Force of Wills: The Ties that Bind
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11.19.2012 , 10:26 PM |
T7’s metallic screaming echoed in the crumbling room, force waves rocking the foundations of the temple. The dark side was oppressive, not the smoky tendrils she had grown accustom to with Scourge, but a black cold void, it pulled at her very soul, it pulled at her fear, threatening to undo her. T7 shot at one of the many illusions the Emperor had summoned but whirred and blinked out before any true damage could be done. She could not allow her heart to ach for her loyal droid, he could be fixed, but before she could save her friend, save anyone, she had to beat him. She ripped off her long robe, standing in her heavy armor, it was her second skin, lightsaber shining a crystal sky blue, her red eyes blazed. The doppelgangers pressed their attack, icy tendrils of fear ran down her back, she focused her energy, pushing down the dark side that bubbled just under the surface. The Emperor smiled his cruel visage, Kianna answered it with her own malicious sneer, allowing a thread of rage to mix with her torrential force energy, fear gone, the copies dissipated and the force propelled her into the air towards the monster.
Scourge inhaled, he could feel her, at the very extremes of his senses he sensed her power. His heart quickened when he felt her controlled release of her dark energy, how it added a deadly ferociousness to her hurricane of light. He smiled, gripping his saber in both hands, his constant companion. He watched the Pureblood trooper, more Sith then she would ever know, the dark side bent to her naturally even if she did not feel it, anyone who would name her abomination and waste her talent was a fool. He drew on the deathknells of the falling Imperial soldiers, forced into bottle necks. The Cathar was somewhere to his left, feral and wild in his bloodlust, fangs bared, his roar as loud as the massive auto canon he carried in his hands. The Miraluka bounty hunter, espoused to the dark side, from her and her Mandalorian he sensed unadulterated joy, love even, as if killing was a dance whose steps were known only to her and her lover. Kira’s familiar energy was somewhere behind him, still, focused, peaceful, belying her acrobatic and quick fighting style. The third trooper who had joined them, Riggs, his emotion ran deep, like a thermal detonator, anger and fear drove him, focused him, he had a strong survival instinct, and it served him well. Battle was the only time Doc earned Scourges acceptance, some might argue even his respect, though Scourge would deny it, he juggled the lives of those around him with an expert calm, never faltering, infinitely confident in his abilities.
Scourge leapt and landed in the mouth of the cave the soldiers were pouring out of, He extended the force through his body until it shook the groud throwing Imperials into the walls of the cave, onto the blaster fire of their comrades, impaling them on their officers vibroswords. He slashed through them, creating a pile of corpses at his feet. Finally fear gave way to panic, and Scourge devoured everything, pulling the primal human emotions into himself and pushing it outwards again, their fear turning and killing them, he was the conduit.
“Keep up Rusk!” Ava called with a brilliant smile, Torian took an imperial out at the knees leaving the second open for her to take the shot, which she did, when he came up again the cudgeled end of his staff shattered the Imperials face. He pressed forward and Ava’s booster rocket sent her into the air, carpet bombing the next unlucky wave. Torian quickly jumped into the smoke she left, spinning his techstaff, graceful and deadly, Avacynne found herself licking her lips, enjoying the battle, yet yearning for it to end, if only so she could mount her stallion.
“Ugh.” Was Rusk’s only answer, she glanced behind her to see a bright purple energy beam through his chest. Sith.
“Medic!” Ava called out as she started running towards the new threat, Torian hot on her heels. How did a Sith get behind them?
Doc was running hard, Kolto in hand, only to stop cold when a second red saber was leveled at his throat. The Jedi Kira jumped in front of the doctor force pushing the young armored Sith Pureblood away from the man she loved.
“Go Doc!” She called as she engaged the Sith in earnest.
Ava was shooting, her blasters overheating, she could feel their heat through the palm of her durasteel gloves. The small hooded Sith deflected the blaster bolts, her purple double saber dizzying, until finally the blasters jammed, they were dropped smoking, metal glowing red on the bloodied ground. Ava boosted herself into the air, readying a rocket barrage, she let loose her aerial attack, the Sith spun and flipped out of the way, a wall of force surrounding herself. Her hood fell away, stopping Ava’s heart cold. She knew that face, she knew every detail of those tattoos, she knew the half smile, and those calculating grey eyes. She knew her like she knew her own hands. Rateah.
“Gault!” Mako yelled into her comm.
Blizz was keeping the ship hovering at their location, heavy turrets shooting everything, but even in the heavily armored and equipped Mantis, they couldn’t stay.
“Imps have comms back online Mako, we stay here any longer and they’ll get a fix on us, we have to go!” Cohen called from his seat, desperately jamming any signal within a one hundred meter radius, it was the best he could do. “I have a lock on his comm, we’ll pick him up. Blizz get us out of here!”
The normally sunny Jawa only nodded his head, small glowing golden eyes bore a worried look as he maneuvered the ship through Kaas City airspace. A chime in the cockpit indicated anti air missiles were online in the city and trying to get a lock on them. Mako ran in, wiping a tear from her face, and started helping with their jamming signal, keeping the missile lock at bay as they flew towards Gaults comm signal.
Kianna stood over the Emperor, he knelt, clutching his chest and the giant cauterized slash there, and still he laughed, smiling, exposing bloodied teeth.
“You think you’ve won Jedi? Have you fulfilled my poor deluded slaves vision? How do you know I did not plant the image in his mind?” He croaked out, laughing all the while, mocking her, testing her resolve, introducing doubt.
“Lies, not even you could have known my face three hundred years ago, your bluff won’t work with me.” She circled him, keeping her saber trained on him. “Yield, repent, and you may yet live.” Everything in her body screamed at her to end him, but the Jedi in her had to ask, had to give even this ancient darkness a choice.
“I will live regardless, Jedi, and I will devour you, but not before I obliterate Scourge, I will savor your shared anguish.” He opened his arms out, palms open, no saber, no sorcery, no defenses.
Kianna plunged her lightsaber deep into his chest, piercing lung and heart, his eyes never left hers, always laughing, and she felt like she had done exactly what he had wanted her to. His heart beat slowed, and stopped, but still his eyes stared at her mockingly. She tore her eyes away from him, looked up to see a giant stalactite and reached up with the force, slowly she tore it away from the ceiling and brought it crashing down on the Emperor’s body. She breathed heavy, staring at the mess of rock, a single gnarled white hand protruding and she half expected him to get up again. She was tempted to hurl his throne at the mess as well when she heard T7 whirr as his systems came back online.
“Jedi /= win?” He blipped at her.
“Yeah, T7, we won.” It took all of her will to pull her eyes away from the ruble drowned corpse, she sensed nothing from it, but somehow, something sat uneasily in her gut.
The room shook, and a giant piece of the ceiling came crashing down. T7 bumped her, breaking her doubt and unease. She looked down at him, his domed head turning from side to side, urging her forward, ever her stalwart companion and friend. She gave him a quick nod and a small smile that did not touch her eyes and started to run to escape the collapsing temple.
“Teah!” Ava called out desperate, not knowing what else to do, she pulled off her helmet, blonde hair slick with sweat, metal visor locked in place. “It’s Ava!”
The maelstrom of death continued unabated around them, Doc reached Rusk, he worked furiously to keep the Changrian alive, but it was shock that was keeping him breathing, his spinal cord was severed.
“We need to get him in a tank NOW!” Doc called out, Aaron managed to leave his position to assist with their fallen comrade.
With Kira distracted by the second Sith, and Aaron and Rusk off their posts, the Imperials began to take a foothold beyond the cave. Ava took a handful of tentative steps towards Teah, she had not attacked yet, so she assumed Teah recognized her. Her head was swimming with questions, she wanted, more then anything to touch, embrace her lost sister, so that she could confirm she was real. Teah broke eye contact first and gripped her chest, eyebrows furrowed. Sith and Jedi alike looked towards the Temple, even Ava saw it, a giant wave of black erupted from the Temple, like a thermal detonator of Dark force energy. Teah looked back at Ava with a look of restrained terror, she shook her head wordlessly.
“Teah?” Ava asked again, finally close enough she could touch her smooth ivory face.
“I knew you were strong Ava, I always knew. Run.” Teah breathed, her white hand softly gripping Ava’s forearm, and even through her armor, Ava could feel Teah’s warmth, their connection to each other strong as it ever was.
“Ava! Did you hear me? I said Gault is dead, we need to leave, now!” Mako’s voice shrilled in her head. It took her a moment to register what had just been said.
“Pull back! Job’s done, fall back!” Aric was hollering now, even Torian was backing away from the fight.
I always knew you were strong
. Teah’s hand was replaced by two strong arms that nearly carried her away from where she was standing. Torian was half dragging and half carrying Ava away who was finally shaken out of her shock.
“I got your last Mako, fall back to pick up, we’re heading out.” Ava faced forward, back in the present, grabbing her pistols as she ran, a quick adjustment had them back in working order, and she along with Lord Scourge covered the retreat, The rest covered Doc and Aaron who had Rusk in a gurney. An astromech droid and a Chiss in heavy Jedi armor joined them as they reached the ships.
Teah and Marek arrived in time to see the two ships disappear beyond the clouds, Marek was barking orders to shoot them out of the sky, an edge of panic in his voice. The Emperor was dead, it was impossible for any Force user not to feel it. She stared into the clouds, Ava had been the last person she had expected to see. Working with the enemy no less. She stopped herself, the enemy, once upon a time she had fought the Sith as well, only to be stolen, enslaved and branded. The enemy who had elevated her, brought out her power, trained her, gave her a reason to be. She stared up until the low lying Drummond Kaas clouds broke open, unleashing a frenzied lightning storm, cool rain drops fell hard as knives, as the planet raged and wept for her lost Emperor.
Force of Wills
Force of Wills: The Ties that Bind