Ambitions - Shadow, Carissus, Egreg, Matsumoto, Ash'otep
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Create your story. You have a month to do so.
The group of the Sith`s wasn`t complete yet to meet. Kazumi, Shadow Nighthunter and Egregious were waiting on Ash'otep and Carissus. But they didn`t come.
“Alright...let's do some planning!” said Shadow
“Yes…! But we still must wait before we can gather for planning.” Said Kazumi and she frowned so her forehead wrinkles became visible. She was annoyed, “I have so often said to them that we`ll meet here in Judecca!”
“Ash'otep will come in short time. Have you contacted Carissus?” replied Egregious
“Yeah! Of course,” replied the Jedi Hunter
“Carissus must make quite a long journey. We live here, on Judecca, but Carissus not. We must to be patient.” said Shadow
“Oh yes. You`re right. I didn`t consider that.” replied Kazumi
It was quiet in the room, until Kazumi farted.
“Kazumi!”, the three Jedi Hunters began to laugh loudly. Shortly after, Egregious started burbing and all of them laughed. They told jokes about each other, waiting for the rest of their comrades to arrive.
“You are really children.” said Shadow to Kazumi and Egregious.
“Yes we are.”, replied Egregious, still laughing.
“I want to ask to you something, Shadow,” said Kazumi.
“Have you a good memory?”
Which color have the fire engine?”
“Just a moment. You hear it soon why. .”
“And which color have the police car?”
: “Dark blue or black.”
“And the ambulance?”
“What was my first question?”
“Which color have the fire engine?”
“Nope. My first question was if you`ve a good memory .”
The trio of Jedi Hunters began to laugh loudly again.
Shadow had been meditating for about many hours when Crassius entered the room. He had an embarrassed look on his face, and when his eyes met hers, she made it clear that he had no reason to be. Ash’otep was still missing, and her patience was being tested.
“Sorry I’m late, but you know I live farther away,” said Carissius.
“It’s understandable,” Kazumi said as she came to greet him.
The group of Sith stood in the Ghostly Citadel of the Caliburnus. Shadow observed the faces of her fellow Sith, trying to discover what kind of people they were. Kazumi she knew real well since the two of them were friends, but Egregious and Crassius were mystery for the Jedi Hunter. Both were not of Judecca like Kazumi and her. Egregious was from the planet Yridia and Crassius from the planet Karufr. She would have to get to know them later. She didn’t really trust outsiders that much, so she would be cautious. Sure they were her Sith brethren, but she would be keeping an eye on them.
Shadow began to lose her patience.
“Where the heck is Ash’otep? He should be here by now!”
Everyone stared at Shadow with startled looks.
‘Oh crap, I didn’t mean for that outburst,’ Shadow thought.
She immediately saw Crassius and Egregious leaning towards each other, whispering, and no doubt about her. Kazumi looked at her and mouthed ‘Are you okay?’ Shadow nodded back in reply.
“Sorry about that,” said Shadow. “I didn’t mean for that outburst. I just….think that this meeting needs to begin soon”
The others nodded back acknowledging her apology before turning to each other and starting up conversation.
‘What a way to give off a first impression of myself,’ she thought to herself, looking at Egregious and Crassius. ‘Looks like I’m going to be the outcast wolf this time.’
The air was old; the catacombs that ran underneath this center of operations had a musty odor, which often crept stealthily through the ventilation system. The four eager acquaintances had grown increasingly agitated—not by the absence of the fifth but as a result of the stale air. Shadow shifted uneasily against the far right wall—curiously uncomfortable with the muffled mutterings of her two associates: Carissus and Egregious. The meeting was set forth by a masked figure; each person had been given coordinates, a date, a time, and the names of the other four people necessary to complete the endeavor.
“Windows,” droned Egregious. “What I wouldn't give for windows so I could feel that I wasn't so quarantined from the outside world, from fresh air, from light. Instead we are sweating in this dimly lit tiny room that smells of dust and decaying corpse.” He ambulated away from his position by the doorway to the computer terminal in the center of the room.
The door opened to reveal a servant-slave girl carrying refreshments. Ordinarily, she would be wearing revealing garments, but her owner—perhaps the cloaked figure who summoned the meeting—had her wearing ornate robes, a porcelain mask, and a hood. The robes were burgundy with a gold trim and white lacing. The porcelain mask had the face of a crying woman painted upon it; the azure eyes were nearly closed, and the tears were a deep purple. She did not speak; she merely gestured that the food and drink was for the four restless people standing before her. She set the tray down on a free area near the the right wall, and, after bowing a farewell, she walked out of the room.
“So why do you think we are here?” questioned Kazumi while drinking her beverage. “To be summoned here by an unknown figure who had access to my covert operations, which only those with exceptionally high clearance can obtain, is a bit unnerving.”
“Is it the nature of our gathering or the location of where we have gathered that has unnerved you?” mocked Shadow.
“Perhaps ghosts make her anxious,” added Egregious. Kazumi shot a glance at her friend, revealing her aggravation.
“I would be cautious of my words if I were you, Shadow,” rasped Kazumi. “There are rules that govern temperaments here—here, yes, but these walls won't hold us forever. Soon tradition won't hinder me in my determinations.” After she spoke, there was silence for a few minutes. Carissus stood up from where he had been sitting and exited the room. Before anyone could stop him or question him about where he was off to, he was gone. A moment later, Egregious had an outburst.
“Let's just begin the damned deliberations. Each of us was given a part of the communication, which we need to piece together in order to understand our objectives.” He placed both his hands on the table in front of him as he stared down at his own reflection in the obsidian tablet.
“We would be missing too vital a section if we begin before Ash'otep arrives. So we wait,” replied Shadow.
“Why wait,” echoed a distorted voice. “I've been here the entire time—just not corporeally. I've been a step ahead. While you were all in the room, I recovered your transmissions, and I've listened to the coded message.” The voice was coming from the tray. Egregious walked over and turned it over to reveal a listening device. He looked up towards the door to notice a camera.
“So you've been listening and watching us this entire time?” inquired Shadow, smirking. “Clever. I wouldn't have thought you so adept with technology.”
“I'm not, but I've friends—a bounty hunter owed me a favor for sparing her life,” revealed Ash'otep. Egregious began to cackle.
“I sense weakness in you,” Egregious murmured.
“Weakness? If I had not spared her perhaps I would be in that room while someone else was cunning enough to acquire this information; perhaps I would be the one suggesting to some displaced voice that he was weak,” jabbed Ash'otep.
“Where are you now?” asked Shadow.
“The location where we will begin our chase: the catacombs. I would also like to mention that although we are tracking down spies, there are evils none of you can comprehend down here. There are traps, ghosts, creatures, and, not to mention, the spies we are pursuing. Be prepared—this won't have a peaceful outcome,” whispered Ash'otep.
“Peace is a lie,” stated Kazumi.
“Indeed,” replied Ash'otep. “Here are my coordinates. I hope to see you all soon. Oh, and Egregious—no hard feelings, eh.”
The three Sith shook their heads and then exited the room. They began their descent to the catacombs. Ash'otep felt proud; he had outwitted his peers. Suddenly, someone tapped his shoulder; he turned to see that Carissus had found him.
“You're not the only clever one here, my friend,” exclaimed Carissus. Ash'otep felt slightly less proud but only slightly. The two stood in the dark, damp tunnels waiting for the other three Sith. They hoped the wait would not be long. They stood among shadows, which were a result of the torchlight; the shadows were flickering and dancing with the cool wind. The two men stared down the labyrinthine tunnels ahead of them—the search, the hunt, the blood sport was about to begin.
While Ash'otep and Carissus were ready and waiting the three other Sith that made up the party had started their descent through the catacombs to their destination.
“I do not like being taken as a fool” stated Egregious, walking with longer but slower strides behind Kazumi and Shadow.
“You can't hold it against someone just because they outwitted you,” replied Kazumi.
A few minutes passed in silence the air was even thicker and warmer the deeper they got. Shadow glanced down at the coordinates. “Nearly halfway there”, she murmured.
“I wonder where Carissus went,” mused Egregious.
“Who knows?” stated Shadow. “Doesn't look like he's big on speaking”.
“It doesn't matter. He better not be long we cannot afford to waste any more time,” said Kazumi, “The sooner this assignment is over with the better”
“You are not excited then?” questioned Shadow letting the scepticism show in her voice.
“Not as much as I am concerned” she answered. “We're here” , she said before having to explain further.
They rounded the last corner and saw not one but two silhouettes a few meters in front of them. “Good you're here I was beginning to think you had got lost,” grinned Ash'otep still pleased with himself.
Egregious grunted and pointed his head towards Carissus who had not moved since they had arrived. “How did you get here?”
He shrugged his shoulders, “ I have my ways,” he said.
“So what now?” asked Shadow.
“Now the hunt begins!” exclaimed Ash'otep.
Egregious stood looking at the small gathering in the dank tomb. His face covered by the thick robes. His eyes darted over the carvings and primitive artwork on the stone walls. “Ash’otep exactly what are we hunting down here anyway?” spoke the Jedi hunter.
Ash’otep took a step around the crumbled stone in the center of the tomb “well that is not really clear… I over herd some things while I was at a cantina and “
Egregious turned and interrupted the sith “Wait you mean to tell me that we all came here on a hunch?”
As Egregious spoke the floor collapsed beneath him, his reactions slowed by the quick surprise. His senses dazed by the contact of a rock to his temple as he fell. He centered himself and using the force to slow his fall. His boots clashed with the hard stone in the dark cavern. Pain twanged up his thigh.
“Egregious you all right?” yelled down and echoed through the new hole in the stone roof, or rather their floor.
“Yeah I am fine” the hunter called back as he snapped a glow rod on his arm. He shined the light on the stone walls revealing the cavern he had stumbled into.
“I do not think I am alone down here, however I wouldn’t jump. There are stalactites all around down here.”
“Hold tight we will work it out!” the shout came and echoed. In its return there was a loud growl, followed by the lights of many eyes. Egregious swallowed and pulled his blades free of their sheaths. Yelling over his shoulder “Well I would get the kriff down here quick I am about to meet the inhabitants of this place!”
The beast lunged at the light held in the hand of Egregious. Quickly he threw it down the chasm. The beast did not fall for it and it growled once more. Ropes cascaded down from the light in the high celling. Egregious activated his vibrosword and held the virbro knife in his other hand. Taunting the beast with the light and hum of the blade, he muttered to himself “That’s it you ugly thing look this way”
It was then when the beast charged. Egregious side stepped and plunged his blades in the neck and side of the beast. With a howl it rolled. Just then Ash’otep landed and pulled his weapon. The beast turned.
“Well at least I drew its blood!” with this Egregious now charged and displaced the beast with its head. It was then that he noticed the others. “Glad you could make it”
“What do you think these things are?” asked Kazumi.
“I am unsure; however I can feel more lurking down there.” Egregious pointed down the chasm where his glow rod flared in the darkness. “Also feel another presence down here , a darkness or a void don’t you?”
Shadow nodded. She felt some sort of dark void, and she yearned to discover where it was and what was causing it. Curiosity, however, nearly got the best of her when she heard one of the creatures leap for her head. She whirled around in just time, with her armory saber already ignited, and pierced the creature through the throat with incredible speed. The creature’s body hit the ground hard and went limp. Shadow couldn’t help but smile with the satisfaction of her kill.
As she turned around to face her comrades, she found them just staring at her in surprise.
“What’s with all the staring?” she asked. “All I did was kill the thing.”
When the others realized they were staring, they quickly got back into conversation while Shadow kept watch for any more creatures that were possibly watching them.
“So, what are we going to do now?” Carissus asked.
“Well, we could get back to the hallway above us, or we could go deeper into this cavern to see where it leads,” said Kazumi.
“How about, we do both,” Shadow cut in. “We can split up into two groups. One returns to the top and continues down the upper level, while another explores this cavern.”
The others became silent, each considering Shadow’s idea.
“It sounds like a good idea to me,” said Egregious.
The others nodded in agreement with Egregious.
“Then it’s settled,” Shadow said. “Let’s split up. Ash’otep, Carissus, I want you two with me. Kazumi and Egregious, you two go together. Let’s get moving…..shall we?”
Kazumi was very annoyed about the dust there. When the creature’s body hit the ground, the Nighthunter was scare by the sound it made. Matsumoto quickly pulled out her lightsaber she was annoyed as much as Shadow was. Kazumi breathed heavily, nervous about the situation and there were wrinkles seen at her forehead, when she said: “Whoa Shadow! That was close!”
The Jedi Hunter Matsumoto began to cough suddenly, as dust in the air teased her lungs.
Nighthunter said: “Then it’s settled, let’s split up. Ash’otep, Carissus, I want you two with me. Kazumi and Egregious, you two go together.”
Kazumi said to Shadow quickly with calm voice: “Wait, Shadow. I want to take you and Carissus. And Ash’otep together with Egregious. I know it seems a little crazy but Shadow Nighthunter, Carissus and me we`re one good team. I don’t want to go with Egregious because I don`t know him. I only know you and Carissus. Ash and Egreg are also best friends and they know each other well. In such teams we can do more.”
Carissus nodded in agreement with Kazumi and said:”What Kazumi told is a good idea.”
“All right. Kazumi is the leader. Let`s go.” Said Nighthunter. After they have split up into two groups, the three of them, Matsumoto, Carissus and Nighthunter, were into the cavern Kazumi stopped to go on the entrance of the cavern leaned her body over the wall and bented herself forward, keeping both hands on the belly. She needed to rest. Carissus and Nighthunter continued go deeper in the cavern, while the Jedi Hunter Matsumoto was still on the entrance of the cavern.
Carissus and Shadow turned back to see why Kazumi wasn't with them “I'm ok, lets go”. They then carried with Kazumi trailing behind the other two at the back. They hadn't got far when there was a sudden hiss and the cavern was filled with red light closely followed by another hiss and a green shimmering, Carissus activating his out of reflex. Kazumi looked at him and Shadow to see their lightsabers activated. “What?”, she questioned drawing her own.
“There's something ahead” said Shadow in a distracted tone. Carissus was anxious, he could hear the creature and sense how strong it was, as could the others, and now the green and red blades were joined by another red one.
The tall beast was now visible for the three to see, it shrieked and attacked jabbing one of it's six claws at Carissus who lunged into a front roll under it and sliced one of the cretures left claw off at the joint and it let out another cry. Kazumi lept and sliced across the left side of the body, at the same time in one sweep of her saber Shadow cut the two rear claws off and the animal fell, scrabbling around trying to get up. All three advanced then and plunged their blades into the body and the cavern was silent once again, as the three Sith deactivated their lightsabers.
Egregious and Ash'otep came running in weapons ready and stopped at the sight of the fallen opponent. “What is it?,” asked Ash'otep squinting through the steam.
“An Acklay.” Kazumi said in reply.
Carissus nodded, “But not an adult one.”
“And how the hell did it get here?” Egregious asked aloud what everyone else was thinking, to which no one had an answer to.
Shadow stared in bewilderment at the Acklay’s corpse. She was as puzzled as everyone else was about how the Acklay could be in the cavern.
“I just don’t know how this creature could have ended up here in the cavern,” Kazumi said.
Shadow continued to stare at the corpse. The Acklay was a young one, just like Carissus had said. For some reason, Shadow started to feel uneasy, and soon she realized why.
“If this one is young, then there is a chance… that its parents are down here as well,” Shadow said.
The others looked at her as they absorbed all that she had said and she saw in their eyes that they understood her point. She had hoped as much that they would.
“Then let us keep moving,” Egregious said.
Everyone nodded in agreement.
It was only about fifteen minutes later when they all sensed the Acklay ahead of them. They all activated their lightsabers and waited for the beast to come closer, and when it did, they were shocked at the size of it. The Acklay was twice as big as the one they had killed earlier.
“Let’s kill the thing already,” Ash’otep said with impatience.
Before they could advance, Shadow quickly blocked them.
“What are you doing, Shadow?” Egregious asked irritated. “Let’s just kill it!”
Shadow stared at him as she deactivated her lightsaber. “I have a better idea.”
Turning around to face the Acklay, who wasn’t in any hurry to kill the intruders, Shadow took a few steps toward it. With the force, she reached towards its consciousness. As her mind met with the Acklay’s, she felt a wave of fear, rage, and resistance slam into hers. Yet, she didn’t back down. Beast control had worked for her in the past, and she didn’t have any reason to believe it wouldn’t work this time.
In response to the creature’s resistance, she sent a wave of calm and comfort. She wanted the creature to see her as a friend and that she meant no harm. She felt the beast’s conscious begin to weaken, but only a little.
“It’s alright,” she said, walking up to the beast. “I will not harm you and nor will they.”
The Acklay began to relax, and the rage and fear that Shadow at felt earlier began to fade until it was gone. She came up to it, and began to stroke the beast’s head as it lay down on the cavern floor. She had succeeded and had gained its trust.
“Well, I didn’t know you had such a talent, Shadow,” Ash’otep said coming up beside her.
“You never asked,” she replied.
“Well, what are we going to do with it now?” Carissus asked. “Now it will be a burden for us to deal with. We should have just killed it.”
Shadow looked at him. “I can ride it and scout ahead for any traps or even for that dark void we’ve been feeling. Besides…I work best alone.”
As Shadow quickly vanished into the darkness on the back of the beast, the remaining four stood in silence. Egregious wiped the sweat from his brow and the dust from his chest as he took a deep breath.
“First, the rumors are true,” reflected Egregious. “Then, we find ourselves in this labyrinth trying to discover spies, perhaps traitors.” He grimaced, aggravated at the lack of intel he and his comrades had received.
“No sanctuary will be found here. This is certainly no haven,” added Carissus. The four continued forward through the dimly lit tunnel cautiously checking for anymore traps. Soon, the tunnel split into a semi-circle, where there were three passageways. Kazumi leaned down and observed a pattern in the dirt.
“Shadow went this way,” she stated, pointing to the middle passage. Though she was kneeling and turned away from the group, she could hear them chuckle quietly. “Why the laughter,” she inquired.
“I just find it amusing that you think you can track her,” replied Egregious. Ash'otep, who had been quiet vigilantly guarding the rear of the group walked over to Kazumi.
“Don't be so quick to judge,” suggested Ash'otep. “You see these prints here,” he said, pointing to six sets of indentations in the dirt. “There are four imprints in each set suggesting that each leg, of which there are six, has four digits. In other words, an Acklay went this direction. Kazumi is right. So, again, perhaps you shouldn't be so quick to judge.”
Egregious, frustrated by Ash'otep's words, stealthily crept up on him and grabbed him by his silken obsidian hair. He forcefully struck Ash'otep's head against the stone wall. Dazed and bleeding, Ash'otep quickly maneuvered around Egregious and gripped his throat with both hands. He lifted his assailant off the ground and began to squeeze. After a moment of struggle, Egregious forcefully kicked at his opponent's chest. Ash'otep lost his breath and strength; both men fell to the ground. They quickly arose and went to attack one another again until a wave of brilliant-neon red light danced in between them. Carissus had activated his blade and quickly spun it around in the center of the two aggressors.
“I do not think a time like this is the best time to attack one another,” declared Carissus. Egregious and Ash'otep slowly and begrudgingly nodded in accord. After a moment taken for each man to calm his nerves, they looked down the remaining two tunnels.
“We need to split up to cover more ground,” recommended Egregious.
“And I suggest you and Ash'otep don't continue together,” added Carissus. “Ash'otep and I will take the left path while Kazumi and you can take the right. Good luck.” Egregious and Kazumi turned and started heading down the right path; soon they became indistinct shadows in the darkness. Ash'otep and Carissus progressed forward down the left path. Carissus lead the way while Ash'otep once again guarded their rear.
An hour passed. The corridor seemed infinite until it too divided. Rather than discuss it, Carissus turned right and continued through the tunnel. Again and again the way kept dividing until Ash'otep realized they would be unable to find their way back to the entrance.
Another two hours passed as the two men rambled on through the catacombs. They hadn't seen or heard their companions in a long while, and, presumably, the other three were just as distant in complete different areas. Suddenly, there was a brilliant flash of light that blinded the men. In the commotion, they could sense movement.
“How many,” shouted Ash'otep, whose eyes remained closed.
“Two,” replied Carissus. “No, wait. There's three.” The two stood back to back and circled about, carefully utilizing their senses, allowing the force to guide their aim. They struck something, which caused it to cry out violently. The three offenders abruptly hastened a retreat, rushing down the corridor from the way the two had come.
It took a moment before their vision had returned.
“You okay,” asked Ash'otep, rubbing his eyes.
“Been better,” replied Carissus.
“What were they?” asked Ash'otep.
Carissus knelt down to examine something. “No idea, but one of them is wounded.” Ash'otep glanced down to see there was a trail of dark red blood heading back down the tunnel.
“Should we follow?” asked Ash'otep.
“They might know the tunnels better than us. I think it's better for us to keep progressing forward.” Ash'otep nodded and the two of them continued up through the tunnel. Finally, they came to a door of rotted wood. There were ornate carvings that could no longer be made out as a result of the decay. Ash'otep grabbed the handle and opened the door. A gust of putrid wind exited the room causing both men to cough.
“Should we go in?” asked Carissus.
“Of course,” responded Ash'otep.
“You do realize it's probably a trap,” added Carissus.
“Probably,” answered Ash'otep as he entered through the doorway.
“Well, this should be fun,” said Carissus, sarcastically. The two of them entered into the room and the door shut forcefully behind them.
“That can't be good,” observed Ash'otep.
“Probably not,” replied Carissus.
Shadow had been riding the beast for what seemed like an hour when something leaped out of the shadows right at her. As it crashed right into her, she was knocked off the back of the Acklay to the ground. She quickly got up and found a human male standing about 15ft away from her with a vibrosword in his hand.
“Well, looks like someone is begging to die,” Shadow said.
The man didn’t speak and instead began to charge right towards her.
“Fine, so be it!”
Activating her lightsaber, she force jumped into the air and brought her saber down on his vibrosword that he brought up to defend his head. Because Shadow had only learned lightsaber style Form 0/Banlanth, she did her best. However, her opponent knew what he was doing, and it wasn’t long when he finally figured out her technique and he scored home with a stab to her shoulder.
Shadow, staggered, lost her balance and fell to the ground. The wound wasn’t too deep, but it was enough to cause her to grit her teeth.
‘That idiot actually got me,’ she thought. ‘He actually stabbed me.’
Her assailant stood right next to her, raising his weapon to make his kill. She was about to try and stand up, when the Acklay came right at the man, jabbing him with one of its legs right through his ribs. However, the man brought up his weapon and stabbed the beast right through the chest. The beast screamed in pain, and collapsed to the ground.
Seeing her opportunity, she quickly got up with lightsaber in her hand, and attacked him. He, having pulled out his vibrosword from the creature’s chest, parried her swing. When he made his move, she blocked him, pulled out her concealed dagger and stabbed him right through the stomach. The man instantly fell to the ground dead.
“Looks like I’m the victor,” Shadow said with a smile appearing on her face.
Leaving the corpse of her assailant, she approached the Acklay as it fought to live. Taking a look at the wound, she saw that the blade had gone in very deep and had pierced the lungs. Hoping to help the poor creature, her hopes were decimated when she saw the amount of blood the creature had lost. She knew it was too late to help the Acklay.
Reaching through the Force into the Acklay’s consciousness, she established a feeling of calm and did her best to ease the pain. After about ten minutes, the creature’s breathing stopped and she sensed all remnants of life fade away into oblivion. The Acklay was dead, and Shadow new that she had to leave.
“Thanks for your sacrifice. I will never forget it.”
After healing her shoulder [HEA] , Shadow began running down the tunnel. She no longer had anyone to depend on for help, but that didn’t matter. She liked it that way.
“Walking knowingly into a trap is stupid,” thought Carissus as him and Ash'otep were about to go through the door. He kept the lightsaber in his hand expecting to have to use it.
“What are we waiting for,” asked Ash'otep opening the door and going through Carissus quickly followed him in.
“What a surprise, a trap,” looking into the darkness could sense numerous creatures in front of him [SNS], Carissus activated his lightsaber and in the light could see the next challenge down here in the catacombs waiting for them. “K'lor'slug foragers? Not much of a trap, pathetic.” He advanced on them and started killing them one by one, noticing that he was doing most of the work.
They were now finished killing and were standing amongst the smoldering carcases, Carissus deactivated his lightsaber and hung it back on his belt. “Why weren't you doing much?” He asked anger showing in his voice.
“I wanted to see what you were capable of. A kind of test if you will.” replied Ash'otep.
“You're testing me?” questioned Carissus furious now, “You, who are a lower rank than me? Weaker than me?”
“A lower rank because you have been in the brotherhood longer. Anyway relax no harm was done.”
“Well have you finished you're assessment? Because we've still got to finish this damn mission and as far as I can tell we haven't made much progress. Let's get moving, hopefully we'll come across one of the others.”
“Lead the way” said Ash'otep.
As they continued down the tunnel, they finally had come across ruins of an old temple. In the distance, they could see Shadow exiting a opening about sixty feet up the left wall of the cavern. They rushed over to the area where she was descending. She nimbly climbed down the wall and met the two men.
“Finally. It would seem our two tunnels have led here. Have you seen the other two?” she asked, trying to catch her breath. Ash'otep shook his head. “Well, perhaps the tunnel they chose leads to a different destination. Hopefully we will run into them later. Separating may not have been the best decision.” Carissus nodded.
“Maybe we should begin exploring the ruins. There must be something here,” whispered Ash'otep as he begin to walk forward into the temple. The other two followed eagerly. As they traversed the abandoned rooms, they came across a fire.
“Someone was here recently; they may still be near,” observed Carissus as he pulled out his saber and activated it. The other two did the same. “Shadow, did you run into any assailants?”
“Actually, yes. I concluded he was an amateur assassin; obviously not good enough to best me,” she stated, smirking. Ash'otep patted her on the back and smiled as well.
“We, too, ran into some opposition. However, we think they were petty looters. Your assassin makes me think we are dealing with some extraordinary adversary. Have you any idea why anyone would want to be done here? Our orders were a bit thin on the details.” Carissus placed his hands behind his back and began to pace the hall.
“Well, it's no coincidence that we ended up in an ancient temple of the Sith. There must be some powerful artifact here that our target is attempting to steal. It explains the thieves and the assassin,” concluded Ash'otep.
Shadow stepped forward and added, “We have our work cut out for us. Look about you. These ruins are seemingly endless. The adversary could be anywhere in here.” She placed her hands on her waist and huffed.
“It's too bad we don't know more about these ruins. If we did, we might be able to know what artifact is important and where it might be. Having some direction would be fantastic.” Carissus stopped pacing as he made that remark.
“What would be the fun in that?” retorted Ash'otep. Shadow let out a quiet chuckle. Carissus would not allow himself to laugh, but hidden beneath his stern face, he was, indeed, amused.
“Let's continue on,” suggested Carissus. They speedily yet furtively explored the ruins, room by room, hallway by hallway. After six hours, they still had not come across any leads, but they didn't allow their focus to break. Eventually, they found their way to the center chamber of the temple. As they entered through the large, glass doors, they saw a cloaked figure standing in front of an altar. They tried to move lightly towards their foe, but right before they were about to collectively strike, he began to laugh.
“You have finally arrived,” said the cloaked man. Shadow immediately recognized his voice; it was the same man who had given them the orders in the first place.
“Why did you force us to come here?” she asked as she pulled out her saber and activated it.
He turned around slowly. He was wearing a metallic mask—there were teeth were the eyes were supposed to be. “You may not be the higher-ranking members of your little faction, but you certainly have much potential.” Carissus jumped forward and went to slash the hooded figure across his chest but was hurled backward with lightning. The man laughed again and before Ash'otep or Shadow could act, they were cast into the back walls and forced against them. “No more surprises. Now, where was I. Ah, yes. I needed at least three Sith warriors to be sacrificed to complete an old, old ritual. One your superiors have most definitely forgotten. Once my subordinates return, we will begin until then I think you should rest.” As he finished speaking, he began to use the force to continuously slam the three of them into the hard rock walls. Eventually, the three of them were knocked unconscious.
At around the same time as this was happening, the other two members of the team were approaching a corridor with three thieves, one of which was severely wounded. They rapidly entered the room and killed the two healthy men while ignoring the weak man on the ground. Kazumi twisted her blade in the abdomen of her victim while Egregious jabbed his opponent through the throat. The man tried to speak but couldn't between his charred gasps as he grasped his throat and fell to the floor.
“What are you doing here?” asked Kazumi, her blade to the throat of the wounded thief. The man pointed to a satchel in the corner of the hallway. Egregious went over and opened it. There was a glowing crystal; one he was not familiar of. “What is that?” inquired Kazumi.
“An artifact necessary for a blood ritual,” he responded.
“Who sponsored this job?” demanded Egregious.
“Never got a name, but the pay was too good to pass up,” he responded in between coughs. He was spitting up blood now.
“We should backtrack and find the others,” suggested Kazumi. Egregious nodded and headed back down the way from which they had just come. Kazumi glared down at the thief.
“Don't leave me,” he pleaded. Kazumi smiled, stood up, and offered the thief a hand. When he reached up for her hand, she thrust her saber through his heart. She let go of his hand as he tumbled to the floor with a load crack. She chortled. She turned and tried to catch up to Egregious, knowing they needed to catch up to the others before it was too late.
Darkness was all Shadow saw after the last hit against the cavern wall. However, her mind was still at work. A vision began to appear before her, and in it were her two companions and the cloaked figure. She saw her two companions tied up next to her on some sort of stone table, both still unconscious. She tried to move, but she realized she was tied up as well.
The cloaked figure approached her, with a mysterious crystal in his hand and a knife in the other.
“What a coincidence that you should be awake, Shadow Nighthunter,” the cloaked figure said with amusement present in his voice. “I was planning to kill the three of you in your sleep, but looks like you’ll be awake to witness your death.”
Shadow tried to speak, but not a single word came out of her mouth. The cloaked figure laughed as he pressed the knife to her throat along with the crystal. Even though she knew this was just a dream, she couldn’t help but listen to her instinct telling her to escape and save her companions.
“It’s too bad you’ll never become a Knight, Nighthunter, but your sacrifice is a necessity.”
She felt the sharp edge of the knife slowly dig into her throat and blood begin to flow down her throat and onto the crystal. Pain shot through her neck and into her head as more and more was spilled from her throat. By the time he removed the knife from the wound, the dream was beginning to fade into darkness, until she was enshrouded by the shadows of her mind.
Shadow was very hurt and and breathed uncontrolled and gasped for pain. Matsumoto apologized to Shadow Nighthunter what she has done.
“Shadow. I thought it was a thief. In the darkness here I didn`t see you. I thought you were with the Ackley yet you know. I was also very scared.”
Shadow answered with a warm and friendly voice:”I know. It can happen. It also had me can happen here in the darkness.”
She used her force Cure [CRE]in which she repaired minor injuries to the body such as small cuts wounds and severe injuries require undisturbed mediation to mend. Kazumi told to the group:”Guys. What do you think? Shall we go home? Do you all agree?”
“Yeah. A good idea.”, said Shadow. Kazumi further said with her grumble voice:”I`m so annoyed about the whole situation. First an Ackley came. And then Egreg was gone and after the Ackley I was astray and hurt Shadow Nighthunter. Then we walk to and fro. And furthermore the quarrel between the two guys and indeed a K'lor'slug foragers appeared. I`m so enough about the whole astray. We have no success to find the Krath or the Obelisks what was our plan.”
It there were wrinkles seen at her forehead again to the Zabrak.
“Yeah!”, so Shadow Nighthunter, ”let`s go! I`m also so enough about the whole astray. I agree that what Kazumi said. Now. I`m also annoyed about the whole situation. First the Ackley than Kazumi hurts me.”
Ash`top said to the group:” I found the whole thing funny. We like the sith we are yet to fight to be strong.”
Ash`top thought it was ridiculous what the Jedi Hunters are doing. With a grin on him mouth he looked at Carissus which he has made a trap. But Carissus didn`t attract about the kiddy conduct from Ash.
The Zabrak used her force seeing [SEE]and saw through the Force in darkness cave walls to an output and suddenly Matsumoto saw also Xantros, Akatsuki and Cello walking direction to the Caliburns. The 4 Siths followed followed by 10 meters the 3 Krath members and stand still because Carissus wanted also go home to Karufr.
The farewell was difficult for the 4 Sith between Carissus and Ash, Shadow and Kazumi.
“Time to say goodbye.”, said the Zabrak severe heart. The tears in the eyes of Shadow was visible and suddenly she began to howl. Carissus comforted warmly giving a hug said to shadow with a friendly and calm voice:”Calm down. We have missions enough. Don`t cry.”
Matsumoto also began to cry a little and suddenly she ran away to the battle team Caliburns because the Zabrak was ashamed to show her tears.