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Exodus

Coruscant - Galactic Throne

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Mordecai received his orders and sent a simple affirmative to relay his compliance. This was tricky ground for him- He was no longer under the protection of Lord Valinor, but if hebehaved like  a meek dog he'd be treated as such. And while he saw value in being underestimated, he also had a lust for recognition. For status. And so while he yearned to join the battle and prove himself worthy to the Dark Lord, he knew this task was more important than one battle for one planet. Quela Darksong had been commisioned by the Dark Lord himself, which meant that his assignment held likely more value than this battle.

 

So he would comply. He'd whet his thrist  for conflict on another battlefield, and whether tht battlefield was in war or through diplomacy, he would strive to accomplish his goals. It was a short order to align his vessels, and when he was ready he accessed the communications.

 

"This is Mordecai. My ships are in position. We'll jump on your mark"

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Shiro stared back at the injured man, his stance seemingly cold and calculated, despite the gaze of sorrow he felt as he watched one of them make the long approach. It felt like an eternity in the moment and a part of him wished it to be over. But Shiro had called for the best of actions, and because of it, he felt he shouldn't turn his gaze away. He could see the breathing shallow, notice the body tense and go limp as the mind fell in and out of consciousness, and he could see the movements of the man's comrades as they grew ready for the moment just as Shiro did. And then came the glow of crimson as the bolt buried its self just below the jawline, most everyone jumping including Shiro. And in that moment, Shiro heard the familiar gurgle of death as the former sentient was released from his pain eternally.

 

It's only natural for anyone to second guess a suggestion or to wonder if they thought right along the process of logic and reality. And for Shiro, it was no different, his hands and body trembling as he watched the man expire. A part of him wondered if he could have been wrong and he just suggested a being's life to be taken. But there was also the half that knew better, knew the outcome no matter the routes taken and the luck granted. Shiro sighed and shook his head. He needed to think clearly and rational if he and the others were going to make it out of here alive, his glowing crimson eyes catching each of their stares as they began to look to him for guidence. And then the Trooper made his approach.

 

"Please, its Shiro Seven." Shiro spoke in return to his question, his gaze shifting in sorrow toward the Trooper who still held the body of her fallen comrade. "New recruit in the Imperial Marines, Private rank as well. We got pinned down just down the corridor by a few green men and a rancor sized beast wielding a cleaver. This direction was our best retreat."

 

Shiro pointed in the direction they had came from near the engine rooms where their Staff Sergeant intended to storm the bridge using the service lift, but before they could reach it, they were led into an ambush. And now, like these Troopers, they were leaderless and alone behind enemy lines. Not the best combination for fresh recruits. "Our Staff Sergeant was KIA'd and I've been doing my best to keep us alive."

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Bakra still hadn't gotten used to being in close proximity to the Sith, the subtle feelings of dread and fear and anger gnawing at the back of his mind. It was a feeling the Darth he'd arrived with hadinflamed, much to his dismay in hindsight, and one that the newcomer had intensified by mere proximity. Whover they were, they were dangerous. A voice in the back of his mind reminded him that the Dark Lord was present in the battle, but he shook that off at first. Surely  such a powerful individual wouldn't be here, in this hanger, with him?

 

Whatever doubts he held were quashed as he watched the warrior carve a bloody path through the pirates. And when the weapons flew towards him, he grinned.

 

"This is a real arsenal." 

 

He grabbed a pistol, jamming it into his belt as he holstered his own, and picking up on of the heavy blasters. He llet out and expiramental arc of blaser bolts towards the pirates, gettinga feel for the weapon. He laughed. Firefights weren't his cup of tea, but with guns like this and potentially the Dark Lord ofthe Sith as an ally, he was liking his chances. Still, standing  in the open like this was going to get him killed. He racedback towards the wreck of the TIE Defender, taking position nehind one of the wings.

 

He'd recieved blaster training as part of his enlistment, and had gotten into scraps in his days as a merc, but this was something else. Toxins burned as they made  contact with the bolts flying through the air, and the spaces they occupied were quickly reoccupied as more air tried to fill thee vacuum. He'd have to keep an eye on those clouds- he didn't know if his helmet filtered toxins or not, but he could do a lot from here.

 

His blaster barked with violent intent as he squeezed the trigger, holding it down and spraying in the generaldirection of the bad guys until the barrel started to steam. He swore. He should have  grabbed the other blaster, too. Still, the weapon seemed to cool quickly, and he fired again.

 

"Anyone see where they're coming from?"

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A solitary curse from Frostwin preordained a whole stream of curses that even made Delta’s eyebrows raise half a centimeter. 

 

“Flares dispatched from enemy positions, multiple flares fired from multiple positions. Enemies confirmed dug in.”

 

Frostwin’s rough voice grated through the internal speakers of Delta’s helmet, as the older man crawled back inside shaking his macrobinoculars to ward off the majority of the moonfall dust that was sticking to anything with any amount of electrical charge. Delta could feel it bunching at the seams of his suit and if he tried to brush it off the blasted dust would just stick to the fingers of his gloves instead. Delta growled as his grey blue eyes watched the command view map projected at the side of his HUD that was being routed down from the signal corps to the general channel. Those Marines were coming, but not nearly fast enough. He looked back at Frostwin and Blacktorin who were looking out of their makeshift cave with as much concern as could be shown from immovable ‘T’ shaped visors. 

 

Delta extended his hand again for the cleaned Macros’ and when he had received them, he whispered a prayer and crawled back out next to the prepositioned antenna. He set the Macrobinoculars down beside him on the bare duracrete and while keeping himself ducked down behind the fallen rubble scrabbled at his wrist mounted datapad. He found the external cable and pulled it from its sheathing and with a yank he pulled out the slack from the small compartment. He reached above him to the mounted antenna and pushed the cord into its reciever, re-connecting him to the main communications channel. He thumbed his receiver to another command channel that was labelled for the Ishi Tib Marine Company. His HUD flashed the channels until he landed on the right one.

 

Channel 33-1. Coded. Encrypt: ON

 

“Hotel Two, Lima One.” 

 

Static blasted his ears as his comm transmitter found its repeater on the overhead Victory Star Destroyer. A solid tone sounded then static again. A muffled voice then responded.

 

“Go for Hotel Two command.” 

 

Delta kept crouched next to the fallen rubble that made the entrance of the cave as he brought the Macros’ to his visor. 

 

“Your drop zone is in a possible killzone, be wary for incoming fire on landing. You will be dropping right on my position. Signal Lima One.” 

 

The voice sounded exasperated. “Hotel One copies, can’t you clear a path Sunner?”

 

Delta felt his blood pressure rise at the slight from the Sith captain on the other side of the comm line, but he kept his voice cool and steady.

 

“See you in thirty se-”

 

The rock right next to Delta’s face suddenly exploded in molten fragments that bit under his helmet’s collar. Though doing no deadly damage the sudden sharp pain caused the clone commando to drop the macrobinoculars and fall flat on his face. Was that energy discharge? No blaster trail. But it was no micrometeor, he had seen a moonfall some kilometer away, but no corresponding impacts next to him. He chalked it up to a missed blaster shot. It was better to be safe, and his position was now illuminated with flares that told every type of sniper where enemies were hiding. Perhaps he hadn’t seen the shot. But the fading pain in his neck told him all he needed to know. Micrometeors didn’t melt stone into chunks like that. 

 

He cursed and pulled his blaster pistol from its leather holster, beckoning to his two officers. He flipped comms back to Lima’s subchannel with a single button press. 

 

“Possible snipers, as soon as the drop pods hit, we move with them.” 

 

Small explosions echoed all around him as a dust storm was kicked up by the two dozen drop pods landing on the uneven ground. With the whipping dust obscuring anything three meters in front of them, the trio of Lima One command staff sprinted from their hiding towards the next patch of tumbled rubble in the direction of the Glory Bound. 

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Qaela nodded in response to the formation of the small fleet that had formed up around the Herløv. With a half smile on her lips, she gestured for Captain Geratos to send the signal to jump to hyperspace. Within moments, the specks of stars erupted into the swirl of hyperspace.

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Through strength I gain power. Does that make strength or power the most holy? Not all power requires strength in the physical or spiritual sense. I can get much farther by manipulation and subtly than I would by the berserker strength of a Sith Warrior. Power is what should be worshiped, not strength. The weak should be destroyed.

 

*****

 

The Force twisted about the Sith Lord, the feeling of a spider weaving a web of durasteel cables. Her footsteps stalled and she whipped herself about, braids whirling around her head like a dozen whips lashing on the backs of slaves. Her mind drifted to the descriptions Sheog had given of the Dark Lord’s influence and command of the Force. A master of assassins and shadows. A sneer contorted her freckled face

 

…Shadows and knives, but a spider is only king to the flies.

 

Darth Awenydd despised servitude, but no Sith could resist the call to slaughter. Pain blossomed into her focus, but it was not her own. She pressed her strength into a mad dash back into the fray, letting a hawkish cry spring from her lips. The souls she had touched before, the Trandoshans, were falling to their own weapon, the result of her attacks. Their crippling agony seared through her consciousness, bringing her alive with their shattering bodies. As the poison gas consumed their lungs, filling it with corrosion and rot, The Sith Lord drew upon their anguish. She willed them to live a moment longer, if only so they could suffer more.  

 

The weak must serve the strong. I am the strong.

 

The shattered decking the Fieldgrey had touched earlier cried out for her. The Sith Lord channeled the power of the Dark Side into the twisted durasteel as she ran towards the chaos of battle. She let the anger rise within her until she could feel herself begin the lose control. With each step towards the oncoming Trandoshan reinforcements, the pain of the dying threatened to overwhelm her senses.

 

From their chaos, I will bring…

 

The Krath brought the Force to bear on the durasteel, twisting it to her will as she amplified the pain of the dying Trandoshans, feeding on it like an ouroboros. She could feel the metal’s weight straining on her, trying to drag her down. The Sith Lord wrapped the decking in her anger, banishing the weight from her mind.

 

Order.

 

The decking sheared into ribbons like it was flimsiplast with a tremendous groan and an ear-shattering shriek. Amongst the haze, the shards of durasteel twisted to her design and began to tumble into a whirlwind about the Sith. Into it, she poured all of her hate. The durasteel made a screeching roar as it picked up speed, beckoned to a murderous haste by the Force.  

 

A lumbering Trandoshan ran through the haze, searching for his lost Vibrosword amongst the smoke. Darth Awenydd howled for his attention.

 

The Sith Lord could feel a twinge of fear in the force from the Trandoshan as he saw the chaos of her storm and she was drawn to it like a mynock to a power cable. She amplified it and let it grow, savoring the taste of reptilian fear before devouring it with her power.

 

Fieldgrey tore at his soul with her wrath, overpowering his own reptillian mind, consuming his consciousness with her ravenous desire for power. The Sith Lord could feel his life force dissolve beneath the withering assault of her storm, the total of his life vanishing like a handful of salt in the rain. She could taste it now, the stirring madness of power that was beginning to alter her seething soul into a mindless rage.

 

The heartbeats of the reptilian cabal flickered like torchlights in a darkened forest. The girl laughed wickedly, savoring the fight to come. Nothing would smother her fury; it could only be drowned in blood.

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I M M E R S I O N


 

Darker now, flashes of red blindly punching through the smoke. Blaster bolts. Exodus spread his stance thin, lowering himself nearly into a split. Weak lungs or not, a great many would slowly buckle into a wheeze if they were not wary, dropping below the smog was likely the best option here. The assassin closed his eyes to see what he could not with them open; as far as his natural sight could see, his unnatural mind had a vision that was nearly prophetic in efficiency. The hum of the warship drummed alive with echoes and sounds, senses that heightened him into an apex predator no matter the species he was up against. 

 

 

"I see every last one of them," His voice was charred with the Dark Side, but his answer met the curiosity of the Imperial Officer Bakra. 

 

 

Exodus tumbled forward into a clean roll, organizing enough momentum to torpedo his body like a bullet towards his enemies. It was absurd how his command of the force could accelerate his body the way it did. He spun through the air hard and fast, with the blade of his lightsaber in hand. With the red flare of Transcendence, it looked as if it were a ring of fire that surrounded him as he torpedoed into the fray. The first of his foes caught the brunt of his aerial speed, an aggressive Form IV punched into the Cabal with a force that would have ripped the Trandoshan into two. The assassin missed intentionally, spreading himself out again so that he could stick the landing just behind the stunned foe, driving the width of his red blade through the body of the creature that now stood within his kill zone. Execution of form was flawlessly delivered. The Trandoshan was dead before he could understand how quickly it had happened, his body slowly teetering apart at the seams from what was once whole. The Cabal stood dead, but managed slight movement from his pointed fingertips on his left hand. Exodus heaved upwards, and then diagonally with his weapon before kicking the upper half of his foe over. The left hand of the Trandoshan separated from the wrist, and his head fell clean off from where it just sat moments ago. Before the green-skin came entirely undone, the assassin was on the move again.

 

 

The speed in which he moved was hard to trace, but he needed them to try. A loud whistle cracked the sound of the chaos all around them. The sound was so naked and powerful, lasting only one full breath, but the hearing of it was what left a gnawing impression. It became a white noise inside of the mind of their enemies, 


 

"What is that noise?!

Focus, focus, find him!

Kill the bastards now!

...What is this force magic?

They have reinforcements, they are in the shadows you fools, shoot!"


 

The language was Dosh, so it came across as loud hisses, growls and grunts. The frantic ramblings implied their confusion, and now their desperation. They were beginning to see things, many things, shapes and sounds shuffling their feet behind the veil of low visibility. They aimed high and low, an obvious disorientation scattered across the small airdock in frenzy. Perhaps the Spider was toying with his food. Durasteel screeched off of the flooring, already compromised from the crashing starfighters, but now the metal was being manipulated. Darth Awenydd and her ally Bakra had found a new confidence, now pushing their own offensives. 


 

The heaviness of a vibrosword slammed into his crush-gaunt, with an intention to mutilate the Spider, but the quality of the armor-piece was underestimated. Metal clashed with Mandalorian Iron, naturally forcing the Dark King to brace slightly from impact, but the physiology of an Anzati was far superior to most. He adjusted quicker than most could, and immediately seized the weapon with the same hand, holding the Trandoshan closer, close enough that he could smell the rank odor from the underpits of the creature. “Where is the Arkanian Prisoner?” The Cabal hissed in his native tongue, growling obscenities from under his mask that truly answered nothing. The green-skin was rebellious and yanked harder with both arms to free himself, but the cumbersome weight of the vibrosword added to the difficulty. “Pic’ would be ashamed of these rodents.” Exodus leveled the red blade to the face of the Cabal now, silencing the incessant yapping coming from the despicable beast, Dosh was never a pleasant language to listen too. 

 

“Cow-erd” The beast tried Basic, so much hate bleeding through those beady eyes.

 

 

Exodus released the hold on the sword, dropping backwards by a step to avoid blaster fire. All youth and lean muscle came from the Trandoshan now, leaping forward into Exodus, waving the heavy blade in figure eights multiple times before crashing down onto the floor. The Dark King cracked a smile. This time, he ensured eye contact, the brilliant emerald of his eyes showing for the first time as his hood fell from his wolf-mane. For a brief moment, he could see real uncertainty in his opponent’s eyes, almost as if he was questioning his entire life to this point. But it was too late.


 

Advancing. Forward again. The Cabal charged at him with the heavy-blade upheld, going to his foreswing and following it with a backswing. The Spider dodged the first and met the second with his crush-gaunt once more. This time with a force that sent his opponent reeling, but not enough to knock the blade free of his hands. A raving set into the Trandoshan, understanding that his every move was futile. A small storm kicked up in the airdock, circling what he could only describe as a witch, and this man in front of him who was impregnable from the jump. He could see the other Cabal fall from crack shots behind the broken TIE fighter, his attention now scattered. 

 

“Focus on me, Trandoshan. You must watch closely, or you will miss the moment that you pass from this life into the next.” The voice of the King was smooth, alluringly so, but the otherworldly pitch of it sounded like he spoke from the grave. 

 

Dun Möch. The Trandoshan could not believe the audacity, he stampeded forward now. Swing. Swing. Swing. The first two missed horribly, and the third, a back-swing that lacked strength because of the exhaustion in his muscles. Exodus slapped the heavy-blade from the hands of his opponent and punched into his chest with the same hand, finding flesh and bone. The forearm of the King ate through his opponent as easily as air. The Cabal dropped to a knee, tried to stand, and dropped again. “I will find what I am after, reptile. Now embrace death.” Exodus reached deeper and squeezed, crushing the insides of his opponent, feeling every bit of a warm surrender. The life released from his foe, and so did he, pulling his arm from the idle corpse.


 

Exodus wasted no time and burrowed further, angling his attention now to the enemies that held their choke-point towards the north-western access. He was now the spear.

 

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((Delta))

 

Throgun noticed it first, pointing it out to Remar. The telltale meteor trail of Moonfall, but coming in from the wrong angle. Several chunks coming in from parallel angles. Drop pods. Remar swore under his breath. His enemy was skilled. This would not be a simple fight, and he held the lives of his brothers and sister in his hand. In the back of his mind however, he knew unless the entire squad used superior tactics to gain the upper hand, they were unlikely to prevail in their objective. Beneath his helmet, Remar's gaze hardened.

"Okay. Change of plans fireteam. Rin, see if you can snipe a few of our incoming guests before they know what hit them. Don't stay too long. Thro, covering fire. We retreat to the tunnels, use the terrain to our advantage, set traps. We might be able to repel them at that subterranean apartment complex if we're lucky, otherwise we need the strength of the rest of our brothers and sisters. Ready...move."

As one, the Mandalorians began a tactical retreat. Throgun's massive frame stood from behind his cover to begin raining rapid heavy blaster fire across the battlefield to hamper the Sith forces from advancing as long as he could. At the same time, Chun and Remar popped smoke grenades to obscure the Mandalorians' positions as much as possible, excepting Rina, who hopefully was still hidden in her sniper's nest. As soon as his brothers were clear, Throgun began slowly walking backward, finally breaking his onslaught as he rushed to rejoin his kin. The Mandalorians worked quickly, setting up a handful of mines and grenades attached to pressure plates beneath debris and thin tripwires strung low across chokepoints. They also covertly marked each trap for Rina, positioning a piece of debris here and there in symbols obvious to those trained know to look for them, but innocuous to the uninitiated.

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Durstan sighed heavily, realizing their luck couldn’t have been worse. He walked slowly to where Private Shiro had pointed and took a peek down the hall himself. His visor revealed only so much, the power supplies in this vessel quite clearly failing. He shook his head hopelessly, knowing now that danger was everywhere. He tapped his metallic cuisse and reached into  a hidden compartment to pull retrieve the datapad he just received from Captain Iven, “Well Private Shiro, you’ve got lead now.” 

 

 

He entered a sequenced password and confidential information booted to life.

 

Captain Iven: “.. Make no mistake, soldiers. The Hexa is a derelict warship helmed by the infamous Galactic Alliance. All record of its existence has been wiped from most databases, but we’ve stubbornly tracked it failingly for decades. Most of us drew this ship up as a rumor of war, nothing more than another fairytale to inspire our rebellion. The Hexa is nothing more than a glorified prison barge, operationally off-the-books, disconnected from the holier-than-thou governing body. An alliance I spit on. Once those bastards fell, once the Galactic Union rotted from the inside-out, this vessel was abandoned. They condemned their own as a sacrifice, authorizing the unsanctioned slaughter of countless prisoners without trial, in the dead of space. 

 

I don’t know what happened here, most of the cells are emptied, others have taken their own lives, and those that remained have been mutilated beyond recognition. Madness has taken hold of any we’ve come across. The Hexa is dead in the water, the power sources have been drained or stolen to a necessity. The commander of this ship returned against their strict order, but they did not expect to jump into the collision of Hesperidium and Coruscant proper. No one anticipated where this thing came from, but neither the Cabal or the Crusaders had the patience to understand what had landed between them. Their anonymity went unchecked, but Imperial Intelligence demands that we discover what was hidden here.  The commander? She--She (inaudible words, static) neurotic (inaudible words, static) no maintenance, no direction, and unable to preserve the livestock aboard the Hexa.

 

We attempted to access the terminals, but she hangs and cycles on any attempt. There is a darkness on the bridge, an artifact, or maybe a few. The Cabal are not themselves, there is something controlling them. They do not adhere to their usual scouting report, they are inconsistent. They are unpredictable. They are feral. Not to mention the (inaudible words, static). Orders are to retrieve the Seal! Then evacuate before this place blows to smithereens. I fear I will not see you all on the other side, stand strong and long live the Empire!"

 

The Immortal Seal of the Empire is used to mark correspondence from the Emperor to the Galactic Senate, and is also used as a symbol of the sovereignty itself. The central design, based on the iterations of pre-existing Empires, is the official coat of arms of the Emperor and also appears consistently on emblematic designs throughout their worlds. The seal of the Emperor was developed over a long period of time before being defined in law, and its early history remains obscure. A political signage for the ruler of the galaxy. The Galactic Alliance had this secreted away on the Hexa, as this is an iconic and empowering tool politically for the old Imperial regime.



 

“Private Shiro, this information is incriminating, even though the GA is no more, we are in dangerous waters.” Private Durstan walked over to the nearest terminal, handing over the datapad to his new leader before leaning into the terminal behind him. He went through familiar processes and then the transmissions systems cracked awake. The entire ship could hear this now;

 

 

 

GREETINGS. GREETINGS..

I AM YOUR HOST, CONSTRUCT 0854329-ERR. (SOUND CUTS OUT. STATIC)

ERR- I AM YOUR HOST, PRISM.

PLEASE EVACUATE THE HEXA

AT YOUR NEAREST CONVENIENCE.

 

THIS FACILITY IS HOME TO CRIMINALS

FROM ACROSS OUR GALACTIC SPACE.

THE SECURITY SYSTEMS HERE ARE STATE OF THE ART

BECAUSE YOUR SAFETY IS OUR HIGHEST PRIORITY.

LONG MAY THE GALACTIC ALLIANCE PROSPER!

 

THE GALACTIC ALLIANCE HAS FALLEN.

ALL SYSTEMS HAVE BEEN COMPROMISED.

PLEASE EVACUATE.

PLEASE ENJOY YOUR STAY.

GREETINGS.

I AM PRISM.

 

Edited by Exodus

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Shiro's eyes burned with both anger and fear as he listened to the missive, his grip upon the datapad tightly squeezed as fractures began to cross into the video he gazed upon. Not only did the fear of the unknown set a weight within his heart, but the newly added weight of his comrades in arms now sat squarely upon his shoulders caused his neck to ache from the thought of their loves solely placed in his hands. He was a fresh recruit, barely out of basic training, and the only experience he had outside that was saving his own skin in the Arena on Krayiss II. This was a whole new league for him to be thrown into, and if the enemy contact they made previously was any suggestion of truth to the missive, things were about to get even more serious.

 

But if it hadn't been for the anger boiling in his blood, Shiro's level of anxiety would have sent him straight into a hyperventilate state. Shiro was a descendant of a POW, political prisoners locked away for lifetimes and generations by an ancient Imperial order that died out long ago. And for him to be thrown into another prison as an enemy soldier of another faction that hid it away from public eyes, one who supposedly served its public, infuriated him beyond belief. He knew the truth of politics, but this was beyond that. This was the same devil his ancestors knew assuming a different name and persona. Perhaps Shaq'teel knew this when he sent Shiro to join the Imperial Legions, to discover this truth for himself and offer a way for him to change it. Shiro's mind was ablaze with the information and possibilities that now presented themselves. And despite the fear, he knew his purpose now. He was an Imperial Marine, and he would serve loyaly to change things.

 

"Prepare to move out. We've got our orders. Dustan..." Shiro began to bark out orders, his blood boiling with anger and the missive fresh on his mind when he noticed Dustan messing with the terminal. "Its pointless. Comms are..." Was all he managed to mutter before an eerie message began bellowing across the ship, its automated voice repeating a cryptic sign. In a burst of anger, Shiro grabbed Dustan and shoved him against the wall near his men, rifles shouldered and at the ready by all. "What did you do?" Shiro blurted out, his glowing red gaze inflamed by the fire in his chest. "You've likely just alerted the entire enemy's army to our position."

 

Shiro couldn't believe the stupidity, but at the same time, he couldn't help but understand that if the roles were reversed, he might have done the same thing. So he released the private and ordered all to lower their weapons. "What's done is done. Prepare yourselves and move out. We certainly cant stay put any longer. We continue forward and pray to whatever Gods we worship that we dont run into anything. Double time it men!" Turning back to Dunstan, Shiro dusted off his armor and handed him his weapon. "Forgive me. Tensions are high right now and this missive only confirms the worst. Let's go." 

 

Allowing Dunstan to follow his fellow Troopers and Shiro's Marines, Shiro took up the rear, his Z-6 at the ready. Turning right out the room, the group began their trek once again into the unknown, the cryptic and eerie message on a constant repeat as it bellowed across the ship, echoing in the darkness of its holds and around every corner. Turning his gaze to Dustan once again, Shiro spoke a simple question. "Where is the Seal located?"

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Vice Admiral Nyarro regarded the wounded ship warily, and chewed its behavior down to the bone before he issued his orders. While the crusaders were religious extremists, they didn’t spend lives pointlessly, the more logical conclusion was that the ship was unmanned and being run by its computer and perhaps a basic droid crew.

 

“Seize the ship with tractor beams and haul it out of the hazard area. Once our own ships are clear of the debris we can begin boarding actions.”

 

======================

 

Even through her chembreather Darth Nyrys’s nostrils burned from the scent of chemical fires and acrid fumes as her dropship neared the landing zone. The whole world was on fire, and no one possessed both the desire and means to douse the flames. The museum loomed over the landscape impressively, visible from their landing zone in the ruins of a former Imperial parade square turned Galactic Alliance memorial. She was indifferent to most of the displays, but one particular section took a rocket to the everything for having the audacity to exist.

 

An uncomfortable giddiness was seeping into her from the excessive presence of the Dark Side, a far more literal version of the phrase guilty pleasure. There was a definite bounce in her step as she lead her troops towards the museum, and she couldn’t even convince herself that it was out of excitement to experience such a prestigious collection of artifacts and art. Her insides were a cauldron of manic energy and tense nerves as she moved deeper into enemy territory, but something nibbled at the edges of her mind as she neared the museum. An ill wind moved through her bones and curdled her stomach, and she felt that something worse than pirates awaited her at her destination.

 

Up ahead, the sounds of combat could be heard, given the level of firepower involved, probably freelancers mopping up pirates for Sith credits. Her escorts readied themselves and ran precombat diagnostics in silence, Dark Troopers had no need for stirring speeches to quell nerves or bolster resolve, they were simply killing machines. With a dismissive gesture the unit advanced in sepulchral silence to strike the enemy from behind...

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Jax quickly got out of the pirates in the foyers sights before turning his attention the pirate captain leading the charge into the museum, He quickly fired a blaster bolt into the Pirate captains head to complete the bounty, now all he needed to do was kill as many of the Pirates as possible and return for credits. As he thought this he fired off 3 more shots nailing the other pirates that had come into the museum with the captain in various locations. Confident he'd at least disabled the pirates for the moment he charged up to higher ground to take out the pirates in the Foyer before the ion grenade wore off.

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Delta and his company pushed off in a mighty rush, slightly in front of the Marines as they exited their pods. The complete lack of intensive fire from the Mandalorians gave Delta some pause until a stream of crimson laser bolts began to light up the ground in front of him and behind him. Rocks kicked up by the fluctuating gravity from the moonfall and shattered by the crimson rain pinged off his armour as another wave of red rose up to meet the mandalorians in answer from the charging marines. 

 

Fire and Advance. 

 

A dash of a dozen meters, then cover behind scant rocks and covering fire for those charging next. Some smoke grenades went off and up ahead and Delta could hear a startled grunt and yell from his Lima comms. Frostwin beside him seemed to stumble and fell to his knees before falling into a shallow crater. No laser trail. 

 

Spast

 

The wave of melancholy hit Delta like whatever unseen sniper bolt had just tagged Frostwin. But training took control of limbs left numb by the shock of sadness that had just washed over him. He turned his sprint to his side and grabbing the protruding legs of his friend, he pitched the man fully into the crater, tossing his blaster pistol into the hole as well before he jumped in himself. He could feel more than hear the crunch of Tares Blacktorin jumping in beside him. Ducking her helmet low to keep cover in the shallow crater that was ringed by debris and the rusted spiky thorns of exposed durasteel duracrete reinforcements.

 

“I can get up, stop it Tares, I can ge-” 

 

Frostwin had taken off his helmet to clear his visor as Blacktorin shouted for him to lie still.  

 

“No I just trippe-” 

 

Blood began to drip out of his mouth in a singular stream that turned into red froth on the edges of his mouth. The man’s eyes drifted down to where Tares was pushing on his armour, seeing the cracked and busted plates that covered his stomach he let out a curse then almost instantaneously, his head lolled to the side. Blood dripping freely from his mouth to pool in his lap. Tares strangled back a cry as her hands were soaked by the sudden downpour of blood. 

 

“Release pressure for a moment so I can expose the wound. Break out your medipack. Now” 

 

Delta could hear nothing but the pounding of his heart in his ears and the vibration of the long dagger in his hand that had been activated from its withdrawal from its enclosing sheath. He took a deep breath that tasted like dust and retrohaled air  and flicked the switch on the back of the blade’s handle. The vibrating immediately ceased, stifling the danger that a slight slip might encounter on Frostwin’s life. With another inhale of stale air, he sliced the jumpsuit under the man’s armour from beltline to neckline. He pulled away the jumpsuit and burned, cracked plastoid and let another curse spill out of his mouth. Burned and blackened guts poked out from a torn and ugly hole that had been the man’s stomach. 

 

Kriff

 

Blacktorin beside him also cursed as she ducked back down in the hollow of the crater as the sounds of the advancing Marine from Hotel Two thundered by them. He had been foolish, putting themselves out in the open like that, and now his good friend had paid, or was paying the price. The reading on Delta’s HUD still showed a weak and thready pulse, which told him that Frostwin had a chance. 

 

“HypoSyringe of bacta, and three clotting agents now.” 

 

Bloody hands pressed the implements into his, and Delta set to work as the charge of Hotel Two continued. A body pitched over the side of the crater, landing with a crack of bone on duracrete next to Blacktorin who yelped in terror. Delta sat undisturbed by the commotion as he emptied the hyposyringe and powdered clotting agents into the guts of his friend. He took a large section of gauze and began to pack it in 'z' strips into the wound. Careful to not jostle the man's organs too much. He wrapped the wound then waved Blacktorin to him. With the bacta and dressing applied there was little Delta could do but take his revenge. He looked into her 'T' visor and he grabbed her shoulder armour firmly. Shaking her so that she would remember the message. He kept the regret out of his voice and spoke sternly to the girl that had accompanied him for nearly a decade.  

 

Apply pressure. Stay with him. I’ll be back little love.” He slapped the top of Blacktorin’s helmet, leaving a dusty red handprint before he grabbed the fallen marine’s rifle  which was still grasped in twitching hands and charged himself out of the makeshift foxhole. The Marines themselves, having charged and taken cover on the edges of the caves, began to concentrate fire on what they thought may be the sniper’s nest and the large man in armour who was holding the line single handedly. Delta knelt and let a stream of bolts depart the rifle towards the large man before he continued his sprint towards the caves.

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((Jax))

The leader of the pirates smirked as the Mando exited cover, bringing his own disruptor pistol to bear. But the day was not his. A disruptor blast flew from his barrel, but his barrel was already pointed skyward as his corpse fell backwards, a smoking hole where his forehead once was. The others balked at this, hesitating in their charge as they saw their leader slain like a common dog. Overconfidence was a fickle bitch.

 

Several others turned to flee, and Jax managed to down three of their number, scattering the rest. Like cockroaches under a sudden bright light, it was every man for himself. They were no longer a serious threat. Thankfully, most of the damage to the museum had been contained to the foyer, and didn't extend to some of the more valuable exhibits within.

 

Suddenly Jax's comm unit beeped with a waiting message, sent from the Sith MCLO, informing him of altered work parameters:

Spoiler

Bounty Hunter Jax Rymateer:

Intelligence informs that your contract has been fulfilled. You have proven to be a cut above many other mercenaries hired for this kind of work, many of which are now dead. However, be aware that Intelligence has been monitoring significant enemy activity in your area. Sith Lord Darth Nyrys has taken to the field to secure various assets at your present position, but we have determined additional force may be necessary to repel potential enemy incursions. Be advised, these will be battle-hardened traitorous Mandalorian soldiers, not some hotheaded gang of pirates. Should you accept this contract extension, your actions will be monitored and reported back by Sith assets for 
verification of contract completion. Your temporary point of contact for on-site orders directly related to this contract will be Darth Nyrys herself.

Mission: General Mercenary Combat Duty
Parameters: Take all orders from Sith Lord at location until notified of relief of duty. Early termination of contract is acceptable, but will incur significant pay penalties. The Sith do not value cowards. Scavenging rights to viable equipment recovered from the dead will be negotiated after termination of contract.

 

Attached: MCLO_CombatDuty_PRIORITYMISSION_Payscales.nfo


The offer more than tripled the offer Jax had received to take on the pirates, and that was before any combat performance bonuses. It was quite clear that the Sith intelligence thought this place was incredibly important.

((Nyrys/Jax))

The pirates on the exterior of the building scattered, using whatever vehicles they had left to escape. The sight of a formation of Dark Troopers marching toward them was also reason to be terrified. One of the turret mounted vehicles tried snapping off a few stray shots, but within seconds it was clear that it was more intended as stray covering fire than an actual assault as it too took off, putting the museum as far behind it as it could. 

 

A message is broadcast to Darth Nyrys, informing her of the potential asset on the battlefield ((Jax)) as well as observed heavy enemy units closing on her position. The message heavily emphasized Sith Intelligence's belief based on observed surface movements that something of great importance to the enemy was in the area, if not in the museum itself, and that a large push was on its way to secure whatever it was. Primary orders were to demolish the inbound enemy forces with a secondary objective of identifying and securing whatever it was the rogue Mandalorians were after.

 

Meanwhile in orbit, the now-disabled Fane of Storms-class frigate designation Thunderous Reprisal that the Sith were towing out of the orbital debris cloud gave little resistance. A few kinetic rounds managed to fire off, but none hit any critical systems, making it clear that their targeting systems had been disabled. After a few moments, main power failed. If the ship had been in the debris much longer, it would have probably been outright destroyed. These tactics were highly unorthodox and suspect for any Mandalorian crew, and demanded reasoning for such suicidal behavior. However, that reasoning wasn't readily apparent.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

((Still Nyrys/Jax))

 

Lucky Son blared loud and strong through the skies as Dread Company made their approach through the twisted ruins of the sprawling Coruscant metropolis. Skudge had been with Dread Company less than four months now, reassigned after starting fights with his superiors in his last unit. Dread Company was where the Glory Bound sent its misfits and troublemakers, knowing full well that many who walked the exiled Mandalorian path of the Death Watch were such individuals, who needed to be "contained" so as to not interfere in the path of reclaiming honor.

 

Nobody in Dread Company seemed to care, because these were the soldiers who cared little for honor. They were commonly given suicide missions, hoping that by attrition they could be purged from the ranks, but no proper Mandalorian would ever admit to this. Dread Company, however, wore their combat prowess as a badge of pride, having survived many such encounters, despite significant troop losses. Average life expectancy in the Company was just under a year, any who survived longer than that were treated with respect. Captain Drom was one of these honored veterans, and he rode his painted war basilisk high, making himself a target for any foolish enough to engage him.

 

There were twenty basilisks in the formation total, with almost all carrying multiple Mandalorian warriors. Thirty eight men were in Dread Company, and while they might not all see the end of this day, they were confident in their objective. Skudge had never seen this kind of display before, and it made him question the Captain's methods. He briefly opened a comm to only the Captain.

 

"Why do we move so openly, Cap? Seems like a good way to bite off more than we can chew."

The Captain was swift to reply on the same channel, "Shut the frag up, Skudge. We're more than a match for any cock-sure Sith unit on this half baked hellhole. Besides, if you haven't noticed, if I draw fire, it sets the rest of you up to perfectly swarm the source while we can stay mobile. And besides that, the music is good. Save your whining for the next time you hire a prostitute."

Skudge knew better than to reply, but he did realize the Captain was right, the basilisks could easily tear through any softer targets while keeping them mobile enough to continue on to their main target. Harder targets might not be outright destroyed, but would likely be damaged enough to be rendered combat ineffective for long enough for the Mandos to pass. It was a risky gambit the Captain played at, but it demonstrated his fearlessness and combat prowess. Another message from the Captain broadcast to the rest of the company shortly after this revelation, bringing Skudge's attention back where it needed to be.

"Okay Dread Company, we're approaching our target. Check your power packs, make sure your IFF tags are engaged, and switch your visors to multi-spectral imaging. Arkab wants that key, so that's what we're going to bring him come hell or high water. And I don't see any fragging water nearby, so bring the hell. I don't give a mynock's left testicle about the rest of that place, but we need that key. These Sith bastards have already proven to be more than annoying in engaging our brothers and sisters, so if we come up against resistance, weapons free and give them a big ol' Dread Company welcome. The other idiots might be bound for glory, but without us they're nothing. Remember that! Remember your pride! DREAD COMPANY!!"

Cheers and warcries lit up the channel momentarily before most of them readied themselves for whatever this ruined world could throw at them.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

((Delta))

"They took the bait."

"Rin? Where are you? Do you have a clear line of advance?"

"No. Don't worry about me. Bring glory to our brothers and Sisters, Rem."

"Rin? ...Rin?? RIN?!!"

The comm went silent. Remar swore. Rin had been closer than the typical brother and sister that the Mandalorians all called themselves. Like actual kin. She was always pulling stupid stunts, but Remar didn't think she'd risk something in a situation like this...unless she knew the situation was that dire. He swore again, pushing his men deeper into the caves, retreating several hundred yards to the cover of the buried apartment complex hallways. Holes torn in the walls provided access to the cave network, which was also the access the Mandalorians had used to get to the underground power substation. Now, it might be their tomb.

On the surface, Rina was out of ammunition. There was no clear escape path except through the deadly moonfall fields, and her path to rendezvous with her team had been quickly cut off. But she still mostly had the element of surprise, and some grenades. She knew she needed to buy her compatriots time to retreat and entrench, and that came in the form of a distraction. 

"HEY TURD SNIFFERS!"

Her voice rang out from an overhang a short ways away from the cave entrance the marines had posted up at. She had two frag grenades in her hands, already cooking. The first throw landed neatly in the middle of the marine formation, but as fate would have it when she went to throw the second a moonfall pebble struck her in the beskar pauldron, the small impact hitting with the force of a sledgehammer and driving her forward off the ledge to tumble down to the ground below, the frag grenade landing nearby.

((It is my intention that Delta sees Rina's actions as he's running. If you want to capture/interact with her, I'm okay with that at this point, you can determine where the second grenade landed to either imply she was superficially wounded and dazed, or simply outright killed. At present, there should be no direct threat to Delta himself, just his other listed forces.))

Edited by Glory Bound
Edit 1 - Censors, Edit 2 - Added paragraph to Nyrys reply regarding ship in orbit.

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P E A K 

 

 

As one of few docking bays still functional on the Hexa, hangar bay 355 served as an empty dock to check ships which had been swallowed in by a tractor beam. Outside access to the docking bay was granted by these same tractor beams. If a ship tried to depart with the tractor beams active, the beam would again drag it back into the air-dock, but functionalities ran amiss ship-wide. Air-dock 355 had interior emergency repulsor-fields to deal with damaged vessels. The tractor beams were used to guide craft that had either lost power to their engines or directional thrusters, while emergency generators flooded the bay with repulsor-field cushioning for any disengagements. The walls and decks, likewise, were lined with various power cell charger sockets that were now disabled or leaking electricity loosely. The deck itself had directional markings etched into it that were softly illuminated to guide ships toward a safe resting place, some of which were now peeled from their roots by Darth Awenydd. 

 

Unlike all hangars and docking bays on the Hexa, 355 maintained a control room beneath the air-dock, once staffed by a team that monitored the approach and departure of all craft into and out of the hangar, of which normally included a complete staff of maintenance personnel, emergency medical teams, flight support personnel, and droids. The control team also supplied reports to their commanding officers, and in turn issued orders to those in the hangar. The control room contained sensor relays, flight-tracking screens, ship-to-ship communication capabilities, tractor beam and repulsor-lift controls, and consoles for regulating the magnetic field that still protected from the vacuum of space. It also housed computer consoles that could access data and monitor other areas of the Hexa. Similar to other docking bays, racks of blaster rifles were positioned close to a room's doorway so as to ensure the crew would have quick access to weapons in the event of infiltration, and as such it also held various security supplies, which included binders to secure prisoner traffic during their escort to the detention levels. Accessing the control room from the hangar itself was nearly impossible, but once the team from inside activated the dedicated repulsor-lift, the middle of the hangar would open up to allow entry. The control room's consoles included monitors for displaying data regarding various vehicles, personnel and the general status inside the adjoining hangar, as well as schematics for almost every area inside the Hexa, as well as a built-in com-link that allowed the control room officers to communicate with other personnel stationed aboard the Dauntless-class prison barge.

 

Docking Bay 355 was one of the locations that the Crusaders and Cabals had first docked with, ensuring a struggle for dominance and command. The vessel had worn itself out from the inside, and days later, the Sith Empire would arrive. Imperial troops held intelligence to know that this was no ordinary ship, and a search that had since yielded nothing but the remnants of battle ensued. A reconnaissance crew was sent in, searching for items and people of high value, regardless of what obstacles stood in the way. The scanning crew never completed their search of the ship for they were met with an obstacle too grand for splintered battalions; the original crew had been wiped, while the Emerald Cabal searched just as vigilantly as they did, eating their way through the opposing forces that stood in their way, enchanted by a fervor unlike their own. During this time, the officer in charge of the docking bay's control team was Lieutenant Corso, an officer of the search team. Unfortunately, they faced a demise at the hands of a simple mercenary. One that the Cabal themselves had underestimated. 

 

 

"GREETINGS. GREETINGS.. 

I AM YOUR HOST, CONSTRUCT 0854329-ERR. (SOUND CUTS OUT. STATIC) 

ERR- I AM YOUR HOST, PRISM. 

PLEASE EVACUATE THE HEXA 

AT YOUR NEAREST CONVENIENCE.

 

THIS FACILITY IS HOME TO CRIMINALS 

FROM ACROSS OUR GALACTIC SPACE. 

THE SECURITY SYSTEMS HERE ARE STATE OF THE ART 

BECAUSE YOUR SAFETY IS OUR HIGHEST PRIORITY. 

LONG MAY THE GALACTIC ALLIANCE PROSPER!

 

THE GALACTIC ALLIANCE HAS FALLEN. 

ALL SYSTEMS HAVE BEEN COMPROMISED. 

PLEASE EVACUATE. 

PLEASE ENJOY YOUR STAY. 

GREETINGS. 

I AM PRISM."

 

 

Over the sound of blaster fire, and the roars of battle, a loud voice played with detached tone over the internal communication systems. Darth Awenydd controlled her position with a storm of telekinetic energy, steel wreckage swirling around her form in a wild tempest, daring the unwise to tread into her proximity. Her raw exertion would be a gamble, such an expenditure could not last forever. Eyes watched carefully on a display from afar, paying attention to the three that stood their ground, hoping that they would either die or move on from this point of escape. Time was running out though. The Imperial Bakra safeguarded himself as best as he could behind the mass of the fallen TIE fighter, trading pocket shots with the enemy, risking his skin each and every time he stuck his neck out. Exodus moved as assassins do, only better, carving into the perimeter that the Cabal attempted to set. Each of them washing their hands in the lives of their enemies, and each of them feeling very different from one another as they did so. These affairs of war was what separated the weak from the ready; some were bred to conquer the unexpected, and others could only amount to the poorest of fruit, hanging lowest from the tree.  

 

 

"I have not, the time for this. Burn it all down."

 

 

The engine rooms, the main bridge, and places upon the Dauntless-class that were untraveled by the few here would soon detonate with explosions. The Hexa would scream with hollow anguish as it was systematically torn apart from the inside. Rhydonium canisters preset with simple explosive charges and a canopy of conductive substances were enough to break the remaining life from the Hexa, and such things were misplaced across the entirety of the prison barge. The evidence of the Hexa would perish here and now, while the salvages of this old relic still lay in question. The countdown began. 

 

Large tectonic plates, engineered into the middle of hangar bay 355, mechanically unfolded. Gears and cogs that fastened the large metal plates shut, now turned and wheeled alive. Clicking and spinning, unbuckling itself before the wide plates separated and revealed a gaping space in the middle of the battle scene. A repulsor-lift rose slowly, sucking the sickening miasma apart, offering at least another means of aeration. 

 

 

! ! W A R N I N G ! !

 

 npMy1MZ.jpg

 

 

Urdra Magnus,

4th Pre-Cog of the Cabal

 

Dark Side Practitioner. A masterful tactician, perhaps through military past or simply long experience in burning his way through small settlements on backwater worlds, the alchemical brigand known as Magnus commands his raiders with a violent and tactical wit. The ferocious groups of Emerald Cabal forerunners at his helm, usually unleash a reckless abandon, attacking more brazenly preceding the arrival of Magnus and more of his dark robed cultists, a brutal indicator of the chaos to come whenever he is spotted.

 

Everything Burns. Magnus and his bandits seem to focus more on destruction at the height of a raid, for they find it much easier to rob the corpses of a scorched target than leave survivors. Magnus and his hordes is entirely unsustainable with their destructive tendencies, taking what they can and leaving ruin in their wake.

 

When in battle himself, you can expect that Magnus and his kind have sabotaged the area with heavy harboring of explosives, which is commonly used to destroy fortifications, buildings, ships, and any foes unlucky enough to be caught in the blast radius when they detonate. In these situations, Magnus often keeps his hands clean, manipulating the smaller bandit crews at his disposal to enact carnage. Urdra Magnus is an unfamiliar master of the Dark Side, ex-communicated long ago due to his affiliation to the White Wolf and his connection to a well-whispered Cult. 

 

 

Then Magnus appeared,

 

 

 

(Bakra)  One of the Cabal crept low, crawling as low as he could get with his eyes fixated on one, and only one target. Sweeping beneath the wreckage of the TIE fighter.  He watched as the officer pivoted and fired, looked around trying to find targets, and fired once more blindly. The Trandoshan Cabal moved like a snake, the drags and pulls of his green cloak brushing cleanly across broken bolts and misplaced cartridges. Once he slithered close enough to the unsuspecting Imperial, he rolled into plain view, removed his pistol from his waistline and fired loosely at the man.

 

(Awenydd) Rustic brown robes, and an augmented re-breather mask, similar to the ones the rest of the Cabal wore set upon his body. Magnus flung himself from the open-concept repulsor lift before it could actually set into place. His wiry frame twisted strangely during his trajectory, almost floating as he descended by will of Force. He shot for the one who commanded the dark side so recklessly. The cultists that rose with the platform that he came from, looked as if they were set inside of some trance, not following his advance but joined together in hymn instead. Magnus brandished a peculiar book in one hand, and a quarterstaff in his other. Licks of elemental lightning surged through the quarterstaff he palmed as he landed behind Awenydd, loosening a firestorm of electricity towards the Sith, a dozen thickening prongs of thunderbolts scattering towards her. "WITNESS OBLIVION!"

 

 

 

Retrievable Items:

  • Skullclamp
  • Book of the Shapers
  • Spellbinder

 

 

 

 

 

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Jax kept his head down and called out to the dark troopers and the Sith Lord, "Friendly" Still keeping his head down in case sudden movement were to cause them to shoot, as he knew that the dark troopers were prone to do.
(Sorry kinda short, I'm in school currently)

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Bakra missed the Trandoshan, at first. He was too busy firing into the smog, trying to do a decent job at pinning the Cabal down. It was only when he ducked behind cover that he spotted the flanking lizard. A tad to late, he took a glancing blaster bolt to his shoulder, knocking him on his ass, his heavy blaster dropping from his hands as he fell. Thinking fast, he pushed off of the wing with his feet, sliding back as he drew one of his pistols. He had to stay mobile, otherwise he'd be dead before he could fire. He used his momentum to roll to his feet, drawing his second blaster as he did so, and firing off a flurry of shots.

 

His shoulder throbbed with the motions, but it was like flying a damaged ship. If he slowed down to assess the damage he'd risk getting hit again, and then he'd be in real deep shit. After this Trandoshan was dead, he'd look at his shoulder. But not before.

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