Dark Crusade: Prologue Team 6
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 tension in the air was so thick it was palpable. The five Wardens sitting on the very Spartan benches as part of the boarding pod’s accommodations were all on-edge, checking their equipment – armor, weapons, personal resolve. Nothing could be left to chance and all came down to their unique skills that would come together to make this operation a success. Their task was a very heavy-handed one: the Wardens, as well as a great number of other teams, were assigned the difficult objective of capturing a Super Star Destroyer controlled by remnant forces under a dead Grand Master. Their first overall objective was to invade and seize the hangar, which was no small task. Their plan had been formed almost immediately based on common sense and what they knew of the ship class.
Warden-Commander Mirus’ plan was simple enough: take a boarding pod attached to a precise point of the ship’s hull based on the deckplans they’d obtained and cut their way into the air ducts. From there, take the hangar control station and seize a vessel for both escape and attack purposes. They had a team suited specifically to their task: Bubbles and Lokasena were their primary fighters, as highly experienced Equites. Miranda was their trained pilot, who would dominate the hangar bay with her expertise with spacefaring vessels. Mirus and Malfrost would take the control room and do whatever they had to in order to make their objective easier for the rest of their team. They had their assigned roles and would carry them out superbly or die trying.
All of a sudden, the ship-launched boarding pod attached to the metallic hull of the Super Star Destroyer just to the right of the magcon field generator. Locking its boarding hatch into place with magnetic seals to trap in the oxygen, the inhabitants of the pod rose as one. Taking a fusion cutter from the tool compartment of the pod, Lokasena began to cut the way into the hull as Mirus gave his battleteam the final prep talk before they ventured into the belly of the beast.
“You all have your assigned roles,” the one-armed leader reminded his team. “Trust in each other and keep your eyes peeled and we’ll all go home in one piece. Questions?”
There were none. Sena finished the final motion of the cut through the ship’s bulkhead and let it clatter to the deckplates with a loud clang. Without hesitation, Sena went first, clambering into the air vent as Bubbles followed him, trailed by Mirus, Miranda then Malfrost. Quickly and quietly they crouched then crawled their way through the air system, carefully scanning their way for any kind of incursion, or trap that they may have overlooked in their planning. After all, not every plan was perfect and even the deck plans could have been wrong. Their ingress was perfect thus far but who knew what awaited them?
After a few meters, the group arrived at an access hatch. Lokasena opened a small panel on the side and tried a few key combinations. The sounds of the “access denied” signal began to annoy him. He looked over his shoulder to Bubbles.
“Remember the good old days, when you could just slap omni-gel on everything?”
“No one appreciated that upgrade…” Bubbles replied dryly. “Let me have a go.” She continued and started to crawl past Sena in the narrow shaft.
Bubbles’ fingers flew over the panel and a high pitch chime let her know she had succeeded. The hatch opened and into a small maintenance corridor that should lead directly to the hangar.
There was a rumble through the deck and the vessel seemed to rock about a bit, no doubt because of the navigational difficulties.
Everyone in the shaft was rocked about a little. Bubbles ended up lying almost on top of Sena. “Wow…” she whispered. “Yeah!” Lokasena smiled, looking up at her. “That’s what they all tell me.”
Behind her Bubbles could hear the rest chuckling a bit. So she had little remorse kneeing Sena in the groin as she climbed over him and into the corridor.
The Krath Priest let out a soft “oef” and followed her, along with the rest.
Standing in the maintenance corridor, they all let their fingers slide past any equipment and weaponry they had brought. This was it, the storming of the castle would begin.
“How do we handle this?” Mirrus asked his combat veterans.
“Sena and I will be able to overwhelm the Droids and Turrets easily. But more will come after the internal alarm goes off. Try and cover us while we secure the hangar. We’ll let you know when to proceed.”
The Equites looked at each other and then walked onto the hangar deck. They both headed towards the command droid. It saw them and turned to face them. “Identify yourself.” It said in a synthesized voice.
“Hi there…” Sena said as they both kept on walking. “The little misses and I seem to have gotten ourselves a little lost. Isn’t that true, honey?”
“Well, I told you we should have asked for directions, pumpkin.” Bubbles was quick to reply.
The droid said something about pumpkin being a fruit or vegetable. Then, Sena and Bubbles both reached for their sabers and before the rest knew what was going on, the command droid was dismembered. The ruckus attracted the attention of the other droids and before long the hangar bay was ablaze with blaster bolts and saber blades.
Mirus and the rest waited patiently as the noise slowly died down.
“You can come out now!”
Bubbs and Sena took up guard points allowing them to keep eyes on the main entrance to the hanger as the rest of the team exited the maintenance corridor into the hanger proper. While the initial resistance had been dealt with quickly and relatively easily, all members of the team were fully aware that reinforcements would soon be on their way.
Mirus and Malfrost quickly ducked behind Bubbles, skirting the edge of the hanger to make their way swiftly to the control panel. Securing that point before reinforcements tried to enter the hanger was of vital importance, none of the team had any wish to let their enemies come to them on purely their own terms.
Sena moved to cover Miranda as she approached one of the shuttles in the bay, as their most experienced pilot, the hope was for her to manoeuvre the vessel to provide covering fire at the airlock doors, both to keep the team's enemies at bay, and clear a path for their exit. Selecting one of the smaller but more manoeuvrable vessels in the bay, Miranda made short work of entering the vessel and getting it's primary systems online.
"Pumpkin," came Bubbles' voice in Lokasena's mind as he returned to his position, "Anything I need to know?" Sena glanced back to catch a questioning look and a raised eyebrow. A mechanical whirr from the airlock doors prevented his reply.
The doors slid open, and Bubbs and Sena braced themselves as a group of stormtroopers came into view. "Behind them." the Priest commented, just loud enough for Bubbles to hear, as he caught a glimpse of two tall humans, identical in appearance, who seemed to be using the stormtroopers as a shield.
Miranda immediately hit the trigger for the craft’s blasters. With a few violent shots she obliterated most of the Storm Troopers. She tried to get a lock on the twin humans, but they suddenly jumped out of frame. “What the?”
Lokasena jumped ahead and dispatched two Storm Troopers, cutting a path to his target. Both humans suddenly revealed two lightsabers. The activated them and summersaulted towards the Krath Priest.
Sena jumped back a bit, knowing that Bubbles was right behind him. Wicked grins on their faces, the twins flung themselves at the invaders.
“We have to help them.” Mirus called out to Malfrost. “We have to get to the control room, see if we can’t get some of these turrets to work again.” Both ran as fast as they could to the control room.
All the while Miranda was mesmerized by the site of her Master actually fighting an opponent. She knew he was skilled, but the subtle wrist movements that caused his blade to twirl and swing were inspiring to say the least.
Sena and Bubbels kept parrying and reposting while the twins sometimes jumped or cartwheeled to switch places. But the two equites were not easily confused.
“Acces the main security file for this deck.” Mirus said. “Should I try to override the whole system?” Malfrost responded.
“Negative, if you try that, you’ll be locked out by dozens of safety precautions. Go for the separate file…”
Miranda was almost cheering for her Master in the seat of the cockpit. She couldn’t take her eyes off the fight.
“These guys are seriously starting to bug me.” Sena hissed, saber swinging. “Same here!” the Epis replied.
With a wide lunge, Lokasena leapt forward and then swung his saber high over his head. He engaged high, then low and high again. The twins were quick on their feet, but their dexterity started to give away against the calm incoming tide that was the Krath.
All of a sudden, Bubbles jumped aside, deflecting the twin that had been fighting Sena. The young man’s face was almost in shock as he did not expect this. The look in his eyes remained, even as his head rolled off to the floor. Lokasena had taken the opportunity to decapitate him.
The other twin let out a loud scream. Using the Force, he flung both Krath to the floor, ready to pounce on them.
Then a loud blaster shot fired, and there was a large hole, where the twin’s chest had been.
Mirus and Malfrost had activated the a turret just in time.
Mirus and Malfrost let out a collective sigh as Bubbs and Sena turned to them, giving them both a grin and a thumbs up. Mirus's wiped the sweat from his brow and quickly collected himself, but Malfrost kept his eyes glued on the terminal. As the Warden-Commander got ready to question him, the Knight turned to look at Mirus,
"Go ahead and get the others to the designated entry point, I'm going to seal the blast doors to all the other entrances to this hanger so we won't have to deal with trouble...I'll also see what intel I can gather while I'm at it." The Krath didn't even wait for a confirmation as he immediately set to work, his fingers hammering at the keys while his eyes darted left and right, hardly paying any mind to the Obelisk next to him.
"Alright partner, just don't take too long." Mirus chuckled as he patted him on the shoulder on the way out, the only reply he got was a grunt that sounded something like a 'sure' to him. He quickly approached the other Wardens and rallied them to him as he led them towards the hanger exit and the interior of the ship, getting closer to their objective.
Meanwhile Malfrost was doing everything he could to hamper the response operation. He had quickly sealed all other entrances to the hanger and now he was in the process of disrupting their communications array. Yes, this was Malfrost's strong point, not full on combat like the others, but striking hard and fast from the shadows to surprise an opponent and knock them off balance. His time spent training in New Republic Intelligence had made him a deader hacker and slicer, and he was making full use of those skills right now. Malfrost popped his neck slightly and let out a sigh, he had done all he could. He now made his way back towards Mirus and the other Wardens,
"I've managed to slow down the response effort, I jammed the communication and fed them some false information, they should be sending a large bunch of their reserve units towards another hanger as we speak." Malfrost nodded his head coolly as Mirus gave him a pat on the back. Now, they were ready to advance.
“Good job, if the security forces are divided, they will be much easier to overwhelm.” Bubbles mused.
“We need to get off this floor and_” Sena’s sentence was interrupted by the hum of an engine. A shuttle with the Council insignia came through the force field and landed in the hangar.
The Krath Priest muttered something under his breath. “Just as things were going well…”
“Behave…” Bubbles nudged him with an elbow.
Raken himself stepped from the craft. None had expected to see him so soon. With him was his aid Ekeia Iclo. He walked over to the group in long, swift strides.
Iclo barely acknowledged the rest of the Wardens and pressed a datapad into Mirus’ hand and whispered something to him. As soon as he looked up, he left again, walking back to the Deputy Grand Master.
Mirus ran his thumb over the scanner and the datapad flickered into life. His expression became grim.
“Something wrong?” Miranda asked. “Maybe…” Mirus replied. “There might be a mole.”
Sena frowned. “One of us? Rediculous!”
“No, I don’t think so…” Mirus sighed. “But we should be ready for anything!” He put the pad into his pocket and began to walk to the elevator in determined strides. “Come on! We have a job to do.”
They all followed him into the turbolift and Mirus pressed the indicator on the command deck; bridge.
The doors closed and a gentle tune began to play in the back ground.
All the Wardens let out a deep sigh in unison.
“Where is Ipanema anyway?” Miranda asked.
Sena opened his mouth to reply, but was interupted by a deafening screech as the turbo-lift ground abruptly to a halt, throwing the less dextrous of those within to the floor.
"Dammit," muttered Bubbles under her breath as she tapped hastily on the control panel, "They've cut our power, looks like they're more organised than we'd hoped. Apparently we have two options, out or up?"
"Out." came Mirus' decisive reply. "I have no desire to be sitting targets attempting to scale the tubo-lift shaft. Sena, would you do the honours?"
"It would be my pleasure." Sena's purple blade hissed to life, and made quick work of cutting an exit hatch into the turbo lift door. The remainder of the group flattened themselves to the walls of the lift, hoping to avoid the worst of whatever fire might come their way as the hatch fell open.
A moment of absolute silence enveloped the scene as Sena finished his cut, no-one daring to breathe as the hatch fell smoothly from its' position.
A glimpse through the remaining hole showed the outline of a unit of Sith Warriors standing waiting in grim determination, the silence punctuated both by the ringing clang as the hatch hit the floor, and a gentle tapping bounce of a flash-bang rolling into the lift. All reacted quickly, trying to cover their ears, but universally failing to protect themselves in time as the deafening explosion resonated within the lift; the blinding light reflecting off the polished metal walls.
Senses dulled beyond reason, the team took a moment to react. Mirus was the first to recover his senses, turning to the less experienced members of the team, he dragged them back to the sides of the lift. “Bubbs, Sena, cover us.”
The two Krath took a few steps out of the lift, lightsabres raised. A subtle flick of the Epis' wrist and the hatch cut from the lift door was sent flying towards their enemies. “I hope you can see more than me?” came Sena's voice in Bubbs' mind.
A wry smile crossed her face, “I wouldn't count on it.”
The Sith Warriors fell down under the weight of the door flung towards them, crushed by the power of an Equite. Two of Zoraan’s minions remained upstanding and activated their lightsabers, crimson blades singing in the hallways. In that instant, Mirus and Sena moved together, the Obelisk and the Krath enjoying the sound of their own blades humming in unison. Crimson and violet moved together as the Wardens engaged their foes; Sena was moving in a far more artistic fashion thanks to the fencing training that his beloved Makashi instilled in him and Mirus was going for raw, one-handed brute force. The distraction was enough for Bubbles to lead Malfrost and Miranda out of the turbolift as their senses returned to them, moving out into the hallways of the Super Star Destroyer’s security level. The free-falling moment of Zoraan’s agents having failed their task of stopping the intruders was enough for Sena to capitalize on weakness and impale his foe through the heart with his lightsaber blade then advance on Mirus’ opponent to help him finish off his target. Faced with two very angry intruders and paralyzed with indecision as to who to attack, Mirus finally sliced the man’s head off and left the moment at that. It would have been quicker for the both of them but their senses were still reeling. Either way, the first assault team had been stopped and the Wardens could continue on.
A moment’s survey of the small room they were in showed a control panel to their immediate left. Malfrost was already in front of it, fingers dancing across the buttons like a quetarra player strumming a melody. “This is the security level,” Malfrost said as he investigated the depths of the computer system. “We’ll have to find a new turbolift out of here.”
“Is there a map?” Miranda asked hopefully.
“Yeah. There are a few ways out of here – two turbolifts to the north, one to the south. Heavy defenses both ways.” Malfrost’s reply was short and terse as he focused on the system, but informative enough. “I can disable some from here. Give me a minute.”
“The longer we take, the more time they have to array forces against us…” was Sena’s addition to the mix, voice trailing off as he held his still-active lightsaber up.
“I hear footsteps. Incoming!” Mirus said quickly. The four Wardens already not occupied formed a battle line, sabers all lit and ready for a fight.
“Doesn’t sound human. Battle droids,” Bubbles hissed. Her experience in Phoenix was shining through now. As one of the prominent Phyles, they’d seen plenty of action in their time. They’d had plenty of time to shake off the effects of the flash-bang detonating in such close quarters but they were still suffering its effects. What remnants of it remained would have to be fought off with sheer willpower – or the combined efforts of five Wardens as one. Bubbles closed her eyes and focused the Force, her considerable talents coming to her easily as she contemplated the darkest mysteries of the all-pervasive energy that bound them together, and bound the Wardens even more tightly with Battlemind. All five could fight perfectly as a single unit through the Force now, using their combined senses to work through this encounter for some time.
At that exact instant, six B2 battle droids burst around the corner and the five Wardens sprang into action. Lightsabers whirling, Mirus, Sena and Miranda sliced four droids down before they could even level their wrist blasters in a miasma of multi-colored destruction. Bubbles finished the fight with her own unique skills, telekinetically crashing two into each other through the Force and finishing them off with a quick flurry of lightsaber blows.
“Stang. Someone’s locked me out of this terminal before I could disable the turrets,” Malfrost cursed. Stepping away from the panel, he rejoined the others and looked to Mirus. The rest did, too.
“Let’s move on,” concluded the Warden-Commander. As one, the Wardens moved through the room and to the south exit, where they could move deeper into the security level.
The Wardens of Unity rushed toward their destination. It was only a matter of time before they would have to fight themselves out of a pickle again. Miranda was afraid. She felt her stomach churn. Being the youngest and least experienced of the group, she felt helplessly useless. If they had been in a shuttle or fighter craft, she would have been able to do something impressive. But now, she wondered why her Master wanted her here in the first place. She held her standard issue blaster firmly in her right hand, ready to shoot at anything that came to close.
A voice came in her mind. Relax, little one. Focus on the job. It was Lokasena. Miranda cursed under her breath, annoyed that her Master had noticed her feelings.
“There…” said Mirus. That door should take us to another lift access. We need to hurry.
Three figures, hooded and cloaked walked over to block their way.
Malfrost, Lokasena and Bubbles jumped ahead. Mirus tried to make his way toward the door panel. His Wardens could handle those spit, easily.
Malfrost managed to sweep his opponent’s legs away and impale the man as he lay flat on the deck. Bubbles had buried her saber so deep into her adversary, her thumb could have touched his cloak. Lokasena had chosen a different approach. He had his prey writhing in utter horror on the floor. The young man was frantically waving his hands around, trying to fight off whatever vision the Krath Priest had imprinted on him. A quick slash of Sena’s purple blade made an end to the screams.
“You enjoyed that, pumpkin?” Bubbles had a naughty grin on her lips. “You know, I did a bit.” Sena nodded to his close friend.
“How are you doing on that door, Mirus?” Malfrost asked his Battle Team Leader. “Almost there.” the Jedi Hunter replied.
“Where’s Miranda?” Sena suddenly asked.
“Didn’t you mother ever tell you not to leave your toys lying around?” a cold voice said, coming from behind them.
They all turned and saw an Umbaran female, dressed in long robes. She had her right arm extended and a few feet further Miranda was hanging in mid-air, grasping her throat and kicking wildly.
Lokasena’s eyes flared. “LET HER GO!” his deep voice bellowed.
“Certainly… This one’s beginning to bore me anyway.” The Umbaran said and with a wide wave of her arm, she flung the Sith Protector into the bulkhead. Miranda hit the ground hard and did not move.
With uncontrollable rage, Lokasena Corvinus ran at the stranger. She, in turn, had a saber hilt appear from her long sleeve. Activated just in time to parry the first attack, both warriors stood there, staring at each other through the hue of their crossed blades.
“I am Dantella Novae. Who are you?” she hissed arrogantly.
“I am the one smiling at your empty husk, when this is over.” Sena replied.
“So much anger… Good!” Novae said.
Two further sabres ignited as Mirus and Malfrost moved up to flank Novae. A cold smile spread across her face as she deftly stepped back from the lock with Sena, deflecting his blade as she bought her own back up to a guard, “So, who wants to learn how to die first?”
Ignoring the commotion, Bubbles knelt swiftly at the fallen Protector's side. While she had no doubt that her assistance would be needed to help defeat the Umbaran, she had no desire to allow a member of her team to bleed to death in the meantime. Focusing her mind, the sounds of battle behind her faded to a steady hum. Placing one hand on Miranda's forehead, and the other on her sternum, she closed her eyes, and began a mental scan of her comrade's wounds, searching for anything requiring immediate attention.
A broken left arm. Mid-ulnar. Closed, simple, non-displaced. Non-lethal. Requires stabilisation.
Multiple superficial contusions, primarily clustered over the left shoulder, extending to the left hand side of the face. Non-lethal.
Bruising to the neck, severe, but not extending deep, no permanent damage. Non-lethal.
Mild bilateral epistaxis, secondary to a pulmonary contusion, haemorrhage appears controlled. Non-lethal.
Moderate concussion, no sub-dural haemorrhage, non-lethal but will require further treatment to allow progress with mission.
Splenic rupture. Bleeding ongoing. Potentially lethal. Urgent attention required.
“Crap.” the Epis muttered under her breath as she broke her concentration momentarily. Glancing back, she noted the others still in full combat, the stress of battle beginning to show, while Novae had barely broken a sweat. Bubbles shrugged to herself, they would just have to manage for now. Turning her attention back to Miranda, she closed her eyes again, allowed the world around her to fade once more, as she placed both hands over the Protector's abdomen, concentrating her mind on the bleeding vessels.
Krath Priest Corvinus was completely oblivious to Bubbles efforts of aiding his apprentice. The flurry of blades moved very fast. Mirus and Malfrost were standing by to cut in at any time, but it was almost as if Sena was blocking any opening intentionally. Either that, or he was being manipulated by Novae.
For a moment, Mirus wondered if it was ego that fueled the Priest. But it was much more… A corona of dark emotion was pulsating around Lokasena.
Only Bubbles knew about the loved ones Sena had lost in previous conflicts. Komari, his partner, who was tortured to death by the Yuuzahn Vong. Asani, Komari’s baby sister, whom Sena had taken under his wing after the death of her sibling.
Where normally would be a calm and calculating visage, there was now a hideous air of hatred and rage on his brow. It seemed he was determined not to lose anyone else.
Novae was in many ways superior to the Priest, but even she was showing tension on her face, beginning to wonder if she had bitten off more than she could chew.
Just to be safe, she quickly beckoned to the corridor. From it, four tall Ailon Nova Guard burst forth. Malfrost and Mirus did not hesitate. They flung themselves at the brutes and immediately engaged in a fierce battle.
In the corner Bubbles’ lips were softly moving, whispering a mantra to help her focus. Vessels as thin a hair were being repaired under the surface of Miranda’s skin. The young Protector began to groan as she was regaining consciousness. Bubbles did what she could to refrain the girl from moving too much. Through her deep connection with the girl, she felt the pain of her battered body.
Novae was gaining the advantage, she had Sena on the defensive. Lunging quickly at his chest, which Sena could only narrowly deflect or evade. But there was no sign of the Priest giving up.
And then there it was… Novae twirled her saber along Sena’s and ran it down, to singe Corvinus’ wrist.
Then she knocked the saber from his hand, hit his face with the hilt of her saber and with her left hand she channeled the Force to push Sena away.
The Krath Priest’s boots slid away over the deck a few meters, but he stayed on his feet. The impact had taken it out of him, though. He felt to one knee and grabbed his chest.
Novae closed in quickly, her eyes on fire. Hissing at her enemy “Time to draw your last breath, brave warrior.”
At that moment Mirus and Malfrost, both a bit bruised, dispatched the last of the Nova Guard and immediately came running.
This was enough of a distraction to make Dantella Novae look away, at them.
From his crouched position, Sena looked up and cried out; “DIE, WITCH!” Unsheathing his black Mormegill sword and stabbing it in an upwards motion through Novae’s lower jaw, piercing her hole head as the tip of the blade exited at the crown of her scalp.
As he pulled his sword back, Novae sank slowly to the deck, gurgling in blood. She died looking up at her killer in complete surprise.
Lokasena fell back from exhaustion, his left eyebrow swollen and bloody and his chest heaving. “Son of a…” Mirus walked up to him and extended his hand. “That was great work, Priest!”
“Was it?” Sena called out.
Bubbles immediately realized what he meant and said; “She’ll be fine.”
A smile formed on Sena’s mouth as he took Mirus’ hand. The Battle Team Leader pulled him up and together with Malfrost they walked over to the two women.
Miranda had her eyes open, but was still looking a little dazed. Lokasena’s face lost all its tension as he walked over to Bubbles and hugged her close. A surprising warmth came from the man as Bubbles felt his embrace. She closed her eyes and snuggled him a bit.
“Thank you, Bubbs.” He whispered in her ear. “You did pretty good yourself.” She replied smiling as she pulled back to look into his eyes.
“I hate to disturb this lovely moment, but we really need to get moving!” Malfrost said. And he was right.
As the Warden's moved down the hall, Malfrost quickly spotted something from the corner of his eye, a terminal. This was their chance. Assuming they hadn't locked that terminal as well, Malfrost could hack into the system and disable the security system and, perhaps, find them another way to the bridge.
"Cover me." Malfrost uttered his command, his voice steely and resolute as he dashed towards the terminal, his fellow Warden's barely able to comprehend was he was doing before he was already doing it. He reached the terminal and quickly began his work. It seemed like it was still operational and Malfrost's keen mind quickly took over. His fingers blazed across the keyboard as he quickly tried to bring the system under his control. Bypassing all the security measures their foe had put up with ease, Malfrost was able to gain control of the primary security hub. He quickly shut the turrets off as he released his breath which he was unaware he was holding.
"Security has been disabled, I'm working on pulling up a blueprint of the ship's interior now." Malfrost spoke out loud to inform his fellow Warden's not really caring if they heard him at the moment or not. He had another job to do. He was quickly back to work on the terminal, attempting to access the main database. This took more effort out of the Krath then merely hacking into the security hub, the barriers they had put up were much stronger then the former ones and sweat graced the Knight's brow as his mind strained to find solutions. After a few moments of hard work, the Krath pumped his fist in the air as he connected a datapad to the terminal. A few moments later he returned towards the others, pressing the datapad against Mirus's chest.
"The layout of the ship, I'm sure you can find another way onto the bridge with this." Malfrost spoke, his cool and collected as he gave his leader a pat on the shoulder. Mirus was abit stunned, but a grin graced his face, he was extremely thankful in that moment to have the Krath Knight with them, his knowledge and skill an invaluable. tool.
“Right. Down here,” Mirus said as his eyes scanned the datapad, to which they all immediately moved to their staging point. Another beep heralded the arrival of yet another intelligence file, this time on another entity within the ship – and this time their opponent was infinitely more dangerous. Mirus’ cheeks blanched when he read up on their opponent and knew that their task was not going to be an easy one.
“What is it?” Miranda asked hesitantly, not liking the look on the one-armed Jedi Hunter’s face. The expression was written clearly, bathed in the red battle lights of the Super Star Destroyer’s general quarters alarms. It inspired confidence in none of the Wardens.
“On the bridge is a Darth. He’s the only thing standing between us and control of this ship – and it sounds like he has a little help.”
“Can we even fight a Darth?” questioned Malfrost, ever the logical one. “Our combined powers are-“
“We don’t have a choice, Malfrost. We fight and we try or we die in vain.” Sena’s only comment served to end all the chatter. “Let’s just get this over with.”
Mirus nodded and the five of them entered the service turbolift up to the bridge. The trip was made in silence as they all steeled their nerves and made their final preparations for what could easily be their last battle. None of them wanted to face off directly against an opponent that was so powerful but what choice did they have now? Their mission was to capture the ship in its entirety with the help of the rest of the Brotherhood, but the ship was so vast that none could be spared to assist them in this highly arduous task. Mirus wished for the rest of Taldryan’s help but it would not come. It was down to the Wardens.
The doors hissed open slowly into the antechamber. It only took a few steps to turn the corner and witness the carnage that was the Super Star Destroyer’s bridge. The crew pits were full of bodies and blood; the very deckplates seemed drenched with sanguine rage. In the middle of the carnage stood one man, alone, a maniacal grin writ upon his face as he took in the view of the five Wardens. Five lightsabers sprang to life in unison, their multiple colors signaling the last stand of the Wardens against their new foe.
Then, from out of the sides of the room, came a low, rumbling growl. Two of them in perfect unison sang the litany of fear that would strike uncertainty into their hearts.
“Do not fear. Fear is the mind-killer,” Mirus murmured loud enough for the others to hear. He could not let them die here – not while he had a say in the matter. “Do not engage directly.”
He wasn’t sure what else they had. Somehow, he hoped someone else had a genius plan up their sleeves – and then the two terentateks lunged out of their corner before another thought could pass, charging hard at the grouped up Dark Jedi. As one they all rolled away, scattering apart to make it harder on the Force-hunting beasts. Hiding from these would not be easy. This entire encounter would not be easy.
Mirus’ battle-cry rose above the sounds of the grunts and stamping of the terentateks and the deranged Master’s voice.
For all their gruesome ferocity and gigantic brutality, the Tarentateks were only beasts. The deck plates shook with each step they took. Vicious claws that snap and jaws that growl and gnash. To them, five bite size morsels had just been served up in an all you-can-eat buffet.
But they were just animals, and subject to hunger lust, uncontrolled by reason. Eager to gnaw on the bones of Force users, it was a surprise that they had never turned on their Dark Master.
The deranged warrior stood in the middle of the bridge, looking around, trying to keep his eyes on all of them. The Wardens had divided themselves over a larger space.
“Little people, here for my pets’ amusement. I look forward to seeing your entrails scattered over the floor.”
“Don’t count on it!” Bubbles’ voice was full of resolve. It made Sena smile. “Yes, I wouldn’t be so confident. We can cut you up and feed you to your pooches.”
“Then we can find out how loyal a hungry Tarentatek really is.” Miranda added. Lokasena felt a wave of pride for his Student. She had come a long way from the scared little girl he had found, not so long ago.
And he’d be damned if he would let her die today. The same was true for all of the Wardens. He had come to respect them, and if this was to be his last battle, he would fight it serving his comrades.
The air was thick with the smell of rust. The pools of blood were oxidizing and the steam pouring from the vents was fogging up the room, to let it linger.
Despite the steam, the temperature controls were stuck on four degrees Celsius. This combination made the atmosphere cold and damp. The Krath Priest would have rather liked it normally, but was not able to take any joy from it at the moment. This stand-off would not last long. Something would trigger Hell to unleash. It all started with one of the beasts charging at Bubbles…
Bubbles braced herself for the charge, lightsabre at the ready. As the Tarentatek closed in on her she somersaulted lithely out of it's path, regaining her feet and turning quickly to bring her sabre down in a blow which should have severed it's arm. The creature screamed as the blade dug into flesh, the smell quickly filling the chamber, as it straightened up and turned to face the Epis, flexing the arm she had attacked as if to prove how little damage she had done.
A snear crept over Darth Necar's face as he relaxed slightly, leaning against one of the consol's on the bridge as his second creature closed on the group flanking him, content to watch the action play out, with no hint of concern.
Bubbs took a few paces backwards, giving herself enough room to stow her lightsabre and draw her twin vibroshiv's in one smooth, well-practised action. Allowing the beast to make the first move again, she gave it a second or two to build up momentum, then ducked at the last minute beneath it's claws, the air forced out of their way catching at her hair as she rolled between it's leg, spinning as she stood to bring the blades of her vibrohivs across the back of the Tarentatek's hamstrings.
The bulking creature roared again as it stumbled, turning to face her with hate burning in it's eyes, it moved towards her once more as quickly as it's crippled legs would allow. She raised her hands as if to strike, then allowed a grin to cross her face as the creature fell to the floor, Lokasena's Mormegill blade sliding out from it's chest as it did so. She winked at the Priest, “One down...”
Mirus, Malfrost and Miranda leapt over to the other beast. Circling the monster as much as they could on the narrow space, slashing at it each chance they got. Malfrost hit its face a few times, just as the creature wanted to slash at him, Miranda hit it as hard she could on its back. This kept on long enough for the beast to break out in a frenzy, uncontrollable. It was slashing left and right, not even paying much attention to what it was doing.
Then, in unison, the three warriors thrust their sabers in at the same spot on its chest. The combined strength and heat pierced through and the creature let out a howl and collapsed.
“You little rats are proving to be more trouble than your worth!” the Dark servant in the middle of the room spoke. His eyes flared up yellow and red, as a typical mutation of the Dark Side. Two bright red saber blades came to life. Miranda was still recovering from the skirmish, and her head still dizzy from her earlier encounter.
Bubbles and Lokasena sprang in between Darth Necar and the others, sabers at the ready. Sena’s face was calm, but Bubbles could sense his tension. As a matter of fact, she shared it.
Necar sneered at them both, he also noticed that Mirus and Malfrost had joined the rank between him and Miranda.
The young woman was so afraid, she felt her heart pound and mind freeze. If Dantella had almost killed her, what could this guy do to her?
Feebly she raised her saber, but her conviction was wavering.
Necar savored the sensation of sensing Miranda’s fear. It was something for him to feed on. But the remaining wardens also fed of it, in another way. They would keep their team safe, no matter the cost.
“Out of my way, vermin. This young one will be my new play thing.” He took a step forward, Sena immediately tried to intervene, but he was thrown to the bulkhead by a wave of Necar’s hand.
He groaned and got up, ignoring the pain in his ribs.
Now Bubbles and Mirus jumped forward, engaging Necar with their sabers. Thrusts and slashes, parries and blocks were exchanged at a rapid pace.
Lokasena had gathered his wits and threw himself at the enemy again. With impressive speed, the dark apprentice held his own against three attackers.
Malfrost styed back as Bubbles’ voice came in his mind. “Get the Tarentatek Venom!”
Getting the hint, he rushed toward one of the hulking corpses and started to cut at its claws. He managed to pry on loose.
In the meantime, the fight against Necar was going poorly. Mirus was kicked back in the face, twice already. Bruised and bleeding from his left temple, he kept on fighting.
Bubbles had a singed cut on her left thigh and scratches on her cheek from connecting with one of Necar’s saber hilts. Lokasena was bruised and battered, constantly trying to pull all the apprentice’s attention to himself. His robes were a mess, his arms singed as he was hit by slight saber strikes we was not quite able to deflect.
The pain was taking a toll on all of them, but Necar was starting to tier as well. He needed to call on the Dark Side to keep up this energy.
Suddenly a whirlwind of Force energy enveloped Sena, Bubbles and Mirus. They flew around and wer knocked back roughly.
“Now you’re mine!” Necar sneered at Miranda. As is struck in her face, she snapped out of her dread. This guy was hurting her friends. Sure he was powerful, but she was a Warden of Unity.
With a dexterity much greater than Necar’s, she cartwheeled out of the way as he lunged at her. This only amused him and he began to laugh. “You’re a nimble little lynx, aren’t you? You will make a fine new pet.” Miranda’s nostrils flared. “You pompous sack of wine! I will put this blade through my own throat, before I get captured by you.” She spat at him.
“Such resolve, such anger…” he was almost giddy with delight. “Should I fear you?” he asked with insincere wonder.
“No, you should fear them.” Miranda said, smiling. Necar raised an eyebrow and turned around to see Bubbles, Lokasena dn Mirus come at him. With his left hand he sent Mirus flying, with his right hand Bubbles was thrown back. Leaving the Priest, Necar deflected his strike with one saber and plunged his other into Lokasena’s chest, near his collar bone.
“No…!” Bubbles yelled out. Sena looked down at the saber piercing his body, the pain like an explosion in his mind. He looked up to Necar who was grinning. “Poor little Krath, is this your esoteric ending?”
Lokasena managed a bitter smile. “Die, you sack of sh_”
At that moment, Malfrost plunged the Tarentatek claw into to top of Necar’s head. The dark apprentice immediately pulled back his saber from Sena’s body and kicked the Priest back. He turned to Malfrost, but the energy supplied by the Dark Side was quickly leaving him. He stumbled as he raised his sabers. Malfrost stepped back, putting some space between him and Darth Necar.
The Dark Servant sank to his knees, blood trickling down his brow. He fell, face first to the deck, and did not stir again.
A wave of relief ran through the Wardens, then a bit of panic. Miranda and Bubbles rushed towards Sena. Mirus called out to Malfrost; “Get this tug under control. This is what we came here for!”