[Naga Sadow] Closing Pandora's Box - Locke & Shikyo
Transport en route to San Korinar
Holding Pattern, Lagrange Point 2
Amphor, Orian System
The transport blazed its trail to towards the atmosphere of the Orian gas giant at speeds that few pilots would ever dare risk; the man had worked within the Special Operations group for years and knew precisely what his cargo was capable of. Now more than every their unique talents were needed to ensure these things were sorted out. While the pilot was preoccupied with his breakneck speeds, the pair in the hold were busy sitting before the lone holoprojector that had spawned to life the instant they had left the blockade.
Bathed in the azure glow of the hologram, the two figures that stood before the pair were none other than the Executive Directors of the Dlarit Corporation; Quaestors Mirado Pepoi L'eonheart and Teu Pepoi. Each seemed extremely on as they spoke directly to bring their point home, "Gentlemen, you have been selected to lead Special Operations and Police forces upon the ground. Our enemies are rumoured to be a pirate element of the Organization, survivors of the failed assault are reporting Cybernetic implants and enhancements. Be on high alert and strike deep into the hearts of our enemies, we want no survivors. May the Force be with you."
As the projector winked out, the transport rocked as it passed through the giant's viscious atmosphere. As quickly as the transport began its rocky decent, it ended, a red-light winking into existance within the hold as the pilot's voice rose up across the hold's speakers, "LZ's clear, there are some anti-air elements in the area so we're only going to touch and go."
Things had gotten increasingly hostile as the Dlarit elements had closed in around these Pirates; their units moving to try and surpress the Police and Special Forces at every turn. Even the civilians who had yet to be evacuated became a piece in this dangerous game, becoming hostages for the Pirates as the Dlarit personnel looked on in horror. Even Dlarit anti-air elements had become hostile to their creators.
The transport quickly touched down, the hold doors opening and its light flashing green swiftly as Locke and Shikyo disembarked swiftly so that they could begin their mission to reclaim the cloud city.
Landing Zone Epsilon
Amphor, Orian System
Their feet hadn't even touched the paved earth below them and already blaster bolts were zipping through the hair of the Dark Jedi. Shikyo looked out before him, gathering his bearings as the transport shot across the sky, dodging blasts from the anti-aircraft batteries. Turning to stare at the massive defenses, a thought had swiftly crossed the Elder's mind. Turning to the Knight beside him, Sasuke tapped his companion on the shoulder.
"We need to take out those batteries and get reinforcements here ASAP. Otherwise, we wonít have a route outta here. If I give you an opportunity to make it to those batteries, think you can take them down?"
Locke looked at the Herald then at his objective. Uneasiness passed through his eyes as swiftly as a bolt of lightning. He may have thought the plan insanity but steel found its way crawling up the Journeymanís spine and latching on tight.
"Understood, ugh... Comman- I mean, affirmative, my Lord."
The Elder grimaced.
"Locke, I'm no 'Lord' and I am not your commander. Keep it simple. Shik. Now get your ass to that battery. Iíll cover your entry."
Sonjie nodded and ran off, skirting the perimeter of the batteries as he sought a good place to lay low and wait for the perfect opportunity to strike. The Keibatsu noticed the pirates working to form some kind of strategy against their attackers, working in a frenzy more so than a cohesive unit. It was moments like these that the Elder wished he had his Nihilgenia squadmates alongside him but he would make due. The pirates didn't need to die so soon, anyway.
Drawing his blasters from their holsters, the Adept wasted no time in taking aim, feeling through the Force for the most accurate position to fire and unleashing a couple of bolts. Grunts and sighs could barely be heard over the sound of the artillery. The pirates on the ground took note of their new adversary and began to redirect their fire on the Herald. Raising his hand and continuing to move forward, Shikyo could feel their blaster bolts impact just within inches of his palms before scattering into the winds of San Korinar.
A devilish grin found its way upon the Adept's face as he watched their stunned faces take form and express their despair. Feeling radiant sources of energy forming in the palms of his hands, one amethyst, the other faded gold in color, the Keibatsu called out to his victims.
Landing Zone Epsilon
Amphor, Orian System
Locke watched from behind the cover of a barrel on the side of the landing area as Shikyo moved forward, blocking blaster bolts with his bare hands. Locke had only a moment to admire the feat. He had a job to do, and this was the distraction he needed. He hefted his DL-44 blaster and stayed on his toes, waiting for the best time to move.
Calling the Force to his aid, Locke jumped from behind the barrel and ran forward, keeping near the wall. He noticed a couple of the pirates turn their blaster rifles toward him, but a moment later a boom sounded from behind and they glanced away, wide-eyed. Locke felt something pulse in the Force. Whatever Shikyo was doing had felt like a beacon this close. A flash followed the boom, but Locke kept running, right past the pirates.
Once he was past the landing area, Locke looked around. The anti-air batteries were easy to find. There were three of them, in a rough triangle, firing away at other ships in the sky. The first was nearby. When Locke approached, two pirates turned toward him. Relying on the Force, he quickly raised his blaster, firing three shots. The first caught one pirate in the chest, the second slipped between the two, but the third made solid contact with the second pirate's shoulder and he went down.
Wasting no time, Locke examined the battery itself. As large as it was, it had probably taken some sort of transport to drop here. He wondered where these pirates had gotten such technology. He recognized the model as a more common quickly-deployable model that had been used heavily in the latter days of the Yuuzhan Vong War. Fortunately, he also knew its weaknesses.
Circling the battery once, Locke found the panel he was looking for and pried it lose with the Force. He took ten steps back and aimed carefully with his blaster, firing at the now exposed energy tanks that provided the battery with some of its power. In the war, he had almost lost his life when a thud bug had hit one of these and destroyed the battery he had been guarding. Now, that knowledge had finally come in handy. The battery exploded with a satisfying rumble that shook the platform, but Locke turned away before much of the debris could fall. He had to deal with the other two before they could do any more damage themselves.
At the second one, Locke found the usual two pirates, but there was also a third. He fired again, snapping off a quick spread because this time the pirates were waiting for him. Out of his five shots, three made contact, knocking out two of the pirates right away. Locke fired quickly at the third, but he was able to avoid most of the shots. Locke wondered how that was possible, when he remembered the reports of cybernetic augmentations in some of the pirates. He'd have to get a lot closer to take this one.
Locke dropped behind a nearby wall as the last pirate fired back at him. He dropped his blaster into its swing-holster at his hip and pulled the small med pack bag he had strapped to his bag off. He opened it up and pulled out his lightsaber, which he had kept hidden on top. Slinging the bag back over his shoulders, Locke jumped out from behind cover, igniting his pale yellow blade. With the Force as his aid, he was able to close the ground with the pirate quickly, two of the enemy's blaster shots going wide. The pirate managed to dodge one swing of Locke's lightsaber, but the second singed his stomach. As the pirate stumbled, Locke stabbed him through the chest for good measure.
He destroyed the second battery the same way as the first and had no further complications with the third one. With all three out of commission, Locke returned to the landing area. The sounds and bursts of power in the Force had recently stopped. Locke found Shikyo standing among a field of charred corpses. Locke brushed sweat out of his eyes as he approached. "AA's are down, looks like you cleaned up here, what's next?"
Landing Zone Epsilon
Amphor, Orian System
The smell of charred flesh and burning carbon filled the nostrils of the Elder, followed quickly by the scent of salty water. Sweat began to pour from the Keibatsu as the energy exerted for the flashy distraction was beginning to take its toll on the Herald. A sly and devilish grin remained on Shikyo's face even as Locke approached and reported in. Looking up at the Knight, Sasuke could see a sense of astonishment and something that resembled terror in the most simplest of ways.
"Excellent... Now, let's work on finding the hostages. Once we get them outta here, we can work on taking out the rest of the forces without fear of unnecessary collateral damage."
Locke nodded and looked around the area before facing the Elder with a puzzled look on his face.
"Where do you think we should start looking first? The batteries are destroyed and most of the bodies are-"
"This is not the Yuuzhan Vong War, Locke. You have had more appropriate training than technology can provide. Technology can lie and deceive you, as you well know. Stretch out with your feelings. Sense the panic and fear these people could be experiencing. This would be a good place to start."
Locke gave a curt nod before closing his eyes. Tingles began to move slowly along the Elder's arms as he felt the Force focusing to the beacon standing before him. It was not a strong pull but just enough to let the Krath know that the Journeyman was focusing to the best of his abilities. A gentle grunt escaped the Knight's lips as his attempts to expand his senses were failing him.
"I'm getting nothing. Maybe they're too far out to reach."
"They are here. Though off in the distance and hidden underground, they are there. Continue with your studies. In time, you will be able to expand on your horizons."
"Thank you, Mas-. Thanks, Shikyo."
With a slight bow of his head, the Herald began to look for something that would give way to his feelings of an underground entrance. He had not been to this part of San Korinar and each location was a new sight. Extending his own feelings across the area, he picked up on a gentle draft that escaped from a hatch just off to the side from the second destroyed battery.
Shikyo led the way to the partially covered hatch, tossing aside a burnt plastisteel container that was used for cover during the Keibatsu's engagement. He threw open the hatch and looked down at the ladder well, not hesitating one moment to move down. Sonjie followed right on the Krath Elder's heels, giving him just enough distance for comfort. As the two of them reached the steel grating floor, the Herald allowed his senses to scan throughout the area before drawing his twin blasters and following the pull of the Force.
With a quick double-whine Shikyo's blasters fired, catching another pirate in the chest. As he went down, the two Dark Jedi looked around, noting the absence of other enemies. "Hmm, " Shikyo said, "there are more in the lower levels." He continued forward through the maze-like tunnels of the platform, descending down a flight of stairs every once in a while. Locke followed close behind, his own blaster out and ready. Occasionally he looked behind. Shikyo had been plowing through every pirate they met like target practice; but Locke wanted to make sure nothing was able to sneak up on them; Force senses or no.
On the lower levels, they encountered more resistance. Abruptly, Shikyo stopped in a wide storage room with several branching passages stretching off into the distance. "What is it?" Locke asked.
Shikyo turned to face Locke. "Something isn't right. Think about it. Let the Force guide your thoughts. Why would these pirates come to San Korinar?"
The pirates were here to recruit and steal supplies. That's what the Dlarit Police had found. It made sense, and the Board of Directors agreed. What other reason could there be? Locke said as much to Shikyo.
"But why here, Locke? Think. This is a floating platform. There is no escape. Its easy to corner them. From what I hear of Aeotheran these days, it would have been a much better place to start such an operation, don't you think?"
Locke thought about it. It was strange. The pirates had cornered themselves; making it very easy for the Clan's forces to cut them off and destroy their presence. Why would they do such a thing? It was true, for what the pirates were doing, Aeotheran would have been a much better place. "They're planning something else."
Shikyo smiled. "Correct."
"But what?" Locke could think of nothing. "It could be a distraction for something else."
"It could be, " Shikyo agreed, "but they could have distracted us anywhere and left themselves a method of escape. Think Locke, use the Force."
Locke tried to use the Force. He closed his eyes; he listened. It was there, but it didn't seem to be telling him anything. His mind was, though. "A trap; a trap for us."
"Bingo. They wanted us to come here. They wanted us to be deep in this station. The only way out is back up."
"But they knew we would only send small teams. Why would it be worth it to lose so many of their men for that? A thought suddenly sprung to the forefront of Locke's mind. "Oh."
"The Organization, " Shikyo said, distaste apparent in his voice. The Organization was the Clan's name for a shadowy group that had, in one way or another, plagued them for quite some time. "They want Dark Jedi."
"But if they know we're Dark Jedi, they know how strong we are. How could they hope to kill us?"
"A good question, you're learning. They'll most likely try something indirect. It would have to have to be something even the Force couldn't easily deflect."
Locke pondered this before replying. "Like a bomb?"
"Exactly, or many bombs. They might even be planning to destroy the entire platform. If that's true, we have to hurry." Shikyo nodded down another corridor, and started toward it at a brisk jog.
Locke caught up after a moment. "But how can we know where they are?"
"Reach out. You may not be able to sense it yet, but I can feel clusters of living beings on the lower levels. They may intend to make the entire platform collapse, rather than catch us in the explosions. The bombs must be down there, under heavy guard. Something doesn't feel right about the pirates guarding them, though, so watch yourself."
Locke nodded at Shikyo's back as the two raced down flights of stairs. He still couldn't feel anything, but he trusted Shikyo's senses.