Death of a Jedi

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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Red-X on Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:05 am

24 Hours Till Assault

Activity that was once nearly a stand still days before was bustling with urgency. Resistance fighters were attending to last minute agendas. The last crates of power cells were just brought in a few hours ago, thanks to a smuggler Commander Reddex held tabs with. The man had owed him a couple of favors from a couple of years ago. He had even brought in a few illegal rare’s. Reddex ignored the urge to confiscate them, but they would need all the firepower to pull this mission off. Some of the Resistance had never fought in a large scale engagement like this. It had always been small skirmishes involving sabotage and running…away.

The jedi and Rokk stood by with the soldiers training them as quickly as possible under their strict time restraint. Reddex stayed in the worn-out command center watching over everything that went along with the preparations. He worked closely with the resistance heads to make sure their objectives ran smoothly. The Commander also continued to speak with the No-Nonsense-Attitude Kora. Sending him hourly updates. His 3rd Fleet wasn’t far out; Thing’s 2nd Fleet was an hour behind at their best possible speed. Even though for some reason they weren’t supposed to be out that far. Reddex would have to bring that up with General Thing about his late arrival, the next time they spoke.

High above, the Resistance satellites took hourly photos of the target location. The foundry was located in the mountain range they glimpsed in the storm flying in. Over a span of three days, more Crusaders poured in. The skiffs transporting the materials changed routes and began heading somewhere else. Reports were steadily coming in from high orbit that the blockade’s trade route traffic was diminishing. Reddex began to wonder if the Crusaders knew they were here. Was Dusk packing up ship and waiting for us to make our move?

“Uh, sir?” A woman at one of the consoles said allowed; signaling for one of her superiors. A Muun on the other side of the side strolled over to her and looked on the monitor to where she was pointing.

Reddex was currently looking down at the facility’s layout again. Eyeing the shield generator bunker. “Why do I keep thinking that generator is further below. It couldn’t possibly be at ground level.”

“That’s because it isn’t.” One of the Muuns said standing next to him. “One of our informants told us its four stories down.”

The Commander slowly turned to him agitated, “You’re just not telling me this?”

“But wait, if your Jedi friend is able to get inside, he can shut off the power output coming from the building. There’s an array that projects the shield.” The Muun pointed to the giant dish on top of the bunker.

“And still have the generator still intact? That just doesn’t go well with me. I want that place obliterated…along with that generator four stories down.”
The Muun began to respond, but the Muun who had approached the woman at her console was beckoning him to come over. Reddex walked over shaking his head at the last minute update on the Resistance’s Intelligence.

“This looks troubling.” On the monitor, a few more Crusader star ships had formed up with the blockade. “What in blazes is going on up there?”
“Does this mean we move ahead of schedule?” The woman asked.

“No, no, absolutely not. If we did, this would be a massive genocide. Our reinforcements wouldn’t even be close to save us. Once Admiral Kora’s 3rd Fleet arrives, then we can make our move. Send this report to him and General Thing now.

“Transmitting.”

9 hours later…

Reddex and Rokk gathered around the holoprojection with the rest of the Jedi. The machine spurred to life as a couple of sparks discharged onto the floor. Admiral Kora appeared alone, arms held across his chest. His red armor gleaming with cleanliness and his cape had just rested against his back, as if he had just arrived. Seconds later, General Thing appeared levitating a meter off the ground cross legged. The two audience greeted each other and Reddex took his place next to the projections. A beam erupted out of the machine and formed a projection of Muunilinst slowly spinning on its axis. Cruisers were seen forming with a continuing thickening blockade.

“As you can see, more star ships have entered orbit around Muunilinst. We have also discovered those numerous transport ships have all but disappeared.” The trade route heading directly into the planet from far out in system slowly faded away. Reddex clicked a key on the machine and it presented a heat map of the Foundry in the mountain range. “Notice how the day and before we arrived here it was rather mild.” He indicated the little blue and yellow hues. “Now, speeding up to present…I think I don’t need to explain.” As the yellow’s and blue’s abruptly turned to dark orange and red, the two audiences looked at each other trying to come up with something to say.

“Could it be that Dusk knows of our plan?” Ptolemy asked.

“If he does, this assault will very well be a waste of lives.” Aragorn added in.

Bickering amongst the group slowly erupted into an argument on wether or not this mission would actually be successful. “Gentlemen!” Kora’s voice boomed through the projection silencing everyone. “This is an opportunity I will not let slip away. I’ve had enough watching this mad man take this galaxy one planet after another. It’s time to fight back. And I suggest you all get on board or we’re all doomed anyway. If this is a trap, so what, we’ll still go along with the invasion. If something goes wrong, which most of the time things do, we’ll improvise. They call themselves the Resistance, well its time they start resisting. You’re considered to be JvS’s best asset. It’s now a good time to prove that claim true.”

After a few moments of silence,” It maybe to late to spring the trap if there was one.” Rokk spoke up. “And Mr. Kora is right; we do need to step our game up. By the way,” She looked over to Thing, “Weren’t you supposed to be right behind the 3rd Fleet? You decided to take a pit stop or something?”
“From a certain point of view, you could see it that way.” Thing said. “But, my apologies.We ran into some resources we couldn’t pass up.”

“What exactly?” Dray asked.

“We picked up a star fighter squadron. They volunteered to give us a hand. These folks have one heck of a reputation. One that has lasted well over a century.”

“But don’t we have enough pilots as is?” Sarus questioned.

“The more the better, honestly. Anything can happen out there.” Reddex said. “I’ve seen many squadrons out in the field and I know only one group with that much recognition. You must be talking about the Rogues? They saved my ass on many occasions. Never had an opportunity to thank them personally.”

“Red, please, just…-” Dray began

Rokk moaned in protest, “Oh not those people…I lost a lot of cargo and buyers thanks to them.” She winced as memories of Rogue Squadron scaring away her customers. Or times being chased as a pirate.

“hang on, I don’t understand.” Sarus was left confused in the conversation.

“Shall I explain the history behind-“Ptolemy started but was cut off by Dray.

“-No, no, please no…”

Soon after the meeting everyone left except Aragorn. He sat in a chair and thought more on the invasion. Without knowning, his eyes had closed. When he had opened eyes again everything was dark. There was someone standing in the middle of the room. The persons back was facing Aragorn. He stood up and approached the figure masked in shadow. From behind he recognized the features of Reddex. "Hey, why are you still in here? Don't you have more important things to be doing?"

The figure didn't respond.

"Red?" Aragorn asked. "Red, you hear me?"

Aragorn reached the figure's shoulder and turned the being around. Staring him right in the face with a chilling grin was Dusk. Aragorn quickly brought out his saber and attempted to slash at who he thought was Dusk. As his blade came down, Dusk vanished. Aragorn snapped his eyes shut and shook his head. He awoke standing, his blade still humming. He was drenched in sweat. On the floor in front of him was the chair he had sat in earlier, sliced in half...

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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Red-X on Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:02 pm

3 Hours Till Assualt

“Come on people, that skiff should’ve been loaded up by now!” Reddex shouted at engineers quickly placing in ammunition on a couple of turrets mounted around the Skiff.

“Commander, our scouts report we are still go for the mission.” A Muun spoke, trying to keep up with Reddex’s brisk walk.

“Very good,” Reddex nodded moving around a lifter cruising by on its repulsors. “What about the Jedi?”

“They-“ The Muun aid stopped talking to side step a shower of sparks raining down from a wielder; who was fixing a loose shield plate. “Jedi Dray is still in the command center looking over something’s. Jedi Sarus is going over task for the mission. He says he’s ready when you are. Jedi Ptolemy is about to give a speech to the resistance in a couple of minutes.” The aid tried to catch his breath and nearly tripped over a fueling cable.

Reddex slowed a bit and raised an eyebrow, “Speech?”

“Yes sir. He believes it’ll boost moral.”

“Ah, very well.” Reddex looked around at the numerous rusted armored skiffs. It was the best they could come up with. Getting resources had become more difficult since Crusaders had been cracking down on taking more people. Never to be seen again. The Muun forgot to mention Aragorn and Rokk’s role, but he already knew. He was the one that gave it to them. They were going to lead a small task force of armored speeders, to give more air support. Their group was on the other side of town waiting for the signal.

Reddex checked his chrono on his datapad for the 30th time. He silently admitted to himself, he was a little nervous. He wanted this to go smoothly as possible. The Muun aide had finished his checklist and disappeared into the fray. The large Cavern that housed the attack force was just below Mariuhunas. At the far side was the wide opening for the exit to move out into. The tunnel would end in the mountain range not far from the foundry. Within the Cavern, the noise was already defeaning from engines being reved and numerous people shouting last minute agendas. One of them was running from behind and tripped next to Reddex. The commander immiediatly assisted the young man and wished him luck.

A holo image sprouted from Reddex’s forearm. It was Briggs. His face was covered by the optics, it looked like he was looking over things in front of him. “Sir, we are prepped and waiting on you.”

“Rogerz. Dray, Sarus, and I will be there shortly.”

Briggs nodded and his image wavered away. He strode fast back to the command center. Dray was looking at an image of the city and the mountain range. Dray saw more activity then usual but past it off. “We’re all set Red. Let’s-“

A giant explosion shook the command center. Chunks from the ceiling dropped to the floor and shattered. The monitors on the wall blew out in sparks. Shouts and screams were heard, echoing through the tunnels. Smoke trailed in along the ceiling into the room. Another explosion caused the room to shake. “Oh, no.” Reddex mumbled.

“We got to get out of here now!” Dray shouted, lightsaber already out and ignited.

Sarus bolted out of a tunnel, deflecting blaster fire. “How did they find us?!”

“Back to the cavern, on the double!” Reddex yelled. “MOVE! MOVE! MOVE!” The trio ran through twisting tunnels as the lights above swayed back and forth flickering. Dirt fell from the cracks on to them with every bang.

Reddex got on his datapad and accessed the intercom to everyone that was stationed, “All troops begin OPERATION MYNOCK now! I repeat, MYNOCK is a GO-!”

Dray pulled Reddex back with the Force suddenly as the tunnel in front of them collapsed. “Well we're screwed.”

“Great enthusiasm, Dray.” Reddex grumbled as he got up. “Come on, there’s another way.”

They ran a few meters back and hooked a right. Just ahead, resistance fighters were pinned down alongside debris. Crusaders were on the other side trying to get through. Dray and Sarus sprinted ahead with the Force, bounding over the fighters and debris with a single leap. Reddex slid next to the Muuns on the ground as they fired back. He noticed one of them was holding communication gear.

“Get on the COM; tell them what’s going on here!” Reddex yelled at him. He popped off a shot to give him cover. But, he didn’t notice the shot nearly struck Dray by accident. Dray was able to turn for a second with an annoyed glance just before cutting a Crusader down.

The Muun fumbled with the gear and finally got the mic, “Crusaders have entered HQ! Crusaders hav-“The Muun slammed the mic down, “We’re being jammed!”

“Fierfek, come on the Jedi took care of ‘em.” Reddex got over the rubble with the fighters and followed Dray and Sarus. As they ran, he switched his beacon on with his datapad. Broadcasting his location to the Stinger.

“We need directions; these tunnels are too damn confusing sometimes. I sense Ptolemy is in trouble.” Dray said, looking left and right deciding which way to turn.

“50 meters down, first door on the left.” One of the Muuns called out.

Seconds later they turned into an already blown through door to the cavern. Some of the skiffs were aflame. Blaster fire danced across the air like fireworks. Above, burning smoke lifted to the ceiling creating an artificial cloud cover. Resistance fighters were shooting from some of the still working crafts at the crusader’s trying to breach from another door on the far side. Launching from skiff to skiff, they could see Ptolemy easily dispatching the enemy, but there was too many to take all of them.

“Everyone pack it up, we’re evacuating now!” Reddex shouted to everyone that could hear. Soon they ran to their destinations passing on the word. Without a word, Dray and Sarus split up to defend the Resistance as they gathered to leave. The Commander unholstered his Westars and shot 3 Crusaders trying to flank from behind. He didn’t even realize they were there until they stepped on broken glass. Just the mere fact he came that close to death spooked him. “This is why I hate ground engagements” He mumbled.

The skiffs began to head through the exit, turrets firing at the Crusaders. As a skiff sped overhead, Ptolemy jumped from unknown vantage point and landed in front of Reddex redirecting shots into the ground. “Was wondering when you guys would get here.” He sounded exhausted.

“My apologies. We were cut off. You ok?”

“I’ll be fine. Those Enforcers came from nowhere. Even worse, they were carrying bombs. We do not have a lot of time.”

“I’m not leaving to till everyone is out.”

“Commander, that is a noble plan, but right now you’re leading this battle. We can’t afford to lose you.” Ptolemy said still watching their surroundings.

“I’m sorry, but I will stand by my decision. We can’t just abandon them.”

Ptolemy sighed, “Ok, we’ll try to protect you as long as possible. Please hurry.”

A Crusader charged through a wreckage heading towards them. Reddex started firing but was knocked down by a crate it had thrown. Ptolemy grabbed his leg with the Force and swept it beneath him; slamming the solider on his back with a thud. Reddex quickly got up and shot the crusader twice in the head. Two more came at them from opposing directions throwing objects with the Force. Ptolemy twirled his saber in a defensive pattern splintering the objects to threads while Reddex ducked beneath.

Dray and Sarus popped over flaming wreckage from a skiff. Sarus threw his saber at the Crusader on the other side, cutting him across the abdomen. Dray slammed his saber down through the crusaders helmet. His mouth opened with surprise showing Drays saber glowing through his mouth. “We lost this battle, fellas. There’s too many.”

“Survivors”? Reddex asked worried.

The last of the skiffs were throttling out of the tunnel. One stayed behind for them, trying to keep the crusaders away. “Only bodies; the remaining fighters are the ones in this hanger with us. I’m sorry Red.”

“Alright, let’s go.” Reddex felt sadden from the loss. He had to get back up into the air. The only place he actually felt safe.

Another door blew open in flames, making everyone jump. More crusaders poured through firing their rifles. “Damn it, run!” Reddex screamed firing back with his Westars as they ran.

Their skiff felt as if it was 100’s of meters away. The Jedi were running a lot faster than he was. The skiff began a rolling start to the exit, so they wouldn’t be bogged down. Resistance fighters on board man the guns and gave them cover fire. They were beckoning them to hurry.

Dray was first to jump aboard, then came Sarus and Ptolemy. Reddex and the other Muuns still had a distance to go. He waved at the pilot to move ahead alittle faster.

Are you nuts? Run faster Red!” Dray shouted.

Reddex looked back and fired off more shots, just when both the Muuns running with him were shot down. A stray blaster bolt skimmed off his uniform starting a small fire on his shoulder. He stumbled to the ground rolling. In the distance he could hear Dray cursing, but there was too much gunfire to hear his exact words. Reddex tried patting the fire out, while he struggled to get up. Suddenly, he felt a firm hand grab his arm and started pulling him to the skiff. It was Dray. One arm was holding on to him, the other held his lightsaber deflecting shots.

The skiff turned around and thundered towards them settling inbetween the increasing fire. Sarus and Ptolemy reached out with their hands to help them up. Dray leapt for Ptolemy, while Reddex went for Sarus.

“I warned you Red” Ptolemy said hoisting Dray in.

“I know, I know!” Reddex said tumbling into the skiff. “Pilot!”

“No no, not that, the bom-!”

Behind them an ear splitting explosion went off from the door the crusaders poured out of. The bomb engulfed the crusaders who still tried chasing them. They were blinded by the orange and red fire. “If this can go faster, this is a great time to do so!” Sarus looked at the pilot.

The pilot nodded and throttled up into the dark tunnel. But it didn’t seem to change anything. The blast radius was still gaining ground on them, not slowing. Reddex shook his head; he really wished he was back on the stinger.”We need to go faster!”

“I’m afraid we can’t, we’re already at max power!” Ptolemy said holding on to the rail looking at the fire ball.

The skiff juked numerous stalagmites laid out in the cavern and other cave formations at break neck speeds. Small creatures below drew back into their nests for safety. The walls around them were beginning to tumble in front of their path. Now they were feeling the oncoming heat. Up ahead they could see the tunnels exit. The pilot accidently banged into a few columns, spraying everyone with rock and dirt. Then suddenly, they could smell the night sky. They were out, just as the fire vented from the tunnel with enormous fury. But celebration was short lived, as the scent of the night changed to a view of Mariuhunas being sieged. Cruisers were in low atmosphere bombarding the city with their batteries. In the mountain range, Resistance fighters were being gunned down in the forests trying to make it to the foundry. Skiffs dropped from the sky engulfed in fire, crashing into the trees. The auto turrets at the foundry unleashed a barrage of laser fire at anything in its range. The shield mildly flickered at the small crack shots from the Resistance. Battles were being played out everywhere they looked.

“It’s like Corellia and Coruscant all over again…” Reddex said sickened. A few more Crusader warships descended through the large smoke clouds and hovered around the foundry.

“We need to get back to Mariuhunas. Round up the survivors. Form a second attack. Do something-“ Reddex began.

“-Red its, over-“ Sarus said

“-Look, I know we’re losing. But we haven’t lost yet. There’s still hope.” Reddex pointed out. He checked his chrono again.

“I probably should have said this sooner, but we do have a second base. It’s a lot smaller. It’s our only back up as of now.” The pilot said from behind. “I think its best we head there.”

“Do it.”

“Just how did they find us? How?” Dray asked.

“Hopefully the answer’s we seek lay in that base.” Ptolemy said.

The skiff flew back to Mariuhunas with haste. All around civilians and fighters were slowly being slaughtered out on the walkways; some falling to their deaths many miles below. A few buildings were untouched from the assault, but had huge black marks from the smoke. Others, were filled with fire, papers flying everywhere. The pilot turned a few corners trying her best to stir clear of Crusader star fighters flying through the city. Soon, they flew into a dark parking garage, mostly emptied. A couple of smoldering bodies still littered the floor. On the far side, there was an elevator illuminated by a flickering light. The skiff settled down a few meters from the door and everyone got down. The Resistance fighters on board lead the way to the door.

“When was this established again?” Reddex asked looking around to see if they were being followed. He also noticed a camera was looking right at them.

“We can’t tell you a real date, but it’s been here for a while. It’s more like a plan B. We only had to use it once when the crusaders first came to Muunilinst.” The Muun in front kept his pace without looking at them.

When he reached a door, he pressed a button and the doors opened. The group walked inside while the Muun took out a panel on the wall and extended his arm inside for a moment. A second later he pulled his hand out and replaced the panel. The doors shut closed and the turbolift rose. Behind them, they could see the surrounding area. A star fighter zipped by chasing a speeder firing. In the distance, a building fell over into another building, somehow still standing. The group remained silent as the turbolift slowed to a halt at its destination. The doors opened with a whisp, then two Muuns appeared leveling their rifles at them.
“Stand down, stand down.” The Muun in the elevator said raising his hands.

“Are you mad?” One of them said.

“You could’ve been followed!” said the other.

Ptolemy recognized both of them, “I believe there’s more important issues out there. You already know who I am, no need for hostility.”

“I’m starting to think we have a traitor. How else did they find our base? How else did they know when we were about to attack?" Behind the two Muuns was a large window overlooking the city. A cruiser was flying by not too far away strafing the area.

“And why hasn’t your fleet arrived, huh?”

“They’ll be here soon-“ Reddex said

“-Not soon enough, clearly.” The Muun said now pointing his rifle at him.

Reddex looked at the ground and shook his head. He walked up to the Muun and quickly disarmed him, butting him the face with his rifle then turned on the other. “Quit with the questions. Our window till they arrive is closing and we need to start pointing our resources at that foundry.” Reddex said. “Understand?” He dropped the rifle on the Muun who was laid out on the floor and walked past them.

The room wasn’t that large. It had a few monitors on viewing activity across the landscape. And crates of ammunition looked like they were still being unpacked. Over by the window, a Resistnace fighter leaned against a rail looking down glued to his binoculars.

“Most of our supplies were still in the main base…which was destroyed.” The muun said holding his crushed nose.

“Communications?” Reddex asked?

The guard shook his head, “It’s not safe. Admiral Kora has been trying to reach us for a while-“

“‘The hell haven’t you answered?” Reddex asked angered, while running to the control panel.

“Wait, don’t-!“ The Muun pleaded

Reddex pressed the flashing red key, and Kora’s image sprouted up. He didn’t look happy. Which Reddex felt comfortable with, since he never seen the man crack a smile…”I do not like being left in the dark. Someone please explain to me what is happening down there. It’s like all communications just ceased coming out of Mariuhunas. I’m expecting the worse has happened.”

“Admiral, I don’t have a lot of time. They knew we were coming before we even got out of the base. Their cruisers came from nowhere. They have began firing at everything-“ Reddex spoke, but didn’t hear the Muun behind him talking.

“-Uhh, we have increased movement down there.” The Muun said by the large window. “They’re running away..”

“What?” Dray said, “When do Crusaders ever just randomly run away for no reason?”

“-Our forces are scattered. We are blind in the sky and have no idea how many are up there. We haven’t heard from two of our own-“ Reddex continued.

“Does…anyone feel that?” Ptolemy said looking down at himself and his arms. “Did it just get surprisingly warm in here?”

Over by Reddex, the image of Kora was flickering in and out. “Admiral, you’re breaking up. Can you hear me? Admiral?!”

The image turned to static.

Reddex slammed the console, “I swear if-“

MOVE-!” Ptolemy shouted.

A large blinding green light descended from the smoke clouds with alarming velocity, right by the building they were inside of. The large window exploded violently from the pressure. The pressure in the room rapidly changed and sucked out random objects. Another blast cracked down in the same area. Everyone was blown off their feet covered in shards of glass from the window. The Muun with the binoculars was vaporized from the initial shot from the Cruiser overhead. The howling winds screeched like a deafening scream.

They staggered to their feet and headed for the turbo lift. Reddex tried to yell words, but noone could hear him. Not even himself. The bright green hues continued to light up the room as the turbolift doors shut closed. As the turbolift descended…

“What now?"

“We need to find the Stinger. And get airborne.” Reddex said, brushing off the glass while he stuck his finger in his ear from the abuse his eardrum just went through.

“Do they know where we are?”

“Yes, they have been tracking me since the base was hit. We need to get outside and signal for them.”

The lift arrived at their destination. As the doors opened, their pilot fell through covered in blood. Immediately, everyone brought their weapons to bear. Then they noticed the skiff was aflame. “We really need to start fighting back.” Reddex said.

Out of the darkness, 80 crusaders walked into view. The group slowly moved out of the turbolift keeping a close eye on the crusaders; making their way next to the wreckage. They gathered in a circle to watch every angle. There was no escape in sight. They were out matched.

“Red, it’s been an honor.” Sarus said watching the massive force take one step at a time towards them.

“I guess the odds have finally caught up with us.” Reddex said pointing his Westars at who he thought would run first.

“Don’t say that. It’s not over yet.” Dray said.

“What’s that suppose-“

Through the flaming darkness outside, high beam lights from speeders turned on. The engines roared to top speed and shot into the garage. Unknown figures on board began shooting at the crusaders as they came in. The high beam’s momentarily blinded the crusaders leaving them open.

Seeing the opportunity Reddex opened fired as well, “ENGAGE! ENGAGE!

The Resistance fighters with them fired at everything. The Jedi moved with such grace and speed into the battle. The garage became a sudden fire fight within seconds. Reddex and the Resistance moved back to the skiff wreckage to take cover and to fire back. The speeders drove to them and flew circles creating a defensive screen.

“Keep it steady, will ya!” A familiar woman’s voice shouted from one of the speeders. She fired off more shots into the mob.

One of the speeders descended in front of Reddex. He couldn’t see who was running to him from the bright lights. Then the person embraced him with a warm hung and a kiss, “Got to you just in time!”

“Rokk?” Reddex said surprised.

“Who else?!” Rokk said smiling.

“Hurry up, you two!” Aragorn called from the speeder.

Reddex, Rokk, and the remaining fighters jumped into the speeder as it rose. “I feel like this question is constantly being asked but, how did you find us? Reddex asked, while shooting down at the crusaders.

“We’ll explain when we are safe.” Aragorn said turning the speeder around heading back where they came from. The other two followed closely behind. Sarus, Dray, and Ptolemy managed to get on board those as well.

Outside the garage, a large sleek black ship appeared as if it was shedding invisible skin. Its weapons extended out of their housing along the ship’s hull and started firing into the gargage. The speeders dodged the onslaught and continued on its path to the ship. The ship’s guns were mopping up the crusaders in large fireballs. Nothing seemed to miss its amazing targeting. As the speeders came within distance, the ship rotated to starboard revealing a lowered ramp and the ships call sign: SSDX. The Shadow Stinger had finally arrived. Reddex’s crew was along the sides of the ramp directing the speeders in as they fired back into the garage.

Once the last speeder was on board, the ramp was already coming up. The Shadow Stinger pulled away and shot for the sky as the Shadow generator came online; masking the Shadow once again into the turbulent night sky.

The group walked back to bridge while the crew made room for them in the hallways, saluting at the return of their Commander. When they reached the bridge, the crew cheered. Reddex was happy to be back. Even though Briggs and Sol had to focus on where they were flying, they managed a wave back. He walked to the familiar chair in the center of the room and sat in. He hadn’t realized he missed it so much. Though he was covered in dirt, burns, and blood.

“We were actually very fortunate we found the Shadow.” Aragorn said to Reddex and the group. “At the same time you were attacked, we were too. Not many of us escaped.”

“You also forgot that the Shadow nearly killed us too.” Rokk laughed alittle. “We were being chased through the city, until the Shadow appeared right in front of us guns already bared. They took out the fighters chasing us.”

“You’re welcome by the way!” Sol said from up front.

“Once the Stinger told us where they were going, we really had no choice but to tag along.” Rokk said.

“At least we’re all back together now.” Ptolemy said looking at his son.

Reddex checked his chrono, “Kora’s fleet should be arriving any minute. Briggs take us to the foundry.” Then he turned to Sarus, “Get ready.”

“I’m going with him. Since they know we’re here, you’re going to need more help.” Aragorn said walking with Sarus to the turbolift.

Ptolemy frowned ever so slightly as he saw his son disappear from his eyes again. Dray saw the look and felt what he was going through.

“Battle continues to split us right back up again.” Ptolemy said.

“They’ll be fine. We both know they’ll be ok.” Dray said now standing with Ptolemy.

“I’m more concerned about Aragorn, Dray.” Ptolemy was still looking at the closed turbolift doors. “I feel the Darkside still has its hands on him. Dusk can take advantage of that.”

Dray looked at the turbolift as well, then back to Ptolemy. “When this battle is over, I’ll talk to Aragorn. I ask that you will let me train him. Help him get rid of the darkness held within.”

Ptolemy finally took his gave off the doors and looked to Dray. “Thank You.”

The Shadow Stinger turned back towards the mountain range. Flying out of the continued bombardment of the city was painful for everyone on board to watch. The cruisers were still firing down into the buildings and walkways. Everyone remained silent to the death all around them. The Shadow kept a low altitude flying through the valleys over the burning trees and vehicles. It was a dead zone. A few Crusaders were looking through the rubble. Some looked up hearing the engines of the Shadow, but lost interest.

“Approaching target.” Briggs called out.

Reddex switched through video feeds on his datapad to the hanger. The ramp was already down, with Sarus and Aragorn standing at the edge. The wind was blowing at Aragorn’s cloak as they watched the land beneath pass by. The Shadow flew through a thick cloud of smoke then came out to see the foundry. Briggs angled the Shadow to the top of the shield’s proximity and leveled out. Below, most of the Crusaders were watching the environment outside the compound expecting more fighters. Without even getting word from Reddex, Sarus and Aragorn jumped off the ramp; disappearing over the edge. Briggs pulled away, just when he spotted action in the sky. He magnified what he was seeing on the viewport for everyone to examine. They saw flashes far into the night sky. Then they became more frequent and larger.

“Sir, we’re being hailed.” LuStongah said, “It’s Admiral Kora.”

Reddex finally sighed a relief…


Last edited by Red-X on Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:21 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Tried to fix alittle of the wording. And spotted some obvious misspelling in some areas)

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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Aardvark on Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:33 am

Sarus stood on the edge of the Shadow Stinger as the wind whipped by, biting into his robes and sending a chill up his spine, or perhaps it was merely the mass of pain and agony below that caused him such unease. He knew it had been hard for the commander to watch such death play out before him, to watch comrades and allies die for no other reason then a desire for freedom. It would be hard for anyone to watch, but it was another thing entirely to feel those shocked and confused souls as they took their last breaths. The Force Warrior looked to Aragorn, stoic, determined, and wondered how the man could tolerate such death as often as he did. All Force Sensitives felt death like this, but it was usually a sense of remorse, despair in particularly brutal cases and was easily shrugged off with proper training. This close to the battle though, it was like a hot blade piercing your heart before being twisted and ripped free with all the grace of a Trandoshan medic. To experience up close and personal so many times would drive many to madness, to the darkness that lurked inside every heart.

Perhaps he's already there, and you simply can't tell. The Chiss quickly shook off the notion, Aragorn, more than any other on this field knew what the darkside meant. He wouldn't make that mistake, he knew that it promised nothing but more pain, but still the thought nagged at him for a reason he could not discern.

"There it is," the Watchman pointed out.

Sarus watched as the cloud parted to reveal the shield installation. It was as the intel predicted, a two-story bunker with a pair of high powered turbolasers mounted on top, and a wide killzone dotted with much smaller anti-personnel turrets too numerous to count. There was also over a dozen mixed speeders and starfighters crashed in the buffer undoubtedly victims of the high-powered turbolasers on top.

"Approaching target," a voice boomed over the intercom.

"How do you want to do this?" Ara asked grabbing at his lightsaber.

"Hard and fast. It's too late for a stealth approach, and I don't have enough endurance for a methodical approach." The Chiss checked his equipment to ensure hit shotos and original lightsaber were still on him, "Those turrets are automatic so they'll look for motion and thermal anomalies to fire on. I can make a dust cloud to hide us, but I can only hide my own thermal signature, so you'll be on your own down there."

The Watchman inched forward and looked over the edge, "You mask me until we land and I can take care of the rest."

Sarus briefly considered asking how, but thought better of it, they didn't have time for a debate. "Alright you know how to Battle Meld?" The Jedi nodded, "Then let's get moving." Without another word the two stepped off the ramp and plummeted toward battle.

The two Jedi reached out for one another as they fell fusing their minds together, seeing through one another, feeling the weight a lightsaber, the jolt as wind armor settled into place, the swirling emotions blending and settling into an iron will. Without a word Sarus narrowed his profile, falling faster and pulling a cloak around them to hide their presence until the last moment. Transferring all the energy their impact would generate, focusing the soon-to-be power into a single point and landing on it.

The technique cushioned the fall, making the high drop survivable, and at the same time produced a concussive wave strong enough to shatter the ground and send a billowing clouding up into the air to settle over the entire killzone. Without missing a beat Aragorn sped off, giving himself a boost of speed to the nearest turret, igniting his blade and slicing the mount clean off slowing only as much as he needed to find the next and bolt off after it, repeating the process in a blur of motion. While the Force Warrior lifted the loose terrain up and began tossing it into every burst of electricity he felt, barely keeping, and multiple times losing, his Force Cloak, moments for which he was glad he had commandeered the beskargam he wore on his chest.

Come on Ara we don't need to get them all, just clear a path inside! Sarus sent through the meld.

Almost done.

Sarus felt a sudden jolt as a mass of agitated rage appeared to his Force senses. Well you better hurry, we've got company!

I feel it to, I'll be there as fast as I can. Why didn't you sense them before?

I'd like to know that too, he shot back igniting his shotos. It was a mystery, he had to limit his senses in battle, but even with limited senses they had appeared so close without warning. It was a mystery that would have to wait.

The Force Warrior dropped his cloak and began using the auto-turret's fire to his advantage, bouncing the incoming bolts into the mass of rage he felt closing in on him. To his gratification a number of the beings he had felt closing suddenly vanished, falling victim to the flurry of blaster bolts, but it was short lived gratification as the number of victims quickly slowed to a stop as the Crusaders took a more cautious approach. He'd bought himself some time and nothing more, luckily it was all he had been aiming to do.

Aragorn closed in quickly and caught the first two completely unawares as he separated their heads from their bodies. Before their bodies hit the dirt he was airborne, flipping overhead and launched a powerful Force Push at the gathered Crusaders, forcing them to deactivate their blades or risk injuring fellow comrades. A year ago they might have actually left the weapons on and sacrificed their allies, but with troops becoming more and more scarce they had no choice but to shut them down giving the two Jedi an opening to exploit. In perfect sync the two pounced, cutting, ducking, kicking, and pushing their way through the mass fo enemies.

Sarus rolled out hurling his shotos into the group, guiding them through those without the ability to deflect them while Aragorn performed a ballet of death, his lightsaber moving so fast it seemed at times to make a solid wall of light as he cut down those too weak or confused to properly guard themselves. The two met back to back, in the exact spot they had landed the dust now settled to reveal a scene of destruction and death. Only a trio of Crusaders remained, two Sith, and one former Mandalorian that had escaped death by virtue of being the only Crusader in armor thick enough to resist a lightsaber.

The Chiss eyed the three, the two Sith were both twi'lek, one male and female, both blue and both wielding dual blades. They were most likely siblings with a strong mutual bond and would be a tough duo to take down when working as a team. The Mandalorian was a mystery, fully suited he gave no indication of species or gender, but he(or at least he assumed it to be a he) was massive, easily two meters and carried a blaster rifle in each hand, not an easy feat given how much kickback the two weapons had. His orange armor had a pair of long gashes on his chest indicating he had taken the full brunt of two lightsabers and was still completely unharmed.

I'll take the Mando, Sarus sent through the meld, I don't think a lightsaber's gonna take him down.

Yeah and I don't figure you could beat these two without losing a limb or two.

Probably right, Sarus clipped the shotos back to his belt and pulled the full length lightsaber out, take this, it might even the odds a little.

Aragorn grabbed the weapon, hefted it once then flicked it on, adding the dark green blade to his blue-white, Thanks. Ready?

"It's time to kick ass," Sarus began, focusing energy.

"And chew bubble gum," Aragorn continued, tensing.

Aragorn and Sarus leapt into the air and cried in unison, "And we're all outta gum!"

--------------------------------------------

Aragorn came down bringing an overhead strike down on each Sith and putting all his strength into the attack, trying to keep them pinned. The two caught the blades in a cross guard easily blocking the attack, "Look how he struggles brother," the sister laughed, "he thinks he can win."

"I know, ludicrous is it not?" The brother returned, "but he has slain many of our comrades, I suppose we should take him seriously for now."

"Don't take me lightly Sith," Aragorn growled forcing himself to put even more pressure on the two, "I'm far stronger than you'll ever be."

"Let's test that shall we?" The brother said getting the Watchman's attention while his sister slide back and disengaged. Aragorn, his attention immediately drawn to the sudden action missed that kicked launched by the brother a second later causing him to recoil and attempt to strike back as the sister returned with a Force aided snap kick to the head, knocking the Jedi into what would have been a decapitating blow by the brother had he not rolled away at the last second.

Aragorn stumbled before finding his balance and turning to face the two Sith again, turning, as it turned out, just in time to duck a slash by the brother and block the follow-up by the sister, finally regaining some semblance of control shortly before having his feet swept out from under him by the brother and catching himself before the sister could finish him with a stab. Knowing that another attack would be right on his heels he threw a weak Force Push at the two, just strong enough to make them stand their ground and erect a defense, just long enough to give him a moment to think. Neither of them were particularly strong or skilled, but they knew how to work as a team and they had the Force bond to augment that training. If he had more time and energy left he could dispatch them both with Dual Soresu, but he doubted his senses would remain that sharp given how much energy he'd already expended in the battle.

Neither Sith felt like giving him the moment he needed either as the brother sent a bolt of Force Lightning at Aragorn, a bolt he was forced to take on his lightsaber, while the sister closed the distance and began swinging low, hoping to cut off his feet and make him easier prey. The Jedi sidestepped the lightning, blocked and spun bringing his second lightsaber down to take off the sister's arm and was blocked in turn by the sister's other lightsaber, the move not meant to be held, but only keep him still long enough for the brother to end the fight. Instead the Watchman relaxed his attack enough to slide off to the side and dodge the incoming slash, then spun to land a kick on the brother as he passed only to have his senses warned him just in time to avoid having his leg removed by the brother's second blade. Now off-balance he was left vulnerable as the sister launched up, her shoulder catching him in the gut and sending him tumbling back.

Still on his back he managed to get himself under control just in time to block a double overhead by the brother, rocking the man back and heaving him off with a kick before back-flipping out of the way of a slash from the sister and using the Force to carry him far enough away to give him plenty of warning before their next attack. He landed gracefully ten meters away, heaving and trying to catch his breath, he hadn't realized exactly how much the fight had taken out of him already and he could feel the strength ebbing from his body.

The Watchman wiped the sweat from his brow with the back of his hand and saw it was red, he had a cut on his head, most likely from the kick, that would soon impair his vision. I've got to finish this quickly, there has to be a way! But as far as he could tell there wasn't, he was weak and out-numbered with a running clock nagging at the back of his mind, there was simply no way for the Jedi to win. But you're not a Jedi, you were their robes and customs, but you know this is only a false skin you don to make penance for your guilty conscience. The Watchman shook the thought away, No, no! I'm a Jedi! I gave up the Sith because they brought nothing but despair, the power is a lie! The darkside doesn't make you stronger! He had always lost as a Sith, it was only when he had accepted the help of a Jedi that he'd begun to show true potential, he knew this was true, someone had died to show him this, and yet, If the power of the darkside is a lie, then why am I losing?

"Look brother he's scared, how quaint."

"Well sister he has much to be scared of, he's been confronted with true power after all."

The two laughed, reveling in his despair and torment, All right, you win, just this once...

-------------------------------------------------

Sarus jumped high and spun, adding as much speed to his body as he could and coming down foot extended in a powerful kick, one that would have dazed or even knocked out the Mando had it connected, but the man was either too smart, or too experienced with Jedi to fall for it and activated his jetpack at the last minute to send him hurtling back into blaster range.

The Mando opened fire the second the Force Warrior landing, sending an impressive volley of blaster fire his way. Sarus dodged, twisting, leaping, running and rolling to avoid the incoming fire only stopping once safely behind the wreckage of a downed land speeder. "All right, you want a long range battle, you got it." Finding the nearest debris, a hulled X-wing starfighter, he began feeding his Force tendrils into it, finding the cracks and weaknesses and yanking them apart, giving him an arsenal of debris to throw. "OK now where did you get-" he didn't have time to finish the sentence as he was forced to jump away by a thermal detonator incinerating his cover. He twisted around in air to locate the Mandalorian, now standing on one of the massive boulders the Chiss had knocked loose at the outset of the battle, and sent a large chunk of S-foil spinning his way. The debris demolished the boulder, sending chunks of rock all over the battlefield as well as a cloud of dust. Sarus landed a couple meters away, bringing a couple chunks of both rock and starfighter to him to serve as either shield or ammo and tried to locate his adversary. He knew the fight wouldn't end that quickly, the Mando would have flown away long before the wing hit.

The Force Warrior's danger sense went off giving him just enough time to bring one of the rocks around to intercept a wrist rocket. With a flick he sent a pair of smaller rocks in the direction the rocket had come from, but he neither heard not felt them hit. The Mando was using the dust cloud to his advantage, he knew the Jedi would be unable to sense him as fast as his helmet could detect the Chiss' heat signature.

Can't have that now can I? The Jedi expanded his Force senses, taking in the field as a whole, ground under his feet, the bunker to his right, the carnage all around, and most importantly the wind. There wasn't much of it, but it was still there, and as long as it was he could use it to his advantage. He let himself feel the currents, let them lift him up, let them begin forming around him, then seized them and twisted. The wind suddenly burst into a frenzy of activity as it grew from a breeze in gale force in a matter of seconds, blowing away the dust cloud, picking up pieces of turrets, lightsaber, and blasters from the battle and sweeping them up into a tornado.

Sarus opened his eyes and immediately spotted the Mando crouching behind a speeder, trying to keep himself from being blown away, "Found you." The Force Warrior threw his arms forward, directing the the wind and all the debris caught up in it at the speeder, ripping it from where it lay and exposing the Mando underneath. The man tried to bring his weapons to bare on the target, but found himself being battered by debris too hard to get a proper bead on the Jedi. Debris pummeled him gashing his armor, cracking his helmet, and a couple of lucky hits even managed to take out a blaster and his jetpack, the attack was working, slowly, but surely, problem was the Chiss was getting tired and beginning to lose focus, he wouldn't be able to keep it up much longer. The wind was already winding down, debris was falling long before it hit it's target and he could feel hit feet brushing the ground.

The Mandalorian took notice faster than the Jedi would have liked and he was forced to pull his shotos to deflect the blaster fire coming his way. He was losing power, much faster than he should, and a couple blaster bolts got through to his beskar, What's going on? I can barely feel the Force at all. It wasn't unusual for him to get weak after major exertions, but he'd always been able to feel the Force, it had never vanished just become harder to use as his concentration waned. This was different, like the Force was being driven away, like, Like I'm being tainted with the darkside. Most people viewed the Force as simply energy and powers as just tools that were neither light not dark, only tinged with the emotion of those who used them, of course those people tend to not be Force Sensitive because any Force user could immediately tell you that a Jedi would have a much harder time using the Force when surrounded by the dark side because it was not a power they were used to using. It was why Jedi never attempted to Battle Meld with Sith, because the cloud of the dark side would impair their ability to draw on the Force. But why was it happening now?

"You don't look so good Jedi," the Mando finally spoke, "need a rest?"

I don't have time to doubt myself, there's power there, it may not be entirely pure, but it's there and I don't have a choice, the Jedi launched a Force Push, hoping to give himself a few moment to think, but what emerged wasn't a Push, not in the sense he was used to, that of a hand sweeping his enemy away, but manifested instead in a fist, that hurled the Mando back a dozen meters into a crashed TIE. He hadn't been expecting the power a power, he recalled from Sith texts, was described as a Force Blast and could often kill non-Force Sensitives in a single hit. It wouldn't in this case, but it was still disturbing to not have full control over how the Force would manifest. He'd have to be careful, too much of this power could have unhealthy consequences on his psyche.

"Not bad Jedi," the Mando called as he hauled himself out of the wreckage, "but not good enough," he said leveling his blaster rifle at the Chiss and opening fire. Sarus reignited his shotos and began running using the blades only when a bolt got too close, which was more often then he liked. He spotted a speeder bike not far off and grabbed at it with the Force, cringing at the sound of tearing metal as the power was over-amplified and crushed the bike. He knew this was a fight to the death, but he still couldn't help but be glad he hadn't tried to grab the Mando, no one deserved to die like that. Brushing the thought away he tossed the speeder at the Mando, forcing him to duck or risk losing a head, which gave him just enough time to close the distance between them. By the time he arrived the Mandalorian was already recovered and bringing his rifle to bear once again. With an added burst of speed the Force Warrior ducked the first shot, grabbed the rifle and landed a Force Kick to the man's stomach loosening his grip on the blaster rifle and allowing Sarus to bring the butt squarely under his jaw knocking him back further and mangling the rifle beyond repair. "Not smart Jedi," the Mando punched his chest, putting all his weight behind the crush gauntlet, the Force Warrior rolled with the impact, but even with the Force he felt a rib break, "I'm only a mediocre shot, but I'm a great fighter."

Sarus staggered back before regaining his footing, "Good, so you'll have no excuses when I put my fist throgh your skull." He tensed, pulling his arms closer to him, but leaving them fully extended, mimicking an old Echani style meant to take advantage of larger and more aggressive opponents, and cringed inside as his broken rib shifted out of place. He couldn't afford to show any sign of weakness, a fist fight was as much psychological as it was physical. Show your opponent any weakness, any opening, and they would focus on that solely. Some considered this dirty, but as any fighter would tell them, in a fight to death there is no such thing as 'fighting dirty'.

The Mandalorian struck first, feinting right and jabbing left in a move meant to expose his flank for a hit that would hit the rib cage, the one place he knew he'd done damage. Sarus pretended to fall for the faint, then used his right arm to guide the attack around his back, putting him in prime position to deliver an uppercut with his own crash gauntlet. The Mando saw the move coming and rolled with the blow, trapping the Force Warrior as they fell and heaving him off when he had enough leverage. The Jedi rolled with the throw, came up and delivered a drop kick at where the Mando had been, the move was never meant to hit, only drive him away so he couldn't strike the Chiss' flank. The man did as expected, getting his feet under him, then immediately launched into a tackle, to drive him off his feet. Sarus rolled away, coming up on his knee and lashing out with another kick, to knock the Mandalorian off-balance, a tactic the man had already anticipated as the Jedi leg was quickly grabbed and twisted to break the limb. Realizing the error Sarus literally rolled with twist and kicked out with his other foot, forcing the Mando to release. Not trusting the man to stay down for more then a second he heaved himself into a back-flip and back onto his feet.

Realizing that a passive style was less likely to work on a trained and fully armored opponent, Sarus switched over to a more aggressive style and lashed out with a Force-aided palm strike to the Mandalorian's helmet. Whether due to luck or his opponents own exhaustion he landed the blow, cracking the visor and denting the front of the helmet. Pressing the advantage he delivered a round house kick to the side of the man's head, keeping the momentum after the blow and focusing the Force into his eyes and left hand, hoping to open up an even bigger advantage, the Shatterpoint. The move was the true reason he had decided to fight the Mandalorian instead of letting Aragorn fight him, beskar armor was virtually impenetrable, even for lightsabers and high-powered blasters. If a Mando had a set of this armor on he was virtually impervious to any kind of infantry-based weapons short of a thermal detonator, even Jedi were hard pressed in such a battle. But there was one way to get around it, destroy the armor, and there was one Force technique he could use to do that, the Shatterpoint. The only problem was that while Sarus had been taught the move, he had a hard time actually performing it, the technique was very sensitive to emotional fluxes and required a lot of concentration. In the end he could only perform it when calm and only in a very limited field of vision, like an armor chest place.

Sarus, looked at his target and saw, his inner eye opened to the veins, flaws, and imperfections in the armor, there weren't many, only one large enough to truly break the armor. He adjusted his aim, the entirety of the technique having taken place in a fraction of a second, and struck, fist open, on and then through the armor. He grabbed the body suite under the armor to arrest the man's fall and delivered a knee to his gut, doubling him over, and bringing a double hammer fist down on the man's spine, flattening him. "I'd suggest you stay down, I didn't put enough force behind that to break your spine, but you're still in no condition to fight."

"Alright Jedi, you win," the Mando pushed himself over onto his back and cringed, "no more fighting for me today. The crazy bastard's not worth dying for."

Sarus nodded and began walking away, trying to figure out where Aragorn had gotten to in the chaos of combat. He tried entering the Force to find his friend and was taken aback as the dark side began to flow into him. He had forgotten in the heat of battle that he was still unable to call on the lightside of the Force, while in battle he had protected himself as best he could, but now that his defenses were down he was again feeling the fully brunt of the dark energy. And again he was left with the question of why: Why was he unable to draw on the Force properly? What was blocking him? His own emotions were stable and he hadn't sensed any immense dark power earlier, so why now all of a sudden? He reached out for Aragorn through the meld hoping his ally could shed some light on the situation... and was immediately met with a wall hatred and corruption that threatened to pull him in. He fell to the ground crying out in, to his surprise, actual pain as the dark side crept into his soul and threatened to take over. He tried to pull away, tried to free himself, but his forced use of the dark side earlier had left him vulnerable to it and he found himself losing ground despite his best efforts. With the imminent threat of the dark side, he was left with no other alternative and forcibly severed the Battle Meld.

Immediately the Force Warrior felt relief as the tendrils of dark side power withered and died as he began taking in the power of the light side once again. He was grateful for the power, but was now worried for his friend, the Force Bond might have been the only thing slowing the progress of the dark side in him. He needed to get Ara before it was too late, hopefully his renewed light side energy would be enough to pull the Watchman back from the brink. Sarus settled back into the Force, sensing his environment properly once again, establishing his senses once again and barely had time to duck the blaster bolt aimed at his back. As he rolled to his feet he instinctively yanked a shoto from his belt and tossed it at the source, impaling the Mandalorian through the heart. The man had apparently been hiding a holdout blaster and just waiting for the right moment to use it. He shook his head as he stood and went to retrieve the blade, the Mando had to have known the move was unlikely to work, but he saw a moment of weakness and his forced loyalty to the Crusaders compelled him to attack. Another reminder that as long as Dusk was in power, there was no hope for any of them.

The Force Warrior deactivated the blade and turned his attention to locating Aragorn. Finding a mixed Force energy coming from nearly a hundred meter away he set off with as much speed as he could muster. It might be too late for the Mandaloian, but there was still one person he could help.

-------------------------------------------------

The sibling's laughter continued for a few more seconds, both eager to flaunt their power, and not realizing the power welling up inside the Jedi, the dark power, until it was too late. The first to stop laughing was the brother, his turned into a scream as he realized his arms were lying on the ground in front of him, and that the Jedi they had been laughing at was behind him and tightening an invisible noose around his neck.

"Brother!" The sister yelled as she swung wildly at the Jedi making him drop the Sith and deal with the more immediate threat, "You'll die for that Jedi scum!" She yelled, rage flowing out of her as she locked her blades with the Jedi's. A crackle rose from the woman as she began shoving Force Lightning into her lightsabers causing them to arc and strike at the Watchman. Aragorn spun away catching the energy with the skill of a master and throwing it back along the blade at the sister who, unprepared for the attack, got blasted back through the air, hurt but still alive.

Before the Jedi could follow up the attack he felt a grip tightening on his body and turned to see the brother gesturing with his stumps, futilely trying to win the battle. Aragorn smiled, "I told you didn't I," he said effortlessly breaking the Sith's grip, "but you wouldn't listen, and now you're gonna pay." With a flick of his wrist he sent Sarus' lightsaber spinning throw the brother's legs, cutting off any attempt at escape the man might have had. "You pushed and pushed goading me, worse toying with me," he crouched down and picked the Sith up by the collar, all fight had left the brother's face to be replace by pure terror, "all the while thinking that small glimpse of power was all you needed. You were wrong, and just as your Sith Master would, I will hand down the only punishment suitable for such a failure." Aragorn reached out, recalling the now inactive lightsaber to his hand, pushed it up to the brother's temple, and ignited the blade, the dark green of the ignited blade instantly lobotomizing the young Sith.

"NO!" The sister cried drawing the Watchman's attention. In shock and grief the sister had charged him, putting all her focus and power into a burst of speed that closed the distance between them almost too quickly for the Jedi to react, almost.

Aragorn caught her attack and deflected it down and away, opening her up for an elbow to the face, "What's wrong Sith, I thought you hated weakness?" He slowly approached the woman as she gathered herself together, "The weak are ruled by the strong, isn't that what your Sith philosophy says?" The woman charged back in swinging wildly back and forth, all skill gone replaced by blind grief and rage making the attacks so incredibly predictable that the Watchman had no need to block them at all, "He was weak," he grabbed her arm and twisted making her lose her grip on her lightsaber, "you are weak," with little effort he brought a powerful knee into her gut causing her to lose control of her other blade and double over in pain, "I am strong," he pulled her up to his face, "so your options are clear: you have none." He tossed the sister to the ground, "The strong decide the fate of the weak, that is what you believe when you pick up that power, and who am I to tell you what to believe? So," Aragorn pointed the tip of his blade under her chin, "what should I do with you Sith?"

"Screw you!"

"My thoughts exactly!" the Jedi smiled as he sent lightning coursing through the young woman's body, causing her excruciating pain, but stopping just short of killing her, "How much can you take Sith? How long can you resist before you succumb to the darkness?" He watched her writhe on the ground, reveling in her pain as the twins had reveled in his. It was balance, it was fair, it was right. They deserved nothing better than this, they had condemned who knew how many other to this same exact fate, it was poetic to have it dealt to them in turn.

"Ara!" Someone yelled behind him, he didn't know who it was, and he didn't care, he was dishing out justice, not a person on the planet would stop him, what he was doing was right! She deserved it! There was no harm in it, and who wouldn't enjoy it, who didn't like seeing a nasty little schutta get what she deserved? And who was to say this was wrong? She was stupid enough to pick a fight with him and he beat her fair and square, she was at his mercy, and he had decided her fate, she would have done the same! "Ara!" That stupid voice again, couldn't they see he was busy? He didn't come to their executions and bug them did he? "Ara!" As the voice cried out again he felt his hand being pulled away. NO! What were they doing? Didn't they know who she was, what she'd done? He had to stop them!

"Hands off!" The Watchman pushed them off, turning his Lightning on the intruder and recognized too late that the person who had been calling his name was Sarus. Immediately he let up, recoiling in horror at what he had just done, at the last few minutes as a whole. What had he been thinking? He ran to the downed Force Warrior lying motionless on the ground, afraid of what he would find when he checked the man over. He got on his knees, immediately taking note that the man's eyes were closed and cursing the chest plate that stopped him from seeing if the man was still breathing, "Please don't be dead," he mumbled to himself as he checked for a pulse. To his relief there was a pulse, a strong one, and he was beginning to move slowly.

"Owwww," the Chiss moaned as his eyes flickered open, "that could have gone better." He heaved himself to a sitting position with Aragorn's help, "Can you do me a favor and not do that again?"

"I'm so sorry," Ara said sincerely, "I don't know what came over me." That was a lie of course, he knew exactly what had happened, he had given into the dark side in a desperate attempt to win and it had granted his request, at a cost, "Good thing your armor absorbed most of the impact." The Force Warrior nodded and checked his breast plate for marks. What had really disturbed the Watchman was that he hadn't thought anything he did was evil or malicious while he was doing it. It had all seemed natural, logical, not dark at all, he had almost lost himself and his ally to the power. But I didn't, I pulled back once, I can do it again, and now that I know what to look for, maybe I can use it to win this war! The possibility excited him, the dark side held a lot of power, if he could just properly balance his morality he could become much more powerful and end this war before more people got hurt.

"What happened to you?" Sarus asked, snapping him out of his revere.

I can't tell him, he won't believe me. "I think they must have used a mind trick, try to make me go insane," he lied the words coming to him as if he had rehearsed it for hours, "I guess they got more then they bargained for." He shrugged and smiled, hoping his ally would be too tired or rattled to press the issue.

"Well whatever happened you seem alright now." The Chiss stood slowly testing his muscles, "And I seem to be none the worse for wear, so I suppose no harm no foul." He looked Ara in the eye, "You OK to go on?"

Aragorn nodded happy to get back on track, "Looks like we have a clear path to the bunker. Can you sense anyone waiting for us?"

Sarus closed his eyes and extended his senses, "No, which is odd. You'd think they'd have at least something guarding the door."

"Given how many people came out to 'greet' use I'm not surprised."

"No you don't understand, I sense nothing. No people, no droids, not even a simple security lock."

"Maybe they didn't think anyone could ever get this far, and if they did nothing inside could stop them."

"Maybe..." Sarus said, but the Watchman could sense the unease he felt, in truth Ara didn't like it either.

"No way to tell until we get there," Ara said heading towards the door.

"Alright, but keep your guard up," Sarus reluctantly agreed, unclipping his shotos once again. The two made their way quickly and quietly up to the bunker door taking up position on either side. Sarus extended his senses again, but to no avail, "I've got nothing."

"Alright, we'll blow the door, I'll go in first to deflect any potential fire, you follow me when I call OK?" The Watchman grabbed a small disc-shaped thermal detonator from his belt, a gift from one of the resistance fighters, a resistance fighter, he was reminded, that was probably dead now. He gave a silent thanks to the man and slapped it on the door.

The explosive power of the small device was impressive. It was shaped to explode only in the direction it was placed, but it still gave off energy to incinerate anyone that might have been standing near the door. Aragorn jumped through the door frame and into the smoke filled corridor, immediately taking in several things at once. He noted that the corridor was lined with a heavy durasteel plate that would resist lightsabers and deflect blaster fire, making it ideal for bottle-necking intruders, that there were no doors only a corner leading into another corridor on both ends, that both ends were not only manned with Crusader, but Crusaders with high-powered rapid fire turret emplacements, and that he had suddenly lost his ability to use the Force.

Panic almost seized the Watchman, but his training took over before he could do anything. Moving with the grace of a practiced acrobat he continued his role into a jump, placed his feet on the wall, and jumping again forcing him back out the door just before the corridor was filled with blaster fire.

"What happened?" Sarus asked confused at both the sudden blaster fire and why he couldn't sense anything, "I lost track of you for a second."

Aragorn took cover on the other side of the frame to avoid the ricochets, "We've got a problem. That hallway is lined with ysalamiri."

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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Red-X on Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:36 am

“I noticed the shields are still up…”

“I tried to warn you, Admiral.” Reddex said still watching the rest of Kora’s fleet entering the system.

“Have you made any attempts after the blackout?”

“We just dropped off two Jedi into the compound.”

“You’re trying to make us laugh?” General Vos stepped into view.

“Don’t you have some place else to be?” Reddex scolded.

The whiphid smirked a little, “I knew this mission was going to fail from the start.”

Vos was standing alittle back to the side of Admiral Kora. His arms folded behind his back. Starring straight at Reddex. Something was off about his glance.

“Then explain yourself.” Reddex asked now paying attention to him.

“Of course.” The General revealed a blaster from behind and shot Kora in the back; too fast for Kora to reach for his saber. The Admiral dropped to the floor. “You will die along with everyone who fights against the Dark One. This foolish rebellion is finished.” The whiphid shot the holo-projector, ending the signal.

Briggs was already throttling up as Reddex bellowed, “GET US TO KORA NOW!” He was still staring at the viewport when the screen reverted back to normal.

“This is not good.” Ptolemy said bracing himself as the Shadow’s decks rumbled, accelerating through Muunilinst’s night sky.

The Shadow Stinger shook on its rapid ascension. The sonic boom of its velocity echoed though out the land below. The boom caused buildings to rattle; a towering office building that was heavily damaged broke apart and collapsed.

“He must be the spy that caused our disarray.” Dray said.

“I sense there’s more to him, than meets the eye.” Ptolemy said in deep focus, “Something big.”

Clearing the atmosphere, the Shadow entered right into the thick of a space battle. Predator star fighters zipped back n forth shooting at each other. The blockade near Mariunhus had been scattered from the 3rd Fleets aggressive push; attempting to open a hole.

“Take the cloak off, we don’t want to be struck by any collisions.” Dray said holding onto the command chair.

“I wouldn’t want that at all.” Briggs said, trying to maneuver the Shadow around the battle zone.

“I need to know whose friendlies out here!” Reddex said, seeing that both parties were using Predator class TIE-Fighters.

“Sir,” Bezz called out, “The Intrepid just sent us designators for their fleet. Putting them on now.”

“Sol, if any of those bastards take even a glance at us, blast them to hell.” Reddex said, wincing momentarily at near explosions across their path.

“Aye, aye sir!”

On the viewport, the fighters were shown with their tags as they passed by. Kora had managed to bring a decent sized battle group without knowing what to expect. And they were doing just fine. One of his squadrons plowed through a frigate blocking the Shadows path towards the Intrepid. Muunlinsts gravitational pull grabbed hold of the flaming cruiser and began to take it down. All hands on board. Other crafts too damaged to get away were followed by the same fate. Some of the escape pods were blown only minutes after they launched. Admiral Kora wasn’t risking any survivors.

As the Shadow crossed over the frigate, the squadron waved their wings and veered back into the fray. Leaving the Shadow a straight shot at the Intrepid and its surrounding protection of mid-class Star Destroyers. As they approached, the Kora's ship was actually a Pellaeon-class Star Destroyer. More than twice the size of its protecting vessels. A crusader battle ship had already begun a broadside strafing run while the Shadow rose into the belly of the beast, through its mag field.

The hanger itself was in disarray as if a battle itself was held inside. Blaster scarring lined the walls and docking ports for the Predators. A few bodies were being carried away by medical teams. “This couldn’t have been from the cruiser outside.” Reddex thought, surveying the area. On the far side, Kora limped out into the hanger watching the Shadow touch down; his red chest plate was off. A medical droid was with him trying to slow the Imperial Knight’s brisk wounded walk. “I thought you were dead, Admiral.” Reddex said running up to him with Ptolemy, Rokk, and Dray.

“My armor took most of the damage. Forgot what it felt like getting shot. Especially at close range…” Kora’s medical droid added more pressure on the wound. Continuing to add fresh bacta bandages.

“Is the spy still on board?” Rokk asked, looking around.

“He got away. Him and his group, by the way, they were most of my bridge crew, fought their way out. Everyone that stood in their way, was mowed down; a complete surprise attack.” Kora said resting on a crate. “They managed to make it to the escape pods and flew away.”

“Where could he possibly go?” Ptolemy questioned.

“We tracked their trajectory. They headed straight for the shielded foundry.” Kora shook his head. “After Vos had shot me, he said something bad was soon going to happen. Well,” Kora pointed at his wound,” I figured that was worse enough…”

Reddex looked to Ptolemy, “Any ideas?”

“I’m not sure…Dusk seems to like pulling surprises.” Ptolemy turned to walk back towards the Shadow. “And I feel we need to head back. Urgent.”

Within moments, the Shadow dropped out of the hanger. As the ship turned around, not too far out, a dark grey Star Destroyer came out of hyperspace. Followed by more familiar friendly frigates and cruisers; it was Thing. Squadrons of TwinTail star fighters streaked in heading to help Kora.

“Sorry for the wait, my friends.” Things voice said through the bridge. “I’ll have one of my squadrons make you a hole through that mess.”

“Much appreciated, Thing.” Reddex said, but then he caught something. “Wait, you said one?”

“Yes. One.”

Reddex looked at Dray and Ptolemy for answers. They shrugged. The TwinTails zipped by waving their wings; some even saluted. “They’ll be there soon.” Thing said.

As the Shadow shot for Muunilinst they were greeted by Predators from both sides still going at it. Cruisers on both sides shared casualties as they became large fireballs while the Shadow streaked by. With the added assistance from Thing, Kora’s fleet held equally in terms with the crusaders. 2 squadrons of TwinTails appeared in front of the Shadow and guided them through storms of enemy Predators.

“Must hurry.” Ptolemy said a little worried. “Aragorn and Sarus are in trouble.”

“Hard to maneuver around this warzone.” Briggs called out. The pilot dipped hard beneath a pack of Predators on a kamikaze run. A few of them collided head on with the protecting TwinTails. After minutes of close calls and sudden turns, the squadrons dispersed, to join back with their allies. From behind 8 new star fighters came over and took the lead in front of the Shadow. Reddex took a moment to look at the crafts. Then he whistled to himself…

“They aint that special…” Rokk said folding her arms looking slightly annoyed.

“Hey, I haven’t seen those in a while. Most of the fleets don’t even own them yet.”

“That’s not what I was talking about…you know who they are.” Rokk said irritated raising an eyebrow at Reddex.

The star fighters just happen to be CF9 CrossFire’s. The shot bulky fighters remained in a perfect loose formation on full throttle just to keep pace in front of the Shadow. Their four S-foils were kept in attack positions, just in case there were brought into another firefight. The pilots sat in the far back of the craft, giving the individual more of a view. But it did look cramped…

“This is Rogue 10. Where exactly are we taking you?” A female voice crackled though the bridge.

Reddex accessed his data pad and transmitted the coordinates. The squadron immediately adjusted their headings without a beat. Traveling into the atmosphere, they could see smoke trailing high and thick from Mariunhas. The fires in the City and mountains were still visible as they got closer. The crusaders haven’t even slowed their assault.

The tight group of star ships veered into a mountain range, following a valley at low altitude. Slowly the valley sloped up into the large rocky side that was being mined. The auto turrets that were stationed along the perimeter of the compound were destroyed and smoldering.

“Set us down Briggs.” Reddex started for the turbolift. “ We’ll be going on foot.”

Once the Shadow touched down, Rogue Squadron landed ; four on each side. The back S-Foil rotated horizontal to let the craft land. The pilots waited inside their cockpits while they watched Dray, Ptolemy, Rokk, and Reddex approach the foundry.

Walking up to the high walls of the compound, Ptolemy brought up his staff with the Force and watched as it became two separate hilts. The blades activated and dug themselves into the wall. Slowly they started to form a circle. While Dray and Reddex watched the man work, Rokk saw a hatch not too far away. She looked back at the slow process Ptolemy was going through, then at the hatch once more. It wasn’t long before she made up her mind…

“We don’t really have a lot of time.” Dray said leaning up against the wall.

“Would you rather climb and leave our friends behind?” Ptolemy said eyes closed.

Reddex gave Dray a glance, “Hmph.”

“Just saying.” Dray kicked a pebble for the sake of it.

Ptolemy was half way through when he felt something. He opened his eyes, “What is she doing?”

Reddex looked behind himself to see Rokk was gone. Dray got off the wall and looked in her direction. “Good question.”

Rokk was running her hand along the hatch and looking at it in different angles; looking for a way to open it. At night, her eye sight was somewhat bad. Then, she felt the handle she was searching for. She started to pull…

“WAIT, STOP!” Dray and Ptolemy yelled running after her.

Rokk flung the hatch open, initiating an alarm; echoing across the entire complex. Everyone expected a barrage of blaster fire colliding into Rokk at any moment. But there was none. “It’s…empty.” Rokk said stepping through the hatch.

“Commander, everything OK?” a woman voice asked through Reddex’s ear piece.

The alarms continued to wail and nothing came to halt them. No one fired a single shot, no one yelling or running towards them. The group took cautious steps into the dark compound expecting the worst. They could see lifeless crusaders on the watch towers near the auto turrets.
Reddex forgot about the pilot due to the eeriness of their surroundings. Then he saw a body lying out in the open. It didn’t look right, “its ok, this place is deserted.”

The commander nearly tripped on something stiff while walking to the body. He looked down to see a pair of severed arms; the wounds cauterized. Dray on the other hand, was inspecting a pair of severed legs closer to the body.

“Sith.” Ptolemy said looking at a head all by itself; the face giving him a fixed stare. “This mystery continues to get worse.”

“Over there,” Rokk pointed, “Two more.”

Taking a look at one of the bodies, it looked like the person was burned alive. The features were charred away. The clothes burned into the black flaked skin.

“How could someone get like this? It’s like the person was put into a blast furnace.” Reddex said kneeling next to the body. He reached down to feel the skin and his hand was quickly slapped away by Rokk.

“Seriously?”

“Was only curious…”

Ptolemy approached walking with his staff, “These aren’t ordinary burns. The dark side was used to kill this person.”

“Meaning?”

“Well…Let’s just say it was a very, very painful way to die.” Dray said looking over at Reddex and Rokk.

Then suddenly the body vaporized into red clouds and dispersed; the other followed suit. Dray was about to explain what just happen but Reddex cut him off, “Don’t bother.”

Not far into of the shield bunker, laid the third body. A being completely covered in what looked to be Beskar armor. The familiar T-Shaped visor on the helmet was crushed in. The armor itself was beaten severely. Two holes were seen going straight through its chest plate. One looked deliberately forced, the other a small cleaner approach to where it’s heart should be. “I don’t recall Mandalore taking sides with Dusk.” Reddex thought out loud.

“I don’t think Mandalore would use his Mando’ade in this war. Smarter to protect his planet with every man, woman and child on guard.” Ptolemy knelt down beside the figure and touched the helmet for a moment.

Reddex took a gander into the sky watching the two stationed cruisers. He wondered if the ships had been monitoring them this whole time; if it was a trap.

“…They’re…Holding his family hostage.” Ptolemy stood back up onto his staff. “This man was forced to do this.”

“His family may already be dead.” Dray said spotting the bunker Aragorn and Sarus were supposed to destroy. The doors were blown clean away. Walking into the bunker, Dray ignited his blade and led the group down a long corridor. Blaster and saber scarring lined the walls. Some pieces of the floor where sliced into, revealing cages with some type of creature inside; dead. Reddex had never seen such a species in his life. Crusaders were laid about in heaps, with limbs missing or long slash marks across their body. Turrets on the far side were cut to shreds.

Reddex held onto Rokk’s hand, guiding her through the barely lit corridor, due to her eye sight. Dray approached a blast door with a large man-made hole cut into it. Leading into what looked like a turbolift, a body was on the ground against the wall sitting next to three lightsaber hilts. Ptolemy easily identified them on the spot. He snatched them up with the Force and brought them in for a closer look. He frowned…

“What’s wrong?” Rokk asked confused.

“We would have felt it, Ptolmey.” Dray calmy said looking at the hilts as well. “We’ll find them.” He located the panel for the turbolift and activated it. The room descended for a couple of minutes, while the lights flickered above. Once the elevator slowed to a stop, the doors creaked open; revealing a giant steel tunnel. Standing in-between them was a bridge crossing a wide void. Abandon equipment laid around. To the far right, was another tunnel leading off somewhere.

“I thought this was supposed to be a shield bunker?” Dray put out, stepping towards the bridge looking down to spot anything. “It’s just an abyss.”

“Maybe we should go down there.” Reddex pointed to the large opening. “I see foot prints leading that way.

Nearing the tunnel, a sled was shown parked on tracks leading down into the black hole. The car held a good sized amount of passengers and was able to be piloted from the front and the back. Some crates were still loaded onto the thing. Climbing aboard, Dray sat at the controls and powered up. Soon they were sliding along a straight track through the tunnel. Throughout the ride, echoes of machinery slowly grew louder. The tunnel itself vibrated, along with steady wave of rising heat. Large vents spewed some type of gas; none of them knew where it was coming from. For miles the sled went down in almost utter darkness, thanks to the barely working head lights. Then finally the tunnel leveled out and the exit was visible. Cruising to a halt inside of a cave, they saw what seemed to have been an aftermath of another battle.

Walking away from the sled, Muuns shackled in chains had blaster wounds all over. Some holding shovels and extinguished flame torches. A few Crusader’s burnt corpses laid slung across destroyed turrets or against skiffs still loaded with boxed goods. No one was alive. Everything still smelled fresh as if it had only moments before.

“I…Don’t understand.” Rokk said looking at the carnage.

“At least we know where the Crusaders were taking Mariunhus civilians.” Ptolemy said.

Another heat wave came through the cave like a blistering wind, “Why does that smell familiar.” Reddex said. He took several whiffs noticing it was fumes from sublight-drives. What was down here?

Following the source of the heat wave, this took them through numerous caverns. Every few turns they came across deserted checkpoints. The watchtowers were bare and the gates were left wide open. Everything was thrown about as if the occupants left in a hurry. Just then, a large sound of a screech echoed through the cave, following a massive thud. Shaking the ground beneath their feet, causing everyone to go off balance. A few rocks overhead fell to the ground, as the group ran in search of the disturbance. The lights above started making sounds like their power was being drawn away. Some of the wires running along the wall burst into flames.

Reddex was beginning to recognize the sound of engines, now howling at them in a deafening roar. Running around a bend, they came to cavern so large, multiple mega cities could exist within. Massive steel columns stood around the perimeter of the cavern supporting the ceiling. Large gusts of dirt blew up from the cliff edge in front of the group. With each gust, the heat collided with them. Together they carefully approached the safety rail and peered down. Miles below, they could see….

“…a ship…” Reddex said with awe.

Thousands of wielders were along the behemoths hull, piecing in last minute bolts. Large cranes continued carrying cargo into the ships massive hanger bays. Machines transporting hundreds of Predators on racks rolled in and disappeared. Containers the size of office buildings were slowly brought in on conveyor belts, escorted by Muuns and Crusaders. The ship was nearly ready to launch.

Not to far away, they saw another turbolift that could take them down all the way to the ship. No one was around to stop their advance…But someone was having doubts. “Are we sure we want to do this?” Ptolemy looked around everyone.

Rokk shook her head, “We can’t fight that thing with just blasters and…swords.” She took a step back. “I’m in no mood for a suicide attempt.”

“I agree. Let’s-“Reddex immediately froze up and fell onto his knees yelling. Clenching his head with both hands, he was losing sight of his surroundings. It felt like something was forcing itself into his mind. It felt as if someone was ripping his soul out of his body. The pain was excruciating. Suddenly, he lost consciousness for what felt like mere minutes. When he opened his eyes, he was engulfed in pitch black. He looked around wondering where he was; lost. Then he saw a body on the ground. It was his. Not far away, Reddex could see Dray, Ptolemy, and Rokk; who had a horrified expression, looking at his body.

White smoke was pooling off , what Reddex believed to be a doppelganger of himself, as it gathered and rose onto its feet. Whoever took his body had complete control. It dusted off dirt on the uniform and turned to face its audience. Reddex saw Rokk gasp, but he couldn’t hear her. The mirror image of Reddex’s face looked like it had aged many years. Its eyes surrounded by heavy shadow. The iris’s…a bright red and yellow. Veins were seen running along its pale face. Then it spoke…

“It’s nice to see my old friends again…” The imposter grinned. “I have to admit, was surprised how fast you fools found my little secret.”
Reddex looked towards Dray, Ptolemy and Rokk. He watched one of their mouths move, but he still couldn’t hear them.

“Oh…Don’t worry. He’s fine.” The imposter laughed. “There are more important things to care about right now. You see, this place wasn’t meant to be found. I surely do have you,” It looked to Ptolemy, “to blame. You all will be dead before this day is through anyway. Which I’m very pleased to announce.”

The Commander felt like he was in limbo. Or was it limbo? He watched Ptolemy respond to the speaker’s words.

“You people just don’t understand. I’m trying to SAVE the galaxy! This is the only way it can be done. I’ve seen visions, you know. Once Daedalus is free, it will end all wars. It will end this foolish belief in democracy and it will be an end to the Jedi. In order to ensure the galaxy’s protection and continuing stability, I’ll organize my own Empire. An Empire that will last thousands of years under my reign…” He laughed menacingly. “You saw how weak this galaxy is with your laws, structure…and philosophy. Look at how many worlds turned their loyalty to me, once I crushed their armies.” It pointed all around the cavern, “Pathetic.”

Now Dray and Ptolemy seemed to be yelling. The imposter remained undisturbed and continued to grin. It shook its head for a moment and sighed.

“Your two pals are still alive, by the way; for now. But, I do have no need for Mr. Cloud. His death will be…pleasing.” The imposter took steps towards Ptolemy. “And I do have something special for your son. Me and Aragorn are going to have one hell of a time…”

Without a split sign of hesitation, Ptolemy shot out his hand, sending a large Force wave at Reddex’s body. The imposter was hurled meters away at alarming speeds, crashing and skidding into the ground. Reddex felt a piercing pain in his arm, as if it was broken. The elder, yet nimble Jedi broke into a charge. His staff, already split in two, were spinning around like saw-blades; buzzing. Before he could reach the imposter, Dray managed to hold Ptolemy back, with almost all of his strength. Reddex could see Dray was yelling at him.

The commander could feel his arm throbbing with pain, and then it went numb. He looked at the imposter and watched it simply stand up. The arm on its body was clearly dislocated. The imposter grabbed hold of his arm with its other hand and slammed it back into place. Another shot of pain, even worse, shot up Reddex’s arm. He caught Dray’s look as he held Ptolemy, which was directly at him. Did he see him?

“Keep in mind, my dear friend. I’m not physically here. So…Feel free to hurt me some more. I’m sure the Commander won’t mind.” The imposter looked at Reddex and smiled as it walked back over. “I’ll be nice for now and simply ask for you to run. Once this is all over, I’ll save you folks for last. At least you have front row seats to the end of the galaxy. Farewell.” The imposter reached down to grab Reddex’s westars…

Everything slowed down for Reddex as he ran towards the imposter to save himself. Right after Reddex began to run, Dray was beginning his bolt. The imposter was half way up to its head with the gun. The commander wasn’t about to let the pain in his arm slow him down. He collided with his body with enough force to knock them down together. The westar flipped away across the ground, while Reddex was already sinking his way back into his body. But whoever was inside wasn’t making it easy…

“Give back what’s mine!” Reddex shouted. He could see the individual’s face, and he struck as many fists as he could. The intruder struggled to remain in control. Dray, Ptolemy, and Rokk watched Reddex’s body writhe around on the ground, garbling out words. Sensing what was really going on, Dray held down the body with Ptolemy’s help. Once they held the body firm, Ptolemy planted his fingers on Reddex’s forehead and began speaking in hush tones.

“I was there, you know! When I killed your mother and father! Everyone you cared about on that pathetic planet burned thanks to me! They were weak, just like you!” The imposter’s voiced shouted.

SHUT UP!” Reddex yelled back.

Ptolemy slowly began to raise his hand away from the body’s forehead. Dark tendrils were latched to his fingers as he pulled away. They could see something merging into Reddex’s body, while more tendrils came out. Dray and Ptolemy could hear Dusk’s and Reddex’s shouts as they were being separated. With one final tug, Ptolemy flung his hand up, pulling the darkness completely out of Reddex’s body. The tendrils shot straight for the caverns ceiling and through; disappearing.

Abruptly everything shook worse than it did when they all ventured down into the caves. Down below, the Daedalus’ engines came to full power. The walls around them began to crumble. The heat and gusts became more powerful...But Reddex wasn’t moving.

We need you!” What felt like a far off voice, resonated through the Commander’s mind. It sounded familiar to him…

Commander!” There it was again…Reddex could barely make it out...

Wake up Red!” A woman? Reddex stirred for a second. Trying to move, but it felt like he was chained.

Then like a blaring siren, “COMMANDER!” The voice shot all around his head. He felt his body coming back to him, along with his strength. His eyes shot open and he inhaled oxygen as if he was just born. What was happening around him sparked his adrenalin. He could feel Rokk’s arms around him. He could see the cavern crumbling all around them, yet Rokk looked him in the eyes and stayed calm, “Are you all right?”

“What…happened to me…”Reddex wearily said. The pain in his arm was still mildly hurting. But he knew it was going to burn more later on.

“Now is definitely not the time, let’s get out of here!” Dray shouted.

Rokk helped Reddex to his feet and aided him in running with Dray and Ptolemy all the way back to the sled as everything came down around them. Once inside, Dray noticed the power was gone. Staying calm he searched the panel for an emergency switch. He kicked the button with his boot, breaking the glass and punched it. Rockets, underneath the sled ignited, propelling them back up into the tunnel. Rokk turned to Reddex as she sat with him, “You were saying things. But…it wasn’t your voice. It was like you were possessed.”

“From a certain point of view, yes.” Ptolemy said, holding onto a rail next to Dray. “Dusk was using your body as a temporary host. With your distraction, I was able to set you two apart.”

“What was it like?” Rokk asked.

Reddex shrugged and laughed slightly, “…An out of body experience I guess.”

Back down in the cavern. The Daedalus was approaching the ceiling. The ceiling itself began to separate in two. It wasn’t breaking apart, it was actually an artificial door, being controlled by giant mechanisms hidden somewhere in the cave. Now that the doors were folding away, the Rocks above had no support. The massive vibrations brought the entire ceiling down onto the behemoth. It’s shields activated right before the boulders smashed into it. The rocks exploded on impact, not putting a scratch anywhere near the hull of the Daedalus. The hundreds of turbo canons came online and aimed up shooting away at the rocks as it rose…

“Almost there, I can see daylight.” Dray said, “I guess you can say…mission failed?”

“Heh, this changes everything…” Reddex said haggardly.

Once the sled braked hard into the entrance, everyone quickly got out and ran for the turbo lift. Riding all the way back up, they could feel everything around them grumble. When the doors opened, the corridor to outside was all clear. They broke into a run. Just when they were about to get outside, a Twin Tail slammed into the ground skidding past the entrance to the bunker and blew up into a fire ball. Outside, the fighting was brought in, right over head. Thing’s fleet as engaged with the Crusaders. Rogue Squadron stormed over firing away at everything that wasn’t friendly. The group continued to run away from the shield bunker just when a damaged Predator slammed right on top of it, bringing the whole place down in a blaze.

Reddex attempted to reach the Shadow but was caught off by extremely low fly overs by TwinTails trying to dodge fire. He could see the Aardvark in the distance battling a Crusader Warship. But then something else caught his attention; which crept over to Rokk, then Ptolemy, then Dray. They looked at the ground. Small pebbles began to dance on the ground. Large cracks began to appear, and a roar beneath their feet escaped through. Buildings behind them started to sink into the ground. A giant sinkhole was beginning to appear.

“We’re always in the thick of things!” Rokk said trying to help Reddex move faster.
.
“Preach it, lady!” Dray was now leading the group from the falling away compound behind them.

The walls of the Foundry had begun to fall as they ran out of the hatch back outside. They could see the Shadow Stinger hovering on its repulsors waiting for its late arrivals. Once onto the ship, Rokk escorted Reddex to the medbay, while Dray and Ptolemy sprinted for the bridge to take off.

“Of all people, I did not expect you to be getting hurt.” The chiss doctor said helping him sit on medical capsule. Just then, they could feel the Shadow lifting off.

The doctor looked him over and stopped on his arm. She studied it a little closer feeling around to assess the situation, “Something’s wrong here…”

“Of course not, doc…”

The doctor looked at him raising an eyebrow at the sarcasm. Without a word, she correctly re-popped his arm back into place. Reddex winced hard with pain, shedding a tiny tear. Rokk smiled and patted him on the back.

“Cry baby…” The doctor strolled away to attend to other patients.

Finally feeling a lot better, he moved his arm around testing the movement. “It wasn’t my fault Dr. Zowlis…really.”

On the main monitor in the ward, it spurred to life. Ptolemy’s face appeared, “You need to see this.” The image faded to a view of what use to be the compound they were just in. It was now the biggest hole they have ever seen; miles long. It had reshaped the entire mountain range. The Daedalus’ shields was pushing off strayed rocks that had come up through Muunlinsts crust. A ring of Crusader cruisers circled the behemoth’s awakening. Kora’s voiced chimed in over the feed…

“What’s happening down there? I can see it from space.”

“Thing, can you hear me?” Dray’s voice was heard in the background. “You need to get out of there. Pull your troops away.”

“I…ca…barely..hea…y.u.”

“Get. Off. Planet. Now.”

“ok…mov..now..” Then the com turned to static.

The static was only short lived when a new voice came on over all the frequencies. “This is Grand Admiral Vos, of the Daedalus…”

“Grand Admiral…?” Rokk looked to Reddex who was glued to the screen.

“…You all should be honored to witness the full power of this battleship…”

“What in bloody hell is going on…” Reddex asked out loud.

“I have a bad feeling about this…” Dray said on the feed.

The newly appointed Grand Admiral continued to speak, “This project has been in the making for quite some time…”

Reddex and Rokk had already left the medical bay. Dr. Zowlis and her staff continued to watch the spectacle before them, not even noticing their departure. Hastily, making their way through the Shadow, back to the bridge; they listened to Vos’s speech through the speakers. Passing by viewports, with star fighters still zipping by.

“…And now, finally, let me show you an example of what this technological achievement can demonstrate.

Just as Rokk and Reddex passed another set of viewports, a colossal explosion went off. Blinding white light followed right alongside of the blast, spewing into the ship. Forcing everyone to cover their eyes. Seconds later, the Shadow Stinger was struck by the shock wave, knocking the crew off their feet. The Shadow lost altitude for hundreds of terrifying feet then leveled out and was back under control. The ship shook again, as the aftershock brushed over.

Rokk managed to get to her feet and looked out of the viewport. She was speechless as Reddex slowly got up asking what happened. The commander made it to the window and looked out with her. His stomach knotted up…

Mariunhus, was gone. A crater, many miles across, it had become.

On the bridge, Dray and Ptolemy were sprawled on the deck in pain, unknown to the crew who were trying to help. They didn’t know what to do. LuStongah asked what was wrong…

“You didn’t hear it…”Dray groaned.

“Hear what?”

“…Millions of voices crying out in terror…then suddenly silenced. “ Ptolemy croaked…

_________________
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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Red-X on Sun Sep 11, 2011 3:53 am

"Bezz, I need a report now!" Reddex yelled to be heard over the warning klaxon, "and shut that damn thing off!" The Commander looked out the viewport, but the air was still filled with dust and debris, and the projector he kept strapped to his arm wasn't responding. Dammit, can't something go right just once today? "Bezz!" he yelled again.

"I'm working on it sir, but the system's only reading us and the planet," the officer responded, confused, "no sign of the ship."

"Well check again. Something that big doesn't just disappear Ensign," he answered remembering the ship. It had been enormous, covering more area than most cities he had seen, but relatively thin by comparison. The dimensions would make it easier to maneuver than other super-weapons, but there was no way it could have cleared the atmosphere that fast. "LuStongah, get me Admiral Thing."

"I've been trying sir, but all I'm getting is static. I can attempt to punch through with a hypercomm, but it'll give away our position."

"Don't bother," Dray interjected, "if that thing is what I think it is all unshielded electronics on the planet are fried and any transmission will be garbled regardless of strength."

"If? General are you telling me you know what just hit us?" The Commander asked with a sinking feeling. Jedi seldom kept secrets about good things.

"It was an Ion Pulse," Pto spoke up, "we've encountered one before. Granted this time it doesn't appear to have been aimed at us specifically and we just got the side effects. Still," he looked around the ship as if surprised that it was still there, "I'm surprised we're still afloat."

"After the little incident last year I had this ship built to resist Ion weaponry," Dray supplied. "I couldn't afford a loose Ion bolt or torpedo taking out the Shadow Generator."

"So what's this weapon do specifically?" Red asked unsure he wanted to know the truth. A weapon that could disable all crafts even when not aimed at them was dangerous enough and could be a fatal blow to the JSA already, but he suspected there was more to it, and he had a feeling the 'voices' Pto and Dray had felt were related to it.

"The weapon's abilities are two fold," the old Jedi began, "First a beam is fired that scrambles the molecules of whatever it hits, usually causing a large explosion as dangerous chemicals are mixed up. That beam is then followed by a shockwave that eradicates all electrical signals in a wide area, organic and inorganic alike."

The bridge crew went silent, "You mean that thing kills ships and people indiscriminately?"

Pto nodded, "A year ago we encountered one on a Crusader planet and went in to destroy it, we thought we had removed the files on how to build it as well as destroying the actual weapon, but apparently we were wrong."

"That's an understatement," Dray responded, "they not only rebuilt it they made it mobile." The Jedi slammed his fist down on the safety rail, bending it.

The Commander made a snap decision, "Fire up the engines Briggs, and take us up. Sol, charge weapons. LuStongah, once we breach atmosphere I want a direct line to Admirals Thing and Kora, I don't care what you have to say just get it done."

"What would you like me to tell them?"

"Tell them everything the Jedi just told me. We can't afford to let that thing out of here, we have to destroy it here and now."

"But Sarus and Aragorn could be on that thing!" Ptolemy screamed, "We can't destroy it yet, not until we've got them back!"

"If that ship can do what you say it can then we don't have a choice," Red pointed out the viewscreen, "that thing could destroy entire fleets. Now I'm sorry your son is on it but I'm not sacrificing the Galaxy for the sake of two men."

"He's right old man," Dray said, hand on his shoulder, "I know it hurts, they're my friends too, but we can't let that ship leave."

The old Jedi shook the hand off, "My son is on that ship! MY SON! And I'll be damned if I let him die. The Galaxy can go to hell for all I care, that's my son! Then again I suppose I shouldn't expect someone like you to understand, I doubt there's a single thing in this Galaxy you truly care about

“I know you didn’t mean that Pto, you’re hurt and you don’t know what to-“

“No. I know exactly what to do.” The Jedi held out his hands, palms facing forward. Reddex began to rise from his chair thinking something bad was about to happen; fearing for his crews safety.

“Don’t, Ptolemy. Listen to yourself.” Dray cautioned, now preparing himself, holding has hands forward in defense.

Rokk took a few steps back expecting the worse. She looked to Red for solutions. He returned the glance with a shrug. This was truly out of his hands, but he had to do something. There was a good solid chance this would be a big waste of time, he could probably come out injured, or maybe killed. Hopefully either outcome wouldn't happen.

“This is not the time to turn on each other. The enemy is out there, and now betwe-,” Before Red could finish, Dray accidently flinched. Ptolemy reacted without hesitation with a Force push. Dray was knocked off his feet, landing hard on his back. “Damn it, STOP!”

Dray slowly got onto his knee, and shook his head from the stir. “I’m sorry for you old man, I really am. But the galaxy comes first,” Dray shot his hand at Ptolemy, extruding the Force in his direction. The push slammed Ptolemy into the bulkhead towards the back of the bridge; rendering the Jedi unconscious.

“Dray! Was that necessary?!” Red ran to Ptolemy’s body, and noticed the dent in the wall.

“I just handled an almost volatile situation. Either have this ship destroyed from the inside out from a fight that nearly happened, or nip it in the butt before it even gets started.” Dray said continuing to look at Ptolemy’s body. He felt bad for what he did, but it had to be done. He could feel Ptolemy locking himself away in his mind with the Force, “I did us all a favor.”

“Zowlis, I need you up here.” Red spoke into his datapad, “ASAP.”

“Already sending a team up, Commander,” Her voice spoke out of his forearm.

“He’ll be fine, Red. He’s refusing to respond to me in the Force.”

“I can see why…” Rokk said, brushing past Dray to be next to Ptolemy.

As Dray was about to respond, “Commander,” Bezz spoke up. “I found the ship.”

Everyone looked back to the Ensign with surprise. He pointed to the view screen as it switched from a star scape to a standard sensor reading showing the planet below the Shadow, as it rose through Muunilinst’s atmosphere. But no one could see the ship. “Are you sure you found it? Because I see nothing on that screen,” Red said standing back up.

“That’s because it hasn’t been adjusted for its size. You see, I couldn’t find it before since I was looking in too small an area. Once I widened the search, it showed up.” The screen pulled back to show a wider angle, and suddenly the shadow that had assumed to be the planet was levitating above another much larger shadow.

“What…” Dray studied the screen with worry.

The screen reverted to a live camera feed on the bottom of the Shadow’s hull. Some of the land from the area of Daedalus’s awakening could be seen scatted across its vast disk shaped hull. Chunks slipped off falling back down into the abyss-like hole. A few buildings from Mariunhus could be seen toppled over each other; burning as the craft continued to rise. The friction from the atmosphere caused massive amounts of heat to melt some of the structures. Briggs started to move the Shadow away as the giant fireball moved closer.

“Sir, we have an emergency hail-“

“-Put it through,” Red moved away from Ptolemy’s body as the medical team came up through the turbolift and rushed to him. Slowly, they placed Ptolemy on a stretcher and carried him back to the medical bay.

“What did Dusk just do?” Thing coughed through the com. “I can’t see a damn thing down here, just darkness. I’m out of touch with most of my fleet. I feel that they perished in the great ball of light.”

“Im surprised anyone survived that explosion.” Rokk whispered in earshot of Reddex.

“Is the Aardvark still flyable?” Do you have any ships down there that can assist you?” Reddex asked.

“I don’t know. That blast was as if it was some type of EMP of sorts. And we’re stuck drifting in orbit under this damn ship. I’m surprised the only thing keeping us up is our repuslors. We’re still working on the engines, but we have taken lots of damage.”

“It was Daedalus, by the way.” Dray said, trying to think about what would be their next move.

The sheer presence Daedalus has ceased fighting on both sides, since it had dominated most of the battlefield. Kora’s fleet remained on the northern side, while the Crusaders kept to the west. The part of Crusaders fleet that had initiatally invaded Mariunhus had been vaporized in the primary blast. Though there were still enough to throw a fight.

“How are we going to stop that?” Rokk asked, which continued to be thrown around in everyone’s head.

“Well, it still is a machine, right? There must be some sort of off-switch.” Red said looking at everyone.

“The only two people capable of doing such a feat are prisoners on that ship. They maybe our only hope in stopping it indefinitely.” Dray scratched his chin in thought. Then his eyes widened in surprise. He shook his head in disbelief, “We have a problem.”

“Please tell me you didn’t forget what we just went through down there in Mariunhus, including THAT.” Red pointed to the main view port; Daedalus dominating the screen.

“No, no, that’s not it…”

“Then what,” Rokk asked.

“I can no longer sense Aragorn or Sarus. It’s like they vanished. I can’t believe this.”

“Uh, we have an unidentified vessel that just entered the system, Commander.” Bezz interrupted, while he watched the blip on his screen; hastily moving towards Muunilinst.

Red quickly moved towards Bezz and leaned over to see what he had to show. “Do we have a visual? I hope it’s just a tourist.”

“I see it.” Briggs said while piloting the Shadow towards the safety of Kora’s fleet. The unknown ship was closing in off the Intrepids starboard side.

“Get me Admiral Kora, LuStongah.”

“Yes sir, one moment.”

Red’s datapad spurred to life and Kora’s image came up. He could see the man looking out one of his viewports. Predators and Twintails soared past staying in formation waiting for more orders. Red could see some of his bridge was showering in sparks, and small pockets of flame along a few consoles. “You seeing what I’m seeing Admiral?”

“Yeah I see the damn thing. And I sense something very bad inside that vessel.” Kora’s image flickered for a moment, while his crew tried to keep the frequency opened. “It isn’t one of ours.” The Admiral looked at someone off screen, “Take it out.”

The Intrepid’s starboard long range turbolasers opened up on the small spherical ship. The craft seemed to have batlike wings and a large eye in the center. It didn’t seem to have any engines of any kind, as it continued its pace in system. It easily dodged the Intrepid’s overlapping salvo of fire.

“I want that craft destroyed now!” Kora screamed at his crew.

Remember a time not so long ago, that I asked you to run?” A familiar voice hissed around everyone’s head on the bridge. “Now you have had your chance and I shall not be so forgiving. Your deaths shall be instantaneous, while I and my loyalists reek the victory of this futile campaign you have started against me. If you will not hear the truth, then I shall show it to you.” The voice echoed it’s last word for a few eerie seconds and disappeared.

The spherical ship crossed over the bow of the Intrepid without losing speed. It was heading straight towards Daedalus. “All crafts engage! Engage!” Kora yelled once again in fury. All the frigates and cruisers from Kora’s sped back into the battlefield, trying to take out the sphere shaped craft.

“Commander?” Briggs called out.

“Dusk has knack for making entrances.” Dray’s eyebrows turned inward in anger.

“Are you sure that was him?” Red asked, twisting his finger in his ear from the voice.

Dray gave Red an annoyed glance, and rolled his eyes.

“Hey I question a lot of things.” Red said shrugging, “What is he planning?”

“I don’t know.”

Now the remaining fleet of Crusaders rushed in to protect the sphere from Kora’s onslaught. Part of Thing’s fleet that remained in space aided Kora’s cause as the Crusaders made an attempt to keep them at bay. The sphere was easily making its way through the fighters, unscratched. The Shadow watched helplessly from a safe distance.

“Dray we need to do something. They won’t last long.”

“They’re doing their job, so we can do ours.” Dray turned to Red, “Stop Dusk from reaching his crown jewel.”

Red nodded with approval, “Briggs? Sol?”

“On it.” Briggs hands strolled across his transparent console as the Shadow accelerated to top speeds.

“We’re hot, sir. Finally get to kill some Crusader choobies.” Sol and Briggs bumped fists in excitement.

Everyone on board was notified by Bezz that Daedalus was now fleeing the battle. It had ignored all the fighting was and making a straight line out of the field. Stray missiles and lasers rebounded harmlessly off the behemoths shields. The small craft was only minutes away, and both ships were pulling away from the Shadow’s speed.

“Uh…?” Briggs shouted, trying to put more power into the engines.

“I know, I know!” Red slammed his fist on his chair in frustration.

“Kyle, track its trajectory. Find all possible destinations,” Dray continued to watch his prey escape right before his eyes.

“What about the others, Dray? That battle still rages.” Rokk asked, “What about Thing?”

Dray shut his eyes for a moment. He was at a terrible crossroad. Every outcome ended with a catch-22. An opportunity with odds like this were slim. There was still a small chance Aragorn and Sarus could still be alive. He remembered back to what Dusk had told them back in the caves. While he pondered his decisions, he felt someone grab his shoulder.

“I’m with you till the end, Dray. I always had faith in you.” Red said calmly.

“Didn’t really mean to put pressure on you, but it was kinda fun to watch you go to such a dar-“Red quickly placed his hand over Rokk’s mouth to stop her.

“-Honestly though, we’ll follow your decision.” Red cut in.

Dray smirked alittle and shook his head, “Rokk, its fine.”

“I have the best possible matches, Commander. They might be going to Bimmiel, Dantooine, Dathamir, Agamor,…and Yavin.

“I’m just gonna assume the worst.” Red said watching the sphere disappear beneath Daedalus just before it slipped into hyperspace.

“Send out the word to JVSA, LuStongah. Kyle, set a course for Yavin, all haste.” Dray said

“Yes, General.”

“Accelerating to light speed.” Briggs said, as the floor began to shudder and the engines whined to full output. He leaned over to Sol, so only she could hear him, “Ya’know, I haven’t gone to the bathroom in hours? I just felt you need to know that.”

Sol gave him a disgusted look and rolled her eyes as the Shadow entered hyperspace, “Sometimes you’re just too open with me…”

_________________
"To be a Sith is to taste Freedom and to know Victory..."


dandaman7 wrote:Yea, you see it on the news all the time: 'Guy gets mugged for Jedi Order symbol by possible Sith'
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You assumed no force could challenge you and now...finally, we have returned." - Darth Malgus

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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Red-X on Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:36 pm

(Mariunhus, Foundry Compound.)

“Ysalamir?” Sarus repeated, standing on the other side of the blown out bunker doors.

“Yes,” Aragorn said, peering back inside for a moment, “Otherwise I wouldn’t have come back out.”

“How many?”

“Enough to make our job worthwhile; I don’t know where they’re keeping the Ysalamir.” Aragorn said.

“I don’t ever remember coming in contact with one in my life.” Sarus took a glance inside, but quickly moved back as another salvo of blaster fire came through. “This will be a story to tell the others,” Sarus smiled in Aragorns direction; but he ignored it. Sarus could tell he was trying to decide how to get through this roadblock.

“I think I have an idea. It’s going to be a risk, but it feels like the only option.”

“What’s on your mind?”

“Do you recall this technique named Force Body?” Aragorn looked a second time inside to make sure where everyone was.

“Yeah, why?” Sarus’s presence in the force changed to suspicion.

“Well, what we’re about to do is somewhat similar. Bad thing is, its worse.” Aragorn said looking at Sarus.

“Force Body itself was already dangerous; only for extreme situations.” Sarus thought back to stories he had heard of them, and none of them sounded too great. The move would place the individual into a state of full awareness and added strength.

Aragorn raised an eyebrow at him, showing he obviously knew, and the situation they were in, actually called for it. “Well?”

"Alright, alright. How are we going to do this?”

“Focus and clear your mind. Use the Force to boost your adrenaline to its maximum. We need to move very fast. Do not stop until every single one of them of them is down. Remember, once this blitz is over, try to recover as quickly as you can. You will feel like poodoo.” Aragorn start to prepare himself.

Together, they closed their eyes and opened themselves to the Force more than ever on any typical occasion. Sarus could feel the warmth rush through his veins and muscles. His lungs expanded to in more oxygen. The exhaustion from fighting all through the night evaporated within moments. He felt more at peace then he could ever imagine. Even opening his eyes felt like he had woke from a long refreshing sleep.

“Move.” Arargorn said without any emotion in his tone. The duo entered the bunker into the long hall way. Once they past inside, they felt the Force vanish from their very souls. Now the clock ticked down, as the adrenaline they built up, slowly dwindled.

“You seeing this?” Sarus said with shock. Time itself was if it was on a stand-still. The blaster fire from the Crusaders could be seen moving as slow as slugs. Aragorn remained quiet as he stabbed his saber through the floor in a few spots, while Sarus cut down the troops as they ran. With each strike in the floor, Sarus could hear the start of a screech from a creature.

“Keep moving.” Aragorn finally replied, “Stay focused.” He came up on a crusader and plunged his saber into the man’s chest; pinning the man to the wall. The man had no idea what had struck him. His face changed in stages to the realization to what happened.

“I guess this turned out to be something good after all.” Sarus called out, as they made progress down the hall.”

The high powered turret-emplacement’s continued to fire their volleys, but reacted too slow; to catch up. Aragorn hooked his saber at the emplacements with a heavy throw. The blade spun in a long arc and sliced the barrels off. The sparks ignited the discharging powercells causing the turrets to explode into pieces. The Crusaders operating the guns were blasted back into the walls.

Just when Aragorn ran to pick up his saber, he collapsed without warning. Complete and utter exhaustion took him over. His chest felt like a rancor was trying to crush him. His muscles ached with protest from the large amounts of lactic acid. Sarus was also on the floor, trying hard not to pass out. He could see Aragorn pointing at something in front of him in the floor. It was some type of cage and a creature was looking at him with dark brown eyes.

“The Ysalamir…” Sarus achingly brought up his blade and stabbed the creature through its chest. Quickly the flow of the Force filled his sense once more. He attempted to guide the Force to his primary functions, but could barely focus. Then his danger sense trickled all over him. Down the hall, something was coming; numerous people.

Sarus tried to stand, but he fell back down. He wasn’t recovering fast enough. His body was being mostly unresponsive. Aragorn was struggling with the same issue. Suddenly, bright light from the end of the hall way blinded them. Yelling and shouts came through. Many shadows came forth. Aragorn attempted to fend them back, struggling to keep his saber up. One of the shadows upholstered a blaster and shot Aragorn’s saber out of his hands. He yelled in pain as the shadows converged on him.

Sarus was too far away, he tried to yell, yet no one seemed to hear him. While being dragged into the light, Aragorn reached out with his hand for his saber in the Force. His crystal broke out of its housing and flew into Aragorn’s bloody hands as he disappeared into the light.

“NOOO!” Sarus yelled again. This time, one of the shadows finally heard him. The shadow approached him as it pointed his blaster. Sarus began to crawl back, but the figure shot him anyway, in the shoulder. The pain was beyond excruciating. He screamed in agony, clenching his teeth. His eyes closed in pain. Then he heard someone speak from out from the darkness.

“Now Mr. Cloud, I will ask you again. Where is the location of JVSA’s main base of operations? I’m getting tired of asking.”

“Where…Where am I?” The pain in his shoulder throbbed and the rest of his body ached. The air around him reeked of blood and sweat.

The voice sighed, “Stop stalling Sarus. I’m gonna be here all day and as long as it takes. I have a job to do. You’re attempt at playing dumb is prohibiting me from getting my task done. Now, answer the question.”

“I..I-“ Sarus breathed heavily, then he heard a crackle of electricity and his world exploded, “AAAHHH!”

His eyes shot open and everything was in a haze. He could tell he was being dragged through some sort of caves. He could still feel the wound in his shoulder from the shot. It smelled like burned flesh.

“Why are you bringing this one? He’s just a waste.” An irritated voice said, that was dragging him over rocks and rubble.

“I don’t question orders. Grand Admiral Vos wanted them both. So, now we have both. Especially that one.”

Sarus heard the person kick something and a familiar grunt was heard. Other sounds caught his attention as well. Many people were moving about. He could make out Muuns shackled together mining rocks or being marched somewhere.

“What the hell are you looking at? Keep digging!” A crusader formed out of Saru’s hazing vision, butting a Muun in the stomach with a rifle. After seeing that, Sarus’s vision collapsed then came back. Now he noticed he was riding on some type of car. Vents spewing steam past high over them. The tunnel must have been big.

“I think he’s holding something. This man has a death grip on it. I’ve been trying to get it out the whole trip down here…” Another unknown voice said. Sarus still couldn’t see anything, since where they were had no lights.

“Well, whatever. I’m sure it’s the only thing giving him hope.” After the voice finished, there was a group of laughter.

“Ok, fine. I’ll let him keep it for now.”

The car crept to a stop and locked in place. Saru’s captors uncaringly carried him out of the car and dropped him in the ground. “Oops…”

The Crusaders laughed again.

“Y-You shouldn’t do that.” A weak fragile voice spoke out of the haze.

“Excuse me?” One of the Crusader said holding Sarus. “What did you say?” The Crusader snapped.

“The jedis…s-stop hur-“ The sound of a rifle shot echoed around the cave. Sarus heard a body drop to the floor. He barely felt the life energy of someone slip away.

“I’m sorry; I don’t recall telling any of you to stop working!” The Crusader yelled. He fired another shot into the wall.

Sarus managed to turn alittle and saw a Muun wearing a resistance uniform with a blaster wound to the head. The Muun was also shackled to others who were frozen with fear. Then one of them got up and stood his ground, “I had enough.” The Muun threw his pickaxe at the Crusader; stabbing him into the chest. After that, came chaos.

Sarus was quickly grabbed and dragged away, along with Aragorn; by fleeing Crusaders. The Muuns had amassed an organized revolt and were mobbing Crusaders at their check points. Sarus was powerless to do anything. And he knew Aragorn was as well.

“Go, Go, Go!”

“Call reinforcements!”

“How the hell did this happen!”

“Tazh, call for the 147th! It’s an emergency!”

Looking around, Sarus had managed to see they had reached a colossal cavern; full of noise from what seemed like a horde of star ships. To his left was a large cargo elevator. A platoon of heavily armored troops marched out in formation and stood in front of the fleeing Crusaders; creating a wall of defense.

“Sure glad you all showed up. They’re about to come out. We need you to push those Muun slaves back or kill them all!”

Soon enough, the Muuns came in fury. They were wielding stolen rifles, pickaxes, and other tools. The 147th fired on all of them. “Get the prisoners on board now. Tell Grand Admiral Vos, it’s suggested we go now.”

“Will do.”

“Watch out!” Numerous shots came over the 147th and bounced all around Sarus.

“Tazh, no!” One of the Crusaders yelled at his fallen comrade while dragging Sarus to the large elevator with other Crusaders, who were also dragging Aragorn.

Aragorn was knocked unconscious from trying to escape and was tossed into the elevator. The 147th began to push the Muuns back into the cave, but one of them fired off a shot without aiming and the bolt struck Sarus into his wounded shoulder.

Sarus screamed once more as the electricity surged through his shoulder. He opened his eyes gasping for air. He shook in his stone chair trying to get up, but was held down by cuffs on his wrists and ankles. “LET ME OUT OF HERE!!”

“Then answer the question!” The figure standing in front of Sarus said. The person was holding what appeared to be a meter long rod. At the end of the rod pointing at him, there was something purple glowing.

“wh-why do you sound so damn familiar…”

“Stay on topic Sarus. I’ve already told you this.”

Sarus shook his head, “No, I would have remembered.”

The dark figure approached the wall. The lights flickered on revealing a plain black room. Sarus could see Aragorn in a chair with cuffs on him as well. His mout shut by some cloth wrapped around his head. To their right was a steel door, with no handle. “My name is Darth Letum.”

“Impossible.” Sarus spat out blood.

“Yes Sarus.” The man turned and Sarus was hit with dread, “It is very possible.”

“No, no, no. Your name is Guthix. You were and still are a Jedi! What did they do to you!?”

Guthix was wearing dark robes, and his eyes burned red and yellow. His head was shaved and veins could be seen lining his scalp. In his hand was the rod. Sarus recognized it to be an electro staff.

“That name has no meaning to me. I am Darth Letum.”

Aragorn looked to Guthix, then to Sarus with panic in his eyes. Sarus tried to calm him with the Force, but then he was zapped with electricity through his head. He yelled again in pain.

“I probably should’ve said this earlier. We put a device in your head. Including your friend here.”

“Y-you did w-what?” Sarus asked trying to remain conscious.

“If you or your friend attempt in any way to use the Force, you will be punished severely. Which, you have just felt.” Guthix strolled around Aragorns seat and patted him on his head, “He learned quickly not to be so stupid. Especially with the Ysalamir trap I laid around the bunker.”

“Get your damn hands off him!” Sarus writhed around in his chair trying to get up again.

“The only way you’re getting out is if you just…tapped into the dark side every now and then. Or, answer the question I have been repeating over and over.” Guthix walked over to Sarus to stand in front of him. “Where is the location of the JVSA’s main base of operations?” He brought up the electro staff and activated it.

Sarus began to brace for more enduring pain, until Guthix’s communicator beeped. He lowered the rod and grumbled in frustration as he searched his robe to answer. “What is it?!”

“No. I’m working on it. It won’t be long. Are you threatening me Vos? Guthix pressed another button on the wall. Tiles separated in between Aragorn and Sarus as a holoprojector came through.

“-And no, Lord Letum. I am only curious.” Grand Admiral Vos appeared standing in what seemed to be a bridge of sorts. He wore a perfectly fitted white Admiral uniform for his species. The whiphid’s hands were held behind his back. “The Dark One has just arrived in system. He will be on board in a couple of minutes. I think it’s best we have a destination before he gets here.”

“I will get it out of him now.” Guthix placed the staff on the ground and pointed his hands at Aragorn. A barrage of Force lightning erupted from his hands and struck Aragorn. He yelled behind the cloth that stopped him from fully expression the agony he was going through.

“NO! Stop it!” Sarus shouted. He tried to get out of the cuffs with brute force, but nothing worked. Aragorn was started to convulse violently.

“Then give me the-“

“Yavin! It’s Yavin!” Sarus screamed.

“I need more than just a planet, Sarus! Aragorn is beginning to go out!” Guthix put more energy into the lightning.
Then Sarus snapped, “I’ll kill you! All of you!” His chair began to shake. The cuffs started to crumble. The image of Vos flickered in and out.

“That’s the spirit! Now tell me the exact location!” Guthix yelled over his lightning.

Sarus roared with anger and broke out of his cuffs, then launched himself at Guthix. His eyes briefly turned red and yellow. Guthix ceased his barrage quickly and summoned his staff to his hands, then he activated it. He stabbed the rod into Sarus’s already wounded shoulder, putting him into a horrid scream before dropping to the ground, unmoving.

Vos looked at Sarus’s body with a grin, “I guess Yavin will have to do. Looks like we will just have to storm the planet with force. That will be all, Lord Letum.” The image of the whiphid vanished, as the holoprojector sunk back into the floor.

Guthix checked if Sarus was still alive, and he was; just barely. Then he looked at Aragorns doppelganger sitting in the chair dead and smoldering. He walked to the body and tore off the mask and whig. Then took the persons clenched hand and unwrapped the clear wire that was holding it into a fist. The person behind the mask was a Zabrak…

…Sarus awoke with a jolt. He could tell he was inside some sort of ship. His hands were bonded together. One of the surviving Crusaders that had pulled him onto the cargo elevator was hauling him through what appeared to be a prison block. Sarus felt a piercing pain in the back of the head as if it was stitched up. Blood slowly slid down his neck. What happened to him?

Approaching a desk, the commanding officer sitting behind it looked at the battle hardened Crusaders dragging two people. “Take Jedi Sarus to cell block: 1138. Jedi Aragorn to: 1137.”

Another pair of armored Crusaders came to assist in carring Aragorn, and together they walked the long hexagonal corridor. The cells had no windows to look through. Sarus felt as if he was drugged and was somewhat in limbo. It wasn’t long before he was thrown into a black room. Then he was retrained to a chair. He realized he had lost track of Aragorn. He wasn’t in the room with him. Next, he saw that there was another chair in the room, sitting across from him; vacant.

“Where’s Aragorn? What have you done with him?” Sarus asked haggardly, as the Crusader fastened the cuffs to him.
The Crusaders said nothing as the doors opened and they walked out. The lights went out a few seconds later, and he was stuck to looking around in darkness. He couldn’t tell how long time had gone by. Hours? Days? Then without warning, the doors opened again. Four figures walked in, then two left minutes later. “Whose there?” Sarus weakly asked, the pain in his shoulder still throbbing.

“My name is Darth Letum. I have a question for you…” A cold voice asked through the darkness.

_________________
"To be a Sith is to taste Freedom and to know Victory..."


dandaman7 wrote:Yea, you see it on the news all the time: 'Guy gets mugged for Jedi Order symbol by possible Sith'
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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Dray The Fingerless on Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:30 pm

The ship entered hyperspace, and the messages were sent out. Now the crew of the Shadow was on halt, awaiting whatever lied beyond the end of that trip. It could be said such a silence never had fallen over it, with every bit of tension hanging on their backs.

Dray and the rest of the crew looked out thru the cockpit view for a while, as if all were thinking in unisson the same thing.

Rokk clinged to Reddex´s arm gently as the couple stood fearful but motivated.

Dray wrestled with the various problems and outcomes possible from the incoming events in his mind. All of wich partaked serious danger, consequences, and possible failure all around. Nevertheless, one embodied with such powers and morality must never be striken of its cause, less the people who follow go down with them. At least, that is what the captain thought. And the Force offered little help to this.

"Commander, prepare things here for a stealth assault. Prepare the assault troops, and talk with them on preliminary entrances from what we could gather. We will discuss in more detail when we arrive. And if they seem fearful, reassure them."

"Alright, ill let Sol take over the bridge. What will you do?"

"There is a father striken with fear and suffering in the enfermary that i must help. Right now he has no one else out there, and i want him at top control if we are to have any chance of saving his son and Sarus out of this. It may take a lot of effort to get him ready for the worst. Whatever happens...trust me."

"What will you do with him? He seems a bit...closed eared right now. Not sure he´ll listen to anything you say"

"I dont know...ill just have to go with my instinct on this one. Maybe give him a candy or something." The two grinned at each other.
Dray started walking past his chair out of the cockpit as the commander and the pirate looked onto his back until the doors closed behind him.

Dray walked the corridors, passing by many of the crew, frenetically preparing the ship and themselves, and setting everything right. They moved as individual beings, but at the same time, as one driving force. The halls were semi dark on themselves, even off stealth mode. Dray approached a bifurcation and took to the left down some stairs to the enfermary. Things were more calm around there. The doors opened in front of him to the clearer whiter room where the injured and sick were helped. A couple of soldiers hurt by the past battle laid in bed to the right, and some empty beds to the left. 3 nurses worked in here, but only 2 were on board. The other one had to stay on shore the last time the ship took a emergency call to a mission. And at the end of the room, the old man, sat against his bed as he saw Dray approach him. He looked at him with not an ounce of happiness or relief, but neither hate or anger. Coldness and emptyness emanated from him. Dray strolled with conviction towards him, his eyes focused on him the whole time.

"I need you to meet up with me down at the docking bay as soon as you can. Bring your weaponry...and a clear mind."

"Why and what for Dray? We should be arranging for battle and a rescue mission. Not philosophical training and Force pandering." Ptolemy´s voice sounded harsh n cold, and his eyes crossed with Drays, neither of the jedi willing to open their minds.

"My crew is already doing that Ptolemy, i need you and me to do something else while they arrange it. Be quick, we have little time."

With this Dray, who was leaning onto the old man, turned his back and headed out of the room, onto his quarters to fetch an old tool.

Ptolemy watched him leave, his look laying upon a distant place, beyond the ship walls and space. All he could think of was his son, and the danger he was in. His mind was turmoiled, and he knew that it could not be if he was to help anyone, including Aragorn. The depravities and horrors he blocked and pushed away, knowing it would not help to bring them up. For as much as he disgruntled at Dray and his jokingly attitude, he trusted the jedis inner wisdom and talent. If nothing else, because it was the only thing the old man could do right now. Thus he started to get up, begrudged by the little chances and information they had on this new threat and obstacle. And then memory hit him, to wich he frenetically looked around his pockets, looking for the smallest thing, until he finally found it.

"Nurse!" He called, to wich one of them responded coming towards him. "Nurse i must go, but please relay this upstairs to the command bridge and Reddex, immediatly. Tell him it is what we gathered from the first Ion Gun."

Ptolemy took out a small holo pen and clicking with a few touches, opened and closed it, handing it to the blue nurse.
"NOW nurse. This is important."

"Master Jedi, you are not in condition to leave. We need to give you a physical check."
"I am sorry dear, but dont worry. I am quite fine." With this the jedi jumped his behind from the bed and landed on his two feet in front, stretching. The Force allowed for the eldest to be the nimblest as well...
"Also, i am not a Master. Thank you for the help. Good day" Ptolemy called his staff to him, laying against the wall on the other side of bed and walked out of the room to fetch his things, uncertain of what was to come.

-------------------------------------------«

The battlefield, scattered like so many others, with debris from dying ships and souls, destruction all around, had now dissipated, and the battle part had majorly ended. The Crusader forces lost, but to the JSA, it wasnt much of a victory anyway.
Thing stood in his command deck, surrounded by fuming consoles, one or two unconscious technicians, and people assessing the destruction all around. Few were the battles that striked his ships so harshly, but the circunstances of this one were exquisite to say the least. Overall, the lost of ships was quite surmountable, but survivable. He stared into the flaming hulls, the wreckage, the emptyness and quiet of space. He lamented, even in victory, for losses like this.

"General" his first commander shouted, running towards Thing. He turned his back aruond and sensed more events to come. "The Shadow Stinger sent us a message. They have gone into hyperspace, chasing that colossal ship."

"How did they know where to go? Its not like they took a ride or..." the General sighed, calming himself again. "I guess the Force knows no bounds when you are motivated enough. Where are they heading? And do they know what was that thing?"

"The message spoke of some...Ion Gun sir." Things eyes widened as the memory came to him.

"I see...i know what it is. And if it is as they suspect, then we must act immediatly. Where are they heading commander?"

"Sir..." The commander paused, fearful of the words. "Yavin sir." The first commanders face stricken with sorrow and sadness as the words were spouted. Thing took the news with such emotions as well. Yavin was the Jedis powerful stronghold, Dusk had not dared attack it, knowing it would be a suicide mission. But now having the powerful weapon by his side changed things. Taking tdown Yavin and the ensuing troops there would lose the war, and significant hope, for the galaxys safety.

Things face went from shock to frowned.

"First Commander, evil only prevails if good does nothing. Take that look off your face, and get that harkened spirit lifted. Yavin will be the deciding point of many things. As soon as we get necessary functionality, we are taking this ship and the rest of what we can find in our fleet and we are going to Yavin. Inform the crew. But do so with hope. Let them know of our motivation. Go!"
The commanders face lifted a bit, and he rushed towards the station to relay the orders. No doubt Things battle meditation and inspiring talents had grown to show.

Thing foresaw the most probable. That this battle would be the deciding point of the war.
He crossed his arms and thought to himself. Thought and thought as much as he could.
"It is as if the Force set this drama in place" Thing said to himself, continuously staring into the same black void of space.
On one side, the Dark Lord, lingering for the destruction of society, corrupted to the bone by evil and power, and on the other, a General, naive and innocent in youth, shaped by evil and power into growing up and leading the defense against such oppressing forces. And at the core of this rivalry, an old friendship and bond, from two young people who found support in each other in a harsh and lonely environment, now mortal enemies.

"This world works in misterious ways"
With this final thought, Thing turned and walked convictly towards the turbolift.
As he passed by the comm console, where the commander was, he gave him his final order.
"Relay to the Shadow Stinger, that we are coming. I will be preparing as well commander"
"Aye aye sir."

Thing entered the turbo lift and let it take him up. Some time alone would do him good.

--------------------------------------«

The docking bay stood empty, most repairs were done, and there was nothing left to preparate in it. The two engineers hanging around in it hastely moved out as Dray requested them to do. The Jedi stood silently in the middle of the empty dock, where speeder bikes, crates of munition and supplies laid to the sides in the back. His right hand rested on the hilt of his sword, strapped to his right thigh, and he held his blaster on the left hand. Ptolemy arrived shortly after Dray, who was leaning against a wall on the far side, now performing something unknown on his blaster.

"This blaster was given to me by local smugglers on Tatooine, one by the name of Ran Talui. He led a small smuggling cartel, nothing too bad or anything, they even smuggled food to poor places sometimes". Dray spoke as he walked slowly towards Ptolemy, who stood curious to what the event, required with such secrecy, was about.

"So this Ran Talui runs into some bounty hunters accompanied by a pushover Sith. Thing is, for many decades now, both us and the Sith have gone stale and less required in this galaxy, and less opposites as we were. Sith began to recognize the self destructiveness of their nihilistic ways, and adopted softer approaches. They still craved power, but now they were aware of the power they possessed was trying to use them as well."
Drays blaster was quite massive for a hand gun, and he popped open a capsule on the side, as two power cells fell on the ground, blackened. He then reached for his pocket, all while still walking, and pulled out two new ones.

"Likewise we Jedi recognized that emotions like love, friendship, hope, happiness, were not a path to the darkside itself, but that not handling them properly was. So we embraced the teachings of controlling and distinguishing love from obsession, friendship from blind following, frustration from hate. We praised ourselves too high, that we could not be affected by petty emotions. But we are normal living beings like any other. And so we accepted and controlled that side of us. Now sith and us wereent so apart, but still we kept an eye on each other."
Dray popped in one power cell after the other, both clicking as they entered, and closed the panel they entered thru.

"So im surprised when, in my travel past Tatooine, i sense this great darkness like any other, a darkness beyond that of any known Sith id seen, as i fly over the planet. I go check it out. Turns out Ran Talui and his gang were being massacred by this untold evil. Unnecessary evil. This sith...was not from this time. I defeated him in combat, and as he laid slain, i noticed the markings and a symbol of what now is the army we fight. I secured the smugglers, and Ran Talui gave me his prize blaster, saying no other hand gun would best it. I accepted and departed to JvS the same day, fearful of what i just saw. Untold evil. Needed to go back to my home. And now i am here...captain of the most advanced ship in the army agaisnt that evil, and leading the decisive team to the final battle."
Dray looked up at Ptolemy smiling, as he clicked a few notches in his blaster and powered it up. As he finally approached the old man.

"We sure end up in the strangest places in life dont we? Who knew we would end up in this mess? And Who knew id be helping an old coot save his son from the darkest enemy of the galaxy?"
Both grinned at each other.

"And who knew id end up having to babysit a bunch kids with lightsabers?" Both smiled at each other.

"I am sorry for what happened in the bridge. I had no other choice Ptolemy..."
"Its alright...emotions got to me. But I still have my son as first priority. That is what i will seek in the upcoming battle. Im not gonna leave Ara or Sarus for that matter."
"I wouldnt have it any other way, old Jedi."
Drays face then turned serious to discuss the matters at hand.

"Dusk will no doubt have surprises in store for us. He knows us too well. We need to adopt...unusual customs.Also...he might try to turn Sarus and Ara against us." Ptolemy suggested as he looked around.

"Yes well, TRY is the right word for it. Sarus is smarter than Dusk. He knows every kind of trick in the Force. Dusk will prolly try and overpower him, but Sarus is smarter than that. At least i think he is. As for your son, who, even thou has the potential to be more than me or Dusk could ever achieve, is volatile to certain...conditions. He is resilient to torture for sure, but then again, Dusk is more twisted than simple torture...He might just anger him and let him loose. Then again, Dusk probably knows as well as i do, Aragorn isnt a person you want on your bad side."

"I have faith in Ara. Hed die before turning against us and everything he stands for. But i accept the worst possibilities that can happen. I will not give up on him thou." Ptolemys voice hardened with firmness as he stood still, looking at Dray. Dray glanced back at him and nodded in agreement.

"Then the question arises. How do you save someone whos trying to kill you?" Dray asks. Ptolemy took the question and thought about it.

"You show them love, hope and compassion."

"I agree. If such an even happens, we must sway them away from their destructive path. But if we are not successful Ptolemy...there is only one way left." Dray looked down and breathed in as he attempted to relay the information.

"If he is trully irrational and griefed and consumed...There is only one way we-i can save him..." Dray paused for a bit to say the words. He grasped his blaster and stared at it, for what looked like an eternity, then he looked up to Ptolemy.

"I must cut the Force from him. Its the only way, if he has fallen beyond help."
Ptolemy half expected such a solution, but as a father, thinking of such events was harsh to picture, even if he knew it could be the only possible way to help Aragorn. He looked back at Dray and pointed his hand at him.
"I can accept that Dray. BUT only if he is beyond even my help and anyones help.You must let me try, and you must have trust on me."

"I do Ptolemy. Keep that in mind. Anyway, we must prepare in case we have to fight Dusks traps. If they fall to Dusk, we have to stop them. And fighting Dusks army on our usual terms will be no use. They know our flaws and weaknesses more than anyone, so its best we mix it up." At that Dray walked away from Ptolemy and called to him a lightsaber laying on a box.

"Not only that, but i suspect you will need more weaponry if we are to advance thru that monolith of a ship. I also sense Thing will meet with us prior to the battle. I hope his training has sufficed. Itll be full of enemies, just waiting to slit our throats." Dray looked at the lightsaber then back at Ptolemy.

"How acquainted are you to this weapon?" As he threw the lightsaber to Ptolemy, the old man catched it with his hands.

"Im acquaainted well enough." Ptolemy ignited the saber, admiring the blue blade.

"Very well then, let us see what you can do." Drays blaster powered up and in a quick flash he fired a bolt at the old mans head. Ptolemy reacted surprised and dodged his head to the side, the bolt passing right by him. The bolt then continued across the bay and hit the wall, leaving a dreadful mark on it, steaming with heat and smoke.

"By the Force Dray, what did you put in that thing?"

"Well, knowing smugglers, a lot of illegal stuff probably. Anyway..." Dray continued to fire as the old man dodged them with the lightsaber. Drays shooting was expert, as he pulled off shots tricky to deflect using only a lightsaber, making Ptolemy having to dodge many times or use the Force to avoid being hurt.

From outside the bay, blaster shots and lightsabers could be heard swinging and firing in the distance. But the Jedi were just warming up.


------------------------------------------«

Reddex prontly walked with vigor into a blue darker room with a holo table in the middle. There around it, 8 men gathered, ordered to meet here for plannings.

The commander spared no pleasantries.

"Alright gentleman, the Shadow Stinger is the first ship thatll arrive to aid our Yavin base. It is also our job to do what we can about that collossal ship. For that, we need an entry plan and an assault plan. Ive asked the bridge techs to send us down here all interpreted data we could get from when that thing lifted the ground. Unfortunately, its not as much as id like, but we have to do with what we got." WIth this Red popped a few buttons in front of him, as the men gathered around the holodesk.
Up from it sprung a schematic of the whole ship from what the sensors of the Shadow Stinger could get. From afar, the ship seemed built like a bulkhead, capable of tremendous punishment.
"Even for such a big ship, it seemed they invested much in making sure the damn thing couldnt be penetrated". The man on the opposite side of the table spoke.
"It certainly couldnt be taken down without some serious firepower and untold losses." Red retorted.

"This is pretty big sir, are you sure such a small team can make a dent on it?"

Red looked to the man beside him and vigorously responded to him.

"Lieutenant, i dont know, but you are the best fighting men ive come across, and were gonna try and give these bastards the fight of their lives. Theyre gonna have to throw their own bodies at us if they wanna stop us from making some serious damage to that thing. Now thru thermal scans, we detected massive outputs in these 8 sections."
Red clicked another button, and overlaying the blue schematic of the ship, 8 subtitled dots marked the thermal points.

"Now i think, with this size, a ship like this needs massive thermal systems. Im guessing these points are lowly monitored, since the heat would damage equipments pretty fast.Still, no letting the ship off cloak mode when we get near it. Problem is, it can fry us too if were not careful."

One of them men stood up and spoke.

"Sir, these exhausts and thermal shafts must have maintenance entrances. A system like that should need quick and efficient repairs. Im guessing if we cna use one of these exhausts, soon in it well find an emergency repair entrance or something like that."

"I agree Reinaulds, and judging by comparison, this ship must have adopted plans from previous large ships and adapted in size. It looks like this system is similar to the systems used in the first Death Star...wich means, adjusting in size, every 250 meters in, more or less, there is a repair station, complete with decompression chamber and emergency exit. This is a hunch gentleman but its what we got for now. So far, the rest of the ship seems air tight, and the places that arent air tight, wont be alone or unsurveilanced. Even if we got in thru them, we couldnt stay alive long enough to do any damage. Theyd overpower us too quickly."

"Sir, what will we do when we get in? A team of 8 cant do much damage to a ship that just ravaged a whole damn city by lifting from it."

"I dont know soldier, thats why we are planning right now." Red leaned onto the table, frustrated with the little capacities they had to do any relevant efforts.Sure they could get in, but for what? He rested his hands on the table and leaned on them, thinking and thinking what to do. Then the doors to the room opened. In came the blue nurse, responsible for the enfermary. Tough woman that was, wouldnt make a move where other men might scream in horror.

"Yes nurse? How is my jedi friend?"
"Commander, Master Ptolemy told me to bring you this as soon as possible. He said something about...Ion Gun plans." The nurse from earlier had brought the quizzing holopen to Red, who now looked at it with glee and a smile on his face.

"Seems we still might have a little bit of luck gents." Red connected the pen to the holodesk frenetically, enthralled by what it could hold, looked forward, and in his eyes, reflecting a myriad of colors as the plans sprung to life, and a sense of joy glistening from the Commanders iris.

"I think we have a plan after all, men."

------------------------------------«

The clip smoked again and the firing stopped.

"Well that sure woke me up. Is there any point to this dancing Dray? Or are we gonna do anything meaningful?"

"I was just practicing my aim, been a while since i fired this gun. Now the real fun begins." Dray holstered the blaster on his left side, and held the hilt of his sword with his left hand and pulled it out in one swift movement. Soon the room filled with a storm in the Force, as if it had become alive on its own.

"So, lets see how you handle this." Drays figure almost vanished as he leaped towards ptolemy with furious speed, to wich the old man parried with the blue blade.Dray twisted his blade in an instant and held it backwards pushing ptolemy back and creating a volley of swings left and right, pushing him back. Ptolemy in turn returned with defensive blocks, but saw no chance of ever swinging at the Jedi.
Dray then spun in the air and landed a fearsome strong blow on Ptolemy, who could barely hold the lightsaber from the sheer force inflicted on it. Clearly Drays swings were Force powered, and anything standing against them would have a hard time resisting it, unless they possessed great strength. Ptolemy however already was thinking before the blow, and used Force Push on Dray as soon as the blow hit, lessening the strength of the impact and catching the Jedi. It pushed Dray back a few feet, but overall seemed only to have halted him.

"Id fear to see that weapon fall into the wrong hands."

"Have no fear, this weapon would kill anyone else who wields it. It feeds in the living force of the wielder. Ive not met anyone alive today, not even the Dark One, who could sustain it like i do. Alas, does not mean it isnt dangerous for me. I must never wield it for too long. Itll sap me of too much life, and leave me open.If i go at it really long, it can even kill me. Thus, it is quite impractical in long fights. Its my last resort if all else fails." Dray then striked an Ataru pose, as the sheer added speed and strength of the weapon turned the mildly aggressive stance into one of fatality to anyone facing it. Ptolemy settled for defensive postures focusing on Soresu.

"Do you think Dusk is prepared to face either of us in combat? He knwos us after all, and no doubt has studied us."

"Yes, unfortunately for him, ive only used this sword in combat twice in my life. As for you, thats what were here for. Lets see what you got old man!"

Ptolemy leaped at Dray, changing into an aggressive posture, striking at Dray with horizontal strikes of quick recovery, and for every long attack Ptolemy would pull back for a parry closer to him. Using Makashi mostly to stop Dray from ever having the chance of overpowering. With decisive and pinpoint strikes, he could keep him in defense, and allowed only for the most delicate of attacks to succeed. Dray volleyed and defended, circling around Ptolemy fast without a problem in defending, but knew the old man was simply avoiding his powerful and quick blows. Dray then hit ptolemys blade with a particular strong swing to the side, allowing for the old mans grip to be vulnerable and immediatly followed with a special move of his. Focusing the Force in only one small area, he would sacrifice the wide range of a normal Force push, for a direct, cannon like one, wich striked with accuracy, but little area. His hand opened to where ptolemys hand was, and almost ripping out the mans hand, his saber flew across the room, smashing onto the wall and breaking apart into pieces. The accuracy of it, allowed for Dray to be able to apply it all on the lightsaber, but almsot none on the hand. Dray then stood straight, both men breathing slightly faster.

"Ouch, be careful with that. New technique of yours?" Ptolemy held his hand as he spoke.

"Yes well, i didnt know you could handle a saber duel like that, so i guess were both full of surprises."

"I was trained, just like you were Dray. Just like we all are. Difference is, i prefer my staff."

"Neither did i. Masters always said i paid too little attention."

"How does that technique work again?"

"Well, you know how to move objects in the Force and all right? So i simply took that telekinetic technique and turned it into one single thought and movement, allowng for all the concentration used in telekinesis to be used in one precise Force Push. Its also extremely fast, useful in duels. You can bust open high security doors with it, but it doesnt have the wide range of uses a normal Force Push does. its useless against big crowds, moving objects or people. Hell if i used this on a person, id make a hole thru their stomach if they were unprepared."

"Ah and why you used it on my hand uh?"

"Pfft, you wouldnt miss your hand that much. OW!" Drays ear pinched again as if being pulled.

"So you gonna show me that again or what?"

"Sure, if i can get my ear back!" The grip loosened and Dray rubbed his ear looking contemptly at one another.
Soon after, the Force compressed again around Dray´s hand.

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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Ptolemy on Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:04 pm

Ptolemy watched as Dray showed him the technique reaching out with the force and feeling the current and flow of the power being used and how the force was put together. He had always been better than most at seeing the force and learning techniques. Ptolemy focused at one point in the knot of compressed force energy and pushed. There was a pop and the energy dissipated. Dray frowned and then looked surprised as he was pushed back several feet.

‘If we are to be ready we should not just have martial skills.’ Ptolemy said with a grin.

Gathering force energy to himself Ptolemy felt Dray doing the same. This kind of chess match was something that Ptolemy was good at. A little bit of concentration and Dray Started to turn a visible shade of green. Dray bit his lip and fought the sensation of nausea. He then felt himself picked up and he sent out a wave of force energy shredding the pillar of force energy that was lifting him to the ceiling. He then started falling his arms flailing as he launched a force push at the floor to break his fall. He still hit harder than he wanted. Dray looked up and saw Ptolemy standing there with an amused look on his face and his hands shimmering with the gathered force energy there. Dray flicked his finger and pulled the old man’s feet from under him delighting in the look of surprise on Ptolemy’s face as he fell and his staff went flying.

Ptolemy moved his hands in a circle as he fell and waves of force energy emanated from his hands and he disappeared from sight. Dray launched a force push at the spot where Ptolemy should have fallen. Nothing happened. Dray looked at his hand and launched another push again nothing. He could feel the force, feel the manipulation of it. But nothing was happening. Dray reached out and grabbed a shipping container and tried to lift it. The container didn’t even twitch. Then he was hit in the back sharply with some thing hard. Dray rolled with the force of the blow. The sting of the blow seemed to numb his left arm. He rolled to his feet and snatched his sword from its scabbard at his waist. When Dray’s hand drew the sword force energy rippled from its blade and pushed back the illusion to reveal a hangar that looked like it had been trashed there were several shipping containers upended as though thrown around by a strong wind and Ptolemy striking low at Dray with his staff. Instinctually Dray brought the sword up to parry the blow and counter strike which caught Ptolemy by surprise. The blade of the sword bit into the older Jedi’s sleeve and knocked Ptolemy to the floor, sending him sliding across the floor of the hangar. Dray carefully wiped the blade of his sword and returned it to its sheath. Then he hurried to his friend’s side helping him up checking him for wounds.

‘Your toy surprises me again’ Ptolemy groaned allowing Dray to pull him up to his feet.

Dray moved his left arm experimentally. ‘That should have taken your arm off.’ He said with a questioning look. Dray regarded Ptolemy and noticed a patch on the other’s sleeve that was wet and growing. He reached over and found a cut in the other’s sleeve. He ripped the fabric and exposed the chain armor underneath. There was a cut in the armor and the leather padding underneath about three inches long over a cut in Ptolemy’s arm that was almost as long and bleeding. There was a bruise forming around the cut. Ptolemy looked at his arm and moved it experimentally.

‘That should not have cut through’ Ptolemy said. ‘A lightsaber would have to hit hard and often to cut like that’

Ptolemy wrinkled his brow and the flow of blood slowed. ‘This chain is a Cortosis weave similar to my staff’ Ptolemy said looking at the staff and rubbing a notch in the wooden surface. The gleam of metal could be seen at the bottom of the notch. ‘Both my staff and this chain are infused with the force. This provides several benefits such as strengthening the material and amplifying any blow I land. The armor will protect me from most weapons. A lightsaber will get through if the blow is hard enough, though it will be deactivated for a few seconds. A blaster will sting like fire but do little real damage.’ Ptolemy lifted the edge of his tunic to show Dray the chain that hung almost to his knees then pointed to the metal inlay on the staff then the metal on both ends. ‘Cortosiss here as well. Effective

‘The feeling is returning to my arm’ Dray said as he again worked his shoulder.

‘It is not permanently damaged,’ Ptolemy answered a questioning look, ‘when I land a blow with my staff it is similar to a force blow. A light tap like i gave you numbs the area struck, if I were to hit harder… well… Lets just say it would not take much to permanently disable someone.’

‘That was an illusion’ Dray said ‘when you disappeared and I could not move anything.’

‘Yes,’ Ptolemy nodded ‘the illusion made you think you were unable to do anything though you were tossing crates around like they were made of paper. I actually had to protect you when you grabbed a container and pulled it toward you’ Ptolemy tossed the lightsaber back to Dray and showed him the saber hilt on his belt.

‘I do carry a lightsaber, though not many have seen me wield it’ Ptolemy said grimacing as he pressed the edges of his wound together with the edges beginning to close. The bleeding had all but stopped completely. ‘I need to clean this up’

Dray nodded and set about putting the hangar back in order.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Ptolemy took a couple of steps down the corridor until the door to the hangar closed. He stopped and leaned against the wall. His whole body began to shake as he withdrew into himself consciously as well as in the force.

‘Stupid!’ he thought as he pounded a clinched fist into the wall. Ptolemy had seen similar weapons in his time in the Jensaarai. The Jensaarai built such weapons in addition to the lightsabers that the Jedi were so fond of. Ptolemy straightened and exerted him self to calm the trembling in his limbs. That episode had proven that his prowess as a manipulator of the force had slipped. The martial training he had been taking part in had dulled his force sense and could be a liability. If he was going to be able to save his son he would need to be on top of his game, and as much as he hated to admit it, Dray had a point that they would have to be unpredictable in their actions and fighting styles. He straightened and checked his datapad cursing when he found that it had been cored by Dray’s blaster. Ptolemy grimaced and put two fingers through the hole in his cloak pocket that had held the datapad. Sighing he reached into his breast pocket and pulled his communicator.

After checking the time and ETA to Yavin, Ptolemy hurried back to his quarters and pulled a large canvas bag from his locker and opened it. He reached into the bag and pulled out a helmet that was fashioned to look feline. Rigid pointed ears attached on either side of the top and the face of a snarling cat. The ears housed a sensor suite that was able to sense heat and magnetic signatures at 100 yards while the snout of the cat that formed the face of the helmet hosed limited life support. In this armor he could survive 10 minutes in a total vacuum or under water for 10 minutes, If he could not find a way out in that time he didn’t deserve the life that he led. The head of the cat extended down the sides and ended in a collar of the soft pelt of a sliver Corellian Sand Panther. That pelt had cost him a lot of credits. Ptolemy pulled out sleeves and bracers out of the bag then the breast plate leggings and grieves. Folded at the bottom of the duffel was the rest of the pelt of the Sand Panther fashioned into a short cloak. The armor was non descript almost looking like it had rusted, but smooth to the touch as Ptolemy ran his hand over the breast plate his mind wondered back to his time with the Jensaarai. The True masters did not even know of his roots with that organization. When he was a young apprentice with the Jensaarai he built a lightsaber but his fondest memories was working on his armor. The framework shaping the armor plates and shaping and molding the cortosis weave over the surface of the armor. He had hoped to help Aragorn craft his armor but that chance had been stolen from him. He would not allow any further chances to be stolen. He would get his son back or die trying.

For the next hour he thoroughly checked and cleaned the armor. His mind wondering as his hands and arms undertook the mindless task, back to the days on Tatooine before he lost his wife and son, and the frustration of coming so close on so many occasions. Every inch of every piece of armor was inspected and cleaned of the build up of dust and crud that builds up when equipment sits unused. The grieves, leggings and girdle were methodically cleaned and checked. In short order the floor of Ptolemy’s quarters were scattered with the pieces of armor and electronic components. The breast plate was gone over in minute detail and several issues found and resolved. The studs sticking from the bracers were checked and tested. The charges that act like a stun stick arched between those blunt studs was blue and beautiful. He didn’t have anything to test them on but the output was with in normal parameters. Carefully he tested the electronics in the helmet and zoomed in on the far wall and found a speck of rust. ‘Red will not be happy about that’ he chuckled. After checking the armor thoroughly Ptolemy stood and again checked the time. He stepped to the refresher and looked in the mirror at the cut that dray had given him. There was still a gash that was sore and his arm was stiff. He stripped off his tunic and washed the blood from his arm. He then set about repairing the cut in his chain. The wire that He had to use was armor grade but was not cortosis. Once that was complete he settled the tunic back over his shoulders and chest and turned toward the armor laid out on his bed. Today I reveal that I am Jensaarai.

The Jensaarai were very meticulous when they built their armor, every bit as meticulous as when the Jedi built their lightsabers. The animal that Ptolemy had chosen was the sand panther of Correlia. Silent and powerful hunters the panther takes what it needs to survive, nothing more. In that spirit of that animal, Ptolemy had muffled every joint, added active camouflage and then there was the sensor suite in the helmet. Mag and heat Scanners along with built in macro binoculars and visual sensors feeding a view screen offering 180 degrees view. This was compressed a bit and took some getting used to.

Ptolemy Sat cross legged on the floor and meditated centering himself and using a technique that rejuvenates during periods of no sleep. Ptolemy closed his eyes and pushed away the fears he had, instead focusing on the good times more recently. Visions of Aragorn flashed through Ptolemy’s mind. He could see Aragorn tied to a chair, not tied, shackled. His head would come up and seem to look into Ptolemy’s eyes then a flash of pain and the connection would be broken. Twice Ptolemy tried to make that link with his son and both times there was a flash of pain and the link is broken. Ptolemy sat motionless for a full minute and reached out to Sarus with the same result. He sat very still meditating on these things. Centering himself in the force as he was taught by his Father. It was a struggle to keep anger and pain from taking hold of him. Ptolemy finaly took a deep breath, stood and approached the bunk where his armor was laid out.

Slowly, almost reverently, Ptolemy put on the armor that he had not worn since becoming a defender. Oh yes there were things that no one knew of him, some of which they were going to find out. Piece by piece the armor was affixed and the fit adjusted for comfort and mobility. He had built the armor to be a scout, which means that the best camouflage he could find and steal was built in. He slipped the bracers over his wrists. His staff he grasped in both hands and twisted a half turn and pulled the halves apart. These he shoved into grooves in to the plate of armor that covered his back and settled them so they stuck out from either side of his head with in easy reach. He fastened the Panther cloak to the shoulders of the armor. Then he pulled on the soft leather fingerless gloves and hung his short lightsaber from his belt. He pulled on the helmet and activated the active camouflage his image in the mirror shimmered and faded from view. Nodding with satisfaction Ptolemy shut off the camo and pulled the helmet from his head. If it was truly his destiny to die today, he would go out like a true Jensaarai. Ptolemy Tucked his Helmet under his arm and left his quarters heading for the bridge.

‘You did say we needed to be unpredictable dray,’ Ptolemy muttered under his breath as he approached the lift to the command deck.

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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Aardvark on Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:18 am

Aragorn was lost in a sea of black floating in a void of nothing somewhere between unconsciousness and waking. He felt nothing, he knew nothing, he didn't understand where he was and that was just fine. What was the point in waking up when the void enveloped him like a blanket? He knew he could wake up at any time, but he didn't want to. It was more than just indifference he somehow knew if he did wake up it would only be to pain and despair, of what he couldn't tell, but there was really no point in finding out. Not when he could go back to sleep's welcome arms.

Drip.... drip..... drip

The... sound? Was suddenly all around him impossibly loud, hammering his ears dragging him from the warm void into harsh reality. He scrambled trying to fight against it fearing what lay on the other side, but felt himself losing ground gradually.

"He's got quite a death grip on it doesn't he?" A voice echoed, even louder than the dripping. He reached for his ears trying to block out the overwhelming noise but found he could not make them move, found his entire body unable to move. Consciousness had grabbed him and was refusing to let go, ignoring his pleas until finally he saw the light.

And what a light it was too. Easily strong enough to blind a man if he should look into it too long. He tried to bring his hands up to shield his eyes but found he still could not move them. No that wasn't the right word he could feel his body trying to obey him but something was holding it back. He looked down to see he was shackled into a cold metal chair housed in a room almost pitch black. He could see no exit, no windows, and no other furnishing aside from the chair he was strapped into and the glaringly bright light above him. He quickly quieted the urge to panic at the sudden turn of events and began to draw the Force to him- Only to be shocked back to near unconscious for his efforts.

"Look who finally decided to join us in the land of the living," A familiar voice taunted just out of sight. The last voice he wanted to hear.

"Dawn," Aragorn said simply, conveying all his anger, hate, hope, and betrayal in that single word.

The voice laughed again, "Ah that name how nostalgic, but please call me Dusk." The twisted Jedi turned Dark Lord walked into view in front of him, yellow eyes staring back where once there had been bright green eyes full of excitement and hope. His skin had paled to a sickly color, but his body was fitter than it ever had been. He was more confident more powerful than when they had last seen each other and while Ara had always known it would take strength to lead a genocidal army he was still taken aback by how much more imposing he had become. He stood with the demeanor and experience of a practiced master and his eyes gleamed with a sharp intellect. "Or you could always call me master," he said snapping Ara out of his study.

"That's not going to happen any time soon!" Ara snapped and reached for the lightsaber at Dusk's belt, yanking at it with the Force- and was once again greeted with a sharp jolt of pain that threatened to send him back into the void. This time he fought against it,the warrior in him not allowing him to open himself to so dangerous an enemy.

"I wouldn't try that again if I were you," Dusk tutted making a slow circle around the dazed Jedi as his black robes fluttered in a non-existent breeze. "You see Cael was quite adept at turning people to his cause. If he couldn't get past their defenses normally then he would cut what powered their defenses by cutting them off from the Force. Of course he couldn't use a ysalamir because it would cut him off to, so he came up with an inventive little device that's now imbedded in both your head and Sarus'. It detects emotional states associated with Force use - positive for Jedi, negative for Sith - and shocks you." He came to a stop in front of Ara once again and leaned in until he was but an inch from the Jedi's face. "Quite ingenious really, but you and I both know you can bypass that any time now don't we?"

"How? By using the dark side?" Aragorn forced a laugh, "Keep on dreaming. I've been down that road once, it brought me nothing but pain."

"And the light side is any better? In the four years you've been a Jedi you've been subjected to watching your friends die around you as this war rages, holding back when you know you have the power to stop those deaths. How many have you watched die when a simple bolt of lightning could have saved them? How many have you had to kill or arrest for falling when you knew damn well their power could be controlled and used?" He leaned back and spread his hands to indicate the room, "And now look where you are. Abandoned and alone at the hands of your enemy. It seems the me the light doesn't stop pain it just means you can't enjoy it anymore."

"You're insane," Aragorn scoffed. He'd been through this tirade before and he knew exactly where it led. Sith were very good with words, and masters of playing on fear to reach their ends. And Dawn had become so much worse than mere Sith.

"Insane? No, insanity is an escape for those incapable of dealing with the harsh reality of the Galaxy, that life is suffering and death. No the Jedi are insane, believing a positive attitude and moral high ground will keep people from pain and despair. If anything I am the one sane person left in existence, I know the reality of life, I've suffered and felt death, and I know it can be used. These are inevitable aspects of life so instead of fighting them I'll use them to make the Galaxy a better place."

"What happened to you Dawn? How can you honestly think this war is good for anyone?" Aragorn pleaded hoping there was something left of the boy he had known so long ago.

Dawn smirked, "You don't see it now, but you will soon enough." He looked down at Ara's hand for a moment, "So I'll let you keep your trinket for a while longer, that little speck of hope you've latched onto." Aragorn looked down at the hand to see it was white-knuckled and bleeding from the grip he was exerting, it was odd that he had no felt the pain, nor noticed the tension until now. He could hardly remember taking the crystal from his lightsaber, the last tie he had to the man who had convinced him to become a Jedi. "Taking it from you will just turn you against me," Dawn continued, "and that's not what I want, I want you to see the truth. In time you will come to realize what you cling to is your greatest mistake and the true source of your confusion and indecision." With that the Dark Lord turned and began to leave.

"What no torture Dawn? Your minions will think you've gone soft on them!" Aragorn goaded knowing the man had to be lying and hoping to get a rise out of him. He didn't know if anyone else was watching, but if they were then a sudden lose of control might instill some doubt. And he honestly had no better ideas.

But instead of a burst of rage, or a fist lashing out all Dawn did was sigh, "I'm not going to torture you Ara, I just want you to recognize the truth and in time you will." He finished as the door slid shut, and the light blinked out leaving Aragorn alone in the dark with his thoughts.

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As the door clicked shut Dusk let the charade fall and scowled back at the room he had just left. Leave it up to that man to latch onto the one thing that annoyed him the most. It seemed everywhere he turned something of Master Aardvark reared it's ugly head. He'd been the man responsible for putting him to sleep for three years inside the body of a weakling, and even when he had finally made his way to dominance the bastard had shown up in his subconscious to aid the weakling once again. He had thought he'd finally gotten rid of the last remnants a year ago when he crushed Dawn once and for all, but now he was back again. The damnable crystal Aragorn was holding onto held a small amount of energy from the Sentinel, the same energy he had finally banished from his body when Dawn was eradicated. It almost pained him to let Aragorn hold onto it, but at the same time he knew he would have to play this carefully if he ever wanted Aragorn at his side. He smirked, Besides it will be that much sweeter to see Ara destroy his last tie to the Jedi and the man that saved him.

"If I may say, that was exquisitely done my Lord," Requis offered. The aide had been waiting and watching as Dusk worked the Jedi over and seemed to have enjoyed the deception. But then again the little rat seemed to enjoy everything he did a little too much. He might be losing control of the slime ball and if he was he couldn't trust the man not to stab him in the back. It may be a good idea to make sure he met an untimely end in the next battle.

"Yes, I admit I enjoyed it as well," Dusk replied making sure not to show too much pause. "What's next on the day's agenda?"

Lehel pulled up his datapad and began typing, "You're free for another hour and then you have a meeting with Grand Admiral Vos to plan the attack. Would you like to try your hand with Sarus while you have some free time?"

Dusk thought on it a moment, it would be nice to turn the pompous little alien to his cause, but he doubted it would work in time to be of any use. Unlike Ara Sarus hadn't been a Sith and in fact had been taught by a reformed Sith so he would be much more persistent. He decided it wasn't worth the effort, he needed Ara because of the raw power he possessed, but Sarus only had moderately more power than you're average Jedi, "No I think I'll let Letum take care of him, and if he can't get him to turn in time then we'll just turn him into another drone."

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"My name is Darth Letum. I have a question for you: Where exactly is the base?" The voice came from out of the darkness.

Sarus struggled to make sense of the scenario. He vaguely remembered being captured but he had no idea where he was now, if he was even still on Muunlist. The only he remembered was being shot, dragged into a compound or ship of some kind, watching as Ara was tortured, attacking the man responsible in a clouded fit of rage.... But wait, hadn't he been unable to use the Force? He distinctly remember being shocked when he had first awoken and tried to use the Force, so why had he later been able to use it to attack Letum? No wait his name was Guthix, he'd gone missing a year ago, assigned to track a disturbance on Tatooine and gone missing.

A flash of lightning shot from the darkness hitting his wounded shoulder. Unable to hold back he cried out in pain, his voice hoarse from unremembered screams of rage and pain. "This is getting rather tiresome," Guthix spoke again, "so why don't you just give me the location?"

"Guthix?" Sarus struggled to bring his breathing under control. The pain was severe and he'd never had a very high tolerance, "Guthix why are you doing this? We're friends, we grew up in the same dorm! Why are you here? Why are you hurting me? And where's Aragorn?"

"We've been over this Sarus." The Sith let loose another bolt of lightning hitting the same spot again. The Jedi tried to stiffle a scream and failed, "My name is Darth Letum. Now stop stalling and give me the coordinates!" Sarus tried to erect a barrier, a passive defense, maybe even channel the energy back at the Sith and was met with another shock, this one from inside his head. The pain made his vision swim and he nearly lost consciousness, his mind slipping into the gap between waking and sleep. When he finally pulled himself out of it Guthix was standing right in front of him scowling, "Ah good you're awake again. I was afraid I'd have to cut our fun short."

He was so close, easily within reach, if only he could use the Force. He strained against the bindings anyway hoping for a lucky break, but only managed to rub his wrists raw. No Force, and I'm not strong enough without it, but I don't understand, I know I used it last time. "What did you do to me Guthix? You weren't weak, but you were never strong enough to block someone off from the Force. So what is it? Ysalamiri? No they don't shock you they just cut you off. So what is it?"

The Sith smiled, "Give me the coordinates and I'll be more then happy to show you."

"Suck a-"

The backhand came faster then he could see and with a bit of Force power behind it, "Insolence brings only pain Sarus." He shook his hand out, "But if you tell me what I want to know I can take that pain away." He pressed his fingers into the Jedi's shoulder wound, digging and getting a pained scream for reward, "I'm not completely out of touch with my Jedi training, tell me what I want to know and I can heal this up before we even touch down." Sarus tried channeling the pain as Kami had taught him, make it into something useful, but was once again shocked into near unconsciousness for his trouble. This time when he came back some time had passed as Guthix had found a chair somewhere and was sitting across from him. "You really must stop this Sarus," he said almost sad. "You know you can't use the Force like that and yet you insist on trying. At this rate you'll turn your brain to mush before we can get anything out of it."

"Good, I'd sooner turn it to mush than give up my friends to Dawn." He said, but was focusing on something else entirely, Can't use it 'like that'? What's that mean? Was I right? Is there a way to bypass whatever they've done? There were many ways to use the Force, too many to count in some ways, but at it's most basic level use was based on a combination of emotion and focus. Was that what he meant or was he referring to a specific technique? Come on Guthix I know you're trying to give me a hint, but I need more! At the same time he couldn't risk saying anything and give away what little information he was starting to glean.... and yet. Could he really risk not taking advantage of the opening? "Come on Guthix we both know you're not gonna crack me, so give it to me straight. Why are you really here? To turn me? For fun? Or are you really so stupid as to think I'd give up that information?"

"You talk of my stupidity but what of you? You struggle against us, but you cannot win so you rally others to a certain death never realizing it's futile! We are willing to give up everything for our cause, make the greatest sacrifice without hesitation, and we have the power of the dark side at our back, urging us forever onward. And make no mistake the dark side is stronger no matter what those old fools in the Council believe. Light always casts a shadow of darkness, but darkness does not return the favor, no light is needed for us to exist, and yet even when overwhelmed we still exist in the darkest corner in places no one thinks to look. So why fight? The darkside will win, it is only a matter of time. All things die Sarus, it's only a matter of time, but the darkness is eternal."

Sarus nodded, "So how long did it take you to come up with that one?"

A fist began to close around the Jedi's throat, "Make no mistake Jedi I will have that information even if I must strip it from your mind by force." Sarus could feel himself and the chair being lifted off the ground as the air was slowly cut off from him, "The only thing stopping me from making you a drooling shell of the man you are now is because I saw potential in you." Sarus' vision was begining to fade out and he found he had no strength to move. "Don't disappoint me," And suddenly he could breath as the chair dumped to the floor managing to stay upright despite the unceremonious drop, "I'd think carefully on my words if I were you." And with that he faded back into the shadows and vanished.

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Aragorn stared at the palm of his hand, or more specifically at the gem held there. It glowed bluish white, pulsing in time with his heart, he could feel the power rolling off it even though he could not reach back. He had discovered that he could still feel the Force as one feels the waves beneath a ship, so close but still unable to reach out and touch it. He could do nothing with it he knew, but it was still some small comfort to him. But is that wrong? Is it just a false hope or is there truth to it? He clenched his fist frustrated. How could he even think that after everything the Jedi had done for him? It was the Sith that had killed his friends and taken his girlfriend from him, the Jedi had helped him, counseled him when he was grieving given him a home when he had nowhere to go. Fierfek his father was a Jedi! But... What if I'm wrong? Would being a Jedi have stopped Kami from dying? Would it have kept his girlfriend with him? Was it his choice to be a Sith that condemned them to death or his own weakness?

He unclenched his fist and looked at the crystal again, looking for some sign that he was wrong, that the his place was with the Jedi, but found only the same pulsing crystal. A crystal he'd formed in memory of someone he was not strong enough to protect, someone who had protected him instead and lost his life for it, and in the end neither of them had killed the Destroyer, it had been Spanish, it had always been Spanish. The Dark Lord had pushed him, separating out his strengths and weaknesses, and it was under his guidance that Aragorn's power had grown the most. By comparison his years as a Jedi had stunted his growth, for every step he made towards being a Jedi he undid five of Sith training. And now, four years later, was he really any stronger? If he had stuck with the Sith and cultivated his hatred how much more powerful would he have become? Strong enough to stop Dawn from becoming Dusk and end this pointless conflict?

He would never know, those days had come and gone and now he was here, in Dawn's captivity, unable to harness a power he had worked four years to learn the only thing available to him a path he had disgarded. But did I really? He had snapped more than once and harnessed the dark side, and it had always given him the power he needed to win. He had felt terrible later on, but was that right? He had never hurt anyone who didn't deserve it when he snapped and he had always come back before anyone got seriously hurt. Was now any different? Yes it is. I can go wild here and none of my friends will be hurt. I'm surrounded by the enemy but they've left me access to my most powerful weapon, all I need to do is reach for it! But what good would it do him now? He could not hope to beat them all, they'd take him down long before he did any meaningful damage and then his death would mean nothing. But there was another path open to him, The question is do I dare take it?

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Sarus closed his eyes and stilled his breathing, sinking into a deep meditation. There is no emotion, there is peace, he thought to himself, putting action to the mantra, slowly stripping away the noise. Quiet yourself Sarus. Remove all obstacles, remove your surroundings, remove your senses, focus inward. And there it was, the Force. He could feel the power ebbing from it and reached out to touch it-

"Fierfek!" He said startled at the sudden shock. The pain wasn't as bad as it had been earlier - most likely because he hadn't tried to do anything with the Force only reached out to feel it - but it was still enough to shake him from his meditation. Okay so that didn't work, but why not? He had hoped the device shocked him before because of the conscious thought, but now it was obvious that whatever they had done was far more ingrained than that. But I could still feel it, I'm not cut off, it's right there there's just a fence between us. So was that it, there was no possible way or was he just going about it the wrong way?

"You really must stop this Sarus. You know you can't use the Force like that and yet you insist on trying...."

There had to be a way, why else would he phrase it like that? To give him false hope? He couldn't discount the possibility. Sith had done far worse for years to those they tortured for no more reason than to prolong their captive's suffering. But could Guthix really be that far gone? He had been a Sith first, he turned to Jedi later, but it had just begun when he had gone missing. The dark nature in him had never been fully purged and it would have been all to easy for him to fall back to his old ways but....

"I propose a bond of sorts gentlemen. Kami always wanted to turn those from the path of darkness, that they may be able to truly live free of all burdens. A desire he saw fulfilled first through words, then through violence, but only if he had to. An admirable goal to be sure, and a goal I do not think should die with him. So I propose a pact, to always try to turn those from the darkness, no matter how long or arduous the path may be."

He had spoken those words only a year ago, but he had never been forced to confront that promise until now. Were those words just the foolish optimism of one who knows nothing of true Sith or did I mean them? Such promises were easy to uphold in the heat of battle where the line between redemption and betray was plain for all to see and the consequences final. But here, now, in the middle of enemy territory, surrounded by darkness? It was hard to tell if what was offered was a hand or a blade, and even harder which of those were to be preferred. A hand offered could conceal a blade tipped in poison, while the grip of a blade could just as easily conceal the antidote. How do I believe the best of people when all I've seen in the last years speaks to the worst life has to offer?

Or perhaps a better question would be: Does it matter? I'm dead if he's lying, but I'd be dead anyway if he'd told me nothing. What does it matter if I die in the next hour, day, or month if I let all I hold dear die in the process? It's better to try and hope he's telling the truth than to live jumping at shadows for what little remains of my life.

Renewed by his decision he settled into his meditation once again until he could feel the power of the Force flowing close, like a mist rising from a waterfall. OK now think. I can feel the power even if I can't grab it right now. If I was completely shut off I shouldn't even feel that so there must be a way, but how do I know where it is? He felt like a blind man standing on the edge of a cliff feeling the mist from a waterfall, but unsure of where to jump. OK, time for basic Jedi Introduction, there are two ways to access the Force: Intelligently or by instinct. Intelligent use requires selecting a technique and following the flow of power to it to use the power whereas instinctual use is driven by emotion. Well I already tried an emotionless approach to this and got shocked, so should I continue off where I left? Am I just using the wrong technique? No, if it was only one then why bother with the hint at all? There's far too many techniques to try them all. So my only other option is an instinctual use, emotionally driven. Could it be as simple as just using it emotionally? Worth a try. He reached out once again but this time expressing concern for Aragorn, trying to feel his friend and ally-

"Stang that hurts!" He yelled once again as he got a nasty shock to his head. OK wrong idea or wrong emotion? He settled back down and easily slipped back to where he left off, So maybe that was a little too obvious. I usually try to react out when I'm waking up and that's an instinctual response as much as anything. So it has to be something I wouldn't normally use. Anger? No, even Jedi got irritated and just using the force while angry didn't make it an act of darkness. Wait! That's it! The dark side wouldn't even occur to most Jedi as a method, it was anathema, worse than death.

The Chiss almost had to laugh. Leave it to Dusk to play to a Jedi's greatest weakness. Most Sith attempted to turn Jedi by making them feel their power wasn't enough, and it wasn't a bad trick, many a Jedi had fallen for it, but this was far more sinister. By the time a Jedi got to the rank of Knight they had become so accustom to the Force that they used it for basically everything and when it was taken away they were reduced to dead weight and powerless. This almost always resulted in a Jedi feeling helpless and alone if prolonged more than a day or two, and given an opportunity to use the Force again they would often take it, regardless of the consequences. So this chip plays to me like an addiction, offering me all the power I'm missing so long as I give up everything I am. Well it's not gonna work Dusk, I know your trick now so I know how to work around it...

Except he didn't really. There were only two ways out of the room the Force or a body bag. OK don't panic. Potentium method. No power is inherently good or bad it's in how you use them. By extension that means emotion doesn't matter, intent does and the dark side is simply a perversion I choose whether or not to fall victim to. So the only question is how do I use my dark emotions for good intent? It was a question that had confounded followers of the Potentium for millenia. Some powers required incredibly powerful emotions to harness, emotions that simply had to be dark in nature, those of blinding rage and primal terror, but the question became how do you use those powers for good. A simple rule Jedi learned was that the stronger your emotions are the less reason you have, and an emotion of such power by definition removed any reason from the equation. Many followers had attempted to subvert this by directing the emotion beforehand and letting it act it's course, but while this worked at the beginning the users had no control of when to stop it. Which is probably why the Potentium has been abandoned for decades. There was no answer to the question, they simply accepted those powers were part of the perversion. So how am I supposed to figure out in a few hours what generations of Force Masters never understood? Maybe I just don't need to go that far. Any use of the darkside in theory should allow him to use the Force.

Sarus reached out again, this time coating the act in a layer of anger at how they had treated Aragorn. Kindling the anger until it flared into rage and decided there and then he would make those who had done it pay-

"Kriffing chip!" He screamed as another shock racked him. He had failed again, but he had felt a little of the Force right before he was cut off, almost enough to harness and use, he just had to push a little more. The question was, could he reign himself in if he pushed himself any more? He had been on the brink of blind rage when he had reached out, maintaining just enough reason to dictate an action rather than just cut loose. There has to be a way! I can get around this I can! Can't I?

"There is a line between the light and dark side Sarus," Kami had said one night so long ago, "the line can be bent, twisted, and stretched, but make no mistake there IS a line. Some actions, no matter what justifications or intentions are completely light or completely dark and there is no way to perform them without being permanently marred. I hope you will never have to cross that line, but at the same time I know a time may come when it is impossible not to and when that time comes you must remember one thing. You will never live it down, when you cross it. You will live with what you did for the rest of your life and it will haunt you now and beyond the grave. You will hate doing it, but you'll realize when the time comes that sometimes to do the right thing you must first become what you hate. That sometimes to find the light you must first tunnel through the darkness."

The Jedi clenched his fists, remembering the conversation and not understanding what his master had meant. Even later after he had become a full Force Warrior he had never understood what Kami meant. He had always told himself he'd rather die than give in to darkness and that only the weak willed would ever face such a decision. But he knew. He knew that some things are more important than one person, that sometimes sacrifice isn't so black and white as life and death. That sometimes sacrifice is living with the knowledge that you have done something inexcusable for the greater good.

"Good morning Sarus," Guthix voice interrupted. Sarus looked up and saw the Sith standing in front of him, a shaft of light spilling around him from the door he had just walked through.

Now.

"I see you're still awake. Did you think about what I said?"

I have to do it now!

"This is your last chance, if you don't tell me the coordinates now I'll have to kill you."

You can't chicken out now!

"We only have an hour to talk unfortunately. I need to be on the bridge before the fighting starts."

Dammit what are you waiting for?

"I'm sorry Guthix," Sarus whispered. The Jedi plunged into the Force channeling all the bottled anger and rage he had from a year of war, all the fear for his friends and allies, and used it. In a blink the Force Warrior was standing, restraints shattered, a scream issuing from his mouth so ear-splittingly painful that Guthix doubled-over and nearly blacked out from the pain.

A pair of guards slide into the room, blasters out and ready to fire, but they never got the chance as the room suddenly filled with a storm of Force Lightning. The two were dead long before they hit the ground, the sudden power a mercy in a way as their last moments, while painful, were brief all the same. With a blast of telekinetic power the door blew off it's hinges and the walls blasted out catching what sounded like a third guard unawares and crushing him against the wall. Turning back to the Sith he felt his hand coming up and closing around Guthix's throat, lifting him into the air and squeezing the life out of him. Through it all though the man was smiling, "Good, you understood. Dusk forbid me from telling you... knew you would make the sacrifice..." Sarus felt both relieved and horrified. Relieved that he had been right to trust the former Jedi, but horrified that he could not force himself to stop. He had unleashed his own darkness and now he felt trapped inside his own body as his rage ran it's course, but Guthix seemed to understand, "Don't fell bad... knew this would happen..." he was beginning to turn blue, "Aragorn... on level... 13-D... equipment... end of hall..." all color was beginning to drain from his face, "tell them... I was... a Jedi... to the end..." Guthix stopped twitching and fell to the ground in a heap. Sarus wanted to cry. He had known what would happen if he gave into the dark side like this, but he had not been prepared for what it would feel like to actually kill an ally, a man completely helpless. He could blame no one but himself, and he knew he would have to live with that knowledge until he died.

He felt himself regaining control of his body as the rage ebbed away. He sank to the floor in despair, he had never wanted this. The Masters always said the Force had a plan for everyone, but it was hard for him to see one at that moment. Especially knowing he would have to do this again at least once before the day was done. Reaching into Guthix's robes he pulled out the Sith blade the man had kept and ignited it, bathing the room in blood red. What am I now? A Jedi? A Sith? A monster? No, he was Sarus Cloud, and he would be whatever he needed to be to save his friends.

-------------------------------------------------------------

The door slide open without a sound and Dusk walked in and stood before a stooped Aragorn, "The guards said you wanted to see me."

The Watchman looked up suddenly, eyes sharp and defiant, and something else, hunger. Without a sound he stood, his restraints falling away. He looked the Dark Lord straight in the eye and lifting his arm to reveal a crushed lightsaber crystal covered in blood in the palm of his hand. In a voice so soft it was nearly inaudible he said, "I'm ready to see the truth."

Dusk smiled and waved him to the door, "Then come with me, my apprentice."

_________________

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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Red-X on Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:47 am

"That could actually work…”

Reinaulds was sitting on the edge of the glowing holo-table in the dark room. His team that he had handpicked for this assignment sat around the table studying the data scrolling on three dimensional projection. The only light in the room came from table. Reinaulds and his squad had been with Commander Reddex for many years. They were practically his mini-army/security detail. Reinaulds was wondering when they’ll get to have their boots on the ground again. He could tell his team was anxious for their next mission. Even though they didn’t see much action on Muunilinst; it felt good be a valuable asset in getting this done.

Commander Reddex had always given them enough breathing room to voice their opinions on things. The Commander had always kept a conversational, relaxed attitude on the ship. This is, actually what every commanding officer should be. Reinaulds looked at everyone on his team as they took turns talking about how they would execute such a crucial task. His demolition specialist was as often, eager to blow something up. Kaz, was trying to find ways to set off enough explosives to make a new sun. The idea though was quickly shot down by Reddex. The fallout of the explosion could bring harm to those on Yavin, which was exactly on Reinaulds mind.

“Causalities of war have always been a guarantee, sir…” Reinaulds thought to himself. He adjusted in his seat and continued to sit quietly trying to imagine exactly how they were going to execute this.

On the far side of the holo-table, his Close Quarters specialist Kelly finally got around to speaking up. She was leaning against the bulk head in the darkness. She had asked how they would get past the shields. Such an attempt was futile in Reinaulds mind. A person could easily slip right off. Though, Reddex had proposed an idea.

“Since Dusk already has a big head start, I think it’s best to assume their shields will be down. We can slip in cloaked, and drop you folks onto the haul. Hopefully, nothing wrong will happen…” Reddex said.

Reinaulds knew his Commander was preaching to the converted. His team knew very well something ALWAYS went wrong in the most ridiculous circumstances. Then, his second in command, Sam, asked another question.

“About those heat sources, Commander. Are you positive no one is monitoring them? It’s going to be a pain if someone just happens to be down there. Getting our cover blown while attempting to access those repair stations will make our jobs a lot harder.” Sam was bigger than everyone on his team. He usually did the heavy lifting if push came to shove. He just happens to be close friends with Reinaulds.

“Honestly, Sam, we just have to take our chances. Desperate times have always come with desperate measures. Once you make your way into that ship, you are on your own. I don’t know if we have any friendlies in there, so be careful. Assume everyone you meet to be the enemy.” Reddex said.

Reinaulds was now beginning to have some doubts. No extract? As usual…the odds were heavily against them. Reinaulds scratched his beard as tech specialist fiddled with the information on the holo-table. Cosin understood things about electronics that no one else could even comprehend. If he touched anything, expect to see a couple of upgrades…He turned to Commander Reddex.

“I just want to go over this virus again.” Cosin pressed a few keys and the program for the virus appeared. “What exactly do you want us to do with this again?”

“From what Zowlis has given me, it appears Ptolemy has been carrying a valuable tool. You can take a look yourself. You can read this stuff better then I can.” Reddex chuckled alittle as he transferred the notes from Ptolemy from his datapad to the projector.
Cosin scrolled through the text rather quickly and smiled, “I might just have to copy this for future Ops…” Cosin shook his head not believing what was on the data.

“Feel free to tell us, Cosin.” Reinaulds finally said.

“Right, sorry sir. This program has the ability to copy an entire system, nearly identical. It’s…like a copycat virus. But, it’s more complicated. Hmm…It says here,” Cosin stopped on a certain area of text and highlighted a few lines. “It can send the system a query to upgrade weapons, communications, and sensor equipment. Hell, I can set it so it can feed the wrong data. Commander, I can overload the Ion cannon on Daedalus with this…and that’s just a start.” Cosin clapped his hands together in eagerness.
“Guess we found ourselves an impromptu bomb.” Kaz smirked, sitting back on a crate crossing his arms.

“And I guess I’ll be the one asking how the hell am I supposed to use my sniper inside that ship?” Alek said, looking disgruntled at his rifle sitting next to him. “I’m not very keen on seeing my enemy up-close…”

Kelly’s small smirk was heard in the back. “You were always the distant one…”

“Right back at you…”Alek said harshly.

Reinaulds looked at Kelly getting ready to say something offensively as she stopped leaning on the bulkhead, but knew it would lead to unnecessary conflict, “Lock it down. Both of you.”

“OK, back to business people. If you can locate a terminal to load this software Cosin, do not hesitate. The quicker we can knock out that ship, the better.” Reddex said nodding to the tech-wizard. “Remember, extraction is going to be all on you. Do not try to contact the Shadow; I don’t want you being compromised. When you activate that virsus Cosin, I want you to also overload those shields. I want her opened up so whatever fleet that is mustered can rain hell on her backside. I don’t know how many friendlies we’ll see when we get there. Is that clear people?” Reddex said looking at everyone. Then Reinaulds saw his Commander look at something behind him and frowned slightly.

Reinaulds winced alittle. The newest addition to the team was probably asleep again…He caught his Commanders eye and gestured to him that things will be fine. Looks like he’ll have another talk to the rookie about sleeping during briefings again.

“Prepare yourselves. You’ll be exiting through the hangar. From there…Good luck.” Reddex saluted to everyone in the room. Reinaulds and his team returned the gesture as they watched their Commander exit the room.

“Operation MALFUNC is a go, folks. Get your things ready and meet back here in 2 hours.” Reinaulds said. He grabbed his gear and strolled to the exit shutting off the holo-table. The room faded to black.

-----

Reddex strolled all the way back to the bridge in silence. He had been through a lot these past few weeks. He somewhat felt like a failure, remembering back to the giant crater that was Mariunhus. So much death…

The Commander stepped into the turbolift that will take him up to the bridge. As the doors closed he rested against the wall. He tried to visualize a better tomorrow, but it was proving to be difficult. So much was going on, the now was more important than ever. If by the end of this day, there shall be a victor. The victor would decide the entire fate of the galaxy and Reddex would be there to see it happen in front of his eyes.

What did you get yourself into…”Reddex thought.

His thoughts moved over to Rokk and wondered where they would be once this day was over. The thought of marriage crossed his mind…Family too. Would it still be too soon? He was still learning new things about her. She could very well handle herself, that’s a fact. Reddex made a mental promise to never leave her side as long as he breathed. When the turbolift doors opened he came face to face with someone incased in battle armor. From years of experience, Reddex automatically took out his Westar and as he brought it up to aim, Dray appeared stopping him.

“Wait! Don’t!” Dray pulled Reddex’s Westar out of his hand with the Force and caught it.

The armored figured turned to look at them. It was Ptolemy. Reddex couldn’t recognize a damn thing on that man. What the hell was going on?

“Care to explain, Dray? Ptolemy?” Reddex asked grabbing his Westar back, annoyed. Was that a cloak?

“He just showed up, right before you did. I was surprised too.” Dray said, turning to look at Ptolemy. “He’s a Jensaarai.”

“What the hell is that?” Reddex asked.

“Uuuh. Long story…” Dray shrugged.

Reddex shook his head, understandable. He didn’t get this whole Jedi-Sith mess much, anyway. All this new/ancient stuff gave him headaches when Dray tried to explain things to him. He had told him one day, if something that took more than a hour to make sense, to not bother. The old Jedi looked highly lethal. But that cloak…

Before Reddex could ask, he saw Dray and Ptolemy instantly grab hold of something with an iron grip. Suddenly everything shook and Reddex was thrown violently forward. On the main viewport, he could see they were ripped out of lightspeed…….again. “So, I guess the two of you thought it was best not to warn me that I was going to get tossed?”

“Apologies, Red. It would have been too late anyway.” Ptolemy frowned.

“But the assurance that you two cared for our safety-“ Reddex began, but Sol piped up.

“Sir, you should see this!”

As Ptolemy helped Reddex get to his feet, Dray stepped towards the viewport. “Orders?” Briggs asked.

“No, it’s fine. They’re one of ours.” Dray said. “Lustangah, open a channel.”

In front of the Shadow, were numerous Interdictors with their gravity well generators active. Along with them were other crusiers and frigates. To Reddex it looked like a staging area.

“Bazerial, It’s been awhile.” Dray said smiling.

“Wasn’t expecting to see you here. I can feel Ptolemy is there with you as well. Where’s Thing and Kora?”

“They’re mopping up a mess Dawn had caused on Muunilinst. They’ll be bringing up the rear. I guess you got my message.” Dray said.

“We all did. It was agreed that the remaining fleets in nearby systems meet here. Then we can take Daedalus on and slow it down from destroying the temple. Thought we would see you at Yavin, actually.”

“We were heading there now to launch a first strike on Daedalus; we don’t have a lot of time to chat. How close are you to getting ready?” Dray asked.

“Right now, I’m waiting for Kelrocks team to link back up with us. Then we will be right behind you. I will have one of my Interdictors open up a field for your ship to get back on course. Do what you can Dray, don’t let Dusk get away with this.” Bazerial said urgently.

The Shadow flew through Bazerial’s fleet heading towards one of its Interdictors. They could see the generators powering down. TwinTails and Crossfire’s soared around the ships on patrol. A squadron peeled off to guide the Shadow through the thick fray towards their exit. Reddex hoped Thing and Kora will be able to catch up with them. They need them now more than ever. He knew the choice Dray had to make in leaving them behind was hard. It had to be done. Though Reddex had never been to Yavin, this would be something new to him. He had never seen JSA’s temple. Hopefully they will arrive with it still intact.

The squadron spilt off giving the Shadow room to jump. “Kyle?” Reddex asked.

“Route set, we are green.”

The Shadow’s warp drive throttled to full power and slipped the craft back into hyperspace. Reddex checked his chrono, they had only 3 hours till they reach their destination. He wondered how fast Daedalus was at warp speed. He prayed he wouldn’t see another planet engulfed in flames when they arrived. He also wondered how Ptolemy was doing, but before he could ask as he turned around, Dray and Ptolemy had already left the bridge. Instead, Rokk had just appeared from the turbolift. She had given Reddex a weary smile. Something was up. She approached him without avoiding his eyes and hugged him.

“I have something to tell you.” She whispered in his ears.

Moments later they walked back to their quarters in silence. He noticed she wasn’t looking at him as they walked together through the compartments. When they got inside the room, she spoke as soon as the door shut.

“I havn’t been entirely honest with you…” She said.

Numerous thoughts went through his head. He knew she wasn’t pregnant. He knew she couldn’t be a spy…well he hoped for goodness sake she wasn’t.

“You already know that I was an Officer for my home world Hapes. Well there’s something else…” She pulled out a hand-held hologram projection pod from her pants pocket. She clicked a button and a projection of shockingly beautiful woman in an eloquent gown. Some of her features looked very familiar to Reddex. “This is the Queen Mother of the Hapes Consortium. I’m her daughter.”

Reddex froze on the spot. No words could escape his mouth. He couldn’t possibly be in a relationship with a princess.

“I, well, ran away from home. I got tired of all the royalty and wanted to be free; wanted adventure.”

“Sooo, you joined a gang of pirates?” Reddex said with a raised eyebrow.

Rokk shrugged, “I never have been off planet for so long, had to start somewhere.”

“…But, you tried to kill us.” Reddex said still perplexed looking at the holo-projection of her mother.

“What would you do if you were surviving off scraps trying to make a living?” Rokk asked. “Since now that you know who I really am. Things seem to be spiraling more out of control in this galaxy. I might be able to bring more help by asking my mother to give you aid. Have her fleet to assist above Yavin. I don’t know how she will act to my sudden appearance, but it’s worth a shot.”

“That would be most grateful. Of all places, I have run into so many surprises and secrets on this ship, why the hell haven’t I lost my mind yet?” Reddex said shaking his head.

Rokk smiled, “I’ll send a transmission to my mother.”

----

Reinaulds rummaged through his locker and gathered his armor on the bench. His team were preparing as well. Sam and Kaz had come back in carrying crates of ammunition and equipment from the armory, then placed them in the middle of them room. The room they were given was quite spacious. When you walk in, newcomers are welcomed to a wide viewport to the stars. Reinaulds team preferred to keep the lights off and let the stars light up their environment. The glow reflected off their armored vacuum suits that would be used in boarding the Daedalus outside the Shadow.

Without warning, the entrance opened up and two figures walked in. Reinaulds recognized them immediately.

“Attention on deck!” Reinaulds yelled and snapped to a salute. Everyone on his team stopped what they were doing and mirrored his stance.

“Don’t bother gentlemen. All I ask for is consideration.” Dray said. With him stood some strange looking armored figure.

“What would that be, sir?” Reinaulds said relaxing along with his team. Though they kept a cautious eye on the man engulfed in plating.

“Ptolemy would like to join your mission to give you some back-up.” Dray said gesturing to the figure who had now taken off his helmet.

“It’s not often we see Jedi in a fight, but is there something going on we should know? Something that could jeopardize my team’s mission?” Reinaulds asked. What were these Jedi up to?

“It’s personal.” Ptolemy said.

Reinaulds thought for a moment and looked at his team. “Why wasn’t I notified of this a while ago? Our objective is very clear. We have no time for personal endeavors.”

He watched as Ptolemy’s expression turned slightly dark then back to normal. The old Jedi looked at Dray for a second. Though he was somewhat a quiet man in front of others, he became pretty aware of someone’s body language. What he saw in that jedi showed him this conversation might go south.

“Do realize, Reinaulds, that you and your team are dropping into a massive ship full of Sith and people that will try to kill you at every corner. You will have a better chance if you had a Jedi on your team to give you added protection.” Dray said looking at everyone.

“I’d take the offer, boss.” Kaz said loading a few explosives in his satchel. “Could make our job a heck of a lot easier.”

“I’m fine with it too.” Sam said loading new power packs to his modified mobile blaster cannon.

“If for any reason, you get my people killed or destroy our opportunity to fulfill our mission, I will authorize my team to shoot you. I don’t want any slip ups, sir.” Reinaulds said sternly. Though we have the capabilities to take down a Sith, it doesn’t mean we can’t take down a Jedi either.

Dray gave Ptolemy an assured look, then glanced back to Reinaulds, “Agreed.”

“Then listen closely, Jedi Ptolemy, you will be briefed on our plan.” Reinaulads said walking up to the Jedi.

----

HOUR FROM YAVIN…

Reddex sat on the bridge’s command chair with his spukamas. He was glad to know the mess hall cooks were taking care of his pet. Looked healthy as ever. Everyone on the bridge had stayed quiet since they’re hasty departure from Muunilinst. He was at peace about it; he figured that all of them were thinking these could be the very last moments of their life. Rokk still hadn’t come back up. He had left her behind in their quarters so she could speak to her mother in private.

I’m dating a princess…” Reddex thought to himself.

He mildly cursed to himself that he better live to see another day so he could be with her. It wasn’t a great feeling to see a galaxy crumbling around him after each jump in system. So many things have gone wrong and now Yavin seems to be the final End Game to all this madness. Who would be there to help them? Who will we lose?

“My team is ready, Commander.” Reinaulds voice beeped through his comlink. Then his image appeared on his datapad. “Just give us the word.”

“Glad to hear it. This war has cost us enough dead heroes. It’s time to end it.” Reddex said.

“Yes, sir.” Reinaulds said nodding. Just as he was about to end the transmission, he stopped himself. “Not sure if they wanted you to know, sir, but Jedi Dray and Ptolemy came down to see us.”

Reddex finally knew where they ventured off to. What were they trying at? “What did they want?”

Reinaulds gave him a page by page of what happened. Even the part about the threat towards Ptolemy. Reddex noticed he didn’t look too pleased. He hoped Ptolemy wasn’t secretly doing this for only his own son. We don’t even know where they are.

“I still strongly feel not letting him come along, sir.” Reinaulds said. “Oddly, my team thinks differently…”

Immediately Reddex figured they used that Force magic stuff on Reinaulds team to convince him to let Ptolemy join. That was totally unnecessary. Though he was curious to see where this was going.

“Let’s just wait this out. Try to keep a good eye on him.” Reddex said

“Arriving in Yavin’s system, sir.” Briggs said, throttling down. “Shadow Generator is holding.”

The Shadow thudded as it exited hyperspace. They were greeted with the systems red and orange gas giant. This was Reddex’s first time in system. He wasn’t expecting a gas planet to be so large. Behind him, he heard Rokk step in and gasp slightly.

“It’s beautiful…”

Surrounding the gas giant were many other satellites. The moons were of various sizes. He heard from Kyle that there were only three which are habitable. Apparently the moons were given numbers. Their destination was number four. The only thing that really stood out in their way was an increasing black dot that stood against the gas giant’s vibrant color. Reddex frowned.

Bezz had magnified the viewport screen so they could get a better look. It was the Daedalus. He was glad it hadn’t started firing or launching waves of squadrons. “So far, it’s the only ship I can detect in system.”

“And I don’t want to send a transmission to the temple. They might intercept.” Lustongah said.

“Fair enough. Briggs, bring us in as close as you can.” Reddex said sitting upright in his chair. His spukamas jumped out of his lap and disappeared into the dimly lit bridge.

Minutes went by as the gas giant grew even larger. The trip seemed to take forever. So far nothing went wrong and nothing attempted to stop them. The massive ship seemed to not be going anywhere. Its engines were cold. Even from a distance, they could see a few chunks of molten land masses still on top of the hull from its rapid escape from Muunilinst. Some of the city could possibly be seen once they arrived. Reddex felt he was dropping his men feet first into hell.

“Wonder what Dusk is waiting for.” Dray said out of nowhere.

Reddex jumped in surprise and looked to his right. He was just standing there staring at the ship. Reddex thought he might ask him what he was doing with Reinaulds, but decided he would probably find out later. It was time to let his team know we’re almost to their destination.

----

Reinaulds, his team, along with Ptolemy sat around the holo-table looking at a three dimensional image of Daedalus. Each of them in turn going over what their jobs would be. He did this right before every mission to make sure everyone knew exactly how things were going to go. Of course there was always room to mix things up a little. He could see on some areas of the hull were large vents. Two particular vents were highlighted in red. The vents his team agreed to possibly hit once they landed on the ship.
Above the holo-table, a red siren sounded; echoing around the room. His team looked at the lights and smiled.

“You know the music. Time to dance.” Reinaulds put on his helmet and grabbed his gear. The group quietly walked out of the room and headed towards the hangar.

Crewmen respectfully stood on the edges of the hallway to give them room. Most of the looks weren’t on Reinaulds team, they were staring at Ptolemy. He could hear a crewmen ask someone next to him if Ptolemy was wearing a cloak…

Within a few minutes they stepped inside of the spacious hangar. They strolled past speeders that were used during the battle of Mariunhas. Blaster scoring still looked fresh. The group huddled around as they checked they weapons and made sure everything was exactly the way they wanted.

One of the hangar operators approached the heavily armored beings. “Commander Reddex is on the monitor.” He pointed to the wall close to the doors.

Reddex face appeared. “30 seconds till destination. A word of precaution, it looks bad down there, gentlemen. Watch it. You know your orders. May the Force be with you.”

Reinaulds nodded, “Yes sir.”

“Check your environmental suits. Make sure they are sealed. I’m depleting all the oxygen in this room.” The operator said as he walked back to a control kiosk to grab his helmet. He quickly fastened the helmet and waited for the signal from Reinaulds.

Reinaulds gave the man the thumbs up and the operator nodded. The roar of oxygen being vented echoed around the hangar and within moments it was eerily quiet. He felt a tap on his armored shoulder plate. It was Sam trying to get his attention. He knew he could have spoken through his coms, but guessed he wanted to remain quiet. He pointed to Ptolemy. The Jedi seemed to be inside of a thin green bubble. Reinaulds shrugged it off, “There be dragons…”

A green light lit above the main hangar doors and Reinaulds looked to the operator, “Kick the door.”

Slowly the wide doors opened up. The vastness of space engulfed them and an endless sea of carnage was seen. Debris from Muunilinst hadn’t been blasted away yet. Most of the land looked like giant boulders. The group crept down the hangar doors, weapons leveled for surprises.

The Shadow had dropped them off right where they needed to be, right by one of the vents. Reinaulds waved back to the operator inside the hangar and the doors slowly came back up. The blackness of the hangar went away as the camouflage took over. He could no longer tell if the Shadow[/i was still there. When he turned back around to make sure everyone was still here, he lost track of Ptolemy. Just when he was about to lose hope, he saw the Jedi already by one of the vents. The Jedi had reached one of the maintenance doors. A long intricately designed cylinder hovered in front of him, and then ignited as it dug into the door.

“Guess bringing the Jedi was a good idea after all.” Alek said quietly in his coms to his team.

----

“Now we wait.” Reddex said as Briggs brought the [i]Shadow
to a safe distance from the Daedalus.

“Soon, the better.” Dray said.

“Thought patience was virtue with you Jedi?” Rokk questioned.

Dray ignored Rokk’s quip. “You said something about your mother coming?”

“Yes, she was shocked and grateful that I had contacted her. She was incredibly worried.” Rokk said. “She’s assembling a fleet now. Not sure how long it will take for her to get here.”

“And hopefully Baz, Thing, and Kora make it here as well.” Dray said. “Wonder who else will show up in this inevitable fray.”

Minutes went by. Then it turned to hours as the crew of the Shadow waited to see any sign that the Daedalus was in any way, affected. So far, nothing had happened, until…

“Sir, we have incoming.” Bezz called out. “Multiple ships.”

“Friendlies? What?” Reddex asked eagerly.

Bezz turned to look at them. “Both.”

Behind them came a fleet with more ships then he could have imagined. Almost as much as the fleet that invaded Coruscant. Reddex recognized a few of the ships to be Bazerial. Seconds later more ships came out of hyperspace not far to the left. It was the fleet that had attacked them during Muunilinst. Many of their crafts were still flyable, and battle ready. The Aardvark was not long behind them, along with the Intrepid. Both the flagships had suffered cruel beatings. How they were able to make it back was a surprise to Reddex. The Crusaders fleet accelerated towards the Daedalus which had begun to bring its engines back online.

The response was rather quick, Bazerial, Thing, and Kora’s groups moved to intercept. The Shadow came out of camouflage as fighter groups streaked by. A few broke formation at the sudden appearance of the ship. Shadow maneuvered towards the battered Aardvark to see the massive areas where the hull was severely damaged and somewhat seemed quickly patched up in a hurry. The Intrepid was exactly in the same condition. Their massive engines were spewing fumes. Their hangar doors were barely open wide enough to let their squadrons soar out of.

“Sorry we’re late. It took a while to get those Crusaders to retreat back there.” Thing said through the Shadow’s coms.

“Vos is truly a dead man.” Kora said hoarsely, right after.

Reddex looked out the viewport as Dray updated them on what had just happened. Reddex could see the Daedalus still slowly throttling up. He wished their ships moved just a bit faster to catch up. It may be too late by the time they get into firing range. He even wondered how his team inside was doing. They still haven’t seen anything out of the ordinary.

“Sir, there’s ships rising from Yavin. Don’t know who they are.” Bezz said to Reddex.

Coming out of Yavin 4, he could see numerous small lights of sub-light engines. The trail they were making meant the fighters were moving at top speed. Reddex wasn’t sure if that would be enough. Then something else caught his eye. A single dual saucer shaped craft came out of hyperspace right by Daedalus. The Commander looked at the oddly shaped craft approaching Daedalus and wondered what was going on.

“They finally arrived!” Rokk said, appearing next to Reddex. “Just in time too.”

“They? I only see-“ Reddex said as he just witnessed many more multiple flashes of the same saucer designed ship appear from hyperspace. There had to have been 60-80 plus; Reddex gave up count as they formed in front of Daedalus’s path. Another group of sleek designed serpent ships exited closely behind. The massive ship’s guns became active and started firing into the giant cluster of foreign ships.

“What are those?” Dray asked.

“Hapes very own Battle Dragons along with Nova –Class battle cruisers, courtesy of Queen mother.” Rokked smiled.

The newly arrived Battle Dragons peppered Daedalus with their turbolaser batteries as they tried to slow the ship. The battle cruisers deployed small Miy’til fighter ships to help defend off Crusader squadrons. Thanks to the perfectly timed Hapan fleet, Thing, Kora and Bazerial were able to gain much ground on the behemoth. The surviving Crusaders that tried to protect their leader were now surrounded. The Crusaders created a ring around Daedalus to act as a shield.


“Let’s give those Hapans a hand shall we?” Reddex asked towards Briggs and Sol. “Dusk is getting a little too close to firing range. You think he’s going to hit the temple, Dray?”

“It has to be the biggest prize to hit. It’s perfect.” Dray said.

By now, the fight had passed by Yavin’s giant gas planet. Nothing was really standing in the way of Daedalus. The Shadow had dove into the battle to see where it was needed most. Frigates and opposing cruisers overlapped each other with turbolaser fire raining everywhere. Explosions erupted in every turn, rattling the Shadow. Chaos was the word Reddex felt comfortable describing what was going on around them. The Shadow had just looped over a Battle Dragon chasing an enemy Predator when their sensors picked up more Crusaders coming out of hyperspace. Now was not the time for fresh reinforcements. Reddex was really hoping Reinaulds would hurry up in there. Yavin 4 was now the biggest object on their viewport. The fight was traveling towards the night side of the planet.

One of the fighters Reddex had seen coming up from Yavin had streaked past them. On one of the Crossfire’s wing was the insignia of JSA. A place with such importance, all they had were snub-fighters? Reddex was worried.

“Most of our fleet was scattered trying to stop Dusk across the galaxy. We didn’t expect him to move this fast. Those fighters came straight from the temple.” Dray said feeling what he was thinking.

Dray shook his head for a moment, and realized something naked to Reddex’s eyes. He really hated this jedi magic stuff. “Whats wrong?”

“It’s Ptolemy, he’s sending me a warning to-“ Dray said just before a blinding flash of light filled the bridge.

The blast was closer than anticipated. Everyone standing was knocked hard off their feet. Everything shook violently. Reddex looked towards the viewport and Briggs was unconscious. His blood printed on his dashboard from his head colliding with it. Sol transferred his control to hers and tried to get a response out of the Shadow. The blinding white light slowly ebbed away and all they could see was spinning stars. The blast took out majority of the ships close to Daedalus…including itself. The Shadow spun out of control into Yavin 4’s dark atmosphere. Debris from Crusader cruisers, Battle Dragons, and fighters fell all around them.

The inertial compensator on the Shadow was fried, now allowing the full onslaught of Yavin’s gravity on the ship’s crew. The Shadow fell through the atmosphere and was slammed hard by a large object on the port side, causing it to barrol roll while it flipped end over end. Reddex was losing focus as he saw a turbolaser battery collide into the viewport and shattered the glass as it ricocheted off. The sudden escape of pressure grabbed hold of Reddex and pulled him towards the smashed open viewport.

The Commander could hear people screaming for his name but he couldn’t do anything to fight it. He tried to grab hold of anything but nothing was close enough. He became airborne and tumbled towards the viewport. Just before he was pulled out, he felt Sol grab his arm and had tried to pull him back in. Within seconds, it was futile. She couldn’t hold on any longer and Reddex slipped out of her hands. He was sucked through the viewport out into Yavin 4’s night sky. He could barely breathe from the high altitude. Blackness began to take his icy vision. He had lost track of the Shadow as he crept into unconsciousness. Then…nothing.

An unknown amount of time went by as Reddex slowly regained his vision. He was on his back, staring into the dark canopy of some forest. He took several deep breaths as he tried to recall what had happened to him. He rolled to his side trying to see his surroundings, but it was still night. Though, wreckage from numerous crafts was littered around him. Some of them were on fire. He haggardly sat up and leaned against a shattered hull of some craft. He still couldn’t understand how he got here.

Ahead of him, he heard a rustling of branches and leafs. A few dark hooded figures emerged, heading towards him. Quickly thinking they were Sith, Reddex pulled out his Westar and fired at the leading person in the group. A red blade ignited deflecting the bolts into the ground, then the Westar was pulled into the figures hand.

“Now, now, is that how you treat the people that just saved your life?” The voice laughed as the figure approached. More red blades ignited from the group.

“Guess the odds finally caught up with me…” Reddex mumbled.

“Not quite.” Another voice said off to Reddex’s right. Another group had joined in the wreckage field from the trees. “Stop trying to scare him Span. He’s already been through enough.”

“He shouldn’t have pointed that ridiculous piece of junk at me.”

“Just kill me now. I’m no use to you Sith. I won’t tell you a damn thing.” Reddex said getting ready for a swift death, closing his eyes.

Reddex felt a hand placed on his shoulder and could feel a rush of calm and warmth. He opened his eyes and saw it was one of the hooded figures that joined after the other group did. He saw the persons other hand reach up and pulled back its hood. He was greeted with a weary smile.

“We were able to stop the fall of your ship. Everyone on board is fine, Commander. Though the ship you came here with will be out of action for a while. Your crew is waiting for you.” The individual patted his shoulder and helped Reddex get up. ”My name is Ironrat, Grand Master of the Jedi order. The temple has been siege'd by Dawn and we need to get back.”

Ironrat motioned him to follow as the two hooded groups began to head back into the forest. Over the canopy, Reddex could see bright red and orange, accompanied by smoke rising into the night sky.

The figure that was named Span bumped past Reddex and looked back to him, “Welcome to Yavin.”

_________________
"To be a Sith is to taste Freedom and to know Victory..."


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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Ptolemy on Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:13 pm


‘I know you want to go with the Special Operations group,’ Dray said as the doors slid shut behind them, ‘I am not…’

‘You do not think it prudent.’ Ptolemy said, waving his hand dismissively. Then he faced the younger Jedi, ‘Let me say this, I am getting on that ship. And you are not so gifted as to convince me my course lies else where.’

Dray studied the older Jedi’s face, the pain in Ptolemy’s eyes being the only crack visible on the hardened face. ‘I see your determination’ Dray said carefully ‘but I do not think you are stable.’

‘Then your measure of stability is flawed,’ Ptolemy said passionately, ‘my goal is clear, my mind clear and sharp. My mastery of the force is equal to anyone here or with the crusaders.’ Dray looked on silently as Ptolemy began to pace the length of the corridor, weaving to avoid the steady stream of crew coming and going from the bridge.

‘My son is on that ship, I cannot feel his presence in the force’ Ptolemy said almost desperately, ‘but I know that he is alive. He is being blocked or cloaked somehow. I taught him a cloaking technique to hide his talent in the force.’

Ptolemy stopped and looked at Dray intently ‘He is alive,’ Ptolemy said with conviction ‘He will do everything he can to survive until we can get to him.’

‘But are you the best choice to do so?’ Dray asked, knowing the answer.

‘No I am not,’ Ptolemy conceded, his mind churning then his face went completely blank, void of any emotion ‘but that does not mean I am staying on this ship, I am of more use as a distraction or a part of the team that is assaulting the weapon.’

The sudden absence of emotion concerned Dray, and the suddenness of the change was almost frightening. ‘Come on then,’ Dray said resignedly, ‘lets get you plugged in to the assault team’

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

“Attention on deck!” Reinaulds yelled as Dray and Ptolemy stepped through the opening hatch. Everyone on his team stopped what they were doing and snapped to a salute.

“Don’t bother gentlemen. All I ask for is consideration.” Dray said. With him stood a strange looking armored figure.

“What would that be, sir?” Reinaulds said relaxing along with his team. Though they kept a cautious eye on the man engulfed in plating.

“Ptolemy would like to join your mission to give you some back-up.” Dray said gesturing to the figure who had now taken off his helmet.

“It’s not often we see Jedi in a fight, but is there something going on we should know? Something that could jeopardize my team’s mission?” Reinaulds asked. What were these Jedi up to?

“It’s personal.” Ptolemy said.

Reinaulds thought for a moment and looked at his team. “Why wasn’t I notified of this a while ago? Our objective is very clear. We have no time for personal endeavors.”

He watched as Ptolemy’s expression turned slightly dark then back to normal. The old Jedi looked at Dray for a second. Though he was somewhat a quiet man in front of others, he became pretty aware of someone’s body language. What he saw in that jedi showed him this conversation might go south.

“Do realize, Reinaulds, that you and your team are dropping into a massive ship full of Sith and people that will try to kill you at every corner. You will have a better chance if you had a Jedi on your team to give you added protection.” Dray said looking at everyone.

“I’d take the offer, boss.” Kaz said loading a few explosives in his satchel. “Could make our job a heck of a lot easier.”

“I’m fine with it too.” Sam said loading new power packs to his modified mobile blaster cannon.

“If for any reason, you get my people killed or destroy our opportunity to fulfill our mission, I will authorize my team to shoot you. I don’t want any slip ups, sir.” Reinaulds said sternly. Though we have the capabilities to take down a Sith, it doesn’t mean we can’t take down a Jedi either.

Dray gave Ptolemy an assured look, then glanced back to Reinaulds, “Agreed.”

“Then listen closely, Jedi Ptolemy, you will be briefed on our plan.” Reinaulads said walking up to the Jedi. Ptolemy took the proffered data pad and listened closely to the team leader as he explained the mission and the tasks of the team members.

‘What use is a sniper going to be on a ship?’ Ptolemy asked looking at Alek, ‘No offense.’

‘None taken.’ Alek replied with a dismissive wave ‘You will be surprised at how versatile precision marksmanship can be Master Jedi’ He tapped what appeared to be a heavily modified blaster rifle.

Ptolemy nodded and looked at the team. ‘It is true that my motives are my own’ he said ‘But I give you my word that I will see your mission through.’

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

‘Check your environmental suits. Make sure they are sealed. I’m depleting all the oxygen in this room.’ The operator said as he walked back to a control kiosk to grab his helmet. He quickly fastened the helmet and waited for the signal from Reinaulds. Ptolemy wrapped himself in the cloak of the force to hide his presence from the force users on the ship and focused in ward to formed a force bubble to hold in some breathable air, with this technique he could extend his survivability by a good 20 minutes or so.

Reinaulds’s thumb went up and the operator nodded.

A green light lit above the main hangar doors and Reinaulds looked to the operator, ‘Kick the door.’

Slowly the wide doors opened up. The vastness of space engulfed them and an endless sea of carnage was seen. Debris from Muunilinst hadn’t been blasted away yet. Most of the land looked like giant boulders. The group crept down the hangar doors, weapons leveled for surprises.

The Shadow had dropped them off right where they needed to be, right by one of the vents. Reinaulds waved back to the operator inside the hangar and the doors slowly came back up. The blackness of the hangar went away as the camouflage took over. He could no longer tell if the Shadow was still there.

Ptolemy looked around at the group of men that was entrusted to take down this ship and, using the force to stick to the hull of the ship, walked over to the closest vent. He studied it for a moment and unclipped his lightsaber from his belt. He pressed the emitter against one side of the vent and thumbed the weapon to life.

‘Guess bringing the Jedi was a good idea after all.’ Alek said quietly in his coms to his team.

‘I may yet be of even more use to you yet master Reinaulds’ Ptolemy answered as the vent came free of it’s housing. This prompted some chuckles from the rest of the team.

Reinaulds was thankful for the helmet that covered the flush on his cheeks ‘Touché Master Jedi’

Ptolemy grabbed the vent cover and lifted it easily out of the way and sent it spinning away from the group and into space with a light shove. With one last look around Ptolemy pulled himself into the vent and quickly pulled him self along toward the closest access panel. He placed his finger tips on the access hatch and expanded his awareness. Satisfied there was no one on the other side of the hatch the aged Jedi worked the control panel and opened the hatch allowing two armored figures and him into the cramped air lock. The lock cycled and the three men pulled them selves out of the lock quickly sealing it and setting the cycle to allow more of the team to get into the ship.

As the rest of the team cycled in to the utility room from the access hatch as Ptolemy went to the door and again checked for life. He looked back at Reinaulds and walked over pressing his helmet against the commando’s to hold a private conversation.

‘I can wrap the group in an illusion,’ Ptolemy said, ‘this will allow us to move quickly but your men must trust me.’

Reinaulds looked at Ptolemy for a moment considering his words. After a long moment he nodded and addressed his team explaining what was going to happen.

‘You must move as a loose unit’ Ptolemy explained to the team. ‘right now I do not sense a high level of force activity so we will be ok. I have wrapped us all in illusion making us seem like armed crusaders. Do not talk to anyone until we are in the target area.’ Seeing that they all understood Ptolemy set about crafting an illusion that would have to fool a hundred beings then withdrew into himself to mask his force ability. ‘Lets Go’ Ptolemy said as he opened the door.

The group quickly made their way through the ship’s passage ways, weaving in and out of the crew going about their business, making stops at a number of sub consoles to make sure they were on the right track. Finally they stood outside of a hatch which housed a control sub system of the main weapons systems, Ptolemy placed his finger tips on the metal of the corridor wall and allowed felt the mechanism of the door, feeling for traps and alarms that may be tripped. Satisfied the aged Jedi opened the door with a flick of his fingers. The team spilled into the room shooting the techs and guards that were unlucky enough to be on hand. Ptolemy snatched his staves from his back and strode into the room he turned and closed the door and admired the efficiency with which the commandos completed their grisly task. He turned to a console beside the door and located the data slot, he pushed the data chip containing the virus there was a brief flashing of and the data chip popped out of the slot. The card then disappeared into a pouch on his belt. This process was duplicated by other team members in several consoles around the room while others guarded the door.

‘This substation has feeds from several systems’ Reinaulds Said to Ptolemy ‘If this toy of yours works we could disable this ship and make it easier to destroy.’

Ptolemy looked at Reinaulds and the group left the room as the high pitched whine of a conduit overloading filled the air. Ptolemy put a gloved hand to his helmet sending a warning to those on the Shadow. Moving quickly the group was able to put some distance between them and the substation before an explosion filled the corridor with smoke and flame. The entire ship shuddered a moment later as a huge explosion of an overloaded engine rocked the deck throwing the small team of commandos against the walls and ceiling of the passage. The lights flickered and died replaced by red emergency lighting as the backup power kicked in. the air became this with smoke and debris as the artificial gravity failed. Then a Klaxon started sounding and the emergency lighting began flashing as other emergency systems were activated. The strike team activated the magnets in the boots of their armor and planted their feet on whatever surface they were closest to. There were cries and shouts from every direction as chaos and panic took the injured and dying crusaders. The damage was sudden and violent and there was the faint whistle of escaping atmosphere.

‘EMERGENCY STATIONS! DAMAGE CONTROL TEAMS TO YOUR STATIONS!’ a recorded announcement was broadcast over the load speakers that was almost drowned out by the alarm klaxons

‘The part I would play in your mission is complete,’ Ptolemy said, ‘my own mission has just begun. Can you find your way?’

Reinaulds nodded and Ptolemy put his hand on the other man’s shoulder, ‘May the Force be with you’ Ptolemy then disabled the magnets in his boots and pulled himself along, seeming to disappear down the passage searching for his son. Drawing on his memory of the ship Ptolemy traveled deeper into the bowels of the ship looking for the detention center. He did not find a record of his son but he did see a name there that is familiar to him. Suddenly the gravity net came back on line and the Jenassari barely got his feet under him before he hit the floor. A haze of smoke hung in the air as Ptolemy broke into a run.

Ptolemy’s boots rang on the durasteel floor as he ran toward the Detention area. The hum and crash of light saber combat hastened his pace. Around a corner there was a sight that almost caused him to cry out. Saurus Cloud surrounded by several crusaders wielding a light saber deflecting blaster bolts trying to close with his foes. The saber was a blur of movement when suddenly Sarus put his hand in the air and unleashed a storm of lightning that jumped and arced between his foes. Ptolemy came up short, mind racing. Had Sarus fallen? Was he now a darkside user? The eyes of sarus glowed yellow as he looked around for another enemy seeing the armored figure he leapt throwing a wave of force energy at the figure. Ptolemy erected a barrier of force energy which the wave hit and broke around him causing the skin of the sand panther to flutter slightly as if in a wind. Undeterred, Sarus closed the distance and brought his saber around in a slash that would remove the figures head.

Ptolemy brought up his armored hand and met his attack with the cortosis woven in the armor. The blade of the saber flashed and died. Sarus looked at the saber in his and confused and Ptolemy pinned him to the wall in the force. Encasing Sarus completely rendering him helpless and gasping for air. Carefully Ptolemy removed his helmet and reached into the mind of Sarus cloud, seeing the rage and pain. Ptolemy tried to sooth the other man in the force, and sarus calmed and recognition showed in his face. Ptolemy released him and Sarus sank to his knees.

Ptolemy knelt ‘I know your tale will be long and colorful.’ He grinned ‘but we need to get moving.’

‘Armor?’ Sarus said a bit confused and shook his head ‘I cannot use the light side of the force. There is a device that prevents it.’

Ptolemy closed his eyes and probed Sarus starting at his head. At the base of his skull Ptolemy found the device, and probed it gently. ‘set beneath the skin, several embedded electrodes,’ Ptolemy whispered almost to him self. ‘I am not sure if I can remove it. I am afraid if I tried you would be paralyzed. Do you want me to try?’

_________________

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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Red-X on Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:01 am

Reinaulds tried to figure out his team’s route out of the absolute mess they were in. They were surrounded by fire and chaos in every direction. A few emergency bulks had tried to contain explosions but the enormous pressure blew them apart. The steel plated doors shattered debris on Crusaders who couldn’t move from the absence of gravity. Even some of the Sith who were on board were caught off guard from the sudden change of events. Cracks along the walls and the floors were venting large amounts of atmosphere as it blew past the team, quickly finding its way outside the ship. Reinaulds wished the Jedi hadn’t left them in such a jam and wondered how he was making his way around this.

“We need to get ourselves off this slag-heap, ASAP!” Sam shouted over the dying ship’s screams.

“I agree completely!” Alek said, slinging his rifle over his shoulder. “Cosin, any idea where the hangar could be?”

Cosin was separated from the group on the other side of the hallway. Chunks of the wall and plates floated by gloomily as Cosin navigated the hazard, using the debris as platforms to propel himself to his team. As he magnetized to the wall while the team grouped as close as they could, he activated a blueprint projection of the Daedalus. He pointed to a section of the ship that seemed like miles away. He shrugged and looked at Reinaulds. “It’s either this…or that.” He then pointed to something somewhat closer. The space he brought everyone’s attention too seemed to be a big area. It seemed to be one of Daedalus’s many hangars.

“The hangar it is, and pray it’s still operable. Let’s get out of here.” Reinaulds looked at the blown out blast-door and lunged towards it, followed loosely by his team. “If anyone attempts to stop us on the way that isn’t friendly, take them out.”


-----


“Never thought my first visit to Yavin would ever come to this.” Reddex said, crossing a shallow river in a deep jungle. “I’m sorry for what has happened here.”

“Don’t be. It’s not your fault.” Ironrat said. “It was only a matter of time before Dawn took a shot at the academy head on. It was inevitable.”

“I must admit, never thought a little human like yourself could take down Dawn’s war machine.” One of the Sith that was following the group snickered.

Reddex turned around to meet the man’s gaze, but was immediately hit with the feeling of fear and despair. Then until he was pulled back by a firm hand and he felt normal again. His head was slightly fuzzy. A hooded Jedi turned him back around and shook his head. “Don’t bother. It’s best we keep moving till we get back to the camp.”

“Span, now is not the time for your group to be screwing around.” Ironrat said calmly passing under a large downed tree-trunk. “There is no need to pick a fight.”

“Hmph. It is true though. I’m somewhat baffled as well. Would you like a pat on the back, Commander?”

Ironrat paused for a moment, and looked back to Span. “Enough.”

Span responded back with a grin as the group resumed their trek through the thick foliage. The small scent of smoke and fuel was becoming thicker as the walk continued. Flashes in the night sky could still be seen. The space battle was still going on, despite the absence of Daedalus dominating the battlefield. A rustling in the trees caught everyone’s attention above them. 3 small bodies appeared on the branches. Green eyes appeared down upon them with curiosity.

As a precaution, Reddex reached for his holster but one of the Jedi calmly stopped him. “They’re harmless Woolamanders. I do recommend we keep moving they enjoy throwing things.”

When the Sith passed under the Woolamandar’s they quickly vanished back into the trees out of fear. The rustling slowly faded away and was replaced by the sounds of Yavin’s dark mysterious jungle. It wasn’t long before they reached a clearing where makeshift tents were spaced out, with campfires littered around to light up the area. When they approached the outer boundary, Ironrat stopped once more to face Reddex while the other Sith and Jedi ventured into the camp.

“If you feel any sense of distaste or dizziness as you step inside this clearing, try not to be alarmed. It’s a defense mechanism against this planet’s rather, annoying insects. So, shall we? I will reunite you and your crew, but I’m afraid it will have to be brief. I need you in the main tent to meet the Council. Our move on the Temple is top priority and we need to know everything you know about Dawn.” Ironrat followed alongside Reddex as they stepped into the camp.

It wasn’t long before they reached the section of the camp where the Shadow’s crew was staying. The Jedi and Sith were attending to the wounded and grieving from the abrupt evacuation of the temple. Ironrat stepped aside and gestured him forward. “Don’t take long, Commander.”

An individual from the Shadow’s crew looked up from checking on an injured crewman and spotted Reddex looking around at the tents. The Chiss doctor battered with scrapes and bruises smiled with relief as she stepped out of the tent to approach him. “Commander! We thought you were dead! How did you survive?” Zowlis embraced him in a light hug.

“An experience I don’t ever want relive, Doctor. You wouldn’t believe who came to my rescue.” Reddex said. Now a few more haggard members of the crew noticed Reddex’s appearance and approached.

“We all could say the same thing. Guess who came to our saving?” Zowlis said.

“No need, I was already told. We have much to thank them for. I’m glad we are all together again.” Reddex said patting her shoulder. “Could you tell me where Rokk is?”

“She’s with Dray and the Council. We were told they have some sort of plan to get inside of the temple. But I’m afraid that’s as much as we were told.” Zowlis shrugged.

“What about the Shadow Stinger? I heard it was safely put down.”

“The question of my life…” Briggs said fatigued walking through the group of people surrounding Reddex. “I don’t remember much. Was told I took a nasty hit.” He pointed to the bandage wrapped around his head, stained with blood. Zowlis shook her head looking at him, trying to get him to return to his tent to rest. He waved her off; trying to remain focused. “Sol is with a few engineers looking over the ship. Don’t worry too much…we plan to help Dray make the Shadow flyable again; If we get out of this alive of course.”

“Sounds good-“ Reddex said, but was interrupted by Ironrat who randomly appeared next to him.

“My apologies, but we do have to go.” Ironrat said.

Reddex nodded and said his goodbyes to the crew and followed Ironrat back through the camp. In the center of the clearing was a towering tent, neatly anchored to the ground with precise cut chunks of wood, tied down with thick vines. By the opening no one was standing guard outside, though Reddex could hear voices inside. They seemed to be arguing…


--


“Maybe the escape pods weren’t such a bad idea after all.” Kelly said hiding behind a crate looking at a large group of Crusaders.

The team had navigated ever worsening hazards while propelling off objects through the long ruptured hallways. The emergency claxons continued to wail as Crusaders panic around them. A few had finally spotted them and took shots at the team. Their demise was quickly achieved as the team quickly passed by. Suddenly the gravity returned to the ship and everything around them crashed to the floor. Support beams, vents, debris clanged to the steel floor.

“On your feet! Move!” Reinaulds shouted, gathering himself. Armed Crusaders were also beginning to get up, pushing support beams or whatever had fell down, off.

“Sir, two hundred meters to go!” Cosin called out over more explosions.

Abruptly the team was launched airborne as they were lifted off their feet. Behind them another giant explosion erupted. “Not good, not good!” Sam yelled. He was bringing up the rear as he noticed something that brought much fear to his eyes.

At his feet a large crack appeared making a gaping hole through the deck, “If this ship breaks apart now, that hangar will be all for nothing!”

“Then we need to hurry!” The team got back to their feet and sprinted through the flame engulfed corridors. Soon they reached heavily armored blast doors of the hangar. There were Crusders banging on the door trying to get the people on the other side to open up. Reinaulds team quickly silenced them, and approached the door.

“Kaz!” Reinaulds called out. The demo kneeled down in front of the door placing charges without hesitation.

“Does anyone feel that? Kelly asked allowed, keeping an eye on the collapsing hallway they just ran through. “I feel a rise in temperature.”

“It’s probably what’s left of the hull burning up as we pass through Yavin’s atmosphere. The shields are gone. We don’t have long till this thing hits the ground.

“Or if it split’s in half first.” Sam butted in. “Kaz, hurry up!”

“This isn’t a job you just rush out of the blue, just one moment.” Kaz had placed large chucks of explosive clay in areas he felt were the weakest points on the door. Then brought out electrical cords and linked the clumps together. “Ok, we’re set. Find cover!”

Quickly the team easily found places to hide amongst the rubble to have cover from the blast. Once everyone was situated, Kaz blew the blast door open with ear splitting efficiency. While the smoke was still fresh the team ran inside weapons raised. Once the smoke cleared they were met with a large spacious room just like Cosin had pointed out. Though there were only two dropships that looked operable and everything else was smashed or gone. Reinaulds had wondered what the other numerous hangars conditions were. In the middle of the hangar was the mag-field leading out. The fire from the burning atmosphere blocked their view from the inside.

The team started to jog towards one of the transports until plates in the floor near the ships opened up and a few squads of Crusaders appeared rising from beneath the floor on an elevator. Reinaulds and his group broke their approach and hid behind anything that was within stepping distance. Kelly growled to herself in frustration peering out from a crate.

“Options?” Sam asked, preparing his blaster-canon.

Reinaulds figured there was no way through without a firefight. He looked towards the mag-field and the orange and red flares of the atmosphere were beginning to ebb away. The squad of Crusaders were trying desperately to load the drop ships with supplies.

“Damn those Sith leaving us behind like that. Thought the Dark One would care about his own troops.” One of the Crusaders complained out loud, allowing Reinaulds team to hear.

“Did he ever leave the ship?”

“I checked his personal hangar before heading here. That weird sphere looking thing is still there. Why wouldn’t he jump ship?”

“Cut the chatter and keep loading those ships. We don’t have much time. It’s already bad enough we didn’t leave when everyone else did!”

Kaz checked to see if his rifle was loaded and looked at everyone else, “I’m sure I know what everyone else is thinking…Let’s get the hell off this ship.”

“Sound good to me, Kaz.” Reinaulds said standing up. “Kill them all, Talons!”

The Talon strike team rushed towards the transports firing on the squads, catching them off guard. A few had hesitated and stumbled for their weapons and but fell dead while doing so. Quickly closing the gap everything began to tilt forward. The sound of metal crunching all around them screeched. Within moments, it felt like they were running down a fast forming slope.

“Whats happeneing?!” Alek shouted, trying to line up sights with his rifle.

“It’s the ship, she’s failing to pieces!” Sam shouted.

“Get to that transport Talons, double time it!” Reinaulds yelled.

Kelly had reached the small dwindling squad of Crusaders and slammed one of them with the butt of her rifle. Then, Kelly spun to kick another across the helmet, sending the trooper into the drop ship’s access controls. The doors slid open revealing the main compartment. As the team ran inside before the rest of the squad can stop them Cosin locked the doors from the inside. Reinaulds ordered Cosin into the cock pit as they were no longer standing straight any more. Everything was on its side. The tech bolted for the ships controls and awkwardly strapped in and powered up.

Using the ships shields, Cosin was able to stop them from turning completely upside down, and was able to push off the wall till they were up right again. Turning to find the exit, outside the mag-field all Cosin could see was blackness. It was the only exit he could make out and shot for it while everything tumbled around them. As they were about to exit, Reinaulds had just reached the cockpit to see where they were going till something struck the drop-ship. Barreling out of control, what bits they could make out the viewport was it was night time. What had hit them was a section the size of a cruiser that had broken off of Daedalus had whipped them on their exit out since it had already began to flip.

“Cosin! Get a hold of it already!” Reinaulds shouted trying to hold on.

“I can’t! We were knocked too hard!” Cosin struggled. For a few more seconds the tech was able to gain just a little control to guide the dropship into what seemed to be thick never-ending canopy of a jungle.

“Brace yourselves, people!” Reinaulds shouted back through the compartments hoping everyone was already strapped down holding on for life. The dropship plunged belly first into the foliage and disappeared beneath it vanishing from sight…

_________________
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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Aardvark on Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:20 am

Sarus stumbled still trying to comprehend everything that had just happened. He had been prepared for a lot of things when he finally broke out, but Ptolemy in full armor was not one of them. He took another look at the man, not quite trusting that his mind wasn't playing tricks on him.

"Well?" Ptolemy questioned looking to make sure no one had come around the corner looking for a fight.

"Well what?" He asked momentarily forgetting what the man had said when they met, "Oh taking the chip out! Well y-"

His sentence was cut off as an explosion deep in the ship rocket the deck violently, almost sending the Chiss sprawling. Luckily he retained enough awareness not to draw on the Force to keep himself upright. A jolt of electricity at this point would be more than he could stand, and the last thing either of them needed was dead weight. He pushed himself up and looked around for the source of the explosion, and finally noticed the klaxon sounding, something he had at first assumed was an alarm from his escape, "Uh Pto, what exactly were you doing before you ran into me?"

"Escorting Reddex's team through the station, I thought they could use the extra help in setting the charges," Ptolemy replied.

Sarus bit his lower lip realizing the sudden urgency of the situation, "Then I don't think it's a good idea to do an invasive procedure do you?"

"No I don't, but can you fight like this?" The old Jedi looked him in the eye as he asked the question. "Because I can't afford to escort you around the ship. I still have to find my son."

Sarus flexed his hands and centered his mind, wondering the same thing, "You'll have to stay behind me so I don't confuse you with the enemy, but yes I think I can manage that." He looked down each half of the corridor, but couldn't figure out which way to go. For all his time aboard the ship he hadn't actually seen anything outside the cells they had put him in, "We need to get to the terminal, but I have no idea where it is."

Pto reached into his belt and pulled a datapad, consulting it quickly, then pointed to the right, "That way, if they kept the design as they did on the last ion weapon."

"Ion weapon?" Sarus asked confused and horrified at the thought, "You mean they made it mobile?"

"I'll explain once we're off this trash heap," Ptolemy replied, another explosion rocking the deck to punctuate the urgency of their task.

"Right," he loosened himself up and prepared his mind, "give me a five second head start and then come after me." Without another word he ran, pulling the walls around his mind close and dropping into the dark side. Lightning began to crackle around his arms, and he started to feel lighter as his speed picked up until he could barely feel his boots hit the deck. He took the corner at speed, spotted a group of confused Crusaders rushing to their stations and let loose with a Force Storm.

----------------------------------------

Iron headed for the command center with Span and Cin on either side and the remaining Councilors trailing behind, "What's our status?" He asked to no one in particular.

"The Crusader and JSA fleets are duking it out overhead," Span began, "both Thing and Bazariel are present and the Hapan fleet has also come out of hiding to lend us a hand."

"The Hapans?" Iron asked surprised, "I don't know who we have to thank for that, but I could kiss them about now!" The Grand Master stepped into the CC and looked up at the tactical screen, "What's the overall picture look like up there?"

"Iron sir!" A colonel yelled snapping off a salute and nearly knocking over a row of techs running about the room, delivering messages and coordinating the residents into the underground bunkers, "We have a slight advantage in terms of ships and the Daedalus is showing a lot of internal damage so it looks like we've taken it out of the equation for now," he turned and pulled up an overlay of reports, "but we've got reports from minor elements saying the forces they've arrayed against are falling back."

"They're coming to help their leader," Cin said simply.

"That would be my guess as well," the colonel replied, "and if it's true than we'll soon lose our advantage."

"Cin," Iron said turning to the Fosh, "what about the Rurouni, can we hope for any reinforcements?"

"We've establish a task force we've dubbed the Collective," she said displaying the task forces strength, "last communication I had from them said they were an hour out, but I'm not sure that'll be fast enough."

"It'll have to do," Span spoke up studying the image, "if that thing is out of the equation than our shields should hold out until they arrive. The question is what do we do if it isn't?"

"It's reactor is in overload sir," the colonel injected bringing up the ship's specifics which were showing a lot of red areas, "it's already loosing orbit, soon it'll burn up in the atmosphere."

"I'm not so sure about that," Span said quietly, "I've got a bad feeling..."

---------------------------------------

Sarus watched again as his body went to excess and beyond the hapless minions of Dusk, electrifying one with so much power that his very bones exploded from the heat, grasping another's throat so hard his head physically separated from his body, hurling several with enough force that only a blood smear remained, and carving the rest into so many pieces with such speed that it would take a team of coroners months to assemble the bits and pieces. Through it all he tried to remain indifferent, tried to see the necessity in it all, but could still only see the carnage and death. And at times he caught himself feeling satisfaction when he found on of those responsible for Aragorn's torture, or those who had enslaved so many Muuns only to gun them all down when they were no longer needed. At this he felt horrified, and when it happened he could feel this little piece of himself he had walled in escape and become part of the beast.

Eventually he and Ptolemy reached the main detention center and as he recognized this he could feel his hands getting ready for a Force Blast, one powerful enough it would destroy everything in the room, including the terminal they sought. NO! he screamed at himself, opening the gates and regaining control of his body before he let loose, and letting some of the darkness in at the same time. He felt sick at the feeling, and even more so that he could still feel the bestial thrill his instincts had felt.

Ptolemy, having sensed the sudden suppression, dashed ahead, his cap billowing and his lightsaber flashing as he entered the room and quickly dispatched the Crusaders, with quick, brutal efficiency and Sarus found that by the time he had recovered enough to join the man Pto was already sitting at the terminal checking the records. The deck shook again and a not so distant thud could be heard, "How frequently is that happening?" Sarus asked worried.

The deck shook violently again and he went sprawling for a second time, "Every few seconds," Pto replied, his fingers a blur. He was silent a moment and then suddenly stopped, "He's not here." He said in a low voice, an expression of disbelief on his face, "He's not here..."

"Not possible," Sarus said and uneasy feeling in his gut, "I saw him just a day or two ago. Check again."

"I did check again!" The old Jedi yelled, "And again, and again! He's not here!" He stood up in a rage and bashed his hands into, and through, the console then in a quiet voice repeated, "He's not here."

-------------------------------------------------

Aragorn looked back at the ship he had been held of for the last few days and watched as geysers of flame began to crawl their way along it's surface. He should have felt something, joy at seeing a source of torment destroyed, rage that he had not been the one to do it, or sorrow for any number of innocents that were more than likely prisoners aboard the ship, but he felt nothing and that troubled him. "Hey Dusk," he said, trying to keep up a false sense of bravado, "looks like Daedalus is going down in flames." He turned to look at the other two occupants in the Sith Meditation Sphere, "So much for your big plan."

"Watch what you say to the Dark One!" A sniveling lackey named Lehel Requis yelled back, "He's gonna be ruler of the Galaxy someday and you'd best-"

"Shut it Mr. Requis," Dusk siad over his shoulder in a calm but menacing voice, "I require your skills at time, but your mouth is not one of your skills." He turned his head slowly and just stared at the man out of the corner of his eye.

The little man shriveled in front of his gaze and got very quiet all of a sudden, "Y-yes sir."

Dusk turned his gaze on Ara, "As for you, the Daedalus was never my goal, it had a small part to play and it played it well. As we speak I can feel your forces relaxing in the knowledge that their biggest threat is gone. They are fools, and so are you for believing it to be my objective. I expect more of my apprentices Aragorn, do not fail me again."

Aragorn locked eyes with the self-titled Dark One, trying to get a sense of what the man meant. What did he mean it wasn't his objective? Why bring it here then? What else could he have hoped to achieve by bringing the Daedalus to his enemies stronghold? And what part could it have played if it was destroyed? But he could get nothing from the man's cold eyes, "I will not fail you... my Master." He said, just barely squeezing out those last two words in a hiss, meanwhile thinking, I'll play along, for now, to find out what you intend to do, but once I have my opening you're dead. No matter what it takes I'll see you dead!

----------------------------------------------

"I'm sorry Ptolemy," Sarus said, placing a hand on the Jedi's shoulder, "but we don't have time for grief, we need to get off this ship before it falls apart!"

He began to pull but the old man knocked the hand away and turned with a fury in his eyes, "I'm not abandoning my son! I'm going to get him and I'm not leaving until he's in my arms!" He stomped off down the right corridor.

"Pto he's not here! He's not on the ship!" Sarus yelled running after him, "And you would have felt it if he died!" Ptolemy stopped at that, "They might have transferred him to another ship, or kriff he might have escaped long before I did. Search your feeling Pto, can you even feel him anywhere near us?"

Pto remained silent as the klaxon blared and the ship shook under them. Sarus could already feel the air getting hotter and he knew the explosions were far too close for comfort and they'd be heading right into them if Ptolemy kept going. Another explosion blast out and this time it was not muffled by walls, he could hear it not a hundred yards away, and worried that Pto would not come to his decision in time when the old man sighed and turned around, "You're right, I can't sense him nearby, but I can feel him. Come on, let's go," he finished sounding unhappy but accepting the scenario nonetheless.

The Jedi pulled out his datapad and pulled up the schematics again, "There's a hanger half a kilometer away."

Sarus looked to the right, saw the orange tinge or an open fire, and looked back to the left and the twisting maze of corridors and came to the inevitable conclusion, "That's too far, we'll never make it in time."

"I agree," Pto said running back towards the control room, "so we'll have to make another exit."

Sarus ran after him, barely keeping up without the Force and well aware that he was probably slowing Pto down, but at the same time knowing he'd need his wits about him. They made it back and hit the lift button, to both their surprise and relief it was right there wait for them. They got in and took it to the lowest level, and when Sarus shot Pto a questioning look the Jedi just replied, "We entered through the top so most of the damage is up there."

The lift stopped and without waiting for the door to open on it's own Pto just blasted a hole through it and they were off running again. Sarus felt the deck lurch and almost lost his balance, but still slowing significantly that Pto had to wait for him. A blast went off down the hall they'd come from and this time did floor him. Looking back he saw a wall of fire licking the corridor just a few meter behind him and he knew at the pace he was going they'd both be dead before they got wherever Pto was taking him. I have to use the Force, but I have to keep my wits about me he thought to himself getting up in what seemed like slow-motion, I know what I have to do, I can't sit and debate this I just have to do it! He dropped into the dark side, pulling his walls close, but leaving them open just enough to let the darkness in, control the power, and adapt his body to it knowing full well taking his first step down this path might mean no return, but not caring. It's necessary, step, I'm not falling, step, I'm diving in.

Three things happened when he hit his third step. The first was a sudden catapult in speed, pushing him down the hall and almost past Ptolemy before the old Jedi had realized what happened. The second was a swarm of emotion he had long held back, many bad, all negative, but a sense of enlightenment to know that these feelings were natural and no evil came of them. And the third was that the chip in him suddenly shorted out and stopped working for a reason he didn't understand, and didn't care about.

"Sarus, you still with me?" Pto yelled as they ran at blistering speeds away from the destruction still hot on their heels.

"Yeah I am," Sarus replied, "I don't know how, but I am." He looked back and saw that the walls were beginning to warp and the floor was buckling under their feet as they passed, "But now's not the time for that, what's this plan of yours?"

"That!" Pto said pointing down the hall, where it ended in an airlock.

"You can't be serious!"

"You got a better idea?" Pto shouted back, "Besides I have a few tricks I haven't quite shown you!"

Sarus gritted his teeth but didn't argue, he trusted Ptolemy with his life, and now really wasn't the time anyway, "You're the boss." He pulled power to his hands, "I'll blow the door, you just do what you need to do."

They closed the distance rapidly, Sarus could feel a strange energy enveloping them both and didn't resist. Instead, taking it as his cue he threw a wave of energy at the airlock, blowing it open and getting both of them sucked into the black....

----------------------------------------------------

"The ship's disintegrating!" The colonel yelled, eliciting a cheer from most of the people in the CC. He turned to Spanish, "Guess that feeling you got ain't nothin' to worry about."

Span kept looking at the view-screen, "No, it's stronger now than I've ever felt it." He looked to the sensor tech, "Are you getting any unusual reading from the ship?"

"No not really... except...."

"What?"

"The power reading I've been getting from the core, it hasn't gone down, in fact it's increased. At first I thought I was just reading the heat from the explosions as energy, but if that we true it should have released when the ship fell apart."

"Could it be a self-destruct of some kind?" Iron asked.

"I don't think so," Cin spoke up, "I believe the facilities shields could handle the impact of a bomb of any size that might be. No I think we've been played rather well."

"What do you mean Cin?" Span asked in a dangerous tone, "if you know something about this and haven't said anything..." he let his hand hover over his lightsaber.

"I don't know anything," Cin replied unconcerned, "I merely suspect. It's an Ion weapon right? A localized Ion pulse going off in the atmosphere would save most of the ships in orbit, but completely destroy our shield generator."

The colonel's eyes widened and he spun, "Target the energy reading imme-"

He was cut off as the pulse detonated, frying the electronic in the Temple and plunging the whole room into darkness for a horrifying moment before the back-ups kicked in, "Status!" The colonel yelled.

"Shields, laser batteries, ion cannons, all down!"

"Security doors on secondary manual backup, emergency lighting engaged!"

"Communications fried, long-range sensors down, short-range sensors on battery power only!"

"In short we're defenseless," Span cut in, unclipping his lightsaber and heading out, "I'll get what Sith can fight and mount defenses around the entrance, buy us some time." He yelled back as the Dark Council fell in behind him.

Iron stepped forward, "Camus, get what Jedi we have and concentrate them around the emergency bunker, Aries coordinate what Shadows and Paladins we have into strategic ambush positions throughout the facility. The rest of you respond to reinforcement calls as they come in. GO!"

As the remaining people filed out of the room Iron stepped down and walked to Cin, "I would suggest you join the rest of my Masters Council in helping reinforce positions as needed, but I know you won't listen to me." He said with a grim set to his face, "You and I both know this battle doesn't matter to you. You'll ignore and go about whatever it is you do have planned. But a word of advice," he leaned in close, "if you hurt any of my people, if you kill even a single member of this Temple by accident or otherwise know this: I will not hesitate to hunt you down and the Force help you if I do find you."

Without another word he left the room and the True Masters were left alone, "You sure you wanna do this Cin?" Forge asked fingering his lightsabers, "He's still a little young for it don't you think?"

"I gotta admit I feel the same way," Tsubasa put in, "kid's way too young."

"Age isn't a factor Tsu, you should know that," Monk commented from behind his mask, "but I also have to admit trepidation Leader. The boy is a firm believer in the Light, he has no idea, not like you do."

"And he's weak," Kettech added, his rage turning his skin red, "he barely passed the test for Force Master. You ask me Gray should be like our positions, guy comes to you and challenges you for True Master, not the other way around."

"I appreciate the opinions gentle beings," Cin answered moving towards the door, "but we all know my time is growing short, and I sense he has come a long way in these few short weeks. I believe he is ready, and I will broke no argument. Now come, we have a lot of work to do."

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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Red-X on Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:59 pm

The drop ship was in total darkness. Everything was motionless throughout the compartments. Everything had been thrown about violently and littered across the floors and walls. A body strapped to the pilot’s seat showed no sign of movement. The viewport in the cockpit was shattered by a thick branch lodged through, embedded into the copilot’s seat. Twigs and leaves along with shrapnel made the cockpit nearly unrecognizable. Smoke from the command console sputtered sparks every few moments while the drop ship swayed ever so slightly against the wind. Another body was sprawled out on the floor near the hatch towards the back of the cockpit. The body slowly began to come conscious and slowly moved around to get bearings. The figure ached in pain from the shock it’s body had took before the blackout. The figure reached up and took off his badly damaged helmet, which had probably saved his life, and let it roll across the deck. Reinaulds pushed himself back against the hatch and looked around. He pressed his hands to face trying to relax and focus. He took in several deep breathes as he managed to get on his feet. Having been knocked out he stumbled a bit and regained his footing just as the drop ship lurched beneath his feet. Outside Reinaulds could hear the strain of a tree’s thick branch buckling. He figured they landed far above the ground, though not in the canopy; possibly somewhere in-between.

The body in the pilot’s seat began to show signs of movement after the sudden sway of the ship. The figure, as well, took off his helmet and groaned in pain. Reinaulds carefully approached Cosin to make sure he was ok. Reinaulds noticed Cosin’s visor was smashed open. Looking upon Cosin face, he could see he was cut all over by the glass and twigs that had exploded into his face upon landing. Cosin’s vision became clear and saw Reinaulds trying to unbuckle him from the seat.

“Not even going to congratulate me on that successful and graceful landing, sir?” Cosin laughed coughing.

“I’ll give you a pat on the back once we’re off this ship. I have a feeling we’re somewhat far from the ground.” Reinaulds pulled a small vibroblade from his chest’s sheath and began cutting the straps holding Cosin into the seat. “Watch how you walk around, not sure how long we can stay up here.

“Oh great. Come out of one highly impossible situation and land in this. I blame the Force…” Cosin managed to get out of the seat and stand with Reinaulds help and approached the hatch. Thankfully, it wasn’t lodged in place and required somewhat little effort to open.

Looking around the cabin, they saw disaster. Some of the lights had fell from their housings. Others swung slightly with its likes blinking in and out. In the far back, a chair was slowly raised and pushed out. A hand was seen trying to grasp for leverage.

“Hold on, we’re coming.” Reinaulds said, cautiously making his way through the wreckage. A few steps in, to their right, they saw another body. It was Sam. Reinaulds directed Cosin to assist him as he continued his approach to the battered hand.

“Thought I was the only one alive.” A haggard female voice said from the mountain of objects she was under. Reinaulds grabbed her hand and began pulling the debris off of her. Finally he was able to pull her out. Her helmet was still intact with a few dents on the side giving her head an irregular look. “Between you and me, glad I’m not alone on this one” Kelly said.

“I knew it.” Alek said crawling from under a crushed crate full of ammunitions beside them with Kaz. “She loves us.”

‘”I take that back.” Kelly smirked.

“Sir, let’s not take a ride like that again.” Kaz said helping Alek get to his feet. “I feel safer toying around with a nuke. Everyone intact?”

Towards the front of the compartment, Cosin grabbed hold of the now conscious Sam and hoisted him up. His thundering steps in his armor shook the ship as he settled himself. Cosin asked wear his blaster canon was, but beside where Sam had lain, was his weapon contorted and busted. He shrugged off his disappointment and flexed his shoulders.

“There’s one of us missing, sir. It’s the new guy.” Sam said worried. “I lost track of him when we made that beautiful landing…” He gave a look towards Cosin with distaste.

“Look big man, I did my best. You try pulling what I did up there.” Cosin spoke back quickly.

“Now is not the time for this. He has to be-“ Reinaulds began but heard Kelly rummaging through debris as if she heard something.

The team watched her dig through the pile of collapsed seating and chunks of the bulk head and another body appeared slowly rising up.

“Nice of you to join us, had us thinking the worst.” Reinaulds said patting the team’s rookie on the shoulder. “Now we can get off this damn thing.”

Sam carefully stepped to look through a viewport and looked back at the team skeptical. “You forgot to mention we aren’t on the ground…”

“Always wanted to climb a tree.” Kaz spoke up joyfully.

After several minutes of gathering whatever was salvageable from their gear, they approached the drop ships doors. The locking mechanism had been destroyed during the crash making it easier to pry open with the assistance from Sam and Kaz. As the doors slid open, fresh air flooded in along with whatever night life existed on Yavin 4. Most of their view was blocked by the thick foliage of a giant tree they had landed in. Far below was the jungles floor, barely lit by the florescent plants that littered all around.

Carefully stepping on to the trunk, Reinaulds lead the way out, in a single file line. The large branch they were standing on slumped slightly as they carefully walked away the drop ship. Looking around, Reinaulds found a few places in the trunk of the tree to climb down. Resting along the trunk were thick vines they could rappel down with along the way.

Minutes went by descending the tree and numerous smaller branches that had got in the way before they could safely drop to the ground in a thud. Looking around getting their barring’s, they had no indication of where they were. It was nearly impossible to see the sky, and since Reinaulds helmet was far from functional, he couldn’t see too far into the darkness around them.

“So, this is what it’s like getting lost in a jungle.” Cosin said breaking the silence.

Seeing that Kelly still had her helmet on, he hoped she could still get some use out of it, “Can you pick up anything? Any ships in range of us?”

Kelly attempted to intercept any signals, but most of it was garble from the damage her helmet had taken. For a while as she continued to acquire anything of use, the rest of the team sat on whatever seemed convenient and rested. About to give up on the search as she reached to take her helmet off, something very small came through. “Commander, we have a blip heading our direction; accelerating. I have no clue what it is.”

“Hopefully it’s one of ours. How soon will it get here?” Reinaulds said gathering up his things.

Kelly turned to look at Reinaulds with her expressionless helmet, “Any second.” She looked up through the thick canopy hoping to catch sight of it. Everyone else followed suit. It wasn’t long before they could hear the tops of tree’s rustling in the distance. No one had ever heard of the sound this craft was making. It didn’t sound mechanical. For an instance a large dark circular shadow swept over them quickly disappearing from view.

“Can you track it, Kelly?” Reinaulds asked quickly.

Kelly had already begun to run in the direction of the craft, vanishing into the foliage, “Everyone up, time to move!”

-----

Reddex walked behind Ironrat into the main tent of the camp, he had earlier been escorted to from his ‘crash site’. Inside there was a large round battered table in the center with numerous people he had never seen before. No one in the tent looked happy and a few were arguing with each other. Ironrat walked towards the growing debate and left Reddex by the entrance. Suddenly he felt arms wrapped around him and he managed to turn to see it was Rokk. She had several cuts across her face and her clothes were covered in grit and dirt. They shared a kiss for a moment and she embraced him once more.

“When I saw you get taken from the ship, I thought you were dead. Didn’t think anyone could survive a fall like that. How did you make it?”

Reddex nodded in Ironrats direction who was listening to Span saying something, “Him and that Sith managed to catch me. I was unconscious when they had slowed my descent.”

“Did you see the crew? They’re pretty shaken up after what we went through.”

“I was allowed to see them momentarily once I got here. They welcomed my return with open arms.” Reddix looked over at the group of people who still had been debating on issues and had no clue what was going on. “Why are they yelling at each other?”

“From what I’ve gathered, the Sith people want to take anyone able to fight and march straight up to the Temple and take it back. The Jedi are convinced they are outnumbered, until they are able to locate this ‘Dusk’ person and take him out. They don’t want to split their resources too much, in case the assault on the temple backfires. Dray seems to be siding with Span’s group, emphasizing the security of the Temple is more important.” Rokk was also looking at the group of powerful Force users as she held onto Reddex. “He’s been trying to organize a strike team, but the ‘council’, I think they’re called, doesn’t feel open about it.”

“Starting to think Dray is going to head in there anyway, with or without their blessing.” Reddex said. Then he caught someone staring at him on the other side of the table. The person was standing with another entirely separate group of people. Without realizing it, he was caught in a daze with the person keeping eye contact with him. Something was holding him there. Different moments from his time on the ship started going over in his head, as if someone was selecting certain memories. Most of the events landing on recent memories of Ptolemy, Sarus, and Aragorn. He could feel someone shaking him, until finally he snapped back out. Rokk was looking at him wondering what just happened.

“Was checking who you were.” A very nearby voice told Reddex. The individual was standing next to him continuing to look down upon him. Reddex just realized he was on the floor. Everyone in the room was looking in his direction.

“Cin, I gave you a warning. You’re pushing it.” Ironrat said stepping into view. “After what he has been through, and what he’s done for us, that was uncalled for.”

“I was only gathering information. We will be leaving now.” Cin said, leading a group of individuals out of the tent.

“Remember what I told you, Cin. Do not forget.” Ironrat said demandingly.

Not long after Cin’s departure, Dray approached Ironrat. “Master I am sorry, but we must take back our temple. I already have volunteers to follow me in. I know Dusk is top priority, but we are barely standing in this war. No more standing back and watching that mad child take everything from us. I witnessed the Crusaders lay waste to a planet and nearly escaped with my life. I watched thousands perish right before my eyes. I will not let it happen again. Yavin is where we finally show Dusk what an army of Jedi can do to those who threaten the galaxy. The Force will guide us.”

Reddex watched Dray walk towards him giving the signal to follow as he stepped out of the tent.

“Can’t catch a break, can we?” Rokk sighed.

“With Dray? Of course not. Always wanted to see the JSA temple anyway.”

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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Aardvark on Sat May 05, 2012 5:44 am

The meditation sphere flew high over the compound, giving Aragorn, Dusk, and Lehel a view of the JvS Temple's evacuation. The explosion of the Daedalus had released an Ion Pulse much more powerful than anything Ara had seen a year earlier. Because of the increased magnitude the Temple's defenses had had no chance and both the shields and weapon emplacements had been disabled. It was huge blow to the JSA forces to have their main headquarters rendered useless, but on some level Ara was glad the defenses had worked well enough to keep those inside from being killed by the pulse. Now the Jedi and Sith were making a run for it, abandoning the Temple's non-existent defenses and scattering into the jungle to give them a chance to regroup and strike back, but by the time that happened the Crusaders would probably have repaired the Temple's ground defenses enough to fortify the position they now held.

Lehel smirked at what he saw, "Look at the insects! They flee before our might!"

Dusk scoffed, "Don't be an idiot Mister Requis. Does it really look like they're running scared to you?"

Aragorn looked more closely. While his comrades were running they didn't appear to be panicking, a few were even taking out advanced scouts Dusk had ordered in and more were carrying equipment that had survived the pulse. "They're falling back," Ara spoke up, "I know Span and Iron, they would have prepared an off-site base just in case."

Dusk nodded, "Very good, my apprentice," he looked down himself, "they'll be back, but by then it will be far too late."

Before Aragorn could ask what he meant the meditation sphere banked hard, diving at the center courtyard at a lethal speed before jerking to a stop a meter from the ground and forming landing struts. A boarding ramp extended beside the Watchman, showing a a view of the Temple in chaos as the last few stragglers struggled to outpace their pursuers. Dusk stood, prompting Ara and Lehel to follow, but Dusk waved at them. "Mister Requis," he said studing the little man with predatory eyes, "you will stay here. You seem excited to crush the 'insects' so why don't you take Ship and have some fun." The other man was about to protest, but Dusk waved his hand and a powerful surge or dark energy shot out, invisible to the naked eye and all to familiar to the Jedi.

Lehel snapped rigid for a moment before settling back down. His body language shifted suddenly from that of cowering toady to that of a far more confident and violent Sith. A smile crept across his face more sinister then the Watchman had ever seen from him, "It will be my pleasure my Lord," he said, his very voice deepening.

As the Jedi followed Dusk down the ramp his mind began to question what was happening. He'd thought the amulet Dray had destroyed a year ago was the sourse of the Dark One's ability to warp the minds of those he met, but what he'd just seen his old friend do was very reminicent of the process Sarus had described. What's more, he knew Dusk had some grand plan he wanted to enact, but he had the upper hand right now, and he had to know a huge number of people left who could pose a threat to him were on the planet and running away from him. He should have been going after them, dedicating everything he had to eradicating the Council so they couldn't get in his way later, but he wasn't, in fact he was giving them a very good chance of surviving to regroup by focusing all his ground forces to taking over and fortifying the Temple and sending out the least suited among them to give chase. The only conclusion he could draw from this that whatever plan he had he needed the Council to survive. Was it possible he really thought he could control the Council? Was that what he meant to do, brainwash the JSA leadership into compromising itself?

The two of them watched as Lehel took off in the meditation sphere and raced off to hunt the Watchman's allies. Dusk turned his attention to him and smiled, as if he knew what was going through his head even now. The smile broadened even further as that thought crossed his mind and Dusk simply said, "Don't worry Ara, you'll get your chance to kill me."

"I wouldn't dream of it my Master," Aragorn replied, dropping to one knee, hoping to make the Sith doubt his own assertion by putting genuine sincerity into his voice and aura. It wasn't technically a lie after all, he didn't dream of it, dreaming would imply he wished it would happen and he was far beyond wishing, he was going to make it happen, no matter the cost.

Dusk just kept smiling, "Of course you wouldn't." He waved to the doors right under the entrance to the Alliance Council chambers, the doors that led to the Temple underground fortifications and power generators, doors that were hanging agape and as they approached he could hear lightsabers clashing and blasters firing inside the tunnel leading to the Temple's underground facilities. Normally the doors would be locked shut in an attack and provide one of many layers of defense for the Temple, but without the Generator's power to magnetically seal the doors whatever defenses they had planned were void and whoever was left in the tunnel had just trapped themselves in a death trap.

As they entered Ara caught a glimpse of the battle as over a dozen armed Crusaders were pressing down on just two remaining JSA troops, a Sentinel and Gray Paladin. But he got little more then that as he was forced to ignite his lightsaber to deflect a volley of blaster fire launched by the Paladin, without thinking, without hesitating, he launched a blast of kinetic energy back at the man, lifting him off his feet and hurling him down the long hall where he hit the ground and rolled to a stop against the large door at the end, dead before he even hit the ground. Aragorn knew he should have been horrified by what he'd just done, but he wasn't, these Jedi were already as good as dead and he couldn't risk Dusk questioning his dedication before he got a chance to kill the man. So instead he drank in the Sentinel confusion and fear at seeing a former ally turn on them and launched himself high into the air, landing beside the Sentinel and letting loose with a Force Bellow at point blank range. The Sentinel stumbled back, hands on his ears and a grimace of pain across his face. Aragorn took advantage of the opening, battering one lightsaber out of his opponent's hand and firing Force Lightning with his other. The Sentinel recovered enough composure to bring his other lightsaber up to catch the lightning, but his defenses weren't strong enough and the excess of power poured over the blade, lifted the Jedi off the ground and flung his lifeless body into the wall.

The entire fight took less then a minute and to his surprise Aragorn found himself disappointed they had gone down so quickly. Not because he wanted them to win subconsciously as he rightly should have felt, but because he was still thirsting for more. He hadn't had this kind of power in a long time and it felt oh so good.

Dusk patted him on the shoulder, "Good work my apprentice, you are returning to your rightful place."

Aragorn stared at Dusk, considering him for a potential opponent for a moment until he remembered why he was doing this. He pulled in a deep breath and let it out, kneeling, "It is good to be home," he replied. He had expected himself to have to force those words out, but he didn't, he didn't even have to manipulate his thinking to give off sincerity in his Force aura, he honestly believed what he said.

Dusk smiled and nodded, moving on down the huge tunnel. As Aragorn stood and followed he noticed how much more lovely the passage was now, before it had simply been a huge gray tunnel with a rounded top and recessed chemical lightning in the floor, but now it had plenty of red mixed in with the gray to break up the monotonal color scheme and the twisted bodies made the surprisingly tasteful art....

They came to the end of the hall and the large door where the Paladin's crushed body had come to rest. The door led to the temple's underground generator. It was closed now, as it always was, it didn't need a magnetic seal like the tunnel's entrance its weight was enough to keep it closed. Normally it took a small generator to power the door's circuits to pry the thing open in case of a catestrophic failure, but as Dusk approached it he pressed his hand against it and pushed. A huge wave of energy rippled out from the man and suddenly the door blew open and off it's hinges, careening a dozen metered before hitting the ground and digging a huge furrow in the ferrocrete. It was an enormous display of energy and the Sith did it with ease, not even breathing hard afterwards.

Dusk looked over at him, "Power, power enough to crush anyone in my way and yet it is not enough," he stepped inside the large chamber and approached the generator, "for that though I need time," he splayed his hands, "and this should do nicely."

Aragorn looked at his askance. Dusk was right, powering up the Temple defenses would provide them with a lot of time, but the Deadalus had overloaded the generator and it would take weeks to build up enough power to restart it. The generator stretched in a large circle under the Temple and around it's perimeter looping so that both ends were visible when you entered, it was simply too large to power up quickly. He looked over to his right, to the end of the room opposite the door, that was the Deep Bunker, a safe haven that could, in theory survive orbital bombardment and planet splitting earthquakes, it was possible that was what he meant, but he didn't have the codes for the Deep Bunker, only the Council did and the door was far more heavily reinforced then the Generator room door was so he wouldn't be able to gain access to it any time soon. For that matter if he needed time then was his guess wrong? Had Dusk never planned to try and take control of the Council or was he simply trying to throw him off?

The Watchman was just about to ask what his master meant when the Sith suddenly let loose with a storm of energy. No, calling it a storm wouldn't be right, Aragorn had seen Force Storms, powerful torrents of Force Lightning that spread over a huge area, this wasn't that, it was something more. The lightning arced out in huge bolts, linking directly into the Generator on both sides of the room and lighting up the capacitors one by one. It was impressive, daunting even, but it wouldn't be enough, no single Sith no matter how powerful could generator the kind of energy it would take to jump start the generator, but then again they weren't alone.

Aragorn looked around the room as a sudden dread fell over them all and watched as the dozen Crusaders that had accompanied them down the tunnel transformed into Destroyers and began feeding more power into the Generator and into Dusk, rejuvenating the Sith even as their own lifeforce was yanked out and used as a jumper cable. The Watchman ducked as a final flashed shot out, encompassing the whole room for a split second before fading out. The Generator hummed to life and Ara opened his eyes to see the husks of a dozen men and women fall lifeless to the floor, Dusk standing in their midst unharmed.

The little Sith smiled again as if laughing at his own little joke, "Now we can begin," he said, picking up the stone door and lifting it back into place to seal the generator room, "the path to true power begins now."

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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Ptolemy on Tue May 08, 2012 7:17 pm

The Airlock at the end of the corridor loomed closer as Ptolemy enveloped Sarus and himself in a bubble of force energy. He was using the same basic technique that cushioned the fall of the Chikita. The difference was that this technique was fashioned a bit different. Ptolemy clamped his helmet in place as he felt Sarus gather the force and punch out the airlock as they closed within 5 feet. Neither of them was slowing. The metal of the hatch screamed and bucked under the onslaught finally giving way. Luckily the outer hatch was open and the pair was sucked out into the void of space.

Being below the ship Sarus and Ptolemy were blown out at right angles to the belly of the ship. Looking back Ptolemy could see great rips in the hull where explosions were tearing the ship apart and parts of the ship that were beginning to glow from the transition the ship was undergoing from the vacuum of space to the atmosphere of Yavin’s 4th moon. Ptolemy guided their path away from the huge ship, he knew the readings he saw from the console that there was a power surge building in the huge ships reactors.

Angling away from the Daedalus, Ptolemy strained to hold the atmosphere in the force bubble and guide the pair toward the moon below. There was a bump from the sudden transition from space to the upper atmosphere. The pair shot across the sky trailing flame and a vapor trail. Behind them the ship they had abandoned faded farther and farther away filling the horizon even though they were several kilometers away and picking up speed as they fell toward the same planet. The ship shuddered as pieces of armor broke free of the ship now fully in the atmosphere.

Suddenly there was a flash of blue light that snapped Ptolemy and Sarus’s attention back to the Daedalus as the massive ion weapon that the ship was created around overloaded and released a wall of blue light then the ship exploded. Ptolemy released all pretext of controlling their decent and actually added force to their decent. A second later the shockwave of the explosion hit and sent Sarus and Ptolemy tumbling toward the moon the bubble of force energy burst. Sarus gasped as the air thinned around the pair. The force of the shock wave pushed the pair apart and whipped them around like dust in the wind.

Ptolemy stretched out his hand and used the force to pull Sarus back toward him. Ptolemy Swung the Chiss to his back.

‘Hang on!’ Ptolemy shouted as his brow furrowed in concentration.
Sarus put his right arm over Ptolemy’s shoulder and reached around hooked his hands together across Ptolemy’s chest. Ptolemy stretched his arms out alongside his body at 45 degree angles and slowly their decent slowed and seemed to become more controlled. Even through the armor Sarus could feel the tension in the aging Jedi’s body as he concentrated on flying. Force flight used to be something that was taught on a regular basis. Sarus had heard of the technique before but had never known someone that could sustain flight for more than a kilometer, and they had gone farther than that already.

Sarus could feel the fatigue rolling off the jedi and racked his brain for some way to help the older man. He closed his eyes and concentrated on holding on then got an idea. He began to gather force energy to himself and molded it for use to revitalize Ptolemy. Slowly he fed the energy into the joints of the armor and the stability of flight stabilized.

They seemed to soar over the trees, angling toward the source of what appeared to be the smoke of a dozen campfires. Off to the west there was a huge fireball as the Daedalus fell to smash into the surface of the moon. The pair dipped down below the canopy of trees toward the camp that Ptolemy remembered as a fallback position. With the Ion weapon detonation, Ptolemy was sure that the defenses of the Temple were down. About 100 yards from the perimeter of the camp, Ptolemy Slowed and levitated down to the ground. Sarus let go and bent over panting, Ptolemy stood and eased his helmet off, his white hair plastered to his head with sweat. Slowly he sunk to his knees. Sarus used the revitalize technique on both them this time. Ptolemy reached up as Sarus reached down and clasped each other’s forearms and Ptolemy was hauled to his feet.

Ptolemy clipped the helmet to the belt of his armor and the pair turned toward the encampment. Getting past the perimeter guard was not hard as both Sarus and Ptolemy knew the members of the patrol. They were escorted to the council tent. As they approached, a group of Jedi pushed their way out of the tent and Sarus stopped.

‘Cin’ Sarus said uneasily ‘I am actually surprised that you are still here.’

The leader of the group, whom Ptolemy now realized were the true masters, looked at Sarus then at Ptolemy. Cin cocked her head to study Ptolemy.
Ptolemy felt a probing start in his mind and instantly threw up a barrier to block the mental intrusion then started a game of escalations. The probes becoming more powerful and Ptolemy’s defections and barriers becoming stronger.

‘Such a simple thing’ Cin Mused intent visibly shifting as the look on her face became more focused, determained

‘Unless you are the target’ Ptolemy said around a lopsided grin and clinched teeth.

Soon there was an audible and visual representation of force energy crackling between the two, Ptolemy refusing to allow the probe a Cin refusing to concede the point. Cin’s brow furrowed and sweat broke out on Ptolemy’s forehead.

‘Cin! We do not have time for this’ Sarus Shouted Trying to break the Jedi’s concentration.

‘No we do not,’ Ptolemy muttered and flicked his fingers at Cin. There was a bright flash of light and heat inches in front of Cin’s face causing Cin to flinch and her concentration to break. Then a jerk on her ear snapped her head to one side eliciting a yelp of pain.

‘You need to learn some respect,’ the aged knight snapped irritably. ‘There is a kriffing war on and you want to play games!’

Ptolemy studied the face of the Jedi as a range of emotions played across it from embarrassment to annoyance then malevolence. Ptolemy raised his guard once again and stepped past the stunned group to push into the tent and almost ran head long into Dray.

‘Figures you two would show up…’ Dray said standing outside the large tent. ‘Good to see you in one piece my friends! Especially you Sarus, I knew you wouldn’t let a bunch of crusaders beat you.’


Last edited by Ptolemy on Tue May 08, 2012 9:21 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Ptolemy on Tue May 08, 2012 8:07 pm

Dray's post

=====================

Dray stormed out the tent where the temporary camp was settled around, with Reddex behind him. He called his lightsaber to him which was resting on a table outside the tent. Having Sith and Jedi in a small fragile room with fragile equipment could cause some damage if they were waving around laser swords, so they were all required to drop the guns outside. Suddenly Dray recognized two Jedi Stepping past the group that called themselves the ‘True Masters’. Ptolemy and Sarus had managed to land and walk away from the horrible crash, a bit mangled, but functional.

Dray saw the head of the one named Cin snap to one side. ‘You need to learn some respect,’ Ptolemy snapped irritably and moved toward the tent Dray had just left. Dray stepped into the old man’s path.

‘Figures you two would show up…’ Dray said standing outside the large tent. Dray eyed the group of masters. ‘not sure
how wise it is to antagonize the “true Masters” ’ He made Quotes in the air with his fingers ‘BUT… it is good to see you in one piece my friends! Especially you Sarus, I knew you wouldn’t let a bunch of crusaders beat you.’

"Yeah well, they tried really hard thou. Thankfully the old man here got me out of there just on time."

"Very well, No time for pleasantries thou. Crusaders took over the temple. and I'm bashing in that temple door and taking it back, and I’m going to need you two with me. You look pretty tired so go sit somewhere to rest. ill be with you in a second to provide some healing, but I think a certain doctor was missing her favorite patient." Dray smirked as he tilted his head to the side, where the Chiss doctor from the Shadow Stinger was staying at the door of a medical tent after the ship crash. She smiled towards Sarus, holding what seemed like a big syringe.

"Can I go back to the Crusader ship now please?" exasperated, the Force Master begrudgingly walked towards the tent, where the doctor awaited with a bigger needle than any they had on the ship.

Ptolemy walked with Dray towards the tent entrance where Reddex was.

"Hey you, for a second there I thought you were fireworks, got us all worried." Reddex put an arm around Ptolemy, as his other one was kind of hurting, hugging the old man briefly.

"Yeah I thought so too." Ptolemy said

"Was Aragorn there?" Reddex Asked

"No....he wasn’t." Ptolemy Answered, the words causing a bit of silence among them.

"He’s in the Temple old man. You and I both know it. We'll get him back" Dray said, putting his hand on the old Jedi’s shoulder.

"Now, it’s time to put you up to speed."

They talked about what had transpired while the old man was aboard the colossus ship. After relaying to him that the Shadow had crashed on the planet, not completely wrecked, but unflyable for the moment, and telling him about the
events at the Temple and camp, Dray asked what happened aboard. Ptolemy proceeded to explain the adventure that happened on the colossus.

"I told you those men would do the job. Never underestimate non force user’s old man. They’ve saved my life more than I can count. But where are they now?"

"They weren’t on the ship when I left. I scanned for them but they weren’t there. So either they’re dead..."

"Doubtful" said Reddex.

"...or they escaped and are stranded somewhere on Yavin"

To this Dray stood a bit back from the old man and reached for his utility belt, taking out a communicator.

"If they’re on the planet then they should be using my old..."

Drays comm link flickered online and began receiving meshed static with grainy voice calls

"....ANYONE...READ THIS?....WERE....YAVIN....SHADOW STINGER....OVER"

Dray turned on the correct frequency and spoke to it

"Reynaulds, Dray here. Do you read me? Are you all ok? Over"

A bit of time passed, tensely awaiting a response. Dray, Ptolemy and Reddex, who had walked next to Dray, tensely waiting.

"It’s good to hear your voice sir." One could hear the lieutenant stopping to catch for breath. "Were all a bit battered, but otherwise were fine. Were stranded a few clicks away from the South of the Temple. Heading towards it, over."

"Negative. The temple has been sieged by Crusaders. We're all gathered outside the North in a temporary camp. We’re going to mount an assault to retake it."

"Soldiers of fortune are a fitting title for these guys. First escaping an exploding massive ship in the nick of time and now a temple full of monsters. If they had entered the temple, they would certainly been caught off guard and
killed." Reddex commented.

"Damn Crusaders, never let a guy sleep. Ok, we'll head out to the camp sir. Over."

Reddex interrupted Dray for a bit.

"I got an idea Dray. Let me speak to them." Dray tossed the comm to Red's hand, who began relaying the orders.

"Reynaulds, Red here."

"Commander, good to hear your voice too sir. Over."

"I know friend. Am I to assume I heard right, you’re located south of the Temple?"

"Yes sir. We’re going to circumvent the walls and meet up with you guys there. Over."

"Negative again my friend. Since you’re all ok, I have an assignment for you guys...The temples defenses are down, and these Crusaders have little knowledge of it. So I’m going to need you to attack simultaneously with us. Your job will be to sabotage any defenses they might have set up to gun us down. Your position and the fact that they are unaware of you and will be focusing on us will be perfect. Await instructions for when we attack, and we will meet inside the Temple. I’ll send you some schematics of the buildings so you can study while you wait. And lieutenant...glad to hear from you again.
Good job on that ship. Over"

"Thank you sir. will do. See you inside. Over."

With that Red tossed the comm to Dray, who put it back in his pocket.

"Those boys will do a nice job on surprising these guys."

"Don’t you think they might be a bit tired out from the whole battle on the ship?"

Ptolemy questioned about the attrition this battle was bringing to them.

Dray responded, and gave the old man good reasoning.

"Those men and I fought for 4 days on Sullust, wearing down the Crusaders so we could evacuate the place. They didn’t let down fighting a single minute. I was the only force user next to them, as we were attacked by multiple ones.
Their waves coming every hour or so. Theyll do more than what is required of them. Trust me."

Drays stare of confidence was enough for the old man to rest assured.

After this, the Jedi Master approached the camp and spoke out loud, calling everyone to gather closer. Sarus, sat down a bit, meditating and healing himself in the tent from the calamities that had happened up in orbit just a few hours ago, but he could hear him speaking outside the tent, distantly. Ptolemy rested against a crate with his arms folded, watching Dray lay down a plan of attack with everyone. His thoughts with his son, who was sure to be in that temple, and this plan the only way to get him back. He knew it. He could feel it.

Red and Rokk stood behind him, hugged and hearing him out as well.

"Hey I got an idea, do you think Dray would mind if I started fixing the shadow so maybe we can use it in the raid? I mean its battered as hell, its a long shot, but if I can get some of the crew and fix it..." Rokk pertained to Red, holding him and using cutsie eyes to melt the commander.

"Talk to him after he finishes...maybe he won’t slice your head off if you use your little cutsie eyes on him while you do." Red smirked, getting a sarcastic look back from his little lover.

The leaders stepped out of the tent as well, disgruntingly allowing Dray to take control of the situation. The man was determined and more moralized than any of them were by now.

"Listen up gents. The Crusaders' big gun has fallen. Dusk knows he’s close to losing. So it’s time we take back our temple. Now or never."

Dray walked patiently left and right.

"A squad will come with me thru the front door. They wouldn’t have time to lay much of a trap for us, so well cut them down easily. Master Sarus will be with me as well, providing Force support. I’ve also gathered a special surprise
for the Crusaders while they’re focused on the frontal assault. The temples defenses will be of no good to them for now, so we have to act quickly. . After we march in and make a way, Commander Red will bring in a smaller reinforcement. That way they won’t know how many of us will be more, and we can mount a defense. I won’t lie...some may die; some may not get to fight again. We all will come out of this war with some heavy scars. But that’s how life is.
Anyone who wants to go away now and run from this planet, go. No one will fault you for it..."

To his word, not a single force user or soldier moved. Their hearts and will were firm in place. There was nowhere to run if these monsters won. They knew that for a long time now.

Dray smiled and spoke again.

"Good." flicking his lightsaber on. "Prepare your equipment and weapons. The masters and I will follow you thru the routes of attack. We retake the galaxy today, friends!"

The soldiers yelled in excitement and scattered quickly to the preparations. Dray walked towards the medical tent, calling Ptolemy to come with him.

"Nice speech. Didn’t take you for a speaker." Ptolemy commented.

"Time to see what were made of. Not going to let some child with a gun ruin this place for the rest of us. Also, bastards made my ship to crash. AGAIN. Its time I get some kriffin compensation for those investments."

They walked down the stairs, Dray leading them to the medical tent. "Now we go to check on Sarus, and well discuss something important, about Dusk. All 4 of us."

"4?" Questioned Ptolemy, looking to his fingers counting.

Suddenly from afar, they saw a dropship flying fast towards the camp. It's hulk a bit charred, but otherwise serviceable. It seemed to have flew thru the battle ahead in space, where the scattered crusader forces were battling the JSA ships.

Everyone stopped and looked at it, as it landed a few feet away from the camp entrance.

"Yes. 4." Dray and Ptolemy walked hastily towards the landed ship while everyone else stood still. The old man quickly realizing what his friend meant.

From the ramp that came down, fogged by the dispersers, a figure, armored and wearing cloak, walked out admiring the camp, followed by a small regiment of soldiers and a couple of Siths to its sides.

"Welcome back to Yavin, General." said Dray smiling.


"Its good to be back." spoke Thing.
-------------------------------///=-----------------------

"Ok boys, our fearless leader just gave us another mission. Since the temple is sieged, ..."

"Man, cant a guy have some rest?"

"Shut it Alek, we're about to win this war. You can rest all you want after we win."

Alek sat correctly on the tree stump he was on.

"Our job is to sabotage any special defenses and wreck havoc on the Crusaders from the back. Theyll be focused on the front lines with the attack, so were free to have some fun."

"Now this is more like it!" spoke Kelly, eager to blast some Crusaders in the face.


Reinaulds kneeled in front of a log, and placed a holo projector on top of it. It flickered on, displaying a model of the temple. The rest of the team gathered around him looking towards the plan.

"He sent us some building schematics. It seems they’ll reinforce defenses around the center buildings and the hangar, since those are key to maintaining the temple. The schools to both sides will probably be where they’ll lay down some heavy guns to fire down from above. That’s where you go in, Kelly and Sam. Sam will take the Jedi buildings, Kelly the sixth. Clear out any gunners they have there, and turn their guns on them. Don’t make yourselves too much attention thou. And avoid encounters with any of those Force users. Don’t be afraid to hit a stun grenade on their face and stab them in the chest thou, if you can..."

Both soldiers nodded where they were standing.

"Alek will stay in the back walls, picking off any smart asses who try to foil our plans. If you see an important target, take the shot Alek. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, attack Dusk or any of the higher ranks. They’re out of our league and would attract too much attention. Let the Jedi deal with those guys."

Alek raised an eyebrow and casually agreed with this.

"I will take the ground with Cosin and find where they’re heading, what they have stocked and any other important stuff we can mess with their computers. We might be able to turn any automated defenses they have against them."

Cosin smiled awaiting his chance to wreck their systems.

"The rest of you will be on Search and Destroy. Find any important stuff, put a grenade in it, and blow it to smithereens. Are we all clear?"

"Yes Sir!" all yelled out.

"Let’s push those sandrakers off our worlds."

With that he turned off the projector and concealed it away.

-------------------//----------------------------------------------

A couple of hours passed, and the forces had now gathered just outside the temple. Dray held his lightsaber in one hand and his sword and blaster sheathed on his waist, Ptolemy to his right with his entire gear checked and Sarus to his left, in silence. The rest of the people who were in the camp, behind them. Near around 100 people were about to fight, of all kinds and races, of all specialties. The gates of the temple stood closed. Behind Dray, Thing stood with his special regiment ready to blast in and provide his much needed.

"Glad to have you here to fight Thing. Wouldn’t be the same without you."

"Just like old times Ptolemy."

"Ha, old times...you’re too young to be using those words." Ptolemy laughed and thing smiled back at him.

"Sarus" Dray turning his head to him." Well open the doors together". He stood to the left side forward, while Sarus stepped forward to the right.

"The rest of you be ready!"

Dray concentrated for a bit, as Sarus did the same. Both prepared a powerful Force Push thatwould fling the doors open quickly, any crusaders mounting a trap at the entrance would get splashed or flinged to the back of the entrance hall

"Ptolemy, toss any flashes you have deep into the room the moment we fling these open."

Ptolemy readied a couple of flash grenades on his hand.

Behind them, you could hear lightsabers and blasters flinging on, Thing closing his eyes and preparing his battle meditation one more time. This time it would be less impactful, since he would need to be going into battle, but a little
edge is better than none as his masters always said.

Thru a comm in Drays ear, Red spoke.

"All coordinations are ready from the command center here, Im ready to relay any orders and troops to wherever needed."

"Good. Be ready everyone!"

The air around Drays and Sarus' palms morphed, the piled force they were holding ready to burst.

"Now Master Sarus!" As Drays push erupted from his hands simultaneously with Sarus. With most of the power down, the doors flinged open like paper, pushing 2 Crusaders who were behind them into the bottom of the dark room hall ahead. Immediatly as the door flinged open, Ptolemy flinged two grenades down the hall, flashing and blinding most of the Crusaders, a swarm of them, who stood at the end of the hall. Dray leaped in, Sarus right after him, followed by everyone else. Dray flinged thru the room, already preparing another force push, and flinging it thru the middle of the small crowd of Crusaders, making half of them fly and smash against the cold walls of the temple, all while moving closer towards the crowd. Having reached it, Dray ducked a couple of laser bolts and flung under a lightsaber, Spinning his own
blade in motion, cutting off three crusaders down in a mere second. He continued his movement, every slash killing or dismantling another cursed one. Sarus followed behind him, flinging force pushes, and using crusaders as meat
shields and then as throwable weapons, before making a leap over the crowd, kicking and punching force attacks to the floor, shattering bones and knocking crusaders on their backs. He landed on the shoulders of another, simply twisting
in place, and then leaped again, draggin him behind, and flinging him upwards and away to land on a couple of his comrades. Ptolemy flinged his baston forward and hit a couple of crusaders. After this, the two enemy forces
clashed, by now the crusaders flashed having recuperated, and the hall turned into a small battlefield. Most of the Crusaders falling down quickly and getting decimated. In less than a minute the crowd was reduced to half, and the
forces pushed forward, jedi and sixth slashing at the cursed ones, with regiments of blasters firing from the back towards the end of the hall, gunning down the enemies own gunners. Dray kept spinning and twirling, occasionally blasting on the floor with a force push, wich made everyting 2 meters around him disappear into somewhere else, perhaps a wall or another person. In no time, he had reached the end of the hall and was slashing at blasters instead of lightsabers. Sarus was right next to him, pushing every blaster shot he could back to its sender, all the while acrobatically incapacitating every enemy who came near him. Thing was in the middle of the crowd, using his dual lightsabers to dominate the battle for now, making sure every crusader around him got overpowered, reserving a bit of himself to battle meditation.

Dray flinged his lightsaber forward, cutting off blaster squards down the left corridor entrance, and Sarus blasted a force barrier towards the right entrance, doing the same as Dray. A sixth saber suddenly leaping to Sarus as he pushed the barrier, almost cutting him down, save for Ptolemy blocking it with his baston, punching the man in the face, grabbing it and force pushing him to oblivion.

In 3 minutes, the hall was taken. 50 crusaders lay dead, disarmed or unconscious. 5 of the JSA perished.

All stopped for a bit to catch breath, then Dray continued.

"Good job, now half the team go down with Sarus down the right, and half come with me. They might be trying to flank us, so we will cover both corridors. Ptolemy, youre with me, Thing you go side by side with Sarus." Dray waved his green blade thru the room, followed by his regiment. As he said it, some of the lights in the corridors began to turn on.

"Damn it, they managed to fry up the generator." Dray flinching his
fist as he said it.

_________________

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








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Ptolemy
Chancellor - Masters Council

Join date : 2009-10-22
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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Aardvark on Thu May 10, 2012 9:07 pm

A whir began to echo throughout the Great Hall as the Temple defenses came back online and the auto-turrets in the room began to warm up. A couple loud thumps sounded from either side as the bulk heads leading out slammed and locked into place and a hum started from back at the entrance to the hall as a raise shield came up over the door Dray and Sarus had just blown down. They were trapped.

Thing cursed and glanced up as then holes where the turrets were housed irised open, they had seconds before they would be under a barrage of fire. The Admiral glanced around the barren room, hoping for cover and finding none. The Great Hall was furnished to avoid providing siegers with any sort of cover from their defenses and now that fact was coming back to bite them in the ass. They had no place to hide and no exit available.... A thought struck him and he spun towards the reception desk, hoping for a miracle and found it. The guest rooming was located in the Great Hall at the far end so that anyone visiting the Temple couldn't get in the way of the Jedi and Sith day-to-day operations, as such they were isolated in and of themselves from the rest of the Temple, and as luck would have it, not on the lock-down protocol. It could be a trap of course, this entire situation stank of it, and there might be dozens of Crusaders hiding behind that door just waiting for them, but they did not have many options.

Thing raced toward the door, settling into himself and awakening his inner eye. He had learned the Shatterpoint a long time ago while refining the effectiveness of his Battle Meditation, but had little use for it most of the time as he'd never perfected merging it with his Battle Meditation to show weaknesses in the enemy's defenses. But he had learned it, and now he switched it on, immediately locating the door's shatterpoint and kicking it as hard as he could. The door ripped apart, peeling like a banana and opening up a large hole.

He glanced in quickly, saw no one, and popped his head back out, "Fallback!"

Dray glanced over, immediately saw what Thing had done, and began shouting orders. "Sabers cover, Blasters fallback!" He shouted using the most genera; term he could for each group to avoid confusion, "Move!" Jedi and Sith moved forward, igniting blades and forming a wall of light while what soldiers they had gathered began a mad dash for the hole. Thing stepped forward and ignited his own blade to deflect fire away from the hole itself, far enough forward that people could slip in behind him, but far enough back that he could deflect fire from any of the auto-turrets before it got to the door.

As the last soldier slipped in Thing yelled, "Clear."

Dray nodded, "Knights, Lords, fall back!" The Jedi and Sith obeyed without question and quickly got through with only a couple casualties as a few opportunistic Sith tried to take a turret out of action and got smoking holes through their chests for their efforts.

"Two down, but clear," Thing shouted, shaking his head at the pointless waste.

Dray set his feet, "Masters get ready, Watchmen, Marauders, fall back!"

Some shots began to get through as the Jedi and Sith stopped deflecting and ran for cover, but none of them got hit, most likely due to their improved training, though a few had near misses. The Masters and Overlords looked to be tiring at a much faster rate now as they were forced to compensate for the lack of defenders, Thing was starting to feel it as well as more turrets directed their attention at him. "Clear, no casualties," he yelled for the final time, "we need to hurry."

Dray was concentrating intensely on what he was doing, but still acknowledged that he had heard Thing, more then Sarus or Pto could do as both men were sweating from the continued barrage mixed with their own lack of rest. "Collapse," Dray ordered, "Nine, Five, Three, One," he added specifying how many should remain in the formation at any given point in the withdrawal, "All, go!" The remaining Jedi and Sith began stepping slowly back while deflecting fire, forming semi-circle and continuing to pull back until they were shoulder to shoulder, "True Masters, forward!" Dray yelled, ordering the Ronin Council to hold a defensive pattern while the others withdrew. Dray, Ptolemy, & Sarus dashed backwards to meet up with Thing and form a semi-circle in front of the Admiral, giving him a moment's respite. "Ara, Pto, hold!" Dray shouted over the din of blaster bolts, "True Masters, fall back!"

This was the riskiest part of the formation as the Ronin would be retreating without direct cover for a few seconds before they reached the next formation. If any of them lagged, if any of them wasn't fully in tune with the Force, they would fall victim to the Temple's vicious targeting system. It was the one link in the chain that could fail the easiest and could only be accomplished by very talented Force Users. Dray chose wisely, as the five Ronin deftly avoided fire and jumped behind the wall of light the three remaining Jedi were erecting. The five disappeared inside the door quickly, leaving just the four of them exposed, "Thing," Dray whispered, "I can hold the last line if you're too tired."

Thing understood what Dray was offering. The final pull was almost as dangerous as the fall back Dray had just ordered as one of them would be redirecting all of the blaster fire coming in alone for a few seconds. It could only be done for a few seconds, even by the most skilled Masters and such a position had a low mortality rate in the field. The Admiral shook his head, "No, I'll do it," he brought his blades back up and settled into a Soresu stance, "ready."

"Pto, Sarus, fall back!" Dray shouted, back-flipping and rolling through the hole as Sarus and Pto whirled through a pattern and disappeared to either side of the door. And suddenly Thing was under siege, twirling his lightsabers as fast as he could as he attempted to fend off a hundred weapons at once while backing into the hole he had just made. His hands moved at an impossible speed and his lightsabers seemed to become an impenetrable wall of light. For just a moment he was at one with the Force, a complete vessel, impossible to separate from the power he channeled and it felt glorious, but only for a moment. His body quickly began to burn as he channeled more power then he could handle and his limbs began to fail just as he crossed the threshold and was yanked to the side by Ptolemy as Sarus used the Force to bend the peeled door back into place.

Thing nodded thanks to the pair and let them catch their breaths. The guest quarters were set up much like a hotel, with the first hall leading to a bend and then a line of rooms with a turbolift in the center. Each floor after that was a carbon copy of the first except for the entrance hallway, with four floors going up and two going down to ground level. Except for a few blast burns on the walls the entire place looked exactly like it should, save for the gatherings of tired Jedi, Sith, and soldiers littering the halls. He looked for Dray, finding him at the bend in the hall, the place with the best view of their remaining people, "You better tell Red to call off the attack or they'll be walking into an ambush."

Dray was pacing, hand to his ear and shaking his head, "It's no good, they must have reactivated the Temple's jammers."

The Force Warrior settled into a meditation stance on the floor, "I'll see if I can reach Iron, tell him to hold off until we can end the lock-down."

Dray nodded, "Good thinking." He turned to a knot of soldiers, "Scout the area, make sure we're alone in here."

"Already done," a soldier came forward, long-blaster resting in his arms as if he didn't quite feel safe, "In fact that's about the only good news we have. This place seems to be clean, no traps, no Crusaders we should be safe for the time being."

Thing shook his head, something wasn't right here, "We walked right into a trap, there should have been an ambush waiting for us the minute I forced the door open." If this was a trap it was a poorly executed one as it had only sealed them off from the main battle, not killed them.

"I don't think this was a trap," Ptolemy spoke up, coming up alongside Thing, "otherwise we would have been ambushed the second we came through that door. I think this was very convenient, but not an outright trap."

"Agreed," Dray replied, "if this was a trap Thing would have sensed it or we'd be dead."

"So what lucky timing?" Thing asked.

"Sure let's go with that," Dray answered, "because the only other option is one I don’t want to consider." Thing instantly understood what he meant. If this wasn't luck or planning then the only other option was that the Force wanted Dusk to win.

Sarus joined the group, "I think Iron got the message, but I get the feeling it Reinualds and his team may have jumped the gun."

"We'll have to hope they can manage on their own," Dray replied with regret, "they're a good bunch, they can handle themselves. We have to concentrate on ourselves, we're not out of this fight yet, I want options."

"We've got a clear line of fire," the soldier spoke up, "if he blow out some of the windows we can turn the courtyard into a killzone, but there's no exit my men could find so we wouldn't be able to press our advantage, just hold this position."

"What about back-up plans?" Sarus asked.

"Not likely," Thing answered, "all our plans relied on the power being down. Our reinforcements are cut off thanks to that raise shield, and we don't have the manpower to retake the Generator room."

"We're not entirely trapped," Pto put in suddenly, "I've been stationed here for the last year working requisiton orders and renovating after the last attack and I recall a construction project on an underground escape route. We never got it finished, digging an exit took too long, but we did manage to build a series of escape tunnels linking together. We could make our escape that way and bring the attack to them."

Thing shook his head, "The auto-turrets run throughout the Temple. They can't be activated while the Crusaders are in the area because they'd cut both sides down, but they could just pull back and let the turrets do the job."

Dray waved his finger as an idea struck him, "No not an attack, but close. A distraction. If the," he looked for a rank marker on the soldier, "Major here is right then we can deny the Crusaders a huge chunk of the Temple by turning the courtyard into a killzone, they'll have to dedicate a huge number of resources to dealing with us or risk giving us a chance to cut our way out. We may not be able to get all of us to the Generator, but I'm willing to bet we can provide enough of a distraction to get a small team out undetected using the escape tunnels."

Thing nodded, "That could work, but they couldn't be very large, a dozen at most and they'd be relying almost entirely on stealth."

Dray turned to Pto, "Old man, could you and Sarus manage to cloak long enough to get to the Generator room?"

Ptolemy considered the idea, "Possibly," he looked to Sarus, "you're the Shadow here, can it be done?"

Sarus nodded, "Yes, but it would have to be a very small team, and they'd have to be very in tune with each other. Pto, myself, and one other max."

"My Battle Meditation could help," Thing put forth, "and I know how to reprogram the targeting systems."

"I would recommend a second team," Sarus added, "that way if one team fails they can provide a second distraction to ease pressure on the second and if neither is discovered they can meet up at the Generator room and provide back-up."

"So we've got a plan and one team, who's the other?" Dray asked.

"We volunteer," a voice said from behind them. Thing turned to see Cin and the True Masters walking towards them, "I am quite talented with illusions, I believe we will provide an effective strike team."

Ptolemy shook his head, about to refuse the offer but Sarus raised a hand to stop him. "We could use the muscle," he explained, narrowing his eyes and silently exchanging words with the old Jedi in the Force. The exchanged lasted a few moments before Sarus finally added, "We can utilize them better in the field then Dray can here."

Ptolemy nodded his head once, apparently understanding what the Force Warrior meant, "Fine, but they get the Sith side."

---------------------------------------

Ptolemy knelt and put his hand to the wall, extending his senses outward until he feeling for the switch imbedded in the wall. It was an old Jedi trick, make a switch and then build around it leaving no way to get at it physically. It meant the switches could never be tripped by anyone without the Force and couldn't even be found unless you knew where they were hidden. He found it and gave it a yank with the Force.

A rumble shook the walls and a meter away a slab of ferrocrete slide up, revealing a small dark tunnel with recessed ceiling lights and arrows pointing out a path that would have eventually lead to the emergency escape route, had they had time to finish it. Pto stood and waved, "Follow me and stick close, the only arrows point out and it's a maze in there."

Dray looked in the tunnel to make sure it was clear and nodded, "I'll close up once you're in," he said, "we'll give you a five minute head start before we begin our attack." The Master extended his hand to the Jedi, "Good luck old man."

Ptolemy smiled and took the hand, "May the Force be with you all my friends."

The Major chuckled and jammed a cartridge into his rifle, "We don't need the Force, we have ammo."

Thing laughed, "Well put solider, giv'em hell."

The Major saluted and Pto turned and headed into the tunnel, the others following single file. After a few seconds another rumble began as the door slide back into place, plunging them into near darkness but for the faint illumination they ceiling lights gave them.

They walked for a good ten minutes, Pto digging into the memory of the Temple layout and the plans he had helped draw up to guide them. It wasn't easy and more then a few times he just had to stop and get his bearings before continuing. If they got lost down here there was no guarantee they would find a way out and he seriously doubted they could afford to be down eight Master level combatants in this fight, but at the same time they couldn't waste too much time, Dray's position was good, but it wasn't impenetrable.

Pto came to a sudden stop and checked his watch, remembering the number of intersections they had passed already, this should be right. He turned and looked at the True Masters, he didn't trust them. Time and time again it had been proven that when things looked bad the True Masters would disappear under the excuse of preserving the knowledge the Ronin held. Hek new they would betray them, it was only a matter of time, but Sarus had been right, it was better they were out here where their betrayal would hurt much fewer then with Dray where they would be tasked with holding the line. Of course the Force Warrior had been careful to disguise what he said, they didn't want to give the "True Masters" any ideas. He pointed down the intersection, "Take this straight up, you should emerge in the Dark Council Room. There will probably be a base camp in the area so be careful not to set off any alarms."

Cin nodded and lead the Ronin away without comment. Ptolemy kept going, they weren't far from the Masters Council Room door and he wanted to be as far from the True Masters as he could before they risked blowing the secret nature of the passage. At least if he, Thing, and Sarus could exit before they exposed the secret the Crusaders would be left with no one to hunt and no way of figuring out how to open the doors.

"I have a stupid question," Sarus spoke up as they walked, "why don't we just take these tunnels straight to the Generator Room or the Deep Bunker?"

"Security hazard," Thing answered, "the Generator Room and Deep Bunker are so defensible because there's only one way in and any benefit escape tunnels might be for them is outweighed by the risk they pose to one of our own turning traitor." Ptolemy was impressed, Thing hadn't even known this tunnels existed an hour ago but he'd manage to access how they were built and where.

"Ah," Sarus replied, "well I did say it was a stupid question."

Thing began to chuckle but Pto waved for silence as they approached the door to the Masters Council Room. He pressed his ear to the door, listening for voice but heard only a faint rustle that could have been someone moving or a body shifting as gases escaped after death. So he extended his sense gently so as not to attract attention. He felt half a dozen very weak presences in a lot of pain or unconscious and two stronger presences near where the door would be and instantly deduced that they were using the room as a trauma center.

The old Jedi turned back to his two companions and flashed a six, followed by a waver, then a two followed by a fist and then a gap, telling them how many were there, which were threats and how far away the threats were. Thing nodded and sunk into Battle Meditation, linking Pto with Sarus and letting them communicate with intention rather then words.

Sarus came forward while Ptolemy reached for the switch in the Force, found it, then gripped the door to keep it from rumbling as it rose into place. He pulled the switch and the door rose silently. The Force Warrior darted out and hugged the walls, making his way around to where a pair of Crusaders sat with their backs to the escape hatch, a lucky break for them. With no hesitation the Chiss came up behind them, reached for their necks in the Force, and twisted violently, snapping them and then pulling them behind the nearest Council chair to hide the bodies. The lack of remorse at using such a dark method momentarily shocked Ptolemy, but he sensed no darkness from the Chiss, in fact he felt little in the man at all aside from rock solid determination.

Sarus moved slowly out into the room, checking the bodies as he went, then stood put a finger to his lips and motioned them to come out, quietly. As Ptolemy walked around to the entrance to the Council Room he noticed that the doors were pried open, exposing the chamber's waiting room and a barricade with a clear view of the garden. Sitting behind the barricade were half a dozen Crusaders holding long-blasters and two on mobile turrets. It had been a small miracle none of them had turned around and seen Sarus take out the two in the Council room.

The Force Warrior was on the other side of the door, looking out. He turned to Pto and Thing and motioned with his two shotos, suggesting they try and take them out permanently. Ptolemy shook his head, there were too many of them and as he looked to Thing he saw the Admiral flash his hands twice, there were over twenty others in the various private rooms the Councilors held that connected to the waiting room. If they attacked their cover would be blown and the completion of the mission would fall to the "True Masters" a group none of them wanted to rely on. He waved the suggestion away and then waved his hand in front of his body, casting an illusion as he did so to make sure the Chiss understood. He nodded and made his way around to join them. He motioned Pto forward and fell back, signaling that he would follow the old Jedi's lead.

Ptolemy snapped his helmet on and fell into the Force, connecting with Thing's Battle Meditation before reaching out to Sarus and linking their consciousnesses together. He began pulling on the Force, wrapping it around them and melting it into a cloak to hide them from sight and the Force. Jensaarai cloaking techniques were different from traditional methods that focused solely on hiding one's self from view. Instead the Jensaarai believed a much more effective method was to melt into the environment, instead of just trying to become like the environment, they cast illusions as well to hide what merely cloaking left behind. The technique was much more complete, but it also drained you quickly, especially if you were extending it beyond yourself. But thanks to Sarus' own experience and power aided by Thing's extensive Battle Meditation, he thought they could probably pull this off.

Ptolemy dashed out, Thing and Sarus following close behind. Running increased their chances of discovery, but they didn't have a choice, they had a long way to go before they would have anything to hide behind and they couldn't afford being caught out in the open. He vaulted the barricade without slowing, pouring on the power to strengthen his legs and maintain the illusion as he ran. The escape from the Daedalus, had drained him severely and he was really beginning to feel it now. He and Sarus had been able to rest for only a few minutes before they headed out with Dray and while the healing sessions had helped, they were only delaying the inevitable. He could only hope both he and the Chiss could hold out until this mission was through.

The three Jedi emerged from the hall at a flat out run, and instantly spotted six Crusaders, two up near the Alliance Council chamber, acting as look-outs, and four a level down in the gardens, standing right outside the hall leading to the Generator Room. Through Thing's Battle Meditation they instantly picked targets without slowing or saying a word, Sarus would take the two look-outs while Thing and Ptolemy took the guards in the gardens.

Sarus leapt, closing the distance to the Alliance Council chambers in one swift jump while Thing and Pto dove off the level they were on and landed to either side of the four guards. Ptolemy Ignited his saber, dropping his cloak at the last minute, spinning the saber to remove the heads of the crusaders before they could even begin reacting while Thing landed with his sabers removing the other two's heads as they were looking at Pto's sudden appearance with shock. Through the Battle Meditation Pto could also feel Sarus punching through the chests of the two look-outs, killing them before they knew anything was amiss.

Ptolemy looked around to make sure their little escapade hadn't attracted the attention of more Crusaders and when he saw none he thumbed his staff off along with Thing. Sarus dropped down a moment later, giving them a thumbs-up, no alarms. They turned to head down the hall and ran straight into one of the Ronin, surprised they looked around and found themselves surrounded on all side by the "True Masters".

The old Jedi cursed and grabbed his staff, "I knew we couldn't trust you, but I still didn't think you;d actually oppose us!"

Sarus reached out and stopped him, "They're not here to stop us Pto," he said quietly.

Ptolemy looked at the Chiss as if he'd gone mad, but before he could say as much Cin spoke up, "Master Cloud is correct, we have no intention of attacking you."

Pto looked the Fosh straight in the eye, "Then why are you standing in our way?"

"We will move as soon as we are finished," Cin replied, irritation sneaking into her otherwise calm deminor.

"Cut to the chase," Sarus interrupted, "what do you want?"

Cin looked to the Force Warrior and cocked her head, "I would think you of anyone would know the answer to that Master Cloud. The Balance must be restored."

A dark look came over the Chiss' face, "There are better times and places for that Cin."

The Fosh shook her head, "No, it must be now. If we do not restore the Balance this will keep happening and the next iteration may not be stopped."

Ptolemy was confused. He'd been a Ronin for a short while, but he had no idea what Cin was referring to, or what it had to do with them, "And if you don't get out of our way this 'iteration' may not be stopped."

"He's right Cin," the Force Warrior agreed, "so let's make a deal." He nodded to the two human Ronin, "Tsubasa and Forge watch my friend's backs and I'll come with you."

"You can't be serious!" Ptolemy whispered to him, "We can't trust them!"

"You'll have to trust me Pto, I know what I'm doing," he glanced at Cin who was still considering the proposal, "at least I hope I do. Besides, if Cin gives the order they'll comply, they've been trained too long not to." He turned to the Fosh, "Well Cin, do we have a deal or should we just get busy killing each other?"

Anger flashed across the Fosh's face again, but she nodded, "Tsubasa and Forge will guard the entrance."

The two human Ronin parted, letting Ptolemy and Thing pass unmolested. The old Jedi grabbed Sarus' arm as he passed, he was worried about what the Chiss might do, "Come with us, just run they won't catch us before it's too late."

Sarus smiled and patted his arm, "I'll be fine, just go. You and I both know your son is down that hall and he needs his father more then he needs any of us." He turned to Cin, "Where do you want to do this?"

The Fosh looked up, "The Alliance Council Chambers would seem appropriate."

The three Ronin along with Sarus leapt out of sight and Ptolemy got the sickening feeling it would be the last time he ever saw his friend.

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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Red-X on Tue May 15, 2012 10:08 pm

“Did I mention how much I hate this planet?” Alek said exhaustingly climbing over a toppled tree trunk.

Reynaulds team had been trudging through the thick Yavin jungle trying to keep up with the object they had spotted in the sky not too long ago. Kelly had run ahead leaving behind trail marks allowing the rest of the group to track her. Slash marks in the shape of X’s from her combat knife left on branches and any surrounding areas had helped guide them along. It was still night during the trek and during the run, they had created torches from an endless supply of wood thanks to their current location. Every now and then they would lose the trail for a couple of minutes only to quickly find the next mark and start up again. Shinning and curious eyes watched the group from the shadows clueless to their objective. A few animals had made advances towards the group but stayed out of the glow from the torches. Their cautious sounds echoed all around them.

“Yes, Alek, ever since we crashed, you have happily reminded us.” Cosin said from the back of the group. “Need a kiss for comfort?”

“From you?” Alek questioned with a grin, “Absolutely. I could use a good kiss…”

Cosin shook his head in disappointment, putting his hand to his forehead with a sigh. “You gonna find a woman that can take your nonsense?”

“I did ya know. Sadly this line of work is practically making it impossible to work out.” Alek shrugged slightly as he bent low to get under a thick brush. “You see, I loved her.”

“Don’t tell me who I think it is Alek, really”? Kaz looked back at their sniper as he came up from under the bush. “I had a hunch, but you have to be kidding.”

“She probably gonna kill me for saying this, but hey…Who knows if we make it out of this alive, right fellas?” Alek asked out loud with a smile.

“Very optimistic, aren’t you?” Reynaulds pointed out, spotting another fresh slash mark across a rock a few feet in front of him.
Sam heaved a laugh out loud as he thundered across the ground with his heavy gear next to Kaz. “I swear these are the best moments when we’re out on missions. Love these bonding moments. I’m guessing we’re talking about Kelly, huh?”

“Ding ding ding, Mr. big man.” Alek said attempting to clap his hands while holding his rifle and running at the same time.

“Always did catch you two staring at each other, trying to hide it sometimes.” Sam said, “Which you two failed at.”

“Yeah well-“ Alek began but was cut off as the group came to an abrupt stop. Alek nearly ran into the back of Kaz as they braked. Looking ahead to see what was going on, they saw Kelly nested a couple of feet off the ground in a tree looking ahead. They remained quiet letting her stay focused on whatever it was she found. Her head turned looking in different directions. Kelly’s face was hidden by her helmet. Reynaulds approached the base of the large tree and looked up at her.

“Anything?”

“Yes. Something…big. It…Looks like a…Structure. I can’t get an accurate ping to paint a picture, but we are close.” Kelly said grudgingly. “That thing we’re chasing vanished into it.”

“Think it’s the temple, Sir?” Kaz asked.

Reynaulds thought for a moment, until his secondary comlink started to blink and vibrate. He could hear a familiar voice trying to reach him. He was somewhat confused since they were in the middle of a jungle. He took out the comlink from one of his chest pouches and took a couple of steps away from the group who had already set up a small camp around a central log. Kelly continued to stay up in the tree acting as their watch tower making sure nothing could sneak up on them. She also played the role of antennae linking Reynaulds comm to whoever was able to reach them all the way out here. The rest of the group took out their rations and began to eat. They planted their torches in a circle to give them some decent light to see where they were sitting. Though, beyond the wall of light was utter darkness. Kaz tilted his helmet just enough so he can feed himself and spotted Alek gazing off into Kelly’s direction. He looked at the others and was also noticing Alek’s behavior. Sam picked up a stick and threw it at Alek getting his attention.

“You good?”

Alek shook and nodded all at the same focusing back on his food. He let out a haggard sigh as he chewed.

“Do you…Still talk?” Cosin asked leaning back against a tree.

“We do, just not often. I don’t know if she feels the same way about me anymore.” Alek raised his eyebrows in disbelief. He looked back to Kelly’s position and just saw her looking away from him. He slipped another piece of his ration into mouth and chewed despairingly. Moving onto another woman was out of the question. They were always moving from location to location. Holding a new relationship would be a miracle.

“Well we’ve been noticing an increase in activity of you watching her.” Sam said, nodding off in Kelly’s direction.

“It hasn’t occurred to you why, Sam?” Alek said looking away from Kelly now at Sam. “We could die on this planet. We have never been up against the odds this big. I’ll be damned if this blasted jungle becomes my grave.”

“It won’t be. We’ve done the impossible before, and we’ll do it again and again.” Cosin said reassuringly, “As long as we stick together and keep a level head.”

Over from where Reynaulds had departed, he was slowly making his way back through the brush. Kelly noticed his approach and begun her descent from her nest in the tree. Alek saw her climbing down and pondered.

“Might as well go say something to her now before Reynaulds gets here.” Sam said packing his things up.

Just as Alek began to stand up from the tree stump he had sat on, Reynaulds had already started to pass between the flaming torches with Kelly behind him.

"Ok boys, our fearless leader just gave us another mission. Since the temple is sieged, ..."

"Man, cant a guy have some rest?" Alek openly complained at Reynaulds. Behind him he caught Kelly’s glance from her helmet. He couldn’t see past her visor, but he had a hunch.

----//

“You really think this could work?”

“No, not really.” Reddex said to Rokk as they took a quick trip to the location the Jedi and Sith landed the damaged Shadow Stinger. The ship’s crew was hard at work trying to make something out of the wreck. One of the engineers signaled him on his datapad to come by. If they were able to get the ship flying again, that would be outstanding. Walking towards the outer bands of the camp was a path the Jedi had established leading straight to Dray’s ship. Small lamp lights were placed every couple of meters to light the way.

“How come?” Rokk asked.

“Just everything feels so out of place. Dusk has all of us right on his doorstep, and he hasn’t shown his face.” Reddex said assisting Rokk over thick roots from a nearby tree. “I’m assuming he’s locked himself inside the temple and WANTS us in there.”

“Are you thinking of some type of bomb?”

“I’m thinking something a lot worse.” Reddex glanced at Rokk worried.

“If you believe there’s a trap, what about your men out there in the jungle? They would also be walking into a potential ambush.”

“When they hit the south wall, they’ll contact me again. It shouldn’t take them long.” Reddex could see a few mid-level flood lights in a clearing up ahead. Sounds of tools and screeches began to hit their ears. “All I know is, I’d rather have eyes in the sky or someone inside that structure getting intel instead of simply charging in blind.”

“Well you’re no military general…” Rokk shrugged. “Think Dray would consider what you’re thinking?”

“Nope.” As Reddex reached the flood light clearing, they could see the Shadow Stinger somewhat tilted on its side. What had struck the ship during the devastating explosion from Daedalus was still lodged in the hull. The engineering crew was hard at work trying to cut the slab out. A few Jedi were scattered around the ship assisting in any way manageable. Reddex noted how gently the Jedi were able to place the ship down. Would’ve been a sight if he was there to see the save from the ground. A small river stood between Reddex and Rokk to get to the ship. The stream was shallow enough to cross safely. “Although, I am hoping they can get there first. Give us an idea on what the hell is happening inside.”

The pair crossed the river and observed the status of the ship and it didn’t look too well. Walking towards the front, passing by numerous jedi and crew hard at work they saw they could see the viewport still had the gaping whole Reddex had been flown from. It still amazed him he was still standing and breathing. He felt Rokk hold his hand and gave him a reassuring squeeze. Behind them came a technician holding a datapad, with a pen above held above her ear.

“Commander.”

“Shishka, anything good?”

The technician took a glance at the Shadow and shook her head a bit. “We might be able to get the repulsor’s back online. We’re still trying. That hit we took opened us up to the outer bands of that ion blast. We were able to get the kitchen back up and running…If that’s good enough for you” She grinned.

Rokk laughed a bit, “Well, I’ve been around ships for quite away. I’ve battled machines with a hydrospanner in many, many terrible situations. I could give you folks a hand.”

“More hands the better, much appreciated.” Shiska said, “My team is in the rear compartment where were having problems communicating with the repuslors. If we can get that up and running, we can fly again……Somewhat.”

“Glad to hear it. I hate being on the ground. It’s just so-“

“Oh shut up.” Rokk teased, as she kissed him on the cheek and followed Shishka as she led the way.

----//

After their short meeting about the plan to sneak into the temple, Reynaulds and his team resumed their trek through the jungle. Kelly had mentioned they weren’t far, rather very close. Reyanaulds had ordered her to run ahead once more and to keep an eye out for things along the way. He didn’t let the others know, but he was getting rather irritated with no action…The only battle being fought was with the local environment. He could hear his team behind him having small talk about some woman, and Alek seemed to be rather involved in the conversation. He wondered if Alek was telling them about Kelly. He also wondered if the rest of the team knew about them two. He moved the thoughts to the back of his mind and tried to think about what was going to happen ahead.
Two hours went by as they continued their march. He remembered their scout clearing saying the temple wasn’t too far away. So where the hell were they? He was keeping up with the trail marks Kelly had been carefully laying out. His chrono was functioning and Master Dray wanted to move on the temple within a particular time, and it was drawing very, very close. Up ahead he could barely make out a silhouette of an individual. Flames were burning in front of the person as well. Reynaulds couldn’t make out the object or the person. He ordered his team to tread carefully as they approached. Soon the person turned around and it was Kelly.

“Welcome to the south wall. This must be the hanger.”

As the group eased off and walked up to her and looked at what she saw, they noticed what was on fire was a huge section of the southern hanger bay had been embedded with a large chunk from Daedalus. More debris was littered around the area as well. It seemed Daedalus had showered over most of the area. Up above in the sky, the soldiers noticed less flashes streaks. They assumed the fight in space was drawing to a close.

“Looks like the navy put up a good fight.” Alek said surprisingly.

“What you’d expect?” Sam said with a little tone, “They better be giving it their all or die trying.”

Alek put up his hands in defense motioning him to back off a little. Sam shook off his disrespect and approached Reynaulds and Cosin who was once again looking at the schematic of the building. His facial expression wasn’t appealing at all. “Problem, sir?”
“This operation just turned from difficult to ludacris.” Cosin said, speaking what Reynaulds was thinking. He converted the schematic to a 3-d image on the mini projection. “Now, I’m not an expert on the layout of the temple, but I know what a main power generator looks like and getting there isn’t pretty.”

“Ok?” Kaz said kneeling in front of the projection. “What’s the problem again?”

Cosin pointed at the image towards what seemed to be a hallway. A dozen or say rectangles lined the ceilings and walls of the corridor. “Yeah, I’m going to assume those are some type of defenses.”

“Turrets. Bloody turrets…Why can’t we insert into a damn area without automatic kriffing defenses.” Alek said annoyed.

“That would be too easy, and you know that.” Kelly said turning towards him; refusing to take off her helmet.

“Well, actually. If we can get into that lab area, I could possibly find a terminal to remotely turn it off.” Cosin said pointing to room on the other side of the temple. “Although, we have no clue if the power is still up.”

“But if we can control it…”Kaz, “Or ya know, blow it up?” He pointed to his satchel full of explosives.

Reynaualds shook his head, “Blowing it will be last resort. If there’s a chance to harness the firepower of the defenses, let’s go that route. It could wipe out the bulk of the Crusaders in there.”

Kaz dipped his head in disappoint while Reynaulds ordered Kelly to try and link up with the camp their Commander was currently stationed.

----//

Reddex was outside the main council tent when his datapad signaled him. Everyone around him was quickly getting ready for the assault and Reddex was waiting impatiently for his team to contact him. They were running behind schedule. The Jedi and Sith along with soliders were briefing on their attack plan. More like looking at exactly how they would die if his team didn’t take the defenses.

“I hope you have something good.” Reddex said as Reynaulds image appeared above his wrist.

“Yes and no. We’ve made outside of what seems to be a hanger bay. Now the problem, we’ve located an area of the temple we could link up with the defenses. We’re not too far away.” Reynaulds said as his image flickered.

“You need to hurry and do something about it, Reynaulds. Dray and his flock are about to charge in.” Reddex said try to keep his voice down. He looked around to see if anyone was watching him, then walking back into the council tent. Only a few Jedi and Sith sat around chatting.

“I know this may be a bit of a long shot, but you need to tell them to wait a little longer.”
“Are you sane, soldier?

“Look, they need to listen to the people who are actually over here.” Reynaulds turned slightly as he looked off into the distance, possibly at the temple. “It’s bad, Commander. This place is a wreck.”

Reddex sighed for a moment, “Well what is your solution? I don’t know where Dray is at the moment, but I’ll do what I can.”

“Cosin has come up with a chance to link into the defenses. We’re going to try to turn the weapons defense on the Crusaders.”

“Alright, I’m going to trust you guys on this; like I always have. May the force be with, and please move with all haste."

“Yes sir, right away sir. When have we ever let you down?” Reynaulds said with a salute, and then closed the channel.

With that, Reddex quickly moved out of the tent and wondered towards the Shadows area of the camp. He went from group to group asking if anyone had seen Dray and no has had. Taking a gamble, he approached the medical tent and peered inside. A few wondered crewmen were resting along with other fellow Jedi and Sith. He spoke to one of the medical nurses and they pointed him to the back of the tent area. Apparently Sarus had strolled in and hadn’t left yet. Luckily he was with Dray or Sarus could point him in the right direction.
The back portion of the tent was a bit out of the way for a typical person to wonder off in. Only the nurses and other doctors came back here for medical supplies where they had stashed them. Noticing a flap just ahead and hearing voices, Reddex walked over and opened it to peer inside. Only two individuals were inside and he figured he should have expected this.

“Ahem.”

Zowlis jumped slightly at the intrusion backing away from Sarus, noticing her Commander caught them sharing a moment. Both of them stared at Reddex blankly, expecting the worst.

“...Have you seen Dray, Sarus?”

“…Uh, no.” Sarus shifted a little awkwardly. “He’s…Still in the camp if that’s any help for you.”

Zowlis, blushed slightly fixing her hair and clothes while looking at the ground. “I think I hear one of my staff calling for me.” She moved towards the flap where Reddex was standing, “Excuse me, Commander.”

Reddex let her pass and looked back at Sarus just before leaving himself, “I saw nothing. “

After strolling through the camp for a while, he went back to the Shadow Stinger to see if Rokk or any of the crew had spotted Dray. Most of the crew was hard at work patching the ship back up to operational standards. Stopping by a group on a small break near the rear of the ship, he approached hoping they could tell him something useful.

“Jedi Dray?” One of the engineers questioned after being asked, “Sorry sir, I’ve been deep in the engine housing. Haven’t been out of there for a couple of hours.”

He looked over to the rest of the group and almost all of them shook their heads except one, “He did come by quite time ago. He was with a very large group of Jedi and Sith, including a few troops. It looked like they were traveling together to go somewhere.”

Reddex frowned at the news. They weren’t supposed to leave so early. He began to think Dray wanted to get this over and done with as soon as possible. Without trying to draw panic to his crew to try, he tried to reach out to Reynaulds on his datapad. Usually, Reynaulds would answer immediately, but now the time turned to several minutes.

“There be dragons…” Reddex mumbled to himself thinking the worst

----//

Making their way through the ravaged hanger bay, Reynaulds team had covered a lot of ground. To lower a chance of being detected, he had ordered total silence. The only way to communicate was hand signs. Along the slow approach around the rubble and star fighters, they did manage to come across small pockets of Crusader patrolling through the area. His team quickly put them down and hid their bodies the best they could. Since the power was down and they were in darkness; the chances of being noticed were even lower. His comlink vibrated multiple times, though he was unable to answer the call due to the situation they were in. The call would have to wait. Cosin checked the map again when the team had reached a safe area to make sure they were on track. The lab area room was not far away now. Treading carefully around fallen structural beams and crushed ships had been grueling, as Reynaulds continued to check his chrono. Pulling this off was going to be close.

Upon reaching an opened blast door, another patrolling group of 4 were having a chat on the other side near flood lights giving them a couple meters of sight in front of the door. The crusaders backs were to them. Slowly approaching their targets, with a few hand gestures, he ordered Kelly to take point. Sam and Kaz would cover her in the strike. Discharging any of their weapons would quickly alert to their presence, but they were at the ready in case a mad dash was necessary.

Kelly crouched low and stepped lightly as she came up to the blast doors opening. She gave the sign for Sam and Kaz to come up on the other side of the door. They peeked out to see no one else was in the surrounding area. Past the Crusaders were large window panes revealing what seemed to be a courtyard. Kelly moved out into the light looking left and right to make sure no one else might have stepped around a corner to see her. The closest Crusader didn’t hear the sound of a small blade being unseated from its holding. Sam and Kaz were right behind her.

Cosin and Alek slipped out from their hiding and approached the small generator for the flood lights. Alek grabbed the thick bundle of wires and held it taught, as Cosin removed his vibroblade. He waited for Kelly to get right with stricking distance then he cut the wires. The flood lights shut off, giving the Crusaders a jump. Kelly counted down to three and then quickly reached up and grabbed the crusaders head, then ran her blade deep across his throat. The other Crusaders on the patrol jumped in surprise and hesitated for a split second then were over taken by Sam and Kaz with brute force. Kelly sprung at the 4 soldier and kicked him into the wall. Then grabbed his head and smashed him against the near window pane. The force taken by the helmet knocked the man out cold.

Reynaulds brought up the rear and walked up to the window. Cosin checked their map once more and looked out the window with Reynaulds. The rest of the team dragged the incapacitated bodies behind the blast doors and out of sight.

“It should be just over there.” Cosin said breaking the silence. He pointed toward the western side of the courtyard at another blast door.

“Keep your attention on the spotters on top.” Sam said, “I think they setup sniper teams.”

Around second floor of surrounding areas, red lines angling into the courtyard paced the area.
Reynaulds looked at his chrono once again and now was the time to get those defenses off, “We’re also in a hurry. Kelly, Alek, can you handle them?”

“Right away.” Kelly nodded and slipped into the shadows surrounding the courtyard. They were heading to a wall lined with vines leading to the top.

The four men left behind, also carefully walked into the shadows keeping close to the walls trying to dodge the snipers line of sight. Cosin lead the way to the blast door. As they approached, the number of red lines started winking out. A few muffled noises were heard from above. Then a body fell, slamming into the ground next to Sam. He almost yelled in surprise, but held his hand to his mouth to silence himself. Everyone looked back at him to see what had happened. He shook his head and motioned for them to keep moving.

The blast doors ahead, slid open and a Crusader walked outside, to check on what had made the noise. Cosin approached the solider and grabbed him in a head lock, slowly stopping him from breathing. He dragged him out of view from the doors while Sam, Reyaulds and Kaz crouched in making sure no one else was around. In front of them were two doors. The door that would lead them into the Lab Area was locked, although the adjacent was green lighted. The lights in the hallway were out and no one came into view, as Reynaulds slowly opened the door. A desk towards the right was lit by a small lamp. Reynaulds assumed that’s where the guard was sitting. Above the desk was a ventilation shaft, small enough for one person.

Cosin came into the room, closing the door behind him. He saw Reynaulds pointing at the ventilation shaft. He nodded and climbed on top of the desk and looked through the vent. On the other side was a room. He took out a small hydrospanner and unscrewed the bolts blocking access into the vent. After the last screw, he silently pulled out the filter and hoisted himself inside. There wasn’t a lot of breathing room in the vent, and the dust had settled due to no clean air flow. As he came closer to the exit, he could see the light emanating from several empty bacta tanks and other equipment. After a couple of seconds he reached the end and carefully took off the filter and slipped into the room.

Ahead of him behind two rows of tanks was what appeared to be the main terminal. Instead of taking a direct route, he navigated around the tanks to make sure no one else was in the room. Seeing the room was empty he made a bee-line for the terminal. He powered up the machine and hooked his datapad in.

Bypassing the operating system, he dove deeper into the computer’s mainframe. He discovered all the computer systems were linked together. Sadly everything he needed was off, and somehow this console survived the ion explosion from Daedalus. He came across an option to reboot the entire system. If he could do that, he could locate the defenses a lot faster. He typed in a command to reboot the power. The power for the temple would turn back on in 30 seconds. But then he heard a noise behind him. Then a barrel was pressed against the back of his head.

“Don’t move, scum. Hands on the terminal.”

“I’m just checking to make sure the system is secure and off line. I was ordered down here. If you’ll-“ Cosin said trying to remain calm.

“You’re lying. That was my job. Who sent you?”

On the monitor the countdown was now at 5 seconds. Cosin swallowed hard as he tried to come up with more stalling excuses. “Look, if you want to take this up with my CO, go right ahead. He’s in the room next over, and he’s waiting for me to finish. It’s not my fault we can’t keep track of who’s in this hell hole.”

A grid of the temple appeared on his datapad that lay on the terminal in front of him. The Crusader standing behind him couldn’t see it. It was showing the areas where the power was coming back on. Each area had a set of defenses to protect those zones. He was receiving notices about reprogramming the defenses but he was out of time. That process would take too long with the pressure he had behind him.

“Sadly, I don’t recall seeing you walk in and no one gave me an update.” The Crusader took out his comlink, “We’ll see what he has to say.”

Then something occurred to Cosin as he stared at the terminal. No one told him were the Jedi had planned to enter the temple. The dark areas around the center of the temple were already turning on. He had to make a decision, and he went with the logical one; the entrance. He started to press a few commands and felt a jab at the back of his head.

“Stop what you’re –“

“Look, damn it. I’m trying to finish what I’ve started, would you mind?” Cosin said beginning the last line of commands.

“I said stop-“ Then cosin heard swift crack of bone then a body slumped to the floor. He looked behind him and Kelly was standing over the Crusader who had a blaster pointed to him. She looked over towards Cosin and motioned for him to hurry up.

“Sorry, sorry.” As he pressed the key to enter the command, the power had reached the room they were standing in, bathing them in light. Cosin hoped for the best.

_________________
"To be a Sith is to taste Freedom and to know Victory..."


dandaman7 wrote:Yea, you see it on the news all the time: 'Guy gets mugged for Jedi Order symbol by possible Sith'
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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Aardvark on Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:56 pm

The deck rumbled under Bazarial's feet as the shields struggled to keep up with amount of fire they were receiving. "Roll us," he said to navigation, a simple tactic in fleet conflicts used to rest a ship's shields by always presenting a side that had taken no fire for a while, "and open the hangers on that side for fighter refueling. This fight will be a long one."

He shook his head and cast a glance at the tactical readout being projected in the room's center holo projector. The arrival of the Hapan Royal Navy had been a significant boon to their strategy and the combined forces of the JSA, Galactic Alliance, Empire, and Hapes Consortium outnumbered the dark Crusader fleet by almost three to one. He had hundreds of heavy cruisers and dreadnaughts at his disposal as well as thousands of frigates and light carriers and more blockade runners, freighters, and starfighters then he could count. Any other enemy, when confronted with such overwhelming force would surrender or run, but these weren't normal enemies and Bazariel was quickly realizing traditional fleet tactics weren't enough. The problem was that the conflict was just too big to wrap his head around, it was impossible to track this many elements and use them effectively and dedicating enough resources on any one front to gain an advantage was usually negated by the lack of guidance on another.

The Sentinel looked out the viewport at the enemy lines. The Crusaders had quickly realized they were going to be out-numbered when Baz's fleet had arrived and had quickly formulated a strategy that was buying them far more time then anyone could have foreseen. They had deployed small freighters and blockade runners to the front of the engagement, towing broken up segments of downed ship, and arrayed them in a sort of dome over the Crusader fleet. With the planet at their backs and the impromptu shield between them and the JSA fleets they had managed to buy themselves a huge chunk of time. Without the ability to constantly track ships and concentrate fire on them thanks to the field of debris between them, the JSA fleet couldn't make any headway, meanwhile the Dark Crusader forces seemed to have no such problem dealing them significant damage as they coordinated fire between gaps with an ease and grace the Jedi had never seen before. Faced with losing huge portions of his own fleets Baz had had to recall his own ships into a defensive formation to present no obvious targets and give his ships a chance to spell each other. It was working well enough and had almost negated ship loss on the field, but they two sides were now stalemated. With only starfighters able to safely cross the intervening distance and deal any real damage the battle had turned from a slug-fest to a war of attrition and they were beginning to run low on fighters.

Of course time favored his forces, the debris field would only last so long, it was a delaying action at best, but it was obvious from how the Crusaders had been acting throughout the battle on both the ground and in space that delaying was all they wanted to do. They were buying Dusk time, and if they were sacrificing their entire army to do it then whatever Dusk was up to couldn't be good. He had to break this stalemate, but all the strategies he had studied, all the time spent in Battle Meditation were useless here. It was just too big.

"Admirals Kora and Unco on the line sir," his communications officer said, breaking his concentration.

Bazariel nodded, he'd been expecting the two of them for some time now, the Hapan and Imperial Admirals had been grateful for his quick thinking when it was saving their ships, but their patience with him was at it's end now. They were making no progress, worse statistics indicated they were losing assets at a faster rate then the Crusaders. Only marginally faster of course, but with the numbers they had they should have been crushing the enemy, not playing tag with them. "I'll take it here," he replied to his comm officer and a second later the holographic images of both admirals replaced his tactical map. "Hello Admirals, what can I do for you?"

"This isn't working," Unco spoke up. The Admiral, a woman as most Hapans of power were, was pale and her features sharp though not unattractive with a long mane of blond hair down to her shoulders. An appearance that contrasted sharply with her dark red uniform and strict military baring.

"I'm afraid I agree," Admiral Kora added with a hint of disdain. "It is obvious they are stalling for time, time we cannot grant them. We need to press the attack, we have the numbers, they cannot hope to win in a head-to-head fight."

"And what do you suggest Admiral?" Bazarial asked, specifically ignoring the Admiral and looking out the window to give the impression he was unconcerned.

It worked as Baz saw the Kora's face redden, "Use the Hapan Fleet as the battering ram, draw their fire, then allow my fleet to blow a hole in their little 'dome' for the rest of you to fly through. Confronting a problem head-on is always the best way to deal with it."

Baz turned an intense stare on the man, not quite believing how stupid the man was being, "Admiral the second any ship leaves this line and makes itself a target it will attract a concentrated barrage. If every ship out there dedicated even one battery on a single ship it would be a flaming husk in seconds. Have you forgotten that our opponents are able to coordinate fire in a fraction of the time we need even through this screen? Their shared brainwashing gives them a sort of hive mind in instances like this, they can react much faster and more accurately then we can."

"Then move the entire line up slowly," Unco chimed in, "no specific targets, no worries."

Baz nodded, "Good point, except I've already been closing the distance between us." The two admirals looked at each other in surprise, but before they could begin questioning him he continued, "But coordinating severak thousand ships to move in unison isn't an easy task and we haven't made much headway. Of the one hundred and fifty kilometers we need to close to reach the debris field we've managed only twelve in the last hour. It's no where near fast enough, but it's the only strategy I've been able to formulate that won't sacrifice a fifth of our resources."

"This is war Jedi," Kora replied, "sacrifices have to be made in order to win."

"And whose fleet do you want me to sacrifice to win this Kora, yours?"

The Admiral took an involuntary step backwards, "That's preposterous, a whole fleet that's a bit excessive!"

Baz sighed, "No that's the reality of it. The only way we could penetrate those lines is to sacrifice an entire fleet to act as a distraction and shield the rest of our forces long enough to close the distance between us. Now if either of you feel like volunteering your fleets I'd be more than happy to push forward with this plan." Both Admirals looked away, avoiding his gaze and the accusation in it. He knew what they were thinking, the JSA fleet was the least coordinated and had the worst configuration of any in the battle group, it made sense to sacrifice them. But the JSA fleet was also the largest and stood to lose the most number of lives, and he was daring them to suggest he sacrifice not only the most number of people, but the only group to oppose the Crusaders from the beginning.

"Well, when you put it like that," Unco finally spoke up.

"I understand your impatience, we do need to do something, but charging the enemy is just going to get people killed and may not even guarantee us a win. We might just change positions if they're as coordinated as I fear, and then we'd be in even worse pos-" Bazariel stopped short as an idea started to form in his head, "It couldn't be that simple," he muttered under his breath as he ran the numbers on the console in front of him.

The two Admirals shared a glance before turning their attention back to the Sentinel. "Jedi?" Unco solicited.

But the Master was already engrossed in his own thoughts and strategies, crunching numbers and comparing psych profiles, checking fleet strengths and positions, letting the Force guide his hands and his mind. No single fleet could survive a concentrated barrage from the Crusaders for long, but three fleets could maintain the line without much effort and Battle Dragons were perfect for that kind of work. The only question would be if they would notice, after all Crusaders were good at coordinating, but they weren't that observant, if he could just-

"Admiral!" The two other admirals shouted in unison to get his attention.

He looked up and smiled, "Yes, sorry about the momentary lapse in concentration, but I think I may have just solved our little problem. Forwarding the plan to you both now."

The two Admirals looked away, back, and then did a double take as if they couldn't quite believe what they were reading.

"This is insane!" Kora shouted.

"It is unorthodox," Unco replied, a smile broadening on her face, "but I like it."

"Are you mad?" Kora turned his attention to the Hapan woman, "He wants to cut our strength by a quarter!"

Bazariel smiled, "Only momentarily Kora, only momentarily."

-------------------------------------------------

Overlord Zhai surveyed the battle before him with a smirk on his face. When the Dark One had first given him his orders to delay the JSA forces he had felt it was a complete waste of time and resources for an insignificant gain, but one simply did not argue with the Dark One, not if one wished to live. So he had arrayed his forces and braced for one hell of a beating as the JSA engaged them on a nearly even keel, then the Imps had shown up and suddenly he was outnumbered and out-gunned, then to add further insult the Hapan Royal Navy arrived and tipped the scales decidedly in the favor of his enemies. His quick thinking had just barely saved the fleet and he had expected it to last only moments, but to his surprise his enemy had fallen back. They were unwilling to dedicate the resources it would take to eliminate his fleet, too caught up in the 'value of life' as they called it. He snorted, whatever the reasoning he was extremely grateful, their trepidation had nearly evened the odds in his mind, and the longer they took to come after Zhai and his fleet the better their chances that the Dark One's plan would come to fruition, destroying them all in a glorious display of power. He could feel it, it was just a matter of time before this war was won and he would stand side-by-side with the Dark One as they ruled over the Galaxy. It would be wondrous!

"Overlord!" His comm officer shouted up from the crew pit, "I think you will want to hear this!"

Zhai nodded his ascent and a moment later he was flooded with enemy chatter, "-no good we can't penetrate this-" "-losing ships by the dozen!" "-cost is too much, pull back before-" "Maybe we can't get away before it goes-" "-Unco get back in formation!"

"Wait," Zhai leaned in closer to the comm board, "isolate that last exchange and play it back for me."

The officer nodded, flipped a few switches and the sound bite started again, "Admiral Unco get back in formation!" That was Bazariel's voice, the current head of the JSA forces.

"This is getting us no where," came back the other voice, presumably the leader of the Hapan fleet as it was obviously female and Zhai knew the other four fleets were led by males, "they're just buying time. I'm getting my people out of here before whatever it is they're up to finishes!"

"Sir!" His tactical officer called down to him, "The Hapan Royal navy is disengaging, we're getting countless reports of hyperspace events happening along the enemy's back lines!"

Zhai stood up and looked out the viewport, sure enough the Hapan ships were backing away from the front lines and turning tail, making jumps as soon as possible to get away from the battle. He smiled, Bazariel's little alliance was dissolving. The Hapans were scared and running, hoping to escape the blast radius before it was too late, and with the second largest fleet removed from the fight the odds were that much more in his favor.

"Overlord!" His comm officer yelled to get his attention back, "There's more."

Zhai leaned in again and could hear the tones of desperation begin to enter his enemy's voices, "We don't need them!" Kora's voice sounded across the speakers, "Let them run, more glory for the Empire! All ships open fire! Launch all fighters! Pund them into dust!"

"Admiral stop!" Bazariel's voice responded, obviously too late, "Stang! All ships, cover the Imperial bombardment, they're putting everything into this attack, not putting any power to shields!"

Zhai looked over to tactical and the officer shook his head, "They're firing blindly, only a tenth of their fire is actually penetrating the debris field, the rest is bouncing harmlessly away. The JSA has all but abandoned return fire as they dump all their power into shielding the Imps."

Zhai stood and clapped his hands together, "Excellent! Coordinate all fire on the Imperials until they begin blocking our shots, then concentrate on the JSA ships, keep all their attention forward. With any luck the Imps will end up destroying their own allies and save us the bother."

"Aye sir!"

The Overlord turned back to the viewport as his ships began concentrating fire on the now, much smaller and more compact enemy line. In the span of half a minute his enemy had just turned the tide of battle from being entirely in their favor, to a complete win for the his own forces. With virtually no incoming fire and a concentrated bulk of ships right in front of him, he doubted his gunners even had to aim, just pouring all their fire into that mass of ships would do all the damage they needed. He was about to win! This day would be remembered for millenia, it would be upheld to show the importance of a unified front and just how foolish individualism was in a battle! He would be the greatest conqueror in history!

"Sir," his tactical officer called again, "we're beginning to lose our protection under the constant Imperial barrage. Their wanton destruction has actually cleared a hole in the debris field."

Zhai scoffed, "Direct our ships away from the gap in protection and tell our picket ships not to bother filling it. In ten minutes we won't need it anymore!"

"Aye sir!"

Zhai shook his head. It was a good thing his enemy wasn't as coordinated as his forces were, that much fire power would have wreaked havoc on his ships if they could have hit any of them, as it was they would be pouring fire into empty space as his own ships moved away from the hole. A shame really, if they'd held their formation and thought of this before they might have actually made him work for this win. He turned to his comm officer, "Send a message to the Dark One, tell him he's got clear-"

"Hyperspace event!" Tactical shouted, "Incoming ships, hundreds of them, thousands..." the officer paled, "It's the Hapan Royal Navy and they're right in front of us!"

Zhai looked out the viewports, not quite believing his officer and did himself, pale at what he saw. The hole the Imps had made, the hole he had told his ship to vacate, was now full of Battle Dragons, spitting fire in all directions. They Hapans had used his own tactics against him, had jumped out, waited for the hole to open in their formation, and then jumped in and used the planet's gravity well to yank them out. It shouldn't have been possible, with the debris field in place and the number of ship fighting, the move should have cost them too many ships to be effective, but because they had obviously planned where the hole would be with the Imperials and had been in system more than long enough to gather precise navigational data they had been able to make the precision jump.

Zhai's face reddened as his anger took hold, "Concentrate all fire on the Hapans!" This move would still cost them dearly, the debris field still shielded his fleet from the Imps and the JSA so they could afford to direct their fire solely on the Hapans long enough to cripple their fleet. It would cost him a significant number of ships and allow the other fleets to close with his, but he could still win this, he still had a chance!

"More hyperspace events!" Tactical shouted again, though he needn't have bothered. Zhai was still watching as nearly half of the JSA fleet micro-jumped right in behind the Hapans.

The move should have been impossible, a micro jump, inside a system while still in close quarters with other ships and avoiding debris wasn't impossible, but it required exacting calculations. Calculations that the JSA fleet, crewed almost entirely by Force Sensitives, could feel out and since they had been providing cover for the Imps, they were at the head of the conflict already, only having to avoid each other. And once the ones in front were out of the way, as he was witnessing now, the rest of the JSA fleet was clear to jump in on top of them. Now the odds were even between the two sides, and the Crusaders were trapped inside their own little dome of protection.

"The Galactic Alliance and Imperial fleets are closing to either side of the Hapans and JSA," his sensor officer wailed, "we're trapped!"

The Overlord thumped down in his command chair, defeated. There was nothing he could do now, his forces were boxed in on all sides and completely out-numbered. There was only one thing left to do. He waved to his comm officer, "Get me the fleet." When the officer nodded that he was connected he drew in his breath and calmed his voice, "Zhai to all ships, execute order forty-two, take as many of the bastards with you as you can!"

----------------------------------------------------

"We've got detonations all over the board!" Tactical shouted to be heard over the klaxon that was blazing on Baz's, and probably every other ship's, bridge right now.

"I need emergency jump coordinates and I need them ten minutes ago!" Baz yelled to his comm and navigational officers, "JSA ships first, everyone else right after and get those coordinates to everyone!" The ships shook as a nearby Crusader frigate self-destructed and sent chunks of ships hurtling everywhere. Shortly after the Hapan and JSA fleets had closed range the Crusader ships had begun driving their ships as close to members of his fleet as they could get before finally self-destructing. The commander of the Crusaders had realized how much stang he was in and had apparently decided that if he couldn't win, he would make sure they didn't win either.

"We're having trouble getting clear coordinates sir," navigation informed him, "the destroyed ships and somehow scrambling hyperspace routes in their vicinity."

The ship lurched as it's shields deflected a huge chunk of debris, and Baz knew that was probably the last thing their shields would save them from. "Can you compensate for the disruption?" He asked desperately.

"Yes without too much trouble, but there's a problem sir," the officer looked the Sentinel right in the eye, "if we jump out now we won't be able to come back in system. We can cut through the jamming and punch out, but this interference will prevent us from reentering the system."

"So if we leave now we won't be coming back," Baz finished for him. The Crusaders were already nullified in space, that wasn't the problem he knew, the problem was that at sub-light speeds it would take them over a week to come back. They could offer the people on the ground no support, if they left they were abandoning their comrades. He slammed his hand down on the arm of the command chair in frustration, he couldn't abandon his friends and allies, but he couldn't sacrifice everyone up here either. It was an impossible choice, but he had to make the choice anyway, "Get us out of here, we've done all we can, the rest is up to them."

The navigational officer nodded solemnly, "Flagship Balance to all fleets, slave all ships to the nearest JSA cruiser and prepare for lightspeed in 5....4....3....2....1.... Launch!"

_________________

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Re: Death of a Jedi

Post by Ptolemy on Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:59 pm

Ptolemy Turned and looked at Forge and Tubasa with apprehension. The look was returned in the same manner. Ptolemy turned and stalked toward the generator room. Thing and the two masters followed in silence, no words really necessary. The group came up to the generator doors and surveyed the 6 crusaders that were standing at the doors. Without hesitation, the crusaders leapt toward the group. The true masters leapt forward and met the crusaders sabers moving so quickly that the blades of light blurred. The conflict was over in a matter of moments with the crusaders lying on the floor. Tubassa and Forge deactivated their sabers and hung them on their belts with a flourish.

Ptolemy looked at Thing who rolled his eyes. The group made their way toward the door to the generator room, it was huge, easily 20 meters high and made of solid stone and a meter thick.

‘It takes a huge servo to move this door,’ Thing said

‘And yet they were able to take it off its tracks.’ Ptolemy observed pointing to the gouges along one edge of the door.

Ptolemy closed his eyes and placed his hand on the door and allowed his will to expand to detect the presence of life on the other side. Ptolemy nodded held up two fingers. There were two people in there. One of them was Aragorn the other was Dusk. Ptolemy opened his eyes and looked to Thing.

‘Shatter Point’ they said in unison

Thing's eyes lost focus as he gazed at the door. ‘It has to shatter’ Thing murmured ‘not just break’ As he ran his hand ran over the door, and stopped in an area low on the left side. He balled his fist and gathered the force and punched the door. The effect was immediate and dramatic. The door shuddered and fairly exploded into a thousand shards of stone and collapsed in upon its self. Ptolemy launched a push that scattered the debris into the room, turning the shards in to missiles flying into the room.

In the center of the room Aragorn stood alone active saber in his right hand, Left hand extended projecting a force wall to deflect shards that were coming toward him. Aragorn coolly regarded Thing and Ptolemy as they walked into the room. Ptolemy put a hand out to his side motioning Thing to hang back. Aragorn looked at the figure in armor and then fixed Ptolemy with a wry smile.

‘Armor? Jedi do not wear armor father’ Aragorn Spat as his head jerked to one side.

‘This is your heritage,’ Ptolemy said to the fallen Jedi in front of him, ‘We are Jenasari, We are neither light nor dark.’ Ptolemy concentrated on Aragorn’s forehead trying to penetrate his mind.

‘Get out of my head old man!’ Aragorn growled

Thing Backed to the wall and closed his eyes expanding his will and touching Ptolemy with battle meditation. ‘Has he fallen so far so quickly?’ Thing whispered in Ptolemy’s mind

Aragorn Ptolemy unhooked one side of his cloak then the other allowing the panther skin to fall to the floor. ‘No, this is bluster for his new master,’ Ptolemy said mildly pulling his staff from the slots in the back of his armor. ‘Where is Dusk Son?’

Thing probed the room with his mind, seeing Ptolemy as a yellow blob, Aragorn as a blob wavering between yellow and red. There was another shape farther back in the room radiating red.

‘Back of the room,’ Thing whispered into Ptolemy’s mind again ‘ I will try to slow him,’

‘Your son is dead old man’ Aragorn said bitterly ‘He never existed, I have tasted the power of the sith, and the Jedi. Now I know the dark side is pow…’

‘The dark side is death and destruction.’ Ptolemy interrupted with the tones of a teacher correcting a petulant student ‘and the light side is chains and regulation.’

‘you speak in riddles old…’ Aragorn started

‘I speak truth, Ptolemy interrupted again fitting the ends of his staff together and turning them till there was a click. ‘True freedom lies in the path way between. True power is the flexibility to do what you must.’

‘The Dark side is all that is open to me!’ Aragorn said almost desperately his yellow eyes flashing and boring into those of his father. Ptolemy met his eyes and launched an assault on Aragorn’s mind. He flicked the fingers of his left hand and points of light and heat exploded in front of Aragorn’s face. Aragorn did not flinch and the barrier around his mind was solid. The grin on Aragorn's face solidified in to a snarl as he spread his fingers toward Ptolemy and unleashed force lightning.

Ptolemy flattened his hand, palm out, toward Aragorn and gathered force energy there to gather the lightning. A ball of twisted force energy gathered there and grew in size and luminance, tendrils of energy escaped across the surface of the sphere. Ptolemy’s eyes began to glow as he exerted himself to contain the energy. With a flick of his wrist Ptolemy sent the ball of energy across the room toward one of the generators. The ball floated lazily through the air till it impacted the housing surrounding the generator and exploded with a flash of force energy. The control panel on the generator blew out and indicator lights went from green to red as the generator spun down and stopped.

‘You must be more careful,’ Ptolemy said to Aragorn, ‘you will end up helping me defeat your new master.’ The sound in the room increased as

backup systems kicked in to make up for the loss of the generator.

A sneer touched Aragorn’s lips as he regarded his father. ‘You cannot do enough damage to thwart the plans of my master, you are not that powerful.’

‘You did that son,’ Ptolemy said patiently ‘not, I.’

Ptolemy put up a barrier as Aragorn unleashed a scream that rattled the debris on the floor, the force energy struck his barrier and broke around it like water. Then Aragorn unleashed a force storm that threw great bolts of lightning arcing across the chamber. Ptolemy closed his eyes and held the bubble of energy around him. Slowly at first then more quickly he spun his staff in front of him. The whir of the staff helped Ptolemy concentrate. Without an outward sign, Ptolemy flattened a force wave and sent it along the floor toward his son followed quickly by a second. The first battered against the feet of his son and broke his concentration. The second snapped the feet from under Aragorn and sent him tumbling face first to the floor.

From the floor Aragorn launched a push that caught Ptolemy unprepared and propelled him in the air and back several meters. Ptolemy flipped over with an agility that was born of his mastery of the force. Using the force to strengthen his legs and cushion his landing he came down on his feet knees bent and sliding backwards another meter. He looked up at his son charging toward him saber ignited. Ptolemy extended his left hand and gripped Aragorn’s chest. He could feel the barrier of force energy that force users erected to stop basic attacks and provide warning when another force user was close. Ptolemy ripped the barrier away and constricted his son’s chest holding him out of striking range.

Aragorn gasped and shredded the pillar of force energy the encompassed his chest, squeezing the breath from his body. Ptolemy launched a push that propelled the young man back several meters. Aragorn rolled backward and came back up on his feet sweeping his left hand across in front of him launching a push at his father. Ptolemy was ready for this and the push impacted the force shield that he had erected. Aragorn got to his feet and looked at his father and Ptolemy removed his helmet and looked back.

‘This will end badly if we keep this up,’ Ptolemy said quietly A desperate look came over Aragorn’s face

‘I am the only one that can kill Dusk’ Aragorn hissed ‘Nothing can keep me from doing this. It is my destiny’

‘Son…’ Ptolemy started

‘If I kill him, his army will be mine and I can set them free’ Aragorn said softly looking around.

‘Son, I trust you.’ Ptolemy said

‘Then you have to let me go,’ Aragorn said

‘But you have to trust me as well,’ Ptolemy finished

‘Then let’s get this over with’ Aragorn said

Without flinching, Ptolemy used the force to leap forward and launch a force push that caught Aragorn by surprise knocking him onto his back. He kicked up to a standing position saber ignited eyes glowing yellow. For the next few moments there was a weave of lights and flashes of metal as the two men sought a weakness in each other’s defenses. Sweat beaded on their foreheads as the exerted themselves not only in the martial craft of combat but probing in the force. Ptolemy swept out with one leg and caught Aragorn’s knee from the side sweeping his legs from under him. Then Ptolemy struck.

Aragorn kicked his feet up and rolled back, debris flying from shattered duracrete where Ptolemy’s staff struck. Aragorn curled into a ball and rolled snapped his legs out and leapt to his feet swinging his light saber in a cut that would remove his father’s head. Ptolemy’s arm came up and the saber’s blade impacted the cortosis weave on his armored forearm. The light saber’s blade flared and disintegrated to the surprise of Aragorn. Ptolemy levered his staff around and snapped Aragorn’s left leg above the knee then slapped his right arm below the shoulder with his staff neatly snapping the bone there as well. Aragorn screamed as pain flooded his senses.

Ptolemy then grabbed his son’s robes and jerked Aragorn toward him in a head-butt. On the impact Aragorn’s vision exploded with white light. Ptolemy pressed his bracer to his son’s chest and triggered the charge, power surging through the studs mounted in his bracer. Aragorn’s body twitched and jerked then went limp, falling and pulling Ptolemy off balance. They crashed to the floor in a heap. Quickly Ptolemy placed his fingertips on Aragorn’s face and planted the suggestion to sleep in his son’s mind. Ptolemy got to his feet and grabbed his tunic dragging his son toward the door to the chamber. He looked at Thing and propped Aragorn against the wall. Ptolemy pulled the glove from his right hand and placed his hand on his head and probed his mind and searched for damage besides what he had just inflicted. Ptolemy perceived an electronic chip in the base of Aragorn’s skull.

‘You need to go,’ Ptolemy told Thing ‘I need to stabilize Aragorn then I will join you.’

Thing nodded and straightened. Looking deeper into the room he gripped his sabers.

‘Do not dawdle.’ Thing said as he moved deeper into the room.

_________________

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Re: Death of a Jedi

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