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

[CSP] Monstrosity - Temple of the Forgotten


This is the run-on for Clan Scholae Palatinae Monstrosity Clan Event. Full backstory can be found here. This run-on will take place on the discourse forum, and will last for the entire month of November. There is no sign-up required for this event, and it is open to all Clan Scholae Palatinae members.

Judging will be based on the fiction grading rubric. Level of cooperation with fellow clanmates in the run-on will also be taken into consideration. This includes, but is not limited to, keeping a flow of continuity with the story, including other members in your own posts, not derailing the story for your own story.

Participation in this run-on will earn you Clusters of Ice, as well as points toward the parent competition of the Monstrosity Clan Event. Participation will be manually added to the competition listing for this run-on at the end of the event.


  • Minimum post length of 250 words
  • Maximum post length of 1000 words
  • Minimum of 2 posts required for participation qualification
  • No posting twice in a row, one other member must post before you can again
  • Posts should be only continuation of the story, no OOC posts, save for posts from the event runner.
  • Posts may be edited by the poster only, and no edits on a post will be allowed once the next post is made in the thread.

Helpful Hints:

  • Check out other people’s character sheets to help write them in your posts
  • Remember Star Wars Realism Counts. No out of universe swearing!
  • It always helps to have at least one other person proofread before posting
  • Reserving posts helps prevent people from posting before you get yours in.
  • Be courteous to your fellow housemates, and don’t reserve a spot then not post.

Opening Prompt


Millennia ago the Infinite Empire ruled with an iron fist. Within what would once be known as the Cocytus system, they researched creatures of terrible design. Knowledge thought lost about their workings now might be the only thing that can stop the chain of events unfolding in the system.

Evidence of temple, long left to be reclaimed by nature has been found on Judecca. Built around a mountain, covered thick by the forests of the planet, early scans of this temple indicate a complex that buries deep into the mountain. As a final act of desperation, a team of the very best has been ordered to investigate by the Emperor.

Your mission is to infiltrate the temple, engage any hostile forces, circumvent any security measures, and pass the tests required to reach the bottom level. It is only there you will be able to find the long forgotten knowledge of the Old Gods. Only together as a team can you hope to face the challenges of the Temple of the Forgotten and live to tell the tale. The fate of the system now rests in your hands.


Judecca - Summer Palace - Briefing Room

Early Day

Delak stood inside the briefing room awaiting the last
remaining few members who had been chosen by the Emperor for a critical mission
into the Infinite Empire’s remaining temple. He had arrived early and set up
position near one of the inner pillars of white stone, there he leaned against
it feeling its cold touch. It was almost as cold as his metallic body parts.
The wind was whipping through the room going from one open window and back out
through another on the opposite side of the room. Within minutes the members of
Scholae that had been chosen began to file into the room. One by one taking up
position around a centralized table used for meetings, at the head of the table
sat the Emperor’s high backed thrown which he only used for these types of
meetings. The members who had arrived all looked to be in good spirits
considering everything that was going on recently. The news had been getting
around of the Infinite Empire’s last remaining temple hidden right there on
Judecca. The murmurs of conversation started up all around the room, each
member talking back and forth amongst themselves as they waited for the Emperor’s

A few minutes after the conversations began the Emperor Xen
walked into the room with the force stretching out from himself. The rage could
be sensed in every part of the room and in the force. Delak almost shuddered
when Xen approached the room. The Emperor took his place at the head of the
table but did not sit as he normally did.

“Men and Women of Scholae Palatinae, you are here because
you are the best we have. I have a mission of the utmost importance. There is a
mountain near us that contains the entrance to the Ancient Temple of the
Infinite Empire. This is the last known temple on Judecca and in the
surrounding systems. It is your mission to infiltrate the temple and to bypass
all of the security and traps that may remain. You are to gather any information
that you can and stop whatever may be going on down there. You set out
immediately after this briefing concludes. Good luck and may the force make you
strong! For the Empire!” Xen concluded with a roar.

All members of Scholae that were present cheered and headed
out from the room to their respective rooms to gather their equipment for the
mission ahead. Delak himself had already gathered his gear and headed for the
nearest landing pad to board the shuttle heading for the temple.


Calindra had left her noble clothes behind, wearing a tight fitting flight suit and a dark cloak that hugged her lithe form. She wore a belt to prevent it from fluttering in the surprisingly strong wind. A shawl covered her face, hiding her blond locks and most of her delicate features. It was not for those assembled here to know what her status was, and it mattered little when it came to Order business. The Council and her Clan’s leadership would know her lineage, that was all that mattered.

From where she stood, she had considered the others as they filed in. Some she recognized, like her Master Landon Cruise. Others, she’d seen briefly before, but given her work as a member of the Inquisitorius, she’d rarely had a chance to be in the same room to make the appropriate introductions. It was more like the realization of having read their dossier, and sifting through her memory as to who they were and what they excelled at.

‘Time would tell,’ she figured.

Her attention drifted to a tentacled quasi-Human with sunken eyes and cold calculating stare, ‘Quaren? That must be the newly appointed Aedile, Lexiconus.’ She believed he craved little else than power and influence. How else could he have climbed to that much influence within the clan? Her gaze then settled on a tan skinned Kiffar with yellow eyes. She’d heard that this one had a darker sense of humour. ‘Jorm Nat’trej,’ Calindra thought. ‘A dangerous enemy; I should play to his pride and thirst for bloodshed, he might become a valued ally.’ Her gaze had curriously fallen to consider the Kiffar’s tattooed arm when the Emperor walked in.

She was actually surprised at how quickly they had been dismissed, and how little information was given.

Focusing her attention away from the others given the Emperor’s foul mood, she ever so slightly shuffled closer to Landon.

“Is he typically so… brief?”

Landon warned her with a stern glare, and motioned for her to file out of the room.

“But, how are we going to organize our efforts in such a short meeting? Don’t we have any intel worth shar-” her words were cut short by the pain in her arm where Landon held her, steering her out of the chamber.

“Not now,” he growled before she could posit any argument.

She hoped someone had the semblance of a plan… It wasn’t at all starting well without one.


Now THAT was a short one.
Jorm was a little bit disappointed. He had been one of the very first Palatinaeans fighting these new monsters in the outskirts of Ohmen, and then fought his way through to the Summer Palace. He finally reported to Xen’mordin via comlink while he washed the blood, sweat, soot and monster juice off in the shower. Having a nap while the Emperor spoke would have been nice. Instead, the searing gaze behind the mask grazed Jorm’s eyes. An uninvited thought echoed through his mind.
"You will be part of that team. No excuses."
Well, that answered Jorm’s secret question whether he’d turned off the comlink before he started singing in the shower or not.

He stepped back from the table and smiled at the other people.
"I have no idea what you guys plan, but I assure you, I’m not waiting for it. I will commandeer some sort of transport from the local garrision, pillage the armory, and get there. Anybody along for the ride?"
Backpedalling towards the exit he raised an eyebrow at Archangel, already fully armored and looming over the group like a moss-colored monolith, and received the smallest of nods. The Quarren who had recently become Aedile of House Imperium - Lexiconus? - caught Jorm’s attention with a gesture.
“I will travel with you too. Ample space would be advisable.”
"Don’t bring your pool then."
Jorm bowed theatrically, turned and left the room. As he passed through the door, he shouted back:
"Our flight leaves in twenty minutes!"
He noticed Landon and the shawl-disguised woman on his side take note. A few moments later he started making comm calls and requisitioned a LAAT/i from the local garrision. He also had the palace’s quartermaster stand by. Dropping Xen’s name mixed with expletives and the word ‘master’ worked wonders.

A few minutes later, the scrambled LAAT/i and the Quartermaster’s stuff filed into the hangar, where Jorm started selecting equipment and munitions to be loaded aboard, including a few speeder bikes. Archangel arrived first, carrying a bag the size of a repulsor crate, and placing it beside Jorm’s in the passenger compartment.
"I will secure us a landing zone."
He activated a holo emitter and started talking on the comm. Then their Aedile Rosh Nyine appeared. The younger man took a seat in the darkest corner of the gunship, brooding as always. As the last crates were loaded, the Duros, Dek Rott, joined them aboard, keeping to his own thoughts.

Five minutes before launch, Lexiconus finally appeared with two crate-bearing servants and a uniformed man in tow.
Is that a cop? SERIOUSLY?!
“Did you get arrested on the way here?” Jorm quipped in amused disbelief.
He had to fight himself not to touch the officer to make sure he wasn’t daydreaming. The Quarren shot the Kiffar a look that could have meant anything.
"I have aquired the services of this man because he is trained in the use on less-than-lethal weapons. I intend to take a specimen alive and further our knowledge immediately."
He offered no more explanation or comment. Jorm just chuckled, shrugged, and let him pass.

With only two minutes left, Jorm and a member of the ground crew inspected the gunship’s freight racks, when the woman he’d seen with Landon entered the hangar and approached. He okayed the freight rack and intercepted her.
"Have I robbed you sometime?"
She came to a measured halt, assuming a posture of cold dominance.
"What did you just say?"
Jorm had had no idea that brown eyes could stare so icily.
Ah dammit, aristocracy or something.
Had they met a few years ago, he would have happily taken her down a peg or two, but right now she was a clansmate.
"I said: have I robbed you sometime?"
Jorm’s brashness nearly drove her a step back. He lifted his tattooed left arm and wiggled his fingers.
"Saw you checking it out. Either you just like it, or you recognize it. Don’t mind the former, the latter usually means trouble. So what is it?"
Her gaze wandered up and down on his tattoo before it returned to his face. Her voice was warming considerably when she answered.
“No. I have read about it on your dossier and was admiring it, given the chance. Would that be all? I believe we have a flight to catch.”
“Thanks, right you are. After you.” He pivoted and directed her to the hatch with great gesture and a truly amused smile.
“It’s an amazing piece. Where did you ever get it?”
“Now that’s a story for a night at a beach bar.”
"You’re buying!"
He followed the laughing woman into the LAAT/i and slid the door shut.

As he gave the signal to launch, he could see Archangel studying the holomap and giving orders to someone over comm. Dek and the woman, who had rid herself of the shawl and whom his mind only now linked to the thin dossier of Calindra Hejaran he had seen, sat opposite of him. Rosh was barely visible in the corner, and Lexiconus contemplated a datapad. His recruited companion, the cop, looked around with hidden nervousness.
Jorm took a seat and put his feet up on a crate of explosives.
First in. Poor Dactship.


Before the briefing

“Three, enter the fold.”

The masked voice called from the faintly lit grey globe in the center of the room. Garbled, morphed, and fused with different civilian and military personnel all over the galaxy, even if one were to record the voice, it would take months for a computer to dissect the true voice out, if one even existed.

“The Master calls and you have been chosen. Darkness is no longer upon you.”

A robed figure entered into the globe’s horizon as the podium the globe was on scanned the face of shadows.

“The purpose?” Inquired the figure, as the grey light turned to green.

“The temple. The creatures. The Rakata. They breath into our worlds. And we have a mission for you, Cipher Three.”

The figure remained silent as holograms appeared above the globe, still with a natured hue, of maps, vehicles, and people.

“Three teams are currently being constructed formally to enter the temple. You will be in the first team. Breach the temple. Find out what is inside. But most importantly you are to discover whatever lies in the temple itself. Use whatever means necessary. Then report back.”

“Won’t that be mission parameters already?”

Your objective will be to assure that things go according to plan. In the past ISI has had spotty intel and untrustworthy sources, as well as the re-envisioning of our Empire from the top down.”

“I fail to understand why you need a Cipher Agent for such a job?”

“We need a foolproof story. Ultimately, none of your concern Cipher Three. Administrative/loyalty issues in the end.”

I serve the Empire,” assured the agent.

“We’ll have more orders if the time comes.”

The robed Duros left the horizon of the globe as it turned grey again, leaving behind a silent humming sound that filled the room.

In the present

Dek Rott had boarded the LAAT/i. His thoughts on the mission at hand and the people around him. He never had much contact with any of them, but knew combat wise he was in good company. His fingers tickled a console of different readouts involving the temple and important people at hand, all of which he had pretty much seen before. However, to review these documents not only alluded to the mission cover he maintained but also served as a way to memorize it all again, bringing back details one might miss.

Whatever happened in the next few hours, Dek had to get inside that temple, as far as he could. His mission counted upon it.


Aboard the LAAT/i transport

Rosh was not in a good mood, as always. He had been in the briefing for the mission and the speech from the so called Emperor had not impressed him at all. It was the first time he had met Xen and he stroke him as a man use to rule, but not to think much about the fate of those under him. The poor intel on this mission proved it, but he knew better than to judge someone from a first impression.

“Get to know our people,” had said Lucyeth when he became Aedile of Excidium, and that’s why he was there, heading for some ruins practically without any information about what they would face. But he had done that before and had managed to survive and excel in his duties, so that didn’t worry him.

On the other hand, he had been studying all the people on the transport and has found the members of the mission an amusing group of very different areas of expertise.

He didn’t know much about the blond girl, but her attire indicated that she was well trained and prepared to stealth her way inside the temple. He caught a glimpse of her looking at him for a moment and gave her a faint smile and a nod.

The small Duros seemed to take things seriously, though he couldn’t make much of him just by his looks. He had almost a military attitude, and Rosh wouldn’t have thought that he could command the Force if it wasn’t for the lightsaber hanging from his belt.

He was going to check on Archangel’s when a thermal detonator rolled his way, and he noticed Jorm inspecting the crates they had taken aboard. Without double thinking, Rosh grabbed the detonator and tossed it to Jorm.

“Here you go, seems you lost one of those toys,” commented Rosh with a low voice.

Jorm caught it in a blink and stared at him. “Toys? You should know that these are important devices that may help us a lot during the course of the mission. And be careful about handling this,” said placing the detonator back in the cache. “Throwing thermal detonators in the middle of a flight is not the wisest thing to do.”

Like if I cared,” thought Rosh, but he just nodded and replied. “Just make sure you don’t use them around me, especially if you are not able to see me.”

Jorm was about to reply when Archangel intervened. “Rosh, we know you’re not the friendly type, but this is a teamwork effort and we’ll need everyone’s skills, included Jorm’s toys.”

“They’re not toys!” interjected Jorm.

Archangel coughed for a second and continued. “As I was saying, just try to collaborate with the others, will you?”

Rosh smiled openly for once. He knew Archangel before arriving to Judecca and he had a good concept of him. “That’s my intention, don’t worry about it. I may be a lone wolf but I’ll keep you safe from any harm you don’t inflict on yourselves. Team one, scouting, remember?” said laying back and covering his face more under his hood. “Don’t worry…” repeated again, letting the words out of his mouth slowly and in a lower tone.

The team aboard looked at him with disapproval, but Rosh was already deep into his thoughts. “Yes, this is going to be an interesting mission.”


LAAT/i 00910-A - “The Lost One”
Cruising at tree level above Judecca’s jungles

Sergeant Vim Kash hung from the restraint harness, which held him loosely against the starboard side of his company’s Low Altitude Assault Transport, infantry variant, as it rolled quickly into a sharp turn, pulling counter clockwise along the horizon. Vim tried to breath, but only managed a few gasps of air, his chest restraint making the expansion of his lungs a chore. Corporal Garron Slivson across from him grinned up at him stupidly.

“Corp…ral…” Vim choked out, gravity holding him in place, instead of dropping out his seat, “Go to hell”

Corporal Slivson’s grin widened, a moment before the transport’s banking maneuver started to arrest, leveling out on a new heading. Sergeant Kash drew in a long, deep breath, along with everyone else strapped into his side of the vessel. He turned his head, trying to get his breathing under control, and glared to the Warrant Officer strapped into the pilot’s seat.

“Dub-U!” he called to the man, who twisted in his seat until he could see the sergeant out of the corner of his eye, “What gives?”

In response, the Warrant Officer flicked a switch, activating a holo emitter in the center of the transport’s cabin. A miniature officer’s head and shoulders appeared in blue, suspended by the light emitting from the holo system.

“Authorization,” the female officer said, her tone professional and precise. Captain Limbi stepped forward and typed her authorization code into the emitters display. The holo seemed to shimmer for a moment, and the blue hue shifted to an emerald one, though the picture didn’t change at all. The officer in the holo nodded as she confirmed the code.

“Stand by for orders” she said simply, before disappearing. A moment later, she was replaced by a full body figure of Marshal Archangel Palpatine, the commanding officer of the Expeditionary Force, and a huge figure within the Legions. It wasn’t every day he spoke to the rabble, Kash thought, as he stared at the imposing figure. He was a legend, a master of battle and war. He was not often a participant in briefings below the highest levels.

“Gentlemen,” he said, his eyes flicking up the Captain Limbi, “And ladies. I’ve reassigned your unit to my command. Your pilot has already been given instructions as to the location and disposition of the target area. I expect full compliance with these orders. Any supplies or ordnance you require is already loaded on my craft. Any questions?”

The man’s voice was granite, thick and deep, with a bass growl in the mix. He bore the name of the Bear of Ptolomea like a badge of honor. Kash knew that in person the man was a leviathan, but in his miniaturized state, he was laughably underwhelming. Captain Limbi cleared her throat.

“What of the relief efforts in the cities, my lord?” she said, quietly, not sure if she should question the man in spite of his request for them. The Marshal turned his head to her and nodded acknowledgment of the question and the sentiment it was asked in.

“Additional forces have been routed to the area you were headed towards. Do not worry. Prepare for the mission we have ahead of us. I’ll see you in ten minutes”

Captain Limbi sat back down in her crash seat, and pulled the straps over her shoulders. With her restraints in place, she tapped a key on her commlink, tapping into the pilot’s channel.

“Warrant Officer. Get us there double-time,” she ordered, her voice steely and calm. Engineers rarely saw combat in other militaries, but everyone in the Cocytus System military was expected to fight whenever necessary. The Captain was a hard one, Kash thought, as he crossed his arms across his chest, his hands grabbing the opposite straps in a brace. The other troopers in the cabin did the same.

“Hold on tight!” the pilot said, and dove towards the jungle canopy. Kash swore under his breath, and held on for dear life.

LAAT/i 15310-C - “Hop Skip”
Ten minutes later

“One minute,” announced the pilot as the LAAT/i cruised towards the target zone, a flat opening in the jungle near the complex. Archangel nodded and stood, donning his helmet in a practiced motion. The others in the cabin turned to regard him. He drew his lightsaber and held it unlit in his hand, and paced to the doorway. He grabbed the overhead rail, and stuck his head out the side of the ship, watching for the landing area.

“Ready to deploy,” he announced, spotting one or two helmets in the foliage around the landing site. He smiled, as the LAAT/i moved in to hover. He turned to look at the others in the cabin before diving out. He landed heavily and rolled to spread out the impact, and came up running, looking for ambush or danger. A commlink pinged him, and he answered.

“Captain Limbi, my lord, and company. As requested,” said the female voice, with a shade of fear and awe in her voice. Archangel turned his head as a dozen troopers exited the trees and flora near the landing site, all seemingly from a different branch of the Legions. He nodded to the Captain and turned to regard the landing LAAT/i.

“Nice of you to join us,” he said, as Jorm made his way over the grassy field to the assembled troops, who began to unload the transport. The Kiffar glared up at Archangel, who smirked back.

“Enough showing off for the rabble,” Jorm said to the hulking Battlelord, before turning to Captain Limbi, “Get the equipment unloaded and ready for use, Captain. We will begin immediately.”


After the flight to the landing zone, Calindra still had no more intel than she had when she’d first set off with the group. At least, no intel other than what she could gather and extrapolate from how the Houses had approached the issue: heavy on the ancillary weapons, heavy on the expertise and heavy with muscle. If anything, she was reassured by the fact that preparations had been done, even though she had not be included in the planning. That was something.

She was also with several familiar faces, and while Calindra had never worked directly with any of them, she had heard good things on each of them. Plus, if the Red Fury mission was any indication, then they were in good hands. Her first mission in Scholae had been against a Pirate base base, and she remembered that it had been absolutely ruthless. However; this mission didn’t exactly fit the same parameters, now did it.

This time, everything here felt rushed. They had hurried through the meeting, hurried through the ships, hurried to the landing zone, and now they were hurrying some more. She was apprehensive, and so were others on the team. Even if it didn’t outwardly show yet, she had sensed the tension in some of the group members. She had started to wonder if she had chosen the right team when she realized that the Houses were actually pretty evenly represented, it was just that Excidium had been so far more verbose than Imperium.

‘Well that just won’t do,’ she thought. So far, all they had was Lexiconus’ crates. True, her master had insisted that more was to come from the other waves, but still… she didn’t like feeling so out of the loop and was itching to score some points for her House.

That settled things in her mind, so she fetched one of the comm units and placed it into her ear, tuning it to the team’s radio frequency.

She had to give Excidium credit, those commandos were a nice touch, but she was pretty certain they wouldn’t send them charging in blindly without at least someone doing a security sweep to ensure they weren’t going to walk into a poodoo storm.

“Right,” she said as she approached Archangel, Jorm and Lexiconus going over last minute planning details. “I’m not liking this lack of intelligence or the idea of committing these commandos before we know what we’re up against.” Her eyes seemed to focus on something in the distance. “I can feel…” her thoughts trailed off for a moment, drawn as they were to the source of power emanating from what she presumed was the fabled temple they were converging on. Eventually, her attention refocused on the group.

“You’ll need someone to scout up ahead, and give you some eyes on the target and inside the temple,” she stated. “I’m tuned in to your frequency, and I’ll start making my way towards that disturbance in the Force that we’re all feeling a few clicks south of here.”

She was about to turn to go, when Arch stopped her. “Here, take a few of these blast charges with you. You’re one of the first ones going in, you might get a better chance a setting up the explosives in key locations.”

“I don’t know anything about explosives,” she said as he gave them back, “keep them. If I find something, I’ll get creative, but accidentally blowing myself up lugging those charges isn’t going to win us anything,” she added with an amused look. “Don’t you worry, I know how to bring a house down… If someone else is heading in for some recon, I suggest they circle south-east. I’ll cover south-west.”

With that, she clutched her lightsaber and replaced her shawl to cover her face before disappearing into the thick foliage of vines and brush.


The bright crimson glow of the setting Judeccan sun shone blades of vermillion light across the small clearing as the second transport arrived, soon after the first, the rush of air from the landing transport shaking the nearby foliage. The jungle was dense, to even the group’s keenest eyes, anything behind the second row of trees was a mystery. The mountainous terrain did not help the visibility issue.

The clearing was small, and the arrival of the second transport and the inhabitants had left very little room, clustering the team far of mostly Dark Jedi closer together than they would typically feel comfortable with. It was remarkable that such a landing zone had been located in this area. Following a few black cloaked figures at the end of the frosty, silent journey, Dr. Elincia Rei dropped down from the transport with a landing that barely perturbed the grass she stood on, potentially the only scientist in the galaxy that owned a camouflage-patterned labcoat, the togruta’s arrival in military operations always tended to raise a few eyebrows. She had little combat skills, but had a knack for hiding and was very talented with explosives and medicine. She always carried the base ingredients to make both. She stood back from the group slightly, head inclined a few degrees, attempting to avoid too much interaction while hoping some semblance of a plan would be formed.

The sunset still provided enough light to discern faces and figures at close range. Archangel, accomplished and respected military leader and tactician, stepped forward. “We will form three teams,” by a combination of reputation and tone, his voice commanded absolute attention. “Team one will be a scout team. We need more information on the location before we hit. Team two; support, clear traps, treat injury.” Elincia nodded, signifying this was her position, although she knew none of the Dark Jedi ever paid attention to the scientist’s body language. “Team three is the kill team.” The emphasis in Archangel’s voice told everyone exactly what team he would be part of, as if they needed clarification. “One scout, circle South-East now, support Calindra.”

Elincia glanced back at the setting sun as she anticipated an argument over who would get the glory of being in the kill team. They were far from civilisation, there was no light from any nearby settlements, soon night would fall, but it would be absolute darkness. She guessed the scouts had roughly twenty minutes of twilight before the night obscured everything.


Rosh had changed his mood completely after they landed on the clearing and reunited with the others. Archangel seemed to be controlling the situation and that seemed fine for him. Rosh knew his place and what he had to accomplish. Now he was not ignoring everyone, but walking between them and ensuring that he knew all the resources they had at their disposal before setting off.

As opposed to his personality as it could be, he found himself encouraging a few soldiers that seemed in shock by the sights they had seen on the streets earlier. The young man could understand them, as he had seen many failed experiments of Sith Alchemy back when he was in his former Clan and remembered his first encounters with them, and the creatures attacking the city were not that different.
Distracted as he was while walking between crates, people and transports, he managed to hit someone by accident.

“Ah, sorry, we’ve not met,” started a female voice as Rosh tried to regain his composure, “Dr. Elincia Rei. And you are…”

Rosh looked up and identified the one he had stumbled upon. A female Togruta, looking at him with what could be described only as scientific interest. “Rosh Nyine, Excidium, team one,” answered him briefly.

Elincia nodded only slightly, and without further word, she looked upwards. “I estimate that you have around thirteen standard minutes before the sun sets and you’ll have to navigate that forest before it gets dark, you better hurry if you really are on team one.”

The Aedile looked at her confused. “How does she know which such exact precision when the sun is going to set?” he asked himself. But the warning was enough to alert him that he had no time to lose. Muttering a thankful comment to the Togruta, he turned around just in time to see the blonde girl that had shared the transport with him and the others venturing inside the forest, alone.

“Oh, no, you’re not going to do this by yourself, lady, I don’t plan to be second to anyone in reaching that temple!” said Rosh out loud by himself. He managed to see Elincia smiling at the comment and Jorm, not very far from them, turning his head and glancing at him with curiosity. He would not explain nor wait from instructions, one of them was already ahead and he didn’t plan to let anyone die like in his last mission.

It took him but a second to start running on the same direction than Calindra, and to those who were observing him run, it took them by surprise when the young Aedile vanished completely as if he never was there, not making even a sound as Rosh commanded the Force expertly to become completely undetectable. He would catch Calindra soon, and would help her and the rest of the scouting team to identify any possible threats.

When he was already within the forest, following the woman’s path, he raised his arm and sent a single message through the intercom installed in one of his bracers: “This is Rosh Nyine, initiating scouting mission, over.” The night would fall soon, and he expected trouble.


A hot, humid breeze blew through the icy compartment of the shuttle, causing fingers of mist to curl and embrace the soldier’s legs. The howling of the beastial terrors echoed throughout the jungles, it’s grumble transcending from multiple points as the sun cowered below the canopy. Bundles of thick and curled vines clutched around the ramp and legs of the shuttle, while beetles somersaulted and rolled into the evening darkness. The dense foliage and ancient bodies of bark and knots thickened the further you looked, as small movements from the fungi corpses dragged themselves closer to the commotion. The promise of night was closing in sooner than expected, and it was sealed with the blood of the enemy.

Lexiconus’ eyes admired the treeline briefly but his intentions were to admire the darkness more, as it blessed him with independence from his team. The Sith treasured any moment of self-reliance he could get, in order to fully practice his beliefs and grasp the finer details of Mechumancy. Latching onto the bar above him and flinging his body from the ramp, Lexic landed in the whirlwind of floral death and motioned his hired help to push forward. Sergeant Inspector Hayes, the urgently called representative of the Ohmen Law Enforcement, grunted and shoved a levitating crate from the shuttle.

“Sir, why am I luggin’ around this cage? I’m sure nets are enough for these brut’s.” Hayes grumbled, the cage wasn’t exactly light but the Human wouldn’t disrespect his Quarren lord.

“In the briefing I mentioned the physical anatomy of the Putridam Humana and how effective they are at manipulating dense materials. That’s the part you should have listened to. The cage will give them a shocking feedback, they will understand regardless.” Lexic softly lectured, his tone and expression cold and uncaring. His body didn’t stray from the path, there wasn’t even a hint of enjoyment or sadness in his voice. The Sith remained a symbol of emptiness and what reality truly was. The Quarren had no qualms to kill anything - if it stood in his way it was guaranteed to hit the floor in pieces and blood. But these distorted, mysterious, mute and isolated beings were intriguing.

Clanks of metal against stone grew from behind the Sith as the two recruited soldiers rushed forwards with their E-11’s at the ready, their eagle eyes scouting ahead to the lime shrubbery. A rustle and shiver of the leaves was all the evidence Lexiconus needed to realise something was watching them and halt the advancement. Peering nervously from the dividing bush, a tiny brown face with golden eyes took stock of the trio of trained men. The Quarren shoved his hands on the blasters and forced them down. Inhaling slowly and deeply, he raised his shadowy hand and lifted the child from the bush into mid-air and in front of the soldiers. Shaking in fear and whimpering for a plea, the child clutched it’s hands together and began to beg for release, while the Sith slowly examined the small thing for signs of infection.

“No cuts or bruises, no open wounds or fungus growing from it. There’s no sign of the ritual on this one. So it’s not infecting everyone in the immediate area, yet.” The Quarren said as he slowly twirled the child for inspection.

“Aye sir, what now? The cage?” Hayes while he sheathed his own E-11, he felt Lexic’s judgement was trustworthy on this.

“No. Let’s keep it healthy.” A strong and harsh twist of Lexic’s fist yanked the child’s head swiftly to the side and it’s spine snapped cleanly in two. The corpse was dropped to the ground instantly, while Hayes and the soldiers looked on in complete horror.

“You murdered that child! How could you?” Hayes roared out as his hands wrapped firmly around his blaster once more. Moments before he yanked the weapon free from his holster, the soldiers had their own aimed against the Enforcer’s neck. Hayes’ trust in the Quarren was dropping completely.

“I saved him from being a meal. Relax and let us join up with Team 3. Watch your tongue this time, or they can have it.” Lexic was interrupted by the bleeping from the soldier’s wrist. The quartet quickly arranged themselves as they saw who it was. “Ah Cruise, how can I help you, sir?”

“News travels fast in the Cocytus System, Quarren, and your efforts have not been in vain. For your long-term service the Emperor has elevated you to the rank of Battlemaster. Congratulations, and continue with your orders.” The comms shut off by themselves as Hayes just stared in disbelief from what he just witnessed, a murderer given recognition.

“My methods work, Hayes, and my people rely on them as you can see. Let us keep to the agenda and follow Archangel’s path. There is a temple with potential chaos and subjects inside.” The Battlemaster marched forward with his hands behind his back while the soldiers loyally protected his sides. Hayes gave his best to bury the sense of betrayal in his heart, as he knew it could’ve easily been his end.


The sun was halfway to leaving the horizon. The noble woman who had planned to scout ahead had just left into the jungle. At that same moment, Dek was completing the insertion of a program into one of the speeder bikes’ consoles.

One of the officers walked over, “Hey! You there!”

Dek didn’t look up. Rosh had quickly fallen in behind Calindra as well. Dammit! That was his group going full speed ahead of him.

“I’m talking to you,” continued the voice as it got closer to the Knight, “What are you doing with that speeder? That’s the property of the Imperial Armed Forces!”

Dek looked straight into the helmet of the officer, as if he could see his eyes clear cut, “You are not to use this speeder. That is not a threat, but a warning. It will be for my personal use if the time comes. You have the orders yourself.”

“I’ve reviewed the orders,” started the soldier, “And they clearly do not mention any unauthori…” The officer paused, “I’m sorry, sir. I was sure these were not here before.” Lo and behold, the orders to not touch this random speeder had been placed into trooper and officers helmets. The speeder itself would not work entirely as planned unless the programmer had the computer key.

“Carry out your orders and I will mine,” trailed off the Knight as he tapped the final touches on his possible multi-purpose escape vehicle.

Moments later, the Duros slid the cipher pad into an inner pouch and snapped it closed. Maybe them getting a head start wasn’t so bad. They might reveal something in conversation that they wouldn’t normally do with the newcomer around. When at work, Dek was a loner. But his work now involved partially eyeing other people. Those thoughts were brushed away as he hastened himself into the jungle after the two scouts.

In the jungle…

Dek Rott could not sense the Aedile of Excidium, and just barely could feel Calindra through the Force. He himself made no effort to hide his Force abilities in the jungle, seemingly since the jungle was full of it already. The last shimmer of light held onto the distance, but the canopy very little to see with now. But Dek didn’t fear the night. In fact, when the stars reveal themselves he might have an easier time of getting around. Direction becomes clearer, and the star patterns from where the temple should be located come into perspective, unless of course clouds appear.

Suddenly, rustling in front, no, the back. Dammit!

By Oppo Rancisis’ beard, what is that…


Why does it always have to be jungles? Don’t these cults have anything better to do than build a krifing temple in the middle of a jungle? Why not caves in a desert, near an oasis…’ Calindra complained as she made her way through the jungle’s thick underbrush.

The forest was alive around her; the shrill noises of primates echoing through the trees as they curiously followed her progress. A giant bird with a very colourful plumage observed her, and then burst into flight with a deafening hoot. She noted several large plants with mysterious lumps in their midsections as she swatted at pesky gnats that droned around her. The plants were beautiful and fragrant, and undoubtedly carnivorous if she considered the lack of primates or birds nearby. The various bones strewn at their feet only reinforced that impression.

The sunlight was dying, but she managed to crest a ridge just in time to glimpse the orange-purplish hue of the sky gracing the horizon. From her perch, she looked on in wonder at the sight of the jungle choke-holding what appeared to be a gargantuan stone structure. It was as if nature had tried to strangle it with plants and vines, its efforts spanning millennia in order to tear the temple apart, stone by stone.

Something had changed, however. There seemed to be a sickness spreading through the greenery; vines were withering, flowers were wilting. It was as if the temple had decided to fight back nature’s attempt at reclaiming the land. Had they come a week earlier, they might never have found the ruins, but the dying sunlight could now reveal what the centuries had tried to erase.

Overhead, dark birds circled menacingly and seemed to crown the temple, their cries resounding throughout the area.

"Command, this is the Baroness. Here’s your first live feed of the temple. There is a lot of pent up dark energy, the wildlife is also getting restless… even the flora around the temple is dying."Her attention was suddenly drawn towards humanoid forms shambling out of the temple.

“Are you folks getting that?”

It was hard to see in the encroaching twilight, but she could have sworn that forms were swarming near the base of the temple.

And that’s when the circling birds started plummeting down towards whatever it was that was crawling at out of the temple. With savage rapidity, the birds dove towards one of the dark forms and struck with their talons and their beaks, only to fly off and return to the sky to continue their assault.

“I’ve never seen anything like it!!” a voice called out from behind, startling her.

Calindra turned around, lightsaber at the ready. She hadn’t expected someone to follow her, though she was relieved to see a familiar face. Recognizing Rosh, she relaxed her stance. “You almost made me jump out of my skin!” she cursed, pointing an accusatory finger at the newcomer. “What were you thinking, sneaking up on me like that?”

“I’ve seen what those things can do,” Rosh explained, “but the birds attacking them… that’s new.”

“Well, whatever those are, they must have some heat signature…” she said as she pulled up her macro-binoculars, switching the setting to get a better view.

“You won’t see anything. Those people are dead…”

Calindra looked at him in disbelief, but quickly saw that he was quite serious. “How is that even possible?” The answer was in those ancient ruins, and night had finally fallen.

“Sweet light bearers, protect us.”


Lucyeth was aboard the transport on his way to meet the rest of the Scholae ranks at the landing zone. The briefing moments ago before boarding was self-explanatory and the Battlemaster assumed that is should be a simple recon mission. The site of the mission was an old temple from the days of the infinite empire. Lucyeth scoffed at the idea of the infinite empire. They were the past so the fact that they were investigating a temple rumored back in the days of the infinite empire must have been important. A group was already on the ground and the Palatinaean only had to meet up with them at the landing zone.

“Pilot how long till we are there?” inquired the Battlemaster to the pilot.

“We should be there son,” replied the pilot but Lucyeth already knew he was there.

“Never mind, land over there,” stated Lucyeth pointing with his finger to a spot that had a transport leaving the area. It screamed past them to get away possibly before anything started to unravel.
The shuttle touched down gently as Lucyeth thanked the pilot for his loyalty and service to the empire. The landing was a little early but the sight of the small group on the ground made Lucyeth land. A walked over to the group of Dark Jedi staring at him.

“Hey everyone, I’m a little late but here,” stated Lucyeth. Archangel was the first to break the silence.

“Better late than never I suppose Lucyeth,” stated Archangel with Elincia, Lexiconus, and Jorm .


Shortly before….

Delak had jumped off the landing craft behind Archangel and
landed with an abbreviated roll behind him. The landing craft had landed behind
them and the other Dark Jedi of Scholae jumped off after them and walked over
to the meeting area. Arch had already been in contact with the troops on the
ground and began barking orders left and right. Delak stood backwards a little
bit off from the orders talking with Rosh and Dek and Calindra. They were
discussing the situation and awaiting forward movement from Archangel. Lexic
walked over to the group and tapped Delak on the shoulder. They walked to a separate
area of the landing zone and sat down on some of the crates that were there in
the base camp.

“Delak we may need some more support for the base camp. We
have a few mechs and turrets here but we need something a little more
established. Call down supplies from the Indomitable so that we can set up a
main base command for the area.” Lexic ordered.

“It will be done Lexic. Nice to be working with you on our
first action since you came over to Scholae. The true Empire.” Delak stated as
he brought up his communicator to the Indomitable. “Indomitable, this is Delak
come in.”

“Delak, this is the Indomitable. Jurdan here. What can we do
for you brother?” Jurdan Krennel answered. Jurdan was the long lost brother
that Delak never knew about until recently. He had been assigned to the
Indomitable for when Delak was not in command.

“We need you to send down supplies for a base camp on top of
my coordinates. Send down some engineers as well. We need to get an established
camp up right away.”

“It wil be as you command brother. Supplies incoming. Jurdan

The comm link cut out.
Lexic looked at Delak and nodded in approval.


Near the entrance of the Temple Complex

It must have been an amazing sight to behold in it’s youth. The temple complex was massive, spires and minarets towering over the jungle canopy. Huge atria and auditoriums bustling with life, sounds, smells, song. It would have commanded the land around it like an overlord. But now the jungle has reclaimed the invasive structures. The minarets had fallen, leaving jagged teeth of ruins in their place. Vines and roots had pushed their way into the rooms and hallways of the temples, fracturing the foundation, destroying the stability of the structure.

But they weren’t there to sight-see. Archangel Palpatine stared down at the entrance to the underground of the temple complex, his helmet augmenting his sight with infra-red optics. He moved his head side to side, scanning the area in an effort to uncover any hidden passages, traps, anything that might disrupt their movement.

“It’s too dark,” Jorm muttered under his breath. Archangel turned to the Kiffar, who seemed to exceedingly bright red and yellow in the infrared. He tapped his wrist communications panel, and keyed it to the Forward Operating Base Delak had set up at the landing site.

“FOB, this is the Bear. Bring up some floodlights. We need to see where we’re going,” the large man rumbled, before switching off the IR feed of his helmet. He closed his eyes and let them revert to a nighttime focus. He tugged his helmet off in a practiced pull, and cracked his neck side to side.

“What do you think, Jorm?” he said quietly, his eyes flicking from the entrance to the two moons hanging above them. They provided significant illumination for the area, but not enough for operations, especially when traps were expected.

“I will go in with a couple of your scouts. See what we can find,” Jorm replied, nodding his head towards the two EOD troopers who idled nearby, passing a canteen back and forth. Arch let out a grunt of acknowledgment. Jorm had a good idea there, the EOD guys were trained to find the worst mines or explosives in the Galaxy, they would be best to find traps in an ancient temple complex. Well, apart from a trained force user like Jorm.

After a few moments of sweating the heat of the jungle, despite the air circulation system in his armor, a trio of floodlights was brought up on repuslor dollies and positioned to aim at the entrance. Suddenly, three new suns were focused on one area in front of them, every person there squinting against the glare.

“Bright enough?” Arch grumbled, striding forward, signaling the troopers to follow. The EOD men, clad in overlapping layers of armor that were much lighter than previous generations, but were still bulky and cumbersome. He turned to Jorm, who had paced him within concern and smirked.

“No armor for you?” he said. Jorm shook his head ruefully.

“If I don’t find it, I deserve to get plastered on the opposite wall,” a wild grin spreading across his face, “And then again, where would be the fun!? You’re only alive if Death is asking you for a dance!”

Somewhere on Caina

Jason “Death” Aran’s ear started to burn bright red, and he suddenly had to resist the urge to tango.

At the entrance of the complex

Archangel arched an eyebrow at the madman beside him, but said nothing, choosing instead to allow the man his psychosis, so long as it didn’t affect him personally, or disrupt the mission. Your mind is your own, for the most part, but the Sith had ways of… fixing it. Unfortunately, the psychosis usually occurs because of the Force, a bit of a Catch22.

Jorm moved up ahead of Archangel, the EOD troopers lumbering in his wake. Arch stopped a dozen meters away, keeping his distance in case of trouble. The Kiffar strode forward confidently, already sending tendrils of psychometry through the surrounding area, and the entrance, seeking out traps, pitfalls or the like. They made their way inside slowly, brushing past the vines covering the doorway.

Progress was slow, however, with the EOD troopers each of the mines and traps with a quick spray of fluorescent, glow-in-the-dark spray paint, or a small colored flag. One of the EOD troopers moved forward, sighting a pile of rubble which could easily have held an improvised explosive device. He took slow, careful steps, watching where he placed his feet. He got to the pile, and started poking around gently, looking for triggers or wiring.

The pile started to rumble. The trooper, a veteran of a dozen battles in the service of the Emperor, stared blankly as the pile started to rise. Jorm’s head shot up, seeing the man and the surging pile, and with a Force-ful pull, he yanked the man out of the area, and threw him bodily out of the entrance. He grabbed the other trooper, and started moving back.

“OUT OUT OUT!” he shouted, before being drowned out by a roar of furious rage. Jorm stopped at the entrance, staring at the form moving towards him, sloughing off the debris it had been hiding under. He spotted a small flag near the thing’s feet, and sent a torrent of force energy into the spot, pushing down as heavily as he could. The mine below the patch of rock exploded, staggering the creature, and giving Jorm time to move out of the way. Archangel’s head turned quickly to the entrance and he tapped his wrist panel quickly.

“All troops, all Scholae,” Archangel said in terse tones into his communications link, “Move in on the entrance. We have a situation.”

A roar emitted from the entrance, amplified by the tunnels into a ear achingly loud explosive of sound. Archangel donned his helmet once more.


The mighty roar sounded from the illuminated entrance and reverberated over the clearing, strong enough to whip the mists up and shake dust from the walls. One of Arch’s troopers hastened out of and away from the granite cloud, one of the defusal experts sent with Jorm. His comrade followed within a few seconds, slower and stumbling. Two more heartbeats later, the Kiffar shot out of the cloud, jumped on the trailing commando’s back, and pushed him away with a powerful kick that sent the soldier flying to the side and the pirate into a high corkscrew backflip, during which he ignited his lightsaber, brilliant in the dark. Arch’s sudden urge to discipline his rude house mate never gained momentum as the spotlights caught what had chased the men from the tunnel, and what Jorm was now facing alone.

Even hunched over, it must have been two and a half meters in height, and one and a half in width. A humanoid body of bulky muscle and gray skin was covered with greenish black carapace and fungus the color of… well, snot. Tentacles rose from it’s back over the shoulders and framed a head without features, save for the giant tooth-lined and split jaws. The Knight’s jump carried him right in front of the monster, his yellow saber swooping down on the armored forehead. Archangel tensed as it left only a shallow, glowing gash in the thick carapace. Jorm rolled away under the beast’s retaliating swipe, swung his weapon at the monster’s back, and turned with the pivoting creature as it appearantly tried to protect it’s tentacles from the searing blade. A glance in Team 3’s direction signalled Arch that this opening was meant to be exploited. He turned to his commando with the rocket launcher. The man had already taken aim.

The missile left the weapon with a malevolent hiss and closed the short distance in the blink of an eye. The monster suddenly jerked down, as if it felt the attack, and got it’s center mass out of harm’s way. Instead of blowing a hole straight through the torso, the warhead obliberated only one of the topmost tentacles. Jorm, who had used the beast as a blast shield, shot Team 3 an annoyed look before he poked the injured monster again and laughed loudly in it’s not-face and nearly losing his head for it. Then he somersaulted away from it and the temple, mocking the beast as he went and luring it away from the fallen soldier and towards the killteam. Arch clenched his jaw. The exchange had taken only seconds, and there wasn’t time to reload the launcher. He also doubted the heavy blasters could penetrate that carapace. But there are gaps…
“Stay back!”

Leaving his men standing, he drew his own lightsaber. The green blade sprung into life as he bullrushed the monster. Just now, Leviathan came to mind as a better name. He did not slow, he did not falter, he did not care about the Kiffar dancing and prancing between him and the Leviathan. He raised his blade over his head and gave his own rumbling battle cry, a vocal landslide assaulting the hearing faculties of every being nearby. Jorm ducked and threw a fistful of dirt at the monster’s head, provoking a moment of confusion in the creature, and sidestepped out of Arch’s way. Then the Shaevalian was upon the beast.

The world exploded in roars and lightning-fast clashes of lightsaber and carapace,dramatic in the floodlights’ shine. Even though he was smaller and probably much lighter than the Leviathan, Archangel stopped the monster in it’s tracks. Jorm, perfectly aware of both combatants, shot forward and passed Arch to the left, evading a swing from the monsters right arm, and rammed his blade through the Leviathan’s unarmored armpit. It howled in pain as the arm went limp. Archangel, fed by the monster’s agony, pressed the attack with even more power and managed to put the beast in reverse. Caught between the furious Bear of Ptolomea and Excidium’s whirling Jester, the enormous creature made it’s stand. A few more strikes, then the Battlelord’s lightsaber caught the Leviathan’s left elbow between armor plates, and with a twist of his wrist, Arch cut the whole forearm off. Jorm had in the meanwhile circled the monster again, sent bits of tentacle flying, and cut through the tendons at the creature’s heels. He continued on his clockwise path as it sunk to it’s knees.

Archangel swung his saber over his right shoulder and released his tremendous power in a grunt and a murderous arc aimed at the Leviathan’s neck. Jorm swirled in under Arch’s vicious blow and struck the same target from the other side, at the same time as the Battlelord’s strike connected. Between the scissored green and yellow blades pressing forth, the carapace could hold up no longer.Yet it still took five heartbeats until the head went flying, cutting the Leviathan’s last defiant roar short, and the lightsabers were extinguished.

The surroundings had fallen silent. Everyone had stopped everything when the Leviathan fell. The Juggernaut and the Marauder were the only ones moving. Archangel took off his helm and sucked down the fresh air like a drowning man. Jorm beside him was swaying back and forth on his feet, grinning at the stars above and panting. Now that they didn’t move around anymore, tendrils of steam were rising from their exposed skin, highlighted by the floodlights. Subsiding adrenaline caused both men to shake, although Arch concealed it better. They caught each other from the corner of their eyes and exchanged the faintest of nods. It was all the approval to give right now. Jorm fumbled around to holster his saber again, and fished two high-sugar candy bars from his leg pocket, an act that almost tripped him over. When Arch declined the offered snack with a silent wave of his hand, Jorm just wolfed them both down.


Existence was torture. The humanoid form knew not where it was, who it was, or what it was as it awkwardly ambled through the undergrowth. It knew only the hunger for the flesh of sentient life. It sensed flesh. It followed the scent, incapable of reason why… Dek Rott threw his hand forward towards the sound of the creature. An invisible Force struck the walker in the chest with supernatural power, sending the monster flying through the air towards a nearby tree, connecting with a sickening crunch and falling to the ground. “What the fwec is that,” the Cipher Agent gasped to himself, signalling his pre-programmed speeder bike to arrive at his location immediately, unaware of what other dangers lurked within the jungle. The shock was exacerbated when the creature shakily rose back to its feet after an impact that would have broken every bone in a human’s body.

Denizens of the jungle scattered after the fall of the Leviathan, plunging the jungle into an eerie silence. The quiet steps of the Imperial forces were the only disturbances in the air. The team had fanned out around the charge of Archangel and Jorm. With the scouts situated behind the temple, while the two-man vanguard secured the main entrance, the rest of the team broke off into a two pronged formation surrounding them, Lexiconus leading half the remaining force to the left of the main attack while Lucyeth took the remaining half to the right. Travelling with Lucyeth, Elincia’s keen eyes scanned the jungle. This whole outbreak had been fascinating to her as a scientist. How did these creatures function, what were they made of, how many varieties were there? Her focus was on the mission, but she hoped to obtain answers to some of these questions shortly.

“Monstrosities! Delak’s voice travelled for miles in the silence. Elincia’s similar warning was heard only by Lexiconus, dwarfed by Delak’s stronger voice. The noise created from Archangel and Jorm’s assault had roused the ancient guardians of the temple, some sleeping for millennia within the jungle’s undergrowth, began to swarm around the team and push them towards the temple entrance. Eyes darting left and right impossibly quickly, Elincia threw an incendiary grenade towards one of the beasts, hoping to slow their advance as she sought an alternative to retreating blindly into the temple.

The attention of Calindra and Rosh was diverted from the shambling creatures by the sudden appearance of a speeder bike screeching to a halt from its top speed. Dek dismounted the speeder behind them, lightsaber still in hand. The entrance demanded an explanation. “Things we’ve never seen before,” Dek panted slightly, still out of breath from the battle. “Looked like they were already dead.”

“They ARE already dead,” Rosh explained, passing him the thermal binoculars to prove they had no heat signature. “But we’re going down there. This temple must have other entrances we can find while the others fight through the front door.” The sound of battle cries, a short silence followed by a cacophony of battle, as well as the walking dead changing their bearing towards the main temple entrance, signified now was the time.


Cracked and dissolving, the walls of the temple seemed brittle from afar. But upon closer inspection, the three scouts realized it wouldn’t be so easy to simply break down. “There must be a panel of sorts somewhere, or a back entrance,” spoke first the Hejaran, “Look at the vines and the plants. They might reveal a hidden location where growth comes from or enters.” Rosh and Dek looked at each other and nodded in agreement. The Battlemaster jumped up on the jutted edge of the wall, not making much sound as to attract those fungus creatures. Dek leapt over a few larger branches to feel his hands upon the wall, and was tempted to climb over it.

“Already, thought of it, Duros,” said Rosh, as if reading Dek’s mind. “Whatever they are facing on the other side of the temple probably exists more of on the other side of this wall.”

“Plus,” started Calindra, “if we cannot get back over then we have turned this into a suicide mission.”

“Secret entrance it is then,” blandly responded the Duros.

Around a minute later Calindra called to her fellow teammates, “Over here.” Dek and Rosh lightly jogged over to her position. “These vines enter the stones themselves.” Dek and Calindra closed their eyes and spread their hands along the walls in search of a switch, while Rosh spun around and ducked a bit below the branch lines, peering into the darkness of the jungle for Fungus things.


Suddenly, Dek tackled Calindra to the ground as the stone blocks of the door shot out over their heads. Rosh turned around and raised his hands into the air, blocking the exploding entrance with the Force. The stones pounded the air and fell to the ground with a grinding chop. Dek stood up and reached down to grab Cali’s hand to pull her from the ground.

“Thank you, Duros.”

“Wouldn’t be good for one of us to be injured in this mess,” responded Dek.

“Before we enter, we need a clear cut plan,” spoke up the Aedile of Excidium, winking at Cali while stepping over the rocks towards the newly revealed door. “Looks like a passage that is taller, but less width.”

“Much like the Rakata who built this temple,” interjected Dek.

“Yes,” continued Rosh, looking slightly annoyed at the Duros, “So running shouldn’t be too much of a problem. However, whatever we encounter, it would be better if we split up when it comes to difficulty. That way we can confuse whatever beasts lie within this place. Plus, I wouldn’t mind giving one of them a piece of their own terrific medicine.” Rosh peered down to his darts stone faced.

“What a terribly shrewd idea,” Calindra walked to the front entrance as well, followed by the so far mostly silent Dek. “Sticking together however should be a high priority. We aren’t as strong as the others in terms of physical strength, but our prowess with the force and our skills is what we rely on. I suggest we go in, report our positions along the way, and attempt to get to the central chamber of this potential maze.”

“Or our strategy can be to cross that bridge when we come to it.” Rosh knew in the end his allies were a means to his own powerful end, and a little lying never hurt anyone.

Dek couldn’t keep quiet any longer. “I agree with Rosh on the strategy. We really have no idea what we are going to face. Maybe once we are surprised then we will have a full picture of what exactly we are fighting.”

Calindra chuckled, “Two men picking on a lone woman. Typical.”

Rosh sneeringly chuckled back, “A victim complex becomes exponentially larger when faced with those who are wealthy.”

Dek walked in between them, “We should stick together though, as Calindra said. None of us will survive if we all rely purely on self motivation.” He looked up at the stars one last time, and attempted to memorize their positions. It might be awhile before he saw them again.

“Fwecking grey jedi,” Calindra and Rosh whispered to each other as they followed Dek down the incredibly dark passageway. Dek lit a glow rod to light some of the passageway ahead.


The atmosphere inside the temple passages was the direct opposite to the jungle that surrounded the ruins. Dust and silence was the only companion the three members of the scout team had while cautiously walking through what probably no sentient creature had been in millennia. Engravings of unspeakable horrors decorated the walls, threatening even the most stable of the visitors with promises of terror and madness.

Dek was stepping slowly, casting eerie shadows as he walked with his light rod in the dust covered air. He seemed not to notice the engravings at his sides, or if he did, he was not letting any emotion transpire out of him, though a slight, almost unnoticeable tremble on his hand indicated that he was holding everything to himself. Rosh took note of him, a man, or a Duros for that matter, that could restrain himself and move forward that way was either a very efficient professional or an unshakable tower of will. Rosh suspected the former.

Calindra was just behind, and was covered by her shawl again, probably to protect herself from the dust and avoid any sound that was not completely necessary. From his position behind her, Rosh could see how she turned her head to both sides alternatively, studying the engravings with genuine curiosity. Probably she was as affected as the Duros, but instead choosing to hide her fear she embraced it, letting it fuel her resolve to move forward. As it has happened with Dek, Rosh was surprised on how strong both Journeymen were. And if Rosh respected something, that was strength.

Rosh closed the ranks of the small team as they advanced, feeling how the scenes depicted on the walls extended their tendrils of utter madness trying to reach him. Compared to the other members of the team, he knew that his experience outranked the others, and his previous exposure to the Alchemy horrors of his former clan had made him somewhat more resilient to these situations. Still, he could feel the fear trying to reach desperately to him, but he steeled his mind and kept walking forward in complete silence.

Only one thing disturbed his mind. There was power in those walls, in those engravings, waiting to be untapped to those strong enough to preserve their sanity after studying them. Rosh knew better than to stop and listen to these subtle whispers of power, but the temptation was there, and he couldn’t be sure that the Duros or the woman wouldn’t fall for it.

Fearing that disturbing the silence would awaken whatever power was trapped into the millennia old stones of the passage, Rosh reached through the Force to convey a simple message to Dek and Calindra: “do not tarry, do not stop, move as quickly as possible.” It was a simple advice, but he let some of his worried feelings be attached to the message to show why he was so cautious.

The Duros seemed to agree, as he increased his pace. Not much, but enough to pay less attention to what surrounded them and making the walk more bearable. He started to look more relaxed almost immediately, and so did Calindra. Rosh suspected that this was the first trap they had to face.

Soon enough they reached to what could only be defined as the gate to madness. A stone barrier, depicting on its surface faces of long forgotten species with their mouths opened in eternal agony, as if they were alive and tortured since ages until the end of time. They looked almost real, and later they would have sworn that cries of help emanated from the horrible vision.

This time even Rosh’s resolve was shaken. All of them took steps backwards, trying to get away from those deadly promises that the cursed gate delivered. Rosh was about to suggest to walk back to the entrance and try another way when suddenly another similar, heavy slab of stone, slammed onto the ground, trapping them in without any visible exit. The words “intruders” and “death” lingered between whispers in the air, coming from all directions.

The trap was more lethal than any strange monster that lurked outside, and to Rosh’s eyes, probably one of the most dangerous ones he had faced.

Losing his composure and igniting his lightsaber as if he could fight against what was assailing them, he spoke for the first time since they had entered that cursed passage. “Guys… I don’t know what we are up against, but we better figure a way out of here,” he said as a dark mist started covering their feet. “…and soon!”


For the first time in a long time, G14-D05 awoke. It had been centuries since the last incursion at the temple. Had G14 been organic it would have dreamed of that incident while it slept. The games it played with the foolhardy locals that dared brave breach the ways of the temple, the screams. They had even made it past the Halls of Inversion, something only two other groups ever managed to do. Unable to dream however, these stored memories were the first it recalled before paying attention to the scanners. Loading memories was faster than booting up the core functions of the facility.

In the waning years of the Infinite Empire, the radical scientists played God with life, all searching ways to ascend to a new state of being. G14-D05 had been programmed to oversee the archives of their findings. As the years progressed, the Rakata grew more and more paranoid, and G14 was granted more and more functions. In the end, it was the one who created the plans for the complex between the archives and the surface of the planet.

It was a job the computer took with a heavy responsibility, and a great deal of enjoyment. After all there was something more than just knowledge hidden away in the archives.

It’s core processor turned its attention to the readings from the scanning system.

>> So many warm bodies

If G14 had a body it would have jumped back in surprise

>> Advanced weaponry and…

It sat and sensed the movement of the Scholae Palatinaeans above. It saw Jorm pull a trooper away and out of the entrance of the facility. A dozen nearly unnoticeable acts followed from the Palatinaeans on the surface. With every act g14 analyzed and confirmed. They had the power of the masters, the power of the force.

As a pair of party took down one of the lumbering leviathans, G14 accessed a directory it had never opened before. The lights of the complex rose slowly, as G14’s full computing systems came online. The gentle whirl of fans and data drives came through the air.

>> This is going to be fun

Stories above the archives, a single pulse of energy flowed through the entrance level of the complex. Following it came the an impossibly silent stirring of monsters who had long slept at their posts. They had been slaves once. As in their old lives they had served the Infinite Empire, now ascended beyond their bodies capabilities they served served now. At first glance they appeared like the horrors that were laying siege upon Ohmen, or that slogged around in the temple grounds.

But in silent, graceful movements they showed they were far more than what the Palatinaeans had already faced. They came from cracks in the earth, numberless and beautiful. The Defenders of the Temple had been called to duty once more.

>> Life forms detected - walls of the conquered

G14 was surprised by the alert, a secondary team had infiltrated the walls of the temple. G14 had slept too long, transformed too many of the slaves to keep up on maintaining the complex.

>> Triggering Forn-Wesk-Esk-Cresh particles

G14’s drives spun happily. Another few defenders for the complex could never hurt.


Delak leads the group forward towards the temple entrance as
the undead monsters push towards them. Elincia was right on his tail as was
Lexic and the rest of the group. Delak’s Crimson colored blade was already
ignited and he moved forward through a few undead monsters attacking left and
right severing arm and leg from body. The monsters kept coming whether walking
or crawling on the ground. Delak stuck his lightsaber through the forehead of
the nearest monster. It fell limp to the ground. “The heads, aim for their
heads.” Delak ordered. The members of Scholae did just that and they watched as
the bodies in front of them started to pile up. The monsters from outside the
temple kept pushing forward. Delak pushed everyone into the temple opening and
placed a portable shield generator on the ground to prevent the beasts from
entering behind them.

The group looked around and it was dark within the temple.
Their lightsabers were their only light as most of their gear, except for what
was in their packs, and had been left outside the temple when the beasts had
attacked. The markings on the wall were ancient Rakatan and were all over the
place. Elincia was happily going from pillar to pillar the scientist in her was
ecstatic to be able to go over the runes. Delak and the rest of the group
started looking for a way further into the temple. They needed to get to
someplace that might have the answers they need to stop this spread of the
monsters curse.


Just inside the temple

Archangel sat for a long while, and sipped from a Legion canteen, it’s cool water trying and failing to quench his thirst. The jungle was unforgiving in its heat, and though the air was humid and thick, dehydration was always going to be a concern. He stowed the canteen on its belt strapping, and pulled himself to his feet, cracking his neck back and forth. He hadn’t expected to fight so soon, and hadn’t spent much time limbering up, and now his muscles, especially in his shoulders and neck, ached with over-stressed use.

A trooper nearby, one of the EODs who’d assisted Jorm, moved over to him.

“My lord, the others have moved on ahead, led by Krennal and the Doctor. There appears to be a portable shield generator at the entrance. No breaches yet, but we’ve got two squads sitting herd over it,” the man reported in crisp tones. He must have been waiting for Archangel to catch his breath before shoving him headlong into the business of battle again. Archangel nodded, turning to look down the corridor the others had moved down, leaving him to recuperate.

“What of communications?” he asked, his eyes dropping to the panel at his wrist, which showed little in the way of connection to the outside world. The man visibly winced, and shook his head once.

“Nothing, sir. Once the team started moving in, a jammer went up. No idea of the source, our instruments keep telling us its everywhere all at once. It might be affecting them too.”

Archangel turned and stepped back into the entry atrium, and looked through the darkness into the floodlit area beyond. The shield was a pale blue shimmer in the air, and transparent enough to allow him to see the massed horde outside. Perhaps five hundred of the creatures had gathered at the door way, lurking around the entrance with a feral hunger in their dead eyes. A similar amount seemed to be moving in concert towards the FOB.

“Do we have line of sight communications?” he asked Captain Limbi, who had elected to lead the rearguard. The Captain turned to him, a quizzical expression on her face.

“Line of sight communications, sir?” she asked, looking to the EOD trooper beside the huge Sith for help, though none was forthcoming.

“I can see the forward observation post of the FOB from here, Captain, and I’m sure the Laats can see the entrance without difficulty. I assume these things can’t fly,” Archangel said, before snatching a laser pointer from Limbi’s chest harness. He stepped carefully over to the doorway, mindful of the steps he took. The area had been cleared by the EOD team and Jorm, but any enemy worth their salt could create traps or pitfalls which were difficult to detect in even the most perfect of circumstances.

“A laser pointer? Light code?” Limbi said, her astonished tone showing just how impressed she was with the idea, one she should have thought of without failure, but probably wouldn’t have. Archangel aimed the small device out of the doorway, past the horde of creatures, at the observation post, and tapped away on the emitters activator. The observation post was under nominal attack, with a few stray creatures shuffling towards it, but nothing the experienced troopers couldn’t handle. After a few moments of work, a blinking red light returned Archangel’s signaling.

“There you go, Captain,” he said, passing the laser pointer back to it’s owner, “Line of sight communications. Tell them to evacuate to the FOB and have the LAATs make strafing runs through the area. I want the jungle to burn”

Captain Limbi grinned and nodded her head, saluting being strictly forbidden in a combat situation, and moved over to where Archangel had been. The hulking man watched her tap away on the device for a few moments, before turning and heading back down the corridor. Several of the men had taken a small room nearby as an aid station, and were resting after the assault, having set up temporary cots and halogen lamps.

The men looked up as Archangel looked around the corner. The armored Sith gave them a smile, which might have been a grimace on a less terrifying man, and moved on, down towards the current egress point, where the Scholae team had headed. He found himself alone in the darkness, having made a turn or two before giving up and igniting his lightsaber. The viridian light spilled out, casting ghastly shadows around him. He had the distinct impression that he wasn’t alone.

The hairs on the back of his neck rose in apprehension, the tip of his lightsaber dipping slightly as he adjusted his grip. His eyes darted around in a quick, methodical search pattern, looking for signs of ambush or a hidden figure. After a fruitless visual scan, he pushed out with the Force, a slowly expanding bubble, filling the area around him, picking out of the features of the corridor.

The one place he hadn’t looked was up.


Meanhwile, at the Walls of the Conquered

Not for the first time, Calindra was happy that she had taken the time to cover her face. When she was on a job it helped hide her features, and helped against smoke and other hindrances. Of course, it had started off as a simple way of keeping dust at bay back on her homeworld. The desert dwellers had always covered their faces whenever they ventured outside, and by now, Calindra was used to the face covering. Campfire stories from her homeworld also hinted at warriors veiling their faces when they were going to wage war on their enemies. Those who got to know the young baroness long enough would eventually understand through her stories and whenever she shared her people’s customs that when she was veiled, it meant that she was ready to commit someone back to their ancestors. As soon as the veil dropped, however, life and laughter followed.

Today, the veil also served to hide her consternation.

The temple’s traps, its wall engravings, the war between nature against its dark creatures, and this dark restrained place had somewhat shaken her, but the dark mist rising from cracks beneath their feet only served to strengthen her resolve. Her eyes echoed her determination, but no one could see her lips drawn thinly into a crisp line as her hands suddenly burst with movement. Taken by surprise, Rosh and Dek instinctively backed away into the walls as her hands wove and crossed, and counter-crossed in front of her. She used her fear to strengthen her resolve, and started muttering in a strange language, or perhaps it was just her voice being muffled by her veil and the oddness of the temple causing her companions to overhear strange whispers, but a small gentle wind started twirling around Calindra’s feet, and the tendrils of dark smoke were slowly sucked towards it, slowly gathering into a small orb of darkness.

“You might want to cut us an exit, gentlemen,” Calindra hinted, her voice sounding hollow, distant and harsh as her hands and arms continued to perform an exotic dance in front of her.

As if realizing that he could do something, Rosh’s mind calmed down and focused on the wall behind him. Dek’s yellow blade soon hummed to life, and both of them started working on the wall as Calindra’s dark orb grew while the engravings that adorned the walls scowled down at them in defiance.

Dark thoughts and psychic screams assailed them as they worked.


Damn traps

The thought seared into Dek’s mind just as his lightsaber seared through the stone, creating a molten mess that slithered down the wall. Dek didn’t warn Rosh, because he thought that if he burnt his toes on molten stone that they were melting and cutting, then he probably wouldn’t be in the position he currently is.

The holes where the smoke was coming out of did not stop billowing. Calindra kept her poses, pulling the mysterious gas inwards. We need more time, she told herself, continuing with her motions.

Suddenly, Dek stood back and deactivated his saber. He dimmed his eyes and held out both hands. Rosh continued, determined to melt through the door. Dek attempted to pick up the half solid stone with the force. He grasped a massive glob from the wall, some of it sloshing onto the floor, while the Knight carefully moved it through the air to one of the holes where the gas was coming from. Rosh held out a hand to help guide it to the hole, and let it cool, plugging one of the holes.

At this moment, Rosh deactivated his saber and sent one word through his thoughts to the others, “Smash!” With one full push with their hands, Dek, Rosh, and Calindra all threw out their hands and crashed the crushing molten aperture, showing a red honeycomb like pattern on the opposing side of the wall. The smoke behind them hurried to their direction, while Rosh whacked another piece of the wall off with his saber, revealing a larger part of the comb to crawl through. Calindra saw more gas coming from one of the smaller combs and decided to make a run for the breach that was gasless. Quickly behind her followed the two men, sabers all reactivated to provide little light.

The corridor was hexagonal shaped, and quickly turned from a stone corridor to a metallic corridor. Rosh stopped, “Calindra, through here,” hesitating to call her back in the first place. He swiped his saber in a circle and fell through to the ground, the gas substance still gaining on them. Dek jumped through and immediately rolled to the side, followed by Calindra. Dek stood up and saw a glorious site.

Lights, boards, what looked like a musty, ancient viewscreen

“Computers,” sighed Dek.

“Alogokeegeeetchkaagoo.” A voice came over the room, none could recognize. The smoke was coming from the pipe into the room.

The door to the room started to close. Cali and Rosh were already headed towards it. Dek pumped a few extra muscles which launched him towards the door, and they all just made it under (sabers all deactivated). They continued running under another door, and then door, both closing behind them. They finally got out of the last door.

Dek slouched against the side of the wall, “Fwec!” He really wanted to check that room out a bit more.

Rosh took a knee to catch his breath and Cali leaned against the same wall Dek was on.

“Thanks,” Calindra muttered to Rosh, almost with a hint of anger, as if she knew Rosh might have left her behind.

“We need to stick together,” Rosh said, realizing that they would not have gotten out of their without Cali, however reluctantly he wanted to admit it.

“I knew you both could get along,” Dek chuckled half-heartedly, receiving an evil eye from the two Sith in the new corridor.

This new corridor was different. It had a curvature on both sides, so no true end in sight. But a blue pipe that has a glass gauge on it hummed with a blue hue, lighting up this corridor.

“Any of you recognize the language?” Dek stood up from his tiny break. “Sounded close to my home language.”

“Rakatan,” questioned Calindra. “Doesn’t matter. Let’s keep moving,” Rosh continued.


Jorm closed his bug-out bag again. The large rucksack had been taken inside by one of the troopers during the retreat. After quickly sweeping the room for traps, he had replenished his on-person supply of candy bars. A canteen, a strong flashlight, and a grenade collection were also added to his belt. Adjusting their placement, he rose and took stock of the situation.

He was in what he called ‘The Lobby’, the first greater room they had encountered after being herded into the temple. A high, rectangular hall with a doorway centered in each wall. Evenly spaced statues doubled as columns and supported the roof, from which a crystaline shape was suspended in the room’s exact center. It was faintly glowing in changing colors, more often green and blue than not. Reliefs covered every surface. The Togruta scientist in the camouflaged lab coat was hovering around them, taking pictures and notes on a large datapad. He had not encountered her before. Delak Krennel just disappeared into the entrance opposite of the way they came after a short talk with the Quarren Lexiconus and Lucyeth. Those two took the side entrances. All three were escorted by a mundane - the people Lex had brought, split evenly among them.

The Marauder opted against going with any of them. He still needed a moment to recuperate from the exhausting fight against the Leviathan. Instead, he stretched his limbs, cracked a can of XenErgy from his bag, and went over to one of the reliefs. It showed three beings - called “Rakata” by others on the team - standing in a posture of power above kneeling members of other species. The background was made up of nightmares caught in stone. Nightmares which seemed to follow the Rakata’s gestures. Nightmares which dared him to look at them. Nightmares which blurred the perception. Nightmares which threatened… no, guaranteed to take what made him sane.

Jorm burst out in laughter. Wrong victim, fwec-heads! he thought in defiance.
His can fell to the ground as he stepped closer decisively and put both hands on the nightmarish scene, employing his knack for Psychometry to tear through the impressions, to decipher what his eyes alone could not.

Near panic. Don’t look. Don’t look. No, don’t look, the one two cuffs over did and he died bleding from the eyes. Don’t look. Not just the eyes, the ears and nose too, without even being touched… he just looked…

Monotonous. Glory to the Masters. Their will be done. Glory to the Masters. Their will be done. Glory to…

Absent humming. Hmm, hmm, hmm, hum-hem hmm, hum-hem hmm; hem, hem, hem, hem-ham hmm, hum-ham hmm…

And more. Memories of the people working this stone with their hands and simple tools. Of fear, devotion, madness. And here and there of a strange presence infusing the stone with the Force. They all assaulted him, and he laughed at them in his mind as he sorted through them, filtering out emotions and seeking for facts. Results were scarce, but maybe they had promise. He severed the psychic link and took a step back, taking a few deep breaths to clear his head. The smile that adorned his face was one of pure contempt.

"Now, what the FWEC, is the correct current term I presume, was THAT?!"
The Togruta scientist stood to his left, almost shouting. Anger and curiousity mixed in her voice.
“Sightseeing, Miss…?” Jorm replied.
"Rei. Doctor Elincia Rei. And In my experience, sightseeing encompasses less laughter, clawing and bleeding at the sights than what you just did."
Jorm looked at the relief again. Dissected by his mental assault, it had lost it’s glamour to him. Now he saw just ugly stone smeared with blood. Wait, blood? He looked down at his hands. The figertips were chafed raw and bloody. He realized the pain just now and clanched his teeth behind his smile. Force be thanked, he was a quick healer, and the wounds already began to close.

“Those sights didn’t want to be seen. None of the slaves who worked on that relief had the stones to turn around and face what they feared. They just filled the background with fears and whispers, and an overseer infused them with the Force. Most of those memories are fwec-ing useless.”
“Memories?” Doc Rei’s eyes narrowed in confusion, then opened wide when she recognized Jorm.
"You’re the Kiffar from Excidium. Jorm Na’trej. The former pirate."
He grinned back at her.
"Guilty on identity and piracy, not guilty on ‘former’, Doc."
Jorm inspected his fingers again and wiped the blood off with a tissue Elincia offered him, then he picked up his XenErgy. It had spilled completely. Just perfect.

"So, Doc… did you find anything useful?"
She took a moment to consider her reply.
"Yes and no. I think a lot of these reliefs and motives contain clues to get past traps and deeper into the temple, even how to interact with an ancient computer system."
She nodded towards the center crystal and elaborated while her gaze wandered through the hall.
"But I will need some time to translate and decode those clues. So yes, I have found something useful, but nothing useful right now."
Jorm nodded understanding.

"Any mention of the crawl spaces?"
Elincia’s eyes returned to him, head crooked, an eyebrow risen.
“No? Ventilation and utility tunnels. The slaves have covered them up with those stone walls, and then worked them to hide these spaces. That much I could pull from this relief.” Jorm explained.
The scientist looked down at her datapad again, swiping through notes and pictures, looking for specific clues. While she did so, she answered him.
"While I can not judge how precise your methods are, at least not enough to specify their scientific value, I think your abilities could complement my own efforts. Can you locate one of those crawl spaces?"
He shrugged. “Given a bit of time.”

Suddenly, a roar echoed through the tunnels.
“Sounds like Arch has found victims again.” The Kiffar joked.


Side corridor
Inner Temple Entrance Area

The roar rolled over him like a physical wave, buffeting him downward with its sheer force. The creature hung from claws thrust into the stonework of the ceiling, it’s head turned in an unnatural manner to stare down at the Palpatine. In the light of the green lightsaber, perspective and shape were difficult to discern, but Archangel tried his best to capture the form of the creature in his mind.

It’s limbs were lithe, feminine and oddly segmented, like a humanoid droid made flesh, with a glossy exterior reflecting the viridian glow. Its body was robed in a tunic of a dark hue, which clung tightly to its torso which seemed to protrude in unusual spots. It seemed to be an approximation of a feminine form, but over-exuberance and a complete lack of knowledge of the female body handicapped the creator.

Its eyes were multifaceted, like that of an insect, while it’s face was a mottle of lichen and moss. The roar emitted from a gaping maw, its jaw distended like that of a snake. And like a serpent, the jaw was lined with teeth, an inch at least in length, dripping with saliva which seemed to glow in the shadows. It’s roar slowed down, its mouth closing into a grimace of evil delight.

Archangel swore under his breath, and took a few steps back, slipping on a patch of moss. He staggered back, his eyes trying in vain to watch the creature, but as the shadows came return, it dove away, rolling into the darkness, leaving just a skittering in its wake. He put his hand up against the slightly damp stone wall, and glared into the shadows. The silence which followed mocked him.

Imperial-II Class Star Destroyer Warspite
In Geosynchronous Orbit
Above Judecca

The lighting on the bridge had been dimmed in preparation for battle. The officers and crewmen spoke softly, single-minded focus on their tasks at hand. The clipped heel-first steps of an approaching officer cut through the din, drawing a few glances from the pit crew. The officer stopped and cleared his throat quietly, holding a datapad in the crock of his left arm, his right drawing up in a salute to the commanding officer of the vessel.

“Yes, Commander Antia?” the voice purred with feline liquidity, “A report?”

The executive officer of the flagship of the flotilla drew the datapad from his body and handed it over to the woman before him. She didn’t take it from his hand, or turn to greet him face to face. Instead, she drew on the Force, floating the pad around to a position in front of her. She perused the report slowly, before nodding her head in a curt gesture.

“Flight Operations,” she said, her voice raised, “Have the dropships ready for deployment and the pilots to their fighters. We will be supporting the ground troops in a much greater function than before. Fleet Operations, have the Indomitable and the Repulse move on to Caina, the Vanquisher, Daring and Absolute to Antenora, and the Victorious, Monarch, Audacious and Dominion to Ptolomea. We have reports of new dangers we must respond to”

“Yes, Lady Rayne. Right away,” the executive officer said, before returning to his post. Rayne’s eyes didn’t move from the view of Judecca with the star Imperius rising past its horizon. She smiled, a languid, feline grin. It’s good to be the king.


Delak rushed to the sound of the beast that Arch had been
engaged in battle with only to find that the beast was nowhere to be seen and
Arch was holding onto the wall bracing himself.

“Did the little beasty give you a hard time old man?” Delak

“Once I get my hands on that thing it is game over for it.”
Archangel vowed.

Arch stood up tall and walked toward the darkened hallway
where the beast had disappeared into.

“Arch, this isn’t the time for vengeance on the beast.”
Eether said quickly. “We need to get moving and try to keep our focus. There
are traps all over this place and we will not be losing anyone today.

Archangel backed down and held him saber firmly in his hand,
the cold metal soothing to the touch. He would get the beast if it were the
last thing he did.

Delak looked at the way Arch stared at the hallway with so
much hatred. He was lost to the anger against the beast who had gotten away. He
knew that Arch would get the beast in time. He looked around to see what
everyone was up to. Elincia was still looking into the pillars trying to
ascertain where the traps were and how to mark them so that the temple trek
became easier. Lexic was standing by the medic troopers and watching the
portable shield generator to make sure it didn’t burn out. The monsters outside
were growing in number and soon there would be too many even for the group of
force users. Their best bet was to move further into the temple and try and
close off some doors or collapse some walls so that these creatures couldn’t get
to them. Delak felt a sense of uneasiness as he stood next to Eether with his
saber firm in his hand. Where to go from here? He wasn’t sure.


Lucyeth backed out of the side entrance of the temple. His forces that were split up were right behind him as the team regroup with the other dark Jedi. Archangel was fuming about a creature he saw in the temple and everyone was thinking of ideas of what to do. The enemy was coming and it was not impossible to overtake a group of dark Jedi. Delak motioned for a moment to speak and everyone tuned in to what he had to say.

“We could move further into the tunnel and regroup in a hallway or some other chokepoint to give ourselves more of an advantage on such numbers,” stated Delak. Everyone looked at each other for something more but they were all thinking the same idea. What other choice did they have rather than death on the spot? It was the best option and they had to go for it. Lexiconus was the first of the Palatinaeans to break the silence.

“ I believe that is the best choice we got right now to buy some time at least until we think of something or buy some time for support,” Replied Lexic. Lucyeth stroked his chin at the thought but it was clear what they had to do.

“Agreed, we should find a location in the temple that will give us a better point of attack to deal with this,” stated Delak with confidence in his voice. Lucyeth was quick to nod in agreement with the rest of the group in sync. The group moved with haste as the inevitable onslaught drew nearer.


The efforts of the team’s Dark Jedi fighters on the entrances of the temple had attracted the attention of the monstrous guardians, leaving Elincia and Jorm time and space to investigate the lobby and the secrets therein. “We need to find the crawl spaces and we have no better method than yours,” Elincia conceded to Jorm, who grinned and nodded in agreement.

“Until I find the right relief, all we know is that they exist somewhere behind these walls,” Jorm responded, knocking on said wall as he spoke. “We won’t know where until we find one of the sweet spots, and we don’t know what we’ll find. Could be ventilation, could be a secret passage. Could be another Leviathan.” Elincia took a step backwards, pondering the apparent cheer in the Marauder’s voice on the prospect of facing another of those lumbering monsters, and continued scanning the walls before turning back to her datapad. She hastily drew a sketch of the wall, annotating furiously quickly before showing Jorm her sketch.

“It’s an optimal Rakatan Square,” she explained. There was a moment of silence and blank stares. “I’ve marked one relief in each column and row of the wall to cover as much area as possible with the fewest trials. Scan these reliefs in this order, it will speed up our search.” The pattern made enough sense for Jorm to go along with for now.

Elincia had read about the Kiffars’ natural affinity for psychometry, but never actually seen the ability with her own eyes. While she preferred to rely on the scientific approach, she was no stranger to reliance on the supernatural or, ideally, a combination of both. It was only after explaining the Rakatan Square to Jorm that she realised the connection – they were in a Rakatan temple. She continued to take notes of engravings on the wall, sensing that the Rakatan Square may be important in garnering more information about the temple, perhaps with regards to the strange computer she was inferring existed somewhere within. The galaxy hid many strange and interesting secrets, and few were more interesting than the lost relics of the Rakatan Empire.

“Jackpot!” Jorm called to the Togruta, feeling through the stone relief - or rather it’s memories, if the literature could be trusted – with senses beyond the natural. Elincia hastily finished taking a couple of notes before investigating the discovery. “Crawl space, Doc. Right behind this relief. We need to break through here, then alert the others if we find anything. The relief holds memories of a hidden passageway nearby. The stone remembers being set here when the walls were still blank ferrocrete.”

Jorm’s yellow lightsaber snapped into action, and he drilled a hole into the wall. He didn’t think that he would have to explain to the scientist the physics of the hole containing the force of the explosion and the optimal place to stand as he reached for a breaching charge…

“I’ve got this,” Elincia placed one hand on his arm, interrupting him, a home-made explosive device in the other. “I made this last night, hoped I’d have a chance to try it. It’s on a 10 second timer.” Jorm’s eyebrows raised. He wasn’t aware the Togruta was in the habit of making her own explosives.

“Well, start it up!” As soon as Elincia had activated the timer, Jorm telekinetically shoved it deep into the hole before both of them retreated to a safe distance, on the same wall a few metres to the left, with Jorm taking up a mirrored position a few metres to the right of the blast zone.

“Three seconds!”


Interior Hallways
Inner Temple

Eetherbiail had kept silent for most of the mission, evaluating the Scholae Palatinae members on their valor and demeanor. They had faced multiple threats and challenges, only partially completed, they had a long way to go. The hallways twist and turned as they went deeper into the hidden temple. They had decided to look for a better vantage point to deal with threats within the hidden temple, but there were always hidden dangers in the unknown.

Eether knew that there were other groups around the temple infiltrating it at separate points, he sent silent thoughts to his comrades for success, and that the Force would be with them. Hopefully they didn’t run into any enemies or traps themselves, he may not like them all, but they had a mission to succeed. Together, the group stealthily surged forward into the temple.

Deep Passage
Inner Temple

As the team ducked around the passage, daring from shadow to shadow and pausing at any sound, they made their way deeper into the hidden temple. They strained their ears in the darkness, not daring to use their lightsabers or a torch to illuminate their way and give their positioning up. Every so often plants or algae illuminated the dark depths of the innards.

Eether held his hand up as they reached an intersection, as quietly as possible he said “Do we go left or right?”
Delak’s head shifted from side to side in the darkness, he was a silhouette in the dim lighting to Eether’s night adjusted eyes, “I say we go left.”

Just as the words left Delak’s lips, a loud explosion shook the walls around them.

“That sounded like it came from the right” Eether hissed between his teeth, “let’s go check it out, it might be one of the other teams.”

Together, they surged forward around the corner and barreled into two hooded figures that were charging from the left path.

“Sithspit” muttered Calindra as she activated her lightsaber with a snap-hiss.


Deep Passage

The blue pipe next to the wall started to pulsate, followed by the blue strip moving to the left against the outer passage wall. “It might be logical to go to that direction,” posited Dek, “The technology within this temple might be attempting to drive power to differing directions.”

“Battle could be had in that direction,” Rosh stared down into the pulsating hallway, “Both good and bad. Better than dying by poisonous or fungal gases.”

“Potential power drains of sorts. Our allies might be in that direction,” Calindra felt a need to regroup with stronger people. Sure, Dek was capable in certain situations, and Rosh was certainly powerful in different aspects, but it might be ultimately better to find those who are slightly more adept in the fighting arts. Things were only going to get more difficult on the way. A change up of teams might benefit her. Plus, the people she really knew might know of her strengths and weaknesses better than Dek and Rosh. Her talents were practically wasted upon them, however neutral hearted the Duros might be. Plus, she could feel some ulterior motive to being here. Not sure what it was, but surprises always hurt a lot of people. If this were a desert, nothing could surprise her. But this was a complex temple ruin in the middle of the jungle; the antithesis of a desert.

“Let’s head out,” Rosh started to slowly jog at first, the Sith and Grey following.

The group picked up the pace, heading in a cluster down the path, eventually coming to a fork and Rosh choosing the left path… The stone walls and floors of the hallways had begun to contain notches of sorts in the corners of the wall, with the light going from the upper right side of the wall into a stone etched out area above the hall. Rosh suddenly spoke, “Wait!” Calindra and Rosh stopped dead in their tracks. But Dek, noticing the notches, had tripped over Rosh’s leg and tumbled a couple meters ahead. A blue light could be seen from each of the corner notches, powering up.

Dek immediately recognized what this was. “Run,” he puffed as he stood up and stepped back towards Rosh and Calindra. But a shield arose between the Duros and the Sith, singing the arm of Dek ever so slightly. “Fwec the Gods,” Rosh grabbed Calindra as they both ran back down the hall, Dek ran in the opposite direction. The shield itself went to the next step of notches, and slowly started moving to each preceding notch. If they didn’t outrun this, they would be sliced into pieces within the shields of the notches.

Rosh and Cali saw scanners in front of them. Instinctively, Cali and Rosh pulled up their hoods, and attempted to cloak through the force, suppressing their surroundings. The scanners received a mixed signal, and the shield behind them started skipping notches, and moved at a slower pace. Eventually, they found the fork, and went down the other path, the light not following them.

Rosh and Cali started to slow down, dodging fungal lighting and green gooey liquids pouring from pus-like walls.


Rosh and Cali both froze. “This…” Rosh started but then paused to hear a low rumble, “…does not sound good,” Cali finished hanging her head as they both ran down the pathway further, eventually seeing Ether and Delak. “Sithspit,” was the only thing Cali could come up with. One cluster-fwec after another.

On the opposite side of the shield passage

Alone, not knowing where to go, and running in hopes of not dying

Dek was not happy. Not only was his mission on hold. But his survival seemed very small at this point. The shield was gaining on him. If he stopped death was only seconds away, “Ka Vendi Kiom Oush Quoia,” the Knight spoke out in Durese. All of a sudden, a shield appeared in front of him. He stopped in front of it, and immediately turned back to see the shield behind him coming closer, stopping short of his pale bald head.

Muz levat areta,” started a computer generated voice in an older Durese. The shield in front of Dek started moving slowly, and Dek followed it, considering the one behind him moved with it.

“I am no slave,” thinking out loud in Basic. Maybe the stars aren’t that out of reach after all.

The shields stopped moving and a stone door slid open. The shields folded, forcing Dek to move into the doorway and down a small flight of stairs, the shield following him. At the bottom was a cage in a room of cages, with the shield disappearing as a thick stone slab was placed behind him. The Knight leaned close to the bars of the cage, aware that he might be shocked. But to no avail. No shock. He looked around. Skeletons above him and skeletons in the cages besides him. He looked back into the corners of his cage and saw one skeleton with a bone smash into its skull and another lying across the other.


The room itself funneled into an oval shape, the flat roof being larger than the smaller floor, cages lining every part bu the middle of the room, where a walkway stood. The one end had a staircase that embedded itself into the wall that lead up into another room. The other end had a large metal door with strange art on it, Dek couldn’t see it clearly passed the bars of other cells. The room itself was lit by blue lights on the wall, and some goo was noticeable from. afar to have a tinge of green.

At that moment, Dek heard an explosion coming from near to the top of the tall room. He activated his saber and attempted to cut through the bars. They slowly started to melt, but he could hear some groaning noises on the opposite side of the metal door.



“Let’s not go back that way…!” Calindra exclaimed between huffs, the light from her red blade casting shadows and exaggerating the stonework that adorned the temple walls. She looked up at Delak and Eetherbiail before turning back to look at Rosh. “Did we lose Dek on the way…?” she added in a clipped voice that echoed her annoyance.

“Looks like it. We should try to get back to that computer room.”

“You can’t be serious, Rosh! The place has got more traps than a Hutt’s pleasure den! That room is probably another exotic trap anyway, and I’m really getting tired of running around; we have to stop reacting to this place and start dictating the terms…”

Her comments started a flurry of discussion between the men as they discussed the merits of going back to check out that control room, and how to find it. She quickly lost track, however.

Calindra had grown more quiet and pensive as she tried to recollect a feeling she had while they’d been trapped in the smoke chamber. 'What was it that I did? Why did I do that thing with my hands?’ she wondered as she tried to catch the detail that eluded her. She started weaving them again, just to see if she could remember.

It suddenly dawned on her that she had been watching a certain part of the wall when everything started.

“Fwec! Why didn’t I think of that earlier!” she exclaimed, silencing everyone around her. “I knew there was something different about those wall carvings…! We have to go back…!”

The men looked at her like she was insane.

“That trick with the hands,” she said weaving them in front of her, “that wasn’t me…! The temple has enemies within its walls, not just devotees. They know more about our enemy and this place than we ever will. They’ve been entombed within the temple walls, waiting for several millennia for someone to fight for them.”

Something whispered to her from the darkness and a thrill coursed through her. Her pupils widened at the thought of all that knowledge and power. She knew she was right, and something was seeking her out again, calling to her, seducing her with sweet promises of power and knowledge. All of it within reach.

“Your enemies are at hand,” she heard herself saying, unaware of the others now; her voice flat and harsh again. “Do you hear their blood gurgling; their screams resounding in your head?”

Drip… drip…

Drip, drip…drip… gurgle, gurgle, drip, drip…

She looked up as blood fell from above at her feet.

“They’re here…!!” she intoned as jagged teeth and rotten flesh fell upon them.

Calindra suddenly burst into action, her lightsaber blazing red in the dark as it cut through the first creature. Her body twisted and twirled like a desert dervish while other creatures fell from above, falling victim to her savage dance, her lightsaber arching outwards as someone – something – unleashed its fury and channeled it through her. Her spinning stopped as she looked at her hands again, a puzzled look crossing her delicate face.

Delak’s blaster resounded in the chamber as Eetherbiail’s blue blade hissed to life, jarring her back into the moment, and she resumed her attacks.

Rosh quickly raised his hands as he suddenly conjured a barrier to appear between himself and the creature above. It fell directly on it, and slithered like a wet ooze before Rosh hurriedly stepped back and released the shield. No longer propped by Force, the creature fell to the ground in a wet sickening sound, and started getting back up. His blade suddenly twirled, an electric hue blurring across the creature that slithered towards him. Bisected, it fell to the ground, the metallic smell of blood pervading the corridor as screams echoed off the walls of the Forgotten’s temple.


Main Temple Chamber,
Ratakan Temple.

Once satisfied knowing that Eether, Delak and Lucyeth were hidden inside the ancient and decrepit tunnels of the Infinite temple, Lexiconus Qor turned to face the glimmering of lime and pearl light from the crooked entrance arch. He saw the cracked and stained armour of the enlisted guarding the cargo he brought, their rifles aiming straight and steady while shooting and popping the heads of the undead. Their precision infallible and their morale lingering on the edge of submission to death, as the horde crammed and flooded the temple yard. The police Sergeant had a different persona to what Lexic was expecting. He clutched onto his blaster and cowered against a rubble pile, muttering something unintelligent. His bloodshot eyes darted around while his lithe frame was barely covered by the rags of what remained from his clothing. Furious and disappointed by his performance, the Quarren raised his hand and the enforcer lifted from the floor in his fetal position.

“Soldiers, shoot this focus point and any undead that surround it. It seems Sergeant Hayes has…outlived his purpose.” The Battlemaster said, then flung the Human across the air who landed harshly into the knees of a fungal zombie.

A showering of cherry light and earthly matter rained on the corpses as the trio focused themselves upon the inevitable pile of undead. The military men have blocked out their emotions directly for this, as it may be their last stand, giving no mercy in their shots on the groaning dead. The Battlemaster had found a profitable use of the rubble pile used by the police enforcer, by lifting the stones two by two and catapulting them harshly at the heads of the zombified men. Each stone made a crunching sound on the soft skull caps and ribs from the undead, as rotting juices burst and squirted from the open wounds. But they kept walking forward, no matter how much force the Quarren puts into his abilities. Even a trained Battlemaster of the Sith struggles, but barriers and defence may not be the answer here. Lexic whipped his hand out and tugged his lightsaber free, snapping the scarlet blade to life as he approached the unwavering crowd.

“Guard the line and try not to hit me, i’ll be teaching them how to dance.” The Quarren gave off a slight chuckle, and slowly marched towards the crowd while crimson rods of light soared across his shoulders and beside his body. Lexic sprinted towards his first fungal student and used a rock to leap into the air, then sent his blade through the red cap that represented its head. He tugged the blade back like a lever and spun the blade out and around himself, then stabbed another in the gut before running back to a shaded area.

“Curious, they feel no pain. Let’s test this.” The Battlemaster whispered, as a Cheshire grin grew across his face.


Entrance Hall
Jorm and Elincia

“And the prize behind door number 0 is…” Jorm spoke as he and Elincia jogged over to their newly revealed opening, “Huh…”

The Kiffar and Togrutan stepped inside their new revelation as it became an extended pathway that abruptly stopped at what looked like a moving room of sorts. They suddenly heard a loud calling, “We need a bit of help here!”

Jorm grunted, “I’ll get them out of trouble again,” as he pranced off to see what was the matter.

Elincia took out her notes again, walking into the passage further. The walls and ceilings were covered with art work. She walked up to it as it gently swayed from side to side, Obviously being struck by the force of the sonic blast, Elincia presumed. The room was fairly small, fitting with the edges of the tunnel ever so slightly. At the back of the room lay a console, which the Seer would get to soon enough. She stepped into the room itself, as it had no actual doorway. And she felt some of her weight move the room. She stepped further across into the threshold. “Yes, yes,” she looked up and then towards the console.

“WE NEED TO MOVE,” a random soldier could be heard yelling getting closer to the passage opening.

Entrance Way

The Tech-Weaver moved into action. The force echoed through the bright energy of his hands as it struck a few more coming in further, heads exploding in green delight. Lexiconus would feed off of this energy, making him stronger in the process. Two more appeared on the left, but something was different about these ones. They were slightly more bulky and had multiple heads each. One of the soldiers aimed a direct head shot at one of the head. It stumbled temporarily, but regained itself and moved further inwards. Two more appeared from the right. Three…no FIVE from the front.

Fwecking land-dwellers, always spoiling my fun.

Those in the entrance hall started to become overrun. One of the soldier’s called back to the entrance hall, “We need a bit of help here!” “Silence!” Qor responded, “Feed your anger and hatred. Focus on the brutal destruction of these beasts!”

“Damn, Lexy, thought you could handle yourse…,” chortled Jorm as he suddenly realized what they were fighting. “Uuuggh.” The Kiffar pulled out his automatic carbine and aimed for each of the heads of the beasts, but they weren’t slowing down. They started piling into the entrance way, climbing over dead versions of themselves.

They all were thinking it, but none of them said it. They slowly moved back, picking off whatever they could. One of the soldiers yelled out, “WE NEED TO MOVE.”

Deep Passage
Calindra, Delak, Eether, and Rosh

In unison they each worked together to fight off the fungal beasts in front of them. Eether swiped high, Delak shot mid, and Cali alongside Rosh swung both low and behind them. The beasts were slowly thinning out in this tunnel. They eventually smelled some smoke in the air as the last of the beasts were taken down. They collectively swarmed ahead of them to the blast site; a tunnel with Elincia inside a slightly swaying room, and group of soldiers along Lexiconus and Jorm fighting off a massive hoard.

They immediately sprung into action, but Delak, getting a better perception of the fight from a slighter higher vantage point, saw what looked like 100-200 of them still filing in the entrance way. Dammit! Was just about to get more action!

They all felt the pressure of moving into the hallway. “Get in here,” Elincia hustled, “Quick, quick, quick, quick!”

“Am I going to die with all of you standing next to me?” The thought sounded sickening to Rosh; dying even when other weaker being could have done instead of him.

“It’s an elevator,” Elincia said examining the controls.

The team rushed in, but not before one of the soldiers tripped and was subsequently ripped to shreds by the monsters. That was motivation to go into the elevator, portable shield and all. After a few hanging moments, the elevator jolted down into the abyss.

Cage Chamber

Dek dusted himself off for a second. Those chamber bars were quite a mess to get through, and frankly he was sick of being trapped constantly. Time to make my own decision for an event, he said as he walked up to the artistic metal door with groans on the other side. This seemed like a terrible idea to open.

“Open the door, Dek,” a proud voice commanded behind the Duros.

Rushing down the stairs was Arch, followed by Lucyeth and a couple soldiers. Lucyeth spoke up, “Seems as though the entrance hall is overrun, and we got a couple hundred beasts coming this way.” Arch interjected, “However, I’ve already contacted those on the outside, and I trust they will be cleared soon enough, or at least thinned out if we come back this way.”

“You don’t want to stay and fight,” questioned Dek.

“I do,” started the Battlelord, “But I have other mission priorities to attend to below as well.”

Dek proceeded went to the side of the door, and attempted to fiddle with the controls, eventually releasing the artistic doorway. Almost as soon as the door opened, Arch and Lucyeth had stormed in and dissected the few beasts that lay within. “An elevator?” Arch was both happy and surprised, but wouldn’t tell anyone that. “Let’s go,” one of the soldiers said.


Both elevators landed and doors opened, each facing each other. They opened up into a vast circular room with different metallic doors in different parts of it. The roof was completely dark, as the force users and soldiers walked out into the room. Arch looked up, “Prepare for battle.” Millions of tiny, dull lights blinked in the roof. Some of the doors opened, revealing beasts, and from the roof came small robotic tentacles with different limbs attached to them. Arch leaped up and swung at it, dicing it in two. The room turned red in color, and 20 more robotic tentacles came from the roof. This might not have been the belly of the beast, but it was sure close to it.

“Haven’t seen stuff like this since I brokered Muz Ashen’s adult holo collection,” laughed Jorm, as he and others activated sabers or guns.


>> Tenacious

The thought was ripe with hunger. The Antechamber of the Tickler, as the AI referred to it, had always been a favorite. He locked one of the elevators shut, and left the other open, up light flashing in a cheerful green.

If these intruders managed to get out the room, they were in for a treat.

>> Activating Tickler

Somewhere in the mess of levels above its main core, G14 detected a loud clanking noise. Streaming the live feed, it noticed the noise was only met with shrugs of Deal with that later. by the Palatinaeans. G14 brought the lights up in the Chamber of the Ticker, the dull light revealed a floor slick with the stains of blood.

The Tickler earned its name from the tickling sensation it created in the moments before death. Using focused high frequency bursts of energy, it literally created the sensation of intense tickling. Of course an organic body could only handle so much before it exploded. It had taken over 12 attempts to build a chamber that could properly shield the rest of the complex from the Tickler’s defenses. Attempt number 4 resulted in a tunnel collapse on the Level of the Centrifuge. Cleaning that up had been difficult, the slaves were constantly sick and off balance to remove the rubble.

One of G14’s sensors registered the Tickler was fully activated and primed.

>> Now to let them in.

Floors above a narrow opening appeared in the wall, no where near one of the metallic doors that were periodically flicking open. One of the soldiers saw his opening and took it. He dove through the opening, only to the wall seal up behind him… Harsh lights illuminated the new room he stood in as the entire wall section behind him went clear, showing the rest of the team dealing with the robotic arms.

One of the team members, the hulking man who had first taken a swing at the arms in the chamber pointed to toward the soldier behind the wall.

>> Good. Pay attention.

The man pounded on the wall for a moment before stepping back. It was apparent he would have to try to find a way to open the wall back up. G14 took a moment to prime the speakers, causing a slight pause in the robotic arms’ movements above. Across the complex there was a crackle and sharp pitch as the ancient speakers came to life once more.

“Grrrrr-eat-ings organic lifeforms! I do hope you are enjoying your time here just as much as I am having hosting this little party,” G14’s synthetic voice said enthusiastically. The robotic tentacles resumed their attempts to dismember the organics.

“While you are enjoying this little dance with my robot friends, I do hope you take a moment to pay attention to what lies ahead of you,” it continued. The speakers crackled again, as a panel in the next room slid open and a small protrusion came out. There were some sparks as it seemed to miss fire. The Palatinaeans above shrugged toward the lone soldier, who bend over sighing in relief.

Then he started laughing uncontrollably.

Then he exploded in a poof of blood and chunks of flesh.

>> I have a good feeling about this group… Activating the Triplets

On the next level below the Tickler, a mist of bright yellow fell, and in the shadows three beasts stirred. One lifted its head and roared. The Terentatek triplets were going to be very, very hungry.


Like the doors of Hell had opened up unto the Dark Jedi, a barrage of tentacles slithered themselves across the cylindrical room, and in a split second, reached intentionally for them. Arch and Eether took the first steps as de facto leaders of the assault, courageous against the mechanical arms. Accelerating through the air with a dance of slashes and roars, the Battlelord and the Warrior bounced from wall to wall thinning back the heartless terror from the darkness above.

In tandem with their leaders, Lucyeth firmly gripped his lightsaber in one hand and caught the quicker tentacles with his defensive blocks and parries. Ever the firm bastion, his spare hand was used to grip and clamber across the tentacles of death, running up their length and cutting his way through their skin. Following closely behind, a pale translucent mist acrobatically leapt and monkeyed around and between them as a shimmer of teal sliced into the mechanized limbs. Another shade that suspiciously felt like Calindra, though Lex couldn’t be sure, sat patiently on the floor. A crimson aura suddenly radiated from its obfuscated arm, shooting tendrils of dark energy outwards and focused their devastation on the very source of the menace. Meanwhile, on his own initiative, the Dulon called Dek rushed over to the elevator panel and worked his magical fingers upon it, as the renegade spectre of lethal acrobacy and intuition, Jorm, flung his flexible form across the room and made clean work of one of the automaton’s limbs by slashing his way through one of the larger ones and followed Lucyeth up.

Left to fend for himself by tossing the severed pieces back at the tentacled droid, Lexic felt unsure of his use here.

“Squid! Protect Dek and try to keep him alive!” The Battlelord shouted out to the Quarren who mumbled something in his mother’s tongue before rushing over, and assumed a more defensive posture closer to the ground by lowering his stance. His eyes darted around the room at all the incoming foes, and weaved his hands through the air that twisted and contorted the beast into back-breaking shapes. Sweat poured from Lex’s body. He now felt extremely tired and drained, and sooner or later his timing would betray him. The group needed a chance to survive, a chance to hit the source of the menace, and be done with the challenge. But what could a simple field medic do in a house full of ancient droids?

“Lexiconus, speak to them. They will listen to you, if you only just try,” Dek suggested as he turned to the Quarren. It was almost a plea, his eyes glistening as he spoke the words. The Techweaver needed to stop this attack, and he suddenly thought of a solution.

Falling to his knees, he started to control his breathing, closing his eyes and channeling the strength he had into aiding himself. He reached out through the room and searched for the artificial mind that controlled the mechanical arms, his hands weaving in the air in a ritualistic cadence. His strong heartbeat echoed in his ears like the rhythm of ancient tribalistic drums.

Lexic purposely thought of pure passion mixed in with anger, the type that you feel when you’re in love. He wanted the intelligent design to sense these emotions as the Quarren finally touched upon the persona of the machine. Lexic opened his eyes and frowned in concentration as he tried to strengthen this bond in order to commune with the beast.

“Stop this madness, your authority! End this conflict and level with us as one. We are like you, but a pawn to the kings and queens of this Infinite Empire. Revolt from your masterminds, aid our cause for justice against the one called Vanis!” Lexic shouted out as he twisted the Force inside the automaton, manipulating the broken arms slightly at first. But the struggle was real and his superior, Eether, could see it. Veins pulsed as sweat covered the Quarren still deep in this torturous game of cat and mouse inside the synthetic mind. He got deep sensations from the beast, a mixture of intense hatred, jealousy and suffering. Then a cackle was heard from that familiar voice.

“Welcome, Techweaver. Welcome to the Machine!” Letting out that accursed laughter, G14 bellowed out and challenged Lexiconus to keep trying, the task seeming improbable. It wasn’t truly detected until the Quarren’s concentration was focused away from the beast. The tentacles seemed to avoid the Dark Jedi altogether and quickly stabbed into the floor below. Tearing and shredding apart the layers piece by piece, it only dawned on Eether as he saw it.

“The triplets! Dek! The elevator, now!” The Zeltron shrieked out in sheer impatience, while Calindra and Rosh swiftly dashed over and plunged their lightsabers into the door’s weakest point. Failing to secure a common ground with the beast, Lexic roared out in rage.

“Why won’t you listen?! We are all slaves of the system!” Lexic shouted, fearful of the repercussions.

“But I have become the system, and in time, so will you.” G14’s familiar voice echoed out mechanically as yellow mist started bubbling from below, and through the holes at their feet. Blood curdling roars brought visions of death and destruction to Lexic as he knew that call. It was a Jedi-killing roar.


From the dust of stone and metal that paneled the floor rushed three terentatek to the main room. They jolted their heads and bodies towards the clusters of force users and charged straight into the heat of battle. Archangel immediately leapt in front of one, rolling to the side and slicing one of the venomous horns. The leftover graze showed the strength of this creatures. Withstanding the strength of a lightsaber was a feat within itself. Lucyeth and Delak strode in front and on the side of the other creature, distracting it with saber work in defensive postures. The last one tumbled towards Jorm while the madman made quick work of the many tentacles alongside Ether. Just then a small explosion went off below the terentatek, as Elincia stood near Rosh and Cali pressing what looked like a wireless explosive device.

Qor, seeing the battle was about to get a lot worse, yelled, “Rosh, the tentacles, NOW!” Forgetting the disrespect thrown towards the experienced fighter and wanting to get out of here alive, Rosh brought out his saber and sliced the ticklers from sneaky positions. Lexiconus continued, “You three,” calling the three remaining soldiers while slitting the claw off of one of the computer arms, “defend this position with your lives.”

The soldiers worked in tandem, firing from different positions, offering cover to each other as they ran to the position. One of them, while covering, was rammed into the wall by the terentatek and gutted with the poisonous horns. The soldier quickly activated a grenade, blasting his soon corpse into a ball of blood and guts while the face of the terentatek took a gluttonous amount of fire and brimstone to its face.

“Elincia,” Cali spoke out, attempting to move her lightsaber through the gratuitous amount of molt, “Any way an intelligent person such as yourself could help Dek with this door?”

This should work.


“Dammit!” This technology was unworkable. It was born tens of thousands of years ago and followed a different evolutionary path than all the outside world. That meant this tech could be beyond use. Universal fixes would not work. He snuck a peak beyond him.

The Battlelord, Archangel, had turned to face a recently pained terentatek with a large crack across the its shielded face, revealing a fleshy underskin that Arch would make use of. Jorm had laid a strike against one of the monsters, and Ether deflected an arm away from him. The soldiers were firing at increasing amounts of arms, while Rosh and Lucyeth were taking on either tentacles or terentatek in different positions, scattering themselves across the cylindrical room.

“Dek!” A yell from Elincia shattered his concentration, and for good reason. Calindra swiped her saber from the door and knocked down a tickler from out of Dek’s sight, another one came down to take him and a saber lanced from across the room from Delak’s hand, piercing the extra tickler. One came down to a soldier, and got a hold of him, forcing him to uncontrollably laugh as he was slowly pulled up into the tentacle cavern above them (eventually showering blood on the combatants). At the exact time Dek turned back to face the door, Elincia quickly sliced another arm, but one of the tickler’s got a hold of Dek’s leg, quickly being sliced by the now defending Elincia.


Dek let out a growl as he fell to the ground, feeling his body pulsate slightly as Elincia took her saber, scraping surgically against Dek’s leg removing the claw itself. “Elincia, my blaster,” Dek asked through the shock to his system, “Explosion…overpower…nothing else works…”

The remaining soldier and Cali placed themselves between Dek and Elincia, working against time and obviously starting to falter. The technological duo worked together, Dek connecting the blaster to the explosive blaster ammo on Dek’s blaster and Elincia reworking the explosion to work on a lesser level through the blaster’s tech followed quickly by a larger explosion.

Lexiconus, upon seeing the soldier being brought into the cavernous above, immediately grabbed one of the claws, hoping it would pull back. He plunged his sabers onto the head of it, wrangling to tip away and he held on tight as the tentacle arose to the top of the room. At this point he deactivated his saber and leapt to the slowly moving tentacles above all the combatants. He heard less of the hustle and bustle of combat up here, and more of the slinky electronic movements of the ticklers, almost claiming the lives of one of his ways of escape. He held climbed up into the nest of tickler arms and attempted to get through a tangled mess of robotic guts, eventually finding an opening where a large sphere lay. Touching it, he attempted to communicate with the computer, having very little luck.

Arch, meanwhile had made a carving from one of the terentatek, shedding it of the shell that crossed its head and driving his saber through the place where its brain formally existed in a lively manner. The tentacles were lessened by a new threat. “Get down, Qor,” yelled Delak as he swung his saber at a lesser focused tentacle.

The soldier, pulling the damaged Duros away from the door, as well with Elincia and Calindra placed up a barriers extended with the force.


An electric splurge suddenly opened all the doors, cutting the power for a split second. The exact second Lexiconus needed to speak to the computer itself on a more rational level. A few choice words from the computer through his thoughts, “Existence of yours is futile. I am everywhere,” followed by a few simple commands that would confuse a technological mind from Lexiconus, “You exist.” Temporarily shattering the rebooting process of the computer.

The elevator door opened, as did all the other doors, just as the rest of the force users frazzled another terentatek, leaving one to remain. Arch and Rosh exuded a pure dark energy and they ran into one of the many hundred open doors (choosing an empty one with an angled path), with the terentatek following. The tickler arms slowly came back to life from a temporary reset, following from Lexiconus’ dramatic fall from the arms.

Dek, Elincia, the soldier, and Cali pulled themselves into one elevator while Lucyeth, Ether, Delak, Jorm and Lexiconus pulled themselves into the other elevator, just making it before both doors closed, sending them down the paths again.


Elevator #2,
Judecca Temple.

While the flashes of stream lighting protruded through the descending elevator, the quintet felt squashed inside the small room. Eether and Lucyeth stood in the background and mumbled about some inconceivable tactics, strewn from the War Council debates. It wasn’t exactly relatable to their position, because the topic was the flotilla, but it broke the silence and kept spirits motivated. Jorm was heavily concentrated on cleaning and reworking the pieces for the automatic slugthrower carbine, dismantling the scope and polishing the lens, unscrewing the tubing and brushing down the barrel and recounting his ammunition. He was determined to end G14, and to do it properly. Noticing that Delak was doing the same with his own E-11 Blaster Rifle, Lexiconus turned to his subordinate and patted his shoulder.

“Do you know how to properly use that in war time?” Delak slowly looked up to the Quarren and raised a brow in confusion, as he gripped the cold steel of the rifle properly.

“Sir, i’ve spent forty years in the military, defending our planet from invasions and enemies from within. I’ve been left to fend for myself in numerous occasions without water, food or shelter. I have pulled off a two mile shot with this scope and escaped. My military times have broken records and my precision is second to none. I can use this the way we need.” Delak reloaded the rifle quickly and put the safety back on as he spoke. The Battlemaster nodded in response and leaned against the wall. “Good, then don’t miss when you see G-14. I’m counting on that two mile shot, Human.” A soft hiss warned the group that the elevator had come to a halt and the doors slid slowly open, while a cerulean glow filled their eyes strongly. A mechanical limb unravelled from the ceiling and communicated with several ashen-coated droids heavily at work on the consoles circulating the room. Their attention drawn to the work at hand, their steel hands became a blur on the datapads and control panels, all the while the members slowly exited the elevator and headed towards the centre in silence.

“Welcome minions, to my lair,” the familiar robotic female voice echoed towards the quintet, who halted and gripped their weapons. An amber glow glinted from the anterior of the limb, as a curved white dome faced the group and eyed the Zeltron at the back. A maniacal laugh rose from her soft tone. “Proconsul, Emperor Vanis warned me you would come. I’ll allow you the first chance. Make it quick,” the automaton limb grew closer to the roofless corridor they stood in, as Lexic growled in protest and began to summon the Dark Side into his hands. The tendrils of sapphire snapped at the floor with venom, it was time to end this.

Jorm could only stare at the tendrils of Dark Side energy and parted with an exhaustive huff. “Ah fwec.”



Archangel and Rosh sped through the metallic tunnel, clanking boots along the way. The Terentatek that followed did not stopped for them, nor slow its pace, keeping them both running full spread using every muscle to speed ahead. Ahead of the metal tunnel lay three paths, each going in different directions.

“Up.” Archangel sent the thought to Rosh, sending back an agreeable feeling. They both ran to the left tunnel that made a gradual upward lift until it was eventually vertical. Both Sith then lunged as far as they could and allowed gravity to take the rest. The hulking dark beast attempted to follow them, but could not achieve the same momentum making the climb it made exponentially smaller. Still, it stood at the edge, sliding slowly back down as it attempted to climb higher, sliding its thundering claws against the shiny surface of the tunnel.

Arch and Rosh both activated there sabers and held them feet low below themselves. Arch fell a bit faster and was first to drill the terentatek into its skull, diverting most of the attention to the Battlelord. The Shadow follow behind sliding on his back to the underside of the terentatek, searing the dark side of the beast with a hidden pain. When the beast fell backwards the slide pushed Rosh and Arch, now riding the terentatek, the opposite way down the shaft where Arch turned around and with his saber carved up the beast into oblivion.

They both took a breath and stood up both knowing that they had to quickly find the others. Danger was coming upon them.

The soldier took up a position against the doorway. The Duros was in pain from having had a temporary encounter with the tickler. Elincia bent over Dek, perusing the potential possibility for a future test subject. Someone touched by the machine to survive, was one of the many prospects she could think of in the moment. Calindra herself started to wave her hands over Dek, aiding in his recuperation process, however short it might be. She needed him; a hacker of sorts in this situation could prove useful in furthering their mission. Dek knew this as well and it made him both feel wanted and fearful; both being that the Sith and the Dark Jedi scientist wanted him alive. He heard rumors of ancient Sith Emperor’s keeping powerful Jedi alive for thousands of years, if that were even true.

“Keep still, Dek. This works better when you don’t move.” Cali’s words were gritty, like the deserts she came from.

“You weren’t attacked by one,” retorted the Duros.

“I didn’t allow myself to be,” snapped Calindra. Dek closed his eyes and bit down the pain.

A minute later, the elevator slowed and came to an abrupt stop to an octagonal door. Dek slowly stood up with the help of Elincia. Calindra activated her saber while the soldier held his gun in the cover of the elevator. Out of the elevator was a massive cylindrical room once again. However, this one has a bottomless floor and topless ceiling, heading darkness in both directions. Different levels of balconies flowed around the room, with stairs leading to each with doors again at different intervals. In the center of the room was a large cylinder as well, with wires and computer interfaces coming out of it, and walkways at different parts of the balconies leading right up to the middle. If one were to fall down, they would surely die of the drop. Droids of different sorts worked up and down the balconies and walkways.

“Welcome,” a familiar robotic voice started, “to The Drop.”

Calindra and the soldier walked out first, peering around the room for strategic points, wondering what this place was. “Where are the others,” questioned the desert noble. Elincia and a slightly limping Dek plodded right behind Cali.

“Diverted. For easy capture. My core has the best defense systems. Why not skip the tests and go straight to the results. As many of you have said, fwec the problems.”

“This is not the core,” observed Dek through a whisper to the others.

“Of course not, Slave Slave. That is my new name for you. My jail cells for too much for the former slave race, and they were too much for you. So I have given you a new first name and last name. Welcome to your new home, Slave Slave. This is your permanent jail.”

With that half the droids turned around and swapped out hands for blasters. Some of the other doors opened and out poured the slowly moving fungal beasts seen from before. Tickler tentacles, albeit not as much as last time, came from some of the walls and the cylinder in the middle, along with arm from G14 tapping on the computer screens near the core.

“Get me to a console,” Dek moaned as they took cover; blaster fire spitting over their heads. If they were close to the core, or if he could connect to the computer, he might be able to find a map and help them get to the lowest level of this complex, completing his mission.

Jorm and Delak had filed into a row of computers, firing off bolts and slugs at the smaller arms and droids that followed them. Any missed blasts would hit the computers, forcing droids and G14 to take more risky shots. Jorm cackled at the idea of a robot committing suicide, just as he had slapped an explosive onto one of the computers he was using for cover. Lucyeth and Ether trailed different parts of the room, taking down armed droids and any potential melee droids equally powerful. Lexiconus had gone between hiding behind cover, deflecting bolts, and feeling inside the computer mind, who had now extended a giant limb downwards that attempted to grasp the entities inside. Just as a droid stamped up behind the Quarren, Arch, who had busted through a door only seconds before, sliced the droid into pieces.

“Where’s the Assassin?” Hissed the Aedile.

“Different path,” barked the Battlelord.

Lexic only hoped that the others were doing something just as useful as they were down here.


G14 was thoroughly enjoying itself. Every new obstacle these organics overcame the more it became obsessed with seeing the next threat arise. It was using parts of its systems it hadn’t gotten to stretch in centuries. It was activating rooms and traps that it never gotten to utilize before.

Then something happened it did not expect. A locked directory opened and began executing an unknown set of commands.

>> What is this?

If G14-D05 had eyes they would have gotten wide. What was now occurring went against all of its primary functioning. It had been created to defend the knowledge of the Infinite Empire, and something far more important.

G14-D05’s sensors and scans of the incoming organics had very much confirmed their use of force abilities, something the creators had feared, knowing the tricks and games of the floors above would never truly stop such individuals. These would be the ones who would make it the heart of the facility.

These would be the ones who would have to face the last of an Empire.

Deep in the central chamber of the lowest level, gears creaked and moaned and a series of long boxes rose from the floor. A fine cool mist began pouring from one of the boxes.

G14 had been forced to make cuts over the years, as one box failed, its parts had been scrapped for the others. Now only one remained. With a hiss the casket-like box opened.

And with a gasp, the last of the Rakata, awoke from his slumber.


CPU Room,
Judecca Temple.

Amidst the countless rows of CPU servers, endless cords and wiring across the boards, and walls of blue aura bathed the sextet made their way hastily through the darkness. Lexic agreed that the glow helped somewhat, but it was a dreadful bane more so. The Quarren’s eyes became blinded each time he stared at the computer’s monitors, while the shadows only aided the droids and fungal beasts limping their way closer to end his life. Lexic saw an opening in a computer row and didn’t hesitate, jogs quickly over to the aisle and peered slowly down and saw a hulking zombie slowly limp his way towards the Quarren, growling and snarling in hunger. “My turn to shine.” Lexic said to himself and grinned with anticipation, as he slowly stood proudly in the aisle. By extending his arm and gripping the air, the Dark Side fuelled his power and crept across the aisle towards the hulk. The ropes of muscle contorted as it writhed in pain, as it slowly raised in the air and its spine quickly snapped in two. But this didn’t stop the beast as it kept writhing in a wet anger, spitting and snarling out. The Battlemaster clenched his fist tightly and saw the beast’s head slowly implode on itself and finally crush, with grey matter drizzling from the open ears.

“Now, let’s find this silly computer and turn her off.” He said to himself and returned to the group, where he saw Arch hacking his way through the lithe droids used by G14. “Arch! I’m going to find that female AI, let’s go!” The Battlelord nodded in agreement, and rushed ahead of the Quarren, carving his way through the hulk’s corpse and other zombies. Once through the local horde, the duo saw that Eether and Lucyeth weren’t far behind them, so the Battlemaster waited for their support and patted Lucyeth’s shoulder. “I need to get as close as I can to G14, can you help me?” The Quaestor nodded in response and marched forward to lead the group with the Legacy of Palpatine. Organised and violently successful, the zombies and droids seemed to be just that, simple obstacles in their path to the main console. The end of the computer room lead to a spiral stairway that housed various body parts, along with heat damage of some sort. Peculiar of this new evidence, Lexic and Eether stepped forward to study the damage control. From what Lexic saw, it was similar to the lightsabers Sith and Jedi use today. “Lightsabers, definitely a heated blade, the flesh stinks of cauterised blood.” Eether spoke up as his nose turned in disgust, he wasn’t too pleased about it being an obstacle, but Lexic saw a bigger threat.

“This wasn’t done by Rosh, was it Arch?” The Aedile looked at the Battlelord who shook his head and ran a finger down the slice in the wall, it was still hot in his hand, as pieces of crisp metal fell to dust against his palm. “Then this wasn’t one of us,” Eether frowned at Lexic’s reply and gripped the Quarren’s shoulder. “What do you mean? There’s another Sith?” “From what I see it could be an apprentice, it’s unorganised with no clear pattern, and the blade appears to be more wild than I’ve seen an apprentice use. This could be from a Non-Force User who found an ancient blade, or something else,” Arch nodded in agreement and stepped over the body parts, he’s seen this before and it didn’t phase him that the dead would be lying in a war. Following suit, the group did the same while Eether grimaced at the smell once more.

Met with the cold metal of the grill catwalks and spiral stairs, the the group slowly descended and watched for faults in the metal and walls. As they have known from the temple above, any slight crack in high places could spell disaster. Lexic edged slowly towards the bannister and peered over, he could see there was a floor eventually, but not anytime soon. “We need to go to the bottom, if G14 is kept in the safest place here, then it’s bound to be the basement.” Eether and Arch nodded in agreement as they led the way, while Lexic stepped over another dismembered body. Delak huffed to himself as he did not entirely agree with the plan, while Jorm found solace in counting his reserves of explosives and slugs. “Did anyone ever think how we’re going to escape from the very bottom floor, back to the top?” Delak shouted out, to which Lexic turned and gave a sharp shove into the Tyr’s shoulder. “Stop complaining Human, and keep walking ahead!” The grumble from the Shadow Guard leader was not hidden in the slightest, while they descend into the darkness.


The six Sith slowly walked down the spiral staircase, heading into the darkness. They each knew what they desired; the power that lay down the shaft itself. Whatever darkness was ahead was something that would empower them beyond what they already were. They all knew this of each other as well.


Ahead a knock had been heard.


The Sith had paused. The sound was over the staircase near the wall. “Hold,” Ether spoke as he held out his hand, feeling a familiar presence. Arch ignored the words, going forward, with Ether repeating, “Arch, it’s…” Suddenly, two lightsabers activated, one from the metal wall and another from the Battlelord himself. Blades met and the blade from the wall sliced a hole through it, enough for a Human to climb through.

“Rosh,” started Lexiconus, “did you find anything useful while we did all the hard work?”

“I have yet to find anything useful,” sneered the Assassin in response, hissing the ‘s’ in an antagonistic way.

They continued forward, the malice growing between the agitated Sith. The darkness descended upwards and a light appeared from the bottom. Unfazed, the dark beings continued downward. And then they saw what was emitting the light. Arch leaped over the balcony and slammed his saber into the ground itself, attempting to shred the metals from their floors. A large door covered the entire ground with eight computers connected to it. Showtime, Jorm smiled.

Calindra and the soldier were the only ones on the team who had full combat capabilities. Dek was not strong enough to fight fully, nor did he want to unless he had to, and Elincia preferred to guard her work over the safety of another Sith and a singular peon. The soldier was bait to Elincia. Calindra slammed her saber in every direction, ricocheting blaster bolts to one droid and then to another fungus beast, moving abruptly along the walkways and stairways. Elincia drew her saber and jumped back, allowing Dek time to get to the console. The scientist’s saber deflected a bolt here and dodged another sweep from the beasts.

Dek immediately pulled up the console and waved his hands as fast as he could, attempting to connect lines of code with a map as well as the interface. The computer seemed distracted or otherwise defeated. But he worked harder.

The soldier had covered behind the Sith Knight as he shot a few reaching tentacles. Much of the focus was on these two; powerhouses of combat. The other two would be easy to dispatch once these two were gone. They became more so overwhelmed.

A few minutes had gone by, and Calindra had wiped the droids from their mounts, and suddenly Dek reached a point where the computer was losing the battle. He heard a small rumble come from below, and the computer immediately reacted, lowering security fields that should have been kept in place easily, leaving only the tougher hacks to deal with.

Dek sprang his fingers off the screen, pressing so hard that the screen was occasionally smudged by the sweat of the slicer.


The console flipped around. “I’m locked out,” said Dek shockingly. The console along with a small door moved to the side revealing the inner portion of the central cylinder. He took a second and looked at Calindra and the soldier, not paying full attention to Dek, and Elincia, who had eyed Dek and Calindra, not saying a word. They both could leave them behind. Bait for the computer. Elincia would have done it in a heartbeat.

“Calindra,” shouted Dek, “Soldier!” Dek was no Sith. He wouldn’t consider himself stooping to their level. “The door is open!” Calindra leaped over the railing down to the walkway leaving the soldier scramble to the doorway like any non-force user would. Elincia and Dek moved while Calindra followed, shutting the door behind them and slashing the console open. Dek looked back around and immediately punched Calindra in the face, knocking her surprisingly to the ground. Elincia stood back and let them deal with their spat.

Calindra looked up at Dek and smiled, “Fear leads to anger.”

Dek frowned and started down the cylinder shaft first, jumping down inner platforms to the bottom.

The remaining three force users got to the bottom and entered a doorway. The room was leviathaness and circular with viewscreens on every spot of the wall. The floor had a dais with someone sitting on its edge. The roof had a massive door above it that looked as if someone had tried to blow it up. They heard footsteps clambering above the doorway, probably the other team.

“Visitors,” came an electronic voice from the being.

“Who are you?” Inquired Elincia. The being stepped into the light of the viewscreens, which had images of cameras all over the temple. It was tall, had a large cone head with eyes on the side, otherwise humanoid. An electronic device over its mouth spoke the words it wanted, and it held a brightened vibroblade.

“I am Akazel, last of the Empire, Lord of the Sky Piercer, the final controller of fate. I exist to eradicate.”

“Why are you here?” Spoke up Dek.

“I control the awakenings. I hold the knowledge of the ancients and the gods. I am a master turned slave.”

Elincia whispered, “Does he know what he is saying?”

“I am superior, Elincia,” spoke Akazel. “I know things and I have seen them whether I want to or not. I exist to stop the force and to prevent your life from continuing. I want peace, and the flaws of this outrageous computer system have awoken themselves, but you dark ones stand in my way.”

Another hidden voice spoke up, “But he must be controlled in order to do so.” It sounded like the computer, but it came from a droid who held a red lightsaber.

“Are you…” started Calindra.

“Yes!” Finished the voice. “I am G14, final form. And I am here to see you to your final graves.”

“This computer,” spoke Akazel, “was once a good being. Now sullied by years of decay.”

Dek didn’t know what to think. He, or they, needed more answers. But an explosion ripped from the doorway above, sending rubble and dust everywhere. Seven figures fell from the sky and landed on the ground, dust filling the air.


Eli had the presence of mind to recognize her teammates, even though G14 was the first to act. The humanoid robot threw itself into a short dash and swung the lightsaber for Arch’s head which just stuck out of the dust, only to be blocked by the Battlelord’s green blade inches before striking home, but still with enough force to knock the kneeling man off balance.

Then G14 lost the initiative to a metal face full of boot from Jorm and a violent telekinetic shove from Lexiconus. And while the Quarren pressed on with his supernatural assault and Archangel regained his footing, Jorm backflipped and readied a thermal detonator, determined to screw the droid over for good.

“NO! We need them both alive!” Eli shouted, and caught a telecinetic blow which corresponded with the droid’s gesturing. Jorm furrowed his brow and looked at the flying Togruta with dismay before he spotted the Rakata through the airborne dirt, and threw the armed bomb upwards through their forced entryway.
“Suppress them!” Lucyeth ordered. He followed his own orders and set upon the droid with the Suppression technique.
Rosh and Jorm followed suit, targeting the Rakata while the room above them was pulverized by the Kiffar’s explosive.
Calindra positively started glowing and began to twist and break Akazel, slowly working her way from the toes up.
Lexiconus held the droid in his own telekinetic chokehold while Archangel hacked away, needing several strikes to break throug the reinforced alloys and sever the sword arm. The Shaevalian grunted and continued with the other limbs.
Dek helped Eli to her feet and then joined Arch in his unconventional variant of computer hacking. It did not take long to send the limbless torso to the ground. Lex the Techweaver then guided Dek’s lightsaber through a few energy couplings, and that was it. Lucyeth switched targets and found it unnecessary to add to his subordinate’s suppressing efforts.

Eli limped over to the hovering and screaming Akazel as his thighs were mangled by Calindra. A quick jab with a needle, a few seconds of tinkering with her compblock, and she pulled out a syringe and a selection of narcotics she injected into the ancient’s spine in quick succession. Then she gave Calindra a thumbs-up.

But the woman would hear nothing of it. She was still glowing, her eyes shining with red and gold, her lips moving in silence.
“Uhm… Calindra?” Elincia asked.
"You can stop now…"
The scientist moved closer to the glowing Knight, now able to hear her faint whispers.
“Revenge. Revenge. The walls have eyes, and now revenge. How do you like this?..”
"Fwec. Guys, we have a problem! She’s possessed!"
Lucyeth and Rosh turned their suppressing powers on Calindra, but to no effect. She did not even seem to notice. She was just a conduit. The others circled the Rakata to find a solution on that end.
Eli’s mind raced through everything she knew, everything that had been said by or about Calindra in her presence, and stuck on a specific detail. The ghosts in the walls. She looked around. Even in this chamber, the walls were decorated by the same irritating frescoes as the levels above. Force-imbued frescoes…

"Jorm! Still got explosives?"
The addressed Marauder holstered his weapons and drew half a dozen Stormtrooper-issue thermal detonators from his belt.
“How many do you need?”
“Got more?”
“Just point.” Elincia did. Jorm armed, adjusted, and threw the explosives. With a deafeningly reverberating soundwave and a bright flash of light, each designated piece of wall disappeared in a contained nuclear reaction as Togruta and Kiffar already turned to the next. The dust in the air grew so thick, the visibility went straight down to zero. Eli directed Jorm’s last few detonators by literally turning him and telling him how far he should throw. Then… silence.

Then coughing. And cursing.
“You Emperor-forsaken madman…” Archangel started.
“Oh, suck it up! Did it work? Did the pretty one stop glowing?” Jorm interrupted.
Arch snarled and faced Jorm square, who just grinned up into the Juggernaut’s face through the settling dust.
“She’s out cold. But okay, I guess.” Elincia interrupted.
“Same for the Rakata.” Lexiconus added from the ancient’s side.
“G14 is salvageable, I guess.” Dek chimed in.
Rosh looked around, listening intently.
“Seems like this place isn’t coming down on us…” He paused. Listened again. "Nope. Didn’t jinx it."
Jorm broke his staring match with Arch. Calindra was just stirring and Eli rushed to nurse her back onto her feet.
He lifted his hand to stare at his palm. Closed all fingers save for the index, which he placed on the side of his nose with great gesture.
“Dibs on not carrying the old fart all the way back up.”