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[Shattered Ties] Team Powerpuff Girls & Squid



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The transports loaded up with the artifacts of the Red Fury have crashed. Guarded by soldiers of both clans, they were in the air when the Black Hand’s orders came through. Sudden, frantic bursts of combat on board took them down. While the city is abandoned and slowly falling to Mygeeto’s frigid weather, we believe it to be occupied by vagabonds. In addition, our opposite Clan’s members are likely to be seeking the same cache. Finally, we have reports that the Red Fury pirates have contacted local authorities, who may also be moving in to investigate. Your objective, above all else, is to pursue the pirates to this city, find the artifacts, and secure them before the other Clan has the opportunity to do so. Be wary of agents of the other Clan, of remnants of the pirate forces, and of the local authorities.


34 ABY

Sitting patiently on a cargo box, Lexiconus intently read his datapad, hoping to learn as much as he could about Palpatine’s research. Lexic needed all the info he could get if he was going to understand these artifacts. He sighed with boredom, while he sat and waited for the rest of his team. Curious as to what his teammates were up to, he put away his novel and went to search for them. Waiting obediently for orders, Shadow Nighthunter sat quietly inside a speeder. She absentmindedly checked her weapons as she scanned the horizon. He was about to speak, but a shiver went down his spine as he felt a familiar presence closing in behind him.

Always surprising me…

“Squid, why are you sitting outside by yourself? Aren’t you cold?” Blade Ta’var mocked with a playful elbow prod and an innocent wink. Lexic mumbled a barely intelligible stream of words under his breath. He didn’t have time for distractions. The Quarren sighed and replied with an impatient tone.

“Blade, I’ve dealt with far worse. I’ve been in deep canyons under the sea that were colder than this breeze. I am fine with a bit of snow falling on my robes.” He seethed at the interruption. The Zeltron shrugged and made her way to their ship, turning her attention to Shadow. As the Quarren glanced around, he noticed Kor Vaal wasn’t anywhere in sight nor had he taken his belongings with him. Curiosity getting the best of him, Lexic ventured into the vessel, keeping his mind on edge… The Kel Dor was prone to insanity over artefacts, afterall.

Lexic walked down the dimly-lit hallway to the main hold and peeked inside.Scanning around the room, he noticed a packet of death-sticks, a bottle of vodka, a half empty shelf with small boxes and vials, and an empty cupboard. The Quarren shrugged and moved on. Considering the Kel Dor was an obsessive loon for artefacts, Lexic betted the compartment hold was his new hiding place. He turned on his heels and ran towards the aft of the ship, kicking the beeping astromech along the way and chuckling in delight. Entering the hold, he saw Kor Vaal, standing over a half-open cargo box, his bony fingers latched onto a small, lifeless holocron. Lexic almost left the two lovebirds alone, but this was taking it a bit far. He coughed loudly.

“Ah Lex! You WILL love this!” He beckoned the Quarren closer. Lexic hesitated, taking a half-step back. The Force felt strange around the Kel Dor. His mind felt far away, yet the scars and runes that scattered Kor’s skin permeated with the dark side.


“Kor,” he said with a shaky voice. “We need to head out now. The Black Hand wants these artefacts.” Lexic said as he bit his lip anxiously.

“Ah, okay,” He said with a reluctant shrug, as he began to leave the hold. “But you are missing out on an incredible story about the trials of Count Dooku on Geonosis. Simply incredible.”

Lexic sighed in relief, taking comfort in the fact that his eyeballs weren’t going to be eaten raw. The duo went back outside, and found a trio of soldiers standing nearby. They gossiped in the cold, while Lexic and Kor grabbed medical supplies and some circuitry tools.

“I don’t understand the point of keeping our belongings in these boxes. We had acceptable rooms elsewhere.” Kor whined, but Lexic understood the logic behind it.

“If conflict occurred between us, we wouldn’t have the ability to wipe the entire ship and crew into nothing.” The Battlemaster said with a serious tone.

Bloodbaths were not acceptable on this mission. At least not yet. Quick beeps erupted from the holocom Lexic carried. Taking it out, he saw the looming figure of the Black Hand and bowed with deep respect.

“My Lord, what is thy bidding?” The Quaestor pleaded.

“New Intel. Break up into two teams. One team will scout the city nearby for answers, while the other one takes a speeder to the ship and looks for artefacts. I want them all back to me in the same condition you find them in. Fail me and I will be most displeased.”

The holocom disconnected before Lexic had time to cower or stutter, dropping the device in the process. The Quarren sighed in self-disappointment. He swore that he would stay strong. Busying his mind with the task at hand, he motioned to Kor.

“Let’s go look for artefacts Kor. The rest of you head into the city and find some answers as to where the rest of it might be located,” ordered the Quarren impatiently.

“Sweet! Let’s go Shadow. Maybe we can even find some cool new clothes!” Blade urged in excitement as the two women set off, ignoring Shadow’s trepidation.

Climbing into his own speeder, the Quarren shook his head. He was used to Blade’s antics by now. With a snowy dust trail, their speeder took off for the mountains.


Open Tundra

“And that, Lexiconus, is what remains so fascinating to me,” the Kel Dor continued, shouting above the roar of the wind as the speeder shot across the harsh tundra. “The artefacts recovered so far from this assemblage span across the history of the Sith. Can you imagine the lives these things have lived? To come together in a single place, ready to be taken by us? The Force offers us these gifts, it has worked to bring these artefacts to us and allow us to baptize them in war and the blood of our enemies.”

Lexic nodded, but didn’t take his eyes from his data-pad. Kor couldn’t understand why the Quarren’s interest had suddenly faded. At first he had seemed engaged in the discussion of their situation, and seemed more than happy to listen to Kor’s explanation of the typological differences between archaic and early Sith metallurgical patterning.

“As…fascinating as this is, Kor, we need to stay focused,” the Quaestor eventually responded. “We shall be approaching the crash site momentarily, and I would like us to be prepared for whatever we come across.”

Kor folded his arms in annoyance.

Typical. No appreciation for what has come before. Unlearned fool.

“I’m getting something up ahead,” their driver, one of the Clan soldiers, chimed in, “Scanners are picking up something coming from the coordinates of the wreckage.”

“Set us down some distance away,” Lexiconus ordered, “We’ll approach on foot.”

Once the speeder stopped, the two Dark Jedi proceeded as stealthily as they could through the snow. The wind whipped around them, carrying fresh snow that settled on the mound like drifts all around them. Kor reached out with the Force, feeling activity from just around the next rise. It felt like several minds were there, and vague feelings of annoyance and boredom. A quick glance at his Quarren companion told Kor that Lexic had felt it too, and their careful approach slowed even more. Thankfully, their advance was covered by one of the mounds. As they approached the base of the small hill they could make out voices carried by the wind.

“Sit here and wait… Told you Noros was the captain’s favourite, don’t see him out here freezing his…”

“…nothing but scrap left anyway. I mean look at this thing! Some little statue from whatever backwater world, why are we putting so many resources into this ruck?”

For Kor, the sound of pottery smashing on metal was like a knife to the heart. He snapped. Before Lexic could protest he rounded the mound they were crouching behind. The downed transport had remained mostly intact, just a few scatters of debris trailing behind it. Four men stood around the craft, clad in environment suits and wielding light blaster rifles. Kor saw one of them point to him and shout something, but the Kel Dor ignored him.

His eyes scanned the path the thrown object had taken, and fell upon the fragments of a small statue. He could make little out of the shattered figure at this distance, but the large Sith rune on what had once been its base was unmistakable. The sight of the broken piece of history, destroyed by these idiotic creatures without so much as a thought, brought Kor’s anger raging to the surface. Before he knew it, his lightsaber ignited in his hands, and he broke out into a run towards the four guards.

They began firing, but their shots failed to hit their mark. Some sailed straight over the Kel Dor’s head, others were deflected into the snow, turning the white powder to slush where they landed. Kor deflected a bolt into the chest of one his attackers, sending him reeling back, and then pounced upon the remaining three.

He swung high at the first, his blade severing the soldier’s head from his shoulders. He carried the swing over to the second, opening the man up across the waist. The third managed to fire a single shot, which Kor deflected before lunging and driving his blade through the man’s chest. He pulled his saber free and the soldier fell. Kor stood there panting for a moment before his faculties returned to him fully, and deactivated his saber as he rushed over to the broken fragments, crouching in the snow and frantically trying to gather as many of the shards as he could. He heard footsteps crunching through the snow, and looked up to see Lexic striding towards him.

“Look at what they’ve done!” Kor shouted, his voice tinged with righteous indignation.

“What they’ve done?” Lexic scoffed, “Look at those uniforms Kor, those were Sadowan soldiers. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’ve cleaned this wreck out, and perhaps if you’d left one alive, we could have interrogated him to find out where the rest of these treasures you’re so fond of have gone.”

Kor was about to scream his infuriated reply, but it died in his throat. As much as he despised admitting it, the Quarren was right. There was still so much they could recover. Had he ruined their chance of that?

“I…I may be able to track something down from them,” the Kel Dor mused, rising from his knees and letting the shattered statue spill through his fingers. “If you have something I can use to extract and store their blood, I can try and gain some insight into where the rest of the artefacts are.”

“Let’s hope you can, or you can explain to the Black Hand what happened here.” The Quarren replied.

As Lexic was casting his gaze over the wreckage, his eyes fell upon the immobile form of an RA-7 droid among a pile of Sadowan crates. The thing had a thick cable plugged into its front, which terminated in a small generator on the floor in front of it.

“Perhaps he might know something,” the Quarren mused.


Nearby Mygeeto City

Blade walked the main cantina strip, listening to the hustle and bustle of another day. Shouts, squeals, and desperate wails intermingled into a cacophony of life as the shopkeepers outside sold their wares despite the cold. Weaving her way through the crowd, she went to the city’s largest cantina and ordered herself a drink. Her eyes scanned the area, looking for clues through the Force. Her bottle had barely hit the table before Shadow was already on the comm channel.

“Status update?” asked the Battlemaster.

“Looks like the tracking device is coming in handy. I thought we agreed I’d take the day shift. Everything is fine. Go to sleep, Shads. If something or someone comes up I’ll let you know,” promised the Zeltron. The line went silent.

So mysterious.

The pair of them had taken to searching the city in turns the last two days. Blade mingled and hunted for targets during the day. Shadow skulked in the shadows, stalking prey in the middle of the night. There were no leads yet, but Blade was confident something would show up eventually. Until then, she relished the entertainment the cantina had to offer.

In particular, the Warrior was interested in the group of pirates that often frequented the social hub. After a few shots, the daily roundup of raiders pushed its way into the crowded cantina. Reaching out with the Force, the Arcanist probed each of them. Sadly, no odd Force signatures registered, but something did peak her interest.



Blade bit her lip in concentration, wondering what could make them so happy. Fortunately, they took up several tables not too far away from her. Letting her naturally alluring scent permeate the air around her, she stared at several of the raiders. Heads darted back and forth between the Zeltron and their conversation at hand. She had only gotten through her third shot before a trio of men approached her.

“Want to join us, lass? We could buy you some more drinks,” offered the men hopefully.

“Deal. It’s no fun drinking alone anyways.” Blade agreed as she moved to their table and sat dead center.

The Arcanist called for round after round of shots, smirking as she started to get the pirates intoxicated. Her delicious scent whirled around the table. Skeptical glances turned to grins as the men fawned over the Zeltron. It wasn’t too long before they descended into a raucous conversation. She hoped Shadow was recording everything. In any case, she suspected the Battlemaster would use it later to silently lecture her on the merits of sobriety.

“Hey, gorgeous! Want to party tonight? We are celebrating down at the nightclub around the corner,” offered the man brazenly.

“As long as Killian doesn’t snatch her away. He gets all the good ones,” complained a red-haired companion.

“Well, he is the captain,” reasoned another.

“Don’t I get a say in this?” Blade interjected.

“Of course, lass. Of course,” agreed the man to her right.

“I’ll go. A party with pirates at night? Count me in!” Blade yelled in excitement as the table cheered in response.

After receiving the party intel and downing a few more drinks, the Arcanist bade her new ‘friends’ farewell. Walking back to her hideout, she crashed onto the empty bed next to Shadow. The world spun a little with the joys of inebriation. The Battlemaster was already stirring awake but the Zeltron didn’t wait for a lecture, letting herself drift off into the Force’s healing embrace.

After all, she had a party to go to soon…

Nearby Mygeeto City
Few Hours later

A crowded room of mostly locals danced their woes away under a colorful array of gyrating lights. Their bodies danced together in harmony as they let the powerful bass and melodic vocals take expression. Not everyone understood the lure of nightclubs, but Blade was right at home. Her merry band of pirates danced in a rough circle around her, sometimes obstructing her view. Senses on high alert, she kept an eye out for her real target, but she didn’t have to wait long.

“Over here! I want you to meet someone!” A nearby raider yelled, tapping her shoulder to get her attention.

“Sure! Lead the way!” responded Blade.

She followed the grunt to a private table near the back, dancing her way off the main floor. She found a dashing man sitting at the table, grinning as he caught sight of her. His dark complexion and bright blue eyes framed a lean muscular body. A sly grin crossed her face.

A nice mark indeed.

“Name is Killian. Care to join me, love?” He asked as he offered her a seat next to him.

“I’d love to join you. I’ve heard so much about you.” Blade said, allowing her pheromones to flow around her as she sat next to the captain.

“I hope all good. I promise I don’t bite too hard,” said Killian with a wink. She smiled.

“Nothing too bad. I hear you’re the captain of those raiders. Find any buried treasure?” teased Blade.

“Lots. But the only treasure here is you, love. Care for a drink? I brought some Rancor Tequila.” Captain Killian offered with a flirtatious smile.

“Man after my own heart. Where is your bottle?” Blade joked.

He chuckled and poured both of them a glass.

“To treasure!” toasted the Zeltron.

“Aye, to treasure!” agreed Killian.

The pair of them wasted the night away sipping drinks. Idle conversation led to boasts of treasure hauls and brave advances. It wasn’t long until the inevitable.

“Love, let’s go somewhere a bit quieter. I have a place nearby. What do you say?” offered the captain confidently.

“Sounds wonderful. Let’s go.” Blade said as she took his hand, signalling the Battlemaster via her hidden tracking device as she got up.

Shame, he’s a pretty one.


Nearby Mygeeto City

The locals filled the streets around the nightclub as music filtered out through its doors. Shadow spared them a quick glance and scoffed. Thankfully, Blade and her pirate finally left. The Shadow tailed the Arcanist from above, blending in with the darkness of the night. Her golden eyes darted between her feet and the couple below as she jumped from rooftop to rooftop, treading carefully so she wouldn’t kick off snow. The Battlemaster smirked despite her nervous edge. She looked forward to her time with the piratical scum. Even she had to have her own fun now and then.

She followed Blade to a quaint manor and watched as both Zeltron and man slipped inside, walking past the guards posted by the entrance. Leaping down from the roof, Shadow approached the two guards, leaving her sniper rifle behind. She bowed her head and clasped her hands together humbly by her chest.

One of the guards aimed his blaster rifle at her while the other took a step forward. “Stop right there, stranger. This property’s off limits, ya hear?”

Shadow stopped in her tracks just a few feet away. “I only wish to ask you a question, sir.”

“Ask your question, miss, and then git lost,” grunted the guard.

Shadow walked forward until she was only an inch away and whispered, “Have you ever gazed into the eyes of the wolf?”

“What the hell do you mean by-” The guard was cut short as both men gazed into Shadow’s golden glare. Cold sweat began to pour down their foreheads as their pupils dilated with fear. The guards clutched their weapons as they backed away, stumbling as they turned to run as far away as they could.

Satisfied, the Battlemaster entered the manor, keeping to the shadows as she made her way to the Warrior’s aura on the second floor. Silently, she peeked into a room. The Zeltron and her captain sat in a love seat with glasses of Rancor tequila, happily flirting away. She snuck into the dimly lit room, using the darkness to her advantage as she carefully made her way to a spot behind the duo as they talked. Shadow nodded as Blade momentarily looked in her direction. She was ready. Jobs such as this delighted her.

“Surely, you can tell me where you have all the booty stored, Captain,” Blade said as Shadow caught her giving him a tantalizing look. “I love shiny things.”

“Well, I wouldn’t mind giving you some beautiful necklaces, love. You’ll just have to be a little patient. Trust me, I’ll make sure you get something pretty.”

Shadow rolled her eyes out of disgust for the man as Blade laid her head against his chest and rubbed his cheek. “Must I really wait?”

“Yes, love, you must,” Killian responded, the man reeking with pleasure from having Blade so close to him.

“That’s too bad.” The Zeltron sighed and sat up, glancing at Shadow for a second. “Perhaps I can get you to tell me some other way?”

“And how would you do that?” the Captain asked as he grinned in anticipation. However, that grin turned into a scowl as the room seemed to fill with darkness. “What the-”

“Shhh.” Shadow approached the man, the half-Sephi still able to see in the blackness as she leaned over and whispered, “I’m here for answers, Captain Killian.”

The captain jumped up out of his seat blindly, nearly tripping over the glass table as he reached for his weapon and looked around frantically in the dark. “Who are you? What’s going on, love?”

“That is of no concern to you,” the Battlemaster said as she circled him. “I just want to know where you have your cache hidden, Captain. It’s as simple as that.”

“You think a little darkness scares me? Nice try, but I don’t think I’ll be telling you anything.”

Shadow silently stalked him until she stood directly behind him. She reached out with her deathly cold hand and barely grabbed hold of his wrist. “It’s not the darkness you should fear, but rather what’s hidden within.”

Killian was prepared to attack whoever had grabbed him, only he froze as he felt the hairs stand on the back of his neck. He wanted to fight back, but the chill travelling down his spine and his pounding heart made him pull away from the stranger. He whirled around, expecting to find a fiend of some sort in the darkness, but he found none. He backed away into the wall.

Right where I want you.

“J-just leave me alone,” he stuttered as goosebumps spread across his arms. “Wraith. Ghost. Monster. What do you want from me!?”

A wicked grin appeared on Shadow’s face as she walked past Blade, the woman pulling out her dagger from her boot as she reached the frightened man and placed the sharp tip against his chest over his heart. “Again, I want you to tell me where the loot is and what exactly you plan to do with it, Captain. I know what kind of man you truly are deep down, and I’m not afraid to tear your heart out and make you watch as it beats in my hand.”

The pirate could hear his own frantic heartbeats as the voice caused him to tremble. “It’s…it’s in the warehouse to the south! I swear it’s there! I swear!”

The man pressed himself harder against the wall, his eyes tightly closed. “The Sadowans have it though! They stole it all after raiding our hanger! They took everything!”

Shadow smirked. “Thank you, Captain. Though, now I have no use for you.”

Before the pirate could cry out one last time in terror, Shadow plunged her dagger into his heart. She turned and looked at Blade. Even in the dark, she could see the Zeltron’s shock fading to disappointment. “Not bad, but definitely a bad choice in men,” she said impassively. “Come on. We need to meet with the others.”


Ship Crash Site

Lexiconus took one look at the RA-7 Insect Droid and shuddered. It’s arthropodic eyes, beady and ever staring, were useful as one of the best pieces of optical technology. But to the Quarren, they were horrible and ugly. Ignoring Lexiconus’s trepidation, the Kel Dor gleefully nodded as he pushed Lex towards it.

“Go on! Do your tech thing. We need those…mmm…delicious artefacts,” said Kor as his lips smacked together. The Quarren noticed he was perspiring more than usual, an attribute to his sickening fantasy in artefacts. Stuck between two unsettling options, the Battlemaster chose the former and made his way over the snow, approaching the droid reluctantly.

Pushing cargo boxes aside, he wiggled his way through scrap shards and kneeled down next to the droid.

Ignore them, Lex. They’re just optical lenses…

Placing his hand down on the droid’s cold, smooth exoskeleton, the Techweaver closed his eyes and concentrated. Using the dark side of the Force to reach into the droid’s circuits, Lexiconus activated the boot up protocol, bringing to life the circuitry and lights. The scrawny head twitched and turned while the Quarren kept hold, feeling his way into its protocol programs. A difficult task to do on damaged goods, Lexiconus’ connection to the droid’s memory banks faded in and out. Flickering holovids of information shot through his mind, various names of pirates, suppliers, cargo items, and finally the droid’s master.

“A male Twi’lek, wrinkled and blue, named Tulok.” The Quarren shouted to the Kel Dor, who was half-listening. His bony fingers dug into snow as he searched for Sith items that may have been left behind.

“Take its hand or something so I can track their last journey. We can meet Blade and Shadow at the warehouse. Then, we can collect the artefact from those…nasty pirates!” Kor’s voice crescendoed as he angrily rambled on about raiders. Lexiconus looked past the odd behavior. The man was odd but the mysteries of an Arcanist would be useful here.

One sane thing about him.

The Quaestor had heard little of this tracking ability and rumours said it was unique, except for Kiffar folk. But their resident Kiffar was busy elsewhere, so the Quarren settled for a trained professional, who was currently pocketing broken Sith fragments with a zeal.

Dragging the insect droid by its arm, Lexiconus dropped it next to Kor and began inspecting the droid’s joints. Pressing on the exoskeleton, he saw that the wiring and circuitry was a simple magnetic-based system that came apart easily. The Techweaver grabbed a large piece of a broken artefact, jammed it into a joint and yanked downwards. Sizzling and crackling with sparks, the droid’s hand broke free with a telekinetic tug that carried it to the Quarren’s waiting hand.

“Right, Kor. Use this hand to lead us to the thieves We will destroy them for what they did.” The Quaestor edged his ally on, who eagerly snatched the droid hand. The Kel Dor stood up and extended his off hand, slowly walking forward into the fields of snow. Finally, he halted and shouted out.

“Got it! Follow me, we will get the every precious back!” Lexiconus quickly whipped out his holocomms. A sapphire image of Blade appeared.

“Squid, you’re interrupting my Rancor Tequila time, what is it? Shads and I already passed our intel over to you.” The Aedile complained, while dance ambience blasted behind her.

“We’ve got the exact location of the artefacts, can you meet us there as soon as possible? Bring your drink, no exceptions.” Lexiconus killed the holocomms quickly. He wasn’t taking her attitude tonight. The mission took precedence, even above her alcoholic antics. Storming to catch up with the Kel Dor, the Quaestor set off across the harsh tundras with a glimmer of hope. Hope that he would return the artefacts and not lose his head to the Black Hand.

Several hours later…

Dressed in warm, breathable, quick-dry thermals, Kor and Lexiconus trotted through the deep snow, their boots sinking softer layers underneath. They tugged their scarves around their faces as a harsh, stinging wind whipped around them. Each step was painful and their bodies already wanted to give up. Concentrating on controlling his blood flow, Lexiconus persevered the cold temperatures by using the dark side to keep himself warm.

Kor on the other hand suffered. Violent shivers, wheezy coughs, and robotic footsteps signaled that he couldn’t take it much longer. The Quaestor rushed forward to check on his companion, inspecting his fingers and face for frostbite. The Kel Dor’s skin was much paler than usual. It was becoming too risky for the Knight.

“We need to get you to warmth soon, or you’re going to lose your hands,” Lexiconus warned. Regardless, Kor pushed himself ahead. The Quarren found his resilience noble.

“Not much further, we just need to get past this dune!” The Arcanist shouted over the deafening winds. Keeping in Kor’s streamline, Lexiconus followed closely behind and kept his head down, hiding from the merciless winds. As painful as his fingers felt, he needed to carry on or death would greet them soon.

“If we survive this, I am getting us the biggest bucket of cocoa toffee the cantina offers!” The Quaestor shouted out. It certainly helped Kor’s morale, who quickened his pace in response. Ascending the dune, they got their first view of the enemy warehouse. Strobes of orange and yellow flared across the skyline. High security fences were patrolled by sentries protected a very large hangar filled with light freighters.

We did it!

Lexiconus quickly kneeled down and started to dig into the snow.

“Help me make a bunker! We can wait for the dynamic duo in the protection of the dune lip. Force be with us, this is fwecing cold!” He urged, the Quarren’s shaky claws scooping snow as Kor followed suit.


A closed cabin landspeeder rushed across the tundra, heading towards the warehouse far to the south. Blade leaned back in the co-pilot seat, one hand resting on the pilot’s shoulder. Her fingers idly rubbed the back of his neck as he drove the Palatinaeans to meet up with Lexiconus and Kor. Silence. She glanced back towards Shadow, but she had turned off the lights.

“Shads, you’ve been rather quiet. Don’t be too disapproving. Would you have rather walked?” asked the Zeltron rhetorically. She imagined the Battlemaster rolling her eyes and smiled.

“Though, I have a bone to pick with you. Why did you kill Killian? I liked him.” The Zeltron whined in hurt voice.

“You can do better. One day you’ll find the biggest and yet most loving and sexy oaf in the galaxy. Till then, let’s focus on the mission. We’ll be arriving soon,” spoke the Shadow in a quiet, soft voice. Blade sighed, wondering what had gotten into her usually unfeeling companion.

“You’re probably right… Thanks.”

The landspeeder came to a halt a safe distance away from the building, breaking up the awkward conversation. The Warrior thanked the pilot with a kiss and followed the Battlemaster outside, where they got their first look at the enemy hangar they were about to storm. The pale gray exterior blended in nicely with the briskly falling snow. The only outward signs of heavy armament were a pair of armed turrets positioned outside the main entrance and the guards that patrolled the security fence.

Time to have some fun.

“Hey, Sushi. We are in position to the right of the hangar. Are you ready to go?” Blade asked, already starting to shiver.

“Don’t call me that. And yes. We are ready to take out the turrets,” affirmed the Quaestor.

“Sure you can handle it? This isn’t child’s play,” admonished the Aedile.

Grrr…I can protect myself just fine. Just stick to my plan. Let’s go.” Lexiconus ordered.

“I’ve got your back. Don’t worry.” She promised, smiling as she imagined her master’s grumpy face.

“Shads, let’s go crack some skulls together. Whoever gets the most kills wins.” Blade challenged with a smirk.

“You’re on.” The Battlemaster smiled as she unclipped her lightsabers.

The two women ran towards the fence, peeling off in opposite directions as they met the barrier’s circumference. snap-hiss. The Zeltron cut a hole in the barricade, rushing forward to the nearest guard. Shadow’s red saber was already swinging through the air far off to her right.

The Warrior jumped, letting the Force shoot her like a cannon towards the closest pair of guards. Her saber licked flesh as she landed with a flourish. Arrghh! Heads turned as the fallen men’s cries rended the air. Dead bodies crunched in the snow. Blasters turned in her direction as she took off running.

Pew. Pew. Pew. Pew. Pew.

Using the Force as her guide, she ran in a rough zigzag as she jumped, dived, and rolled to evade blaster fire. Pouncing on a cluster of guards nearby, she whipped her lightsaber in a series of quick slashes. Abrupt screams filled the air as the Arcanist sliced the sentries in two. The Zeltron jumped and swung. Again and again. Anguished yells punctuated the hum of her lightsaber as bodies fell one by one into the snow, the snow crunching beneath them in a morbid symphony of sound.

“You bastard!” A guard yelled as he and a few others rushed her position.

Ducking under an elbow strike, she jabbed the angry sentinel in the chest. Her lightsaber’s tip poked out of the other side. Dragging it sideways out of his body, she spun around as she swung her saber. Angry red burn marks formed a disconnected circle around her before their bodies fell backwards in silence.

“Blade, we need backup!” Kor’s voice yelled from her comlink.

She spared a glance at the half-Sephi. Shadow bobbed and weaved as her crimson sabers’ cyclonic strikes felled one after another.

Damn, girl. You win.

She pulled her eyes away from the mesmerizing swirls of scarlet light and rushed over to the Quaestor’s position. Kor guarded Lexiconus, deflecting blaster bolts with ease back towards the shooters as he swirled his blue lightsaber through the air. She skidded to a halt next to the Quarren, watching as he tried to pull apart the hangar doors.

“Help me open this up. Someone is pushing them together from the other side.” Lexiconus grunted as beads of sweat ran down his face.

The Warrior clipped her lightsaber and thrust both hands out sideways, using the Force to pry them apart. She felt a tug in the opposite direction. Grunting in exertion, their combined efforts slowly opened the door. Suddenly, all resistance ceased and she gave a final tug with the Force.

The door slid fully open, revealing a dozen Sadowan bodyguards and a Sadowan Warrior. She felt the dark side reek from the packed crates behind them. Electrostaffs sparked to life behind the Sadowan’s ruby lightsaber.

“Palatinaean scum. If you want it, come get it!” The Sadowan challenged with a growl.

“Kor! Get in here and help. Tell Shadow to join us.” The Quaestor ordered. The Knight ducked for cover inside the hangar, hastily alerting the Battlemaster.

The Sadowans didn’t wait. Nor did Blade. She ran straight towards the Sadowan Warrior, activating her saber on the way to an upward slash. Saber met saber as the pair exchanged quick flurries of strikes. The lead Sadowan stood his ground like an impenetrable wall, batting away Blade’s chaotic advances without budging.

The Zeltron felt a familiar urge to flee and rolled to her right.


As she stood back up she saw two of his personal guard cover his flank. Lexiconus and Kor struck at the other guardsmen, keeping them at bay for the moment. Three already laid dead. A heartbeat or two passed.

“Time for you to die,” smirked the Sadowan Warrior. The bodyguards rushed forward.

Anytime now, Shadow…


The bodyguards rushed towards the band of three, almost upon them when they suddenly skidded to a halt in the snow and froze in place. They shuddered as Shadow’s hooded figure approached, the Battlemaster reaching into their minds with dark, cold, and twisting tendrils. Her eyes caught theirs, and they found their minds further ensnared by fear. Like frightened children running from the monster under their bed, they stumbled about as they attempted to flee, despite the Sadowan’s protest. They didn’t have a prayer’s chance. The other Palatinaeans quickly took the advantage and slew them in mid-retreat.

“Cowards, the whole lot of ya!” The Sadowan warrior seethed as he prepared to defend himself and the artifacts. “You bastards will die before you can lay your hands on what’s rightfully ours!”

“Don’t be so daft,” Blade said. “You can’t take all four of us, Sadowan.”

“Well, I’m not surrendering! Damn you!” The Sadowan shouted as he charged.

Shadow immediately brought her blades into a cross, catching his crimson saber.

“I didn’t expect you too,” she whispered as she forced her blades forward and up, causing her opponent’s saber to recoil up. She quickly followed it up by landing a kick to his stomach, forcing him back.

The Quarren and a very eager Kel Dor ran off to form a defensive perimeter outside. The half-Sephi he charged forward. She leapt, and spun in the air. Her sabers rhythmically followed her twisting body, before landing with an aerial strike.

The Sadowan blocked the Palatinaean, growling in frustration. He swung his lightsaber over his head in a vicious counter. Snap-hiss. Suddenly, another saber entered the fray and slammed against the Sadowan Warrior’s defenses. The sizzle of momentarily locked sabers drew the attention of the room.

“Thought I’d give you another blade!” Blade said as she winked at the Half-Sephi.

Shadow smiled slightly in acknowledgement, and quickly sent her lightsabers towards the man’s chest. The Sadowan moved to intercept them, but the tips of the Battlemaster’s sabers were already poking out of his torso. She smirked as his body crumpled to ground. “Much obliged.”

Both Sith took off after the others, and found the two Palatinaeans fending off more soldiers. Instinctively, Shadow and Blade struck from behind, felling a few that used crates for cover. Blasters swiveled in their direction as the dynamic duo began drawing fire from the remaining soldiers. “We’ll keep them busy! Start loading the loot into the Sadowan shuttle! We’ll just have to borrow their ship.”

Both Lex and Kor did as they were told, while Shadow and Blade wiped out what soldiers they could. Their quick jumps and swift strikes kept them ahead of most blaster fire. The Kel Dor deflected any blaster fire safely away, while the Quarren used the Force to lift everything into the craft. From the corner of her eye, she saw the Zeltron charge towards a soldier and jab her lightsaber through his gut. Her saber burned through his back as it headed towards Lexiconus.

“Heads up, Quaestor!” Shadow warned.

The Quarren stumbled backwards, barely managing to drop his burden and evade. He shot a vicious glare at the Sith Warrior. For a brief moment, both of them stared malevolently at each other while blaster fire whizzed by. It was Kor’s pestering and obsession to safely enjoy the Sith trinkets that broke it off. Without saying a word despite angry huff, Lexiconus continued loading up the shuttle. Sensing the tension, the Battlemaster mentally sighed in disgust. Now was not the time for such nonsense.

I’ve had enough of these Sadowan fools.

Shadow ran and leapt at a soldier. Before he could aim, a stream of lightning shot from her fingers, hitting him square in the face. It was enough to send him jolting and shrieking on the floor. Another soldier rushed to help his comrade, and was promptly rewarded as Shadow’s scarlet blade shoved into his throat.

The Battlemaster racked up kill after kill in an attempt to end it all. Her lightsabers followed her twisting and dancing form, never missing their mark as she tore through the opposition. The sound of their screams only motivated her further. The Sadowans and pirates deserved it for their attack on her Clan. She hungered for their fear. It was fitting punishment before she ended their lives.


Lex’s voice had barely pulled the half-Sephi’s attention away from the massacre as she decapitated another soldier. “What is it?”

“We may be having more company! They’ve called for help! It’s time to retreat.”

“Nothing we can’t handle, but that also works,” she said without emotion. She remembered now why she preferred working alone, but she didn’t let that bother her now. This was a mission, and no matter the circumstances or who she was with, she was going to get it done.


With the artefacts loaded, Lexic sped to the shuttle’s cockpit, while Shadow and Blade raced to the shuttle’s ramp from the veritable abattoir they had created. Kor stood sentinel on the ramp, his reverse gripped saber swinging in tight blue arcs to deflect enemy fire. The danger to the artefacts was enough incentive for him to keep up his relentless defense, but the effort was beginning to take its toll. His movements started to grow sluggish and his chest heaved beneath his robes.

With Sadowan reinforcements on their way, Lexic knew they had to make their escape now. He slammed his fist on the wall console and the door slid open with a sharp hiss. He burst through the doorway, and his heart leaped at what he found; a pilot-droid, already plugged into the ship’s control console.

“Identification required,” came the metallic rumble from the droid’s mouth grille.

“Here’s my identification,” the Quarren replied as he pressed his hand against the droid’s head. He pushed the dark side into the droid’s form and snaked it through its processors, subverting its programming and planting the coordinates of their ship. The Quaestor could vaguely hear Blade’s voice cutting through his concentration.

“We’re all aboard, Sushi. We should really be leaving about now!”

Lexic removed his hand and made his way back to the cargo area. Already the droid was tapping away at the console in its Force induced obedience, engaging the primary thrusters and plotting the course to the Palatinean ship The sound of blaster fire pattered harmlessly against the shuttles armored hull but rang out clearly nonetheless. The Quarren entered the hold and found Kor Vaal sitting propped up against the bulkhead, physical exhaustion plain to see across his shuddering form. The two female Sith were leaning on the crates, their faces twisting into surprise when they saw him emerge.

“Who the hell is piloting this thing?” Blade exclaimed. “Don’t tell me you managed to convince a Sadowan pilot to get us out of here in thirty seconds.”

“The Force seemed to be with us, the ship was fitted with a pilot droid. It was much easier to convince than a flesh and blood pilot. And Blade, don’t call me Sushi.”

Captured Sadowan Shuttle
En Route to Palatinean Ship

Kor dived his hands into a crate and withdrew another artefact, this one a small silver ring covered in intricate and finely carved runes. He held it in his open palm and stared at it lustfully.

“Such a beautiful thing…” the Kel Dor purred as he drew a claw lovingly around its edge.

“Silver ring, carved script,” Lexic muttered as he typed into the data pad. “Can you make out the dialect?” He queried, trying his best to keep the Knight on track. He wanted to catalogue as many of the items as he could before they returned. It would make his report to Cyris much easier and, hopefully, ensure he didn’t remain in his presence too long. The Black Hand made his tentacles twitch at the best of times.

“Mustn’t rush me!” Kor hissed. “There are secrets in these things. They could contain wonders or dangers unimagined!”

“Not much danger in that one,” Blade cut in. She had been discussing their battle with Shadow, and the two had quickly gone into recounting tales of their previous victories. Kor and Lexic hadn’t realized she had been paying attention to their work, and snapped their heads towards the Zeltron’s voice.

“And how would you know that?” Kor asked.

“Can feel it from here. It’s got a bit of something to it, but I don’t sense anything that could be dangerous coming from it. I have a bit more practice than you, Kor. Let me take a look at it.”

The Zeltron held her hand out. Kor looked at her open hand, then back at the ring again. With some reluctance, the Kel Dor approached her and placed the ring in her hand.

“Wow, this thing’s got some age to it,” she remarked. “Doesn’t feel old enough to be Sith empire though. Know what the carvings are?”

“I…I agree about the age,” Kor said, surprised by her assessment. He wasn’t used to someone having similar skills to him, even less someone who seemed to be taking a genuine interest in his passion. He launched into an overly detailed lecture about Sith scripts, and their relation to various rituals and incantations. Shadow listened silently, her curiosity piqued enough to focus on the Kel Dor’s words. Blade interrupted with the occasional question or insight into what she could feel from the ring.

Lexiconus half listened to the conversation, while he carried on with the inventory. Occasionally, he caught a sideways smile from Blade, though the other two seemed not to notice. It mattered little to the Quaestor now. He had more important concerns than Blade stealing his assistant. The Zeltron had tried to kill him, and the Black Hand would gladly assist her if he didn’t like the Quarren’s work.

After a rough start, their journey to open space was rather uneventful… No Sadowan forces had followed them, for reasons which remained unclear till they broke the upper atmosphere. Shadow, who had left the group to sit alone in the cockpit, insisted Lexic to take a look at the ship’s scanners. It seemed the remaining pirates had attempted to flee the planet, but they had been intercepted by forces from both Clans.

Lexic inputted a quick course correction into their pilot, avoiding the vicious massacre playing out above Mygeeto’s white surface. He then sent a message to the Palatinaean fleet, ensuring they wouldn’t be mistaken for the enemy and broken in a barrage of laser fire. They would be back at their ship soon, and then they could be far away from this Force forsaken rock with their hard won treasures.