[GJW XIV] Clan Naga Sadow Run On

Phase 1 Primary Theater: Nesolat Platform

PRIMARY OBJECTIVE : Board the Nesolat and ensure that the platform’s Administrative and Observation section successfully departs for the surface. Protect and evacuate personnel, artifacts, and research materials in any way possible while engaging Collective forces on the station.

SITUATION : The Shadow Academy’s orbital Nesolat Platform is The Collective’s primary target in the early phase of its attack on Arx. The Collective has fully committed the might of its Battle Group Elysium to the assault, and Brotherhood forces are mounting a desperate defense as the station attempts to evacuate personnel and artifacts to the surface, and to disengage its Administrative and Observation section for an emergency return to the surface Academy on Arx itself. Collective forces on the station include Hive Mind Marines, which pose an unprecedented threat due to their superhuman coordination and lack of fear or pain. Exercise extreme caution when engaging them.

If your Clan provides aid to the Nesolat , the Shadow Academy may be able to save much of the station by returning it to the surface. The Imperial Reclamation Service will reward your Clan’s assistance following the conclusion of the War.

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In any other circumstances, the low, ambient vibrations of the ship would have threatened to lull him to sleep. There was no time to relax, however. The request from the Dark Council had been quite insistent. Time was of the essence. He had little doubt of what they would encounter, given the intelligence provided to the Clan. A storm awaited them in the Brotherhood’s capital system. Arx would be a hairball of danger and opportunity.

The Collective’s attack offered the Sadowans the means to exact sorely-needed revenge. Their departure of Orian had left the Warlord feeling unsatisfied with the resolution of the Sadowan exodus from their homelands. The intended target offered another opportunity. Since Ciara had taken on the mantle of leading the Shadow Academy her attention had been tied up with the business of the institution. Since she had joined the Dark Council, the Overlord and the Headmistress had not been afforded many occasions to chat together about their mutual interests. However, perhaps when this was all done, Bentre could convince her to loan a couple of the nicer artifacts for study.

Or maybe a few could become misplaced in the chaos, and just happen to find themselves into the Sadowan collection? That thought brought a brief smile to his lips. He knew that neither the Shadow Academy nor the Grand Master would abide such theft. In any case, he hoped that this effort would yield some prize for the Clan to bring home. He would be happy to acquire some more artifacts for research or even just war trophies to display in the Orian temple.

These were strange days, Bentre had to admit. In most operations, he was largely relegated to what felt like little more than an observer or overseer. The chances to get his hands dirty were few and far in between.Normally, he would be standing at the head of Clan Naga Sadow’s flagship, or would be rattling along in someone else’s ship en route to the battle. The burdens of command had been weighing on him extraordinarily of late, however. He needed the opportunity to let loose. The demands of his position, the resources necessary to his research, and the assets crucial to his plans necessitated he keep a sense of order and decorum.

There was no time to dwell on his own hardship, though. Lifting up his left hand, the Corellian thumbed his commlink. "What is the good word, Takagari?” He effected a chuckle he did not feel. “I hope that all the kids are behaving themselves without needing the Consul standing on the command deck.”

“Sir,” the business-like tone of Darkhawk lacked none of its usual edge or vigor, “the fleet is standing by for your orders. We will jump on your command.”

The Overlord nodded slowly to himself. He had made a good choice in his second in command. “I suppose,” he ran a metallic hand through his bangs as he considered where to begin, “that I should address everyone before we get this whole operation started. Given I am not at my normal station, would you mind patching my commlink through to the fleet?”

“Sir,” there was a pause, “if you can give us one moment.” Bentre Sadow, feeling a bit overwhelmed with the gravitas of the situation, drew a breath to steady himself. He tried to assemble his thoughts briefly before he heard his Proconsul speak again. “Whenever you are ready, sir.”

The Overlord drew himself up. “Good morning, Clan Naga Sadow. I briefly considered giving you some grandiose speech, but I am going to be to the point today. We are now standing on the cusp of an operation which will bring us once again into violent conflict with the Collective. In a short time, we will find our fleet joining with other elements of the Dark Brotherhood in the defense of the Arx system. Within the hour, we will be engaged in combat once again with the Collective scum. This may not be our greatest battle with those worms who held the Orian system, but it could very well be our bloodiest.”

Taking a breath, the Corellian paused.“ Now, there are plenty of things that I could try to call upon to rile you all into action. For some, you would be spurred on by platitudes about honor, for some others I could appeal to your avarice with promises of rewards, for yet others I could try to ply your loyalty to the Clan. If I were particularly manipulative I could even try to hold out the fact that the Headmistress of the Brotherhood is, quite simply put, one of us. And that is what we fight for today.”

He let out a nervous chuckle. “That is what we fight for today. When all is said and done, if our actions help the Dark Council, if we just bloody the Collective, or if merely secure our own interests we are not fighting due to the whims of the Grand Master. We fight together, we fight for our Empire. Ultimately, even if we help the others we are fighting for our interests, for ourselves. Yes, today we are coming to the assistance of the larger Brotherhood. I am not going to promise that we might not see blood shed on both sides. Do not be discouraged, however. We fight together, we fight for each other, for our Clan, and for our fellow Sadowans. They may fight for ideals, but we fight for our own. The interests of the Collective, the Dark Council, or the other Clans are secondary today. Ciara asked our aid, and we grant it because she is Sadowan. We fight for Sadow. We fight for our own.” He let the words hang with a smile. “Now, you may launch the fleet at your convenience, Proconsul.”

May the Force preserve us all.



character snapshot

Outer Rim
Orian System
ISD Perdition

0900 Hours

DarkHawk received orders from the Consul Warlord Bentre Sadow in the early morning to convene the Clan Summits. A plan had been formulated, the Collective had struck. After driving these vipers out of Orian system, there was hope for a reprieve. Today is not that day.

After the Overlord blessed the battleplan, the Summit’s would prep their fleet’s before making their jump to the platform. Dismissing everyone, the Consul drifted into deep thought.
Bentre stared out one of the Command Center’s large view ports. “Takagari, stay back, I must ask something of you…”

“Of course Sir”

“This is FYI only, I need you to understand, this is something that I must see through for myself.”

“Sir…?”

“I’ve been feeling off, I have not engaged in formal combat in some time. I need to fill that void.” the Consul said adamantly.

“Sir, that can be arranged”

“Takagari, I am leaving you to bring the fleet to the Platform, I am going to the first wave on the ground to locate our sistren. I feel the need to be first on scene. I am not requesting, nor do I require my Blackguard or an escort.”

DarkHawk recognizing the intensity of his Consul’s demeanor. The Battlelord spoke, “Sir, if that is what you feel you need to do then so be it. But know, I must protest it. I am obligated to insist that at the very least, your Blackguard accompanies you.”

“I know that you must, I will be declining your request. continue with your orders. I will see you on the surface….understood?” Bentre said .

The Shaevalian bowed to his Consul, “As you wish my liege.”

“Takagari, thank you my friend.”

DarkHawk bowed his head, made a quick about face, exited the Command Center and headed to the bridge.

Meanwhile…

Battlelord Hades had remained onboard the Perdition. Making his rounds through the bridge, ensuring the final checklists had been accomplished. He and Commodore Krill would be leading the fleet into battle against the Collective.

DarkHawk entered the bridge, the ISD was an impressive sight to say the least. Stopping at the main view port, DarkHawk witnessed the Vindicator Heavy Cruiser leaving formation. The Clan’s Vindicator has been sent over to meet up with HSD’s fleet to patrol the Orian system. Just in case the Collective decided to get squirrely on us, we had to protect our home system for any flanking maneuvers.

HSD’s command ship, the Light of Orian, was enroute to the rendezvous point along with the rest of the Clan and Markosian ships. The stage has been set, it’s just a matter of hearing the order to launch.

Hades came over to his PCon, “We are set Sir, all systems are a go.”

“Excellent, Hades. Are the other ships enroute?”

“Affirmative, Commodore Krill and the Markosian ships will rendezvous with us at the platform.”

“Get the word to the rendezvous party, weapons hot, when they come out of the jump, unleash everything…”

Hades could feel the hatred in his comrades’ voice. Pausing before asking, “DarkHawk, you have worked closely with the Commodore, this will be my first what should I expect?” .

“You’re in for a treat Sir. That man is a hardened warrior, old testament type. He was assigned as my Ranger Commander when I first met him. I was glad that our brethren Malisane chose him to command the Dakhanian fleet. You two have the same tenacity for fleet battle, he can be quite brash at times, but his loyalty to the Clan is sound.”

Hades, cracked a small smile, “Always welcome another maritime warrior. I look forward to these exploits. He has no love for the Collective?

“None…” DarkHawk said.

A communication officer turned away from his console to speak, “Sirs, we have incoming communication from Consul Sadow.” the Ensign exclaimed.

Hades walked over to the Ensign, discovering the transponder was from one of the Perdition’s shuttle’s. Hades turned to DarkHawk “Sir…?

DarkHawk held his hands up as to pause the Battlelord, “The Consul wanted to be the first to meet the Headmistress. He will SITREP from the platform.”

Hades paused for a moment then nodded in acknowledgement. “Patch the Consul through.”

Requesting to be tied into all fleet channels, the Son of Sadow’s words resonated to the fleet. The Clan now determined to end the Collective. The two Battlelord s eagerly waited to hear these words:

“Now, you may launch the fleet at your convenience, Proconsul.” the Consul said.

DarkHawk turned to Hades, “You heard the man…”

Hades depressed a button on the communication console, “Sadowans, man your battle-stations! All ships, clear to launch.”

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Arx System
Nesolat Platform
ISD Perdition

“We’re through, Admiral!” A small cheer erupted on the bridge from the officers and crew. Now comes the tough part.

“Helm, begin making the turn and alert the fleet to do the same.” The order was quickly relayed to the rest of the fleet of Clan Naga Sadow. The ships of the clan began their about face. Hades, the temporary Fleet Commander for this battle turned toward his Comm officer. “Send the signal.” The officer acknowledged the order and complied.

The older Battlelord looked out of the bridge viewport as his fleet finished their turn and tightened up. Each ship had it’s orders and sectors of fire. The Acclimator assault ship Harbinger fell in behind the clan’s flagship, Imperial II-Class Star Destroyer Perdition. The Harbinger held the Clan’s strike force for the Shadow Academy.

“Sir, all enemy ships have been forced away from the Academy. The path is clear.” alerted the Tactical Officer.

“Very well, inform the Consul he may commence his assault.” Hades turned back towards the battle in front of him. The entire Battle Group Elysium of the Collective was arrayed before him save for two Lancer-class frigates his fleet had targeted as they made their way through the lines of the enemy. A move designed to help the Clan’s bomber squadrons have an easier time attacking the enemy. He had assigned the Clan’s Carrack cruisers and Corellian Gunships to specifically find and target the enemy’s Lancers. Once those were gone, it would become a different battle due to the clan’s overwhelming superiority of starfighter/bomber squadrons. It will be glorious.

Hades kept a watchful eye on the tactical readout next to him. He observed as the clan’s warriors were onroute to the Shadow Academy on several Stormtrooper Transports while the clan’s infantry followed behind in Sentinel Landing Craft. The CNS fleet arrayed around them and a squadron of TIE Defender provided escort, nothing was getting through.

The enemy had turned to face the clan when they first arrived. Now, that they had broken through the Collective’s lines, the enemy had turned again to face them. The enemy’s pure hatred and singular focus of destroying the force users in front of them had become their downfall.

“Sir! Our Task Force is arriving!” Hades nodded and smiled to himself. A small task force consisting of House Shar Dakhan’s Vindicator-class Heavy Cruiser Light of Orian along with HSD’s Strike Cruiser, two of the clan’s Corellian Gunships, and the three carriers Hammer, Magnificent, and Reaver. The task force immediately began launching their combined 18 starfighter and bomber squadrons before the carriers withdrew to a safe distance. The bombers were mostly loaded with heavy rockets or advanced proton torpedoes to make quick work of the Collective’s capital ships.

“Quickly! Concentrate all firepower on the last of the enemy’s Lancers. Fire!”

The effect was a classic pincer maneuver, catching your enemy between two elements of your forces. As some of the enemy tried to turn towards this new threat, the damage was already starting to show as another Lancer exploded in a silent and quick fireball. Another cheer, another moment closer to victory.

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A/TRNS "Defiance"
Arx System
1200 Hours

Raistlin stood resolutely, as the craft he was on rocked and bounced. They were undulating worse then a hutt giving birth, and yet, neither he nor any of the other soldiers in the hold made a sound. That went double for his Consul, Bentre. Raist had been asked to lead an insertion team onto the Nesolat Platform and provide security for the new Consul, and overlord of the clan, Bentre.

New to him anyway…

He had retired almost permanently, only to be brought back by a mysterious message begging for help. After arriving into the Orian system he expected a hero’s welcome. Instead he arrived to find a Clan desperately seeking his help. For the past few weeks he had been working to reclaim Aeotheran from insurgents, dissidents, and members of more factions then Raist cared to remember. In his time away, CNS had acquired an innumerable amount of enemies, and they had vanquished none. Taking back his own Pandaemonium resort with a strike team had been a sobering and miserable experience. Thankfully his office remained secured.

Now he was tasked with keeping safe the Consul who had overseen his Clan, HIS HOME, grow weak. While the anger boiled inside him he looked over glanced over at the man who would be his protectee. He could make out little in the dim light of the Transport, bathed in red warning klaxons, but he tried to not stare. His lack of faith, or perhaps misplaced false judgement, would soon be put to the test either way.

“30 seconds, prep for exfil” came the word from the cabin. The Assault transport had multiple compartments for people, vehicles, and was highly modular. The strike team onboard consisted of himself, the Consul, roughly 50 highly trained spec ops soldiers, split into two platoons. They had orders to establish a beachhead onboard the Nesolat Platform, from there once they were able to secure a hangar and get reinforcements, they would press out in an effort to secure the rest of the platform. There were too many secondary objectives, to even hone in on one. The Collective would be doing their absolute best to make sure the Clan accomplished nothing, and after rrecent events, were almost certain to have a score to settle.

“But so do I.” Raist said, breaking the silence and making every head in the cargo hold turn to look at him.

Before he had time to answer the ship came to a shudder and halt, and the hatches opened. As they streamed outward Raist could tell they were in the hangar bay, around them blaster fire rang out everywhere and Bentre immediately leapt into the fray, slicing down two troopers before his boots even left the ramp.

“Impressive” Raist said, as he joined the melee. The two of them worked soundly, slicing down enemies, though not without effort, as their troops provided covering fire from behind. Sensing an increase in hostilites, Raist grabbed some large containers with the Force, and began stacking them up, providing some cover for his platoons while the barrage of blaster fire increased. As a shot grazed off the shoulder pad of his Beskar armor, he darted behind one of them.

“Any tricks up your sleeve?” Raist asked Bentre, to which the Overlord shrugged. As the two of them and the rest of their contingent huddled behind cover, the Seer knew he had to come up with something fast, or their bulkhead would be rapidly overrun

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Lamda Class Shuttle

Arx System

Approaching Nesolat Platform

Malisane stood in front of the assembled members. Amongst the mixed collection of impressive robes and armours he made a curious figure in his dirty, brown cloak and battered armour. However with his helmet removed his burned, scarred and ripped features held every gaze in the room. “House Shar Dakhan,” he began, “thank you for so many joining me at short notice. Those who did not respond will regret it later when they hear of our glory. While the fleet boys and girls tussle with Battle Fleet Elysium we’re heading for Nesolat. Now I am sure many of you know it well. Many of you arrived there as Initiates missing your mothers and left there ready to join Clan Naga Sadow. Well the Collective have taken it and Shar Dakhan is taking it back!”

He looked around at the assembled members, from former Summit to those on their first mission. Some looked inspired, others suspicious, some slightly overawed at the hideous figure in front of them. “Now when we land I know what I am doing but what about you? Some of you may want to go and search for artefacts. Some of you may want to find your old desk and see if your name and that of your first sweetheart is still scratched underneath. Some of you may want to go for a hot drink or a pint in the bar.” His gaze passed over them as they looked slightly more confused. “But your Quaestor is going to the C&C to take control. He’s taking this saber, this sword and this scattergun. Is he taking some of you as well?”

They looked at each other and then cheered. “YES!”

“Good, then we dock in ten minutes and move out! House Shar Dakhan!”

“HOUSE SHAR DAHKAN!” they shouted back, “HOUSE SHAR DAKHAN!”

Satisfied he turned and walked away. With a glance behind him he moved quickly into a smaller room and clicked a communication screen, scrambling the signal. After a few seconds the small figure of an armoured Neti appeared. “Greetings.”

“Malisane.” The Adept’s tone was neutral.

The Quaestor studied his fellow Sadow. “I am taking Shar Dakhan down to Nesolat. Bentre has already departed with Raistlin. The rest of the summit are enthusiastic but they are new.”

Malik’s features remained passive. “I am observing. I can find no fault in their strategy so far.”

“Good,” Malisane replied, “you remember what happened when the fleets met at Antei. If there is a risk you must take command and rescue what you can. My former DAC Senth is onboard the Perdition if you need support.”

Malik met the Quaestor’s gaze. “I do not need support, or your advice, though it is appreciated.You have your task. I have mine. I will do what I deem appropriate.”

“Very well.”

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Lower Levels
Tombs of Orian
Inos Moon 42
Orian System

Meditation was all well and good, but the Sith had enough for now. Sitting in one place made his bones ache. Down here the tunnels were a generator of evil things. Undead were rife. The occasional Terentatek or War Droid were released from cysts within the walls as Macron explored the endless miles of hewn corridors. Down here nothing mattered but strength and the Force. These unholy tunnels were miles away from the politics and machinations that disgusted him. Here it was destroy or be destroyed, an almost pure state of being. If the Dark Side could be pure.

The Adept stood quietly, shut down his lightsaber, removed his helm and drank in the smell of the dank stone and ozone. Before him lay the ruins of an ancient Sith War Droid. Although ancient it had been a challenging foe. It was tough but relatively stupid as the ancient electronics and programming left something to be desired. He picked up a piece of the automaton’s shell for future analysis. Lord Orian had skill in the alchemical arts and this would bear investigation. The tunnel was promising. A droid such as this had been placed to protect something of interest.

As the Sith stood in the dank close air of the tunnel his senses alerted. His mismatched eyes closed and he felt for the truth of things within the Force. Things were in motion… the Dark Side whispered of violence. Violence and combat. The Dark Side was always ready to reveal such visions and draw adherents to these situations. He was drawn upwards to the surface. It was time. Time to move again, outwards, to the flame of Those who Called. Time to kill. The Sith gathered himself and walked towards the way to the surface. “I hear you…”

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Inos Moon 42
Orian System

The hissing spray of landing gears kicked up a plume of dust at the Sleipnir set down. Squinting in the dim light, cursing loudly inside his helmet for want of a polarizing visor. He turned to look at the Star Courier, the familiar black armor of the Nihilgenia staring back at him.

“I take it you’re my ride?” Macron tittered, moving toward the ship with heavy footfalls.

Doc nodded his helmet. “You were expecting…?”

Macron chuckled. “Something more luxurious? maybe in a tuxedo?” The adept kept moving forward, toward the ship. “The …Lord…” Macron felt his lip curl around the title before he continued. “… has to keep up appearances, after all.”

Doc gave a slight shrug, eyes panning the entrance, the prefabricated facility that served as a waypoint and research station for the depths beneath. The intel on the location suggested occassional …well, they called them ‘incidents’, but Doc knew that was probably putting it mildly. He tilted his head. “Taka Kuroshin. They call me ‘Doc’. You must be Macron Sadow.”

Macron felt his eyeball twitch. “What gave it away?” He leered at the soldier, letting the light play off of his bulging eye as he bared sharpened teeth. “The armor or my beautiful face?”

“Neither, sir. It was your charming personality.” Doc nodded, then followed the madman up the ramp. “Your verpine assistant and droid were already picked up and will meet us on the Spear.”

Macron let a hand trace the line of the wall as he moved toward the lounge. “Of course they did.” He found a seat, the heavy armor clacking as he slid into one of the leather seats, muttering to himself. “He always was thorough. Thorough, thorough thorough thorough…”

Doc watched him for a moment as the onboard computer fired up the engines. He had heard and read enough about him, but there was never any substitute for experience. He put the madman’s voice out of his mind, sliding into the seat and giving the command to take off, the scant atmosphere giving way to the black of space.

“Thorough, thorough, thor roux, Thoreau, through, the way out is through.”

The stars blurred into streaks.

Workshop
Private Deck
ADS Fallen Spear
Redacted Location

Sleipnir just checked in, my Lord.” Blackwind’s voice came through clearly on the intercom. “Expected arrival within the hour. Holding position until then, as directed. Three minute hyperjump to Arx.” Muz nodded as if the man could hear it before releasing the button, turning back to Shimura as he slid the housing back over the crystal chamber of his saber. The room was large but full, Keibatsu and retainers alike watching the glimmering holocomm.

“I have been waiting too long for this.” Shimura smiled around the gutteral words, the corruption in his eyes burning like golden fire. The holocomm flickered, a flash of light echoing across the vibrating blue lines that traced the form of the Consul. “Say it again.”

Bentre let a smile curl half of his lip. “I am officially requesting the Konton Protocol be activated.”

Shimura shivered, a cruel grin splitting his face. “Ooooh, say it again.” Raising a hand, he clasped it on the shoulder of the man standing next to him. Koji turned his head slightly, letting his own smile reach his eyes as his hand rested on his weapon. Cold revenge was one thing, this was another. The Konton Protocol had never been unleashed, at least any time that he could recall. A complete removal of restrictions, no stealth required. Open war, maximum firepower, blatant displays of raw power fully encouraged. It would be beyond chaos.

The way that they liked it.

There was bound to be trouble. The Collective would see them for what they were immediately. Bentre had counted on that, using them as bait for his trap, a diversion to keep them occupied while they went about the much more subtle work. At least, that was the plan.

Leena stepped back, handing a spanner to the Verpine. The Twi’lek flexed her fingers, stretching the muscles for a moment, shaking off a coming cramp. Beater’s new armor plating was going to be installed eventually anyway, but it seemed prudent to have it done before this run. Her lekku twitched, the right one seeming to hold the left one as she nervously watched the insectoid cross check the installation. It was good to have another set of eyes on it. Hekate stepped toward her, watching the verpine for a moment. “I am assuming this is an ‘all hands’ event, Leena?”

Leena nodded at the droid, then again at the woman at the door. She moved past Shimura and his Zabrak retinue, sibling mercenaries loyal only to him. She slipped between the workbench and toolchest, flowing robes drifting lazily behind. Leena smirked at her. “Are we making too much noise in here?”

“Quite.” She looked around at the crowd with equal parts amusement and annoyance. “I suppose that the Lion is going to want me to come along.”

“Correct.” the word hit her mind as it hit her ears. She turned to look at him. The Lion of Tarthos rarely spoke, so when he did, most knew to listen.

“You know I…” She paused, shifting gears in her mind, keeping the words between the two of them. …won’t be held responsible for what might happen.

Muz only smiled before turning away. Beyond him, the holocomm twitched, Xolarin’s face twisting as he strained to see past the Consul. “Is that…” The quaestor’s eyebrow raised as he stood himself up a bit taller.

Leena half rolled her eyes, then cleared her throat, getting her attention. “Your public awaits…”

Muz turned, staring past the comm, black eyes reflecting the pale blue of the network as he watched his bride. “About time.” She smiled at him. I was starting to think the next scrap would never come. The words fell into his mind silently behind the din of the busy workshop.

They always come. It’s almost all that they know. He sent the words back to her, moving past his slicer toward her.

And yet here we are again. She lifted her hand off of the holster at her side, crossing her arms as she watched him step closer to her.

Why? Did you have something better in mind?

Ashia smiled at him as he closed in, looking down into her eyes. “Not on your life.” She murmured, half under her breath.

The chirp of the comms interrupted them, Blackwind’s voice following shortly afterward. “Sleipnir is docking now. Preparing for jump. ETA three minutes.”

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Kojiro’s Lab
ADS Fallen Spear
On Way To Target

More war, joyous.

Kojiro had excused himself to his lab to prepare and tie up some loose ends before the fight started. It was no secret amongst the family he had begun to develop an aversion to people after everything he had been through, so had excused himself to be alone with his thoughts. He had quite frankly grown bored of this constant warring. War amongst the Clans, against the Collective, against the Lotus or just against whoever the higher-ups fancied at that moment. It’s why he had chosen to isolate and settle within his Black Tower upon Moraband, space to research the Ancient Sith as well give him some much needed quiet time with his pets. But war always found a way to insert itself back into his life.

“One day girl, one day the Galaxy will be quiet and scream no more,” he muttered to the large Tuk’ata that was curled up in the corner of the lab. A wet crunch filled Kojiro’s ears as Tar’Sharov munched upon the remnants of…something, she looked up and met her master’s eyes before tilting her head to the side and turning her gaze to the door at the back of the lab. “Ahh yes, I haven’t forgotten. Come let us feed you properly before we arrive.”

The door slid open at the Sorcerer’s touch and both he and the Tuk’ata walked into the dimly lit room. The sickly sweet smell of death hit his nostrils as the lights flickered on revealing Kojiro’s work lab. A large slab lay at the centre of the room with the body of some discarded experiment upon it, bloody tools lay scattered on a trolley beside it and blood had pooled and congealed both on the slab and the surrounding floor. The Warlord’s gaze however, was drawn to a figure secured to the wall and suspended just high enough up their toes grazed the floor. The figure was that of a human male, late twenties and his eyes opened wide as Kojiro approached. Muffled screams had already begun as the Warlord approached.

“Shhh, shh. It’s okay. No need to worry my dear friend. I don’t need to drain you today. I am quite full. In fact, today is your lucky day. You get to go free,” as if on cue the restraints holding the man up disengaged and he fell to the floor with a soft thump. He was weak but managed to stand, Kojiro stood back and beckoned to the door and with a slight nudge with the help of the Force “You want to flee.”

“Yes…yes I do.” and with that, the man unsteadily left the room, passed through Kojiro’s lab and exited out into what could only be described as a miniature indoor nature reserve. The sound of avians chirping hit his ears and somewhere heavy footsteps struck the man-made floor.

Back in the room Kojiro stretched and rolled his shoulders before eyeing his pet “Dinner time girl,” with that Tar’Sharov took off with a gleeful yelp. Kojiro followed her as far as his main lab and went to the wardrobe in the corner, grabbing his robes and mask from within before quickly putting the robes on.

“All forces be aware we’ll be approaching the target destination shortly. Prepare your things.” Blackwinds voice echoed over the ship’s comm.

Kojiro sighed and screams filled his ears as he donned his mask and secured his cloak in place. "War…guess some things never change. Except the soldiers.” With that he hurried from the lab, whistled for the Tuk’ata and let the Force speed him on his way to the staging point.

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Cargo Delivery Bay Delta

Nesolat Platform

Arx

The lambda shuttle touched down in the empty bay. Immediately the ramp lowered and several Orian Warhost marines exited, moving out quickly, their eyes quickly scanning the area. They were followed by another holding a device, studying it intently. He raised his free hand and made a gesture, and then from behind him an armoured figure descended into the bay, his dirty brown cloak surrounding him and was followed by two more, one similarly armoured and built and the other taller and wearing dark robes. More armoured figures moved out into the bay.

Sanguinius looked around him, the Augur giving a nod of satisfaction. “It seems our intelligence was correct. The Collective have not reached this level.”

Locke nodded. “That is true. However it also means we are some distance from our target.”

“It is better to be safe than sorry,” Sanguinius replied. “It makes more sense to have a delay we can overcome than having to fight our way into one of the main bays that has been infested by the enemy.” He looked up as the marines made their way up to guard the door leading further into the platform.

Malisane was about to reply when he heard footsteps behind them walking down the ramp. “I have received word from the Overlord,” the Rollmaster reported, “though only a burst transmission through relays, he clearly does not want to reveal his location. He and Raistlin have made their way onto the platform and are moving to the rendezvous with the target.”

“We need to move quickly then,” Sanguinius replied, “if we do not secure the C&C by the time they get to the administration section they will be overrun and eliminated.”

“We will have to hope our fellow members provide a distraction then,” Locke added, “if we have to battle every step of the way this will take too long.”

“We have also received a message from the Fallen Spear,” Tasha’Vael added, “they are inbound. I am sure once they arrive they can draw fire away.”

“We can hope,” Malisane muttered. “Move out.”

C&C

Nesolat Platform

Arx

Veerdat Mapet stood watching the screens as the tactical map of the nearby area surrounding the platform. The Liberation Front officer was confident that the valiant forces of Battle Force Elysium would drive off the force user filth that desperately tried to defend their system from the superior Collective forces. It would only be a matter of time. The ease of the assault on this platform was proof of that. The latest report he had received from his forces spreading across the platform was that the resistance was becoming weaker. There was one particularly difficult pocket, which if the rumours were true contained the force user female who had been in charge here.

He glanced at the Technocrat liaison standing nearby. Though his own Liberation forces were the bravest and most committed of the Collective forces, we had to admit the new forces the Technocrats had committed, the Hive Mind Marines, were an impressive spearhead. “Have you had work from your forces?”

Sherina Kal nodded. “The final resistance is down to that one location,” she replied. “However they will not last. Our marines and your soldiers have them pinned down. They will die.”

“Sir,” a liberation front soldier said suddenly from a terminal, “the computer reports a breach in one of the delivery bays. A ship may have broken the blockade and entered.”

“The filth are here,” Veerdat snarled, “send a team down there to intercept.” He glanced at Sherina.

“I will dispatch two squads of my marines in support,” she replied.

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Boarding Tube
ADS Fallen Spear
Arx System

The speakers inside of the Spear crackled to life. “Thirty seconds until boarding initiation.”

Shimura knew the approach to the platform would be rather uneventful as the Grand Master’s flag ship possessed cloaking technology that would keep them unseen through their approach to the platform. Occasionally the ship would roll and buck, presumably to avoid an explosion or starfighter that got in their way. A smile passed across his lips.

“Twenty seconds.”

A few people raised their hands to their ears and pounded on their head. The Zabrak felt it too. The pressure inside the cabin was rising. The anticipation crept up from his feet, swelled in his chest for a moment before reaching his brain. He never grew tired of the battles, just his friends dying. As quickly as the thought entered his head, it had left when he saw Kojiro. He stepped over to his cousin, their gauntlets clanged and they formed an “X” with their forearms. Shimura clasped his left hand around the back of Kojiro’s neck, pulling his head in until they were forehead to forehead.

“Ten Seconds.”

“Try not to fall too far behind and miss out on all the fun.” Another devilish smile crossed his face. The Warlord punched his cousin in the chestplate, pushing him back a few feet. He knew Kojiro was smiling beneath the mask. They both looked to the end of the docking tube as it started its extension protocol. The sea of combatants that had gathered seemed to part as Muz Keibatsu strode down the hallway to the end of the tube. Reverberations were felt throughout the ship as the magseals clamped into place.

“Docking successful. Happy hunting.”

The doors at the end of the boarding tube began to hiss open to reveal a bare durasteel wall that was the exterior of the Nesolat Platform. The Grand Master stood there with his arms crossed across his chest and had barely waited for the doors to finish opening before all four of his lightsabers leapt from his belt. Each one bursted to life under the telekinetic command of the Keibatsu patriarch. The ruby, lavender and gilded blades stabbed into the side of the platform, creating the edges of a square and began to cut through the metal hull clockwise in unison. Just as Muz was going to finish the cut the increased pressure from the Spear blew the section of hull into the platform, forming an entrance for their infiltration.

The speakers cackled one last time. “Sixty seconds before we leave and you get jettisoned into space. Move your backsides.”

Shimura Keibatsu
Beka Drell
Kaxase Drell

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The Panther (Xolarin’s shuttle)
Entering Arx System

The meditation chamber was dark and pulsed a faint orange glow. It had become Xolarin’s color of choice and embodied what he had been through over the years. From an older Jedi figure to a fallen Jedi, training with Sith and others along the way. Instead of a blood-red hue, a fiery-orange lit his path.

The hum of the ship changed as it entered the Arx system along with many of the other Marka Ragnos craft. Xolarin kept his shuttle in the rear of their forces, trying to lead the extraction team. The strike teams were already landing and making their way through the Nesolat Platform, making quick work of the Collective troops.

It wouldn’t be an easy plan, and in fact the Clan would likely lose many resources and troops of its own. The Summit had planned on some minimal losses. But this was war - the Collective had brought it to the Brotherhood’s front door and it was time to stop them. They had done so much to the Brotherhood, to the Clans, to the Orian system. It was time to stop them.

Xolarin eventually rose from his meditation stance and went out into the main cabin. He approached the cockpit and stood next to Daiton Jor. “Status,” he said simply.

The pilot of the Panther, and Xolarin’s groomed non-Force-using apprentice of sorts, nodded and flipped a few switches to change a couple of the screens. “The Clan is doing well, my lord. We should be good for extraction. I was just now beginning our approach.”

The quaestor nodded in approval. “Very well, inform the other craft and get us down there.”

Daiton quickly flipped more switches and began to guide the Panther down towards the platform, speaking into his comms with orders to follow.

Nesolat Platform
Arx

The Panther with Xolarin, along with the Titan Flight carrier and the TIE/D Defender Squadron, zoomed into the platform, taking fire obviously but doing quite well with their run. It was a bit of a bumpy ride with the chaos around them, but they made it in safely.

Xolarin put up his hood and shifted his heavy armor. He grunted a bit as he looked back at the cargo area of his shuttle. “Make a couple loops to secure our spot. Then make for the landing pad.”

Daiton merely nodded and complied.

The Dark Jedi then tapped the commlink on his wrist. “Ready Hydra tactical unit.” The selected troops from the Hydra special missions company were on his shuttle and the Titan Flight ready for defense and of course the extraction. Xolarin was actually a tad excited to be going into the fight with them. Death and casualties were no fun… unless they were on the Collective.

The Markosian grinned as he headed to the landing ramp as the Panther landed in the environment-protected landing bay. The soft metallic thump could be heard and felt as it touched down. Almost immediately the ramp lowered and there was plenty of steam and smoke. And equally immediately, shots began coming in from the platform defenses in the bay and troops.

Xolarin made his way down the ramp, lightsaber ablaze, and his fellow Hydra troops firing back. It was time to begin clearing a path for his brothers and sisters.


Xolarin GJW XIV Snapshot:
https://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/members/14717/snapshots/2613/4631
Daiton Jor (NPC) Snapshot: https://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/non_player_characters/231/snapshots/2789/4925

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Boarding Tube
ADS Fallen Spear
Nesolat Platform
Arx System

“Ten seconds…”

The intercom chimed as Darth Ashen and his Queen strode to the end of the tube. Macron nodded his head in respect while gritting his metal teeth. “My Lord Ashen. Lady Ashia.” Muz turned his black eyes to the Alchemist and inclined his own head without missing a step. Behind them both Shimura and Kojiro exchanged warrior camaraderie. General ZZZclk’ik and Master Leena had finished up on the droid at hand.

Macron turned to his comrades. “HK 22, you are to stay by me and be my direct support. General Zzzclk’ik, you understand your role here. I need you as tactical support. Not just for Mr. Clanker and myself over here, but for anyone in the Clan that needs you. Use your skills with blaster, tech and explosives to deal with ancillary targets and flankers. Keep them pinned. Also keep metalliturd here and any of our droids running. As well, Master Leena would be a good one to collaborate with.”

I will support our Hive, to my last respiration. The Clan let us Nest when no one else would. ” The Verpine clicked his gray Imperial Heavy Trooper armor gauntlets together in imitation of his mandibles that could not be seen under the helmet. “ Exterminate the Collective.

“Master, I resent that remark.” HK 22 would have puffed up his face if it wasn’t made of metal. “I am not a remnant of biometallic waste.”

“Shut up droid,” said both the Verpine and the Sith at nearly the same time.

“Master, will I get to…”

Macron cut the droid off. “Of course. Terminate as many enemy meatbags as you possibly can. I expect to see you break your record- or else it’s the slag heap for you, rustbucket.”

“Docking successful. Happy Hunting.”

As Muz Ashen’s lightsabers cut into the hull of the Arx, Macron looked about. Other lightsabers ignited by the score, mostly scarlet but other hues were represented. Gold, purple, orange, and a few other colored blades crackled to life. Lady Ashia stood by the side of her husband. The Krath Witch was powerful. Shimura, Kojiro, Master Leena, BT-R3, HK 81, Grandmaster Nisha Kenvon, many others. Their black hands would be the hammer that distracted the Collective forces from the nail being driven into their infected flesh from elsewhere.

Macron was especially curious about Grandmaster Kenvon. The Sith had spent much of his time down in the tunnels of Inos 42 and could easily be accused of being antisocial. He had overheard her say she wouldn’t be responsible for what happened. “Just my kind of ally,” chuckled the Adept to himself as he donned his Dark Armor helm. “Me neither.”

The helm going on was a ritual of sorts. Almost like the old children’s holovids. Once the crazy mind music started playing the world changed into nonstop red mayhem. It was a mental sea-change. The madman felt within his breast for the vast ocean of pure hatred he held for the Collective. The benthic depths of unholy anger responded quickly as the Dark Side girded his mind and body with an eager rush of vile power. Killing Collective scum was going to Feel Good. “So Be It.”

The Adept’s crushgaunt-clad fingers slid down the helm faceplate with a click and hiss of gas. The personal shield was activated and the Armorweave cloak pulled close. His right hand grasped the Elder blade he had fashioned. It ignited with a high-pitched hungry tangerine scream. It was almost as if the Kyber crystal itself was in perfectly timed oscillating agony. Macron yelled, “By Darth! It’s Party Time! Do You Want-to- Party? Let’s KILL SOME COLLECTIVE FRACKERS!"

The violent Sadowan bodies surged through the now open portal like a burst pimple of destruction. Blasterfire, smoke charges, all manner of hell erupted in response and from those who came. The Collective knew they were coming and had, of course set a hastily set hard point where the Spear was likely to break through. Shouts and yells of pain erupted as the Sadowans went to do their dirty work.

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It had been a long time since he had walked the halls of the Shadow Academy. He had walked them once as a student. He had walked them once as a Professor and once as a Magistrate. Nesolat Station, however, was still unfamiliar to the Consul. Thus far, the aggressive style and the sheer prowess of Raistlin Sadow had served the pair well. It had been a tough slog through the platform so far. The headlong style of the Marauder complemented his own talents well.

The Hive Marines were as fierce as was to be expected from the Collective. Though he knew he ought to feel some measure of disgust toward these enemies of Naga Sadow and enemies of the Brotherhood, they were some impressive work. So far, they seemed fewer in number than he had expected. It was a shame. If only they could capture one, if only he could study them, what he might learn. Given enough time, he would decipher how to apply Sith Alchemy and ritual to similar effect. He could bring such strength to those who served in the Warhost. So many possibilities.

He forcibly quashed the thought as it threatened to bring a smile to his face. The actions of the Marauder allowed the Assassin the time he needed to think. He did not dare to squander it. He needed to focus on the task at hand.He needed to fight, and to render the aid asked of the Brotherhood. Of the members that comprised the Dark Council, he felt he could actually trust Ciara.

Well, he smiled, as far as you can trust any real Sith.

“Got another one.” Bentre haphazardly fired a cluster of blaster bolts. Not enough to actually do any harm, but enough to make the Huntress on the far end of the hallway think twice. He just needed to divert attention long enough for his fellow Sadow to close the gap. He was still trying to save the few explosives he had brought along.

He nodded to the robed researcher. The youth couldn’t be ten years younger than Bentre, with the obvious bearing of a scholar, rather than a warrior. “Keep your head down in the office behind us until you are sure it is clear here. We are going to keep trying to clear sections.”

“These things just keep coming.” Raistlin wiped sweat from his forehead as he glared in the direction of the hunkered . With a grunt, the Corellian Assassin pitched his sapphire-blue lightsaber in an arc. The weapon met with metal and flesh with a satisfying cry of pain and frustration from the Kiffar as she popped up. Seizing the moment, Raistlin charged headlong down the hallway. As his comrade moved, Bentre took careful aim and delivered a trio of shots. The distraction worked as Raistlin drove his lightsaber into his target. The Technocratic Huntress went down hard.

“You know, it is different.” The Assassin grimaced as he walked forward. Taking careful steps as he closed the gap, he surveyed the felled Kiffar from afar. “My job is sometimes pretty boring. it feels pretty good to actually get out onto the ground. Command doesn’t offer nearly enough of that sort of thing.” With a grunt of satisfaction, the Corellian reached down to his side. With the flick of a wrist and a playful flourish, Bentre tossed his datapad up into the air before deftly catching it.

“Must make one soft.” The words were spoken with such a matter of fact tone that Bentre Sadow could not decipher their intent. He lifted the datapad in silent salute, a look of concern and feigned good humor in his eyes.

“If we keep working like we have, we should be at the Headmaster’s position soon. We have another three checkpoints, and then we should have a clear run through to Ciara’s office. And with that, we should hopefully manage to coral those folks that are left. We just will have to push forward through a combination of blood, sweat and old-fashioned effort. Should be easy enough.”

As though on cue, the sound of boots meeting floor plates drew the attention of both Sadow. Four soldiers spread out in the hallway, clad in armor that was black as night. Four carbines were leveled at the pair.

“Talk less, fight more.” Raistlin grumbled as the pair raised their lightsabers to meet the coming onslaught. Their work was already proving far from easy. The Hive Marines opened fire.

Macron placed his flat black helmet over his head, hiding his macabre visage with the hiss of the vacuum seal closing. Ashia threw her auburn hair behind her and out of her face before brushing the dark brown locks from her husband’s eyes. A tender smile crossed his face before planting a kiss on her supple lips. The Grand Master’s retinue looked as impressive as ever as they casually strode through the tube breaking down their weapons check in a sequence that would make even the most seasoned squadron leader flush with pride. Macron, the Keibatsu and their retinue filed out of the docking tube into the storage compartment lining the exterior of the Nesolat Platform. Long since forgotten tomes, scriptures and writings dotted the shelves on either side of the wall as the squad made their way through under a hail of fire.

They were expecting us. It won’t matter now. He thought to himself. He knew he was going to war with his family again and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

His crimson saber immediately redirected a blaster shot into the ceiling. The pale faced zabrak roared and beat his chest plate in defiance. The patriarch Keibatsu quickened his step, his telekinetic sabers trailed through the war party harmlessly to his side before the purple and red sabers landed softly in his hands, the golden sabers dancing defensively in front of the Keibatsu. Mind controlled sabers beheaded a pair of marines within the storage room as he walked past their slumping bodies and out of the room. The Grand Master’s sabers floated from his hands again as if each one had taken it to its own will and began deflecting blaster bolts away from the oncoming war party. Everyone filed out of the storage room under the defense of Muz just in time for the space station’s computer to sense a vacuum and close off the room.

Down the hall, various lightsabers snapped into existence as Muz knew exactly who he faced, from the rumors he was told. Project Zero. Muz’s voice rang through their minds. Project Zero, the Collective effort to return fallen soldiers to battle, some even rumored of Brotherhood fallen being added to their ranks. Judging from the view down the hall, the rumors were no longer rumors, but fact. They’re machines now. End them once and for all. His voice echoed again.

Despite the fact that they wielded lightsabers, Shimura had no qualms about snuffing the life force out of a being aimed at destroying his brethren. His pace hastened and before short his six foot nine, heavily armored frame was a runaway train cart. He paid no heed as he ran swiftly towards the cyborgs, passing dropping bodies as Sadow blaster fire scorched over his shoulders. Shimura’s single blade slammed with incorrigible might that lacked finesse across the double blades of the robotic force user in front of him. He snarled with anger as he used the force to amplify his might to break the saber lock and latch on to his opponent by the wrist. The Battlemaster leaned backwards as he drove an armored boot in the cyborgs midsection and launched her up and behind him in a roll. Before she could hit the metallic flooring, a blast of pure energy trailed from Kojiro’s fingertips. The force lightning hit her square in the chest that resonated a metallic scream before she crumpled to the floor in a smoking heap. The Sith finished his backwards roll with a pirouette and saber flourish, igniting the other end of his double bladed lightsaber.

“Kill. Them. All.” Shimura rasped through barred teeth.

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The air thrummed as the youngest Keibatsu danced around the room and lightning cascaded from the edge of his fingertips. He had done his best to avoid the majority of the slog by utilising the consoles and walls as makeshift spring boards, but the combat zone was getting tight as more collective made their way to the brawl. A door to his left slid open and as it did so he lashed out with the full fury of the Dark side and struck the centre of the three new combatants that attempted to enter, the lightning arced out from the enemy soldier striking the other two and forcing their bodies to enter spasms as the energy danced across them.

One of Muz’s lightsabers whirled into view and decapitated the heads of the three soldiers before moving on. Kojiro turned his masked face to take in the family head who was engaged with several of the enemy including the Zero. Kojiro eyed a close by console and made to push himself towards it, as his feet left the ground however he felt a sharp pain across his chest and the heavy thump of something metallic hitting him back to the ground. As he looked up he stared into the eyes of the damaged collective cyborg, still wielding his electrostaff which had been what had struck the young man in the chest. Barely a moment passed before the cyborg attempted to bring his staff down again but before he could Kojiro lashed out with his mind stopping the strike mid blow and used the time to roll to the side, rise and Force push the attacker back into the melee surrounding the Sadowan juggernauts. Macrons heavy fist swung in and what was once a damaged cyborg turned into something else, especially as the alchemist’s foot delivered a rather satisfying crunch to the things head.

As Kojiro moved to find his next opponent the floor shuddered and suddenly the lights went red. The Sadowan blinked confused before the sirens began wailing.

“Emergency, Emergency. The Station has been compromised. Orbit disengaged. Emergency, Emergency. All hands abandon Nesolat.”

Kojiro’s eye’s locked with Shimura’s via their respective helmets. They couldn’t see one another but they both felt each other’s panic.

“Ahh poodoo.” Was the only word he got out before the gravity vanished.

Corridor Battle
Nesolat Platform
Arx System

“Shavit.” Macron cursed as he dispatched the hapless battered cyborg at his feet with a vicious Force-imbued stomp. Brains and wires splattered across his armored boot. “Frack. Screw these piles of pudu,” the Juggernaut thought. “Crude amalgams,” he giggled madly as he split another in two with a lock-angle-riposte move against the foe’s electrostaff. The tangerine lightsaber split the cyborg at the waist and then swirled artistically around to remove the head with blasts of hopping sparks as his offhand fist smashed into the cyborgs guts. “Frack yeah!”

Animated lightsabers flashed in the darkness nearby as the emergency lights flashed. A Krath Queen held her hands high and swept out from hidden darkness as her King split enemies apart with his animated blades. Her concealment was perfect and the enemy sensed nothing. Ashia’s will dominated the weak among the Collective foes. Some of them staggered and were cut down or shot to pieces by the invaders.

True, it was taking a deep toll on Macron to tap so deeply into the Dark Side. It always did. The Adept would have to replace his synthetic organs soon. The dive into darkness ate hungrily into his soul and viscera. Nonetheless, there were no games to be played here. Not when the lives of his comrades and the honor of his Clan were at stake. The Sith held nothing back. Those animated children’s holovids of endless powerups were fictional. Only stupid arrogance allowed for a less than full-powered entrance to combat. Macron believed in immediate pure fury from the heart. Best to go all out straight from the get-go. Hit them as hard as you can immediately. Death.

Behind all of this the Verpine General and the HK-22 droid had taken up a support fire position. The droid and Verpine worked in tandem. The Verpine used an electrodrill to punch through the deck plating to a cable node. The insect worked rapidly to punch into the platform’s gravity systems. HK 22 knelt behind the piled debris and hammered any available or imminent foes with repeater blaster fire. Leena stood by them, and no ambulatory antagonists got past her power and wily defense. “Use the secondary cascades,” she remarked as she killed a Collective trooper. “Second junction from the left.”

Nisha rolled with the power of ages around the flank. The Kiffar was hungry for destruction after her indoctrination at the hands of Muz Ashen. Her weapons and armor were simple but there was no denying the power of the Grandmaster that Darth Ashen had wickedly twisted to his own purposes. The Arcanist glowed with Force imbued script on her pale skin as she kept the backchannel corridors cleared. There would be no flanking attack. Her power corrupted the minds of those who came as she could, and then blasts of power stopped the rest. Her battle meditation will knitted the defenders together into a mail-clad fist.

The gravity quit suddenly. This time, Macron was not wearing magnetic boots. Of course, the Collective foes were- they had planned for such. “Shimura! Kojiro! You okay?” A thumbs up from both the stalwart warriors gave the okay. Collective troopers with mag-boots held their ground and targeted the trio. “General Zzz’clkik! Get this stuff right straightaway!”

https://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/members/4184/snapshots/2883/5085

The orange hues of the purple Twi’lek narrowed as the claxons started going off within the Nesolat. He honestly couldn’t be more happy about what he was hearing as he walked the hallways of the Nesolat Station. He hated this place and everything it had turned into… Hate. Such a strong word for somebody who didn’t come from any rough upbringing.

”But you come from a great line of musicians. We’re artists.” He could remember his father saying to him as he was a child.

“I’ll show you an artist” His upper lip curled as he started to snarl at the memory as his eyes laid upon the half robotic enemy. A simple wave of his hand, an illusion was cast over him making him look like he had robotic implants just like his counterpart.

“You, scum! We’re under attack. Hurry up to the east wing and help your brothers in arms.” The Cyborg threw a thumb over his shoulder in a response to get the young Twi’lek to hurry up.

“Yes sir, right away.” Crawramek nodded as his fingers wrapped tightly around the hilt of his dagger. ”You’re an artist”, his thoughts rang out inside of his head as he was easily able to hide his true intentions from the demonic and twisted creation in front of him that so often made him feel like going on a killing spree. He knew better than to try anything before but this was the perfect time to exact revenge against the unknowing Zero Cyborg.

Before the cyborg knew what happened, Crawramek had sliced the inside of his hand in order for him to drop his weapon and held the blade to the soft part of his skin right underneath his jaw. “Now tell me…” The purple Twi’lek eyes were surprisingly soft as he had calculated his next step. “Who’s the scum now?”

The cyborg handled his emotions well, it was to be expected as they were designed for battle. The fear could not be seen in his eyes but he imagined what a real flesh and blood person would feel, which caused Craw to smile appreciatively. “Trooper, what do you think you’re do-” The sentence was cut short as the blade replaced the view of his tongue. Crawramek quickly withdrew the blade as the body crumpled to the ground. A soft smirk tugged at his lips as he made his way closer and closer to the battle.

That smirk would be quickly wiped away as the next broadcast over the PA system rang through the hallways he had grown to despise. “Emergency, Emergency. The Station has been compromised. Orbit disengaged. Emergency, Emergency. All hands abandon Nesolat.”

“Oh…” he panicked as he thought of a way to get off this flying bucket of soon to be scrap. He was good at fitting in, afterall, it’s why he was still on the nesolat and only rarely picked out of a group of people. All he needed to do was find Ja’reen and he would be able to fly any spacecraft and get them the heck off this space station.

The illusion had faded as he rounded the corner rather quickly and came to an abrupt halt at what he saw. There was a group of Keibatsu standing around the fallen bodies of the Zero Cyborg. His lekku twitched from side to side as he prepared for battle, wondering how he would get out of this one alive. “There’s…another dead one around the corner.” He said calmly even though his eyes betrayed the fact that he was anything but. Just as he addressed the group of Keibatsu, Shimura yelled a few choice words for him to take cover as more Hive Marines appeared. “I hope this group of shock troopers put up a fight more than the others did.” Boy did he regret saying that as the gravity cut out. His dagger was quickly replaced with his saber in hopes that he could deflect anything that came his way. He floated about the hallway for moments before remembering his training. He used the force to steady himself while he focused on one of the troopers in particular. He felt weak and looked as though he had been a failed experiment. A perfect victim for Craw. With intense focus and a wave of his hand, the Twi’lek invaded the mind of the weakened soldier and planted the seed. “You want to open fire on your comrades.”

“I…Want to open fire on my comrades.” He muttered through gritted teeth as his finger started to squeeze the trigger.

“What are you doing?” Another Zero Cyborg asked in a cold hearted manner as the weapon was turned on him, only to have his life snuffed out by a member of his own cohort. Within a few seconds the enemy turned on his own people, he managed to take out two of them before being removed from the battle with no remorse coming from either side. Crawramek was proud of himself for at least helping out that much, not that the Kei seemed to need it.

Nesolat Platform
Decaying Orbit
Arx Space

Evolution plays a long game.

It sets up the conditions for life, and from the time the mud animates itself, it evolves in ways that work for their conditions. Breathing gases or liquids. Cold or hot climates. Bright or dark environments. Every creature becomes a specialist.

Until something changes.

As the gravity generator stopped, and the platform spun in a decaying orbit toward the city, everything not bolted to the floor by metal or magnets found itself not quite weightless, but rather…Different. Lighter.

Disoriented.

The clamping of magboots up the hallway reminded them all of that in a harsh moment. Their enemy was ready for this. They were not.

But if nothing else, the Clan had taught them to be flexible, to adjust fire on short notice, to roll with punches that would kill lesser beings. It only took a moment, Muz watching as the battle continued, angles twisting and methods sharply changing. Shimura adjusted his strides to account for the difference, seeming to swim more than run at his prey. Macron crawled his way up the walls at a soldier that seemed immobilized by fear. Crawramek’s puppet turned on his former allies, then got gunned down just as easily as the Hunter had invaded his thoughts. Muz paused, watching the blaster fire shimmer as it caught upon his blades, bouncing the beams backwards at them as if by rote. He turned, the silent question reaching out toward Leena, his eyes narrowing.

The Twi’lek just shook her head. The station was lost.

“Bentre?” The name hung in the air as the slicer hammered away at the datapad. She grew animated for a moment, then her right Lekku twitched.

“They’ve just been picked up.” She chuckled, then snarled as a blaster bolt sheared dangerously close to her. “Ciara is with them.”

“Well, that’s at least a little bit of good.” Koji grimaced, sliding another magazine into his weapon. “Back the way we came?”

Shimura laughed, his eyes transfixed on the way the dead bounced off of his weapon. “I’m no doctor, but I can’t think riding the station to the ground would be good for our health” He turned back toward the next one, his voice sharp through a smile. “Someone get Blackwind on the comm?”

Leena looked back up at the Lion, his sabers dipping and diving in air to avoid and intercept. He looked back at her, nodding once. Macron chirped, watching them through a helmet coated in a thin veneer of blood.

“Party’s over, kids!” Macron laughed. “Let’s go cause mayhem somewhere else!”

Nesolat Platform
Decaying Orbit
Arx Space

[We truly must stop meeting like this, dear brother.]

Where?

The Deathless One took a slow look around. It was unfamiliar territory. It was hazy and ethereal. It was alien. It was a nexus of all times and places. It should have been obvious.

I was traveling to Arx, the current throne world of the Brotherhood. I was not intending to meet you.

[Throne world; pah. It’s a toilet. They can have their filthy backwater retreat. It’s not the home of royalty.]

And you are as pleasant a sight as their hovel, old friend. I presume you still live.

[On some level, perhaps.]

The two beasts walked along in the eldritch representation of wherever they were. Perhaps he was still on board his shuttle. Perhaps he had already made it to Arx. Unlikely, perhaps. Yet stranger things had been known to happen.

Why have you come to me at this time, Trevarus?

[I am here to warn you, Gwei Long. Young nightmares have flown the coop and are riding black wings to rain death around your head and ears. Like-minded men and demons assail you. Night closes in. The Ghost Dragon becomes a memory of power as the casket lid closes. Falling from the sky entails a fall from grace. Sons and daughters live on in our glory.]

As helpful as ever, old friend.

[You have ever known, Gwei Long…]

His eyes opened as a whisper echoed across the waters. Yridia? Gods, no. This was not his watery fortress world. This was the new seat of the Dark Council’s power.

[I am not your friend.]

It echoed in his ears. Something was wrong. Claxon calls. Carrion birds cawing echoing cries. Falling. Weightlessness. Something was terribly wrong.

“Arx.”

There was a fleeting impression of being onboard… where was it? Somewhere. Some place. And then just as quickly as all things seemed to coalesce, it was gone. Shan Long was there once more, not in the guise of the fallen Oracle, but in the form it preferred, that of an evil reptile – a blue, thundering serpent of sorts. A dragon? A snake? What was it? In this plane, it was hard to tell. It seemed to be anything and everything.

[You were warned many years ago, dear brother. Father warned you, as did I. Never to deny your family and rightful name. And yet you have. You deny yourself. You deny your birthright. And for this felonious and egregious sleight against our family, our support is withdrawn. You are on your own. Your nightmare awaits.]

“In the name of all true Sith, shut your prattling mouth, Trevarus.”

“…come again, sir? The name is Dorian. Can I be of assistance?”

He was in a room with several others, and the godforsaken alarms were still going off. Where in all the planes and Oblivion was he?

“Where are we, and why are those alarms making such a god-awful racket?”

“Umm, sir… are you quite alright? The station is… it’s under attack, sir. And we’re all… goodness, we’re all hurtling to our doom on the surface of Arx. I’m sorry if this is too much to handle; I know I’m dreadfully shaking at having a hard time holding it–”

Bloodfyre stopped listening. It had suddenly begun to flood back to him. The ethers receded and crept away. That presence was so annoying. Whether it was the Force itself or Trevarus aiming at having some form of amusement at his expense was impossible to tell.

He had initially been tasked with… what was it? Who had he been with? It was all wrapped up in the mists of the planes, being drawn to Oblivion, or whatever the hell else was happening. Was it the closeness of death, or the proximity of the Dark Council’s power? It might otherwise seem unnerving or even intoxicating, but at this point, it was just frustrating.

“Would that I still held the riches of a Consul, I’d pay nearly any sum to know what in Sithspit is happening,” Bloodfyre muttered to himself. “And by your petulant multi-eyed gods, Trevarus, stay away from me.”

There was space ahead; a hallway? Perhaps. The multitude in front of him seemed to be corralled into heading in this particular direction. They were following something, someone. It was hard to tell exactly where. The Force reached out to him and flooded him with images. Twin-headed serpents whose slithering eyes had caught him. He was known, found. The Lord of Lions informed, and a simple statement.

“Run, gather.”

The words were not spoken, but the nature of the call was easily understood. The powers of the Lion of Tarthos were never mistaken, nor was his penchant for brevity. One of his servants must have taken notice, perhaps. Or the grand one simply had a knack for seeing existence on levels few others could. Whatever the case, an outline formed, a map entered the Sith Master’s mind. He knew where to head, where to join the rest.

Leaving the last remnants of the Academy staff behind perhaps seemed like a good idea, but it would never do. These were still loyal servants of the Brotherhood. The Ghost Dragon called out to them, ensured they would follow, and then Bloodfyre made his way towards the escape and towards the route that was to be taken by the family Keibatsu.

Snapshot:
https://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/members/756/snapshots/2619/4637