[Tides of Change] Co-op Fiction - Team 7
BAC Darkest Night
Hyperlanes towards New Tython
The bridge was quiet.
Aside from the occasional footfalls of the passing analyst, the command center was devoid of chatter and commotion; the exact opposite to what Arcia Cortel was used to during her time as Captain of the AGV Nighthawk.
Sitting within her command chair and resting her chin on a hand, Arcia was interrupted from absolutely nothing when the Executive Officer Thel Keikodi approached with a datapad.
“Ma’am, the Nighthawk is preparing to depart. They will take you to the planet’s surface to rendezvous with your contact from Odan-Urr. They leave in ten.”
“Thank you, Keikodi. That is all,” Arcia took the datapad and waved the man off.
The datapad contained coordinates supplied by a Seraphol Ceartas, who was to be her point of contact during the situation at hand. With a frown, Arcia tried to recall if she knew the name from her time in Odan-Urr several years back, but shook her head as her memories failed her. Pushing herself up from the chair, she was immediately greeted by Elequin, her personal guard.
“Are we prepared to depart, my lady?” the young woman half chirped in excitement.
“You aren’t going anywhere, El. You’re staying here to make sure Keikodi doesn’t blow my ship up,” Arcia stated plainly, crushing the girl’s hopes and dreams in a heartbeat.
“Aww, but you…I…UGH, fine!”
Typically Arcia wouldn’t tolerate such insolence from someone, but Elequin was different, as she had proved herself time and time again spanning many situations. With a smirk, the Galeres Quaestor tossed the datapad to the Erinos girl and made way for the turbolift.
BAC Darkest Night Hangar
The Nighthawk was primed and ready for the Quaestor as she made her way up the gangway and into her former command. Atop the platform stood Captain Rennek “Uji” Ughi and Commander Rulvak Qurrok. The datapad stated the Nighthawk crew had a mission of their own to accomplish, but were able to deliver the Quaestor under cover of stealth before they set off.
“Ma’am, glad to have you aboard again,” Uji offered a salute that Arcia half-heartedly returned. “If you would follow me-”
“You really think I forgot my way around the ship already, Captain?” Arcia cut the man off before he embarrassed himself further.
“Apologies, Ma’am. Lead the way, please.”
As the trio made their way towards the back of the Nighthawk’s hangar and to the turbolift, the ship’s PA clicked on.
“All crew, prepare for departure. Travel time, thirteen minutes…”
New Tython surface
The roaring of engines and billowing of dust and rock filled the area as the human woman set foot on the planet’s surface for the first time in what felt like decades. Scanning her surroundings as the stealth ship departed, she found it was foreign to her, but she was close to the provided coordinates. Without much else to do, Arcia set forward over the rocks and unfamiliar terrain to meet with Seraphol who would, hopefully, have more information.
Fort Pernicar, Utility bay
Throwing the small datapad across the bay in a fit of anger, the broad shoulder figure of Seraphol stalked across towards the nearest speeder bike. The pad had a recently intercepted communique downloaded on it, but in the process of deciphering the encryption, Seraph had triggered some sort of security code which rendered the pad useless. The young Novice standing near the speeder bikes squeaked at the show of anger they had just witnessed.
“Quaestor, the bike and provisions you requested are ready,” the youngling nervously said.
“Thank you, please clean up that pad and dispose of it. Also do not act so afraid, anger is a part of life. It is only when it rules you, that there is a problem,” he replied back.
Mounting the bike, he also donned a full faced helmet. The helmet gave real time updates to the orbital engagement, as well as any information on the ground. Prior to his outburst in the bay he had received a communication from A’lora stating that he was to be deployed to the region of the Iota Facility. Intelligence had came in that the O’reen forces were assaulting the facility. The major concern was that Iota housed the majority of Odan-Urr’s experiments lead by former ProConsul, and O’reen experiment, Echo-1.
As he sped towards the facility, the continuing intel reported that he was to be paired with Arcia Cortel to help scout and potentially dismantle any forces present in the region. While not overjoyed at pairing with any Arconan, the help would be appreciated. Though instead of arguing over the ideals of the Light Side and their pacifism he was afraid the pairing would be like pairing with a maniac.
Outskirts of Iota Facility
As he approached the facility his locator pinged that he was just outside of their ground based sensors. Stopping the bike he hopped off removing his helmet. The air had the odd mixture of a copper and burned oxygen smell. Just like that of a battlefield. Removing a pair of binoculars from the hatch on the side of the speeder he raised them to his eyes staring down the plains where he saw the burning fortifications of the Facility. It looked as though the small contingent of KUDF soldiers and Echo-1 had held off the O’reenians from entering the underground portion of the facility. However the defenders had nowhere to go but down.
The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end as he felt the Force presence of another quickly approaching. His assistance had arrived. Time to see if he would have an enemy at his back as well as his front.
The being that exited the ship was not what Seraphol had imagined. Even though he had practiced in the ranks of the Dark Side for many years he still imagined most as monsters, or at the least like Trandosians. This one was a woman approaching mid life, she walked with the air of Imperial Admiralty, something he was accustomed to as well. Her robes looked as though they followed the same design as an Imperial Uniform. Her Force presence reminded him of a calm before the storm. Quiet, calculating, and either ready to avoid a fight, or to unleash hell.
“You must be my Odan-Urr contact, Seraphol. Otherwise, you are about to have a very bad day,” she said plainly.
“No its me, you must be Arcia?” he replied, with a curt nod in return.
“Ive been looking at the current situation. They’ve breached the outer wall, but it seems that our friendly forces have reinforced their position just outside the lift into the underground portion. They’ve only breached one small portion of the wall and their command center is outside where they landed their forces.” Seraphol handed her the binoculars, and she nodded as he explained.
“How are you outside of combat?” she asked.
“I’m a decent enough tactician, and I’m one of the best practitioners of Battle Meditation in the Clan. What are you thinking?”
For a stretch of time she was quiet. “How do you want to take their Command Center?”
“Pincer movement, take out the guards quickly and quiet. When we get to their leadership we ensure they cannot reply back to any queries by their units. Between the two of us, I figure we can be stealthy enough.”
“Good plan, afterwards I say we capitalize on the troops fear of what is happening along with silence from their leadership. If your Battle Meditation is as good as you say, we both can cause a panic to run through them before we launch an assault from behind.” she said throwing the binocs back at Seraph.
“Lets get moving.”
With narrowed eyes, Cortel allowed Seraphol to lead the way down towards the breached wall and followed close. She was not an advanced fighter on her own, but she could support others with ease as long as she wasn’t overwhelmed. The terrain quickly became second nature to her as they passed over rocks and various other flora when the command center came into view once more. Several guards were standing closer to the breach while two others with command insignia stood towards the back, reviewing various datapads and holomaps.
“You get the left, I’ll take the right,” Seraphol stated as he slid closer and closer to his prey.
Before she could respond, Arcia was forced to follow suit and grab the sharpest rock she could find on the way towards her mark. Her past training in stealth kills had fallen from her second nature long ago, but she could surely still sneak up on someone and stab them in the throat.
And it was that easy.
Clasping her hand over the man’s mouth and nose and drawing the makeshift weapon across his throat resounded in nothing more than a wet splatter as blood gushed from his wound. Cortel pushed the man’s head forward to prevent any blood gurgles and glanced to her right to see Seraphol already recovering from his attack; he was obviously better at this than she.
“Move up,” Seraphol whispered as he snuck up towards the wall, still out of sight from the standing guards.
Arcia brought a finger to her lips as she focused on the guards before her and her comrade. Slowly she began twisting thoughts into their minds that they were needed further into the fray. The distraction and fatigue of the fight was used to her advantage and allowed easy infiltration into their minds, causing them to quickly run away from Arcia and Seraphol, giving them perfect time to collect their thoughts.
“Alright, how many are we up against?” Arica asked, taking a deep breath from the energies she just expended.
“Approximately thirty. Small enough force for us to knock out, eh?”
Cortel simply stared at the man.
“What? You Arconans use lightsabers, don’t you?” Seraphol laughed at his own joke.
Arcia did not.
“Fine, fine. I believe we can do something to demoralize them. By now I’m sure they’ve started wondering why they haven’t received orders. Let’s use that to our advantage.”
After a minutes thought, Arcia smiled inwardly. “Just how good are you with your Battle Meditation?”
Mere minutes later, Arcia and Serephol both sat upon their knees, deep in concentration. They allowed their full consciousness to blend in with each others before travelling the battlefield, picking out each of their enemies. Seraphol was right; there were thirty-two soldiers including the two sent in on a wild chase. It took only seconds for the combined Force of the two to hook into the soldier’s minds and as if they were a single entity, Arcia and Seraphol began sending emotions, thoughts and fears into the soldiers laid out before them.
It created chaos.
The opposition quickly began losing their composure, forgetting their formations and tripping over themselves when Arcia prepped herself. “Get ready, Odanite.”
Cortel took the deepest of breaths and braced herself as she took all thirty-two within her own tendrils of the Force, freeing the better warrior from his burden. The psychological weight of the additional minds crashed into Arcia, causing her to nearly lose control, but she remained calm and cool as her eyes flared open, cybernetics adjusting to focus.
In but an instant, Seraphol shot to his feet, green blade active, and threw himself into the battlefield where the majority of the opposition edged together. His bladework was an artform as he sliced from one soldier to another with powerful strokes. Arcia grit her teeth as she pushed the last bit of her will into the remaining forces, causing them to physically stumbled backwards as she severed the connection, ignited her own emerald blade, and joined Seraphol on the battlefield.
It was unnatural for a Jedi to wade into combat with such ease. Bringing death and destruction to another being had always been second nature to Seraphol. No matter the training he received from the Jedi he relished the adrenaline, the smells, and the sights. Quickly sidestepping a O’reen knife thrust he returned an elbow to the beings face shattering his nose while a quick flick of the wrist caused his lightsaber to end the man’s life.
At the size of a large platoon, 30 trained soldiers should have been a challenge for the Sentinel and Obelisk. However their use of Battle Meditation adding to the fear and panic at the loss of Command made the job as simple as dealing with a few Droids. Fear made them predictable. However the enemy showed no mercy, and asked for none. Fighting to the last man who went down in a hail of blaster fire from the entrenched KUDF forces.
“Identify yourselves,” came a voice from the back of the group near the shadows of the turbolift.
“Its Seraphol and an….ally, Echo.”
“Men, lower your weapons,” stepping from the shadows he asked. “You say an ally, why is it that this woman is Arconan?”
“We were paired by the High Summit to assist you in reclaiming this facility. They know the importance of this facility to the O’reen mercenaries.”
Jumping at an unexpected explosive sonic boom he turned to Arcia. “We need to let our commands know that the facility is secure. Also let them know that there are possibly more ships inbound or survivor pods from ships in the area.” Turning back to Echo-1 “Your men may need to reinforce and rebuild what you can. I will get Fort Pernicar to bring in reinforcements and supplies for you.”
As Seraphol turned to walk away he overheard a snippet of conversation from Arcia and Arcona command. “…will return at dusk”.