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  1. The liquid cable launchers pulled the commandos of the Darkhand brigade further into the massive tangle of caverns, launching them in groups from one side of the chasm to the other. Delta’s eyes searched the periphery of the cavern’s entrance as he waited for his men and women to form back up behind him. Seventy odd commandos in the caverns hunting the ghosts of the Jedi order, while the rest of the Darkhand fought and died topside. His eyes took in the long ago carved wall of the cave system, its stone still strong after what could have been centuries of unuse. The internal comm on his helmet chirped, Blacktorin’s voice, cool and soothing, spoke over the command net, Something only the Lieutenants and above could hear. “We are on their heels, let's get going.” Delta nodded his head and looked behind him. The unit of men were ready, blasters, sonics, flechettes, up and pointing towards the entrance where the Jedi had very likely gone.He waved his hand and together they began to move into the cave system. Delta led alongside Blacktorin while the rank and file, sergeants and privates moved in several fluid firing lines behind him. Lines that with a nod of the head could pour a wicked fire onto whatever they found. But it was the Jedi that found them first. The ominous sound of an old fashioned slugthrower’s rear hammer was surprisingly loud in the quietness of the cave, especially through helmets that amplified the sound of low level noises. But before he could react a voice shouted out from ahead and Delta and his first firing line fell into a crouch, rifles and carbines tracking for the noise. The IR lights of the firing lines and Delta’s own E-22 revealed a red faced Zeltron holding what looked like a slugthrower and a single thermal detonator. And a single lightsabre on her belt. She looked less than ten meters away and Delta cursed himself for not sending out a group of skirmishers that would have found this threat far before it reared its head to his company. The second firing line stepped up behind their crouching squadmates and doubled the number of rifles pointing downrange. Delta spoke softly into his helmet comm unit as he triggered it back to Darkhand company. His thumb sliding along the fire selector switch of his rifle as he did so. “Non lethals only are cleared for action-” But before he could give the command to eliminate the threat posed by a single unarmoured Jedi, a second one pushed past her and lowered her slugthrower with his hand. Also thereby eliminating the threat of her thermal detonator. There was no way she would not just frag them both with the thing if a single blaster bolt tore through whatever defenses they might have. Delta blinked. What was their plan? Then the man spoke as he planted his staff and moved to cover the woman with his body. A valiant effort and Delta mentally saluted his courage. He hadn’t been on the briefing, but a Jedi was a Jedi and these two were the bravest Delta had ever seen. For both were unarmoured, and undefended save for the single stave planted in the cave’s flooring. Their Lighsabres were even on their hips. It was enough. As tempting as the man’s offer was Delta couldn’t easily take it. They couldn’t afford a jedi to be conscious in their midst, even restrained. It was like inviting a Rancor onto a schoolbus, no one was that stupid. And Delta was far from foolish. He had no desire to risk more lives than he needed. So they didn't need to kill either of them. But they needed to eliminate the threat. And there was no time to negotiate. Blaster rifles, flechette launchers, slugthrower carbines, and Sonics were pointed at the human who had loomed out of the darkness like some great beacon of light. Well with dozens of rifles pointed at him, most of which carried IR glowrods underneath their forward grips, he did quite look like a man standing in a beam of sunlight. At least this Jedi and the girl behind him would have one more day in the sun. Delta nodded, squeezing his trigger as he whispered the firing order through their helmet comms. And like a wave, dozens of rifles discharged at the man and the girl behind him. Lighting the cave up in a storm of blinding light. If Delta hadn’t been wearing his helmet, his ear drums would have been ruptured by the accompanying blasts of the sonic weapons. Sonics screeched towards the two Jedi along with a wave of stun rounds fired by blaster rifles. The first to split and destroy eardrums and balance, the second to eliminate the threat completely. No Jedi could keep up concentration from unshielded ears and two dozen stun blasts.The commandos holding slugthrowers and flechettes kept their weapons ready and trained should the first assault fail. <<Capture Shot Requested on Mjan Sadow Iv-Adas and Sara Corion>>
  2. “Be careful, if these are the jedi, they will be quick and ruthless.” Except the kids perhaps, those were only following their programming. Aren’t you following programming Ca’Aran? He dismissed the voice with a wave of his hand that caused the second lieutenant walking behind him to pause her steps momentarily, thinking that he was trying to motion her to slow down her pace. But seeing him not try to follow it up with more orders, she caught up to him, the IR light from her rifles glowrod making harsh shadows from the uneven cave system. The voice only taunted him once more, a peel of laughter that caused a shiver to trace down his spine. The dreamlike quality of the tittering laughter echoing in the back of his mind told the Clone Commando very little other than the force was moving heavily through the cave system He had nearly become adept at ignoring his conscience through the years, and ignoring the persistent spirit of a long dead lover was not much different. But it just solidified his hatred of those that used the force. What made them so special. But the answer was there anyway, some were born lucky and some were mass produced on a shitty waterworld in test tubes. There was a click from the helmet comm and the soft voice of Blacktorin came whispering in his ears. “I am hearing voices commander, not spirits, there are beings up ahead.” He raised his hand, halting the company in their tracks, but before he responded a metallic, grating voice boomed out from the guard frequency and with a touch of his finger to his wrist, the metallic voice was piped into his helmet. Definitely not Mon Calamari. He switched back off guard and nodded to Blacktorin, who took a long heavy barreled pistol from a holster and leveled it into the great expanse ahead of them. She pulled the trigger and a flare shot up into the cave to burst into a red static light that slowly floated down towards the ruins of a bridge, its attachments still groaning and falling. So the Jedi were more resourceful then some. And they were right on their heels. Delta triggered his external comm and the speakers that were buried in the facemask. Projecting his voice across the expanse and into whatever tunnel they had escaped into. “You have contacted the Expeditionary force of his Imperial Majesty, the high emperor of the Sith. Surrender the Jedi among you or you will all perish in fire and blood.” Let them think on that. He returned to the internal comm frequency of his unit. “Ascension attachments.” Almost as one, dozens of liquid cable launchers fired. The Sith would not be so easily foiled.
  3. An old aquifer maybe? But the murky liquid that barely reflected the light coming from his underslung glowrod told him the real truth. The Jedi in classic form, had gone through sewage to escape from even confronting the Sith. If it had not been for his close interaction with Jaina Jade, he would have begun to question if they even existed at this point. Or if he was just chasing pale ghosts. “Command fall in, make sure your armour is sealed.” He looked out down the distant sloshing tunnels. “No open flames. Fire only upon target acquisition with enough units to overwhelm Jedi defense.” He took the first step, and sinking up to his waist in the murk, he grinned. Thankful yet again for the issued helmets they all wore. And behind him, as the lights from each glow rod was extinguished, the command unit for darkhand, alongside a detachment of Charlie company from the second infantry battalion moved forward. A long line of seventy-odd marines, wading through the murk in a ghost hunt, for a bunch of untrained Jedi. At least they could sanisteam their armour. As Landgraf and Blacktorin moved beside him so that they could all easily cover the large, expanse of tunnels, he let his HUD flicker through its filters. NOD returned very little other than a low green glow, and thermal optics did little better, being that the sewage was at about body temperature. He flicked it again to the IR spectrum and clicked his rifle’s glow rod to infrared and shouldered it. It worked ok, other than the static reflections that passed beside as the IR was scattered by adverse pockets of methane. He grimaced at the thought of Jedi waiting right around the corner, but he kept the rifle up. Ca’Aran Now why was she here? Sharp blue eyes reflected from one of the pockets of gas and Delta almost unloaded the rifle at it. But with a blink they were gone. He checked his suit seals, fearing that he might have been exposed to mind altering gaseous fumes but found no cracks. Landgraf yelped and looked around, her rifle tracing an unseen line of infrared light on the ceiling as she also checked her suit's seals. “Status?” But those eyes were there staring at him again. “I’m hearing voices, commander, its really creepy like.” Ah. He popped open the protective cover for his arm mounted datapad and clicked her face on the sheet that was displayed for his officer corps. He file flashed up in black and green on the small screen. But it his instincts were proven right on the second scroll through her information. She was Force Sensitive. He snapped the cover shut and looked back at her. “Keep your helmet on Landgraf, whatever the Jedi are doing down here, we are getting close.” She hunkered down next to an outcropping, and Delta moved to cover her. As did Blacktorin, who pulled herself up onto the outcropping itself and held out a hand to him. He took it and pulled himself up onto the duracrete partition. A tunnel of some kind perhaps? He kept his rifle towards the unknown as he adjusted his comm. He triggered his SCI, and after an excruciating minute of encryption the cool voice of the Devilfish breathed into his ear, broken by static. “Go for Darkhand Intel.” “Information, pin location, there is an apparition of some type in the tunnels down here. Let the Dark Lord know that we are close to something. I dont think it's the Jedi, but we may have found something better. Something uh...” He searched for the correct phrase. “...Darkside oriented? A place where the force is strong, it's effecting a lot of my men.” He would certainly not say it was effecting him. He couldn't. It would be seen as weakness. And out of all the traits a commander could have, weakness was not one. “Intel copies.” And with that the line cut. Delta took a long breath of filtered air and was hit again by a distant voice. The voice whose laughter sounded like a waterfall of joy and he could feel a tingle of painful memory move up his spine. He took another breath and waved his hand to tell his men to move forward but when he stepped forward his step came down on something soft. He looked down, then pulled at it. Holding it up in the offered light of a glowrod. A jedi robe?
  4. Morjanssik, like many cities that had undergone extensive firebombing in the galaxies’ sorry history, was a chaotic bed of destruction and despair. As low fires gutted apartment complexes, and bodies lay in huddled ashes in the streets, the Sith Naval Marines made their pay. It was through the scream of TIE engines and the distinctive diesel smell of phosphate explosives that cut through the fine filters of his helmet that Delta and his Darkhand commandos made landfall. Explosive decompression bolts blew the bulkheads off the three sides of the drop pods and in squads of four the command team took cover in the middle of a large pedestrian fareway. HUD GPS told them that they were in the city itself, but none of the surroundings looked particularly familiar from the short briefings they had received. So despite making landfall, they were still no closer to finding or killing any of the Jedi and Delta let his frustration expel itself in a growl. “Move, bounding towards grid…” His clear blue eyes looked across the map point that was constantly adjusting as satellite and ground data was moved and reformatted to modern, updated maps. But some was still not in focus, likely from the destroyed infrastructure in the area. Likely where the Jedi had been. “...One-three-one. Repeat One, Three, One.” The command team beside him, spread out in its company of twelve nodded their heads in unison then bounded for the next burnt out landskiff. This one, however once held a family, who now lay in piles of fine bone and ash in the still burning rear seats. Blacktorin, let out a small moan that echoed over the command interpersonal lines as she knelt in the remains of a crib. “Spasted garrison forces.” Delta nodded as he continued to watch the mapping software update their location. “Territorials are KOS. Copy? A plague is one thing, but killing thousands over some Jedi they could have just called us in for? Spast em. We’ll show them how a real government works.” Or at least that’s what he hoped. And he almost got those hopes dashed right away as a pair of very scared Mon Calamari popped out a burned doorway and began to flee down the causeway in front of him. 12 rifles took aim and as a team they slowly lowered. Mother or Father with a young pre-teenager. Though it was always hard to tell with a species like the Mon Cal. Two national police, quarrans by the look of their tentacles came racing after them with stun batons. This time however, there was no hesitation. A dozen well placed rounds snuffed their lives out before they could even see the Sith commandos beyond their quarry. The bodies looked as if they hit invisible trip wires as their momentum carried their corpses in puppet like confusion as they tumbled and skidded before pitching into the drainage ditch beside the causeway. They did not move again. “Get inside!” Delta’s voice boomed through down the causeway, causing the pair to stop in their tracks, their large salmon like eyes staring in speechless fear. “Mother! Get her inside now!” She obeyed and the pair disappeared into another building’s doorway. Delta and his men moved on, eyes and blasters scanning building tops and side alley’s as they ran. They linked up with several more squads of the scattered Darkhand as they ran until they got into a heavily populated area, where the sick and refugees were clustered in front of makeshift barricades, manned by local police and territorial guard. He did not have to even think twice about the order, and when called out, the crowd parted like a wave. A wave that heralded a mass of concentrated fire from a TIE defender that screeched overhead with all the grace of a falling wampa. The barricades and those defending them melted under the withering fire and the Darkhand surged forward alongside the crowd. Finding one bright eyed Mon Cal who was walking calmly through the wreckage, Delta pulled her aside. “The Jedi ma’am, where are they?” before she could speak her flippered hand pointed down. Towards the gratings that covered swer line. So they were to be headed towards the sewers. Great
  5. The screens on the centre console of the dropod flashed black, then white as the drop pods were being prepared for ejection. Their external power cables being removed by crew in the star destroyer and the pods taking over with their own internal generators. He looked across his command team. All stoic in their securely fastened helmets, their inhuman ‘T’ visors staring blankly back at his own. Despite the cumulative grins that were beneath them. He looked at each visor and nodded, they nodded back. “Loadout check.” The final check of weapons began, and frantic fingers flew over securing straps, and eyes looked into HUD readouts for attached weapon systems. Blasters were checked, then resecured onto straps on their sides. Tucked in beside their armoured thighs, in a mixture of leather and crash webbing. On the opposite thigh there was the familiar slug thrower, sonic weapon, or flechette launcher as was the common loadout for hunting Jedi Knights. The cyclical slugthowing carbine with its heavy thirty round magazines had been produced for the last fifty years. Their flecchette counterparts for even longer, and the ovular sonic weapons even longer still. Delta still preferred his E-22 blaster rifle, and when fired en-masse from multiple squads, no Jedi would live. But he still carried the venerable FWG-5 flechette pistol he was used to. Manufactured by Malaxan Firepower Incorporated on the distant machine world of Outremer, the pistol was nearly as old as he was. He looked down at it as he gloved finger traced the wooden grips, and he said a quick prayer. To what God? He didn’t know, perhaps he would give an offering to Kad Ha’rangir like he used to during the clone wars. But perhaps it was better to trust in the force, something he had no knowledge of, other than seeing it work miracles for people that didn’t deserve them. The momentary squeal of comm static filled his ears for a moment, followed by a tone that indicated the encryption handshake. “Darkhand One. Command.” The comm transmission jolted him out of his revery and brought him fully back into the present, his back straightening as the voice of the “Devilfish” came flooding through his ears. Propelled by the SCI implanted in the comm unit that was underslung on his pack, the winded cord snaking up to a port on his armour. He pressed the button beside his armour mounted datapad and transmitted in response. “Darkhand copies five by five.” The transmisson remained static for another second before the Sith Lord replied. “We may have identified target location by a saturation bombing being laid out by the territorial forces of Mon Cal.” “Bombing?” “Yes Darkhand, flight of bombers just whipped up hellsturm down there.” Delta narrowed his eyes. Local territorial garrisons always seemed to over react, and this time was no different. And while population was almost by definition expendable, the op required the Sith Navy to be the Good Guys to the local populace. He smiled for a second before responding. “Send a flight of TIEs to drop those birds, make it visual, and dispatch any EV pilots. We can’t let them kill their own populace for the hell of it. And drop us on location.” “Understood, TAU command, engage at grid one alpha.” A rumble of static and a chorus of excited affirmatives bounced through his skull from the large flight of interceptors. Who, having been biting at the bit for the better part of a hyperspace jump, kicked their TIEs into overdrive, whipping through the thick atmosphere and launching a hail of fighter to fighter missiles at the fleeing bombers. With a flip in his stomach, the drop pods jettisoned from the Star Destroyer as it hit the edges of the thermosphere over Morjanssik. Delta kept the communication open until he heard a mixture of pilot chatter that confirmed that the majority of targets were down. Tallyhos and splashes for a tangling fight that filled the air of Mon Calamari with explosions and the death of many a Quarren. It was with the first explosions in the sky of the dying bombers that the Sith Empire and its Navy made its not so friendly rapprochement of the Mon Calamari. The dark shape of a star destroyer could be seen and from it, seconds later, the sky filled with superheated drop pods that heralded a ground invasion. Like a thousand shooting stars coming from the dark shadow of a star destroyer, the drop pods fell towards the streets of Morjanssik.
  6. With a dark flicker against the familiar stars of the Mon Calamari Home system, the leading elements of what was being called a ‘Peacekeeping Expeditionary Force’ by the brilliant minds in the sith media, emerged over the homeworld of the aquatic shipbuilders. The black ships, and their familiar dark wedges cut scything shadows against the close packed stars, and their signatures filled the command displays of any home defense force that the Mon Cal’s may have mustered. The dangerous black fleet billowed forth fighters in wave after wave, until hundreds of the mass produced fighters formed a protective screen around the command ships. Onboard the main command ship of this task force, the Terminus, great mechanical beasts of Juggernauts, AT-STs, and the smaller and more agile AT-PT were getting loaded into their drop ships. Mechanics moved like buzzing flies from dropship to dropship, checking and triple checking tie downs and engine cowlings, while stormtrooper companies ran to their compartments, following the darting lines of mousedroids. It was much the same in the secondary hangar bay where Darkhand was based. Soldiers and commandos stood in long lines, toes against the dark decking joiners. 3,400 men and women stood there, backs straight at attention. Helmets in the crook of their arms, staring towards the huge circle of NCOs and COs who were outlying drop plans on large dry erase holo boards. There were no speeches to be given to the men. This wasn’t a holofilm, and there were no heroes. Just thousands of nervous men and women, ready to die for something they did not even know. Many were happy to be here. To crush terrorism and the jedi that caused it, was a dream of the galaxy for a generation. Perhaps this time there would be peace. But all of them were sure that they were here for a good reason. Mini briefings had laid out the situation. The Sith were there as a peacekeeping force to fight terrorism and to continue a quarantine that the Jedi were busy breaking. The fleet? Well it was here as a guarantee. It was a guarantee that the Mon Calamari and the Quarren, who were known to be a stubborn people at the best of times and Rebel leaning at the worst of times, would accept the aid of the Sith Empire. They needed it after all. For who was better at containing Jedi? Delta held up large packets of holo prints to the NCOs, enough to issue to each sergeant at least in the case of a comms down situation. He pulled an example of each before handing them off. “Men.” Here he used the male wording, though most of the NCOs were actually women, but this was the military and that was acceptable. He held up the first of the Holo-stills, a grainy image of a RHTC-560 Hunter Trainer droid. It looked exceedingly dangerous and bristled with terroristic intent. “First we have this lovely thing. Then this.” He held up an even grainier still of a green faced Nautolan female. She was rather cute, but in the non descript alien way. “The first of what I believe are the Jedi Knights or their apprentices.” He tapped the image of the young girl. “Intelligence would very much like us to capture the younger ones for interrogation, but use your best judgement. It's better that you get a reprimand, or I do, then you go home in a box. Now here is a real treasure.” He held up the relatively clear holo still of a red faced Sith. “Sith intelligence is trying to ascertain what exactly this is. A body will suffice for ID. Put down from a distance.” He shuffled through the rest of the holo stills. A young Jedi of the Mon Cal race, A large Cathar male A Zeltron female. On this last he issued the normal warning, despite Sigrid Hensi’s grin. “Make sure to not take your mask off around the last one. Zeltron are notorious for their wiles. Don’t give them any advantage.” He looked from eye to eye as he handed out the last set. “Objective is the city of Morjanssik. We will meet there. And men.” He gave them a salute. “May the force be with you.” It was a rebel phrase of course, but his men needed all the help they could get, and as he watched them dash to their waiting companies he whispered a prayer. _____________________________________
  7. “Tally-ho! Commander! Come look at this!” The overly cheerful voice of the petite redheaded executive officer of Darkhand Brigade piped up over the din of cleaning droids and general chatter. Delta glanced up with a smile as he looked for her short form above the cluster of other officers. He saw her waving her freckled hand, the long distinctive scar of replacement synthflesh near the elbow clearly visible, and jogged over. The group of the senior officers, of which Tares was a part, were in their red and black off duty jumpsuits, and gathered around the holonews station in the officer’s mess. Their eyes were locked on the screen, their jaws set in a mixture of astonishment and rage. “I don’t get it ser….” Said the red faced Zeltronian male. A recent transfer up ranks to the rank of sergeant major from Lion company. His scuffed nameplate established him as Jansen Trefey, someone that Delta trusted from his reputation, but could not have picked out of a crowd. “...Why would the Jedi attack Mon Calamari? Aren’t they at least friends?”” “Sergeant.” Delta answered, low enough to not attract attention but it brought every head swiveling his way. “We do not know the Jedi or their ways. There may be something very valuable there, or they could be kidnapping children to train at their temples.” This was an easy lie, and one that brought a score of grins from the NCOs who knew better. But it had its effect, the tension was gone, as were the questions, but Delta Answered them anyway. “I assume a team will be sent, and seeing that we have not moved from orbit, it may be us. See to your men, I will call a briefing if we get anything this side of Yaga Minor.” Below their feet the deck began to tremble in earnest, this conjoined with the red alert comm on Delta’s wrist told him all he needed to know. It was a message through the sci from Intelligence. Terminus was deploying and the Darkhand with it He looked at the message in its coded message and searched his memory for the cipher before keying it through the interface on his wrist. Mpp Feqgtias Became Mon Calamari And Delta’s grim smile became a solid grin of teeth and malice. Out of the pan and into the fire __________________________________________ Sith Naval Taskforce - Fleet Command Taskforce Experience Green - Assigned Callsign - Grave Imperial Kyber Class Star Destroyer Terminus |20/20| Commanded by Lord Girk Doma the "Devilfish" of Sith Naval Intelligence Assigned Upgrade: Axial Weapon Sith Naval Destroyer Group [Turbolasers] Taskforce Experience Green - Assigned Callsign - Devil Sith Victory II Star Destroyer Brimstone|9/9| Sith Victory II Star Destroyer Hellkite |9/9| Sith Naval Precision Strike Carrier Group Taskforce Experience Green - Assigned Callsign - Beast Raider-class Corvette Cretan |2/1| Raider-class Corvette Greetham |2/1| Raider-class Corvette Heliotrope |2/1| Phantom Raider-class Corvette Crusader |2/1| Raider-class Corvette Somerset |2/1| Raider-class Corvette Theodocia|2/1| Ghoul Gladiator-Class Star Destroyer Acheron |9/9|
  8. Sith Command Interface: Installed in every comm unit and helmet of command level officers (Brigade and larger) and political operatives is a direct communication link to Sith High Command. In order to skip the bureaucracy and to call in assistance from above, these high power comm devices are able to directly contact the leadership team of imperial missions. Heavily encrypted, these expensive units can be used on a sideband encryption to speak uninterrupted across the galaxy to anyone in Imperial Command, Intelligence, or Party Leadership. Some say the units passively transmit data to high command listening nodes across the galaxy, where soldiers soft spoken words and private communication are read through for possible treason. "Radio command through the sci. We need heavy munitions."
  9. The lids of his eyes were so very heavy. But as wakefulness pulled him bodily from a corpse like sleep, Delta could feel the light weight of arms wrapped around him and the warmth of a body pressed against his side. It was an experience he had lived many times in his black sun days, but there was something different here. There was silence in his mind. There was peace, he was wrapped up in a love that he couldn’t describe, other than it harkened back to his first. He let his mind drift for a moment. A dark tent on a backwater world. The smell of sweat, jokes about a lightsabre and disrespecting chain of command. What had been that world’s name? What campaign? Was it Kaikielius, or Christophsis the third time? Was his memory really that far gone? Filled with deviance and destruction for so many years that he had forgotten the only time in his life that he had experienced actual love? And like everything else in his life, he had brutally murdered that love with a blaster rifle. The thought of that caused a shiver to run down his spine, and he could almost feel the weighted recoil of the DC-15’s grip slapping his palm. That ripped every last bit of sleep from him with all the love of a bucket of water. His clear blue eyes snapped open and he struggled for a moment to breath. The arms around him tightened and a whispered voice sounded in his ear. ‘ “It’ll be allright.” He let himself fall back into the embrace for a moment, before moving his own arms to embrace her in return. He dimly expected for his arms to find no purchase but a ghost, but the scopped the small form of Tares Blacktorin into a fierce hug that lasted several seconds before he relaxed and pulled himself out of the mass of blankets. His eyes found the chronometer on the metal wall and he grinned. It was 0530 galactic standard time. He looked back at the tousle haired redhead who was following his every move with sleepy eyes. “Clothes on. It's time to get everyone up and ready.” She nodded, and within a few minutes time, he, her and the other officers were sharing quick mugs of caf in the quartermaster’s gallery as they tied their boots, and ensured their jumpsuits were tidy. All the while, the solders of Lima One were up and doing the same thing, encouraged on by the few sergeants that had survived the moonfall and subsequent mass slaughter in the caves and vistas of the fallen world. They formed up in their lines, some squads missing completely, some with only one soldier., some with only a sergeant. All were grim faced, all sporting wounds of some kind, but all enjoyed the five mile run around the Sith complex. Even the Mandalorians in their dispersed state enjoyed it. It was after breakfast that Delta called a meeting of the officers, commissioned and non commissioned, of Lima One. It was there that he told them of his promotion and the new degree of responsibility he had been given. He also very plainly asked for their advice. What squads, and companies to bring over to his command from other divisions. They decided on a company rearrangement, and with a call to the captain of the Hellkite and the admiralty, they were transferred to the Star Destroyer Terminus which could hold the entire brigade. Most of the executive staff and crew would still be made of Black Sun membership, but a few pure Sith soldiers made it along. Lima One was declared inoperable due to heavy losses and incorporated into the new Brigade with new leadership. Below is the compiled Brigade. DARKHAND General Staff Command: Delta73 Executive Officer: Tares Blacktorin (Black Sun XO from Lima One) Command Sergeant Major: Jansen Trefey (Sith Sergeant from 31st Lion company(Company destroyed at the battle of Coruscant)) Intelligence Officer: Sigrid Hensi (Black Sun Lieutenant from Lima One) Operations officer: Haylee Langraf (Black Sun Lieutenant from Lima One) Logistics Officer: Gerald Frostwin (Black Sun Lieutenant from Lima One) Sith Intelligence: Lord Garik Doma "Devilfish" (Sith Lord , Onderon)
  10. The clone commando watched as the Lord of the Sith considered him, a very dangerous place to be for someone without access to the force. All the Dark Lord need do was to reach with the force and with the delicacy of plucking a harp string, gently tear an aortic wall, or brainstem, and that would be the end of a long lived life. Was it a well lived life? Delta himself did not know. Its latter 20 years had been filled with increasing opulence until almost a point of mockery. His thoughts trayed there again, as they often had in the last few weeks since his induction into the Sith Military. Had the opulence of wealth really set him so far outside reality that he thought himself invincible and his friends mere pawns to be tossed around like so many bits of trash? To be used and thrown away? He had done the same thing but merely hours ago, risking his men for nothing more than glory. But no, that had been for a purpose. This was no adventure with various fallen Lords of the Sith to commit galactic terrorism at the cost of millions of lives. This Empire meant something different. Its inception may have been dirty, but they were going to build a new galaxy, a galaxy without terror, without the frivolous senate to hamper and harm. This Empire would be built as something new, something distinct. The foundations of the galactic order had to be ripped up before a new foundation could be built. The Black Sun, the SCORPION initiative, Red Shadow, Alderaaini Towers, all had helped destabilize the galaxy enough to shake off its chains and be rebuilt. But there was no honour there, Delta had enjoyed every minute of the debauchery, the murder, the terrorism, taking each violent act as something that could reach his buried self. To even get a hit of adrenaline. Upon the reflection of it all, the last twenty years had been a decidedly half lived life. One without a real purpose, like a deathstick addict murdering a family to get pocket credits. Except his addiction had been on a galactic scale. That hunger for death and violence, terrorism and credits, seemed to be gone now, leaving in its place and empty and embarrassed void. Perhaps his long companionship with the Mad Hutt had affected him more than he realized. But the voice of the Dark Lord cut him to the quick, pulling him out of his reflections with a solid rebuke for patronization that left Delta wondering what in the seven hells had happened and just as suddenly fearing for his life. He kept his face stern and unmoving, and gave a half bow as an answer. Giving the Lord the high road and surrendering whatever point may have been made by the statement. The Dark Lord was right of course, he had a long way to go for redeeming the mistakes of the Dark Sun. And somewhere in the back of his mind, Delta decided he would kill Zalis if he ever ran across her again. He accepted the box with a firm hand, glancing at the medal placed within before snapping the box closed and placing it under his left arm. It was a shocking reward for the so little that had been accomplished, and his heart fluttered with gratitude as he finished his bow and made a crisp salute. “Gladly My Lord. Thank you.” He spun on his heel and walked from the Dark Lords chambers feeling his heartbeat thundering at his eardrums. He finished the short walk to the barracks holding Lima One and peeked in through the doorway. Most of the men and women were passed out in their cots, and a few, likely still suffering from the Medperanazine dose, were doggedly playing pazaak with a pile of ration dessert cakes as chips. He smiled as they half rose to give him a salute before he waved them back to their seats. He needed rest and there was no need to wake up the men when they were so fried from the mission. He returned their salutes and quietly walked into the sealed officer’s quarters. He stopped in the refresher and slowly stripped his armour from his pressure suit, and placing the dusty, bloody plates into the refresher’s shower unit, allowed the water to run over them as he stripped off the undersuit and tossed it into the laundry basket. He placed the small box on the counter and then stepped into the shower. The water felt so foreign to skin that had been in armour for the last twenty or so hours, and he made sure to soap up completely, inspecting for any signs of heat or friction rash before he finished the shower. He inspected the armour plates while they and he dried in the drying unit, before he stacked them in his locker and put on a pair of grey fatigues. The only thing in the locker other than a few personal objects transferred down from his bunk on the Hellkite. He plucked up the box from the counter and walked to his room, which though it was small and spartan, was still very welcoming. He almost laughed as he saw an asleep Tares Blacktorin tucked into the bedsheets. Her tousled red hair, giving her an almost angelic appearance against the white pillows. He almost considered ordering her out, but his heart wasn't in it. So he simply lay down on the coversheet beside her. Planning to say something very scathing and hilarious if she should wake up, but before he could, he was whisked away into dreamless sleep. Well almost dreamless.
  11. Salliche Astrographical Information Region: Core Worlds Sector: Agricultural Circuit System: Salliche System Orbital Position: 4 Moons: 2 Grid Coordinates: L-11 Physical Information Class: Terrestrial AgriWorld Atmosphere: Type 1, breathable Primary Terrain: Endless expanse of food crops, farms, water aqueducts, and clustered villages Points of Interest: Capital of Netassa, Harbright Mansion Societal Information Indigenous Species: Human Immigrated Species: Humans, Verpine, AgriDroids Primary Language(s): Galactic Basic, Verpine, Binary Faction Affiliation: Neutral Defense Rating: Level 1 JediRP Canon History: One of the 18 Agriworlds run by the extensive network of the Salliche Agricultural Corporation, Salliche is the oldest operating AgriWorld in the Core Worlds. Its commanding capital of Netassa contains the corporation headquarters of the SAC and the keys to the Agricultural Circuit.
  12. The incense played across his nostrils, the thick smell of ancient myrrh turning to a sweet mulberry as it filled the room, giving it the royal and mysterious aire without the need for expensive finery. It also reflected on the Lord of the Sith in other ways, the thin tendrils of smoke played off into the arched ceiling, almost embracing the image of the Sith Lord in a white shadow. From a military or tactical standpoint Delta was impressed, with an application of the force, the incense could cause a billow of smoke in which the Lord of Assassins or his apprentices could strike from. Delta had seen such a thing before in the guise of a Darth Lucifer during one of the many times the Black Sun had fought the Sith Lords before the last battle of the Death Star. Though there the guise had ended with the not so subtle application of a blaster bolt to the forehead of a Sith Lord and the death of a half dozen Sith Lords. The Black Sun had been strong then, and Delta had fought beside the strongest. But like all things, strength faded with disuse, ignorance, and sloth. But the Dark Lord was right. The Black Sun under Zalis’ leadership had been a disaster, and Delta and his men had paid the price for her foolishness. Well, their foolishness. Delta could have spoken of course of all the victories the Sith Empire had accomplished only with the help of the Black Sun. But it was clear that the Dark Lord wished to gloat in his single victory at Dark Sun and though it caused a rush of defiance in the back of his head, Delta recognized it as his right. He let the remark slide down his throat unspoken and bowed his head. If the Dark Lord was asking for advice he would give it, it was a lesson that the GA had not learned, and the Black Sun had never had the opportunity to try. “You are the most sane of all the Dark Lords I have encountered my Lord. There have been no failures under your occupation of Onderon or the defense of your allies. Though I know we must not rest on our laurels of victory over these pathetic Mandoa’ade, I encourage you to begin the securing of the Agriworlds. Without the breadbasket worlds of Chandrila and Salliche our reign will not last and the people will starve or be moved to join this new Rebel Alliance.” He looked up, his pale blue eyes searching for the eyes of his Lord. “Give me the responsibility my Lord so that I may prove myself and my men from the disaster of Dark Sun.”
  13. The sight of the Dark Lord and his entourage of strikingly beautiful women gave Delta a pause. He let his thoughts stray from the pure majesty of it all to wonder about the origins of such women, how they came to be trusted by such a man, and whether or not his adopted daughter Telperien was among them. He could not see her small, diminutive form, but the rumours that had perveyed the Sith Military spoke greatly about her ability of jumping forms. But none of the masqueraded women even deigned to look at him and he dismissed the matter from his mind. But he noticed even then that there was a strange lack of jealousy in the back of his head as he looked at the Dark Lord. There wasn’t pity or any of those proliferous ideals, but he had no desire to sit where the man sat. Had he really outgrown the Black Sun and that opulent wealth that much in one battle? But it was true, he had found his place again, not matter how painful the battle had been. He finished his bow and inclined his head, “Your victory against the leadership of the Mandoa’ad was enough to crumble any resistance. I admire your work Lord. I am merely a captain among hundreds." He also considered the foolishness of throwing thousands of troops into battle when the simplest solution was to simply assassinate the leadership, bombard and accept surrender. They could have spared countless lives that way. But he kept his mouth firmly shut in that regard. “ I have lost many my Lord. Foremost among them, my heavy strike leader David Senvys. A human from the Taipani freeworlds, and longtime companion from my early days of the Black Sun. Alongside him I lost Lilianna Ordvine, another of my old friends. Many others were lost as well, and you will find their fifty names in my report, my Lord. All perished honourably in the attack…” He looked back up. “On the power facility under the eastern approaches, either on the landing under fire or on the assault itself. A division of Ishi-Tib marines were also lost on the attack. They died honourably and for good cause.” He remained at attention, considering listing off the fifty odd names from his datapad but decided against it. He would not complain, no matter how useless or foolish the attack had been. That was not his place, his place was to protect his men and women. That was it.
  14. “Eat while you can. Trust me.” The tremours underfoot told Delta all he needed to know about the damned planet. The ever hidden tectonic plates were still reeling from the moonfall, and microquakes were pulsing every couple minutes, causing the utensils in the mess to move on their own accord, bouncing and trembling across the low metal tables, buzzing and whirring with every aftershock. He looked at his black stimcaf that was showing the circular rings of the aftershock, receding as they were absorbed by the steadiness of his hand. He took a long gulp from the enamelized metal mug and set it down beside his plate of mass produced rations. A small part of him missed the extravagant feasts that he used to throw after such a mission while commanding the Black Sun. But he dismissed the thought just as fast. That hadn’t felt real, it hadn’t fulfilled his purpose. He had been designed to be a soldier, not some great schemer or criminal. He spat at the memory of the Black Sun. How could he have so willingly let himself be consumed by the desire for so much wealth when it never even felt good? He caught the eye of the petite redhead sitting across from him. His long time companion, Tares Blacktorin. He looked into her eyes and thought of how she had met him, or at least how he had met her. Fourteen years before,two years into a relatively uneventful career as a Red Dawn operative, then a part of the Bretchell’ subgroup that had broken off from the Black Sun proper over some formality or another, he had been dispatched on a special mission. A mission with one of his few close friends, the now deceased Crosa Hoverich, to destroy the deep black site of X1. It had been Delta’s first mass liquidation, and the thousand odd employees at the research base had died not so silent deaths. But it was those pale eyes that had looked back at him from behind a half closed door. The defiance in them had been inspiring, even in a kid. It had been the only time he had not followed orders to their exact phrase. Crosa hadn’t said a thing, and Tares had been the first in a long line of too-young recruits to the crew of the Marie. The look in her eyes now was different. It was not the stern look of a soldier that had followed him on a hundred missions, or the relaxed joy of a friend, there was something else there. Perhaps it was the runoff of the Medperanazine giving her ideas. But the look and the subtle smile on her lips was one that told a very different story. But could he really do that? His mind was made up for him however when an envoy announced himself at the table and Delta had to tear his eyes off her blood spattered, smiling face, and find himself staring at an emissary of the Dark Lord. His mouth went dry and he drained his mug until he could feel the granules of half filtered stimcaf beans touch his lips. It didn’t solve the parched throat, but it was enough so that he could at least talk, given enough effort. Tares stood too, fright showing across her pretty face. Then the rest of Lima One stood, the heels of their boots clashing together in a chorus that the new Mandalorians could not quite mimic. “The Lord Emperor calls for you Blood Prince.” That title called back a wave of memories that made the former black sun vigo shudder. Delta saluted, gestured for his men to sit, and followed the messenger from the hall. He did not look back. Only when he was out of earshot did he correct the emissary of the Dark Lord. “I no longer wear those colours sir, I am simply a Captain.” The man did not look back at him as he entered the hall, and Delta had never felt so underdressed as he did when he entered behind him. The bloodstains, dirt, grime, and sweat that covered his armour and under jumpsuit filled him with a certain degree of shame as he saluted the Dark Lord. “Your eminence, Captain Delta Seventy Three of the Special Operations Group Lima One.” Delta finished his salute and bowed. “I congratulate you on your victory Lord.”
  15. A silent click on his arm mounted Datapad and the channel setting was reset to all Lima frequency. He reached a gloved hand up to his head and made sure the earpiece was still in place, threading down the back of his neck to connect to the armour mounted comm interface. All of his squad leaders had the same in place, as did every member of the company, their comm permissions being automatically updated and upgraded by the Hellkite’s AI computer which tracked the vitals and locations of every single member of her deployed companies. “Company, reload. Prepare for next engagement.” He looked to Natha, son of Pathe, sitting five down the long line of jumpseats in the Sith Shuttle. “Stay ready son, if you are needed for an engagement, we have a supply depot up ahead that will issue you weapons. But for now, watch and learn.” All of the bare headed company members began to check their weaponry, Delta included. Reloading the rifle’s long magazine and checking the power reading on his sidearm. When he was finished, he looked up into the freckled face of Tares Blacktorin who was staring at him as she worked her fingers along her shoulder wound. “Did he make it?” She gave him a curt nod and a smile that, behind its tired expression, held a kind of love. He smiled back and gave her a sheepish grin. They had a long way to go, but for now, they were a unit. _____________ The shuttle came to a rest on its landing arms, and the remainder of company Lima One strode out into the bustle of the work of the IRS. The Imperial Reclamation Service was quickly setting up a base camp and fabrication area for housing and quarantine. Delta sighed and slung his rifle, the rest of his company doing the same. He looked back at their Mandalorian counterparts, “Come with us, it's time to debrief and get some food.” He raised his hand above his head. “Company, fall in.” And as a unit they entered the Quarantine zone.
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