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Korriban


Exodus
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Sanguis head shifted as Agent Orin spoke in his approach, the Agent attempting to somber the moment, but failing miserably. Sanguis knew his words to be truth, as his presence held no inaccuracies, and for a brief moment, it sent Sanguis into a closely held panic as his heart rate elevated. But Sanguis calmed himself, reaching out into the Force and letting its serene currents course through him.

 

But the Force here, nearest the planet, was corrupted, sickly in disease and plagued by the Darkside that had resided here for millennia. And despite the serene currents that flowed, a mixture of hatred and anxiety rolled with it like pollution amidst a stream. This was the first moment that Sanguis felt what they were truly up against, and it soured his very core.

 

He had felt the darkness of one's heart before, the ill intent of another, in his travels and missions. And even Nar Shadaa, his first introduction to the Sith which had left his scarred as much mentally as it did physically,  held no candle to the weight he felt pressured upon his presence within the Force as he touched it. This place was the culmination of evil, true evil, and it permeated like rotted flesh upon it.

 

"I see..." He replied through a knotted up throat, his voice croaking as if choking upon his words as the realization set in.

 

And true panic set in. His eyes widened and his palms began to sweat. Beads of anxiety perspired upon his brow and questions entered his mind as doubt clouded his thoughts. Even questions of his skill came calling and whether he deserved the Rank of Knight pressed against his psyche as a voice streamed across the ship and he felt as if his heart stopped beating. And yet, even as the words drew horror in his soul, Sanguis made little outward expression. Was this shock? Or was something else in play?

 

His Master's farewell came to mind as the attack upon the commenced, explosions rocking space and presence as the Darkside threatened to corrupt the life around them. This world was full of past and present intent and it echoed within the Force like howling spirits. And yet, his thoughts focused upon the words rather than the moment, and a strength was found within them, like an ember igniting, suddenly warming the cold around them. A light within the darkness, Sanguis suddenly became a beacon, and his mindframe shifted as if a final piece fell into place as if his will held a will of its own.

 

"Rest. And rise a Jedi Knight." The words echoed within his mind as if on repeat, echoing a hidden psyche that had been buried deep. "Rest. And rise a Jedi Knight."

 

Trembling hands traced their way toward the cross guarded lightsaber that remained clipped to his sash, and his body began to cool. The emerald Kyber within the emitters housing swirled a hidden emerald swirl within, and Sanguis soul quieted. And within his mind, the realization of duty came to the forefront of his thoughts. This was why he trained. This was the culmination of his fifty years of life. This was his life, predestined by fate that began long before memories were ever recalled and before he ever knew his adopted homeworld. Fear was meant to be faced, courage the simple act. And as he stood amidst the bombardment, despite his nerves, his psyche settled.

 

As chaos grew around them, Sanguis followed Captain Bryce and the others quickly toward the Assault ships, and before he knew what overtook him, was in open space headed for the darkened world below with war in open season. His nerves seemed settled, his mind focused. Fear still sat upon him, but his psyche was resisting. His voice spoke, calm and serene, if not a bit arrogant. "For the greater good."

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“As expected.” Slaughter glanced downwards towards a chronometer at the base of his tactical pit, beneath the holographic overlay that depicted the orbit of his fleet above Korriban. Orange specks bloomed on the holographic surface of the planet as sensors detected ground fires–anti-orbitals of some sort. “Reinforce shields to starboard, loosen up the formation and begin evasive maneuvers–”

 

“Incoming missiles! Launches from locations eight through eighteen!” Came a shout from the crewpits.

 

Slaughter gave the orders, but his voice was utterly superfluous and necessary for beginning a maneuver that he drilled obsessively into every unit that he commanded. The formation began to loosen up, the six supporting corvettes drifting a hundred meters away from Fidelity and Benediction to form an intercepting screen between the capital ships and any attacks that might be launched from Korriban. Their laser cannons opened up at the approach of the incoming missiles, projecting a web of crimson fire in the hopes of detonating the missiles before they reached their targets. But there was a slight variation on that maneuver: the spread of the intercepting fire was just a little bit looser than the standard pattern for starfighter-launched warheads.

 

“Target locations nine through twelve. Open fire, turbolasers and ions only. Signal Geist squadron to observe for effect.” Slaughter eyed the vectors that traced the projected flight of the incoming missiles with some concern. Ground-launched missiles were a rare anti-orbital weapon--most militaries favored turbolasers, rather than deal with the necessary cost of storing the weapons and wasting fuel on defeating gravity.. However, the weapons could be much more sophisticated than a turbolaser cannon or a starfighter-launched missile. There was every possibility that the weapons were equipped with break-off decoys or cluster warheads--or delayed-fuse warheads than the simple impact fuses that starfighters typically used. They also tended to reach much higher velocities than their miniaturized counterparts…

 

Even as the turbolasers aboard Fidelity began to rain down crimson fire upon four of the anti-orbital batteries, Slaughter silently fretted and watched as the missiles approached the point-defense fire from his squadron.

 

His hands went to the handles of his wheelchair and idly pushed himself back and forth a few inches. It was an utterly unsatisfactory way to fret.

 

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(( @MSA))

 

“Oh, good. Good. I’m glad to hear that you’re not one of those weirdos that gets their kicks from killing people.  We try to sort those guys ay-sap. Overenthusiastic. Unstable. Prone to going off and getting themselves killed–or worse, killing some random civvie schmo.” From the abundance of firepower and the hilt of the vibromachete that protruded from its shoulder holster, it was plain that all of the Talons were equipped and trained to be loud and aggressive–yet there was an edge of nervous energy that seeped into Johanna Bryce at the final hyperspace jump. The shock trooper offered the Jedi a helping hand into their U-Wing, gripping the Jedi’s arm just above his elbow.

 

“You see the Twi’lek there?” Johanna pointed towards a blue-skinned Twi’lek as she strapped herself into her restraint webbing. He was visibly shivering against his restraints and looked a little bit pale with nausea. “Cazne gets the shakes every single time we do a drop, training or combat–”

 

“Thanks, Captain.”

 

“Scary calm in combat. It’s like the guy is doing some Jedi mind trick when the shit hits the fan.”

 

The visibly miserable Twi’lek looked like he was about to say something in defense of his nausea, only to be interrupted by the transport’s pilot.

 

“Three, two, one, we’re off, Talons.” The transport’s pilot recited before it lifted from the hangar and promptly went dark in the coldness of space. “Remember, we are making an unpowered descent. Expect heavy turbulence in atmo. Strap yerselves in. I don’t want bird crap all over my nice clean transport.”

 

Eight U-Wing gunships and a dozen old Y-Wing fighter-bombers began their final descent towards Korriban. Unpowered and lifeless in their downwards glide, they would give off few signals that would mark them as potential targets–but they would be utterly helpless until they began their start-up sequences in the atmosphere. It was completely soundless in the transport that Captain Bryce and Knight Aequitas occupied, save for the hissing of a nearby life support vent and the rattling of one of their number trembling against his restraints.

 

“I know, it’s cold. Gets cold quickly without life support.” Bryce smiled; she was also shivering. “It’s a bit like Bespin, actually.”

 

What was completely unlike Bespin was the unpredictable rocking of the transport as it punched into the high winds of a jet stream, which only worsened as the transport continued its descent into thicker airs. Bryce just closed her eyes and kept her mind focused on her mental map of the Valley–the turns that the transport was likely to take in their approach, the optimal locations of marksman teams, and the jetpack time required to make a combat drop into the anti-orbital batteries. Light impacts battered the sides of her helmet upon entry into a minor storm cell–she heard the whining of the transports start-up motor as the pilot began a mid-air start-up sequence… and a mighty whoomp as the engines coughed away a cloud of dust and roared back to life.

 

Johanna opened her eyes just in time to see the horizon of Korriban’s badlands distressingly close to the transport. The entire transport shuddered and creaked as its pilot pulled the vessel out of its descent–the shock trooper clenched her muscles to fight against the encroaching blackness in the edges of her vision…

 

…and lost. The expression on her face shifted from a crunched grimace to slack-jawed peace. Her neck slumped and rocked limply from side to side with each maneuver. 

 

Each pilot fighting against their extreme speed and the winds of the planet, the U-Wing transports and Y-Wings pulled out of their steep dive and began to skim the surface of Korriban. They blasted up a cloud of dust in their wake, resembling a miniature sand storm that would be visible from kilometers away. It would take another thirty perilous seconds of surface-skimming until the strike team reached the cover of their trench run through the canyons of the Valley. Bryce eventually came to, blinking rapidly and scanning from one end of the transport to the other, her expression blank as though she was not entirely certain where she was.

 

“Is everyone alright? Alright? Yes? I’m okay. Yeah?” A few more dumb blinks followed and reality seemed to reassert itself. “Jedi, are you still with us?”

 

Edited by ObliviousKnight
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On 10/6/2022 at 2:14 AM, TerrorBot said:

The pod began to shake violently as it passed through the clouds, picking up even more speed. No longer altering its trajectory, the pod was utilizing its engines solely for speed. 

 

“Rip and tear. Guts and guns. Hell’s heart, stabbings for thee!” Ruin shouted, laughing now, even as missiles passed almost inches from the escape pod hurtling towards the planet. 

 

>45 seconds to impact> Fera updated. >Once again, my long range communications is linked with the ships above. 30 seconds to impact. Ground forces will hopefully think we are an incoming missile that will miss its target. 20 seconds to impact…< 

 

All the way, Ruin laughed. Here he was, at the cultural heart of the Sith empire, fulfilling his programming. 

 

The Home Guard Commander watched the screen with the stoicism of a droid. A tall, burly example of a Trandoshan, his face was made conspicuous by his black ritualistic tattoos and a deformed snout that had been broken and not set correctly more than once. He'd had a name once too. In his rest time, when he was forced to stop training and allow his body to recover, he liked to occupy his thoughts by trying to remember it as a sort of mental exercise. He never could, which made it the perfect way to pass the time. It didn't matter.

 

He was the Commander. He served the Sith. Anything beyond that fact was just context.

 

The scanners picked up an object dropping through atmosphere.

 

No discernable lifeforms...

 

Darth Xervatus wants more time. He ordered that anything that descended be shot.

 

With the speed the object was approaching at, the Commander was unsure if the Praxeum's defenses would get a solid hit. Still, a demonstration of firepower might make the enemy back off and reconsider their approach. And that would buy time.

 

A few quick keystrokes and a crisp series of orders on the command frequency, and the turbolaser batteries and point-defense cannons rotated on their positions and trained onto the descending object. The turbolasers were the first to open fire, their incredible range easily encompassing the descending object. The point-defense cannons slowly adjusted as they tracked the object, waiting for it to come into range.

 

Only the ion cannons were held back. After all, it didn't appear that this object was powered.

 

On 10/9/2022 at 10:58 PM, Sgt. Slaughter said:

“Target locations nine through twelve. Open fire, turbolasers and ions only. Signal Geist squadron to observe for effect.” Slaughter eyed the vectors that traced the projected flight of the incoming missiles with some concern. Ground-launched missiles were a rare anti-orbital weapon--most militaries favored turbolasers, rather than deal with the necessary cost of storing the weapons and wasting fuel on defeating gravity.. However, the weapons could be much more sophisticated than a turbolaser cannon or a starfighter-launched missile. There was every possibility that the weapons were equipped with break-off decoys or cluster warheads--or delayed-fuse warheads than the simple impact fuses that starfighters typically used. They also tended to reach much higher velocities than their miniaturized counterparts…

 

Even as the turbolasers aboard Fidelity began to rain down crimson fire upon four of the anti-orbital batteries, Slaughter silently fretted and watched as the missiles approached the point-defense fire from his squadron.

 

The Commander's tail twitched as the bombardment commenced, an echoing boom accompanying each blast. A lucky shot struck one of the missile launch tubes before it could close, followed by a geyser of fire and a quick series of status reports leaping onto the Commander's display. Only a few casualties among the technical staff stationed in the area, but the losses were irrelevant compared to the damage done. The other tubes in that battery would have to be checked and cleared before firing again, or risk premature detonation.

 

The enemy's gunners were good.

 

The remaining blasts scorched the Sith Steel of the pyramids, but for the moment the structures held. Perhaps with enough time the enemy might burn their way through, but given the time it would take

 

"Shift fire to the next set of batteries. Continue randomized rotation as planned."

 

They didn't need to win. They needed to stall. So said Darth Xervatus. So it would be.

 

On 10/9/2022 at 11:02 PM, Johanna Bryce said:

Eight U-Wing gunships and a dozen old Y-Wing fighter-bombers began their final descent towards Korriban. Unpowered and lifeless in their downwards glide, they would give off few signals that would mark them as potential targets–but they would be utterly helpless until they began their start-up sequences in the atmosphere. It was completely soundless in the transport that Captain Bryce and Knight Aequitas occupied, save for the hissing of a nearby life support vent and the rattling of one of their number trembling against his restraints.

 

Darth Xervatus stopped as he descended the stone steps into the depths of the Praxeum. He'd...felt something. Panic? No, nothing so uncontrolled. Fear had many complexities to it to the truly enlightened, and the perception of such had always been one of Darth Xervatus' true strengths. That and the exploitation of said fear.

 

This felt...restrained. Familiar. Like the one feeling it had felt it before, and wore it like a old leather glove.

 

Ah, a soldier, of course.

 

Closing his eyes, let himself draw in that fear, make it a part of himself. It wove through him, around him, and suddenly he knew.

 

Raising his communicator, he keyed up the Commander.

 

"Commander, you have an enemy approaching from the northeast, moving towards the canyon. I advise you prepare a welcome for them."

________________________________________________________

 

The Commander did not question. Still, he wondered how they had done it. A cloaking device seemed unlikely. A dead drop then? That might work, but you'd have to be extremely good or extremely reckless to try. In the end it did not matter. Even if they had missed the enemy on their descent, they'd catch them once they entered the canyon. 

 

Within moments, the ion cannons that had been idle repositioned, preparing to lay down a hail of fire along the canyon the moment an enemy target appeared. The Commander allowed himself a brief smile, lips peeling back from reptilian fangs.

 

These attackers were good. But the Sith were inevitable and absolute. He felt that certainty more than anything, more than the need to breathe itself.

 

How could these fools possibly hope to win?

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Talyn listened as Captain Bryce pointed at the Twi'lek and explained about him. He found it somewhat interesting...it seemed everyone handled the drops differently, and that was the way he handled it. He felt the cold as the life support was turned temporarily off, it was lucky he now had the helmet to his armour on, protecting from the cold and the sudden change as well the inevitable combat to come. He knew the Sith would not accept the terms, his time among them had taught him that.

 

As the ship rocketed to the Valley canyons he braced for impact, even as the restraints that held him threatened to come loose. Scanning about as the craft finally made it's rough landing, Talyn unfastened himself from his restraints before looking about to see if the others were ok. 

 

He slung his primary weapon around to his waist using the strap attached to it, as he went to see if the Jedi Knight was ok when Captain Bryce mentioned him. Talyn briefing spoke as he did so.

 

 "That was a bit more rough than I expected, but I suspect it's only getting more rough from here. you alright there Jedi Equitas? Best we get moving, longer we stay here the more unwanted attention we attract."

 

Edited by Talyn Orin
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Sanguis heard Captain Bryce's words, and understood their intent, the youthful nature of the aged Jedi prevailing as he strapped himself in for the long and quick descent. Individuality made the Galaxy a place of grandeur to live and exist within, each capable of countless outcomes depending upon the viewpoint and path taken. If it had not been for his Master,  Sanguis was unsure of where he would even be, if he was to be anywhere. But Individuality was more than choice and consequence. It was defined by nature, intent, and possibility. It was defined by the very individual.

 

As the ship began its free fall and the coldness of space took root within the ship's dwindling oxygen, the Force swirled around the Jedi Knight like moths to the flame. It came as natural as a breath, the area around within Sanguis warming to match that of his internal core temperature. It was a misunderstood rarity that Sanguis barely held any foreknowledge of, having been a part of himself as long as he could remember, his affinity for Tapas rooted within his unknown origins. But it had always been an ally and rarely a hindrance, having saved his life many times and helped in his survival as a child. And even as unconsciousness threatened to overcome him, it never wavered. 

 

Most of the drop was a hindered blur, wrapped in a blanket of the Force as he fought back both the fear of the moment and the call of unconsciousness. In truth, the moment was likely what kept him from falling completely into unconsciousness, his adrenaline kicking into overdrive in a mimic of his fight or flight responses. But deep down, there was another mixture of biology and emotion, that despite the fear and the threat of unconsciousness, there laid a hint of excitement and thrill, a rarity of its own right. A lack of composure overtook him.

 

"Whoooooooo!" Sanguis exclaimed as the ship's turbulence rocketed and threatened to throw him, the ache of his emptied stomach threatening to turn its self inside out in the decent and then the sudden but abrupt acceleration as the engines and mechanicals kicked back in, his heart beat pounding in his ears. And in the moment, sanity seemed to leave him cackling. "Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha.

 

Feeling the sudden revert from near weightlessness to being thrown back into his seat, teary eyed Sanguis glanced about the cabin as the others suddenly began to stir and both the Captain and the Imperial Agent began to check on the others. A smirked grin upon his face, his gaze shot toward them as they questioned his wellbeing. There was but only one reply he could give, his nerves briefly settled and his mind upon something other than war.

 

"Never better!" He yelled toward them.

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All at once, the pod shook and swerved violently to the side, as one of the turbolaser shots grazed the pod’s sides, damaging the thrusters. The pod careened violently around, spinning as it went off target despite Fera’s best attempts to reorientate the pod’s direction. 

 

>Brace for impact< Fera commented as she clung tightly to Ruin’s backside. 

 

Ruin laughed all the more. “Crashings then bashings!” 

 

The crash was violent to say the least. Hitting the sands and hard rock of Korriban, the pod skidded for several miles before it eventually came to a stop. Its crash, several miles away from the intended target, drew attention from the locals: Numerous large, drooling Tuk’ata, long separated from the tombs that they guarded,  approached the pod. While they sensed no life yet, instinct told them that when things came from the air, they usually held delicacies inside. 

 

The first Tuk’ata who had begun sniffing the pod curiously was thrown back as Ruin kicked the Pod’s door off. The other hounds growled and snarled as the droid exited, gun in hand. 

 

“Guts and guns!” Ruin declared and then opened fire on the closest dogs. 

 

The first three hounds exploded as the flechettes shredded skin and muscle apart. The other hounds, momentarily surprised, managed to charge forward, eager to kill this new foe. It may not have been alive, but it was a challenger to their dominance, and needed to be destroyed. 

 

“Click click…” Ruin pumped his weapon before aiming towards the nearest enemy. “Boom!” 

 

Another two hounds were instantly shredded apart. However, these hounds were spread apart and another was able to leap forward at the droid. Seeing the leaping menace, Ruin released one hand off the gun and reached up under the beast, grabbing it by the neck. With a swift motion, spun and slammed the beast’s head  into the pod’s wall, splattering bones and brains across the metal. 

 

“Rip and tear! Guts and guns!” Ruin shouted as he moved from the pod to dodge another incoming beast, while simultaneously pumping his weapon again for another shot. This time the hounds were more clustered together and a single shot would do much more work. Those hounds that would be hit but survive would know better than to face this thing head-on.

 

Still, even as several more dogs fell shredded apart, the leader of the pack remained unafraid. A beast of immense proportions, the alpha’s face dripped with blood as several glancing flechettes already tore parts of it away. Enraged, it let out a howl that shook the soul of any being around. 

 

“No pain! No fear!” Ruin roared back in challenge, holstering his weapon. 

 

The beast charged and leapt forward. Ruin charged as well and brought a fist upwards into the beast’s throat. The force of the smash sent the beast backwards a bit. However, to Ruin’s shock, the beast reflexed like a feline and landed on its feet before charging again. 

 

Surprised, the Terror droid could only bring his arm up to catch the beast’s jaws as it tackled. It snapped and bit at left Ruin’s arm while raking it’s claws across the droid’s chest. The screech of claw on metal filled the air as the dog attempted to find a chink in the droid’s outer shell. 

 

Suddenly there was a blur of metal over the hounds face. Fera, ignored in the battle due to her small size and inaction, had leapt and crawled over the beast’s face. Buzzing and chirping her own war cry, Fera activated her saw and plasma torch, going for the tender and exposed eyes. 

 

Surprised and blinded, the alpha let up its attack to paw and swipe at the new foe. Seeing the attack, Fera leapt off and crawled around in the sand, looking for another opportunity to strike. Seizing the opportunity, Ruin shoved the Tuk’ata off to the side, rolling it over and over. 

 

Blinded and dazed, the alpha struggled to get up and face its enemy. Ruin wasted no time and kicked the thing over before placing a metal foot on its side, pinning it down. With both hands, Ruin grabbed the hound’s head and pulled. Blood splattered out as head and spinal cord came ripping out.

 

“Guts and guns!” Ruin declared as he held the trophy up for the other hounds to see. Seeing their alpha taken out, combined with the fact that this prey was not organic, the rest of the pack fled. 

 

>Excellent work<  Fera commented as she crawled back onto Ruin’s shoulder. >I have uploaded directions to your HUD.<

 

Ruin kicked the Tuk’ata’s head towards the fleeing dogs and turned in the direction Fera indicated. In the distance one could see the turbolaser defenses that had shot the pod out of the sky.  

 

“Huntings and hurtings!” Ruin shouted as he broke into a sprint, rearming and reloading his Flechette launcher in the process. “Kill them! Gotta kill them all!” 

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  • 2 weeks later...

A dust cloud was approaching the Valley of the Dark Lords. At the front of that dust cloud were the Y-Wings of Wurm Squadron, which were kicking up a column of dust from their repulsorlift engines. It was expanded into a larger veil by the transports just behind them, to the point that it would appear almost as a storm cell to early-warning sensors. Shortly after the first of those fighter-bombers entered the canyons leading to the Valley, they came under fire from the ion batteries set into the rocky walls. The Y-Wings immediately loosened their formation and allowed the bolts to pass harmlessly over their bows and through the column, but one of the transports was not so lucky. 

 

Struck on its side, one of its engines coughed up dust and died, causing the vessel to lose speed and list out of the column. In a desperate attempt to save his passengers, its pilot climbed out of the formation, stalling the transport but succeeding in avoiding a fatal collision with the canyon walls. At the end of its lazy climb and the beginning of its terminal dive into the canyon floors, its passenger doors slid open. A squad of Talon marines fell into the open air and ignited their jetpacks, blasting away from their crippled transport before it plunged into the sandy floor and cartwheeled into a fiery wreck.

 

Just a few meters above and twenty meters ahead, Johanna Bryce was listening to the comms chatter with an expression of growing apprehension on her face. All of the Talons were still alive and were on a glideslope to assault the battery that had downed their transport. Even the pilot had managed to get out before the crash. But the strike team had just been detected, and would be making their combat drops into a rancor’s nest of forewarned anti-air. She stood, gripping the centerrail and swaying with the sharp turns of the transport.

 

“Sixty seconds! Gear check!” Her marines made the familiar motions, standing free from their restraints and patting down the locations of their weapons and gear. A chorus of responding readies followed, only a few seconds before the transport crested the final ridge and descended into the open expanse of monuments and archeological digs and tombs of the Valley of the Dark Lords. Four of the Y-Wings had already broken off into their attack runs and sent proton bombs into the entrenched point-defense emplacements. The other eight were racing past the Valley and towards the spaceport of Dreshdae, hunting for the anti-air cannons that were emplaced there.

 

Captain Bryce’s own transport landed near one of the larger missile batteries that was fortified into the surrounding cliffs. Pausing only to allow the blinding clouds of dust to waft away, the shock trooper charged towards the site.

 

The next few minutes would be of desperate, close-range fighting: bombers and transports struggling to provide air support in an environment that still had a number of point defense cannons in action, shock troopers rushing to disable and destroy cannons from the ground…

 

…and a fleet that was waiting for the signal that their vulnerable troop transports could begin the occupation of Dreshdae.

 

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The duel between the great guns continued, with neither side really accomplishing much of significance. True, a couple of the ground-side batteries were no longer firing, but the missiles were succeeding in keeping the Galactic Alliance fleet from descending further to execute a more lethal bombardment. The mere presence of all those batteries threatened to utterly maul the supporting ships in the squadron. It wouldn’t be until the Talons succeeded in knocking out a few of the anti-orbitals that they could risk anything heavier than starfighters…

 

A green blip appeared on his tactical display at the same moment as an officer called out from the command pits. “Signals from Wurm Squadron. First attack run in motion, Talons landing.”

 

“Very well. Guns, belay those fire orders. Shift targets to… two through twelve.” That would shift Fidelity’s turbolasers from the Valley of the Dark Lords to several of the batteries that were protecting Dreshdae’s spaceports. “Let’s give our ground-pounders a chance to do their work. Move in the secondary strike package.”

 

Slaughter’s fingers rapped impatiently on the sides of his wheelchairs. A vein was beginning to pop out in his forehead. A part of his heart that forever belonged to the infantry badly wanted to move up his own timetable… but until a few more of the anti-orbitals were brought out of action, it would be a lethal environment for his ships. 

 

They wouldn’t be entirely without support. In addition to the first wave of bombs delivered by Wurm Squadron, the Y-Wings of Basilisk Squadron and the X-Wings of Hawkbat and Vrelt Squadrons would soon be on station to respond to calls for air support.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

"What have I gotten myself into?" was the most singular and abrupt thought that entered Sanguis' mind as he followed Captain Bryce and her men into the fray, his Emerald Crossguard ignited behind the first few erupting Blasters. Emotions blurred but for a brief moment and then his adrenaline kicked it and swept the young Jedi Knight up in the moment of battle.

 

As blasterfire erupted in return, Æquitas was quick to deflect what he was able to, the twirling of his blade and the subtle hum signaling his presence amongst the masses, and what he couldn't deflect with his blade, the Force that swirled around him became an extension of his will. It was chaos. It was hell. And he was in the thick of it. And at the slightest of gut feelings, he reacted.

 

As crimson bolts whizzed past or met with earth, Æquitas remained alert and on guard in a supportive role, using the Force to pull friendlies out of the line of fire and to push the enemies as far from his comrades as he could. Sweat beaded from his brow as the dusted earth kicked up and caked in its moisture. As his mind whizzed a mile a minutes, he found himself caught up quickly in the chaos.

 

With each breath, a second passed. And with each second, it seemed the moment was an eternity. Blaster fire echoed, and the heat from explosions rippled as the whizz of the fighter engines roared over head. And yet, the push was relentless, each target programmed and etched into the memories of those who led him. And he kept up. He dared not falter for even the briefest of seconds. He used his one true ally to protect those around him to the best of his abilities. 

 

But in the midst of the war's fog, nothing was ever certainty nor was it controlled. Even as the crimson of blood stained his cerulean blue robes, he could not see it. For this was war, and it had taken ahold of him. As a Jedi, he held true to yet have taken a life in the moments. But as a sentient being, his mind was maxed out and he was oblivious to those he had yet to see fallen. He simply reacted.

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As Captain Bryce charged towards the site, Talyn Orin, Imperial Intelligence Operative of the Alliance followed. Doing his part for the liberation of the current hellhole they found themselves in, cleaning up the last outposts of the Sith. Any place they would call refuge. Proving how even despite Nar Shadda...the war was far from over. Laying low and taking cover behind anything he could, the soldier zig sagged towards his objective.

 

Lifting the sonic rifle as he got within range, he left out a couple of shots, hitting one of the enemy and electrifying his organs. He was incapacitated as hundreds of volts were sent alongside body and could likely be taken prisoner or be killed, that would be up to those alongside him. He would march forwards. Next the Intelligence Operative threw a shock grenade ahead of him into a bunker nestled in the side of the canyon. Several people flew in all directions, some wounded, some disoriented while others lay dead inside. War was never pretty and Talyn Orin was prepared to get his hands dirty for freedom. He admired the Jedi Knight's skill and finesse, as he did Captain Bryce, it became clear now why they had been selected.

 

Although he wondered what had become of the droid R.U.I.N. He hadn't seen him and the buzz droid since they left.

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On 10/19/2022 at 9:20 PM, TerrorBot said:

Ruin kicked the Tuk’ata’s head towards the fleeing dogs and turned in the direction Fera indicated. In the distance one could see the turbolaser defenses that had shot the pod out of the sky.  

 

“Huntings and hurtings!” Ruin shouted as he broke into a sprint, rearming and reloading his Flechette launcher in the process. “Kill them! Gotta kill them all!”

 

///Sensor perimeter breached///

>>Analysis...

>>Lifeform==00

>>Droid==01

>>92.55% : (dsg)Combatant

>>Protocol;[defend001v], A;{/} A;{X}

>>Deploying

 

Darth Xervatus had not been idle in his stay at the Praxeum. Being such a avid scholar of history, he had taken the opportunity to reinvent some tools of the Sith of the past. The automated defenses for this particular turbolaser, along with a few others, were one of them.

 

A trio of mechanical forms unfolded and detached themselves from the side of the turbolaser battery. In deep, rumbling binary, they spoke as their photoreceptors caught sight of the approaching Ruin.

 

"TARGET ACQUIRED"

 

As one, they raised their arms, and let loose a volley of blaster fire.

 

On 10/31/2022 at 10:21 PM, Johanna Bryce said:

“Sixty seconds! Gear check!” Her marines made the familiar motions, standing free from their restraints and patting down the locations of their weapons and gear. A chorus of responding readies followed, only a few seconds before the transport crested the final ridge and descended into the open expanse of monuments and archeological digs and tombs of the Valley of the Dark Lords. Four of the Y-Wings had already broken off into their attack runs and sent proton bombs into the entrenched point-defense emplacements. The other eight were racing past the Valley and towards the spaceport of Dreshdae, hunting for the anti-air cannons that were emplaced there.

 

Captain Bryce’s own transport landed near one of the larger missile batteries that was fortified into the surrounding cliffs. Pausing only to allow the blinding clouds of dust to waft away, the shock trooper charged towards the site.

 

The next few minutes would be of desperate, close-range fighting: bombers and transports struggling to provide air support in an environment that still had a number of point defense cannons in action, shock troopers rushing to disable and destroy cannons from the ground…

 

…and a fleet that was waiting for the signal that their vulnerable troop transports could begin the occupation of Dreshdae.

 

Captain Bryce's prediction became reality as Sith troopers poured out of the battery near where she'd landed, red blaster bolts zipping across the battlefield even before they had time to line up their shots. These soldiers were not the elite, but the zealous. These were the broken, the mad, and the glory hungry who had refused to admit the Sith Empire's end. Even as their own ranks dropped to enemy fire, they continued to charge forward. Some screamed battlecries. Others wept or cackled, lost in their own warped sense of reality.

 

Barking commands, a warrior in gleaming black and gold plastoid armor strode out of the battery behind them. This was one of the elite, and at his command, a portion of the troops broke off their mad charge and took cover, some behind the bodies of those they'd trampled a second ago. A ragged firing line opened up on the approaching enemy, but their position was tenuous. The elite spotted Æquitas, and trained his repeating blaster rifle on him from the rear line, sending a scything line of blaster fire towards the Jedi.

 

On 10/31/2022 at 10:22 PM, Sgt. Slaughter said:

“Very well. Guns, belay those fire orders. Shift targets to… two through twelve.” That would shift Fidelity’s turbolasers from the Valley of the Dark Lords to several of the batteries that were protecting Dreshdae’s spaceports. “Let’s give our ground-pounders a chance to do their work. Move in the secondary strike package.”

 

The Home Guard Commander snarled as the automated voice of the computer recited in clipped words the data it simultaneously displayed on the screen.

 

"Lost contact with turbolaser battery two and four. 12% of point defense cannons failing to respond. Ion cannon 3 has suffered critical damage and will not rotate."

 

The Commander's clawed hands touched the holographic interface, redirecting point defense cannon targeting priorities manually in an attempt to anticipate enemy moves. As each bomber and fighter moved across the display, his mind catalogued them. Slowly, he was sorting which held the most talented pilots, the hotheads, and the textbook flyers. It wasn't enough though, and he knew it. There were too many of them, and they were too good. Without air support of their own, this was just a matter of time.

 

I must provide time.

 

"Home Guard squads 1 thru 7, form up and fortify in the main entryway. Prepare for contact. All entries are either deserters or the enemy. Kill on sight."

 

Just inside the large, thick stone and metal doors of the primary pyramid, more black and gold troops swarmed out of side passages and hallways. Taking cover behind pillars and temporary durasteel barricades, the elite of the Praxeum set up and trained their weapons on the doors. Not for a second did they lose focus. These soldiers were the successes of the Sith's "training." They would not break. They couldn't.

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The turbolasers, mounted into the side of a cliff-face, posed a natural issue to any kind of enemy. A half-full garrison would have been enough to protect the lasers from a ground assault of a well armed squad of clones. Whether Ruin understood that or not was irregardless of the situation however. If it was armed to the teeth, the Terror droid would’ve continued his charge. 

 

However, when the trio of droids began to open fire on Ruin, he had to adjust. 

 

“Lasers and lancers” Ruin declared as he stopped in his tracks and dove for cover. “Stupid sith! Gotta kill them all!

 

The terror Droid rolled behind a rather large boulder. Laser fire repeatedly blasted themselves into the ancient stone and sand around Ruin, hoping to bring death to the droid. 

 

“Blasters and bashers!” Ruin cursed. After a moment of adjusting his own programming to suit the situation, Ruin drove his metal digits into the boulder’s edges and heaved it up. Blaster fire continued to beat the boulder, leaving scorch marks, but Ruin was undeterred. Instead of seeking more cover, Ruin kept the boulder between himself and the enemy. 

 

“Hahaha!” Ruin started to laugh, picking up speed and momentum. “Dead gods! I kill your gods! Fear and panic!” 

 

>Approaching ideal distance< Fera commented. Seeing what was coming, she had crawled to Ruin’s right forearm. 

 

In one swift motion, the Terror Droid pulled the boulder back slightly, and shotput the thing at the droids firing. The droid’s themselves adapted, having been updated for this new age of combat. Each one moved to dodge the deadly flying rock projectile.

 

What they had not expected was the small Buzz droid that was thrown immediately afterwards. 

 

Fera landed on the closest Sith War droid’s sensors, buzz saw roaring to life. With a quick slash and a quick cut, she had blinded the thing permanently and moved around its neck. The Sith war droid attempted to fight back, trying to find any kind of target to fire upon, spinning around wildly, but Fera only clung and climbed all over the body. Finally the droid stopped  suffering when its compatriots fired on it, attempting to shoot the small buzz droid. 

 

Fera jumped off as the droid fell over. One target down, she scurried across the ground in a randomized pattern, maximizing the chances of the droids miscalculating where she would be in the next moment as she made her way towards the next target. 

 

However, at this close range, even her advanced and evolved AI could not avoid forever, as one of the droid’s lasers exploded next to her, sending her flying backwards into the chassis of the dead war droid.

 

The two living war droids would’ve finished off the small Pistoeka with merciless execution, had they had one second more before Ruin, who had climbed up the cliffside, grabbed one of the droid’s legs and pulled it over the edge. 

 

As the one tumbled to its own demise, Ruin pulled himself up and tackled the remaining droid, who was attempting to face Ruin. Grabbing both of the Sith Droid’s blaster arms, Ruin aimed them upwards as they opened fire. The two wrestled for a bit, laser fire striking the walls of the turbolaser battery everywhere, until Ruin managed to place one foot on the droid’s legs to leverage himself. With a swift tug, Ruin ripped the arm off, sparks flying everywhere. 

 

“Smash and bash!” Ruin declared as he smacked the droid over and over with his new makeshift club until it too tumbled over the edge.

 

Ruin tossed the arm after the droid and faced the now locked door the droids had exited from. 

 

>One moment< Fera beeped. She quickly made her way to the nearest exposed control panel, and moments later, exposed the wirings underneath. Another moment later fusing some of the wires together, she successfully hotwired the doorway to open. 

 

“Rip and tear! Burn and blast!” Ruin shouted for all to hear inside. Now rearmed with his flechette launcher, and Fera clinging tightly to his backside, he charged in. 

 

>I calculate that your best opportunity to take down the turbolaser is to attack the control center. Calculating most likely route. Warning: 98% chance that you will face heavy opposition the entire way< 

 

Ruin laughed. “Let them fight! Let them die!” 

ruin.png.01a56458d9174e4044f11805f259ce9c.png

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