Ja’ak Zol Site
An explosion reverberated faintly underfoot as the three Sadowans followed the escapee. “Knock knock,” smirked Janos as he jogged alongside the other two. “Sounds like the Verpine finally got that front door open.”
“Aye,” agreed Roxas as the Savant panted. “We’ve got to catch her before she circles around to them. This is bigger than all of us. This thing is important to the Clan.”
“Yes,” commented Macron as he ran. The Adept extended his senses and felt for the female Iktotchi. “Her stance appeared to be that of a practitioner of Shien or perhaps Djem So. She’s up ahead in the rubble… and anxious. And… and she has a taint of the Dark Side. Curious. She has some part to play in this production. I forsee it. More I cannot say.”
Just then Roxas comlink crackled to life. “No wonder. The heavy trooper reinforcements have arrived. They are setting up weapons emplacements inside the shield of the assault transport. It’s true. If you get hit with a heavy blaster salvo unprepared you’re toast no matter how tough you are. Light is fading by the way, it’ll be night soon.”
“Yeah,” nodded Janos as the three stopped at the exit. “I’m listening. If I can profit from another’s failure, I’m all for it.” The Sith Acolyte checked his equipment obsessively. “I’m down to about half of my eclips. Say. Isn’t Shien a Dark Side art? That’s apropos for Grey Jedi right?”
“Smart.” Macron chuckled. “It has been called such, yes. I’ve trained against it but never bothered to learn any. Better to master one art than dabble in many, in the words of my old mentor Grandmaster Ashen. Darth Vexatus held the same beliefs although he was not as succinct in his statements. Unfortunately… I cannot feel him anymore. The Falleen Sith Lord may have died on Antei.”
“Uh-huh.” Janos appeared non-plussed. “Maybe I will meet them one day. Anyway, I think we should surround her and move in from all sides.” The Sorcerer changed clips as he leaned out from the edge of the exit passage. “I think the incoming reinforcements will squeeze her in.”
“There’s a problem with that.” The Mandalorian spoke up. “She’s likely to kill them pretty quickly. She’s good with that silver blade. What do you know about silver lightsabers, Pestilence?”
“Could be a synthetic, Durindfire…. That’s about it. I’m not aware of any silver Adegans. Could be alchemically treated though.” Macron frowned. “Janos, let me have a look at one of those sabers please.”
“Sure thing Master,” replied the Adumarian as he handed one over. “I’ll keep watch on the exit with… Roxas here.” The Acolyte hunkered down behind some rubble and began to work out fire zones in his mind.
“Nothing doing.” The mad Sith broke the lightsaber open by main force with his crushgaunt and handed the generator crystal to Janos. “Scan this one please. Roxas, make a plan if you would to storm this woman’s position. Your folk are a natural at that sort of work.”
The Mandalorian nodded. “I think storming her from three separate vectors is a bad idea. Rather, Janos here and I will draw her out. You come from a flanking position and duel her down.”
“The crystal scans as synthetic,” replied Janos. “Very pure, no colorants or trace ions to change the matrix.” The Acolyte deftly pocketed the crystal. “Ground down it would make an excellent focusing lens I think.”
“I’m sure it would. I see. Then they have a forge somewhere,” chuckled Macron by way of reply. “Let’s deal with our little friend, and then go investigate this forge. I imagine she could be persuaded to show us the way. I bet she can be turned.”
The three Dark Jedi moved out. It was twilight, and night was falling. Sounds of blaster fire, grenade explosion thwumping blast lights, and heavy weaponry could be heard from around the front of the building. The blue glow of energized deflector shields effused dimly across the site from the nearby landing craft. Ashes drifted in the air and a heavy fog began to take hold as the trio moved in the shadows.
To be truthful, none of them were all that stealthy. Janos was actually better than the other two both by his training and his relatively lighter armor. “I’ve got an idea. I read Exar Kun could control bugs, and I think I may be able to use a much lesser version of that idea,” he whispered as they hunkered behind the wall of the e-web blaster site that had been previously ruined. Macron and Roxas gestured their assent quietly.
Janos Breaker concentrated with all his will. He beckoned the native insects to his command- crawling, flying, and otherwise. Soon a plethora of beetles, crawling bugs, and flying insects began to swarm around the site in front of them like moths to a flame. They did no damage but they helped screen the advance of the killers. Macron smiled and quietly tapped Janos on the shoulder as they moved in.
“I hear you invaders,” came the loud voice of the woman inside the ruined shell of a building. “I see your handiwork of death all around me. You will not take me so easily,” she blustered. “I am not like the others. I will stand with my head high!”
Roxas stepped into the edge of the ruined building and leveled his flechette launcher at her. “I hope not, Jedi,” growled the Mandalorian while popping a shot at her. Oddly enough the flechettes were stopped by an invisible wall. They fell to the ground as the alien woman waved her hand in front of her.
Janos stood beside Roxas and sighted in on her. His blaster shots peppered her, but the woman deflected them deftly with her silver blade. One reflected shot hit the barrel of his blaster, knocking it from his hand. Just as she began to move towards them in rage an red-armored figure stepped from the opposite wall and the shadows.
“You are not like the others, no.” Macron smiled under his helm. “You are dark… like the Sith. Like those you drove from this system. It lives within you. You want more.”
The Iktotchi turned and yelled. “No! I am not…. Not like YOU!” She charged him. “I will KILL you, defiler!” Truth be told the woman was good. Really good. Third and fourth circle moves drawn from the Shien library came to her. She switched grips between reverse and conventional twice in the assault.
“Well kark,” growled Macron. He concentrated and drew the Dark Side to him. The Makashi came and defended his flesh. One parry, riposte, two, riposte, volte side-strike, parry, riposte, lunge…. This was no easy battle. Even with his body amplified it was a challenge. It was time for a different tactic. The Sith concentrated and gestured with his off-hand at her lightsaber. The massive and unyielding telekinetic force ripped it from her numb fingers to go clattering towards Roxas and Janos. Macron was instantly on top of her with a lit blade.
The Iktochi howled in despair and readied herself for the killing blow as she raised her arms in a Dulon stance. The blow never came.
Macron simply stood there menacingly. “You are not like them.You have skill with a blade and anger.” He opened his visorplate as Roxas and Janos winced. Roxas picked up her lightsaber and watched.
The woman looked at the armored figure. Death hovered above her embodied in a searing orange lightsaber pointed directly at her neck. Death, and something more. Something like her dreams. Something like the old things she had secretly read about down in the temple. “No. I am not.”
“You read of the Sith in the forbidden chamber, and you want to be one.” It was statement and not a query. “We have come and have laid your defenders low. It is power you seek.” The Adept shut down his weapon. “Come with us, and you will find those of a similar mien in Clan Naga Sadow. There are those among our Clan who can teach you the way of power and would be glad to have your knowledge of the Dominion. I am sure our Consul would love to talk with you.”
“And if I refuse?” The Iktotchi woman did her best to regain her composure. “I am Sya Kitsaza. I am a warrior among my people.”
“Then you die like the rest Sya.” The answer was quick, no-nonsense, and punctuated by crackling Force lighting growing around the Alchemist’s off-hand. Janos and Roxas stepped into the ruined circle and surrounded her. “Make your decision with alacrity. Time is short. Death is the easy way out.”