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

Orian Assembly: Vengeance



Kwa Temple

“Master, the remaining Organisation Star Destroyer Pandora’s Box and her forces have returned to the system for revenge as planned. Clan Naga Sadow’s forces are away at Nicht Ka, and it’s the perfect time to strike.” Dark Adept Rex Drayfus smirked. “My clone was killed as predicted by the madman.” The former Jedi appeared confident.

“Do not think that will lessen his zeal for blood,” replied Dark Jedi Master Anaxela Goura. The red-haired woman touched her chin thoughtfully. “Our common enemy will be of use now that we have in effect assumed command of their ship. Tell the Organization forces to attack. It should distract the Clan from our efforts here.” She nodded towards the confused-looking Ombi woman. “Once she gets the Gate open, we will have unlimited power. Enough to rip their ships from the sky like moths burning in a candle flame,” smiled the darksider with an evil grin. “Have the mercenaries and VSD begin their attack on Mucenic.”

Firefox-class Carrier Final Way
Nicht Ka
Stygian Cauldron
Sith Space

The living tree, Admiral Simonetti, and the Mad Sith stared at the viewscreen. “It appears Nicht Ka is nearly under control,” spoke the Consul slowly. “We’ll be done in a few days.”

“Excellent,” chuckled Macron. “This one was relatively less painful than the others.”
The holocom link chimed, and the figure of Kaayn Salis appeared in a flickering blue light. “Priest Salis.” The Adept nodded. “We’re impressed with your work since your fall to the Dark Side of the Force.”

“Gentlemen, we have a problem.” The figure spoke. “The Pandora’s Box has moved into Orian space and is headed towards Tarthos. The Space Platform can’t hold long against a VSD.”

Macron and Malik looked at each other. “Anaxela,” growled Macron Sadow.

Simonetti remained characteristically quiet. The seasoned commander usually considered his words carefully. “We can spare the VSD and Acclamator at this point, gentlemen.”

Malik pondered the situation. “Macron, Take the VSD Covenant and the Acclamator Absolution and go deal with this problem. We can spare them. We’ll need as many of the Dark Jedi onboard both ships as possible.”

“As you wish,” nodded the madman as his fists clenched. The Juggernaut turned towards Admiral Simonetti. “Have your officers and flight crew ready my transport. Inform Captain Rineval I’m taking command of the Covenant. Captain Mahdi Jeisel is hereby ordered to bring the Absolution along as part of the task force. We move as soon as possible, at flank speed.”

“Yes, Marshal Commander.” Admiral Simonetti picked up a comlink and issued the orders tersely. “Now hear this. All available Dark Jedi are to report to the docking bays of their respective ships, by order of the Consul. Our system is under attack, and the Covenant and Absolution will be moving to intercept.”

The Neti and the Admiral watched the Alchemist storm off the deck onto a turbolift. “Always in such a bad mood,” commented the Consul.

“He’s almost worse when he’s happy. The only thing that makes him happy is inflicting pain and death. I have a grudging respect for him after he revenged my lover’s death, but I’m still more comfortable with him off of my ship.” Admiral Simonetti turned to the holoscreen and began tracing possible hyperspace jump routes.

More coming soon!


VSD Pandora’s Box
Approaching Tarthos
Orian System

Counselor Two surveyed the helm of his ship. The former Republic Admiral had allied himself with Anaxela and the Gomorag in order to seek revenge on Clan Naga Sadow for the humiliating series of defeats they had been handed. The majority of their fleet was elsewhere, as Anaxela had predicted correctly. It was time to strike, time to deliver a hammer blow that would weaken the Clan and exact revenge. If his forces could cripple Platform Onyx 2, smash Mucenic and House Marka Ragnos and kill many Dark Jedi, the Clan might never recover. Their natural enemies would be sure to finish them off when they sensed weakness.

Onboard the VSD were a plethora of Ghrag mercenaries, as well as numerous starfighters. The fighters were mainly TIE Avengers, and the pilots he had were experienced. The Organisation still maintained a few surprises and he had spent time out of the Orian System recruiting from their other bases. An entire partial brigade of troops, along with droids and a small company of gene-soldiers awaited within the bowels of the VSD to deliver death to their foes.

“All hands. We are approaching their Cardan-Three class space platform known as Onyx Two. Launch fighters. I repeat, launch fighters. Once the platform is neutralized, begin the landings at Mucenic. Dark Jedi are to be your primary target- kill as many of them as you can. Especially the Journeymen.”

Cardan-III Platform Onyx 2
Tarthos Orbit
Orian System

Klaxons blared as Verpine and others rushed back and forth on the Space Platform. A Starwind-Class Yacht, the Violator landed in one of the docking bays. Krath Priest Kaayn Salis debarked with his Apprentice, T’Espera. The naturally arrogant man was a natural-born spacer after being raised onboard a starship. He immediately began issuing orders in typical commanding fashion. He had been a competent Jedi General in his former life. “Our back-up is on the way. Man the turbolasers, raise shields, and prepare to repel boarders. We have to hold out until our reinforcements arrive. All Dark Jedi in-system who are available prepare to defend Tarthos. Contact Jeric Cyrin and the Authority Barracks in Kar Albarek and have them reinforce any landing zones if the bastards get through to the surface.” Get here soon people, thought the Fallen Jedi. We won’t last long.


Ship’s RnR Room
VSD Covenant
Approaching the Orian System
Sith Space

The room was quiet except for the powerful throb of the hyperspace engines that echoed throughout the bulkhead walls. Some of the most powerful Dark Jedi of Clan Naga Sadow gathered here. There was no formal table, or any other such silliness. Instead they all sat at the ship’s bar in the recreation area.

Adept Macron Sadow, Pontifex Manji Keibatsu, Quaestor Shirai Dupar, Aedile Maelous Ascarend, Exarch Mirado L’eonheart, Exarch Araxis Farron , Epis Jade Sadow, Warrior Alexander del Gotto, Templar Dyrra Skye, and Prelate Roxas Buurenaar were present. Others were on their way to the chamber. The room literally stank with Dark Side energy and quiet venom besides the smell of alcohol.

Their home, their loved ones, their system was under attack. As the bulk of Naga Sadow’s forces assaulted Nicht Ka their enemies had struck back. It was a dirty back-stabbing blow. The attack was typical of one particular enemy that had been a thorn in the Clan’s side for almost ten years. Anaxela Goura had returned at the head of the Gomorag Dark Jedi and had roped the remainder of the Organisation forces into supporting her in an attempt to destroy the Clan.

“Dark Jedi of Clan Naga Sadow,” said the madman Macron as he raised his glass. The Bottle of Sadow had made it’s rounds earlier. “Today we face an enemy that has the potential to destroy us. Already their VSD is about to hit Platform Onyx, and Tarthos is now in a battle for it’s life. They intend to destroy our Cardan III platform, and then Mucenic in a ground invasion thereby crippling House Marka Ragnos. I hope our proud and capable Journeymen and Journeywomen can hold on there and give them a drubbing! I have ultimate faith in their power and love of this Clan, as they are our future. Our Acclamator, the Absolution will engage and reinforce them them shortly. May the Dark Side be with them!”

The Alchemist turned to a blank wall and gestured at a hovering IT-3 droid. “Unfortunately, bad as it is, that is only a distraction.”

The menacing droid opened up a holoprojector as Macron spoke. “My… sister,” he spat on the floor as he said it to remove the foul taste from his mouth. “Has entered one of the Kwa ruins on Aeotheran. Kalon and others did reconnaissance on the site as she entered before we were drawn away to Nicht Ka. She seeks Kwa technology and magicks there. Perhaps even a Gate.”

At the mention of the Gate, the room’s normal chatter grew quiet. All eyes turned to the holodisplay as a diagram of the planet orbits lit up. It showed a planet that did not exist, in an ancient time. A ray seemed to radiate from Aeotheran towards the phantom planet, and it was reinforced by radiations from Ombus. The perfect conjunction resulted in an explosion and the planet was destroyed. It became an asteroid field.

“That’s right. Dentaavi. I’m convinced that this might have been what Urias Orian used to destroy Dentaavi. If she opens it, she will have enough power to blow our system to stardust, planet-by-planet. Lord Orian’s work on Dentaavi may have been a mistake- or not. But my evil twin surely intends to use it to blow us all to quarks. We must all band together and do our part to put this vile bitch and her minions in the ground, once and for all. The Clan needs you, and I need you. Who is with me?”

The Sith Adept looked at the many faces that looked back. A roar of assent and blood-lust was his response.


Staging Bay
Acclamator Class Assault Ship Absolution
Hyperspace Transit to Orian System

Locke nodded as he listened to the aide give Captain Madhi Jeisel his report and depart their presence.

"It’s not looking good, " the Captain said. “They’re already in place.”

“And that Victory Star Destroyer is probably more than the Absolution can safely handle,” Locke noted. Even with the fighters that had made the jump with them from Nicht Ka and whatever would launch from the Onyx II, it still wouldn’t be a fair fight.

“After deploying troops, the Absolution will attack anyway, buy some time, prevent the star destroyer from bombarding the surface or destroying the station.” Madhi replied, voice calm and neutral. She had a job and a sense of duty, and Locke respected that.

He turned his back to her, looking out from the raised platform over the cavernous staging area in the troop carrier’s hangar bay. All across it, clones and soldiers of the 2nd Infantry Battalion and 1st Armor Battalion suited up, tested their weapons and other equipment, and prepared for battle. The metallic sounds of gears echoed throughout the chamber as, in the distance, AT-STs and other walkers’ joints were checked and prepared for action. Dark Jedi were among them, taking their places among the groups of soldiers, many that had taken command already issuing orders and planning strategy for the coming battle. Locke saw Prelate Roxas Buurenaar surrounded by a group of elite clones, while Dark Jedi Knight Daedric Turelles conversed with the captain of one of the Armored units. He also saw Jedi Hunter Sebz Janren in the pilot’s seat of a Multi-Altitude Assault Transport, looking over the various flight controls as the craft’s missile launchers were reloaded. He saw other Dark Jedi as well, ones who he could not identify for the moment. Locke knew that this was not all their force; some, such as Templar John “Dragoon” Witwalker would be joining them in starfighters.

This was all that could be gathered on such short notice. Many had boarded the Covenant to pursue Anaxela to her temple and finish her once and for all. The rest of the Warhost remained at Nicht Ka, still cleaning up the One Sith. These men and women and their Dark Jedi allies would have to be enough, though their numbers were not great. They had fought at Nicht Ka, and then been told to prepare for another battle right away, with no rest in between. They were battle-hardened, but tired, yet they would have to do.

“Perhaps a speech?” Captain Jeisel suggested. “Some words of encouragement?”

“I hate speeches,” Locke grumbled, but he could see her logic. After all, she likely worked closely with the Warhost commanders before battle, and knew that extra bit of kindling to the spirit could fan the fires of passion for warfare, and that passion won battles. “Put me through to the starfighters as well, if they can receive a signal in hyperspace.”

Locke tapped the microphone in front of him, hearing the tap sound throughout the massive chamber. Noise and motion stopped, and Locke found hundreds of eyes staring toward him. The platform was not high, but it was enough to make him visible to everyone.

He began without delay. “Soldiers of the Warhost, disciples of Naga Sadow, the coming battle will not be easy. The witch Anaxela has chosen this time when she thought we were weak to reveal herself, to summon those other enemies we thought were broken. But the Organization seeks to strike at us one last time, cowardly attacking our homes on Tarthos while we are away.”

“Even now, as we speak, they have already landed and are marching on Mucenic, hoping to destroy our sacred monastery there and the town that surrounds it. In space, their warships are nearing the Onyx Two, seeking to destroy a station that not only serves us, but the entire Assembly. The Orian Authority holds them back alone, desperately outnumbered, yet not without grit and determination.”

Locke let his voice rise as he continued. “We will assist them. We will dive into the heart of this battle and drive these insurgents off our system! We will cleanse our worlds of this plague, this time once and for all!” He let his voice fall to a quiet, level tone as he finished. “Show no mercy. Destroy the Organization. Destroy their minions. Teach them that to attack Sadow is to beg for death.”


Cardan-III class Space Platform Onyx 2
Tarthos Orbit
Orian System

The few meager TIE Interceptors launched. Platform Onyx Two was under attack, and only a few fighters that had been under repair were available as the rest were with the Warhost at Nicht Ka. The VSD II Pandora’s Box loomed a few thousand meters away, and it had launched it’s own bevy of TIE Advanced fighters. Things were looking pretty bad as the first of the Platform’s TIE Interceptors were shot down almost immediately. Soon, the VSD would be within turbolaser range.

Rollmaster Kaayn Salis slammed his fist onto the console inside the Platform’s command area. “Shavit! Where the hell are…” Just then, an Acclamator Class warship dropped into real-space from hyperdrive nearby.

“Platform Onyx Two, this is the Absolution,” came the welcome comlink call. Cheers went up from within the command room. “This is Senior Commander Locke Sonjie. Captain Jeisel and I are ready to assist.” A small group of fighters shadowed the ship, a mixture of different classes along with a few HLAF-500 class ships. Multiple transports and dropships slid from the Acclamator and dropped towards Mucenic far below.

“Good hunting Absolution!” shouted Kaayn in reply. His brow furrowed as he thought to himself. “This still doesn’t look good though…”

Mucenic Plains
Orian System

The Organisation forces had departed their dropships and transports, and were now massing on the plain outside of Mucenic. The monastery sat on a hill, overlooking the plain below. Nearby was a small homestead. General Kalorg gestured towards several mercenaries. “Go see what’s in those shacks over there, and kill anyone you find. Then burn them to the ground.” The Trandoshan grabbed his electrobinocs and scanned Mucenic. “Amazing. No military response so far.” The lizard-man pointed at the hill. “Bring me into that castle.”

Docking Bay
VSD II Covenant
Aeotheran Orbit
Orian System

“Marshal Commander, we sent as many of the HLAF’s as we could spare to assist the Absolution,” Captain Rineval commented. “Your group has boarded the transports.” His voice echoed across the comlink speakers.

“Very good, Captain. Take your ship to reinforce the Absolution. Granted, it will take some time to reach it as we cannot risk a micro-jump within system. When you arrive, use the gravity well generators to ensure that they do not get away. I want all of them dead and that ship reduced to scrap. Our Dark Jedi are more than capable of getting back to Command after we deal with the Gomorag down there.” Macron turned to the control surfaces of the Delta class assault transport he was on. “We’re launching.”


Staging Bay
Acclamator Class Assault Ship Absolution
Hyperspace Transit to Orian System

Sebz jittered with controls one last time. All his instruments were looking good, and everything had been reloaded. He then adjusted his mask, perfectly aligning it over his whole entire face.

“Ok, let’s see what you can do.” Said the Jedi Hunter as he pressed a button on the right side of the mask. Control readings and marker flew all around him. The mask depressurized and a steady stream of oxygen let him breath under the heavy but useful mask.

“Hey Worms, you there?” asked his good friend, Dark Jedi Knight Daedric Turelles.

“Yup. You ready?” asked the Jedi Hunter as he prepared the ship to be launched out the hangar doors and into an intense space operation.

“Damn right I am!” said Daedric as he quickly lowered his mic and gave an encouraging cat call to his troops, which they all responded to. “We’re ready. Just waiting on you.”

A grin was smacked onto Sebz’s face. “MAAT gunners, you ready?”

“Hell yeah!” said 3 voices all simultaneously over the comlink.

Sebz smiled as he began to talk to his passengers and crew. “This is your captain speaking. We are just about to launch out of hyperspace into the orbit of Tarthos. Please turn off all comlink devices and hold on. We hope you enjoy your flight.” Sebz knew that it wasn’t part of the job, but he did it anyway.

Sebz looked around the docking bay. Several pilots were running to their ships, while many troops were preparing to be next in line to board a ship to get them to their destination.

Suddenly, a voice appeared over the ship’s intercom.

“Exiting hyperspace in 3… 2… 1…”

“All forward ships go.” said the docking bay commander. The blast doors opened and the docking bay was instantaneously engulfed by space.

“Here we go!” yelled Sebz as he hit the throttle forward and launched the MAAT into battle.


Installation Seven
Nifokalija Mountains
Orian System

“Master, I sense… trouble.” Rex Drayfus closed his eyes and felt within the Force. A disturbance surrounded Aeotheran, and the meaning was unclear. Whatever it was, it was coming quickly like a black storm cloud shot with red lightning in his mind. The Gomorag Adept spoke up. “This feels quite dangerous, unlike last time.” His own connection to sensing things in the Force was strong for one of his power, reflecting his former Jedi training.

Anaxela closed her eyes. “Yes… yes. My little brother- and he has brought friends. Many… powerful, angry friends. I can feel their anger and hate. Including at least one who rivals my own power. One known as the Wolf… my, how he has grown since we last laid the Orian System low at the hands of the former True Brotherhood.” She sneered. “Severina was a fool. Fah. It will do them no good. Soon we will have the power of the Kwa Gate, and with that I will destroy this entire system and everyone in it. We will rip every planet in this pathetic backwater system and their dying red sun to atoms, like Urias Orian did with Dentaavi.” She coughed and clutched her side after peering so deeply into the Force. “Heh heh.”

Rex eyed her carefully as she turned to the clone of Hafa Chun that was fumbling at the door to the inner courtyard. He wondered at his Master. She had shown him a deeper way to the Dark Side, but at what cost? Would she destroy him too? As a greedy Fallen Jedi, his main loyalty was to himself. Drayfus could only hope the expensive clone would retain some of her lost memory and challenge Anaxela. With her help, they could destroy the madwoman- or at the very least, he could get away with his life intact. He had no problems abandoning both of them to their collective fate. So be it.

The clone of the former Ekind princess laid her slightly scaly hands on the complex locks of the massive stone door. Nothing happened. “Mistress Goura, I do not understand?” She looked confused and lost, nothing at all like her progenitor. The fierce fire and awesome power of the last consort of Urias Orian himself was not within her. “Will you help me? What must I do?”

“You little fool,” growled Anaxela as she pulled a sharp razor from within her sleeve. She turned and lighting-quickly whipped it across the back of the clone’s outstretched hand. The cut hurt, but was not especially deep. As the Ekind woman screamed, her hot blood splashed across the door. Rex grimaced and looked away in disgust.

The madwoman spoke. “It’s in your blood, you former Ombi idiot. In your very twisted genetics. Lord Orian himself saw to it that your… signature was encoded before he died. I saw it in the past as I Flow-Walked here years ago. Now bind that wound and let’s get moving.” She gestured to the Gomorag Dark Jedi and hard-core mercenaries that followed them as she licked the blood off of the razor with gusto and a sick grin. “Get ready to move in. Huh huh huh.”

A grinding sound was her only reply as the massive Force-imbued door began to shift. A musty charnel odor of long-dead reptilian flesh and pent up gasses met them as they moved forward. A one-eyed woman wearing strange carapace-like armor and carrying a lightsaber, a hardened female Togruta warrior, and a plethora of Dark Jedi and Ghrag mercenaries followed.


Medical Bay
Acclamator Class Assault Ship Absolution
Orian System
Tarthos Space

Dragoon got up from the Med table as the Medical Droid finished checking him. "Where’s my armor?" he asked the Droid. "I Do Not Know sir". It replied. Dragoon then headed to his make shift quarters. Even though he resigned as Battle Team Leader of Devil’s Shroud, he had been asked to at least ride along with the Ground pounders, just in case. Well “Just in case” had happened. Turns out his master Bantha waste of a sister had decided to attack while everyone was working on Nacht Ka or what ever it was called.

Dragoon had made it to his quarters and found his armor and weapons ready laid out. He donned his armor and clipped his light saber to his hip as he noticed the MAAT’s launch and the blaster and laser fire from the different fighters. Dragoon thought for a moment. He then turned to his wall communications device and punched up the code for the 1st batts. Infantry commander, LT. Col. Criss. He answered at once. "Yes Senior Commander?" He asked.

"Colonel, i will be taking Dorn Company from 1st battalion, 1st Brigade combat team, with me to Mucenic on Tarthos. Prepare them and have them waiting in the shuttles. Also include a rough command set up team for a Forward operating base. Inform the men to expect heavy resistance."

The Man nodded and cut the comm channel. Dragoon finished getting ready. He then called up two other men to let them know, Roxas, the horseman of war, and Locke, his Aedile.

Shuttle Bay
ACC Absolution

When Dragoon walked in he was met by two troopers, one a Captain and the other a Master Sergeant.
“Sir, i am Captain Jakarolo, and this is my Company Sergeant, Master Sergeant Nagotto.” The Sergeant saluted him, “Sir” was said sternly at the same time. Dragoon nodded, "Are we ready Captain, i have men waiting on us." the Captain nodded ,“yes sir, but to my understanding, wouldn’t it be easier to just bombard the Planet? there’s not much…” Dragoon grabbed the man by the neck and started to squeeze, "THIS IS HOUSE MARKA RAGNOS’S HOME PLANET. THERE ARE LOYAL PEOPLE TO CLAN NAGA SADOW DOWN THERE. IF YOU FEEL YOU CAN NOT UP HOLD YOUR DUTY AS A TROOPER OF THIS CLAN FEEL FREE TO RELEASE YOURSELF OF COMMAND CAPTAIN. OTHERWISE, DO AS YOUR TOLD. IS THAT CLEAR?" The man, despite turning blue from the grip and being held off the ground slightly, manged to utter a very noticeable “CRYSTAL.” worded response.

Dragoon let the man go as he doubled over gasping for are like some one with asthma who had just ran 3 miles. "And that goes for the rest of you as well. We will protect these people and KILL ANYONE who gets in our way. SAFETY’S OFF FOR THEM. NO PRISONERS. FOR SADOW!" Cheers rang out as the rest of the company headed for the transport shuttles. With the Space battle well underway now, it was time for the Ground troops to make their move. Dragoon got on the lead shuttle and walked up to the pilot, “Pilot, lets depart and make your way for the northern flat just north of the city.”

The man nodded, the doors closed, and the Shuttles launched…


Brief blasts of superheated air ruffled the kama draped around the Primarch’s legs, stirred up by the departure of Janren’s MAAT, Witwalker’s shuttle and the scant other craft that followed suit as soon as they were filled with ground troops and Journeymen. Shi Long spared a glance for each one that launched as he beheld the marshalling of Naga Sadow’s war machine.

Each piece was essential and every action, crucial, especially if he were to believe the reports that Sonjie had broadcast across the Absolution’s ‘net. They’d be hopelessly outclassed and out numbered; the interlopers had chosen their moment of attack wisely, waiting for the Clan’s forces to be severely depleted by its assisting the Brotherhood’s main action, then launching a two-pronged assault that split their defenses even more.

“Crafty bastards,” the Long said to himself more than anyone else, but his voice held no bite of hatred. No, the baritone was smooth, any edge smoothed by a mounting excitement.

With “Project: D.I.E.” over, Shi Long was moments from departing to resume his search for his Blind Sister and the Falleen. A necessary action, but not one that he’d relished undertaking; he was a fighter, not a bloodhound.

Thankfully, he’d been saved by the fools who would strike while the Clan was at her most vulnerable and his trip would be delayed.

He stalked across the hangar bay, various rallying cries and shouts for glory erupting briefly around him before being drowned out by the departure of yet another shuttle. Shi noted to himself how markedly different this was from what he’d witness if he were still with Arcona. The Shadow Clan had numbers and would take hours upon hours to plan and plot and scheme, seeking the most tactical advantage before undertaking something of this level of importance.

Not so, these Conquerors of Destiny. This was pure survival. The more experienced fighters and pilots acted with a sense of primal urgency, despite knowing the odds. There was no hesitancy, no delay. After all, If the Clan was to survive this latest affront, the defenders would have to react with an almost religious fervor; fitting, since the Organisation’s primary goal seemed to be the taking of the Temple.

His thoughts drifted to the moments before Witwalker had departed and his “gentle reminder” to Captain Jakarolo. Some would question how the Templar had treated the Captain, bodily assaulting him in front of the sergeant, but not Shi. What some would call abuse, Shi would call an “aggressive focusing aid”. It was something he half-remembered doing himself time and again, a lifetime ago. Witwalker understood, it seemed, that displays like that were necessary at times, not only in cementing one’s own command, but also in making sure that as many Naga Sadowans lived to be able to tell the tales of glory and honor they’d begun crafting today. Wounded pride was far better, for a leader of Men, than a stilled heart.

Religious fanaticism. Aggression. An absolute refusal to be bowed. These were ideals that Shi Long could live with. Mindsets he could work with.

Warriors he could die with.

The smile that had begun to curl the corners of his mouth was only half-formed, however, tempered by a stark reality. Their singular ability to turn back Tarthos’ attackers alone was questionable, at best. They were strong, the Tarthos liberation forces, but they were young. United with the heavy-hitters on Aeotheran, they’d be nigh unstoppable.

Time was not on their side, Shi thought, espying the stark silhouettes of the Onyx Two and the Pandora’s Box through the ray-shielded bay’s entrance, the brief blossoms of bright ochre explosions peppering the space between them.

But, the Apostate knew something that the Organisation did not. Time had yet to reach its fullness, and there was much to be revealed. If the forces here at Tarthos had half as much will as Witwalker and were a third as fearless as Janren, time could be bought. Shi Long would add his power, and the Revelation would be glorious, indeed.

The Stone Dragon’s eyes alit upon some drop pods, and he began to make his way towards one when a strong hand clapped him on the shoulder and pulled him around. Whirling, Shi looked at the hand’s owner, his molten-mercury eyes meeting those of murky green. A name drifted from between the Primarch’s teeth, bared in a rising defiance.


Mucenic Plains

General Kalorg was backlit by a fiercely burning homestead, his mercenaries obedient and efficient. The Trandoshan had his snout craned skyward, his electrobinocs bringing the section of the sky near the space platform’s coordinates into sharp relief.

Several burning trails briefly scorched his vision, the angry plumes short-lived but signalling craft breaking atmosphere. “Ah, that’s more like it,” the lizard-man hissed in quiet satisfaction. Then, louder, “they’re coming,” his muscled arm sweeping forward as he shouted. “Now, as we planned!” The General’s orders were drowned out by the rising sounds of the Organisation’s forces mobilizing and moving towards the temple. There was a crash as a burning timber within the homestead gave way, and a plume of ash and flame soared skyward.


Vault of Naga Sadow
Location Redacted

The past is a reminder of what was done right and what must never be done in the world. Inside the vault on Sepros, articles of the past served as a reminder to the strength of warriors and the madness of tyrants. They were the memories of individuals who refused to let history write them off as a side note. As the echo of his footsteps boomed throughout the area, Shikyo ever wondered if his life would be nothing more than a footnote in the history of his clan, his brotherhood.

So much time had past since the Wolf of Kyataru left the frontlines of the Great Reclamation to serve his eldest brother’s will. Since then, he’d stayed in the shadows, missed the birth of his son, and committed atrocities that would bring shame to his family, all in the name of establishing order. Once the war had ended, he found himself drifting from planet to planet to grasp a sense of purpose he’d long lost sight of. Somehow, this wandering led him back to where he first found his calling: Sepros.

He walked among the artifacts and remembered the stories passed on with each item. Every story told of individuals who were pushing the bounds of sanity or thirsty for more power than they already had. However, each one refused to be a victim of history and carved out their own destiny. The Krath Sorceror pulled a small, disc-like device from under his robes and pressed a button on the side.

Elysia Moxla’s image appeared, cradling a bundle in her arms that shifted and cooed slightly. Her pale, cyan image stared down at the child before turning her gaze at that of her husband. Shikyo knew the image was a hologram and knew she couldn’t really see him. Nonetheless, he felt the connection of her look and it struck him to the bone.

The clatter of boot on stone echoed through the vault as the Keibatsu turned towards the source of the sound. Katsuhide, the Nihilgenia commander assigned to Shikyo, made no attempt to hide his presence as he moved with purpose. The general bowed his head slightly before removing his helm.

“My lord, the Dokugan-Ryu is preparing to take the field in Aeotheran and reports indicate that Shi Long is on Tarthos.”

His family was here. His brother on one planet, his cousin on the other. One who held him in so high a regard, one who held him in contempt and betrayed his family. The conflict didn’t matter as greatly to the Krath as it did to those in battle. But his family was there and the Keibatsu refused to stay behind while his family fought.

“Are my mask and Shinsei on board?”

Katsuhide nodded.

Shikyo turned his attention to the sith sword placed upon an altar. He recognized it as one belonging to Shar Dakhan and had seen it before in the possession of Anaxela Goura. The Force had an odd way of bringing events full circle to the lives of so many. With a smirk on his face, the Master placed his hand on the hilt of the sword and claimed it for himself. He would carve his destiny with this blade, if only for the time being. He would return to the place he first called him. He would defend it with his brethren.

Placing the blade on his right hip, the Keibatsu turned towards his friend and comrade.

“Inform Macron that I will take the field at Aeotheran. Inform the Dragon the Wolf will arrive via hard-drop. Once you jettison my pod, remain in orbit but away from the conflict. I’ll need a quick departure.”

“The Masarao will be ready.”

The Nihilgenia placed his helm back on before leaving the vault. Shikyo turned his direction to the sword and took in the power of the Dark Side. It was potent and begging to be unleashed on the world. It had created an impact in history and wanted to do so again. In the hands of the Wolf, it would be able to do so one more time.


Jade watched as everyone moved from the RnR room, each intent to seek vengeance, each wondering why macron wasn’t an only child, each slightly drunk on Sadow. It was going to be a battle that each member both looked forward to, and dreaded.

As she left the room and headed towards her post she saw Maelous in some small quarters, the door likely malfunctioning and staying open. Jade grinned as she leaned against the door frame. So this is what he did to prepare for battle? Stand In front of a mirror, which was covered by some blanket, his helmet on the table beside him. She chuckled to herself. His precious helmet.

He was whispering, must be talking to it…oh she couldn’t resist. Using the force she reached out and took the helmet, the armour floating effortlessly to her hand. Maelous quickly turned around then looked back at the wall.

Jade played with the helmet in her hand, “you know, praying to your helmet isn’t going to help you?” She chuckled.

Maelous groaned, “give it back.” He refused to turn around, he’d been hiding everything so well. How did jade even get into the room? Curses! The door was malfunctioning earlier, he thought it had been fixed…he’d have a few words with maintenance next chance he got.

Jade grinned, like a cat who had her pray trapped between her paws. She looked at the helmet then slid it on over her head. “Ug, how do you even see in this thing?” Jade mocked him as she walked closer.

Maelous stretched his hand out behind him and made a grabbing motion with his fingers, “helmet, now.”

“Hmmmm, too demanding.” Jade couldn’t put her finger on it, but something was different about him, different, yet strangely familiar.

“Fine, give me back my helmet…now.” He didn’t want anyone to know his weakness, or what he deemed to be a weakness, particularly Jade, but he couldn’t figure out why hiding it, especially from her, was on his priority list. He tried telling himself it was because she would likely squeal to Macron.

Jade took a step closer and shook her head side to side, “I don’t usually wear helmets, but I like it…think I might keep it.” The tips of her fangs showed as she grinned under the mask, poised to pounce the moment her prey moved.

“Please.” Why did he just say that?

Jade sighed, “well now you just had to go and take the fun out of it.” She took the helmet off and placed it on the table beside him. “Just remember, it won’t help you like the force, or your brethren, can.” She tapped his shoulder and her body instantly tensed up, as feelings and memories not only shot through her, but from her. Each one too fast to catch details, swirling and moving on dark tendrils of the force.

As the Absolution emerged from hyperspace, Senior Commander Sonjie commed the platform.  “Platform Onyx II, this is the Absolution.  This is Senior Commander Locke Sonjie, Captain Jeisel and I are ready to assist.”  A reply from from the Rollmaster, Kaayn Salis, from on-board the Onyx II, “Good hunting Absolution.”  As the ground forces started to depart, Dark Jedi Knight Armad felt the ship bank away from the planet and presumably towards the Victory Star Destroyer.  
Getting up from a spare bridge console, Armad walked over to where the Captain and the Senior Commander were standing.  Standing at a semblance of attention while his two superiors finished giving out new orders and receiving the latest reports.  “Yes, Knight Armad, you have something for us?”  the Senior Commander stated without turning her head.  “Your eagerness is palpable.”  Captain Jeisel didn't start at the Senior Commanders ability to know when there was someone behind him, she’d been working with the Dark Brotherhood for far too long to let that bother her.  
“Sirs, I may have a come up with a tentative plan to scuttle that ship and save both the Onyx II and the Absolution.”  Armad stated, then paused when both superiors turned and looked at me incredulously.  
“You definitely have our full attention, continue,” Captain Jeisel said.
“If we can get the ventral shields to fall, we could get a strike team aboard to either plant a bomb or cause enough damage to neutralize her.”  I state, gesturing towards the VSD.  “We would need to maneuver in her stern, fairly below her mid-line so we can concentrate on her ventral shield and engines.  This way we can reinforce the forward shield to weather what we can from her.”  I paused looking out the forward viewpoint.  “Throwing what we can at the shields and engine at a steady pace to bring down the shields.  So we can slip a ship into the secondary hangar to do what they can.”  
I look towards the Captain and Senior Commander, who were looking at me with thoughtfulness.  
“Of course, that presupposes we can a team together and in place at the same time the shields go down.”
“What about any forces on-board?  Wouldn't they have security in place to prevent such a thing?”  The Captain asked, thinking she might have gotten me on that point.
“I’m making a very large assumption that a vast majority or all of their troops are on the ground.  That’s why we would need to have a Clan member fly close enough to get a sense of what could possibly be still on the ship”
“It could work, it most likely won’t work exactly like you plan, but we can work off it.”  The Captain stated, stroking her chin in a thoughtful gesture.  She then turned to the Senior Commander.  “Well Sonjie, looks like we've got the battle up here in hand, if you’d like to join the ground battle.  The last of the drop-ships are about to launch.”
“KE Locke nodded to the Captain, then turned to me, “Very well, Commander Armad, I leave things up here to you and Captain Jeisel.”  With that he turned and hurried towards the hangar.  Once he was gone, the Captain turned toward me and asked.
“Ok, Commander, what else do you have in mind as we get into position?”
“We need to send word to Sepros and see if they've launched their fighters, we’ll need them.  We’ll need to find our strike team, a ship to ferry them to and from their destination, and fast.”
“Easy enough, anything else?”  The Captain said with raised eyebrows.
“Yes, put a request in to Fleet Admiral Simonetti to see if we can get one of the Warrior-class gunships to jump in, do a flyby on the VSD and the TIE Avengers, circle the Onyx II, flyby the ships again and jump back out again.  I’m assuming the Covenant will be headed here after they drop of the Aeotheran strike team.  It will keep them guessing as to how large our force actually is until the Covenant arrives.”
“That’s a tall order, but I’ll put the calls in.”  The Captain said with a smirk on her face.
  • VSD Covenant
  • On Approach to the Orian System

As silent as a plague, Mirado moved through the halls of the Covenant, his hands moving across his body in an often practiced gear check. Of course, to the occasional passerby, it looked more like the assassin was trying to find his keys. It was futile, as everything he would be carrying in usual day to day operations were contained within a hardshell case strapped to the armor he was wearing. Similar to Stormtrooper armor, it was designed to protect a person specifically from sudden temperature variances and vacuum. It was designed specifically for the very task he was set to perform.

As he walked, he could feel the palpable tension. The ship was alight with the barely restrained killer instinct his clanmates cultivated like a vintner and their grapes. So many were itching to wreak violence and spill blood. They were a merry band of sociopaths and soon enough they’d have their chance to show the very best sides of themselves.

As he walked into the hangar deck, he was greeted by a pair of troops. One carried a large backpack, while the other waved to flag him down.

“We have your airfoil prepped, and the bomber is set to deliver.” The unburdened troop informed him. “Just waiting on launch clearance.”

“Good,” Mirado murmured as he turned to allow the other trooper to affix the airfoil to his LOLO suit.

“You’ll need to deploy this at a half klick from the ground. Any higher and you risk being tagged by sensors, any lower and you’re a dirt dart.” The jumpmaster said. “Your altimeter is already set to give an alert.”

Mirado nodded, tugged at the fasteners affixing the foil to his jump armor, and simply walked towards the lone TIE Bomber sitting in the hangar bay. The craft had been grounded for repairs to the weapons system, which made it perfect for the job at hand. A quick bit of work by the Verpines had turned the weapons magazine into a very uncomfortable passenger coffin, suitable to protect a person from incineration upon atmospheric re-entry, or so they’d promised.

Without another word, the assassin slid into the makeshift compartment, and waited.

  • A few Hours Later
  • Aeotheran’s Thermosphere

A small buzzing in Mirado’s helmet let him know that he’d reached jump height. During the trip, he’d had the time to do the math, and in a maintained ballistic dive, he’d be in freefall for over an hour. It was more than enough time for the weather to do unpleasant things for sure. Fortunately, he was intimately familiar with the Jungles of Aeotheran, having spent plenty of time hunting within them. The idea of humping several dozen klicks or farther just didn’t seem like a good use of his time and energy.

Still, it was go time, and with the rotation of the planet, projected weather, and insertion point carefully calculated by someone much better at math than he was, Mirado wasted no time in hitting the launch button.

A series of micro-detonations blew the seal off the weapons pod, which cued the pilot to turn their nose to the sky, allowing Mirado to just fall out. Immediately, the Obelisk assassin was buffeted by the wind, making his movements to adjust far tougher than simple acrobatics. It was a tense moment before he got himself in the correct position, but when he did, he began his descent towards the planet at almost 340 kph.

For many, even the thought of pulling this stunt was blood chilling, but to the Assassin, it was one of the perks of the job. As planned, he fell for quite a long time, though during this time he found a quiet calm, and took advantage of it, allowing himself to become one with the living Force surrounding the planet. When the time came to deploy his airfoil, he didn’t even bother with his altimeter.

When he slapped the activator, there was a sudden, powerful jerk, arresting most of his downward momentum. Saying it was painless would have been an outright lie, but it wasn’t debilitating, so he pushed it to the back of his mind, and guided his airfoil towards his destination.

About 70 meters up from the jungle canopy, he hit the releases on his airfoil and dropped into the trees. A combination of the Force and his own athletic ability brought him to a silent and controlled stop about halfway up one of the jungle trees. He wasted no time getting out of the jump armor and began the task of equipping himself, sliding all manner of sharp objects into their proper sheaths, taking a moment to coat several in poison, putting his lightsabers in their wrist sheaths, and clipping on his utility belt and scout pack.

Satisfied with his preparations, he reached out with his senses again, and felt the presence of several people not far away. Only one had any strength in the Force, and even then they were no match for the Equite. The trick would be to eliminate them quickly enough to prevent calling for aid or raising an alert, without allowing himself to get lynched.

Fortunately, this was his home turf, and he had the advantage.


VSD Covenant
Aeotheran Orbit
Orian System

The Sith turned to face the Epis as the Force flowed between them. The shock of the connection made his concerns for hiding the dark side corruption vanish, his blazing yellow eyes locking with her own violet ones. Maelous wanted to pull away but could not as the Force showed him emotions not his own. Mischief, pain, hatred, confidence, and even the hints of love from long ago, and amongst all of this somewhere in his mind he was aware that the same was happening to her.

The two finally managed pull away from one another, eyeing each other with suspicion. The Aedile was suddenly aware of a small knot of thoughts and emotion, as if she had set up a small room in his mind. She was stunned, is that confusion, he thought. The Horseman broke the stare and scooped up his helmet abruptly.

“We need to go,” he said flatly.

“Of course,” Jade said, “we will discuss this later.”

Maelous let the helmet slide over his head, the automated sealing mechanism engaging with a click and soft hiss. He checked his lightsaber and pouch on his belt absently as he left the room. He stopped in the hallway and looked over his shoulder at Jade and waited.

“How kind of you, Maelous,” the Epis cooed, trying to break the tension as she glided up next to him. He nodded as he lifted the hood of his cloak over his helmet. The two walked together toward the shuttle bay that the rest of the team would be meeting in.

They moved silently down several corridors until they reached the hangar. The team was gathered around and loading into the two shuttles. As they moved toward the gathered Dark Jedi a tone alerted overhead followed by a male voice that informed how much time they had until launch. Maelous absently touched the back of his left hand with his right as he went to find which shuttle he would be assigned too.


ACC Absolution
En-route to Tarthos

“Captain Scott,” Daedric stated as he approached the Captain of Besh Battery, First Armor of the First Brigade Combat Team. The two served together when Daedric was in the Dlarit Army, and had become best of friends during many battles. Scott was standing in the shadows of an AT-ST with a hologram floating effortless in front of him. He was mapping out the strategies that he planned to implement for the upcoming engagement.

“Ah, Commander Turelles. Just the man I was looking for.” Captain Scott stated as he turned towards the approaching Knight. He rendered a quick salute that was returned. “We have begun the preparations for the assault on Tarthos.” Captain Scott stated as the two looked at a passing AT-ST who was moving into place so that it could be loaded onto one of the awaiting Warlord Dropships that the First Special Forces Group loaned. “What have you come up with so far, Captain.” Daedric stated that began to examine the holo version of the battlefield in front of him.

“We currently have a LAAT/i, a Missile Attack Launcher, five MAATs and three AT-STs. First Special Forces Group has loaned us three Warlord Dropships, so they will carry the AT-STs, Juggernaut, Missile Attack Launchers, AT-AT. If we can fit it, we will stuff the LAAT/i in the Warlord too. We are understaffed that’s for sure but I think I have an idea. I plan to have the MAATs fly cover for the Dropships as we break for planet side.” Captain Scott stated as he moved the screen around showing, Mucenic. He had an area circled about two click south of the Temple limits. “This is where we plan on landing, and then push north getting them from the south end.”

Daedric looked over the plan deciding if he wanted to change anything. Content with the plan for now he turned back to the Captain. “Captain Scott…never thought I would be calling you a Captain.” Captain Scott laughed, “Never thought I would be seeing you as a Knight either, but times have changed.” Daedric nodded, “That they have my friend. This isn’t going to be an easy fight man. These guys hate us with everything in them and just want nothing but death.” Captain Scott looked at Daedric, puzzled. “You’re a Sith, Daedric. Isn’t that all you want too?” Daedric turned, facing away from his long time friend. “Not exactly, Captain. Continue your preparations. I have things I need to do.”

Two Hours Later
Daedric sat on his knees in the middle of his small cabin. He had been there since he left the hanger from speaking with Captain Scott. Using his Battle Meditation he began to send out thoughts of victory and honor to those surrounding him and heading to Tarthos. Allowing his own Pride to swell within himself, pushing it through the Force and into the hearts and minds of his comrades. He could feel the moral increase and the men getting eager to defend the home of House Marka Ragnos. Moral had been low since the go order came down from the Consul that they were going to Tarthos. Nicht Ka took a toll on everybody, especially the Warhost. Some of the Navy were still there assisting the rest of the Brotherhood. Daedric continued his mediation, allowing his own Pride swelling in him. This was the first time the Warhost has geared up for a defensive operation under it’s new reorganization and things seemed to be flowing smoothly. He allowed his own Pride to reach out and touch those around him.

ACC Absolution
Present Day
30 Minutes Ago
A chirp sounded from behind Daedric, who was still on his knees meditating. “Commander Turelles, Commander Janren wishes for me to inform you that his MAAT is ready. Captain Scott has been informed to meet you there.” The distinct sound of the communication set chirped off again. Daedric eyes opened, locking straight forward. He no longer was a member of the Black Guard, so there for he chose to longer wear the full set of armor. Since Nicht Ka he had been promoted to the Battle Team Leader of Devil’s Shroud, so he chose to wear his black battle armor along with a standard repeating rifle and his Lightsaber, Phoenix clipped to his side. He quickly rose and set off toward the hanger for his awaiting ride to planet side.

ACC Absolution
Present Day
Present Time

“Here we go!” yelled Sebz as he hit the throttle forward and launched the MAAT into battle.


ACC Absolution
Orbit over Tarthos
Orian Space

Sebz’s MAAT launched forward at his pushing of the throttle. The blast doors opened allowing the MAAT to pass through and head toward Tarthos. Almost immediately the Organization’s head cruiser launched laser beams of energy toward the Absolution. Miraculously no ships went down, but several recieved hard hits to the right side of their ships.

“How’s it looking out there?” asked Daedric who could’t see anything beyond the side doors.

“It’s hectic as hell. Tell your men to hold on because this could get nasty.” Said the young Jedi Hunter as he dodged enemy fire as best as he could. Markers lite his eyeballs up from his mask indicating several drops points and enemy ships within the vicinity. One particularly caught his eye.

A lime green marker was placed in the middle of Tarthos. Sebz knew exactly where he was going.

“MAAT Besh Company, on me. Sending you coordinates for insertion drop. Warlord ships follow suit. Blow anything out the sky that’s not ours.”

“Droid enemy ships straight ahead!” said a MAAT pilot on Sebz’s right. THe markers popping up on his mask confirmed the call. The droids were heading straight toward Sebz’s and Besh’s company.Sebz knew that he wasn’t the primal pilot he could be, and that dog fighting would lead to his own death.

“Can I get a target on the ships?” he asked as he lead the company 2 degrees left of the original plan.

“Aye my lord.” said a voice coming from the Absolution’s navigation command post.

“Weapons hot!” said Sebz as his gunners took the call into full effect. His ship rattled with jolts of energy being released. The other MAAT gunners followed suit.


One of the enemy’s ships had blown up by a well placed shot from the far right MAAT gunner.


The gunners were hitting their marks and sending droid ships to the scrap yard. All but three ships remained form the once dozen sized fleet that had decided to pursue Besh and Company. The gunners were failing with their guns, but not receiving any explosions in return. Shots were being missed.

“Sir, we can’t hit any of the ships that remain.Their too fast and are out maneuvering our weapons.”

“Well do something.” Said the inexpirienced Sith pilot as his ship was jolted by the blast of an energy bolt.


“Crap, left engines been hit. I don’t know if I can last long.” The young Sith ran over the controls, flipping switches and pushing buttons, trying to stabilize the ship and keeping it on the planned path of trajectory.

“Sit rep!” said his loyal Dark Jedi Knight brother. “Are we dropping or what?”

“GIve me a sec!” said Sebz as he went over controls. The ship’s right engine began to take control and stabilize. Sebz tugged at the controls, lifting the ship up, hoping that the surface wasn’t as close as his instruments read. The ship had just entered the atmosphere and began jolting around.

“Coming in hot!” Sebz didn’t know what to do and hoped the ship’s controls would let him do his thing.

“Drop zone up ahead!”

Sebz looked out of his cockpit and into the surface of Tarthos. “Brace for impact!” Sebz felt his ship hit the surface and everything went black.


ACC Absolution
Maintaining Position Over Mucenic
Tarthos, Orian System

After speaking with Armad, Locke headed to the hangar. Along the way, he stopped in the armory. The Krath already wore his lightsaber and DL-44 blaster pistol at his belt, but he would need more firepower for this battle. From his locker, he retrieved the AXM-50 rifle he had come to prefer. Nicknamed the “Blast and Smash”, it boasted the ability to both fire as a rifle and as a micro-grenade launcher, making it a versatile weapon. Locke shrugged as he gently put the rifle’s strap around his shoulders, checking to make sure the throwing knife hidden under the back of his shirt was in place. He also checked the cuffs of his flightsuit, feeling the two hidden in his sleeves. Locke had recently taken training in using the weapons, after thinking that it might be good to have a way to kill from a distance without discharging a loud weapon.

Next, Locke headed down into the hangar, looking around slowly as everyone got ready. One of Cresh Battery’s AT-ST crews already knew to expect Locke. Their walker was being loaded into a drop pod at the moment, which would have to be attached to an overhead rack that could position it over the gap in the ship’s ventral hangar prior to the drop, so Locke knew he had a few minutes. Even with the rush and sense of urgency, he took his time. Somehow, he had found himself giving a speech at the beginning of this mission, and if he was doing that, soldiers might be looking to him for an example. Thus, he would force himself to stay calm and in control of his surroundings.

That thought lasted only a few seconds before Locke’s eyes set upon a particular unique individual. There was no mistaking that warrior’s gait, that hair that could best be described as a dark mass above the man’s head, but there was something different. He remembered that man, from an encounter years before.

Usually, Locke would not approach a deadly enemy, but in this case, he found himself shocked. He reached out, grabbing the man’s shoulder, distantly surprised that the move had not been met with violence.

“Tsainetomo?” Locke said when the man turned around. Anger welled within Locke, but he crushed it and soothed it. There was a battle coming; it would be a waste to let it affect him here.

The man simply looked at him, lips twitching slightly, brow furrowed as if remembering something. Was that a smile? “That is the man I once was, Sonjie.”

“And who are you now?” Locke answered, voice ice. How had the man gotten onboard? Last Locke had seen him, he had been carving a path of destruction out of the Cenota prison on Gamuslag. After that, he had disappeared.

“Shi Long,” the man said, that twitch in his mouth becoming a grin. Why was he grinning.

For a moment, Locke did not know what to say. Thoughts piled upon each other in his mind. He had mixed feelings about the Longs. They had fought him when he became Consul, but then his Proconsul had joined them, shortly before disappearing. They could have been a powerful force for the Clan, if not so volatile, unpredictable, and focused on their own goals. Was he being truthful? What was this one’s goals? He had been Keibatsu, was he still? One did not simply severe blood ties, although at the moment Locke found himself unable to recall the other man’s connection to the family. Battle would begin soon and Locke was not sure how easy he felt with this man in it.

“Why are you here?” Locke found himself asking.

“Why not be here?” the apparent Long said. “There is battle here. This was once part of my home.”

Locke sensed that he wasn’t entirely sincere, but for now, he would have to allow it. He couldn’t very well begin a duel right here on the cusp of battle. Even if he did, Locke thought he could sense the man’s strength. They had come closer in power, but there was still that gap. Locke would not assault him unless absolutely necessary.

"We will see, " the Krath said. As he headed to his AT-ST, Locke heard the other man chuckle behind him.

After entering the AT-ST inside the drop pod, Locke busied himself with studying the controls and speaking to the crew, questioning them about tactics and various issues relating to the machine. He wasn’t a walker crewman by any means - having spent his entire career with the Alliance on foot or in starfighters - but Locke always felt it was good to know as much about his and his troops’ equipment as possible. Besides that, he had always wondered what it would be like to crew one of these, or one of the Alliance’s hover tanks. He needed to keep his mind busy, to not worry about Tsainetomo, or whatever the man called himself now.

Finally, one of the pilots let Locke know that he would want to strap himself in for the drop. He did so, thanking the man, not knowing how long they had been talking. Some more time passed, the crew already maintaining radio silence. Then a red light lit up on the Walker’s center console and Locke heard and felt a jolt, as if something was released.

There was silence for a time. That silence stretched for what felt like dozens of minutes. Locke relaxed, closing his eyes, feeling the Force. There were others around him, distant pinpricks of life energy that must have been the other pods descending. Aside from that, there was nothing, and Locke knew that void must have been empty atmosphere or space.

Finally, there was another light, this one yellow.

"30 seconds, " the pilot said.

One last breath. Locke knew what he had to do as soon as they landed. The enemy would likely be upon them soon, if not immediately. They would be positioned just on the outskirts of the grounds at Mucenic.

Then there was a green light and a constant, solid ringing sound.

"Down, " the pilot said, “opening pod door in 3…2-”

“Now!” Locke shouted urgently, shoving his palm against the release that would trigger the door. It burst outward, bathing the three men in bright, natural light. As their vision adapted, he saw a slope covered in soldiers - but not their soldiers. “Fire, fire, fire!” Locke yelled, standing up. He didn’t wait to see if his command was obeyed. Instead, the Krath summoned the Force, pushing the top hatch open with inhuman speed. He had the AXM rifle in his hands a moment later as he steadied himself against the hatch threshold.

Then, as the first beams from the walker below him began to lance out at the enemy group, Locke fired the rifle, aiming at the closest enemy soldier. The two forces were right on top of each other, and worse yet, Locke could see enemy walkers among the throng of soldiers, including a couple of AT-ATs and groups of AT-STs, painted a dull green color, probably to differentiate them from their enemies. It was going to be a busy day.


Orian System

A tropical breeze rustled the treetops stretching out before Manji’s eye, the scene misleadlingly tranquil. Behind him, two shuttles rested on the grassy clifftop upon which they had landed. The Kwa Temple was just visible in the distance, buried among the lush rainforest- they had avoided setting down too close. Nobody wanted to rush into this fight- they all knew how powerful Anaxela was, and they knew she’d have left some forces outside the temple to slow them down. They’d need all the advantages they could get.

He felt a presence- a noxious, putrid presence- as Macron moved next to him, staring out at the landscape. Where the Keibatsu’s eyes saw lush greenery and tropical growth, Macron’s undoubtedly saw destruction and decay- the Krath had been absent for a long while, but he’d spent enough time with his former student to have a good idea of the way that Macron’s mind worked.

“The temple’s ten clicks that way,” Manji said, shattering the silence and gesturing at the ancient structure. “You got a plan, or do we just charge in like we’re delivering pizza?”

A grin twitched across Macron’s face- despite the hatred and fury at Anaxela that broiled within him, it was good to hear his former master’s sense of humour once again.

“If I know my sister,” the alchemist growled, “She’ll have left some forces outside. Our best bet is to be as subtle as possible- a head-on assault is just going to waste time and energy.”

Rolling his eye, Manji turned back towards the shuttles, checking the twin sabers thrust through his belt.

“You know subtle ain’t my strong point, right?”

Clustered around the landing gear of the shuttles were the other members of the kill squad- Shirai Dupar, Maelous Ascarend and Jade Sadow who were eying each other cautiously, Araxis, Alexander del Gotto and another of Manji’s former students Dyrra Skye, who was leaning nonchalantly against the landing ramp inspecting her nails. Manji didn’t break stride as he moved past them, one hand thrust into his kimono and Macron walking alongside him.

“Move out, ladies,” the Pontifex sneered, as the team began following them towards a small path leading down into the jungle. “Let’s go kill us some bad guys, eh? And keep it quiet!”

Dyrra grinned as she moved up alongside him, her shock of red hair standing out even more now that the sides of her head had been shaved short.

“You realise we’re the bad guys, right?” she chuckled.

“Yeah,” Manji grinned, “But we’re charismatic bad guys, see?”

The treeline enveloped the squad as they moved down into the green world beneath the canopy, outwardly jovial but with all their senses on full alert.


Tarthos’ Orbit
Orian System

Kalon pulled on the joystick of his XJ-3, maneuvering the starfighter around a large cluster of debris. Levelling out, he made his way towards the thickest infestation of enemy fighters situated midway between the ACC Absolution and the Organisation’s heavy cruiser. With what he could gather from both visual and radio feeds at least one MAAT had landed upon the planet’s surface, though how smoothly the landing had been was beyond his knowledge.

Acting on a feeling in his gut, the Mandalorian activated his comm unit, hooking onto a personal channel between himself and the first transport he had seen pass through the blast doors.

“MAAT-One, what’s your status?” He asked, his visored gaze turning towards the emerald illumination of Tarthos’ surface.

After being met with nothing but static for several moments Kalon tried his luck again.

“Sebz, you there?”

Still only silence and static met his ears, a small sliver of irritation flaring in his mind as he prepared to attempt a third communication. However, as he looked up from the controls he could spot two silhouettes in the distance heading his way; the profiles of these ships did not matching any in Naga Sadow’s current arsenal.

“Hostiles” Kalon muttered, activating his targeting computer and getting ready to take evasive action if his missiles missed their marks.

For what seemed like an eternity after that, the Prelate patiently waited until his targeter shone green, announcing a successful target lock. Without wasting anymore time he fired a single torpedo towards one of the enemy fighters, his computer retaining the lock on so the projectile knew where to go.

As expected the torpedo flew true catching the fighter’s left wing and causing what wasn’t outright destroyed in the explosion to disintegrate. Although there was only one more fighter, it was too close for a successful target lock on and Kalon did not want to risk unintentional friendly fire. Therefore he pulled up, the fighter now hot on his heels and close enough that it began to fire its stutter-fire laser cannons. The beams of crimson light brushed against the XJ-3, leaving ugly burn marks across it’s chassis.

“I want my StealthX back!” Kalon grumbled characteristically, accelerating his fighter and aiming it towards Tarthos. He hoped that he could lose the fighter in the planet’s atmosphere and with no assistance available anywhere nearby, it was probably his best option for the time being.


Approaching Aeotheran Space
KNS Masarao

Nihilgenia troopers hustled throughout the passageways of the armored transport, moving with purpose and grace. They were preparing the ship for its silent run once deploying their commander to the field. Shikyo watched their movements and wished he could bring a squad with him. And risk exposing yourself? The traitor amongst the Sons has yet to be revealed. Show no card in your hand, a voice in his head whispered. So many events had passed since the Keibatsu’s confrontation with the Sadow Overlord that he’d nearly forgotten past events. Good thing I have some collateral on them, the Keibatsu responded.

Brushing his fingertips along the hilt of the Sith Sword, the Krath caught the form of Katsuhide awaiting him at the drop pod. The Nihilgenia commander turned to face the former Herald, tucking his helmet under his arm.

“You have 90 seconds until drop, my Lord.”

Shikyo did a mental inventory check to make sure he was ready. Nightshade, his ultraviolet lightsaber, was strapped to the small of his back, his blasters were holstered to either thigh, the Sith Sword clung to his left hip, while Shinsei, his Diamond Sword, was strapped to his back. He was ready. With an abrupt nod of his head, the Dark Jedi Master turned and fell back into the pod as the Nihilgenia commander secured the Keibatsu. The two men nodded to one another before the hatch to the pod fell before the dark jedi.

Klaxons echoed throughout the pod, drowning out anything else from the ship. The Elder closed his eyes and began to steady his breathing. He extended his senses towards the planet and he could feel a cacophony of emotions coming from the planet. The mercenaries… Anaxela… former comrades… The Mad Alchemist… His brother… Everyone wanted blood but no one wanted to make the error of being the one to initiate. They required patience and a desire to exploit a sudden error. Shikyo pulled his mask from within his robes and slid it over his face.

Don’t wait for an opening. Create one.

The pod shuttered violent before a tremendous bang overpowered the sound of the klaxons. Sasuke could feel the thrusters push him toward the earth before cutting out and allowing the atmosphere to do the rest. Gravity ceased to exist in the time between and the Krath Master allowed his thoughts to drift from the impending battle to the woman on his holodisc. It wouldn’t be long before he could finally see her again and make amends for the distance and the mistakes.

Focus. Seize your destiny first. Assert yourself before the foolish and the mad. You’ve made a vow. Now… Act on it!

Forces snatched the HALO pod from space and into the atmosphere. Beads of sweat began to form on the brow of the Wolf as flashes of yellow and red overtook the void. More and more the voice taunted and lectured Shikyo on his words at Sepros. Forcefully, it commanded the Kyataran to step away from his eldest brother’s shadow. With a great roar, it demanded something impossible from the youngest Keibatsu. And as the sky and a sea of rich, tropic colors filled the window before the dark jedi, Shikyo allowed his rage to consume him and growled back.

A pulse of concussive energy tore through the pod’s hull, sending out a wave of unseen force along with various fragments of the pod to the ground below. He couldn’t see the Dokugan-Ryu but he could feel his presence on the other side of the temple. Extending his will towards the earth, Shikyo attempted to cushion his landing with the Force. Fingers dug deep into the soil as the landing became a little harder than the Dark Jedi Master anticipated. He could feel his shoulder jammed awkwardly at an angle and with a sharp tug, the Wolf of Kyataru spat out a curse at the pain.

Sasuke could feel the attention of the enemy before him focus on his direction. They were some distance away but it wouldn’t be long before they conversed on him. Extending his will towards Nekura, Shikyo grinned sharply before sending his brother a message.

‘Don’t let this opportunity pass, onii-chan.’


VSD Pandora’s Box
Tarthos Orbit
Orian System

“Sir, we have their fighters under control. A few more modern ones still elude us. I assume they must have Dark Jedi pilots. Their Acclamator did manage to launch most of it’s ground delivery units however before it came in range.” The officer eyed the holo-displays. “The Absolution is moving to engage us directly. They are, however, not much of a threat. The Cardan’s shields are almost down.”

“Very well. Bring us closer alongside that Cardan platform, and let’s show them what this old crate can do. We will cripple their platform. That should do the trick and bring their reserves running. Then the trap will spring.” Councilor Two watched as the display showed the Cardan III platform looming larger and larger. At his command, the VSD II opened up with a full barrage on Platform Onyx Two at close range. Although the Space Platform had turbolasers that replied and did some damage, there were not many of them.

It did not take long for the concentrated close-range turbolaser fire to literally blow to pieces one of the arms of the space station. The silent explosion was multi-hued in space, and Counselor Two could see the tiny forms of hapless bodies flung into the cold embrace of space. “Most satisfying to see them die,” he quipped. “Continue the barrage.”

VSD Covenant
Aeotheran Orbit
Orian System

“We’re…. taking heavy fire,” came Kaayn’s voice over the crackly hololink. “They’re tearing us to crackle…. pieces. I’m order… zzrk evacuation.” A huge explosion echoed across the comlink as the channel slammed shut.

Captain Rineval frowned. She turned to her first officer. “Do we have a clear connection to the Marshal Commander?”

“We cannot reach the Marshal, it must be interference at the site below,” was her terse reply.

Terr Rineval opened the ship’s comm. “All hands. Now hear this. Now hear this. We are at general quarters. We are moving to engage the Pandora’s Box. Launch fighters. Launch fighters. That is all.”

She grimaced and addressed her communications officer. “Contact the Consul and Admiral Simonetti via holonet. We need assistance.” Captain Rineval turned back to the displays. “Gods help us. Many good men, women, and beings will die this day.”


Mucenic Plains

Battalion Sergeant Major Jaa Cardon had certainly seen better days.

Of course, he cleaned up well, as any high-ranking enlisted man would. His decorations and the meticulous attention to detail he paid on his uniform marked him as “casket-sharp” to anyone who’d had the chance to engage him at any number of the Clan’s peacetime formal affairs, but today was not the day for sipping cocktails and political maneuvering.

Now, he stood blood-smeared and dust-caked, the fighting immediately furious as soon as they set down. On the plains of Mucenic, sound, fury and the cacophony of the dying surrounded his immediate field of view, with the keep looming majestically in the background as the prize the two forces currently vied for. Upon their landing, the forces from Besh and Cresh were understandably bogged down; the Organisation was a sight more organized than the planners had originally thought. However, their presence, along with Cardon and the remainder of Aurek, had slowed the Organisation’s advance towards the sanctuary atop the distant hill.

The Sadowites had attacked the rear formations with their hastily mustered forces with enough speed and power to suitably distract the interlopers; enough, in fact, that the Organisation was forced to redirect some of their forward guard to bolster the rear in attempts to repel the Sadowites.

Still, ruefully thought the Sergeant Major as he hastily scanned the lines from the cover of his temporarily downed AT-ST, they hadn’t stopped them. Enough were still advancing towards Mucenic Temple.

With an abrupt turn, he appraised the combat engineers who were feverishly working on the assault-walker, the vehicle halted by some debris kicked up into its port leg servos by a nearby explosion. Cardon was thankful that the man who now stalked an impassable line just a few meters ahead - he remembered him being mentioned as Tsainet…Sai… a Keibatsu, was it? - had the foresight to order Aurek’s engineers to hitch a ride on one of Cresh’s remaining dropships, otherwise, he’d be dead in the water. The mundane worked to get the AT-ST moving again, and Shi Long floated almost effortlessly between pockets of Organisation men and droids, the merry chatter of the Primarch’s auto-repeater punctuated by the sibilant growl of his sunset blade. It was inspiring, seeing a lone Force-user seemingly everywhere at once, burning down droid and man without discrimination and without mercy, never slowing, never tiring. Sizzling hyphens of enemy blaster-fire just missed the Long, the Primarch moving as if following some long-forgotten choreography, known only to the most studious of Strife’s disciples. If Shi was hard-pressed, he didn’t show it. An ever-present smile, wide with impossibly white-teeth said quite the opposite: the Apostate was about the business of ass-kickery, and business was good. The Sadowite infantry in his immediate presence were similarly efficient and brutal; whenever Shi would vacate an area, a storm of their own fire replaced him, lancing into their enemy. It was as if Shi Long were spotting for the infantrymen’s fire, and their response to the Primarch’s unspoken direction was immediate and well-practiced.

What struck Cardon as particularly peculiar was the Long’s request just before they’d made planetfall.

*There was a video team embedded with every unit, ostensibly to record their actions for later review. Training aids, and such. The Long had requested - no, ordered - that Aurek’s team follow him for the first few hours of their action. At the Sergeant Major’s brief flash of puzzlement, Shi broadly smiled and said something about getting wind of some intel, being in “two places at once”, and this would help him “deal with it”. Cardon merely shrugged and granted the request, chalking it up to yet another of their masters’ strange predilections. After all, the Sergeant Major knew men and artillery, not the Force.

“Almost there, Sar’nt Major!” One of the engineers called out, snapping Cardon from his reverie and causing him to cast one last glance back at the Primarch who was helping some Sadow infantrymen give them cover. He began scaling the vehicle, making his way to the cockpit. “Alright, you apes!” he bellowed, standing tall despite the enemy fire glancing off of the armored hull of the walker. “Let’s ride! The Temple is ours and ours ALONE! Forward!” He ducked within the cockpit, pulling the hatch closed behind him. Almost immediately, the AT-ST rose and all weapons began blazing, mercilessly cratering the enemy lines before them. It moved to the right and an enemy rocket-propelled grenade exploded harmlessly on the ground that it had previously occupied. The Sadowite’s were rallied and the battle continued.

Forward Organisation Position
Mucenic Plains

General Kalorg was noticeably irritated that Naga Sadow had put up such heavy resistance in this, the initial hours of the fight, but he calmed himself by recalling that the pressure was on them, not his forces. Yes, they’d been slowed; after all, no response to the attacks at his formations’ rear would have resulted in them possibly overrun, but the Trandoshan was still confident that they could outlast and out fight the Sadowites.

Just then, a flicker of movement to his left caught his attention. Some of the Sadowites’ forces had begun to break through the distant lines there and were swiftly advancing towards the temple as well, not really stopping to engage his forces but desperately moving to overtake the front in that quadrant.

A seasoned smile full of needle-sharp teeth shone with recognition. The General looked back over his shoulder to Mucenic Temple in the distance, then back at his faltering lines on his left.

“So,” he hissed, welcoming the challenge. “It’s to be a race, then. Let them come.”

*author’s note: refer to Vengeance: Phase One Fiction


Outskirts of Installation Seven
Orian System

“You know….” Macron mumbled to himself characteristically. “You know Master, I’ve changed my mind.” The Adept closed his one yellow and one Sith-spawned eyes. He could clearly feel Shikyo’s dark presence on the planet nearby. And a sense of foreboding surrounded the events on Tarthos, although Macron was not skilled enough at foresight for real accuracy. Not yet, anyhow. “Master Shikyo is near. And he carries Shar Dakhan’s sword.”

“Sense something do you, kid? I felt Shikyo’s mental connection already as well. He’s coming this way.” The grizzled Krath Pontifex looked at Macron with his good eye. “Been practicing, I see. That stuff has never been my forte. ”

“Nor is it one of mine, truly. Yet I have a small gift with it. Enough to feel….know that taking our time may cause problems on Tarthos. They are in trouble over there. I have a bad feeling about it, pardon the cliche. I recommend we abandon our stealth operations and hit them hard and fast here. We need to get to Tarthos as quickly as possible. Mirado has already gone ahead and has likely assassinated many of their outlying sentries.” The Mad Alchemist grinned proudly. “I’m certain he will try to kill me one day as well.”

“Your student. Hm. You obviously taught him that, like a Sith would.” He spat nonchalantly on the ground. “I see… fair enough. So you’re saying we need to kill your sister as quickly as possible? I like it.” The Krath removed his hand from his robe, and hefted a lightsaber hilt. “More my speed, anyhow.”

“I thought it might be. Jade, Shirai, Maelous, Dyrra, Araxis, Alexander? Are you with me?” The madman brandished his own lightsaber in one hand and a disruptor rifle in the other. His reply was the ignition of many lightsaber blades of varying hues as the mass of Dark Jedi surged forward though the woods with alacrity and a collective shout, “For SADOW!”

True to Juggernaut form, Macron was right in the front with Manji at his side. The bad-people party had come to the last of the Gomorag, and the guests were killers of the worst sort.


Cardan-III Platform Onyx 2
Tarthos Orbit
Orian System

“We’re taking heavy fire,” Kaayn called over the hololink. “They’re tearing us to pieces. I’m ordering the evacuation.” A barrage of turbo laser fire slammed into the command module of the platform. The communications station exploded into a burst of blue and orange light slamming the com channel shut. Kaayn punched the evacuation codes on the nearest console.

“T’Espera, we need to leave the station. Get to the hangar and take any available ship. GO!” The Priest ordered. T’Espera nodded in acknowledgement and headed towards the hangar.

Kaayn observed the chaos in the command module of the platform and briefly savored the terror the mundanes were feeling. He grinned and stepped through the door. He waited as the door slid closed and punched the lock code on the door console. Muffled screams and cries for help came from the secured command module as the mundanes were banging on the door desperately trying to escape.

Running through the smoke filled corridors, Kaayn entered the hangar bay. As the door opened, he caught a glimpse of his apprentice going through the launch sequence in a Z-95. A sense of relief washed over the Krath as he boarded the tri-paneled TIE Defender. Kaayn ran through a quick check of all systems and ran through the launch sequence.

The hangar bay of the Onyx II quickly faded away to the blackness of space. Checking his radar and IFF indicator, he counted two friendly fighters. One appeared to be pursued by an enemy craft.

“Teaspoon, form on my wing and follow me.” He called on the com and accelerated towards his ally.


FFC Final Way
Nicht Ka orbit

The Consul walked the length of the hangar towards the man overseeing the soldiers disembarking the shuttles that had been flying between the fleet and the planet’s surface for the past several hours.

“General, how long before the last of our forces are off this forsaken planet?”

Byron Cargas turned around and gave a quick salute to the Neti.

“At least another six hours Lord Consul, hopefully it will go much faster in the future when we get our new transports and shuttles. We’re about to start moving people to the Damnation, the Avis, the Despot and the Primus Goluud.”

Malik nodded at the General and turned to leave as a junior officer came running up to him. He stopped and just froze at the sight of the living tree, the man was clearly a new addition to the bridge staff on the Final Way. Malik tilted his head slightly.

“Yes, Lieutenant?”

The man snapped out of it and straightened up.

“The Admiral sent me, sir. We have received a message from Captain Rineval aboard the Covenant, it would seem Onyx II has taken heavy damage and they are requesting reinforcements.”

The Consul waved the man off and turned to General Cargas.

“Byron, signal the transports and tell them to bring the troops here instead of the other ships, we will have to accommodate them here in the hangar if need be, our ships at Orian need the reinforcements.”

Malik got out his communicator and signaled Fleet Admiral Simonetti.

“Araic, signal the Damnation, the Avis, the Primus Goluud and the Despot, tell them to leave immediately to support the Covenant at Tarthos.

The Neti didn’t need to wait for a confirmation, he knew the Admiral would execute the orders immediately. He set off toward the bridge but stopped.

“General, I want you to draw up plans for a number of garrisons for our most important cities. I don’t want us to be caught off guard like this again.”


Mucinc Plains
5 kilo meters to the north
Crash Site of Dorn Company

Dragoon had just came to with both a Medic and the Captain. “Where are we Captain?” asked Dragoon.

“Sir we are roughly 5 kilos from the main front line. We have taken a few scouts from the merchs out, but we are heavily out gunned and out maned.” The Captain said. Dragoon also noticed some blood on his armor as well as on the captains face. “Wheres the Master Sergeant?” Dragoon asked but he had a feeling he already knew that answer. “Didn’t survive the crash.” Is all the medic would say. Dragoon got off the ground and grabbed his pack.

“Alright Dorn Company, lets move out, Bring what supply’s we can for a forward command post.”
Dragoon and the Captain started moving to the south of the proposed command post. He noticed a few large machines headed south toward the southern edge of the Village through his binos.

“Senior commander, sir, we have a problem, once those AT-AT’s know were here…” He stopped short and just shook his head. Dragoon closed his eyes. Then he smiled. “Oh captain I wouldn’t worry about the AT-AT’s. Just as a Huge explosion happened. They took off jogging.

Mucinc Plains
outskirts of the northern edge of the village

“Set up the Comm equipment here. Start putting up LZ’s there. Find out where those blasted AA’s are NOW!” The Captain was yelling orders. Dragoon walked over to the area where the Comms Tent was being set up. Lucky for them all the merchs didn’t know they were there… yet.

Dragoon picked up the mic. “Sadow ground forces, sadow ground forces, this IS Dragoon with Dorn Company, anyone copy?” Dragoon waited a minute then got a response.

“Dragoon, this is Locke, I’m with a AT-ST force, whats your location over?”

“Locke, we have a small thin line on the northern flat of the village, request immediate LZ drops of Supplies and Men as well as FOB equipment. We suffered casualties and equipment due to being hit on the way in.”

Dragoon waited. “Dragoon, Sebz was hit too with Daedric, Hold your position we will try and get more men to you. HOLD THAT LINE! And as soon as a FOB is established move inward. Locke Out.”

Dragoon looked to the Captain, “You heard the man, Hold this line.” Just as Dragoon was confirming orders with him, several troopers started falling from blaster bolts. Dragoon ignited Draco with its light blue almost silverish blade and started blocking blasters as the merchs about 1000 yards in front of them appeared and started firing…


VSD Pandora’s Box
Tarthos Orbit
Orian System

“Sir, we have crippled their Cardan platform. She’s lost at least 25% of her mass, her shields are down, life support falling, and her life-pods are jettisoning. Shall we target the pods?” The Devaronian First Officer sneered. “We could kill so many.”

“No. No we won’t, Commander Adaned.” Councilor Two held his chin thoughtfully.”As much as I hate them, we will not be like them. Like the Dark Jedi brutes, no. The Platform’s back is broken. In any case, it would be a waste of firepower. We have bigger fish to fry. Give Onyx Two another hard salvo, and then let us turn our attention to the Absolution. Report on the fighters?”

“They have eliminated most of the meager enemy fighters. It appears many of them were under repairs, and they were not up to snuff. The TIE Bombers removed the Cardan’s shields, and have now returned for re-arming.” The Devaronian Commander frowned. “Even so, one unmarked XJ-3 has been an especial problem. Every fighter that has engaged it has been destroyed. This pilot also has eliminated two of our TIE bombers. As well, a TIE Defender escaped the wrecked section of the Cardan and has linked up with the XJ-3. Also, the Covenant and it’s fighter complement approaches and has engaged it’s gravity well generators.”

“As I predicted. Have the escorted bombers target those grav-wells when the Covenant is within range. Engage the HLAF’s with our Avenger dogfighters and stop them from engaging the bomber groups. As well, detail four of our best TIE Avengers to space the troublesome fighters that came from the Space Platform. They may be Dark Jedi.” Councilor Two looked at the view-screens and thought carefully. He was a master planner, a former Admiral.

The hologram image in front of him flickered. Counselor Zero’s form spoke. “Send word to the Tempest that the Sadow reserves will inevitably come soon. I would guess within less than an hour if they are at Nicht Ka as intelligence indicated."

Councilor Two nodded in agreement. "Our ships should begin their micro-jumps now, hold position as planned, and execute the final jump into the Orian system on my order. When we see the whites of their eyes, so to speak, we shall corner them and strike. When the Sadow forces arrive we will hit them from behind and annihilate them as planned. Their crude arrogance and faith in the ‘Force’ will be their ultimate undoing.”

Councilor Two turned coolly to the ground com-link. “General Kalorg. Report.”

Mucenic Plains

The Trandoshan gritted his sharp teeth at the order. He chafed under the former Admiral’s grip, but he was outranked, and out-valued. “We hold the field. Our advance continues. We have not yet reached Mucenic, and the enemy has deployed ground forces as we thought. They fight with zeal, but they are just prey. We will crush them.”

Councilor Two’s voice crackled. “See that you do. Deploy the gene-soldiers against the Dark Jedi.”



Thanks to his new white armor, it was easier for Roxas to fold into the regular troops; although he still stood out, he just blended with all the white suits of armor. He found it good that it made him more relatable to the standard troops, and seemed to boost morall. He had joined one of the AT-ST crews as they dropped with Locke into Mucenic. The chicken walkers moved together through the brush until Locke had given the order to stop.

“What do you see?” The Horseman of War asked, as he couldn’t see through the view ports to the front of the walker.

“It seems the enemy has AT-ST’s and AT-AT’s Sir, and they are converging on us.” One pilot said right as the other commented.

“We’re screwed, this is useless. We’re going to die here.”

Then Roxas did something he wasn’t known for among the troops, he placed his hand on the man’s shoulder and this frightened him some, shown by a slight jump in his seat.

“We’ll be fine, I’ll provide cover from the AT-AT’s while you take the AT-ST’s. Don’t forget Sonjie is with you aswell.”

The Mandalorian then jumped through the hatch on the roof and rolled for cover to avoid enemy fire. The sounds of battle were loud, the screams of the wounded and dying could barely be heard over explosions and blasters. Roxas charged foward toward the enemy walkers, the Force aiding his speed. He ducked, rolled, and slid around debris and concrete slabs being used and to be used by troopers. The cement beneath his feet quickly gave way to dirt and grass as he neared the first AT-AT.

His jump jets fired, propelling him onto the side of one of the large walkers. Fenrir found it’s way into the Horseman’s hand and ignited with a howl before settling to a growl. He plunged the crimson blade into the armored side of the four legged death machine and began carving his way in as Sadowan AT-ST’s advanced trying to retake their home.

After a few minutes Roxas made it inside and began swinging his lightsaber accurately through his enemies, he would claim this metal beast for his own. One of the enemy soldiers got on his comm to the pilots of the walker…“Sir, we’ve got a hitchhiker and he’s…{static}”

One of the pilots quickly sealed the door behind them hoping it would hold, it wouldn’t. The Horseman of War sliced through the door with his saber and killed both pilots without a second though. He tossed the bodies to the floor from their seats and took control of the walker; or at least he began pushing buttons to figure the machine out. It wasn’t a Basilisk war droid, like he was used to.


Outside Mucenic

Locke reloaded his rifle and watched from the top of the AT-ST as the Warhost battle line encountered the enemy’s, the Warhost’s initial push driving the enemy back and giving the Orian Authority officers a much-needed respite from their hasty defense of the monastery. He saw wounded on the ground below; some seemed in critical condition, some able to limp to their feet. It was difficult to tell at this distance. Thinking of a plan, Locke ducked inside the AT-ST for a moment, directing the pilots.

“Radio our other walkers. Focus fire on the enemy’s walkers. Remove them from the battle first. We’ll have to come up with something special for those four-legged ones. Try to avoid them yourselves. I’m getting off here. May the Force be with you.”

As the lead pilot nodded and said “understood”, the other chuckled nervously, probably unsure what to make of that statement from a Dark Jedi.

Rather than stick around and find out for sure, Locke jumped back out of the walker, sealing the hatch closed behind him. Resting at a crouch atop the walker, he leapt to the ground below, and found himself in a much worse situation than he had expected.

The defense had not gone well for the Authority. While they had made a valiant effort to hold out until the Warhost could arrive, the toll was readily apparent. Corpses laid everywhere, many charred as if they had recently been surrounded in flames, others in pieces or with large patches of skin melted to reveal the bones and sickening mash of internal organs beneath. The result of large amounts of blaster fire was never pretty up close.

The survivors did not look all too good, either. Locke knelt next to one man who held a hand against his side. Judging by his uniform, he seemed to be some sort of officer or leader. “What happened to you?” the Krath said.

The man pulled his hand away briefly, showing the grisly plasma scarring and burns underneath. Locke did not know much about anatomy, but he knew that sort of wound would infect and kill, if left unattended. “Blaster shot to the gut,” the man managed, struggling to speak.

“What’s your name?” Locke continued, placing a hand in the air over the wound, fingers stretched as if to cover it with his palm. He tried to keep his voice steady, though he knew he must sound distant. In truth, the Krath’s focus was in his mind, guiding the almost unfamiliarly gentle waves of pure Force energy, not a hint of the dark side within them. That was the hardest part - if the flow was tainted, it would likely not heal properly. Locke struggled with this more and more as of late. For what his sister could have managed easily with her meager skill in healing, Locke had to utilize great focus to ensure he did not harm instead of help.

"Utal, " the man said. “Wend Utal. What are you doing?”

"Hold on, " Locke said in a monotone voice. The Force flowed from his hand, laying over the wound at his direction. As the flow sank into it, the burn was replaced with bright, pink skin. Locke exhaled with relief, settling back on his heels. “How do you feel?”

"Better, " Wend said. He leaned forward and sat up. “It doesn’t hurt any more. I think I can walk. Was that…?”

“Yes,” Locke whispered. Then he spoke more loudly. “If you can walk, I need your help. Get your men together, sort those too wounded to fight and those who can hold a weapon. We will hold this position. Reinforcements will be arriving soon.” Cresh’s gunships should have been there any minute.

The man nodded and only winced once as he got to his feet and walked to the next member of the Authority, conversing with them. As he did so, Locke received a message on his comlink, fitting a hands-free headset to the inside of his ear and listening intently as he used his eyes to survey the area. Their current position seemed slightly elevated above the area around it, and with some small measure of dirt work, they could establish low earthen walls for their troopers to shoot over.

The Krath listened to the request for support from Dragoon before responding. “I copy Dragoon, I’ll send you what I can.” He didn’t have much and Dragoon’s group seemed to have landed somewhat across the battlefield, with a great number of enemy troops in the way. Sending gunships over that would be dangerous.

He cursed the lack of air support or artillery, but that was a problem for another day. For now, he had to work with the tools he had. Locke got back on the comlink, connecting to the MAATs of Cresh Battery.

“ETA?” he asked.

“Two minutes,” the reply came back.

“Good. I need you to take three gunships and make a break for Dragoon’s force on the other side of the battlefield. You can note it by the distant pillar of smoke in the distance on the east side of the battlefield. Get there and support Dragoon and his people. Bring the other two gunships here.”

“I copy,” the soldier on the other end said. There was no debate. They knew the flight over the battlefield would be tough, but were willing to do it anyway. They were good soldiers, who had survived the Dark Crusade against the One Sith. They wouldn’t back down from a difficult task, and wouldn’t question orders in the heat of battle.

Locke liked that sort of soldier, and the Warhost seemed to be full of them these days. Still, he would have to remember that these were living beings, not droids. They had their own lives, their own families, interests, and hobbies.

"What an odd thought for a Dark Jedi, " Amelia said, suddenly standing in an empty patch of burned out grass nearby.

"Not now, " Locke growled, knowing he had let his mind wander too far. He stepped up to the edge of the area the wounded occupied, where the enemy advance had been pushed back, for the time being.

“Now you’re wondering how you’re going to prevent the enemy from blasting this location to slag,” Amelia continued.

“Yes,” Locke muttered, eyeing an AT-AT that would be in range in minutes if it continued it’s current path.

Pointing, Amelia continued. “It looks like one of your friends has an idea already.”

Locke followed her finger, sighing as he noted Roxas charging across the battlefield. Well, maybe the Obelisk would have some success. Somehow, Locke doubted the other man would get himself killed. The Force wasn’t that kind. It would not rid of him of a rampant Obelisk any more than it would make a Sith’s lust for power more manageable.

Such were the challenges of a Krath.

"I guess we’ll see where he gets, " Locke continued. He turned back to the area behind him, noting that Wend already had some more superficially-wounded people prone and watching the battlefield for any approaching enemy troops, while some others that were moderately injured were off to one side. The unfortunate dead remained where they lay. Locke headed for the row of wounded. He might be able to help at least a couple more before his Force reserves ran out.

He never turned back to check on Amelia. Somehow, Locke knew she wasn’t going to get shot, nor that she was still looking over the battlefield.


Mucenic Plains

General Kalorg thumbed the deactivation stud on the com-link, several rather imaginative and vividly described Trandoshan curses slipping through his teeth, every one aimed at Councilor Two. “Yes, bark orders and celebrate your victory from the safety that I and mine provide,” he spat, giving the device back to the comms officer.

Still, he could not discount the Councilor’s battlefield acumen; even far removed from the field, it seemed his superior was as prudent about ensuring the Dark Jedi were crushed as he himself was.

Quickly scanning the field, he confidently issued his own orders. “Press on towards the Temple; they cannot hope to overtake…” He paused, the breath catching in his throat.

Looking to his left flank, the Sadowite Forces that he’d previously dismissed were surprisingly gaining ground, plowing through his lines and leaving them in disarray in their wake. Despite his rising ire, he found himself admiring these backwater rubes.

“Well, I stand corrected.” The General turned to his second-in-command. “Order the gene-soldiers to move. Staggered deployment. We shall crush their hope under wave after wave of our might.” He pointed to the left, his index finger terminating at the distant AT-ST lumbering towards them. “Start with them.”

At Kalorg’s order, a lone speeder-bike, its rider hulking and determined, roared past him.


Sergeant Major Cardon and Aurek Battery had adopted a “calvary” approach, using speed to begin a desperate dash towards Mucenic Temple in hopes they’d break through the lines of mercenaries and droids to bolster what defenses remained there.

The success of the gambit was solely dependant upon their ability to not be slowed, the AT-ST serving as the tip of the spear with the infantry fanned out behind in wedge formation.

The issue with that was, without sufficient troops on the ground, the rear of the formation was alarmingly unprotected. A grizzled veteran, the Sergeant Major knew this.

So did the gene-soldier.

The pseudo-human gunned the throttle of his speeder-bike, approaching the AT-ST head on, drawing the walker’s fire. He coaxed the vehicle towards his right, the Sadowites’ fire passing harmlessly around him. Angry red bolts of energy erupted from the speeder’s forward cannon, plowing unabated through several Sadowite troopers.

The Sergeant Major tracked the speeder’s path via the AT-ST’s 360-degree tactical display, and knew that the rider would be at his rear in less than a minute. “So close,” he said, peering up at the imposing silhouette of the Temple. He snatched the comm-unit, broadcasting over Aurek’s band. “Prepare to halt and repel lone rider, will be at our rear in t-minus…”

“Belay that. You press on.”

The baritone that broke through Cardon’s transmittal was smooth and firm, but his seasoned ears recognized the twinge underlying the countermanding order.

It was of anticipatory excitement, used by only those suffering from sublime insanity or a supreme confidence.

Shi Long was brimming with both.

When Aurek began its desperate charge, he allowed the main of the force to overtake him so that he could lope expectantly at the rear, hoping against all hope that their enemy would be good for more than just dying and fertilizing their field with their blood and bowels as they expired. Now, as his molten-mercury eyes tracked the speeder through the fog of battle, he was grateful that the fools did not disappoint.

If Cardon acknowledged his order, Shi did not know. Standing at the rear of Aurek’s formation, the Primarch racked a full magazine into the butt of his auto-repeater before holstering it. His hilt was tucked into his belt, seeming to vibrate with its own anxious energy.

“Not yet, not yet,” he whispered, his eyes never leaving the speeder until it disappeared within a dense cloud of dust kicked up by an explosion.

Taking a deep breath, Shi Long began to draw upon an obscene amount of the Force, his muscles cording and bunching and sinews drawing taut as steel cables. He closed his eyes and kept pace with an invisible metronome that could only be heard by him and him alone.


The Apostate didn’t wait until he reached “one”, springing suddenly forward, his body in blurred motion before his lidded eyes opened, catapulted by the Dark Side just as the stabilizing vane of the gene-soldier’s speeder broke the cloud of obscuring dust.

Shi left his feet, diving forward and just clearing the forward part of the speeder as their combined speed brought them together with alacrity. The Long bodily tackled the rider from his mount, the pair of them tumbling over the ground but each man came to his feet, facing the other, before the abandoned speeder could even cease its own haphazard path into the unforgiving soil, disintegrating in a spectacular explosion.

The warriors came at one another, Shi drawing his sidearm and firing nearly simultaneously. The gene-soldier was slightly slower, but came inexorably forward even in the face of the Long’s jackhammering weapon. Bright claret blossoms bloomed across the gene-soldier’s thigh, belly and chest, but the man kept coming, closing the distance with the Primarch just as the auto-repeater fell silent.

A ham-sized fist swatted the sidearm from Shi’s bronzed grip and a booted foot sent the Long to the ground, courtesy of a sweeping roundhouse kick to the side of the latter’s skull. Shi rolled with the blow, coming up smiling, his chest heaving.

The hulking gene-soldier closed again, hoisting Shi by his shoulders and looking to drive his forehead into the Long’s nose.

Shi had anticipated the tactic and responded with an unseen hand, the Dark Side thrumming mercilessly into the gene-soldier’s chest. Shi heard the satisfying crack of ribs and his enemy’s grip relaxed, but the soldier did not fall, instead spitting a fount of ichor from between his clenched teeth. It splashed on Shi’s face, but the Long was beyond seeing. The Stone Dragon was resolute, and would not be cowed by a rank-and-file, no matter his enemy’s resilience.

His fist suddenly filled with a wrapped unignited hilt, and Shi drove his loaded fist twice into his attacker’s face, splaying the nose wide across his gore spattered visage as it shattered under the assault.

Still the gene-soldier kept coming. A distant part of Shi’s mind lamented the fact that this warrior was probably a rarity amongst the rest of the Organisation’s mercenaries, and he silently wished that the opposite were true. The Clan facing an entire force of these juggernauts would truly test the mettle of her warriors, and they’d come out stronger for the horror in facing them.

Alas, it was not to be. There was only this one. And he, like so many others before him, would be destroyed, swept away by the searing wind that was Nenshogeru.

At that, the tangerine ragged blade erupted to life and punched itself through the gene-soldier’s back and emerged through his diaphragm as Shi Long easily ducked a lazy haymaker thrown by the former and stepped to the rear.

Reflexively, the gene-soldier grasped at the offending column of unstable light with both hands; there was an initial resistance, and then that fell away just as the scorched fingers of the soldier tumbled to the trampled earth, the stumps smoking.

Shi jerked the blade horizontally, and the gene-soldier slumped to the ground, his spinal column severed. The Apostate yanked his weapon free and turned to regard his opponent, who still hoped against hope to defeat him. The soldier’s ruined hands pawed at the Stone Dragon’s boot-tops when Shi stepped around to squat in front of the downed soldier; he made no moves to stop them as he considered the fallen warrior’s words.

“You…think you…kaff kaff.…have won?! I am but one of many…and you will ALL beg for death before this day is done!”

Shi Long tilted his head, picking up on something in the soldier’s threat that others may not have, considering the circumstances.

“There are others like you? Where?” The delight in Shi Long’s voice was grossly inappropriate but a perfect reflection of the battle-maddened sheen glossing his eyes. The gene-soldier nodded towards the Organisation’s forward command post, barely visible in the shadow of the keep.

“Out-STANDING!” Shi bellowed as he stood. “Don’t worry; they’ll be with you soon.”

Nenshogeru’s sunset judgement delivered to the nape of the soldier’s neck cut short any protestation that he might have spit in a final defiant act at the Stone Dragon.


VSD Covenant
Tarthos Orbit

The Victory-class Star Destroyer heaved into view around the edge of Tarthos. Ahead of it a swarm of starfighters flew like angry hornets. They were met by an incoming mass of TIE Advanced fighters and TIE bombers. Bolts of red and green blaster fire spat between them as flames in the blackness of space. Behind them loomed the enemy Victory-class Star Destroyer Pandora’s Box.

The HLAFs were literally getting cut to pieces. Some bombers made it though and were making a run on the Covenant.

“Sumnabitch. They’re just… better,” commented Captain Rineval angrily. “Stop those bombers! Good pilots dying, and nothing I can do. Damnit! We’re holding them off the Absolution for now, but we can’t last. Better ships, although our HLAF’s are pretty decent. And pilots that are just as good.” She frowned. “ I hope those reinforcements get here soon. Engage the grav-wells, let’s keep them from jumping out.”

As she spoke, a welcome sight greeted her eyes from starboard. A Majestic Class Heavy Cruiser, a Warrior Class gunship, a Vibre-class corvette and a Marauder Class corvette jumped into the area. All bore the markings of Clan Naga Sadow. The Covenant’s main com channel opened up.

“Captain Aja Jewel here, of Majestic-class Cruiser Damnation. Consul Malik sent us to join this little party. We brought the Kestrel, Despot, and Reaper’s Call along for the fun. Hang in there Covenant, we’ll have this lot cleared out shortly. That VSD won’t want to tangle with us both. Or even just with the Damnation, in fact. Jewel Out.” With that, the Majestic turned and began to rake the Pandora’s Box from range with turbolasers. As it hammered at the VSD, the Vibre class corvette moved around behind it. The Warrior gunship moved to support the beleaguered Naga Sadow fighter forces, and the Corvette moved to screen the Acclamator Absolution.

A cheer went up from within the command center of the Covenant. “Copy that, Damnation. We’re moving to engage.” Captain Rineval turned to her officers. “Bring us within turbolaser range of those scumbags, and let’s give her a taste of her own medicine.”

VSD Pandora’s Box
Tarthos Orbit
Orian System

“Sir, a large force of enemy capital ships and fighters has jumped in on our vector. We’re taking fire from that Majestic-class heavy cruiser, and she’s a problem,” came Commander Adaned’s voice. “She’ll cut us to ribbons.”

Councilor Two only smiled, and picked up his com. “Signal our surprise task force to initiate their last micro-jumps inbound. We have them cornered.”


[B]Outskirts of Installation Seven
Orian System[/B]

It didn’t take long for the Sadowans to hit the first wave of Anaxela’s defences. The trees thinned out slightly before them, giving way to fallen logs and stone outcroppings, Installation Seven visible just beyond- but blocked by several waves of mercenaries and Gomorag Dark Jedi. A hail of blaster fire scorched from their lines as the Sadowans broke cover, their glowing blades brandished before them to deflect the bolts harmlessly away. As they neared the lines, the Gomorag broke formation and surged forwards to meet the charge, their own crimson blades igniting violently.

Macron and Manji led the charge, crimson, orange and silver blades thrumming violently and battle-cries ripping from their throats. Neither warrior was at home with the notion of subtlety, drawing on the Dark Side to lend power to their charge. The earth shook as they struck the opposing lines; two weaker Gomorag who had made the mistake of rushing ahead of their fellows dyed instantly, chopped into sizzling pieces before the two Sadowans battered through, squaring off against another two foes. Following close behind them Dyrra, Shirai, Maelous, Araxis and Alexander smashed into the Gomorag like the fist of an angry god as Jade circled around the immediate battle, aiming to wreak havoc among the mercenaries who were hastily replacing their blasters with close-combat weapons and moving to flank the Sadowans.

As Manji hurled a Gomorag backwards, sparks spitting from crossed saber blades, he felt a sudden tremor through the Force seconds before a chunk of rock smashed into the ground beside him. His head jerked over to the source of the attack, locating a reptilian figure wearing an oversized necklace of bone chunks and other trinkets, just visible behind a chunk of rock embedded in the forest floor. The Pontifex’s lip curled in a snarl as he felt the Dark Side coiling within him. In a heartbeat, a wave of telekinetic energy burst from his outstretched palm towards the Kwi, smashing into the rock and showering the shaman with shards of stone.

“Everyone alive?!” bellowed the Keibatsu as he turned his attention back to the Gomorag before him, who was launching another offensive.

A short distance from the temple, Shikyo yanked [I]Nightshade[/I] from the body of a fallen Gomorag who had dared to engage the Wolf in combat. Scattered around him, the bodies of the patrol that had been sent to investigate his presence sizzled quietly- they had posed little threat for the battle-hardened Master, but at least they had been pulled away from the main force around the Installation to ease the workload for the rest of the kill squad. A grin spread across the Wolf’s features as he heard the sounds of battle drifting through the trees- he could sense his brother’s presence, and it had been a long time since the two had battled together.

Deactivating [I]Nightshade[/I], Shikyo began to jog through the trees towards the battle.

The Gomorag were being driven back- their mercenary allies had been slaughtered by Jade, intercepting their flanking maneuver, and the Kwi shaman and his warrior guards were being hemmed in by Maelous and Shirai. Desperation was creeping in as the Gomorag backed up towards the steps of the temple, driven back by the ferocious Sadowan assault- they weren’t making it easy, but they had been unprepared for the onslaught. Ripping his blade through the trunk of a female Dark Jedi who had overextended herself, Manji glanced around to take stock of the battle. Beside him Dyrra was furiously battering at the defences of another Gomorag, her expression clouded with anger- beyond, he could see Macron polishing off another Dark Jedi with brutal precision and Araxis and Alexander holding their own against their own opponents.

Suddenly, a jolt of Dark Side energy smashed through the air and hammered into the side of a Gomorag approaching the Keibatsu. The man’s body crumpled like a ragdoll, bones splintering from the impact, and he was hurled lifelessly through the air to smash into the steps, leaving a bloody smear on the ancient stone.

“That one was a freebie, onii-chan,” a voice shouted. Manji’s head whipped round, a grin sneaking across his face as he recognised the figure emerging from the treeline towards him- Shikyo’s eyes looked a little darker, his face a little more weathered than Manji remembered, but the small smile cracking through his grim facade was familiar even if the ultraviolet lightsaber throbbing in the Wolf’s hand was not.

“You took your time!” the Pontifex retorted, spinning his twin sabers with practiced ease. “Shall we?”

As Shikyo broke into a run, saber whipping up before him, Manji turned his attention to the remaining Gomorag, backing up towards the temple. He could sense the fear rippling through their ranks at the sight of a fully-fledged Master- now was the time to capitalise on that fear. His feet started to move, keeping pace with Shikyo’s. The Wolf and the Dragon smashed into the Gomorag ranks at the same time, their entire bodies infused with the joy of battle.


Mucenic Plans
Orian Assembly

Daedric felt the impact head on, literally.

All around him in the crew portion of the ship were his fellow men thrown across the floor, most of them in pain because of the injuries many had sustained during the crash. The Dark Jedi Knight felt his scar and saw that an open wound had emerged from the already destroyed tissue, blood slowly oozing out.

“Sebz, sit rep.” said Daedric as he tried to open the side doors from the MAAT. Nothing worked. Grabbing onto the emergency release handle, Daedric tugged, not only using his own power, but being helped by the Force. “Dam!” he said as the door, nor the handle would budge. “Sebz you here?”

Nothing but static was heard over the comm.

Come on Sebz, where are you?

Daedric began to feel through the Force, wondering where his young ally was. He felt around the ship and felt his young friend had been rendered unconscious due to the force of the impact of the crash. “Sebz!” Daedric felt the Force swell up. He outstretched his hands and grabbed the door, opening it just enough so that the Dark Knight could get through. The floor Daedric stepped on was hot from the friction of the ship it had released when coming into contact with the ground. He climbed the side of the ship and made it to the back of the cockpit’s hatch. Daedric yanked at the safety release hatch and this time it worked. Daedric looked astonished as he saw the injuries his comrade had suffered.

A nasty cut was going the right side of Sebz’s forehead and ran down his eye, all the way to the bottom of his cheek bone. Blood was gushing out of there, the area around his head swollen from the injuries sustained.

“Sebz? Stay with me!” Years of military training kicked in and Daedric had managed to put pressure on the wound, but nothing would stop Sebz from bleeding to death. Daedric put his hands around the wound and called the Force for help. Slowly the wound began to close, enough to stop the bleeding but not enough to stop the swelling. Daedric only hoped that the pain had subsided enough for his friend to wake up and carry the battle against the Organisation on.

Sebz opened his eyes and gasped for air in enormous amounts, his eyes now dark yellow instead of their usual brown.


Front Courtyard of Installation Seven
Orian System

The power of the Dark Side was strong here, and it lent aid to both the invaders- and their foes. It was almost as if the old stones hungered for more spilled blood and sacrifice, for the horrible times of old when many lives were laid down to build and maintain the old Dark Side temples. First the Kwa, then the Rakata, and later the degenerate Kwi had all fed these hoary moss-covered monuments with life’s blood and abject pain. More death and agony was only fitting. History is doomed to repeat itself, after all.

As Shikyo charged by with Manji, Macron nodded in respect. “Master Shikyo. Welcome home.” Macron joined their frontal assault and the three cut a wide swathe into the center of the courtyard. It was a fearsome sight. Rocks flew and crushed the weak. Blades seen and unseen rose and fell, removing limbs and heads from their owners. Manji’s steel Katana blade stuck into one Gomorag’s neck, severing his carotid artery and hot red blood spewed across the old stones in sacrifice once again. Shikyo overbore and struck down a skilled Gomorag Equite, his nigh-invisible ultraviolet lightsaber blade severing the man’s left leg at the hip before it could even be seen. “You kicked the hornet’s nest,” growled the Master. “Now reap the whirlwind.”

One Gomorag Knight turned and ran from the abject Terror radiating from the mad Alchemist with Force-borne speed, and a fiercely-thrown orange lightsaber flew like lightning towards him. The tangerine-colored spinning disc buzz-sawed him neatly in two along with a few saplings before returning to it’s owner’s grip. “No escape,” chuckled Macron. “The way to Hell is right here.”

Maelous and Shirai cornered the Kwi shaman. The grizzled reptile faced his Sadowan foes. His clawed hands raised, and the Dark Side gripped Maelous hard by the throat under his helm. As Maelous gasped and raised into the air, Shirai took his moment of prescience and stepped in with a vicious lightsaber blow. The old shaman dropped his attack on Maelous and blocked the blow with his staff. Astoundingly, the old wooden staff stopped the lightsaber as it resonated with the Force that the old lizard had already channeled into it. Shirai reacted with surprise, and the Kwi shaman knocked him back with a hard telekinetic blow. Maelous was still choking but had managed to regain his feet and was shaking off the effect. The old lizard had plenty of fight in him. His form blurred as he wrapped the Force around himself and slunk back among the old stones.

Jade slaked her infernal thirst on the blood of a fallen mercenary at the edges of the conflict. It was her fourth kill, and the blood was oh so sweet. Who would see, after all? And who would care? No one. It was a carte blanche dining experience. The Krath rose and turned, sensing another group of heavily armed mercs approaching from behind the Temple. More victims.

Alexander, Araxis, and Dyrra found themselves toe-to-toe with mercenaries and Gomorag Dark Jedi. Four hard-core mercs and a Gomorag Knight charged them, as much with fear as zeal for battle in their veins. “Raaggh!” screamed the Knight as he came straight at Dyrra with his red lightsaber. Her own blue one met his easily as the Obelisk Templar parried. Both struggled and turned. The Gomorag was more massive and strong, but Dyrra was more experienced and wily- and stronger in the Force. The warrior woman locked and turned his blade down, applied pressure, and then as he reacted upwards she stepped back and gave no substance for his blade to push against. He stumbled, and she split his head efficiently with a smoking blow that spewed his sizzling brains across the stones around her.

Alexander found himself targeted by four mercenaries. He held his ground, deflecting blaster shot after shot. His mind raced. He noticed they carried cryoban grenades, and the Dark Side whispered to him of the solution to his conundrum. As he backpedaled and deflected the shots, he used the Force to simply flick the activation pins on the grenades his enemies carried, one by one. It was a simple but deadly tactic. Soon, four pools of icewater, fog, and frozen flesh marked the locations of his enemies.

Araxis dueled a Gomorag equal. The Brotherhood Exarch calculatingly matched his twin crimson blades against the red saber-staff his Gomorag foe spun against him. His own knowledge of Jar’kai bade him hold off, and bock the impulsive blows of his opponent. His enemy was using Juyo and Araxis knew it well. Vicious blows spun in, the Gomorag’s scarlet saber-staff twirling in arcs this way and that. The Obelisk Exarch gathered his energy as he swatted each blow away or stepped back. He enjoyed using the Force to wear out his foes. His sense of precognition gave him an advantage as he began to tap the Rage within his soul. He used a twin-x block to tie up one end of the Gomorag’s saber-staff as he stepped in. His lead blade spun the saber-staff up and to the left side, as his off-hand red blade stabbed forward directly into the Gomorag’s guts. The human male gasped in surprise as the crimson weapon clove upwards and split him in twain.

Macron shouted. “We hold the field! Take the battle to them inside! ‘Ware the traps! FOR SADOW!!!”


Forward Command Post
Outside Mucenic

Locke was exhausted. He stood from where he had been kneeling next to one of their wounded soldiers, legs weak. His head spun, but he held his ground and looked around, breathing deeply. His skin oozed with sweat, despite the cold Tarthosian air. He had healed as many wounded soldiers as he could, and burned up what Force reserve he had in doing so. Due to his efforts, Locke had no idea how long had passed.

Wend approached again, giving Locke a concerned look, but he said nothing about it. "We have cleared away a landing zone large enough for at least a couple of gunships to land, though it is cramped. I’ve set up a small command tent and we are attempting to establish communication with the rest of our forces.

"Good, " Locke said quietly. He felt at peace somehow. As if channeling so much of the pure, untainted Force had calmed his mind - or he was just tired. “You are doing a fine job here.”

Wend may have stood a little straighter, but he simply continued. “Just trying to keep everyone together. We’ve also positioned a couple of E-webs looking toward the battlefield, and are hard at work hardening earthen barriers around them.”

“What of the walker that was approaching us?” Locke asked.

“It seems it has stopped. It just…stopped coming, and then stopped firing, it was odd.”

Roxas, Locke thought. “See if you can reach whoever is in it, and see if you can get them on the Warhost battle frequency.”

“Right,” Wend said. Then he opened his mouth, paused, and continued. “Do you hear that?”

"No, " Locke said, trying to listen. Then he heard it: the whine of speederbike engines.

Someone shouted from the battleward side of the camp. “Enemy speeders! Coming in hot!”

Dirt exploded at the front of the camp as enemy lasers lanced into it. Locke and Wend dived to the ground, avoiding fire that went over their heads. Then the E-web batteries fired, their sound cutting into that of the speederbikes. Two distinct explosions followed. After that, there was a quiet, broken only by the distant sounds of battle.

“Report!” Wend demanded, getting to his feet and striding toward the E-webs. Locke was a little slower in following, but looked from behind Wend. A few of the soldiers who had been working on the earthen defenses were laying on the ground, and most were not moving.

"Dammit, " Wend said. “Those must have been scouts who didn’t expect much resistance.”

"The next wave won’t be so easy, " Locke concluded. He breathed deeply, wondering if he would be able to assist with that one. It pained him to think that he could have sensed this one coming if he had not been so tired. I did what I could. How could I have known that would happen?

“Have a few of the faster men crawl forward. We need to have advance warning next time. Spare whoever you can.”

"Agreed, " Wend said, grimacing as the bodies of the soldiers in front of them were moved over to the wounded side of camp. Even Wend tried not to look at them, but Locke caught a glimpse of a still glowing hole in one’s chest.

"You can’t save them all, " Amelia said, putting a hand on Locke’s shoulder. She looked in his eyes, slightly concerned. “Just do your best.” Locke nodded slightly. Exhausted as he was, he didn’t even feel her hand.


Jade licked the blood from her lips, the action causing a slight reddening of her lips, a lip stick shade someone literally died so she could have it. Her head turned to where Macron, Maelous, Shairi, and the others had gone. She couldn’t let them have all the fun.

The force stirred around her, a warning…hmmm a warning to whom she wondered as she turned and ignited her violet blade. One merc had reached her before the others, perhaps a self proclaimed scout, and likely self proclaimed hero.

“Lets dance.” The merc held what appeared to be a regular sword, but she knew appearances were deceiving. Even if it was a normal blade, at the very least it would be dripping with position.

She smirked at the proposal, “sorry, my dance card is full…besides, it looks like your the kind of guy who wants the woman to lead.”

The merc glared at her, taking a step forward, his mind now focused on revenge of his honour. Jade laughed at the thought, how much honour could he possibly have? A bottom feeder?

As Jade danced on the ball of her toes, missing the full swing strike, her forearm met with the blade of his sword, slicing across. She felt her blood drip to the ground to mix with those of her victims. Her eyes narrowed, feeling the buzz of her victims blood clouded her mind enough to get caught in the attack. she kicked herself and used the force to heal the wound only so much as it would stop bleeding, she’d take care of the rest later, for now, she had other priorities.

Maelous looked down at his arm as his gaze temporarily deviated from the old stones, looking for the shawman. He was confused. The air had been draining out of him, surely he still would have noticed had he received any other blows. He looked back up as something moved, taunted him from the shadows. His arm tingled, stung and burned…yet he was not injured. He didn’t understand.

 The bridge shook from latest salvo from the Pandora’s Box, Armad grabbed sensor console to hold himself steady.  Taking a quick peak while he was holding on, he saw that the Onyx II has lost her shields, and suffered a good deal of damage.  A mass of escape pod beacons were flooding the screen as the heavily damaged section was evacuated.  Taking a quick moment to send a message to the pods telling them to hold tight and that they’ll be picked up when they can.  
 “She’s turning toward us!”  Armad heard someone exclaim.  Turning back to the display, he could see that the Pandora’s Box was indeed starting to make it’s turn to bring more of her guns to bear on the Absolution.  
“Contacts coming out of hyperspace!”  someone yelled.  “They’re ours!  The Damnation, Avis, Despot and Primus Goluud have arrived and are moving to intercept the Pandora’s Box and her fighters!”  
“Give me a status on us and the Pandora.”  Armad stated quickly, wanting to capitalize on the sudden appearance of reinforcements.  Anger welled up in him that he at first assumed that the reinforcements were because he had failed to end the space battle quickly.
“Sir, we are down to 30% shields and have some minor hull hits that caused some damage, but nothing trivial.  The Pandora’s Box has only had a drop of 10% in their shields, and is now turning towards the Damnation.”  the sensor officer stated with relief.  Armad looked from the sensor console to the viewport, wondering why.  Logically thinking, why would a VSD turn towards a ship that poses a real threat to it when there was a smaller ship that could be easily dispatched.  It doesn’t make sense, tactically they should have finished us off.  Unless…..there were more incoming.  
“Captain Jeisel, we need to start scanning the edge of the system.  I believe that this is just the vanguard, to assess what forces we have here and our capabilities.  The rest of their forces are probably either sitting at the edge of our system or are making micro-jumps to avoid detection.”  Spinning from looking out the viewport, Armad said as he hurried to the comm-station, calling out to the officer there to give him an all forces wide channel.  “Attention all Sadowan forces, I have a very strong feeling that they have more forces coming, I don’t know what or how many, but there will be more.  Avis, we will need to get rid of the bombers and as many of the fighters as possible.  Covenant, kill the gravity-wells, they could use that to jump right on top of you.  Despot, pour on as much ion cannon fire as you can, but as soon as their reinforcements arrive go stealth, then get as close as you can to one of their mid-range ship and do what you do best.  Primus Goluud, we could use some added shield power if you can spare it.  Damnation, take down as much of the Pandora's shields as you can, if we can't destroy her then disabled will have to do."  Looking down, Armad thought for a brief second before adding, "Those of you in fighters, stay close to the Covenant and Avis and you will survive this."
 Closing the comm-channel, Armad turned back to the viewport thinking of multiple tactics for when the hammer falls.

VSD Covenant
Tarthos Orbit

Captain Rineval grimaced as the ship rocked. The enemy TIE bombers that had made it though had targeted the Covenant’s grav-well generators, and they were going to hell. The CNS Majestic class ship and Warrior gunship were doing a number on the enemy VSD, but things were still dicey. Even so it appeared Sadow would take the day. The fighters from the Covenant and the few from Onyx 2 had dueled the enemy TIE’s to a standstill with heavy losses on both sides.

At that moment things became very, very bad. Just as the Covenant’s grav-well generators went offline, an enemy task force micro-jumped in and approached Tarthos’ orbit from behind. Twin ISD I class Star destroyers, a Venator class capital ship, 2 aging but powerful Dreadnaughts, 3 Corellian Corvettes and a Nebulon-B cruiser approached en masse. All of them that could launched fighters. Hordes of TIEs of every make swarmed towards the beleaguered defenders like angry hornets looking for flesh.

Captain Rineval’s jaw dropped as she scanned the holo-readouts. “Holy Shivit. Where did they come from… no matter. No time.” She grabbed the comlink hastily. “All hands, and all friendly ships. This is a fight for our very survival. We cannot give ground! Give them Hell, and I am happy to die fighting alongside you! Ground Forces, we are outmatched up here, I repeat, outmatched!”

VSD Pandora’s Box
Tarthos Orbit

Councilor Two surveyed the space battlefield cooly. His VSD had taken irreparable damage from the enemy Majestic-class cruiser, but this was a calculated risk. He had accepted it, and planned for it from the start. He smiled. Clan Naga Sadow was about to pay severely for the destruction of the Organisation’s holding’s in their system. “Signal the others to continue their destruction. Prepare my shuttle to take me to the Greatsword,” he ordered his Devaronian officer. “Evacuate ship, Commander Adaned. It is a lost cause. Set it to crash into Tarthos as planned, and run the reactor as hot as we can so it will poison as much of their planet as possible.”

“What of the ground forces, Admiral?” asked the Devaronian Commander. “And General Kalorg?”

“They are expendable. They were only a distraction. Leave them,” replied Councilor Two coldly. He keyed him comlink. “Our vengeance is at hand. Kill as many of the Orianers as possible.”

Firefox Class Carrier Final Way
Nicht Ka

“I sense…. trouble.” The Neti Consul looked carefully at the Final Way’s holoscreens. “Recall all assets and prepare to jump to the Orian System immediately.”

Majestic Class Cruiser Damnation
Tarthos Orbit

“Captain Aja Jewel here, of Majestic-class Cruiser Damnation. Looks like they are going to crash that smoking hulk of the Pandoras’ Box into Tarthos. All fighters and capital ships focus fire on that wreck. Let’s blow it to hell first. We cannot let this atrocity happen to those people down there. Jewel Out.”


Mucenic Plains

Daedric knelt over Sebz as he attempted to use the force to heal his wounds. Eyes closed and hands extended over his wounded comrade, all concentration was focused on him. The sound of blaster fire and small explosions sounded from the battle that was occurring outside the mangled MAAT that had crash landed. The occasional zing sounded as a stray bolt struck the panel around Daedric. Still his focus did not waiver. Sebz breathed slowly, the extent of his injuries wasn’t fully known to Daedric at the time.

“Commander,” a voice called out over the communication headset located on Daedric’s right ear. He did not answer.

“Dammit Daedric answer me!” The voice now clearer than ever, it was his old friend, Captain Scott who just so happened to be Besh’s Commander.

“What is it?” Daedric answered, not trying to take his focus off of Sebz. “I have sent medics your way, they will be able to help him more than you can, sir. We need you out here with us.” The sounds of explosions rocketed in the background. Daedric could hear as the sound of metal crashing against the ground shook the MAAT. That was a AT-ST falling…Sebz…I have to leave you my friend… Daedric thought. He knew that his attention was needed with Besh and the rest of the Clan. The battle has been raging for God knows how long. He can’t count the hours that had past trying to save his Guardsmate.

“Commander, we can take it from here.” Stated one of the two medics that arrived to take over the care of Sebz. Daedric glanced back at his friend one last time before departing. Hang in there Sebz. Daedric exited the mangled, smoking heap that used to be known as a MAAT, only to walk into a battle.

Daedric quickly crouched and made his way over to the mediocre command location where Captain Scott was located. To the right of the position laid the smoldering AT-ST that he heard crash against the ground. To the left, another AT-ST rapidly firing it’s lasers at advancing infantry.

“Sitrep Captain.” Daedric stated as he crouched next to the commanding officer. Pulling out his rifle and began to return fire. His aim was spot on as he quickly picked off a couple of advancing Organisation troopers. Even though Daedric had joined the battle, he could tell that it was a fight that would not easily be won.

“Commander, have lost an AT-ST, one of our Missile Attack Launchers and three of the MAATs. The LAAT/i is still working and flying cover for us now, but they are taking heavy damage and might have to land soon. We have been stuck here since you’re MAAT crashed. We can’t seem to make a head way to push them back.” Dirt continued to splash around them as the Captain gave his report. The sound of blaster fire coming from the near by combat walker was almost deafening, and the shock wave could be felt after each fire. Rockets continued to fly over head and the last remaining MAL fired rapidly trying to push back the approaching infantry. Shit, how many of the guys are there? Daedric though to himself as the Captain finished his report. “…and that’s how many we have lost. We have got to make a move sir.”

This wasn’t the first time when Daedric and the Captain was in a tight spot, but that was a different story. Suddenly and massive explosion flooded Daedric’s ear drums. He looked toward the sky only to see their air support burst into a ball of flames and slam into the near by forest line.

“There went out air support!” Yelled a young Sergeant beside Captain Scott. “Get me Senior Commander Sonjie on the battle frequency. I need to find out if he has some support to help us ease the incoming troops. Protect those two remaining AT-ST’s and that damned MAL at all cost!” Daedric ordered as another volley of missiles streaked across the sky.


Forward Command Post
Outside Mucenic

“Here they come again!” Wend shouted. A wall of enemy troops surged forward, their blaster fire filling the no-man’s land between them and the command post. “Return fire! Do not let them through!” Behind their earthen defenses, the Warhost’s E-web blaster stations opened up, fire slicing into the enemy ranks, cutting them to pieces. Still, they kept coming.

“Hold the line!” Wend continued, but this push stopped and dropped to the ground, dropping durasteel shields at their feet, making themselves much more difficult targets. The Warhost troops managed to fell many of the first line, but others piled on top of them, forming a solid enough wall. Amongst the sound of blaster fire, Locke felt his comlink buzzing. He tapped his headset, turning from the battle to crouch low so he could hear a little better.

“Locke here, go ahead.” He glanced up at the sound of repulsorlifts as one of the Warhost’s LAAT/i gunships descended and hovered over the post’s cleared landing zone. Blue and red lasers streaked from it as it’s bubble turret fired on the approaching enemy, the troopers in it’s hold doing the same.

“Pinned down,” came the reply. It was full of static, the signal had not been like that earlier. “Commander…Sonjie. Send-” it cut off, unable to complete the message.

“Dammit,” Locke muttered. “When did they start jamming us?” He spoke louder into his headset. “This is Locke, repeat. This is Locke. Where are you? Where. Are. You?”

The reply was another hail of static, but Locke caught one word. “North.”

He stood and looked over the battlefield. Smoke rose from two distinct locations on the opposite sides of the battlefield. One, to the east, which Locke knew was Dragoon and his men. The other was to the northwest. That’s them he thought. That location had more than one plume of smoke. They lost their air support. He knew some of the gunships from the other companies had survived the initial insertion and did what they could to assist the battle.

Locke turned to the descending gunship and addressed the highest-ranking trooper onboard, a clone whose helmet exposed half his face, showing a fresh scar where an eye should have been. The lower part of his helmet was painted to resemble a grinning face in bright colors. It was strictly against regulation, but he had not had time to replace the helmet since the recent Crusade. Locke knew him. He and his gunship team had survived the entirety of the Dark Crusades.

"Jester, " Locke called, “I need you.”

The clone laughed. “Don’t you always? What’s the mission?”

Locke smiled grimly. “The circle of smoking pillars to the northwest represents an isolated pocket of Warhost troops. They’re fighting for their lives, but they’ve lost their air support. They need troops to break out, and your support would help them greatly.”

“Lots of AA?” Jester asked. “Sounds like another day at the office.”

“Good,” Locke answered. “How many men can you give them?”

“Four,” Jester replied. “The others are with with Dragoon.” Having served with the Warhost for so long, the man knew most of the Dark Jedi of the Clan by their name, or some nickname. "Well, I have a fifth, " he continued, “but that guy’s missing one leg, doped up, and operating an E-web on the other side of the larty here.”

Locke cursed. He had hoped for at least a platoon, but the Warhost was being stretched thin. It would have to do. Will it? the Krath wondered. “I’m no General,” he muttered, wishing there were others here to take command, but he knew they would not be. This battle would have to be won with who and what was present.

“Go,” Locke said. “Cut a path. Drop off your men. Get them to safety. After that, see if they can do anything about those damn jammers! I can’t imagine those things are anywhere near my position.”

Jester nodded. “For conquest!” he said, raising a fist.

“It is our destiny,” Locke agreed, giving the man a nod.

The two men saluted one another and the gunship rose again, turning to strafe the enemy front line with it’s bow turrets as it zoomed out over the battlefield. Locke turned back, watching as Wend guided the resistance. The Krath’s energy was returning, his Force reserves slowly increasing, but he was not at full strength yet.


Crash Site
Mucenic Plains

Blaster rounds continued to streak overhead as Daedric crouched behind the smoldering AT-ST. The smell of twisted burnt metal and burning flesh filled his nares with disgusting smell. Bodies of the enemy laid across the battlefield, some were mangled while others looked as if they just laid down to go to sleep. Daedric could see one of the Organization troopers crawling away from him, trying to return from the direction in which he came. His legs were no longer attached, just a bloody mess that straggled behind him. Daedric could almost hear the pain an agony of the young mans screams as he drug his body across the field. To Daedric’s right stood another AT-ST continuously firing its repeaters at the advancing enemy. The sound would almost be deafening to one who was not used to hearing it. Daedric’s attention returned to the young soldier crawling for his life. Sorrow filled him as a laser round from the AT-ST hit only ten meters to the left of the solder. This has to end. Daedric thought to himself as he rose his rifle and took aim. The cross hairs found it’s mark on the troopers right temple. Daedric reached out with the force in an attempt to calm the dying soldier, he slowly squeezed the trigger well ending the troopers pain.

“…elles…Jester” Daedric’s communication’s link chirped in his ear. Daedric turned to Captain Scott, “Was that you?” he asked him as he crouched behind AT-ST even lower, pressing the comm link into his ear deeper. “Last unit calling, say again transmission!” Daedric replied, having to yell over the continuous fire erupting over the battlefield.

“Comma…Turelles…this is Jester. We … sent from Senior Comma…jie. ETA five mikes…ow copy!” A strange voice called out. Finally Daedric though to himself. “Copy all.” Daedric replied as he moved over to Captain Scott. “We have 5 mikes till a LAAT/i is onsite. I want three volleys from the MAL sent into the wood line. I want those woods ablaze. Cleared hot for White Phosphorus.” Daedric ordered. Captain Scott quickly acknowledge the order with a nod and turned to start issuing the commands. With in mere seconds the MAL opened fire. Rockets showered the wood line and immediately ignited into a white ball of lames.

Daedric could hear the sound of a distant LAAT/i as he turned to face the southeast corner of the battlefield. Topping of the ridge line, the LAAT/i’s weapons opened fire on the still burning wood line.

“Commander Turelles, Jester” Jester called out to Daedric.

“Jester, Turelles. Go with traffic.”

“On-site. Requesting orders.”

“Swing around to the the southeast section, open fire and sweep the wood line. Watch for heavy AA. You are advised to use vision protection. Willy Pete has been used on the wood line. Make two passes and landing in the center of the two AT-ST’s just before the MAL. How copy all?” Daedric ordered.

“Copy all.” Jester advised. Daedric watched as the LAAT/i started to bank into the turn bringing it’s right side facing the ground. The LAAT/i’s missile belt opened fire along with its laser turrets. Green streaks shot out from the turret bubbles and hit the ground, carving up all in it’s path. He watched as they made the two passes and came in hot to the landing zone, flaring the nose up just before touching down. Grass and debris flying up into the face of the near by Sergeant who acted as the controller. Jester quickly dismounted along with two trooper escorts. Daedric made not of the comical grin on the troopers helmet. He rendered a quick salute, which Daedric quickly returned.

“Commander, Senior Commander Locke sent us. We are here to help, but looks like the attack has been broken. Nice call with the Willy Pete. Love that smell.” Jester jested. The fighting at the crash site had finally died down but still the AT-ST on the left would randomly fire into the woods at pre-determined intervals too keep the enemies heads down.

“Glad to have you Jester. You came just in time. I just received S-Comm’s SITREP, and it looks grim. We have got to get down there to assist him. Those jammers will affect the entire battle if we can’t get them down. I need you to fly cover for us as we make our way through the woods. It’s going to be tight and not a lot of room for error.” Daedric began to brief Jester and his men.

“Just tell me what you need sir and I’ll make it happen.”

“I’m down a man in Besh-Tango, the AT-ST on the left, and one on Besh-Foxtrot, AT-ST on the right. I need two men to man those. I’ll be in Besh-Foxtrot and Captain Scott and Sergeant Spazz over there will be in Besh-Lima, the MAL.” Daedric stated, pointing at the appropriate vehicles.

'We will get it done sir." Jester stated as he turned to his men and issued them their vehicle assignments. Daedric quickly moved to Besh-Foxtrot, and climbed into the pilot seat.

“Been awhile…” Daedric stated as he quickly looked over the upgraded controls.

“How long sir?” Sergeant Brenner questioned from the gunner seat.

“A while. You ready Sergeant?”

“Roger that sir.” Sergeant Brenner replied.

“All vehicles check in.” Daedric ordered over the communication set.

“LAAT ready”

“Besh-Tango ready.”

“Besh-Lima ready.”

“Besh-Foxtrot ready, all units…Oscar-Mike.” Daedric stated as he pushed the throttle forward, heading into the woods.


Forward Command Post
Outside Mucenic

Locke felt confident as he watched the front line. The enemy had set up their barricade and entrenched themselves behind it, but had not gone further. The Warhost was doing a good job of keeping them pressed down. For a hurried insertion and setup, this battle wasn’t going half bad. Locke said as much to Wend.

“Yes, but it feels wrong,” the man said. “Why are they not pressing the assault? Why build defenses when they are on the offensive?”

“That is a good question,” Locke said. “It might be difficult, but maybe we should spare a scout. No, wait, what’s that sound?” He heard an all too familiar whine from overhead.

“Artillery barrage!” Locke screamed. “Get down!” His Force-assisted hearing had allowed the Bakuran to hear it a moment earlier than everyone else, but Wend reacted quickly. He screamed orders as the two men dived to the ground.

“I didn’t know they had any damned artillery!” Wend muttered.

“Me neither,” Locke said. “Remind me never to be in this position again.”

Their next words were completely drowned out by the deafening sound of explosions all around the command post. Brief pauses were pierced by men’s screams, soon being cut off by new explosions. As a particularly close blast hit, Locke felt dirt spray across his back as he buried his face against the ground, tasting soil. After it he looked up. Everything was silent. He saw legs running toward him, but they made no sound. Lasers flashed in the air in complete silence.

Locke came up to one knee in the silence, shouting at the top of his lungs, wondering if any would hear. He only felt the vibrations of his words in his throat. “Up and fight! For the Warhost! The Warhost will stand this day! For Sadow and Destiny!”

Pushing forward, Locke knelt by one of the E-web blasters. Sometimes, in moments like this, the only thing to do was to be the example. He knew that only his connection to the Force had allowed him to recover so quickly, while others lay dazed. The other soldiers were quickly scrambling for weapons and firing positions as the artillery ceased. Locke continued to shout to them, his hearing slowly returning. He looked toward the massed enemy soldiers, who had taken the opportunity to charge forward, blasters firing constantly. Locke pulled the E-Web’s trigger and beings died, collapsing before its fire rate, but they kept coming.

Then he saw something launch up over the battlefield. Expecting projectiles, the Krath looked up and cursed. Those weren’t projectiles, they were men, leaping into the air, a whole row of them in a widely spaced line.

One of the men landed directly behind Locke. The Krath turned, drew his blaster pistol, and fired in one smooth motion. A shot that should have gone through the man’s heart instead left a small, smoking impact crater, but the man ignored it and approached Locke. The Krath cursed again, sliding his lightsaber off his belt. He had seen men like this before once.

“They’re cyborgs!” he shouted “or bloody genetically engineered monsters! Be careful! Wend! Make sure the men know!”

His hearing back, Locke could hear screams and blaster fire around him, the blaster fire drastically reducing in distinct sounds as his soldiers were picked off or forced to go to vibroblades. He ignited his lightsaber, the snap-hiss distinct among the sounds as a blade of sun fire sprang to life, cutting through the air between the Krath and the man in front of him. Intelligence had called them “Gene Soldiers.” Locke’s last fight with them had not gone well. He planned this one to go better.

The Gene Soldier approached Locke with inhuman speed, ducking and weaving as the Krath tried to slash at him. The man got inside Locke’s defense, shooting a hand up to grab Locke’s wrist and squeeze it with inhuman strength, causing the Krath to wince and drop the weapon as his muscles spasmed. He grit his teeth, knowing that if he let up the man would kill him. Locke feigned a punch to the man’s head, turning it into a less than graceful fall to the dirt. On the ground, the Krath locked his ankles around the man’s and rolled, pulling the soldier down next to him.

The Krath’s mind raced. This man might have been superior in strength and speed, but he still did not have the Force. Locke summoned the dark side, feeling the corrupting energy course through him. Distantly, he thought of how easy this was compared to focusing the purity of the Force for healing. The corrupted strand of Force energy snaked up Locke’s arm, filling his palm. He focused on danger, imagining a monster behind him, about to leap for the Gene Soldier.

Locke slammed the darkness into the man’s mind, letting it sink in, shocked that no scream came. Instead, the man smiled a wicked grin and stretched out an arm, grasping Locke by the neck. It hadn’t worked! Shocked, he struggled for breath. “How…”

“My creators…perfected my mind, Jedi,” the cyborg said, speaking in a surprisingly calm tone, his voice raised slightly to be audible over the din of combat around them. “They removed the capability for imperfections, such as your pathetic fear. How does it feel to have been surpassed by technology, wizard?”

Just then there was a crack, and a smoking hole where one of the man’s eyes was a moment before. He let go of Locke, stumbling back, but recovering quickly, the other eye still staring at Locke. The Krath coughed and stumbled to his feet. Had a slugthrower done that? Locke breathed deeply. He felt a familiar presence. No, two. Help had arrived.

As the Gene Soldier charged at Locke again, the Krath ducked on instinct, a cerulean blade slicing horizontally over his head, cutting through the cyborg’s neck. Disconnected from the head, the body continued to twitch and stumble around, arms swinging at random, but Locke backed away from it.

“You nearly died,” Teu said, looking down at the head, calmly plunging her lightsaber blade through the other eye. She sounded a bit disappointed, though it was difficult to tell with her these days.

“Thank you, all the same,” Locke said. He thought that this one had been stronger than the ones he had fought on Inos Seven years ago, but was not about to say that. He still remembered her lectures on excuses.

Locke looked past her at the other Jedi who had come. “How did you manage to drag him out of his hiding place?” Methyas held a slugthrower in his hand and opened his mouth. Locke wouldn’t have been surprised if he was going to berate the Bakuran as well. “Don’t mention it!” he snapped, thinking Methyas might bring up what happened last time Locke had fought one of the cyborgs and had needed to be rescued.

Teu seemed to ignore the exchange. It was as if her mind was focused on only one thing. “Locke, distract. I will kill. Methyas, help our soldiers.”

Methyas just nodded and drifted off toward the nearest group of Warhost soldiers. Locke retrieved his lightsaber from the dirt. He surveyed the remains of the command post. The Gene Soldiers were running rampant, the members of the Warhost fought for their lives against the cyborgs and their normal counterparts. Beings screamed and died. It was a mess.

“Right,” Locke said. “Distract.”

Teu ignited her other lightsaber, searching the battlefield for their next target. “I will kill.”


Outside Mucenic

Roxas looked at the controls of the walker and gave up, he couldn’t control it if he wanted to. At best he’d be hitting buttons at random, so he dropped a thermal detonator in the cocpit as he ditched the machine to continue his assault on the others. He couldn’t destroy all of them, but he could stop them from advancing. As he jumped from the AT-AT he had stranded, he fired a grappling hook into a tree and swung through the air to the closest one. The grapple hook disconnected and Roxas ignited his lightsaber. Turning it in his hand as he flew through the air, he stabbed it ino the side of the four legged metal monster that was assaulting his allies. The blade pierced the hull and slowly slid down the side under the Mandalorian’s weight. The saber cut through power cables and the engines, leaving it a heap of metal with a working blaster turret. At least it could no longer move, so he continued to the others doing everything he could to stop them. His back started hurting as he hit the ground intending to continue his assualt, and he realised he was over exerting himself. He would have taken a knee to rest, but there were still two walkers heading into the town. He couldn’t let them through. He tossed the rest of his thermals under the foot of the nearest walker as it stepped. The explosion rocked the machine and the foot fell off at the ankle causing it to tip over toward him. He ran and evaded it. Once it fel he noticed what was behind the walkers. The bastards were bringing artillery and reinforcements. The Horseman of War rolled into cover and flicked on his comm, but before it could connect something large and hard hit him in the head sending him bellowing over through the brush. He moved to get up, but he was struck again, but several more times and from more than one angle. He attempted again, but still to no go. He rolled over to see he was surrounded by gene -soldiers. A small green creature was on the shoulder of one of them, as it approached he raised a hand telling them to stop.

“Fight well you did, failure. Proud your masters would be. Use for you I have. Take him.”

One of the gene-soldiers shot a stun bolt at the Mandalorian grabbed his calf and dragged him off.


Captain Jewel was correct, it did seem like they were aiming the VSD towards the planet.

“Get me stats on that ship, I want to know if there are any soft spots that we can exploit.” Armad quickly asked. He saw a sensor officer bend to his task and started to rattle off any and everything that appeared on his screen that correlated to the VSD.

“She’s sustained considerable damage, I’m certain that all of the escape pods have been jettisoned, with that many, it’s hard to get an accurate count.” The officer rattled off. “Other than that the damage that we’ve given her, she hasn’t sustained any additional damage that would warrant crashing it into the planet.” Armad was perplexed, why sacrifice a functioning capital ship, when you now outgun your opponent. Other than causing massive death and destruction on planet, it made no tactical or logical sense. Thinking about it for a couple more seconds, Armad came to a realization. They are on a mission to cripple and weaken the Clan. Their plan is to enact some sort of revenge on the Clan. So it would only be natural that they would do anything to achieve their goals. Now to figure out a way to counter this new development with what we had in-system.

“Captain Jewel, are you close enough to grab that VSD and either slow it’s decent or pull it out of orbit far enough that we could disable it?” Armad asked Captain Jewel, determined to find a way to save those on planet.

“We could try, it’ll be a huge drain on our power and it’ll leave us vulnerable to those incoming new ships.” Captain Jewel stated matter of factually. She was right, having the most heavily armed ship we have, trying to pull a VSD away from a planet when, there was a larger fresh force that just arrived. The Captain wouldn’t want to expose her ship to the enemy anymore than was absolutely necessary. But these were extenuating circumstances.

“I think it would be worth the risk, Captain. They seem bent on destroying us.” Armad paused thinking quickly. “We will have the other ships come closer to help protect and disable the VSD.”

“All ships, converge on the Damnation and protect her and help disable or destroy the VSD.” Armad stated, feeling the Force tell him that something was coming, something good, he added. “Give it all you can, I believe help is on the way.”


[B]Gate Chamber
Installation Seven
Orian System[/B]

Anaxela stood deep within the bowels of the temple, scowling at a large and ornately-carved stone slab that blocked off the far end of the central chamber. Several of her minions were inspecting the stone, trying to establish how to move it and get to the Gate hiding just beyond it. They were so close she could almost taste the power, like burning tar in the pit of her stomach. [I]So close.[/I]

With an exasperated snarl, she stormed forwards, hurling one of the minions aside.

“We must hurry, you fools!” she growled, fixing the rest of the group with a baleful stare. “My… Brother… Will not be delayed for long by those outside…”

[B]Temple Entrance Hall[/B]

Feet pounded against dark stone as the Sadowans stormed into the entrance hall of the temple, their sabers blazing. Macron led the way, his eyes burning as he looked to and fro, seeking the path deeper into the temple.

“Where is she…?” he hissed, the words punctuated with a deranged, unconscious giggle as they left his lips. Seconds later, they all heard the telltale thrum of lightsabers emerging from a dark and largely-obscured stairwell at the back of the hall. Two robe-clad Dark Jedi- followers of Anaxela- emerged at a run, the Dark Side swirling around them.

As one, the Sadowans charged to meet them, battle-cries and the sound of clashing sabers ringing off the stone and bouncing downward through the winding corridors. Defiant as they were, Anaxela’s hounds could not stand against the full force of the charge and they were driven back almost instantly, heads severed from their trunks and bodies flung unceremoniously down the stairs to smack wetly against the unforgiving rock of the next floor down.

“If that’s how tough her grunts are, this’ll be over quickly,” Manji sneered, stepping contemptuously on one of the bodies as he descended the stairs. Shikyo followed suit, Nightshade humming fitfully in his fist.

“Don’t worry, onii-chan,” he said, his voice lower and more weathered than Manji remembered. “I’m sure she’s got some tougher meat down there to slake our hunger.”

“Undoubtedly,” Macron snapped, striding past the two Keibatsu towards another staircase descending into blackness. “So hurry up, and watch out for traps!”

[B]Gate Chamber[/B]

Anaxela turned with a look of pure fury, the Dark Jedi before her cowering back slightly before regaining his composure. The stone slab had almost been dislodged, the Dark Jedi working in tandem to shift it out of position and reveal the Gate beyond.

“The rearguard couldn’t stop them, mistress,” he said, stopping to try and swallow the lump in his throat. “They’re almost-”

A loud ‘krnnnch’ cut into his words as, at the back of the chamber, one of the guards was violently smashed into the wall, leaving a crimson red smear on the stone. Anaxela turned swiftly, her eyes narrowing to slits of fiery hatred as the Sadowans, led by Macron, burst into the room. At her side, Rex drew his saber, settling into a fighting crouch, the Dark Side already coursing through his veins. Catching sight of Anaxela, Macron felt his teeth baring uncontrollably, a howl of pure, wordless fury spilling from his throat as he led the charge.


Installation Seven
Orian System

The Dark Side reached into the room, old vibrations of the Kwa and Rakata polluting the energy even aeons later. This chamber was a Dark Side site- and a strong one. Though small in size compared to the Tombs of Orian, this little grey stone chamber was potent. The violence that had come to the old Temple’s flagstones was quite welcome. If the Gate were used, the charnel bounty would be even greater. Destruction would come to many millions of life-forms in this system. The long-dead souls of the damned Kwa and Rakata that still hovered outside of the Force here would come forth in bodies of unhallowed flesh. Anaxela had her nefarious plans, but so did the site itself- and IT had been waiting a very, very long time.

“Rarrrgh!” The Mad Sith screamed in rage as he led the frontal attack. No one would ever call Macron a coward, or a weak Sith that fought from the shadows. The Juggernaut’s veins bulged as he channeled every bit of hatred, power, and vigor that the Dark Side would allow into his synthetic flesh. Tears of greenish blood leaked from the sides of his mouth inside the helm as the Force pressure began to slowly break down his organs.

Rex Drayfus stepped in between Macron and Anaxela as the others rushed past them both. The madman engaged him immediately as the nearest target on his way to Anaxela, and Drayfus had counted on that course of action. The scheming Dark Jedi planned to hold the madman off long enough for Anaxela to bond with the Gate and open it.

Drayfus ignited both ends of his red saber-staff and swept it about in a guard defense. His Soresu was good- very good. The red saber-staff spun and spat, flashes flowing forth from the blade as it engaged Macron’s orange single lightsaber. Rex’s Soresu defense was tight and flowing. The Jedi had taught Drayfus well before he fell to Anaxela’s service.

Macron was held at bay. His duelist’s efficiency kept him intact, but neither could he penetrate the Fallen Jedi Adept’s defense. Soresu opportunity strikes were swept aside with a turn of the wrist or a slap from his Armor Fist. Sparks popped from the Mandalorian steel alloys as the crushgaunt slid sweeping blows aside obliquely. The fan of Soresu was met by the spear of Makashi, and neither made headway against the other.

Jade, Maelous, and Shirai quickly dealt with the guards. They shut them down, ending their lives and destroying their comlink gear. There would be no calling for help. Every single one was killed, even those that ran for their lives. This place hungered for energy, and the Sadow Dark Jedi were only too happy to oblige. No one got away.

Master Shikyo and Nekura Manji flowed past the twin combatants and engaged Anaxela directly. They were veterans of many combats with Force-users and neither made any foolish moves. Shikyo spoke up as Manji circled to flank the Elder. “Anaxela. Your time has come.” The former Herald wasted no words. His intent was clear as he moved in with the Sword of Shar Dakhan and his ultraviolet lightsaber. The power of the Dark Side flowed majestically around his body as the Master attacked.

Anaxela moved to defend. Her own understanding of the Force was greater- recently so- but still, she was cornered by two very experienced and powerful Dark Jedi. She could sense Death waiting nearby to claim souls and energy. She held off his strikes with sweeping defensive moves, like her Apprentice. She stabbed forward with her weapon, lengthening the blade in a lightning attack from her multi-phase lightsaber. Shikyo stopped it with an “X” block of the two weapons. Fire spat from all three blades as they ground together ignonimously.

Manji circled to Anaxela’s side. His warrior’s soul knew this to be a battle to be relished- a battle to tell stories of. A superior enemy must be flanked and then cut in two. He shed his kimono top in one move as he placed both hands on his lightsaber hilt. The silver-blue blade struck with power, coming in at Anaxela from the side in a deft two handed torso-cleaving strike. His chest muscles bulged as the Krath channeled the Force into his body. He would test her defenses, feel her out.

Anaxela turned from her attack on Shikyo and side-swept the wicked blow from Manji down and to the left, ending it on the floor as her blade turned his into the old stones. Fire spat from the indignant Kwa stonework as she grinned. Her form shifted slightly, seeming to be twinned as it shimmered back and forth between her stances.

“Flow-walker,” commented Manji-sama as he changed his stance. It was going to take every bit of Master Shikyo’s skill and his own to take this woman down. “Shavit.” Even so, the ritual had been stopped for now.

Shikyo spoke succinctly. “Flank her. We’ll take her together.”


Forward Command Post
Outside Mucenic

Locke charged at the nearest Gene Soldier, yelling at the top of his lungs as it tossed two soldiers aside like ragdolls. At the last moment, Locke leaped with the Force, landing on the cyborg’s other side. The creature turned, swiping at Locke as it did so, but the Krath was already backpedaling, lightsaber held up and ready.

From the side, Teu’s twin blades sliced across the cyborg’s chest twice in rapid succession. It did not stop, but it slowed. The Obelisk pivoted, blades scissoring together at the Soldier’s neck, decapitating it in one quick motion. It’s body continued to spasm and stumble, but as long as no one went near it, it was no threat. Locke put his lightsaber through it’s face, ensuring that it would not be able to continue communicating with anyone. This time, Teu surveyed the area around them. It was the third such beast they had felled. Two others had fallen to someone else, possibly Warhost soldiers, and that left only three. Due to Methyas’ assistance, the Warhost soldiers were doing a good job of fighting back, and most of the enemy’s regular troopers were dead.

Teu nodded toward two Gene Soldiers who, side by side, were heading for the largest group of Warhost troops. If they managed to get there, it might break their momentum. "I will take those, " Teu said. “You take the other. Don’t fail this time.” She pointed to a lone Gene Soldier who was surrounded by fallen corpses. They had not been able to save everyone in time, and had taken significant losses.

“Right,” Locke said. They parted without another word, Locke heading for the remaining cyborg. He approached the man, lightsaber held ready. The cyborg looked around and, seemingly not noting any other targets, approached Locke. He grinned wickedly, displaying some abhorrent sign of humanity as his face twisted in a snarl. It was splattered with blood, as much as his front side was.

The blood of the fallen, Locke thought.

Rage swelled in him. He had healed many of these people and done his best to save them. This Gene Soldier had killed so many. It was remorseless. It appeared uninjured save for a few blast marks on it’s torso and one dark spot on it’s face. It was a monster, and Locke determined that he would destroy it. His anger rose, washing over him, urging Locke to release his rage in a powerful assault.

No, the Gene Soldier would want that. He would take advantage of such an aggressive strike. Previous encounters had proven that these cyborgs would not match limb against blade. They would avoid contact until they could strike. They would exploit any feeling Locke felt for his men and use that against him. Knowing this, the Krath folded his anger around his heart. It felt like ice. He poured all of the dark side within him into that ice. He had to be focused here; he could not let rage drive him.

Trust your instincts, a voice told him. Trust the Force. Locke nodded, more to himself than anything.

The Gene Soldier attacked, trying to get inside Locke’s defense. The Jedi dropped back, backpedaling, lightsaber held close, forcing the cyborg to re-evaluate his assault and maneuver differently. The action prevented him from getting near enough to Locke to strike, but still, the Krath retreated continuously. He realized that this was not going to work. If he retreated indefinitely, he could not achieve victory. Victory required action.

Breathing deeply, Locke howled with rage as he went on the offensive, the Gene Soldier’s one human-like eye widening slightly in surprise. This was different from before. His anger served Locke, rather than he bowing to it’s whim. It sharpened his focus. Rather than letting the current drag him under, the Krath swam with it. No, he controlled it. Movements enhanced, the Krath struck with his lightsaber, sweeping it toward the cyborg in quick, close strokes.

The Soldier danced back, narrowly avoiding the lightsaber, never letting it touch his body. He ducked, he dived and rolled. He even jumped above it, narrowly avoiding the attacks. Soon, the Gene Soldier began to make probing strikes at Locke, and so the two danced, lightsaber and limbs striking forward and retreating, never making contact with each other. It lacked the solidness of the crash of lightsabers, or the quick finality of a blaster shootout, but Locke forced himself to adapt. He focused on the Force power coursing through his body, driving his focus to a point. He was matching the cyborg, move for move.

Yet, Locke realized the truth. His opponent was driven by servos and robotics, while Locke was merely flesh and bone. Even with the Force, he would tire eventually, and the Gene Soldier showed no sign of that. If he could keep this up indefinitely, Locke would still surely fail.

He had to do something differently. The Gene Soldier’s cybernetics seemed to allow it to match the Krath’s Force-assisted speed and reflexes. But, Locke wondered, was he fighting based on his own knowledge, or trusting to an implanted chip to decide his next action? What would the Gene Soldier do if Locke did something that seemed completely stupid?

It was a risky gamble, and possibly suicidal, but Locke had to end the fight before his Force reserves and reflexes failed him. He had to strike without any regard for his own defense. If he did so, Locke hoped, the Gene Soldier would extend itself for the strike it knew it would achieve, and fall before making contact.

Determined, Locke pivoted as he dodged. He would usually move back, avoid the counterattack, and set up his own offensive. This time, Locke stepped forward, lightsaber aimed at the Gene Soldier’s neck. The cyborg smiled, clawed, cybernetic hand extending for Locke’s throat. Lightsaber was longer than limb, and the blade sliced across the cyborg’s neck, not quite severing it completely. The Gene Soldier’s hand continued forward, but tilted, digging into Locke’s shoulder. Grunting, the Krath removed the arm with his lightsaber and stepped away quickly, watching the remains of the body flail and die. To be sure, he removed the Gene Soldier’s head with a quick swipe, watching it land in the dirt. Amazingly, the eyes moved, staring up at Locke. The Krath approached it, lightsaber ready.

“By the blood of the fallen,” he whispered. “Die.” Locke stabbed his blade through that cybernetic face, right between the eyes, sparks mixing with a black, oily fluid leaking out.

Only then did Locke turn back to the battlefield. The enemy seemed routed. They were retreating back to their lines. The Warhost charged forward, Wend issuing orders, somehow having survived with only a gash down the side of his face. Healing his shoulder wound with some difficulty, Locke jogged over to join the group.


FFX Final Way
Tarthos Orbit
Orian System

“My God,” commented Malik as his wooden eyes saw the scene. The Onyx Two platform had been blown to hell. The Covenant had sustained damage, and her grav-well generators looked to be shot. The wreckage of starfighters and capital ships drifted in orbit around the planet. The shell of the VSD Pandora’s Box swam in orbit to his left. Tiny lights and a miniscule bit of thrust from her engines showed life aboard. She was now a space-hulk, but the Naga Sadow vac-troopers and Verpine engineers dispatched from the Despot had invaded and captured the abandoned vessel. They were now directing her away from Tarthos as scrap. The Assembly’s plan of enhancing their vac-trooper and low gravity operations-trained soldiers and commandoes had paid off.

The wreckage of a Majestic-class cruiser, Warrior-class gunship, Vibre-class assault cruiser, and Marauder-class corvette drifted in space. Many of the crew had been evacuated, but others had perished. Some of the ships drifted helplessly but the crew was alive.The enemy had fled mere minutes before the avenging task force jumped into the system. Naga Sadow fighters screamed as they cris-crossed the orbital area.

Kaayn Salis and his Apprentice had disabled and ion-captured a fleeing shuttle bearing Commander Adaned, the Devaronian that had been Councilor Two’s major-domo. The Lambda-class shuttle had crash-landed into the wrecked bay of the Pandora’s Box and the hulk was temporarily secured by Warhost vac-troopers and Verpine engineers.

Mucenic Plains

Below them the last remnants of the invading forces were being cut down. Troopers dedicated to the Warhost’s victories on other planets now jumped back into their own atmospheres. The brave defenders below had held the line and driven their enemies back with vigor and firepower. The grasp of the Clan did not falter here on the ground. Valiant bravery, sacrifice, and camaraderie had won the day. the Monastery still stood, and the invaders were cornered.

The Trandoshan General surrendered personally to Shi Long and Daedric Turelles who accepted on behalf of Clan Naga Sadow. It appeared that General Kalorg vehemently wished to serve a superior organization. Especially, he felt powerfully moved when the Clan’s “interrogation” techniques were described to him in detail with holo-projections, sound files, and discussions. Gamuslag facilities were pictured graphically as Daedric and Shi Long held him. And to Gamuslag he went with a lightsaber at his scaly neck.

Installation Seven

“Did we get her?” asked Macron as he sat on one of the old moss-covered stones. “I’m wrecked. Drayfus has been terminated.” Rex Drayfus was truly dead, as the Alchemist had killed him in the battle near the end. Drayfus in the end was dueled to exhaustion and a standstill by Makashi. Vaapad ended his life.

Macron was battered, cut, and spent. “Um. Can’t- can’t…… fight anymore.” The Elder groaned in pain and clutched his face as black ichor spilled from his lips. “ Pbbbflth. I need to get to Gamuslag.” he staggered and put one arm out to brace himself against the wall. The Juggernaut turned as Dark Eye droids followed him. “My organs.” he clicked a comlink switch on his vambrace. “Nern Senth Actual, we need evacuation immediately.”

“I’m not sure if we did,” replied Manji as he wiped the gore off his face with a sake-wetted towel. “That flow-walking stuff is esoteric.” He hurt. He had flanked the Witch twice with Shikyo, and they had barely taken her down in the end as Macron killed Drayfus. Manji’s own body continued to ache and twist as he sought his center. “Uhh-huk.” He spat blood on the floor. “We took her life. And that damn clone of Hafalia went down hard.”

Anaxela’s slain body had burst into blue flames and dissolved as the killing blow from Shikyo’s Sith Sword took her head. She had encapsulated the remnants of her life energy in the echoes and stone of this awful place.

“Anaxela’s spirit lives even so in the Dark Side,” commented the exhausted Master Shikyo as he looked at the charred stains and gory cadaverous chunks on the floor. The Sword of Shar Dakhan pulsed in his hand. It had eaten hungrily at her body and drank of his own soul and connection to the Dark Side. “But her body is no more, and her spirit is weak after this blade had it’s way with her soul.”