[Shattered Ties] Awesome Dynamite Super Cool Alpha Wolf Squadron Team
In orbit of Mygeeto
The Covenant dropped out of hyperspace and began to position itself in orbit of Mygeeto, ensuring that no enemy ships would make it past them whether coming to or from the planet.
The betrayal of Clan Scholae Palatinae came as no surprise to Darkblade. The Quaestor had realized the potential that this would happen as soon as the pirates had been destroyed. The valuable cargo full of Sith artifacts was not something either Clan would likely want to share freely. However the sheer brutality of which their betrayal came did surprise the Anzat. An attack on their Consul and Pro-Consul was not something to be forgiven. As soon as word came down from Locke on what had happened and to attack their former allies, Darkblade did not hesitate.
Despite Aul Celsus having almost beaten Blade Ta’var in the gladiatorial tournament, he felt a twinge of panic as he realised his apprentice was still planetside when the order came through that CSP had betrayed them. Losing him would be not be fruitful towards his plans, as his most promising apprentice still had much to accomplish before his use would come to an end. Having felt no loss in the Force, he deduced that Aul was alive. Shortly thereafter he had received a message that Aul was alive and well, having escaped the treacherous act of hostility.
Immediately after, Darkblade grabbed for his comlink and hailed Qyreia Arronen, the Battle Team Leader of Devil’s Shroud was the best pilot he had seen in the House for a long time. He would need her to pilot a ship to the planet in order to meet up with Aul who had also mentioned he was near the sight of the crashed ship. So far there was nothing going on, but it would not take long before scavengers and both Clans would be upon each other fighting for the valuables inside the downed transport ship.
The comlink crackled to life as a connection was made.
“Qyreia, get your gear and find a ship so we–” Darkblade began.
“Already on it Sir. We figured this is what you’d want to do,” the female Zeltron said in a quirky voice.
“We?” Darkblade asked in confusion.
“I’ve taken the liberty to rally some members from Shadow’s Bane and Devil’s Shroud who have a personal interest in going to the surface,” the pilot said matter of factly.
“May I ask-- Nevermind, which hanger are you in? I’m on my way already,” the Anzat said as he rushed towards the exit of his quarters on the Covenant.
“Hangar 56. We’ll be waiting for you,” Qyreai spoke before the link was terminated.
As Darkblade raced through the many corridors to Hangar 56 he realized he had forgotten to tell Russell Bartholomew that he would now be the CO till his return. The Quaestor laughed slightly as he continued running down the hallway, earning himself a few turned heads and questionable looks as he sped past crew members.
Five minutes later he rushed into the hangar and sprinted towards the ships lowered ramp. As soon as he set foot on the bottom the ramp already began to close, giving his steps slightly more power as he leapt into the ships cargo area.
“Welcome aboard Quaestor,” the intercom blaired out with the voice of someone that sounded slightly familiar.
As the Anzat made it into the cockpit and strapped himself in behind the co-pilot, he realized there were two other people there besides Qyreia. Strapped in next to him was Marcus Kiriyu, the former Rollmaster. Giving each other a polite smile and nod, Darkblade turned his attention to the co-pilot.
Turning round and grinning sheepishly, Armad flashed a thumbs up.
“Someone from Shadow’s Bane has to rescue their overconfident Battle Team Leader, so I figured I’d offer my help,” the Techweaver said.
“Your help is appreciated Armad,” Darkblade said.
As he finished strapping himself in the ship rocked as it left the hanger and entered space.
“Lets go extract Aul and procure these supposedly valuable artifacts,” Qyreia said.
“For Sadow!” the team erupted in chorus as one.
Surface of Mygeeto
Aul sat down clumsily on the dense snow and leaned back onto the thick trunk of a frosted tree. He glanced around nervously and looked back to make sure that he had sufficiently covered his tracks. He’d had enough close calls for one day, and his mood was soured by betrayal. He carefully switched on his encrypted coordinate beacon.
The Sadowan let out a stress-filled sigh. So much for making friends outside of the Clan…
With slightly shaking hands, Aul grabbed a small vial off his belt. The metallic cylinder shone in the sunlight streaming down on him, and reflecting off the snow beneath him. He brought the food canister to his mouth, popped it open with a thumb and emptied its contents into his mouth. He’d tried grow used to the taste, but to no avail. His face twisted into a grimace as he choked down the high calorie supplement. Breathing deeply for a few moments as the calories started to absorb into his system, Aul turned his concentration within and found his center. He calmed his nerves and wrapped the Force around him, allowing it to permeate his joints, tendons and muscles, energizing his physical and mental state.
He brought his comlink up to his mouth. “Did you guys go on a detour or something? I don’t need any Welcome Home gifts.”
“Someone’s in a good mood!” came Qyreia’s reply.
“Q! Glad to know I’ll be flying first class out of here,” Aul returned as his mood cheered up slightly.
“Sir, we’re locking in on your coordinates and should be with you momentarily,” Armad chimed in over the connection.
“But don’t get too comfortable waiting for us. You’re awfully close to the crash site, and the place is likely a hot spot of activity. Stay alert,” Marcus’ voice added.
“You mean swarming with Scholae parasites,” Darkblade seethed.
“You bet,” Aul replied and put his comlink back on his belt.
A few moments passed, as Aul checked the status his armament and made sure he hadn’t had any bugs or trackers on his person. The ground suddenly shook with a heavy explosion. Tracer fire coursed over Aul’s head in a 60 degree direction upward. The Sadowan whipped his head around to see Qyreia’s shuttle dodging flack from distant Scholae weapons installations.
“Coming in hot!” Q’s voice came in distorted over the comlink.
Just above Mygeeto’s surface
The Lambda-class shuttle was not meant to do the maneuvers that the mercenary was enacting in Mygeeto’s lower atmosphere, the only saving grace being the comparatively lower resistance offered by the frigid air than what she was used to. Fire from the ground was raking their shields, but the greater majority of it was small-arms or light repeating blasters, and thus rather ineffectual on the transports heavy shields. Momentum rocked the cabin more than Palatinean fire.
“The hell are you doing, Arronen?!” Darkblade exclaimed after righting himself from one particularly rough failure of the inertial dampeners.
“Trying to get a good heading,” she replied calmly, her attention clearly not on the passengers seated around her.
“We passed Aul,” Marcus pointed out after a brief glance at the sensors.
No reply came from the Zeltron’s lips, her eyes darting back and forth across the console and through the viewport in a frantic display of concentration. Lock guns to pilot control… Bank left a little more… now straighten out and adjust for resistance on the wings… The shuttle could be piloted by one person, but what she was trying would have been better suited to a trained crew; a luxury she didn’t have time to explain under the circumstances.
“Aul, take cover,” Qyreia said sternly as she dipped the nose of the vessel toward the ground.
This was not the hot landing that Aul or any of those aboard had expected. The Gray Jedi did as he was bid, knowing full well to listen to the mercenary when she sounded as she did now, and lowered his profile to the frozen ground. In a roar of engines and wind, the Lambda swooped down in a long, low arc, with all of its forward guns blazing a trail through the Palatinean positions. The mercenary would have loved to put one of her compatriots on the tail gun, but her focus was solely on what was in front of her, and that was divided enough already. Despite the haphazard nature of the attack, it appeared to have the desired effect, as the enemy decided it best to keep their heads down for the time being, lest they incur more aerial wrath.
“Alright,” the Zeltron said as the tension wound down in the situation as well as her own body, “we’re coming in to land.”
“Good,” Armad said, rearranging pieces of his attire and equipment as he and the others righted themselves in their seats.
“Sorry,” Qyreia said with a sheepish but amused smile. “I’ll buy you a drink when we’re done here.”
“Hello everyone!” Aul’s voice rang out in the cockpit to the surprise of some of the others, having gone up the ramp that Qyreia had dropped as soon as the shuttle had touched down. “Q, good to see you’re still crazy as ever.” The human took a seat and looked around. “Alright. Where to now?”
“Now, we need to get to the nearest crashed transport, secure it and whatever artifacts are still there and retrieve any that walked away.” Armad stated with an authority he hadn’t used in a long time. A small part of him was rather impressed at how deftly Scholae Palatinae used us, then so expertly slide the vibroblade in and twisted. The rest was furious at getting played so effortlessly.
“We got caught with our pants down. I want to send a message to Palatinaeans and the other Clans, that if you cross us, there will be a price to pay.” Armad stated over his shoulder as he stalked down the ramp into the jagged crystalline forest of Mygeeto.
Not getting much of a choice other than to follow or be left behind, the rest followed the Umbaran. A plume of smoke roughly a kilometer away, presumably marked the location of the nearest crashed transport, and the nearby abandoned city, this was the direction that Armad trudged towards. The frigid air stung their faces as they made their way along the frozen landscape. The only one that seemed affected by the cold was Qyreia, as she was the only non-Force user in the group, but she’d been smart and had brought a thermal jacket.
The unpredictable terrain made it difficult, crevasses, pitfalls, and ice canyons were what they had to traverse over or around, meaning the group couldn’t rush to their destination as they normally would have. As they neared the crash site, blaster shots and explosions rang out. The group rushed, as best they could, to the top of the last snow drift. Down below they could see that there were two groups of soldiers doing their best to stay alive and kill the other. Quickly pulling out a set of electrobinoculars, Darkblade scanned over both groups of soldiers.
“Ok, a small group of our Warhost soldiers in pinned down next to the transport itself, with half again as many Palatinaean soldiers on the other side of the crater.” Darkblade stated as he lowered the electrobinoculars and pointed to either side of the crater. “Aul, head down to our soldiers and help any of the wounded. Qyreia, go with him and reinforce them, but first….” Darkblade started to dictate when a shot lanced out from her A280C blaster carbine, striking a Palatinaean soldier in the head as he was trying to sneak around and flank the Warhost soldiers.
“What?” Qyreia said with a smirk, standing up from the kneeling position she’d been in to take that shot. “He was getting closer.”
“Armad, head down and take inventory of the artifacts, and see what the damage is like on that transport.” The Savant finished still looking at Qyreia, a slight frown on his face. “I’m going to give us an advantage when we get down there.” The Umbaran nodded in the affirmative and started to head down to the transport at a slow jog with Aul and Qyreia, taking a wide berth so as to not get in either groups line of sight.
Darkblade turned to the former Rollmaster, and with a sweeping gesture of his hand towards the Palatinaean soldiers. “They’re all yours.” Darkblade offered. Without looking, the Savant smirked and took off in a bounding sprint towards the unsuspecting soldiers.
If the soldiers on the other side of the crater had been able to touch the Force, they’d be reeling from what was approaching. To put it simply, Marcus was enraged. During his entire tenure as Rollmaster, he had prided himself on having an ear to the ground in virtually every place imaginable. Now, as he was approaching the still unsuspecting soldiers, he cursed the moment he forsook his place in the spider’s web for something else. Dark emotions whirled about him like a storm, an anger and rage he hadn’t felt since Dentavii.
The group of soldiers near the crater ridge were keeping Warhost troops pinned down. What appeared to be their sergeant was yelling orders, motioning for them to keep up the onslaught as the Warhost troops could do naught but occasionally return fire. “Keep up the fire on those worthless Sadowans, I want to hear them cry for their momma’s before the hour is up! You,” he cried towards one of the soldiers who had made the mistake of looking away from their quarry, “keep firing and don’t you dare look away before I kill you myself.”
As Marcus snuck to the rear of the unsuspecting soldiers, he quieted his mind. His rage would have to wait, he needed his mind sharp as a razor for this. His lightsaber in hand, but deactivated, he stepped out from behind a rocky outcropping and revealed himself to his enemies. At first there was no response, the soldiers either not noticing him, or assuming that he was on their side. As he approached their sergeant took notice of him and immediately a look of realization crossed his face.
Huh, must be listed somewhere in their intel files, Marcus mused to himself, slightly impressed that his opponent’s information had been so accurate.
As the sergeant shouted orders and rifles began to point in Marcus’ direction, Marcus merely smiled and kept on walking, his lightsaber loosely by his side. The soldiers’ look of determination were slowly fading into one of confusion. How could this single opponent be so completely unperturbed by what he was facing.
One of the troopers on Marcus’ right reacted first, lining up his shot and pulled the trigger. To Marcus it was as if a chill ran down his spine, and he shifted left slightly, narrowly avoiding the supercharged plasma bolt as he let his mind submerge into the ever-changing currents of the Force. To the uninitiated it seemed as if the soldier simply missed. To the trained pseudo-imperials it was obvious Marcus had just narrowly dodged the shot. Before they could react however, the soldier who had pulled his trigger had dropped to the floor, a gaping hole in the back of his head.
Across the crater, Qyreia smiled from ear to ear as she saw Marcus salute her through the scope of her modified A280C carbine. She let loose another shot, which scraped the side of sergeant’s helmet, but the rest of the squad had already scattered behind cover. Aul, meanwhile, had rushed over the edge of the crater and was speeding headfirst down the slope, heading for their allies. The warhost troops below him that were uninjured had already recovered and were now opening fire on the pincered Palatinean troops.
Marcus had, in the meantime, taken advantage of the soldiers distractions of Q’s sniper shots. Marcus smiled wider, as he realized he’d owe her yet another round of drinks. Tally it all up, she’ll be out cold for days. The troops around him had quickly recovered, well-trained as they were, and they had split their efforts between him and the barrage of bolts coming from both the bottom of the crater and the edge across from them. The first two bolts he dodged through a few well-timed steps guided heavily by the constant whisper of the Force. The third he could not evade, so his lightsaber sprung to life and arced past his face at the exact moment the bolt would have otherwise given him a splitting headache.
The blaster fire quieted down momentarily as the realization of what just happened hit his opponents, and Marcus took quick advantage of the situation as he ripped a shard of ice from the ground with his mind, and thrust it into the throat of the nearest soldier. Crouching down he dodged another bolt, but was forced to halt his advance towards the duo who were still firing at him as his lightsaber whirled chaotically through the air, deflecting bolts harmlessly into the icy ground around them, where they left sizzling pockmarks.
Another soldier, who had been busy firing at the troopers below, fell to his knees with blackened armor where a faceplace used to be. Marcus imagined he could hear whooping coming from the other side of the crater, but could spare no focus to determine if that was real or not. Now left with a trooper and their sergeant still focused on him, and two other troopers still firing at the bottom of the crater. Marcus let the Force solidify before him, which immediately caught several blaster bolts. Marcus compartmentalized his mind, and drove the part that wasn’t focused on his own defense into the mind of the trooper, like a spear.
The man had been well-trained and Marcus was having considerable difficulty implanting the whisper of something sneaking up on his quarry. Suddenly it was as if someone screamed at him to get out of the way. Dropping all other pursuits, the Savant dropped to his knees, his tiring mind scrambling to find the concentration to sustain his protection. The grenade which the Force had warned him for landed next to him, just as he felt a familiar presence restore and a renewed focus. Darkblade. Redirecting the focus from this second wind into the barrier, just moments before the grenade went off with what felt like the force of a bomb and Marcus was flung against one of icy outcroppings as his barrier shattered.
Dammit guys, it’s just four troopers, Qyreia thought as she vaulted from her cover and down toward the fight. Darkblade had been doing something that she was sure had kept Marcus on his toes, his facial expression doing enough to tip off the mercenary to his touch on the Force. It seemed eerie at times, but this moment was devoted to making sure Marcus wasn’t overwhelmed in the blast. Making sure to cover Aul’s work as she went, the Zeltron picked her way through the various remnants of the transport that provided such ample cover and concealment.
Atop the crest of the crater, the Anzati Dark Jedi watched cautiously, his mind focused on the battle at hand and, in his own special way, relaying the details thereof. “Work quickly, Armad,” he muttered, his eyes narrowing. “We can handle these backstabbers, but the sooner we can leave this place, the better.”
Parallel to the engagement area of Marcus and now Qyreia, Aul was working frantically to mend the various hurts of their own troops. Between his medkit and the Force, and with a little help of the Sadowan troops’ medics, the human was able to stabilize the worst of the wounded, returning the less afflicted to fighting condition with relative ease.
“We’ve got a triage going over behind that piece of wreckage,” a corporal told the Knight, pointing to a particularly large sheet of torn metal. “We can handle getting the wounded there, if you’ll do the healing.”
Noting the soldier’s frantic tone, Aul nodded and ran back through the lines to the assembly area. It wasn’t as horrendous as he had imagined, but the outnumbered Sadowan troops had definitely taken their share of the beating in the battle thus far.
“I’m going to need more gauze,” he told a passing trooper who rushed off to get more supplies for the Force user. I might need a drink for myself, while you’re at it.
Across the crater, Marcus was returning to his senses. The barrier had taken the brunt of the concussive force from the explosion, but his ribs had absorbed the impact with the frozen terrain rather harshly. No matter, he thought, willing the pain to the back of his mind, despite the constant reminder of the bruises that were most definitely forming beneath his robes. The nagging sensation in his brain immediately returned, his hand more than reflexively calling for his saber and igniting the amethyst blade, just in time to catch and deflect the blaster bolt intended for his face.
“That was close,” he muttered as the stared down the Palatinean sergeant.
“You can’t handle all of us, Sadow. Surrender now.”
Before the Arcanist could even reply, the soldier’s head jerked sideways as a bolt of red energy burst on his temple. Panting and ducking the renewed fire from the surrounding soldiers, Qyreia took cover behind a boulder, giving a friendly nod to the Epicanthix before blind-firing at her assailants. That merc is crazy. The thought made Marcus smile, if only slightly, before moving to flank his compatriot’s oppressors. In the snowy fray of battle, he was a blur that evaded their tunneled attention, making it all the easier to make good application of his saber to their backs.
“Hey Qyreia! Quit shooting!”
A red face peeked over the boulder sheepishly, finally noting the lack of incoming fire, before fully exposing herself. “Heya Marcus! When’d you get over there?”
“You’re kidding right?” he asked, meeting her halfway between the two points.
“Duh? I’m not some koochu, ya know.” Her steely eyes glanced toward Aul’s end of the battlefield. “Dunno if you were going to help Armad, but I think I’ll go give our friends over there some relief. I do love giving folks surprises,” she punctuated by patting her carbine lovingly, if not deviously.
Marcus had been the first to see it when he had been making his way back to the rest of his group, another transport en route to their position, no doubt full of reinforcements. He didn’t say anything about it, as it’s arrival would coincide with his own. The transport flew low overhead, circling once around the crater as if conducting a perimeter check, before landing above the crater rim, effectively obscuring it from view.
Marcus, with a grin on his face, walked up to Darkblade who was still concentrating, no doubt on keeping everyone at peak fighting performance. The Savant was about to make a witty comment to their leader, when the Anzat’s eyes shot open and looked up at the Dark Jedi with troubled glare for the Epicanthix. “Those are not ours.” Darkblade deadpanned as he stood up and turned to face the ridge where the transport had landed.
Aul came across the comm as the transport was making its landing, “Hey, isn’t that the transport I flew us here in?” Darkblade groaned, as Marcus expanded his senses in the Force toward the ridge to get an idea of what they would be facing.
Two shadowed figures, presumably Palatinaeans, walked up to the edge of the crater and stopped, seemingly like they were looking down on their domain. They stood there for a couple of moments before a mass of white clad stormtroopers came running up to and over the edge of the crater, firing as they descended. Marcus and Darkblade both lurched into motion, lightsabers drawn and ignited, blocking or deflecting blaster bolts as they both ran headlong toward the mass of stormtroopers. Aul and Qyreia were on the other side of the transport from the two Savants, when the stormtroopers started their assault. The two exchanged glances, and Qyreia made a quick motion gesturing to the top of the transport, smirking a bit, as Aul gave her a Force boost up, then turned and made his way to the top of the crater wall.
Armad ran up the ramp into the transport, past a Warhost trooper who was stationed at the top of the ramp, when the stormtroopers began their descent. Leaving the rest of his team to deal with the threat outside while he tried to get this bucket of bolts working. The Techweaver headed directly for the cockpit and tried a cold start of the engine, and was rewarded with it firing up. But when he tried to take off, there would be a loud clang and the engine would sputter.
Armad cursed, and could hear a string of explicit curses coming across the comm directed at him when he tried to take off. “A little warning next time!” Qyreia shouted. “I’m on top!”
Armad jumped up from the pilot’s chair made his way through the disheveled transport to the engine compartment. When he heard a loud thump of a blaster bolt hitting armor, then an equally loud thud from that armor hitting the ground. When he reached the top of the ramp and the down trooper, he quickly reached out and drug him out of the entryway. Armad quickly checked for a pulse, not finding one, he took a quick peek around the corner to see who was out there.
The Sith used his anger to pull heavily on the Force, giving him more power. Armad holstered his blaster and picked up the fallen soldiers blaster rifle, checked it over and made to step around the corner to take down the first trooper he saw. Armad stepped around the corner, fired at the left most trooper, striking him the the faceplate. He was tracking to his right when he felt two objects hit him in the chest plate, and as he saw to round objects fly past his head. The Battlemaster had wondered why the troopers hadn’t immediately on him when he rounded the corner, and he knew why when he looked down and saw two thermal detonators spinning and rolling at his feet.
“Son of a…” Armad didn’t know if he yelled that out loud or in his head, but the only thing he was able to do was kick the two thermal detonators back towards the troopers, and dive toward the engine compartment. As soon as he landed just inside the engine compartment, Armad was violently thrown up in the air from the force of the four explosions happening at once. The Battlemaster was furious as he picked himself up off the floor. Without brushing himself off, Armad stalked down the ramp, where he was greeted with more damage to the transport. The Sith found that the troopers were just now getting up, the two in the middle had matching black scoring on their armor from being the ones closest to the blast.
The Umbaran’s anger fueled his rage at being blown up, as he felt the Force flowed strongly through his body. Armad pulled his lightsaber off his hip and ignited it. “That was a huge mistake.” The Sith growled. “One you won’t be making again!” The Battlemaster yelled as he danced forward, deftly dodging or blocking blaster fire. The fight didn’t last long as Armad was a blur to the troopers, but they knew when he was focused on each of them, as two of them lost limbs, one his head, and the last was stabbed through the chest. Armad took some angry deep breaths when he yanked his lightsaber out of the stormtrooper letting him crumble to the ground.
With an almost feral battle cry, Armad turned and sprinted toward the nearest group of white-clad stormtroopers. Every time he would get close to one, a carbine blast would lance out and burn through the faceplate, Armad knew that Qyreia was playing overwatch and taking out the easy ones so he could get to the larger group. “It was going to be a glorious massacre.” The Sith thought as he waded into a squad of stormtroopers.
Damn Armad to hell and back Darkblade thought to himself as he watched Armad stroll into the enemy squad. The taxing effort of keeping Marcus alive with help from Qyreia had drained the young Anzat’s energy rapidly, he could already feel exhaustion begin to creep into his body. Marcus noticed this and cursed.
“We can handle this,” he said with a strong voice.
Darkblade shook his head.
“I got maybe a few more minutes left in me before I’m totally exhausted. I’ve never used Battle Meditation like this in an open field where I can be skewered or gunned down in a second without protection. It took a lot of energy to stay focused on saving your butt,” he growled at the former Rollmaster.
“Our best bet is to go in as a team. I can maybe hold out longer if we keep each other protected. I can keep us focused and bring us to the two Dark Jedi up on the ridge,” the Anzat said as he pointed up towards them, “but once we are there I doubt I will be of any use.”
Marcus shrugged and the two Savants began to sprint towards the cold and calculated slaughter field of the Battlemaster.
Qyreia was atop the transport ship, happily picking off enemy soldiers that had managed to circle around Armad. Aul had made his way to the ship as well and met up with Darkblade and Marcus.
“Master, you look tired,” he chirped.
The Seeker scowled at his Apprentice.
“How very astute of you. Follow us and try not to get killed. I’d hate to have to dig your corpse from under these worthless soldiers,” Darkblade said as stray blaster bolts sped past them and slammed into the dirt behind them, showering the Jedi trio in earth.
Taking a deep breath and closing his eyes, he focused on the surroundings, listening to every sound around him. He could hear men screaming, discerning if it was from pain or a battle cry. He felt the slight breeze that filled his nose with the stench of blood and the dying. Allowing the Force to reach all his senses, Darkblade let it seep into him, wrap around him and become one with him. The planet seemed to call out to him, begging him to end the strife and release it from its unfortunate situation. Opening his eyes he only had to nod towards the two Dakhani in front of him.
The familiar hum of lightsabers filled the air as Aul, Darkblade and Marcus ignited their blades, preparing to make their push towards the Dark Jedi. The only thing that stood in their way were small patches of soldiers, either too dumb to realize they had already lost the fight, or too infused with battle lust to care. Their accuracy wasn’t as good as it had been at the start of the fight, but they were still deadly and well trained soldiers. To underestimate them would mean certain death if the Palatinaean Dark Jedi intervened before the Sadowans could clear out the common soldiers.
“Keep me safe, I can get us to the top of the ridge. Make sure we go as a team. Let’s pick up Armad and Qyreia,” the Seeker said, “and end this ridiculous battle as soon as possible.”
Darkblade then allowed the Force to completely wash over him and listen to its whispers that would guide the team to their end goal.
The trio made haste towards Armad and quickly filled in behind him, their blue, red, silver and purple blades working in breathtaking unison and dispatching the soldiers with relative ease. Their defense was impenetrable, their attack unrelenting. Like a well-oiled machine the Sadowan Jedi fell upon their enemies with cold, calculated precision leaving none alive in their wake. Friendly forces scurried out of their way and regrouped behind them, providing cover fire.
Qyreia was able to pick off the remaining targets in range before jumping off the transport and meeting up with the rest of the team. With determination in her eyes, the Privateer looked up towards the Dark Jedi and the remaining Palatinaean soldiers on the ridge and began to fire off shots at them, forcing them to draw their lightsabers and deflect or dodge the bolts. The enemy soldiers returned fire, but it was a deflected bolt from one of the Dark Jedi that passed through their defenses with precision that only a user who had perfected the art could do, striking Darkblade in the shoulder. The force of the deflected shot spun him around 180 degrees and tossed him face first into the dirt. A loud exhalation as the Quaestor struck the ground, forcing the air from his lungs and losing consciousness.
In an instant the group noticed their focus had weakened, and they realized that Darkblade was no longer able to support them through the usage of Battle Meditation. Aul immediately knelt down to check for vitals, almost immediately signaling that he was fine.
Motioning for some of the soldiers to carry their Quaestor to safety, Marcus bellowed the order to return fire.
As one, the Warhost soldiers took aim and sent a barrage of blaster bolts racing towards the two Dark Jedi, hoping to exterminate them in one massive salvo.
Blaster bolts filled the air between the two groups of troopers. Soldiers fell in screams of agony as lightsabers deflected bolts in every which way. Aul looked back at his Master with a look of worry.
He’s alive, but barely. I have to get him back to the ship.
“Marcus, I’m taking Darkblade back to the transport. I will secure the artifacts and return for you. Stay alive,” Aul called out to his former Rollmaster.
“You’re going to fly?!” the Savant replied incredulously.
“I’m going to try,” Aul motioned for Marcus to get closer and in a hushed voice added, “Darkblade needs me.”
“I thought you said he was fine!” Marcus exclaimed in confusion.
“Look, he’s alive. That’s fine enough for now. But if I don’t stabilize him soon we’re going to have one less Anzat in our happy little family, understand? Without his Battle Meditation we’re already at a loss of morale, I wasn’t going to sink us in deeper. Look at them,” Aul pointed at the Warhost troops valiantly advancing on the enemy, “they needed to know he wasn’t gone. But that’s still not a certainty. I’ll use the autopilot to get close. Just stay alive until you can hop on board. We need to get out of here with the artifacts we have. Got it?”
“You know, you’ve grown a lot since you first came to my office. I think I missed the Aul that didn’t use to boss me around,” Marcus said with a grin. He ignited his lightsaber with a snap-hiss, turned heel and flung himself back into the fray.
Aul afforded himself a brief chuckle before grabbing his Master by the shoulders and dragging him back to the transport. Once on board, the human laid his Anzat mentor down in the cabin and went to work stabilizing his vitals from the brink of death. He called the Force into his personal reservoirs and laid his hands on Darkblade’s chest. He felt his heart struggling to beat, threatening to put the Savant in a coma from lack of oxygenation. Aul willed the Force into Darkblade’s chest, surrounding his heart and urging it to revive with a steady pace. He next turned his attention to the wound left by the blaster bolt, doing a quick and dirty job at urging the tissue to begin the process of accelerated healing.
With a sigh, the human leaned back and looked at his Master. The Anzat’s chest was heaving in more sturdy, periodic breaths and a few grunts of pain leaked out of his mouth. That was assurance enough that he would make it.
Aul stood and raced to the cockpit of the transport. Trying to remember the buttons he saw engaged while watching Qyreia on all her missions, he punched in what he thought were the autopilot controls. The ship lurched to life, and Aul mentally patted himself on the back. He grabbed the control sticks and aimed the transport at his team, carefully nudging the ship forward.
Back on the combat field, Qyreia rolled behind a rock to reload her weapon. She couldn’t believe her eyes. Their transport, along with the valuable artifacts, was slowly and unsteadily floating towards them.
“Hey! What the frak is going on!” the Zeltron called back to Marcus.
Oh boy, he wasn’t lying, Marcus thought to himself. “It’s Aul. We’re getting out of here, get ready,” he replied.