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Delta73 last won the day on May 26

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About Delta73

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  • Birthday 12/26/1991


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  1. “Shut that bastard up!” Delta’s shouted the order over the huge rebounding sound of the concussive blasts and explosive shock. It would be a hell of a medical checkup after all of this, and he could feel blood or something a lot like it dripping from both of his ears, running like a warm trail down his neck. He emptied his magazine into the bulking behemoth and then let his eyes scan the battlefield as he kneeled to slap a new magazine in place. His clear blue eyes narrowed as he took in the strange skeletal beings that loomed out of the murk. “Rifles spread fire to EI! Keep heavy fire on that beast!” The EI, or Enemy Infantry had the potential to overwhelm his remaining handful of men and so effectively splitting fire to keep them pinned down while they dealt with their Master was the best course of action Delta could think of. He racked back the heavy bolt of the slugthrower and advanced a meter or two where he could see the small armoured form of one of his Lieutenants. Blacktorin looked up at him from a face covered in mud and blood, and grinned a brilliant white grin. He could see that she also had a long stream of blood coursing from the ear canal of her left ear, where is mixed with the soft pale hair that covered the rear of her neck. He took the moment to smile back at her, letting the absurdity of the moment hit him. She released a barrage of bright red fire from her rifle and stooped to reload the rifle from the line of magazines that was slung at her waiste when the was bowled over into him in what felt like a wet blast of hot air. She looked like she was screaming in pain and delta dropped his own rifle into the murk to catch her. With a gloved hand, he wiped the white spores away from her freckled face. She spat a mouthful of them out, then vomited., her eyes rolling back and her head lolling to her shoulder. He lowered her into the murk and propped her up into a sitting position before he strode in front of her to cover her with his own body. With a grimace of anger, he reached behind him and grabbed the cylindrical case that hung under his pack. He cracked the seal on the cylinder with a twist and pull and let the three orbs contained within slide easily into his palm. He let the cylinder’s remains fall to the water and firmly grasped one of the orbs with his right hand. The other two he slipped into his left hand. It was time to end this. And with whatever biological terror the beast had released, the stakes had gotten out of hand for the Sith Soldiers. It was time to respond in kind. “Dets are clear for use.” He shouted, over the din, and not a few faces turned to look at him. Their stoic ‘T’ visors not showing their fear. He thumbed the activation switch and waited for the computer implanted in his armour to synch with the restricted action orders embedded in the detonator itself. Delta could not hear the command phrase request though would have echoed through his headset so instead he spat out three words. “Base Echo Echo.” It was a release code for restricted weapons, randomly issued to each commander in the field and one of the necessary steps in the event of a catastrophic loss. His soldiers were now clear to use their Baradium Armed Thermal Detonators. And with the ease of shockball pitcher, Delta threw one of the 25m yield weapons straight into the mouth of the Beast.
  2. “Silence on the net. Die like men. Die like heroes god damn you.” The screaming cut out just as suddenly and did not return. The wounded, laying in their mire clenched their jaws in silent agony. Those in the grips of the beast bit their tongues bloody or else turned off their comms with a flicker of their eyelids at the HUD. Delta pushed his way through the muck alongside the remains of his unit which were swiftly resuming formation. Forming on the Dark Lord, who was likely their only ticket out of the mess they had all gotten into. “Heavy weapons, Concussive. Two shell. Everyone else focus fire on areas command has exposed.” In otherwords, Darkhand began to advance with the Sith Lord, those soldiers with blaster rifles pouring a neverending stream of red bolts into flesh left rent by the dark lord. Exploiting cuts on the massive beast while those few Darkhand that still maintained their heavy weapons, lobbed the concussive grenades in tandem bursts all around the creature’s flanks. The concussive force enough to rupture tentacle and flesh alike, as they advanced. Delta stooped and pulled a repeating slugthrower from the hands of a faceless corpse whose armour marked her as one of the commandos from second company. He tipped the slugthrower so that its ejection port faced down, released the heavy magazine then cycled the bolt three times, letting a stream of water and much follow the spent cartridge from the bolt. He tapped the magazine against his thigh armour, and grimaced as a gob of mud spat from it to land on the deceased trooper’s chestplate. He did a visual inspection on the cartridges and found them mostly clean enough for use, and slapped the magazine into the buttstock receiver of the high calibre. He leaned down and ripped the pack from the soldiers shoulder and clipped it to his belt. Then with practiced precision he brought the weapon up to his shoulder and fell in. Delta strode behind his Dark Lord, the heavy repeating slugthrower recoiling like a hammer into his shoulder with every depress of the trigger. The acrid smell of cordite burnt at his nostrils and the thunderous reports from the grenades and his own rifle turned his hearing into a mess of ringing. But he was there and so were his men.
  3. Pressurize! The scream echoed out from Lieutenant Blacktorin, crashing through Delta’s mind which had been trying to ward off a mass of nausea that had nearly overcome him. When he blinked the tears out of his eyes he could feel the whole world shifting, water bubbling, and the screams of the men he was supposed to protect. He slapped at his wrist and sucked in a breath of air as he felt the undersuit to which his armour was attached suddenly tighten as it pressurized. Built to withstand the void of space combat, it was not built for comfort and Delta sucked in another breath of the recycled oxygen. “Steady yourselves!” Then there was a swirling blackness that went on and on forever as his HUD cycled through its vision layers to try to make any sense of what was going on. But it didn’t take long for the impact to come. And when Delta hit, he could feel his legs crumple underneath him and his helmet struck hard enough on rock that it felt like his entire brain had exploded into a mass of stars. His ears rang for what felt like minutes as he pulled himself up into a crouch. He coughed and slowly shook his head as the ringing began to fade. Replaced by the distinct sound of static, blasting through his headset, intercut with moans and gasps. He shook his head again as his vision refused to clear. He blinked, and could feel what felt like thick water brushing against his eyes and beginning to drip towards his mouth. It was hot and he knew what it was before its coppered taste filled his mouth. Blood He groaned and pulled his hands up to his neck and with a jerk that caused his head to erupt into a million more sparks of pain and light, he pulled the helmet off. Immediately his nostrils were filled with a disgusting smell but that did not matter. He scooped at his eyes with muddy hands, brushing the blood out of them where it was beginning to congeal around his eyelashes. He coughed again, and scrabbled at his eyes again until he was able to wrench one of them open long enough for more blood to flow in. He cursed loudly and wiped at his eyes as he knelt in the destroyed mass of bodies, sewage, dead fish, and discarded weapons. He felt at his shoulder for the tube that connected to the water bladder in his pack and stuffed it into his mouth. It tasted disgusting, but in a few moments, he cleared his mouth with a spit and then, keeping the flow valve open with a pinch of his fingers, directed the stream of water into his eyes. That did the tick, and though blood still seeped down his forehead, he was able to keep it at bay. Only then did he take a moment to assess his surroundings. His men were his focus. No blaster bolts were spinning their way through the damp air so he began to assess the damage. He found his battered helmet and pulled the comm headset out of it, noting the where the upper section of the helm was completely ripped apart. He strapped it around his neck, and snaked the cord up into his right ear. “Sergeants, report.” A few reports and moans returned his call. No melodious voices of his lieutenants returned to his headset. Spast A glance up told him that the dark lord had survived, which of course he would have. And Delta could feel a flare of anger at the lone man. Again a question of why. Why was he here, why were his men here, if the Sith Lords could so easily overcome every obstacle thrown at them. Obstacles that had very likely killed a great many good men and women. Who did not need to be here. A few soldiers could be seen, their armour wrecked and broken, busily pulling other soldiers out of the muck and mire. And Delta joined them. There was no reason at this moment he needed to help the Dark Lord. The man could stand on his own against giants. He did not need help, but the soldiers of the Darkhand did. They were no supernatural beings. So Delta Began to search through the bodies and mire, pulling helmets up out of the mud where he could. Laying the bodies in a long, broken row.
  4. Delta kept his hand outstretched to the little Jedi and kept a hidden smile on his face, its grim grin hidden by the impenetrable ‘T’ visor that made him just another soldier in a long line of soldiers. Another faceless enemy to the brainwashed Jedi Knights. She looked terrified, but then again all Mon Calamari looked wide eyed and open mouthed at all times so he couldn’t right tell. But then she was just a kid, a Jedi Kid, so dangerous and deadly, even if disarmed. Why was he showing mercy? He didn’t know, he never really knew, and as always the mercy blew right up in his face. Or in this instance, it illuminated brightly in his face. He watched her take in a breath and then his HUD auto dimmed, assuming the use of a flashbang or other bright phosphorus weapon as bright light illuminated the IR display to a pure white. And just as suddenly it was back to normal, and other than a few splashes, the jedi was gone. He growled under his helmet, and then sighed, looking left and right for any other attack. But none came, and his front line continued to kill fish in droves. “Is that all you can muster?” He said it softly, and it transmitted to his command channel and returned a chorus of confused and tired laughs from those within the command unit. He looked back to the captive Jedi and seeing him still restrained and Blacktorin’s slugthrower still pressed against his skull, he shrugged. "Captain. They have spit on your mercy.. When will you show them your rage?" The voice shivered up his spine and Delta could feel a smile slowly spread across his face. He saluted the dark form and turned to the soldiers surrounding Mjan. He was compelled into action, and a memory from the distant past called forth its knowledge on how to draw the Jedi out. “Alright lads, back up. Bayonets out and in hand. Lets draw them out.” A dozen helmets stared back at him then nodded as the soldiers holstered weapons and retrieved their bayonets. Standard issue for generations in most militaries, the long knives were designed as a weapon of last resort, and were more often used to terrify an enemy into surrendering than ever actually used in the heat of battle. But still the men were trained in them, and held them eagerly. “Truss him up, then crucify him.” Blacktorin smiled under her helmet as she kept her slugthrower trained on the unconscious Jedi Knight. A soldier took each of his limbs, and forced the corpse like jedi against the dark stone wall. Once stripped of most of his clothes, one of the soldiers pressed his legs under the water, another two stretched his arms out against the wall so he was sitting, arms outstretched, with the water lapping at his bare stomach. Then the gruesomeness began. Two bayonets were pressed against the wrist and upper bicep of the Sithari Jedi Knights’ arms. Then they were driven into the wall, through the flesh, bone, and muscle with blows from the rifle butts. The same was repeated on the legs, the slender knives cracked through to be buried into the rock surface, and causing a swirl of blood in the water. It was not a deadly thing, but the next was. Delta selected his own bayonet and placed it against Mjan’s stomach, using his fingers to find the location of his liver, before pressing the knifelike bayonet into the soft flesh. It slid easily, cutting through the liver and exiting into the curve of the stone wall. He pressed it further, watching a stream of dark blood begin to cascade from the wound into the muddy water. Then with a click, he turned off the vibration and let the blade stay in place, secured into the wall, a ninth tether for the now dying Jedi Knight. He stood and gestured for his men to move back. Their enemy restrained and helpless, bleeding to death in a lonely cave. Surrounded by those that hated him and everything he stood for. If they could have, the soldiers would have spit on the Jedi Knight, but satisfied themselves with a few kicks to his legs. But they moved back with a look from Delta. He whirled his bloody hand above his head and they turned away from the dying man. Leaving him alone in the darkness. The amplified voice of Delta73, commander of the Darkhand echoed through the dark tunnels. “You have maybe a minute before this Jedi Knight bleeds to death. Show yourselves or remain as cowards. I have had enough with mercy.”
  5. Delta could feel his eyes tracking back to Blacktorin and the unconscious Jedi Knight. This had to have been a trap, no Jedi would have given up himself so easily and that fact nagged at his brain with as much force a deepset, muscle level training could give him. If they were trying to set up a trap in their midst, it would not do him much good since he was very obviously stunned. But did the Jedi have the ability to withstand such injury? One look at the red faced Jedi told him that the man was out for the count. Blood dribbled from his ears, the result of the traumatic damage to his inner ears from the sonic rifles and pistols that had taken part in his demise. Some buried part of Delta's subconscious felt pity for the man, a strange and lonely life dedicated to a religion that only got you killed in the end? What kind of life was that? A quick look a the lifeless hands saw no ring or lover’s bracelet and Delta felt a pang of remorse for whatever lay in wait for the Jedi at the end of the rocky tunnel. A long arduous torture in which he would eventually spill the location of his only friends? Maybe the promise of freedom, ending with a brutal death by a Sith Lord? Or perhaps a turning, a compromise that eventually left him a husk of his former self, too used up by hate to even realize his own despair? Delta could not guess the age of the man, but he knew that whatever his end might have been or whatever fate he would have, it would be a misery. Delta wryly made an internal note to never be on the wrong side of a rebellion, then frowned under his faceless helmet. Perhaps they would all meet the same end. But the barking voice of Jansen Trefey, the Sith Sergeant Major that had transferred in from the shattered 31st infantry regiment after Coruscant, woke him from his memories. It was a harsh voice that, though heard through the speakers embedded in the helmet, still carried his Savareen brogue. “Keep still lassie! Keep your hands where we can see them! We aren’t going to hurt yeh.” Delta grinned and pushed his way through the three rows of soldiers to see a mass of rifles pointed at a small Mon Calamari. The voice seemed to be a female and one look at her told him that there was little need to put her down. She was filthy, exhausted looking, and claiming to be a medic. Though she wore no uniform of the medical corps. Another plant in whatever trap the Jedi had set. But why would they sacrifice children like this so willingly? He sighed and stepped forward, turning the glowrod under his blaster rifle from IR emission to its regular setting. Filling the cavernous space with light that reflected harshly from the knee high water. Delta could see some of the soldiers' helmets turn to look back at him, and he knew in that instant that whatever training had been embedded into them, it wouldn’t sit well with them to gun down a child. He flicked his comm to its external settings and took a step towards her, keeping her covered with both barrels of his blaster rifle. “Miss. please turn over your lightsabre and you will not be harmed. None of us have any desire to kill you.” It wasn’t a lie either. He turned his comms back to the brigade frequency and whispered an order. “Deploy skirmishers.” And without acknowledgement ten of his men advanced ahead of the first line as it moved past the girl. Leaving her and their captain in between the lines of marching soldiers. The skirmishers were trained for this of course, and each man advanced with a partner. But they only got a few meters ahead before one of the corporals raised his hand in warning. Then shouted over the command frequency, the skirmisher’s rifles coming up to their shoulders. “Creatures in the water, Danger close.” “Back to the line, form up, at the double.” Delta barked the order at his men and they scanned the water with their rifles as they began to backpedal. One of the skirmishers fell, likely tripping over a loose stone, or perhaps having been grabbed and his scream filled their helmets. His partner tried to grab his hand but he was already dragged beneath the surface. So it had been a trap after all. And in the distance, at a divot in the tunnels Delta could see a writing mass of creatures splashing over each other to get at them. It took enormous patience for those in the front lines to not panic and begin blasting away at the creatures and the skirmishers but they had their orders. And the moment the skirmishers were at the line, the first line fired with everything they had, filling the tunnel with a mix of blaster bolts, flechettes, slugs, and sonics. Anything in the water that stirred would be mercilessly cut down. Delta could see a flash of burned scales and smiled. He looked back at the Mon Calamari and extended his right hand. “Come on little one. We will keep you safe, tell your friends to surrender so the red faced one doesn’t die here in a useless sacrifice, it's over.”
  6. As the wave of bolts and shrieking echoes of the sonic blasts died away the room was left utterly silent. Here and there a pebble fell in cascade along the collapse, but in the IR reflection a solitary silver orb came silently towards the lines of the Darkhand. At his side, Delta could feel Blacktorin pull away from him as she began to run towards the orb, perhaps to what? Kick it like it was a laserball? Delta admired her courage and just as suddenly a wave of energy passed through his men, parting the lines like they had been crushed by a cavalry charge. His visor indicated another blinking frequency attached to his SCI and Delta smiled. Two men, privates Jhren and Helmsdorn, were tossed like leaves before the storm that was the Sith Lord. And their shouts of alarm echoed through the helmet embedded comms until a flash of light overcame the automatic darkening of the HUD and Delta involuntarily winced away. A swatch of stone and air was vaporized in a mighty arc that would have cut like a scythe through his men should the Sith not intervened with his skillful use of the force. Even the two privates, discarded like wrappers of ration packs, fell to the ground of the cavern relatively unharmed. Save for their pride and one rifle that had broken its stock in the tumble. There was a pause as Delta looked over the scene before him, a Sith, awesome in power, alone, and a crumpled form of a single jedi, laying in an ever expanding pool of salinated water. And from the speed of its rise, Delta could assume that this cave system was lost. There would be no good to come from going further, or clearing the rockfall. All they would likely find were a body of a drowned girl. He pushed forward, running past the shocked Blacktorin to the Jedi who was lying face down in what very well could e his grave if they didn’t rush to save him from drowning. He could hear the footsteps of several more commandos as they rushed to assist their captain in securing the prize. He was a small man compared to the bulky troopers that hauled him out of the dark water. Delta grabbed his hair and steadied his head, letting his HUD fully document the red face and the weird tendrils that spoke to perhaps say another humanoid species that Delta had not yet met. He tempted the use of an actual glow rod, not trusting the identification software to work with only the IR spectrum. Though far more detailed, he seemed to match the handouts perfectly. Delta looked up to the Sith Lord and saluted. Crisp and cleanly. The gesture carried the honour that Delta bestowed upon him and the thanks for the lives of his men. But with the water rapidly rising to the level of his knees Delta doubted that they could stay here for much longer and with a hand gesture His crew began to double back, searching for another cave system to reach the departed Jedi. Delta and Blacktorin kept close by the trooper hauling the fallen Jedi. Blacktorin kept her Slugthrower close, it's muzzle pressed firmly against the back of his skull. For she and Delta knew, that any Jedi assaulting the unit would not stop except under the threat of a murder. As a cohesive unit the darkhand began to move, the three lines of men searching every crevice for the slightest hint of life or new tunnels.
  7. 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>>
  8. “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.
  9. 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?
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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. _____________________________________
  13. “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|
  14. 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."
  15. 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)
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