The turbolift ride seems to take almost no time at all. As the door opens and they step off. Jesca is there waiting by what looks like an armored box. She is wearing black leather pants, heavy armor combat boots, a black tank top, with two swords strapped to her back. On her wrist it looks like she has a communication device as well as a scanner. On her belt it looked like she is packing enough explosives to possibly destroy half a planet.
She looks up at Mactire as he walks towards her and smiles, putting some more knives in her boots.
“Hmmm, look what the Cathar dragged in. Why do you look like you went ten rounds with ugly there and lost?” Acid drips from her voice as she looks at Tyson.
Macite shrugs lightly, “One round, I was chained up. Still, I think it makes me look more rugged don’t you?”
Jesca snorts and slowly walking back to to the container. “Apparently, this is yours. I’ve tried to open it to see what goodies you got. But damn thing won’t open,” she says wearily, kicking it lightly.
Tyson shakes his head, walking over to a group of guards in the distance. They come to attention as he closes in. Their conversation is barely audible though Mactire is more focused on the box than anything else at the current moment.
As Mactire approaches the box he notices that it isn’t like a normal container. It has some elements that allow only Force users to activate it. All around the box is black with the Clan Naga Sadow symbol in red, with the Sapphire Squadron emblem underneath that in violet blue.
Mactire slowly kneels down by the crate, lightly running his hands over it, allowing the cold metal to lightly touch his skin. The box was ordered before the start of the feud with another Clan, though they lost, some more than others, it was still a symbol of hope for him.
Closing his eyes, Mactire slowly focuses on the Force to move the locks. Each one slowly clickes open. Jesca watches in wonder as they crack open. She wants to know how he is doing it but refuses to ask. Better to see and get the edge in case she needs to use him in the future.
Mactire slowly opens his eyes upon releasing the last lock. He looks over at Jesca, smirking.
“Open up or I’ll huff and I’ll puff… Wait wrong saying…” he laughs while opening up the crate.
As the crate slowly opens, there is a data pad, on top of a new reddish-tan trench coat. Slowly moving the the datapad to the side, he lifts the trench coat out, the symbol of Sapphire Squad is on both shoulders. A small tear starts to form in his eyes, quickly he shakes his head, looking at the rest of the outfit, seeing that it is the Peacekeeper leathers that are also reddish-tan, along with the boots. Beneath that was a belt with two holsters, along with twin DC-15s sidearm blaster pistols and his lightsaber. His Rancor claw bracers are there as well.
Slowly, Mactire grabs the gear and walks away to get changed. While he was off in the a corner behind some crates, Jesca looks into what else was in the crate. She lightly touches the datapad and then notices a Jedi’s holocron off in a little corner of the box. She slowly picks it up and is examining it carefully when Mactire returns. He walks over and lightly takes it from her hand and places it into his pocket.
“Where did you get that? Those are so rare and worth a lot of money to the right collector we could make a fortune selling it.” Jesca says, with credit signs lightly showing in her eyes.
“It’s from a woman who raised me after my parents died. It means more to me than anything else.” Mactire says slowly, kneeling down to grab the datapad.
“Oh so you’re into those types of women now? Well Humans are just creepy.” Jesca says while turning her head to watch Tyson.
Tyson occasionally looks over at them, while listening as the soldier briefs him on the current situation on the planet’s surface, and the status of the drop ship. He nods lightly to his underling then walks back over to Mactire and Jesca.
“Alright I have some good news and bad news. The good news is we have a ship for you two, so landing on the planet won’t be a problem. Bad news is we can’t drop you in any populated area other than the research facility that was build a few cycles ago.” Tyson looks at them with sincerity in his eyes, as his voice tries to mask something else.
“Let me guess, the research facility was built to test something and it failed now we have to clean it up right? Boy you Humans love to screw around with things without thinking of their after effects don’t you? Remind me to get my money first next time” Jesca say’s while trying to hide worry with wit and sarcasm.
Mactire sighs heavily lightly shaking his head. “I just got done with a battle, now I have to clean up someone’s mess? Ain’t no rest for the wicked. Alright do we know anything about this research facility? What they were working with? What their forces are? Do we have anything useful?”
Tyson shakes his head sternly “Negative, all we know is that you two have been selected to do this mission. The objectives are this, get the intel on what happened to the planet’s surface, fix it, and then stop it from happening again. Failure to do so will result in you being sent to a penal colony for a long long time. As ordered from an Elder. And before you ask I don’t know who.”
“Alright well then how the fraq are we going to get to this place grow wings and magically fly down? Oh wait be sent in by escape pods that can’t really be guided? Please tell me how we are supposed to get to this facility all mighty bald one.” Jesca says with anger.
Tyson looks at Jesca, like a Krath Hound looking like it hasn’t eaten in weeks. “Just get on the Lambda. Oh and you’re gonna pilot it. So don’t crash it or else.” he says stepping towards her.
“Alright you two. Keep this tension between yourselves until the job is done will ya? Damn you two act like this Zeltron that I work with at times.” Mactire says slowly turning to face all the troop transport ships and the one Lambda shuttle in the docking bay
Tyson walks over to Mactire, grabs his shoulder lightly applying pressure to it.
“Shut up or your jaw will be broken, and so will your good hand. Now which shuttle do you think you’re both going to take?” whispers with acid on his tongue
“Well I was hoping for something with stripes. You know that nice slimming look? But do you have anything in pink?” Mactire says, trying to get Tyson to calm down.
Tyson grumbles letting go of Mactire’s shoulder. He points to one of the soldiers on the hangers deck. The soldier stops, as Tyson then points to the Lambda shuttle. The soldier nods and grabs a few others moving cargo onto it quickly.
Mactire rubs his shoulder and groans lightly. Slowly walking towards the Lambda shuttle. Its grey exterior has carbon scoring on it. Some of it looks recent. There are also scratches and dent marks covering the hull. The ship itself looks like it has taken a beating over the years and still keeps getting up to fight.
Jesca walks over slowly and nods approvingly before going up the ramp towards the cockpit. Mactire sighs following suit. The hairs on the back of his neck slowly begin to prickle, as if someone had just walked over his grave. He turns, drawing his blasters. Seeing nothing he hits the pad on the side of the hull raising the ramp and heads to the cockpit.
Jesca is sitting in the pilot’s chair as Mactire sits down over in the co-pilots seat. His expression is troublesome though still cocky. Occasionally he glances round behind them half expecting to see someone else, or something else.
“Something wrong? Or you expecting the other boot to drop down and crush you like a bug?” She says doing the final checks before putting in a code.
“We’ll see. I don’t know but I got the feeling that this mission may not be as easy as they make it appear.” Mactire said getting comfortable in his chair, slowly pulling out the datapad.
“This is Lambda shuttle awaiting departure clearance and course route? Baldy are you there? We want to get this party started.” Jesca says getting fidgety in the seat.
“This is Commander Tyson. Don’t call me baldy. Seriously you two are the only ones crazy enough that we could get? You’re cleared for launch, be safe. Dr. Al’Ciallmhar will brief you more after you’re out of the hangor. Also the flight path has already been installed into the navcomputer. SO FOLLOW IT!” Tyson shouts, before the faint click of the comm ends.
Mactire presses the comm button lightly. “We’ll follow it as closely as we can, but in case we don’t what will happen?”
“If you don’t all weapons will fire at you, making you wish you were on Alderran. Got it?” Tyson grumbles.
“Right stay on course and we don’t become space dust. Sounds simple enough. You got it Jesca?” Mactire smirks.
Jesca nods slowly guiding the ship out of the hangar following the course that they gave her.
Mactire keeps looking down at the holopad with his master’s name on it. Wondering if he should click it on and read it or not.
A loud screech comes across the comms channel that makes them both slightly cringe.
“This is Dr. Al’Vere. Can you both hear me?” She says as if uncertain.
“Yeah we hear ya Doc. What’s going on? You lonely already?” Mactire asks.
“Humans… Anyway you’re both going to be landing at a private instillation outside one of the major cities on Tarthos. Your mission is to get in, shut down the operation and save any data that can be used.” Her voice becomes commanding in tone.
“Alright. What type of installation are we going into? Factory, lab, a food processing plant?” Jesca asks still pushing the Lambda shuttle a little faster on the path.
“You’re going into a chemical plant. You should arrive there soon since you’ve adjusted your speed.” Dr. Al’Ciallmhar comments before a loud crackle on the comms comes through.
“This is about to get bumpy so hang on.” Jesca smirks as turbulence starts to shake the shuttle cutting through the atmosphere.
Macitre hangs onto his seat laughing, at the chaos.
The ride starts to smooth out as they approach their destination.
“Think we should land on the outskirts or do you want to just ring the bell?” Mactire asks.
Jesca smirks lightly before landing a few meters away from the door to the facility.
“Lets ring the bell, besides this is the best parking spot I could find.” She says getting up, heading to the ramp as she hits the release for it before leaving the cockpit.
Macitre sighs and follows her shaking his head lightly.
As they walk outside the silence around the area becomes deafening to Mactire. He slowly reaches out with the Force to see the flow of life, but it seems almost void in this area except for a possible presence in the facility.
Jesca taps him lightly on the shoulder bringing him out of his sense. They walk to the door and lightly bang on the door.
An electronic eye pops out and looks at them.
“State your name, and intention. Violators will be shot, and hunted just ask the Zeltron that was here earlier this week.” it says.
“I am Knight Mactire, of Naga Sadow. We are here for in inspection of the facility. I demand entry or I will break down the door.” Mactire says eyeing the eye severely.
“You are not authorized to enter this facility. Your clearance has been revoked you have two minutes to comply with leaving or hostilities well be taken with….”
Mactire draws a blaster, shooting the eye and blowing it up.
Jesca looks at him shaking her head.
“What? It was a boring conversation anyway.” he says slowly putting his blaster back and drawing his lightsaber out.
“Men. You’re all alike. Acting before you think.” she says walking over to the pad on the side and hacks it allowing the doors to open.
Slowly puts his lightsaber away looking at her smirking. “Oh honey we are not all alike.”
Mactire walks in first slowly drawing both blasters out in case of trouble.
She shakes her head slowly drawing one of her blades and walks lightly behind him.
As they slowly enter the building they see a bunch of droids carrying boxes and moving some scientific lab equipment around carefully. As the droids scuttle about their business one stops and looks at them dropping the items that it is holding.
“AYIIIYIIIYIIIYIII!! Intruders! Intruders!” It says flailing its arms around like a child.
Jesca swings her blade quickly severing its head, shaking her head. “Well so much for just walking in this place.”
“Danger, danger, dange……er” The droids head says before shutting off.
The droids charge towards them in attack positions. A few of them have blasters and begin to fire in their direction.
Mactire leaps behind some of the crates. Occasionally popping out of the side firing back at them. After about 14 shots he can hear metal clang on to the ground and the swish of a sword in the air.
He looks over his place of cover and see’s Jesca slicing away at the droids as if they were nothing more than reeds in a river. With each slash of her blade it connects and severs the droids. Making short work of them.
She stops, looking over her work and smirks. “I think my count is higher than yours right now.” She says slowly sheathing her blade.
A droid runs up behind her, then falls short as a blaster severs its head. The droid slowly collapses to the ground.
“Always gotta watch your back you know.” Mactire says mockingly.
She laughs. “Why should I? You do such a good job.” She lightly winks.
“Oh darling you have no idea. Come on let’s get this over with.” Mactire winks back then starts to walk further into the facility.
As they get further in, slowly clearing out the rooms the come to a long hallway. Upon stepping foot in the hallway the door slams shut behind them sealing, a holo projection of a stealth combat droid appears before them.
“My master has decided that you two have caused enough damage to this facility and shall exterminated after final test is completed.” The droid says before the holo projection disappears.
“What test and who’s your master you walking tin can!” Mactire shouts.
Jesca, points to the other door as it slowly opens.
“RUN!” She yells.
They both start to run towards the opening. As they get closer a gas slowly seeps into the hallway. Mactire concentrates on the Force, calling all his strength and runs faster than ever, with the help of amplification. He slides through the door narrowly escaping the gas.
He turns looking at the hallway, watching it fill with a blueish purple gas. An image slowly comes through the gas. Jesca is there drawing her sword watching him, snarling at him.
“Wooo. Calm down girl, no need to get snarky with me. Heel girl. Put the sharp pointy object away.” Mactire says watching her carefully.
She snarls and snaps at him, while swinging her blade through normal movements. She leaps in the air at him and swipes her blade trying to sever his head.
Mactire, spins out of the way and leaps back. Lightly putting a hand around his neck. He slowly draws his lightsaber. “You leave me no choice I think.”.
The hiss of the blade coming to life is loud in the room that they are in. The faint light blue glow from his saber envelops him slightly. He stares at Jesca, trying to read her movements and her thoughts.
She springs on him, without warning. As she’s in the air lightly spinning she draws her other blade and slams them both down at him.
Mactire blocks them, and pushes her back before spinning his saber in, slashes and thrusts.
She backs up, blocking then kicks at him, pulling her leg back quickly as he uses his right bracer to block the kick and slice into her leg. She lets out a howl of pain, limping back like a crazed animal.
“Jesca I don’t want to hurt you any more but if you don’t desist I will kill you.” Mactire says, holding his blade lightly in his hand.
She growls, charging at him one final time. Swinging both her swords wildly.
Mactire rotates his blade so that it is in a reverse grip. He runs towards her, and concentrates on the Force pushing her weapons up towards the air then slices her in half with his saber.
“Well fought you will be honored and remembered on your home world as a warrior who died with pride.” Mactire whispers before turning to finally eye the room.
There are computers and monitors stationed all over the area. There is one that appears to be downloading or uploading some information. Mactire runs over to it and starts trying to figure out how to copy the material.
“Damn it where is the comm button on this when you need it.” Mactire mutters as his datapad starts to beep.
Mactire pulls it out and sighs, looking at it as Dr. Al’Ciallmhar appears on the screen. “Hello can you hear me? Hello? Where is that Human? Are you there?”
Mactire growls lightly. “I’m here Doc. Now isn’t the best time. It found what you are looking for but at a terrible cost. Jesca is dead, there was this gas. I don’t know what it did but it wasn’t good”. Mactire fill her in on the details as much as possible.
“Alright, let’s get the information. Just leave the datapad there it will allow us to link up with their system. You try to get out of there and don’t breath in that gas. Understand?” She asks
Macitire nods and heads for what appears to be an emergency turbolift. He starts to run for it.
As he gets closer to it the combat droid from earlier steps out, spinning a electrostaff around.
Mactire draws both his blasters, firing at the droid as quickly as possible. Only two of the shots hit the droid but it doesn’t seem to phase it at all.
The droid rushes towards Macite, striking him in the gut. Then spins, slamming the other end in his back. Then kicks him against a wall.
Mactire feels the pain, and howls in agony. As he stands up blood slowly is coughed up, he spits it out onto the ground looking at the droid with a burning rage in his eyes. Slowly he grabs his saber and motions for the droid to come towards him.
The droid slowly runs towards him as Mactire concentrates on the Force, slamming his palm onto the ground, making the ground shake. The droid falls as Mactire, allows the Force to still flow in him allowing him to ghost and become invisible.
Mactire moves slowly and quietly around the droid, trying not to step on anything or trip on anything. The droid flips up, slamming its staff into the ground, shocking Mactire.
“AHHHHH!” Mactire howls in pain losing concentration allowing the cloak to fade. He drops to his hands and knees panting. The effect of the staff is like force lightning striking him.
The droid walks over to him slowly. “You will be eliminated and my master will be pleased.” it says in a hollow mocking voice.
Mactire struggles to stand up. He doesn’t want to die on his knees like a coward. Just then, as his life flashes before his eyes the facility starts to shake, as if it is being attacked.
Alarms start to sound and the droid looks around as if in wonder what is going on. Mactire gets up grabs the droid and with all his might throws it to the ground a few feet away. He slowly walks over to the datapad as it beeps with an urgent message.
Mactire taps on the button. “Mactire here, who’s making all that racket out there I haven’t had time to get out.” he says panting lightly and trying to focus on healing his wounds.
“Sir this is the Reaper’s Cell. We have deployed a fighter squadron to your location. You must evac right away. We are told to blow that area up and make it dust.” Someone says over the comms.
“Great, alright patch me through to the squad that’s making the runs.” Mactire winces putting the datapad in his pocket.
“Will do sir.” the voice says.
Mactire heads back towards the turbolift as the droid gets up.
“Danny boy to the wolf. Danny boy to the wolf. What are your orders?” A new voice comes through the channel.
Mactire looks at the droid, as a wide grin comes across his face. “Give’em hell Danny boy.”
Mactire ignites his blade and charges towards the droid. Slashing at him relentlessly. Spinning, making his movements flow from one to the next, while throwing kicks and jab in reacting more on instinct than anything else.
“This is for operating in my system. On a planet that I like. And making me kill a friend.” Mactire growls, pushing the droid back against a wall.
Mactire slices the droids head clean off, catching it in his free hand. He looks into it’s eyes snarling lightly. “I will find you and I will kill you for making my friend suffer, whom ever you are.”
The droids eyes slowly fade away as he drops it onto the ground and heads to the turbolift. The ride up is not smooth, with the bombings the lift shakes slightly. Mactire slowly takes this time to catch his breath. After a while he reaches the surface, the bright light temporarily blinds him.
A figure walks over to him slowly. Its loose robes make it hard to distinguish who it is until he see’s the twin sabers, blasters and grenades.
Sanguinius Entar stands before him. His brown hair and eyes looking at Mactire with a mix of pride and concern. The scruff on his face looks like he hasn’t shaved in weeks since the start and end of the Feud.
“Well you look worse for wear. Who beat you up this time? Was it Dr. Al’Ciallmhar or Tyson?” he says slyly as if knowing something.
Mactire grumbles lightly. “Neither. Was someone else and a droid. Wait how do you know I was here? This place is like the back side of a Rancor, hidden in plain sight.”
“Oh yeah, you didn’t read the datapad did you? Of course not, you always act without a plan sometimes. We knew about this facility and wanted it closed apparently they were doing unauthorized chemical combinations and some of the locals were being affected.” Sanguinius states calmly.
Macitre growls looking at him with a slight rage in his eyes. “A good person died today. I know I’ve killed in the past, I know that sometimes I’ll kill cause it gets the job done. But only as a last resort. If you had all this information how come I was sent in without all this information?” Mactire slowly tightens his grip on his lightsaber.
Sanguinius looks at him and motions for him to relax. “We didn’t know until we got into the computer system. At that point we knew what we had to do. Now let’s get out of here. While I try to figure out who is behind this. Then we will prosecute them to the full extent of the law.”
“No. I’ll gut them like the coward they are. Hiding behind droids and others. They will fall on my blade from the shadows.” Mactire says as he walks to the medical ship that slowly lands nearby.
A holocam slowly moves around in the bushes catching the aftermath of the assault.
On a terminal in another sector a dark figure is slowly looking at the holo projection from the holocams transmission.
“Well this will be interesting won’t it Knight Mactire? Will you find me or will you fail? Only time and the Force know.” A wispy voice says as the figure steps into the holo projection illuminating his features.
He is wearing loose black robes, his eyes are brown and his tentacles are slowly moving about his face, as he gently rubs his chin.
“This will be fun.” he says and then laughs walking out of his office into the main hall, to find out what the rest of the Clan is up to.