Below is the opening post of this month's Run-On. If successful, this will be the first of a series of House Run-Ons. Everyone is welcome to join in and post. This is "free-form" so there's no specific goal, but just remember to use what has been given to you in previous posts. Another topic will be opened for out of character discussions pertaining to this Run-On. Full details of this Run-On can be found at http://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/dbjedi/...ons.asp?ID=1458
The Adept watched as the shuttle slowly rose off the hanger-bay floor and sped out from the large doors before shooting upwards and away from his eyesight. Corran took one last look at where his predecessor had left before turning back and striding towards the lift doors.
“Sir, we have an incoming distress signal”, his comm. Crackled
“On my way”.
“Report”, The Quaestor’s voice boomed as he strode onto the bridge of the Temple. Years of military service still showed in how the Elder carried himself and interacted with those below him.
“We’ve lost the signal. It was one of our supply ships entering just beyond the asteroid field. This is the third ship we’ve lost in the past two weeks, sir”.
The Arconae let out an angry breath before abruptly turning back around and heading to the lift once more.
The Battlemaster entered the office cautiously, the order to come having appeared out of nowhere.
“Ma’ar, do you know of the terraforming project here on Boral?”
The Vurk nodded an affirmative, allowing his Quaestor to continue.
“Due to this project, we are constantly in need of specialized materials. Our supply ships have recently come under attack just outside our system. We don’t have the military strength to guard each shipment. That being said, you will be in charge of the mission to weed out whoever is attacking these shipment and making sure they stop”.
The Equite raised an eyebrow in surprise, the question of “why me” easily etched on his face.
“We do not have an abundance of experienced members in this House, and this project is our undertaking. I need someone I can trust. You did well helping us gain that mining ‘contract’ long ago”.
A slight smile appeared on the Battlemaster’s face as he remembered the first time he was in Arcona long ago and the mission he had undertaken with the man who sat across from him.
“I accept, Halcyon. What’re my assets for this mission?”
“The Consul has given us the use of the Nighthawk
. Three Interceptors will be placed on Nighthawk’s
external racks and another flight of E-Wings will also be at your disposal. You will have a company of Clan soldiers at your disposal. I also suggest a team House members. At least three to fly the E-Wings and another handful to either help you or lead any platoons into battle if needed. Do you have any other questions?”
He shook his head in a negative before being dismissed. Striding down the corridors, the Equite's mind began formulating a plan as he began his search for the rest of his team.
The Guardian felt the slight drone of far distant voices, hundreds of them...all wispering their own private thoughts. They were disimbodied, floating in a nothingness, yet still managed to hold the feel of proximaty. They were of course, Ceric knew, limited to the confines of the capital ship which he now occupied...he knew that he was on the ship, he knew that the voices that he heard were the thoughts of his fellow Dark Jedi, and he knew that he was in a deep state of mediation positioned comfortably on a mat in his private quarters. But this knowledge worked only to distract him from his consentration, so he pushed all of his own thoughts away, clearing his mind of musings once more. As he meditated on the Force, feeling it flow around and through him, him and the masters of the voices...the thoughts...the private ponderings which he so easily perpetrated. Not that any of those things were of any interest to him...he was simply focusing on...everything. After a time though, something caught his attention; one of the voices had an urgent feel about it, and Ceric Crimson focused in on it more closely. It was...the communications officer on the main deck...he was close to the Quaestor, which of course, Jin'ei did not even dare try to read...not that he could, even with many more years of practice. The Com. Officer had picked up a distress signal...the assassin focused even deeper until he could not only hear the man's thoughts, but also his voice...and the voices of those around him...including the voice of the displeased Quaestor at the news of another apperant raid on one of their vessals. The Guardian heard Halcyon passing the order to investiagte to the Battlemaster.
The Crimson Assassin opened his eyes, and the murmer of voices abruptly died. He silently survaid the his room, it seemed to him that after his meditation his senses were sharper, and indeed they were. He could see the shadows playing across the room in time with the single red candle that burned in front of the Dark Jedi, not only that, but he could see every tiny edge and corner that the shadows mimicked. Jin'ei gathered himself, feeling the blood coursing through his body. As his muscles begin to awaken from their rest, he rose slowely, and after seening to his presentable appearance, stepped outside his quarters. Just as Ma'ar walked by, Just as Ceric had calculated.
"Good evening, Battlemaster," greeted the assassin politely, and Ma'ar turned around and offered the same in turn.
"How fares our House this day?" asked the Guardian, feighning ignorance, if only for the sake of dramatic effect.
Ma`ar began to formulate a plan as Halcyon walked out of the room, the thoughts of how and where ran through the Vurk’s mind.
Grabbing a communicator, Ma`ar radioed the hangar, and had his shuttle readied for a short trip to the CRV Torment.
Ma`ar paced the small room, where the brief had shortly been held, but Ma`ar knew something drastic this time needed to happen.
“Team Alpha, Omega please make yourselves ready in the next ten minutes we are leaving for the Torment, meet me at the hangar, and ready your troops your assignment will give at that time.” Ma`ar spoke.
“Yes commander, it will be done.” The returning voice said.
Ma`ar headed out of the room with a data pad in hand, as he made for his new quarters.
As the hallways gave a reflection of what had passed many months ago, it reminded Ma`ar of the old days with Halcyon at his side, at the aggressive negations, they under took together. “What fun days, seems as so long ago to me.” Ma`ar thought to himself.
As the doorway was left open as it was when Ma`ar had left in such a hurry when Halcyon called for the Sith Battle master’s presence.
Ma`ar went to the back room, and retrieved his gear, the small pack was always ready to go, and needing no time to pack anything, the rest was aboard the shuttle.
Ma`ar turned and took a last glance of the quarters and said, “Looks like I’m in need of a small amount of decorating.”
Ma`ar closed the door and entered a code to sealed it shut, not knowing if he would return, but the force was there to guide the seasoned veteran.
As the time ticked away, Ma`ar hurried to the lift that would take him straight to the Hangar, as he entered a beep at the communicator Ma`ar carried was heard.
“Yes.” Ma`ar replied.
“Master, Ive heard your about to leave, and I just wanted to wish you good luck, and a speedy return. Is there anything you would like for me to study while your away.” Odin Vaaj replied.
“Yes, I want you to keep training on your saber technique. Ive left a older training saber in your room, so you can keep practicing, its only strong enough to deflect anything you might encounter here.” Ma`ar replied.
As the communicator went silent, Ma`ar clipped it to his belt, and exited the lift, and walked toward the two groups standing just near the shuttle.
“I see we are ready to go, Omega, and Alpha. Good job, lets get out of here and head to the CRV Torment, and I will give you two your assignments, you’ve been hand picked for two special assignments, and I want you to be ready for anything that might come your way.” Ma`ar said as he walked past them and into the shuttle.
The two teams of 12 men, walked into the shuttle, the rear loading ramp closed behind them, as the dropped there gear, they noticed that Ma`ar was already at the helm and warming up the engines.
“Strap yourselves in.” Ma`ar commanded.
As the troops sat down and strapped in the seats, Ma`ar radioed the hangar office and said, “This is shuttle TK321, preparing for departure to CRV Torment.”
“Shuttle TK321, your clearance is granted, and I will meet with you shortly aboard the Torment. Good hunting.” Halcyon commanded.
As the transmission ended, the Shuttle turned one hundred and eighty degrees and lifted completely off, as it exited the Hangar, the engines fired to life as they had done so, so many different times before.
Devani surveyed the faces about her silently. Some were familar, Dark Jedi she had known for nearly as long as she'd joined Clan Arcona. Some were not so familar, new additions or old members she'd never met personally. Standing up swiftly, she followed the others as they boarded the Torment, wondering again what this mission would entail and where it would take her. Glancing upward she noticed the Aedile preparing to speak.
As the shuttle was entering the atmosphere, Ma`ar engaged the autopilot controls and turned from the console, and looked towards the twelve men. A familiar female face stood out like a sore thumb.
“Devani, I take you came along for the ride.” Ma`ar said starring at her.
“Yes, Ma`ar I needed a bit of action and well knowing this mission is important. I figured I could help out in some way, please excuse my not asking but I figured you had enough on your mind the way it was.” Devani said looking at Ma`ar.
“Well Omega and Alpha you’re jobs are going to get interesting real quick.” Ma`ar barked.
The Vurks prescience was a commanding one, that he never took no for a answer, nor accepted defeat well.
“Omega, you will take two cargo shuttles and patrol the area as a decoy, each will have 6 total people aboard, I want this to look as traders with cargo. If we are to find out who is behind this and I want a decoy to flush them out.” Ma`ar looked deeply at the commander of Omega squadron.
“Yes commander, but what if we are attacked, do we have any support?” Omega’s commander said with hesitation.
“Yes, you know full well you will be boarded and then take them by surprise. Try and keep the fire fight to a minimum as I don’t want anyone injured, but you know what this entails.” Ma`ar fired back.
“Yes sir, I understand.” The commander looked at Ma`ar with a bit more understanding.
“Alpha Squadron I want you to keep a close eye on each shuttle, keep you distant, but I want them to have full coverage, I will make sure you have enough fighters to company them with plenty of fire power to suppress anything that they might come across.” Ma`ar commanded as he looked at the commander of Alpha squadron.
“Sir are we allowed to destroy what ever threatens them?” The commander spoke.
“No, I want them disabled and not destroyed. Any other time I will allow a disintegration of what ever would threaten our clan, but not this time, we need to end this problem, and destroying everything would not allow us to solve the problem.” Ma`ar replied.
“Ok commander I will note that.” Alpha’s commander replied.
Ma`ar looked at Devani and said, “Well my dear, what for you. You said you wanted action, but I’m at a lack of what to have you do, we need two ships patrolling the area but I’m unsure if it will be safe enough.” Ma`ar replied.
“Ma`ar I figure I can handle it, but I’m not sure of what craft to take.” Devani replied.
“Well I made sure to have two long range shuttles with the best scanning equipment we could find, they should do the trick, as they do pick up a faint signature of a cloaked ship. They do lack the necessary firepower to go toe to toe with a fighter, but it will suit this purpose, I will take one, and you take the other, keep in constant communication with me and we will go from there.” Ma`ar said with reassurance.
“Yes, thanks Ma`ar.” Devani said.
With that Ma`ar uttered, “Meeting over, you all have your assignments as soon as we land on the Torment, make your flight preparations ready and we all will be under way.”
Ma`ar turned and walked towards the cockpit as Devani followed him.
The Sith Flight Leader watched as his counter-part followed the Aedile toward the cock-pit. He had been among the first picked by Ma'ar when he had encountered him in the hallway some minutes back. He walked over to Commander Revaan and saluted, then sat beside his friend.
"You have doubts about this, my friend?" the assassin asked his BT leader.
"Well..."started the Hunter,"as much as I enjoy being a decoy,"he said smiling sardonicly,"I am more worried about sis, he said, motioning toward where Devani had just disapeared into the cock-pit.
Jin'ei Crimson frowned slightly, but said,"She can take care of herself, Ma'ar knows what he is doing."
"One can only hope,"Revaan chuckled.
After a moment Ceric rose saying,"I will address our troops in more detail, give 'em the ol' "nobody likes a dead hero" speech."
Revaan only laughed as he checked his blaster.
As Ma`ar settled down in his captains chair, Devani made her way into the cockpit.
“Ma`ar, you seem as something is troubling you. It’s like there isn’t something you’re telling us.” Devani said as she shat down next to the Vurk.
“Well yes Devani, there is. When it was made clear to me of the problem by Halcyon, I sensed something that was way off. Something like this wasn’t a outside job, I could sense in Halcyon’s voice he knew way more than he let on in the meeting. But my goal is to stop this before it gets worse.” Ma`ar said starring out into space.
The silence grew thick in the cock pit almost thick enough to cut with a knife.
Devani turned back to Ma`ar and just watched him go about the duties of check the coordinates, she turned to notice the Torment coming into view, and Ma`ar not making any motion or anything.
“Shuttle TK321 you are in our scanners, please advise your security clearance number and your destination and cargo.” A Voice said over the Com.
“This Ma`ar, I’m carrying 13 passengers, and random cargo. We are on a mission and should be expected.” Ma`ar snapped almost upset that he was questioned by this deck officer.
“Thirteen, I was told twelve.” The Officer replied.
“Yes well we had another member of Oriens Obscurum that wanted to join the posse. Are the craft and shuttle prepared for flight as well be there just long enough to get set up for the rest of the mission.” Ma`ar snapped.
“Yes sir the shuttle is ready but the fighters will take some time to get the Ion cannons retrofitted to them.” The officer replied.
“Well then Id suggest getting on it before we arrive, or Hell will follow.” Ma`ar snapped as he shut off the com.
As he readied the ship, Ma`ar transmitted the security clearance he had been given and slowed the ship to landing speed.
Devani turned to Ma`ar and said, “You don’t think its Halc that’s doing this do you? Or could it be someone else in the clan.”
Ma`ar said nothing more, but he glanced at Devani and made one final comment, “All I will say is I know its not Halcyon, who it is and whom I may think it is I cannot comment. But Devani when your out there be careful, I don’t want any causalities on this mission, if you happen to get into trouble use your instincts and get a hold of me, I will be there when I can, but I shouldn’t be to far away.”
As the Torment was with in range the Hangar doors lowered and Ma`ar guided the shuttle into the Hangar.
As the shuttle touched down, Ma`ar shut down all the controls and opened the back loading ramp. As he stood up he looked back at the men that were there and said, “Men grab your gear and get to your ships, if they are not ready help the officers get them ready I will be on the bridge and find out if we need anything before we leave again.”
With that the 12 men got up and filed out the back of the shuttle and into the Torments Hangar.
Ma`ar and Devani were the last two out of the shuttle. As Ma`ar came into view of the Hangar crew he threw his hood over his head and walked towards the turbo lift to the Bridge.
Devani stayed and helped the ground crew the best she could, and keeping a close eye on Ma`ar as he walked towards the other end of the Hangar to the lifts.
Ceric walked among the lines of his Battle Team and ordered the men into their positions when they were needed to assist in one thing or another, Revaan doing the same thing from the opposite side of the lines. Jin'ei stopped and regarded as one of the docking crew's personell struggled with a perticularily heavy looking container, he then watched as the man clumsily dropped the thing with a clang, something making a high pitch shattering noise as it struck the ground drawing out the man's quiet curse. He then hurried to retrieve the box and recieved a nice rough shove from the Flight Leader for his efforts followed by a sharp order to resume his 'efforts' elsewhere as the Crimson Assassin nimbly lifted the box up into the air and moved it over to its chosen position.
As Ceric, stepped back to assess their progress, Revaan silently motioned him over by his side. As soon as the assassin moved over by his Commander, Revaan said in a low voice,"What do you think is going on here, Crimson?"giving his Second a look.
Jin'ei arched an eyebrow in question,"What do you mean, Rev?"
"What I mean is that there is something more going on here than the Aedile is letting on. I sense something something is out of place."
The assassin frowned and looked away,"I...heard, Halcyon and Ma'ar talking when our fearless leader recieved the intel about the attack, Halcyon was definatly not saying all he knew, but the Battlemaster seemed to know exactly what was being left out. Whatever 'it' is, they are both in on it...on the other hand commander, it is not all that unusual for the head not to tell its hands all it knows...it is the way of these things work."
Revaan nodded, then added,"Even so, Ma'ar singled out Devani, and that makes me more than a little curious, I want you to...put your 'skills' to use and keep a sharp eye and ear on the situation."
"Understood," said the assassin, as he pulled up his hood to conceal his smile.
Devani bit her lower lip, watching Ma'ar stalk towards the Torment's lifts. Something wasn't right, she would be sure to take Ma'ar's advice and keep a keen eye while she was out patroling. Shaking her head she focused on the task at hand, the faint suspicion tucked to the back of her mind. Stepping out of the lift, she walked quickly down a maze of corridors wanting to speak with Commander Revaan. Taking a sharp right, she noticed the 12 warriors preparing to embark on their mission. Revaan was conferring quietly with Jin'ei, the other Flight Leader of the Dark Phoenix Squadron. While they had a history together, nothing and no one was going to even cause a bump in her rise in power. Especially not the arrogant albeit handsome assasin. Swiftly she walked forward, ignoring Jin'ei as she approached Commander Revaan.
"Sir, I need to speak with you...alone." she frowned, drawing him aside.
"What is it Devani?" he questioned arching his eyebrows.
Flipping her hair back, Devani took a moment to speak, her eyes examining each member in the room before looking him square in the eyes. "Rev, something isn't right here. It would be a good idea to keep your eyes open, don't trust anyone. Not me, not your mother and especially not Jin'ei. This is an inside job."
Revaan eyed her silently before nodding. Turning sharply he barked, "Men, to the shuttles. NOW!!!!!
Devani smiled slightly before sauntering up to Jin'ei, his hood shading his face, eyes all but glinting through the gloom. Cocking her head to the right slightly, she snickered softly. "Now don't get yourself blown up."
"Don't you worry your pretty little head, I'll be just fine. I might say the same for you, watch your back." Jin'ei smirked.
Laughing, Devani turned and walked out, heading for the lifts.
As Ma`ar made his way to the lift, he turned to see the hangar crew and the two teams preparing the fighters and shuttles.
The lift opened and Ma`ar stepped in as the door closed, the lift speed upward to the bridge.
As Ma`ar thought to himself his thoughts centered on whom it maybe that would pull off a stunt like attacking there own shuttles and keeping the cargo.
Knowing he wouldn’t get much from Halcyon, as the secrets were kept even from the beginning. Ma`ar would have never guessed Halcyon himself would be responsible for the attack, but then again anyone was a suspect at this moment.
The door to the lift suddenly opened and a flurry of officers were all around the consoles that gave vital information to them about the Torment.
“Commander Good to see you, I trust your flight here was short.” An Officer exclaimed to Ma`ar as he stepped off the lift.
“Yes and no.” Ma`ar replied still centering on his thoughts.
Ma`ar made his way to the communications console and looked down, as the officer stepped aside and Ma`ar grabbed the com, he asked to have Halcyon radioed.
“Ma`ar there is no need to radio Halcyon he is already in the Hangar he arrived shortly after you did.” An officer looked at the Vurk with surprise.
“Have him meet me in the War room, immediately.” Ma`ar scoffed as he walked towards the lift.
“And have the crew stand by, I will be with them shortly.”
“Yes sir.” The officer replied as Ma`ar entered the lift.
“Master Halcyon, Ma`ar requests your prescience in the War room.” The communications officer replied into the com.
“Yes, I was headed there anyways.” Halcyon replied.
**“Hangar bay crew have the special ops teams prepare for flight within the Hour, Commander Ma`ar will be there shortly to execute the mission at hand.”** An officer radioed the Hangar.
Jin'ei finished adjusting the scope on the X-45 sniper rifle, snapped the cartrige in place and slid it neatly into its place at his back, beneath his cloak. He then fitted the "Happy Surprise" pistol into its' hidden holster up his left sleeve. After checking that his Vibro-Scythe and Darkstick were secured in their place, he threw off a few sharp roundhouses to measure his mobility and check for any rattling. When he was satisfied that he was sufficiently equipped, the assassin sat down cross legged, at the far edge of the dock floor and closed his eyes in Reverie within the solitude of his hood.
He drifted off. Seeing, but not seeing. Hearing, but not hearing at all. He was, and he was not.
Ceric Crimson flew through the ship in his incorporial state, passing people, and passing through them as they went about their daily routines. He finally focused in on his destination and found himself there...in the War room...Halcyon stood within, facing out into space, then the doors slid silently open and Ma'ar stepped through.
The assassin let his thoughts and concentration drift, and the vision became blurry, making his presance at the meeting a faint insignificant speck for any who would have bothered to try and detect him, so he rend the connection even more, until there was nothing...nothing except the sound of their conversation echoing in his mind.....
Devani stalked into the hanger, still annoyed by her encounter with Jin’ei. Spotting a dock officer she made a bee-line for him. “Which ship will I be using for my mission?” she asked tersely. He pointed to a ship to her left, turning sharply she moved towards the ship examining it carefully. It wasn’t much to look at but it would get the job done, which is what was important. Running her hands along the outside of the shuttle, she started to inspect it, everything must be working properly. Climbing into the shuttle, she switched it on, running a diagnostic on all systems. “All things seem to be running well,” she mumbled to herself. At a loss for what to do, she kneeled down, touching her head to the floor. Chanting, the tattoos around her eyes sprang to life and a smile spread across her face.
Doors were sliding open, to revile Dark Side Adept Halcyon standing in the war room.
Ma`ar made his way inside to find the Adept patiently waiting for Ma`ar.
“I trust your trip here was enjoyable.” Halcyon said as he watched out in the deep space.
“Yes very, but I feel something is a miss here, Halcyon.” Ma`ar replied.
“As in what Ma`ar, I gave you all the information you needed.” Halcyon replied.
“Yes I know, but this smells like a inside job, I mean why now. This has been going on for sometime and we choose to act now?” Ma`ar snapped
“Watch your tone, my Aedile. This is a simple mission nothing more.” Halycon added
With that Ma`ar paused, something came to him through the force, something wasn’t right about this situation. Ma`ar made his way around the room as he was checking for something that wasn’t there.
Finally coming across a scrap of writing on the table closest to the wall, Ma`ar grabbed it.
Stuffing the paper in his robes, Ma`ar looked at Halcyon that was still at the window, before leaving he made on last comment, “Halycon this still smells like a inside job, by whom I will get to the bottom of quickly, and may mercy have there souls.”
With that Ma`ar stormed to the door, as the door slide open Halcyon turned to glare at Ma`ar but nothing would stop the Vurk from walking out the door, not even Halcyon himself.
“Ma`ar wait, I need to discuss one last issue with you.” Halcyon added just as the door closed.
Ma`ar walked towards the lift to the hangar, as he made his way down the long corridor, Ma`ar sensed that an prescience was following him.
“Ceric you can come out now, I know you heard all that was said, but for your sake I hope you keep it under your tongue. Nothing leaves that room, unless I personally clear it.” Ma`ar barked.
“Yes sir, you don’t think Halcyon has anything to do with this do you?” Ceric added.
“Well he is defiantly playing a silent roll in this operation, but I did find something that was a issue on the table.” Ma`ar added.
“Ok, but what was it?” Ceric looked at Ma`ar with insight.
“Well I will take a closer look when I am under way. But for now, prepare the troops, we go in 20 minutes.” Ma`ar added as he entered the lift.
Ceric Crimson drew himself back into his body, his breathing slowly coming back to normal, feeling returning to his limbs until finally he opened his eyes. The assassin cracked his neck, thinking hard on what he had learned...or rather confirmed. He slowly stood and walked over to his Battle Team, looking them over, making sure they were all prepaired and fit looking. Everyone was present, except of course, Devani, on her...special mission.
The Guardian sighed. Then, in a very low voice that never the less carried well above the commotion of the hanger said,"Proud men and women of the Dark Phoenix...we have come here for a purpose, but what that purpose is is something only your superiors need concern themselves with. You, will have enough to worry about then the subtities of politics. Follow your mission objectives and the orders of those superiors and you will make it back in one piece, play the hero and I will personally make sure that they will not find enough of you to fit into a match box. Whatever you do, keep sharp, trust no one but your instincts, and let the Force guide you....we leave in twenty, now blow like smoke or I'll spill you like a baby cup!"
As the hooded assassin turned from his fellow Arconans and set about the task of rechecking his own gear, including the increadably cumbersome looking Vibro-Scythe that he wore as one would wear a piece of silk, Jin'ei let his mind wonder.
Twenty minutes was way to long to spend doing nothing so Devani decided to talk with Jin’ei, she wanted some information and knowing the assassin…he would have it. It didn’t take long for her to find him, looking bored and at the same time menacing.
“Hey Jin’ei, I need an answer…” she questioned. Around them men shifted nervously: checking and rechecking their gear; sharpening swords and praying to whatever gods, if any, they believed in. She couldn’t understand what was bothering them…life was only a journey towards death. Shaking her heads, she turned back to listen to her fellow Flight Leader.
“What do you want to know,” Jin’ei eyed her with an expression of complete disinterest.
“What have you learned from trying to spy on Ma’ar and Halc?” she looked him straight in the eyes.
“Nothing much that you didn’t know, Ma’ar suspects an inside job and Halc neither confirmed nor denied his suspicions.”
Devani chewed it over thoughtfully before winking at Jin’ei, “I’m sure you’ll find out soon enough, keep me informed, huh? I’m gonna get back and make sure, again, that all systems are go. Be careful, I want you back in one piece so I can be sure to have a sparring partner! May your mission be successful,” closing her eyes quickly, she chanted for a couple seconds and the tattoos around her eyes resettled in their old positions.
“By the way, Mother and Father greet you and wish you well,” she grinned. “To you as well,” he flashed her a roguish smile, “Contact me if you need me at all or if you find out anything yourself.”
Nodding Devani turned and left the room, taking the lifts back to her ship.
The doors to the lift slide open slower than usual, or maybe it was the unsteadied pace Ma`ar walked with.
The hangar was abuzz with people running everywhere, the shuttles and fighters were at full ready and as the troops loaded into each one, there seemed a moment of pause. The tension was in full in the dim lit hangar, but Ma`ar knowing all would be ok, or so he had hoped.
The walk to his shuttle was long and seemed forever, but once at the loading ramp, a single man stepped forward and said, “Good luck commander, I sure wouldn’t want to lead this nor be out there. As shuttle after shuttle has seemed to either come back destroyed or lost completely. Master Halcyon has requested you communicate with him as soon as your off.”
Ma`ar said nothing but nodded figuring that Halcyon wanted to give a few more details and last minute Intel. Ma`ar strolled into the cockpit of the older shuttle, the controls were already lit up ad ready for take off, the ground crew had retrofitted the shuttle with a few extra weapons and boosters.
Ma`ar grabbed at the communicator and gave ok to take off, one by one shuttles and fighters were away, as Ma`ar’s shuttle lifted off a beep was overheard and Ma`ar knew it was Halcyon himself.
“Yes Halcyon what may I do for you?” Ma`ar replied.
“Intel is showing a few strange craft in the surrounding area of the Torment, be prepared for anything unusual.” Halcyon said with a crisp voice.
“Shall do, but exactly where is all the craft going down at, I’m guessing there being hijacked on a planet surface. Since most of them do not have a docking adapter.” Ma`ar said with a bit of questioning in his voice.
“Yes Ma`ar they are being boarded on planet surface, but they seem to be attacked above the destination like they have been followed and stalked. Some have been shot down, others have been taken fully. I want you to keep a close eye on the cargo shuttles let the fighters escort you to the planet, if need be intercept whatever come in the way.” Halcyon replied before shutting off the communicator.
As the shuttles and the fighters were in open space, Ma`ar radioed all the parties and said, “Make way to the destination you were given in the briefing, Myself and Devani will fly escorting with you all the way while the fighters watch the backside and follow closely behind and forward, when we hit planet surface secure all the area around those cargo shuttles and good luck to all, Ma`ar out.”
With that the shuttles seemed to fly onward on there own while Ma`ar scanned the area all around, nothing popped up on the scanners to indicate any trouble.
As the shuttle carrying Crimson’s Battle Team lurched upward, and then sped through the hanger and out of the recently force field lowered hanger launch port, Jin’ei examined the faces of each one of his men carefully, mentally taking note of all those who were too confident, too afraid, or too uncertain.
“Just remember men,” the assassin said in a low voice that seemed to carry through the craft never the less, “though we do not yet know what we face, if I see a single shred of cowardice, or foolish thoughts of heroics out there. I will personally see to it that your rotting carcasses are never found. Stick to the plan and follow Ma’ar’s and my own lead. Oh, and remember, there are many ways to desecrate a corpse, just because one is dead does not mean his torments have ended,” he concluded, absently rechecking his X-45 sniper rifle.
The shuttles glided easily through the atmosphere, gently landing on the planet. Guardian Jin’ei was the first out of the ramp, the rest of his team close behind as they each spread out and took up their assigned positions. The other teams went about their business as well, quickly assessing the situation.
The assassin conferred with the other leaders, each of them coming to the same conclusion. A low rumble of displeasure sounded in Crimson’s throat as he contacted his Aedile.
“Ma’ar, there’s nothing here. No sign of anything”.
Copy, Ceric. Continue your watch
Closing the link with his Guardian on the ground, the older Sith turned to his Guardian in space, “Devani, anything on sensors?”
“There was a brief blip at the edge of the system not too long ago. The Torment confirmed it, but that was it”.
“Thank you”, the Battlemaster nearly hissed, wanting to catch these pirates with their pants down. Least we didn’t lose anymore, was his last thought before turning his attention to current activities
“Report”, the dis-embodied voice ordered.
“It was as you said. We just managed to escape before they arrived. They suspect nothing”.
“Are you sure of this?”
“On my life”.
“We shall see. We start phase two shortly. The current situation shall make it that much simpler”.