This is a joint fiction between Mechronage, Severon, Apollo and myself. If you have not been invited to post, please do not post.
Aside from that, typical Run-On rules apply.
Mechronage Saltherion tapped the pad next to his Master's office aboard the Sword's Sheath. The door slid open quietly. Inside, Scion Altera sat at his desk. Apollo and Severon Vercingetorix had already arrived and taken the two other chairs in the office, so the Trandoshan entered quietly and stood next to the Guardian.
"You summoned me, Master?" he asked.
"Yes, Mechronage. We have a mission that we think may be able to serve a dual purpose if you were to accompany us."
Scion's fingertips played across the battered steel flask sitting upright on his desk. Apollo's eyes tracked them for a moment before he stood up, fixing his gaze on the Trandoshan. The Aedile picked up where he left off.
"The Dark Council Auditor has left us, and Dranik has been poking around here too. While we were able to hide most of our supplies from the both of them, the truth of the matter is that we are running low. We only have a few weeks worth of food left, and we need to acquire more."
The corner of Apollo's mouth raised slightly, and he paused a moment for effect.
"Tarentum won't be sending another shipment for awhile yet, despite Dranik's inspection. I guess they're talking to the Dark Council to corroborate their findings. Ever flown a TIE Interceptor before, son?"
The Jedi Hunter's mind raced with questions, but Scion and Severon had both risen from their chairs.
"Wait, you said this mission had a dual purpose. May I ask what you meant by that?"
"You may not," replied Scion with a smirk, as he gathered his flask up from the desk and stowed it in his jacket.
"Then where are we acquiring supplies from?"
"Now that's a good question," said Scion. "We discovered a shipment of food headed for Yridia IX. Normally we wouldn't engage in piracy within the Yridia system for fear of getting caught by the Consul, but this particular shipment did pique my interest. The buyers are a group of illicit lommite miners inside the City of Eden. Even if the Clan found out what we're doing, we could probably talk our way out of it in the name of fighting crime in Yridia."
The Quaestor continued. "So, the mission is simple: three Force sensitive pilots in TIE Interceptors fitted with ion cannons, and Apollo's escort shuttle jump on the shipment while it's navigating through the asteroids in the Itaana Belt. We disable the ships before they can send out any transmissions, kill the crew, steal the supplies and head home. The disabled ships will be crushed by the asteroids and everybody will just think their astromechs screwed up. It's the price you pay for living in a dangerous part of the galaxy."
The four made their way down to the hangar bay together. After changing into their flight suits, they stood on the flight deck and watched as technicians worked on three of the Interceptors.
"Looks like they're just about done attaching the ion cannons," commented Apollo to nobody in particular. "Severon, go over and see if my shuttle is ready yet."
"As you wish, Aedile Apollo." Severon responded, making sure to stress the formality. Apollo cast a withering glance at him as he walked towards the shuttle, absentmindedly fingering his TG collar emblem.
As he approached, the shuttles lead technician ran to him. "Sir, the shuttle has been thoroughly looked over and everything is in order."
"Very good. Apollo will be pleased. You did make sure to...(whisper) stow the package?"
"Of course," the guard replied, also whispering.
"Good." Severon said raising his voice again. "Check to make sure the engine temps are fine as I report to Apollo."
"Yes Guardian Vercingetorix."
Severon walked briskly back to where Apollo stood talking to Scion and Mechronage. "The shuttle is ready and warm Apollo." He announced, interrupting the Aedile's speech. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a smirk appear on Scion's face.
"Thank you, Severon." Apollo said, with a touch of malice. "Come, we were just discussing the finer details of this mission."
Mechronage was strapping into his pilots seat thinking of what the possibilities of this mission’s dual purpose could be, he didn’t even notice his Master walking up to his TIE interceptor’s newly fitted Ion cannons.
“Everything looks to be in proper condition.” Scion took a swig from his flask.
“Master, I have a bad feeling about this mission.”
“I do too; just stick in a group out there and everything should be fine.”
“OK, may the force be with you Master.”
“And you.” With that Scion turned to his ship and stalked with a purpose across the hangar of the Sword’s Sheath, his confident posture not giving away the doubt that he had within.
Scion’s thoughts were cut short by Apollo. “He is ready,” Apollo said with a smirk. “He is strong with the dark side, and he has had a great teacher.” Scion looked at his Master and grinned, he said just what he needed to hear.
Scion and Apollo entered their starfighters and strapped in, started their engines, and finally turned on their four-way comlinks, cutting off a joke that Mechronage was telling Severon.
“OK journeymen; let’s see what you can do.” Scion said.
The three TIE interceptors and escort shuttle lifted off the hangar floor, and headed out into the asteroid field.
It had nearly been three days since the two shuttles carrying food and supplies had entered hyperspace with an escort of two starfighters, which looked like modified X-wings.
“Lieutenant Stevens reporting in, Commander Liavet.” Stevens said with a disciplined salute, which the Commander returned.
“Did you finish checking the stock in this and the other ship?” The Commander said with an almost sinister voice.
“Sir, yes sir. We have everything that was on the list, I made contact with the captain of the other shuttle and he has said the same.”
“Well done Lieutenant, you have served me well. I just want you to know that if anything where to happen to me, you are the heir to all my assets including my followers.”
“Commander, you do me a great honor.” Stevens said almost coming to tears.
“You have earned it; you have always been my loyal second hand man and have been there through my hardships as well,” Commander Liavet continued “but now is not the time for this, return to your station we are going to be exiting hyperspace in the next couple of minutes. I need you ready just in case we have any company when we arrive.”
Severon sat quietly in the pilot's seat of his Interceptor. He felt strangely uncomfortable in the pilot suit as it was tight and constraining while his robes were loose. Although his lightsaber was with him in the cockpit, he felt naked without it hanging on the now non-existent belt. He scanned the surroundings closely.
Only a few seconds later he saw the space in front of them distort with hyperspace. He warmed up his ion cannon and opened the comlink channel to the others. Apollo came on shortly with only one word, "Incoming."
Steady with concentration and knowing that it was Mechronage's honor to have the first go, he steadied his Interceptor and watched his comrade in his own Interceptor.
Severon began to quietly count to himself.
The ships slowly shot into focus.
Mechronage was moving into position.
The ships were out of hyperspace now and activating sensors.
Mechronage's cannon was red hot.
Mechronage sensed something coming from the enemy starfighters; this caused him to become suddenly furious. He was able to focus this blood lust towards his prey that had just exited hyperspace.
“Attack formation.” Mechronage yelled into his comlink causing his fellow dark Jedi to break into action, falling into formation.
Mechronage fired his ion cannons, sending a barrage of fire at the supply shuttles with an accuracy that could only come from years of experience and skill. He shot one, shutting all its vital systems down other then its life support system. Scion fired his laser cannons toward the two starfighters, one doing a skillful barrel roll dodging the laser fire and letting the other starfighter take the fatal attack.
Mechronage sensed it now; it was coming from the surviving starfighter. It could only be one thing.
“Master, I sense something.” Mechronage said with a hint of confusion.
“I sense it too, it’s someone powerful in the force. And it’s whoever is,” Scion was cutoff, going into a steep dive to dodge incoming fire. Whoever is flying that starfighter.” He continued.
“Sev, Apollo I need you to break off and take out that other shuttle. Scion and I will attack that starfighter. You need to make sure that ship doesn’t reenter hyperspace.”
“Alright, we’ll see you after were done dealing with that supply craft.”
“Master, I need your help to destroy this force sensitive trash.”Mechronage growled.
“That’s why where all here, but remember when you are truly in need to look to yourself above all others for help.”
“Yes Master, I will. Now let’s get this job done.” Mechronage said while pushing down hard on his throttle giving his ship the boost he needed to catch up with his enemy. Scion was right next to him the whole time, synchronized in maneuvers and thought, ready to do whatever his apprentice did.
Mechronage fired at the left wing of the enemy starfighter and Scion fired at the right. The force-sensitive flown starfighter did a hard dive and followed up with a barrel roll, easily dodging their fire.
“Master I am not sure if we can do this, I am not sure if I can do this.”
“Mechronage, I don’t want you to ever feel self doubt. That could lead to your destruction.” Scion said, trying to sound relaxed under the adrenaline rush caused by their ambush.
“Fine Master, lets kill this weak force user.” Mechronage said almost hissing the words out of his reptilian mouth.
Mechronage fired his cannon only for his enemy to do a complete backwards flip coming behind Mechronage and his Master.
“Break off.” Scion yelled, while he and his apprentice did as was said.
Scion did a barrel roll, and came around towards his apprentice’s direction. Mechronage turned toward his Master, dodging fire that had missed Scion. They were heading directly towards each other, speeding up. Mechronage fired at his Master, Scion doing a barrel roll out of the way just in time. Their foe was not so lucky; he took the unseen blast head on and was blown into space dust.
They reentered formation. “Apollo, Sev do you read. We have just destroyed the final starfighter, what is your status?”
“Apollo here, we have just rendered the second shuttle flightless.” Apollo said with an unseen smirk.
“I am now entering it to gather the supplies and will do the same with the second.”
“Alright, well Scion and I are going back to the Sword’s Sheath.”
“Alright, we will meet you there,” Apollo said. “We have much to discuss."
Severon followed Apollo into the now flightless shuttle, his lightsaber close at hand. He felt the presenses of the crew of the shuttle. They were frightened.
Apollo turned abruptly and muttered, "Deal with the crew Severon. Leave none alive to tell the story. I will collect the supplies."
Severon hastened to do this immediately and when he was out of sight, Apollo walked towards the crew quarters. His intended destination was the cargo hold but there was something he wanted to pick up, something that had attracted his sight when he had first boarded and felt its presence. He knew that Severon could not sense it, as he was less adept than the Krath Archpriest. He opened the door to a specific room, and walked in.
Severon headed immediately for the bridge. Seeing as the shuttle was too small for escape pods, he reasoned that the crew would be there, and his senses told him that he was correct. As he opened the door he flicked on his saber and felt better seeing the emerald blade. Blaster bolts flew towards him as he stepped in, which he hastily deflected back towards where they came so as not to damage anything unecessarily.
After only a minute of this, the crew lay on the floor, killed by their own blaster bolts. Severon switched off his saber and stepped towards the navigation console. He immediately erased all files of where the shuttle had been. He then went and erased the crew roster. Finally, he downloaded all records of the ships departure to his datapad. That accomplished, he headed to find Apollo.
Apollo, meanwhile, was already in the cargo bay, gathering up all of the supplies and loading them back onto his own shuttle. Severon showed up and began helping. After they loaded all of the crates, the Guardian asked, "What is all this?"
"Later." Was all that Apollo replied, his mind elsewhere.
They reboarded their own craft and left for the Sword's Sheath.
As Apollo climbed down from his Interceptor, Scion was already standing at the bottom of the ladder. His foot tapped impatiently as he waited for the Krath to reach the flight deck. The older man didn't have to say anything; his raised eyebrow asked the question for him.
"Yes," said Apollo quietly, "It was there. I found it."
The Quaestor heaved a sigh of relief, which did not go unnoticed by Severon and Mechronage, who now approached. The shuttle pilot followed after them.
"Shall we begin unloading the shuttle, Quaestor?"
Scion nodded slightly at the man, who scurried away to assemble a team to unload the stolen supplies and hide them with the rest of the asteroid's stores. The four Dark Jedi left them to their task, and made their way through the labyrinthine passages of the Sword's Sheath back to the Quaestor's office.
"Gentlemen, I think congratulations are in order," said Scion once the office door had closed. "The supplies we captured will buy us at least a couple more weeks. Maybe even last us until the Consul decides to send us a proper shipment."
The grey haired Quaestor's fingers brushed lightly across the hilt of his lightsaber. His mind raced back to when he had finally completed his training with Apollo. The satisfaction had been incalculable as he had used the gentlest, most precise application of the Force to align the crystal just perfectly. It was one thing to send a platoon of soldiers flying with a massive burst of rage or to flood your nervous system with energy and suppress the pain from a wound, but the intricacy and control one had to master in order to build a functional lightsaber was tremendous. And the reward for success was unmatched.
Memories flashed through his mind. The fighting on Antei against both Crask's Jedi and those from the other Clans had been the first true test of his new weapon, and in many ways of himself. The ex-Colonel had seen battle many times before then, but never so up close and personal. And never against those who were supposed to be allies. His lightsaber had protected him when others could not. It remained an ally when all others failed. Now, he would pass that trusted ally down to his Apprentice, as Apollo had passed it down to him.
His hand trembled with emotion, and he realized that Mechronage, Severon and Apollo were staring at him.
This was harder than he had expected.
"We... I have a gift for you."
Scion nodded to Apollo, who retrieved a small box from a pocket in his flight suit and handed it to him. It shook slightly in his hand. Even through the box he could feel its power coursing up his arm. He held it out to Mechronage, who gingerly took it in his formidible scaled hands. Scion could tell from the expression as he touched the box that he too could feel its energy.
The trandoshan curiously pried the box open with one claw to reveal its content. Inside the box was a perfectly shaped red crystal.
"This was the dual purpose that I referred to before."
With the crystal no longer in hand, Scion quickly regained his composure. His analytical mind started to try and figure out why the crystal had had such a strange effect on him, but answers were not forthcoming.
"The most difficult portion of your training is yet to come, but the path that remains is not long."
Severon hoped that the gasp he had emitted had not been heard by those around him. He knew that Mechronage was destined to become a Dark Jedi Knight but seeing it unfold in front of him was different. Also, there was the other side to Scion that the Guardian had never seen before. He just watched the exchange between the two, and after Scion finished speaking he said roughly, "I'll be in my quarters then."
However, Apollo turned to him and said, "Don't think we've forgotten your help Sev. Here is a little something for your troubles." The Archpriest slowly pulled out a datapad that had the words Jedi Hunter Severon Vercingetorix plainly on the screen. Severon bit his lip and cast his eyes to the floor.
"Sorry," he mumbled in a weak voice.
"Don't be." said Scion, turning to face him. "We all know how you feel. Even though this mission is specifically for Mechronage, you are also along to gain from it as well."
"Severon, you've had a hard road since you came. You and Mechronage have both worked really hard for this House. Your devotion is what keeps us strong. Don't blow it by feeling down about yourself because you see that other are receiving laurels on their heads. You may have some in store."
Mechronage turned to Severon and they clasped hands. "You deserve this Mechronage," Severon said. "You've earned it."
"You as well, Severon."
"Now that that's over, don't we have some discussing to do in a little more privacy?" Apollo asked as a crowd began to gather.
"Yes. Severon and Mechronage, meet us in the Summit Chamber in 30 standard minutes." Scion said.
"Yes sir." They responded at once and hurried off.