Run-On for the Desperate Measures Event between COU and TAL
Ethan Martes #14873
Justinios Drake #14825
Keiji Suoh #14101
Rian Taldrya #10701
Run-On for the Desperate Measures Event between COU and TAL
Ethan Martes #14873
Justinios Drake #14825
Keiji Suoh #14101
Rian Taldrya #10701
XQ2 Operations Platform
Orbiting Planet Edrien
“Captain Netha, security scans are reporting enemy boarding parties have broken through the Anchorage’s defenses, they will soon make their way to the transit tubes.”
“Excellent,” replied Captain Netha, a sinister smile crossing over his face. Everything is running according to the plans of Grand Inquisitor Ishanta. “Inform Commander Ryth and Captain Equin to be prepared for getting boarded and shut down the Star Destroyers as soon as the boarding parties are aboard.”
The ensign nodded and tapped the message into the encrypted datapad. “Aye Sir.”
“What about the enemy fleet, given the informations from the Grand Inquisitor, shouldn’t we ready every ship we could muster to be prepared to meet them?”
“No Commander Ora, as you refer to the informations of the Grand Inquisitor, her orders were quite precise, any alteration from our side might turn out to raise the traitors’ suspicion and make them abort the mission.”
“But I must insist that if we won’t ready the Acrimony and Enmity now, they might not be ready fast enough to protect us from the enemy fleet until our reinforcements can arrive.”
“Again, Grand Inquisitor Ishanta has made it clear that the enemy fleet is far beyond its capabilities, also their most elite leaders and soldiers are all planetside and will soon be either dead or captured by the troops aboard the Star Destroyers.”
The harsh tone from Netha made it clear to Ora that the argument was over, though something in his gut made it very clear to him that the decision made by the Captain may have decided the demise of all of them.
Main Control Center
“Masters Drachen and Daegella, Masters Taldrya, we have secured all entries to the Anchorage and we got message from our fleet that they are underway and will arrive shortly.”
“Then we should proceed with our mission as planned,” the human Quaestor replied.
Rian nodded in return, his piercing blue eyes rolling over the brave men and women who volunteered for the mission. “Everyone you did a very good job so far but the mission is far from over.”
Drachen took over from the half-mirialan. “We got word that our fleet is underway and will arrive soon. Let’s make sure they don’t have to secure us a path for longer than necessary.”
“All of you know which team you are assigned to.” The white-skinned Twi’lek took over. “Teams 1-3 take on the Ravager, teams 4-6 get the Scourge. Teams gather at the transit tubes and may the Force be with you.”
The cabin of the transit tube was just spacious enough for the three teams to not impede each other as the mix-matched teams from both clans checked on their equipments and made sure their weapons were fully charged and easy to reach in order to react to the slightest of resistance within an instance.
Except one man sitting on the ground leaning onto the wall of the cabin. From his mission briefing, the ektrosian Quaestor recalled his name, Ethan Martes. Then the pod came to halt as they reached the access area of the Scourge.
Anchorage Transit Tube
Main Control Center
Ethan sat there, staring up into nothingness from the floor. Others were by him, some might even be trying to talk to him. Unfortunately, Ethan’s mind was thousands of miles away from his body. He had already checked his equipment twice, so he was not worried about that. No, his mind was currently on the day he received his orders.
It was a nice day, or at least nice enough when inside a training base. He was starting his usual routine in the morning, a lovely cup of coffee with reading emails from his datapad. He nearly spilled his coffee as he read the email from his master and trainer, Seraphol.
“Ethan, I’m sending you on a mission that will help secure an alliance between our clan and a fellow clan by the name of Taldryan. You’ve been complaining about being cooped up here and after that incident where you stole the cargo ship, I believe it is time you earned your keep in Clan Odan-Urr. You will be paired with four others and will do whatever you can to aid them.” – Daniel “Seraphol” Stephens
Except for the one major part Seraphol forgot to mention, which was that they were stealing TWO STAR DESTROYERS from a bunch of zealots. His eyes suddenly widened and he grabbed his own hair and started making it even more unkempt before yelling, “DAMN YOU SERAPHOL, YOU OLD BASTARD! Making my life hell! I should have stayed on Selen instead!” He gritted his teeth, only snapping from his thoughts to see everyone staring at him. “What?!” After a moment they each returned back to what they were doing, Ethan sighing and calming down.
When he felt the pod reach the destination, he slowly got up and adjusts his armor some and readied his DL-44 Blaster. His eyes jumped from each of the four he was assigned with, not really recalling their names because he skimmed over that part of the briefing. He took a deep breath, half excepting the whole place to blow up or for them to come under fire the exact second they stepped out. The doors slid open, a couple shots flew into the pod from a unit of Iron Legion waiting for them. He waited for the first team to run out the door before he went, heading directly for cover.
In the distance, the sound of battle could be heard, the other teams likely already encountering trouble. Ethan took quick pot shots from his cover, looking around for his team to make sure he didn’t lose track of any of them. Once he was sure they weren’t dead, or going to leave him behind, he refocused on fighting the Iron Legion.
It didn’t take long for combat to end, it wasn’t a large group of enemies. In fact, it seemed kind of easy. Ethan checked his blaster, thankful he didn’t have to use his Force powers in that encounter, but still something nagged at the back of his mind. His eyes drifted up to the battle above in the sky, from what he could tell things were going good. “Martes!” One of the others called out to him, motioning for him to catch up.
“Let’s keep moving people, I can see an access ramp over there!” The Mirialan gestured across the causeway that connected the transit tube to the Scourge’s immense durasteel mass. “Remember, once we’re in, we go straight for the life support decks. Teams four and five will take care of the bridge and engineering.”
The five humanoids traversed the open space at a steady run. Whatever resistance they had met so far had dispersed, but, exposed as they were, the expectation of imminent attack was far more unnerving than the fracas of battle itself. Above them the broadside of the Victory-class loomed like an artificial horizon, its turbolaser batteries a silent metal forest. Before long the Star Destroyer’s durasteel keel overtook the vault of the sky, and the team were in the starship’s shadow.
“Wait a click,” the Aleena spoke up as they approached the access ramp. “We were supposed to go in through an aft docking ring, and that’s not it. That’s the ventral hangar!”
“What’s it matter?” Ethan’s eyes darted in every direction. “As long as we get inside the ship. This place gives me the creeps.”
“There’s no way through to the aft section from out here,” Rian replied. “We’d have to go all the way back, and we don’t have time for—”
The team turned in unison to the source of a high metallic groan. One of the starship’s ventral laser turrets swivelled towards the causeway and fired. The particle beam exploded where the team had passed through seconds before.
“I guess that decides it,” Justinios exclaimed. “Scram!”
The five rushed up the ramp as another salvo struck the causeway. The impact caused the struts to buckle and the whole structure collapsed behind them, but the team were already inside the ship. For a moment they watched as their only known route of egress crashed to the bottom of the starship dock.
“Oh well. Looks like the only way is up and away.” Ethan was the first to turn towards the interior of the ship. “Where are we going anyways?”
“If we’re at the hangar deck levels,” said the Pau’an glancing at the data on his scanner, “we need to be heading towards the stern, through the crew quarters and down the power core maintenance shafts.”
“The crew quarters?” Keiji, a huge black-armoured Togruta, peered down the long illuminated corridors that departed from the hangar. “It’ll be a deathtrap. They could have an ambush set around every corner.”
“It doesn’t look like we have much of a choice.” Rian gestured for the team to follow down the aft corridor. “We’re not getting off this rock as long as life support and atmosphere control is in the hands of the Legion.”
“Wait,” the Pau’an murmured, taking Rian by the arm. “Do you feel that?”
“Right at the edge, but still within the ship.”
“I don’t sense any— oh!” The Mirialan’s eyes glazed over momentarily as his awareness spread out into the Force. “They’re above us… all around us!”
Keiji tapped a command into his wrist-mounted device. “I’m not picking up anything. They’re either out of range or you’re talking poodoo.”
At that moment a soft electronic sigh passed through the corridor. The pervasive hum of the ship ceased, the illumination panels died and the hangar’s blast doors slammed shut behind them. Just as the five humanoids were recovering from the corridor’s sudden pitch-darkness, Keiji’s pulse scanner began emitting a series of frantic beeps.
“Karabast,” muttered Ethan.
Instinctively Keiji turned on his thermal view. Waves of red filled his vision. His current allies were all next to him, emitting a multitude of warm heat energy. Looking about the hall, its colors were appearing bluish in hue, causing a clear distinction between what was what. Small blips started to move closer to where the team was currently standing. The black armored figure drew both his guns and started to march forward, his boots causing clicking noises in the hallway.
“You folks use your detection thing to follow me if you can’t see in the dark, I’ll take point if you’re all ok with that,” Keiji semi whispered aloud. Grunts of approval sounded from the rest of the squad. Before he started moving, bursts of plasma erupted behind him. Multitudes of color appeared from seemingly nowhere.
“That works too, I guess,” Keiji mused as he continued forward. As the team approached a corner, all of the Force users suddenly sensed multiple life forms heading their way. Before they could even shout a warning to the Togruta, he was already turning the corner and was already prepared. Keiji’s training had made him prepared for things like this. Using the bayonet from his pistol Night, he slammed it into a guard’s neck and fired two shots. The flash from the muzzle briefly illuminated the hallway as Keiji now wrapped his arm around the man he had just killed. Blaster bolts now flew at the Titan, however; the bolts never reached him as they struck the dead body in front of him. Using the gun that was in the other hand he fired more shots at the rest of the soldiers. The Jedi that were with the armored figure came around just in time to block a few shots and fire some of their own. Guard bodies seemed to litter the floor of the place when they were done with the combat. The Titan looked at Korroth for a moment.
“Where to now?” Keiji asked releasing his grip from the meat shield.
“Up this hall for now,” the Pau’an answered using his lightsaber as a pointer.
XQ2 Operations Platform
Orbiting Planet Edrien
“Grand Inquisitor there is no need for alarm, the plan is going…”
The holographic image of Ishanta interrupted Captain Netha. “The plan Captain was to lure the strike teams aboard the Star Destroyers and kill them.”
“We will destroy them mylady, we have powered down the ships and are funneling them to an ambush point.” The Captain felt that the Grand Inquisitor’s frustration was unwarranted. Ishanta wasn’t understanding that the situation was under control.
“An ambush their Force Users will likely sense long before they are in range which is precisely why trickery was not a part of my plan,” the Grand Inquisitor said through clenched teeth. “I did not give you a half dozen of my best Inquisitors and an entire battalion of the Grand Master’s best soldiers only to sit back and set up traps. You will stop your stalling and deploy your forces in an all out assault on the invaders. There is more in play here than the fate of your ship and crew so do as you’re told unless you would prefer to debrief the Grand Master personally on why his plan failed.”
The translucent blue image of Ishanta abruptly disappeared from the holo transmitter indicating that the Grand Inquisitor had ended the call. Reaching for his comlink, the Captain contacted Commander Ora.
“Commander, tell the Inquisitors they are off the leash and redeploy our forces to support their attack.”
Ora’s pause indicated to Netha that he was still having misgivings about the plan. “But sir if we perform an all out assault and the enemy somehow…”
It was the Captain’s turn to unleash the verbal lashing he had just received on his own underling. “Commander when I want your input I will ask for it. Redeploy our forces or I shall remove your command and find someone who is willing to follow orders. Is that understood?”
A mumbled, “yes sir” came through the comlink before Netha terminated the transmission. Netha had spent enough time in the Iron Navy to learn a lesson the Commander had not yet. You may lose your life following the half-baked orders of the Dark Jedi that ran the Brotherhood but your death is certain if you disobey those orders.
Keiji moved swiftly through the enemy soldiers whenever they met another group of them, giving the Force-users a hard time to keep up with the Togruta while dealing with the soldiers left behind. Just as Korroth glimpsed the Togruta turning around a near corner while impaling the white armor of a legion trooper with his lightsaber he murmured, “I’m not quite sure if he is helping or working against-”
The Pau’an was struck in mid-sentence as Keiji burst back again around the corner he just passed straightly followed by a large group of troopers their blaster rifles sending waves of superheated plasma after him.
“I can agree with that,” Rian replied through clenched teeth before grabbing one of the fallen troopers and hurling the faceless corpse into his living comrades. "We need to get over that, we are running out of time.
“Anyone got an idea?” called the Aleena, who just jumped from a hand rail onto the chest of a nearby soldier before digging his own blade into the sealing between its head and shoulder. “Wait, there, there is a turbolift-shaft, maybe we can make it a shortcut.”
Justinios jumped from the falling soldier’s chest over to the nearby lift doors, slicing at the lift controls to shut down the locking mechanism. “Rian.”
“Got it, give me cover.” Rian was at the door the instant Justinios had worked the emergency controls so the doors slid a tiny bit open. But even this tiny bit was enough for the Quaestor as he dug his hands into the slit and started to push the doors open.
Slowly the doors slid up with a mechanical groaning and Keiji jumped in to assist the ektrosian Quaestor. “Come on guys, we need to get moving,” he called for the others as the doors were just pushed apart far enough to fit a man through.
One after another the group slid past Rian into the turbolift tube with Keiji and Rian slipping through at once.
“And what now? Are we going to sneak through the lift tubes to the Life support systems?” Keiji asked once they were in.
“More or less, running will be probably the more correct definition,” Rian said balancing over the small ledge. “But first we need to get down, at least a couple levels.”
“Three levels to be precise,” Justinios said, his eyes on the datapad in his hand.
“Alright so what are we waiting for?” Keiji asked, fishing his grappling hook from his belt, unleashing the liquid cable as he did.
It didn’t take the Legionnaires long to figure out where the group had gone except that they went down, as the trooper could see the remains of the liquid cable hanging down from a near column but just a level below, the tube split into several directions, making it nearly impossible for the troopers to say where they went for sure.
“Move away.” The voice from behind was as cold as ice and the figure behind it was as frightening as the voice it belonged to. A slender woman dressed in a tight fitting black dress with two lightsabers hanging demonstrative from her belt trailed by two more Inquisitors dressed in similar gear as the woman talking to the trooper. “Do not tell me you don’t know where they went?”
“I…I…I… No Ma’am.”
Bahar Vikra regarded the trooper with absolute disdain when the one behind her, a male human with a large scar running across his face, made a step forward and whispered into her ear. “They are three levels below, heading toward the life-support systems.”
“Well then,” Vikra said. “It seems my Inquisitors are far more qualified for this mission than the troopers of the Iron Legion.”
Her gaze fixed on the trooper she continued before pushing the trooper over the ledge. “Due to your incompetence, Sergeant, you are hereby relieved from your duties.”
She nodded at her companions before jumping down the shaft to the next lowest level and from there to the next and the next until she was on the correct level.
Once the others did as she has done, they broke into a run. The chase was on now.
The clunk of five pairs of trotting boots echoed down the long dark corridor, and that was perhaps the only way the resistance fighters perceived the empty space that stretched out beyond the limited halos of their lightsabers.
“Boy, would I like to see the look on their faces when we lift this rustbucket with them still inside it,” Ethan voiced with a smirk on his face.
“I have a sneaking suspicion this bucket is staying right where it is.” The Aleena was taking bounding steps to keep up with his comrades. “Even if our mission goal is still viable, the Legion has a hundred ways to sabotage the ship from inside if they don’t want us to leave.”
“I agree,” the Pau’an chimed in. “And we have no word from the other teams. They could be dead or captured. Without joint operational support this trip is a bust. I suggest we abort mission.”
“This is beside the point.” Rian, taking the lead, slowed his pace before rounding a corner, then the team followed. “Life support is still our best bet. If we secure it we will have control of the ship’s vital systems.”
“In other words,” Ethan piped up, “we’ll have them by the choobies.”
“True,” Justinios spoke, his voice somewhat lost in thought even as he ran. “It’s not like there’s a door marked ‘EXIT’ around here anyway.”
“It won’t be of any use to us,” Korroth insisted. “The power’s still off.”
“No, no,” Justinios answered hurriedly. “Look, a ship this big, it’s bound to have an independent dedicated power supply for its life support.”
“Right,” the Togruta spoke up. “And once we have that back up we’ll be calling the shots on oxygen, pressure and atmosphere on this ship.”
“Hold up!” The Pau’an stopped dead in his tracks and switched off his lightsaber.
“What,” Keiji spoke with some irritation. “You have a better plan?”
“Nevermind that.” Korroth strained his senses, both bodily and ethereal. “Didn’t you hear that? Sabers off and listen.”
Plasma beams retreated into their hilts with a slow hiss, but all that followed was silence and darkness. Yet, there was something else. A cold radiance that chilled Korroth to the bones, but the more he focused upon it, the more it seemed to slip away, its source dissipating like frosted breath. Suddenly two blinking lights flew through the gloom, two fist-sized spheroids that clinked and clattered onto the floor.
“Drop!” the Togruta roared.
Four figures threw themselves to the floor, one stayed up. Rian stretched out both hands and a blue shimmer briefly flickered across the corridor. Then came the detonation and the flash of light, like a lightning burst. The Quaestor’s invisible shield held for a second, the flames of the explosion surging and churning behind it. It sapped the power of the detonation, but eventually it could hold no more. The barrier fell and the explosion’s residual shockwave knocked the Mirialan to the ground and hurled the others against the bulkheads.
Ears ringing, Korroth took a moment to draw his senses to himself. Across the corridor the others were moving, getting back up, albeit slowly. That was a good sign; no casualties. The Pau’an peered through the gloom when suddenly a red light permeated the corridor. Through the smoke and the explosion’s afterimage Korroth distinguished four crimson beams of light.
Ethan rubbed his ears as he tried to remove the ringing noise from them. He shook his head and looked in time to see the crimson lights flaring to life. “Oh… kark.”
Thinking on his feet, Ethan scrambled on all four over to the front of the group and put his hands firmly against the paneled floor. “Everybody up!” He focused with all the training Seraphol gave him, sending a Force wave through the floor and causing the corridor to creak and panels to spark ahead of them. It wasn’t enough to do any real damage, but it was unexpected enough to make the Inquisitors stagger and stumble a little, as their footing became loose.
With precious seconds bought, the others were able to get to their feet and pull out their weapons. Lightsabers flared for everyone, except for Ethan and Keiji. “Arm your lightsaber Ethan!” Korroth commanded.
“I don’t know how to use it other than to cut through doors and as a light stick!” Ethan shouted back.
“What kind of Jedi are you?” Keiji looked down at the short man.
“I’m not a Jedi! Just fight them!” Ethan whipped out his trusted DL-44, taking two low shots at where he believed the enemy’s feet were. While ultimately useless, it did cause two of them to back off for a moment.
The two groups rushed each other, this corridor just barely large for each to go one-on-one, so long as they didn’t get too close to one another. Ethan would almost be impressed with the swordplay, if he wasn’t busy trying to get clean shots without hitting his comrades.
“Ethan! Pull out your lightsaber and help!” Rian called out, holding his own against his opponent for now.
“Or just shoot one already! Stop being useless!” Justinios yelled, dodging a strike that cut the wall behind him.
He grit his teeth, his temper already worn thin from the accounts of today. Ethan held out a hand and Force grabbed the ankle of the Inquisitor on Korroth, pulling it to cause him to stagger and give the Pau’an opening to strike them down. Ethan then pulled the corpse more towards himself, before throwing it at both Justinios and his opponent.
The Aleena saw the corpse coming and turned off his lightsaber, diving between the Inquisitor’s legs just as they were struck in the back and sent tumbling down. Quickly he jumped on the downed enemy and stabbed him in the back with a reignited lightsaber.
Now five on two, the last two were dispatched by a repeated move of Ethan Force grabbing a leg and holding them in place for the others to deal with.
Justinios looked to Ethan and sizes him up for a moment, “You know that wouldn’t hit me, right?”
Ethan blinked a few times and looked down at the Aleena. “Oh, I’m sorry were you over there? Hard to see such a small fellow.” He smirked, once again being sarcastic. “I wonder if these guys have anything good on them.” He instantly started to rifle through their pockets.
“Play nice you two.” Korroth sighed, “Let’s get moving.”
“Jackpot! Credits and an all you can eat buffet card!” Ethan smiled but then frowned. “Oh wait… the card is for the cafeteria on some Iron Legion base…”
The four just stared at the human as he started to go through another Inquisitor’s pocket. Keiji walked over and grabbed Ethan by the back of the collar and pulled him away, “No time, come on!”
“Ack! Hey! I can walk!” Ethan got to his feet and pulled the Togruta’s hand off to where he could walk right.
“Not much farther, Keiji take lead again!” Rian barely got out of his mouth before Keiji just rushed past him, setting the pace for the group once again.
“Understood,” Keiji shouted as he rushed with the team through numerous hallways. They dealt with any soldiers that got in there way. Keiji followed any directions given, turning this way and that, going through this door and that one, until they finally came across the door guarding the life support systems.
“So how we getting through?” The Togruta asked as he sheathed his blade. The steel doors refused to open as the group approached it.
“Course it’s locked! Well we’re gonna have to break through it!” Ethan angrily announced igniting his lightsaber. Keiji held out his hand to stop Ethan from doing anything rash.
“We’ll want to open it another way. That way we can lock it when we take control of it,” Keiji started to explain.
“I don’t think any of us have the skills to open this door. Pretty sure they would have stronger security than normal for life support” Ethan said as he slapped away Keiji’s hand and plunged his blade into the door. The rest of the squad watched as the human slowly made his way around the door’s frame. All the Jedi looked at each other and gave a nod. The only non Force stepped back as each of the Jedi fired forth a wave of energy. The door suddenly blasted forward with such speed and force, that the air rushed into now open room. All members of the group rushed in, blades drawn and at the ready. The door had seemed to take care of a few of the soldiers, but others were there ready as well.