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

[CNS] Operation: Firestorm Run-On


The initial assault on the Dominion world of Agua’tah has been a success. Our fleet has engaged theirs and driven them into the upper atmosphere, where they now hide among the clouds, protecting their damaged flagship. During the attack, our sensors noticed an escorted shuttle that attempted to leave and then returned to the skyhook. We believe high level Dominion dignitaries may be present on the skyhook.

It is not enough for us to take this world from the Dominion. This chance to strike at their heart and capture members of their leadership should not be squandered.

This is where you come in. Small teams of our elite members will board both the damaged enemy flagship and their skyhook. You will locate both the enemy fleet commander and whatever dignitary is trapped aboard the skyhook. Capture them and secure them, in the name of Naga Sadow.

For reference, you can find the Clan Naga Sadow Plot Fiction - 2016 thread here.

This is the runon competition for Operation: Firestorm.

While it will take place in a single thread, members will divide into teams to go after different targets. The event will have one overall winner, but cooperation will be necessary for victory.

The Fiction Grading Rubric will be used for judging, with Realism and Story both taking into account how a member’s writing interactions with that of other members. This includes such aspects as leading off other member’s posts, providing openings for other members to continue the story, and showing that your posts do not exist in a vacuum. A phenomenal writer who does their own thing is unlikely to place.

This competition will run for the entire event, from March 10th to March 31st.

We will create the runon thread and post initial prompts on the 10th.


Greetings members of Naga Sadow,

For this mission, you have your choice of two objectives:

1) Assault the enemy flagship: Using Warhost assault craft, board the damaged enemy flagship, Hammer of Cha’kota in Agua’tah’s atmosphere. Your primary target is to capture the Dominion fleet’s leader, believed to be a high ranking and powerful Iktotchi. Secondarily, Warhost Command would greatly value any additional captured intelligence and wishes to see the vessel further disabled. Even with it’s shields down, it still has many active weapon emplacements.

2) Assault the enemy skyhook. During our brief engagement in space, a Dominion shuttle departed this skyhook under escort, before returning to it when it became clear they would not be able to escape. We believe a high-ranking dignitary may be aboard this station. They must be captured. Additionally, any other information that can be gathered would be of great use to Command.

Both of these targets are likely to be strongly guarded. Expect to face the full range of Dominion forces. What we know about them can be found in this document.

We will assist with this mission as we see fit. Sanguinius will join in the assault on the skyhook, while I will support the attack on the Hammer.

Good Hunting,

Consul Locke Sonjie
Proconsul Sanguinius Tsucyra Entar

Communications Outpost
Agua’tah System
High Orbit

Dur’pa yawned and blinked at the view screen in front of him again. The Clawdite sighed. There was nothing. This was the most boring post imaginable in the Dominion. The elite of his Caste served as spies, infiltrators - even special forces. But Dur’pa? Dur’pa was a satellite technician. Here he was, on the edge of the Agua’tah system, watching for signs of invasion - as if anyone would attack them here!

Suddenly, a warning klaxon began pounding through the confined chambers of the outpost. Dur’pa’s eyes widened in surprise. He stared at his screen as a mechanical, emotionless voice vocally confirmed what he was seeing.

“Unidentified contacted detected…unidentified contact detected…unidentified contact detected…”

It kept going as the station’s sensors failed to register anything as something known or expected. Before he could make sense of it, there was a new alarm.

“What does that one mean, Dur?” one of the other techs asked, his voice strained.

Dur’pa looked at his screen, then back up.

“We’ve been boarded!”

As if to punctuate his remark, the main hatchway into their central hub exploded inward. Crimson alert beacons illuminated a large, hairy mass that filled the hatchway.

Dur’pa screamed as a roar filled his ears.

Khyron-class Star Destroyer Damnation
Agua’tah System

“Tarryyhn reports the comms station is neutralized,” Locke said, Simonetti standing nearby. “The enemy won’t be getting a distress signal out soon. You may begin your attack.”

“Agreed,” Admiral Simonetti answered, turning to the bridge crew.

As he began to shout orders, Locke walked to the back of the bridge and took a turbolift one level down. There, he entered an observation deck below the main bridge, walking to stand beside a large, comfortable looking chair that was pointed toward space outside.

Locke looked down the bow of the ship, out at the stars ahead, and the blue, ocean world of Agua’tah, barely broken here and there by islands, its’ skies pockmarked by voluminous white clouds that obscured much of the surface below.

“Are you ready?” Locke asked.

Malik Sadow was seated in the chair next to him. The Neti did not move. He merely closed his eyes. Locke felt a…stirring in the Force.

“Yes,” the Neti answered.

“Then please, begin.”

The Consul felt a twinge and heightened focus as Malik’s battle meditation began. That, combined with their lightning-fast surprise assault would ensure that the Dominion fleet was quickly defeated.

They had no chance.

Docking Bay
Khyron-class Star Destroyer Damnation
Agua’tah System

Everywhere he looked, Aul Celsus saw Warhost troops and other personnel rushing to a variety of shuttles. He carried his weapons and a medical satchel, having been instructed by his master to carry such equipment “just in case I actually get hurt.”

Darkblade himself was walking a few paces ahead of him, shouting orders and making sure the members of his House were ready for the more personal part of the assault on the Dominion. As soon as their fleet was retreating, the members of the Clan would launch their own attack.

The Quaestor’s voice abruptly quieted, and Aul knew the Anzati was talking to him. “We will crush the Dominion today,” he said, turning his head so Aul could see half of it. A wicked grin split that face. “And who knows? We might learn more about them, as well.”

That reminded Aul of one reason he was here, and he remembered.

They were on a balcony in Seng Karash, looking over the city. It was nighttime, and Sanguinius Entar stood beside him. The Proconsul was speaking. …“you and I both know that the Clan stands at a balance point between light and dark, between good and evil. If this is not carefully considered, we could go too far toward the darkness and slide into oblivion. It is a delicate act. Would you agree that we cannot abide unnecessary death?”

“Yes,” Aul answered. The destruction of life was a waste, much like losing knowledge forever. He told Sang as much.

The Proconsul laughed. "Indeed. In another age, the Krath might have appreciated your sentiment. This is why I need you. Listen very closely. Your master, Darkblade…is an unknown. I need you to watch him - just watch - and report back if he is causing any unnecessary death…

His flashback was ended by a new voice in the docking bay. This one was loud, over a speaker:

“The enemy fleet retreats into the skies of their world! Assault teams, prepare to disembark! Onward, for the Warhost and Sadow!”

Any further thought was lost in the cheering and heightened movement of those in the docking bay as they made final preparations for their attack.

Observation Deck
Khyron-class Star Destroyer Damnation
Agua’tah System

Locke could feel and see the Damnation’s turbolasers firing, massive sweeps of emerald energy arcing away from the ship below him . He watched as the heavy cruiser Retribution and the Victory star destroyer Covenant supported the larger flagship, a swarm of fighters from the Final Way covering them. The fleet’s interdictor followed the larger craft in, it’s gravity wells preventing the Dominion fleet from escaping. It was a gamble to take so much of the fleet away from their home system, but this was a gamble they had to take. There just weren’t enough other options.

As they suffered damage, the Dominion fleet slowly began retreating into Agua’tah’s upper atmosphere, closely protecting their flagship, ID’d as the Hammer of Cha’kota. Even at this distance, the Hammer was smoldering from damage. The Warhost’s tactical advisors had noted that the world’s large clouds would shroud the enemy craft and that bringing the fleet’s capital ships into that would likely trigger a trap. That was why the rest of this operation would need to be handled very delicately, and rely mostly on fighters and assault craft.

Upper Atmosphere

Rhaiz Corra deftly piloted his X-Wing around another towering pillar of clouds, staying near its edge, but outside of the cloud itself. There was something strange about the clouds of this world. They played with scanners and made it difficult to pick up the position of other craft. His squadron slowly rounded the massive cloud and leveled off, a large opening in the clouds beyond them.

He cursed quietly at the sight before him, then flipped on the fleet’s frequency.

“Command, this is Blue One. We’ve located the Hammer.”

Beyond them lay a star destroyer, billowing smoke from a gash in the neck of it’s command tower. Enemy fighters - mostly TIE models of varying quality - swarmed around it like gnats, and there were other, smaller corvettes nearby.

“We’re going to need a lot of back up. In the meantime, Blue Group, let’s clear a path for our assault craft.”

It was going to be a busy day.


Agua’tah System
High Orbit

The skies were a mass of ships fighting back and forth. Tasha, Sang, Macron and Tarryyhn were aboard a transport heading for the skyhook. Using her commlink, the blue Twi’lek issued an order. “Ghost Squadron, this is Tasha’Vel Versea, Quaestor of Marka Ragnos, I need you to fly with us and keep the ships off our back. We are going to punch into the skyhook.” A crackling voice came over the com. “Got you covered, lead the way Mam.” Tasha smiled as she turned to the pilot manning the transport. “Let’s do this! Get to that skyhook and punch us a hole. Hold on guys, this is going to be a rough ride.”

As the transport charged forward, Tasha could see the Ghost Squadron close beside, firing at anything heading for them. As they got closer, there were more ships coming for the transport. “Hang on!” She yelled as four ships began firing at the transport. One bolt struck the side, causing the ship to shake. “There is one gun on the side if you would like to help fire back.” The pilot stated as he concentrated. “I can do a few evasive tactics, but I need some help if we want to also do some damage.” The Wookiee got up from the seat, and went to the gun station. “I’ll keep them busy” The Aedile growled as he aimed for the nearest enemy ship and fired the blaster turret. “Yeah that’s right Tar, you give them the nine hells.” Macron looked at Tasha. “You understand him?”

Tasha grinned. “Yep, I studied and learned Shryiiwook shortly after becoming Quaestor. I figured it might help.”

The mad scientist smiled back at her. “Very smart idea, Tasha.”

Sang was still in the corner meditating a bit as they continued on their way. With Tar and the Ghost squadron shooting down ships, they soon were at the side of the skyhook. Pressing a few buttons, the pilot sent out several drilling droids to the side of the skyhook. Soon, they made a rather large hole and punched through. “ All right all let’s go people!” Tasha shouted. Tar practically ran past as he roared out a challenge. “Well I guess he’s definitely ready.” Macron grinned as Sang shook his head and sighed,”Wookiees.”

Tarryyhn leaped down and sent a wave of telekinetic force onto several Kaleesh that were getting into position, knocking them flat. He then walked calmly up to one of them, backhanded him around the side of the head and knocked him out cold.

The Quaestor of Marka Ragnos flexed her shoulders as she cleaved a nearby Kaleesh in half with her crimson blade. Swinging her blade into an arc, she tore through any enemies that dared to face her head on. “Well this certainly isn’t easy.” Tasha turned on the communicator on her wrist. “Tasha to the fleet, I am currently onboard the skyhook with Tarryyhn, Macron, and Sang. We will be making our way through a hallway towards the living quarters. There are a lot of Kaleesh soldiers heading my way and who knows what else. Chat to you, later.”


Observation Deck
Khyron-class Star Destroyer Damnation
Agua’tah System

A holoprojector displayed the positions of all Warhost forces and the approximate positions of the Dominion forces as they were reported back, the strange properties of the clouds made it difficult for the sensors of the Damnation to get a lock on them. To many it would look like a strange display of differently colored dots moving around a three dimensional space, to the Warhost tacticians surrounding it, it was their primary tool with which they performed their duty.

The Neti seated right behind them could be mistaken for simply observing the holoprojection as well, except his eyes were closed. Sitting in deep meditation he could see the battle unfold in his mind in much better detail than what he could have gained from technological means. Instead of one dot or triangular shape representing the Damnation, Malik saw the 19,000 individuals making up the crew just as clearly as he saw the many people on the different transports heading for either the enemy flagship or for the skyhook and the pilots in their fighters. Not only did he see the Warhost forces, he also saw the Dominion forces, reeling from the initial attack, preparing to repel boarders, rushing to, or already in, their fighters to provide cover.

The effects of his battle meditation not only allowed him to see the battle but also influence the minds of the people fighting it, raising the courage and improving coordination for the Warhost forces while at the same time making the Dominion forces less coordinated and more hesitant.

Upper Atmosphere

Rhaiz Corra was a seasoned pilot but even he had noticed how everyone in his squadron seemed to aim better and evade quicker, at the same time it appeared to him that the Dominion pilots were acting more sluggish, they were slower to react to the attacks of Blue Group and when they did so it seemed more chaotic.

Observation Deck
Khyron-class Star Destroyer Damnation
Agua’tah System

Malik sensed that the initial part of the battle had all but finished, the first transports had already reached the skyhook and the Hammer, from here on out his skills in battle meditation were no longer needed. The Adept rose from his chair and headed for the turbolift, making his way towards the hangar and one of the transports still headed towards the Hammer.


En route to ISD Hammer
Agua’tah System
34 ABY

Aexod piloted the shuttle with ease, grinning casually as he concentrated on finding the least contested areas around the ISD Hammer. Although the shields were down, the Hammer was still a formidable fortress, concentrating fire on ships looking to board the weakened flagship. “I hope you are all strapped in, this is gonna be a bumpy ride.” the Clawdite yelled back towards his passengers.

Locke, Aul Celsus and Bentre Stahoes all scurried to their seats, reaching towards their seat-belts and securing themselves. Darkblade grinned as he grabbed Aexod’s shoulder.

“You get us boarded on that ISD, Apprentice. I trust you wont get us blasted to smithereens.” the Anzat calmly stated as he sat down and strapped himself into the seat behind the pilot.

Green turbo-lasers fired at another shuttle that had gotten too close, scoring direct hits and overloading the shields. As the shuttle exploded in spectacular fashion, Aexod found his opening.

Steering towards the debris, he used it as a mask to inch ever closer to their target, before going full throttle and bursting from the debris that served as a brief distraction. The green laser-bolts streaked towards them as their gunners realized this was another ship, but by then it was too late. The Battleteam Leader maneuvered the ship into a side-wards roll, letting out an encouraging yell as he pulled the shuttle straight and dodged the incoming fire.

Aul Celsus let out a small yelp. Fairly new to combat, let alone space combat, the situation he currently found himself in did not feel well. Having no control over anything made him quite nervous. Darkblade looked back at his second Apprentice and gave an encouraging nod. He knew Aul would have preferred to stay behind and continue dabbling in his researches, but this situation required all able bodies. To protect the Clan and safeguard it’s future was in everyone’s best interest during this raid.

Locke stayed calm as ever, the Consul radiated confidence and seemed to be lost in thoughts, perhaps mentally preparing himself for the coming fight. The Anzat noticed that his Aedile was also quite calm, most likely envisioning the upcoming carnage he would be allowed to inflict on the enemies. Their quarral with each other a few weeks earlier seemed to be forgotten, as both members knew that this situation was not the ideal moment to plot against each other.

However, this did not mean that neither of them would try anything. Although with Locke in their midst it would be almost impossible to get away with anything other then an actual accident. As long as his Aedile stayed in line there was nothing Darkblade would have to worry about.

Besides, I have two of my Apprentices with me if he tries anything funny the Anzat thought to himself.

Turning his attention back to the viewport, he was surprised to see that Aexod had managed to get them into one of the docking ports. Letting out a heavy sigh, Darkblade announced to the crew that they should prepare themselves for the inevitable boarding of the ship.


Agua’tah System

The Wookies lightsaber moved in towards him and flicked to the side reflecting a blaster bolt aimed towards his torso. The bolt drifted almost lazily back through the air and struck a second dominion trooper in the arm, who in turn dropped his blaster and was skewered through the chest by Tasha. As she pulled her saber free the trooper simply crumbled and Tarryyhn looked on almost sadly and almost too long.

“Tarryyhn!” Tasha shouted and his gut instincts kicked in quick enough to sidestep the slashing blade. Hair particles drifted away from where the blade shaved some of his fur away and he looked up and straight into the face of his assailant. He growled and realising his predicament the trooper attempted to move back. As he moved he felt a blow of almost nothingness assist in his movement and felt his feet lift from the ground as he cascaded into another of his fellows.

Blaster fire intensified towards him and he found himself holding his ground and deflecting the bolts rather than moving on. He lashed out with his hand and used the Force to lift another assailant moving in from his left. As the trooper skidded away the blaster fire aimed towards him lessened and as he turned his attention back to the group he realised why. Macron had charged in and was carving the dominion soldiers up. As the men fell Tarryyhn took a moment to pity them as the Sith cut a swathe of destruction through them. There was grace in his work but it seemed so needless to the Wookie. He sighed and moved away from the carnage, his great strides taking him past Macron and up towards where Sanguinius was hunkered down behind machinery avoiding a mass of fire incoming choke point up ahead.

“The incoming fire is too great to simply walk into. We need something to draw their fire or cut it out completely.” The Jedi poked his head over the machinery and fired off a few quick shots before descending back into cover. Tarryyhn had already slung his bowcaster off and taken a few pot shots but the angle made it near impossible to get a decent bead.

“I’ll sort it.” He growled in Shyriiwook and Sang simply stared at him having no idea what the Wookie had just said to him. It took him only moments to realise when Tarryyhn up and vaulted the barrier and was off. For such a large being he moved almost effortlessly. His speed increased as she dashed diagonally across the room to gain a better vantage point. A stray bolt clipped the side of his leg and the smell of burning fur filled his nostrils as he dived into cover his body hitting the ground with a heavy thunk.

As he rose from his position he noted the fire had split off between his and the Proconsuls position. A voice crackled in his ear. “This isn’t really sorting it.” Before Tarryyhn could respond he spotted something that made him grin. Crates were stacked slightly off to the side of the troopers who were firing upon them. He had one shot and so he rose, his saber in his hand and pushed out. The Force gripped the crates and they flung towards the enemy troops. They scattered as the makeshift arsenal landed where they had been standing only moments before and before they had a chance to recover he and Sang were in amongst them. None of Tarryyhn’s blows were aimed to kill and men found themselves either knocked to the floor or their weapons disabled by the aggressive swings of the Wookie.

Before the two of them had time to recover a soft whirring noise was heard from up ahead and descending from their housings were two auto turrets. Neither of them had a chance to speak before the turrets began to fire and they dived into what little cover there was nearby.


Hull breach
Agua’tah System
Janos methodically clenched and unclenched his hand. A miscalculation in the early stages of lightsaber training had nearly cost him his hand. It was still stiff but he hadn’t lost any of his dexterity. He stood near the gangway of the landing craft and reached out towards the Skyhook. His Master was nearby and his expectations had been made clear. The others were of little concern so long as they survived, and he would see to that, but he would not fail.
How had his life come to this? It seemed just a short while ago he had been a boy on Adumar and ignorant of the Force. Here he was on Brotherhood boarding craft about to rush in combat in the name of his Clan.
He chuckled to himself….his clan. The followers of the great Naga Sadow, may he never be forgotten. How did this start?
“Blast!” Janos cursed as he watched his pet project literally rip itself apart. His method was flawless, but the organism just wouldn’t remain stable on a cellular level. The base genetic code was strong and stable but once the additional DNA was spliced in, the reaction was……vicious. It started to destabilize the bonds between the cells of the base material and seemingly consuming it. He had never seen anything like it before.
“I told you that even the Gammorrean wasn’t a strong enough base for the Leviathan strain. It took Syn years with the greatest of the Sith race to make even the larval form of the great Leviathan.” The holographic form of some long dead Sith Lord hovered above a blood red crystal pyramid.
“If there was even a shred of the genome left I would use that but, given that the holocron you emanate from is not equipped for critical thinking, you can’t even suggest an alternative. While I appreciate the understanding of the Force you have given me, unless you can help with this task, refrain from speaking.” Janos shot back in irritation.
“How dare you speak to me-“
“And who would that be great Lord?” Janos glared at the projection who could only fume ineffectually. “No one would be happier than I to find the rest of the device that lends you form, but until that day do not tell me how I will do or say anything. You are a hologram that has knowledge I need, nothing more. Serve your purpose.”
Looking back at the display the remnants of the cellular structure had fully broken down. Thus far they had unlocked the basics of the Leviathan strain that would induce a mutation in base DNA to produce a viable larva. But the base material DNA was proving to be difficult. Human, Wookie, Gammorrean, Bothan, Mon Calamari, Quarren, even Rodian. Nothing! It all ended the same way, as a microscopic pile of composite atoms.
A chip from his com panel alerted him to an incoming transmission. The Sith Lord vanished back to the crystalline prison from which he came just before the com panel lit up with the image of Zamorel Zars, Pirate Lord of the Screaming Mynocks and Janos’s financier. A now aging former Imperial captain, that through, Janos assumed, a series of lucky breaks and close calls managed to scrape together a pirate crew out of a beat up Victory-Class Star destroyer and all the crew he could convince or intimidate to stay with him. As usual he was dressed in a dingy Naval uniform, that now barely fit over his girth with his rank cylinders prominently displayed.
“Braker. How is our little project coming along?” His voice made the hair on Janos’ neck rise out of pure, barely hidden malice.
“Very well my Lord. The augmentation to you pilots should be ready for field testing in less than a week.” Janos thought to the project he was originally hired to finish. A mutagen that would enhance his pilots reflexes as far as possible with as few side effects as possible. It hadn’t taken long to create a viable strain, but he had told Zars that he was still trying to work it out for weeks now so he could work on his Leviathan project instead.
“Very good Braker. How did it do in lab trials? I assumed you would contact me at that point. Im a tad disappointed.”
“ Lab trials were oddly successful. I cut the reaction time of the subjects in half in high adrenaline situations and by a third in non-threatening scenarios. I didn’t contact you because the initial results proved so successful there was no need. “
The image on the display paused a moment and Janos could actually see the mental processes the Pirate Lord was going through to find out if he was being lied to or not. Apparently he decided everything checked out because after a few moments he simply shrugged.
“I expect to be kept in the loop for field trials Janos. See to it. In the meantime, it would seem you have a visitor. Please make your way to my cabin immediately. “
“At once my Lord.” Janos ended the transmission. The holocron Gatekeeper reappeared looking as uneasy as a projection could.
“Take the crystal with you. I sense you will need it. Reach out as I taught you, and you will see why.” The ghost retreated with a quickness that surprised Janos. He was almost eager. On the chance he was right, Janos let loose the leash that kept his own connection with the Force hidden and let his mind expand to encompass the entire ship. Immediately he regretted it. There was a presence on the ship, and as soon as his consciousness hit it an icy dagger stabbed out at him in warning. Janos pulled his awareness back into himself and found that he was shaking and full of fear. He had only met another Force user once before in passing, but this was like nothing he had ever experienced before.
He got his feelings under control after a moment and made his way from his lab to the turbolift that would take him to the bridge. His mind raced as he went over the brief but frightening contact. Male, for certain but the part of his sense that would normally tell him the species of his contact was hazy. It was mostly human but also a good deal something else. Not a half breed but something unnatural. Something dark. His heart rate ramped up in both fear and excitement.
Finally, reaching his destination he entered the pirate lord’s cabin. His first impression was that it was great deal cleaner than he would have expected on the occupant. His next impression was of the armor clad Sith that occupied the space near the Captain’s desk. This being was perfectly still but the pair of lightsabers at his waist seemed to twitch in anticipation. Janos remembered to breathe after a moment and also was faintly comforted by the blaster on his right thigh.
“You called for me my Lord?”
“Indeed I did.” Answered the new comer. The captain sat, blank faced and immobile. Sweat had begun to bead on his flabby head so he was still alive. Pity.
“How can I be of service to one such as yourself, Master?” Janos bowed his head and decided to show the utmost respect that Sith used in such social situations, like he had been taught.

“Good. You aren’t completely ignorant. I am Macron Sadow, Alchemist to the Dark Jedi Brotherhood. You are being asked to join. Your work with the Holocron of Antar IV has been monitored by me and found to be passable. “
“Master, I am but a novice, but I would relish the opportunity to learn. However, the project I am working on here demands my attention.”
“What project? No wait.” The dark clad figure held up his hand and Janos felt his mental defenses crumble. “Ah……I see. Interesting. Very well. I shall see to your progress personally. Come with me and we will begin. I will see that your Leviathan project sees fruition.” The figure swept out of the room with little delay and headed towards the hanger lift.
Janos considered only a moment. “Master, a moment if I may?” The figure hesitated before the turbolift and Janos took his opportunity.
The door closed behind him into the Captain’s cabin. Silence. The whine of a single blaster bolt rang out, muffled in the corridor. A moment later Janos emerged and stood beside his new Master. “Lead the way.”

Janos felt the craft land. Whatever the pilot had done to get them there was no small feat but it didn’t concern him. As the gangway dropped he took the hilt of his lightsaber into his left and and let the snap hiss and the dark orange glow lull him into the mind space he used for combat. Full of anger and hate and rage, he felt the storm in him begin to intensify. He stepped down into the breached station, his suit clamping shut to keep the atmosphere he made his way towards the sound of blaster fire.
It wasn’t long before he found his way into the corridors near the hanger. A wicked grin crossed his masked face as he saw his Master cut his way through Dominion Troopers. He paused as he saw the Wookie but quickly found his way through the debris and cover until he was only a few yards from where the group was fighting. He let his mind flick out towards Master Macron. Just a simple “I am here. I am ready.” He switched his saber to his right hand and waited for orders.


Agua’Tah System

“Ah, my new Apprentice sorcerer has joined us.” Macron gestured at Janos Breaker as the group huddled behind cover from the blazing autocannons. “Janos, meet Quaestor Tasha, Proconsul Sanguinius- a Jedi (Macron frowned) and Aedile Tarryyhn, our resident Wookiee warrior." The Sith Adept pointed at the cannons. "As you can see, we have a bit of a conundrum here. I ask you, Proselyte, how would you handle this?”

Janos looked thoughtful as the others regarded the scene before them. “I’d get you to take one out with lightning,” he chuckled dryly.

“I can’t do that alone.” Macron grinned and gestured at the others. “Autocannons are no joke. While I could surely fry one with lightning or crush it with telekinesis, the other would cut me to bits Elder or no. I could not maintain a force barrier and do that at the same time.”

Tasha spoke up. “He’s right. Teamwork is important in these sorts of situations- even for a Sith,” she smirked dryly. “What’s the plan, Proconsul?” She asked while looking deliberately at Sanguinius. Tarryyhn growled in Shriwook as Tasha nodded. “He says he’s pretty sure he can take one out with a saber if we can keep him from getting shot up while doing so.”

“I think our Adept here can take the other. How about this- my Soresu will be useful in this situation. I will keep our Alchemist comrade here from getting shot while he crushes one with telekinesis. Tasha, you move with Tarryyhn and cover him as he slashes the other one apart.” The Jedi turned to look at Janos. “Even a follower of the Sith way can help. Janos, you have to keep anyone from attacking our operation from the rear. Our work will be for naught if we are caught off guard. Can you handle that?”

The Jedi looked pointedly at Macron and the Sith nodded. “Janos, it may seem strange to have others who follow… different paths here among us. Even so we all serve this great Clan of which Sanguinius here is now second in command. I follow his lead.”

Janos nodded. “Yes, Master. I will protect our flank,” the robed Adumarian quipped as he ignited his lightsaber and drew a blaster with his other hand. He looked for ready cover and began to plan his options. The rest moved to attack as a team.


En route to ISD Hammer
Agua’tah System
34 ABY

Bentre couldn’t help but scoff a little at the circumstances he found himself in. If the situation were just a little bit different, Stahoes would have fought alongside his his wife if he felt he had been given the choice. In his mind his personal feelings did not factor into his decision. Sometimes you had to make a sacrifice to ensure peace amongst family. That is what he considered the Clan of Naga Sadow: family. Thus he had a duty to do here. If anything that Tasha’Vel had further cemented in the Corellian, there was a certain measure of honor that must be kept. Their respective ideas of honor differed more than he would admit aloud.

As the Shadow took a quick glance about the shuttle’s cabin, a thought dawned on upon him. The Anzat must truly have felt some measure of fear to surround himself with the two apprentices and the Consul. This thought made Bentre smile for a moment before he looked toward Locke himself. The man appeared to exude a measure of strength and confidence, but there was a tiredness behind the Son of Sadow’s eyes. Somehow the Sith found this unnerving.

Stahoes’ was pulled from his thoughts as the husky voice of Darkblade addressed the crew. He hadn’t been paying enough attention to the words, but a glance outside the viewport told him they had made it within spitting distance of the docking bay. The skilled hands of Aexod led the ship deeper into the ship’s depths, hovering an uncomfortably low height from the ground. Glancing at Aul, he could see the Hunter fidgeting in his seat as he stared at some spot beyond the side of the ship, out in space.

“Let’s make these people rue the day they struck against our Clan,” he spoke the words quietly as the Journeyman’s gaze met his. He gave the Dakhani Jedi a grim smile. Hopefully Qyreia is training them well over in Devil’s Shroud.

There were bare moments before the slaughter would begin. It brought an oddly child-like joy to the man. As he took a last glance at Sonjie, he saw a creepy calm had replaced the fatigue in his eyes. It was almost as though the oncoming battle brought out a whole other side that slept inside the Consul during the day to day business of the Summit.

The ship made contact with the hull plating below with a resonating clank, and Stahoes stood to his feet and made a beeline toward the exit ramp. As the ramp slammed down, Bentre launched forward like a coiled spring, catapulting out into the docking bay and hitting the ground running. An animalistic cry escaped his lips as he activated his lightsaber with a crackle.

As he neared the first of the bay’s occupants, the Equite brought his weapon sharply down upon the Kaleesh, cleaving through an arm and severing it from it’s owner’s body. Behind him the sound of the others descending the ramp could be heard. The igniting of lightsaber and the discharge of blasters followed suit. Not that it matters to me, Bentre thought. Turning to face another of the reptilian beings, the Sith smiled and shook the tip of his lightsaber at the creature teasingly.

“I can bet I can take down more than the rest of you!” Stahoes’ called over his shoulder to his compatriots, notable glee in his voice.

The hunt begins. The hunt is on.


Agua’Tah System
Janos stood and considered his moves. If he was attacked in force, his blaster would prove little deterrent to an armored foe and he despised close combat. Concentrating a moment he put a Force shield in place. It wouldn’t protect him from a direct hit, but would augment the little armor he already wore. Thinking for a moment, he flicked his thoughts to the group as a whole.
“My power may be insufficient to protect the Wookie but a Barrier technique may augment his saber skills enough to prevent us from having to smell so much burned hair. If any of you can project it, it may be the key to an easier victory.”
Turning his attention back to the task at hand, he looked at the debris in the corridor and came up with a plan. Quickly tapping the Force, he created a bottleneck. Still not ideal, but perhaps these Dominion troopers were in fact that stupid. Turning off his lightsaber he shot the glow panels in the ceiling, plunging the corridor into flickering darkness. As the sound of his Elder’s attack reached him, along with the bellow of a Wookie battle cry, so to, did the sound of armored troopers advancing along the corridor.
Janos avoided setting his helmet to night vision because the occasional flicker of the blasted glow panel would be blinding. He hoped that the troopers responded in the opposite fashion, giving him the advantage. Standing with his blaster at the ready it wasn’t long before a squad pounded it’s way up the corridor.
Janos wished he had trained more with his blaster as his first shot spat crimson light at the lead trooper, striking him in the right shoulder. They reacted instantly and found cover behind the debris, several shooting back towards the muzzle flash. Braker hunkered down and waited until the first barrage spent itself and the troopers took a moment to find out if they had hit anything. He stood and fired twice more as snap shots, the first going wide and the second striking the a trooper trying to retrieve his wounded comrade.
Janos waited out the answering fire, knowing that it wouldn’t be much longer before they tried to advance and press the advantage of numbers. It would be a close thing but he decided it was time to even those odds. Spiraling down into his contempt for them he gestured towards the debris and was rewarded by a heavy chunk of hull plating cutting short the surprised scream of two of the enemy troopers. A second gesture and a flat piece of floor spun through the air and lodged itself between the armor of another. His screams echoed through hall and brought a wicked smile to the his Sith adversary.
The five or so remaining realized what they were up against and their fear became palpable. Janos could feel his advantage growing with each passing second. But the time had come, the troopers rallied and advanced under a steady stream of coving fire. The flood of blaster bolts burned gouts into debris, wall and even one of the fallen troopers. Braker dropped behind his hiding spot letting the debris and the darkness take the fire for him. He silently counted to five then stood again just as the advancing platoon hit the bottle neck.
The theory of Force Lightning was known to him. He was almost positive he could do it but he had never had the chance to try it before. He bet a great deal on this chance now. Summoning up his contempt, hatred, and rage he felt the power of the Force coalesce into his palm, casting his hand towards the bottleneck purple light arched out and stuck the lead trooper, slashing and melting armor, flesh, and debris alike. When finally he could sustain it no longer it vanished as quickly as it appeared. The trooper had not even had the time to scream. Janos dropped to knees bodily, the strain of the technique surprising him.
The surviving four troopers came up and surrounded him, blasters pointed down at him.
"Don’t move scum! It’s time to make you pay for-"
A snap hiss and a blur of movement cut off his words, and his head. The others were momentarily stunned by the appearance of the lightsaber and the quick death of their companion. Gasping for breath he thought a simple message to his Master. Communicating elation and exhaustion as well as a sense of success he could hardly form words. The he made good on his report.
Just as the first trooper found the sense of self to pull the trigger, Braker was on the move. A nearly careless swipe of the blade brought low one, then the other. The final trooper fired his blaster twice before the apprentice cut him half, one was deflected by the Barrier. The other took the Sith in the upper thigh and brought him once more to his knees.
Quickly assessing his wound he determined that it was mostly a flesh wound. The barrier had absorbed most of the energy but was not enough to take the direct hit. Careless! Yet another reminder of why he hated melee. Holstering his blaster and silencing his light saber, he leaned against the wall and tended to his wound, letting his accelerated healing do it’s work aided by the Force and the first aid he applied to it.
“Still more satisfying than watching a wookie shred a droid…”
The thought occurred to him: In his previous attempts at finding suitable genetic material he had focused on non-force sensitive samples…that wookie…or even the Jedi…perhaps that was the key.


Onboard the Skyhook
Agua’tah System

Tasha smiled at Macron. “Telekinesis is my specialty, perhaps I should show Janos a little taste of what he can look forward to doing.” Concentrating hard, Tasha lifted a nearby crate and hurled it towards one of the droids, striking it down. As the turret overhead began to fire, Tasha moved quickly ahead as Tarryyhn followed close behind her. “Let’s do this Tar!” As the the droid struggled to get up, Tasha cut it down with her lightsaber while spinning the blade to keep the shots of the turret off of her Aedile. Lifting her blade, the Marauder began to dance around as the turret fired upon her. She could feel herself and the blade as one being, striking out the bolts to keep Tar and the party safe, while she directed a few back.

Tar let out a growl and leaped upwards,taking off the turret’s gun completely as he sliced through the machine. Meanwhile, the maniacal scientist grinned with sadistic glee as Sang cut down the second droid and kept the other turret busy by deflecting bolts with his lightsaber. Rushing upwards, Macron let out a scream of rage as he concentrated all of his power and directed it at the second turret. Once the turret was within grasp, the Adept crushed his hands together. Soon, the turret began to creak as the gun itself turned inward and became nothing more than a huge ball of metal, completely crushed. “That is how you use telekinesis, Tasha.”

“Show off.” She teased.

“You are very gifted, Macron and I appreciate the fact we have all worked together to-” Tasha stopped as her senses told her something was coming. She looked back to see Janos had taken care of quite a few Kaleesh soldiers, however several more had arrived. She could tell he had exerted himself by his heavy breathing and the smell of slightly burned Kaleesh flesh told her he used up his lightning. Racing back to where Janos was resting a moment, Tasha could see four Kaleesh coming to take down Macron’s apprentice. Leaping forward, she slammed her right hand into the ground, sending a ripple of telekinetic energy into the soldiers and knocked the four closest to the ground.

“I am not about to have you lay a hand on him.”

Placing both hands upon her lightsaber again, Tasha struck the first one across the neck, decapitating him, then sliced the second one across the midsection, cut upwards on the third and finished off the last Kaleesh by running her blade straight through its heart. Looking at Janos, her eyes glowed a bright emerald from her fight. “I am the Quaestor of Marka Ragnos and I protect my House and my Clan. You are part of my Clan, Janos. Remember that well.”


**The Eenzaam
**Close by the Skyhook
Agua’Tah System

Quo was straining against the restraints of the cockpit as he and his ship spun and twisted, dancing away from the incoming fire of the Ties that were trying to blow him into oblivion. The Eenzaam had a few surprises of her own though, not being the sluggish Oppressor that was of Imperial design, she was his ship, he knew her inside out. Rolling out of his split-s the chasing Tie Fighters piloted by the Dominion’s finest were struggling to turn as quickly as Quo could manage. With his fingers barely touching the controls his aerobatics were like a choreographed dance routine, bringing him around and below the lead of the four Dominion vessels. Avoiding the incoming shots of his wingmen Quo had brought his own ship up from behind and below, opening fire with his ventrally mounted canon at near point blank range.

The eruption from the vapourising vessel shook the Eenzaam as she passed through the cloud of gas that was once an enemy ship. Quo didn’t rest on his laurels, however, immediately seeking out the next of his targets. Almost before he turned to create a firing vector on the next ship he had selected green streaks of fire flashed across his viewport. Instinct took over, he flung the ship to the left, kicking the rudder pedals to the right, instigating a wide roll. Centralising the controls he watched above waiting for his would be killer to appear in his cockpit windows. Slowly a solar sail began making it’s way downwards, across the window as Quo forced his Tie Oppressor into position, knowing the the opposing pilot could not evade him now. His thumb depressed the button on the upper bout of his control yoke sending bursts of his own green towards the vessel, seemingly in slow motion. The twin lasers arrowed in towards the ship ahead, their parallel tracks marking the progress towards the engines of the fighter before him. With a burst they tracked across the solar sail, pock marking their way across the support arms on their relentless progress towards the engine port.

A bloom of hot gases marked the first strike from the beams of energy as they entered the engine. Quo could almost hear the ‘whoosh’ as the energy bolt ignited the hot escaping exhaust gasses, the explosion tearing down towards the heart of the engine. A blossom of crimson and yellow exploded in front of him tearing the small ship to pieces from the inside. The Tie Fighter was reduced to shards of glinting debris, parts of it thudding into the shields as Quo’s ship flew through the remnants.

Rolling to the right, the restraints digging into his flesh as his craft turned to find a new target. The two remaining fighters were closing in on the armoured carrier that his master was aboard, carrying her down toward the gigantic Skyhook hanging in orbit. Spinning on it’s axis the Eenzaam gave chase. Tasha’Vel had called for help, and help her he would. He soon closed the gap on the hunting pair of Tie Fighters, his fingers dancing over the targetting computer.

He was closing fast, but they were closing as fast on the carrier, this was going to be close. He rammed the throttles forward so that they were braced against the end stops of their travel rails, physically trying to force it further, to goad more power from the engines. Meter by meter he gained on the pair of Dominion marauders, his red and gold eyes focussed fully on his prey.

Three… two… one… there! His canon erupted at the same moment as his lasers, each bolt of energy heading for separate targets. He just hoped that he had done the calculations correctly. As one they disappeared in clouds of dust and fragments.

Keying the comm he rolled the Eenzaam toward the Skyhook. “You’re clear my Master, I’ve got you covered.” As he neared he pressed the canon and laser controls, the twin turbo laser defences exploding on the stub that the carrier was currently docking at. He had his own mission to fulfil but it didn’t do any harm to inflict some losses on the way down. At least Tasha’Vel’s team had a fighting chance of actually getting aboard the Skyhook now, all he had to do now was get down to the surface and carry out his own mission.


Hammer of Cha’kota
Agua’tah System


Pop, pop.

The sounds of micro-grenades exploding stood out to Locke’s ears among the other noises in the hangar. His mind was empty of emotion and worry. He did not feel for the enemies he killed. He did not mourn for his allies that died in the skies around the ship. There was no time nor room in his focus for that.

At the edge of his vision, Bentre’s lightsaber cleaved through the air, cutting through the Khaleesh defenders of the hangar. They attempted to mount a defense, but had probably expected conventional soldiers. Instead, they received a squad of Naga Sadow’s elite. It was a dangerous gambit to take so many of them on a single mission like this, but risk was necessary if they were to defeat the Dominion.

It wasn’t long before the alien defenders were dead, the hangar growing quiet. It felt unnervingly empty.

Darkblade did not waste time, however. He glanced at Locke, who nodded back. The Quaestor had command of this part of the assault, while Locke would assist. He could have assumed control himself, but he thought his Quaestor would value the glory of leading the attack. In Locke’s experience, those who followed the dark side relished such opportunities.

The Anzati stepped to the middle of the hangar and held a datapad out, manipulating it until a hologram sprung to life that showed the large hangar and the corridors around it. It zoomed out to show the entire ship. They had assumed that this craft had a layout similar to others of it’s class, but if the Dominion had developed their own interior design the group would have to find out as they went.

“We have two main targets,” Darkblade began. “The bridge and engineering. There may also be a local weapons control array, but if we get to engineering we should be able to shut down all power to that. We also need to make sure we can get back to this hangar, as additional teams will be arriving.”

Locke nodded, not looking at the Quaestor, but instead keeping his eyes - and his weapon - trained on the corridors around them. He could not see all of them at once, but he intended to be ready if reinforcements arrived.

“A squadron of our bombers should be arriving shortly. They will attempt to breach the hull closer to the bridge, allowing us a second avenue of attack.”

“But we don’t know if that will work,” Darkblade said. “Indeed,” Locke agreed.

Bentre broke in. “So we should advance from here.”

Locke answered before Darkblade could scorn his Aedile. “Yes, but we do have multiple targets. I do not intend to leave this ship for the Dominion to repair.”

Before the three of them could speak, Aul suddenly spoke up. “Do you feel that?” He turned toward one of the blast doors in the opposite direction Locke was looking.

Then it exploded toward them.

Laser fire lanced out of the resulting smoke, forcing the group to respond. Locke switched to the primary fire of his weapon and held down the drigger, sending his own retort, hoping it would make the new arrivals scatter.

Large forms soon appeared out of the dissipating smoke, their scaled appearance distinct and different from the Khaleesh.

Trandoshans, Locke thought, just as Aexod said the same aloud. The Major rolled a thermal detonator toward the middle of the group, immediately switching to one of his pistols and taking cover behind a landing strut on the assault transport.

The lizards reacted and spread out, but the detonator’s explosion eliminated at least one of them.

Locke saw no more as he ducked behind a large storage crate. He check his chrono before shouting to the others. “Alright, new teams are arriving soon. They can help us beat back these guys.”

Darkblade’s voice answered. The Quaestor had taken cover himself. “Let’s decide where everyone’s going then and finish with these guys. I want at least one alive! They could know things about this ship that we wouldn’t.”


Agua’tah System
Hanger to Corridor

Tarryyhn had stayed where he was after dissecting the turret, a rogue shot had pierced and gone through his chest and he had stayed where he was to concentrate on his healing. He coughed and speckled of blood flickered onto his black fur and he simply rubbed his hand across the back of his robes clearing them. He rose unsteadily, the wound closing and he adjusted his clothing so the entry point was not obvious before moving over to stand near the group. Something was wrong and he felt it inside. The healing wasn’t doing enough and he knew it would take some time for the wound to fully close, but he knew he couldn’t fall back. He growled under his breathe as a movement to his right and down caught his attention. A dominion guard attempted to push himself from the floor and Tar crouched delivering a jaw cracking knock out punch that put the man back down.

“Easier just to kill them.” Macron muttered loudly. “Not my way anymore.” Tarryhhn growled in response.

The Elder looked at him with a raised eyebrow and Janos simply shrugged.

“He says he doesn’t kill anymore, he’s sworn himself back to his path. The path of the Jedi Guardian so he refuses to kill if he can help it.” Tasha piped up. “He’s been a Jedi for some one hundred and eighty years now.” She added before laying a hand gently on the Wookies arm looking up at him with a quick smile.

Macron shrugged “Waste of time.” And walked away from the group, his apprentice trailing behind. Bodies littered the ground and some still moved about from where they had been neutralised by the Wookie. As Macron passed one of the groaning ones he simply stamped upon the man’s neck, a snap was heard and the body lay still among its fellows. “That’s how it’s done.” Macron continued on his way.

Tarryhhn growled, his hand going to his saber but he resisted the urge to activate it again and simply walked off in another direction. For whatever reason the hanger was theirs for the moment and they needed to capitalise on the momentum they had gained before they get bogged down.

“Keep your calm Tarryyhn, no use falling in anger for the likes of him.” Sanguinius muttered to the Wookie as he moved to join the group. “Tasha what’s our next move?”

“We need to take the command room.” Tasha said as she moved up besides her Aedile and the Proconsul. “Her face was directed at her datapad bringing up schematics of a similar structure. “If this is roughly right we need to head down that corridor then take a right at the first intersection.”

Before she had finished speaking Tarryyhn was off, his saber drawn. Something was wrong inside and he didn’t have time to wait. As he loped along the hangar floor, his footsteps carrying weight he heard smaller steps to his right and saw the armoured figure of Macron keeping up with him.

“Can’t let you have all the fun Jedi. Let’s go cause some carnage.” Together they moved into the corridor and found nothing. No troops, no positions set up. Everything was eerily quiet. Tarryyhn growled in discontentment. “No idea what you said big guy, but I am pretty it’s something to do with how quiet it is.”

As the Sith finished speaking Janos caught up and approached the closed door leading to the corridor they were supposed to take. He ran his hand down the console and the door opened before them. Blaster fire raked through the newly opened portal and the team managed to get into cover. The next thing they heard sent shivers down the Wookies spine.

“Looksss like the Scorekeeper brings us prizes this day. Kill them!”


Main Corridor Junction
Agua’tah System

The Trandoshans hissed in eager anticipation of their next kill. Trandoshans were notoriously tough, skilled, strong, and had a penchant for hunting and enslaving other races. “Yoou will be our sssslavesss!”
This was not lost on the Wookie Jedi. As the hulking Tarryyhn scented and spotted the reptilian adversaries he let out a howl. Jedi or no, Wookies had a notorious hatred of Trandoshans- and rightfully so, after so many had been hunted and enslaved by the evil lizards.

Macron had no love of them either. Trandoshans (and Gamorreans) were often used as muscle for the sordid underbelly of Coruscant. As a whelp living in the deep guts of the world-city he had learned to fear them. The lizards had enslaved one of his only friends; he and his sister had managed to cover themselves in industrial filth and hide from the dull-witted aliens. He hated slavers with every fiber of his entire hate-filled being. No one’s chains were broken when they were enslaved. The Sith Code and it’s interpretations were quite right in that regard.

Four of the lizard-warriors moved as a team. Each held a massive vibro-axe and wore heavy armor. The armor was scarred and so were their hideous reptilian faces. They chuckled and hissed as they moved in. Other hissing voices could be heard as others menaced the rest of the party. Only Janos was far away enough to avoid direct contact.

Macron had a limited grasp of telepathy, but it was enough to convey a crude, simple image- that of Janos shooting Trandoshans from cover. Though they had studied only a short time together the Sith master and student were very aware of each other’s penchants. Janos preferred to fight from range, and his master to brutalize opponents in melee combat. Janos hefted his Merr-Sonn model 44, found a fallen durasteel bulwark, and sought targets as he moderated his breath and concentrated.

Macron and Tarryyhn launched a characteristic frontal assault on the Trandoshans. The Jedi Mystic and the Sith Adept were a force to be reckoned with, but they found themselves surprised as their silver and orange blades failed to split the reptile’s axes. “Phrikite,” growled Macron as he recognized the smell given off by the burning metal.

Tarrhyn did not hear. The Wookie was fully immersed in combat. He howled in anger as he slashed at one of the Trandoshan warriors. He was every bit as strong as the reptile- if not stronger. The Djem So moves drew upon his passion, drawing him desperately close to the Dark Side. Even so the massive Wookie out-maneuvered the Trandoshan and split the warrior’s skull with a two-handed strike that struck the lizard dead. The Wookie coughed bloody sputum as he turned towards the next slave-taking Trandoshan.

Macron chuckled to himself as he felt the Wookie’s anger nearby. “Anger will be your fall,” he giggled as he faced his own adversaries. The two Trandoshans were not the brightest bulbs in the box, yet neither were they entirely stupid when it came to combat. They tried to encircle and flank their opponent. One came from each side with blows from their vibro-axes.

The Sith Adept concentrated and drew upon the Dark Side deeply. All the strength and speed he could muster packed into his frame in an instant. One axe blow was dodged, and the other parried as he felt it coming. Using the Force he could nearly match the Trandoshan’s raw physical strength- but unfortunately, the Dark Side was a harsh mistress and the stolen power would not last long. The Dark Side whispered of an opening to come…

Blaster bolts from a Merr-Sonn splashed against the bulkhead nearby and one struck the left-side Trandoshan in the arm, causing him to drop his guard on that side. This was the opening Macron needed. The Alchemist flipped a stud on his lightsaber hilt, causing the beam to elongate. It skewered the wounded Trandoshan through his left eyeball. The orange blade entered the reptile’s skull and boiled his brain as it punched a smoking hole through his skull.

The second Trandoshan took the opportunity to strike Macron with a heavy blow from his vibro-axe. The strike crunched into the Alchemist’s right side. A lesser man would have been cut in half. Between the armor he wore and his innate ability to instantly harden his body the Juggernaut was not slain but the blow was serious. The madman staggered back and howled with rage.

The Sith Adept screamed in abject frustration as wicked bolts of blue lightning lanced from his off-hand to caress both the Trandoshan he faced, as well as the one Tarryyhn was engaged with nearby. Tarryyhn took the opportunity to strike the convulsing Trandoshan down. Macron managed to burn the other Trandoshan to a charred, stinking, smoky carcass as he laughed maniacally and then collapsed against the bulkhead wall. A release of so much energy was foolish in the light of his injury but he was consumed with passion and the Dark Side. Consuming passion was a danger to those who walk the dark path.

Behind all of this Tasha and Sanguinius worked as an effective team. Three Trandoshan warriors came at them from a side corridor. The Mystic and the Proconsul worked in unison, each covering the other. Sanguinius returned a blaster bolt from one of their assailants and directed it to the leg of the one Tasha fought. Tasha anticipated the move as the Force whispered to her; she dropped and delivered a perfectly planted Force-enhanced spinning Echani-style foot sweep that knocked the wounded Trandoshan down. The reptile hit the ground and she folded her elbow and drove it point-first into the slaver’s neck, crushing it’s windpipe and rendering it unconscious.

Sanguinius took on the other two as the Force warned him of their attacks. The Sentinel worked his twin blades with precision. Incoming blows from phrikite vibro-blades were spun off this way and that. The Jedi tapped the deep reserve of the Living Force- he was calm and focused. Trandoshans were ugly customers, and these were no exception. He had heard their admission of slavery- and by default, their masters must encourage and condone such atrocities.

This was not to be tolerated. A Force barrier stopped one Trandoshan’s strike as Sanguinius turned his attention to the other in an instant. He instinctively dodged a two-handed beheading blow from the lizard’s vibrosword and retaliated with a blow of his own. His lightsaber struck both of the lizard’s hands off at the wrist. The Trandoshan screamed in agony and held it’s smoking stumps up to regard them in horror. Tasha had already moved in and engaged the other, and between the two of them they quickly forced a surrender. The alien huddled on the ground with several lightsabers pointed at it’s head.

“We have a conundrum here Quaestor,” commented the Proconsul as he watched a wounded Macron stand up some meters away and jab himself with a hyposyringe. “Our captive has valuable information. Those two,” he gestured at the Wookie and the Sith, “Will surely want to execute this one.” He turned his eyes to Janos who had hunkered down and was exchanging ranged fire with more approaching Kaleesh soldiers. “And he’s a Sith- I imagine he will be just as dark as his master. Macron is useful and he may be redeemed yet but he is a bad influence on this student.”


Agua’tah System

Jade kicked the skull of one of the guards out her way, watching it flop and roll as she walked past the littered body parts. “Looks like I missed the fun.” A cat like hiss escaped her lips as she followed the carnage. It was obvious where her fellow Clansmen had gone, though their version of bread crumbs was something to be desired. The stale stench of blood filled the hanger, some of it already coagulating on the floor, and in crevices of battle worn armour, as it pooled from the severed parts.

She flexed her fingers as she walked, her claws retracting and extending as she did so. The predator in her wanted the chance to hunt and rip out some throats, but she knew to be watching around the corner. For all she knew it was possible that they had missed one rogue or there was an ambushed planned to bring up a rear attack once they thought they were safe.

The sound of steam hissing and metal clanging behind her had her spinning around on her heels. Steam seemed to wrap around a couple of the bodies on the floor, almost coating them in a blanket. It felt unnatural, like something was directing the steam, but she couldn’t see anything. Taking another look around she shook her head. She was getting paranoid. Still, she put her hand on the hilt of her saber as she turned back around and kept following the bodies. Kicking away an arm she notice one of the group had stepped in a pool of blood and was leaving foot prints along the floor.

“Hmmmm, more bread crumbs.” Jade licked her bottom lip, the tips of her fangs just peaking through. The soft sounds of voices whispered against the walls. She was getting closer.

Main Corridor Junction
Agua’tah System

Jade walked in to find a strange seen. She could hear the hum of the sabers as they pointed at one of the lizards she had so recently walked by scattered along the ground. Strange they would kill so many and leave the one screaming. She tried blocking out the pleas for mercy that her saber would be more then happy to give him. Her eyes moved to find Macron slowly standing up. Walking closer she saw him jab himself with a hyposyringe. Leaning against the wall she looked at him. “You know drugs are bad for you.”


Main Corridor Junction
Agua’tah System

Janos came out from his hiding spot just a Macron began treating himself. Knowing that his Master was at least a good a physician as himself, he paid it little mind. Not that he had the presence of mind to attend to the Juggernaut just then in any case. Flashbacks and repressed memories fueled what quickly became a consuming rage. The Dark Side usually sang sweetly in his ears but at the sight of the Trandoshan at the mercy of his Clansmen the Dark Side screamed like a banshee and sufficed his veins with power.
Outwardly, his body and masked form betrayed nothing of the struggle to keep his temper leashed. Through the connection to Macron, however it was certain that the Master could feel the outpouring towards the wounded creature. These were his superiors. Killing or attempting to kill the captive would be badly received. But it might be worth it. The Jedi was dying, any one with as much medical experience as he had could see that easily enough. The others could be caught off guard….
Jade made her appearance and so he focused on her, gradually dominating his rage and saving it for later. Undoubtedly there were more of the lizards somewhere on this station. It would be a pleasure and a privilege to hunt down the rest.
“Master, will you live?” He asked, knowing the answer but asking anyway to keep up appearances. The Juggernaut waved him away dismissively much as he expected, but continued to regard him openly.
“You will get your chance Apprentice. Let them get it to talk and then the slaughter can begin again. For now just remember that they are our Clansmen and it would be foolish to turn the tide of this fight for a petty squabble.”
“Yes Master.” Janos said somewhat distantly. In his mind he knew this was correct but the Dark Side, barely restrained, whispered to him of gruesome acts that would avenge his past. Holstering his weapon, he slowly approached the Proconsul making it clear he had no designs on the captive.
“On the contrary, he is a means to an end. Only the Sith offer what I seek. He teaches me what I want to know and in return I do as he says.”
“ Just what it is you seek then?” Tasha regarded the apprentice with a steely gaze softened only by the suppressed desire to go and help Macron.
“I wish take what Sadow and Syn started and perfect it. To start with my project is resurrection of the Leviathan species. But that is neither here nor there at this moment. I ask that you get what information you seek quickly so I can kill this filthy reptile.”
The Trandoshan hissed at him and bared its’ fanged maw. “ When I ssstand before the Great Sssscorekeeper ssshe will ssssmile upon me. There are many of my brotherssss on this ssstation. We are prepared for you foolsss.”
Sanguinius edged his lightsaber closer to the slaver who seemed to suddenly remember the situation it was in and became silent. “The axes, the armor, the fortifications, all of it says that he’s telling the truth. This looks like it could get a great deal more exciting.”
The Wookie ruffed and roared with accompanying gestures that made clear the meaning even without translation.
“He says then we should hurry. If they are ready for us any way, we may as well not disappoint.” Tasha obliged.
“ Jade says it’s pretty clear behind us so we are clear to advance. “ Macron approached the group with jade in tow.
“You leave an easy path to follow but couldn’t you have left at least one solider or squad to hunt? It’s only polite. “ Jade smirked as she spoke and moved with a lithe grace.
Sang thought for a moment and spoke only after considering what to do. “Our mission remains the same regardless. We will have to secure any dignitaries we find regardless of who or what stands in our way.”
“It’s decided then. We no longer need this thing do we?” Janos grabbed the unlucky Trandoshan with a lightning fast strike and let every bit of the repressed hate pour into the alien. The Dark Side sang a battle hymn of blood and revenge that rang sweetly in his ears as the Force Lightning found it’s way through the Trandoshan and into the deck. Normally the Apprentice could only stun the hearty being but it’s weakened state combined with the sudden influx of power produced very different results. The lizard literally cooked in in his grasp, it’s cries growing to a crescendo before being silenced as it’s innards began to burn. Over the space of little more than a second the creature was dead, it’s skin sizzling. Janos let go and let the alien fall to the deck regarding it with disgust.
A normal burst of Force Lightning was enough to wind the Sith for a minute or so. This, having been so much more produced a greater result. The power fled from him all at once, the strain on his body hit him like an air speeder. He crumbled to the deck. Holding on to consciousness with an iron will born out of stubbornness he lay there and gasped as his head spun.


Tie Oppressor, 'Eenzaam’
Entering the atmosphere
Agua’tah System

The cockpit viewscreen was partially obscured as the Eenzaam dived down into the atmosphere, the friction from her descent causing a corona of fire to engulf the shields. Quo knew that he was entering the layers of the planet’s envelope far too steeply, but needs must. He had to get down low, and quickly. He could hear the metal of the superstructure groaning against the punishment he was giving his ship. He was thankful that the Empire had over-engineered their ships, and his modifications had only added to her strength.

The altimeter appeared to be having a fit of apoplexy as it scrolled down on his head up display, the figures whizzing past in a dizzying display. The belts of his restraints dug into his shoulders and chest as the gravitational force of his dive attempted to spit him out of the back of the craft, through the bulkhead behind him. The blurring of his vision, and the forces being applied to his body send spasms of pain throughout his whole being.

With less than three thousand feet showing on the display he hauled back on the control column, even with the inertial dampers at their highest setting it was taking all his strength. Beads of sweat sprang out on his head, running down in rivulets over his temples. She was responding, but to his mind too slowly. He reached out through his connection to the Force, feeding the muscles and sinews of his body with more power than they should be able to handle, his anger against his enemies driving his connection closer to the Dark Side. Straining against the force of air against his vessel he wrenched back hard. The nose of the craft began lifting, she was pulling out.

Barely three meters of air were remaining above the surface of the water as the tips of the solar panels skimmed level. Inside the cockpit, every system warning was flashing, the alarms pinging and beeping as Quo relaxed, the waves almost kissing the glass of the cockpit. He knew he had thought to go in low, but this was lower than he had envisioned in his mind.

Retracting the air spoilers he opened the throttles to full, heading towards his target. In the study of the plan he had spotted it, and then he had decided to use it to his, and hopefully his Clan’s advantage. He still couldn’t work out why nobody else had spotted it, maybe he was just thinking in another direction.

He pulled up the schematics of his attack run. Low and hard. He was only fifteen miles out, and at this speed it would only take a minute or so to arrive. Selecting the target on his screen he programmed the targeting computer with it’s co-ordinates, marking out the generators as the primary, and the power grid as the secondary targets. With good timing he could take out both of them. With a dance of his fingers over the control panel he selected the weapons for each strike.

Still only twenty feet above the waves his system kicked in, two miles to target. The audible warbling got faster, the closer he got to the firing position. It was surprisingly quiet as he closed in, no flak, no ships intercepting him. The only sound was his breather and the rapidly repeating warning. Quo’s eyes focussed on the display, the twin markers coming closer together, marking when he should fire the proton torpedoes. Closer and closer, mere seconds away from success, the alarm became more insistent.

Finally there was a single tone. Quo’s forefinger depressed the trigger beneath it, simultaneously depressing the thumb trigger. From beneath his viewscreen two proton torpedoes leapt from the laucher, twin balls of fire that veered slightly to the right, towards the two large generators. A triple blast from the canon fired straight ahead zeroing in on the power supply relay. Quo banked hard to the right, his ship screaming away from the target, confident in his own mind that he had successfully carried out the mission. The wake of his escape marked by the twin plumes of spray from the exhaust ports of the ion engines. His computer showed him the image of the generator and the power relay exploding, parts of burning hot metal and plascrete raining down on the surrounding area.

“Quo to Tasha’Vel, the ground control union for the Skyhook has been destroyed. You are in the clear. Station control is all yours from up there. Be with you soon my Master.”

The twin ion engines screamed as he headed back up into orbit, heading for a docking with the Skyhook. Once the place had been disinfected of Dominion scum she would be under the control of the Clan. Now came the fun part, now came the part he enjoyed, the close quarters fighting. The Eenzaam shot skywards like a scalded cat.


Observation Deck
Khyron-class Star Destroyer Damnation
Agua’tah System

White Mandalorian armor walked onto the observation deck, almost bumping into Malik. The Mandalorian glanced out the window while digging in a puch on his belt, ships wizzed back and forth different color lasers and projectiles zipped back and forth randomly, some of which were followed by explosions.

The Netti who rarely spoke enough for a conversation moved his wooden lips "Long time no see."
Roxas who had served with Malik before knew that would pretty much be the entire conversation, but replied in kind while linking his datapad to the Sadowan information network, so he could learn about the changes in the Clan in his absence “Su’cuy vod. glad to be back.”

Malik began walking toward the hangar and motioned at Roxas, so he followed. Their boots were all that made noise as they walked down the corridors, echoing with each step. Roxas had no idea where they were going and he didn’t care. He was helping the Clan against an enemy force, he was always fighting some sort of enemy force. He would have to put in for leave, so he could spend more time with his wife.

As they walked something kept nagging at the Sithspawn’s senses; although he knew it wouldn’t start a conversation nor would it help him to reach some sort of deep understand, but yet he asked “So…why the change to the light side?”

A bark covered hand, that was branch like, raised up and started rubbing on the forehead of the tree like alien. that’s my answer Roxas thought silently as they continued toward their destination.


Skyhook docking port
Lower decks

The Eenzaam screamed into the hangar of the lower docking ring. Firing all of her munitions as she entered the explosions rocked the Skyhook as Quo made his first pass, Tie Fighters and shuttles erupting into balls of flame on the hangar floor. The fuel rigs that were attached to several of them disintegrated spraying shrapnel in every direction. Bodies were thrown towards the walls, several of them smashing into the atmospheric shield protecting the bay, one or two travelling at such force that they were ejected into the vacuum of space.

Turning in a tight arc, his body being forced against the restraining belts of his harness, the g-forces pulling at his limbs, Quo arrowed his ship back towards the hangar. Scanning the interior as he made a return pass he took out an escaping fighter with his lasers, the solar sails of the snub fighter spinning away with the concussion wave of the explosion, slicing through anything that was in their paths. Destruction rained down inside the hangar, he doubted that anything could survive such devastation. Another burst from his canon burst the containers of aviation fuel, the whole of the metallic cavern becoming engulfed in a fireball.

The Eenzaam emerged again from the hangar, smoke and flames billowing in her wake, making her appear like a phoenix from the flames. Whatever had still been alive was now reduced to charred remains. The bout of flame ejected from each of the openings to the hangar, huge jets of super-heated gas that lit up the whole of the superstructure. Quo’s eyes glinted with the reflection, his anger and pride burning as brightly inside him. He was one with the Dark Side, feeling its power pulsating in his core.

Bringing the Tie Oppressor round for another pass he watched as the conflagration dissipated. There was an area towards the far wall that was clear of debris. Aiming for it he brought the Eenzaam in to land.

Leaping from his craft Quo already had his sabre ignited, his vibroblade in his left hand. Landing lightly on the still warm deck on the balls of his feet he looked around. One of the exit doorways had been buckled by the explosion sealing it closed. The opposite door had been smashed inwards, either by flying debris, or the concussion of the explosion. Quo sprinted over to it, pausing at the corner to check for any survivors beyond.

Hangar control had survived, however the glass was cracked, a spiderweb of fractures covering the whole surface. Opening the door Quo moved quickly and quietly inside. Twenty or so bodies lay about, most of them dead from the feelings he was getting through his connection to the Force, but there was one that was clinging on to life. Making his way over to the rear of the rectangular room he found him, or her, or it.

Laying on the ground, pinned by the midriff by a heavy plasteel desk was a green-yellow skinned Clawdite. Looking down at it Quo knew that it hadn’t got long to live, and felt no sympathy at all for another living things demise.

“Where are the command files for your forces?” Quo pulled up on the lapels of the dying Dominion shape shifter, “What are the codes for the command programmes?” He shouted into its face.

“You’re too late,” the Claudite groaned, a smile flicked across its serpentine lips, “I’ll never give you the codes.”

Pulling harder on the lapels made the Dominion soldier cry out, his face a rictus of pain. Holding him with his mechanical arm Quo reached down pushing two of his fingers into the torn abdomen below. “I’d rather die first!” He spat with defiance.

“You’ll wish I had let you!” The Sith’s eyes glinted with pleasure as he twisted the fingers he had inserted inside the wounded creature’s body. The screams echoed around the control room as the Zabrak sought the information he needed.


The Fallen Spear
Argu’tah System

The docking array of the Dominion skyhook loomed closer and closer to the open maw of the Autoch ship, spinning slightly through the shimmering transparency of the powered airlock. He stood there, at the edge of where the metal met the stars, face hidden behind the blackened visor of his dark armor.

Thirty meters.

The chatter on the Clan frequencies amplified when they decloaked a few moments ago. It would be only a minute or two before someone alerted the Consul that he was in play. He felt them behind him, loyal Nihilgenia and Nephilim standing watch behind him. They had already been told to stay with the ship, but they would wait there for orders to change. He didn’t need anything standing in his way, the chaos of the battle already providing more than enough distraction.

Twenty meters.

His goal was singular, his prize was intangible. It reminded him of the accursed campaign, the long slog through enemies that both burned and froze his heart to the plight of the Clans. Always hunting, always sending others to keep them engaged, to keep them guessing as to the ultimate prize. They needed it, but would resist every step of the way. It made his palms itch with desire, the desire to rend flesh.

He unclenched his fists, lettign his fingers flex before growing still. This was not his plan any more. He couldn’t care about those who did not care themselves. He would not send backbiting fools on errands in attempts to woo their loyalty. He was here, alone, to accomplish his own goals, not that of another.

Ten Meters.

Blackwind brought the ship ever closer, matching the languid spin of the station with the Autoch engines. Darius crept the ship forward ever so slightly, no mean task for a ship of that size. He was a Commodore in his home system, and Muz only half understood why he preferred staying at his side.

His arm chirped, priority hail from the Consul’s frequency. He flipped the pad open, rerouting the signal to his helm, the pale blue hologram condensed into two dimensions, playing in a corner of his visor, smaller than a fingernail.

His own goals first, but not to preclude opportunity. He smiled as he listened to the man speak. He was proud of him, happy with his deft maneuvers, of his unflinching nature. Locke explained the situation quickly, succinct in his words. Muz nodded, no words needed. Opportunity bred cooperation on Argu’tah, and the Clan was happy to have him there.

Five meters.

He watched the screen clip into itself, the panel on his prosthetic sealing closed. The dull thunk of his armored boots resounded through his ears, the magnetic plates activating before he gave the signal to the bridge. Blackwind responded in kind, the soldiers retreating to behind a secondary shield, watching him stand at the end of the ship. The signal reported, the bay shield evaporating in a pale miasma, allowing the cold of space to suck the atmosphere from the bay in heartbeats.

He stepped through space, a boot landing aboard the docking bay of the skyhook. He left the spear behind, his mind reaching across the skyhook to find the Iktochi. The cleric, the prophet, the loremaster. He-who-remembers was in denial. Denial of the assault, denial of the dark jedi who were swarming his people. Denial that they had any hope for survival.

Muz stepped forward, through the rubble of broken ships and dying men, his eyes catching a Sith terrorizing a Clawdite, his screams echoing across the bay. Muz kept moving, finding his way past the ashes and sparks, into the havoc of a station under assault. There was a path of ruin, Macron’s bloody trail as he sought his own target. Muz would have chuckled. That was more than enough distraction for his purposes. He felt past the Madman, fingers of mind sorting past the patterns of friend and foe, fearful and rage.

And found him.

Muz quickened his pace, feeling along the lines of the ship to suss out the quickest path to the Iktochi. It was almost sport, the sunset tones of the Lion’s claws erupting as he moved quickly, tracking the pattern of his prey through the mayhem.

Meditative chambers
Argu’tah System

He-who-remembers had forgotten.

It came back to him suddenly, the stories, passed down for generations, the ancient Lords of the Darkness and their brutal ways. Sith, they called themselves, tinted red and marked in their souls against Love, against Life, against anything that was not Hate. He-who-remembers cringed at the memory, stories of fathers drowning in the blood of their children, of whole cities burned to ash. He stopped, reaching out with his senses. There was great darkness here, madness and corruption, rage and hatred, despair and fear. The skyhook was awash in the emotions of war, and He-who-remembers had to steady himself before continuing.

There was something more there, behind that all. He had never felt it before. It swirled in his senses, a calm that he hadn’t felt before, but ringed with darkness. He tried to focus, narrowing his senses. There was no peace there, there was no regret. It was Love, but unchained, unafraid of rage. There was a million voices, begging him not to look, not to seek, but he could not listen to them. He-who-remembers had forgotten so much, but in that moment, he recalled everything.

He-who-remembers felt the Lion, and then all he could feel was fear.


Skyhook control room

Standing over the body Quo reached down to his belt, fingers still dripping with the blood and bodily fluids of the Clawdite. Finding the communicator without looking down he keyed the operating button.

“Quo to Tasha’Vel. I have the information, my Master.”

“Send it.” Came the terse reply. Without having to look he keyed in the access to transmit it to his Master’s data pad, “You have done well my apprentice, join me as soon as you can.” The comm gave a burst of static as the Twi’lek ended the exchange.

Looking up from the remains of the Dominion soldiers around him he turned heading for the exit. A disturbance in the Force marked Muz’s arrival on the station. It made no difference to the Sith, it was many years since they had last met, and now was not the time for reunions. He knew that the Lion of Tarthos would call for him should he need him. Reaching the exit he turned to the right, following the corridor running from the hangar. There was still smoke and fumes hanging in the air, the filters on his breather working harder in the stifling environment.

Working his way along he could see the trail of devastation that the Clan weapons had wrought on the Skyhook. There were cables dangling from the roof and walls as he walked towards the central core of the space station. Panels from the walls and ceilings were lying haphazardly along the corridor.

Quo moved quickly and quietly along, merging himself into the surroundings, all but invisible to all but the most keen of observers. As he moved he glanced into the rooms leading off the walkway, all of them in a similar, if not worse condition. Several had ruptures that opened into other areas, the partitions destroyed or dislodged. There were bodies everywhere, mostly Kaleesh, but a few Tradoshans were amongst the Dominion casualties. He knew that there would a possibility of survivors of the initial destruction still in this section, so moved cautiously at every intersection.

Quo looked for the central pier to the station, this was where the turbo lifts would be housed, if they were still working. Moving inwards he covered the ground quickly, only finding casualties as he went. This is too easy he thought to himself, rounding a corner that opened out onto a rotunda that housed the elevators. Before him stood two Kaleesh either side of the turbo lift doors. Armed with electro staffs they wore the masks and armour that their species were renowned to wear. The furthest one turned towards the spot where Quo was now standing.

The lightsaber leapt from its hanger on his belt and slapped insistently into Quo’s palm. A ‘snap, hiss, hum’ noise filled the cavernous landing as the blade ignited, crimson cutting through the murk of the smoky concourse. With a whip of his wrist the Zabrak sent the blade arcing across the open space towards the guards. Too late the first tried to block the spinning saber as the blade caught him just below the jaw line, severing the masked skull from its body.

The other Kaleesh had not reacted at all yet, but Quo was already on the move. Now fully visible he leapt towards the remaining sentry wielding his vibroblade in his left hand. A gesture with his right hand recalled the spinning lightsaber to his hand mid leap. The Kaleesh recovered his composure enough to block the twin strikes as the tattooed Sith landed a meter in front of him. The twin blades beat a rhythm on the metal of the staff as the blows rained down on the defence the reptilian soldier was attempting to muster. The blocks were more of desperation than skill with the Zabrak alternating attacks, varying the angle of each attack.

A high strike from his vibroblade made the Dominion soldier raise his guard to deflect it. Quo dropped to the floor in the splits, his right arm lifting with all the speed and anger that he could muster, the fizzing of the Dark Side of the Force making every nerve in his body jangle. The scarlet blade entered the back of his opponent driving its way through to the front of the Kaleesh’s body, almost bisecting the warrior where he stood. A thud marked the last journey this one would ever make, from standing to prostrate. Quo reached down, removing the mask of the fallen soldier, turning it in his hand, his eyes taking in the object before him. It would make a good memento Clipping it to the back of his belt he turned towards the elevators. Pressing the control panel he placed his prosthetic hand against the doors. The vibrations told him the turbo lifts were still operational.

Stepping inside as the doors opened he keyed the internal panel. Level eight. His Master would be expecting him, and he would not let her down. The lust of battle still gleamed in his eyes as the doors closed.


Hammer of Cha’kota
Agua’tah System

“When is that backup getting here?!”

Darkblade and the rest of the leading strike team were in a fierce firefight with a cadre of Trandoshans. The hangar was a din of blast bolts, hand grenades and lightsabers as the Sadowans held their position behind a number of cargo crates.

“Hey, Aul, wake up! We’re kind of in a situation over here!” the Anzat yelled over to his apprentice.

The Hunter, inexperienced in live combat situations, found himself semi-paralyzed behind his crate. He was mumbling the names of species, his eyes wide open and unblinking, his hands and feet shaking with a tremor or terror. The anger-tinged call from his Master snapped him back to reality. His heart was racing and he was profusely sweating. In that moment, among enemies who intended to end his life, with his Clan-mates fighting back that opportunity he made a choice: to fight with those who would fight with him.

“Yes, Master. Give me a moment, I think I have a plan,” Aul replied to the Mystic. He reached inwards and focused the energy around him towards slowing his heart rate, bringing down his stress levels and steadying his concentration. He quickly pulled out his datapad and typed in a query. His eyes rapidly scanned the screen and when he reached the bottom he broke out in a smirk.

“So, this is funny?” Locke asked Aul with a look of disapproval.

“Oh, no, my apologies Consul Sonjie. It’s just that I always like when a problem has a clear solution,” Aul responded in an attempt to reassure the Augur. “You see, Trandoshans are cold blooded; they are extremely susceptible to low temperature. Hold on.”

Aul scanned the hanger looking for something he knew with certainty would be stocked along one of the walls. He found what he was looking for next to a grounded ship about 50 meters away. The Hunter took a moment to focus his connection to the Force before sprinting the distance between him and the grounded him in mere seconds. He grabbed a pair of long, slender baton-shaped capsules with a ring at one end and rounded base at the other.

“What the frack is he doing?” Darkblade cursed under his breath.

Aul began to sprint back, rolling halfway through to avoid a blaster bolt aimed at his head. The bolt missed his head, but seared through his right shoulder. The painful interruption caused him to falter through his roll and he ended up sliding with a thud back to the strike team’s position behind the cargo crate.

“Gah!” the Hunter screamed in pain.

“What have you got there, Celsus?” Locke asked with urgency.

“Mmmrmph!” Aul replied with a hand held up to his Consul, without realizing the disrespect he had shown. He examined the wound and determined it wasn’t completely incapacitating. He centered his concentration on the sides of the wound and with a press of his hand sealed the laceration. The pain was lessened, but he would tend to a better mend later. With the burning agony muted, he realized the context of the interaction he had just had with Locke.

“Again, my apologies Consul! Uh, well, this is my plan: these are Merr-Sonn WW-41 CryoBan grenades. Nearly all hangars stock these to suppress fires in case of a crash landing or some other accident. If we detonate these within a few meters of the Trandoshans, the ones closest to the blast will be completely frozen, but kept alive. The best part is, even the ones within a twenty meter radius will be cooled enough that their lack of warm blood will leave them moving slow enough that we can target them with ease. Plus, we can have our choice of the one to keep alive for information…”

“So we can choose an officer,” finished the Consul.

“Exactly,” the Hunter replied with a look of self-satisfaction.

“Nice job, Celsus,” Locke said with a mischievous smile, as he took the CryoBan grenades from Aul. “Hey Bentre, Aexod, let’s play a game: who can freeze more lizards with a single shot.” Locke tossed the cryo-explosives over to the two assigned grenadiers.

“We’ve got one shot, make it happen.”


Skyhook elevator
Level Eight

Quo egressed the opening doors onto the landing surrounding the elevator. He already knew that his Master was here, he could feel her presence through his connection to the force. They had a strength of bond that belied the amount of time that they had been together, she was the closest to family that he had ever had, and he wasn’t about to lose her.

Making his way across the circular walkway supporting the central cylinder carrying the turbo lifts. Without hesitation he knew the direction he should be heading. The corridor opposite had the blast shield closed, not a problem. Walking towards it he looked for the controls. On the right of the door he saw them, they were a bit battered, but he was hoping that they worked. Pressing the release switch he heard a satisfying hiss as the doors retracted from the orifice.

A quick glance around the corner showed the full extent of the problem facing him. Either side of the corridor was transparent. Huge windows showed the muster rooms either side, both filled with Kaleesh and Trandoshan soldiers. There were hundreds of them. He hadn’t been seen yet, and manipulating the caress of the Dark Side that enfolded him he wouldn’t be. His form melted into the background.

He moved his way quietly down the corridor, wary that any sudden noise could alert the enemy forces to his position. He needed to secure these troops, and quickly. As he watched they were checking their equipment, which usually meant that they were due to move imminently.

Quo crouched low, even being masked from sight didn’t mean that these reptiles couldn’t make out a rogue heat signature if they glanced across. He wasn’t about to tempt fate. Moving along the corridor beneath the massive windows he approached the controls for the bays beyond. There was the door control. As he approached the open doorway he sneaked a peak around the door jamb. All the troops were busy with their preparations for deployment, and they didn’t seem to be going on a picnic. There were heavy calibre blaster teams within their ranks, whoever they were going up against were in for a hard time.

If only there were an airlock that he could eject this lot through he could ease the pressure on the Clan forces, but they were deep in the centre of the space station. There weren’t even any refrigeration units this close to the heart of the leviathan. At least the cold would have slowed these reptiles down a bit, the last thing that he needed to do was warm them up, that would only make them faster, and more mentally agile.

Quo looked around the area for a way of stopping or delaying these troops. There was nothing. The cabling was all neatly packed into the walls, too deep to rip free from its securing points, the floor and walls were all plasteel, all welded together to form one huge, single piece. The air conditioners and filtration units were high above them, set inside the roofing unit, built into the structure itself, and he didn’t see that they could help him anyway. His brain was running at a million miles an hour, he felt like he had been pondering the problem for hours, when in fact it had barely been a second. If only there was a way of getting rid of them in one fell swoop.

Wait a minute. He’d been looking at this backwards! He didn’t need to get them out of there, he needed to keep them in. He needed to get the air out of there. In a flash he looked again. They were all assembled inside two muster points. They could be used as emergency hangars for resupplying ships, so had to have refuelling capability. Looking along the far wall of both spaces there were the tell tale bulges of temporary fuel cells, looking like huge metallic bubbles fixed to the wall.

Taking out two percussion grenades from pouches on his belt he flipped the activators on the top. Kneeling between the two open doors he knew that as soon as he moved he would be visible again. Breathing deeply he prepared. Fuelled by his connection the Force he flung his arms outwards, the grenades flying straight and true to their targets. In an instant Quo was on his feet, his saber ignited, one strike to each of the door control panels. The safety over rides kicked in, and both doors sealed almost simultaneously. Several of the warriors turned towards the entrances, seeing the Sith too late.

The grenades exploded almost as one, puncturing the cell walls. It didn’t matter if they were full or empty to Quo, he just needed them to flame. He could hear the muffled whumph as a gout of flame erupted from each of the fuel tanks. Fuel that was stored inside the tanks flowed out in a flaming curtain onto the floor of the sizeable room, engulfing the nearest soldiers in burning fluid.

As the fire suppression sensors detected the heat and flame within each of the muster points automated systems fought to combat the conflagration. Massive pumps sucked out the air from the fully sealed room, the most expedient way of extinguishing the flames. The flames could not survive within the almost total vacuum formed on the other side of the windows, and neither could the warriors. The vacuum would not be released until someone outside released it. Quo watched, delight in his eyes. Turning from the dead and dying Dominion warriors he moved off down the corridor like a shadow towards the sounds of blaster fire up ahead. Time to get his hands dirty. Beneath his mask his mouth was pulled back into a rictus grin.


Hammer of Cha’kota
Agua’tah Lower Orbit

The Captain hunkered down in her chair, ignoring the shudders that accompanied each blast that hit the Star Destroyer’s hull. The Dominion vessel had been surprised by the appearance of the Warhost, retreating quickly into the lower atmosphere of Agua’tah, followed by her escort cruisers.

The Warhost had taken up the challenge offered, chasing after the Hammer and pounding it. Other Warhost troops had invaded the skyhook, hunting one of her fellow Caste. Her original job here had been to transport the Vizier on an inspection tour of The Dominion’s outer worlds.

She had been in communication with the Vizier throughout the attack, keeping him apprised of the situation. A dagger of pure fear pierced her mind, as her fellow Iktotchi registered the existence of a being of great power on the skyhook.

The Grand Master, Darth Ashen, stalked the hallways, seeking the scholar, while others hunted for him. The power he felt drove the Vizier crazy with fear, seeking a way out of the situation. Their minds met, the functionary screaming in her mind.

She grimaced and flinched as his voice cried out in panic, begging her to save him. She could do nothing for the Vizier, her vessel’s shields were down, thanks to the relentless barrage of laser fire from the Warhost vessels. Fighters swooped around the capital ships, pinpointing mounted fire points and their enemy counterparts.

The Captain voiced back to her compatriot, condemning him to death, apologising for doing so. She turned to her Tactical Officer and ordered him to task a bomber group to target the skyhook and knock it out of orbit. The officer obliged, contacting and tasking the remnants of several bomber groups left fighting over Agua’tah. The Captain watched with mounting dread as the explosions blossomed across the surface of the skyhook, encouraging it to slowly plummet into the atmosphere, flames faintly flickering at the edges as it began to pick up speed.

“Captain!” Shouted the Tactical Officer, as another salvo of enemy fire blasted the hull of the Hammer, “We’ve lost our repulsorlift engines, we cannot keep orbit.” The Human panicked, just like the lesser races always did, the Iktotchi sneered in derision.

“Keep firing at the blasted Sith! At least we can take some of them with us!” The Captain ordered, standing up out of her seat. Her face was calm and determined, despite the setbacks. They may have lost, but at least the Sith aboard the Hammer of Cha’kota would die with them.

Agua’tah Orbit

Janos stumbled to the floor once again as the massive force of the bomb blasts shook him off his feet. The Proselyte had accompanied his Master, Macron, the mad alchemist, aboard the skyhook. Travelling with the Twi’lek and Wookiee duo, Tasha and Tarryyhn, the Cathar, Jade, and the Proconsul, Sanguinius. They had fought hard against Dominion forces to reach the dignitary seeking shelter.

“What the hell was that?” He shouted, as he picked himself up off the floor. He looked to his Master for the answer, ever the dutiful student.

“Who knows,” replied Macron, the Adept had weathered the shaking of the skyhook.

Sanguinius tapped the comlink attached to his ear, “Report.”

“Sir, the Dominion seem to have bombed their own skyhook, it’s going down.” Came the response.

The Proconsul called across to his colleagues, “We need to extract as soon as possible, we’re going down.”

They turned to face him, “What about the dignitary?” enquired Jade, the Daughter of Sadow had been an intriguing presence to the Jedi during his time spent with her.

“Well… okay, after we capture the dignitary.” Sanguinius sighed. He knew the Jedi of Naga Sadow too well for them to give up so easily. They all grinned back at him with glee as he shook his head in despair.

Command Chamber
Agua’tah Orbit

The Vizier - Dar’acat - breathed deeply as steam gushed from a nearby hose. His heart raced, his mind trying to keep up. The skyhook shuddered as another volley of torpedoes hit it.

What was Captain To’ka doing? He had asked for help and now she was trying to kill him?

As he thought about it, Dar realized what was going on. Ice gripped his veins. He reached out with the Force and sensed nearby, feeling the invaders on board the station. Death and destruction seemed to follow them. He felt the panic of the odd scholar, He-who-remembers, and the essence of a powerful dark force moving toward him. The other Iktotchi was panicking, as well he should be. Dar felt the same way.

Captain To’ka had decided to kill him, rather than leave him to the invaders. To her, it was probably a merciful death.

Was this how his ancestors felt when the Sith had come for them? Was he to suffer the same fate as they?

No, he would steel himself. He would not cower to these invaders. Dar’s hand dropped to one of the wood-carved lightsaber hilts at his waist. He was barricaded deep in the skyhook, surrounded by elite Dark Wardens - a gift from the Council themselves. These Trandoshan warriors were bred for war. Each was a small army in itself. Their bodies were tattooed from head to toe and everyone in the Dominion knew to avoid them.

He would take the invaders with him, at least.

The skyhook’s communications technician - a Clawdite - brought up view screens of the skyhook’s extremities. There was a Zabrak there, who seemed to be in a rush to join his friends. His actions - along with theirs - had decimated much of the defending force. But those were rabble compared to what stood beside him.

He sought an escape route, examining a grid map of the skyhook’s outer corridors. Many were blinking to indicate they were damaged or venting atmosphere, and more joined those at a startling rate. It was almost as if someone was closing a trap. Dar could almost feel the noose around his neck.

“Bring up grid G-11,” he said, proud of how calm his voice was. The technician brought up the relevant camera feed. They were just in time to see a figure stalk down the corridor, clad in black and a deep purple. He disappeared a second later, appearing to be completely alone.

Dar cursed in his native tongue. That must have been the one going for He-who-remembers. It seemed he wanted to make sure the scholar had no escape route, and that in turn meant no escape for the rest of them.

Very well, Dar thought. He turned to the Trandoshans and raised a fist over his head.

“We will stand to the last mark. For the Dominion!”

Shuttle B-392
Agua’tah Orbit

Marcus held onto the handle dangling down from the ceiling of the shuttle, the Mystic surrounded by five fireteams of special forces. Each fireteam was made up of four well trained veterans, equipped and trained to handle NFUs and FUs. The Spymaster was too cautious a man to let himself get killed easily.

He had stayed on the Damnation during the initial attack, watching over the assault. But with the Hammer battered and falling into the lower atmosphere, he had spotted his chance. Marcus intended to end the fight and bring back his clanmates, his shuttle accompanied by three others full of special forces troopers and the Jedi of Naga Sadow.

It looked like things were under control on the skyhook, but the star destroyer was out of control, and the massive vessel likely had an army on it.

His Consul and others were on there, probably about to wade into the thick of it. With the vessel’s repulsors failing, they only had limited time before it crashed into the world below.

He and the special forces would join the battle on the destroyer. They would help finish the mission, and they would bring their people out safely.

They would end this.

Then, perhaps, Locke would learn to trust his Rollmaster again.


Main Corridor
Descending From Agua’tah Orbit

Tarryyhn had walked away from the prisoner. His anger had nearly overtaken him in battling the Trandoshans and he had no wish to give into it for fear of what it would make him do. He leant against the wall, a quiet cough from his punctured lung sending speckled blood onto his fur again. Tasha turned her head to look at him and he nodded he was ready to move on.

It was then the station was hit and he steadied himself in fear of repercussions from the now falling station. Nothing major occurred and as he righted himself he hung to the edges as the team agreed to push on to acquire their target. Tarryyhn pushed himself forward and started down the corridor at the head of the group and so was the first to see the looming figure march up the corridor towards them.

Bedecked from head to foot in armour and almost dragging the heavy war axe behind him as he moved towards the group. He must have stood only a foot or less smaller than the Wookie and confidence radiated from him as he swung the weapon up onto his shoulder and sneered. For all intents and purposes, it was a Trandoshan but nothing like the ones they had just faced. This one was something more. Scars lined his skin and a chunk of his snout was missing with a scar trailing up to the remains of his left eye.

“The ssscorekeeper bringsss many gifts today. I shall honour her by taking your headsss.” He snarled and then he moved forward again. “A Wookie pelt like the one before me will look fine on my floor. The lightsssaber will go to my collection.”

Tarryyhn growled and the Trandoshan laughed.

“I ssee the markings on your fur Wookie. Sslave were you? How young did we take you? How long did we break you? I shall enjoy doing ssso again.” He sneered. Venom licking of his barbed tongue.

The rest of the group began to move up beside Tarryyhn but before they could get close enough the Telekinetic force he had been building up was unleashed as he crouched and struck the ground. Caught off the guard they lifted almost effortlessly from the ground, and even Macron in his armour hovered momentarily.

“What are you doing you…” Macron begun but before he or the majority of the team could respond the blast door separating them from the Wookie and Trandoshan slammed shut separating the team from the Aedile. He sighed and struck the console with his saber short circuiting the machine.

“I am sorry little Blue. One hundred eighty years of nightmares must be fought for. This is my honour.” He sent through the door to his Quaestor The banging on the other side of the metal subsided and he heard soft voices and what must have been a furious Macron yelling.

He turned back to the Trandoshan and rolled his shoulders, his silver lightsaber illuminating the corridor. With a deep breath he charged.


Hyperspace Corridor
VCX-100 Light Freighter en route to Agua’tah

“Are you sure this is wise, Mentor? They do not want Undesirables in their space, we’d be better off remaining unseen.” Taiki’s voice rose up from behind the visor of his helmet; the young Jedi had taken to concealing his appearance in public given how rare it was to see a member of his species within the Galaxy.

“Sometimes what is best for us does not matter, my friend. We are here to help our friends and family, and to protect those who cannot do so themselves. I do not expect you to join me on this mission, however. I need you to keep our agents organized and appraised of any changes given the recent activity from the New Order and the Dark Council,” Methyas said calmly, his tone level yet commanding with his second-in-command.

Taiki huffed slightly at the statement, but understood that the older Jedi was quite aware of the risks he was taking within Brotherhood space, and that his return to Naga Sadow may not be the most welcome. Besides, Methyas was right, their agents needed guidance and it was vital for them to be able to respond quickly if they were to continue trying to assist the Clan from the shadows. The transport rocked and shuddered as they approached their destination, the ship’s engines spinning up to full again as the Hyperdrive cycled down. The VCX freighter hadn’t aged gracefully, but it had been kept up well enough in their care, even with some of its modifications this would be a dangerous proposition to appear unannounced in an active battlefield.

“Activating IFF transponder, initializing Naga Sadow frequencies, opening channels. Let’s hope your access still works, Mentor,” Alexis reported in from the cockpit before muttering under her breath, “and that we’re not dropping into an apocalypse.”

With a sudden lurch and audible thump, the light freighter dropped out of light speed and into hell itself. The atmosphere of Agua’tah was absolutely filled with various noise befitting the chaos of the assault: flak filling the space between the Sadowan Warhost and the defending Dominion forces, turbolasers barrages weakening the already battered hulls of the Dominion vessels, and various fighter or bomber groups shrieking across the skies in desperate dogfights. While Alexis and Taiki took in the scene from the cockpit and started towards the Sadowan fleet, Methyas sat serenely in the lounge, taking in all he could through the Force itself. From his meditative stance, the Miraluka had gleaned much over the years, but in this instance it was for one solitary purpose.

“Alexis, at bearing 36 off the port side, follow that bomber group in. Taiki, if you could offer some support for that Squadron,” Methyas commanded quickly as he began to tie back his hair with the aid of the Force. He knew the two would take action without a second thought, the two of them having worked with him for so many years now that requests like this were not to be questioned. The engines roared in response to Alexis’ change in direction and the pounding of the laser turrets firing could be heard throughout the freighter as Taiki began to try and clear the Dominion fighters from their local airspace. With their course locked in, Methyas rose slowly to his feet, finally tying his eye-wrap about his head with the aid of the Force to ensure he didn’t look to otherworldly with his eyeless sockets. With a quick check of his belt to ensure his sabres and utility were ready for this mission, Methyas started towards the transport’s portside docking ring.

“Alexis, you may want to prepare for some turbulence,” warned Methyas as the sound of thunder rolling across the sky could be heard; the bomber Squadron reporting a successful strafing run across the hull of the Hammer of Cha’kota. A few pilots nearby were even reporting penetration as they flew past, and that was all Methyas needed to hear. Without a single movement, the controls for the docking ring were activating by the Jedi’s unseen hand and the procedure started.

The air whistled about the Miraluka for a moment before it became a screaming torrent of pressure pulling at his every limb, and he gave in to its whims, letting the air pull his frail frame from the freighter before he embraced the Force about him. Small little manipulations to the flow of the current about him, it would have seemed like the air itself guiding the Miraluka in his free fall towards the first gaping maw the bombers had created. With a slight flip, Methyas angled his feet towards the hole before him and coaxed forth some more energy from the Force with which to slow his descent. Even with the addition of the Force to slow his fall, the Miraluka still burst through the hole below him and into the interior of the Destroyer. A metallic clang and the whir of miniature motors proclaimed his landing as his cybernetic leg took the brunt of the impact, his natural leg having taken a knee so to speak.

“That’s a superhero landing, he did a superhero landing!” Exclaimed a nearby human with excitement before being swiftly struck by Clawdite who started barking orders to the nearby Kaleesh and striking a button on the nearby console.

Rising slowly to his feet, Methyas began to tap into the Force around him, speaking plainly with a commanding tone as his robes fluttered about him from the open air, “This can end peacefully, you can leave this chamber or let me pass, or your enforcers can try and kill me.”

A few of the lower castes began to slip out of the room as quickly as they could while the Kaleesh held steadfast to the orders they were given, a bloodlust in their eyes. As they continued to approach Methyas, he quickly withdrew his sabre, igniting it with a flourish as he entered a defensive stance, “So be it.”


Level Eight

The metal plates of the decking shook beneath his feet as another volley of torpedoes smashed into the sides of the Skyhook. Debris fell from the roof of the corridor and electrical cables sparked as they were shaken loose of their moorings within the wall coverings. Panels fell like confetti from the structure, blocking his path forwards, threatening to entomb him within the confines of the tube.

“I’m not going to reach you, Master,” he shouted into the comm, one hand steadying himself against the wall as the station lurched sideways, “the corridors are collapsing, and my path to you is blocked.”

“Get out Quo,” came Tasha’s voice, barely audible over the tortured screams of the plasteel construct they were riding down to the planet beneath, “We’ll make our own way out. May the Force be with you.”

“See you outside.” He hoped the message got through. Turning he made his way back towards the turbo lifts, every step a battle of it’s own as the massive space station took another volley of fire. He could hear and feel the repulsors whining against the strain, feeling the vibrations speed up as they attempted to compensate. He was bounced from wall to wall as he reached the end of the corridor. Waiting for a lull in the movement of the decks he made a bid across the landing area towards the lifts. Let them be working he thought to himself as his hand smacked into the panel to the right of the double doors.

Within a couple of seconds the doors opened. Diving inside he only just made it as the platform above came crashing down onto the landing where he had just been standing. Quickly he keyed the button for the hangar deck, pieces of debris raining through the closing doors, shrapnels of metal thudding into them as they closed.

The lift arrowed its way down the centre of the shaft, carrying the Zabrak down to his ship, The Eenzaam, still hopefully within the hangar below him. The lights inside the small cylinder of the lift flickered and he could feel the violent shaking of the Dominion station as the levels flashed passed outside. With a ‘whoosh’ the doors opened onto the landing. The atmosphere seemed ok, but there was smoke and debris littered all over the floor space. Seeing the corridor before him was still clear, save for a small amount of debris he sprinted forwards. Rounding the corner leading the the hangar itself he could see the space open out.

Roof spars and panelling littered the hangar floor. Cables and lighting was hanging from their umbilical leads, sparks and arcs grounding to the floor plating in a random pattern. Emerging into the huge space Quo looked over to where he had left the TIE Oppressor, she seemed to have avoided being crushed in the conflagration, and from this distance was only lightly covered in dust and debris. With a surge he headed towards her, his limbs pumping as the sought to escape the falling behemoth.

Through the opening to the hangar he could already see an orange glow forming, contrails of steam and smoke flashing from floor to ceiling past the massive maw of the hangar. He knew that the station would take on the aerodynamic properties of an asteroid, the friction of the atmosphere already heating up the outer skin.

Another volley from the forces of the Sadowans knocked the floor sideways, leaving Quo sliding across the plasteel floor panels, arms and legs flailing to regain control of his equilibrium. As soon as he was able he regained his footing, there was no time to lose. Leaping to his feet he continued his sprint across the hangar. A massive explosion over to the right of him made him adapt his running as the percussion wave tried to throw him once more to the floor. Crouching Quo managed to maintain his momentum, letting the pressure wave flow over him.

Nearing the ship he leapt, his muscles augmented by his connection to the Dark Side, a gesture from his hand pushing the cover of the cockpit back enough for his body to slip through the gap. Pulling hard on the interior handle he slammed the hatch shut as he slid into the semi reclining seat. Sealing the harness around him he keyed the switches and dials, hearing the whining noise of the twin ion engines spinning up to speed. A cursory glance over the display told him that she was ready. Applying the repulsor lifters he eased her off the deck, dust and debris being swept away in the wash from the engine exhausts. Gently she lifted off the deck. Quo took her as high as he dare, he had to get her out without being caught in the vortices of the upper atmosphere rushing by perpendicular to the hangar exit.

Two proton torpedoes leapt from the launcher parallel to the floor until diving at the last instant, destroying the floor plates around the bottom lip of the opening. Quo gunned the throttle. The Eenzaam leapt forwards following the line of the torpedoes, Quo pushing as far forward as he could as he arrowed through the gap made by the explosion.

As he exitted the opening the buffeting of the wind sheer rattled the cockpit. Better head on than across the bow thought the Zabrak as he fought to pull the craft away from the rapidly descending station. Straining as he pulled back on the column he felt her responding to his touch, slowly, but she was gaining distance. A flash of air brakes pulled the nose up a little more before they returned to their retracted position. It was just enough to pull the Eenzaam away, the turbulence receding as Quo rolled her away into space.


Skyhook Corridor
Descending from Agua’tah Orbit

“War comes with a heavy price, are you ready for when your friends may be on the line or dying?”

Tasha’s grandfather’s words rang clear in her mind. The Quaestor watched as her Aedile had shut the blast doors to face a challenging foe. Meanwhile her apprentice had to evacuate the skyhook. His last message on the commlink was “See you outside.” She hoped that he had made it through. “Good luck, apprentice and be safe.” The whole skyhook was coming down, but she had a job to do still. There was no time to be sad.

“We can’t sit here forever, we need to keep going, find the dignitary and get out of here quickly.” Though her heart ached from what had just happened, she couldn’t let it get to her. Getting up, she took a breath and rested a moment. She was already feeling slight aftereffects from the adrenaline rush of battle. After the short break, she began walking down the corridor towards a couple doors. “We have a couple doors here to check. Be ready for anything that might be waiting for us.”

Macron stretched a bit and smiled. “Heh, wookies are always crazy about their honor. Well I can’t be sitting here lazing about. There are just so many people that can make good specimens for experimentation. I also can’t let Tarryyhn have all the fun now can I?” He began to follow behind Tasha with a wicked grin on his face. Not wanting to be left behind, his apprentice Janos also accompanied him. “Hey now Master, you have to share you know.” Meanwhile Sang and Jade brought up the rear.

“So should we keep a score, Macron? I know I plan on killing as many enemies as possible. Think you can keep up old man?” Jade smirked as she licked her lips in anticipation.

“Tempting my apprentice, I think I will take you up on that.”

As Tasha opened the first set of doors, they led into another small hallway with another pair of doors. Looking about, there were no soldiers around.

“Oh this is just great. Silence before the storm I am sure.”

She carefully made her way down the hall. Right as she got to the middle, a blaster shot caught her in the right shoulder. Yelling out, she ignited her lightsaber and began to charge, lashing out at whatever might be in front of her. She gritted her teeth as shots of pain radiated from her shoulder, however she couldn’t let that stop her. Sure enough, a clawdite materialized and began to run.

“They have breached the side chamber, hurry they are coming!” He screamed into his commlink.

A scary grin came across Tasha’s features as she leaped onto the Clawdite. “The more, the merrier.”

She then slashed through the Clawdite’s neck with her lightsaber before turning to her crew. “They are coming now.” As the Twi’lek looked up, she could already see two Trandoshans, three Kaleesh, and an Iktotchi approaching fast.


The Eenzaam
Agua’tah upper atmosphere

The horizon in the view port swung over to the right, bisecting the plexiglass diagonally as the ship rolled onto a new heading. After a bumpy ride through the turbulence of the falling station the air outside was as a mill pond compared to the vortices that the ageing fighter had fought its way out of. The scanners before him gave him an electronic picture of the chaos that was occurring, the forces of both the Dominion and the Sadowans whirling and wheeling above the planet. The Sadowan air forces seemed to be winning the day, but in the confusion it was hard to tell.

Five blips left the dancing wheel of lights as they moved around the centre of the battle. The reeling mass of small fighters were chasing each other across the screen before him, the Sadowan pilots more than holding their own against the defenders of the Dominion. Quo gunned the throttles, climbing hard, closing in on the cluster of targets moving away from the main group. Selecting them as his targets he keyed in vectors for his ordinance to intercept.

The one thing the ancient Tie Oppressor lacked was a multiple launcher, instead having twin single launchers for his proton torpedoes. A ping from his computer gave him a readout on the targets. Two Tie bomber, and a BTL-S8. The other two blips registered as torpedoes, their course and direction heading towards the Skyhook below.

Quo’s fingers danced over the touch screen selecting the missiles for his own torpedoes. At least he was heading towards them, if he had been behind them he would have had no chance of intercepting them. Rolling out on to an intercept course he positioned his ship in direct line between the missiles and the station. He waited until the targeting computer emitted the lock tone and depressed the thumb trigger. Two torpedoes leapt from either side of his viewport, their exhausts momentarily blinding him to the dark space outside. As soon as they launched he rolled hard to the left, barrel rolling out of the visual onslaught, confident that his own volley would take down the incoming weaponry discharged by the carrier.

A quick scan of the readout gave him the stats on the Tie bombers and the carrier. By far the most dangerous was the carrier, on its manifest it was carrying fifty four missiles, more than enough to cause the crew aboard the station more problems than they could handle. It also carried two defensive canon, mounted ventrally and on the nose, and carried a deflector. She needed to be stopped.

With his engines screaming he pushed them beyond their design limits. Even a few seconds could make the difference for his Master’s team on board the planet bound behemoth. The Tie Bombers adjusted their course, turning toward Quo’s vessel. They were obviously acting as escorts to the K-wing, shielding her from incoming fire. Not the first choice of escort thought Quo, seeing in the choice only desperation.

Quo’s eyes narrowed, and should anybody have been there to witness it, they were filled with pure joy and lust for the battle. He could take them out with his laser canon, but time was of the essence. Selecting a couple of T-33 plasma torpedoes from the manifest he set the system to load them into the launchers. A yellow light on the multi function display told him the machinery was loading them. The good thing about the plasmas was that he could go back later and finish them off. His eyes glinted at the thought of the torture that would cause the crews of the bombers.

Yellow flashed to green, and the constant tone of a missile lock filled the cockpit. Quo tried to force the triggers through the control column, such was his lust for causing pain to the attackers. Again the exhausts of the plasma torpedoes arrowed away from the Eenzaam, electric blue incandescence filling the port in front of him for a split second.

Two explosions rocked the space in front of him. Fragments of the incoming missiles filled the black vista with a shower of silver fragments, looking like confetti as it blossomed out from the impact of his own interceptors. Two of the blips disappeared from his screen. Pride filled him, fuelling his grip on the Dark Side, the heat of the connection radiating from his core, the golden glints in his eyes seemed to swirl around his pupill. Sparkles of blue lightning flashed around the Tie bombers as his plasma torpedoes struck their targets, frying the electrics of the craft leaving them tumbling in the darkness. He would resolve their fates later.

Closing fast on the K-wing he loosed a volley from both canon and turbo laser, raking the underside of the ship. The missile carrier returned fire from the nose canon slung slightly beneath the craft’s nose. The ball of the turret revolved in its attempt to hit the Tie Oppressor on its attack run. Rolling and pivoting on its axis Quo completed a rising arc to take him out of the arc of fire of the two turrets.

The Zabrak Sith was compressed against his harness as the ship twisted and turned, seeking to regain the target. Cutting the throttles made the ship turn faster, the downside being that the BTL-S8 opened a slight lead on their pursuer. As soon as the Dominion ship hove into view again Quo’s fingers depressed the two trigger for the canon and turbo lasers. The path of the bolts arrowed towards the back of the ship, targeting the upper engine and the two slung underneath the wing supports.

Blue and white crackles marked the impact of the energy discharges along the rear deflector. Quo watched as the display showed the remaining strength in a percentile. His fingers were locked into position on the triggers, the temperature bar of the weapons rising with each passing shot. Torpedoes would do little to aid the breakdown of the shields. If only he had an ion canon.

Easing back the throttle he tried to keep in a position where neither the upper turret, nor the one slightly below had a shot at him as the Dominion pilot manoeuvred to try and give his gunners a shot. It was like a game of chess, each trying to out think the other.

From beneath the wings two more proton torpedoes left the pylons beneath the left wing directly towards the falling space station. I have to stop it thought Quo, relaxing his fingers for a second, the temperature was becoming too high. A flick of the control panel rolled the ship into a wide looping course, taking him up and away, thudding marked the impact of three bolts of energy as he tried to get an angle for the shot. As he completed the move the missile carrier moved across his view panel from bottom right hand corner towards the centre.

Quo was hunched as he again depressed the trigger for the turbo laser, he was saving the canon for a point blank range shot. He would either blow her out of the sky with fire, or ram her out of the sky.


Skyhook Corridor
Descending from Agua’tah Orbit

“I see them,” shouted Janos as the Sith acolyte took up a fallen heavy repeating blaster and several fragmentation grenades from the carnage around them. The Proselyte peered down the long corridor. He was exhausted, his novitiate robes were splattered with gore and dust and yet he remained focused. Janos dropped to one knee behind a fallen chunk of bulkhead wall. The Adumarian caught his breath and sought within. Sith turned to their own wills for focus in the Force. “Through passion, I gain strength…” Janos set the bipod up on the blaster as the others moved to engage the enemy. He squinted and took aim.

“Shâsotjontû châtsatul nu tyûk,” chanted Macron as he echoed Janos’ words in the Sith tongue. “Give them hell Janos!” His mismatched eyes registered the approaching enemies as Tasha gave the alarm. “Well, frying forksticks.”

“Your way with words in Basic is much less eloquent than that… other language,” the Jedi Proconsul with a look of distaste. “Our time grows short and I have some knowledge of tactics. Will you follow my lead, Sith? And your injury?”

“You say that like it’s a curse word. In any case, yes.” Macron nodded. “I can still fight. I will have to replace a meter of intestine when I return to our system. I’ve had worse.” The Alchemist looked to Jade and Janos. “What say you?”

Janos waved his hand as he targeted the oncoming assailants. “I’m already on it master.” His sight zeroed in on one of the Kaleesh.

Jade, on the other hand, was hardly an apprentice anymore. She had become a powerful Dark Jedi in her own right. “We have a bet. If you lose and score less kills, I get rights to your secondary lab on Gamuslag for one month.” The half-Cathar grinned a toothy smile.

“Urk.” Macron looked horrified. “That’s a yes,” he managed to get out to Sanguinius’ question. “She has her own free will, I do not control her and haven’t for quite some time.”

“Good,” replied Sanguinius. “I know Quaestor Tasha is with me.” The Gray Jedi just nodded as she quickly checked her lightsaber’s charge level. The Sentinel finished out his train of thought. “We’ve got about fifteen seconds before they reach us. This is what I need and this will maximize our strike power. Tasha, Janos, Jade, I need you to deal with these enemies that approach. The Iktotchi is a Force-user,” he said as he closed his eyes for an instant.

Macron nodded silently in agreement. Sanguinius continued. “Macron and I will storm past them as the three of you occupy these flankers. We will engage those beyond. Tell me, Adept, what do you sense?”

Macron closed his eyes for an instant. “Darth Ashen is here somewhere and stalks another target. His work will be a convenient distraction. Inside, where we go… there is a powerful Force user who wields lightsabers and has many strong warriors with him. All lightsabers have crystals attuned to the Force and I can feel them. More I cannot say.”

“You and I will work together to overcome them. Our time is up,” yelled Sanguinius as the flankers came within range. “Attack!”

With that, Janos opened up with the heavy repeater down the centerline of the corridor as Tasha and Jade moved down the side vectors. He managed to pin down one of the Trandoshans and the Iktotchi.

“They are going to flank us along the right,” yelled Tasha as the Mystic felt their intentions with telepathy. She grimaced as her injury ached while she channeled the Force into her body. Her previous words echoed in her mind… “More, merrier….” Blood lust was not a normal feeling for a non-Darksider. Either way there was no time to consider the niceties of philosophy as she ripped into the first Kaleesh. There was only the deadly dance of combat.

Jade channeled her own hatred into dark illusions that confounded the non-Force users that attacked the group. To them, it seemed they faced several more Warhost troopers along with the Dark Jedi. Her blue-white lightsaber took the second Kaleesh on the right by surprise as it turned to face an enemy trooper that was not there.

Sanguinius looked at Macron. It was an ironic combination and the irony was not lost on either of them. Both of them sought inner power with their own differing paradigms within the Force. They hoarded it up as the others fought, shot, and swung their blades for a few quick seconds. The two warriors then flew like arrows from a bow towards the secondary chamber door, blazing blades clenched in their fists. “For Sadow!!!”


ISD Hammer of Cha’kota
Agua’tah System

Stahoes watched as another cluster of Trandoshans were struck by a grenade. He had to hand it to Aul, his tactics were pure genius. Between Aexod and the Corellian, they had made the assaulting forces easy pickings for the rest of their compatriots. A dozen Kaleesh had joined the fray in the meantime. They needed to push harder to make it out of the hanger.

I will have to make sure that Celsus and the others get recognition later for excellence in the field. The smallest of smiles tugged at the corner of his mouth as he chucked another grenade. Only hit one that time.

The ship suddenly buckle beneath the Sadowans. From the feeling in the pit of his stomach, Bentre could tell something was wrong. From the look on his Quaestor’s face, it looked as though the same realization had come over Darkblade. Their eyes locked for a moment. The Anzat rolled his eyes for a moment, before turning back to

Bentre’s commlink crackled to life, “This is Lieutenant Ogden to Strike Team Hammer. Things are going sour out here. The enemy ISD has opened fire on the Skyhook. It also appears to be losing altitude. You may want to think about withdrawing if possible.”

“Come on Sadowans, we have a mission to complete. We need to make our way to the bridge. We didn’t just come to kill some random mooks. We need to move to capture the target.” Darkblade waved a hand toward himself. “Let’s finish up here and then move out.”

“No,” the Corellian shook his head as he locked eyes with the Dark Jedi. “This ship is going to crash if we don’t stop it. I am going to head towards the engineering section. If we can disable the weapons, we might be able to capture the ship. Whether this thing goes down or not, I might be able to at least buy us some more time.”

The two stared at each other for a moment before Darkblade nodded begrudgingly. “We’ll take care of the target then.”

Stahoes looked at Locke, Celsus and Aexod before nodding at the Anzat. “Alright then. Is anybody else up to coming with me?”


Skyhook Cooridor
Descending into Agua’tah Orbit

As her saber sliced through the Kaleesh, its body severed in an oblique slice from one side through the torso to the other, crumpling to the ground, she smirked and whispered, “that’s one!” Somehow she knew Macron heard it. Be it he actually heard her or he just knew her well enough he sensed her say it. Either way, the small connection and knowing he would be fearing the loss of his lab for a month, helped give her energy as she focused on creating the illusion around them. She could feel Tasha grimace as the force swirled around and through her. The Mystic taking the force to help her press on. It was the first time Jade was getting the pleasure to work with her and she seemed like a formidable ally. But Jade could feel her own heart beat almost skip as she focussed on projecting the warhost troopers. It wasn’t the easiest of distractions, and was wearing down her energy fast. A bead of sweat trickled down the soft silky skin of her forehead as she focused on making the illusions move and dance with their opponents.

Watching Macron and Sanguinius run past through the confused troopers, she breathed a sigh of relief, she could drop the veil any time now, but wanted to make sure there was still enough cover. Spinning on the toe of her boot she swung low, taking out the bottom half of a Kaleesh’s legs as it came near her. Even with its legs gone it still swung out at her, forcing her to spring off the floor as its blade tried to return the favour. On her way back down she brought her saber vertically down into a point, plunging it through the Kaleesh’s chest. The body struggled for a moment, the fingers twitching as the nervous system struggled to somehow still survive. But blood loss and chest wound were no match for it. Jade twisted her blade as she pulled it from her victims body, just to add insult to injury. The Kaleesh had almost snuck up on her as she focused on the illusion, it was too close for comfort. She looked at Tasha and Janos. She didn’t want want to drop the illusion if either of them would be suddenly surrounded, or get hit by the back end of a strike, meant for a hallucination.

The sound vibrations of Janos keeping the Trandoshan and the Iktotichi pinned down bounced off the corridor walls. Jade was pretty sure he enjoyed making them fear for their mortality. Though she couldn’t fault him for it, her own dark tendrils loved to watch her prey squirm…she wasn’t sure if it was due to the dark side or her Cathar side, but either way, there was just something about watching her victim scream and beg for mercy. Jade laughed as she suddenly figured out where she got it from. Macron. Plain and simple. All those years being trained by, and even victim of a few of his experiments, had more of the madman rubbed on her then she realized.

Stabbing pain in her left side had her bend over while bringing her saber up in a quick arc, the blue white blade sizzling through the Kaleesh that now stood in front of her. The body stood for a moment, its momentum still on the blade now in Jades side, before it split and fell to the ground. Jades growl of pain and anger sounded like a predator on the war path as she ripped the blade from her side. Blood pooled from her wound, but as she placed her hand over it and used the force to shut off her pain receptors, she noticed all the Warhost trooper illusions had gone. The attacking Kaleesh, Trandoshans, and Iktotichi stood for a moment, wondering what just happened as their opponents suddenly vanished.

Tasha used the moment of confusion to her advantage, springing off the floor and coming down hard with her hand, striking a force blast causing the near by 3 Kaleesh and Trandoshan to fall backwards. Moving quickly across the floor to the stunned Kaleesh she brought her saber up into the air then down quickly on the one still struggling to stand up. The body going motionless almost instantly. The other two recovered far too quickly for her liking and she summoned the force to send out lighting. The blue energy sizzling and cracking from her fingertips as she struck them down. The Trandoshan was still a bit confused at why there were suddenly less fighters and being blown back that it backed up, shaking its head to clear its mind, almost bumping backwards into Tasha. As the Kaleesh fell smoking to the ground, she kicked out with her foot, causing the Trandoshan to stumble forward, landing face first into the blood of one of his comrades.

Jade laughed, instantly regretting the action as the motion pulled on her healing injury. To watch the Mystic blast back a bunch of them, cut someone in half, roast others, then just kick one, like ‘get out of my personal space,’ was priceless to watch. Jades eyes scanned the carnage in the corridor and realized she needed to bring her body count up. As Tasha moved in to strike against a Kaleesh, Jade used the force to hurl a piece of metal through the things heart.

Tasha turned around and looked at Jade after the flying piece of death metal flew past her head and killed her intended target. “Jade, what the hell?!”

Jade smirked, her fangs showing. “I’m going to get Macrons lab.”

Tasha laughed. "So that’s what it’s all about. Beating Macron, sounds good to me, so let’s do it!


ISD Hammer of Cha’kota
Descending from Agua’tah Orbit

“I’ll stick with Darkblade. I’m itching to repay what these people did to our Clan.” Aexod spoke out slowly and deliberately. The fact he was a Clawdite himself didn’t go unnoticed in the Clan. Although no one doubted the Major’s loyalty, he felt the innate urge to set things right. “If that means killing a few more to get to the important people and extract whatever information they have, I’ll gladly do so.”

Locke raised an eyebrow at the duo, then turned to Aul.

“I assume you will want to go with your Master?” he spoke as the Consul looked the young Journeymen in the eye. The hint was clear, Aul still had a mission to make sure or report back to the Consul that no one was needlessly slaughtered at the hands of his Master.

“Yes.” the Gray Jedi replied.

“Right, lets get going then. Good luck on your mission and don’t let the Consul die.” Darkblade said.

As the two new teams each headed their own way, Darkblade couldn’t help but feel slightly relieved. Without the eyes of his Aedile and Consul on him, the Anzat would be free to stow away anyone or anything he retrieved on this mission. He knew Aexod would not provide any problems with the way he handled things, but Aul would still need to be tested. Where his loyalties were actually placed. As they continued down their path towards the bridge, Aexod led the way with Darkblade bringing up the rear and Aul in between the team.

Looking at the backside of his younger Apprentice, Darkblade wondered if Aul would even survive the fight. The Hunter wasn’t particularly fond of combat and it surprised him that he had come up with such a genius tactic to get rid of the Trandoshan squad earlier.

“You did well back there Celsus, I am honestly surprised at how you came up with such a brilliant plan during such a stressful moment. Perhaps there is yet use for you!” the Anzat laughed.

The Arcanist visibly teemed with pride which quickly vanished as they rounded the corner and ran head on into the guards of what seemed to be a royal dignitary.


Skyhook Corridor
** Decaying Orbit**
Exhausted and weak, Janos was still a pretty good shot. It helped that the Heavy blaster rifle he had picked up off of one of the dead trandoshans made any hit at all a potentially deadly one. He was firing from a kneeling position into the rest of the trandos and the rather ugly creature the others called a Iktotichi. The armor worn by the slavers was keeping them mostly intact but against his onslaught it was only a matter of time. They were more occupied with the spinning half Cathar, Jade who was handily cutting them to ribbons. THIS! This was combat how he remembered it.
A brief memory of fighting his way out of the slave pits alongside the other slaves and pirates brought bile into his throat. As the illusion dropped he carefully he took aim and fired. The bolt of crimson death struck the Trandoshan in the gap between helmet and breast plate, blowing him off his feet and spraying reptilian blood all over the corridor as the not quite cauterized wound began to drain the alien of its’ life fluids. A wicked smile came to the Sith who resumed covering fire.
Jade spun low then high as the rest of the team ran past her, on to their objective, her sabers a blur as they moved and dealt death to all who sought to challenge her despite the injury she had taken.
“Jade, I would ask you to stop distracting me with that dance, but if you do we both die. My compliments on your form.” Janos said through his helmet comm.
Jade paused momentarily after a neat cut that sliced an opponent in two. “Then shut up and enjoy it.” She quipped back, the smirk evident on her face and in her voice.
Tasha visibly rolled her eyes despite immediately dashing into the group of trandos. Not many remained but they were covered in that blasted armor. Her speed was more than they could compensate for but the armor turned aside most of her saber strikes.
Janos noticed that the armored alien in the back had something special sitting on his belt. The wicked grin returned as he began to concentrate on the thermal detonator.
"Jade…when I say so, you need to move that fine form as fast as you can away from there and take cover…ready?"
He wasnt the greatest at telekinesis, but as he found his center amidst the chaos he knew this was a challenge he could master. A quiet click-hum proved him correct as the safety snapped and detonator activated. He dove for cover.


Aboard shuttle B-392
Descending from orbit around Agua’tah

“Match speed with the target,” Marcus gave the order to the shuttle’s pilot who matched the terminal velocity of the Hammer. It’s course was erratic and the pilot made sure to keep his distance. As it plunged towards the surface of the planet, the edges of the giant wedge-shape started glowing, the gravity gaining more and more grip onto the now rapidly descending ship. Debris flew from the tip, and the shuttles giving chase had to swerve out of the way to not get hit.

“Sir, we need to slow our descent or we’ll burn up,” the pilot reported worriedly as the shuttle’s noses began glowing. Marcus grunted, trying to focus his will on forming a barrier in front of their shuttle. Not finding his center amidst the ships plunging towards the watery surface, he gave up and nodded towards the pilot who immediately slowed the craft into a more controlled descent, with the other shuttles following suit. The distance between the shuttles and the former symbol of Dominion might increased until Marcus could hold out his hand and obscure it from his vision.

Grabbing his comm-link he keyed into the frequency for all four shuttles. “We can’t keep up with the descent of the Star Destroyer, so we’ll be touching down after she crashes. When we land I want you to spread out, locate our own and assist them in any way required. During the search you’ll be led by the Jedi with you, I don’t want to hear about insubordination because your platoon leader is a Sith, or a Dark Jedi. Politics have no place on the battlefield. Once you hook up with our fellow brothers and sisters the entire platoon, Force-users included, will take orders from them.”

Meanwhile the Star Destroyer plummeted towards the surface. Aboard it’s bridge, the Captain ordered the helmsman to adjust their trajectory. “Make for grid 2-7-5. The water should be deep enough for us to survive the crash, with the nearby landmass providing enough cover in the vegetation for us to regroup.” The helmsman merely nodded, focusing all her attention on keeping the burning wreckage level. A few seats back, the comm-officer keyed the intercom, alerting the crew for the impending crash.

“Attention, brace, brace. We have imminent impact. Repeat, brace for impact.”

As the Star Destroyer fell through the cloud cover, setting fire to the sky, all aboard the giant ship braced for the impact, which was moments away.

Agua’tah Surface

The massive warship impacted on the ocean’s surface with a sickening crunch. Despite being buffeted by the water, the ship’s back broke; massive tears along its dorsal and ventral hull which exposed much of the innards of the ship. The hell buckled badly under its own weight, crumbling up like paper. The tidal wave that emanated from the crash rose up nearly a kilometer high before it diminished. The Star Destroyer itself slid across the water front, grinding its hull into the shoal that was hidden just beneath the surface; the captain had misjudged his impact point.

Coming to a stop several kilometers further, the tip of the massive wedge dug into the sandy beach of the landmass the captain had indicated earlier. Finally coming to a halt, fires spewing out of most of the openings of the hull, it’s engines sputtered to a motionless death.

Hammer of Cha’kota’s Surface

The four shuttles that had been chasing it finally broke through the atmosphere and streaked towards the now immobile husk of what had been the pride of Dominion military might. Marcus’ shuttle in the lead, they descended towards the hull, cargo hatches open. At the order of the Rollmaster the platoons jumped out as soon as their altitude permitted it, with the shuttles taking off again for safer skies as the automated defenses of the wrecked destroyer lit up the skies.

Wordlessly Marcus gestured to his platoons to move out, gain entry to the destroyer and locate their brethren. Each group, led by a Force-user, consisted of four troops. Two troopers, a medic, and a tech, all of them trained in conventional and Force-based combat. Marcus’ own group, consisting of two platoons of elite soldiers and two Knights, cut into the hull on the spot, the two techs using their specialized tools to cut through a weakened section of hull plating.

“We’re in, sir,” the senior tech reported as the section of hull they’d been cutting through fell to the level below with a heavy and resounding thunk.

“Move in, lets go find our Consul,” Marcus replied. Time to finish this.


Skyhook Corridor
Decaying Orbit

Jade looked towards Janos as his voice crackled through the com at her side. She nodded before rolling along the floor bringing her saber up as she rolled, slicing an arm off a Kaleesh as she moved beside him. The Kaleesh roared with pain and turned towards her. Jade just smiled, counting him to her growing list of victims before he even fell to the ground. The Kaleesh moved towards her but as she moved in for the kill she heard Janos yell “NOW!” Damn it! Jade ducked and used the force to spring off the floor, tucking and rolling as she dove for the side of the corridor. The Thermal Detonator exploded, rocking the area with the blast. Dust and debris fell from the ceiling.

Jades ears rang with the explosion as she used a hand to push a long piece of metal off her body before rolling over. Waving the dust from the air she sat up, her hand going to her side, fresh blood now soaking her robes from the quick movement. “Damn it!” Taking a breath she stood up and looked round. Tasha poked her head out from behind what looked like a piece of wall before standing up, while Janos stood up and looked around. Shaking her head to clear the ringing from the closed in quarters of the explosion, Jade walked towards Tasha and Janos. As she stood beside them, they all looked back at the scattered body parts, blood, and broken pieces of the Skyhook. Jade waved her hand at the mess, drops of her own blood adding to the already stained floor. “If Macron asks, I killed them all.”

Tasha laughed. “That’s how I saw it.”

Janos shook his head, he knew that once two women stuck together he would be out numbered. “Right, and I threw the detonator as a celebration.” He said it sarcastically as he turned towards where Macron and Sanguinius had previously ran.

Tasha stopped him with the hilt of her saber, doing her best to keep a straight face as she tapped it against his chest. “That’s exactly what happened.”

Janos put his hands up in a mock defensive move. “Ok, ok I get the hint.”

Jade laughed and walked beside them. “Hey, if I get Macs lab I’ll let you have a bit of fun. And as Macrons newest apprentice, you have to admit it would be an interesting experience.”

“He would kill me!”

Jade giggled, then leaned against the wall to catch her breath. “Ya you’re probably right. If he didn’t add you to an experiment first.”

Janos wasn’t sure he liked the sounds of that.

Tasha smirked and took a step back from him. “But just think, at least you would have a month to find a way to keep him from killing you.”

Janos glared at her from under his helmet, then glanced at Jade. She was visibly weakened by the stab she had taken, he could tell she was using a lot of her force energy to repair the wound.

Jade looked at the Secondary Chamber doors. “You don’t have any more detonators do you?”

Janos looked the Daughter of Sadow up and down before looking around at the scattered bodies around him. “No.”

Tasha started heading towards the doors as well. “Too bad…we might need another ‘celebration’ blast soon.”


Skyhook Corridor
Decaying Orbit

The groan of steel filled their ears as they stared at the bulkhead, the heavy blast doors of the meditation chamber flexing away from them, bowing backwards and forwards as though it were breathing. Janos stared at it, his eyes going wide as he watched the movement, watched the metal warp and warm. Jade turned slowly, hearing the steady drumbeat of the Lion’s boots.

Ashen was not about to let metal stand between him and his prey.
Aa few paces behind, DarkHawk followed the Lord, his saber lit, blood dripping down the front of his helm, staining his face, his chest. His eyes focused, glowering at the grey knight as his steps matched the Lord’s. Janos turned, standing tall as he recognized who had joined them in the corridor.

He said nothing, made no form of acknowledgement, the reflections of their own faces in his helmet just slipping past as he stepped through the carnage, his steady pace almost a metronome as he moved toward the chamber.

The metal warbled, the thunderous echo of strength fading ringing out like a bell too large to exist. It seemed to freeze, holding at awkward arcs inside of itself, in ways that it was never intended to bend.

Muz stopped. One hand rose slowly, open at first, slowly closing.

If one had the eyes to see such things, they would have seen concentration, not just of the Grand Master’s indomitable will, but of the Force itself, bowing to him. Threads of minutiae, of the building blocks of the universe were beckoned, condensed in his slowly closing fist. The flesh began to tremble, so subtly at first, then wildly, full on tremors coursing through the Lion’s fist, coalescing and binding to his will in ways that made no sense and yet perfect sense at the same moment.

And then it seemed time had stopped.

The tremors ceased as power was subjugated again, enslaved, directed. The doors exploded, bits of half glowing blast doors flailing throughout the chamber like a toddler’s discarded plaything, clanging heavily against walls, narrowly missing Jade and Janos. A chunk screamed too close to DarkHawk, and clipped his midsection, knocking him back and the wind pushed from his lungs. Muz stepped forward, his hands filling themselves with his weapons, the sunset hues of his blades scorching the air as they came to life.

Through the shattered door, they saw the path of ruin Muz had wrought, having blasted clean through to the other side, Macron and Sanguinius stared back at them for a moment before shaking lose the mental disconnect. Macron straight laughed, the cackle screaming through his vocoder and adding an eerie quality to the sound.

The remaining Dominion soldiers stood in the chamber, staring into the void, the inevitable death they faced. It took them only a moment to decide that they were not going quietly, the razor hum of energized adegans and blaster packs a cacophony in the chamber.

Muz raised one saber, leveling the deep purple blade at his prey, an Iktochi in simple robes and yet an overly ornate scarf. He didn’t need to explain why to the Sadow. They already understood.

You never interrupt a Lion’s hunt.


Skyhook Main Corridor
Decaying Orbit

The Wookie grabbed the Trandoshan by the shoulder and drove his forehead into the aliens. Both reeled back at the collision and Tarryyhn danced back a step as the vibroaxe swung inches from his chest. A thin welt of blood appeared to slip down over the Wookie’s eye and he growled moving into the next swing, blocking it with his right arm and driving his saber forward. The blade sailed past the Trandoshan’s head and as he overextended he felt a clawed hand thump twice into his chest. He disengaged and they both circled one another and then the Trandoshans’s gaze turned to that of the viewport next to them and Tarryyhn moved to take his chance.

His movement slowed as he briefly turned his head to see what the lizard stared towards and then he saw it. The Hammer fell from the sky. He had never seen such a thing in all his years, well not this close and both warriors took the moment to witness the devastation before moving away from one another. They watched as the ship impacted the planet and Tarryyhn saw a wince of something flit across the Trandoshan’s face. Then that something turned to hate and they were at one another again.

Tarry collided shoulder first with the big Trando and in retaliation he felt the wind escape his non ruined lung, blood joining it. In response Tarryyhn drove his saber up forward skewering the lizard man and running him through. The Trando winced but didn’t go down. Instead he grabbed the Wookie and slammed him up against the wall. As he was pushed against the metal the sound of heavy blaster fire echoed through it. Tarryyhn smiled and pushed back.

Their conflict carried up the corridor, blows were traded and then finally they reached a room next to where the rest of the team were fighting. Tarryyhn could feel them and had maneuvered his way up for the perfect moment. It never came. His back struck against a wall and the vibroaxe swung in and the Wookie dodged but not quick enough. The axe split fur, flesh and muscle and then carved bone. Severing Tarryyhn’s left arm at the elbow. Blood cascaded from the new wound and he roared.

Rushing forward with new conviction he struck the Trando in the chest and shoulder barged him through a thin wall and straight into the path of the team as they viewed the secondary doors. The Wookie didn’t stop moving until he had driven the Trando up against said doors pinning him. Dazed the Trando tried to move but the Wookie was having none of it and gripped his opponents arm, and using the force to bolster his strength, ripped the limb from it’s socket before engaging his saber once more and beheading the stunned Trandoshan.

The others had moved backwards as the behemoths had crashed through the party and stared momentarily at the Wookie. He raised his saber in a salute before moving it to the bleeding wound. The smell of burnt flesh filled the area as he cauterize his wound and fell to one knee then the other.

“Tarryyhn!” Tasha almost yelled before composing herself. The Wookie growled and moved to the closed doors, after pushing himself back up, and drove his saber into the metal. Cutting ever so slowly.


Lower Corridors
Hammer of Cha’kota
Agua’tah Surface

Locke blinked his eyes quickly as he awoke, his head pounding with a painful headache. He looked around, finding he was sprawled on the floor of a hallway. Lifting his head seemed disorienting, as if ‘up’ was at a slight angle. As hearing returned to the Consul’s ears, he heard metal groaning in the distance, as if some great, mechanical beast was dying.

“Did we just crash?” He mumbled. His mind struggled to put two and two together, especially aching as it was. The star destroyer had already been descending slightly when they had boarded it. Had gravity been too much for it?

“I think so,” someone said. Locke blinked. That was Bentre. That’s right, the two had split off from the others.

“The engine room, right?”

“Yes,” Bentre said, “because this ship is still firing on our forces.”

Our forces, right. Locke was not sure how much to trust the other man. Hadn’t Bentre supported Marcus’ insurrection? Marcus appeared loyal, but could be truly be trusted? He didn’t seem to trust anyone these days. Locke chuckled to himself and waved his hand as Bentre made a concerned face.

“It’s nothing. Let’s continue.”

“Right…I’ll take point.”

Bentre fished a datapad from his pocket and used its readout to guide them. He began hobbling down the corridor.

Locke took a few steps and stopped behind him, frowning. He asked the obvious question. “Are you hurt?”

“It’s nothing,” Bentre said. “Just a scrape.”

"Let me look, " Locke said, trying to make his voice gentle but also commanding. It was a difficult mixture, even for one of his experience in diplomacy. Before Bentre could say anything, Locke summoned the Force into himself. The dark side flowed in, but with some difficulty he forced it out, the world seeming to lurch as he focused, his eyes closed for a moment. He had called on that power too much as of late, but that corruption would not serve him here.

The dark side is a tool, he told himself, not an ally. In his mind’s eye, the Consul called upon the purest form of the Force. He raised his hands palms outward. When he spoke, his voice was calm, with a slight tension to it that belied his struggle.

“Trust me,” he said.

Bentre sighed and shrugged, lifting his shirt to expose the wound. His side was bruised and swollen, a large dark mark along it. His head clearing, Locke counted himself lucky that he had not suffered worse himself.

He channeled the Force into the wound, enveloping it gently in the power’s currents, laying them over it and around it, the bruising and swelling slowly disappearing. Had there been an open wound, this would have taken much longer, but as it was, it was a brief healing. He finished in a matter of moments and then pulled his hands back, shrugging at the other Jedi.

“See? No harm done. Feel better?”

“A little,” Bentre relented.

Locke smiled. “Alright then, let’s go. If those lasers are still firing, we need to stop them.”

Then there was the unspoken sense of urgency between them. If the ship had crashed, what had it hit? How long would it be before it sank in water, or worse: exploded?


Low orbit

The roll of the ship forced his shoulders up into the straps that held him into the seat. Pushing his craft to the limit he was gaining on the carrier, the bolts of his laser fire impacting the rear of the Dominion vessel. Circles of energy flared from the strikes, dissipating over the surface of the shields, their phosphorescence lighting up the whole ship. His readings were counting down the percentage with each passing shot, twenty, eighteen, seventeen, fifteen. A few more shots would have the shields failing leaving his prey vulnerable to his pulverising barrage.

Finally the shields on the display disappeared from around the craft before him. Quo’s fingers stabbed at the triggers again. Debris from the slamming thuds of the fire was ejected from the craft into the path of the Eenzaam, sounding like grit as she passed through the field. Panels were ripped open by the concussion from explosions beneath, deep gouges being ripped into the bodywork of the ship. Beneath Quo could see the electronic components sparking and arcing as electrical current escaped from the formerly closed circuits. More and more shots found their target destroying the rear of the ship bit by bit.

Watching the destruction of the enemy Quo was filled by a tempered rage, his anger kept in check by the need for focus. He couldn’t let his connection to the Dark Side overtake his body, lead him into a frenzy, he needed to be calm and controlled. A panel from the starboard engine pod broke loose, flying backwards in the wash of the ships progress, straight towards his view port. Almost by instinct Quo rolled the ship in an attempt to avoid the collision. From his viewpoint it sailed up and over his right shoulder out of his field of view. A wrenching sound told him that it had struck something above him. A boom from behind him was followed by a massive jarring, throwing the ship nose up, the rumble of an explosion rocking the vessel.

In front of him the displays lit up like an advertising hoarding. Alarms and readouts flashing across their surface as the ship tried to tell him where she was hurting. Glancing over them he sensed from the amount of flashing symbols that he was in a lot of trouble. OK. First he had to get her back under control. Continuing the roll he eased back on the throttles, tentatively deploying the spoilers. The Eenzaam lurched to the left. Quickly he retracted them. There was damage to at leas one of them, the right hand side one from the reaction of the ship. Slowly he felt her responding to his input on the control column, but she was sluggish. The roll was erratic, as if there wasn’t enough control surface to complete it, or the control surface was damaged in some way. Levelling her out he assessed how she flew. She was still trying to roll to the left, yep! There was some damage. He managed to get her straight and level by compensating with the stabiliser and control stick. He could manage it, it would just make it a bit more challenging.

He could see the missile carrier up and right of his position, and a lot closer than he expected her to be. The roll must have speeded the ageing Tie Oppressor as she whipped on her own axis. The distance was less than twenty meters between them, his own ship being still behind but a good five meters below the other. His muscles strained as he attempted to pull up the nose of the Eenzaam, the throttles reduced to try and tuck her in behind. The buffeting that he could feel from the column was giving him quite a workout, beads of sweat springing out on his forehead as he fought to make her do as she was told.

The Dominion K-Wing wasn’t faring much better, she was smoking heavily from the starboard engine, and the port one was vibrating, he could see the panels shaking, trying to shake itself to pieces. Metal fragments from the turbine fans, he guessed, were sporadically being jettisoned from the outlet of the engine, their silvery glints disappearing from view behind the ship.

Gradually, second by second he was managing to bring his weapons to bear on the opposition above him. He knew that every second was another that could auger the launch of more missiles. His targeting computer was inoperable, so the only place he could fire was directly in front, he just hoped that the weapons system was still operational. With the sheer amount of warnings on his displays he didn’t have time to assess all the faults that were being flagged for his attention. After some fifteen seconds he had her slap in the middle of the window, filling his field of view. It was now or never he thought, depressing the triggers beneath the handles of the control yolk. Green lancets of fire slammed into the underside of the K-Wing, tearing through he fabric of the belly in a line down the centre. Quo’s thumb hovered over the thumb button for the canon, he would only get one shot, he had to make sure it counted.

From the planet’s surface a huge pall of flame erupted, lighting up the underside of both ships. Quo didn’t want to think what had caused that burst, but it was huge, even though it had not burned for longer than a second. His heart filled with anger he stabbed the button down with his thumb. The energy projectile leapt from beneath his pilots position, barely having chance to fly before it smashed into the fuselage of the Dominion carrier. Quo saw, almost in slow motion, the interior light up bright white just before the panels of the fuselage leapt away from the superstructure. The vessel seemed to bulge as the interior pressure of the explosion sought an easy route from confines of the ship. Debris was ejected in every direction, miniature missiles that arrowed away from the central cacophony. In an instant the ship was reduced to millions of parts, all escaping the conflagration of flame and vapour.

Quo felt the pressure wave hit the pressure vessel of his ship shaking it like a child’s rattle. A split second later came the ‘whump’ of the noise. Shrapnel arrowed into the structure of the Eenzaam, tearing as they penetrated the outer hull, more systems being affected with damage as she flew through the debris field. The percussion of the wave struck Quo in the chest and head, his arms and legs being flung about as the ship was tossed in the turbulence of the destruction. Sending the ship into a spin, tumbling her end over end, left to right and up and down, the gravitational forces exacted on the cockpit were more than any being could reasonably endure. The last thought that crossed his mind was of Tasha’Vel Versea, his Master. He hoped he had bought her time to escape. Even a Zabrak couldn’t stay conscious with the battering he was taking, he was almost thankful
when the darkness enfolded him, his ship spinning out of control in the void of space.


Vizier Chamber Entrance
Decaying Orbit

As the carnage began to ensue in the secondary chamber, Sanguinius and Macron shook off the sense of awe at feeling the Lion of Tarthos’ work nearby. Macron laughed aloud; “Glad I’m not the target ha ha!” However, there was little time for extended banter as the two moved to neutralize their own targets.

Facing them were six elite Trandoshan warriors wearing armor and covered in tattoos. The Vizier Dar’Acat stood behind them, twin wooden-handled lightsaber hilts in his fists. His message was simple- “Dark Wardens, attack!” Behind him a Clawdite technician cowered in abject fear.

Two against eight should have been an easy victory. Unfortunately, neither Sanguinius nor Macron were known for being an easy mark. “Remember, we need him alive!” shouted the Jedi Sentinel as he engaged the first of the Trandoshans. Sanguinius, for all his peace-loving bluster, was a very talented warrior. His argent and azure lightsabers clashed with the Phrikite vibro-swords wielded by the lizards, broad defensive sweeps and pirouettes driving them backwards as his Soresu went to work. His style was a natural for dealing with large groups of enemies. Even so, he could not take them alone. The Vizier began to move in on him.

This was when the Alchemist struck. One of the Trandoshan warriors was lifted from his feet, squeezed, and propelled like a cannon-shot at Dar by invisible pistoning energy. The Dominion leader was forced to defend himself with the only weapons at hand- his lightsabers. His twin blades rose to slice the Trandoshan in half before it’s thick body clobbered him in the head. “You bastards!” yelled the dignitary as the stinking reptilian gore from the split body splashed over him, drenching his hair and getting in his eyes. A palpable feeling of fear began to wash over the room and the other Trandoshans, radiating from the red-armored Sith who had just entered the doorway.

Sanguinius dropped to one knee, ducked under a vicious blow from one Trandoshan and struck one of it’s legs in half at the shin. It sizzled and popped as the silvery blade sliced it in twain. The yellow lizard warrior howled and another pair struck downwards as the Jedi. He managed to erect a Force-barrier just in time, and the vibrosword whined and sparked at it hacked at the translucent shield. “Little help here!” He shouted as two more Trandoshans moved in from his right and left.

“Done, Jedi,” growled the Adept as he raised his left hand. Long streamers of evil blue lightning arced forth his fingers, searing the flesh and illuminating the bones of the two Dark Wardens as the Adept cackled. Metal armor and weaponry was no help against Force Lightning- and in fact, served as very effective conduits to the hapless meat below. The room began to stink of frying reptile as the Sith laughed in enjoyment of their pain. “Bwahaha!” Unfortunately, Macron enjoyed it too much and the usage needed to fully kill the two meaty Trandoshans left him vulnerable. The Vizier moved in and swung at him with one verdant lightsaber blade. It looked as if the Sith was about to lose his head.

Sanguinius rose and blocked it with his own blue one just in the nick of time. His other argent blade deflected the second of the enemy’s green blades as Macron caught his breath. The Sentinel and Vizier moved across the room with preternatural speed as their respective paired sets of lightsabers swept and struck.

Two of the toughest Trandoshans remained, along with the hapless Clawdite who had voided his excretory system in face of the fear and gore that permeated the room. One of the Trandoshans growled in disgust and killed the Clawdite with a downward swing almost as an afterthought. The two experienced fighters charged Macron along diverging vectors, counting on the fact that the Sith could not use lightning again so soon.

They were right of course. They flanked the Sith and began to expertly attack with their vibroswords. Macron’s lone orange blade hissed and spat against the weapons as they sparked off the Mandalorian steel in his off-hand crushgaunt. The Adept held them off neatly but could not quite gain an upper edge against them. He was tired and wounded. Having nearly spent the last of his energy in the flamboyant lightning attack and fear effects earlier, they were slowly driving him back towards the wall.

The sounds of combat outside the door had died down and several heads peeked into the doorway. Tarryyhn charged into the room with a howl of rage and tackled one of the Trandoshans facing Macron. The enraged Wookie began to beat the lizard in the face with repeated Force-enhanced jackhammer blows, pulping it’s face into a ruin as the lizard warrior stabbed at him in the chest.

Janos knelt, braced his arm, and shot one of the Trandoshans fighting Macron in the left hip from the doorway. Macron took the opportunity to stab his blade into the lizard’s guts through the armor and rip upwards into it’s organs with the searing blade.

Janos, having no love of Trandoshans, turned his rifle towards the other and began to pepper it with shots as his Master finished off the other. Macron then bull-rushed the pinned down Trandoshan, slamming it against the wall as his crushgaunt caught it’s throat. The servos whined as the lizard’s neck was crushed to bloody ruin, it’s eyes bulging out as it’s tongue popped from it’s throat with a bloody gurgle. It managed to stab the Sith in his right arm as it died. Macron growled and clutched the wound with a grimace and slumped against the wall. “I’m getting too old for this crap.”

Tasha and Jade moved to aid Sanguinius against the vizier. Against the three of them, he had no hope of survival in open combat. As multiple lightsabers backed the Vizier into a corner, Sanguinius spoke. “You are defeated. Come with us willingly, and I will ensure your survival.”

Jade growled and licked her lips as she peered at the Vizier. It was a touch-and-go situation. “I’ll call us an extraction team to get us off this junk pile before it crashes,” she said with a nasty smile. “i think you’re going to owe me those keys, old man.” Macron just snarled in return as he fumbled for a medkit.

“I seriously hope you can ensure his safety,” commented Tasha as the Quaestor looked at the Darksiders in the room. All of them had a hungry, wicked look in their eyes. That was one of the downsides to working with Darksiders- they tended to not take prisoners. The Mystic moved to the fallen Tarryyhn and took out a med-pack. “Sonofabitch,” she muttered at the Wookie’s slow raspy breathing. “Stubborn bastard. Don’t you die on me!”


ISD Hammer of Cha’kota
Agua’tah Surface

Aul’s eyes blinked open slowly, his head pounding as if he had just been sat on by a bantha. As he tried to stand blood started to drip across his vision. He felt the top of his head and identified a deep laceration about four centimeters long. He focused briefly on closing the wound just enough that he could stop the bleeding and lessen his pain.

He looked around at the wreckage of the crash. On the durasteel wall behind him Aul could identify a dent roughly the size of his own head, letting him know the kind of force they landed with. He could only imagine the damage others around the ship incurred. He hoped the Consul’s team had survived.

The hallway had partially collapsed. Ceiling panels hung by wires and lights flickered. Small fires burned where circuit panels had overloaded and filled the corridor with a smoke that smelled heavily of burning electronics. Aul removed his cloak and threw it aside, feeling it would only encumber him as they tried to make their way forward.

“Aexod? Aul?”

Darkblade’s voice called from a few meters away. As Aul moved towards the voice he found his Master leaning against the wall on the other side of a blown-through durasteel panel. The Anzat had torn straight through the side of the hallway and into an adjacent room that looked like it served as an impromptu holding room or bedroom, depending on the occupant. His left arm hung limp at his side.

“Here, Master,” Aul replied as he quickly moved in to look at Darkblade’s arm.

“Me too,” came Aexod’s voice a moment later. Aexod moved with a slight limp, but overall looked as if he had fared better than the other two. “We’ve got to get going, I think that was our target.”

“Almost… done,” said Aul as he swiftly pushed Darkblade’s arm back into its socket with a crack. Darkblade, attempting to control the pain smashed his other hand into the wall, leaving a shallow dent. “Careful, you’ll end up with more injuries than you can afford, Master,” Aul said with a light smirk.

Darkblade brushed off his Apprentice’s comment and rushed back outinto the hallway and towards the direction they last saw the dignitary and his guards. A second after he disappeared into the smoke, the sound of the Anzat’s lightsabers igniting echoed off the walls. Aul and Aexod rushed after their Master, not sure if they need to protect him or hold him back for his own safety.

By the time they reached Darkblade he had already cut through a half dozen guards, their various limbs strewn about the corridor. Aul sensed a pounding, dark energy emanating off Darkblade as, one by one, he made his way towards the ceremoniously dressed Iktotchi at the end of the path. The guards, clearly outmatched had begun to retreat, their faces painted with worry. The Iktotchi cursed at them in his native tongue, but the guards would not have much time to dwell on the scolding. Darkblade continued on his warpath, slicing through them, and performing saber throws to reach the ones just out of reach.

“Master, they are clearly trying to escape. Shouldn’t we focus on-“

“They will all pay,” Darkblade interrupted Aul with an intensity that immediately ended the Hunter’s protest.

When the last guard hit the ground, nothing separated the Sadowans from the Iktotchi noble. A wide grin spread across his face, as the gold decorations of his horns glinted in the blinking of the ceiling lights.

“You won’t find this is funny for long,” Darkblade taunted at his target.

The Iktotchi began to laugh, as the hands at his sides started to glow and crackle with a fierce, miniature lightning storm.


Vizier Chamber Entrance
Decaying Orbit

The Vizier shuddered as the Lion stalked in their direction. Surrounded, outnumbered, and with that cruel predator moving closer to him, he felt along the edges of his sensing. There was hope even in this direst of situations. He looked up at the Grey Jedi, bowing his head, his eyes widening as the Lion did not pause, the vibrant violence of his sabers still churning the air as he moved.

Tasha’Vel nodded at the Vizier as Macron gnashed his teeth, grunting his way through the pain. Macron turned momentarily, watching the Iktochi mystic scramble from inevitability, his eyes wide, his movements feral. The Alchemist chuckled at the predicament, amused at how close to the precipice of madness that he was being driven, and yet somehow a sliver of pity. Macron had a vague idea what he was after, and he wanted to ask more, but knew better than to pry. Now was not the time, or the place.

The invisible hand of the Force swept the mystic into the air, legs and arms grasping for the bulkhead, desperation frenzying his limbs. There were many outcomes, a plethora of reasons why the Grand Master wanted He-Who-Remembers, but in none of the myriad scenarios, did he have any hope left. It took only a few moments, even as the Skyhook shuddered deeply, the scream of venting atmosphere elsewhere in the station reminding them that it was indeed time to go.

Muz brought his prize to eye level, the coal black of his helmet impenetrable by normal eyesight. He-Who-Remembers winced, trying to look away, but to no avail. Silence screamed between the two, a mortal game playing out behind their eyes. Fear soaked through the Iktochi’s heart, reflected in his skin, flushed and sweating. He grunted, pushing himself to stand up in even this hour.


Muz tilted his head, watching the man struggle to speak through clenched teeth.


Blood dripped from his lips. Blood and spittle lazily dripped to the bulkhead. Resolve seemed to bloom again in him. Perhaps he had resigned himself to his fate, or perhaps he was encouraged to fight, given a chance if only for the sport of it.


Muz stepped closer, the polished darkness of his helm mere inches away from the Iktochi’s face. He was breathing laboriously now, hissing through pursed lips and teeth clenching so hard he felt that he’d never be able to open them again.


Muz brought his arm up, smashing the heavy limb across the back of the Iktochi’s head, sending him directly into unconsciousness as he flipped open his datapad in the same seamless motion. The chirp of the Spear’s AI greeted him, as he sent the command for the ship to come and extract him from the future wreckage. It was only fifteen seconds away, hovering at the edge of the descent, waiting for his call like a well-trained beast. Slowly, the helmet shifted upward at the Sadowan Host, several sets of eyes watching him.

The words echoed from their ears and from somewhere deeper inside their heads, as if he had too many voices, all made from stone and steel.

“Did you need a lift?”