Corruption of a Jedi

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Re: Corruption of a Jedi

Post by Ptolemy on Mon May 10, 2010 5:36 am

The group of Jedi ran down the corridor with dray lagging behind a bit.

‘Never thought I would be held back by a young man’ Ptolemy quipped.

‘You try to run with a full grown Chiss on your back’ Dray retorted as he held on to Sarus’s legs running down the hall. ‘Urrk… you are choking me…’ d\Dray let go of the legs of the chis and Sarus dropped to the floor and began running. Everyone ran in a group going down the hallway as the building started to shake.

‘Well that can only mean that they have started to bombardment.’ Sarus observed, ‘Hope every one can get out.’

‘We will’ Ptolemy said hobbling toward a door that lead to the outside.

Aragorn burst through the door first ‘Ahhh… fresh night air’ He said looking back toward the dome that covered the super weapon at the heart of the installation. ‘That will not last long.’

They all turned and looked and saw the flare of shields failing and blaster bolts tearing into the dome. Surprisingly, there was some return fire starting as the batteries around the perimeter warmed up.

‘Whoa’ Dray said ‘That should not be happening. With Kael dead, they should have no will to fight…’

‘Well something has happened, Aragorn said ‘could they get themselves together after being controlled?’

‘No’ Sarus said

‘Someone has been groomed to take the reigns of the organization.’ Ptolemy said grimly turning toward the fence ‘and we need to get out quickly before… well damn’

The others turned and looked toward the fence as well and saw the beast, riddled with blaster bolts and sliced with blades and light sabers. The problem was not the beast, there were three crusaders getting to their feet and looking around dazed as though they were waking from a deep sleep. The group of Jedi started toward the fence trying to stay clear of the group when one of the crusaders leapt between the group and the fence igniting his lightsaber as he landed. Aragorn, being in the lead, brought his saber up and slashing left to right intending to make quick work of the crusader but he easily brought his saber up and countered the strike and responded with a parry that Aragorn had to duck or loose his head.

The other crusaders were running over to attack as well when Ptolemy faced them and started to twirl his staff from side to side, forming a defensive mesh in front of him. The there was a wave of force power emanating from the axis of the pattern of the spinning staff. The two crusaders stopped and turned around and leapt away from each other hitting the ground and rolling in opposite directions. They came up and ran toward each other as the remaining Jedi watched as though they were attacking each other. The one on the right began firing his blaster wildly as they closed in on each other. Some of the shots came close enough to the saber wielding crusader to have to block them instinctually, then the saber wielding crusader dropped the point of his saber and brought it up through the torso of his companion effectively slicing him open from crotch with the tip of the saber exiting to the right of the mans head effectively slicing the man in half. Ptolemy swept his staff to the right dispelling the illusion and the crusader stood stunned for a moment and screamed at the realization of what he had done. In that moment Sarus pushed the man with the force into the electric fence killing him instantly. Ptolemy and Sarus winced at the brightness of the flares of electricity arcing through the air and through the body of the crusader.

Aragorn switched to Soresu and backpedaled trying to get some distance between him and the crusader but was evenly matched. The Human was every bit as skillful as Aragorn and steadily forced him backwards. This was not the same type of crusader they had faced before. Dray jumped in from the side swinging his lightsaber at the crusaders head forcing the man to bring his saber up to counter and he changed to Soresu trying to hold off the two knights. There was a stand of for several minutes as dray attacked high and Aragorn low and then would switch. The crusader began to give ground as he struggled to keep both knights in front of him. Finally he saw an opportunity and parried an attack from Aragorn, swinging at the knight’s midsection. The trap worked perfectly as Dray caught the crusaders saber and Aragorn removed the crusader’s arms at the elbows. The crusader screamed and cursed at the knights as the Jedi all looked at each other and, with out a word, they turned and jumped over the fence and hastened through the forest toward the Chikita leaving the Crusader cursing them in the compound.

Several minutes later the group reached the clearing and looked at the Chikita.

‘Come on Ladies’ Dray said as he extended the ramp ‘Let’s get this piece of art in the air’

The rest of the group ran past a grinning Dray in and into the ship.

‘Sarus, man the com,’ Dray ordered as he slid into the command couch and sighed as he activated the massage feature. ‘Contact the other groups and get their locations, we will pick them up.’ Dray began to fire up the engines on the Chikita.

‘Sending the first coordinates to your console now.’ Sarus replied typing furiously on the panel in front of him.

‘You ladies strapped in?’ Dray asked over his shoulder as he brought the ship to a hover and spun and headed to pick up the other teams.

As the ship cleared the trees the massive dome came into view. The shield that covered it flaring with the impact of capital class weapons fire. There was some sporadic fire being returned that was growing stronger by the moment. The bombardment was brutal; the blaster and laser fire streaking down from space was beautiful and deadly. The flare of the Shield was growing weaker by the second and then the shield flared and failed. The Chikita soared around the base touching down in several places just for a couple of seconds, just long enough to pick up the other teams.

‘Arent we missing some sith?’ Aragorn asked

‘There were two others right?’ Galarm asked

‘They were to overload the capacitor,’ Anshin said ‘They would not listen when I told them they did not have to maintain the overload’

‘Their end was… spectacular.’ said Pyro thoughtfully and then began to relate the story of thier demise.

‘We need to rendezvous with the Balance’ Aragorn Reminded Dray, interupting Pyro. Dray Nodded.

‘Hang on to your butts,’ Dray yelled as he pegged the engines and rocketed in to orbit.


Life is hard... Its even harder when you are stupid...
John Wayne

Chancellor - Masters Council

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Re: Corruption of a Jedi

Post by Aardvark on Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:08 am

Bazariel looked out the viewport and down at the planet they were currently bombarding. It wasn't hard to locate the compound as, even without magnification it was obviously visible from orbit. The shield was still flaring, albeit much more weakly then it had been, and it wouldn't be long now before the whole installation went up in flames.

Rsg joined the Sentinel in looking down on the dimming light below, "Sensors indicate that the shields will fail within the minute," the Master reported, breaking the silence.

"Very good," the Sentinel replied. "Have we received word from the Chikita?"

The Master shook his head, "There's too much interference from the bombardment, and they're too close to the facility for anything to get through. We won't know until they break through the atmosphere."

Bazariel took a deep breath an let it out slowly, "Well we can't wait for them, we need to take that thing out before they can repair the shields."

"Why would we need to?" Rsg asked.

"Because there's a good chance that once that weapon goes critical, it will release an Ion wave similar to the one they experienced before, but on a much larger scale..."


"Wooo!" Thing let loose with a exuberant cheer, "Yeah! Pound that kriffer into the ground!"

Aragorn rubbed his ears, presumably to get some sensation back into them after the rather loud yell, "In case you couldn't guess, the shields are finally down."

"That's the good news," Sarus said, "the bad is that I still can't get through to the task force. Too much interference from the ion cannons."

Dray looked back with a startled expression, "They haven't stopped firing?"

"Why would they?" Thing asked, "They can finally do some real damage to that thing."

"Yeah and to us," the Knight pulled back on the throttle and pulled the Chikita into a steep climb right up the throat of the bombardment.

"Are you trying to get us killed?" Thing yelled in surprised. "You're not supposed to head towards the giant beams of death!"

"Don't have any choice if we want to survive this," he spun the ship around a passing beam, cutting it so close that you could reach out and touch it. "When that weapon blows it'll release another Ion Wave into the atmosphere, and if we're still here when that happens..."

"We short out, fix it, and get the kriff out," Thing supplied, "I'd prefer the delay to death," the ship zipped past another uncomfortably close shot, "call me old fashioned."

"We never had time to fix the EM shielding," Sarus responded, "there won't be anything to protect us from that wave!"

"But it's an Ion weapon, it takes out machines!"

"It can kill people in big enough doses too," Aragorn supplied, "and without EM shielding it's powerful enough to fry everyone on this ship."

"Hence the rather reckless dash to safety," Dray added pushing the engines way past what they were intended to do. Hang on, we'll be cutting this close!"


The Sentinel hadn't moved from his position, and was still looking down on their target, but now, instead of seeing a shield flaring from impact, he was seeing small explosions and superheated metal as the shots came into direct contact with the installation. He turned to look at his second in command, "Any word yet?"

Rsg shook his head, "We aren't even reading the ship on sensors. If she's still intact then they either haven't left the ground or are approaching to close to the bombardment to tell for sure."

"What the likelihood of a pilot successfully navigating their way up through a bombardment?"

The Master just looked up and him and shook his head.

The Sentinel looked out the viewport again. The weapon was beginning to glow now from the sustained fire, undoubtedly it's capacitors were going critical even as he watched, and with no where for the energy to go, it would keep storing that charge until it couldn't take it anymore. Then, anyone not inside a shielded bunker, would end up.... well it would be best not to find out. "Plot a course for JvS," Bazariel called out, "engage the hyperdrive as soon as the weapon blows. We don't want to be here if that Ion Wave makes it through the atmosphere."

"Aye sir," Rsg replied, moving to the navigation console. "Should I send a message ahead of us?"

The Sentinel looked down at the deck, "Tell them we succeeded, but leave out the fate of the Chikita and here crew. The Academy deserves some untainted good news for once."

"We'll have to tell them at some point."

"Be that as it may, they deserve something to celebrate before we are forced to mourn those that lost their lives."


"Major explosion detected below!" Aragorn shouted over the din of various alarms that had decided to start after they cut it a little too close to an Ion Cannon. "Projections say the Ion Wave will hit us in thirty seconds!"

"Twenty-Nine seconds to atmospheric departure!" Dray shouted back, fighting the controls bucking in his hands. The bombardment had stopped a couple seconds ago, but not before it played havoc with his ship's systems including the Inertial Dampeners.

"How accurate are those estimates?" Thing asked gripping his chair to keep from being thrown from it.

"To within a second, give or take," Aragorn replied.

"Lovely," the Knight replied, "and how sure are we that this wave will stop in the atmosphere?"

"Well, let's just say I hope you're prayed up," Ara responded.

"We'll make it," Dray said between gritted teeth, "my baby's never let me down before." He looked down at the console, "Ten seconds to orbit. Where's our escort Sarus?"

"I still can't get a signal," the Chiss replied, holding a headset to his ear, "not even picking up static."

"They wouldn't have left us behind would they?" Ara asked.

"Sensors can't detect a ship if it's surrounded by turbolaser fire," Thing answered, "they probably think we're already dead."

"I will so throttle Baz if he left us behind!" Dray commented.

"If Dray, five seconds to impact!" Ara yelled, "Four.... Three.... Two.... One!" The Knight closed his eyes and waited to feel the energy course over his body, boil his blood, and fry his brain, but it did not come. He opened his eyes and saw the blackness of space littered with tiny pin pricks of light. "We made it?"

Dray turned in his seat to glare at him, "Of course we did. My baby has never let me down," he said patting the console lightly.

Thing sighed and slouched in his seat, "I saw my life flash before my eyes...."

"Well that must have been short," Dray replied, "leaves you plenty of time to plot us a hyperspace route. Now Pto, that old man is probably still in his flashback."

"I heard that," a voice said from the intercom on the wall.

"Will you stop doing that?" Dray asked flipping the switch in annoyance. A second later the switch flipped back and the Knight's head jerked to the side, "Ow, ow! Quit it!"

"I will once you learned to respect your elders," the voice replied.

"How's this for respect?" The Knight replied rhetorically as he jammed the accelerator forward which elicited a cacophony of surprised yelps and curses from over the intercom, "Haha, suck it geezer!"

"I see you need a good spanking," the voice responded Force gripping the Knight's head and bashing it into the console.

"Ohh it's on now!" Dray's hands began to fly across the console, "I've got some new tricks for you old dog!"

"At what point do we stop them?" Thing asked, gripping his seat as the Chikita's gravity suddenly reversed to be up.

Aragorn, having rooted himself to the chair, seemed to quite comfortable, "As long as they don't mess with the life support I'm content to let them duke it out."

"Sarus?" Thing began to ask before being interrupted by the ship's gravity returned to normal, then doubling, and pushing the crew deep into their seats, "You gonna chime in?" The Chiss held up a finger and pressed the headset closer to his ear. A confused look crossed his face and he turned the dial again, listening, and repeating again and again, each time his expression getting more and more concerned. "Buddy?"

The Force Warrior removed the headset, "It's on every channel..." he muttered quietly to himself. "How's that possible?"

"Senor Cloud!" Thing yelled. The Chiss jumped, only now noticing that Thing was staring at him, "You alright there?"

"I'm... not sure."

"What is it?" Dray asked, his attention suddenly fixated on the Jedi Shadow.

"I'm reading a distress call on every available channel, but it's too garbled to hear anything."

"We did come dangerously close to some of those turbolaser beams," Aragorn suggested, "it could have screwed up the comm relay."

"I thought that at first too so I ran a diagnostic," the Chiss brought up a visual of the scan results, "but everything's working fine."

"Could it be from the planet?" Thing asked cautiously, "I mean we did just fry everything on it, living or not. Isn't it possible some of the equipment got turned on permanently?"

Dray shook his head, "No, the power of the Ion Wave wouldn't just mess up electronics on the planet, it would incinerate them entirely." The pilot turned to the Force Warrior, "We should be able to tell where it's coming from, if not specifically, at least the general area."

"The comm antenna is picking it up everywhere," Sarus responded turning back to bring up a readout from the antenna, "it's been going crazy for a while now, a couple seconds after we broke orbit. The signal is coming from all around us."

Dray spun back to his console, "Start filtering the transmission, we might be able to make some sense out of it then. Meanwhile I'll put us into a stable orbit and see what repairs need to be made." He spun back and began to stand, "Thing you keep a watch on sensors, no telling what's going to happen in this region after that huge battle." He reached down and pulled a toolbox from under the seat, "Ara, you come with me, you didn't do too bad on the Luck and I want to get back home as soon as possible."

"Anything for me?" The intercom queried.

"Yeah, for messing with my systems you get to entertain our guests," the Knight cocked a smile and let his glee poor into the Force, "I hear Ninjas like target practice." Before a reply could come he flipped a switch to cut off the intercom then turned to Sarus, "See if you can get a message back to the Academy and let them know we're alright. They can't get rid of us that easily."

"Will do." The Chiss flipped a switch and brought up the hyperwave transceiver, "It'll take some time to get anything past this mess, but it'll get through. I'll attach a portion of the message as well, the Temple will have better equipment."

"You do that," Dray replied, hefting the toolbox, "Ara and I will get started on the repairs, and I want a reply by the time we get done." He looked to his former student and nodded his head down the corridor, "Ladies first."

"This should be fun," the man commented sarcastically, "any little diddy you want to torture me with while we work."

"No, but I'll be more then happy to riff on the fact that you just used the word 'diddy' in a sentence," Dray answered with a broad smile.

Aragorn rolled his eyes and ducked into the corridor muttering, "Perfect." And all was quiet in the cockpit for all of five seconds upon which time a warning klaxon went off with enough sound to make half the crew jump, and elicit a series of curses from the other half, all of which were thankfully drowned out by the klaxon itsself.

Dray reappeared in the hatch a second later holding his ears and yelling something incomprehensible to the computer. An instant later the alarm fell silent, only to be replaced with an indignant pilot, "What the stang is going on?"

"Two Galaxy-class Star Destroyers just dropped out of hyperspace half a million kilometers off our stern!" Thing yelled, ignoring the angry question. "They're locking onto us!"

"Alright, alright," the pilot replied walking to his chair, "we're still out of their firing range, we have plenty of time to get out of here."

Aragorn slipped into his seat and called up the tactical display, "No we're not, those ships are equipped with long-range turbolasers."

Dray slid into his seat, "I'm guessing that's exactly what it sounds like."

The ship rocket a moment later as if to confirm the supposition, "Shields at ten percent!" Aragorn shouted, "Granted our shields were battered before, but I don't suggest we stick around to find out how many more of those we can take."

"Agreed," Dray pulled the ship around and gunned the throttle. "Thing I need those hyperspace coordinates!"

"Trust me, you don't want those ones," the Knight replied working his console, "not unless you want to fly up the throat of another barrage that's actually trying to hit us."

"Well then get us new coordinates," the ship rocked again as shot grazed the top of the hull. "I really hate being used for target practice."

"Shields down to three percent," Ara reported, "a full hit will be fatal."

"Thing!" Dray yelled as he put the ship into a spin.

"I'm working as fast as I can!" The Knight replied, flustered.

"Two more Crusader ships dropping out of hyperspace," Ara reported again, "MC-90 class."

"Got it!"

Dray pulled back on the hyperspace levers and shot the Chikita into the safety of hyperspace.


The shuttle shuddered and slowed as it dropped out of hyperspace. The viewport in the cabin Dusk was occupying now showed a white and blue world gradually drawing nearer. "We've arrived at DAC my lord," Lehel reported over the intercom. Dusk could still feel the man's uncertainty in his choice to overthrow the last Dark One, and also his fear that kept him from voicing such doubts.

"Take us down Mister Requis," Dusk replied still looking out the viewport at his new seat of power, "and check the comm station as well. I'm expecting a message." They had been in hyperspace for well over an hour, and his comm transmission should have made it back well before they arrived.

"Yes sir," Lehel answered typing on his console to bring up the necessary information. "You have a report waiting from Overlord Zai. Shall I read it for you?"

"Yes Mister Requis, there's nothing in there that I can't share with my right hand," Dusk responded putting some comfort behind the words. Fear could work, but it was better if that fear was replaced with respect, or at least tinged with it.

"Alright," Lehel said with a bit of pride in himself. "Zai reports that 95% of troops still remain, and all uprisings and decent have been dealt with."

Dusk's brow shot up in surprise at the number. Five percent wasn't much in the long run, but it was still a sizable chunk of troops for an organization this large, "It appears Kael didn't do as good a job as he thought." He rested his head in his hand and thought for a minute, making calculations for how much this would set him back. With the immediate loss here and the losses he anticipated after this move it would take a little over a year to enact his overall plan. It was a delay, but not an unacceptable one, "Very well. Please continue."

Lehel nodded, not that Dusk could actually see the gesture, "Zai put the Second Fleet on standby and a small task force has been dispatched to take care of whatever remaining forces still exist at Agamar. A follow-up report indicates that the task force found only one ship still in orbit, a small freighter, they opened fire, but it escaped into hyperspace before it could be destroyed."

Dusk chuckled to himself, "So Dray survived. I didn't hold out much hope for that mission's success anyway." It would have been helpful if no one had escaped that knew who he really was, but it might work out in the end. The Temple would undoubtedly try to redeem him, so if the time ever did come where he was surrounded, he could count on such sympathy to help him escape. "Go on Mister Requis."

"The last mention refers to a Project Daedalus? The only mention is that it's underway and that they've encountered no complications." Lehel paused for a minute after finishing the report before asking, "What's Project Daedalus?"

"It's the codename for the Dark Crusader's original purpose, Mister Requis," Dusk answered with a smile, "the end game."


Sarus studied the screen in front of him, looking for any pattern, or anything out of place in the message they had received in orbit around Agamar. He had run the message through dozens of filters but it had proved useless so far, the signal was stubbornly refusing to spill it's contents. He brought up a tri-phase filter and began buffering the signal through it. It was unlikely as the only kind of signal that used a tri-phase frequency was from a race of xenophobes, but he'd already gone through all the common and less common filters with no success. So now he was on to rare and kriffing impossible.

The screen blanked and a status bar appeared. He couldn't do anything until it finished so he leaned back in his chair and stretched to unkink his muscles. They were still in hyperspace, and had been for nearly two hours, according to the navigation console it would be several more before they had a view of anything but the mottled sky of hyperspace. The rest of the crew was trying to keep busy with maintenance and conversation, but the it was likely they were all as bored as he was at the moment.

A loud bang echoed up the corridor from somewhere in the ship, followed by a series of curses uttered by the illustrious captain, "Fierfek that hurt!" Dray shouted.

"That's what you get for using space tape to hold stabilizers in place," Aragorn replied dryly. "OW!"

"And that's what you get for being a smart ass," Dray retorted. "Next time it will be more then a hydrospanner that I take to your head."

"Are you sure we shouldn't do something?" Thing asked. The Knight's foot had started bouncing and worry was pouring off him.

"I'm sure," the Chiss replied closing his eyes while he waited for the console to chime it's readiness.

"But how do you know?"

"I don't," Sarus answered, "but right now the only thing I'm interested in is checking my eyelids for holes."

"B-but-" the Knight tried to respond either too shocked or appalled at the indifference to form coherent sentences.

"You needn't worry," said the voice of Ptolemy. The Initiate had apparently entered the cockpit at some point. "If they haven't killed each other in all these years, I doubt this time will be any different."

"How are our friends doing?" Sarus asked not bothering to open his eyes.

"Well enough," Pto said after a moment.

"Put them to sleep eh?"

The old man sighed, "It was the only activity they all had in common."

The Chiss smiled, "They could probably use the rest anyway. We all could."

"Tell me about it." The room fell silent for a few minutes, not surprising considering that of the three one was too distracted to talk and the other was too interested in sleep to care. The console beeped, breaking the silence and moving Ptolemy to speak, "So I hear you're having problems cleaning up a transmission?"

Sarus opened his eyes and sat upright, "Yeah. The signal is being difficult. I've used every filter I can think of, and I'm running a comprehensive speech program running analysis as well, but I can't even get the binary base to come up."

"Let me give it a shot," the Initiate stepped forward to look at the console, "I piloted an old Gamorrean freighter with a bad comm relay for a couple years. I had to clean every message I got, and I got pretty good at it."

The Force Warrior hopped out of the chair, "Be my guest." He began stretching as Pto slide himself into the vacant seat, "I'm gonna see what we have in the way of food on this rust bucket."

"I heard that!" Dray's voice came from down the corridor.

"That mean you want something too?" Sarus yelled back.

"Yeah, a Fogblaster would be nice!"

"Is that for you or do you have a particularly stubborn deck plate that needs burned away?"

"Don't think I can't hit you with this hydrospanner just because you're on the other end of the ship!"

Sarus chuckled and began walking towards the hatch. He was just at the doorway when he felt the deck begin to vibrate, "I think you crossed some wires back there buddy."

"That's not us..." Aragorn responded after a moment, "Although Dray did just dive head first into the engine bay so you might want to find something to hang onto."

"Umm, guys?" Thing began in a worried voice, "I think we have a problem."

A tingle went down the base of Sarus' spine, and a strong feeling of danger began to creep into his mind, "Ara, get Dray out of there now!" He shouted running back to the pilot's seat and strapping in. He had just fastened the harness when the ship shuttered and a weight like an anvil settled on the Force Warrior's chest. His entire body felt like it was being forced through the back of the seat as the view outside turned from the mottled black of hyperspace to a tumbling starscape.

"Initiating Hard Reversion protocols," Thing strained to report as his fingers worked slowly over the console. Something rare in the spacing industry, a Hard Reversion was when a ship experienced a catastrophic failure in the hyperdrive that made the vehicle drop out without reactivating sublight systems like the main engines or inertial dampeners. It was rare because most ships either experienced a "safe" failure in which they reverted normally, or completely disintegrated from the stresses. It was a testament to the ship's build that it hadn't just broken apart the minute they fell out of hyperspace. "Dampeners coming online!"

The feeling on Sarus' chest began to lessen gradually, getting to the point where he could reach the control yoke. He yanked the yoke to the side to try and right their wild tumble and felt the vector plating stick sending another tremor through the ship. The rumble was worrying, but was also beginning to slow their spin, "Activating thrusters!" The ship bucked as only a portion of the thrusters activated, then sputtered out and began firing randomly. They were still traveling at nearly eighty percent the speed of light, and while the thrusters would begin to slow them, they had no hope of coming to a stop without the engine, "Thing, I need those engines!"

"What you think I'm withholding them?" The Knight asked incredulously, "We lost the main engine when we reverted back!"

"Why the kriff haven't we leveled out yet!?" Dray shouted from the hatch, pushing his way forward, "Don't any of you know how to fly?"

"We lost both the hyperdrive and main engines," Sarus surrendered his seat to Dray and slid himself into the vacant navigation console while Aragorn took a seat at tactical, "in addition our vector plates are sticking and the thrusters are working only intermittently."

Dray wrestled the yoke hard to the right and the rumbling stopped. He flipped switches faster then the Chiss could come up with and the stars outside quickly stopped spinning, "See that? Just got to give her a little tough love," the Knight patted the bulkhead. "OK, so that's one problem solved, next is breaking. If our path is clear then we can just wait this out and let the thrusters slow us down, otherwise we need an ingenious idea to save our hides."

Sarus powered up his station and checked their current route, "We aren't so lucky my friend, we dropped out too close to a planet and it's gravity well yanked us off course. On our current course we'll hit the fourth planet in this system in less then ten minutes."

"Of course we are," the Knight replied. He blew out his breath in frustration and put his head in his hands, "OK, is the planet inhabited?"

"Not so lucky, but it is habitable."

Dray slapped the console in frustration, "We can perform an aerial breaking maneuver but that'll leave us at twice the speed of sound. If I can find a body of water I can hydroplane her and get us down to just over Mach one, but we still can't survive a crash at that speed."

"We have a pair of concussion missiles left over," Aragorn spoke, "if we detonate them at a safe distance it could slow us down!"

Dray shook his head, "In order to slow down enough to have even a chance of surviving this we'd have to detonate it so close that the shockwave would kill us. We never did get around to repairing the shields."

"Ptolemy and I might be able to lessen the impact," Sarus volunteered, "if we can envelop the ship in a buble of Force energy then it can take the brunt of the impact for us."

The pilot looking to Pto, "Do you think you're strong enough for that old man?"

The Initiate looked to Dray, to Sarus, and back to Dray before answering, "It won't be easy, but I can give it a shot."

"Good enough for me!" The Knight spun back around, "Strap in ladies, this'll be a bumpy ride!"


The planet quickly grew larger in the viewport as the Chikita careened in at a quarter the speed of light. The ship shook as it encountered the outer edge of the atmosphere, and suddenly the view flipped to show the planet in the upper part of the viewport and space at the lower.

"You know we're coming in upside-down right?" Aragorn asked skeptically.

"No kidding?" The ship began shaking as the broadest part came into contact with the upper atmosphere, "I hadn't noticed." Dray replied sarcastically.

Ara rolled his eyes, "OK, fine, why are we coming in upside-down?"

"Because I don't want to survive this only to break my neck falling," Dray answered too busy with keeping the ship level to elaborate.

"How does-" Aragorn began to ask before being interrupted by the sound of wrenching metal, "What was that?"

"The hull plating," Sarus responded. The Chiss was in a meditation pose to prepare himself.

The Knight's brows raised in confusion for a moment, then the light began to dawn on him, "Whatever we come into contact with at these speeds is going to tear up hull plating, so we need the bottom plating in order to survive landing.... but why?"

"Because we'll lose artificial gravity at some point," Thing supplied, "and we'd rather have our feet pointing in the right direction when that happens."

The ship shuttered and lurched as it finally punched it's way through the upper atmosphere. The wind began whipping past, tearing any loose parts away from the ship as it plummeted at twice the speed of sound, rapidly approaching a large body of water.

Dray rolled the ship and pointed the nose up, then shut off the forward thrusters and redistributed the power to the rear set. The thrusters would burn themselves out quickly with so much power coursing through them, but they only needed to remain for a few more seconds. "OK guys, I've done all I can, the rest is up to you!"

The Chikita hit the water like a brick sending everyone violently forward in their ship before bouncing back up and repeating the process. Each successive bounce tearing away more and more hull plating, but slowing them as safely as possible. A shoreline appeared in the distance and began drawing closer at an alarming rate, "Any time now Ara!" Dray shouted.

The Knight brought up a targeting array, centered the reticle, and depressed the fire button, "Missiles away!" He reported as two contrails shot away from the ship and half a second later detonated at an uncomfortably close range. The resulting explosion shot the freighter into the air, sending it over the first half mile of foliage before dropping again and crashing it's way through the trees.

Sarus and Ptolemy closed their eyes, concentrating on the ship, feeling the limits of it, it's place relative to the planet, and surrounding it in a bubble of Force energy. They then began filling that bubble with a cushion of telekinesis to absorb the impact. Outside the viewport a fair blue glow could be seen around the ship, but none on the ship did notice it as they were either busy with other things or closing their eyes in anticipation of death's embrace.

Then the Chikita hit, for a few seconds the bubble absorbed all the impact, but it could not stop everything, and after five seconds the ship tore into the landscape with a tremendous boom. Sarus lurch forward, felt his straps break, and slammed into the bulkhead.

Then there was only darkness.....


Thanks to Dr.Rabbit for the epic sig ^.^

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