A read-only archive of discourse.darkjedibrotherhood.com as of Sunday May 01, 2022.

[Aftermath] Team Macron


In the aftermath of the Warhost’s attack on Agua’tah, there is the need to solidify their hold on the planet and mope up the last of The Dominion resistance… Locke has entrusted the Sons and Daughters of Sadow to lead the missions in the hope to bind them closer to the Warhost and the newer members of the Clan.

The team leaders & their missions are as follows:

  • Shikyo will lead an assault on the main settlement of Agua’tah to bring it under Warhost control.
  • Jade will lead a covert strike team to track down the escaped captain of the Hammer of Chakota.
  • Macron and his team will investigate an ancient archaeological site and discover its hidden secrets.
  • Locke will lead a team to liberate minor settlements across Agua’tah.
  • Sang will lead a team to help rescue those in need across Agua’tah and work to liberate and befriend the natives.

Entries will be judged using the standard fiction grading rubric, with how well you involve others in your team being included in the story part of the grading rubric.

Top three placements will earn crescents.

All posts must be 250 words minimum and all participants must complete a minimum of 2 posts to meet the requirement for potential placement.

Team members:

Macron Goura Sadow #4856
Janos Breaker #14591


Corvette M-CRV Primus Goluud
Agua’Tah Orbit

Aboard the corvette there was organized chaos. The ship was much smaller than the larger capital ships of Clan Naga Sadow that had entered the system. Nonetheless, the ship had an important mission: to send a research team down to secure and explore a Force nexus which had been detected on the planet below.

The ship held limited personnel and supplies, and in this case it was “Research Group Theta.” The main grouping was Verpine engineers and Warhost troopers who had training on Gamuslag as well as Warhost scientists. This mission was relegated as a lesser priority and so the crew had to make do with what they had. The bulk of resources was being directed to more dangerous (or profitable) situations on the planet.

Lieutenant, now Captain Dar Mechal guided the work. He was unused to such operations. The Corvette had recently served in several conflicts including the war against the One Sith as well as the attack against the Dominion’s forces. He had been promoted for his work by Fleet Admiral Araic Simonetti recently and resented this particular detail.

“Give me a list of the fuel requirements,” he said quietly to a Verpine engineer that nodded silently. Crap detail or no, he intended to do his very best to deliver as ordered. He knew there were Dark Jedi aboard who outranked him. “See that our guests get what they need.” The Verpine clicked and went about his business. Just then the command and control room door slid open. Things went from bad to worse.

“Captain Mechal,” spoke the red-armored figure. “When will we be ready to debark?” Behind the obviously Sith querent a red and black robed human stood impassively. The silent human’s features gave him away as an Adumarian. His robes and lightsaber hilt marked him as Sith like his Master. The Sith among the Clan’s Force-users unnerved the Captain. They seemed to exude an aura of fear, quite unlike the few actual Jedi who had made the Clan their home. Sith were bad news. They were like an awful weapon to be directed at your enemies. A good thing to have in times of need but bad to have around in down-time.

“Your equipment is ready to debark now, Marshal Commander.” The Captain gestured towards the hangar below the command center. The aura of the Sith before him made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up.

“Excellent. My apprentice and I will debark immediately to the Ja’ak Zol site. See to it that the landing site is properly secured and speeder transportation is readily available. Others may join us.” The Adept smiled evilly. “We will explore this site as ordered. You do understand?”

Captain Mechal smiled nervously. “Yes, sir. You shall have your resources as the Consul has ordered.”
“Good,” chuckled the madman as he turned to a datapad and began to study it. “Good. We have much to learn and a short time to do it.”


Corvette M-CRV Primus Goluud
Agua’Tah Orbit

Macron had been oddly quiet about this mission. The assault on the Skyhook had been all he could talk about for days before the operation took place. Mostly insane babble about slaughter and the joy of killing but it had been almost constant. The silence from him surrounding this mission was unsettling. Janos had asked more than once and had been met with only this unaccustomed lack response.

“Master, what is so important about this place? I understand that it’s an ancient laboratory from the first Sith War, but surely by now it’s been looted to an extreme. Even IF something remains it would be based on science that is a millennium outdated. Why bother?” Janos spoke with a disgruntled look on his face as he tried to find some sign of even being heard by Alchemist.

“I never thought I would say it,” The Juggernaut sighed as he handed the datapad back to the Captain.” Even for a Sith, you show an astonishing lack of patience.” He turned and looked his Apprentice in the eye. “ Do you think I would have gone to such lengths to do all of this if I didn’t think it was likely that we would find something worthwhile?” His eyes narrowed and the volatility of the madman became apparent.

“No Master. You would not.” The Adumarian dropped his gaze and hated the Adept for making him do it. But he would obey. If there was one thing he understood it was power, and his Master had far more. For now.

The armor clad Sith swept past Janos and headed towards the hanger bay. Janos was amazed at how well this ship was run. While it did not compare to the ISD that he spent so much time on, the Marauder was no freighter. It was a testament to the Captain, that every member of the crew, human or alien, was impeccably groomed and excellently disciplined. It was a rapid departure from the pirate vessel he had lived on before the Brotherhood found him.
As they passed the barracks and armory Janos noticed that the troopers on board all wore a modified version of standard assault armor. A matte black variant that seemed to prioritize mobility rather than blanket protection. These troopers were planning to hit hard and fast. Janos looked at the helmet in his hands: limited atmosphere, high end filtration and a multi-spectrum visor. No armor. He was a scientist, not a solider……No….he was a Sith now.

“Trooper!” He bellowed to a passing Sargent, who snapped to attention at once. “I require a set of that armor in the hanger bay immediately.” The trooper took off at a run to make sure the order was carried out.

Ahead of him, the Madman cackled. “I see you are finally learning something that doesn’t involve a lab. I will teach you to revel in the slaughter of those who oppose you. Before you reach Knighthood, IF you reach Knighthood you will learn that being Sith means far more than making Sithspawn.” He cackled again. “Though…that is very enjoyable. “

Janos checked the blaster on his thigh and the extra power packs on his belt, more out of habit than actual need to make sure they were ready. The lightsaber on his left hip seemed heavy all of a sudden and he felt the pressure of the coming battle. In the Skyhook it had been a matter of survival. In this, he knew the Mad Alchemist would lead him into the thick of things and he would have to fight to survive. For the first time since he was a child, Janos felt fear.


Hangar Bay
Corvette M-CRV Primus Goluud
Agua’Tah Orbit

Macron nodded in approval. His Apprentice was coming along nicely. His will had become stronger, and commanded that the armor be brought rather than asking. The Alchemist could still feel Breaker’s resentment of his inferior position though. “Good,” muttered the madman to himself. “Good. Hunger for power will surely forge you into a deadly weapon.”

Janos turned from his kit check-out and said, “I’m sorry, did you say something Master?” The armor he had requested was brought by the Sergeant he had commandeered, who saluted and left. Janos began to don the gear.

“Nevermind.” Macron grinned. “Tell me Janos, how would you approach this situation?”

Janos grew weary of the querying approach Macron often used but the Acolyte replied honestly as he drew out and activated his datapad. “I’d bomb the kark out of the site.” He pointed to the holomap that hovered above his datapad. “These outlying sites look to be a power generator and barracks. If we can cause chaos and disrupt their support system we have a better chance. Survivors are easier to deal with than than prepared soldiers.”

Macron considered Janos’ words with a hand on his chin. “There is wisdom in what you say. We would have to be careful not to bomb the main building, but it could be done. Those who serve the Clan in such matters are experienced and talented. What say you about the innocents below?” His normal bloody-yellow eye and his weird reptilian one both narrowed as he waited for the response.

Janos considered his words carefully. “There are no innocents below. It is the main religious site on this planet. Those below are our enemies, and those who stand with them are guilty by association according to the teachings of the Sith.”

“Exactly,” chuckled Macron. “Yes, exactly, as my Sith Master would have said. Can you feel the anger on this vessel? Many here lost family and comrades to the Dominion when they attacked us unawares. Seeking restitution is only natural. We will give them the gift of red revenge.” The Adept handed Breaker a comlink. “Janos, Contact Captain Mechal and order the Z-95 fighters we carry to be armed with precision baradium bombs. Order that the site’s outlying buildings, barracks and generator be bombed. Their airpower is already broken from our initial assault. Z-95’s may be outdated, but in this case they can be lethal. You are Sith and one of the Clan’s Force-users. You have the right.”

The Adumarian nodded quietly as he took the comlink. The fact that quite a few beings were about to die based on his command was not lost on him. He could feel his soul slip a little farther into darkness as he keyed the comlink. “Captain Mechal, this is Acolyte Breaker.”

“Go ahead Acolyte,” came the terse reply.

“Scramble the Z-95’s and arm them with precision ordnance. Bomb these positions,” the Sith said as he touched the outlying sites on the holodisplay. “Avoid the main building.” He looked at Macron, who nodded. “We will be following behind in the Decimator with Verpine engineers to clear the site. That is all.”

“Yes, sir,” came the reply. In an odd way it almost sounded eager.

“Well done,” giggled Macron as the klaxons went off around them. “Mechal lost an uncle to the Dominion’s attack on our system. As you serve the Dark Side, so does he now in his own way….” The madman smirked. “So do we all.” He took the comlink from Janos as the two headed to the Decimator that sat in the Corvettes hangar bay some meters away. “Now we earn some goodwill and zeal.”

“Warhost and beings of the Orian System,” the Sith canted as he keyed the all-address code for the Corvette. “You may wonder why you are here. This site below you is the omphalos, the religious center of this world. It is defended by the worst of the fanatics who brought such pain to our system. The Dominion attacked us without warning. Many of your friends, family, and comrades died or were injured. Today we even the score.” The madman waited for his words to sink in. “Today, we show them that we are strong. Today, we break their backs. We are with you! For Sadow!”

The feeling of amplified anger was almost palpable across the ship as the words sank into the crew. Janos felt pride as he slipped into the cockpit seat of the Decimator. “We’ll need to name this bad boy, DC-2 is not exactly inspiring.”

“Indeed,” replied Macron as he watched the Z-95 fighters being loaded. “Soon we will test ourselves against a numerically superior force. We will need our wits as well as strength of arms to survive.” Ten heavily-armed Verpine engineers in Zal Alloy armor and carrying heavy shatterguns began to load onto the Decimator. “It is a worthy mission.”


Agua’Tah Orbit
VT-49 Decimator, DC-2

Janos sat in the cockpit of the assault transport as it lifted onto it’s repulsors and angled towards the maglock opening in the hanger bay. The words of his Master rang in his ears. Words of revenge and honor, blood and sacrifice. A smile came to his lips.
“Dominion’s End to control, requesting clearance for exit.” Janos couldn’t hide the smirk in his voice.

“You are cleared Dominion’s End. Give them hell.”
Janos gunned the throttle and the Decimator rocketed out of the hanger into open space. Steering the nose planetward he looked to his Master. “I have no idea if the name is in use by any other ship but if only for this mission, this ship will inspire the Dominion’s end.” Looking back towards to view port he flipped a few switches overhead, bringing up the shields and powering up the weapons.” You’re on the guns Master. All checks are good. Shields are up.” He keyed the comm for his passengers.
“The great pilots of the Brotherhood have begun to bomb the outlying structures near our target. I have no doubt that the LZ will still be very hot. We will clear a space with the ships ventral cannons but hold and let us lead the charge. Check your seals and lock and load.”
The big Juggernaut gave his apprentice an odd questioning look. “Lock and load? How very martial of you Acolyte.”
“I spent half my life on a pirate vessel. I took part in my fair share of raids. It’s a tradition and it makes the soldiers happy.” Janos shrugged. “We are coming into the landing zone. The smoking crater to our left used to be a barracks or a hospital. I couldn’t tell which when I tagged it for the strike. Either way, if there are any survivors they will be shaken and probably wounded. Aim the ventral cannons towards the smoking crater to the right. That used to be a fortified bunker and it doesn’t look like they hit it directly.”
“Oh gladly…Captain.” Macron said mockingly as he worked the weapons panel. The laser turret on the underside of the big craft opened up with repeated thuds that could be heard as well as felt reverberating through the hull. Crimson death darted out from the ship again and again, raining fire onto the Sith’s target. Macron cackled with glee for a moment as he got caught up in the display and the raw fire power at his fingertips.
Janos brought the bulky craft down to a rather sloppy landing and dropped the gangway. Heavily armored troopers streamed out and secured the ships perimeter, only to come under fire immediately from the blasted out bunker. Though nearly destroyed the bunker still played host to a very well covered E-web position that started lancing heavy laser bolts into the ships shields. They were protected while in the safety of the shield bubble, but the troopers were still pinned down and couldn’t get very far without certain death being dealt to them from the emplacement. Standing at the top of the gangway Janos stood with his helmet in his hands and a feral grin on his face.

“Master.” Janos fitted his helmet into place and ignited his lightsaber. “I’ll race you.”


Landing Zone
Ja’ak Zol Site

“Oh, no need for me to rush. I admire your enthusiasm,” chuckled Macron as he handed the Acolyte something in his free hand. “Toss this in the area when you get there, wait a few seconds, and then bust in. I’m going to circle around the back.” The Adept keyed his own helm comlink. The Verpine hustled behind him as they filed out of the Decimator. Macron nodded to the one in charge as they were old acquaintances. “Verpine Engineers, you will follow Commander Zzzclk’ik and assault the main gate.”

“A grenade?” asked Janos quizzically as he regarded the insectoids putting together a heavy-weapon belt-fed shattergun. “Now that’s interesting. Anyhow, handy to be sure, but something they will be expecting.” He adjusted his helmet and locked the connectors. One of the Verpine had stayed behind in the ship to act as a gunner and keep it secure. Janos keyed the internal comlink. “Gunner, commence firing blasters on the e-web emplacement. Cease fire when I approach within ten meters. Breaker Out.”
The Decimator began to hammer the e-web position with blaster fire. It was not penetrating their defenses but it certainly made them keep their heads down.

“Oh, not exactly a normal grenade. Chlorine Triflouride. Colorless, odorless, extremely corrosive, starts fires with everything. The vapors suck the moisture from your body, turn it to hydrofluoric and hydrochloric acid, and burn you again. It burns metal and rocks even. Should give them a really fun time and be quite distracting… heh heh. Your Theta group vac trooper armor will give some protection but be careful and quick.” The Juggernaut locked his own helm faceplate down as he spoke and his voice was then picked up by the vocoder.

“That’s a nasty trick,” grinned Janos underneath his helm. “I’ve read about this in the chemistry texts. Isn’t this stuff pretty dangerous and unstable?” The former pirate held the barrel-shaped grenade in his gloved hand as his saber pulsed in his other hand. He tossed the grenade up a foot and caught it. “If it ignites metals, I bet you get some nice spectral colors from the flames. Sodium orange, copper green and such.”

“Yep. Not safe, not at all. Don’t drop it. Heh heh.” Macron giggled as he pulled a speederbike out of the cargo compartment. “See you in Hell.” The madman hopped on, ignited the engine, and revved it high as Janos dashed forward. The madman zoomed out of sight as Janos readied himself to move in.

The e-web blaster operators had their hands full. The managed to eke out some shots here and there against the Decimator’s shield bubble as the ship’s weapons took a second to recharge. The Verpine operating them was masterful, keeping the recharge cycle to a minimum with evenly spaced out blasts. The e-web was useless against the ships’ shields without heavier firepower but it did keep the Verpine from venturing out until it was silenced.

Janos darted ahead, dodging in between clumps of rubble and shell craters from the bombing. His eyes focused as he watched for threats along his approach vector. He saw a few bodies with limbs blown akimbo, but no moving survivors. “They must have holed up in the bunker,” the Acolyte said to himself. He moved forward, steadied himself, and tossed the grenade with all his might. A touch of the Dark Side aided the toss with telekinesis and then Janos moved again towards the bunker. A soft ‘pop’ issued from inside and then screams and coughing followed. The Sith Journeyman counted. “One, Two, Three…” and then leaped over the low bunker wall and into the position with the aid of the Force.

Three Dominion defenders awaited him. Two were Trandoshan lower-caste grunts, and one was a Clawdite technician who had obviously been in charge of the equipment maintenance. The Clawdite was laying on the ground gasping as his flesh and the rock around him burst into acrid guttering green and orange flames. The Trandoshans fared better as they had on tough armor and had been further from the quickly-dispersing gas cloud.

One lizardman attempted to get the e-web blaster back in operation on it’s tripod as the other assaulted Janos directly. The Trandoshan came at him with a scream of rage and a vibro-axe. Janos deflected the first hard blow, and sparks shot from the axe as the scarlet lightsaber’s Form Zero overhand blow was deflected.

The Sith Acolyte was good with a saber- quite good, in fact for a Journeyman. He turned and side-stepped the return blow. He quickly drew his Model 44 blaster with his off hand as his right hand kept the bloodshine lightsaber at ready. Another blow from the Trandoshan missed as the Adumarian quickly backpedaled. Breaker then hammered the Trandoshan in the guts with a three-shot burst from the Merr-Sonn blaster at point blank range. chut chut chut At such close ranges precision aiming was a moot point. The Trandoshan dropped like a sack of rotten Corellian potatoes.

Just then, the approaching scream of a speederbike could be heard growing in volume. A red and black armored form vaulted over the bunker wall and landed on top of the remaining Trandoshan, completely splitting it’s head in two with an orange lightsaber and a shout of triumph. As the body fell the madman drew a Tenloss disintegrator pistol and finished off the gasping Clawdite almost as an afterthought with a blast to it’s now-melty face. Macron dropped the pistol. “I can use one of these, just not all that well. Anyway. Let’s move on shall we?”

“Yes Master. And your plan is?” Janos Breaker scowled as he checked the scene and his Merr-Sonn. “That main door is mag-shielded. The Verpine will be working on that for some time.”

“Indeed. All Sith emplacements such as this site have a back-door, both for ingress and escape. We just have to find it, my Apprentice. It will only open for those who can speak the language and have the right… demeanor,” the Alchemist said with a fierce look. “There may be treasures if we can find them. Inside I am sure we will find Force-users, possibly Grey Jedi with lightsabers. Are you ready to kill them?”

“I am,” nodded the Acolyte greedily with his own serious demeanor. “I can hardly wait.”


Landing Zone
Ja’ak Zol Site

Armored covered arms streched into the air with a yawn vibrating through a helmet’s vocoder. He stood and his large crimson cloak flowed down his back and partly over a shoulder of his white mandalorian armor. The Grey Jedi walked down the ramp of the shuttle and out into the open air. Troopers were scattered about and corpses lay scattered around burning. He approached the two Sith and spoke sarcastically “Thanks for waking me Macron, I appreciate it.”

“Watch your mouth trooper! I’ll have you for insubordination!” The Acolyte retorted with authority. Under the helmet the Mandalorian’s eyes widened with surprise. “Remove your helmet and identify yourself for punishment!” Macron began giggling loudly. The Mandalorian replied calmly “My armor may be white, but I am no trooper. I am…”

“I SAID NOW!” The young Sith demanded as he leveled his lightsaber at Roxas.

The old Roxas would have slaughtered the Acolyte and bought Macron a round of booze to commemorate the lesson learned, but he wasn’t like that anymore. He removed his helmet and looked the young Sith in the eyes, silently.

“You’re a… a…”

“I’m a Sith Spawn. Congrats, you are the first person to scream at the Horseman of War and not get slaughtered.”

Janos looked to Macron with confusion showing in his face. Macron still giggling replied “I’ll keep it short; this is Roxas Buurenaar, Horseman of War, and my greatest success in the way of Sith Spawn research. He’s been away for a long time, but he’s back and you really should try to not anger him.”

Roxas lifted his right hand and said “Hi, nice to meet you. I’m here to join your treasure hunt.”

Janos raised an eyebrow and inquired “Can you open the door?”

“It’s a Sith door, it takes two. A master and apprentice. All I could do is blow it up or cut it open with my lightsaber which would destroy everything, so …No… I can’t”


Ja’ak Zol Site
Bombed out Surroundings
Janos stared at the door and his mind raced. It was one thing to be told he was a walking talking Sith Spawn, but to have the answer to the riddle that had been plaguing him for most of his adult life literally walk up and threaten his life was quite another. He was vaguely aware of saying something incredibly unintelligent about the door and getting an angry response. It hardly registered as his mind flew through bio-algorithms and mutational rates. He could see it now! The only variable was sentience. Was it genetic or a fluke?! He had to know!

“When this is over I’m going to need a sample of your blood. “ He immediately regretted his words.

“Ok…now I’m going have to kill you!” The Horseman reached for his saber.
“Now now!” Macron spoke with authority that broached no dispute. “ You can kill him after we are done here if you still feel the need. You said it yourself; the door can only be opened by a Master and an Apprentice. If you kill him it makes opening this facility so much harder and I would take it rather…badly if I were denied what I think is inside this place.”
Roxas slowly moved his hand away with a look that spoke of ill tidings in the future to the Acolyte. Replacing his helmet with a pneumatic hiss as the pressure seals locked in place, the Horseman forced his attention back to the door.
“You owe me for this Macron.” Even through the com of the helmet the anger in his voice was palpable.

“I gave you life, I owe you nothing.” Cackled the armored Sith. “Now come along children, play time is over.”
Macron walked the perimeter with his partners in tow, skirting the smoking blast craters and burned out husks of buildings and machines. The pilots of the Brotherhood showed their skills and precision on this run without a doubt. No resistance of any kind met them until Macron suddenly stopped and softly laughed to himself. Roxas picked up the reason a moment before Janos did.

“Jedi? No, wait.” He paused as the optics in his helmet gave him a zoomed in view of the trio of robed figures. “ Lightsabers, but I taste the Dark around them just not very strongly. Either they are very poor imitations of Sith or they are Grey Jedi. “

Wordlessly, Janos leapt towards the waiting jedi, igniting his lightsaber as he went. He landed a few feet from one of the robed figures and red blade met blue in flash. They danced back and forth for a moment, fencing the other’s blows before blue lightning shot from the Acolytes hand and caught his opponent full in the chest. The figure staggered a moment before a crimson slash cut him cleanly in two. Enraged the other two finally got close enough to engage the Sith, one attacking high and the other attacking low. All Janos could do was defending himself, and even then it was only a matter of time before they brought him down.
Still sitting in cover, the juggernaut and the Horseman watched the Adumarian barely holding his own. Macron stood with his hand up in a halting gesture as if silently keeping the Horseman back. An insane grin split his face as Roxas waited, bemused.
“Let the upstart little Sithling die. What do I care?” The sithspawn shrugged and settled in.


Ja’ak Zol Site
Bombed out Surroundings

The battle had gone on for a good fifteen minutes before Roxas turned his head toward Macron and inquired, “Pestilence, wouldn’t it be more productive to kill these idiots quickly, so we can move on? I’m sure you’d like to play with whatever toys we find inside.”

“hmm…” The Alchemist thought for a moment before saying, " That’s true, and I haven’t even tested to see if Janos can handle the transformation into a Sith Spawn. Fine help him if you wish, Locke had mentioned you are Grey now…" He slightly quivered as he said grey.

Roxas drew his pistol and shot one of the enemy Jedi in the face, who had been distracted with Janos and casually strolled over saying, “I think two horsemen in one place may be overkill, but maybe we will get the job done faster.”

Macron twisted his wrist and he telekinetically snapped the neck of one of the enemies. “There, can you at least kill one? You have to pull your weight.”

Roxas chuckled, “Are you this rough with all of them?”

“Yup” Macron said proudly before asking, “How do you train yours?”

Roxas crossed his arms as he replied "None of them can keep up, so I don’t take on apprentices."
Macron nodded in agreement as he spoke “They’d probably die, not as a testament to you. It would be of their own weakness.”

Roxas was surprised because Janos was actually decently skilled with a lightsaber, concidering he had no actual training in any form other than Banlanth. The Acolyte returned to the others asking as he approached, “Anyone else think this is too easy?”

The Mandalorian nodded as he replied, " All the fun ones will be inside."


Back Wall
Bombed out Surroundings
Ja’ak Zol Site

“That’s true Roxas,” commented Macron dryly as he regarded the corpses and then his apprentice. “You survived. Good,” he giggled as the Acolyte panted and regained his breath. “I would suggest that you harvest any lightsabers that are fallen for parts, my apprentice. You will need to build your own blade soon.” The Alchemist looked at Janos pointedly again after prodding one of the corpses’ blades with his foot. “These look to be pretty crude in their design. I doubt they will be of much use, but even so dissecting them will be a useful learning experience.”

“Do you always leave your students to air out in the wind during combat?” asked Janos with a low growl as he picked up the fallen weapons and put them in his robes. “Or just me?”

“Actually, yes.” Macron smiled politely. “I knew you could handle your own for a bit. What does not kill you, makes you a better Sith.”

Roxas spoke up. “My com is picking up some traffic. A few resistance fighters have engaged the Verpine at the main door. They are holding for now, and Captain Mechal has ordered a squadron of Warhost heavy troopers down to our location to reinforce them.” He dropped his hand from his Mandalorian helm. “You should have seen what happened to Aisha Qifaxa, Janos.”

At the mention of his failed Zeltron apprentice Macron scowled and walked to the nearby wall and began examining it. “She was of no use to the Clan, or me any longer.”

“What happened, may I ask?” queried the Sith Acolyte as both he and the Mandalorian checked their weaponry again. Janos may have been a former pirate, but with his weapons he was quite methodical like a scientist. His blasters still had mostly full charges.

“She turned traitor after she became a full-blown Sith Warrior. Betrayed the Clan to the Organisation bastards. Macron beat her down by hand, broke every bone in her body, and spaced her out the airlock down into Amphor’s crushing atmosphere.” Roxas chuckled through his helm vocoder. “Bet she burned bright as she reentered the atmosphere. Best be careful, my friend.”

Janos nodded quietly as Macron walked away along the wall. “I’m not surprised. Sith respect loyalty, and punish betrayal. Unless it’s their own doing,” he said with a smile. “Then it’s condoned.”

“Could be,” replied the Savant. “Not all Sith that I’ve met in this Clan are exactly like that though, and neither are all Jedi as noble as they appear. Just be aware of what you’re doing and you’ll do fine. I came to him to be… modified, and it did not go exactly as planned. Word of advice: Don’t let him do it to you.” The Mandalorian Grey Jedi shifted gears mentally and spoke up. “Any luck Pestilence?”

“I have found something,” replied the madman. “If you two are done with your little chat. These eroded runes here are old Sith script. It says, Tyuk Qo. Little path.” The Alchemist gestured to the wall segment. “Janos, give me a hand. All that training with your telekinetic abilities is going to come in handy.”

As Janos and Roxas joined him, the Adept spoke in old Sith. “Tyuk Qo. Chatz-anjat. Hyal. Ja’ak Zol.” A few lines of evilly hooked Sith script glowed faintly red on the wall. “Now, let us lift this block!” The Adept and the Acolyte heaved with the Force, the Dark Side flowing into them as the Savant watched. There was a groan of old stones as an opening yawned like a hungry mouth in the wall.

“It won’t take them long to hear and feel that,” commented Janos as he drew his blaster and peered into the opening greedily. “We’ll have to search quickly.” The thought of finding old Sith lore and secrets excited him almost as much as his pursuit of solving the Leviathan genetic code.

“Good,” said Roxas with a grim finality in his voice. “I’ve been itching for a serious fight all day.”
Macron remained silent as he ran his fingertips over the entryway. “From Vitatae’s time, for certain. Too modern for old Sith structures like we have on Sepros.”


Hidden entrance
Ja’ak Zol Site

He felt weighted down by the three extra sabers he held in the pockets of his robes. It wasn’t the actual mass of the objects, but the significance of their origin. A lightsaber was a force-users life in a very real way. Though crude, these sabers were built and changed for the first time with the Force wielded by those who held them. In a very real sense these saber thrummed with their life essence. Janos felt himself becoming addicted to this feeling.

Probing the darkness of the instillation with his blaster in front of him, he switched his helmet optics to night vision and the dim passage came into sharp relief. Typical of the era décor lined the walls. Engravings in the hooked and barbed Sith style stood next to now partially broken busts of some long forgotten person. Coming to the first of many doors Janos reaching for the Force and swiftly pushed the door aside.
“Master! Look at this!” Janos couldn’t contain himself. “It’s a lab and mostly undisturbed.” The site had obviously not been penetrated by anything living in a very long time, if the amount of dust that covered everything was any indication.

“How can you tell?” Roxas stood in the door way and looked over the room, his own blaster at a low ready. “Looks like a bunch of junk on top of a bunch of tables. I bet the computer systems are degraded to the point of uselessness. You could fight a wookie in here and it wouldn’t look any worse.”
“What the Acolyte means, dear War, is that it looks undisturbed since the place was looted after the original occupants were booted out. However, I’m afraid you are correct.” The Adept tapped the key panel of the nearest holo terminal. “These places are usually sited over geo-thermal power sources. The fact that they aren’t even getting power means that getting anything out of them will require more time then we have.”
Janos holstered his blaster as he left the room and began to work his way down the hallway. Room after room it was more of the same. Each was looted or destroyed but untouched for centuries. His spirits began to flag as their search turned up nothing. Reaching out to through the Force he began to spread his awareness, looking for any resonance at all. A dark void, containing an all-consuming hunger and hate greeted him for a split second then vanished. Shocked, he snapped back to himself to see a Mandolorian helmet regarding him from mere inches.

“You ARE an idiot aren’t you? We are in an ancient Sith facility and you reach out through the Force like some punch drunk fool? Did the lack of any physical traps to this point not clue you in to the probability that Force traps were likely?” Roxas’s anger came off him in waves.
“Such hunger and rage,” Janos barely heard him. “I can’t even begin to fathom how dark a presence that was.”

“I don’t feel anything. Are you sure?” Macron reached out for a moment.

“Yes Master. A connection to the Dark Side so deep it was like a void. It was deeper than even Grand Master’s. I felt that and hunger and rage that was all consuming, then it was gone. “The shock at the brush was evident in his voice, as he drew his weapon again.
“Joy and wonder.” Roxas spat sarcastically as he primed his own blaster and palmed a grenade.
The sound of grinding stone and metal rang out in the otherwise tomb-like facility. It was coming from farther off into the dust than they had thus far gotten to. The trio of invaders stood shoulder to shoulder, weapons drawn as two massive forms came into view. One walked on its hind legs and the other on all fours. Easily 9 feet from nose to tail, the spines beasts had glowing red eyes, deep black fur, with wicked claws and teeth.
“TUK’ATA!” The mad man shouted and brought up his lightsaber.

With lightning speed Roxas dropped to one knee and opened fire on the taller of the two. Bolt after bolt was turned aside by the beast’s thick skin. As the tuk’ata charged the armor clad Horseman zeroed in his fire to the eyes of the creature. A howl from the larger of them signaled a direct hit, but too late to stop the charge. The massive animals leapt upon Macron and Janos bowling over all three defenders.

Macron quickly thrust the blade of his saber into the belly of the terror that had tackled him, which it seemed to hardly notice even as the tip of the blade ignited the hair on it’s back. The great beast batted the juggernaut viciously leaving four deep furrows in his helmet and breastplate. With one great heave Macron tore the blade of his saber through torso and skull of the tuk’ata, cutting the life from it. The corpse fell heavily to it’s side leaving his legs pinne under it’s bulk.
Janos was not fairing so well. His blaster had been fired twice before being batted aside and forgotten. His lighter armor had been rent quickly by the great claws and he held it off from a killing blow only through Force enhanced strength. Roxas fired two more shots at point blank to no affect before tossing the blaster aside in favor of his vibroknife. The tomb guardian shrugged it aside almost as easily.

“Roxas! You have a grenade. Hand it to me!” Janos thrust out his right hand to the Horseman who reacted with trained efficiency. Ina fluid and graceful motion he pulled the activation pin from the orb he had been holding and dropped it squarely into the Acolytes waiting hand which was deposited, fist clenched, deep into the beasts mouth.
Roxas leapt behind the bifurcated corpse of the other force beast just as the grenade detonated. An awful bang resounded down the empty corridors, no doubt alerting every defender left unaware. A moment passed and Macron shoved the dead guardian off of his legs and stood followed closely by Roxas.
Gore had been sprayed everywhere as the front half of the tuk’ata had been blown apart, Janos lay beneath it, unconscious from the shock of the explosion.

“Well Pestilence, if he lives through that, I may start to like him If only for his brass.” He bent down to pick up the prone form of the Acolyte who was already beginning to come around as his Force aided healing kicked in. “He’s lucky that tuk’ata was as dense as it was. It absorbed most of the force of the explosion. Granted, that’s still a grenade going off about a foot from him so it was still stupid.”
“He has a tendency to overdo it on missions. He once flash fried a Trandoshan with lightning as fairly new Apprentice. He really hates those lizards. The act put him out for several minutes just from trying to control it.” The mad man laughed for a moment. “Good thing he heals fast. It looks as though he lost the arm, however.”
Janos came to a wobbly but reliable consciousness. He stood with his legs wide to keep himself from falling over until his head stopped spinning, going so far as to doff his helmet just to make sure he wouldn’t vomit in it’s confines.

“Blast it all! Lost the arm again?! Those prosthetics are bloody expensive. Wow that was stupid.” The Adumarian came back to sentient thought with great regret.
“Good thing it was or we would in worse shape. Not only would we be beat to hell but we’d have to keep you from bleeding to death on top of it. Think you’ll live?” Roxas asked knowing from a martial standpoint that the weakest member of their group was a potential liability.

“Lost it originally not too long ago on Ryloth trying out for a Blackguard slot. It’s a funny story, which also involves grenades. I’ll be alright though. We need to find out where those things came from. One does not leave near immortal force hounds to guard something unless it’s worth guarding.”
“We need to move it then. I’m getting com traffic about a counter attack. We don’t have long unless we have reinforcements coming, which we don’t.” Roxas said with a chuckle.
Macron took the lead and Roxas the rear, keeping the injured Janos in the middle as they followed the giant tracks in the dust. A passageway had opened up in the eastern wall and a path lead down and down. When they finally reached the bottom a treasure trove awaited them.
In the lair of the beast sat a statue of some forgotten Sith Lord in a majestic pose of conquering some long forgotten civilization. Made of solid gold with encrusted gems the size of a human fist, it stood almost 2 meters high. In the middle of these gems an almost perfect Adegan crystal.


Hidden Chamber
Ja’ak Zol Site

“I wouldn’t worry about that arm too much. We’ll grow you a new and better one,” chuckled the Adept as he regarded the statue and crystal inquisitively. “Roxas, you recognize that ugly visage?”

The Mandalorian warrior nodded in agreement. “I do. Looks younger than the mural in the Temple of Sorrow though. Not as fat either. I’m not surprised the locals didn’t find this. They probably felt that darkness and left the area alone down here.”

Janos continued to stare at the objects hungrily. “I’m not following you guys. What do mean? Is the statue familiar?” The Adumarian appeared slightly confused. “I don’t recognize him from any of the Shadow Academy training holocasts.”

“Indeed. I’ll clue you in after a bit. You’ll want to retrieve that crystal Janos. You delivered the grenade that landed killing blow so it is yours by right.” Macron handed him a portable analyzer from his belt. “Use your decontamination spray first, standard contact poison I bet. Run a quickscan of trace elements and crystal structure. I’m going to get a DNA sample from that big bastard Tukata’s corpse. Roxas, will you cover us?”

“Absolutely,” replied the Savant. “I’ll be happy to. I would recommend you both work very quickly. The local inhabitants are sure to have felt that battle and I imagine they will be here to greet us soon. I personally don’t want to get bottled up down here.”

“Agreed,” commented the madman as he drew out a fat hyposyringe. “When you get the results port them to my heads up display Janos.” The Alchemist stalked to the corpse of the Tukata and began to work. “Nice teeth. Got to have a few of these for decoration. Hmm. This forearm bone might make a nice club,” he giggled as a lightsaber hacked off the limb. The flesh melted from the bone as a can of deliquescent was squirted in it. “Big bastard, much older and larger than the ones we have back home. They don’t grow them like they used to, that’s for sure.”

Janos deftly sprayed the statue and crystal down, waited the requisite ten seconds, and then gingerly lifted the sparkling red gem in his gloved hand. He set the glittering ruby-colored crystal into the small analyzer resting on the stone pedestal. The Acolyte closed the lid, connected his datapad to it, hit the cycle button, and watched the results began to roll in. “The scan is working. Trace fluorine, uranium, baradium… that’s odd. I’ve never seen trace baradium ions in a crystal like this before.”

Macron watched simultaneously as the readings scrolled across his heads up display. “The results are what I anticipated.” The madman beckoned them to the corridor. “Take some vid shots of that statue. We’ll be back for it later. Have a close look at that statue Janos. You are looking at an image of Lord Urias Orian himself. Very few images exist of the Sith Lord. Most were destroyed by the Ekind when they revolted. The ones that survive are in classified areas on Sepros and I doubt you would have the clearance to see them just yet. I have a good idea of why the Dominion attacked our system now. The crystal confirms it. There are very few locations that produce red adegans, my apprentice. Dantooine, Ruusan, and our system. The first two are highly unlikely. The trace elements and structure match the one crystal I have seen come from the Last Breath Mine on Sepros.”

“They thought Vitatae’s Sith came from our system,” said Breaker as he intuitively grasped the situation. “They must have traveled through the Orian System. We’ve got to let the Summit know.” He reached for his comlink and Roxas gestured in the negative.

“Belay that. This is highly classified information. We’ll need to let the Consul know in person. We can’t be sending that across the airwaves.” The three of them exited the hidden corridor and heard the sound of rapidly approaching footsteps. “Looks like we have company in any case and I bet they aren’t very friendly.”

All three grinned and brandished weapons. Unfriendly natives were exactly what they were looking for.


The three held their weapons tightly, but didn’t ignite them because the light would give them away too soon. Roxas stepped forward of the three and whispered, " Janos, linger back a bit, we don’t want to carry out a comrade."

Janos grunted as he took a couple steps back, and out of the corner of his eye he saw his master even himself in distance; so they formed a triangle.

The Elder spoke in a whispered giggly tone, " They can’t rush us like this, it’ll be like taking sweets from an unarmed overweight hutt."

The Sith Spawn Mandalorian took a few more steps forward and thumbed the ignition of his saber. It howled like a wild animal as it came alive before settling into a growl like hum with its crimson light illuminating the area around him. He was answered by a gaggle of bright violet blades that rushed him quickly. The advantage was his, as he was well versed in fighting multiple opponents. The way of the sarlaac shines bright in his movements as he spun to knock two of them back and one off guard. He continued his onslaught attacking into his opponents swings and cutting them down after creating openings.

Janos stood mouth agape in awe of the Horseman’s deceptively easy style of combat. A flash of red and purple and another for fell, but more where coming and two had decided to vault over Roxas and get behind him.

Macron ignited both his weapons with a snapping hissing song of death and leapt at the two, who had vaulted over the Mandalorian.

Two broad arcs with his blades brought one down with ease, but the other didn’t engage. The other had somehow seen Janos and was headed for the Acolyte with purpose.

The young Sith called upon the dark side to enhance his movement and aid him in evading as the violet violence closed in. As he kneeled and he twisted his boot and slid around his opponent and pushed his saber hilt against the man before igniting it and sending red plasma through his back. The fighting was kicking ancient dust into the air making a fog that grew heavy with the smell of burnt flesh and the light of weapons.

They had been exposed and the only way forward was to push through the purple haze ahead of them.


Hidden Chamber
Ja’ak Zol Site

The way ahead of them was blocked by a rather angry group of religious zealots backed by what Janos hoped was a small strike force of Dominion troops. The only part that worried him was the zealots. Thus far they had been a match for him, but not his companions, which was comforting until he realized that someone had to be leading them. No doubt a Grey Jedi like the others, but better trained. THAT thought gave him pause for a moment.

Roxas stood with his saber in his left hand and his odd looking pistol in his right, panting slightly from fighting off the last wave.
“What do you think? Do we go through the way we came in or do we try to find another way out? My guess is they are probably trying to avoid digging in out there just on the chance our fighters come back. We could probably make it so long as we don’t screw up.”

“Oh my War, who do you think you are speaking to? Slaughter on this scale is a hobby of mine. Or have you forgotten?” Macron cackled.

“Were it me in charge out there I would put my men in cover around the entrance, put a bruiser in the middle and them bomb the hell out of this passage.” Janos offered.

“This site is sacred to them my Apprentice. They wouldn’t risk it.”

“Are you willing to risk that Macron? They don’t seem to be all that against entering the site. Perhaps they might take the ‘Expel the invaders at all costs’ mentality, which could end up with us being very much a bloody paste.” The Sith Spawn had caught his breath and checked his weapons out a sort of nervous habit.

The choice was made for them as five troopers ran screaming into the passage, firing madly as they went. There was little danger to the trio but it caused them to dive for cover anyway. The troopers took positions on either side of the passage, ducking into open doors and hiding behind decorations.

“Surrender scum! You’ll never get out of here alive.”

They were answered by the mad cackle of the Alchemist, followed by the near blood drunk laugh of Roxas, and finally with the chuckle of the increasingly mad sorcerer. Macron stepped out with no weapon visible, still laughing. The soldiers opened fire with all the wrath that their E-11’s could unleash upon the juggernaut. With a snap hiss and a movement to fast for any to see unaided by the Force, he brought his saber up and batted aside or dodged the bolts as he quickly advanced. In less than a second he was among them like a gamorrean on a free lunch. The troopers never stood a chance. As the blood infused dust began to settle he finally stopped laughing. Turning to his compatriots he doused his saber and waved them forward.

“Apparently they teach comedy at the Dominion academy. That was the funniest thing I have ever heard.” Macron shrugged apparently very pleased with himself.

“I’m glad you find the deaths of good sentient beings so to your liking. I will have no trouble justifying killing you.” Four jedi walked down the passage. Each was masked in the image of a snarling Tu’kata and held a silver bladed lightsaber.

“Oh shut up!” Roxas lifted his blaster and fired. The lead Jedi brought his saber up to block the bolt, and even had a brief moment before his life ended to realize that the blade of his saber was wide enough to block only so many flechettes. He hit the ground and blood began to pool around his head as it drained out of the many new holes straight through his mask.

The three remaining jedi charged into battle, crying vengeance for their fallen brother. Macron took a hold of one and threw him telekinetically back up the passage but he rebounded easily and drew as a second saber as he ran back into the battle. Macron drew his second as well just as the first of the Jedi reached him. He was immediately put on the defensive as he battled two opponents of similar skill.
Roxas took the other Jedi with a yell of exultation. Between the two fighters the Force itself was whipped into a whirlwind. Each fought to the best of their ability and the very air around them shook with clash of wills. Roxas fought with his single blade and parried and cut, trying to find an opening to bring his blaster to bear and end the fight quickly. His foe, having seen what happened to the other jedi pressed close to the Mandolorian and seemed to favor broad sweeping strikes the threatened to throw Roxas off balance and never gave the chance to fire the blaster. Roxas blocked and struck masterfully but with his off hand, never seemed to create the opening he was looking for. Back and forth they danced, arcs of death created by their blades making colorful blurs as they moved.

Macron was in dire straits. It was three sabers against his two and while his opponents would have been no match for him in single combat, together they threatened to overcome the Alchemist. Parries and dodges kept the single blade user from landing any strikes even with Macron’s left hand but the duel wielder used his advantage to make repeated quick cuts that often were only avoided in the merest sense. However, in their intent to kill they forgot about the wounded Sorcerer sitting in cover in one of the labs.

Janos darted out and fired twice from his own blaster. Once hit the jedi with the single blade attacking his Master and the other glanced off the blade of the other. As the struck jedi keeled over, Macron took advantage of the distraction. With an expert spin, blades held high, both enemy Jedi were struck cleanly through. Macron favored his Apprentice with an appreciative nod then they went to Roxas’ aid.

Roxas had abandoned his blaster in favor of a two handed defensive posture with his saber. His opponent had the body build of a female and her speed was superior to even the Horseman of War. The posture of her stance showed that she was just toying with Roxas and could finish him at any time if she chose. She spotted the two other Sith coming to the aid of their companion and quickly disengaged, sprinting back up the passageway and outside. Roxas leaned against the wall and was visibly panting and struggling to stand as the exertion took it’s toll.

“Oh she is good.” He panted. “It’s been far too long since I have had a good dust up like that.” He stood and rolled his shoulders, savoring the combat to come. “The way is clear all the way the exit. Come on gents. Let’s go say hello.”


Egress Passageway
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.”


Roxas and Janos aproached the two as Macron had finished speaking. She sat on her knees thinking, as the two Sadowans grew closer. Roxas ignited her silver saber once they were close and held it close enough for her to feel the heat and growled, “Choose.”

The choice was almost made for her as if the Force was telling her what to do. She bowed her head slightly and replied “Teach me.”

And with that the silver blade was silenced once again as Macron spoke “Rise, and take your first steps as a Sadowan. Your first test will be aiding us in taking this Site from your former allies by joining in their slaughter.”

She stood and nodded before turning toward Roxas with an outstretched hand expecting him to return her weapon. He inspected it as if stalling for a moment, trying to make up his mind before passing it to her. She wouldn’t dare betray them knowing what would lie in store for her. He handed the weapon over and she clipped it to her hip.

She turned back to the Alchemist and inquired “Master, what do I call all of you.”

“I’m Macron…” He pointed to Roxas who abruptly spoke for himself “War.” and the Elder continued, “…and my apprentice Janos. And don’t call me Master, that has yet to be decided.”

“Master…” Janos began, but enemy troops rushed out form inside and the Mandalorian lit them up literally with a burst of fire from his flame projector. Some died quickly while others screamed as they either rolled on the ground or ran around trying to put out the flames. He stopped and turned to see Sya’s face and guage her reaction. It was obvious to all that he didn’t trust her, which was completely understandable. More came rushing out and they were met by Janos and Sya. Macron quickly walked forward and he noticed that his fellow Horseman was checking his ammunition again. Something must be wrong for him to keep doing it because in all the time they had worked together Roxas never had to constantly check and recheck his equipment, and then it dawned on him. The Mandalorian had yet to use the Force during this mission, that explained his constant ammo checks and his being short of breath; why wasn’t he using the Force?

Macron unleashed arcs of pure electricity from his hands at the doorway that they grey Jedi and troopers were running out from when Janos and Sya were clear enough to not be hit accidently. The Sithspawn switched his pistol back to blaster bolts and unleashed short well aimed barrages at any that were swift enough to evade the lightning.


Bombed Surroundings
Ja’ak Zol Site

Janos didn’t like this at all. This female, Sya, had moments before been holding off Roxas without breaking a sweat. Macron, moments later, fought her into a corner and made her agree to help them. Even for a group so used to betrayal as the Sith, this was asking for trouble. Even still, in combat he was not the equal of any of these people even if he had both arms. He hoped Macron knew what he was doing.
As more Dominion forces charged at them and died under the relentless onslaught or either Roxas’ blasters or the sabers of Sya or Macron, Janos turned his attention to something else. These troopers were obviously of little concern or they wouldn’t be dumb enough to charge four Sith. He looked to the southern horizon. He wasn’t sure why but something was pulling him that way. In his experience the Force was subtle and suggestive, but this tug was brash and insistent.
Roxas stood with his back to the remains of a duracrete pillar and leapt out onto the last of the troopers coming at them. A rapid succession of crimson fire burned into the poor beings armor as pin holes of death. As it fell at his feet he quickly dropped his spent power packs and slapped in fresh ones. Even through the helmet one could tell he had a look of disdain.
“Macron! How, in the name of the Force, did the Brotherhood have trouble beating these idiots?!”

“When the war started they still had leaders and a chain of command. We removed that rather effectively. These attacks are just the body, twitching as it dies.” The armored alchemist replied in a cool tone.

“You should have been on the Skyhook.” Janos muttered.

“You mention losses for my people as if they were mere footnotes in some cantina crawl.” Sya fumed and glared at them.

“For some it was. The Skyhook was my very first mission and everything was going well until your people started firing on the station. Your own station at that. You didn’t suffer losses. You suffered massacres of your own making.” Janos looked back to the south uncaring of the woman’s reaction. “Do you feel that? It’s a pull to the south. “He looked to Sya. “What do you have that way that would be connected to the Force?”

Her expression darkened even further and her eye shone like one who was hunted.
“The forge,” she paused. “and the Grandmaster.”


Bombed Surroundings
Ja’ak Zol Site

Macron nodded in approval as Janos spoke. The Alchemist was proud of his apprentice but tried hard not to show it. The way of the Sith was somewhat cruel- a sink or swim philosophy and weakness was not tolerated. Janos had shown none. As well, his devotion to the Clan’s mission was useful. The Alchemist spoke after Sya finished. “Grandmaster?” The word hung in the air as his senses extended. The Adept was no master of the Force by any means, but he could sense a rat when he smelled one. “I sense nothing of the sort. There is a powerful being yes, but nothing like the Grandmasters and Sith Lords I have met.”

“You’ve met Sith Lords?” The Iktotchi Dark Jedi looked incredulous. Janos looked annoyed at the delay, and Roxas merely chuckled under his helm.

“There are more than ten in the Brotherhood,” canted Roxas. “They are bad news. Maybe you’ll get to meet one sister,” the Mandalorian snickered rudely. “There are powerful Jedi as well, although many disapprove of them.”

“Well. I’d like to see how you handle him.” Sya looked non-plussed. She still held her unlit lightsaber hilts in her hands. “I can’t. I have tried in sparring and failed miserably.”

“I’m getting reports that the Verpine and the reinforcements have largely secured the former Temple. It appears some of the defenders fled south right before we landed.” Roxas adjusted the pop-up antenna on his helm, a feature of many Mandalorian armors. “Yeah.”

“I see,” mused the madman quietly. “Roxas, that helm has better com capabilities than mine. Can you connect me to the Absolution via the Primus Goluud with an encryption channel?”

“Sure thing Pestilence.” Roxas made a few adjustments on his vambrace control panel. “Patch in here. The thing about Mandalorian gear is that to the uninformed it appears crude or rough. But, it holds up in battle conditions. And the armor and weapons kick tailpipe.”

Janos eyed Sya with distrust. “What about her, gentlemen?” Janos shrugged his arm to ward off cramps. “She’s not to be trusted.” He could gently feel the insects around them. Biters, fliers, , stingers, crawlers…. Janos withdrew into himself and focused within. The control of beasts and vermin was a discipline that the Sith Acolyte was interested in. The Shadow Academy had outlined it but the experience had only recently begun as he landed on this planet. Come to me…

“I’m not stupid.” Sya looked at the Sorceror pointedly. ‘I have a pretty good idea of what will happen if I do something dumb. I might be able to kill you, and possibly the Mando,” the Iktotchi said nonchalantly. “But with him”-she jerked her thumb at the Adept who was fiddling with a datapad- “and the two of you around as a group, it’s a no-go. Besides I want to learn more than these beings here can show me. I want more. And with the current situation and my disfavor I see which way the wind is blowing. The Dominion fornicated with the wrong Dark Jedi.”

“You got that right sister,” chuckled Roxas. “Channel’s all clear and ready to transmit. Going to have interference from all the combat in the area, as well as the ship combat in the upper atmo though.”

“Yes.” Macron opened his faceplate and cleared his throat. “Absolution, this is Adept Macron. Do you read me?” The hiss of stray electrons from blasterfire bounced off the atmosphere and dirtied the signal. Seconds passed as the Dark Jedi looked south. A feeling of growing unease permeated the air.

“Copy that, Marshal Commander Sadow. We are receiving.” The dirty signal hissed and popped.

“Send this message down to Consul Sonjie. Priority Alpha, code black.” The Sith keyed in the heavily encrypted message on a top-level Black Guard frequency. Recovered new Iktotchi Dominion Clan recruit Dark Jedi- has information- have secured information on one possible reason Orian system was attacked- temple secure- moving to appropriate saber crystal forge for Clan. Alchemist Out.

‘Coded signal received. Absolution Out.”

“Very good.”

“I hate to bust up the party,” Roxas quipped. “But we are going to have company.” Roxas drew his pistol and ignited his blade. “Got three heat sigs coming this way.”

Macron ignited his orange blade by way of response and drew on a crushgaunt. Sya lit both her weapons, and Janos continued his reverie.

“I don’t sense anyth…” Janos opened his eyes from his insectile meditation and was cut off as Macron and Sya shouted simultaneously. “To arms!” “Defend yourselves!”

Three Iktotchi lightsaber wielders and one Iktotchi wielding a metal staff jumped into the ruined clearing using the Force. Many things happened all at once.

To begin with, the metal-pole wielding Iktochi male literally destroyed Roxas flechette launcher. The metal pole glowed faintly yellow and split the weapon like butter. The back end of the Force-enhanced pole spun around and split open the Mandalorian’s helm like a lightsaber, exposing his chin and face as he was knocked backwards. The old-looking Iktotchi’s hand flexed. Roxas’ lightsaber sputtered out as the power generator crystal was crushed with the Force. The Mandalorian had heretofore held back on what was left of his Force usage. Pravus’ purge of undesirables unnerved him, and as a Sith-spawn he was somewhere on that list. Survival came first however. Even so the glowing staff smacked his left hand and shattered the bones in his left pinky and ring finger before impacting his thick skull.

Janos was rushed by a white-saber wielding Iktotchi female. The Sorceror had recovered in time to draw and ignite his own red blade as a Banlanth bulwark but lightsaber combat was not his forte. The Iktotchi was limited in her own saber skills was seemed to be more familiar with her weapon that he was. As she worked her angles of attack many bugs and insects began to swarm and crawl around her. Janos held back, one armed, full of conviction, and fully Sith. The fall to the Dark Side was complete as he drew upon his hatred and anger to survive the attack.

A third Iktotchi male confronted Macron. He held a white lightsaber blade and looked deferentially to the staff-wielder. “You will not take this site!”

“I disagree,” replied the Sith as he looked about the site quickly with his Force senses seething. The Iktotchi facing Roxas was the key, the linchpin. Janos was overpowered slightly but holding his own, and this one… the Alchemist returned his attention as the Iktotchi struck with an overhand Shii-cho blow.

The Force flowed through the madman’s body. Fighting the Far Outsiders had emphasized the usefulness of pure physical speed and might. Prescience warned him of the attack. As his orange lightsaber rose to deflect the Iktotchi’s argent blade, Macron registered Roxas being slammed to his knees by a telekinetic attack behind him.

Janos held off his attacker and Macron could feel the creeping doom moving against the foe that wanted to kill his Apprentice. The budding Sith Sorcerer would live or die. He chose to live. Bugs began to swarm and crawl around him as he stepped back. The vermin began to crawl up his female opponent’s legs as she pressed her advantage.

Now was the time to take off the kid gloves. “You are overmatched,” screamed Macron as he threw every bit of electric agony he could at his foe. The hardened elbow caught the Iktotchi in the throat as his weapons smoked into the Alchemist’s left forearm. Macron screamed as he hardened his flesh against the blow. The white blade cut right through his armor and damaged his off-hand arm but the Juggernaut.s Force hardening kept the Sith’s hand on. The Iktotchi overextended himself. Macron flicked a switch on his primary lightsaber hilt and extended his blade almost another meter. The orange weapon skewered the Dominion defender right through his skull.

As the body dropped, the Force-staff wielder spoke. Roxas was unconscious. “You have come from beyond the stars to defile this place. I am the master of this place! Inkata Chasit!”

The Sith Adept held his tongue and assessed his resources. Roxas down, Janos fighting for his life, and this. This was no time for play or words. It was time for reality. Time to live or die. Time to see if he, his comrade, and his apprentice would survive. “ I have seen such a weapon before Inkata. Today you will meet your ancestors in the beyond.” Every bit of raw power the injured Juggernaut could muster into his frame came as hungry demons that beg for evil. The Dark Side was powerful but a difficult quartermaster. Everything came at a price. “Come to me….” The lover of power called to his vile mistress. If a soul could sink even deeper into the black it did this day. “Come to me, Dark Side. For the Clan. For Sadow!”


Roxas snorted back to consciousness. the pain screamed through him with a mangled hand and a broken jaw. He did what none there would expect and called on the lightside of the Force to heal his wounds. The master of the site had noticed and headed for the Mandalorian with the Force enhancing his speed. Roxas didn’t have the time to get to his feet, so he rolled backward before flames flew from the projectors on his wrists. The Iktotchi raised his hand and the flames were absorbed into him, but by this time the Sithspawn was able to work his way to a knee and that meant he’d be on his feet quickly.

“Bitch!” The Mandalorian shouted as he called upon the Force, “I really didn’t want to do this!”

Sya rushed to aid Janos, but wasn’t fast enough. Roxas moved faster than they could see, their best chance of dealing with him was through sensing him. It didn’t matter for Janos’s attacker because Roxas was on the woman before she could react. He slammed his fist into her stomach piercing her with the end of the projector before releasing flames through her. The hot death burst from her eyes, ears, and mouth and the swarm of insects screeched and tried to escape, but sizzled and popped as the corpse hit the ground. Janos charged Inkata when he noticed that Roxas was handling his target. Macron kept the pressure up with telekinetic attacks and Force lightning.

Inkata released a wave of telekinetic energy knocking them all back and fled while shouting a promise to return and kill them. Roxas stayed on the ground and grunted with frustration and exhaustion. Macron returned to his feet saying “Well, we’ve taken care of that for now. Let’s get going.”

Janos returned the Mandalorian’s helmet saying “Looks like it’ll need repairs.”

Roxas, who was still laying on his back, replied “It’ll be alright. I should switch to a new suit anyway, and put this one in storage. Openly being the Horseman of War won’t be too helpful soon.”


Bombed Surroundings
Ja’ak Zol Site

“True enough. This great Purge is disturbing,” commented Macron as he drew an injector and held it to his wrist. The Sith grimaced as the hypospray ripped into his wound. “Frack. That hurts.” The Adept held his wrist to his chest to protect it as he dropped the syringe. “Inkata is powerful. We are evenly matched, and I have to admit his skills with stealth confound me.” The Sith closed his eyes and felt for the enemy Elder’s presence. “I can sense his traces faintly, but I’ll be damned if I could say where he is.”

“The Grandmaster… er, Elder as you say did have an aptitude for that sort of work.” Sya helped the Mandalorian to his feet as he scowled at her. “I agree with the Sorceror. Your armor looks ruined.”

“Armor is down, pistol is fracked, saber non-operational,” counted Roxas. “Not good. And my face hurts.”

“I’m surprised to see someone you cannot beat Master.” Janos looked wistful as he plundered the fallen Iktotchi woman’s body. Ever the scientist, he was looking for information- and gear. “Hm. Maybe I can use some parts from this lightsaber. However, Roxas you can probably use this.” The Adumarian tossed the Dominion blade to the Savant who caught it with a nod.

“Aye.” He lit the silvery blade and swung it. “Bit off balance but it will do in a pinch til mine is fixed or I build a new one.”

Macron opened his helm and spoke quietly. “I would have probably killed you for saying that ten years ago Janos. I am not the same man that I was back then however. Such a display is useless and a waste of resources.” The Sith chuckled. “Anyone who thinks he or she cannot be beaten is inevitably doomed to be so by a cruel twist of fate.” He picked his comlink off his belt with his good hand and tapped the transmit button. “The trick is to survive, learn from your defeat, and become more powerful. One cannot grow if one is dead. In any case, our mission here is no failure.” The Adept smiled to himself. Janos had completed a critical step in his training as a Sith by allowing the Dark Side to overwhelm him in battle.

“Can’t help you this time bossman. My com is shot along with the helmet.” Roxas tied the helm down with a piece of netting taken from his belt. “Should be able to reach the Primus Goluud though, they are probably orbiting this side of the continent by now.”

The comlink channel opened. “This is Captain Mechel of the Primus Goluud. We are receiving although the channel is grainy, Marshal Commander Sadow. Go ahead.

“Our transport is damaged from heavy weapons fire. We will need an extraction team, and engineers to remove some items down here. We should be ready in one hour.”

Copy that. The Verpine report they have secured the main building with minimal losses. Primus Goluud Out.” The com channel switched shut.

“Let’s go examine that forge,” Janos said eagerly. “I’m curious to see their methodology.”The Sith Acolyte followed Sya as she led the way with the other two cautiously guarding the rear and flank.

“Don’t be expecting that much,” the Iktotchi Dark Jedi said. “I don’t think our technology is anything like the Brotherhood stuff I’ve seen you guys have.”


Corvette M-CRV
Primus Goluud
Agua’Tah Orbit

The three Brotherhood Dark Jedi and their guest stood in the communications room. Contact with Consul Sonjie down on the surface below had been established with the more powerful transceivers aboard the corvette. They also had medical droids on hand for an after-mission assessment.

And this Inkata is still loose down here?” The holoimage of the Consul looked irritated. “That’s unlike Clan Dark Jedi.”

“He’s powerful,’ shrugged Roxas. “Maybe with more force-users he can be taken down. We did our best and the site is secure, anyhow."

“Be that as it may,” interrupted Macron with a scowl. “We did recover some minor artifacts from a chamber within the structure. Nothing powerful, mind you. But we did find this.” The Sith sent an image along the line.

That statue. That’s Lord Orian.” Locke’s image flickered. “And that was inside?

“Indeed. Tell him your theory Janos.” Macron grinned as he pointed at the Acolyte. “Go ahead.”

Janos gulped and loosened his collar. “Consul Sonjie, I theorize that some of Vitatae’s Sith passed through this system and built this site. All the historical data and crystal I found check out. Furthermore, since the rest of the site was looted years ago I’m sure the Dominion has other images of Lord Orian and probably data from this research facility at least.”

That could help explain how they knew about us and where to strike,” the image said while holding it’s chin thoughtfully. “Very well. Good work. I will inform the rest of the Summit. Though I wish Inkata had been neutralized perhaps it’s for the best and we can capture him alive later.” The Consul’s image turned to their Iktotchi guest. “Bring her to Darkblade’s office.” smiled Sonjie quietly. “Consul Out.

Roxas, Janos and Macron all looked at each other knowingly. A trip to that office was bad news for anyone being questioned. The Anzati had a reputation. She was sure to talk profusely.

“Well, ahem. We’ll be rejoining the rest of the task force shortly and returning to Orian.” The Adept looked out the window at the blackness of space as his arm was tended by a medical bot that had been standing by. “I’m curious to see how everyone else fared. Hopefully better than we did.” The planet swung by slowly as the Corvette moved to rejoin it’s brethren. Time would tell if the Aqua’tah natives had been subdued. In the meantime it was time to heal, rest, and study the data they had gleaned from the Ja’ak Zol site.