[AFoC - Clan Vizsla] - Clan-Wide Run On

PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: Ground Defense

PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: Prevent Plagueian forces from capturing Roark-Cole-Tresor Research Station on Zsoldos.

SITUATION: The Ascendant Legion’s Armored Regimental Combat Team Delta, along with a Plagueis strike team, is heading toward the Roark-Cole-Tresor Research Station in order to infiltrate it. Your team and forces are responsible for holding the line at the station and preventing the Ascendant Clan from taking control of it. Should infiltration be inevitable, there are emergency systems in place to protect the research data, but they may be easily hacked into.

The operation will be deemed successful if all invading Plagueis forces are destroyed or forced to withdraw, and the threat to the station has dissipated.

Member Snapshots

Kalan Amak #13802

Snapshot:https://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/members/13802/snapshots/2381/4283

Rajhin #13830

Snapshot: https://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/members/13830/snapshots/2380/4282

Dral Falgorth #14458

Snapshot: https://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/members/14458/snapshots/2364/4256

Appius Wight #15685

Snapshot: https://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/members/15685/snapshots/2382/4284

Rulvak Qurroc #14025

Snapshot: https://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/members/14025/snapshots/1819/4257

Kano Tor Tydex #10639
Snapshot: https://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/members/10639/snapshots/2379/4281

Rubric and Rules

The Clan-Wide Run On will be graded following a unique rubric, located here.

  • For participation credit, members must make two qualifying posts. For posts to qualify, they should be at minimum 250 words and be no longer than 1000 words. Posts shorter than 250, or longer than 1000 words, are ‘disqualified’, but do not disqualify a run-on or a participant, or the run-on from placing. They may be edited as per the Edit Rules below, but not after.
  • A member’s snapshot must be added to the first “starting” post in the Run-Once once they post, but we will not pay any attention to loadouts in grading and realism will focus on general Star Wars/Brotherhood versus specifics Force powers and skills. Snapshots may also be added on the first post a member makes to a run-on and may be removed from that post and placed in the first post through edits by the Consul at any point thereafter.
  • Members may write their alternative characters and NPCs into the run-on in addition to their main characters. Snapshots must be provided, and the use of alts/NPCs must comply with all other rules of this competition, including the restrictions described below.
  • Only qualifying posts will be considered in grading; others will be ignored. Subsequent writers may choose to ignore disqualified posts, but they will not be penalized if they pay attention to them. However, if a disqualified post includes resolution to a plot/subplot, it will NOT be considered in Story grading.
  • Authors may reserve a post position with a post stating “Reserved”. There may only be one post position reserved, and Consuls may request the reservation request be deleted if it has been up for more than 6 hours.
  • Posts may be edited by their author before additional posts with content are made (that is, a post may ONLY be edited while the post immediately following it is Reserved). If a post is edited after content has been added, it will be disqualified.
  • An author may NOT make consecutive posts. At least one other person must post (including reserved posts) before an author can make another post.
  • Any post may be deleted within 10 minutes of it being posted, regardless of what other posts have been made after it.
  • Each clan’s run-on must focus on its specific objective. Clans do not need to belabor arriving at an objective point: members may address their arrival in their first post, but a member’s second (and later) posts must engage with events based on the objective, or they will not count as qualifying posts.
  • Members may only participate in one of their clan’s two offered run-ons.

The sound of groaning durasteel filled the passenger compartment of the House Wren command shuttle causing the occupants to ponder if the pilot was flying the vessel apart. All understood the gravity of the situation and that time was of the essence.

Rulvak’s verdant eyes darted back and forth across his datapad reviewing the latest intelligence on the incoming Plagueis attack. His half-Sephi lips curled ever so slightly in frustration. He needed more time, he needed more men. The beleaguered Quaestor looked up from his datapad to make a quick scan of his fellow passengers. A six-man strike team, including himself, is all he had from the clan’s roster of mercenaries and Force users. A contingent of the clan’s regular forces had been detailed to aid Rulvak in his mission but how many could reach the facility before the enemy attack was an open question.

Sitting next to the Wren Quaestor was his recently promoted Aedile, the Force Disciple Appius Wright. The human former Jedi shifted anxiously in his chair, fiddling with his armor. Appius took a deep breath and called upon the Force to steel his nerves. The Plagueis attack was the direst situation Vizsla and House Wren had faced yet. This would be Appius’ trial by fire in his new position. The Mandalorian Force user was determined not to let his House and Clan down. He would find a way to make this mission succeed.

Kano Tor Tydex, the latest commander of Deathwatch sat opposite Appius in the shuttle compartment. The mercenary had no Force rituals to bolster his resolve. The human Mandalorian gleamed in his pure Beskar armor, eerily still and calm. Years of experience in countless battles gave Kano a controlled peace on the eve of yet another engagement. When the time was right, he would explode on the unfortunate enemy force.

The mysterious Kalan Amak sat by himself away from the House Wren summit and his fellow strike team members. The human inspected his WESTAR M-5 with an almost bored indifference. After inspecting the explosive rounds in the weapon’s chamber Kalan glanced up to see his fellow Mandalorian and strike team member Dral Falgorth thoughtfully stroking his long beard. He briefly shook his head in judgment before retrieving his blaster pistol for pre-combat checks. For his part, Dral seemed almost ecstatic about the upcoming battle, stroking his beard with a slight grin on his grizzled face. The Okami Mandalorian’s trusty repeating canon sat secure on his lap, ready for the upcoming hunt.

The final member of the impromptu strike team, the Togorian Sith Rajhin, stood uncomfortably crouched in the back of the passenger compartment. The command shuttle’s seats were too small for the towering feline, a point which fueled his near-constant sense of irritation at this whole mission. The Sith comforted himself with the knowledge that he was being well compensated for this mission and tried to imagine all the comforts and pleasurable company he could purchase with those funds. He would earn his pay, but he had zero intention of laying down his life for Vizsla. It was just another job.

Rulvak stood up and produced a small holoprojector. The silver disc sprung to life with a floating projection of their target, a cube-like facility deep in the frozen areas of Zsoldos. “Our mission is to defend the Roark-Cole-Tresor Research Station.”

“The ice cube,” Kano piped in.

“Excuse me,” Rulvak inquired.

Kalan shrugged, “It is a cube in the ice.”

Rulvak continued, “Whatever you call it, the station is critical to the Clan. There are weapon and armor upgrades in development there that could give all of us a significant edge.”

“We cannot allow that tech to fall into enemy hands,” Appius added with conviction. “Our mission is to protect the labs and prevent the enemy from breaching the vault in the lower levels.”

“What’s in the vault?” Dral inquired with piqued curiosity.

Rajhin chuffed, “Our pay.”

The conversation was interrupted by the shuttle touching down. The rear door glided down with the hiss of hydraulics releasing pressure. A cold wind rushed through the vessel’s cabin.

“Let’s get to work,” Appius exclaimed as he rose from his chair.

It was like walking out onto a blank canvas. Mile after mile as far as the eye could see lay a sheet of clear white of various steepness and slopes. The unusually clear day beamed down on the snow filled surface, and after spending a brief amount of time in the Upsilon-class Command Shuttle, the sunlight reflected off the ground like a harsh burning in the eyes of the six Clan Vizsla members. Behind them stood the Roark-Cole-Tresor research station. Made out of solid grey durasteel, it stood sixty four feet in height, length and width. Unfortunately, it stuck out amongst the frozen tundra like a sore thumb.

Appius Wight was the first to exit the craft, followed closely by Kalan Amak, who barged past him unceremoniously and without care. Following him was Quaestor Rulvak Qurroc, the Battleteam Leader Kano Tor Tydex, and Deathwatch members Dral Falgorth and Rajhin.

“Kano, I want what few assets we have prepared for the upcoming fight. Camouflage, surveillance, and ammo reserves need to be top priority. Hopefully we will have more supplies in time, but we can’t rely on potential false hope. I trust that you and Deathwatch are capable of handling this?” Rulvak asked with a commanding tone to his voice. One that held a hint of intolerance for failure.

“Of course,” replied Kano, glancing at the nearby forces that were spread out around the research station.

“This should only take a few minutes.” With sarcasm evident in his words, he and the Deathwatch members proceeded with their task.

Appius turned his head both ways to give a slight inspection of what little they did have.

A flight of Kom’rk Class Fighters were at their use. Along with a line of J-1 Proton Cannons with an artillery battery to man them, half a squadron of 614-AvA Speeder Bikes manned by a Special Missions Company, an AT-TE Platoon, and two regiments of troops.

“Is… this it?” Appius asked, stunned at just how little they had to work with. Compared to their enemy, they were outnumbered at least four times over.

“Yes. In the time we had, this is the best we could muster.” Responded Rulvak.

Dread filled the core of the young Sorcerer and he twiddled his fingers and tapped his right foot in the snow, trying to use what experience he had to formulate a plan. If this was the best they could get, what the hell were they going to do?

“I can sense your concern, Appius. But it’s not hopeless, we do have a plan.”

The Quaestor’s words offered a slight relief to the Mandalorian Force User.

“They will take the most direct path towards us.” Interrupted Kalan as he Approached the House Wren leadership after checking his own supplies.

“Plagueis has no regard for collateral damage, loss of life, or whether what they are doing is the most sound strategy. As long as it gets the job done, they don’t care.”

The Mandalorian Elder finished, yet one thought niggled at the back of the Wren Aedile’s mind.

“How do you know this?”

The Hunter’s helmet turned towards him only slightly. Almost like he barely acknowledged him.

“I used to be one of them.”

Appius was about to inquire further until crunching footsteps caught their attention. The Battleteam Deathwatch leader returned, yet he seemed barely able to control his laughter. He was followed very closely by Dral.

“Kano, what’s so funny?” Inquired Appius.

“Dral just threw a snowball at Rajhin.”

No-one said a word for a moment, until the towering Togorian appeared, with a face full of snow, glaring at the Mandalorian that had sparked his ire.

“Oh for fracks sake…” Commented Appius, slapping the forehead of his helmet with his hand.

Rulvak interjected with a cough, garnering the attention of the group.

“Regardless, if preparations are made, we should send a scouting party ahead.”

“I nominate Dral and two members of the special forces unit.” Voiced Kalan. Interjecting once again. “Gives them some distance from one another. We are meant to be fighting the enemy after all. Not each other.”

“Fair point,” Said Kano after finally composing himself. “Dral, take a speeder bike and a couple of special force members with you. Scout up ahead. You see anything, turn around at once. We need to know about it.”

Kano’s vast experience shone through. His past leadership experience unquestionable as he gave his order.

“Fine, fine. Can’t blame a guy for trying to have a bit of fun, right?” Dral said defensively with his hands in the air. He approached a nearby 614-AvA Speeder Bike and mounted it. Throughout everything, Rajhin had not removed his death glare from Dral’s sights.

The Mandalorian Weapon Specialist shot off into the distance, bringing two special forces members on their own Speeder Bikes for backup. Once he was out of sight, Appius turned to address the Sith Togorian.

“Rajhin, are you ok?” Asked Appius cautiously.

The Obelisk Adherent’s eyes snapped to the Wren Aedile like an angry, feral sand-panther.

“I. Hate. Snow.”

If words could cut through the air then Rajhin’s would have at that moment. His eyes blazed with an intense hatred certainly not uncommon for Sith. However, instead of acting on it, he instead called upon the Force and disappeared from sight, deciding he would only appear when he was needed, or to exact vengeance.

The rest of the time prepared the defences for the incoming Plagueis attack. Awaiting Dral’s return with, hopefully, good news.

A couple of hours pass by as the remaining team members make preparations just outside the facilities defenses, setting up fox holes and trenches to bog down the enemies advances in hope to stop them before they reach the research complex. Along with several prepared traps to encourage their forces to funnel into a kill zone. Alongside a few concealed bunkers to deal with any light armor or scouts that may be coming.

Eventually Kano approached the Aedile with an urgency concealed behind his T-shaped visor. “You’re going to want to see this Appius!”

The Force Disciple turned slightly towards the Mandalorian for a brief moment before looking back at the preparations at hand. “This better be more important than what’s happening right now”

“I would say it’s just as important” the Mando quipped back at him.

“Very well, lets see what it is” the Mystic proclaimed.

The orange warrior nodded in agreement as he led him down into the research facility towards the master database server console. Where Kano ends up entering commands into the prompt.

/dir

A few seconds later the results displayed

Directory Connection In Use:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . : Research.data.dns.
IPv6 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 0:::bc30:fe08:7041:d2f1:ff25
Temporary IPv6 Address. . . . . . :0:::bc30:4825:1a30:a9b6:f35f
Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::::d2f1:b141
IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 10.0.0.2
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : fe80:::caff:fe666
10.0.0.1

Directories available. . . . . . . . : Lab
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : Archives
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : Weapons
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : Technologies
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : Defenses
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : Protocol0
> Pages 1/32

Z:\Dir\Zsoldlab1> |

Kano continues to type

/dir Protocol0

Once more it only takes a few seconds.

Directory Use of Protocol0:

In the event of either research overflow or exposure, this facility is built to destroy all physical evidence of its existence, allowing for the lead lab technician or supervisor to download al; current data from the mainframe server and allocate it to another facility. Thus keeping the integrity of the facility in tact while keeping to the development of Clan technologies and research. To activate Directories tasks type /dir Protocol0 Begin --:-- for timed detonation.

Z:\Dir\Zsoldlab1> |

Appius stares at the screen for a moment before speaking up “So what does this mean?”

The Raider blinks for a second then looks at his superior “It means it’ll blow up, but we have to transfer the data first”

“Oh! Well that’s good to know then, we can use that as a last resort. Hopefully it won’t come to it however. Good work, let me know if you find anything else.”


Zsoldos snow plains on the edge of the forest
Outside Plagueis camp

One of the soldiers looks towards the camp, attempting to squint to see what they have only to see massive blobs. “I think we’ll need to get a bit closer sir.”

Dral only chuckles as he pulls out his Macrobinoculars and takes a look at the enemy’s forces. “Count it, Drake” Dral barks out

The secondary soldier pulls out a holopad to begin the survey.

“Eight AT-AT’s, sixteen AT-ST’s, twenty four AAT-1 tanks, sixteen T-2B tanks, looks like close to thirty four Platoons of soldiers … “ Dral pulls the Macrobinoculars away from his visor for a second.

“Man they really aren’t playing around are they…” The blacked out Mandalorian’s gaze gets caught by something off to the side in his peripheral vision.

Taking his Macrobinoculars once more for another glance he catches the sight of a mass of 74-Z speeder bikes and a few ULAV Speeders headed their way.

“OH FRAK!” The two ops members startle into action at Dral’s outburst. Drake handing Dral the holopad and the other soldier starting his bike up. Followed by the other members of the scouting party once the pad was secured.

Not a moment sooner the special operations soldier Drake fell flat off his speeder as a snipers bolt whizzes straight past the Okami Mandalorian and into his chest.

As they sped off the cluster of Plagueis 74-Z scouts and ULAV Speeders followed close behind, creating a volley of plasma bolts at the two remaining Vizlsa operatives. It didn’t take them long before the return fire commenced.

Dral unslung his Tostovin Munitions Micro-Grenade Launcher and sent a few grenades sailing their way. With the zig zag maneuvers to prevent the hail of bolts landing their mark, the grenades didn’t land exactly where Dral wanted but it was good enough to take a few and startle the remainder off their balance.

The final operative took pot shots here and there with his BlasTech E-11 blaster rifle, landing a few hits until his bike took a direct hit, sending his body flying. Presumably dead to the Privateer he continued forward, eventually taking a hit to his shoulder blade, placing a thermal detonator in the side of the bike, rolling off his bike, and concealing himself with his Personal Sensor Jammer as he hid in the snow in hopes it would jam their readings. While the bike trailed off into a glorious blaze against a tree further in the forest.

Kano walked out of the research facility and made his way from soldier to soldier. He used this time ensuring they knew just what was at stake in this battle and sorting out the strong soldiers from the weak ones in his mind. They all had heard the stories of his past battles and knew that as a leader, he would most likely be in the action even before they were. Inside, he knew their numbers were low from the rushed deployment, but he knew they would do what was needed.

As Kano walked away from a group of soldiers he noticed Appuis had also exited the facility and was looking into the distance. Kano approached the new Aedile. The Raiders orange and black beskar armor stood out vividly in the overwhelming whiteness of the terrain almost to a comical level.

“Still no word from Dral?” Asked Kano as he stepped up next to Appius.

“Nothing. It’s been hours.”

“He knows what he is doing. Besides, he is a member of Deathwatch. He is probably getting ready to blow something up and cause some justifiable chaos.”

Appius relaxed his stance slightly then tensed up again. He felt something coming.

Kano shifted the vision in his visor to the thermal spectrum and scanned the horizon. Everything he saw went from white to shades of blue. Off in the distance he noticed a faint glint of yellow and orange. For a moment, he believed it was Dral returning by foot but that changed as the ghostly orange figure grew along the horizon.

The Mandalorian tried to get a reading on the distance but could not do it while in thermal mode. Then without any warning to Appius, the jetpack on Kano’s back flared to life and the Raider shot into the air. He continued to ascend until he could see the size of the unit moving towards them.

The Deathwatch Battletram leader opened up the comms in his helmet and sent a message to all Vizsla personnel in range.

“Dust off those blasters, boys. The fight is here.”

The Raider came to a landing right back where he had taken off from. As he touched down Rulvak Qurroc stepped up next to them. He spoke briefly before walking off into the snow.

“The first wave is testing us. Keep the heavy stuff off the radar until it is needed.”

It only took a few minutes for everyone to take their places for the oncoming battle. A limited amount of soldiers were still visible to keep their resources unknown as long as possible.

Kano once again used his jetpack to launch himself into the air. This time he moved through the air and landed behind several mounds of snow concealing a line of J-1 Proton Cannons.

“Y’all just remember. Keep low. Stay quiet. We fire after the first wave passes. Aim for their backs. The sooner we finish this the sooner we can get out of this snow and have a drink.”

The Mandalorian checked over his arsenal once more before leaning against a snow mount and pressing in as far as possible to conceal the orange and black of his armor.

“Our plan is solid, Rajhin. We will both have our fun, but we must wait until they are softened up from the initial engagement from our other forces.”

The Quaestor had planned the ambush down to every last detail. He elaborated on the parts that pertained to the Togorian, as they would be entering the fight at roughly the same time. Their numbers being minimal allowed for them to surround the enemy on all three sides as they approached almost invisibly, with the two Warlords closing in from the rear of their forces.

“Do not command me, little one. I fully intend to quench my thirst when I deem necessary. You need only ensure my payment arrives once we return.” Rajhin spat with a low growl.

The Togorian stood a foot taller than the Half-Sephi, and weighed twice as much in muscle. His tone was not lost on Rulvak, who nodded in agreement; however, he was not intimidated. In the past he was once the same, but his time in Vizsla had changed him. Because of this, he respected the way Rajhin approached life within Vizsla. Rulvak, himself, still lived for the hunt, and it had been a while since his last.

“Very well. See you on the other side.”

They simultaneously disappeared from view as their footsteps continued through the snow to begin wrapping around the back of the approaching enemy force.

Rulvak clicked his comlink, “Appius, sitrep.”

A few seconds passed before his Aedile’s voice chirped in his ear.

“Still no sign of Dral. Enemy forces headed our way, should be nearly in front of you now. Kano and I have set up inbetween the enemy forces and the research station. Most of our guys are prepped and ready. Lastly…I haven’t seen Kalan at all since we scattered to set up. Oh! And Kano found a hidden protocol for the station.”

“Don’t worry about Kalan, he’s likely setting up somewhere. Have we been able to discern what this protocol for the station does?”

“From what we can tell, it will allow us to essentially destroy the research center as well as all the data held within it, but only once we have copied all of it to an external device.”

“Nice find. We may need to use that if everything goes awry. In the meantime, ensure all our forces are ready. We will be waiting for your word on when to strike, as you will have the best view.”

Appius was not ready to hear that the battle would start on his mark, but he quickly resolved any issue that he had with it at that exact moment. His focus sharpened as it shifted back to the mass that was slowly growing bigger in front of him. The enemy was upon them, but not quite close enough to engage. He began checking in with the left and right flanks.

Kano leaned over to Appius, elbowing him as he chuckled.

“Boss wants to go play in the snow while we win the fight for him, eh?”

“Kano, we should be focused on the battle. Keep your head clear so that we all make it out of this.”

Kano grunted, “Sourpuss.”

It’s been four years.

Kalan Amak, formerly known as Dracaryis di Plagia stood on a large snow embankment and watched as the Plaguean forces crept closer to the Ice Cube. At any moment, he would signal the artillery to begin firing on presighted points, crippling the enemy’s armor and forcing a dismounted movement towards the facility.

From his overwatch position, he saw many of his former allies, most notably, the unmistakable outline of Arden Karn di Plagia.

He hadn’t made this known, but the secondary goal from Roark was etched in his brain:

Let Karn into the facility. Then execute the failsafe.

“Kano,” Kalan barked into his commlink, “Hold on that failsafe. Roark has plans. Everyone else, are we in position?”

“Our forces are in position, Amak. Dral is missing. Lost comms hours ago.” Rulvak’s voice was clear but cold over the comm. Even though he and Kalan got along well enough, he didn’t like taking orders from anyone other than Roark. “And lets not forget who is running this little operation.”

Kalan laughed, “Of course. You are in charge. Plagueis has almost reached the killbox. Estimate five minutes to firing range.”

Kalan switched to a private channel that only Rulvak could hear, “Hit them hard, but don’t forget. Let them into the facility. Take out enough to ensure they don’t know what is happening. You and I are the only ones who know what Roark wants. Save the research, but destroy the facility. Take out Arden Karn.”

“How do you feel taking out one of your former clanmates?”

“This has been coming for a long time. Let’s get it done.”

Kalan switched back to the open channel.

“Plagues forces are inside the killzone.”

Kalan Amak smiled a rare smile from beneath his helmet.

“Unleash hell.”

Artillery fire rained down upon the Plagueis position like the wrath of an angry god. Vizsla’s forward observers had done their jobs well. Dread Legion soldiers scrambled for cover as rounds fell from the sky. The larger armored units couldn’t evade as quickly and soon found themselves taking the brunt of the barrage. AT-ATs began exploding left and right. Vizsla had struck the first major blow in the engagement, but the Plagueian forces were far from finished.

Kalan Amak waited with grim satisfaction in his overwatch position as battle damage assessments poured in from the front lines. Just as expected, the carefully planned artillery barrage was wreaking havoc on the Plagueian armor and forcing their infantry to scramble for cover. Firing adjustments were starting to come in from the forward observers when the comlink frequency went dead. Static.

“Frak,” the former Di Plagia swore under his breath as he was now confronted with jammed communications. It mattered little in the grand scheme of things so long as Arden was lured inside the facility. The ground shook in Kalan’s observation post as counter-battery fire from the Plagueis forces began pounding the Vizsla artillery.


Rulvak stalked through the snow invisible and deadly like a tundra predator. While his focus remained on maintaining his stealth and getting into a favorable position for a precision strike on the enemy sniper position pinning down Vizsla forces, the half-Sephi maintained some awareness of the communication channels.

Static.

Communications disruption. The Wren Quaestor recalled intelligence reports that Plagueis had local area signal jammers at their disposal but in the haste to slap together a workable defense there had been few preparations for a comms blackout. He knew a lack of coordination and battlefield intelligence would be deadly to the facility’s defenders. A new, more urgent objective now dominated his attention.

The Sith stopped moving for a moment and allowed his consciousness to reach out through the Force. Rajhin was nearby and he knew the Togorian’s help would be essential to taking down the Plagueis signal jammer. A relative location echoed back to Rulvak across the tendrils of the Dark Side. He began to move toward his fellow Sith with all deliberate speed while maintaining his cloak.


“Static?” Rajhin pondered as he paused in the relative cover of a cluster of trees. While the Sith had set off on his own to pursue targets of opportunity, a communications disruption was disastrous for the defending Vizsla forces. The Togorian was no tactician but recalled enough of his deceased master’s teachings to know how vital the flow of communication was to an ongoing battle. He wasn’t in a hurry to go on any suicide missions for the clan but he also wanted to get paid and that would be far less likely to happen if Plagueis seized the vault.
As Rajhin pondered how and where to search for the signal jammer or jammers, a familiar presence resonated through the Force. He turned around just in time to see Rulvak decloak behind a tree next to him.

“We have a new target,” the Wren Quaestor whispered just loud enough to be heard by the Togorian.

Raj offered no protest this time. “Just point me in the right direction,” he declared with confidence as he brandished his Sith Sword.

“Kano? Rulvak?”

Static. The incoherent sound of high pitched buzzing was not what the Wren Aedile needed to hear, especially with the smorgasbord of blaster fire aiming to end his life in the most brutal manner possible coming right towards him.

“Kalan?”

He tried a different frequency, in the vain hope of reaching the two time Fist of the Brotherhood.

He received no response.

Appius had gotten separated from the rest of the main group in the initial assault, and now it was just him with a small handful of personnel.

The blaster fire rained down on him harder and harder. On both sides of him House Wren troops and soldiers fell into bloody heaps in the snow, the previously white canvas becoming a makeshift graveyard.

“Rajhin, I’ll triple your pay if you answer me right now!!”

Nothing. If that didn’t get the Togorian to answer then nothing would.

He was getting desperate. He continued to deflect blasters away from his body in a haphazard fashion with his twin lightsabers, but out of everyone currently around him, he was the only one gifted with the Force. No matter what frequency he tried, it all yielded the same result.

“Dral!?”

In the back of his mind, he knew Dral wouldn’t answer, but he had to try something, anything. Over half his men were dead and the Plagueis forces were closing in on them.

“Anyone!?”

Still, the irritating sound of harsh buzzing filled his ears once more.

Thinking on his feet, Appius called upon the power of the Force within his body and thrust forward his left arm, not towards the enemy, but towards the snow in front of him.

The result was a man made blizzard that whooshed towards the advancing army. It didn’t do any damage, but it created a mist which temporarily obscured the enemies vision of them.

“Everyone get behind me and into the trenches!” Commanded Vizsla’s first Knight, he may be a master of Niman, but it wasn’t a form specialised for an open battlefield such as this.

Without needing to be told twice, what remained of his troops threw themselves behind the mist and into the trenches that were dug earlier for tactical defence. A couple of men were hit on the way down, and collapsed into the trench, lifeless as their fallen comrades up above.

The Aedile sheathed his weapons and growled fiercely, slamming his fist into the snow bank. This was not meant to happen this way! Not with this many under his command dead.

“Sir!”

Appius’ stupor was broken by Tyrus, one of Vizsla’s oldest and more experienced soldiers.

“What’s the situation?” He asked.

“Well, our communications are jammed, we’re heavily outnumbered and we have no way of calling for help. So all in all, the situation is pretty fracking sithspit.”

The Mystic looked up to the sky, praying that somehow, someway, an answer would present itself to him. It was then a spark of inspiration fluttered through his mind.

“Actually… I have an idea.”

Deciding to make use of his talents as a Sorcerer, Appius raised his arms in the air and focused on the darkness locked away within himself. Instantly, streaks of white and blue jetted out of his fingertips and lanced into the sky like a deadly beacon.

That was, after all, his intention.


Plagueis forces
Reserve camp
Approximately 0.75 miles away

It appeared to the Mandalorian weapons specialist that most of the Plagueis forces had moved on to attack the research station. All that remained behind from what he could see, were three individual scout troopers mounted upon three 74-Z Speeder Bikes respectively. No doubt volunteered to stay behind to report on the attack to their ‘Dread Lord’.

He needed to get back to the main group quickly and warn them of the attack, if it hadn’t already started without him.

Shame, he was looking forward to a good fight.

Dral carefully approached in the snow, and when fully satisfied he was close enough, he leapt to his feet and swung the MWC-35c Repeating Cannon around from his back and around the right side of his body, gripped readily in his hands.

“Surprise!”

His sudden exclamation caught the attention of the scout troops, but before they could draw on their own weapons they were gunned down mercilessly in quick succession.

Throwing his heavy blaster round his back he quickly ran to one of the now vacant Speeder Bikes and mounted it. The engine whirled to life and Dral grinned to himself.

There was one problem that remained. He didn’t know what direction to go in, and when he tried the comm channels he got nothing but static.

Suddenly, he caught sight of a column of white and blue threads ascending into the air just under a mile away.

“Ah yes … that looks like the direction I should go.”

Dral sped off in that very direction. If his time in Battleteam Deathwatch taught him anything, it’s that if in doubt, follow the bright lights and carnage would follow suit.

It wasn’t long of a ride before the former Ordanite began to see the carnage in the distance, the raging battle ensued, and it was looking grim for the defenders. Though he could see a few AT-AT’s burning into a crumbling heap he knew it was only partial of what was to come. Pulling out his Macrobinoculars he was disheartened to see they were busted from the fall earlier.

“Sithspit!” he muttered under his breath. He then took a moment to check his shoulder from where he was shot. It was bruised heavily but the Jedi Hunter’s Cloak he took off a collective officer in a previous battle absorbed most of the damage. Luckily he rolled with the blow to deflect the hit as well.

The Mandalorian was used to working alone, but not against the backside of an entire army. He took a moment to stop and think about his next move carefully as it could mean life or death in this instance. He tried to use the HUD in his Beskar’gam helmet. To his surprise he wasn’t getting any relevant information displayed or any comm establishment.

“Alright so comms are nonexistent and the second wave should be on its way soon enough… “ at that moment it struck him, and he knew what he had to do. Checking his ammo count in his MWC-35c Repeating Cannon he did a quick reload, prepping his Tostovin Munitions Micro-Grenade Launcher from the spare grenades from his ammo pouch. Taking the speeder a bit of a detour around the ensuing fight he managed to go unnoticed for the time being.

Out of the corner of his eye Dral spotted a squad engaging a mound of snow. The combat veteran had an idea of what they were firing at, a forward trench. With an AT-ST approaching it fast, for what it was worth those soldiers were as good as dead if the antipersonal walker made it to them.

Flipping on his Scan Pulse he was able to see all targets in range, roughly 32 infantry and an AT-ST, but unable to distinguish between friend or foe. Except for the ones he assumed we’re comrades in the trench. Taking aim with his Tostovin Munitions Micro-Grenade Launcher, while moving towards the trenches in the speeder, Dral fired off the two remaining grenades.

One bounced off the side of the AT-ST exploding mid air, throwing the walker off balance. In surprise it attempted to turn and fire at the attacker only to have the last grenade bash through the viewport and exploded. Killing the crew and setting the walker ablaze. Using the now worthless Micro-Grenade Launcher as a club, the blacked out Mandalorian bashed a few skulls in as he made passes with the 74-Z Speeder Bikes blasters. This made him a valid target for the remaining Plagueis troops as they opened fire upon Dral and his cowboy antics.

“Dral?!?” The Wren Mystic called out just as the speeder crashed into the snow from the many blaster scourches and holes in it. Dral had taken several glancing hits but only one that nearly did it in for him was the shot that took off his helmet. As he flipped into the snow the bike came to an abrupt stop.

“Provide cover fire!” The Aedile commanded as he leapt from the trench and reached out with the Force, jerking the now motionless body into the trenches.

The remaining Vizsla troops also emerged out of the trenches, firing back, having an easier time now they didn’t have a AT-ST on them.

“Dral! Wake up, wake up or I’m cutting your pay.”

“I’M UP!” the undercut bearded Mando exclaims holding up the holopad containing the enemies numbers and armor. “Here is the report, we need to retreat now!” It takes Dral a second to realise something was missing before touching his face “Hey where’d my helmet go?”

The shocked Mystic only points towards the battlefield. While muttering to himself “Can’t always get lucky”

The Privateer forces the pad onto Appius’s chest before calmly yet limply climbing out of the trenches, with blaster fire and explosions going on in the background to retrieve his helmet. Wiping the visor off and then returning to the trench before putting it back on.

“I better get a big explosion for all my efforts” Dral exclaims as he begins to limp towards the base with SE-44C “Collective Officer’s” Blaster Pistol in hand.

The enemy continued to creep closer and closer yet Kano didn’t slow down. He continued sending bolt after bolt into the enemies lines. In the distance to his right he noticed the brilliant lightning show creeping into the sky and knew where Appius was. With the enemy getting this close and comms being down he knew the best option at this point was to regroup as best as possible.

Kano kept moving. More and more blaster fire came his way as he got closer to where he had seen the lightning. The barrage of enemy bolts around him made him question the bright orange and black paint on his armor but then again he liked to stand out.

Kano could see the trenches just ahead of him. He didn’t realize he had moved that far away from the research station. To make it to the trench he would need to put his back to the enemy and move fast. As he turned around the Mandalorian fired his jetpack up and darted across the battlefield as low as he could.

Just feet from the edge to the trench a bolt struck Kano on his leg. Sparks erupted as the beskar armor deflected the indirect shot but the force of the hit threw Kano off balance and caused his shoulder to hit the snowy battlefield. The Raider began to tumble and roll as his jetpack powered down and he slid into the trench.

As he looked up from the floor of the trench Kano saw the barrel of a DC-17 and a green lightsaber blade through his visor.

“Another successful landing.” Said Kano as he climbed to his feet with the help of Appius and Dral.

A blaster bolt struck the edge of the trench and dirt rained down on the 3. Appius spoke loudly to make sure his voice could be heard over the sounds of the battle.

“This isn’t going to work. We are going to need to fall back if we want to keep any of our troops.”

Kano poked his helmet out of the trench and glanced at the enemy forces quickly before speaking up.

“Yeah. They are going to completely overrun us if we stay here. We might need to use that backup plan.”

Appius looked at him and Dral.

“Get in there. Make sure we are good to go. If it is needed there will be a sign.”

As Kano started moving down the trench he called out. “What sign?”

“You’ll know when you see it.” Yelled back Appius

Rulvak could feel the death and anger emanating from the same direction in which the sound of blaster fire roared in the distance. What remained of Plagueis’ first wave was fully engaged with what was left of Vizsla’s defense. The two Warlords continued along the sidelines of the battle along what few trees there were in order to mask the only thing that was giving away their presence, their footprints.

The Quaestor, in a previous time, had to deal with communications before in order to cause the chaos that was now being imposed on his forces. Although it was a larger station and he was only destroying their relays then, it should be fairly the same with finding a small jammer. At least that was what he thought to himself as he continued looking for any sign of what that might be. Rajhin, who was on his heels ready to pounce on anything or anyone that crossed their path, broke the silence.

“We must be getting close.”

“Why would you say that?”

Rulvak had been in his head, focused on the target and his troops, and planning what little he could salvage from the current situation.

“Here’s the rest of them.”

Rajhin spoke as they each crested a rather large snow bank which revealed the other three quarters of the Plaguean army. Hearing what they brought and seeing it were vastly different. This made their second objective all the more important to get done sooner rather than later. Rulvak continued to scan the field before he rested his eyes upon what was unmistakably a communications jammer. Not exactly what he expected it to look like, but it stood out like a sore thumb. Luckily, it was on their side of the enemy forces, and wasn’t too heavily guarded.

“There, Rajhin. Take the enemies on the left, I’ll take the right. I’ll have to insist that you keep a lookout as I slice into their systems and dismantle it from within. We must maintain stealth, or we are as good as bantha fodder.”

“It’s about time.”

With four guards surrounding the signal jammer, the two had to split their targets to two each. Fortunately, sudden quick kills from the shadows were their forte, as all four enemies were silenced immediately. Rajhin taking the time to get one clean cut from ear to ear on one, and gutting the other before he could react from the belly up to the chin. Meanwhile, Rulvak stood equal distance between the other two and made two quick simultaneous thrusts, one from each hand, through their hearts. He then turned to the jammer. It wasn’t long before the half-Sephi was in the system and shutting it all down while creating little passwords to prevent the enemy from getting back in.

“That should do it,” he said as the audible humming from the device gradually faded into nothingness.

“Good. They will know we’ve been here,” Rajhin said as he peered around at the bodies that lay around them.

He then thrust his dagger into the now dormant machine, striving to further complicate any attempts that might be made to turn the machine back on.

“That should do it.”

“Right. Let’s get out of here,” Rulvak stated plainly before they both vanished yet again, moving back from whence they came. Once they reach a safe distance from the device and enemy forces, he could hear chatter over the comms.

“Everyone, comms are back. Please keep channels clear as we unfrack this situation - Break Break - Appius, the rest of the enemy forces have begun moving towards the research station. Salvage what is left of our equipment, and help any members that you can to get out. Make it quick.”

“Yes, sir!” Appius’ voice could be heard just barely over the blaster fire that was clearly on top of them.

He was relieved to hear what sounded to be Dral’s voice in the background talking with Kano. Rulvak swapped to a different, secure channel.

“Kalan, it appears our target is leading the second wave. I suggest gathering the research and intelligence, then focusing on a full retreat to a safe distance. Timer or remote activation, this will be our chance.”

“Copyall. See you soon.”

The half-Sephi caught up to the Togorian, and they continued making their way to the fallback rendezvous point.

Kalan rose from his over watch position and began moving towards the Roark-Cole-Tresor research facility. The smell of burning metal and residual proton burn from the artillery barrage wafted over him as he approached the building. At least six of Plagueis’ slave forces were standing guard outside the main door.

*One on six. That’s fair.

“Snipers. In position. Six hostiles at facility entrance. Time your shots.” Kalan barked into the open comm.

Seconds later and without a sound, the six slaves dropped dead on the spot, leaving only a red stain on the facility’s durasteel outer wall.

“Good shots. Moving to facility.”

Kalan moved quickly to the facility door and punched in numbers on the comms panel. This was it. Karn and his team were inside. The Vizsla forces were evacuating with every bit of research and technology they could hold. It was now or never.

“Rulvak, how many do we have still remaining inside?”

“Appius, Kano, and Dral are still evacuating.”

“Acknowledged. I’m setting the timer on this thing now. Get everyone to pull back.”

“Good luck. See you at the rendezvous.” Rulvak switched back to the open channel, “All Vizsla forces. EVAC-EVAC-EVAC. We are going to destroy the facility. Grab what you can and double-time to the extraction zone.”

“I can rig it from here, no need to get close, Kalan.” Kano said into the commlink.

“I’ve already started. 10 minute timer. Get some distance!”

Kalan finished punching in the self destruct code and the timer. It was now or never. He punched the execute button, turned on his heels, and ran.

“TIMER’S RUNNING! MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!”

Kalan ran through the remnants of the Plagueis ground assault force, blasting any remaining enemies as he went.

5 Minutes to go

He ran back to his observation point and turned. This was it. This was the end of Arden Karn.

This is the way.

90 Seconds

He saw the flash and felt the ground rumble beneath his feet. The explosions from within the facility caused it to collapse in on itself rather than explode outward.

Buried alive. A fitting end for that sithspawn, Kalan thought to himself, raising a set of binoculars to his visor.

And there he was. Covered in rubble and ash, but clearly alive. Arden Karn di Plagia was still alive.

And somehow he must have known Kalan was watching from a distance, because he winked, saluted, and moved out of Kalan’s field of view.

SITHSPIT!!!

“Mission failed.” Kalan said in the secure channel to Rulvak, Cole, and Roark.