- Nausinikos ‘Ji’ Urr #9709
- Xirini Kurai #6377
- Celevon Edraven #12004
- Seridan Brehevik #13767
- Lu`aisha Gresee #13090
- K’tana #13419
- Rrogon Skar #13468
- Aaleeshah #13998
- Spyros #14210
Xirini lounged about against a nearby tree. Seridan and Aisha stood nearby talking quietly to each other; it was clear that they were waiting for something. The two made occasional glances at the Cathar, slightly worried about the bounty hunter that A’lora had paid to help them. A large brimmed hat perched on the Peacekeeper’s head hung at a rakish angle, obscuring most of her face. She chewed quietly on a piece of grass, something she found a deal of comfort in since she had arrived on the backwater planet she was on currently.
Celevon led his little group toward the rendezvous point. He was flanked by a Twi’lek and a Kaleesh, with another Twi’lek trailing behind a few paces. They stalked across the terrain with a sort of predatory gait, intent on reaching their destination with as much haste as possible.
Most of the party looked bemused if not completely at ease about the situation. Skar, however, looked ready to spit nails. “Edraven, what are we doing here with this filth?”
Celevon sighed inwardly. “We are here because we were ordered to be here. You could have stayed home if it bothers you so much.”
Skar snorted derisively. “Like I would stay away from the chance to put these people in their proper place.”
“We’re here to form an alliance with these people by assisting in this fight, not to kill indiscriminately,” the Prelate’s voice shifted to a glacial tone. “Should you disobey these orders, I will have no choice but to… eliminate you.”
“As if you could,” the Kaleesh sneered, crossing his arms across his chest.
Celevon spun in place, flicking his wrist as he brought his hand near the throat of Shadow Gate’s Leader. A blade extended from the bracer, glinting in the sunlight. “You seem to forget your own place… the last time we were in this position, I left you in a pool of blood. I didn’t kill you because I saw potential in you. Don’t make me regret that decision.” Another flick of his hand sheathed the blade as the Aedile continued walking.
K’tana and Spyros followed Celevon quickly, leaving Skar to catch up a few moments later.
Without any prior warning, she pushed away from the tree, her voice heavily accented. “They come.”
As if on cues from Xirini, Celevon and his cohorts stepped into view. The Arconans came to a halt several paces away from their “allies”, bemusement evident on their faces. The Odanites glanced at each other for a moment before Seridan stepped forward and extended his hand to the Human.
“Greetings and welcome to New Tython.” the Miraluka said softly.
Celevon laughed lightly, his tone almost mocking. “Back. Welcome back.”
Seridan and Aisha seemed slightly taken aback by the statement for a moment before remembering that Arcona had occupied the planet for a time. The Cathar stood off to the side, her arms crossed beneath her bosom. Two of Celevon’s companions chuckled slightly at his words, knowing that he was simply being himself in a situation that no one had expected. The third stood silently with his arms crossed over his chest, glaring at the Odanites.
Xirini moved to stand beside Seridan, one hand resting on a lightsaber, the other on the grip of a slugthrower. She looked meaningfully at the Kaleesh. “Are we going to have a problem here?”
Celevon followed her gaze and shook his head. “If there is, I’ll deal with it myself.”
The Onderonian purposely ignored the glare from Shadow Gate’s Leader as he grasped Brehevik’s forearm in a warrior’s handshake, catching the grin curving the lips of the violet-skinned Twi’lek as he returned his gaze to the Odanites. “I must admit myself surprised. The last time I ran into a current member of your Clan, he immediately branded me a Darksider based upon my Clan and attacked.”
“Some of us have more restraint than others,” the Miraluka frowned as he released the Obelisk’s arm, trying to not react to the cloud of suspicion that rolled off of his subordinate in waves. “As do those within the Shadow Clan, apparently. It is not often we see a member from Dajorra stopping one of their fellows from attacking us on sight.”
“If this di’kut attacks or otherwise attempts to act against the wishes of our Consul, I have no reason to consider him a comrade any longer,” Celevon shrugged. “Besides, I see an alliance between our Clans as a worthwhile aim.”*
The Bounty Hunter’s eyes widened slightly under the wide brim of her hat, though it was not visible to the others. She gave no other sign of reacting to the familiar language, though the Cathar’s slitted gaze became more focused on the Aedile.
“It seems you are full of surprises for us today.”
“I’ve got a fair few tricks up my sleeve. I wouldn’t want to become predictable,” Celevon smirked. “I’ve been remiss in my manners, however. My name is Celevon Edraven. I’m the Aedile of House Qel-Droma. The lovely lady at my left is K’tana, a skilled Assassin. To my right is my apprentice, Spyros. The rather standoffish Kaleesh over there is Rrogon Skar.” As he introduced each person, the Onderonian gestured with either a hand in their direction or a tilt of his head, the cowl of his winter-cut Pride robes drawn low, leaving everything above his lips in shadow. The only visible weapons on the Human was the hilt of his katana over his shoulder and the hilt of a sheathed dagger on his belt.
The Protector nodded, his simple black tactical outfit of cargo pants, combat boots and fitted shirt making him oddly fit in with the others. The only visible weapon he carried was a blaster pistol, holstered at his thigh. If not for the contrast of the blue eyes with crimson skin and lekku, he looked entirely unremarkable.
The other Twi’lek had the rare shade of purple skin and remarkable emerald eyes. Her Queen robes had the trim of the Krath Order, a gleaming hilt of a small blade on her hip.
The Kaleesh had on a thick set of robes that seemed to be designed for the desert, his white bone-mask showing flecks of dried bloodstains. On his belt hung the hilt of a lightsaber.
Xirini narrowed her eyes, taking in all of their attire and weaponry. In particular, she noted that the aggressive leader of Shadow Gate seemed to be the only one visibly carrying a lightsaber.
“I’m Seridan-” The Miraluka was interrupted almost immediately by the sound of his comlink going off. “Brehevik here.”
“Enemy forces are landing several kliks to the northeast of your position. Your goal is to disrupt their movements however possible.” The communication cut off as soon as it was said.
“It seems we’ve received the call to arms. Pleasant conversation shall have to wait,” the Miraluka needlessly pointed out.
“Let’s get moving,” the Onderonian’s voice had shifted, the warmth leaving his tones as they prepared to set off.
“This is going to be fun,” K’tana chuckled, speaking for the first time since they landed planet-side.
Seridan led the party through the camp, aiming for the eastern gate. He reckoned that was the easiest place to secure some transportation. The tall Miraluka strode along the dirt paths with his long strides, his cloak billowing behind him. His Sergeant, Aisha, flanked him, her facial expression obscured by her tan hood. He could tell, though, that her forced smile had been replaced by a look of grim determination. Their ‘ally’, the bounty hunter Rin, strolled along, keeping up with the others despite appearing to walk with a much slower, relaxed gait. The Cathar’s clothing shimmered brightly in the midday sun, though her face was still in the shadow of her hat. Seridan noted that this ‘Rin’ appeared to be highly skilled and highly experienced, due to the way she held herself, as well as the thin, pale scars that were just visible above her stockings and gloves.
The Arconans walked just behind them, the Prelate, Celevon, leading them forward. The man seemed respectable, almost trustworthy. ‘He would make a reliable ally,’ Seridan thought. The rest of them weren’t far behind him. The Kaleesh looked fearsome as he moved. Rrogon Skar, as he had been named, looked as if he were stalking prey with every movement. His scaled and scarred flesh was intimidating, and his mask designed to give people nightmares. Seridan wasn’t sure of his intentions or his motives, but he was glad to have him on the team. K’tana had the air of an intelligent woman, though sometimes she seemed a bit distant, or distracted. Seridan couldn’t work out exactly how she used that intelligence, and that could make her a liability. She was one he would keep an eye on. The Protector, Spyros, seemed a bit rash, but he seemed like a solid individual who could be relied upon.
The camp itself was a product of efficiency and speed. It was a near perfect square, with a number of main roads dissecting it evenly, so that it looked like a cross. Smaller roads came off of these main roads like tributaries. The resultant pattern was a regular grid, perhaps accentuating the accuracy and precision of the Mon Cal engineers who designed it. The design was very methodical, perhaps too precise for Seridan’s liking. The compound had four gates, where everything came in and out. These gates were located, predictably, at the compass points of North, South, East, and West. The soldiers, with their copious sense of humour, had taken to calling them War, Pestilence, Famine, and Death, namesakes of the old Harakoan legends. Seridan noted dryly that they were heading towards the War gate, and also to war. He may have grinned at the coincidence, but he made a point of never enjoying the countdown to battle. It was a time of preparation, of cold readiness.
As they neared the gate, Seridan altered the frequency of his comlink, and radioed ahead. “War gate, this is Scout Brehevik. We need 7 speeder bikes ready for departure in the next minute. Over.”
A second later, the reply came through, “Brehevik, we read you. We expect your arrival imminently.”
Celevon strode forward, catching up to the Miralukan, “Just wondering: what do we know of the enemy? How many of them, how they’re arranged and all that,” he inquired.
Rin’s head lifted, as if smelling the opportunity arise. She piped up, speaking in her heavy accent, “I could tell you a few things, for a few more credits.”
After a glance at Aisha, Seridan nodded, “You’ll get the money later. What do you know?”
Rin straightened slightly, as if attracted to the idea of higher wages. “The O’reenians are smart,“ she purred, “If they’ve landed, they plan on taking out major strategic points quickly and efficiently. Depending on their numbers, they could be elite commandos or heavy infantry. Odds are they’ve sent both.”
Celevon digested this information, before rephrasing his question. “But what do we know about the enemy force that we’re facing? We know some of their tactics, but we have nothing specific to our situation to begin planning for our strategy.”
Seridan radioed command, addressing these issues. A few tenuous minutes passed before a short, yet grave message was sent to his datapad by his Proconsul.
“Seridan, we know little more than you. A number of small shuttles landed a while ago, unloading troops. There could be anywhere from 10 to 1000 enemies out there. We can’t give much more info. Our manpower is spent on the O’reenian Fleet. We are suffering major losses, and the outcome doesn’t look good. Good luck on your mission. Vorsa out.”
Thoughts of the newfound alliance and the resultant political tension no longer dominated the minds of the party. They were getting ready to face a foe they knew almost nothing about.
“We’re going to have to scout them out ourselves.” Aisha said, gritting her teeth.
Spyros nodded, his lips curled in a smirk, “Well, this is fracking wonderful.”
A large group of people stood near the war gate patiently awaiting their speeders. Aaleeshah studied them for a moment, deciding on her next course of action. She approached the group almost timidly, her eyes gauging the different members of the group. The Togruta stepped next to the Bounty Hunter, her voice timid, almost fearful. “Excuse me. I would like to ask if I can help you?”
Xirini blinked and lifted her head enough to look at the other woman from underneath the brim of her hat. “It does not bother me at all. Long as I do not have to pay you anyway.”
Aaleeshah shook her head quickly, her lekku twitching nervously. “No, but I think I might be able to help.”
The Cathar barked a quick laugh and shrugged. “It cannot hurt. Seridan, get her a speeder.”
The Miraluka sighed and shook his head. He gestured to another soldier at the gate. “And here I thought I was in charge. Get it done.”
The soldier snapped to attention for a moment and then rushed off to locate another bike. The gathered Alliance members wait impatiently for their rides to arrive, watching each other with caution. A few moments later seven speeders arrived and they all mounted their bikes.
The seven of them mounted the speeders and opened the throttles up, speeding away from the encampment.
O’neeian Staging Area
A few hours later, the team came to a slow halt at the edge of a clearing and dismounted. Xirini stepped in front of the group and looked at the staging grounds for the invading force. Seridan and Aisha came to stand on either side of the Cathar, their faces seeming concerned. The Arconans and Aaleeshah stood just behind the trio as Seridan cleared his throat.
“What do we looking at, Xirini?” the Miralukan asked softly.
The Peacekeeper shrugged slightly and grinned. “I suppose we are looking at an invading force, Seridan. I would estimate that most of their force will be there with scouts out making sure that no one unwanted approaches the camp.”
Aisha gave Xirini a look of long suffering and Seridan sighed softly before speaking. “Funny. Anything useful?”
Rin smiled lightly and shook her head. “From this distance I cannot make out any discernable details. We will have to get much closer and by that point the scouts will have spotted us. It is a really good place to put themselves. Hard to sneak up in the middle of a grassland.”
The group of Jedi and Dark Jedi stood quietly looking out across the clearing in thought as to how they should proceed with their mission. Xirini cleared her throat and pulled her slugthrowers checked each of them in turn. “Well, I suppose it would be time to see what we can get done. Yes?”
The others took on looks of grim determination as they all began doing the same. Xirini glanced at her companions and smiled. “I guess it is time to get this party started.”
O’reeian Staging Area
“Indeed it is,” Aaleeshah whispered softly.
She turned her deep purple gaze out towards the enemy encampment. The large camp stood out amongst the short green grass, disturbing the natural beauty of the area. Large metal walls formed a border around the site, leaving only three openings at the front and sides which are covered by metal barricades. The tops of five MT dropships, once full with troops and supplies but now empty, form a crescent around the back of the encampment. About a dozen orange skinned, well toned scouts trampled the grass around the guarded structure protecting the uniformed 1,000 units within the metal entrenchment. Their pitch black eyes peered out into the distance for any danger that might lurk in grassland. She turned her gaze away from the encampment, drawing in a deep breath of air, letting it fill her lungs fully before slowly expelling it from her body along with the slight nervousness she was housing. She took the hilt of her lightsaber from her robes and held it firmly in her hand. This would be the first time she had ever been to war. She was no stranger to death and had sent many to their demise in her life but nothing like this.She could feel the nervousness rising again within her as she stepped forward towards the trio, her eyes falling on Seridan first before darting to Aisha and then finally resting on Xirini.
The Togruta cleared her throat as she asked Xirini, “So how are we doing this guys? Are we just rushing in, are we going to be strategic about this, splitting up or staying together?”
After Rin was done with checking her slugthrowers, she shrugged and looked at Seridan,
“Don’t ask me, I’m only paid to shoot things.” She gestured towards the Miralukan, “ He’s the one running things.”
Aaleeshah turned her gaze to Seridan as she began to restate her question only to be interrupted abruptly by K’tana. The Twi’lek chimed in aggressively, “I say we go in and take them out. I’m tired of waiting.”
K’tana looked back at her fellow Arconians seeking approval. The Kaleesh nodded in agreement.
Celevon held up his hand. “Wait. We’re not going to rush into things without a plan. That would be suicide.” He stepped forward, joining Seridan, Aisha and Rin. “I say we try and take out the scouts first. With any luck we can take them out before they alert the rest of the encampment.”
Seridan nodded in agreement, “ Yes, but what do we do once the scouts are down?”
Celevon turned his head slightly towards the enemy site, searching for any weakness that would allow them to sneak in undetected. He noticed that the side gates were understaffed compared to the front gate. His lips turned into a slight smirk as thought began to form in his mind, “I suggest we hit the side gates taking out the scouts quickly as we go. K’tana, Skar and Spyros we’re attacking the eastern gate. Seridan you, Aisha, Aaleeshah and Xirini will take the western gate.”
O’reenian Staging Area
Aisha looked up, her eyes squinting suspiciously. Whilst it was an fairly imperceptible action, Seridan still caught the motion. He caught her eye, and raised a questioning eyebrow. She nodded her head to one side, before moving away from the group. Celevon, the seemingly-elected Arconan leader, had noticed Aisha’s movement, and looked to Seridan for an explanation. The Miralukan bowed his head, before following his Sergeant. As he went, he tried not to notice the smirk lining Rin’s lips.
Aisha glanced over his shoulder, at the group. Her doubt was fairly evident - after all, half of them were Arconans, and one of the others was a bounty hunter who was only in it for the money. Aaleeshah seemed to be the only one that was proven to be trustworthy.
Seridan cleared his throat gently, “So, Aisha, what is it?”
She flicked her eyes back to Seridan, “It doesn’t seem right. I mean, we’ll need their help to take the O’reenians on, but splitting up? Celevon’s plan splits us down the middle, into Arcona and Odan-Urr. We would have to trust them to follow the same plan as us. I don’t trust them enough for that.”
Seridan nodded slowly, turning Aisha’s words over in his mind. “Right. So you still want us to split up, but mixing the clans up at the same time? There probably isn’t much harm in it. Let’s go see if they agree.”
Seridan and Aisha returned to the group. Aaleeshah was absent-mindedly fiddling with her lightsaber, eyes moving from Rin to Celevon, then to the enemy encampment. The Arconans were chatting amongst themselves. Rin was standing still, one hand on a slugthrower and the other pulling her hat lower over her face. As the two approached, they all turned and looked at them expectantly. Seridan wasn’t sure how to propose the changes. It would likely start a row or a debate on the alliance, which they really didn’t need. Not to mention that he did have a few suggestions to enhance the plan. Seridan decided that the Arconans seemed like reasonable people, so he decided to just tell them straight.
“Celevon, we like your plan,” Seridan started. “Hitting the side gates will work. However, we are facing a huge number of well-trained soldiers. From what Rin said, they are smart as well. They’ll be sending soldiers who know they’re facing Jedi–”
“–and Dark Jedi.” Spyros chipped in.
“Yeah, whatever. They know their enemies can use lightsabers and the Force. They’re going to be ready for us. We’ll be outnumbered, without the element of surprise, and maybe even outmatched. When we get through the gates, I reckon we shouldn’t aim to kill everyone we see, but instead try to sabotage their efforts. Eight people can’t beat a thousand men. If they’re as tactically-smart as Rin says they are, I reckon they’ll have all their provisions in the centre of the camp. Once we’re in, I say we can do two things. Option one is that we fight our way to the centre and destroy their stores of food. We’ll probably face quite a bit of opposition, and a lot of fighting. Option two is that we sneak through. We try not to raise the alarm, and try to get to the armory, where all their weapons and explosives are stored. Then our local explosives expert, Aaleeshah, can rig it to blow. Oh, and another thing. It seems like both of your proposed teams have equal numbers, but do both sides have equal proficiencies in combat? I’m not so sure. Also, Aisha has said that she doesn’t trust the Arconans enough to split the group into our respective clans. How about we intermingle the clans, so we can get to know one another?”
Rrogon Skar, the reptilian Kaleesh, suddenly stepped forward, his movements obviously aggressive. Whilst his mask remained the twisted visage of a face, his demeanour was one of anger, and annoyance.
He said with a slightly sinister tone, “You don’t trust us? What makes you think we trust you? Who put you in charge anyway? This alliance was a --”
Seridan got the distinct impression that Skar would’ve continued, but Celevon shot him down with a harsh glare. Seridan abruptly got the impression that he didn’t want to be on the wrong end of those cold, silver eyes.
Celevon turned his gaze back toward Seridan. “So, from all the modifications you’ve proposed, you don’t really like my plan at all, do you?” A slight smile creeping onto his lips. “You’re smart, Seridan. I’ll give you that. And you speak well, too. But you are not very subtle at all. I like the sound of Option two, by the way, but it’s not my decision to make. How about a team vote?”
The entertainment factor of the tense reaction between her Housemates and the Jedi had worn off and K’tana was growing bored. She was still and silent as her superior and the strangers talked amongst themselves, but her insides were itching for some kind of action. As her mind picked apart pieces of the conversation between the Aedile and the talkative blind Jedi, she slowly began taking in the people around her.
Having had a bad experience with a few Cathar’s during mission, K’tana immediately disliked and disregarded the Bounty Hunter. A kitty with a gun was of no concern to her. The Twi’leks emerald eyes wandered over to the Rutian Twi’lek of her group. She’d never met him before, but as he was an Apprentice of Celevon, she inwardly mocked the length of his lekku before letting the next being captured her interest.
The robed Human woman cast around a few broody looks when she thought no one was looking and that immediately caused K’tana to shift her gaze. As the former Arconan Consul had proven to her, broody was boring.
That was when the blue skinned woman fully caught the Twi’lek’s attention. The Togruta was an interesting mystery to K’tana. A lovely older woman, an explosives expert and a Jedi. Very interesting indeed. An idea popped into the Priestesses mind on how to make things a bit more interesting for herself.
K’tana stood between Skar and Cel. Her eyes were locked on her target as a smirk played on her lips. Having never before seen a Togruta, the Twi’lek paid no attention to any sort of etiquette. When Aaleesha looked over, the Krath shamelessly licked her lips and winked. Without waiting for a reaction from the other woman, she turned her head towards Celevon gave him a wink and poked her tongue from the corner of her mouth. She let out a lilting giggle as she then locked her bright green eyes on Seridan’s blindfolded face.
“As much as I love this whole bossy thing ya’got goin on…You talk too karking much,” she purred as the grin slipped from her lips and was replaced by a small smirk and raised brow. Her body swayed as she strutted towards the Miraluka. She ignored the tense looks she received from the other members, of both sides, but K’tana’s empty hands moved over her lekku in a very obvious but unthreatening manner before she placed a hand against the youthful man’s chest.
“I’ll still let you pick me for your team, but only if you bring the other lovely creature with headtails.” Her head motioned over at Aaleeshah, making sure to make eye contact with the woman before turning back to Seridan. She rolled up onto the toe of her heeled boot and leaned towards the man’s ear. “We may even let you touch our lekku.”
“Okay, K’tana calm down!” Celevon walked up behind the woman, grabbed her under the arms and dragged her backwards before she attempted to lick the Jedi’s cheek or something drastic.
She groaned and went limp in the Aedile’s arms, causing her heels to make a trail in the dirt.
“Awww! Cel!” she whined, her head tilted back as she looked up to see if he was scowling or trying not to smirk. “C’mon. I’m bored. Lets just go kill stuff already! Who gives a kark if we don’t trust each other? That’s what makes it fun!”
As Cel pushed her back to her feet she partially whispered to him, giving a sharp glance towards the Cathar woman. “Just don’t put me with the feline. You know I have allergies.”
Skar let out a stifled chuckle before choking it off and K’tana gave him a lopsided grin before recomposing herself and blowing a quick kiss at the Togruta, whom K’tana chose to believe had a deep blush spreading over her blue cheeks.
“So,” she said, seductively stretching her arms above her head and flipping her lekku back to lay her hands on the back of her neck, “the question really should be, who wants to team on me?”
“With.” Spyros randomly corrected, giving the female Twi’lek a weird look. She straightened her back, tilted her head and scowled at the male.
“Uh yeah. That’s what I meant,” she smiled but spoke in a cold and condescending manner before giving a quick wink to Aaleeshah. The Twi’lek assassin giggled like a girl when the older woman’s eyes went wide.
“Pardon? A team vote?” Aisha, the Tythonian female Jedi, restated in a questioning and disparaging tone, soon followed with a slight chuckle. The Arconans should know about this before everything went messy. “Not trying to disrespect you, Sir, but currently we are at the war zone, our war zone, and my war zone since it’s also my homeland. We aren’t at a diplomatic table to prevent the war anymore; we’re at war. In this team, I believe, there could be only one leader to make the decisions and must be followed by the rest of the team. He is Seridan Brehevik, the leader of DoB, the representative of Odan-Urr Summit.”
A moment of silence emerged, quiet enough for the assembly to get the message. They were looking at one another, before finally Seridan broke the quietness.
“I think Celevon was trying to be polite, Gresee,” Seridan said.
“Entering the warzone without a rightful plan or plans is suicide, especially when we’re not in an actual legitimate alliance. We don’t know what your true motives are, and we’re also outnumbered here. Thus, no matter how skilled we are and–” Aisha emphasized.
“I‘ve said that,” Celevon broke off.
Seridan waved at Celevon, signaling him to give the Miraluka a moment with Aisha, “The Arconans came here because the Summit has called them. It’s enough for a motive. What else do you have in mind?”
Aisha nodded. Seridan had called her using her last name, twice. That would mean the Miraluka wanted formality.
“My apology, Chief,“ Aisha continued, ”Alright, I’ll set aside this nature of doubt.” The Tythonian Jedi took a deep breath before explaining her thought, ”So…apparently the O’reenians knew more about us than we knew about them, therefore they could pass the space barrier and land here, setting their camp. However, we aren’t foolish. We should get more info about them. Nodes are all active.”
“Nodes?’ the Arconans said in unison.
“The extension of Sentinel Network, net points, are also active. In this area, the O’reenians have built two camps. One is here and the other is in a distance of…,”Aisha brought out her datapad from her sleeves and began reading it with aloud,“300 miles southwest. I still have no information regarding how long they have had their camps there, or why; maybe due to my clearance level.”
“Which node have you been contacting?” Seridan asked.
“C171,” Aisha answered and reluctantly added, “Actually he contacted me when I was searching the nearby nodes. I think he is on a clandestine mission as well. My apology Chief, as you are also the Commander of SeN, I should have told you about this before.”
“I can deal with that insurgency act, later. I actually forgot about the nodes. Now, what else did you get, Sergeant?” Seridan said in a formal tone.
“Regarding that encampment, I’d like to propose three missions in one coordinated attack. First : capture their leader in the encampment. Second: destroy the camp from within, destroying their communication connection, logistic and armament support and third…Leaving no trails, we can set explosives on their barracks, “Aisha explained.
“I love explosives,” Xirini smirked.
“So do I,” Aaleeshah added.
“Here’s the map of the camp, still in progress,” Aisha enhanced the map view on her datapad and made it as a holographic view, “Even though the space station and satellites were ruined, but fortunately still able to give valuable information.”
The members of the team circled to see the newest information presented. After searching some necessary information, Seridan finally concluded, “It’s getting dark here and it’s to our benefit. We will split into three teams here. First mission, capture the leader or leaders, which presumably located in the northern center of the camp. Celevon, Spyros and Gresee, you are in this team.”
“I am with the Arconans?” Aisha asked, stunned with her leader’s decision but seeing Seridan’s firm face she quickly accepted the task. “Yes, Chief. Consider the mission done.”
As the rest of the team were talking amongst themselves, deciding who was going with who and what gate they would be attacking, Rrogon was holding the datapad and studied the holographic closely as his father had once taught him. To do before a raid ‘Information is everything, my son, if you do not know what waits for you then you’re already halfway into an early grave.’
The young Kaleesh mused on this while his eyes traced over the towers and gun emplacements that dotted the walls in regular intervals and then his eyes moved to the vehicle depot were several artillery pieces and tanks were seated for the time being. “Not for long if we just go in guns blazing we will get slaughtered.” he muttered to himself.
“Got something more to add Rrogon?” Celevon called from nearby
Skar looked up to find that everyone had turned and was now staring at him, letting out a small sigh his voice came out cold and terse, “Yes, I do. This plan is going to get us all killed there is no way we are going to get into this base without all of us dying or getting captured and used for leverage against both of our clans.”
Silence fell upon the group as they stared at him. It was the Cathar who spoke up first. “Well, you got a better plan then, kid?”
Rage ignited inside of him at the woman’s condescending tone . Yes he was young, probably the youngest on the team but that doesn’t make him any less capable then the next person. A low growl escaped his lips as he stared the bounty hunter down.
“Yes I do…. A camp like this is a least a thousand strong with plenty of time to dig in themselves, got gun nests, sniper towers and plenty of armour to back them up and they probably set a decent minefield around their camp as well so attacking is suicide period.”
His eyes went back to the holographic camp again. “But, there is a way to even the playing field for us.”
“How?" asked Spyros.
“Hit and run attacks against their patrols, we use the terrain against them. Given enough time we can slowly bleed their base of both men and supplies without much risk to ourselves. We just need to set our camp close enough to hit the base and their patrols but far enough to remain hidden so we can keep doing that.”
The former gladiator looked back at the combined team. “If we can keep them contained and harass them enough they will start to get bolder with their efforts to find us, meaning more men and wasted gear that they will lose in every attempt to do so and that’s how we win this fight.”
Skar shut off the data pad and threw it back to its owner with just a little more force than was necessary. “This is going to be a battle of attrition… so any questions?”
The Togruta shifted her weight to her right leg aligning her torso with it, her left leg slightly bent stuck out in front her. She crossed her arms across her midsection, each hand gently resting in the creases of her bent arms, ”Hey, you’ll get no complaints from me. This is more of my style anyways.”
She looked at her fellow clan mates who stood in front of her, “So what do you guys think?”
The Tythonian female at this point seemed to be fuming, “Have you guys not been listening to me? I just said that we should follow Seridan. He is our leader, not some Arconian.”
Aisha turned towards the group of Arconians, her eyes were like daggers and her face was twisted with contempt, “I will only agree to this plan if my Chief does.”
Aisha’s words caused a stir within the Arconian group. The Kaleesh’s patience was starting to wear thin. He took a step towards the female Jedi, his clawed hand now clenched into a fist. “Watch it lady! Remember you guys called us. You NEED us, not the other way around. You can’t even defend your own homeland. PATHETIC!"
Celevon shot a cold look to the Kaleesh, “Calm yourself, Skar, or I will.” The human male straightened his posture emphasizing his massive size.
The Kaleesh took a step back and regained his composure, “How much more disrespect must we endure. Surely this is not what the Consul wanted.”
K’tana leaned against Celevon, playfully looking up at him, “Ah Cel! Don’t get mad at Skar. I say we let the broody female Jedi and her beloved Chief go off and get themselves killed. It might be somewhat entertaining to watch.”
Celevon let out a shallow sigh, “No, we will help them as our Consul has requested.” He turned his gaze towards Aisha, “And for the interest of this mission, let’s put aside our differences and work together.” He turned his attention back to the Kaleesh, “I do like your plan as well Skar. As Aaleeshah stated earlier this is along my style.”
Xirini had been watching the antics of the group. She casted her golden feline eyes upon Aisha and then Seridan before letting out a slight chuckle, “We’ll aren’t you two cute”, Xirini said in a mocking tone.
The Cathar stretched out her arms, as if yawning, and then dropped them slowly behind her head, “I’m not paid enough to care about this.”
The Miralukan turned towards Aisha, “I agree with Celevon. We must work together. We will give Skar’s plan a try.” Seridan looked around the group, “Any objections?”
He was answered by low mumbles from the group, followed by a collection of staggering answers of no.
“Good, let’s set up camp now.” Seridan said.
The group gathered their things and got back on their speeders, moving away from the encampment. The gathered Jedi, light and dark alike, returned to their camp and settled in for a quiet, tense meal. They ate mostly in silence, the only exceptions being the light conversations had between pairs of people.
Seridan paced the silent grassland, relishing the stillness. There was a slow breeze, gently rustling his dark robes. They were blessed with a clear sky - there wasn’t a cloud in sight - and the stars littered his vision. The ragtag group of Dark, Grey, and Light Jedi had been forbidden by Celevon to use lanterns or any form of lighting, else they be seen. Even so, the Miraluka found that starlight was bright enough to navigate the small camp as he took a walk to clarify his thoughts.
Despite Aisha’s confidence in him as their leader, Seridan really didn’t like leading. Given the choice, Seridan would have taken off, alone, into the night and performed his tasks alone. He sometimes had a hard time trusting other people with important tasks, so he generally tried to do everything himself. It was a punishing mindset, but it had its rewards. It gave an incredible sense of self-confidence - one that was often self-contained, and wasn’t boastful. It also gave him skills he would never have gained otherwise. However, it did have its limitations. Sometimes the pressure would become too much, or he wouldn’t be able to do something important, and he would let someone down.
Leading this team was something he didn’t really want. And yet, despite there being more skilled and experienced people in the group, like Xirini or Celevon, he had been chosen. He knew how it had happened - Aisha saw him as Chief, Xirini was only in it for the money, and the Arconans weren’t trusted by everyone. That wasn’t to say, of course, that Seridan was trusted. There were… things in his past that would make even Aisha doubt his character.
As he passed the last makeshift tent and ventured into the taller grass, he attempted to dispel his darker memories. The grass made a soft, rasping noise as Seridan moved through it. For the first time in what seemed like an age, he felt free. He felt like a shadow, gracefully edging forward, unseen and hidden. Only the stars – stoic and resolute in the sky above – saw him. He felt his hair shift slightly as the breeze momentarily blustered. His blindfold twisted slightly, brushing the bridge of his nose gently.
I shouldn’t be this calm, Seridan thought, I have hardly had a break in 48 hours.
He thought on the first crucial battle on-board Sanctuary. He’d almost had a crisis, realising the terrible repercussions of his actions. He had frozen while men fought and died around him. He had killed many and wrecked the lives of more. He had – mid-battle – contemplated whether he had done wrong and needed punishment for his actions. His own inaction then had probably caused more deaths. After that first battle on Sanctuary, he had been extremely solemn and morose. And yet, now, mere hours later, he reflected and saw the positives. It showed that Seridan wasn’t an emotionless psycho-killer. He was capable of having a conscience, and that was very reassuring. It was something that had been missing for far too long. His mind once again started questioning whether he was fit to lead such a pivotal group. Was he stable? Seridan no longer knew. Was he trustworthy? He hadn’t let any Jedi down before. But it was only a matter of time.
This small group of force-wielders – and Xirini – could pave a foundation for years to come. The work done here – the bridges built, the connections created – could tie the Shadow Clan and the Clan of Light together in an alliance that could simultaneously save and bolster both Clans.
Seridan, catching himself getting caught up with idealism, sighed.
Where did my skeptisicm go? He wistfully wondered, When did I become a romanticist? I must have spent too much time with the Summit.
Shaking his head, he turned his attention to his surroundings. Grass stretched out in front of him in all directions. The large majority of it was flat, though every now and then a knoll would rise. Above him, millions of pinprick stars shone with exactly the amount of light to illuminate the area just enough to see. The only smell was that of slightly damp soil, and grass. The only sounds was his deep breathing, and the soft rustle as he moved.
Seridan’s brows suddenly pressed together in concentration.
No… There is another sound, almost too soft to hear…
It was hard to hear, but it was definitely there. A low rumble, almost like an engine…
Seridan tensed, urging his legs to run. Finally getting the hint, his legs started pumping towards the camp. He had to warn them. They were coming. The O’reenians were coming. It wasn’t like he could shout a warning, or blow a war-horn. For all he knew, it was just a passing scout. But they had to be ready if it was something more.
He made it to the outskirts of the camp, shaking the closest tent. A somewhat drowsy mumble came from inside. A few moments later, a Cathar head appeared. Seridan was momentarily confused – usually hidden under a hat, the ruffled fur on Rin’s head seemed odd. Her expression was initially one of anger, but it soon changed to the cool aloofness that encapsulated Xirini’s persona.
“What’s wrong?” she purred softly.
“They’re here,” he replied, his voice grave.
“Then stop crouching there and get everyone els–”
Xirini’s off-hand comment never was completed. The stillness of the night was cruelly interrupted. A blaring siren was blasted, a blinding light illuminating the camp. Seridan fell back, temporarily blinded and deafened. Despite his disorientation, he stood and reached out in the Force to find his foes. He summoned his lightsaber, practised hands igniting his blade. Around him, his allies were getting to their feet, all wearing steely expressions (except for Skar, who still wore that nightmarish mask). Strangely enough, Skar seemed to be one of the only ones not affected by the bright light.
Seridan, in the moment’s respite that he had, tried to bury his disdain.
Ambush, he thought, it always is the coward’s tactic.
They didn’t know the size of this enemy force, but the ARCCOUans weren’t going to go down without a fight. As his eyesight adjusted and his ears started registering noise again, he heard the war-cries of men. With a glance to his friends, new and old, he gritted his teeth and leapt forward to meet his foe.
Abruptly awakened by the spotlight upon their temporary camp, Celevon’s hand clenched around the hilt of his katana by instinct as he shot to his feet. Halfway through drawing the blade, the Onderonian’s waking mind caught up with the situation. Blinking away the spots, he returned the blade into its locked position and quickly wove Force energy around himself, vanishing from sight.
Not a moment later, the Aedile spotted the violet-hued Twi’lek vanishing from visible sight as well. A tingling crossed his mind as the female passed a series of questions to him through a temporary Force connection. Frowning as he split his concentration, Celevon called on the Force to respond.
‘Flank them. Cause chaos amongst their ranks. Inspire fear in the way I taught you,’ the Obelisk replied in an efficient manner.
He felt her gleeful reaction and wide grin as though they were his own before her presence dissipated from his mind. Not wasting anymore time, the Onderonian moved from their camp and made his way towards the right flank of the O’reenian forces.
Along the way, he spotted his Apprentice and the Cathar Bounty Hunter firing indiscriminately into the enemy ranks, taking cover where necessary. Judging by the bright beams that twirled and slashed much closer to the invaders, Celevon could only assume that the others of their group were in the thick of things.
As he continued moving towards his target location, the Prelate could only shake his head in disbelief. The O’reenian military was…
I can see how their tactics are efficient if the element of surprise is on their side. Once that’s gone, however… They’re standing rank and file, firing in volleys out in the open.
This was hardly a problem. It suited his plans perfectly, actually.
The cloak of Force energy dissipated as Celevon ran and leapt into the fray, using the forward momentum as he grasped the chin of one of the orange-skinned soldiers and spun around him. A forearm was on the back of the first target’s neck as he forcefully turned the soldier’s head at an unnatural angle, the harsh crack of bone and cartilage snapping quiet beneath the fire of numerous blasters.
The Onderonian released the body and continued moving, his mercurial eyes gleaming in the darkness as he quickly dispatched his next victim with a flick of his wrist. The blade extended through the soft tissue under the soldier’s jaw, piercing up into the brain. Celevon ripped the blade free as the soldier next to him began to turn, finger depressing the trigger of the rifle as it came to bear on the Aedile.
A snapped kick redirected the blast into the back of one of the O’reenian’s comrades, the beam searing through flesh with ease. This alerted the other invaders to the Prelate’s presence.
A wide swing of Celevon’s arm flayed open the side of that particular soldier’s neck with a spray of viscous liquid.
A flick of his left wrist released the second hidden blade from his bracer as he pivoted, stepping between two enemy soldiers and thrust both arms outward. Both blades pierced where their lower jaws connected with the rest of the skull, bisecting the brain stem from vertebrae. Their bodies dropped, arterial blood spraying from the open lacerations where the weapons had been.
Celevon felt the warm liquid coating his hands and sleeves. Rather than ignore it, he jerked his arm in the direction of the eyes turning towards him. Crimson liquid flew from his fingers, momentarily blinding those nearest to him. It also served in a psychological aspect.
Despite their militaristic background, the blood of their friends and family flying towards them, coating them, would unsettle even the most hardened of warriors.
Spotting more barrels turning towards him, the Shadicar grabbed the two blinded soldiers nearest him and pulled them close. Their torsos absorbed the blaster bolts before he shoved the bodies away from his person, his physical strength subconsciously bolstered by the Force for that moment.
Distantly, the Prelate heard the shouts of those nearest him as well as those of others on the other side of the O’reenian forces. Taking advantage of the moment given by the bodies of their comrades crashing into them, Celevon ran forward and leapt at the nearest soldier, locking his arm around the neck. The sound of his neck breaking when they landed was surprisingly audible. Not a moment was wasted as the Assassin rolled into a crouch, spinning as he lashed out, right blade slicing through the muscle of the next soldier’s inner thigh.
This was how he had earned his particular call-sign and nickname amongst the few Shadicar of Arcona.
A specter of death, cutting a bloody path across the battlefield with swift motions.
It also applied to the method of some of the contracts he had carried out. Moving unseen through the masses, lashing out with a blade. By the time the body hit the ground, he had already disappeared into the crowd or outright vanished with the aid of the Force.
A smirk curved the Onderonian’s lips at a surprisingly high-pitched scream from that particular one. He had no time to take note of gender and likely wouldn’t have noticed had he tried. The O’reenian’s seemed to have developed their uniforms with the purpose of concealing gender in mind.
I should probably make sure we have at least one or two alive to… question. The thought randomly fluttered across Celevon’s consciousness, though he paid it no mind. This was no time for distraction; it would only get him killed. He pushed himself to move as quickly as he was physically capable of, blades lashing out in a flurry of activity.
A beastial roar echoed across the grassland, a somewhat familiar sound the Onderonian had only heard once or twice.
Someone had infuriated the Kaleesh to the point that he had let go of all restraint, giving in to his most primal instincts.
This will not end well, Celevon sighed internally.
Two minutes earlier
The young Kaleesh’s eyes slowly moved over the O’reenian ambush force as his mind filtered in their numbers, weapons and positioning. He crouched low, ready to spring into action in a heartbeat, his heart beating faster in anticipation as the tension in the air grew with each passing second.
With a deep war cry, Rrogon charged forward, straight into the oncoming fire from the soon to be dead ambushers. Blaster bolts splashed against the ground around him as he ignited his emerald lightsaber, deflecting several that would have hit him. Due to the amount of fire, the Templar was forced to slow his approach, despite the desire to quickly cleave into his foes.
The leader of Shadow Gate broke into a full sprint when he got within thirty feet of the firing line, a Force-assisted leap had him landing in the second row of the O’reenian soldiers. Several were sent toppling to the ground at his landing. The closest of those that remained standingmet a swift death as the Kaleesh spun on his heels, the emerald blade of his lightsaber cleaving through torsos and shoulders alike. Four of the soldiers fell to pieces as Rrogon rose to his full height, wasting no time in continuing his counter-assault.
Skar lost track of time as he cut down soldier after soldier, their cries of anguish and pain filling the air around him. It was one cry of pain that was higher pitched that pulled his attention from the carnage he was causing. As he spun around, the Templar’s eyes widened in shock and rage as he saw K’tana go down within a group of enemies and not reappear.
Time stopped for Rrogon. The sound of his heart beating echoed in his head, its steady rhythm the only thing tethering him to sanity. A sharp pain flashed in his heart, something that he had not felt for some time. It was a weakness he hated, a feeling he thought he had recovered from. The sensation of loss and grief washed over him like a tidal wave; these men had taken one of the few remaining beings that meant anything to him. K’tana was gone for all he knew.
Deep within, a being that the Kaleesh had restrained deep within his psyche began to fight harder against the bonds. This only occurred when Skar was at his absolute limits, his control slipping from his grasp.
‘Let me take control… let me take revenge on them… you know you want to…’ The Monster within whispered, showing just how frayed his control had become.
‘NO!’ The Kaleesh growled back ‘I swore to never let you free again… not after last time.’
‘Last time she survived because of me… now she’s going to die because you’re too afraid to let me take control, just like what happened to Zosh!’
Tears flowed beneath his bloodstained mask as the Templar gripped the sides of his head, the memory of his wife dying in his arms flashed through his mind. A cry of despair and anger escaped him and he tried and failed to contain to contain the beast.
Pain flickered through his consciousness from the areas of the Kaleesh’s left shoulder and lower back. It only lasted a second before it was swept aside by the wave of rage that coursed its way through his body.
The fire that consumed him burned in his veins, right down into his very soul as Skar’s vision turned crimson. A single voice rang out from within. Perhaps it was his soul? Maybe it was the beast? Nonetheless, the voice rang out clearly in his mind.
‘Kill them all!’
And so he did.
The bellow that escaped from beneath his mask was different from the war cry from earlier. This one was much more beastial, more animalistic. It was released from the depths of his very soul, thoughts of his lost love and his friend… the grief transformed into pure rage in that exhaled breath.
Rrogon charged into the largest group nearest him. His bloodlust would only be quenched through violence. By ripping his enemies to pieces, cherishing the screams his actions evoked. Claws, lightsaber, his fists… the weapons didn’t matter.
he only thing that mattered in that instant was slaughtering anyone wearing that uniform.
The metallic scent of blood filled K’tana’s nostrils as the viscous liquid coated her arms and face. The Twi’lek lay stuck beneath a large O’reenian male, his crumpled legs pinning her to the bloody ground as his barrel chest crushed her ribs. One muscular arm lay flung over her face. She smiled, the warm and sticky dirt beneath her back comforting to her, regardless of the uncomfortable position she found herself in.
Her awkward backwards fall had slicked the hilt, causing her grip to falter and forcing the Priestess to worm her arm between their bodies. Blood that had spurted down past her elbow began to coagulate around her and form a sticky crust in the dry air, making movement very unpleasant.
When she had attacked the O’reenian, he had managed to grab her right arm mid-leap and fling her around. K’tana’s reaction was lightning fast. She used the momentum to tense her muscles and swing the blade in her left hand up and under his jaw.
She had not thought ahead, however. The remaining momentum from the move flung both combatants to the ground. The impact to the Twi’lek’s back knocked the wind from her and she lay prone for several moments.
Despite this, a grin was plastered on the woman’s face. Her breath was heavy and strained as the man’s full weight bore down upon her slighter frame.
Celevon, she called silently to him. Need a little help.
She started writhing beneath the man, but his body shifted under her movements, making her lungs burn with exertion. That was when she heard the roar, causing her to pause her struggles momentarily.
“Oh Goddess. There goes Skar.”
She gasped out a giggle before making an attempt to reach for her lightsaber. Strapped to her thigh as it was, its various points and edges made it at major strain to unholster, especially with the corpse’s legs sprawled out between her own.
She stared at the man’s dead face, and focussed. She inhaled slowly. Finally managing to fill her lungs, she angled her hips and arched her back high enough to grasp and pull the lightsaber into position. With a strained grunt, the Krath hit the ignition of her violet blade and cut the man from his groin to the bottom of his ribcage.
A wash of thick blood and burned intestines washed over K’tana’s stomach and legs as she finally pushed the mutilated corpse off. A vicious grin spread over her bloody, violet face. Her eyes sparkled with bloodlust and she forced her favored illusion to distort her face. Her eyes went red and her teeth ground to sharpened points.
Her bloodshot gaze flicked to Skar and the man he was pummelling into the dirt. With no regard for absolutely anything but her own amusement, she leapt onto the Kaleesh’s back and began chewing on his ear.
“Weeew! 15 creds says I can stay on for a full minute!” She giggled loudly to no one in particular.
As the battle cry chimed following the ambush, Aisha’s heart beat slowly rose capturing the momentum. Once more, the Tythonian Jedi was forced to do the thing that she tried not to do most: killing. She would prefer to only sever the enemies and leave them incapacitated. Aisha continued to assure herself that she was not an assassin.
Even though everything was in darkness, Aisha could sense through the Force that some of the living spirits were torn and faded. The executors were efficient and swift; merciless when their hands ripped their enemies’ souls from their bodies. The Dark Jedi were very skillful when they came to end their target’s life.
But they were all in self-righteousness. The O’reenians were invaders, and the few Jedi there were just defending themselves. The quickest won, the quickest lived.
Aisha crouched in the dark, moving swiftly, avoiding the lights that flashed from the device on the O’reenians’s head. More and more lights came, the enemies were coming with the same intention, ending their adversary’s life.
There, another torn from life. It should be done by the Arconans, as most of them were assassins. They should get accustomed to this way of life.
As it turned out for ARCCOUians, the Jedi had the upper hand. But the O’reenian troops were flowing endlessly, as if they had known there was a big threat in that respective area needed an immediate elimination.
Inevitably, Aisha had to defend herself when a light spotted her location. The green light weapon sprung to life and quickly diminished the headlight device of the enemy, and also severing his limbs. However the cry of this man had attracted his fellows to help, and Aisha unavoidably had to engage in a bigger fight.
The Tythonian Jedi deflected the O’reenians’s troop blasters shots, and jumped elegantly to evade and attack. Some of the O’reenians were down, mainly not because of her green lightsaber, but from another blue light weapon, in a style that she recognized most. Her leader, Seridan was taking them in.
The two Odan-Urr members fought as fast as they could. Aisha tried her best not to break her promise of not taking anyone’s life unless it was pretty damn necessary. When she incapacitated her adversary, the blue light flashed and bursted in, adding another torn from life. Aisha was shocked for a moment, but quickly woke up by a shout of her leader.
“Gresee! YOUR LEFT!”
A shot grazed on her left shoulder made her stumble. Providentially, Aisha soon regained her balance and deflected the next shots aimed at her. Without wasting much time, again, the blue light weapon took down the attackers efficiently.
“Take away your doubt. It’ll surely harm you and us in this battle,” Seridan said and quickly run forward, engaging in another fight.
Aisha gulped and shook her head. Pain on her shoulder was minor, but Seridan’s address was precisely quoting her Master’s words sometimes ago, giving her an alerting ache. She finally let her defensive feelings embracing her.
I will not harm you. All of you. Unless…
Before she could finish her thought, a huge blast occurred from the O’reenian camp, such a big blinding explosion which the shock wave could throw away anything in its radius, including those two Odan-Urr Jedi. They were thrown backward and fell to the ground, but lucky for them, they were in the edge of the perimeter. With the Force, they were are also able to reduce the impact of the blast through their bodies.
Wincing, the Tythonian Jedi crawled across the ground to approach her leader.
“Chief. Seridan,” Aisha asked, “Are you okay?”
The soft words from the Miraluka made her relieved,“Yeah….I am okay.”
“What was that?” Aisha asked once more.
Seridan didn’t answer. He was just lying there, regaining his strength and enjoying the moment. Someone had bombed the O’reenian camp, whether from their team or other task force, it was still unclear. In fact they had achieved one of their missions in such an indistinctive way…
The tall grass scratched at the Miraluka’s back as he lay there, his skin still tingling from being thrown backward. The night sky was still lit up above him; the explosion’s light continued to reflect off of the thin cloud layer. In the corner of his vision, he could see a monolith of smoke rising from the O’reenian camp. It was as if it was lit from the inside, as there were odd, dancing shadows dancing around the surface of the column of smoke.
His Sergeant, Aisha, came scrambling over with an expression of surprise, pain, and worry. He suspected that he sported a similar expression. “Chief. Seridan,” she asked, her brows furrowed in a wince. “Are you okay?”
Could anyone be okay after being thrown forty feet by an unexpected air strike?
“Yeah… I’m okay,” he whispered. It hurt to talk - his throat was too dry, and he could feel the wet blood seeping from his cracked lips.
“What was that?” she said, glancing over her shoulder at the smoke. However, the Sentinel barely heard her question. He looked upward again, but this time at the stars. They were beginning to peek through the explosion’s light, still strong and resolute.
Sitting up, he marvelled at the bomb’s power. Their camp was a fair few leagues from the enemy settlement, and even then the shockwave had maintained a truly awesome amount of power. It had picked up the ARCCOUans and thrown them around as if they were nothing but beetles.
As he observed the growing cloud of smoke (which had started to blossom into a mushroom shape), he grew wary, This is no real feat of power. It’s a show of strength, he thought. A bomb, if that is what this thing was, that can raze an entire settlement is not something that should be trifled with. If this was truly the work of our side, then it was somewhat a risk. It could have killed us. Not to mention, the crater it’ll leave will scar this grassland for centuries.
He pushed himself to his feet, and made his way over to where everyone else was gathering. He glanced around at the faces, to make sure everyone had made it. Rin, Aisha, Aaleeshah, Celevon, Spyros, K’tana, Skar. Each portrayed a different emotion, and varying amounts of gore, but they all sported somewhat stooped postures, and exhausted expressions. Each was still and silent, staring at the devastation of the settlement.
The O’reenian bodies littered the ground around him. Most had blaster burns, lightsaber slashes, spilled guts or slitted necks, though there were a few who had no injuries, who had been killed or incapacitated by the shockwave. These ‘lucky’ few generally had limbs twisted at obscene angles. It would seem that the Jedi’s Force abilities had saved them from similar injuries. In the end, the ambush force wasn’t that large. Each Jedi had been able to best their opponents, though some had more kill-counts than others.
He thought back a few minutes to the start of the battle. He’d leapt forward into the darkness, taking them down one by one. He remembered his ice-blue blade dancing left and right, ruthlessly cutting down his foes. He remembered getting a few glimpses of the Arconans. The Kaleesh had roared, and had been ripping and cutting in every direction. The female Twi’lek eventually mounted the Kaleesh, after cutting with her blade. Celevon was the skillful master, though. The few bare glimpses that the Miraluka had seen of the Aedile, he had been gracefully flowing left and right, his hidden blades and katana smoothly slicing into his enemies with precision.
Suddenly, Rin rapidly raised a slug, and pointed towards Celevon. Seridan was brought out of his head and tensed for more combat. Celevon acted on instinct, rolling forward. As he came out of the roll, he drew his katana from its sheath and rested the steel upon the Cathar’s neck. There was a loud klik-bang as the slug was fired. The round punched into the soft tissues of an O’reenian soldier’s neck, destroying his spinal cord. The O’reenian had been crouching, holding a blaster. He was likely going to shoot Cel. The soldier toppled to the floor - a clear, viscous liquid was starting to seep out of the wound along with the blood.
For a moment, Seridan wondered why no-one but Rin had sensed the man’s approach. But he soon noticed something far stranger. Rin had saved Celevon.
She wasn’t paid to do that, Seridan wondered.
Celevon still had his blade at Rin’s neck, though he was shocked. He faltered slightly, before efficiently stowing his katana back in its sheath. The Arconan Aedile nodded to the bounty hunter, before moving backward a few steps. Rin’s face gave no indication of her motives, and Seridan knew that he wasn’t the only one wondering.
Spyro, looking almost as if would burst, spluttered, “Why’d you do that, bounty hunter?”
Rin moved her confident gold eyes and looked at the Twi’lek.
“Why?” she repeated, before bluntly answering: “well, some of you managed to earn my respect.”