Shadow Academy Halls,
Lyspair, Antei System
“Thank you Celavon,” chuckled the madman at the retreating Invicta as the datapad rested warmly in his grasp. “Always happy to lend a harrowing hand. I sincerely appreciate the vote of confidence,” he giggled to himself. Eager fingers crawled across the datapad controls like pale spiders seeking a gory meal. Wholesale slaughter and destruction was his business, after all. And business was good.
“Let’s see… hehehe. Ah yes. An Elder.” Macron grinned. “Lovely. Twilek hybrid…” The Elder’s face screwed up in disgust. “A naturally unstable genetic pairing, tsk tsk. Sloppy. Hmm. Powerful I see- but if I had to guess, we can take Murdock Malachi with a lightsaber.” The Juggernaut’s one yellow and one squamous eye continued to scan the data, not exactly moving together in sync. “A Knight and an Equite as well. Together, the three are more than both of us can safely handle. The mundanes are of no concern. they will flee, cower, or die. They are not worthy of our attention unless they attempt to impede the mission.”
The Adept closed his eyes and sought the kernel of inner fire that rested within every Sith. The Dark Side whispered seductively to him. His skill with seeing the future was limited, but he could sense that taking the normal tactical choice might lead to danger. Of what sort, or exactly when this would happen was quite beyond his skills. The Dark Side capriciously offered him nothing more. “Fah,” murmured the lunatic. “Always so damn difficult, the Dark Side is.”
Macron opened his strange eyes abruptly. He intended to do exactly as the missive from the Bureau suggested- kill everyone, and then raze the compound they were in. Common sense would dictate that taking out the weaklings first would be the wisest tactical choice. The Alchemist would do the opposite- he would kill the Elder first. His Force abilities would be at their maximum for the combat, he would be fully rested, and he could slaughter the others later at his leisure. “Awesome-sauce.”
The Sith stood up, brushed himself off, and headed for the docking bay. “Time to go play Bogeyman. Just have to gather my party favors, and make a quick call.” Ostensibly he would be a researcher who would come to Ziost on a special pass to examine and translate some old scrolls. The ones he wanted to examine (of course) just happened to rest within the compound that the failed Brotherhood reconnaissance team had been exploring.
Shadow Academy Lambda Class T4A Shuttle Besh
Approaching Ziost System
Macron grimaced. The Elder’s skin crawled at the thought of not wearing armor. Invisible bugs skittered lightly over his flesh. The Sadow shuddered. The only good bug was a Verpine, as far as he was concerned. The rest were evil creatures that whispered vile obscenities in his head. Only in combat or torture did they become silent. Hopefully Ziost’s natural Dark Side saturation would hide his own presence and silence the garrulous vermin.
His appearance had to be as close to a civilian’s as he could get upon arrival. Mac’s hair had been dyed solid black, his face covered with flesh-toned makeup, and he wore normal civilian clothes replete with a nerdy bow-tie and jacket. The mask he wore over half of his face was uncomfortable. Many who had been scarred in battle or accidents across the galaxy wore similar facial coverings. It served to cover his ugly Sithspawned eye at least.
The time would inevitably come later on to don his security blanket and deal out some serious destruction. “My research gear, of course,” giggled the mad Sith. The Sith patted the trunk-sized repulsor case sitting next to him on the bench within the transport. “Then I can make you little bastards go away by spilling the required sanguine libations on the thirsty ground, my many-legged parasitic friends. Or maybe the walls… ceiling… any of those will do.”
The Dark Eyes would be deployed as he landed. All three of them would have blasters and toxin-darts.
Great Citadel , Ziost
This spaceport was not particularly busy, as spaceports go. Ziost had been abandoned for a long time, and only the One Sith and their trading partners had come and gone until the Brotherhood arrived. The results of the subsequent battle were all around. Craters in the ground, ruined buildings, turbo-laser scarring on the stones themselves. Still, the place was slowly being rebuilt.
The cold bracing air of the frozen arid world suited Macron. He inhaled the crisp atmosphere, and smiled. Bugs don’t like cold, or dry places. The pressure on his mind eased just slightly. The inner voices still urged him to slake his thirst for awful carnage. They were ever-present these days, unfortunately. Or was that fortunately? Either, none, or both could be correct. In any case twin Dark Eye droids silently drifted towards the compound that he sought unaided.
“Shaddup Darth-damn your chitinous hides,” growled the madman as he walked towards the area where one could hire a hover-taxi. Several aliens that walked by looked at him askance and walked on. His time of self-control was limited without his armor on. Sweat trickled down his chest inside the uncomfortable scholar’s outfit. “How much longer can we hold, my pretties?” he thought silently. “Days? Surely not. Hours? Perhaps, but not likely. Minutes? Certainly. best to move in quickly.” He continued to mutter and fume as he hailed transportation. “TAXI!”
An aging yellow hover-sled pulled up. The dirty land-speeder smoked, and looked like it had seen better days. “Where to bud?” asked the Human cabbie. “Hookers? Stim? I got Death Sticks too.”
“Excellent.” The disguised Sith flashed a cred-card and a slip of paper. “Take me to this address. And I’ll have two Death-sticks.” Macron threw his hover-case into the back seat and hopped into the landspeeder. “No hookers.”
The cabbie swiped his card and handed him two small pencil-shaped cylinders while looking around for security. “Cool man, your cred’s good. Not much heat locally, but you can’t be too sure. The new owners are… testy, you know?”
“You don’t say,” replied the Adept flatly as he tore open and ate both of the Death-sticks. The cabbie gasped. The two would be a lethal dose for most humans. Macron just grinned, appearing mostly unfazed. If anything they quieted the voices in his head for a little bit before his synthetic body inevitably flushed the drugs out. Sadly he found little enjoyment in using drugs on himself. It was much more fun to use them on others in a laboratory situation. “Let’s go.”
Great Citadel , Ziost
The hover-cab zipped off as Macron floated his case along. His teeth ground. The Death sticks had worn off, and the bugs were back in his head and on his skin. It would not be long now before they cried out for release. He ducked into a filthy alley-way after casually setting a duffle-bag by the compound’s front door on the way by. It was time to change.
Several mangy young Nek-dogs circled him and snapped as he donned the armor piece by piece. Macron growled back ferally, and the young curs fled in fear. “Frack you,” he chuckled as the last vambrace clicked together on his right arm. His hand touched the helm activation stud, and the face-plate slid down with a hiss and a puff of gas. The lunatic inhaled deeply. He relished the sterile air, NBC capable internal environment, and the spicy but faint aroma of Sith chemicals. “It’s Party Time.”
The Sith took a few seconds to gather his own impressions of the compound beside him. He could sense that the strongest Force-user in the building was on the second floor, almost directly above his present position. The other two that he could feel were near the front door along with many of the mundanes. Mac touched a stud on his left vambrace, triggering a nearby remote counter.
The Elder then threw a thermal detonator loaded with enriched baradium from the Last Breath Mine on Sepros at the first floor window. It was propelled by the Force and shattered the plas-steel as it passed into the building. A blast of actinic fire blew out the first-floor window and the wall around it. Simultaneously, the front door of the compound was blown in by a potent baradium-cobalt satchel charge. Screams came from the front of the building. Little did they know of the quick-lived hard radiation and toxic gas they would be absorbing.
The light from the burning radioactive baradium explosions back-lit the alleyway in an eerie blue chiascuro. Macron jumped high and used the Force, coming in through the blown-out eye of the blasted window in a tucked ball like an armored pill-bug. the Juggernaut rolled into the room and stood explosively.
A burned lavender-skinned half-Twilek standing up in the room already held a lightsaber in hand. “I felt you coming, of course.” stated Murdock Malachi. The hybrid coughed as his robes smoked. “I figured you’d come in the front door.” The Adept ignited his amber blade with the classic snap-hiss and thrum of an Adegan crystal-fueled weapon. The Fallen Jedi’s yellow blade swept around to a reverse-guard position as Murdock took a practiced Shien stance. “Come then.”
Heavy blocks of broken wall duracrete lifted from the floor along with the broken plas-steel and then were hurricaned at the invader with the power of the Force. Surely the invader did not have the mastery over kineticism that Murdock did.
The hurled masses were met by the Sadow’s levitated chunks of the hapless broken wall and his hatred. They were stopped by an equal barrier of Force energy and swirling debris. “My pleasure! You must DIE,” responded the Sith Adept with a scream as he ignited his own tangerine-colored weapon. The Corusca crystal reverberated at a higher but rougher pitch than his opponent’s weapon. Macron’s mind clenched as the Dark Side girded his body with strength and speed.
Both Adepts launched themselves at each other like off-course rockets.
Twisting blows of the saffron lightsaber swept at Macron, designed to cut him rudely in half. The lemon-colored swathes of hot blazing light sought for his true destruction. Many strikes hammered at his defenses mercilessly. Burning gouges shot sparks up between them as the floor spat fire in protest of the rude cuts.
The Alchemist did his best to side-step, deflect, and generally not be there for the ripping blows. His orange blade smoked and spat as he slipped blow after blow to the side or the floor with turns of the wrist. It was possible that the Shien would overwhelm him eventually by tiring him out.
“Sonofabitch,” thought the mad Sith to himself. Murdock was damn good. The half-breed’s assault of reverse-gripped slashes and stabs was holding the madman at a standstill. The One Sith’s brutal Shien could not progress against the Sadow’s elegant Makashi defense, but neither was Macron any closer to victory. This was not acceptable.
Fire flew into Macron’s veins as he felt unholy anger begin to overtake his mind. His focus began to vacillate between the Duelist’s form, and the deeper understanding that was known as Vaapad. The connection to his foe needed time to establish. He must duel longer. “We must know my enemy.”
Murdock obviously called the Dark Side into his body. It was heavy, thick, and cloying all around them both here on the surface of Ziost. It came readily to Murdock’s soul and body. His alacrity and sheer power increased as he shouted in sheer exultation while the Dark Side fueled him. His blows redoubled in timing and power. The Fallen Jedi greedily struck Macron across the chest, slashing flesh and scoring the rib bones through sizzling armor.
The Sadow Elder screamed in agony as his flesh and lungs burned. He had, as well, hardened his body in the Juggernaut way against the impending strike. He was injured, but it could have been much worse. The Sadow’s rage and insanity surpassed the Fallen Jedi’s in strangeness. Sacrifice of self was the only way to persevere and understand your enemy. The Force worked it’s way into his injury and numbed the pain.
Macron responded with calculated evil. The screaming orange blade tied up Murdock’s yellow weapon up in a classic Makashi lock as the madman’s Nextor crystal bit into the yellow blade-stream. Macron’s left knee pistoned into Murdoch’s balls with Force-enhanced jack-hammer pressure. The strike literally lifted the Twilek hybrid off of the ground while pubic bones split. As the Hybrid’s guard raised. Macron circled his blade to the right, pushed his enemy’s arms across the elbows high with his left hand, and rammed the orange blade into his enemy’s crotch. Murdock groaned in a horrible spurting death-rattle as Macron split him upwards into two from crotch to neck.
Sizzling gore and smoking brains spewed across the madman and his weapon as he gasped and staggered back to a corner. “I’m hurt,” gasped the madman to himself. “Shavit.” Healing energy was channeled as best as he could to his wrecked chest. “Frack.” A short command sequence was keyed into his right vambrace. Twin Dark Eye droids floated up from in front of the downstairs blown-out main door below. They began to shoot poison darts into the defenders that had moved into the area to check the breach.
“Downstairs,” hacked the madman to himself. “Death to my enemies.” He staggered down the stairs in his clanking armor. Below was a scene of carnage. The satchel blast had blown in the main door and scattered the smoking parts of those who had been too close all akimbo around the foyer. The One Sith Equite and Knight were the only ones left standing.
Macron Goura Sadow let the Fear roll across his mind, projecting it into his chest. The Fear was his ally. His was not the path of stealth. It was the path of devastation, or death while trying. This was the Final Way.
The human One Sith Equite below looked spooked but had the fire of zealotry in his yellow eyes. Horalisna stood up and shook his crimson lightsaber- hoping that the holy symbol of plasmic fire would drive off the demon. “The Force is with me…” His eyes glowed with yellow as the planet’s dark energies filled him. He held his blade in a Shien forward-grip ready position.
Unfortunately, Ziost still hungers for damned souls and the energy of the inferior to this day. The willing are the sweetest meals. The Force was actually not with Horalisna as a mass of plasteel, duracrete, and most of the first floor stairwell hit him in a storm of telekinetic power. The massive pressure from the telekinetic wave ripped another three-meter wide hole in the compound’s wall.
The fleeing One Sith Zabrak Knight fell to his knees below as the Sith Poison darts from the twin Dark Eyes and hard ionizing radiation effects hit him. Zechackna’s bid for freedom and a run to the spaceport had failed. His name would never be known, and his genetic material and DNA structures would be soon rendered into raw figures and delivered to the Dark Council and the Antei Contract Bureau forthwith.
Macron collapsed on the floor, most of his energy spent even as an Elder. He was badly injured. His body ached in electric agony. His soul groaned as the Dark Side corrupted him in payment for it’s agonizing boons. “The droid minions will finish the job”. In the meantime, he was vomiting on a world-class major Dark Side site. Bigger fish fry hard, after all. Or so They say.
Street scrubbers came to clean the site within one hour. The debris was gathered on the “scrubber trucks” and removed for transport to a safe area. More droids on trucks gathered up the remains. Some of the trucks almost looked like refrigerators. Nothing was said as the Brotherhood comptrollers looked the other way.
Macron lay in a cold stasis coffin for transport back to Naga Sadow space. All the targeted Brotherhood enemies had been slain, their compound poisoned, and there were no survivors. It was a small comfort.It could be that he would live to fight again, if the Dark Side that dominated his destiny willed it to be so. Those who serve the Dark Side of the Force are seldom given merciful release however. If he was lucky- perhaps… perhaps not.