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Felucia - Jedi Temple


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Joy was not typically a reaction that accompanied the arrival of an ysalamir--not even in amongst the Force-blind, certainly not in the presence of Jedi Knights.

 

“A favor, Janen,” Armiena muttered to the withdrawing Jedi cleric, whose gait paused with some degree of trepidation.

 

“Please, Grandmaster, can’t you get one of the droids--”

 

“Take this thing up to surface level and keep an eye on it. I’ll probably need it later.”

 

The Miraluka’s head lowered a millimeter and exhaled a long sigh. “....as you wish, Grandmaster.”

 

No longer burdened by the Force-deadening beast on her back, the pallor withdrew from Draygo’s face and her normal spacer-pale complexion replaced the faint shade of nausea green. The Miraluka cleric who had updated her briefing took up the harness and blindly walked away, one gloved hand groping along the wall until one of the hulking Sentinel droids took pity on the stumbling Jedi and guided him away.

 

For a moment, Armiena’s pale-green eyes took on a distant look as she instinctively stilled her racing mind in an attempt to detect that watchful presence. Perhaps unexpectedly, that stalking sapient had withdrawn its attention from her and had taken shelter in the roiling of a suffering world. All she sensed were Jedi--exhausted healers and peacemakers who had exercised their talents almost to the breaking point, but Jedi nonetheless. Very distantly, there was a vague presence of a Force Sensitive in the great distance. It was no Jedi--not any being that Draygo had encountered at the very least--but the Order had certainly not deployed this creature. She would have to investigate, but for now there were other matters to attend to.

 

The Jedi Grandmaster handed a small comlink to the Zabrak Jedi. Although perfectly ordinary from a technical standpoint, it bore her identity codes and would tend to catapult Slain to the top of any Rebel communication officer’s list of priorities. It also had been preprogrammed with contact frequencies for a number of her assets, some of whom were in orbit, wielded large-caliber mass drivers, and would have been enthusiastic participants in any fire support mission. Perhaps putting a junior Jedi Knight in direct contact with the Wolf Spiders had the potential to result in significant collateral damage--but at least the young Jedi would not be venturing to face an unknown threat alone. Besides, the battle droids probably could be counted on to not accept a fire mission from anyone but her, or so she hoped.

 

“Go, Selon,” Armiena mispronounced the Zabrak’s name as she clapped the comlink into the her palm. “I mean Silan. Be in touch if you find anything unusual.”

 

Now to Sarna. Under less urgent circumstances, Armiena might have taken a moment to razz the Jedi Master regarding recent events on Ossus, where the entire praxeum had been set alight with gossip concerning her relationship with Aidan. But minutes were now precious beyond measure and objectives took priority. She clasped hands with the shorter woman and muttered into her pointed ear: “Dig up the reports. I’ll tell you everything that I know. I hope that it’s not relevant to this situation.”

 

And lastly, the Mon Calamari Healer. Decades ago, Draygo probably would have dispatched a Master Healer to combat this plague directly--that almost certainly would have been Skye Organa, a Jedi who had retrieved her from within the gates of death on a number of occasions. Organa could always have been relied upon to exercise the discretion and the expertise needed to resolve the scenario--as well as possessing the natural authority to command local resources and foresight to maintain an extensive archive of potentially valuable samples. There was no similar corps of Healers in these more meager days… an oversight that needed to be rectified.

 

Armiena stood before the Master Healer and regarded the Mon Calamari with a critical eye. Despite being somewhat shorter than the Jedi Knight, age and ease in authority lent to her a potent presence. She spoke sternly, mirth completely absent from her war-lined face. “A moment, Kil. There is a matter of minor importance that requires resolution before you depart. A matter of the organization of our Council, specifically. You see, for as long as our… incomplete records can determine, the Jedi Council has always existed as a collaboration of peers. They were almost never of like minds, backgrounds, species… or other factors… but all members sitting on the Council held each other in esteem for their wisdom, power, and service to the galaxy. As of yet, we have yet to emulate this example. This matter must be resolved immediately.”

 

Draygo held her stern expression for as long as possible, privately enjoying the rare opportunity to cause a younger woman to wilt and doubt before harshly spoken words. Mirth eventually wore away at discipline, resulting in a twitch of her upper lip and a smile in her pale-green eyes.


“In my personal experience, Jedi Master is not something you become. It is something that you do. Keep doing well, Master Kil.

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Sandy responded with a deeper bow then was probably customary and went to grab her datapad. She would have preferred to pull a sheaf of flimsiplast and lay them all out on the table, but datapads, like all technology had its uses for fast and efficient research. She retrieved it from her bag and walked quickly back, her bare feet making little noise on the padded floor. She felt an involuntary smile creep over her face as she heard Leena’s promotion and turned it into a full smile when she was back within eyesight of the Grandmaster and newly minted master of healers.
 

She silently handed the datapad with her research over, most notably the explanation from the possessed children calling the Entity “Grandfather.” That alone was nothing, but mixed wit the maggots, and the entropic nature? All roads seemed to lead to one of the gods. Those old beings that had terrorized the old galaxy during the age of heroes. Or some thirty years before. 

 

“Well done Leena, you deserv-” 

 

She coked her head to the side, for there had been something strange. A spike of terror perhaps? But she could not place it. She expanded her presence outwards, taking in a breath of air as she did so and caught a flash of the darkside. Evil intention and eviler deeds. 

 

“Grandmaster, there is something here. Something evil.” 

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Calix Meus Inebrians

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“No!” The voice came from the village elder first then was picked up by the multitudes. 

 

The Citizens resisted. They had not survived coruscant and chandrila to be enslaved yet again! It started with a father shoving a sith trooper down, then it became a brawl. Women ran with children in their arms, and those children that could run scattered. These men and women had seen fire and death before. They would not bow to evil gladly, nor open their arms to become its slaves.

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𝔭𝔯𝔬𝔪𝔦𝔰𝔢 𝔎𝔢𝔭𝔱

 

"So be it," whispered Qaela at the defiance. Waste was to be regretted, but there were those who were too weak or defiant to ever serve their proper place. Louder, she said, "Kill them all!" then joined in the slaughter as blaster shots began struggled to overcome the sounds of terrified and angry shrieks. Contained as they were within the warehouse, there was only one real outcome.

 

The commandos unleashed on the unarmed villagers with blasters, burning down those who tried to charge in. With their numbers, the villagers did manage to take some of the commandos to the ground, but armor versus fists wasn't a fair fight, especially when there was a Sith involved. Qaela lashed out with pure indignation at the stubborn refusal causing bluish white lightening to erupt from her gauntleted hands. Villager after villager fell with flesh burned from faces and chests smoking from her wrath. Those that didn't fall by the dark powers of the Force fell to blasters.

 

There were some who survived the initial slaughter, but the probes that surrounded the area began tracking. Multiple teams of commandos sprinted out tracking them down and finishing off all who could be found while a half dozen remained with their master.

 

"This is frustrating," Qaela said while standing coldly over the dead. Though she enjoyed a good slaughter, this would put her behind schedule and make more work for them. It also meant a great inconvenience to the Empire as it wasted those who could help its goals. Now she would have to go to another village and begin this tedious process all over again.

 

"Burn the bodies and prepare to move out. Tell the trackers they have five minutes to finish their prey." She doubted they needed that long with children and terrified villagers with the probe droids hovering above pointing them out, but she would prefer to keep her promise that all of them would perish should they resist. One's word was important, and if a Sith Master was known to go around and make threats and promises that weren't kept, then who would ever fear the Sith Empire?

 

Five minutes later, with smoke still billowing behind them from the contaminated structures they torched before the massacre joining the flames from the warehouse, the Sith shuttle recalled its probes and the Sith team lifted off. They had another target scoped out already and it wouldn't take long to arrive. Qaela hoped this village was a little more rational, that and that she could find the true prize she had been hoping to come across on this planet: a reminder of home that would be a very nice bonus to acquire.

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Kadi gave another bow to the Grandmaster, accepting the comm link.

 

"I'll let you know what I find."

 

She quickly made her way though the temple. Juro waited for her at the entrance, and she wasted no tome swinging herself up onto his back. She closed her eyes, hoping for some direction from the Force as to where she should look. It didn't take long, the Force reacting much more violently this time. Something was seriously wrong. She nudged Juro, and he took off into the jungle, traversing it faster than most would ever be capable of. It didn't take long for her to smell it. Smoke, and the acrid stench of burnt flesh. When she broke through the treeline, she had to stifle a gasp. What she saw was an atrocity. Bodies filled the roads of the small hamlet, some still smoldering with fire. The entire village was scorched, and the Force wept for its loss. She didn't want to get any closer, but she had a duty. Look for survivors, and if she couldn't find any, look for the culprit.

 

As she dismounted, Juro pressed his head against her in an attempt to comfort her, she smiled grimly, placing a hand on him.

 

"Stay here. Watch for danger."

 

She keyed her commlink, leaving it transmitting to the Temple. "Master Draygo, there's a problem. I-" she hesitated- how dis someone even describe something like this? "The entire village... It's gone. Someone killed them all. I can't find any survivors, or any bodies of whoever did it."

She knelt, placing a hand on the ground, using the Force to sharpen her senses. Whatever happened, it was recent. Very recent. The Force still ached with the loss of so many lives, so suddenly and violently. She'd never felt anything like it- it was awful, twisted. The Dark Side, She scanned the village, her eyes catching something.

 

"The ground has been disturbed, like some kind of repulsor lift vehicle or a shuttle. The Dark Side has a strong presence here too- this wasn't a natural disaster, or a beast. Someone killed everybody here. I'll send you the coordinates- Maybe you can track ships in the area? In the mean time... I'll keep looking. Maybe I'll find a trail."

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Leena scowled as she listened to the Grandmaster as she addressed Sandy. Could she go? Should she go? Something felt off and there were injured that needed tended to. Then the Grandmaster turned to her and spoke. The Jedi’s words were unnerving, almost harsh. The look on her leader’s face concerned Leena and her eyes squinted into a wince as the woman turned her feigned indignation on her. Yet the young healer stood. She had faced down harsher words from that Sith and braved his saber, this paled in comparison and Leena would wether it. Still something felt off about it all.

 

Then, before she could interrupt, the Grandmaster’s face broke, and the jest was revealed. Leena’s eyes grew wide as the Grandmaster spoke. Was this part of the joke too? She did not know and she was hesitant to ask. Thankfully Sandy seemed to confirm the haphazard promotion. 
 

Leena had never imagined making it this far in her path. The desire to bear such a title was not there, she just wanted to help. It was an honor though, and given her doubts, Leena hoped that she would be worthy of such a mantle.

 

The darkness continued to push at the fringes of her senses. Something, somewhere, was off; a cancer seemed to be lurking. Then it surged. In her freshly healed heart, the Healer felt a pain seer suddenly through it as the darkness seemed to pulsated before it was contained by the collective power of the light. It was death. It was something Leena knew all too intimately. She gasped, her wide eyes looking to her three fellow Jedi. 
 

“Th-thank you all,” she stammered, hardly the most fitting first words for a Jedi Master, “But I, death! They need me.” she sputtered, hurrying off with Kira opting to depart at the same moment. She was not going to the infirmary though. Neither was Leena, not anymore. No, this surge of cancerous destruction came from the jungle. It was not the darkness of before, the entity; this felt more malevolent, wonton and evil.

 

Hurrying through the halls of the Temple, Leena spotted a gaggle of blue and green furred squirrels pawing through a pile of what a normal passerby would dismiss as junk. These were her companions; the Squibs. Each was arrayed in a mishmash of gear from bandoliers and helmets to armor and oversized boots, toting everything from ion blasters to heavy blaster pistols, to launchers of the homemade variety. She waved to them as she hurried by them. “Come on. Something’s causing trouble in the jungle!” The Squibs exchanged looks of shock and surprise before bursting into a chittering blur of fur after their friend. They had thought she was dead. Was there anything the Jedi could not do?

 

Hurrying from the Temple, Leena and company found a stable of varying speeders, swoops, and bikes. Leaping upon one herself, the Squibs piled in haphazardly across several others and they set off into the undergrowth unintentionally following a parallel path to that of Kira.
 

Leena pushed the bike as fast as she could, following the surge of pain that radiated like a beacon somewhere ahead. She let the force guide her, slowing slightly so as to emanate a protective guiding aura about her and her companions. There was no sense losing the diminutive space scavengers in the undergrowth. They were a force for good. They were her friends. They were ferocious allies when the time arose.

 

In the distance, smoke rose above the treeline and Leena could tell that was where the sigil of death had been born. Looking up through the smoke, a shuttle could be seen lifting off, flying low across the jungle. Nearby, the Healer could feel Kira and her massive companion. They moved much more stealthily than her own entourage; but at this point, stealth was not what Leena was after. 

 

Another advantage of having Squibian counterparts was their fascination with all things tradable, information, air, tech, gear, whatever it was if they found value in it one could gamble they would find a way to exploit it. As the speeders purred to a pause, several of the squirrelly beings were already directing feeds of the belching smoke and flames coupled with the departing ship back along a hodgepodge array of their own holonet system of receivers and transponders back to their ship and fellow tribesmen. It would not be long before such information was bartered to the rebels and Jedi back at the Temple. The Squibs remaining there scurrying to secure whatever treasures were there and ferreting them and anyone that might barter passage or they feel be in need of their assistance, to be paid back later on some loose ill-defined terms, to safety aboard their eclectic fleet of vessels; a flotilla that looked more like a Ryn convoy than any sort of fighting force. 

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The Swift Justice jumped out of hyperspace and hovered for a single moment over the planet Felucia. From above, it looked like a giant green mess, to which both Tros and Kot'dral knew from experience that it was in fact nothing but green jungle crawling and spewing out all over the place. A few pockets here and there of small villages and life, nothing worth noting of value. Even from a military perspective it held zero value to holding. Yet the Sith Emperor wanted it and asked for the two Mandalorians to personally join in on the hunt. He believed there were Jedi on the surface, something that from his own network of intel suggested little of that. traffic in and out of the area had been sparse at best and only spiked upon the plagues that seemed to overtake the planet a while ago. As the ship hit atmosphere, Kot'dral spoke. 

 

"Something more than locals are present. There is something causing a stir of comotion. I'm detecting a few low grade vehicles moving from a large site that has some power to it..."Tros turned his head to look back at Kot'dral as he spoke and felt something stir within him. Maybe it was excitement for the coming engagement, maybe it was something else entirely. Turning to focus on piloting the ship, he quickly scanned that area visually. "Find us somewhere to land without drawing more attention. It sounds like the jetiise are here and something stirred them. Let's not have our luck tested anymore already." Pulling the controls, Tros now was certain that the two would indeed face battle together. As he got the ship to break atmosphere, Kot'dral spoke again. "I have a spot for us. Two clicks east, sending the coordinates to you now..." Tros looked down to see the location given and quickly made pursuit there. 

 

Upon landing, both Mandalorians walked down the ramp, Kot'dral immediately got to his stomach as he pulled out his EL-16HFE blaster rifle and began to scope out the area. Tros stood over him and used his HUD to scan heat signatures nearby, along with other potential threats. "I have eyes on what looks like a long trek to the main building where I detected energy from." "Yeah, my HUD can confirm that. Let's keep a watch until we know the full situation." Tros moved himself now to lay down next to Kot'dral and help scan the area so that the two could be successful in their mission...

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Mishuk gotal'u meshuroke, pako kyore.

 

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The Warrior that had become Shiro did not particularly like the idea of hiding away within the cargohold of a medical transport, but such was the way of War. His blackened gaze felt at home in the darkness he was forced into along with his Master and her fellow Nightsisters as he stared calmly into its abyss. Much had changed since Shiro and Telperiën first met after the Battle of Coruscant, and Shiro had grown in the ways of the Sith that she had not dared to envision him in. But to Hayley, he had been raw power, a power to be used, and he wished to show Telperiën the same.

 

As the ship landed, Shiro stood from his kneeling, shaking off the sleepiness of his legs as they stepped out of the dark and into the light of day. As Telperiën and her followers disembarked, Shiro stood at the rear, his mission here oblivious at the moment. It seemed Telperiën would be sitting this battle out as the squad moved out into formation. Stepping to her side, Shiro knelt to her right, his head draping to the ground and his gaze discovering the dirt beneath him.

 

"What is your will, my Master?" He spoke obediently, his gaze never rising to meet her own as he questioned his part. "Your bidding is mine to do."

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HOUNDS

 

 

“Every once in a while, I get the urge. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? The urge for destruction. The urge to hurt, maim, kill.

It’s quite a thing, to experience that urge, to let it wash over you, to give in to it.

It’s addictive. It’s all-consuming. You lose yourself to it.

It’s quite, quite wonderful. I can feel it, even as I speak, tapping around the edges of my mind, trying to prise me open, slip its fingers in.

And it would be so easy to let it happen.

But we’re all like that, aren’t we? We’re all barbarians at our core.

We’re all savage, murderous beasts. I know I am. I’m sure you are.

The only difference between us, is how loudly we roar. I know I roar very loudly indeed. How about you? Do you think you can match me?”

- Human Poet.

 

 

 

“The night belongs to beasts of prey, and always has. It's easy to forget that when you're hidden, protected by light and solid walls.”

 

Heavy transports settled in the dozens across the expanse, crashing through thick spools of dark clouds and stalks of vegetation that bullied the tempestuous skies with extraordinary color. There were not many planets as rich in power as this, as vibrant with life as it was with death and gloom. Arriving at Felucia was never an entering of the atmosphere as much as it was a divine digestion of ego and thought; an overwhelming body of ecosystems intent on devouring the spirit, and turning flesh to fodder from any living being, a feeling undeniable when crossing into the biosphere.


"My Lord, your victory awaits.”

__


Slowly, the Emperor approached.

 

 

Every move he made was a deep tunneling shudder into the stainless panels that ran through the floors of the transport, and into the very bones of the eerie Nightsisters. The accumulation of power and gloom magnified a thousand-fold as he neared now, awakening anew from a meditation with conscious shadows. Now they followed his every stride, shadows free-flowing like water from the black of his nightmarish armored shell, reaching and sweeping as if threadlike bones set upon great ethereal wings. Pointing towards the mechanical exit hatch, the slab of metal and the hydraulics that supported it, whined as it unwound and opened the transport to the cool chill of the Felucian habitat. In similar a manner, the rest of the landed vessels began to heave open and reveal their contents to the small communities of natives that gathered cautiously. Black plastoid-armors of incredible distinction rolled out in military fashion, weaponized militia reminiscent of purge-variant stormtroopers, marching silently from their ships in droves.

 

The powerful Imperial Crest was championed on each of their shoulders, while their hands were uniformly equipped with DC-15A blaster rifles, DC-15LEs, DC-15A blaster carbines and E-11 blaster rifles. These were far from medical tools, and further yet from peaceable banners. Large pennants of the Sith Empire emerged from a few of the ships, waving high above something much more sinister. Unusual creatures were led from the larger units of transports, Sith beastmasters walking in tow with hungry and impatient Tuk'ata. Guardians of Korriban snarled and snapped at the crisp novelty of Felucia, horns and dangerous rows of teeth clenching as their food wandered impishly from their hutts. These beasts were bred to be fearless and utterly relentless while roaming more intelligently than many animals their size. Alchemy had changed them into unnatural abominations, allowing them to speak the old language and to mutate into sizes that far exceeded the imagination. This was just a sample of what was to come.

 

"Telperiën, inform the Generals

..Our cousins are here, their stench is undeniable."

 

The Emperor cast his dark gaze towards the indigenous,

staring out at them as the fear in them steadily grew to tremendous heights.

Stepping forward, slowly once more, he sighed.

 

"They shall answer for their place in this war,

each of them, and our Hounds will see their bellies full before long."

 

 
 

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𝕷𝖊𝖙 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖜𝖎𝖙𝖈𝖍 𝖍𝖚𝖓𝖙 𝖇𝖊𝖌𝖎𝖓

 

From her vantage point standing behind Ensign Turgin piloting the shuttle, Qaela was able to see the sensors and terrain around them. They had picked up some pursuit, though it looked like at least one speeder bike and not starfighters. They would need to take action about that and continue to draw off as many of their enemies as possible to clear a way for the others. There were other villages in the area, but that wasn't what drew her. There was something...else...that she wanted and needed to do first. "We will not be moving to another village. The others should be arriving soon and the invasion fleet is to follow, so we no longer have direct need of you. I will guide you to where you will drop us off, then you will retreat while the data on the plague collates. When it is make sure you are transmitting as much of it as possible as it is ready to the Imperial scientists." Ascertaining the level of threat that this plague presented to the Empire was one of their objectives and the sooner that data was transmitted, the better. Samples that had been taken would be scanned and the images, chemical makeup, and DNA sequences would be sent. It wasn't as good as having the actual material, but it was a start. That material was being encased in a small cryogenic container for later.

 

"What will you do if they come for you?" the ensign asked. He was responsible for the team and it would look very, very bad on his record if they were all killed.

 

"I take responsibility for that, but you are to keep at distance from any pursuit, even if you must make for orbit and hyperspace. Stay in the area if you can in case I need to recall you, but the data you have needs time to be scanned and sent off. If there is an active threat, the main army needs to know."

 

She could feel the Force drawing her into the deep jungle, far away from even the sparsely inhabited regions. When she sensed what she was seeking, she pointed and calmly said, "There."

 

Turning to the commandos, she gave the command, "Prepare to move back out, we are going to go on a little excursion."

 

She had been given orders and a considerable leeway in which to accomplish them. Her experience at the village told her that the locals would likely heavily resist the Imperial invasion and may need to be purged, but there was another alternative. It was time to delve into the jungles and find that alternative. "I don't know how much time we may have with pursuit so we will be doing a touch and go."

 

As soon as the shuttle got reasonably close to where she wanted, she gave the signal and it found as close to an opening as possible in the heavily fungal jungle. The platoon of commandos deployed rapidly followed by the Sith Master. As soon as her boots were off the landing ramp, it began to retract and the shuttle took off once more. Getting a quick bearing of where she was, she gestured for the platoon to move out. They made their way as swiftly as possible through the jungle, leaving the occasional claymore or other trap in their wake for any pursuit. She wasn't sure if it would help, but it wouldn't hurt and it may cause their pursuit to advance a bit slower.

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Qaela Sig

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For a second, Draygo indulged in a moment of bittersweetness. It was difficult for her to not remember the day that she had been declared a Jedi Master--she and Aryian had escaped to Yavin for a brief period. It was either an unusual phenomenon in The Force--perhaps some lingering trace of Exar Kun’s downfall--or mildly toxic fumes that caused her to experience a highly lucid vision or hallucination. It had given the veteran Jedi an appreciation of the kind of woman that she had the potential to become… and perhaps, had walked away from. 

 

But that moment had to be pushed away. There was an investigation that needed to resolved, and--

 

--a roar of defiance, a confused outburst of violence, hands groping for rifles and punching against plastoid armor--

 

--and then screaming and fire--

 

A stab of pain radiated just behind her eyes like the beginning of a punishing headache. She squinted at Sarna and waved for the younger Jedi Master to follow. She led the Jedi towards the surface level. With every step, a palpable sense of dread began to grow… and then a cold shiver ran down her spine. As the two Jedi entered a turbolift to the surface level, the overhead lights flickered and the shrill, haunting howl of a directional siren began to blare. After two keening revolutions, the siren was accompanied by the painful shriek of an internal alarm. A second later, the turbolift doors slid open and her comlink began buzzing for attention.


“Draygo. What’s happening?”

 

“Uh, it looks like a gorram invasion out here, Grandmaster!” The heavily accented--and frightened--voice of a Bothan filled the confines of the turbolift. “Multiple Sith fleet elements, sensor and sunlight emissions look like troop transports. What should we do?”

 

That younger Draygo that the Grandmaster had wistfully recalled might have displayed a talent for flair, a need to inspire or deploy drama as a weapon in the slaughter that she knew was going to be necessary to protect this planet. It was a much more hardbitten woman who set her shoulders and subconsciously swung her hips on the next two steps, confirming against her legs the familiar weight of her two lightsabers and blaster pistol. Those were thoroughly insufficient armaments, she reflected--more would need to be procured en route. A dozen pilots of a dozen species jogged past in their orange jumpsuits, reminding her of the more potent weaponry that the Jedi Temple had prepared for deployment.

 

Draygo spoke in a flat monotone to relay her orders.

 

“Fire up the ion cannon. Priority targets are the transports in upper atmosphere. Get the starfighter pilots to their stations. Launch one X-Wing squadron--just one. Limited engagement, grab their attention and see if they’ll chase. Everyone else to stand by and warm up their engines. I’ll be there at the docking pad shortly. Have my Ace prepped and ready for take-off.”

 

“Yes, Grandmaster--but… the planetary shield?”  Shouldn’t we…”

 

“You will not activate it unless by my signal alone. Confirm these orders.”

 

The nervous air traffic controller speaked the instructions, only going into unnecessary detail regarding interception vectors and firing arcs and power integrals. 

 

“Sarna. I’m going up in the air. I’ll tell you everything that I know about the Chaos Gods once this is done. Assuming that we’re both alive at the end of this day, of course.”

 

____

 

As the transports descended, it almost appeared as though the invasion of Felucia would proceed uncontested, that any assets that the Jedi might have been maintaining were mere listening posts--or perhaps a temporary hospital raised in the present emergency to combat the sudden epidemic.

 

Then, aboard several of the troop transports, early warning systems would begin shrieking warning tones to their bridge crews--not only had their ships been pinged by a long-distance sensor array, this array was linked to a heavy planetary ion cannon. Quick evasive action would have been able to save their ships from disability and destruction after several minutes of falling through Felucia’s humid atmosphere, of course--the weapon was optimized for engaging lumbering capital ships in orbit, for trading salvos against orbital bombardment. However, those first several blasts were likely to come as a shock, not only to the crews of those targeted ships but also to their hulls.

 

Shortly after, a dozen immaculately-white X-Wings with dark maroon dashes raced up to meet the Sith transports, mist spraying from their shields began to boil off a recent shower. Six more transports would register their attempts at locking on with missiles…

 

and then the first lethal shots of the Battle of Felucia would be fired.

 

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Kadi sensed the other Jedi nearby, swiftly making her way over as she observed the dirt- The lighter footprints of the villagers, and the much deeper, heavier footprints of armed troops. At least a squad- more likely a larger group. She glanced up at the Jedi- the newest Master among the council, Leena Kil. "Master Leena. I wish we'd met at a better time. I'm tracking the shuttle of the people who did this- the Temple has a lock on the most likely culprit. They stopped in the wilderness- I fear what they may do there with the destruction present here. I can track them quickly- Follow my transponder, and be ready for a fight."

 

She was quiet for a moment, looking at the ruined village behind her, sorrow welling in her eyes. 

 

"We have to stop whoever did this. Be prepared, Master Kil. There might not be a person to redeem at the end of this."

 

She called Juro over, giving the other Jedi a reassuring glance. "This is Juro- proper introductions will have to wait though. I'll catch the one who did this."

 

With that, Juro bolted into the jungle as Kadi climbed onto the Acklay. The flora whipped past at dizzying speeds, her hair catching the wind. Outside of the current circumstances, her mood would be ecstatic right now- she lived for these moments, But instead of a smile, a heartbroken grimace was plastered on her face. Her weapon stayed at a readied stance- it wasn't active, but her thumb rested on the button that would bring the azure blade to life. As she drew closer to where the dropship had been tracked landing, she could feel the darkness growing. Felucia was inherently dark- that was why the Jedi had felt it necessary to establish a temple here. She was well accustomed to the sensation- It was the wilderness of Felucia that had led her to Juro, during her trials. She had found him as a hatchling, corrupted by the environment, his instinctual savagery deepened by the planet's energy.

 

She had cleansed him, established a bond, raised and trained him. She knew this planet as well as he did. But what she was tracking... It was a seeping tear in the force, the kind that only arises from a recent atrocity. She masked her presence as they drew nearer- She didn't know if there was another force sensitive among the troops, but she was going to play it safe until Master Leena caught up. Juro slowed, and she could sense their presence. She was right- a large number of people, and as she drew closer, she found signs of their passing. It was impossible to hide the movements of so many with such heavy equipment. She would use that,  though she avoided the direct path. Such a thorough massacre, and so fast, they were probably professionals. Regardless of the ease of tracking them, they may have trapped the path- though such actions were sure to slow them down. They were entering a territory familiar to her, although it wasn't clear just yet what was nagging at her memory.

 

She could sense them now, in a clearing ahead, roughly a hundred meters. She tsk'd, and Juro slowed to a crawl as she dismounted. She wouldn't risk commanding him with the Force while she was so close. She was cautious to quiet her footsteps, avoiding twigs and dead leaves, her weapon at the ready. She stalked forward, the giant beast behind her alarmingly quiet- He knew instinctually that the hunt was on. He was a hunter- stealth was paramount in catching his prey unawares. She checked her transponder- still active. Good. Leena was close behind then. She broke the clearing, her eyes quickly assessing the situation. She knew the emblems on the armor- the Sith. she ignited her saber. Now was time for her to do her duty, and as Juro exited the treeline behind her, she spoke.

 

"Sith, you have trespassed on a Jedi planet and massacred our people. Leave at once, or you will face my blade. This is your only warning."

 

At her words, Juro let out an ear-piercing shriek to punctuate her message as her muscles tensed for a fight. She deepened her breathing, letting the Force flow through her.

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Telperien gestured towards the distant forest and its even more distant farming agriculture. 

 

“Take and partake. They are in rebellion, put down any that resist, enjoy in the feast of brutality but spare the children for they can yet be saved.” 

 

She motioned to three of her Sisters to accompany the young Sith Apprentice. Her voice was soft as she spoke a word in their ears. 

 

“Guard him well, and if the Jedi show themselves in force, fade into the trees. Do not enter a fight you cannot win.”

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Through the gray haze of heat, humidity,  light and dark sides of the force, amongst the long shadows of the jungled overgrowth, Leena could feel her fellow Jedi and her massive companion moving towards the tear in the energies of the living force where the desecrated village had stood. The ship overhead had been noted and relayed back to Squibian allies. With a wave, Leena urged her companions forward, their craft zipping expertly through the trees guided by the growing aura of the force.
 

As they neared the village, Leena’s hairless brow wrinkled in disgust, she licked her lips. The foul taste of death hung heavy amongst the humidity, soaking the master healer’s white robes as surely as her own sweat. Idling into the village, Leena drew her purring bike alongside Kadi; wary about disturbing the great beast that accompanied her. Leena’s comrades hung back about the fringes of the village, almost superstitiously wary of the place. Even without force affinity, they could taste the darkness of the air. Death hung over this place like a fog.

 

Astride her hovering craft, Leena nodded in agreement with the Jedi Knight. Even here, in the heavy air, the force still swirled. As long as they lived, the light surged still and would not give the darkness that all-consuming victory it desired.
 

Elsewhere about the world, a cloud seemed to descend. The still air about the Jedi seemed to chortle in glee at the arrival of forces of destruction and devastation on the land. This village had been just the first sign of a cancer yet to manifest. They had not stopped it in time and the cancer was now here. Regardless, Leena felt the innate goodness and purity of the natural world subtlety pushing back in it’s own turn. Even here, in the shadow of the dark side, light would, and did, find a way.

 

Leena, usually full of words, did not need to speak. She simply nodded in agreement, drawing the slivers of light inward and radiating them back out as surely and steadily as she breathed; offering a warm encouraging embrace of the soul to her fellow Jedi before she took off.
 

As the acklay and it’s rider made the jungles once again, Leena turned, waving to her companions. In unison , their engines flared back to life. Whatever darkness had done this to this village was, to Leena, a cancer that needed cured or carved. To the Squib it was more simple; this dark presence, these murderers, were but rabid dogs that needed put down. Theirs was not the Jedi way, for while they served alongside Leena, indebted to her and enjoined by the bonds of friendship; these squirrel-folk were of a different stock, good, but different.

 

With a dull throbbing hum, the swoops and speeders tore back into the jungles, arcing a wide path paralleling the naturalist and her steed. Leena could taste the dark path that trailed from the murderous agents of the Sith and their craft. It tainted them, the blood of the innocent crying out in pain at life cut short. From their minutes in the village, the craft was still visible descending into the jungles beyond. They gave chase, targeting where the ship had landed and departed. A dark evil touched the soil there and needed cleansed.

 

The swoops, bikes, and speeders moved quickly through the jungles, over rocky outcroppings and downed trees, swerving and zipping with force-imbued surety. The fluttering white robes of the healer flickered and flipped on the heavy air as it flowed past her, carrying on them an embracing aura of goodness and protection that enveloped the group. 
 

As they neared, the dark presence that advanced through the shadows, Leena slowed in coordination with Kadi’s movements. The Squibs continued circling wide as they moved. The hum of their craft drowned the clearing in a cacophony of noise that purged the silent stillness until they all suddenly fell silent as the Jedi Kida spoke.

 

As Kadi and Juro materialized before the Sith forces, Leena stepped into the edge of the clearing following half a dozen paces behind the Knight. Each step she took towards the clearing, Leena drew upon the force, finding the natural light that radiated from the life-filled world, life that stood in contrast to the endgame of darkness. She drew it in and exponentially radiated it outwards in  calming tidal surges of light and hope that sought to drive back the darkness. The Jedi felt it in her soul and so would other users of light as a meditative stillness befell the clearing, energizing the Jedi and seeking to hamper the forces of darkness. Purity and light would carry this day.

 

Nevertheless, a crack and hiss joined the thrum of Kadi’s saber, Leena adding her own teal hue to the scene.

 

“Please stand down. Let us help you.” she spoke, her voice cheery yet serious. “Else,” Leena inclined her face towards Kadi and her saber before jerking the top of her head towards Juro; a clear indication that she would stand alongside the words spoken by her fellow Jedi. This was the Sith’s chance at a peaceful settlement; but unlike on Trualis, there would be negotiation. The Sith were arriving in force and such a cancer needed amputated before it could spread.

 

Nestled amongst the trees and undergrowth the guerilla-minded Squib kept a watchful eye on the scene from a variety of angles. They held their hodge-podged  array of weapons expertly, each experienced in their usage. All that need happen was for a sign of aggression to come from the Sith forces and the diminutively sly and cunning squirrels would descend on the troopers of the Sith in rabid fashion, allowing the Jedi to handle any mass-murdering force users to be found amidst their ranks.

Edited by Leena Kil
Kadi not Kida.

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Just as the plague on Mon Calamari had heralded the Sith Invasion, so too it was repeated here. Sandy felt a wave of all too familiar nausea roil through her. It was not the chaotic stench of plague and death but a sharp pang of murder. Fresh murder, eminating from the villages that spanned for miles around the Jedi Temple. Those very villages she had spent the last month helping heal from the plague. The heat of sudden tears in her eyes caused the jedi master to wipe at her eyes as she rushed after the Grandmaster.

 

She nodded as Draygo went to her X-Wing, wishing in her heart that Aidan was there to fight beside her. 

 

But she had other things to do than fantasize about things that would never come to pass. She flagged down one of the masterless apprentices and together they ran towards the closest villages to help begin the evacuation of the civilians into the large medical cruisers that were still parked at the landing pads. 

 

There was much to do. 

 

She and apprentice Gieverra arrived at village ‘Mistia’ less than ten minutes later. A holdout of Coruscant Refugees, and they greeted the two Jedi with fear in their eyes. 

 

“Let's get you out of here now. Grab what you can and get to the transports!” 

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A eeriely smile crept upon his face as Telperiën gave her orders, the Sith Apprentice rising from his knees with purpose. So he was to feast upon chaos and breath in the fear that brewed and percolated around them. It would be his pleasure. With a nod, he echoed the words "Understood" before he turned to depart, briefly bringing his fist up his chest as he passed the Dark Lord @Exodus in passing. Not only was he loosed to thrive upon this world in darkness, but he held the honor of doing so in front of the Dark Lord himself. It was a glorious day indeed. It was time to prove his worth.

 

With three of the Nightsisters at his heels, Shiro took off into the foliage of the planet's Jungles in a sprint, no longer compelled to hide his presence in the Force. Openly, he released it, letting the permeating fear fill his form with power. But he wanted more, his insatiable hunger a void that needed to be filled. Taking his Heavy Assault Blaster Rifle in hand, he strove through and across the terrain with drive, his sight set upon the villages ahead. Darkness would rule this day and he would be the Dark Lord's Champion. These weak Jedi would hold no bar to his own. If he could survive the Kabal and the world of Cathar, Jedi would be easy targets. He grinned.

 

"I am Shiro Seven." He spoke casually to the three Nightsisters in his rear. "What might your names be?"

 

None spoke in return, leaving an empty awkward silence in their wake. It was pointless anyways, him of the unknown and them unknown to him. He was simply their ward at the command of Telperiën, nothing more. They didn't have to respect him or acknowledge him outside of her orders. Shiro grimaced, catching sight of the first village ahead. Halting, he threw his hand up to stop, his visage behind his HUD counting the heat signatures in the distance. Seemed about eight, possibly nine signatures registering, with three of juvenile size. Opening himself up to the Force, he began letting their emotions take hold of him, arousing himself to the smell and taste of fear and anguish. They had yet to notice him, a couple on guard near the village's edge, as he and the three Nightsisters sat within the Jungle's precipice.

 

"It's time to set an example." He spoke in a whisper, aiming his rifle up the hill and slowing his breathing. "You three remain here and cover me."

 

With a shot ringing through the air in the wake of the crimson blaster bolt that tore through the cranium of the first target, Shiro feed on the ensuing panic as he turned his gun to the second and charged out of the Jungle and into the open field, the Nightsisters' loosing their own volley. His eye still centered on the turning rifle in his direction, he fired one again.

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𝖘𝖔𝖓𝖌 𝖔𝖋 𝖇𝖑𝖔𝖔𝖉

 

As they advanced through the jungle, Qaela could sense her prey as it got closer and closer for it too had come to sense them and was approaching. When doing her research for this planet, she had found some very interesting pieces of information that called to her. Her first objective was to serve the Empire, but had she the option, she had desired to seek out a personal prize. In her search for her second objective, she had also lumped in the opportunity to accomplish what she had wanted, especially in light of the pursuit.

 

There was a feral sense of being hunted that quickened her pulse in excited anticipation. As her followers waited in disciplined silence, the sound of crashing foliage approached rapidly as the object of her desire rapidly approached. With a gleeful smile beneath her black helmet, Qaela waited without fear as the final few fungal towers were pushed aside and the massive, hulking shape of a mature bull rancor emerged with a delightful roar as it spotted them. They sought prey, but instead, found a new master.

 

Reaching into the Force and touching a part of her that she had been using since girlhood, she touched the rancor's mind and, pushing against its own sense of self with her own, assumed a place within. The massive beast reared back and blinked with whines of confusion as he struggled against her for a few moments, then settled down in submission as her control overwhelmed their simple instinct driven mind. Now, instead of prey, he viewed her as master, and that fact delighted her greatly. It had been some time since she had commanded a rancor and the ability to do so again was a pleasure.

 

Now, to deal with the other hunters that were stalking the back of her mind.

 

Instead of running, she elected to carefully choose her spot to confront her pursuit. Half of her commandos were with her, but the other half were deployed in an arc behind her, some in the tops of the fungal towers and others in various sniping locations. They were in a small clearing for now, but that was just for the moment. She had scouted out the area while waiting for her pursuers to catch up to her to ensure she had escape options if needed. The rancor was a few dozen meters behind them in the cover of the jungle, waiting to be summoned.

 

It didn't take too long for their pursuers to find them, though she was intrigued at who approached. Two Jedi, lightsabers already lit, approached in none the too friendly a fashion. The other....creatures....that joined them were not familiar to her, but they were fairly small and looked nimble in what some of lesser intelligence would describe as a cute and charming way. She immediately hated them and would take great pleasure in killing them, but first the Jedi.

 

She was intrigued by the presence of the Zabrak for she wasn't aware that too many had joined the Jedi. Mostly, though, she was intrigued at this one's command of a crab spider looking creature. Not many Jedi dared take command of even something as inferior as an animal for fear that it would lead to the darkness and make them suddenly realize how easy it was to do the same to sentients. The Dathomiri Witches rode rancors, but they trained them and treated them almost as equals rather than slaves, but for a Jedi to do so was fascinating. Even more interesting was the choice of weapon that this Jedi carried: some sort of attempt at a lightsaber spear. That thrilled Qaela because she actually had more experience fighting against the spears of her fellow Nightsisters, Witches, and various training droids with electrostaffs than with a sword and was eager to see which of them was superior with the weapon.

 

The Mon Calamari—Qaela didn't care to determine if it was a male or female—made more sense being among the Jedi. Qaela had been around very few of them, but had known they had long been seeking the protection of weak Republics and weaker Rebellions for decades and watched the reports of how their planet had fallen to the Empire. Weakness always sought the safety of those misguided fools who would protect them and shelter them from all hardship and harm thus leaving them unable to properly harden and become strong, so to find Mon Calamari among the Jedi was to be expected. 

 

Curiously, neither Jedi did immediately attacked, though they certainly seemed to want to appear all nice and threatening. For some particular reason, they seemed less prone to desiring to fight and instead the Zabrak demanded she leave while the Mon Calamari seemed interested in "helping". Clearly, they knew of the village massacre, yet instead of demanding "justice" or even viewing her as their blood enemy, it seemed she simply wanted her to leave. For a moment, Qaela considered simply replying that she would leave just to see what the reaction would be, but dismissed that. She was here to fight and kill, not to flee. That was fine with her, she was more than happy to take action. Her commandos knew to target any forces that came with the Jedi and leave the Force wielders to her unless they finished off the Jedi escorts first.

 

*   *                                          *   *

 

She looked forward to this, and was glad to be armed with the weapon of her childhood: a spear just over two and a half meters long. This weapon, while heavier than a lightsaber, was well balanced and had tasted the Force to the point that it was near impervious to anything that could harm it. It gave her a sense of realness when holding it that she never received while wielding the traditional weapon of Jedi and Sith alike. It also gave her a better ability to engage multiple opponents similar to a double bladed lightsaber but with more flexibility since she could grip it at any point instead of just the middle. She had grown up fighting with the spear and was glad the opportunity of losing her lightsaber on Corellia let her return to this.

 

She could sense an...easing...of the comforting sense of darkness that naturally permeated this planet. One of the Jedi was trying to pervert the natural order and force a sickening sense of light to it. So very much like them: they could never accept the truth that Nature and Balance were harsh and brutal though fair. Instead, they tried to always unnaturally protect the weak and sick while holding back the strong and worthy. It was a nuisance, but once the inevitable killing began, the Dark would return and things would once again return to Balance.

 

"Very well," she replied to both Jedi. Planting the butt of her spear into the spongy ground with her right arm, Qaela lifted her left above her head and formed a fist. She needed to keep that spider crab out of her way and the best way to do that was to bring forth her own new pet.

 

The ground shook as the bull rancor emerged and, with a slight stoking of his cerebellum, Qaela stimulated its base territorialism and rage against this invading creature. He roared and began stalking towards the spider crab with extreme prejudice, though Qaela left its own innate intelligence intact enough that it didn't just rush in. It towered over the spider crab and probably weighed more, but the rancor was smart enough to know how dangerous those sharp legs might be and would cautiously engage. Qaela mostly just needed him to keep the spider crab busy while she dealt with the Jedi.

 

With the rancor's arrival and advance, chaos broke loose. Sith commandos began opening fire on the miniature creatures that came with the Jedi and began taking return fire.

 

Qaela let them do their job while she slowly approached the Jedi with spear in hand. To counter the attempts at polluting her with the Light, Qaela dredged up every single terror, every dark deed, and every murderous memory she had experienced and let the purity of the Dark flow back into her. She focused especially on the time while she had been dead and her spirit was tortured in the Spirit Realm since those were the most recent traumas she faced. Horror and dread filled her, bringing with it the despair and fear that would have consumed the Sith Master had she not become one with such things in her past.

 

Choosing the initially less aggressive Mon Calamari who appeared to be the source of the Light influence, Qaela funneled all of that rage and suffering into a psychic blow and hurled it at it with a touch of the energy Qaela would normally use were she trying to syphon off life energy from a being. She didn't expect to completely overwhelm and drain the aquatic creature, but she needed it to be distracted for a little to hopefully break off whatever light side influence was going on and to allow her to focus on the Zabrak. Engaging two enemies at once was not impossible, but she preferred to fight one on one where odds were a bit better.

 

Closing in on the Zabrak, Qaela launched into a quick and aggressive series of assaults with her spear held at range. She needed to probe her opponent and gauge her strengths before committing to a full out assault, so she held her spear in a firm guard close to the butt so that she had the range to quickly withdraw or shift focus to the Mon Calamari should it be needed.

 


((1))
[[The duel technically starts at the break and I also promise not to have more long posts like this as part of the duel]]

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Qaela Sig

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Kadi's heart sank when she saw the Rancor. She knew they lived on Felucia, but had always avoided them. They lived peacefully here, not turning into the savage beasts that arenas and pit bosses seemed to prize them for. They were wild animals, same as the rest. To see how the figure in front of her abused that connection in the Force... It was a twisted mockery of the symbiotic bond between she and Juro, its roots built in dominating the beast's mind rather than soothing it. She grimaced in sympathy. The poor animal was likely terrified underneath the rage that the sorceress was sparking. She looked back at Quela, bracing herself at the woman launched a series of probing blows. Kadi conserved her energy, simply dancing back as the woman pushed the offensive. Kadi shed her robe, throwing it at the weapon in an attempt to tangle it as the bladed tip shrieked off her armor. Had she not twisted her body, the weapon would have cut right through her armor and impaled her. She would need to be cautious- It wasn't a lightsaber, like her own, but it was just as deadly.

 

She gave an experimental flourish of her weapon, warming herself up and her steps led her into a fighting sway. She darted forward, the Force assisting her movements. She could feel it around her, like the current of a river, leading her along the proper path, the flow guiding her attacks. She reached out, extending her body in a one-handed thrust to extend her range beyond the other fighter's towards the woman's shoulder, hoping to create an opening to close the distance as the dark-sider was hopefully forced to block or parry Kadi's blade. She followed with a ducking clockwise spin, using the momentum of her retracting reach to send the base of her weapon at her opponent's chest. The blow was far from lethal, but if it connected it would likely knock the wind out of the Sith. She completed her spin with a quick, forceful slash meant to slice into the Sith's thighs.

 

Juro had leapt into action as well, their time spent training together and living with one another meaning he needed very little direction to fight in tandem with her. He leapt to the right, letting out a shrill war-cry at the sight of the Bull Rancor as it circled, giving it a wide berth. It was a predator- larger and heavier than Juro, but much slower for it. It also lacked what Juro had- the natural chitin and bladed arms of an Acklay, and the training and fighting ability garnered from a life beside a Jedi Knight. It let out a wet hiss as it stalked the battlefield, moving further and further away from their battling masters, it's insect-like head tilting as it analyzed the threat. Whatever engagement they had would be short and violent- Between the brute strength of a Rancor and the savage agility of a trained Acklay, theirs would not be a battle that lasted long.

((1))

Edited by Mavanger
marking it as a duel post
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The light side surged around Leena, blanketing the battlefield in a crackling field of tingling energy. She focused on the purity that oozed from the life-filled world about them, drawing the inherent goodness forth into full blossom. With saber in hand, Leena let the light side manifest itself on the battlefield. It flowed outwards from the Healer in tidal surges of empowering energies to heighten the awarenesses, the reactions, and perceptions of the forces of light. The living force flowed in and through the Jedi; making her a conduit for the powers of good, a beacon of the force on the field.

 

______________________

 

The battlefield had erupted in a cacophony of sounds as the Jedi’s squirrel-like companions erupted from the undergrowth to engage the Sith troopers. Armor and weapons did not matter to them, their array of weapons spit energized bolts, explosions, fire, and destruction as they ducked and wove through the dense foliage engaging their foes, these would be oppressors. They had seen first hand the justice and judgement these jack-booted terror goons brought with them and they wanted nothing to do with it.

 

______________________

 

The roars of the creatures as they faced off signaled that this pawn of darkness had no intentions of standing down. The tendril of shadow that bound the armored witch to the raging rancor trembled in the healer’s vision. It’s corrupting power an abomination in the force that could not be left to stand unchallenged.

 

A surge of dark rage and painful suffering buffeted the Jedi’s mind as it sprung forth from the witch. It clawed at the Jedi Master’s psyche, slowed and weakened by the aura of light that flowed about the battlefield . Leena felt it. It tugged at the deepest recesses of her mind, trying to draw forth the most secreted away of pains the Jedi held in her chest. In a flash, Leena could practically feel Darth Mavanger’s blade piercing through her body, the life leaving her form. She could feel the emotional turmoil of pain and death as if it were called forth from the bitterness of the past. Such emotions sought to overwhelm the Jedi and sap her reserves of life and energy. It would have prevailed had it not been for the free flow of living energies if the force that grew exponentially as it passed from the Jedi back into the world. These energies met and matched the craving darkness and stood in where mete mortal could not.

 

Leena threw herself into holding off the buffeting waves of dark energy, drawing from the light side energies of the battlefield to push back at the surge of darkness. With the Sith’s attention split three ways, between the mind-linked rancor, the surge of energy-hungering darkness, and Kadi’s charge, it was simple enough to do more than push back. Forcing the visceral emotional response the darkness sought to elicit back inwards, soothed by the comforting waves of the force that exposed the evils to the light of truth, Leena pressed back. She had died; but yet, she lived. The force had willed it so. She had seen and tasted death and destruction, and yet knew that such horrors of war served a purpose as much as the duel they now engaged in. They would stop the darkness in it’s tracks and carry forth light and peace and freedom to all that these Sith sought to oppress and destroy.

 

The light side surged. Leena surveyed the unfolding chaos like a frontline surgeon assessing the wounds of a patient fresh from the battlefield. The cancerous growth of the dark side shone like a grotesque interloper, personified by the armored witch, her tendrils of death lancing out in every direction seeking a chokehold with which to grow and corrupt and destroy. With deft movements. Leena circled the edge of the clearing, keeping her eye on the clashing weapons of her friend and foe and giving the beasts and combatants plenty of space. Calling the light like a scalpel, Leena directed it’s healing power in a surgical strike towards the dark shadowy practitioner at a 90 degree angle from where Kadi sought to engage the servant of evil. If they were going to purge the darkness from this witch’s soul, she would need subdued. The light side energies sought to bypass the witch’s armored form and to render her sightless, her eyes unfocused and her mind no longer processing the images it received. If she could not see, the fight would be over quickly and with much less bloodshed. The ravenous rancor could be sent back to his own, the troopers captured that they might not bring more destruction; taught the error of their ways, and the witch, she could be subdued so that she might not spew the hatreds of the Sith. If all went well, they could reclaim her shattered soul from the skeletal claw of darkness.

 

The light side was alive, touching the hearts and minds of the Squib, of the lush world about them, Kadi and Juro, Leena, and whatever slivers of light could be found in the troopers and the witch. It sought to blossom these glimmers of light and truth like flowers, blooming and growing as surely as the jungles around them. Where there was light, there could be no darkness; for the light would cast out the darkness.

 

((1))

 

 ((-Continuation of battle meditation, bathing the battlefield in light side energies and seeking to drive back the dark side, empowering the forces of good and giving them an edge in combat (them being Kadi and Juro. All effects for the NPCs are just flavorful).

-Was buffeted by Quela’s mental/dark side assault drawing up painful memories and emotions, but used the distraction of multiple focus points to press back in an attempt to blind Quela.

-Drew on the light side and sought to blossom it in an attempt to weaken the dark side further and disrupt Quela’s connection to it and her connection to the rancor.))

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Things were not going according to plan. The former academy headmistress now turned glory hungry fool had jumped the gun and attacked… some middle of nowhere village with absolutely no military value. Apparently even villagers were too much for the fool to handle and she was fleeing into the jungle. Perhaps her antics might at least keep the enemy focused away from the real objectives.

 

Darth Nyrys had only a squad with her, Wraith division sappers with explicit orders not to engage outside of self defense. Their role was to take out the planetary shield generator, anything else was not of concern. Reaching the generator meant moving through the hustle and chaos of evacuating refugees, but fear and the Dark turned glances aside as the team moved with purpose towards their objective. 

 

She felt the Jedi well before she saw her, a beacon of light that brought forth memories of her first time connecting to the Force with the aid of Master Sheog. This Jedi had been at Onderon when the Sith had liberated it, part of the response fleet that had wisely withdrew rather than face the superior Sith fleet. The Jedi would be able to detect her team, unlike the refugees and the weak minded rebel troops, and therefore could potentially compromise their vital mission. The Jedi needed to be drawn away.

 

She bid her team move around the periphery while she engaged the Jedi. By wit or by strength her soldiers would have the distraction that they needed to complete their mission. When they were clear of her she reached out to the familiar being’s mind. 

 

 Jedi, I am not here for wanton slaughter, would you meet me in the jungle away from the refugees? They have no part in the sordid history of our two religions, and I have no interest in collateral damage. I wish to make you an offer, but should things devolve as they so often do, I believe that both of us will feel better if things go down away from the refugees.

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𝖋𝖎𝖗𝖊 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖆𝖘𝖍

 

As the spear fight began in earnest, Qaela relied on instinct and experience to guide her moves while keeping at least some of her attention on the Mon Calamari that was hovering around the edge of this fight. It was less than optimal, fighting with divided attention, but it would suffice for now. She and the Zabrak parried and fought, testing each other and seeking an opening, but neither committing fully to the fight for the first few moments. Normally, she would begin pressing this assault, but for some reason, her vision began to blur and she was not as able to focus as normal.

 

It took only a few moments to realize the interference was coming from the Mon Calamari who had managed to overcome the quick psychic attack Qaela had hurled at it before. The Light intensified around her, aimed at her, and trying to burn her with its fiery, unnatural brilliance that tried to wash away the comforting coolness of the Darkness. Her vision began fading so she immediately sought to disengage and reassess. The effort it took to combat this new attack slowed her sufficiently enough that she was slow to react to her Zabrak opponent's attack.

 

Even as she began to withdraw, the butt of the lightspear lanced out at her and caught her in the abdomen. With her reversal momentum and the armor she was wearing, the physical blow didn't do much damage, but the swinging blue blade that followed caught the edge of her high, searing through the armor that only barely slowed it, and scoring her flesh with intense heat. The suit, designed to protect in a contaminated environment, immediately detected the breach and sealed her leg off from the rest of her body, but that did nothing to stop the pain.

 

Pain.

 

Pain was good because it was natural. The universe was full of pain, so was life itself. No life lived without pain of some sort, even in birth. Pain could be useful, very useful, to one that didn't shy from it. The pain she now experienced cut like lightning through her nervous system straight to her brain and was amplified by the darkness she was seeking. With a burst of adrenaline inspired haste, she leapt a few meters away from the Zabrak and roared out in pain as she used it to feed into the Dark Side and stifle the assault from the Mon Calamari. Though she rarely gave into pure fury, Qaela knew that were she to gaze into a mirror, her eyes would no longer be their natural brown, but rather a fiery reddish orange.

 

The bull rancor, though severed from the active connection Qaela had forced upon it, no longer needed the Sith Nightsister's input to do what Qaela wanted. In triggering his territorial instincts to challenge the spider crab intruder, he was committed to fight. He realized the potential danger of the enemy's legs, but he had tusks of his own to contend with. Though slow, he was powerful and knew that should he get a hold of his prey, the fight would be over, but also that catching this prey would be a challenge. For a few moments, he tried catching this foe, then his semi-sentient mind realized it was a futile attempt. Instead, he waited until the circling creature was closer to the center of the clearing and then lunged towards the edge of the clearing and to the nearest fungal stalk. With his power and anger, he ripped a stalk several meters tall and half a meter thick from the spongy ground and slammed it against the ground breaking off its cap. Now, armed with a club, he turned back to the faster opponent with purely murderous intent.

 

She could still see a little, but it was by no means full vision and that fact insulted her. They dare try to take my sight? she thought angrily, then smiled beneath her helmet. Then I shall take theirs. With an infuriated flick of the Force, she ripped off and triggered the two tear gas grenades on her bandoleer causing smoke to begin to erupt all around her. She had initially intended on using the non-lethal but very irritating gas against any of the nycillin farmers should they grow unruly, but they had been so decimated by the plague that they offered no true resistance to their initial roundup. She and her commandos were in sealed and filtered armor, so the noxious gas wouldn't harm them. She kept one grenade where she was to cover the Zabrak, then lobbed the other over to where the Mon Calamari was.

 

With a sneer, she began kicking up a small windstorm around her with the Force, catching up the gas and hurling it in a swirling cloud around the two Jedi. Her fury grew, building up larger and larger as she began to regain control of herself against the barrage of the Light. No longer content to let the annoying Mon Calamari mess with her mind, Qaela elected to attack it directly while clutching her spear at the ready. Even partially blinded, she could clearly see the brilliant light blue of its blade to counter. Not wanting to leave the Zabrak on her rear, she launched a whirling attack to the side designed to sidestep the aquatic alien and end up behind her or at the least to the side while it dealt with the toxic gas. Her spear tip, honed to the width of just a few atoms and bound by applications of the Force at its creation, lashed out as she went by, hoping to pierce into the abdomen.

 


((2))

Edited by Qaela
Editing and clarifying last sentence per mod direction.
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Kadi was caught off guard by the force-propelled gas grenade, but it didn't deter her for long. Coughing and sputtering, she used the butt of her saber like a club, batting the gas-spewing grenade into the jungle. She took a brief moment to catch her breath, taking that time to relocate her enemy and formulate a new approach. She narrowed her eyes, still stinging from the gas, took another breath, and darted forward after the Sith fighter. The Force guided her every step, pushing her along at unnatural speeds as she closed the distance, he spear held ready for an engagement. She wouldn't let the Sith catch her breath- She moved to flank her opponent, putting herself on the opposite side from where she had been before. She leapt up and over Leena as she neared, somersaulting through the air with the aid of the Force. For a brief moment, as she flew through the air, she was free- free of the pain from the tear gas, and free from the grief she felt for the villagers. She let the force guide her, her spear lashing at the Sith's shoulder from above as she sailed overhead.

 

She landed with a skidding impact, her legs bracing for the rest of her body as her free hand settled her balance. She used the position she was in to launch herself forward, darting towards the Sith with more quick attacks while staying mindful of the gasses that now littered the . The first was a thrust towards her abdomen, the second an underswung blow with the staff towards the Sith's armpit in an attempt to disarm her, with a third blow reversing the momentum with frightening speed leading her blade in an arc towards her opponent's neck. She would try to draw the woman's attention away from her ally, but in the end, she trusted the other Jedi to hold her own, and wouldn't overextend herself in vain attempts to completely shield the Master. Across the clearing, Juro continued to play the game of chicken as he danced along the edges of the Rancor's reach. He let out another ear-piercing shriek as he circled, waiting for his moment to strike, his crab-like eyes watching the Rancor with intense caution. Kadi's bond with the acklay was strong, as well, keeping him alert as to the status of his master's battle. Her pain agitated him, and he chittered angrily as he stared down the Rancor that threatened him.

((2))

Edited by Mavanger
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“The engines are being warmed up, as soon as you can get everyone aboard we will launch them in intervals of ten minutes. Nar Shaddaa.”

 

She answered the question of the apprentice before the young girl could even ask it. 

 

“Now, you are in charge here…”

 

Her voice trailed off as she heard as much as felt the touch of the familiar mind. She let her eyelids flutter closed as she straightened, opening them again to see the scared face of the young masterless apprentice. 

 

“Keep them safe, and launch no matter what. If you see Sith soldiers, launch as many as are full. I will see you at Nar Shaddaa, Force willing. Be safe.”

 

She placed her hand onto the girls head, giving her a bit of reassurance which the apprentice returned with a quick hug and a shameful tear covered face. Sandy understood, the girl had lost her master some six months before, and she had not yet conquered the fear and loss from that. But she would. Force willing. The girl would not be alone here after all, as there were many Jedi and rangers setting up for the perimeter defense. 

 

Only when the apprentice had made her way to the cluster of refugees did Sandy tap into the force, letting herself feel the flow, and letting her mind reengage with that of the Sith’s. She sent a memory of a glade a kilometer away, one of the makeshift landing zones the Jedi had cleared from the forest to help in the medical distribution to the refugee population. It would likely still have a lot of supplies and equipment, but it would not be occupied. 

 

Sandy began to run, her bare feet making little noise on the undergrowth. She did not wear the armour that Kyrie had given her, the same armour that had saved her life at the Maw. If she had time she would have dressed in something more traditional, but she had come from training and still wore just the lightweight tunic top and matching form fitting shorts. Her long handled sabre clipped neatly into her belt. She needed no other weapons or armour, because the force was with her. Even if this was a trap. 

 

She slowed her pace and walked into the glade, which was still stacked with boxes and debris. Her eyes searching for this Sith Lord. 

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Calix Meus Inebrians

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The living force was a calm current, nearly an undetectable power, that surged beneath the surface even as the dark side raged in a maelstrom overhead. Instead of thrashing about ineffectually, the light side surged where it was needed, a riptide of life energies that went where it was needed. At the center of it, Leena poured herself into this tidal force against the explosion of emotions and dark side energies that spewed forth from the witch.

 

The force exuded from the girl’s pores, light side energies blanketing the area and lashing against the dark energies that sought to overwhelm the area. It tingled, it twinged, reacting to the natural bodily tendencies of the combatants and the world around them. Nothing was hidden from the will of the living force. As such, Leena forsaw, if but by a moment, the lobbed gas grenade spewing forth it’s caustic irritants as the winds picked up in an unnatural form, whipping the air about them, carrying the particulates of the grenades in a dust devil of burning mucus-inducing suffering; rustling the leaves in a chaotic audible haze of noise about the clearing.

 

Leena braced herself against the onslaught of wind and suffering; her eyes began to water, her vision blurring as tears flooded her eyes and mucus and snot ran from her nostrils. Sensing the incoming weapon, the Mon Cal instinctively inhaled before it got to her. Able to hold her breath for an extended period of time, the Mon Cal Jedi’s lungs remained protected.

 

Even as she struggled to see, the force was the healer’s ally. She was but a vessel for it’s will and where her body failed, the force would carry the day. She blinked her eyes heavily, squeezing her eyes shut against the onslaught even as the wind whipped the particulates away, blowing more in a fresh and constant attack. With her eyes closed, they still burned; but Leena ignored it as she gave herself over entirely to the force. Leena relied entirely on it’s will and guidance, remembering the lessons of her youth, pulling them to the forefront of her mind against the dark memories that still lingered from the Sith’s last attack. This was but a training exercise with higher stakes.
 

She sensed the incoming blade before it struck. Sheathed in a cloak of darkness as it snaked towards the gassed healer, the force warned of the attack. With an instinctual force-imbued leap Leena arced over backwards in a somersaulting motion, bypassing Kadi midair as if they were acrobats working in tandem. The Sith’s atomic-honed weapon trailed a line of blood down the Jedi’s leg as it carved a trail through her skin until it caught on the healer’s trooper boot tugging at the weapon as she moved.

 

Landing in a crouch, Leena kept her blade-clutched hand angled towards the Sith witch hoping to tangle it defensively if needed. Blood dribbled from the cut in her leg. The Jedi Master’s free hand touched the soft soil of Felucia, allowing the force to flow up and through her. In an instant, Leena directing it outward in a 360 degree arc of telekinetic power that rippled through the air in an outward tidal wave of power that toppled nearby trees careening them into the forest just before Kadi landed, their roots arcing upwards into the air. 

 

((2))

 

((Leena continued to pour herself into the force, empowering and growing the light side.

Sensing the incoming grenade Leena held her breath. Her eyes watered and she closed her eyes and gave herself over to the force, leaping backwards to try and avoid the spear attack. It traced a brushing injury down Leena’s leg catching on the girl’s boot.

Landing, Leena sent a force shockwave out in every direction.))

Edited by Leena Kil
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𝖘𝖙𝖔𝖗𝖒𝖋𝖚𝖗𝖞

 

Though her spear tasted the blood of its foe, it was not a lethal strike as desired. The Mon Calamari leaped away even as the Zabrak flew above with a strike that bit deep into Qaela's left shoulder sending another jetting burst of pain throughout her body. Even as she turned her body to engage her horned foe, she could feel the power building up within the other. Instinctively, she knew she needed to get a way from whatever it was and started to withdraw, but not quite fast enough. That gathered power released and a large wave of energy rippled outward throwing Qaela up and away from any further attacks against or from the Zabrak.

 

Rather than fight the wave, Qaela rode it until she landed against a spongy fungal cap that had been uprooted by the Jedi's destructive power. She was impressed at the scope of the power, but it was not enough to end things. The dark witch found herself now nearly forty meters from her Jedi foes and that suited her well for now. The smaller windstorms holding the continually expelling tear gas that she had formed a short time before were gaining strength, but were now not directly controlled by her any longer.

 

The Light was still present, that much Qaela could feel, but there were now some major taints to that light. All around the Force gifted trio, scores of beings were fighting and dying. Pain ripped through a Sith commando as his shoulder was ripped apart by a blaster bolt and his life began to fade. Others of his comrades were also falling, as were the furry creatures attacking them. This did not surprise the Sith because she knew the truth: with all life eventually came death. It was inevitable, and it was a natural part of the universe that Jedi seemed to rebel against and attempt to delay over and over again. They embraced life, but eschewed its balance of death.

 

Qaela didn't.

 

Life and death were two parts of the same coin, each necessary for the other to exist. Where the Jedi brought life and tried to stop death, the Sith would counter that unnatural state and bring forth death to provide the Balance of Nature.

Reaching out to the surrounding jungle, beyond the areas contaminated by the unnatural concentration of Light, Qaela began summoning the natural balance of that life and death cycle. Everywhere here, things were living and dying both, but for now, she would need to draw more heavily upon death to counter the abomination done by this Jedi. Those soldiers fighting provided an easy source of death, but there was also the jungle itself with everything from flies being caught in the web of spiders, small rat like creatures falling prey to feline predators, and even the normally harmless herbivores ripping up and consuming plant life. This energy, which some may call "Dark" was simply the natural cycle of life and Qaela was going to use it for her own will.

 

Pain of her own rippled from her thigh and shoulder as she drew upon the windstorms that she had already summoned and fueled them with further power. Those windstorms were originally following the two Jedi, but when they leaped in the air and came very close, the two mashed together into a single entity becoming a small but growing tornado. Qaela was a Master of the Sith among the highest of the Empire, she had summoned tremendous amounts of energy before and created thunderstorms that ravaged hundreds of square kilometers in the past. She didn't have the time to summon that much power, but she only needed to devastate a hundred square meters or so.

 

Harsh winds began sucking everything inward to a point roughly between the two Jedi, sucking in both more of the tear gas and increasing until it was like a tornado. The fungal jungle had a great deal of warm, moist air below and the air being drawn in by her funnel was much cooler creating the ionization needed for her purpose. She leaned on her spear as energy poured through her, fueling and directing this terrible storm of energy.

 

With a whimper, the rancor knew something was wrong and for a brief moment, it looked as though he would flee. Instead, drawn by the dark energy Qaela was expelling, he raised his makeshift club above his tusked head, let out a battle cry, and charged against the spider crab swinging his weapon down to crush its opponent's head.

 

The energy Qaela had summoned needed releasing, for no being could contain all that she was drawing for long. When she did, massive, brilliant arcs of lightning began slamming into the clearing all around the Jedi and whatever other beings were still fighting in it. This was the fury of Nature, power tapped from the jungle itself and merely redirected by Qaela to rip and destroy what stood against it with bolts of energy that left massive, jagged scars in the ground and deafening thunder that buffeted Qaela. The power of a mighty thunderstorm was slamming into the relatively small part of jungle causing further death and destruction, bringing the area back into Balance once more.

 

 

((3))

((wonderful duel, guys. Either way this goes, it was a pleasure.))

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Kadi was only briefly thankful that Leena had launched the shockwave before she landed. That thankfulness evaporated when the Sith unleashed the dark energies that she's been collecting, launching electrified explosions in every direction. She barely had a moment before one of the arcs landed mere feet away from her, sending her sprawling across the ground as the impact severely burnt her leg. She was in a bad place- she didn't have a choice anymore. Her leg was too injured to fight on foot. Calling on Juro through their link, she gave the command that he had been waiting so patiently for as he drew the Rancor away from the fight.

 

Juro leapt to the side as the Rancor swung his club with a roar, taking advantage of the slow action to charge. Not at the Rancor- his master had no intention of killing the dominated beast. It wasn't fighting of its own accord, the anger and violence that it displayed now largely due to the Sith's interference. Indeed, Kadi had always intended to release the Rancor from its pain, not burden the beast with more. The Acklay took the opportunity to run right past the Rancor, taking advantage of its speed and the surprise to barrel towards Kadi. She reached up as he whipped past, grabbing one of his spikes and using it to pull herself upon him as he charged the Sith. She reignited her saber- Now was where she showcased what could happen when one worked with nature, rather than dominating it. Understood its wildness and violence, rather than trying to control it.

 

They attacked in tandem- Juro struck with his front legs, the sharp blades spelling a gruesome death if the Sith was caught bey them, followed by the gnashing of his serrated teeth towards their opponent's head. As Juro leaned down for the bite, Kadi struck out with her spear once more, towards the Sith's chest, taking advantage of its length to strike from the safety of her Acklay's back. They had fought together many times. Whether it was the wilderness of Felucia, or the pirates of Tatooine, Kadi and Juro had fought together for years, and this monsterous woman, who held no remorse in her heart for the people she had slain, who had shown nothing but disdain for the nature that Kadi cared for so wholeheartedly, would not be what ended either of them.

((3, very good duel y'all.))

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Standing from her crouch, Leena felt her leg pulse gently. The wound reminded her that she too was mortal, but a servant of the power that grew in and around her. The light and darkness crashed together as the Sith launched a final desperate attempt. Her powers called forth the intricacies of death, manipulating them beyond that which nature intended crafting it into a whirlwind of destruction.

 

Even as the winds tore about, growing in power, Leena opened her eyes to a squint. The wind tore at her robes, pulling the particulates of the gas away from her before they could take grasp. Her eyes still burned as tears blanketed her lashes, but they protected her from the whipping assault of the wind’s cargo. She could see, some; but even in the growing cacophony of the force maelstrom that grew around them, she could feel the dark mistress. The evil presence drew her like a wound or cancer on a patient to a point that needed her healing attention. The dark vortex about the woman’s heart, a cage that wailed it’s presence with vulgar pride to the world shone like a beacon of devilish intent.

 

Feeling the force, Leena followed it’s guiding. Deactivating her saber, the girl allowed the winds to sweep her from her feet. Tucking her arms to her side as she was carried up on the swirling airs of the twister, Leena pointed herself, straight and arrow like. It was if she was diving into the training pool from on high again, only in reverse. The gassy particles whipped by her, repelled by a protective layer of light side energies that sparked and crackled with each minuscule impact. The force was her ally and her guide. She went where it directed and followed as it called. Here, in this moment, she gave herself completely over to it’s power. The healer’s body twisted and arced with the wind, the slightest movements directing her lithe swimmer’s body along the currents of the wind. Lightning cracked and spewed about the girl. She clenched her eyes, letting the force be her guide.

 

Left and right, up and down, the more powerful the maelstrom became, the more the living energies of the force surged, for they were present in both life and in death, even the unnatural deaths called and honed into an unnatural weapon by the dark side. The more the light side grew, the greater precision Leena had. A bolt of lightning seared through the air, igniting the woman’s sleeve in a burst of superheated air. Leena winced as the force buffeted some of the pain of the blow, a surge of adrenaline dulling another edge of the pain. Still, it burnt her arm, charring her outer layers of fatty fishy skin into a crisp, smoke trailing behind her as her sleeve smoked; the flames extinguished by the winds.

 

Angling herself towards the ground, Leena rolled, coming to a standing stop behind the Sith sorceress her momentum timed with the force to put her just out of saber’s range and the onslaught of Kadi and Juro. With her deactivated saber clutched in her burnt arm, hanging at her side. Leena lashed out with her free hand, forcing it forwards towards the Sith with a casting outstretched upward palm. She drew upon the true neutrality of life and death, the power of the living force empowered by the witch’s own doing, the light side glowing and cracking alongside each bolt of lightning as it directed their paths away from certain doom. From her outstretched fingers careened a wedge of force power, pure white in intensity as it carved it’s way towards the Sith’s tattered and withered soul, ensnared by the evil of the dark side and false teachings of the false prophets of the darkness. It sought to sever the hold the corruption had on the  Sith’s heart and soul, to disconnect her from her magical attachment to the force until she could be purified of the noose about her conscious.

 

((3))

 

((Buffeted by the winds and struck by lightning (burning her arm, but buffeted by the force and adrenaline) as she flew through the air guided by the ever growing power of the living force, Leena rolled to a stop behind Qaela and lashed out with her good arm with a wedge of pure light side power in an effort to try and severe Qaela’s connection to and ability to use the force.))

 

((Great duel both of you. Travis, you make an excellent opponent. Thank you!!))

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The White Death fell from the dazzling embrace of hyperspace, falling into the darkness of realspace in a rush of twisting light. Its pilot, the Revanchist Eleison gazed upon the jungle planet below with critical eyes. The rhythm of the system was wrong, so wrong. The Azanti’s probiscis twitched and weaved as she attuned herself to the Force. She tasted the force, breathing it in and letting it surround her. The Krayt stirred within, and her skin flushed with warmth.

 

Ysgithyrwyn Mwynfawr loved this place. There was a primeval tone that stirred amongst the stars, ancient in its power, a rippling echo of long-dead things. Newer evils had come, treading the same paths of primordial ones.

 

Sith atrocities.

 

She breathed in a breath of the recycled, hollow air and dove her ship towards the emerald planet. The rhythm began to change as she approached, and she could almost feel the stinging heat and humidity upon her skin. There were currents here, dark songs reflected in the clouds. She was drawn by the cry of souls. The Force tore the world before, the claws of a mighty storm ripping across the hull of The White Death with the shriek of rending metal.

 

The Sith and their Storms.

 

Kyrie smiled, feeling the control yoke become unresponsive in her grasp. She let the ship go, watching as the yoke began to spasm as the ship began lulling death spiral, caught in the uncaring hands of a dark current. The Jedi flipped her spear from her back as the ship’s spinning increased, igniting it in a flourish, cutting way free from the dying ship and letting the humid air catch her.

 

The Jedi bent her body, letting the current of air carry her in the wake of her broken ship as it spiraled towards the atrocities below. The White Death smashed into a portion of cleared jungle, in what had formally been a subsistence farm. Kyrie breathed out, letting her own rhythm expand and release the bonds of gravity, slowing her fall into a diving dance amongst the smoke and ruin.

 

Her soft leather boots touched the tilled earth and she allowed gravity to slip its bonds onto her flesh again. She breathed in another breath and gasped in horror as she looked around. Bodies were everywhere, broken and torn by the dark side of the Force. Raw emotion poured into the Force, remnants of passing souls who had tried to resist the Sith and had died in droves. She could see them, the souls of men, women, and children watching the carrion fall upon their bodies.

 

Nail-bitten fingers ran through the rosary on her wrist as tears welled in her eyes, reflecting the light of the fires before running and tumbling down her young face to mix into the dirt and blood at her feet. Her probiscis twitched, and even Ysgithyrwyn Mwynfawr’s rhythm was that of shame and sadness. Her hand rested on the corpse of a child, feeling the wounds in the Force, and their reflection upon the flesh.

 

“You tried to resist them… But even in your… Innocence they spared no one.”

 

The Imperial Knight reflected her songs into the wind, mirroring the wound in the force she could feel.

 

A Song of Sorrow.

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Tros leaned in closer to Kot'dral as he scouted the area out. They were taking mental notes and figuring out where everything was as the rest of the Sith Empire arrived around them, causing even more stir from the site, which both Mandalorians knew as a Jedi Temple of sorts. The two had their own scouting of a way in interrupted by a thundering loud sound of a ship coming in and landing hard not far from them. "Kot'dral, get eyes on that wreck." Tros now stood up and watched the area of where the ship landed versus near where the initial speeders left the temple and passed through the area that one of the Sith most likely caused enough mayhem to draw attention to the area. Behind his buy'ce, he narrowed his eyes as his own HUD was not strong enough to get specs that far out. "A woman exited the wreckage. Jetii by the looks of her...Headed towards the first onslaught site." Without any hesitation, Tros extended his head towards Kot'dral. "We have to intercept her, or else she'll reinforce the other Jetiise in the forest."

 

Tros held onto Kot'dral as the man stood up and used his jetpack to move both towards an intercept path quickly. As the two neared, Tros dropped Kot'dral and turned off his jetpack, landing a good twenty to thirty meters away. Immediately he fell into a roll to help the impact of suddenly turning off the jetpack, to which Tros quickly drew both of his DE-10 blasters and began to open fire on the Jetii, attempting to push her position back towards the temple and not towards the others out in the forest. Kot'dral knew the plan without even saying a word drew his own EL-16HFE blaster rifle and began to fire off some rounds towards the Jetii as he slowly moved towards the left side of Tros. Both at the same time were having their HUD's fully linkup in order to better coordinate against their foe. Neither would use words unless it was absolutely vital for them to do so. 

 

(( Post 1 of a duel of Tros vs Kyrie. ))

Tros and Kot'dral opened fire from a slight distance attempting to move Kyrie away from the other Jedi.

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Mishuk gotal'u meshuroke, pako kyore.

 

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Sarna had excused herself at the ground level of the Jedi Temple, racing towards the hangars at the base of their valley. Upon entering the warm, humid air of the exterior, Draygo paused at a small convoy of personnel carriers that had been delayed in their evacuation. A throng of eyes flickered away from a Gotal at the head of the convoy and towards the Jedi Grandmaster, nervous faces meeting the stony expression of a veteran fighter.

 

Some of these nervous sapients were young Hopefuls--the next generation of the Jedi Order, so early in their training that they had not even been selected by a young Knight and Master for individual training. Most of them were noncombatants: visiting scholars who were guarding suspicious, tome-shaped bulges under their clothing; teachers and scientists clutching storage devices to their bodies. Among them were a medical ward’s worth of doctors and surgeons, patients and refugees. A pair of them were almost too ill to be moved and were transported in portable bacta tanks, some with broken bones that were being eyed nervously by their caretakers, and one dehydrated, half-demented fool of a refugee who had gotten himself lost in the jungle and had been bitten by a venomous viper. Still coming down from the delirium of a powerful cocktail of drugs, that patient was cheerfully babbling nonsense even as the medtechs were attempting to secure patients to personnel carriers and flatbed cargo dollies. More stimulated than terrified by the sirens, the Selkath happily rose from his seat to try and make small-talk with a passing flight of E-Wing pilots.

 

“Oh, hello! Everyone’s very excited over something.” The Selkath smiled benignly at a misty sky that threatened rain. “The sun must be trying to come out there. It promises to be a lovely day.”

 

At the moment, the cause of the excitement was the fact that his gesticulations had nearly upset a healing femur--and a significant bottleneck in the evacuation. As the lead Healer of the Felucian Temple, one Master Gloth, was explaining to the Jedi Grandmaster, there were simply too many patients to be evacuated, too few ships, and not enough airspace to accommodate them all.

 

At the moment, that patient was causing some consternation due to the fact that his gesticulations had nearly upset a healing femur--that patient was eyeing the Selkath nervously. More importantly, there was a significant bottleneck in the evacuation. Jogging over to the anxious mob, Armiena spotted the Gotal Master Gloth, a Healer who had attended her wounds on a number of occasions. As the lead Master Healer of the Felucian described it, there were simply too many patients to be evacuated, too few ships, and too little airspace to accommodate them all.

 

“Take my ship. Shippy McShipface--it’s an old Barloz freighter, maroon striping, you can’t miss it. Just keep your patients out of the armory.”

 

The name of that rugged old freighter caught the ear of their delirium patient, who promptly fixed alkaloid-addled eyes on the Jedi Grandmaster and cried out loud with excitement. “Wonderful! I loved watching that show as a podling! Will we be able to meet Professor Pulsar?”

 

“Yes,” promptly replied the Jedi Grandmaster, who had never watched the holodocs and had never met the so-called Professor Pulsar. “He’s a fine gentleman. He loves his fans. In fact, there’s nothing he loves more than to put on tea and talk stars with them. Now don’t keep him waiting. Get out of here, Master Gloth.”

 

Those were blatant lies told with a blank face--the previous owner of the ship was dead--but the stubborn delirium case was convinced to take his seat without sedation, happily folding his hands into his lap. heT patients finally secure, Master Gloth and the invalid patients were able to hover their way towards the landing pads, with the Jedi Grandmaster jogging alongside one of the overloaded personnel carriers until the convoy reached the tarmac. The Gloth exchanged a brisk wave as the grey-maned Gotal disappeared up the boarding ramp of Armiena’s freighter, leaving the Jedi Grandmaster to clamber onto the wing of her starfighter

 

The Jedi Ace was indeed fully prepped. A cursory check down the dashboards confirmed that the shields had been retuned, ion cannons charged and warheads loaded, life-support maximized, inertial dampener calibrated just a little below spec--Draygo preferred to strain against her maneuvers rather than fly in a bubble--and… that sublights functioning at 106% efficiency. Some engineer must have gotten ambitious with this twenty-year old starfighter, Draygo reflected with a shrug. There was one final change that needed to be made: punching in a command on the dashboards, the veteran Jedi altered the designation of her starfighter from an anonymous squadron callsign to Dark Fire.

 

That would be sure to attract the attention of any simmering Sith that was thirsting for retribution.

 

“Felucia, Dark Fire, joining Twin Suns Squadron out there. May The Force be with you.”

 

Draygo didn’t listen to the response from the Temple’s ground control. Donning the helmet and oxygen mask, the veteran Jedi pulled back on the controls and caused the tiny starfighter to rocket into the humid air. Mist spilling from the fighter’s wings, Armiena glanced from side to side to watch the glow of descending sublight engines--troop transports. The Jedi Grandmaster closed her eyes and ignored the tones of sensor lock warnings and comm chatter, just trying to listen to The Force and any guidance that it might offer.

 

There was none. The only sensation was a pit that dropped into her stomach after the starfighter broke through a developing storm cell.

 

“Fine,” Draygo muttered to herself and thumbed a control on the comms board. “Wolf Spiders, deploy as planned. I need you here on the surface.”

 

Confirmations of her orders received, the Jedi Grandmaster sent the fighter into a gentle turn that would cause it to intercept one of the larger Sith transports. It was a graceless, broad-winged, bulky craft that was trailing red-black pennants from its keel despite descending from upper atmosphere. More importantly, it was being harassed by two maroon X-Wings, both of which were exchanging turns taking potshots from afar and forcing the transport to veer off course by threatening to collide with its bow...

 

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