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

Looking Home Campaign



Ft. Hammer Ptolomea,
Cocytus System

Troops of the Expeditionary Force once again filled the halls of the massive Fort Hammer, marching in step to their morning training regiments. They would have no real break from the Dark Crusade being waged by the Dark Jedi who commanded them. Yet for all their work training to prepare for the next conflict, two of their commanders were dealing with one that needed more than soldiers.

“What do you mean the rations are low? This planet produces more than enough for the entire military before export is allowed,” a hint of anger beneath the confused statement by Archangel.

"I’ve inquired with the Emperor, and demanded a resolution immediately,” a quick professional response came from Kell Dante. It was obvious by his tone that he expected it would be taken care of.

The two looked down from airlift base at the edge of the Fortress down on Almagast, the functioning Capitol of Ptolomea. Somewhere deep within the beautiful and elaborate city was the cause of their problems. Yet they both knew that even if they wanted to march the armies under their command down right now it was not it would not solve their issues. It was a problem to be dealt with by more subtle means.

Ptolomea, Cocytus System

Rich exotic cloth robes wrapping around the small frame of the bald human as he pulled himself out of bed in the late morning. A look of disgust immediately marking is face as he pulled himself to his feet and didn’t see his usual morning paper and coffee. Lou Khebe did not like to be left waiting.

“Arruna’ven! What is wrong with you?” venom coated each word as it spat from the Dictators mouth.

A small blue toned twi’lek rushed into the room, he struggled with the coffee nearly spilling it. No opportunity to set it down before Lou grabbed it and took a quick drink, immediately spitting it back out into the servants face.

“What is wrong with you? This tastes like bantha water. What does it take to get a good cup of coffee on this horrid planet?” he paced across the room before tossing the cup across the room in the direction of the servant with the obvious intent to hit him but failing to do so as the glass shattered all over the ground behind him.

“I must need to increase our exports to some planet that can provide me with decent coffee. Too long I have suffered under the confines of this office. I run this planet. Nobody else!” he screamed out at nobody in particular. His obvious sense of entitlements not in line with what he was getting.

Cocytus Space
Nebula-Class Star Destroyer Excidium II

The Emperor of the Cocytus System stood on the bridge of the fleet flagship in orbit over Ptolomea, looking down at the lush green continents and vast blue oceans. A beautiful planet he regretting he didn’t spend nearly enough time on. His mind wandered to a past meeting held at the Cloak & Dagger Pub with Thran and Dante as he was interrupted by work.

"My Lord, it seems our leash on the Dictator known as Lou Khebe may have broken,” the page spoke with a clear concise tone delivering the bad news.

Silence and cold are all that surrounded the Sith Warlord. The House was too busy with affairs elsewhere to waste a full scale effort on the government of Ptolomea, yet now the situation threatened his ability to raise a proper army to full strength. How dare a frail human challenge a Sith.

“Understood Private, raise a hologram to Commander Taelyan. It is time we took action,” the lack of emotion in the Emperor’s tone spoke of his underlying frustration.

Fort Lance
Ptolomea, Cocytus System

A wicked grin crossed the face of the Commander of Caliburnus as the hologram dropped. Months had been spent in correspondence with agents on Ptolomea preparing for a return of his team. Now he could prove to the Emperor that he could still trust the former House.

He turned to address the small portion of Caliburnus who accompanied him ground-side to the operational base of the Scholae Palatinae Fighter Corps. Despite the aggression and strive for power, he always felt more comfortable in the company of his fellow Sith.

“The Emperor has spoken. It’s time to come home for Caliburnus,” a confident tone attempted to mask the enjoyment of the moment as Evant spoke.

To his left, a simple nod from his fellow Sith Warriors, Varkain and Eetherbiail as they rose and left the room to carry out their respective tasks. To his right, Shadow and her apprentice Brandon Tarsus did the same. It was a plan many months in the making. Across Ptolomea a silent chaos would spread, and the reign of Caliburnus was again coming.

Event Wikipage has follow up information of the operations that happened during the Ptolomea Disposition.



Hatza’s Needle, Ognen
Antenora, Cocytus System

The tribes called it Sibil’hatzabra. The great tower of Hatza’s Needle was once the heart of the Ognerate Empire; now it was nothing more than a prison for what few overlords and religious zealots remained of the Pacre Datship. The white stone towers of Ognen stood proud against the red rocky fingers of Af Demizon, a constant, bitter reminder to the other tribes of their former enslavement. For centuries the towers had been deemed impenetrable, unassailable, none more so than Hatza’s Needle.

From the top floor of the Needle, Kell Palpatine Dante looked down at the world below through a vast, gaping maw blown out of the masonry. Similar occurrences had happened simultaneously at five other towers across the region. At each location, the captive Pacre Datship had all disappeared without a trace; there weren’t even bodies lying at the foot of the tower. The Primarch watched as below him a team of droids worked tirelessly to analyse the rubble and debris from the blast.

Turning his back on the outside world, Dante’s keen eyes flitted around the room. Aside from the missing wall, the room looked exactly as it should. The top floor of the Needle had imprisoned the last Ognerate Emperor and his most trusted Glyph Prests; all they had ever requested was fresh straw to sleep on, quills, ink, and the occasional parchment. They had had little need for parchment though, instead opting to scrawl their religious writings on the walls of their cells. Every inch of the room was taken up with the words of prophets, commandments, and words spoken to them by their god in dreams. Imperial Intelligence analysts and code breakers had already arrived to pore over each and every word.

The High Glyph Priest of the Pacre Datship, meanwhile, fancied himself an artist; in place of words, intricate pictographs decorated the cell. Their god, Hatza, watched over the room from at least a hundred positions. More disturbing was a hooded figure in meeting with the imprisoned Ognerate. Dante had been moving steadily between each cell, overseeing Imperial Intelligence’s investigation, but whenever he stood amongst the sketches of the High Glyph Priest, he was inexplicably drawn to the hooded figure. Despite the lack of any facial detail, he knew everything about the intruder yet nothing at all, like an old friend he had yet to meet. He shook the feeling of déjà vu from his head and sought the agent in charge of the investigation.

“What do you know?” Queried the Exarch upon finding the agent. Agent Vyna Typhe looked up from the datapad he had been tapping away at. He was a slight, wiry man, standing a head shorter than Dante, but possessing a keen intellect. Typhe had been recruited into Imperial Intelligence less than two years ago and was already heading up his own field team.

“Very little at the moment, I’m afraid, sir,” replied Typhe. “We’re still analysing the writings, and I have a specialist en route to shine a light on the High Priest’s sketches.” Kell was already visibly restless and a lack of any further developments was only heightening his anxiety. “However, we may know how they escaped. Take a look at the wall; what’s missing?”

“I don’t have time for these riddles,” Dante growled. There was nothing that he could see out of the ordinary: crumbled masonry, the Ognerate Emperor’s flowing handwriting, and a hole to the outside that shouldn’t be there. The agent leaned in close to the Dark Jedi.

“Shrapnel, a blast zone. There is no collateral damage. Whatever obliterated the Needle’s walls, was much more precise than an explosive. And there is little else that could cause this damage other than…”

“The Force,” finished Dante. “If this Jedi’s movements have remained undetected right under my nose, he may already have an army at his beck and call to rival our own…” Even as his voice trailed off, schemes and strategies were beginning to form in his mind, but he would require more than those in Acclivis Draco alone.

Li Gandor
Antenora, Cocytus System
34 hours later

The dawn was ablaze with campfires; the Hoka Dachu were holding final war councils before the coming battle, while shamans performed ancient ceremonies. Reinforcements had been flown in from across the Cocytus system, and many of the soldiers were performing checks of their equipment. Brandon Tarsus stood sentry on the perimetre, a sniper rifle scope pulled close to his eye as he scanned the horizon. He didn’t bother to turn as he heard the footsteps in the sand approaching, recognising his Master through the Force alone.

“Any sign of the enemy?” Asked Shadow Nighthunter as she produced a pair of macrobinoculars.

“Nothing yet, Master, but I’ll…” the Guardian trailed off as a flicker of movement in the distance distracted him. He breathed in deep as he kept the figure in his scope, tracking its every movement. He steadied his aim with careful application of the Force. Breathing out just as steadily, he squeezed back on the trigger and watched as his target fell. “A scout, and I’d be willing to bet not the first.”

“Then their attack will come before midday,” said Shadow. “Unless we strike first.”

Emperors Chamber
Judecca, Cocytus System

Solitariness: these moments were exceedingly rare. The army of advisors, servants, councillors, and diplomats had concluded their business with Xen for the time being. For now, he was content to simply sit amid his own thoughts. His contemplation was interrupted when his holotransmitter lit the room with a cool blue glow.

“Emperor, I require a moment of your time.” The figure was a complete stranger to Xen, and yet he knew him instantly: the Jedi who waged war on Scholae Palatinae with fanatics, zealots, and the followers of an ancient empire.

“You’ve come to offer your surrender, I presume?” Asked the Emperor, his voice dripping with sarcasm. The Jedi arched an eyebrow and looked down his nose in response.

“How amusing,” he quipped. “I offer you something more worthwhile: the life of the Ognerate Emperor.” Although Xen’s face remained passive, he was taken aback by the Jedi’s words. “I will send you coordinates within three days.”

“Why do this?” Asked the Emperor. “Why start a war that you intend to lose?” The Jedi shook his head.

“You’re not interested in that answer. Ask what you truly wish to know.” Xen didn’t miss a beat as the words he had been desperate to ask flowed from his lips.

“Who are you?”

“Fias Zhan,” he said, making an exaggerated bow. “And your throne is my birthright as the last of Palpatine’s Emperor’s Guard. Until the time comes that I retake what is rightfully mine, it is in my interest to solidify your rule in the system.” And with that, the transmission was cut, leaving Xen as before, alone.

Event Wikipage has follow up information of the operations that happened during the Antenoran Rebellion.


Platform 1A, Daemon
Caina, Cocytus System

Trash, filth, stench, grime, clutter, it all over the former Imperial hub of trade on Caina turning the sprawling spaceport into what looked more like a refugee camp. Makeshift tents and temporary structures surrounded the exterior walls of the circular city of Daemon, nearly doubling the population and pushing the city services beyond their ability to contain the mess. Inside the walls, miners from all over the planet had massed again on the tenth day of strikes, at the heart of the city a makeshift stage stood on the largest of the landing pads. Standing above the crowd at the center of the madness a charismatic young miner had the attention of everyone.

“For as long as I can remember we have labored in these mines, slaves to the corporations who inherited us when we were unfortunate enough to be born on this rock!”

Generations of younger miners around him were eating up his words. Eight years had passed since the last great conflict when House Scholae Palatinae had wiped the Yuuzhan Vong from the planet, enough time for the seeds of content to wipe any appreciation for the security offered by the Imperials from their minds. A new generation not content to accept their lot in life.

“While we work our hands to the bone, they fund their wars across the galaxy and lining their pockets at our expense. Even now we see their ships in the skies above us watching down on us. We demand more for what we give. Our lives are not theirs to dictate!”

Combat Hall, Kas’im Citadel
Caina, Cocytus System

The familiar hiss and snap of clashing lightsabers echoed throughout the combat hall of the training facility of Kas’im Citadel. Surrounded by the lavish pillars and beautifully constructed rigid flooring, an aging Sith Human defended himself with his saber staff against several hooded figures. His fluid motions and skill seemed almost effortless as the Elder gave his much greener pupils an opportunity to learn and grow.

As the training continued, countless others sat around watching, learning. All of them dressed in the same dark robes, save for the one man dressed in Imperial uniform who had just entered the room. Clean cut and perfectly put together, the elderly man limped as he moved across the floor under the watching eyes of the crowd.

Stopping and holding up his hand to end the combat, not even making eye contact as if looking down on the officer, the Sith blademaster spoke in a bored tone, “Yes General Millard, this had better be important.”

Ignoring the obvious disrespect, the Imperial spoke with an overt authority, coating the Sith’s name in venom as he responded, “Lorand, as you are well aware Zhan has ordered a full evacuation of these facilities.”

“You will address me as Lord,” Lorand spat out, his eyes filled with hate as he stared now directly at the general.

“As you wish, my Lord, I am here to question your decision to remain here despite your Master’s orders. My own men are nearly finished here, as they prepare transport of the last of the equipment.”

“Those pathetic riots, I have already sent out a team to take care of them. Why would we leave these glorious halls to drag ourselves back underground or to the outskirts where those pathetic zealots hide?”

“Those are the orders.”

“You’ve always been a good lap dog, great at taking orders. Even you can understand when the wrong call is made, after all, didn’t you betray your precious Scholae Palatinae?”

Without a response, the General turned and did his best to fight through his limp to leave the room quickly under his own power. Shaking his head, Lorand pulled a medallion from inside his robes that hung around his neck and spoke to himself in a whispered tone, “I am following orders, just not those from people who lack true vision.”

Command Bridge
ISD-II Warspite, In Orbit Above Caina

Humming with activity in orbit over Caina, the bridge of the Warspite was alive with activity. Although no threat came from the immediate area, the flagship of the Second Flotilla was the main command post for the operation underway on the planet below. Near the back of the bridge at the hologram pod, the collective leaders of the operation finalized their plans.

Physically present on the ship was newly promoted Grand Marshal Evant Taelyan, who stood beside Rayne, the Emperor’s Hand and Captain of the ship. Illuminating the room and casting everything in a blue glow were the four holographic projections of Archangel and Dante onboard the Acclamator-I Class Assault Ship Vanquisher and Emperor Xen’Mordin Vismorsus at the Imperial Palace on Judecca, and Koryn from the bridge of the Majestic-Class Heavy Cruiser Renown just outside the viewport.

“Our Fleet is in position and ready for assault,” Evant spoke casually, almost as if this was a simple drill.

“Excellent. It’s time to get some use out of our new ships, and strike fear into the denizens of Caina as the Vanquisher grows on the horizon,” Xen smiled as he imagined the sight.

“Ground threats are minimal, space is clear all the way to the ground. This will be easier than our training exercises,” Archangel scoffed as he shook his head almost disappointed at such a grand display of force over something so trivial as a riot.

“We are Imperials, we will not let anyone undermine the authority of the Empire,” Xen declared in defense of the mission.

“Preparing for atmospheric entry,” Dante announced as his holographic image began to flicker from the power disruption of the ship as it began its descent.

With a short salute both Archangel and Dante disappeared as they ended their transmissions and prepared the 25th Expeditionary Division and 90th Airmobile Legion for their deployment onto the planet after they landed.

“For the Empire!” Xen proclaimed as he cut off his transmission and the cool glow of his hologram flicked into darkness.

“Time for me to get down there, I’ll contact you when I reach the ground,” Koryn announced as the last of the holographic images went off. Bright lights turned back on illuminating the holographic area as technicians entered the area.

“Keep me alerted if he attempts to contact us, and lets get ready to watch the fun,” Evant ordered the nearby Ensign managing the communications terminals as he saluted Koryn and turned to walk deeper into the Impstar Deuce to take a quick coffee break before command reports started coming in from the surface.

Event Wikipage has follow up information of the operations that happened during the Cainian Strikes.


Cocytus Holonet News

Good evening, I’m Skye Tavernet and this is Cocytus Holonet News.

Our top headline tonight is the official end of the mining riots on Caina. Most of the system’s military forces have re-deployed throughout the system, leaving only a small amount on the surface of Caina. Civilian casualties were at a minimum during the riots, mainly thanks to the quick action of the military to restore order. The remaining military forces on the planet have begun cleaning up property damage from the riots, so that Imperial contractors can begin to repair the damage.

As part of a system wide message, the Emperor promised a renewed effort from the government to improve working and living conditions around the system. This came with an announcement of a new set of safety guidelines and building regulations. Officials have already begun surveying some of the more remote cities in the system, hoping to begin a new phase of construction before working their way into the bigger cities.

Those of you traveling between planets and out of system, may notice a greater amount of security. This is part of a short term training plan for our systems defenses so they may get better experience in identifying security issues, utilizing the newest defense protocols.

In other news, holovid star Derc Kast was arrested again last night, this time outside of new nightclub Lucky Stars. The actor was reportedly involved in an altercation with a bartender who didn’t serve a drink with the right number of ice cubes. Police were called after Kast punched the bartender, and then exposed himself to several of the dancers at the club. Kast quickly made bail this morning after sobering up. No news on if the bartender intends to press charges.


Message Received

For immediate release.

My Brothers and Sisters,

By now you all should be aware that the riots on Caina were not mere worker disputes, but another of Fias Zhan’s disruptions within the system. This time, it was to allow his forces to retreat from the planet while we were busy pacifying the citizens.

Not only was Zhan using old training facilities on Caina, but he also had numerous scientists at work. The labs were cleared before our forces could assault them, but small samples were gathered. Based on preliminary analysis, Zhan has developed several toxins of terrible power.

The first is a fear toxin, of the likes we’ve never seen before. Several attempts at reverse engineering the formula have failed, as have current attempts in engineering an antidote. Dr. Rei assures me however that she and the rest of our scientists are working non-stop to find a way to stop it should it be used.

The second toxin appears to be a strength booster and a healing accelerant. This is no doubt going to be used to boost his soldiers already lethal skill set. This toxin does appear to have a cost, with subjects’ minds being degraded the longer the toxin is in their system. Sustained exposure will result in the subject’s brain returning to a primitive animalistic state, and eventually shut down completely. This leads us to suspect Zhan’s forces will be boosted for whenever he finally attempts to overthrow the Empire, but he will only have a short window in which to secure his own rule.

As always we are monitoring everything we can to find Zhan before any of this can happen, but he continues to elude us. Constant vigilance from all of us is the only way we can hope to prevent disaster.

The Emperor


Cocytus Holonet News

Good evening, I’m Skye Tavernet and this is Cocytus Holonet News.

Our top story tonight is the continued disappearance of Senator Kavat Yiand from Ptolomea. Senator Yiand was last seen returning to his house in Almagast following a day of working to help rebuild parts of the city damaged during the failed rebellion by Lou Khebe.

Fellow Ptolomean senator, Lysa Harik, was seen visiting Yiand’s family today. She was accompanied by a heightened security detail. Officials from the Empire have officially declared the situation a kidnapping. They have also named several members of the illusive religious cult, the Scions, as prime suspects in this disappearance. They sited Yiand’s strong work at improving life on Ptolomea though the Empire’s outreach program and his vocal cries against the Scions’ counterculture, as part of the reason the Scions would target him.

If you have any information about the current whereabouts of Senator Yiand, or about the Scions, the Empire urges you to come forward. There is a substantial credit reward for anyone who provides useful information.

This disappearance has also seemed to lead to the Emperor himself taking stronger precautions, canceling several scheduled appearances. These include the opening of the new cultural center in Daemon, which was built extraordinarily fast in order to provide many new social services for the miners of Caina. A spokesperson for the Emperor says that the Emperor does not want to bring unnecessary risk to any of the system’s citizens in the event he is also a target for the Scions.

Coming up after the break, Trevor Renan reports on Wrrlkkata the dwarf Wookie who is taking the Galaxy by storm.


Message Received

For immediate release.

My Brothers and Sisters,

Our continued efforts to find the rebellious Zhan, and his terrorist group, the Scions of Cocytus, continue to bear no fruit. Intelligence gathered by Team Caliburnus continues to be solid, but by the time strike forces from Team Dorimad Sol arrive, the areas have been wiped clean. This has led to members of Team Acclivis Draco to sweep through the security clearances of every single house members and Imperial worker. But they have found nothing thus far to prove there are traitors in our midst.

However, we know there must be traitors in the ranks. Senator Kavat Yiand was assassinated earlier this week by the Scions. We had just installed new security measures at his residence and the Scions walked through it like it was a stroll through a park. They then tipped off news crews about the incident. We are delaying in informing citizens of Yiand’s murder. We have a team working on a faked holovid showing the Scions ritualistically executing Yiand, instead of the true story of them killing him while he was on the toilet.

If you see even the slightest hint of sympathy or support for the Scions, shut it down. As far as the citizens are concerned, they are a radical religious group, bent on sowing fear and chaos. This is not the first threat the Empire has faced. It will not be our last.

For the Empire!

The Emperor


Cocytus Holonet News

Good evening, I’m Skye Tavernet and this is Cocytus Holonet News.

The Cocytus Defense System has issued an updated security order. The Empire has officially received intel that an imminent and large terrorist threat is looming for the entire system. Curfews and enhanced security checkpoints are in now effect at all major cities. Following the release of the video showing the ritualistic sacrifice of Senator Yiand, we all can agree that whatever measures necessary to stop this threat should be taken.

Earlier today, there was an emergency evacuation in the Central Ohmen Defense building. Officials cited it as a drill to better prepare incase of an attack. Officials also suggested all citizens of Ohmen, and the system at large prepare evacuation plans in the event of an emergency.

Officials did not elaborate on the exact nature of the threat to the system, but did reassure that with the received intel, the threat should be dealt with, and the enhanced security is merely for precautionary measures. Safety of the citizens is their first prio—


Secure Link Enabled…
System Access Granted…

Citizens of the Cocytus System. My name is Fias Zhan. I am the leader of your so called terrorist group, The Scions of Cocytus.

We are not here to harm you. We come offering enlightenment. Every citizen has a right to know the truth. The Scions and myself are here to bring you the truth. To liberate this system and ascend to a greater form of power. Under my careful rule, this system would not remain a quiet system at the edge of Hutt space, but would turn into a golden beacon for the entire Galaxy to admire.

The fools who lead this Empire, think they know what they are doing. They think they are in control. They think that they are providing the security and prosperity this system needs. They are failures. Each and every one of them.

I have spent a lifetime at study. I have studied the work of great men. Millenia experience and knowledge rest on my shoulders. Rise up and join me. Take an active part in securing a proper future for you and your childr—

Feed Killed…


Message Received

For immediate release.

This week, all our years of work was nearly undone. Zhan managed to hijack every system news program to broadcast his little speech. Had he held on to that feed, our secret would have been laid bare for everyone in the system to see. If they knew, if they had the slighting suggestion about our true nature, we would be finished. The military could hold the system, but there is no way the Republic would let it stand.

Zhan must be stopped at all costs. It doesn’t matter if we have to slam the Excidium into the Royal Palace itself, Zhan and his followers must die. All of our advanced military protocols were comprised following Zhan’s quick attack at the Central Ohmen Defense building. Every system of every ship, every order of every soldier, is on lockdown while we change our protocols.

Zhan may have a history with Palpatine, but he does not carry the right to call himself heir. He has spent years living a lie. Who knows what false prophets have spent the decades whispering into his ears.

We have the weight of a long and proud history following Palpatine’s ideals. If there ever was an heir to Palpatine’s legacy, it is us. Scholae Palatinae was born for that singular purpose. The Empire lives on in each and every one of us. So long as a single Palatinaean has breath in his lungs and blood in his veins, the Empire lives on. Palpatine smiles on us all.

Prepare yourselves. The Scions are coming. And we will kill every last one of them.

For the Empire!

The Emperor



The Royal Palace
Cocytus system

Deep beneath the ornate Royal Palace beat a heart. It was beating slowly, purposefully. Each beat pumped surging life force. The heart was full of many things. Some cruel, some sympathetic. Some sad and some happy. Some angry and full of rage. And of all these many things, they shared one thing in common. The constant vigilance for the continuation of a legacy, the continuation of something of galactic importance. This was no beating heart of an individual. This was the beating heart of an Empire, an Empire ready to for war.

Hundreds of datafeeds streamed live footage and information from across the Cocytus system. The War Room was empty save one man. Behind the cool metal of his mask, his eyes stared at the feeds, studying. All of the best minds in the Imperial Intelligence couldn’t find or crack how Zhan was moving about the system. Xen’Mordin didn’t expect to have any more luck the people he paid to analysis data, but still he watched, and waited.

He had just received word from Dante that the latest strike had failed. Once again the Scions had cleared out before they got there. The rage and frustration in Dante’s voice had been so thick, Xen nearly could have picked it up with his hands. How was a soldier suppose to fight and kill an enemy that was never there.

The comm line started blinking. It was the direct line to the House Leadership. Xen reached out and activated it. All the screens of the War Room cleared and formed together to show a single massive image.

The face of Fias Zhan.

“Hello… Emperor,” Zhan said cracking a wide grin.

“Another late night call Zhan? You should try taking me to dinner,” Xen replied flatly. Zhan’s grin remained glued to his face.

“You were late to our reservation tonight. I had my fill and left.”

“Your fill? Come now Zhan, we both know the only thing that will fill your appetite is something you will never have.”

Zhan left out a short laugh.

“Oh it will be mine. Sooner than you expect too.”

“Zhan, you’ve been a thorn in the Empire’s side for a long time now. But yet you still wait and taunt. Seems to me you are all bark and no bite. Constantly running isn’t going to win you a damn thing.”

“Everything is proceeding as it must. You only see the threads, I see the whole tapestry. And that tapestry… She is a beauty Xen. If only you had the mental capacity to see it.”

“You are a madman Zhan. When you finally do show yourself, the whole might of the Empire will come crashing down on you. Not even your ashes will remain.”

“I have a army that is more than a match for yours. And I have so much more. The will of Palpatine is behind me. I am his chosen heir. The return of the Galactic Empire starts here, in this system.”

“Palpatine stands behind those who have earned it. Scholae Palatinae has spent decades continuing his work, his ideals, his teachings. What have you done? Said his name every night before bed? You’ve done nothing to earn his legacy.”

Zhan’s grin vanished. In its place was a face of rage.

“How dare you! I am the chosen heir! I have seen things you can’t even imagine. I will remove you and your false empire from existence! Palpatine lives on through me!” Zhan yelled. A vein was popping out on his forehead.

“Then prove it. Calling me in the dead of night is the actions of a coward, something Palpatine would never allow his heir to be. If you feel so convinced of your right to this throne. Come and take it. I will carve out my name in your flesh and listen to your screams. Quit running and stand and fight. We are more than tired of waiting.”

Zhan sat silently, vein still throbbing on his forehead.

“You… I will see you die last. Only after you see your whole house ripped apart. You will drown in the blood of your fallen comrades. I will secure the true Empire on a foundation of your ashes.”

And then the line went dead.

ISD Warspite
Orbit above Judecca
Cocytus system

“I think we should probably see about changing that direct line to you. You are going to have a heart attack if he keeps calling you.”
Evant Taelyan stood calmly on the bridge of the Warspite. This call was not unentirely unexpected, as several similar had been made to him following previous contact with Fias Zhan. Evant could tell Xen wasn’t amused by his joke.

“We are ready. The blockade is officially up. The fleet stands ready to blow up whatever comes our way.”

On screen, Xen nodded a few times.

“Yes, yes. I know. But whatever it is Zhan is planning, its coming at us soon. I could see it in his eyes. Hear it in his tone. He is ready to flip the switch,” Xen said.

Evant nodded in understanding. The comm line closed. Evant took a couple of steps back and looked out the bridge’s main window. Judecca sat secure for the moment behind the ship, the only thing Evant could see was the darkness of space, and the twinkling of stars far far away.

“Open a line to the entire fleet.” Evant commanded. There was a murmur from some of the officers on deck.

“I don’t give a flying frak what time it is, open a line to the entire fleet. The Empire never sleeps, neither does the defense of the Empire. Question me again, and I’ll see you out shot out the airlock.” The officers knew that Evant wasn’t making an idle threat, and they quickly shut their mouths.

“Line is up m’lord.”

Evant nodded his head in approval and took a second to compose himself.

“This is the Supreme Commander. The Emperor has received another contact from the dog, Fias Zhan. Zhan is ready to strike. We will not let him achieve his goals. Every loyal Imperial killed by Zhan is a loss too great to bare. This blockade will hold. Nothing, and I mean nothing is going to threaten the safety of this great Empire. It is your home he is planning on ruining. It is your people, your friends, families, loved ones he will kill and crush under his rule. Make him and every last one of these Scion lunatics pay. Give no quarter, take no prisoners. This Empire is here to stay.”

Ohmen City
Cocytus system

“Do they really expect the Scions to march up the back alleys of the city?” Brandon Tarsus asked yet again. He wanted to be on the front lines when the attack happened. Still fairly new as a Knight, proving himself as worthy warrior for the house was still at the front of his desires.

“Why wouldn’t they? Lots of routes into the heart of the city,” Shadow Nighthunter replied scanning the offshoot alleys as they walked along.

“They have to get to the surface first. The whole damn fleet is up there,” Brandon said, picking up his pace. He saw a food cart turn around a corner ahead of them, and decided some food would help him focus more.

“Judecca is a big planet. Ohmen is a big city. They could come running out and blast a hole in your chest before you even knew what was going on,” Shadow chided her former apprentice.

“I doubt that, I think a gaping hole in my chest is something I would notice quite quickly,” Brandon smiled. Shadow shook her head and laughed. They kept moving along their patrol route, unaware of the eyes watching them from the darkness, studying, learning, waiting.

Undisclosed Location
Cocytus system

Fias Zhan sat still, staring at the screen. His conversation with that fool Xen still running through his head. Xen didn’t know. Zhan’s own people didn’t know. They didn’t see or feel what he saw and felt. There was a hiss behind him as the door slid open, illuminating the room.
Images of Palpatine, diagrams of attack plans, blueprints, and more were found covering the walls of the room.

“What is it?” Zhan said, not looking behind him.

“Final preparations have been made. Everyone is in place.”

Zhan let out a sigh of relief. It was finally time for him to ascend to his rightful place.

“Send out the word. One week. Then we see the end of this Scholae Palatinae. One week, and the new age of the Empire begins.”


Looking Home Campaign: Judecca

The Royal Palace
Cocytus system

The morning light was beginning to break over the mountains that held the capital city of Ohmen. Nestled among the peaks, here beat the thriving heart of an Empire. But the Royal Palace held more than just system politicians. It held a much darker secret for it was also home to the Dark Jedi of Scholae Palatinae. And it was here, that the fate of the Empire was to be decided.

Xen’Mordin stared out the window of his spacious office with large dark bags sagging under his eyes. It had been another sleepless night watching the reports come in from his housemates. It had been another sleepless night reading the same thing over and over again. It had been another sleepless night of Fias Zhan, and his Scions of Cocytus, evading the mighty arm of the Empire. Another sleepless night of failure.

If everyone else is as tired as I am, Zhan probably could walk straight into the throne room and we wouldn’t notice. Xen thought as the sky changed through hues of pink and orange. It had been one week since Zhan last contacted the Empire. One week since there had been any solid leads on where the Scions were located. One week since Zhan swore the Throne was about to become his.

Xen wasn’t sure what he was more angry about. That Zhan dared to threaten his house and the Empire, or that Zhan had shown a complete lack of punctuality.

The main door to the office slid open. Xen didn’t bother grabbing his mask, or checking to see who had entered the room. He sighed knowing what was coming. More failure.

“Still no signs. Not a damn one,” Kell Dante said taking a seat. The Primarch put his legs up on Xen’s desk and leaned back. Even the career soldier couldn’t hide the annoyance dripping from his words.

“Maybe this is what Zhan’s great plan was. Taunt us just enough to keep expending efforts to stop him, then never show. We can die of frustration long before he ever shows,” Delak Krennel added. The Knight remained standing, obviously wanting to get his report overwith so he could get back out to finding the Scions. Xen paused a moment, stopping himself from agreeing with Delak’s comment.

“No, he will come. If he wants the throne, he can pry it from my cold dead hands. If it is the last thing I do, I will see that man die, no matter the cost,” Xen said slowly, hands clenched at his side.

ISD Warspite
Orbit over Judecca

Evant remained standing as he read and reviewed the incoming reports from across the system.

“Nothing, nothing, and look! More nothing,” he muttered under his breath as he scanned through yet another one. Unlike Xen, down on the surface, Evant seemed to be thriving in this environment. Every failure was another step closer to what would be a success. For the last seven days, Evant stood on the bridge of the Warspite, constantly changing deployments, running drills, keeping the fleet on its toes. Hopefully, at the same time it was preventing the Scions from finding a pattern to break through the blockade of Judecca.

If the Scions never reached the surface, than this could end without a substantial loss of Imperial lives.

“Osk-nine formation this morning. And tell the TIEs I want to see tighter groupings. They are getting sloppy,” Evant said as he finished reading the last report. One of the officers on the bridge nodded and moved to send word out to the fleet.

“Drawing these formations out of a hat Evant?” Koryn asked. The Rodian had just arrived on the ship, and silently made his way up to behind his fellow House Summit member.

“Oh yes, a big one with feathers,” Evant replied shaking his head, “People still reacting poorly to the system curfews?”

Koryn nodded.

“They are dealing with it. But the longer we go without another incident with Zhan and the Scions, the more impatient they get. If this goes too much longer, they might do Zhan’s work for him. There is only so far we can push the civilians.”

Evant opened his mouth to reply, but was cut short by the flashing of red lights all around the bridge.

“Sir, we are picking up something,” one of the officers stated, obviously not noticing Evant was already at his shoulder looking at the screen. The Aedile’s jaw dropped as he processed what he was seeing.

Emperor’s Office
The Royal Palace

Dante and Delak had given their reports and left to go back to patrol over half an hour before the Palace’s alarm system went off. Xen had decided that a quick power nap would be okay.

What’s the worst that can happen in an hour? was Xen’s rationale.

Xen’s head shot up from his desk as the sirens sounded. Blinking hard he sat there for just a second, confused, with the hold of sleep still tugging on his mind. Then the Quaestor’s eyes went wide. He slammed his mask on his face and stood, ready to fight off anyone who dare disrupt his system, his house, and his home. He was halfway to fully standing when the explosion shook the entire palace like an earthquake.

Memorial Square

The red eyes of the Duro scanned the Square. Something was wrong and it was making his skin crawl.

“We need to keep up our patrol,” Kor Vaal said. The Kel Dor had a similar feeling, but knew they wouldn’t find anything standing in the middle of the busy square. Curfew had lifted just an hour earlier, and the citizens of Ohmen were moving quickly to get their business done.

“We patrol to look for the Scions. To find their plans. They are planning something here,” Xantros replied still scanning the crowd. Each face he saw was just another innocent civilian trying to carve out a life for themselves. Then he saw it, through the crowd across the square.

“There,” Xantros said nodding with his head in that direction. Kor Vaal turned and looked. His eyes came upon an unassuming young woman, eyes down, loitering at the edge of the square. Trying hard to not stand out, too hard.

“You sure?” Kor Vaal asked. Xantros nodded.

“I see it, move quickly and do not let her see you.”

The two Krath split up, approaching the woman from opposite ends. As they neared she spotted Kor Vaal. She turned to run, only to smack into Xantros. The Duro gave a reassuring smile.

“Everything okay miss?” he asked. She was up to something, he was sure of it.

“Get away!” She yelled. Her hands shot to a pocket, grabbing for something. Xantros sighed and grabbed her arms. For a moment the two struggled against each other. Xantros noticed a hard lump on her back. He managed to rip it off and throw it to the ground. Explosives.

Kor Vaal dived, grabbing the pack of explosives. Xantros, out of options slammed a fist in her throat. The woman’s hands instinctively went up, and the detonator fell from her pocket. As it fell, Xantros used the force to pull it safely to his hand.

Several members of the Scholae Palatinae military rushed to scene, having noticed the scuffle while on their own patrols. Kor Vaal got back to his feet and handed the package to one of the soldiers.

“That was close,” he said to Xantros, as an explosion from across the city roared out. Everyone in the square turned in the direction of the noise.

“The Palace,” Xantros whispered, wide eyed.

City Outskirts

At the outskirts of the city, the sound of the explosion was muffled. Lucyeth and Zagro paused in their patrol.

“Was that an explosion?” Zagro asked eyebrows arched. They looked around, but had no clear vantage point. They raced to the top of one of the nearby buildings, only to see a large plume of black smoke rising from the direction of the palace into the morning sky.

“How could they hit the palace?” Zagro yelled as the two jumped off the roof and ran toward the heart of the city. The sound of several more explosions, some much closer, pounded the air. The two slid to a stop.

Ahead of them marched a several squads. Several squads full of soldiers who were proudly displaying the logo of the Scions on their armor. Lucyeth, thinking fast, tackled Zagro into a nearby recessed doorway before the Soldiers could spot them.

“We need to meet up with our own forces,” Lucyeth spat as they pinned themselves to the wall. His hand had gone to his belt and was holding a thermal detonator. He took several deep breaths and left it on his belt. Zagro noticed.

“No good being dead?” he asked. Lucyeth nodded as he peeked around the corner.

“Clear. We need to move fast.”

High Orbit

“Most of these ships are barely even flying. They are invading with this?” Flelm said as he banked his TIE Defender. He throttled down chasing one of the more lively enemy ships.

“Half of them aren’t even maneuvering,” Evant’s voice came through Flelm’s headset. The ones that were however, were diving toward the surface without a second thought to the Imperial Fleet shooting at them.

“Well, lets us know what ones to ignor-” Flelm was cut short of finishing. One of the less flight worthy ships detonated from within. Chunks of the ships went flying off in every direction through space. Flelm swore and tried his best to maneuver out of the way of the deadly debris. His shield indicator started flashing as some of the smaller chunks bore into the ship.

“Nightshade form up on me. We need to disable these ships before they get too close to one of our ISDs,” he said after clearing the wreckage. Behind him several more TIE Defenders fell in line ready to go out for a kill.

ISD Warspite

Evant looked through the viewport and saw one of the fleets VT-49s chew through another kamikaze ship. The issue wasn’t that the enemy was skilled, it was just the sheer number of ships inbound for the planet below. The space above Judecca had become a blur of reds and greens, punctuated by the periodic quick blast of an exploding ship.

“Concentrate on any ship that is heading toward us and not the surface,” Evant commanded. Sweat dripped from his brow as he worked to keep track of the chaos that was occurring in the battle.

“But sir, there are still ships heading for the surface,” One of the officers protested. Evant strode over with 3 quick steps and slammed the man’s head into the console in front of him.

“If these ships, any of them, collide with us we go up too,” he snarled.

The bridge was illuminated by another ship explosion, but this time it was due to the Fleet’s efforts. Flelm’s voice came through the comm.

“It is very satisfying to cause these ships to go up like that.”

Evant shook his head and turned his attention back to the fight as a whole. The suicide ships were doing their job well, many ships were making it to the surface.

“We need to clear this up quickly,” Koryn shouted. He was trying to help organize forces on the surface.

“Is it that bad?” Evant questioned. Koryn nodded still focusing on his terminal.


Main Level
Royal Palace

Xen, with several members of the Praetorian Guard at his back, carved his way into the entrance hall of the Royal Palace. The anti-fire system had already extinguished the flames of the explosion, but the hall was crumbling around them. A large frigate had crashed straight through the walls of the palace. From within, soldiers had quickly poured out killing those who survived the initial blast.

As Xen and the guards tore through the end of the crumbling hall, he saw that the frigate had doors on both sides of its cargo hold. Through the smoke and blaster fire, Xen could see straight through the ship and out onto the grounds of the palace. Skid marks extended out through the grounds and past the now broken reinforced outer wall. The Scions had direct access from the street outside the palace all the way into its heart.

Xen let out a roar of rage and cut down another Scion soldier before reflecting back a blaster bolt. There was a constant stream of enemy combatants pouring into the palace. Behind him, several of the Praetorian Guard had already fallen. By now the Scions were flooding into the other parts of the palace.

“Pull back,” Xen ordered through gritted teeth. Nearly every single member of Scholae Palatinae was out on the streets of Ohmen. Those who weren’t in the city were fighting in the skies above the planet. He had no choice but to retreat.

Trade District

“Look, 4 o’clock!” Delak shouted. He took several more shots with his rifle, taking down another Scion soldier. Dante turned to look and saw Lucyeth and Zagro pinned by enemy fire.

“Cover fire,” Dante yelled. There was a momentary pause as the soldiers turned and let loose a blaze of blaster fire at the Scions attacking Lucyeth and Zagro. Lucyeth and Zagro dove out of their cover and ran toward the group of soldiers and fellow Scholae Palatinae members.

“Took you long enough,” Brandon teased. He and Shadow had ran into Dante and Delak mere moments after the initial blast from the palace.

“They are coming in from everywhere,” Lucyeth managed to get out between deep breaths.

“They were already here,” Dante replied. He gave another quick hand gesture in signal to the troopers. The troopers turned and focused fire, clearing a path deeper into the city.

“We saw maybe half a dozen different squads on our way here. We picked off some stragglers, but there are just too many,” Zagro said. Another explosion went off, closer than the rest had. The group slammed themselves down on the ground.

Dante reached for a comm unit to contact other squads.

“You’ve got to be kidding,” he said after a moment. He slammed the unit on the ground breaking it.

“Static. We are being jammed.” He jumped to his feet and continued, “Old fashioned way it is. This Empire isn’t going to save itself. Lets go be big damn heroes.”

That was when they noticed green gas slowly creeping its way through the streets toward them. It was thick and dense, rolling over the bodies of the dead like a river.

“Is that what I think it is?” Shadow questioned, wide eyed. The noises that came through the walls of the building answered her question. The unmistakable sound of terrified screams.

Field Science Lab
Outside Ohmen

Tucked away in one of the caves outside Ohmen, the scientists were left away from the battle to work. But even there, they could still make out the sounds of explosions hitting the capital City. The first one heightened their attention, a dull aching noise softened by the walls of the lab. The siren picked up mere moments later.

“Looks like our guests have arrived,” Dr. Rei said looking up momentarily from the solutions of dark red she was working on. Several of the other scientists had stopped in place, staring into space, waiting, listening. Elincia gave an exasperated sigh.

“This isn’t the time to just stop. You’ve seen from the samples recovered on Caina what is coming. If we don’t make enough anti-toxin the city will tear itself apart.”

The seconds slowly turned into minutes. The alarms continued, but the scientists ignored them. All that mattered was the job at hand. Under the pressure, Dr. Rei became so consumed by what she was doing she didn’t hear the door to the lab open. Nor did she hear the hulking figure who stepped through the door approach her. When the man finally made his presence known, she jumped, nearly dropping the container she was holding.

“We are out of time doc,” Archangel said, standing tall over Elincia. After recovering from being startled Elincia glowered up at the soldier.

“Sent a brute for it? Aren’t you better suited for, you know… Grrr smash!” She said walking over to a pallet full of anti-toxin.

“Needed someone who wouldn’t get stopped or slowed down,” Archangel smiled grimly. He knew if the doctor had seen what he had getting here, she wouldn’t be questioning why he of all Palatinaean members was here to get the goods.

Men and women had been twisted into hulking beasts even bigger and more foreboding than he was. Civilians being ripped in two. Citizens running from their homes, shops, loved ones, and into the street screaming in terror. In many cases, screaming at nothing as the fear toxin coursed through their veins. Archangel himself had gotten rerouted three times by the advancing green mist.

Archangel grabbed the pallet. It would be easy enough for him to carry it into the city.

“Will this be enough?” he asked.

“Enough? For what? The whole city? Of course not. That might be enough to see the army through this. We will keep working on getting more,” Elincia replied. Archangel grunted in understanding, and heaved the package onto his shoulders.

Main Level
Royal Palace

“This has been child’s play. We severely overestimated their abilities. They didn’t even notice us slipping into their detection systems. They only knew we were here when the fire was burning them,” Zhan said as he strolled through the crumbling entrance hall.

“Better to over prepare, then not,” Bernard Leo said. One of the fallen Praetorian Guards let out an agonized moan of life. Bernard quickly strolled over and pulled out a knife. Zhan kept walking.

“They will regroup. We need to fully secure the palace and prepare for their counter-offense,” Lady Il-Kayd said. “I have the boys bringing in some of our toys now.”

“Kelac is already seeing them put to good use,” Zhan replied. He stepped over the body of another fallen Praetorian Guard.

“The grunts did learn their training well,” Zhan continued. With a flourish Zhan pushed open the ornate doors to the Throne room itself. Small chunks of ceiling had fallen here too, courtesy of their gate crashing. Cleaning it up was something that could be worried about after the fighting was done.

Zhan made the walk to the throne in silence as the adrenaline pumped in his blood. He let out a satisfied groan as he sat down on the throne. Even his careful practice couldn’t stop him from letting out a satisfied groan, his joy filled his very soul.

At long last, Palpatine’s true heir sits on a throne. The throne. My throne. he thought.

“Now then. Go remind these misguided fools that they can kneel to the true Emperor, or they can die. And someone find me that fool who sat here, Vismorsus. I want to see his failed soul leave his body as I kill him,” Zhan ordered.

Unlisted Sub-Levels
Royal Palace

“Activate the lockdown system. If they get down here we are even more frakked than we already are,” Xen’Mordin commanded the few Praetorian Guards who managed to get down into the sub-levels. As they had fled from the entrance hall into the back portions of the palace they had run straight between two groups of Scions. The resulting crossfire had severely thinned their ranks. Behind his mask, sweat continued to bead on Xen’s face.

The Quaestor slumped away from his soldiers sealing off the elevator shaft. These levels, built for use by the House, were built to be able to be sealed off in the event of an enemy occupation. If this wasn’t an enemy occupation, Xen didn’t know what was. The clanging sound of the multiple blast-proof bulkheads echoed through the halls of the Palatinaean seat of power.

From here there was access to every file, dirty secret, mission, military plan imaginable. There was even access to some of the the Brotherhood’s secure networks. Xen walked straight past several rooms he could have used to watch the chaos going on above him.

He turned a corner and made his way down a very different hallway. This hallway was more ornately decorated than the stark walls that made up the other halls of these levels. He approached a meticulously carved set of double doors. With a gentle push, the doors swung silently open, revealing a room lit by candle light. The shadows of the room danced with the flickering light.

Looping front and center on a raised platform was a statue of Emperor Palpatine, Darth Sidious himself. Xen kept his head bowed out of respect as he made his way to the statue. He silently knelt before it.

“Well, my Lord, today we will see if we really are the ones who should carry on your legacy,” Xen whispered. He reached forward and pushed in several seemingly random locations on the base of the statue. A small terminal flipped down out of a hiding space in the stone. Xen stared at the screen for a moment, taking in just how very alone he was. How very far away all his brothers and sisters were. It was their fight now.

With the statue of Palpatine looming overhead, Xen keyed in the message that would broadcast to every member of Scholae Palatinae across the galaxy.

The Empire is threatened. The Empire is on the verge of collapse. The Empire needs you.

Xen pressed the send button and the message disappeared. What would come next was out of his hands. The fate of the Empire and the Cocytus system now rested in the hands of his Housemates. In the hands of the members of Scholae Palatinae.


Cocytus system

The Duro came barreling into the hastily fortified command post. Dante looked over his shoulder, nodded in acknowledgement of the red eyed Krath and turned back to look down the scope of his rifle.

“You would not believe what I just went through to get here,” Xantros said brushing dust off his robes. Shadow let out a slight laugh from the corner of the room. She was holding a bloody wad of cloth to her head while slumped on the floor of the building.

“You may have noticed we’ve run into all kinds of trouble ourselves,” Delak said not bothering to look up from a copy of the Palace’s blueprints. He shifted slightly and some sparks flew out of his right knee.

“See what I mean?” He continued. Xantros nodded and ran a hand over his bald head.

“Yeah but I just took out an outpost! Solo!” Xantros said looking around. He looked a bit disheartened that congratulations for his feat would have to wait.

“We got movement, far west side of the Palace grounds… Is that Evant?” Dante asked rhetorically. There was a flutter inside the command post as the present members of Scholae Palatinae piled up behind Dante to get a look.

“Blue blade, looks like him. He… he kind of looks drunk,” Lucyeth added looking closely. Lucyeth recoiled slightly before continuing, “Did he really just do that?”

Dante sighed and pulled back, hoisting his rifle over his shoulder.

“Yeah, he did. Move out. Time to take this on the offensive,” he ordered.

West Grounds
Royal Palace

Under the influence of the fear toxin, Evant had the vague sensation he was walking, and possibly fighting. Well, at least his body was. His mind was a drift in the sea of his own subconscious. The last moments of clear thought against the fear toxin he pushed toward one goal.

Save the Empire, or die trying.

Not even the powerfully dark fear toxin could take that from him.

Luckily for the Aedile of Scholae Palatinae, his housemates came to back him up in that goal.
He was slammed back into awareness as his head smacked into the ground.

“What in the name of Palpatine are you doing?”

Evant blinked hard and found himself pinned to the ground by one of the house’s newer members, Landon Cruise. Blaster bolts illuminated the sky beyond Cruise’s head.

“I… I was doing something. something…” Evant started to say still trying to get his mind back in the game.

“You were doing something bloody stupid, but lucky for you I’m here,” came the confident voice of Archangel. He pushed Cruise off of Evant and pulled the Sith to his feet.

“Take two of these and call me in the morning,” Archangel added, slamming a clenched fist full of injection needles into Evant’s back. The combination of stems and a boosted anti-toxin surged into Evant’s blood stream.

“I’m pretty sure you didn’t go to medical school,” Evant said as he turned toward the entrance to the Palace. The ship that had crashed its way into the entrance hall had been sealed tightly as the Palatinaeans pressed toward it.

Delak came half running, half limping due to the damage to his robotic leg carrying a very large and long object, excited grin on his face.

“I can’t believe I get to do this,” he said, taking a knee and scoping out his shot. The undertone of glee wasn’t hard to pick up from his voice. He took a deep breath and pulled the trigger. With a rush of steam and smoke, Delak fell back. They had modified some spare surface to air missiles into makeshift shoulder rockets. It had been a bit messy, but it had done the job.

The back end of the ship exploded in a giant fireball. They now had a way in.

The members of Scholae Palatinae were coming home.

Palace Sub-Levels

Even deep beneath the palace, it would have been hard to miss the knocking at the door the Palatinaeans just gave. Deep in meditation Xen felt his housemates surging upon the palace. Xen stood up from his meditation at the sound of the echoing explosion floors above his head. He looked up at the statue of Palpatine for a brief moment in careful contemplation.

“No one is taking this from us,” He said, mostly to reassure himself. He slipped his mask back on and moved out to the main hall of the sub-levels. The Praetorian Guards who accompanied him down there stood up at attention.

“The Cavalry has arrived boys. Open it up,” Xen commanded as he neared the lift doors. He and the Guards took several long steps back from the lift entrance. One of the guards keyed in a command code on a wall terminal.

“Just give your authorization,” The guard said after a few seconds of flitting through the menus. Xen reached over and placed his hand on a scanner. Things remained silent for several long seconds as the computer verified the commands.

Emergency evacuation protocol activated. The PA chimed.

Then came the sound of a thousand tons of durasteel moving and moaning as they swung down, opening the passage up to the main levels. It would take a team of a dozen men and heavy machinery to reset the system and bulkheads before they could seal off the lower levels again. Given what else had happened to the palace, the fact there were any levels remaining was a small miracle.

The PA gave a nice chime, signally the passage up was clear. Xen grabbed a harness. It was still a long climb to the top.

The Entrance Hall
Royal Palace

The Scion’s had clearly done some redecorating in the great entrance hall. Bits of rubble had been moved in place to fortify their position. Emblems of the Empire had been torn down, burned in many cases. They had set up mobile turrets to help take out anyone who would dare try to remove them from their new nest. Bodies of Scholae Guards and Military had been left in piles near the crashed and crumbling entrance.

None of this gave the members of Scholae Palatinae, or their supporting military, any pause. Free of the nightmares of the fear toxin; Focused away from the distractions of the chaos that was the Capital City; they moved with a firm resolution. And the grunts of the Scions were quickly realizing that this was more than a simple band of Dark Jedi. These were honed warriors. And they were angry.

“Hold the Line! Anyone who runs will be shot as deserters!” Lady Il-Kayd ordered. Her face was unusually white. She had had her own close calls in the city, and had opted to return to the safety of the Palace. She was no stranger to uneven odds, but the resistance they had been facing was beyond anything Zhan had told them to expect. He had promised, no he had foreseen their easy victory. Yet here she was, fighting for every inch back to the throne room.

Dante had positioned himself back up by the crashed ship. The slight elevation helped give him a clear sight of the whole hall. He barked out orders while shooting off slow moving Scions. In the center of the Hall, Evant led the bulk of the Palatinaean Dark Jedi toward the throne room. They would carve apart the palace itself if they had to.

“Zhan must die at any cost. Cut off the head of the snake, and the body dies too!” Evant ordered, as he swung his lightsaber around, removing the head of a Scion from its body.

He turned and found himself face to face with Lady Il-Kayd herself. She gritted her teeth, and a lightsaber snapped to her hand. With a hiss the red blade came to life.

“Well, that answers that question,” Evant said under his breath, grip on his saber hilt adjusted for dueling.

“You fools will not succeed. Zhan saw the future. He saw our success. Palpatine came to him and showed him the way. Thi-” Lady Il-Kayd’s statement was cut short. A blaster bolt connected with the side of Il-Kayd’s head. Evant fumbled and nearly dropped his lightsaber.

“Wha?” He exclaimed while turning in place. From the entrance he heard Dante yell out.

“You’re welcome Evant!”

Evant rolled his eyes and waved his saber above his head, signalling for the push to continue.

From the rear of the hall came a spark of red lightning. Out of the shadows stepped Bernard Leo. He was shirtless, and bits of skin was falling from his torso and arms. The clear sound of ripping, squishing flesh was heard even above the sound of battle. Beneath the meat of his flesh, sparked the life of robotic limbs.

“You cannot stop this!” Leo yelled. He stuck out with one of his arms turning one of the pillars of the room to dust, crushed in the arms grip. He cackled as the dark energy coursed through his enhanced body and robotic limbs. The air around him sparked with dark red lights. He struck out again, arm extending forward dozens of feet and slamming through the torso of one of the soldiers. He pulled his arm back and up, shooting the body of the soldier toward his comrades. The soldiers dove out of the way of the mangled corpse.

Bernard Leo turned his attention directly toward the huddled group of Dark Jedi, smiling with an evil grin full of ultra-white teeth that shone in the light of the hall.

“The Doctor is in,” he said taking a step forward. He was so focused on the group of Dark Jedi in front of him, he failed to take in his full surroundings. Dante fired another shot, which was dissipated by Leo’s shield. He took another step forward. If he had been paying attention he would have seen the spark of electrical malfunctions high above him in the rafters of the crumbling ceiling.

Delak Krennal came falling out of the ceiling with a roar, red saber lit. He brought the blade down clean through Bernard Leo’s head. Everyone in the room froze, including the Scions, as they stared at the cloud of dust that formed from Delak’s impact. Several seconds later Delak popped up with a moan of pain. Bernard Leo’s body had cushioned the fall, although it had been a bit rougher than Delak had expected when he had made his way up into the rafters.

“Did he really say the doctor is in?” He managed to get out through several deep breaths. He leaned up against one of the piles of rubble. He took a few more deep breaths before adding, “Are we in one of Thran’s crappy holovids or something?”

Delak looked around the room, everyone still in shock of what had just happened. Evant first to come to his senses, partly because he was a trained leader, partly because he had enough stims in his system to power the sun, yelled out, “Onward! To the Throne Room.”

The Throne Room

“Fortify the door!” Kelac Lasha yelled. He was pushing a rather heavy bust of someone he didn’t know about and its stand toward the door. Zhan remained seated on the Throne. Lasha looked back expecting further orders.

“Sir, this isn’t going like you planned. What do we do?” Lasha asked. Zhan remained still.

“Thi- This is just a hurdle, one last test to prove our worth. These Dark Jedi cannot stop us. Palpatine is on -” Zhan started after a moment.

“My side,” Xen said stepping out of the shadows behind the throne, mask bathed in the red glow of his lightsaber. Zhan startled to his feet.

“Finally you show yourself,” he sneered. Xen shrugged and pointed to the main doorway across the room. It exploded open, bits of rock, metal, concrete and other debris shoot through the air. One particularly unlucky Scion soldier had a piece of rebar shoot and land its way through his throat and neck. Kelac Lasha was blasted back, sliding on the floor, alive but dazed. Zhan looked wide eyed at the opening, and the illumination of lightsabers and blaster fire behind it.

“Your allies might be here, but that won’t be enough to stop me from killing you. With you dead, my victory is assured,” Zhan snarled, lightsaber activating. He rushed at Xen, striking with surprising strength and agility for a man of his age.

The members of Scholae Palatinae were streaming into the Throne room. Some remained in the main hall to keep more Scions from advancing in on them. Evant, first into the room saw Kelac Lasha stumbling to get to feet. He jumped through the air, traveling an unnatural distance. This kill was going to be his, and his alone. Kelac managed to block the incoming saber strike with his bracers.

“Cortosis?!” Evant exclaimed in shock. Kelac swept his feet bringing Evant to the ground. Evant swore as he fell, lightsaber deactivating and rolling away. Kelac got back to his feet and pulled a knife from his belt. He jumped to pin Evant to the ground. Evant managed to grab the man’s wrists, stopping the knife inches from his own face. Evant groaned and strained. Kelac was stronger than he was, and the knife slowly made its way closer to his face.

Xen still up by the throne, locked sabers with Zhan. He saw Evant’s situation and for a brief moment turned his focus away from his duel, and toward a small piece of duracrete. It flew off in the direction of Evant and Kelac. Xen’s temporary distraction cost him, as Zhan brought his blade down. It was a glancing grazing blow to his right arm. Xen let out a small yelp of pain and fell back a few paces, smell of burnt cloth and charred flesh filled his nose. He tried moving his arm. It moved but hurt too much to be used. He gritted his teeth and tightened his grip on his lightsaber. He was not about to die here.

The piece of duracrete found its way, striking into the back of Lasha. Xen has missed hitting his head, but the blow to his back shoulder was enough of a distraction that Evant was able to get a hand free. Reaching out through the force he pulled his lightsaber to his hand, and activated it. Before Kelac could return to attempting to drive his knife through Evant’s eye socket, Evant had his blade up and through Kelac’s neck. Kelac’s head fell from his body and smacked Evant in the face before rolling away. Evant pushed the now headless body of Kelac Lasha from off and got to his feet. Blood rushed from his now broken nose, a final injury from the now deceased Kelac’s decapitated head. Evant reached with his free hand to stem the flow as he watched the duel between the two self called Emperors.

Everyone’s attention was turned to the duel between Zhan and Xen, as they made their way into the throne room. Blasters were pointed, lightsabers held tightly, waiting to jump in should Xen fall. The two were moving in circles around the throne. Xen, unable to use his right arm to help brace against Zhan’s attack was left constantly moving to redirect the force behind Zhan’s attacks and thus kept the circle moving.

“I expected more, Emperor,” Zhan sneered. Xen’s blade dance centimeters away from Zhan’s face, close enough Zhan could feel the heat of the blade.

“If you prepared for more, why aren’t I dead yet,” Xen retorted. He kicked out with his left leg, stamping on Zhan’s foot. A momentary distraction, allowing Xen to regain better footing.

“I just wanted to give the audience a chance to take their seats. All should see why I am Palpatine’s chosen one,” Zhan said, continuing to push on the offensive. Xen continued to sidestep the attacks and deflected the attacks away from his body.

As the two came in front of the throne again, Xen felt the smallest of force warning in his head. He dove backwards just as a missile flew between where he and Zhan had been standing.

The missile struck the wall behind the throne with a sizeable explosion. Crack ran up the wall and into the already weakened ceiling. Zhan remained standing in place before the throne, unwilling to step away from his prize, as large chunks of ceiling fell upon him. Xen rolled as fast and as far away as he could, debris nearly falling on him as well.

The Scions still in the throne room at seeing the ceiling fall on their leader turned and ran. As they ran, the other Scions in the building who could do so quickly followed suit. The Palatinaeans mowed down as many of the retreating forces as they could. As the dust settled Xen painfully got to his feet and looked around. He looked at the path he had rolled away, most of which had particularly jagged pieces of steel and duracrete sticking out of the floor.

“What the hell?” Xen asked, turning to look toward the entrance, several members of the House taking steps backwards. Zagro Fenn dropped the single use rocket launcher from his shoulder.

“Sorry sir. Missed it seems,” He said grinning.

“Missed? If that had hit him I would have been incinerated as well!” Xen yelled, pain beginning to overcome his self control.

“We were told Zhan had to die at any cost. I was just trying to be thorough. Your sacrifice would have been remembered,” Zagro replied, giving a salute. Despite the pain, and his anger over the entire attack by the Scions, this statement along with Zagro’s absolute serious delivery made Xen laugh.

There came a moan from the pile of rubble at the foot of the throne. Xen walked and limped as fast as he could around the pile. Zhan had fallen back partially out of the way, laying on his back, legs crushed under the weight of the ruble. He let out another moan and tried to pull himself away, unable to break free. He looked up at Xen, who was removing his mask.

Xen stood there silent, as his housemates filled in behind him. He let his mask fall to the floor with a clang. He grabbed a chunk of duracrete and pinned Zhan’s torso down with his knees.

“Do you see what you have done to my home? What you put my brothers and sisters through? And for what? To be crushed under a bunch of rubble. Looks like you were wrong about Palpatine being on your side,” Xen said rage boiling over with each word. He tightened his grip on the chunk of duracrete and brought it down on Zhan’s face. There was a crunch as parts of Zhan’s face broke. Xen brought the piece back up. He pauses for a moment, savoring the look of fear and pain in Zhan’s eyes.

“Bu-but I was told,” Zhan managed to say weakly.

“Then you were lied to,” Xen said bring the piece of duracrete down.

Zhan managed to moan out one more word, “D-ddd-dawn.”

Again and again Xen rammed the piece into Zhan’s face. When he finally stopped there wasn’t enough of Zhan’s head left to identify it. Blood dripped down from Xen’s face as he sat in silence.

“I think its time we address clean up. And getting the city back in functioning order,” Evant said after a moment, he clapped his bloody hands together and made a gesture that the soldiers and members of Scholae Palatinae had other things to direct their attention to. Xen shakily came to his feet, nodding absent mindly in agreement with Evant.

There a ping through several of the personal communicators in the room.

“This is Elincia, we need people here at the lab, we found a way to disperse the antitoxin through the air. Should have at least that part fixed within the hour. Does anyone copy?” Evant stepped aside to discuss the particulars with the scientist. Dante walked up to Xen and offered a rag. Xen wiped off his face.

“Well that was chaos,” Xen said face only slightly cleaner than it was.

“How do we come back from this?” Lucyeth asked. He was looking around at the damage to the palace. He pointed back toward the main entrance and continued, “How do they come back from this?”

“People like the comforting lies. This was a terrorist attack by a radical anti-government group. So radical they were willing to have Ohmen tear itself apart just to destroy the Empire. They will accept that. As for the seeing lightsabers on the streets, well. They were all under the influence of a powerful hallucinogenic. Besides, give the population of the Empire some credit. They don’t ask too many questions, and we don’t have to offer uncomfortable answers,” Xen replied, he had spent plenty of time locked in the sub-levels thinking about this very problem. He looked at Dante, who was standing attentively and nodded.

Dante struck out with a quick punch, Xen’s head snapping back. Lucyeth and Zagro stepped back confused. Xen shook his head. Fresh blood, his own this time, came pouring out of his nose. Dante punched out again. Xen blinked hard as his eyes watered. Dante looked at the remaining surprised Palatinaeans calmly.

“He is the Emperor, he had to show he put up a big fight against these guys when they took the palace,” Dante explained. Between the lightsaber wound, knicks from various sources and now a freshly beaten face, no citizen would question the great lengths the Emperor went through to keep them safe.

Two Weeks Later
Summer Palace
Teyr, Judecca

“Is there a reason we stopped using this place as frequently as Thran did?” Koryn asked wiping some dust from the table.

“This was the Summer Palace and you know how much Thran sweats when it gets hot out. Plus its easier to work in the Capital,” Xen replied taking a seat. The wound on his arm was finally starting to heal, but was now being very stiff in movement. He paused a moment thinking, “Actually Evant can you look into why we did stop using this place so much? It should have more usage than just a vacation home.”

“So I imagine we are going to quickly see the damage done to the Ohmen palace repaired?” Koryn followed up with. Xen shook his head.

“Having the civilians go along with our lies, in this case is a bit much to ask for. We rebuilt and fix Ohmen, treat the civilians there, and honor those who died. After that, we can see the palace rebuilt. Bigger and grander than ever, as a testament to the Empire’s continued health,” Xen said.

“Oh, and we are going to have to burn that throne. I’m not sitting in it after Zhan did,” he added. An aid stepped into the room.

“My Lord, you have a message from the Orian system. Flagged high priority.” Xen sat up straight.

“Now that is curious,” he said taping open the message, “very curious.”

Cocytus Holonet News

“Good Evening, I’m Skye Tavernet and this is Cocytus Holonet News.

“The Emperor today made another public appearance, this time at the Palace in Teyr. Still looking a bit weary from the event’s two weeks. As the headquarters transfer to Teyr, he promised a renewed life to the Capital city of Ohmen. Bodies are still being found, and damage assessed from the terrorist attack. The last apparent members of the so called ‘Scions of Cocytus’ have scattered.

“Primary government resources, along with aid from the Imperial Military are going toward helping the citizens of Ohmen, and rebuilding the parts of the city damaged. When asked about repairs to the main Palace, the Emperor said that the priority is the well being of the citizens of the Empire, and that the government will be able to function just fine until such a time renovations can take place.

“The Emperor also instructed that any civilian in need of aid following this attack can stay at a makeshift shelter inside the Teyr Palace. Extra food and medical supplies have been transported in for those who will be displaced until they can return home.

“Here is a direct message from the Emperor, ‘People of Judecca, and citizens of this great Empire. We were violated by this Scions. We were wounded. But I swear to you our resolve has never been greater. As we recover we will find ourselves stronger and firmer than ever before. We will mourn our losses, and learn from their sacrifice. As always I am your humble servant.’

“We will continue to give you updates as the rebuilding process continues. Until next time, thanks for watching.”

Unknown Location

“That was part of tonight’s news broadcast. Zhan failed. And now this Empire is even more motivated to endure. They are even more sure that are keeping the legacy of Palpatine. What should we do next my Lord?” The hooded servant remained kneeling, head bowed.

He waited silently as the feed rewound to the face of Xen’Mordin Vismorsus addressing the Cocytus system. After several more moments a powerful voice spoke from the darkness, pressing in to the servant’s mind.

“We turn that legacy against them. Send out the probe. Time for plan besh.”

Ruins, Desert
Cocytus system

“These markings, they aren’t like anything else we’ve found on the planet,” Karen said shining a light on the walls. They had fallen into this chamber just hours before while studying artifacts from the more primitive civilizations of the planet.

“What do you think this means, Polis?” she asked. Polis Jones remained silent as he looked over some crudely painted images.

“This image here, a being shooting energy out of his hands, and over here, the same figure with people bowing to it,” Polis said. He took his flashlight and shined it down the hallway, bits of metal caught the light reflecting it, still shiny even after all these years.

“If this is anything like that box we found,” Karen replied. She shuddered at the memory. Polis put a reassuring hand on her shoulder.

“Come on, odds of us having something that bad happening again? Not a chance,” He said. The two turned back to climb out of the hole they fell through, not noticing back in the darkness a single red light starting to blink.