Yeah, this is ancient! But I thought you guys might like to read it
Especially Xathia, who didnt know she was in it
A lightsaber fiction by JH Archangel [email@example.com] Pin: 7589
Of all the missions he had ever been assigned, this one had taken him to a planet with the most unbelieveable natural beauty. But beauty, it seemed, was only skin deep. The jungles of Horon'dar were thick with huge ferns covering the ground, over which towered palms, and snaking mangroves rose many metres into the air. The massive leaves of the palms creating a canopy that almost completely shut out the light. Massive flowering buds dotted the trees at their bases, a parasitic plant that had become part of the planet's eco-system. The wind had picked up fiercely as they had arrived.
But Eton's focus was not on the beauty around him, or even the plants he walked through. His only focus was the protection of the woman who walked in his wake. She was smaller, and leaner than him, and had trouble with the withering undergrowth. Her long black cloak mirrored his own in all but size, but that's where the similarities stopped. She wore long robes, all the way to her ankles, though they were now rolled up to her knees. Long purple slashes of colour ran through the mostly black, dark grey folds of cloth. Her hands were unprotected, and her boots were light. But she didnt complain, or falter for long. She was a Dark Jedi, and she was important, not only to the Clan, but to Eton.
Bronzed flesh, stretched over a strong jaw, and features, interlaced with scars, and creases from past battles, would have greeted an onlooker. The man's raven black hair swept up into the wind, whipping around him viciously through the undergrowth. He wore a long black cloak, which reached all the way to his ankles, along with a Sith training tunic of black, red and tan. He had done away with the sleeves, as they both didn't fit him well, and constricted his movement too much to be of any use. He preferred to rid himself of an article of annoying clothing than be hampered by the same. This decision had a secondary, possibily intimidating effect, as it revealed the hugely elaborate tattoos that ran the length and breadth of his powerful arms. He wore full length training pants, which he had stuffed into his combat boots. A pair of war-battered combat gloves adorned his hands, resembling gauntlets as he flexed his fingers. A massive staff of Ironwood hung in it's cradle on his back. The staff was easily an inch and a half thick, and dead straight, perfectly balanced around the leather-bound center. This was Eton's pride and joy, carrying it with him
wherever he went. It was his primary weapon, and was his secondry form of defence in this wilderness. In his hands, he carried a sniper rifle, a relic from his days in the Hammer's Fist. A DH-112, he liked to boast, could fell a man at two miles, or a tauntaun at 1.75.
"This is taking forever, Jade. How much longer?"
"Give it a rest, Xathia. It's not my fault you were kidnapped by the Emperor's Hammer."
"Who was on guard duty when the Hammer's Fist assaulted our outpost?"
Eton winced, hoping that that hadn't come up. The Hammer's Fist, the elite stormtrooper legion loyal to the Emperor's Hammer, had assaulted an outpost of their clan, Scholae Palpatinae. They had fought hard, and pushed them back onto their assault shuttles, taking Protector Xathia as a hostage to interrogate. Eton had been on guard duty that night, their last night at the outpost, and should've seen the Hammer's Fist Lancer Frigates drop out of hyperspace, and move into orbit.
“Me... but still, you shouldn't keep complaining, it wouldn't help.”
“It makes me feel better” Xathia replied sneering unattractively. She had an attitude befitting someone of a much higher rank and status in the Clan. Eton turned, and looked at her annoyingly. A flash of matte black caught his attention, causing him to push Xathia over quickly, bringing his rifle to his shoulder. He jammed his eye into the eyepiece, and let off a salvo of rounds, his Jedi reflexes tracking the target as it moved. He switched targets, clipping another, and hitting another perfectly. It took him a second to realize that the targets were actually scout troopers, their speeder bikes zipping past his head now. The one he had clipped was smoking, its pilot pulling sharply on the controls, trying to turn away. He had his comlink at his mouthpiece. Eton fired again, taking the man clean off his bike, which glided in a wobbling arc to the jungle floor.
“Why in the stars did you...” Xathia said, looking up, the explosions of the speeder bikes cutting off her words.
“Get up, and get moving. Ship is North by North East. Go! Go!” Eton shouted, reloading his rifle. It used slugs, and was cumbersom, but had the hitting power, and accuracy needed for the job. Xathia hadn't moved.
“What? Why? I can help!” she siad, glaring at him. He had always treated her like a little girl, like she needed to be taught everything. She was, in fact, the same age as him, older, actually, but only by three days.
“These aren't just troopers. These are their elites, those three were Arrow Squadron, and this place will be crawling with Nightstalkers in a minute.”
“What's so terrible about these Nightstalkers? They cant be that tough”
“I trained them, Xathia. Move. If I'm not there in the next 10 minutes lift off, and leave.”
Xathia stared at him, agast at the idea of leaving him on such a hostile planet. He glared angerily at her, before prowling off into the darkness, the jungle closing around him. She swore under her breath, and left, checking her direction as she went.
“Colonel Krayt, I expected your troops to have captured the fugitives by now” crackled the comm unit next to Krayt, to which he glared. The voice belonged to Lieutenant General Ramos, who led the expeditionary force which had assaulted the Rogue Jedi base days before.
“My forces are working faster than I expected, General, do not expect more of them than I do.”
“Do not tempt my patients, Colonel. What of these reports of one of the fugitives being an ex-trooper in the HF?”
“Unsubstantiated. But you never know”
“Colonel, I'd like you to go out yourself, and check on this claim. I dont want anything happening that could upset this situation further”
Krayt grumbled, and nodded to no one in particular “Yes General.”
The Nightstalkers were a strong group, well disciplined, better trained, lead by the legendary Colonel Krayt. But Eton was the founding Executive Officer of the detachment, and knew some tricks even they didnt. But still, these were the best of the best, elite of the elite. He doubted that he could take them on in full scale battle, but needed to hit and run. He needed to draw them in the wrong direction, away from the shuttle. He had no intention of getting back the shuttle, hoping that Xathia would heed his orders, and leave him behind.
A Nightstalker moved silently nearby, thinking that he could not be seen where he was. Yet Eton's view was perfectly clear, and so was his scope. But he had decided to try something before opening slaughtering his old unit. He slung his rifle on his shoulder, and dropped his hood down. The trooper stepped forward just as Eton moved into view. The trooper, as he had been trained to do, dropped to one knee, and shoulder the rifle, aimed at Eton's heart. Eton smiled, noting the armour designs. One of the many traits the Nightstalkers had picked up from Eton was to decorate their armour to seperate themselves from each other. This one had the a stripped green, and black insignia on his chest: this was Sirik, one of his first students.
And he recognised Eton. The trooper rose to attention, and saluted smartly. Eton smiled, and nodded to him.
“Colonel, sir. What are you doing way out here?”
“Looking for trouble, what else?” Eton smiled, using on his old phrases to put the trooper at ease. It worked, as Sirik laughed at the quip, dropping his attention stance. Eton hadnt instilled such strictness into them, he wanted them to be fighting fit, and strong, not dressed up idiots on parade.
“Tell me, Major, who is your current commanding officer”
“Krayt, sir. A lot has changed since you left. Are you rejoining?”
“I have considered that plenty of times, I assure you. But after today I doubt that would be possible.”
Sirik tilted his head to the side slightly, and coughed “Why not, sir?”
“That doesnt matter, old friend. Please comm Krayt, and tell him to get here right away, without any friends.”
“As you wish, Colonel” Sirik replied, switching communication channels to his commanding officer's. Eton waited for him to complete his message before smashing the troopers head into a tree, knocking him out cold. He had never wished to shoot any of them, but a little damage never hurt anyone. A lot, anyways.
Eton heard the incoming Colonel before he saw him. Krayt had always been loud, but he made up for it with near perfect skills, and pin-point accuracy. As the Colonel moved into view, Eton smiled. He wore the same matte black/grey armour as Sirik had, but with an elaborate Krayt Dragon image blasted over it's chest. Eton knew that it was Krayt, he wouldnt let anyone but himself into the set of armour.
Eton tossed a stone at Krayt, clipping him on the helmet. Krayt swore, and dropped to one knee, turning to see where the attack had come from. Eton waved at him.
“Decarat, sithspawn, I coulda killed you!”
“No you couldnt have. You're a lousy shot” Eton replied, with a grin. He enjoyed teasing the other man, who as expected, became flustered, and annoyed immdiately.
“What are you doing here, Dec? Last I heard you'd jumped ship”
“Well, Krayt, I've been... busy”
“Be careful around here, mate, there's a pair of Dark Jedi running around out here, one of whom escaped from our facility about 5 klicks away”
Eton smiled, and hefted his sniper rifle into place. “I know, Krayt. Im one of them”. Eton fired, the slug sliding right through Krayt's blaster rifle cleanly. Krayt tossed the blaster at Eton, and dashed to the side. The blaster exploded in the middle-distance between them, spraying debris, and ozone across the small clearing. Eton smiled, and shifted his stance, following Krayt as he moved away, into the jungle undergrowth. He fired several more times, one of which he knew connected. Krayt slipped into the bush, and out of Eton's view.
Eton's comlink crackled, beeping twice. That was the signal from his transport that his time was up. He looked up through the canopy, at the slowly disappearing form of an Action XI transport slipping out into space. Eton smiled, glad that she hadnt waited.
A blaster shot lanced out of the jungle, hitting Eton firmly in the shoulder, toppling from his perch. He sailed the thirty feet to the earth, slamming hard. His head jarred, and his vision blurred, he started slipping in and out of consciousness. Eton groaned, as Krayt looked down at him.
“You were always too kind for your own good”
His mind felt groggy, and almost moist. He felt his head lull from side to side slowly. His neck was stiff, and painful, but still his eyes remained shut. He pulled on the Force, trying to find a little bit of clarity in his mind. He took check of his body as his mind's eye cleared up. Shoulder's burning like a krayt spawn, was probably shot here, he thought. A broken bone or two added to his injuries. He'd probably find more later, when he finally found concsiousness.
He tried to open his eyes, but only managed to push a pulse of pain through his mind. It was bright on the other side of his eyelids, and opening his eyes now would be stupid. A groan emitted from his lips. Shaped shadows moved in front of his eyes, he wasnt alone. He pulled on the Force a little more, and his senses started kicking in again. His hearing and touch came back, as well as a flurry of pain from his various injuries.
“Colonel, he's awake.” said an unfamilar voice from his right, he sounded well educated, he articulated his words carefully, and well. Footsteps from far to his left approahed him from that side, followed by a hand being placed on his shoulder.
“Doesnt look awake to me, Doc” said Krayt, his gruff voice being well known to Eton. The hand squeezed softly, then was removed.
“The readings say that he's awake, and alive, all his vitals are stable. He just hasnt opened his eyes yet. You say he was a Nightstalker.”
“A Nightstalker? No, he was The Nightstalker. He was our trainer, and our leader. While we all specialized in our different prefered fields, he was up there with the best in them all.”
“Shouldn't we have more guards than you, and those two outside then? If he's all you say he is”
“No, no. It's alright. He won't attack us. Not yet anyways. He's skilled, and strong, but not stupid. He knows when to yield, and when to attack”
“Such high praise, Krayt” Eton croaked, finally finding the energy to speak. He opened his eyes slightly, and squinted. His mind slipped into an analytical mode, taking in as much data as possible.
“So you are awake then” Krayt said, “Good. Warlord Czulvang Vong will want to see him”
Eton laughed quietly, and his lips creased into a smile. He remembered back, long before now, when he was Consul of the Emperor's Hammer Clan Tarentum. He remembered a young obelisk by the name of Czulvang Vong joining his clan all those years ago. Now, it seemed, he had risen to the rank of Warlord.
“Ahaha... that little tyke still alive? I thought he would've gotten himself killed ages ago”
“Oh, he's alive. He's the leader of Tarentum now.”
“By all accounts, a position of which no one in that Dark Brotherhood is worth of.”
“Oh, Decarat, be careful what you say. The walls have ears” said a voice from his left. Eton tried to turn his head, but the stiffness in his neck prevented it. Still, he didnt need visuals to tell him who had entered. He could feel the Force running through this one.
“Ahh, Mr Consul himself. Nice to see you again, Vong” Eton said, smiling to himself. He knew he was just digging himself into a deeper hole. But if he angered the Warlord, he might get a chance to escape. The Force from the man wafted over him like a summer breeze, but it was as cold as ice.
“I wish it could have been under different circumstances. Tell me, what name should I call you by? We have so many on file: Archangel, Brent Tainer, Decarat Tainer, and... Eton Jade”
Eton smiled, as a series of gasps rose from the small group in the room. So his name had filtered back to this side of the galaxy.
“Jade will be fine. Heck, call me anything you want.”
“Fine, Jade. We will begin the interrogation shortly.”
“No, we wont” Eton replied, cool, and calm, his voice a barely audible purr.
“Oh? And what makes you think that you could prevent it, Jade? You could never overpower these elite troopers, and a Warlord of my calibre” Vong replied arrogantly, grinning manicly.
“In the next two minutes, you will all be dead or dying, and I'll be standing above you, laughing.”
He didnt have to look at the faces of those around him to see their anxiety, shock, and fear. The only one unafraid was Krayt, and one of the troopers at the door.
The trooper raised his E-11 blaster, and fired on the other trooper, blasting him away in moments. He tracked his fire across the room, pumping laser bolts into those around Eton. Krayt and Czulvang dived out the way though. The trooper stopped firing, shuddered, moaned slightly, before crumping to the floor, blood spreading out from his helmet. Eton smiled, and sent a quiet thank you to his Mistress, who taught him that little trick.
Eton rose, his mind suddenly clear, and calculating, a scapel in hand. He slashed across the doctor's neck, a burst of blood splasing over his hand, and down the doctor's white scrubs. He flung the scapel across the room, catching the downed trooper in the neck as he tried to rise. He used this momentum to snap a kick at Krayt, twisting his neck almost to breaking point. Krayt slumped to the floor, losing conciousness quickly. Now the only one remaining was the Warlord. Eton hadnt thought this far ahead. He was surprised he was still alive.
The Warlord rose to his feet, small darts of Force crackled from his eyes, which burnt with a fury of a thousand suns. Eton watched as the Warlord pulling his lightsaber from its position on his belt, a black and silver handle, which spurted out a blue blade. The energy from the blade was high powered, and dangerous to almost anything it came in contact with.
“Interesting, Jade. Very interesting. But you seem to be at a disadvantage. I have this beautiful lightsaber, and you have... nothing.”
“True, Vong. But I have something you dont. Ingenuity” Eton was a burst of motion, as he dipped down gathering Krayt's blaster, flinging it at the Dark Jedi, who only had a moment to duck away before following flashbang grenade exploded right afterwards. Eton shielded himself, but was still disorientated. He removed Krayt's combat knives, and struck out at the Dark Jedi, who flailed at his attacker.
A few stabs in key places should do the trick, Eton thought. But he was too slow. The lightsaber flew up in front of him, slicing through one knife at the hilt. Eton felt the warmth of the blade as it past near his flesh. He pulled back, tossing away the ruined knife. The Warlord, still squinting, moved to block the door. His movements were erratic, uncoordinated. He should've recovered by now.
An armoured arm wrapped around Eton's neck, and jerked him back in the wall. He landed on his shoulder hard, grunting loudly. His head was jarred violently, and he slumped slightly.
“Oh, now why did you do that?”
“Because you need help” said a silky female voice from in front of him. Xathia, and his Mistress, Rasilvenaira, were standing over him, the window of the room had been smashed open. Their weapons were drawn, and were about to be used. He groaned softly, and passed out from the pain.
Days later, after a week in a bacta tank, Eton was now fully fit, and strong enough to walk without assistance. He sat in his quarters, thinking over his little adventure. He'd been saved by the two women, and had thanked them privately. He didnt feel embarassment at being saved by women, but because he had almost failed his mission. His charge had had to come back and save him after he'd saved her.
His few moments of time to think were interrupted by a knock on the door. He opened it, a short apprentice looked up at him.
“Yes?” he said. He seemed a rather vicious sight, bandages and scars all over his body, not the mention the blackened, and cracked skin on his shoulder.
“Umm... err... a package for you, master” the apprentice handed him a small box, and scampered away, after a glance at Eton's shoulder.
Eton smirked, and closed the door, sitting down on the edge of his bed, and rolled the package over his hands. No return address could be found. He shruged, and opened it up. A letter was on top, so he opened it first.
I hope this gets to you. Be prepared next time. The 'stalkers will look out for you from now on. You trained 'em well. We hope you heal up well. I hope the item in this package will help you a bit.
Eton stared at the writing for a long moment, rolling the information through his mind slowly. He placed the letter beside him, and returned his gaze to the contents of the box. It was a long cylinder of silver and black, but had been stripped back a bit, a tiger's head at the base, and indented eagle's claws along the sides. Eton smiled, a tear rolling down his cheek. This was his old saber. He had lost this, eons ago. And now he had it again.
He stood, and walked over to the communicator, and messages his mistress.
“Yes, Eton?” she said, in her always silky voice.
“I need a lightsaber crystal.”