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[COU] Battle Formations


Battle Formations

Daleem Satele Shan Space Elevator

The elevator crept upwards at a surprisingly fast pace. Alethia stood a few paces from her Quaestor, her usual company left behind on Daleem’s surface. The ride was tense; neither had spoken much outside of the necessary since Mako had left the Proxia to oversee the building of their House’s new base. Even during the unveiling of the base and Mako letting himself be seen by his fellow Satele members, they had barely spoken or even looked at each other. With what Alethia had heard from Korroth, Mako had personally overseen construction for several hours each day before leaving to the mountains with Gwen for training. He had given their House a new home, but he seemed different now, more serene. The man’s shoulders had a more relaxed posture to them.

“How did ship life treat you?” Mako’s words snapped the Aedile out of her thoughts.

“Pleasant enough, though I’ve always prefered solid ground under my feet,” Archenksova answered, studying her Quaestor’s expression for any indication of why he had called her here.

“I see, so apparently Arcia and Edgar are waiting at the top of this shaft for us. Their ships required a resupply and our dock was the closest,” the Quaestor said as he rubbed his forehead.

“How well do you know Colonel Cortel? You both were in Arcona at the same time.”

“When we served together on the Nighthawk, she was my Captain. She means well, however her heart is colder than the void of space. She demands nothing less that perfection from those beneath her. You may have read about him in the old intel reports, but my brother Sight served as her chief engineer for a time. From what I can tell he enjoyed her company and considered her a friend.”

“You have a brother as well? What happened to him,” the Aedile asked her lips growing to a thin line. Two Henymory’s were hard enough to deal with as it was.

“Sight was not a Henymory, however we were like brothers. Perhaps it was his murderous ways and unquenchable blood lust catching up to him, perhaps incompetence during that mission from the command staff. He died back then, sacrificed himself to an enemy he knew he could not defeat to save his crew, his friends, from torture and death.”

“So he redeemed himself in the end with one last honorable act.”

“No, he died as he lived, soaked in the blood of his victims. After he left a much younger Odan-Urr, Sight plunged into darkness deeper than I myself have tread. But we digress from the topic at hand. Have you been well?”

“As well as can be expected, and yourself?”

“Alive, feeling better than last we met,” his voice was quiet as an electrical storm raged around the outside of the lift shaft.

“What happened in your training with that woman?”

“Plenty of meditation on letting go of my anger, interspersed with her beating me with a stick.”

“She beat you with a stick?”

“Yes, as a method of raising my ire, so I could practice releasing my anger. Then we moved on to sparing. My ribs are still broken.” As the Quaestor finished speaking the lift slowed and came to a stop. The cargo doors whisking open with a hiss, the intercom coming to life on the station.

BING “Attention on Deck! Quaestor Henymory and Aedile Archenksova have boarded. Command now shifts to Quaestor Henymory.” BING

“Well ain’t that fancy, how you doing Alethia?” Edgar said an ear to ear grin upon the Hoth Aedile’s face as he stood next to Colonel Cortel.

“Keeping the galaxy safe for democracy,” she answered with a slight smirk. “It’s good to see you, Aedile.”

“Cortel,” Mako said slowly with a nod.

“Henymory,” the Hoth JTF Commander’s cold voice replied.

“I trust the station’s amenities are to your approval,” Henymory said his voice level and serene as they began to walk, the Aediles falling into step behind their Commanders.

“They will do. For as fast as the Ship Smiths guild constructed the station, a few lacking areas are to be expected.”

“Well, you haven’t changed a bit, Cortel. Adjusting to life with the lighties well?”

“Dark or Light, all Force users are the same,” the Colonel’s lips twitched for a moment as a thought ran across her mind. “I have a proposal for you, Henymory.”

“Oh, so more business than just a resupply. Of course you would have planned when and where to stop. I was wondering when you would get around to the true nature of this visit.”

“There is a spot in this system that would serve as a good location to launch longer voyages from, as well as serve as an excellent listening post. My intel says you have already requested the construction of a station in this location. I want it, Henymory,” her cold eyes shifted to the Seer.

“I see, well some of my more diplomatic members have already started talks with the Ship Smiths Guild about the station. Mostly getting estimates on time, labor, cost. However you must already know this. What is your proposal?” Henymory’s voice deepened as the group came to a stop outside of the Sovrence Unlimited one of several bars upon the station.

“I will be able to utilize the position to a fuller capacity than you. Let Hoth build there instead.”

“That can not be your only argument. If so you have wasted a trip,” Mako said as he turned to face Arcia. The Aediles watching intently as the ice queen and war criminal glared upon each other.

“I have another argument, but you have first to retort properly. You know I would be able to utilize the position.”

“Oh, I know well of your tactics, Captain. Sight learned first hand how effective they can be.” The words had barely parted from his lips before Cortel’s fist slammed into the Seer’s face. The crunch of cartilage and bone giving way as Mako stepped backwards.

“How dare you,” Arcia spat out as Mako’s thumb flicked some of the fresh blood from his healing nose an amused smile upon his lips.

“So you still have the fire he so admired and Lilly so envied you for. But it makes me wonder if you regret those actions.”

As the Commander‘s fist tightened Edgar and Alethia stepped between the two.

“Hey, hey business first then pleasure right,” Edgars joke helped little to defuse the tension between the two but the serious look upon his face helped to calm Arcia’s wrath just enough. “We came here for a purpose and not to settle any of your old Arconian scores with Mako. Now either get a hold of yourself or let me handle this!” Drachen said sternly but low enough for only the Colonel to hear.

Cortel turned slowly to look at the man, but said nothing in response as her glare returned to Mako.

“You just had to push, didn’t you,” Alethia said with a chastising tone as she roughly wiped the remaining blood from Mako’s nose with a cloth.

“That is still tender you know,” the Quaestor said as tears welled in his eyes.

“Serves you right.”

They almost thought to see a chilling grin upon Arcia’s face, but it was gone with a second glance. “Drachen, give them our proposal.”

“Right, so the way we figure is a fighting force is only as good as its training. So we propose a two stage mock invasion. First, House Satele Shan will fail a staged invasion of Solyiat. Culminating in a full on mock battle. Second Phase, House Hoth will seize Shan’s assets on Daleem,” the Aedile said confidently.

“Winner gets claiming rights over the new station, I take it,” Mako said with a nod.

“That is the idea,” Arcia replied curtly.

“I’m game, Alethia you think we can take em?”

“They’ll never know what hit them, sir.”

Rohlan’s Vision

Solyiat Orbit

“Colonel Cortel! Several ships inbound.”

Arcia Cortel snapped her attention to the young Major who sounded off, narrowing her eyes at the information garnered. The Hoth JTF ships were not massive enough to prevent a force from breaching Solyiat, but they would be expected to do what it took to ensure the invasion force was brought to a minimum.

“Send word to the Owuhey–” Cortel started, but was cut off.

“The Owyhyee, ma’am…” another officer corrected her, receiving the darkest of scowls in return.

“Send word to the Pride to cover our flank while the Challenger stays back to pick off the stragglers.”

A wordless acknowledgement was given as commands were sent through the rest of the fleet. Turning her attention back to the viewscreen before her, the Colonel watched with cybernetic enhanced vision as the Satele Shan JTF ships blinked into existence before her.

Arcia flipped open a standard comlink. “Cortel to Drachen. It’s begun.”

”It’s about time Shan decided to get off their butts, I was beginning to believe they backed out of the bet.”

Several minutes later…

Trepus Ice Caves


Far above the icy continent of Trepus, balls of flame shot through the sky towards the transfer station.

“Either Arcia blew them out of the sky or I guess it’s time we greet the invaders the only way we know how, face to face!” Drachen yelled as he finished handing out his orders to the ground troops mobilized throughout the vicinity, just as the first of the Satele Shan JTF drop pods touched down.


Battle Formations

Tactical Planning Room
Rohlan’s Vision
Soliyat Orbit

Mako, Alethia, Arcia, and Edgar stood around a holo table as Turel and A’lora reviewed the holos of the mock invasion. While the Satele forces had managed to penetrate the outer defenses, Korroth had been able to disable their base shields allowing for a second drop of reinforcements to safely land on the bases’ perimeter. Edgar had proven pivotal in rallying the defenses after the Satele ship’s ion blasts had disabled the base’s electrical supply. In the end Satele had fallen short of breaching the ice caves by a mere few meters when the sky had lit up with signal flairs.

“Impressive tactics on both sides,” Turel said as the holo feed flickered off.

“What made you decide to go with drop pods?” A’lora inquired.

“During the last great war, Turel and myself were in a shuttle that was brought down due to a bird entering an engine intake. Drop pods just seemed the wiser choice for the occasion.”

“Understandable,” Vorsa interjected.

“While we failed to enter the cave system I believe that given more time we would have been able to take the base. By the end the only ground leader we had not captured was Edgar.” Henymory spoke slowly as he stroked the white Loth-cat, Syltri, that was curled up on his shoulder.

“Tistito should never have rushed the front line as he did. However the delay the Knights provided by doing so gave us the time to rally the rest of our defenses,” Edgar spoke slowly as he eyed the creature which had attached itself to Mako. Even during the fury of battle it had clung to the man’s shoulder.

“Yes, it did provide a pivotal turning point. I believe Gwen enjoyed healing him a bit too much afterward though,” the elder Henymory said as his mouth turned downward into a frown. He would make sure to leave out of the official written report the exact details of what his sister had spoken to the Knight Commander.

Arcia and Alethia stared each other down across the holo table. The two had commanded opposite sides in a stalemated space battle. Mako and Edgar couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the two.

“You’re mine next time, Cortel,” the Aedile broke the silence first. A taunt which only brought an icy and victorious smile to Arcia’s lips.

“If we are done here, would you kindly remove that thing from my ship,” the Hoth JTF Commander’s cybernetic eyes focused on the Loth-cat with a silent whir of gears contracting and expanding the intricate combination of lenses and apertures.

“We will see you in a few days then, Colonel,” Mako replied with a nod to the Clan leadership and Vorsa.

“I can’t believe she didn’t like Syltri,” Alethia’s tone was a bit sarcastic and a bit condescending as she gave the pet Gwen had forced upon Mako a quick pat, the doors firmly closed behind them.

Synchronous Orbit

Alethia had always preferred solid ground over the feel of deck plating beneath her boots. As much as she wished to be planetside with the main Satele force, Mako needed her up here to grind Arcia’s tactical genius to a standstill again. The small fleet under her command played a critical role in the plan.

“Ma’am, multiple contacts dropping out of hyperspace near the elevator’s station,” a bridge officer sounded off. Indeed the Hoth fleet was just now appearing off in the distance, already transport shuttles streamed forth from the hangars.

“Deploy all fighters, bring the gun ship to bare. We have to buy time for that storm front to cover the rest of the continent!” Alethia’s orders to her crew were absolute: their first job was to keep as many of the shuttles from breaking atmo as possible.

Once the storm rolled in those above the upper atmosphere would be stuck until after the timer had run out, being forced to dock and send limited numbers of troops down the elevator at a time. The Aedile could almost feel the tension, almost feel Arcia staring back at her with those unnatural eyes from across the void.

“Raise Mako on comms before we get cut off!”

Satele Base

“Sir, priority 1 comm blast from orbit,” Len spoke slowly as he handed the holo pad to Mako.

“They are here, the shuttles are hugging the repulsion shield of the elevator.” The connection was full of static but the message was clear.

“Good, just as we prepared for. Hold the line Major, stick to the plan.” The Quaestor replied mere moments before the raging electrical storm overhead cut off the possibility of orbital communication.

In the distance the roar of a swoop sounded, and a grin came across both Henymory’s faces.

“Oh, I hope I get to play with him some more this time,” Gwen chimed up from beside her brother.

“He is just lucky you are only here to heal and observe,” Korroth said with a chuckle.

Mako sent a chime through the ground forces comm channel.

“Our guests have arrived as planned, hold those positions. Let us show those ice planet denizens the hospitality of Satele Shan.” As their Questor’s voice faded from the comlink speakers Satele Shan and their JTF forces let loose a roar, finally they had the home field advantage.


Battle Formations

Soverence Unlimited
Satele Shan Space Elevator Platform
Low Orbit, Daleem

“…he is inbound and in critical condition,” Mako said quietly to Turel as the others filtered into the room, both their eyes focused on Cortel.

In the back room of the Soverence Unlimited House and Clan leadership gathered once more. Mako and Edgar stood next to each other drinks in hand. Their eyes glued more to Alethia and Arcia than the holotable. The air seemed electrically charged between the two women as they stared each other down. Secretly Turel was thankful that the Holotable and Vorsa separated the two.

Syltri tilted her head and made a questioning growl as the air above the table flickered to life with light and the holo recording began. The roar of a swoop bike emitted from the speakers as the image focused on Tistito.

The Knight Commander sped through a canyon back toward the rendezvous point with KoA. Being the most mobile of the Hoth forces on Daleem at the time, Tistito had took it upon himself to scout ahead. The image shifted to that of Korroth deep within the planet’s tunnels, a multitude of screens splayed out before the Pau’an.

“Mako, inbound on your team’s position.”

Once more the image shifted to that of the Quaestor crouched at the edge of a hidden tunnel entrance, the sound of a swoop bike growing louder. The man made a single motion with his arm, then darted forward with an unnatural speed.

The swoop bike slid riderless to a stop at the feet of Gravriel Kadesh, a full platoon of Satele JTF at the Master’s side. The Knights of Allusis separated from their Knight Commander as the war criminal gave him a lesson in lightsaber forms and the effects of electricity upon the body’s muscles.

The image shifted to the bridge of the Pride of Owyhyee, Arcia was issuing orders, for some reason not commanding from the Rohlan’s Vision, as the Satele fleet barred down upon them. The view from the station on top of the elevator showed a more complete picture as the two fleets danced around each other, the blue of ion cannons complementing the lightning dancing around the dark clouds below.

Turel sped up the footage, as Gwen drug an unconscious and shackled Tistito to a medical unit. The Hoth forces lead by Edgar broke through the eastern lines as Dorro lead the forces from the west. Then the image shifted to the fighting outside the Satele base. Mako and Edgar danced around each other in direct combat as their remaining forces crashed against each other.

The view came back to the orbital battle as the timer ran down. Both fleets had suffered heavy loses, though Arcia’s tactics had given the Hoth fleet a slight advantage in number and better positioning.

As the flairs lit the sky upon Daleem, Mako knelt beside Edgar to begin healing. Darro gave the Quaestor a begrudging nod before he went to find where Gwen had stashed Tistito at. The light sputtered as the holotable turned off.

“So neither House was able to overcome the other’s home field advantage,” A’lora’s voice carried a tone of intrigue and approval.

“So with no clear victor on the ground it goes to the orbital engagement to settle things,” Vorsa spoke thoughtfully. Alethia scowled as the corners of Arcia’s mouth twitched upwards for but a fraction of a second.

“I believe we already know the outcome then,” Turel spoke with a nod to A’lora

“Hoth is victorious in the mock war,” the Consul’s voice had a finality to it.

“Just barely though,” Vorsa added.

“Well fought Edgar, we should do it again sometime. You should probably go make sure my sister hasn’t stolen your Knight Commander,” Mako said with a nod as he slapped the Aedile on the shoulder.

“Yeah I will, but I’m in no rush to do that now. I trust you can hold on to him for a bit Mako? Just be nice to him. His birthday is coming up, you know,” Edgar said with a smirk.

Arcia and Alethia continued to stare each other down for a moment more. “Yes, well fought. If we are through here, I’m going to go get a drink,” Archenksova spoke as she turned on her heel and walked off.

On the way out Edgar tapped the Satele Commander on her shoulder “I believe you you owe me some credits, or would you rather buy the first round?”

“Colonel, a moment of your time.” Henymory said as the others filtered out to the bar of the Soverence Unlimited were the Clan celebrated the end of the training.

“What do you want, Henymory? Come to insult me again?” Cortel half snarled.

Mako produced three glasses and a familiar old bottle in response. Pouring the drink he slid a glass over to Arcia as he spoke. “Just thought it would be nice to catch up.”

A cheer erupted from the bar as the news was announced, in the back room Mako and Arcia sat in silence, drinking the bottle Sight had kept back for a special occasion.

After a few minutes Turel closed the door to the back room and took a seat. Mako filled a glass for the Proconsul and slid it to him. Closing his eyes Turel took a deep drink.

“Destri, Mako found him. He is inbound on a shuttle now,” Sorenn hesitantly began.

“He will arrive in a few days, but we need to explain what his…” Mako paused his eyes avoiding Arcia’s, “His condition is critical…”