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Mon Calamari


Krath Apothos
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The cacophony of blaster fire echoed up and down the shafts. Any semblance of stealth was lost more so than it may have been at the cry of the beast. Still, they did little to dissuade the monstrous crustacean; it’s thick armored hide absorbing the brunt of the stunning energy and blasts. 
 

Turning with a screech, intent on destroying they who were attacking, the lobster made to charge. It only got a couple steps; however, before it was attacked again, feeling it’s body lifted up into the air before it was unceremoniously flipped onto it’s back and in a singular motion of force-powered momentum  and slammed back to the floor, grating against the stoney ground and crates beneath it. Sparks flew through the air as the beast let out one final angry squeal; Lok’s blade piercing it’s soft underside and scorching a home through the creature’s ravaged mind.

 

With it’s death throws, the crustacean lashed about as it’s body spasmed unto death, lighting the room with sprays of sparks that seemed to settle across everything, singing exposed cloth and smoldering against the crates of explosives.

 

Finally the beast was dead. A cold wind ripped through the shafts, pushing the group deeper; a cold hunger bidding them forward. A chill was on the heavy humid air. 

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Current Storyline: CLEANSING THE DEPTHS


Location: Mon Cal

 

Participants:

Beth Andromeda

Edelmore Tarko

Lok Skyshatter

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Beck received orders after getting started on working the with locals on what was needed to begin the construction of their shipyards again. The request was to take command of a fleet and join up with an old commander he never fought nor worked alongside. There was a small sense of pride that he would get to experience that man's reputation first hand. He left the details of the shipyard with others, and quickly got himself back up to space to join in with the rest of the fleet that he needed to have rendezvous with the rest. Soon, he was off with his force. 


 

Spoiler

Imperial Light Defensive Escort: Suppressing Fire |Phobos|

Task Force Experience: Veteran (4 xp)

Star Galleon-Class Frigate Clermonte |3/3|

Vengeance-Class Frigate Chartres |3/3|

Interceptor-Class Frigate Francorum |3/3|

Consular-Class Frigate Tancred |3/3|

Sphyrna-Class Corvette Guiscard |2/1|

Sphyrna-Class Corvette Dorylaeum |2/1|

Paladin-Class Corvette Yağısıyan |2/1|

Free Virgilla-Class Corvette Alexandretta |2/1|

 

Rebel Alliance Lend-Lease Precision Strike: Carrier Group |Enyo|

Taskforce Experience: Veteran (3xp)

Quasar Fire-class Cruiser-Carrier Azincourt |9/9|

Consular-Class Frigate Maelstrom |2/1|

Consular-Class Frigate Languedoc |2/1|

DP20 Corvette Augustus |2/1|

DP20 Corvette Hussar |2/1|

 

Hapan Asset Denial Force [Surgical Strike] |Auvergne|

Taskforce Experience Green (1xp)

Nova-class battle cruiser Burgundy |9/9|

MC-30c Frigate Picardy|3/3|

MC-30c Frigate Alsace|3/3|

RSD Paladin-class Corvette Poitu |2/1|

RSD Paladin-class Corvette Lorraine|2/1|

 

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The cold hung in the air. The cold of the deep, salty air. The cold of the dead creature. The cold of the darkness.

 

Edelmor's breath came fast, and he forced himself to inhale and exhale before he did anything. A racing mind hopped up on adrenaline wouldn't do anyone any good.

 

Peace took him as he made long, slow breaths. He could feel his pounding heartbeat slow. The dull ache of bruises he hadn't felt at the time began to make themselves known.

 

He was calm. And what's more, he seemed to be intact.

 

"Whatever's down here," Edelmor said, his voice the same light tone he would have used at a state dinner, "I don't think I fancy leaving it alone. How about we drop a tracker here and call some of those workers down here to cart these off? I imagine it should be safe now. Something that big doesn't seem like that kind to share territory." He frowned. "Though how would the smugglers have gotten past it?"

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Beth knelt by the dying beast, looking at the cracked carapace, and feeling like that would be her some day. A dead and long old beast of war. But there was little time to ponder such things. 

 

“Fall in.” 

 

The stormtroopers fell in behind her, their pale armour reflecting the soft lights of her armour and the blades of the Jedi and Imperial Knights. There was something foul here. And her heavy blaster rifle hummed as she jacked in another powerpack. 

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Andromina

Rebel Alliance Fleet Command - Lieutenant

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Lok's blade deactivated, the Imperial Warden shifting his weight and continuing his grasp as the dying crustacean squirmed beneath his feet until It's life had perished. He gazed downward, the regret in his heart in that moment flowing forth in tears as he took the time to stand and clip his saber back to his hip. His gaze shifted about, his care focusing on those who had came with them, ensuring that his help was not needed. But there was no explosion, no fire, no injuries from the possessed creature's final act. And he sighed as he climbed down from his perch upon the beast.

 

As Sir Tarko spoke, and Lady Andromina called her men to her side, Lok took the moment of silence in the darkness to compose himself, to reel in his emotions of taking a life. It wasn't to say that he wasn't against it, but it was a last resort means of handling a situation. Had it not been for the creature's mind being called by the Darkness that flowed in the air around him, he might have succeeded in a peaceful resolution. But now, it mattered little and there was still no sign of the Smugglers nor their presence having been there. If this creature had encountered them, then surely one or two of their corpses would be laying about. Perhaps they laid ahead where the creature cake from, but they would have to delve deeper to be sure.

 

"I agree." Lok spoke as he turned back to the party through the lingering light of the glowrods. "It should be safe up until this point for the workers, and this creature could provide a decent meal for the refugees if it scans are clean." His gaze shifted to Tarko in general. "I'm not sure the Smugglers even came this way. There's evidence in the explosives, but no bodies. This could just be remnants of a Miner's encampment."

 

But if they had chosen the wrong path, then which was the Smuggler's true path? The dug passageway was small and seemed almost animalistic in creation. But the other posed too many potential threats with the flowing of water, even if the containers were waterproof. And what was it that laid ahead? What was that voice that preyed upon the beast's mind so tactfully, overpowering the hold Lok had begin to hold over it? It was unnaturally cold and calculative. Was it another trap laid by the Sith? Or had a Sith remained? Lok's brow furrowed. There was only one way to find out. They would have to go deeper.

 

"Be careful all the same." Lok spoke as he laid down the tracker Tarko had suggested. "When my mind was melded with the beast, I heard a voice counteract my own hold. I don't know what it was saying, but it was dark in nature. Could be a Sith, but it felt ancient. And it came from deeper within."

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Gəl” The voice whispered in the dark recess of the minds that might hear it as cold air seemed to press in from all sides, the stillness of the tunnel almost a crushing beckon to drive them forwards, further down the tracks and into the darkness.

 

The global positioning system of the tracker had been activated by one of the troopers. Another had attempted to contact the surface, bit had been unable to do so. The coral and depths played havoc on their comms; or was it something else. The only noise that broke the stillness was the soft beep of the tracker. It’s red activation light a soft beacon against the dark.

 

Further down the tunnel the tracks continued on their path. A solitary shaft that appeared to have been hewn from the stoney coral walls branched steeply downwards to the left bathed in inky blackness. Clearly, an off the books shaft. It appeared newer than the main shaft. It would be a tight fit to slide through the crevice, but if one thought skinny and pulled off any outwardly worn bulky equipment, it could be done.

 

Then suddenly, broken by the darkness came a voice, mechanical and concerned. The instantly recognizable voice of a 3P0 unit. In the darkness, a pair of photoceptors appeared jolting with the droid’s uneven footsteps as it walked up tracks. “Sir? Is that you? Have you finally returned? I was beginning to. . . . Oh dear.” The droid’s queries were cut short as a crash was heard and the rusted black clad protocol

unit tripped over the uneven ground and crashed to the floor. “This will not do at all. Umm. . . . . . . . . . . HELP! Can somebody help me? i have fallen again and cannot seem to get up. This floor is slick and not terribly even. I was built for civilized society.” he bemoaned.

Current Storyline: CLEANSING THE DEPTHS


Location: Mon Cal

 

Participants:

Beth Andromeda

Edelmore Tarko

Lok Skyshatter

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“Stay where you are Droid.” 

 

Beth and her soldiers leveled their blaster rifles at the 3P0 unit. There was clear doctrine here, on a long term Sith occupied planet, treat all left over entities as potential traps. All it would take is stuffing the core of a protocol droid like that with detonite and that would be the end of this little search party. She gestured to one of the soldiers who pulled a scanning tool from his pack and levelled it at the droid. 

 

He looked at his datapad as the device began to scan the droid, searching for anomalies as well as explosive residue.

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Andromina

Rebel Alliance Fleet Command - Lieutenant

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Edelmor arched a bemused eyebrow.

 

"And the day gets stranger still." He raised his hand. "Hello there! Apologies, but you are an unknown entity in what was formerly enemy territory!  I'm sure a droid like you understands that certain precautions and protocols have to be observed. I mean...considering your model and all. Just hold there while we make sure someone didn't make you into a bomb!" He paused as he considered. "I hope that doesn't distress you! Rest assured, this won't take long, and then I imagine there's a lot we'll have to say to each other."

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Lok's head throbbed briefly as the voice beaconed them, the Imperial Knight shaking the moment of unclarity from his mind as remnants of the mental altercation he had encountered with the crustacean.

 

As the red light throbbed at the darkness around them, Lok too tried his comms but only received static and white noise from the surface above. It wasn't anything of alarm considering their depth, but the voice did cause his alertness to heighten.

 

As Sir Tarko and Lady Andromina dealt with the droid, Lok began investigating the tunnel off to the left, his silver blade illuminating it's steep decline. He couldn't help but want to venture away from this tunnel, and was beginning to second judge his decisions as he remained silent.

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An electronic buzz escaped the droid, something one could only interpret as an exasperated sigh. Flail as he might, the droid was unable to right himself on the uneven surface.

 

“A bomb?! Why would I be a bomb. I am a civilized individual trapped in these accursed tunnels for days now. At least I assume it has been days using a standard galactic orbital cycle. It is hard to tell without seeing the sky and I am ashamed to admit this, but I am no longer sure where I even am in this wide galaxy. I just know it is wet, dark, and all together unfit for man or droid in these ghastly tunnels what with skittering crustaceans and strange beasts all about. No not at all. The sounds of torture are not something I am accustomed to. I was told I would be cataloging supplies is all. Can you help me up? I would prefer not to power down permanently down here. Nightmares and all you surely understand?” the droid prattled on, his tense voice calming at the sound of his own self talking. Still it bought time for the scanners to complete their assessments. Nothing out of the ordinary, a plain old protocol unit.

 

The shaft was hewn unevenly, almost as if by hand, into the coral rock. Water dripped from the walls, reflecting the soft glow of the saber. It arced slowly uphill until one could barely see the entry point before it turned. Just visible around the corner from the corner was a body, stripped of any worthwhile gear and filled with blaster holes. It was cold to the touch and limp, rigor having come and gone. Rolling it over for facial recognition while slimy and all together unpleasant would not help in identifying the body; the face seemed to have been sucked and serrated off leaving a bloody coagulated mess in it’s place.

 

Deeper down the tunnel in the dark, a clatter would echo at the sight of the Imperial Knight followed by sloppy wet footfalls as someone or something ran further down the pitch black shaft. “Oh no. Not again.”

Current Storyline: CLEANSING THE DEPTHS


Location: Mon Cal

 

Participants:

Beth Andromeda

Edelmore Tarko

Lok Skyshatter

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As time passed across the surface of Mon Cal Remnant forces continued working to curtail the lawlessness that had grown prevalent under the Apothos Sith Regime. Several times Vice Admiral Kolchak commented on the strong criminalistic feel the whole organization presented. Once again, the Sith, a mystic religion masqueraded as a legitimate government when they were only a thug-filled criminal syndicate. At least Black Sun conducted  themselves with some level of honor. Here, operations were underway to cut off the cultivation and distribution of everything from death sticks to spice; to rescue woman and children that had vanished into the ether sold into slavery or indentured against their will; and to ferret out true loyalists from the pretenders that had taken advantage of the situation for their own gain.

 

The king had been rescued and restored to his throne. The Mon Cal and Quarren natives worked together to strengthen and rebuild their damaged homes, businesses and cities. Wherever longstanding racial tension erupted there were Imperial stormtroopers to mediate and ensure bloodshed was kept to a minimum.

 

Courts were reestablished, currently with Imperial judges overseeing the administration of law and order while the native populace was groomed to resume these positions. Security teams backed by Rebel and Imperial forces maintained the peace. Criminals were sought out and captured when possible, put down when they refused to surrender. Lives were rescued and livelihoods restored.

 

Technicians worked fervently to try and understand and undo the damage that still ran rampant through every computer and electrical device  on the planet. Whatever machinations the captured Sith lord had wrought, was enough to confound even the most skilled computer scientist in Imperial employ. Even Imperial Knights with technical aptitude began working at the problem. Until it was solved, lights and services were at a premium. Outside the Imperial base camps, Mon Cal was as much a back world planet as Tatooine. The Imperial fleet was kept at bat for fear of infiltration by this decidedly evil code that hid and replicated itself without explanation or warning. 


Across the city, dead were gathered up, unceremoniously at times. Incinerators churned continually burning the corpses of unknown reanimated dead. The recently fallen were reunited with their families when possible. Morgues filled to capacity though kept only natives or known locals; fallen Rebels and Imperials were transferred to the Remnant fleet; fallen enemies burnt. Disease prevention was a must and alongside the processing of the undead armies and clearance of remaining snow and ice, doctors and medics worked feverishly to combat any illness that popped up lest they become a pandemic and spread. Bacta was brought to the planet alongside Kolto supplements to stretch the supplies as far as they would go. Field hospitals were filled to the brim. With hospitals and their equipment still infected by the Apothos Virus, as they had taken to calling it among other derogatory monickers.

 

And through it all, Kolchak sat at a desk, paper pushing orders through, reviewing intelligence reports, tweaking assignments brought to his attention by commanders, and coordinating with local leaders. His ever-present escort of troopers by his side, he was the picture definition of Imperial efficiency and his command would be run as such.

 

And so it was that one afternoon, the Vice Admiral found himself staring out at a smooth sea beneath a cloudless sunset, delegations of Mon Cal, Quarren  and other leadership groups having departed after a meeting with offworld interests seeking to help rebuild the planet’s infrastructure. It was not enough to rebuild, the Remnant did not have the deep coffers of yesteryear to finance it all alone, but they, he, had a duty to ensure that scalpers and scammers did not take advantage of the catastrophe for their own good to the  disadvantage of those who had suffered.

 

Leaning against the sea railing, Kolchak stared out at the sea and let out an exhausted sigh. His synthskeletal bones ached in the moist sea air. Nothinf a few doses of pain killers would not alleviate; but with medicine at a premium, Kolchak opted to suffer through. There were others whose pain was greater, who needed more. He would suffer on for the greater good.

 

Standing there, Kolchak watched as the sun slowly sank into the distant sea. Somewhere, a mournful whaladon song carried across the waves. It made a smile tug at his face as his mind was immersed in the call; so much like this world. So much variety. So much life. The forces of evil would be hard pressed to snuff it out.

 

With a heavy sigh, Nikolai turned as his comm at his waist dinged, interrupting the moment. Picking it from his belt, the Imperial commander keyed the message, “Sir, we have received a communication from Mandalore requesting system entry.” the excitement was apparent even across the transmitter. Mandalorians had been present at the battle. They fought on both sides of this blasted war.

 

Pushing himself from the railing, Kolchak hurried away from his moment of peace. He had duties to attend to. With the last light of the setting sun framing him, the Vice Admiral returned to his duties. 
 

 

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Nikolai Kolchak strode into the makeshift command center at the core of the Imperial Remnant/ Rebel Alliance military camp. Outside the makeshift walls, field hospitals, mess tents, and refugee camps spread in every direction. It was a glimmer of today in a world drowned in the darkness of the past by one Sith’s machinations and another’s desecration. From here, the Vice Admiral commanded an entire world’s rescue; Rebel and Imperial forces, once considered bitter enemies now worked hand in hand patrolling the streets, rescuing the trapped, lost, and unwell, combining the greatest free minds across the galaxy towards a greater tomorrow. If only they could find a way to scourge this dark side tainted manipulations of the planet’s technology. For such a developed world, the total loss of technology was crippling, more so than it might be on other planets. The world’s main industry, shipbuilding, had been devastated by the liberation and even now could not begin to rebuild until this invisible menace had been purged.

 

And so, the liberating forces, happy to share what they had, kept an ever present watch to insure their tech, from blasters to mainframes, did not link up with anything local. No exceptions.

 

Taking the readout of the communications between the Imperial liberation fleet and the just-out-of-sectir Mandalorians, Kolchak leaned against a pillar and read. The blasted Mandalorians had been on both sides of this war, more disjointed than ever in their cultural outlook. What more, Kolchak had grown up among them, a Corellian refugee, bullied and battered by the Mandalorian children; so he questioned just how true to their so-called morals such a group could be. And yet, as he read the request, he could find very little issue with it. They had come with aid having heard of the Sith devestation of the world. The biggest problem Nikolai found was that the crest and names of those who sought to come planetside he recognized. These were the boys he had grown up with, who had tormented him in his youth, a young boy far from home and all that was familiar.

 

As the Imperial commander bristled at the names, his mind swirled. Generators, supplies, and technical expertise were all in great need. As much as he wanted to refuse on principal, Nikolai Kolchak was a different man than he had been. He had to trust that these were as well. With a heavy sigh, he instructed his adjutant to permit the Mandalorian task force to make entry under close watch by the Imperial fleet and to work with the Mandalorians to. Ferry their relief to the planet. He would meet with them personally.

 

_____________________
 

Standing at the edge of the landing platform, Vice Admital Nikolai Kolchak was the picture of Imperial command. His uniform, naval gray-green, was pressed and without blemish. Behind him, stood his hand-picked team of Imperial Stormtroopers, each seasoned and proven on the battlefield and off. Their armor glistened in the humid air.

 

The aggressive Mandalorian craft settled expertly on the platform, sensing out gusts of air as the hydraulics held the weight of the landing vessel. Quickly, the landing ramp lowered to the deck with a solid thud and a dozen Mandalorians in full culturally identifiable battle-scarred combat gear strode out, assembling in two lines behind their leader.

 

Nikolai stepped forward, a hand shooting upwards in a crisp salute, his face serious and expressionless.

 

The lead Mandalorian stepped forward, pulling his helmet off to reveal an aging human male with sharp features and peppered shaggy blonde hair fading to gray. He was smiling widely, his blue eyes lit with excitement that Kolchak felt was probably unwarranted for the situation. 
 

Before Nikolai could react he was pulled into a steely embrace against the man’s chest plate, “Su cuy’gar evasr’la vod!” the Mando exclaimed warmly. “It has been far too long!” The warrior stepped back to loom Kolchak up and down. “Look at ya. Ori al’verde and not too worse for the wear either ‘ccept for that eye. Betcha you gave whatever dirtball did that to ya what for eh?” The man slapped Kolchak on the arm playfully, eliciting a frown from the man.

 

“Velcome to Mon Cal, Dirk,” Kolchak greeted the familiar Mandalorian by name. He had grown up with him, been tormented mercilessly by he and his fellows. Yet now he stood here like they were long lost kin. Nikolai’s mind swirled. He was no Mandalorian. They had deemed it such when they were young. He was an Imperial and more disciplined than this ragtag bunch ever could be. This was not the time for that though. The greater good called for their combined attention. “If you and your men vill accompany my men, zey vill take you to quarters.” 
 

“Oh come on little brother. You always were too serious. We’ll get the gear offloaded so we can hook into the power grid and get to work.” Dirk smiled ready to jump into action.

 

Nikolai rolled his one good eye, nodding curtly. “Very vell, but be advised, a Sith computer virus is currently plaguing zis vorld. Ve are still vorking to eradicate it. All systems connected to planetary mainframe are compromised.”

 

“Oh!” Dirk’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. “That won’t do at all. Couple of my boys are whizzes at the whole computer thing. Maybe they can help your boys take a crack at your thing?”  
 

Two younger Mandalorians stepped forward pulling off their helmets at their leader’s indication. Apparently these were the Mandalorian so-called experts. Kolchak consented, gesturing them forward and sending them off with an escort of troopers towards the city’s mainframe. Even if he was not fond of the Mandalorians, he knew better than to second guess their abilities when offered. Turning back to Dirk, Nikolai allowed a hint of a smile to play across his face. Such kindness from this man was uncharacteristic of him from the Admiral’s memories. Maybe, just maybe, time did heal old wounds.

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“Not a bomb ma’am.” The sergeant helpfully added as the sounds of the droid crashing into the caverns below echoed back to them. At least the fall had dimmed the grating sound of his tinny voice. As the Rebel troops moved slowly forward Beth let her rifle trace any sign of movement. She did not glance at the body, just gave a grimace and pushed onwards. Letting the white armoured medic give the body a prod with his boot before moving forward. 

 

“Getting dark, press forward with NV and Thermal. If there is something down there I want to know about it the moment it shows its slimy face.”

 

“Copy commander.” The imperial strained rebel soldiers slowly picked their way down the incline following the distant protocol droid. 

Andromina

Rebel Alliance Fleet Command - Lieutenant

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The Mandalorian techs were quickly whisked into bowels of the city. Their escort of troopers was probably unneeded; but it was protocol. The city was on edge, uncomfortable with their archaic existence; but an air of order had settled over it. It was an air that put wrongdoers on guard. Still, crime and criminals fought the rule of law and occasional firefights of resistance challenged the Rebellion backed government. Elsewhere, Imperial and Naval Intelligence agents infiltrated and eliminated cells of hostiles and Sith sympathizers.

 

Imperial technicians brought their skills and technical knowhow coupled with their fierce determination to be the best. Rebel agents and outlaw techs brought a pizzazz and unconventional outlook bred from the thousand different worlds and technological bases they were built from. The Mando techs came with a militaristic experience, crafted from generations of facing everything or everyone as a foe, including the Jedi and Sith at times. Their experience with fighting practitioners of the force and all their wiles might be just the edge needed to overcome this Sithborn scourge that continued to ravage any new technology it could sink it’s binary-born fangs into; lurking and waiting like a lithe shadowy Sith spawned monster of nightmare.

 

It would just take time, but after hours of working at it, a new sense of hope permeated the joint workstation. This was as close as they’d come yet to driving back the digital menace.

 

After getting the remainder of the Mandalorians settled and working to lend aid in their area of expertise, Vice Admiral Nikolai Kolchak found hinself in the ravaged spire of the Mon Cal Shipyards. Here the Sith Apothos had commanded the devastation of an entire  world. Here the world had blossomed into a galactic superpower of good before that. It was only right that here, the rebirth of the Mon Cal and Quarren peoples began anew, launching them back into the galaxy.

 

With a smile and a gesture, Kirk offered Kolchak the ToughPad,  a militarized datapad with the final string of protocols that needed deployed against the Sith devastation. With a nod of appreciation, the Imperial commander took the pad and input his security code and biometric reading. Plugging it in he sighed, “Here goes.” Plugging the datapad in, Komchak activated the final program and sent a quickly replicating strain into the vastness of Mon Cal’s linked systems. 
 

In minutes, the shipyards would begin to come back online, slowly moving outwards into the city and across the planet in a matter of days. Imperial, Mandalorian, Rebel, and Outlaw techs all stood by at consoles throughout the shipyards waiting with anticipation. They waited to make sure that nothing went awry with their computer codes as they surged combating the remnants of Apothos’ plague.

 

It was working. It would just take a bit more time. Order was being restored one piece of society at a time. This one was one of the biggest and one of the last.

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Edelmor paused at the body, nudging it with his foot to get a look at its face.

 

The beast?

 

...No...I don't think so.

 

Grimacing, Edelmor felt the oppressive atmosphere of the caves pushing on him from all sides, as if the corpse had drawn his attention back to what had always been there. This place was dark, not just in lighting but on a deeper, fundamental level. It was frightening, a natural pressure that defied the tiny, short-lived mortals that walked these tunnels. It did not respect them. It did not care for them but for the food they might provide, whatever form that food took. Pain? Flesh? Edelmor suspected it wouldn't matter in the end.

 

His hair rose, his lips curled back into a snarl as he followed behind the troops. This was death. This was truth. Beyond the facsimiles the civilized clung to, beyond the lights of their artificial cities, beyond their illusion of safety, this darkness awaited. Old as the universe, endless as space itself.

 

This was hunger. This was anger. This was everything.

 

He needed to be ready to fight. He needed to survive. No matter what it cost. No matter who it cost.

 

Edelmor stopped walking.

 

He smiled.

 

I'm a real fool, he thought ruefully.

 

He'd fallen for it. His own talent for empathy had left him open, and he'd almost let it overtake him. He almost laughed as he retraced his own spiraling thoughts. What had he even been building towards? A bunch of ominous "truths" that meant nothing?

 

The Dark Side, the Sith, all of it, they were all just noise. Bright, loud, insistent noise. There was no cosmic truth to it. Choices created what they were, not some malevolent fate or the "true nature of power". They were scared, scheming, brutish murders who tore things down and lied to themselves to keep the fear at bay. Nothing special. Just like Edelmor was nothing special. An old man working to build something he believed in, and one who'd be quickly forgotten when his time came.

 

Edelmor doubted whatever lived down here was anything special either. It didn't matter how old it was, or how powerful it was, or what atrocities it had committed or planned to commit. It was a being. A single speck in a cosmic backdrop where it didn't even register as a blip. Its dramas, its tragedies, its triumphs...they were no more important then the posturing and pretenses of the Sith.

 

No cosmic truth. No hidden meaning. Just a creature to be stopped.

 

The atmosphere seemed to lessen its choking presence, and Edelmor quietly hummed "A Soldier's Life is a Sorry Thing" as he walked behind the soldiers, senses spread wide to find any ambushers before they found them.

 

 

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2 days ago, in Hyperspace.

 

“Seal up the section now! Don’t let that thing out of there!” the Captain shouted into the communicator as he slammed his own door shut with a resounding clang. Locks whirred into place, and the force field came on. The cockpit was completely sealed, and with exception of the automatic droid flying the ship, the captain was alone. 


“Sir! It got out of the storage bay! Its making its way up the decks!” a voice came in on the other end. Not that the captain needed the information. He could hear the laser blasts from his own men, as well as the violent bursts coming from the thing’s weapon. He could hear the metal tearing through metal as the loud thumps of the thing’s footsteps ran and barreled through the hallways.  


“By the Spider, where did this thing come from?!?” The captain cursed. This was not an ordinary situation. Occasionally he would have to deal with a stowaway, or maybe even a spy droid trying to trace his activity, but this...this was different. 


An explosion rocked the ship and some screams pierced his communicator. His men had tried to use grenades on the target, only for it to backfire in some way. More noises of the thing’s gun pierced the air. 


Then there was silence. Followed by footsteps. 


The captain sweated profusely as he listened. He backed towards the ship’s controls and reached behind the wheel to pull out a hidden pistol. With a quick click, the disruptor was armed. 


“There’s no way that thing can get in here.” The captain reassured himself. Still, he pointed the pistol at the singular door.  


The footsteps got louder, getting closer and closer to the doorway. Then it stopped.


Silence for a few moments overtook the room. It was almost deafening to the captain. 


“You are an impressive piece of work!” The captain shouted. “Maybe we could...talk something out?”


Silence greeted the captain. He raised a cybernetic hand to wipe the sweat from his forehead. It seemed the thing was stuck at the doorway. 


“It’s not like you have much of a choice after all…” the captain continued, hoping to talk some sense into the thing. “You got onto my ship illegally...and shot my men. This ship is headed for Mon Cal, and I doubt the authorities will look kindly to a murderer like yourself.. So how about we talk this out… get some kind of deal underway. 


Silence still greeted the Captain. He raised an eyebrow. Was the thing still out there? Was it capable of being silent, and had it walked away? 


A whirring grinding noise came from the doorway. The captain’s eyes widened as he realized the locks were disarming. 


“What?!? No!”


A noise behind him caught his attention. On the control panel, in front of the now crushed droid from the air vent above, was a mess of gears and metal rods shaped into the form of something arachnoid. 


The captain opened fire. The Buzz droid bleeped and jumped out of the way in time and began crawling rapidly between the seats and control panels, becoming a blur of a nuisance. Even still, the captain continued firing, disintegrating parts of the ship with each shot. 
Then the door crashed open.

 

 

Today, Mon Cal

 

The guards who were inspecting the ship nearly puked a bit at the mess. Laser blasts and dead bodies were normal. But torn up bodies by both metal shredding and more blunt force were something different. The count was eight so far. 


“Sir, we have movement going on in the cockpit. Door appears unlocked.” One Mon Calamari motioned to his superior, a gruff human. A nod was given and the door was open. 


Standing in the room, turning towards the guards, was a humanoid figure. Easily six feet tall, it was apparent it was either a droid or heavily cybernetic, given its entire body was made of metal. The gun it carried was resting against the wall, out of reach. The blood stains over its body identified it as the cause of death for the members of the ship. 


“Freeze! Hands up now!” The guards ordered, raising their guns at the figure. 


Ruin did so, holding up the body of the ship’s captain, neck completely snapped in a 180 degree turn. A glint of metal on the corpse’s chest caught the guards attention.


“Sir is that…?” one of the guards asked, recognising the insignia of the Sith Empire Pendant. 


The other guard didn’t get a chance to respond. Words over his communicator revealed that the other guards had found explosives and toxic chemicals hidden in the cargo containers. It was obvious what this was. A Sith saboteur, seeking a way to poison Mon Cal again and wrest control of the watery planet from the rebellion. 
The head security officer bit his lip, gun still trained on the droid. 


“Identify yourself, droid. What happened here?”


Ruin tilted his head towards the commander, and dropped the body with a splatter. A repeating of bleeping and alarms came from near the droid. It was only after the Buzz droid climbed over and rested on Ruin’s left shoulder did the guard understand the source of beepings. 


He sighed and spoke into his communicator. “Get me in contact with...er… the Admiral Nokolai… He is going to want to deal with this himself. We will keep the droids secure until he decides what happens to them.”


A voice on the other end obeyed. The captain ordered his men to keep their weapons trained on the larger droid and to wait until further instructions. It’s buzz droid had said that it and its companion had accomplished its mission and now awaited further information. Whatever that information was, he had no idea. Maybe the Admiral would know something. 


“And someone get me a cleaning crew ready on hand. Lot of blood to clean up and explosives to secure…” 

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Power surged through the city coursing light and life into the shadows. There were issues here and there, but teams of Imperials, Rebels, and now Mandos were always on hand to address them and restore order if needed.

 

Kolchak picked his way through the shipyards planetside. Already teams of natives and resistance assistance were working to undo the damage done by explosions and war. Ships were dispatched to the orbital yards and assessments began to determine what might be needed to get them back online.

 

With the efficiency of a well-oiled Imperial machine the transfer of government control was began to local facilities and rightful rulers and officials where they could be found. The trick was ensuring undesirable elements were not allowed to capitalize on the chaos. Difficult? Yes. Kolchak’s Naval Intelligence officers had been on the ground for weeks now gathering intelligence. That knowledge was now brought to  bear to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.

 

With power returned, the full technological and mechanical power of the Remnant was able to deploy unhindered. They sought downed craft spread far and wife below the sea, even chasing down a lead on a stolen submarine suspected of use in a terrorist attack on Sith deathstick production facilities. Heavy machinery worked to clear what could not have been cleared before, jacks, lifts, repulsirs and hydraulics hummed in unison everywhere, bolstering fallen structures, smoothing torn up roadways, sealing breeches, and more. With the flick of a switch, the city had come back to life and the Sith virus chased and exterminated like a sea monster of yore.

 

Agreements had been reached between the King of Mon Cal and the Rebel Alliance. The shipyards of Mon Cal, a nationalized industrial treasure that stood and produced what many saw as beacons of freedom across the galaxy were too valuable to fall to enemies of freedom again. A force of Rebel and Imperial forces would establish a permanent base on the planet. They would bolster security as needed and serve as a medium to off worlders planetside as needed. Nikolai Kolchak would lead this venture until another could be appointed.

 

And so, the Vice Admiral and now acting sector commander, sat at a desk in what had been an office in the shipyards planetside office. Secured by Stormtroopers and Intelligence officers, the building was quickly becoming a fortified symbol of order. It was here, as the Vice Admiral reviewed orders, signed transfers, briefed and debriefed, and worked almost as more machine than man, that he was interrupted by a rather disturbing report. They had already caught smugglers trying to get things and people on and off planet; but this report caught his attention. It was labelled top priority and delivered by a courier who stood anxiously in the doorway after handing his packet to the Vice Admiral awaiting a response.

 

Taking the packet, Nikolai began to scroll through it. The crew had been massacred. Sith forces? Yet somehow the ship had been permitted to land instead of stopped by the fleet. It got stranger. Currently Customs forces were holding a mechanized construct at gunpoint aboard the ship. It had been found drenched in blood cradling the Sith captain’s body.

 

Tossing the report to his desk, Kolchak stood up summoning his guard, 4 highly trained Imperial Stormtroopers, veteran combatants and intelligence experts armed to the teeth. This team was supplemented by a duo of Mandalorians from Dirk’s team. They moved with certainty and haste towards the ship. It was surrounded by soldiers and anti-droid weaponry was being deployed.

 

Drawing up short, Nikolai smoothed his uniform, his escort forming up on either side of him. Boarding the ship, Nikolai carried himself with an air of authority and an aura of command. Inside the ship, it was a disaster, wiring hung and arced intermittently, sticky blood clung to the walls, floors and ceiling. It was crowded with Imperials and Rebels holding the line should the technological terror on the bridge become hostile once again.

 

Stepping onto the bridge Nikolai surveyed the mechanical being and it’s pet buzzdroid, a terror bot of it’s own. “Greeting Robot. Vat have you done to zis ship and crew? Sith are to be taken captive. Interrogated. Zen, only zen, disposed of according to ze law. Vill you stand down and zubmit to analysis? Zis ship is volatile on a vorld of volatilities. It cannot be left unzecured. If you please, relay your date and location of manufacture and given designarion.” He spoke slowly, his thick accent commanding attention. He would not beat about the bush. Massacres of this nature, uninvestigated, would not be allowed to stand under new Imperial standards. The droid could submit to analysis and Imperial investigators secure the craft and analyze security tapes and evidence to determine what happened or it could be taken into custody by force. Nikolai’s cybernetic eye zoomed and focused and withdrew taking in the entire scene as he looked Ruin over. “Ve can do zis eazy vay or hard vay droid. Tell me, vat is your designation?”

 

 

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In the time before the admiral arrived, silence hung in the ship as the guards kept their guns trained on Ruin. The droid, still covered in blood and guts, simply looked between the two guards and stayed still. The guards did the same, albeit their bodies remained tenser then a stretch rope. Only the Buzz droid moved, its gripping arms rubbing against each other in an idle action.


Then the admiral arrived. Where Ruin was dirty and bloodied, the admiral was clean and pressed. Where the droid was informal and alone, the admiral was ornate and surrounded by soldiers. An odd pair to say the least.


Ruin didn’t say anything at the admiral's words. Instead, it was the Buzz droid who spoke in binary. In case the Admiral didn’t speak binary, one of the guards who had been keeping an eye on the droid did and translated when needed. 


“Designation Admiral Kolchak. This semi-independent droid is designation B5-87, codename: RUIN. Manufacture date, 20 BBY, MECHIS III. Reactivation date:  19 days after the fall of Hesperium. My designation is F5-18-1. Codename: FERA. Manufacture date 19 BBY, GEONOSIS. I am a fully independent droid aiding RUIN in his primary and secondary directives. Primary Directive: Eliminate all active Sith Forces. Secondary Directive: Eliminate Active Sith Sympathizer Forces.”


“Kill them all” Ruin suddenly voiced, his vocabulator coming to life for the first time on this planet. His speech was low and slow. “Gotta rip their guts. Make them atone. Guns and guts…”


Fera seemed to give Ruin a quick scan over and shook its body in a nodding motion.


“Indeed. Designation Ruin’s programming does not include capture nor incarceration. He was following his programming. As the combat was done in hyperspace, neither Mon Cal’s planetary law nor Corescant’s have jurisdiction on these actions. However, efforts will be made in the future to accomplish your desire for live witnesses when possible.”


The Buzz droid jumped to the ground and crawled over to the admiral’s feet. The guns trained on Ruin instantly moved to target the Buzz droid, who paused momentarily. In one of its gripping arms held a small metal stick. 


“This data stick will have all the information downloaded from the Captain’s logs and the ship’s. You will find in it that the being with the designation of Captain Jonas Leer had just retrieved packages numbered 45833-45860 , which contain amounts of explosives of toxins. The ship had arrived on Coruscant. We boarded the ship there and executed the Sith Forces on the journey to here, expecting to find more Sith forces before understanding the ship’s destination.”


Ruin spoke up again, demanding the attention from the guards. “Guns and Guts. Need Guns and Guts. Submit then kill. Kill them all. Gotta kill them all.”


Fera dropped the data stick then crawled back onto Ruin’s shoulder. “Indeed. Admiral, this ship’s origin point is designated as Outer Haven. Our battle is not with you. Any information you could provide would be appreciated. After we submit to your scans and answer any further questions, we request permission to utilize this ship to return to Outer Haven to root out any Sith Forces.”

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Atop the hewn tunnel, Lok knelt before the latent corpses strewn about, blaster bolts originating and ending within the mass collection. Only the disfigured faces caused his nerves to unsettle as movements were made in the shadows like falling coral into the trenching water. Lok shifted about with his silver blade extended, it's glow illuminating the horror within this cavern. These were those they sought, but something more sinister had gotten to them first and left behind the stolen explosives. Lok was almost certain now that whatever voice he heard, whatever sentience laid within this maze of coral and stone, was primordial in its darkened origins.

 

"Our search is over." Lok spoke aloud to Sir Tarko and Lady Andromina, his gaze shifting about in an attempt to peer past them into the voided abyss of darkness, the hairs of his human skin heightened in his alertness. "Let's recover the explosives and leave this place."

 

As the Stormtroopers began collecting and inspecting the crates and spilt explosives, Lok sat in silence. The air was growing thinner in the presence of the darkness, and was beginning to dissipate so quickly. He closed his eyes and settled his emotions. He may have still been reeling from the mental altercation, but he was not without sense. Whatever Darkness laid down here and made it home had moved on, it's presence no longer present. When all had been gathered, they began the trek back the way they had came.

 

A few hours later in the brisk cool night air, they stepped from aboard the lift back onto the surface of Coral City. It was quiet, but life was beginning to return. Lok smiled finally and sighed a sigh of brief relief. There mission was over, but the darkened taint left behind by the Sith, or something even older, remained in its depth. It would only be a matter of time before it surfaced and would be put down, but with their knowledge of it, perhaps a solution could be found for when it did. It would need to be reported to the Vice Admiral @Nikolai Kolchak at once either way.

 

Grabbing his communicator, he chimed the elder Imperial and reported their return, as well as their findings below, including the Droid.

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The Admiral’s face did not change as he regarded the duo. When one of his men translated the binary, he nodded; the only indication he heard. 
 

As the skittering droid dismounted and clanked over towards him, Kolchak’s men responded in turn, some diverting their weapons to this movement, others maintaining focus on the murder machine. 
 

“Imperial law extends to even hyperlane Ef-five-eighteen-vone and ze slaying of non-military target is violation. Zere are many who need put down like dog, but not indiscriminately.” he offered in stern correction to what the small bot seemed to think was limited Imperial reach and governance. Looking the duo over, Kolchak extended a boot to gingerly slide the datastick backwards towards the troops behind him. Given the latest struggle with a Sith computer virus, no chances would be taken with this unknown source. “Vat is meaning of designation, zemi-independent? To whom do you owe loyalty dezignarion Roon? Vonce you have both zubmitted to ztanding down, zis ship vill be secured and your story verified. If all iz az you say, ve can dizcuss options.”

 

————————————————

 

With Kolchak and a contingent of soldiers occupied at the docks, Skyshatter & company’s report was relayed through proper channels; however, it did not make it to the Vice Admiral. A quick response was wired back though:

 

‘Knight Skyshatter,

if you are in fighting form, the Vice Admiral is dealing with a security threat at the space docks. Comms are set to emergency communications only in that area. If you would care to respond and assist report to KL-434.’

 

————————————————
 

The datastick was quickly passed to safety where it was secured and analyzed before being plugged in and further assessed. Such actions did not take long. In fact, it took longer to relay the stick to a secured computer that remained unconnected from any networks than it did to scan the thing.

 

Aboard the ship, information was relayed to Kolchak’s implanted data receiver. The remainder of the ship had been secured, save for the bridge, and it’s contents initially analyzed. Explosives, the same type reportedly having been stockpiled by Nok Morliss and his associates, and toxins, that should they be leaked into the seawater would create an exponentially catastrophic result of dead and dying water life and toxic algae blooms.

 

The planetary commander took all this in via his cybernetic eye without a twinge of emotion as he watched the droids. Thus far, they checked out. A few more minutes and he would know what was on the datastick. 
 

Outer Haven was a place, the Vice Admiral had heard of during his time in the intelligence game. It was a den of iniquity and vice where the rule of law was lawlessness and agents of chaos reigned. If the Sith were establishing a stronghold there or even a bastion from which to recruit these degenerates, then things were looking dire indeed. Regardless however, he would need more information. “Outer Haven, vhy go zhere. Is it not den of criminalz? Not Sith military base or operation.”

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“Imperial law extends to even hyperlane Ef-five-eighteen-vone and ze slaying of non-military target is violation. Zere are many who need put down like dog, but not indiscriminately.”


At the Admiral’s words, the small buzz droid looked at the being intently, then beeped a few words. 


“One moment.” After a brief pause, the Buzz droid nodded its entire body. “Information logged into my systems. If you wish, you can give us a copy of the latest imperial law concerning space ways and wartime actions. We were under the impression that Imperial law had failed due to the fact that it appears the Sith control major sections of the galaxy, including the inner and outer Rims. Much of the data we have acquired may be out of date or faulty due to the information loss after the fall of Hesperium.”


“So much guts there. Did what was needed. No hesitation. Just moved. Move or die. Move or die. Hunt them down. Hunt them all down.” Ruin commented. What he meant by these words, Fera did not seem inclined to translate. 


“Outer Haven, vhy go zhere. Is it not den of criminalz? Not Sith military base or operation.”


This time, it was Ruin who spoke first, stoic and still as ever. 


“Helpers be there. They help Sith. They be bad if they help Sith. Active helpers of the Sith die. Guns and Guts, Guts and Guns. Find Sith. Kill Sith. Innocents live. Sith die.”


Fera took a moment scanning Ruin over, crawled behind the combat droid’s head to get to the other shoulder, then nodded and turned it’s eyes towards the admiral.


“What Ruin is saying is that while no official base may be there, there is evidence of active Sith sympathizers. Per Ruin’s programming, active Sith sympathizers must be eliminated. No one else gets hurt unless they actively seek Ruin’s dismantlement. What he does is very precise, if messy by your standards. This is a standard self-preservation protocol for the B5-Terror Droid model during the Clone Wars.”


Ruin slowly raised his right arm and then, with a sudden flick, pointed at the admiral. A few pieces of dried blood flew off the finger, scattering about.


“Bad guys and innocents be there. You help me. You point. I kill. You save. I fulfill program.  I get guts and guns. You get people and people.”


“It appears that Ruin is desiring your assistance.” The buzz droid chirped, bringing its own claws together as if it was trying to stroke an imaginary chin.  “If you send some form of assistance, you can help track down where the armament came from, and help weed out Sith sympathizers from any innocent civilians. Considering there could be a variety of criminal elements there who will no doubt shoot and ask questions later, I believe this is a beneficial course of action.” 
 

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Lok's gaze shifted toward KL-434, the Space Docks just a few blocks away and not that far off. It wasn't much of a trek, but as he looked the distance, he wondered if he could very well be classified as in fighting form. Physically, perhaps. Mentally, he was for sure the toll that the Altercation had taken. He seemed fine. He felt fine. He had guarded his mind well. But given what had happened to Mon Cal and what he had seen these past few days sent chills across his form. The Darkside was a powerful enemy.

 

Still, his findings need to be reported personally. And if he felt that his mind was beginning to linger, he felt the Vice Admiral and Escort would be a safe space. Responding, Lok signalled his heading. "Reporting to KL-434. Skyshatter out."

 

With an 'Arvoir' and bow of the head, Skyshatter said goodbye to Sir Tarko and Lady Andromina as he made his departure, the Stormtroopers confiscating the explosives along with the droid to be sent ahead to ISB for analysis. It honestly felt that the moment below was finally over and safety had been found despite the unease he felt within. But then again, Lok had always been over conscious when it came to mental attacks. They always tended to have a lasting and nasty effect.

 

Scanning his Imperial ID at the Space Port check point and gaining entry, Lok walked along the gangplank until he came across the one numbered by the Guards. Stepping aboard, he didn't like the appearence of what he saw. There was much death here, the air sinister with foul intents. It almost mimicked the deep. And yet, amidst the fray, at the very center of the Bridge, he would find the beacon of light that Mon Cal begged for: Vice Admiral Kolchak.

 

With a sharp salute, Lok presented himself. "Skyshatter reporting in, Vice Admiral, sir."

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Marathon, despite what her name might have implied, was not a particularly swift ship. It was old, creaky, leaky, and prone to making suspicious noises when making a hyperspace jump. Moreover, she was operated by a skeleton crew, barely enough to keep its engines running and pointed in the right direction. When the groans of ancient durasteel and suspicious chunk-chunk-chunk sounds from the engines were not keeping Johanna Bryce awake, the ship was otherwise silent, without any of the endless announcements and overheard conversations that would be present on a modern battlecruiser.

 

Eventually, the DP20 Frigate popped out of hyperspace--with an alarming growl from her engines--and dispatched a single shuttle containing Johanna Bryce and her fireteam of Talon shock troopers. Allowing her comrades to handle the piloting, the tall Bespinian hunched over the communication console and signaled the Mon Calamari air traffic control.

 

“Mon Cal control, shuttle Leth-Vev-Four-Two-One requesting direction. Passengers are elements of Fourth Fleet, assigned to Vice-Admiral Kolchak.”

 

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“Mon Cal Air Space Control Tower Four to Leth-Vev-Four-Two-One, redirect yourself and your party to fleet dock Five-Seven, the Vice Admiral and a contingency of security forces are engaging a threat aboard an unidentified Sith craft in dock.” the traffic controller sounded almost tired as her clear voice crisply responded to the latest contact from yet another inbound craft. It was not that which was tiresome though; inbound craft were a sign of continued progress. It was yet another security threat on the surface that caused the controller’s eyes to roll. Even if they did not know what was going on officially, longstanding members like her had less official means. The craft was a Sith affiliate and the Vice Admiral and a contingent of Imperial and local security forces with aboard with him. A friend down in records had indicated some sort of blood bath had taken place before the ship’s arrival.

 

__________________

 

The Stormtroopers standing guard outside the tense scene of the Sith cargo vessel moved in unison to block the Imperial Knight’s path until he identified himself and produced credentialing.

 

__________________

 

Inside, Kolchak listened to the duo if droids chatter. He chose to ignore the comments regarding Imperial Law in favor of hearing out the strange pair. Outer Haven was indeed a viable target for Imperial and Rebel conversion and repatriation. The presence of Sith forces, on the other hand, was new. Across his secured comms, Komchak was assured of the validity of the droids’ situation as their data disk was flash-analyzed. At the same time, the arrival of Knight Skyshatter and the descent of Captain Bryce and her forces were communicated.

 

“If you can contain killer dezires, zen ve may have use for you both, if you vill follow me.” Kolchak turned, pointing towards the outside of the ship before exiting, his contingency of two Mandalorians and four stormtroopers falling in behind him. Other security forces kept a wary on on the droids.

 

__________________
 

As he stepped out of the ship, a smile crinkled the edge of the Vice Admiral’s one remaining good eye. He had not had time to catch up on the happenings beneath the city, bit if this Knight was back, that meant, so was Edelmore; wherever he happened to be.

 

“Keep eyes on droids. Do not let zem kill  prisoners ov var.” he whispered as he stepped closer to the knight and turned to watch the Captain and her team disembark their ship and the droids’ theirs.

 

Once everyone was there, Kolchak surveyed the group, a plan formulating in the back of his head. A lightning strike to take command of the criminal city-station would put the group in a good position to rendezvous with other Rebel forces and reinforce should the Sith mount an offensive elsewhere. On top of that, Outer Haven would create a discrete secondary base of operations should the need arise; not to mention the incredible amount of intelligence that could be gathered from the denizens of such a world. He shot a wary glance to the rogue droids, IF they were kept alive…

 

Komchak offer an uncharacteristic smile, a smile that seemed to strain the commander’s stoney face, to the others. He turned and briskly saluted Captain Bryce and her team. He had seen and heard many of their exploits. They were most welcome and their arrival fortuitous. “Velcome Capitan. Your arrival iz most velcome and opportune. Zis droid suggests a possible Zith presence at Outer Haven. Vill you join uz in liberaring ze ztation?” Turning to Skyshatter he continued, “If’n you feel up to ze task, I vould request your presence as vell Imperial Knight and any men you can muster. Imperial Marines vill be placed at your command.”

 

Turning to face the group, he did not stop his explanation, his face grin with the realization of whst he was asking them to do. This would be an Imperial Intelligence operation, and as such, “Zis vill be ztrategic pinpoint azzault. Minimal cazualties. Vone point ov entry. Minimal cazualties” He shot a knowing glance to Ruin and his pet buzzdroid. “You vill infiltrate vhile ze fleet provides battery and sector zecurity. Enter. Find ze main control zenter, take zyztem control. Zecure veapon batteries. Vonce ztarion is zecure, ve begin pazification and conversion. Zis vill not be bloodbath. Take prizonerz vhere you may. Non-hoztile are not to be terminated. Immobilizer Conztantine vill zerve az flagship; point of zpear.”

 

”You vill be deployed from my ship in pod, directly to surface.” he leaned over to whisper to Ruin. His ship would be impounded on Mon Cal for complete system analysis and explosive security.

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“If you can contain killer dezires, zen ve may have use for you both, if you vill follow me.”

 

At the admiral’s words and pointing, Ruin nodded slowly, getting a few more pieces of dried blood to come off his neck. Fera buzzed a few words of agreement, and then beeped a statement to the soldiers nearby that Ruin was grabbing his gun before leaving. 

 

“Please do not take this as a sign of aggression. Ruin is simply grabbing his necessary tools.”

 

As the two passed by the human, Ruin couldn’t help but stop and give the being a look over. 

 

“You a Jedi? Jedi good. You are good. Good weapons“

 

After a bit of moving around, Fera the Buzzdroid crawled onto Ruin’s left shoulder to face the Jedi. As it talked its binary bleepings and buzzings, it seemed to attempt some kind of bow and then pointed towards the Jedi’s belt.

 

“Greetings Human. Designation B5-87, Codename RUIN, indicates that you are one of the Jedi, judging by your weapon of choice. He extends his appreciation for you in this place.”

 

With that, Ruin nodded to the Jedi and moved on, following the Admiral. The soldiers who were nearby still kept their guns trained on the two droids, a fact that did not escape Fera. 

 

“If we wish to secure the trust of the Imperials and their allies, I recommend we follow several of their orders to the best of our ability. It would be a shame to lose you when you are so close to achieving true independence and sentience.” 

 

“Guns and Guts. Guns and Guts. Got a mission. Fulfill mission. Kill Sith.” Ruin commented, readjusting the flechette launcher onto its back. Fera crawled to the larger droid’s backside and activated the magnetic holders, securing the gun into place.

 

“Indeed, but as the Jedi who helped program you during the Clone Wars would point out, Innocents cannot be harmed by any means.”

 

“Good guys live. Sith die. Sith Supporters detain?”

 

Fera nodded and buzzed in pleasure, indicating a sense of accomplishment for Ruin. 

 

When the admiral explained the plan, with the emphasizes on not making it a bloodbath, Ruin almost began to act giddy. His nodding at the words turned into the ever so slightly jumping of the droid’s heels. Even without any facial cues, Ruin was communicating his excitement. 

 

“Lots of Guns. Make good time.”

 

Fera spoke afterwards. “We understand our assignment sir. We are ready whenever you are.” 
 

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Salute, salute returned; then Bryce allowed her eyes to flicker over the other Rebel officers who had answered the summons to the briefing. It was an eclectic bunch, almost as diverse as any strike team from the Bad Old Days of the Rebel Alliance; she and her Talons--an extraordinarily tall Bespinian, a Togruta, a Duros, and a Corellian--an Imperial Knight complete with the standard-pattern lightsaber of his order, the trim Imperial officer, and… a droid of unknown configuration. All that the shock trooper knew of its design was that the deck plates were flexing very slightly under its armored stride.

 

The shock trooper studied the hologram of the space station before them and pursed her lips. “Aye, sir, I think I understand. Not quiet, not subtle, but fast and furious. If I can make a suggestion, me and my Talons have training in null-gee sapping, to make entry into a ship or station from vacuum. Our armor has its own source of propulsion. If the Imperial Marines run into problems--say, a Sith Lord--we can blast our way in and outflank them.”

 

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Skyshatter nodded his head in agreement before his gaze fell upon the two droids. As an Onderonian Beast Rider, technology had always been on the fence. If he couldn't operate it with full control, it gave him a sense of unease. But as a former Jedi and now Imperial Knight, the sense had eased over the years, especially in his growth away from his tribe and people. And yet, he could never quite get rid of the unease around droids completely. Artificial Sentience seemed unnerving unnatural to him.

 

As the Droid designated as Ruin first spoke to him, he unconsciously tugged at his glove without lingering his eyes away from the droid. It was true that he looked like a Jedi, and was once one. But those days were long in the past. Indecision and idle hands wrought his leaving that life behind with Kyrie and the others. He was a warrior, and on the battlefield was his place, his weapon of choice being the Force that bound his breath and step. There was only two differences between he and a Sith. One: He used his powers selflessly and without regard to himself for the betterment of the Galaxy. Two: He used in powers in the name of the Empress, Raven Nasra, whom he had bound his fate to. Outside that, and his personality, there was no difference.

 

Shifting his gaze to the smaller buzz droid, Lok heard his binary call and saw his attempt at communication. Had it not been for the translator that followed Vice Admiral Kolchak speaking in briefly, Lok would have been oblivious to it's intent. "I..uh...thanks?" Lok replied as the two departed behind the Vice Admiral, and he turned to pursue as well. At least one thing they had in common, at least from Ruin's vocal communication skills, is they held a similar objective. Under his breath, he mumbled. "Kill Sith indeed. Everything else lives."

 

Not to say that Skyshatter reveled in death or the extinction of life, but as a Soldier of War, he understood the expectations versus reality. As a Jedi, in his past life, this concept was unknown to him. But with reality, concepts are just constructs of the mind. When it came to the Sith and the Darkside that plagues their touch, death was the only true release. If they managed to stay dead that is. As the trio met with the new arrivals, Lok loosened up slightly, a smirk adorning his face as he gazed upon the squadron. He had never met them personally, but the Talons were well known, even amongst grounders such as he. 

 

But now it was down to business.

 

"I'm best in a supportive manner, especially where it concerns the Force." Lok began in his reply. "But skill with a Blade is just as supportive, Vice Admiral. If there are Sith at Outer Haven, they will soon find no haven for them there."

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A slight smile played at the corners of Kolchak’s mouth. It was as if they read his mind. Deployed from space, the Imperial Marines and Talons would be upon the city in an instant, taking the fight to the more resistant criminal elements and automated-defenses before civilians could fall prey to an extended firefight. The droids and Imperial Knight would carve out any Sith assets; hopefully with the Knight keeping the droids’ seemingly kill-at-all-costs protocols in check.

 

“Zat is ze exact plan Capitan. Imperial Marinez vill deploy via drop pods, as vill our metallic comrades here. Zupported by Talons, I zuzpect short vork ov rezistance. I and ze fleet vill ensure zat defenses are hampered from above and no ship ezcape blockade.

 

If zhere are no objection, ve vill rendezvouz to ze fleet.”

 

List of Imperial Rebel craft and taskforces being utilized in this campaign:

 

INTERDICTION CADRE: Interdiction Field

-SFS Immobilizer 418-class Heavy Cruiser Constantine |9/9| (1xp)

-MC30-class frigate Queen Memara |3/3| (1xp)

-DP20 Corvette Surprise |2/1| (1xp)

-DP20 Corvette Crescelle |2/1| (1xp)

-DP20 Corvette Hawkbat |2/1| (1xp)

-DP20 Corvette Audacity |2/1| (1xp)

 

 

SEARCH AND DESTROY CARRIER: Ghost Hunters

-KDY-Republic-Class Star Destroyer Damascus |25/25|

 

INTERCEPTION CARRIER: Hornet’s Nest

-KDY Dreadnaught-class Heavy Cruiser Phalanx |25/25

 

 

 

 

 

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