Talis took a deep breathe as he centered himself.
Holding his Denton charge out in front of himself. The spherical orb with a glowing red ring on it floated down slowly before attaching on the lip of the door facing downward towards the door and the nothingness of the turbolift shaft.
The timer on it blinked slowly as it counted down. The five Jedi braced themselves and held tight to their cables. A loud repetitive beeping noise marred the silence of the shaft before holding a drawn out beat. Talis counted the seconds in his head.
‘One Odanite, Two Odanite, Three Odanite.’
The resulting blast shook the cables hard accompanied with the screeching of durasteel as the doors blew violently into the corridor.
“Now” Talis barked out the order and on command Korroth threw his followed Hyle and then Tyraal. Three resounding blasts echoed out one after the other. Talis gripped the cable with one hand and reached out with his other.
A volley of energy bolts sailed into the empty air and scored the back wall of the shaft. After about fifteen seconds the blaster fire stopped and you could hear the people in the hallway speaking.
“I’m black on ammo, reloading!” one voiced called out.
“10-4 everyone change magazines!” barked another voice.
“Now!” Talis yelled. The four jedi below him descended down and entered the gaping hole in the wall. Four lightsabers activated and could be heard whirling about.
Talis swung his legs around and spun himself. Timing his descent, the Miralukan landing on a bracing beam of durasteel directly across from the shaft. The hallway was open as his allies attacked their enemies. The knight crouched and called energy to his legs.
The black armor clad Jedi erupted through the door drawing his lightsaber as he flew past his allies. Swatting out he activated the lightsaber and detached one head from its soldiers before spinning and smacking to the individual in the back full force with a vicious stab and landed hard on the dead commander.
The soldiers panicked as they turned to meet him but Seraphol, Tyraal, and Korroth descended upon their broken lines like a wave. Talis turned to see another door behind him. On it was a screen with the image of a hand with a slot below it. Talis looked down to the commander and hanging around his neck was a key card.
The rest of the group mopped up the last remaining guard quickly and joined Talis by the door.
“How are we supposed to get through this?” Hyle exclaimed.
“We will have to find a way,” Seraphol replied curtly.
“I got an idea.” Everyone looked at the Miralukan who pointed down at the card hanging around the deceased commander’s neck.
“Unit two! Check in Unit two!” one of the soldiers communicators roared to life. Sounds of blaster fire and lightsabers echoed through with the voice.
“Sounds like we have company,” Tyraal said as he kneeled down to retrieve the card. With a violent yank the cord it was attached with snapped.
“Hyle would you kindly help Tyraal with the door?” Talis said through a deep breath. He could feel fatigue biting at his subconscious but he ushered it away with a few deep breathes. Hyle walked up and with a flick of his wrist the commander’s hand spun free on the floor. The Padawan reached down and retrieved the hand before stepping up to the door panel.
They placed the severed hand on the door and the card into the slot. It beeped and the locking mechanisms could be heard clanging as they opened. Talis felt the malice of what lay behind grow quickly as the door swung open. A fight could be heard inside the chamber.
On the opposite side of the room was another door where four red lightsabers twirled around knocking blaster fire away from their wielders. The four men were clad in Inquisitor armor and fighting off the onslaught of a dozen Technocratic guild Soldiers. Two Inquisitors lay at the far door where they had entered and fell into the Soldiers trap. Their door was shut tight behind them offering them no retreat from the skirmish and no cover.
“Let’s take this nice and quietly,” Korroth whispered.
“I agree,” Seraphol replied back in a hushed voice.
“Tyraal and Hyle can you guard the door so we have an exit just in case they turn their attention towards us?” Korroth turned to the two who replied with silent nods as they kept their gaze fixated on the far door.
“And find a place to hide as well.” The two odanites moved to either side of the door. Tyraal held his lightsaber hilt in one hand and the key card in the other. Hyle who was tucked into an access panel recess in the wall held his lightsaber hilt in his right hand and the severed hand of the commander in his other.
Talis followed by Korroth and Seraphol crouched down as they hurriedly stalked around the corner into the antechamber that held the artifacts.
Sitting upon a dais in the center of the open room was their target. A small stack of scrolls all neatly bound together. The three scrolls had the marks of Darth Plagueis the Wise emblazoned on the end of their ancient wooden rollers.
“Isn’t this nice of them?” Talis chuckled lightly to his comrades.
“This is too easy.” Seraphol glanced around nervously.
“Yeah, probably,” Talis replied, “but it’s worth a shot.”
“What’s the plan?” Korroth chimed in as the came to a stop in the shadows outside the only light source in the room. The light that beamed down was around something Talis had seen in his time at the Sentinel Network.
“First we disable that.” Talis pointed to the ray shield emitter above the dais.
“How do you plan on doing that?” Korroth asked.
“A lightsaber.” Talis stood and drew his spare lightsaber from his right boot in one motion. He activated the sapphire blue blade and flung it violently at the Ray shield emitter. It stuck into the emitter and showered sparks down on the tomes on the table.
“What’s next?” Seraphol asked in surprised confusion.
“We steal them of course!” Talis smiled.
Talis walked up to the stack of scrolls and shaked his fingers nervously as he reached out and touched them. He felt a slight intrusion but not a powerful one.
“I don’t think i’m the best person for the task of carrying these though.” Talis turned and smiled to Seraphol. “Would you be so kind?”
Seraphol answered the young Jedi’s smile with a glare before stepping forward and picking up the scrolls. Almost immediately a grimace crossed his face as he slouched hard to one side and propped himself up against the dais.
Korroth stepped up and pushed the scrolls back onto the dais out of Seraphol’s grasp. Talis heard another scream of pain and heard one of the Inquisitor’s lightsabers deactivate.
“We don’t have time for this!” Talis grimaced as his mind raced through some ideas.
Another lightsaber extinguished in the distance. Time was of the essence. If he had time he would wire all the remaining explosives they had been stocked up with but they didn’t have enough time left to set them up properly. Talis looked at the two Equites and smiled.
“Move back im going to destroy them with explosives.” Talis’ statement drew stares from both of the Odanites.
“Do we have enough to actually destroy them?” Korroth asked.
“Won’t know until we try.” Talis stepped up and tapped the scrolls to the middle of the dais with a few quick touches. Trying not to put himself into the same predicament as Seraphol did when he picked them up.
The two stared onwards for a few moments before Talis turned to them and motioned with his head towards the door. The two nodded and began making their way to the door. Talis laid out some wire to anchor the explosives to the table as well as the scrolls. He made sure not to touch the wire after it made contact with the scrolls.
The final lightsaber extinguished as he finished his extravagant set up. He turned to watch Seraphol and Korroth skitter around the corner out of sight as the remaining five Collective soldiers came walking back around with smiles on their faces as they bragged amongst each other.
“Did you see how that Force wielding loser died, he was all like.” The soldier grasped at his chest at an imaginary wound in his chest as he pretended to gasp for air. He was the first to notice the man in black armor standing in front of the dais holding a detonator in his hand.
Talis held the detonator up as the group went silent. They could see the extravagant explosives set up behind him but what they did not realize was the detonator was a dud. He hadn’t had enough time to set up the detonator so he needed to buy some time before the explosives went off. He began a mental countdown.
“So it looks like i caught you with your pants down.” Talis waved the detonator at the five soldiers who all flinched back. “I see you know what this is.”
The group nodded sheepishly. The Jedi smirked as he pushed the button and the group reflexively flinched. The all seemed to exhale when they opened their eyes and see that nothing had happened.
“You are a funny man!” One of the soldiers exclaimed.
“It would be funny mister if it wasn’t a deadman switch.” The group looked on in fear at the jedi. “You think i would wire this without having a backup plan?”
“Look here buddy.” the leader stepped forward with his hands up in the air. “We have orders to guard those creepy pieces of paper, If you want them, Take em.”
“Hey!” One of the other’s exclaimed. His protest was silenced by the lead soldiers up raised palm.
“We will just look the other way.” The leader turned to his men for approval. Their sheepish nods showed that they were lying. Their attempt to stall for time was easily apparent to the Jedi.
“Well i’m not here to steal them,” Talis said through a big grin, “the mission was never a two way trip mister, so I suggest you run along.”
Talis waved them back with the hand holding the deadman switch. With his open hand he began reaching out to the lightsaber lodged in the ray shield in the roof of the antechamber.
With searing slice the blade came free and snapped to his open right hand. Talis tossed the deadman switch at the leader before he could even react. Talis drew his lightsaber off the dais where he had placed it to wire up the explosives. He called out to the Force and surged as much power into his arms and legs as he could.
Stepping forward hard he ignited the amethyst blade and turning, he smashed the two beams of light into the scrolls as hard as he could. The arcing strike landed hard against the scrolls. With a scream the scrolls exploded. Talis felt the blast strike him in the chest. His visioned darkened as he felt himself flying through the air and come to a bouncing stop on the floor. He could vaguely hear a voice yelling at him.
“Talis, stay with us.” The Jedi felt himself smile as he embraced the warm grasp of unconsciousness.