Xanos, Macron, Kairus


17-01-2012 12:51:07

If things had only gone right from the start. First the shoulder-fired missile had forced them down on less-than-friendly terms. Then they’d picked the survivors, and there weren’t many, from the wreckage. Lastly, night fell. That’s when it got bad. Had they not been heavily armed and equipped, chances were they likely would have lost a few more. Luck, or the Force, had it that they’d been assembled for one purpose.

The Brotherhood was not the only rival of the reestablished Jedi Order. Among those that dealt in Force Cults, Dark Side religions, or in cultural uses of the Force, the Brotherhood was known well. Envy of the Brotherhood’s martial might, organization, territorial situation, and numbers were common among anyone who would have otherwise been their allies. For this reason, the Grand Master found it useful at times to flex his muscle, to demonstrate to his would-be competitors that there was good reason the Brotherhood was top dog.

From his lips, to the hands of the VOICE, directives were given to small strike teams. Infiltrate the Almas System, cause enough of a stir among the Believers Cult to show them the reach of the Brotherhood’s saber, and return home

Macron Sadow

18-01-2012 20:44:14

Crash Site

Macron stood groggily. The trip here at the Voice's behest had not been fun. Their shuttle had crashed, presumably under fire from the locals. Macron was not sure quite what had happened as the pilot and crew had been blown to bits by an explosion from an anti-aircraft missile. Only the Sith battlesuit and the Force had kept him alive. His mission was clear, and he still lived to carry it out. The Iron Throne had dictated that the Force-users on this planet of heretics should be crushed. The fight was to be carried to them, to remind them of their insignificant place in the grand scheme of things. The Brotherhood would show them the way to Hell.

The Warlord stood. His armor, gear, and a few powerpacks remained intact. He had some rations and water but little else.
It was no matter. The mad Sith would literally eat his foes quivering flesh if that was what it took to terrify and break the cretins on this godforsaken world. He licked his sharp metal teeth. Every foe was a resource, of some sort. One just had to know how to use them properly. Mere squeamishness was unbecoming of a Sith and not a trait he possessed in the slightest degree.

Familiar trickles of energy flickered here and there in the Force as Macron closed his eyes and concentrated. Some were near, and others less so. Two in particular caught his notice. They were familiar... fellow Clan mates. One was smaller, a Knight. The other was unmistakable. The aura of the Prophet known as Xanos the Betrayer, or Darth Vexatus was unmistakable and very near. Macron cursed aloud. There was no being he hated more than his erstwhile Sith Master. Still, there was a job to do... and the power of the Prophet could be useful. For now. He had information Xanos wanted back in the Orian system.

Macron shrugged and capered for an audience of the silent dead and their blasted bits and gobbets of gore. He bowed formally to the smoking remains of the shuttle. "Hehehe. Gentlemen, I bid you adieu. Enjoy your return to nothingness." The Sith hefted one of his lightsabers in a fist nonchalantly and began to whistle under his helm. Just over the next rise was the one known as Xanos. Then the Knight needed collecting- and then, the fun could really begin. People were going to die, and nothing pleased his black heart more.


19-01-2012 15:21:01

Brotherhood strike team crash site
Almas, Cularin System, Expansion Region

The Dark Prophet lowered his arms and the buckled and still smoking durasteel girders above him crashed to the purple grass as he lowered his protective sphere of Force energy. The Force deaf pilot the Dark Council had provided them might have negotiated their way past Forard city’s space traffic controller, but he had been too blind to sense the surface-to-air missile that had downed the ship.

The veins under the Falleen’s grey-green skin rippled as he dusted off his robes. He was only here out of necessity. His old apprentice had something he needed, and this fool errand was the price.

The dirt behind him crunched under a heavy boot.


Xanos didn’t need to open his senses to know it was Macron. The man’s uncontrollable anger writhed wildly in the Force, pulsing as dark, unstoppable waves of pure hate. The Elder didn’t bother to turn round, but instead kept his gaze fixed ahead across the green and purple fields of Kaluthin. Night was already beginning to fall. He wanted to locate their attackers before they could regroup.

The Consul behind him snorted. “Not anymore,” Macron growled, before making one of his involuntary giggles, as if the dark side roiling inside him always needed to spurt out of its cage. As was becoming for the Sith Warlord, Macron’s anger suddenly ebbed away, as his sporadic attention shifted onto something else. “Kairus.” The Consul stepped beside Xanos and pointed toward another mangle of lightly-glowing metal where the aft of the downed shuttle had collided. “He’s over there.”

The Dark Prophet didn’t bother to look. Instead, he closed his eyes, reaching out into the threads of the great tapestry of the cosmos, searching for their ship’s attacker, and any possible cohorts that might be with him, or her, or possibly even it—if the Believers had got access to any of the old weapons which may have been left behind from the Clone Wars, there could well be a small droid army defending the cultists’ base. The Dark Jedi seer concentrated his mind harder, causing a blood vessel under the tattoo on his forehead to burst. In his mind’s eye, Xanos could just picture a group of figures moving about in the thick shrubbery just past the next hill. Each carried a slight resonance in the Force. Not as strong as a Jedi or Sith, but there was something more distinct than was normal.

“...is the methane in the air getting to your head?!” The vocoder built into the Warlord’s mask hissed, although it was unclear whether it was because of Macron’s growing impatience or simply the suit’s automatic filtering of the planet’s mildly toxic air. “Are you even listening to me?”

The Falleen finally turned his head toward his former apprentice. “The ones who downed the strike teams’ shuttles,” said Xanos, ignoring the man’s ongoing moans of protest, “are hiding in the overgrowth to the south.”

Abruptly halting his complaints, Macron giggled again. “Excellent,” replied the Warlord gleefully, rubbing his hands together in anticipation as he looked over at the hill Xanos had indicated.

“They’re probably nothing more than a team of Tarasin mercs hired from Cularin to work for the Believers,” added Xanos, sounding thoroughly disinterested in comparison to Macron’s bloodlust. While the Falleen made no outward display of his feelings, it was obvious he was unimpressed. He cared nothing for empires and brotherhoods; his concern was solely in the mysteries of the Force. “Have I truly been gone that long?” added the Elder, seemingly more to himself than the Consul.

Macron looked back at his old master and tilted his head. “Did you say something?” The Warlord giggled. “Sorry.” He didn’t seem bothered by the irony that he’d just been shouting at Xanos for the very same reason. “Just thinking about how I’d like to disembowel one and then hang another with the first one’s entrails.”

The Falleen looked at the Warlord but said nothing.

“Let’s go find Kairus,” Macron said, and then giggled again. “I think the wreckage on top of him is starting to hurt.”


20-01-2012 19:38:29

Ship Wreckage

Kairus tried opening his eyes immediately, but the blurred images of twisted durasteel made him quickly close them again. "I thought becoming a Dark Jedi Knight would yield better outcomes than this", he thought as he assessed his current situation. Both legs and his right arm were pinned down by the overstressed metal. Taking a deep breath, he steadied his thoughts on getting this wreckage off his person. The durasteel plates began to shift, but as quickly as they had moved, they settled once more. "Must be more than I thought." he said to himself, "I wonder if anyone else survived this mess."

Deciding to concentrate again he reached out and was pleased when he managed to sense two presences which seemed to be heading in his direction. Freedom was coming, and with that thought Kairus prepared to help in any way he could to free himself from the wreckage. Before he could blink, the hatch of the shuttle was ripped from its place and vanished. Next the metal beams pinning him down slowly rose and those too were flung with a ferocity far away from the crash site. Slowly he began moving the limbs that had been pinned down testing for damage. They were admittedly sore, he flexed several times before he decided to sit up. Not wanting to keep his clan brothers waiting, he slowly got to his feet and walked through the new hole in the ship.

"Why did you have to be rescued from that wreckage Knight?" Macron asked narrowing his eyes. Kairus stopped mid-stride, "My apologies Consul, my head wasn't in right place." "Manipulation of objects should be elementary at your level, what are they teaching Journeymen these days?" Kairus nodded and looked and Xanos, who neither acknowldeged him or said anything. He was staring icily south of the crash zone.

Kairus looked back at Macron, whose facial features changed from stone to an almost evil looking grin. "Ah, yes while we were deterred to free you, Xanos was gracious enough to find our attackers for us." Kairus looked south as well and began reaching for his lightsaber. "As eager as we all are to find the filth that did this, that will do you no good now and would just give us away", Macron said. "Don't get me wrong", he said with a grin, "they will pay, and quite horribly I might add." Kairus began walking and as he approached Xanos he could swear he heard only one word "Soon".

Macron Sadow

21-01-2012 09:33:08

Ship Wreckage
Brotherhood strike team crash site
Almas, Cularin System, Expansion Region

Macron smiled evilly at Xanos’ comment. “Yes, yes. But we must be thorough about this. Kairus, I understand you serve on the Royal Guard.”

“Yes, Lord Consul. I do,” replied the Obelisk simply as he flexed his arms. His injuries were mostly bruising, and the Force ameliorated his pain as he concentrated on them.

Xanos continued to stare impassively to the south. The Sith lord’s thoughts remained elsewhere- or elsewhen.

“Excellent. You are obviously familiar with combat operations on a tactical scale then. Our target is to the south beyond that hill. Marching down there with lit lightsabers and screams of death in our wake…” here the Warlord chuckled “... although very satisfying would not be efficient. We would also lose the high ground advantage.”

“I agree,” the Knight replied. “Also, there would be no one left to interrogate as to the center of operations.”

Macron giggled and nodded in assent. “Interrogate... mmm. Hehe. Exactly.”

Xanos whispered quietly. “They may also alert their superiors.” His Dark-side twisted face remained impassive, but around him the Force twitched. It seemed the Prophet would enjoy that. Destroying them might relieve some of his ennui.

The mad alchemist frowned. “They might. Not that you wouldn’t love to kill them all and eat their screaming souls, Master. Of course you would.” The madman rubbed the sides of his helm as if rubbing his temples. “Here Kairus, take this rebreather from my kit. It will help against the foul air of this crap-hole planet.” He handed the small rebreather to Kairus nonchalantly. “You have obviously studied history extensively, Maven. Are you familiar with the Battle of Cularin?”

The Knight thought as Xanos returned his attention to the group.
“I am,” the Obelisk replied. “That was largely a naval battle.”

“Indeed. It was. However, there was some treachery involved on the part of the Heros of Cularin and the CIS beforehand.” Macron giggled insanely inside his helm. “They betrayed each other- on both sides, at least on the ground. The spying and sniping went on for years.”

“What are you hinting at, vociferous one?” hissed Xanos as his dead eyes flashed briefly. “Get to the point.” It was obvious that he was bored with the chatter spewing from the mad alchemist.

‘We move quietly and stealthily down there and snipe them until they feel the Fear,” remarked the Sith Warlord. “Kairus can snipe them.” Macron bent over, retrieved a dead trooper’s Nightstinger rifle from under the wreckage and handed it to Kairus. “We will use the Force. Give them the Creeping Fear. Break their wills. Cover them in blackness as night falls. They will cower and hide like the weak putrid filth they are.” And I’m still going to hang one with his friend’s entrails, chuckled the madman to himself.

“And then we move in,” Kairus responded. “I get that.”


21-01-2012 12:45:39

400m south of the strike team’s crash site
Almas, Cularin System, Expansion Region

As dusk fell across the purple fields, what little cold yellow light shined on Almas during the day disappeared completely into the eerie twilight. Smoke was still rising from the crash site a few hundred metres to the north, casting an even greyer cloud across the already darkening hillside.

Rhyssa glanced over at Jarek, who was currently on his knees, loading another missile into the shoulder-mounted Plex that they’d “requisitioned” from the disused armoury they’d found ten clicks outside of Forard City. Like hers, the other Tarasin’s scales had gone a dull shade of greyish purple, as Jarek—like her—tried to blend himself into Almas’s terrain for some added camouflage.

“That sleemo hadn’t said anything about Jedi!” snarled Jarek as he balled his fist and thumped the missile down inside the rusted tube. “At least we’ve got the tactical advantage,” he added in a hiss.

Rhyssa didn’t reply. They needed to keep quiet.

Even without her scanner, she could tell that the Force-users—Jedi, whatever they were—were moving about somewhere on the hill above the crash site; their use of the Force made the spines along her forearms twitch. It was irritating, in fact, but she let the awkward sensation pass. The Tarasins needed to keep their wits together. Jedi weren’t that tough. The Vong had proven that.

Jarek punched the missile compartment shut with another clang. “Sorry,” the other Tarasin winced.

Rhyssa sighed. She looked back around her at the rest of the team, most of whom had now finished readying their weapons for the upcoming fight. “How many more you got?” she asked Jarek.

“Enough,” was all the other Tarasin said.

“Enough” would have to do then. Not that Rhyssa was worried. They might have been up against Jedi, but the Tarasins had the home front advantage. They knew this star system; the Jedi had abandoned it years ago. And the Bothan back in the bar at Forard—Zeenat, he’d called himself?—was paying good. Being a bounty hunter might have been tough, but the rewards were well worth it. Rhyssa just wished she’d bothered to ask “Zeenat” a little more detail about the contract.

Just then, she heard something rustle in the overgrowth to her left.

There was nothing there.

“Did you hear that?” Rhyssa whispered to Jarek.

“Hear what?”

Rhyssa shook her head. She was letting the low oxygen get her twitchy. It didn’t help that none of the rebreathers they’d found had been the right colour for a night op, so had all been left back at the old CIS stockpile. The Tarasin sighed again. It didn’t matter. The Jedi still wouldn’t be expecting the Vong thud bugs she’d bought on the black market. She and the others just had to wait for the sign...

Movement. To the left again.

Rhyssa snapped her head around, bringing her disruptor rifle up at the same time.


“Are you sure you’re not hearing that?” she hissed at Jarek.

The other Tarasin turned to look at her—right as a green sniper bolt burst through his head. Before Rhyssa could react, she felt an invisible hand close around her throat... and everything went dark.


21-01-2012 22:54:05

400 meters from crash site

Kairus observed for a few seconds before deciding to make a comment, “My Lords, I thought we wanted to “interrogate” one of them?” Macron’s smile faded slightly, “Oh…alright. Xanos be a good sport she doesn’t have much longer.” A twitch of anger ran across his eye as Xanos slowly lowered his arm, allowing the unconscious female Tarasin to fall to the ground. Kairus shouldered the sniper rifle and began making his way to the raiders’ make-shift camp. Xanos and Macron followed shortly behind while in conversation.

“You weren’t going to stop were you”, Macron asked with a small giggle. “It’s not in my practice to allow my attackers to continue existing”, Xanos said nonchalantly. Macron replied quickly, “I didn’t say we were going to let her live, but surely we should be able to get some kind of information?” Xanos shrugged indifferently and continued towards the camp. Kairus took the sniper rifle and pushed into the female’s shoulder, “She’s out cold.” He began looking in his belt for something to restrain the alien’s arms when Xanos raised his hand. “We are all Dark Jedi, if we cannot handle one unarmed alien Tarasin, I fear for the future of the brotherhood.” “Pay attention to what you are about to witness young Knight, one day this power could be your too”, Macron said sternly. He gestured for Kairus to watch Xanos, who closed his eyes.

The ambiance of the area seemed to fade to dead silence. Kairus watched with full attention and noticed the alien’s eyes begin to flutter. In seconds the Tarasin slipped into groggy consciousness, and seemed to be aware she was in a circle of Dark Jedi. “I can sense you know what we are, which means you know what we can do to you, so do nothing rash,” Macron said chillingly. He was hoping to get a rise out of the creature, so he smiled while he issued his next request. “Kairus, please dismantle all these dangerous weapons, we wouldn’t want a repeat of today, now would we?” Kairus gathered the ordinance and took them a few meters away to work. “Now then, what is your name”, Macron asked with false politeness. “I will tell you noth…”was all the Tarasin could say before she was surrounded by purple lightning. Xanos lowered his arm, looking dangerous as ever he asked with ferocity, “Who do you work for?” The alien decided not to respond at all and Xanos raised both arms to unleash a torrent of lightning.

Kairus had dismantled the weapons easy enough. He stood up and turned towards the interrogation. Macron’s patience seemed to be wearing thin. He aggressively grabbed the Tarasin by her shoulders and lifted her to her feet. He opened his mouth to say something, but he quickly closed it again as he heard Kairus’ approaching footsteps. He turned and started walking towards the Knight. When he had stepped about seven paces away Kairus could see the alien in the background raise its right arm and steady it with the left. A round tube was up the creature’s sleeve, which launched an odd object at the Consul’s back. Kairus opened his mouth, but before the first word came he saw Xanos motion with unbelievable reflex and saw Macron pushed sideways several meters into some overgrowth. Kairus could see the object now, a Nang Hul or thud bug, Yuuzhan Vong filth. It began an upward arc and he saw Xanos throw something at it. The moment it completed its return loop a crimson blade ignited in the sky and cut the bug cleanly in two.

Xanos gestured towards his blade and it came at his summons before it could hit the ground. Absolute rage took over as he swung his blade with both hands over his head at the Tarasin. Inches from its target a second crimson blade stopped his devastating blow. Xanos was furious at Macron, “WHY?” “We don’t have what we need yet, besides there’s more to this one that meets the eye”, Macron said quickly. “She isn’t entirely un-clever, and I foresee we can still get the information we are looking for.” He approached Xanos so only he could hear, “Don’t worry, the kill will be yours.” He then laughed slightly, “You know this wouldn’t have happened if she was bound properly.” Xanos shot Kairus a hard look, which Kairus took as a clue to perform that duty. “I don’t see what’s made you think she’ll cooperate in anyway, such as giving us information or come with us for that matter,” Xanos said sharply. “Well for now she doesn’t have to cooperate, look at what you threw me into,” Macron said as he gestured towards the overgrowth. The foliage began to fall and under the growth were two speederbikes.

Macron Sadow

22-01-2012 10:57:23

400m south of the strike team’s crash site
Almas, Cularin System, Expansion Region

“Kairus, see if those bikes are serviceable and have fuel. As well strip her of gear and see what they had. This little bug-using bitch doesn’t need to cooperate at all,” giggled the madman as he withdrew a vial of greenish fluid from a belt canister. A wicked and rusty looking sonic hypodermic followed. “Not at all.” He backhanded the woman with a gauntleted fist to remind her of her hopeless situation, splitting her lips and knocking several teeth loose in the process. “Vong-using filth.”

The Tarasin spat at him, catching the madman in the faceplate. The bloody phlegm slid down the visor slowly as a snort of derision issued from within the madman’s helm. “Oh little birdie, you will soon sing an opera for us, hehe,” chuckled Macron as he injected her in the neck with the hypo. “Enjoy that. I made it myself. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt a little. In fact, it will hurt- a LOT,” cackled the lunatic as the Tarasin moaned in pain. “Hahaha!”

Xanos looked on impassively. Whatever had fueled his previous outburst had passed. The Sith Lord closed his eyes, drinking in the waves of pain emanating from the drugged Tarasin in front of him. His mind squeezed hers like an iron vice, sifting through her now-open thoughts for tidbits of information like writing maggots on a dead carcass.
“Her name is Rhyssa,” said the Falleen quietly. “And these two were alone.”

Macron nodded as Kairus inventoried the gear the two natives had between them. “Looks like a lot of their stuff is garbage tech,” the Knight stated. “Old CIS crap. Not much of it is worth a damn.” The Obelisk laid out pieces carefully on a tarp as he inventoried them. “They had a few powerpacks, and some old blasters as well.”

The Warlord grinned as he looked at his chronometer. “Now… tell me if you want this,” he said while pointing at another vial of clear liquid at the immobilized Tarasin. “The antidote. Right about now you should be really feeling the drug. It’s an old recipe from the time of Sorzus Syn, not that a cretin like you would know who that was. Hurts, doesn’t it?”

The Tarasin moaned in pain. It was a moan of helplessness, of loss. She felt every pain, every heartbreak, every death of a comrade she had ever experienced, or at least some specter thereof float through her mind. Her eyes were stark and open, her alien pupils dilated to the maximum. “Unnnnhhhh,” she groaned as the drug really took hold.

“Right. Tell me where your base is located, and I will give you the antidote,” chuckled the mad Sith as Xanos stood by with closed eyes. “Your pain will stop.”

“Frrack… you,” groaned Rhyssa. “Sleemo Jedi filth.” Her scales seemed to wash in different shades as her body lost control. The spines on her arms rose and fell with her breathing.

“Not Jedi,” remarked Xanos as his eyes snapped open. “Sith. Entirely different paradigm. She was due to collect her payment from an old CIS base, about two hundred kilometers into the lifeless dessert. The Believers must be there,” whispered the Prophet as he gestured. “She may control her mouth, but her weak thoughts betray her.” The Dark Side seemed to almost writhe in the mind’s eye around the Elder as he enjoyed the waves of pain radiating from the woman.

“Excellent.” Macron punched Rhyssa hard in the face with an armored fist, the Force adding the power of a freight train to his blow. It pulped her head like a rotten cantaloupe, spraying what passed for the alien’s brains across his arm and the rock behind her with a chunky splutch. He frowned and wiped the gore from his arm with a torn piece of her coat. “Yuk.”

“I thought you were going to give her the antidote?” remarked Kairus as he strode up to the two Sith. “The bikes have enough fuel to get us there, at least. Her disruptor still has a few shots left, and we have one shoulder-fired rocket.”

“I lied,” Macron hissed as Xanos levitated the bikes towards them. “Death is the only antidote. That I gave her, hehe. Let’s go. These bikes will hold all three of us.”


23-01-2012 15:49:00

400m south of the strike team’s crash site
Almas, Cularin System, Expansion Region

After Macron had mounted one of the two speeders, Kairus climbed on behind him, the Knight hoisting the portable Merr-Sonn missile launcher they’d recovered over his shoulder. Xanos, however, knelt down to examine the broken and bloodied face of the female Tarasin mercenary.

“Hehe,” Macron giggled as he looked down from his seat. “I made her prettier, I think. Yes?”

The Cularin native—Rhyssa—spluttered a curse through her broken jaw, spitting blood into the Falleen’s face. Xanos ignored it. He had lost his control a few minutes earlier, flying into a sudden rage at his former apprentice. It was little surprise the other two had chosen to ride together.

His body’s deterioration was clearly accelerating.

As if right on cue, the Elder winced as the muscles in his face involuntarily clenched, earning a sneer of satisfaction from the dying alien beneath him. He needed to find a cure. That was why he had agreed to accompany Macron on this inane quest in the first place. The Tarasin looked as if she could read his distorted expression, coughing more blood into his face as she snorted a pained laugh.

“We’ll b-both...” gloated Rhyssa , “d-die...soon.”

While Kairus remained silent, looking on in curiosity, Macron rapped his metal gauntlet’s fingers against his speeder’s handlebars. “Just kill her and be done with it,” the Warlord hissed through his helmet. A moment later, the deranged madman giggled again, his short attention span obviously shifting onto something else. “I’ve still got a cultist to choke with his own entrails, hehe.”

Xanos stared into the dying Tarasin’s eyes, which were now becoming cloudy. “There is no death,” whispered the Dark Prophet, no anger in his voice, as he grabbed hold of the alien’s throat and drew the final ebbs of her waning energy into himself. “There is only me.” As the Force drained from her, the scales in the Tarasin’s face dulled, going grey, before her body went limp, slopping into the mud.

The Consul coughed, clearly irritated by his old Master’s ongoing delay.

The Elder ignored the other Sith. Once he was done, Xanos stood up and climbed onto the second of the two outdated speeder bikes. Macron tapped his armoured fist on his own bike again. “Are we finally done?” scoffed the Warlord in distinct annoyance. “This isn’t a sightseeing tour, Master.”

10km outside the desolate wastelands
Almas, Cularin System, Expansion Region

Cularin’s twin suns had now set and night had finally fallen on Almas. One of the dark lizards nearby belched as it finished whatever animal it had just devoured for its evening snack. Zeenat watched as the lizard spat something out—a bone?—which arced up into the night sky, before dropping back into the nearby sinkhole. A moment later, a loud hacking cough came up from the pit, right before a large tan tentacle shot up, snaking around the hssiss that had tossed the bone and dragging it down.

The Believer sitting on one of the rocks next to Zeenat laughed. “Don’t tease the sarlacc,” the Twi’lek chuckled, staring at the pack of hssiss clustered on the opposite side of the sinkhole. The creatures glanced at him, obviously confused by the Twi’lek’s laughter, then went back about their business.

Zeenat checked his wrist chrono. Rhyssa was running late. “She should be here,” he grumbled.

The Twi’lek shrugged. “That’s mercs for you,” the other cultist said. “Always late.”

The Bothan shook his head. Back at the bar in Forard, the pair of Tarasins had seemed more than able to bring down a shuttle. Maybe something had gone wrong? “I should call base,” Zeenat said.

“Nah,” the other Believer said. “She’ll be here.” The Twi’lek tapped his hand on the leg of the spider tank behind them. “And if anything happened? Leave it to ol’ blinky to fix.”

15km outside the desolate wastelands
Almas, Cularin System, Expansion Region

The purple fields had become a blur as the two speeder bikes shot through the Almasian meadows. With the Plex primed and ready for action, Kairus remained perched behind Macron on the aft of the bike. The Dark Prophet’s bike travelled parallel to them, albeit the Falleen had his eyes closed and looked to be half in a trance. So nothing new there. In the distance ahead, the purple could be seen to give way to the lifeless brown expanse of the wastes where the dark side held sway over nature.

“Having fun, Master?” called Macron over the speeders’ engines.

Unsurprisingly, the Falleen didn’t answer.

The Warlord rolled his eyes. “Figured as much.” Macron giggled. He was enjoying seeing the Elder forced to tag along on a mission he obviously didn’t see any purpose in. It was fun to see his old master squirm. Macron glanced back over his shoulder. “You doing okay back there, Kairus?”

“You and your Master don’t seem to get on much,” the Knight replied, his voice slightly muffled by his rebreather. “Is there anything I ought to know about?”

As they made their way toward the Believers base out in the wastes, the pair fell into conversation about their pasts to pass the time. It wasn’t as if Almas had much else to offer in the way of interest. “Nothing special,” replied the Warlord, shrugging. “Just that I nearly killed him once, hehe.”

“And you’re not afraid that bothers him?”

“Oh, I know it does!” Macron giggled again. “But he needs something from me.”

The terrain began to slope downhill as the green and purple foliage gradually became less and less dense. As Macron was recounting another tale of his past to the Dark Jedi Knight, the Falleen’s eyes opened and his head jerked up from his own speeder’s controls. “I sense something,” said the Dark Prophet, his voice distorted by the wind shear, but nonetheless perfectly clear in the others’ minds.

Macron heard a chime as Kairus no doubt readied the missile launcher.

“The feeling is untamed,” continued Xanos, pausing as he focused his mind. “Feral...”

Out of nowhere, the ground gave way underneath Macron and Kairus’s speeder, the earth itself rolling as if it were alive. Macron pulled back on the controls, breaking, and pulling the bike into a sharp turn as the grass—no, some sort of armoured snake or tentacle—lifted up out of the ground.

“What the frack is that?!” called Kairus.

“I don’t care! Just shoot it!” said Macron.


25-01-2012 21:59:03

15km outside desolate wastelands

Macron seemed to have enough momentum to elude the trap, but the creature had managed to snare its tentacle around Kairus’ leg and he was wrenched from the back of the speeder. He landed hard in the grassy patch and watched as the shoulder missile launcher landed out of his reach. A strong tug forced his attention to his leg, not only was he being drawn to the center of whatever this was, but it was dragging him away from the other Dark Jedi as well. Wanting nothing more than to comply with Macron’s last command, Kairus reached out and opened the missile launcher. He lifted the projectile high into the air and pointed hard in the direction his foot was being drawn. It buried itself into the ground, and as if the force was speaking to him, he knew exactly when trigger the explosive. There was barely concussive ripple on the surface, but the tentacle restraining his leg lost all its strength.

Kairus stood up and looked at Xanos and Macron. Macron was slowly shaking his head, “Tsk tsk Kairus, I told you to shoot it, not kill it.” Kairus stood dumbfounded as Macron giggled, “That appeared to be a sarlacc, quite young too. A perfectly diabolical creature and you’ve denied it a planets worth of prey.” Kairus didn’t know if the Consul was joking or not, but he didn’t sense any ill will as Macron proceeded to giggle out loud. Xanos, who was still seated on his speeder, looked off into the distance. “Someone’s thoughts dwell on the two mercenaries; the two of them are becoming quite impatient and are completely unaware the Tarasins are dead.”

“Suppose those mercenaries were supposed to meet at a rendezvous, wouldn’t it be wise for only two of us to show up initially,” Kairus asked looking at the two lords. “That would cause less initial alarm, good observation Knight”, Macron said mounting the second speeder. Thank you for volunteering to go by foot; it seems some younger Dark Jedi do know their manners.” Kairus watched as Xanos put his speeder into gear and race off as Macron gave a little wave and followed…”Poodu.”

10km outside desolate wastelands

Zeenat was pacing back and forth; he refused to wait much longer to pay these mercs off. His twi’lek counterpart continued to voice reason to him. “You know you can’t bail on this, the moment you do your credibility is lost and no one will do your dirty work.” Zeenat cursed, he couldn’t lose his advantage relying on credit hungry savages to do his bidding, maintaining a low profile was essential. “Honestly what could be taking so long, how hard is it to shoot down a shuttle”, he asked loudly. “Perhaps Rhysaa did so well that she was able to salvage valuables from the wreckage. Zeenat’s eyebrows rose slightly as he made a mental note to ask about her findings. He paced another minute and rechecked his wrist chrono.

“Come on Rhyssa”, Zeenat said aloud. He barely finished that thought when in the distance he heard the sound of speederbike engines whining. They were approaching quickly and Zeenat was more than ready to leave. “Throw me the case, I’m ready to go”, he barked to the other Believer. The two speeders were soon in visual range and Zeenat took a few steps in their direction. “Rhysaa, you better have a damned good reason for keeping me waiting this long”, he said as the riders cut off the engines. He was squinting in the low light at the two figures approaching and noticed they looked nothing like he was expecting. He tried to shout a warning to his partner, but found himself completely paralyzed. His limbs wouldn’t move, he couldn’t speak, but he could blink and breathe. He was able to move his eyes and saw that the twi’lek too looked completely inanimate. The two figures approaching lowered their hoods, one looked like death itself, the other giggled a maddening chuckle.

Macron Sadow

26-01-2012 19:00:38

10km outside desolate wastelands

“Filth,” spat the armored one as his hood lowered. “Your friends are dead. Now, Die!” Macron launched forward with a ground-covering leap. Behind him one of the speeders zipped off and returned to Kairus’ position on a time delay.

The quiet one’s eyes only glowed red as he kept the two paralyzed with the Force. Just as the madman reached the pair, Xanos let both enemies loose from his Force-created prison.

There was no lightsaber this time. The alchemist howled in battle-rage as he struck Zeenat first. The Bothan was quickly struck down by a brutal spinning Broken Gate kick to the chest that had been boosted to the maximum by the Dark Side. The Bothan hit the ground hard. His old CIS armor vest saved his life but his legs were almost immediately broken by a follow-up blast of telekinetic power that scattered dust and rock around him. A hard Echani elbow smash to his upper chest when the Sith lunged forward again with impossible speed crushed the cartilage and snapped both clavicles as well. Zeenat hadn’t even had time to gurgle for help. He had no chance. He was a dead man walking- or falling, as the case may be.

As the madman leaned over the fallen Bothan with a gloating chuckle, the Twilek mercenary yelled in rage and raised his blaster. He began to shake, and sweat dripped from his beetled brow. “Whu… ack,” gasped the green alien as his whole body began to quake. He could not move. Worse yet, his arm was slowly beginning to point back at his own head. Behind him, the Prophet strode forward calmly with a slight look of greedy anticipation on his face. The Twilek’s arm quaked as he slowly placed the barrel of the blaster in his own gaping mouth. His eyes widened in fear and disbelief as Xanos placed his hand gently on the alien’s chest.

The Sith Lord savored the brief moment as the tension quivered in the Twilek’s eyes. The last thing he saw before he died was Macron efficiently slicing and disemboweling his screaming but still living comrade with a small, sharp Echani knife and hanging the quivering Bothan from a nearby dead tree with his own entrails. The alien voided his bowels as his finger squeezed, delivering a searing bolt of energy right through his brain case. His Lekku spun off, one tendril twirling one way and the other a perfect gyrating counterpoint. The Dark Prophet savored his fear and anguish, drinking them in like blood.

“That was satisfying,” giggled the madman. “Poor sport however. Pathetic scum. He’s still alive, by the way,” snorted the Sith as he gestured rudely with a thumb towards the helpless Bothan. “Enjoy, old man.”

Kairus returned shortly on the stolen speeder. “Greetings. I caught movement on the electrobinocs ahead. These two had an old Spider Tank, and I think some droids may be on the way to to crew it.”

“I see,” giggled the madman as Xanos let the withered corpse drop from the dead tree. It’s husk looked like an old leather wine sack with every last drop drained by forty thirsty drunks on skid row. “Let’s get that tank- or destroy it,” canted the Consul as he checked his gauntlet readout. “The other surviving teams are facing resistance as well. The Voice orders us forward. We WILL crush them.”


28-01-2012 15:32:18

10km outside the desolate wastelands
Almas, Cularin System, Expansion Region

On the bank across from the three Dark Jedi, a clutch of native lizards flicked their tongues into the air. A gargle rumbled up from the pit between them, accompanied by a distinctly vile odour as the parent of the smaller sarlacc they had killed earlier digested the remains of the Twi’lek, which Macron had hurled in for good measure after the Believer had conveniently executed himself.

“There’s a good little monster,” said the Consul, chuckling to himself. “Mustn’t let the abominations go hungry.” He glanced back at his old master, who moments before had finished devouring the last flickers of life from the two Believers. “Isn’t that right, Master?” The Warlord giggled again.

Kairus knocked on one of the rusted legs of the abandoned spider tank nearby. A chunk of durasteel fell off from somewhere underneath its central body. “She’s seen better days,” said the Dark Jedi Knight, his voice still muffled by the rebreather covering his mouth. In a single motion, the man Force leapt up onto the oversized main cannon of the aging spider droid.

On the tank’s back, Kairus spotted a small control box that appeared to have been patched onto the frame more recently. He unclipped his lightsaber and sliced open the housing, then quickly sifted through the multicoloured jumble of leads and wires that the Believers had presumably installed to modify the droid for manual control in the absence of a centralised droid control ship or transmitter.

“Found anything?” called Macron from the foot of the tank.

While Kairus and Macron tried to get the aging tank back online, Xanos simply stared out at the barren plains, which remained lifeless due to the dark energies that permeated the surface of the planet. The Falleen appeared oblivious to the curses and clangs as the other two worked, the Dark Prophet no doubt currently feeding on the dark side infused in Almas.

Several minutes passed until, at long last, a large red light came on under the main cannon.

“There were go,” said the Knight, as he continued fiddling with the wires. “And I think this one...”

The main cannon fired, nearly hurling the two Dark Jedi off as the entire tank suddenly lurched. The lizards on the far side of the sarlacc pit jolted upright, their heads looking back and forth in shock at the unexpected noise.

The Warlord giggled. “Excellent work,” said Macron, continuing to giggle as the lizards slowly went back to the carcass they were presently eating. He glanced down at Xanos, then followed his old mentor’s gaze out into the lifeless wastes. There was movement in the near distance. Macron turned back to Kairus. “It looks like those droids you spotted will be here soon.”

Abandoned Confederacy base
The Desolate Wastelands
Almas, Cularin System, Expansion Region

Alysia studied the numerous green sigils on the blue hologram of Almas in front of her. The image flickered, the old Separatist hardware shorting out for a moment before the hologram returned again. They had lost contact with a number of their operatives. Out of habit, she reached up and curled a lock of her now greying brown hair around one finger. The situation was making her edgy.

The woman turned around and looked at the group of fellow Believers who were currently manning the old communications console—it, thankfully, seemed to be holding up better than the holo-emitter. “Have you heard anything from the Bothan?” she muttered impatiently. “He should have downed that shuttle over three hours ago.”

One of the youngsters—they all seemed to be young these days—looked up from his console and shook his head.

“Well call him!” snapped Alysia, holding up a hand and clenching her fist—fear was the only thing these halfwit new acolytes understood. She let the youth gasp for a second, then she released him. Zeenat was unreliable at the best of times, far too dependent on his friends in the underworld. If anything had happened—

“No contact from Zeenat, mistress,” said the teenager working the communications equipment.

Alysia cursed. “Am I the only one who deserves to wear this tattoo!?”

She saw the youngster visibly gulp—then his eyes darted back to the console in front of him. “Wait a second,” said the male Believer, who was apparently unaware that he’d also just held up a hand as if he was in any place to be demanding that she be silent for him. Nevertheless, Alysia simply waited...

After an insufferably long silence, she snorted. “Well?

The youngster looked back up at her again. “It appears Zeenat’s A-DSD has just come back online,” replied the teenage cultist, citing the old Separatist model number as if she actually cared about such things. He glanced over at the hologram behind Alysia. “But the droid team you sent has—”

Alysia stopped listening and turned around to look at the hologram for herself.

Without telling Zeenat, she’d sent a squad of some of the droids they’d salvaged from the bunker as backup—she had expected the Bothan would need help, and like usual she had been proven right.

They might have been fifty years old, but droidekas were still a match for most of the cultists she’d seen train with them—not that any of these halfwits were much to go by. But she remembered the stories back when she was a little girl in the Clone Wars. And if nothing else, the destroyer droids might at least slow the attackers long enough to bring the rest of the base’s old defences online...


28-01-2012 19:57:42

10km outside the desolate wastelands

This was the first point in this mission that Kairus actually let a smirk cross his face, though covered by the re-breather. “Destroyer droids”, he thought to himself, “I can’t believe this is a part of their defense.” Macron seemed to have picked up on this confidence. “Yes, sad isn’t it”, he paused to look into the distance, “Truly amazing what desperate people will do. However, droidekas are not the easiest prey, but we have much to show them don’t we”, as he clapped his hand on the hull of the spider tank. “Let’s get this heap of metal moving to intercept”, he said as he jumped on the back followed silently by Xanos. Kairus engaged the walker and turned it to face the oncoming squadron of droids.

The three dark Jedi observed the future battleground in silence. It was Xanos who noticed first as he slowly stood up on the spider walkers’ back, “The droids are already in formation.” They had assembled into small vanguard groups, two droid back; one forward in a triangle. Kairus counted four assemblies, “We’re in range, shall we see what this thing can do?” “By all means, the sooner we’re through this the sooner we get to the best part”, Macron giggled. “Brace yourselves”, Kairus yelled as he pushed the cannon button. The tank gave a great lurch again and fired the bolt at the closest cluster of droids. The shot completely destroyed the forward droid, and the force of the blast wrenched the back two off their tripod feet. “All too easy”, Kairus said smiling and adjust the cannon to the next group. He pressed the button again and looked up. He heard an electrical whir and saw two feeble sparks come from the cannon.

“Don’t let them get their shields up”, Macron yelled as he and Xanos dismounted. The three remaining droid groups were rolling to their position. Xanos ran forward with a burst of speed to the nearest squad before they could unroll. He put both arms into the air and all three of the droidekas were lifted. He closed his fists tightly and could hear the bronzium armor buckling. Knowing they couldn’t unroll he unleashed a wave of lightning that washed over the droids as they fell back to the ground completely disabled. Macron seemed to have ignored his own advice. It looked as if he enjoyed parading his superior physical finesse over these droids. He had the two remaining squads focused on him as he would run around one group, jump high into the air behind the other group, and start again. His lightsaber was casually drawn, deflecting shots aimlessly.

He saw Xanos approaching in the corner of his eye and decided to act. He rounded to the back on one group of droids and jumped high again, this time reaching in his belt and dropping a small vial in between the two droid squads. An unnatural cloud that didn’t rise into the air engulfed the droids. Macron landed next to Xanos and looked on with anticipation, reaching out with the force and dissipating the cloud. The two groups of droids were facing each other, slowly backing away from one another. Their shields engaged and they began firing at each other in a stalemate. “The mad alchemist strikes once more”, Macron sneered as he walked towards the spider tank. “Where we you in all of that Kairus,” he asked looking at the Knight who looked comfortable in his seat. “I managed to…”, began Kairus before he felt the ground shaking. Macron and he looked over at Xanos, who had pulled the very terrain from under the droids, lifted into the air, turned it over, and wrenched it back to the surface where no trace of the droids could be found. “We have something to finish”, he said monotonously.

“I was just getting to that”, Kairus said quietly. “I’ve managed to fix this heap…in a special way.” Hearing no objections he continued, “The cannon is dead”, at which this point Macron rolled his eyes, “but we have one big “boom” left.” Macron raised an eyebrow, “Go on.” “As soon as the base is in visual range, we set the walker towards the direction of our choice…instant doorway.” “That sounds just like the entrance we deserve”, Macron laughed maniacally as Kairus piloted the tank to the next location.

Abandoned Confederacy base
The Desolate Wastelands

Alsyia was not surprised by the readouts from her holoscreens. Zeenat’s tank was on its way to the base, but the entire droid force had been eliminated. Even if she could get the interior defenses online, that would leave nothing outside. She made the difficult decision after considering her position, “Everyone listen to me, I want our base fully protected inside, to do that we need to sacrifice protecting the exterior.” The young believers all looked around anxiously, she could feel the tension in the air. She looked back at her screens and her eyes widened. “Get those def...”, the rest was unheard as an explosion from outside made everything quake violently.

Macron Sadow

29-01-2012 15:47:12

Rocky outcrop 0.5 Km from
Abandoned Confederacy base
The Desolate Wastelands

“Ah, the earth shattering kaboom,” chuckled Macron as the eletrobinocs in his helm focused. His own eyes were enhanced with the Force, feeling for other threads, sharpening his vision. “Yep. Nice work, Kairus. There was just enough juice in that thing’s powerplant, and it was so old and corroded… just waiting to split like a rotten corpse full of stench-gas.” The madman giggled insanely. “Boom. Hehehehe! It appears one of the perimter guards was caught in the blast. Poor bastard got eviscerated. Heh.”

“Aye, he's dead,” replied the Obelisk Knight as he lowered his own field glasses. “I’m sure they expect someone right behind it. Us not being exactly right there, is perfect.” The Disciple of Sadow frowned. “A shame about that A-DSD. It could have been more useful if it had been cherry.” The Obelisk scooted back down behind the outcropping. Macron had found several nasty looking sand-scorpions back there, and he still wasn’t sure what the alchemist had done with them. Probably ate the damn things.

“It was,” giggled Macron as he crawled down to the small cave to join Xanos and Kairus. “The door is open. They will be alert for some time, but they cannot repair that hole quickly. We wait until later, then attack. We’ll need a diversion of some kind on the other side of the compound to draw them away from guarding that breach.” He looked pointedly at Xanos. “Ahem.” The Consul absentmindedly tossed a canister full of scorpions up and down in his hand. Within the jar a mild mutagenic gas was already at work on them, enhancing their venom, and shortening their lives. Resources were everywhere. Even the planet's lifeforms could be used against the enemy.

“I see. What exactly makes you think you are charge, Apprentice,” murmured the Sith Lord quietly. If his blood still had enough energy to boil, it would have. Even so he needed access to the Library of Sadow yet. “Done.” He wrapped his cloak closer around, seeming to cocoon within it as the three huddled under a rock overhang. It was true. He was indeed, in spite of any… hunger, the strongest of them in the Force. Besides- there would be more playthings for his evil amusement when the terror started.

“Then it is. We have about a two hour wait. We hit them at two-thirty local darktime. Xanos, if you could arrange a wind-storm, that would be perfect. Radar and light does not penetrate blowing sand well, as those on Korriban knew.” Macron huddled on the floor, checking and rechecking his lightsabers and gear. It was like watching someone pick invisible bugs off themselves.

Kairus shook his head glumly as he considered the situation in his mind. “What have I gotten myself into? Those two are total crackpots.”


31-01-2012 14:37:05

Inside the Confederacy base
The Desolate Wastelands
Almas, Cularin System, Expansion Region

The female Elomin beheld a scene of chaos as she reported to the blast zone where the kamikaze tank had exploded. Bricks and glowing debris lay everywhere. The breech itself was still smoking, and the twisted wreckage of the spider droid still burned just outside the shattered duracrete wall.

“Those bastards,” muttered Vara, her grip tightening around the handle of her blaster pistol.

The bodies of two unfortunate Believers, who it looked must have been practising with one of the old destroyer droids, had been covered up by a sheet salvaged from the nearby medical crates in the clouded supply room. The only parts of the droideka that had survived were its three bronzium feet.

Vara stepped outside and looked up toward the hills that circled the abandoned base. A storm was brewing. The clouds had gone over Dorumaa, blocking out the moonlight from Almas’s lone satellite. The wind did not help either, kicking up the dry and dusty desert and limiting visibility even further.

Tarc stepped next to her. While she couldn’t read the Arkanian’s white eyes, she could sense the dark side seething within him in response to his growing anger. “They’ll pay for this,” Tarc growled.

Vara hoped so. It was the Believers’ destiny to rule the galaxy.

She would not let the Dark Brotherhood stop them.

Outside the Confederacy base
The Desolate Wastelands
Almas, Cularin System, Expansion Region

At the foot of the hillside, cultists skittered about outside the smoking blast hole like insects without a queen. Xanos shook his head, wrapping the dark side around him to mask his presence as he edged across the barren mounds circling the disused bunker.

The muscles in his face twitched as his chagrin returned again. This diversion was beneath him.

Up ahead, a male Togruta skulked warily on the crest of the hill. The man could have been no older than a teenager. Xanos had thought the Believers pitiful enough for recruiting others to fight their battles, such as the two Tarasin mercenaries, but now that he was in their actual presence, he felt... no threatening maelstrom; no torrent of dark energy; the boy was little more than a faint whisper against the thunderous cacophony buried beneath the haunted wastes of Almas and Darth Rivan.

With a simple hand gesture, the Togruta keeled over, his heart ruptured by a single unnoticed pinch. The Believer acolyte had not resisted; he had not even sensed his imminent death. The Dark Prophet sighed. It was too easy. Were these the enemies the Dark Council feared these days? Macron and the others should have considered themselves fortunate that he still had need of their archives...

Xanos made his way to the top of the hill and rolled the dead alien’s body over. The Togruta’s face looked almost peaceful; his death had been instant. “What a waste,” said the Falleen.

The Elder held up his arms and began to tap into the reserves trapped inside Almas. As the midi-chlorians in his blood writhed in opposition to what he was doing, one of the cultists at the base of the hill—she appeared to be either a Zabrak or an Elomin—stared up in his direction. The woman looked back and forth, apparently oblivious to the dark currents of the Force energy swirling around him. After a moment, the Believer shrugged and turned back to the Arkanian standing next to her.

Xanos shook his head and closed his eyes to focus.

Inside the Confederacy base
The Desolate Wastelands
Almas, Cularin System, Expansion Region

The Elomin narrowed her eyes, studying the hill above the base. She had been sure she’d seen something. The wind was picking up, however, so maybe it had just been her imagination? With how much dust was getting throw into the air, it was becoming impossible to make out more than the first hundred meters .Vara turned back to Tarc. “We won’t see anything soon if this storm picks up.”

“We will sense if they come,” snorted the second Believer. “But it looks like these Sith aren’t as powerful as Alysia claims.” The Arkanian shook his head dismissively. “I feel nothing. Only shadows.” Tarc still burned inside; Vara could feel it. He was eager for combat. He wanted to taste blood.

Vara turned her head back toward the hillside again. The storm was definitely getting worse, but at least the wind had blown out the last of the spider tank’s fire. She was starting to miss the heat though; the wind was unnaturally cold. “At least the storm will hopefully slow the Sith down until the Mistress brings the facility’s defences online,” Vara said, sounding more optimistic than she actually felt. The Elomin shivered, pulling her jacket around her tighter. It really was getting cold.

Tarc shrugged. Though he didn’t answer, Vara knew the Arkanian would prefer a clean fight. Through the corner of her eye, she was certain she saw him shivering as well. The wind howled.

Vara spotted something move again up on the hillside.

“There!” said Vara quickly, pointing up at the hill with her blaster. “Where Quane was patrolling.”

The Arkanian grunted. “I told you, Var, there’s nothing—” Tarc cut off as a green glow filled the horizon like some sort of green mist. Vara dropped to her knees and looked up at the light. Through all the dust swirling around, it was impossible to make out what it was. “What the kriff is that?”

A shape roughly resembling a humanoid began to form in the dust storm. Four tendrils dangled from its head. Like a Togruta. Quane!

“Hold there or I’ll shoot,” barked Tarc. He would, too, Vara knew. Even if it was Quane.

Slowly, the green shape emerged through the dust. It wasn’t Quane. But yet it was Quane. It was—


The illusion of Quane dissolved into dust as two lightsabers sprung through the dust cloud.


01-02-2012 21:10:45

Inside the Confederacy Base

The Obelisk watched the events that transpired next with great interest. The Dark Prophet’s guise now had completely vanished, and Vara shouted to Tarc, “You said we would sense them, their powers are NOT weak…they are beyond us.” The Arkanian was already firing his blaster rapidly, the dark Jedi merely deflecting his shots into the darkness. Vara drew her blaster ready to join Tarc when her vision went black. She gasped out loud and held her blaster with both hands, but what she heard made her want to scream. She heard the lightsaber in the air and make contact, but it was not a clean swipe. Xanos had stabbed the Believer through the chest and out the back, severing his spinal cord. He didn’t withdraw the blade immediately, Tarc wasn’t dead yet…he was being tortured. She could hear the blood boiling on the blade, the armor melting into a mess. She didn’t realize that the dark Jedi was absorbing his death with great pleasure.

“STOP”, she yelled her voice quaking with fear. She began shooting in the direction of the sickening sound of her partner melting. Disappointed Xanos turned off his blades and with a touch of the force jumped into the air. He re-engaged a single blade over her head, and when she pointed the barrel up he made his swing. She fell to her knees hard and opened her eyes, her vision had returned. Her blaster had fallen to the ground, her two hands still wrapped tightly around the grip and trigger. She looked where her hands used to be but words eluded her, she was already in shock. Xanos raised her into the air and said gutturally, “Look to me as you die.” Vara’s eyes shifted lazily to the Dark Prophet as he gestured towards her. She did not last long as he ruptured every organ in her body. He relished in the death as Macron and Kairus walked in.

“I dare say you enjoyed that”, Macron said laughing out loud. Xanos gave no reply as he scanned the rest of the room. “It doesn’t look like those two were able to raise any kind of alarm, even with her yelling”, Kairus noted. “Alarm or not, the time for action has come at last”, the Consul replied quickly. He walked towards the closed door of the room, reached for his belt and withdrew the canister of scorpions he had caught earlier. The mutagen seemed to have done its damage, as Macron looked pleased as ever. Kairus and Xanos caught the glimpse of a big smile as Macron turned around and opened the door.

Inside Confederacy Base
Control Room

“YES”, Alysia exclaimed as her screens showed her the interior defenses of the base had come online. She had what she wanted…force-fields, stationary guns, everything she needed. “Great job people,” she barked loudly as she began establishing force-fields in strategic locations.

Inside Confederacy Base

Kairus had just made it through the door when the distinct sound of a force-field popped behind him. He ignited his lightsaber and touched the blade to the field, “Hmm, these have a little juice to them”, he said warningly as he retracted the sapphire blade. The thought that come to him next put him in a good mood. “I’d almost wager they are unaware they just locked three dark Jedi in with them”, he said smugly. “These defenses are their final error”, Xanos said in low tones. “By activating these meager force-fields, they have sealed their fate.” Macron and Kairus looked at each other and Macron giggled, “Pun intended?” Xanos scowled and turned to continue down the corridor.

Macron Sadow

04-02-2012 10:24:19

Inside Confederacy Base

“My Master has no sense of humor. Force fields, pfft,” snickered the madman. His yellow eyes peered at the wall beside the control unit. “They only work well when the structure around them is solid and well-maintained.” A stab of his orange blade opened the control panel, and the madman placed his hand on the open wires. Sparks flew as he grimaced in pain. Within, the Dark Side opened and hungrily absorbed the energy fed to it. The field promptly shut off as the power surge cascaded down the hall. Macron retracted his hand gingerly.

“How did you do that?” quipped Kairus as they moved forward. “I thought that much energy was beyond anyone but him.” The Knight gestured towards the silent Dark Prophet.

“It is,” agreed the madman. “A droid, I could drain. But that fuse could only hold so much power flow. By drawing more through it into the system, I overloaded the fuse. Like kinking a water hose and then releasing it to clear a blockage. Their system is so old, the failure cascaded. Simple, really. Although my hair is probably now standing on end within my helm.” The madman pointed at Xanos. “He taught me that.”

“What’s new about you having freaky looking hair,” snorted Kairus. The Obelisk hefted his lightsaber in one hand, and palmed one of the last grenades in the other. "I'm going to give someone a baradium facelift myself."

“Perhaps we will meet more interesting prey,” whispered Xanos quietly. “They will feel the Fear,” spat the withered Falleen as he began to radiate waves of it ahead of them. “They will all feel IT.”

The Knight and Warlord simply looked at him. “I’m sure they will,” chuckled the madman. “I’m sure they will. Those last couple were awfully poor sport.”

Xanos raised a shriveled claw, and writhing cable of blue lightning blasted forth to scour at the open control panel. Ahead of them, lights went down and doors opened as a massive energy surge sped through the electronic system in the old base. The fate of this cell of Believers was soon to be sealed. The Iron Throne had sent for them- and the message was about to be delivered.

Inside Confederacy Base
Control Room

“Systems report a drain and cascading power surge in the force field system. Targets have penetrated the primary field securing this area,” droned the monotonic voice of a scarred old B1 battle-droid. “We have confirmation of lightsaber energy signatures. They are approaching.” Around the room, the top tier of Believers gathered weapons and shouted at each other. Mass confusion was ensuing inside the control room. The fear was almost palpable within the dome-shaped chamber.

“Kark!” screamed Alysia. “How in the Hell?” Her mind raced across the knowledge she had read of the Jedi in the scrolls of the Believers. Jedi were known to have many tricks, but energy draining was not usually one of them. However, another group came to mind. No wonder they had not been felt. Her problems became much more serious as her eyes widened in increasing fear. “The Brotherhood... are not the pushovers I assumed they were,” the woman gasped. “Holy pudu. Everyone, look sharp. Gather your weapons. I need all Droidekas to hallway 4F. Get that Tank Droid online and have it lead the strike team. Power up the stationary guns.” And I’m getting my shuttle ready, thought the fleeing little rabbit.


05-02-2012 12:57:04

Inside the Confederacy base
Almas, Cularin System, Expansion Region

Waves of darkness pulsed down the unlit hallway as the intruders made their way into the decrepit Separatist bunker. Insects hurried, skittering out of their path to find cracks to hide. Even the weeds that had grown up over the crumbling duracrete wilted to one side as the three darksiders passed.

Although the Dark Prophet’s own lightsabers hung back on his waist, the orange and blue glows of Macron and Kairus’s shone down the corridor, casting an unnatural light on the decaying masonry. Xanos’s lips curled into a thin, barely noticeable sneer. He felt as if he could almost hear the dying screams across the planet as the other strike teams struck fear into the Believers and their ignorant cult.

Behind him, Xanos heard his old apprentice giggle. “I’d almost say you were enjoying this,” chuckled Macron. The Consul himself was; that much was certain. Macron’s bloodthirsty desire tittered in the Force as he bounced the glowing vial of scorpions in his hand again. “Hehe, this beauty will be fun.”

Xanos snorted derisively as he continued down the still empty corridor; the Believers had thus far not rushed to reinforce the pitiful hand of untrained acolytes they had stationed at the outside walls. “I take no pleasure in living,” answered the Elder finally. “To live is to drown in sorrow.” Like those who felt the black waves emanating from him right then. He twitched again, his body convulsing involuntarily as the darkness within him sought to tear itself apart. Xanos fed on that pain, that sorrow, channelling it into the hallway, forcing his own anguish back out onto the world.

Following the only corridor from the now-abandoned medical bay through which they had entered, the three were eventually met by a ceiling mounted cannon which looked like it had been removed from the flank of a Star Destroyer. Black smoke was rising from its oversized barrel.

“Hehe,” giggled Macron, tossing the canister in his hand again. “Looks like our power surge worked.”

Kairus approached the hemispherical disc on the wall underneath the laser cannon and tapped it with his blue lightsaber blade. Nothing happened. “Shields here are definitely down too,” said the Knight.

“The defences will probably still be up lower down in the base though,” warned Macron. “Stay sharp.”

A floodlight above them briefly flickered as it struggled to come back online before turning off again.

“Still, who picks a rundown shell to use as a base?” said Kairus, shaking his head.

Macron knelt down by the shield emitter and tapped it with his gauntleted hand, sending a metallic clang echoing back up the lifeless corridor they had just come from. The red armoured warrior stood up again and shrugged. “The intel said they used to use Darth Rivan’s fortress,” said Macron.

“Until the Jedi kicked them out of it,” replied Kairus.

Jedi, yes...” said Macron, his voice sharpening at the name. A moment later he chuckled again, bouncing the scorpions. “But we’ll make sure they never want to come back. Right, Master? Hehe.”

Like usual, the Elder didn’t reply. Instead, Xanos stood motionless, staring down the empty corridor.

Kairus frowned and followed the Dark Prophet’s gaze down the dark hallway. A sign on the wall read 4F. Macron turned and looked for himself. Distantly, his helmet sensors picked up a faint sound... like marbles rolling.

“Battle droids,” said Macron, tightening his hand around his lightsaber. Unlike the Believers hauled up in the more heavily defended levels beneath them, the droids wouldn’t be affected by the Dark Prophet’s powers. The Consul snorted at the cultists’ cowardice. “Xanos, you keep up the pressure on the filth deeper down below. Kairus and I will handle these.” The Warlord giggled. “And I want to break something, hehe.” Macron’s repeated tittering demonstrated his readiness for battle. When the Dark Prophet did not say anything, Macron simply shrugged again and said: “I’ll take that as a yes then.”

The rattling was growing louder as the droids shot through the hallways further into the base toward them.

“Come on Kairus,” said Macron, brandishing his lightsaber, “let’s go and smash some droids.”

The two warriors raced on ahead of the Dark Prophet as his waves of darkness continued to suffocate the base like the toxic fumes outside.

Control Room
Inside the Confederacy base

The grainy hologram in front of Alysia flickered again as a pair of Bith technicians crouched beside it, their hands darting to bring the aging hardware back online as fast as possible. The charred remains of one of their former co-workers smouldered on the floor nearby as a motivation to try harder.

The leader of the Believers wrapped her arms around her shoulders and shivered. She could see her own breath in the freezing air as she breathed. The chill was unnatural. “And when you’re done with that,” snapped Alysia at the two Bith, pointing at the holo-emitter, “fix the kriffing heating!”

Whatever was going on, the sudden temperature drop was putting her on edge.

The holo-image flickered on again, and she could just make out the sigils representing the droid assault team she’d dispatched a few minutes earlier. The droidekas would be there in moments.

At least they wouldn’t be affected by this dang unholy cold.


06-02-2012 20:45:25

Inside Confederacy Base

Macron and Kairus charged down the corridor as the sound of the approaching rolling droids grew louder. They halted as they spotted the three droidekas, which were rolling in the same vanguard position as in their last encounter. Kairus smiled as he took the lone grenade he had scavenged, pulled the pin, and rolled it down the corridor. “What the frak are you doing”, Macron spat, “Even if you get the front one the back two will have shields.” The smile quickly vanished as Kairus looked back at the droids unrolling. The grenade made it to the first droid and simply bounced off to one side, obviously defective. Both the Dark Jedi were forced to begin repelling blaster fire from the droids. Macron’s skills were apparent, his deflections back to the droids were pin point accurate. Kairus having just been knighted and mastering Soresu form, was more random, sending stray bolts in closer than comfort directions.

Macron grinned evilly as a plan came to him. Moving his blade to his strong hand, he gestured towards the dud grenade and raised it above the vanguard of droids. He let it go in the middle of the group, and before it could hit the ground he made a flicking motion with his fingers. The explosion was not as big as it should have been, the three droids were still standing and shooting with full force. Kairus blocked the next volley of shots and deflected a pair of blaster bolts at the first droid, which stopped firing and began to short out. “The shields must be out”, he said loudly as he continued to reflect the remaining blaster fire. “I’ve had enough”, Macron said as he lifted the other two into the air and smashed them into the ceiling. He let the fall hard then tossed them side to side into the walls, continuing this until they looked like scrap metal on a jawa sandcrawler.

“These cultists have earned my deepest loathing”, Macron said sourly. His mood greatly improved when he again reached for his canister of scorpions. “I think it’s time they knew exactly how much I despise them”, he said giggling as he opened the lid and laid the canister down. To say that these scorpions were unnatural was an understatement. They left the canister impossibly fast and without a sound. He collected one back into the container and resealed it, obviously saving it for something special. He held a hand up and the little creatures all stopped. Macron issued no verbal commands; he simply stared at his minions. In moments they were headed down the corridor on their masters’ mission.

“How…”, Kairus started but was interrupted by a tremor in the ground. Again and again the ground quaked as the two dark Jedi stared to the end of the corridor. Rounding the corner was a very large, at least 3 meters tall, bi-pedal tank looking machine. “A SD-6 Hulk”, Macron said impressed, “they certainly saved their best for last.” The two motioned to draw their lightsabers until they were pushed aside to either wall of the corridor. Between them strode Xanos who didn’t bother to draw his blade. The tank began firing its blasters, which the Dark Prophet began catching in his hands. Kairus looked with a pained expression at his own palm as he watched the dark one work. An overload of dark energy was building in Xanos, and he released it with fury. The metal of the tank began creasing, the barrels of its blasters collapsing. The legs began retracting, in fact, the whole unit seemed to be imploding. When the torrent of energy was spent, Xanos let his arms fall to his side, a solid block of metal crashing to the floor. “Their best was nothing of the sort”, he said coldly.

“You know, no one asked you for help, oh great one”, Macron giggled. “Kairus and I were doing just fine until…”, he was cut off abruptly. The screams of panic and pain of several cultists could be heard a distance down the corridor. “My little ones sound busy”, the madman said clapping his hands together and giggling in a fit of hysteria.

Macron Sadow

09-02-2012 21:10:54

Inside Confederacy Base

Smoke from the destroyed droids permeated the already foul air with the acrid smell of ozone. “Hehehe! They must have met my little friends!” The Warlord giggled madly as the screams briefly resounded. “I imagine they are aware of that. Only one thing to do now, which is- KILL THEM ALL! Muah ha ha!” The alchemist’s voice rose as he clenched a light saber in one fist. “YAAAAAH!” screamed the Sith as he ignited the tangerine colored lightsaber and charged down the hall screaming, the Dark Side girding his body with speed and power. It looked like a blur of red armor and orange light capped by an evil clown’s wig.

The lunatic encountered the door to the turbolift going down first. Two lightly armored human twins struggled to shut it as scorpions crawled across their swelling hands. A wave of the Warlord’s hand wrapped a ball of vile power tight, and sent a blast of telekinetic fury at the half-open door and the man and woman behind it. Dust and shards of plasteel blew backwards into the turbolift.

The raging Sith was on them in microseconds. A brutal boot stomp crushed the woman’s leg like an eggshell as she knelt on the floor. Her bones made a sound like snapping kindling. Simultaneously Macron pirouetted, launching a fearsome backhanded Broken Gate blow with an armored gauntlet that caught the male guard in the face. It drove the rebreather directly backwards, shattering and driving bloody bits of thinmetal into his tongue and mouth. Twin zapping sounds and flashes of orange light illumined the hall outside the turbolift chamber in an eerie chiaroscuro for an instant. Trakata strikes perfectly skewered both enemies through their craniums. Twin thuds squelched out as the twitching corpses hit the floor of the lift.

“Twins in life- and death, hee hee hee!” tittered Macron. “Going…. Down? Bwahaha!”

Kairus’ jaw only hung open for a fraction of a second. His own booted feet snapped down on the duracrete as he ran down the hall after the raging madman. “Sonofabitch!”
He ignited his own azure blade as he clenched a blaster pistol in his other hand. A wrenching crash at the chamber door ahead alerted him to the madman’s location. His mind tingled, warning him of danger. The air shimmered beside the Knight.

A stealth-belt clad mercenary struck, a golden-colored vibroblade arcing at the Knight’s head. Kairus dodged, parrying the vibroblades with his lightsaber in a 5th circle Soresu move. He fully expected the blade to slice the vibroblade in half, and was shocked when sparks shot from it as his blade slid off. “Phrikite! Damn!”

The assassin laughed as he swung again. Within him, the Force had bolstered his strength. He would take the credits offered for slaying enemies of the Believers. This fool would be dead shortly. The Great Leader would be pleased. “Die, infidel!”

Alas, Kairus was no fool. He sidestepped the swing while launching a blistering kick to the assassin’s midsection. The Force enhanced his own movement with pure speed. Kairus’ boot landed solidly against the assassins’ ablative shirt which provided little protection against blows. Kairus drove his arms high and swept his blade down, severing the killer’s arms at the elbows. The man goggled behind his rebreather, staring at his severed stumps as they smoked and sizzled. The Believer dropped sideways in obvious shock as the Obelisk turned and continued down the hall warily. His comlink chirped, indicating that other Brotherhood strike teams were also encroaching on their targets across the filthy planet.

Behind them both, Xanos strode forward with a purpose. It was no matter that the younglings rushed forward to the fray. Death stalked on silent wings, leisurely looking for new prey. The Betrayer, Darth Vexatus, Xanos… whatever he was now, the curse of hunger was on his mind. And the hunger could not be satisfied for long. Ahead, there were victims. Down the turbolift awaited some with ability in the Force.


10-02-2012 15:06:28

Inside the Confederacy base
Almas, Cularin System, Expansion Region

Sounds of battle echoed up from where Kairus and the Consul already battled the Believers’ last lines of defence as Xanos stepped into the glowing hole that Macron had cut in the floor of the turbolift. As the Elder fell, he felt the fear permeate his every cell. The sensation was like diving into a frozen lake. His skin rippled in resistance. The icy cold of darkness surrounded him, drowning him in its anguish. The misguided cultists hauled up in the control room could feel their end approaching.

Slaughter greeted Xanos as his feet hit the bottom of the turbolift shaft. Macron and Kairus stood back-to-back, their lightsabers weaving back and forth as they moved in tandem, as one, knocking blaster bolts back towards their points of origin while cleaving through vibroblades and flesh. Chunks of duracrete crumbled from dents in the walls as they were hit by telekinetic volleys. A few cultists had lightsabers of their own; however, their training was futile next to the prowess of the Sadowans.

“Believe and find victory!” cried another marksman as he fired at Kairus—who turned the green shot straight back onto his assailant. The bolt struck the Dark Jedi Knight’s attacker in the midsection, and the figure dissolved into dust as what must have been a disruptor shot vaporised him in seconds.

Behind Kairus, Macron giggled, carving through another untrained Believer acolyte. “Fools,” hissed the Consul through clenched teeth, the sound coming out more like static through his red helmet’s vocoder. “Did you really think you could stand against us?” The two Sadowans pushed forward, edging ever closer toward the shielded blast doors at the far side of the chaos-strewn chamber.

Xanos remained at the foot of the turbolift and simply watched.

Though the Falleen gave no outward sign of his feelings, the fighting and rivalry between the two groups in front of him just proved to him how misguided they both were. All those who clung to life understood nothing. Just like the Disciples of Sadow, the Believers dreamt of past glory and empire. The Dark Prophet stared on in disappointment. The fear and slaughter may have sustained him, but it was all ultimately aimless. Life was nothing but suffering; only death brought an end to the pain.

The Final Way had been forgotten by all of them, Brotherhood and Believer alike.

Xanos finally stepped out of the turbolift—and was met by the four green blades of a Codru-Ji as the Believer leapt at the Falleen. Having sensed the attack before the four-armed alien had sprung, the Dark Prophet’s hand brought his lightsaber to bear, the dark side within him surging through the black crystal inside the hilt and blazing into life in its bloodshine blade. As the Elder caught the multidirectional attack on his blade, his other hand rose into the gap and the combined fear of the cultists in the command room up ahead exploded out of his fingers, incinerating the Codru-Ji in a tide of screams and lightning as Xanos turned the Believers’ own fears back upon them.

Such a waste.

Control Room
Inside the Confederacy base

The control room crackled as the Bith’s yellow skin blackened and blistered as the veins of blue-white energy arced and snaked around the technician’s cowered body. A visceral sneer spread across Alysia’s face as the acolyte collapsed to the cold duracrete floor, still smoking.

The assault droids had failed.

The dark side mistress screamed, venting her rage, and buckling the worthless holo-emitter in front of her with a telekinetic crush through the Force. What remained of the machine sparked. Despite the unholy cold temperature, her anger at their failure had revivified her. This was not how it was meant to be. The assassins were meant to have died in the shuttle crash. Zeenat was meant to have ended this! Another blast of energy shot from her hand into the sparking holo-emitter’s remains.

The Dark Brotherhood was not going to win.

“Mis-Mistress,” stuttered one of the nearby acolytes who had been working the comm station.

“Out with it!” snapped Alysia, her anger causing the man—no, the boy—to flinch.

“Th-the infiltrators have made it down the lift,” trembled the acolyte, his cold breath visible in the freezing air. “They’re f-fighting the team of warriors you s-stationed outside the final shield barrier.”

Alysia stared down at the teenage apprentice. Did he think she was blind? Did he think she couldn’t feel the darkness in the Force wrapped around them? Did he think she was weak?! She raised her hand and closed her fist, wrapping the icy tendrils of the dark side around the boy’s throat...


She released the acolyte and turned to the shielded blast doors across the control room. In her ear, she heard the child gasp for air. No, she wouldn’t kill him. Killing him wouldn’t help. She needed to focus. They all needed to focus. The agents of the Dark Brotherhood were on her doorstep.

“I still believe...” Alysia whispered to herself.

They would rule the galaxy. The Believers would embrace their destiny. Their dreams would be realised. That was their code; their creed. The future of the Sith and its empire belonged to them. Len Markus had said so.

They were its true heirs.

“We are the true masters of the Force,” she muttered. “The heirs to the empire.”

Her hands fell to the lightsabers clipped to her belt. Foolish as the Jedi were, they had their uses. The old academy had been abandoned too hastily; the Jedi’s tools still stashed in their secluded vaults. If the tools of the Dark Brotherhood wanted a fight, then the true believers would give it to them.

“Prepare yourselves,” said Alysia, making her voice strong, her twin blue and green lightsabers snapping into life. The darkness surrounded her, choked her. But the enemy would not conquer her. Fear was her ally and she would turn the cold emptiness back against the Brotherhood and its killers.

Around the room, the other Believers armed themselves—some with rifles, others vibroblades, and the chosen few adepts with stolen lightsabers like her. She glanced over at Maarrh, the Wookiee standing to one side of the room. The eight foot colossus clenched his massive fists in anticipation.

An agonised scream sounded on the other side of the blast door.

“Believe and find victory!”

The others echoed her cry.


12-02-2012 15:07:07

Inside Confederacy Base
Outside Control Room

The knight deactivated his blade as he watched Xanos dispatch the final guardian of the shield doors. “They’ve had time to prepare, expect anything at this point”, Macron noted seriously. It was so quiet that Kairus believed he must have been hearing things, but swore that Xanos said “Futile.”

Kairus was closest to the shield door and approached it. Trying to imagine what it would take to open this door, he decided to eliminate to most obvious first. He waved his hand in front of it, demanding it open at his command. The doors did not hesitate as they slowly began to open. With a smirk he looked back to the two elder dark Jedi, but the smirk didn’t last long. Deafening, beastly roars filled the corridor and before he could turn around Kairus’ arms were pinned to his side in a bear hug. The wookie began squeezing the knight and before passing out Kairus did the first thing that occurred to him. Channeling the force into the blow he head-butted the wookie, who retaliated by throwing the dark Jedi a few feet into a corridor wall.

The wookie was furious and focused solely on Kairus. He passed Macron and Xanos without a second glance. Kairus stood up and inhaled, a stabbing pain in his side followed. “One, maybe two ribs cracked if not broken”, he thought to himself. The two elder Jedi took a step towards the wookie’s back, but Kairus raised a hand and shook his head. They acknowledged by turning around and entering the shield doors. The beast reached behind his back and grabbed a vibroblade. Kairus recognized the build of the wookie’s weapon and ignited his own lightsaber; he would not make the same mistake as before.

The hulk raised its weapon in attack position. Kairus knew the blades would connect, so he made ready to parry. He was not ready for the sheer force the beast could put out as the blades collided though, and he was thrown off balance. Staggering back to position he hardly had time to brace himself as another swing collided with his lightsaber. Not only were the wookie’s blows strong, they came unusually fast as well. Having to stay on the defensive did not make Kairus very happy. Reaching out with the Force he began sensing for anything he could use to his advantage, but there was nothing between the turbolift and the shield doors that he could use. The answer was right behind him.

The wookie raised its arms again for another crushing blow. Kairus prepared for the strike, and when it came used the chaos of the clashing blades to push the tubrolift button telekinetically. The beast clearly didn’t notice as it came down again and again with its weapon. The knight slowly allowed the wookie to advance, closer and closer the pair made their way to the turbolift door. Next he had to convince the animal it was winning, so he allowed the next few hits to push him down close to the ground. He fell down to one knee, his next moves needed to be precise. The next vibroblade strike came and he pushed to turbolift button again, the wookie raised its arms with a finishing strike in its mind. Using what reserves he had left, Kairus vaulted forward, his lightsaber extremely low, severing one of the wookie’s legs at the knee. Before landing Kairus Force pushed the off balance giant and opened the turbolift door as the beast fell through it. The lift did not halt as it reached its victim, ready to take its next passenger back up.

Kairus didn’t get up right away, the stitch in his side was tingling madly. Catching his breath he made his way to the shield doors and entered. A smoldering pile of bodies lay in one corner of the room. Those who had chosen to arm themselves with blasters or disruptors were not given a chance to defend themselves. Macron had engaged a group of cultists, all of them seemed to have lightsabers. Xanos was slowly approaching a lone woman who was armed with dual lightsabers.

Macron Sadow

14-02-2012 17:22:00

Inside Confederacy Base
Control Room

As Kairus stepped across the shield doors, movement caught the Knight’s eye. A crazed looking Believer stepped from behind the remnants of the door control booth with a strange weapon. It appeared to be a lightsaber of sorts, albeit a very old one. The blade was garishly green and ragged; the handle of it carved of durasteel and connected to a belt the Believer was wearing by a cable. It emitted a low growl quite unlike a normal lightsaber blade.

Kairus’ azure blade rose to defend himself against the Darksider. “Protosaber,” Kairus murmured. “Old school junk.” Kairus parried the lunge to the side with a circular wrist turn and struck with an overhand blow. The Knight pushed the Force hard into his muscles as his side tingled still. He intended to overpower the protosaber with his own blade. Just as the assailant tried to deflect, Kairus slid his own blue saber up the loose blade of the protosaber and severed the cable connecting it to the wielder’s belt. It died with a *pop*, and its owner died immediately afterwards from a severed torso as the Obelisk yelled.

The room became much darker in a few seconds. The darkness was concentrated in the area by the energy control panel. A dim flash of orange lightsaber hue sparked from the control panel as the few remaining troopers tried to fire in the now-stygian darkness. An almost palpable sense of fear… no, of pure horror emanated from somewhere in the room.
It grew and then broke like an explosion of undiluted draconian anger.

Howls of antediluvian rage were punctuated with the sounds of lightsaber blows. It was hard for the eye to focus on the attacker, who seemed almost a red blur carrying a searing sword of orange fire. Grunts and screams emanated from within the room. At first, a few blaster shots resounded and were deflected but they were quickly cut short by a violent wrenching sound. Torn metal, sparks, and a terrible crash followed immediately after. The cultists who had blaster or other ranged weapons had been hit with a literal whirling column of debris like blades in a gory meat-grinder. They were slashed and battered.

The debris dropped dead to the ground. Then, it was lifted along with the bodies and slammed onto the jagged broken ends of the ruined pipes and control panels, a giant bloody red waffle iron filled with the stench of pulverized organs and steaming transformer coolant. An orange lightsaber followed it, whirling like an engine of hatred as it sliced through the overhead ceiling conduits and ignited the spilling coolant within. Fire began to burn. More acrid stench bellowed out as the hopping sparks began to ignite the console remains. The room became smoky as well as dark.

Alysia snarled, knowing exactly what was happening. One of the Brotherhood attackers had used the Dark Side to suck the light from the room, hide themselves, and strike the power control conduit. None of her people had night vision gear except for herself. Now she could feel the waves of fear lapping at the room. She herself was unaffected, but the Believer could hear the moans emanating from a few more troopers in the side door chamber. Worse yet, a greater power than any in the room- including her own- now approached. And this took the majority of her attention. Survival was important.

“Fools!” screamed the woman as she brandished both weapons. “It’s the fear! Fight it!” Her brow furrowed under the nightvision goggles as she channeled the Force. “I see you,” spat the Master as she threw a ball of crushing energy with a claw-like hand towards the raging madman. The telekinetic energy picked Macron up, squeezing him with an audible cracking of ribs and armor before dropping him on the ground rudely. The madman howled again, this time in pain instead of glorious anger. Fearsome though the Warlord could be, he had spent a great deal of his power in the attack on the console room. The remainder was no match for the crazed cultist woman who was obviously a Darksider of some power. She cackled as the madman spat blood through his shattered helm, groaned, and tried to rise weakly. “WE are the heirs! Not you!”


15-02-2012 10:00:37

Control Room
Inside the Confederacy base
Almas, Cularin System, Expansion Region

The red-armoured warrior groaned as he feebly struggled to rise but crashed back to the floor again in a pile, his energy reserves spent. The broken light fittings above him sparked. “Gimme a moment, hehe,” the assassin giggled, his voice almost as ludicrous as he clearly was delirious.

“Worthless,” sneered Alysia between her teeth. Rainbows of colour flashed across the walls as she turned back to the Falleen and the two masters crossed blue and red blades again. The Believer’s features twisted into a snarl as she threw her full weight into each of her blows. But every time, the Falleen’s bloodshine lightsaber snapped to block it, before vanishing back into the lightless nether once again. Snap-hiss. Snap-hiss. Snap-hiss. The crimson flashes arced and shrieked in a never-ending rasp of Tràkata, with each crackle urging the woman further and further into her wild frenzy.

The Falleen went low, ducking the blue sweep of the lightsaber in Alysia’s left hand, right as his own blade simultaneously snapped into life again, intercepting the Believer’s green overhead smash. The woman growled, cursing the Dark Brotherhood’s name, as she staggered, unsteady on her feet from the sudden block. This wasn’t what she was used to. It wasn’t a duel. It was a game.

Fight me!” snarled Alysia. Her greying hair flapped into her face as she hurled herself toward the Falleen and swept her lightsabers in front of her in a scissor. “Enough of this!” Her anger crackled around her hands, its blue-white sparks coiling down the blue and green blades of the pilfered Jedi weapons as she pushed herself forward once more, feeding on the pain and fear of her comrades.


She screamed, oblivious to the other the fighting going on around them. The electrical charge shot up her lightsabers and arced straight toward her opponent—this time no exasperating snap could pique to defend the grey-green alien’s chest. The Falleen took the blow head on, Alysia’s lightning shredding through the alien’s robes and coruscating across his body in a luminous flare of her own power. Burnt flesh wisped from his body, scratching her nostrils.

A long overdue sneer crossed her chapped and wrinkled lips.

“See!” shouted the woman. “See why I am the true believer! Not you and your Brotherhood!”

As the lightning finally sparkled out, she stared into the alien’s face to savour his grimace of pain—

—except the Falleen remained placid, his yellow eyes staring straight back at her with indifference. His robes smoked. His flesh pinked from the burns. The veins under his skin bulged and swelled like worms writhing underneath his skin. But still he looked back. Unblinking. Unmoving. Uncaring.

“RARGH!” Alysia screamed, raging inside as she launched herself at him once more.

“WHY.” Snap-hiss. “WON’T.” Snap-hiss. “YOU.” Snap-hiss. “DIE.”

As the Falleen sidestepped, he looked into her face once more, a cold silence in his eyes. “As you wish,” answered the alien evenly, his voice a serene contrast to his lightsaber as it crackled to life again and crashed into her own with a sharp whine. “But only if you will come with me.”

While his lips did not move, a voice whispered inside her head as the Falleen held her blade at bay.

Death is too sweet a slumber while the living remain blind to the truth.

All of a sudden, the Falleen’s lightsaber dissolved into air once more—and Alysia lurched forward in surprise, her blue blade driving into his chest. The Believer’s eyes widened under her night vision goggles. It took her a moment for the reality to compose itself in her thoughts and then a cruel smile beamed across her face. “Victory is mine!” Alysia shouted as the Falleen drooped to his knees.

She took a step back, only now paying attention to the crackle of other lightsabers as her fellow Believers fell to the blades of the other two Brotherhood agents. But their deaths didn’t matter. Victory was hers. Her belief had been found stronger. Like Len Markus had foreseen, the Believers would crush all opposition! “I told you!” the woman cackled, cheering with laughter as she crossed her blades in front of the alien’s throat. “For all your talk. I knew your Brotherhood was weak!”

The Falleen lifted his head to look at her. “My Brotherhood...?” gurgled the alien, spitting blood from his lips. “How little you still understand.” The Falleen slowly shook his head, coughing more blood.

Alysia frowned. She wouldn’t let this—this assassin spoil her moment of victory. “What on earth are you on about?!” she hissed, her two blades hovering mere millimetres from the defeated alien’s throat.

Predictably, the Falleen didn’t respond. His eyes instead rolled back in their sockets, blood spilling across his sclera, eclipsing the white of his eyes in a red sea. The dark side whorled around him in a corkscrew like a storm cloud. “Pitiful,” jeered Alysia as she drew her blades across the Falleen’s neck.

All that power and still the alien could not defend himself—

The Force detonated the instant her lightsabers touched the alien’s flesh. The blast catapulted her into the wall behind. She heard—instead of felt—as the vertebra along her spine crunched into the brittle duracrete and all feeling below her shoulders drained from her thoughts. A second later, her fingers went limp and she listened as both of her lightsabers clattered to the floor and rolled away.

Once the initial shock of the impact receded, she fell forward, crashing face first into the rubble.

She could do nothing.

Powerless to do anything else, she inclined her head up as far as her agonised neck would allow—

—to see the Falleen standing over her, his face still bloodied, the wound in his chest still dripping, but still very much alive. For the first time, his expression carried the faintest shadow of emotion.


At what? She did not know. The alien stuck his hand out, and it was only then that she realised her anger and rage had fed his revival. The dark side pulsed around his haunted features as she felt her strength ebb away into his hand. In vain, she tried to fight back—but knew she was not strong enough to resist as the Falleen leeched her life into his own, wallowing in her suffering like her pain was water.

It took all her remaining energy to keep her head up.

“As I told you,” said the Falleen dispassionately, “only when you were ready to embrace the Final Way yourself would I be ready to follow.” The veins along his hand rippled again abnormally. “I did not kill you.” There was no victory in the alien’s voice. No joy. No triumph. “You killed yourself.”

In his voice, she heard only the same emptiness that engulfed her as the world turned to blackness.

Macron Sadow

16-02-2012 12:21:45

Control Room
Inside the Confederacy base
Almas, Cularin System, Expansion Region

The head of the cultists’ leader slouched unceremoniously to the floor, her elderly skin pulled tight over her sharp features. The Dark Prophet lowered his hand and surveyed the aftermath of the fighting. Severed limbs and assorted body parts lay strewn across the control room, intermixed with broken pieces of equipment, both painted scarlet with thin rivulets of red, yellow and blue blood.

Macron, now back on his feet, stood across from the sparking remains of the central holo-emitter near the entrance, his red gauntlet deep in the chest cavity of another of the cultists. His posture somewhat uneven, the madman hissed a pained curse in Huttese and resumed muttering to himself about sifting through all this “crud”, or perhaps he had said “blood”. A few silent moments later, the Consul giggled and pulled his hand back out of the Believer’s chest, clutching a brown and bloodied organ of some kind. Macron then unhooked a small pouch from his waist and unsealed the lid.

Indifferent to the corpse’s warm smell, Xanos moved to join his old apprentice at the entrance.

“He...heh,” giggled Macron, wincing a little from his having been thrown around by the leader of this cell of Believers. His armour looked somewhat dented above his lung. Macron chuckled. “Fresh liver. Always useful. I learned that... from Trevarus.” His voice soured slightly at the Krath Master’s name. Macron shook his head. “No matter, hehe.” He resealed the pouch and stashed it back on his belt.

Kairus’s lightsaber snapping off plunged the room into darkness but for the random sparks from the crippled equipment that had been strewn around the room during Macron’s telekinetic mania. The Knight winced a little as he carefully stepped over the body of a Wookiee that had ended up on top of another cultist. He pulled a torch off his belt and flicked it on to better survey the damage.

“Doesn’t look like they’ll be bothering the Brotherhood again anytime soon,” said Kairus, stepping over to join Macron near the ruined entrance door. “Unless the rest of them want to die too.”

The Consul started to giggle again but it ended up coming out more as a hacking cough. “And the other strike teams will have done the same, hehe.”

Xanos closed his eyes, shutting out the others’ trivial chatter, instead focusing his mind to listen for the anguished cries as they echoed through the Force. Like in the old Confederacy base, the surface of Almas rippled with fresh pain. “They have,” answered the Falleen, opening his eyes again.

Macron stopped what he had been saying to Kairus and turned to look at Xanos, noticing the cauterised hole in the Dark Prophet’s abdomen for the first time. “Are you hurt?” Despite his appearance of concern, there was more than a hint of satisfaction in the Consul’s voice.

The Falleen did not reply.

The Consul shrugged. “Suit yourself... hehe.” It was more than apparent how eager Macron would have been for his old master to have died on a mission the Falleen had earlier denounced as beneath him. Macron turned back to Kairus. “Do you still have your comlink, Kairus?” The Consul tapped on part of his wrist which had been burned by a glancing lightsaber blow. “Mine got hit.”

The Knight ran a hand over his bruised ribs and then nodded. He pulled his handheld comlink off his belt and handed it over to Macron. The Consul quickly got to opening up a channel to the fleet ship that had remained on station outside the Cularin system to provide extraction. “Stalwart, this is Strike Team Leader Three Macron Sadow,” he paused a second to get his breath back again. “Mission successful. Repeat, mission successful. Requesting exfil from these co-ordinates, over.”

A few moments later, a female voice crackled over the comm channel. “Stalwart to Strike Team Three, a shuttle will rendezvous at your location inside the hour, over.” The channel then went dead.

Macron closed the comlink and handed it back to Kairus.

“Well, I need a drink,” said the Consul, “coming Kairus?”

“Make mine a large tihaar,” the Knight said. “With a fancy umbrella.”

Macron turned to Xanos, who like usual stood there in cold silence. “And I’m sure there’s a book you want to read back on Tarthos or something, Master,” said the Consul, wincing again as he shrugged.


...to be continued in HORIZONS

(OOC note:final post was a group effort.)