[Tacitus Athanasius] Expansion Run-on


(Elincia Rei) #1

Scholae Imperial Headquarters - Caelestis City - Ragnath

A holographic map of the Nethal Archipelago and Caelestis City was projected between the Empress, the Grand Admiral, and the four battleteam leaders of Scholae Palatinae. The two southern-facing prongs of the city almost touched the tiny northern island of the Archipelago. “Adoniram will not tolerate this city being taken,” Elincia stated with clarity, dressed neatly in a new deep purple blazer and black trousers. “The first island is in range of small arms fire from both sides. We can hit the first three from defensive emplacements on the southern tip of the city”

“They’re building a force on Nethal Prime,” Lexiconus Qor, the Quarren new leader of the intelligence specialists of Pellaeon, informed the others. “The war on Seraph has their forces spread thin on Ragnath. We have a month before they attack.” Linking Pellaeon with the Imperial Scholae Intelligence had yielded a wealth of information across the system. “We’ve also received threats from of a mysterious signal of unknown origin, potentially Collective, simply stating ‘WE ARE COMING’.”

“Simple. We take the islands before they attack,” Jorm Na’trej, Kiffar leader of Excidium’s Vindictae Immortalis, grinned in anticipation of the violence to come. Jorm was the fitting leader for such a team, one that bathes in chaos, Excidium’s less subtle and more action-hungry members.

“Krennic is well suited to a surgical strike on key targets,” Reiden said plainly, the newest leader in the room, but a familiar face around the clan. Krennic was Imperium’s special forces team of the most elite warriors the house had to offer.

“Agreed,” Elincia said as she magnified the map onto Nethal Prime, more detailed satellite imagery began to overlay on the geographical features, with military and key logistic installations highlighted. “I’ve negotiated with the Elayan Prime Minister to increase their offensive presence on Seraph to keep Meraxis occupied.”

“Infrastructure on Nethal Prime seems light,” Derek observed, Excidium’s leader of assassins always had an eye for detail. “Everything seems to run through a couple of key hubs.”

“Nethal Prime was traditionally a fishing village,” said Mune Cinteroph, the well-read, intellectual Grand Admiral besides Elincia. “It was never meant to be a military base of operations.”

“The salary and logistics node…” Jorm observed. “All the supply chain paperwork and credits of the Archipelago running through one building? Consider them ours.”

“The security forces are one block away and given the circumstances, will be armed with military equipment,” Derek spoke up again. “Tacitus Athanasius will take out their leadership and terrorise the security offices.”

“That’s an armour depot on the far side of the island. Krennic will take it out,” Reiden said with a relaxed tone, confident in the ability of his team.

“And Pellaeon will investigate this unknown threat that threatens to wreck the whole plan,” Lexiconus confirmed.

“You will each be assigned a battalion of the Imperial Scholae Army for use as you see fit,” Elincia announced, happy with the plan.

Jorm made himself heard again.

“Trade mine for a pick at the armory and a five minute head start in the actual operation? Troopers don’t really mesh well with what we do.”

“Not using them at all counts as using them as you see fit. For the Empire!”


(Elincia Rei) #2

STATUS UPDATE:
Through Kell Dante, team Krennic begin their assault on a Meraxis firebase by eliminating an enemy patrol with grenades and blaster fire
Team Pellaeon leader Lexiconus receives a mysterious datapad with a protocol droid with the Seneschal seal from an alias name Ferrum, containing a wealth of intelligence on the Meraxis Empire


(Shadow Nighthunter) #3

”Through passion, I gain strength…”

A pair of golden eyes appeared in the darkness as they shined with predatory malice. Only when the hunter they belonged to shifted did a stray beam of moonlight reveal the pale face of Shadow Nighthunter. The Sith kept her eyes locked on a building that laid across the alleyway that she hid in. Before her was the den of her prey, intel having revealed the location of several security leaders gathering together. As to the reason why, that remained unknown, but the opportunity was too much for two assassins to pass up.

Another figure in black joined Shadow’s side. Rasilvenaira studied the perimeter of the compound with her compatriot, taking note of the military armaments security was armed with. It wouldn’t be difficult for the two to infiltrate the compound. Especially once the others began causing havoc amongst security.

“Seems this should go rather well once Derek and the others do their thing,” Shadow remarked.

“Aye. I’m interested to see what’s got the big boys gathering together.”

The Battlelord looked over at the veteran, the Sith sharing in her curiosity. As long as everything went smoothly, and the battalion kept their escape route open, there was nothing to worry about. Even if things went bad, the Aedile knew the team would still accomplish what needed to be done.

Both assassins silently began their approach. Shadow levitated her hand over to her lightsaber, grasping the cold, metal handle that gave her a sense of strength and fueled her resolve. Though she had the option to bring her rifle, she had found no need for it. Her dagger and sabers would serve her best, and she looked forward to shedding the blood of her prey.


(Rasilvenaira Isatri'Zara StormRaven) #4

Rasilvenaira nodded and quietly began her own approach. She stayed far enough from Shadow that the two wouldn’t be in each other’s line of fire should trouble come up, but still close enough that they could use hand signs as needed. Her keen dark eyes took in the details as they drew closer to the compound, and finally the Warlord spotted what she was looking for. Rasilvenaira quickly motioned for Shadow to stop and drop low, then moved up beside her.

Keeping her voice barely more than a whisper, she nodded toward the wall ahead of them. “Cameras. Give me a minute.”

Rasilvenaira pulled out her comlink and pressed a small button on it. “Wisp, you’re up, take care of those cameras.”

A moment later, the seeker droid drifted past the two assassins and moved toward the cameras. It landed by the one closest to them and Rasilvenaira smiled. A small beep of confirmation came from her comlink and she nodded to Shadow. “Let’s move, got thirty seconds before he’s gotta back out of their system.”

She sprinted from the shadows and pressed herself against the wall of the compound, trusting Shadow to stay close to her. They edged along the wall to the entrance. A single guard leaned against his station, looking completely bored. The Warlord grinned, and slipped the Arashi-Kumori, her lethal double-bladed dagger, from its place at her side. Drawing on the Force, she concealed herself and moved in for the kill. The guard fell with nothing more than a strangled gasp. Rasilvenaira wiped the blood from the blade, then returned it to its sheath.

Nodding, the Sith motioned for Shadow to move forward. As soon as they were out of range of the first set of cameras, she signaled her droid. Wisp drifted over to her and settled on the Sith’s shoulder, half of its appendages clinging to her shoulder, the others to the back of her shirt along her shoulder blade. It whirred softly as its sensor array kicked in. Wisp beeped softly, and Rasilvenaira nodded.

“We’re clear to the main hall, then we’ll have to worry about the second tier of cameras.”

Rasilvenaira moved forward, keeping to the shadows as the pair crossed the small courtyard to the main building of the security compound. They managed to slip inside and ducked into a small, empty room near the front door. Rasilvenaira glanced around the room and grinned. She used the Force to pull the grating off the ventilation duct.

She glanced at the droid and nodded, “Go, Wisp. I want full dark in ten minutes, and jam any outgoing comms.”

The droid beeped an affirmative and lifted off of the Sith’s shoulder and floated into the duct. Rasilvenaira replaced the grate, and then motioned to Shadow. “We’ve got ten minutes to get where we need to be, come on.”


(Derek Cinn) #5

Derek watched the security compound intently for patrol patterns and watch towers and other security features till they were burned into the back of his mind. He was shaken from his study when he heard the comms in his helmet click three times. No words were said but it was the designated signal for radio silence and that they had begun the operation.

Derek turned to look at Alara Deathbane. She nodded and they turned their focus on the maintenance door in front of them. It was unguarded with the exception of the simple lock but perimeter patrols passed it frequently.

“Alara, go.” The young battlemaster whispered as soon as a patrol turned the corner. The Questor sprinted with her long braid flying behind her. Sparks flew for a moment as her yellow saber pierced the locks. The door swung open and the half-Sephi motioned her shorter teammate in. Her ears twitched as she listened for any guards before shutting the door softly behind them. It was suddenly quiet, Water dripped from the pipes above and their feet splashed softly in the pool of water.

“Shadow and Rasilvenaira have already infiltrated the building and are making their way towards their targets.” Derek paused for a moment and smiled, “We have the fun job. The security compound is responsible for ensuring order in the region, we are gonna give them some hell.” He knew she knew the plan but it couldn’t hurt to go over it one more time.

“Oh great, I’d almost forgotten after going over it a thousand time.” Alara said flatly.

“When you try to be sarcastic, you’re supposed to make it obvious.” The fourteen year old replied matter of factly. The Savant rolled her eyes and shoved the boy down the hall.

The doorway out of the maintenance hall was unsecured and the pair snuck their way towards the barracks and stacked up on the door. Cinn nodded and the two burst into the room. Bunks lined either side with half dressed troopers getting ready for bed. Their stunned looks turned to fear as the duo killed the defenseless men.

Alara turned her attention to the far back of the room where a few of the troopers were struggling to unlock the blaster cages. A smile broke out over a chiseled face as she sped towards them. Her sabers were already coming down before the men could cover their faces.


(Alara Deathbane) #6

This was the part of serving Tacitus Athanasius that Alara liked best. The she-marauder gleamed in excitement as she leapt into the room without a single word. The victims knew there was nothing they could do to stop this force of nature. Yellow and orange plasma beams sprang to life from her sabers and followed her in the gracefully dangerous dance that she choreographed with ease. Left and right, she twisted and pivoted until each enemy she met fell to their doom. Her Sephi ears alerted her that there were more in the next room just past a set of lockers. The girl glanced for a comrade and received an approving nod from Derek, who was just finishing up his own energetic display of bullets and lights. Alara’s devilish grin grew even wider. She twirled towards the entrance and continued her killing spree.

“Alara, when you’re finished, there’s a few more upstairs. Get out of there before the cameras come on,” Derek’s voice echoed in a cybernetic tone from Alara’s datapad strapped to her wrist.

“Awh. But I don’t want them to miss this great show.” Alara mused back. She flicked her sabers off temporarily and headed outside of the room towards the nearest staircase.

“So where do you learn to do that?” Derek turned the corner after stepping over the bodies they left behind on the floor.

“When I was a little girl, I unlocked it within me and got nearly got kicked out of a Jedi temple for it. My experiences have fueled my rage. I just let it out instead of holding it in.” Alara explained as her eyes were looking at a different nostalgic scene.

“Alara . . . What happened to you?” the new Battle Team Leader stopped and looked at her with a worried expression.

The building’s intercom crackled and buzzed for a sharp moment as if the wires were cutting in and out. Alara’s ears shook with the resonation as her eyes darted around. “Was that the signal?” Alara questioned.

Derek shook his head. “No. Ras promised she would make it obvious. Either they’re still working on their end of this deal, or there are people still alive wishing to communicate.”


(Shadow Nighthunter) #7

Were Shadow not so focused on the mission at hand, she might’ve grinned as she sensed chaos and confusion flood the compound. Yet, she forbid herself such satisfaction as she and Ras continued onward towards their targets. So far everything was going smoothly. The two assassins had managed to avoid confrontation with any guards that normally patrolled the main building.

It was when they passed the main hall that they needed to be more careful. Security cams kept a watchful eye out for intruders straying too close to the conference chamber, but that didn’t bother the Battlelord. Calling upon the Force, she manipulated the surrounding light and the shadows before suddenly vanishing from plain sight. Ras followed suit, and both carefully and quietly made their way down the hallway without being detected.

They eventually reached a four-way intersection when they spotted two guards patrolling halls. Their uniforms were more military in design, unlike that of the security force, and a patch on their right shoulders declared the regiment they were from. Though they spoke in hushed voices, Shadow’s Sephi ears twitched at the mention of a Captain and a meeting taking place with the very people they were supposed to eliminate. Such an opportunity to take out a higher-classed target was practically a gift to the assassins. Shadow was more than willing to take out the guards, but she knew their deaths would be caught on the cameras. Instead, the half-Sephi followed Ras onward, the two quickly lessening the distance between them and the conference room.

When they arrived, two more guards stood posted on either side of the large durasteel door. Normally, the Shadow Wolf might’ve quickly slashed their throats with her knife, but she held back. It was when the lights suddenly flickered that the Sith unsheath the dagger from her boot. She looked in Ras’ direction, knowing that the Warlord was just as eager to shed the blood of their foes. Shadow’s hunger for death and fear caused the Sith to tighten her grip on the blade. The time had finally come.


(Rasilvenaira Isatri'Zara StormRaven) #8

The Warlord caught Shadow’s eye and made a small sign with one hand that let the Aedile know which way she was going. That would leave the other side of the group to the younger woman. Right on time the building went entirely dark as Wisp followed his orders. Rasilvenaira grinned and slipped the wickedly lethal double-bladed dagger, the Arashi-Kumori, from its place at her side and reached out with the Force. Unerringly she closed in on her first target as the Captain and gathered Security leaders started to panic.

She moved swiftly, slitting a throat, then ducking under flailing arms to drive the blade between ribs. The Sith spun and twisted, bringing down each of her targets with barely more than gurgled coughs and whispered gasps.

One minute passed, and as he’d been directed, Wisp let the lights come back on through the building. The conference room brightened to reveal the carnage as blood spread across the floor, and in places streaked the table and walls as well. Nonchalantly, Rasilvenaira stepped over one body, then reached down to wipe the blades of her weapon clean on his shirt, then returned the Arashi-Kumori to her side.

She glanced over, giving an approving nod to her fellow assassin as Shadow tucked her own weapon away again. The Warlord pulled a small device out of one of the pouches on her utility belt, and plugged it into the computer terminal in the center of the conference table. She grabbed her comlink and activated it. “Wisp, pull everything you can from this terminal and then wipe it.”

There was an affirmative beep, and the Sith turned her attention to the bodies once more. “Make sure there’s nothing useful in their pockets.” She started rifling through pockets and tucked a few items away in another pouch at her belt to be reviewed and analyzed later.

They had just finished searching the bodies when Rasilvenaira’s comlink beeped again. She nodded to herself and reached over to remove the device from the terminal. “Got as much intel as we’re gonna get, time to go.”

She led the way out of the conference room and both assassins used the Force to conceal their presence and quickly made their way back down the corridor. Wisp appeared, floating over to Rasilvenaira and attaching himself to her shoulder again. Rasilvenaira frowned as something pricked at the back of her mind, and following her instincts, she pulled Shadow with her as she ducked through a small door into a service corridor.

Suddenly, alarm klaxons rang out. “Gizka spit,” the Warlord cursed bitterly. “They found the mess in the conference room, I’d wager. We’re gonna have to move fast or they’ll cut us off.” The Sith was glad she’d taken time to check the building schematics, and hoped they were accurate as they hurried through the tight quarters of the smaller hallways. She pulled her comlink out of her pocket and flipped it on. “Little boss, we’ve got a bunch of art critics upset about our calling cards. We’re on the way out but it’s getting hot so we might need to make a quick detour. We’ll see you at the rendezvous.”

They made it out a side exit and Rasilvenaira breathed a sigh of relief, though they were far from clear. At least they’d managed not to get trapped in the building. The Sith sprinted across the yard, using the Force to rip security cameras off their spots. With the alarms already set off, she wasn’t going to worry about being subtle now.


(Derek Cinn) #9

“How many times have I told her not to call me ‘little boss’?” the Battlemaster spat angrily as his DC-17s blasted past Alara’s Orange and Yellow lightsabers

“It may have something to do with your…” She hesitated for a moment, “Stature.” The young Sith suspected she was trying not to smile

“Really? Are you sure?” Derek said sarcastically. “I thought it had something to do with my ears.”

“Not sure why you’d think that, your ears are massive.” Alara quipped, unable to contain herself.

“Oh shut it.” Cinn said, annoyed he couldn’t think of anything to say.

The two retreated back as security forces pushed their way forward despite heavy casualties.

“We can swing by the Security command center on our way out and give them a goodbye present!” Derek yelled over the sound of blaster fire.

“It would be cutting it close. We still need to regroup with the others.” Alara argued “But it’d be a major blow. Let’s do it.”

Their boots banged against the dull gray floors as they sprinted towards the command center. The two caught sight of four guards outside the doors as they turned the corner. Before any of them could process the figures down the hall, a hail of blaster bolts swarmed them. They fell to the ground and their weapons clattered out of their limp hands.

“Cut the door Alara, I’ll cover you.” Cinn instructed.

Derek listened as the voices of searching guards echoed around in the halls. Deathbane, however, focused intently on the door as her two sabers finally met at the bottom of the door. A circular slab of durasteel slammed onto the floor. The officers and crewmembers inside opened up with a rain of fire.

The pair leaped to the sides for cover. Derek looked at Alara and nodded to the fragmentation grenade in his small hands before tossing it into the room. A collective sound of confusion and alarm rang out as they processed the grenade clattering into the room.

The explosion was sharp and the screams followed shortly afterwards. The Dark Jedi and Sith ran in taking down the dazed survivors. The two snapped their heads back towards the doorway as the voices got louder.

“Set the charges, HURRY!” Alara ordered sternly “I’ll keep our exit route clear.”

Reaching into his back pouch. He took out the powerful Denton charges and began placing them strategically to ensure complete destruction of the command center. After a quick scan he looked towards Alara.

“Charges linked to the detonator!” He yelled as he ran towards her.

“Good, Let’s get out of here,” she replied.


(Alara Deathbane) #10

With a flick of her wrists and a quick swing of her arms, Alara parted the red sea, as it were, with the blood shed of her enemies colouring the walls of the group’s escape.

“How much farther til we get out of here?” the Quaestor yelled over her shoulder while kicking another body out of her and her comrade’s path.

“Just another turn coming up on your left!” Derek hollered back.

“Now?!”

“NOW!” With that, Derek flicked the switch on his detonator. As the two leapt out from the building, the large bellow of smoke and dust reverberated through the building’s foundation. The two were immediately thrown to the ground, a siren echoing in each of their minds. Alara hit the ground like hitting a slab of concrete. The dusty, merciless pavement slammed her right back. A shock of pain circulated down her back and into her left leg. She could feel her diaphragm moving underneath her, so she knew she must have cried out in pain, but her Sephi ears were deafened by the blast. Slowly, then suddenly all at once, her ears regained their functionality and were flicking left and right towards different sounds she could pick up around her.

“Ras! Shadow! Did you get out alright?” Derek’s slightly hoarse voice was already speaking through his communication device. The flickering of fire caught the she-marauder’s attention. She slowly peeled her eyelids open and witnessed the massacre that Tacitus Athanasius had wrought upon the Meraxis. She smiled in relief which temporarily made her forget the pain that was jabbing at her calve muscles.

“Of course we did you nitwit. Next time, give us a bit of a heads up before you blow up the whole building. We were relaxing on the outer wall,” Rasilvenaira growled, “Not all of us are kids and bounce back right away, ya know.”

“Hehe…” Derek chuckled nervously, “my bad! We’re all good to meet up now, right?”


(Shadow Nighthunter) #11

Shadow and Ras quickly ran for the escape route, their lightsabers drawn as some of the bewildered remnants of security tried to take out the assassins. Shadow’s silver and crimson blade spun and slashed in a deadly array of light and color to the sound of screams and cries of pain. Those who tried to organize didn’t have time to fully prepare as Ras’ own silver blades had their own taste of blood and scorched flesh. The stench of fear permeating the enemy was a sweet aroma to the half-Sephi as she relished the horror shared by each of the men and women falling before them.

“The battalion is doing its job keeping the scum off our tails!” Derek’s voice declared through Ras’ comlink. “Alara and I are almost to the transports. You better hurry up before we decide to leave you two behind!”

“He won’t live to see the age of fifteen if he dares leave us,” Shadow remarked quietly, her sephi ears twitching in slight amusement. “Then again, I think Alara would have the honors of killing him first if he tried.”

“We’ll soon be there, Derek,” the StormRaven replied. “Just make sure the battalion continues to do its job and we’ll be there in no time.”

“Roger that-” Derek’s voice was cut off before Alara’s was heard. “We’ll wait as long as we have to! Just make sure you and Shadow get here in one piece!”

Shadow held back from scowling. She had been through wars and plenty of other life-threatening situations, and experience had always seen her through as had the Force. The younger sister didn’t care for Alara to be concerned for her.

The Shadow Wolf remained silent, and continued onward with Ras towards the transports to join up with the others. She could hear the battalion firing away at any security personnel brave or foolish enough to try and pursue the Quaestor and Tacitus’ leader. It wouldn’t be long before more reinforcements would be called in to assist.


(Rasilvenaira Isatri'Zara StormRaven) #12

Derek and Alara scrambled up the ramp of the transport and leaned against the frame of the open hatch as they caught their breaths. Derek glanced back the way they’d come and smiled at the chaos they left in their wake. Alara swept her blond braid back over her shoulder and then frowned as her eyes scanned the area. She pulled her comlink out.

“Ras, Shadow! We’re at the transport. Where are you guys?”

Rasilvenaira growled under her breath as she just barely dodged another volley of blaster fire from a group of enemies behind them. Shadow skidded to a halt just beside her as they ducked around a corner. They paused long enough to take stock of their route and what was coming after them.

The Warlord activated the comlink, “Tell the battalion to start falling back and get everyone on board the transport. We’re almost there.”

“Alright,” came Alara’s voice. “Hurry, but be careful!”

Stormraven clicked the comlink off and rolled her eyes as she glanced over at the Aedile beside her. “Heh. ‘Be careful’ she says. We’re in the middle of a war zone. Sure, I’ll get right on that.” The Sith’s voice dripped with sarcasm as she motioned for Shadow to follow, then led the way down another alleyway.

They were just able to see the transport in the distance, but had to slip behind a parked speeder as a small patrol ran past from the other direction. A series of rapid beeps from Wisp caused the older Sith to glance back at him and frown. “You sure?” Wisp beeped again. “Alright.”

Shadow started to move again once the coast was clear but Rasilvenaira stopped her. She pulled Wisp from his perch and shoved him toward the Aedile. He beeped apologetically at Shadow before settling himself against her shoulder instead. Rasilvenaira dug out the small device she’d used on the computer terminal in the conference room and pressed it into Shadow’s hand.

“There’s something I have to take care of. You need to get to the transport. Take Wisp and this to our tech team, between what’s in his memory banks and what’s on here, there’s bound to be some useful intel for the House.”

Shadow frowned, then scowled at the droid, before looking back at the Warlord. “What are you talking about? Come on, let’s go!”

Rasilvenaira shook her head. “There’s two gunships and three drop ships of troop reinforcements inbound. Get to the transport and get out of here. Be smart about this, Shadow. That transport goes down or gets taken, it’s the whole leadership for Excidium in one shot, plus a Battleteam leader. We can’t risk that.”

“But…” The half-Sephi’s ears twitched in frustration, “We’re not going to leave you behind.”

The Stormraven’s eyes flashed angrily as they went completely obsidian. “I told you to go, and I meant now!”

Shadow’s jaw tightened. It had been a long time since she’d heard the older woman use that tone of voice. But that was the tone of voice that had once commanded legions when Rasilvenaira ruled Ptolomea and House Caliburnus with an iron fist. That was a tone of voice that demanded obedience. She sighed heavily, but nodded. “You better make it out of this, Ras.”

Rasilvenaira nodded, “I’ll be fine, now get going. I’ll draw their fire away from you, buy you guys a bit more breathing room but tell them to get in the air the second you’re on board.”

Shadow nodded and took off toward the transport. Rasilvenaira took a deep breath and charged off in the opposite direction, cursing as her path was almost immediately noticed. Security forces scrambled to cut her off and close in around her.

The Aedile rushed up the ramp of the transport, nodding to the trooper standing by the hatch controls. “Is the last of the battalion on board?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

She reached past him to slam the control button down and the ramp began to close. Derek rushed toward her, his voice raised with concern, “What are you doing? Where’s Ras?”

“She said there was something she needed to do, that she’d find her own way out. We have to move, now, there’s heavy reinforcements coming.” Raising her voice, she called out, “Pilot, get us out of here, now!”

“Aye, ma’am.”

She staggered slightly as she hurried to fasten herself into her seat. Alara scowled at her, and activated her comlink.

“Ras? Where are you?”

There was no response.

Suddenly, the transport rocked and even through the thick hull, the sound of a massive explosion could be heard. Derek scrambled to his feet, with Alara and Shadow quickly coming up behind him to peer out the nearest view-port. Thick clouds of smoke billowed up from another section of the city. The Quaestor and Battleteam leader looked at each other.

“That wasn’t one of our bombs,” Derek confirmed.

The trio swallowed hard, and Alara tried once more with the comlink as the transport veered away from the city below and headed for the safety of Excidium’s domain. “Rasilvenaira, please respond.”

Silence stretched out for several long moments, and then they were too far out of range for the comlinks. They settled into their seats, not wanting to consider what might have happened.

Shadow finally broke the silence. “She’s tough and she’s smart, she’ll be fine…” At least, she hoped so.