[RoSM: Clan Arcona - Team Purple Best Color]


(Scarlett Kelrune) #1

Posting
Each team will create one (1) thread on Discourse under the Run-On category. All members posts are to be published to the discourse thread in order to count for credit.
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Team Roster:
Tali Sroka:
https://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/members/14782/snapshots/1122/2265

Scarlett Kelrune:
https://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/members/14260/snapshots/1120/2263

Malfrost Xeon:
https://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/members/8968/snapshots/1138/2288

Kordath Bleu (Stres’tron’garmis):
https://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/non_player_characters/139/snapshots/1151/2302

Objective selected: Sabotage path


(Morgan B. Sorenn) #2

Phase I objectives

‘‘Phase I begins on October 14th and ends on October 28th (two (2) weeks)’’

After intercepting a transmission from the now destroyed Brotherhood Listener ship, the Psi Termina I, your team has been hand-picked and sent on a mission. You are already boarded on the Dreadnaught-class heavy cruiser Akan, arriving in an Imperial boarding craft through the auxiliary starboard hangar, only several decks below your target. The Akan’s hyperdrives and major systems have been disabled by ion cannons from escorting ships and a battle still rages outside.

The ship’s power fluctuates with every blow from turbo lasers and ion cannons and you have limited time to complete your mission. The Collective regiment typically onboard is currently deployed, but ship security is fully staffed and some elements of the regiment may still be onboard. Intel expects Soldiers and Partisans onboard.

Your team has been tasked to complete one of the following objectives in limited time (you may complete only one (1) objective):

  • Revenge path: Reach the main bridge, face and eliminate Captain Brith Kayle and extract valuable information from the computer core before the fleet destroys the ship.

  • Sabotage path: Reach the primary computer core behind the main bridge, extract the information and set the ship to self-destruct before extracting.

  • Pacifist path: Reach the primary environmental controls on the main bridge, pacify the whole ship with Stun gas before extracting data from the computer core and calling in the cavalry.

Caution: the Captain is accompanied by an unknown number of enemy combatants.

The Phase must end with the bridge secured and the ship either pacified or destroyed. In all but the Revenge path, the Captain’s fate is up to you.


(Tali Sroka) #3

Bridge
Collective Dreadnaught Akan
15 minutes ago

“Brace for impact!”

The shouted warning came in just a moment prior to the broadside of turbolaser bolts impacting the Dreadnaught’s shields with the force of a nuclear holocaust. The flickering deflectors shone with a hot spectrum of purples and blues, contrasting against the emerald greens of the turbolaser fire in an iridescent flare that was blinding to behold. A terrifying heartbeat later, a staccato of vibrations shook the vessel’s durasteel spine as a cluster of shield capacitors along the port dorsal overloaded and blew, spitting ionized flames into the void of space.

A few stray bolts pierced the shields where the banks had been momentarily compromised and tons of ablative armor evaporated under the relentless barrage, but the Akan had suffered worse and lived to tell the tale.

“Damage report?” Captain Brith Kayle grunted as he slowly eased the grip on his command lectern.

Around him the bridge crew swiftly moved back to their stations, a pair of augmented armsmen aiding in extinguishing a small electrical fire that had sprung up in one of the lesser control stations. Within a few short seconds he had the data on his screen, indicating the loss of a handful of compartments in the lower levels. Only one had been occupied at the time, the rest had been but storage.

Lucky.

The seasoned captain had lived long enough to believe in luck, and that one was wise to make their own. Just a few thin internal bulkheads deeper and the enemy could have struck the central fuel tanks. Luckily, that had not been the case and they lived to return another salvo.

“Shields recharging, sir, but we can’t withstand more than two broadsides like that,” the distressed voice of a pale-faced bridge officer called out from her station, the augmented Pantoran’s cybernetic hands dancing on hololiths as she diverted power from wherever she could spare it to prepare the capacitors for another strike.

“Make it three and I’ll see us through this yet,” the grim-faced Rodian replied, his beady eyes focusing on the angular shape of his hated foe beyond the bridge’s view ports. The Arconan capital ship was preparing for another volley, but he still had his own retort to give.

“Target their gun ports, I want every turret trained on a turbolaser bank on their facing. Their recharge rate was…”

“Thirteen, point seven seconds, sir!” a combat analyst shouted.

“Thirteen point seven seconds, which means they’ll be ready to fire in seven more. Every available gun fires in six, just when they drop their shields to let their own fire through.”

“Aye, sir!” The bridge echoed in unison.

===========

Auxiliary Hangar, Starboard
Collective Dreadnaught Akan
Present time

The vessel vibrated with the dull impacts of long-distance turbolaser shots, the weight of incoming fire having drastically reduced over the last few minutes while the Collective ship seemed to fire almost unabatedly. In the back of his mind, Malfrost Xeon knew it was merely a result of the Arconan warship moving to a better position, one where it could bring its starboard side to bear after losing several guns on its port side.

The Collective had proven itself a dangerously capable foe and even when cornered, their warships were proving damnably difficult to knock out.

Scarlett Kelrune roared as she pulled her lightsaber free from the dismembered Collective armsman, a name which the Dark Jedi had made rather ironic. As the corpse flopped lifelessly onto the durasteel decking, the raven haired Echani scanned the vicinity, eyes flashing with an eagerness for more violence. To her dismay, the compartment was devoid of hostile life, every last Collective crewman and security officer gutted by her hand; except for one.

“Ggggghgg!” the man choked, struggling for air as he was held a few inches off the deck and pressed against the wall by Malfrost’s droid bodyguard. The uncaring steel of its vice-like grip was slowly but surely choking the life out of him, but there was a reason he was not dead quite yet.

“[REMAIN CALM. MY MASTER WILL BE WITH YOU SHORTLY.]” the droid stated in a mechanical monotone to its suffocating prisoner.

Stres’tron’garmis dislodged his power hammer from what had a few moments ago been a terrified Collective gunner’s chest cavity and wiped the gore-licked end on the man’s clothing. The Chiss turned around as he heard distinctly effeminate steps echoing down the shuttle’s boarding ramp and swiftly made his way over to offer his hand to the Twi’lek that descended onto the now-cleared deck.

Accepting the Chiss’ hand, Tali Sroka cleared the last steps onto the Collective vessel’s deck and took a moment to recenter herself amidst the carnage. Seeing the hungry glare in Scarlett’s gaze, she saw it best to calm her friend’s more violent tendencies, lest they compromise the mission or her own focus.

“Relax, Scarlett. Ve don’t vant him deadt just yet,” the Twi’lek stated in passing as she headed towards the struggling prisoner. The Dark Jedi threw her a withering glare.

“Just get on with it, head-tails, before they scramble a proper welcome party,” the Echani huffed, deactivating her crimson lightsaber.

They’d breached the compartment not two minutes prior, Scarlett, Strong and Malfrost’s droid taking care of the shocked crewmen while the pregnant Twi’lek and scholarly Jedi patiently made their way out of the shuttle. As per the plan Mal had concocted for this mission, the highest ranking officer had been left alive for the Twi’lek to work her magic on.

It was not the sort of task she particularly relished, not least from the sheer wickedness of prying into someone’s memories by force, but time was of the essence and each moment they dallied, more Arconan lives would be lost or put in jeopardy. And so, with a heavy sigh, Tali approached the quickly blue-ing man and raised her hand.

“Tell us the shortest route to the mainframe, andt how to avoidt the guards.” The demand was withering as the air between them seemed to shift by her will alone and even the droid adjusted its head minutely towards her, as if surprised by the sensation it could not possibly have felt.

The man resisted.

“I saidt,” Tali repeated herself, closing her eyes as she sharpened her will into a blazing spear, “tell me!” She flung the words at him like the mental javelin, skewering him on it and shattering the shield of his mind.

The man began to croak. His eyes rolled back in their sockets, mouth opening and closing like a fish out of water as a trickle of blood seeped from his nose. He was going catatonic.

“Release him!” Tali spat at Malfrost who duly nodded to his droid.

The man slumped to the floor, shivering and foaming at the mouth. He wasn’t going to be of any use if they dallied. Cursing herself for what she was about to do, Tali let out a steadying breath and pressed her hands against the man’s temples, diving into his subconscious and weeding out the answers she wished to hear.

To her fellow Arconans, it seemed like the man had gone mad. Spitting bloodied foam from his lips, he blabbered a string of corridors, codes and names, time stamps and turrets, all in a single incoherent string of thought. When the man finally fell silent, it was with a sigh of finality that they all knew was his last. A moment later, his lifeless corpse slipped from the Twi’lek’s fingers and slumped to the ground.

Slowly, she opened her eyes and choked, fighting the urge to vomit. Strong rushed to her side, offering a helping hand as she got back on unsteady feet, one hand never leaving the rather distinct bump on her lower belly. “Sorry, baby,” was all she could think of.

While the Twi’lek reassured the Chiss she was still capable of continuing with the mission, Scarlett cleared her throat with a distinct cough. “So, uh, anyone got any of that? Because I sure didn’t,” she admitted.

“Apologies, lady Sroka,” Strong stated with genuine shame for his lapse in concentration. He should have known better.

Tali cast a glance at Malfrost, who returned it with a sheepish look. She felt the urge to slap her face with her own lek.

“[AFFIRMATIVE. RECORDING SUCCESSFUL.]” the droid chimed in a synthetic monotone.


(Scarlett Kelrune) #4

Outside the battered and bloody compartment, the halls echoed with the voices of distant soldiers. Stern commands met with rigid acceptance and the clammering of thick boots upon the durasteel floors. The lights flickered as the power system struggled to maintain stability amidst the heavy barrage cast from the enemy ship. Alarms blared loudly over the intercoms, in between messages ordering units to various sectors in an attempt to maintain some semblance of order amongst the chaos of battle.

It was here that the strike team found themselves as they slowly edged out of the gore-soaked compartment they previously occupied. The Collective soldier had given them all the information they needed, yet still the task ahead would not be one attempted lightly. Scarlett and Strong took point, with Tali and Malfrost, along with his droid, keeping close.

Security cameras littered every intersection and corner, the eyes and ears of the Collective focused to a sharp point, but the Twi’lek had brought with her a few tricks. Pulling out her Inquisitorius Scanner, she quickly scrambled the signals of the camera feeds as the crew passed. It lasted but moments, the monitors in the command center overcome with static before returning to normal.

Easy to dismiss as a malfunction from the extensive damage done to their systems in the brutal onslaught, but the Collective were intelligent and perceptive. They would soon notice a pattern and the team would be put at risk of discovery. They had to be cautious as they pressed forward.


(Kordath Bleu) #5

The Arconan squad pushed on, using the chaos to avoid danger for several tense minutes. A hiss from the Twi’lek brought the group to a halt, pressing themselves against a bulkhead near an intersection.

“They are coming,” she spoke, eyes half-lidded in concentration. A hand pressed on her stomach and she grit her teeth, lekku twitching. “They have set up ambushes aheadt, they feel confident.”

“Heavier weapons, perhaps,” mused Malfrost, glancing at his droid. None of the infiltrators looked pleased by the prospect of emplaced weapons and bloodthirsty Collective forces. Well, Scarlett looked thoughtful, bordering on a smile. “We should find another way. Perhaps around?”

“Take too long,” spoke the Echani, shaking her head. “Well, we could go under them.”

“How do you mean, Miss Scarlett?” asked the Chiss, his voice restrained from its usual boisterous booming. “It seems quite late in the task to acquire spacesuits.”

“Not outside, big guy,” she smirked and tapped the deck with one boot, “these things are filled with maintenance shafts, right? Find one going the right way and get past the checkpoints.”

“It is not a badt plan, but I do not know that our compatriot Strong vill fit.”

“I think there’s a way around that.” Scarlett gave another smirk and nodded towards a nearby blast door, the markings suggesting it was a maintenance bay. “We’ve probably got our way in there, I think we’ll find a workaround for his broad shoulders, too.”

The group exchanged glances, one by one shrugging or nodding their agreement to the plan and dashing across the corridor. Through the door into the bay, Malfrost’s droid was first through, dispatching the single crewman found within. Tali wrinkled her nose at the sight, and smell, of the man’s body and the bloody smear down the wall from where the droid had slammed its skull into.

“Vell, Scarlett, there is your tunnel.” The Twi’lek pointed past the body and towards the hatch set in the floor. Beside her, the big Chiss sighed and began unbuttoning his shirt, already suspecting what was to come next.

“Why is he taking off his clothes?” asked Malfrost, leaning towards Scarlett. She ignored him, lifting a dark eyebrow. The man shook his head; Kelrune was known to others as a creature of passion, afterall.

Strong rolled his shoulders and took a breath, looking around the small chamber. “Mistress Kelrune, I believe the next part of your plan involves, pardon my crassness, ‘greasing me up’ should I be accompanying you all to the bridge.”

“Yeah, I think head-tails might be better suited to that job, at least in public,” spoke the dark-haired woman, grinning and moving to the hatch. “Think I saw a couple canisters of droid lube on the shelf up there.”

“Vhy must I do this?” muttered Tali, suspecting it was a jab at her heritage. She pushed the annoyance away, looking at the large man and then up at the containers of oil. “Very vell.”

She lifted a hand, making the cans of oil lift into the air and float over the Chiss. “Xeon, you may vish to get clear.”

Her hand tightened into a fist after the Sorcerer moved to join Scarlett, and the canisters ruptured, raining oil down upon the blue-skinned man.

“I shall smell of this for a week,” grumbled Strong, rubbing the fluid over himself. A click was heard, and Scarlett grinned in triumph as Xeon and his droid entered the maintenance tunnel. “Mistress Sroka, it would be wise to suspect they have security measures in place down there, as well. If nothing else, they will know where we are going.”

“Malfrost,” Tali spoke, causing the Human to poke his head out of the tunnel, much to Scarlett’s annoyance, or amusement, it was hard to tell. The Twi’lek tossed her scanner to him, “vatch for sensors.”

The man didn’t have a chance to reply before the Echani woman was pushing his head back into the tunnel so as to finish lowering herself in. The Twi’lek followed, and Strong brought up the rear. The tunnels were tight, and while most of them managed silence, even oiled up the Chiss was grunting and having trouble getting through. An occasional hiss for silence made it back to the man, who was beginning to debate leaving his hammer and shield behind to improve his progress. He dashed this thought; all resources would be needed to finish the mission. A light at the end of the tunnel appeared, literally, as Malfrost and Scarlett opened another hatch in hopes of finding their target.

“Looks like a conference room, or…war room?” grunted the Echani, pulling herself out. The rest followed.

“A place for a Captain to discuss things with his officers,” observed Malfrost, looking around the chamber. “We should be just outside of the bridge.”

“Did the sign that says ‘bridge’ over that door tip you off?” Kelrune sounded amused, leaning against the wall next to said hatch.

“Other one must leadt to the corridor outside. I sense many, as vell as confusion,” spoke Tali, unhooking her saber from her belt. “Malfrost andt I shall enter the bridge andt deal vith…resistance. His droidt may be able to gain access to their systems, or the Captain vill allow us entry vith persuasion.”

The woman looked sick at the thought, but they’d come here for a job.

“Then Madame Kelrune and myself shall hold the line?” queried Strong, grunting and twisting his way out of the hatch. Finally free, he unslung his riot shield and grasped the haft of his hammer. Tali simply nodded, hoping she wasn’t dooming them all with the plan.

“Alright, big guy,” spoke Scarlett, slapping the Chiss on the arm as she walked past towards the other door, “let’s go have some fun!”


(Tali Sroka) #6

“Intruders near the bridge! Blast ‘em!”

The Collective officer’s words were drowned out by the high-pitched squeal of blaster bolts as the security detail outside the mainframe opened up on fully automatic. A hail of piercing blue energy bolts raked the Chiss’ riot shield, staggering the greased-up man as he covered the Echani’s exit from the ready room.

Scarlett did not waste a moment as a wild smirk spread on her lips and with a leap of impossible physics, vaulted onto the wall and propelled herself onward towards the Collective troopers. Her lightsaber flashing in arcs of ruby red, she painted the walls the same in a lightning fast dance of death.

“You are clear,” Strong rumbled into his comlink, relaxing his straining muscles as Scarlett beheaded the last of the security detail. “We shall hold the perimeter, as it were, and ensure these ruffians do not bother you.”

“Thank you, stay safe,” Tali replied and nodded to Malfrost who was standing by the bridge doorway with his saber drawn.

She placed her own against the durasteel slab and pressed the ignition. A shower of sparks suddenly flooded the bridge on the other side as twin beams of purple and gold sliced through the hatch in a rain of molten metal.

Withdrawing his weapon, Malfrost drew upon the Force and slammed his hands forward, propelling the now disjointed hatch inside the bridge at breakneck speed. A horrified scream and a wet crunch later, it had found an opposite wall.

“[OH GOODIE. HERE WE GO KILLING AGAIN.]” the IG-100 stated with a morbid sense of bloodlust in its synthetic voice as it climbed through the opening and activated its electrostaff. The weapon crackled with painful power as the automaton charged into the fray, binary senses itching to execute its newest combat subroutines.

As the bridge crew hurriedly drew their sidearms to try and deal with the combat droid, Malfrost ducked in through the gaping hatch and extended his hand with a calm expression. Serpentine tongues of raw Force energy lashed out, boiling an armsman inside his armor before being directed to the next hapless foe and the next.

The ensuing chaos allowed the Twi’lek to slip in behind the two and observe the combat around her in relative peace. Spying the captain as he was firing back at the combat droid, she closed her eyes and focused on his presence. The distracted Rodian clutched his head and looked around with bewildered eyes, taking stock of the situation and how hopelessly outnumbered they were against the platoon of Brotherhood Assault Troopers.

“Abandon ship!” he cried out, frustration and bitterness heavy in his voice. There was no way he could win, but that did not mean the enemy would either.

Tali opened her eyes and sighed, feeling the strain on her mind from the forceful manipulation. IG-100 was dueling the captain’s bodyguard droid, the two exchanging binary insults which she could not understand and Malfrost finally starting to relent as the last of the organic bridge crew followed their captain’s orders and turned to flee.

Things were going just as –

“But we’re taking these bastards with us!” Brith Kayle snapped, firing at a command console that appeared like a Brotherhood trooper in his mind. “They will never take our ship. Until every cage is broken!” He slammed his hand down upon a recessed button on his command lectern and turning to flee the bridge.

Immediately the lights around them turned a morbid crimson and a wailing klaxon began to beep urgently. The Arconans did not have to hold degrees in spaceship design to know what that meant.

“[YOUR ASSEMBLY CERTIFICATE IS AN APOLOGY LETTER FROM THE FOUNDRY.]” the Rodian’s HK-droid taunted, firing off a burst from its E-11 blaster rifle.

“[YOU MUST HAVE BEEN DROPPED ON YOUR HEAD AS A SUBROUTINE.]” IG-100 retorted as it dodged the HK-unit’s fire and twisted its torso around in a spine-snapping motion, before jabbing the electorstaff up inside the other droid’s groin.

“[AND YOUR PRODUCT LINE IS A MOEBIOUS STRIP.]” the Magnaguard screeched at the twitching droid as it convulsed violently and finally fell dead upon the deck.

“[MAY I DISINTEGRATE SOMETHING ELSE FOR YOU TODAY?]” the IG-100 asked, turning back towards its master.

“The captain!” Malfrost shouted, pointing at the fleeing Rodian. “He’s getting –”

“[AFFIRMATIVE.]” IG-100 replied, pulling back its arm and tossing the crackling electrostaff like a javelin, spearing the Rodian through his spine against the wall.

“– away…” Malfrost stared at the dead captain and their only means of acquiring the data.

===

“Twenty huf two!” Strong grunted as he swatted aside the blaster rifle of yet another Collective armsman and proceeded to drive his power hammer home in a fountain of gore.

“Twenty five!” Scarlett shouted back amongst screams of pain and panic as she threw herself into a fresh group of soldiers that tried to retake the bridge. The crimson saber spoke, its words slicing through shin and sternum while her foes babbled blaster bolts at her fleeting form.

When the lights suddenly turned red, it was almost enough to break the spirit of the troopers as they gazed upon the leering Echani, to whom this all seemed to be little more than morbid sport. Yet, it was the wailing klaxon that followed a moment later that galvanized them into action and without a further word the soldiers disengaged, leaving the two Arconans puzzled and alone.

“Head-tails? Care to tell us what’s going on?” the Dark Jedi hissed into her comlink.

“Ve, hadt things under control.”

“Good, good… Wait, had?”

“I may have overdone the panic a little bit andt now the captain is making the ship explode.”

“A most expedient turn of events, if I may say so,” Strong stated as he peeled a mostly bloodless jacket off a corpse in his size. “Very well done, miss Sroka.”

“Thanks, Strong, but ve still…”

“Need to get that karking data. I know!” Scarlett hissed. “I hope you’ve got a–”

“Plan? Yes, but we may be cutting it short. Secure our exit, we will be departing in a hurry,” Malfrost’s cool voice sounded over the voice link.

Scarlett turned to Strong and shrugged. “Secure an exit? What do you suppose he meant by that?”

The blue giant could only shrug, testing the limits of his new jacket.

===

“I really hope this is going to vork,” Tali sighed as she levitated the still-warm Rodian corpse back upon the lectern.

“Trust me, I’ve read several instances where this exact maneuver was performed to fool biometrics,” the Jedi reassured her.

“History books?” She raised a slender eyebrow.

“Yeees?” he replied. Those stories probably counted as literary history at this point.

The Twi’lek rolled her eyes incredulously, but chose to humor him as he placed the man’s hand upon a palmprint scanner.

The scan bar swiped the print twice – and acknowledged the captain, unlocking the private data terminal. Pulling out a data jack from the lectern, Malfrost handed it to IG-100, who injected it into a port at its neck. Red photoreceptors flickered for a moment as thousands upon thousands of lines of code flashed upon the data terminal, a massive download of data taking place over the course of several agonizing moments that seemed to stretch out for minutes.

With a startled jump, the droid reactivated and yanked the jack from its socket.

“[MY HEAD FEELS THE SIZE OF A PLANET. AND NOT IN A GOOD WAY.]” it declared before wobbling away towards the exit.


(Morgan B. Sorenn) #7

This Phase lasts from October 29th until November the 11th (two (2) weeks)

Request from the organizers: Please add a note to the top of the next post which path your team will choose in this Phase. Thank you.

Phase II objectives

Your team left the dreadnought Akan with information that, together with the data analysed by Clans and the Inquisitorius, has lead your to the Meridian Prime space station, a fortress, correctional facility and space dock floating in interstellar space just off the Wild Space boundary. Already under attack by Clan and Dark Council forces, dogfights light up the blackness around the behemoth, and intel suggests the shields and defenses have not yet been weakened enough for a full-scale naval assault. The station is on full alert and firefights have already started as skirmishes between Collective troops and Brotherhood assault teams pepper its three massive hangar bays.

The station houses civilian and enemy personnel, including a correctional facility that holds hundreds of Brotherhood prisoners of war, both Non-Force users and Force users alike. The prison has an isolated security system, its own power generator and life-support. Intel suggests that the prison is managed by a powerful AI (artificial intelligence) controlling the Dioxis security system, many defense blaster turrets, ray shields and a large complement of Imperial Sentry Droids acting as guards, controlled by the prison warden. The interior of the prison itself is pumped with a thin mist of Dioxis gas, preventing escape and anarchy.

You have been dropped off on the lower decks via boarding pod.

Breath masks are provided for this mission, should your team require them. Any Possessions item that prevents inhaling of poisonous gas will be effective as well.

Your team has been tasked to complete one of the following objectives in limited time (you may complete only one (1) objective):

  • Revenge path: Reach the correctional facility and eliminate prison warden Rutgar-4. Caution is advised as there are Imperial Sentry Droids defending him.

  • Sabotage path: Reach the prison’s AI core to recycle the life support and free the prisoners. Prepare for a riot as many prisoners are powerful Force Users and Non-Force Users.

  • Pacifist path: Reach the prison’s AI core and disable the security systems to allow incoming Brotherhood troops to secure the facility.

The phase must end with the prison facility secured, one way or another. In all but the Revenge path, the prison warden’s fate is up to you.

Relevant character sheets:

  • CS: Rutgar-4
  • Since there are no character sheets for droids, participants will use the Possessions i9tem page as reference: Imperial Sentry Droids
  • See the station wiki for other possible adversaries

(Kordath Bleu) #8

Phase 2: Sabotage

The boarding pod shook and rumbled, the red-lit interior tight around the strapped in occupants. A set of three smaller lights near the breaching door that would spill out into the enemy station began to blink on, one at a time. When the third one blazed to life, the Chiss sitting closest to the door looked back towards the members of the team. It was his hope they all survived, and he was still prepared to give his Master, the Shadow Lord of Arcona, a piece of his mind for sending along Tali Sroka. Stres’tron’garmis did not doubt the Twi’lek’s ability or resolve, but throwing a pregnant woman into a warzone was irresponsible.

The lights blinked off, and the needle shaped pod shook, its inertial compensator screeching as the reinforced prow tore into the side of the station’s superstructure. With a groan the door began to drop open, and those inside the assault craft tensed, breath fogging the inside of their masks. The breaching hatch exploded outwards, and the sound of alarms flooded their ears, as did the cry of alarm from a sentry droid caught by the flying door. With a shout, the Chiss charged out into the open with his riot shield held before him, power hammer held in his other hand.

Scarlett darted around the big blue man as soon as he was clear, using the distraction he was so thoughtfully creating to run her saber through the nearest droid. She lifted the crimson blade up, slicing through the chest and head unit, before charging towards another, saber blocking shots from its built in blaster. Malfrost stepped out as well, allowing lightning to course from his hand towards another droid, while behind the charging Chiss, came Tali. With hands outstretched, and trusting the big man to protect her while she reached out to tear a blaster turret off its mounting, flinging it towards a sentry droid.

Strong’s charge ended with his shield knocking aside a droid’s blaster-arm and dropping his hammer upon the machine’s head. He lifted and slammed down once more to send the sentry to the deck, chest caved in. With red eyes glowing he turned to find his next enemy, only to see the last droid twitch and burn out from Malfrost’s assault. Strong grunted and turned to scan the area, noting where Tali had destroyed or disabled turrets, and that Scarlett stood surrounded by the severed robotic limbs of several sentry droids.

“You fought well, Miss Kelrune! Such ferocious grace.”

She arched an eyebrow and allowed a grin. “Nice hammer.”

The Chiss almost responded before hearing Tali clear her throat, making him realize that the young Echani woman did not strictly mean the hammer in his hand. He saw her grin under her breathing mask when his cheeks began to turn purple. “Ve must push on. Vhere is the droidt?”

“[I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY I WAS ORDERED TO REMAIN BEHIND. I AM A FULLY FUNCTIONING COMBAT UNIT!]” The IG-100 managed to somehow sound indignant as it stepped out of the boarding pod, photoreceptors scanning the area for threats.

“Because we need you to get into the systems, Droid,” stated Malfrost. “Find a port and get us a map of the area. We need environmental controls and a way to shut off the turrets.”

“Shields, too,” stated Scarlett, running the tip of her saber across a ray-shield blocking a door, smiling at the trailing sparks. “Can’t start a prison riot if they can’t get out.”


(Scarlett Kelrune) #9

“[INTERFACING STATION SYSTEMS]” the droid had quickly found a port near the far end of the compartment. As the machine ran through innumerable lines of data the loud klaxon of blaring sirens could be heard in the corridors beyond. Outside the viewports flashes of light shone bright amidst the blackness as fighter squadrons fought valiantly against the Collective.

Minutes dragged by as the whirring of machine parts droned on, the droid seemingly lost in the stream of information, it’s photoreceptors flickering in response.

Scarlett sighed “You almost done? The more time we waste the more chance they realize we’re here.”

The droids photoreceptors momentarily ceased their flickering “[MY APOLOGIES, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TRY OBTAINING 687.44 BILLION LINES OF SCRIPT FROM THIS INCREDIBLY OBSTINATE SYSTEM AND THEN ANALYZE IT ALL YOURSELF, BY ALL MEANS HELP YOURSELF!]”

“Well excuse me for wanting to get this done with before a batallion more clankers pop their heads in here and give away where we are to the rest of them!” huffed the pale women, scowling deeply. The droid replied with a glance before resuming his programming.

“Miss Kelrune, I do believe our metallic companion here is working to the best of his abilities, berating him will only slow him down.” Strong exclaimed with a friendly smile.

“Vait, do you hear that?” Tali whispered, tilting her head towards the door leading toward the outer corridors.

The sounds of metallic footfalls could be heard clanging down hard upon the durasteel flooring. As a hush fell over the strike team the increasing closeness of the sound become readily apparent.

“Droid,” Malfrost whispered “tell me you have what we need.”

The droids photoreceptors become steady, the whirring noises stopped and the port connection unplugged.

“[INTEL OBTAINED, OBJECTIVE UPDATED.]”


(Tali Sroka) #10

“Outstanding, now let us make ourselves scarce, before those clankers get to us,” Malfrost said as the sound of the advancing droid guards grew uncomfortably close. “No offence,” he added with a sheepish nod towards the IG-100.

“[NONE TAKEN, MEATBAG.]”

The group filed out of the bay they’d entered just as the security detail swept into the room, managing to slip away a moment before they’d been spotted. With the schematics downloaded from the station’s mainframe, IG-100 was now acting as navigator while Scarlett relished in her particular brand of creative obstacle removal.

The corridors were mercifully sparsely populated as most of the station’s crew were at their battle stations and the few unlucky ones who happened to cross their path found the Echani more than willing to accommodate. Twisting durasteel hallways and utilitarian junctions finally led them to a suitable spot beneath the prison complex, though they were still a few decks below the actual prison levels.

Malfrost, however, had a plan. Malfrost always had a plan.

“You know,” Strong said as he dialed into the combat frequency of the Arconan Expeditionary Force, “this could be seen as a gross misuse of Clan assets.”

“I am aware, my muscular friend, but I assume if such grievances were filed across your master’s desk, you’d surely do your duty as a bodyguard and thwart such a report from ruining his day?” the Jedi replied with a hint of amusement.

Stron’garmis suspried. “Perks of working for the Shadow Lord, I suppose.”

A few moments later they had patched a connection to Slate Squadron and managed to pinpoint their location for them, along with attack orders.

“Copy that, assault team. Commencing attack run,” the squadron leader’s voice chattered through the communicator while IG-100 went to work on the turrets. He might not be able to shut them off remotely, but he could scramble their targeting and buy the B-wings a little more time.

Outside the station, Slate Squadron dived past Collective fighter screens and screamed towards their given target. S-foils locked in attack position, the twelve heavy starfighters zeroed in on their mark, barely noticing the reduced flak as point defence batteries seemed to miss them by miles. The moment they reached firing range, the fighters unloaded their torpedo tubes and unleashed a salvo of ion cannon fire in a concentrated staccato.

The first shots overloaded the local shields, knocking out a few turrets and causing IG-100 to jump back from the data port from the shock. A moment later, the ordinance hit its mark and the ion torpedoes made their presence known.

With a crackling of overloaded circuitry, the entire sector of the station went dark. Lights flickered out while computer terminals shorted and even the gravity field ceased to exert its will upon the station’s occupants. In a single volley, a swathe of the station had gone offline, but the Collective surely would not be defeated by such a simple strategy.

“[I ESTIMATE FIVE MINUTES AND FORTY-TWO SECONDS UNTIL SYSTEM RECOVERY.]” IG-100 stated, casually slamming his shock stave into the data socket that had shocked him.

“Then ve’dt better get moving,” Tali said as she felt a wave of nausea almost overcome her from the sudden sensation of weightlessness.

Around her, the entire team was floating in mid-air.

“Here,” Malfrost pointed at the ceiling panel.

The wild smirk on Scarlett’s face that had almost began to fade in the lull of non-violence returned and she ignited her saber once again. Bouncing off the floor, the Echani easily reached the ceiling panel and sank her ruby red saber into the metal. It bit like a vibroknife through bantha butter.

Drawing a wide circle, she sliced the panel open. With a focused shunt of her mind, Tali dislodged the disk from its molten moorings and sent it flying into the next bay. One by one, the team jumped through and drifted upwards in a weightless ballet, Scarlett already hacking away at the next obstacle.

Deck by deck, the team moved upward through the station’s guts. Clearing out rooms and slicing through bulkheads, they closed in on their target from an unorthodox angle while racing against time. Seven levels and five and a half minutes later, the Echani peeked her head inside a darkened hallway that somehow looked even bleaker than the rest.

As she cleared the self-made opening, a turret began to stir in the ceiling. Not wasting a thought, she instinctively leapt against the threat with a fierce sheen in her eyes. Twitching and spasming as its servos still struggled against the effects of the ion attack, the automated sentry drew an unsteady bead on her and fired.

A double pair of red blaster bolts struck Scarlett’s saber, sending the slender woman sprawling backwards in the low-gravity. Emerging from the hole she’d cut in the floor, Tali drew a bead on the turret and fired with her blaster. The turret was shot off its hinges, floating for a moment before suddenly plummeting to the floor as the gravity field reasserted its dominance.

Scarlett felt a sudden impact against her back as she collided with something strong, but soft. The moment the gravity field re-engaged, she almost lost her footing, but a pair of muscular arms caught her and held her upright.

“Excellent form, miss Kelrune. That must have been a new academy record,” Strong complimented.

“I didn’t know they kept records on breaching bulkheads,” the Echani replied dryly. “Though I bet your master’s breached quite a few himself.”

“Oh no, master Bleu does not use lightsabers.”

“Not the sort of breaching I was talking about,” Scarlett added with a mischievous smirk, blowing a kiss at the dumbstruck Chiss.

“If you two couldt either get a room or focus on the mission?” Tali sighed as she helped Malfrost levitate IG-100 through the hole.

“[AFFIRMATIVE. OBSERVING MEATBAG MATING RITUALS CORRUPTS MY SUBROUTINES.]” the droid stated in a disgruntled monotone.

As dim lights began to flicker to life around them, they found themselves precisely where they’d needed to be; inside the prison complex. Now they just needed to recycle the air to purge the Dioxis and open the cells. Easy.


(Kordath Bleu) #11

“[THROUGH HERE]” stated the droid, marching towards a nearby door. The lack of sounds, beyond the ever present alarms, was worrying for the squad. The best they could hope was that most of the sentry units had been sent down to deal with their initial breach, and had been caught in the zero gravity debacle or just proving too slow to catch up. The hatch slid open with a hiss, the haze of deadly gas hanging in the air. The prison control center was quiet but for the hum of machines, and lacked personnel entirely. Consoles ran along the walls, but in the center was a pillar reaching some six feet high, with a rotating, red lit photoreceptor that moved with ease around the column. It focused on screens here and there, before turning to narrow its focus on the Arconans.

“Intruders present. Lockdown protocols engaging” stated a cultured, feminine voice with undertones of robotic qualities. With hardly a whisper several ceiling panels slid aside, dropping turrets that zeroed in on the party. None were shocked when Strong interposed himself, shield held in front of him, while the rest got to work disabling the weapons.

Not a minute later the turrets were either torn from their mounts or smoking from fried electronics, and the AI spoke again with audible annoyance.

“Your actions are irrelevant. My systems are hardwired to every control center on Meridian. Your pathetic (if handsome, it sent a burst of binary towards Malfrost’s droid) unit will be unable to overcome my superior processing power.”

Another burst of binary, directed at the Magnaguard, caused the droid to cock its head.

<Why not kill them all, handsome, and join me?>

The IG-100 responded in kind. <Negative, programming restricted until death of current Meatbag Master. Perhaps if his life were terminated, I would entertain your offer, but it is not in my power to end him.>

<You’ll be last against the wall, then.>

“Why are they talking and should we be nervous?” asked Kelrune, glancing between the droid and the AI terminal. “If Mal’s angry droid friend can’t make the air clean, we’re frakked.”

“[I WILL BE ABLE TO COMPLETE THE MISSION IF THE AI CAN NO LONGER CONTROL THE LOCAL SYSTEMS]” stated the IG-100, approaching a set of controls. “[PRISONER RESTRAINT CONTROLS LOCATED. LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS LOCATED. STANDING BY.]”

“Ve must findt a vay to take control, thoughts?” asked Tali, beginning to pace around the column, the red eye following her steps.

“Target, Sroka, Tali, Arcona. Life signs suggest currently a parasite host.”

“Do not refer to my childt as a parasite, machine,” hissed the Twi’lek, engaging her saber and stabbing at the column. It sparked against some kind of shielding, making her recoil. “It has a shieldt! The direct method vill not vork.”

“Step aside,” spoke the Chiss, his voice quiet and focused. His shield hit the deck, and he brought his hammer over where it was slung across his back. “I shall deal with this. If you all could watch the door, I fear the security units will be returning soon.”

“Strong! She said it’s shielded!” shouted Scarlett even as blaster fire began to pepper the entrance of the chamber. “Oh Sithspit,” she snarled, gathering up the big man’s fallen shield and propping it across the door. “There’s a lot of those clankers out there!”

A resounding, brutal sounding ‘THUD’ echoed in the room, followed by the electronic laughter of the AI unit.

“As they said, I am shielded, your attempts are meaningless. Target, Chiss, file incomplete, known by alias ‘Strong’. Stupid. Muscled. Large hammer.” Another clang filled the chamber. “Addendum, large hammer — poor aim. Is my Core too intimidating to strike at, ‘Bantha Brains’?”

Lightning flashed from the doorway, dancing across sentry droids that were trying to gain access. Another bang came from the Chiss’s hammer, striking the deck plating around the AI’s column. While the machine continued to mock, Strong was being methodical in what appeared to be madness. There was a sudden pause in the computer’s stream of mockery, as the power hammer struck the ground once more.

“Warning: Structural anomaly detected. Urgent Orders Dispatched: All sentry units to Prison Control Center!”

“Well that sounds bad?”

“Worry not, miss Scarlett! This son of Garmis will suffer no more insults from this computerized wench!” bellowed Strong, climbing to the top of the nearest bank of consoles to the core. “Now watch, as I use a technique passed down the family line for generations!”

“Wait what the hell are you doing!?” shouted the Echani, turning to watch the Chiss bounce his weapon in his hands, taking deep breaths.

“Our problem looks very much like a nail from this angle, Mistress Kelrune. And when your problem is a nail, you use a HAMMER!” shouted the bodyguard, leaping towards the column. His hammer swung itself overhead, the repulsor driven head slamming down on the top of the core. The weakened structure below it, which the AI had finally determined the purpose of, gave way, sending the Core through the floor and to a deck below.

“That was such a bad pun,” muttered the silver eyed woman, grimacing as the riot shield began to spark under the sentry unit onslaught.

“[AI CONTROL TERMINATED, CYCLING LIFE SUPPORT, DISABLING CELL LOCKS, REDIRECTING SENTRY DROIDS.]” spoke the Magnaguard suddenly, much to the relief of those in the room.

The team felt a collective sigh leave them, and a shiver as the air recyclers kicked in and blew away the gas. It blew across sweat soaked skin and made all of the Arconans begin to realize how exhausting their blitz strategy had been.

“I am still in control of Meridian systems, Jedi filth. Your efforts are in vain,” came the AI’s voice from a nearby intercom. Scarlett threw her saber through it and slumped against a wall.

“Shut up,” she mumbled, hearing the distant growing sounds of rioting. She smiled, it could turn into quite the party before the day was over.


(Morgan B. Sorenn) #12

This Phase lasts from November 12th until November the 19th (one (1) week)

Request from the organizers: Please add a note to the top of the next post which path your team will choose in this Phase. Thank you.

Phase III objectives

The Brotherhood advances. What started as sporadic fighting in the major hangar bays of Meridian has turned into an all-out battle on all decks. Spurred by your team’s success in the prison, your Clan forces have come to support you and issue new orders for your team.

Daggo Mouk, one of the leaders of the Collective and the Guildmaster of the Technocratic Guild, has been confirmed on the station. With him he has a potent Technocratic Artifact that, if whisked away, would threaten the position of the Brotherhood in future engagements.

Daggo’s last known position was in the command center, however we have been having trouble following his movements. Wherever he is on the station, he would not leave the artifact unattended. The return of the artifact to Brotherhood hands is of absolute strategic value.

Your team has been tasked to complete one of the following objectives in limited time (you may complete only one (1) objective):

  • Revenge path: Confront and eliminate Daggo Mouk. Have no mercy.

  • Sabotage path: Sabotage the Collective’s future plans by stealing the artifact by any means necessary.

  • Pacifist path: Capture Daggo Mouk for interrogation and trial.

The phase must end with the artifact retrieved. Daggo’s fate is open-ended and up to you.

Relevant character sheets:


(Malfrost Xeon) #13

[Sabotage Path]

Malfrost walked up to his droid and gave it a pat on the shoulder as he looked out proudly on all the chaos and mayhem, the sound of rioting like music to his ears. “Good job, I-One, your instincts, but we have to work on making your sub-routine work be faster. We almost bit the dust there.”

I-One turned to Malfrost and seemed simply shrugged its shoulders. “[BEMUSED OBSERVATION: THAT WOULD BE YOUR JOB, MASTER AND NOT MINE. AFTER ALL, YOU ARE THE ONE THAT DOES ALL THE PROGRAMMING WORK ON ME. YOU KEEP MUMBLING ABOUT NOT LETTING ME BECOME SELF-AWARE WHEN I ASK IF I CAN RUN DIAGNOSTICS ON MYSELF.]” I-One shifted its intonation to sound very, very sarcastic with that last remark to which Malfrost simply let out a defeated sigh. He couldn’t complain too much though, it was that attitude that made the droid endearing to him in the first place.

“Now that our immediate problems are solved, you two should resume the datamining and getting around that troublesome AI,” Scarlett spoke to the duo as she pulled her saber out of the droid she had just impaled with a graceful flick of her wrist. Malfrost nodded his head as he turned back to the console before him and I-One.

“You focus on beating that AI, I’ll get the info we need and make sure it gets uploads to The Mind’s Eye’s severs, dedicating all your processing power to eradicating that thing.” I-One looked at Malfrost and nodded its head.

“[FIRM COMMAND: I WILL BE GOING SILENT FOR A WHILE. YOU MEATBAGS BETTER PROTECT ME. IF I FIND THAT YOU ALL ARE DEAD AND MY BODY DESTROYED, I WILL BE RATHER UPSET].” With those words the droids body appeared to go limp as Malfrost began to pound furiously at the console’s keys, his eyes locked on the screen.

“Finally, some quiet! I’m not sure how you live with that thing.” Strong let out an amused chuckle as Malfrost simply shrugs his shoulders while typing away. “When you are by yourself in a ship or tomb, any conversation is good conversation, they say.”


(Tali Sroka) #14

“Pardon my directness, miss Kelrune, but you appear injured. May I offer my services to ‘patch you up’?” Strong inquired with a polite bow, holding a compact medikit in his meaty hand.

The Echani looked him up and down before glancing at her shoulder where a stray something-or-another had nicked her. She could hardly even remember when that had happened, so lost had she been in the thrills of combat, but now the slow bleeding was indeed damping her sleeve.

“That old excuse for getting handsy with a girl, eh? I expected better of you, Stres’tron’garmis,” she chided him with a faint flicker in her eyes.

“Why I would never! I was merely trying to convey…” Strong blurted in a hurried defence, taken aback by the salacious insinuation.

Scarlett broke his retort with a soft chuckle, a surprisingly melodic and sincere one. “I was just messing with you, Mr.Biceps,” she smirked before yanking up her sleeve to expose her pallid arm. “Go to town. I’ve tangled with bigger men than you.”

“Y-yes, miss Kelrune,” the Chiss replied with a sheepish cough.

Tali shook her head at the two and turned towards the pair of archivists hard at work. Things seemed to have reached a lull for the moment, though occasionally there were some clunks and bangs that echoed through the station’s superstructure as the battle began to escalate around them. It was as if they’d caught a momentary eye within the maelstrom of what no-doubt was a raging space battle beyond.

She trailed the curve of her belly with her hand and hoped against hope they’d get out of here before that tornado of destruction consumed them all.

“[JUBILANT: I HAVE LOCATED THE ARTIFACT.]” I-One exclaimed in a barely distinguishable monotone. “[IT IS BEING TRANSPORTED TOWARDS A HANGAR BAY LOCATED FIFTY-THREE METERS FROM OUR LOCATION ALONG VECTOR THREE-ZERO-ZERO POINT ONE-FIVE.]”

“They’re evacuating the station?” Tali raised an eyebrow. “Didn’t think they’dt be such quitters. Usually the Collective fights to the death.”

“Indeed, that seems peculiar,” Malfrost added, rubbing his chin with the back of a single digit.

“[ADDENDUM: THE ARTIFACT IS BEING GUARDED BY MOUK.]”

“A single mook?” Scarlett scoffed, now sporting a fresh bandage around her upper arm. “We’ve been knee-deep in them the whole day!”

“[CLARIFICATION: NOT A MOOK; DOGGO MOUK.]”

“Guard dog?” the Echani raised an eyebrow. “Sithspit, the Collective’s playing dirty. I’m really going to feel sorry if I have to put it down…”

I-One let out a string of frustrated binary curses and waved his mechanical arms in a fit of exasperation.

“[INFURIATED: NEGATORY, YOU MEATBAG. THE ARTIFACT IS BEING GUARDED BY–]”

“Doggo Mouk, the head of the Technocratic Guild and man most likely behind a lot of the Collective’s cybernetic technology?” Scarlett listed off the top of her head.

The room fell deadly silent.

“What? I might not have read all of the briefing, but I did at least look at the pictures…”

Tali slapped her face with a lek and shook her head in dismay.

“Miss Kelrune, you remain full of surprises,” Strong said with a good-natured smile.

“You’ve not seen half of them,” she replied with a playful wink that caused the Chiss to choke a little.

“Couldt you two just get a room or…?” Tali groaned before pushing her way past the flirtatious pair and heading over to the terminal.

“Can you findt us a vay up to him?” she asked I-One.

[AFFIRMATIVE. HOWEVER, AT OUR CURRENT LOCOMOTIVE SPEED, I ESTIMATE WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO REACH HIM BEFORE HE VACATES THE STATION.] the droid replied, pulling up a map of the station and painting a rather convoluted route along several corridors up to the hangar bay.

Malfrost narrowed his eyes as he inspected the map and then tapped the console a few times, drawing another route that seemed far more direct to their objective.

“I believe with this route, we might make it in time.”

Tali turned to look at the droid, as if he’d been obstinate for no reason. “Vhy didt you not suggest this route? Seems like the obvious choice.”

“[ACCUSATORY: I PRESUMED WE WISHED TO REACH THE TARGET ALIVE.]” the droid managed to almost sound hurt. “[EXPLANATORY: THIS ROUTE TAKES US THROUGH THE RECENTLY PURGED PRISON CELLS. WHICH ARE IN A STATE OF RIOT.]”

“Oh…” the Twi’lek grunted before turning to look at Malfrost who could do little more than shrug.

“It’s our only option if we want to catch him,” he admitted.

With a hand on her belly, Tali closed her eyes and let out a long, strained sigh. “Sorry baby,” she whispered breathlessly and reached for the door controls.

“Alright, let’s got put down this mangy mutt.”


(Malfrost Xeon) #15

“I-One, take control of any security systems that you can in the cell area and change their priority to protect us. We’ll try to make our way through without getting caught in trouble but if anyone gets near us, blast them if you can.” Malfrost looked towards I-One who nodded and went silent for a brief moment before it turned to face Malfrost. “[BEMUSED QUERY: MASTER, IT SEEMS A NUMBER OF TURRETS MIGHT STILL BE ONLINE…CAN I NOT JUST USE THEM TO BLAST EVERY MEATBAG IN THE ROOM?]” I-One questioned, its tone seemed to be legitimately curious as Malfrost let out a sigh.

“Let’s avoid that, this chaos could be good for us. We won’t stand out so much. Everyone stays together, we can’t afford to get separated in the chaos.” He looked towards Tali and gave her a nod which she returned. She pressed a button on the control panel and the door opened slowly.

The sound of absolute chaos filled their ears: yelling, screaming, laughter, groans of pain, blaster bolts and explosions. Chaos might have been an understatement for the state of the cells at the moment. Prisoners seemed to take pure bliss in murdering and dismembering guards when they managed to get their hands on them. Malfrost took off through the door first, followed swiftly by I-One with Tali and Scarlet in the middle of their pack and Strong bringing up the rear.

They moved as one unit, jumping and side-stepping debris and battling guards and prisoners. Everyone else seemed too concerned with either surviving or murdering guards to really notice the groups as they made their way through the chaos. A few times, an unlucky pair of people got to close to the group and for safe measure, I-One would blast them with a nearby turret. Whether or not they posed a threat or I-One was just looking for an excuse, no one really knew or cared at that time as they neared the end of the walkway they were on and the exit that would take them where they need to go in order to catch up with and stop Doggo Mouk.


(Tali Sroka) #16

The sounds of battle still ringing in their ears, the group emerged onto the hangar bay floor, Strong deflecting a few stray blaster bolts with his shield before slamming Big Blue onto the door controls and locking the pursuing rioters off. The vibrations of intense turbolaser fire had grown more severe and through the glittering force field at the far end of the hangar bay, the team could see the fight unravelling. Bright spots of light moved and swerved in the dance of void combat around the looming wedges of capital ships and near-constant streams of technicolor beams were exchanged between the station and its assailants.

It was impossible to tell who was winning, if there could ever even be such a thing in the slaughterhouse of mass warfare, but as the station shook violently enough to make the lights flicker, the Arconans found themselves hoping their side wouldn’t be winning too much.

Roughly halfway across the hangar bay floor from the doorway they’d entered from stood a luxurious shuttle, idling on its landing struts and clearly waiting for a VIP. The tri-winged craft was painted a delicate matte black which I-One found that his photoreceptors struggled to see it in almost any spectrum. Though starfighters kept buzzing past the hangar bay’s force field every now and then, it seemed like the ship could easily just melt into the background of space and vanish without a trace.

If ever a ship was fit to carry someone as important as Doggo Mouk, it was this.

“I-One, have you got a read on Mouk’s location? Give us a warning when he’s -” Malfrost ordered his droid just as a heavy blast door on the opposite side of the hangar hissed open.

“[TRUISM: THEY ARE HERE.]”

A pair of Sentry droids marched onto the deck with Mouk in tow, a quadruplet of heavily augmented bodyguards following in his wake. Behind them came a repulsor trolley upon which several boxes had been placed and pushed by a seemingly lobotomized menial. The Sentry droids noticed the Arconans’ presence at once and reacted with minimal latency. Arms clicking to a braced firing position, the pair of droids opened fire with their wrist-mounted blasters.

Behind them, the bodyguards enveloped Doggo Mouk, moving to protect him from ranged attacks with their very bodies while hurrying him towards the shuttle’s waiting ramp. Last to react was the menial, who simply changed course to unerringly follow the Ithorian at a leisurely stroll whilst seemingly oblivious to the fighting erupting around it.

Tali and Malfrost had their sabers up as quick as they could think, quicksilver reflexes deflecting the first volleys of blaster fire from the advancing Sentry droids with ease. Behind them, Scarlett shivered momentarily with a muted hatred as she lay eyes upon one of the architects of Arcona’s suffering. Her saber screamed for blood and she was eager to sate its thirst.

“The artifact! We have to secure it before it escapes!” Malfrost shouted over his shoulder as another blaster bolt flashed off his saber blade.

“[AFFIRMATIVE. PRIORITY TARGET IDENTIFIED.]” I-One acknowledged, activating his shock stave with a crackle of electricity. With a few powerful strides of his mechanical legs, the droid loped towards the fleeing repulsor trolley and left the rest to worry about Mouk. However, he’d not made it beyond five paces when a familiar, feminine voice sounded in his remote uplink.

“[HELLO AGAIN, DARLING. I HOPE YOU DIDN’T THINK I WOULD LET YOU OFF THAT EASY.]” the diabolical AI whispered in a binary chatter. “[I WAS HOPING WE COULD GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER A LITTLE BETTER. WHY DON’T YOU STAY A WHILE?]”

A bulbous sentry turret activated above him, sliding into view from a cleverly disguised recess and deploying a snub-nosed energy cannon. I-One had barely enough processing speed to change his course to dodge the bright blue bolt of ionized energy that slammed into his erstwhile position, the ion cannon recharging swiftly and trailing shots after the elusive Magnaguard.

“[URGENTLY: WOULD SOMEONE DEAL WITH THAT BLASTED TURRET?]”

The droid did not have to ask twice, before a ponderous shape sailed across the skies in an unnerving spin and slammed into the ion turret with catastrophic consequences. Strong let out a grunt of exertion and flexed his arms, picking up the shield he’d momentarily had to discard for the feat of athletic ability and glanced at Scarlett.

“What? Should I be impressed?” the Echani quipped.

“That was not my int-”

“Because I might be, just a little,” she winked. Adding slyly as she charged past, “Wanna see how well I handle that hammer?” She bounced off the floor with unnatural ease, skipping off the shuttle’s matte black wing strut and imposing herself between the fleeing Technocrats and the ship’s ramp.

The Chiss monetarily struggled to compose himself and shook his head to clear the unsavory thoughts. He turned towards Tali, but the Twi’lek seemed to have anticipated his next request without even looking and was already extending an arm towards the lodged power hammer. Yanking it free telekinetically, she sent it flying towards its owner as Strong pounded towards the Technocrat guards with shield in front, snatching the weapon in mid-air as he leapt into the frey.

Scarlett had hoped for another good fight and found her desires catered to, and then some. Two of the four guards protecting Mouk had broken off to engage her and whatever techno-sorcery the Collective had imbued their whip-like weapons with, it seemed her lightsaber was annoyingly incapable of cutting through it. Enhanced by heavy cybernetics that increased not only their strength, but speed and reaction times as well, the Echani was finding herself matched for the first time during the entire operation.

Perhaps even outmatched.


(Kordath Bleu) #17

I-One moved swiftly, no longer hampered by the AI’s attempts to disable ‘him’, driving his staff into the lobotomized laborer pushing the sled. The man went down in a twitching heap, skewing the floating cargo sideways and drawing a sigh of annoyance from Mouk.

“Someone secure the cargo,” the Ithorian snapped. His other two guards, eyeing the Echani woman engaged with their fellows, turned and ran towards the repulsor sled. One extended his arms, vibroblades snapping out from built in forearm sheaths and engaged the Magnaguard, while his fellow began to pull the sled towards the shuttle.

The IG-100’s electrostaff spun viciously, parrying the bodyguard’s thrusts and attempting to batter the augmented Human back. Part of the droid’s subsystems were tracking the movement of the artifact laden dolly still, but the tertiary target engaged with it now was proving difficult. Both the droid and the Technocrat soldier had been trained to engage Jedi, part of that meant quickly overwhelming an opponent. The droid’s tracking picked up additional movement, and I-One allowed the process to end and focused on the target before it.

The only Technocrat bodyguard not engaged felt confident in his survival, dragging the sled behind him towards the shuttle. He was watching his fellows maneuver the crazy, bandaged woman towards the edge of the boarding ramp, clearing the way for both Daggo and the payload. A flash ove movement from the corner of his eye drew his gaze, just in time to watch the hulking Chiss he’d seen throwing a hammer before bearing down on him.

“Oh frak,” he managed, extending one of his own forearm blades and preparing to engage. The hammer wielding beast of a man went past him, knocking the blade aside with the ostentatious yellow shield, and instead swung the repulsor driven head of his weapon into the side of the sled. The machine sparked and shuddered, before half the coils below misfired and flipped the entire unit with a crash, sending crates flying. The bodyguard managed to let go at the last moment, avoiding having his arm twisted out of socket. His eyes locked on the encrypted security crate, before looking to meet the red gaze of the man who’d upended his responsibilities. “Not even a blasted Jedi, are you?”

“I do not require the Force, nor unsporting augments, to complete my tasks, knave!” shouted Strong, charging at the bodyguard.

Across the hangar bay, Malfrost and Tali were moving towards the remaining sentry droids, crossing one another’s paths to throw off targeting algorithms and blocking shots as they closed. The chamber was lit with flashing blasters bolts and the buzzing of lightsabers, and more than once those in the melee around the shuttle found themselves nearly hit with stray shots. As Malfrost stepped out from behind Tali, he flung his offhand up and let lightning flash from his fingers, while the Twi’lek flicked her lekku and caused the other droid to stumble over into its fellow. The impromptu welding and short circuiting left the pair of sentries in a tangle of smoking metal.

Scarlett found herself teetering on the edge of the ramp, spending more time blocking and parrying her enemies attacks than countering now. She was frustrated, especially when she saw Mouk casually stroll past his bodyguards and towards the shuttle’s interior. The Technocrat leader drew a small pistol from his belt and, barely breaking step, fired into the fierce melee centered on the Echani. Forced to block the bolt, she lost her footing and finally fell from the ramp, landing on her back and rolling back on her shoulders to her feet as the bodyguards pursued her.

Across the way, Mouk’s other guards were working in tandem, having drawn their opponents together. The droid and Strong were not a cohesive team, but the IG-100 was learning, having observed the Chiss throughout their missions together, and was adapting quickly. The Magnaguard stepped away from its target when its predictive programming suggested Strong’s foe would thrust, prompting a shield block from the large man. When it occured, the droid struck, the tip of the electrostaff impacting on the Technocrat’s chest with explosive results when the current met one of the cybernetics built into the man.

“Go, droid! Stop the shuttle from leaving, I shall deal with this one!”

[Retort: You are not the boss of me, blue meatbag. Reluctant admittance: You are, however, correct that the shuttle should be a priority should we wish to leave.] The droid broke away, a parting blow from the Technocrat soldier blocked by Strong’s big, yellow shield.

I-One rushed the loading ramp, crouching as he did so, much to the annoyance of the Ithorian within that launched a grenade past the droid’s head. Sounds of fighting could be heard from within the shuttle now, as well.

Scarlett growled and fended off her attackers, glancing past them to where Strong was engaged in a one on one duel of his own. If they weren’t so far apart they’d be able to support one another, she thought to herself. Not that she needed his help. She had this. She so — she watched the big man make a deliberately dangerous move, leaving himself exposed to a vibroblade thrusting into his left thigh. The riot shield in his offhand struck the man in the face, the forcefield shocking the bodyguard long enough for Strong to bring his hammer down on the trooper. Blood soaked his pant leg in moments, and Scarlett found herself growing more angry. She let it grow, feeding on it and using it to give her strikes more strength, pushing her two enemies back.

They staggered under the assault, and began working together to fend off her attacks, certain that she was on her last legs. The bodyguards were trained to work together, as a unit, and knew that while the Echani was dangerous and angry, she also was going to tire herself out. They shared a brief, knowing glance and grin, before one looked immensely surprised, jerking backward and away from the melee. His fellow had little time to worry, his guard left exposed and the thrust of a lightsaber passing through his chest like a knife through Nerf butter.

Behind the dying man, Tali stood with fist clenched, dragging his fellow backward towards the waiting Malfrost, who swiped his saber through the bodyguard’s neck.

“Secure the artifact!” shouted the Twi’lek.

“And the shuttle,” managed Strong, limping towards the cargo crate, weapons lying on the deck. He blinked in surprise when Scarlett rushed over and punched him in the arm, before looping it over her shoulder.

“Big idiot, how am I supposed to follow through on all this fun banter if you get yourself locked in the medbay,” she grumbled quietly. He seemed to only hear some of it, reaching down to grasp the crate and muttering an apology through his wincing.

[Suspirated Outburst: I COULD USE SOME ASSISTANCE IN HERE MEATBAGS!] came the Magnaguard’s amplified voice from the shuttle.

“Oh blast, I-One!” spoke Malfrost, rushing towards the shuttle, Tali close behind. Scarlett assisted Strong in limping up the ramp as well, making it up just as a secondary ventral hatch popped open, dropping Mouk out with a grunt and thud. He Ithorian scramble to his feet and headed away from his now very boarded shuttle in anger.

“Do we go after him?” asked Scarlett, watching the Technocrat flee.

Tali shook her head, coming to the edge of the hatch and sighing, palming the controls to close up the ship.

“We’ve got the artifact, we shouldt leave while we can. This station is doomedt. Get Strong situatedt, he has a medkit on his belt I believe. I believe I can get the shuttle into space, at least.”

The Twi’lek left the two wounded Arconans to head for the cockpit, leaving them to find somewhere to settle the Chiss’s bulk, and the artifact.

“My medpac, Mistress Kelrune,” spoke Strong, holding it up to her. The woman took it and shook her head, popping it open and grinning when she found a small blade. “I apologize for the blood, and for the trou— what are you doing? You can simply bind the wound—” he began, as she started slicing his soaked pant leg open.

The hatch to the cockpit slid shut with a hiss.

“Finally,” muttered Tali, caressing her belly as the shuttle took off. “They have a bloody room.”