Dark Crusade: Prologue Team 9
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 shuttle rocked and swayed as it was buffeted by the weapons of their prize. Although hampered, many of the weapons were firing out, trying to shoot down the errant shuttle like a bison swatting at flies. Nikola sat, bucking and rechecking his armour; a ritual to clear his mind before battle.
And what a battle it would be. A major offensive, brotherhood wide, to take a Super Star Destroyer. To have such a ship in one's fleet would assure victory in almost every battle. Nikola allowed himself a small smile, imagining himself at command of such a vessel. The power at one's fingertips. He removed and reaffixed a vambrace. Armoured boots clamped directly onto his prosthetic legs.
Nikola looked around as Nadrin addressed him. His face was obscured by the mask, the only way to note any emotion via verbal inflection. Valtiere regarded him with mismatched eyes. One pale green, the other a facsimile made of metal, glowing in the dark interior.
"No, master. I simply wish for this flight to be over, to be on our prize. To die en route would be...ignoble."
There was a lightness to Nadrin's reply "I agree... though we would die in such esteemed company.''
Valtiere nodded. His compatriots for the battle would not all be Arconan, not in such a grand undertaking. Nadrin was right about esteemed company, 3 of the team had become so powerful as to earn the honorific titles: Nadrin Arconae, Maximillian Von Oberst Tarentae, Kell Palpatine Dante. Powerful members of their clans, he could feel the dark side clinging to them all, vile mantles displaying their sheer power. Their fourth member was only just more senior than Nikola himself, a Devaronian, the only alien, and a fellow Journeyman. They would both learn much here.
Valtiere pulled on his helmet, display lighting up, the sounds of the outside world becoming slightly warped as they were fed into his helm. He picked up his training lightsabre, one he had selected from the armoury. He tested the weight in his hand. He had been learning Banlanth recently, a stepping stone, admittedly, but apparently fundamental.
''Why bring something you aren't going to use?" Nadrin questioned, turning towards the quiet apprentice.
"It's a lightsaber. My Lightsaber. It may not be a proper lightsaber, but it's a badge of what I am; A Dark Jedi. I hold a power few possess. This weapon emphasises that fact. I like my enemy to know my power." Nikola's voice swelled with pride as he spoke. It was a small thing, but it meant something to the journeyman. He clipped the weapon to his belt.
"You keep yours, but I never see you use it." He retorted.
"Touché." Nadrin seemed almost to smirk with his words.
Valtiere picked up his blaster, checking over the weapon as the dull rumble became a roar in his ears. Valtiere bowed his head for a moment, eyes closed, as he let out a long breath, clearing his mind. The shuttle stopped, Valtiere already hearing the sounds of battle through the bay door. He slammed the release on the webbing holding him in place, having to crouch in the shuttle bay.
The rest of his team rose as well, prepared for battle. As they all nodded, the door slammed down.
The little back and forth between Nadrin and his apprentice did little to quieten the shrill voice of fear that echoed within the Warlord’s mind, but it did point to the growing trust between the pair. Originally, Nadrin had struggled to get Nikola to say anything at all, and his emotional growth was as satisfying as the growth in power that he was exhibiting.
Soon he will try to strike me down and prove his strength, but even at this rate of improvement he is some way off that day.
Nadrin knew the truth; Nikola would fight him one day. He had accepted that fact and was choosing to ignore it for the time being. As it stood, the Sith was more concerned with the approaching combat, the shuttle stopping and the doors opening almost in slow motion as adrenaline flooded the teenager’s system. The young man leapt forwards, racing towards the exit and bursting out onto the hangar bay floor, looking frantically around as he tried to get a sense of the situation. As he did so, he reached out with the Force and called his Wraith to him, a ripple in the air around him the only notice anyone would have before the Pit Wyrm exploded into being, coiling around him defensively.
This will be an experience for them, shame they won’t live to analyse it.
The Wyrm that had wrapped around Nadrin uncurled and launched outwards, an otherworldly shriek splitting the air as it descended on a trio of startled troopers. The Wraith became corporeal as it gambolled into the men, gnashing at them with its vicious teeth and snuffing their lives out at once. Nadrin could sense the other members of his team exiting the shuttle and setting about attacking the assembled forces, and a feral smile split the young man’s face beneath his mask; this was going to be fun.
Anigrel rushed out into the hanger bay, head swiveling and taking in the battlefield. He was third into the bay and took the advantage that spot gave him to analyze the battlefield. Two squads of storm troopers were entering the bay from side doors, followed by battle droids. There were four turrets hanging from the ceiling that had already begun to fire on his group.
Nikola and Nadrin headed towards the group on the right, Anigrel moved to cover the second group. As a one of the turrets swiveled to lock onto the Devaronian he threw one of the droids at it using the force. The droid burst apart in an explosion of sparks and pieces and Anigrel had to jump out of the way of the continuing fire.
The turret lit up from lightning coming from beside the Jedi Hunter. He turned to see Oberst next to him wearing a grim expression.
“Get up, Devaronian! I’ll take care of the turrets, just take care of those troopers.”
Anigrel jumped up and ran into the oncoming squad, letting hatred flow through him. It felt good to be back in space, it reminded him of smuggling before he joined the Brotherhood. He remembered being boarded by pirates once and the pain, as well as financial loss, that battle had cost. He fed the memories into his hatred and into his blades.
Slash, spin, and reverse. Anigrel wove through the troops finding weak spots in their armor. He had left his helmet behind; Humans were more scared when they could see his face. He grabbed the man in front of him and spun around, blaster fire hitting the man’s chest.
Anigrel jumped back, regrouping with his squad. A quick survey of the battlefield showed a small squad of troopers left and six battle droids. Just as he wondered where their enemy’s back up was the Jedi Hunter felt a dark wave ripple through the room. Instinctively he turned toward the far hanger bay doors and saw the blast doors open to reveal two humans stride in far too calmly.
With the blast doors opened, the relative quiet was instantly ruined as additional enemy forces entered the bay along with the Dark Jedi to repel the horde of boarders. Blaster fire bounced off the armored hull of the various ships as the strike teams disembarked around the large hangar bay. Stormtroopers that were loyal to Zoraan were strong in numbers and in firepower, and the incoming shots were indicative of this. Sounds of exploding detonators reverberated in the hangar as the two groups of warriors converged.
The onboard weaponry of the various shuttles began to provide additional cover fire that allowed the attackers to establish a perimeter.
Oberst deflected a pair of blaster bolts into a nearby enemy trooper, and the other members of the group moved forward into the bloodbath that was the hangar bay. “Move forward!” as he focused his deflections on one of the cannons that was keeping them pinned down.
“Moving to a firing position” yelled Dante as the armored Royal Guardsman headed for a bit of cover behind some transport cartons to set up a sniper position. He brought his AXM-50 to bear on a squad of enemy troopers and fired off a pair of micro-grenades at a container that they were hiding behind. The shrapnel that was produced decimated the group into a group of bloody, twisted body parts.
The arrival of the two humans bearing lightsabers was a bit of an unexpected twist, but Oberst moved towards them as the others continued their onslaught on the defenders that were left throughout the hangar bay.
The thing about fights was that the bad ones took a lot of time. It’s not like the vids where duels with vibroswords or gunfights were drawn out. Those were dangerous in real life. Deadly. The more time you spent in a fight the more exhausted you got. The more tired you became. The more errors you made, giving your opponents time and opportunities to capitalize on your fatigue and fugue. Patience was key only in preparation and planning. After that, when the first shots were fired, patience was an expensive luxury paid in time. And time became a currency in short supply.
Oberst left his hodge-podge fire team, making his way towards the two lightsaber wielding humans. Everything about their stance hummed with a sort of hyperactive energy. The kind seen in excitable children or puppies.
“Well,” the one on the Left began, “what do we have here, brother?”
“I don’t know, Reaper,” the one on the Right answered, “but you know what they say. The bigger they are –“
“The harder they fall!” the twins finished in unison, both raising their arms. As they did so, Oberst felt himself being pulled up into the air. The surprise was enough to keep the Elder off balance as they slammed him face down onto the hard metal deck.
Pain became the focus of Oberst’s world as time lost meaning, the pounding in his ears and veins ticked away untold seconds. The sharp burn of bruised ribs and the taste of copper in his mouth became minutes and hours to him. Time that Oberst turned into rage as the pain built. Pulling himself into a kneeling position, he stared at the two pale skinned men as they sauntered in his direction.
“Looks like –“
“- big bad –“
“- wasn’t so big –“
“-or bad.” The rush of air and the hum of lightsabers descended on Oberst. With practiced ease Oberst rolled forward and ignited his own red blade, pointing at the twins and the spot in which he once stood. In his right hand his baton, the lightsaber blade emanating from it. In his left hand the pin for a concussion grenade. With a flick of his left hand and the use of the Force, Oberst sent the twins and the grenade back. Underneath the wings of a fighter waiting on its service elevator, bringing it up or taking it down from the hangar, it mattered little as the grenade went off.
The explosion was enough to draw attention from some of the defending troops, but by the time their rifles were pointed at Oberst, he was already charging. Lightsaber disengaged, Oberst slammed the heavy end of his baton into the skull of one twin. His rage turned to bloodlust as he heard the wet-crack of bones broken. He saw the moment life fled one offending twin’s eyes. Blood, ichor and brains splattered onto the deck with a sickening slop-slop.
The remaining twin charged. His dual lightsabers came crashing down at Oberst, as he blocked both blades, locking them with his own. Using his bulk and mass, Oberst shifted forward and pushed the twin off. Off balance and back pedaling, the Marshal of Tarentum brought his lightsaber to bear, repeatedly battering aside attacks as the survivor moved retreated from the onslaught. The press did not relent as an attempt at a feint instead cost the twin an arm. A forward kick from a heavily booted foot dropped him face forward onto the deck.
The survivor didn’t know pain. The shock to his system from a lost limb didn’t register. But all he knew was the cold floor. The sound of dying blaster fire. The loss of one limb. The unresponsiveness of another. Turning his head he saw a booted foot crushing his arm. Fingers splayed open from the weight and pressure on his wrist.
Oberst spat onto the twin’s face. Blood and saliva mixing with cold sweat. “Pretty,” Oberst began, “if only we had more time to – play.” The survivor heard the familiar snap-hiss. The electronic hum. Then his world became darkness.
The sound of blaster fire became more sporadic. Looking up Oberst surveyed the now secured bay. Spitting once more on the ground he made his way to the rest of his team. They needed to move quickly now. Time was wasting. It ticked by in labored breaths and the pounding of blood in the ears. In the dissipation of ozone and smoke and the creeping stench of burnt flesh and dying moans.
The sight of Oberst brutally ending the lives of the twin force users gave Nikola pause. Such simple efficiency turned artistic. Though they had been powerful, Oberst had dispatched them in a simple act of depravity.
As they secured the area, Nikola felt a presence. A shuttle landed in the claimed hanger, ramp descending before even the dull whine of engines quieted. The Deputy Grandmaster, in all his refined glory, strode from the craft, a woman at his side with a datapad. She hurried ahead, handing Oberst the datapad. He quickly looked it over, expression unreadable, handing it back to her after. Without so much as another word, the new team moved off. Oberst was already making his way to the turbolifts, angrily gesturing for the rest o f the team to follow.
Valtiere hurried into the turbolift, behind Nadrin, loping along the hanger. ''Suspicious.''
''Ours is not to question the Dark Council, apprentice.'' Nadrin replied, as if saying the words by rote.
The door closed, and Nikola felt slightly pushed to the floor as the turbolift shot upward. He checked his carbine, changing the power cell for safe measure. He gripped it tightly in his right hand as the sped towards the bridge, alarms ringing as the ship reacted to the lightning invasion.
Valtiere stumbled as the lift suddenly stopped, claxons blaring faintly through the durasteel.
''Looks like we'll have to go on foot for a bit.'' Oberst sighed, using his lightsaber to open a hole. The floor of the coridoor was a metre higher than the floor of the elevator, making disembarking awkward for the team.
As he turned back to the rest of the team, about to issue orders, Valtiere noticed a dull steel cylinder roll into the cramped space. He frowned for a second.
Before his world was replaced by white and ringing. He dropped to the ground, instinct pushing him more than anything. He screwed shut his eyes, hoping for it to pass. As the ringing subsided, his eyes opened a crack. It was not a welcome sight. Battle droids were arrayed in a line, weapons trained on the group.
The flash bang, to put it nicely, was an inconvenience. To describe it any other way would have taken a stream of expletives that would have stripped new paint off steel and so Nadrin refrained, instead trusting in his use of the Force to counteract the fact that, momentarily, he couldn’t see s***. By concentrating, he could sense the presence of several beings outside the turbolift, but had the uncanny feeling that it wasn’t mere organic soldiers on the other side of the door. Reaching out with the Force, Nadrin sent a pair of telekinetic strikes out towards two of the people he could sense outside the lift and was satisfied to hear two yelps of mingling surprise and pain emanate from the opening where the door had been before. Gingerly the Warlord opened his eyes and found that his sight was returning, as apparently was his hearing judging by what had just happened, and the young Sith took no time in unholstering a pair of blaster pistols, pointing them through the hole in the door, and opening fire.
It took almost fifteen seconds of continuous fire before the young man realised that there was no return fire coming and that everything on the other side of the door was definitely out of commission. Clambering up and onto the floor where the lift had stopped, Nadrin looked around and tried to get an idea of where they were.
“Looks like high security to me.”
The Arconae turned to look at Anigrel, who was happily accessing a terminal in the corner and muttering to himself. A few moments later, however, the muttering turned to louder curses and the Arconan looked up with guilty eyes at the group.
“So, it might be good if we got moving. I just got locked out, they know I tried to access something and they will be on their way. Fortunately however, I got us a map.”
With that, the Jedi Hunter led the group down a series of corridors, the sound of a blaring alarm very much evident as they snaked their way deeper into the level. Nadrin kept his Force senses spread outwards, trying to catch sign of any approaching enemies but, for the moment at least, there was no one in the immediate vicinity.
That, however, would not last forever.
The attack came without warning and without a visible attacker, whirlwinds of telekinetic energy cycling into the group and blowing their poor excuse of a formation apart like space dust. Nadrin landed on his side and rolled, ignoring the flare of pain from his thigh as he rose to a crouch, manically glancing around for sign of their attacker. She hadn’t gone to much effort to hide herself after her initial strike, and the Arconae could feel the stench of the Dark Side emanating like thick, acrid smoke from the woman.
She was going to be an annoyance.