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Nar Shaddaa - Rebel Alliance Headquarters


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Nar Shaddaa (Rebel Alliance Headquarters):

 

Astrographical Information

Region: Mid Rim

Sector: Hutt Space

System: Y'Toub System

Orbital Position: moon of the 3rd planet (Nal Hutta)

Moons: one of 5

Grid Coordinates: S-8

 

Physical Information

Class: Terrestrial

Atmosphere: Type 1 Breathable

Primary Terrain: polluted cityscape

Points of Interest: Rimmer's Rest, Promenade, The Slag Pit

Major Cities:

 

  • New Vertica
  • Ko Hentota
  • Duros Sector
  • Corellian Sector
  • Refugee Sector
  • Red Sector
  • Undercity
  • Industrial Sector

 

Societal Information

Indigenous Species: Ganks

Immigrated Species:

 

  • Hutts
  • t'landa Til
  • Humans
  • Colicoids
  • Vippits
  • Evocii
  • Trandoshans
  • Twi'leks
  • Many others

 

Primary Language(s): Huttese, Galactic Basic

Population: 72-95 billion (human minority)

Faction Affiliation: Imperial Remnant, Rebel Alliance

 

Defense Rating: Level 4

 

“The Red and Black” is the headquarters of the Rebel Alliance on Nar Shaddaa. It is situated in a rough, crime-stricken part of Nar Shaddaa--rough even for the Smuggler’s Moon. The blocks surrounding the main structure consist largely of formerly dilapidated warehouses that had been converted to barracks, hangar space, and training arenas. The largest of the hangars has been reinforced to support landing by atmosphere-worthy corvettes. The training arenas can be rebuilt on short notice to simulate the interiors of large capital ships--even a sizeable fraction of an Imperial II-class Star Destroyer.

 

Within the center of the region lies the headquarters proper--a former casino that saw its glory days decades before the rise of the Empire. The structure was stripped of its former lavishness by years of scavenging and the final death knell to its opulent past was dealt by the Rebel engineers who have removed any trace of its civilian origin in the project to renovate it for military use. However, even the reinforcing struts and armored cladding cannot detract from the opulent use of space and arching ceilings, reminiscent of the luxurious use of space in Coruscanti Republican architecture; nor can the military holoprojectors disguise the fact that its briefing rooms were once theatres and the staff offices were once hotel rooms.

 

Centuries in the past, The Red and Black was an opulent casino from the height of the Hutt Cartels in the waning years of the Old Republic. Decorated lavishly with white and black marble and crimson trim, its nearly-unpronounceable Huttese name quickly fell into disuse and the casino was referred to almost exclusively by its nickname. With the rise of the Empire and its advance into the Outer Rim, however, the criminal empire of the Hutt Cartels began to consolidate around smuggling and the drug trade and their more legitimate enterprises began to crumble. Neglected by the Hutts, The Red and Black decayed into a shell of its former self until it was abandoned, and then picked apart by scavengers for valuable scrap and metals. The casino was slated to be demolished as a victim of the Imperial Remnant’s rebuilding projects, but the unusual Republican architecture of the casino and its name were viewed as an auspicious token for the formation of the Rebel Alliance. The structure and its surroundings were seized as facilities for its headquarters on Coruscant.

 

((First post goes to Bruce Slaughter.))

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Pretender to the Galactic Throne

Co-Leader of the Rebel Alliance

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Hundreds of kilometers above Nar Shaddaa, the leadership of the legitimate governments of the galaxy and their monastic defenders were discussing their counter to the forces of despotism. On the moon’s surface, an equally-critical mission was being carried out by a less storied dramatis personae; these were the anonymous professionals of the broken Galactic Alliance. Hundreds of shuttle pilots, engineers, quartermasters, and protocol droids were scouring the surface for a suitable location for the nerve center of the Rebel Alliance. As unlikely as the Smuggler’s Moon seemed as the location for the headquarters to the resistance against the Sith Empire, the moon was home to tens of billions of sapients and hundreds of species who had known persecution under the Sith Emperors; the Imperial Remnant’s military shipyards would be a critical resource in prosecuting the war; and perhaps most importantly, Imperial Remnant’s aggressive reconstruction campaign had freed up vast acreages of the urban landscape; 

 

The former residents and vagrants of these regions had been evacuated to make way for the inexorable march of the Remnant’s construction droids. The armies of these bipedal behemoths would then plow through the urban jungle, razing entire city blocks and leaving the dust of urban decay in their wake. What was left behind was transformed, modernized ecumenopolis, fully constructed and ready to receive the tenants who could afford the new neighborhoods. It was a cold, unsentimental approach to urban renewal, perhaps, it was difficult to deny that razing abandoned tenements, glitterstim dens, and millenia-old infrastructure and replacing them with structures worthy of pre-Faust Coruscant was progress.

 

One of these projects, however, was placed on indefinite hold.

 

A Lambda-class shuttle landed at the foot of a vast, domed structure in the midst of one of these urban wastelands, disgorging a score of engineers and archivists. Eight Alliance marines armed with carbines accompanied them; Nar Shaddaa may have been friendly territory, but this structure, for all they knew, may have been populated solely by spice-fiends, scavengers, and rakghouls.

 

In centuries past, this domed edifice had been The Red and Black, an opulent casino favored by the Hutts before their business empire. Its architecture had been an imitation of the conspicuous consumption of space on Coruscant--the casino rose above the heights of the surrounding skyscrapers, and the Hutts had purchased the air rights of the entire region to ensure that no mere tenement would ever tower over their jewel. The interior of the casino was no less wasteful in its use of space, and its vast acreage was clad in genuine marble--actual polished stone, all the better for the locomotion of the oversized slugs. For centuries, The Red and Black had been a gem in the diadem of the Hutt business empire.

 

Those days were over. The Hutt cartel had been broken. The Red and Black had been abandoned for nearly a century, and scavengers had picked over the frame of the casino for every useful piece of scrap. Neglect and time had eroded the casino until it was an eyesore in an equally decayed neighborhood

 

All that was left for the Alliance engineers was a durasteel husk, lit only the occasional ray of sunlight that penetrated the cracked dome and their own spotlumas. At least nothing more dangerous than a few spice-addled vagrants inhabited the casino. Still, there seemed nothing to recommend the structure over a half-dozen suitable locations on the Smuggler’s Moon--even if The Red and Black rested atop a major hub of turbolift traffic and vast swaths of urban landscape were readily available for conversion to anchorage and barracks, the enormity of the task of reconstructing The Red and Black seemed prohibitive.

 

Minutes after the twenty-eight surveyors packed up their equipment and boarded their shuttle for their next destination, their Lieutenant received a brief message from above. Way up above, as it so happened.

 

Yes. Exactly what we need. It’s perfect. Do whatever it takes to purchase it. And the surrounding neighborhoods. 

 

____

 

Days later, the threshold of The Red and Black was swarming with activity. A small army of engineers and astromech droids had descended upon the abandoned casino and littered its circumference with shuttles. One of the many-appendaged droid skyscrapers hunched over the arch of its dome, its durasteel claws stripping away eroded durasteel and the last fragments of centuries-old wiring that the scavengers hadn’t removed. Other portions of the dome were aglow with white-hot flame as the gargantuan droid welded forge-fresh durasteel armor, the product of the recycled scrap. Hundreds of meters below the droid, every unsecured tool rattled in tandem with subaudible vibrations as the Alliance engineers plumbed the kilometers of its foundation and subcellar with seismic sensors.

 

As it so happened, its foundation had withstood the test of centuries and was safe for inhabitation. Four more shuttles landed from the fleet in orbit and deployed their marines. The Red and Black stood atop a network of long-abandoned turbolift shafts and there was no telling what creatures had been residing with subcellar for the past decades.

 

For the next week, that inhabitation would be limited to two rooms. Its cavernous lobby became littered with cots and the engineers’ equipment. By day, it was evacuated save for a few armed guards as the reconstruction proceeded; by night, it was lit by welding torches that cast a pale, flickering glow on the sapients below while a score of their number hung from the rafters and continued the project of reinforcing the dome against bombardment.  A nearby auditorium became strewn with cables that led into a briefing holoprojector that had been salvaged from a captured Victory-class Star Destroyer. Nearby, a second construction droid pulverized an abandoned warehouse and rebuilt the lot into a facsimile of a landing strip.

 

A barracks, a briefing room, and a landing strip wasn’t much to start a rebellion, but it was a start.

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  • 1 month later...

Adenna had been so busy working with the Rebel Alliance over the past few weeks that she began to feel guilty as though she was neglecting the Jedi Order. She had never been one to believe in tightly controlling others, but rather giving them a bit of freedom to go as the Force needed. Events in the Galaxy had come to a slight lull with both the Rebels and Sith focusing on consolidating their territory, but she had the sense that there was going to be a need to fight soon. For now, she was content on allowing the Jedi to focus on training and bonding with each other, but soon, all who were able would be called to war.

 

With the Empress off negotiating with the Sith, Adenna was hesitant to launch a major offensive, but that did leave some other options. One thing she wanted to do was to pair off some of the newer, recently promoted Jedi Knights with more experienced fighters, and that included herself. There were several Jedi here on Nar Shaddaa who were waiting assignment and a sense of purpose and she needed to find them that. Plenty felt the call to serve and fight for the Light and it would be wrong to deny them that opportunity.

 

One of the things she really wanted to focus on was working with the Imperial Knights. Despite passing their exorcism test, there was still a good deal of distrust between the Imperial Knights and the Jedi Order. She needed to find a way to bridge that gap through example and could think of no better opportunity than to work directly with one of their number.

 

After a small bit of bouncing around between various members of both the old Imperial Remnant and the Imperial Knights themselves, she finally found someone with both the authority and the willingness to work with her. They eventually consented to send a Knight Skyshatter to work with her, though they were not exactly thrilled with the idea. Adenna realized there would need to be some diplomacy here, but felt she could handle it. It was far more important to fight the Sith than for her to take offense at any sleight from their allies.

She sent an invitation for Knight Skyshatter to come up to her office so they could get a sense of each other.

Edited by Adenna Alluyen

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When Lok recieved the invitation to join the Jedi Grandmaster, he and a few of his fellow Knights had gathered and were in the middle of a friendly game of Pazaak, Lok tossing back his beverage when the closed door open and his name called. Shooting to attention along with his comrades, the Corporal handed over the datapad and relieved himself from their quarters as the trio sighed a relaxed sigh. But in the back of his mind, Lok was hoping for fresh orders after having been stationed here since Kuat, a craving for action boiling in the pit of his stomach. Once a warrior, always a warrior.

 

"Frek". Lok expressed loudly as his gaze sifted through the datapad's content, the realization that he had been invited to meet with a Jedi, let alone the Order's Grandmaster, the fartherest thing he could have hoped for. As the other two looked on in confusion and curiosity, Lok shot his gaze toward them and grimaced. "I've been invited to meet with the Jedi Grandmaster."

 

The two hoped up and grabbed at the datapad with gusto, mostly curiosity as to why Lok recieved such a request, but also in laughter that he had been the one chosen rather than either of them. Grabbing his armor from his locker, Lok half heartedly chuckled with them and proceeded to gear up in a disgust look upon his face. It wasnt that he despised the person behind the title just as any of the Imperial Knights, but he had been there since before the beginning and he remembered a cowardice Jedi Order. And because of that, he couldn't find it in himself to forgive the Order for its lack of engagement. He understood the need for peace, but to stand back and do nothing simply allowed more darkness to grow where the light was no longer capable of shining. Clipping his lightsaber to his hip, the only remnant of his days as a Jedi Knight, he turned and headed out.

 

Lok snickered a small bit when he arrived at the Rebel's official base, a former Casino that the Imperials had seized and foreclosed, one of his earlier missions once he arrived at Nar Shadaa. Fitting honestly, considering the gamble that the Empress was taking to align herself with former enemies in the light of a more powerful one, especially after words of their display at Onderon reached the Galaxy's ears. Lok's snicker turned sour at the thought of the Sith's occupation of his homeworld, his mind wandering about the splintered cells of hope that must feel hopeless upon their own world just as he ached for its liberation. The Sith Empire could spin it to their own liberation as much as they wish, but as far as Lok was concerned, this infamous Dark Lord that called himself the Spider was no more than a False King upon the Throne of Onderon. Shaking his head, he entered the Rebel's Headquarters.

 

Moments later, a knock landed on the door of@Adenna Alluyen, the Rebel Lieutenant tasked with escorting Lok to her office addressing his arrival. Stepping in, Lok stood tall and proud in his shined Imperial armor, the black insignia shining like a jewel against the crimson hue. Standing at attention, his eyes focused forward, Lok saluted Adenna with unwanted respect, echoing in the words that escaped his lips. "Madam Grandmaster. Lok Skyshatter reporting."

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Adenna was glad that the Imperial Knight had arrived so promptly. She definitely appreciated the military precision sense of urgency that the Imperials and the Imperial Knights exhibited from her time fighting with Thalassia's anti-slavery military units. The contrast between his crimson armor and her own blue robes was also striking to her, but it wasn't the outward appearance that mattered, it was the inside and motivations of the individual swathed in that attire.

 

"Just Master Alluyen," she said, though she despised the title itself. To her, "master" was a hearkening back to the days of her childhood surrounded by the presence and threat of slavery. Still, the rest of the Galaxy and especially the Jedi Order didn't have those same connotations to the title. As much as she hated it, she realized that it was necessary to bear the title if not out of a desire for respect to herself, but for respect of the position and Jedi Order itself. Titles and ranks were important to keeping order and the chain of command, so she bore it.

 

She gestured for the Knight to sit. "I am glad you have come and realize you may not be exactly thrilled about being called from your comrades and working with a Jedi. I take no offense to it as I myself still have lingering reservations at times when I work with Imperials. Full transparency: I fought the Empire and still bear a scar from being shot by Stormtroopers. Despite that, I realize that there is a far bigger threat and compared to our duty to oppose the Sith, whatever comparatively insignificant differences I may have with Imperials or the Galactic Alliance or even fellow Jedi need to be put aside."

 

She pushed a few buttons on her desk's holoprojector causing a display of a broken and shattered planet surrounded by red icons representing ships. "This is Coruscant, once the capital of the Empire, then the New Republic, then the Empire again, and finally the Galactic Alliance. Right now, it is in utter ruins and is being occupied by a substantial Sith fleet. It doesn't take a genius to figure out they are wanting to claim it to gain further legitimacy as the 'proper' rulers of the Galaxy. We need to know what they are doing and, just as importantly, see the plight of the countless billions of innocents still trapped on the planet.

 

"I intend on modifying and making use of some of the captured Black Sun shuttles we took over Dark Sun Station to land myself and a dozen troopers serving the Jedi Order on the planet so we can see firsthand what is going on there. I have talked and worked with some of your ranking officers in the Imperial Knights and with Rebel Command and you have been assigned to come with me as a sign of solidarity.

 

"I do not suspect this will be an easy mission, but it is critical and it is important that I do this and with an Imperial Knight. I am tired of this pointless rift between our Orders and want to do everything possible to bring us back together. As the leader of the Jedi Order, I also need to be proactive in this war lest I become just another armchair general. I won't force you to come along this mission. If you wish, I will rescind my request and ask for another Imperial Knight to join me. However, if you do agree to come on this mission, I will be your commanding officer and expect my orders to be followed just as you would any other member of the Imperial Knights. Dissent among the ranks won't help anyone down in enemy territory."

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Lok nodded his head in respect to Master Alluyen, but made no motion to sit, the proud Imperial Knight standing at full attention, his hands behind his back with his fingers interlocked.... the culmination of the militaristic training that they each had recieved becoming the spearhead that separated the Imperial Knights from the rest. His eyes followed Alluyen as she spoke, his form stationary, and despite his dislike for the Order she represented, even he had to admit that some of her points were worthy of consideration. But as the holoprojector shot to life, Lok's facial expressions changed despite his militaristic demeanor. It almost spoke of his truest dislike even over her own Order and toward the real enemy, a commonality that they both likely shared above all else, at least, until she mentioned his removal and caused him to give her a similar look in return. 

 

"Full disclosure ma'am?" He spoke, the displeasure in his voice vibrant and credible at such a suggestion. For he was at the Empress' beck and call, her words final on his actions no matter his objections or personal opinions. "I serve my Empress with my life, and despite my past feelings toward your Order, my Empress has chosen to work with your kind and as such, it's my duty to respect her wishes."

 

Calming himself with a subtle but loud popping of his neck followed by a deep breath, Lok's gaze locked upon Alluyen's own with serious intent, as it would be with an Imperial Knight. There was no luxury of picking or choosing assignments, even if some were preferred more than others. The Empress' words were law and her orders final. There was no other courses of actions. That was what it meant to be called such a title, even if it meant life or death, theirs or her own. "These are the orders that were given to me, personally signed by Empress Raven herself, and as such, I will follow them into the next life if it is required. Such is the way of the Imperial Knights."

 

Lok, who had been standing at ease until now, pulled his right fist and stamped it over his heart with a solid thud, the Imperial Pride gleaming in his eyes. But as his hand went to fall back behind his back, it stopped and unclipped his saber, Lok offering it to her for inspection, the intent in his eyes more calmer than before. "I was a Jedi before the Schism that led to our formation. And I still weild the lightsaber I forged as one to remind me of the purpose that it once stood for. And that's because the only thing needed for Darkness to triumph, is for those who stand in the Light to do nothing. Jedi forge their sabers to defend the weak and defenseless, not to simply adorn their robes while they sit within inaction under the guise of neutrality and fear of falling. So if you tell me, as the Grandmaster of the Jedi Order, that you plan to take the fight to the front lines personally, then my blade is yours, second only to that of my Empress."

 

As much as he disliked the Jedi Order, he spoke his words with wholehearted truth. Because if Alluyen and the Order that follows her had truly come to realize their past mistakes, then he would gladly be the first of the Imperial Knights to offer them the chance to prove their redemption. He knew it would be what his Empress would want, and it was what any of the original dissidents that formed the Imperial Knights would encourage.

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Adenna was pleased to hear this. "Yes, I do intend on taking the fight to the Sith. I refuse to bow to their evil nor allow it to go unanswered. I don't expect your undying loyalty, only that we fight together against our enemy."

 

She stood and said, "We will be departing tomorrow at 0600 from hangar C24. We will take the Justice's Mandate most of the way there, then the captured and reprogrammed shuttle to Coruscant itself. I look forward to working with you on this mission and pray the Force is with us all."

 

 

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Lok was quite surprised by Master Alluyen as he stood there, the Imperial fire burning in his heart. Perhaps if she had been there, leading the Order before the Schism, then perhaps he would have not left nor felt the need to. But that was such a long time ago and he was content with where his life had led him, even if it eventually led to an inevitable death sentence. But such was the way of the Inperial Knights. Face an enemy long enough, and you eventually become the enemy. This was a truth that all Imperial Knights knew all too well.

 

"Yes ma'am." Lok responded, snapping to attention before removing himself. "May the Force guide our blades as true as our hearts."

 

When Lok returned to his quarters, the others were there out of curiosity about his meeting with the Grandmaster of the Jedi Order, Lok not withholding any detail. Now he truly saw what hope his Empress held in high regard, and soon the word would begin to spread as hope filled all that heard with a new rejuvenation. The Jedi Order finally had someone worthy of leading them, even if was to only be fleeting in the larger scheme of things. It only mattered in the here and now, especially with the war they were facing.

 

When 0600 would roll around, Lok would be found in Hangar C24, his spirit filled with fire and his mind ready for action. It was time to take the fight to the enemy with tenfold.

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When her alarm went off, Adenna reluctantly waved her hand over its sensor to silence it. Though it was only 0500 local time, it was time to get ready for her mission to Coruscant. She waited a few minutes, mentally preparing herself for what lay ahead. She missed Tobias: it simply wasn't the same waking up to an empty bed. Though she still stood by her decision to send him into semi-exile for the sake of the Order, it still hurt her personally.

 

She arrived at the hangar at 0552 ready to launch. She saw Knight Skyshatter there waiting, as well as a dozen hardened veteran Shocktroopers specializing in infiltration and small unit tactics. They boarded the captured shuttle and, once everyone was secure, left Nar Shaddaa's surface, then atmosphere. They passed by the growing fleet of Rebel and Jedi ships until they approached the Republic class Star Destroyer Justice's Mandate and docked with it.

 

Even before they exited the shuttle, the capital ship began orienting itself for the jump to hyperspace.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The Black painted Star Destroyer Misericordia in all of its grandeur emerged on the edges of the Nal Hutta system after its delay in retrieving Raven Zinthos, the empress of the old imperial remnant. Which had subsided into the new Rebel Alliance along with the embittered remnants of the old Galactic Alliance of whom very few people had much good to say. Yet Raven was happy to have unioned with past enemies in the face of the destruction that was the Sith Lords. Those foolish conniving Sith that had attempted an assassination and had gotten little out of it except the deaths of multiple Sith Lords and the wounding of Raven and Cassandra. Both of whom were in the recovery ward. They had much to discuss with the Lady Adenna. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Admiral Neldis received word that the Empress had returned from an ill advised meeting with the Sith and was now in the medical wards. Neldis shook his head at that since he figured that would have been a suicidal venture. The Sith couldn't be trusted, ever, and it seemed that Zinthos had learned that the hard way. On Almania, he had dealt with a heavily authoritarian group and knew they didn't like any dissent nor did they really negotiate in any sense of good faith.

 

As much as he would like to come up with a bit of an "I told you so" directed at the younger woman, he refrained from it. As much as he hated politics, he realized that he would need the support of Zinthos and the other Imperials if he was going to successfully raise a fleet sufficient to liberate Chandrila from the barbarian Mandalorians. He was keenly interested in trying the capacities of the newly built and delivered Stalwart Guidance and there was nothing quite as good as getting some revenge against the mindless brutes for what happened on Coruscant and Chandrila.

 

He waited at the medical wards until the Empress was able to receive him, then came forward. "Empress Zinthos, it is good to see you back. As much as I would like to strike back at the Sith for their blasphemy and treachery, I feel that a better move would be to liberate Chandrila from the Mandalorians before it is completely spoiled. I know it wasn't an Imperial planet, but I am hoping that you would be willing to contribute resources and ships to its cause. It serves as a vital position in the Core, but it also serves as a link between Borleias and Carida. Keeping it in our control would help us keep a link between the planets and a possible striking point for raids against Sith forces on Coruscant."

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The bacta gel was sticky and tacky to the touch, it was slathered thickly on the back of her head, causing her to pull her hair into a high style, and forgoing the normal hat that she wore. She stood in a dark uniform that covered her in the Imperial style, high epaulettes of silver that matched the rank cylinders that were tucked in her breast pocket. She no longer wore her old lightsabre, instead it had been replaced by one of the mass created ones that the imperial knights were so very fond of. A simple sabre with little ornamentation, its silver blade was as plain as the handle. 

 

But here the empress without a throne stood, as a technician worked on her battered metallic arm, staring into the tank in front of her. In which floated her own form, a clone, designed for the mission and yet unused. The imperial Knights that had fought beside her were also standing at attention as the Rebel Admiral was admitted and announced. 

 

Raven saluted, as did her guard. She listened smiling politely as one of the medical orderies applied another clump of gel to the side of her face, which had been slightly burned by the Sith’s attacks. 

 

“I would be most agreeable to enjoin with the Rebel alliance in this venture. You have the support of the imperial crown. Whatever remains of it, and I will join your task force with my own, Is that acceptable Admiral?”

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“Got ya!” Leena chimed gleefully to herself as she settled back in the heels of her feet. She had been trying to reach a splint and had found herself just barely too short to grab it from the top shelf in the medical ward’s storage room. A brief tug of the force and the item went from being scratched at by her clawed finger to tumbling gently down into her open hand, joining the pain relief patches and wraps she already had tucked in the crook or her other white Jedi-robe clad arm. 
 

Pushing through the swinging doors that separated the expansive storage room from the triage bay, she shuffled along happily. The disinfected fresh smell of germlessness was a comforting familiarity to the Jedi apprentice; and although she was still an apprentice, bandaging strained limbs of two soldiers was not beyond her ability. With nobody else in the bay for the moment Leena has been left to tend to the two troopers herself. 
 

“You see. Two shakes of a Sarlaac’s tongue.” She chimed looking over the two humans before her, one nursing his shoulder and the other having limped in. Both had been sparing with the other and felt that the other one clearly had gotten what he deserved.

 

Depositing the supplies on a nearby empty med-cart, Leena set to work. She had bandages plenty of injuries, some far worse than this in her time before shipping out to Nar Shaddaa and knew that sometimes the mental bruising outweighed the physical injury in cases like these. Both would likely be as right as rain within a day or two, a little sure perhaps, but nothing serious; scans of the injured areas had already shown that. “You two fellows ought to be saving the rough stuff for out there on the field. I hear there is plenty of Sithly minions to go around. I’d hate to have to see you miss all the fun because of some training accident.” She spoke as she set about splitting the second man’s knee, chatting on happily as she went. “I’d venture most fighting doesn’t place somewhere that is hooverchair accessible. There ya go, just straighten that leg out as best you can. I don’t suppose you can tell me where you’ll be off to next can you? Gotta be why you are training though. You know it is going to come in handy in your next mission. Some Sith fortress of despair or ode to overused lightning epitaphs or something I bet.” As her webbed hands deftly helped the injured trooper stretch out his knee on the brace, Leena’s mind reaches out for the man’s mind and body; projecting a calm and relaxing presence and dulling the pain as the man grimaced when she began to wrap the splint to his leg. “I’d sure be nervous going into something like that. You lot are the real heroes, fighting for truth and freedom and light and all that. Say I bet there are some pretty nice looking Twi’lek girls where you’ll be heading; or maybe that is Zeltron. What do you think? Cannot day I see the appeal of those head tails myself, but to each his own. Like they say, plenty of fish in the sea.” Rambling on, Leena finished wrapping the man’s leg. Standing up from her stooped position she patted the trooper’s shoulder. “Couple of sea dew backs too I’d venture. But nothing you couldn’t fend off with a good pair of crutches. Which is exactly why I am not going to give you any!” She teased, knowing the trooper would not need them as he blushed slightly and his comrade chuckled heartily before grasping at his shoulder in pain.

 

“Now now, you just hold on there mister.”  She said turning to tend to the first trooper’s injury quickly pulling away his torn shirt with a flick of her scissors. “What’s the ladies at the cantina say if they knew you were in here getting a bandaid after you fell down?” The trooper shot Leena a quick glare before he smiled at his buddy’s chuckle. “Ain’t nobody said being tough wasn’t going to attract the girls, but at least go out and get a scar or something to show off. This sling,” she held up a white medical sling smiling, “just doesn’t scream look at how macho I am.” 
 

“Can’t you just, you know, like use the force or something? I thought you were some kind of Jedi. Aren’t you?” The trooper asked, rolling his eyes at Leena’s playful ribbing. He knew it was soft compared to what he could get from his command for he and his comrade’s tomfoolery.
 

“Oh? Well I suppose I could just chant in some ancient Shrii’wook and make snow fall here in the bay. Then of course I’d command you to eat the sacred snow and you’d be magically healed.” She teased, carefully threading. The sling about the man’s good shoulder and tying it off. “Alas, I am just an apprentice and the stars just are not aligned quite right. I guess you and gimpy are stuck with my less than sorcerer ways.” Leena smiles widely as she finished and patted the man’s back indicating he was done.

 

Picking up a datapad, Leena began to tap the appropriate buttons, logging the contact, speaking as if to herself, keeping one eye fixed on the two troopers. “Let’s see here. Two of her majesty’s finest injures in the chow line fighting over the last glass of Jawa Juice. Sounds about right, doesn’t it?” She asked , looking back up at the duo with a warm smile as she shoo’d them towards the door.

 

The men walked out smiling as they chartered amongst each other, shooting glances and chuckled at the newly arrived Jedi healer before they disappeared out the door.

 

Crossing her arms across her chest, Leena sighed audibly before speaking to no one in particular. “Not too shabby for my first case planet side.” Looking around, the healer-in-training uncrossed her arms and set about tidying up. “Gotta keep things looking tip top in case something worse than a bruised ego and a sprain come in the doors.” Picking up the scraps from her treatments, Leena deposited the remaining supplies on the med carts and waste receptacles as appropriate before pulling herself atop an examination table.

 

Folding her feet underneath of her and balancing her elbows on her knees with her palms outstretched held towards the ceiling, Leena closed her eyes. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. There in the empty room, Leena opened her mind to the force, reaching out to feel her new surroundings. They were familiar. Medical bays of all sorts had been the Mon Call’s home for the majority of her life training with the Jedi. She let her mind wander through the air, feeling and touching every item. Everything was in its place. The darkness of the galaxy pressed at the edges of her consciousness; a galaxy embroiled in turmoil. ‘But here there is peace.’ She thought; and that was how she wanted it to stay. Here in her corner of the cosmos, there was peace. Even when the wounded and dying came through the doors, it was her job to be a beacon of light and a spirit of comfort and care; driving back pain, hopelessness, and the tendrils of the dark side.

 

And so, she sat, her mind wandering. It sought out any residue tendrils of darkness and exposed them to the light, vanquishing them and driving them from the room. True, there was not much darkness associated with a simple sprain and bruise; but even that could be all that the grasp of the dark side needed to cement its place in the wounds of the next badly injured patient that came through the doors.

 

”Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat”

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Raven stood a while watching her clone’s tank with an interest that bordered on the spiritual. Her unseeing eyes looked back at her for what seemed like an eternity as her orderlies left her to go prepare the royal task force for its mission to Chandrilia. Soon we was alone except for Valiston Alekseyev, the head of the Inquisitorium, and a close friend, who was staring as well at the row of bodies floating in the tanks. His face wore the normal slight disapproving tone that came with his rank, and he looked up sharply as the sound of a fast talking female came tittering down the medial ward. He cocked his head to the side until Raven spoke in return. 

 

“Alekseyev, when she is finished with her rounds and if willing, will you have her come in here and see me? I wish to learn this power I can feel her tapping into.” 

 

He smiled softly and nodded his silver haired head. “As you wish Empress.” He clapped his arm across his chest in salute and strode out of the curtained partition they were standing in.

 

He walked softly, almost tenderly among the rows of wounded, reaching out his mind to feel around him, finding the source of the force that was pushing the darkness out of the ward. She would feel him coming likely, as he did not intend to hide his presence in a place where it would bring reassurance to those looking for an icon of the lightside. 

 

The girl was a young Mon Calamari, a race that had very little love for the old Imperial tradition. But neither had he when he was an apprentice, fighting them in many fronts until the dissolution of the New Republic into the Galactic Alliance. It was then, when he and many of the others had left the Alliance in its weakness in order to find and destroy the sith where they hid. Perhaps it had been their own actions that had awakened the sleepless threat that now overran the Galaxy. Perhaps it had been wrong to leave the Jedi when they had most needed their mighty warriors. Perhaps it had been wrong to follow Kyrie in her crusade to the only front that was actively fighting the Sith. But that was for the history holos to decide and scholars to debate. His mind was set in its purpose, and he wore the armour of the Imperial Knights with pride. Red on black. With a silver lining around his neck armour the only thing to mark his rank. 

 

“Miss Jedi.” He bowed to the young Mon Cal. “I admire you for your actions against the darkness of disease.” He let a soft smile shine over his scarred face. “If you had a moment to demonstrate or teach this power, My Empress wishes to learn.” He pointed to where Raven had emerged, and who was currently talking to an Imperial soldier who had lost his legs at Kuat. 

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Leena felt the river of light flowing around her, engulfing her in its warm embrace washing away the dirt of the dark side. Within a short period of time the stain had tumbled away broken down and disintegrated upon the soft tidal force that the girl allowed to wash over her.

 

Opening her eyes, Leena sighed, her body relaxing. Stretching her legs out, she swung herself to the edge of the table just as a stranger approached. Blushing slightly, the girl pushed herself up to a standing position. “I am just a servant of the force Master . . . uh . . . “  she stammered realizing only after she spoke she did not have any idea who this inquisitor was, or even what he was. He clearly was not robbed as a Jedi. Although, she realized to herself, Jedi seemed to grab themselves in all sorts of attire these days.

 

“I am not sure what powers I can teach” she continued, trying to put the blunder behind her. “The ways of the force are a great mystery to me as well. I am just learning. If you really wanted to learn something you ought to go to the Jedi Temple at . . . Wait! Did you say the Empress?” Her voice rose in pitch at the realization of who Th e man had mentioned. “Who is the empress?”

 

Without a pause, the Mon Cal fell in line with the man, setting off to meet Revan. “No sense keeping her royal highness waiting,” she reasoned. “I’d be happy to meet her. I bet she is pretty old heh? Just needs a check up or something? I can’t imagine she gets put in too much danger. Well, maybe from assassins, but that is something they wouldn’t let an apprentice healer handle, is it?”

 

”Oh! Wait just a sec!” The apprentice hurried over to a counter and pulled the cupboard door beneath it open and grabbed her simple silvery lightsaber hilt. “If someone like an empress wants to meet me, I better at least kind of look the part” She muttered quietly sliding the weapon into her white belt and hurrying to fall back in line with Alekseyev.

 

 A few minutes later, they approached Revan and the rows of clones. Raising an eyebrow in shock at the sight before her, Leena paused leaving an uncomfortably large gap between she and Revan, pressing the heels of her palms together and bowing slightly as a show of respect. “She is younger than I thought,” she whispered before speaking loud enough to be heard, “You summoned me, my Empress?” Leena kept her head down, reaching out on the waves of the force, a smile crossing her fish-like face as she felt the step BFF glow of the woman’s presence in the force. 

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Alekseyev smiled at her babbling, bubbling personality as he led her slowly to the Empress, he did not mind the sabre. She was an ally after all, and together they walked to the Empress. He smiled warmly as he bowed to the young woman in black. Letting her take over from there. 

 

Raven returned the bow, and smiled widely, the gesture causing some of the suturing in her face and scalp to scream out in agony but she remained unblinking. Her voice was low and kind as she spoke to the young Mon Calamari. 

 

“Yes, if you are willing, I wish to learn the powers of healing and dissipation I sensed you utilizing not long ago. You see most of my Imperial Knights like sir Alekseyev are more in the war and exorcism department instead of the healing arts.”  Alekseyev perched himself on an empty stool and grinned, while he began to polish the carbon scoring left over on one his thigh plates of armour. He was here if she needed him. 

 

“You see we are allied but outside the Jedi Order. Would you be willing to teach me such arts? That is if it does not distract from your duties.” 

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Righting herself, Leena tried to maintain a stoic composure, thinking it would be appropriate for such a meeting. ‘Imperial Knights . . .’ “I think I have treated some of  you! Uhhh . . . I mean your knights,” she responded with enthusiasm turning to embarrassment at her outburst. “You have good soldiers Empress.”

 

”Do you want me to look at your injuries? Those look like more than a mishap or two with a training saber.” Leena figures that perhaps the empress was looking for a way to heal her own injuries and she was more than willing to help. Having seen some lightsaber wounds in the past, she guessed that was probably what had happened. As much as her curiosity had her longing to ask, she didn’t, not yet; she was n officially treating her yet. “I’d be happy to do what I can. I am only an apprentice myself, but I’ve spent most of my life training under the great Healers of the Jedi. I’ve even helped someone come back into a cloned body after an unfortunate, and classified, incident of some sort.” ‘That nobody wanted to tell me about. I’m ok with that now though.’

 

Gesturing towards an exam table, Leena smiled warmly. Even if this was a high powered political figure, they were in Leena’s element and as the girl tried to steer the conversation further that direction, the nervousness in her chest relaxed. She was just another potential patient. “I might not know all there is to know, but I’d be happy to show you what I do know. If you really want to be a great healer you ought to go to the Temples. The dissipation is, uh, I think my meditating. Do Imperial Knights not meditate? Y out are probably too busy trying to cleave Sith Lords in half or something. As long as no other patients come in, I’d be happy to lead you in some meditation. First we should really look at your injuries though. I always find it harder to meditate and clear the air if I am nursing a twisted ankle or a bruised ego after I have to go train with my lightsaber.”  With that, Leena pushed up the sleeves of her white apprentice robes so they bunched behind her elbows and waited with a smile, one eye focused on Raven and the other scanning the room for any possibly needed medical supplies.

 

Edited by Leena Kil
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Raven laughed cheerily, nodding to the apprentice. 

 

“It was from a Sith Lords lightsabre that I received these injuries, that and a great deal of fire and shrapnel.” She looked up at her companion knight. Who grinned sheepishly, as Raven pointed to the cloning tanks that held a copy of her and Alekseyev. “We went to free a thousand prisoners of war and likely die in the process. Instead we freed them and killed a few Sith lords as well. But did not die. Though I lost my Lightsabre in the process.” She looked back at her hands. “It is a small victory out of many losses. But please go ahead and treat me while we talk.” 

 

Alekseyev stopped his polishing, “We do meditate, but the Empress is not one of us as of yet.” 

 

Raven chuckled nervously, “That is right, I was raised as a Sith Lord myself, until I gave it all up and turned away from those dark tendencies with the help of the old Grandmaster Kirlocca. I am afraid it is not all gone however, But I am trying to learn the ways of the Jedi before I am instructed by the Knights. I need a new foundation to build off of you see. And I would enjoy a meditation session with you, even if it is short.” 

 

She let her violet eyes close and she took a deep, fortifying breath. 

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With permission to proceed, Leena immediately reached for a tube of bacta paste. “I find that sometimes traditional medicine supplemented by the force yield even greater results.” Squeezing the thick goo across Raven’s face where her injuries stood out, she began to work the healing salve into the crusted wounds of the empress as she reached out on the waves of the force. Her eyes could see the injuries, but through the ripples of the force she could feel them; feel where the dead and injured flesh intersected with the healthy and where the body had already mounted its own defenses and reconstruction efforts. “You see, so many people think it has to be one way or another. The force or science, medicine or mysticism. I wonder why not both? All one needs to do is . . . Did you say you were a Sith Lord?”
 

Leena urged the bacta to permeate beyond the pores of the Empress’ wounds to reach deep within, beyond her injuries to where the Empress’ body was already fighting back. There she urged the woman’s body to dedicate itself to healing, to draw forth the energies contained within the deepest reserve pools in her body. At the same time, she opened her mind to the natural tidal forces of the force, seeking out for any signs of this supposed darkness, an island of resistance in what should be a sea of tranquility. She felt it, a reserve of darkness held under lock and key.  “I can feel it. There is something there. One just cannot allow the darkness to flow freely or overcome us. The ways of Jedi healing require a mastery of the light; that is what the masters told me.” Handing the tube of salve to Raven, Leena smiled, “Here. You keep applying this to your other wounds. Make sure you cover it completely. Even if it hurts, let it permeate the wounds’ deepest recesses. Open yourself to the force, feel as it ebbs and flows. Feel your heart. Each beat sends the life giving energies of your own body in a tidal surge of healing. Let them merge as one. There, in that moment, bind the two together.” As she spoke, Leena ran her hands mere millimeters over the top of each of Raven’s wounds gently tugging on the woman’s natural healing ability and encouraging it to respond to not only her’s but Revan’s touch. “At least that is how I understand it to be. I don’t really know that much.”

 

”You need to keep the darkness suppressed though. If even a sliver leaks out, it is like a drop of oil in a sea of purity. Pollution. Life is pure. Healing is the resurrection of purity. Driving away the darkness.”

 

Waiting for Raven to follow her instructions, Leena extended a warm wave of light side energies, a wave of peaceful purity untainted by the maelstroms of war, death, and destruction. Even then, as she stood her palms open by her sides facing the empress, Leena spoke happily. “Maybe when we are done you can show me some of the moves you used to defeat the hordes of Sith Lords. I think there are some training sabers somewhere. I have heard that some force users use combat as some form of meditation. Not exactly something I exactly understand, but I suppose to each their own. If you are aiming to be one of those,” she dipped her head backwards towards the knight keeping watch, “maybe that is your way too. You still need to know how to center yourself in the force, to find that calm eye in the hurricane and allow it to embrace you.”

 

Once Raven finished, Leena smiled and cheerfully continued, “And now we wait. The force can enhance the healing rate, but even I cannot heal wounds instantly. And these were inflicted by the dark side. I’ve seen those take a bit longer as well. But still,” she clapped her hands and stepped over towards Alekseyev and sat down on the floor cross-legged, motioning for Raven to join them, “Time heals all things. You’ll be as right as rain soon enough. Maybe we can do that meditation now. We can reach in and find that heart of darkness and purge it, together, the three of us; a knight,”  she placed a hand on Alekseyev‘a shoulder, “a Jedi,” she touched her own chest, “And an Empress.”

 

Resting her forearms in her knees, Leena waited for Ravan and Alekseyevand then closed her eyes. “You see, when we meditate we are looking deep within ourselves and yet feeling all that is around us. We allow the force to flow around and over us, like a stone in the middle of a mighty river. The strongest waves push us where the force guides, but we stand fast against the tides that move lesser stones. We make up the wall that holds back the tide, redirecting its power where it needs to go.”

 

”Just open your mind to it. Tell me what you see within. What do you feel? Feel it, sense it, but don’t let go of that calm center, no matter what swirls outwards.”

Edited by Leena Kil
Spelling errors. Stupid autocorrect!

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One of the dilapidated warehouse districts adjacent to The Red and Black had been converted to a vast training complex for the marines of the Rebel Alliance. What had been condemned structures occupied by vermin and vagrants were ground up, pulverized, and reassembled into barracks, rifle ranges, and an array of combat arenas that mimicked the layouts of common ships in the Rebel and Sith fleets. The Marine Proving Grounds, or MARPROG as some of the veterans of the Galactic Alliance were trying to and failing to convince their less experienced peers to call it, were an arena for transforming green recruits into fighting sapients prepared to confront any threat, whether it was smugglers or Mandalorians or Sith troopers or the lords of darkness themselves.

 

There was an surprise scenario planned for the first batch of graduating recruits.

 

Forty recruits of all manner of species assembled in an armory. They were to stage a defense of an MC90’s hangars from a Sith incursion--but their loadout was completely different from the standard carbines and grenades that comprised their weaponry from two months of basic training. They had been issued with an older, bulkier, heavier carbine with an underslung warhead launcher. The customary assortment of fragmentation and smoke grenades was replaced by canisters of buckshot and flame. Their vibroknives were replaced by a heavy blade that resembled the machetes used by the Korunnai militia of Haruun Kal.

 

“Change of plans, Talons!” Admiral Bruce Slaughter, fully kitted up in the same armor and weapons and wearing them as comfortably as a second skin, strutted up and down the lane of trainees as they examined the unfamiliar gear with a degree of skepticism. “There’s a Sith in that boarding party and every single marine in that hangar is KIA. We have thirteen minutes until the bridge is overrun and half the ship’s gunnery crews are killed. Now, move! Move! Every second you waste is three of your buddies dead.” The short, stocky man an AC-15m into the arms of a Twi’lek who had been so surprised by the presence of the Admiral that she had paused in the process of tucking her lekku into the confines of her helmet.

 

“No point in going all sneaky-beaky against a Sith. They already know you’re there. Grenades--specially frags--are a liability. It’s all about massed fire and coverage! You go fast, you go loud, you use every bit of firepower at your disposal--and you do not ever let go of ‘em!” This next part always made Slaughter smile. “Fact is, in thirty minutes, half of us are going to be dead! We deploy in thirty seconds! Twenty-nine!” As Slaughter counted down the seconds before the platoon of ersatz Talons deployed, a company of ersatz Sith troopers was racing through the corridors of the ersatz cruiser under the direction of an ersatz Sith Lord--in reality an Ithorian Jedi Knight who had enthusiastically volunteered for the exercise after months of helping with the Coruscanti refugees.

 

In forty-five minutes, twenty-eight of them were simulated dead and seven more simulated wounded. Slaughter was among them, having been run through by an Ithorian who may have been enjoying the simulated carnage a bit too much. It was always a bit difficult for him to read that species’ facial expressions. But the Ithorian had also been killed--first stunned, then shot in the head.

 

_____

 

All in all, it had been a successful operation considering the green troops and Slaughter walked away from it with a bounce in his step, a surprising result considering his demise. He even indulged in a few minutes to tour the concourse of the headquarters structure. The reinforcements to the vaulted ceiling had been completed and the engineering crews had started to disassemble their scaffolding. Dust and metal shavings littered the floors, but was merely the debris of hundreds of engineers transforming a dilapidated ruin into a fortress that could withstand orbital bombardment.

 

There was no time to tour the briefing rooms; while climbing down from the scaffolding in the ceiling, sirens began to wail and his comlink began to blare. That was the signal for the launch of a major operation that had been in the works since Coruscant.


The spring in his post-mortem step was replaced by an urgent jog to catch one of the final shuttles to Fidelity. As it so happened, it was filled with the marines that he had just led to their deaths.

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Raven let a bitter smile pass her lips as she let her eyes fall closed once again. 

 

“I was yes, I was bought as a slave for my force sensitivity when I was eleven, placed into the academy on Korriban, then trained for several years until I was sold into the Imperial Military under Emperor Black.” She sighed and pushed back the memories. “It was a very hard life when I was a child. Sith training was not kind to a young girl.” She shivered then regained control, pushing the feelings away and keeping her eyes squeezed shut. Across the room, Alekseyev looked grim, and his grey head shook sadly. 

 

The comm unit at her belt began to blink furiously as Raven kept her eyes closed. Feeling both the vibration of the cylindrical unit on her belt as well as the recently applied bacta salve prickling at her wounded face. The tickling sensation of the bacta moving in the open wound channels almost broke her concentration completely, but she maintained her focus, letting the sounds, feelings, and touch roll off her. Letting the force fill her instead. It was a scary thing that, she had not let the force fill her except in combat in many years, and the feeling was eerie. Untouched parts of her mind began to play their dreary game. Fears popped into her head almost at once, swirling there, hitting every one of her insecurities, but most of all she could feel something on her hands. A profound sense of cold running up her arms, a cool sticky mess that she knew was only in her mind. A sign of a crime done long before, and a death of a Jedi on a backwater world. 


 

She cursed under her breath and began to work at that darkness, the leak that was filling her soul with its stain. She had done this with Kirlocca, and the moment she thought of him, another leak opened. The touch of his hands on hers, the softness of his voice. The shock of his death. She took a stuttering breath and then exhaled. It was an enormous task to keep her head and the sadness at bay and it quickly ovewhelmed her. She cursed again and clenched her fists. 

 

“I feel sad, ruined, and angry all at once.” 

 

She blinked away a tear suddenly embarrassed at the thought of a young Jedi seeing her so vulnerable. Alekseyev had seen her night terrors for years, but that was different. She flexed her legs against the steel decking and looked at her comm unit, then back at the young Calamari. 

 

“I need this training, no matter how many times I fail.” She looked back at the comm unit then back in the Mon Calamari’s kind, bulbous eyes. “But I have to go, I have to serve again. Unless you wish to come with me, we must part ways.” 

 

_____________________________

 

The Rebel Alliance Task force under the command of Empress Raven Nasra signaled @Sgt. Slaughter that they were ready to depart. 

 

 

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Taskforce Domination

Capital Group 

Imperial Star Destroyer II - Misericordia

Under command of Admiral Valiston Alekseyev - Imperial Knight

Equipment

Octuple Barbette Turbolasers (8)

Heavy Turbolaser Batteries (50) 

Heavy Turbolaser Cannons (50) 

Light Turbolaser Batteries (10)

AG-2G quad laser cannons (20)

 

Starfighter Screen attached to Misericordia

4 Squadrons of T-65XJ X-wing starfighters (48)

Blue - Captain Maria Andrepov 

Red - Lieutenant Chenan Kailestran

White - Lieutenant Talis Urona

Green - Lieutenant Hai Sadok

2 Squadrons of RZ-1 A-wing interceptors (24)

Lancer - Captain Hailee Darien 

Hussar - Lieutenant Kyle Hasron

 

Bombardier Force attached to Misericordia

4 Squadrons of J-983 ‘Javelin’ Fighter Bombers 

Templar - Captain Andre Asimon

Knight - Lieutenant Brynn Lians

Lion - Lieutenant Seth Mcsann

Strike - Lieutenant Cathryne Ilianovich

1 Squadron of GAT-24r Skipray Blastboats

Tau - Captain Callistra Henerbri

 

 

 

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Leena opened her left eye to look at Raven as she felt the darkness rear its ugly head. Reaching out with the force, Ravenna sent forth a warm walled wave of light sided energies to bolster the wavering empress. She felt the commlink vibrate across the room, the distraction a minor frustration. Leena wanted to help the queen combat the darkness she still carried inside.

 

As the meditation abruptly ended, Leena popped from her seated position to standing on the floor in one fluid motion. Pressing a hand to Raven’s shoulder, Leena offered a warm smile, “The darkness is a pollution that spoils otherwise untouched and life-filled seas. Don’t worry friend, we’ll purge the darkness together.” 
 

Looking around the otherwise empty medical bay, Leena grabbed her pack of meager so-called personal belongings and scurried after Raven and her entourage. Falling in step with the knight and empress. The force seemed to be directing her. There was something about this woman and she was not yet healed. The medically oriented Jedi apprentice had sent still injured troopers back to their duty, never happily; still, she had to do her duty. This was different. Sending a fellow force-user back to fight that which was trying to claim her soul, could be murder. “Does your ship have a medical ward I could help in? I’m sure if you are going back to the front my services will be put to better use. Before then, maybe we could work on caging the darkness that still hunts within your mind. Maybe you can show me a few of your Imperial lightsaber tricks. I’m not the best with this thing,”  she held up the simple silvery saber hilt before setting it back atop her pile of clean robes. “I really don’t want to kill anyone though. I’ve never killed anyone. I’ve never even used this thing outside of the training chambers. I’m much more comfortable helping those in need. I sense that you are in need of my help though Empress Raven and while I am not one of your Knights, I am a Jedi. Jedi are sworn to protect the innocent, serve the force and others, and guard peace.” Looking back over her shoulder in the direction of the medical ward they had already left, she continued, “Besides, I was sent here from my temple post to provide medical services for the soldiers and saints seeking to stop the advance of darkness. It seems where you are going there is a better opportunity to do just that. I’d like to see as few martyrs as possible out of this war. And who knows, if you came back from the dark side, maybe together we can save others who have fallen into that web.”

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A small fleet of ships bearing Jedi Order Combined Armed Forces idents formed up above Nar Shaddaa, waiting to join forces from the Rebellion to liberate Chandrilla from the Mandalorian crusaders. The centerpiece of the fleet was the newly designed MC95B heavy destroyer Stalwart Guidance, but it was escorted by three MC30c frigates and a half dozen Ranger gunships. Admiral Neldis was on board the Guidance waiting for his allies to be ready to depart.

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“Oh. Or maybe not.” Leena paused midstep as her comlink chirped. Digging it out of her pocket, she held the barely functioning speaker to her ear and listened, nodding her head several times before tapping a button on the link and dropping it back in her pocket and continuing as if nothing had happened. “It looks like I get to go home!” She bubbled enthusiastically. “Some industrial center on Dac is experiencing on outbreak of some virus that is giving the local doctors fits. They’re running low on bacta and requested that the Jedi send some help. Probably more my scene anyways than war anyways.”

 

”I suppose this is goodbye for now Empress.” Leena bowed slightly at the waist before turning and tried to walk back the way they had come while containing her excitement at going to the home of her people for the first time in memory. “Don’t let the darkness control you Empress! Mind your thoughts and we’ll work on it together when we both get back. You still gotta teach me some of your famous Knight lightsaber tricks.”

 

And just as she reached the end of the hallway, Leena caught her hand on the corner of the wall looking at the forms of Raven and her knightly entourage goi the other way. “Oh right,” she reminded herself, “May the force be with you!!” she shouted at her newfound friends before going around the corner and breaking into a dead sprint towards the loading docks.

 

Once she arrived, Leena found that the ship had already been loaded and coordinates set into the navcomputer. Nestling herself behind the one-man control system in the cockpit, Leena smiled and initiated take off. This would be easy enough; “Deliver the meds and help treat the ill. Easy enough for a Jedi padawan I think.”

 

And from there, the girl and her cargo of bacta and other assorted medical goods set off into the atmosphere.

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  • 2 weeks later...

After their mission on Coruscant, Adenna and the rest of the team plus an old ally returned to the safety of the Rebel capital. Taking a shuttle down from the Justice's Mandate, Adenna and the rest of the team went straight to the medical wards. While there weren't any major medical issues among the surviving members of the team, they still needed to be checked out briefly before returning back into the rest of the population. The med bays on the Mandate had taken care of the worst of the injuries and this was mostly follow up, though with one exception.

 

Adenna had spent the trip back carefully pondering how to address the issue of Kyrie Eleison and the soul switching. She was not fond of the concept of possessing any being's body no matter how it came to be, but she was especially leery of going into the body of one who was killed. It smacked too much of the Sith and their profane arts.

 

Even then, she had to realize that a true ideological purity would not help them in this dark time. She was frustrated with the extreme purity her predecessors required and needed to be careful that she herself didn't follow down those footsteps and alienate allies. Keeping the Imperial Knights close was the only way to possibly bring them back into the fold of the Jedi Order and healing the rift that pointlessly divided them. They needed that sort of unity to fight their true enemy: the Sith.

 

With some trepidation, she contacted the various Jedi healers and Imperial Knight Exorcists to assist in the transition. If they were to do this, they would do it right and with as many safeguards as possible.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The air was familiar, filled with the scents of childhood. Of rust and blood, of crime and dispassion. The Jedi Master’s breaths were labored and slow, tinged with the whisper of a rattle. Through her darkening sight, she could see the glow of iridescent lights, sparkling as if the glow had been reflected upon a placid lake and she beneath its surface.

 

A voice came through the water, muffled and nearly imperceptible, even in the stillness.

 

The struggled gasping from the Jedi became a gurgling, pitiful scream. Pink-tinged froth bubbled from her lips.

 

The voice brought a groundquake that birthed ripples, which rose into waves upon the lake and the light became hazy. She could feel the waves move her, contorting her form beneath the surface. She strained to hear the voice, desperate to make out the words.

 

Upon the medical cot, the Exorcist seized.

 

The thrashing of the water felt like a storm upon her, and the voice became louder until it was a scream that shattered the world

 

Time’s up.

 

Kyrie let the water take her, letting herself be washed from the struggling form.

 

Thank you for giving me life once more.

 

The body on the cot became still, the breathing returning to normalcy as the healers continued to work.

 

May we meet again, in this lifetime

 

Kyrie’s spirit recognized the world as her homeworld of Nar Shaddaa, the irony of rebirth was not lost, even on the dead.

 

The Force Provides.

 

The Exoricst focused upon the song of the force. It was filled with the stoic rhythm of Jedi, and the harsh fire of her own Imperial Knights. The melody of the two orders working together was hauntingly lovely. The brightest fire she could sense to be Lok, and the stoicism of a Grandmaster was unmistakably Adenna.

 

Kyrie focused harder as her own power began to wane. There was a pull now, like she was on the event horizon of the Maw. There was a part of her that wanted to let go, to embrace the infinite harmony of the Force’s song, but she knew that was not her path. To abandon the galaxy now, would be to leave it in darkness.

 

Discordant Tones.

 

Living.

 

Soulless.

 

The body was not her own.

 

Breath.

 

Emptiness became numbness. Numbness became tingling electrical fire. Her whole spirit fought to harness each neuron. All was pain. Every feeling was new. Everything hurt.

 

Breathe.

 

The lungs burned as they inflated, as if she was sucking in the soot and smoke from one a Mustafari volcano. For now, only the lungs worked to her command, and it took all her strength to control each breath.

 

The Exorcist let out a soft whimper.

kyrie.png.529a6b96a133828163a998c9b43e5d11.png

 

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“Seizing.” 

 

The medical orderly looked up to the cluster of officers with clear blue eyes. All she was given in return was a cluster of kind if concerned smiles, and a small gesture to the trio of red clad Knights that stood at the foot of the bed. Their eyes were closed, and they seemed to be in some kind of meditation which irritated the orderly more than most patients. Force users were the worst kind of patient. They would always either recover miraculously or suffer pains in silence that would fell a rancor. 

 

She checked the saline drip, then stood by as the Imperial Knights moved forward. One, A man with grey hair and a visage long scarred by many conflicts, laid his hand upon the forehead of Kyrie. The glove wiping away the thick beading sweat as he began to mutter an unintelligible chant. This was a long honoured knight, and one of the first to have followed the young Kyrie out of the Jedi Order. Ceurnan Vladislov withdrew his hand as the next Knight walked forward, carrying a bowl of ashes upon which a cluster of incense burned fiercely, puttering a billow of white smoke into the rafters. Vladislov scooped the burning incense out of the bowl, protecting his hand with the insulating ash and slowly blew the smoke towards the suffering Master. For if she could breath, she could smell and know that the knights were there with her. 

 

He leaned forward, drawing the hashed symbol of Il-Andon Rorik on her forehead with a finger dipped in the white ash. 

 

“Come back to us Master. You have tarried too long in the cold and dark.”

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Cassandra Vinalian - Exorcist -  Champion for Empress Raven Nasra

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Adenna had always been able to utilizing with no more or less ability than the average Jedi, at least, that is until she had her encounter with Jidai Geki on Coruscant years and years ago. Since the infection with the same nanites that plagued his body, she had been opened to a whole new world of being able to heal and repair the body on a level most Jedi healers would sacrifice their own arm for. As result of that experience, she had taken a greater interest in healing and learned more and more about it until she had become, if not a master, a highly skilled practitioner of the arts of healing.

 

With a Jedi Master Healer and three of his best companions in the room, Adenna didn't need to take center stage in the odd procedure that was taking place. Still, she could contribute and choose to do so with all of her own skills. Layering Jedi upon Jedi focusing on the two bodies in question multiplied the affect of the already powerful healing affects as each was able to focus on one particular aspect while directing even more and more of the Force's healing powers into their patients. Leaving the Imperial Knights to focus on the spiritual elements of this procedure allowed the Jedi to focus entirely upon the physical healing.

 

They worked for quite some time to the point that Adenna was confident that they had managed to save the weakened body of the unknown girl who's body Kyrie had been inhabiting, but whether the dead body of the Anzanti would accept the Imperial Knight's spirit or even be functional after was still a mystery that would rely upon the will of the spirit going into it.

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  • 1 month later...

With the fate of Kyrie Eleison still uncertain, there was little more for the mixed Jedi and Imperial Knights to do but trust the Force. The Imperial Knights stationed a vigil over their fallen leader in the hopes that she would waken one day, but for Adenna, she had to focus on her other responsibilities. As much as they all would have gained from having Master Eleison rejoin their ranks, they needed to focus elsewhere on the war at hand.

 

For these weeks, Adenna focused on improving her own skills and readiness. She had felt the darkness and pure despair that had taken over Coruscant while scouting the ruined planet. If the Jedi were to have any hope of stopping such a force, they would need to harness the Light Side to its fullest and build themselves to an army. Though there would be many who resisted among her ranks, she needed to build and train those she could to better serve in this war against the Darkness.

 

When not attending meetings and overseeing the consolidation and building of new ships, supply lines, alliances, and the establishment of bases, she was focused on training with and teaching Jedi from her experiences in combat. Small unit tactics had been her specialty on Thalassia and she had seen and fought in multiple battles. She brought in non-Force sensitive soldiers and officers to share their expertise. Over a hundred Jedi had answered her initial call for Jedi willing to fight. Most of them were Padawans or Knights, but there were three other Masters who were willing to learn and fight. Those Masters and Knights all brought experience and skills of their own to the larger group and so everyone learned from the newest Padawan to the Grandmaster herself.

 

It wasn't just personal combat that she taught and learned from, but also small and large unit tactics, military strategy, and leadership. There simply weren't enough Jedi in the Galaxy to stand against the Sith alone. It wasn't enough for Jedi to just charge into battle alone, they needed to learn how to be leaders and officers so they could lead the thousands and millions of men and women who were joining the Rebels and Jedi Armed Forces.

 

Slowly, as the Jedi grew stronger, their resources grew. Ships ordered at the start of the war were being finished and crews trained to operate them. Soon, there would be more ships to join the fight against the Sith Empire and Adenna would head out onto the field to fight. Until they had enough troops and ships to fight directly, she would lead a raiding party through the enemy's lines to strike at over extended supply depots and shipping routes. She would become the fly in the ointment, the constant nagging whine in the ear of the Emperor, and a constant reminder that evil wouldn't be able to rest easy. She would raid and destroy enemy resources where they were weak while taking what she could to further enrich the Rebels. It would be a bloody campaign, but evil needed to be punished and the Jedi needed a lightsaber to cut through the Darkness and bring back the Light.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The water felt excellent on his skin. It was an older refresher, but it still did its job well, sterilizing the young Imperial Knight's skin of the carbon and dirt accrued over the course of their lengthy mission. For a good chunk of it, Aidan didn't even know if they were coming back, and yet at the end of all things, here they were. He'd never really had a sense of accomplishment about doing anything major like this before, but even with the loss of the Vigilance, he felt like he'd learned a lot and come a long way.

 

Shirtless and still toweling off, he made his way to the cockpit to monitor their progress, reinvigorated a bit by the shower. He was still sore, the many cuts and nasty bruises on his skin clear testament to this fact, but he was alive. He checked the readouts, noting they were about twenty minutes out from Nar Shaddaa, before turning to Sandy.

"So this is the life of a Jedi, huh? Danger, heroics, not knowing if you're going to come home...It's a little different seeing it all from the other side of the coin."
 

Two minutes until the drop from hyperspace, then another fifteen or so to get landing permissions and navigate to a docking bay or landing pad. 

 

"Have you ever tried Zabraki food? Spicy, but still flavorful. We should get some when we get a chance. And I...I think I need to go find my shirt."

Not waiting for a response, he jumped up and left the cockpit, fully aware of what he'd said. It wasn't that he didn't care about Sandy to wait for her to talk, he was simply too burnt out over everything they accomplished to really bother caring about anything at the moment, to include his shirt. 

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