Arcona: Team 4
Andrelious J. Inahj (1653)
Kookimarissia Mimosa (13714)
Celevon Edraven (12004)
Vynn Salm (8930)
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!!!!!!!
Imperial-II Star Destroyer Fortitude
Ensign Redvec Mosher calmly manned his post. He was currently on duty monitoring the vast sensor banks that the Fortitude possessed. The displays told him that there were many allied ships, both Imperial and One Sith, gathering in space around Bosthirda.
“Sir. There is an unknown shuttle entering our scope. What should we do?” the Ensign asked, addressing the vessel’s Captain.
“Show me, Ensign,” Captain Kuuztin ordered. Kuuztin, despite being the Fortitude's current commanding officer, was also one of the newest additions to its crew, and the faction it currently represented. He had arrived from the Outer Rim just weeks previously with an excellent record, having apparently been commander of an Interdictor Cruiser with another, smaller Imperial faction. The Command Staff had been suitably impressed and assigned him to a First Officer role. Not long after that, the previous Captain, Bleweb, had been found dead in his quarters, having apparently committed suicide. Many in the crew had deemed this extremely suspicious, as Bleweb’s psych evaluation had shown him to be a stable individual, with a personal life that was not congruous with the fact that he was likely to have killed himself. Foul play was suspected, but nothing could be proven, despite Kuuztin’s best efforts.
“The shuttle’s IFF transponders show a valid code, sir, but I cannot establish which of our ships it is from. Protocol calls for us to hold it until we can establish its origins.” Mosher explained. He was the typical Imperial. Everything was done to the letter of the manual. There was seemingly nothing that would distract the Axxila-born Human from carrying his job out exactly as he was told. No more, no less.
“I don’t think that is necessary, Ensign. As you said, their code checks out. I’m sure that their story would check out. In fact, I’d bet my pension on it...” the Captain ordered, staring at his subordinate as he did so.
“Er..I suppose you’re right sir. I’ll grant them clearance immediately.” the younger man replied, although he was not sure exactly why he was allowing his relatively inexperienced Captain to break Imperial Naval protocol.
“Sir! Fleet Command has ordered that we prepare a second wave of Stormtroopers!” a female Lieutenant yelled.
Kuuztin sighed. In the golden time of the Empire, females on board ships had been rare, especially in the Core. Now even some of his colleagues and superiors were female, aliens or even both. Now what was left of the Empire would take anyone.
T-4a Lambda-class Shuttle Sigma 7
“They’ve gone for it!” Celevon declared, reading the clearance message from the Shuttle’s comms device. The team of Dark Jedi had elected to not risk vocal communication, fearing that they would appear to be other than the private transport of one of the Imperial’s own officers. Nobody, according to Celevon, had the right accent for that.
“We can thank the Dark Side that it was Andrelious’ ship that cleared us.” Riverche observed.
Kookimarissia smiled briefly, but was clearly troubled about something. Her teammates had put it down to knowing that her fiancé was among the Imperials he had once fought side-to-side with. They had argued about his choice to infiltrate one of the Star Destroyers. The Alderaanian felt that it was too tempting for Inahj and that he would integrate himself back into Imperial service and leave her behind. Or worse, expect her to join him.
Imperial-II Star Destroyer Fortitude
“Sir, it’s completely unorthodox for you to head down to the surface. You’re a Naval officer, and our commander. Why would you even WANT to join the frakking Bucketheads?” Lieutenant Marinda Jaxix questioned. She had been ordered by Kuuztin to accompany him to the hangar, supposedly to oversee the launch of the demanded second wave of troopers. The journey to the hangar had been interested. The Captain had explained how he himself was going to pilot one of the dropships, then join combat himself.
“Trust me, Lieutenant. There are Sith down there. I’ve worked with their type. I know their weaknesses. Are you saying I can’t handle myself?” Kuuztin snapped.
“You’re not exactly in the best shape, sir. At least consider taking some armour?” she replied, astounded at how her superior seemed to have no regard for protocol or his own life.
“Marinda. Get back to the bridge. You’re not going to change my mind. I am going to down to Bosthirda and that is final. If I survive this, you owe me a Corellian Brandy,” the older human replied, remembering the female’s passion for that particular vice. He too enjoyed a drink, even occasionally sipping from a hip flask while on duty.
“Very well, Grayn. Your record did explain you had your father’s bravery and obstinance. It’s a shame his old command was vaped by Zaarin.” the Lieutenant answered, remembering her history well. The ship’s name certainly applied quite literally to the man before her.
“Oh, and good luck. I can’t possibly manage to consume your share of the drinks too if you don’t get out of this one alive.” Jaxix continued, saluting her superior as he embarked onto the drop ship.
That’s if you even survive, you bootlicking bitch. Kuuztin mused, as he headed into the drop ship’s cockpit.
Grayn Kuuztin, son of the famous Captain Kuuztin of the Courageous, a ship lost over three decades ago carried a great secret.
A secret that the ‘Bucketheads’ boarding his transport would not survive.
Kooki sat amongst her teammates, preparing for another mission. It didn't seem long since the previous one. However, this time was different. This time, rather than being away from Andrelious, she was going to be WITH him.
Times between the couple had been better. This latest mission had caused nothing but stress, friction and was threatening to tear them apart. Andrelious was going to be torn between his lover and their future, and the Imperials and his past.
Kooki, even now, struggled to accept any positivity towards the enemy Imperials for what they had done in her past. Herself and Andrelious had exchanged some fiery words before he had left. She was even more livid with Saskia for abetting him.
Deep down, Kooki was pleased that the decoy had been successful, but she struggled to be as pleased as her remaining teammates. Trying to seek solace was like trying to find that missing sock- near on impossible. Right now she had bigger things on her mind.
Now all she, Riverche, Celevon and Vynn could do was wait. Wait to land their shuttle, which felt like a claustrophobic prison to Kooki. And wait for their team leader to arrive.
"We'll be landing soon," stated Riverche excitedly.
Thank frak for that thought Kooki to herself, but instead of saying anything she just smiled and nodded.
"Kooki, you appear reserved and deep in thought. Is something troubling you?" enquired Celevon.
Since her confessions aboard the Darkest Night , Celevon became someone Kooki felt she could talk to when she was distressed.
Sat away from the others, Kooki began to speak.
"Well, now you come to mention it....."
"Prepare for landing!!" Echoed a loud voice from the cockpit.
The shuttle began its downward descent towards the destination. A few moments later, and a sharp thud, the shuttle had arrived on Bosthirda.
No more was said.
When Celevon had suggested they land near the outskirts of Xlopora City, Riverche had thought it was a wise decision. Now she was not so sure. The others had not noticed her transceiver stuck to her ear, or if they did they did not say anything.
The wire had produced the regular traffic, but one piece of news stood out. The Imperial Forces were asking for more troops in their chosen landing area, and a shuttle of fresh reinforcements were on their way from the Fortitude. Riverche did not care that a group of troops were on their way, it was the reason for the reinforcements. A group of Sith Zombies were spotted a few clicks away exiting a tunnel.
Riverche gathered the rest of her equipment as the shuttle’s door slid open to reveal dilapidated and decaying structures, which made up the outskirts of Xlopora City. Kooki, Celevon and Vynn hurried down the ramp onto the surface of the planet. While she was gathering her equipment, the Inquisitor heard that ground groups were sending troops to meet their shuttle mistaking them for the reinforcements.
The Miraluka paused at the base of the ramp as the sight of the planet caught her off guard. The force radiating off the buildings and walls in the city from the Sith Magic used on them blinded her vision to a few feet in any direction. She took in a deep breath, and calmed the fear rising in her. She had been in this situation before when she arrived at the Shadow Academy. She survived it then and she will overcome it now.
“We need to get moving.” Riverche calmly stated.
“Riverche, we discussed this-“ Celevon started.
Knowing the lecture that Celevon was about to give, Riverche pointed to her earpiece and interrupted him, “I have been monitoring their communication since we got in range. As we entered the atmosphere, the ground troops spotted us, and they mistaken us for the shuttle of reinforcements that are on their way.”
“We need to go. Anything else?” Celevon asked.
“The other shuttle is from Andrelious’ ship, and will be here soon, and the ground troops are sending a group to escort us and them to their location.”
“We need to be ready. Have they said how many they were sending for the rendezvous?” the Onderonian asked, clenching a fist. The aura of their landing site was twisted by Sith Sorcery. The actions of the past normally left echoes that could be felt by Force Users. The ‘echoes’ in this case were feelings of terror, agony and perverse pleasure. It made Celevon anxious.
“Negative on that, Edraven. So far all that’s been said is ‘a group to meet the reinforcements’,” Riverche reported, clearly focused on the enemy transmissions. “ETA is fifteen minutes before they reach our current location.”
“Keep us as up to date as you can. The last thing we need is to lose track and wind up flanked,” the Qel-Droman added with a grim smile on his reptilian features.
“Aye. Agreed,” Celevon nodded, starting to pace as he lightly caressed the hilt of his kerambit. The weapon had become important to him, as it had been a gift upon his Shadesworn indoctrination.
“Do you have a plan? Or is one expected to just shoot at whomever appears to be an enemy?” Kooki asked seriously, a hint of sarcasm in her voice.
“Would you prefer close-quarters or fighting from a distance?” the Assassin asked in return, pausing in his pacing.
“One is better with a lightsaber... You should know this by now,” the Alderaanian retorted.
“Right. You will be with me, then. Riverche, Vynn?”
“I don’t know about the lizard with us, but I prefer distance,” the Miraluka replied.
“I’ll show you a ‘lizard’, blind one,” Vynn hissed before responding to the Onderonian. “Either works for me. So long as I can rank up a body count.”
“Find a spot where you and Riverche can flank the Imps. Be ready for anything,” Celevon pointed out. “Andrelious should be joining us before long. And we’ll be culling their ranks today, especially once our team is together.”
“I look forward to seeing who is the better killer,” the Juggernaut growled before walking off in search of a defensive position.
Paired with Riverche, Vynn and his IG-100 MagnaGuard headed to find a suitable ambush spot. The initial plan was to let the incoming Imperials march past the two Dark Jedi and the droid. After the Imperials engaged the team remaining at the landing zone, the trio would then come at them from behind. Like all plans it was great in theory. Top that with the Miraluka’s affinity for having to have everything perfect and Vynn knew this could be a troublesome task.
Finding a suitable building was not a hard task as most of the city seemed to be abandoned and in great need of a remodel. They set up with Riverche in the second storey with a clear vantage point of the landing zone, as well as the direction the troops would be coming from. On the ground floor, Vynn set about barricading the door with whatever materials he could find. Riverche had insisted on doing so in case the troops coming tried to outflank the ‘Flankers’, as she put it. Really Vynn thought it was excessive not to mention he disliked hiding and knew that he would be missing out Jagganath points by being farther from the melee that was soon to come.
The pair had went over the codes she would use to keep silent on radio contact just in case they had people intercepting their transmissions, again fulfilling Riverche’s need to have no loose ends. She tapped her foot twice indicating that she had spotted the troops heading toward the landing zone. Vynn remained motionless staying with his back against the wall; both he and his droid were on either side of the window facing the street outside. From their position they could not see the troops pass but Vynn could hear them marching, easily fifty strong from the sounds of things. However what was most unnerving to him was the feeling he got from the large grate in the back corner of the room
Escort Transport Esk-Herf Fort-3
Captain Grayn Kuuztin had dismissed the transport’s regular pilot. He was busying himself by making some pre-flight checks when the remaining members of the command crew entered the cockpit area. The Captain briefly regarded them.
The Fortitude is crawling with typical bootlickers, he thought quietly to himself.
“Greetings. I’m sure Lieutenant Jaxix explained what is happening. Get to your stations. And strap in. I’m predicting a bumpy ride to the surface. Especially if one of those Dark Jedi gets hold of our ship.” Kuuztin warned. Secretly he was aware that such an eventuality was unlikely: only those with a particular affinity for telekinesis were able to affect even the smallest of starfighters. A vessel such as a Beta Class ETR-3 Escort Transport would require Grand Mastery levels of power to even slightly flick off course.
“Sir. Intel reports that our ranks may have been compromised by Brotherhood spies. I’d suggest that we exercise extra caution throughout this flight,” one of the Imperials declared.
The Captain frowned, doing his best to feign surprise. The man going by the name of Kuuztin was not usually renowned for his ability to infiltrate. He had only succeeded so far with this particular ruse thanks to the fact that he had spent nearly twenty years in Imperial Service before being forced to retire. The record he had presented his current hosts, of course, did not show that.
“I'm aware. This is my ship. I know what’s going on. Now sit down and keep your eyes on that monitor. If I see you turn away, I will have you blinded. Is that clear!?” Kuuztin snapped, nearly forgetting himself.
“Y-yes sir. I was just warning you of current affairs.” the younger man responded. He was shocked at the Captain’s sudden threat, having been used to a much calmer, more collected man.
Pleased that he had instilled a sense of fear into the Sub-Lieutenant, Kuuztin pushed a button to activate the ship’s communicator.
“This is Kuuztin. All checks complete. Forty troopers loaded up and we’re ready to go.”
“Understood, Captain. Lieutenant Jaxix wishes you luck out there.” came the reply. The Fortitude’s commander recognised the voice as that of Ensign Everts, another bridge officer that he had befriended during his time as Captain.
“Tell the Lieutenant she has the conn in my absence. We’ll probably be promoting her to full time First Officer, assuming we all survive.”
Imperial-II Star Destroyer Fortitude
“Understood, sir.” Everts broadcast, turning to Lieutenant Marinda Jaxix.
“May I be the first to congratulate you?” the young human asked. He was delighted to hear that Jaxix was being earmarked for an elevation, and not just for her: she had promised him a promotion of his own should her application to become Kuuztin’s ‘number one’ be accepted.
Several of the bridge crew observed their Captain launching in his drop ship. Their commander manoeuvered the Escort Transport expertly out of the hangar, flying at full sub-light speed towards the upper atmosphere of Bosthirda. Once there, the Fortitude’s sensors would be unable to provide more than a brief summary of where the ship was. Lifesign readings would be impossible to pick up.
And Kuuztin knew that.
Escort Transport Esk-Herf Fort-3
“We’ll hit the first layers of atmosphere in...two-one..NOW!” Kuuztin declared, switching the ship from sublight power to repulsor power.
As he did so, he appeared to pause for a split-second, as if concentrating on something important.
“Sir. We just lost comms to the Fortitude! It’s as if someone just pulled the plug on all our communications equipment!” the co-pilot cried, noticing a red light on his diagnostics panel.
“Well. All I can say is that I’m glad I’m spending this descent with one of the sharpest minds left in the Empire. Or should I say, one of the sharpest minds that WAS left in the Empire.” Kuuztin hissed, activating the cockpit’s lockdown system.
“Sir? With all due respect, there is no need to be so rude. And that lockdown’s only meant to be used if there’s a risk of hijacking.” the co-pilot answered.
“Hijacking? I prefer...commandeered.” Grayn stated coolly, unstrapping himself from the pilot’s seat. With one swift action he was on his feet, and had armed himself with a crimson bladed lightsaber. Arcing the weapon around, the ‘Captain’ quickly eliminated the ship’s co-pilot.
The Sub-Lieutenant who had been admonished earlier heard the co-pilot’s cry, and turned to find ‘Kuuztin’ charging in. He reached for his standard issue sidearm, but was stabbed through the chest before he could even retrieve it from its holster.
“A little more than a blinding, but I told you to keep your eyes on that frakking monitor.”
With the rest of the command crew eliminated, ‘Grayn Kuuztin’ returned to the pilot’s seat, steadying the vessel with ease. No longer was there a need to keep the ruse going. Andrelious J. Inahj could once again be himself.
Hmm. I was going to crash this ship, but my trajectory takes me far too close to Kooki and the others. I can’t risk wiping out my team... Inahj realised, calculating his landing vector. Without a moment’s hesitation, the Warlord reached at the deceased co-pilot’s controls with the Force, opening the transport’s docking hatches. Alarms blared out loudly that the passenger area was now unprotected, but Andrelious could only smile, knowing he had exposed over three dozen Stormtroopers to the elements. The rigours of re-entry would not be survivable. Only the Arconan flying the ship would touch down alive.
Five Minutes Later...
Surface of Bosthirda
The Imperial Escort Transport landed gently in the designated landing area. Andrelious wasted no time in exiting the ship, smirking at the dead bodies, still all strapped into their seats, as he walked past. Forty-two kills made in short order.
Using the Force, Inahj confirmed that Kooki and Celevon were nearby. He could also sense a large number of Imperial troopers were headed to their location.
He needed to act fast.
Kooki’s Force senses were tingling, denoting her lover was nearby. Ceasing conversing amongst her teammates, she turned and her suspicions were confirmed. In the distance, she could just make out a short, stumpy shadowed figure that looked very much like her Andrelious.
“One hopes Andrelious reaches us before the rest of those frakkin’ Imperial bastards!” exclaimed a fuming Kooki.
Trying to remain calm and focus on the mission in hand, wasn’t as easy as others had said.
“My darling. It’s so good to see you again.” greeted the Sith, opening his arms for a warm embrace.
Inahj thought he best greet her first, since the pair had parted on negative terms. Kooki turned to return his greeting, but stopped in her tracks. The colour drained from her face. Eyeing the Warlord up and down, he was proudly wearing his Imperial attire.
“Don’t you frakkin’ DARLING me!” the Krath cried out.
“Parading around in such….such….. paraphernalia. You might as well have blown up my home yourself.”
Unable to contain herself, Kooki turned away.
“Don’t worry Andrelious,” reassured Celevon. “She’s been acting odd since this mission started.”
Kooki didn’t speak another word. She was now full of bubbling anger and was more determined than ever to overthrow the Imperials now and succeed in this mission. Reassuring herself that her trusty saber was close by, the way she was feeling, no one dare mess with her. Toying with an Imperial’s life was a satisfying thought. Imagining and musing such thoughts caused the Knight to smile smugly and menacingly to herself.
Those Imperials don’t stand a chance.
The Onderonian withheld a wince as he saw the Imperial uniform on the Warlord. They had hardly changed in the past forty years. He had hoped Andrelious would have had the sense to change his clothing or at least ditch the crisp gray shirt. It was bound to generate bad feelings, considering that Imperials had destroyed her home planet decades earlier.
Celevon shook his head. It didn’t bear thinking about when there was a platoon of grunts headed for their location and closing fast.
“I take it that you will be joining us on this endeavor?” the Assassin asked, extending his senses towards the enemy.
“Do you even have to ask?” Inahj snorted, glancing around to get a feel for their environment.
“Riverche, Vynn, are you in position?” Celevon asked, flicking on the short-wave transmitters.
“I’m quickly getting bored waiting for them to show their ugly mugs,” the Miraluka drawled back.
“Vynn wants to use his blades,” the Trandoshan hissed back, sounding annoyed. “Jagannath points are not earned with a blaster.”
It took the Onderonian a moment to think about what the Qel-Droman was talking about. “There are more than forty of them. Once they get close enough, you can feel free to attack how you wish.”
“They are about to be in range to pick up our transmission. Initiating comms silence now,” Riverche curtly pointed out before both went silent.
Celevon caught the Rollmaster’s attention and made a quick series of hand gestures indicating both how close the enemy platoon were and that they had initiated comms silence. Andrelious nodded and responded in kind.
“That Imperial sign?” the Alderaanian asked, the anger clear in her voice.
“Not at all. That’s Soulfire,” he grinned, unclipping his lightsaber from his belt. “Are you ready?”
A quick nod was all the answer the Assassin needed.
The Inquisitor waited until the last minute to order communication silence. The soldiers were almost at her location, and even though she couldn’t hear their short range, she could faintly hear their footsteps echoing through the abandoned city. Besides, she didn’t know if they were even listening for ambushes.
The long range transmissions were a different story. When they had first landed on Bosthirda, the Imperials thought they were getting reinforcements. Within seconds of the team splitting, the Fortitude reported losing communication with the other shuttle. Fearing foul play, they ordered the troops to look into the cause. The drama over the shuttle continued to evolve to the point they identified a potential traitor. Grayn Kuuztin was to be returned to the Fortitude to face charges. If he did not cooperate, they were ordered to kill him.
“-No prisoners.” The Imperial’s short range crackled in the Miraluka’s ear. Too late to pass on the new information, the Inquisitor decided to let the others know the situation after the battle, if it was needed.
Back against a wall, Riverche tapped her foot to warn Vynn that they were in range of the short range. The constant beat of the soldiers’ footsteps swelled as they passed directly under the window next to the knight. She quietly went over the mission in her mind. Everything was going as planned. The only variable left was the victims.
Riverche waited patiently for the steps to fade before peeking out the window. The first of the Imperials were nearing the last corner leading to the landing site. They were still on target to meet their death. Looking over the area they came from, Riverche could not see any other troops in the vicinity, just these forty unfortunate soldiers.
As with all battles, this one started with a catalyst. The platoon had rounded the corner and ran into the Dark Jedi that awaited them. Trying to find cover, they had made a fatal mistake. Their flank was exposed to Riverche and Vynn. Waiting only long enough for the slaughter to start, Vynn charged out the window leaving Riverche alone. He heard the tell tale sound of her repeating rifle as she began to drop foes without them even knowing what hit them.
As they started to take incoming fire from both directions, panic set in. Those that tried to flee or attempt to flank back to Riverche’s position were the Trandoshan’s first priority. Motioning to it with his hand, Salm’s Magna Guard cut left after a fleeing trooper as the Qel-Droman stayed true to his task. He had only felled one so far; a simple thrust through the back of a trooper that never even saw him coming.
Charging through a dilapidated building, the Obelisk burst out the door on the opposite side to find three troopers already turning to fire at his exposed position. The Force and his training allowed the Templar to act faster than the troopers, however as he let a flash bang loose at their feet. Turning his head, the Pop sound let him know that their visors would have darkened to protect them from the suddenly intense light. Taking those brief seconds, Vynn easily dispatched two of them with a saber throw and had closed into striking distance when he felt the searing heat of a rifle blast fly by his ear and watch the trooper fly back. Instantly he knew Riverche too had changed positions and was watching his flank as he was watching hers. The sounds of battle at the landing zone now filled his ears as he motioned he was heading that way.
A handful of troopers had arrived at the landing zone. Andrelious had headed over to greet them, the plan having been to pretend he was Kuuztin before unleashing himself, Kooki and Celevon at the moment they let their guard down. This had become impossible as the troopers had immediately trained their weapons on the Warlord, declaring him and his Dark Brotherhood colleagues under arrest and demanding that they surrender.
Of course surrender was not an option. Andrelious simply armed himself with his own E-11 blaster, and began to open fire. Kooki and Celevon activated their lightsabers and also set to work, the Alderaanian woman in particular seeming to enjoy slaying the Imperials she hated so much.
By the time Vynn had met with the rest of his team, the enemy soldiers were but a memory. The three Arconans had easily dispatched them, sporting nothing more than a few minor burns from hostile fire, which had been rushed and unregimented.
“I’m glad I’m myself again. I’d hate all the frakking paperwork all these deaths create. Not to mention the investigation into why the attack was so badly commanded,” Inahj observed dryly, checking a few of the troopers were fully dead.
“Leave them. They’re cold hearted bastards. They deserve a slow death if they’re not dead already.” Kooki hissed.
“That may be true, my darling, but some of these men had families. Do you really-” Andrelious replied, but found himself cut off as his fiancée stared angrily at him.
“Stop being such a frakking softie. You’re supposed to be a Warlord of the Sith. Not some sort of Odan-Urr spy.” the female spat, furious at her lover’s apparently sympathy with their enemy.
“Shall we kick on, you two? It’s hardly the time for a domestic.” Celevon added, gesturing towards the pathway into Xlopora City.
“Edraven: For one, I advise you be quiet. I could easily arrange for you to be a casualty on this mission; For two, since when do you care about teams anyway? And for three, given what happened to YOUR wife, do you really think you’re a good person for advice, marital or otherwise? Now keep your head on the mission,” Inahj snapped back, his compassion for the fallen enemies overtaken by anger at the Onderonian.
With the argument out of the way, the four Arconans headed towards Riverche’s position. The Miraluka rendezvoused with her colleagues, unaware of the cross words that now put Celevon and Andrelious into an uneasy truce.
“We have ninety more hours to collect whatever this Revelation is and get off of this rock. The Intelligence we have from that Novae person is that it’s located in that large palace up ahead. I wanted to have the Fortitude blow the palace into pieces, but my superiors vetoed it. Modern Imperials apparently care about losing their own men,” Inahj stated, peering at his chrono for an accurate time check.
“An Imperial? Caring about others? What next? You’ll be saying Riverche has grown eyes,” Kooki responded sarcastically.
“Shall we cut the chatter? We’ve got a long way to go. Keep your weapons active. I’m sure you can all feel that we’re far from being alone.” Andrelious said, holstering his E-11 and drawing his lightsaber.
Sure enough, a pair of Equites and three Journeymen from Naga Sadow barred further progress.
“In the name of Lord Ashen, I demand that you let us past.” Andrelious commanded.
“Ashen is a Son of Sadow. He favours us.” the lead Sadowan, a female Obelisk Exarch responded.
“Nonsense, bitch. Now do as my beloved says. I may only appear to be a Knight but the way I’m feeling right now I could take on Ashen myself.” Kooki snarled, charging in with her purple-bladed saber readied.
“Kooki! No!” Celevon yelled, following her.
“That’s Miss Mimosa to you, Edraven!” Inahj called out, also sprinting in.
Vynn and Riverche shrugged at each other, but readied themselves. The Miraluka stayed back, taking shots at the Sadowans with her blasters, whilst Vynn took hold of his crimson-bladed lightsaber, joining the Melee.
The general anger and animosity that lingered among members of the Arconan team seemed to galvanise them into working as a single unit, at least for the duration of the pitched battle against their Brotherhood rivals. Two of the three Journeymen, ranked by Inahj’s guess as Jedi Hunters, easily fell to the blade of the furious Mimosa, whilst the Exarch who acted as Andrelious’ counterpart found herself relieved of her arms thanks to a double teaming by Inahj and Vynn.
Taking the female Sadowan’s lightsaber, the Arconan Rollmaster knelt besides his fallen enemy, noting that the remaining Equite and Journeyman had both surrendered already, fearful of the Shadow Clan’s team.
“Take your colleagues and leave this place. Tell Vexatus and that tree you call a Consul that you were bested by Arcona. Oh. And I’m keeping your lightsaber. It’s an... interesting design,” Andrelious hissed, picking up the Exarch’s discarded weapon and placing it in somewhere inside of his uniform tunic.
The defeated Exarch nodded to her team, knowing she was fortunate they had escaped with only two of their number killed.
As the Sadowans slipped away, Andrelious took stock. He, Riverche and Kooki were unhurt, whilst Vynn and Celevon had sustained a few easily healed wounds. The two Templars took a few moments to repair this damage, before nodding almost in unison that they were ready to resume their quest.
Naga Sadow had failed. But Arcona’s adventurers had a long way to go.
“We have a mission to complete. So, let’s get going!” Riverche declared leading the way through the dilapidated city.
The Inquisitor had listened to the Imperial’s transmissions for long enough to identify most of their locations in the vicinity. She quickly led the group around buildings and up winding streets avoiding any further encounters with the Imperials and any other groups. Pausing momentarily near a decaying wall, Andrelious grabbed her arm and started to say, “I’m-“
The Knight quietened the infuriated leader by pointing around the corner of the wall. They were about half a yard away from the palace gates, where two Imperials guarded the entrance.
Vynn and the Rollmaster quietly left the group to quickly make their way around the remaining buildings to the soldiers’ location. Moments later and without a warning, the soldiers collapsed onto the ground in front of the gates with slits in their throats.
The opened, ornate gates, half off their hinges, welcomed the adventurers into the courtyard leading up to massive stone palace that towered over the city. A single archway decorated with decaying stone guardians protected the door to the interior. Riverche stopped between the guardians and tapped her transceiver a few times.
“Well?” Kooki inquired.
“Transceiver went out.” The Inquisitor replied.
“Fix it later.” Andrelious ordered walking past her. The doors of the palace were left ajar from years of neglect. The ornate, blackened walls revealed holes once filled with windows, which have long been shattered from the elements. The once magnificent entry way held no clues to the location of the artifact.
“Any idea-“ Celevon trailed off, seeing Kooki leading Riverche further into the palace.
“Follow them?” Vynn inquired. “We need to stay together.”
“Then we need to get moving, not stand here like di’kutse,” the Onderonian said before he moved to catch up to the other three in their group. The Trandoshan was quick to follow, along with the IG-100 MagnaGuard that accompanied the Qel-Droman.
“I was wondering when you lot were going to catch up,” Inahj drawled, barely passing a glance in their direction. The former Imperial was sweeping every corner with his E-11 Blaster Rifle, the gleaming hilts of his lightsabers attached to his belt.
“Sorry to keep you waiting. This place is a bit too quiet... Care to explain why we’re practically walking into a trap?” Celevon retorted, taking a calming breath before extending his senses with the Force. “One of the rooms to my one o’clock has seven life forms in it. I cannot sense anything specific though...”
“Nor can I. There were extensive pieces of Sith Sorcery performed in this area and it clouds our senses,” the Miraluka pointed out quietly. Though it was distracting to her, the energy at least showed clearly where walls and untainted furniture were throughout each room.
“It doesn’t matter whether they’re One Sith Forces or Imperials, they die today,” the Alderaanian hissed from between clenched teeth.
“I don’t know about you lot, but I don’t see myself sacrificing anything in this mission... so, who will it be?” the Rollmaster asked, glancing at everyone but his lover.
The weapon they were supposed to retrieve had required Ferran to sacrifice both the sword Revelation and his arm. Had it not been amputated forcefully by Okemi, it would have likely drained the life force of the founder of the Obelisk Order.
“That shall be decided once we have cleared out a safe area to perform the ritual,” the Assassin pointed out, unclipping his lightsaber from his belt as they approached the room he had sensed enemies within. “For now, we focus on what we must do to accomplish our mission. And if we leave a few bodies in our path, it’s better for us in the long run should we be attacked again.”
The team had cut through a swarm of Sith zombies. They were difficult to get a reading on since only the barest trace of life was left in them. They were even more difficult to kill as merely shooting them had little effect. The Trandoshan's preferred method had quickly become blowing them to pieces with the MicroGrenade Launcher attached to his KX-80 Modified Blaster Rifle. It was hard to come back from a thousand pieces. On top of that he had a certain affinity for blowing things up, and it had served him well during his time in the Soulfire strike team.
The closer they got to their goal however the more of the foul creatures they encountered. It was as if not only were the vile beasts drawn to the same object the team was after but that they also were protecting it. The team too could feel the power emanating from their goal. It drew them closer and yet it also sent a shiver down the back of even the most hardened members of the team.
They rested a bit as they came to the entrance of the objective. Sweat was pouring off each of them save the Droid and even it seemed to have slowed some. Whilst not a Mechanic Vynn knew the droid was damaged and would most likely need to have extensive service and downtime after the mission was complete.
“Let’s get going,” Andrelious announced before adding, “Vynn, you got point.”
Coming to the door He had two options stealth or surprise. Never one for subtlety he took two quick steps and planted a powerful kick to the ancient door.
The mission was beginning to come to a close and Kooki couldn’t be more pleased. Standing back as Vynn had kicked the door down, the Krath awaited to see what was revealed behind it. The team looked in sheer horror, as more Imperials emerged.
Naturally, this was the last thing Kooki wanted to see, especially being so exhausted from the mission in hand. Celevon caught sight of Kooki’s paralanguage, as she immediately moved her right hand to her side to grab her saber.
She is not going to like that. I don’t know who is at more risk. Those enemy Imperials or our team leader.
Kooki sensed his sense of unease.
“I’ll handle this, Edraven,” retorted the Knight.
Without waiting for any signal or word from her teammates or team leader, Kooki charged forwards, with her purple blade fully engaged. Using her unique skill, swooping her blade to and fro, she took out many of the enemy in front of her, as her teammates supported her and began attacking the Imperials in each of their unique fighting styles.
Riverche sensed a clear path across the room, and held back as she allowed the others to overtake her. She remained carefully armed by her blaster and was prepared to shoot if necessary. As the team began making their way across the room, another Imperial appeared.
“Not so fast, Arconans,” he shouted. “Revelation is NOT yours for the taking.”
As he continued to try to provoke a reaction, the Imperial caught sight of Andrelious.
“Ah! Inahj! The rumours are TRUE. Just think. If you had stayed with us all those years ago then maybe WE would be getting what WE deserve.”
That was it. Upon hearing this, Kooki snuck up behind the Imperial and kicked the back of his shins, which took him by surprise and knocked him to the floor. The Alderaanian held out her purple blade just millimetres from his heart. Toying with his life, made her feel so powerful and in control. As she moved her weapon away from her enemy’s chest, he started rising to his feet and smugly smirked.
“You always preferred fiery tempered ones, Inahj!”
Mimosa lunged her blade directly forwards, straight into the Imperial’s chest, right into his heart- well, that’s if Imperials had a heart. Following the attack, his lifeless body fell to the ground with a thud, and dust flew up into the air. Kooki bent over her enemy and loudly whispered into his ear, deliberately just loud enough that her teammates could hear- especially Andrelious.
“Fiery? I prefer defensive!”
Turning to the rest of her team, Mimosa called back, “Shall we?”
With that, they carried on silently through the room, until they got to the other side and exited.
“So are you going to tell us who that was, Andrelious?” Celevon queried as the team made their way through the twisting catacombs of the palace.
“That was Mostynn Christiansen. When I knew him he was a Lieutenant. The rank insignia he was wearing indicates that he was a Vice Admiral.”
“Mostynn?” Kooki questioned. The name brought memories of her father back to her. She stopped for a moment as six years of life on Alderaan echoed in her mind, her increased power with the Force allowing her access to earlier times than she had ever recalled previously in her four decades of life.
“Yes. Not an uncommon first name at all. Why?” Inahj replied, though he had an inkling as to exactly what was bothering his fiancée.
“My father..his name was Mostynn. Haven’t I ever told you that?” the Alderaanian stated.
“Darling. If you want to talk about your family, we can later. Right now we need to focus on the mission. But don’t let that anger go. Let the drive for revenge fuel your power. Then you and I can take on that Zabrak bastard once we get home,” the ex-Imperial answered, appearing somewhat intimidated.
“If there’s members of the Imperial Admiralty down here, just how important is this blade?” Riverche asked.
“I’m beginning to think this mission simply isn’t worth the risk.” Celevon added.
“I’ll tell you what I think. I think we should just turn around and leave. We owe Marick nothing. That pretty boy nearly killed all of us with that mission back to his home. And all to save his frakking pet.” Andrelious hissed in response.
“We’re not leaving until we get rid of every frakking vachead on this planet.” Mimosa sneered, marching down the corridor ahead.
The rate she’s carrying on, Kooki’s going to end this mission dead. She’s trying to fight like an Elder. I better behave myself when we get back home. Inahj thought, deliberately creating a barrier with the Force that prevented any comrades that dared attempt to probe his mind.
Having caught up with his furious lover, Andrelious followed cautiously behind as if it were she who was the confident Equite and he the newly Knighted rookie.
Celevon, Riverche and Vynn all found the situation a little hard to understand. River and Vynn in particular, who had been Knighted during Inahj’s reign as Clan Rollmaster. They had looked up to him at times as someone who would protect them, knowing that he would intervene should training turn dangerous. Now he was seemingly happy to play second fiddle to one of those he had Knighted. What exactly had Kooki done to the Warlord?
The team came to another locked door. Andrelious made short work of the lock, blasting it with Force-generated electricity. Overtaking his fiancée, he stormed confidently into the room ahead...
...to find that there appeared to be no floor. However, instead of falling, the Warlord appeared to be floating in the air. Kooki followed, also apparently levitating.
“It appears that this is some sort of illusion. It’s as if the floor is made out of transparisteel, but it’s too solid for that. It must be one of these traps that Novae warned about. She did state they were of a varying nature.” Inahj explained, having cautiously tapped against the seemingly absent flooring, bemused as to the material used.
Entering the next door, the Warlord was jolted suddenly, as if hit by a Force attack. He briefly inspected his armour, finding to his surprise he was totally unhurt. A quick look at the reactions of his colleagues indicated that they too had felt the jolt.
“Celevon. Kooki. Vynn. Good. You’re all here. All four of us are okay.” the ex-Imperial smirked, confident that he’d accounted for his entire retinue.
“Andrelious. I’m here too... I’m okay!” River replied, grumbling with annoyance that that Rollmaster had ignored her.
“This room appears to be devoid of traps. I really wish we had a comms specialist with us. They’d have given us forewarning that the Imperials had found me out. We wouldn’t have lost Saskia at the pad...” Celevon spoke.
Riverche was dumbfounded. Saskia Ortega had declined the mission at the last minute, allowing the Miraluka Knight to go instead. It was almost as if they had slipped into some sort of alternate universe...
“Just keep moving, Edraven! We’ll deal with Saskia’s death later. For now the rest of us have to continue!” Kooki commanded, as vengeful as ever.
Another large jolt hit the quintet.
“Riverche. Are you alright? I don’t know what came over us. It’s like we forgot who you were. I was certainly convinced that Saskia came with us instead. And I think the others were, too.” Celevon said, clearly confused by what had happened.
“Just keep moving. Whatever those jolts are, they do something to our perception of reality. As you said, Edraven, we all forgot Riverche even existed. This mission is starting to really grate on me. One more of these arcane traps and I’m ordering a retreat.” Inahj spat.
“I told you. Not till all the Imperials are dead.” Mimosa repeated.
“They WILL all be dead. Well. Those on the surface. There’s still the matter of a large fleet above us. There’s no guarantee that Marick will even pick us up if we fail this mission. But knowing that sneaky little bastard he’s probably sent another five or so teams to be sure,” Andrelious said.
“Can we just decide something, please? If we stand about discussing things we’ll be dead, too.” Celevon interjected.