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

House Marka Ragnos Official Fiction


Level Nine
Beneath Kar Alabrek

Ophelia leaned over the holographic display, watching the city bloom beneath her, patches of data coming in from the reports of the Warhost on patrol for the last few weeks. The pale violet laserlight of the terrain was peppered with brilliant red dots, the indicator of a reported incident. The limited warhost assigned to Kar Alabrek were supposed to be reinforcing the provincial police forces, but even with their bolstering, they were not able to keep up. It seemed that every day, another shuttle was leaving full of families trying to escape the troubles of Kar Alabrek.

Muz stared at the model, his eyes comparing the skyline, the city to what he remembered, it seemed a lifetime ago. The high-rises were rubble, some still standing like a jagged monument to when the city was the crown jewel of Tarthos. Ophelia looked at him, eyes trying to read into his reactions, his plans. He raised his eyes for a second, staring through her.

The door shut with a dull thump, the whine of the electromagentic seal engaging as DarkHawk entered, helm still riding his head, eyes obscured by high tech lenses. Muz nodded at him, stepping away from the coordinator, setting a hand on his shoulder and looking at the man before continuing, Ophelia breaking away and stepping with him. It was a long walk through the tunnels, winding beneath the old city like a serpent. They moved in silence, the chime of another report from the surface on her datapad interrupting every few moments. It was deplorable how the city had collapsed with the withdrawal of house forces. Crime was rampant, unchecked in most districts. There were entire neighborhoods that were basically falling into the ground, unrepaired after the bombardment. The governmental control of the hydroponic gardens and the shield generator had ceded to small companies, now grown fat and sprawling without anything to keep them in check. There were a few whole blocks that would freeze solid in the brutal Tarthos winters, abandoned when the residents couldn’t pay for the shielding.

Ophelia watched the Grand Master walk, her mind shifting back to the discussion Tasha’vel had regarding her plan to restore the Citadel. That was before she had other, more urgent matters calling her away from office. Ophelia recalled grinning at the thought, opportunity slicing through the dull grey of recent tragedies to glimmer in her eyes. And yet, fortune did not smile back. She followed him now, the power seeming to wash over him so thickly that she could still feel it, even if she felt nothing else. He broke her, and she knew somehow, beneath the feral whispers, beneath the programmed hatred, beneath her old love of carnage, that he would have to be the one to remake her.

The barely audible whir of his arm opening reached her, her eyes locking on the pale glow of the screen within as he summoned his ship to the hidden turbolift outside of the city that they headed for. She saw the sharp face of the captain, the curved lines of the inside of his alien ship, committing it all to memory as best she could. Details were important, invaluable.

They stepped through the rust and decades worth of dust, miles below and away from the city itself. It was a beautiful location. No wonder that he wanted to use it as a coordination point. Between the difficulty of accessing the point, the heavy armor and automated defenses, it was suited well after several months of the Lion’s enhancements. She stepped ahead for a moment, activating the old turbolift, the well maintained equipment hidden beneath all of the trappings of age and disrepair.

They rode the lift for what seemed to be twenty minutes, the lack of light strange and yet comforting as they rocketed up toward the surface and the waiting ship. She watched him out of the corner of her eye, trying to dissect his thoughts. He stood stoically, watching the durasteel pass them by, then layers of rock and soil. The snap and gravel crunch of the hidden latch above echoed down the lift shaft, small bits of pebbles clacking against the top of the car before the traces of light started to filter down.

She cleared her throat, looking at the datapad as more of the chirps arrived. There was nothing she needed to say, but she did anyway. “We don’t have enough men to stop this.” She looked at him openly now, the stark grey of the Tarthos light casting odd shadows on his face as the lift opened out on the barren field outside Kar Alabrek. He stepped out first, walking toward the hovering ship. She watched him for a moment, then followed.

“We could probably ask the Consul for more…” She offered.

Muz stopped abruptly, looking at her in the way a father looks at an errant child. She felt the gaze as much as she saw it, unease seeping into her, echoes of their meeting in Macron’s facility casting doubt into her mind that her punishment was yet to be finished. He turned, heading back to the ship. “We won’t need them.”

A million responses screamed through her mind. We couldn’t do this on our own, there’s not enough of us. Even you can’t accomplish this with all of your power. Our troops were not trained for this, the city is too far gone. We should return to Markosian. They fell back there for a reason. This is folly, ego, foolishness. Yet she said nothing.

He would have smiled, had he seen her eyes widen as they boarded the ship. The clatter of a few hundred boots clicking as the Nihilgenia stood at attention and saluted him filled their ears. Dark armor gleamed as the bay closed behind them, the atmospheric shielding engaging as the Grand Master continued toward his own bridge. Ophelia paused for a moment, considering what she hadn’t thought before. It was all too obvious now that she thought about it. He had spent who knows how much of his fortune rebuilding the cathedral before, so it had to mean something to him. She doubled her pace, catching up to him. “I am sorry, Lord. I should have guessed that you had a plan.”

He turned to her, activating the miniaturized holoprojector on his arm. The lasers drew the picture for her, the layers of light hovering in the air displaying the ruined skyline of Kar Alabrek, slowly being torn down and replaced with new. There were a few large construction projects, things she hadn’t even heard of, above and beyond the cathedral. She strained her eyes, trying to read the writing that was intentionally too small, before the image evaporated, the holoprojector shutting down as the commlink activated.

“My Lord, there is a comm waiting for you.” The accent of Blackwind bothered her. It seemed Coruscanti, but through an odd filter. It wasn’t like the accent of the other Keibatsu, or even…

“In my office.” He looked back at Ophelia before continuing. “Take us up.”

“My Lord.” The comm shut off as he watched Ophelia’s mind turn. The dull throb of the ship’s engines started as he opened another comm channel.

The voice of DarkHawk chimed in through the commlink of his arm. “Sir?”

“Prepare for uplink with VASIC.” He walked as he spoke, the hissing of the turbolift doors all but washed away in the sounds of the Nihilgenia preparing themselves.

“Of course, sir.” DarkHawk responded, the sounds of the computers whirring to life in the background behind him. “Anything else, sir?”

“We are retaking this city.”

“Yes, sir.”

“The Night Hawks are your command now.” Muz paused, looking at Ophelia, who nodded once. “Don’t let me down.”

“Death before dishonor, sir.”

Muz nodded, silencing the commlink and stepping onto the turbolift.

“You are right. We won’t be doing this alone.” But we won’t need to weaken the Clan to do it, either. Muz let the thought seep into her mind rather than say it outright. Come now, we have suits to talk with.

She blinked at him. “I am…ill-equipped…”

He cocked his head slightly, saying nothing as the door opened.


Shuttle Lazarus
Gamuslag Airspace

“We’re approaching the rendezvous Ma’am” the pilot turned in his chair and stared at the cloaked figure seated behind him and his co-pilot. “I would say five minutes. Maybe less depending on a clear sky. Should I radio ahead for you?”

Ophelia kept her attention fixed ahead out of the shuttles front. The towers of Gamuslag began to come into clearer view and she winced behind her mask, remember the last time she was here. Memories flooded her mind and her hand flexed several times as it wrapped itself around the chairs armrest. The last time she approached like this, her life ended.

“No…perhaps. Yes do it.” her voice filled the shuttle like a cacophony of noise. The mask diluting and altering, twisting and amplifying her voice all at once. The pilot winced and she smirked. “Let them know I am coming, the last time I arrived unannounced issues arose.”

“As you wish Ma’am.”

Silence filled the shuttle as it approached the towers, the co-pilot having already forwarded their landing credentials and been granted permission to land. The pilot hadn’t lied, they made good time and arrived just before they were expected. As the shuttle coasted into the hanger a message filled Ophelia’s datapad informing her to make her way back to level Nine. She grimaced and unclipped herself, rising from the chair and bracing slightly as she made her way towards the door. When the all clear was given she hit the button and the door slid open allowing her to disembark and begin her journey through the winding passages of the complex.

This is ridiculous. Having to pander to that man ergh. Hate this, hate them all. Well, kill him like you were meant to before. No, that’s not what I need to do. My days like that are gone, he’s too strong. He’s the key, kill him and reclaim the Force you fool. No no…no!

Her thoughts continued this way as she wound her way to the turbolift, down into the bowels of the complex and through the corridors of Level Nine. Silence followed her footsteps until she neared her location. Then she was accompanied by the sound and rhythm of more footsteps as a pair of Nihilgenia stepped in beside her.

“Magistrate, we have been asked to accompany you to the meeting to ensure you arrive in the correct location on time and without hindrance,” the trooper to her left explained. She felt insulted and moved to turn against him but held her own. She knew this was an insult, she knew it was. He didn’t trust her to walk the halls alone, it made sense. Like the last time he made sure to accompany her all the way out of the facility as well. Ophelia kept walking and stayed in silence. “Is something the matter ma’am?”

“No, just take me to where I need to be.”


That was that. Silence followed them again. However it didn’t take long for them to reach the meeting room. The Aedile was left to enter the room alone and so she did, with some force to the door sending it clattering open against the wall. As it struck it caused the conversation to stop mid sentence as all eyes turned to her. Muz, Darkhawk and half a dozen men dressed in uniforms of all sorts. She recognised Captain Videk of the Retribution and his second, the army officer she didn’t know. Three of the men were dressed in smart clothes and the last one, well the last one peaked her curiosity.

He stood roughly half a foot taller than the others, bedecked in the armour of the Nihilgenia but his was different. His helm was different, smoother and elongated like some bird of prey. A pauldron sat upon his shoulder signifying a member of rank and attached to his back was what appeared to be a jetpack. Her eyes scanned his equipment and realised something else. He was far better equipped than the others.

“Ahh Ophelia. Sit.” Muz spoke with a stern voice.

Ophelia remained standing as a protocol droid moved forward on his behalf. “Allow me to introduce you to the others. Videk you know and his second. Captain Sturrock of the army to his left. The three men represent three corporations from Lord Muz’s homeworld that will be assisting us by investing in our plans, Mr Hayabusa, Master Karaka and Lord Azuma.” The three men nodded in turn as their names were spoken. “And this is Major Amahara of the Nihilgenia,” he pointed to the armoured man. “He’ll be assisting with the first step of the operation. Now as the meeting has concluded let us move on. Good day gentleman.”

Ophelia blinked as the men and women around the table simple departed the room, walking past her. She made to speak but no words came out. Once they had all gone she turned on Muz. “The meeting was over? You didn’t feel it worthwhile waiting for me?”

He looked her over, a small sigh escaping his lips. Darkhawk still hovered in the background. “No. You told me you were ill-equipped to deal with this.”

She listened in silence as he let the holo display explain the plan. She gathered that she would be moving in with the ground forces to assist in pacifying the city, taking control of any security measures and ensuring a smooth transition of power. The Aedile had to watch herself from retorting all throughout and when it was done she simply turned on her heel and left without making a sound.

The Nihilgenia moved in beside her as she walked back through the corridors and as they neared the turbolifts once more she snapped. Her fist struck out and caught the trooper across the face, he stumbled and she moved in smashing fist after fist against him. He dropped to one knee under the onslaught and Ophelia would have kept going if his comrade hadn’t dropped her from behind. She growled, pushing herself up but eyeing the now drawn E-11’s of the Nihilgenia, she left it as it was and entered the lift, hammering the button and allowing it to ascend so she could leave this rotten place once more.

Fuming, she paced the narrow floor of the turbolift as it rose to the landing bays, a sneer curling what was left of her lip. She could almost taste the hatred that boiled her blood, the cupric and acidity staining her palate. The doors whooshed open, exposing her ship. The shadow of Kar Alabrek beckoned her, coercing her to come play in its own cruelty.

Transport Hagewashi
Kar Alabrek Airspace

“Ten minutes to destination!” The pilot’s voice echoed through the troopers comm units, directly into their ears. “Airspace looks clear, maximum visibility.”

The Nihilgenia commandos sat perched on their benches as the transport soared through the air. It rocked gently as it neared its destination but they were used to it. It made them feel alive to know where they were, what they were. They were the birds of the Nihilgenia, the demons of the sky. The Karasu.

“Listen up. We’re going in hard. We’ll hit the citadel five minutes after departing the vessel. Land at the top, enter here and here,” two segments of the Citadel highlighted on the troopers map. “From these entry points we will move down the citadel clearing as we go. If these Warhost troops are what they claim to be, two infiltration teams should meet us about half way. They will infiltrate from the bottom using these sewers,” the map rotated showing long trenches that for eons were beautiful canals but had now been turned to mire and muck. “Once we meet up we move to clear the remainder of the citadel whilst a perimeter is secured and the main forces start pushing into the city. Until then gentleman we are on our own. Now check your gear, secure masks and get ready.”

Riku Amahara slid his helmet back into place and moved amongst his men, checking packs, straps, equipment and everything. His men did the same until finally the entire team was checked over five times. It had been commented his checks were too intense but since his first mission and the losses he wasn’t going to take chances.

“Three minutes until target zone,” the pilot’s voice cut in again.

“Present hooks and clip on gentleman,” Riku’s voice cut through the hanger and as the men took out their hooks, clipping onto the rope that hung from the ceiling he eyed them in turn as he took up position at the back. The wind ripped into the compartment as the transports door slid open and exposed them to the elements. A red light lit up the compartment and they waited. The compartment went green. “Go,” the one worded command didn’t need repeating the first Karasu departed the transport. Then the second, third, fourth and finally Riku.

And they fell from the stars.

Citadel Sewers
Kar Alabreck

The apprentice of Macron stole through the shadows. The muck swirled around his boots and with each step a sickening squelch came with it. A soft ping echoed through an earpiece he wore indicating he neared his location. Several other squelches behind him indicated his team moved up with him. His hand ghosted to his saber and feeling the familiar hilt he sighed in relief. A small tumble earlier had sent him face first into the mire and he could still taste its filth on his lips.

“About ten metres to our destination. Power coupling should be…yes here we go.” the Battlemaster whispered as a panel loomed up out of the dark. A quick jimmy had the old panel off and he pulled out a dataspike, plugged it into the old machinery and hoped. “Bingo.”
The terminal whirled into life and within a few minutes Armad had access to the basic controls of the old system. A few minutes more and he had control of the lower sluice gates that led into the citadel.

“And…here we go,” a button press had the sluice gate that once led the pristine waters of the citadels canal sliding upwards with a groan. The noise was more than he expected but nothing seemed to come off it. “Time to move. For the Glory of Ragnos!” Armad silently whispered into his comm, hoping the second team on the opposite side of the citadel had had similar success. Before his team and he entered the citadel he looked up and saw five tiny pinpricks of light illuminated against the clear sky and he smiled.


Level Nine
Beneath Kar Alabrek

DarkHawk watched from the back of the meeting room. Scanning each individual. He kept a close eye on his Master, The Lion, along with his Aedile Ophelia Delacroix. He could sense her demeanor was turning to severe displeasure. After Master Muz excused her, the Equite watched her leave. He watched the reaction of each individual, especially the one who wore the armor of the Nihilgenia. The man named Riku was all but a stranger to DarkHawk, although the reports from the field had impressed him a touch. Still, something seemed out of place. DarkHawk felt his mind honing in on the soldier, analyzing, seeking the answers to the questions he knew that would come later. Riku struck a chord with him as she left. He snickered.

DarkHawk started moving towards the man for his disrespectful derision. A small hand gesture from The Lion stopped him in his tracks. He took a half of step back and regained his composure.

Master Muz spoke “Problem?” as DarkHawk glared at Riku.

“Not at all, my Lord.” Riku returned the battle team leader’s steady gaze

As the Lion called the meeting to be adjourned, the members left and DarkHawk kept a keen eye on his target. The Nihilgenia dismissed him all together.

DarkHawk waited for his master and walked beside him as they made their way down the long passage out. The Warrior walked with his hands behind his back, The Lion made no gesture towards his Equite.

“You don’t like him” Muz asked.

DarkHawk pondered whether it was a rhetorical question. “No My Lord, his disrespect should have been addressed.” DarkHawk said.

“Do you not think I addressed it?” The Lion asked with no change in stride or tone.

DarkHawk was a bit concerned, his Master never once looked towards him. He searched for the correct words. Before he could speak The Lion looked at the Equite. His gaze cut through his visor right into DarkHawk’s being. “You did Master, amicably as always. I however…” said the Warrior, Master Muz cut his Equite off before he finished his words.

“Jealousy.” The Lion let the word echoed as he stared at his disciple. DarkHawk had nothing to say. He was reminded of himself, yet still. Constructed, designed to kill, a soldier born and bred. His loyalty all but programmed into his genetics. Yes jealousy, and behind that, its larger sibling, hatred. The Lion was right, even as Darkhawk felt the subtlety of the Force as the master searched his feelings.

The Lion said gazing at his disciple. DarkHawk had nothing to say, he felt the presence of his Master searching his feelings. The Lion’s word rung true.

The Lion stopped in his stride and turned towards his Equite. “Don’t be” The Lion said with conviction.

“As you wish my Lord” he replied. The words rushed from his mouth, a lilt in his tone that he quickly corrected as he remembered himself…

“He raised his arm, the holoprojector showing the ruinous cityscape, the buildings reaching for the sky like jagged teeth. The datastream started, blips on the map where incidents had been reported, pockets of severe resistance. DarkHawk watched, with a keen eye, logging the data, memorizing the map as he had been trained to do. Kar Alabrek was his home now. His city. His duty.

Muz watched his demeanor change, a quirk at the side of his lips betraying a half smile with a glint of teeth. DarkHawks’ gaze shifted, meeting with the nightmare eyes of the Dark Lord.

“Make an Example.”

DarkHawk smiled…

Kar Alabreck

DarkHawk perched himself above the city, with the aide of the Financial building. The massive structure was one of the tallest within the city. It allowed him a three hundred sixty view the city of Tarthos. The city itself has been run rampant for some time. Crime bosses, dealers, smugglers every bit of low life dirty scum practically ran the city. Corrupt politicians and representatives had their hands in the mix as well. DarkHawk allowed the visions of maiming these individuals flow through his mind. He knew he had to start at the low level lackey’s and work his way up.

The Lion’s words resonated through the black clad figure. It was a free pass for the Warrior to wreak havoc through the city’s underworld. He knew of a Councilman Vangor was suspected to be on the take, too many innuendos and accusations were made over the course of his appointment. Ironically enough those originating sources seem to disappear at the most opportune time. Thus dismissing any legal action against the councilman. Nobody was that lucky. The question became, which underworld boss was he attached to? The councilman has made quite a stake for himself, “need to prove it.” Time to look into the councilman’s affairs…

The Warrior took one last look over the city,before he made his way back to Level Nine. Master Muz has allowed him to use it as a staging area for the task at hand regarding the city. Before turning his surveillance to the councilman, more urgent matters arose. A second transport had been shot down on the far side of the city. The resupply for the troops taken by those who would use them against their efforts. There was too many coincidences. Someone had to be feeding intelligence to the enemy. DarkHawk made a couple of mental notes, then sent off a recommendation to the Warhost regarding future transports. It was not normal policy, skipping several levels, but it was the only way to be sure.

He stepped back, wiping his mind from that problem with a shake of his head. Now, for the Noise.

He felt the night surge through him, stood and took a leap off the ledge. The wind raced past him, in one fluid motion DarkHawk executed a roll and was now head first plummeting to the surface of the city. He activated the controls on his gauntlets and his wings deployed and carried him through the night sky.

Level 9
Beneath Kar Alabrek

Ensign Kelly greeted DarkHawk as he entered the hall. He gave the Sith a document containing the information regarding their supply chain. Three transports were due in tonite at 0130 hrs.

“Get me Commander Krill here immediately!’ instructed DarkHawk.

“Yes Sir” exclaimed the Ensign.

He immediately executed an about face and left. As the Ensign walked away DarkHawk spoke, “Ensign after you get Commander Krill, dig me up dossiers on Council Vangor and his staff, send it to me only.” The Ensign looked puzzled, but acknowledged his side order and proceeded on his way.

Within minutes Commander Krill was standing next to DarkHawk. The Equite showed him the shipping manifest.

Krill’s eyes widened, “This is legitimate Sir?” he asked.

“That’s all we know at the moment, but I will be taking a closer look at it.” stated the Warrior. “ I will need you and your squads to set up on the perimeter in case things go south, I don’t want these supplies getting away from us.” DarkHawk told his ranger commander.

“Sir I can’t seeing that happening if you have eyes on our cache.” Krill replied.

“I will have the men in place Sir, we will not lose them.”’ Krill told DarkHawk.

“We are not using standard operating procedures Commander, once I am in, if anyone gets close to us, take them down.” the bass in DarkHawk’s voiced boomed. “Get your men geared up, I want you in position within the hour.”

Krill popped to attention “Copy that Sir” and exited.

DarkHawk went over to the holoprojector and pushed a sequence of buttons. Master Muz appeared before him. DarkHawk bowed and dropped to one knee, “Master, arrangements have been set. It will start tonight. I will draw out the ones interrupting our supplies and they will lead me to the one pulling their strings.” the Warrior explained. Muz nodded his head and gestured for his Equite to proceed. “Your bidding will be done, Master” replied DarkHawk.

Shipping District

Once again DarkHawk found himself scanning the city from above. His COMM broke the silence “My Lord, Commander Krill, do you copy?” squawked through his earpiece.

“I copy Commander, what is the status?” replied DarkHawk.

“All teams in position. I have tapped into the ships tracking beacons and we have them on approach. Sending you the feed now.”

DarkHawk hit a button watched the data on his gauntlet CPU, he hit another button and the projected image shut down. Just as Krill said, targets were on approach. The Warrior made another scan of the area, there in the shadows movement. He hit his COMM button “Krill go weapons hot, I am heading in” he growled. The Warrior watched the shadows closely as his target stayed to the shadows.

Another hail over COMM’s, “Sir, I have that Intel you requested.” stated Ensign Kelly.

“Send it to me Ensign, maintain this secure channel, I may need your assistance.” replied the Equite.

“Copy that Sir, standing by.”

Without hesitation the Warrior dove off his perch. Diving through the night he made his way to land on an adjacent building. He magnified his cowl’s vision, scanning where he saw the movement. There amongst some broken crates, the figure stood. DarkHawk watching every move and captured the image of the perpetrator’s face. He sent the image to Ensign Kelly and instructed him to scan the data banks for the man’s identity.

Kelly responded back “Positive ID Sir, it’s one Kelven Dougray aide to Councilman Vangor.”

DarkHawk smiled, “Well what do you know” he thought.

Silence swept across the Warrior COMM’s, he was relishing this moment.

“Sir……Sir?” squawked Ensign Kelly. “Is everything ok” he asked.

Nothing came across the secured channel. DarkHawk watched diligently as his newly acquired target waited very impatiently in the shadows. From the north another figure made their way towards DarkHawk’s target.

DarkHawk zoomed the in with the optics in his cowl. Hit activated another series of buttons on his gauntlets and then hailed Ensign Kelly. “You getting this feed Ensign?” he gnarled through the COMM’s.

“Yes Sir” replied Kelly

“Good. Let’s see who our new player is…”

“Sir, i just received the shipping manifest from one of the supple transports. The large capacitors we need for the new BCD are onboard. It’s imperative we have those.” Ensign Kelly said agitated.

“Everything is imperative at this point Ensign” replied DarkHawk.

DarkHawk switched COMM’s and hailed Commander Krill. “Krill, we have another player on the board. Have your men keep an eye out, I have a feeling they may scatter like sewer rats.”

“Copy that Sir, we have it covered.”

DarkHawk crouched on the ledge of the building he perched from. Like a stoic gargoyle keeping an eye over his city. He switched back to his secure channel and zoomed in with with his optics on his newly acquired assailant. “I see you…” he said to himself.

“Kelly, ID Mr. Dougray’s associate.”

“Yes, Sir. Sir what about the capacitors?’ Kelly asked.

The Warrior’s mind slip into the vastness of the night. The Battlefield Coordination Display (BCD) was a state of the art real time battlefield assessment heads-up display. It tracked every movement on the field of battle in real time. The Grand Master had acquired the system some time ago and the House had been eagerly awaiting these parts. The fact that the BCD had been in disrepair had inconvenienced the whole operation. Running the coordination from VASIC on the Fallen Spear had been taxing, and the delay in reporting had been bothersome. It was integral to their efforts to get the system online as soon as possible. DarkHawk sneered at himself. While the Dark Lord had not mentioned it, he hardly needed to, I can feel his displeasure of our shipments being jacked to these trolls. “Fool me once shame on you…” he thought. “You are not getting away this time…”

Once operational the BCD will drastically change our perspective and our advantage on and off of the battlefield. It will tip the scales of this war in our favor.

“Sir?” asked the Ensign

DarkHawk gathered his thoughts and came back. Shaking the premonition thought from his mind. “Just ID that guy, Kelly. Leave the rest to me.” barked the Warrior.

DH watched the two. Dougray still waiting in the shadows, the secondary target making their way closer. A faint whistle and the two acknowledged one another. DarkHawk kept the feed going for Kelly. “Are you still getting this?” he asked.

“All of it, Sir”

Dougray pulled something out of his tunic and handed it to his accomplice. DarkHawk zoomed in on the exchange.

“That looks like the shipping manifest, Sir!” exclaimed Kelly.


The two made their exchange and Mr. Dougray started making his exit rather quickly. “I need to track this guy and have Krill’s men pick him up, so him and I can have an intimate conversation later.” DarkHawk told himself. The other figure made his way back into the shipping dock. Time to get things started.

“You ID that guy yet?”

“No not yet Sir, still sifting through the database.”

It was now or never, had to make a move or we would lose them both. DarkHawk dove off the ledge and once again was soaring through the night sky. He kept a sharp eye on Dougray. The Warrior closed the gap between the two. Need to do this without killing him, but I don’t want it to be painless either.

Dougray stuck to the outside and scaled the packaging crates along the building. This was a tactical advantage for DarkHawk as he could keep an eye on him and line him up for what comes next. As Dougray made his way past the last loading dock he pulled his hood over his head. DarkHawk came in as a whisper and planted a foot between Dougray’s shoulder blades launching him against the cold concrete. DarkHawk rolled with the movement, spun around and retrieved a small tracking dart from his utility belt. Staggering, Dougray flailed an arm, trying to steady himself and regain some semblance of composure. The Warrior wasted no time, loading the tracking dart into a dartgun, aiming and firing it in a singular motion, smooth and clean as though it had been practiced a thousand times. The dart snagged through fabric and flesh quickly, the whimper of this prey sating DarkHawk as he watched the man rub his back side… A whimper of pain emanated from the fallen aide. DarkHawk smiled again and slid back to the shadows.

Shipping District

DarkHawk peered through shipping crates as he watched the councilman’s aide continue to attempt at getting to his feet and stagger away. “Krill, Northeast side of the building, he should be headed right to you. He has a tracker in him, sending you the signal now. Covertly pick him up and detain him so I can interrogate him later. Headed inside to meet our new associates.” instructed DarkHawk.

“With Pleasure Sir, we have your six.”

The Warrior pulled out his whipcord thrower and launched the line to a ledge of the building. The powerful tool pulled the Equite up to the ledge and he repeated the process until he was on top of the roof of the shipping edifice. Dock thirty three was the number on the manifest so coming in from atop will be quicker to get to that level. He made his way to one of the big air handlers on the roof and opened the hatch and made his way into a maintenance utility access. This allowed him to navigate down to the steel support beams that were high above the docking port…

Krill was just about to send in troops when their target came into the clear. The tracking beacon was reading loud and clear on Krill’s display. He gave the signal and three troopers moved in on the target. Dougray was still staggering a bit from his “clumsiness”. Before he turned the corner to exit the shipping yard, the last thing he saw was the butt of a rifle right between the eyes. Blackness filled his consciousness.

“Target secured Sir” Krill’s voice was giddy over COMM’s

After making his way through about forty feet of ventilation shaft, DarkHawk found himself perched on a steel beam watching his supplies being loaded onto another vehicle transport. Judging by the size of it they were not going far. The shipments had to be stored in three separate vehicles. Krill’s message came over the COMM and that pleased the Warrior very much. “Time to turn this party out.”

The Warrior maneuvered his way down the steel beam directly in front of the transports being loaded. DarkHawk reached out to Force becoming one with it. He concentrated on the overhead lights and within seconds the surrounding lights exploded, one after the other. Confusion and panic set in to the crew pillaging the Brotherhood’s cargo ship. DarkHawk switched his vision to night vision and watched the crew scurry around except for one. He had to be the one Dougray gave the shipping manifest to.

Reaching into his utility belt the Equite pulled out six shurikens. His positioning was impeccable as directly below him were some unmoved crates he could conceal himself behind. He watched the men move around not knowing what to do. All packing blasters, “piece of cake.”

The black clad figure leaped from the steel beam, simultaneously launching the shurikens. Before he hit the ground he heard screams of pain and blaster fire shooting erratically. DarkHawk peaked around his cover and saw that his shurikens hit their marks. “Shooting those blasters are going to be a bit difficult now…”

DarkHawk pulled two smoke grenades out of his utility belt and tossed them over both his shoulders. They exploded on impact, smoke filling the dock and formed a perimeter. The Warrior made his way to the first assailant who was trying to pull the shuriken from his firing hand. He picked up his pace by about a stride and a half and executed a brutal skipping side kick directly into the man’s chest. Sending the man crashing into the side of the main transport like a runaway asteroid.

The next two did not fare that well either. DarkHawk sprinted towards the closest and hit him with a jumping side kick. Pushing off from his target he spun around a hundred and eighty degrees and caught the next closest with a boot heel to the jaw.

Rolling away from that adversary, he came to his feet in front of two men hugging the main transport ships doors. One managed to grab a chain and started swinging blindly. Hoping what was hunting them was in his range, he flailed. Violently, he swung that chain, aiming at what he could only hope was the Warrior’s head. DarkHawk dropped onto his back a tenth of second before the chain has a chance to take his head off. Darkhawk was pleased to see chain guy follow through on the swing and lose his center of balance.

Piker. First thing you learn is that without balance you’ve already lost the fight.

And, sure enough, the step he has to take to keep from falling forward puts his left ankle at a perfect forty-five degree angle from the Sith’s right calf. Rolling slightly to his right allowed the Equite to sweep-kick chain guy’s legs out from under him without bothering to get all the way back up.

Nice thing about sweep kicks, too, is that if done correctly the person you’re kicking tends to fall backwards and away from you.”

Falling backwards from the impact, the assailant cursed before the hard fall on his back knocked the wind out of him. DarkHawk jumped to a crouch by his left side, quickly kicking the chain away. True to form, the thug rolled for the Sith, angrily trying to grab an ankle. He was tenacious, he had to give him that. DarkHawk sprung straight up into the air and came down fast and hard in the middle of his back. He felt the crunch of bone through his boots even as he let muscle memory replay his maneuvers in real time. Fast hands closed around the man’s arm, twisting it up and back with a sharp movement, the socket ripping from the strain. The sound echoed throughout the dock. It took a moment for the pain to register, but register it did. The howl of pain started to pour from his lips, silenced quickly by a twist of the Sith’s hands, snapping the man’s neck.

DarkHawk rose from his kill. He scanned the area looking for his final prey. There hiding behind a packaging crates. The Warrior reached out to the Force, and in one motion waved his arms as if he was walking through a curtain. The shipping crates crashed against the walls. The spoil of the mission was in complete shock. Firing his blaster at the black clad figure. The Warrior once again gave himself to the Force. Simply extending his hand and the blaster bolts simply stopped. His prey gasped, turned and started to make a dead run from the facility.

The Equite simply stood stoically, continuing his union with the Force. Moving his arms in fluid motions like a sorcerer supreme. His prey out of nowhere began to run in place, the man looked down and realized he was almost a meter off the floor. Screaming for mercy he begged the Sadowan, pleading not to kill him. Almost in a trance like state, DarkHawk drew his target closer to him. As he interweaved within the Force, the Equite brought the man hovering directly in front of him. Slowly closing his fist, the man could feel his body caving inward. Gasping for air, consumed by fear he stared into the eyes of his aggressor. DarkHawk leaned in “I am not going to kill you until you tell me everything.”


The Cathedral
Kar Alabrek

He walked down the corridors that burned in his mind’s eye, his hands held behind his back. Trying to ignore the dust and graffiti that marred the stonework, the carvings from antiquity. The library, the place where he spent so much time after finding the Brotherhood, the place where he toiled for years to repair, now laid all but empty. The dark wood now ash grey from years of disuse, the wrought iron rusting to bits. The torn pages of what tomes were left behind in their retreat from Alabrek scattered among the floor, laying among half molded junk food packages and torn bits from the old chairs. He walked, the clouds of dust and debris that floated up with each step punctuating his movement deeper into the hold.

This was his home for many years. It hurt him to see it this way.

The sounds of construction occasionally echoed through the walls, working their way down through the labyrinth of corridors to crack the maddening silence. He paused for a moment, black eyes sliding shut as he felt along the edges of this world, past the obvious. He could feel them. The young Inyri beating down a Trandoshan in the dark, her heart racing. Bentre taking the time to educate a young man about why it is impolite to point blasters at strangers. Even deep in the ruins, he felt Armad, working his way up the food chain of parasite lords to root out the rot in the city. Ashia crept through the vaults, seeking out the last of the holdouts, the unfortunate souls who squatted in this ancient hold, the energies of the place corrupting their mind and flesh. He felt Ophelia rankling under his command, watching the perimeter hungrily, hoping, wishing that something would try to attack the work crews as they replaced the roof of the cathedral, hoping she would get to them before the Nihilgenia did.

Years of wreckage did not go away without the expenditure of sweat and blood. Muz turned, pacing himself back toward the surface. There was much to do, and he could not do it alone. The house could not do it alone, nor could the clan. He picked his way through the halls, their layout burned into his memory from a thousand journeys, making his way back toward the grand foyer. His appointment would be arriving soon.

The commlink in his arm chirped, Blackwind’s accent echoing through the hallway between his bootfalls. They had arrived a little early, he had already notified his bloodthirsty Aedile. Muz nodded at the information, keeping his measured stride as he cleared the final doorframe, the great and enchanted doors of wroshyr wood long since broken off of their hinges and battered about by thugs looking for a bit of sport.

They stood in the foyer, their suits clean and pressed, fine linens from the core worlds clashing with the hard helmets of the construction crews. Muz made his way down the stairwell toward them, his eyes locked on them, reading them as they watched him. They knew who he was, he knew what they were.

Ophelia lurked in a far corner, her face obscured by the shadow of a hood. He could feel her anxiety, her displeasure as he beckoned her forward. She was going to have to learn, one way or the other. Riku moved between him and her, honed instincts picking up on her barely chained malice. Muz looked at him for a moment, his mind replaying the last dozen years or so, since the man had served his family at the castle on Kyataru. He looked back at the visitors, banishing memory to where it belonged.

“Chairmen, Welcome back to Kar Alabrek.”

They nodded at the Lion, their demeanor like predators without teeth. These were men used to getting what they wanted, regardless of the price. Muz smiled at them, the dull glint of teeth making them a touch uneasy.

“It has been several years, Lord Keibatsu.” One of them spoke, the others nodding. “We have your assurances that we will not have another incident like we had in the past?”

Muz looked at him for a moment before responding. “Our arrangement is different this time.”

one of the suits reached out with a datapad, symbol of their organization flashing on the screen briefly before the terms of their reinvestment, the concessions that they requested poured across the datastream. Muz nodded at the object, Riku reaching out and taking it from him.

“I am sure that your counsel will find the terms agreeable. I assume that you already received the plans for the new buildings?”

Muz nodded at them. “How soon can you begin?”

They smiled at each other, then looked back at the grand master. “Immediately, Lord Keibatsu, immediately.”

Muz nodded, opening the panel on his arm, the holoprojector showing the plans for the new building, the modifications to the Kar Alabrek skyline coming together nicely.

He turned to leave as one of them reached out his hand to seal the deal. Muz paused, then shook his hand.

“As always, Dlarit thanks you for your support.”


Ragnos Cathedral, On Way to the Warroom.

She stood nearby, just over his shoulder and like once before he felt her. In some strange way, he knew she was there. She felt flustered, amused…in love. At least he thought that was the last feeling as it’s what he felt as well. He looked over his shoulder, feeling the vestiges of that feeling vanish as he locked eyes with her. The warrior in black and purple.

“Stop staring at me Riku, I can’t see what your eyes are looking at behind that visor but if you are eyeing me up again,” Frey’jah smirked behind her helm as she watched the Commander, her Commander, walk down the corridor before her. “Well, we’ll need to see how the next ten minutes go before I finish that sentence.”

Both expressions changed, both minds returned to the job at hand. What had to come. They neared a junction and as they turned to the left towards the war room they took in the sight of two Nihilgenia flanking either side of the door. They slammed their fists to their chests in salute, opening the doors and allowing the two to enter without a word.

All eyes looked up from their respective tasks. All voices silenced and then resumed what they needed to do. Riku scanned the room taking in the sight of the local army commander, a navy lieutenant, several aids as well as a half dozen Warhost guards and Darkhawk. Apart from the initial glance, no one said anything to the new arrivals. It took another two minutes before Riku decided to clear his throat and drew the attention of the room once more to him and his companion.

“Yes, Commander Amahara? Is there something we can assist you with?” The army commander looked up. Riku knew him, he had already shut him down once before and he was looking forward to what was to come. “Well, Commander? Did you come to be useful, or just stand around like the idiot you are attempting to intimidate us again, you and that…woman?”

The clone sighed. Oh, he was going to enjoy this, aspects of this. He raised a hand and clicked a button on the command console. The doors to the room threw themselves open and a squad of armed Nihilgenia entered armed. The warhost looked confused and looked to the army commander for their orders. Likewise, the army commander turned to who he assumed to be the ranking officer in the room, Darkhawk. The Sith rose and attempted to take several steps towards Riku and Frey’jah.

“What is the meaning of this?” He began, attempting to take one more step towards the Commander until three of the Nihilgenia rounded and aimed their rifles directly at the Sith. “Lower your weapons, or I’ll cut you all down,” he growled.

“I shall not,” the tone was direct. Controlling and yet there was no emotion to it. The directness caught Darkhawk mid-sentence. “We have a situation and if you will all shut up, we shall deal with it.”

The Nihilgenia moved forward, surrounding the army officer and cutting him off from his men. He looked to each expressionless helmet, in turn, confused and his hand quivered above the butt of his pistol. “What is the meaning of this? Answer Amahara or Darth Ashen shall have your head. My commander will ensure you are dealt with accordingly.”

The first shot echoed around the room, taking the Major through the hand that rested above his pistol. The second struck him in the knee dropping him to one. Most of the eyes turned to the drawn pistol. Frey’jah stood, blaster in her hand. She hadn’t moved but the draw had been so sublime those who attempted to watch the technique swore it too fast to follow.

“Traitor!” The click hiss of a saber filled the room and Darkhawk stood glowering. Attempting to raise himself to his full height. The Nihilgenia covering him inched closer. “I will have your head traitor! You and that wench!”

“Hold your tongue. This is your Siths doing,” Riku rounded on the man for barely a second, paying him no more attention as he fixed his visored gaze back upon the major.

“The Sith? What Sith?” Darkhawk attempted to interject, just as an image of Ophelia flickered onto the screen. “Wait…the Aedile? But she is no Sith” Riku looked away from him back towards the wounded man.

“Once a Sith, always a Sith. Anyway, Major Cromwell you have been found guilty of high treason. Your data records of the last two years show constant bribes taken in from several known criminal elements. Holorecordings, letters, data trails and what appears to be quite large sums of credits. You are quite…pathetic at covering your trails. It’s no wonder you never truly attempted to take back Tarthos from this scum,” the major whimpered and attempted to push himself away from the group.

“Lies! There is no evidence to this. This is clearly an attempted coup by these freaks. This is,” he went pale as data began appearing in front of them all. Flashing on the holodisplay in the center of the room.

Riku thumbed the information through the different channels and lay his datapad back on the table. “It’s because of these crimes we have lost men, resources, time and the ability to have somewhere to call home. It’s because of you the next stage of this undertaking must be so harsh,” he sighed and turned to one of the Nihilgenia. “About an hour ago a general call was put out for all decent citizens to evacuate segments five through twelve. These areas are heavily infested by rogue forces and were set for demolition. Miss Lok here,” he indicated Frey’jah. “And her Clan have kindly agreed to assist us in removing this threat. If you will observe the view screens.

They did so. They turned all at once. Some moved towards the windows, some hung back and peered over. Riku indicated the area they were to look but they didn’t need his help. Black dots appeared to form in the sky before them all and begin to descend towards the city. The black dots grew larger and what appeared to be ships formed from the dots. The ships broke off from one another and then seemed to simply float along. Then it happened, areas they passed over began to glow. Brighter, brighter and then they saw the flames.

“You’ve set the sectors on fire? What madness is this?” The major painfully turned and stared. He came face to face with Frey’jah’s blaster which echoed once more. The Mandalorian giggled behind her helm and kicked the dead man away from her. Riku clicked his fingers and she returned to his side.

“Everything must burn for it to be reborn from the ashes. Everything grows anew from the destruction. This is the fault of corruption, and so the fire will claim all,” the Commander turned on his heel and began to leave the room. “As it stands, Muz Ashen has declared Ophelia Delacroix forfeit and a traitor for assisting the major in his plans. I am acting Aedile and Commander of this operation, under Darth Ashen,” he turned just as he left and eyed the sith. “I will burn this whole city to the ground to ensure the corruption of this sector is eradicated. Everything must be done for the greater good.”

With that he stepped away once more, the Nihilgenia departed after him and the doors to the war room slammed shut. Those in the room stared out of the windows and watched Kar Albreck burn.”


Observation Tower, High above Kar Alabrek

The moonlight accentuated the cityscape, a cold contrast to the fires that burned in the distance, cleansing the filth from one of the more replaceable sectors. Outside the observation tower, a lonely silhouette perched, nonchalantly taking in the substance of the city’s soul. The moon hung over the city so close, one could almost reach out and touch its beauty. The cool crisp air of the seasonal change cleared the mind of the shadowy visitor. For the past few weeks, this was home, in every loose essence of the word. The lone Sadowan seemed to be in a trance-like state as he scanned the city.

The fires on the cityscape were not the only fires burning at the moment. The fire within the lone black clad Warrior was burning as furious as the fires his eyes were focused on.

“How could I could I miss that the mole was Major Cromwell…?”

The frustration and confusion swelled inside the Equite like the tsunamis on Kamino. His feelings crashed against him like waves crashing against rocks. His emotions were getting the better of him, the young Sith had to get them under control. There was no place now for any type of berserker rage filled incidents. The Warrior sat legs crossed, breathing in the crisp air of the city. The smell of the fires were present, but for a moment he focused on the closest fire. Watching it dance, its movements with the wind. A waltz with reality, slow quick seamless steps, then building to the beautiful full movements of the dance. His heart slowed, his breathing deepened, the Dark Side of the Force engulfing its practitioner, then a moment of pure unadulterated silence. The dance of the fire and the crisp air have become the vessel for the young Warrior’s walk to totality.

DarkHawk seemed to like this time of the seasonal pattern. Better than the hot sticky summers of certain planets, or worse the jungle humidity. Of course leading up to coming to Kar Alabrek, there were those couple of missions that took him to frozen tundra’s. But now, now it’s different. The whole city was his playground. His master gave him an open pass to wreak havoc to the city’s underworld. Muz knew of a mole and tasked the young Equite to exposing them to the surface.

Since the mission to clean up the city was taken up by the brotherhood, especially DarkHawk’s marching orders, he has run into one false lead after another. Supplies were being hijacked, supplies and weapons were being distributed through the gangs and used against the Brotherhood and the War Host. DarkHawk had two suspects in confinement and has directly routed all supply and shipping orders to run directly through him bypassing all security protocols. No one has even bothered to mention it yet.

Before the Warrior could prepare to interrogate the two suspects, an attempt on Augur Sonjie’s life had his full attention. Whoever was behind the mystery of hijacking the Brotherhood’s supply train, was spending some serious coin to try and eliminate high-ranking members throughout. We had scientists running maniacally throughout the city trying to escape. One of them was definitely in league with our would be mole, the virus plaguing the city has been engineered no question about it. That DarkHawk knew for a fact.

Earlier, DarkHawk had sighted, stopped and placed a tracking device on Councilman’s Vangor’s aide. He had another in custody as well that the councilman’s aide was passing information too. DarkHawk intercepted the two at the shipping docks where two of the Brotherhood’s supply train shuttles were to be unloaded. He encountered a few mid-level thugs and handled them decisively. But the sheer smugness of the act, until DarkHawk interfered they moved as if they had no worries of being caught. Almost as if they were being….protected.

Now, just a few hours after the Warrior had stopped three highly skilled and notable mercenaries, he was still nowhere near closer to exposing his mole. Ensign Kelly who had been assigned to Level Nine, had been monitoring all forms of communications between the War Host, Brotherhood, and Shipping manifests. DarkHawk had the last shuttles vector off their scheduled docking for unloading. He gave them secondary LZ coordinates and had Ensign Kelly broadcast those directly to the shuttle crew. Then as a precautionary measure, the Equite had direct contact with both shuttle crews and instructed them to stay on normal flight patterns around the city until they heard from him.

Kelly managed to find one transmission from an open terminal regarding the shuttle parameters. At the moment, the eager Ensign was hacking away at multiple terminals inside the command center trying to narrow the search down. Now, perplexed at the evidence in front of him, DarkHawk scanning the city, meticulously going over the past few weeks events trying to connect the dots.

As he took in the cityscape’s magnificent views, it seemed to melt into the dance of fires which burned within itself. He was deep in trance, now standing on the handrail of the observation tower. He stood stoic as if he was constructed in that very spot. The prevailing winds blew harder at that altitude, the air was thin and crisp. The building moving every so slightly with the winds. The large Shaevalian never faltered from his perch. Meditating now, the full embrace between Sith and the Dark Side Force. The Warrior interlocked his fingers together in the ancient channeling of Kuji-In, desperately searching for answers and overlooked clues.

DarkHawk heard the whipping of a cloak as he mentally went over his clues. He allowed himself to break reigns of his meditation, “Master” he said bowing. Master Muz stood alongside his young Warrior, balancing the same railing with gymnast precision.

“Your visions are getting stronger” The Lion spoke staring at the vastness of his city.

DarkHawk just looked at the Dark Lord, a rhetorical statement, though the words resonated within him.
“Master, I am overlooking something I know it. I should already have pinpointed the operative, everything has been painstakingly placed in front of me, which directs me to a setup.”

Muz continued to look out to the city. His arms rested on his back, the fires of the city gleamed across the Dark Lord’s dark visor. The Lion looked down at his devoted neophyte, then looked back over his city.

“Look forward.”

Muz simply dropped to the catwalk without a sound and vanished into the night. The young Warrior still perplexed at his Master’s words, The Dark Lord seemed to vanish into the night like the throwing of sand into the mighty wind. DarkHawk went back into meditation, concentrating on his Master’s wise words. He let the moments of the past few week’s play through his thoughts, trying to analyze every detail. What seemed to be an eternity was merely moments of time. He came out of his meditation with a deep breath.

“I have a prisoner to interrogate.” he said gritting through his teeth.

Level Nine
Beneath Kar Alabrek

The smell of blaster fire and smoke was pungent even in the turbolift. The Warrior readied himself, the doors whisked open and there was Ensign Kelly, blaster rifle slung over his shoulders. Smoke filled the command center, sparks flew from data banks and computer terminals. Command Sergeant Krill was barking orders at his Rangers making sure there were no stragglers within the headquarters.

“What the hell happened here Kelly?” exclaimed the Warrior

“Sir, quick ambush while you were away Sir” replied Kelly

A puzzled look came across the Equite’s face, bewildered and almost taken back, how could this happen?

Sergeant Krill made his way to Kelly and DarkHawk. “Sir, we have identified the aggressors, seems they have the markings of the renegade soldiers we been pursuing all these weeks. A mall strike team, but heavily armed. We suffered only minor injuries, they, on the other hand, have no survivors.”

The Warrior walked over to the closest of the fallen. Studying the corps, analyzing movement patterns to where they came into headquarters area and where they fell. They had a working knowledge of the layout. They knew how to maneuver through the corridors and get to HQ.

“But how, where did they get this intel?” he thought. “Cromwell…”

“Sir?” asked Ensign Kelly

“The Nihilgenia, just apprehended Major Cromwell and charged with treason for being the War Host’s Mole. He had to know we are to him, the fires and the assault here had to be his contingency plan.”

Just then Ensign Kelly’s terminal starting emanating squawk’s and beeps, Kelly reached for his COMM headset, his eyes widened as the muffled sound of a transmission was breaking through.

“What” asked DarkHawk

“Sir, the remaining shuttles are under attack at their location.”

This changed everything, and now the enemy had made its first assault on HQ.

“They had to of known it was a suicide mission, or was the assault on Level Nine a rouse?”

Nonetheless, they were given the intel, and that infuriated the Equite. DarkHawk stood up and took another look around. He handed a small data chip to Ensign Kelly, and tightly squeezed the Ensign’s hand as they made the exchange.

“Sergeant Krill, get your Rangers, ready full assault, we are ending this tonight”

“Copy that Sir!” Krill performed an about face and started barking orders at his Rangers. DarkHawk turned to Kelly, he could see the astonishment in the Ensign’s eyes.

“Take us off the grid Ensign, completely,” he said explicitly.

“Start the process of sealing the tunnels and make sure Sergeant Krill is up to speed so that his Rangers can provide support during the tunnel construction.”

“Copy that Sir!”

“And Kelly, this stay between us, understood?”

“Loud and Clear Sir!”

Holding Cell
Level Nine

The dim lights of the holding cell flickered, Councilman Vangor’s aide sat in the corner of the cell with his head buried in his knees. He looked up as the lights continued to flicker. Seemingly as quick as the lights went out and re-engaged DarkHawk stood in front of the aide’s cell. The young man screamed and tried to crawl up the wall in a wasted attempt to escape.

“Seems I underestimated you, I will not make that mistake again…


Grand Foyer
The Cathedral
Kar Alabrek

The Gala was in full swing. Corporate suits, rich socialites, warhost generals, and yet others. They stood in the impressive hall, the fine string orchestra playing a lilting melody that seemed to carry behind the various conversations. Well appointed wait-staff made their way through the crowd as they lingered at the display cases, offering flutes of wine, small bites to eat. As far as they knew, this Museum was a cultural heritage site, filled with curiosities and priceless relics from an earlier age. The research facility and military base surrounding it were hardly of notice to them.

The majority of the attendants did not know who Locke was, or even heard the name Bentre. Yet there they were, doing their best to be sociable, trying to mingle, and restrain themselves from doing something that would tip their hand. Muz had felt rather strongly about the Summit being in attendance, and Sanguinius chuckled a bit as he watched from behind a display of K’hamer’an artifacts, eyes locked on Locke awkwardly speaking with an older couple in fine clothes that would not stop talking to him. It was a bit of welcome amusement, in contrast to the past few days. Then Sang felt him before he saw him approach, a dirge playing in his mind as he felt him grow nearer.

“Enjoying the party?” The Lion murmured, his voice low and still somehow threatening.

Sang narrowed his eyes, swallowing his anxiety behind a wall of calm. “Of course. Why wouldn’t I?”

Muz nodded at him, lifting a pair of glasses from a passing waiter’s tray, offering one to the Proconsul.

“There has been a lot of progress, in Kar Alabrek…” He almost finished with ‘My Lord’ out of habitual respect, but caught himself. Now was not the place. “Construction seems to be going well.”

Muz nodded. The Dlarit Investment Group had their skyscraper well underway, while his ‘Coil’ Facility was competing with it for height, both set to nearly scrape the upper reaches of the shield that covered the city. A new Starport was in process, and the groundbreaking on a new medical facility was scheduled for next week. The fires in the black sector still burned, though, and it would take more work to clear out the hive of scum that had accumulated in the undercity. “Yet still…” The words slipped from his mouth.

“Hrm?” Sang looked at him, an eyebrow peaked.

Muz watched him for a moment, then walked away without answer, making his way up the steps of the Grand Foyer, maneuvering between executives and dilettantes. Riku stood at the top, seemingly still uncomfortable in the dress uniform. He moved to his side, pressing his mind to look in the direction he sought. The SolWat executives had arrived. Riku sneered, recalling the history of how the parasites had taken over the public utilities when the house evacuated. There were entire sectors without power, without shielding. The bitterness of the Tarthos winter had claimed half a thousand lives last year due to their greed, their malfeasance. And they had no idea how to even estimate how many lives were lost for lack of power, of water, of food. Not all criminals wore gang colors and carried blasters, Riku thought.

“It’s good that they are here.” Muz’s words steadied the man. “Shows that they are curious.” He paused, watching them work their way into the crowd. Muz turned, clapping a hand on Riku’s shoulder before turning away.

He didn’t give the order.

He didn’t need to.

Sublevel 6
The Cathedral
Kar Alabrek

The man was soft, Riku thought to himself as he watched DarkHawk peel the SolWat Exec’s fingernails back from the fleshy beds of his fingers. Blood dripped down, covering his hands. Those hands that had never seen an honest day’s labor. Never saw a moment of actual life. DarkHawk was enjoying his role, the gruffness of his voice bellowing questions into his face with such force it seemed that the soundwaves themselves were shaking the man to his core as he wept.

“How dare you, in my city?” It was a good thing this chamber was sealed and soundproofed, the rolls of insulation left over still sitting in the corner. “How much did you make from this? Was it worth this price?”

Riku watched as DarkHawk stepped back, moving behind the man to retrieve something more persuasive. He stepped toward the man, a gleam in his eye. “I can make him stop, you know.” Eyes raised immediately, tears flowing freely now. “Just tell me where she is.”

He didn’t need to tell him who. He had to know. Someone was feeding them information, and he was sure it was her. She had gone silent, missing since he pieced it together. Ophelia had ratted them all out, sold them to the highest bidder for a chance at power, a bit of fleeting revenge. He would have none of it. Especially since…

“She’s at the SolWat penthouse. Seventh sector. Access code 6472hi2b3.”

Well, that was easy. Only five minutes down here, and this spoiled rich scum had already broken. Riku smiled at him, then gave a half salute before turning around, heading for the door. DarkHawk smiled, presenting a white-hot iron prod mere inches from his face.

“Wait!” He huffed. “You said…”

“I said I can make him stop. I never said that I would.” Riku looked back over his shoulder at the man. “You deserve every bit that he does to you.” Riku let the door slide closed behind him, letting the cool air of the ancient hall envelop him, refreshing him. “And then some.”

He made his way through the corridors, empty display cases waiting to be filled and set on display, crates of sawdust and packing material, bits of ancient history slumbering within. He stopped for a moment, his eyes falling upon a dim cube as he lost himself in thought. The etching in the dark metal was marred by carbon scoring, the crystal matrices damaged. He paused for a moment, confused as to what the holocron was doing in this section, surrounded by replicas of hunter-gatherer tribal statuettes. It was symbolic to him, a stranger in a strange land, moreso for his inevitable return to the gala upstairs. He sighed as he entered the turbolift, shaking his shoulders as if he was adjusting his skin.

It was time to go on stage again.


Level Nine

Ensign Kelly just stood in front of the holding cell, the crime scene left a hollow pit in his stomach. He had never seen anything like this before. He watched the Warrior tear the councilman’s aide to shreds in his interrogation session. Though the Warrior extracted the information he was looking for, it seemed he enjoyed what he was doing to the man. All this time, the months of covert work they have done, Kelly never seen the Warrior like this before. He was changing. The holding cell was riddled with blood and body parts. Kelly was none the less beside himself.

The rains washed the blood from the warrior’s body. He stood on the ledge once again looking over the city of Tarthos. His black combat uniform looked as if it had been dyed in red. He stared at his gloves, his talons still exposed and dripping with fresh blood. He looked to the night sky and embraced the rain as it fell upon his face. The hatred was growing inside him, fueling him. It felt like an untamed beast that had been caged and now finally free. He debated on whether to learn to control it, or let it consume him. Becoming the feral beast, or a more calculated killer. Both aspects of what his life could develop towards pleased the young Equite.

A communications hail beckoned in his ear piece. The Warrior simply ignored the hail and dove off the building into the night. Once again he let himself be devoured by the night. The winds raced past him, the echoes of its song boomed in his ears. As many times as he has done this, it cleansed him washing away his internal fears, strengthening his very being. His body piercing through the night and cutting rapidly towards the streets below. His body streamlined into a bullet. Faster and faster he cut through the night.

Closer and closer the streets approached, the Warrior ignored his own internal safety precautions allowing himself to dive faster. The readings on his heads up display in his cowl were flashing. He should have deployed his wings way earlier than this. He raced passed the building he once stood on, lights from random offices blinked in his eyes, closer he approached the streets below. So close that now he was having to adjust his body posture to maneuver in and out of oncoming traffic. One such was too close for comfort as the Equite felt the bumper of the sky cab brush across his thighs. The cabby himself swerved from astonishment of what just bolted in front of his cab. A few mere seconds later the Equite hit a button on one of his gauntlets and his wings expanded from his wing pack and the rabbit became the tortoise. His wings caught the night air and slowed his descent. Though, not stopping his rapid fall, he squeezed his hand grips and summoned all his strength pulling on his wings trying to use his dive speed to pull himself into a climb. He strained with the motion, screaming against the fight of gravity and finally was able to pull himself into a slow climb.

He gasped for air as he pulled himself up into the night air. His dive placed him in the middle of traffic, with subtle movements of his body he weaved himself in and out of traffic. His feet smashed against the windshield of an oncoming vehicle. He turned himself perpendicular and made an aggressive right bank around a building and out of traffic, positioning himself directly into another climb. He gained his composure from the dive and brought himself into a steady climb. What once was a runaway bullet as he dove, he soared gracefully to the roof of another building.

Before his feet touched the ground he hit the button on his gauntlet and his wings retracted into his into his wing pack. His momentum carrying him forward he went directly into a roll and then snapped to his feet into a mild walk. He continued his cadence to the edge of the building. Then he answered the communications hail.

“This is DarkHawk”

“Sir, this is Ensign Kelly, you left abruptly are you ok? Command Sergeant Krill has his team ready.”

“I’m fine, I don’t need a nurse maid, have Krill stand by for my call.”

There was a long pause, Kelly’s face was blank as he stared at his terminal monitors, “Copy Sir.”

The information he extracted from the councilman’s aide was just what he had expected. The lieutenant he was tracking from the Black Orchid Triad was the key. Seems the Major was in an accord with their figurehead, and the councilman was his estranged nephew. That’s where the connection was, the major was feeding his nephew the intel and then his aide would pass it on to the triad lieutenant. Now it’s time to pay the triad a little visit and dismantle it publicly.

The tracker he placed on the lieutenant was still active and Kelly traced it to an apartment building.

A concubine more than likely…” he thought

DarkHawk leapt from building to building until he positioned himself directly in front of the coordinates he was given. He scanned the scene, his prey was smart. He had placed his men at all four corners of the building. Little did they know he would not be making ground entrance to the building.

“Kelly, give me a tactical readout of the floor he is on, full read out.”

“Looks like our boy is on the twelfth floor, East side, corner loft, not bad if I say so myself.”

“Spare me your opinion Ensign, give me the data.”

“Yes Sir, data on your way now.”

A layout of the building schematics came into the Warrior’s HUD, he could see three men positioned outside the loft. When the moment called for it, he would make his presence very known. He switched his cowl’s vision to infrared and he make out what was going on in the loft. Just as suspected, it was one of his more than likely many concubines. The lieutenant made his way from the bedroom to the bathroom. He watched him put on his robe and walk into the living room. He leaned against the glass and watched over the city.

“Now or never…”

DarkHawk took a few steps back and focused, he launched himself off the building and targeted the man standing in front of the window. The black clad figure once again cut through the night. The separation between buildings was just a few meters, and the Warrior was two floors above his target. At the midpoint DarkHawk extended his wings slowing his descent. The lieutenant was basking in his nightly accomplishment, admiring the view of the cityscape. A shadow overcame his view as he looked up, his eyes widened as he could faintly make out the silhouette of a figure crashing down upon him.

DarkHawk aimed his heels directly at the torso of his prey. The Warrior crashed through the bay window and planted his heels directly into the chest of his prey’s torso. He rolled with is momentum closing his gap between him and the front door. The crash alerted the guards outside the loft and they came barging in the front door blasters ready. Three throwing knives met the men as they entered and the force of the blow collapsed them on top of one another between the doorway and the hall they were standing in. DarkHawk picked up the lieutenant and slung him over his shoulder. A woman came out of the bedroom screaming, the Warrior turned his head over his shoulder, the woman just screamed and slammed the door.

The Warrior stood at the broken window, the wind howled through the loft. The Equite pulled his whipcord thrower and launched it out into the night. With one arm around his captive, he swung himself into the night and back onto the building he started his excursion from. He was out of sight by the time the remaining guards made it up to the loft.

Kar Alabrek
Warehouse District

The lieutenant came to from his “forced” nap. When he could focus his eyes panic set in. He started to scream, but could not as the muzzle over his mouth prevented it. He came too only to find himself completely tied up and suspended over the city some twelve stories up. He tried to gain his bearings, panic had already set in. He could not make out the contraption he was secured to. Though it looked like a rude elementary crane boom with cables that were dangling him over the city. Sweat poured into his eyes from his forehead, his heart raced, fear had consumed him…

“How’s the view,” a snarled voice asked.

The lieutenant throughout his initial panic never realized he had an earpiece in his ear.

“I figured you may like the view since you so enjoyed your views at the penthouse.”

DarkHawk watched the man covertly from the adjacent building. What he had in store was going to bring the Black Orchid Triad to its knees and end the interference of the Brotherhood’s supply chains in rebuilding Tarthos. The Equite had his prey positioned to where he could not get a good complete view around him other than his front row seat to the city below. He had tracked the Lieutenant back to this warehouse earlier in the mission. Seems he has been visiting this place two to three times a week, almost in conjunction of our supply trains.

Kar Alabrek
Warehouse District (Thirty Minutes Earlier)

While the lieutenant was “asleep”, the Equite made his rounds in his target warehouse. Ensign Kelly found it to be a front company for the Triad and it was underway of some major renovation. Seems now along with warehouse storage someone was going to be getting a nice couple floors of offices and one main executive office floor.

“Interesting”, the Warrior thought to himself.

There was construction debris all over the upper floors, from his first-hand observations, there appeared to be a lot of false walls. A torn remnants of a blueprint was laying across some broken sheetrock pieces. The only wording on the blueprint was Hamilton Safe Company stock number 437211-85.

DarkHawk hailed Ensign Kelly over COMM’s.

“Ensign, find out what you can on Hamilton Safe Company, stock number 437211-85”

“Copy Sir, Hamilton Safe Company, Owned by one Victor Cruz, that item number refers to one of their flagship safes, they are primarily used for banks, but this has military grade specs to it. Sir, it’s a beast of a safe, what are you on to?”

“Not sure yet”

“Why would a warehouse district storage facility need something of this stature?”

Along with all the construction debris, there was an abundance of rolls wire and welding rods, welding guns, bags of nails and nail guns. Nothing out of the ordinary, only to the layperson. He used the drywall spackle and rolls of welding rod on the ceiling above, he attached the welding rod ends to the energy source of the welding gun. Those are normally phosphorus rods, that will burn through the ceiling joists just fine. The Equite channeled his way through the construction and made his way up to the next level. It was more of the same except for one partially framed off the room was made into a makeshift office. Amongst the scattered papers over the desk, there was deciphered data of the Brotherhood’s supply chain times and drop off points.

“No doubt from the lieutenant handed to him by Major Cromwell.” The Warrior thought.

“But who is he giving it too?”

As he continued his investigation, all the other correspondence was just marked to or from “Q”.

“Q must be the Triad head, but who are you?” he thought

The Warrior pulled a small listening device from his utility belt and placed it under the desk and activated it. Just then he heard movement below. DarkHawk made his way back down one floor out the window and into the night. The whipcord thrower connected to the steel beams and the Warrior made his way to the adjacent rooftop with little effort. From there he watched as eight figures made their way to the top floor, where the Warrior was just investigating.

Kar Alabrek
Warehouse District (Current Time)

DarkHawk watched the figures move up to their lair. He could not make out all of them through his cowl’s heads-up-display. They kept one figure closely guarded and could only make out certain aspects of that individual. The Warrior slowly dialed in the correct frequency to his listening device. The voices were muffled but could make all their audibles. They were explaining their exit strategy, obviously after what happened at the loft apartment. Though they were still confused as to the how are what did the kidnapping to their lieutenant. A smile came across the Warrior’s face, they were about to find out within moments of what attacked the loft.

DarkHawk, placed himself at a relative opportune position on the adjacent roof. From his vantage point, he had the figures in the office and the tied up lieutenant directly in front of him. His timing had to be precise, he pulled his Nightsister’s bow from his wing pack, and with one click of a button, the collapsed bow unlocked and snapped into form.

“Lieutenant, I want to thank you for your service, but I must end our accord.”

The lieutenant viciously struggled to wiggle out of his tied up perch. His head could adjust enough to see the adjacent building and a black clad figure aiming something pinkish at him. DarkHawk took careful aim and launch the energy bow plasma arrow into the night, the arrow struck true and directly into the heart of the lieutenant. Simultaneously, another plasma arrow followed behind it and cut one of the cables suspending the lieutenant from his perch. Once he launched his second arrow he dove into the night towards the floor underneath were his new prey were stationed.

Once the line was cut, the corpse of the lieutenant went arching downward. The remaining cable went taut, the body went swinging towards a newly installed bay window. The lieutenant’s body crashed into the window and the shards of glass cut the cable crashing him into where the men were huddled around. DarkHawk had already hit the activation button to his wing pack and glided silently to the new construction area below. He could hear all the commotion going on above him. Time to act quickly…

Using his thermal vision readout in his cowl he could see the men hovering around the corpse of their lieutenant. The Warrior silently maneuvered himself to the welding guns he pre-positioned earlier, turned on the power and jammed the triggers. The welding rods arched and burned through the ceiling almost immediately. The overload from the welding guns caused the rods to explode with a horrendous BOOOOOM!

The Warrior tossed a flash grenade and a smoke grenade through his makeshift access panel. The two incendiary devices rolled and stopped next to the corpse there was a slight pause in the chatter as the men gazed in astonishment. Within seconds the room was filled with intense incandescent light and dense smoke. DarkHawk launched himself up through the opening, his thermal readings showed the men scurrying throughout the room. Except for one, one stood stoic by the stairwell, arms crossed simply watching what was about to take place. There he caught the movement of one scurrying down a back exit.

The Warrior started to make a move towards the fleeing suspect. But his attention was redirected to one of the somewhat incapacitated adversary’s slamming into him. DarkHawk reacted with a vicious front kick sending him crashing through a window plummeting to the surface below.

Personnel scattered like roaches as they tried to regain their own bearings. Two Rodians mercs came from the left flank and tackled the Equite. DarkHawk let his body go lim and went with the roll, mid way through the maneuver he was able to hook his arm around one Rodian’s neck and locked in the hold with his other free hand. As the roll commenced, DarkHawk shifted his weight towards the locked Rodian. When they hit the the floor, all the Equite’s bearing was on the Rodian, and then the momentum forced the three to roll. The combination of the Warrior’s weight and the momentum of the roll, the Rodian’s neck snapped like a twig.

Releasing his victim and allowing momentum to carry him to his feet the Warrior did not hesitate and landed a barrage of body blows to the second Rodian’s mid section. He followed it up with a devastating left cross that landed squarely to the right side of the reptile’s face, smashing him harsley to the floor. The Equite turned in instinct just a haymaker from a third attacker catching the Sith on the chin. He spun with the momentum of the blow and executed a spinning back fist. The blow caught the merc on the side of the head. The blow was direct and fierce, leaving him seeing double. The merc stumbled and incoherently threw a untargeted right jab at one of the two figures he was visualizing. DarkHawk ducked under the blow, locking his assailants arm to his shoulder and trapping it with his right arm. The Equite shifted his weight towards his assailant and grabbed the torso wit his free hand. Lifting with his legs and hips the Warrior suplexed the man face first into the floor.

Boom…Boom…Boom. The Sith’s heartbeat never missed. Slow, steady, embracing every second of what the rest of his body was enduring. Where light never once took refuge, darkness embraced its vessel of sanctuary…

The vibro-staff whizzed by his head, its power intense and cracked like thunder as its scathed by the Equite’s ear. He rolled with his movement and carried his momentum with a spinning back kick. What would have normally been a finishing blow to most, the kick just echoed on the metallic chin of the IG-100 battle droid. DarkHawk eye’s widened as the impact vibrated through his leg and up to his hip. The battle droid’s blank gaze upon the Warrior was merely a calculated algorithm moment through its core processor. With the Equite’s hand still firmly locked on the vibro staff, the droid swung the staff and launched the black clad figure across the room. DarkHawk’s body smashed against the wall imprinting his body into it.

The floor shook as the battle droid walked across it, closing the gap between itself and the fallen Sith. DarkHawk managed to get to his knees, then shook off the effects to his equilibrium and gain some composure. Just as he managed a stable footing, the vibro-staff made its way into his left side torso. Sending massive amounts of electrostatic shock throughout his body.

The pain was intense, radiating to his core. He had to break this hold. Without thought or tactical advantage, the Equite leaned his weight against the wall and executed a harsh sidekick to what would be the droids knee. The kick was harsh but effective. The blow carried through the target and the droid lost footing and fell to the floor. DarkHawk carried his momentum from the kick forward and spun around to his feet. Still, weary from the effects of the vibro-staff, the Sadowan had to eliminate the threat head on. The battle droid started making his way back to his feet. Though in this maneuver, the IG-100 did not calculate for what was going to happen next.

DarkHawk shook his head fighting off the effects. Rage filled his body and the Equite let that rage consume him. The IG-100 used the vibro-staff as a crutch to compensate for the busted knee joint. At the moment the droid’s weight was full bearing, the Equite caught the opportunity. DarkHawk slammed his heel in the middle of the staff and busted the weapon in two. The execution was precise and the Warrior continued his new assault. The droid continued to stand upright and DarkHawk placed his arms on the shoulders of the droid. Kicking off the floor, the Equite pushed himself into a handstand upon the shoulders of the droid. As he was fully upright, he spun around with gymnast precision simultaneously grabbing the droid by the head. He carried his momentum with the flip and pulling on the droid’s head he drove his legs into the back of the droid. The move drove both adversary’s forward into a wall. Sparks flew as the Warrior managed to pull the head completely out its socket and the droid slumped forward to the floor.

The Warrior stood over the fallen droid clutching his left side. That was just a moment of hesitation he was not prepared for…

Without hesitation two Rattataki warriors hit the distracted Sith. Once again he found himself soaring through the air at the expense of someone else. He slammed yet again into another wall. This time he sat up with his back to the wall. Two Rattataki stood poised at ready with swords in hand.

The claps came from behind the Rattataki, DarkHawk focused his blurred vision to see what or who was making such a gracious applaud. As his vision came to there, leaning up against the desk, was a large Shaevalian clapping as if just witnessed a grand opera.

“It occurs to me, that I told “Q” to eliminate you at the beginning of this entire endeavor. But regardless of my imprecation to my solicitation, “Q” disregarded those all together. Now here we are at a precipice. Risk being exposed by killing you, or killing you and risk being exposed. Either way, the matter is upside down. My two acquaintances here, they will undoubtedly carry out my orders without question…Kill him.”

The two Rattataki’s moved in on their prey, blades held in the overhead strike position. The Warrior still on the floor, reached in his utility belt and grabbed two bolos. As the sword wielders closed the gap between themselves and the fallen Warrior. The Warrior rolled to his feet and charged the Rattataki’s and as the came through with the sword cuts he dropped to his knees and slide under both blades. As he did he launched the bolos at the Shaevalian snaring him with his distractionary weapon. DarkHawk turned and faced the Rattataki’s and once again they came at him, both with downward sword strikes. DarkHawk used his gauntlets to block the strikes. The Rattataki’s knew not to strike simultaneously, so they continued to counter strike separately. Blow after blow DarkHawk managed to block the sword strikes. One Rattataki came in for a midsection left strike and the Warrior slid to his right extending the gap and gave a downward block to the strike. This brought the Rattataki off balance and DarkHawk kicked the Rattataki’s knee out from under him. The momentum of the move took the Rattataki’s body completely out of his control and the Warrior severed the move with a vicious left cross to the face, sailing the Rattatki’s head crashing to the floor.

The second Rattataki continued his onslaught, coming at the Warrior from behind. DarkHawk spun with a spinning back fist again catching the blade and blocking the surely deadly blow. This, however, a diversion as the Rattataki caught the Equite square in the chest with a hard front kick. Sailing the Equite backward the Rattataki was in hot pursuit to make the killing blow. The sword came down center mass and DarkHawk crossed his gauntlets locking the blades in the fins of his gauntlets. DarkHawk raked the Rattataki’s forearm with the sharp gauntlet fins and caught the shin of his attacker with a front kick of his own. The Rattataki fell forward losing the grip on his sword. The Equite rolled away from his falling adversary. Once on his back, the Warrior nipped up to his feet turned and leaped towards the Rattataki. DarkHawk caught the unarmed Rattataki with a scissor kick, catching one heel to the chest and the other to the back of the head. He continued the momentum grappling his legs in position and driving his body to the ground and locking in a choke hold around the Rattataki’s neck with his legs. The two slammed to the ground, dust and debris scattered from the impact. DarkHawk squeezed his legs firmly and cinched the hold in deeply. The Rattataki, struggling, managed to bite the calf of the Warrior in efforts to break the hold. DarkHawk screamed from his enemy’s reaction, then omitted the pain and firmly pressed in deeper, then rolling with his hips and snapped the neck of the Rattataki.

The Warrior kicked the dead Rattataki off his legs. Rolled to his feet only to discover he was the only one left in the room. The Shaevalian was nowhere to be seen and the bolos that entrapped him earlier were laying on the floor where his adversary once stood. DarkHawk smashed the desk with his fist, that blow was meant for one more. The rage was still flowing through the Equite, not yet barren from his quintessence. Only for a moment did he experience that embellished feeling. Then it was more than exaggerated pain once the blade pierced the Warrior’s shoulder. DarkHawk howled in pain, as the Shaevalian pulled the blade from the Warrior’s shoulder. Blood spewed onto the desk, the Warrior grabbed his shoulder and turned to see the Shaevalian holding a bladed spear.

The blade dripped reminiscences of the Warrior’s blood onto the floor. The rage was moving back into him like the high tides, unforgiving and relentless. The Dark Side had him now, his body a mere vessel for its movements. The two were married in one hostile force of passage conflict. Without even hesitation the Warrior, unsheathed his metallic quarter staffs and attack the Shaevalian. Left and right, low and high strikes the Warrior came at Shaevalian, and every time the Bladed Spear deflected the blows. The clanking of metal at such a high velocity almost caused a symphony of music to those with tone deaf ears. The shoulder burned and movement was somewhat limited as the Warrior made his way through each attack. Finally an opening, DarkHawk came in with his left strike and the Shaevalian came down with a cross block, which left DarkHawk’s right hand to strike freely across the chin of the Shaevalian. The large man stumbled backward towards the wall. The Warrior followed through with a skipping side kick catching his target directly in the chin. That dropped the Shaevalian to one knee and DarkHawk moved in for the kill.

Unexpectedly, the Shaevalian rose to his feet reaching with a wide head strike with the Bladed Spear. DarkHawk’s momentum was too strong and carried him directly toward the blow. He instinctively ducked under the blow and drifted himself towards the wall on a run and scaled the wall before pushing off into a backflip. Using the aid of The Force, the Equite spun with the flip and simultaneously unsheathed his saber. Landing directly behind his enemy, the Shaevalian turned in astonishment of the move, only to feel the burning sensation of a saber blade cut his left arm off. DarkHawk finalized the deed to his standing nemesis with a sweep kick taking the Shaevalian to the ground.

There the Warrior Stood over his prey, saber blade mere centimeters from the Shaevalian’s throat.

“Do your worst Sith, makes no difference whether I live or die, the gears are already too far in motion for you to stop.”

“WHO IS “Q!!”” the Warrior screamed.

The Shaevalian just laughed. This time DarkHawk moved over and put a boot heel to his enemy’s throat.

“WHO IS HE!!” he screamed.

Just then the roar of a transport pulled up adjacent to the smashed bay window the Warrior made earlier. The transport’s door opened and Riku Keibatsu and Master Muz exited. Sergeant Major Krill and his rangers were next to follow.

“Form a perimeter!” the Sergeant Major barked.

“Looks like you been busy,” Raider Keibatsu said sarcastically to his Warrior.

DarkHawk extinguished his saber and bowed to his masters. Master Muz put a hand on the shoulder of his gesturing disciple and motioned him to rise.

“Is this “Q”?” asked The Lion.

“No, my Master, I believe the one they call “Q” is still at large…” replied the Warrior.

Muz stared at the fallen Shaevalian and scene of battle around him, then back at his adherent.

“Your rage is growing, stronger, fiercer. Becoming…” Muz stopped in mid response. Nodded to his Equite turned and headed back to the shuttle.

Raider Keibatsu took over at that point and started barking clean up orders. Within minutes the quarrel that took place, left no evidence of its existence. The rangers finished up dragging bodies onto a secondary shuttle and roared into the night.

DarkHawk watched the shuttles jettison into the night from atop the building. The wind blew at his face, and then he launched himself into the night…


Ragnos Cathedral
Kal Alabrek

Bentre made his way through the labyrinth, the dark corridors and storage rooms coiled beneath the display rooms and research facilities of the rebuilt base. The museum was completed only a few weeks ago, the leftovers from the grand opening event were only just depleted. Bentre chuckled to himself, remembering that there was still an unopened bottle of the good wine still in his office. It was pilfered under the justification that he didn’t want to deal with the snobbery of such an event, regardless of the truth that the Kyataran spoke.

Nobody really looks at what is in front of them. The rebuilding of the City was all but complete, the result of months of protracted fighting and even longer rapid construction. The Cathedral was the jewel of the city, the pride of the ancient House, even as it lay hidden from the view of the population. The walls construction changed, going from reinforced wallboard and concrete to broad transparisteel. He was deep enough below the facility now that the reinforcement was superfluous. Eyes glossed over the researchers as they prodded at old relics with brushes and picks, as technicians scanned them with all manner of tools. It was quite the process, and a key part of the greater work now. The antiquities could be studied safely here. The more intense pieces could be researched, tested, fiddled with. 3d Printers and artisans would make copies for official display, and to hide in fake caches should an enemy clan decide to come make them theirs. The real items…well, Bentre had a thought as to where they were hidden, but it was better if he didn’t know. He’d seen some of the Inquisitorius’ art up close, and he had hoped to never be on the receiving end.

He stopped, turning to watch as a craftsman, garbed in an odd mixture of sterile labwear and the thick hide apron full of tools and singe marks hammered a final hinge pin home with a fine rawhide mallet. He reached out, letting his senses extend past his fingertips, his consciousness grazing the edges of the silver plates of the box. He let a smile creep up on his lips, as he let the name fall from them.

“Lord Keibatsu.” He turned to greet the Grand Master as he approached, dipping his head in a bow, careful to not let his eyes break contact.

He nodded back at the Rollmaster, his stride continuing on toward him as a metronome. “Enjoying?”

Bentre motioned with his head, his eyes directing toward the craftsman behind the glass. “Of course. Interesting work.” He paused there, leaving the comment to hang in the air.

Muz turned, heading back the way he came, the unspoken urge settling within Bentre to follow, not from the Force, but from curiosity. He took a few quick steps to catch up, then kept pace with the man. “I am led to believe that…” He paused, considering his next word wisely, “…we… have a new prize to claim?”

Muz kept walking, a quick nod his only response. Bentre dissected it in his mind, playing out all of the various angles, all of the potential boons and threats of following the man, of seeking what he sought. Bentre knew that the Lion was looking for something very specific, something important to his work, but he could not help but try to suss it out. The hall opened up, a round room with a large holodisplay in the center, the image of a Khaleeshi totem floating in hazy cerulean above the emitter. Muz stepped quickly to the side, fingers flickering between the command panels and calling up something different on the display.

It took Bentre a few seconds to recognize the terrain, the dust and the disintegrating statues.


Muz looked directly at him and nodded. He considered it. “There hasn’t been a good scan done of Moriband since…”

“Two years ago.” Muz finished the statement, before swiping his hands, the display zooming into a specific area, the fog of time showing something beneath those sands. Tunnels, corridors, tombs, antechambers. Artifacts from the graveworld of the Sith.

“What do you have?” He asked out loud, then immediately second guessed himself.

“Nothing.” Muz shook his head. “An idea. A part of a map, maybe hiding a key, maybe hiding something else. My data is incomplete.”

Bentre watched the man, his mind racing. Of course the data would be incomplete. The last time they were there, the Civil War had interrupted all of their plans. It would be easy enough to send a survey team, a few decent researchers, a couple of junior members to observe and secure it, should one of the other units come poking about. “I can have a team there in three days.”

Muz raised his eyes, making eye contact with the rollmaster. “Thank you.”

-13°9’47.31", -72°32’41.87"

The dust and sand swirled madly around them, beaten into a frothy mix of air and death by the repulsorlift engines of the dropship. Mactire had been the first off of the transport, bound for the ground, letting the Force cushion his fall. A quick circle of the landing zone, and he found himself a spot, leaning against his staff as he watched the ship descend. The maw of it widened, exposing the others, clanmate and mundane alike. It was an interesting premise, he had thought, when it was posed to him by Sang and the Rollmaster. To go to the ancient throneworld. He turned his head, the view of the mountains obscured by dust swirling thick around him. He had missed the brotherhood’s war here, never set foot in the old Sith Empire’s ashes. And yet, he was, on a babysitting mission. Guarding a bunch of mundy scientists should some fools come crawling by. As if there were often patrols past this dead rock.

DarkHawk sneered out at the brightness of it all. He would have much rather finished his campaign in his city, but the opportunity was too good to pass up. He danced along the edge of cruelty in his mind, civilization and feral playing tug of war with his emotions as he paced the edge of the open bay, watching the ground grow closer. Perhaps here he would find answers, a reason, something to tip the scales one way or the other in his head.

Lilith watched him as he stepped off, the dull thud of armored boot colliding with hard stone, the subtle crunch of dust being ground beneath his heel as he stepped forward. She smiled as she looked up, the outline of mountains barely visible as the crew started to push the equipment out onto the sand. “It’s beautiful, in a sad way. What do you think?” she turned, setting her bright goldengreen eyes on Firith’rar.

“I think we’re all going to die here. Probably of boredom.” He muttered, hands subconsciously patting the sheathed vibroblade at his back. He dropped down from on top of the container he was sitting on, his boots clattering against the bulkhead as he made his way to the swirling sand, stopping to look at her. “But you’re here…” he turned away, letting his voice trail off.

She chuckled, watching him grow indistinct as he joined the others, crewmen setting up the tents and shelter walls, hardening under the electrical current to make a solid roof, to give them somewhere to hide from the sandstorms they knew would be coming eventually. The Twi’Lek stepped out, the maglev cart pushing the final crate of provisions and equipment from the bay, looking at Lilith as she motioned to the pilot to take off. Lilith popped off of her spot, letting the sand brush over her boots.

The Twi’Lek stared at her, watching her feet. It took her a moment, before she knew she was being watched, her eyes darting up quickly. “Well, are you going to help, or…?”

“Sorry Tasha…”

Temporary Research Station

“At least on Sepros, you have the bugs.” Firith kicked back a snort of Corellian whisky from a flask, looking at Tasha across the fire. “Here, dead silent.” He waved a hand at the world around them, the stars above. It had gotten cooler when the darkness settled, but the bitter cold hadn’t set in yet. It was the ‘summer’ season yet, and it wouldn’t get too dangerously cold.

“At least the machines are giving off a little ambient noise.” Lilith offered, smiling for no good reason except maybe to exasperate Firith.

“Yeah, great. Sonar thuds and the whine of gennys are just what I love to go to sleep to.” He shook his head, standing up and stepping off into the dark. “Need to see a man about a dog.”

“If you see one of the others, tell them the ration heater is cooling off.” Tasha called out before slumping backwards a bit, leaning herself up against one of the sonar mapping arrays that the scientists were sent there to operate. It was supposed to be a pretty easy assignment, a blue milk run. Go down to the planet for a few days, keep the creeps off of their scientists, escort them back. She blinked her eyes slowly, letting her eyes gaze past Lilith and over to the other camp, a few other journeymen and equites camped out on the other side of the ‘station’. She chuckled. It was a bunch of tents meant to keep the sand out of the expensive equipment, not some sort of awe-inspiring prefab base like the stormtroopers used to get. But still, a job was a job. She let the warmth and the throb from the mapper lull her further, like a mother’s heartbeat.

“Not today!” Tasha bolted straight to her feet, her weapon in her hand almost immediately, eyes blinking away sleep and sand, the bright star of the system blurring her vision. The razor hum of her blade caressed her ears like an old flame. They came into focus slowly, each of the others standing at the ready, weapons in hand.

“What the frell?” Firith snarled. “Where are they?”

Lilith breathed out deeply, looking around. “It must have been a dream.”

“They were grey?” Tasha sniffed, trying to shake it off, to settle her heartbeat back down. It was obviously a dream, but to all of them? It would have to be…

“More than that.” DarkHawk twisted the weapons back, sliding them into the scabbards on his back and legs. “Grey and brittle looking.” He looked at Firith, at Mactire. “I’m going to bet everyone had the same dream.”

“And what is that supposed to mean?” Lilith looked from the dark armor of the battleteam leader to the weathered form of Firith as he spun his blades in his hands.

“It mean that it might not be boredom that kills us.” Firith smiled.

Tasha froze, holding her breath for a moment. “Listen.”


“Exactly.” Tasha’s eyes went wide. “Nothing.”

Two Hours Later
Tarthos Orbit

“Prepare for the jump, Commander.” Riku barked the order easily, his mind taking inventory of the forces aboard the ship. “We are already behind schedule.”

“But sir, the order just came in.”

“That means we are late, son.” He shook his head, pinching the bridge of his nose as he gave the order to engage the hyperdrives. The signal was interrupted, the uplink from the Moriband expedition flickering and then evaporating completely about ten minutes ago. Lost contact was not unusual, but the order came from Muz himself. There was something quite wrong, and he didn’t want to show up late to that party.

The stars blurred into blue-grey mush as the ship bashed its way across the cosmos, barrelling toward the ancient throne. He stood there, arms clasped behind his back as he watched the warped space bend in front of him like oil on water.

“Coming out of hyperspace in ten, sir.”

“Good. Prepare my shuttle.” The dusty world slammed into view as the door closed behind him.

-13°9’47.31", -72°32’41.87"

Riku stepped out into the blinding sun, troopers and sensitives alike flowing out behind him. It was all he could muster on such short notice, but it would have to do.

There wasn’t much left. the dust had taken almost everything. There were half buried supply crates with the Sadow symbol still on them, and some scraps of cloth from the tents of the temporary base, but not much else. Yet something…

Riku moved quickly, past the remnants of a lean-to. The sand hadn’t taken everything, not yet. A chemical firelog still smoldered, a thin wisp of smoke rising from it as the wind tried to bury it in sand. Riku’s eyes narrowed as he pulled his helmet on. Something wasn’t right. The sounds of igniting lightsabers behind him reinforced the thought. The sensitives were feeling it, too. Riku smiled as his weapons filled his palms.

They crashed over them from out of nowhere. A tidal wave of faded armor and angry flesh, the screaming of accelerated plasma scorching everything around them.

“Contact!” The radio blew up in his ear. Bolts flew from his hand, catching one of the assailants in the chest, staggering it back, as dark eyes framed by a gray face grew more cruel, shaking off the wound and plowing forward. He stepped low, sinking a blade into the gap between chestplate and arm, his blade drinking in its life as he turned to focus on another, no time for idle thoughts like wondering where they came from, who they were. The important part was they were trying to kill him.

“Retribution to Aedile. We are seeing a LOT of life signs down there. Status report?”

He spun, a dervish on the field, clobbering another with the butt of his pistol and drawing him closer into his waiting blade, tearing it from him and slashing into another’s throat, feeling the sharp crashes of old blaster bolts marring the finish on his armor. It knocked a little wind out of him with each hit, but he pushed forward, silently bellowing with rage as he dove into a throng of them, the heavy report of his slugthrower muffled by his helmet, the reverb of blade against armor deadening the fine nerves in his fingertips.


He moved from one target to another, his mind trying to find efficiency, to find weakness. The slugthrower was only slowing them down, and some of the strikes from his blades barely did even that. The screams behind him made it worse, the sounds of journeymen getting overwhelmed a bright failure in his eyes. He bounded backward, a trail of gray viscera following his blade as he backed up, spread with a quick flourish. Hatred bloomed in his eyes, regarding the dead and nearly dead assailants in front of him. He casually raised his wrist and let his mm9 punctuate his thought for him. The eruption sent armor and flesh flying with a roar.

He looked beyond them, toward the horizon. There were more coming, hundreds, maybe thousands. His helmet magnified on a whisper, the swarm of gray pouring from the edge of the mountain. He stood up straight, pride swelling his chest as a smile crept up onto his face.

“Riku, Status?” Bentre’s voice pulled him back, or was it duty?

“Frelled.” Turning, he watched a few dozen more pin down a neophyte too foolish to seek cover, blaster bolts perforating shadow academy issued robes without hesitation. Riku sneered, leveling his other wrist at the swarm, the rocket screaming toward them.

“Fall back!” The order came through. Riku roared, letting his slugs tear through another one before slamming a fresh magazine into the weapon. He motioned to the others, the few who managed to survive the onslaught to retreat to the shuttle, the crack of his weapon shaking their teeth and rattling their senses.

Central Command
New Sadow Palace

“Do we know what they are?” Bentre stared at the holocomm, watching the armored figure of Riku from across the vastness of space.

“No.” He looked irritated, looking down at his armor. “Really hard to kill, though. They wore old armor. Not sure what from. Everything looked gray.”

“Gray?” Bentre repeated, eyes darting to Sanguinius and Locke, then back to the holo.

“Not sure how else to describe it. Like tired and old gray.” Riku shifted his helmet from one arm to the other. “What are we doing?”

Locke nodded at Bentre. Looking back at the holo, he continued. “I’ll coordinate the clan. We’re sending backup. Hold for now.”

Riku’s eyes narrowed at that, but duty took precedent, and he nodded, the holofeed cutting out. Bentre turned around, addressing the Consul and Proconsul directly. “They need a fair bit of reinforcements.”

Locke smiled. “Call everyone.”


It was dark as the grave, only a few feet away from their sabers. Firith snarled something about his flask being only half full as they found collected everyone they could. One minute, they were sitting around eating breakfast, the next the sand had swallowed them up. Lilith looked over at him and managed a weak smile, the fall having twisted her ankle a bit. She was working on it, but slowly. Tasha found two of the crew and Mactire, but there was no sign of DarkHawk or the other journeymen.

The tunnels were cramped, walking on sand that made the top of the corridors graze their heads, but at least it seemed somewhat stable. They had prodded the top of the outside cavern with sabers, with the Force, but nothing made it give way. It was a trap, and they were being forced to play now. Tasha hated that thought.

“So, what now?” She wasn’t sure who said that, Mactire or Firith.

“I imagine we take this tunnel as far as we can, try to make maps.” She dug around for her datapad, bringing up a note taking app so she could keep track of what they saw.

“Or we could stay put and wait for the cavalry to arrive.” Lilith chuckled.

“And what, let them blow the sand up with bombs to get us out of here?” Firith growled. “Do you know what happens when you burn sand?”

“I mean, Muz could…”

“Muz is probably dealing with some crazy bloody Sith monster or something, like usual.” Firith snapped back. “Besides, what good are we if we can’t take…” He looked at her, letting his eyes slide down to her ankle and quickly shut himself up.

“I hate to say it, but remember when it was quiet?” Mactire spoke, rather quietly.

“Yeah?” Tasha forced a little laugh.

“I wish we had that now.”

They all grew silent for a moment, their ears tuning themselves past the sabers and glowrods, into the dark. Skittering and scratching echoed quietly from deeper in the tunnels. The sounds of more weapons clearing holsters drowned it out in response as they saw the first set of eyes reflecting their saberlight in the distance.


(Note: Fictionally this is set before the above post, and after Darkhawks.)

City Outskirts

The flames licked the night sky and Riku stood back and let the warmth from the funeral pyre wash over him. He stood close enough that the flickering embers singed the tips of his beard and yet he refused to move from his spot. The rest had gone, departed some time before. The Clan had paid their respects but the Jörgue knew the path. They said their words and left the fire to burn. Taking everything Frey’jah had owned with them to be used in the future by the next warrior to take up the mantle or perhaps to strip down. Riku didn’t know, nor did he care.

He had handed his own armour back, a gift from her upon the start of his trials. It didn’t feel right to keep it and his interest in being a Mandalorian had faded along with his hopes for leading a family life, a life beyond soldiering. Riku eternally shrugged and waited until the fires had consumed the pyre completely and nothing but ashes remained. He wasn’t sure how to feel anymore. Sadness was beginning to consume him but he had been trained to keep emotions down. They were useless, unneeded. A waste of effort and time.

A small cough made him turn on his heel and as he did he took in the sight of an elderly warrior. A man dressed from head to foot in the colours of Jörgu stood before him and in his hands, he held a large box. The man stepped forward saying nothing, waited until Riku held out his hands and passed the box over. Riku knew the man but wasn’t the first to speak when the moment came.

“She left this for you. Was a present she hoped you could share…my daughter was odd. I knew this and you knew this. In fact, I think everyone knew this. She barely held onto the principles of our clan and some part of me fears you may have been the reason, or perhaps she was yours for straying from your path,” The great man’s expression soured at that thought. “Either way this is yours, I believe there is a holo-message to go with it for you to observe in private. Look after it, and ensure it doesn’t kill anyone accidentally.”

With that, he turned on his heel and simply left. Riku said nothing and looked down at the box yet he didn’t open it. Something purred from within softly and rustled about but the lid remained closed. The clone turned back to the fire and some part of him wanted to throw the box into the dying flames and watch it burn but something stayed his hand. Instead, once the fire had died out he returned to his chambers, put the box to one side and returned to his audience chamber.

He had the chamber constructed when the cathedral was being rebuilt. He had enjoyed planning it with Frey’jah. They were going to make it into the main living quarters but now it simply stood empty. A wooden chair and small table sat at one end of the room and that was it. It was supposed to be a home and now it was cold. Perhaps it would find a use one day, maybe it needed more. If it couldn’t be a home then it would find a use he was sure. Riku sat upon the small wooden chair and looked towards the far end of the hall, it wasn’t vast but there was enough depth that from where he sat he could receive guests without giving them access to the rest of his chambers. Yes perhaps he would turn it into a proper audience chamber, he would need a better chair, though. He shrugged outwardly this time, turned to the small table and picked up a pen and paper and began writing and didn’t stop till the night had passed and morning had already come.

32 Hours Later

He clung to the wall like some form of arachnid. The Wind blew around him and nearly ripped him from the wall twice but this was as it should be. This element of his job made him feel alive. The adrenaline pumped through his veins as he stared up and to his left. The windows above him were open but only just and he knew the next maneuver would be tricky, however, this had to be done.

Having tracked several coded signals back to their source after the latest batch of ambushes a strike team had been put together. One that would see the end of this war once and for all. Riku, however, had been assigned a different task, one that in the grand scheme of things made little difference to the war effort but it dealt with the information leak once and for all. He stretched out and in that moment his heart jumped and his feet followed. His body rose, a quick ignition from his pack lifted him the last few feet and he clung to the ledge of the window, shoved it open and pulled himself up and over the sill. Rolling as soon as he was through.

Blaster fire peppered the ground where he had been and as he came to stop next to a table he shoved it over creating a barrier between him and his assailant. More fire ripped across the room and his Westar slid into his hand with ease, priming the grenade launcher he rose and began to move. As he attempted to gain a bead on his foe something heavy struck him across the chest and ten thousand volts of electricity passed through him. As he dropped to the floor in agony he looked up to see the shrouded face of his opponent staring down at him. A familiar glint of metal caught by the light met his gaze.

“Kriffing traitor,” he managed to spit before his mouth clamped shut as another dosage and shock coursed through his body.

“Traitor? Hardly. I helped the war effort…in my own way,” the steely metallic noise that Ophelia called a voice met him. She stood over him, bo rifle in her hand, the tip hovering inches from his chest. “You could say I was doing Tarthos and myself a favour. I ensure the Nihilgenia are gotten rid off by those who held the city so we do not have disgusting clones running around again. Then as the syndicate’s leaders celebrate, well then I kill them. The enemy’s resolve crumbles, the warhost steps in and victory is ours.”

She giggled, an almost school girl sound escaped the broken lips and eerie mask of the woman. “Then, Muz will need to see my worth. Worth of being a Sith once more and he’ll give me the Force back! It’s an excellent plan, wouldn’t you agree?” She perched herself on his chest, leaning forward and peering into the visored lens of his helmet. “I mean look at you. You monsters are dressed like Stormtroopers. I’m sure you have ties to the Emperor or the those Scholae. Better off without you. Starting with you, Good byeor well perhaps not starting but I get to kill you personally.”

The Aedile raised her left hand, an elegant Inquisitorious stiletto caught the light but before the man woman could use it Riku lifted his hand. “Wa…wait. At least allow me one request.”

Ophelia stopped and stared at the man. A dark expression filled her features but she shrugged. “Fine, make it quick.”

He beckoned to her to move closer and with her knife primed to strike she did so. Nearing his face she tilted her head slightly to ensure she could his words. “Die scum.” was the only sound that escaped him and suddenly she felt the weight of something clamp to her chest through her robes.

Looking down Ophelia saw the shape of a rectangle clamped to her. She attempted to remove it but each attempt was futile and she glared at the soldier who had begun chuckling as he lay on the floor.

“What is this? Take it off!”

“Can’t, and wouldn’t if I could. That is one certified breach charge used for cutting through durasteel doors. Magnetic locks to hold it inGoodbye Ophelia.”

The woman roared at him, stroking towards him twice with the dagger. His armour holding little protection as she punctured his right left eye lens permanently removing what natural vision he had left. His body shook in pain as he swung up and knocked her from him. As she stumbled, he kicked out and sent her sprawling over the upturned table. A shriek followed as she hit the floor heavily and Riku maneuvered his way to one of the rooms open windows. In his curiosity, he looked over his shoulder just in time to see her rise from where she had fallen and lurch after him. Realizing he was out of time he closed his eyes and clicked the detonator switch he carried in his hand.

The room turned white and he felt himself being thrown from the room and falling. He collided with a wall across the street, hit a balcony and continued to fall the three stories. Pinballing his way down. Finally coming to a stop he looked up to see fire dance into the sky before the world turned black.

Riku’s Chambers
One Week Later

“I suggest not leaving boxes around unopened in future. If the cleaner hadn’t come by and heard the mewling, well we would never have known and the poor thing would have died,” one of Riku’s aides muttered as he fussed around the bedridden Aedile. “Though the poor thing is a strange term to use for a Nexu, even if it is a cub. I have no idea where she got it from but your late fiance surely was an odd one.”

The hackles on Riku’s neck raised but he said nothing to the last comment. He knew the man meant nothing by it and so he turned his head to the small bundle of fluff that lay on the bed. He knew what it was, but had no idea why Frey’jah had considered it a family pet…maybe she thought it was cute. She tended to do that. He smiled but the movement made him wince still.

“Any word on when they will be fitting the cyber-organic replacement to the right eye?” He asked the aide.

“No sir, they wish to let the damaged tissue heal before they go in due to the area. You were lucky the lenses of your helm stopped the majority of the blow. It was more the plastic then the blade itself that did the damage, few more inches and you wouldn’t be here. Now I must depart, more work to do. I’ll be back in an hour, oh and that message Miss Frey’jah left…well it’s in the player and the control is next to you as always my lord.”

With that, he departed the bedroom closing the door behind him. Riku lay down in the bed and stared at the ceiling for several minutes before reaching over, laying his hand upon the remote…but stopped before picking it up.

“Another time perhaps…another time,” he muttered to himself before turning away from the table and drifting off to sleep.”