Dark Crusade: Prologue Team 3
Welcome to the Dark Crusade Prologue. The following rules are in effect:
1. 250 word minimum per post.
2. 1 post per player, per phase (this will be a three phase run-on separated conducted in 7 day intervals). If a member fails to post during a phase, the team will lose points.
3. Edits may occur on a post until a follow on post has been made (follow on posts include "reserving" a space).
4. Members may reserve post, but no posts can occur until after the reserved post is written.
5. The event will be graded by Raken, Sarin, and Muz using a rubric that focuses on creativity, plot development, realism, and grammar.
1. 1-7 January - Signups, Set up starting posts on 7th
2. 8-14 January - Phase 1 posts, 15th = Sarin post, start new phase.
3. 16-22 January - Phase 2 posts, 23rd = Sarin post, start new phase.
4. 24-31 January - Phase 3 posts, and the joys of grading.
You will find the details for phase one here: http://wiki.darkjedibrotherhood.com/view/Dark_Crusade_-_Prologue
The cold dark tan of the Bantha-class Assault Shuttle had always bothered him. It was neither camouflaged nor uniform with any other vessel, and yet, that alone had given the ugly craft a kind of mystique, as one might give to the runt of a litter. This runt, however, packed a serious punch, and would be their first one-two combination.
The journey to Antei had been almost a vacation compared to what had transpired before, or would soon occur. After a leisurely hike through the jungles of Judecca with a Sadow and being picked up by another one, he felt decidedly outnumbered. While the company had not been terrible, as they were both Royal Guardsmen and comrades in arms, their way of thinking and their mannerisms grated at his Imperial tendencies.
“Target outer weapons range in one minute,” said Araxis from the cockpit, a tinny twang to the voice. The communications systems in this rig was brand new, state of the art and therefore, utterly useless. Occasional bouts of crackling made anything more than shortly phrased sentences difficult to get through and the lines were plagued with faults. Worst of all, the Scholae Palatinae emblem on the wing simply reminded him that in spite of all its flaws, it was one of Archangel's ships, for better or for worse.
“Check your gear,” he said, his voice low and unyielding. A veteran of countless battlefields and ship-to-ship assaults, he knew what was ahead of him. He knew that assaulting a Super Star Destroyer was suicidal at best. The few times he had had to defend the Super Star Destroyer Avenger in the Emperor’s Hammer had been some of the easiest action he’d faced. Now, the Avenger II was their target, and he had to do what dozens of attacks on the Avenger had failed to do: succeed.
Then again, he thought, as he pulled a blaster rifle clip from a brace to check its charge, they didn’t have nearly this many Dark Jedi assaulting the Avenger as they do now. Their team alone comprised two ships, with Araxis, Kalia and himself in one, and a pair of Sadowan leaders in the other. His interaction with the other two had been minimal at best, having only seen them from afar, and once, as it were, through a sniper scope.
He felt the ship shudder slightly and glanced out the viewport as the star scape began to shift back and forth. The Bantha was not an agile creature, nor was the ship for which it was named. He slammed his clip back into its holder and growled under his breath. Damn good navigator, this Equite they’d been assigned by the Dark Council, but a poor pilot in a combat situation.
He tugged at the straps on his gear, even though he knew they were already tight and set for combat. His horrible obsessive compulsive need to check and recheck his gear stemmed from a life in the military and having seen what happens during assaults when a piece of equipment came loose. A live grenade rarely cherry picks the casualties it creates.
“Remember,” he said, stretching the webbing on his elbows and making a pair of sharp jabbing punches, “Call signs online. No names. If we are captured, no mercy will be given. Zoraan may deranged, but he is old-school Dark Brotherhood. Malicious,” punch, “cruel,” punch, “and vindictive.”
He smiled and nodded, mostly to himself. His gear was ready, his weapons were ready and now with his ritual complete, his own mind was ready. Rage began to well inside him, fueling his muscles. He felt the surge of energy and the relief of the encumbering weight of his gear, and smiled. One of the major tenets of his style of combat was endurance. The Bear of Ptolomea never stops fighting.
"Heading is locked in, we're on approach for the target vessel." The Pilot spoke plainly as Methyas stood at his side within the cockpit of the Council's ATR-6 transport, the Miraluka's brow furrowed as he deciphered what the Force spoke to him in an almost muddled and clouded fashion. With so many Force users present and the Shroud itself so dense with Force energies, the Miraluka surprisingly felt almost at peace amongst it all; he had learned early as an Equite to quiet the other voices that sought to distract him.
"Task Force 62 is moving to engage the Avenger II, the diversion is in full effect; boarding parties, your mission is green." The voice of Korras came across the channel, the Master-at-arms trying to coordinate the fleets as the swarms of various transports streaked through the haze and cloud of the Shroud towards the mammoth silhouette before them.
As the ATR-6 transport closed distance with the Dreadnaught, there were streaks and bloom of colour as the Avenger's turbolasers fired off in wide volleys; a few transports weaving to escape a fatal collision as others rocked and shook from energy bursts colliding with something, anything, within the nebulous cloud. Methyas braced himself with his arm against the bulkhead, smiling slightly as he watched a few of the other transports nearing their destinations.
The young Equite behind the yoke had spent his entire life navigating the Shroud around Antei, he had made a name for himself out here and he wasn't about to let the Avenger give him a little grief now, "Gunners, to your positions; with this much presence I doubt they're going to let us set down without a fight!"
In an instant, the Force screamed out to all those aboard; Methyas reacting without a moment's thought as he grasped the co-pilot's yoke through the Force and gave it a fierce yank to the right, the ATR-6's thrusters screamed as the transport leapt sideways away from the lancing energy burst eager for blood. The Miraluka simply cast his own sideways glance at the pilot who grudgingly mouthed a wordless thanks to the elder Equite.
Engines and thrusters began to scream, loud enough for those in the hold to hear clearly as Methyas started towards the side door, knowing their landing would be soon. The Corellian in the hold was wrapped within his robes, seemingly lost in his own thoughts before his voice rang out within Methyas' head, "Are we nearly there?"
"Yes, and if the reports from Korras are to be believed then some of the other teams have already been deployed." Methyas responded through the Force, more comfortable responding to Atra on an even ground.
"Are you ready for this? I doubt they'll let us reach their bridge peacefully." Atra queried, the slight inclination of his brow bringing the question to light. At this point of the Miraluka's career, he had begun to care less if people knew he was more inclined towards the light; but his loyalties lay with the Brotherhood and Sadow, he walked a very grey line amongst the light to do so though.
"I won't slow us down, these fools thought they could conquer us and will now pay for their mistake." A small twinkle shined in his eye as he spoke, "Sometimes those who keep the peace must be willing to fight for it."
Atra smiled only for a second, something that others would have missed, the bond between Master and former apprentice allowing the Jedi to notice it.
"Landing in thirty, you're going in hot." The pilot's voice barked over the intercom, the voice seemed irritated as the turrets about the assault craft began to belch their own fire to clear a small zone for their precious cargo.
Without prompting, the pair of Sadowans drew their hilts, the blades leaping to life in twin cyan with each hilt side by side as Master and former apprentice stood alongside one another. A heartbeat passed and the pilot's voice sounded again in a bark, "Go! Go! Go!"
A pulse in the Force, Methyas' telekinesis, struck the panel and opened the door, leaping out into the open just behind Atra to a hail of fire from both sides; the door sliding shut behind them as the pilot overrode the systems and started listing away to open space in order to regroup with the Eighth Fleet. Methyas and Atra moved immediately, nearly back to back as the pair deflected incoming fire from the various troopers and deck-turrets, multiple Dark Jedi commanders eagerly awaited their arrival at various points of the hanger and each slowly starting towards the pair.
"The others will be here shortly, they're right behind us!" Methyas relayed to Atra, the young Proconsul seeming much more focused on the immediate combat instead of the arrival of their comrades.
"The more for us." Atra responded flatly, the alchemical tattoos across his flesh coming to life as he prepared for the coming battle.
A fiery sting rippled along pale flesh with animalistic fury, revealing lightning-like tattoos etched deep into the flesh of the Proconsul of Naga Sadow. The skin surrounding his eyes tightened into lines as they winced ever so slightly, the gold starburst found surrounding his pupil expanding like writhing tentacles to consume the outlying grey. Ventus let his knees buckle, dropping into a low crouch that caused his robes to billow out like a blanket in the air. Dead calm consumed his features, an icey sharpness coming to his stance. The world became lonesome, devoid of sound and feeling. A slow exhale seemed to echo out into eternity, hot air brushing ever so lightly past the barely parted lips of the half-breed. His knuckles whitened as his grip tightened upon the chrome hilt of his stylized saber, not from pain but something so much more.
The world snapped back into existence with a crash as blood-thirsty bolts of energy scorched through the air, leaving heat trails in their wake. Surprisingly soft footfalls connected with the durasteel floor and propelled the darkly clad shape forward. Streaks of gray and black weaved around the plasma that sought to claim him, a familiar burn coming to the scar at his throat. A reminder of pain long past. An arc of cerulean light lashed out to swat away a bolt mere inches from his face. Light and sound became one as the hangar roared with activity, the chaos of battle providing the macabre soundtrack to Atra's advance.
He was not alone.
A glimpse of red and scorching fury sought to break the Proconsul's momentum, though he knew better than to pay it any mind. Already, the Blind Man was in motion. Methyas' connection to the Force was an all-consuming fountain, seeking to drown those around him, and it was in that instant he unleashed the torrent. Bodies scattered to the ground like ragdolls, an invisible wall slamming against them as the Rollmaster of Sadow gestured with a semi-open palm, retaining his grip upon the hilt of his blade. The loss of his arm had been a hindrance at first, but the men and women of the Brotherhood were nothing if not adaptable.
The sudden thought brought the far-seeing man's attention to the various other squads deployed throughout the ship. They were no more prepared for this assault than they were themselves, yet all had united despite all affiliations for this express purpose.
The Iron Throne commanded, its people followed.
Korras was no fool, and there would be no wasted actions by the fleet converging outside within the ever-shifting nebula that was the Shroud. Either the Avenger II would be theirs, or the Shroud would claim yet another ship to decorate its lonely space. It was in that instant that fate chose to remind Methyas of the dangers that were posed by distraction.
Red fury cut through cloth as if air, the acrid aroma of burnt flesh filling the Miraluka's nostrils. Reacting quickly, the Rollmaster forged a barrier of energy firmly in place, slamming it against Atra's attacker. The interference created by the maneuver was enough for the newly appointed Prelate to bring his pale, sapphire blade through the midsection of the nameless Dark Jedi. A flash of smoke was all that belied the cauterization of the wound before the man fell into two halves upon the floor.
"We need that back up."
Like icy fingers, Atra's cold tone sliced its way into the depths of Methyas' intelligent mind. As luck would have it, the Miraluka would need to waste no time upon a response as a poor excuse for a shuttle came crashing through the space shielding and into the hangar. The slight tilt of the Proconsul's eyebrow betrayed his first impressions of the Bantha-class shuttle, but it was soon dismissed given what it brought to bear.
Sleek black armour, accented with the red of the Sith, reflected the lights of the hangar back outward as the Red Rose landed at a run. Her ruby blade stood like fire in her hand as she immediately cut down the still standing turrets that blocked her path. Close behind came the much larger forms of her previous master, Araxis, and a man Atra thought he wouldn't need to see ever again: Archangel.
The Bear lived up to his name, barreling into a group of stormtroopers as if a juggernaut. No, it wasn't a case of as if. This man was well and truly a berserker. Red armour was soon stained with crimson accents as the Palatinae applied his bare hands as readily as his blade of deadly energy.
Araxis' form was exceedingly refined, each cut elegant and masterfully placed. In a single glance, Atra could determine the familiarity with which his fellow Sadowan moved. The man was a duelist and each step betrayed that fact. Together, the trio wrote death upon the standing forces at Ventus' and Methyas' backs.
A sharp grin spread across the sandy features of Araxis, his glance mostly upon the Miraluka. "Nice of you to start without us."
Both men merely nodded as the others came to join them, turning their attention quickly back to their task. They had been given an objective, and it was for them alone to complete. The air of the hangar grew thick and hung heavily upon the shoulders of all within. Power, electric and contained, surged within all five of the beings that stood united there. In such a small space, the might of the Brotherhood would be unleashed in its unbridled fury.
With a tell-tale snap-hiss, twin blades of red and white came to life across the hangar. "Lookie here, Frost. It's a downright party!"
The second of the newfound Dark Jedi merely grinned ear to ear, as if the world were hilarity itself. "Good thing we brought the party favours!"
The two pale figures inched closer, words excreting from their mouths in jest to get a rise from the group of Equites standing amongst ravaged Stormtroopers and Dark Jedi alike. Their arrogance was painfully obvious, but was it part of a strategy or merely who they were as people Araxis wondered. Methyas, surveying the situation, applied his knowledge of the force and spread a Battlemind throughout his companions.
Judging by their identical appearance, I would conclude that they are more powerful together, we'll need to split them up, Methyas summarized, a slight pause and drop off trailing his final words.
"My my Reaper, why do you think they're so quiet?" the second of the pale figures known as Frost questioned, extending his right arm resulting in a white blade aimed towards Kalia.
"I think fear has gripped them Frost, clearly they see us and know the end is nigh," the first pale figure replied, "and rightly so." He finished raising his left arm, the ruby blade matching the accents of crimson stain across Archangel's armor.
We need to split them up, together they will be too strong to deal with, Archangel echoed through the Battlemind, I'll take the one on the le... he stopped, caught off-guard by a swirl of force energy enveloping his body. As near as immediate can be, Kalia was caught by an extremely similar experience, her body being lifted into the air alongside Archangel.
Araxis, Atra, move at them now! Methyas forced the thought into their minds, his focus directed at Reaper and Frost, the air current between them shifted and expanded into a whirlwind of force energy sending both twins different directions. The grasp on Archangel and Kalia released as the connection to the force was disrupted, both impacting the ground quickly with thuds of armor against hull. Methyas turned himself, his gaze now fixated on Frost. "You will silence your tongue," he said calmly releasing another burst of force energy, wrapping around Frost and putting him into a Stasis, the Dark Jedi, still not off his back, lay on the ground motionless.
Araxis and Atra, with bursts of speed, darted towards Reaper who was getting his footing after being blown away from his twin. The two duelist took stance against their opponent, one clearly of more strength than either could handle solo, however together they present the more menacing force. Reaper smirked, "The blind one likes to play dirty it seems," the words dripping with arrogance to match his body language, "will you two be as cowardly too?" he mocked. The two Sadowans remained verbally quiet, needing no words, knowing what had to be done. The smirk faded from Reapers face, replaced by bared teeth clenching together as he shot his sabers out and began to engage.
Clashes of light shot between, around, and over the three combatants, hisses of saber blades being parried and countered from either side of Reaper echoed throughout the hangar. The three men putting their all into being offensive while not giving any ground for retaliation, preparing for the next strike, looking for that moment, that opening. Reaper drew his opponents in, all four blades pressed against each other, hissing with increasing volume, he pushed outward with ferocious strength sending the Equites a few inches backwards.
"Now that we're all warmed up, let us have some REAL fun!" Reaper exclaimed, a certain air of madness around him and his words. Araxis was the first to start in on the pale man this time, foolishly believing Reaper would expose just enough of himself that Atra would be able to get a killing blow in. But without warning, and in an incredible display of speed, Reaper shifted his weight and brought both sabers to bear against Araxis' own, raw power washing over the blade, and was enough to knock Araxis to the ground. A trailing white saber made its way down, but was blocked mere inches from the Bonya armors chest plate. Archangel lifted his force infused strength, Kalia and Atra leading in on Reaper from his rear.
A cracking sound rippled through the air as Kalia utilized her chain whip, but to little avail as the agile Reaper ducked away from its path, and in the process from the hulking Archangel. Reaper noted the four opponents, that they would be too much for him. He needed to free Frost, their power combined would be more than enough to take victory here. Readying himself, he signaled towards each of his opponents. "Come, I have more than enough to deal with you lot", anger and frustration clung to each word.
We need to be careful here, something is amiss, Atra pointed out.
I have an idea, Araxis thought to his companions, follow my lead. Spreading out to surround Reaper, the four Equites kept their blades at the ready. Reaper had already displayed incredible speed once, he was surely capable of that, possibly more, again. Araxis brushed past a barrel, taking a quick glance as Reaper was looking away he noted the contents. Methyas, when I tell you, let Frost go and make an image of me seemingly defenseless. Atra, Archangel, Kalia get him to lock sabers with you, hold your ground, as his thought finished he spun about, plunging his lightsaber into the barrel. Smoke bellowed out across him, obscuring his figure from Reaper's sight. Araxis got closer to the barrel and crouched out of the way, bending the light around him to form a force cloak. As Methyas started to release the subdued Frost, he projected an exact image where Araxis had been standing. Frost was eager to get into combat, his lightsaber igniting, he darted towards his brother to aid. Archangel, Kalia, and Atra all engaged Reaper, pushing him into a deadlock, as Frost leapt with the use of the force, lightsaber blades plunging towards the backside of the Araxis image. Push him back towards me, NOW! Araxis forcefully decreed throughout the minds of his group.
A smirk crossed the face of Frost as he felt his blades puncture his target, he seemed oddly satisfied, but wanted more. The smoke began to clear, a groan of pain lurched from in front of him, and that's when he saw it. His crimson and white blades hissed as they sat in the backside of Reaper. Atra, Archangel, and Kalia backed off as Reaper's blades retreated back into their respective hilts, his body dropping to its knees.
Rage. Pure and focused.
That was the emotion that exploded forth into a suddenly all too small hangar. Frost's inhuman scream bellowed past his lips, the Force amplifying it to such degrees that even Methyas winced uncomfortably behind his considerable Force defenses. Was it merely from the power displayed, or did the Miraluka wince for reasons far more empathetic? A question for another time, but one soon forgotten to the far more important matters at hand.
Eyes of fire turned to focus on each of them, burning so bright Atra almost unconsciously tried to swat at the imaginary flames engulfing him. It was such a common misconception, the idea that there was only hate to be found within the Dark Side. The Dark was merely unbridled emotions, in all their forms, and love was nothing more than one such emotion. The love for a brother, let alone a twin, was a strong thing. The pain coursing through this lone Battlelord was enough to fill fathomless depths, and it was all to be directed towards the Jedi of the Brotherhood.
In a flash of colour and sound, Frost was upon them. The cerulean blade in Atra's hand fought to intercept the blinding white of the advancing Sith's, while Araxis was already in motion to counter the ruby blur that sought to impale Kalia. From strength born of body and momentum, both Dark Jedi were knocked back several feet, yet neither looked worse for wear.
The words were spat like acid through clenched teeth, a salty stream tainting the pale flesh below Frost's eyes. Corrupted yellow and red veins seemed alight within his iris as the Battlelord once more moved upon Kalia. With practice grace, the Praetor to the Master-at-arms leaned backward, a single outstretched arm planted into the durasteel floor in order to carry the momentum into a full flip. Methyas once more visualized the air becoming thick, his thoughts turned to reality as the Force condensed into a solid barrier to bar the rampaging Sith's path.
With remarkable agility, Frost leaped into the air, catapulting over the obstacle and with a flourish of calligraphy, brought his sabers to bear upon his intended target. A roar of satisfaction echoed out, fading into eternity as his twin slash came down.
Then there was pain.
A boulder sized fist slammed into the side of Frost's chin, blood splattering forth from the impact into ruby droplets as Archangel grinned with self satisfaction. The sudden exchange of kinetic energy forced the Battlelord off course, his sabers biting into the floor with glowing intensity as hot, orange trails followed in their wake. Still, the pain was swift in its passing, the all consuming rage of the Sith fueling his berserk desire for vengeance. "You all will suffer before the end!"
Atra and Araxis joined the fray once more, deadly energy humming through the air. A quick parry to the side deflected the first blow, Frost spinning to keep his momentum on his side as he brought a downward strike to bear upon Araxis' coming blade. A long stretch forcing his torso low enabled the Battlelord to slide just under Archangel's horizontal swipe. It was a hurricane of colours, vicious in intent and deadly in result. Frost was at the center, the proverbial 'eye' whilst the three men attacked. A low slash, easily stepped over. A vicious thrust, swat aside like a stick. This dance continued until mistakes started to form, ever so slight at first, within the maneuvers of the Sith Battlelord.
The unbridled fury fueling Frost was unstable, untamed, and wreaking havoc to his body. Only then, after such sustained combat, was the damage coming to light. The electric current of power coursing through his veins was as fire, indiscriminate and all consuming. Through impeccable coordination born of the Battlemind, each of the Equites tapped into the vast depths of their power and let it flow into their muscles with a chilling intensity akin to jumping into an icy lake. As a blur Archangel's blade locked with Frost's left hilt, the energy crackling with protest as he swung from below and raised the Battlelord's guard. Araxis brought a quick stab to bear, directing Frost's parry which was efficiently caught by Atra's blade and locked low to the ground.
Kalia spun in low, a grim determination marking her porcelain features as a flash of colour signalled the end of Frost. The pain, the fury, all was gone in an instant. No longer was the twin 'he who remained', but instead he was once more united with Reaper. Methyas let out a long breath as he let go of his grip upon the power forging their Battlemind, fatigue washing over the Miraluka for but a moment. He couldn't help but wondering what lies beyond for men such as they. When returned to the Force, was there but one existence there? Were all one? Or was there a place for such beings. No matter how twisted they may have been, would they all go to the same place in the end?
A dull quiet fell upon the hangar bay as the still smoking corpse lay in two upon the durasteel floor. Each subsequent deactivation of a saber hissing through the lonesome space as if the weapons themselves were releasing a breath that none knew they had been holding. The Red Rose closed her eyes, collecting herself before rising to her full height. The sound of newly molded armor squeaked in frustration against the Praetor’s movements. With militant grace, her hand snapped to the activation switch upon her communicator and patched into the Master-at-arms’ frequency.
“Hangar secure, awaiting new orders.” The tone was sharp and to the point, never a wasted breath from the Quaestor of Marka Ragnos. Releasing the pressure upon the switch, her head turned to scan the party that seemed frozen in a grim mosaic. “Anyone injured?”
Liquid gold melted away to grey as Atra’s tattoos slithered out of existence, his eyes falling upon the pale blue of his fellow Sadowan. “No.” The single word echoed for eternity within the boundless limits of her thoughts. Still, Kalia sensed a subtle trickle of Force from the Proconsul as the man set to attending the saber burn upon his back. Often described as a so-called ‘civilized’ weapon, the saber was no less deadly than any other. It just had the courtesy of cauterizing the wounds as they were formed.
“I’ll make sure we’re all clear.” The rumbling baritone voice of Archangel cut into the collective thoughts of the group. Ever the Imperial, he was restless until he knew protocol had been followed.
“Me too, never know if I’ll get to fight again.” A grin spread across Araxis’ tan features as the Bear turned with the trademark stiffness of the Palatinae. Pausing for but a moment, the grin faltered as his eyes studied Kalia. He knew his apprentice well, and for all her calmness, her steadiness, there was a raging storm of emotion just below the surface. If ever you were to break through that icy barrier, the riptide was there waiting to consume you. As the newly married Pepoi scanned the seemingly empty hangar, Araxis assured himself that she would be fine before following Archangel.
Archangel growled, not from frustration necessarily, but that he was stuck here with Sadowans. Their truce was shaky at best but a truce it remained. For all their skill, they weren’t of Scholae and that made him uneasy. If things turned south, as was want to do within the Brotherhood – of that Plagueis had become familiar – then he would be outnumbered by an enemy as powerful as he. It was most certainly not a comfortable thought. The foot falls at his back signalled Araxis’ coming. They were both beasts born of strength, and the battle would be hard fought. An armored fist twitched involuntarily over the hilt of his saber before the Palatinaean collected himself. “Let’s split up, this area is small enough that we can regroup if needed. I’ll take the far wall.”
Old habits die hard, and Archangel would never feel even remotely safe in the company of potential enemies. He watched as Araxis merely nodded and walked away, the Bear’s fiery rage bristling at the corners of his perception. They needed their orders; he would kill himself before staying on patrol within the hangar.
You fought well, find your peace. Atra gripped onto his thoughts, ensuring none strayed into the minds of those around him. His own personal honor prevented him from sharing the intimacy of that moment as he kneeled over Reaper’s still form. His robes fell like drapes about him, the pale flesh of his hand protruding from his sleeve as he ensured the fallen Battlelord’s eyelids were shut. For the half-breed, this man had given him the honor of a warrior’s bout and deserved honor in return. No matter the affiliation. Methyas, though blind, eyed his apprentice in appreciation. He was far from pleased that so much death surrounded them, the Jedi having given up all pretences of hiding in the shadows and carrying his true self with pride. Come what may, the rollmaster of Naga Sadow walked the line between Light and Darkness. The Miraluka hung his head ever so slightly as his thoughts drifted towards the fallen, hoping them to find something more.
“What are you doing?” The feminine voice caused the Blind Man’s head to lilt ever so slightly in her direction.
“Giving the fallen their respects.” His response was calm, ever the trademark style for the L’eonheart.
“Are they not the enemy?”
“Indeed, they are.”
Confusion colored the woman’s pale flesh for but a moment, intelligence sparkling like diamonds in her eyes. For all the time she had spent in SHADOW alongside the Miraluka, she was slowly realizing that she knew so little of him. Even the Proconsul seemed lost in some sort of ritual, the second-in-command of her very Clan paying his respects. As if reading her thoughts, the half-breed’s eerie voice slithered into her mind. “Enemy is a matter of perspective. They were warriors and were so until the end.”
Her fists planted firmly upon her armored hips, Kalia shifted her weight to the left and pursed her lips. “Obelisks…” The single word was breathed out with exasperation as the Sith shook her head. The first stage of their mission was complete, and she could only hope that the other squads throughout the Super-class Star Destroyer were meeting similar successes. Pivoting about on her heel, the Red Rose’s gaze shifted to the outer shields and the battle raging almost silently within the Shroud.
The main hanger controls had been overridden during Araxis' patrol, the former Praetor having used his skills to wrest control from the main system so that they were effectively an individual compartment distinct from the rest of the ship. It had been a very specific task he had set out to do so that their reinforcements could arrive without further delay, a task that occurred now as more shuttles began to land within the hanger, wreckage of other ships having been pushed to the corners of the bay by Methyas as they had waited.
As the soldiers of the Iron Throne disembarked their transports, they were swiftly met by Archangel, Atra and Kalia; the trio had and for the most part still did work closely with the Fist, so their instincts and training had gone to work ensuring that all the additional units arriving without a Jedi complement were prepared for the siege it would take to claim the Avenger as their own. Even as the trio continued their inspections, their heads all turned slightly as a lone shuttle drifted into the hanger and touched upon the deck as daintily as it could; the emblem of the Dark Council emblazoned upon its hull and the massive Force signature within unmistakable. In moments, the hulking figure of the Deputy Grand Master disembarked and started towards another waiting party as the Herald's praetor, Ekeia, approached the assembled group quickly.
"Priority information directly from the Grand Master, they've been encrypted so your leader will know what to do with it." Ekeia said as she extended the datapad towards the group, the three of them looking at one another before they reached for it. Each began to push the other's hand away as they debated why it was for them over the others before the meditating Miraluka nearby simply rose to his feet and started towards Ekeia. A soothing atmosphere falling upon them while he extended his hand as he spoke, "It’s good to see you again, Ekeia. Kalia, would you like to take care of that."
The other paused their debate before Methyas continued, his sightless gaze fixed upon the young woman, “If its encrypted, we’ll need a cryptology specialist on it, I believe Kalia may have had some experience in that with SHADOW.”
Nodding, Kalia stepped forward as Ekeia heartily handed the device over and simply shook her head as she started back towards Raken. Kalia glanced at the datapad for a moment before she shoved it into Atra’s chest, the Proconsul starting to delve into the unit with the due attention it deserved as she started away, “I’m going to update Korras on the recent developments, see if I have any additional objectives.”
Archangel nodded slightly, moving in turn as he muttered quietly, “I should do the same.”
As the pair broke off to speak with their respective commanders, Araxis approached the group with quietly, his voice starting with a quizzical tone. "What's this all about?"
Methyas smiled, "New intel, from the Voice, I suspect. Atra is decrypting it now since I can't read it, obviously."
The last word from the Miraluka's lips prompted another slight smile before he turned to focus on his former apprentice, his thoughts on the other two as they seemed to be working quickly with the Fist and the Master-at-arms, “You will let us know what the message says once you’ve decrypted it, Atra?”
The Proconsul simply nodded as his fingers seemed to dart across the screen as his thoughts mumbled something about an Affine encryption and continued to work frantically. Without another word, Methyas started towards the waiting turbolifts as his mind kept track of the Red Tower while he continued focusing on the task at hand. The presence of such a high profile Councilor aboard the vessel was one of the last things he wanted, but he would have to set it aside for now.
Behind him, Araxis kept at pace, the former Pepoi and former Praetor silent but focused as his friend and comrade led the way. Atra had also followed closely, his focus almost entirely upon his work though following his former master had never been difficult, the Miraluka’s Force signature significantly large than a typical Equite of his standing. Behind him, Kalia and Archangel had finished their transmissions, falling in line just behind the Sadowan Proconsul as Methyas entered the turbolift. As Archangel entered, he struck the lift’s console, keying in the bridge level as he turned to face the doorway, each almost silent as they began to prepare for the worst as everyone amongst them knew that their enemies would only fight harder as they were backed into a corner.
A few moments later amongst the whirring of the lift, Atra’s voice rung out through their minds, “Got it.”
Kalia turned slightly within the lift, her eyes falling upon her comrade as she spoke, “What does it say?”
Almost in response to their thoughts, the turbolift slammed to a halt and the five figures jolted about slightly, a few trying to ensure the larger Shaevalian didn't topple upon them despite his excellent balance. Sirens could be heard almost clearly all around them as Archangel responded nearly immediately to the situation, trying to toggle any key upon the turbolift without result, "They've locked us out."
To the others they would've seemed trapped, but the Miraluka could see beyond them all, "Cut through the door, but be careful, we're stopped perfectly at this floor."
Again the Palatinaean responded, everyone trying to adjust as he drew his saber and started cutting through the door as quickly as he could. Heartbeats passed, each seeming increasingly longer as the doorway neared its completion. Before the doorway could seal, a blast through the Force from Archangel threw the slab of metal outwards and before anyone could respond a small cylinder hopped into the lift. A powerful thud reverberating throughout the car and everyone except for the Miraluka seemed to curse as a blinding flash engulfed them.
With ringing ears, each individual stepped out of the car with blinking eyes and sabers drawn; the Force itself guiding their movements as they deflected the murderous blaster bolts leaping towards them from the automated turrets and waiting battle droids, a singular Sith Warrior standing behind them as a commander, "No, no, no! Gun them down you fools, I made them an easy target!"
As more of the Brotherhood Jedi stepped out of the lift, they seemed to fight more in unison, each move almost ethereal as the Force Meld took hold from the Miraluka, his sight giving each of them the information their own eyes couldn't quite yet.
"Kill him and we'll move to disable the security so we can keep going." Atra's voice sounded through their heads, his own saber deftly moving as the number of droids thinned rapidly and their Sith commander steadily found himself more alone.
"Fine! I'll kill them myself!" The Warrior barked, his anger fueling him as he leapt forward, the ruby blade of Araxis' blade meeting his as the assassin stepped forward, his Makashi flawless as he pressed the foolhardy Sith backwards. A smile crossed both combatants faces as they moved into a more traditional duel, each showing their skill before the Sith lunged and Araxis sidestepped, his fist striking the man across the jaw as he did so.
Dazed, the young man stumbled for a second before the Force screamed out to him, too late as the Bear caught him by the collar and pulled him into his saber; a caught breath passed from the Warrior and an almost growl escaping Archangel's throat as he disengaged his saber and watched as the Sith fell to his knees and slumped to the ground as life left his body.
“Damn it, which level are we on? We need to find the security terminals before anyone else shows up.” Kalia asked as she glanced about, looking for anything that would’ve given her an idea of which deck they had stopped upon or would have reminded her of the older blueprints the Brotherhood had obtained from the Emperor’s Hammer.
A single saber disengaged, it was Methyas, the Jedi was seemingly comfortable enough with the area to explore their surroundings with his sight and the Force as everyone else in their own thoughts as they glanced about to confirm their security before Archangel responded gruffly, "I do."
Imperial design had not advanced in the forty or so years of their rule, and since. Crossroads and hallways were still marked in Imperial Script, a hash of numbers and letters which designated the location of this particular bulkhead with reference to how close it is to the center beam of the ship, the level it is and the distance from the prow. The bulkhead just ahead told them they were roughly two hundred meters into the ship from the starboard side, level seventeen and over a kilometer down the ship’s length.
“We need to make towards the core. That will help us move faster” the Bear said, his heavy boots stamping firmly on the steel of the deck, freshly stained with the blood of a pair of stormtroopers who had been thrust into a fight with five highly trained and armed Dark Jedi. They barely had time to register their presence before a pair of lightsabers had removed their heads from their shoulders.
His boots left grim bloody footprints as he marched ahead of the group, but he didn’t slow, or care. War was a hell in of itself, and unfortunately for it’s participants, their lives were forfeit the moment they donned the white armor of a stormtrooper under Zoraan. Perhaps they had been honest, true men, only wanting to work for a living, or protect their homes. Perhaps they had been adulterous fiends, who, after years of debauchery, had been thrown into Imperial service as a kind of penitent exile. Or perhaps, they were as sick and twisted as their master, Zoraan, the lost Grand Master.
The four Dark Jedi with him, of Sadow affiliation and purpose, spread out behind him, stepping over the fallen corpses and their wayward heads. Each of the quintet had seen bloodshed and warfare in the past, had dealt a dozen death blows, and taken severe wounds themselves. But these were their own people, stormtroopers, Dark Jedi. In another circumstance, they might have been friends, family, compatriots, rivals, but never enemies. This fact alone made this task all the more grim and disturbing.
He stopped at a corner, listening. He tilted his head slightly, and smiled. He signaled the rest of the team to halt, and informed them of the possible presence of a blockade down the crossing hallway. With a firm pat on the crown of his helmet to make sure it was still in place, he glanced around the corner for a split second before ducking back. The steel of the corner bulkhead buckled under the sudden force of a half dozen high-energy bolts slamming into it, blackening the once-pristine plating.
“Not good” he muttered, his hand automatically reaching up to his helmet to search for any damage. His gauntlet-encased fingers found three long grooves which had not previously been there, still super heated by the lasers which had cut them. He was a hair’s breadth away from death in that moment, and his heart both sank and soared. Adrenaline pumped through his veins once more, elated that he had survived and ready to attack again.
“What did you see?” asked Methyas, thumbing his lightsaber back to life. It had killed several near-innocent men today, and it must have been grating on his soul. Archangel smirked behind his helmet’s visage at the man’s words, finding irony of the phrase, coming from a man who could not see.
“A turret, at least two troopers and I can sense a Force user, and he can sense us” Archangel said, his voice distorted slightly by the helmet’s voice box. He turned his head a little to allow his comrades to see his helmet’s new decoration, and nodded.
“This won’t be easy. We’ll need a distraction” he said, looking from Methyas to the others, his words solemn. He knew that they needed to get through this junction to get to the nearest terminal, but a turret was a formidable opponent. It would be difficult to defeat all by itself let alone with a squad in support.
“I know a way” Methyas said, his calm demeanor shielding the others from witnessing his inner turmoil. He gathered himself, and began to draw the Force into his body, focusing it into his arm and hand.
“I will need cover, but only for a moment” he said, as he moved towards the corner. With little readily available cover, there was only really one option. Archangel stepped in front of Methyas, whose brow was furrowed with concentration and stress. Beads of sweat rolled down to his cheek, leaving salty trails as they ventured further.
“On three” Archangel said, his lightsaber coming to life in his hand, “Three”
He shouted the word, he remembered, as he surged around the corner and dropped to one knee, providing Methyas with a chest-high shield to hide behind. He didn't remember much of the battle after that. A moment of fury, contempt, and not a small amount of fear collapsed into a darkness so black that he thought that he’d finally found his ending.
The turret bolt had hit him nearly center mass, the armor defeating most of the energy behind the bolt, but not enough to protect him completely. Methyas had unleashed the Force he’d built up in the form of an intense blast, which careened down the hallway, sending troopers sprawling. The turret, almost unaffected, had picked off Archangel before he’d had a chance to prepare a defense.
He’d collapsed to the ground, chest smoking and smoldering, as the rest of the team surged around the corner. The battle had taken place over the next few minutes, the turret was soon disabled, but not without near injuries and a little luck. The enemy Sith, a battlemaster at least in rank was skilled with both the blade and the use of the Force. His efforts were keeping up with the dual attacks of Atra and Kalia, working in tandem with a furious cascade of red and blue flashes. Araxis had grabbed the handle near the back of the neck guard of Archangel’s armor and pulled him behind the corner.
“Bantha for brains...” Araxis muttered under his breath as he packed the wound with sterile gauze and a bacta treatment. It wasn’t serious, but he’d been lucky this time. He could certainly not take another hit like that again. At least the terminal wasn’t too far away now.
Kalia took a heavy breath during a momentary pause in the action. Despite all their efforts, the enemy just kept coming. It made sense, considering the full enormity of the vessel they now dwelled within. Still, if only they could stem the tide for just a minute, they could accomplish their goal.
"It's bad but he should recover quickly." Araxis' answer to the unasked question as to the status of Archangel was sharp and to the point. It caused her to swivel her head around in a swirl of shimmering blonde. Her blue eyes took in the damage to the Bear's breastplate, and damage suddenly seemed too mild a word. It was utterly eviscerated by the turret fire. As her mind worked, the Quaestor went to speak before being cut off by both Atra and Methyas snapping to attention.
"Something is coming."
Methyas' statement met with a nod from his former apprentice, both scanning the corridors for the source of the presence. Suddenly, heavy footfalls echoed down the corridor, metal on metal. Armored forces began to come from around the corner, their weapons held high.
"Mandalorians?" Atra's comment was punctuated with a raised eyebrow.
"Not at all." Kalia's statement was steady, unwilling to convey the mixed emotions she was feeling. The Ailon Nova Guard brought their trademark weapons to bear, the Eklot short sword most notable among them with its vicious neurotoxin seeming to shimmer upon the blades. Gesturing quickly, the leader of Sadow's intelligence division, SHADOW, made sure that information was common knowledge. "Don't let that blade cut you, there won't be enough time to heal you during the fray."
Wasting no time, the dark shape of Atra burst forth as the Force enhanced his already formidable speed. Cerulean light glimmered like wildfire as it moved through the armored Guard. Their skill was impressive, quickly noted by the experienced Proconsul as he tempered his knowledge of the blade with the screamed warnings tugging at his senses. Still, it proved not enough as a blade whistled by all too close to the flesh of his cheek. A silent curse permeated from the half-breed Firrerreo, the curtain of his own medium-lengthed hair. It was out of indifference that the alchemical experiment had foregone tending to his two-tone shag. Clearly, as this battle was proving, he would need to take more care to trim it back. For an Obelisk especially, any legitimate advantage to be found in combat was to be embraced.
"Now, if you please, Revlo."
The Praetor to the Master-at-arms stopped in her tracks at a fork in the never ending corridors of the Avenger II. The voice did not originate from their team, nor was the name 'Revlo' known to her. With a morbid thud, each of the security doors began to close. All too quickly, Kalia found herself completely cut off from the rest of the team. Opening herself up to the Living Force around her, the Praetor's eyes widened slightly before the world turned to darkness.
Araxis groaned from exertion, his crimson blade shining like the core of a star as the security door turned into a glowing mass around it. With Archangel temporarily out of action, though from the muttered curses at his back that wouldn't be much longer, the battleteam leader had to act quickly. As soon as the door came crashing down, his blade had sprung to life and gone to work. Finally done, the Obelisk took a step back before letting out a deep breath, drawing back his palm as the Force seemed to funnel into it and coalesce into an orb. Thrusting the palm forward, all his concentrated power drove into the carved door like a kinetic fist, knocking out the portion of the security door he had outlined. A subtle grin of success spread on his features as he rushed to join Atra and Methyas, who were still engaged with the Ailon warriors. With martial swiftness, the tanned warrior cut into the enemy from behind. With the three focused together in a deadly triumvirate, the fraction of the Guard that remained with them was soon cut down.
Ever silent, a blessing of his battle wounds, Atra panted heavily. Behind him, Methyas leaned against a side panel and took a moment to collect himself. The Ailon, while often compared to the Mandos, were nothing to be trifled with. A quiet mechanical whirring caught Araxis' attention, the ex-Praetor turning to see the security doors slowly opening. "Sure, now they open."
"But why?" Methyas' simple question encompassed the silent thoughts of the trio.
Kalia stood with her arms folded under her carefully molded, armor breastplate. The door took its time sliding open, but she waited patiently until her full frame could fit swiftly through the opening. Her eyes panned the group as Arch moved ever so slowly to join them. "We need to get to the security panels before reinforcements arrive." The large Palatinae's voice filtered through his helmet's modulator as clearly as it could, but far from perfect.
"Then let's get moving."
Already, without waiting for response, Araxis began marching to where Archangel had specified the security terminal would be found. With a little help from the Palatinae at his back, the Obelisk quickly had the security terminal disabled. "There's another nearby, then there should be two more after that."
Archangel nodded quietly, turning with the group to take advantage of the momentary lapse in combat. Still, the visible signs of his pain were plain upon his movements. He favored a slight lilt to his stance, keeping his armor from coming into full contact with the wound at his chest. Kalia started to lag behind, Atra pausing for a moment to take a glance to ensure everything was fine. As if coming out of a trance, the Praetor glanced up and started to move briskly to catch up. Turning again, Atra almost continued forward before a near deafening warning screamed out over the Force.
Spinning about, the Proconsul came face to face with a rather vicious looking dagger, mere inches from connecting. The hilt was firmly clasped by Kalia's petite hand, her knuckles turning white from exertion. As Atra looked into her face, all he saw was empty eyes, as if Kalia wasn't exactly home.
Concentration clear on his face, Methyas approached slowly from behind Atra. "I suspect someone has dominated her mind."
"Can you do anything?"
Nodding ever so slightly, careful to break the barrier he had formed as Atra slipped out of reach, Methyas continued to close the gap until he could place a hand upon Kalia's brow. "I will attempt a Force Meld, see if I can pull her out."
Kalia blinked and the darkness no longer filled her vision. Light surrounded her, the Sith's head turning slightly to take in her surroundings. Looking up, she could see sky where she knew a ceiling should be, though it was filled with slowly billowing clouds. Silent bolts of lightning seemed to fork with glimmering intensity throughout the dark shapes. In contrast to the sky, a sharp mountain scape, accented with snowy tips surrounded her. Green pine trees sat within the cup of the mountains, seeming to go on forever until giving way to the aquamarine waters of a glacier fed lake. Glancing below, Kalia could see that she was standing upon the glassy surface of the water, something she knew not to be possible.
"Be at peace, it will be over soon enough, child."
Once more, that unknown voice spoke to her. Kalia's eyes snapped to the point of origin. A lone Umbaran stood at the edge of the forest. The unknown woman was clad in fold after fold of grey cloth, the shadowcloak taking on hues of blue to accent the grey.
"Who are you and where am I."
We are in your mind.
Kalia glanced to the sky at the sudden intrusion of Methyas' voice, though it came from no where in particular.
"Ignore him, once your friends are dead I will release you."
"Release me, huh?" The incredulity of Kalia's voice was thick and practically dripping. The gears of her mind were working quickly, piecing together the puzzle she held in her hand. Still, though inaudible, the Praetor could feel Methyas' presence pushing into her mind, offering her a lifeline.
"I am in complete control. Just relax and enjoy this place for a time."
The absurdity of the single statement seemed to cut into Kalia like a knife. "You are in control? This is my mind. You hold no power here."
Grasping onto that strand of power from Methyas, Kalia's aura seemed to ignite with a burning fire. Letting out an ear shattering scream the Quaestor of Marka Ragnos slammed all her power inward, effectively cleansing her mind by overloading it. In the next instant a metallic clatter signalled the falling of the poison dagger to the ground.
"We are so screwed." The single statement was enough to belie the return of Kalia to control, but held such grim tidings that even Archangel felt uneasy.
The grim words echoed in their minds, an immense power radiant around them, and without warning each of the Equites were lifted into the air. Struggling and flailing to regain control of their own bodies, all their eyes flowed towards a single point of reference. A slight laughter chilled the air around the group, the immense power revealing itself in the form of this Elder Umbaran. The laughter stopped, silence all that lingered, and with that each of the Equites bodies flew through the air into the nearest walls, objects, and anything in-between. The laughter returned, and each of the flung Dark Jedi groaned and found their feet.
"Well that was unpleasant" Araxis stated, rebounding more quickly then some. Analyzing the new enemy he noticed a droid armed with heavy blaster pistols not far off from the Elder. "Oh this is just getting better and better, we're going to need a plan here" he continued after igniting his crimson lightsaber.
"I'm all ears" Methyas chimed in. He silently muttered words under his own breath, delving into thought as to how to defend against such power.
As she found her feet, Kalia instantly recognized the woman as the one from her mind, "That is why we're screwed. Spread out and try to draw her attention maybe?"
"We'll need to deal with that droid too, I'll handle that" Archangel pressed himself up and off the wall he had collided with, sparking his lightsaber he rushed towards the modified maintenance droid, taking care to not expose the breastplate that bore a deep hole.
The Elder, finished with her laughter for the moment, signaled the SCr-114 to engage the hostiles. The droid acknowledged, lining up Archangel in its sights, a hail of blaster fire unleashed in the Bear's direction. It forced Archangel to take cover, and he started to scout for another route. Methyas focused his force powers to try and provide Archangel with some cover so that he could move more easily, bodies, weapons, and other assortments from around the area thrust their way into the line of blaster bolts. "Time to move big guy, take that droid out!"
Turning her attention towards Araxis, Dantella's mind stretched out and into his, filling him with clouded thoughts. "I assure you Equite, you will know the pleasure of slaughter in mere moments", her voice soothing in his eyes, but he was blind to the actions he was about to take. Boosting his physical body, he surged forward in Atra's direction, his eyes void of the man he was mere moments ago, his voice corrupted by the elder, "Face me!" Araxis screamed.
"What the?!" Atra thought as he raised his saber in defence, "Araxis get a hold of yourself!" Clashes of light illuminated the surrounding structure of the vessel, as the half-bred Firrerro defended himself against the onslaught of strikes from his fellow Sadowan.
"His mind is not his own" Kalia shouted. Grabbing her chain whip and cracking it towards Araxis' feet, trying to anchor him down so that Atra wouldn't be forced to cause him serious harm.
With a metallic clang, Kalia's chain whip locked around Araxis' ankle. The Obelisk's own momentum carried him forward, the sudden stop in his momentum only existing for that singular ankle, causing him to crash forward. Hopping back out of range, Atra rocked for a moment upon his heel as he channeled the Force down his right arm. Swinging viciously, the half-breed brought his fist to bear on his falling ally. His power cascaded outward, forming an invisible fist in the empty air that rocked against Araxis' head with vicious force. The kinetic transference caused the flesh of his face to ripple as spit and blood splattered into the air.
"What in the Hell!?" Araxis roared in frustration as he snapped to his senses, anger filling his dark eyes as he focused on his Proconsul. A simple shrug was the man's only response as focus turned back to their attackers.
"Get the droid!" In the midst of combat, Kalia's usual crystalline tone took on a shrill quality, desperation dripping from each word. Despite the disparity in numbers, the advantage was ever so clearly in the corner of the attacking Elder. Novae seemed almost tranquil as she stood her ground, making them all look the fool as she swat them around like flies.
For the time being, a moral boost was in order. In order to facilitate that, Revlo had to be shut down. Ventus nodded in agreement as he charged forward as a blur, the Force flowing hard into his legs as they propelled him forward. The half-breed had barely an instant to react, throwing his hands up protectively as an invisible force slammed against him. The sudden shift in momentum was jarring at best, disorienting at worst, and sent him skidding hard into the side of the corridor. Araxis, wiping a trail of blood from his lip, was already taking his Proconsul's place with almost identical speed, if not slightly more. Revlo took aim with the cold, calculated motions that only a droid could produce. Just as the droid depressed the trigger, Atra slid to the front once more. His palm thrust out and seemed to disperse the sudden flurry of blaster bolts like water crashing into a barricade. The strain on the Paladin's face was clear as Araxis launched himself effortless over the man's shoulder. A crimson blur flashed across their field of vision as the droid's weapon suddenly took on a molten glow, half as long as before.
Revlo reacted as his protocols dictated, reaching to the explosives at its chest. In a flourish of golden locks, Kalia was suddenly upon the infiltration droid, a single palm outstretched to the same explosives as an incredibly short range spark of electricity snapped out, like a static shock on steroids. Just as the vicious energy connected, Methyas thrust out his single palm and fired a concentrated concussion of power that sent the droid clattering away before the ensuing explosion could consume the members of his party. The momentary distraction was quickly punished for the Exarch as Archangel's rather expansive mass suddenly slammed into him from the side, thrown like a ragdoll.
Fiery rage glimmered in the eyes of the Elder, her pale skin taking on almost a crimson hue from the intensity. "You will pay dearly for that."
"Not if we can help it." Araxis' muttered comment voiced the silent thoughts of his companions.
Down to one knee, Atra glanced up as his eyes began to sting. Swiping hard, the Firrerreo coated the back of his hand with sweat, clearing his vision once more. Climbing wearily to his feet, his lone arm shaky against the weight of his body, Methyas moved into a protective stance between his former apprentice and the Elder, a subconscious gesture. Archangel's grumblings seemed to befit his name of 'Bear', the towering man rising to his full height while pressing a palm to his chest.
"It would have been so much easier for you all if you hadn't resisted." Novae seemed sincerely apologetic, the fallen dagger that Kalia had previously held levitating into the air before the Elder. "So quiet... Like falling asleep. How kind poison can be."
Atra, glancing at the others, made a subtle gesture to keep her talking. They all needed to recharge their batteries so to speak, and the ever present monologue of villainy was a trope the Proconsul would gladly accept.
"Death itself is a kindness in a sense." The Blind Man spoke up, his sightless gaze turning towards the Elder. "But not one to be granted so wantonly."
A sly grin spread across Dantella's lips. "A debate of philosophy, indeed we could be here quite some time with such a thing."
The Miralukan made a simple gesture with his arm, though by the way his left, armless shoulder shifted it was easy to tell that it was meant to be akin to a shrug. "I am always open to such things."
Archangel grumbled, Araxis shifting uneasily at his side also showed impatience upon his features. Quietly, Kalia began weaving the Force like a thread through a loom. She intertwined a Force Meld of her own with that of Methyas, strengthening the bond to allow nigh instantaneous coordination between their party.
"The time for that is past, I end this now." Novae's shadowcloak shuffled ever so slightly as her arms raised out, palms outstretched. The sudden concussion of power was enough to rob them of their collective breaths, sending them all sprawling backward. Methyas held his ground as best he could, Atra sliding to a stop not too far behind him.
It wasn't clear which of them gave the order, but no one particularly cared. With utter desperation and the pinpoint response time afforded them by the Force Meld, they became a wave crashing upon the Elder. In a flurry of bodies, several bursts of power shot out, some kinetic in nature and others not. Novae put up her shields, causing the oncoming attacks to wash over her as if no more than wind.
Still, they came.
Lightsabers hissed to life, filling the corridor with spiralling light of various hues. For all her power, the Elder possessed little physical strength of her own. Still, she maintained tempo with the rushing warriors, her own speed enhanced from her near endless reserve of power. Suddenly, she felt a nauseating pull. It was subtle at first, like a slight pull of a string. It began to grow, ever so until it hit her with an empty feeling. Turning in anger, the Elder set her eyes on Methyas who seemed locked in concentration as she sent Araxis spiralling away with a flick of her hand.
"How dare you!?"
Her voice was a veritable shriek, filling the corridor with tangible effect as she fed into her anger and felt that unnatural might fill her, a wave of power cascading over the Blind Man. Still, the feeling did not dissipate, merely falter. Turning again, her eyes fell this time upon the crouching form of Atra Ventus, his eyes shut tight as veins of lightning surged across his flesh.
These fools dared to seek to suppress her connection to the Force. Such audacity.
Preparing to squash yet another bug, the full enormity of Archangel's tall frame filled her vision. Power coalesced over his fist as he brought it towards her hard. The Elder should have absorbed such an attack easily, but the slow draining of her defenses was having the desired effect. Reacting just enough to dissipate the blow, Novae stumbled back from the kinetic force of it. Momentarily distracted, she went to lash out with her saber and found herself suddenly unable to move. In her mind, she was screaming. Uttering death threats and a colourful array of poisons and their varying effects.
Yet not but silence escaped her unmoving lips.
Araxis and Kalia stood on either side of the Elder, lost to concentration as they contained the woman within stasis.
Can't... Hold it...
Dantella's lips began to separate, a low screech beginning to trickle out, when a pale palm suddenly struck hard against her core. Atra's hand ricocheted off for a moment, a darkly glowing thread of energy left in the wake. Working his arm like an artist upon paper, the Proconsul moved with deft grace and firmly wound the thread of power all over the Elder, forming a tight snare of pure Dark Side energy.
Letting out a long breath, the Proconsul allowed himself to fall back and collapse to the ground. He was utterly and completely drained. "I got it," came the voice of his old master, Methyas pushing what power he still possessed into the stasis holding the Elder in place. Even with the Dark Side Snare draining on her connection to the Force, Novae was still formidable.
"Get to the terminals while we still have time."
Without words, Archangel and Kalia knew they were the topic of the statement, disengaging with their newfound captive and sprinting down the hall. Lying nearly immobile on the durasteel panelling, Atra merely stared at the ceiling and fought off wave after wave of nausea. How they managed to contain the Elder was beyond him, but it had worked. Had they been one fewer in number, they would not have been so fortunate. Glancing towards the two others remaining with him, the Proconsul couldn't even muster the strength of will to speak.
Yet, somehow, he got the distinct feeling things were far from over. Even as the other squads moved to their separate objectives, it was a vast and expansive ship. There was no telling what would come next.
The quintet had been given a minor reprieve as they had ensured the security systems were, for the most part, disabled and additional Brotherhood forces had arrived to secure Dantella for the inevitable processing she was about to undergo. The rest had been a chance for all of them to regain their reserves and, with much argument, a chance for Methyas to heal the wounds that Archangel had taken in the engagement.
Pressing on towards the Bridge, the assembled group was prepared for the worst, their opponents had only gotten more cunning along with greater control of the Force as they had progressed to claiming the Avenger as their own. Klaxons wailed as lights pulsed around them, the heightened state of alert across the Avenger still in effect as the Brotherhood steadily claimed more of the vessel as their own. While there was much chaos around them, the group remained silent, not so much of an oddity amongst them yet it was the sudden and abrupt halt from the Miraluka that caught most of their attention, his brows furrowed in a mild confusion as he spoke, "We've come about, the Avenger is headed for Antei..."
"Did someone beat us to the Bridge?" Araxis asked as he glanced about the empty halls of the command deck.
"There's a powerful presence there I don't recognize it, so it's possible." Methyas responded, the tone of his voice not lost between them as their hands instinctively wrapped about the hilts of their respective sabers.
Approaching the bridge, the metallic smell of blood reached most of them before the sight of corpses scattered across the floor and pools of blood steadily dripped into the trenches across the bridge. Quickly taking in the situation, sabers were firmly in hand as their gaze swiftly locked upon the massive figure at the head of the bridge, "Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! We will d..d..de...DESTROY these traitors...Avenger has enough power to crush the Throne...yes, if Master can't have it..."
"Movement on the edges of my sight." Atra's voice echoed in their heads. Each of their trained eyes had picked up on it, but none had gotten a good view of precisely what had moved and none except the "all-seeing" Miraluka had been aware of more than one creature.
"This is not good." Methyas' voice responded just as quickly, he gripped his saber tightly within his left hand as fear and caution began to overtake the group; the Jedi acting swiftly to establish a Force meld for them as he thought of the code to himself, "Emotion, yet peace."
At the sudden appearance of a larger mass of Force power, the Sith lord turned to face the quintet and spoke, "Excellent. More playthings for my pets."
The metallic ringing of a sword drawn from its sheath seemed to reverberate from every corner of the bridge as the distinct snap-hiss of sabers followed it from the entryway. As they each moved into a more sturdy defensive posture, the hulking figures of the twin Terentatek came more into view, each upon a different side of the bridge as though flanking their master. A guttural growl seemed to escape the creatures as they spotted their new prey and began to stomp across the bridge.
"Terentatek? They seem a little green, given their stature." Atra's voice echoed again.
"We use that to our advantage then." Archangel spoke in retort, stepping forward to engage one with Araxis at his side as Atra and Kalia seemed to prepare to face the other and Methyas' sightless gaze never broke from the crazed man.
A swift swing of their sabers crashed upon the creature's skin as their sabers seemed to stop, almost as though they had encountered another blade. Confusion was clean across their faces before a few more strikes seemed to do nothing more than pester the creatures and a cackling laughter emanated from the head of the bridge, "Good, good! My beasts are well prepared for your weapons..."
Leaping away from a sweeping strike of the Terentatek's massive claws, the quintet seemed to regroup for the slightest of moments as Kalia spoke this time, with her saber deactivating swiftly, "New plan then."
Grasping the chain whip at her side, the woman stepped forward with a crisp snap of the weapon, the target of her strike seeming to reel slightly from the sound before another snap lept out like a viper, this one connecting with a slight tear in its skin.
The grin from the crazed man was wiped from his face as soon as he heard the pained howl from his beast, "No, you must die!"
With a burst of power from within the Force, a saber snapped to attention and was launched across the room towards Kalia, spinning like a wicked chakram. In an instant the blade found itself stopped, a glowing barrier taking the bulk of the hit before the blade started back towards its master.
"A JEDI! With the Brotherhood?!" The crazed man bellowed, the bridge itself seeming to quake in response to his voice.
"He's a Grand Master." Methyas' voice responded within the minds of his teammates as his body quaked a little, a few beads of sweat coalescing upon his forehead from trying to maintain the barrier.
Atra and Araxis simply glanced at each other for a moment, knowing the truth of the Miraluka more than the other two who seemed to look at Methyas with an almost accusing glare, before Araxis responded through their meld, "I'll try and draw his attention."
"And we'll focus on the beasts, maybe we should try to capture one for Macron to examine." Atra continued the train of thought, trying to get the team focused on the more immediate task of living instead of squabbling.
As Araxis started towards the crazed Grand Master, Methyas focused his attention on his comrade, knowing that the Terentatek were immune to his direct powers and that his other allies would be skilled enough to deal with them.
"I will kill you...and the Jedi, boy. Or should the woman go first? Maybe the other armoured man?" The Grand Master seemed to ponder as his eyes darted from one figure to the other as the Force seemed to swell and condense around him before his voice rose up again, venom seeming to spit from his lips with the words, "You seem eager, boy. Lets start with you, I hope your Jedi can protect you."
This was not going well for him. His chest was still raw and tender to the touch, where the blaster bolt had seared the top layer of skin away. His muscles groaned with every movement, almost screaming at him to lie down and do nothing for a day or three. His blood lust had waned somewhat since the beginning of this assault, the rising body count and toll it had taken on the group was weighing him down. He did not enjoy murdering these misguided Dark Jedi. They were under the sway of a false prophet, an idol to worship who deserved only contempt. And the excuse of guilt by proxy was slowly losing its footing.
The roar of the Terentatek in front of him brought his focus back to the fore. An ugly brute of a creature, the spines which lined its back and along its shoulder occasionally brushed the steel ceiling. A strange aura hung around it, as if it exuded the Dark Side of the Force. This creature seemed to have been built with an infusion of dark energies, allowing it to both function and destroy.
He clipped his lightsaber to his belt, its usefulness in this battle being negligible at best. He drew in its place his ironwood spear, a relic of his days in the jungles of Shaevalis Prime. A seven foot long shaft of ironwood, a timber which sports the veins and striations of natural ore, was topped with a finely forged spear head, etched with sigils and animal symbols. It had been supplanted by his lightsaber as his weapon of choice, but it still held a firm place in his heart.
“We need to draw it away” Kalia said, her eyes focused on the beast before them. Archangel nodded and smiled grimly. He started to move forward, his pace measured and constant. The beast watched him for a moment before unleashing a bellowing roar directly at the Shaevalian. The sudden gust of air slowed the Bear slightly, but he did not waver. The measure of a man, he knew, was the steel in his spine and the strength of his heart. Fear doesn’t factor into his personal equation. Anger does.
With a countering roar, he charged forward, spear swept back behind him, like a scorpion’s tail, ready to strike. The Terentatek swept its huge right arm in a long swipe, its venomous talons leading the way. The ironwood spear lanced out in a flash, slashing across the palm of the aggressor’s hand, before the wielder dodge-rolled to the right, behind a pair of pylons. His back slammed against the solid bulkhead, knocking the wind out of him. He grunted with anguish, but kept moving, gritting his teeth against the pain. He pushed himself up and away as another hand slammed down towards him.
“You just made it mad!” Kalia shouted, as she ducked down and away from the advancing creature, which had been frustrated by the intervening pylons. Archangel pulled away, trying to find some sort of elevation to use to assault the creature from a different angle. Attacking from above would be near suicide for this creature though.
“The turbolift!” he shouted, aiming his spear towards the main bridge turbolift. Not much larger than the standard variety found on countless worlds throughout the galaxy, this model is taller, and wider, to accommodate the rapid transit of the huge crew of the Avenger II. Trapping the beast in there might give them an edge on this fight.
Kalia couldn't help but tense as her eyebrows furrowed together. Via the Force Meld flowing through them all, the Praetor and Sadowan had an unnatural sense of vigor. Still, the reality and futility of their situation hit her full force. Subtle vibrations, like plucks of a string, brought her focus back in line as a massive claw passed over her suddenly crouched form.
"These are younglings." Atra's voice still gave her chills, like icy fingers slithering up her spine. How his thoughts managed to have such a frigid sensation was beyond her understanding of the power, though this wasn't the time for such ponderings.
"Clearly. A mature Terentatek would never have fit onto this bridge."
"Unless they were born here." The absurdity of Archangel's statement was coupled with the sarcasm dripping off each word.
Growling in frustration, Kalia launched herself into the air. A ripple of air from below warned of the passing that she had anticipated, extending her legs to press down upon the firmness of one of the Terentatek's arm. Her weight, light as it was, still pressed down upon the tree-like appendage, causing it to falter lower. The sound of flesh tearing and a series of light thunks followed in her wake, Atra's hand still wide open from where he had launched his locust knives and guided them to their mark. The beast roared, its aura weighing heavily on the trio as darkness seemed to dim their immediate area. You had to hand it to their maker, the Terentatek were impressive creatures.
The Proconsul had to immediately throw his body into a lateral roll, avoiding the oncoming strike of the second animal. The Bear was still using his sizeable spear to prod both beasts. The Red Rose continued on her path, coming to a stop with a hand firmly gripped upon one of the lengthy spines upon the top of the Terentatek. Letting out a long breath, her chain whip unfurled once more with a heavy series of clinks. Flicking her wrist hard the tether snapped out and blood sprayed into the air with a crimson swatch.
The beast bellowed once more, its meaty hands reaching up to catch her lithe form as Kalia darted just out of reach. "Give me a hand," her voice carried above the sounds of battle, Archangel taking his queue as he left the nimble Dark Wind alone with the second beast. Using his massive size, and Kalia's vantage point, the pair pushed hard, gaining ground as the creature unwillingly approached the main turbolift.
A sharp cry was cut short with a sudden thud as Araxis soared overhead into the scaffolding. The speed at which his body flew had been practically instantaneous. A chuckle of delight brought the Obelisk's attention past the pain and back to his foe. He was being played with. He hated being played with. As the Battleteam leader charged back into the fray, Methyas looked to be at the center of a maelstrom. Terminals and debris circled the air as he stood with concentration steadfast upon his visage. He fired them rapidly at Darth Necar, who didn't even give the courtesy of his attention as an invisible force bat them away like toys. His sword seemed to drip malice as the fallen enemy's apprentice stalked towards Araxis.
Necar's eyes were shifty, uncertain. Every so often his head tilted to the side, as if listening to a voice that wasn't there. Every action was absurd in the most complete way. There was no rhyme or reason to the Darth's movements. Neither Araxis nor Methyas had ever asked if insanity could be a tangible thing, yet there it was, visible as day to them.
"This is getting bloody annoying" Araxis said under his breath, his enemy inching closer whilst pausing periodically as if his mind pulled him in another direction. Clearly Necar wasn't all there, but Araxis was confident that made him even more of a threat in the midst of combat. For all his dueling capabilities, most of his attempts were rendered useless as the Sith followed no repeatable patterns. There was almost never an opening, at least not one that he could find before having to defend himself from the paralyzing blades. Something is going to give my friend, and I'm not sure what else we can do at this point, do you have anything further in that head of yours?? the thought travelled to the nearby Methyas who was still providing as much support as his force pool would allow him.
I'm still working on it, but I agree time is running out, the thought was cut short as the Rollmaster was forced once again to raise a barrier to protect his comrade. Such raw power, it strained Methyas to the very limit on several occasions now.
"W...Wh...Wh... Why yo..you no p...pl...play?!" Necar screamed, his head twitching with each pause, his anger clearing reaching a peak, "Pla...Pla...Play with me..." His swords brought down in an erratic fashion, but precise to all hell, Araxis dodged as many of the strikes as he could with the assistance of Methyas creating barriers for when his body fell behind. Each missed strike fueled Necar to move faster and faster, before long he was making slices of Araxis' tabard, pieces of cloth falling on the deck of the bridge. With an intermittent pause of this brutal onslaught, "Noo...NOOO, Shh.... SHUT UP! I AM DEAL...DEAL...DEA...DEALING WITH THIS" Necar argued with himself.
Araxis was confused at first, but it slowly became more clear over the time of this engagement, the argument just now the final nail in the coffin as it were. This guy is completely nuts, he has more than one personality floating around in his mind, we need to find a way to use that against him. Charging forward Araxis readied his saber at his side, his voice building up in volume, he delivered what was supposed to be the final blow to Necar's midsection. But his blade caught on his enemies own lightsaber. Araxis was stunned at the speed Necar deployed his own lightsaber while only moments ago clasping his head with a sword in either hand. "What are you?!" Araxis questioned bluntly, his saber still locked against Necar's.
"I a....am..." Necar paused, his voice changing, "No, WE are your death Obelisk filth." A mass of force energy built and unleashed instantaneously at Araxis' midsection sending him flying across the bridge into the transparisteel. Methyas reeled against the wall to his backside, the sudden shock and impact against his barrier around Araxis was too much, Necar taking full advantage of this hurled his lightsaber, anger and fury fueling the force projectile, "Join your friend in agony, JEDI."
"NO!" Araxis blurted without a real thought, he launched his own saber to deflect Necar's. Never having truly spent time practicing the technique, the throw was rather sloppy, but enough to alter its course just enough. Methyas felt searing pain wash over him, a pain he knew all too well. The saber of the enemy had been altered in its path, but only enough to not land a fatal blow. However, Methyas' mind shouted out across all of the teams minds, even those engaging the Terentatek. Araxis looked on as his friend and comrade struggled to keep himself a foot, one leg now lifeless on the ground beneath him.
Necar spun to meet the eyes of Araxis, the fury behind them spoke volumes without words, his lips paused open for a moment, finally "Why do you protect this Jedi?! HE IS THE EN...ENE...ENEMY!" the unification of Necar's voice was starting to slip once more, "Or ha...ha...has so much ch..ange amongst th...the... Throne." Calling back his lightsaber to the free hand, Necar moved towards Araxis once more, "You will t...tell me, and then I will make his life my pla....play thing."
No longer could Araxis rely on Methyas' force abilities to aid him. Pushing himself off the transparisteel, an idea came to mind. Araxis had no lightsaber to call on, the damage it sustained to preserve the life of Methyas wrote it off completely. Reaching for his only other weapon, the lightsword still carried at his waist, he ignited it, his eyes focused only on Necar now. "Come Necar, lets finish this!" Araxis charged to meet Necar again, hoping the slip in his voice was an indication of another breakdown moments away. His lightsword met Necar's saber several times, following each strike Araxis was forced to dodge the off-hand blade that would surely commit to his demise. Beads of sweat dripped down his face, his body screamed in agony as it was pushed to the limit, the force slowly abandoning its job of enhancing his body. Time started to pass more slowly it seemed, the engagement winding down to its end chapter, the off-hand blade came in once more forcing another dodge. Araxis flipped backwards, Necar charged, and as the Obelisk landed Necar passed one slice of his lightsaber.
A thud echoed the bridge. Araxis dropped to a knee, his lightsword still ignited to guard himself, something was off. It was then a sudden rush of pain flooded his body. He glanced to his side, it seemed to weigh less. On the bridge of the deck lay his left arm, devoid of any life. Anger consumed him, a second wind of strength met his remaining limbs and pushed him up off the ground. Silence filled his push forward on Necar as he knew there was only moments to convey his previous idea, Methyas, I know what we need to do, he paused a moment waiting for a response, but got none, Vent him. Lock down the bridge and vent this bastard to the cold abyss. It's the only way the rest of you are going to make it now!
That was the word of the day as a grim weight fell upon the team. The sheer numbness echoing through the meld from their comrades was enough to make any of them give in. Still, that was an outcome they could not afford. Death or victory, those were the only options left to them. With nothing to lose, they had never been more dangerous.
Still, not dangerous enough.
Knowing full well the futility of the action, Atra's saber roared to life, its cerulean glow shimmering over the flesh of the enraged Terentatek. Too young to possess an imposing guile, only unrefined instincts, Archangel and Kalia were having notable success in driving their chosen beast to the over-large turbolift. It was for him, the Proconsul of Naga Sadow, to ensure they were not interrupted by the second of their beastial attackers.
He fought to remain focused, his mind sharp and working every angle against the beast. Ventus couldn't waste a moment's thought on the second battle at his back. He had to trust in faith... Faith that the others would do what needs to be done, just as he. With a thrusting strike, the glowing blade Atra now wielded lashed out, connecting with a row of vicious claws.
Always an equal and opposite reaction.
The Obelisk's arms grew numb from the resounding vibrations given off by the kinetic discharge between his blade and his foe. Were these beasts not monstrous enough? What lunacy drove a man to make them more so. The lunacy of a man who could not afford a loss. That was insanity Atra could get behind, and definately agree with. With each elegant strike, each parry, he sought to infuriate the beast. It was often said that those who relied upon K'thri were mocked for being a dancer and not a fighter, yet here he found the familiar maneuvers to be a saving grace. Not once, but many times did he feel the sickening brush of claw through cloth. Only his agility was saving the Proconsul.
The sudden, shrill cry brought Atra's hawk-like gaze to the turbolift. Kalia twirled through the air, her whip cascading out to tear open the poor beast's flesh once more. Archangel moved quickly, not so much striking upon the turbolift controls as utterly obliterating them. The doors closed with a resounding thud that denoted they would not be reopened any time soon.
This momentary lapse of concentration was an advantage any predator would revel, and so did the remaining Terentatek strike. The warning signs cried out through the tendrils of the Living Force flowing through him, Atra's mind open and attuned to it. The spider-like strands did not so much vibrate in warning, so much as they were torn asunder. The wraith-like Firrerreon spun to the side, moving at such an odd angle that he was forced to release the grip upon his hilt, lest the mindless blade burn through him.
The skin at the corners of his eyes wrinkled as he grimaced in response to the sparking crunch that was the fate of his weapon. It had served him well, and Atra would not forget. There is a bond between a warrior and his weapon, though the weapon had not been forged by his hand Atra had held it with respect. If he were to survive, there would be changes to be made. He was not one to leave a battle without improved knowledge.
"Do we capture this one as well?" Archangel's gruff voice broke through the fog of Atra's thoughts, sounding close by the Sadowan.
"No, this one dies." Kalia's response had a fading quality, starting loud and drifting off as the Quaestor charged forward with a glint in her eye. It seemed the female Sith was going to relish the end of the loathsome creature.
The ghost of a smile spread across Atra's features as he reached deep into his core. These Sith Spawn may be immune to direct implementations of the Force, but the Dark Jedi assaulting them were not. His renewed power washed over him like icy tendrils, the watery rush of a glacial plunge. Moving as a blur, he drew his daggers to grim effect, a twin slash bringing a wash of grotesque blood to splatter across his flesh and garments. The blood felt tainted, even smelled tainted, yet it was not unexpected with the darkness that permeated their foe's being. What came next was a blur as a swift claw cut through the Proconsul's perceptions. The strike not only cleaved flesh from bone, but sent the man flying out into the hallway. Archangel took advantage of the savage beasts temporary sense of victory, driving his vicious spear through the unprotected neck of the spine covered beast. A bellowing roar of pain took on tangible effect as both Kalia and Archangel were thrown back from the shuddering form of the remaining Terentatek.
Still, the day was not won. A second, equally animalistic roar answered the creature as its deranged master sensed the loss. As the world faded around the edges and darkness fought to claim the Proconsul, he couldn't help but think how terribly screwed they all were.
So very... Very screwed.
Emotion, yet peace.
Pain emanated through their Force Bond, each had taken some injury which would show as a scar upon them in the coming days, months and years. Yet even as they pushed themselves to their limits and their emotions ran wild, they were all focus; even at peace if one could truly say it.
Ignorance, yet knowledge.
Each were ignorant in their own way, young in the ways of the Force compared to the crazed man who stood before them; his powers easily dwarfing each that remained as his eyes hungrily danced between them, trying to determine who would give him the greatest satisfaction in their death. Yet each knew what would have to be done here, they had the knowledge of how this would end. Either him, or them.
Passion, yet serenity.
Methyas had collapsed upon the deck, the seared flesh at his hip a reminder of what had been lost as he attempted to reach a seated position. His own body had been feeding on the Force, his mind focused on the ways to space this bastard as quickly as possible, yet he remained eerily serene.
Chaos, yet harmony.
Chaos had enveloped each of them now, its point of origin not lost to any of them as their eyes remained firmly locked upon the Grand Master and while fear had washed over them, none were scared. They knew the odds, they had accepted their fate and each had reached that personal harmony to give whatever was needed for the Brotherhood.
Death, yet the Force.
"No, not yet." Methyas' mind echoed firmly through the assembled quartet; Atra's mind slipping out of consciousness as Methyas shifted again with a furrowing brow. All around him the Brotherhood's finest fought Zoraan's apprentice as well as they could; Kalia and Archangel joining Araxis in their diversionary measures, sabers clashing between strikes of steel, cloth and flesh.
They were overwhelmed and exhausted, while they outnumbered their adversary, he still outpaced them wherever possible. The Miraluka acted as quickly as he could, grasping a boot from a fallen corpse and throwing it through the Force as powerfully at Necar as he could manage.
With an audible slap, the boot connected with the Grand Master; a moment of bewilderment on his face before another laugh escaped him before he crossed the deck in a little more than a blink, "You wish to die, Jedi?"
Again, fear and chaos crossed the meld; but not from Methyas. Araxis, Archangel and Kalia started to dash across the deck before a single voice paused them, the Jedi's own, "Stop."
As Necar's Sith sword struck out towards Methyas, the Force listened to his call; the Jedi rolling and dodging just over the blade as it caught his chest, a sickly trail carving through the robes from his lowest ribs to his left shoulder as he struck the floor hard.
"Get back! Araxis, Kalia; on three, give him a Blast upon his chest."
The trio complied quickly, each taking up positions not too far away but still trying to flank the main doorway as Araxis and Kalia centered themselves; without another word spoken vicious energy leapt from the palms of the three Sadows, each lancing towards the Grand Master as he held his ground, laughing maniacally from the attempted assault.
The signature beams of powerful energy struck the Grand Master hard, causing him to reel for a moment towards the head of the bridge with his laughter still continuing. But not all the strikes met their mark; Methyas' blast missed by a foot, striking the transparisteel viewport Araxis had collided with earlier, the faux glass groaning as cracks formed across its surface from the strike but still it remained unrelenting.
The whisper passed from Methyas' lips before the Grand Master lashed out in retaliation; his voice booming as a fearsome wave of telekinetic energy pulsed outward towards the quartet, "YOU! Y..Y..YOU! WILL NOT! STOP ME..STOP US! FROM COMPLETING MY MASTER'S VISION!"
The Force energy quickly threw each of them back, the trio near the hallway falling upon their asses as they reeled backwards. Methyas merely found himself sliding across the floor, more pained the energy pushed his hip and tender wound against the deck.
Rising to their feet quickly, the trio sprinted back towards the bridge, Methyas within reach in a few more feet before a crisp snap filled the air; the blast doors separating the hall from the Bridge slamming shut as their nearby panel collapsed under the Miraluka's telekinetic strike, his voice filling their minds through the meld, "I'm sorry."
The paralysis from the Grand Master's wicked blade had sunk into Methyas quickly, he had never had a stellar constitution with sickness; he could almost hear his wife's scolding voice now before his voice rose powerfully across the bridge, "Just you and me, now. Jedi against Sith, a tale as old as time."
"Unwise Jedi, you will die quickly." Necar's voice responded equally powerfully as he nearly spat the title at his opponent, his hands twitching as he spun his weapons about in his hands; eager to deal the final blow.
"Keep talking, Sith. For someone with your skill in the Force, I've done well slowing you down. You've failed to impress me yet." A coy smile crossed the Jedi's face, his Dun Möch subtle as he only needed to play on the classic stereotypes.
A powerful, guttural roar erupted from the Sith as he took the bait and electricity began to arc about body, the Force responding to his call as he began to speak with an almost demonic tone, "THEN I WILL SQUASH YOU LIKE A BUG!"
As Methyas lay near the sealed blast doors, precariously propped up and paralysed, the bridge began to erupt with power. Lightning bounced to nearby consoles and the air began to grow thick, the Grand Master's strength growing as their surrounding began to grow more turbulent. In the midst of the chaos, a small globe rocked loose from a corpse nearby; the soldier having been one of Zoraan’s greatest soldiers and Necar's guardsmen, before his decline. A slight grin crossing the Jedi's face as he looked towards the Grand Master, the small orb starting to beep upon the deck as Necar screamed out, "NOW JEDI! FEEL MY POWER!"
The storm leapt out as Methyas winced slightly, lightning lancing across the bridge before dissipating inches from his body; the Jedi's body starting to quake as his powers started to drain his own reserves. But a storm is wild and unpredictable, something Methyas had counted on. In an instant a bolt struck the weakened transparisteel viewport and shattered.
Just as swiftly the bridge found itself subject to the cruel, cold vacuum of space; Necar's attention snapping to the open viewport and then the slightly singed Jedi as Methyas' voice seemed to echo within his mind, "Get off our ship..."
The small orb, previously unnoticed by the Grand Master, whipped through the air towards him; a thermal detonator, exploding squarely in his face as he felt his body dragged out into the void of space; pure rage consuming him as he attempted to scream out before the Sith Lord Necar was no more.
Methyas fared no better, his body tearing from the deck and hurtling towards the open void himself. His body calm within the Force as he controlled his breathing, suppressing his own needs and drifting into unconsciousness; as the world seemed to fade from around him a smile crept across his face, pride in his success setting in.