Arcona: Team 3
Adam Bolera #13752
Vosh Kon #13824
Adi Ka`Taramas #13706
IC: You are a member of an elite task force assigned to conduct a rapid entry raid in Xlopora City. Your team is tasked with recovering the the lost blade of Ferran, known as Revelation. Intelligence reporting indicates four distinct opposition Forces operating within Xlopora City.
1. One Sith Forces: The Sith Lord Esoteric has been identified by Taldyran reconnaissance teams. Esoteric is an unpredictable Sith Lord and has been connected to the death of multiple members of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood.
2. Unknown Imperial Forces: Arconan agents have reported multiple engagements with Storm Commandos and unidentified Imperial Storm Troopers. These unknown Imperial Forces appear to be coordinating their operation with the One Sith.
3. Sith Revenants and Ancient Sith Magic: Xlopora City is the seat of ancient Sith powers and is protected by unknown quantities of arcane wards and traps. Sith Zombies have been identified within the catacombs underneath the towered palace located in the center of the city. Shadow Academy Scholars have reported multiple deaths resulting from failed attempts to breach warded doorways and structures.
4. The Dark Brotherhood: The Dark Brotherhood is a fragmented organization designed to reward those who excel. Infighting, backstabbing, and treachery are acceptable tactics to achieve results. Dark Council reports indicate at least three skirmishes have occurred between opposition Clans and Houses.
The Sith Medium, Dantella Novae, has provided the Dark Council with a rough sketch of the chamber housing Revelation. She believes that a ritual, of some sort, will be required to gain access to the weapon. This ritual will require a significant cost from the team who discovers it.
This is a time sensitive operation that will conclude in 96 hours (16 real life days!) with the commencement of an orbital bombardment. Due to the short nature of the operation, your team will be limited to light infantry operations (no mechanized forces are to be deployed in Xlopora City). You may use any other equipment from your organization's order of battle.
OOC: The following links provide additional information.
Plot Update Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0rPsJ1Xn54cZ1VFYjY3SElrMU0/edit?usp=sharing
Bosthirda Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0rPsJ1Xn54cbmNOMURTM3R0R3M/edit?usp=sharing
Dantella Novae Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0rPsJ1Xn54cY1piSHZJOHhlMEU/edit?usp=sharing
Welcome to the Dark Crusade Epilogue: Bosthirda, a Run-On Event.
The following rules are in effect:
This is a run-on event based on the most recent Dark Brotherhood Plot Update, Bosthirda Planet Document, and event hook placed at the beginning of each run on.
Sign-ups for the event will begin on 22 February 2014 and end at 2359 EST on 27 February 2014.
The Team Captain from each team will email their team name and team roster to Muz, Raken, and Sarin.
Teams will consist of no less than 5 members and no more than 7 members. Units may submit as many teams as they can field.
250 word minimum per post. No maximum word limit. A post under 250 words will not be considered in a participant’s 3 post total. If a player writes five entries, 3 over 250 words and 2 under, they will still be given credit for reaching the minimum post limit.
Each team member must post at least three times during the event. There is no maximum post limit, but members cannot post consecutively. A single member failing to post three times will result in their teams DQ and elimination from the top 3.
Edits may occur on a post until a follow on post has been made (follow on posts include "reserving" a space). Edits may only be made by the posts original author (as in, if you have Forum Administration Rights, you cannot edit another member’s work).
Members may reserve post, but no posts can occur until after the reserved post is written.
The event will be graded by Raken, Sarin, and Muz using a rubric that focuses on creativity, plot development, realism, and grammar.
The winning team will win the Run-On for their unit. A single Independent Unit can finish 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in this event. This is a nova producing event.
22-27 February Sign-Ups
28 February: Event Hook Published on all Team Threads (You can read the plot update and potentially divine your mission!)
28 February to 16 March: Members Post on the Forums! This event will be plugged into the Database, but will not conclude on the forums until 2359 EST on 16 March 2014!!!!!!!
Outskirts of Xlopora City, Bosthirda
The AIC-4 gunship shuddered slightly as the team neared planetside. Adam Bolera clutched at a handrail to steady himself. Again, the gunship shook with turbulence as they neared the outskirts of the ruined city.
“This pilot’s a bit new for my tastes. I could fly this thing in my sleep.” Adam thought, and prided himself on the fact that he most likely could do exactly that. In fairness, though, the pilot was being shot at. A lot.
It didn’t help that the novice flyer seemed to be insistent on interjecting over the radio to remind the Jedi in the back of his craft of how dangerous their landing was going to be. Adam turned his radio off after the umpteenth mention of anti-aircraft fire. It was almost time to open the side doors and drop into the fray, and he could taste the tension in the air of the cramped gunship. Marrek was quietly preparing his sniper rifle (Adam couldn’t remember which one of the two-dozen of Marrek’s it was) and sitting toward the back of the ship, ready to perch there and provide covering fire. Kanis occasionally looked Adam’s way, the dark gaze underneath his hood still as curiously reassuring as it was during their briefings back in Shadow Phyle. Kanis was one of the few of the group that was sitting, though that was unlikely to slow him down when the fight began; more than likely, Shadow Phyle’s leader would have been on the ground and have killed three stormtroopers before most of the teams’ boots would hit the dusty streets of Xlopora. Next to him sat Vosh, who Adam found to look fairly similar to himself, green eyes sparking with tactical contemplation underneath strands of smooth brown hair. Vosh felt Adam’s eyes on him again, and returned the glance with a radio hail to the group.
“Looking forward to the treasure hunt, huh? Seems to me that we’re just Cythraul on the Council’s leash, and now we have to go fetch.” Vosh remarked, coaxing a light chuckle from all in the ship. Adam had met Vosh only recently, and had quickly taken a liking to his sharp wit. Here, he was grateful for the tension finally being defused somewhat, as it allowed him to focus.
“You’re scaring me, Vosh, where’s that blind puppy enthusiasm? You’re starting to sound critical.” Adam radioed back as he realized he needed it to communicate on the ground, even if he had to listen to the pilot’s groanings. He ground his teeth, and continued hoping that he was ready.
“I hope you’re joking. This dog’s ready to fetch one hell of a karking stick. We’re sure that Ferran’s sword is in that mess of a temple somewhere?”
“Our intel is good, Vosh.” Ernordeth replied as he stood up and grabbed a rail next to the door. The light red flesh over his muscles almost seemed to pulsate with strength and confidence as the Quaestor addressed his troops. “Better prove to me that I’m not leading a pack of bitches, though.”
Adi’s cat-like features scowled at that little remark as Vosh and Adam couldn’t help bursting into laughter. It was not likely enjoyable for the Cathar to be both feline and female, and still subject to the humor of the less dour trio on the gunship. She remained quiet, instead content to look over on a datapad the documentation of the twisted Sith magics that seemed to cover the ruins they fast approached.
The eldest man on the gunship, Etah, also stood, and was content to quietly smirk at his comrades making light of the situation. After all, it was just another battle. Sith abominations or Imperial cannon fodder, fights were fights and Arcona would win either way. He had enough years on him to know that, and he was glad to see that mentality wasn’t changing with the newer generation of Arconans.
“Uhhh,” The pilot struggled to figure out what to say to his package of Force-sensitives as he realized his projected landing zone was more likely to turn the gunship into a coffin than a troop transport. “LZ’s a bit hot, I’m opening the doors at the edge of the ruins. Should only set you back a few minutes. Sorry, uh, over?”
“Just land us before we lose our lunch. I’d hate to see your impeccable skills ruin the floor of this nice gunship.” Adam remarked derisively. He actually sympathized with the pilot; he didn’t need to be here, and he doubted that he wanted to be either. The craft lurched as it quickly slowed down to drop off its troops. Ernordeth hammered the door mechanism, and all quickly saw the battlefield in the distance as the gunship opened up. Some blaster fire flew their direction from nearby buildings, and Marrek took aim at the would-be snipers. As the ship settled down, Kanis ignited his saber, and the rest of the ship followed suit, the bay filled with that wonderful snap-hiss sound, that gentle hum of colorful blades eager to reclaim a piece of Obelisk history. Kanis left the ship in a blue-black streak as they settled to jumping distance, Ernordeth and Etah’s robes fluttering in the wind as they leapt out not far behind. Adi left a little closer to the ground as Vosh turned to Adam, this time his countenance being uncharacteristically focused and contemplative, gave a nod of assurance, and they jumped out together.
After a hard landing, Adam rose to find himself disappointed to learn that Kanis had only managed two stormtrooper deaths, since Marrek was intent on shooting the third. Dismembered bits of the white armor belonging to the first two troopers were strewn about, the third trooper dropping to the ground with a smoking hole through the visor of his helmet. They looked up to see Marrek shrug, then shoot one more trooper on what used to be a rooftop, and watched him stagger over the edge of the ruined building and crash to the ground, landing in a crumpled heap with a sickening snap. 501st material, these stormtroopers were not. Marrek dropped down from the gunship, rifle still in hand.
“I’m helping.” the Knight explained. Adam rolled his eyes as he pulled his rangefinder from his arm to check their destination’s distance.
“Pilot was right, temple’s about one-and-a-half kilometers off.” he informed the group. “Adi, how soon until we start seeing the shamblers and the competent troops?”
“If we weave through these ruins where they’re entrenched, we’ll meet the Storm Commandos shortly, but eliminating them should provide some relief to our other forces. Zombies should be closer to the temple, likely underground.” Adi replied, apparently taking comfort in planning. Combat was not her favorite place to be.
“What about Esoteric?” Adam asked, as Adi shook her head, indicating that Esoteric was a hard Sith to track.
“Hope that we find the sword first, so we can av-” Marrek began before Vosh cut him off.
“So we can shove it down his karking throat, sounds fun.”
On that charming note, the team rushed into the ruins to face the Imperial forces.
Blasterfire whizzed past the team of Arconans, Kanis tightened his grip on the hilt of his saber as he put a little extra kick into his sprint. His eyes were locked on his prey, a group of three storm troopers, a group who payed no mind to him a group that was far too busy trying to keep his comrades at bay; this was the Coruscanti’s chance to make up for the kill that Marrek had stolen from him previously. The Templar slammed his left hand onto Adam’s shoulder and kicked his legs up vaulting over the Jedi Hunter in a massive show of athletic competence that most Juggernauts lacked. He turned himself upright after his legs had cleared, his boots hit the ground launching a small cloud of dust in all directions, he then bolted forward a look of vigor in his smokey gray eyes.
The Storm Troopers had now taken notice to the more immediate threat, they turned and began firing, their blasters letting off that more than familiar sound, their bolts turning to firework like sparks as they contacted his Azure blade which he spun in elegant perfection. It wasn’t long before their thermal clips ran dry, they shouted curses as they dropped their empty magazines from their weapons.
“My turn.” muttered the Coruscanti as he spun his light saber loosening his grip. It was a sight that was almost horrific, the Teen Equite hacked and slashed in all directions as he contorted his body to hit at the near impossible angles, swipes of blue filled the air and the pieces that once made up storm troopers fell to the ground mere seconds after each cut that was made with nearly surgical prescision. Luck of the draw or sheer skill, Kanis didn’t care at that moment, all he cared was that he still had it.
“Hey! Leave some for us!” he could hear Marrek shouting behind him.
Adi Ka' Taramas
While everyone was busy with most of the troopers, Adi would sneak around trying to find the best spot to attack from. Fighting was not her specialty, but she was going to do it anyway. She had a few tricks up her sleeve and was ready to give them a try. Sneaking around she spotted a trooper that apparently didn’t know how to hide, for he was showing from his hiding spot. The Cathar thought she was in the clear when he turned around and spotted her, but before he had the chance to raise his blaster to shoot her, the Cathar reached into his mind and pulled his worst fears to the surface. Just then his blaster hit the ground as he started to scream. The whole time he screamed he saw horrible images going through his head, each worse than the last. As she stood there watching him the Corellian had a huge smirk on her face. Adi knew what he was seeing and it made her laugh on the inside to hear him scream. This was her specialty after all, and she enjoyed it, so if she did have to do some fighting, she knew she could have some fun with it as well. Once she was done playing around she walked up to him and igniting her blade she released him, and bringing up her blade she swung it at an angle from his left shoulder to his right hip and watched as he crumbled to the ground, dead. She always got excited when watching someone writhing in agony, especially if it was done by her hand. After she was sure he was dead, she looked up and could hear blaster fire in the background as the rest of her team was taking care of the rest of the troopers.
Marrek sighed as he heard the terrorized screams of the trooper as the man came from his hiding place unarmed and he muttered to himself, “She’s going to get herself killed going behind them and setting off an alarm like that.” Marrek crouched in the brush as he brought up his rifle, bringing the scope to his eye and inhaling, preparing to take a shot, just then the crimson blade of Adi’s saber ignited, and she slashed the soldier in two. Moments later Marrek’s precognition kicked in, he could sense someone had spotted him, instinctively he rolled to the side as he simultaneously cloaked himself, disappearing from the sight of the man that had been targeting him. He raised his rifle, his vision suddenly extended, he could clearly see the men standing off against them, and spotted the shooter, standing off to the side looking confused and facing Marrek, the young Corellian sniper brought his X-45 to his shoulder, looking down the scope as he took a deep breath in and held it, he fired a single bolt just as he came back into sight, and as the soldier raised his rifle to fire at Marrek the bolt flew straight through the man’s heart, burning a clean hole straight through the man’s armor as he fell to his knees, then lay flat on his face. Marrek then shifted slightly, there were still many more targets to pick off, and most of the others were still pushing through the blaster fire. Marrek laid down the X-45, knowing he’d be able to come back to it in a moment, he rose to a knee, then swung the AXM-50 that hung from his back into his arms. The Corellian tapped his radio and spoke into it, “Take cover, firing grenades.” He waited until he’d ensured that the team had heard them.
“Lay them out.” Ernordeth radioed in response.
Marrek poked the barrel of the AXM-50’s grenade launcher out of the brush, angling it up to arch the grenades right into the middle of the troopers, he then began to empty the magazine of Micro-grenades, as the first few hit, the impacts took out several of the troopers, and sent the rest of them to the ground. Marrek stopped firing after lobbing a dozen grenades into the ground of soldiers then called out over radio after he saw no movement. “You’re clear to move from what I see, proceed with caution, never know when they could just be playing dead, I’ll keep an eye out and a rifle trained.”
“Good job, Marrek, lets move out.” Ernordeth called over radio.
“Thanks for taking all the kills.” Kanis added in.
Marrek grinned as he returned to his X-45, slinging the AXM-50 over his back before responding, “It’s not my fault you guys don’t carry rifles, I heavily advocated it.”
“Dzwol Chats Asha!” Kanis shouted as he charged towards the door leading into the ruins, as he approached the door he outstretched his arms and fired a pulse of force energy that knocked the doors in, the old stone crumbled and cracked as a loud crash echoed through the structure and almost as soon as the sound occurred a small army assembled in a horse shoe formation before the Obelisk Juggernaut. “Protect the blade!” shouted a male Sith as he turned around and fled the formation. “Kill the Dark Jedi!” he ordered.
A half smile crossed Kanis’ lips as his earpiece crackled to life with the shouted of his team.
“Really Kanis?” Marrek issued.
“You’re going to get us killed!” Adi shouted.
“You better know what you’re doing kid.” Etah warned with a minor hiss to his tone.
However Ernor kept silent, it was almost as if he were curious to see what the young Obelisk was planning charging in alone with no back up.
The silence was almost unsettling, no one dared make a move, the Storm Troopers leveled their blasters and the shakiest, most unsure member of their ranks fired off a shot; Kanis ignited his lightsaber and spun it in front of him deflecting the shot which by all the luck in the galaxy ricocheted back and nailed the grunt in the face causing him to perform a back flip and fall out of league with the rest. The stale air was still once more and Kanis quietly unclipped a small object from his belt and observed it for a second before jamming his thumb down on the activation switch of the thermal detonator which began charging to life. The Ex-Assassin lobbed the grenade and performed a back flip as he activated his cloak and disappeared into the still air. The formation broke apart and the detonator blew up; however there were no casualties from the explosion, but when the smoke cleared Kanis was gone.
It didn't take long for his cloak to flicker out, but when it did he found himself slinking through the shadows around his unsuspecting prey. “Find him!” one of the troopers shouted.
“He’s gone!” another commented.
“I-” one of the troopers began but stopped short as a single blaster bolt flew through the air burning through both sides of the Imperial’s helmet. Marrek chuckled and readjusted his barrings. He’d played this game with Kanis before and he knew exactly what to do, it was similar to some of the operations that Shadow Phyle would train heavily on in case of high priority infiltration operations where only one set of boots could be in a specific area.
Marrek continued to provide sniper over watch as Kanis continued to move through.
Now on the other side of a straggler, Kanis spun his lightsaber and threw it into a swing as he ignited it cutting through a single trooper, as the blade cleared the other side of his target’s body Kanis cut the power and the blade disappeared, the stealthy Juggernaut performed a multitude of backflips as a hail of blaster fire hounded his last position.
Adam darted through the scattered masonry and rubble of ruined buildings as the team pushed further into Xlopora. He trailed not far behind Ernordeth, with Vosh at his back as they watched Kanis tear through another trooper on the other side of the street. Not to be outdone, Ernordeth smashed through what was left of a window and swiftly dispatched two more hapless troopers who figured they were relatively safe, one’s helmeted head rolling along the floor, the other unceremoniously bisected.
“Some beautiful corpses, Ernordeth.” Adam remarked morbidly as they passed over the still-smoking heaps of armor.
“What can I say,” Ernordeth chuckled, “I’m an artist.” It appeared as though he would have even more paint to work with, as a small crowd of white armor waited ahead, spread across the street and between the buildings. Two dozen men, at least. It would have been arrogant of Adam to say that the sight didn’t daunt him, but he held his resolve as he saw that Ernordeth kept moving, never balking in the face of superior numbers. They rushed across the street in a flash and into the adjacent buildings, sabers snapping to life.
Blaster fire erupted in their direction, as Ernordeth leapt over a barrier and telekinetically hurled a trooper into a crumbling column, his neck snapping on impact and bringing the ceiling crashing down on two more men. Adam let the Force flow through him as he rushed forward, popping open a pouch on his belt and digging his fingers in for its contents. He slid under a gap in the collapsed supports, sundering the legs of one trooper from the knee down and standing back up to telekinetically throw seven Durasteel ball bearings through the thin armor of another trooper, blood spattering onto the last two men. Vosh appeared from a shimmer in the air, igniting his crimson blade through the back of one of the remaining survivors, as Ernordeth’s Corusca-orange saber flew out and decapitated the last before whirling back to his hand. They looked back across the street to see Etah’s blade pass through two troopers who were dropping to the floor, Marrek riddle one of Adi’s most recent thralls with holes, and Kanis electrocute another before cutting him down.
“All this carnage gets us just a little closer,” Ernordeth began over the radio, “but the ruins are about to get much more dense, and I don’t think the guys ahead are going to be much like this bunch. Keep it tight, whoever has that sword needs someone to cover their exit.” They walked into the street, only to be pushed back into the cover of the buildings by a sudden hail of blaster fire from the rooftops. Adam stole a glance past the wall to see their new adversaries. Through the dust of the ruined city he could see matte black armor in the fading sunlight waiting for them.
“Emperor’s black bones!” Adam hissed to himself. “I think we just found the Storm Commandos.” he warned.
“More accurately,” Vosh interjected, “they seem to have found us.”
“Not helping, Vosh!”
“They have a leg up for now,” Ernordeth admitted, “but not for long.”
“How’s that, Ernor? It doesn’t take me to tell you that they’ve got good sight lines on us.” Marrek asked, attempting to assess how he could shoot back from their current position.
“Simple, we attack where they don’t expect. Get rid of some of the light, slip across the street, and the saberists come from below, buys you time to move and get a bead on them. Vosh, you know what to do.” Ernordeth answered, still the picture of a confident leader. Adam breathed, calming himself with the notion of planning. He did what he could to relax himself in the Force, even as he felt it rippling all across the battlefield with death. He watched the fingers on Ernordeth’s hand close down into his fist, one by one, before the command to move came.
All of a sudden, Adam couldn’t see the street anymore, just a murky darkness that seemed to stretch on forever. He felt a hand grasp his arm and pull him through; Kanis. He regained his bearings when he found himself in the dusty ruins of the complex on the other side of the street, ducking over to a dilapidated table before pushing it over and igniting his saber. He looked to see Vosh leaning against a pillar, eyes shut, clearly concentrating very hard on something… what was it?
Adam suddenly felt his focus sharpening, his mind and body the blade and the Force as the whetstone. Now a serene warrior, he walked away from the table. A commando began to fire at his exposed target, but the red bolt was harmlessly deflected by Adam’s Force-bathed hand, before the Arconan's green blade sailed into the commando’s throat. Another soldier broke from his cover behind the wall ahead; Adam spun round mid-stride and pulled his DH-17 in a smooth motion, firing four bolts, the last two finding their mark on the commando’s chest, nearly piercing his armor and staggering him backward. Etah blinked out of a distortion in the air, slicing the man clean in half at the waist before disappearing again.
Adam leapt up through a hole in the collapsed ceiling and blasted a commando to the floor, whom Adi promptly appeared to finish off. Adam was blindsided by a tackle from a particularly intrepid commando, knocking his armory saber from his hand; Adam was lucky enough to manage to twist onto his back on the floor and stop his aggressor’s vibroknife by catching his forearm, the blade a few fortunate centimeters from his eye. Adam flooded his right arm with the Force to hold the man’s weapon in place, and blasted the soldier off of him with a pressure wave from the left. His helmet flew off and rolled across the floor, though he got to his feet quickly and rushed Adam again, who deftly sidestepped him and pushed him into the wall, the knife falling from his hand. The commando spun around dazed, his back to the wall, curious as to why he did not hear the blade clatter to the floor, but threw a clumsy punch. Last mistake. Adam caught the arm, pushed the man to the wall with his shoulder, then took the knife he’d grabbed from the air and pinned the soldier’s hand to the wall with it. Before the soldier could even register the pain, Adam grabbed the back of his head and slammed his face into the hilt of the blade repeatedly, causing him to slump to the floor, probably unconscious, maybe dead. It didn’t matter, Adam had now seen the face of these commandos; they were men, nothing more. Kanis ravaged two more on the other side of the dilapidated room, one man at the window staggered backward and dropped onto his back, a smoking hole through his neck; Marrek’s work, if he was even in the sun-starved room.
Adam rushed toward the only source of light in the room; a shining beacon of sunlight that poured from another hole in the ceiling that was near the wall, this time leading to the roof. Another commando peered over the edge, only to see Adam’s green blade slash the wall, up his chest, and watch as Adam backflipped off of him and flew several meters above the roof. Adam turned in the air, having taken to the firmament as though it were an extension of the land, and hurl his saber at one more commando, the humming loop of plasma embedding itself in the man’s belly as he tried to pull it free. His two sniper companions were struck by blue bolts and dropped to the ground suddenly, and he looked up to see Adam land in front of him and grab the hilt of the lightsaber, deactivate it, and the soldier finally crumpled to the ground. Adam looked to an adjacent rooftop to see the glint of Marrek’s scope.
Adam exhaled, calming his battle-charged nerves as Vosh and Ernordeth appeared to cut down the stragglers on the other side of the roof, with Etah and Adi climbing up to meet them and Marrek grappling up and over the ledge. Vosh looked Adam’s way and smirked as they regrouped.
“First taste of battle meditation is quite the rush, isn’t it?” Vosh chuckled, finally revealing his hand. Adam returned the smirk, as he was always curious to learn what it was like to be under the effects of the rare skill. The rumors of its devastating effectiveness were not exaggerated. They gathered at the ledge on the far side of the building.
“Home stretch, now,” Ernordeth remarked as they saw the temple’s haunting profile against the sun. “Keep moving.”
Kanis quickly caught up with the group. “I’ll scout ahead.” he stated. Before anyone could protest, the young Coruscanti weaved his way to the front of the group and proceeded forward; meanwhile atop the stairs leading to the temple was a single commando shouldering a rather notable scoped blaster rifle, his reticle scanning until it found Kanis. The man smiled beneath his helmet. “Time to get commended.” the sniper muttered to himself as his gloved finger slowly yet eagerly began to apply pressure to the trigger of his rifle.
The weapon kicked back as a bright red flash escaped the muzzle, being at the distance he was Kanis spotted the flash. “Kark!” he shouted as he rolled to the side, things felt almost slow motion to him, the bolt closed its distance more than quickly and was upon him in a matter of almost a fraction of a second, the round skimmed the side of the Obelisk’s armor, there was a scent of burnt synthweave and his chest piece had a small cut in the side, aside from a massive adrenaline rush, the young Battle Team leader was unscathed. “Marrek… Sniper!” he shouted as he began a serpentine pattern.
“Now Kanis, what have you learned about running ahead?” Marrek said mockingly as he shouldered his rifle.
“Master at least try and be mature.” Adam requested as he renewed his grip on his saber hilt.
“Yeah, yeah…” Marrek stated in a dismissive tone as he carefully squeezed the trigger sending his own bolts flying towards the sniper’s position.
The shots bought Kanis time, but not time he could afford to waste, there was still a good distance between himself and the temple.
Plasmatic bolts exploded all around the sniper and he cursed aloud as he entered a roll before jumping to his feet. “Contact!” he shouted, his voice summoning more troopers from the temple entrance.
The troopers filed down the stairs and spread across the grounds, once again Kanis found himself amidst a hail of blaster fire, shots whizzed passed him, some coming more close than others. A situation that kept Kanis’ adrenaline pumping, a reason for him to not stop running, ducking, and weaving.
‘There is nothing new under the sun,’ an old phrase came to Etahs mind.
Etah stood amidst the chaos, his cloak flapping in the wind. Blaster bolts whizzed about over his shoulder, the air smelt of burnt Tibanna gas. Dead bodies lay at his feet, men that he killed. There were always men that he had killed. More than any Tarentum, Etah was the hand of death. The moans and groans of the dead and dying emanated throughout the area. To anyone else this would be hell. But for the long time Obelisk, this was a Thursday.
Some men, many if not most dark Jedi, felt excitement in the moment of combat. A thrill when they took a life, a sharp pang of rage and glib, sadistic glee that all pool into the beating heart of a young Dark Jedi. The old Equite remembered those feelings, when the world was vibrant and new, and the force tugged at his body making him feel invincible. Those feelings had long since faded for the old Arconan, but he still sought out murder and death.
Etah was like a junkie injecting a substance that had long since stopped affecting him. The junkie still sought out the drugs, only to be disappointed when the smack was injected to no effect. Etah sought to feel alive, only to come to the realization that feeling alive was just another kind of lie. Alive was for the young and stupid. Etah learned that experience makes everything gray and tasteless.
The old Arconan soldier, old more in spirit than in years, looked over at an approaching wall of Storm Troopers, Storm Troopers that were here to hurt his clan and kill his brothers. Death called on Etah once again and once again Etah would be its willing embodiment.
Marrek inhaled slowly as his sight reached out, locking onto the sniper on the stairs of the temple, he had easily made longer shots on a moving target in training years before hand, as he squeezed the trigger of his X-45 the shot flew quickly, hitting its target with perfection as it bored a clean hole through the heart of the shooter. He shifted slightly, he had found his next target, a trooper in white, cowering behind cover, but as Marrek prepared to fire upon him the coward fell forward, a smoking hole was already in his back as a man in matte black Stormtrooper armor that appeared to have some custom designs on it walked out from around the corner, Marrek shifted and trained his sights on this new target, and squeezed the trigger, watching as the man slumped to the ground, the hole going clean through his throat without damaging the armor as Marrek muttered to himself, “I’m going to have to get my hands on that suit.” Marrek then called over radio to everyone else, “Watch out, looks like they’re bringing out the tough guys now, some of them have some custom gear, armor included.”
“Roger that.” Ernordeth responded as he moved into his next bit of cover.
Kanis called out while pushing forward, doing his best to dodge shots, “No kidding on this one, huh, just shoot the bastards already.”
Marrek tucked the rifle back into his shoulder, leaning into it as he fired off another shot, and another black armored soldier hit the ground with a dull thud, “Actually, I was planning on just sitting around and watching all day, maybe you’d get a few kills that way.”
Adi Ka' Taramas
Adi watched as enemy after enemy was taken down. She liked watching, but by this point she could no longer sit around. Seeing her chance, she charged forward and spotted a black armored Stormtrooper. Grinning, she concentrated on the Force and once close enough she said, “I want you to target the troopers on the stairs.” And just like that, he turned around and aimed at another trooper on the stairs, and pulled the trigger. Adi was thoroughly enjoying herself by now, since she had a few new pawns to have fun with. Seeing that the troopers farther up on the stairs were occupied, she went for another group on ground level. These Stormtroopers wore the white trooper armor. Before she could reach them though they spotted her and started firing at her. Using her saber she would deflect the bolts so they wouldn’t hit her. Seeing her opportunity she would run forward, still constantly blocking and deflecting the bolts. Once close enough the Cathar swung at the troopers arms cutting both arms at the elbows and swinging her blade she cut the first trooper from his right hip to left shoulder, then in one swift movement cut the second trooper from his left shoulder to his right hip and watched as they crumbled to the ground. Once the steps were cleared she radioed in, “The bottom of the steps are all clear.” And with that she waited for her group to catch up with her.
The Obelisk Equite rounded the corner of a building and force pushed a lone Storm Commando crouching behind a low fence so hard into the duracrete wall behind him, that his neck snapped insantly. The sound of the young soldiers neck snapping seemed to echo across the area. When he was younger in body and much younger in spirit, the Arconan would have found the sound somehow satisfying, instead of loudly hollow.
'Killing, mindless killing,' the Equite thought to himself. Etah was sure that were he to count every man, woman or child that he had killed, they wouldn't quite number as the grains of the sand on a beach, but this engagement would have long been over by the time he finished.
The Dark Jedi had started his journey into darkness as an Obelisk and stayed true to Ferran's Order through his ascension into the ranks of the Equites. But he would meet Archpriest as a Krath and Battlelord as a Sith, yet returning each time to his original order. The long time Equite had pondered the possible reasons. Maybe the blue of the Obelisk brought out the best features of his eyes, or maybe it was that Etah tried to avoid trends. Maybe he was looking for something and then failing to find it or maybe he was looking for something and succeeded at finding it. The Obelisk Exarch believed the reason was closer to murder having become so common to him as to be second nature, so he wouldn't find a better home than one built by an assassin.
Shots fired off in the distance broke the Equites revelry, Etah could tell instantly which direction and roughly how far away those shots were fired from. Philosophy and self pity momentarily swept aside, the Dark Jedi became alive through pure instict. The steely combination of trained technique and natural skills that made Dark Jedi such as Etah the most dangerous of predators.
The Obelisk Equite not quite being a strong team member, ran off toward the action paying no mind to the fact that he was now totally separated from his makeshift team.
Adam pressed himself against one of the many ruined pillars that littered the decaying remains of Xlopora’s temple. The team had made a strong push so far and was faring well against all that the Imperials had thrown at them so far, but Adam could feel the balance shifting around him. Not an inaccurate assessment, given that he, Marrek and Adi had been cut off from the rest of the team by a very well equipped squad, which they were forced to gradually and systematically eliminate in order to survive. Adam reached around the pillar to throw his lightsaber at a brave-but-stupid trooper who tried to advance cover, only to have one leg cut out from underneath him. The soldier grasped at the smoking stump where everything below his knee used to be, starting to go into shock as he screamed. The array of heavy armament he was carrying, like the rest of his well trained and armed team, did him little good when guerilla tactics were being applied. His squadmates occasionally glanced from their points of cover at him, looking at each other and speaking into their radios. Adam felt fear, anger, and uncertainty radiating from them as they decided what to do. One finally cracked, breaking cover and even attempting what could pass as an intimidating war cry, before being unceremoniously shot through the visor of his helmet. Another expert shot from Marrek, hidden away in a well chosen position the troops would not be breaking anytime soon. It was only a matter of time until they realized it.
The arduous process of waiting out the squad, of which roughly three remained, persisted for several minutes, giving Adam time to take in the atmosphere of the Xlopora temple. He didn’t like it. Something in the air felt… wrong, twisted even. Running his fingers along the pillar, Adam felt runes here and there that were likely millenia old, and all of them were likely to be Sith in origin. They were getting very close to the chambers where the sword was apparently kept, and every step towards it filled Adam with another magnitude of unease. He felt compelled to ponder to himself why something like Revelation was locked away from the galaxy at large in the first place, and in such a way as to give even powerful Dark Jedi quite an ordeal to reach it. Another shot rang out and black armor hit the floor. To make matters worse, Adam was also disturbed by the fact that Etah had disappeared and very suddenly fallen out of communication, even for Ernordeth, Vosh and Kanis who were only rooms away. Something was wrong, and the truly evil depths of the Dark Side ruled this place, as Adam swore he could feel the air clinging to his flesh.
Adam looked over to Adi, who nodded that it was time to put an end to this charade. He rushed out into the open, swiping his saber over the dismembered bait trooper to end his misery, and his last two comrades rose up to fire only to have the bolts ricochet off of Adam’s hand and off in random directions. He closed in on them and blasted them to the ground, careful to sunder their rifles in two. The two men were dazed, their minds addled and ripe for Adi’s manipulation. She calmly approached to work her magic on one, and she pointed him towards a nearby door that the team had been uncertain of how to safely approach and open. Calmly, carefully, Adi guided the soldier’s hand closer to the door, which was covered in sinister-looking Sith runes. A light touch, and he collapsed to the ground, violently convulsing and screaming as Sith magic tore through his body.
“Hmmm… as I suspected, that wasn’t the right rune. One more shot…” the Cathar said, her gaze disconnected as she enthralled the last survivor. His hand hovered over the previous rune, only to move to the left and press itself against a different one. Curiously, nothing happened. Adi motioned for the group to approach the door. Marrek had appeared, and he casually shot the soldier, since Adi was seemingly finished with him. Adam cast an unamused glance at him, to which Marrek simply shrugged. Adi stepped over the smoking body to the spot where he once stood, and repeated the motion he just carried out. Again, nothing at first, only then the door pulsated as Adi passed the Force through it, crumbling to pieces before the group. Adam radioed the rest of the group as they passed into a dark and musty hallway.
“Ernordeth, we’re closing in on the sword chamber,” he whispered into the communicator, “anything from Etah?”
“Just static. We can still feel him close by, though. We’ll regroup just outside the chamber, we can sense him round about there.” Ernordeth responded, doing what he could to mask anything resembling worry in his voice. Adam sighed, reaching out with the Force to try and sense something. He was almost overwhelmed, as his mind felt as though it were swimming through an ocean of energy, with his team being only tiny islands dotted along it. Etah’s presence was clouded with a mist, but did indeed still exist, as Adam’s team and the other gradually converged in the darkness of the temple.
Adi Ka' Taramas
Once in the room Adi was fascinated by her surroundings. She didn’t seem one bit worried however. She seemed more relaxed with her surroundings though one thought kept returning, where was Etah? She didn’t like it one bit. She tried not to worry about him too much but it was hard not to worry about him especially with where they were. Even though she wasn’t the least bit worried about her surroundings she couldn’t help but fear what might be happening to Etah. As the Cathar thought to herself a Sith Zombie started approaching her. Turning around to face it she knew that she wasn’t going to be able to do what she normally does. She noticed that it had a lightsaber of its own and after it ignited its own saber it started running towards the Cathar. Adi tightened her grip on her saber and raised it to block her attacker. As she did so it crackled as sparks started to fly. This was her first saber battle since she had became a Dark Jedi Knight. Remembering everything her master taught her she started pushing all her weight against her saber causing the Sith Zombie to be pushed back though not for long. Jumping back she went for a low slash but it was once again blocked. Pushing back she got the upper hand and slashed the hilt handle in half causing the saber to deactivate and taking her chance she swung in a downward motion from its left shoulder to the right hip and it fell to the ground dead. Once the fight was over she stood up, deactivated her saber, and just as she thought everything was good she felt something bad was happening and she knew it had to be Etah.
Tap! A strange sound echoed across off in the distance, peeking Etah’s interest.
Tap Tap! The sound repeated itself at a distance.
Finding himself utterly alone in the middle of the decaying city of a dead heretical order, paranoia overtook the Dark Jedi’s mind. Etah withdrew his lightsaber, igniting the weapon immediately. With his saber in front of him he was mighty; with his saber in front of him he was prepared. The buzz of the saber sounded much too loud, reverberating off the ancient walls around him and highlighting the previous eerie, almost unnatural quietness of the area.
Two Storm Commandos began rushing toward Etah, coming from seemingly nowhere. They began firing shots toward the Obelisk who utilizing Form V perfectly, reflected the first Storm Commandoes blaster fire into the second and vice versa. With a few deft movements, Etah dispatched the two Storm Commandoes. The Commandoes bodies melted away into mist and the Arconan doubted they were ever there at all.
Tap! The sound repeated a third time and for the third time it came from a different direction.
Tap! The sound repeated a fourth time, from the same direction but further away.
Tap Tap! The sound repeated a fifth time in the same direction but even further away.
It was clear the sounds were leading Etah in a certain direction and if he were thinking straight he would not allow himself to be led. But Etah was in the moment. Etah was a Dark Jedi, he was an Obelisk serial killer, he was a Shadesworn. Sworn forever to the shadows that for Arcona, directly represented the Dark Side of the Force, not as a homogonous black abyss but as a wide array of grays.
‘I am a reflection of the Dark Side itself’ Etah thought, repeating a central tenant of the Shadesworn Cult. ‘I stand between the light and the dark as a shade of gray and defender and prosecutor of both,’ Etah thought further.
The Equites philosophical ruminations were broken by the appearance of a man or perhaps it was a thing. The sun eclipsed and the world around the pair turned black as Etah looked into the man’s eyes. The shadow turned into ordinate robes that the Obelisk Exarch had never seen before. Walking toward the man in the elegant robes with a non-descript face, Etah felt dread, Etah felt hate, Etah felt murder.
The dark figure didn’t exude the kind of passion that Dark Jedi used to fortify themselves with, but the kind of artificial malevolence that you could lose yourself in, that gripped your soul and crushed your individuality.
‘This thing must die’ Etah thought to himself as he approached the shrouded individual.
Looking into the shrouded figures face Etah saw Halcyon, he saw Eludajae, he saw Ronovi, he saw Sashar, he saw Cethgus. Etah saw everyone who had ever threatened his Clan or doubted him. So entranced at the ever changing faces of this figure, the Obelisk Assassin didn’t bother to gather the force around him or take a defensive position with his lightsaber.
“So the lamb attends the slaughter” the malevolent voice from the creature crackled and boomed across the distance competing only with the sizzle of the Equites lightsaber. The implicit threat from the figure, caused Etah to snap out of ‘it’ to some extent. But it wasn’t enough, or fast enough. Just then there was a loud crack and the Dark Jedi felt something sharp pierce his heart.
Clack, clack! The lightsaber that had served Etah so well and so long, that bore the symbols of the Shadesworn Cult, fell onto the ground bouncing once and then deactivating.
Etah looked up at the creature who he would swear now bore the visage of the great Mecrosa Assassin Ferran. The creator of the Obelisk Order was holding a blade that looked to be the cursed blade that they all sought, a blade which was now coated with Etah’s blood.
The Dark Jedi Equite felt his life blood spilling out into the soil of Bosthirda, the mixing of the two meaning something Etah couldn’t himself grasp. As the light behind his eyes began to fade and the forever cold and blackness of death set in, the Arconan expected his life to flash before his eyes like you might see on an old dramatic holovid. But there was nothing. Death it seems, was as fatalistic as life.
“And now my chains are broken” the figures unnaturally gravelly voice said, as he and the blade disappeared over the crumpled body of the dead Arconan.
Marrek shifted as his senses picked up a sound, almost as though someone had just fallen into a small pool of liquid, maybe. Marrek glanced around then asked, “Where did Etah go?”
“I was wondering the same thing,” replied Adi.
“Etah, radio check,” Ernordeth commanded.
The radio crackled without response.
“Etah, I said radio check, call in.”
Again, no response beyond the dull crackling of the radio signal.
“Where could he be hiding this time?” Marrek asked glancing around at the rest of the team. We haven’t lost anyone else, have we?
“Not that I see, master,” Adam responded. “Everyone else appears to be accounted for.”
“Shouldn’t we go looking for him?” Kanis asked, “It’s not necessarily the safest place for him to be out there on his own, for all we know he might have encountered the sword.”
“I guess that’d be Ernordeth’s call, my Far Sight didn’t perceive any of this happening on our trip here, granted my Far Sight doesn’t generally show me much of anything useful, all I can recall from my most recent vision was a body in a pool of blood, and a man with a sword standing over that body shortly before dissappearing.” Marrek stated.
“Why didn’t you bother to mention that earlier?” Ernordeth requested.
“With as much death as I had anticipated in getting here, I didn’t think much of it, I suppose that may have been my mistake.” Marrek replied.
“Well, I guess it’s a bit late for that now,” Adi added. “But we do need to find him, and quickly.”
“I thought I heard something about a minute ago, coming through the hallways, I don’t know where it came from exactly though.” Marrek suggested.
“It’s a start, we’ll have to go with it.” Ernordeth stated.
Vosh separated himself from the group to inspect the area further by himself. The young human was still in the infancy stages of his Sith training, however, he knew when there was an overwhelmingly strong presence that made him feel uneasy. Kon heard footsteps off in the distance and quickly hid himself in the shadows. By manipulated the area around himself, he made sure that nothing could see the young Arconan.
Two creatures stumbled into the room. They were not walking normally, and they appeared to be quite demented. Vosh realized they were wielding lightsabers, but could not comprehend what exactly these creatures were. Albeit confused, the young Sith hurled himself toward the two creatures, who quickly ignited their sabers and all three met in a glorious crackle of unbelievable spark and furry.
Vosh swiftly came to the conclusion that these were undead Sith. Fearing that he might not overcome these creatures by wearing down their energy, he promptly came up with a strategy. The Sith apprentice fought with the two creatures until he was able to get the upper edge. Kon allowed the first creature to lunge at the young human so he could remove himself from the lightsabers path. The first creature’s lightsaber missed the young Sith and cut right through the middle of the second creature.
As the young Kon landed behind the first creature, he slashed from between the creatures legs and up through his head; splitting the creature in half. Although victorious, the young Sith quickly had a cold feeling shroud the area around him. “ETAH!” an enraged Sith screeched as he could sense that Etah had died.
Adam felt the Force shudder as he reached out to it again in the smothering darkness of the temple hallways, watching Adi’s datapad as they moved ever closer to the sword’s chamber. The dot moved slowly but surely down the corridor, steadily blinking and beeping, almost as a reminder that the group still lived. At least, that’s what Adam hoped. They had heard Vosh over radio contact several times after he had splintered off to attempt to find an alternate route. Adam felt his presence draw closer as he attempted to catch up to them, and just in time, too. They had finally come across the sword’s chamber. The Force was an impenetrable maelstrom that deflected Adam’s probing thoughts with every attempt. He could not feel Etah, or anything inside what seemed to be the eye of the Dark Side. He’d almost grown accustomed to knowing what was about to happen, whether it be through Marrek’s talents or Adam’s own, and trying to find their comrade-in-arms was proving a miserable wait. Adam slowed his walk as he heard the rapid clapping of footsteps in the halls behind him. No time to stop, as the team was already prying open the doors, bringing all their strength to bear on the ancient, unyielding structure.
The doors finally broke at the center, the frigid air of the chamber rushing out. Adam’s breath left him as his eyes adjusted to the light. Even in the darkness of the chamber, he could see the refraction of even the tiniest traces of light glinting off of a sword blade. The silvery sheen of it seemed almost like a sliver of moonlight suspended in the dark. The lovely and ancient quicksilver-colored blade was tarnished by something new, something that didn’t need to be there; blood. It too, shone in the trace light of the room, and as Adam’s eyes adjusted further, he saw who the blood belonged to; Etah. Slumped against the pedestal of the blade, his heart pierced, the great Arconan warrior held Revelation across his lap, eyes still half open. Adam tried to sense what had occurred, or at least what his comrade had felt in his last seconds, but all in vain, as only darkness seemed to exist here. The group dealt with their discovery in different ways; some cursed, some swore vengeance, others remained silent. All quieted themselves as Ernordeth approached the body, closed Etah’s eyes, and took up the blade in his own hand.
“We are ending this.” he said in a low and solemn voice. The group ignited their sabers in a salute to the fallen warrior. Adam couldn’t agree with his leader more.
The young human quickly found the other’s, along with the lifeless body of Etah. Anger engulfed the young Sith as he wondered why Etah was killed. Vosh can get very attached to the ones he works closely with, and losing one of his team members can enrage the young Sith more than anything else. Vosh recovered Etah’s lightsaber and his lifeless body and began his way back to the shuttle. There were still plenty of enemies left, and the young Sith, along with the rest of the team, knew it wasn't going to be effortless getting back to the landing zone. With the extra weight, Vosh knew he would have to muster all of his strength to succeed in getting Etah’s body back to the Citadel.
Kon quickly began making his way out of the temple to the sight of small skirmishes still ensuing around the city. He knew there was no clear path to the shuttle, but that wasn't going to stop the gigantic human from completing what he set out to accomplish. Vosh quickly engaged some of the remaining Stormtrooper squads still trying to stop the team from completing their mission. Even with Etah’s body hoisted onto the young human’s back, he was still able to eliminate the surrounding threats. With the help of the others, the Stormtroopers stood no chance of being triumphant over the Dark Jedi they fought.
The young human finally made it back to the shuttle, and Vosh laid the lifeless Obelisk on the surface of the shuttle. He laid the Exarch’s lightsaber on his body and crossed his hands over his chest.
Marrek halted as the group exited the palace, he spotted the Storm Commando in the custom armor he’d specifically shot through the throat, preserving the armor, he hoisted the man up, using all his might to carry him as he followed the group, “We’ll have to launch this guy out an airlock or something once we get back to the ship but I like his gear.”
Marrek looked over the armor, noting the golden detailing around the shoulders, legs, arms, helmet, and chest plate. “This guy must’ve been important with all the gold on here, probably a field commander or something like that.” Marrek continued walking with the group. the Storm Commando over one shoulder, and his DL-44 in his main hand.
As the group climbed over a hill the commando Marrek was carrying slipped slightly, and a small cylinder fell out of the suit and onto the ground with a thud, as Marrek looked down to see what had dropped, expecting it to be some sort of grenade or something. As he looked down he noticed, it was a saber hilt, notably it was the saber hilt of Esoteric. Marrek called out, “Hold up guys, this trooper had Esoteric’s saber.”
“He had what?” Ernordeth questioned.
“Come take a look at this saber hilt he just dropped.” Marrek replied.
Ernordeth turned back and moved to the hilt then crouched and picked it up, inspecting it for himself. “It does fit the description.”
“Once we get back, you can keep the saber, I just want the rest of this gear,” Marrek offered. “I wonder if this guy has that stealth suit too, that would be lovely for me to get my hands on.”
“We’ll handle this once we get back home, for now just make sure he comes with us, good catch, Marrek.” Ernordeth replied.
“Yes, sir, thank you, sir.” Marrek replied as the team finished their hike to the shuttle that awaited to take them home.
As the rest of the team made their way back to the shuttle, Vosh looked over the body that Marrek had hoisted over his shoulder. “That’s one hell of a suit of armor, Marrek,” the young Sith continued, “what would it take for me to take it off your hands?”
The Corellian chuckled, “there is nothing that will get me to hand over this armor.” There wasn't any laughter coming from the rest of the crew of the dropship. Even the pilot seemed respectfully quiet. While he couldn't even begin to understand his passengers or their relationships, it wasn't hard to realize that losing someone like Etah was a loss for many people. Vosh sighed, going quiet again. The realization was truly starting to hit everyone, regarding the loss of a powerful warrior. Ernordeth still held the bloodied Revelation, looking over his reflection in its pale moonshine blade. Vosh couldn't imagine what he was feeling, being the leader of the operation.
“What do you think is the significance behind this blade?” the young human asked his newly found friend, Adam.
“Hard to say. According to what I've read, it was Ferran’s. Old assassin founded the Obelisk, I guess someone on the council decided that it was important enough to send us to die for.” Adam said, with a disillusioned tone.“ Another trophy for our wall in this karking war. How many more of us will we lose?”
The Sith was already irate over the loss of Etah, and he wanted to know why such a noble and powerful warrior was sacrificed over the retrieval of the sword they called the Revelation. Adam’s answer just enraged him that much more. The young human worried that they would never truly know the significance, due to the secrecy behind the Dark Council and the Star Chamber.