Storming the Bastion - Justinios & Halcyon
As the stern of the crashed Star Destroyer became increasingly larger, Quaestor Justinios Drake’s complaining became increasingly more frequent. “Major Celyn I firmly believe that we could have landed closer to our target without being detected.” That statement, as well the last twelve like it, went ignored by the Major. The other members of the strike team, Proconsul Halcyon Rokir Taldrya, Tovar Daklan and Kavis Varik, also ignored the constant griping of the Aleena . “When we return to the Paragon I demand that we review these mission parameters to ensure your over cautiousness isn’t costing us valuable mission time again in the future.”
“Sir I reviewed Major Celyn’s proposal and I can assure you that…”
“It is fine Kilo,” the Major interrupted the droid before he could finish, “I look forward to the post mission briefing.”
Other than a few more comments from the cranky reptilian the party arrived at the crashed ship’s exhaust port without incident. The motley crew of three humans, one Aleena and an former Imperial droid climbed into the opening and made their way into the maintenance tunnels the formed a web within to old Imperial cruiser. Everyone in the party knew exactly what their first destination was, a pair of turbolift shafts that would take them to their respective objectives. After complaining on the whole walk from their drop-off point, Justinios looked quite comfortable in the cramped shafts as compared to his much taller fellow strike team members. The team navigated through different junctions and divergent paths per the mission briefing and arrived at a metal grating overlooking the turbolift entrance after about fifteen standard minutes.
From the rear of the crouched down caravan, Halcyon mouthed up to Justinios, “How many guards?”
Holding up his tiny blue hands Justinios indicated that there were two guards below and then gave the Proconsul a thumbs up. Before the rest of the team could react, Justinios activated his lightsaber and cut through the metal grating separating the turbolift chamber from the maintenance shaft. Giving himself a little extra push with the Force, the Aleena flew spread eagle through the air down towards the unsuspecting guards who had their backs turned to the airborne alien. Justinios landed on the shoulders of the closest guard and stabbed the blue blade of his weapon into the top of the Rodian’s skull.
The second guard was a bit faster on the uptake and didn’t even waste a moment firing at the newly present threat. Instead, the Human ran full sprint towards a wall mounted control console and smashed a large red button as hard as he could. Lights and sirens started to go off all around the strike team. Flipping off of the now dead Rodian guard, Justinios used a burst of speed to close the distance with the alarm raiser, first slicing off his right leg just below knee and then decapitaing him as he fell unbalanced to the floor.
Turning back towards the maintenance shaft Justinios saw that the rest of the team was leaping down to the deck plating. As the alarms continued to blare, Justinios met his droid Kilo and the spy Kavis Varik at the turbolift that was closest to the control panel. To the left of that lift was another shaft which Halcyon and the pilot Tovar Daklan quickly walked up to and activated the call button.
“Well the lifts still work which is a miracle after your little stunt.” Halcyon looked none to pleased with the Aleena’s mid-mission improvisation. “At least that means these amateurs still don’t have access to the ship’s full systems.”
Looking up at the green haired human, Justinios was unfazed. “I had it all under control.”
“I must have missed the part where setting off the main alarm was part of the plan“, the Elder stated sarcastically. Halcyon’s eyes looked at Justinios like ones that have seen many of this type before; one who has newly discovered his power and still thought they made him immortal. The problem was, Halcyon had also seen others only learn the truth after it was too late. “Are you sure this plan of yours is going to work?”
The turbolift that Justinios, Kavis and Kilo were waiting in front of arrived and they stepped in. Just as the turbolift doors were closing the Aleena turned to his Proconsul and answered, “Nope, that’s half the fun”.
“He’s going to kill us all,” Tovar stated, only half-jokingly, as he quickly ran his fingers through his messy head of hair. “And seriously, where do you find these people? You have an Ewok for a Rollmaster or something?”
“Now, be nice,” Halcyon said with the slightest of smirks as stepped into the turbolift that opened for him. “He just needs a little more seasoning.”
“And hopefully I live to see that day. Now, remind me again why I’m not the one up there flying around?”
“Because you are good at making things go boom,” Halcyon said, facing forward as the turbolift began to move to their location. “And you can fix things if we need it.”
“I’ve seen you in action. You are more than good enough to make a lot of things go ‘boom’”.
“Tovar, head in the game. You know why we need you, and the Major is more than qualified for drop-off and pick-up duties.”
“Aye, sir!” Tovar said, standing straighter as he did a quick check of his equipment. Along with the normal weaponry, he had a powerful ion grenade as well as specialized denton charges strapped to his waist, depending on how the mission was going.
“Alright, you know the plan.”
“Hang back, let you do all the work and then whistle me over? Yup, loud and clear.”
“Good man”, Halcyon said, giving his friend a small smile as he closed his eyes.
The turbolift had begun slowing as it reached its destination. Tovar made sure he was clear of Halcyon, standing close to the back of the lift as he watched the other man prepare. He had known the man for a number of years, and knew all about the Force, but it was still astonishing to see how it all came together.
As the lift stopped, and the doors opened, a gleaming emerald beam seemed to shoot out of Halcyon’s hand an instant before he shot out of the open lift. Tovar kept still, ensuring no one else knew he was in there, but he still had a blaster in his hand should someone come investigating. Instead, he just listened to the noises outside. Much of the noise was various forms of screams, some in fear, others in surprise, and most the final noises before death. Behind it all was a constant thrum of a lightsaber, as it sang through the air.
For the two minutes he stood inside, no one came looking for Tovar. The noises grew dimmer and dimmer, the shouts lessening over time. Finally there was only silence as a snap-hiss cut the empty air.
Tovar stashed his blaster back in the holster and stepped out of the lift. He saw Halcyon standing at the far end of a gangplank, one level up. Ahead of Tovar was the main reactor core. Looking around he saw at least a dozen bodies strewn everywhere, both on his level as well as some of the other levels around the room.
“There should have been more reinforcements,” Halcyon said, as he jumped down to meet Tovar. “I’m assuming the rest of the team is doing their thing.”
The reactor core began to come alive, its gentle thrumming ramping up as it began to fill the room with it powerful sound.
“Who’s idiotic idea was this!”
“It was yours, you blue idiot!”
Justinios was a small little blur of blue as he jumped around the cramped corridors, managing to stay away from the incoming blaster fire as he swiped at the various guards with his lightsaber. Kavis was nearby, but rather than a ball of energy, the older spy was instead methodical in his death-dealing. In one hand a powerful blaster was cutting down troopers with ease as he moved with practices ease through the corridor, using a vibroblade that jutted out from a gauntlet to take out anyone who got past his blaster or Justinios’ lightsaber.
“Oh, right,” Justinios yelled back, a blaster bolt managing to catch him in the arm and stopping his momentum. Justinios dropped to the floor, gritting his teeth at the pain as he tried to defend himself. The man who caught him originally was lining up for the killing shot, but as his finger began pressing the trigger a vibroblade suddenly jutted through his skull, stopping his finger in mid-shot. Kavis pushed the now-dead trooper to the ground and walked over his body to kneel down beside Justinios.
“Pretty sure your plan is working,” Kavis said, as he looked at the injury. “I think the rest of the ship thinks we’re going to take the bridge. I could feel the ship itself rumbling to life. They’re trying to run.”
“Glad I wasn’t shot for anything then.”
“Oh, and you’ll live.”
“Thanks, Doc. But will I ever be able to play the Klo horn again?”
“Sir,” Kilo called out, stopping Kavis’ retort, “I found a passage back to the reactor.”
“Good job, Kilo,” Justions said, as he was helped back to his feet by Kavis. “Where do we go?”
“Here, sir,” Kilo said, pointing at what appeared to be a part of the corridor bulkhead.
“Wait, another shaft?” Kavis asked, already groaning at the possibility.
“Of course, sir! It is the most direct route.”
“Of course it is. And you fit in there?”
“Yes, sir. The schematics tell me that there is enough room for my entire chassis. I will be fine.”
“Ok, then get us in there, Kilo.”
Kilo stepped away from the control panel he had been accessing and moved over to the corridor wall. Without any preamble his mechanical hands grabbed hold at seams only he knew existed and pulled, ripping out a portion of the wall, but revealing the access hatch.
“Lead the way, Kilo.”
“Yes, sir!” the droid responded, throwing itself head-first into the hatch and then disappearing due to the sudden drop in the shaft.
“On second thought, this is really going to hurt my shoulder. Kavis…”, but Justinios never finished his thought as Kavis suddenly grabbed hold of him and threw him into the shaft. Justinios expletive-laced screams died off as he plummeted down the shaft.
“I hate you, Halc,” Kavis muttered under his breath as he followed the other two members of his team into the shaft.
The Star Destroyer’s massive reactor core shut down with a massive thrum as the ion grenade did it’s job. Halcyon and Torvar hadn’t seen any enemy combatants for the better part of the last five minutes, which had both of them on edge.
“I guess you killed them all. Should’ve just left the reactor running.”
As Torvar finished a blaster bolt skimmed his scalp, leaving the air stinking of burning hair. Shortly after, the entire reactor chamber was filled with flying red bolts. In response Halcyon flew into action, swatting aside incoming fire as fast as it could be directed at him. Torvar dove behind the nearest console unit and peaked his head out every once and a while to return fire. He wanted to make a funny quip about how many soldiers Halcyon had in fact left alive, but just from the sheer amount of blaster fire being poured into the room, the pilot was actually worried the duo could be overwhelmed.
Even for all of his immense skill, Halcyon was stretched to the max trying to keep himself and Torvar safe from the barrage. “Can you raise the other team on the comm?” Halcyon yelled back to Torvar. “Now would be a really good time for phase two of the plan.”
Try as he might, Torvar couldn’t reach any of the three members of the other team and he didn’t risk contacting Major Celyn on their getaway ship in case the transmission was intercepted. The way things looked now, they may need to make a quick escape and retake the ship with a more robust team now that the reactor was down.
“No luck, but I have an idea. Now would be a great time for one of those fancy backflips.” As Torvar yelled back at Halcyon he snatched one of his C-25 fragmentation grenades from his belt and tossed them out towards the assaulting troops. As the cylindrical explosive flew past Halcyon’s head he gracefully flipped himself backwards and landed behind the console next to Torvar.
The deck plating shook as the grenade exploded, sending a few of the enemy soldiers flying and the rest diving for cover. It only bought the duo a few moments because as soon as the initial confusion passed the room was once again filled with blaster fire.
Looking at Torvar, Halcyon asked, “Any other ideas?”
It was at that exact moment when, like a wrecking ball, the curled up form of a KX-series droid came bowling through the blockade of troopers. The droid quickly unfurled itself and began throwing around the confused soldiers like rag dolls. Using the distraction Halcyon leapt back into action, joining the droid, who had already taken a few blaster hits to his extremities. Back in the fray, the emerald haired Jedi could see that a good half of the enemy soldiers had engaged with the swirling blue form of Justinios Drake as Kavis Varik carefully fired from around a corner down the hallway. Now caught between two Jedi, two blasters and the tall black droid, the enemy troops quickly fell.
As soon as the fighting ceased, Kilo, who was now fairly damaged, limped over to a dataport and plugged himself into the ship’s network. “I am unable to locate any living enemy combatants and the AT-STs in the hangar bay appear to be unmanned. Opening the main doors,” the droid reported.
Justinis activated his comlink and contacted Major Celyn, “Major, you are clear to land in the main hangar bay.”
The fact that the Aleena had to turn his comlink back on did not go unnoticed by Halcyon. “Did you have your comlink off this whole time? We were trying to raise you, what would possess you to do such a thing?”
Smirking, the tiny reptilian Jedi simply replied, “I wanted to make a grand entrance.”