping
"Its a good thing we are going straight to the ground...i wouldnt last a minute with my adreniline pumping"
Soon they were out in front of the space battle moving towards the moon, four TIE Defenders came to escourt the shuttle to the moon...
“Ok Daemons!! Go go go go go!!!” The Valheru shouted out over the noise. The Daemons all jumped out, Ylith to go as last. The shuttle quickly soared back up into the sky and made it seem he dropped supplies instead of people. Two A-wings roared from the clouds and fired on the shuttle, tearing off his wing.
”Damn…” Dox said as the shuttle crashed nearby bursting into flames.
”What do we do now Ylith? Fenn said looking at his Valheru.
Ylith’s eyes gazed into the flames and suddenly looked up.
”Give me your outer robes, all of you.” Ylith said and CannabiS, Dox and Fenn gave their outer robes to Ylith.
”Wait over there, behind the rocks, I’ll return shortly.”
The Daemons all nodded and headed out for the cliffs while Ylith took a quick dash to the rubble. There wasn’t much left to identify or salvage. The Hunter then quickly threw the robes, including his own onto the edge of fire, scorching them but not totally burn them, so make the Republic forces think they all died in the crash.
The Valheru quickly dashed back and barely got away in time. Inspection droids came buzzing down followed by two shuttles, each carrying at least eight men.
”What do we do now Valheru?” Dox said, “We cant scan the environment anymore, our equipment hasn’t been dropped with us.”
”I still have a communicator, but I don’t think it will work unless the Corsair or any other ship is hovering above us. If we can’t give intell on the environment, we’ll give intell about the enemy force present.” Ylith said grinning.
Fenn shook his head, “That’s suicide!”
”Throwing a huge force in while no idea about enemy forces here isn’t?”
”Good point Valheru.” Fenn said backing off.
”Dox? Any ideas?” Ylith asked looking at his brother.
Dox smiled, “I may have some..”
”Spill.” Ylith said and Dox continued, “We go to find their nearest base of operations, get intell on the situation, I suggest we use the recon technique.”
”Which is?” CannabiS asked curiously.
”Simple, We will stay here, Ylith and Fenn will go out and will scout ahead, when Ylith and Fenn find a base, Fenn will go back to report it to us while Ylith stays and observes it, or even gets a closer look.” Dox explained.
”That’s the main plan.” The Valheru said smiling. “Ready Fenn?”
”Ready as I’ll ever be Valheru.”
Ylith and Fenn both rose slightly and started moving over the rocks, keeping a low profile and keeping usage of force in a minimum to avoid Jedi detection.
After a small hour of walking trough a rocky field Ylith suddenly pulled Fenn into a small crater.
Fenn looked at the Valheru but when he tried to speak the metal hand of the Valheru covered his mouth. Before Fenn realized it three patrol droids were hovering above the ground, checking for life. The Valheru threw some sand over himself and Fenn to cover their body heat for a small amount of time enough to make it seem like nothing special. The droids continued their rounds and left the two Dark Jedi as they tried hard not to be spotted.
Ylith released his grip on the Daemon and sighed deeply. “That was too close for comfort.”
”Indeed Valheru, warn me next time though..”
Ylith smiled and nodded and when they looked over the ridge of the small crater they saw a small base in the distance.
”Ok, you go back now and give the coordinates to Dox, he has a communicator like I do. If I am not back here in seventy-two hours, I’ll probably be dead, so don’t wait longer than you have to alright?”
Fenn nodded and left off quickly, avoiding detection by the droids.
Ylith sighed deeply and walked closer to the base, to see what force the enemy has to offer.
The odd alien head glanced around the cramped confines of the Necrosis. Jammed into the long narrow cargo bay was the newly outfitted armor company of Tarentum, the Death's Head. Four platoons of Imperial repulsortanks rested on their chocks, along with various other support vehicles, their crews making last minute inspections as if drawing back the string of a bow.
"Well?" The alien spoke. The Yevethan known as Doni Tzu, commander of the company, inquired to a senior maintenance technician who approached. "Sir, we'll have it running before landing." A repulsor unit on a medium tank from the third platoon had given out in testing and was being replaced. Having no idea what they were up against, the Warlord was certain that they would need every available asset up and running when the proverbial treads hit the dirt. "Excellent. Keep me updated on any other issues." Once the technician had turned, the Yevethan waved the alien stench away fom his nose.
The assault cruiser lurched sickeningly as it withstood a blow from what Doni Tzu supposed was a rebel starfighter. The fighters outside were doing an excellent job of keeping the important hardware in check. Still, there was something to be said for the matter of surprise. He keyed the command-level comm inside his Chariot command vehicle.
"This is General Doni Tzu requesting Warlord Oberst." The transmission hissed and clicked in return. "Oberst here." "Field Marshal - request permission to detach from the fleet and conduct immediate atmospheric run." There was a slight pause on the other end. "Denied, General. The balance of starfighter forces is too thin - we could not guarantee your safety, and your forces are critical to this mission."
Out of audible range Doni Tzu hissed and looked around in frustration for a few moments, and then settled his impatience. "Understood Field Marshal. The Deaths Head awaits your immediate confirmation for deployment." The Yevethan imagined this might convey a bit of his eagerness, and perhaps that would convey his unit to the ground sooner, which all in an excellent circle would convey Tarentum's enemies in a more hasty manner to the mud where such beings belonged.
Fenn raced through the underbrush after reaching the outer boundary of the sentry droid’s prescribed search area. Paying little attention to the foliage whizzing past his stoic face, the Hunter mulled over the series of events that the mission had thus far underwent.
First, the Valheru had called his Daemons to the docking bay of the Anubis. Claiming to be heading out on a seemingly legit advance-scouting mission, he takes the entire Circle ahead of the main task force, only to have them emerge from hyperspace next to a conveniently placed enemy analog. Fenn found the placement of the hidden cruiser to be highly suspicious, almost as if they had been laying in wait for them. That, however, could only mean that word of their mission had been leaked. On top of this, their transport is destroyed, when the entire Clan’s space superiority is being utilized. This was not the way things were supposed to go down.
Fenn arrived at the makeshift campsite, where his Circle brethren awaited his information with eager expressions. “The enemy is about two kilometers south-southeast of here. There wasn’t much we could tell from where we sighted it. They’re using standard model sentry hover-droids to keep tabs on the area, so penetrating the outer perimeter shouldn’t be that hard.”
CannabiS nodded, and then replied, “So does Ylith want us to do anything while he runs off and plays the hero?”
A couple chuckles crept up from someone, but to an observer it was hard to discern from whom in the dim evening light. After a moment, Dox said, “The only two pieces of electrical equipment we have are my communicator and my lightsaber. I suggest that you and Fenn go into the forest on a mapping mission. I’ll stay behind and see if I can scramble a transmission to the Anubis. If we can get a better idea of the terrain, we’ll have a better understanding of how to combat the enemy stronghold when the backup arrives.” Dox turned to the Guardsman. “Did Ylith say when he’d be back?”
“He told me not to wait more than a few days,” Fenn replied nonchalantly.
“Alright. Make sure to take out any patrols or that you encounter. Do not let them report back.” As the three Dark Jedi headed into the wilderness, Fenn speculated on what other downfalls their band of brethren could behold on this moon.
(OOC EDIT: Typo correction. X-) )
“I’ve got one on my tail, I can’t shake him.” Archean said as he was whistling past other fighters, barrel rolling, doing everything to try and get the enemy of his backside. A few short moments later a Gi pilot came to Archean’s aid.
“I’ve got him in my sights.” Odin said as he pulled the trigger and sent the fighter down.
“Phew, that was close, thanks Odin.” Archean said breathing a sigh of relief. Archean clicked his comm. and welcomed Yuki.
“Good to have you with us.” Archean exclaimed.
The Sith Quaestor focused and saw Welshman’s dot on his HDD and proceeded to his area.
“Welshman, how are you faring.” Asked Archean
“Alright, could use a few more fighters though, they are engulfing us.” Welshman said dryly. As Archean covered Welshman a comm. came through from Oberst.
As Archean was in the heat of a surge of attacks he felt something through the force, i quick ripple penetrated through him. It felt like many knifes had peirced his heart.
"Ylith." Archean gasped as he pondered the thought, his mind straying from the battle. In a split second a feeling over anger and hate overwhelmed the Sith. His eyes had gone from brown to blood red in one shot, determination was the expression on Archean's face. As Oberst started talking Archean regained his focus and listened to the information being transmitted.
“We’ve picked up a signal, it seems to be a Daemoni fighter, it seems to be about 3 to 4 clicks away, we need to bring it into the fight safely, we must get fighters there to rescue it quickly, it’s being tailed by nine B-wings.
“Nine?!” Archean exclaimed “you got to be kidding me.” He said as he dodged a laser shot.
“Alright, I’ll take care of it.” The Proconsul said as he flicked the comm. to the signal of his X-wing counterparts.
“Ok, I’ll need a few X-Wings to go and bring our companion in safely, be careful, there are nine B-wings on his tails.” Welshman barked. The pilots acknowledged and broke off from the fight to go and retrieve the Daemoni pilot.
“Alright, let’s get back to covering these bombers.” The Sith Hunter said as he accelerated behind an enemy fighter and fired.
Gi’s pilots were ruthless, flying with skill and ease, making short work of the enemy fighters.
The bombers who were attacking the frigate were being hounded.
“Cover those bombers, men.” Ordered Karel to Gi “we can’t afford to lose them.”
Karel manned up with a bomber and stayed close, firing at anything that got remotely close to the bomber. Gi or Archean didn’t see a few fighters that grouped together and were lining up behind the furthest away bomber, they all fired simultaneously and took out the bomber in one swift attack, the bomber engulfed into flying fireball within seconds.
“I said to cover those damn bombers!” Oberst barked, with extreme anger in his voice.
“Damnit!” Welshman exclaimed as he turned around and headed to cover another bomber. The Tie Interceptors's of Archean and Gi company all paired up with a bomber making sure to keep it in their sights to try and avoid more casualties.
The Valheru moved closer to the enemy base of operations.
It was a pretty large base yet the force present was at minimum.
Ylith figured most of it was sent out to scout for opposing forces. The Obelisk
moved trough the shadows and silently observed the enemy encampment.
Suddenly the eyes of the Obelisk shifted into the corners of his eyes and looked
over his back holding his spear.
”Look what we have here, a stray spy?” a man asked him and Ylith rose.
Ylith made a fist of his hand and noticed the ribbon on his hand and suddenly
reminded himself what his wife taught him about the New Republic.
”You have no need to fear me. “ Ylith said softly.
”I sense the Dark Side in you! Wait! Haven’t I seen you before?
You were captured month’s ago and escaped!” Suddenly a humming sound
gave the Obelisk Hunter a chill and he knew he was facing a Jedi, and by the
looks of how he held the saber, a learner still.
”You Sith shall pay for your hatred!” the man said and Ylith’s eyes widened and
his hatred suddenly rose up to a boiling point.
”You just signed your death wish Jedi! Feel the wrath of the Obelisk!” The Valheru
spat and whizzed his spear around his body. The Jedi however remained calm and
lunged with his lightsaber at the Dark Jedi.
Ylith jumped back, avoiding the saber with only inches to spare.
The back of the spear touched the ground and Ylith pushed himself
up avoiding a vertical slash downwards.
The spear whizzed around keeping the Jedi at bay while the Obelisk
regained his balance again.
”You will fail Jedi, like the last time…The Dark Jedi will rule the galaxy
and the Jedi shall be no more, nor will your pitiful Republic be.”
The Jedi, suddenly succumbed by anger slashed forward unexpectedly.
The Hunter wanted to block the coming strike but the lightsaber slammed
trough his spear and trough his metal arm.
The red ribbon his wife gave suddenly well to the ground and when
the Obelisk’s eyes locked on to that he was in trance. While his metal
arm was completely devastated from the elbow to his hand he felt nothing,
his feelings became numb as he saw how the ribbon slowly fell down to the ground.
’Remember why you are fighting…remember who waits at home.’ Were the
words of his wife now echoing trough his mind.
The Jedi lunged at the Hunter again to finish him off. The Hunter regained himself
and used the force in his anger to push the saber back up and he slammed the
dagger tip of the remains of his Mandalorian spear through the Jedi who flinched
and before he could make any sound of pain or agony the Obelisk Hunter slammed
the Jedi unconscious with that was left of the metal arm he had.
The Hunter finished the job by yanking out the dagger tip of his spear and slamming it trough the Jedi’s heart.
Suddenly guards came along to see what the noise was.
Ylith used the force to grab the lightsaber and attached it to
his belt as a trophy of his first Jedi kill on the moon. Ylith wanted to grab
what was left of the ribbon but it was burned completely.
The Valheru suddenly heard the guards approach and bailed out,
heading back to the encampment of his Daemon brethren.
For a split second Tyren thought he saw a squadron of X-wings detach from the Squints, but then abruptly as they came, they broke off and went back.
~Damn! ~ he thought ~Not good!~
“Kryatt! Gimme all power to engines now…leave the aft shield on though!” with a slight screech the R2 did as he was told. The X foils locked into normal mode whilst giving power to the engines that pinned Tyren to his seat. As the X-wing hurled toward the battle the B-wings followed closely, still on its tail.
“This is Daemon 2 to anyone who can hear me! Do you copy?”
“Is that you Tyren?” he heard Archeans voice over the comm
“Archean! Yes it’s me. I need help here. I got nine B-wings on my tail.”
“Tyren, this is Welshman I’m coming to your aid!”
The X-wings broke of again having destroyed a majority of NR fighters. They would be near him shortly.
Tyren did a break to port as Welshman passed him.
“Kryatt, I need full shield, weapons at maximum!”
The crafts collided like two tidal waves on a water world. Lasers flashed everywhere; Tyren could barely see what he was shooting. When the barrage settled down there were 4 B-wings to deal with. He caught up with one of them and their fighters started a death dance in space. The Guardian armed his torpedoes but couldn’t get a clear lock.
“Damn it! This ones good!” he said as he saw the enemy twirl and break, spiral and dodge. He was too fast for a god lock so the Guardian switched back to lasers.
“What the hell!”
Pressing the button on the stick he spat laser fire on his target. The shields of his enemy were good for a couple direct hits but not more than that. One of the bolts hit the engine causing a chain reaction it the fighters power core. It disappeared in a fireball while Tyren passed right threw it.
“That’s all the B-wings.” he heard Welshmans voice over the comm.
“You still got a NR frigate on the other side of the moon!”
“What? Not another one.”
Tyren suddenly broke port, toward the moon!
“Where are you going?” Achean asked
Tyren waited for a second or two then he said.
“I’m off to help my brethren!” saying that he punched the engines.
The 1-MC channel inside the cargo bay of the Necrosis chimed sharply; a robotic yet feminine voice emerged. "Space superiority has been established. The ship will now commence atmospheric run."
Warlord Doni Tzu grinned a toothy, reptilian, predatory smirk. "About bloody time," he muttered to no one in particular. Climbing up onto the top of his command chariot, he cupped his hands to his lips and turned towards the assembled company. "Men! Embark and warm 'em up!"
The black-clad tank crews of the Death's Head company jumped, climbed, and sometimes fell into the open hatches of their vehicles. Further aft, a pair of AT-AA anti-aircraft vehicles rotated their flak pods and then locked their knees together in anticipation of the impact on the surface. At the very front was Tarentum's prize, an XR-85 tank droid - most of its controls slaved to the command chariot, of course.
Doni Tzu grabbed his command com inside the chariot. "Warlord Doni Tzu calling Warlord Oberst." Another brief pause and hiss as the communications over a few hundred meters of space were instantly scrambled and unscrambled between both ships. "Oberst here." "Field Marshal, the Necrosis is beginning its atmospheric run. Permission to deploy?" Click---hiss. "Permission granted. Your orders are unchanged - locate the New Republic base and eliminate all resistance." "Acknowledged. Update on local intelligence?" Click---hiss. "Nothing of significance - we still have no idea what they have down there. On a related note, however, a Tarentum shuttle has crashed some distance outside the base - there may be survivors but personally I doubt it. See that you reconnoiter their position after the completion of your mission, and extract personnel as necessary." Doni Tzu mulled that one over for a moment - how the hell did that happen? Well, it was no concern to him; perhaps even some survivors might distract a precious few amount of enemy forces from the job of fighting him, and that was always preferential. As that thought passed by, the wide toothy grin returned.
Another sharp ring echoed through the cargo hold as the 1-MC was intoned. "Atmospheric reentry in one half hour. Prepare for turbulence and impact."
The Warlord took a deep breath and settled into the chariot, strapping himself in. He would need the brief relaxation - things were going to get a lot worse, real fast... for somebody.
She was about to go check on everyone, make sure no one got sick on her ship when the comm chimed, "Priestess Yukika, this is General Doni Tzu. I request your assistance on the moon for after my tanks have destroyed their defense."
Yuki began her decent after Doni Tzu, "I've got you, Don."
As the Dark Wind made her decent, a piece of the ship flew off the nose, "What was that? Is my ship finally deciding to fall apart on me?"
Tsuki looked over at her master, "Looked like it, Master."
"Can you land us?"
"Most likely. It's pretty definite we'll hit the ground."
Yuki got on the shipboard comm, "This is Yuki, we're going to feel a little turbulance and then, well, explode."
She ran through the door, shouting back, "Just get us on the ground!"
Tsuki sighed, "That part will happen most assuredly."
As Yuki walked past the room Morombath had stored his gear in, he stuck his head out, "I don't wanna explode, Yuki.'
She shook her head, "My ship will hold together at least a little longer."
She went back to the reactor area, shouting at the mechanic, "Max! Why is my ship falling apart?"
The servos in Max's shoulders moved in the imitation of a shrug, "The fact that most of it is still salvage from the scrapyard?."
"Just fix it!" she shouted as she darted back to the cockpit.
She looked at Tsuki, "Well, let's see it we can land this ship."
Breaking the atmosphere, she spotted a clearing in the middle of a forest that Doni Tsu and his crew were already heading to. Landing behind them, she prepared the Surei, a slightly small version of a skiff used for raids. "Alright, every suited up?"
She looked at the varied Keeper's who stowed away on her ship, which did entail her young apprentices. She looked at them standing in their armor, some custom, some not. She pulled her robes off, clipping her saber to her skirt. She preffered the added mobility taking the robes away gave her. That and perhaps she could distract a few of these Republic soldiers.
Opening the small hangar in the back of her ship, she motioned them to move the Surei. Once it was outside, she climbed on top of it, thought she noticed something on the edge of the clearing. She shook the feeling, pushing the skiff into gear and followed Doni Tsu's tanks.
She laughed softly to herself on the back of the Surei. Tsuki and Morombath looked at her worriedly, only a madman laughs when they're going up against an entire army. They saw the look in her eyes daily, but said nothing. And their silence about it continued, figuring this was where he strerngth flowed from.
Yuki adjusted the multitude of throwing weapons on her lowers legs, pulling her katana from the rear compartment tying its lanyard to her skirt on the opposite side, pulling it from its sheath a little and setting it back in.
"Today is a good day for someone else to die," Yuki said quietly as they moved after Doni Tzu and his repulsor tanks.
“Sir, we’re getting reports of another Frigate on the opposite side of the moon.” The report caused the four men around the BAC to retrain their sight on the frigate bearing down on them.
Zero strode from the BAC to his chair barking, “Gun crews – port batteries will prepare broadsides. Fire asynchronously. Odds then evens. Help those bombers get rid of that Frigate as quickly as possible. Missile control, fire at will.” As he said this, Oberst began preparing and relaying new information to the bombers for a second run. The Corsair slid within the one and one-half click mark of the target. Forward batteries continued to slam into the damaged Frigate. The ship was now listing from the amount of damage she had taken.
“Energy levels on the frigate are rising sharply,” a crewman’s voice rang out over the noise of activity on the bridge.
“All craft, pull away from the frigate,” Armus’ cool order was answered by the movement of the markers on the BAC beginning their move away from the frigate. The noiseless explosion of the frigate was accompanied only by its own marker blinking out on the BAC. Within a few seconds of the destruction of the frigate, most of the remaining Republic fighters were destroyed, with a handful jumping into hyperspace.
“I want the trajectory of those fighters tracked and get me a channel to Daemoni-2,” Oberst barked.
“This is Daemoni-2,” Tyren began, “reporting in, Marshal.”
“I want you to turn that ship around and make your way back to the Corsair,” anger crept into the edge of Oberst’s voice.
“Sir, with all due respect I ha-,” Tyren was cut off before he could continue.
“You will make your way back to the Corsair or I will order all craft to pursue and open fire.”
“Perhaps that’s just a little harsh, Oberst?” Anshar querried.
“I want to know who the hell authorized that shuttle to the other side of the moon.”
“They did inform us of that other frigate.”
“And lost us a shuttle in the process.” Oberst stared back at the BAC, noticing that Tyren had not changed course, “Daemoni-2 why have you not made your way back to the Corsair?”
“Sir, I can’t. My brethren are on that moon,” came Tyren’s terse reply.
“Gunship Havoc lock onto Daemoni-2 and open fire,” was the only thing Oberst said. He watched as the BAC as the readout on Daemoni-2 spiked from the surge of energy from the Havoc’s guns. He watched a pod eject from where Daemoni-2 was and begin drifting in space. “Send a shuttle to retrieve the pod. Retrieve all fighters and move to engage the second frigate.” Oberst turned from the BAC and stared out of the forward viewport. “Make sure they don’t open the pod, either. Leave it until they make their way back to the Corsair.”
* * * * *
“Who authorized that advanced landing on the moon?” Oberst began. His voice was even, a sure sign that he was ready to explode at a moment’s notice.
Tyren stood before Oberst in the hangar of the Corsair. Guards flanked him on both sides. He stared straight ahead, not daring to meet the Field Marshal’s gaze. “Sir, we felt it would be –“
“Guards, take him to holding. He can rejoin his ‘brethren’,” sarcasm dripped off every syllable, “after we’ve secured the area.” The guards escorted the spluttering Guardian away. Oberst turned on his heel and moved in the opposite direction towards the lifts that would take him back to the bridge.
* * * * *
“Inform Merlance that he is to stay behind and begin unloading troops on General Doni Tzu’s word,” Armus began. “Have him launch his Interceptors and the other half his X-Wings to provide cover. My compliments to the Captain, but I’ll be taking his A-Wings and those Gunboats with us after the other Frigate.”
Welshman, who was leaning against one of the rails began, “Should I make my way to the surface, or will I be needed against any fighters the frigate has?”
“Your Defender would be useful against any fighters remaining near the frigate, Battlelord.” Welshman nodded his assent. Armus turned away from the BAC and surveyed the bridge, “Excellent. We should be able to knock out that remaining frigate in no time.”
Doni Tzu took a breath of fresh air; literally the first one to be had in quite some time. Upon filling his lungs he exhaled slowly and grimaced. "This place reeks of alien stench," he muttered to the trees. Wait... that wasn't right.
He turned a slow circle from where he stood beside the offloading ramp of the Necrosis. Already the repulsortanks and other vehicles were being herded off and moving to jump-off positions - or at least, what the platoon commanders could best guess were such positions. There were trees everywhere. That wasn't right at all.
The pilot of the Necrosis was in the cockpit, flipping switches and powering the ship down when he spied the Warlord moving towards him, the Yevethan's taught, bony skin was ash white, and he had a look in his eyes that seemed to...
The pilot's train of thought was immediatley cut short when his throat made a sort of wet crunching noise, Doni Tzu's clawed right hand grabbing him and lifting him a few inches off the ground.
"WHAT IN THE NAME OF THE DEAD WERE YOU THINKING YOU IMBECILE!" the Warlord shrieked. The pilot now realized that the look in the eyes was of unadulterated rage, though that realization was brief in his mind as he realized that he had more important things to worry about, such as his dwindling air supply.
"YOU PUT US IN THE MIDDLE OF A FORCE DAMNED ALMIGHTY BLOODY FOREST!" he was still screaming at the top of his lungs. "WHAT IN THE HELL ARE WE GOING TO DO HERE? GET US THE KRIFF OUT OF HERE!" and with that, he effortlessly tossed the pilot back into the control panel, breaking several knobs and switches.
The hapless airman gasped for breath, trembling with fear, though gracious to still be alive. "S...s... sir we can't, the engines require a significant cool down time. We spent a lot of fuel hovering to set down here..." he stammered as he recoiled away from the anticipated blows to come.
The Warlord could hardly believe such incompetency was possible, and could only respond with a slack-jawed gape of disbelief. After a few seconds of pondering the ineptitude that he was personally witness to, Doni Tzu closed his lips together and narrowed his eyes at the pilot. "We will have words about this, me and you, I guarantee."
Storming back out of the bay doors of the Necrosis, Doni Tzu vented an exasperated sigh, before noticing almost all the tank commanders looking at him from various distances. Perhaps they had heard what went on, even through the thick hull of the cruiser. He snorted and leapt into the open hatch of the command chariot, opening a channel to Yukika. "Madam, since you have seen fit to land here, and you have the lightest vehicle, please to be scouting ahead of our unit. Northeast bearing 035." Clicking this channel closed and opening the Death's Head main comm - "Company move out. Follow the skiff. Formation in line. Platoon commanders in the middle of each platoon, forward tanks turret facing front, rear tanks turret facing rear. Active sensors prohibited - passive only. Tanks may unbutton at discretion." A brief pause. "Lets take it slow. We have no idea whats in there."
The platoon commanders acknowledged in return and the Death's Head moved out, a rickety skiff in the lead.
Ylith sat in the dust of a small crater, laser fire all around him. He was
halfway home until a stray hover droid spotted him and called in for assistance.
The Hunter now sat cornered inside a crater with a huge wall of rock in front of him.
”Well they know we’re here so…here goes nothing..” Ylith said to himself and
he grabbed his communicator.
”This is Ylith Romanae calling all Brotherhood Frequency’s! Does anybody here me?”
A long silence greeted the Valheru and while it seemed like ages it took just several
minutes before sound from the other side got trough.
”This is the Corsair, what’s your status?”
”Well…bit in a situation here! Send some air support to my location! When you do
I will divert the Republic forces! Hurry!”
The comlink broke off and Ylith suddenly saw a small creature, about the size of a
small dog. Ylith grabbed it and attached the Communicator to it, spurting out a
beacon on all Republic frequencies. Suddenly Laser fire roared inbound from the Corsair
itself at all Republic forces. When they were shot down Ylith released the doglike creature,
now a running beacon for the Republic hounds to follow.
Ylith rose from his seat and looked at the hits he took at his arm and side.
”I really need to get more careful…”
The Hunter quickly moved to the Daemon camp, not to far from his location. He
climbed over a hill and slid down a dune like side to his three Daemon brothers.
”About time.” Dox said sitting back up.
”What happened?” Fenn asked curious.
”No time to tell you now, what I do know is we need to get the hell out of here,
suggestions?” Their Valheru said quickly.
”I saw a few ships land northeast from here, probably Doni Tzu’s assault team,
he was scheduled to go first but I am not certain he’s there. We can at least go to
get re-united with our fellow brothers.” Dox said with a grin.
”Alright, now, lets go, walking with one arm only is very annoying.”
The Valheru followed Dox and CannabiS and Fenn followed behind them, going as much
around the base as possible to get to their brothers.
After a short hour of walking, they stumbled upon a forest, thickly grown and very hard to
”Are you sure it was somewhere here?” Ylith asked looking forward at Dox.
”I know for sure, but I know what you mean, this isn’t a very strategic location to set down
your troops.” Dox said cutting with his lightsaber trough the plant life.
Suddenly troops emerged from the bushes.
”Halt! Put down your weapons!” The soldier said looking at them. Ylith Stepped forward.
”Soldier, I am Valheru Ylith Romanae, this is my team, and we need to see Doni Tzu.”
The soldier called in with his communicator to the main force.
”Sir Doni Tzu, there is a man called Ylith Romanae with his squad here, they want to speak with you.”
The soldier nodded and looked at Ylith. “Follow me.”
After five minutes of walking Ylith and his brethren arrived at the site, and Doni Tzu
walked to Ylith.
”Good to see you General.” The Hunter said but Doni Tzu just walked up to him
and slammed Ylith in the face with the back of his hand. Ylith wiped the blood of his face
and rose from the ground.
”That is for doing such a stupid thing! Follow orders next time! If you didn’t
find that Frigate on the far side of the moon I swear I would have ripped your guts
out and have you deliver it to the Republic personally! DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR HUNTER!?”
Ylith nodded, “Yes sir.”
”Now tell me what you know..”
“Column halt,” the General’s voice echoed through the cupola of Sato Bruth’Kothae’s heavy tank. The slow moving column of repulsor-tanks began to lurch to a complete stop. The Krath thought for a moment before relaying his own orders to the vehicles which composed his platoon.
“Staggered formation move. All turrets to the perimeter, TC’s unbutton and conduct visual sweeps, we don’t want any surprises lads.”
Sato, unbuttoned the hatch to his own cupola and stood ram rod straight, exposing himself to the forest outside. The Dark Knight was fully aware that the slow meandering progress of the armoured column was a tempting target for any military commander worth his salt. Couple that with terrain which favoured opposing forces, and provided cover, and you had the textbook opportunity for ambush. Something important must have developed for the General to call a halt like this. New intelligence or change in orders perhaps… His thought process was abruptly broken as the command frequency squelched.
“Yukika to Doni’Tzu, we’ve begun taking indirect fire, concussion charges. Estimate enemy force at reinforced platoon size.” The channel went quiet for a split second before Sato heard the familiar cool voice of the commanding general reply.
”Column all head move. Straight line advance. AT-STs to the flank, move to contact and prosecute any and all targets. All other vehicles return fire as necessary.” No sooner had the order to move come through, then the forest came alive with blaster fire, as the New Republic forces engaged. Sato chuckled at their pitiable effort, heavy blasters and concussion charges were no match for the armoured skin of the Death’s Head’s vehicles. The most the opposing force could hope to accomplish was a delaying action, and that was unlikely as the tell tale sound of AT-ST blasters broke through the din.
The fighting lasted for perhaps six minutes if one was generous to the enemy.
“All platoon commanders report status,”
“2nd Platoon is green…damage only to vehicle 9’s water storage unit,” Sato said after waiting his turn to report. Damage reports all along the armoured portion of the column were nearly identical, lightest of damage only. The same could not be said of Yukika’s thin skinned skiff, which had been destroyed by several direct concussion blast hits.
Anshar stood on the bridge of the Corsair watching the progress. Things had not gone as planned, to say the least. The extra frigate, with extra fighters, plus the hot headedness of several clan members, had thrown the original plan out the window. And, it had unnecessarily alerted the New Republic and the Jedi to their presence. Oberst and Donitz had both already expressed their displeasure to various members of the clan; Anshar was more reserved, but if the mission went south, he would be sure to hold everyone who had a hand in the failure responsible. Even if the main base was neutralized, there were still the search groups at the four sites, which had been identified as the ruins of two temples, a small town, and what appeared to be a crashed starship. Someone had been here before; someone either running from something or someone. And, there had been people there before that, judging by the age of the temples.
“Sir, another shuttle has dropped out of hyperspace,” reported the sensor tech. Oberst cursed.
“We’re not missing any other clan members, are we?” asked Oberst. Anshar shook his head. Everyone had been accounted for, either on the mission or they had remained behind.
“Sir, there’s an incoming message for you,” said the comm officer. “It’s a pre-recording.” Anshar flipped a switch and a twelve inch tall holo-projection of Sith Bloodfyre, the Sith High Warrior, appeared in front of Anshar and Oberst.
“Greetings, Anshar,” said the recording. “I hope the mission is going well. If I have some time, I may swing by to observe how things are going. For now, I’ve used some connections to dig up some more information on this sword of yours. I have entrusted the information to a mutual friend of ours who is aboard the shuttle. I was surprised when he showed up at my office, but he’s transferred back to Tarentum. His arrival was good timing, as I did not want to send this information over the network, especially with New Republic forces and Jedi hanging around. Good luck.” The image faded away as the recording ended.
“Sir, the shuttle is requesting docking rights,” said the deck officer. “He’s using an older code, something from the last Brotherhood wide confrontation, but it is authentic. He’s id’ing himself as Templar Dranik.”
“He’s cleared,” said Anshar.
“Thank the Force, another level headed person,” commented Oberst as Anshar made his way to the docking bay.
“Meet us in the ops center,” said Anshar as he disappeared.
Anshar arrived just as the shuttle was settling down. Anshar strode past the deck crew and met the cloaked figure. The figure removed his hood, revealing his elf-like features. His ancient katana, handed down through the generations of his family, was on his waist. His lightsaber was tucked away. “I should strike you down where you stand,” said Anshar as the two clasped hands. “The prodigal student returns.”
“You could at least wait until you see the information I got,” commented Dranik, grinning slightly. “Besides, I passed my trials.” The two made their way to the ops center and found Oberst waiting for them. Dranik removed a datadisk from within his robes and inserted it into the computer. A projector activated and a rotating image of the Obsidian blade appeared. A feminine voice, identified as an apprentice working in the Sith High Warrior’s office, began speaking.
“The blade can only be traced back to the original owner, though the concept for such a blade has been passed down through both Sith and Krath legend, so there is no telling how old the idea of such a weapon is. The actual weapon can only be wielded by the strongest of the dark side and who continually maintains a strong temperament of anger. The sword will burn anyone who is not fit to hold it and attempting to maintain a hold on the sword, if one can bear the pain, will result in one’s death. It would be foolish for anyone below the rank of Sith Warlord to even attempt to hold the blade, much less use it. Blood has never touched the blade, though judging by the legend of the blade’s construction, blood would simply boil off the blade.” There was a pause before the voice continued narrating.
“The last records of the blade indicate that it was held by one of the last followers of Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma. Driven by his own greed, the student stole the blade and fled. He was hunted down to the small moon you now orbit, but no trace of the weapon was found. Finding the weapon, however, will not be easy, as it gives off no dark side aura; most likely this is a result of the gems in the hilt.” The message ended and the image disappeared.
“And this was not available before hand?” asked Oberst.
“No, and I searched,” said Anshar. “I believe our Sith High Warrior has been keeping his own personal library. We will deal with that when the time comes. For now, let us continue this mission."
Sheltering behind the motionless skiff, Artemis whipped the sweat from her brow. Once the sounds of energy blasts and various other explosions subsided the Twi’lek stepped out from her cover; clad in her KOTN armour, customized for her frame. Slowly she shouldered her DC-17m, a nearly archaic blaster but excruciatingly effective.
Artemis took in the sights of the forest, shaking her head slightly at the idea of landing heavy tanks in an environment such as this. She shrugged it off and approached Sato’s tank, the hatch popping open.
“Sato, would you lend a fellow Keepers a ride?” She asked, looking up at emerging head of the veteran Keeper.
“Oh hell no, you're going to walk.” Chuckled the Dark Jedi Knight in reply.
Artemis pouted a little and pretended to head off and try and find someone else who would be kinder to the newbie. As soon as the young Twi’lek heard Sato’s hatch close she leapt up onto the rear side guard, grabbing for a hand hold as Doni’Tzu gave the order to continue moving, cursing the Pilot once more.
Ma`ar sat quietly in his office aboard the newly constructed space station, recently returning to his get away, he pondered the news of the operation, but sat idly at his new office, as the Doomsday was never summoned for active duty.
Ma`ar had read the reports coming in as the transmissions were beamed to his office. The day had drug on, Ma`ar feeling the effects of battle during the Obelisk Right of Supremacy was exhausted. Not wanting to hinder any operation that the clan had set in motion, he sat back, reading report after report from both Doni Tzu, and the field marshal Maximillian von Oberst Tarentae, the Clan summit had yet to inform Ma`ar to make his presence felt on the field, but Doni Tzu had informed Ma`ar to be ready for anything possible. What or when was the key word, Ma`ar was not the sort for last minute orders, but he knew not to go against the leaders and elders of the clan.
Ma`ar figured he would ready his gear for that just in case mission, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if Ma`ar show up at the last minute, the time was well spent relaxing from his battles just months earlier. The days grew long and harsh but the Battle teams and ground pounding units had wage a few battles already, knowing a few shuttles were lost in the fights and men were dying, that He knew he needed to be there, but the trip wouldn’t take as long. He had a few shuttles hanging in the landing bay, but neither was prepped and ready.
Ma`ar had stepped away for a stroll around the station, as it was days he had been there and had never seen all the areas of the station, the shuttle bay, and garden were about as far as he had gone, but the station itself was manned by droids and automatic systems, as Ma`ar needed to only use it to relax and train for battles that would occur, he had access to all the systems via a remote hand held data pad.
As Ma`ar began his stroll several droids wised past and he felt a lonely sensation for the first time, the station was build for him, but he was accustomed to the noise and busy scheduling as Quaestor, he recalled weeks earlier that he had given the title up to his new Apprentice to take over Tridens. As the battles lingered on, the wear had taken its toll on Ma`ar.
As the walkways were all the same they twisted and wound all around the station, Ma`ar had lost track of where he was, and how long he was away. The data pad had rung to life, as Ma`ar grabbed it he seen a shocking report, Prelate Zekk one of Ma`ar’s closest friends was on his way to retrieve the vacationing Vurk.
Ma`ar hurried knowing he was just on the outskirts of Yridia’s star system, and figured the Mandalore would be post haste, Ma`ar sent word thru the data pad that a shuttle would be arriving soon and to allow him access to land in the shuttle bay.
As Ma`ar scurried around he was unsure what the rush was, was there need for more ground support for the clan, or was there a special mission that Commander Karel Bruth’Kothae had for him, recently joining battle team Gi before his departure to the station.
Answers would come in time Ma`ar knew as soon as Zekk would arrive. How could Tarentums forces, and newly acquired tanks be in such a dismay for them to call upon Ma`ar. As he scurried off into the long and winding hallways of the station Ma`ar headed to the Quarters he held his gear, getting ready for battle is what the Vurk longed for
The Mandalorian’s heavy footsteps echoed throughout the shuttle. Every step he took sounded like the steps of death.
Zekk stopped in front of one of the quarters and knocked.
“Enter,” Ma`ar said. Zekk entered the room to find Ma`ar sitting in meditation.
“Ahh Smoke, I have to apologize for the rushed departure, but I knew I had to have you here for this mission. As you are one of our strongest warriors”, Zekk said.
Ma`ar sat there staring into the emotionless T-visor of Zekk’s helmet.
“It’s not a problem, always happy to serve under you.” Ma`ar replied.
“Good then, well we should reach the moon soon enough. I’d advise you to go over all your weaponry. I have a bad feeling abut this mission.”
“Why is that?” Ma`ar wondered.
“Well, aside the major disturbance in the force, there is a very good chance of running into a very old love of mine…” Zekk said with some pain behind his words.
Ma`ar looked at Zekk, and figured this probably wasn’t the best time to ask him about that.
Zekk nodded and left the room, and made his way back to his quarters.
He sat on his bunk, taking his helmet off and setting it down beside him. Zekk looked in the mirror; he ran his hand over the scar that ran though his right eye. He was lucky that he didn’t lose it. “Oh you will pay for that, Jade.” Zekk said through clenched teeth.
Zekk got up, and went through his footlocker, and pulled out his dual blaster pistols, and placed them, in their holsters. He next took out his gauntlets and slid them on, he check them over to make sure they were operational. He made sure his various darts were all loaded. He grabbed his EE-3 Blaster Rifle and slung that over his shoulder.
His gauntleted hand reached down to the curved handle that hung from his utility belt. He pulled it from his belt, and switched the lightsaber on. The crimson red blade hummed to life. He turned it off and placed it back on his belt.
He then opened up one of his pockets and pulled out a small holodisk and activated it.
A very young and beautiful woman appeared, her hair was golden, and her figure slim and had a pair of the most perfect breasts any man had ever seem. She was his “Goldie.”
Zekk looked at Jade, and remembered the day he found out she was a Jedi, the day she left him, they day he had fought her while searching for the Obsidian Blade, and lastly, the day they were married, and the day he loved her no more.
He turned off the disk, and put it back in its pouch, just as his comlink was going off. He knew they had arrived. He knew in good time he would see her again, and make his decision. He picked up his helmet and slid it down into place, he drew his cloak over his head, and exited this quarters.
The White Bishop made his way across the path. His target was in sight, the Black Queen. He raised his mace, and slammed it down over the cowering Queen. She screamed once, and then disappeared. A smirk graced Master Zero’s features, a small one, but a smirk nonetheless. “You seem to have lost your Queen, Field Marshal.”
Oberst glanced up once from the board and moved his Rook down the board. “True, but I believe this is checkmate, Master.” A toothy grin flashed at Master Zero who stared down at the board in shock. “Yes, I know. ‘I hate you.’” Oberst’s grin got wider as he motioned an aide over. The young man refilled both of their glasses, the amber liquid splashed gently into their glasses. “A drink, Admiral? Consul?”
“Please,” the aide rushed to grab a new glass, and fill it for the Consul. The clink of ice against the heavy crystal echoed softly throughout the bridge. And the aromatic, amber liquid wafted gently.
“No thank you. I am still on duty.” Kessian’s response was emphasized when he switched a knob on the BAC, turning it from the chessboard back to a holographic representation of the space around the Corsair. More than thirty kilometers away was the Republic frigate. She had launched shuttles headed towards the moon half an hour ago. Those same shuttles had been destroyed five minutes after that. The X- and A-Wings had made the short jump through hyperspace and then come back to escort the Corsair and Havoc.
Oberst rolled his eyes, “Fine, I’m now ordering you to have a drink.” He gazed up from his chair towards the BAC and eyed the frigate. “How many fighters do you think it has?”
Armus accepted the offered glass and looked at the BAC as well, “I don’t know. They certainly didn’t launch fighters when we went after those shuttles. They might not have any.”
“Perhaps we should find out?”
Armus nodded and barked out, “B-Wing group Eta, I want a surgical strike against the Frigate at long range. I want torpedoes at the engines. A-Wing Kappa and X-Wing Iota will provide cover.”
In the quarters she had been assigned on the Corsair, Ziltopia was surrounded by the data pads, books, scrolls, and other artifacts she had brought with her from the Tarentum library or from her own personal collection, tremendous documentation to say the least. Ziltopia was greatly annoyed by the fact that Master Zero, Anshar, Oberst, and Armus had not called on her expertise in history, lore, and archeology of the early Dark Brotherhood, meditation and the arts of the mind, medicine including the practices of neurological and psychological therapy (Ziltopia thinks to herself, Obviously, Ylith is in need of counseling for his little stunt and undoubtedly will need severe counseling sessions after Oberst is through with him; Actually, I’m surprised Oberst didn’t tell him to “go fist himself”); even if she is new to Tarentum. Her knowledge of the “Bloodless” Obsidian Blade is formidable—who do the elders of the Clan suppose collected most of the information for the Shadow Academy and did a majority of the research for Bloodfyre? Being attuned to the obscure facts that others have forgotten, Ziltopia could be one of the most useful weapons in the current campaign, if only her knowledge would be gleaned by the right sources.
Although I was in Satal Keto before going rogue, am I not to be trusted? I did pass all of the loyalty trials and am a Tetrach … strange that such intelligent men do not use all resources that are available to them.
Ziltopia looked at her two young apprentices; both Novices, Jareth Daedalus and Dragnos Beltaswar, had fallen asleep over the datapads she had given them to scour for certain details. Although Krath Pontifex Ciara Tearnan is in the Mystics of the Black Arts, she’s away tending to her diplomatic duties. Guardian Rhea Koros has been assigned as the personal attaché to Ciara, therefore leaving only three members to Ziltopia’s battle team.
Ziltopia keyed the comm and sarcastically remarked, “Oberst, when will I be able to transport to the surface? I know Beit Adonai and Beit HaMikdash have been waiting for millennia, but I am anxious to be on the grounds as soon as possible.”
“Beit Adonai and Beit HaMikdash?” Oberst’s commanding voice crackled through the comm.
“The names of the two temples,” remarked Ziltopia, her voice having the air of someone preoccupied, as she looks very intensely at the passage she is reading out of an old ragged copy of the Halakhah, an actual “old-fashioned” book—quite rare and priceless.
“How do you know such things,” tersely questioned Master Zero.
Ziltopia tersely remarked, “Do you not read personnel histories?”
“No, that is what aides are for,” snapped Master Zero, “Krath Priest Charon Lorccán Bláthnat, if you value your life, you will never use that tone with me again."
Ziltopia shivers as she feels a sllight drain on her own live force, her frail human body begining to get cold.
“My humblest and sincerest apologies Dark Jedi Master Zero Tarentae,” Ziltopia dejectedly responded after hearing the formal use of her rank and true name, not the nickname by which everyone calls her, and feeling The Force drain.
Knowing that she had not done anything to improve on the atmosphere of distrust that currently surrounds her since the dissolution of Satal Keto and her decision to solitary pursuits versus moving to another clan immediately. Ziltopia regrets the black mark the decision to “go rogue” has given her; obviously a disincentive with regards to career advancement. Ziltopia has always been one with an “authority complex,” something that has put her very life in danger too many times to be counted. She truly is the Lone Wolf who is paranoid and vicious, yet oddly enough, fiercely loyal. If only Risua Cantor were here to substantiate Ziltopia’s dependability; perhaps with more Necromantics training Ziltopia will be able to summon Risua to speak on her behalf. Sighing heavily while lost in her own thoughts, Ziltopia jumped at the crackle of the comm...
He was back in the cockpit of his TIE Defender after the short meeting on board the Corsair. Twisting in his acceleration couch to readjust the webbing Welshman winced in disapproval at the acrid environment in the cockpit and also his dank clothing. Space battles the intense affairs they were had combined with the armoured jump suit he wore to make him all hot under the collar. No wonder he had had such surprised looks thrown his way on way to the bridge, they must have assumed a Pro consul to be immaculately turned out and never doing so much as raise a sweat.
“B-Wing group Eta, I want a surgical strike against the Frigate at long range. I want torpedoes at the engines. A-Wing Kappa and X-Wing Iota will provide cover.” Crackled a voice over Starfighter command’s tactical channel, interrupting his chain of thoughts.
“Kessian, requesting permission to join Eta’s escort?”
“Feel free to engage. Exercise all due caution, we are unsure whether they have fighter support or not.”
“Sure sure vice-Admiral. Welsh out.”
Feeding power to his repulsors drives Welshman nudged the craft out of the mag con field before pointing the craft towards the disc of the moon, partially eclipsing a tiny sliver of its mother planet and engaging the main drives. A course plot appeared on his HUD showing the curve he would have to take to meet the advancing starfighters and engage the frigate. ETA five minutes.
Five minutes later Welsh was nestled inside the protective screen of fighters heading towards the soon to be vaporised frigate. His communications board lit up with chatter across Tarentum’s bands.
“This is Eta 1. Initialising targeting lock. Order all R-2 droids to receive my data, we’ll launch a massed volley at one point and crack straight through those shields of hers. Second barrage is to go on same co-ords. Lock s-foils into attack positions and May the Force be with Us.”
Looking out of his cockpit window Welsh saw the wings of the B-wings began to unfold from their cruising positions which they had assumed to re-supply with the fleet Carrier. A few seconds after they assumed their crucifix like shape two points of searing azure light thundered from the fighters and angled in towards a single spot above the frigate’s massive engine banks.
“Sir, we have activity from the far side of the frigate. Four contacts making a break for it, A-wing class. “ Came a voice which was identified as Kappa 3.
“Can you catch up with them?”
“Negative, they seem to be revving those engines way past the red lines. That and the head start. They are going to swing round the other side of the moon and make a brake for light speed.”
“Don’t worry keep these bombers safe. I have a idea.”
“Archean, where are you and your squad?”
“On our way to dock at the Corsair. We need to resupply.”
“Hold on that, go to these co-ordinates and wait. You’ll soon have a new friend to play with.”
“A flight of A-wings, heading out to gain reinforcements or just even the senior staff deserting a sinking ship.” And as if to highlight these words the whole rear section of the frigate detonated leaving it dead and adrift in space.
“Will do Welsh, moving to intercept now.”
“Good work and thanks Arche.”
“Oberst, you might want to send some space troopers out here.” Welsh said after closing the link to Archean and re-opening the link to the Corsair.
Yuki looked at her now demolished skiff and swore slightly, as she retrieved her katana from the rear compartment. She turned and saw a man she had thought was very much dead. This man was looking at her and her apprentices with a slight smirk playing across his lips. He approached and Tsukiko made a move to step in front of her and she placed a gentle, firm hand against tsukiko's stomach, "You will conitnue on with the Keeper's and General Doni Tzu."
She took a step away, "Now, Tsuki. You and Morombath are required elsewhere. This is my problem and i need to take care of it."
She walked away from Tsuki and Morombath who looked from her to the man then turned to follow the armored vehicles towards their mission. She tied her katana to her waist sash and spoke softly to this man, "Jin....you're dead. I saw you die. i killed you."
The man smirked, "You only thought you killed me, snow child. You killed the rest of our family, yet I survived. I hold no malice towards you, merely bringing a warning. Your students hold the same malice as you. Be cautious with them, little sister. They are vicious animals as are all of the dark jedi you traverse with. They can turn on you if it will be a means to acheive their own ambitions."
Yuki draw her katana, staring at this man, "Jin, these people are my family now. you are dead, and I will make sure of it this time."
jin sighed softly and pulled out the handle of a lightsaber, igniting its soft blue-green blade, "You are not the only one who has been training, Yukika. Except, I was going to forgive you for what you did. It is the Jedi way to forgive, I was even goign to forgive you for being evil."
Yuki backflipped away, and shed her outer robes, quickly pulling her own saber from her robes igniting the blade. yuki stared at the man, pausing only slightly which left her open for his first attack which was meant to remove her head from her body. She snapped out of it, just in time to bring her own blade up enough and angle the attack down and stop if so it merely bit her right forearm. Yuki screamed in and anger as she perform a riposte against her opponent, her saber going through his left thigh. Pulling the saber out quickly, she watched her brother as he seemed to completely ignore the fact that she just stabbed him in the leg, moving quickly, she darted from side to side, an agile tigeress protecting her cubs. She saw the tanks and the people on foot disappear into the forest, leaving her to deal with this man. She feinted low and swung high to remove his head when a blast from a disruptor rifle hit him in the side. She and Jin looked in the direction the blast came from and saw Morombath aiming the rifle.
Jin's body fell to the ground and Yuki wept silently for the final member of her true family. Gathering his saber, she walked towards Morombath and glared at him, "I told you to stay with them. Why did you disobey me?"
"I heard what he said about Tsukiko and myself. His dying thoughts were that he was truly wrong," the half-chiss man said matter-of-factly.
She sighed softly, and trudged off in the direction of the tanks with Morombath in tow, "You did well, my apprentice. I am proud."
Yuki continued to walk and used her subconcious to stay on track as her mind wandered back to her past. She couldn't remember why she had done it, only that her remorse and self-abandon had consumed her and she became what jin had called her. She was evil, she accepted this. She knew what and who she was. She snapped from her reverie when a blaster was pointed at her face. She had walked straight into a force of New Repubic soldiers who were following the tank division. She looked at her student, "Go, Morombath. Do not turn back, get to Doni Tzu and tell him that he is being followed."
Yuki ignited her saber again and watched the soldiers carefully, tricking their minds into not seeing her apprentice slip through them and take off towards Doni Tzu's tank division.
All was relatively quiet inside the Yevethan's command chariot, near the front of the columnar formation of Tarentum armor. Dim red combat lighting shone only slightly through the thin viewports of the repulsor craft, the soft hum of the engines mirroring the sluglike pace through the dense green forest. Ahead the Arakyd tank droid rumbled around larger trees and crushed smaller ones, scattering birds at every turn. Doni Tzu glanced at the enhanced sensors of the command craft, keenly attenuated to any slight difference or hint of rebel forces.
One could imagine thusly his startled jump and hence collision with the roof of the repulsorcraft when a loud thump resonated through the interior, and was repeated several times. Rubbing the top of his forehead painfully, he signalled an abrupt halt to the column and popped the hatch on the top of the chariot. Ascending into the fresh air again, he glanced around, quickly ascertaining the winded Morombath at the side of the vehicle.
The Warlord rolled his eyes. "What is it this time? Why are you holding our advance?" he queried. Morombath's reply came out between gasps. "General... we're... being followed. Yukika is behind... several... Republic soldiers..."
Doni Tzu immediately glanced towards the trailing rear of the column and placed his bony fingers on the hull of the command craft. Processing this new information, his eyes narrowed, as if trying to focus on the rebel soldiers somewhere in the distance to his rear. How in the world had they gotten behind him? How did they find out he was even here? He could only guess that they had done like Ylith and his team had done, and actually witnessed the Necrosis' descent into the forest.
"Dammit..." he hissed through his teeth. The clawed fingers scraped the armor plating of the chariot, making a dull screeching noise. This wasn't getting any easier - in fact, everything was going wrong. First the landing in completely the wrong terrain, and now he had lost the element of surprise... two of the three prerequisites for a successful armored attack, gone. The situation was quickly spiralling out of control and he was certain that he would not lose the initiative to this rabble. "Thank you, that will be all" Doni Tzu nodded to Morombath, sending him on his way.
Dropping down into the chariot, Doni Tzu spoke over the company command channel. "All platoon commanders, report to the chariot." Some minutes later he had finally gathered his senior officers, including Sato, and spoke.
"Gentlemen, we have a problem. I have just received word that at least a squad of rebel soldiers is tailing us. There may be more, but what's important is that they're following us, not attacking. As you are all aware this is certain to mean that the rebels now know that we are here, where we're going, and in what strength, and I am certain that I don't have to remind you of what will happen if we are dutiful in fulfilling their projections." The General glanced around at the officers, some of whom scratched their backs of their necks in nervousness, others looking at him blankly. Taking a breath, Doni Tzu adjusted his robes somewhat. "So here is what we are going to do. We must deny the rebels the ability to ascertain our location, and simultaneously we must not attack where we originally projected from. Thus, we must take a risk." He nodded at the two AT-ST and AT-AA drivers. "You four will immediately turn and engage the rebels following us. Eliminate them and assist Yukika and her brethren. We must first stop the flow of information from this group back to the republic base - this will disengage us from contact" the drivers nodded their assent.
Sato was the first to realize the risk that the Warlord had just taken. "Sir, if we do that, we will be devoid of both our reconnaisance and anti-aircraft assets." Doni Tzu closed his eyes and nodded. "Yes, I know that. However, as we have heard nor seen any sign of Republic fighters, I am going to chance that they don't have any. Besides, the legged vehicles would only slow us down for the next step." Satistifed, Sato looked back down at the three-dimensional map that Doni Tzu had just called into being.
"We are here in this forest" Doni Tzu motioned towards a red blotch near the terminus of the forest, beyond which was a plain, and beyond that, was the rebel base. "At the terminus we had expected to surprise the rebels and make a simple linear assault on the base. This is no longer possible. As this is our axis of advance, the rebels will surely have their main ground defenses arrayed towards our jump off point at the forest edge." As he took a breath, the map zoomed out a bit, displaying an icon of the Corsair, high in orbit, in relation to the battlefield. "Upon notification of engagement of the rebel scout force by the AT-ST's, I will call down a very large bombardment of the plain outside the forest terminus by the Corsair - this will create a very large cloud of dust, smoke, and debris, shielding the terminus from view. It will be" and Donitz spoke as if were already come to pass "will be apparent to the rebels that we are masking our preparations for deployment and reinforce the idea that we are going to exit from the terminus." At this point the view zoomed back onto the forest. "The remaining vehicles will execute a very fast lateral maneuver to the northwest." Doni Tzu sweapt his hand from the forest to a series of hills, Ylith's initial 'landing' location. "We will reassemble behind these hills, here, and thereupon make an immediate broad frontal assault over the hill and onto the rebel base, catching the rebels both by surprise and by flank. I need not emphasize how simplistic this victory will be."
The gathered platoon commanders smiled and nodded their emphatic agreement, their renewed certainty of victory acting as a breath of fresh life into the company's first mission.
The Yevethan closed the map and looked at each commander seriously. "I cannot emphasize how important the issue of speed is. Once the cloud outside the terminus disappates and the rebels realize we are not there, we must have already begun the attack. Hence, I am issuing you all orders to arrive at the assembly point behind the hills in any haste necessary. Formations are to be disregarded - just don't crash your tanks into the trees. Any questions?" he glanced quickly to each officer, for whom the next fifteen minutes would prove either their worth to all the clan, or their eternal dishonor or death, if they were lucky.
Meeting none, Doni Tzu locked his jaw seriously. "Then let's move out."
Yuki ignited her saber again and watched the soldiers carefully, tricking their minds into not seeing her apprentice slip through them and take off towards Doni Tzu's tank division.
As the republic soldiers surrounded yuki smoke started to rise all around them, gasping for air the republic soldiers looked around for the one who caused it. a cloaked figure walked towards them pulling out a sword he started to run toward them.
With a flash of light he was gone again, confused, the soldiers looked around again and then they all split in half falling to the ground Cain landed behind Yuki removed his hood he looked coldly at them. He looked at Yuki
"Good then lets go."
he started to walk towards the tanks, but stopped gripping his sword, he cursed as several more enemy soldiers appeared, their blasters trained on the small group of clan members....
“Fighters, take out the frigate’s communications and hanger bays,” ordered Anshar. “We can let it drift until we’re ready to take it. I want to get the clan on the ground and conducting the search.”
“Acknowledged,” came Welshman’s voice.
“Any word on General Donitz’s movements?” Oberst asked to one of the officers on the bridge.
“The last report indicated that Republic troops had gotten behind the column,” replied the officer. “Most likely from the bad landing location.”
“Remind me to kill the pilot of the transport if Donitz has not already done so,” said Oberst as he moved back to the command station.
“Sir, incoming transmission from the general,” said the deck officer. “They’re asking for an orbital bombardment at the following points.” At this point, Zero took over as commander of the vessel, maneuvering the ship into place and targeting the coordinates provided from the ground forces.
“Prepare to fire on my command,” said Zero.
Jedi Knight Jorax Tuar wiped the sweat off his brow as he moved about the wreckage of the downed ship, the humidity clinging to him like a wet rag. There was no telling exactly how old the ship was, but estimates put it near four thousand years old. The other searchers had cleared away the overgrowth of plant life. About the only thing useful the ship had provided was the old locker that could have held the artifact they were looking for and the fact that it had been a terrible crash. Four thousand years did not remove the evidence of blaster fire and concussion blasts. The engines were long since gone, probably destroyed due to the combination of the pursuers fire and the crash. The nav computer and logs had been removed, though not destroyed as near as the techs could tell; however, it still meant that there was no telling where the ship was headed, or where it had come from. Perhaps this moon had not even been its target, but merely the resting place of the vessel.
Looking up, Jorax saw the flashes of turbolaser fire descend through the atmosphere. He had sensed the arrival of the enemy forces, the Dark Side, and he had sensed the loss of the lives on board the Republic cruisers. He looked around at the squad of troopers with him, as well as a couple of the other Jedi. Most of them were much younger and had little knowledge of Palpatine and the other Dark Lords. Jorax had fought in the Rebellion, fighting at the Battle of Endor and then against Grand Admiral Thrawn. Master Skywalker had recognized his talent and determined him to be Force sensitive. Since then, Jorax had dedicated himself to his training as a Jedi. He was a new breed of Jedi, one who placed a good deal of emphasis on fighting. All Jedi learned combat skills, but Jorax had gone beyond that, fine tuning his combat skills. He was rated as one of the best dualists in the Jedi Order, but he rarely let things like that enter his mind.
Jorax felt very small vibrations in the ground as the turbolasers hit their marks, whatever they were.
Ziltopia jumped at the crackle of the comm and Anshar’s voice came through. “Priestess, report to the briefing room and bring whatever information you have on this moon.” The comm closed before she could respond.
Ziltopia turned on her heel, “Jareth, Dragnos, wake up now! Gather the data on Beit.”
Jareth asked sleepily, “Beit?”
“The moon of Ashkenazim, the fifth planet in the Mizrahim system,” responded Dragnos, immediately and fully alert.
“Very good Dragnos. My young Jareth, take a lesson from your fellow Novice, you may be brethren in the Mystics, but you are also competitors in everything that you do because you began your training at the same time”
Jareth stared at his feet, feeling fully chastised by his Master, while Dragnos triumphantly smirked at his companion. Ziltopia, gave a look of intense determination and rushing out of the door with the Halakhah in her left hand with her pointer finger marking the page she had been looking at and her two apprentices in tow, carrying several datapads, three scrolls, and a black crystal the length of the a Sapphire Dagger hilt, worried if what information she had gathered would indicate the same things to the higher ups as it did to her. Moving quickly down the corridor, to the lifts, meandering through the Corsair, until finally arriving at the briefing room, seven and a half minutes later, where Oberst and Anshar are impatiently waiting, Ziltopia, Jareth, and Dragnos, enter nervously quiet. To Oberst’s chagrin, the comm crackled and a bridge officer reported, “The M/CRV Palantir has just arrived in system with Dark Side Adept Spears Optimate Tarentae.”
Elsewhere soft mutterings echoed down the halls on one of the decks of the Corsair, after slipping away from the Ops room. The Templar quietly made his way back to the shuttle bay he had arrived in earlier, taking extra care to avoid any contact with his fellow clan members and crew of the ship. Dranik, tactfully had his right hand placed on the hilt of the ancient Katana he carried at his side, the large robes hiding this well from any that he might pass. As Dranik entered the shuttle bay he quietly dismissed the guards and any staff he found. Other than his single shuttle, borrowed from Lord Bloodfyre, the bay now sat empty, the contents of which now zoomed about space either engaged in combat or on its way to become such.
After the doors of the bay closed behind the Templar he quietly set to work. Using his knowledge from his time in the Royal Guard the door was locked within seconds, the panel now spewed sparks on the hall side slowly dieing down to an inactive spot on the wall. Shaking his head quietly the Templar made his way onto the shuttle, closing the ramp and sealing it just in case. After the short walk he sat down in the pilot’s chair of the small vessel; quick, ungloved fingers typing commands on the comm. panel. Before another move is made, the Templar quietly closes his eyes, pulling out a small cube from the inside of his robe. After moments of quiet, arcane sounding mutterings the cube started to glow, and the Templar opened his eyes, a slight glow to them. His long stint away from the Brotherhood gave the Templar many reasons, and time, to spend studying the path of the Original Keepers of Tarentum, and those of the Death Bringers. While his powers were no near the levels of those such as Lord Bloodfyre, his mastery of the Eyes of the Keeper was more than enough to allow the Templar to hear the heartbeats of the staff and guards in the hall outside the shuttle bay.
With another single button push, the Templar activated the display, using the modified shuttle equipment, and his knowledge in the Clan’s security, to hide the transmission. A few moments later a heavily cloaked figure appeared before him. “Sir, I have arrived and will start soon.” Said Dranik and the figure on the screen nodded and disappeared. “Well..you could at least have said something…Bloody Hell.” Stated Dranik suddenly as he heard the heartbeat of many more people outside and then the sound of the hall doors being forced opened. It was to be expected though, thought the Templar as he quickly powered down the advanced comm’s array. Upon exiting the shuttle he was met by a few armed crew members, worried looks on their faces. Upon seeing the Templar’s robes and blades they quickly addressed him “Sir, we were worried about the door sealing itself. Is everything all right?” The Templar growled as he spoke “Get out of my sight. I sealed the doors for a reason.”. But before the crewmembers could respond, Dranik strode quickly back into the shuttle, the ramp remaining open for the moment. He quietly slid his robes off. After a moment he attached the custom made armor to his body and slipped his belt back on, reattaching the Katana, Lightsaber, and blaster pistol to his side. After a few more moments he attached a specially made pack to his back, putting in it odd items, a few balls and cubs, some spare energy packs and a very old, odd looking book. Over all of this he slipped his robe back on and slung his rifle with high powered scope unto his should via strap and walked from the shuttle, sealing it from remote after exiting.
The crew in the hanger watched him suspiciously as he exited the bay and headed towards the Ops room. Upon entering he received an odd look from those who had never seen the heavily armed Obelisk Templar before. Dranik grinned quietly and moved to take a stance at the far side of the room. Quietly he whispered to Anshar, as he passed his Former teacher, but he still considered the man his Master. “Master Anshar, after this information is shared I request to depart for the moon on my shuttle.” After said he just fell silent, a nod given from his Master. His senses still somewhat heightened from his earlier attempts, which earned him at least one suspicious glance from Oberst. After a few more moments of silence, the Ziltopia began to speak as the Templar thought to himself, Not much longer and it will all be underway.
The Palantir exited Hyperspace and headed directly towards the Frigate.
One of the communication officers looked up at the “Incoming message from the Palantir, Sir.” “Send it thru lieutenant” ordered Oberst. A holographic projection of the ships captain materialized before the Marshall.
“My Lord, my Master apologizes for being otherwise indisposed at the moment but he wishes to present his compliments. He wishes me to relay his desire for something aboard the Frigate, and requests a small complement service men to assist him boarding her, after which he places the Palantir and her crew under your command…”
Before the Captain could finish, the Bridge Officer turned to Oberst and informed him that the fighters where breaking off their attack run on the, and where forming up with the Palantir and her 12 fighters in an escort attack formation.
“Inform my Apprentice that he will have whatever assistance we can offer so long as it does not distract from our Primary mission. As soon as he departs for the Frigate, you will report to me for your orders Captain.” Ordered Oberst.
“Understood my Lord, Palantir out.” Replied the Captain, saluting before closing the channel.
Looking at the Command and Control console, the Marshall noticed many of the troop and fighter formations responding faster to orders and responding in a far more fluid fashion. Reaching out with the Force, Oberst found his Apprentice without the slightest difficulty. He sensed Spears was in his meditation chamber, his mind focused on Battle Meditation, his consciousness touching the Clans Forces lending his power to them, increasing their will to win, and allowing them to respond to their orders in unison and with far greater precision.
The Quaestor’s fighter accelerated at a lightning fast pace, as did Battle Team Gi’s fighters.
“We’ll be intercepting them shortly, stand by.” Archean barked into the comm. to the rest of his unit. A few minutes passed and the Tarentum fighters saw a flickering light in the distance.
“I see them.” Karel said through his comm. “Directly ahead.”
“Roger that.” Archean replied. “Fighters, initiate V formation, lets take them down.”
“Aye.” The pilots echoed through each others comms. The fighters who were bringing up the rear each moved over to their respective positions. Archean moved forward and became front runner in the assault.
“Get ready men, if they try to make a break for it, get on their tails.” Archean said as he focused on the fighters in front of him.
Moments later, the Sith looked down on his HUD and saw that the target he had aimed on with the crosshairs turned green, was able to engage lasers at any moment. The Hunter waited a few more seconds, just making sure that the A-Wings were in range. The Quaestor felt the force flow through him, making him sense when the time was right to fire, having no need to use the targeting computer.
The force beckoning, Archean quickly fired a few linked laser bolts at the on coming A-Wings. The wings quickly dodged the attack and broke off from each other.
“Men, we anticipated this, go after them, leave none alive.” Archean ordered.
“Yes sir.” Was heard out of the comm.’s of the other fighters. The Interceptors broke off from their formation and headed for the fleeing A-Wings. Archean quickly flew behind one and tried to lock on to it. Karel got behind another fighter, as did Odin and Silent Jay, each trying their best to take down the A-Wings. Karel quickly tried to decelerate as the A-Wing quickly pulled up, trying to get out of the lock of Karel’s lasers. The A-Wing was ahead but close was Karel, making sure not to lose sight of him as the republic fighter was dodging him. The Quaestor had his own problems, Jay didn’t hold his man and quickly lost him as the A-Wing slowed down and pulled up.
“Damnit, he got away.” Jay said. “Archean, looks like he’s coming for you.”
“Well, come and help me out, I can’t do any good with one bogey on my backside.” Archean said as he tried to maneuver out just as the second A-Wing arrived behind him.
The Sith tried his best to dodge all the attacks that came from behind. In the heat of the moment the A-Wing he was chasing slowed down, pulled up and got behind the other A-Wing that was on Archean.
“Damnit, I got two I my tail, I need help men.” Archean said with desperation in his voice. But the cry for help came too late. The A-Wings separated to get a clear shot of the Interceptor, as Archean slowed down and pulled up the other A-Wing was waiting for the move, the A-Wing fired and clipped the Sith’s solar board. The Fighter went into a wild spin.
Archean did all he could to correct it but to no avail.
“Guys, I’m in trouble, I’ve got to land this.” He said through gritted teeth. “Welshman, do you copy.” Archean said into the comm.
“Yes, I read you.” Welshman Replied.
“I’ve been hit, Gi cannot keep up with the A-Wings, I’m about to land on the moo….” Archean said before the communication was severed.
“Damn.” Welshman said as he quickly turned his fighter around and headed for the moon, trying to search through the force to where Archean would have landed.
“Spawn of a Jedi!” Swore Welsh as he saw Archean’s IFF marker disappear from his scanners.
Throwing the throttle of his fighter to full power Welshman tore away from the honour guard escorting Spears towards the disabled frigate.
“Oberst, I need some information. Did your sensors pick up where Archean went down?”
“No. He is lost. May I respectfully request you either return to the guard escorting the Headmaster or return to the Corsair.”
“He is not lost, the Force has not abandoned him yet. Has he landed near one of the bases?”
“If he is not dead now he will be when that wrecked fighter of his plummets to the ground. The crater he will create however will be sufficiently far from one of the Republic’s bases.”
“Unable to determine. If it is any consolation to you Proconsul we will dispatch a shuttle down to investigate the area after the system is secure. For now please return to a position where you could be of more use.”
It had been a while since Welshman had done anything so impulsive let alone break orders yet he felt he owed not only his fellow Clansman but also family member more then to be left to the scourge of the Republic. Angling the craft down towards the moon Welshman broke orbit and headed down towards the surface below. The logistics of carrying an injured clansman back up to orbit in his TIE however these concerns were immaterial to him now. Reaching across to the comm. board Welshman deactivated his communicator, the last thing he needed now was to be hounded by Command to get back to position.
Within a handful of minutes Welshman was arcing in over forested terrain probing out with the Force to find the Quaestor of Tridens. Finding a faint glimmer of Archean’s presence in the Force Welshman turned his craft towards the source and reached down to his belt to reassure himself that his lightsabre was there and ready to be used. Satisfied he switched down to repulsors and came to a landing a couple of klicks from the crash site, it wouldn’t be fair giving the Republic two Sith to handle together Welshman thought to himself and laughed.
Yuki, Cain, and a few others dove for cover as the Republic soldiers opened fire. They had come on them to quick for Yuki to take a proper defense position; thus, attempting to deflect the blaster fire would have been suicidal. Even then, she could only protect herself and not the others. The blaster fire died down almost immediately as several Republic soldiers began what Yuki could only guess was flanking actions. Gone was the ragtag forces of the days of the rebellion; these were professional soldiers and they not only knew what to do, they did it well. Suddenly, the ground shook and large explosions were heard. Glancing skyward only briefly, Yuki saw turbolaser fire striking the ground. Her attention, however, was soon grabbed by laser fire much closer. Flying over her head, several powerful laser blasts decimated the Republic unit, either scattering the soldiers or killing them outright. Blaster fire to the right and the left signaled attacks on the flanking forces. Looking up, Yuki saw the awkward shape of the AT-STs looming over her. She understood what had just happened; elimination of the Republic force behind the tanks and the use of turbolasers to create cover. Donitz obviously was doing something.
Donitz’s tanks surged forward on the Republic base. Under the original plan, this would have been a total surprise attack. However, circumstances dictated otherwise and Donitz and those under his command took what they could get; in this case, attacking from a different angle. Having observed the reaction of the Republic forces, and noting the set up of the base, a direct frontal assault would probably still have worked. The base, more properly called a camp, consisted of a few tents and four small, prefabricated observation towers that marked the perimeter of the base. The Republic squad that had attempted to take the column from behind was key to the defense of the base. The Republic had not been planning for any large confrontations at all; there were no combat vehicles around. A few mortar rounds jarred some of the hovortanks, but these were quickly silenced. The battle was very brief. The scant staff at the base, likely the search coordinators and researchers, were quickly rounded up. Several of the camp guards lay dead, the rest surrendered.
“Signal the Corsair,” ordered Donitz. “Inform them that the base, such as it is, has been taken.”
Ziltopia had just begun her presentation when the comm. in briefing room buzzed. Master Zero’s voice came through. “My apologies for the interruption, but word has reached us that the Republic coordination base has been taken by General Donitz,” said Zero. “It apparently was not very much.”
“Understood,” said Anshar. “Issue an order in my name. I want all clan members to assemble at that point. Those who are currently in fighters are to return immediately to their respective ships and prepare for departure to the surface via transports. All clan members able to be there must be there; no one is to run off on their own little missions anymore. We will worry about Archean and Welshman when the time comes.”
“Even the honor guard?” said Zero.
“Even the honor guard,” said Anshar. “Spears can take care of himself, especially once the Palantir joins the fleet.”
“Acknowledged,” replied Zero. Anshar looked up as the comm closed.
“Ziltopia, change in plans,” said Anshar. “I want you to prepare a report and publish it to the clan. Whatever information you have on this moon, please include it. This meeting is over for now.” Ziltopia bowed, annoyed slightly at the change, but accepting it nonetheless. She left, as did Jareth and Dragnos, leaving Anshar and Oberst alone. The two had not said a word to each other, but they both knew a quick conference was in order.
“With Archean and Welsh out of it right now,” said Oberst, “I want myself and Donitz to take over their teams.”
“My thoughts exactly,” replied Anshar. “Demos could do it, but he’s new to the clan and I want someone who the others have worked with longer.” Anshar paused. “This mission has been off from the get go. We’re going to use this opportunity to regroup and search for the Blade.”
“There’s one other thing that is very troubling,” said Oberst. “I don’t think I need to say it.”
“The intelligence,” commented Anshar dryly. “Everything has been off: the extra frigate and the lack of an actual military base. We’ve never been off this much before. Remain vigilant for now. Our goal is still the same; to find the Blade.”
“As if I needed to be told that,” responded Oberst. They both rose and exited the room.
The bridge of the Corsair continued to bustle with activity, even though the conflict for space superiority seemed at an end. Personnel went about their business, all under the watchful eyes of Master Zero, the Consul of the great Clan, the Clan’s Marshal, and Oberst’s own lieutenants (Anshar and Oberst having rejoined Master Zero upon the bridge). Preparations were being made to recall the Clan’s fighters, and to land the necessary personnel to make a venture to find the so-called Obsidian Blade.
“Sir!” the Communications Officer shouted. “Ship entering this area!”
“Can we identify it as friend or foe?” Anshar queried, his thoughts now focused on the possibility of another assault. “I want that ship identified.”
“Sir, it’s the Heresiarch,” the Comms Officer replied. “The High Warrior sends his greetings.”
By time the preparations had been made for all to ferry to the surface, the Heresiarch had positioned itself opposite the Corsair, ready to help defend not only the Tarentum fleet, but to prevent any ships upon the surface from fleeing into hyperspace. The High Warrior took a shuttle to the flagship of his former Clan to meet with its leaders, and perhaps to go along for the ride. Anshar and Oberst met the High Warrior’s shuttle in the bay, where their own was standing ready to transport them down to join the rest of the Clan.
“I trust all is proceeding according to your plans, Anshar?” Bloodfyre said, stepping slowly down the ramp of his shuttle. “I hope the information I provided was of some worth to you.”
“It was,” Anshar replied, nodding slightly. “Remind me later; we’ll have to discuss what you have in your collection as far as information, or what access your network of informants has. I was somewhat surprised to learn you had more information than even I was able to find.”
Sith smirked slightly, but the look was lost within the shadows of the hood that perpetually covered his face. To those who knew him well, though, the humor was felt, and they could’ve likely guessed that a slight grin touched his lips. The High Warrior nodded his head a bit, continuing on in his path, joined by the two men who met him, the Consul and the Marshal turning on their heels to walk alongside the newly-arrived Dark Council member. Within the landing bay, and the adjoining hallways, people hustled along, making the necessary preparations to leave. Pilots and Dark Jedi alike had docked with the Corsair, along with the Anubis and the Creeping Death, returning their fighters in order to gather their gear to head to the surface.
Sith glanced at some of the men and women rushing past, some nodding in respect for the three men who stood among them, others noticeably distracted by their work, caught up in the orders they had been given, or tasks they has assigned to themselves. His attention turned back to his companions after another short moment.
“So, tell me how the venture has gone so far,” Sith said, the interest apparent in his voice. Anshar turned his head to glance at Oberst, inclining his head with a slight nod, indicating that Oberst could proceed.”
“We have established a superior presence above the surface,” Oberst began, “and encountered little resistance from their ground troops, all things considered. Donitz and his forces have taken the camp, and have established a perimeter. We know Jedi to be in the area; Ylith has encountered them, and is currently in the custody of Donitz, along with the rest of the Daemoni. We are proceeding with caution, however, because it seems our original intelligence may not have been as reliable as we’d hoped. A frigate was in the area that was unaccounted for initially; Spears has gone over to secure that ship for us. In the mean time, we are preparing to transport down to the surface to ensure our control over the area, and begin our search for the weapon.”
“I noticed the majority of your fighters have returned to dock,” Sith noted. “If you require, send word to the Heresiarch, and have them dispatch rotating patrols. The three squadrons of A-9s onboard can help to watch over the area if need be. I doubt my pilots would object to an opportunity at flight exercises, if nothing else.”
“The assistance is appreciated, Master Bloodfyre,” Oberst returned with an inclined head.
“Oh, I come bearing gifts, as well,” Sith said in sudden recollection. “If you’ll send a message to Captain Xardin aboard my ship, a squadron of B-Wings should be arriving soon. Call it a token of appreciation and support for those I call kin.”
“You have our thanks, Sith,” Anshar said, nodding slightly.
“Indeed,” from Oberst. “And now, gentlemen, if you’ll excuse me. I must make preparations to depart. I’ll join the rest of you upon the surface after speaking with Master Zero and Kessian, and a few other personal errands.”
“We’ll see you shortly then, Marshal,” Anshar said, nodding to his Clansman. Sith nodded as well, and the Marshal of Tarentum departed to care for his tasks. Anshar departed for a moment, as well, to collect his own belongings and to set his own affairs in order before leaving for the surface. Sith had everything he needed, and made his way back to his shuttle; after a quick moment of thought, Sith instructed his pilot to request departure, and in little time, the High Warrior’s craft had left the docking bay of the Corsair, and was headed towards the surface. Coordinates for the location of the base were dispatched from the Corsair, and within minutes, the Lambda-class shuttle soared over the skies of the moon’s surface, and landed a short distance from the base, well within the perimeter of the Clan’s defenses; the shuttle was met by several of Donitz’s soldiers.
“Welcome, High Warrior,” one of the men said in greeting. “We received word from the Corsair that you would be arriving. Is there anything we can assist you with?”
“No thank you, Lieutenant,” Sith responded, “but you can show me to General Donitz, if you wish.”
“Certainly, my Lord; this way.”
As Archean’s fighter rushed down to the planet below he only had one thing on his mind, survival. His fighter plummeted to the earth below with great haste, everything around him was speeding past, disorientating him. He looked around his cockpit, ready to try and brace himself for the impending crash. Below him he saw everything come closer at a quick rate. What seemed like ants slowly became larger and larger. Moments later he closed his eyes and braced for impact. The fighter smashed into the vast forest with such force it thrusted Archean forward, smashing his head onto the front console, immediately busting his head open, blood rushing out of his head. The wreckage tore down trees and left a huge crater in the ground. The sound of twisted metal echoed through out the forest, animals scurried away, birds left their nests and slew off. The next sound he heard was his own blood gargling yells of pain, he opened his eyes to see blood all over his controls, soaked into every crevice, blood on his hands, trees uprooted, his fighter torn to bits from the impact. A few seconds later, Archean’s screams became softer and softer, his eye sight became weaker and weaker, more blurred as the seconds passed by, the Quaestor of Tridens lost consciousness.
“Sir, we have gotten reports that an enemy fighter has crash landed not too far from here.” Said one of the officers from the New Republic base.
“Hmm…send out an investigation squad. Make sure they sweep the area of possible survivors.” Replied the admiral.
“Yes sir.” The officer replied as he nodded and spun back around on his chair and spoke into the intercom. “Attention. Squad Firewind. Make your way to the briefing room immediately. That is all.” The officer said as he disconnected the transmission.
All the members of Squad Firewind assembled in the room and awaited further orders. Shortly after they all arrived, the Admiral entered the room and quickly began laying out the mission.
“We have received reports of an enemy fighter that has crash landed about 2 kilometers from here. We are requesting an immediate sweep of the area for survivors and anything out of the ordinary. Good luck.” The admiral said as he left the room. The mercenaries looked at each other and shrugged. “At least we get paid for this.” One of them quipped. They all rose from their seats and left the room, on their way to the crash site where Archean lay unconscious in the cockpit.
What seemed like an eternity came about quite quickly. The Sith slowly regained consciousness. Miraculously he survived the crash that would have killed a normal man. He slowly moved his right arm, he tried his left but it didn’t seem to move, if he tried touching it, it was extremely painful, his left arm was dislocated. His groans became increasingly painful and loud. He slowly moved his head up, his eyes were still blurry, trying their hardest to focus. A few seconds later his eyes were better and he tried to survey the area. He unbuckled himself with his good arm and opened the hatch of the cockpit. Archean, whose face was bloodied and battered, slowly climbed out, making sure to hold on tight as he went over and landed on the ground. As he landed his legs gave way and made him fall. The pain in his stomach and left arm was unbearable. The Hunter got up, through gritted teeth he let out a few groans and rested his left arm on his stomach as he tried walking. Limping away he ventured into the thick forest, not knowing what he would find, trying to make himself disappear from the enemy.
“I hope Welshman got my message.” Archean thought to himself. His mind clouded with thoughts of uncertainty and confusion. Still very disorientated from the crash he stumbled on, walking through the thick branches of plants and bushes. Kicking away leaves as he dragged his feet along the ground. Growing weaker by the second, Archean saw a tree and slowly walked over to it. He leaned his back on it and slowly lowered himself. Letting out a little sigh, he sat there, gathering his thoughts in the predicament he was in. The Hunter closed his eyes and went into a slight meditation state, which was soon interrupted by the sound of speeder bikes. Archean quickly opened his eyes and slowly moved his head around, trying to find the direction in which the sound was coming in.
“Oh no, not now.” He thought to himself as he slowly got up. His bloodied right hand still holding his stomach, he slowly walked off, trying to get away from the sound which was getting louder. The Sith found a large bush and hid himself under it, hoping the patrol that was stalking him would go by him.
The Squad reached the crash site and dismounted off their speeder bikes. They looked around, making sure not to let anything get by them.
“Well, this is it, and no sign of survivors.” One mercenary said.
“Hmm…look down here.” Another mercenary said as he saw the imprint of Archean’s boots when he fell from the fighter. “The pilot is around here, we just have to find him.” He said. The Mercenary’s agreed and the party of 6 each partnered up and went off in 3 groups of two, making their chances of finding Archean greater.
Archean thought to himself that if he stayed where he was, they’d find him. He slowly got up, trying to make minimal sound. He rose to his feet and slowly hurried off, deeper into the forest, further from the crash site. The Mercenaries searched for a while, mysterious races were these particular mercenaries, Rodian’s, Noghiri’s and Dashade’s, each trying to find this survivor. The pair of a Dashade and Rodian were trawling through the forest when the Dashade heard a distinct noise.
“Stop, shhh.” He said as he looked in the air, centering his ears. “That way, he’s close.” The Dashade said as he pointed to the right. The two mercenaries hurried in that direction. Archean was stumbling all over the place, visibly tired, next to no strength, his pace was slowly deteriorating. Out of the bushes the two mercenaries spotted the Hunter.
“And look what he have here, our survivor, let me radio to the others.” The Dashade said as he picked up his comm. link. “Men, we have found our survivor, I’m sending our coordinates now, hurry.” The Dashade said as he closed the link and inputted the coordinates of their whereabouts. He grabbed his blaster from his right leg holster and took the safety off, the Rodian did the same. Archean hurried over to another tree and rested against it, trying to regain his breath and somewhat of his strength. They slowly crept behind Archean, making sure not to make any noise. Archean’s force powers were not working, he didn’t sense the enemy behind him, the mercenaries quickly saw their opportunity and fired upon the hunter who at the sound of the blast turned around, the blaster bolts rammed into Archean’s legs, the Hunter let out a great roar and fell to the ground. A few moments later the rest of the squad arrived, they saw the two mercenaries search Archean, who was trying to escape but was being restrained.
“Look at this.” The Dashade said as he picked up Archean’s data pad which had one transmission in it from Ylith, it was from when they were training together, training their force powers and their combat skills.
“We have a Jedi.” The Rodian barked. Archean opened his mouth and spoke. “I am no Jedi…I am a Sith.” Archean spat in the face of the Rodian who became irate and slammed the butt of the gun into the Sith’s face. Archean let out a groan as the blood trickled from his lip.
“How dare you spit on me, Sith. We won’t kill you…yet, we have a use for you.” The Noghiri said as he helped pick Archean up. One of the mercenaries threw a rope to one another and they strung Archean up from one tree to the other by his legs and arms, almost in the shape of a crucifix. The pain from his dislocated arm was becoming increasingly worse as he was strung up.
“Now, Sith. What was your business flying over?” The Dashade asked.
“I was admiring the scenery.” The Sith said in a smart aleck way. Two mercenaries moved forward and with such force punched Archean right in the stomach. Archean let out a gasp of air and was trying his hardest to get it back.
“Hmm…Are you part of the Dark Brotherhood who are trying find the Obsidian blade.” The Rodian said as he got right up to Archean’s face.
“I haven’t heard of such a thing, nor this Brotherhood you speak of.” Archean retorted.
“Really, Well, this might job your memory, Sith.” The Rodian said as he unclipped his knife from the sheath on his back. He got out a vile out of his pocket, inside it was a green liquid, the mercenary opened the vile and dipped the dagger into it, the tip of the blade was covered in the green stuff. The Rodian looked up and into Archean’s eyes.
“Look carefully, Sith, because my face will be the last face you will ever see. You like Darkness don't you? Prepare live with it…forever” Those words echoed through Archean’s ears. The Rodian approached the Sith, the blade became raised. Two mercenaries held Archean’s eye lids open as the Rodian placed the blade just above Archean’s eyes. The green liquid slowly trickled off the blade and hit Archean’s eyeballs. The pain shot through Archean’s head and transcended down his whole body. He let out an agonizing roar as the pain through his eyes was rising, his body was moving in every direction, his hands became tremendously clenched fists. Archean’s eyesight was slowly vanishing, suddenly it became black. Archean’s eyes were open, but he couldn’t see. His sight had been taken away from him. This was the price the Sith Quaestor paid for his clan.
“Now, let’s try this again, shall we?” The Rodian said. Archean’s hearing slowly became more sensitive, became louder, with the loss of his sight.
“Taking your eyesight is just the beginning, you will tell us all you know, Sith.” The Dashade said as he clenched his fist, ready to strike the Sith if he failed to answer the questions of his captors.
“Welshman, where are you?” The Hunter thought to himself as his strength and hope was slowly dwindling.
Trudging through the dense undergrowth of virgin forest Welshman closed down the link to his optics and plunged himself into darkness. Devoid of perception and distractions Welshman reached out with the Force and tried to sense the familiar presence of the Quaestor, after a few heart beats he found it. Diffuse and wracked in pain. He had survived the crash at any rate.
Just as Welsh was about to disconnect from the probe a nova of pain erupted from Archean tainting the Force with its lingering afterimage.
“Damn what’s he gotten himself into now…” Murmured Welshman before re-activating the goggles and staring towards the direction the beacon of angst came from.
Twenty minutes of stealthy advance saw Welshman reach an area where he could make out the Force aura of seven individuals, that must mean 6 people were guarding the young Sith. Looking around Welshman saw a rise in the relief of the land to the right of where Archean was being held, a vantage point where the Proconsul could view the encampment and make plans. Plans that he hoped would offset his impulsiveness in coming without proper equipment. Hunching over to provide a smaller target lest they have sentries he couldn’t detect he climbed to the top of the 6m stone wall and looked down.
Six individuals of various thuggish species stood arrayed around a basic field camp. A series of three tents served the beings as their quarters while they searched the area and there tied to a tree and writhing in pain was Archean. Focusing on the Quaestor Welshman zoomed in and saw that he was clawing at wide open eyes, bizarre behaviour. Surely a trained Sith would not have capitulated to interrogation so quickly? Pushing that thought out of his mind he instead thought of how he could get Archean free from the area and to his TIE Defender.
Guarding him was a particularly attentive looking Noghiri and surprisingly a Dashdae. A species Welshman had thought completely extinct until the new Quaestor of Gladius had showed up at Castle Tarentum upon his initiation into the Clan. A star going nova on your planet will do that to a race mused Welshman. Closest to Welshman was a pair of Rodians arguing rather vehemently with each other regarding some as trivial as who owned the last ration cube of nylog meat. Sensing an opportunity to cause some disruption and open a path for him to enter the camp. Reaching out with the Force once more Welshman studied the swirl of emotions and sentiments rolling around in the two sentients minds. Mostly hostile greedy thoughts which would have served these two well should they have become Dark Jedi, now they were just going to be their end. Sensing a flash of impending anger Welshman manipulated the Force into increasing the aggravation in the Rodian. The Battle Meditation worked almost as well as Spears’s had earlier in orbit. Drawing a blaster a green skinned Rodian pointed it towards the face of his counterpart spitting out curses in Huttese most of which Welshman was pleased to say he couldn’t understand. Finger touching the trigger lightly Welshman sent another twitch of Force power that depressed the trigger causing a bolt to fire from the pistol and creating a burning crater in the face of his compatriot. A startled warble emanated from the Rodian who dropped the blaster in shock.
“What the hell you do that for?!” Howled a nearby Trandoshan.
“I didn’t do anything!!” Countered the Rodian.
“Then who the Hutt slime did?” Mewled the Noghiri.
“I did.” Stated Welshman before leaping gracefully from his perch and igniting his sabre. Landing with knees bent next to the Rodian he swiped out with his blade and cleaved his torso from his legs. Both halves fell to the floor.
“Now who’s next?”
Whatever reply the mercs issued was lost in the war cries two of their number issued as they unslung their blasters and charged towards the sabre wielding Dark Jedi spraying bolts indiscriminately around the area. Trusting the Force to move his hands and blade to locations where blaster fire posed a greater danger and to move his body to dodge the rest Welshman deflected a bolt straight into the Trandoshan’s leg causing him to drop to the floor howling in his reptilian tongue blaster rifle clattering to the rocky floor next to him. The Dark Side was flowing through him now, empowering his actions and driving his primal lusts of death and destruction to achieve fulfilment. The next series of bolts fired from the remaining gunner were deflected back towards their issuer, impacting him in his knees, chest and finally face. The Force left the dead human.
“That’s where lack of discipline gets you.” Lectured Welshman to the two remaining Mercs; a Noghiri and a Dashdae. Both species renowned as formidable warriors and one being resistant to all but the most powerful Force probes or assaults. Walking past the kneeling Trandoshan Welshman slashed out with his blade and decapitated the Trandoshan feeling this act of blatant cruelty empower him.
“You will pay for your attack here Sith, with your life!” Shouted the Noghiri.
“Didn’t you learn of the power of the Dark Side when your whole world was under the thumb of Lord Vader? If that arrogant whelp could keep your whole world in slavery for decades I think I can take on the best of your kind in combat and win.”
Coiling his sinewy muscles the Noghiri leapt towards Welshman twin daggers glinting in the sunlight. Instead of moving away from the alien Welshman moved towards the assailant and slashed his sabre upwards in one quick swipe cleaving the grey skinned alien from groin to cranium. Spattered in gore Welshman turned to the remaining guard and cocked his head.
“Your move scum.”
What the Dashdae did next surprised Welshman, instead of drawing his vibroblade he instead turned for the forest and bolted towards it hoping to hide in the greenery. Shaking his head Welshman reached out with a hand and summoned a nearby blaster rifle, a Blast-tech A-280 and fired at the back of the retreating guard. The bolt passed through the alien and only stopped when it hit a piece of granite jutting out of the ground.
“Welsh, thank the Force!!!! I didn’t know if you got my message or not! I’m blind Welsh they did something to my eyes!!” Moaned Archean.
“Well… who do you think your talking to here. Its not like mine are all present and correct. Now quit your whining. Can you walk?”
“Nah, I’m banged up pretty badly. I think I saw a few repulsors scouts around here when they dragged me here. We could use one of them to go to the shuttle you came down on.”
“Speeder bikes, check. Shuttle… uh well you’re going up in a TIE solo. I’ll reprogram the nav comp to take you straight up to the Corsair they should be able to patch you up there. I’ll then take the bike and hook up with Doni and the rest of the armoured convoy, they’re only about 200kms away from here, should make it in an hour or so. Now stay still so I can cut your bindings.”
Welshman had Archean freed and on the back of a speeder bike within ten minutes, within five more he was back at his TIE and wondering how the hell he’d get the crap navcomp on board to autopilot all the way into the hanger bay of the Corsair. In the end he decided against anything fancy and just plotted a course straight up into space and then broadcast a prerecorded message.
“Might as well make the cap ships guys work for their pay. Now Arche, don’t touch anything. Ok, nothing. Now stay still while I lift you into the cockpit.”
Reaching out with his arm Welshman used the Force to lift the Quaestor into the cockpit and closed the hatch after him. Taking out the datapad he had recovered from the camp site he pressed in a few simple commands and stood back as the repulsors ignited and lifted the TIE spaceward.
Turning to the speeder bike he checked the compass and headed towards the location that Doni last reported in from.
Anshar stood in front of the assembled clan. He glanced at the various members of the clan, their expressions generally telling much more than they had vocalized thus far. Donitz was pissed at the fact that his assault with the new tanks had turned out to be a bust. If Oberst and Anshar didn’t string the intelligence officers who had provided the bad intelligence, Donitz would.
“Members of Tarentum,” began Anshar. “There has been a change in plans for the operation. As you know, the Sith High Warrior has arrived, as had the Headmaster. Both have provided some more reliable observations for the mission. The Jedi and the Republic forces have abandoned the crashed starship, though we have no indication if they found anything or not. Dranik and I will explore the crash site to make certain; however, a full team is not required. The other three sites will be explored by full teams. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the leadership of the teams will change. Donitz will lead the mission to search the old town where his tanks will be best suited. The other two sites are both ancient temples. Frosty will still lead one of these search teams and search the temple to the north. The third team, which will search the temple to the south, will be led by Oberst. “ Anshar paused, letting the words sink in.
“We know for certain that there are combined Jedi and Republic infantry forces in each area,” said Anshar. “Be careful and don’t try to take on everyone by yourself, unless you have a death wish. Try to capture any officers or Jedi, but if you must kill them, they are the enemy and can be treated as such. The Sith High Warrior has been kind enough to pass on a little bit more information concerning the blade from his personal library. The sources indicate that the blade is definitely in one of these three places, but the source stops short of actually stating where it is. The unknown author felt it best to keep it hidden for whatever reason. Those who came down with Donitz will remain in his group. Those who fought in the space battle, whether as a fighter pilot or on one of the cruisers, will go with Oberst. Finally, Frosty will lead the rest. Stay in touch and report back when you discover anything.”
As the clan began to disperse, Anshar turned to Oberst. “On a side note, Sith mentioned that the temple to the south in an ancient burial ground, chock full of some well preserved skeletons. Enjoy.” Oberst grinned menacingly.
Jorax had received the report of the attack and he knew that getting off the planet would be tough. He was intent on making it though, with or without the blade. Meanwhile, he continued to lead the small force under his command towards the back up rendezvous point. Jorax had insisted that the mission have one just in case something happened.
[OOC note: If you aren't certain where you were during the space battle, then choose a group and stick with it. As I said at the beginning, try to keep things balanced out. If you see four people in one group already, put yourself in another].
“Well chief what are we going to do now?” Fenn said while Ylith was trying to repair his metal arm. His arm was fixed with the materials he picked up from broken droids or spare parts Donitzu carried with him for the machines.
”Wait for orders..” Ylith replied with a hint of anger and frustration in his voice. Ever since he got a huge preach by most of the Tarentae Ylith was angry, not only of himself but also at them. He knew the mission was risky but he brought them much critical intel on the situation.
”That’s not like you at all my brother.” Dox said from a seat in the corner. “Not like you at all.” The Dashade added with a grin. Ylith returned the grin and closed his eyes for a moment. “True, but if I go Renegade again I’ll hang, we have to go in all separate groups all led by Tarentae.”
”And we all know you dislike them.” CannabiS said smiling.
”Only some of them.” The Valheru corrected. “They think they can do great things and et they only bore us with slow trips and angry speeches about how the Jedi are weak and we cant fight them because their too strong, and we have to find the sword yet we cant go anyway. It’s completely stupid!”
”Careful brother, don’t let them get to you. Focus on the now and think of a way to get this thing going right.” The Obelisk Dark Jedi said with a serious expression. Ylith nodded, ever since Dox stepped down he stayed with Daemoni being the Valheru’s advisor in time of need, and he needed one in this time.
”What about Archean and Welshman?” the Hunter said and CannabiS shrugged, “No news yet, should be some news soon enough, don’t worry chief.”
Ylith lifted his metal arm and tried to pick something up, which worked but in a lagging way. Fenn approached him and pointed at Ylith’s arm, the Valheru nodded and Fenn began working on Ylith’s arm and in a few clicks he was done and Ylith’s arm worked like a charm.
”How did you do that?” Ylith asked still amazed by Fenn’s handywork.
”Just some home schooling, now about that idea, can I make a suggestion?”
”Well, the groups eventually go to the Temple right? Somewhere nearby?”
”Yes.” Dox replied.
”Well, lets go ahead, we’re going there anyway, I want to get moving! And it could be more fun than sitting in a walker doing squat.”
Ylith grinned and rose from his seat. “Men get yourself equipped, we’re moving out.”
”Hey chief? What about the Tarentae? They will never approve this.” CannabiS said and Ylith patted the young man on the shoulder. “If they don’t know they can’t complain can they? Besides, we’ll still be on their teams, we’ll just be ahead of schedule, there is nothing wrong of showing enthusiasm to the clan and helping them out at the same time now is it?”
Cannabis, Dox and Fenn all laughed and gathered their things to move out.
A few minutes later Dox, Ylith, CannabiS and Fenn left the walked unnoticed and sneaked into the forest, going directly to the temple, equipped with scouting gear and hoping they would found more Intel on it for the rest.
Youthful enthusiasm; there wasn’t any cure for it, except for time and experience. It was no secret that, within the great Clan of Tarentum, there was a mixture of youth and exuberance, as well as age and experience. Both poles had their advantages, and both needed the other to find a proper balance. With the leaders of the Clan focused on the entirety, there was a small portion that was able to avoid detection.
“Well, let’s go ahead; we’re going there anyways.”
“Get yourself equipped. We’re moving out.”
There were other bits and pieces of conversation that had been spoken, but with the hustle and bustle of a Clan’s army, some of it was lost upon attentive ears. No matter the lost information, that which was heard expressed intents that certainly did not fit in with the prescribed plan of action. Youthful enthusiasm; it could certainly bring about some interesting things. Some had already happened; others were more than likely on their way. The foursome was able to secret itself away from the majority of Tarentum’s army, and disappeared into the forest.
Their movements were slow. Ylith led the way, glancing at his compatriots every so often, sharing a word of bravado and boasting; they planned to be the first to arrive at the temple, the first to encounter the Republic forces, and perhaps the first to lay hands upon the Obsidian Blade. They darted in and out of shadows cast by large trees, and crept through the vegetation in as much silence as possible. Their destination was the temple to the south, though whether they had actually intended to go there was unknown. A sound to their right caught the attention of the entire group, and the four Daemons ducked behind several trees, each taking a different tree, while loosening their weapons quietly. Whoever was attempting to sneak up on them, or attack them would find the foursome ready. Or, perhaps it was some unfortunate Republic soldier, who would meet death quickly.
Dox peeked out from behind his tree slowly, trying to find some sign of whomever it was that had caught their attention. Fenn and CannabiS looked towards Ylith, who had a better view of both Dox and the area where the noise had come from. Nothing. Ylith glanced back at his companions and shook his head in the negative; it must’ve been nothing. Perhaps it had been the wind, or some forest animal. Ylith signaled for the foursome to continue their travels, and walked right out into the chest of a black-robed individual.
“Sithspit!” Ylith shouted in start, and jumped away, his spear darting in front of his body, held tightly in his hands in a defensive posture. The other three Daemons dropped into positions slightly behind, and to the side of Ylith, flanking their friend and appointed leader. The robed individual didn’t even twitch, and seemed to keep his hooded head intently on Ylith. None of them could see past the shadows that covered nearly all of the man’s face, except for the barest glimpse of his lips, and a slightly better view of his chin.
“Who are you?! Speak now, and identify yourself!” Dox shouted, his lightsaber held openly in his hands, though not yet ignited. “I said speak!”
“And I say that you, Dox Romanae, are out of your league, and having trouble remembering people,” the robed one said. The four blinked, though Dox shook his head, obviously in remembrance, with the man now identified as Sith Bloodfyre, by the sound of his voice.
“Sith…. Err, I mean, High Warrior, you had us startled,” Dox said.
“What are you doing out here?” Ylith queried.
“I might ask the same of you, young Daemons,” Bloodfyre replied. “I’m certain that you were all in attendance when the Consul made his decrees, and directed the Clan’s actions. Why, pray tell, have you all decided to adventure by yourselves?”
“We don’t need to wait for the Clan,” Ylith stated firmly. “We’re more than capable of taking on these Jedi scum.”
“Ahhh, I see,” Sith nodded slightly. “The direction of your Consul means nothing, and his wishes have no bearing upon you.”
“That’s not what I sai--”
“But that is what you implied,” Sith interrupted, “by your very actions. Anshar Kahn is Consul of Tarentum, Ylith Romanae. Yes, I know you are the Valheru of the Daemoni, but you are still subject to the will and wishes of this Clan, and its Consul. Anshar is worthy of your respect and obedience, and he is also quite capable of beating respect and obedience into you.”
It was quite obvious that Ylith was displeased with this conversation, and his attitude affected those of his compatriots. The chosen warriors of the Dark Side were not always as unified and cooperative as their Light Side enemies were, perhaps; it often took training and experience to form a cohesive bond amongst all of the members of any Clan.
“My friends,” the High Warrior started, “I was once as young and impetuous as you. I understand your desire to do things yourself; I understand your desire to lead others to victory. Ylith, I know your master well. Very well indeed. When she and I were younger, along with our fellow Mystics… we were often impetuous. And we got into trouble as often as not. We had to learn, not patience, but cohesion. We had to learn to be unified in our efforts, not only as a Phyle, but as a House, to work in concert with the rest of the Clan.
“Come,” Sith motioned, “follow me. Oberst’s forces are not much farther ahead. They should be nearing the temple by now, and we will be able to enter with them. You must learn what it means to be a Clan, my friends. That is the most important bond of all. And though you may be called to make tough decisions, even decisions you would normally not want to make, it is for the good of everyone. You have friends and brothers within this Clan who are not here. Your actions can affect their lives, and their successes as well.”
“More Tarentae nonsense,” Ylith muttered.
Sith glanced at Ylith, and oddly enough, though the High Warrior’s face was still masked completely in shadows, Ylith had the distinct sight of the High Warrior’s eyes flashing at him from beneath the shadows. Red orbs of fire seemed to light up the hood of the Sith Master that stood before them, reminding Ylith who he was speaking to. The Daemon leader inclined his eyes slightly, not willing to meet that dread gaze any longer, clearing his throat as well.
“Do not fear your desire for action, Daemon,” Sith said, speaking to Ylith, “but know when it will further the goals of your Clansmen and yourself, and when it must be put aside. We do not win battles by rushing headfirst into conflicts without thought. Even the most hardened Obelisk warriors understand this. Learn your lessons from your Elders, and you will stand with the Primarchs one day. I can assure you that.”
The last note seemed to lift Ylith’s attitude a bit, with the thought of one day being an Obelisk Primarch reaching down into his heart, and strengthening the blackened organ. The four Daemons fell in step behind the High Warrior, and the five made their way through the forest and undergrowth, and within many long minutes, they could finally see the rear procession of Oberst’s forces. They were not marching in true formation, as the trees and forest growth made that difficult, but they were moving in very precise groups, keeping watch over the area they moved through, prepared for nearly any sudden strike that might’ve come. One of the rear guards spotted movement, sighted the Sith Master and the four Daemons trailing them, and signaled ahead of their approach.
The procession did not stop, but it did slow a bit, allowing time for the five to catch up, and join the more secure, larger unit to proceed towards the southern temple. Sith glanced at the Daemoni, flashing them a slight grin, and a quick nod, and moved away, hurrying a bit more towards the front of the line. Hopefully he could find Oberst, and settle the Marshal for the time being, at least, before the Warlord decided to go back and strangle each of the Daemoni.
“Sir, could you take a look at this,” said the New Republic archeologist, holding an x-ray scanner over the grave. The Jedi leaned over and looked at the computer monitor and saw a skeleton donned in old fashioned warrior armor. Unlike the other dozen or so skeletons that had been viewed with the x-ray machine, this skeleton did not have a sword lying parallel along the chest. These aliens, whomever they were, looked roughly human, save for ovid skulls and only four fingers on their hands. They had, like many other civilizations, honored their warriors, burying them in full armor, and with their personal weapons.
“You think this one had the sword?” asked the archeologist.
“It would explain its abscense from the grave,” replied the Jedi. “If this sword is as powerful as we’ve heard, it would be perfectly tempting to steal it; after the body was put in the coffin, but before they buried him.”
“Judging by the markings on this head stone, I’d say he’s from that deserted town the other team was looking through,” said the archeologist. “My guess is that the sword was stolen by someone in his family, clan, or whatever social structure this society used. And that makes the town the most likely spot for the sword to be.”
“I wonder if he opted to not take that blade to his grave,” said the Jedi. “It’s never been used, as far as we know. This society prized the warrior, so the blade was his life. But, this sword was too special; he couldn’t use it, even show it to others. We find this one’s home, we find the sword.”
“Sir!” called one of the New Republic soldiers. “We’ve got incoming enemies and we’ve lost contact with Commander Tuar.”
Dranik and Anshar sat quietly on the shuttle as they flew towards the crashed ship. It was merely a precursory check, at least for the sword. Anshar personally did not believe it was there. “You’re quiet,” commented Dranik.
“Thinking,” replied Anshar. “I’ve got the Headmaster and the Sith High Warrior here for no real reason. I imagine each of them has their own reasons for being here.” Anshar paused. “And I don’t like it one bit, regardless of whether or not I consider them my friends.”
“And I bet the more independent minded members of the clan haven’t made things easier,” commented Dranik. He was drawing attention away from himself for some reason, Anshar noticed.
“I prefer people who are generally independent minded,” replied Anshar. “People who can think for themselves; but, I also expect them to follow orders when I give them. We’ve got plenty of talented members, but a little refresher in the chain of command doesn’t hurt from time to time.”
“Final question for now,” said Dranik. “What happens if someone, say Sith, tries to walk off with the blade.”
“I’ll deal with that when the time comes,” replied Anshar. “Regardless of who it is."
The sharp crack of flesh against flesh sounded over the din of activity at the “camp.” The three infantry companies that had headed south had encountered some resistance in the form of an incredibly small camp of Republic scouts. Well, to be honest, Tarentum’s infantry had been ordered to stay back and stay quiet while Oberst dealt with the nine scouts. Each had found themselves frozen into place. The Death Dealer had strode calmly into the area, identifying the ranking officer and exterminating the other eight. They had all vomited blood. Their last few minutes were hideously painful. It was not the kind of vomiting that accompanied sickness or the morning after a night of revelry. No, this kind of vomiting involved chunks of the stomach and esophagus to be ripped forth violently. This involved stomach acids eating away at the throat, and even the aspiration of the bile, blood and acid. It was a very gruesome way to die. It was a very “Oberst” method of execution. The infantry had then quickly moved in to secure the area. Not that there was much securing necessary. Their leader had stretched out with the Force, looking for the tell tale signatures of sentient life. He could feel the life pulsating within the jungles, but the difference in the life-force between sentient and non-sentient was as distinct as the difference between water and the honeyed wine that the Oracle served at his fetes.
A second strike was emphasized, not by the sharper staccato, but by a much more dull and wet sound – bone breaking under the force of the blow. Soldiers continued about their duty. Ignoring the tent that the sounds emanated from. Oberst frowned after the last blow, “The fracture should have been compounded. Oh well, this was certainly Chi-Long’s specialty, not mine.” A few more blows followed, making the Priestess beside him wince in sympathy. He looked up at the figure chained and gagged before him, a Rodian in Republic Uniform. The insignia on its chest marked it as a Major. Oberst yanked on the Rodian’s snout-like mouth, ripping the gag out in the process, forcing it to meet his eyes. “What is the disposition of your troops in the area?”
The Rodian spat blood on the ground, the viscous material darkened the soil, “I not tell you.”
“Wonderful, we can play more games!” Oberst grinned. He had the look of a child left alone in a sweets shop overnight. He grabbed the Rodian’s right forearm and held it. As he held it, the flesh started to turn from a vibrant green to darker green, like wet tealeaves, until it was black. The Rodian screamed in agony, fighting against its bindings as this occurred. Fighting just to free its arm from the Sith’s infernal grasp. “Where are the rest of the Republic forces?”
The Rodian whimpered, as it watched the flesh of its arm necrosis. Concentrating with his mind, Oberst sped up the reaction or reversed it. Neurons died, and flared back to life in a symphony of pain and horror. At the cellular level, the strain was so great that more and more cells exploded. This did not help matters, as fluid began to mix and mingle. Water and nutrients and dead matter coursed through the Rodian’s veins. Each beat of his heart siphoned off more matter, causing the arm to begin to dry out at a rapid pace. The end result left a blackened, blasted, and wizened stump where the Rodian’s arm once was. The dried tissue then fell off under its own weight, and now blood oozed slowly, like the sugary, syrupy sap of a tree, from the stump.
Yukika turned away at this. This was a level of cruelty few could even fathom. All knew the Marshal’s predilection for torment, but this went beyond the rumors. Since she had joined the Clan she had seen him torture and execute servants, slaves and even failed Apprentices, but none of that had ever prepared her for atrocities of this level. Now she knew why few ever stood in Oberst’s way.
“If your delicate constitution cannot handle anymore, Priestess,” Oberst sneered, “I suggest you leave.”
Yukika’s head snapped up, her face a sickly green, “I am fine, My Lord.”
“Good.” Oberst’s head snapped up, “Master Bloodfyre is here. Tear into this creatures mind and find out all it knows. I have other matters to attend to.”
* * * * *
“They’re young, headstrong and eager for action, surely you are familiar with at least the headstrong aspect?,” the smile that graced Bloodfyre’s face was more heard than seen. The hood of his robes was pulled low, hiding the High Warrior’s face in the shadows. It was a necessity, Oberst knew, the High Warrior always favored the darkness, his affliction made it difficult, if not outright painful, to move in bright daylight. The clearing offered nothing but sunshine.
The Warlord gazed coolly to where the Daemoni entered the clearing, along with the rear contingent of his “forces.” Finding none of the Daemoni willing to meet his icy glare, he turned back to the Dark Jedi Master at his side, “Of course, Master Bloodfyre.” A small smile formed on Oberst’s lips, “I would certainly do nothing to punish them,” here the grin turned slightly feral, bordering on psychotic, “at this time.”
Bloodfyre rolled his eyes, “I suppose their entire Circle will be rotated out of operation for a short time once we are done here?”
“Of course not, would I endanger the Clan’s safety by removing an entire circle from ready status?” Oberst’s raised brow held as he regarded the Valheru of the Daemoni.
The sigh from Bloodfyre was theatrically loud, “Well, at least Rekio has someone to commiserate with now.”
* * * * *
The screech of blaster fire broke the tranquility around the temple. Republic forces, heavily entrenched laid down heavy suppressing fire across the northern approach. Ylith gritted his teeth, having taken cover behind a large tree. He would poke his head out every so often to fire a few blasts from his rifle. Unfortunately, every one shot of his was returned by almost a hundred from the blasted infantry. He and the Daemoni had been tied to two of the infantry companies, with himself in charge of this assault. Yukika was given the third company and was less than two hundred meters to the west of him. Both forces were stopped cold. They couldn’t advance.
Rock and dirt exploded from the ground not ten meters from Ylith’s position. His second dove for cover and then quickly scrambled to his side. “How the bloody hell does our Marshal think we can deal with the Republic forces when he took the three tanks that were with us?” Fenn shouted over the fire.
“I have no idea!” Ylith ducked his head as the top of their tree was suddenly blown off, raining branches, leaves and ashes atop the two of them.
“Isn’t he supposed to be a brilliant field commander?” A tree to the left of them caught on fire from repeated blaster fire, it became a column of flame. “How is this brilliant?”
As the fighting progressed, the three infantry companies were whittled down by the minute. Soon there wouldn’t be a whole lot left of Tarentum’s forces in the area. Ylith turned and fired his rifle a few times, “If we get out of this. I hope he loses his damned baton!”
The blaster fire around them suddenly died down. They could still hear shooting, but it didn’t seem to be pointed at them so much anymore. Ylith looked across to Yukika, who was also staring bewildered, wondering what the hell was going on. The Priestess caught his gaze, shrugged and ordered her company forward. Ylith did the same.
Tarentum’s forces poured through. Their anger and aggression at being pinned down for so long let loose. It was like a rabid beast attacking, they dove past the tree line into the clearing. They lost men as they gained ground, but something wasn’t right. Their fire wasn’t diminishing. Ylith turned behind him and realized why, as the troops fell, with the burning, blistered wounds of blaster fire, they stood up again, retrieved their weapons and pressed forward. He saw one trooper, his mask and helmet blown off and away, exposing the blood, ichor and brains, rise as if it were nothing and continue fighting. And now he realized why the Republic forces weren’t firing at them so much anymore. The Field Marshal and the Grand Chamberlain had raised the dead. Their command of Necromancy was turning the tide in Tarentum’s favor. Ylith stood in the middle of the field, mouth agape, as he saw skeletons claw their way up from the ground and even fallen Republic soldiers rise and turn on their companions.
Ylith grinned, hoisted up his rifle and helped to replenish the Clan’s forces in the area.
~"wake up."~ Cain slowly opened his eyes and looked around "Where the hell am i."
Then the memory of the battle hit him like a a charging dew back. "[Expletive Deleted]."
As he started to get up pain spit through his body, collasping again he felt for his commlink, nothing. pulling out a small metal container he popped open the cap and took a gulp, warmth spread through his body as he felt bones repairing themselves, but it stopped before the were completely healed. "Damn not enough." He cursed "but it will do for now." getting up he tosed the container into the forest and started to limp his way towards where the clan was last headed after walking for a couple minutes he stooped what is that as he looked around that is some major power he said in amazment he knew it was the clan so he headed in the direction of the power source.
A dark figure walked slowly through the remains of the area where the battle took place no more than a few hours ago. As it slowly walked around it stopped and lifted its hand.
Out of nowhere a metal container flew into its hand "Louis Louis Louis you have gotten sloopy." the being laughed silently to it's self. It looked around again and saw the path that the clan had made, and the figure started to follow it....
((on a side note louis is my character's first name ))
Ma`ar had made his way with Zekk in tow towards the hangar bay, as the shuttle came into view, Ma`ar turned and looked deeply into Zekk’s helmeted face and said, “Im guessing your flying this one?”
Zekk nodded firmly not words were uttered as the two had loaded into the rear cargo hold, moments later the shuttle had lifted off and was headed toward the outer atmosphere.
The day turned to night as the ship rocketed towards space and stars. Zekk turned to Ma`ar and laughed at the sight of Ma`ar sitting so eagerly in the co-pilots seat, he figured Ma`ar was ready for battle as both had seen a little during the right of supremacy.
Ma`ar looked down and noticed the coordinates Zekk was entering into the navigational panel, “Heading directly towards the planets surface?” Ma`ar spoke.
“Yes, Ma`ar the news is coming in like flocks, it looks as the forces of Tarentum have captured a base, and are heading out in four different flanks, figuring our best course of action would be to head directly there and get a hold of the Field Marshal, and get a update as to where we need to be.” Zekk boasted.
Zekk turned to the control panel and raised the com, “Corsair, this is Prelate Zekk, I have Ma`ar with me and we are headed planet side, please advise of any situations we might encounter on the way.”
The com was silent for a matter of seconds, when a voice came thru, “Read you loud and clear Zekk, the Field Marshal will be informed of your arrival and be advised the High Warrior his self is planet side and will be looking forward to your arrival, Daemoni is under attack, and is advancing, good luck both of you. Anshar out.”
Ma`ar was shocked, he hadn’t heard Anshar’s voice in sometime, but Zekk was calm and cool as usual, his actions were steady, and without hesitation.
Ma`ar sat back in the seat and relaxed for a moment calling on the force for guidance, he felt a small tremor in the force, reaching out to it he felt his apprentice in pain, as the force was getting stronger by the moment Ma`ar opened his eyes to the sounds of alarms going off, Zekk looked down and said, “Approaching craft dead ahead, TIE class, its one of ours and its Welshmans personal craft.”
Ma’ar looked down at the panel and studied the readout, Ma’ar turned to Zekk and said, “Its Archean, he’s in terrible pain, something happened on the planet something horrid, I will need to get a status report as soon as we land.”
The planet came into view a short while later, the flight was too long for Ma`ar’s liking but space travel never interested the Vurk much anymore, the heat of battle is what the Battle master had longed for.
Zekk had sent a out to Tarentm’s frequency on the planets surface, and radioed for the arrival of both parties, the com was silent and then a voice came through, “We read you loud and clear, we are transmitting the coordinates to you now land at the base and we will advise the Field Marshal and High Warrior of your impending arrival, we don’t expect any heavy surface to air fire, so it will be a smooth landing, see you planet side.”
Ma`ar studied the planet as it drew closer, going back through the older reports on the datapad he had brought along, he found that Doni Tzu was heading with several heavy tanks to take down other forces and that Daemoni was embattled with some resistance of there own. Knowing the High Warrior was there was insurance that the battle wasn’t as bad as it was made out to be.
The shuttle broke thru the clouds, as promised there was no resistance to the crafts going toward the surface, Ma`ar had hoped for a smooth flight and he was granted that.
As the shuttle came closer towards what appeared to be a small camp, the shuttle Slowly descended downwards, Zekk had engaged the landing sequence for the shuttle, as it touched down gracefully Zekk lowered the rear ramp and both men got up and headed outside.
The camp looked little like a rebel base and more so an over turned camp ground but a few Troops headed towards the shuttle greeting the two members and escorted them inside on of the tents for a briefing.
The Priestess looked at the gory image before her, and reveled in it. She lusted for these undead corpses to do her bidding, but knew they would not. She watched them traverse the clearing and she followed behind them, easily able to keep pace.
Looking ahead of the horde, she noticed a wooded area with a narrow path to the right, "Lord Marshal, there is a path to the east of this clearing into the woods. What shall we do about it?"
Oberst looked at her and smirked, "I am feeling peckish, would you be so kind as to arrange...sustenance?"
Yuki looked at him, and raised an eyebrow, "As you command, my Lord."
Motioning to several still alive troopers, she lead a small team down the path. After about five minutes of marching down the path, several New Republic soldiers jumped from the trees and landed around them.
"Freeze, scum. We know you are a Dark Jedi and now you'll die for it," one of them said in Shyriiwook.
She spun quickly to look at the one speaking to her and replied quickly, "Dark Jedi are about?! I am, but a simple noble on a journey of shorts."
The wookiee looked at her skeptically, "A noble in dark robes with a hood? Fits the description of every Dark Jedi running around this godforsaken area."
"You know of Dark Jedi activity in the area?" she asked, lightly. "And you are harrassing me?"
The wookiee looked at her, the Force working against the wookiee to make him change his mind and he told the other soldiers to lower their weapons.
As soon as he did, the Priestess concentrated heavily and made her own troopers place shots directly into the New Republic soldiers's weapons. As soon as their weapons were disabled, Yuki commanded her troops to bind their wrists, "I suppose the Lord Marshal will either get a decent meal, or some kind of information about what they know of us."
As she spoke, the wookiee broke the necks of the two troopers binding him and turned to face Yuki, "You remind me of those who placed my people in chains and sold us as slaves! For that, you will die!"
Yuki simply looked at the wookiee and smirked, "You wish to play that way? Fine then! I agree!"
Yuki jumped at the wookiee and was caught by him in her arms, just as she planned. She felt her robes being torn from her body as the wookiee clawed her arms and shoulders deeply. She fell to the ground and wiped the blood off her right arm and licked it off her fingers. Moving quickly, she jumped at the wookiee again, shedding the remains of her tattered robes to the ground as she flew into the wookiee's face. She placed a dagger deep into it's ribs and punctured the lung.
"If you wish to remain alive long enough to say prayers to whatever deity you choose, you will accompany me silently. If you so choose to die, then speak," the young Priestess growled through her clenched teeth.
The wookiee doubted she meant business and spoke loudly, "May your soul become festered and broken..."
His words were cut off as the dagger was ripped to the left then to the right and finally removed from his chest. Quickly using the force, she placed the wookiee into a hibernative trance and ordered two more troopers to carry it to the clearing.
"Anyone else wish to make that mistake? I know he for one will feed the Lord Marshal. Perhaps, he'll share with his faithful student....who knows. I am content simply killing every last one of you."
They moved quickly to catch up with the Lord Marshal and the horde of undead he controlled.
Catching up with Oberst and his undead, Yuki spoke softly, "My Lord. I have brought you hostages and.....sustenance."
"Excellent!" Oberst exclaimed, ordering Ylith to start the fire and to be careful not to 'slip' into it.
Yuki moved to her post at the Lord Marshal's side, awaiting orders. "What shall we do next, my Lord? More torture? They said they knew we were here and the others were not with us. Should we alert them?"
Urikuroor winced as consciousness came back to him – barely. His lungs exploded into fire as he drew breath. This brought him fully back to consciousness. He opened his eyes. Above him hung a single lantern. It was bright. The lantern was old. He could see wisps of grayish-black smoke waft from the light source, indicating a solid or liquid fuel source being burned. Beyond the lantern, he could see some fabric. The canvas roof of a tent. With the return of conscious thought, the rest of his active senses piqued. He could hear movement and commotion outside. Memories flooded back to him. The Dark Jedi in the forest who ambushed him and his squad. She’d attempted to play it off, but failed in her ruse. She’d still beaten him, though.
His wound ached in response to the memory. Urikuroor moved a massive hand to the wound, but found it would not move. He tried to move his other arm, but found it too was unresponsive. When Urikuroor tried to lift his head and failed, he let out a great roar. The noise outside the tent halted. Everything was still until one of the heavy canvas flaps opened. He didn’t recognize the first two figures into the tent – a large human, nearly as large as a full-grown Wookie and a Shaevalian who drew his hood back as he entered the tent. The third figure, the woman, cause Urikuroor to leap and press against his bonds. Suddenly he knew what was wrong. He wasn’t bound to the table. He was incapable of movement.
“You will have to forgive us,” the refinement in the male human’s voice mocked Urikuroor, “but we were not able to find more suitable accommodations.” The female human’s laugh tittered in amusement.
Yukika traced a finger along the Wookie’s form, marveling at how it was rendered immobile. As if sensing her thoughts, Oberst spoke up, “I’ve limited his synaptic responses. There are many things we can do with Necromancy. Why bother killing someone outright when you can use that same power to freeze them in place.”
Master Bloodfyre spoke up, “Adaptation. Our powers give us dominance over life and death, why use them to strictly heal and kill, when you can use it to control the very fabric of life?”
Yukika bowed her head in acknowledgement. She watched carefully as Oberst removed his greatcoat and began to wash his hands in the basin. “You had mentioned sustenance, my lord?”
Oberst turned his head towards the Priestess, “Yes. The more senior Death Dealers can prepare the bodies of their enemies for consumption.” Oberst dried his hands and began rummaging through one of the crates in the tents, eventually coming up with a tray of surgical equipment, “Through it, we gain their strength, endurance, resilience, dexterity, even a measure of intelligence.”
“And this would work on any creature?” Yukika quizzed, her eyes studying the bound Wookie with intent. She watched as Oberst began laying out the instruments he would be using, and then started marking where he would make his incisions.
“Within reason, the tests show that there are some unsuitable characteristics,” the Sith High Warrior began, “I believe when we tried this using Ewok, the test subjects became annoying, cuddly creatures. Oberst executed them after about five minutes.”
“Shall we begin?” Oberst asked. He dragged the scalpel over the left side of the Wookie’s chest. Urikuroor howled in pain and fury. His howls continued for several minutes. He found himself without the ability to howl, but he could still feel the sharp pain, as his flesh was peeled back, his ribs cracking, and then the scrape against his heart. Idly, in the back of his mind, beneath the layers of pain and torment, Urikuroor thought to himself Why am I not yet dead?
Skimming through the viridian blanket of a great forest Welshman trusted in the Force to guide himself and his stolen speeder through the boughs and rotting trunks that littered the area. He had been riding the speeder hard for the last hour or so, covering 360 kilometres. The Aratech 74-Z slalomed around obstacles with Welshman’s expert hands guiding the vanes, after a few more kilometres had been left in his wake Welshman throttled the speeder bike down and opened the basic on board nav comp.
According to the combined data from the nav comp and his datapad he was now less then an hour away from the last known location of Lieutenant General Doni`Tzu. It was while standing there contemplating the wisest course to reach his waypoint that a gruff voice barked across the communicator on a wide band, closely followed by the ear splitting whine of approaching ion engines.
“Unidentified sentient. You are in a restricted Tarentum military control zone. Prepare to be destroyed.”
It was then the high pitched whine became distinguishable to his electronic eyes, four A-9 Interceptors air braking hard through the atmosphere. They began firing their laser cannons when they reached a few kilometres, issuing scarlet bolts that churned soil and vaporised liquid. None of the blasts hit their target as the Force had Welshman bounding and somersaulting around the clearing evading the combined efforts of the patrol. Half way through one of his leaping bounds Welshman summoned his lightsabre to his hand and ignited the violet blade. Focusing his Force awareness across his blade and his arm Welsh fortified the delicate device and the strength with which he wielded it, smoothly he moved the blade into the path of an incoming bolt. The impact nearly wrenched Welshman’s shoulder from its socket along with the searing heat that scorched his sleeve. The result however was worth it. The deflected bolt seared straight into the lead A-9’s starboard wing holing it and causing it to plummet to the ground, forming a large smoking crater.
“Sir, we have reports of a Jedi on the surface. He’s on a speeder bike and headed towards Lt General Doni`Tsu’s position. He’s destroyed a fighter, request permission to send an assault shuttle down?” Commed Heresiarch ‘s CO to the Corsair
“Granted, Heresiarch . Any aid rendered would be appreciated. Corsair out.”
The shuttle settled down gently outside the remains of the crashed starship. The Jedi and their allies had done a good job of clearing away the brush and overgrowth that had taken over the ship, which was no small feat given that the ship was a fairly large transport. It was a testament to technology that the ship still remained intact in such a good condition, though one could see where the engines had been torn off and parts of the ship’s hull simply no longer existed; most likely due to the crash, Anshar imagined. He and Dranik exited the shuttle and approached the crash site.
“Why exactly are we here?” asked Dranik. “The blade isn’t here.”
“There could always be something of value,” replied Anshar. “Even if it means finding some small amount of information about the blade, its owners, then we’ll have that.” Dranik nodded.
“Looks like some type of personnel carrier,” commented Dranik as they stepped into the wreck of the ship. “You could fit maybe 20 officers in here; transport them all to the new battlefield.”
“An interesting choice to use when trying to flee from someone. It’s not fast by any means,” said Anshar. “I’m going to the bridge, or whatever is left of it. I wonder if the computer still works so we can see where this thing has been.”
“You’ll need a power source,” said Dranik. “And, judging by the engines, this ship won’t provide it.” Anshar reached to his belt and produced a battery, roughly the size of a blaster pack.
“This thing will last five hours on full power,” said Anshar. “I’ve got the power.” Anshar turned and headed for the bridge. Dranik himself descended towards the quarters for any passengers that such a ship might carry. He had his own goals.
Anshar found the bridge relatively intact, likely meaning that the impact had been mostly on the belly of the ship. Most of the damage had appeared to be external, though the crash had busted the window out. The pilot’s chair had rotted and decayed into almost nothing and it easily crumbled at Anshar’s touch. Anshar placed the battery on the console, with some buttons missing, but in decent shape. He plugged the power cord into a small outlet, which Anshar figured was a location for a back up power source, similar to Anshar’s own.
The screens lit up and the nav chart came online. It was an older nav chart, which meant that it was larger and had to sit to the side of the pilot’s chair. Parts of the logs were incomplete, but the planets visited began appearing one by one. To Anshar’s surprise, the ship went from Korriban to Taris and then back to Korriban. It seemed a little off, given that, according to what Anshar had read, the blade had been stolen from a Sith on Taris. There would be no logical reason for the ship to return to Korriban unless the pilot had a death wish.
Turning around, Anshar began playing with the console and he managed to bring the pilot’s personal logs up; at least, a part of it came up. It was a video of the pilot. His face was covered with blood and he was shaking badly.
“Can’t escap . . . been hunted for to long –ow . . . if you find this . . . away from the blade. It causes nothing . . . best of friends will fight and kill each other over it . . . orders to take the blade away to keep us united after Master Kun’s death . . . chased by brothers…” the video fizzled out into static. It was only part of the information, but Anshar was quite certain he knew what was going on. The sword meant trouble for any group that had it. Could the sword have even been a cause of the downfall of whatever race had once inhabited this world? Unhooking the battery, Anshar went to find Dranik, wondering what would happen when someone from the clan found it.
Dranik had torn apart three of the six bunk rooms, finding a good deal of items, but not was he was looking for. It was logical that there would be items in the ship, given that the remaining Sith forces were in the process of scattering after Exar Kun’s defeat. Anyone who could probably grabbed the first ship available and put their things on it. Then, of course, this particular ship had been stolen. Dranik wasn’t even certain that he would find anything worth taking, but he had been asked to look.
Dranik made his way into the fourth room and he immediately saw a small box on one of the beds. If the Jedi had been here, it was likely they would have taken this if it had anything valuable. Then again, they were looking for the sword, not what Dranik was looking for. He opened the box and a smile crept to his face. Inside, still well intact, sitting in the cushioned box, was a small cube, no bigger than a hover ball. Dranik closed the box after removing the cube and he placed it in his cloak. Dranik felt a presence behind him and without thinking, spun around, unsheathing his katana and lashing out in on stroke. The tip of the blade stopped within inches of Anshar’s face.
“Jumpy, aren’t we?” asked Anshar.
“You shouldn't sneak up on people,” commented Dranik, pulling his sword back and sheathing it. They made their way off of the ship. “This ship is in remarkably good condition.”
“I know,” said Anshar. “I think the pilot survived and he either kept coming back or made this his home until he died. That’s the only explanation I have for the good condition of the ship.”
Dranik looked back at the ship for a long moment, stopping while he wondered why it ended up downed in the first place. Anshar, now a good few meters in front of the Templar stopped and turned around, speaking quietly but loud enough for Dranik to hear him “What is it?”. After a long moment Dranik turned back around and shrugged “My gut says that something about this whole situation is amiss.” Replied Dranik as he started back towards their own shuttle.
Anshar quietly boarded the shuttle and stopped at the top of the ramp “Why do I sense that you are staying here?” Dranik laughed quietly “Because you know me well, don’t worry about me. You know I have my own, less obvious for the moment, ways of catching up to the rest of the clan. Go and join them. I will catch up, I still have my communicator band, send word if you need me.” Before even waiting for a response Dranik turned around and started back towards the downed ship. Anshar shook his head and spoke aloud to the departing Templar “Dranik, You had best rejoin the clan soon.” After his words of warning he closed the door and had the shuttle start its ascent into the air. The Templar turned his head slightly to watch the shuttle zoom off before he reentered the ship, his hand almost instinctively dropping to the hilt of that ancient Katana.
The Templar made his way back down to that same room where he had found the small object and sat upon the old bed, removing the object to stare down at it. “So then…this wealth of knowledge was here. To think that someone would hide these ancient secrets in plan site and the Jedi missed them.” After looking at the object for a while longer, the Templar picked up the faint sounds of boot falls against metal. “Maybe they were not quite yet finished…or saw the shuttle leaving.” The Templar stood up and walked over to the door, peaking out just enough to see down both corridors. “I wonder what knowledge is on this device…” before Dranik could finish his statement a blaster bolt flew past his head “It will have to wait.”. Dranik drew one of his own pistols and opened fire, though blindly, down the hall. “Why did I not see them there….”
The templar retreated father into the room and knocked over the desk for some cover. Carefully he slid the small object into a hidden compartment in his armor, and concealed it there. His actions, thankfully for the Templar, hidden from view by his robes. Before Dranik ever had time to react to the threat a blunt baton hit him across the back, sending the man to the ground. Quickly and skillfully he rolled and looked around the room, seeing nothing “What…where ar…” before the Templar could ever draw his blade that blunt bat came across the back of his skull, knocking his vision blurry. As he sank into darkness he saw it, the discoloration of a Halo-Cloak disengaging. Just as his vision went completely blank did he notice the saber on the side of his attacker, though expertly designed the hilt was, something about it seemed odd. Dranik could feel the hands of immense strength start to lift him but after that, all was black and still.
Anshar quietly sat in the chair of the shuttle, watching out the window “Dranik is right….something is very wrong with all of this.” He commented to himself before asking aloud “And why did he stay behind, what did he find or sense that I did not…” It was just after that Anshar heard a crashing sound in the back of the shuttle, he stood up and spun around, his lightsaber coming to hand and igniting with that classic snap-hiss. Anshar walked quietly from the shuttles front and looked about, all of his senses extremely sharp as he saw something, a slightly discolored shape move through some dust from the fallen crates. One person, on Anshar’s left decloaked and came at him with a Lightsaber igniting, the other, staying invisible, other than the now ignited blade attacked from the opposite side, Forcing Anshar into a defensive posture at the start.
~OT Dranik (3417) House Gladius of Clan Tarentum
The Hunter sighed softly, it was the 7th night in camp while Oberst and Yuki both were conducting experiments unknown to man before now on the captured wookiee. Daemoni was sitting near the campfire on the edge of the settled base. The night was dark and cold and the camp fire gave the Daemons some heat for the time.
Dox approached the battered Hunter and sat down next to him handing him a small cup of water. “It isn’t much but here.”
Ylith smiled slightly, “Thanks brother.” He said softly and he drank some of it and his eyes gazed into the flames dancing on the chunks of wood underneath them.
”Is something wrong?” Fenn asked him while he was sitting down near the fire as Dox did. Ylith just shook his head a little, “I have done many things wrong, too many things and people have suffered for it.”
”It wasn’t that bad!” CannabiS said smiling and Ylith returned the smile. “It was my young Daemon, and I am going to be punished for it after all of this I am sure.”
Suddenly a soldier came to the Daemons and gave each a dish with some stew in it. Ylith looked questioning and gazed up to the soldier. “What’s this?”
The soldier smirked, “A little present from the Marshal, ‘wookiee stew’.”
A sudden ‘ahem’ shot trough the silence of after the comment from the soldier and all Daemons rose as the Field Marshal made his appearance from the shadows behind the firelight.
”I hope I am not interfering gentlemen?” he said with a tone which was so mannered it scared most Daemons. Ylith smiled slightly, for he knew it would probably mean he would be next to put into a stew after all he had done.
The Marshal waved with his hand, “At ease.”
Dox sat down and began eating the stew while the others began cutting some bushes for the fire.
”Valheru, please come with me.” Oberst said with a sharp tone concealed beneath a soft manner of how he put it. Ylith walked with him and after a while Oberst began talking,
”You know, I wanted to speak about your…’too early’…arrival here.”
Ylith’s gaze lowered to the floor and he was prepared for anything.
”Last time you did such a thing, like destroying the Phoenix Crest almost in a whole, you got a warning, and even additional training so this kind of thing wouldn’t happen again, yet again you defied the higher ranked in their decision.”
”It was in the best interest of the clan.” Ylith tried to defend himself yet Oberst countered it very quick and simple, “You were shot down and endangered the lives of your clan mates. That isn’t in the interest of the clan that’s suicide.”
Ylith nodded and sighed, “What are you going to do to me?”
Oberst smirked, “I won’t do anything, I’ll let Anshar make that decision. What I will do is that if you are going renegade again I will personally hunt you down and strike you down Valheru, understand?”
The Valheru nodded.
”Good, now tomorrow we will head out to the temple, tell your fellow Daemons to get ready. And Valheru?”
Ylith looked at Oberst.
”When we get the sword we will all be heroes within this clan, if we don’t find the sword we will all be losers. Nothing will ensure you are the only hero, we are a clan, remember that.”
Ylith nodded and moves back to his group, telling them to get ready for travel to the temple.
As the camp officers were buzzing around, Zekk was paying close attention to the details that he either overheard, or read in some reports.
The Tarentum forces were split up into 4 areas, Daemoni being accompanied by the Field Marshal that is heading towards the Temple, General Doni’s forces were in route to an abandoned town, and the two other groups were in pursuit of the NR forces.
Strict orders had been give for no one to attack the Jedi leader, but Ma`ar knew something amiss with that order, Anshar didn’t normally give out blanket calls like that without reason. Ma`ar became restless with the chatter, the battle is what the Vurk craved, as the day drew on Ma`ar left the tent, and proceeded back to the shuttle together his things and change into a more appropriate attire.
After changing Ma`ar looked over his data pad with all the reports stored on it, something about the reports seemed off, like the NR forces had a alternative plan with the Blade, The planet itself seemed a rather odd place to keep a small force looking for such a big item. This was all so puzzling, why no major forces were still conflicting with our own.
Ma`ar began to wonder if the Tarentum forces were not falling into a trap, as there seemed some sporadic fighting, even the forces that were had come across were little in match to our own, was there a reason for this or did we happen to catch them off guard.
Searching the force it was clouded, the visions were very few and little at that, the force almost seemed to be clouded on the planet, the were random at best, but they did show a major battle, one like Tarentum had yet to see, but Ma`ar could feel a disturbance, centering around Anshar, something was wrong there terribly wrong.
“Ma`ar come here” a voice yelled out, Ma`ar had turned from the shuttle and noticed Zekk was motioning for him, Ma`ar gathered his stuff and walked back to the Tent, Zekk was overlooking a few reports when Ma`ar reentered the tent. “Yes Zekk, what is it.” Ma`ar replied.
Zekk just pointed to the data pad, and said, “We need to go, and NOW.”
Ma`ar looked down, and a chill came over his face, they had launched a probe prior to landing that was to keep a eye in the sky.
The data pad had recorded a few photos and sent them directly to the pad, without hesitation, Zekk was headed back to the shuttle for his gear, as he turned, he said, “Ma`ar grab those two speeders and get them prepped and ready, we leave now, there is little time.”
Ma`ar understood what the pictures meant, and it must have been the same feeling that he felt within the force about Anshar.
The danger was very real, but two beginnings were not enough to overcome what was to happen, Ma`ar walked over to the speeders and packed his gear on one of them, he noticed some heavy battle damage to one of the bikes, but it seemed as it would hold up.
Zekk had made his way into the shuttle and retrieved his gear, and made his way to the distant speederbikes, Ma`ar fired his up and awaited orders from Zekk.
Zekk packed his gear to the rear of the bike, and climbed on. He looked over to the Vurk companion and said, “According to those photos, the probe spotted them around the north area from here, around 95 clicks from here, lets go we have no time to waste.”
Both bikes disappeared into the forest, there engines revving at full RPM.
The fighter was zooming to its destination, carrying on board the injured Sith Hunter. The pain was unbearable, each second eating away at his mind, trying to suppress it was difficult for the Hunter.
As Archean got closer to the ship, he got a transmission from an officer.
“Quaestor, we have you on radar, we’re going to bring you in, a team will meet you in the hangar bay, stand by.” He said as he closed the link. Archean laid his head back, trying not to centre on the pain.
The Corsair became bigger and bigger as the fighter passed it, the fighter turned slightly and headed for the hanger bay. The fighter gracefully entered the hanger bay, fighters on either side were housed in it, Archean’s fighter touched down. A Team of medics and an officer ran out to meet Archean who slowly got himself out of the cockpit.
“Sir, will you be alright to get to the medical facility.” The Officer said. Archean just nodded and slowly made his way there, following the medics. They all reached the facility and Archean quickly fell onto a bed. Finally succumbing to the pain.
“We’ll keep him here, take some tests, then we’ll see what we can do.” One medic said the officer.” They both nodded and left the room.
Archean laid there, silent.
The Hunter was silent and so were his Daemoni brethren. Field Marshal Oberst and Daemoni along with a squad of troopers were scouting up ahead to see if everything was clear or they would have to get around somewhere to avoid enemy contact.
Yuki stayed with the main task force to lead them in case something bad happens.
”Weren’t you supposed to stay with the main force Lord Oberst?” Ylith said questioning.
Oberst merely smiled. “Yuki can handle it for now, I don’t want you kids to get stomped on.”
The Valheru was offended by the remark but didn’t show any sign of it.
A few minutes later they stumbled upon a thick forest, one other than Donitzu was in. the vegetation was the same yet the way it grew was different. As if it has not even been like this since the day before. Oberst halted and pointed at his right and left and when he did so the troopers split in two groups each going their way around the forest.
”Any Idea what this is?” Dox asked while his he held his saber close.
”None.” Ylith answered dryly.
”One way to find out.” Oberst said grinning and he pushes trough the forest and Ylith turned around to CannabiS. “Turn around to the main task force and tell them where we are.”
CannabiS nodded and turned back while Ylith Dox and Fenn followed Oberst trough the thick forest.
circa 4000 years ago.
“I trust that all has been prepared,” said the Dark Master who looked weary and as if he had aged forty years in one night. The apprentice nodded. “Good. The transport is packed by all the officers and Jedi preparing to evacuate and scatter. We have lost this war, and I foresee civil war amongst the Sith, but our future is bright and it will rest in that blade’s power. The knowledge to reproduce the weapon has been imparted to the holocron.”
“Master, what if others come to seek the blade?” asked the apprentice. “I cannot stand up to them.”
“This is true,” replied the Master. “However, I will have those loyal to me give chase and ‘force’ you to crash land on a planet of warriors. Your skills with the Force and the blade itself will endear you to them. Once you are able, return to the ship and place the eight containers you will find throughout the planet, though you should leave one or two on the ship. These are young Dark Jedi who I have sealed with the Force. They will only awaken when the holocron’s box is opened. If a Sith opens it, then the warriors will merely awaken and join him. But, if anyone else opens the box, then these eight will come to life and strike them down. Of course, depending on how long our resurrection takes, the sealing will lose its connection. It could be days before the sleepers awaken, and I cannot guarantee their mental state, but they will go towards the shuttle, killing any who get in their way to protect the secrets of the blade and the wielder of it, should the blade be found.”
“But, Master, I was not aware that the Force could do such things,” said the apprentice.
“The Force has many secrets,” replied the Master. “But, doing what I did has had this effect on me. I have aged rapidly and even now it is only my connection to the Dark Side that sustains me; but it also feeds on me. Now go, for the time is short. Your mission will permit the Sith to rise again.”
4 Days Ago
“Master Tuar, our search has ended of the ship,” reported the New Republic commander. “There is nothing on the ship that looked like any type of artifact or indicated that such an item was there.”
“Have you found anything else?” asked Jorax.
“Just a few odds and ends; some odd looking cube things, but our technicians think they’re old recorders,” replied the commander. Jorax reached out with the Force, but he could sense nothing. There was no imprint made on the Force coming from the ship.
“Very well, we should head out,” replied Jorax.
Jorax stood with his lightsaber still drawn, the decapitated body of some lightsaber wielding man sprawled on the ground. Ten New Republic soldiers lay dead, as did one of the padawans. The body had strapped to it some type of stealth field generator and the man had struck from out of no where.
Anshar was driven back by the sudden assault, surprised by the two lightsabers. His senses told him that the minds of these men, whoever they were, were almost completely gone. Anshar found himself out of room to move backwards, so he dove forward, spun around, and let loose a stream of force lightning at the attackers, frying both of them. They collapsed to the ground dead. It was only then that Anshar saw the cut on his arm, already sealed by the lightsaber. His next thought hit him like a lightning bolt: what happened to Dranik? Anshar dashed to the bridge and turned the shuttle around, setting the landing coordinates in the console.
Throughout the ranks of Tarentum, from the youngest apprentice to the eldest master, everyone of them sense the disruption in the Force as the sword’s secrets guards began to move about with the death of those who stood in their way on their mind.
Sagging to his knees after the effort required to not only hold his shoulders in socket but also the force of will required to keep the lightsaabre in one piece Welshman let a wave of exhaustion claim him. The last few days had been intense and the fighting hard. Looking down at the grass by his feet Welshman’s goggles picked up the faint stirrings of bugs and insects squirming in the foliage, letting his sabre drop extinguished to the ground Welshman emptied his mind and reached out with the Force, extending his awareness into the web of life surrounding him he tapped into some of the life force and let it flow into him, a measure which would sustain him for a brief while until he rested anyway.
It was while in this trance like state that a scream resounded throughout the Force, a howl of primal emotions and of a sense of mission. Seconds after the initial awakening a sense of recognition and acceptance dawned upon the Force presences and sure enough their presence closed off to the Force. Re-activating the link between his goggles and his brain Welshman was first outstanded to see the amount of time that had passed since beginning the meditations, nearly an hour. The second thing that surprised him was seeing a ring of blaster rifles pointing in his direction.
“Hey there troopers.“ Stated Welshman a knowing grin tugging at his ravaged face.
“Sir, we’re under orders to apprehend the individual who shot down one of our patrol fighters. Did you happen to see anyone?”
“That individual would be me. Friendly fire, it’s a hell of a thing. Now could you give me a lift in that shuttle of yours. I really need to get somewhere other then this clearing. Oh, was a TIE Defender picked up space-side by the fleet?”
“Yes Sir on the TIE. And if you’d care to step into the shuttle I’ll talk with my superior and try and arrange something.”
“Try and contact the Field Marshal. He’ll know where I’m wanted.”
“Right away Sir.”
As the two speeders were speeding through the heavy foliage, Ma`ar still had a feeling things were only to get worse, It didn’t matter Zekk was as highly trained as Ma`ar was, but they were just two Dark Knights, and if the Adept was in trouble that could only mean one thing, trouble at its finest.
Ma`ar and just weaved in behind Zekk when a sudden explosion had rocketed both speeders to slam into each other, Ma`ar had been thrown off and Zekk got his speeder under control before having it slam into a rotted tree , as he engaged the brakes the speeder slowed down, rapid blaster fire had engulfed the area around Zekk.
Ma`ar was on the ground when he awoke to the sounds of blaster fire all around, not seeing a person anywhere, and seeing Zekk pilot the speeder bike between shots he slowly got up, the two meter tall Vurk towered over the medium length foliage.
The blaster fire intensified and Ma`ar unslung the blaster rife he was carrying, and began to return fire towards the direction of the shots, Zekk stopped his speeder near Ma`ar and began the same the two had been in battle for sometime when Ma`ar looked over to Zekk and said, “Zekk we need to get out of here, there isn’t much I can do nor you to keep us alive, I seen a handful of soldiers along the tree line to the north of us, If we can sneak in and around them, we will catch them off guard, but we really need a distraction for it to work.”
Zekk nodded and then said, “So you want to use me as bait do you?”
Ma`ar nodded and then shrugged his shoulders, as he said, “well if you have a better idea feel free to voice it.”
Zekk looked to the North and noticed the shots seemed to get closer by the minute, and then looked to the Vurk, and said, “Well I figure seniority has its just rewards here.”
Ma`ar, smiled and then said, “After you my friend.”
With that Zekk moved in behind Ma`ar and with that Ma`ar opened a volley of shots in the direction of the approaching NR soldiers, as the shots seemed to keep them distracted Ma`ar knew he was a sitting duck, as he had lost sight of Zekk, the Prelate had a knack of improvising in sticky situations and it would do wonders if that attempt would only come sooner, as Ma`ar took a look he noticed the NR soldiers were at a stand still just 15 meters away.
Still no sign of Zekk when a “You there don’t move was heard.”
Ma`ar slowly turned around to see a solider standing just feet away from the Vurk, with a blaster rifle pointed at him, Ma`ar made no sudden moves. When a snap hiss was heard, Ma`ar used the force to leap over the solider and ignite his saber to come crashing down on both feet and swing backwards cutting the solider in half, as he turned to see Zekk making good work of the other three soldiers, Ma`ar took of running, as he cleared the 15 meters Zekk was just disposing the final solider, as he seen Ma`ar charging, he said, “Well that actually did work out…and all to easy I must say.”
As Ma`ar slowed his pace, Zekk slung the blaster rifle over his right shoulder, then two proceeded north along a small path way cut into the brush, Ma`ar still uneasy, this whole thing reeked of a trap.
As Zekk walked he noticed Ma`ar slowing down, as he stopped to as what was the matter the Vurk slumped down and to one knee he dropped, his hands at his temples he fell to the ground, Zekk coming to the help of his friend.
“Ma`ar what’s the matter are you hurt,” Zekk said.
Ma`ar with his hands at his temples, and his teeth clenched screamed, “The pain, agony….these voices, stop them stop them now….”
With that Ma`ar passed out. The pain in his head had gotten the best of him, Zekk looking puzzled made due with what he had, to get Ma`ar back awake was what he had worked he had a pulse, but he was un responsive, Zekk hearing footsteps swiveled around to see that 3 NR soldiers were headed towards the pair, Zekk looked down at Ma`ar sand said, “Now would be a good time for you to awake Ma`ar.”
Zekk unslung the blaster rifle and began to fire shots, as the NR soliders were caught off guard, Zekk moved off to the right side of Ma`ar hoping to drawn them away from him, as he made one last look at Ma`ar the Vurk stood up, something seemed different, very different with the way MA`ar acted.
He looked around to see the NR soldiers make there way towards Ma`ar, they had there rifles drawn and prepare to fire Zekk let loose a string of shots off.
The soldiers were caught in a dilemma as where to shot first, the three split up two of them went towards Ma`ar and one went towards Zekk.
As the two soliders were in just mere feet of Ma`ar, he raised his long head, and raised his right hand, the soliders stopped and then dropped there weapons, as they reached for there throats, Ma`ar closed his fist the force flowing through Ma`ar was enough to over come two of the soliders to the point of Ma`ar reaching for his whip neatly concealed on his back side under the robes he had on, as the soliders dropped to there knees, Ma`ar cracked the whip and wrapped the end around the throat of one of the soldiers and then igniting his saber he sliced downward and killed the solider, the other regaining his footing and as the breath came back to his lungs, Ma`ar used the force to leap into the air and then drive the sabers blade clean through the soldiers throat.
Looking over Ma`ar seen Zekk just finishing off the solider he had contended with.
Ma`ar gather his whereabouts and then hollered to Zekk, “Approaching speeders, take cover.”
Ma`ar made a mad dash for cover as Zekk did the same, a patrol of NR soldiers were aboard a Hover craft, and searched the area for the two.
Jorax led what remained of his forces towards the rendezvous point, hoping that the others would already be there. Communications jamming by the Dark Jedi in orbit made communicators useless; not that they had one capable of reaching the nearest New Republic base as it was. But, the Force could not be stopped and Jorax was reaching out, calling to Master Skywalker and the others. The Dark Jedi were likely here for the blade, just as Jorax and his team was. As far as Jorax was concerned, retrieving the blade was impossible now. There were too many Dark Jedi on the planet, and these new threats that had suddenly appeared, seemingly from no where, and slain several. Jorax and his team would have to simply wait things out and deal with issues as they came.
General Donitz sat in the lead tank, the small town that was his target was just over the next ridge. Normally, tanks and urban environments did not mix very well, but the lightly armed New Republic troops, and the construction of the building, which intelligence had revealed to be little more than wooden and soft stone structures, would not be able to hold out. The few Jedi in town could easily be drawn out and then struck down. “Prepare to begin bombardment,” ordered Donitz. “If the reports are true, then this sword is hidden underground and should be safe from the attack.”
“Sir,” came Sato’s voice. “I’m picking up a lot of radio chatter from the Republic soldiers; local frequency, nothing getting off planet. But, it sounds like something is out there running amok through the enemy troops. Sounds like a lot of them are dying.” Donitz reached out with the Force and felt the panic, the rush, and the strange, disoriented minds of two creatures, that only vaguely resembled men. The next event surprised Donitz. With a slam, the hover tank tipped forward before being righted. Donitz exited the tank as quickly as he could and, looking around quickly, he saw a humanoid form land on the ground, a large cloth covered item in his hands. Looking down at the front of the tank, Donitz saw a dent.
“Son of a bitch!” cursed Donitz. “That bastard has the blade! After him!” And, he had put a dent in the new tank. Donitz reached out with the Force, feeling a disoriented mind closely akin to the ones he had sensed earlier. Only this one seemed to be very focused on only one thing.